"And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. Your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions." Joel 2:28

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

~2 Day Blog Takeover Continues~ Knock and the Door Opens




2 Day Blog Takeover continues with a guest post Knock and the Door Opens 
by Stefanie August


Today was one of those days where I got up early, worked on some writing needs, pitched some agents and low and behold - two opportunities jumped out at me - one for free videos promoting two of my books and another that vetted me as a serious writer and wants to “audition” me via sample for their company - near where I reside I might add.

The world is full of those things we desire if we take time to “mine” them - meaning that as a professional in any endeavor YOU have to create an agenda for seeking them.

So “knock” when an opportunity presents itself! It might be the very door to the next creative experience you are seeking!
This tip brought to you by www.stefanieaugustcreative.com

Stefanie August has worked in the arts and entertainment industry as a performer, artist manager, agent, creative consultant, producer and strategic planner since 1983. 

Commencing her professional career in an administrative and managerial capacity while studying for her Bachelor’s degree in Music at the University of Bridgeport, CT. (1980-83) Stefanie worked as an assistant to the professorial staff, assisted in managing the university Civic Orchestra, and was also an assistant to the Executive Director of the Bridgeport Symphony.

Upon earning her degree, Stefanie worked with the National Booking Director of Columbia Artist Management, Inc. Realizing that she had a gift for being an agent and manager to performing artists, Stefanie left C.A.M.I. to work independently, producing shows and musical events in small theaters and venues in NYC.  

In 1989 Stefanie relocated to Miami, FL, Stefanie to create the Miami Beach Music Studio, a rehearsal and production facility.  Her work in artist development included a variety of artists and entertainment production companies in music (Columbia Artists Records), modeling (Act 1 Management), and television (Wil Vander Flugt Film Productions).  

After years of production in Miami, New York and other cities Stefanie began B&B Talent in 2008 in San Francisco, CA, an arts and entertainment development and production company. Development projects under the auspices of B&B included: a national music tour to benefit Project Homeless Connect and  2b Records, a digital label. She was also a co-director of the Aversano Galleria, a gallery of contemporary fine art, in North Beach, CA and was instrumental in developing the North Beach (NOBE) contemporary Artists Collective for showcasing to the museum trade.

From 2012-2017 Stefanie co-operated  TigerKat Publishing, Inc., producing four CD’s and five books under the TigerKat imprint Please view www.tigerkatpublishing.com for more information.

For 2018 Stefanie has re-branded as www.stefanieaugustcreative.com continuing to offer her services to clients in arts, entertainment and other industries.

Her education includes a Bachelor of Music cum laud from the University of Bridgeport, CT. and two years of Finance studies as part of a Master’s program at Golden Gate University in San Francisco.


Where to Find Stefanie August:


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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

~2 Day Blog Takeover~ Author, Stefanie August




I would like to welcome author Stefanie August to my blog. She will be taking over with her novel Katz Against Pavlov for the next 2 days!

Please join me in welcoming her. She is also giving away 3 ebook copies of Katz Against Pavlov.






Charles Darwin Katz is an Investment Banker, poised to become a partner of the New York City based firm Lincoln Lester Wealth Management upon marriage to the daughter and sole heiress, Charlotte Denise Lester. He has worked his way up the ranks from coffee boy to become a highly respected and sought after banker for wealthy clients. By all appearances Charles has a dream life; residing in a pent-house apartment in South Street Seaport, copious millions of his own in the bank, the respect of the minions of Wall Street, and a beautiful, talented, if aggressive, bride to be. Still, he feels trapped.

Charlotte Denise Lester has been groomed from birth to be the heiress of the company although she yearns to be a writer. Her father promises to finance her writing career once she marries Charles, since he is confident that Charles can run the business on his own. Even though they are not suited for each other, Charlotte is cool and calculating in using Charles to gain her ultimate freedom.

Charlotte’s father and owner of the company, Oliver “Old Man” Lester is a well-respected Master of Wall Street. Having married later in life and after the passing of his beloved wife, Jane, he is wholly ensconced in grooming Charlotte and Charles to take over the company as a team. He introduces Charles to his new client, Prince Samir al Mushadi of Dubai, an uber-wealthy westernized Arab who has broken away from his traditional lifestyle to become an investor in real estate and retail.

Prince Samir has purposefully broken away from his cultural traditions and struggles to engage in life apart from the dictum of his wealthy birth-right and Muslim upbringing. He also seeks a woman he can fall in love with and who can help guide his business. After meeting Charlotte, Samir realizes, as she does, that they are meant to be together.
Charles has an epiphany; realizing that he does not want to be part of the elite 1% even after all of his hard work. He abandons his first meeting with the Prince, leaving his office by sneaking out of the fire escape exit during a snowstorm. He meets a homeless man name E. Willoughby Jones who has been living on New York’s mean streets for five years, after having walked to New York from Georgia.

Willoughby is suffering from PTSD after the death of his older brother Grayson, an air-force pilot shot down in battle during the war in Viet Nam. Will is an affable Buddha, who introduces Charles to life on the street by taking him for lunch at a soup-kitchen run by Johnny, a former mafioso. Johnny's kitchen is populated with a unique cast of characters, each of whom have a story to tell about why they are part of the homeless community of Manhattan.

Kristal Ann Morgan, Charles’ assistant of 5 years is sent out to find him after he deserts the meeting. She is the one person who understands Charles’ personality and need for solace amidst the intensity of Wall Street. She is in love with him yet guards her feelings, maintaining a professional relationship with him at all costs.

The characters come to personal realizations during a snowstorm that makes the city inoperable for a few days. Will realizes that he must go back home to heal from the loss of his brother, inviting Charles to walk all the way to Georgia with him. As they pass through various states along the route from NYC to Georgia, a series of events occur that show Charles how the class-system in America has diminished, and how many people are living on the edge of what used to be a thriving American society.

Charlotte and Samir find love and solace with each other. Accepting their wealthy birthright and the fact that they will always be above the rest of society because of it, they plan to escape from their world of elitism so they can manifest love and find new meaning in their lives.

Old Man Lester finds himself determined to bring Charles and Charlotte back to fold even going so far as to enlist Kristal to travel around the country to find them. She is accompanied by Nino the company’s limo driver as her escort as she attempts to find their whereabouts.

Willoughby is shot by a policeman who does not want him to feed the homeless as they walk through the country. Dying in Charles arms he gives him a pocket watch that belonged to Will’s father, asking him to deliver it to his family in Georgia.

Will’s death affords Charles the opportunity he needs to serve others; distancing him further from his life on Wall Street, yet making him realize that we are all connected in a deeper way.

The story is one of transformation both personally and spiritually as the characters interact, allowing each other to grow into their authentic selves.





Stefanie August has worked in the arts and entertainment industry as a performer, artist manager, agent, creative consultant, producer and strategic planner since 1983. 

Commencing her professional career in an administrative and managerial capacity while studying for her Bachelor’s degree in Music at the University of Bridgeport, CT. (1980-83) Stefanie worked as an assistant to the professorial staff, assisted in managing the university Civic Orchestra, and was also an assistant to the Executive Director of the Bridgeport Symphony.

Upon earning her degree, Stefanie worked with the National Booking Director of Columbia Artist Management, Inc. Realizing that she had a gift for being an agent and manager to performing artists, Stefanie left C.A.M.I. to work independently, producing shows and musical events in small theaters and venues in NYC.  

In 1989 Stefanie relocated to Miami, FL, Stefanie to create the Miami Beach Music Studio, a rehearsal and production facility.  Her work in artist development included a variety of artists and entertainment production companies in music (Columbia Artists Records), modeling (Act 1 Management), and television (Wil Vander Flugt Film Productions).  

After years of production in Miami, New York and other cities Stefanie began B&B Talent in 2008 in San Francisco, CA, an arts and entertainment development and production company. Development projects under the auspices of B&B included: a national music tour to benefit Project Homeless Connect and  2b Records, a digital label. She was also a co-director of the Aversano Galleria, a gallery of contemporary fine art, in North Beach, CA and was instrumental in developing the North Beach (NOBE) contemporary Artists Collective for showcasing to the museum trade.

From 2012-2017 Stefanie co-operated  TigerKat Publishing, Inc., producing four CD’s and five books under the TigerKat imprint Please view www.tigerkatpublishing.com for more information.

For 2018 Stefanie has re-branded as www.stefanieaugustcreative.com continuing to offer her services to clients in arts, entertainment and other industries. 

Her education includes a Bachelor of Music cum laud from the University of Bridgeport, CT. and two years of Finance studies as part of a Master’s program at Golden Gate University in San Francisco.


Where to Find Stefanie August:




Monday, January 29, 2018

~Author Interview~ Suzane L. Bricker

 



I am very happy to have author Suzane L. Bricker to stop by today for an interview.

Let's give her a warm welcome!


Tell Us about yourself? 

I have been a college instructor since I left journalism.   When I began teaching for the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) as an online instructor, I had my first concentrated interactions with military students.  Some of these students were deployed, some were stationed around the world, and some were in the U.S.  But, I began to notice that their attitudes toward learning sometimes appeared to differ from the more traditional students.  If fact, it was partially due to the fact that I heard one or more of my military students complain that they had been flunked by a professor when they could not complete their assignments due to an unexpected deployment, that I began to conceive the idea for my first book. 

When did you decide to become a writer?  

I tend to be somewhat of a “black-and-white” thinker, who has difficulty adjusting to the phrase: “Life is not fair.”  So, I struggle with injustices, if I see such actions either go unpunished, or the wrong people are considered the “victims.”  Being able to document the facts in as objective a manner as possible, and as a journalist, also being able to convey such information to a large readership, made me feel like somehow I was doing my part to make the world better. 

Why do you write?  Acting out my anger is not acceptable, so I learned that I could express my true feelings through my writing.  In many ways, I would have to say that I am actually more honest when I write, than when I interact with people on many levels.  My poetry also expresses similar emotions, and I think I use that vehicle to try and bring about justice as well.

Do you write full-time or part-time?   
Writing is expensive, in that it is a creative field, and therefore, very difficult to get respectable wages on a full-time basis.  I write books that will hopefully provide me with additional money, but I never count on my writing to pay my expenses.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?  
I do not have an ego when I write, and when I do, I recognize that is my problem.  The more open I am to feedback, the more able I am to learn what I am doing wrong.  And to me, the transmission of a successful message means that my reader can understand and easily interpret my central meaning, regardless of my physical presence.

What is the hardest thing about writing?  
The amount of time it takes to get an effective message across to my target audience.  Moreover, when I teach, I put myself in an authoritative position, and sometimes I wonder if that is where I belong.  Although I like to encourage the talents of my students, I also know that writing is a subjective art, and so, really your audience is the only one who can effectively judge the quality of your work.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?   
Four years into the project, I experienced a change of editors, and was forced to justify why my book was publishable again.  That required a lot more research, a revisal of my original proposal, and even the creation of a readership survey, to respond to the concerns of the new editor.  Not a very comfortable experience for me, but I survived, and as we know, my book is now published and available for sale on such venues as Amazon.

Any advice for new authors?  
Don’t overvalue yourself or your work.  Even the most famous writers will admit that they are only beginners.  You can never really become an expert in a creative field like writing, because each time you sit down to compose your thoughts, you face the exact same challenge of putting your words on paper.  Sometimes you are up to the task, and sometimes you are not.  But either way, you are the same person, and you have the tools to compose your message, so you just need to keep writing, editing, and receiving feedback, until you have produced the type of artistic end product you wanted. 


Suzane L. Bricker is an Associate Adjunct Online Professor at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC), and a peer editor for the Journal of Business and Technical Communication (JBTC).

An Instructor’s Guide to Teaching Military Students is a resource for online and on-ground educators in private and public learning institutions around the world. The content applies to faculty members in liberal arts and research-oriented institutions, and vocational trainers. Topics are related to the creation of lecture material and delivery of course content in computer and information science, engineering, and engineering technology, healthcare, business and finance, marketing communications and general education courses in the arts and social sciences. Suggestions on providing feedback that is sensitive to the unique culture and experiences of military students are provided as well. The last chapter includes the opinions of academic and military experts on what progress has been made in meeting the needs of this particular student population, as well as predictions about future changes that will facilitate the transition from service member to scholar. 

The term, “military learners” has been adapted for this text to include active-duty service members and their families, veterans, members of the U.S. National Guard, and reservists, as well as U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) contractors. Language used that can be easily understood and applied by the novice instructor, or the seasoned professional. This handbook also provides useful suggestions on helping students translate their military training and experience into more active classroom participation.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

~Author Interview~ Agustin Eliab Juarez



 I would like to introduce Agustin Eliab Juarez who stopped by to for an interview. 
Please join me in welcoming him on today!



Where do you get your writing inspiration from?

I am inspired by what I see as the magical realism in life. For example, seeing a Mexican family of nine walks the plaza contentedly and in harmony, having ice cream and laughing; the wonder of children playing without a care in the world. I am inspired by things that others take for granted as if those things do not exist. Inspiration comes in the form of music, and in those moments of self-reflection where discoveries take place.

Did you have to do any research for the book? If so what?

The Solitude of Destiny is my Opus, it is really my life's work in the written form and was inspired by events of my youth living in Mexico, with an absent father who I fantasized and created. Having grown up surrounded by family, I naturally sought solitude, time to myself and it was in those moments that I began putting together the story of a man in search of himself, his soul, his integrity, and intellect. The basic research for the book came with years of voluminous reading both in Spanish and English. I once read Les Miserables in French from front to back as a challenge to myself and my intellect.


 What are you working on now?

Today I am working on several books: one book about a fantastic true tale of human trafficking taking place in the coastal town of Manzanillo, Mexico. A friend there once shared his true tale while we were out fishing. It gave me the chills, and so a month later I asked him to retell and he did with the exact wordage throughout which made the tale even more valid and credible. It will make for a thrilling film for sure. Next is a book about a son of a Shogun who finds satori as a result of searching for the absolute, in the end surpassing his own Zen Master of a father. 


  What is the hardest part of writing for you?

The hardest part of writing for me has always been time: it runs out in the day while I would like to continue until I drop. The energy, of course, plays into this. I have to fall asleep writing in my head instead of on the computer, waking up only to have forgotten what I wrote during my sleep.


What can readers expect next?

Readers can now expect a more learned and experienced writer from me. Life does teach us lessons that we carry within. Just recently, for example, I lost a young nephew who I loved a great deal for his own love of life. I am still processing his death, yet I know that I will have him in my thoughts for years to come. He did not have the chance to experience life fully, and that is a chilling thought if you think of it, considering many of us have lived a life into adulthood.

What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview and how would you answer that question?

The question I would like someone to ask me about being a writer is: why is it so difficult for a Mexican writer in particular, to be taken seriously so to be published by a major house? I would like that answer, considering I have a very titled education and I am highly accomplished intellectually. Why am I not taken seriously as per The Solitude of Destiny - a serious book that deals with society, accomplishment by the underdog, racism, and love? Do you write fluff, would be another question? I would like to be asked if I would enjoy knowing that the Spanish speaking public is 900 million people. I would then translate the book into Spanish and make some publisher gazilions of moolah. But publishers are generally only interested in publishing books by the famous and has-beens because that is a more secure investment for them.


   If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?

If I were writing a book about life I would title it Educate Yourself Seriously to Have a Great


Agustin Eliab Juarez



 Agustin Eliab Juarez is a novelist and screenwriter. Born in Corpus Christi, Texas Agustin grew up in the same house as his father in Guadalajara, Mexico. He attended Stanford University, earning two degrees, the latter a Master's in Cultural and Social Anthropology. In addition, he spent one year studying in Mexico's prestigious Colegio de Mexico studying The Evangelization of the Indian. His first novel The Solitude of Destiny was published in 2014. Agustin also writes in Spanish; his first novel, La Luna en Llamas, published in 2014 on the Amazon Books site. His daughter Sofia lives and works in New York City.

The Solitude of Destiny by [Juarez, Agustin Eliab]

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

~(Dog) Food for Though~ Robert Filderman

Here is something you don't read everyday. 

Good and bad foods for your dog.

Thank you Robert Filderman for sharing your book with us.

"Dog" Food for Thought: The Good, Bad, and Ugly of What You Are Feeding Your Pup by [Filderman, Robert]

A instructional book on foods that are healthy and dangerous to your dog.



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Monday, January 22, 2018

~Blue&Lavender~ WILL by Anne Lauren



We are on our last day for Anne Lauren blog tour. 
Please enjoy her post WILL.



Yosemite Valley with Phoebe and Ericka.
It was going to rain. Nervously, I called Phoebe, “Hey! So, I know that we planned on hiking Cloud’s Rest in Yosemite this weekend, but the weather report predicts rain, so we’re canceling right?” Phoebe, originally from New York, responded lividly, “OMG, ANNE! You are such a California weather brat! We are not letting a little rain keep us from pursuing our dream!” Skeptically I replied, “OK...I guess I’ll see you on Friday then.”

Friday quickly came and I arrived at Phoebe’s apartment tired and doubtful that this would be a fun weekend. Four of us were supposed to make the four hour trek from Palo Alto to Yosemite in Phoebe’s old, basically two-seater, silver Toyota pick-up truck. However, one of the women dropped out of the trip due to heartache: she had just been broken up with. According to Phoebe, this was a justifiable reason to bail last minute, so she was spared from the verbal shaming and allowed not to come. The remaining three of us, Phoebe, Ericka, and I, headed to the parking lot.

We opened the back hatch to put in our luggage and immediately I saw a variety of large weights. Being from Newport Beach and never having driven a truck or really experienced bad weather, I naively asked, “What are those for?” Phoebe rolled her eyes and retorted like it was no big deal, “They keep the truck’s weight evenly distributed so it doesn’t spin out on the ice.” “Greeeaaattt,” I thought, “14-miles in the rain AND a chance of spinning off the road? This is exhilarating!” I rolled my eyes in return and nuzzled into the tight cabin of the car.
The infamous truck.
Four hours later, we arrived at the Yosemite bug, an awesome and inexpensive hostel about thirty minutes outside of Yosemite Valley. We slid into our bunks early, hoping for a good night’s rest so that we were energized the next morning and prepared for the 14-mile hike that none of us had trained for. After a night full of snoring and flatulating from the other hostel mates (the three of us definitely did not contribute ;-), we arose early still groggy and got on the road. I was too lazy to walk to the kitchen and fill up my water bottle, confident that Yosemite would provide a fountain at the trailhead.

We arrived to the trailhead with no water fountain, drops beginning to trickle from the sky and began our 14-mile walk waterless. The road started pretty flat, but quickly escalated into steep and rocky terrain. Phoebe sensed my thirsty despair and in an effort to distract me, started to tell a terribly long story called, “The 'Tis Bottle.” I will spare you the lengthy details of this fictional tale about an animal in search of a bottle to complete a handmade instrument so that it could play “My Country 'Tis a Thee” without interruption. Well, though the story was terribly long and even more terribly boring, it did keep my mind focused on Phoebe’s enthusiastic voice and unbreakable spirit. Her story got me through the first three miles.

By mile five we were soaked: our food, spare clothes, snacks, and toilet paper were all drenched. We stopped to ask ourselves if we wanted to continue forward. We had two miles before we arrived at Cloud’s Rest with a remarkable view, and seven miles to get back. All three of us expressed the desire to go home, but all three of us also expressed the stronger desire to beat this rainstorm and finish what we had started. We were willful women and, as Phoebe threatened me over the phone a few days before, we weren’t going to let a little bit of rain keep us from completing this journey. So Ericka, the cheerleader of the group, encouraged us to keep going, and keep going we did.

Then suddenly we were there! So excited to see the view, I ran ahead legs shaking, thirst unquenched, mind focused. I got to the top of this famous peak and saw...NOTHING. ABSOLUTELY F***ING NOTHING! You can see from the picture below what we saw when we arrived: more clouds resting on the mountain top that was supposed to be a view worth hiking 14 miles for. Surprisingly, I was everything but disappointed. I felt that arriving to this place was a sacred moment, like I was apart of something much bigger than myself. Many before me had made it this far and many had not. I sensed how high up I was even if I couldn’t see. There was a majesty to that space and I had made it there.

The foggy top of Cloud's Rest.
Freezing and thirsty, we didn’t stay in this ceremonious place long. There was still more to do: seven miles to walk back. By the time we got to the car, we were exhausted, frustrated, and wet to the bone, as most of the journey we were convinced we were lost. Grateful we weren't, I jumped in the front seat, took off all my clothes except my bra and thong, and rested for one moment before I became immediately aware of how bad I had to pee. There was a restroom at the trailhead, but it was about a 100 yards from the car and I was not going to put my wet clothes back on. Subversively I shouted, “Ladies, I’m running to the bathroom in my underwear!” I had just hiked 14-miles in the rain after all; I was clearly invincible. I jumped from the vehicle and much to my surprise quickly felt naked and desperately self-conscious. Intuitively, I started screaming, grabbed one butt check with each hand, and sprinted for cover. Naturally, I also repeated this process on my way back. When I returned my nude and relieved rear end to the front seat, I was happy to discover Phoebe and Ericka laughing hysterically. They thanked me for the comic relief that was so necessary to ease the physical pain and psychological fatigue of what we just accomplished. We inserted a Gavin Degraw CD into the ancient sound system and drove back to the bug.

What the view should've looked like.
I tell you this story, one, because it's hilarious and, two, because it reminds me a lot of the recovery process. I didn't want to ever have to recover from sexual abuse. I wanted a bright and sunny childhood like all my friends had, but my childhood was wet and gloomy. Like this hike, I survived and recovered because I willed to do it. Like this hike, I survived and recovered because I had friends who were more knowledgable and more positive than I teaching me to challenge my comfort zones, distracting me from the difficulty, cheering me on from the sidelines, and reminding me to pursue my dreams. Like this hike, comic relief served as an imperative tool to ease the pain.

So tired, yet so proud.
Today, I feel much like I did when I arrived to Cloud's Rest. I worked way too hard to get to a place without a view. I still have little insight into who I am or where I am going and most days I still feel lost. Everything hurts. But there's something in me that tells me that this place is sacred: I have arrived; I am safe, healthy, and happy; I am going to be OK. There is a majesty to this moment that I need to take in even if I can't see it. In this process I am apart of something so much bigger than myself: so many have been here before me and so many have yet to arrive. I still have a long way to go in the recovery process, miles in fact. And in those miles, Phoebe and Ericka, I promise to push and to distract and to cheer and to laugh with everyone else I meet on this journey until we all arrive to a place where we are safe, healthy, and happy. In our case, it was to the Yosemite Bug and all of our flatulating roommates (which may or may not have just been me!).
The survivors.
Now, when Cloud's Rest is brought up in casual conversation, the three of us first wince and then smile. To this day, it is one of the worst and the best weekends of my life. Thanks for the adventure, ladies. Here's to many more!

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