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Books and Authors
Friday, 3 October 2008
An Interview With Jo Linsdell about Writers and Authors
Topic: Author Interview
 

What is Writers and Authors?

A place for people in the writing industry to gather and share experiences, tips and advice. Not to mention promote their latest work and discuss various topics related to the writing industry. Included in this blog you will also find; links to sites for writers, competitions and contests, interviews, writer and book event listings and more...

 

Why ‘relaunch'?

My baby son was born in December 2007 after a difficult pregnancy, so I've been away for a while. Having to spend 8 months on bed rest meant I had a lot of time on my hands, which I used to work on my various writing related projects. The Writers and Authors site was a big success and my plan is to make it even better now I'm back online. To make sure everyone gets the chance to take part and see the great opportunities on the site I thought it was a good idea to have a big relaunch party to celebrate and spread the word.

 

What changes have been made to the site?

The new format will be as follows:

Mondays: Opportunities for writers. This will include paying markets, competitions, online courses etc...

Tuesdays: Featured Authors. This  will include author interviews and samples of their writing.

Wednesdays: Publishers, editors, etc... This section will include interviews with publishers, editors, etc... and explain how the industry works and give helpful advice on the more technical aspects of the writing industry e.g. what they look for, how to query, etc...

Thursdays: Book reviews. This will include reviews about any type of book. I'm particularly looking for reviews about self help for writers books (and related) but will also post reviews about fiction, poetry and basically anything else.

Fridays: Upcoming events. This section will include dates and details about conferences and other events for writers online. Also author chats online, virtual tours etc...

How can people get involved?

For those of you interested in being interviewed for the 'Featured Author' section please send me an email (writersandauthors@yahoo.it) giving some details about yourself and your writing. Please also include your website address.
The same applies for publishers, editors, etc...

As you can see, I also want to include a section with book reviews. You are welcome to review any type of book (e.g. self help for writers or a fiction or poetry book). In fact I'll be all the happier to have a good mix. If your new to writing reviews and want some pointers check out
http://library.queensu.ca/research/guide/book-reviews/how-write for some tips. Please send your review in the body of the email to writersandauthors@yahoo.it with 'Book Review' in the subject line.

How can people support Writers and Authors?

Nominations (e.g. Writers Digest 101 best sites- any others are good too J), blog postings, interviews, putting a link on their sites, spreading the word to others.

 

Tell us about the Virtual Tour?

To relaunch this site in it's new format I'm organising a virtual tour starting from October 1st 2008. Anyone who is interested in hosting me for an interview or featuring the Writers and Authors website on theirs, please send me an email to the new address writersandauthors@yahoo.it with virtual tour in the subject line. I will post a copy of the Virtual Tour calendar soon so you can keep track of the events.

***

Folks, don't forget that every commet gets you 12 pages of pumpkin-carving templates and an entry in the drawing for a Halloween craft and recipe book!


Posted by joyceanthony at 1:00 AM EDT
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Thursday, 2 October 2008
Re-launch of Writers and Authors
Topic: Miscellaneous

Jo Linsdell has returned to the Internet at full-speed.  Her re-launch of Writers and Authors   http://writersandauthors.blogspot.com/   is seeing wonderful changes.  Just look at what you can find there:

  • Links to sites for writers
  • Link to dictionaries, thesaurus, idioms, etc...
  • Writer competitions
  • Tips and advice from people in the industry (e.g. writers, publishers,   editors, etc...)
  • Upcoming events
  • Book reviews
  • Writing prompts
  • The site will continue to grow and is a wonderful resource for writers.  More features are being added regularly, including author interviews.  This site promises to be not only a resource for those wishing to hone their craft, but also a place for promotion of author's work.

    Tomorrow, Jo stops by to answer some questions for us.  Please stop by, read and ask your own questions! For today, let's find out just who Jo Linsdell is.

    Jo Linsdell
    Born in Gillingham, Kent (UK) in September 1980. Married name Joanne Denise Feliciani. She uses her maiden name, Linsdell, as her pen name. Having passed 10 GCSE’s, she went on to study Business Studies, History and Art A-Levels at Yateley 6th Form. She left England and moved to Rome, Italy in June 2001, where she now lives with her Italian husband and their baby son. She has had various jobs including working in hostels, being a tour guide and teaching English as a foreign language. She now works full-time as a freelance writer. She writes regularly for various websites, newspapers and magazines. Her books, Italian for tourists and A guide to weddings in Italy plus her ebooks; Il dolce Natale: Christmastime in Italy, Some risks are worth taking, INSIDE.OUT, La Befana and The Patron Saint of Lovers are all available to buy at www.lulu.com . Visit her at http://jolinsdell.tripod.com  or http://www.lulu.com/jolinsdell or http://www.myspace.com/jolinsdell  

    Posted by joyceanthony at 2:01 AM EDT
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    Wednesday, 1 October 2008
    Rosemary Chaulk and Nissitissit Witch
    Topic: Blog Tours

    This is what Rosemary Chaulk has to say about Nissitissit Witch on her website:

    NISSITISSIT WITCH has been quite a challenge on many levels and even approaching the surreal. One morning, as I prepared to go out and deliver the last few books of my first shipment, I got up to leave and knocked over a glass of water above the keyboard, and it ran down onto the keyboard. I wiped things up and turned the keyboard over to dry. When I came back home and turned my computer on, an email from my publicist was the first thing to come up. I opened it, read it and when I touched the keyboard to reply, the computer went nuts with programs and numbers flashing up on the screen. I did a hard shutdown and took the batteries out of the keyboard.

    Now, the above incident seems insignificant, but the very same glass full of iced coffee was in the same spot a year ago when I started doing research. I had all the research in the spot where the keyboard was this morning. After reading the research a year ago, I uttered to myself, "I don't think there even was a witch." When I said it, the iced coffee spilled, ran down onto the area for the keyboard and completely surrounded the research materials going right up to the edge on all four sides touching the old newspapers, yet when I picked up the news clippings they were completely dry. Not a speck of iced coffee. First, I was stunned that somehow the coffee spilled, and I did not react quickly so the stuff sat there a moment. Then thinking the stack was completely ruined, I was upset as I had just borrowed the  stuff. Then I was amazed to find the stuff all completely dry. So, I said out load "Okay, you do exist."

    From that day forward, I was mesmerized. I had a character in mind prior to doing research, and that character jumped right out of the research. She was a spot-on fit for the main character that I had envisioned, frighteningly close. From then on, the book consumed me. One Thursday afternoon, I began typing and then suddenly it was Tuesday morning, and I had typed almost four days straight and only stopping for fitful two-hour naps, which were filled with vivid dreams about North Village.

    That's how it all happened, and how I find myself with books flying off the shelf as though self-propelled.  Seems I'm not alone in my interest of The Nissitissit Witch!

    What People are saying


    A book you can't put down, one minute you are sitting on the edge of your seat then you fall off, rest and befor eyou know it, you are still reading and its the next day. The chrarcters are so real and the eerie feeling you feel is so real. --Barbara

    The mystery, history and the story of Sarah which comes to life, you can actually see it play out before your eyes and leave you craving for more. --Cheryl

     

    See the Book Trailer!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPNHobuS_yE

    Purchase Nissitissit Witch today:

    ISBN: 98-1-4389-1713-9(SC)
    ISBN: 978-1-4389-1714-6 *NC)

    Pre Order now - books will be shipped Oct 5.
    Mail check or money order to Rosemary Chaulk
    PO Box 406
    West Groton, MA 01472

    Visit Rosemary today at  http://www.rosemarychaulk.com/index.html



    Posted by joyceanthony at 1:28 AM EDT
    Updated: Wednesday, 1 October 2008 1:35 AM EDT
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    Tuesday, 30 September 2008
    Talking With Rosemary Chaulk
    Topic: Author Interview
     Rosemary Chaulk the person:

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

    An emotion receptor.

    2.  How do you think others would describe you?

    Intelligent but misguided.

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

    Helping fight for the rights of the working person against the abuse of them by the government.

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

    No

    5.  What is your most precious memory? 

    My son

    Rosemary Chaulk  the writer:

    6.  Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

    Three years ago was when I started writing for real.


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

    Marketing Nissitissit Witch and finish writing J1T (just one tear)

    8.  What are your future goals for your writing?

    To write a bestseller and make the world cry.

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

    I can only write during the winter months when I can take time off from land survey.


    10.  Why do you write?

    I want to take my life's experience both good and bad and feed them back to the world. I want to touch the hearts of people and move them forever. I want to leave my readers better off than they were before.


    11.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

    Robert A. Heinlein. His book Stranger in a strange land helped show me the follow of modern religions.

    12.  How do you define your writing?

    Straight from the heart. Raw and emotional.

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

    Wow

    Rosemary Chaulk the details:

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

    www.rosemarychaulk.com


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

    On my website and on Helium.com

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

    Summer Dreams by Rosemary Chaulk,

    Dragonfly Daughter pen name Violet Rose,

    Nissitissit Witch by Rosemary Chaulk

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

    Summer Dreams is whimsical, Dragonfly Daughter is an epic tragedy that turns into salvation, Nissitissit Witch is spiritual and environmental.

    In conclusion:

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

    I write for the chance to help change the world.

     


    Posted by joyceanthony at 12:16 AM EDT
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    Monday, 29 September 2008
    Nissitissit Witch by Rosemary Chaulk
    Topic: Blog Tours

    There are some books that seem to have events connected with them that are unexplainable.  My book, Storm, was surrounded by many of these so-called "coincidences".  The next couple of days, we will be exploring the debut novel of Rosemary Chaulk, Nissitissit Witch.  This is another one of those books that has brought about many unexplained events.  Not only the book, but the area portrayed within its pages has long been associated with such events.  Enjoy our brief adventure!

     

    Perfect Paperback: 317 pages

     
    ISBN: 98-1-4389-1713-9(SC)
    ISBN: 978-1-4389-1714-6 *NC)

    Pre Order now - books will be shipped Oct 5.
    Mail check or money order to Rosemary Chaulk
    PO Box 406
    West Groton, MA 01472
    About the Author:  I was born under the sign of the bull, forever connected to the earth. As far back as I can remember I have spent as much time as possible outside.  When I was younger I played outdoors, later in life I worked outdoors. Up until the last few winters I have worked outside year round doing land survey. Hiking in the White Mountains, canoeing in the Alagash. It is this constant contact with the earth which drew me to North Village. 

    Can land be cursed or is it just the tortured souls who roam it who are cursed? If man disappeared would the land still be cursed? North Village caught my attention because of the curse of the witch. In doing my research I found that North Village was doomed long before the witches ever came.

     

    Nissistissit Witch

    My book, Nissitissit Witch suggests that the original curse on the valley was from the Indians who were slaughtered when the invading white settlers took the Nissitissit. We as victors wrote the history, but what about the history of those who came before us, what about the troubled Indian spirits?  While telling tales of Indian Spirits and witches I use this platform for my true message, which is pollution. We took America from the natives and the first thing we did was to decimate the woods, pollute the rivers and torture the land for anything we could take for profit. We dammed the rivers and killed the salmon.  During the Eighteen hundreds the Nissitissit was no different than any other river. During that time our rivers were the recipient of every waste product and poison produced. North village is located in a narrow valley that concentrates the flow from about forty thousand acres of land upstream.

     

    There were many little villages along the Nissitissit and any toxins they wanted to dispose of was dumped into the river.  Right in North Village I found that they made felt and had a velvet shop.

    The process of making felt uses mercurous oxide. Velvet cloths use felt in the collars and the colors in the velvets were also very toxic. Long-term exposure to mercury causes death by fits of insanity and people died in 'an unusual way'. Nissitissit Witch takes all of these factors and spins a fictional entertaining yarn that has lots of history of the area spun into a tall tale.

     

    Description

    The Nissitissit Witch captures the essence of a bygone era and exemplifies how narrow-mindedness and ignorance can lead to tragedy and regret. Following rumors of witchcraft, curses, and the work of the Devil, panic and hysteria force a community to retreat and ultimately vanish. Set in the town of North Village (which is now Pepperell, Massachusetts) the story begins in the late nineteenth century and, with the author's clever use of flashbacks, takes the reader further back in time. Ailing, old-timer Ebb recounts painful memories from both the Civil War, and his childhood, trying to make sense of the trauma in his life. His return home is bittersweet, as he is controlled by an undeniable desire to enter the river's mist and embark upon a remarkable, spiritual journey.

    Posted by joyceanthony at 3:50 AM EDT
    Updated: Monday, 29 September 2008 3:58 AM EDT
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    Sunday, 28 September 2008
    A Talk With Anna Maria Prezio, Feng Shui Ghostbuster
    Topic: Author Interview
    Anna Maria Prezio the person:

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

    Generous, Intuitive, Humanitarian

    2.  How do you think others would describe you?

    Humorous, Generous, Dependable

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

    Photography, Cinema, Family.

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

    No but I love animals.

    5.  What is your most precious memory?

    Seeing my son for the very first time.

    6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

    Standing in from of my 4th grade class with a drippy nose and without a tissue.

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

    Fundraising
     

    Anna Maria Prezio the writer:

    8.  Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?

    While studying journalism in college, my first English class project involved writing poetry that I enjoyed.

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

    I write every day and as much as I can.  

    10.  What are your future goals for your writing?

    I would like to do public speaking, consultations, radio shows, and TV shows to bring about awareness of how ghosts can be released and how to alleviate the fear around the subject of spirits, ghosts and entities as well as to introduce people to the positive effects of Feng Shui.

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

    There is nothing typical about a writing day.  Inspiration comes in many forms.

    Sometimes my book ideas come to me in a dream.  Sometimes they come to me in my meditations.  I'm blessed with inspiration.

    12.  Why do you write?

    Writing for me is cathartic.

    I write to inspire, to heal, to give of myself, my knowledge and my wisdom.

    I write to enjoy wonderful words on paper. I write to teach. I write to be heard.

    I write to give something to someone who needs it.  I write because the imagination gives us new experiences to pass on to others and old stories, traditions, cultures, experiences to hand down to generations to come so that they can be preserved.  Writing allows me to tell my innermost part of me in the form of a character or a story.  Writing is creating, imagining, dreaming.  What would be do if we could not imagine, dream or create?

    13.  What writer most inspires you?  Why?

    Writers who inspire me are so many from Aristotle, Plato and Socrates to Tom Clancy, Ernest Hemingway and Anne Frank.  The authors who inspire are those who give a bit of themselves as they write, fertile with imagination and spirit.

    14.  How do you define your writing?

    Simplistic, Daring and Provocative in a very understandable way...I want to provoke your thinking and I want you to open your mind and your heart when you read my works.

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

    She was ahead of her time.

    Art and Science do mingle, mix and match...

    Anna Maria Prezio was an innovator...

    Anna Maria Prezio the details:

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

    http://www.prezio.com/

    http://www.fengshuiharmony.net/

    My blog on my website is full of information.

     

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

    prezio@sbcglobal.net or my website, www.prezio.com

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

    Confessions of a Feng Shui Ghostbuster

    You can opt-into my website and receive my free report entitled, "Power &Prosperity Through Feng Shui and Color"

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

    Clarity, knowledge and intrigue on a subject I write about for the first time.  It will inspire you and enlighten you to a new way of thinking about entities, ghosts, spirits and supernatural forces.


    Posted by joyceanthony at 12:02 AM EDT
    Updated: Sunday, 28 September 2008 12:03 AM EDT
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    Saturday, 27 September 2008
    A Look Inside Confessions of a Feng Shui Ghostbuster
    Topic: Blog Tours

    As promised, today we get to look inside Confessions of a Feng Shui Ghostbuster, the latest book by Anna Maria Prezio.  Please come back tomorrow when we get to talk with Anna Maria!!!

    ***

    Table of Contents

    About the Author................................................... 9

    About the Book.................................................... 11

    Forward............................................................... 13

    Introduction......................................................... 19

    PART ONE: My Journey....................................... 25

    Chapter 1: Spirits ................................................. 27

    Chapter 2: Ancestors............................................ 35

    Chapter 3: See-ers ................................................ 37

    Chapter 4: Body Language................................... 41

    Chapter 5: Honor Thy Intuition ........................... 45

    Chapter 6: Metaphysician .................................... 49

    Photo Album ....................................................... 53

    PART TWO: Basics of Feng Shui and Ghosts........ 65

    Chapter 7: Art or Science ..................................... 67

    Chapter 8: Earth Energy and Chi ......................... 73

    Traditional or Classical Feng Shui..................... 76

    Black Hat or Black Sect Feng Shui .................... 78

    Color ................................................................ 78

    The Five Elements .............................................82

    Number Symbology...........................................85

    Eight Aspirations ...............................................86

    Evil Lines (Kong Wang) ....................................87

    Chapter 9: Remedies.............................................91

    Talismans, Amulets and Cures ..........................92

    Rock Salt ...........................................................92

    Xiong Huang Wine............................................93

    Cinnabar Powder...............................................94

    Coins .................................................................94

    Sword of Coins ..................................................96

    Crystals and Rocks ............................................96

    Rocks and Stones...............................................99

    Sound and Light ..............................................100

    Chapter 10: Animals ...........................................103

    Mythical Animals ............................................103

    Real Animals ...................................................105

    Zodiac Animals ...............................................108

    Deities .............................................................109

    PART THREE: Ghost-Busting .............................111

    Chapter 11: Confused Entities ............................113

    Chapter 12: Feng Shui and Spirits ...................... 117

    Chapter 13: Intense Energies.............................. 121

    Chapter 14: Space Clearing ................................ 125

    Clutter............................................................. 127

    Chapter 15: Earthly Disturbances....................... 129

    Chapter 16: Feng Shui Experts – Yin and Yang . 131

    Chapter 17: Yin Houses ..................................... 135

    The Yin and Yang Areas of a House ............... 139

    Chapter 18: Cultural Traditions and Beliefs........ 143

    Chapter 19: Five Ghosts Carry Money............... 147

    Chapter 20: Ghostly Houses and Feng Shui ....... 149

    Walter............................................................. 149

    Carla............................................................... 155

    Chapter 21: Mamma .......................................... 161

    Epilogue............................................................165

    Appendices .......................................................171

    Factors That Influence Our Success! .................. 173

    10 Rules to a Serene & Ghost-Free Environment 175

    Glossary of Terms.............................................. 177

    Notes ...............................................................186

    *****

    Chapter 1 : Spi ri t s

    I felt my warm blanket being pulled off me and, suddenly, a hurtful slap on my behind. It startled me awake. I was a terrified 6-year-old. It was All Saint’s Eve in a small village town in Italy. Everyone invited the spirits of their dead relatives to visit them. Glasses of wine and plates of food were left for visiting spirits. My small bed was placed in the dining room where my family members thought the spirits would enter. They even left the front door open for them, as this was the custom. I was afraid, but told no one. I remained very still, but my heart was racing and the seemingly large, cold hand that struck me with only one blow never returned.

    It was not a dream and it was not imagined. To this day, I have told only a few people. They wanted to comfort me, so they made excuses. They would say, “It was a prank” or “Maybe it was a joke by your siblings.” One person even said, “You may have had a very active imagination then.” After all, it was Halloween night. As a young child remembers things in their past, some things are unforgettable. This was one of those incidents. Why would I repeat anything that may have been mocked or
    misconstrued by the people who loved me? I never mentioned it again … until now. It was a spirit.

    My grandfather used to tell me ghost stories when I was a little girl. Story telling was the only entertainment there was in that small village in southern Italy. No television. No radio. And hardly any books to read to keep our active minds occupied. At the end of the day, we would gather around the brasciere, a large container made from brass or copper, filled with coal for warmth and heat during cold winter months. It was the only heater, except for our rustic fireplace. We would gather around the brasciere and listen to the stories being told. Some were folklore and others were thought to be real. Very scary for a young imagination to absorb. My grandfather, Vincenzo, was the best at telling spooky stories. Every sound was amplified. He became animated. At the end of the story it was hard to fall asleep.

    Our house was a large two-story. It was built by my grandparents, Mamma’s mother and father. They lived downstairs. This is where I slept, because it was too crowded on the second floor. We were a large family of seven. I actually enjoyed having the entire dining room to myself and I didn’t have to share a bed with any of my sisters. I felt like a princess. My grandparents gave me lots of attention. Can’t say I didn’t like it.

    This was the house where I was born, and grew up in until almost age 8 when my family left Italy to travel to the US. It belonged to my mother and father. They bought the house from Momma’s parents. In the Italian tradition, parents left their houses to their daughters. The two daughters, my mother Maria and her sister Filippina, would have possession of the house and keep it in the family unless one sister would sell to the other. My mother bought her sister’s share at a time when her sister was having financial difficulty. My aunt was grateful that my mother offered to buy her share. The money my father earned was always placed directly in my mother’s hands. Mamma was frugal. She knew how to stretch a lira. She set aside a small amount from their earnings. She had saved enough to make the purchase. She paid 250,000 lire for the house. In 1939, that amount was equal to approximately $2,500 US.One day my father came home from a long day working at the annual carnival miles away from home. He was the only photographer in the region. He photographed couples, children, even priests and nuns. He would travel on his bicycle, sometimes 80 miles, to bordering towns to set up his camera equipment at the fiera annuale. Each day, when he came home, he gave my mother the day’s earnings, as usual.

    She sat him down as if something very important was going to be said and told him that the house now belonged to them. She showed him the deed. He got very excited! He jumped up and said, “Maria, you made me the happiest man alive. How did you do it?”

    Every time Mamma told the story, she would get very animated and you could see from her face how much love she had for my papa. She spoke about how he picked her up and swung her in the air and twirled her around. My mom was almost five feet tall, if that, and my father was almost six feet tall. She felt like she was on top of the world. The way he lifted her, as she told it, was as if she was crowned queen. He placed her on that pedestal that women crave. She felt his love, his respect, his devotion and affection in one fell swoop. She told me that she felt so much love from her husband that day that nothing could compare to it. I can still hear her tell that story. Any of my sisters or brother will tell you this story in the exact same way.

    My grandfather, Vincenzo, was a gentle soul. He spoke softly. He seemed very tall to me. He had white hair, blue eyes and was light skinned like my Mamma. He taught me how to count in English. He had been to America, but frowned upon any one of
    his immediate family members moving there, because of the hardship he endured. He knew that no matter what he said, someday, we would follow in his footsteps.

    In Roggiano Gravina everyone knew each other. Everyone told ghost stories, even my father. They called him Maestro Angiolino. He served in the Italian army during World War II as bandleader for his battalion in Tripoli. Even though my father had made a name for himself as the only photographer, and the only music teacher of his time, in this small village, he wanted to journey to America to make a better life for his family.

    My uncle Salvatore, my father’s brother, was a successful man in America, or so we thought. Uncle Sal was one of the reasons why my father left Italy for Philadelphia. As it turned out, Uncle Sal was a cabinetmaker foreman, and had a house with a white picket fence in an Irish neighborhood, much like everyone else on the block. When papa left for the US, we missed his ghost stories. That’s when my grandfather took over and embellished on the scariest of stories, especially when told in the dimness of night.

    I wanted to stay up and listen to all of them and hear every small detail. I did not want him to
    skip a beat. Nonno did not like interruptions, and so he commanded a silent audience.

    One night in front of the fire when I would not listen to my mother’s request to go to bed, my slumber took over. Slowly but surely as I was sitting straight up in my chair, I fell right into the fire, palms up, into the burning hot coal. The palms of my small hands were severely burned. The pain was excruciating. It felt like a million stab wounds. The skin was charred and ready to fall off. My screams woke everyone out of their sleep.

    My mother, our neighbors, and even my Zia Mara, heard my screams and rushed right over. Auntie lived two houses away. No sooner did she show up, than she ran right back out to pluck several large leaves from a nearby large plant called cento nervi, which means one hundred nerves. She dampened and placed these large green leaves over my palms.

    She knew immediately what to do. She wrapped my hands with gauze to keep the leaves in place and told me to be still. Mamma brewed a cup of chamomile tea to calm me down. Shosha Annita, our next door neighbor sat with me to make sure I was OK. She was like a mother to all of us. The very next day the burning was gone, and so was the pain. No scars were left on either palm.

    From that point on, Nonno was not going to allow me to stay up late. He liked having an audience, but had to modify his schedule … and mine. Needless to say I was sadly disappointed.


    Posted by joyceanthony at 4:50 AM EDT
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    Friday, 26 September 2008
    Feng Shui Ghostbuster Anna Maria Prezio
    Topic: Blog Tours

    The next four days sees me bringing together two of my favorite topics, feng shui and ghost-busting.  Author, Anna Maria Prezio is visiting us.  Today, we get to meet Anna Maria and take a look at her book, Confessions of a Feng Shui Ghostbuster.  Tomorrow I will share an excerpt from the book and Sunday I'd like everyone to join me as I talk with Anna Maria Prezio.  On Monday, I'll share with you my impressions and review of Confessions of a Feng Shui Ghostbuster.  Please visit often and I know Anna Maria would love to hear your comments!

    Confessions of a Feng Shui Ghost-Buster is the result of a lifelong journey that begins in a tiny village in Italy and has yet to truly end. To help you understand this journey – and benefit from the lessons learned along the way – the book is divided into three parts.

    Part I will capture your attention with a ghostly first experience of an intuitive and vulnerable 6 year-old child. The culture and experiences of the author growing up in a rural and mystical village in Italy where ghostly occurrences and stories were part of every day life serve to set the stage for what would be a life long study of the mystical and the Divine.

    Part II describes Feng Shui, like medicine, as both an art and a science. Here, the definitions and different sects of Feng Shui are discussed to provide a backdrop for the connection between environmental balance and the appearance of ghosts. You will learn how mastery of Feng Shui helps us to understand the occult, or hidden knowledge, as it applies to all aspects of our life here on earth.

    With the formation of a solid foundation and understanding of this art and science, Part III delves deeper into the correlation between environment and entities with ideas, cures and stories about ghost-busting as a result the author’s direct and extraordinary experience.

    This book – part memoir, part guide – promises to intrigue you from cover to cover. However, the price of admission to this world is an open mind. In return, you will not only better understand yourself, but the metaphysical world in which you live.

    *****

    Anna Maria Prezio, is a professional Feng Shui Consultant and Practitioner with an advanced graduate certification from the American Feng Shui Institute, Chinese Metaphysical Studies, and the Imperial School of Feng Shui.

    She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Villanova University as well as a Business Graduate Degree. Her expertise is in the communication arts, visual arts and entrepreneurship. She is a certified entrepreneurship instructor for the Executive Entrepreneur Institute and has held positions as a marketing executive for multinational corporations.

    As a marketing consultant in health care, entertainment, and the non-profit sectors she has incorporated her knowledge of Feng Shui and its effects on personal environments to enhance people’s lives. Ms. Prezio’s mission is to help people gain the knowledge and tools of Feng Shui to improve and enhance their wealth, health, creativity and relationships.

    Anna Maria Prezio has audited hundreds of Feng Shui sites. Her clients include: Hollywood casting directors, costume designers, actors, writers, directors, engineers, airline executives, business owners, doctors, real estate agents, building contractors, architects, corporate executives and brokers.

    Ms. Prezio is a writer. She has published screenplays, articles and books. Her love for the visual arts has led her to produce feature films, film shorts, music videos, and photography. Her experience, Feng Shui knowledge and highly intuitive talent gives her the ability to sense people, places and things which help to nurture and facilitate her clients’ lifestyles.

    For more information on Anna Maria Prezio and Confessions of a Feng Shui Ghostbuster, please visit http://www.fengshuiharmony.net/  and please come back tomorrow when we take a look inside this book!


    Posted by joyceanthony at 1:05 AM EDT
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    Thursday, 25 September 2008
    Bobby's Diner--An Excerpt and a Review
    Topic: Blog Tours

    Excerpt
    Bobby’s Diner©
    by
    Susan Wingate

    Chapter One

    For the reading of Bobby’s will, the attorneys sat Vanessa – the ex, Roberta (Bobby and Vanessa’s daughter), and me in a conference room together. I was instructed to bring a lawyer, as were the other two ladies. I didn’t. That sort of thing isn’t in me. Vanessa did. The lawyer read Bobby’s will. It was pretty much as I expected. I got the house we shared, most of the money accounts, Roberta received two hundred thousand dollars in a fund her father had set aside for her upon his death. Then, the lawyer read further. Bobby did something none of us expected. He gave me half the interest in the diner and Vanessa, the other half!
    Just like Bobby to be equitable. Finally, the lawyer read a statement Bobby had hand-written before he died. The note said something about his guilt for leaving Vanessa, but his great love for me, about Vanessa’s interest of nearly half her life spent building the diner, and my creativity to keep it going.

    Have you ever heard the term ‘livid’ before? Well, Vanessa’s face turned every shade of livid I’ve ever seen. I remember sitting there and imagining her head filling up like one of those water balloons at the fair and exploding right off her shoulders. Her lawyer patted her hand and told her “not to worry”. I giggled to myself at the mess of it all, said my “thank yous” and “goodbyes” to his former family and the lawyers, and I left feeling pretty good too considering what had just happened. Financially, I was solid and didn’t need to worry about money for a while, anyway.
    I closed the diner for three weeks.

    When I went back to re-open, Vanessa was there waiting outside the door. She offered to buy my interest. I told her I had no intention of selling and offered to buy hers. She fumed at my boldness and told me she’d never sell. Bobby knew I was stubborn as a mule in a blizzard and he knew his former wife had some of my same shortcomings.

    “Well, isn’t this a fine mess.” Vanessa threw her hands up and when they came down, they landed on her lap as she sat hard against the window’s ledge.
    “Guess Bobby had the last laugh, huh?” I looked out onto the day with one hand protecting my face from the bright sun. It was early spring then and the cacti were putting on a show that would embarrass the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, gorgeous.

    “Since this place is now legally half mine, I want a key.” Vanessa was indignant.

    “Fine. After José gets here, I’ll have him run up to Charlie’s to get his copied.”
    Vanessa let out a small huff and stood back up. “What are we supposed to do now?”

    “Well, the diner needs managing. I guess we manage it.”

    “Together?” She put her hands on her hips.

    “What else can we do?”

    “It just won’t work.”

    “Why is that, Vanessa? After all these years, do you still hate me so much?”

    “Oh, hell, I could care less about you.” She turned away and looked out over the burgeoning desert. “How’s this gonna look to the folks around here? Did you ever think about that?”

    “I just put my husband in the ground. I guess I haven’t had too much time to worry about what people are thinking.”

    “He was my husband too.” She scowled when she looked at me. I couldn’t very well argue her point and decided by the look of her, saying nothing was best. Vanessa turned her head away. “Fuck.” She spoke it like a tire going flat.
    We looked at each other for a few seconds. I’d been sitting on the planter outside the door across from Vanessa the whole time and my ass felt numb, so I stood. Face-to-face with her, it was uncanny how much Vanessa and I looked like each other. She was older, of course, and had severely short, dark copper-colored hair. Her eyes were almond-shaped and emerald green, like mine. She was tall and had some meat to her, like me. Her skin was radiant pink with freckles. Here, standing in front of me, was the only other woman Bobby had ever loved. We stared into each other’s eyes. I can only guess what she was thinking. The scowl on her face was worth a thousand words. Time seemed to stall out and we began to feel ill at ease.

    Through it all, a strange feeling welled-up deep inside me. For the life of me, I don’t know why I did what I did at that moment. I stuck my hand out like I was making a deal.

    “So, what d’ya say, partner? Shall we give her a go?” I said it emphasizing my Georgian drawl like an actor in an old western.

    And, Vanessa did quite the unexpected thing. She grabbed my hand and gave it one hard shake downwards.

    As we walked together toward the restaurant’s door, she shook her head in disbelief and grumbled, “Dear God, help us.”

    *****

    A Review

    Bobby's Diner. When I read the title, I had the idea this would be another one of those books describing the everyday details of small-town America.  Truthfully, I thought I'd find the book rather boring.  I was completely wrong!

    Susan Wingate has created a unique situation with this novel, bringing together two unlikely women--an ex-wife and the woman who stole her husband--and placing them in a situation where they have to deal with each other on a daily basis.  As the new co-owners of Bobby's Diner, these women must learn to work together or give up--and both are too stubborn to give up.  Adding in a scalaway bent on taking over the diner, and the situation gets even more intense.

    Moments of humor mix with deep emotions in this book.  Susan Wingate shows an understanding of human nature well beyond what is normally seen in a novel.  She has a mastery of dialogue that I find refreshing--I felt as though I was right there, listening.  It isn't often I find dialogue so true-to-life. Between her mastery of dialogue and understanding of human nature, Susan Wingate held me captive  with this book.

    Can these women come to terms with past hurts?  Can they work together to save Bobby's Diner from dying?  Is it possible for these women to understand that there was a reason they both earned the love of the same man?  You will have to read Bobby's Diner to find out. 

    Give yourself several hours to read this book.  You will find yourself saying "Just one more chapter" over and over again.  It is one of those rare books you won't want to put down.  I look forward to reading more of Ms. Wingate's work.


    Posted by joyceanthony at 3:19 PM EDT
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    Stop Believing in Your Own Weakness--A Special Message
    Topic: Miscellaneous
    Stop Believing in Your Own Weakness

    It is our fear of being alone and in doubt, of wanting to feel certain that
    what we are doing is right, that compels us to seek the approval of others. So this tells us that the chief cause of why our lives so often wind up in the hands of others is not that they are superior or that the world is too strong for us, but that we don't want to face the uncertainty and aloneness we think we are too weak to bear. This is the real cause of all of our wrong relationships in life. We have been betrayed by a belief in our own weakness.

    The conscious refusal to go along with what our weakness wants us to do to escape its uncertainty is what invokes and finally delivers real inner confidence. This new kind of strength gradually becomes the
    cornerstone of a true individual existence -- the life we've always wanted. The stakes are actually eternal -- but self-victory is as
    certain as the fact that light always triumphs over darkness.

    Use the following ten key lessons to help strengthen your understanding of these vital ideas. Think about them; welcome their healing insights as "lights along the way" to true self-liberation.

    Special Study for Lasting Self-Possession

    1. When you don't know what to do with yourself, someone will always be happy to tell you.

    2. Why seek the approval of someone who doesn't even approve of himself?

    3. Fawning before an angry person is like asking a rabid wolf for its
    approval.

    4. The more approval you get, the more you have to have.

    5. Keeping any person or circumstance in your life that demands you
    surrender your right to be a whole and happy human being is wrong for everyone involved.

    6. When you are out standing in a storm, don't blame the weather.

    7. Real strength always follows uncovering one of the roots of weakness.

    8. Don't seek yourself. Dare to be yourself.

    9. If you were really doing the right thing with your life, you wouldn't
    need anyone to tell you that you were.

    10. Permitting your life to be taken over by another person is like letting the waiter eat your dinner. (Vernon Howard)

    No human being has any authority over you. Your life belongs to you and to you alone. No scowling face or irritated manner, no challenging posture or threatening tone, has any power to make you feel nervous or anxious, frightened or angry. Your true nature answers to no one. This is a fact, and anyone who is tired of letting someone else tell them how to feel can use this self-liberating principle to win true and lasting independence.
                                                                     -- Guy Finley

    Posted by joyceanthony at 2:07 AM EDT
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