Monday, May 25, 2015

Straight from the Mouth of Bart Baker, author of After Ozz



Bart and his family, Pastor Joe Elvis and their two sons Isaiah and Emmanuel, moved to St. Louis, Bart’s hometown. For nearly 30 year, Mr. Baker resided in Los Angeles, where he worked as a writer/producer in the entertainment industry.

He has had two feature films produced LIVE WIRE for New Line Pictures, and SUPERCROSS for Fox, as well as eleven films for television, including CHILDREN OF THE BRIDE, which spawned two sequels, BABY OF THE BRIDE and MOTHER OF THE BRIDE on CBS, as well as the Christmas perennial, A DIFFERENT KIND OF CHRISTMAS for Lifetime.

 Mr. Baker has worked on film and TV projects for Warner Brothers, Tristar, New Line, Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC, Lifetime, USA Network, Syfy Network, Fox Television, The Family Channel, as well as working on staff on the FX Network series, DIRT starring Courteney Cox.

 Presently, Mr. Baker has two projects in development, HONEYMOON WITH HARRY a feature film based on Bart’s debut novel of the same name at New Line with Bradley Cooper attached to star. Mr. Baker has also completed his second novel, IMMEDIATE FAMILY.

Mr. Baker also has eight produced theatrical plays under his belt. An avid fitness buff and political junkie, Bart enjoys spending his free time with his family and friends, and enjoys teaching film/television writing classes at Webster University. Writing is his passion and he feels blessed that he’s been able to make a living doing what he loves and for all the interesting people and events that he’s been exposed to through his work.

For More Information

Visit Bart at his website
Visit him at the following locations:
  Facebook

  
Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author? 

 The glamour. Oh wait…I work in cut off shorts and a t-shirt, that can’t be it. The money. Oh wait...there isn’t much. The renown. Oh wait…

 Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

 Look, we all wish our books were on the best seller lists, or that we were getting huge advances and movie deals, but if you’re realistic about what the demands are and what to expect, it’s all good. And as far as perks…as I said above, I get to work in shorts and a t-shirt. That’s a big win as far as I’m concerned.

 Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

 I chose, after dealing with multiple agents and publishers on my first novel, HONEYMOON WITH HARRY, and talking to my author friends who had book deals, to self-publish.

 Self-publishing is work. Writing the book is easy. Most authors love to write. But it’s the promotion and everything that goes with selling the books that’s difficult. You have to be just as creative and clever on that end of the business as you do with the writing. I think I did a good job of it with HONEYMOON WITH HARRY, but less so with WHAT REMAINS, my second novel. With this new book, AFTER OZZ, my first foray into the YA market, I have to find a way to get the book into the hands of younger readers as well as my fans. It is a lot of hours. Hours I often don’t have.

 Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

 My family is very supportive. They sort of get my moods when I’m writing, how pressed I am to have time to write and the machinations of everything that goes along with that. I have younger children and they don’t always understand that “Daddy has to work,” but I am also blessed to work at home where I can be close to them even when I am doing something other than playing with them.

 Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

 Wisely, I feed the dogs before I start work. But in the afternoons when they are supposed to get their second meal, yeah, the time on that varies depending on what I’m working on and how deeply engrossed in it I am. But they love me regardless.

 In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late? 

 All the time. I am a master at blocking everything out. I know there will be noise and chaos all around me most of the time and my office opens to the kitchen, the heart of the house, so I have created this mental wall that allows me to live in the world on the page rather than my own, actual world. It’s taken me a long time but I’m quite good at blocking out everything else around me and buckling down.

 What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process? 

 After I finished my first novel, HONEYMOON WITH HARRY – I had no agent, no publisher but I did have managers handling my film work. After the read it and they flipped out over it, very quickly the movie rights sold to New Line and there was immediate reaction from agents and publishers. I was a rock star. For like five minutes. But once they realized it would take a lot longer for the movie version to get to the screen than originally thought, the roaches disappeared back into the wood work. I imagine when things heat up again on the movie version of HARRY that I will be contacted again. But I self-published the book and do not regret that decision for a moment.

 How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid? 

 I wish I was better at social media. I am on Facebook and it’s a great way for me to stay in touch with a lot of people. I’m also on Twitter, DaddyBB, and am trying to grow my followers. I enjoy it. But all of these things take time away from writing. I’m still trying to find the balance between working social media and focusing on actually putting words on the page.

 What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about? 

 How proud I am of my children.

 Okay, too much sugar for you today! Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in. Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way? 

 Other than the tea…serve me strong coffee, dammit, you pretty much nailed it. I’m blessed. I’ve been writing professionally for over 30 years. It’s how I make my livelihood. I work at home most of the time. In sweats and a t-shirt. I can pretty much live anywhere in the world. And I get to be with my sons a lot more than most parents. All in all, it ain’t a bad life.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Straight from the Mouth of 'The Accidental Art Thief' Joan Schweighardt

Name: Joan Schweighardt

Book Title: The Accidental Art Thief

Find The Accidental Thief on Amazon.

Questionnaire:

Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

I enjoy imagining how things might go more than I do thinking about how things did go. “Did go” has one component, the truth. “Might go” is a blank slate, a tabula rasa. Irresistible! 

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

If you are looking to make a fortune as a novelist, your chances are pretty slim. I don’t know the stats, but I do know that unless you have a big publisher willing to throw a lot of money behind your book, you will be lucky to sell 1000 copies. I may be jaded from having worked both sides of the fence, as a publisher myself some years back, as a writer, and even as an agent. But if you like writing, then the fun perk can be yours. And if you write something meaningful and it touches one reader’s heart or changes one closed-minded bigoted person’s opinion, well there’s that too.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I felt safer going traditional, with a small publisher who opened her door to me. Since I work for a living, I really didn’t have the time or inclination to get involved with self publishing.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

My sons are both grown, so the only one who has to endure my writing habit is my husband. I read chapters to him as I write them and force him to give me feedback. His suggestions are really good and he seems to honestly like my work, but who wants to hear the same chapter two or three times just because some slight changes have been made? This is what he is subjected to. In return, I spend hours looking at his photos with him on his computer. I love his photos, but I don’t love it when he decides he must crop the edges or adjust the exposure while I’m sitting there waiting to see what’s coming next.

Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

My dog Roy will come to my desk and use his head to jolt my arm away from the keyboard until I get up and feed him or let him out. In addition to succumbing to Roy’s needs, I run down the street every weekday at 12:45 to let my friend’s dog out to pee—because she works 9 to 5 in town and would have to give up lunch to take care of this matter herself. I live in fear of getting so wrapped up in what I am doing that I will forget about him. That has never happened with her dog, but years ago, I forgot to check in on my neighbors’ kids because I was busy writing, and once, when my younger son was three or four, I forgot to pick him up from a play date (!!!!) because I was having one of those zingy writing days where every word falls into place: euphoria … until the other mother called to ask when I planned to come by and get my kid.

Are your plants actually still alive?

Barely alive, but, alas, it has nothing to do with my writing.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

When I’m writing well I ignore the phone, unless the caller ID says that it is my husband or one of my sons. As for my job, I am my own boss, so I only have myself to answer to. I’m an early morning person, so by dinner time I’m done, whether I’m writing for a client or working on my own projects.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I wish I could avoid all of them. I always feel like I’m shouting into a room where everyone else is shouting too when I use social media. How can we hear one another? But it’s the way of the world, so I try.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

Doing giveaways with sites for book clubs and general readers is a good way to start.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

I want to scream at all the book reviewers who will only review a book that is immensely popular and already has hundreds of reviews!

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

I love the process. It suits me. When I was younger, I loved everything creative. If I had been coordinated and had long legs, I might have wanted to dance. If I could sing, I would have become Gracie Slick. But I’m not coordinated and I can’t sing. I can write, however. So that’s what I do.



Straight From The Mouth of Thomas Barr: Author Of Notorious P-Man Sam

Thanks for letting us interrogate you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

I desired to become an author because i like to induce the thinking of people.  I want my stories to generate thought and discussion on topics.  Communication is the beginning to changing mindsets and opening up dialog.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

The perks are you're in control.  You are the boss and the determining factor of what goes.  No one likes to be told what to do and when to do it.  You are the one that's empowered in the process.  The demands are self discipline and consistency.  You must make time to sit down and work on a regular basis.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?


I would say the traditional route of searching for a publisher was ideal for me.  I wrote my stories and sent inquires to publishers while i wrote.  I got many rejection letters but was not dismayed.  I continued to write and when i did find a publisher i had volumes of work to present.  Be advised that finding a publisher is a long process.  However, there's someone out there for everyone.


What’s the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry (e.g. rejections, the long wait, etc.)

I would say the long waits are doughty.  It takes months to a year for finding a publisher and months to submit work for publication.  It takes more months to publish the finished copy of a book. 


Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

They're impressed with my patience and tenacity of being a published author.  They didn't realize how the process worked and only thought it was a cut and dry process with no complications.


What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

I was initially signed to a book deal by a publisher which took about 9 months, then dropped after 9 months upon the closing of the company.  It was a total waste of time for me as a writer.


How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

Any advertising is good advertising.  Remember that.  I prefer Facebook because everyone i know uses it.  However free advertising is very useful for promoting your work.


Book sales. Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)? How are you making the sales happen for you?

I love book sales.  I've been working to generate them by word of mouth.  I sometime give away free books so people will have a chance to preview my work.  If they like it they'll be inclined to purchase the next work.


What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

I would say radio interviews.  I think they can generate huge interest in your work and should be apart of any book promotion effort.   


Can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

Being able to relay a story in your words to attentive readers is rewarding.  There's nothing better than someone understanding your point of view on an issue and supporting it with their own.  The literary exchange is priceless and renders all else secondary in regards to the business aspect of the process. 



About The Book





TitleNotorious P-Man Sam: Miami's Urban Chronicles Vol. 1 
Vol. 1: Miami's Urban Chronicles
Author: Thomas Barr., Jr.
Publisher: VIP INK Publishing Group, Inc. / Printhouse Books
Publication Date: April 1, 2015
Format: Paperback - 88 pages / eBook
ASIN: B00U37SSM2
Genre: Urban Fiction  


Purchase The Book:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Goodreads


Book Description:

This book is about the struggle of African American men as they traverse the perils of 20th and twenty first century life in the professional realms of the work place atmosphere. The differences in opportunities are often overlooked in comparison to other classes and among the races.

The American dream is the realization of success in the face of struggle and hard work. Is it relevant that one’s struggle is harder than the other in accomplishment of this goal? P-Man Sam is a hard look at the road to self-empowerment and what it takes to make it in the American society. The entrepreneurial spirit is one of the main roads traveled in realization of the American dream.

It takes knowledge and a fearlessness to take a chance in the ruthless world of business in this society. It’s also important to be able to effectively communicate with the modern diverse society of today through effective people skills.

The P-Man Sam story brings an awareness of how to navigate negative experiences and transform them into motivational learning blocks. Learning from experiences and moving forward is essential in life. One’s eyes must be open and na├»ve thought processes must be conquered in attaining the ultimate prize. The following are useful for application:

• Mentorship
• Net working
• Coalition building
• Broad-mindedness

This book is a good source for inspiration and having hope is a major force in your journey through life. Situations and circumstances should not be viewed as a hindrance, but instead a hurdle in step to the finish line. There are many instances in this story that relay the struggle against forces that present obstacles. Willpower and dedication are true factors that assist the main character in winning out against such forces.

In conclusion, the power of love and support are sustaining factors in the realization of goals in life. The act of goal-setting itself is an important factor in accomplishing anything in pursuant of ambitious dreams. This novel is sprinkled with kernels of knowledge and inspirational wording designed to give the reader insight into the motivations of the main character that can be transcending to experience.

It is beneficial and intended to identify and acquire these gems of knowledge to retain as progressive career tools.  


Book Excerpt: 
In the tenth year of the millennium, on the major Interstate of I-95 cars sped up the roadway and zinged pass construction barriers.  Many of the vehicles just barely swipe distressed vehicles’ parked roadside.  Sam Silvasteen drove with his windows down taking in the South Florida breeze as his car cruised at a comfortable speed.  A black car with a high performance sounding engine screeched up next to Sam’s car.  The sound of gunfire erupted and peppered the passenger’s side of Sam’s car with silver dollar sized bullet holes.  Sam jerked the steering wheel in an attempt to dodge the spray of bullets.  The men in the car continued to pace Sam’s car firing ruthlessly into the frame of the automobile.  Hot lead ripped through Sam’s flesh as he was hit with a volley of bullets. 
Sam slammed into the median and the men sped off as his car coasted to a halt along the concrete rail.  Sam could hear the screaming brakes of other cars on the road and smell the scent of twisted metal as he faded out.  The Entrepreneurial President of Bandstand Magazine lay shot along the Miami corridor among twisted metal.  His life flashed before his eyes and he thought back on the events that led him to his current predicament.
Sam was a street wise entrepreneur who had escaped the shadows of the crime filled eighties drug environment of Miami.  Cocaine was the major drug that circulated thru the community of Dade County.  He transformed his life into a respectable businessman and attempted to help other urban youth in becoming productive community citizens.  Within the blink of an eye his life was turned upside down and the phantoms of his past attempted to snatch his mortal essence from existence. 
Sam was initially raised in a single parent home.  When Sam turned ten in the year 1977, he was placed in an orphanage by his grandparents due to his mother’s early dementia among her other mental illness related problems.  Sam’s grandparents had six adult kids living in their home and couldn’t afford a proper home for young Sam. 
***
“Who turned the damn T.V.,” yelled a burly kid his hair dripped with Gerri curl juice.  His voice echoed through the bare white walled dayroom of the orphanage.  Sam sat motionless as the other kids looked around not saying a word in response to the question.  The scarcely decorated room remained silent.  Most of the juveniles were Cuban exiles and spoke little English.  The burly kid steaming with rage yanked the plug out of the wall and kicked the T.V. over.  The loud crash and sound of breaking glass alerted the nearby sisters from the hallway entrance. 
“What happened to the T.V.?”  Asked Sister Alice, she was new to Saint Joseph and relocated from Nicaragua to assist with the influx of prospective exiled children of political patriots.  She wore the traditional long flowing robes of her profession.  She was a looker and it could be speculated that she had her pick of the litter before being ordained.
“Jose kicked it over,” said the burly kid as he pointed at Jose Marti a skinny pale Cuban teen.  Jose possessed long limbs but his skinny frame made him look a bit goofy in appearance. 
“Jose is this true?”  Replied Sister Alice, as she wheeled in his direction.  Jose remained silent as Sister Alice waited for him to respond. 
“Jose didn’t do it Sister Alice,” Sam exclaimed.  His voice was firm and controlled.  “Well it didn’t happen on its on Sam,” replied Sister Alice in a sarcastic tone.  The burly kid cut his eyes at Sam and gave him a hard look.
She now turned to the burly kid, “Trey Brownlee if you’re fibbing you get twenty lashes,” She exclaimed. 
“I swear….,” replied Trey before he could finish his sentence Sister Alice smacked him in the chest with a ruler.  In a heavy Spanish accent she sentenced Trey to spend the rest of the day in time out. 
“Sam get this mess cleaned up,” she said as she escorted Trey from the room.
Sam immediately grabbed a garbage can to pick up the shards of glass that covered the floor.  Jose found a broom and swept some of the glass in a pile for Sam to scoop into the garbage.  The other kids resumed their activities as the hype died down. 
Sam made a friend in Jose from the day of the T.V. incident with Trey.  They began their friendship working as partners at anything they did together.  Sam was a husky twelve year old and Jose was three years his senior.  The two got along quite well with no regards to their respective ages.  Lucky Barnes was a younger kid who hung around Burt Ramos the only Puerto Rican kid at the orphanage.  Lucky was a portly black kid with big hands.  Burt often used little Lucky when he was trying to hustle the other boys in marbles.
“Hey Sam,” said Burt.  “Trey is going to be pissed that you stuck your nose in his business.”
“Forget Trey,” responded Sam.  “If you’re down with Trey than forget you too,” said Sam as he flopped down onto a sofa in the dayroom of the orphanage.  A group of boys congregated at the corner of the day room and shot a game of marbles. 
“Oh I’m down for myself and I was just making sure you knew what time it was,” said Burt as he made his way to the marbles game.  Lucky gave Sam thumbs up as he shuffled close behind Burt.
Jose pulled up a chair alongside Sam and said, “Now we have nothing to watch because of Trey.”  The boys protested loudly in the corner of the room while Burt tried to convince them he was not cheating.  “Hey I got ya back don’t let them get to you about that Trey stuff,” he said. 
Sam sat straight up and replied, “I’m not worried about a thing.”  He extended his hand and slapped Jose five.  Jose watched a lot of T.V. and was hip to the street ways of black culture.  He understood the gesture and was happy to have made a friend in a place where watching out for self was paramount.  Sam was also careful in not being labeled a rat while sticking up for Jose.  He knew in befriending an older kid his chances of survival had increased tenfold. 
***
The females were housed in an entirely different dorm wing as compared with the males.  The only times the two would mingle was during mealtimes and that was usually three times a day.  All the kids in the orphanage were supervised by nuns and the Mon Senior had final call on all activities.  Sam had his eye on this one pigtailed hair girl named Vivian Smart.  She was a beautiful vivacious teen who was present at the orphanage upon Sam’s arrival.
“Hi Sam,” she said as she sat down with her lunch at Sam’s table.  “I heard what you did for that Cuban kid the other day and I think it was courageous.”  Sam shifted in his chair.
“No big thing,” he replied.  “The kid looked as if he needed help and I stepped in.”  Sam dropped his head and continued to munch on his sandwich.  Vivian took a cookie from her tray and placed it on a napkin in front of Sam’s tray.  Sam didn’t raise his head but his heart quickened its pace. 
“This is for your bravery,” she replied as she slid the napkin in Sam’s direction.  Sam was at a loss of words, and before he uttered his faint thank you Vivian had strode off and rejoined her friends. 
The cafeteria was a bustle with kids and they were being closely monitored by the nuns for any improprieties.  Sam sat brooding as he finished his meal.  He missed he mother and siblings, while the orphanage provided a vibrant surrounding it lacked genuine personal connections.  Before his mother’s unfortunate problems Sam was often doted on by his family.  He was the youngest and the last born of his mother’s children.  His siblings were years older than he was and were all away trying to establish a life for themselves.  Sam hated being poor but what else could he do he thought to himself. 
Sam made his way to the day room after lunch and sat looking at one of the day room windows.  He had a second period of classes in which he contemplated cutting.  Jose walked up to him and slapped him on the back, “What up Sam!”  He said in his best English. 
“What’s up Jose,” replied Sam.  I got a couple of classes for second period and I do not feel like going,” said Sam with a sigh. 
Jose was only a grade higher than Sam although he was fifteen.  His problems with the language barrier relegated him to grades lower than his normal level in Cuba.  “Let’s hangout in the courtyard or sneak over to the girl’s dorm,” replied Jose.
“Cool,” replied Sam.  He stashed his books under a nearby sofa and was out the door along with Jose. 
***
The girl’s wing was well kept and immaculate in comparison to the facilities the boys maintained.  When not in class the girls milled around outside and played dodge ball on the cement courts.  The males and females rarely participated in physical activities except when there was a yearly festival occurring.  Jose and Sam hid behind a dumpster near the courts of the girl’s dormitory.  “Hey there’s Vivian,” said Sam as he ducked so he wouldn’t be seen by her. 
“Who is Vivian?” Jose inquired. 
“Nobody,” replied Sam.
The girls walked on a nearby court and began their ritual jump rope Double Dutch game.  Jose whistled trying to get one of the girls’ attention, Sam nudged him in the side.
“Are you trying to get us busted,” exclaimed Sam.
“No, just trying to get us some trim,” replied Jose. 
One of the girls heard the commotion and walked over to where Sam and Jose were held up.  She saw them crouched behind the dumpster and immediately began screaming.  The boys tore out of their hiding place and ran for the nearest place to hide for cover.  Jose laughed hysterically as he tried to catch his breath from the sprint to the dormitory.
“You’re crazy,” remarked Sam bending over in exhaustion. 
“That was a rush,” said Jose. 
***
The two boys walked back to the day room and talked about the look on the girls’ faces when they realized they were being spied upon.  Classes were ending for the day and the dayroom was filled with students.  Music appreciation seminars were usually held by Sister Alice after dinner and Sam really enjoyed the sessions.  He profiled the different types of music genre as well as the musicians of past and contemporary times.  “I’m going to my room before dinner,” said Jose.
“See you later,” remarked Sam.
Sam remained in the dayroom leafing through his school books as he sat on a bench in the back of the room.  Sister Alice entered the dayroom recruiting groups to complete chores.  Sister Alice mentioned that the females were also participating and Sam decided to volunteer.  One group of males and one group of females were directed to the gymnasium area of the compound.  The two groups were instructed to scrub the floors and wash the walls.  Sam joined the chore group hoping to get a chance to be around Vivian.  Sam began scrubbing and to his dismay saw no sign of Vivian in the other group.  
Sam continued to volunteer his services for the chores squad of Sister Alice in hopes of seeing Vivian.  On this one particular day the squad was tasked to clean the main administrative offices of parish officials.  Vivian was assigned to the task and Sam was delighted his persistence had finally paid off.  Sam decided he would work closely with Vivian and learn more about her interests. 
“Hey what are you doing here?” said Sam.  Vivian stopped what she was doing and put her hands on his hips.
“The same thing you’re doing,” She said.  The girls giggled as Vivian smiled at Sam. 
Sam thought to himself that was a dumb question to ask.  He never knew the right words to say to the members of the opposite sex.  She looked so beautiful standing there with a twinkle in her eyes and sass in her voice thought Sam. 
“Well I was offering to help but I see you’re good,” Sam replied with a smirk. 
“You’re such a good guy,” said Vivian with a wink.
Sam continued to work while the girls chatted about what guys they thought were cute in the boys’ dormitory.  Sam pondered his next move on how to get Vivian’s attention without her friends being around.  He thought he would have a better chance at an honest conversation on a one on one basis.  Sam would have to covertly recruit individuals to help with his plan and a major part of his plan would be Sister Alice.
Sam was exhausted after his chores and he lounged in the dayroom and watched the boys roll marbles.  A couple of maintenance men coordinated the installment of a new T.V. in place of the damaged one.  Jose walked in and made his way over to a nearby by sofa avoiding the guys on the floor as they shot marbles. 
“So you were doing chores,” remarked Jose.  “Did you see your sweetheart Vivian,” he remarked with a laugh.  Sam ignored Jose’s remark and continued to watch the boys argue over taking a turn to roll marbles. 
“When are you going to volunteer to help out around here?” asked Sam.  “Maybe you’ll meet a nice female.”  Sam remarked. 
“My uncles say the best way to get a fine girl is with a lot of money,” said Jose.  
“Yeah that works too,” said Sam with a chuckle.
Sam was intent on wining the heart of Vivian and he assured himself that love was his reason for his persistence.  Sam had not really known the love of a woman outside of his mother but he could not resist the emotion he felt when he was around Vivian.  Sam would be careful about revealing his feelings around the people he interacted with daily, because in his environment this could be a source of perceived weakness.   
Trey entered the dayroom and stomped through the circled marbles on the floor where the boys were shooting marbles.  The sound of grinding glass against the floor could be heard as Trey twisted his foot on each stomp.  Marbles shot out from under Trey’s foot hitting the sides of nearby chairs, tables and walls.   The boys scuttled out of Trey’s path dodging flying marbles.   
“Man why’d you do that!”  One of the enraged boys responded.
“Shut your trap,” retorted Trey.
Sam knew Trey was pissed he had challenged his rule in standing up for Jose.  Sam was ready for whatever retaliation Trey would seek to impose.  Sam continued to lounge nonchalantly on the sofa as Trey marauded around the dayroom.  Jose remained silent as he sat on the other sofa.  Sam could see Jose was tense and his demeanor had drastically shifted in relation to his earlier mood.  Sister Alice stuck her head through the doorway of the day room. 
“We will have no trouble out of you today Trey,” She said as she disappeared down the hallway. 
Sam sat at the breakfast table alone and ate his bowl of oatmeal in silence.  He soon felt a hand on his shoulder.  It was Sister Alice standing over him smiling with her black nun’s head dress draped over her hair. 
“Sam don’t mind Trey much,” she said.  “Both his parents died of aids when he was just a toddler.”  She pulled up a chair and sat next to Sam.  Sam paused between spoons full of oatmeal as she continued to talk. 
“He was raised by his grandmother until she died a couple of months ago and he seems to have a hard time adjusting.”  She said. 
Sam thought to himself he was not having an easy time here either and why is she telling this story to someone who loathes Trey.  Sam began to fidget with his silverware as Sister Alice told Trey’s life story.  He desperately wished Jose would appear and interrupt her oration.  Sam could appreciate the concern Sister Alice felt for the kids of the orphanage.  He wondered if she spoke of his situation and issues with others as she did of Trey.
                Sam’s own home situation was what led to his current occupancy and he felt little empathy for Trey’s story.  Sam had few adult role models; however Sister Alice influenced the good in him.  Sam dreamed of the day when he could stand on his own without the need of the orphanage.  He was tired of being a kid and was ready to venture out into the world.  Sam was in his own thoughts now and subconsciously caught bits and pieces of Sister Alice’s conversation.  “You know Sam Saint Joseph will seek to be a solid base for your upbringing when you grow up,” she said.  Her voice seemed to trail off as her last comment reverberated in his thoughts.
                Sam desired to make a good impression to others by making himself who they thought he should be.  He would do tasks that made other people happy and would go all out to fit in with others.  Sam felt uneasy in the aftermath when he thought of this act of self repression.  His true nature was to be himself and explore who the real Sam was as an individual.
                Sam viewed Trey as a bully and an enemy to the free spirit of those around him.  Trey’s bully tactics blunted the freewill of others stunting their growth.  Sam in an attempt to be ordinary like everyone else downplayed his true abilities.  He had no desire to be recognized as exceptional in comparison to his colleagues.  The Trey types sought to bring out such exceptional abilities which made Sam hate him even more. 
                Sam’s perceived abandonment issues stoked his desires for the camaraderie of others and he highly valued friendship.  Trey bullying tampered with that concept which in turn was a source for instability in Sam’s world.  Sam would mesh out any instability that threatened his contentment.  Trey would be met with the harsh retaliation whenever he threatened to disrupt Sam’s reality. 
                Sister Alice realized Sam was not soaking in her words and stopped speaking.  She looked at Sam as he sat gazing into the distance.  She raised herself from her seated position and stood with her hands on her hips.  She shook her head and walked away from Sam as he continued his gaze. 

                “Kids,” she said.      

  
      
About The Author

   

Hailing from Miami Florida; Author Thomas Barr was born in Lake City, South Carolina home of the 2nd African American astronaut, killed on the Challenger space mission, Dr. Ronald E. McNair.  He is the grandson of a share cropper whom taught him the value of hard work and education.  At age 17 he began college at Bethune-Cookman University and graduated Cum Laude with honors.  While in college he was inspired to write when he read the novel, Black Boy by Richard Wright.  He began writing short stories for campus publications and won a $500 dollar publication contest in a local campus circular.  He entered the Air Force after college and spent two tours of duty in the gulf during the Persian Gulf War.  Upon leaving the Military he went back to school and completed graduate school at the University of Akron in Ohio earning a master of public administration.  He began a career in government as an Intern with the Ohio legislature and later became employed with the Florida Senate as a legislative assistant.  His current works were inspired by his work with the City of Miami as a civil servant in administration.

Thomas Barr’s writings reflect the everyday struggle of the average individual trying to make something of life.  Every person has a story to tell and the job of an inspirational writer is to bring those stories to life for the good of all.  As an author Thomas Barr desires to be the chronicler of inspirational stories designed to assist dreamers in achieving.   

Connect with Thomas:
Author Website: http://www.thomasbarrjr.com 
Author Blog: http://www.thomasbarrjr.com/367815247 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thomas.j.barr.5 
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ThomasBarrJr Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31179667-thomas-barr-jr



Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Summer Fire: Love When It's Hot Contemporary Romance Boxed Set (Book Blast Event)

 




About The Boxed Set




Title:  Summer Fire: Love When It's Hot (Boxed Set) 
Author: Gennita Low, Stacey Mosteller, R.J. Lewis. L. Wilder, Victoria Danann, Kym Grosso, Cat Miller, Mimi Barbour, Clarissa Wild, Teresa Gabelman, Linda Barlow, Helen Scott Taylor, Victoria James, Mona Risk, Patrice Wilton, Joan Reeves, Danielle Jamie, Terri Marie, Lorhainne Eckhart, Brandy L. Rivers, Nicole Blanchard 
Publisher:  dba 7th House Publishing, Imprint of Andromeda LLC 
Publication Date: May 26, 2015 
ISBN: 978-1507060469 
Format: eBook 
Genre: Contemporary Romance 


Twitter Hashtag: #SUMMERFIRE   





Book Description:


21 ALL NEW contemporary romance stories by New York Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling authors.

Limited Time Only!


Love when it’s hot? So do we. 

Especially when we’re writing about gritty alphas, angsty bad boys, sizzling attraction, and unrequited passion. Turn the fan to oscillate, loosen your buttons,  and join us for this groundbreaking bundle of summer tales that are hot hot hot.


1. Gennita Low - Sizzle
2. Stacey Mosteller – Just One Summer
3. R.J. Lewis - Sinful
4. L. Wilder - Summer Storm
5. Victoria Danann – A Season in Gemini
6. Kym Grosso - Solstice Burn
7. Cat Miller – Sun Burnt
8. Mimi Barbour – Big Girls Don’t Cry
9. Clarissa Wild - Killer
10. Teresa Gabelman - Rodeo Romance
11. Helen Scott Taylor - Irish Kisses
12. Victoria James – Sweet Surrender 13. Mona Risk - Husband for a Week
14. Patrice Wilton – A Man for Hire
15. Linda Barlow - My Mile-High Mistake
16. Joan Reeves – Heat Lightning
17. Danielle Jamie – Tan Lines and Salty Kisses
18. Terri Marie - Someone Exactly Like You
19. Lorhainne Eckhart – His Promise
20. Brandy L Rivers - Summer Rhythm
21. Nicole Blanchard - Anchor


Preorder Book at: 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Fire-Love-When-Its-ebook/dp/B00U1DZH7C/ Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id968862231 
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/summer-fire-gennita-low/1121243540?ean=2940151700993&itm=1&usri=summer+fire
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/summer-fire?utm_source=linkshare_us&utm_medium=Affiliate&utm_campaign=linkshare_us&siteID=je6NUbpObpQ-ZQoj0Q4emX.qbDRDn3INNQ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25026469-summer-fire?ac=1  



***

FACEBOOK 4-DAY RELEASE EVENT PAGE
May 24 - 27, 2015
Join In The Fun!

***

Summer Fire Book Blast Event





Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Straight from the Mouth of 'Help Your Child to Thrive: Making the Best of a Struggling Public Education System' Liane Brouillette

Liane Brouillette has a passion for helping families prepare children to thrive in school and out. She has taught at the pre-university level in both Europe and the United States. Currently, Dr. Brouillette is an associate professor of educational policy at the University of California, Irvine and Director of the UCI Center for Learning in the Arts, Sciences and Sustainability. She also serves as managing editor of the Journal for Learning through the Arts.


Questionnaire:

Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

In a world where day-to-day communication can be superficial, writing allows us to get to a deeper level and to thoughtfully engage with important issues. Because of the hustle and bustle of daily life, this sort of communication can be difficult to undertake face-to-face. But we can write when we find the time and inspiration. We can also read whenever we feel motivated to do so. This communication can be vivid in a way that is difficult to encounter elsewhere.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

The main perk is the ability to touch on subjects that are deeply meaningful. But finding the time can be demanding, causing writers to feel like they are often playing “catch up” in other areas of their lives.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

My first two books were traditional academic books, published with established publishers. The newest book was self-published because it does not fit as comfortably into an established academic genre.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

Actually, this is the first book that I could really share with my family. My children now have children of their own and the new book is about parenting. The challenge was to make recent research on child development accessible to parents in a way that is practical and enjoyable to read.

Are they actually still alive?

Fortunately, my husband has a “green thumb” and keeps the plants flourishing.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

I mostly do my writing in the early morning when the sun is just coming up.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

A computer glitch caused all of the footnotes to simply disappear.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

My earlier books were sold in university bookstores. I’m just learning about social networks. To be continued…

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

The book just came out, so that journey is just beginning.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

That the book is done! Fitting everything in was a bit of a challenge.

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?


For me, writing functions as a way of reflecting on experience, allowing me to experience life more meaningfully. Even if it was not published, I would still write. However, publication enables me to enter into a dialogue with readers.

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Young Girl's Testimony: From Disastrous To Evangelist by Shana Joseph (Book Blast)





About The Book



  


Title: A Young Girl's Testimony: From Disastrous To Evangelist
Author: Shana Joseph
Publisher:   Xulon Press
Pubication Date: September 23, 2013
Format: Paperback - 110 pages / eBook
ISBN: 978-1628396867 Genre: Christian / Non Fiction / Autobiography


Book Description:

In this book is a powerful message that rises out of a true-life story woven in sadness, heartache, pain, joy and God working miracles. You will see lessons learned, wisdom gained, and experiences to share. It's revealing unforgettable moments all in unforgettable testimonies.


Book Excerpt: 

From Page 30:

At the age of fourteen I got tattoos and some piercings.  People always said that I was a beautiful girl.  However, when I looked in the mirror I didn’t see what they saw at all.  When I looked in the mirror, I only saw my painful past and my mother.  I saw people I hurt and someone I hated.  I saw a disastrous person looking back at me.  I got a piercing in my eyebrow and two on the right side of my nose because I thought if I changed how I looked on the outside, then maybe I would like myself.  I had to deal with people labeling me as a conceited person because all they saw was a pretty girl with a nice complexion who had long hair, and who all the boys liked.  I never saw any of that.  Maybe if I did, I wouldn’t have gotten into so many fights and had my long hair pulled and I would’ve been full of myself.  Maybe I wouldn’t have the marks on my face from fights or the bite mark left on my shoulder from a girl whose head I was banging on a car window while fighting her.  I was never into myself because I always thought I was a worthless person.  I thought I would always be a street prisoner, is what I called it.  Would you believe a pretty girl like me pointed a gun at someone and sold drugs for a while? Well, I did.  At times I thought I would end up like my mother.


Purchase Book at: 
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Young-Girls-Testimony-Disastrous-Evangelist/dp/1628396865/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1427229008&sr=1-1&keywords=A+young+girls+testimony%2C+Shana+Joseph 

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-young-girls-testimony-from-disastrous-to-evangelist-shana-joseph/1116970037?ean=2940148424079&itm=1&usri=a+young+girl%27s+testimony+shana+joseph

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18604658-a-young-girl-s-testimony-from-disastrous-to-evangelist?ac=1


About The Author

 
  


Shana Joseph is a young, anointed Evangelist who preaches the undiluted word of God without fear. Surrending her life to the Lord at age 16, she has been preaching for many years and has a passion for the young people, as well as those who have yet to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and savior. Shepherded and molded under the leadership of Bishop Dr. K.D. Collins, founding vessel of The Harvest Army Church International, headquarted in the Bronx, New York, Shana has grown from an ordinary Christian to a powerful warrior for Jesus. Shana is happily married to her husband, Stephan Joseph and together they have three children, Marland, Giovonni, and Vanise.   

Contact Shana at:

Website: http://www.shanajoseph.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shanajosephministries Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7309438.Shana_Joseph



Contest Giveaway
     

Pump Up Your Book and Author Shana Joseph are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive the prize.
  • This giveaway begins April 1 and ends on May 30, 2015.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on June 1, 2015.
  • Winner has 72 hours to reply.
  • VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Monday, May 11, 2015

Straight from the Mouth of 'The Edge of the Known Trilogy' author Seth Mullins

Seth Mullins first conceived of his dream to write novels in his early teens, and this one desire has stayed with him throughout all the other myriad twists and turns of life. His inspirations include methods of inner exploration such as dream-work and shamanism and his experiences as a songwriter and performing musician. He studied creative writing at Santa Fe Community College in New Mexico and Lane Community College in Oregon. Seth has lived in Connecticut, New Mexico, Oregon and (currently) Vermont.

For More Information
Visit Seth’s website. Connect with Seth on Twitter.

Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author? 

 There were certain books I read when I was young that instilled me with a sense of wonder. I wanted to find a way to do that myself. “Wanted” is a weak word, though. I feverishly ached to find the magic words. 

 Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands? 

 I’ve heard it said that you shouldn’t be a writer if you can imagine yourself doing anything else. Like the pursuit of music, it can hold out certain ego rewards; but no one knows upon whose shoulders those will fall. So, the only thing that’s gonna sustain most of us is our passion for the work and where it leads us. 

 Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like? 

 I’ve gone both routes. In this instance, I opted to self-publish because I felt really protective of Brandon Chane’s somewhat ‘uncultured’ voice and the overall edginess of the books. I was nervous that an editor might try and soften those edges. 

 Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you? 

 I don’t experience that particular conflict because I live alone. I’m unmarried, and my only son is off to college. So, I only have to justify the value of all that work to myself. 

 Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word? 

 Again, it’s just me. I’m waiting until I have a bigger yard before I collect companions. If I did have a couple dogs, though, they wouldn’t have to wait for anything because I typically write on the move anyway. My thoughts actually flow most fluently when I’m busy with something else. 

 In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late? 

 The phone rarely rings, there’s no family and I work from home. ;)

 What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process? 

Humanity's Way Forward There’s one character who appears in What Casts the Shadow? - She only has a bit part, but three months later I met a lady who completely mirrored her physical description. She was, literally, the image I’d had in my head while describing this waitress who Brandon had befriended. What’s that, like, precognitive libel? 

 How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

 I haven’t found any of them to be particularly helpful, honestly. People go on social media sites for the free stimulation, by and large. I’m most present on Twitter, but all I really expect to do there is increase overall awareness of my work. I seldom see sales as the result of a tweet. 

 What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about? 

Religion and science should both either evolve or fall by the wayside. Our race needs new forms of inner nourishment. 

 Okay, too much sugar for you today! Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in. Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way? 

 Well, I suppose it’s like asking a frog what the value is in being in the water. I am amphibious. If I’m up too long in the linear logic world I’ll dry up and waste away. I need to dip down into those waters of creativity to live.