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Monday, 24 November 2008
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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Saturday, 22 November 2008
From Dons to Dragons to Leaps of Faith
Topic: Blog Tours

There is just so much I want to share with you guys that for the next week, I will be featuring at least two authors/books a day. There is something for each and every one of you-the variety is wonderful. Please stop back often and enjoy your visits!


Tony “Tony Nap” Napoli is the son of one of the most powerful and respected organized crime leaders of the modern era. His father was a mob kingpin who ruled over the largest gambling empire in America for almost 40 years.   Tony grew up in Brooklyn and has had a checkered life as a soldier, a boxer, an enforcer, a casino boss, a fugitive, and a hustler. Finally, after a brutal attack against a young man who sexually abused his daughter, Tony was sentenced to a period at a VA hospital. During these years, Tony cleaned himself up, successfully completing a sobriety program, becoming pivotal in the rights-for-veterans movement, and helping former boxers get counseling and other services.


Tony “Tony Nap” Napoli is the son of one of the most powerful and respected organized crime leaders of the modern era. Tony’s father was Genovese Family Capo, James “Jimmy Nap” Napoli—a mob kingpin who ruled over the largest gambling empire in America for almost 40 years.

Tony’s autobiography is a bold recounting of the confidential world that he and his father inhabited. In candid, no-holds-barred language, Tony describes his life as boxer, army soldier, enforcer, casino boss, fugitive, hustler, and offspring to one of the most powerful mobsters of the century.


His story is not only about the spellbinding dealings of the Napoli empire, but also—and equally important—the singularly cherished relationship he had with his father, his don. Tony Napoli’s rollercoaster account of family legend and organized crime followed by his turnaround focus on sobriety and civic contribution is a narrative of our time. 

Visit Tony's website for a Napoli photo gallery -

Book for sale here:




So you want to know about dragons?

Read this new collection of short stories revolving around dragons!

Run the gamut of stories about the mythological beasts in a “Firestorm of Dragons.” Humorous tales of extreme sports with genetically engineered animals and pesky door-to-door salesmen with scales exist beside conventional stories of treasure and deceit, hunter and hunted, hatred and sacrifice.

See how dragons exist today without most humans noticing or abandon all preconceived notions and imagine a dragon as a 1940’s-style detective. Let your experience with dragons end with a trio of stories depicting possible ends to dragonkind – one uplifting, one poignant, and one heart-wrenching in its melancholy.

Firestorm of Dragons Edited by Michele Acker and Kirk Dougal  Dragon Moon Press

Trade paperback / ISBN-10: 1-896944-80-8 / ISBN-13: 978-1-896944-80-7 / 256 Pages / $ 19.95 US


The 15 stories in Leaps of Faith cover the entire spectrum of the SF genre, showing the positive relationship between science and religion. 

Space Exploration:  In “High Hopes for The Dead,” we see Christian evangelism though faithful example of Luke “High Hopes” Kittery, a member of a band of space explorers for whom every trip is potential suicide.  “Quantum Express” examines the status of one’s soul when the body is destroyed and reassembled through teleportation.    In “God’s Gift,” faith is the key to preventing insanity brought on by a new method of interstellar travel.  “Leaps of Faith” highlights the new industry of space search and rescue though the intrepid nuns of Our Lady of the Rescue.  In “Confirmation,” harvesters of an exotic space fuel suspect they’re harvesting intelligent life--or perhaps the angels themselves. 

Encountering Alien Life:  “Lost in the Translation” chronicles the trials of a monk trying to evangelize to an alien species for which death results in corporeal rebirth.  In “Lost Rythar,” evangelists seek to bring the Word of God to long-forgotten human colonies.  In “Sometimes We Lie,” evangelism takes a bizarre turn when a native born being tries to spread an ancient human faith.  Fr. Wren wonders if a sentient tree-creature can marry into the Catholic Faith in “The Convert,” while Fr. Travener faces persecution by ministering to sentient androids in “Comprehending It Not.”

Hard SF:  An astrophysicist find the face of God in the stars of the universe in “The Smile.”  God is a proven fact in “The Faith Equation,” leaving the question of the role of belief.  “The Relics of Venice” combines genetic engineering and love to create a miracle. 

Time travel:  In “Tampering with God’s Time,” time travelers find they cannot change the timeline, but are themselves change as they encounter Christ personally, while in “Moses Disposes,” King Solomon deliberately uses time travelers to bring the Bible to future generations in an idiom they can understand.


Author, Susanne Knight is one of the authors featured in Leaps of Faith. She was kind enough to grant me an interview and I share those words with you now :-)

Susane Knight the person:

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

That's a tough one! How about, Sensitive, Silly, and Sweet?

2.    How do you think others would describe you?

Even tougher! Perhaps Intense, Intuitive, and Interesting.

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

Family time, relaxing vacations, dancing, computers, good movies, sleeping, and a glass of merlot at night!

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

My cat is a big, burly Siamese who spends his free time "sunning" himself under a desk lamp next to my computer. He also helps me with my writing. If I'm stuck on a certain situation, I like to ask him what he thinks should happen next! Gato or Gatto (I haven't decided whether he's part Spanish or part Italian) usually is sleeping, and jumps when I raise my voice. If I persist, he twitches his tail in annoyance. While he doesn't specifically give me an answer, by taking this "time-out" I seem to get ideas on how to solve my dilemma. BTW, my cat is the inspiration for the feline in my paranormal romantic suspense, Competitors! In this novel, the cat's name is Eins (number one in German) because he thinks a lot of himself. :))

5.  What is your most precious memory?

My most precious memories have to do with my daughter, especially when I first found out I was pregnant, and the day she was born and I saw her for the first time. Lovely!

6.    What is your most embarrassing memory?

Too many to mention. I'll narrow it down to having to give a speech using a voice recovering from laryngitis. Pitiful!

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

Probably I'd be going crazy! Writing is so much a part of my life, I can't imagine what it would be like without it. I enjoy all aspects of writing, be it novels, short stories, or even business letters! For me, the next best occupation would be working as a librarian then, so I could be around books.

8.     In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

Ouch! That's a place I don't want to go yet! But I'll give it a try.

Susanne Marie Knight, award-winning author of a gazillion novels, has finally graduated to the next level. Intent on researching that great beyond she'd heard so much about, she took the plunge and crossed over to the other side. One of her greatest hopes, she told her great-great granddaughter before passing on, is to learn all the secrets of the universe, including what, exactly, is the universe expanding into, and who killed President Kennedy? Susanne will be greatly missed on this plane.

Susanne Knight the writer:

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

I guess I felt validated as a writer when I no longer got those boring rejection slips. And when I received my first fan letter, well, that was a thrill I'll never forget! Plus, the day I found out I had *three* nominations for the prestigious EPPIE Awards in one year. Wow! I've also been blessed by having The Coming win the Dream Realm Award for Best Speculative Fiction Romance, and Janus Is A Two-Headed God win the Preditors and Editors Reader Poll for Best Science Fiction Novel. In addition, I'm a six-time EPPIE Award Finalist. What a fantastic rush!

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

I've just finished my latest book titled ForEvver. a science fiction novel where time is running out.... My next project will be a murder mystery series with continuing characters. I've also got a Regency planned, and sometime in the future, I'd love to do a book with dolphins.

11.   What are your future goals for your writing?

One of my writing hopes is to complete a new book every year. These past few years have been so busy that I haven't been able to accomplish this. Also, every year I hope to write a few short stories for publication. By five years, I hope to be well established as a successful author. In ten years, I'd like to have my works sited in college classes. :)) I've already been sited on Yahoo! Answers as an expert! My ongoing goal is to increase the readership of my books. In any case, my mission is to continue to bring entertainment, adventure, and rollicking good fun to all my fans!

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

I need to write when I have the most energy flowing so I schedule my writing time for the mornings--usually three days a week. Life has been rather crazy lately, (!) so I haven't been able to write much. Fingers crossed things will calm down soon. <g> What's best for me is to have a solid block of time so I can "lose" myself in the story. The first thing I do when I sit at the computer is read over the last scene or chapter that I wrote. This is to get back into the story. Then I start with the new writing. My goal is to continue until I finish a scene or until a new character enters the mix. Then I'm done writing for the day.

13.    Why do you write?

For me, writing is a form of fantasy--a chance to live vicariously by experiencing things perhaps I've only dreamed about. Where else can I travel to the center of the galaxy, journey back in time, or hold conversations with a Shakespeare-quoting ghost and still be home in time for dinner?! I write to express myself, to tell stories, to see how my characters interact with each other, to discover a compelling tale. I love to stretch my limits and see if I can deliver on a plot or theme--perhaps in a different genre.

14.   What writer most inspires you?  Why?

Writers--I can't dwindle it down to one. I still admire the authors I read as I was growing up. For powerful stories that stretch the imagination, I thank Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein. For the elegance and charm of Regencies, I'm indebted to Georgette Heyer. For the challenge of a juicy murder mystery, I applaud Agatha Christie. Also, I admire Stephen King on his story-telling ability, his willingness to experience the world of electronic publishing, and his determination to overcome a horrific accident.

15.  How do you define your writing?

I'm a self-confessed incurable romantic... and so is my writing. When I was growing up, the one thing I thought that was missing in most novels I read was romance--romance wasn't heavily emphasized. So when I started to write, I had to add my own dash of "happily ever after." I'm very fortunate because I combine romance with the genres I'm interested in: Regency, science fiction, suspense, paranormal, mystery, contemporary, and fantasy. These are all my favorites to write and to read. My motto is: Romance Writing with a Twist!

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

Not only does Susanne Marie Knight deliver on her motto, Romance Writing with a Twist, her novels have staying power as well!

Susanne Knight the details:

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

The best place to learn more about my books and me is to visit my website: and my blog: My books are sold at a variety of places including,, and my publishers:,,, and I also have a newsletter and a monthly news flash. To sign up, email, and please put "Subscribe" in the subject line.

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

Emails are best. One of my addys is: Please be sure to write the reason for your email in the subject line. Those spam emails are getting too crazy, aren't they??

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

Gladly! Here are my current titles:

*Sojourn Through Time, 2008

Awe-Struck eBooks,

*The Wakefield Disturbance, 2008

Uncial Press,

*Regency Society Revisited, 2007

Awe-Struck eBooks,

*A Continental Marriage, 2007, Golden Wings Award Winner

Wings ePress,

*Janus Is A Two-Faced Moon, 2007

Awe-Struck eBooks,

*Competitors!, 2007, Dream Realm Award Finalist

Awe-Struck eBooks,

*Have Christmas Card... Will Travel, 2006, EPPIE Award Finalist

Uncial Press,

*Lucky 13 (anthology), 2005,

*The Contrary Contessa, 2004, EPPIE Award Finalist

Awe-Struck eBooks,

*The Coming, 2004, Dream Realm Award Winner

Awe-Struck eBooks,

*Past Indiscretions , 2004

Awe-Struck eBooks,

*Alien Heat, 2003

Wings ePress,

*Timeless Deception, 2002, 2006, P.E.A.R.L. Award Nominee

Awe-Struck eBooks,  

*The Reluctant Landlord, 2002

Wings ePress,

*Love At The Top, 2002, 2005, EPPIE Award Finalist

Awe-Struck eBooks,

*The Magic Token, 2002, EPPIE Award Finalist

LionHearted Publishing,

*Janus Is A Two-Headed God, 2002, EPPIE Award Finalist, Preditors & Editors Award Winner

Awe-Struck eBooks,

*Grave Future, 2001, 2006

Awe-Struck eBooks,

*Tainted Tea For Two, 2001, 2006, Ariana Award Winner

Uncial Press,

*Lord Darver's Match, 2001

LionHearted Publishing,

**Coming soon: Paging Miss Galloway, 1/2009, Awe-Struck Regency Winner

Most of my titles are available at in print and also,, in ebook.

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

Very often people like to compare authors with other writers they have read. Each writer is unique, but one reader was reminded of P. G. Wodehouse's work when she read my Lord Darver's Match, and a reviewer likened Janus Is A Two-Headed God to Arthur C. Clarke's books. Also, with The Reluctant Landlord, one reviewer compared me with Regency greats Mary Balogh and Carla Kelly! This is very flattering, however I feel I have my own style and passions. I like to write about things that are out of the ordinary. To develop stories, I love to play the "what if" game. Here are just a few examples: What if "having a nice spot of tea" took on a sinister meaning? (Tainted Tea For Two) What if a Shakespeare-quoting ghost found a way to avenge his death? (Grave Future) What if a golden coin had the power to change one's fortunes? (The Magic Token) What if a woman wakes up in the year 1818 with a dreamboat husband only to learn he absolutely despises her? (Timeless Deception) There's a lot more... but you get the idea!

In conclusion:

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

The most rewarding part of writing is receiving feedback from readers. It's always a thrill and an honor to hear how my writing has touched people's lives. One reader said not only did she reread my time-travel Regency, Timeless Deception, but the second time while reading it, she was so engrossed she almost missed her train stop! And a fan wrote to tell me how much he enjoyed Past Indiscretions because I "cleverly bring together the past and mythology." I also just received a letter from a reader in Massachusetts telling me how I deeply inspired and motivated her to write her own stories. Also, how I helped her to realize how reading and writing could be so much fun! There is no greater honor! To hear how your book touches a reader's heart is the ultimate compliment, and all fan letters are GREATLY appreciated. I hope you all enjoy my books and I wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday season.

Thank you, Joyce, for this wonderful opportunity to connect with your readers!

Posted by joyceanthony at 6:11 AM EST
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Friday, 21 November 2008
A Final Word on The Kindness Cure
Topic: Blog Tours

Is it really that difficult to do one kind thing a day? Think about it-I imagine man of you are already doing this and don't even think about it.  I'm not talking big, world-changing events every day, I'm thinking of the walk you shoveled for your elderly neighbor, the food you put out for the feral cats, the clothing you donated to the local shelter. It doesn't take much to make others feel happy and loved.  Even stopping to have a few words with someone sitting at a bus stop who looks down can make a world of difference to that person.  Think about what you can do and make the commitment to do it today and every day!

Join CJ Scarlet at The Kindness Cure and make this coming year the start of a kinder world.

CJ has a wonderful interview to download here: and while you are there, you can sign up for her newsletter.

Before you go about your day, stop buy and order a copy of Neptune's Gift at  In keeping with her goal of kindness, CJ is offering all the following to those who purchase Neptune's Gift:

FREE eBook, Becoming a Dreamer by Marcia Wieder!

FREE ocean meditation download—a mini-vacation for your spirit!

FREE Thoughts to Consider audio companion guide to Neptune’s Gift!

FREE 2 months of Cleaning Out the Closet of Your Mind™ telementoring with

acclaimed abundance expert Debbie Friedman!

FREE “9 Steps for Manifesting…” MP3 audio download by Debbie Friedman!

FREECreating the Life You Love to Live” audio download!

FREE Dr. Larina Kase’s 7 Steps to Career Success eCourse!

FREE Lorraine Calhoun's The Secret Life of The Serene Baby Boomer Woman 7 Steps

to Go From Frazzled to Fabulous

FREE Lorraine Calhoun's Midlife, The Owner's Manual Mini Audio Workshop and E-Book

FREE Mohamed Tohami's 6 Success Secrets to create everlasting success!


That's over $500 worth of free gifts in addition to a wondrous book!

Posted by joyceanthony at 1:52 AM EST
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Thursday, 20 November 2008
The Kindness Cure
Topic: Blog Tours

We have been visiting the past couple of days with CJ Scarlet, author of Neptune's Gift and founder of the group The Kindness Cure.  Ms. Scarlet is commiting to doing one act of kindness every day for a year-and she is gaining a following of those who want to join in the effort.  The following video explains this better:



For more information on this group-and hopefully, to join-- please visit:

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:45 AM EST
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Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Be Inspired by Neptune's Gift
Topic: Blog Tours

Today I am sharing with you an wonderfully inspirational excerpt from Neptune's Gift, by CJ Scarlet.  Tomorrow, I will introduce you to a group you will definitely want to take part in -- this group has me so excited I want to share it with the world!


Even Dylan's desire to be a big, beautiful wave dimmed over time.  It wasn't that he didn't want to be big and beautiful; it just seemed to him that he was only a middling wave, and he believed he had neither the time nor the ability to reach his cherished goal.

As the ocean rolled ponderously beneath him, Dylan tried even more desperately to cling to the peaks, and was even more disappointed when he dipped into the troughs.  Staring dully at the sky, Dylan watched the cormorants and pelicans glide to freedom overhead. He envied their safety up in the air and wished he could fly too. Sometimes Dylan roiled with jealousy and anger at the birds for reminding him that he was chained to the sea and would never reach as high as he had once dreamed.

One day a quick, fierce storm churned the waves.  The storm was over in a flash, and as it swept out to sea, Dylan ran smack into a big, beautiful wave, sending foam and sea spray in every direction.

"I'm sorry," he said, bowing low to the big wave.

"That's alright. You didn't hurt me a bit," she said, smiling kindly.

"How could I?"  Dylan asked, looking downcast.  "I'm just an average wave. I could never make an impact on a magnificent wave like you."

The big wave looked at him with concern.  "You seem very sad," she observed. "What's the matter?"

"I'm sad because I'm going to crash into the shore." Dylan said morosely, weeping salty tears.

"I see," she said.  "And why does that make you sad?'

Dylan blinked in disbelief.  "Because I will cease to exist! I will leave the surface of the ocean and be gone forever!" He waved his froth dramatically about to make his point.

The big wave laughed, confusing Dylan even further. "You silly droplet," she smiled gently, "you aren't merely a wave! Don't you know that?"

Dylan was caught off guard and suddenly unsure of himself. "I thought I was just an ordinary wave," he said in a tiny voice.

"Where in Neptune's ocean did you get such an idea?" she asked.

"Well look at me," Dylan said.  "I'm a wave.  This is my crest and this is my foam and these are my water droplets.  I'm not big or beautiful, and I can't touch the sky or make rainbow veils like you do."


"And, my crest is separate from your crest and that crest and that crest way over there," he explained impatiently, pointing to waves a bit further out. Dylan lowered his crest and heaved a defeated sigh. "We're all separate from each other."

The big wave looked amazed.  "You mean all this time you thought you were only this little wave right here, all alone on the surface of this tiny patch of ocean?"

"What else is there for me to be?" he asked.

The beautiful wave shook with warm laughter, flinging snowy white foam in all directions.  Dylan felt embarrassed and even more insignificant next to the big wave. Seeing his distress, she tried to put Dylan at ease.

"Let me introduce myself.  I'm Serena."  She touched her crest to his and beamed a friendly smile.  "Who are you?"

"My name is Dylan," he answered shyly.  "It means ‘child of the ocean.'"

"Hello, Dylan."  Serena smiled even wider. "I'm so pleased to meet you."

Dylan bowed again.

"Forgive me for laughing, dear," Serena said.  "I wasn't making fun of you; I was just surprised by what you said. If you really believe you're just a solitary little wave, I can see how you would think you're going to die when you meet the shore."

"How can I think any differently?" Dylan asked.  "I am going to crash on the shore and that will be the end of me."  He let out a resigned sigh.

"That's not true, Dylan.  I mean it is true that you're going to wash to shore, but that won't be the end of you.  It will be a reunion."  Serena offered him a reassuring smile.

Dylan was mystified.  "A reunion with what?"

"With your True Nature!" Serena proclaimed.

"My True Nature?"  Dylan asked, puzzled.  "I don't know what you mean."

"Your True Nature is who you really are," Serena explained.

"And who am I?"

"Why, Dylan, you're the ocean!"

Dylan looked at Serena with big eyes full of wonder and hope.  "Really? I'm the ocean?"

Serena smiled and nodded.  "You most certainly are."

Dylan said slowly, "So, if I'm a wave and you're a wave, and if I'm the ocean, then you are..."

"I am the ocean too!" she smiled radiantly, making a graceful bow over the small wave.

He frowned uncertainly.  "I'm confused.  How can we both be the ocean? We're two different waves.  I don't see how we can be the same thing."

"Separation is an optical illusion, my friend. Your eyes see only the superficial differences between us, leading you to think we are unconnected," Serena said patiently, rolling slowly at his side.

Dylan shook his head.  "That may be true for you; you're a big, beautiful wave. You don't know how lonely and terrible the ocean is for the average wave."

"I am exactly like you, Dylan."  Serena tilted her crest and looked at him with a calm, clear gaze. "After all, I'm part of the ocean too.  I've crashed on the shore many times. Yes, I'm bigger, but otherwise we are the same."

Dylan looked at Serena with skepticism and she could see that he didn't believe he was the ocean and not a mere wave, separated from everyone else. She tried a new tack.  "Look closely at your crest," she said.  Dylan did his best to look around, unsure of what he was looking for.

"Can you see the water droplets in your crest and inside your wave?" Serena continued, "Each one is its own little world, with a separate view of its tiny life.  From their perspectives, these droplets seem to be separate from one another, but in fact, each one is part of you; they are what make you into one being."

Serena watched as Dylan closely examined his crest, his foam, his bubbles. He couldn't see the individual droplets, although he knew they were there.  He hadn't thought about it before, but Serena was right; all those separate droplets combined to make him "one wave."

"It's the same for you and me," Serena explained. "You and I have separate views of the world and appear different, but we both are actually elements of the ocean-we are One with the ocean. A trillion bubbles, a million waves. A million waves, one ocean. Without each and every one of us, there would be no ocean.


For more information on CJ Scarlet and Neptune's Gift, please visit:


Posted by joyceanthony at 3:39 AM EST
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Tuesday, 18 November 2008
The Kindness Cure Has Arrived
Topic: Blog Tours

Happiness expert and author CJ Scarlet is starting a kindness revolution and she wants YOU to join her! Over the next year, CJ will personally perform 365 acts of kindness and recruit a legion of everyday people like YOU to perform similar acts in their own communities, such as babysitting for a busy mom so she can take a break, taking neighbors' trash cans off the street and leaving them an anonymous note, personally thanking our teachers and police officers, and buying a bus ticket for a stranded homeless person to return to their family. CJ's actions will be digitally recorded and made available on YouTube ( as well as her own online social network site (

CJ learned about the power of kindness the hard way. At the age of 12 she was sexually assaulted. Then as an adult she was diagnosed with Lupus and Scleroderma. When she was told her long-term disability had become life threatening, her world fell apart. Then a Tibetan lama commanded her to "stop feeling sorry for herself and focus on the happiness of others" and her life was transformed. The lama next ordered CJ to teach others the secrets to happiness that she had learned and the idea for the Kindness Cure Campaign was born.


CJ Scarlet, M.A., CCP, is an award-winning author, motivational speaker and certified life transitions coach. CJ has been named one of the "Happy 100" people on the planet, and is featured in the bestseller Happy for No Reason by Chicken Soup for the Soul author Marci Shimoff. CJ's new book, Neptune's Gift: Discovering Your Inner Ocean, is being heralded by mega author Jack Canfield as the "Jonathan Livingston Seagull for the new century." (
With seventeen years as an advocate for individuals facing tragedy and trauma, and a Humanities Master's Degree with an emphasis on Human Violence, CJ has a solid understanding of the myriad physical and emotional challenges people face and how they habitually-and often ineffectually-respond to them.)


CJ is the mother of three wonderful children, and resides in North Carolina with her devoted husband and two very spoiled Cocker Spaniels.


About Neptune's Gift:

When Dylan, an average wave of middling ability, realizes he is about to crash on the shore, he is terrified and miserable.  But when he encounters a magnificent wave named Serena, Dylan learns that he is a mere wave bobbing haplessly alone on the ocean surface, but One with every wave and every creature in the ocean.  In fact, Dylan learns that he is the Ocean itself. Abounding with thoughtful ideas for readers to consider and apply directly to their own lives, this fun and profound allegorical tale will leave you touched and inspired as you travel with Dylan on the greatest discovery of his life.

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:43 AM EST
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Monday, 17 November 2008
Sandy Lender let Nigel loose!!!!
Topic: Character Interviews

I ran this particular interview back in August, but Nigel Taiman was feeling a bit put out that he wasn't part of this book tour--so I told him I'd allow him to talk with your wonderful readers.  Take it away, Nigel!

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

I'm Nigel Taiman and I live in Onweald in the novels Choices Meant for Gods and Choices Meant for Kings by Sandy Lender, and in the anthology What Choices We Made by Sandy Lender. Currently.

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

Oh my. I have several roles. My first priority, in my eyes, is to help Amanda Chariss, who has come to my family's home for protection. I also run my family's estate and school. I've been offered a position of leadership that my father coveted, and I believe I'll be better able to help 'Manda if I accept it. Wait a author is yelling something at us. Oh. Chariss. I'll be better able to help Chariss if I accept it. Sandy doesn't want me to call my bride Amanda when I'm out marketing like this.

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

Sandy didn't really have much say in the matter. The evil Lord Drake showed Chariss to Sandy many many years ago, I think because he wanted her to rewrite the tale to his liking, and Sandy just couldn't look away from the story. Chariss and her guardian and some of the other players have told it over the years and introduced me when the time was right. So I sort of met Sandy through Chariss.

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

You know, that depends on when you approach her. If you can wake her at 2 or 3 a.m., her thoughts are really malleable. But she has this idea that she knows how to end the trilogy, you see. I'd like to influence that...

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

I'm going to have to pick Henry Bakerson. He was a friend of mine when we were young boys sneaking cookies out of his father's bakery and when we were stupid youths drinking every tavern in Arcana City dry. We're lucky we didn't get killed in some stupid, meaningless brawl. When we started getting our lives straightened out with military training, my father stepped in and screwed up my part of the plan. Henry ended up with a real career, though, which is surprising considering he remained a ruffian and a rogue. I can't imagine the number of children he must have scattered about Onweald and Bellan - and the number of angry fathers ready to hang him for ruining their daughters. But he's such a fast talker that I guess he can get out of the noose often enough. I thought I'd never see him again when he went off to sea with his shipping business a few years back, but, he surprised me and showed up during the summer festival in 7220 and tried to sweep Amanda, I mean Chariss, off her feet. Old rogue. She's a sly one, too, you know, and ended up getting him to work for us in helping The Master Rothahn. Turns out Henry's got a responsible streak in him. It's buried in there, of course, but Chariss knew it was there. Henry can still drink a tavern dry...

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

Well, if I can keep Sandy from killing me off in a fit of rage - you really ought to see her when she gets frustrated with my suggestions - I'm going to pen a sort of epilogue novel to the Choices trilogy. She announced that to a group at a convention where she did a reading back in May and the ladies around her got very excited, so I think she's got a reason right there to keep me alive.

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

I'm nothing without Chariss.

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

By the gods, yes. Hrazon and Chariss showed up and it's as if a new world dawned at my family's estate. My mother always demonstrated unconditional love for me, but these two...these two are the epitome of love and devotion. Their relationship is a testament to what love is supposed to be. And then they've both been training me in the use of my geasa, which is a power you'd have to read the book to understand fully. My father would never let me develop my geasa so I never understood the responsibilities behind it, but Hrazon and Chariss have opened that world to me. I could go on and on but Sandy's fussing at me.

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

Exciting is a word loaded with meaning. The good exciting thing was falling in love with Chariss the moment I set eyes on her. There were several not-so-good exciting things that I dread coming between us.

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

No. All my actions are justified.

11. What was your main motivation?

Protecting my family and Chariss is my motivation for everything now.

12. Introduce us to your main adversary.

The main one? That's a toss-up. My main adversary is Julette, The Dragon, The Betrayer. She is more to me than I realized, and she has partnered with Chariss's nemesis to threaten not only Chariss, but Chariss's charge, The Master Rothahn. It's become a huge mess for us. Julette is problematic for a number of reasons, the main being she's an ancient goddess who turned evil about five thousand years ago. So she's had quite some time to perfect being bad.

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

I may have to keep quiet on this one. You know. To protect Chariss's honor.

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

Oh, I'll get censored for sure. Sandy's paying attention, you know. Something not directly related to Chariss's story that I'd like to tell everybody is that I've started to actually enjoy this marketing business out here in your society. Learning how to use a computer, how to post to a blog, how to answer's all new to me, but very interesting. And even though I started doing it because Sandy threatened me into it, I continue now because I enjoy it. I run a blog where she lets me make fun of her at, but I'm at a point where I don't really want to make fun of her unless she's in on it. She has a pretty good sense of humor, which I think she got from Chariss.

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

Sandy keeps a blog of her own where she puts updates about the books from time to time. It's at What's frustrating is she's also marketing other books she's worked on there, so you hear about other characters besides Chariss. If you want to get the books, they're available at Amazon (well, Choices Meant for Kings isn't available until November and her anthology What Choices We Made isn't available until late October), but you can get the first novel in the trilogy, Choices Meant for Gods, at the publisher's site or at Amazon. Or you can go to a bookstore and see if it's still on the shelf. Special ordering it is expensive, so you might want to go straight to her publisher's site. There's a discount there. Click on:

Thank you for the opportunity to talk about Sandy, Choices Meant for Gods, and, of course, my lovely Chariss. It's been a pleasure.

Posted by joyceanthony at 1:03 AM EST
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Sunday, 16 November 2008
Getting to Know Sandy Lender
Topic: Author Interview
Sandy Lender the person:

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




2. How do you think others would describe you?

I've actually had a bunch of people tell me that I "inspire" them, which freaks me out. But I think most folks would tell you I'm obsessed with Duran Duran and I'm usually fairly smart.

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

Stalking Duran Duran

Saving sea turtles

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

Joshua, the 20-year-old red-eared slider (that's a water turtle); Josh went to college with me

Buttermilk, the pancake tortoise

Petri, the sun conure-Petri is the love of my life. He's very smart, very demanding and very loving. I owe him everything because he's the reason I didn't commit suicide one horrid day back when I was still stuck in unemployment and marriage hell. He squawked before I took a bottle of migraine pills. It was a very sobering moment. He's a special little bird with a quirky personality. Anyone who's thinking about getting a bird as a pet should seriously consider the lovable nature of conures because, wow, these little guys are just tops.

5. What is your most precious memory?

The most precious one has to be feeding Petri when he was still a baby bird. (I didn't have to regurgitate. Baby bird food can be mixed with water and fed through a syringe-like tube. No barfing necessary.)

6. What is your most embarrassing moment?

Holding a note too long. I was in marching band in high school and for one semester, the director asked me to play the F-horn. So I taught myself to play the thing over the summer but I failed to stop playing it at a competition one night. Ugh! So the whole band stopped-except me.

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

I think I would have kept up the musical instruments. Maybe I'd be playing the violin somewhere.

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

The winner of the Pick Sandy's Drop Date is Laura Crawford. Ms. Crawford correctly guessed that world-renowned fantasy author Sandy Lender would die from exhaustion while on tour with her latest release, It Wasn't the Percocet.

Fantasy enthusiasts and movie-goers from around the globe celebrate Ms. Lender's life and works with viewings of the movies based on her best-sellers in fantasy and paranormal fiction. Fellow sea turtle conservationists are planning a sea turtle walk each night this weekend to party on the beaches she patrolled during her many years of work with different conservation organizations to raise awareness and funds for sea turtle research. Of course, her massive estate goes in part to continued sea turtle research. Her beloved feathered friend Petri is now selecting which of her friends to live with.


Sandy Lender the writer:

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

I'm not sure that I ever had that moment. I've always written stories that people liked to read...since I was a kid.

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

Absolute chaos.

11. What are your future goals for your writing?

A near-future goal is to get back on a regular schedule.

Another near-future goal is to get another short story anthology in addition to What Choices We Made published so some more of these stories from the Choices trilogy can stop driving me insane.

A more long-term goal is to finish a few of the WIPs I have on the desktop and get an agent who'll help me find appropriate homes for them. Not all of them will be full-length novels that my current publisher will be interested in.

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

I used to be able to, but there's so much chaos in my life right now that the weekdays have become random. My writing schedule is in upheaval, which affects my ability to think straight in other areas of my driving.

13. Why do you write?

I love spending time with the characters.

14. What writer most inspires you? Why?

Charlotte Bronte. Hands down.

She overcame incredible family tragedy and a horrific case of unrequited love to write some of the greatest stories in English literature. Jane Eyre is the single greatest book I've ever read, and it amazes me that Charlotte, who saw adversity at every turn, was able to take the characters she dreamt up as a child and come up with novels that we still teach in universities today. I learned how dialogue should work by reading Charlotte Bronte. I learned how passion should grow by reading Charlotte Bronte. I learned how a leading man should hide a secret by reading Charlotte Bronte. Criminy, I just think every author who wants to include mood in his or her work should read the Bronte. Those sisters knew what they were doing.

15. How do you define your writing?

Straight-up fantasy. Dragons, monsters, sorcerers, wizards...I love that stuff and that's what I like to write best.

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

Fantasy Author Sandy Lender's work mixed shadow, mood and world-building with a pace unmatched in the genre while subtly nudging the reader's sense of purpose in the real world.


Sandy Lender the details:

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

Nigel Taiman's blog gives info about me at

My publisher's site gives some info about me.

My amazon page gives reviews and whatnot.

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

I run my own blog, mostly for writers, at

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

Choices Meant for Gods (March 2007)

What Choices We Made (November 2008)

Choices Meant for Kings (late 2008)

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

Straight-up fantasy. Dragons, monsters, sorcerers, wizards...

My Choices trilogy is a very girl-power sort of story because Amanda Chariss is empowered, but no one should expect one of those abrasive, harsh heroines that you see in some novels these days. She's a pleasant young woman with a quick wit and a strong sense of self. Of course she has flaws-this makes her human and likeable. No one should come in expecting the heroine to be perfect and all-knowing. But you should expect good entertainment. There's a bit of humor, a bit of a sweet romance, a bit of scary stuff, a lot of action-adventure, a lot of plotting and conniving, a lot of sword and sorcery, a lot of character-driven action, a lot of character growth...but it's all wrapped in a structured fantasy world.


In conclusion:

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

Honestly, I'm not sure. I just keep plugging away...

Posted by joyceanthony at 12:32 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 16 November 2008 1:38 AM EST
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Saturday, 15 November 2008
An Excerpt from Sandy Lender
Topic: Blog Tours

As promised, today you get to taste Sandy Lender's writing :-) Enjoy this excerpt:

Dunny & Quill

From the History of Onweald ca. 7100

By Sandy Lender

Dunny groaned some more, rolling to lift himself off the floor. "You're a bad man, Quill Valiant."

"You knew that coming into this. What do you think of fire?"

Dunny glanced to the crystal barrier. "How solid you think that is?"

"You're not up for asphyxiation today?"

"It's a small cavern. I think it'd fill up before all that ice melted."

"Agreed. So it's back to the box of rocks." Quill opened the little wood box and set it on the floor between them. Dunny crouched down to peer in.

"I wouldn't get that close to them," Quill whispered.


Quill shrugged.

They both leaned back.

From her imprisonment in suspended animation, the dragon did the only thing she could. She rolled her eyes in impatience. Stupid mortals, she thought. The green one!

"So d'you know what all they do?" Dunny asked.

"Well, he talked kinda fast. . ."

Dunny rose to his full height of three feet four inches then and scowled at his human friend. "You cannot be serious. We came on this quest to get a dragon and her chalice out of an ice prison in an ice cave, and you knew that coming in, yet you forgot which crystals would help when we got here?"

"No, no, now I didn't say that. I'm just remembering that he talked pretty darn quickly."

The green one! The green one! Stupid idiot mortal human male! The green one!

"All right. How about the red one there. It looks like it would produce fire. We should avoid a fire one."

"Agreed," Quill said. "And I think you're right. I remember him mentioning fire."

"How about the yellow ones? He gave you several. What're they for?"

"Yellow. . .yellow. . .more fire?"

"Quill. So help me."

"I'm just kiddin' with you. I think the yellow ones raise what you throw them at. For instance, I fling one at the cave floor and shards of dirt and rock come up."

"Useful. We could use them around the base of the wall."

"Agreed again. But let's see what else we've got. There's this pretty blue one. I think that summons faeries."

"Okay. What's this peachish brackish one?"

"Oh, yeah, don't touch that. Pig's testicle."

"What? Whatever for?"

"Edras love 'em. Throw that among a horde of edras and they'll stop to fight over it every time."

Old wives' tale, the dragon thought. Get to the green one.

"Great," Dunny said. "What about this green one?"

"Hmmm. I don't remember. Let's try a couple of the yellow ones."

The dragon had wanted many times in her years of imprisonment to get free of the ice, but never had she been so filled with the desire to get out and eat a human. And so she watched in absolute fury as the human and the dwarf each took a yellow crystal and stood what they thought would be a safe distance from the ice before flinging the stones, full force, toward the base of her prison. She fumed as she waited for them to regain consciousness.


You can read the rest of "Dunny & Quill" and other short stories in the upcoming release What Choices We Made, Stories From the History of Onweald, Volume 1 by Sandy Lender. With monsters, magic, romance, humor, sword and sorcery, What Choices We Made will be available at starting on the busiest shopping day of the year!

From Fantasy Author Sandy Lender

Check out Choices Meant for Gods,

What Choices We Made, available Nov. 28 at


See what Nigel's saying about me today at


Posted by joyceanthony at 4:31 AM EST
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