Friday, August 27, 2010

Virtual Book Tour Pit Stop with Kim Upstone

Today my guest is Kim Upstone,  author of All I Want is Everything.  Welcome Kim and thank you so much for stopping in.

What inspired you to pen your first title?

My very first book was actually a result from all the questions I received from clients and realtors.  One area of interest for me has been the effects of our environment upon our well being. For believers it is called Feng Shui and for non believers it is called Neuro-architecture. From my background in design and as an accredited stager I wrote the book so others would know how to use all those principals combined to prepare your home correctly to sell. Appealing to a buyer aesthetically as well as emotionally, creating a wonderful feeling to the home, as well as a beautiful home for people to buy.

My latest book began as a letter to my children. Many years ago, when they were very young, I had embarked on a spiritual journey to find “my everything” . When they both began asking questions about why we are different in our thinking and attitude than others I realized that they had lived almost their entire life in the brightness of the light from what I learned. They were raised differently and my relationship with my husband is different than most, in addition to the fact that we understand our place in the world and the way we live has served us all very well through pain and loss and even success. We know who we are and who we strive to be, we have a map to keep us on course and understand our great value to ourselves and the world, but do not compare ourselves to others, so our ego is not involved.
I was told by an angel while on my journey that I needed to go where there was no trail and leave a path. Until I wrote the letter to my children it did not dawn on me that the trail was my original journey and the path would be writing the books for others to share, a trail to happiness for those who choose to venture.

How long have you been writing?

I wrote poetry endlessly when I was younger and then stopped for a number of years, except for journaling. I took it up writing seriously again three years ago when I wrote my first book.

What was the hardest part about writing this particular novel book ?

This was a very personal experience for me. It was painful to pour over all my old journals from when I took my original journey, but it was an important part of being able to create that path for others. To go back and see how the darkness of unhappiness and negativity encompassed my world was sobering. What if I had not asked for guidance or missed the message the angel delivered to me, I understood quickly that my life would have been very different than the life I have lived.

Have any dreams been realized as a result of your writing?

My dreams were realized the moment a woman said to me after reading my book that her life had gone from ordinary to extraordinary and nothing had changed in her life but her thinking. If she is the only person I helped it would have been well worth it.

Is there a message in your novel book you want readers to grasp?

I hope they grasp much from the book, but I realize that each will take from it what they are ready for.If there was one thing I would hope that they understand that nothing of value comes free. It all takes work. Happiness, a peaceful heart, love, great relationships, raising children that are wonderful citizens of the world, these are all things that take hard work. In addition, I want them to understand that anything that you work hard for and value you are not so quick to give up on; children, relationships and happiness.

Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?

My most recent book is the first of a series of four books. I knew from the beginning there would be four books. The first book is all about us, who we want to be, defining what “our everything” is and creating a map to guide us through life.
The second will be about relationships. The third is about raising children and the fourth is about being successful and balancing remaining bright in your spirit while having abundance present.

What advice do you have for writer's just starting out?

Write because you love write. If you love it the rest will fall into place.

Anything else you would like to share with us today?......

I would love people to understand their importance in the world. Each of us was put here for a reason and we each need to seek out for ourselves, in whatever way works best for us, that purpose and passion that lies within us.

I am one of 9 children born to a business entrepreneur father (still living) and a housewife (deceased). I’ve been married 32 years to my husband Doug who is a sports writer. I have 2 children Melissa who lives in Hawaii and Brent who is married and lives in Tempe, AZ and his wife and they are expecting their first child Grace in August. My husband and I care for my sister Debbie(who is 5 years older than I) she has special needs and of course we have Frank our 4 year old cocker spaniel!  (he’s in one of the pics I attached for your amusement) We moved to AZ 7 years ago to get away from the cold.
Kim Upstone is the owner of A New Day A New Vision which is not only the name of her company, but her life philosophy. Kim believes that each new day we can create a new vision for ourselves, home and environment. As an author, motivational speaker and intuitive designer she resides with her family in Scottsdale, Arizona. With a background in interior design and interest into the effects of environment upon individuals. Accreditation in staging and feng shui soon followed, in addition to study in the field of neuro- architecture. Her first book Step by Step To Sold and Feng Shui to Sell are reflections of those principals. Created as guide for home sellers looking to prepare their home by combining Feng Shui and Staging techniques.
Feng Shui for Special Needs, her second book, is given out as a free ebook for people with life and learning challenges. Based on her own personal experience, and working with special needs children and adults to make enhancements to their environments all in an effort to allow them to flourish.

Her new book 
All I Want Is Everything released in December 2009 is drawn from her life’s journey of searching how to find her everything and learning to dance in the storm. All I Want Is Everything is a guide to help women reclaim happiness and peace in the search for their everything.

Purchase book on Amazon

Monday, August 23, 2010

Meredith Cagen is Guilty as Charged - Book Tour Stop

Guilty As Charged
When I was younger, I had a relationship that broke my heart. Adverbs, adjectives and accolades did not do him justice. He was the perfect man. No matter how many times he showed his true colors, I was steadfast in my belief that he was perfect. I languished in my illusion (actually delusion) of his perfection. I was in love.

I didn’t know what to do. There was no expert who could guide me. No published Q & A pertinent for my situation. I searched for a plan, a guidebook, and a path to success: how I can get the storybook ending with Mr. Perfect.

Every “what not to do while dating” offense a girl can make, I embarrassingly did. I was available to him. I telephoned him. I was the one who initiated contact, demonstrating my interest as if he had doubts. Running to see him when he beckoned, accepting his last minute dates and last minute cancellations. Worse, I accepted his lies, I had no self respect. I threw myself at him. I was insane! Where were my friends when I obviously needed them? An intervention was needed but no one restrained me.

Unwilling to consider the possibility of his rejection, I changed myself to meet his requirements.
Yes, Mr. Perfect had criteria. His personal preference was models, blonde skinny models. His office walls were covered with photographs of Mr. Perfect with his choice of arm candy. It was a shrine to his ability to attract these trophy girlfriends. A medium height, curvy size eight brunette (me) didn’t seem to be a worthy enough prize for a man of with his considerable talents.
I tried my best to meet his standards. I dieted, exercised, groomed, and ingratiated myself into his social universe. I attempted to succeed with this game plan. But I committed the biggest sin a girl can. A don’t so whopping that I am banned from giving advice forever. A mistake so huge, there is no known recovery. This dating felony pains me even now, years later. I told him, I was in love with him.
What was wrong with me? The girl police should have come and thrown me directly into jail or a padded cell on the spot. No trial or psych evaluation was necessary.
Crimes Charged: Extreme Stupidity and whatever else is beyond.
Verdict: Guilty.
Sentence: Rejection by Mr. Perfect.
My idiocy haunted me for years. If only I had a second chance. What could (coulda, woulda, shoulda) I have done differently while staying true to myself. In my fantasies, I would still be me, but smarter. What was I thinking during this dark period of being in love? How did I permit myself to act like a fool?

One day, I looked back at my past actions, those silly schemes, attempts at change, and idealistic belief that if I loved him with a pure heart, he would love me back. I started to laugh. It was funny, very funny. Telling this story would be my second chance and shot at redemption

Reality hit me as I lay pen to paper, Mr. Perfection was my upstairs neighbor, he was The Man Upstairs. That was the original title for my book, ‘The Man Upstairs,’ but people thought it was a book about religion.
To this day, I am uncertain what was going through my pathetic naive head during that time. Maybe I wasn’t thinking properly? There are theories that posulate love affects (and obviously impairs) your cognitive thought processes. Next title was ‘What Was I Thinking?’ but people thought that was a self-help book.

My healthy curvy body, thin not emaciated, did not fit into his model sized world. I wasn’t who he wanted, whatever my size. Paroled from my romantic stupidity I realized that the intellectual/emotional connection didn’t exist between us. It is what is on your insides that counts. It’s a cliché but true. The older I get, it’s my sense of humor that gets me through the days and the nights. I love when someone makes me laugh, even if it’s me! I am a Size Eight in a Size Zero World

Author's Bio
Meredith Cagen is a working wife and mother living in New York City. She works as a freelance writer and registered nurse. Her family has awarded her the “Queen of the Multi-taskers” title. In her free time she goes to the gym and out to eat.

Meredith returned to school to obtain a Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Finding the subject dry, technical and boring, she had a difficult time focusing on her studies. Easily distracted, and prone to daydreaming, she wrote Size Eight in a Size Zero World.

Meet Lindsay Chandler--a 32 year-old New York City working wife and mother with old-
fashioned values who thinks she's living a fairy tale life (she's not). She's too busy navigating
between her job, husband, home, children, friends and other obligations to acknowledge her
loneliness. Then an unexpected friendship with her upstairs neighbor (he is smart, successful,
sophisticated and sexy-- she's not) unleashes her passion and re-ignites her sparkle.

This liaison causes her to realize what she is missing. Yearning for a storybook ending, she
decides to make changes in her life, embarking on a quest for self re-invention in this hilarious,
witty, heart felt story.

In the tradition of Sex and the City, Size Eight in a Size Zero World, is a modern-day story of a
good girl trying to do the right thing and the wrong thing simultaneously, while remaining true to
herself, whoever that is.

With the help of a believable cast of characters, Lindsay embarks on a plan to better herself and
plight. This novel is a wickedly funny social commentary on the lives of average women in New
York City's posh Upper East Side.

What happens when the road to happily ever after takes an unexpected detour?

Follow Meredith on tour as she continues to talk about her book Size Eight in a Size Zero World.  Meredith's next stop will be at  on Aug.  23.  Be sure to leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of her book.

Thank you so much for stopping in Meredith it has been such a pleasure.  Wishing you much success in the future.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Book Tour - A Pecunious Life by Mike Dolan

Mike Dolan
A Pecunious Life - How to Have a Life Abounding in True Wealth

Genre: Self-Help
Publisher: Infinity Publishing
Mike was born in the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado 43 years ago. He has lived all around this beautiful world of ours, from Europe to Alaska, to his current home in the Middle East. His education is that of the experiences life gives and school is far from being out for him. He is a lover of life, a life adventurist. He loves to travel, meet new people, and experience new cultures. He has been given a great opportunity to see life in a different light and wishes to share this with you.

Here is Mike in his own words:
Beliefs come from our past experiences and the culmination of past generations’ experiences. Believing gives us the capacity to make our lives more organized so that we don’t have to continuously try to understand our surroundings. Not all our beliefs, however, are positive in nature. In fact, the majority of our beliefs limit our own abilities to understand more of the world around us. Any belief that is limiting that defines someone or a group of people will limit our ability to open ourselves up for more experiences that could lead to a greater cooperation, a greater understanding, a more peaceful existence, and perhaps even new budding relationships. To understand an example of this you need only look inside yourself. What belief do you have that might be limiting? I could come up with examples, but each life experience is different and therefore the beliefs we each hold are different. The challenge, then, is to examine your own beliefs and find reasons to change them into something that will lend to a better understanding of this life.
Limiting beliefs can be ingrained in other areas of our lives as well. It was thought for the longest time that we would never be able to fly, we do. It was thought for the longest time that it was impossible for the human to run a mile in under four minute, we have. The examples of our defeatist beliefs being dissolved exist all around us. Some of our beliefs limit our experiences and lend our thoughts to be more narrow minded and less capable of greater accomplishments.

“You as the master of your thoughts can change the ideas you believe in.” MLD

The book A Pecunious Life written by Author Mike Dolan has great advice for improving ones life, not only does the author write details of how to become more wealthy, but he incorporates his own experiences which are woven into lessons of life quality. Learning from the past, learning from mistakes, learning from beliefs or mis-beliefs, life-altering events, and exercises where the author asks you to sit in a quiet place and reflect on the lessons given.

The book is not really about becoming wealthy in the money sense, but wealthy in the spiritual and happiness sense. Could we be happy with less? Happiness is a state of mind-

I found this educational and easy to read and recommend it to adults in need of self-hep, spiritual guides, and for people who need a better life than they have right now.

Reviewed by Ami Blackwelder
A Pecunious Life can be purchased on Mike's website or at Amazon:

Thursday, August 5, 2010

VBT Pit Stop with Diane Griffin for Security First

Please welcome my guest Diane Griffin.  Diane is the owner of Security First and author of Everything You Need To Know About The Security Clearance Process.  Thank you so much for stopping in Diane.

Bio:    Diane Griffin, President and owner of Security First & Associates, says her motivation for writing Everything You Wanted to Know About the Security Clearance Process, But Are Afraid To Ask: Professional Guidance for Obtaining and Maintaining a Security Clearance came from the more than two decades of people she has assisted, both in her role as a private security contractor, and as the head of personnel or security within major governmental contractors, in finding their way through the complicated security clearance chain. 
Synopsis: If you have plenty of time to click around through myriad government websites and the patience to cut through red tape and make sense of confusing bureaucratic talk, you may be able to find some of the answers to your questions about the security clearance process,” Griffin says. “Chances are, however, that you will still be left with some of your questions unanswered, because there are some questions that the government just doesn't address. So, unless you know someone who is well acquainted with the process from a first-hand perspective, good luck.
What I sought to do was compile all of these answers into one easy-to-read compendium of advice and guidance, giving my readers signposts along the way to assist them in navigating through the clearance process. I believe I've come up with a volume that will greatly help its users, and being able to assist folks in working through this process is extremely gratifying to me.” GROUNDBREAKING SECURITY CLEARANCE EBOOK A ONE-STOP KNOWLEDGEBASE FOR THOSE CONFUSED BY THE SECURITY CLEARANCE PROCESS.

Today's economy is one of the most difficult times in recent history to find work, and many people are not even making use of their college degrees as related to employment! The number of people unemployed is staggering, and the overall lasting impact on our nation as a whole is, I believe, still not completely understood. There is hope, however. 
President Obama plans on hiring 270,000 people for federal jobs. Many of those positions will require a security clearance. These jobs will become available in varying fields, and encompass all types of skills sets. The war on cyber crime has been declared, but our country is facing a shortage of computer professional holding valid security clearances,  Federal jobs, as I am sure you know, provide an opportunity for a solid career path complete with its own set of benefits and rewards that are becoming less and less common as small business America is forced to spend less and less money on these things for its employees in a tough economy. As I mentioned, most of the federal jobs that will be available for your students will require a security clearance of some type. For those with the skills to obtain a high-paying or advanced position, higher and higher levels of security clearances will be needed. This is nothing new, but with the changes that have taken place since the Patriot Act was enforced, the process is quite complex. Many people are discouraged by this and end up taking jobs elsewhere as a result when they could be quite successful if they could just get past that initial phase of getting the security clearance. 
For the past 20 years, I have been walking people through this process and helping them get on the right path to security and success. My company, Security First and Associates, has assisted individuals, government contractors, and entire companies in getting the security clearances they needed in order to get the job, be awarded that contract, or be able to continue working as a vendor to the federal government.
Everything You Need to Know About the Security Clearance Process, But Are Afraid to Ask is now available for $19.95, from my website, amazon & lulu.
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Have any dreams been realized as a result of your writing? 
Yes, that I can start something and accomplish it. I would like to be able to reach my target market of students that are interested in pursuing Security clearances or jobs with the federal government, the process, so that they can get a better understanding of the process
Is there a message in your novel you want readers to grasp? 
Yes, just tell the TRUTH
Where do you hope to take your writing in the future?   
I would love to try my hand at writing other books – not necessary about Security
What advice do you have for writer's just starting out?   
Determine if you are writing for yourself or for an audience and if it is for an audience, how will you reach them?

Anything else you would like to share with us today? 
Thank you for allow me to share my ebook guide with you and if you have any questions about the security clearance process, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Security First & Associates LLC
(410) 312-3597

Security First Associates

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Thank you again for stopping in Diane.  Your post was very informative and definitely gives a clearer understanding.  I wish you much success in the future.

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