August 5, 2013

Review of “Money Smarts”

Posted in Book Reviews tagged , , , , , , , at 7:00 am by Christine Rice

Money SmartsMoney Smarts: 107 Tips on How to Save Money by Pamela “Penlady” Jones is a nonfiction book that is full of many helpful tips on how you can save dollars – or even hundreds of dollars – by making minor changes to your lifestyle.

The tips are grouped by categories, so the book is well-organized and easy to use. You can choose the tips that are most relevant to you and apply them to your life. By applying tips from each of the categories, you will be able to save substantial money. Some of the categories of tips are: air travel, bills, budget, car, plus many more.

Each tip is resourceful and clever. I learned lots of ideas on how to pinch my pennies and dollars in ways that will help my finances. Best of all, the tips are easy to apply and you don’t have to make drastic changes to save significant money.

I suggest that everyone read this book, because we can all benefit from saving money. You could use the money you save for important things, like: paying off bills and loans, going on a vacation, saving for retirement, etc. This book will allow you to do those things.

You should pick up this book now. It will teach you how you can save much more than the small cost of the book, so you can’t go wrong. Click here to get your copy.

July 24, 2013

Review of “How to Write an Essay”

Posted in Book Reviews tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:00 am by Christine Rice

How to Write an EssayHow to Write an Essay by Scribendi.com is such a helpful book for writing an excellent essay. It gives practical tips on writing a quality essay in a short amount of time. It is a good teaching tool for writing an essay now and in the future. The tips will allow you to write an essay immediately and will stay with you forever. The tips are so helpful. Some are refreshers, but most are innovative; all are spot-on for writing a winning essay.

The essay writing tips are geared for new college students, but anyone who struggles with writing an essay can benefit from the suggestions in this book. The book is well-written and organized so that you can write an essay from scratch. Five steps to writing an essay are explained in this book. The steps are simple and logical, so that anyone can apply them. The steps involve: getting instructions, researching, organizing, writing, and revising. The steps are explained thoroughly, so that you can write a superb essay, and there are also time-saving tips if you are short on time. The information provided is designed to help you earn an “A” on your essay.

In addition to the five steps of essay writing, there is a bonus section on how to make your essay stand out. This section gives tips on improving your writing technique so that your teacher will favor your essay amongst all the other students’ essays, so that your essay will earn a better grade and you’ll be at the top of your class.

How to Write an Essay is such an invaluable resource that is worth your time reading. It is a concise book that you can read in one sitting, but it’s jam-packed with priceless insight. The tips and techniques in this book will allow you to write an excellent essay in a short amount of time. This book will save you time on essay writing, and you’ll earn great grades to boot.

It’s definitely worth the read, and I highly recommend it. If you need to write an essay, you should pick up your copy now, which you can get here.

July 20, 2013

All sorts of things going on

Posted in Books, Editing, Freelance Career, Personal, Publishing, Reading, Writing tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 3:56 pm by Christine Rice

Hi, all. I just want to provide a quick update. I’ve been working on my memoir, Freedom from Fat, and editing my other memoir, Chronicles of a Troubled Girl. Both are far along but still have a bit to go. The first draft of Freedom from Fat is not complete yet. It’s currently up to 46,000 words, but until I’ve reached my weight loss goals, I’ll still be working on it, because it chronicles my weight loss journey. I’m anticipating that I’ll be done with the first draft within one year. But sooner would be great, in more ways than one!

I’m currently on page 59 out of 230 in the editing/proofreading stage of Chronicles of a Troubled Girl, so I’m just about 1/4 through it. I only plan on doing one round of editing, since it is a compilation of journal entries and I want them to be as close to the original writing as possible. The entire memoir is 71,000 words.

Besides working on my books, I also have a freelance career during the week, and I focus on my health and fitness every day. I spend part-time hours working on all three aspects of my life. I like the variety, and they’re all important to me, so I have to manage my time to include them all in my life. I truly love writing books and connecting with my readers, working with my clients to help them with their publishing goals, and working out and eating healthy to have a healthy balance in my life. My weekends are spent relaxing, having fun, and doing housework. It’s quite challenging trying to fit everything in, but it’s the best way to live.

I have some book reviews I’ll be posting this week. One is How to Write an Essay, and the other is Wake up Successful – How to Increase your Energy and Achieve any Goal with a Morning Routine. Both are excellent nonfiction books that I’m looking forward to sharing with you.

So tell me how your life is going. What do you do for a career? What are your favorite things to do? What is your passion? I’d love to learn more about you. And let me know if you need help with writing or publishing, or if you’d like to be interviewed on my blog.

Above all, have a wondrous rest of your weekend!

July 4, 2013

Review of “How to Write a Letter”

Posted in Book Reviews tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 7:52 am by Christine Rice

How to Write a LetterHow to Write a Letter, by Scribendi.com, is a resourceful read that explains all the intricacies of writing a letter. It covers everything you need to know to create a well-composed and structured letter that is appropriate for the audience and circumstance.

In addition to elaborating on all the correct methods of composing a letter, the book provides details for different types of letters, such as acceptance letters, complaint letters, confirmation letters, cover letters, and many others. Every type of letter you could possibly think of are included in this book.

Furthermore, after the explanations of each letter type, there is at least one sample letter, so that you can see how to apply the tips for the specific letter, which will help you when you write your own letter.

How to Write a Letter mentions both handwritten and digital letters. Letter writing is not a thing of the past! This book recognizes that, because its tips are not just for old-fashioned letter writing – although, it does say that letters written in long hand are still best for certain circumstances. This book tells you the right medium to use for each type of letter.

This book is very thorough in covering the topic at hand, and I guarantee that you will not have any questions remaining after you’ve finished the reading. While it provides just enough material and details to completely express the strategies of letter writing, it doesn’t bog you down with unnecessary information. Your time will not be wasted from this reading.

I highly recommend How to Write a Letter to everyone, because we all need to write letters, most of us daily. This book is invaluable for composing emails, love letters, letters of apology, and more. This is a great staple to add to your bookshelf. I’m sure I’ll refer back to it time and time again. Great read!

You can get your own copy of How to Write a Letter here. You will be glad you invested in this resourceful book! Happy reading!

June 26, 2013

Interview with Carla Woody

Posted in Interviews tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:00 am by Christine Rice

Carla WoodyCarla Woody has been mentoring people toward conscious living for more than twenty years. In 1999 she established Kenosis LLC to serve human potential and support the vision: “One tribe, one world.” In 2007, she founded Kenosis Spirit Keepers, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, to help preserve indigenous wisdom ways. Carla is the author of Portals to the Vision Serpent, Standing Stark: The Willingness to Engage and Calling Our Spirits Home: Gateways to Full Consciousness. She also writes articles related to personal growth, natural healing and advocacy of Native traditions, and is a fine artist. She makes her home near Prescott, Arizona.

Christine: How long have you been a writer?

Carla: I’ve been writing off and on since childhood. The first story I can remember writing was called The Empty-Treed Forest. Looking back, this was an environmental piece somewhat strange for a seven-year-old to produce. As a teenager I wrote bad protest poetry, and then set creative writing aside for a long time in favor of the academic reports and theses necessary to acquire degrees. In the early 1990s I picked up the pen again to start writing articles and books in earnest.

Christine: What types of writing do you do?

Carla: The themes have to do with spiritual evolution, natural healing, indigenous cultures, and advocacy related to Native wisdom traditions in danger of decimation. I cover these subjects in journal and magazine articles, as well as narrative nonfiction and fiction books.

Christine: Are you solely a writer or do you have multiple occupations?

Carla: I view my books and articles as vehicles for my lifework, a way folks can be introduced or as an adjunct to my programs. For more than twenty years I’ve been mentoring people toward conscious living. In 1999 I founded Kenosis LLC to support human potential through travel journeys working with Native spiritual leaders and healers in Peru, Mexico, Guatemala and the USA, and mentoring programs integrating Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and sacred world traditions. Then in 2007 I established Kenosis Spirit Keepers, its 501(c)3 nonprofit extension, to help preserve indigenous lifeways through various projects.

Christine: What is your writing experience?

Carla: I have a passion for expression. That’s why I find it so important to, as much as possible, integrate some form of it into my everyday life and live through deeply held values. There were too many years I didn’t do that and felt cut off, which—of course—is how I came to do the work I do with others. In particular, writing and artwork are how I work things out internally and keep the creative juices flowing.

Christine: What have you published recently?

Portals to the Vision SerpentCarla: Portals to the Vision Serpent was just released on June 17, 2013. It’s a coming-of-age novel—a Hero’s Journey—that takes the reader into the realms of shamanism and the Maya world as a young man searches for his lineage and missing father. Interwoven are the struggles of indigenous peoples to preserve their way of life and tragedies that often come from misunderstandings. It’s basically a book about spiritual healing. Readers are likely to see themselves in various ways, the same as reported to me from readers of my nonfiction books Standing Stark: The Willingness to Engage (2004) and Calling Our Spirits Home: Gateways to Full Consciousness (2000).

My article The Last Spirit Keeper was published in Sacred Fire Magazine in November 2012, Issue 16, about the last Lacandón Maya elder in the rainforest of Chiapas, Mexico still maintaining his traditions against great pressure. My article Acts of Creation was just accepted by Stone Voices, a spiritually oriented, literary arts journal, no date on publication yet.

Christine: What is a typical day like for you as a writer?

Carla: I’m definitely a morning person and have a ritual that sets my day. I usually get up before dawn, feed the cats, have a cup of coffee, and meditate for 20-30 minutes. I’ve been doing it, in that order, for nearly thirty years. Then I start writing if I have a project, or other work. Several years ago I put Joseph Campbell’s writing practice in place: at least three hours a day. It became automatic, and often the time extends itself without me noticing.

Christine: What interests you about writing fiction?

Carla: I’m most interested in teaching stories. The reader learns or resolves something themselves through identifying with different characters, in the course of being entertained. As the writer, the same is true for me. The process is magical to me. It’s like a movie unfolds in front of me, and I just write it down. It’s particularly surprising when a new character appears to take me somewhere I hadn’t imagined.

Christine: How do you come up with an idea for a new novel?

Carla: The ideas present themselves. It may be something I want to explore myself, or a point I want to get across. Right now I’ve got two different ideas vying for my attention, both well developed. I’m not yet sure which one will win out to focus on first. It would be great to be able to split myself in two!

Christine: Are you traditionally published or self-published? Why did you choose that path?

Carla: I’ve published articles through professional journals and magazines since the early 1990s. When it came to my books, I specifically chose to self-publish through Kenosis Press, my own small press, for these important reasons: 1) they never go out of print; 2) the publishing process is truncated; 3) I have control over the content. Since my books are vehicles for my work, I continue to feel this is important.

Christine: Where can we find your books and websites?

Carla: Find Portals to the Vision Serpent, Standing Stark, and Calling Our Spirits Home on Amazon, or order through local bookstores.

Please note that I donate 10% of profits from book sales to Kenosis Spirit Keepers, the 501(c)3 nonprofit I founded to help us with our projects to preserve Native traditions.

You’re invited to visit Kenosis and Kenosis Spirit Keepers to learn more about offerings and sign up for free material and the Kenosis Inspirations ezine. Follow my blog The Lifepath Dialogues.

Christine: Thanks so much for joining us today, Carla. Your work and your books sound so interesting. Best of luck with your articles and books.

June 17, 2013

Review of “Acceptance: A Workshop for Perfectionists”

Posted in Book Reviews tagged , , , , , , at 7:00 am by Christine Rice

Acceptance - A Workshop for PerfectionistsAcceptance: A Workshop for Perfectionists by Liisa Kyle, Ph.D is a self-help book with writing exercises and activities to help perfectionists accept circumstances, others, and themselves.

The book is very well-rounded in the information it covers to help perfectionists grow out of their perfectionism. First, it discusses how they can accept circumstances that are beyond their control. Many events just happen in life and people are powerless over them. People can only change themselves.

Next it explains how to accept other people as they are, because a person cannot change others; other people have to want to change and decide to change on their own. Accepting them as they are, with their imperfections and quirks, allows the perfectionist a lot of relief and will improve their relationships and interactions with people.

The third section is about self-acceptance. Perfectionists have a hard time accepting themselves because of their high expectations. But they must accept the things they cannot change about themselves in order to feel peace about who they are.

There are suggested writing exercises and activities at the end of each chapter. The author suggests for the reader to write down their answers, because they will gain much more benefit by doing so. The author also suggests reading one of the three sections a week and then reflecting on life and applying what was learned, from the writing exercises, throughout the week.

Many of the activities encourage increasing a person’s self-awareness, because only when people become aware of their thoughts and actions can they alter them to live a higher quality of life.

Half of this book is about self-discovery and working through perfectionistic thoughts and behaviors to live a happier life. If a person is serious about changing their perfectionistic tendencies to improve how they feel and how their life is going, then this book is for them.

If you are a perfectionist, or simply want to stop trying to change everything and everyone, you should pick up this book. You can get your copy here. It is a great read!

June 13, 2013

Interview with Valencia Roner

Posted in Interviews tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 7:00 am by Christine Rice

Valenica RonerValencia Roner is a writer and blogger living in Greensboro, North Carolina.  Her work has appeared in Black Enterprise Magazine, USAToday.com, BusinessWeek.com and the Los Angeles Times. She is a member of the Writers Guild of America (WGA). She is completing her book, The 7 Most Common Barriers to Success and the Strategies to Overcome Them, which is due out in 2013.

Christine: How, and when, did you decide to become an author?

Valencia: I guess it’s fair to say that I first decided to become an author when I was 7 years old. I was in the 2nd grade and the teacher instructed us to write a story with pictures. I wrote a story about the Bionic Woman and the Bionic Man getting married and having a Bionic baby. Although I don’t remember the exact story, I do remember getting an A. I guess you could say right then and there I at least gave very serious consideration to becoming an author.

Christine: What interests you about writing nonfiction?

Valencia: I have always had a preference for nonfiction writing. I particularly enjoy biographies.  As early as age 9, I recall going into the school library and checking out biographies written about Abraham Lincoln and Wilma Rudolph. While I also tried to get through the entire Nancy Drew series (I think I got up to volume 18), I have always loved reading and studying about how people overcome adversity to achieve a goal or a life of success.

Christine: What is the writing process like for you?

Valencia: I take working on my books in project stages. By that I mean I play around with the title and chapter outlines. I also work on a draft of the book cover which provides me tremendous motivation. Seeing a mock cover lets me know the book can be real. I can do this pretty fast. However, when it comes to the body of the book, I try to write as much as I can in one sitting – even if it comes out to be a couple of pages per chapter.  From there, I begin to tweak and work on one chapter at a time – again in one sitting – until I have a solid, workable first draft. This process can take up to 10 – 15 hours per week.

Christine: Are you solely a writer or do you have multiple occupations?

Valencia: As of now, I do have the proverbial “day job”. However, I am working on a plan or variations thereof for that not to last forever. As a former business owner of a marketing and P.R. firm, I understand the value of a flexible work schedule. Meantime, I am grateful for a means by which to pay the bills.

Christine: What topics do you write about in your books?

Valencia: My primary genre is self-help/motivational books.  So many people are looking for possible approaches by which to enhance their lives. I consider myself among that group. I have had some interesting experiences and have overcome some challenging circumstances which allow me to believe I can offer something of value to those seeking encouragement.

Christine: How do you come up with an idea for a new book?

Valencia: I currently have nearly 50 book ideas. Having blogged since 2005, I have no shortage of ideas. Many can be current-event based. However, most of my ideas stem from my seeking to offer new perspectives on traditional ideas like faith, success, trust, relationships and self-awareness.

Christine: What is the title of your most recently published book and a description of it?

Chasing Joy 2Valencia: My most recent and first published book is Chasing Joy: Principles for Making Joy a Core Life Principle.  This book is my effort to address the ongoing quest of many people to find joy in their lives.  I attempt to share how the key to joy is first finding it within oneself as oppose to those things and others outside ourselves.

Christine: What are your strengths as a nonfiction author?

Valencia: My strength as a nonfiction author is that I tend to be able to write quite fast. I am one of those writers who can be laser focused. Once I get started, I tend not to stop until a designated phase of the project is complete. I can’t say that I’ve ever experienced writer’s block. Most of the time, if I have to stop writing, it’s because I’m tired, or because I have another commitment I must fulfill.

Christine: What marketing techniques do you use to promote yourself as an author and your books?

Valencia: Right now I am still working through this based on my current schedule. I do have a blog at www.right2peace.com . I also have Facebook and Twitter accounts. I was sure to have author profiles on both Amazon.com and Goodreads.com. While I know there are a host of other marketing techniques I could and want to employ, I want to make sure I have enough time and resources to ensure that all marketing efforts are executed correctly and of quality.

Christine: Are you traditionally published or self-published? Why did you choose that path?

Valencia: I am a self-published author. I chose this path because it is “easier” now more than ever with such tools as Createspace.com. I have more control, and many financial resources were not required to publish this first effort. Also, if I find a mistake it is a lot less stressful to fix with a POD (Print on Demand) format than with the traditional self-publishing route which requires you to order several hundred (or thousand) copies you have to peddle yourself out of the trunk of your car.

Christine: Where can we find your books?

Valencia: Currently, Chasing Joy can be found at Amazon.com in both paperback and e-book formats.

Christine: What advice would you offer writers seeking to become published authors?

Valencia: If you are passionate about your work as a writer and you are confident that your voice can serve of value to a segment of readers within the marketplace, write that book now. Start small. Chasing Joy may be small, but it was written to impact. Don’t be afraid to publish your first book on your own. I am extremely pleased with the process of Createspace and would highly recommend it.

In the meantime, find a way to get paid for your writing. I had my first major article in a national magazine at 27. I sold a movie script at 25 (although it didn’t get made into a movie). Selling my movie script did get me into the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA).

I will leave you with a quote by Stephen King that keeps me inspired:

If you wrote something for which someone sent you a check, if you cashed the check and it didn’t bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.

Christine: Thanks for joining us today, Valencia. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you. Best of luck with your books.

June 1, 2013

Review of “Brain Fog and Stress”

Posted in Book Reviews tagged , , , , , , , , , at 7:00 am by Christine Rice

Brain Fog and StressBrain Fog and Stress: Better Brain Health by Managing Stress Now is a book written by an expert on stress’ impact on the brain and how to deal with stress to improve brain health. The author discusses all aspects of stress and how it affects the brain. The author tells us that not all stress is bad; some is a necessary part of life. But most people stress over things that aren’t life-threatening, which negatively affects the brain and the person’s happiness.

Stress not only affects the brain, it also affects other aspects of health as well. The author discusses this and it’s quite eye-opening how much stress affects us. The author talks substantially about brain fog, which involves a lot of different symptoms that a good majority of the population has. But not to worry, because the author tells you different practical ways that you can manage stress to live a more peaceful life.

Lastly, the author provides a 5-week plan for getting to the bottom of your stress and turning your life around. There is also a final chapter that provides 20 stress help tips. This book has substantial information in it that many will find helpful. There are also references and resources with links, and further reading suggestions.

I recommend this book to everyone who wants to learn more about stress and how it affects you, and how to tackle stress and change your life for the better. You will learn a lot from this book. You can get your own copy here. I’m sure you will find it beneficial.

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