Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blog Tour with MaAnna Stephenson - Continued

Again, I would like to Welcome MaAnna Stephenson to my blog. As you may know by now, MaAnna is the author of the Sage-Age - Blending Science With Intuitive Wisdom.

I guess I was a little early with my first post for MaAnna, and probably am a little earlier than I should be with my second post for MaAnna, but I hate being late. So today, I am posting an except from Chapter 5 of McAnna's Book THE SAGE AGE, and one from Chapter 10:

Intuitive Excerpt – Chapter 5 – Metaphysics – the Study of the Intangible World - Metaphysics...and Science Excerpt – Chapter 10 – Cosmology – The Study of the Infinitely Large

In recent years, the term “metaphysics” has become an umbrella for a multitude of investigations into nature and being-ness that lie outside the domain of the physical sciences, which concern themselves only with the tangible world, or that which can be directly observed or measured.

Historically in the West, the term metaphysics was first applied to a compilation of philosophical writings by Aristotle. Several centuries after his death, scholars at the library in Alexandria compiled and categorized some of Aristotle’s work into fourteen books, which were grouped by subject regardless of the order in which they may have actually been written. This collection was given the title After the Physics or meta-physics. It is historically unclear as to whether the scholars meant this to mean miscellaneous writings that did not fall into the same subject matter as Aristotle’s other treatises on the nature of the physical world or whether these writings referred to the nature of being and reality beyond the tangible world. Either way, this is believed to be the origin of the term “metaphysics.”

Aristotle himself called these writings “first philosophy.” This refers to the first cause of being. His comments on metaphysics concern an understanding of the nature of being for being’s sake, or simply because something exists regardless of cause. Aristotle’s view, much like ancient Eastern philosophy, states that wisdom requires knowledge gained beyond reason and sense experience. In other words, Aristotle expressed two sources of knowledge, both rational and intuitive. In these works he also discussed unity and dualism.

The study of metaphysics in ancient Greece predates the writings of Aristotle. It was considered the “Queen of Sciences” because its philosophy was at the core of all other sciences. But, it was generally agreed that the study of metaphysics should come after some knowledge of the physical world had been gained. Even though Aristotle called it “first philosophy,” he considered it to be a much more wholistic understanding of being. In other words, metaphysics encompassed the bigger picture which could only be considered after some understanding of many smaller concepts had been acquired.

Today, the term metaphysics has been applied to several disciplines including the study of the intangible world as the source of being of the physical world. This study also includes various philosophies concerning the fundamental basis of reality, being and knowing. As the science of quantum physics delves deeper into the nature of matter and energy, it seems to be blurring the line between the tangible and intangible world. While it seems to give a peek into the underpinnings of reality, physicists like David Bohm remind us that the real source of physical reality is ultimately non-measurable in physical terms.

Metaphysics, then, is the abstract philosophy which is best suited to deal with that which is just beyond the physical. But, because it is abstract, it is not completely bound by the constraints and limitations of reason and logic. And, there’s the rub that grates like sandpaper between the study of physics and the study of metaphysics. It is like the thinker thinking on thinking itself.

Plato described Knowledge as a subset of Truth and Belief, which was an idea still close to the common roots of philosophy shared with ancient Eastern traditions. Kant described knowledge as coming from two sources, the mental and the observed, which is the definition still used by modern Western societies. This presumption concerning knowledge led to a philosophical crisis in the early days of quantum physics. Since so many other modern sciences are now based on quantum principles, the same philosophical dilemmas hound them as well. In Philosophy of Science: an Introduction, author Paul Durbin states:

If we understand by metaphysics the belief in principles that are non-analytic, yet derive their validity from reason alone, modern science is anti-metaphysical. It has refused to recognize the authority of the philosopher who claims to know the truth from intuition, from insight into a world of ideas or into the nature of reason or the principles of being, or from whatever super-empirical source.1

We must accept that today’s scientists are actually metaphysicians whose knowledge is derived from their own unique subset of truth and belief as well as learning and experience, and include those who refuse to acknowledge the validity of metaphysical philosophy.

According to Plato, our beliefs impact what we can know as much as ultimate truth does. This radically impacts our knowledge concerning the nature of reality. In the next few sections we’ll explore the role of perception, conception and projection in how we come to understand reality. We’ll also explore modern ideas concerning the role of consciousness and how we view information.

Dualism - One Understanding Itself

The concept of dualism has been widely popularized in the symbolism of Yin Yang. It is a visually striking contrast of opposites that can be conceptualized without further explanation. But, as you begin asking questions about it, the depth and mystery encapsulated in the form becomes evident. Even the drawing of it seems to be a simple set of two dynamics. But, as it is with all symbolic concepts, the image is really a multi-dimensional system displayed in its most elementary form.
One of the basic concepts expressed by Yin Yang is that Light cannot be known without the presence of Dark. One cannot know itself without contrast. One cannot see itself from inside itself. One cannot grow without somehow becoming “different.” The urge to experience and learn, to expand, is the seed of dualism.

Science Excerpt – Chapter 10 – Cosmology – The Study of the Infinitely Large

Cosmology is the study of the physical universe and all that is in it. Branches of this field include astronomy, astrophysics, relativity, black holes, singularities, dark matter and dark energy. In this section, we will briefly explore these topics along with a few others. First, though, we’ll want to discuss what space is. At this time, the composition of the universe is considered to be made up of the following:

- Observable matter 4%
- Cold dark matter 22%
- Dark energy 74%

Observable matter consists of visible things like planets, stars, nebulae and galaxies. But some massive objects, like galaxy clusters, were found to be moving in such a way as to infer that there was some sort of invisible gravitational source influencing them. In 1933, astronomer Fritz Zwicky, a contemporary of Einstein, was the first to suggest the idea of unseen matter to account for the unusual movement of the galaxy cluster he was reviewing at the time. He called it the “virial theorem.” It was a mathematical tool which related the kinetic energy of a system to its potential energy. At first, no one took Zwicky seriously, but about four decades later, other astronomers noticed the same sort of movement among stars within galaxies and by using Zwicky’s theorem, they were able to verify that there was more matter in the system than could be accounted for by the luminosity it projected. In other words, this confirmed Zwicky was correct. Visible matter was not enough to account for the unusual movement of several stars under study. Some type of invisible matter had to be present.

In the early 1970s, two Princeton University professors, James Peeble and Jeremiah Ostriker, were using computers to model the universe. They built virtual galaxies and set them spinning to see what shape they would take over a few million years. But they found that every one eventually fell apart.
They concluded that the amount of gravity wrought by all of the visible mass in the universe was just not enough to hold a galaxy together. To account for the necessary gravity, Peeble and Ostriker came up with the idea of dark matter and that it had 10 times more mass than visible matter. Their ideas were not well received by the scientific community.

In the 1970s, Dr. Vera Rubin of the Carnegie Institute was studying galaxies as well. She was particularly interested in the rotational curves of the outer edges. She found that the stars near the edge were moving as fast as the ones near the center. This violated Newton’s gravitational laws which stated that the further an object was from the gravitational center, the slower its velocity should be. In our own solar system, Mercury’s rotation is very fast due to its nearness to the gravitational center of the system, which is our sun, while Pluto’s rotation rate is very slow. Her surprise findings of the outer edges of galaxies moving just as fast as the center helped to popularize and substantiate the idea of dark matter. This notion was further supported by Professor Riccardo Giovanelli of Cornell University. He used a radio telescope to detect hydrogen gas at the furthermost reaches of the universe where there were no stars and found that it too was orbiting just as fast as the inner stars. This finding also substantiated the idea that dark matter was present.

Since the very existence of dark matter is hypothetical at this point, no one knows exactly what comprises it. The suggestions range anywhere from newly discovered sub-atomic particles all the way up to collapsed, or otherwise invisible, planets and dwarf stars. One of the more interesting aspects of dark matter is that it has more mass than visible matter. In other words, something that we can’t see or directly detect weighs more than what we can see and detect.

The reason that it is called dark matter is because it does not emit or reflect light. Dark matter is thought to be invisible stuff that is in space, just like a planet or a sun is visible stuff in space. But it still only accounted for another 22% of the gravity necessary to hold a galaxy together and explain its outer rotation rate, so the idea of dark energy was conjured. Dark energy is thought to uniformly fill all of what is considered empty space, or space where there is an absence of matter whether it is dark or visible. It is not very dense and currently is impossible to detect in a laboratory environment. It is considered to be the fundamental energy of space and since we know that energy and mass are related through the equation E=mc2, dark matter also exerts a gravitational effect, just as all matter in the universe does. The gravitational effect of dark energy is very weak when compared to matter. This is how visible matter, dark matter and dark energy are related and constitute the makeup of the universe.

Dark energy also exerts negative pressure, which is thought to account for why the universe is expanding so rapidly. This may seem counter-intuitive because we generally think of positive pressure as providing the necessary energy to push something away. For example, take a new balloon and draw dots on it. Now, blow up the balloon. The air pushes against the balloon’s inside surface walls, expanding the fabric of the balloon ever outward. This is positive pressure. As the balloon’s surface expands, so do the dots. They expand in every direction away from each other.

Until recently, this was the same sort of model cosmologists used to show how the universe spread out after the Big Bang. Everything expanded in every direction away from everything else. It was thought that eventually, all of the mass in the universe, which exerts gravity on everything else, would eventually overcome the initial push of the Big Bang, and the universe would begin to collapse back in on itself. This is very much akin to what happens when you throw a rock up in the air. No matter how hard you throw it, the initially energy will be overcome by gravity and the rock will fall back to the ground. You would have to continually push on the rock to get it past the gravitational influence of the Earth. Since the Big Bang was a one-time event, there was no additional energy thought to be pushing on the matter in the universe, so it seemed natural to assume that it would eventually all come back together.

I am sure my readers have a lot of question to ask MaAnna, and she is willing to answer any and all that you have. Just ask your questions and MaAnna will be more than happy to respond.

To learn more about MaAnna Stephenson and The Sage Age, visit and you can subscribe to The Sage Age Newsletter while you are there.

For more tour information, visit

You can order your own copy of The Sage Age at

Monday, October 20, 2008

Blog Tour with MaAnna Stephenson

Today I'd like to Welcome MaAnna Stephenson to my blog. MaAnna is the author of the Sage Age - Blending Science With Intiutive Wisdom.

While currently known as a visionary thinker and new author, MaAnna Stephenson is a true Renaissance woman. From an early age she was exposed to a myriad of influences including her father's engineering and artistic endeavors, her maternal line of intuitives, and an intrinsic fascination with sound and music. Born in the small town of Humboldt, Tennessee, MaAnna began her journey as the youngest of three children with a huge age gap between her siblings and herself. Constant inclusion in the world of adults led to an early maturity and perhaps a different view of the world than most children experience – especially with the special gifts of the adults in her family. None of it was lost on young MaAnna. "My mother was also an intuitive, as were all the women in my immediate family. Having psychic senses was quite normal and the information derived from these methods was respected and adhered to. I became accustomed quite early to the fact that there were things - forces and powers - which could not be measured with a ruler but were just as real as anything I could see or touch."

An additional gift was bestowed by her paternal grandmother – the gift of music. Time spent at the organ with her grandmother, who was well known for her passion for music, ignited a flame in MaAnna as well. By the time she was a teenager, she was already a multi-instrumentalist and composer, exploring sounds and techniques with special interest in how they affected listeners spiritually and emotionally. Her advanced education continued this line of exploration as she attended Jackson State Community College and Lambuth University concurrently, double majoring in Music and Acoustics with a special apprenticeship at a local recording studio as a sound engineer.

MaAnna transferred to Jackson Area Vocational and Technical School, acquiring a degree in Electronics. This led to a prestigious job offer and subsequent move to Dallas, TX in 1984. She continued her work in sound engineering and music with several international hits to her credit.

After a decade in the big city, she accepted a field assignment in Nashville, TN where she has resided since. It was in Nashville that she began her writing career with a short story triggering what she calls "soul memories." In response to her experience, MaAnna began her self-education in the fields of technical, scientific and New Age thought, exploring ancient mysticism and the rational sciences with equal emphasis. After a five-year preparation period, she was initiated as a shamanka. Her training for this initiation further contributed to her education process as she continued her studies in reconciling the rational sciences and the intuitive arts. This process has culminated in the writing of the newly released "The Sage Age – Blending Science with Intuitive W

The Sage Age – Book Synopsis –

Combining the knowledge of physics with intuitive practice is no small task. The two disciplines often use the same words to mean entirely different things. Written for the seeker with more than a casual interest, The Sage Age – Blending Science with Intuitive Wisdom demystifies complex ideas with intelligent analogies and examples designed to appeal to both the scientist and the natural intuitive.

Four years in the writing, this expansive new work combines knowledge from the physical sciences and the intuitive arts to present a visionary perspective that harmonizes these diverse disciplines into one body of knowledge.

With a well-researched approach to its subjects, The Sage Age covers a broad range of material from ancient to modern thought, frontier science and current intuitive practice to deliver a depth and breadth of understanding that culminates in a holistic perspective for our time.

Living up to its mantra of "new models for new thought," The Sage Age is certain to be a catalyst for dialogue and is destined to be a major work in its field.

To learn more about MaAnna Stephenson and The Sage Age, visit and you can subscribe to The Sage Age Newsletter while you are there.

For more tour information, visit

Monday, October 13, 2008

My New Camera

Hi, Everyone!

I just purchased a new Canon digital camera. I have been thinking about a digital camera for a long time, but never got the urge to really pick one up and buy it. But last week, while shopping in Sears , I happened into the electronic section and lo and behold there were a line of digital cameras just waiting for me to check them out. My first pick was a Canon that was 7 mega-pixels, with a 4x optical lens, and thought that was a pretty good one to start with. Unfortunately, after reading the basic book and going on to the "advanced" manual, I still couldn't open the battery door to input the batteries and the memory card. Try as I might, it just wouldn't open. My daughter who has a digital camera and uses it quite often tried as well. One half hour later we both decided there was something wrong with the camera, so I decided to return it to Sears. My daughter suggested that as long as was returning that one, I really should pick up a camera that was 10 mega-pixels with a 4x optimal lens, which I did. (There was a reason behind her request. She wants to use it when she shoots her jewelry collection to post on her website.) When asked why was I returning the first camera, I told the salesman that the camera was defective, the door to the battery chamber wouldn't open. He didn't seem to know anymore about the camera than I did. Moments later, the salesman I bought the original camera from came by and took over the exchange. After I purchased the newer Power Shot Canon Camera, he asked me why I was returning the first one, I repeated my problem. He picked up the camera and with a flick of his finger had the door open. I asked him how he did it, and he showed me...It slid open it didn't work the way the book said it would. We laughed about it, but I still kept the newer camera.

Since purchasing my new Power Shot, I have taken over 150 pictures of the various trees, bushes, rocks and animals around my area. It's keep snapping pictures as if there is no tomorrow. My husband and I decided to take a ride down to the Ocean, and even though I couldn't see anything that I was shooting at (the Sun made looking through the LCD monitor impossible no matter which way I turned), the pictures came out better than I expected. I've discovered that I am really enjoying this camera, and as long as the batteries hold out, I will be shooting at everything and anything that passes my way.

Yes, I know after 300 or so pictures, the batteries have to be changed, but that's okay. What I love about this is that you can download the pictures into your computer and delete the memory card and reuse it over and over again. Isn't technology wonderful!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New Print Release

Hi, Everyone!

I know I haven't been blogging lately, its not because I don't want to, but man and nature has a way of interrupting what one would think was a serene lifestyle until something unexpectedly happens. It all began on April 11, 2008 when I went into a small grocery store to buy lottery tickets...then all hell broke loose. All I can say about that is that when the dust settled, I was unconscious, laying on the floor of the store and on my way to the hospital. Since then I've been in a lot of pain, spending weeks on end at the doctors' offices. Things are easing up a bit so I can take this opportunity to try blogging again. Maybe not an everyday affair, but once or twice a week.

Since all this happened, my publisher has released the 2nd book in the Sarah's Landing Series in print. The Telepaths of Theon is now in print, as well as an ebook and a kindle book on The ISBN # of The Telepaths is 1-59431-598-1.

An excerpt from Chapter One of The Telepaths:
Sarah's Landing II - The Telepaths
Chapter 1 : Excerpt

Sarah's Landing, Earth

The weeks were rushing by and Alexandra was getting bigger and bigger. The townspeople under the leadership of the owl-faced Postmistress, Emily Pritchard, were now looking at her with a mixture of contemptuousness and fear.
"What do you suppose her baby will look like?" 'Old-Lady' Pritchard asked the tall, burly, full bearded General Store Proprietor, Ebenezer Grayson.
"I hear her talking to 'it' when she doesn't think anyone can hear her," a woman customer volunteered.
"And," another added, "she acts as if 'it' answers her."
"Well, I don't believe the stories we've heard," 'Old-Lady' Pritchard interrupted. "Lt. Jacobsen is the father of her child and she is trying to make it out to be the poor soul who disappeared. I don't believe that one for an instant!"
"Well what is she staying here for?" Ebenezer Grayson thundered. "Why doesn't she go back with her Lieutenant when he leaves?"
"I think she's trying to shame us all for the way our town acted when her 'friend' disappeared, don't you know," Emily Pritchard answered. Then she added haughtily, "Flaunting her 'condition' and allowing the Lieutenant into her home whenever he comes to town, so it would appear he's not the real father! Harrumph!"
And so it was with most of the townspeople. Alexandra, and her unborn child, became their favorite subject for gossip.

* * *

The stories spread by the women in the town reached Alexandra. She did her best to ignore them and tried to avoid running into them whenever she went into town to shop. Most of her daylight hours, when Henderson was not harassing her, were spent walking along the shoreline, afraid to climb or walk along the rocks above, afraid something or someone would cause her to fall and injure Joshua's child.
On nights she could not sleep, she wandered along the lonely beach, staring at the stars trying to contact Joshua and hoping he would answer her.
She sorely needed a friend. All of her friends had long since left town and gone their separate ways. They had begged her to leave with them, but she would not. Sarah's Landing was the only place she felt close to Joshua. With the exception of her doctor and the two police officers, no one in town spoke to her, afraid too, afraid of what might happen if they did; and she felt desperately lonely.
One afternoon, when she was at her lowest ebb, a messenger rapped furiously on her door and scurried away after leaving a long white box, in the hallway, at the foot of her door.
When she answered the door, she was surprised to see the white box sitting there. Looking around for the person who delivered it, she saw no one. She reached down to retrieve the box. Taking it inside, she cautiously looked at it before opening it. Not knowing who could have sent it, she wondered if Henderson has something to do with it.
"It would be just like him to drop this at the foot of my door and disappear pretending someone else had sent it to me."
I'm almost afraid to open it, she thought. If it is from Henderson it could be a bomb. She shook her head. No, not even he would stoop that low.
She finally decided it was safe enough and gingerly opened the box. A dozen of the most beautiful red roses she had ever seen greeted her. The card inside read, "Thought you could use a little cheering up -- will call tomorrow. Love, Harry." His timing could not have been more perfect.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tony Snow's Testimony

Hi, All!

For some reason the credit for the article on Tony Snow didn't fully print. Therefore, to be sure that the credit is given to whom it belongs, which is Craig Bell of the World Net Group, I'll post it here. His email address : Yes, I did try to edit the bigger post but for some reason it wouldn't respond to my attempts. What can I say?

Tony Snow's Testimony - Powerful Reading!

I received this in my email today and thought it was so beautiful that it was worth posting here. Wed., 7/23/08, Craig Bell wrote:

This is a bit long but well worth the read.....excellent testimony!!

Tony Snow 1955--2008


This is the outstanding testimony from Tony Snow, President Bush's Press Secretary, and his fight with cancer. Commentator and broadcaster Tony Snow announced that he had colon cancer in 2005. Following surgery and chemo-therapy, Snow joined the Bush Administration in April, 2006, as press secretary. Unfortunately, on March 23, 2007, Snow, 51, a husband and father of three, announced that the cancer had recurred, with tumors found in his abdomen, leading to surgery in April, followed by more chemotherapy. Snow went back to work in the White House Briefing Room on May 3, and later resigned since, 'for economic reasons,' and to pursue 'other interests.' It needs little intro . . . it speaks for itself.


'Blessings arrive in unexpected packages, - in my case, cancer. Those of us with potentially fatal diseases - and there are millions in America today - find ourselves in the odd position of coping with our mortality while trying to fathom God's will. Although it would be the height of presumption
to declare with confidence 'What It All Means,' Scripture provides powerful hints and consolations.

The first is that we shouldn't spend too much time trying to answer the 'why' questions:

Why me? Why must people suffer? Why can't someone else get sick? We can't answer such things, and the questions themselves often are designed more to express our anguish than to solicit an answer.

I don't know why I have cancer, and I don't much care. It is what it is, a plain and indisputable fact. Yet even while staring into a mirror darkly, great and stunning truths began to take shape. Our maladies define a central feature of our existence: We are fallen. We are imperfect. Our bodies give out.

But, despite this, - or because of it, - God offers the possibility of salvation and grace. We don't know how the narrative of our lives will end, but we get to choose how to use the interval between now and the moment we meet our Creator face-to-face.

Second, we need to get past the anxiety. The mere thought of dying can send adrenaline flooding through your system. A dizzy, unfocused panic seizes you. Your heart thumps; your head swims. You think of nothingness and swoon. You fear partings; you worry about the impact on family and friends. You fidget and get nowhere.

To regain footing, remember that we were born not into death, but into life - and that the journey continues after we have finished our days on this earth. We accept this on faith, but that faith is nourished by a conviction that stirs even within many non-believing hearts - an institution that the gift of life, once given, cannot be taken away. Those who have been stricken enjoy the special privilege of being able to fight with their might, main, and faith to live fully, richly, exuberantly - no matter how their days may be numbered.

Third, we can open our eyes and hearts. God relishes surprise. We want lives of simple, predictable ease, - smooth, even trails as far as the eye can see, - but God likes to go off-road. He provokes us with twists and turns. He places us in predicaments that seem to defy our endurance and comprehension - and yet don't. By His love and grace, we persevere. The challenges that make our hearts leap and stomachs churn invariably strengthen our faith and grant measures of wisdom and joy we would not experience otherwise.

'You Have Been Called'. Picture yourself in a hospital bed. The fog of anesthesia has begun to wear away. A doctor stands at your feet, a loved one holds your hand at the side. 'It's cancer,' the healer announces.

The natural reaction is to turn to God and ask him to serve as a cosmic Santa. 'Dear God, make it all go away. Make everything simpler.' But another voice whispers: 'You have been called.'

Your quandary has drawn you closer to God, closer to those you love, closer to the issues that matter, - and has dragged into insignificance the banal concerns that occupy our 'normal time.'

There's another kind of response, although usually short-lived, an inexplicable shudder of excitement as if a clarifying moment of calamity has swept away everything trivial and tiny, and placed before us the challenge of important questions.

The moment you enter the Valley of the Shadow of Death, things change. You discover that Christianity is not something doughy, passive, pious, and soft. Faith may be the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But it also draws you into a world shorn of fearful caution. The life of belief teems with thrills, boldness, danger, shocks, reversals, triumphs, and epiphanies. Think of Paul, traipsing through the known world and contemplating trips to what must have seemed the antipodes ( Spain ), shaking the dust from his sandals, worrying not about the morrow, but only about the moment.

There's nothing wilder than a life of humble virtue, - for it is through selflessness and service that God wrings from our bodies and spirits the most we ever could give, the most we ever could offer, and the most we ever could do.

Finally, we can let love change everything. When Jesus was faced with the prospect of crucifixion, he grieved not for himself, but for us. He cried for Jerusalem before entering the Holy City. From the Cross, he took on the cumulative burden of human sin and weakness, and begged for forgiveness on our behalf.

We get repeated chances to learn that life is not about us, that we acquired purpose and satisfaction by sharing in God's love for others. Sickness gets us part way there. It reminds us of our limitations and dependence. But it also gives us a chance to serve the healthy. A minister friend of mine observes that people suffering grave afflictions often acquire the faith of two people, while loved ones accept the burden of two peoples' worries and fears.

'Learning How to Live'. Most of us have watched friends as they drifted toward God's arms, not with resignation, but with peace and hope. In so doing, they have taught us not how to die, but how to live. They have emulated Christ by transmitting the power and authority of live.

I sat by my best friend's bedside a few years ago as a wasting cancer took him away. He kept at his table a worn Bible and a 1928 edition of the Book of Common Prayer. A shattering grief disabled his family, many of his old friends, and at least one priest. Here was an humble and very good guy,
someone who apologized when he winced with pain because he thought it made his guest uncomfortable. He restrained his equanimity and good humor literally until his last conscious moment. 'I'm going to try to beat [this cancer],' he told me several months before he died. 'But if I don't, I'll see you on the other side.'

His gift was to remind everyone around him that even though God doesn't promise us tomorrow, he does promise us eternity - filled with life and love we cannot comprehend, - and that one can, in the throes of sickness, point the rest of us toward timeless truths that will help us weather future storms.

Through such trials, God bids us to choose: Do we believe, or do we not? Will we be bold enough to love, daring enough to serve, humble enough to submit, and strong enough to acknowledge our limitations? Can we surrender our concern in things that don't matter so that we might devote our remaining days to things that do?

When our faith flags, He throws reminders in our way. Think of the prayer warriors in our midst. They change things, and those of us who have been on the receiving end of their petitions and intercessions know it. It is hard to describe, but there are times when suddenly the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and you feel a surge of the Spirit. Somehow you just know: Others have chosen, when talking to the Author of all creation, to lift us up, - to speak of us!

This is love of a very special order. But so is the ability to sit back and appreciate the wonder of every created thing. The mere thought of death somehow makes every blessing vivid, every happiness more luminous and intense. We may not know how our contest with sickness will end, but we have felt the ineluctable touch of God.

What is man that Thou are mindful of him? We don't know much, but we know this: No matter where we are, no matter what we do, no matter how bleak or frightening our prospects, each and every one of us who believe each and every day, lies in the same safe and impregnable place, in the hollow of God's hand.'

---- T. Snow

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Contact-Book I - Sarah's Landing Series

Contact, Book 1 in the Sarah's Landing Series after many delays and hair-pulling has finally been released in print and is up on This is a re-release of the first book in the series with a new publisher Write Words, Inc.'s , imprint Cambridge Books, Cambridge, Maryland. The new isbn for this edition is 1-59431-497-7. I am now looking forward to seeing the second book in this series to be released in print in the coming weeks. The following is a brief excerpt from Chapter One:
Sarah's Landing I
Chapter 1 : Excerpt

Houston 2055

Three years is not a long time but when you're trying to erase a memory it can seem forever. Sometimes, while walking across the base, the noise of a machine would startle Joshua. He would stop as if waiting for something. Other times, someone's laughter would bother him, anger him, and cause him to remember the violent churning static, the endless silence. What did happen out there in space? How could the starship disappear so completely? Joshua remembered sitting in that stark white hospital room three years earlier listening, waiting throughout the night pounding the video monitor with his fists, but there were no answers, no human voices. Now, more than ever, reports upset him, especially reports of disappearances. Why, he wondered, did it bother him so much when people, he did not know, mysteriously disappeared just because they happened to be in the right place at the wrong time?

His memories of EARTH STAR-I were bad enough, but his reassignment was worse. He was told his ear problem, a result of a viral infection, made it impossible for him to remain an astronaut. He could help, he said, training a new crew or being part of a design team for the next mission. After all, could SICOM afford to throw away a trained astro-biologist?

"Use me, damn it," he demanded. "Let me be a part of all of this."

For more of the First Chapter, and reviews, check out my website:

Friday, June 27, 2008

The New Book Review BlogSpot

Hi,, is one of my favorite reviews for my novel Adams Point. Adams Point is the third book in the Legacy Series, which is considered by some to be a paranormal series. Me, I thought I was writing a romance novel...didn't know it would turn out to be a series. So, if you've got a moment or two, please check out and read my review. It would be great if you would also comment on it as well. Thank You!

Elena Dorothy Bowman
Journey to the Rim of Space and Beyond

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

My Husband's Book-The Continuum

Hi, Everyone!

Just wanted to say that I finally finished editing and publishing my husband's book, "The Continuum" . It was supposed to be up on Amazon, but Amazon isn't listing it as being available, and according to them "may never be", unless, of course, I want to republish it with Amazon's BookSurge.

While I had already published with LuLu before Amazon's new edict, I see no reason to change now. My husband's book is presently listed and available at Barnes and Noble..., as well as with

Since there are many titles similar to my husband's, the best way to find his book is with its ISBN number. The 10 digit isbn # is: 1-4357-1431-8, and the 13 digit LuLu isbn # is: 978-1-4357-1431-1. There are 391 pages to the book. The tag line for the book is: A compilation of the Historical Events of Mankind on Earth: from 450,000 BC to O BC. A short blurb follows:

"The Continuum", a series of events that cannot be separated, is the author's attempt to logically and chronologically record a continuity through time and space from the creation of Earth, the colonization of Earth, the promulgation of Mankind on Earth to that particular period when the division of time occurred at O BC and the Son of God of the Universe had fulfilled His mission and departed Earth.

Personally, I think the book is fascinating, but then I could be biased.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Your Invitation to Visit Mirella Patzer and Bloodstone Castle

Meet Mirella Patzer - Your Guide on This Adventure

Books are one of Mirella Patzer's obsessions, especially those that pertain to medieval eras and with Italy as a backdrop. To fulfill a life long dream, she began writing several years ago and has never looked back. Since then she has published several short stories and completed two novels with several more novels in various stages of completion. Her fascination for women of history and Italy is often reflected in her work, blogs, and website. When she's not immersed in research or writing or blogging, Mirella works as an editor for Enspiren Press. She writes from her home in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada, surrounded by her husband, two college-bound daughters, and a rambunctious little grandson who frequently interrupts her work with a variety of unanticipated, yet humorous calamities and interruptions. For her, life couldn't get any better.

Bloodstone Castle stands sentinel on the shores of the Ligurian Sea. Secreted somewhere in its dungeons is an ancient Roman treasure of immense value. Contessa Morena of Bloodstone Castle possesses a mysterious bloodstone pendant, the only proof the treasure exists.

In medieval Italy, two men face each other with ruthlessness and intensity. Enter their world of splendour and depravity, of passion and wickedness. It is Italy's most dazzling and dangerous age, and as Duke Amoro of Genoa and Duke Ernesto of Savona match wits and cunning, it is a dance the death to decide which one of them will win the hand of the beautiful Countess Morena and the hidden treasure of Bloodstone Castle.

Good Morning, Miralla, welcome to my blog.

edbb: I believe my readers would like to get to know you, Miralla, would you like to tell us a little about yourself, and what inspired you to become a writer?

Mirella: The desire to write developed when I came across information on the Battle of the Moro River and the Battle for Ortona during World War II in Italy. My mother’s vineyards are on the Moro River, so I began to look into it.

I discovered that the Battle of the Moro River happened on our family’s vineyards. Yet my mother never spoke about it. When I questioned her, through her tears and pain, I learned of how they survived in a cave for 8 months after their home was destroyed. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to tell her story. This caused me to write.

edbb: Novels written in the Medieval Era are generally imbedded in French, English or Scottish history, what possessed you to use the Roman Medieval Era as a background for your novel?

Mirella: The market is full of medieval novels about England, Scotland, and France. Yet Italy has a rich medieval history that few have learned about. So I wanted to write something different and take my readers to new setting. Also, I’ve been researching a writing a trilogy of the Holy Roman Empire in the 10th century which takes the readers to Germany and Italy.

edbb: What gave you the incentive to create the plot and characters for Bloodstone Castle?

Mirella: I wanted to write a romantic suspense as a break from all the 10th century writing and research I was doing, so I decided to build my story around a castle. A Google Image Search turned up several possibilities. I chose the Castle of Portovenere to build my story around.

edbb: How much research, if any, did you do before writing Bloodstone Castle ?

Mirella: I’ve been deeply entrenched in researching the 10th century since 2002 and feel very comfortable there. For this reason, I chose to place Bloodstone Castle in that century.

edbb: Are any of your characters in Bloodstone Castle, indicative of any people you know in real life, are any of them a combination of some, or are they all a figment of your imagination?

Mirella: All the characters are completely fictionalized and I created them all from scratch. I think this is because in the trilogy I am working on, they are all real life characters. Bloodstone Castle was a total creative endeavor, a fun release from all the research.

edbb: Since you appear to be smitten by the Medieval Era if you were given a chance or a choice to be transported back in time where would you like to go and why?

Mirella: Most definitely I would go to the 10th century and meet the characters I’ve been researching, Otto the Great, his wife Adelaide, his mother Matilde, and the rest of the family that I’ve come to know so well.

edbb: If you were a character in your novel, which one would you like to be? What is it about this particular character that intrigues you so?

Mirella: Although she is a minor, secondary character, I would love to be Smerelda the old wise woman. She is loved, knowledgeable, self-possessed and confident. All the good stuff that comes with maturity. I posted a picture of what I think she looks like on my blog:

edbb: Are you working on a sequel to Bloodstone Castle, or are you planning on taking a different route with your next project?

Mirella: I am not contemplating a sequel to Bloodstone. Instead, in addition to the trilogy of the 10th century, I’m working on a novel called Orphan of the Olive Tree, which is a short story written by a queen in the 14th century. I’ve expanded the plot and developed the characters. Once my medieval novels are complete, I’d like to write some historical westerns. I live in western Canada and there is much history here that few know about. But this is years from now. Before I delve into westerns, I want to write about my family’s World War II history.

edbb: Thank you for joining us today, Mirella. It was a pleasure having you here and learning a little more about you and your work. Where can people reach you?

Mirella: It was my pleasure to be here and visit your site. I can be reached at the following sites:

Find Out More About Mirella Patzer and Bloodstone Castle
Mirella Patzer's Website -
Mirella Patzer's Blogs -, and
Amazon –

You are encouraged to stop at each blog visit and post a comment for Mirella. Each comment enters you in a drawing for a free print copy of the book at the end of the tour. So, visit Mirella, learn more about Bloodstone Castle and post comments. Mirella looks forward to getting to know her readers.

Elena Dorothy Bowman
Journey to the Rim of Space and Beyond

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Adams Point in Print

Hi, Everyone!

At last, the print edition of the third book in the Legacy Series, Adams Point, has been released and is up on The publisher is Write Words, Inc., imprint Cambridge Books. The following is a brief look into the novel:

The strange spirits who, without rhyme or reason, or so much as a 'by your leave', had suddenly inhabited The House On The Bluff and caused a multitude of problems.

It was not only that people were disappearing, which heightened their trepidation, but the menacing, almost threatening manifestations it showered on the human residents, while relegating the "harmless" spiritual entities into their own inescapable prison. A prison, which was so deep within the recesses of the house, they apparently couldn't or didn't dare attempt to escape or leave.

The new entities had taken control of the Inn On Adams Point and were bound and determined to bring everyone into its clutches. But Jacob, one of the resident spirits, did try to break the hold that bound him and his compatriots only to fail in his attempt to warn Ethan, Abigail and or Tony.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Guest Interview With Deborah Thomas

Debbie Thomas, author of Brekleby Press, is touring with me in March 2008 and you will get to learn much more about her and her book.

A little bit about Debbie Thomas: A couple of Deborah's favorite yet infrequent past times are drawing and gardening, Deborah has penned short stories and poems for many years. Some pieces did find their way to blogs and other writers' sites. As a random act, she took part in a writing challenge, National Novel Writing Month (NANO -, and she penned her first novel length story. Later, a few friends encouraged her to attempt to publish it. Deborah Thomas lives with her four children in a small suburb outside of Springfield, Ma.

eddb: Today we welcome Deborah Thomas a new author on her first book tour. Good morning, Deborah, welcome to my stop at your book tour. I'm sure my readers would love to get to know you a little better.

Deb: Good Morning, Elena. Happy to be here.

eddb: 1) So, let's begin. Where are you from? And what inspired you to write this book?

Deb: I'm a single parent living with my four kids in Chicopee, a small town in western Massachusetts. The Brekleby Press part of an effort of writing a longer story in my early efforts of participating in NANO. It was a fun piece to write.
eddb: 2) The name of your book is intriguing. Is it a take-off on a real publishing company of just a play on words?

Deb: No. The title didn't actually come to me until I was almost finished with the book. The title was kind of play on words. The idea for the book came to me from a combination of a couple of old (late 60's and 70's) television shows. Dr. Who, The Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits.

eddb: 3) What in your background helps you to write a book such as this? And why did you decide to write this particular book?
Deb: I'd say that it has been a childhood hobby, starting with short stories and poems then later with longer pieces. My first novel length attempt from the participating in a website that challenged you to write a 50,000 story in 30 days, the National Novel Writers Month. The Brekleby Press is a result of year two for participation. My writing is still growing and developing. I'm still learning and growing right along with it.

eddb: 4) How do you take the reader from the past to the present or the present to the past?

Deb: There are two means upon which the reporters travel from the past to the present. The first one, actually ones are The Passage and The Tower of Babel. The Passage is an entity kind of like fate, with all the knowledge of any words and acts that has or ever will be. The Tower of Babel is the channeling portal upon which the reporters go thru time in. To access this tower, the reporters enter a room where the methods of how history were recorded thru time are stored. You have fabric or skins scrolls, stone tablets, hand scribed books, the old moveable printing press, old fashioned typewriter and the modern computer. When it's time to go to that period of time, the method of the time glows and captures the reporters and transports them to that time.

eddb: 5) Your book sounds interesting, a group of reporters jumping back and forth in time to become guardians of the "word". a) What word is it that they are attempting to protect, or it is words that have been spoken from the beginning of time to the present? b) And why?

Deb: The word in that even the smallest of pebbles can lead to bigger things. We are all witness to the everyday or the mundane. We can chose to notice and possibly savory and learn from these little tidbits or not. A cause and effect or repetition of the same acts. We all are stewards of the word whether we realize it or not.

eddb: 6) If the reporters do not have control of the Time Machine how are they able to transport from one dimension to another? And if they do, why would the Time Machine be the ultimate prize?

Deb: The passage determines the when and at what point the reporters will appear and disappear from that particular period of time. They are capturing that moment of time (the three minutes of fame). Now one of the crucial elements of this is that they can't interfere with time, no the catch twenty two is that is in real time for the period so they have to get the facts down and get back within the time it is suppose to have actually occurred. They don't, they have interfered with time. There are no excuses for this, whether infighting in the group or an outside force of a former employee/guardian. This former guardian wants to not only interfere with history but totally destroy the passage and tower.

eddb: 7) Is the heroine of this group, the only female member or does she have a "sister" to help her fend off the male members of the group?

Deb: Natalie isn't the only female but there isn't any type of sisterhood among the other females in her group. Natalie does have a "big brother" figure that helps her try and piece together what is going on. She is like this awkward person who has to grow into not only her "motley crew" of fellow reporters but into what is expected of her in respect to the passage.

eddb: 8) Will this be the only book in this genre, or are you planning on a sequel or series to it?

Deb: Yes, I have started two sequels to Brekleby, both untitled. They will be going into a little more background of the passage, and the two main characters.

eddb: 9) If you didn't write this book, what genre would you like to write in? Why?

Deb: I really don't gear my writing to any one genre. When the idea hits me, I just let it run its course. I mean I have two other projects right now that maybe classified as mysteries. One is a little further along than the other. I just don't consciously say it has to be this way.

eddb: 10) What are you working on now? And how far along with it are you?

Deb: I also have an urban fiction book called Ninomytus which the MC is a martyr for the condemned. He is a restless eternal soul. A reporter come in to interview him after the last attempted to kill him thru lethal injection fails. I am editing it right now with an anticipated release date of late summer or early fall.

Deb: I have a second book that will be available soon, 2 glances, published by CreateSpace that was an entry in the Amazon Break thru Artist contest last year. The MC is a therapist who helps people face and cope with their various idiosyncrasies. It's also helps him deal with his, being around people.

eddb: Thank you for joining us today, Deborah. It was a pleasure having you here. I trust my readers will have enjoyed getting to know you.

Deb: Thank you for having me. I've enjoyed talking with you and making me feel at home. I want to thank you for giving me the chance to talk about my book and look forward to doing this again


Sunday, March 9, 2008

For Moms and Soon To Be Moms Everywhere

The Invisible Mom: - This was in my email, this morning, and I was asked to share it with all the Moms everywhere. I don't know who the author is, but this is too precious not to pass on.

My favorite sentence is: "You're gonna love it there."

I'm Invisible

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking , 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not; no one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible. The invisible Mom.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands;I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a
car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going, she's going, she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well.
It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at > > my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was > > clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a hair clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it.

I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.' It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work: No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be
covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over.

You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.' At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong,stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime, because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and dresses all th e linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women. Great Job, MOM!

Share this with alloms you know... I just did

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Book to Improve Your Business, Success & Life

What Can a Dentist Teach You about Business, Life and Success? Discover Secrets to Total Success!

As a personal favor to a friend of mine, I am posting this blurb about a special book for anyone who might be interested in obtaining it for their own.

"This is one of the best books around on success and spirituality that you can add to your personal library. What myself and lots of other people are doing is spreading the word about this book so that as many people as possible will buy it over the next 24 hours. This helps to bring the book to national attention. When a lot of book sales take place within a 24-hour period the book moves quickly up the charts of online bookstores.

The reason I want this book to reach the top of the charts is because of what people will learn from it. This is not some pie-in-the-sky success book. It is one of the best books you will ever get your hands on that will teach you success principles that can give you a life of abundance, health, happiness and great relationships.

What Can a Dentist Teach You about Business, Life and Success? Discover Secrets to Total Success! contains the very principles that have allowed Dr. Joe Capista to become a multi-millionaire and live a life of Total Success! He is in the top 3% of revenue generators in his industry in the United States, has been happily married for over 34 years, is in top physical shape and enjoys a life of massive contribution.

This is a very powerful and realistic book that can give you wonderful insights to make you more succesful and happy in your life and business. I am tired of the type of a business books where the author talks down to the reader, Dr Capista talks to the reader.

As an added incentive for buying the book today you will receive over $2,551 in bonus gifts from experts around the globe including a one hour "by invitation only" teleseminar with the author.

So if you are ready to add a wonderful book on success and spirituality to your personal library, have access to dozens of great bonus gifts and have the opportunity to hear success speaker and author, Dr. Joe Capista, order your copy right away.

To your success."


Cell Phone Directory

Most of us have never thought of this.......

One lady has changed her habit of how she lists her names on her mobile
phone after her handbag [which contained her cell phone, credit card, wallet, etc] was stolen.

Twenty minutes after the theft, she called her hubby from a pay phone telling him what had happened. Her Hubby told her "I received your text msg asking about our Pin number and sent it to you a little while ago."

They rushed down to the bank but all the money in their account was already withdrawn. The thief had used the stolen cell phone to text "Hubby" in the contact list to request the pin number. Within 20 minutes he had withdrawn all the money from their bank account.

Moral of the Story: Do not disclose the relationship between you and the people in your contact list. Avoid using names like Home, Honey, Hubby, Sweetheart, Dad, Mom, etc. And very importantly, when sensitive info is being asked for by text, confirm the request by calling back and voice ID-ing the person requesting the info.

Also, when you're being texted by friends or family to meet them some where, be sure to call back to confirm that the message came from them. If you can't reach them, be very careful about going places to meet "family and friends" who text you.



Friday, February 8, 2008

News for the Virtual Book Tour Site

We're having a great week at the Virtual Book Tour website and I'd like to extend an invitation to each person to visit us. We have three great authors touring this month and they have posted a wealth of information about their books. You will find book summaries, excerpts, information about how current events tie into their books, why they decided to write that particular book and much more.

For people who haven't heard of the Virtual Book Tour website - let me share a few details. Each month a variety of authors are featured on the site and they share all sorts of information about their books. The website is Each touring author has their own tour page and all information about their tour can be accessed from that page. This is the page for February -

Feature Authors for February 2008 -- Click for tour details

Earl Ofari Hutchinson - The Ethnic Presidency

Steven Clark Bradley - Nimrod Rising

Virginia Vassallo - How The Stars and Stripes Began

We invite you to visit each author to learn more about their books.

The Ethnic Presidency by Earl Ofari Hutchinson - Who hasn't heard about the presidential primaries this week? In many of the news programs, one of the topics of conversation is the part that voters' race and gender will play in their vote. This is the topic of The Ethnic Presidency. Take a look at the part race plays for each and every candidate in 2008 and he provides many examples throughout the last century to show how race affects the elections. On Thursday February 7th, Mr Hutchinson is making a guest appearance on several different sites. You can visit him at any of these links -, and

Nimrod Rising by Steven Clark Bradley - Nimrod Rising is a book about the history of life itself and the origin of evil. The story and the geographical and historical background, centered around current events, will cause readers to pose such profound questions as, Who are we? Where did we come from? What was here before us? Where are we going? Are there answers to the question of why the world faces its current condition today? Nimrod Rising offers "possible" answers to those questions. It will awake the imagination and the cause self perception as they read. I am convinced it will hold your attention to the very end.

How The Stars and Stripes Began by Virginia Vassallo - Have you heard of the military newspaper, the Stars and Stripes? Have you ever wondered how it was started and who was the driving force behind its birth? If so, you must visit with Virginia. Her grandfather, Guy T. Viskniskki, the dynamic first officer-in-charge and editor-in-chief of The Stars and Stripes newspaper. This book is partially based on his autobiographical notes, family history and military records.

Any questions, feel free to contact me at You can also visit the website to learn more about book promotion. There are over 100 promotional articles and interviews posted at

Nikki Leigh

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Whale

I received this email today and thought it was too precious not to pass on. Don't know who the author didn't say...but here it is:

The Whale

If you read the front page story of the SF Chronicle, you would have read about a female humpback whale who had become entangled in a spider web of crab traps and lines.

She was weighted down by hundreds of pounds of traps that caused her to struggle to stay afloat. She also had hundreds of yards of line rope wrapped around her body, her tail, her torso, a line tugging in her mouth.

A fisherman spotted her just east of the Farralone Islands (outside the Golden Gate) and radioed an environmental group for help. Within a few hours, the rescue team arrived and determined that she was so bad off, the only way to save her was to dive in and untangle her ..
A very dangerous proposition.

One slap of the tail could kill a rescuer.
They worked for hours with curved knives and eventually freed her. When she was free, the divers say she swam in what seemed like joyous circles.

She then came back to each and every diver, one at a t ime, and nudged them, pushed gently around - she thanked them. Some said it was the most incredibly beautiful experience of their lives.

The guy who cut the rope out of her mouth says her eye was
following him the whole time, and he will never be the same.

May you, and all those you love, be so blessed and fortunate ...
To be surrounded by people who will help you get untangled
From the things that are binding you. And, may you always know the joy of giving and receiving gratitude.

I pass this on to you in the same spirit. It's a beautiful story and it's true.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New Virtual Book Tour Site Launch on February 1

Many people have heard about virtual book tours, sometimes called virtual author tours or virtual blog tours. They are a new and exciting way for authors to "tour" the internet - without leaving their home.

Imagine... you can meet potential readers from all over the internet and potential all over the world and you don't need to leave your home and family. In addition, a virtual tour is much more reasonably priced than the plane tickets, hotel rooms, meals etc that you need to buy for a book tour on the ground.

Authors and readers are all invited to visit the new virtual book tour site. There are over 100 articles and interviews to help authors learn more about book promotion. There are a number of web pages that were created by our tour site sponsors - they offer many products and services that could be beneficial for you. (If you would like to become a sponsor, please contact me at for more information.)

What's different about this book tour option? While our featured authors will visit other blogs throughout the month, each tour stop will be posted on the book tour site. Visitors who come to the site have the option of reading any or all of the information about the books and the author in one central location. So, whether you arrive at the tour on day 1 or the last day, you can easily catch up on all the details that each author wants to share with you. Each visitor has a choice about how they want to learn about the feature authors. I encourage you to visit the site frequently to find out what new information has been posted. The links which are posted below, take you to each author's tour page. All posts about their books are linked to these pages and are easy to access.

So, what books are we featuring in February? Here's some information about the authors you will meet during the month. They have all posted some information on the site and much more will be posted throughout the month.

Earl Ofari Hutchingson - The Ethnic Presidency: How Race Decides the Race to the White House
The Ethnic Presidency is an explosive look at how racial and ethnic conflict has openly and covertly played a crucial role over the past three decades in influencing, shaping and ultimately deciding who bags the world's biggest political prize, the White House. It explains how racial politics is playing an even bigger role in the 2008 presidential election and future elections.

Steven Clark Bradley - Nimrod Rising

Have you ever felt that the world was guided in ways that are beyond man's control? The constant changes in the world since the time of Nimrod 4000 years ago until today and all the events that have shaken the world have been to bring the universe back into the hands of the Prince of Darkness, Lucia, a world that he had ruled with his Watchers before it was all ripped from his grasp when man was created. Nimrod Rising paints a diabolical picture of how the Prince of Darkness executes his evil plot to take the world back by force and destroy civilization in the process. From the Great Builder Nimrod in 4000 BC to today, 666 generations later, you can ride the storm of Nimrod Rising and experience the death of a world and the birth pangs of another. You will swear it is really upon us!

Virginia Vassallo - Unsung Patriot: Guy T. Viskniskki How The Stars and Stripes Began
The Unsung Patriot is the biography of Guy T. Viskniskki, the dynamic first officer-in-charge and editor-in-chief of The Stars and Stripes newspaper. Based in part on Guy's unpublished autobiography describing the first difficult months of the paper, his granddaughter's knowledge of the family verbal history paints a picture of a complex man. A devoted husband and father, Guy was unable to show the love he felt for his family. Guy poured his time and talent in the newspaper business. His knowledge and energy made the Army's newspaper a reality and his doctrine of "by and for the soldiers" still is the guiding light of the Stars and Stripes.

I want to extend an invitation for each person to visit the site and learn more about each of these authors and their books. I invite readers and authors to register on the site and create a profile page to tell us more about yourself. Also, feel free to post a comment about any of the posts or post an introduction on the forums. If you have questions, feel free to contact me at

I look forward to meeting many new people.

Nikki Leigh
Author of the Book Promo 101 Series

Monday, January 28, 2008

Virginia G. Vassallo, author of The Unsung Patriot Joins us Today

Virginia G. Vassallo is a retired attorney with a BA in history. She lives on a farm in rural Kentucky with her husband Russell, who is also an author and their animals. A grandmother of six, she wanted her grandchildren to know about her grandfather.
Russell encouraged his wife to write about her grandfather, Guy T. Viskniskki, when he began writing about the animals on their farm. Her book, Unsung Patriot is based on her memories of family stories and upon Guy’s unpublished memoirs of his time in France.
Guy founded The Stars and Stripes, the newspaper of our armed forces, during World War I. He had spent over twenty years in the newspaper business, working up from being a printer’s devil to owning a syndicate that sold articles to all the major newspapers. When Guy volunteered for service in 1917, he hoped to go on the line and fight as his ancestors had. Instead, he ended up as the first officer-in-charge and first editor-in-chief of The Stars and Stripes, the newspaper he created. Virginia is very proud that the principles that Guy established for the newspaper are still its guiding principles today in 2008.
Good Morning, Virginia. Welcome to my Book Blog. It's a pleasure to have you visit us today.

EDBB-1. Krazy Duck Publications. What an interesting name. Why did you pick that particular name for your publishing company and what does it represent to you?

VGV: Elena, the name Krazy Duck Productions originated in a story that my husband, Russell, wrote in his first book, Tears and Tales. He told the story of a pet duck that he had in his early twenties. Among other attributes, this duck drank whiskey and got a little crazy. The duck’s real name was Salamander. Somehow that name just didn’t resonate in the story so we started referring to him as ‘Crazy Duck’. Russ changed the duck’s name to Krazy Duck in the book.

When we realized that we needed to not only self-publish our books but also to market them, we decided we needed to have a company. We played around with various names but kept coming back to Krazy Duck Productions. In a way, it is us. We don’t always do things ‘by the book’ and in many ways we are unconventional so I think Krazy Duck fits us.

EDBB-2. From your story list is appears that most of your stories are about animals. Are these taken from life or are they fiction?

VGV: From my point of view Russ is the writer in the family. He wrote Tears and Tales and The Horse with the Golden Mane about animals that he (we) know. Tears and Tales was written shortly after he recovered from colon cancer. It’s a collection of eleven short stories that tell how many of the animals that we have helped him combat the depression of knowing he had cancer. Git tells the story of my dog, Sweet Pea, who appeared at our farm, ragged and unfed, and how she made a home for herself. By the way, Sweetie is still with me and it’s been ten years. The Ghost beside Me talks about Nikki, a rescued Doberman, who taught Russ to fight against the cancer. The Cardinal is Nikki’s continuing story. Nikki had fought lymphoma for over two and one-half years. I believe she fought to be with me. She died the morning I was to take Russ to the hospital for a colonoscopy. I truly believe that Nikki knew I could no longer care for her and that I needed to care for Russ. In her second story you will find out how she came back to reaffirm that belief.

So the quick answer to your question is that the animal stories are non-fiction. The only story that contains quite a bit of fiction is the third story in The Horse with the Golden
Mane. Maya in that story is based on me and I am very much alive.

EDBB-3. Are all the books you publish non-fiction? If so, why did you choose to take this route rather than publishing both fiction and non-fiction?

VGV: So far the books have been non-fiction. Unsung Patriot is a biography/memoir of my grandfather. I am not a fiction writer. Between being a history major and an attorney, I just have a very hard time writing fiction. Russ, on the other hand, is very good at it, but, so far, his books have been mostly non-fiction. He does have some on the back burner that are fiction but his next one is about growing up in Newark, NJ, in the 40s and 50s. I think he needed to get that out before the fiction can really emerge. I would expect, somewhere down the road, we will start publishing works of fiction.

EDBB-4. The Stars and Stripes lasted longer than World War I. In fact it is still a part of the U.S. Army. What would your grandfather have thought if he knew what he created in WWI would still be flourishing in 2008?

VGV: I have wondered, too, what my grandfather would have thought. I know that he wanted the paper to die with the American Expeditionary Forces return from France at the end of World War I. He didn’t want the paper used for any other purpose than to support and increase morale of our troops. In 1918 the United States didn’t have much of a standing army so he didn’t see any reason for the paper to continue.

The Stars and Stripes did print volume two from England in early 1942, after the United States had entered World War II. Guy was still alive then. The family stories tell of him planting a victory garden and doing everything that a 60+ year old man could do to help the war effort. I never heard stories of how he felt about the paper being resurrected. However, I do know that he was very proud of his contribution to the army, even though he wanted to fight on the front line rather than start a newspaper.

After learning more about my grandfather from research that I did for my book, I think he would be very proud and very happy to know that the paper is still flourishing. I think this is especially true because The Stars and Stripes still adheres to the founding principles that my grandfather fought so hard for: By and For the Soldiers.

EDBB-5. I can imagine what inspired you to write this book about your grandfather, but what did you learn about your grandfather that you didn't know as you went through his memoirs to write this book?

VGV: My grandfather died about two years before I was born so, obviously, I never knew him. I grew up with competing images of him. My grandmother, his widow, lived next door to us, and she would often talk about him to me. She loved him and admired him. She recognized that he has some eccentricities but that was the man she loved. My mother, his youngest child, called him ‘The Colonel’. I never once heard her refer to her father as ‘Dad’. She would tell me stories about her father but there was always a reserve. My aunt, the oldest child of the father, would literally freeze if I mentioned my grandfather. My Dad seemed to like my grandfather and to respect.

Growing up I felt that I never knew who my grandfather was.

In writing this book I have come to know him, not just as the newspaperman who was able to start a newspaper for our troops that has lasted until 2008. But as a grandfather who was very complex and dynamic but who loved his family intensely. He was just unable to show a lot of that love. I believe that I have found my grandfather – a man of many facets.

EDBB-6. You most likely have been asked this question before, but other than the journal, if there was one, where did you get the information you needed to really put this book together and give it the justice it deserved?

VGV: Growing up I had heard of ‘The Viskniskki Manuscript’ which referred to papers that Guy had written years after 1917-1918 to tell about how The Stars and Stripes began. When my mother died twenty years ago, I found I was in possession of these papers which I didn’t know she had. On top of that I found a whole scrape book of newspapers articles that my grandmother had collected. Most of them were from WWI but some were from the 20s and 30s.

I used my grandfather’s papers for the information on how the paper got started. What I found amazing is that people who are very familiar with The Stars and Stripes in WWI did not have the in-depth information that I did. So I have copied his manuscript and given it to The Stars and Stripes Museum/Library in Missouri and also to the Carlisle Military Barracks Museum in Pennsylvania.

Using my grandmother’s scrape book, I contacted the various newspapers that had printed articles about Guy. The Oregonian and the Clarksburg Telegram allowed me to print articles about him in my book. My grandfather grew up in Carmi, IL, and I was allowed to use anything, whether copied in full or not, from any article about him in any of their papers. It was amazing to me how people who didn’t know me allowed me to use their material.

The editor of The Carmi Times put me in touch with the family that was living in Viskniskki house in Carmi. Cindy gave me papers from her house closing that showed me who had owned the original house and many other interesting facts.

I also relied on my memory of stories about my grandfather that my mom and grandmother had told me. And my Dad’s sister, Edith, was a great help. She was the only person who was an adult when Guy was still living. She gave me many insights into him, probably because she was a bit distanced – she wasn’t a member of the immediate family. And she truly liked him.

EDBB-7. In your grandfather's memoirs did you find anything about his time in France and what he went through? If so, are you planning on writing another book to compliment The Unsung Patriot?

VGV: The answer to the second question is ‘No, I think I’ve written the one and only book I will ever write’.

Most of my grandfather’s memoirs dealt with his time in France in 1917-18, trying to get The Stars and Stripes up and running. His memoirs comprise 435 typewritten pages. For a man who was a very good writer, when he wrote his memoirs, Guy wrote in the third person and it is very boring. I asked my aunt about this and she thought it probably had to do with the fact that he never talked about starting the paper. And she knew him for 15+ years!

What I tried to do was to take the most interesting and relevant parts of his memoirs, some of which are quoted in full, and incorporate them into my book. For instance, he talked about the original staff of the paper. Since I wrote Unsung Patriot, I have found out that this is the first time physical descriptions of some of the staff have ever materialized. I also tried to show his thought processes as he was trying to get the paper going. All this I gleaned from his memoirs.

EDBB-8. Riding and caring for horses, and publishing books, appears to be the major interest in your life other than your family, but what other projects do you have on the table now or are planning for in the future? Do you have any other hobbies or interests that hold your attention other than your grandchildren? What do you like to do when you are not engaged in any particular project?

VGV: I have a continuing interest in genealogy. I am very lucky that my aunts did quite a bit of research on my family and I have been able to build on their findings. Right now I am trying to take two different sides of the family and trace them back to Germany in the 1800s. I have also researched my husband’s family back to about 1750 in a small town in Sicily. It’s just wonderful to have the Internet so that you can do much of the research from home.

Russ and I are planning on traveling to a number of book fairs this spring and summer. We’ll be in Charlottesville, VA, on March 29th, for the Virginia Book Festival. I try to keep our tour dates posted on and on our main website, So, if anyone would like to meet us, they can check where we will be.

On a normal day I try to walk about three miles. Sweet Pea, Spunky and I walk through our fields and into the woods. I find the walking very relaxing and it often seems that I come back with a solution to a problem, even when I haven’t been thinking about it. In good weather Russ and I will go horseback riding and the dogs come along. We have about four hours of trails on our farm so we can just pick up and ride as the mood strikes. And my girlfriends and I try to get out about once a month and do something fun, whether it’s going out to eat or getting a complete make-over.

EDBB-9. Besides the book, Unsung Patriot, what do your grandchildren know about their great-grandfather and how would you like them to really know who he really was and why they should be especially proud of him?

VGV: This is a hard one, Elena, because my oldest grandchild is just turning nine. Russ and I have told him stories about Guy and his mom has a copy of Unsung Patriot to give him when he is older. My other grandchildren are six, four and newborn so it is hard to tell them about their great-grandfather.

I do want them to know that he started a newspaper that has been helping our troops for many years and that the paper has been able to expand. Now the paper is being printed, not only in the United States, but in Germany, Japan, Iraq, and other Middle Eastern countries. The paper is available online, not just in print, so that our troops aboard ship can read it on time.

I want them to be proud that their great-grandfather is, in a way, still helping our troops, no matter where they are, and that the troops feel they can express themselves openly in the paper just as they could back in 1918. One thing that I learned as I researched my grandfather is that he gave his family a great legacy, something to be proud of.

EDBB-10. Is there anything you'd like to tell us about yourself, your family or your grandfather that we don't know about him?

VGV: I think my grandfather would be very happy that his contribution to The Stars and Stripes is being recognized today. It bothered him that General Pershing took credit for having founded the newspaper. I don’t think Guy wanted the credit for the sake of bragging rights. I think it bothered him that the general took credit for something he really didn’t do. Pershing agreed that the paper should be started but, beyond that, he did nothing to actually get it going.

My grandmother and mother had tried for years to get some government agency to accept my grandfather’s memoirs, thinking that the history of the founding of the paper was important. None was interested. So I am very happy that I have been able to get his story out to the public. And I like to think that my grandfather is proud of me for doing that.

Elena, thank you so much for the interview. It was fun.

Thank you, Virginia for joining us today and we wish you much success with your book,
Unsung Patriot and in all your endeavors.

Virginia Gillespie Vassallo was born in Montclair, New Jersey, on April 11, 1951. She graduated cum laude from The Kimberley School in June, 1969, and spent her freshman year of college at Jackson College, Tufts University. After marriage she attended Susquehanna University and, two children later, she graduated from Montclair State University in 1979 with a BA in history.
As a single mother looking for a better job with more income, she entered the Seton Hall University School of Law in 1982 where she obtained her JD and was admitted to the New Jersey bar in 1986.
Virginia’s roots hail back to the founding of our country. Her Quaker relatives arrived in Pennsylvania with William Penn and some of them ultimately owned most of the colony of Delaware. Another relative is believed to have captained a supply ship for Jamestown colony. Eleazer Robinson and Henry Clayton fought in the Revolutionary War. The artist, Benjamin West, is probably the most well-known of her ancestors. And, of course, there is her grandfather, Guy T. Viskniskki, who founded The Stars and Stripes newspaper during World War I. Of English, Irish, Scottish, Polish and German ancestry, Virginia never intended writing a book of any kind. But in her search for the grandfather she never knew, she uncovered his personal memoirs and historical data which compelled her to write her grandfather’s story, a process that lasted almost ten years.
Virginia’s interest in history is evidenced by her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Kentucky Historical Society and POINT. She is also a member of the Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse Association and the European-Pacific Stars and Stripes Association. Virginia and her husband, Russell, who is also an author, reside on a large farm in South-Central Kentucky where she rides her horse, Diablo, and cares for her rescued animals. She is the grandmother of four and is awaiting the arrival of another set of twin grandchildren.
An avid reader, she has propelled her husband into their newly founded company, Krazy Duck Productions. Like her grandfather who took failing newspapers and sculpted them into profitable operations, Virginia is the administrative backbone of her husband’s company and a formidable writer in her own right.