Friday, July 28, 2017

Back Story: When the Sky Falls l Joseph Bendoski

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People Want More than just Stories

If you’re the kind of person who read my book and now has gone digging through the internet to find out more, to see if buried deep beyond the first three pages of Google you can find something else I’ve done, something else I’ve written then it has brought you here. I assume a few things about you; one you enjoy research, because you had to do some to find this. Two, that you love to get more than just a story from the things you read. You want stories that changed the way you see the world, the way you understand, stories that open your mind through science and history. That is my favorite kind of story, but I find they are just too far and few to satisfy me, so I’ve started to write my own.

What I didn’t write about Sky Fall Events

This idea is best explained in the creation of the chapter headings in the first place. As I began to
write the story, I realized that there was just too much to explain to fully present the idea of a Sky Fall Event. It was an ocean of exposition. I fit as much into the story as I could, but then I created the headings as a way to provide even more information for the readers, and I could write in a way that didn’t have to relate to the narrative directly. The headings are matched to chapters, or set to come after certain chapters as a way to dive deeper into ideas and explain more history and science. But as for the question at hand.
There is a lot that was left out. I sifted through for the very best of history and science, but there are only so many chapters in the book. The missing pieces will be revealed in the sequel and prequel that I’m working on right now.
As stated in the book, when the series is finished I will compile and write The Nature of Sky Fall Events. The headings have done more than that though, they’ve changed the way I write. I think I will make it a permanent part of my style to use science, and historical headings to support the ideas I write about.

What I want to Ask the Reader

What did you think of the idea of ‘Sky Fall Events’, and the presentation of persuasion in the media in general? Will it change the way you watch the news or read news posts and papers?

I feel my greatest weakness is my characters. What would you do to make them better? More appealing, more memorable, more relatable?

In writing my own post, I wonder what questions I would ask and author like myself if I were to meet them. The first is “what did you leave out?”

About the Author

Joe Bendoski studied psychology in college and was fascinated by all the insights it provided into human behavior, only to realize most the information never reach people, and when it did, rarely was it in a form that allowed for practical application. He started writing non-fiction, but soon came to understand how few people read that genre and began the difficult transition into fiction writing. His non-fiction works include; the Chemistry of Attraction and the Language of Emotion. 

He worked as the head writer for the television show ‘Saved by Grace.’ After being frustrated with comments like "make this scene cheaper," "What's my motivation?", and "Do we need this scene?" he decided to go in to literature.

His latest book is the thriller/espionage/conspiracy/historical novel, When the Sky Falls.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Back Story: Rebel Song by Amanda J. Clay @amandajclay

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One of the questions all writer’s undoubtedly receive is “where do you get your inspiration?” Sometimes there is a great lightbulb moment—a tragedy, a blessing, a unique childhood—that breathes life into an idea. For Rebel Song, I attribute it to a childhood obsession with tragic love stories, with fantasy tales of kings and queens, with gallant heroes sacrificing all.

When I describe the plot of Rebel Song to people, but tell them it’s contemporary, they often say, “Wait, it’s about a princess and a rebellion and star-crossed love? Sounds a little Medieval.” And it does sound like a plot of old. But it’s also a reality of today...Let me explain a bit of history about its inspiration.

The very first incarnation of Rebel Song came about 22 years ago—no joke! When I was 12—possibly suffering some unrequited love of my own—I actually wrote this short book about a princess who falls in love with a spy from another country and she betrays her kingdom for him. In the end she jumps off a cliff and kills herself so in retrospect it wasn’t a very uplifting story (I was a strange 12 year old, I admit). But I never forgot that tale and I’ve maintained this affinity for the star-crossed lovers since. 

So fast forward a couple decades. I’m in Madrid, Spain, reading about the turmoil of Spain’s 20th century—from a monarchy to a dictator to back to a monarchy. And I realized that, while it’s strange to the Americans, royalty is alive and well in much of Europe. Additionally, many countries in Europe have undergone rebellions, dictators, civil war and more in the last fifty years alone. Sometimes there’s even a juicy love story thrown in there. I was fascinated by the history there and I suddenly knew I had to bring Rogan and Elyra’s story to life in a fresh new way. 

And while the story is set in “modern-day,” I admit, the specific time period for the story is purposefully a little vague because I’m trying to avoid talking about real world events—it’s hard to talk about 20th century Europe and not discuss post WWII Communism, for example. I want the Rogan and Elyra’s story to just exist within itself and for the reader to not have to think about the outside world. 

So once you have this great novel that you love more than your own mortal soul, what do you do with it?

After I’d finished and perfected Rebel Song to the best of my ability, I had to learn how to publish it! Writers today are living in the best of times. There are more ways than ever to reach millions of hungry readers. But with more choices, it can be daunting to decide the best way to go. I opted to Independently publish and I couldn’t be happier with my choice. It’s a lot of work—no denying that. As an Indie author, you’re responsible for every aspect of the process—from finding the cover design, getting a professional editor, finding beta readers and then doing the marketing. It was a long process, I stumbled a lot, made some mistakes, learned a TON and was excited to do it all again.
The second installment, Rebel Rising, is due out this September and I’m so excited to continue the saga with my readers.

About the Author

Amanda J. Clay is a writing YA and Adult fiction from Dallas, TX. A Northern California native, she had a fantastic time studying English and Journalism at Chico State University and then a very serious time slaving away for a Master’s degree in Communications from California State University, Fullerton. When she’s not staring at a computer screen, she spends most of her spare time on some new fitness addiction and plotting world adventures.

Her latest book is the young adult novel, Rebel Song.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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About the Book:

Title: REBEL SONG
Author: Amanda J. Clay
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 370
Genre: YA

Caught on opposite sides of a budding civil war, a rebel leader and a modern day princess fight to save their country from a corrupt Minister General in a fictional Central Europe.

The once prosperous European nation of Arelanda has been plagued with poverty and corruption since the failed rebellion tore it apart. Now, rebels stir again in the capital’s underbelly, vowing to depose the monarchy and overturn the unjust government.

Seventeen-year-old Rogan Elwood, son of a rebel leader executed for treason after the first rebellion, has borne a tainted legacy his entire life. As he is pulled deeper into conflict, Rogan must face his calling in the future of the rebel cause—waging his want for peace against his desire for vengeance. Everything changes when he falls for Elyra—modern, idealistic and determined to bring Arelanda a better future. She also just happens to be next in line to the throne—if the corrupt Minister General doesn’t beat her to it.

Caught in the midst of a budding civil war and surrounded by enemies on every side, Elyra and Rogan must fight to save themselves and their country.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Freda Hansburg’s Five Tips for Crafting Compelling Characters

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As a psychologist and suspense novelist, I’m all about delving into the dark corners of the heart.  What does it take to create characters that are complex, believable, fallible and interesting?  Consider these five strategies.
·        Give them goals.  What do your characters want badly enough to pursue in the face of all the obstacles you’re going to plant in their way?  What does your protagonist believe her goal will bring her?  It’s the quest, usually for something illusory or unattainable, that drives our characters’ stories, protagonist and antagonist alike.

·        Turn them loose.  An intriguing discovery I’ve made as a novelist – and heard from fellow writers – is how our characters surprise us.  Off they go, heading in directions we didn’t anticipate.  They seem to take on lives of their own.  The first time I experienced this (two of my characters started having an affair I hadn’t expected), I feared I’d lost control of the narrative.  Instead, it developed into a nice plot twist.  Over time, I’ve come to welcome
unforeseen character turns, which often move the story forward in exciting ways.

·        Let them fight.   Conflict is a page turner.  Whether it’s a protagonist’s inner struggle or clashes between characters, good stories thrive on the drama of contention.  Look for opportunities to play up these moments, via climactic showdowns and simmering tensions in between.  If you write a single page without a trace of conflict, be concerned.  A whole chapter without conflict?  Revise.

·        Make them suffer.  One of the downsides of caring about our characters is a tendency to want to protect them.  But they must get roughed up on their journeys.  I’m forced to battle my own squeamishness (it really hurt to have my protagonist’s best friend give him a broken nose).  But pile it on we must.  Our protagonists must endure enough adversity and anguish to turn into heroes.  Readers are inspired by characters who survive the storm.   

·        Have them learn.  Our job is to help our protagonists grow, in spite of themselves.  They may start out frightened, clueless, deluded or otherwise blind to what they’re avoiding.  But the arc of their development demands they discover something about themselves, their goals or the world that frees them from their limitations.  Whether they end up triumphant or merely sadder and wiser, their stories must feature transformation.  And then we, the writers, are transformed by telling their stories.  We turn into novelists!

About the Author

Freda Hansburg is a psychologist and Tell On You is her debut trade thriller.  She self-published the suspense novel Shrink Rapt and co-authored two self-help books, PeopleSmart – a best-seller translated into ten languages – and Working PeopleSmart.  Freda lives in the South Carolina Lowcountry, where she is working on her next novel and her Pickleball game.

Her latest book is the thriller, Tell On You.


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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Kimberly Fisk Talks About Her Path to Publication

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Hello!!  Thank you for having me here today.  I love connecting with other writers and readers so this is a true treat!!
I think the question I’m asked most often is how did I get published.  Or, what was my path to publication.  How I wish I could tell you I was handed the secret map and by following it step by step, it led me straight to where I wanted to be.  Alas, no.  Sorry.  But through my pursuit of that ever seemingly elusive goal of receiving “The Call,” I did pick up a few tidbits of wisdom that were of
great benefit.  I hope they will help you, too!
·        Write.  Sounds so obvious, right?  But while many of us dream of being a published author we fail to do the one thing we must: write.  It’s not pretty or glamorous for the most part; it’s a lot of hours sitting in front of your computer or laptop or notepad mining for the right words.  It’s a lot of hours spent crafting a story that might never sell.  Scary stuff there!  But here’s the rub: if you don’t write it, the publisher can’t come.  (Terrible spin on the Field of Dreams quote but I’m sure you get the idea.)  And if your book never sells?  You will still have accomplished two incredible things: YOU WROTE A BOOK!  How awesome is that?!  And two, by writing that book, you learned so much about the writing process.
·        Read.  Again, sounds obvious.  But reading is a key element to writing.  Reading keeps your pulse on what is selling; it also helps teach you the art of writing.  What the author did right…what didn’t work as well for you.  Character development.  Pacing.  And the list goes on and on.  And don’t just read in the genre you aspire to publish in.  Read voracious.  Read everything.  Read fiction blockbusters, the how-to write books.  The classics.  Before I sold, I read every current debut I could get my hands on.  Gobbled them up as fast as I could.  Those debut books grabbed an agent and/or editor and sold for a reason.  I wanted to know why. 
·        Invest in your dream.  Invest not only your time (which is extremely valuable) but also invest your hard earned dollars.  I know this bit of advice is difficult for a lot of us moms to wrap our heads around—spend money on ourselves even if we don’t see an immediate return—but it wasn’t until I started doing just that that I started to see positive progress.  By my taking my dream seriously enough to spend money on it, my family began to realize just how important it was.  My writing wasn’t just a fun hobby—but a serious pursuit of a dream.  Another benefit of plunking down those dollars for a workshop or conference or how-to book?  I was going to get the biggest bang for my buck.  The notes I took were college worthy if I do say so myself and the connections I made with other writers just like me has been invaluable throughout the years.  Also, don’t forget that there are a lot of ways to obtain these resources for discounted rates.  Many times you can volunteer at a conference that will reduce your fees or you can buy the workshop tapes from the conference and save the cost of travel and other costs.
·        Another important step in this path to publication is to learn the value of feedback and revisions.  For this step we need to develop a thicker skin.  It’s very easy to get attached to our “baby” and not want to hear that anything is wrong with it, but we all know the truth: almost everything can be made better through revisions/re-envisioning/rethinking.  But (and this is a big but) chose your beta readers/critique partners well.  I count myself extremely fortunate that I landed with three amazing writers early in my writing days.  They were (and are) instrumental to my success.
·        So now that you’ve written and revised a book, honed your craft through reading books and attending workshops and conferences, you are itching to send it out to the world.  Or at least a publishing professional who can get your dream in front of readers.  Even among my group of writer friends there is an ongoing debate as to whether you should get an agent or not.  My advice—GET AN AGENT.  But like with all the steps along the way, research, research, research to find that perfect match for you.

While this is in no means a complete list, I hope it helps you fulfill your dream of becoming a published author just as it did for me.  And if you have tips you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to drop me a note through my website (www.KimberlyFisk.net) or FB (https://www.facebook.com/kimberlyfiskauthor/).  Connecting with other writers and readers is one of the best gifts this career has given me.


About the Author


A past recipient of Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart Award, Kimberly Fisk is the bestselling author of Lake Magic. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children, and too many four-legged critters to count.
Her latest book is the contemporary romance, Boardwalk Summer.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Writing Romantic Suspense l Jane Godman @janegodman

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My latest release, The Soldier’s Seduction, is a romantic suspense, and writing in that genre is a unique balance between the love story and the thriller. It’s great to have this chance to share my thoughts with you.
I suppose, before I started writing romantic suspense, I had a vague idea that it was a romance with a mystery thrown in. I couldn’t have been more wrong. 
Romantic suspense stories have to give equal weight to both the romance and the suspense. And that can be hard to get right. As an author, you have to keep the threads of both stories entwined throughout. 

Here are some of the key ways to do it: 

Get the research right
That whole ‘writing what you know’ mantra is more important than ever in romantic suspense. The details matter. If the killer couldn’t have fired the gun that way, the whole plot falls apart. Police procedures, legal terms, murder weapons…my search history is eye-popping.

Use the setting to add tension
Setting makes every book come alive. In romantic suspense, it does double duty. Nightfall can evoke fear. Enclosed spaces tell us the characters are in danger. Immersion in water or ice evokes urgency. Changing from one location to another gives a sense of movement. Unexpected happenings in a setting can shake the reader out their expectations. The Soldier’s Seduction starts out in a small town, but the events take the characters on a thrilling journey.

Create characters who are worth turning the page for
Romantic suspense is about danger and romance happening at the same time, but none of it is meaningful if we don’t care about the characters. That means investing in villains as well as heroes and heroines.
In “Seven Secrets of Romantic Suspense” Lisa Gardner says:
·        Every character (including the villain) should have a goal and something personal at stake in the conflict.
·        Every character should have a few key strengths that mold and form them.
·        Every character should have some vulnerability. 
·        Every character should have their own moral code, the things they will and will not do.
·        Everyone must evolve.

Reveal the plot slowly
Start dramatic, then there should be lots of twists and turns along the way with the end always appearing to be in doubt.

Sexual tension
Sexual tension adds to a mystery story. It complicates the plot—there’s nothing simple about love and lust. Sex makes people vulnerable and in a suspense story, the character can’t afford to be vulnerable. As danger mounts, so does desire. As the future becomes more uncertain, the need for personal connection becomes heightened. In The Soldier’s Seduction, Bryce and Steffi (if that’s really her name…) have some very steamy encounters! 

Give glimpses of hope
We need to have doubt and fear in the story. But there needs to be a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Harsh setbacks should be followed by fresh ideas and new plans for attack. The hero and heroine can feel cornered, afraid, and overwhelmed, but they should never feel hopeless.

A happy ending
Romance readers know what they want. A happy ending is not a formula, it’s an expectation. Readers have raced at to the finish line, now they need a celebration. They need a big ending, one that ties up all the loose ends. Then they need to see the hero and heroine being happy.  After all the torture they’ve been through, we all need a little warm glow before we turn the final page.
Bryce and Steffi were two of the most tortured characters I’ve ever written. Giving them their happy ending was sooo satisfying!

I love writing romantic suspense…torturing my characters until the final page! I hope you enjoy the twists and turns of both the mystery and the love story of The Soldier’s Seduction and the other stories that are coming soon in the Sons of Stillwater series. 
About the Author

Jane Godman writes paranormal romance for Harlequin Nocturne and SMP Romance, thrillers for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and steamy historical and gothic romance. 
Jane also writes erotic romance as Amanda Stewart.
Her latest book is the romantic suspense, The Soldier’s Seduction.

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About the Book:

Title: THE SOLDIER’S SEDUCTION
Author: Jane Godman
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 288
Genre: Romantic Suspense
BOOK BLURB:
From the front lines to unexpected romance—and danger—in small-town Wyoming
After a war zone bomb nearly destroyed Bryce Delaney, he’s worked hard to hide his scars. Back in his Wyoming hometown, he can pretend the nightmares don’t exist. But when a secretive, beautiful new woman in town disappears, Bryce’s protective instincts put him on the front lines again.
Wanted for murder and on the run under an alias, former A-list actress Steffi Grantham can’t return to her life until she clears her name. It’s her boss, Bryce, to the rescue, but desire ties them together, and she’s forced to make a choice that could cost them both. Trusting the wrong man once before almost stole her freedom. Now it might take her life.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

How to Avoid the Rejection Blues l Lee Matthew Goldberg @LeeMatthewG

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Rejection and being an author go hand in hand. Fiction is very subjective so what one person may like, another may hate. I have had two novels published, one by the indie press, New Pulp Press, and the other by Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s; but before that, I had three novels rejected over the course of a few years and a lot of rejections from agents before I landed with Sam Hiyate of The Rights Factory. There were many times I thought I wouldn’t make it as an author, but I’m stubbornly determined and driven, and I used the rejections to make my writing better so I wouldn’t be rejected the next time.
           
The first set of rejections came from literary magazines until a few finally hit. Lit mags are a very smart way to start as a career as an author, since agents and editors and publishers will want to see some type of publications on your Writing Resume. It is guaranteed that more magazines will say no as opposed to yes. However, once one magazine accepts your work, you have a greater chance of getting another to bite, since you are beginning to establish yourself. The idea that you will be published in The New Yorker automatically will not happen, so forget about that. Begin with online journals and don’t worry about not getting paid, the exposure, even if it’s small, is better than a check.
           
The same goes for agents. Most agents will reject you because they are flooded with submissions. They also want to shape a writer’s career so they want to believe in you rather than just your one book. Have a follow up ready. More importantly, take the advice that they give if you’re lucky to get notes. My agent liked the book I initially sent him, but had a lot of revisions before he could sign me on. I listened to everything he said.
           
Editors are even trickier. An editor can love the book that an agent sends and then try to pitch it within his imprint and no one else bites. This had happened to me many times. They want to fall in love with your characters so other editors and their boss will fall in love with them too. There were moments I wanted to give up, but with every rejection I rewrote and edited the manuscript and also moved on to other projects as well. If you are writing a book and trying to sell it for ten years without any interest, it’s time to write a new one.
           
Finally, don’t let rejection get you down. I look at all the no’s I got now as evidence that I wasn’t ready to be published at the time and I needed to hone my work more. You only need one yes, so even though one day might deliver a flood of rejections to your inbox, the next day could bring that acceptance you’ve been waiting for.   

About the Author


Lee Matthew Goldberg’s novel THE MENTOR is forthcoming from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press in June 2017 and has been acquired by Macmillan Entertainment. The French edition will be published by Editions Hugo. His debut novel SLOW DOWN is out now. His pilot JOIN US was a finalist in Script Pipeline’s TV Writing Competition. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his fiction has also appeared in The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, Essays & Fictions, The New Plains Review, Verdad Magazine, BlazeVOX, and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series. He lives in New York City.

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About the Book:

Title: THE MENTOR
Author: Lee Matthew Goldberg
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin’s Press
Pages: 336
Genre: Thriller / Suspense / Mystery
Kyle Broder has achieved his lifelong dream and is an editor at a major publishing house.
When Kyle is contacted by his favorite college professor, William Lansing, Kyle couldn’t be happier. Kyle has his mentor over for dinner to catch up and introduce him to his girlfriend, Jamie, and the three have a great time. When William mentions that he’s been writing a novel, Kyle is overjoyed. He would love to read the opus his mentor has toiled over.
Until the novel turns out to be not only horribly written, but the most depraved story Kyle has read.
After Kyle politely rejects the novel, William becomes obsessed, causing trouble between Kyle and Jamie, threatening Kyle’s career, and even his life. As Kyle delves into more of this psychopath’s work, it begins to resemble a cold case from his college town, when a girl went missing. William’s work is looking increasingly like a true crime confession.
Lee Matthew Goldberg's The Mentor is a twisty, nail-biting thriller that explores how the love of words can lead to a deadly obsession with the fate of all those connected and hanging in the balance.
PRAISE FOR THE MENTOR:
From Booklist - A junior editor at a Manhattan publisher reunites with his college mentor with disastrous results in Goldberg's second thriller (after Slow Down, 2015). Kyle Broder has just acquired a probable best-seller for Burke & Burke publishing when he hears from his former literature professor, William Lansing, who pitches the still-unfinished opus he’s been working on for 10 years. Lansing’s book is not only badly written, it’s also disturbing, featuring a narrator literally eating the heart of the woman he loves. Lansing turns vengeful when his "masterpiece" is rejected, but Broder’s concerns about his mentor are dismissed both at home and at work: Broder’s girlfriend considers Lansing charming, and a rival editor feigns interest in Lansing’s book. Broder revisits his college and delves more deeply into the cold case of a missing ex-girlfriend, and as the plot darkens and spirals downward, it’s unclear who will be left standing. The compelling plot is likely to carry readers with a high enough tolerance for gore to the final twist at the end.

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sticks & Stones Can Break Your Bones but Words Can Damn Near Kill Me l EJ Apicello

12:00 AM 0 Comments

If someone asked me what I would rather have happen – a solid punch to the gut or a glimpse into the mind of someone who was judging me, I would gladly accept the punch to the gut. Physical pain can be handled and forgotten but the emotional pain that
comes from hearing negative words, even from a stranger, is devastating and long lasting. The bruise to your psyche you experience from some well positioned hate words will last well beyond any physical bruise you receive. Did you ever notice, that our brains have a funny way of cycling these negative words on a never ending hamster wheel within our minds, often keeping them just below the surface until you least expect it. Words have the ability to cut a person, deeply. The hardest thing about these cuts is that they are invisible to the naked eye, because cuts made by words do not show  to the outside world, they settle somewhere else. They settle on your confidence, make their home on your happiness and eat away at your ability to believe in yourself.

All of those hamster wheels of negativity are spinning at warp speed in my mind right now. This is my very first blog post. Ever. Which means I am currently thinking of a thousand reasons why I may fail at this new venture. What I am beginning to realize however, is that among all the negative “what ifs” there is one positive “I can” that I am latching onto with all of my might. Life’s a bumpy, chaotic road that none of us have a map to. When you think about it, we are all in this together trying to stumble through with our best foot forwards most of the time but at the end of the day, no one, not even the most powerful person on this chunk of space rock, has any idea what the future holds! Really puts your problems into perspective doesn’t it my friends? I am trying to grow personally and professionally everyday, to surround myself with people who believe in the same positive message that I am trying to pass on – that you and you alone have control over the choices you make at each of the crossroads you come to in life. You can choose to move forwards and pursue your happiness, or stay static choosing the happiness of others over your own. Sounds like a pretty common sense message doesn’t it? You see, I believe that the things that happen to us are not what make us special, they do not define who we are. Instead, it is the choices we make at each of our crossroads and how we choose to handle what life throws at us that defines who we are. Everyone has gone through something terrible in their lives and trying to compare your awful to theirs is a defeating exercise that will only result in hurt egos and feelings. We need to come together and realize that we are all stumbling through this playbook called life as blindly as our neighbors and could probably use a little help along the way.

My life has been dedicated to believing that I had to have the answer to everything, know how every scenario was going to play out. I spent my life putting others happiness before my own to the point that I created an image of myself that I put on display to everyone while simultaneously burying my real true self. This was so self destructive that I was causing a critical piece of who I was to slowly die and I didn’t even realize it. I chose things at the crossroads of my life that made the people around me, my family and friends, happy. Why you ask? Perhaps you should turn that question around on yourself my friends. Have you ever put someone else’s happiness before your own? If so, why? What was the reason for putting your choices on the back burner and allowing someone else to decide your path down that crossroads? Take a moment and comment below. Tell me your story, share the decisions you have made at your crossroads. Who knows, maybe you will see a new direction, a new road, that you never knew existed that just might be the path you were meant to walk on.

About the Author

Welcome to EJ’s real, crazy, emotional, probably too honest journey. She is an everyday girl in this everyday world trying to keep her head above water. Within the pages of this book you will learn about the things that have broken EJ down and the steps she is taking to build back up. You will see, that this story is written in a unique, general, conversational voice, which was her choice. She wants you to be able to picture yourself in her shoes, relate her trials and tribulations to yours and see that you too can find your happiness. Even if you don’t realize this yet, every single one of us possesses things inside of ourselves that we didn't know were there. It took EJ’s life taking a crazy right turn and dumping her at the lowest possible point before she could see the strength within herself. We are not defined by what we do, we are defined by the choices we make. EJ decided when she put pen to paper that she wanted her choices to start defining her as strong, confident, secure and above all else, happy. So, who am EJ? How about who she was - a self-loathing shell who put everyone else’s happiness before her own. Herein lies a story about finding that happiness and all of the ups and downs along the way. See who EJ was and who she is trying to become and maybe, somewhere in there, you will find out a little about yourself too.

Her latest book is the self-help, Your Crossroads. Your Choice.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Back Story: Surgeon's Story l Mark Oristano with Kristine Guleserian, MD

12:00 AM 0 Comments


I’ve been a volunteer at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas for 20 years, working in the PACU, the Post Anesthesia Care Unit. To the layman, that’s the Day Surgery Recovery Room.

I attended several lecture given by a heart surgeon at Children’s named Kristine Guleserian, and each
time I was impressed by the doctor’s humor and warmth, but also the intense intellectual honesty she brought to her work, and her feelings about her work.

I would see her around the hospital, and we’d chat about baseball as we were both big fans. And then I began to hear more and more stories from other people about things that Dr. G, as she’s known, had done for her patients after their surgeries. So, I decided to take a flyer.

I walked into her office one day and said, “How’d you like to do a book with me?”

“What about?” she asked.

“About you.”

“Nobody wants to read about me.”

“Everybody wants to read about you. They just don’t know it yet.”

Dr. G thought for about ten seconds and then said simply, “Why not.” Seven years later, we had a book.

In that intervening time, I spent many hours as her shadow. In the OR, in patient consultations, on rounds and more. I saw what I later would describe as an ordinary woman with an extraordinary skill set. She’s only five feet tall, but as they say in sports, she plays six foot two. She stands on a small stool when she’s operating, and I’ve seen her stand on that stool for 16 hours straight, with no breaks for water, food, the bathroom… nothing.

Once, after a ten-hour double lung transplant, somebody in the OR noticed she was wearing four-inch Prada heels. They asked her how she could stand that long in those shoes.

“Simple,” she replied. “If you can’t operate in heels, you can’t operate.”

How could you not want to write about someone like that?


About the Author

Mark Oristano has been a professional writer/journalist since the age of 16.

After growing up in suburban New York, Oristano moved to Texas in 1970 to attend Texas Christian University.  A major in Mass Communications, Mark was hired by WFAA-TV in 1973 as a sports reporter, the start of a 30-year career covering the NFL and professional sports.

Mark has worked with notable broadcasters including Verne Lundquist, Oprah Winfrey and as a sportscaster for the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network and Houston Oilers Radio Network.  He has covered Super Bowls and other major sports events throughout his career.  He was part of Ron Chapman’s legendary morning show on KVIL-FM in Dallas for nearly 20 years.

In 2002 Oristano left broadcasting to pursue his creative interests, starting a portrait photography business and becoming involved in theater including summer productions with Shakespeare Dallas. He follows his daughter Stacey’s film career who has appeared in such shows as Friday Night Lights and Bunheads.

A veteran stage actor in Dallas, Mark Oristano was writer and performer for the acclaimed one-man show “And Crown Thy Good: A True Story of 9/11.”

Oristano authored his first book, A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game. A Sportcaster’s Guide offers inside tips about how to watch football, including stories from Oristano’s 30-year NFL career, a look at offense, defense and special teams, and cool things to say during the game to sound like a real fan.

In 2016 Oristano finished his second book, Surgeon’s Story, a true story about a surgeon that takes readers inside the operating room during open heart surgery. His second book is described as a story of dedication, talent, training, caring, resilience, guts and love.

In 1997, Mark began volunteering at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, working in the day surgery recovery room. It was at Children’s that Mark got to know Kristine Guleserian, MD, first to discuss baseball, and later, to learn about the physiology, biology, and mystery of the human heart. That friendship led to a joint book project, Surgeon’s Story, about Kristine’s life and career.

Mark is married and has two adult children and two grandchildren.

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

10 Things You Don't Know About Me | Genevieve Crownson

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About the Author

Genevieve Crownson graduated from the College of Charleston with a Bachelors of Science degree. A love of writing led her to pen her debut novel, The Soul of the Sun, book one in her highly anticipated trilogy, The Argos Dynasty. She currently lives in beautiful Charleston, SC with her family and beloved four legged friends. Go to www.genevievecrownson.com to learn how to get FREE books, behind the scenes sneak peaks, special offers and other fun goodies!

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About the Book:

Title: THE POWER OF ALCHEMY
Author: Genevieve Crownson
Publisher: Dreamspire Publishing
Pages: 366
Genre: Scifi / Time Travel / YA

WHAT IF YOUR GIFT BECAME YOUR CURSE?

Emma Diamond is still reeling from the shocking revelation she’s been given an extraordinary ability meant to save humanity, when everything she knows and loves begins to unravel. 

Caught in a vicious snare of secrets and lies, Emma’s only hope is to find a mysterious ring believed to hold a centuries old power so formidable it could destroy a person with a single touch. 

When an unseen assailant targets Emma, it sets in motion a change of events so terrible the world is thrown into a tsunami of destruction. Can Emma repair the damage without irrevocably altering earth and changing the past forever? 

The Power of Alchemy is the second book in the Argos Dynasty trilogy, a young adult paranormal fantasy. If you like Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instrument series, then you’ll love this fast-paced, captivating blockbuster that leaves you wanting more. 

Buy The Power of Alchemy to continue this epic series today!

Watch the trailer at YouTube.

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