Archive for October, 2010

Giveaway – Don’t Blink – James Patterson & Howard Roughan

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Thanks to Brad at Hachette Book group I”m able to offer my readers 3 copies of this book. To enter, follow these simple rules:

1) One Entry if you’re a follower [You can follow through Google Friend connect to the right, you can also sign up to follow through Twitter or Facebook].
2) An Additonal Entry if you blog about this contest.
3) An Additonal Entry if you’re a new follower.
4) One entry each for posting on facebook and/or twitter.
5) Must leave a comment letting me know how you follow me, blog link to this post, facebook/twitter link, etc.
6) Contest will continue until 11/03/2010.
7) This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada. No PO Box addresses (street mailing only).

See our review here.

1 people like this post.

Guest Post: How To Find Humorous Inspiration – Betty Collier

Monday, October 18th, 2010

An editor for a magazine in which I ran an ad to promote my book, Living Inside The Testimony, asked me to come up with “A HOOK” that she could use as the headline for the ad. She said it needed to be something “catchy” that would peak the curiosity of radio and TV producers.  This is what I came up with:

  • I Became an Author Overnight, and I Remember the Exact Night it Happened
  • How to Become a Best Selling Author Overnight
  • When You Live Inside a Testimony, You Can’t See It
  • Why Read a Book Written by Someone Who Never Wanted to Write One?
  • Is it Luck or is it all Part of THE MASTER’S Plan?
  • Is Your Life Part of a Master Plan?


She considered all these suggestions, but after she read the book for herself, this is the headline she created and used for the ad:

Marrying Your High School Sweetheart is Great: Until Your Kids are in High School

Don’t Miss this Woman’s Fun Advice About Life

Having said all this, my point is simply that the book takes on so many different faces. It was written to be inspirational and encouraging, but it offers much more than that. It’s hard to categorize it only in the inspirational genre because it has so many other facets that are neatly tied together to flow very smoothly. The editor said she was definitely inspired, but felt the main thing I had been missing in my promotions was to stress the humorous side of the book also. She thought it was very funny, but also full of life, love, and faith. It has enough variety to appeal to the general population, whether you share my faith or not.

I never considered myself an author, and if you had asked me prior to January, 2009 if I would ever write a book, my answer would have immediately and adamantly been “absolutely not!”  Perhaps my honesty will make you wonder if the book is even worth reading, but I can assure you…I am an author. I became one overnight, and in fact, I remember the exact night it happened. It was after midnight when January 9th turned into January 10th, the night I dreamed about this book.  I am confident that if you allow me to share my journey with you, you will understand perfectly, but only if you have the faith to believe. I wrote this book based on faith, well aware that not everyone would share my faith. If you read the book, you will see that my journey has been inspired by faith, hope, humor, romance, and alot of love. As one reader told me, “It’s like being on a roller coaster. I didn’t know what to expect next. I was laughing on one page and crying on the next…This book is a masterpiece!”

For more information about my book, please visit

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Please Stop Laughing at Me – Jodee Blanco

Thursday, October 7th, 2010


Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Adams Media (July 18, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1440509867
ISBN-13: 978-1440509865
Order book here:
Order E-book here:

School Bullying. We’ve all been hearing about it. Jodee Blanco experienced it. This experience became the basis for her book “Please Stop Laughing At Me”. The book is bookended by chapters of her arriving for her 20th Reunion. Afraid to go in, she reminisces on her school experiences.

It started out pretty normal for her. Things began to go awry, when she stood up for a younger deaf girl. From that point on, she always seemed to make a target of herself, generally by standing up for others. She was beaten, spit on, had rocks thrown at her, had her clothes destroyed.

She’d switch schools, things would be good for a while, then the whole process would start all over again.  It was a never ending cycle for her it seemed.  She admits at one point in the book that she just wanted to die. 

Teachers had the general attitude that kids will be kids. Her parents took her to a shrink to find out what was wrong with her. Why couldn’t she get along with the kids her age?

She managed to survive her school years. It made her stronger, and she has become an advocate for school bullying. For others though, it’s not so simple. Some take their revenge on their classmates, as we’ve seen happen at Columbine. Others take their own lives as we so often see.

You never know who experienced it, and what impact it had on their lives, or how their lives would be different. I experienced it to a much lesser degree than Ms. Blanco. I was overweight. Because of that, parts of my chest hung over a brace I wore. I was told different things growing up: “No girl will ever love you because your tits are bigger than hers”. “You have bigger tits than my girlfriend”. While minor, it caused me to withdraw.   I’d pondered suicide in middle school and high school, because I was so unhappy.

I don’t remember many close friendships from the time I was in Elementary school to my Junior/Senior year of High School. It was at that time, I started forming the person I am now, and forming friendships, that I’ve had the pleasure to renew after 25 years.   Because I felt neglected, ignored, and unwanted, it’s made me a much more compassionate person, I like to think.

Statistics say that in the U.S. every 100 minutes, a teenager kills theirself. In the month of September, there were at least 9 reported cases of teenagers committing suicide due to bullying. This bullying occurred either due to the fact they were gay or were perceived to be.

18 Year Old Tyler Clementi killed himself by jumping from the George Washington Bridge after being secretly filmed and put on the internet having sex with a man in his dorm room. 19 year old Raymond Chase, Student at Johnson and Wales hanged himself. Billy Lucas, 15 year old Freshman. Asher Brown, 13 years old. Was apparently bullied because he was perceived as being Gay. Seth Walsh – 13 years old, hung himself after being bullied because he was gay. Caleb Nolt, 14, Student at North Side High School in Fort Wayne, IN. Harrison Chase Brown, 15 years old. Rand Colorado. Cody J. Barker, 17, Shiocton Wis. Apparently bullied due to sexuality.

But bullying isn’t just kid on kid. As pointed out, kids can bully adults, as shown in a scene in this book. Adults can also bully other adults, as also shown in this book. And Adults can bully teens: Michigan Attorney General Andrew Shirvell went on a public blogging campaign against a University of Michigan student who was gay, was elected Student Body President. In La Crosse Wisconsin – A 14 year old girl at a pride parade, had a flag ripped from her hands and told to go to a country where people like her were hanged.

There have also been numerous cases of cyberbullying that have led to the victims killing themselves. And the victims fall on both sides, those being bullied, and those who don’t stand up for them, out of fear that they’ll be ostracized. And I’ll admit, I’m guitly of that as well, I saw people picked on in high school, but I rarely did anything to help, because I didn’t want to push myself lower on the social chain.

But back to the book.

This book had a very vivid portrayal of a young girls struggles with being bullied. It’s not just about the bullying, but about the surviving.  She does, as her parents often said, goes on to be a much stronger person, and it leads her into helping others cope with bullying. 

I beg all of you reading this to buy this book, read it, have your kids, grandkids, anyone you love who might be in a position to be bullied to read it. They need to know they aren’t out there alone. Parents, Teachers, and all of us need to stand together so we can fight this. As she points out, the bullies never remember, the bullied never forget.

Ms. Blanco runs a seminar business where she travels around to schools to discuss school bullying. You can learn more about this at Visit Ms. Blanco’s website. She as an excellent Q&A on Cyber Bullying, that is included at the end of the book as well.

About the Author:

Survivor, expert and activist Jodee Blanco is one of the country’s pre-eminent voices on the subject of school bullying. She is the author of The New York Times bestseller, Please Stop Laughing At Me . . . One Woman’s Inspirational Story. A chronicle of her years as the student outcast, the book inspired a movement inside the nation’s schools and is swiftly becoming an American classic. Referred to by many as “the anti-bullying bible,” it is required reading in hundreds of middle and high schools and numerous universities throughout the country. Please Stop Laughing at Me . . . has also been recognized as an essential resource by The National Crime Prevention Council, The Department of Health & Human Services, the National Association of Youth Courts, Special Olympics, The FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America), Teacher Magazine and hundreds of state and local organizations from the PTA and regional law enforcement coalitions to school safety groups.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Anna at FSB Associates for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Entered this review into Cym Lowell’s weekly contedst: CymLowell

Heaven Speaks – Pamela Bloom & Carla Flack

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Paperback: 156 pages
Publisher: Soul Connections (March 4, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1885499000
ISBN-13: 978-1885499004
Order book here:
Order E-book here:

This book contains interviews of many famous celebrities. Among them are Walter Cronkite, Albert Einstein, Paul Newman, Michael Jackson, Amelia Earhart, Walt Disney, Abe Lincoln, and John Lennon. The catch is each of these celebrites were talked to after they’d died. Pamela Bloom and Carla Flack have the ability to channel the dead. In this situation they’ve channeled many celebrities. Things such as how the person’s passing was, and what lessons the person learned while on Earth are discussed.

I was a little skeptic at first, and still am to some extent. I keep an open mind though on all issues, and would like to explore this issue further. I thought each vision of the passing over was as unique as the person speaking. For example, Michael Jackson’s experience was one of Music. Albert Einstein seemed to regret that he had no real emotional connections. My favorite ones were Abraham Lincoln, and John Lennon who gave his views on world peace.

Some great quotes from the book:

Walt Disney: “Even in the worst of times, don’t let the children lose their sense of awe and wonder. It is that which keeps the human spirit alive.”

John Lennon: “Dark must become white. There is no other way to say it. What is hidden must be revealed. What is closed must be opened. What is rejected must be embraced. A starving child must become beautiful in our eyes so that we will embrace it. An abused mother calls for us to put our arm around her, not shun her, not walk away. A homeless person must call out to our compassion, not our ignorance. We must open our eyes and see in a new way.”

I found the book very interesting, and it presented very beautiful, alternative views of the tunnel with the bright light at the end. Anyone interested in beliefs that are outside the box, I think would probably like this book. I know I’m looking forward to seeing the next volume and who shows up for it.

About the Authors:

PAMELA BLOOM is an award-winning writer, intuitive spiritual counselor and the author of 7 books, including Buddhist Acts of Compassion and On the Wings of Angels. A former music critic and travel writer, she twice won the prestigious Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award for her guidebooks on Brazil and the Amazon. As a healer and intuitive, she has worked closely with all kinds of people, especially those with lifethreatening diseases, and was on the counseling staff of Marianne Williamson’s Manhattan Center for Living. Her newest book is The Power of Compassion: Stories that Open the Heart, Heal the Soul, and Change the World (Hampton Roads, May 2010). She lives in New York City.

CARLA FLACK has been an intuitive counselor and spiritual coach for over 35 years. Her client list includes celebrities, artists, authors, executives and ordinary people from all walks of life. Curiosity set her on a course of study through various esoteric arts such as astrology, numerology, meditation and expanding consciousness until she eventually settled into a focus on the two disciplines that held her interest the most: tarot and angels. For years, Carla was a featured reader in AOL’s Crystal Ball Room, which led toher being CEO of an independent internet website of highly praised intuitive counselors from around the world. Over the past 20 years, Carla has been a published author of numerous articles, newsletters and books on a variety of metaphysical topics and continues her passionate journey into understanding consciousness and the soul’s evolution.

You can visit there website at and download a sample chapter, order the book, and read more about the whole thing.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Pamela for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

Contest for Aspiring Novelists

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010
Get a Fiction Makeover for National Novel Writing Month!
A Contest Sponsored by The Marshall Plan®

In celebration of National Novel Writing Month (November 2010), Evan Marshall and Martha Jewett, leading literary agents and authors of The Marshall Plan® Novel Writing Software and The Marshall Plan® for Novel Writing ebook, are sponsoring a contest for aspiring novelists. Send them a proposal for your novel for a chance at winning a free copy of the software and a free Fiction Makeover—professional advice on revising your material for better chances of a sale!
Contest rules:
Entrants must not have published a novel with a major commercial publisher. Submit the first 25 (no more!) double-spaced pages of your novel, any genre, along with a synopsis no longer than 1 single-spaced page. Send your material in one .doc file as an email attachment to: Submission deadline: November 15, 2010. Winners will be announced on November 30, 2010, on as well as Facebook and Twitter. Entrants who do not follow rules exactly will be disqualified.

Become a fan on Facebook and follow on Twitter for contest updates and writing tips.


2 Grand Prizes:

  • The Marshall Plan® Novel Writing Software ($149 value)
  •  A copy of The Marshall Plan® for Novel Writing Ebook ($10 value)
  •  A Free Fiction Makeover for your novel proposal: top literary agents Evan Marshall and Martha Jewett will tell you what you need to do to get your novel published faster in today’s competitive publishing climate.

     3 Runner-Ups:

  • A copy of The Marshall Plan® for Novel Writing Ebook ($10 value)
  • About Evan Marshall & Martha Jewett

    Evan Marshall is an internationally recognized expert on fiction writing and author of the “Hidden Manhattan” and “Jane Stuart and Winky” mystery series. A former book editor, for 27 years he has been a leading literary agent specializing in fiction. His Marshall Plan® Novel Writing Software, written with Martha Jewett, is an adaptation of his bestselling Marshall Plan® series.

    Martha Jewett is an internationally recognized expert on business books. A former award-winning business book editor at McGraw-Hill, John Wiley & Sons, and HarperBusiness, she is currently a literary agent and editorial consultant specializing in business books. An avid memoirist, she blogs at She co-created with Evan Marshall The Marshall Plan® Novel Writing Software,  an adaptation of the bestselling Marshall Plan® series.

    God and Sex – Michael Coogan

    Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

    Hardcover: 256 pages
    Publisher: Twelve (October 1, 2010)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0446545252
    ISBN-13: 978-0446545259
    Order book here:
    Order E-book here:


    Have you ever thought about all the sex that goes on in the Bible. Have you wondered what The bible actually had to say on topics such as adultery, incest, and other taboo topics. In God & Sex, Michael Coogan attempts to explain those things. Mr. Coogan is a professor of Religious Studies at Stonehill College, and has taught Hebrew Scriptures at Harvard, Wellesley College, Boston College, and Stonehill. The basic premise for this book is taken from some of those lectures.

    He puts some interesting, and some might consider blasphemous spins on some of the taboos spelled out in Leviticus. One example is on the subject of Incest. The Bible says not to have intercourse with your sister, aunt, father’s wife (not necessarily mother), etc. He points out some facts regarding this issue. One, It doesn’t tell women not to have sexual relations with the corresponding family members. In fact, he points out, the bible is full of cases of sisters and brothers marrying. Two, he argues that one of the primary reasons, is that women were property. A man sleeping with his sister, deprives his father of the income that she would bring as a virgin bride.

    A lot of the hangups towards sex we seem to have actually tie back to the male dominance within the bible according to this book. He points out areas where there are contradictions in things, and where some times a sexual connotation is being given, but we aren’t aware of it, such as mentioning of uncovering feet, wherein feet is a euphemism for genitalia. I’d never considered that, but his explanation does make sense, in the situations he brings up.

    While I’m not 100% certain he’s correct in his interpretations, they do seem to make sense and fit his overall logic. I’m not sure I’d recommend this book for those who read the bible literally, but for those who tend to read things, and want to see things in their historical context, I think you’d find Mr. Coogan’s spin on these issues to be quite though provoking.

    *Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Valerie at Hachette Book Group for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review.

    You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

    Giveaway – Blood Over Badge – Wayne Farquhar

    Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

    Thanks to Brandi at BKWalker Books I”m able to offer my readers a chance at a copy of this book. To enter, follow these simple rules:

    1) One Entry if you’re a follower [You can follow through Google Friend connect to the right, you can also sign up to follow through Twitter or Facebook].
    2) An Additonal Entry if you blog about this contest.
    3) An Additonal Entry if you’re a new follower.
    4) One entry each for posting on facebook and/or twitter.
    5) Must leave a comment letting me know how you follow me, blog link to this post, facebook/twitter link, etc.
    6) Contest will continue until October 19th 2010.
    7) This giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada. No PO Box addresses (street mailing only).

    See our review here.

    2 people like this post.

    Blood Over Badge – Wayne Farquhar

    Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

    Paperback: 250 pages
    Publisher: 3L Publishing (April 12, 2010)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0615359116
    ISBN-13: 978-0615359113
    Order book here:

    Jack Paige – Veteran San Francisco Homicide Detective.
    Casey Ford – New Recruit to San Francisco Homicide.
    Kyle Sanders – On trial for murder of Shopkeeper.

    Publishers Synopsis:


    The murder of the Mayor of San Francisco’s daughter sets the stage for this intriguing and spellbinding crime thriller. Two police detectives, Jack Paige and Casey Ford are assigned to catch a cold-blooded rapist and killer. In this gritty, realistic tale of homicide, unrelated mysteries of two murderers seem to come together and make little sense. What does a man rotting away behind the stench-enclosed walls of Angola Penitentiary have to do with an evil and cruel rapist and killer now on the run from California to Texas? What is the relationship to the killing of the Mayor’s daughter? BLOOD OVER BADGE, an intense, taunt and brilliantly told crime thriller, takes readers on a realistic, gritty and real-world tour de force exploring the underbelly of police and detective work.

    Kyle Sanders is on trial for the murder of a shopkeeper during a robbery. Jack Paige is introduced to his new partner, Casey Ford. Their first assignment is the execution murder of a young woman. The woman’s body is found in a trunk. While working to solve the murder, they must deal with a nosy press, and an apparent leak in the department. Will they catch the killer? What part does Kyle play in their investigation?


    I thought this was a very nicely done detective story. There was a lot of detail from Mr. Farquhar, that surely comes from all of his years as a police officer. The autopsy scenes, and investigation scenes seemed very real. The actual police procedures also seemed drawn from real life. The story kept me guessing up until the last few chapters. Even when I thought I knew who the killer was, I ended up surprised. There were many twists, some at times didn’t seem to be necessary to the story, but in the end, it was all tied up nicely.

    There was strong language, and content in this story, so it’s not geared towards young readers. I’d say 16 and above. For his first time out writing a book though, I feel that Mr. Farquhar did a very nice job, and I’d love to read more of his novels in the future.

    Author Bio:

    Wayne Farquhar is a 28-year veteran working with the San Jose Police Department in California. He has worked through the ranks from officer to lieutenant with detective assignments in Sexual Assaults, Homicide and Internal Affairs. He has also worked undercover assignments in Child Exploitation, Child Pornography and Vice. He spent 10 years as a street cop and hostage negotiator. Wayne has worked on Federal Task Forces with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). He has appeared on national television, /America’s Most Wanted/ on a murder investigation. BLOOD OVER BADGE is his first effort in crime-thriller fiction, and he hopes to write more books and speak to larger audiences about his experiences in law enforcement. Wayne lives with his family in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    If you would like to formally invite Wayne to speak about BLOOD OVER
    BADGE or law enforcement to your organization, association, conference or expo, please send an email to

    *Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Janis, Mr. Farquhar’s publicist, and Brandi at BKWalker Books for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review.

    Thanks to Brandi, we are able to giveaway a copy of this book to 1 luck reader. See our contest here.

    You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

    2 people like this post.

    The Postcard Killers – James Patterson

    Monday, October 4th, 2010

    Hardcover: 432 pages
    Publisher: Little, Brown and Company;  (August 16, 2010)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0316089516
    ISBN-13: 978-0316089517
    Order book here:
    Order E-book here:

    Sylvia Rudolph – Female half serial killing team.
    Mac Rudolph – Male half of serial killing team.
    Jacob Kanon – Homicide Detective, NYPD.
    Dessie Larsson – Reporter for Swedish Paper Aftonposten.


    A couple travel around Europe committing a series of crimes. Each crime is preceded by a postcard to a local report, followd after the crime by a photograph of the crime scene. Dessie Larsson is the latest reporter to obtain a postcard. She is soon visited by Jacob Kanon. Jacob is an NYPD detective investigating the crimes.


    I liked this story. While James Patterson does tend to crank them out like candy, each one does have a bit different. With this one, I found the couple commiting the murders to be truly twisted, particularly when information about them starts getting out. I even managed to learn a few things about Europe while I was there.

    The whole story is a cat and mouse chase through the EU (European Union) in an attempt to stop the killers. Along the way, more bodies are left in their path. I liked getting to know Jacob and Dessie, and at least see his motivations in catching the killers. All told, a pretty good thriller, that you should pick up if you enjoy the genre. I would recommend it PG-13 and above for language, content, etc.

    Please see our giveaway. You can enter to win one of 3 copies courtesy of Hachette here.

    *Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Brad at Hachette Book Groups for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review.

    You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.