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Saturday, 29 November 2008
A Look Inside The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing
Topic: Blog Tours

Book Excerpt


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     Though it may seem strange, there are hundreds of books on writing in general, and many on writing book reports, proposals, query letters and synopses, but practically none on writing reviews.
        Like all fledgling reviewers, I made my share of amateurish mistakes, becoming all the more experienced and polished because of them. I, too, was guilty of the fledgling reviewer's disease--that of writing overly-positive reviews. Overwhelmed with enthusiasm, a good heart, and the desire to please everyone associated with the book, I often made the big mistake of forgetting the foremost person a reviewer must keep in mind--the reader. As I read and wrote more and more reviews, it soon became easy to tell a good review from a bad one, and to realize that a large number of reviewers, especially beginners, would profit from a bit of guidance, the things I learned from my mistakes.
     The fact is, most people do read reviews to select their reading material. Reviews do have a positive or a negative influence on whether or not a person buys a book. Hence, reviewing is a serious responsibility, one reviewers shouldn't take lightly.
      The aim of this book, therefore, is to offer some guidelines in a clear manner supported with targeted examples of how to write and publish thoughtful, well-written reviews no matter their length, type or genre, and to examine the essence of reviews within a broader spectrum.
     This book was written not only with the aspiring reviewer in mind, but for the established reviewer who needs a bit of refreshing and also for anybody--be they author, publisher, reader, bookseller, librarian or publicist--who wants to become more informed about the value, purpose and effectiveness of reviews.
         On a final note, the writing of this book has been a highly interesting, educational and thrilling ride into the slippery world of reviews for Anne K. Edwards and me. I hope you'll enjoy the journey and profit from it as much as we have.
         So take out pen and paper, a highlighter, and get ready to write great reviews!

Posted by joyceanthony at 2:47 AM EST
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Friday, 28 November 2008
Zamora's Ultimate Challenge by Michele Scott -A Review
Topic: Book Review

Twelve-year old Carter and his younger brother, Mason, are typical boys.  The argue over their differences and enthusiastically share the things they have in common.  Their baby sister, Isabella, gets on both their nerves, especially when they are playing their favorite video game, Zadora's Ultimate Challenge.

Left for an hour without parental supervision, the two boys find themselves thrust into the game, where they must face their ultimate quest of finding their sister, who has been kidnapped by the evil Queen Zadora.  Given three "rules" by a sage-believe in yourself, believe in each other and trust the light from within--the brothers have three days to beat the game before the world is changed forever into a place of evil.

Michele Scott has crafted a story that will keep middle-grade readers on edge as the brothers fight a dragon, dodge dinosaur poop bombs and find help in the most unlikely places.  As they learn about their own strength and that of each other, readers will also learn lessons in self-esteem, family and that the ultimate weapon against evil is....well, you'll have to read the book to learn that :-)

Realistic character, fast-paced action and subtle lessons are all woven together by Michele Scott to create a book that will be enjoyed by readers for years to come.  I thoroughly enjoyed her ability to teach without seeming to do so.  Zamora's Ultimate Challenge is an uplifting read that will have kids feeling good about not only themselves, but those people closest to them-their family.   

On my Rainbow Scale of Excellence, I give Zadora's Ultimate Challenge a seven--a perfect rainbow!

Posted by joyceanthony at 5:13 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 28 November 2008 7:15 AM EST
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Guest Post from Mayra Calvani
Topic: Blog Tours

Mayra Calvani has honored us with her definition of a good book review. Here is what she has to say:

My definition of a book review...


A good book review, whether short or long, is a well-written, honest, thoughtful evaluation of a book, one that points out the good and the ugly. If negative, a good review must also be tactful. I usually, though not always, follow a simple formula for a review, something I learned from Alex Moore, Book Review Editor of ForeWord Magazine: An interesting lead or quote; a short summary of the plot (without ever giving away spoilers or the ending); an evaluation supported by examples or quotes; and a recommendation (or not). A review is written for the reader/consumer in mind, and must help them decide whether or not the book is worth their time and money. It goes without saying that a good review should be free of spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors. Finally, a good review should engage the reader, should hold the reader’s interest and attention.



Please come back tomorrow for more on The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing.  For now, I will leave you with a partial list of what all this book contains:


The Five Keys to Being a Good Reviewer
What is a Book Review?
Reading Critically
How to Write a Book Review
The Star System: Rating Books
Types of Reviews
The Difference between Reader Reviews and Reviewer Reviews
The Difference between Pre-Publication and Post-Publication Reviews
How a Review Differs from a Book Report, a Critique and a Press Release
The Absolute Don'ts (or Signs of an Amateur)
The Feelings of an Author
What if the Book is Terrible?
Is It Unethical to Sell the Book?
Ownership and Print Rights
When the Hobby Turns into a Demanding Job
Is There Any Money in It?
What's in It for You, The Reviewer?
Dealing with Review Editors, Authors, and Publishers
Reviewing: Practical Tips to Remember
How to Start Your Own Book Review Site
Reviewers vs. Bloggers: The Contro

Posted by joyceanthony at 4:42 AM EST
Updated: Friday, 28 November 2008 4:46 AM EST
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Thursday, 27 November 2008
The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing
Topic: Blog Tours

A book review is easy to write, correct? You say I liked it or I hated it and add a reason why-nothing to it. Besides, nobody actually pays atention to book reviews.  Wrong!

Book reviews have swayed many a reader toward buying abook, or walking away. Book stores, libraries and a majority of readers like to know what people think of a book-it helps them decide whether it is worth the price of purchase or not.  In order to write an effective review, certain elements should be included--and others avoided

My guest over the next few days will be Mayra Calvani, co-author of The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing.  Multi-genre author Mayra Calvani has been a reviewer for ten years. She’s the author of the supernatural thrillers, Embraced by the Shadows and Dark Lullaby. A regular contributor to Blogcritics Magazine, she’s also a member of Broad Universe, Authors Coalition, and The Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators. Visit her website at: For her children’s books, visit Mayra also keeps a blog, The Dark Phantom Review, where she regularly posts reviews and author interviews.

Let's take a look at a short synopsis of The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing:

Are you passionate about books? Do you have the desire to share your thoughts about a book with readers, yet are unsure about what makes a good review? Are you curious about the influence reviews have on readers, booksellers, and librarians? If you’re an experienced reviewer, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing will serve as an excellent reference tool and amalgam of resources. If you’re a beginner, this book will show you how to write a well-written, honest, objective and professional book review. It will also teach you:
• How to read critically
• How to differentiate the various types of reviews
• How to rate books
• How to prevent amateurish mistakes
• How to deal with the ethics and legalities of reviewing
• How to tell the difference between a review, a book report, and a critique
• How to start your own review site
• How to publish your reviews on dozens of sites and even make money while you’re at it, and much more

If you’re an author, publisher, publicist, bookseller, librarian, or reader, this book will also bring to light the importance and influence of book reviews within a wider spectrum. 

*Currently used as a text book for book writing course in Loyola College, Maryland.

*The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing will be required reading for an English course at Kent State University, Ohio, that begins mid-January 2009.

To learn more about The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, visit

Tomorrow, I will share a guest post from Mayra and let you have a peek at a partial list of the book contents.

Posted by joyceanthony at 2:32 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 27 November 2008 2:36 AM EST
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Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Zamora's Ultimate Challenge--A New YA Book
Topic: Blog Tours

As parents and grandparents, we are always looking for ways to get our young ones to read.  That is why I must tell you about any particularly good books that I find.  Today, I'd like to talk about Zamora's Ultimate Challenge. 

Mason and Carter Clover only agree on two things--their baby sister Isabella is a royal pain and their favorite video game, Zamora's Ultimate Challenge, is totally awesome. 

But fantasy turns to reality when Zamora's evil face appears across the brothers' television screen. Claiming to have kidnapped Isabella, the queen challenges the boys to a daring rescue before she takes over their sister's soul. Zamora's plan is to use the baby as a human vessel to travel to Earth and dominate the world.

Once the brothers figure out how to get inside the video game, they are hurled into the magical land of Boysen where they meet their helpful guides: a sage, a quirky mermaid, and a Pegasus (who flies them to each thrilling level of the video game). Racing against
time, the brothers search for their sister, encountering a myriad of dangerous enemies including stinging fairies, haunted Master
Souls, and brutish, knife-wielding pirates. 

Can they beat each level of the game while being hunted by a fire-breathing dragon, stalked by a robotic shark, and terrorized by
acid-poop-bombing pterodactyls? 

Driven by the powerful bonds that unite siblings, Mason and Carter are determined to face their fears and will stop at nothing to bring Isabella home.but first they must survive Zamora's Ultimate Challenge!

Michele Scott, internationally known for her Berkeley Prime Crime series' 'The Wine Lover's Mysteries' and "The Horse Lover's Mysteries' is looking to increase her already huge fan base. Under the pseudonym of M.K. Scott, Quake (a division of Echelon Press, LLC) will be releasing her debut foray into the world of kids fantasy. With a pack of her own kids, she found great inspiration for the story of Mason and Carter. "Zamora's Ultimate Challenge" is a fantastical journey into another world.


Please return Friday when I will be posting my review of this book.

This being a double-post day, please continue reading to learn more about Gurutej and her programs.

Posted by joyceanthony at 3:16 AM EST
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More From Gurutej
Topic: Blog Tours

Besides the four DVDs I mentioned earlier this week, The Energy Gurus offer various programs to help individual and companies expand their minds and work more effectively.  Here are three:

Executive Ally program:

Become your own energy guru.

Being a leader is not always easy. When you are energetic, clear and productive, you are the inspiring force that carries a business, team or initiative. You are the head, you hold the vision, but how are you supported?

We have the capacity and the program to do just that. Our time-tested techniques are priceless. They will not only save you effort and money, they will give you boundless energy.

This program is a one-on-one consultation — focusing on situations relevant to you in the moment with an eye on your long-term goals.

We arm you with:

      • Easy-to-replicate techniques to boost and maintain your energy
      • Simple tools to increase your effectiveness
      • Hands-on support to create new, vision-affirming habits
      • Increased capacity to release blocks to your best outcome


The Human Sustainability Series:

We green your business starting with your people.

In the business arena Sustainability is generally characterized as maintained productivity and limited consumed resources without compromised quality. The Energy Gurus definition of Sustainability also includes giving each person in a business or organization the tools to revitalize and sustain their individual—and group—energy.

This is what “greening humans” truly means: giving each person the capacity and support to change and manage their energy—therefore change their mental, physical and emotional states quickly and at will.  In turn, this reflects on the entire group, business or community.

We give you techniques and tools to create:

      • Exceptional vitality and clarity
      • Instant stress reduction
      • Enhanced mental and physical health
      • Cutting edge energizing diet
      • Spontaneous mood enhancement
      • Ability to adjust to change quickly
      • Increased trust in the work place


Women in Power; The applied art and science of intuition

For the last forty years Gurutej Khalsa—the founder of the Energy Gurus—has been studying and developing effective techniques specifically for women. She has led women’s retreats and conferences all over the world. Women have explicit needs and amazing potential to create great lives, as well as the power to make significant contributions to society.

This exciting program is designed to inspire and support women on their personal and professional journeys.

We will guide you to:

      • Identify the habits and events that take you down and effective ways to remedy this at the core
      • Discover secret ways to reclaim your energy
      • Use and heighten feminine intuition in all areas of life
      • Create productive habits to sustain your ultimate goals—unleash your power
      • Manage sleep, exercise and food for greater levels of energy
      • Lead successfully in the many areas of your life without sacrificing your energy or yourself  

 Besides these, Gurutej offers various workshops and retreats throughout the year.  This incredible woman spends her life enabling others to experience their highest potential.  For more information, please check out her videos at:

and visit her sites and blog at:


For all those who write book reviews, please visit over the next few days when my guest will be Mayra Calvani, author of The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing.

Posted by joyceanthony at 2:58 AM EST
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Tuesday, 25 November 2008
The Benefits of Gurutej's Kundalini Yoga programs
Topic: Blog Tours

First I want to correct the contact information I posted for Gurutej yesterday.  She has asked that if you need to contact her please use  or as she is more likely to receive messages at these two addresses.

Why the Energy Gurus?

Founded by Gurutej Khalsa, the Energy Gurus offer life enhancing and stress reduction programs—for individual and groups/organizations—that introduce priceless time-tested techniques. They not only help unleash new levels of personal energy, but they also help to better manage it. In turn that generates great benefits and translates into time and money saving.


  • More vitality
  • Greater clarity
  • Productivity boost
  • Better mental and physical health
  • Stress reduction in 60-90 seconds
  • Affects of food on our energy
  • Increased capacity to handle stress
  • Promotes trust within the work place
  • Ability to adjust to change quickly

Small, medium or large, all businesses and organizations can benefit from the services offered by the Energy Gurus and tomorrow I will share with you some of the available series offered by Gurutej.

Gurutej offers four Kundalini Yoga DVDs:

Kundalini Yoga Awakening Intuition for Women

Kundalini Yoga for Mental Clarity

Kundalini Yoga for Balanced Chakras

Kundalini Yoga for Mental Clarity

There is something to enhance everyone's life!!

I was going to include a video, but the Internet gremlins are making it difficult tonight.  You don't have to miss them, however! Both:


offer a number of videos that give you great insight into what Gurutej has to offer on her DVDs.

For further information on Gurutej and her wondrous work, please visit:




Posted by joyceanthony at 2:11 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 25 November 2008 2:15 AM EST
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Monday, 24 November 2008
A Talk With Gurutej
Topic: Author Interview

I had the pleasure of interviewing Gurutej and what follows is the delightful result. Tomorrow, please come back to view a video with Gurutej and find out where to see more, as well as find out the benefits of this wonderful program.  I gurantee you won't be disappointed!

Gurutej The Person:

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

 Wildly joyously, humorously spiritual.

2.      How do you think others would describe you?

 Kooky, out of the box amazing.

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

Is there an out side of my work? No but I love anything in the ocean, Rollerblading hills, my kids, grandkids, serving the world women, teens, couples, businesses. Travel because it opens your soul.

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

I have one kitty new Sweetie had the name when I got her actually Sweetie Bee but I couldn't get that cutsie. She is coming round. Sweet soul and really really smart. Knows what you are saying and she usually responds, which is quite amazing in cat world.

5.  What is your most precious memory?

Meeting and being with my teacher, being deeply loved, meditating, the birth and raising of my children, my daughter in love and grand babies, teaching, my friends and enemies, Being in the ocean and my mom, but not necessarily in that order.

6.  What is your most embarrassing memory?

Showing up in first grade in costume on the wrong day for the Halloween party. Writing a love letter to someone else's boyfriend and having a good friend deliver it to his girlfriend, which in hind site she should have done.

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

Being extremely wealthy and using the money to uplift kids and give them hope and techniques to live life consciously so this planet could thrive.

8.      In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

Done this. This is a party so please sing and dance. This is what Gurutej requested. She came, she saw. she shared, uplifted and cared. Now she is free let it be.

Your Work:

9.  Can you describe the time you realized you were doing the work you were meant to do?

About 8 years old when I told my mother I was going to start my own religious order.

10.  What is going on with your work at this time?

Lots. The Energy Gurus, This tour, Workshops and conferences learning new ways to connect with more people

11. What are your future goals for your work?

To reach and uplift 10,000,000's

12.  Can you describe a typical work day for you?

I don't ever have a typical day

13. Why do you do this sort of work?

Because I have been given these teachings and they must be shared.

14.  What other person who does this sort of work inspires you the most?  Why?

Andy Werbach, Paul

15.  How do you define your work?

I give people techniques that can give them an experience of an uplifted more energetic life in 1-3 minutes. Then support them in this pursuit.

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

She was always and inspiration you can look at my web sites and for testimonials.

The Details:

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

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

Contact info is on web sites and blog. I can be reached at

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

Kundalini Yoga For Balanced Chakras

Kundalini Yoga For Mental Clarity - Calm and Focus the Mind

Kundalini Yoga Awakening Intuition for Women

Kundalini Yoga For the Immune System - Increase Vital Energy

20.  For new people -what can they expect when they read your work?

An experience of themselves. One person said "I could have save myself so much time and money if I had only done this first."

In conclusion:

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

That I want to take them with me and not just speak with them but get them to do some of the things necessary to have more energy and less stress NOW. In the now, who wants to live there as if it is an unfun place. Connecting to the source of energy is not unfun. It is delicious.

Posted by joyceanthony at 3:11 AM EST
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Learning More About Tony Napoli and My Father My Don
Topic: Blog Tours

I'd like to share with you today some things people are saying about Tony Napoli's book, My Father, My Don.

A Powerfully absorbing saga of personal redemption!"
       --Nicholas, Pileggi, author of Wiseguy and Casino

"A knockout! This powerful book examines, in great detail, Tony Nap's checkered past and his amazing comeback..."
--Bill Gallo, cartoonist and columnist, New York Daily News

 "Tony tells his story with honesty and a peacefulness of a man having to come to grips with past conflicts in a peaceful way."
--Sonny Girard, former mobster and author of Blood of Our Fathers  

“A true story told in the style of The French Connection.”
--Sonny Grosso, former NYPD detective and co-author, The French Connection


Wiseguy turned nice guy

Ex-mobster who won battle with bottle now helps alcoholic veterans recover
Sunday, August 26th 2007, 4:00 AM

He was destined to live in the shadow of his fabled father, a notorious bookie and mob figure. Alcoholism would almost kill the renegade son of James Napoli, known affectionately among wiseguys and cops as "Jimmy Nap."

Some of the highlights of Antonio (Tony Nap) Napoli's troubled life include accompanying his father at age 12 on a visit to Al Capone in Florida, boxing for the U.S. Air Force, almost beating to death a corrupt police captain in Jersey City, working as a casino boss in Las Vegas, and defying mob authority.

But what didn't kill him - alcoholism or wiseguys - made him stronger. Today, a reformed Tony Nap, 72, is a military veteran's best friend.

The transition began in November 1993, a year after his famous father died at 81.

A young punk from Sicily assaulted one of Tony's daughters. The next day, Tony confronted the thug, who tried to pull a knife from his boot. Big mistake. Tony disarmed the bum and cut him where no man wants to be cut. Tony was arrested; the punk was sentenced to life minus certain body parts.

Two months later, Tony collapsed in a Queens courtroom and remained in an alcoholic coma for 10 days. He would dry out after a 31-day stint at the Veterans Administration Medical Center at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn.

A year later, a jury found Tony guilty of assault, and Judge Joan O'Dwyer sentenced him to three and a half years of community service at the same VA hospital that helped him. The instructions were clear. Tony would help alcoholic veterans to recover.

Fourteen years later, Napoli has remained well beyond his sentence, continuing to help veterans.

"My job was to help them the way I was helped," said Napoli, "but then I realized a lot of these guys should have been receiving monetary benefits and weren't."

Napoli started exhaustive research of the veterans disability system. He has become an unpaid advocate for the vets, working out of his Forest Hills home and guiding them through the maze of bureaucracy that discourages them from seeking benefits.

"He is a tremendous help to these veterans. He had an honesty and willingness to change. He's a true example of sobriety," said Mike Mooney, coordinator of the substance abuse program at the veteran's medical center. Napoli provides invaluable assistance to veterans disillusioned with the disability system, Mooney added.

Some of the veterans Napoli has helped are old wiseguys who did prison stints after serving honorably in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

"These guys are old now. They've done their time and now have have nothing left. There's no reason why they shouldn't collect. They served their country," said Napoli, referring to old-time mob figures such as Sonny Franzese, 90, and Benny (Benny Eggs) Mangano, 87.

"I'll help out any veteran who comes to me," said Napoli, who has helped more than 150 veterans apply for and be granted disability payments.

Napoli's concern for the down-and-out underdog carries over to the sport of boxing.

Napoli, who boxed in the middleweight division while in the Air Force, is a board officer on the fund-raising committee of Ring 8, an organization that assists indigent former boxers.

The Daily News' famed sports cartoonist and columnist Bill Gallo also is a member and supporter of Ring 8.

"Tony made a comeback after a checkered past and is doing worthwhile things for former fighters who need help," said Gallo, who has a Ring 8 scholarship for children of former boxers named after him.

Napoli's not-so-benevolent moments are the subject of two screenplays being developed for the movies and TV by writer Charles Messina.

"The Prodigal Son" is scheduled to run on the A&E television network next Father's Day, while "Unto the Father" is being written with the likes of Jack Nicholson in mind.

"Hopefully, people will see from these stories that people like me can change, do an about-face to help, not hurt, and make amends," Napoli said.

To purchase a copy of My Father, My Don, please visit


Posted by joyceanthony at 2:56 AM EST
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Sunday, 23 November 2008
Yoga and the Mafia -- You Don't See These Together Often
Topic: Blog Tours

I have always been told I am one of the few people who can bring totally opposite variables together-whether people, decorations, colors--and actually make them work well.  Today this "skill" shall be tested as I present two widely varied topics that actually have an important element in common--both have the potential to change your life for the better.

First, let me introduce you to Gurutej (We'll learn more about her and her wonderful products in the next few days).

What can you say about a person who knew from a very early age that her destiny lay in leading others to greatness?Creative? Yes. Born leader? Yes again. Free spirited thinker? Yes, yes, yes! She is also direct, funny and full of mischief with bright blue eyes and a wicked smile!

Gurutej Kaur, (known simply as Gurutej), told her mother just that when she was six years old. For over 36 years, Gurutej has been teaching people how to connect to their higher consciousness through yoga, chanting, mediation and healing. Everyday she lives the meaning of her Sikh name, which translates as “the one who brings you from darkness into light at the speed of light.”

In 1969 Gurutej met Yogi Bhajan. Bhajan is credited for having brought Kundalini Yoga here to the United States. As one of his original students, Gurutej emerged as a founding practitioner of Kundalini. Through his instruction and spiritual guidance, Gurutej is considered a foremost authority on Kundalini and internationally recognized as one of a handful of Kundalini Yoga Masters in the World.

In 1970, Gurutej co-founded 3HO Canada. She ran 3HO for 17 years, where she facilitated the duplication of the successful yoga centers throughout the Canadian market and in due course helped take the organization worldwide. Gurutej’s obvious head for business did not overshadow her commitment to Toronto’s children, which is why she introduced yoga to surrounding communities by teaching staff at Toronto General Hospital and students at The School House and The Alternative Schools.

A co-founder of The Golden Bridge Yoga Center in Los Angeles, Gurutej, has lived and practiced out of The Blessings Center in the same market since 1999.  But as a mother, her greatest achievement is in successfully raising two dynamic and consciously aware adult children, who like Gurutej, take great pride in their commitment to making the world a better place.

Gurutej is an artist, exhibiting her first gallery showing for her paintings and mixed media in May 2003. A prolific writer and media contributor, Gurutej is the subject of much media attention. She has been featured in/on Vogue, L.A. Yoga, Yogi Times, Fit Yoga, Common Ground,, The Discovery Channel and MTV. She was awarded Yogi Times’ July 2003 Service Award and Teacher of the Month for August 2003.

In 2005, Gurutej will have released over a dozen instructional yoga videos and DVD’s, which started with her popular Chakra series. Her healing products have been featured in Living Arts, Crystal Distributing, Spirit Voyage, and Ancient Healing Ways catalogues Her products have national retail distribution, or can be ordered on-line at the STORE section of this website. For more information on Gurutej, call or drop by The Blessings Center at 1310 South Carmona Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90019, (323) 930-2803

To learn more about Gurutej, visit her website at

Now, yesterday, I introduced you to Tony Napoli and his book My Father, My Don. Today I would like to share the book trailer with you. 


Posted by joyceanthony at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 23 November 2008 12:06 AM EST
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