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.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Smell of Rain

Here's another wonderful email I received today and it gave me the I wanted to share it with all of you.

A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana Blessing. She was still groggy from surgery. Her husband, David, held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news. That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency Cesarean to deliver couple's new daughter, Dana Lu Blessing.
At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature. Still, the doctor's soft words dropped like bombs. "I don't think she's going to make it," he said, as kindly as he could. "There's only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one" Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Dana would likely face if she survived.
She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on. "No! No!" was all Diana could say. She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away .
But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Because Dana's underdeveloped nervous system was essentially 'raw', the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn't even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love. All they could do, as Dana struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl. There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger.
But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there. At last, when Dana turned two months old. her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time.
And two months later, though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero, Dana went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.
Five years later, when Dana was a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She showed no signs whatsoever of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she was everything a little girl can be and more. But that happy ending is far from the end of her story.
One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving , Texas , Dana was sitting in her mother's lap in the bleachers of a local ball park where her brother Dustin's baseball team was practicing. As always, Dana was chattering nonstop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent.
Hugging her arms across her chest, little Dana asked, "Do you smell that?" Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, "Yes, it smells like rain."
Dana closed her eyes and again asked, "Do you smell that?" Once again, her mother replied, "Yes, I think we're about to get wet. It smells like rain." Still caught in the moment, Dana shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, "No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest." Tears blurred Diana's eyes as Dana happily hopped down to play with the other children. Before the rains came, her daughter's words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended Blessing family had known, at least in their hearts, all along. During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Some Ways To Treat People

I received this in my email today and thought it was too precious not to post. Don't know who originated it, but I am sure he or she wouldn't mind if I do post this.

Five (5) lessons about the way we treat people.

1 - First Important Lesson - Cleaning Lady.

During my second month of college, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50's, but how would I know her name?

I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Just before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade. "Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say "hello"." I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

2. - Second Important Lesson - Pickup in the Rain

One night, at 11:30 p.m., an older African American woman was standing on the side of an Alabama highway trying to endure a lashing rain storm. Her car had broken down and she desperately needed a ride. Soaking wet, she decided to flag down the next car. A young white man stopped to help her, generally unheard of in those conflict-filled 1960's. The man took her to safety, helped her get assistance and put her into a taxicab.

She seemed to be in a big hurry, but wrote down his address and thanked him. Seven days went by and a knock came on the man's door. To his surprise, a giant console color TV was delivered to his home. A special note was attached. It read: "Thank you so much for assisting me on the highway the other night. The rain drenched not only my clothes, but also my spirits. Then you came along. Because of you, I was able to make it to my dying husband's bedside just before he passed away...God bless you for helping me and unselfishly serving others." Sincerely, Mrs. Nat King Cole.

3 - Third Important Lesson - Always remember those who serve.

In the days when an ice cream! sundae cost much less, a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him. "How much is an ice cream sundae?" he asked. "Fifty cents," replied the waitress. The little boy pulled is hand out of his pocket and studied the coins in it. "Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?" he inquired. By now more people were waiting for a table and the waitress was growing impatient. "Thirty-five cents," she brusquely replied.

The little boy again counted his coins. "I'll have the plain ice cream," he said. The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away The boy finished the ice
cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies. You see, he couldn't have the sundae, because he had to have enough left to leave her a tip.

4 - Fourth Important Lesson. - The obstacle in Our Path.

In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. Then he hid himself and watched to see if anyone would remove the huge rock. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it Many loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none did anything about getting the stone out of the way. Then a peasant came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the Stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded.

After the peasant picked up his load of vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King indicating that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway. The peasant learned what many of us never understand! Every obstacle presents an opportunity to improve our condition.

5 - Fifth Important Lesson - Giving When it Counts...

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at a hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liz who was suffering from a rare & serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her 5-year old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the little boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, "Yes I'll do it if it will save her."

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheek. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, "Will I start to die right away". Being young, the little boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all of his blood in order to save her.

One Last Comment: "Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt, and dance like you do when nobody's watching."

*End of email* :)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Check the Boxes

This post is meant of inform and might be of some help to others. Lately, it seems, that anything we buy in the grocery store has to be thoroughly checked out before using. Especially when it comes to grains or cereals of any kind. What I am speaking about is that when these boxes are opened, it is more than likely that there will be moths lurking inside the cartons. If the contents inside the box is not sealed,(that is sealed in a plastic or paper wrap) moths have a way of getting inside. I won't go into details. But is it sufficient to know to check before using, even if the date stamped on the boxes say they are recent. Lately, we have had to discard cereal, oatmeal, grits, rice pudding mixtures, and other dry goods because of the unwanted investation. These are dry goods that we had never opened, and were not leftovers from previous uses. It didn't seem to matter that the dates on the boxes were current. We have since taken to put all our dry goods in glass containers with seals on them as soon as we get them home. We don't even bother taking them back when we see the problem, which is starting to run into quite a bit of money. But the thought of carrying the dry goods back to the store, just makes me shudder. Why am I writing this today? Because the box we just bought yesterday to make rice pudding with was unedible.:( Yes, we tossed it, and made rice pudding the old fashioned way. :)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Phil Harris' Blog Radio Show

Hi, Everyone:

Just wanted to let you know that along with four others and two gentlemen who joined us later, I was a guest on the Phil Harris' BlogTalkRadio Show, promoting my books, The Sarah's Landing Series, The Legacy Series and others I have written. It was the first time for me and it was really fun. Although I was a little nervous, at first, I soon relaxed and enjoyed the entire show. It was fascinating hearing the voices of people I have never met, other than through the internet, and realized how wonderful it was to be able to listen to them. And it felt as if I had known them my entire life. What a great gift to be able to communicate with people all over the country and still feel as if they are your next door neighbors. Thanks, Phil! I really appreciated the opportunity that you and my publisher provided for me. :)


Saturday, January 12, 2008

The New Pledge of Allegiance.

The author is unknown, but I thought this was worth posting, because it says so much.

Since the Pledge of Allegiance
and The Lord's Prayer
are not allowed in most
public schools anymore
Because the word "God" is mentioned....
A student in Arizona wrote the attached

NEW School prayer :
Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a Federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple, orange or green,
That's no offense; it's a freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise.
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the state.

We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks.
They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the 'unwed daddy,' our Senior King.
It's "inappropriate" to teach right from wrong,
We're taught that such "judgments" do not belong.

We can get our condoms and birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No word of God must reach this crowd.

It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot; My soul please take!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Join motivational speaker Judi Moreo, author of the self-help and motivational book YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH ACHIEVEMENT JOURNAL, as she virtually tours the blogosphere in January on her second virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotions!

Judi Moreo is a leading authority in the areas of communication and motivation. She has conducted consulting assignments, training workshops, seminars and keynote speeches in 26 countries on 4 continents. She has coached countless business leaders worldwide on issues of corporate change, cultural diversity and conflict management.

Her expertise has assisted corporations and organizations such as Walt Disney Imagineering; Sony Electronics; the U. S. House of Representatives; Investec Bank; U. S. Army; BMW; Johannesburg Stock Exchange; Nestle; and Nissan Motor Corporation.

As an international business leader and entrepreneur, Judi knows first hand what it takes to be successful especially amidst political, social and cultural differences. In 1991, she became a senior executive in one of South Africa’s most prestigious corporations. In 2003, Judi was named Nevada Business Person of the Year by the U. S. Business Advisory Council. She is currently President of Turning Point International, Inc., an international performance improvement consulting firm in Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce honored her with the Woman of Achievement – Entrepreneur Award.

She has served on the Boards of Directors of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce Women’s Council; the World Modeling Association; the Greater Las Vegas Soroptimist; Women in Communication; and the Las Vegas Professional Speakers Association. Judi is listed in the World’s Who’s Who of Business and Professional Women; Who’s Who in Professional Speaking; and the World’s Who’s Who of Women, and was awarded the Outstanding Achievement and Community Service Award by the American Women in Radio and Television.

This year Ms. Moreo received the Diamond Star Las Vegas Visionary Award.

You can visit her website at!

You Are More Than Enough Achievement Journal Synopsis:

Journaling is a very personal undertaking. Writing your thoughts gives you an opportunity to see what you are thinking. Having a written history of your thoughts and actions allows you to celebrate how far you’ve come and plan your next steps.

This journal is a tool for your journey to achievement. It has been designed to assist you in achieving your goals. It is a fast, easy, convenient way to record your wants, hopes, goals and dreams, to write down your ideas, and to create the life that you’ve dreamed of.

This is a no-guilt journal. It doesn’t matter if its Monday or Wednesday, January or July, the first or the twenty-first, today is a day to begin your journey.

Don’t wait for the “right” time or “next month” or “in the morning.” Now is the right time to begin. Every twenty-one days you will have the opportunity to reflect on your accomplishments and plan the next step in your journey. This is your journey. It’s ok not to write every day. It’s ok not to fill each page. Its ok to write more than will fit on just one day. If you skip a day, simply pick up where you left off in the next available space. If you date your entries, you will have a way to track your personal time table against the calendar. We all march to a different beat. Every day, week, month and year that you keep your journal becomes easier and more fulfilling.

It will provide you with a record of your strengths and successes as well as an acknowledgement of the characteristics, values, talents, people and things for which you are grateful.

When you finish a project, reach a goal, or stay on your diet just one more day, there are, included in your journal, two pages of peel and stick gold stars to reward yourself immediately for your success.

Judi Moreo's Achieve Your Dreams Virtual Book Tour '08 Participants:

If you would like to tell us how you achieved your dreams or are working toward your dreams, blog about it, send us the link and we will put it on Judi's personal tour page PLUS promote your stop in our daily promotions in which we reach thousands of potential visitors! Read the directions below the list of participants we have so far!


Writers in the Sky(Yvonne Perry)
Partially Human Book Blog(Dwayne G. Anderson)
Virtual Wordsmith(Lynn Lewis)
Let Us Play(Karen Magill)
Boomer Chick(Dorothy Thompson)
Pamela S. Thibodeaux
Chicken Bones (Kathleen Heady)
Only Moments (Nick Oliva)
Linda Kay Silva
Write What Inspires You(Donna McDine)
Benston Blogs(Rebecca Benston)
Mary Emma's Potpourri of Writing (Mary Emma Allen)
Deborah Woehr
The Success Of Flow As It Is (Demetria Head)
Dude, Where's My Muse? (Lis)
Marilyn's Musings (Marilyn Meredith)
Hot Ash's Romantic Comedy (Ashlyn Chase)
Charlene Leatherman

Would you like to become involved in Judi's Achieve Your Dreams Virtual Book Tour? Read below how you can!

With 2007 behind us and 2008 on the horizon, it’s time to reflect on how we want the rest of our journey here on earth to go. Do we settle for letting life happen or do we take steps toward achieving our dreams? Do we think about it or do we DO it?

If you have watched the movie, “The Secret,” then you understand the power of affirmative thinking = affirmative action. Are you taking those steps in the right direction to enjoy life at its fullest – whether it’s through financial success, relationship bliss or perfect health?

On January 1, 2008, Judi Moreo, author of You Are More Than Enough Achievement Journal (Stephens Press, Dec. '07), will embark on a virtual book tour throughout the blogosphere, but it will involve YOU. She wants YOU to be the star in a campaign to let the world know how you are taking those steps in realizing your dreams.

If you would like to become involved in her ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ’08, here is how it works:

1. Repeat this passage from her book: “Every step I take brings me closer to the realization of my dreams” until you understand its powerful message.

2. Think about what steps you are taking to achieve your dreams and write about it. Your entry can be as long or as short as you’d like.

3. Post your message on your blog and give us the link so that we can post it on Judi's tour page down below. The email address to send your entry is thewriterslife(at)

4. When we receive your link, we will put it on our daily rounds of promotions, thus bringing you instant traffic, so get those links to us soon!

5. We only ask that you include the passage above before your blog post so that people will understand what you are doing.

6. We also ask that you include a jpeg copy of Judi’s book, You Are More Than Enough Achievement Journal, in your blog post. You can find her book cover at and link it to

7. All participants will be listed below so that everyone can find out how YOU achieve your dreams!

That’s all there is to it! Hurry before time runs out. Become involved in a nationwide campaign to bring in 2008 with a bang and help others realize that dreams are not something that happens; dreams are something that YOU make happen. Let's make 2008 the year when you realize your dreams and make them happen. Share your stories and become involved in Judi Moreo's "Achieving Your Dreams Virtual Book Tour '08" where YOU are the star! Judi's virtual book tour will be highly publicized including press releases and other promotions. Let us know what steps you are taking to achieve success and be read by thousands of Internet users!

Click here to find out how you can win FREE incentives by buying Judi's book anywhere online!

Click here to find out how you can receive a FREE bracelet from Judi just by buying her book at her website at!
Judi's virtual book tour is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours at and choreographed by Dorothy Thompson. If you are an author and you would like us to set up a virtual book tour for you, click here for more information!