Sunday, April 29, 2012

New illustrated series empowers tween & teen girls to make good choices

STARLETTE UNIVERSE "Book 1: 'CAT'ASTROPHE" by Kathy Johnson introduces young readers to six glamorous girls who stand up for what is right 

 - Starlette Universe Book 1: 'CAT'Astrophe by Kathy Johnson, a fashion-savvy pageant mom and female version of Dr. Seuss, is the first installment of a new, brightly-illustrated series depicting the adventures of six bright, young, beautiful girls.

 Bursting with color, wordplay and catchy rhymes, the book introduces readers to gentle Jinnie, brainiac Bekka, fashiony Ashlee, rapper Sallee, foodie Lizzie, 'punny' Skylar and her blogging German schnauzer pet, Punkin. United by friendship, fashion, boys and a strong sense of right and wrong, these girls disdain cliques and anyone who doesn't treat them and others nicely. 

 In CAT'Astrophe, the Starlettes encounter their nemesis Eva the Evil, who uses an innocent kitten to create danger and horror for the girls. Racing to save the poor feline, the Starlettes demonstrate their love of animals and hatred for cruelty as they witness first-hand Eva's transformation into a whirling dervish. Will Eva's ability to morph into monsters - be it a werewolf, zombie, vampire or undead head - be the Starlettes' undoing - or will the Starlettes emerge victorious and defeat Eva? 

 "Along with the fun and humor, girls can learn new vocabulary, the joy of wordplay, and serious messages for living, with lots of good advice and character lessons," says Johnson. "After entering the Starlette Universe, all readers are faced with a decision: Team Good, or Team Evil?" 

Aimed at young girls and appealing to their femininity, the pursuit of excellence and a heroic spirit, each Starlette is profiled through her 'unique-speak' personality. The narrative contains rhyme, verse, pun and prose that uses hyphens and mash-ups to add new meaning to words and phrases. 

 CAT'Astrophe harnesses a number of themes in order to convey its message of good versus evil," says Johnson. "There is no religious agenda, per se. Elements from religion, fantasy and adventure are all brought into play. I'm bringing 'wholesome' back to today." 

 The book is fully illustrated with full-color depictions of the girls and their adventures by renowned cartoonist Dick Kulpa, who successfully turned the six Starlettes into America's sweet'arts' with his distinctive artwork. Kulpa is former publisher of Cracked Magazine, creator of Bat Boy (centerpiece of "Bat Boy the Musical"), and a thrice-syndicated newspaper comic strip cartoonist for Tribune Media Services and the Los Angeles Times Syndicate.

 About the book:
Starlette Universe Book 1: 'CAT'Astrophe by Kathy Johnson
ISBN: 978-0615611778
Publisher: Kulpa Publishing Co.
Date of publish: March 21, 2012
Pages: 66
S.R.P.: $14.99

About the author:
Kathy Johnson is an attorney and mother of Miss Vermont 1999 and Miss Vermont USA 2001.
Her creation, STARLETTE UNIVERSE, first appeared in Pageantry magazine for eight years.

Kingdom Living, Volume 2 by Walter Manning

In April 2012, author Walter Manning’s tenth book was published and released for retail sales. The book, entitled “Kingdom Living, Volume 2, Understanding Kingdom Principles” is the second in a series of volumes scheduled for publication in the next few years.

The foundational theme of the Kingdom Living series centers around the basic question: How can a Christian live in the Kingdom of God while living in the kingdoms of men? To answer that question, the author examines numerous Scriptures with the intent of discovering applicable biblical precepts and principles.

Future volumes are targeted at a rate of one volume every six months.

Books can be procured: 1) From the publisher at, 2) Through, 3) Ordering from a local bookstore, or 4) Purchased directly from the author at E-books are also available.


Recent publications include:

Kingdom Living, Volume 1
Coping with Change
Facing Unemployment

The basic theme of “Coping with Change” addresses this question: What are the biblical principles that Christians should employ in order to cope with change successfully?

“Facing Unemployment” targets a wide audience. The purpose of the book is to help the unemployed become gainfully reemployed. Topics covered include: attitudes; emotions; reducing expenses; establishing a plan; writing a resume; conducting a job search; preparing for an interview; managing your finances, and preparing for a layoff.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Book Review of Private Eye Cats by SN Bronstein

I told you in a previous post about Stan Bronstein's new book Private Eye Cats, Book One: The Case of the Neighborhood Burglars. I just posted the following review on about it.

What a great book. I know this book is for children, but I enjoyed it more than I probably should admit.

Bronstein has created two delightful main characters for this wonderful mystery series. I won't soon forget them, and I won't forget where I was when I learned from this book that cats really can speak in English.

Scooter and Nugget are two loveable house cats used to taking it easy while their humans are at work. You know what they say about cats and curiosity though. When Nugget discovers a way out of the house, they can't resist taking a little trip to see the outside world.

Bronstein wisely puts Nugget in charge of telling the story. She not only tells the story in her own humorous voice, but she also provides interesting and entertaining insight into the feline mind. Their trips outside take on new meaning when they decide to solve the case of the neighborhood burglaries. Will they be able to find the burglars? And if they do find them, how will they ever be able to stop them?

I highly recommend this book. Read this one now and give Bronstein incentive to write faster as you anticipate the next in the series.

Friday, April 27, 2012

News from Sidney Andrews

Sidney Andrews author of A Fall to New Heights  is happy to report  she is now writing articles on "Growth and Spirituality" for the examiner .com

 Her articles are reflective of her, soon to be released, book Journey Into Thought Awakening to Spirit.
She is excited about having this opportunity and platform to write words that promote and encourage people to live their authentic truth and best life.
Sidney welcomes your comments and ideas.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Special Blessing for Sara by June Bryan Belfie

Danville resident, June Bryan Belfie, just had her third novel published by Desert Breeze Publishing House. Her novel, A Special Blessing for Sara focuses on the trials of a young woman trying to move forward after a painful breakup of her engagement. Ms. Belfie has contracted an additional novel, for publication in September.

This novel is set in Bloomsburg and Danville. Sara works as a counselor but finds herself distraught over her own life. She is attracted to a fellow counselor, handsome Ken Barrymore, but is hesitant to start a fresh relationship, for fear of being hurt again. Sara also works with a youth pastor at her church and it's obvious he finds her interesting. Her ex-boyfriend re-appears and she's totally confused by all the attention.

Then Sara receives information that affects her future. Who will she end up with? What happens when a distraught client finds herself endangered? How does a phone call lead to a disclosure that will change her life?

About the Author
 Painter, pianist, writer, wife, Mom, and Nana, are only part of who Belfie is. She's worked in banks, a bakery, owned a country inn, a restaurant, owned rental homes, gift and antique shops. She's been divorced and re-married, has five adult children and eight grands, and a  husband of 39 years, Jim.
She has lived in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. She has lived in Danville nearly 17 years now, having moved from Millville. In the winter she lives in Titusville, Florida.
Her first e-book, Moving On, was published by Desert Breeze Publishers. Her second book was titled, The Landlord and her third novel, A Special Blessing for Sara, came out April 15th. She has also had devotionals published by Judson Press and is currently working on an Amish novel set in Lancaster County and hopes to have it in print in the near future.
For more information or to purchase one of her books...

Deborah C. Pollack receives the Florida Memorial University Certificate of Award

News for Laura Woodward: The Artist Behind the Innovator Who Developed Palm Beach
 ISBN: 0-9778399-1-5 

Deborah C. Pollack is deeply honored that she is the recipient of a Florida Memorial University Certificate of Award for making "a significant contribution to advancing the awareness of women's history."  This was given to Deborah after she participated in a conference brunch at the impressive university on March 31, 2012 by presenting her book, Laura Woodward: The Artist Behind the Innovator Who Developed Palm Beach. Florida Memorial University, founded in 1879,  is Miami’s only Historically Black College or University (HBCU).

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Seven Hills Literary Contest

Upload Deadline: Aug. 31, 2012

Contest Categories

    • Short Story 2,500 word maximum, any genre. 
    • Creative Nonfiction 2,500 word maximum. Submissions in this genre could include (but are not limited to)  memoir, food or travel writing, personal essays, new journalism, biography, nonfiction stories, and nature writing. The emphasis in creative nonfiction is on factually true yet elegant literary expression. 
    • Children’s Chapter Books 2,500 words maximum. for ages 6-12, with 2,500 word maximum. Submit a synopsis of the chapter book (100 words or less) along with a representative excerpt of 2,500 words. (Note:  We offer children’s picture book competition in alternate years.)
    • Flash Fiction 500 word maximum.

    • $100 first place, $75 second, and $50 third. Honorable Mention may also be awarded.
·         Winners are published in the Seven Hills Review and receive one free copy.

·         $17 per entry for nonmembers; $12 per entry for members. No limit on number of entries.
·         Entries may be submitted through See for details and link to site.

Donna Meredith
Seven Hills Coordinator
Tallahassee Writers Association

Monday, April 23, 2012

Holly Fox Vellekoop to sign books and speak in Pennsylvania

Danville native Holly Fox Vellekoop will be signing her published books at the Spring Flingin Danville, Pensylvania, Saturday, May 5, in front of McWillimas Uniform Shop on Mill Street. 

She will also be speaking on May 7 at the Thomas Beaver Free Library at 6:30pm on the topic “Justice and Revenge in the USA.” Holly will be discussing recent and past court cases, revenge-taking and the public’s perception of the justice system in America. The speaking tour is in conjunction with the release of Holly’s most recent fiction novel, “Justice and Revenge” which asks the question, “How far would you go to gain justice for you or a loved one if the justice system has failed you?” The novel is available at and
Holly is also the author of  “STONE HAVEN: Murder Along the River,” a murder mystery 
set in Danville. She has written three other mystery novels set in Danville, one of which is currently 
under consideration for publication. Holly’s second published book is “How to Help When Parents Grieve,” a nonfiction book written to help those who have had a child pass away and to help those who know
someone whose child has died.
Holly, a member of Authors For Authors, is a frequent writer for the writer’s magazine “The Contributor.” She also writes a monthly advice column, “Dear Gramma,” for the “Senior Life Newspaper.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Voices of Experience ... compiled and edited by Linda Jump

PALM BAY—Twenty-seven local authors have combined to write “Voices of Experience, A Compilation of Life Stories.” The 114-page book includes 56 stories that were written in Writing Your Life classes sponsored by The Shepherd’s Center of South Brevard.  The memoir-style experiences range from unusual births, integration, and humorous incidents to wars, lies, betrayals, and failures. The book is published by Terra Sancta Press of Melbourne.

“Voices of Experience” features life stories by Lynn Keating Ash, Adalia M. Baisa, Sandra Maguire Barmen, Lee and Barbara Bockelman, Gary Christensen, Maureen H. Corton, Ursula H. Durant, Henry L. and Caldoria E. Gibson, Viola Forrester, Elaine S. Heine, Gloria Jones, Linda Jump, Vivian Kosovan, Novella Lengel, Peggy Lindner, Patricia A. and Paul Lucas, Mary Anne McMillen, Maxine Mellerup, Judith A. Mitchell, Maureen E. Murdock, James C. Phillips, Yolanda Schofield, Donald J. Stepnicka and Connie Ulrich.

Vignettes were selected, compiled and edited by Linda Jump, who co-teaches the classes with Caldoria Gibson.  “These stories will bring back memories of your own life and suggest ways to adapt to cultural and institutional changes. We hope they will also inspire you to begin writing your own memoir,” Jump said.

Jump, author of three other books, was an Ottaway and Gannett newspaper reporter and photojournalist who wrote for FLORIDA TODAY and FLORIDATODAY.COM. Her stories and photographs have appeared in USA TODAY; more than a dozen magazines, including Reader’s Digest, and Physician’s Management;, as well as U.S. newspapers and on-line news sources.  Her other books include a children’s book, “Ethan Egret’s Family Album;” her textbook, “From Memories to Memoir Using the Jump Start Method;” and a book of church humor, “Lighting of the Acolyte.”

The cost of the book is $14.15, not including tax and is available through Amazon, Terra Sancta Press,, or  

Novel in a Day Workshop Sponsored by MAD about Words

Novel in a Day – Back by Popular Demand!

Vic DiGenti is a superb instructor and offered a well-organized, interactive workshop. Great takeaway. A good session for both novice and experienced writers. –Nancy Fox
Writers today face an uphill climb. The competition is fierce, the learning curve steep. There’s no magic wand, but by learning the basic techniques for crafting a novel, the beginning writer can quickly flatten the learning curve.

Novel in a Day Workshop packs a year’s worth of learning into a day-long interactive session filled with practical advice and solid instruction. For both beginning writers and more advanced pros looking for new insights, this workshop provides writers with the tools needed to craft their own novel—a novel that will grab a reader’s attention and keep them turning the pages.

Here are some of the topics covered:
  • Elements of plot and structure
  • Creating characters that sizzle
  • Secrets of good dialogue
  • Crafting strong beginnings, middles and ends
  • Deciphering point of view
  • Tips for self-editing
Vic DiGenti is the instructor for this up-beat and fast-paced workshop. Vic is the author of three award-winning adventure/fantasy novels, Windrusher, Windrusher and the Cave of Tho-hoth, and Windrusher and the Trail of Fire (Ocean Publishing). His unpublished mystery, Matanzas Bay, won the 2007 Josiah Bancroft Award and was named a Book of the Year in the 2009 Royal Palm Literary Awards Competition. It was recently published under the pen name Parker Francis as both an ebook and a trade paperback.

Vic is a regional director and board member of Florida Writers’ Association, a member of Florida Sisters in Crime, and Mystery Writers of America.

Advance Registration Required • Space is Limited • Reserve Early

When: Saturday, June 16, 2012 from 9 AM to 4:30 PM
  • Workshop starts promptly. Please come up to 30 minutes early to network and settle in.
  • We’ll break for lunch. Brown bag it, or purchase lunch from any of several nearby restaurants.
Where: Community Clubhouse, Winter Park FL 32792

Fee: $89. (Includes light refreshments)

To Register or for more information, go to: MAD about Words

Save the Dates. Florida Writers Conference is Scheduled for 10/19-21/1012

The FWA Conference is Scheduled
Check out the information on their website about the conference. More will be added in the coming weeks, but begin making your plans now. 
The Conference Webpage is Live!

It's up! Check out the official conference page on the FWA website, with all the information you'll need on the 2012 Florida Writers Conference, "The Magic of the Pen."

You'll find a faculty list, with bios; a conference schedule; a workshop schedule, complete with descriptions; a conference calendar; FAQs; a registration form; a shopping cart (to make it super-easy to get in on the action); and much more.

World Book Night - April 23

World Book Night is April 23rd. It's celebrated in the United States, Ireland and the UK. Its when book lovers go out into their communities and celebrate by giving others book to spread the love of books and reading. Join this movement on Monday.

To read more about it, go to

News from Valerie Allen

In April, in support of Child Abuse Protection month, Valerie Allen has re-launced her novel:  Suffer the Little Children. The reader is taken into the world of a young boy accused of murder. A story of innocence lost in the destructive power and control of domestic violence. A powerful insight on the impact of child abuse far beyond the harm to one family.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Marvin Bell to appear At Bellamy Road

Poetry Reading by Marvin Bell
Thursday April 19, 2012. Socializing at 7pm over beverages and light snacks – reading at 7:30.

American poet Marvin Bell was born in 1937 in New York. He was educated at Alfred University, and earned advanced degrees at the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa, where he later taught forty years for the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. The first Poet Laureate of the State of Iowa, Marvin now splits his time between homes in Port Townsend, Washington, and Iowa City, and teaches for the brief-residency MFA program based in Oregon at Pacific University.

He served in the Army as a Foreign Military Training Officer in 1964-65 and is the author of 23 books of poetry and essays. His first nationally distributed book, A Probable Volume of Dreams, was awarded the prestigious Lamont Poetry Prize of the Academy of American Poets. Other honors include Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, and Fulbright appointments to Yugoslavia and Australia

Marvin Bell Photo - Copy.JPG

Marvin Bell has been called "an insider who thinks like an outsider," and his writing has been called "ambitious without pretension."

Bellamy Road is open Friday through Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. AND BY APPOINTMENT.

The address is 5910 Hampton Street, Melrose, Florida 32666 on State Road 26. Phone is (352) 475-3435. Also contact by email or or cell phone (352) 283-9700.

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Poetry Potpourri with Fay Picardi and Artwork by Cindy Michaud

April is National Poetry Month
A PoetryPotpourri Monday, April 16 at 2:00pm

Satellite Beach Library welcomes Fay Picardi & Cindy Michaud 
Fay will read from her published books, Nana’s
Sunday Dance
, The Stones Speak
and from Transformations

Cindy Michaud will display some of her outstanding paintings, also from The
Stones Speak,
a collaborative exhibit and book by Cindy, Fay, and Kathy
Please join them !!                          
751 Jamaica Blvd., Satellite Beach, FL         Phone: 779-4004

POETRY FOR BEGINNERS a MAD about Words Workshop with Terry Godbey

If you don’t write poetry, are afraid to write poetry or have no idea if what you’re writing is actually poetry, this workshop is for you. Although there’s no secret handshake, the elements of poetry are straightforward (imagery, compressed language, sensory details), and reading exceptional poems is one of the best ways to learn about poetic techniques.

In this workshop, you will be inspired to write your own haunting images, and you’ll leave with first drafts of poems, a list of accomplished poets whose work you can enjoy later, and a taste of the delight that comes from creating poetry.

Terry Godbey’s  [] poetry chapbook Flame was published in February 2012, and she’s the author of two previous collections, Beauty Lessons and Behind Every Door. Her poems have appeared in literary magazines including Rattle, Poet Lore, Harpur Palate, Pearl, CALYX and Slipstream. She is a winner of the Rita Dove Poetry Award and a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee. She supports her poetry habit by working as a freelance writer and editor.

Advance Registration Required • Space is Limited
When: Saturday, May 19, 2012 – 1 PM to 5PM
Where: Community Clubhouse, Winter Park FL 32792
Fee: $65 (Includes light refreshments)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Peppertree Press Announces the Upcoming Release of In Dreams by Florida novelist Robert Logan

An intense psychological thriller, In Dreams will be available on April 5, 2012

SARASOTA, FLORIDA – The Peppertree Press announces the upcoming release of In Dreams by Robert Logan.  In Dreams (Hardcover, ISBN:  978-1-61493-090-7, 222 pages, $25.95/Trade Paper:  978-1-61493-029-7, 222 pages, $14.95) will be available nationwide on April 5, 2012.

An intense psychological thriller, In Dreams features protagonist Jack Corbitt.  A 30-year-old history teacher and native of bucolic Magnolia Creek, a Boulder, Colorado suburb, Jack is thrust into extraordinary circumstances when the past and present collide in a most unusual—and terrifying—way.

It’s the last place on earth where a grisly crime should happen:   Magnolia Creek, a sleepy little town framed by the majestic Rocky Mountains. But this quiet town is under siege: a series of gruesome murders have put Magnolia Creek on edge.  In only ten days, the bodies of three women are discovered all bearing the hallmarks of a serial killer.  Eerily, these murders harken back to a time over forty years ago when the women of Magnolia Creek were stalked by a serial killer known as The Hillside Ripper.  Could history be repeating itself?  The police think a copycat killer is at work.

Even though The Ripper struck decades before Jack was even born, there’s something about this case that grabs him—and won’t let him go. Diagnosed with a rare brain disease in his youth, Jack is no stranger to having unusual premonitions. But these episodes seem to be happening more and more frequently.  During a routine doctor’s visit, Jack’s worst fears are confirmed when a brain scan reveals tumors growing at an alarming rate. Jack’s only hope of treatment is an aggressive experimental procedure to reverse the process of the disease. But this new treatment is not without risk:  there’s a low probability of success and the high likelihood of debilitating side-effects.

With no other alternatives, Jack begins the series of treatments and starts to experience bizarre, vivid dreams where he is transported back in time. Somehow able to open this mysterious portal to the past, Jack becomes linked to Maggie Roper, a newspaper reporter covering the 1971 murders. Eager to make a name for herself as an investigative journalist, Maggie is hot on the trail of a killer—but both her job and her life are on the line.

These unsettling connections come only in dreams after each treatment and as they continue, Jack finds himself caught up in a nightmare—a nightmare that could have deadly consequences. As Jack vacillates between the past and present, one thing becomes abundantly clear:  the police are wrong. Dead wrong. And he’ll be forced to race against time…before it’s too late, because the only way to stop this psychotic murderer is in his dreams. Can Jack solve the murders—and stop a killer—while his own life hangs in the balance?

A haunting tale that will leave readers breathless, In Dreams is a mesmerizing page turner that fuses the high-octane speed of a psychological thriller with the mysteriousness of dreams and the telepathic phenomenon linking the past and the present. An exhilarating novel with an extraordinary storyline, In Dreams is a gripping read from a dynamic new voice in the world of thriller writing.

A native of New Jersey, Robert Logan lives in South Florida. Logan works as a software developer for a Florida-based retail software company.  A member of the Florida Writers Association, Logan is currently at work on his next novel, Extreme Beliefs. The Peppertree Press is an independent book publisher based in Florida.  Members of the news media wishing to request a review copy of In Dreams or more information are kindly asked to contact Maryglenn McCombs by phone – (615) 297-9875, or by email –

West Palm Beach author shares story to inspire readers

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – In her new book, “Glimpses of the Top: My Hike to God's Glory,” West Palm Beach author and evangelist Queen K. Byrd shares her incredible story. 

Byrd has survived the unthinkable: abuse as a child, being shot by a stray bullet, and what doctors called the stillbirth of her son. But through it all, she says God has never left her side. He was with her after she was shot, giving her a vision for a worldwide ministry. He was with her when she thought she'd lost her son, bringing him back to life after doctors worked on him for twenty minutes. And He was with her as she began to let go of the burdens of her past and walk freely in the grace He has given her.

Named in honor of Queen Esther of the Bible, Byrd has also been called for such a time as this and hopes readers will be inspired to stop letting fear hold them back and to accept the call of God for their own lives.Published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises, the book is available through bookstores nationwide, from the publisher at, or by visiting or

Byrd is a 66-year-­old retired mother of two, grandmother of five, and great-grandmother of one living in West Palm Beach, Florida. She is the founder of Healing Hurts Ministry, Inc., and the keynote speaker at many seminars. Her heart's desire is to give back to God all the glory and honor and praise He so deserves, to live holy unto God, and to fulfill the charge that God has chosen her to complete.

For more information, please contact Terry Cordingley, Marketing Representative, at (888) 361-9473 or send an email to