May the 4th Be With You – eBook Promotion

2Troopers_This is the fangirl novel you're looking for_CropThe great and wise Jedi Masters over at Deeds Publishing have slashed the eBook price for Not So Long Ago, Not So Far Away by 70% for the first 4 days of May to celebrate Star Wars Day. The temporary low price of $2.99 is currently available in all 3 of the major eBook formats:

But act quickly. The price is going back up on Monday May 5.

And speaking of the merry, merry month of May…it is shaping up to be a great and glorious month for Star Wars fangirling. The community is still buzzing over the Star Wars: Episode VII cast announcement on April 29th. Look at this picture:

star-wars-episode-7-cast-announce*SIGH* If this picture makes you go “SQEEE!” like a tween unwrapping her first iPhone, you just might be a true, original, lifelong, R2-D2 Underoos-wearing Star Wars fanatic. (Ummm…but could someone please get Artoo out of the crate?)

Today is 5/01st Legion Day to celebrate The World’s Definitive Imperial Costuming Organization, especially their charity work. (Check out @501stLegion & #BadGuysDoingGood on Twitter to learn more). As previously mentioned, May the 4th is Star Wars Day. And, lest we forget, May 25th will be the 37th anniversary for the 1977 theatrical release of the first Star Wars movie.

Woo hoo! The Twitterverse and Pinterest are exploding with fabulous, fun, time-sucking Star Wars content. And I’m going to let myself wallow in it for 4 days. Then back to my previously scheduled writing goals. 

Note: If you see a particularly amusing #StarWars, #StarWarsDay, &/or #Maythe4thBeWithYou item that you want to share, please Tweet it to @SlaytheWriter, post the link in the comments below or post it to my Facebook. I am on all Star Wars all the time mode until Cinco De Mayo.

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Winner – Times They Were A-Changing

And the winner is…

Screen Shot 2013-12-20 at 9.10.40 AM

Trish!!!

(Who is not me, I swear. An entirely different Trish.)

Times They Were A-Changing – Book Review & Giveaway

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a wee bit obsessed with the 70’s…particularly with strong, creative, brave women coming-of-age during the Age of Aquarius. So, when I learned about this new anthology, I practically begged the lovely folks at WOW! to let me host a stop on the blog tour. YAY! They agreed! (Confession: I was chiefly motivated by a selfish desire to get my eyeballs on the review copy. Keep reading for my review.)

AND…I’m very excited to offer another FREE giveaway! All you have to do is comment on this post for a chance to win. I have a print copy or e-book for US mailing addresses (or an e-book for international mailing addresses).
TimesTheyWereChanging_BkCovrFirst, here’s a bit of “official” information about the book.

Synopsis:

Just in time for the holidays, Linda Joy Myers, Kate Farrell and Amber Lea Starfire launch their anthology Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the ’60s and ’70s. The book is the perfect gift for opening discussions with friends and family members and illustrating what a powerful time the ’60s and ’70s truly were.

Forty-eight powerful stories and poems etch in vivid detail breakthrough moments experienced by women during the life-changing era that was the ’60s and ’70s. These women rode the sexual revolution with newfound freedom, struggled for identity in divorce courts and boardrooms, and took political action in street marches. They pushed through the boundaries, trampled the taboos, and felt the pain and joy of new experiences. And finally, here, they tell it like it was.

Through this collection of women’s stories, we celebrate the women of the ’60s and ’70s and the importance of their legacy.

Paperback: 354 pages
Publisher: She Writes Press (Sept. 8, 2013)
ISBN-10: 1938314042
ISBN-13: 978-1938314049

Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the ‘60s & ‘70s is available in print and as an e-book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, She Writes Press and Indie Bound.

Find out more about the book online:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/TimesTheyWereAChanging

Times They Were A-Changing blog: http://www.timestheywereachanging.com

Twitter: @womensmemoir60s

My Review:

To be honest, I don’t read many anthologies…or non-fiction…or politics…or memoir. I’m a novelist who devours novels. So this was a very unusual literary selection for me. That said, I absolutely LOVED this book and would wholeheartedly recommend it. Times They Were A-Changing is not just a collection of memories and nostalgia by a bunch of women who survived the 60’s and 70’s, it’s an honest exploration of a weird, wondrous, bewildering and, at times, violent chapter of the 20th century. I believe this book would be a brilliant gift for any woman, but especially for younger women who are curious about the two decades that changed, well, just about EVERYTHING about coming-of-age as a female in this country.

While the editors have put together a solid, well-written collection of poetry and prose with no weak links, there were a few selections that really stood out for me:

  • The Magician (Laura Singh) cast a spell that sent shivers over every inch of my skin. Maybe it’s the fact that I was once a single girl in San Francisco, but I dreamed about this surreal encounter after reading the story.
  • While reading The September Wind (Sara Etgen-Baker) I had to jump up off the couch, pump my fist and yell about the awful betrayal of a mother unwilling to invest more than $20 in her daughter’s college education (Micheal promptly asked me to stop reading for a while)
  • I actually cried real tears when the narrator of The Day I Met the Suffragette (Lynn Sunday) thanked the older woman for giving her the right to vote.
  • Fast Forwarding Evolution (Linda J. Nordquist) sent me on a research binge to learn more about Betty Friedan and The Feminine Mystique.
  • As a fan of Dr. Raymond Moody, I was intrigued by the psychedelic near-death experience depicted in Altamont (by Amber Lea Starfire).
  • Speaking of psychedelic experiences (which I’ve never had, by the way), both Tripping on High (Venus Ann Maher) and The Trip (Lucille Lang Day) use awesome, vivid, poetic descriptions of hallucinogenic drug use. Day’s piece left me feeling uplifted with a strange urge to hug her while Maher’s piece left me itching to slap her mother…a few times.
  • Generally, I prefer listening to poetry (as opposed to reading or writing it), but Collage (Ana Manwaring) had me wishing I could stand on stage and read it as my own.
  • Also, I suspect the wildly clever poem Who Wrote the Book of Love? (Dianalee Velie) could be amazing if it was read aloud by the right person.
  • My favorite quote from the whole book came from Earth’s Children (by Julie Ann Schrader):

“We don’t know where we’re headed, or how long this will take. We thrive inside the Mystery.”

This anthology manages to combine a heady mix of history, politics, education and inspiration while still being a highly entertaining read!

One disclaimer: I would classify one or two of the selections in this book as Rated R and some of the political issues depicted are still burning with controversy today. While I would NEVER advocate censorship, be sure you’ve read the book before sharing it with anyone under the age of 18.

Kate-Amber-LindaJoyjpg-1About the Editors:

Kate Farrell earned a M.A. from UC Berkeley; taught language arts in high schools, colleges, and universities; founded the Word Weaving storytelling project in collaboration with the California Department of Education with a grant from the Zellerbach Family Fund, and published numerous educational materials. She is founder of Wisdom Has a Voice memoir project and edited Wisdom Has a Voice: Every Daughter’s Memories of Mother (2011). Farrell is president of Women’s National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter, a board member of Redwood Branch of the California Writers Club, member of Story Circle Network and National Association of Memoir Writers.

Linda Joy Myers is president and founder of the National Association of Memoir Writers, and the author of four books: Don’t Call Me Mother—A Daughter’s Journey from Abandonment to ForgivenessThe Power of Memoir—How to Write Your Healing Story, and a workbook The Journey of Memoir: The Three Stages of Memoir Writing. Her book Becoming Whole—Writing Your Healing Story was a finalist in ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Award. A speaker and award-winning author, she co-teaches the program Write Your Memoir in Six Months, and offers editing, coaching, and mentoring for memoir, nonfiction, and fiction. www.namw.org. Visit her blog at http://memoriesandmemoirs.com.

Amber Lea Starfire, whose passion is helping others tell their stories, is the author of Week by Week: A Year’s Worth of Journaling Prompts & Meditations (2012) and Not the Mother I Remember, due for release in late 2013. A writing teacher and editor, she earned her MFA in Creative Writing from University of San Francisco and is a member of the California Writers Club in Napa and Santa Rosa, the Story Circle Network, National Association of Memoir Writers, and International Association for Journal Writing. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outdoors. www.writingthroughlife.com

Reminder:  Comment on this post before midnight 12/16/13 to win your own copy of Times They Were A-Changing.

Writing Your Way to Health with Bonnie Milani, author of Home World…

Bonnie_Milani_Head_ShotAND a giveaway! That’s right. For the first time EVER I have been given the opportunity to host a WOW! Blog Tour with a FREE book giveaway. Woo hoo!

Author Bonnie Milani is here today to talk about Writing Your Way to Health…a topic that is near and dear to my soul. I have to tell you, what she wrote had me bouncing up and down in my chair…and looking around for my notebook.

And now, Bonnie, take it away!

Writing your way to health…seems almost counter-intuitive, doesn’t it?  After all, the two most fundamental physical aspects of writing involve something modern medicine regards as critically unhealthy:  hours of sitting and seeming isolation.

Now, I have no argument with the need to get out and exercise.  It doesn’t take a Hemingway to know that you have to get the blood flowing if you want the brain cells to spark.  But let’s face it: if you’re a writer, no matter what else you do there’s a little voice in the back of your mind grousing that you’re not writing.  And unless you pay that little voice heed, the gnawing dissatisfaction it generates will make you sick.

I believe completely that the need to tell stories is God’s gift to us, just as He gifts musicians and mathematicians and great engineers their special talents.  I believe storytelling is an intrinsic piece of a writer’s soul.  We have the gift because we’re supposed to use it.  I think we all know the feeling:  stop writing, or just ignore your need to write, and your soul shrivels.  You may not even know why, but the world takes on a sour tinge.  Even when you know life is going well on the outside, your innermost self just cannot be happy with it.  Ignore your gift for too long and the very act of ignoring your gift turns into a canker at the center of your soul – a canker sore that slowly poisons how you see and respond to your world.  Gradually that kind of poison seeps out of the soul and into your bloodstream.  It drips acid into your attitude, your relationships with your family, your coworkers.  Worse, it’s an attitude that attracts other bitter souls, whose own disappointments serve to reflect your own.  In short, you can’t ignore your gift without damaging your health.

Ah, but when you take even an hour each day and apply your gift … your soul blossoms.  You find yourself doing the Cheshire cat grin at total strangers on the street.  And miracle of miracles – suddenly those total strangers are grinning back at you.  The world feels brighter, happier, more welcoming.  The day to day hassles of life don’t change, but you find your response to them mellows out.  Life just feels more satisfying.  More right.   Physically, we can talk about pheromones and mood enhancement, but as writers we’ve got the control drug right in our souls.  We can quite literally write ourselves healthy.
Haven’t you ever felt that way?  Felt the happy little pop when you jotted a story idea down?  Or the intense wave of satisfaction that follows the words ‘the end’?  Bet you have.

Oh yes…YES I have! Thanks, Bonnie. You are absolutely, positively right!

And now it’s time to win a FREE copy of Home World by Bonnie Milani. All you have to do for a chance to win is post a comment on this blog post. That’s right. You can type a thoughtful response to Bonnie’s lovely article. Or you could type “Hi, Bonnie.” Or you could even type “the end” just to remember/see how it feels. The contest will be open until Midnight on Sunday 12/8/2013. The winner will be announced on Monday 12/9/13.

Home World is a fast paced, well written story about the power and the price of love. ThisHome_World_Cover story takes place amid the ruins of a post-apocalyptic Waikiki. Jezekiah Van Buren thinks he has found a way to restore Earth – Home World, to the other worlds of the human commonwealth. His goal is to restore his home to her lost glory.

Ingenious even by the standards of the genetically enhanced Great Family Van Buren, Jezekiah has achieved the impossible:  he has arranged a treaty that will convert Earth’s ancient enemies, the Lupans, to her most powerful allies.  Not only will the treaty terms make  Earth rich again, it will let him escape the Ring that condemns him to be Earth’s next ruler.  Best of all, the treaty leaves him free to marry Keiko Yakamoto, the Samurai-trained woman he loves.  Everything’s set.  All Jezekiah has to do is convince his xenophobic sister to accept the Lupan’s alpha warlord in marriage.

Before, that is, the assassin she’s put on his tail succeeds in killing him.  Or the interstellar crime ring called Ho Tong succeed in raising  another rebellion.  Or before his ruling relatives on competing worlds manage to execute him for treason.  But Jezekiah was bred for politics and trained to rule.  He’s got it all under control. Until his Lupan warlord-partner reaches Earth.  And suddenly these two most powerful men find themselves in love with the same woman.   A woman who just may be the most deadly assassin of them all.

Paperback: 423 Pages
Publisher: Promontory Press
ISBN-10: 1927559235
ISBN-13: 978-1927559239
ASIN: B00FBK3NXU
Twitter hashtag: #HWorld

Home World is available as a print and e-book at Amazon.

Home World Website: www.homeworldthenovel.com

Author Bio:

Bonnie vividly recalls the book that helped her decide she could out-write another writer: it was a junior reader’s biography of Sir William Harvey, the 17th century English physician credited (in the West) with discovering how blood circulates. After about 30 pages of telling herself “I can write better than that!” she grabbed a crayon that just happened to be blue and started editing. She was all of seven years old at the time. Unfortunately for her juvenile bottom it was a library book. She followed the dream through college and after grad school, freelancing feature articles for newspapers along the East Coast. Milani even wrote a cover story for Science Digest! Alas life and grown up responsibilities caught up with her and by her late twenties she put writing away with so many other dreams while she followed a ‘career track’. After losing her entire family, she realized story telling just a want but a need and a gift God gave her. So here she is, a self-declared “middle-aged pudge” working on getting back into a writer’s kind of real life!

OK, action time! This is the end of the post. So right now you should be clicking on the “Leave a Reply” box to win a FREE copy of the book.