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Whale Hunting Women and Barbara Weaver Smith Revisited

Last month, we visited with Barbara Weaver Smith and talked about her new book, Whale Hunting Women. Tomorrow, I will be posting my review, but today I would like to share two things with you; the first is an article written by Barbara and the second is a video in which Barbara Weaver Smith explains the whale hunting concept.

Fears About Bigger Sales to Bigger Customers

by Barbara Weaver Smith

"What are the top three fears of a CEO who's thinking about implementing The Whale Hunters Process in their company?"

That was a great question from someone in the Vistage group I presented to yesterday. We were working on what scares whales, and someone raised the question--what scares small business CEOs? Here's what I think those fears are, in order of their importance:

1. How can I present this to my sales and management team?Often a CEO who attends a Whale Hunters presentation gets really excited about the process and methodology of business development through bigger customers and bigger deals. It makes sense intuitively, and CEOs are typically drawn to stories (like the whale hunting story) and cultural analogies. But then they imagine going back to their sales people or the CFO with this story about "let's hunt whales"--and they know they're going to get pushback.What's the best way to address this fear? Have a whale hunter come in and present the program to your cross-functional team. Make it a team decision, not a boss decision. Without the team's buy-in, your efforts are fruitless.

2. Isn't it risky to put so much effort and resource into one big account?Whale Hunting isn't about landing a single whale; it's about gearing up for a steady diet of whales. But there's a start-up period, and many CEOs worry about how whale hunting could disrupt their existing business or draw resources away from their current key accounts.How to address this fear? Two-part answer. One, we don't suggest you hunt only one whale or survive on one whale. You will still fish along the way. It's not an either/or strategy but a both/and strategy. Two, talk to other whale hunting company CEOs about their experience. They can help you see how it worked in their company.

3. What if we sell a really big deal and we don't have the resources to deliver? Savvy CEOs know that a sale is only as good as their company's capacity to deliver. So to go after bigger deals as a growth strategy means they need to be prepared to ramp up in some ways that could be costly and uncomfortable. And they worry about how their team will react to getting a really big deal in the door.

Unquestionably, whale hunting will accelerate your need to grow support as well as providing revenue. The answer to this question is that whale hunting is a management strategy, not just a sales process. The method anticipates and encompasses the downstream delivery of products and/or services to the whale. Do you have a fear about whale hunting? Please feel free to share it here. If you have examples of how you or your colleagues overcame fear, I'd love to hear about it.

Now for the video:

To learn about Whale Hunting Women & to order your copy today, visit


Thank you for visiting this post about Barbara Weaver Smith and Whale Hunting Women. Two people who comment during the tour will be entered a giveaway – post a comment on any post about the tour and you will be entered. The winners will win a three-volume audio set of Whale Hunters Wisdom. Volumes include I: Mind of a Hunter, II: The Hunt, and III: The Whale Hunting Culture ($90 value).

Barbara Weaver Smith’s website -

Barbara Weaver Smith’s blog - http://blog.thewhalehunters.com

Order your copy of Whale Hunting Women – http://cli.gs/WHWEbook

To see the tour schedule visit

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Talented man, don't you think? I've known Marvin for a few years now and he never ceases to amaze me with his multi-faceted personality.

Marvin D. Wilson is the author of three published books, I Romanced the Stone (Memoirs of a Recovering Hippie), Owen Fiddler, and Between the Storm and the Rainbow. Owen Fiddler has been awarded the prestigious AVATAR award for excellence in spiritual books. Wilson has had articles published in several Ezines, and has been interviewed on hundreds of blogs, radio and TV shows, both over the internet and on the airwaves. A prolific blogger, his internationally popular blog, Free Spirit, was voted first place in the 2008 Book Blogger Appreciation Week award contest, in the Christian/Inspirational Fiction category. His other blog, Tie Dyed Tirades, is also growing in global popularity.

Wilson is a family man, married for thirty-three years, with three adult children and six grandchildren. He has been around the block of life several times, through the ups and downs, and has survived in good enough spirits to desire to write about life, to write about living life on purpose. Wilson is a self-described “non-religious, dogma-free, Maverick spiritualist Christian.” He writes books that deliver spiritual and inspirational messages in an engaging, thought provoking, often times humorous, more than often irreverent, sometimes sexy and even ribald way, through the spinning of an entertaining tale.

Marvin D Wilson is an editor with All Things That Matter Press and also does freelance editing.

Contact Information:

E-mail: marvwilson2010@gmail.com

Primary Blog: http://inspiritandtruths.blogspot.com/

Secondary Blog: http://tiedyedtirades.blogspot.com/

Twitter page: http://twitter.com/Paize_Fiddler

For a chance to get to know Marvin Wilson better, please come back on Wednesday to read an interview with him :-)

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Summertime by Lynn McMonigal-A Review


Paperback: 306 pages

ISBN-10: 1442102535
ISBN-13: 978-1442102538


A summer beach party with rock stars is every young girl's dream. Having one of the band members fall in love with you is even better. Summers end, however, and sometimes the romances started during them do also. Laura spent the next ten years taking care of her grandmother and thinking every day of that summer. Now she has the chance to come face-to-face with the man who broke her heart. She has a surprise for him he'd never imagined-but in the end, Laura may get the biggest surprise of all.

I rarely read books of this length that can stay strong on dialogue, but Lyn McMonigal has mastered that aspect of writing perfectly. That isn't all she's mastered. The storyline was not your usual "sweet" romance, yet it touched my heart with with the tenderness of a butterfly kiss. I can't help but feel Ms. McMonigal has herself experienced the wonders of a first-time love that stays with you forever. She writes with the emotion of one who has been there.

Summertime will warm your soul and make you believe in the magic of romance. This is a book that all women can enjoy--but I dare say quite a few men will also, even if they won't admit it! If you read only one book this summer, let it be Summertime--and the warmth will carry you through the coldest days of the winter.

Summertime earns a perfect rainbow on the Rainbow Scale.

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Talking With Lynn McMonigal

Last weekend, I introduced you to Lynn McMonigal and her book, Summertime. Today, I'd like to share with you a talk I had with Lynn. Please don't forget to return tomorrow for my review of Summertime.

What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

Lazy, impatient, sloppy

How do you think others would describe you?

My husband, apparently, would not describe me as I describe myself. He seems offended by my above answer!! He says I am loving, caring, and persistent.

Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

My sons and my church. Though today, I feel almost like I would trade my sons for… well, I don’t know what. But it would be nice to have children who listen every now and again!

Do you have any pets? If so, introduce us to them.

I have two pets. We have a female calico cat named Brownie and a male black lab named Bo. Or if you ask my 2-year-old, we have a “kitty” and a “Bo-kitty”

What is your most precious memory?

I think that would be my senior prom. That was my second date with the man who became my husband (a date that would not have happened if I had waited for HIM to ask me out!), and it was the night of our first kiss. I wasn’t real popular in high school, didn’t date a lot. But that night, I felt like the luckiest, most beautiful girl in the world. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to believe the man I am sharing my life with is the same shy, nervous boy that I went to prom with. “Shy” and “nervous” are not words most people would use to describe him!

What is your most embarrassing memory?

Oh my gosh! You want me to pick only one?? That would probably be on a field trip to the Waterloo Recreation Area when I was in sixth grade. We went hiking on The Bog Trail. The teachers and guides warned us all to be careful where we stepped. My foot slipped off a log and into the muck. When I pulled it out, my shoe was missing. It was one of the first times I’d worn my new canvas shoes with palm trees on them! And there was no way of finding the shoe, as we right at the edge of the bog. Our guide said it would probably show up in “100 years or so”. I had to finish the field trip and go back to school with only one shoe.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

I’d be wasting away in a cloud of depression. No, really. I’ve been undergoing treatment for clinical depression for 4 years now. It wasn’t until I started writing, really writing a little every day and more than just in a journal, that I started to have more good days than bad.

As far as a profession, I really don’t know. I was 12 when I first knew that I wanted to be a writer. That was when my teacher encouraged me to start writing my stories on paper. In high school, I thought I would be a teacher and a writer. At one point, I was studying marketing and still thought I could do that and be a writer. I can’t think of anything else I ever really wanted to be.


In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

Daughter, wife, mother, friend. Lynn loved life, loved her family, and loved her Lord. She enjoyed writing, scrapbooking, and cooking. No matter what, Lynn would strive to do her best to let God’s glory shine through.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cascades Wesleyan Church in Jackson, MI or to Kaylen’s Write to Heal.

Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a “real” writer?

That was when I sold my first short story, “Building for Sale”. The moment I got the email that the story had been accepted, I KNEW I was a “real writer”. That was really all the motivation I needed to get down to work and finish a novel.

What is going on with your writing these days?

Oh, so much!!! I am busy editing my next novel, while plotting outlines for about three others. It is hard for me to work on just one thing at a time. Sometimes, the characters and I argue—they don’t want to do what I want and I don’t like the ideas they have! I find it’s best to step aside every now and then to work with other characters. Normally, when they realize I really don’t have a problem stuffing them in a drawer, the characters become much easier to work with!

What are your future goals for your writing?

Well, I have a schedule I have put myself on. There are five more books I plan to finish and publish before my youngest son starts preschool in 2011. I would like to find a traditional publisher for my work. Not so much for the money, but for the exposure. There is a Christian bookstore here in my hometown that won’t stock my books so long as they do not come from a traditional publisher. I would love to be able to walk into that store and see a shelf full of books with my name on them!

If that doesn’t happen, though, it’s OK. Writing is my gift from God, and I am trusting Him completely to guide and direct my career.

Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

Joyce, I have three sons, ages 8, 5, and 2. There is no “typical” day around here!!!

Normally, I have a good hour between when the older two get on the school bus and when the youngest wakes up. I try to get in some writing then, and of course I work during Seth’s naps. School will soon be out for the summer, though, and I have no idea how I will handle my writing schedule then.

Why do you write?

I write because I cannot not write. As I said before, it is a wonderful form of therapy. And I just love to do it. It still feels amazing to realize I have a job that I honestly enjoy and can’t wait to do. How many people can say that? I am beyond blessed.

What writer most inspires you? Why?

Karen Kingsbury. I don’t even have to think about that one! She is the first Christian author whose work was at all like what I wanted to write. I wasn’t sure if there would really be a market for the style of stories that I write. Then I read one of Karen’s books and I knew I could do it. Each and everyone one of her books touches my heart. I hope to be able to touch just one person with one of my books that way.

How do you define your writing?

Christian chick lit. Some call it inspirational, but that annoys me. I mean, yeah, I want to inspire people but it is Christ who guides me. I don’t like it when Christian is left out of it. If I have to leave Christ out of it in order to make a sale, then I don’t need the sales.

In one sentence—what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

I just hope to be remembered in 50 years, and I hope there are more good memories than bad. I would like to have at least one person hear my name and think, “My relationship with Christ grew deeper because of what Lynn wrote.”

Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?

My website is Lynn’s Corner. You can find it at www.lynnscorner.wordpress.com

My blog is at www.lynnmcmo.blogspot.com

I suppose if you want to really know more about me, you could talk to my parents, sister, and best friend. Though I can’t promise what they will say about me…. Especially Lori, since she did have to be paid to be my friend.

Is there a place where readers can reach you?

My email address is lynnmcwriter@gmail.com or you can leave a message on my website. If you prefer snail mail, you can send a letter to me at
PO Box 1473
Jackson, MI 49204

Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

Forsaking the Call and Summertime. Be on the lookout for The Ladies of Faith this fall!!! I am also working on my first Young Adult novel, called Discovering Miranda. It’s about a 15-year-old girl who learns the mother she thought was dead is alive and well.

For new readers—what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

An uplifting story about God’s grace and forgiveness, in a real world setting.

Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers—what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

I am one of six children—all girls. Between the six of us, my parents have 18 grandchildren. It’s a large family, but we have a lot of fun! We were raised in Jackson, MI, where four of us still live and where most of my books are set. One of my sisters is in Indiana and one is in Texas. I keep in contact with them through email and Facebook, but I miss seeing my nieces and nephews growing up. Growing up. HA! Some of them have already grown up. Jacquie is nearly 20, Eric has been in the Army for a little over a year, and Bekah is about to graduate in the top 5% of her class of over 800 students. I am very proud of these “kids” and of the strong men and women of God they have become. Don’t tell my sisters I said this, but I think they’ve done a pretty good job.

I was 12 when I knew I wanted to be a writer. It took 20 years to get my first book out, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I went through a lot of things, a lot of growing that was necessary for me to become the woman I am now. For the first time ever, I wake up excited about my work. Sure, there are days when my characters get on my nerves and I don’t want to deal with them (if all five of The Ladies of Faith survive for three novels, it will be a miracle!), but I feel so blessed to be doing something that I love. My goal is to be earning enough at my writing before my youngest starts school in fall 2011 to consider it a full-time job, and not have to find work outside the home.

Before I go, I just want to thank you, Joyce, for talking to me. I just enjoy telling stories, and I appreciate those who want to read them. Thanks for helping me connect with new readers.

**Everyone please take a moment to leave a comment for Lynn and let her know you enjoyed her visit!

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Meeting Violet Raines and Danette Haworth


Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 176 pages
ISBN-10: 0802797911
ISBN-13: 978-0802797919

Violet is happy with things just the way they are in her sleepy, backwoods Florida town. She loves going to the fish fry with her best friend Lottie, and collecting Brain Freeze cups with her good friend Eddie. She loves squeezing into the open trunk of the old cypress tree, looking for alligators in the river, and witnessing lightning storms on a warm summer day. But when Melissa moves to town from big city Detroit, all of a sudden Violet’s supposed to want to wear makeup, and talk about boys, and play Truth or Dare. Violet’s not interested in any of those things . . . but with the help of her friends, her mama, a few run-ins with lightning, and maybe even Melissa, Violet finds that growing up doesn’t have to mean changing who you are. Violet’s story is a classic tale of best friends, budding romance, and bad storms, and her authentic, pitch-perfect voice is sure to stay with readers long after the very last page.

Listen in as I talk with Violet...

Can you tell us your name and the title of the book you live in?

My name is Violet Raines and I almost got struck by lightning, so we figured that would be a good name for my book, which of course is called Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning.

Describe to our readers what your role in the book is.

Well, I am kind of the leader here, so more or less everything happens around me. I just wanted everyone to see how it was when Melissa moved in, all kind of stuck-up like a sandhill crane, and how she tried to sneak my very best friend away, then she tried to work on Eddie! I can’t tell you the end, though, ’cause I want you to see how I got there.

How did you convince your author to put you in this book? For example, did you visit a dream or make yourself known some other way?

She was just sitting there, so I decided to make it easy on her—I just walked in and told her about how Eddie dared me to cross the net bridge over the Elijah Hatchett River. I swear, I never saw anybody type as fast as she did when I started talking.

Is your author easy to work with or controlling?

I just did my own thing. She followed me everywhere, recording what I did. (She thinks I didn’t see her, but I know every stick and leaf in the woods, and I know when someone is hiding behind a tree.)

Would you tell us about one of your favorite friends from this book?

Lottie has always been my best friend. She lives next door to me in a big farmhouse her grandpa owned, before he died, of course. Tootsie, Hannah and Ashley are her younger sisters, and even though I see how much work they are, I wouldn’t mind having a few sisters of my own.

Do you plan on appearing in another book or are you happy to be where you are?

God Almighty! I really should be in another book because that’s how exciting I am. You might remember I mentioned how I am the leader around here.

What would you like our readers to know about you?

I collect words. One of my favorite words is taradiddle, which means fib or lie. The first part is pretty; the second part is just plain foolish, like you can’t even believe that’s a real word, and that’s just what a lie is—something pretty you can’t even believe.

Did you learn anything during your adventure in this book?

I am pretty smart, but I guess I learned that I don’t know everything. Please don’t tell anyone I said that.

Can you tell us what you think is the most exciting thing that happened to you in your book?

Almost getting struck by lightning was pretty exciting.

Is there anything in your story you wish you had not done? Why?

There is, but I can’t mention it out loud (because I been sort of thinking on what it might be like if it happens again).

What was your main motivation?

Well, first of all, I had to rein Melissa in. Oh, my Lord, that girl is bold. I also wanted to make sure Lottie was okay, and then Eddie got mad at me, so I spent most of my time trying to control them. That was hard work.

Introduce us to your main adversary?

From the moment I laid eyes on her, I knew Melissa would be trouble.

Is there anything you would like to have done but your author stopped you?

I did everything I wanted to do. That’s the kind of person I am.

Here’s your chance to speak your mind. What do you want to tell everybody?

Even if the book wasn’t all about me, I would still like it ’cause you got your woods in it, you got your alligator, and though I don’t like to brag, I did come up with some good comebacks to take care of Melissa.

Please tell everyone where they can find out more about your story and where they can purchase it.

I myself get three or four books every time the bookmobile comes around. If the bookmobile stops by your house, you could probably check it out from there. Otherwise, you can buy Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning at Barnes & Noble or online at B&N or Amazon.

Isn't she just precious, folks!? Now let's get to know a little about Danette. First, this is what Danette has to say about herself:

"I hate tomatoes. The year 2005 was supposed to be the year I Ate A Tomato, but I Did Not Do It. I don’t like mushrooms either, but if they are chopped up small enough, I can ignore them.

Pink and purple are my favorite colors, but sometimes I like green.

I am a good skater, and fast too. In fact, I used to have my own custom skates with racing wheels—that’s how fast I skate. When I thought I was a grown-up, I gave my skates away. That was a mistake. I could still use them.

Growing up in an Air Force family, I have lived in a lot of places, and I can tell you that the best place to be is in the woods or on the mountains. It is even better if your best friend is with you and you build a fort. My best friend and I built a pretty good fort once, but my sister and her best friend built a better one. It doesn’t even bother me to say that.

At six-years-old, I published my own comic book series starring Peter Pan. He jumped into adventure, narrowly missing capture and certain death by his arch enemy, Captain Hook. Most pages featured a green stick figure sword-fighting with a red stick figure. Still, it was pretty good for a six-year-old.

I wrote a lot of stories in junior high, high school, and college, and my teachers seemed to like them. I liked it when they read my stories out loud and my classmates laughed in all the right places. There is nothing like that feeling.

If I wasn’t a writer, I’d own a diner and call it Netti’s. It would be small—you’d probably pass it if you drove by too fast—but my regulars would be loyal. “Try the sweet potato loaf,” they’d tell each other. “It is to die for!”

If you want, you can call me Danette. Here’s how you say it: d’NET or DihNET. Some people confuse this with “dinette,” which is actually a table. (You can tell the difference because I do not have four legs and I am not a table.) If you forget, don’t worry. People have called me Jeanette, Janet, Denise, Danita, Danielle, and Darnet. So even if you say it wrong, I will still turn around and smile and say “Hi,” especially if you are holding a donut.

I was fortunate enough to pin Danette down for a chat:

What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

I would like to think these three words describe me: nice, funny, smart.

How do you think others would describe you?

No doubt they lie in their beds at night thinking, “Wow! Danette Haworth is brilliant, exceedingly gorgeous, and nicer than Mother Teresa.”

Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

My kids! They are the best people I know.

Do you have any pets? If so, introduce us to them.

Some of my best friends had four legs. I grew up with Cuddles, a gray toy poodle. He was really helpful under the dinner table when my mom cooked things I didn’t like. Shana was my dog during my single years; she was sweet and happy and I took her everywhere. I even bought a friend for her—Samson, the orange cat. They palled around all day. When Samson chattered through the window at squirrels, Shana came bounding in to check it out. Married life brought in Coco, a beautiful black, adult cat we adopted, and then we got Max, the mean cat. He lives with my mother-in-law now.

What is your most precious memory?

Memories of my children as babies. Memories of my brothers and sister and my mom and dad when we were just a little family moving around with the Air Force.

What is your most embarrassing memory?

When I was in second grade, my mom bought me a set of baby doll pajamas. I accidentally wore the bloomers under my dress to school. Talk about embarrassing!

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

If I wasn’t a writer, I’d own a diner and call it Netti’s. It would be small—you’d probably pass it if you drove by too fast—but my regulars would be loyal. “Try the sweet potato loaf,” they’d tell each other. “It is to die for!”

In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

World renowned author, Danette Haworth, 98, died in her sleep last night. She was found by her loving husband, who came to wake her with a cappuccino, only to discover coffee would no longer do the trick. Though she never had plastic surgery, she didn’t look a day over 63.

Her children, all living, followed their dreams and are highly successful. Danette always said seeing her children happy was her biggest success. She will be sorely missed and always loved.

*Oh, no! I’m crying!*

Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a “real” writer?

I’m still taking it in!

What is going on with your writing these days?

I’m revising the draft for The Hotel of Blueberry Goodness, Walker 2010, in which a girl who lives in a hotel meets an eclectic group of friends, including a teenage runaway. Then my editor and I will work on Me and Jack, Walker 2011, about a lonely boy who adopts an unusual dog and together they take on a bully, a narrow-minded community, and the dark mountain that looms over the town.

What are your future goals for your writing?

To keep writing!

Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

All writers know the typical writing day starts with two double cappuccinos. Once properly fueled, I sit at my desk, check notes from yesterday regarding what I’d just written and what needs to happen today. Sometimes I need to fix a glitch in yesterday’s progress before I go on.

I’m at my keyboard for almost three hours. During that time, I alternate between writing in fast bursts and slouching back in my chair thinking. Although I assign myself a word quota, I don’t stop writing until I accomplish the day’s goal, which I define as completing whatever needed to happen in the story today. I’m truly spent by the time I’m done.

Why do you write?

It’s fun. It’s hard work, but it’s fun. I feel down when I’m not writing.

What writer most inspires you? Why?

Wow! That’s hard! I’m inspired by every writer who makes me stay up too late even though I know I’ll pay the price the next day. One of my favorite books for adults is Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler. Frustrated and feeling overlooked by her family, Delia Grinstead literally walks away from the family vacation and hides out in a new life, referring to herself (even in internal dialogue) as Miss Grinstead. I’ve read this book over many, many times—I love it!

The last children’s books I read include the entire set of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which I just loved, and Second Fiddle, which has great voice!

How do you define your writing?

My agent calls it earthy goodness. I like that!

In one sentence—what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years? For children:

Her writing makes me feel good. For adults: You have to read this book!

Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?

All of the above! My website is www.danettehaworth.com or www.violetraines.com and please visit me at my blog http://summerfriend.blogspot.com !

Is there a place where readers can reach you?

My email is danette at danettehaworth dot com.

Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

Of course! Violet Raines Almost Got Struck by Lightning (available now), The Hotel of Blueberry Goodness (2010), and Me and Jack (2011), all with Walker.

For new readers—what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

I hope readers will identify with the middle-grade issues experienced by my characters: friendship, competition for friends, feeling left out or lonely, confusion by new feelings as teenage years close in, happiness, a lot of time outdoors, joy found in nature. I hope they find meaning in my books and have fun at the same time.

For a peek into this book, check out the trailer here:


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True Blue Forever by Joyce Sterling Scarbrough--A Review

Reading level: Young Adult

Paperback: 310 pages

ISBN-10: 1591299934
ISBN-13: 978-1591299936

To Purchase: http://tinyurl.com/qrocvc

**Also available on Kindle and in Large Print

Three fifth grade boys watch a red-haired girl on stage--and each vows he will one day make her his own. Move ahead a few years and these same four still find their lives entwined-with red-haired Jeana in the center. She's grown more beautiful--one boy has broken her heart and another has become her best friend. What about the third? He has seen his dream of making Jeana his own come true.

I won't ever read another book by Joyce Sterling Scarbough. Why? Let me tell you. First she goes and creates these characters that are so life-like they become your friends. If that weren't enough, she places them in situations that make you laugh and cry, get angry and feel sympathy-and makes you want to reach into the pages of the book and hug each and every one.

Her antagonist in this book was actually quite lovable-a troubled boy who made you want to break through his tough exterior. Jeana was a smart girl-very unusual for a romance novel. She has looks, brains and an inner strength that you can't miss. While the boy who won her heart was handsome, I was actually rooting for the best friend.

Joyce Scarbough weaves a tale that draws you in completely. You feel each and every emotion, find yourself cheering for the characters and crying when they hurt. In the end, you feel as though you have lost some very good friends when you turn the last page. You find yourself dreaming about them!

Nope, I won't ever read a book by Joyce Sterling Scarbrough again...

...unless I want to be entertained, feel like I've fallen in love with every character and want to find my emotions electrified to their fullest!

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Today's post is a long one, but I hope you stick with me and read it all. Memorial Day is one of our most special days. Many consider it the start of summer--and hot dogs, potato salad and the likes are a traditional part of the day. That isn't what it is all about, however. Let me share with you my first awareness of the depth of emotion that comes with Memorial Day.

I was maybe seven years old, certainly no older and possibly a bit younger. My grandmother had allowed me to spend a week with her, without my siblings, and I was experiencing one of the best weeks of my young life. A parade was scheduled and the excitement was intense. I stood beside her and thought that everyone must have come out for this parade--the whole town. I was used to what I thought of as "my parade" at home. It involved zoo animals, marching bands, little cars and motorcycles ridden by Shriner's. I was anticipating the same here.

Someone said "Here they come!" and I waited. They did come, men in uniform, all manner of uniform and all ages. Some groups had many men and others a few. The crowd was silent except for applause and my young mind did not understand--where was the "fun" stuff? Why were there tears in so man eyes?

Quiet like I'd never experienced descended upon the crowd. An old soldier was being pushed down the center of the street and then toward the gazebo in the center of the park. His uniform was unlike any of the others. My grandmother stood silently, tears rolling down her cheeks and I took her hand, but she did not seem to notice--her eyes focused on the man in the wheelchair.

The men who had already passed were lined up on either side of the path leading to the gazebo and as the wheelchair passed, each man perfectly still and saluted. The old man's wheelchair reached the gazebo and, as he was turned to face the crowd, he saluted the men who lined the path.

People around me cried, some smiling through the tears. I did not know at that time what I was witnessing, but knew it was special--an important event. Later, my grandmother explained. The soldiers were men who had fought in various wars. Veterans they were called. It was these men (their were no women at that point-at least in that parade) who fought to give me freedom. It was how I was able to go to school and church and walk down the street and play in the park.

She explained to me that there were many more who had not come home from fighting--they had died trying to fight for me. I asked about the old man and found out he was the only one still alive in this small town who had fought in WWI. He was the only one left to represent those who had fought and died in that war. Several of her brothers had fought in that war.

I didn't fully understand then, but have gained understanding since. Today, on a Memorial Day a couple decades later, many more men (and women) have given their lives to allow me the freedoms I have--given you the freedoms you have. Let us all take time from our hot dogs and potato salad to remember these souls and give them our thanks.

I have some things I want to share with you today. The first is a wonderful blog that features a must-read tribute. Not all soldiers died in a war--but many face another kind of war, that of homelessness. Please stop by
when you leave here and read the wonderful post at The Invisible America.

Many of those soldiers who do return alive in body continue to fight a war called PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). The war has never ended for these soldiers--it haunts their waking moments and follows them into sleep each night. A wonderful blog I often visit, can give you insight into these veterans. It is called PTSD, A Veteran's Perspective and is located here:

For a list of military memoirs, stop by:
and for a list of books divided by age, from the youngest children through adult, visit:

I would like to leave you with this video:

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Summertime excerpt and a special interview

To start the day, I'd like to share an excerpt form Sumertime, by Lynn McMonigal:

“What are you doing in my kitchen?”

I stopped in the middle of cracking open an egg, squeezed my eyes shut, and sighed. This was not an easy way to start the morning. Making breakfast for Nana was not a problem. It seemed like such a small thing I could do to repay her for the years she spent raising my sister Erin and me. Some days, and this looked like it would be one of those days, Nana’s dementia was worse than others. She got confused easily. Sometimes I wondered if it was the illness or just that Nana resented not being able to do things for herself. That Erin and I could even operate a stove was a mini miracle, given that Nana had always hated having anyone in her kitchen.

“I’m making your breakfast, Nana,” I said, finishing up with the egg and turning to face her with a smile. Smiling at her was not always easy. Since Papa had died three years before, Nana’s health had grown steadily worse. The days of thinking “No way can she be as old as her driver’s license says” were long gone. Instead of the vibrant, petite woman who loved everything about life, I looked at her and saw a little old lady, patiently (or impatiently, depending on the day) waiting for death. I watched as she shuffled into the kitchen from her bedroom. “How do ham and cheese omelets sound today?”

“Humph,” Nana said. “Can’t imagine it will be any good. Only my Laura can make a ham and cheese omelet good enough for me to eat.”

I smiled to myself as I went about preparing her meal. Even if it was a morning when she didn’t know who I was, it was nice to know that she knew my cooking from Erin’s. Not that it was difficult to tell the difference—I could make just about anything without the aid of a recipe; my sister had been known to burn water.

Nana made her way slowly to the living room. I heard the familiar creaking of her favorite recliner as she settled in front of the TV. The television came on, and Nana muttered something about how she hated commercial breaks. I stifled a laugh. She had always complained about the commercials during her favorite morning program, NBC’s Today Show. Nana thought the show would be better with fewer commercials and more shots of Matt Lauer.

I was just moving Nana’s omelet from the pan to a plate when I heard Matt’s voice coming from the TV. Nana muttered that she didn’t want to hear him, she wanted to see him. Not for the first time, I thought about writing a letter to the Today Show anchorman. “Dear Mr. Lauer,” I’d write, “Since Nana remembers more about you than she does about me, do you think you could begin paying her medical bills?”

Yeah, not likely he’d read that and not send the FBI looking for me.

The music floating in from the TV didn’t make much sense to me at first. Sure, I knew what it was, but I had no idea why, after they’d been out of the spotlight for a decade and a half, ZeroGravity music would be playing on morning TV. Balancing the omelet plate on top of Nana’s juice glass, I grabbed a tray table to set up in front of her seat. No way would she eat at the table until NBC’s morning program was over.

I’d gotten good at setting up her tray with one hand through the years. Nana was mumbling about those idiots, screaming for a bunch of washed up old men. I finally looked at the TV. My favorite band was back together and performing live. “My granddaughters used to go crazy over these guys when they were in school,” Nana told me, snatching her fork out of my hand and waving it at the TV. “Used to make my husband and I listen to them all the time and drooled over the pictures of them they had plastered their bedroom with. It was so nice when the girls moved on and got those talentless kids out of their heads. Used to compare them to the Beatles—can you imagine? As if any of them could hold a candle to Paul McCartney and John Lennon.”

On my way back to the kitchen, I glanced at the pictures of my daughter, Barrett that hung on the wall above the sofa. Nana had no idea how much one of those “talentless kids” still resided in the head—and heart—of one of her granddaughters.

For some reason, Nana decided to turn up the volume on the TV. No point in questioning it. She wasn’t hurting anything, and since Barrett was already off to school there was no one in the house who would be disturbed by the sound. I just shook my head, thinking of how Erin and I would have been punished for playing anything that loud, and went to work cleaning up the kitchen.

Then I heard his voice. There was no mistaking it, and I’d know it anywhere. The sound of his singing never failed to make my heart flip. Something was different this time. The words he sang were new, and caught me by such surprise that I dropped the coffee mug I was loading into the dishwasher.

Walking on the beach that summer day, her beautiful eyes stole my heart. I wonder if she ever thinks of me, and all the things that we could be?

My right hand fluttered to the locket around my neck, the one I had rarely taken off in the past ten years.

Was he singing about me? Did I ever think about him? Of course I did. I heard myself whisper, “Do you remember it, Joey? Do you think about me?”

Now, I would like to introduce you to a very special woman:

1. Can you tell us your name and the title of the book you live in?

My name is Laura Bell. I am 32 years old and I live in the book SUMMERTIME, written by the awesome, amazing Lynn McMonigal.

2. Describe to our readers what your role in the book is.

Well, I guess my main role is just to tell my story.

3. How did you convince your author to put you in this book? For example, did you visit a dream or make yourself known some other way?

Anyone who knows Lynn knows she is a HUGE New Kids on the Block fan. She is particularly crazy about Jordan, you know. I had a story to tell, and I knew if I wanted Lynn to tell it, I would have to get her attention through the New Kids. When she heard about their reunion and the song “Summertime”, she started to hear bits and pieces of my story. I got into her head that way. Before long, she figured the only way to get me out of her head was to get me into a book.

4. Is your author easy to work with or controlling?

She is pretty easy to work with. At least, I thought she was. The things she wanted me to do sounded good to me. And I love that she was willing to talk to me and really dig deep to get to the root of some problems.

5. Would you tell us about one of your favorite friends from this book?

Favorite friend? How about if I tell you a little about my daughter, Barrett? After all, she is the one I do most everything for. I have to say, her birth was a surprise. OK, so I had about six months to get used to the idea that she was coming. It’s just that I never planned on being a single mother. Then again, I suppose there are not many who do plan to raise a child alone. I wouldn’t trade it, though. Barrett is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Sure, there are things that I wish had been a little different. Like I wish she had not spent the first 9 years of her life without her father. But she is a great girl, and I am proud to be her Mom. I think I’ve done a pretty good job with her.

6. Do you plan on appearing in another book or are you happy to be where you are?

Oh, wow. I don’t know. My story has been told, but Crystal and Erin might want a turn telling about their lives. I’d be willing to make an appearance in their stories, though I am not sure I need another book written about me. I am not sure that I want my privacy invaded that way again.

7. What would you like our readers to know about you?

Oh, now you will just have to read SUMMERTIME to learn more about me!

8. Did you learn anything during your adventure in this book?

I think the best lesson that I got out of my adventures would be the truth of Romans 8:28—“All things work together for good for those that love God.” There are a lot of things in my past that I was somewhat embarrassed about. Even though they happened before I became a Christian, I thought they were mistakes that would haunt me forever. But God worked miracles through them. He used those experiences to bring me closer to Him and closer to my family.

9. Can you tell us what you think is the most exciting thing that happened to you in your book?

Oh, I can’t tell you that! It might give away a bit too much! But I will say my trip to New York City and a chance encounter on the crowded street were awfully exciting!

10. Is there anything in your story you wish you had not done? Why?

I can’t say that there is anything I am really sorry about. Sure, there are always things we wished had happened a little differently, but I am happy with how things turned out. If I had changed anything, the ending might have been different.

11. What was your main motivation?

My daughter, Barrett. She has been my motivation for most everything since they day I found out I was pregnant.

12. Introduce us to your main adversary?

That would be me! My attitude, my stubbornness.

13. Is there anything you would like to have done but your author stopped you?

Nothing I can think of. Lynn’s pretty easy to work with. She knew where I was going to end up and we did a very good job working together to get there.

14. Here’s your chance to speak your mind. What do you want to tell everybody?

I love my daughter. She is everything in my life.

15. Please tell everyone where they can find out more about your story and where they can purchase it.

You can find out more on Lynn’s website—www.lynnmcmo.webs.com. She also talks a lot about the story on her Facebook fan page, too. The book, SUMMERTIME, is available on her website and at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Summertime-Lynn-McMonigal/dp/1442102535/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1241986537&sr=8-3

Please come back on May 29th for an interview with Lynn and then on the 30th for my review of Summertime!

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Meet Lynn McMonigal

Lynn McMonigal is a Christian writer on the move. I am honored to have her visiting with us for two days and then again for another two near the end of the month. When asked to tell us a little about herself, Lynn says:

"I cannot remember a time when I was not telling stories. As a little girl, I used to gather all of my dolls and stuffed animals together for story time. At night, I annoyed my sisters by whispering my stories until I fell asleep. In fifth grade, I met Mrs. Sue Niedzielski. Mrs. N. fed my creativity, encouraging me to write down my stories. Her excitement and support fueled my desire to be a writer. Twenty years later, she is still one of my biggest fans—outside of my family, of course!

In high school, I began entering writing contests. It felt good to see my work in print and to know that others were reading it. As much as I wanted writing to be a career, for years it was a hobby. Between working, being a wife, and being a mother, I didn’t have the time to focus on my writing. If God wanted me to write, He was going to have to show me how and when to do it. Too many other responsibilities crowded my life for my writing to be a priority. Slowly, my dream faded into the background as I struggled through “real life”.

Things changed after the birth of my third child in 2007. It was like a switch was flipped inside me. I felt I had to write. God gave me the stories and showed me how and when to work on them. By the end of the year, I had completed my first novel and sold my first short story.

My published books are Forsaking the Call (December 2008) and Summertime (May 2009). The Ladies of Faith, the first in a three-part series, is scheduled for publication later this year.

I live in Jackson, MI with my husband and our three sons. My family is very active in our church, Cascades Wesleyan. When I am not writing, I like reading to my boys and scrapbooking.

God has been very good to me and to my family. I praise Him daily for his many blessings. My favorite scripture passage is Joshua 1:7-9

"Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

Lynn's latest book is Summertime . Set in Grass Lake, MI and New York City, Summertime is a tale of romance, heartache, and healing.

Entertainment journalist Laura Bell has been a single mother for her daughter’s entire life. She has not even seen the girl’s father, Joey Matthews, a member of a once hugely popular boy band, in almost 10 years When his band, ZeroGravity, reunites, Laura is asked to cover the event. She is suddenly forced to confront her past. Can she build a life for her daughter, one that includes Joey, without compromising her new-found Christian faith? Or was there love meant only to last in SUMMERTIME?

Tomorrow, Lynn will be sharing an excerpt from Summertime--and a very special interview with Laura Bell, the lead character--with us. Please make a point of coming back and taking a look!

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Ghost for Rent by Penny Lockwood--A Review

ISBN: 0-7599-0340-9 trade paperback

ISBN: 0-7599-0337-9 eBook

Eleven-year-old Wendy feels like her world is falling apart when her parents discuss getting a divorce. She and her twelve-year-old brother pack up and move into a house that is reported to be haunted. Wendy's mother doesn't believe in such things, but Wendy knows she has seen the ghost of a young girl who used to live here. Her brother teases her until he sees the ghost of a piano-playing boy. The two set out, with the help of a young neighbor girl, to solve the mystery of why these two ghosts are haunting the house. What they find is more than any of the three could have imagined.

Told with a quick-paced style, Penny Lockwood brings to life a cast of characters that will keep readers in the 9-12 year-old age group interested and wondering what happens next. Leaving many of the details to the reader's imagination, Ghost for Rent is plot-driven. This allows more opportunity for young readers to identify with the characters.

I can see a future for Penny Lockwood in this genre. Here easy, flowing language and fast-paced plot will help draw young readers in and have them enjoying the read so much they want more. I give Ghost For Rent five colors on the Rainbow Scale of Reading Excellence.

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A Talk With Penny Lockwood


ISBN: 0-7599-0340-9 trade paperback
ISBN: 0-7599-0337-9 eBook

By: Penny Lockwood

Tomorrow, I will be sharing my review of this young adult paranormal book by Penny Lockwood. Today, however, I would like to share with you an interview I conducted with Penny. Please feel free to leave a comment for her--I know she'll enjoy hearing your thoughts!

Penny Lockwood (Ehrenkranz) the person:

1. What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

I tend to think of myself as attentive, nurturing, and creative.

2. How do you think others would describe you?

It’s hard to say, but I think others would describe me as usually calm, a good listener, and a caring person.

3. Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

Outside of writing, I am most passionate about my immediate family which consists of my husband, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, daughter and son-in-law, and our furry children – five cats and three dogs. I also spend most of my free time, when it’s at least relatively nice outside, in my garden. Of course, I am an avid reader and have been since I first learned how to read. Finally, I enjoy crocheting items to give as gifts to my family and friends. This is what I usually do to wind down at the end of the day, before my hot tub soak.

4. Do you have any pets? If so, introduce us to them.

Currently, we have three dogs. Lucy and Ricky are four month old Lhasa Poos, and Gaston is a nine year old male Newfoundland mix. We have five cats, Bebe (a Siamese female), Tyra (a long-haired black female), Belle (a short haired gray and white female tuxedo), Misty (a gray tortoise shell female) and Loki (a black and white male tuxedo). We’ve always had at least two dogs (usually big) and five is the least amount of cats we’ve had. We’ve also had goats, rabbits, birds (cockatiels, finches, budgies, and doves), a turtle, and fish.

5. What is your most precious memory?

Without a doubt giving birth to my children, followed by all their little firsts as they were growing from infancy to starting school.

6. If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

I always thought I would enjoy being a teacher, probably an English teacher, however, I spent most, if not all my working life as an office manager and executive secretary. Fortunately this type of work allowed me to spend time writing letters, procedure manuals, and newsletters.

Penny, the writer:

7. Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a “real” writer?

I wrote a grant for a local non-profit and was paid a nice sum of money for my efforts. I thought if I can get paid for writing grants, why shouldn’t I get paid for writing stories and articles? I had first tried to get my work published when I was in my early twenties. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing and didn’t know everyone gets rejected, even the successful authors like Stephen King and J. K. Rowling. When I received my first rejections, I felt like a failure and gave up. The success with writing the grant, gave me the courage to try again. By this time, I did know that rejection is all part of the writing game. Rejections help writers to write better. When my first article, about grant writing, was accepted by Byline magazine, I felt like I had finally become a “real” writer.

8. What is going on with your writing these days?

I try to stay versatile. I write non-fiction and fiction and write for both adults and children. Right now, I’m working on a re-write for a picture book, playing around with a YA novel centering on witchcraft, and working on a follow-up to my MG novel Ghost for Rent. I just recently sold a series of writing related articles to Writing World, a couple of children’s stories to on-line magazines, and two other writing tip articles to two other writing magazines.

9. What are your future goals for your writing?

I will continue to dabble in both non-fiction and fiction, writing whatever feels right at the moment. I feel like I don’t get bored by allowing myself to write in multiple genres and different types of non-fiction.

10. Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

I have no typical writing days as I’m pretty flexible. I retired from my day job a little over a year ago. Before I retired, I was more focused because I had a limited amount of writing time. Then, after dinner, I always went to the computer to work on my current writing project. Now, I don’t feel guilty when the sun is shining and the garden calls. I try to combine networking, marketing, and writing all on the same day, devoting whatever time seems appropriate for what is currently in progress.

11. Why do you write?

I enjoy writing and always have. I’ve been writing since I was in grade school. I still have some of those hand-bound, illustrated stories on my shelf. I love stories, both to read them and to write them. I’ll be reading an article in a magazine or the newspaper, and a story will pop into my head. Sometimes, someone will tell me about something that happened to them and that makes it into a story. A lot of my non-fiction articles are based on experiences I’ve had volunteering for different non-profit organizations. When I write for children, I hope I’m giving them a reason to enjoy reading. When I write for adults, I hope to either entertain them or give them practical advice that they can use in their own lives.

12. What writer most inspires you? Why?

Right now, I’d have to say J. K. Rowling, simply because she started with so little, yet was able to accomplish so much.

13. How do you define your writing?

I write mostly adult short stories and those tend to be either fantasy or science fiction with a touch of romance. My children’s novel is paranormal mystery and my illustrated YA chapbook is fantasy. When I write non-fiction, I generally share writing tips, parenting tips, and teen self-help tips. I’ve recently started writing more non-fiction for younger children and that has been about making them more aware of things around them such as bats and the environment.

14. In one sentence—what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

This is a tough one. I guess I would just be happy if any of my work is still in print in 50 years! What I would want others to say, I have no idea.

Penny, the details:

15. Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?

I don’t have a website yet. My blog is http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com/

16. Is there a place where readers can reach you?

If people have questions, they can email me at pennylane97053@yahoo.com. I try to answer all my correspondence.

17. Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

In print right now, I have Ghost for Rent and an illustrated chapbook, Dragon Sight. Most of my work has been short stories or articles for magazines.

Ghost for Rent is in trade paperback teamed with another MG novel, The Newfie Ghost and available at

Ghost for Rent as a download is available from a number of sites:




Kindle edition at Amazon

Dragon Site is available as an illustrated chapbook at

18. For new readers—what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

Ghost for Rent is a middle grade paranormal mystery. My main character, Wendy, is eleven years old. When her parents separate, she, her older brother, and mother have to move to the country to save money. After moving in, the family finds there country house is haunted. Wendy soon realizes the ghosts aren’t malicious; they’re trying to tell her something. With the help of a new friend and her brother, Wendy follows the clues and researches the history of her home to find out what happened. The ghosts aren’t mean, but Wendy does get frightened. After all, who wouldn’t be frightened by a ghost?

Dragon Sight, is a young adult fantasy with a touch of romance. A modern day girl is magically transported to a world with elves, dragons, and evil wizards. In order to fulfill an ancient prophecy, she has to battle the evil wizard with the help of a handsome elf and a determined dragon


Please come back tomorrow to learn more about Ghost for Rent!

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When Marketing Comes from the Heart, Everybody Wins


The other day, I introduced you to Judith and Jim, and their newest book, The Heart of Marketing. Today, I'd like to share the official press release for The Heart of Marketing--it gives you some additional background information :-)

May 14, 2009 - LAS VEGAS, NV - Coming into Internet marketing just four years ago, spiritually-oriented husband and wife psychotherapy team and best-selling authors Judith Sherven, PhD and Jim Sniechowski, PhD (better known as Judith & Jim) felt like aliens in the world of hard sell that surrounded them in the online money making community.

Determined to succeed at their new career online they set about to examine why they felt so displaced and why so many other emerging Internet marketers who were also spiritually-oriented service providers felt much the same.

“Psychotherapy is essentially an emotional process,” Sherven said. “Understanding and digging deep into unconscious beliefs that underly difficult emotions in order to give the psychotherapy client a clear vision of why they react the way they do is the core skill of every really good therapist.”

“But when we got involved in marketing and selling, “Sniechowski said, “which we did for the first time in our professional lives just a few years ago, we were amazed at how head-driven it is—head-driven and impersonal no matter how many marketing “gurus” claim that people buy emotionally.”

That led Sherven and Sniechowski, better know as Judith & Jim, to write their most recent book—“The Heart of Marketing: Love Your Customers and They Will Love You Back”—answers to questions they received from a survey about what they’ve come to call Soft Sell Marketing---an alternative to the hard sell aproach.

“The human connection has been lost,”Sherven said. “It’s all and only about the money. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against money. But when the sole purpose of making money is to make more money, then there’s no end to it, and no possible real satisfaction.”

“The human connection and the human-based purpose for marketing and selling has to be resurrected,” Sniechowski said. “Without a conscience, which results from a higher purpose, business ends up hurting its clients, it investors, and itself. Wall Street can’t be more self-evident proof of that.”

In their book, The Heart of Marketing, Sherven and Sniechowski lay out their view that marketing with consciousness and conscience is not only necessary for the sustainability of societies and the planet but it’s the best approach to creating and sustaining a long term business. It is the path into the future.

“Soft sell marketing is not merely a marketing strategy,” Sniechowski asserts. “It’s a marketing evolution.”

For more information about The Heart of Marketing go to:


Judith Sherven and Jim Sniechowski’s photo is available at http://www.judithandjim.com/images/JudithandJim.jpg

Judith & Jim are available for interviews and can provide articles on selling as spiritual service and getting started making online money.

Mini-Bio:Online marketers and the originators of Soft Sell Copywriting, husband-and-wife psychology team Drs. Judith Sherven and Jim Sniechowski are also the best selling authors of five books. As guest experts, they've been on over 1500 television and radio shows including Oprah, 48 Hours, CNN, Canada AM, The Daily Buzz, and The View.

To listen to an interview with Judith and Jim, go here and scroll down to March 11:


To purchase your copy of The Heart of Marketing, please visit:


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Talking With Katie Hines

Katie Hines the person:

1. What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

That’s a tough one. Just three, huh? Okay. Faith, commited, humorous

2. How do you think others would describe you?

I think a lot of people would say that I’m outgoing (when I’m really an introvert) because I have to be outgoing. So, I often live outside my comfort zone. I’m also very organized, although my organizational skills are being put to the test what with the different writing-related activities I’m involved in. Hopefully, people would see me as someone who cares about others. I also think I may be described as blunt, which is actually a kind word for someone who too often puts their foot in their mouth! Finally, I hope that people see me as a person who often sees humor in life.

3. Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

My family.

4. Do you have any pets? If so, introduce us to them.

No pets. We’ve tried, in the past, to have cats, but both my husband and youngest daughter are allergic to the pet dander, so I’ve kinda given up.

5. What is your most precious memory?

Does it have to be one? The most recent is being present for the birth of my first grandson. Earlier, it is along the same line: the birth of both my children.

6. What is your most embarrassing memory?

My husband and I were dating at the time, and we went to a local Mexican restaurant. He is very much the gentleman, and I wasn’t used to it. We were led to a table, and I pulled my chair out and prepared to sit down. Unknown to me, my then boyfriend pulled the chair out further as a gentlemanly gesture, and I saw down, thinking I was going to encounter the chair. Instead I fell on the floor!

7. If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

I would probably have gone back to school and majored in business, with the goal of getting an MBA.

8. In two paragraphs or less, write your obituary.

Katie Hines passed away on thus-and-such-date, in her sleep, leaving behind a husband, Bill, two daughters Rachel and Ruth, and grandson Miles, all living in Seneca. Hines will be best noted for her writing as a children’s author, most notably her young adult novel, “My Name is Bib,” which won the Newbery Award. Also, she will be known for her philanthropic endeavors.

Katie Hines The Writer:

9. Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a “real” writer.

There were actually a couple of moments. The first was when I submitted a humor article to our local newspaper, and it was published, complete with my byline, in their Lifestyle section. The article was right next to my new best friend’s article, Billy Graham. The second time was when I was at a wedding, and my friend introduced me to her friends as a writer.

10. What is going on with your writing these days?

I’m really a bit busier than I want to be. Currently, I have the manuscript in hand for my first book, Guardian, which is due to be released in June/July, needing edits. I have a young adult book, “My Name is Bib” that I occasionally visit, that needs some fresh inspiration.

I also have a blog that I post on three times a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). On Monday’s, I blog; on Wednesday’s, I have a writer guest; and on Fridays, guest bloggers about writing-related subjects. This involves a lot of organization to keep everything and everyone straight!

I am also involved in setting up marketing and promotional things for the release of my book, Guardian, which means I’ve got all kinds of files on my desk. That takes up more time than I would like, but it is necessary.

Let’s see, what else? I am going to begin to write articles for other people’s sites, and I have several opportunities for that. Also on tap is a website.

11. What are your future goals for your writing?

I have a new middle grade novel that I’m working on, as well as “My Name is Bib.” I’ve also got a few chapter books outlined, but they need writing.

12. Can you describe a typical writing day for you.

Sure. When I get up in the morning, I make me three cups of joe. A bit excessive, I admit, but that’s what I need to get going. Then I go and check my emails, making appropriate responses, and printing out emails that I need to keep track of.

After that, I make sure my most recent blog entry shows up right, and I follow other blogs. Sometime during the course of the day, I visit Twitter and Facebook 2-3 times per day.

Because I can get overwhelmed with my obligations, I take a break about 1:00 and watch Judge Judy! Just what the doctor ordered. Then I check emails again. Finally, I get to my manuscript, and depending on which one I’m working on at the time, do some plotting and writing, or, for my book under contract, editing.

After my husband gets home for the evening, we do family related things. Finally, about 9:00, I get back to my computer, where I work on my book for another couple of hours.

13. Why do you write?

I know that a lot of people say they “have” to write. I don’t feel that way, per se. I don’t have some deep-seated need to create. At least, I don’t think I do. I love it when I do create, and it fills holes in my life, and gives me purpose in my life. For too many years, I stayed home with my kids, not knowing what I could be involved in beyond them. When I finally got to writing, in my late 40s, I realized it was what I was looking for as a focus for my life.

14. What writer most inspires you? Why?

Terry Brooks, a fantasy writer. He has written a lot of fantasy books about a mythical place. The sheer creativity of his writing amazes me. Although he uses the hero’s journey as a central theme for his books, he always manages new and interesting events to happen.

15. How do you define your writing?

I’m not sure what you mean by this question.

16. In one sentence, what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

That my writing entertained, and also that certain novels made people think about life in a new way.

Katie Hines the details:

17. Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?



Twitter: http://twitter.com/katiehines

Book Trailer: Blazing Trailers:

18. Is there a place where readers can reach you?


19. Can you list all your book title so people can look for them?


20. For new readers, what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

Hopefully, a doggone good yarn, both with the chapter books, and in utilizing the fantasy genre as far as “Guardian” is concerned. Also, for the more literary, “My Name is Bib,” I hope that people’s thinking is challenged and surprised by the ending.

In conclusion:

21. Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers. What would you like them to know about you and your writing?

As a writer, I would like other writers know that I find inspiration from many of them and their accomplishments, and knowing others have walked the same road that I’m currently on. They give me hope and a view to the future.

I’d also like to be known as someone who knows how to write humor, but to also realize that humor is subjective, and for me, anyhow, I have to be in a certain frame of mind to write it.

Further, I’d like people to know that I appreciate the journey that we take when we create and write, and that the ending of that journey is often times not seen at the beginning. Sometimes so, yes, but not always.

Throughout this journey of mine, I have had the great fortune to meet some fantastic people, people who share similar goals and visions for their writing. This has generated for me a more satisfied life as a whole, and a feeling of camaraderie and sense of belonging that I don’t have in my non-writing life. I treasure that.

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Katie Hines and Guardian

Today and tomorrow, I have the pleasure of sharing my blog with author, Katie Hines. Her book, Guardian sounds fascinating and I can't wait for a chance to review it. Take a look at this great cover:
Read about Katie at http://katiehines.blogspot.com/ -

Cover Artist Diana Navarro – Katie says about her book: "This is a story about a real-to-life treasure story. It is about a boy who struggles with guilt and a personal destiny, and it is a story about family, love and making commitments beyond yourself. The cast is replete with four teens, a professorial grandfather, a wacky grandmother and a mysterious knight, whose very life is dedicated to ensuring the safety of not just one, but two treasures." "Imagine you have made a secret promise that can lead you to the discovery of an incredible treasure and an ancient power. But in order to fulfill that promise, you must defeat an age-old sect that is determined to claim the treasure and power themselves."

Tomorrow, I have the pleasure of sharing with you an interview I had with Katie. For today, I'll leave you with this video:

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