Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Author Interview: Nefretiti Morant author of the Perspectives Series

Nefretiti Morant, author of the Perspectives book series, stopped by for an interview.



Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I'm a proud mom, a loving wife, and a big dreamer. I always like reading and writing. But never thought about a career as a writer until two years ago. In 2012 I started a poetry blog. After a few months of writing and posting I decided to write a short story called Perspectives. Well boy did that unleash a passion that I didn't even know was dormant. I started writing like crazy. And I was having so much fun doing it that in seven months Perspectives The Saga was done. After receiving the first proof in the mail I was just so encouraged to keep going. I couldn't stop. That's was the birth of my crazy dream of being an author. I decided to chase that with my everything.


What do you do when you're not writing?

Spending time with my husband and kids or reading. I love to curl up in my favorite chair with a blanket and a book. But writing is definitely my favorite thing to do other than spending time with my family.


When did your first start writing?

I wrote my first poem about my husband when we were teenagers. As a young adult I loved writing poems and short stories, even though I didn't think I was good at it. I didn't start writing consistently until two years ago. To tell you the truth I wasn't even sure I could write a whole book until I tried. Completing this series has been so fulfilling on a personal level. The joy writing brings me has encouraged me to pursue it as a career.


Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

I read allot of Toni Morrison books as a teenager. I also love Maya Angelou's poetry. She's the one celebrity I always wanted to meet. Her life was a living inspiration. I always loved poetry, but through reading her work I began to understand how powerful it is to touch people with words. She was a literary genius.


What inspired you to write this particular book?

I worked in the social services field for ten years. And the idea for this book came from the realization that although we have different stories, were not that different. What makes the difference in our lives, is our Perspective. I'm a firm believer in that and I try to weave inspirational messages in my work.


What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

I really enjoyed writing Kenneth's(Perspectives II) and Ebony's(Perspectives V) chapters in the Series. I think they are the most likeable while flawed character's in the series. Although allot of my friends love Marissa. But Kenneth and Ebony's relationship was so star crossed and tragic that is was a welcome challenge to expand their Perspectives. I love their struggle and the type of people they become by the end of their stories.


What is best writing advice you can give?

Persistence is everything. If you love something and are passionate about it, just never give up on it. The more you work at it the better you'll get and even if you don't reach stardom. As long as your having a good time doing it, its so worth pursuing. The journey is often more defining than the result.


Is there anything else you'd like your readers to know about the book?

Perspectives is feel good roller coaster of experiences. So if your looking for an engaging collection of experiences told with vivid prose then you'll love this series.




About the books:

Seven People living in Queens New York learn the value of family and friends. Calvin struggles with alcoholism, Kenneth is in love with a woman who doesn't love him, Ebony's marriage is falling apart and she's sleeping with her boss. Marissa is a single mom attempting to provide her daughter with the best. Kaliq and Zanay fall in love under unlikely circumstances, and Althea; well Althea is in a class by herself. Journey with these seven individuals as they learn life is all about your perspective.

Kenneth the ultimate playboy finds himself falling for Kenya. A beautiful, smart ambitious Psychiatrist. Kenneth is ready to trade in his player card and settle down with Kenya. But just as it seems like Kenneth will begin his happily ever after, an old flame blows into town. Will Kenneth be able to reform his ways or will he falter under the weight if temptation.

Calvin has triumphed over a plethora of obstacles. His wife is talented and beautiful and his children are adorable and smart. Everything seems to be falling into it's right place when he lands the job of his dreams. Will Calvin finally get to enjoy life or will the actions of a manic destroy his chance. Journey with Calvin as he learns not to take his blessings for granted.

Kaliq and Zanay are college bound and ready to face the world together. Their love is strong and their bond is unbreakable. But college is a new playing field. Is their love strong enough to brace the storm of the real world. Or will the pressure of campus life tear them apart. Enjoy a roller coaster ride of deception, lust, scandal and jealousy as Kaliq and Zanay learn to navigate through the trials that come with adulthood.

Ebony is a girl from the hood with big dreams and lots of ambition. As an infant she’s abandoned by her mother. While she juggles feelings of rejection she meets and falls in love with Calvin.

Together they dream of escaping the projects and creating their own happily ever after. Calvin’s love fills Ebony with the hope that even a girl like her could have something beautiful. But soon Ebony realizes Calvin has a lot of maturing to do.

When another man confesses his love for her she's faced with making a choice between the man she loves and the man who's good for her.

Enjoy an itinerary filled with lust, romance, and intense drama in this final chapter in the Perspectives Saga. 






About the author:

Nefretiti A. Morant was born in the United Kingdom to Barbadian Parents. Nefretiti always loved reading and writing poetry. In 2004 she graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelors in Psychology. Nefretiti worked for New York City's Department of Social Services for ten years before deciding to pursue her passion for writing full time. In 2012 Armed with lots of ambition and a desire to create beauty with her words Nefretiti started a poetry blog on her popular website; www.nefretitim.com. Within 19 months she created the tantalizing series; "Perspectives". Perspectives follows seven individuals who through their struggles learn to appreciate their loved ones and life. Nefretiti’s inspiration for writing comes from her belief in positive thinking and her desire to inspire individuals from all walks of life. Nefretiti currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two children.




Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Book: Balanced Effectiveness at Work: How to Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor without Driving Yourself Nuts by Flip Brown



About the book:

Balanced Effectiveness at Work: How to Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor Without Driving Yourself Nuts is a useful compendium of tips, tools, and techniques to make being at work work better. 

Within each chapter there are conceptual definitions, sample scenarios, frank assessments, "Flip's Tips" action plans for real traction, and positive reinforcement. 

With a light-hearted but in-depth look at twenty-four wide-ranging topics, presented in a unique news-you-can-use format, it will provide you with real options, helpful resources, and renewed optimism. 

"Flip Brown's Balanced Effectiveness at Work is full of big reveals. One of the most important is how to replace perfectionism and judgment with empathy and engagement. This changes everything. You'll find inspiration on every page" -Marshall Goldsmith, author of the New York Times bestseller What Got You Here Won't Get You There

"'Flip' your conceptions about balance, with Flip Brown's thoughtful, fun, insightful book Balanced Effectiveness at Work. It's pragmatic, simple yet profound, and fosters moving from speed to significance to create a more meaningful life" -Kevin Cashman, bestselling author of Leadership from the Inside Out



About the author:

Flip Brown is the founder and owner of Business Culture Consultants in Burlington, Vermont, a solo practice focused on helping organizations be the best they can be. He does this through assisting leaders, managers and employees to experience more meaning and fulfillment at work. He has a background in business, psychology, organic gardening, and rock ‘n’ roll.



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Author Interview: Lisa N. Alexander author of Put It Out There!

Lisa N. Alexander, author of the book Put It Out There!, stopped by for an interview.



Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m the owner of a creative agency called PrettyWork Creative and I firmly believe in collaboration as a means for women business owners to grow their businesses. Recent statistics state that nearly 70 percent of all women business owners in the United Stated earn annual revenues of $25K or less. I believe that women who want to make more, should be able to do so and collaboration is one way to reach that goal. 


What do you do when you're not writing?

I’m plotting world domination! I’m growing several businesses at the same time, which is a lot to chew at one time, but I’m thankful for good friends to keep me sane. I volunteer for the only safe house in Texas that helps rehabilitate young girls and women rescued from sex trafficking. In between all of that, I’m Elgin’s wife, mom to a high school football player and grandma to the sweetest eight-month old you’ve ever met. 


When did your first start writing?

I started writing back in high school. I loved creative writing and even got away with writing a poem instead of an essay for an English class. My teacher was that impressed! I wrote my first book almost five years ago and have been a blogger for about that long. 


Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

If you know my background this is going to sound really weird but I loved Edgar Allen Poe as a teenager. His writings were so dark but they intrigued me. He painted such descriptive pictures that I could easily see the scene and I think that’s so important in writing. Can you paint a scene with words that the readers can place themselves in the scene? It’s what I strive for in my own writings. Then there’s Judy Candis, a Christian fiction author who writes great suspense novels. Still Rage and All Things Hidden are my favorite pieces from her.


What inspired you to write this particular book?

It goes back to that 70 percent figure I mentioned earlier. I know some women are terrified to put whatever their “it” is out there and put it out there in a big way. Some women talk themselves out of their greatness even before they get started. I want to be the counter voice in their head telling them to put it out there! I want women to succeed and not shy away from their gifts, their callings, their greatness. They have to put it out there. 


What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? 


The first chapter on throwed-off thinking. Because we all have thoughts that are contrary to the truth of who we are. So I love that I had the chance to expound on what throwed-off thinking is and how to cure it. If you can get someone to change their mind, the battle is won.


What is best writing advice you can give? 


Write deep and cut later!


Is there anything else you'd like your readers to know about the book? 

The book is inspiring and thought provoking but it’s also practical. The steps are something you can do immediately and they don’t require tons of money but they do require effort.



About the book:

Put It Out There! 5 Steps To Kick Fear's Butt and Move Your Dream Forward is written by Lisa N. Alexander and part of her This Woman Knows Project. 

Alexander explains how fear keeps us from pursuing our dreams and putting ourselves out there and how we can overcome those fears. 

Always the great storyteller, Put It Out There contains stories that will make you laugh and have you nodding in agreement. 

Alexander weaves it all together in five steps you can take today to move your dream forward.





About the author:

Known as The Marketing Stylist™, Lisa N. Alexander has worked as an art director, graphic designer and marketing consultant throughout her 20 year career. As a consultant and now CEO of PrettyWork Creative LLC, she helps entrepreneurs and small business owners grow their businesses through strategic marketing and planning. Lisa is also a Houston Business Blogger andHouston Business Podcaster.

Lisa describes this process as helping clients develop their WOW factor for their big marketing red carpet events. Web launches, advertising campaigns, social media marketing, new business launches are all big events that require the expertise of a stylist to help businesses put their best face forward and her clients love her for this.

Lisa is also a talented speaker and according to motivational business speaker, Karen McCullough, Lisa is one speaker she would go out of her way to hear speak. She infuses her ability to make the crowd laugh with her marketing know-how and  personal growth lessons. She leaves her audiences, inspired, informed and empowered! Lisa has even shared a story at The Moth Story Slam in Houston. She’s keeping her fingers crossed that her story may one day air on NPR.

Lisa is also the author of This Woman Knows, her personal story of coming into her own place of knowing and power. She shares this message with women through public speaking opportunities and encourages them to become women who know. Lisa also recently launched her third book, Put It Out There! 5 Steps to Kick Fear’s Butt and Move Your Dream Forward.

Lisa has been featured on Lisa Stein’s FreelanceMom.com site as one of the 10 Examples of Mom-Owned Businesses with Kick Ass Unique Selling Propositions, and Marjorie Clayman’s list of 60 Women Whose Praises Must Be Sung. She’s also appeared in an article on the American Express Open Forum Blog, and was a guest blogger for Marketing and PR expert Susan Harrow. Lisa has also spread her message abroad. She was featured in Vital Woman, a magazine based out of the UK and shared her marketing wisdom with this international audience in a Vital Woman’s Business Growth Ladder Online Event.

One of Lisa’s greatest achievements was going back to school and graduating with honors from Ashford University with a B.A. in PR and Marketing. She’s also very proud of her volunteer work. Lisa currently volunteers at Freedom Place — a safe house for young girls rescued from sex trafficking and was the former Chief Communication Officer for The Freedom Coalition.

Lisa married her highschool sweetheart, Elgin Alexander and the two have been happily married for over 25 years and have two children. The two reside in Houston, Texas.




Saturday, October 18, 2014

Featured Book: Max Blizzard and the Gem of Camelot by Patrick Hatt



About the book:

Max Blizzard was like any other worker drone living in Earth's realm until the arrival of his eighth birthday. On that day his imagination awoke and Max started thinking for himself. He was an outcast the moment he let people know about his imagination. That moment also unknowingly set forth a chain of events years in the making. By having imagination, Max had given Sir Dreadvent exactly what he wanted, a way into Camelot's realm.

Now Max and his friends, Trudesile and Lester, must complete the quest that Max's father, Merlin, set out for him years ago. They must find the Gem of Camelot to defend the realm from Sir Dreadvent and his sevesties. Their perilous journey will take them from the shores of Merlinia and the ship of Davy Jones to the fields of Avalon, in the hope that they can save Camelot, save Earth, and save all the lost realms that have been consumed by Sir Dreadvent and his sevesties on their quest to remake the universe.

A tale about where your imagination can lead if you choose to follow it, with creatures large and small joining Max Blizzard on his journey. King Arthur, Oberon, Hercules, Apollo and other heroes of imagination believed to be myth will become truth as Max and his friends face the trials ahead. Let your imagination lead the way to Max Blizzard and The Gem of Camelot.



About the author:

Patrick Hatt can be found in the East Coast of Canada. He hates writing these things but doesn’t mind talking in the third person. He dabbles in a little of this and a little of that, not afraid to attempt something new.

He is owned by two cats, one of whom has his own blog, It’s Rhyme Time. Yeah a rhyming cat, who knew? He would be considered a both person when it comes to cats and dogs.
He is also quite the movie and TV buff. As you can probably tell does not take himself seriously and has more stuff in his head than is needed. Thus the novels as just one more form of release.

Visit Pat at http://www.pathattbooks.com.  Thanks for the visit and enjoy!




Guest Post: Jeannine Wiest author of The Alchemy of Self Healing

Jeannine Wiest, author of the book The Alchemy of Self Healing, stopped by to share with us a piece she wrote.






About the book:

We have more power to heal ourselves than we have been led to believe.

Your body is "Instant Messaging" you all the time.

These messages contain a unique cellular treasure waiting to be accessed. The discovery that your body (not your mind) is listening to you will transform your life. Your mind runs old programs, "defaults" to all that is familiar in your life, even when what's familiar is pain. The Alchemy of Self Healing will show you how to tap into your body wisdom that craves health and joy.

Take the Alchemy Quiz, follow the exercises, read the essays. At the end of 30 days, when you retake the quiz, you'll discover you have new resources and tools at your fingertips.

Jeannine Wiest, CMT, CST has created a week-by-week guidebook for tuning into the body so you can:

  • Transform old stories energetically lodged in your body that drain your well-being.
  • Reconnect with your body wisdom to access your creative resources.
  • Develop habits to navigate the cellular information your body communicates.
  • Respond to challenges with calm, focused energy.
  • Transform into the extraordinary version of you.


About the author:

Wiest is an advanced certified craniosacral therapist, Reiki master, and holistic coach. She has danced on Broadway, dissected a human cadaver, and today works with a wide variety of clientele from movie stars, stressed-out executives to clients who are living anxiety-ridden lives.


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Friday, October 17, 2014

Featured Book: Tall Storeys by Harry Swiers



About the book:

Trapped between his amour Shirley Wrigley and the glamorous Laura Davies his latest admirer, millionaire Peter Sykes finds himself threatened with financial death by bankruptcy.

2,500 acres of English land have lain derelict since 1944. Fred Evans wants to develop the site adjacent to Heathcity-upon-Sea. But Fred is in financial trouble. The bankers have heard a whisper that Fred, ever secretive, is in dire trouble caused by the local taxman; the narrow eyed, humourless, George A. Fronrome. Furthermore, the deviant Fronrome is licking his lips; Fronrome eager to gain promotion, along with the ensuing honours for bringing about the downfall of Evans.

Fred has been made aware of the same threat through the services of his expensive accountant, Arthur Wolfson; Arthur dwarf sized but a giant in financial stature. So, keeping it to himself, Fred has devised a scheme.

President Fred recruits a fellow golfclub committee member to ease the way towards completion on purchasing the2,500 acres. And so Peter, against his better judgment, embarks upon his latest project. Firstly to save the Evans Group from collapse, and secondly, to extricate himself from the vituperative and deadly charms of Shirley Wrigley.

His own monetary and personal fortune now in peril, Peter curses the name of Fred Evans and all that his foster brother Fred stands for.

Fred has disappeared to sunnier climes.






About the author:

Over the years Harry Swiers has written a number of articles about rough collies and contributed to photographic journals.

For 30 years he practiced as a qualified, registered insurance broker, initially running his own practice before joining with other companies in the building trade, including heavy demolition.

Harry Swiers has written and been published by Collie Rescue (rough and smooth) UK.

Tall Storeys is available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1770764232




Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Featured Book: Toe Up to 10K: A Journey of Recovery from Spinal Cord Injury by Steven Fujita



About the book:

In June 2012, Steven Fujita went to the emergency room, and was diagnosed with meningitis. After four days of improvement, he was scheduled to be discharged when his condition worsened dramatically. His blood pressure, body temperature and sodium levels all became dangerously low. He started to lose consciousness. He was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit. He had suffered spinal cord damage at the T4 level. Upon regaining full consciousness, Fujita could not speak, eat, breathe independently, control bodily functions, nor move his legs. “Once we understand what we have to go through, become resolved to see it through, and know we will survive, we feel our ordeal is not so bad,” Fujita writes. In this book, he takes the reader on a journey of recovery from a spinal cord injury. It is not only a journey of determination and hard work, but of positive attitude, of drawing inspiration, of gratitude towards those around him: his family, his friends, co-workers, and medical professionals.



About the author:

Steven Fujita is the author of Sword of the Undead, a re-telling of Bram Stoker's Dracula.

In 2012, he suffered an injury to his spinal cord and became paralyzed from the chest down. He wasn't guaranteed to walk again, but did so after six months. He wrote a book about his recovery, Toe Up to 10K.

Steve Fujita lives in Long Beach, California, continues to work on his recovery and is back to writing supernatural fiction.



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Giveaway: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

The amazing power and truth of the Rapunzel fairy tale comes alive for the first time in this breathtaking tale of desire, black magic and the redemptive power of love

French novelist Charlotte-Rose de la Force has been banished from the court of Versailles by the Sun King, Louis XIV, after a series of scandalous love affairs. At the convent, she is comforted by an old nun, Sœur Seraphina, who tells her the tale of a young girl who, a hundred years earlier, is sold by her parents for a handful of bitter greens...


After Margherita’s father steals parsley from the walled garden of the courtesan Selena Leonelli, he is threatened with having both hands cut off, unless he and his wife relinquish their precious little girl. Selena is the famous red-haired muse of the artist Tiziano, first painted by him in 1512 and still inspiring him at the time of his death. She is at the center of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition.


Locked away in a tower, Margherita sings in the hope that someone will hear her. One day, a young man does.


Award-winning author Kate Forsyth braids together the stories of Margherita, Selena, and Charlotte-Rose, the woman who penned Rapunzel as we now know it, to create what is a sumptuous historical novel, an enchanting fairy tale retelling, and a loving tribute to the imagination of one remarkable woman.



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Review: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth

The amazing power and truth of the Rapunzel fairy tale comes alive for the first time in this breathtaking tale of desire, black magic and the redemptive power of love 

French novelist Charlotte-Rose de la Force has been banished from the court of Versailles by the Sun King, Louis XIV, after a series of scandalous love affairs. At the convent, she is comforted by an old nun, Sœur Seraphina, who tells her the tale of a young girl who, a hundred years earlier, is sold by her parents for a handful of bitter greens... 

After Margherita’s father steals parsley from the walled garden of the courtesan Selena Leonelli, he is threatened with having both hands cut off, unless he and his wife relinquish their precious little girl. Selena is the famous red-haired muse of the artist Tiziano, first painted by him in 1512 and still inspiring him at the time of his death. She is at the center of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition. 

Locked away in a tower, Margherita sings in the hope that someone will hear her. One day, a young man does. 

Award-winning author Kate Forsyth braids together the stories of Margherita, Selena, and Charlotte-Rose, the woman who penned Rapunzel as we now know it, to create what is a sumptuous historical novel, an enchanting fairy tale retelling, and a loving tribute to the imagination of one remarkable woman.


Received for review.

I'm a big fan of French anything so I could pass up the opportunity to read this book set in historical France.  I liked the idea of it more than the actual book, perhaps because it ran to almost 500 pages.  Five hundred rather yawn inducing pages.

I liked Charlotte-Rose as a person since she was smart and funny and resourceful but the incessant harping on how she was punished for essentially being a feminist before it was socially acceptable was more than a bit annoying.  The first few times, fine, but to mention it on nearly every page was overkill.  Yeah, yeah, we know she was a feminist and evil men sent her to a nunnery.  Yawn.

Margherita was a completely different story.  I gather we were supposed to like and sympathize with her as the inspiration for the Rapunzel fairy tale but she just came across as completely unsympathetic.  She was just so incredibly annoying.  And, yet again, the author continued to beat a dead horse with how she was betrayed by men, blah, blah, blah.  I actually disliked her enough that I wasn't even happy or brought to tears by the conclusion of her story.  I was just thrilled the book was almost over.

While the Charlotte-Rose part of the book is entertaining the Margherita part is annoying and left me counting the pages until I returned to the "real" story.

If you can get past Margherita's whininess and complete lack of any redeeming qualities, as well as the author's constant feminist remarks then this is actually a rather good read.  If you're a feminist who enjoys historical fiction then you will enjoy this significantly more.

★★★☆☆ = Liked It


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