Tuesday, March 19, 2019

#BlogTour Interview with Sherry Jones, Author of Josephine Baker's Last Dance #interview #JosephineBaker @sherryjones





Author and journalist Sherry Jones is best known for her international bestseller The Jewel of Medina. She is also the author of The Sword of MedinaFour SistersAll QueensThe Sharp Hook of Love, and the novella White Heart.  Sherry lives in Spokane, WA, where, like Josephine Baker, she enjoys dancing, singing, eating, advocating for equality, and drinking champagne.
Her latest novel is Josephine Baker’s Last Dance.




From the author of The Jewel of Medina, a moving and insightful novel based on the life of legendary performer and activist Josephine Baker, perfect for fans of The Paris Wife and Hidden Figures.

Discover the fascinating and singular life story of Josephine Baker—actress, singer, dancer, Civil Rights activist, member of the French Resistance during WWII, and a woman dedicated to erasing prejudice and creating a more equitable world—in Josephine Baker’s Last Dance.

In this illuminating biographical novel, Sherry Jones brings to life Josephine's early years in servitude and poverty in America, her rise to fame as a showgirl in her famous banana skirt, her activism against discrimination, and her many loves and losses. From 1920s Paris to 1960s Washington, to her final, triumphant performance, one of the most extraordinary lives of the twentieth century comes to stunning life on the page.

With intimate prose and comprehensive research, Sherry Jones brings this remarkable and compelling public figure into focus for the first time in a joyous celebration of a life lived in technicolor, a powerful woman who continues to inspire today.

Purchase Josephine Baker’s Last Dance in paperback,  ebook,  and  audiobook  formats on  Simon and Schuster’s website (available on Amazon,  Barnes and Noble,  BooksAMillion,  Indiebound,  Kobo,  and  other sites). Learn more about Sherry’s books  at  www.authorsherryjones.com



Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

When I’m not writing, I’m reading the best fiction I can find, dancing to live music, enjoying the company of my many friends, cooking gourmet meals, or traveling. I also play classical piano and really love the opera.

When did you start writing?

I began writing at age 7, in the second grade. I had a wonderful teacher who said to me, before the entire class, “When you become an author, publish using your given name so I’ll know it’s you.” I’ve lost touch with her, but I hope she realizes what an impact she made on my life.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

When my first novel, THE JEWEL OF MEDINA, attracted international controversy and death threats. I had to make a choice about where I stood and why I am a writer. Today, I understand that, just as when I worked aa a journalist for 30+ years before becoming a novelist, I write to make a positive difference in the world.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

I live in the perfect city to start that book. My next protagonist lived for 30 years in Spokane, Washington, where I live now.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

Clean my house! But alas, it’s not going to happen today. I will ride my exercise bicycle and practice Spanish, make a pot of soup, and read the Sunday New York Times—without the extra hours.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

In Spokane! I envision a roman a clef called HINTERLAND.

Back to your present book, JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE, how did you publish it?

Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, is my publisher, and I wrote this book under contract.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

I traveled to Paris (twice), New York City, and St. Louis, MO, Josephine Baker’s childhood home, to research this book.

Why was writing JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE so important to you?

I hope this book adds to the conversation that we are currently having in America about race.

Josephine Baker, like the protagonists of all my novels, was a woman who found her inner power and used it to make a positive difference in the world. Raised in poverty and abuse, she became a star of the stage and screen at a young age before dedicating her life to fighting racism. She worked as a spy for the French Resistance during World War II, risking her life many times, and became an outspoken anti-segregationist in the United States during her tour of the country in 1951, before the civil rights movement even began. She succeeded in getting many whites-only theaters, nightclubs, hotels, restaurants, and other venues to integrate. I found her inspirational, and knew that others would, too.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

My ideas come from everywhere: books I’ve reading, newspaper and magazine articles, courses I’m listening to, movies I watch. My problem isn’t a dearth of ideas, but a surplus of them. The hard part is choosing!

Any final words?

All my books are about amazing women in history. A’isha from THE JEWEL OF MEDINA and THE SWORD OF MEDINA; the four sisters from Provence in FOUR SISTERS, ALL QUEENS; the French queen Blanche de Castille in WHITE HEART; Heloise d’Argenteuil, the 12th-century scholar and esteemed abbess in THE SHARP HOOK OF LOVE, and the 20th-century African-American performer Josephine Baker demonstrate with their lives that one woman can make a positive difference in the world. This is such an important message for our times—and writing these books is my way of trying to make a difference, too.

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Take a Peek Inside Love and the Mystery of Betrayal by Sandra Lee Dennis #books #bookexcerpt @sandraleedennis


Title: LOVE AND THE MYSTERY OF BETRAYAL
Author: Sandra Lee Dennis
Publisher: West County Press
Pages: 290
Genre: Relationships/Spiritual/Self-Help

BOOK BLURB:
Betrayal of love inflicts a unique, unprecedented pain you can only comprehend once you have experienced it. If you are suffering from an intimate betrayal, you know. Betrayal is stunning. It is mind-boggling. You feel paralyzed, mystified, enraged, panicked, bewildered; but, mostly, you hurt. Betrayal is a make-or-break event that marks a cataclysmic divide in your life. It changes you. When you believe in someone so completely and then realize they have been deceiving you about their love and loyalty, the worst thing happens: Your faith in yourself crumbles. The shock lifts a veil from your eyes, and you can never see yourself or the world in the same way again.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon


Book Excerpt:

In the messiness and ignorance of our humanity we struggle to cope with the demands of being human. We all make mistakes, especially in our closest relationships. Everyone can recall times of disappointment with friends, companions, family members, advisors, teachers, or coworkers when we have felt betrayed or betrayed others or ourselves. We gain self-knowledge and learn to apologize and to forgive as we work through the many ways we let each other down. There are minor, everyday betrayals, and then there are the life-exploding disclosures that I explore in this book, the ones that break your heart, fracture your world, and threaten to destroy your soul. I specifically address betrayal in love—a shattering of trust by the one you have been most
intimate with and relied on to protect you from harm.

If you are suffering from an intimate betrayal, you know. Betrayal is stun-ning. It is mind-boggling. It traumatizes you and upends your life. Mostly, it hurts. Betrayal inflicts a unique, unprecedented pain you can only compre-hend once you have experienced it. Interpersonal trauma changes you. It lifts a veil from your eyes, and you can never see the world in the same way again. Yet we live in a culture that is blind to both the depth of wounding and the heart-expanding potential of such a blow.

Before your trust was shattered, you lived shielded from the indescribable pain you feel now that the veil has lifted. Such havoc betrayal wreaks, the multilayered torments of body, mind, and soul are so extreme that it can feel like nothing less than torture. No wonder we tend to turn away, minimize, and bury the hurt. If you are like me, you also do not want anyone to know what is happening to you. It is humiliating and maddening to be in pain, obsessing about someone that has left, deceived, or cheated on you. You can begin to feel like a character in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Friends and family tend to look the other way, too. No one likes to see a person so out of control of their destiny.




I know because I had the veil lifted from my eyes, in a familiar way known to many. The man I loved left me. With virtually no warning, my partner of six years walked out a few weeks before a big wedding we had planned. When he went from “I’ll love you forever” one day to “I’m finished with you” the next, it stopped my world. His wholly unanticipated exit from our home and my life led me to suffer more than I believed was humanly possible. At the same time, the distress awakened depths of my heart that took my capacity to love into uncharted territory.

Meanwhile, friends and family advised me to get over it and move on as quickly as possible. They were right, I reasoned, I would move on…I tried, but it was not to be. Once the initial shock lessened, I began to grasp that my trust in life had disappeared. My entire world had suddenly turned hostile, or so it seemed, because of the faithlessness of one person—albeit one very central person, the one I had counted most in the world to be there and care for me. His abrupt about-face marked a cataclysmic divide in my life.

Prior to the moment he walked out, I had considered myself a together, self-aware person. After he left, I was more like a delusional broken heap. I put on a self-assured face, but wandered around like a Swiss cheese, shot full of holes, bewildered, with a secret, stabbing pain in my heart. I vacil-lated between rage, panic, and bouts of grief. Often I could not stop crying. Falling apart was to be expected—“everybody has been there”—after a tough breakup. But the problem was, as time went on, my condition got worse, not better. Instead of a few weeks or months, it went on for years.

I could not comprehend why I had gone from competent professional to terrified, whimpering child, unable to do much of anything, let alone “move on.” It was only later that I realized this was no ordinary breakup. Eventually, I realized how deeply I had been traumatized, and that the nightmare of post-traumatic stress had set in.

Mine is not an obvious or sensational horror story of betrayal and abuse. I was not hit, or cheated on, raped or stolen from, yelled at, or bullied into submission, not even abandoned dramatically at the altar. I wrote this book to help show how relational trauma these days is often not obvious. Many of us have become too educated, smooth, or sophisticated for such overt aggres-sion. The damage to my trust and the erosion of the quality of my life came from mind-bending subtleties, primarily half-truths concealed as exceptional honesty: from bouts of seduction and warmth laced with withholding and withdrawal; insincere profusions of praise, affection and loyalty, interspersed with blame and criticism; important omissions of personal history; sexual manipulation masked as the deepest love; systematic devaluation; and finally a complete Jekyll-and-Hyde character reversal. Abandonment and replace-ment were only the final and most obvious blows to my sanity and stability.

Emotional abuse and mental cruelty can be more damaging than blatant physical abuse because, at least when someone beats you, or cheats on you, it is clearly their problem. When you have a dagger plunged into your heart while being held in a loving embrace, on the other hand, you do not know what hit you. When you are betrayed with charm and a smile, it is stunning and crazy making. If you have given the benefit of the doubt to and believed in your partner, it can take a long time to get the hook out and make sense of your world again. Meanwhile, you wonder if you are fit any longer for human company, or if you should have yourself committed for observation.

As I tried to make sense of what happened, my mind flooded with ques-tions. Perhaps the most painful was, “How could I not have seen this com-ing?” When you believe in someone so completely and then realize they have been deceiving you about their love and loyalty, the worst thing happens: Your faith in yourself crumbles. The instincts you relied on to perceive and under-stand your world have misled you, and you do not know how you will ever be able to trust yourself again. It alarmed me when I realized I had lost faith, not only in myself, but also in other people—and, most disturbingly, in life itself.

My heart goes out to you if you are in a similar situation. Perhaps what I share will help you sort through the bewilderment and confusion, regain trust in your own perceptions, and get through the worst. I had lived a lot of life and had a lot of psychological experience and inner resources when this ax fell. If anyone “should” have seen this coming and been prepared when it did, it was I. But I was not at all prepared.

To make it through this ordeal, I turned instinctively to my spiritual prac-tices: mindfulness meditation, inquiry, yoga. I coped by sitting for hours each day, breathing and watching the chaos, tracking sensations, thoughts, and feelings. I was astonished at how much I learned—more, I thought, in two years than I had in the ten previous. As a former college psychology professor, and a teacher at heart, passing on what I learn comes almost as second nature.

I did a lot of research in the effort to understand what I was going through. I read hundreds of books and talked to scores of people. I researched a wide range of subjects and touch on many here—trauma, posttraumatic stress, domestic violence, subtle-body experiences, attachment theory, projection and splitting, death and dying, faith and conscience, grief and forgiveness, Buddhist meditation and Christian contemplation and prayer. I found that prescriptions and advice abound on how to survive the loss of love, to heal from a broken heart, to endure a dark night of the soul, to put your life back




together, and to move on after being betrayed or abandoned. But for a long time, I found little that validated my extreme experiences.

Those around me, and even I, considered being abandoned by the person I intended to spend the rest of my life with an unfortunate, but minor event to be swept aside and forgotten, the sooner, the better. After all, people readily recover from far worse things. Conventional wisdom, I discovered, was way off with its clich├ęd treatment of heartbreak and betrayal as minor blips on the screen of life that you tend to for a while before moving on to better things.

The shame I felt about the depth and duration of the pain, along with the fact my friends, family, and even counselors did not understand, encour-aged my silence. The lingering effects on those of us who receive such a shock become a secret we do not want to share with anyone. We even want to hide the life-changing repercussions from ourselves. Amidst my struggle to recover, I recognized that many who had undergone similar experiences had simply shut down. For a time, I feared I would do the same. The continuing torment of having my heart torn out by someone I believed loved me deeply and to whom I had committed my love and life was just too much to bear.

When you hurt this much, instinctively you want to help make it less difficult for anyone else in pain. I never set out to write this book, but once it started pouring out of me, I felt how much I wanted to bring more light to the facts of what an experience like this actually does to a person. There was so much to learn about this underrated trauma—the “most difficult of all woundings,” as one author put it. I decided to base this book first on immer-sion into the lived experience, a type of phenomenological research. I believe this approach led to the emergence of a more nuanced perspective and a deeper understanding than a study based on analysis and theory alone could offer.

The orientation that guided me was to turn with curiosity toward the suf-fering, rather than stifling the pain or distracting myself. This approach will be familiar to many spiritual seekers and to those who have struggled to come to terms with great loss—the way out is through the darkness. What it takes to make this turn, to go from theory to practice in the midst of prolonged psychological pain, tells an unforeseen story for each of us.

Taken to heart this way, I found betrayal to be an initiation into an unknown self. The shock launches the betrayed on a “night sea journey,” that stage in spiritual growth known in mystical traditions as a dark night of the soul. In this mythological descent you are taken suddenly into deep waters and swallowed up by a sea dragon. Like Jonah, you are stripped bare and robbed of what is dearest to your heart. The metaphors of darkness and night apply because you do not know what is happening. You feel as if you must be dying



and you are. Some part of your old nature is being shorn away to make way for the new you cannot imagine, and over which you have no control.

Ultimately, we each have to find our own way in the dark, until we are thrown back onto land and the light of day. I share my truth, knowing no one can tell another what it takes to welcome this unwanted journey. It took me years to recover myself, and I fought it all the way, but I finally came to recog-nize that betrayal and trust form two poles of experience. Apparently, we can-not embrace one until we have drunk deeply of the other. Through destroying my trust, and taking me into more suffering than I had ever known, betrayal catalyzed a transformation inside that awakened qualities of faith, compas-sion, and love I barely imagined were possible.

During the long days and nights of blame and rage, of tears and star-ing off into space, beneath my awareness, strange mystic moments penetrated through the pain. These elusive flashes of truth, fleeting at first, but arrest-ing, planted seeds of renewed faith and trust in the ground of my own raw heart. With time, against all instinct, I learned to embrace the humiliation and heartbreak as the terrain I needed to pass through in order to deepen into secrets of a love my soul was hungry to taste.

Never before had I felt such intimate kinship with life around me. Never had my heart beaten in such rhythm with others in pain. Never had I sensed such a fervent need not to harm anyone else with my actions. Never had I felt the vast sadness I had carried in my bones my entire life. Never before had I sensed the touch of the “hands of light” comforting me, or the gentle power of the earth and sky supporting me, or the tender stirrings in my heart of what I could only call divine love flowing toward me.

All this took time, much more than I approved of. Meanwhile I thought the pain would never end. A turning point in my struggles came when I began to question the true source of my torments. One day, in one of those flashes, I intuited that the obvious villain—the person who had hurt me so griev-ously—had been but an instrument in the hands of an unseen destiny. I real-ized the peace I needed to make was not with my errant partner, but with my own heart, my fate, my God. The insight came and went, but the truth had touched my core.

While each story of love’s betrayal is unique, as are the individuals involved, betrayal is an archetypal experience. It is an event that we each carry in our collective memory, from the moment of being born into this world. Because of its archetypal core, the study of betrayal’s dynamics and impact has something to teach us all. If, however, you have been spared the trial of an intimate betrayal, what I describe may not make much sense to you. It may seem extreme, exaggerated, even melodramatic. That would have been



the case for me before I passed through this ordeal. I would not have had the slightest interest in a book such as this one. I had no idea.

For this reason, I offer this book primarily, and believe it will be most help-ful, for those who have been betrayed, now or in the past, by someone they loved and trusted; and for those wishing to help another navigate these waters. I offer my story and my perspective, along with the results of my research, not as an authority, but as a fellow traveler. I offer companionship, validation, and solace if you are going through this harrowing time. I admit right now that in the extended darkness, I despaired of ever trusting or caring enough to engage life again. While I hoped against hope that the proverbial “pearl of great price” was waiting to be found in the ruins of my torn-up heart, my doubts were grave. I chronicle many of those doubts here.

I can report that finally the miracle of saying yes to what I wanted least in my life did take root in my soul. To my surprise, the shattering of my world had magnetized a grace that was teaching me how and what to trust. As I write now, nearly five years later, recovering myself is a work in progress. But I have learned the greatest lesson in my life to date. Deep suffering invites us into mystery: The pain speaks a message we need and long to hear. The rage and yearning are prayers for truth, for love. At the point of utmost brokenness, I did indeed find a golden pearl—the longing cry of my own heart for a love that endures, a greater, divine love that cannot and does not die.

Please let my words resonate with your own experience where and how they will. I know I cannot speak for what anyone else is going through. But I trust that the universal core of this journey into and through the heart broken in love will ring true for many. I wish for you, too, to find your gold.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SANDRA LEE DENNIS, PhD, is an author, teacher and explorer of the interplay of depth psychology and spirituality. She holds an MA in Psychology and a PhD in Integral Studies/ Psychology and Religion. She has been on the faculty of several universities, as well as the San Francisco Jung Institute.

Sandra’s writings bridge the world of scholar and visionary. She loves to bring light to those subtle interior spheres that defy description, and can appear frightening or unreal to the logical mind.  Her deep-diving explorations have helped many to “translate their darkness” — to name and bring compassion to their grief, anger, confusion and pain.

She was a teacher in the Gurdjieff tradition for many years, an Ananda Yoga instructor, and a long-time student of Diamond Heart work.  Currently, she is enjoying life in the Bay Area.

Website Address: www.sandraleedennis.com
Blog Address: http://www.sandraleedennis.com/healing-a-broken-heart-blog/
Twitter Address: https://twitter.com/Sandraleedennis
Facebook Address: https://www.facebook.com/SandraLeeDennisAuthor
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Monday, March 11, 2019

A. L. Bryant: 'I hope that for years to come I can provide an escape for all those who read my novels.'


A.L. Bryant was born and raised in St. Petersburg FL. She became interested in writing at an early age; an interest that depending on the circumstance brought punishment (detention for passing out the latest installment of her novella during class) and praise (being chosen for a youth writers conference at the Poynter Institute.)  A.L. Bryant gets her inspiration from both her mother and her Great Grandmother. Her mother recently published an inspirational children’s book under a pseudonym and her great grandmother is South Carolina’s first published African-American female author and playwright.

Until recently writing had simply been a pastime for A.L. Bryant who although she attended several writing courses, graduated with a B.A. in International Business. It was shortly after her second job as a Financial Office Manager at a Goodwill correctional facility that she realized she loved writing more than anything else. It would still be some years before she would convert the short story she wrote in college into a novel.

Besides writing, A.L. Bryant loves traveling the world. God has blessed her with the opportunity to visit a total of seven countries. She has studied abroad in Seoul and has traveled throughout Kenya; two locations she researched for her Blessed series. Her dream is to visit every country in the world.

Her latest book is the supernatural Christian thriller horror novel, Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter.

SOCIAL LINKS:                                                      






On New Year’s Eve 2021 the staff at St. Ann’s Hospital witness a medical miracle when a semi-conscious woman walks into the emergency room. The Jane Doe has been stabbed multiple times and as the staff struggle to keep the woman alive in the end all they can do is stand back and watch as their mysterious patient revives herself.

Glory wakes up in St. Ann’s Hospital gravely injured from an attack she cannot remember. However, her memory loss is no ordinary amnesia and she is no ordinary patient. Much to the shock of the hospital staff Glory heals at three times the rate of an average person. Soon the administration hears of her unique case and waste no time convincing the recovering Glory to be a part of an experiment to discover the origins of her power.

Once outside the comforting walls of the hospital it becomes apparent that healing is just a small portion of Glory’s capabilities. Abilities that to Glory’s distress are becoming increasingly unstable. Deciding that the hospital’s experiments are in vain, Glory embarks on her own Journey to discover the source of her power, unaware that she is a major pawn in a war between two secret organizations.

The two syndicates continue to clash in their fight for control and their battles result in several casualties. The crimes of their warfare surface and draw the attention of Dennis Wilson, a NYPD Detective known for solving his cases in the first forty-eight hours. Dennis follows the trail of bodies out of curiosity. But when his curiosity causes the deaths of his loved ones Detective Dennis becomes obsessed with the case.

In his overzealous attempts to find the murderer Dennis becomes the syndicates’ next target. Now the Detective must run for his life and the only person capable of saving him is the very person he suspects.

Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter is a hybrid of government espionage and supernatural Thriller. This novel is intended for audiences 18+ that seek an edgier outlook on Christian fiction. Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter is the first installment of the Blessed trilogy.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon



Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

Thank you for having me! For hobbies, I love to read, travel, play video games, and I love being out in nature.

When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

When I finally decided to make writing my career and not just a hobby.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

Right now, I have a driving need to be around nature. I spent half my life on a farm growing up and I LOVE being surrounded by trees. I don’t have a specific location in mind but where I’m at right now I need fresh air, forest sounds, and tranquility.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

I feel a bit introspective so, I would go to a local coffee shop to think and people watch.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

I would like to set one of my stories on the east coast of Africa.

Back to your present book, Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter, how did you publish it? 
I decided to self-publish my novel and I put a great deal into making it as professional as a traditionally publish book. That included professional editors, a professional cover artist, etc. I did end up formatting the book on my own which was a formidable task. 

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

I did travel for research for the series. Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter is based in the U.S. I am toying with the idea of setting the other two books in the trilogy in South Korea and Kenya, two places I have visited/lived previously.

Why was writing Blessed: The Prodigal Daughter so important to you?

It was a story I had been writing for years. It started off small and I just kept adding to it. I had no intention at first to publish it. However, I wanted to tell the story. The spiritual journey of the main character really resonated with me.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

I have to be honest. The is no specific time or place where I get my ideas, best or otherwise. I get ideas all throughout the day, when I’m idle, working, or enjoying some form of entertainment. I try to write them all down in my ideas journal and add to them as they become more fleshed out in my head.

Any final words?

I hope that for years to come I can provide an escape for all those who read my novels. This has always been my dream and I absolutely love writing and sharing my stories.
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Book Blast: The Secret of the Woods Book 1 by Sara Beth Harper - Win a $25 Gift Card



 

Inside the Book:


Title: The Secret of the Woods
Author: Sara Beth Harper
Publisher: XLibrisUS
Genre: Fantasy
Format: Ebook

Leaving their rough street life behind, five children escape into the forest, which turns out to be more dangerous than their former life had been. Evil goblins, the orcs, and their dogs track them through the wilderness, desiring the magic piece they unwittingly acquired when Michael promised a dying boy he would deliver it to Camelot. They didn’t know the danger that dogged the footsteps of the person that possessed it! Scared, lost, and confused, they stumble through the days, trying to find answers though they could trust no one. They find their inner strength and determination and vicious will to survive. They find friends when they need them the most, and they find love and happiness at the most unexpected places. They overcome fear and hate and finally know they are here for a reason when their unexpected, surprising identity comes to light.

Purchase Here

Meet the Author:
Sara Beth Harper lives in the hills of south eastern Ohio with her big family. Was inspired to write by sleepless nights and a vivid imagination. Loves anything nature, cooking, friends, family and Jesus. She holds Him and her faith closely and knows she could not have written without Him!

Giveaway

Sara is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 
Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins March 4 and ends on March 19.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on March 19.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule

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Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Morning Mind: Use Your Brain to Master Your Day and Supercharge Your Life by Dr. Rob Carter III and Dr. Kirti Salwe Carter


By Dr. Rob Carter III and Dr. Kirti Salwe Carter
“The modern lifestyle puts 99% of us in an ‘unbalanced sleep state,’” “But with the right information, we can add stability to our lives, including our sex life.” That information can be found in The Morning Mind, aim to put the everyday person’s brain and body back into balance through simple steps to supercharge a morning routine, resulting in productivity and enjoyment over the course of the entire day.
Your Mind, Sex, and Sleep
Your bedroom, according to the National Sleep Foundation, is designed for two things: sex and sleep. Here is the problem. Most people are not getting enough of either. However, recent research suggests fixing one could fix the other.
Millennials are having the least amount of sex, but the researchers say it’s not due to longer working hours or increased pornography use. And research has shown that a lack of quality sleep for the right number of hours a night can lead to a decline in mood, libido, and romantic motivation.
Our bodies regulate sleep in much the same way that they regulate eating, drinking, and breathing. This suggests that sleep serves a similar critical role in our health and well-being.  If you’re having trouble sleeping soundly, studies show having sex with your partner (or yourself) can help improve the quality of your sleep. Cutting calories can boost your sex life and your sleep.
Practice mindful meditation and deep, relaxing breathing. Slow breathing has been shown to put the nervous system in a position to help promote sleep and better sex.

Why do we need sleep?
Although it is difficult to answer the question, "Why do we sleep?" scientists have developed several theories that together may help explain why we spend a third of our lives sleeping. Understanding these theories can help deepen our appreciation of the function of sleep in our lives.
The Morning Mind will help you understand how simple tools can be used to calm your mind and better, “hack” into your Wizard. You can improve how your entire body responds to daily stress and better defend against the perils of life. It is imperative that you make space in your life for ten to fifteen minutes of relaxation or meditation to get rid of any potential distractions, like the demands of other people, smartphones, and computers.
Most humans will acknowledge that sleep is absolutely necessary. People often struggle to function after even just one sleepless night. Poor sleep over the long term has been linked to a host of negative health effects, from heart disease and stroke to weight gain and diabetes.
What to eat for better mornings?
We know that eating fewer calories to see if, apart from weight loss, affects other important aspects of life like mood, sleep and sex. The food you start your day with has a huge effect on your physical, mental, and emotional state for that day. Not everyone needs to eat breakfast, but those who do should eat a small, healthy breakfast.  
Certain foods can be consumed to improve concentration and mental clarity.



Dr. Robert Carter III, FACSM, FAIS was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He is a US Army officer, an expert in integrative human physiology and performance and has academic appointments in emergency medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, in public health and health sciences at Los Angeles Pacific University, and in nutrition at the University of Maryland, University College. Dr. Carter completed military assignments in Germany, France, Afghanistan, Washington, DC, and the White House as a military social aide for the Obama administration.

He holds a doctorate in biomedical sciences and medical physiology, and a master of public health in chronic disease epidemiology. Selected as a Yerby Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dr. Carter received his postgraduate training in environmental epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts. He serves on several scientific editorial boards, is a reviewer for 14 scientific and medical journals, and is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM) and the American Institute of Stress (FAIS). Carter is also Thermal Councilor for the Exercise and Environmental Committee of the American Physiological Society.

He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, abstracts and technical reports on human performance, breath-based meditation, nutrition, human water needs, trauma, and environmental medicine in noted publications such as The New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Nutrition Reviews and the Journal of Applied Physiology.

Dr. Kirti Salwe Carter, FAIS, was born in Pune, India, and received her medical education in India, where she practiced as an intensive-care physician before moving to Texas to complete postgraduate training in public health. In 2010, she received her master of public health in occupational health from The University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. She also has done graduate studies in integrative physiology.

Carter is a Fellow of the American Institute of Stress (FAIS). She has more than 18 years of experience in meditation and breathing techniques, and has been facilitating wellness seminars for the past decade. Her work has been instrumental in bringing stress-management and resilience programs not only to the general population but also to corporate employees, educators, middle school and university students, and to special populations such as refugees in violence-prone areas and victims of military sexual trauma.

She is passionate about researching the effectiveness of breathing and meditation techniques to improve human performance. Dr. Carter has published her research on human performance, ergonomics, and breath-based meditation in periodicals such as the World Journal of Clinical Cases, the Journal of Visual Experiments and the Journal of Environmental and Public Health.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website Address: www.themorningmind.com
Twitter Address: https://twitter.com/mind_morning
Facebook Address: https://www.facebook.com/MorningMindByCarters/
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Sherry Jones: 'Why I Wrote Josephine Baker's Last Dance' #guest #biography #historical @sherryjones



Why I Wrote Josephine Baker’s Last Dance

By Sherry Jones

Working as a journalist for 30-plus years, I made little money--but I gained something more valuable: a conviction that I was making a difference in my community and in the wider world.

During my decades as a newspaper reporter and then as a correspondent for a national news agency, I discovered the power of the written word to tear down, uplift, and transform.

So it makes perfect sense that, when I turned to fiction, I would write books about women who made their mark on the world.

From the Prophet Muhammad’s favorite wife to four sisters who became European queens in the 13th century, my protagonists are movers and shakers. Josephine Baker may be the most important of them all because of all she did for her “people”--the African-American community.

Born in 1906 and raised in the St. Louis slums, she knew racism first-hand, abused by the white woman in whose home she worked at age 7; traumatized by the East St. Louis Race Riots in 1917, when white workers and their families set fire to black families’ homes and shot and lynched those who tried to escape; confronted by men in white hoods and “whites only” signs in the American South as a girl of 13 touring on the black vaudeville circuit, and much more.

In Paris at age 19, she discovered a different world, one in which black people and white ate together, sat in theaters and on streetcars and buses together, danced onstage together, and even married one another. She must have thought she’d died and gone to heaven.

But hatred wasn’t so easy to escape. It followed her: to Paris, where white Americans confronted her and even had her removed from the hotel where she was lodging; to Germany, where Hitler’s Brownshirts threatened her; and all around the world, as she performed her famous “banana dance” in spite of protesters’ calling her a “black demon”—and worse.

By the time the Nazis invaded Paris in 1940, Josephine Baker was already working as a spy for the nascent Resistance movement, seducing generals and diplomats to confide in her, then carrying the information across borders.

Empowered by these experiences, she embarked on her third U.S. tour in 1951 with another goal in mind: to put an end to racial segregation. She publicly declared that she would perform in no nightclubs or theaters and patronize no businesses that segregated their clientele.

As a result, many venues allowed black people through their doors for the first time—and Ms. Baker became the target of an FBI investigation into her alleged ties with the Communist Party. Her outspokenness resulted in many canceled gigs and the loss of a movie deal, and ultimately the loss of her castle in southern France.

She never gave up or expressed any regrets about her activism, though. Indeed, she persisted. In 1963, she was invited to Washington, D.C., to speak at the March on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—the only woman to speak.

I wrote JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE to remind the world that the woman in the banana skirt was so much more than that. Josephine Baker was a force of nature and a force for change, and gave everything she had in effort to make a difference for African-Americans.

By telling her story as well as the stories of all my fictional heroines, I hope to make a difference, too. This is why I exist, and why I write.

About the Author

Author and journalist Sherry Jones is best known for her international bestseller The Jewel of Medina. She is also the author of The Sword of MedinaFour SistersAll QueensThe Sharp Hook of Love, and the novella White Heart.  Sherry lives in Spokane, WA, where, like Josephine Baker, she enjoys dancing, singing, eating, advocating for equality, and drinking champagne.
Her latest novel is Josephine Baker’s Last Dance.
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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

#BlogTour - #Interview with Joab Stieglitz, Author of The Old Man's Request @joabstieglitz




Joab Stieglitz was born and raised in the Warren, New Jersey. He is an Application Consultant for a software company.  He has also worked as a software trainer, a network engineer, a project manager, and a technical writer over his 30 year career. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia.
Joab is an avid tabletop RPG player and game master of horror, espionage, fantasy, and science fiction genres, including Savage Worlds (Mars, Deadlands, Agents of Oblivion, Apocalypse Prevention Inc, Herald: Tesla and Lovecraft, Thrilling Tales, and others), Call of Cthulhu, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, and Pathfinder.
Joab channeled his role-playing experiences in the Utgarda Series, which are pulp adventure novels with Lovecraftian influences set in the 1920’s.
Website Address: http://joabstieglitz.com 

Twitter Address: @joabstieglitz





Title: THE OLD MAN’S REQUEST
Author: Joab Stieglitz
Publisher: Rantings of a Wandering Mind
Pages: 117
Genre: Historical Suspense

BOOK BLURB:
An Innocent Favor for a Dying Old Friend…
Fifty years ago, a group of college friends dabbled in the occult and released a malign presence on the world. Now, on his deathbed, the last of the students, now a trustee of Reister University enlists the aid of three newcomers to banish the thing they summoned.
Russian anthropologist Anna Rykov, doctor Harry Lamb, and Father Sean O’Malley are all indebted the ailing trustee for their positions. Together, they pursue the knowledge and resources needed to perform the ritual.
Hampered by the old man’s greedy son, the wizened director of the university library, and a private investigator with a troubled past, can they perform the ritual and banish the entity?

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon



Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?
I am an Application Consultant for a large software publisher. I write requirements for software implementations, test cases, and other documentation.
When did you start writing?
I have been writing all my life. I wrote stories for myself as a child. In college, I excelled at classes that had papers (as opposed to tests). In my various jobs in the computer networking world, I have gravitated toward writing tasks, such as requirements, training, and policies and procedures.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?
My writing career really started when I decided to hunker down a write a chapter a week. I was reasonably successful, writing and publishing my first three books in roughly six months each. The constraints of my day job reduced my time over the last year or two, so book four took about nine months, and book five is still in progress.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?
I would probably go somewhere remote and quiet (with Internet) were I could write without distractions. Perhaps a cabin in the mountains.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?
Probably sleep. Barring that, I would dedicate the time to creativity, whether it be writing or something else.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?
I am currently considering a story that takes place in a fantasy world where dragons are the dominant species.

Back to your book, The Old Man’s Request, how did you publish it?
I have published all my books through Createspace, now Kindle Direct Publishing.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?
I based my books in places I have been.

Why was writing The Old Man’s Request so important to you?
Writing and publishing a novel was a life goal. I had started writing a Tolkeinesque journey tale in the 90’s in dribs and drabs “when the muse hit me.” Twenty-five years and 300 pages later, that story had changed in terms of plot, tone, and style. I considered revising or even restarting it, but instead I decided to start fresh with another idea that had been on the shelf all that time. So I sat down and wrote one chapter a week. Using that method, I’m now on book 5.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?
I am a big role-player and have written numerous adventures, character backgrounds, and other material for a variety of genres. I took notes of the games I ran over the years, and ideas from some of those became the inspiration for my books. I am also a history buff, especially with respect to the 19th and 20th centuries, which provide source material as well.

Any final words?
My first three books, The Old Man’s Request, The Missing Medium, and The Other Realm comprise the Utgarda Trilogy, which are the first three books in the Utgarda Series. I am currently writing a second, as yet unnamed, trilogy featuring some of the same characters. My books are all available in Kindle, paperback, and audiobook formats on Amazon.
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