#BookPromo…Stripped Down, Naked Memoir…#BookBoost #Autobiography #Memoir #Giveaway @SDSXXTours @StaceyKeith8

 

Stripped Down: A Naked Memoir
by Stacey Keith
Genre: Autobiography, Memoir

STRIPPED DOWN: A Naked Memoir is a look back at a surreal world kept carefully hidden from public view. This chronicle of life in the skin trade follows the meteoric rise of Stacey Keith, a girl scarcely out of her teens whose eye-popping assets launch her from wet T-shirt contests to the catwalks of Houston, strip bar capital of the world.

Almost overnight, she is discovered by a famous porn star, who Svengalis her onto the pages of Playboy, Penthouse, and dozens of other men’s magazines. While strutting her stuff onstage and across the country, Stacey makes the fateful decision to head to Hollywood. She’s got everything a girl could want: fame, attention, endless piles of cash…but no idea what awaits her.

With Internet porn overtaking men’s magazines, everyone from her Mafia-boss road manager to her smarmy talent agent pressures Stacey to do more than just flash her flesh. Uber-boob filmmaker Russ Meyer verbally abuses her; rocker Don Henley tries to use her. Yet through it all, from the warped misogyny of Playboy to the S&M dungeons of the Pacific Palisades, Stacey’s dark, self-deprecating humor will leave you laughing, crying and rooting for her at every step of the way.

**Only .99¢!**

Stacey Keith is the award-winning author of the Dreams Come True series (Kensington Books), DREAM ON, SWEET DREAMS and DREAM LOVER, in addition to A WEDDING ON BLUEBIRD WAY with New York Times Bestseller authors Janet Dailey, Lori Wilde and the talented Allyson Charles.

Twice a Golden Heart finalist, Stacey has won a Maggie, two Silver Quills, a Jasmine, a Heart of the Rockies, and over fifteen other first-place finishes in Romance Writers of America contests.

An avid writer of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and short stories, Stacey doesn’t own a television, but reads compulsively—and would, in fact, go stark raving bonkers without books, which are crammed into all corners of the house. She now lives in Civita Castellana, a
medieval village in Italy that sits atop a cliff, and spends her days writing in a nearby abandoned 12th century church.

The two things she is most proud of are her ability to cook pasta alla genovese without burning down the kitchen and swearing volubly in Italian with all the appropriate hand gestures.

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#BookPromo…Up All Night…#BookBoost Memoir #SelfHelp @pumpupyourbook @RhondaShear

UP ALL NIGHT by Rhonda Shear, Memoir/Self-Help, 419 pp., $6.99
(Kindle edition) $14.22 (paperback)
Title: UP ALL NIGHT
Author: Rhonda Shear
Publisher:Mascot Books
Pages: 419
Genre:Memoir/Self-Help

Up All Night combines memoir and self-help to follow Rhonda Shear’s incredible journey from modest New Orleans girl to bold, brassy, beautiful entrepreneur and owner of a $100 million Florida lingerie company.

Along the way, Rhonda has been a beauty queen, a groundbreaking candidate for office, a Playboy model, a working actress, a late-night TV star and sex symbol, a headlining standup comedian, an award-winning “bimbopreneur” and a philanthropist who uses her success to help women of all ages be their best and appreciate their true beauty.

Up All Night is also a love story. Rhonda reconnected with her first love, Van Fagan, after 25 years apart, and after a whirlwind romance in The Big Easy, they married in 2001. Now they share a fantasy life of luxury—but it hasn’t come easily. In this book, Rhonda shares the lessons she’s learned along the way: never let anyone else define you or tell you what you can’t do, make your own luck, and do what you love.

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New Orleans is the greatest show on Earth. Just ask anyone who has awakened on Bourbon Street covered in beads and with no idea how the hell they got there. Like the taste of chicory coffee, the flavor and spirit of New Orleans—the city where I was born, came of age, and met the love of my life—will never leave me. Why would I want it to? It’s part of my soul.  My family was not your typical American clan. We were yats, a term derived from the saying, “Where ya at?”, part of the patois and culture that define New Orleans. Our childhood drives around the Big Easy, for example, would have given most parents a heart attack. We would cruise down Rue du Bourbon in my father’s big Oldsmobile and past the French Quarter strip clubs. The doors and windows would be wide open, displaying the girls’ wares for everyone to see. Daddy would laugh and shout, “Look at the dancing girls!” 

My brothers, Mel and Fred, and my sister, Nona, and I, we absolutely loved it. Go cups (the enlightened practice of giving bar patrons disposable cups to take their drinks into the street), lagniappe (pronounced “LAN-yap,” an indigenous/Creole word meaning “a little something extra”), Mardi Gras—it was all part of our normal. The New England Puritanism that shaped so much of the rest of the country never made it down the Mississippi to the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. Instead, you have a city that’s equal parts bawdy and genteel, American and Creole, Southern conservative and surprisingly moral. N’awlins is a unique blend of sweet and spicy. Take off her Mardi Gras mask and you’ll find endless contradictions. It was a marvelous, festive, magical place to grow up. The city has its own unique accent: a little Bronx, a little Boston, a little bayou.

It has its signature food, gumbo, which describes the infusion of French, Acadian, Creole, African, and Native American cultures as much as the blend of onions,
bell peppers, celery (often called the “holy trinity”), seafood, spices, and a good dark roux. It has its own soul: all-night bars and barkers in the French Quarter, voodoo, above-ground graveyards with moss-covered mausoleums, and jazz.You can keep your safe, sanitized suburbs and the quiet life. New Orleans taught me and my siblings how to live.

Beauty Was My Religion

I was born Rhonda Honey Shear on November 12, 1954, when my mother was thirty-seven—at the time, late in life to be giving birth. I may have been born into a Jewish family, but beauty was my religion, and my mother’s love of all things beautiful and feminine made her my high priestess. I was a love child, a mistake, but my mother and father couldn’t have been more delighted to have a baby to dress up and pamper. And was I ever pampered, protected, and babied!From the beginning Mom dressed me like a doll with long, corkscrew curls and later sent me to dancing and modeling classes. I began lessons at the Ann Maucele School of Dance at the age of two. Ballet, tap, jazz, and acrobatics filled my days with twirls and my nights with dreams of footlights. With all this, from the time I got out of diapers, I was a Southern belle. Mel and Fred tried to  make me a tomboy, even teaching me to throw a mean spiral with a football, but I threw it in heels and a mini-dress.(Years later, when I auditioned to be a cheerleader in a Budweiser TV commercial, what impressed the director—and probably got me the job—was that I could throw that tight spiral.) 

But my mother was really grooming me to marry a prince. For real. She wanted me to marry royalty. In the late ‘90s we both went on the Maury Povich Show for a special Mother’s Day show, and she told Maury, “I want my daughter to marry Prince Charles.” Maury replied, “But he’s married.” To the audience’s delight, Mom snapped, “Eh, small detail.” The crowd roared.Mom badly wanted me to be a wealthy socialite in New York or California, someone who would only have the finest things. She never wanted me to suffer or go through what she did as a teen. Parents usually want their kids to do better
in life than they did, but I wasn’t comfortable with that sort of lifestyle. I’ve dated some incredibly wealthy men in my life, including several billionaires, but I always found that I had more in common with their security guards or domestic help than I did with them. 

Shear Honesty: It might seem like hypocrisy to live in a waterfront mansion (which I do), drive a Bentley (which I do, sometimes) and talk about relating better to working-class folks. But it’s really not. There’s a big difference between enjoying fine, expensive things and feeling like you’re entitled to them. I love my lifestyle; it’s the payoff for years of endless work and sacrifice. But none of it matters more than being a good person, being around other good people, helping others, or just sitting around drinking wine with dear friends. That’s wealth.
 
Don’t lose sight of what’s important: health, family, friends, laughter.
 

Actress. Comedian. Award-winning entrepreneur. Builder of a $100 million apparel brand. Television star. Former Miss Louisiana. Candidate for elected office. Philanthropist. And now, author. There aren’t many hats that Rhonda Shear hasn’t tried on, and she’s worn them all with style, moxie, southern charm, and a persistent will to be the best.

New Orleans native, Rhonda started her journey to the spotlight by dominating local, state, and national beauty pageants from the time she was sixteen—including three turns as Miss Louisiana. In 1976, in the wake of a Playboy modeling scandal that cost her a coveted crown, she became the youngest person ever to run for office in Louisiana, losing her fight for a New Orleans post by only 135 votes.  

After that, Hollywood called, and she quickly moved from Bob Hope specials to guest appearances on hundreds of television shows, from Happy Days and Married With Children to appearing on classic Chuck Barris camp-fests like The Gong Show and the $1.98 Beauty Show. Rhonda’s big break came in 1991 when she became the sultry-smart hostess of late-night movie show USA: Up All Night, a gig that lasted until 1999 and made her nationally famous.  

After Up All Night ended, Rhonda pursued her love of comedy and quickly became a headliner in Las Vegas and at top comedy clubs like The Laugh Factory and the Improv. At the same time, she reconnected with her childhood sweetheart, Van Fagan, who she hadn’t seen in twenty-five years. After a whirlwind, storybook courtship, they married in 2001. 

Rhonda’s latest chapter began when she appeared on the Home Shopping Network to sell women’s intimates. Her appearance was a sensation, and she and Van quickly started a company, Shear Enterprises, LLC, to design, manufacture and sell Rhonda’s own line of women’s intimate wear. Today, that company has grown to more than $100 million in annual sales, and Rhonda has won numerous entrepreneurship awards—though she still refers to herself as a “bimbopreneur.” 

Today, Rhonda and Van live in a magnificent house in St. Petersburg, Florida, where she engages in many philanthropic projects, supports numerous charities for women, and works on new books.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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#BookPromo…The Black Sheep Shadow…#BookBoost #Memoir @RoxanneRhoads @BSC_and_Co

The Black Sheep Shadow

Ashley Terrell

Genre: Memoir

Publisher: Ashley Terrell LLC

Date of Publication:  April 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-329-90288-6

Number of pages: 130 pages

Cover Artist: Freepik

Tagline: “We have symptoms of ‘The Black Sheep’. Aren’t you aware?”

 

Book Description: 

A unique book on strength and how a person can overcome difficult events in their lives.

Amazon       Black Sheep and Company

About the Author:

Ashley Terrell is founder of BSC and Co. She resides on the East Coast where she enjoys blissful sunsets and sounds of ocean waves.

Website: www.blacksheepandcompany.com

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/bscandco

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ashleyterrellllc

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#BookTour…Stairway to Paradise…#BookBoost #Memoir @pumpupyourbook @NadiaNatali

 We’re thrilled to have Nadia Natali, author of the memoir, Stairway to Paradise: Growing Up Gershwin today! Leave a comment below to let her know you stopped by!

Title: STAIRWAY TO PARADISE: GROWING UP GERSHWIN
Author: Nadia Natali
Publisher: RareBird Books
Pages: 304
Genre: Memoir

Growing up as Frankie Gershwin’s daughter, the sister of George and Ira Gershwin, was quite a challenge. I didn’t have the perspective to realize that so much unhappiness in a family was out of the ordinary. But I knew something was off. My mother was often depressed and my father was tyrannical and scary, one never knew when he would blow up. I learned early on that I had to be the cheery one, the one to fix the problems. Both sides of my family were famous; the Gershwin side and my father who invented color film. But even though there was more than enough recognition, money and parties I understood that wasn’t what made people happy.
 
As a young adult adrift and depressed I broke from that unsatisfactory life by marrying Enrico Natali, a photographer, deeply immersed in his own questions about life. We moved into the wilderness away from what we considered as the dysfunction of society. That’s when we discovered that life had other kinds of challenges: flood, fire, rattlesnakes, mountain lions and bears. We lived in a teepee for more than four years while building a house. Curiously my mother never commented on my life choice. She must have realized on some level that her own life was less than satisfactory.
 
Enrico had developed a serious meditation practice that had become a kind of ground for him. As for me I danced. Understanding the somatic, the inner body experience, became my way to shift the inner story.
 
We raised and homeschooled our three children. I taught them to read, Enrico taught them math. The kids ran free, happy, always engaged, making things, and discovering. We were so sure we were doing the right thing. However, we didn’t have a clue how they would make the transition to the so-called ‘real world’. The children thrived until they became teenagers. They then wanted out. Everything fell apart for them and for Enrico and me. Our lives were turned upside down, our paradise lost. There was tragedy: our son lost his life while attempting to cross our river during a fierce storm. Later I was further challenged by advanced breast cancer.
 
It was during these times that I delved deeply into the somatic recesses of myself. I began to find my own voice, a long learning process. I emerged with a profound trust in my own authority. It became clear that everyone has to find his or her way through layers of inauthenticity, where a deep knowing can develop. And I came to see that is the best anyone can offer to the world.
 
Enrico and I still live in the wilds of the Lost Padres National Forest, a paradise with many steps going up and down, a life I would not change.

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Nadia Natali, author of the memoir, Stairway to Paradise: Growing Up Gershwin, published by Rare Bird, Los Angeles, 2015, and The Blue Heron Ranch Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from a Zen Retreat Center published by North Atlantic Books, Berkeley CA, 2008, is currently working on a second cookbook titled Zafu Kitchen Cookbook. 
           
Natali, a clinical psychotherapist and dance therapist, specializes in trauma release through somatic work. She earned a master’s degree from Hunter College in New York City in Dance/Movement Therapy and completed another masters degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in somatic psychology at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. Nadia is a registered practitioner of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (RCST) and is also a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) who trained with Peter Levine.
 
DanceMedicine Workshops is Natali’s creation where participants move through their trauma with dialogue and dance. She also offers the Ojai community, DanceMedicine Journeys. In addition to her private practice, Nadia and her husband offer Zen Retreats at their center.
 
Born into a famous family that was riddled with dysfunction, Nadia Natali made the choice to turn her life inside out and step away from fame and fortune. Against her parents’ consent she married an artist and moved to the remote wilderness in California. It was there that she found grounding as she and her husband raised and homeschooled their three children and opened a retreat center. As she gathered her own momentum, she enrolled in a doctorate program finally becoming a clinical psychotherapist specializing in psychosomatic work. She and her husband live in Ojai California.

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#BookPromo…A Path Through…#Bookboost #Memoirs #Biography @RoxanneRhoads @SprattJanna

A Path Through

Janna Olsen Spratt

Genre: Memoirs/Biography

Publisher: Book Venture Publishing LLC

Date of Publication: 08/21/2017

ISBN: 978-1-64069-799-7

Number of pages: 106

Book Description:

In this tribute to the faithfulness of God, the author shows the thread woven through everything from the car accident they walked away from which totaled the car to the last chapter of finding purpose in the pain of being alone. This is a story of overcoming poverty, early marriage, divorce and finding love a second time around. It’s a story of a parent’s tenacity in prayer for a wayward child and of holding on to faith when a seventeen year old grandson dies suddenly at school.

God promised He would take us through the trials.

BookVenture

I wrote in my journal, “God does work in mysterious ways for His wonders to perform. I still believe God has a plan for my life and in the working out of His plan, he has turned my life upside down completely. Nothing is the same as we planned.”

 

About the Author:

Janna Spratt is the author of a collection of poetry, QUIET REFLECTIONS, and two children’s books; BILLY GOAT AND THE RED NECKERCHIEF and FUN AT NANA’S HOUSE. After she was widowed in 2011, she found a passion for life in writing. This fourth book is her story of faith in God that does not quit in spite of the challenges that come. Her goal is to realize her God given purpose in life and to live it to the best of her ability.

www.apaththrough.com

https://apaththrough.wordpress.com

www.facebook.com/janna.spratt

https://twitter.com/SprattJanna

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#BookTour…You Taste Like Whiskey and Sunshine…#BookBoost #MustRead #NonFiction #Memoir @GoddessFish @kimmiloveauthor

GENRE:   Non-Fiction/Memoir

Book Description:

WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK AWESOME?

There’s an evil queen, a demented father, some amateur boxing and a trailer park story. Even a silver fox makes an appearance. Why wouldn’t that entice you?

If you are looking for something different from the rest of the books out there, something that might make you question your sanity then you will love this book.

Seriously! The comedic and sassy perspective will make you see things differently, and you may even find yourself laughing out loud. It’s a good story and one that I truly believe needs to be told. Period.

It’s dark, raw and takes you to a door that keeps all my innermost secrets. I hope that the book makes you laugh, makes you cry, and inspires you to be the best version of yourself.

You see, my father was evil—seriously evil. During his relationship with my mother, he brutalized her and some of my siblings in ways that she won’t speak about to this day. He was often filled with rage and that rage showed in his physical violence. His brutality was never just saved for my mother. He once punched out my five-year-old step-brother; literally punched him in the face. I couldn’t even imagine what that would be like for a small child. Miss B hated him so much that her hatred poured into me from the time that I was just a toddler. She couldn’t stomach the sight of me for the simple reason that I was a part of him.

These aren’t my memories and most of which I know is fragmented, as no one wanted to talk about the man. What I know of him was learned in piecemeal over the years.

He was the kind of man who would rather see you dead than see you leave. I’ve seen several men like that while watching Law & Order. It’s shocking to know that things like that actually happened in my own family. My mom is such a great woman that the thought of her being hurt is a little hard to take at times. When my mother finally decided to get us all away from him, she had to wait until he went to work. Then, she packed up our things and left home. There was no warning; no threats of leaving him. She knew what he was like and she knew it was best to slip out without telling him.

Author Bio and Links:

Kimberly spend her days writing about serial killers and playing on her blog while trying not to get sucked in by her Facebook notifications or get into the whiskey decanter (just kidding…kinda). Check out her blog www.kimmilove.com

Website/Blog: www.kimmilove.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kimmiloveauthor

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kimmilovetheauthor

Twitter: www.twitter.com/kimmiloveauthor

 

GIVEAWAY 

Kimberly Love will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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#Book #Promo…Polio and Me…#BookBoost #Nonfiction #Memoir #OnTour @RABTBookTours

Non-Fiction – Memoir
Date Published: November, 2016
Publisher: Different Drummer Press
 photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png
Polio and Me provides a view of the past, present, and future—the saga of one boy’s pain, fear, and loneliness—the long struggle to develop a vaccine and effective treatments—the world-wide goal to eradicate the polio virus, and in some twenty-first century cancer research trials, the polio virus eliminated cancerous tumors.

About the Author

Ken Dalton was born in Los Angeles in 1938. In 1943 he contracted polio and spent the next eleven years of his childhood in and out of hospitals.

Fifty-nine years ago he married his childhood sweetheart and is a father of three, a grandfather of four, and the great-grandfather of nine. After a thirty-eight year management career with Pacific Telephone Company, Ken retired to write golf and travel articles for Golf Digest, Golf Illustrated, Fairways and Greens, and Golf.com.

During two NBC-TV Celebrity Golf Tournaments at Lake Tahoe, he interviewed Olympic Decathlon Champion, Bruce Jenner when he was Bruce, not Caitlyn, the mischievous Chicago Bears quarterback, Jim McMahon, the iconic Vice-President Dan Quail, and NBC Today show anchor, Matt Lauer. Ken has published six mystery novels. Polio and Me marks his initial foray into the world of non-fiction. Presently, Ken is working on his seventh mystery, The Heretics Hymnal, and a comedy of manners novel, Casper Potts and the Ladies Casserole club.

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Reading Addiction Blog Tours

#Book #Promo…Fed Up!…#BookBoost #Memoir #Inspiration @Realitywrites30 @AAMBOOKCLUB

Fed Up chronicles the daily trials and tribulations of a young African American woman as she navigates the ins-and-outs of working for the United States Federal Government. Carol’s journey begins when she decides to the join the Air Force at the ripe young age of twenty-three. Three excruciating years later, she realizes the military wasn’t her cup of tea and decides to become a civil servant. Over the course of twelve years, Carol works for three federal agencies in several states. Her countless encounters with controlling, tomfoolery, and downright manipulative people turn her once perfect dream of rising to the top of her game as a federal employee to a recurring nightmare. When her frustrations reach a fever pitch, she finally decides enough is enough.

 

 

“Ok ladies. The best piece of advice I can give you is get out there and get involved. Don’t ever let a man tell you that a woman can’t do something. If they do, that’s when you prove him wrong by doing it. It’ll be like a kick in the nuts when he sees you excel.” Ok. She’s a bit of a feminist. Colonel Nolan continued to tell us how, as women, we need to strive for perfection and not to get bogged down by a society that’s controlled by men. This is too much for me! I just want to come to work and get paid.

Thirty minutes later, she finally changed the subject. “I have a really important event happening this weekend that I would love for both of you to participate in,” Colonel Nolan sounded like she was going to explode. Umm, I don’t know about this. My weekends are mine. 

 “Sure what is it?” Althea asked with a little too much enthusiasm.

“One of my many passions is participating in Civil War re-enactments. I have an authentic Confederate soldier uniform I purchased off eBay a few years back that fits me amazingly. I would need the two of you to help with the setup of the field.” Did she really just say she does Civil War reenactments as a Confederate soldier and wants two black women to participate in this mess? You’ve got to be kidding me?

“That sounds like fun. Count me in.” Althea exclaimed. Girl, you’re taking brown-nosing to a whole other level right now. 

“I won’t be able to attend. I have plans this weekend,” I quickly said.  

“I do them twice a year. Next time you can participate, Carol.” Ummm, that’s not a no, but a hell no. Guess what, Colonel Nolan? THE SOUTH LOST! How many times do you need to reenact that? 

“What time do you need me there?” Althea asked. 

“Well, I’m going to set up mid-morning on Friday. Come to my office around ten-thirty in some clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.” She’s doing this mess during duty hours? Rank does have its privileges.    

They continued talking for a few more minutes before Althea said she needed to get back to her office. 

“Nice meeting you, Carol,” she said as left the office. 

“Ditto.”  

“Carol, I would like to discuss what your duties are going to be. As a new lab officer, you should be familiar with what everyone does in the lab. With that being said I would like for you to do a rotation through each section of the lab.” 

 “Ok. I worked as a generalist in a small regional hospital before joining the military for about six months.” 

 “Ok. That’s good. It shouldn’t take you long to get through the sections.” Is she expecting me to run patient samples? No way, officers don’t do that. They shuffle papers all day.

Get to know Carol:

C.P. Henderson graduated from Angelo State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Technology. While on active duty, in the United States Air Force, she earned a Master’s in Forensic Science. She was inspired to write Fed Up! after years of working with characters even Hollywood couldn’t dream up. C.P. and her husband currently reside in Austin, Texas, with their charismatic Cavachon, Steve.

1. What made me decide to sit down and actually write a book? 

I had just quit the third job I’d had in two years. I couldn’t help but think there was a reason I’d encountered so many ‘interesting’ people in my career. While enjoying my new free time, shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation also contributed to my desire to write about my life. I saw the characters on those shows and thought I’ve worked with and for people way more ‘colourful‘ or unbelievable than them. I also felt like it would be therapeutic to sit down and write about my experiences.  

2. How long did it take to write the Fed Up!? 

I wrote the book backward, meaning I wrote the last chapter first. All of the characters’ personalities and emotions were still fresh and very raw. I was able to write the last chapter of the book in about a week and a half. So much emotion poured out of me as I typed away I could feel my anxiety creep up when certain memories were relived. So much so, I decided to take a few weeks off and let my emotions settle down. Once I got past the feelings of hurt and anger I was able to complete the first draft of the book in six weeks.  

3. What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters? 

A round of drinks. Just kidding. Most of the characters in my book I hope to never encounter again, but if I were to run into them, I’d thank them. Thank them for giving me the stories to tell others and make people laugh. Also, for helping me develop a tough skin. As I was working with these people I couldn’t believe some of the things that were said and done to be me on a daily basis, but when I look back I can’t help but laugh.  

4. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? 

Whenever I get an idea of interest I start writing. I have about four or five short story/novels in the works ranging from modern Biblically based short stories to romance fiction (experiences taken from my own life, yet fiction). 

5. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing? 

Being a self-published author has given me a new appreciation for the entire writing process. Writers who are blessed to have agents and marketing teams really only have to concentrate on the writing itself. Self-publishing authors have to be and do everything for themselves. It took a lot of guts to put my story out there, to begin with, but having to talk and pretty much ‘brag’ about writing a novel was very overwhelming but rewarding. When I saw how people react to my work it motivated me to put myself out there even more.  

6. Where do your ideas come from? 

Most, if not all of, my ideas come from my life experiences. When I wrote my second novel, Illusion A Love Story, I took bits and pieces of things I’d experienced in previous romantic relationships and tied them together in a fictional story.   

 7. What is the hardest thing about writing? 

Staying focused. I have to set weekly goals for myself in order to stay on track. It’s easy to get sidetracked when you don’t have anyone breathing down your neck to meet a deadline.

 

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#Book #Promo…The Amy Binegar-Kimmes-Lyle Book of Failures…#BookBoost #Funny #Memoir #Giveaway #OnTour @amylyle @SagesBlogTours

The Amy Binegar-Kimmes-Lyle Book of Failures

By Amy Lyle

Genre: Funny Memoir

THE AMY BINEGAR-KIMMES-LYLE BOOK OF FAILURES is a humor memoir. If you have ever failed at love, finances, been fired, not fit in, self-diagnosed yourself with disorders and conditions and/or said, “I really need to get my s*** together,” this is the book for you.

You may appreciate your own dysfunction a little more as you take a journey through Amy’s debacles including: “I Was Not Talking to You,” where Amy mistakes a handsome man waving at her as a potential suitor but in reality, he was only trying to inform her that her belt was dragging on the freeway and “In the Neighborhood,” where members of a cult moving in concurred with a suspicious decline in the cat population. You will relish the chapters entitled “Calls from Sharon,” where Amy’s best friend rants about her kids not getting a fair shot because public schools are ‘so political,’ as her OB/GYN reported her vagina was ‘too clean’ and how the most eligible bachelor from 1982 married a whore. Enjoy “I’m Going to Kill You,” where Amy compares her lack of sleep from her husband’s snoring to CIA agents extracting secrets from a POW. Feel 20-32% better about your own life after reading “Getting Divorced Sucks,” where 911 was called after Amy had an adverse reaction from taking Xanax.

The book has been featured in Scoop OTP, Georgia Followers, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Points North Atlanta Magazine, Just4Fun Radio and the WXIA-TV morning show, “Atlanta & Company.”

Ten percent of book proceeds are donated to The Place of Forsyth County, a non-profit helping people to become self-sufficient.

 

About the Author

Amy Lyle is an author, comedienne, actor and screenwriter who works as a playwright for a large nonprofit in Alpharetta, Ga. Obsessed with fellow female comedians, Amy developed a writing style that is self-deprecating, hilarious and slightly neurotic.

Although she describes her book, The Amy Binegar-Kimmes-Lyle Book of Failures, as a “how not to” book, her message of “You are not a failure, you’re just having a little bit of trouble right now” is prompting people to share how the book made them feel (#bookoffailures), including the relief of knowing they are not alone in the world of missteps. Fan posts of people reading the book have been popping up from all over the world, including Lake Como, Italy, Amsterdam and The Great Wall of China.

The funny memoir, dealing with everything from getting fired to trying to blend a family, has been described as relatable and authentic, while sparking conversations about how we all handle failure.

The author has been featured in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Points North magazine and the WXIA-TV morning show, “Atlanta & Company,” in addition to writing a monthly column for My Forsyth magazine.

Amy grew up in Marietta, Ohio, in the heart of Appalachia, a place known for a population that is partial to moonshine and prone to acts of violence. She currently lives in Cumming, Ga., with her second husband, Peter, lots of teenagers and a large dog. Ten percent of book proceeds are donated to The Place of Forsyth County, a non-profit helping people to become self-sufficient.

To learn more, visit www.amylyle.me/.

Twitter: @amylyle

FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/amylyle.me/

On Amazon: http://amzn.to/2vZg1xn

On Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2woXefR

On B&N: http://bit.ly/2w5hyjY

 

#FailingForward Confessions Contest

Amy Lyle is encouraging readers to join her “Failing Forward” movement (#failingforward), which promotes the idea that perfection is not realistic, while failure is, and failure can lead to laughter and improved perspective. 

SUBMIT YOUR funniest and most interesting stories of personal failure, which can cover topics such as marriage, divorce, kids, professional life, etc. The entry deadline for submissions is Oct. 16. The winning submission(s) will receive a Book of Fails prize pack, including an autographed copy of The Amy Binegar-Kimmes-Lyle Book of Failures, a t-shirt, stress ball, and hamburger panties. 

You must use the #FailingForward hashtag in order to be considered. Participants are encouraged to share via the Book of Failures social sites also: 

https://www.facebook.com/amylyle.me/

 https://twitter.com/amylyle

or https://www.instagram.com/authoramylyle/

 Brought to You By:

#Book #Promo…Synanon Kid…#BookBoost #Saturday #Reads #Memoir @AAMBOOKCLUB @celenaAw

In February of 1977, during a weekend visit to her uncle’s home in Riverside Valley, California, Celena was taken in the night. Two radicalized women planned the kidnapping. Both were members of the Synanon cult’s Kidsnatchers group in Marin. One of the women, Celena would learn, was her mother, whom she had not seen for two and half years. Leaving Los Angeles, she came to enter a strange, secluded world where childhood was an experiment, and no relationship was sacred. Immersed in the strange and deviant society of Synanon, Celena would spend the next five years subject to the unpredictable whims of Charles Dederich, the cult’s shadowy leader.

In a series of scenes, Synanon Kid chronicles cult living from a young girl’s perspective and her search for identity and belonging in a world of physical and familial displacement. From the African American communities of South Central Los Angeles to the racially integrated, yet rural and isolated world of Synanon, Celena tries to make sense of and navigate the dichotomy of the mainstream blue-collar life into which she was

A haunting tale of estrangement, Synanon Kid, Is a coming-of-age story of hope, survival, and determination. It is also a story of the unconditional love between a mother and daughter and how that love helped a young girl to grow and flourish against the odds of her distorted childhood.

“When will I see Theresa?” I hoped that using my mother’s name would produce the desired effect of getting some information from Linda. Instead, the pleased smile left her lips, her mouth tightened with disapproval.

“The sooner you are used to being apart from Theresa, the better. I told you, mothers do not matter here. We are all your mothers. Isn’t that better than just having one?”

I did not want a group of mothers I didn’t know. My mom, Theresa, loved me. It showed in her eyes and body language. But after our reunion, she was gone again, replaced like a pair of shoes. I did not know what to say to Linda, who coldly demanded that she, in a sense, was now my new mom. A feeling of terror came over me. I clenched my fingers into my palms to fight back the tears that filled my eyes.

“When we have another game, you can talk about it,” Linda said. “That’s when you get out your feelings.”

I took a deep breath, not daring to move.

“Tell Sophie ‘Thank you,’” Linda said.

I couldn’t speak. Afraid that instead of words there would be just an uncontrollable wail, I held myself very still.

Linda gave me a minute. “It is important when someone shows you how to do something properly that you thank them.”

“Thank you,” I whispered.

C.A. Wittman grew up in Northern California. In 1993 she moved to Maui Hawaii where she raised her children. Synanon Kid is her second book. Currently, she resides in Los Angeles with her husband, Frank.

Get To Know C.A.

What is Synanon?

Initially a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program, Synanon was founded by a man named Chuck Dederich in Santa Monica California in 1958. Over time Synanon evolved into an experimental lifestyle community. During the cult’s development, helping people recover from drug and alcohol addiction became just one of Synanon’s many objectives as it expanded into environmental consciousness, clean living, philosophical studies, racial integration and experimental childrearing. This “new” paradigm of collectivist and socialist structure attracted more than just dope fiends; college graduates, white-collar professionals, celebrities and wealthy donors also flocked to Synanon. These new members, called lifestylers, looked to Synanon as a kind of utopia. Synanon properties would grow to expand beyond Santa Monica, to Marin County, San Francisco, Oakland, and Visalia, California. There would also be property in Lake Havasu, Arizona, New York, and Berlin, Germany.

Over time the organization grew corrupt and violent. Chuck, once a maverick for positive change, devolved into an egomaniac, wreaking havoc on his members’ lives through unyielding commands often issued from his selfish whims. These dogmatic orders would have detrimental effects on Synanonites. Ultimately, the community would return full circle, residents succumbing to the abuse of alcohol and drugs that earlier members had once fought so doggedly to overcome. Synanon fell to its demise in 1991.

How do people get involved in cults?

There are myriad reasons people become involved in cults. Often the attraction to a particular peripheral movement has to do with an individual’s growing discontentment regarding either the social norms and status quo of the greater society as a whole or rebellion against change within the society that the person deems threatening, immoral, or evil. Other times, an individual is not looking to join any particular group per se but becomes curious and enticed by a cult through attending a lecture, weekend seminar or sermon put on by the organization. Many people who have dedicated years of their life to cult living fall under the latter group.

The late Margaret Singer, who was a clinical psychologist, and professor at the University of Berkeley, studied cults and coercive persuasion. In the literature she produced on her theory of thought reform, she outlined six conditions:

Control over a person’s time

Creating a sense of powerlessness

Keeping a person unaware of what is going on and how he or she is being changed one step at a time

Creating a closed system of logic and an authoritarian structure that permits no feedback and refuses to be modified except by leadership approval and executive order

Manipulation of rewards, punishments, and experiences in such a way as to inhibit behavior that reflects a person’s former identity

Manipulation of rewards, punishments, and experiences to promote learning the group’s ideology and belief system and group approved behavior.

There have been other psychologists who have studied this subject extensively outlining their own…

How do you feel toward your parents for bringing you into Synanon?

My father was never involved with Synanon, other than attending some of the free parties open to the public at their Santa Monica head quarters, The Casa Del Mar Hotel. Although my father introduced my mother to the Synanon club scene, which the community created to recruit new members; he was not a good candidate for their recruitment efforts. Content with his religion, family and American society in general, he was firmly rooted in mainstream life and tended to distrust counter-culture type movements and ideology. My mother, on the other hand, was very open to new ideas and exploring alternative lifestyle experiences and spirituality. Because my mom suffered from bouts of depression, feeling isolated, and had very little help from her family or my father as a single mom, Synanon appeared as a bright beacon of hope for her.

Considering my mother’s circumstances and the fact that she made sure I knew she loved me in the corrosive environment of the anti-parent-child rhetoric, which the Synanon school adhered to, I, fortunately, did not develop any ill will or bitterness toward her.

What was it like to grow up in Synanon?

As a girl, when people asked me where I grew up, I would say a ranch in Marin, not knowing how to explain my past. The first time I told someone that I came from Synanon and tried to describe the commune, I was eleven. The question had been, “why is your hair so short?” The child who’d planted herself in front of me demanding to know what I was all about, found my story so preposterous she’d called me a liar. Many years later when I was eighteen, I wrote a short story about an incident I had experienced in Synanon for a creative writing course. The assignment had been to write about a memorable time in your life. When my teacher read my paper aloud to the class, several students were confused thinking it was a science fiction piece rather than autobiographical.

I still find it difficult to describe what it was like to grow up in Synanon. When I reminisce, there is a dreamlike quality to my memories, a feeling of having slipped into another world for a time that no longer exists today and is no longer relevant. My Synanon childhood was a rigidly scheduled, militaristic up bringing during the week while on weekends and vacation we children enjoyed a vast amount of freedom and autonomy to roam and do what we liked on the ranch where we lived.

What happened to you and your mom after you left Synanon?

We left the commune with my mother’s husband and his daughter and settled in Santa Cruz where we joined another commune for one year. I have written a second book about our experiences detailing the challenges and triumphs of re-integrating back into mainstream society.

When did you decide to become a writer?

From the time I can remember I have loved to read. As a child, I enjoyed telling stories to my friends. I was probably eight years old when I began to write. A few years later, I wrote my first hundred-page novel, a love story between a teen-couple named Sandy and Joey. I wrote throughout my young adult years regularly, however, when I became a mom, my writing dwindled down to the occasional few pages here and there.  I have been lucky in the sense that I’ve known from a young age what my passions were, and have followed through on my interests. Becoming a published author has been a goal of mine from the time I was nine and sent off one of my short stories to a publishing house. Now that I have reached that goal, I am working on creating more books and building my writing business into a financially sustainable career.

What do you like to read?

I am an eclectic reader. For most of my childhood and younger adult years, I read fiction predominantly stories about day-to-day trials and tribulations in life, supernatural stories, horror, and thriller suspense. In my mid-twenties, I ran a family owned bookstore/postal center and gravitated toward non-fiction, small business books, and memoirs, and still later, sociology, science, economics and travel writing, interspersed with regional romance novels and Mary Higgens Clark’s mystery novels. Lately, I have enjoyed reading all of Liane Moriarty’s books, Emma Straub’s, The Vacationers, Elena Ferente’s novels, Han Kang’s The VegetarianThe Stranger, by Albert Camus and re-reading Sophie Kinsella’s older works, Remember Me and The Undomestic Goddess.

Find the Author:

Website is coming soon http://cawittman.com/

Facebook Author Page: C.A. Wittman  @firstwrite

Twitter: C.A. Wittman  @celenaAw

Contact: celena@cawittman.com

Brought to You By:

#Book #Promo…I Wish You Would…#Autobiography #Chicago #Memoir…@AAMBOOKCLUB

I Wish You Would is the Autobiography of Spring Etta Edwards, which chronologies her life in the hood from birth in Cabrini Green to the major move from Chicago’s west side to the Robert Taylor Housing Projects on the south side of Chicago.  In I Wish You Would, Spring takes you through her life from a bullied child to her high school years, her love life and her journey into womanhood.  Her life is relatable to scenarios women, and people in general are experiencing right now in their everyday lives.

“I don’t want no Scrub…” TLC made this song popular in the 90s; however, I was living this song in the summer of 1976. School was out, and I was going to be a senior in the fall. My friends and I would be discussing which college we were going to attend. It was the first day of summer break. I came downstairs to wait for Friend1, so we could hang out. I was looking good, wearing one of the halter dresses Idol had made, and my signature dark burgundy lipstick. You couldn’t tell me shit. Guys were complimenting me as they walked or drove by. My ego was pumped. My tits had finally caught up with my onion, so I was feeling fine.

It was taking my girl a minute to come downstairs, and low and behold a car slows up, and the Scrub starts hollin’ at me. I actually caught the eye of the best friend who was driving, and he was the one who wanted to stop. The best friend was fine, Scrub, not so much. I was sitting on the steps of DuSable high school, and they asked if they could join me. I lied and said I was waiting for my boyfriend hoping this would deter them, but the Scrub said, “We’ll wait with you.” Damn! The best friend sat on the large concrete base to my left, and the Scrub sat right next to me on the school steps. Although the best friend was fine, he was dull as hell. Scrub had a great sense of humor and kept me laughing. He wasn’t nearly as cute as the best friend, but his physique appealed to me more. Both brothas had banging bodies, but Scrub had more of an athletic build, and I liked that.

I was only 17 at the time, but I looked older than my age. The Scrub tried to guess my age, and I let him think I was 22 and in my senior year of college. He told me he was 28. I know I said I wanted a man, but damn, seriously…My girl finally came down, and I introduced her to the best friend. The Scrub and I decided to go sit in the car, and get better acquainted. By now, I was starting to like him, and he said, “It looks like your man stood you up,”

I replied, “it looks like you’re right.”

Scrub said he didn’t like my lipstick, and asked if he could kiss it off?  I said yes, and we kissed…Ugh,

About the Author

Spring Etta Edwards was born and reared in Chicago Illinois.  She is one of 12 children.  Spring’s the mother of three children, and grandmother of nine.  She has a master’s degree from Capella University in Human Resources Management.  Spring Etta Edwards currently resides in Las Vegas Nevada as a Human Resources Manager and along with her youngest sister is the caregiver to their 90 year-old mother.

Get to know Spring:

Is this the first book you’ve written? No, I was asked to write a book as part of an art exhibit in grade school, so my first book was bind in the sixth grade.

Why did you write this book? Whenever I would discuss growing up one of 12 children to a single mom, and the struggles of living in poverty, and the projects, someone would always say, “You should write a book.”  It had been on my mind for many years, and literally days before my late husband passed, my spirit told me to write the book.

How long did it take you to write your book? It took me approximately two months to write an extremely rough draft of about 110,000 words.  I started the manuscript the first week of April in 2013 and completed it in mid-June 2013.  I was unable to edit the chapters concerning my late husband, so it set on a shelf until last year.  While it was still difficult to edit the chapters, I was able to complete a couple of edits before publishing.

It’s an autobiography, did you struggle with sharing such personal details about your life? Discussing my life has never been an issue for me; however, I was concerned about discussing family, but this is my story to tell, and if you’re going to write an autobiography, it must be truthful whether it’s good, bad or ugly.

What advice can you give to someone who’s interested in writing a book, but don’t know where to begin? The most honest answer I can give is, if you don’t have a passion for writing, it can be a struggle.  If this is not the case, then start with a memory, idea or something that you’re well versed in, or have experience or knowledge of.  Don’t worry about the order of your thoughts, just write them down.  The editing process can handle placement.

Are you working on any current projects? Yes, my next project is like the prequel to my autobiography.  One reader wanted to know why I was so scared of my mother growing up, and this is discussed in my next project.

Who are your literary inspirations? I’m a big fan of Lawrence Sanders’ (R.I.P.) work.  He wrote murder mysteries with a dry sense of Humor.  Danielle Steele is also one of my inspirations.  She writes love story, but not necessarily the romance type novels.  I also enjoy reading autobiographies in general.  One of my favorites is  Angel’s Ashes by the late Frank McCourt;  I was able to relate to his impoverished childhood.

Find the Book and the Author:

www.springettaedwards.net

Email: springee77@gmail.com

Book Link:       https://www.amazon.com/Wish-You-Would-Autobiography-Lessons/dp/1542381533/ref

Brought to You By:

#Book #Blitz…Storm of Hope…#BookBoost Nonfiction #Inspirational #Memoir #Poetry @LeilaTualla @lolasblogtours

This is my stop during the book blitz for Storm of Hope by Leila Tualla. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 1 till 7 August. See the tour schedule here.

Storm of HopeStorm of Hope
By Leila Tualla
Genre: Non Fiction/ Inspirational/ memoir/ poetry
Release Date: 21 July, 2017

Blurb:
Storm of Hope: God, Preeclampsia, Depression and me is a memoir told in journal entries and poetry from a mom who was diagnosed with preeclampsia. The diagnosis with her second pregnancy propelled the author into a “postpartum forest where the trees of doubt, sorrow, anger and rage loomed all around me.” What becomes to the author and her second baby gives way to hope and a way out of the darkness.

 

 

Storm of Hope full wrap

You can add Storm of Hope to your to-read list on Goodreads

You can buy your copy of Storm of Hope on Amazon

Storm of Hope graphic

Leila TuallaAbout the Author:

Leila Tualla is a Filipino American writer, poet, and Christian author. She is a preeclampsia survivor and advocate, and blogs about “life after preeclampsia,” at http://www.tuallaleila.blogspot.com. After her second baby, Leila had postpartum depression. She is thankful that her family and those who supported her, stood with her and helped pull her out of her darkness. Her faith in Christ was, and continues to be, her daily lifeline. Leila is humbled daily by God’s saving grace.

When she’s not writing about her preeclampsia or postpartum journey, or chasing after her tiny miracle bosses, she can also be found buried in books. Leila reads various novels throughout the year and her book reviews can be found at http://www.leilatualla.com.

You can find and contact Leila Tualla here:
Website
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the book blitz of Storm of Hope. One winner will win a signed paperback copy of Storm of Hope by Leila Tualla. US Only.

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Brought to You By:
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#Book #Promo…The Hooligans Kandahar…#BookBoost #Nonfiction #War #Memoir

About the Book

Title: The Hooligans of Kandahar

Author: Joseph Kassabian

Genre: Nonfiction / War Memoir

During the peak years of the Afghanistan War, a group of soldiers is dropped by helicopter into the remote mountains outside of Kandahar City. Mismanaged and overlooked by command, how they survive is largely up to them. In the birthplace of the Taliban, some men lose their sanity, others their humanity. They are The Hooligans.

Written in the months and years following his deployment, Joseph Kassabian recounts his time in the isolated and dangerous country of Afghanistan. Pulling no punches, The Hooligans of Kandahar is a sobering, saddening, and often sarcastic first-hand account of America’s War on Terror.

Generally, when our squad went on patrol for hours at a time, we would set up Observation Points, or OPs. OPs were areas that were slightly defensible and allowed us to watch a large area while remaining concealed from sight. That’s what the manual says about OPs, anyway. 

    What we really used them for was to duck away in the night for a few hours and take turns napping. A few soldiers stood watch while the others removed their overbearing gear and lay down in the dirt to catch a few minutes of much-needed sleep. 

    The official mission was to watch over a Taliban “rat line,” or trail used for smuggling weapons into the area. We had watched the ratline and raided various houses in the last few months and found nothing. We were all pretty sure that the ratline didn’t actually exist anywhere outside of Scream’s head. 

Since Scream was adamant that something was going to happen in that village, he kept ordering us to sit in the darkness and stare at nothing.

    We established a primary OP on an elevated ridge that overlooked the trail that Scream was certain was a pathway for whatever nefarious deeds the Taliban did at night. During our first ten-hour watch of the area, Walrus—who was one of the laziest people I’ve ever met—found a couch in one of the cornfields. He dragged the furniture up the ridge and into the OP, giving the position its name.

   It was at that OP that some of us older soldiers had to teach the other guys the art of soldiering in the pitch darkness. Smoking without being seen became a skill. You could easily see a cigarette’s lit cherry over a mile away. If you weren’t careful, you could give away your position while feeding your terrible vice. 

  You could stick your cigarette and lighter into your ration bag to light it. Then cup your hand around your mouth and cigarette when you need a hit to conceal yourself from whoever wants to blow your face off in the middle of the night. A few of us switched from smoking to chewing tobacco for night patrols. The first few times I tried it I puked on myself.  

There was only one guy in our squad who didn’t smoke or dip—Slim, but he made up for it in the states with a drinking habit that would make Hemmingway suggest rehab

Links

Amazon (ebook) : https://www.amazon.com/Hooligans-Kandahar-Joseph-Kassabian-ebook/dp/B0719T996H/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1496313455&sr=8-1&keywords=the+hooligans+of+kandahar

Amazon (Paperback): https://www.amazon.com/Hooligans-Kandahar-Joseph-Kassabian/dp/0692754695/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1496313455&sr=8-1

Brought to You By:

 

 

#Book #Review…Every Little Step…#BookBoost #BookBuzz #Music #Entertainers #Amreading #Media

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In Every Little Step, Brown will for the first time tell the full story of his life and set the record straight, particularly about his relationship with Whitney Houston.

Bobby Brown has been one of the most compelling American artists of the past thirty years, a magnetic and talented figure who successfully crossed over many musical genres, including R&B and hip hop, as well as the mainstream. In the late 1980s, the former front man of New Edition had a wildly successful solo career—especially with the launch of Don’t Be Cruel—garnering multiple hits on the Billboard top ten list, as well as several Grammy, American Music, and Soul Train awards. But Brown put his career on hold to be with the woman he loved—American music royalty Whitney Houston. The marriage between Brown and Houston was perhaps the most closely watched and talked about marriage of the 1990s—a pairing that obsessed the public and the gossip industry. Now, for the first time, the world will be able to hear the truth from the mouth of America’s “bad boy” himself. Raw and powerful, Every Little Step is the story of a man who has been on the top of the mountain and in the depths of the valley and who is now finally ready to talk about his career and family life, from the passion and the excess to his creative inspirations and massive musical success.

On the process of writing this book, Bobby says, “Right after I signed on to write my story, I went through one of the most agonizing traumas I had ever experienced with the death of my daughter. But I was surprised by how therapeutic it was to work on this project, to look at the entire arc of my life and to realize that although there has been considerable pain, I have also been incredibly blessed. I hope my fans and other readers of this book will be entertained by this trip into the crazy, exciting, fascinating world of Bobby Brown. And I hope they will feel that I have been as honest and open with them in these pages as I have tried to be my entire life.”

 

Bad Boy Bobby Brown is an iconic legend in his own right.  He hails from my favorite male group New Edition, straight out of Boston, Massachusetts and grew up in the Orchard Projects.  In fact, if it weren’t for Bobby, there wouldn’t be a New Edition to be had.  Bobby tells a very enriching exciting and tragic story that only the man himself could explain.  Bobby has been through hell and back and no one could dispute his resiliency over the years.

There’s been much speculation about his life and assumptions made by the public and media alike, but there isn’t one person who would even dare try to walk in this man’s shoes.  In fact, I’m positive you’d want to jump out of his shoes in a heartbeat.  Bobby knew he was destined to be great and do great things and that’s just the facts. His showmanship is undeniable. Whether you like the man or not, you cannot argue that he’s a great entertainer—whether that be from what you’ve witnessed on the stage, or what you think you know about his life from the media.  It wasn’t enough that he created quite a buzz in New Edition, but having left a popular group at its heightened success, to going solo and having a great career in the music industry, the bad boy proved that he can handle the stage and command his audience to pay attention.

Bobby never imagined that he’d marry one of music’s most iconic voices to ever grace this world.  Whitney Houston was and is a legend in her own right as well.  Was it any wonder that these two-dynamic people were destined to spend their lives together?  Everywhere they went, the paparazzi followed them like a watchful parent to a child.  Their romance was all over the place.  I’ve heard the stories just like most others, and I’ve always wondered what was the attraction between Bobby and Whitney?  Love was their common denominator at first, and then things drastically changed in their relationship.  Factor in drugs and alcohol to a Bobby and Whitney relationship, it’s going to be toxic.  Bobby gives detail about his whirlwind marriage to the Voice, Whitney Houston.  Their marriage produced a child, Bobbi Kristina Brown. 

Like most marriages, Bobby’s certainly wasn’t perfect.  He outlined his faults as well as his famous wife’s faults.  He told his truth in only the way he knew how and I felt he was being as real as he could be.  I felt his honesty and truth!  It’s truly hard to judge him on his words because it was his life.  None of us lived his truth, only he and God knows his heart.

This was a good book.  I remember thinking when it came out last year that it was too soon for him to tell his story, considering having lost his daughter Krissy.  His daughter’s life mirrored her mother’s and it wasn’t a great reflection.  It was unfortunate that Bobby was kept in the dark and cut out of his daughter’s life from her mother’s doing, and ultimately from the Houston side of her family.  I can only imagine how painful it was losing his ex-wife, whom he still loved, and then losing his child from her.  In fact, there’s nothing that ties him to the Houston family anymore.  Luckily, Bobby has been given a second chance to be the father he always wanted to be to his children he’s had with other women and with his current wife, Alicia.  She seems to be very good for him, and I’m thankful he has someone now that truly gets him and helps him with all the demons he still faces.

There are parts of Bobby’s story that made me cry especially when he talked about losing his parents, and not long after, Whitney and then Krissy.  I felt his pain as if I had gone through it.  Bobby did the damn thing with his story.  The one thing I didn’t care for was the fact that some of the members of New Edition, as well as Bobby’s family members wrote sections in the book.  This told me one of two things.  Bobby obviously didn’t have much to fill up his memoir, or he wanted to let others have their say.  That sort of turned me off a little.  To me, when a person writes their memoir, it’s a very personal thing.  It’s something that only that individual can write from his/her own life’s experiences, so when you allow someone else to insert their thoughts and experiences into your story, it changes the dynamic of the memoir.  I realize his family needed to tell their side of the story, and I appreciate what they were doing, I just didn’t feel it should have been told from their views, but more so from Bobby’s own words.  Their insertions broke the story up for me and on the Kindle version, it sometimes wasn’t clear where their stories ended and Bobby’s picked up again.  Once I got into the rhythm of his story, I realized with certain clarity who was speaking.

Outside of the side stories inside Bobby’s memoir, it was a decent read.  I’ve always been a fan and will continue to be one.  There’s something special about Bobby Brown that I could never quite put my finger on.  Often when he was in the news about something, I personally felt like I had to defend his actions to people who wanted to talk shit about him.  I don’t know this man just like many others out here in the world don’t, but here we are speaking about what we think and/or thought we knew about him and Bobby put those people in their place with his book.  I’m happy to say that much of what I defended Bobby on turns out I was right.  He explained a lot of the negative press he received and why he believed that happened.  What I love about Bobby is that he owns his part in his wrongdoings.  He’s not hiding behind anyone or pointing the fingers at others.  When a man can stand in his own truth, that’s as real as it gets, and he gives his readers that in his memoir. 

Bobby shares a birthday with someone who is near and dear to my soul, my baby brother.  That’s why I’ve always been drawn to Bobby and I never knew it.  When I just learned that his birthday is February 5th, I about nearly fainted. (chuckle).  So, there you have it folks.  No wonder I went in hard on people who tried to say negative things about Bobby, because I often had to do that for my brother.  The life of an Aquarius can be a difficult one, and they are often misunderstood because they live hard and fight even harder.  I can relate to that. 

Since Bobby is damn there 50, if he hasn’t turned it already, his bad boy persona no longer suits him because he’s not a bad boy, he’s just being who he is.  With that, I call him a Better Bobby Brown.  He’s doing all right in his life now, since being clean and sober for quite a few years, and it is my hope and prayer that he continues.  If he has positive people around him, like his lovely wife and children along with fans such as myself, we’re going to see Bobby continue to flourish and be even a better version of himself.  So please drop the bad boy and replace it with Better Bobby Brown!  I’m proud of you, Bobby, and thanks for setting the record straight and letting us into your world.  God bless you and your family.

Mello and June gives Every Little Step four musical notes.  It was inspiring, sad, exciting, and intriguing all wrapped up into one.  I’m looking forward to new music from Bobby and seeing him up on stage entertaining us for all he’s worth.  If you haven’t read his life story, you need to add this one to your reading list.

Until next time, Intellectual Minds, Keep on Reading!

#Book #Promo…Split Second…#BookBoost #Biographies #Memoirs

Biographies and Memoirs
Date Published: April 4, 2017
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When does the American Dream turn into a trap?
What does it mean to succeed?
What really gives meaning to our lives?
Kelli Miller never had to worry about it – she had it all: a family, a career, a sprawling home, even an executive title.  She thought she’d escaped her Midwestern roots and was sailing towards a golden future.  Then, in a pivotal moment, confronted with the shadow of death, she found herself suddenly awake to the grim reality:  the dream had consumed her life, and left her lost and alone.
 
In Split Second, Kelli tells the story of how she set herself free, and recommitted herself to the most important pieces of her life:  family, community, and a new openness to experience.  It is the story of one woman’s journey to find out what really matters and where her happiness ultimately lay.

 About the Author

Kelli Miller is a business executive specializing in Information Technology.  Her career includes thirty years working for some of the largest, most successful companies in America.  Kelli recently returned to her roots, farming her family’s farm with her husband, while continuing her technology career with a local mid-size manufacturing firm. Kelli is the mother of three. She loves to travel, hike and spend time in the simplicity and raw beauty of nature. 

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#Book #Blitz…The Buddha Made Me Do It…#BookBoost #Spiritual #Memoir

Spiritual Memoir
Date Published: 5-25-16
Publisher: Cupid’s Press
 
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What starts as a search for a decorative Buddha statuette leads one woman on a spiritual journey that will change everything.

Marla lives the good life in Los Angeles—house, pool, her own business helping Cupid find love for LA’s most discriminating singles. Her handsome and ardent hubby Adolfo performs at an exclusive steak house in Beverly Hills. He tends to scoff at Marla’s green juice, vegan diet, yoga, and daily affirmations and can be a teensy bit of a control freak.

A discarded Buddha statuette that Adolfo suddenly can’t live without sends Marla searching through New Age boutiques along with her skeptical friend Julie. They are soon schooled by a charismatic “Goddess,” delving ever deeper into self-realization, conversations with angels, pendulums, candle “Magick,” Reiki, crystal healing, and more. Attend a Hindu Bajan? Sure. Orgasmic Meditation? (Wait, what…?) Maybe not that one. 

Growing in her spirituality, yet exceedingly frustrated with some of her persnickety clientele—aging men who see themselves as Dorian Grays, worthy of exquisite young women—Marla’s world is shifting. She achieves certifications as an energy healer and encourages Julie to sample the concoction Julie calls “green gunk” and other healthy practices to help her conquer an addiction to unavailable men. Marla deepens her communication with the Beyond while Adolfo, always so practical, asks, “Have you lost your mind? Are you hearing voices? Angels aren’t real, come on!” Matters grow worse when certain psychics warn of “dangerous low-vibrational entities” and rabidly disagree with each other. 

Her alternating universes give Marla spiritual whiplash, yet she discovers the LITE way to balance the human carnival with a transformational spiritual journey.

 

 

Glad that I wore a cozy sweater on that cold November evening, I walked with Julie down the long driveway. The temple was set up in a garage, carpeted and adorned with altars, statues, paintings of various saints, and candles, transforming it into a Hindu shrine.

We stopped at a sign posted on the wall outside. Women were informed that if they happened to be on their period, they should please sit outside in the driveway whilst partaking in the bhajan.

SERIOUSLY?

Julie and I gave each other a look that conveyed our mutual assessment: this is fucked up.

We seemed to be the first ones to arrive, and a wholesome-looking guy of about forty introduced himself as Ken and invited us to enter the garage/temple.

“Have a seat,” he said, gesturing to the floor. He and his wife would be leading the bhajan, he explained, adding that they had lived in India for many years, becoming enamored with the Hindu faith. Julie and I selected a spot near the giant statue of Shirdi Sai Baba and sat cross-legged on the floor. “We also lead fire pujas once a week. You must come.”

Julie and I were definitely interested in attending a fire puja, a ritualistic form of worship that has been used throughout the temples of India for thousands of years. The word puja comes from two Sanskrit words which together mean an act of purification of the mind, drawing in virtuous qualities while removing bad qualities or karma, essentially attracting positive energies and dissolving negativity.

Ken told us that Shirdi Sai Baba was one of the foremost sadgurus (a true guru) in India and lived in Shirdi, located in the state of Maharashtra, India for sixty years. It is said that though Shirdi Sai Baba is not alive in flesh and blood, he still lives and blesses his devotees wherever they may be. A large black and white framed photograph of the guru, sitting on the ground barefoot intrigued me. His hands, feet, and simple clothing looked filthy, a piece of cloth covered his head and tied in the back. His expression was serious and his eyes penetrating. The photo evoked someone who needed nothing, but had everything. I made a mental note to find out more about this guru.

A few other people finally arrived and took their places on the floor next to us. We chatted with a cute guy who was originally from Bulgaria and was a regular there.

“It’s very powerful to chant and sing with other beautiful souls,” he said. “I come every week.”

Ken and his wife, Lida took their seats in front of us, and passed out some instruments along with sheet music with lyrics so that we could sing along. I chose a tambourine, and Julie selected maraca made out of a gourd. Ken and Lida started the bhajan, Ken on the guitar and Lida on the harmonium, a reed instrument with a sound similar to the accordion. I was surprised at how small the group was, only half a dozen of us. We all chanted and sang in Hindi.

Om Guru Om Guru

Paragpara guru omkara guru tavasharanam

Sukhakarshubakar hey parameshwara

Brahma paraparta vasharanam

Om Guru Om Guru

After an hour, Julie gave me the look. It clearly said, okay, how much longer is this going to go on for?

I glanced at my watch and whispered, “Should be only another half an hour.”

We struggled on for another forty-five minutes as an Indian couple arrived, baby in tow, plates of food in hand. They placed the food at the feet of Shirdi Sai Baba and joined us in the chanting. Ten minutes later, three more Indian people arrived, bearing plates of food and placing them at the altar. Fifteen minutes later, four more with more food. Julie’s stomach growled. We squirmed. My butt was sore, and I longed to stretch. I was not feeling the uplifting love I’d come for. Seated right smack in front of Ken and Lida, Julie and I had to communicate with our eyes, strained looks, and subtle nods. The place was lovely, as well as the people, but this was definitely not our thing.

I finally mouthed to Julie, “I can’t take it anymore.”

Julie stifled a laugh, and rolled her eyes.

Ken shot Julie a look of disapproval.

I felt like I was fourteen again and back in Miss Judy’s dance class. My BFFs, Joni and Tracy, and I had smoked a joint in the parking lot before tap class and couldn’t stop giggling as we shuffled off to Buffalo. All the while a frustrated Miss Judy shot scowls of disapproval.

The memory triggered a giggle, which also set Julie off. Uncontrollable laughter welled up, and we buried our faces in our hands, attempting to stifle the guffaws and giggles. Ken was glaring at us. Some people just don’t get the Laughing Buddha.

I poked Julie in the side, “Come on, let’s go!”

We jumped up and flew out the garage door like Aladdin on his magic carpet.

Still giggling as we sped away towards Ventura Blvd., Julie turned to me, her face flushed. “Okay, Marla, that was painful.”

One more round of laughter burst forth, completely uncensored this time.

“It was truly not our thing, but I really want to go to the fire puja.”

“Are you kidding? We can never show our faces over there again.”

“I suppose not.”

And yet it had proven an excellent modality—the laughter, actually; the meeting, not so much. I felt spiritually juiced, happy, and terrific. I like to think our angels and guides were enjoying themselves with us as well. That bhajan was the epitome of the confusion of spirituality with serious disciplined self-control—even though we were sitting on the floor shaking gourds and singing what to us were mostly nonsense syllables. There should have been all kinds of laughter and light-heartedness at that session. The Buddha loves to laugh.

 About the Author

Born in Tacoma, Washington, “The City of Destiny,” Marla was destined to move to Los Angeles where she shoots her arrow of love on a daily basis as a professional matchmaker, helping countless couples connect with their soul mates.

She is the author of three memoirs, Diary of a Beverly Hills Matchmaker, Hearts on the Line and The Buddha Made Me Do It.

Marla has been interviewed on the Today Show, WGN Chicago Morning News, San Diego Living, Urban Rush, CTV Calgary, Better TV, KUSI San Diego Morning Show, and over 100 radio shows including Coast to Coast AM with George Noory.

Her husband Adolfo has asked her, “Marlita, do you want to go to the moon too?” referring to her many interests—a true Gemini. Yet nothing has fascinated her like her profound adventure far beyond the moon and into the vastness of cosmic spirituality.

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#Book #Promo…Motherhood Martyrdom & Costco Runs…#BookBoost #Parenting #Humor #Memoir

Parenting/Humor/Memoir

Date Published: May 15, 2017
Publisher: 33 Partners Publishing
 

Join bestselling romantic comedy author, Whitney Dineen, as she discovers the three Es of parenting:

Exhilarating—when you first discover you’re pregnant.

Exhausting—when you realize you’ll most likely never sleep again–like EVER

Explosive—OMG these kids spew from both ends!  And that’s just the beginning. Whitney shares the ridiculous highs and excruciating lows of her catapult into motherhood. Enjoy the ride as this new mom vows to give up profanity while falling in love with… you guessed it, Costco. Be careful, because if you’re anything like Whitney, you may just pee a little. 

Motherhood Martyrdom & Costco Runs takes the reader on a roller coaster of emotions as Whitney plummets into postpartum depression, desperately tries to get her kids to stop yodeling in public restrooms, and comes to terms with the fact she’ll never quite be queen of her own kingdom. Get ready to laugh, cry, cheer, and pat yourself on the back for the sake of mommies everywhere. And while you’re at it, stop by Costco for a case of toilet paper and a Very Berry Sundae. You won’t regret it!  

About the Author

While attending the University of Illinois in Chicago, Whitney Dineen was discovered by a local modeling agent and began an unexpected career as a plus-size Ford model. She modeled in New York City before moving to Los Angeles with her husband.

During “The Hollywood Years,” Whitney was bitten by the writing bug and started creating characters that are inspired by strong women with a great sense of humor. Her first romantic comedy, She Sins at Midnight, won a silver medal in the 2015 Reader’s Favorite awards. Her second, The Reinvention of Mimi Finnegan, is a finalist in the 2016 RONE Awards, won a silver medal at the 2016 Reader’s Favorite Awards and won Honorable Mention at the London Book Festival. Her third chick-lit book, Mimi Plus Two, is causing all kinds of controversy and who the heck knows where it will land. Although, it was a finalist in the Reader’s Favorite Awards and a Runner-Up at the London Book Festival.

In addition to her love of chick-lit, Whitney has also written a series of adventure books for middle readers. The first two books in her series, Wilhelmina and the Willamette Wig Factory and Who the Heck is Harvey Stingle? are both available now. Book three, Beware of the Basement, is due to be released in the spring of 2017.

Whitney and her husband, Jimmy, have relocated to the beautiful Pacific Northwest to raise their children, chickens, and organic vegetables.

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Reading Addiction Blog Tours

#Book #Promo…Still Me After All These Years…#BookBoost #Biography #Memoirs #Nonfiction

 
It’s a pleasure to be participating in the Blog Tour for STILL ME … AFTER ALL THESE YEARS: 24 Authors Reflect on Aging by Karen Helene Walker through MC Book Tours.
 
This is a charming, funny, and enlightening collection of essays about aging. In addition, Karen is offering a tour-wide giveaway featuring two (2) print copies (U.S. entries only) of STILL ME and two (2) eBook copies of STILL ME (International entries). See how you can enter to win below.
 
STILL ME…AFTER ALL THESE YEARS: 24 Authors Reflect on Aging
◊ By Karen Helene Walker
◊ Kindle: 2000 KB, 102 pages
◊ Genre: Biographies, Memoirs, Nonfiction
◊ Publication Date: April 4, 2017
◊ Language: English
◊ ASIN: BO6WWRK82K
Poignant…Humorous…Brutally Honest!

A collection of personal reflections guaranteed to keep you inspired and entertained on that journey we all travel together: The Journey of Aging.
With a blend of grace, dignity, warmth and humor, women and men from 60 to 90 and from all walks of life candidly share the blessings and pitfalls of aging – from keeping dreams alive and keeping sex lives active to dealing with retirement, loss of independence and a growing sense of mortality.

A BOOK ABOUT LIVING EVERY MOMENT OF LIFE!

 
STILL ME is available at the following sites: Amazon (print and Kindle), Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and iTunes. Be sure to add it to your shelf on Goodreads.

Rev. Clara Alexander is an ordained New Thought minister who creates and performs sacred ceremonies, including unique weddings, funerals, memorial services, baby blessings and house blessings. She is also a popular speaker, inspiring groups with her talks on how we cling to our grudges, how we overuse the phrase “I’m sorry” and how we can live the life we love.

Wendy Brown recently retired from a career in wildlife biology, where she studied sandhill cranes and whooping cranes as they migrated from Idaho to New Mexico. Wendy eventually found a permanent home in Albuquerque, where she and her husband enjoy the sounds of sandhill cranes from their deck. Since retiring from state government in 2014. 

Valerie Capps has bypassed the porch rocking chair to pursue her life-long passion for writing, thereby proving that in today’s world, life can begin again at 65! Valerie lives in Nashville with her husband and their spoiled-rotten Welsh Corgi. www.amazon.com/Valerie-Capps/e/B016VD9V72

Mary W. Clark retired from her law practice in 2007 and transferred her observation and composition skills to travel writing. She is currently working on a book about her father’s World War II experience flying “the Hump” from India to China over the Himalayas. Mary lives in Paris, Texas. www.maryclarktraveler.com

Fran Fischer: “I was born at a very young age and that happened 82 years ago, so I don’t remember much about it. I’ve crammed as much living into my life as possible, and I’m not through yet. I’ve traveled extensively and I even flew in the same zero-gravity plane that the astronauts trained in. I live in California with my first (and only) husband, and we celebrated our 62nd anniversary this year.”

Pat Garcia (Patricia Anne Pierce-Garcia Schaack) is an American expatriate living in Europe. An accomplished musician as well as a writer, she has been writing (and reading) since childhood.

Mark David Gerson is the author of more than a dozen books, including critically acclaimed titles for writers, award-winning fiction, and compelling memoirs. Known as “The Birthing Your Book Guru,” Mark David works with an international roster of clients as coach and consultant, helping them get their stories onto the page and into the world with ease.  Mark David Gerson

Holly Deuel Gilster plays “make believe” for a living. In other words, she is a professional actress and musician. Holly also loves painting with words as an accomplished poet, an award-winning short-story writer and a book reviewer for The Or Echo.

Aaron Gordon is a retired social sciences community college professor. He and his wife, Ellie, have been married for 65 years and have three children and grandchildren.

Ellie Gordon is a retired public school teacher who spent the best 20 years of her life in the classroom. A Chicago native, she now lives in New Mexico.

Karla “Rosie” Harper recently retired from teaching elementary school, freeing her to return to her early love of dancing. Today, when not helping out with her grandchildren, Rosie is taking dance lessons, spinning on a dance floor or performing in senior centers and retirement communities with Albuquerque’s Sugartime, as a singer as well as a dancer.

Linda Hoye is the author of Two Hearts: An Adoptee’s Journey Through Grief to Gratitude, available through major online retailers. A native of Saskatchewan, Linda currently lives in British Columbia (by way of Washington State) with her husband and doted-upon Yorkshire Terrier. www.lindahoye.com

E.V. Legters hasn’t so much retired as she has exchanged one life for another — from rewarding years with career and children (while pursuing the arts on the fly) to a life with the arts at its center. She is the author of Vanishing Point and Connected Underneath and is currently hard at work on her third novel. www.evlegters.com

LD Masterson lived on both coasts before becoming landlocked in Ohio. After twenty years managing computers for the American Red Cross, she now divides her time between writing, volunteer work and enjoying her grandchildren. Her short stories have been published in several magazines and anthologies, and she is currently working on a new novel. www.ldmasterson.com

Kathleen Messmer not only runs a film production company with offices in the UK and the US, she is an avid photographer and wildlife advocate. In the unlikely event that she ever retires, Kathleen plans to live on a ranch with draft horses and pygmy goats and vineyards and fruit orchards, somewhere near the water. Oh, and a cowboy…maybe. www.kathleenmessmer.com

Karen Norstad has worked as cashier/gift wrapper, secretary, boutique seamstress, administrative assistant, manager of employee stock options, executive assistant, and budget analyst. Now retired, Karen’s life revolves around lounging about, wearing PJs until four in the afternoon, obsessing over the news, reading, fusing and slumping glass, practicing piano, keeping a small balcony garden and cooking.

Matt Nyman’s nonlinear career path has included working in the geological sciences, teaching high school, stay-at-home parenting and, currently, training tomorrow’s teachers. Poetry equently resides near the surface of his existence, occasionally erupting onto paper.

Jill Plaman was born and began aging in Milwaukee, but she has lived and worked in Albuquerque since 1977. She holds a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an MSW from the University of Minnesota. Her special interests are travel, international folk dancing, reading, hiking and spending time with family and friends.

Maureen Polikoff is a clinical social worker/ therapist who has always pursued many other creative endeavors, including painting, playing music and, now, writing. A Connecticut native, she lives in New Mexico with her husband, Michael.

MaryFrank Sanborn left Boston 33 years ago, to apprentice with photographer Walter Chappell in Santa Fe. Still in love with the beauty of the Southwest, MaryFrank photographs, writes, hikes, travels, teaches yoga and meditation, makes soups on Sundays, and dreams of the ocean and whales.

Patricia Stoltey is the author of four mystery novels. The most recent is Wishing Caswell Dead. She lives in Northern Colorado with Sassy Dog, Katie Cat and her husband, Bill. www.patriciastolteybooks.com

Susan Swiderski grew up in Dundalk, Maryland, where everybody calls everybody hon and eating steamed crabs is a sacrament. Although she’s happy in her adopted Georgia, part of her heart still lingers on the shores of Chesapeake Bay, explaining the setting for her novel, Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade. Susan is currently working on a trilogy, proof that this old gal is still a pathological optimist. www.susan-swiderski.blogspot.com

Jan Castle Walker is a retired teacher and an active artist. She lives in Davis, California with her husband, Mack. www.jancastlewalker.com

Karen Helene Walker is a novelist, memoirist and essayist and the author of The Wishing Steps and Following the Whispers. When not writing, Karen is tap dancing, folk dancing or performing with the musical group Sugartime at retirement communities. Karen is currently working on her second memoir. www.karenfollowingthewhispers.blogspot.com 

You can follow Karen and the other authors along on their tour by checking out the schedule HERE.

This tour-wide giveaway is for two (2) print copies (U.S. entries only) and two (2) eBook copies of STILL ME … AFTER ALL THESE YEARS: 24 Authors Reflect on Aging. The giveaway will end at 12 a.m. (EST) on Tuesday, April 4.
 
To enter, click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient.
 

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