• Virtual Book Tour

    No Innocent Affair by Edward F. Mrkvicka Jr.

  • Science Fiction

    Renegades by Sara Mason

  • Inner City Strength by Dwight Slaughter

    Sometimes the game is all you have to save your life.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

We Have Our Winner!! Congratulations Cissy Hunt



Our winner for the $15 Amazon Gift Card is Cissy Hunt! Congratulations Cissy.

Thank you all for helping to make David Fingerman's last tour stop a great success! Thank you to all my new followers too. Watch for new and upcoming giveaways.

Current Giveaways:

Book Giveaway for Hope Ocean (Interview with Lily Oak)- to enter click here.

Book Giveaway with Book Light (guest post with Susan Hanniford Crowley) - to enter click here.

Hope You All Have A Fantastic Last Day Of June!  Don't forget you still have a chance to win this great book, but in case you don't win, stop over and grab a copy today.

Fun, Freedom and Fangs with Susan Hanniford Crowley and Giveaway


Please give a warm welcome to my guest today,  author Susan Hanniford Crowley.  Susan writes vampires,  and has joined us today to chat about them.  Welcome Susan and thank you so much for stopping in.

Fun, Freedom, and Fangs

By Susan Hanniford Crowley

What is the best thing about being a paranormal romance author?  The sheer abandonment and joy in my writing.  Paranormal romance in this day and age is all about stories of ultimate adventure and romance.  Thinking outside the box is exactly what paranormal romance is about.  As in the definition by the Romance Writers of America, paranormal romance encompasses science fiction and fantasy with romance.

And it's not just vampires.  There's an endless world of creatures filled with amazing adventures.  I'm a debut paranormal romance author, so I've just touched the tip of the iceberg with the start of my series Vampires in Manhattan.





In my debut novel THE STORMY LOVE LIFE OF LAURA CORDELAIS, Laura's life falls apart in just a few hours when her fiancé dumps her, her aunt calls to tell her that her mother has died in New Orleans, and she gets robbed and now doesn't have the money to get to the funeral.  In a moment of desperation, Laura climbs over the railing of the Brooklyn Bridge.  When she changes her mind and tries to climb back, she slips.

Vampire David Hilliard has just asked God to have mercy on his loneliness.  A sudden pain in his heart and a vision of a woman falling, sends him plunging into the East River to rescue her.  David doesn't know that Laura is a Telkhine, one of the most powerful and revered supernaturals on the planet, and a vampire can never dare love a Telkhine.  But the truth is he does love her.  Evil forces will tear them apart—voodoo, sorcery, an dark underworld from which no one escapes.  Will Laura choose love?  Will David chose to give her life – but without him?




The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais is available as an ebook at: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thestormylovelifeoflauracordelais-374695-139.html
Also available in Kindle:  http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thestormylovelifeoflauracordelais-374695-139.html














I’m awaiting news of the print release date.

This novel began everything.  After that I wrote WHEN LOVE SURVIVES (published first), which focuses on a supernatural couple Regina (half leprechaun, half elf) and Gregor (shapeshifter) that meet and fall in love while doing rescue work at the World Trade Center.  I love this story because it shows the diverse personality of New York City both the humans that work together when tragedy strikes but the hidden world of the supernaturals or Nats that live side by side with humanity. I consider this ebook the prequel to THE STORMY LOVE LIFE OF LAURA CORDELAIS, introducing the supernaturals in the Vampires in Manhattan series as well as showing David in a small but crucial role prior to meeting Laura.

WHEN LOVE SURVIVES is available at http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-whenlovesurvives-362921-143.html   It got excellent reviews at http://rorreviews.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/when-love-survives-by-susan-hanniford-crowley/   and http://wickedreadingsbytawania.blogspot.com/2010/05/review-when-love-survives-by-susan.html
Then I wrote A VAMPIRE FOR CHRISTMAS.   It's a sequel.  It also further reveals a secret among the supernaturals—the Arnhem Society with its mission to provide a refuge for civilized vampires in the city and its Arnhem Knights, who are devoted to saving human from death by vampires and assisting supernaturals in trouble.  The story focuses on Arnhem Knight Trevor Stenwood and Georgia Blake, a human with a rare supernatural gift and she's marked for death by demons.  He must protect her but is so tongue-tied around her that she thinks he is a stalker.  It's funny, a bit scary, but incredibly passionate.


A VAMPIRE FOR CHRISTMAS is available at http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-avampireforchristmas-387184-139.html
What's Next?  Lots of things.  One of them, VAMPIRE IN THE BASEMENT will be released soon.  Many of the characters from the previous books are reprised in this one.  It's a paranormal romance comedy with shapeshifters, vampires, werewolves, elves, leprechauns mixed with mayhem and hilarity.  I had a lot of fun writing it and it's hotter than my other books.

Writing paranormal romance is a freeing experience, because you get to create worlds and it's no holds barred.  I find every time I write it's more exciting and I'm breaking new ground.

Visit with me at any time at:
Website:  http://www.susanhannifordcrowley.com
Blog: http://nightsofpassion.wordpress.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/SHCrowley
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/people/Susan-Hanniford-Crowley/629298868
Tease Publishing: http://www.teasepublishingllc.com/authors.htm

And for even more fun:
I will be participating in the Authors After Dark Romance Unlimited Convention in Secaucus, New Jersey, September 16-19.  There's still time to register.  There will be tons of fun events, panels, workshops, parties, a charity auction, and giveaways.  Here's the link:
http://authorsafterdark.blogspot.com/p/aad-confrence-info.html

For those that are attending Authors After Dark Romance Unlimited Convention, come up to me and say “I saw you on BK Walker Books blog” and I will give you a small gift, while my supply lasts.  

Thank you for having me.  It's been fun.

It has been fun and thanks again for stopping in.  Susan is on virtual book tour so don't forget to leave her a comment,  ask her anything or tell her what you think of her books.   By leaving a comment I am also throwing in a book light and a romance novel, (no not by Susan sorry), but Heaven Sent Husband by Gilbert Morris.  So get your entry in.  

 Heaven Sent Husband (Love Inspired #298)


Extra Entries:


Become a follower of my blog (+3)
Follow Me On Twitter (+2)
Like my Facebook Fan Page (+2)
Repost this Interview (+2)

Thanks for stopping in :).

Monday, June 28, 2010

***** Review of Edging Past Reality by David Fingerman

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Edging Past Reality
Author - David Fingerman
Publisher - Two Harbors Press
2008


Synopsis of Edging Past Reality:

Get ready to expect the unexpected when you read this collection of chilling short stories The short stories of Edging Past Reality will take you to the precipice of reason and then push you over the edge.

If you think you can always believe your eyes, and you're sure that what you believe is true, it's time to check your certainties at the door ... and start Edging Past Reality. In this collection of short stories, as you're warned in the introduction, ''the most common and familiar elements of life ... explode into a circus of horror.'' Imagine an inviting, lush meadow that turns shockingly deadly. A mirror that holds more than mere reflections. A trial where your life hangs by a call-in vote.

David Fingerman, a master of the unforeseen and unpredictable, will take you on a number of seemingly ordinary journeys and then smoothly veer off course, surprising you with twists and turns that propel you toward destinations that are not only unexpected, but often terrifying.

My Thoughts -

I loved this book.  Edging Past Reality is a magnificent compilation of short stories.  Fingerman has a fantastic imagination,  bringing an unexpecting twist to reality.  Some stories will give you chills,  others will make you shutter,  all will have you thinking.  I do have a few of my favorites out of this compilation and I am going to elaborate a bit on those for your enjoyment and a good taste of what you can expect from David Fingerman.

Fingerman has grouped his stories into categories,  so I will take a story out of each category that I absolutely loved.

Too Young To Know Any Better:
A Halloween Story - Trick or treating and lost in the woods,  little Tommy comes across a lone house.  After knocking on the door,  he becomes enchanted with the lady of the house,  a beautiful witch stirring her brew.  Tommy knows she's a witch and has bespelled him,  though she is so nice he cannot be afraid.  Will Tommy make it out alive? 

Old Enough To Know Better:
Peeping Tom - When the owner of several cabins decides upon check-in which women he would like to fantasize about, he gets more than he bargained for when Amanda checked in.  I so was not expecting the ending,  FANTASTIC!

Is This A Mid-Life Crisis?
A Walk In The Woods - Steve Blanchard was a prestigious lawyer that never took any time for himself.  He lets a co-worker talk him into going to a cabin in the woods.  While there he comes across a wolf.  Deeming the wolf malnourished he starts to feed it and eventually the wolf takes food from his hands.  One day deciding on a walk a snow storm hits and Steve becomes lost.  Taking coverage in a cave,  who should come to the rescue?  The wolf...yes he leads Steven back to the cabin where the door is found ajar.  What do you suppose waits inside for the duo? 


Senior Moments:
A Midnight Stroll - When a series of unexpected murders have taken place in an apartment building of seniors,  it has become unsafe to be out on your own in the town.  Seventy two year old Francis cannot stand sitting inside though and he takes a stroll through the park.  After tripping and hurting his ankle,  he is helped by a young Indian named Bear.  Bear helps Francis home telling him he should not be out alone with all the murders.  They chat and tell each other of their pasts and how they have come to where they are today,  when Francis invites Bear up for tea.  You think you know what will happen in the end...but are you certain that will be the outcome?

It certainly is a toss up as to which ones are the best of short stories in Edging Past Reality,  but David Fingerman certainly knows how to deliver.  I give this title ***** (5) Stars,  BK Walker,  http://bkwalkerbooks.weebly.com



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Learn more about this author and even get a peek into Edging Past Reality with great excerpts:  David Fingerman

Don't forget to check out David's guest post and give away here.

Purchase Edging Past Reality at Amazon


BK Walker Books - All Rights Reserved







CymLowell

Marilyn Monroe OMG!~Monday Madness Continues






Can you believe this?  Marilyn Monroe's xrays sold for.....OMG $45,000!!!! 



Estimated to sell at $3000,  this still long time loved beauty sold xrays from a 1954 hospital visit for $45,000.  A chair from her last photo shoot sold for $35,000.  Unbelievable! 
~Julien's Auctions in Hollywood

(no not this chair)















Michael Jackson's Victory Tour Glove sold for...Are you ready for this?  
$190,000      
For a glove!  I'm sorry,  why not to the Mexican Gulf Coast Oil Spill disaster?  Or Cancer Research?  LOL...Maybe they did and do donate and I'm not giving them the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe the money goes for his children's education :). 

Have a Happy Monday all!




    
                             

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pit Stop #2 with Mike Dolan


Today my guest is Mike Dolan.  He is the author if an inspirational novel titled A Pecunious Life.  Welcome Mike and thank you for stopping in.


Please tell us a little about yourself......


        A) I want to be a positive force in this life experience. I want to help change the lives of those
            that are searching. I Love to live life...

        B) Mike was born in the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado 43 years
            ago. He has lived all around this beautiful world of ours, from
            Europe to Alaska, to his current home in the Middle East. His
            education is that of the experiences lifegives and school is far from
            being out for him. He is a lover of life, a life adventurist. He loves
            to travel, meet new people, and experience new cultures. He has
            been given a great opportunity to see life in a different light and
            wishes to share this with you.

What inspired you to pen your first title?
        A) It's always been a goal of mine to write a book, but couldn't find a direction until I just started
            writing and going with the flow.

How long have you been writing?
        A) I've been writing for ten years mostly in journals I have kept. This is my first published work
            though and I am excited about reaching this milestone I set for myself.



What was the hardest part about writing this particular novel?
        A) The hardest part for me is probably this part, the promoting of the book. Promotion is not
            anything I am use to doing, but just as the publishing of my book was a new experience that I
            worked through so too will be the experience of promoting the book.

Have any dreams been realized as a result of your writing?
        A) Yes, absolutely one of my goals I set for myself was to publish a book. Now that dream has
            been realized it has pushed me into a new direction. I want to write more, I want to help
            change more lives to live their dreams.



Is there a message in your novel you want readers to grasp?
        A) Yes, follow you dreams; this is your life experience to experience the life you wish. Live your
            life to the fullest measure and a truly abundant life will be yours

Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?
        A) I'm in the final steps of finishing another book as I write this. I would like to continue to write in
            a way that will help people find their dreams, find their true calling in life and become a
            positive energy for those around them.

What advice do you have for writer's just starting out?
        A) Nike's slogan comes to mind..., "Just Do It!" Don't worry about the rules, don't worry about
            what people say, don't worry about anything, just write from your soul. Let all the details work
            themselves out. If you don't know how to do something the only way to know how is to "Just
            Do It." Don't let the fear of failure get in your way, everyone that is successful has fail..,
            everyone... It's the way you look at things that will determine where you will go in life... Are
            there boulders that stand in your way or are they stepping stones to the life you wish to live, if
            you want the life of your dreams then you already know the answer...





Anything else you would like to share with us today?
        A) I am grateful for the opportunity and want to thank you for allowing me to be a part of this

You are welcome Mike thanks again for chatting with us.  Mike can be found on the web at the following places:

Mike Dolan: A Pecunious Life
LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/hawaiianlife
Twitter: HawaiianLife
Facebook: HawaiianLife.com Fan page
Website: www.hawaiianlife.com
Website: www.mike-dolan.com

Don't forget to leave a comment for Mike for your chance to win a copy of his book at the end of his tour.  You can also purchase at Amazon.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Guest Post & Give Away - Edging Past Reality or Edging Towards Success? Please Welcome Author David Fingerman


Welcome to my blog David and thank you so much for stopping in.  David is a speculative fiction author,  and I am currently reading his compilation of short stories,  Edging Past Reality.  So far I am loving this book,  and I even have a few favorites,  but....you will have to wait for my review for my thoughts on that.  I will say I am almost finished so you won't have to wait too long lol.  Anyways,  David has put together a nice post for us on virtual books tours.  Please be sure to leave him a comment for your chance to win a copy of his book,  and since this is his last stop on his tour,  you won't have to wait too long to know if you are the lucky winner of this fantastic book!  Also,  one lucky commenter will win a $15 Amazon Gift Card.  Good luck.

The floor is all yours David.

A couple of years ago I first heard the words 'Virtual Book Tour.' Until recently I wasn't really sure what that meant or consisted of. After doing a little research I was intrigued. The idea of selling my book from my computer sounded very appealing. I mean, getting up in the morning and checking my calendar - if nowhere to be, say good-bye to shower and pj's are staying on even though I'm going to be interviewed ~ what could be finer? Anyway, I found a couple of sites that offered to put tours together, but for one reason or another I put it off. I think it had something to do with fear of the unknown. Then B.K. Walker and Authors Supporting Authors came along. When the offer for a tour was staring me in the face, I knew I could no longer say no. The second biggest question I had was, will this result in my selling more books? There were no definitive answers that I could find. Some people I talked to thought they sold more books, but it could've been general marketing. One thing everyone I spoke with agreed on - it was worth it. My biggest question ~ what did I have to do? For those of you considering a virtual book tour, be prepared to answer a lot of questions and write blogs. How hard can that be? We're all writers, right?
From April 21 to June 25 I had twenty stops. They were mostly interviews and guest blogs plugging my book (and soon to be released book - I was hoping Silent Kill would be out by now, but such is life), a couple of online chats, and one blog talk radio interview. It was a lot harder than I anticipated. Answering questions about myself was easy. The hard part was changing the answers so I wasn't saying the same thing every interview. Same thing with blogs trying to pimp Edging Past Reality. How many different ways could I tell people to buy my book? Turns out quite a few. As for sales, I definitely sold books directly because of the tour. I don't know how many more came directly from the tour, but I must say that it's been the best two months in sales since EPR first made its debut. But what impressed me even more than sales were the people I met. Virtual book touring is a networking goldmine. I met dozens of wonderful authors, each one more than willing to be used and abused as they use and abuse others all in the name of marketing and promotion. I'm pretty sure most of my fellow writers call it helping each other out, but I digress. If any of you have been waffling about joining a virtual book tour - my advice? DO IT!
It's only fitting that the last stop on my first virtual book tour is here. It's because of Brandi that I, and a number of other authors, got to take advantage of her hard work and take part in the tour. So on behalf of myself, and hopefully all the authors you arranged to go on tour ~ Thank you so much for letting us use and abuse you. Ahem, excuse me ~ for helping us all out.
And being that this is my last blog for the tour, let me say one last time:
~BUY MY BOOK~



Well thank you David for the wonderful post.  You are most welcome and thank you so much for participating in the tour.  I am very excited for Silent Kill and I cannot wait until it's released.  Please be sure to keep us updated.
You can visit David Fingerman on the web at http://www.davidfingerman.com ,  where you can also get a taste of Edging Past Reality with a few excerpts.  Trust me,  you won't be disappointed!  You can also find him on Facebook.  If you would like to purchase his book,  it is available through Amazon.  Just click the link below,  and you will be taken directly to the purchase page.  Thank you so  much for stopping in David,  as always,  it has been a pleasure.  Wishing you much success in the future,  and don't forget to let us know when you hit NY Times Best Seller's List :),  (fingers crossed).  

If you are interested in going on Virtual Book Tour with your own book,  please visit http://virtualbooktourcafe.weebly.com for details.

Thank you all for stopping in and reading.  










Now for the Giveaway:

Since this is David's last stop on his tour,  let's go out with a Bang!  By leaving a comment for David,  you will be entered to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card!  So if you don't win a copy of the book,  you can use your gift card towards the purchase of Edging Past Reality!  Winner will be drawn Wednesday,  June 30th,  also in celebration of the last day of June.  Once the winner responds,  I will email the AGC right to your inbox!




Here's how to enter:


  • Leave a comment for David for an entry to win his book and an entry for the AGC
  • Become a follower of my blog by clicking "Follow" on Networked Blogs or Google Friend Connect on the left sidebar  (1 extra entry)
  • Become a Fan on Facebook for BK Walker by clicking "Like" *found in right sidebar too or click link (2 extra entries) 
  • Follow me on Twitter *also in right sidebar (1 extra entry)
  • Share this Post and let me know where you shared it  *in right sidebar (1 extra entry)
  • Don't forget to leave your email address so if you are the winner I can email you your AGC
Be sure to tell me all you have done for extra entries,  and leave your email.  Thanks again for stopping in and Good Luck!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

***** Review by Daniel Dietz at BK Walker Books of Cyber Writers by Karen Kostlivy

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Reviewed by Daniel Dietz

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Mason Witt is an average kid who loves skateboarding.  He had been grounded for a week for riding his skateboard in the neighbors empty pool,  and today was his first day of freedom.  He was anxious to get off the bus to ride his board.

When he got home his mother made him his favorite snack of apples and peanut butter,  so he ate quickly to be able to ride his board before they had to run errands.  Before going to play,  he ran to his room to put his backpack away and checked his email.

Being a pen pal on Cyber Writers,  he found an email from Africa.  Before he was able to read it,  his mother yelled that they had to leave sooner than anticipated so they could get his brother Jamie at Karate,  then go get hair cuts.

While getting their hair cuts Mason was so excited to get that email he asked the barber if he knew anything about Africa.  When asked why,  Mason told all about being a pen pal with Cyber Writers.

Finally home,  Mason grabs a slice of pizza and runs upstairs to check his email.  He starts reading and the introduction of Lutalo begins.  Lutalo is in desperate need of help to return a Zebra and his missing father.  "The Zebra is what brings prosperity to farmers crops and harmony to all villagers".  The Zebra is known as the "Zebra of Life". 

Getting ready for bed Mason crawls under the covers to finish reading his email.  Suddenly he feels vines,  jumping out of bed he realizes that his bedroom is changing into a jungle.  Mason has been virtually transported to Africa.

Follow Mason and Lutalo during their adventures through Africa,  as they begin the chase in hopes to safely return the Zebra of Life and Lutalo's father,  Mwamba.

Kostlivy did a great job with her first book in the Cyber Writer Series.  I found myself anxious to find out what happened next,  and I can't wait to read the next book in the series.  I was amazed with the plot and she kept my attention from beginning to end.

I give Cyber Writers and The Zebra of Life ***** (5) Stars,  Daniel Dietz,  children's book reviewer for BK Walker Books.  http://bkwalkerbooks.weebly.com

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Learn more about this author - Karen Kostlivy

BK Walker Books - All Rights Reserved

I would just like to thank Karen for sending Daniel a signed copy of this book,  along with posters.  She also sent books for Daniel to donate to his school and he was just thrilled!  Fantastic job Karen and Daniel hasn't stopped talking about this book as he anxiously awaits your next installment in the series.  Thanks again for all you have done.

 

VBT Pit Stop with Diane Griffin

 Ever wanted to know what Security Clearance is all about?  Well today I'd like to welcome my guest Diane Griffin.  She is going to tell us all we need to know about the Security Clearance Process.  Please give her a warm welcome.....Thank you so much for stopping in Diane.  Please start off by telling us a bit about yourself.




My name is Diane Griffin, President / CEO of Security First & Associates, LLC. I am that friendly expert that WILL give you the inside scoop of what is relevant to your specific needs for obtaining and maintaining a security clearance today. And, no, this book won’t self destruct nor will I have to kill you for giving you the answers.

I began my career in the industry more than two decades ago working for various government contractors. While working for these companies, I was responsible for satisfying the requirements of security functions involving human resources, data management, and hardware and software security.

Then in 2002, I satisfied my entrepreneurial spirit by creating Security First & Associates, LLC consulting individuals and companies with all levels of security. As you can imagine, after 9/11 and with our country in the midst of two wars, the demands and dynamics of security clearances have changed drastically.

So whether you are a security professional, a student of criminal justice, someone interested in pursuing a government career, or a company pursuing government contracts that require a security clearance, you will have many questions regarding the process. And this book has many answers - even to those questions that you are afraid to ask.



Book:  Everything You Need to Know about the Security Clearance Process

Here’s what you will learn from this book:

• insight into the process for obtaining and maintaining Security and Facility clearances

• awareness of the risks that you face for delays or possible rejection and what to do about them

• straight forward answers to the standard and not so standard questions people often ask about the security and facility clearance process

• clear definitions to the confusing industry terms, abbreviations and acronyms
In January, NSI Inc.,  stated that many users of social-networking websites inadvertently put themselves at risk by sharing too much information. Below are a few areas that could cause risk.
• Address and birth date. Disclosing your home address or your place or date of birth could make you a target of an identity thief. Your home address even could attract a burglar or stalker to your home. If you’re throwing a party and need to provide directions, do so through email.
• Year of graduation from high school or college. These can help scammers pretend to be former classmates, a common way to win victims’ trust. Also, potential employers could use your graduation date to estimate your age, then reject you if they consider you too old.
• Business contacts. Professional networking websites typically let people on your contact list see the names and IDs of everyone else on your list. An unscrupulous competitor, dissatisfied customer, or former employee could send a damaging message about you to everyone on the list.
• Mother’s maiden name. Businesses often use your mother’s maiden name to confirm your identity, so it’s prudent to keep that name as confidential as possible. (Keep in mind that pet names are another common security question.)
• Travel plans and schedules of groups you belong to. If you mention the dates of an upcoming vacation on a social-networking website, or that you’ve joined a Wednesday-night book group, you might unwittingly have told a burglar when your home will be vacant.
• Your valuables. Don’t discuss your expensive art, antiques, or jewelry. It could make you a target for a burglar.
• The name of your doctor or dentist. If a scammer learns where you receive medical treatment, he might attempt to obtain your insurance information. This could be sold to someone who lacks health insurance, who would then pose as you to obtain treatment.
This best advice I can give you, especially if you have a security clearance, is that “If you don’t want your parents to know about it”, then don’t share it on ANY social media sites.

Diane offers a variety of services from her website,  where you can also purchase her informational book.  Please visit her at  http://securityfirstassociates.com/ for more information.  Diane is also on virtual book tour so please be sure to leave her a comment or any questions you may have.

Thank you so much for taking time to stop in and chat with us Diane.  It has been a pleasure and I wish you much success.

Monday, June 21, 2010

BP Oil Spill has America in an Uproar



Well it appears that the Chief Executive for BP Oil keeps putting his foot in his mouth!  Though BP claims that they are diligently working to "attach a giant garden hose cap" on the oil spill and are going to keep at it until the oil has all been cleaned up,  Tony Hayward took a holiday over the weekend to Yacht around England.  He has made the statement that "he has his life back".  


Though there is much controversy about the way Tony Hayward is handling the BP Oil spill,  he will remain in charge until all controversy and PR mistakes have been cleared.  Right now,  the cost of the oil spill has reached $2 Billion.  Their recovery rate has increased 11%  from 30,000 barrels a day to 60,000 barrels a day.


It does appear that the Obama Administration is demanding and forcing that BP become "more aggressive"  in their efforts.  Where they were only using one relief well,  they are now using two.



How do you feel the US Government has handled this oil spill?  Do you think Obama has done what he should have as our President?

I have come across a fantastic poll by NewsMax.com.  If you would like to participate and have your voice heard,  please visit: NewsMax.com

In the meantime,  if you would like to donate to help support the efforts of the Mexican Gulf Disaster, you can visit National Wildlife Foundation ,  or in an effort to help in the crisis,   Lily Oak put together a book titled Hope Ocean,  and all proceeds will go to wildlife charities for the Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill Disaster.


This book was put together in just 7 days with donated submissions from across the board.  Please help in the efforts to support Wildlife and purchase this book today.  Don't forget to take the poll at NewsMax and let your voice be heard.







Bibliograpy:  Fox News,  Christian Science Monitor,  and Business Week.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

VBT Pit Stop with Karen Kostlivy with her Series Cyber Writers





Karen is the author of Cyber Writers and the Zebra of Life.  


Karen's book is the first of a series of children's adventure books geared to children who are in the middle grades:  Please give her a warm welcome as she takes time to stop in on her virtual book tour.  Welcome Karen and thank you so much for joining us today.

Bio:
Karen Kostlivy was born and raised in Northern California. She graduated from the University of California Davis with a degree in Rhetoric and Communication. She enjoys spending time with her family and listening to her two sons Camron and Masson play guitar. After a successful career in the private and public sector, Karen decided to return to a former passion, writing and creating stories for readers of all ages. She is currently happily residing in Yuba City California with her husband Davis and son.
 
Synopsis:
Mason Witt, a skateboarding American teenager, catapults himself into the greatest adventure of his life after reading the plight of a new Cyber Writer from Africa. Lutalo knew he would come so he sent Mason an urgent plea for help. His village has lost its precious Zebra of Life — and his father has gone missing in the pursuit of the evil men who stole it. Here begins this thrilling adventure of two boys, a smart-talking panther, and an amazing zebra that sustains life. Come and join Mason and Lutalo on this fantasy adventure.




Blog:
Cyber Writers and the Zebra of Life is geared to all middle grade readers and creates a bridge for the early young adult readers too.   Also the novel is modeled on researched techniques to attract reluctant readers. In 2006 Scholastic Magazine did a study, The Kids and Family Reading Report, and found that the amount of reading kids did for fun decreased from the time they were 8 through the teen years. Kids said the number-one reason for not reading more was that they couldn't find books that interested them. The study also revealed that kids look to their parents for ideas on what to read.


 
Here are 5 ways to get kids reading four or more books:




  1. Get comical: A new generation of  graphic novels (http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=3745810)are getting today's kids to read. Comic books are coming back in a big way. The state school superintendent for Maryland, Nancy S. Grasmick, is adding graphic novels and comics strips to the curriculum in addition to the regular reading program. Some of us met the classics through the comics and they motivated us to read the real books.




  2. Find a series: Remember Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, the Babysitter's Club, Goosebumps, and so on? The great thing about getting kids hooked on series (http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=7949) is that they really can't read just one and it makes choosing the next book to read easy. Mysteries, suspense, horror (a little goes a long way), fantasy, ( http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=7220) and romance (as age-appropriate) are genres that attract many kids. Also, many young readers prefer non-fiction, like biographies (http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=7818. ) Cyber Writers and the Zebra of Life is a novel that is the first of a series that has fantasy and adventure set in Africa. Other books in the series will be set in other exotic geographic areas of the world.




  3. Learn how to: Kids really like to do things that end up in a finished product or with a new skill. Many kids play computer games, so offer special-interest game magazines to help them find strategies for improvement. Summer is also a great time for arts and crafts so find books for making model airplanes, cooking a meal, (http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=7959) or any topic that holds their interest. The kids learn things in the Cyber Writer series. In Cyber Writers and the Zebra of Life they learn the value of Courage, Family, Friendship, Trust, Loyalty and Faith. Eventually on http://www.cyberwriters.net there will be directions to make projects that are connected to the books in some way.




  4. Yuck it up: Humor (http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=7734)  is good for reading and having a good laugh, too. Joke books and really silly stories are fun to read and having a sense of humor helps kids have a good time at whatever they are doing. Cyber Writers and the Zebra of Life has humor infused throughout. It also has other effects that draw reluctant readers including age appropriate popular interests such as computers and skate-boarding.




  5. Think outside the book: Reading on kid-friendly social networking sites,  (http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=11374 )playing word games, (http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/flashlightreaders/main.asp?bookpass=7&s=1)and subscribing to magazines ( http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=7948)are fun ways to keep reading fresh. Just be sure kids are doing enough of it to equal a book. On http://www.cyberwriters.net the are some puzzles right now. Games, lesson plans and webquests for kids and teachers will soon will soon be included at no cost.




  6. Here is a listmania list link to Amazon of popular books for boys:
Here's another reason to keep kids reading: the volume of reading accomplished has a direct and positive impact on reading fluency, vocabulary development and establishing the reading habit. As kids' competence and confidence grows, so will their interest in reading for pleasure, including "good books." For tons of reading suggestions and motivators, don't miss the Summer Reading BUZZ! Program. Happy reading!
 

Thank you so much for stopping in Karen.  It's been a pleasure.  Please be sure to leave a comment for Karen for your chance to win a copy of this fantastic book.  Wishing you much success Karen.































Friday, June 18, 2010

Today we chat with author Ami Blackwelder-stopping in from her virtual book tour



BIO: I am a forbidden romance writer in the paranormal and historical romance genre. My unique experiences allow me an original perspective and a plethora of ideas to entertain readers.






WEBSITE: http://amiblackwelder.com/







What is your idea of happiness?

Some people think happiness comes with money. Some think fame. For some it is deeper than that and they chose love. For myself, it means to do what you love and spend time with something you are passionate about. For me that would mean to write.



Are you doing what you really want to do in life?

 I am a teacher and I am a writer and so yes, I am doing what I want to in life. I would like to add settling down and having a family as I have not had that opportunity, but hope that will come to me later in life. Yet, I have been able to travel the world, particularly eight years in Asia, and for me that satisfies a lot of what I have want in life.



In your career as a writer - what do you consider to be your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

I am well travelled and have a lot of experience with various struggles and emotions as well as with different cultures and peoples and feel that would be my greatest strength. I am a fountain of ideas. But a weakness of mine would include my elation at finishing a novel and becoming too excited, resulting in early release when the novel should be through more edits. I have learned from the past not to release a novel too soon, so that it has the chance to develop more fully and successfully.



What are some of your favorite websites for writers?

http://www.authorssupportingauthors.ning.com/, http://www.paranormalromances.ning.com/, http://www.bittenbybooks.com/, http://www.permutedpress.com/, http://www.kindleboards.com/, http://www.gothicnet.com/, and I love a variety of blogs related to paranormal, science fiction and history on blogger. Blogger is preferable to word press for me.



What are some of the tools you use for marketing?

I enjoy using online services for my eBooks such as public publishing services by smahswords and scribd and some editorial public services like urbis and authonomy. I also like to market on blogger and a bit on word press and weebly. Some other marketing techniques include virtual book tours and facebook...as well as some of my favorite sites listed above. Offline, I like to create bookmarks, posters and sale my books locally at bookstores, libraries, and in schools, markets, malls and anywhere I am welcome. I enjoy speaking with fans and telling people about my novels. Flyers, and business cards are also useful. Giveaways and contests both offline and online are also great promotional devices! I have used all the above:)





Are you satisfied with your experiences as a published author?
 
 (things you’ve noticed that could be improved, what you’ve enjoyed, what you’ll do better next time…) I started publishing novels about a year and a half ago and I have learned quite a lot! I’ve learned to properly edit and have a variety of eyes on your novel before allowing the public to buy and view it. I have learned that reviews online through blogs and ezines are very useful for promoting. Word of mouth is very important and building friendships as well as networking is vital to success. I am satisfied with my experiences of having my novel for myself to enjoy; however, I do things differently now than when I first started publishing in 2009. I have learned and I am very happy with what I have discovered and the changes I know I can make to improve the publishing and marketing processes.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

***1/2 Review of Life Blossoms Like A Rose In Thorns by Raghavan Jayaprakash

Life Blossoms Like a Rose in Thorns: When a Goddess Rose in Revolt in God's Own Country Life Blossoms Like a Rose in Thorns: When a Goddess Rose in Revolt in God's Own Country by Raghavan Jayaprakash


My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Life Blossoms Like A Rose In Thorns by Raghavan Jayaprakash was an intriguing story.

Starting with the life of Smitha, a young Indian girl who believes that arranged marriages should no longer be as they were accustomed to. When her sister is arranged to be married, Smitha is angered by the fact that the husband is only out for her father's fortune.

Smitha is determined to break free from tradition, earning her education hoping to be the one woman who fights for all in India. When she learns of her brother in law's abuse toward her sister and their children, she refuses to be put in the same situation.

She earns her education, traveling to Ethiopa to teach. It is here that she stumbles upon a conversation for assassination of the president. Sure that no one will believe her, she takes her information to the guards, as she is even more sure that she cannot live with such knowledge should something happen that she could have prevented.

When she is taken seriously, and the President is saved, she is given instant leadership by the president, where she learns military skills and gains riches. Upon her return to home, she is presented with multiple marriage proposals.

Much to her surprise, one man she actually felt a connection with and they were married. To her surprise, he too had wealth, and was not only after hers.

They bore two children, who were told would be great in the world. Though both children were like night and day, they both grew to make their parents proud.

After the death of her husband from a tragic accident, Smitha mourns for over a year. It is when her brother summons them home that they return to their native land.

The boys, Bhaskar and Prem, both attend private school and excel at a rapid pace. Bhaskar falls in love, only to win a scholarship where he must leave his one true love Anna behind.

After years of being gone and becoming a world class heart surgeon, he is paid a visit from his mother and brother, who left training for the Olympics to see his brother. When they land there is a tragic accident that claims his brothers life. Heart broken and grieving, Bhaskar decides to call his lost love, only to learn she has married another.

The years pass, and Bhaskar is called to an emergency heart surgery to save a wealthy Indian. As he boards the plane he sees a familiar face. "Good Morning Anna, how are you my Dear?" Shocked at the appearance of one that Anna thought was lost forever, she is more than happy to see her long lost love. After the flight they get together where they talk of the past and learn neither is married. They both agree to wait no longer and marry in a private ceremony before Bhaskar is scheduled for surgery.

The surgery was a huge success, Bhaskar is deemed a hero, and the love between him and Anna only grows deeper.

This was a great story. The only thing I had a problem with was that there was no notice of change in character. This title is entirely in the first person, and switches to first person of another character with no advance notice. I loved to learn about how there is wish to change customs in India, and found Smitha a very strong and empowering woman. I think the story could have ended better, having Anna meet Smitha and seeing her reaction to an interracial marriage by her son.

I give Life Blossoms Like A Rose In Thorns ***1/2 (3.5) Stars, BK Walker.
http://bkwalkerbooks.weebly.com

View all my reviews >>

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

VBT Pit Stop with Author Tasha Wright



Today I'd like to welcome my guest Tasha Wright.  She is the author of When A Tattered Past Catches you and the script writer for an online Soap called Familiar Stranger.  Please give her a warm welcome as she takes time out of her busy schedule to chat with us.  Thanks for joining us Tasha.  The floor is all yours....

http://www.facebook.com/l/6377a;www.thewriters-inn.net/literarysoapnetwork.html

 
My name is Tasha Wright and I am an author currently signed with Passionate Writer Publishing Inc.
I am the author of When a Tattered Past Catches You and soon to come, Carelessness of the Heart.
I began writing at an early age of sixteen and as time progressed writing became something I enjoyed
doing. When I write it takes away all my stress and I just go into another world. Becoming a published
writer took a lot of work and patience. I learned really quickly that the publishing world is very
particular and to pursue it you will need to be passionate about your writing. Without the passion you
will give up pretty quickly. When I write, everything comes from my imagination. However, I do want
things to be realistic. I want my readers to be drawn into my chaotic world and desire more. I currently
began writing for an online literary soap with Writer's Inn. You can check out all my work on my website,
I always love to hear from my readers:






http://authortashawright.webs.com or become a Face Book fan: search under Author Tasha Wright



Thank you so much for being with us today Tasha.  Please be sure to follow Tasha on her virtual book tour,  leaving a comment here today and at her various other pit stops for your chance to win a copy of her book When A Tattered Past Catches You.  

Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday Madness Continues with the Twilight Saga




I won't make this a long one,  because what else is there to say other than BRING ON THE ECLIPSE!


Eclipse Official Trailer:






Ok you Twilight Fans!  June 30th is fast approaching.  I for one cannot wait until Eclipse is in theaters!  There is going to be a lot of excitement that is already chilling me to the bone in anticipation.

Kristen Stewart is one lucky chic!  She gets to kiss both Robert and Taylor.  How could you get more lucky than that? She stated that,  "it was weird for Bella,  but all in all it was ok."  She was referring to the kiss with Jacob :).  Come on,  really?  Just ok?  I would think it would be more than just "ok" lol.

If you haven't had the pleasure of reading this Saga,  you better jump on the band wagon!  It just keeps getting bigger and bigger.  















So I'd like to know who is excited for Eclipse's release?  Are you Team Edward,  or Team Jacob?

Don't forget to check out Stephenie Meyer's newest release: