Posts Tagged 'Dorothy Thompson'

The Hazards of the Sailing Away Fantasy

Every Boat Turns South
by J.P. White
Hardcover, 240 Pages
Published 2009 by Permanent Press
ISBN-10: 157962188

There are few fantasies more compelling in American life than sailing away and leaving the rat race behind. Yet less than half the couples who embark on the “booze, cruise and snooze” life in the islands find the adventure bliss they are seeking. The other half routinely find trouble and lots of it including theft, infidelity, drugs, divorce, loss of boat and sometimes murder. The sailing life — which is the setting for my debut novel Every Boat Turns South — provides more than enough fodder for the mystery/crime genre because unsavory characters linger on every dock, beach and fishing pier. And it turns how sailing away is hard work. You need to navigation, engine repair, be reasonably fit and nimble, and have enormous reserves of good cheer and resilience because things will go wrong, the weather will turn foul, and will run aground somewhere. What else?

We don’t have to look very far to see that pirates are alive and well in our world. Wherever there is water, there are men and women on boats with guns who know those waters better than anyone else. The Bahamas, where my story travels to, have always been used for drug smuggling because of their proximity to the States. In the 1980s, there were hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cocaine coming into Florida through the islands. Now, there is both human and drug smuggling. If nothing else, the law of the universe tells us opposites always attract. Where there is great beauty and peacefulness there is also the worm of its undoing.

In my novel, a boat delivery from West Palm Beach to St. Thomas in the B.V.I. gets sidetracked by the Trade Winds shifting. The Trades blow from the northeast from November to April then switch around to the southeast starting in April. Matt Younger, my protagonist, is a skipper on a forty-foot trimaran that pulls into South Caicos on April Fool’s Day. Problem is, Matt is heading south and he gets caught there. While he’s waiting for a front to push back against the Trades, he gets mixed up with a drug pilot and makes a reckless decision to steal a cocaine drop out from under the pilot’s nose. When the weather turns foul, sailors make bad decisions all the time. In fact, they’ve been doing this for thousands of years. Every Boat Turns South is a sailing adventure retold to a dying father. Bad decisions are the standing rigging of this tale, but then one good decision arrives, but it’s not one that anyone expects.

About the author:

J.P. White has published essays, articles, fiction, reviews, interviews and poetry in over a hundred publications including The Nation, The New Republic, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Gettysburg Review, American Poetry Review, and Poetry (Chicago). He is a graduate of New College in Sarasota, Florida, Colorado State University and Vermont College in Fine Arts. He is the author of five books of poems and a novel, Every Boat Turns South.


First, huge thanks to Dorothy and the author for this giveaway.
Leave a comment, and fill in this form at the same time.
Contest open to US. No PO Box address, please.
Extra entries:
+3 tell me something else about this author
+2 tweet this contest,
+2 facebook link,
+3 create a blog, and
+2 sidebar link
Please leave the links in the comment form.
Drawing will be on June 4.

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Three Things I do Everyday in my Professional Writing Life

It would be wonderful to tell you that I do nothing all day but write. However, life dictates a less romantic reality. While I write for a living, I also have lots of other …let’s call them distractions…that get in the way.
Example: My teenage sons live with me full-time. They need to eat, and everyday finds me driving to the supermarket for food. Other examples of what I do everyday include, running, training with weights, paying bills, making dinner, you name it. It’s the same stuff we all do as parents.

But in terms of my professional writing life, here are three things I do religiously every day:

  1. Without fail, I’ll get up early to a fresh pot of coffee and write fiction. I’ll do this until about ten in the morning, at which time I’ll take a break and head out for a run.
  2. Being a freelance photojournalist, I spend some time after lunch working on assignments. If I’m under pressure to meet a deadline, I’ll give over more of the day to completing it. I never miss a deadline!
  3. No one is going to buy your new novel if they don’t know about it. So even though I have an awesome and sexy virtual publicist (Pump Up You Book!), I spend a couple hours everyday marketing via social media, which includes Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and more.

If there were a fourth thing I do religiously it would be head out to my favorite dive and have a beer after work. A fifth thing would be reading. A sixth thing would be playing with my beautiful daughter, Ava. A sixth thing would be thinking of the all places I will travel to. The final thing would be sleeping and dreaming of it all over again tomorrow.

About The Author:

Moonlight Falls author, Vincent Zandri, is an award-winning novelist, essayist and freelance photojournalist. His novel As Catch Can (Delacorte) was touted in two pre-publication articles by Publishers Weekly and was called “Brilliant” upon its publication by The New York Post. The Boston Herald attributed it as “The most arresting first crime novel to break into print this season.” Other novels include Godchild (Bantam/Dell) and Permanence (NPI). Translated into several languages including Japanese and the Dutch, Zandri’s novels have also been sought out by numerous major movie producers, including Heyday Productions and DreamWorks. Presently he is the author of the blogs, Dangerous Dispatches and Embedded in Africa for Russia Today TV (RT). He also writes for other global publications, including Culture 11, Globalia and Globalspec. Zandri’s nonfiction has appeared in New York Newsday, Hudson Valley Magazine, Game and Fish Magazine and others, while his essays and short fiction have been featured in many journals including Fugue, Maryland Review and Orange Coast Magazine. He holds an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College and is a 2010 International Thriller Writer’s Awards panel judge. Zandri currently divides his time between New York and Europe. He is the drummer for the Albany-based punk band to Blisterz.

Other author’s links:


First, huge thanks to Dorothy and the author for this giveaway.
Leave a comment, and fill in this form at the same time.
Contest open to US. No PO Box address, please.
Extra entries:
+3 tell me something else about this author
+2 tweet this contest,
+2 facebook link,
+3 create a blog, and
+2 sidebar link
Please leave the links in the comment form.
Drawing will be on May 30.

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Writing From The heart

Writing emotionally packed poetry and prose about life’s experiences, whether joyous or difficult can be a healing experience and a significant way to express the deep emotion I feel as I go through each day. Poetry flows naturally from me as I think about an event or a circumstance, which might have prompted an emotional response inside of me.

My new book, My Heart And Soul is an example of writing from the emotional base and letting go of all the poison of those difficult experiences as well as re-living and sharing the fun and often adventuresome, experiences I have had with other events. When I write I try to be prepared for whatever emotion I find deep within and let it flow through the pen as I write from my heart. I attribute my success so far to the fact that I am writing about what I know about and I am not trying to fake it or create it.
Each subject I write about is from a life experience I have lived through and that makes my writing more heartfelt and allows the reader to have a true glimpse into who I am and how I respond to different situations that I am faced with. When I see a beautiful sunset or a majestic mountain, I am compelled to describe it to my readers so that they can see and feel the same visual I am experiencing. Coming from a background of an art professional, my visual ability allows for me to be more accurate in my descriptions. For those who may not be able to see whatever I am describing, I always maintain the goal of trying to be as accurate in my descriptions as possible in the hopes that my feelings will be transferred to them so that they may experience what I am visualizing and experiencing. My Heart And Soul is an example of how I transfer my deepest thoughts and emotions to paper so that others can experience what I am in each given circumstance.

About the author:

Marilyn Randall has an extensive background in the graphic design industry. Her art background is varied, including business logo design, printing design, silk screened shirt design and miscellaneous mediums for her paintings and illustrating. She published her first book of poetry and prose in 2009 titled My Heart And Soul, following soon after she published six children’s books which she has both written and illustrated. Her newest book and first fiction novel is Quicksand. She is currently working on her seventh children’s book which she plans to release in the summer of 2010. Originally from Medford, Oregon, she continues to write from the serene surroundings of her home on Whidbey Island in Washington State.

Leave a comment, and fill in this form at the same time.
Contest open to US.
Extra entries: tweet, blog, sidebar link. Please leave the links in the comment form.
Drawing will be two weeks from today.

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The Magic Rule: Three Sales

As you probably know, to become an internationally best-selling author, you need to sell three books. This is not an easy task, but once you’ve managed to rack up these three sales, the rest is more or less a done deal.

Now, these sales themselves will not put you on the best-seller lists. They won’t even put you within a million spots of the bottom of the lists, but what they will do, and what they do every time, is spark a slowly growing buying frenzy that will get you there.

These three people will love your book, they will tell another five people, who in turn tell another seven. Within roughly four-and-a-half weeks, you finally make your first million.

That’s how it happens. Every single time.

But, how does an author tackle this monumental task? Where does he find these three readers?

I myself was quite lucky. When my novel appeared on Amazon I already knew over five people. What’s more, some of these people even liked me, somewhat. So I set out to become an internationally best-selling author by convincing at least three of these five people to buy my novel.

I started with my mother. Of all the five people I knew, I probably knew her the longest. I showed her my Amazon page and she nodded approvingly. She did not, however, make any attempts to buy a copy. So I logged on for her, navigated back to my novel’s page, and left the mouse pointer conveniently positioned over the BUY button.

She read the novel description again, searched-inside-this-book, and nodded some more. When I asked her if she’d like to buy a copy, she scrunched up her nose and said; ‘But what if I don’t like it?’

I told her not to worry. ‘It’s a really good book,’ I said. ‘I should know. I’ve re-written it like 50 times. It’s really funny and interesting.’

My mother wasn’t convinced. ‘I’m not really into comedy writing, though,’ she said.

‘It’s not just a comedy,’ I pointed out. ‘It has a real story; it’s a mystery. And it has twists and turns and believable characters.’

My mother hesitated. ‘Maybe I should just play it safe and buy another Stephen King novel…’

I ended up having to offer a personal money-back guarantee, and purchase a copy using my own credit card for the time being, but she finally cracked. I’d made my first sale!

Next, I prodded my wife. Although she generally liked words, she wasn’t sure she was up for reading and entire book full of them. ‘Is this like your usual stuff?’ she wanted to know.

‘What usual stuff?’

She shrugged. ‘I don’t know. Is it like listening to you talk?’

‘What’s wrong with they way I talk?’

‘Nothing. It’s just, well, sometimes you talk a lot of nonsense.’

I waved it away. ‘Don’t worry,’ I said. ‘I am much more interesting and ‘telligible’ on paper.’

Long story short; my second sale is almost in the bag. Now I just need to find one more person to buy my novel, and I’ll be set for life!


Graham Parke lives in the Netherlands with his wife and son. He’s responsible for a number of technical publications and has recently patented a self-folding map. He has been described as both a humanitarian and a pathological liar. Convincing evidence to support either allegation has yet to be produced.

No Hope for Gomez! is his fiction debut.


I’ll be giving away signed copies of a limited edition novella set in the Gomez universe. It’s not available for purchase, but I’ll be sending copies to readers periodically from my forum. You can get there thru;

Reviews for No Hope for Gomez!

“Extremely witty and clever writing that contains keen insights into human nature.”  — California Chronicle

“A quick and unputdownable read that flies in the face of reason, and smashes against the wall of detective novels. It’s a Coens Brothers’ film formatted in book form.” — Book Review

“The antics in this book will leave the reader laughing. Graham Parke is a genius.” — Readers Favorite

“A veritable page turner of nonstop laughs. Buy a copy and find out for yourself!” — Reader Views

One commenter will win a copy of this book. Drawing on May 5. Please leave a comment and e-mail me your address. US address only, no PO Box please.

Subscribe to this blogs’s feed, and tweet this contest for extra entry.

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The Most Effective Ways to Live Longer: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth About What You Should Do to Prevent Disease, Feel Great, and Have Optimum Health and Longevity (1st Edition)
by Jonny Bowden Ph.D. C.N.S.
Paperback, 288 Pages, Published 2010 by Fair Winds Press, 1st Edition

Guest Post:

Blueberries Help Lower Belly Fat

You’ve probably heard me rant and rave about blueberries. I eat them about six out of seven days a week, I gave them a “star” in my book “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth”, and I’ve spoken at length about their high antioxidant content, their low sugar content, and their ability to boost memory (in experiments conducted by Jim Joseph at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging.

Well, get ready for some hot news: Blueberries may also help banish belly fat.

A new study by researcher E. Mitchell Seymour, MS, of the University of Michigan shows that rats who ate a diet high in blueberries lost abdominal fat- the kind linked to increased risk for diabetes and heart disease. This happened even when the rats ate a high-fat diet. As an extra added bonus, the blueberry eating rats also had improved blood sugar levels.

The researchers suggest that blueberries- with their high antioxidant content- may somehow alter the way the body stores and processes sugar, great news for those at risk for both heart disease and diabetes. “Our findings in regard to blueberries show the naturally occurring chemicals they contain, such as anthocyanins, show promise in mitigating these health conditions,” said researcher Steven Bolling, MD, of the University of Michigan,

In the current study- presented at Experimental Biology 2009- rats bred to become obese were fed either a low-fat diet or a high-carb diet, both of which were enriched with whole blueberry powder (about 2% of their total caloric intake).

After three months the rats fed the blueberries had improved glucose control and improved insulin sensitivity, both strongly related to lowering the risk for diabetes.

I find blueberries one of the easiest foods to incorporate into your diet. In season or not, you can always get them frozen, and I like to eat them right out of the freezer (mixed with frozen cherries). I put some FACE 2% yogurt on them, sprinkle with some slivered almonds, flaked unsweetened coconut and some probiotic powder and have them as a nightly “dessert”. It’s the ultimate “anti-aging” treat!

About the author:


Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, a board-certified nutrition specialist with a master’s degree in psychology, is a nationally known expert on weight loss, nutrition, and health. A popular speaker and a former personal trainer with six national certifications in exercise, he was the acclaimed “Weight Loss Coach” on iVillage for twelve years, and is now a regular contributor to AOL, a columnist for Better Nutrition and Clean Eating magazines and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Men’s Health. He’s also the nutritionist for the popular website,, where his entertaining videos on food and nutrition can be seen daily.

His books have been acclaimed by a virtual who’s who in the field of nutritional medicine, garnering endorsements by Christiane Northrup, MD, Mehmet Oz, MD, Barry Sears, PhD. (who calls him “one of the best”), Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD (who calls him “the personal health coach I would want in my corner no matter what”), and many others. His book, Living Low Carb: Controlled Carbohydrate Eating for Long-Term Weight Loss has more than 100,000 copies in print. He is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising Truth About What to Eat as well as The Healthiest Meals on Earth and The Most Effective Natural Cures on Earth and The 150 Most Effective Ways to Boost Your Energy.

He has been featured in The New York Times, The New York Post, Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Tribune, Time, GQ, Cosmopolitan, Oxygen, Remedy, Family Circle, Self, Fitness, Allure, Essence, Men’s Health, Pilates Style, Prevention, Woman’s World, In Style, Fitness, Natural Health and Shape and has appeared on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC and CBS as an expert on nutrition, weight loss, and health..

Dr. Bowden is a member of the American Society for Nutrition and the American College of Nutrition and is adjunct faculty for Clayton College of Natural Health. He lives in the Topanga Canyon area of Southern California with his three dogs, Woodstock, Emily and Lucy.

His DVD “The Truth About Weight Loss” as well as his popular motivational CDs, programs and free newsletter can be found at


A huge thanks to Dorothy Thompson for hosting this giveaway. Please visit her site at PUMP UP YOUR BOOK PROMOTION VIRTUAL BOOK TOURS.

One copy of this fabulous, and I mean, really fabulous, life-changing book will be given to one winner.
Must have a US address, no PO Box, please.

I thought I’d experiment with a new way to pick up a winner. Please visit the author’s website so you can come and tell illuminating things you find there.

The winner will be comment #22, (whenever we reach it).

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