Friday, March 30, 2012

VBTC Tour - Guest Interview & Giveaway: Ungolden Silence by Lydia E. Brew

Today I'm pleased to introduce you to Lydia E. Brew. We are doing it a bit differently today, and Lydia is being interviewed by Lydia, welcome to Mass Musings!

I am going to interview author Lydia E. Brew - I am Lydia

Lydia: Who is your favorite author?

Miss Brew:  A friend, ReShonda Tate Billingsley.

Lydia: What is your favorite movie?

Miss Brew:  Well, actually two come to mind.  The first is Selena with Jennifer Lopez, I thought that she captured Selena in a good way. Secondly, In the movie on the Temptations,  the actors were excellent and you could not tell that the actors were just mouthing the words of the songs. The song, My Girl, is my all time favorite song.

Lydia: What is your preferred drink?

Miss Brew: That's an easy one, Cherry Pepsi.

Lydia: I heard that. That's is mine too. Okay, now tell about your favor activity.

Miss Brew: Writing, this is a form of entertaining. Lucy Ricardo was always trying to get into Ricky's shows because she loved to entertain.

Lydia:  I never thought of that.  I Love Lucy, I love that show too.

Miss Brew: But I feel for Lucille Ball though-

Lydia: Why?

Miss Brew: Because she wanted to be an actress, not just a comedy actress. She wanted to do drama. Look at Michael Landon –

Lydia: Little Joe.

Miss Brew: Yes, but he was also Pa on "Little House on the Prairie" and he did another one, "Little Joe" .  Another good example of not letting the actor or actress go to other roles is Michael Learned.

Lydia: Ma Walton.

Miss Brew: Yes, The Waltons was one of my favorite shows. Okay, now she was
substituting for Jean Cooper on The Young and the Restless. She did an excellent job. But guess what?

Lydia: Even thought she was Mrs. Chancellor, she was still Ma Walton and that is not fair to her.

Miss Brew: Now the same and be said about authors. Do not make them write just for one genre. So writing is my favorite activity.

Lydia: Okay Miss Brew, which actress do you see playing one of the main characters in Ungolden Silence?

Miss Brew: Debbi Morgan

Lydia: Yes, she is another actress that has a character that she is identified by.

Miss Brew: Angie on All My Children, now she is Harmony on The Young and the Restless. I have watched her since she did a guest appearance on Good Times and Trapper John, M.D. So I knew her before she was "Angie.” Lucille Ball, Michael Landon, and Learned and Debbi Morgan are entertainers and they love it. If there was a movie based on Ungolden Silence and Debbi Morgan would be my dream and I would be delighted to see Michael Learned in the movie too.

Lydia: Two more things: what is your favorite food and are you and early bird or late owl.

Miss Brew: I am a night owl and I love cheese with ground beef.

Lydia: What one thing will surprise readers about you?

Miss Brew: I have Cerebral Palsy and I firmly believe the God made me this way for a reason. I have never dated so how did I write a story like Ungolden Silence. Well one of producers of The Color Purple was asked how he could do the movie, he said that he did E.T.  So we don't have to date to know what is right and not right in a relationship. A writer can observe things and write about them.

Wonderful interview. Thank you so much for sharing these fun facts. 

Lydia E. Brew was born with cerebral palsy but has not allowed her physical limitations to stand in her way. Her writing also provides insights into the world of the physically challenged. She graduated from Texas Southern University where she received The Society of Professional Journalist Sigma Chi Citation for Achievement. She was a member of the drama club and pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Under the leadership of one of her journalism professors, Miss Brew penned her first book 
Edith, The Story of Edith Irby Jones, M.D. about the first African-American to graduate from The Arkansas School of Medicine. Upon finishing college, Miss Brew worked with the Houston Association of Black Journalists. She is a Christian and attends St. Timothy’s United Methodist Church.
Miss Brew founded Lydia’s Educational and Charitable Organization (LECO) when she decided to encourage young people to write. LECO did this by sponsoring a yearly contest in which the contestant had to write about positive role models who were alive and from the Houston area. Each student who wrote an eligible essay was given a certificate of participation. Winning writers received cash prizes.
Her second book Our Learn Together Book is based on the biography of Dr. Jones. It tells her story in a simplified format on one page and allows the child to writes his biography on the other. There are activities in the back where children can learn developmental skills and older children can learn to do research.

Ungolden Silence will explore the world of rape and expose the myths through articles that are based on facts. The main question that needs to be answered is why one human being would rape another human being. These reasons are explored in a compelling story that will make the reader ask questions. Beatrice James wanted to take her co-worker Elaine on her first professional trip, she had to convince her employers and Elaine’s parents that she wanted to take Elaine on the trip. Elaine was in charge of the campaign.
Thomas Paige is a well-respected community leader, however, there is whole other side of side of him. The man can be charming when he needs to be and that is why he can get away with sexually harassing and raping women. He began to harassed Beatrice did not want Elaine to have to deal with it. Beatrice did not want to deal with the fact that she was being sexually harassed.
When any crime takes place, the families of the victims as well as the criminal are involved. Ungolden Silence will illustrate that the criminal is a real person, and rarely does he commit crimes just for the fun of it.
It is important to know that rape is a part of violence. Through the characters of Ungolden Silence it is hoped that society will begin to find a way to eliminate the acceptance of violence, which includes the act of rape.
It is through Beatrice, Elaine, and their colleagues that Ungolden Silencebegins to explore the world of rape. Each of the main characters discovers what he has believed about rape and violence is not entirely true. A good example of this is when the firm’s secretary is told what happened on the trip. She discovered that some things that she was told when she was young was a myth.
Through all of the characters, Ungolden Silence offers an alternative to the everyday acceptance of violence. When it comes to rape, it tells us that the rapists are human beings and there is a way to curb the crime.
What does the author wants the reader to take away is that the story is about a woman was rape while she and her business partner was away on a business trip. Her business partner is disabled but that is an important part of the story. However, it is not the main story.

Let me set this up. Beatrice and Elaine are out of town on business. Beatrice and Elaine are at the home of their client, Mrs. Stevens and a community leader, Mr. Paige comes in. Mrs. Stevens take Elaine to see something.

As the four talked for an hour or so, Mr. Thomas Page did not take his eyes off Beatrice. He ignored Elaine completely. He would often sit by Beatrice and after a few minutes; she would move. Elaine could see that Mr. Paige liked Beatrice, but she didn’t return the feeling and was uncomfortable and a bit irritated with his attention. When Mrs. Stevens offered to show Elaine the baby grand piano in her music room, Mr. Paige and Beatrice were left alone. Beatrice decided she needed to get a few things straight.
“Look, you seem to be a nice guy, but I’m not interested.
You’re making me very uncomfortable,” Beatrice added. Mr. Paige did not seem to hear her.
“Alone at last, Miss James,” he said in a soft gentle voice as he stroked her face.
The second that Beatrice felt his fingers on her face, her anger turned to fear. She did not want to let Mr. Paige know that he frightened her.
“I did not give you permission to touch me! Listen, I’m not interested in you, in any way. Please, just leave me alone!” Beatrice said angrily. The pleasantness was gone and her teeth were clenched. However, before she finishes her statement Mr. Paige had his hands on her buttocks. In that instance Beatrice remembers when she was sixteen. It was a hot summer day: she was lying on the sofa half asleep. She awakens to her uncle kissing and caressing her face. He did not stop there he unzipped his pants and began to slide his hand and was pulling down her panties when Judy came into the room. Beatrice’s mind came to the present.
“Oh now, I think that we can have a good time this week,” he said in the same manner as before.
“I said no! Now get your hands off me!” Beatrice snatched her body away from his reach knocking his shades off. The man’s breath had a faint odor of alcohol. His eyes were glassy red. However, Beatrice did not take notice because she was so shocked from the memory of what her uncle did to her and the fact that this man was making a move on her was overwhelming. Mr. Paige returned to his seat and put his shades back on his face only because he heard Mrs. Stevens and Elaine returning.
When Elaine walked in and sat down, she picked up on some strange vibes from Beatrice. There was a strange look in her colleague’s eyes. This troubled Elaine because she knew something was upsetting Beatrice.
This man had just made unwanted sexual advances to Beatrice and she tells Elaine and Mrs. Stevens that she had a headache?

Lydia is also giving away 2 ebooks per week, for a chance to win leave a comment with your email address, you can also follow her tour HERE for even more chances.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Introducing Author David S. Grant - Blood:The New Red

Okay, so pretend I have a megaphone in front of my face when I say this - Introducing....David S. Grant! *echoes* Today we are pleased to take part in a virtual book tour for Blood:The New Red by David S. Grant. I think you will enjoy his post as much as I did. Take it away David...

My fantasy meet with Charles Bukowski

I recently was asked in an interview: “Who is the one author you would have liked to meet?” Immediately I thought of Charles Bukowski and smiled at the preposterous thought. Here’s how I see this meeting going down…

We would plan to meet at a dark and downtrodden bar just off Sunset. I wouldn’t shave. As I prepared for the night I would stress over looking too much like a writer, knowing Bukowski always hated writers. While making my important wardrobe decisions I would brush up on my gritty poetry. I would elect to not wear the tie.

I would arrive twenty minutes early, but Mr. Bukowski would already be waiting at the bar, drinking his second beer. He would ask me why we were meeting I would say something about race track betting formulas and then quickly order two drinks. (I’m going to assume Bukowski would not like my lanky, nervous appearance so we would drink our first round in silence and then I would order another.)
Items not to discuss: Writing, working in a post office, and writing! I would continue repeating this in my head.

After three rounds we would leave the bar and find ourselves at a table, this is Bukowski’s later years and he is laying off the hard alcohol, after a few beers we are now quickly drinking red wine. At some point Bukowski would steer the conversation to women and his crass language would make me blush. He would call me a pussy, or maybe even the dreaded “C” word. In less than an hour, two more bottles of wine would be consumed.

A man with a beard and no sleeves would approach the table. He would comment on the bottle of wine, the dark tavern, and the old man.

Ten minutes later…we are both shielding are eyes from the sun as it beats down on us. We are outside the bar; inside the bartender is picking out chunks of glass from the wine bottle still in the bearded, sleeveless guys head. Standing next to Bukowski are two women, they look to be a mother and daughter. The “mother” is holding a bottle of red wine. With a girl in each arm, Bukowski walks away slowly; looking and back to give me a wink, and then he would call me the “C” word!

David, thank you so much for joining us today. David is on tour with the Virtual Book Tour Cafe', and you can follow his tour HERE.

In the meantime, here's a little bit about the book.

Blood: The new Red begins at an after party where Mickey, and ex-adult movie star turned supermodel, is aligning himself with one of top Designers of Seventh Avenue. While trying to land a job on the runway Mickey is thrown into the center of a scene where sex is often the motivation, the wine is served by year, and cocaine is back in full force. Juanita, Mickey’s girlfriend is having difficulties staying sober, fully clothed, and off of her famous boyfriend.

Mickey goes to work for Fashion icon Paul Johnson, one of the two top Designers in NYC. The other is Sandy Johnson, another Designer who will stop at nothing including murder to guarantee victory. A runway exhibition has been scheduled for the two to compete in and find out who truly is the best Johnson. Mickey will be Paul’s top model, and Sandy has found a homeless person nicknamed Kung Fu Master to show his line.

In addition to getting his new line in place, Paul Johnson is also buying chain saws, the louder the better, to put the special in this special event.

Did you know that you can’t be sentenced to prison if actively seeking help at a mental facility? Paul Johnson knows this.

Somewhere between the girls, counting Vicodin pills, and show preparation Mickey has grown a conscience and no longer likes what he sees. He believes (and his psychiatrist agrees) that he has the power to change what’s happening around him.

Days before the show Kung Fu Master turns up dead and there is an attempt on Mickey’s life. After a brief period of unconsciousness Mickey is back, is told that Juanita and brother Cheeks are now also dead and that he must continue with the show. After all, what would Steven Tyler do?

The night of the show is laced with celebrities and models on the runway as well as one particular popular day-time talk show host that may or may not be murdered on the runway.

In the end only one Johnson will walk away, although this is temporary as Mickey has the last word.

Right before he pops his last Vicodin.


Always look like a rock star. This is the number one secret on how to be famous. I’m wearing chains, lots of chains. Eye shadow, lots of eye shadow. I wouldn’t say my pants are tight, but then again, my balls might disagree with you at the moment.
I’m standing on the second level of the Grand Hotel, overlooking the bar area. My manager tells me this is where I need to be standing. In five minutes I will move across the room and stand next to a long mirror where one of the Hiltons will walk by and notice my reflection. A photographer will be close by and be sure to get the picture. This mirror has been placed here for this sole purpose. My manager tells me not to stare at the mirror. If you asked me to list my weaknesses, this may be my number one fault.
DJ Shingles, the newest (which means hottest) DJ, is playing on a middle level between the first and second floors. There is barely enough room for him let alone the overflowing ashtray and oversized stocking cap. Rumor has it this is his last show, despite this being his first. There is talk that he is moving into production and will be working with a major player in the hip hop industry, depending on who is hot at the time. DJ Shingles is wearing an Armani black button-down shirt with the sleeves ripped off. Very last year, but this is more a statement than a miscalculation on his part. Last season is the new season.
My manager signals for me to make my way across toward the mirror. A reporter from GQ is following me and asking me questions about who I’m going to sign with and whether or not my past will affect my future. I get her number, tell her I’ll call her later, and then blow her off as I approach the mirror. Always leak your press, never tell. This is secret number three on how to be famous.
Four widescreen televisions are fastened to the wall behind the bar. All are showing TMZ. An orange haired girl wearing a Betsey Johnson dress sees me staring at the television sets. She walks over and whispers in my ear, “It’s the new CNN.”
A waiter carrying a tray of wine from 1980 is walking by. Every 15 minutes another waiter, another tray, another year will walk by. Welcome to the world of fashion parties. Ten percent content, ninety percent presentation.
A man who goes by the name Dontay hands me a coffee cup that is full of scotch. My manager tells me to sip it and not cheers anyone. Any buzz that insinuates I’ve been in rehab and have put my porn career in the past is good press and can only help my modeling career. As scheduled, I’m approached by someone with the last name Hilton.
The Hilton is wearing a blouse that is considered the color Ocean, the new blue, but since Aquamarine blue was in fact the new blue for last season and last season is in this season, no one should be caught dead in Ocean. Unless of course she is being ironic. If so, she will have to mention this to at least three people during the course of the evening.
Mickey, you’re back! I mean, uh…” Hilton looks at the coffee cup. “Welcome back!” She tips her coffee cup to me.
I glance around at the guest list, wondering who has the most juice at the party, but am distracted by the waiter walking through with wines from 1990.
Good year for cabernets,” Hilton says, then grabs her blouse. “Last season is the new season, huh? Fuck that.” She laughs and looks fidgety as lights pop around us. At one point Hilton puts her arm around me and kisses me on the cheek. FLASH. Mission accomplished.
I miss you, Mickey. We should get together sometime, you know, have a cup of coffee, fuck, or something.”
Sure, I tell her and then she leaves because she has a rule about spending over forty hours a week on the Lower East Side and this season many Fashion Week parties have been in LES, the new SoHo.
According to my manager, I need to make my way to a reserved table next to the bar where Paul Johnson is sitting. My manager also says to ignore the temptation of champagne. I have a job to do tonight.
David S. Grant is the author of ten books including “Corporate Porn”, “Bleach|Blackout”, “Hollywood Ending”, and “Rock Stars”.  His latest novel, “Blood: The New Red”, is now available.  David lives and writes his weekly rock, travel, and NBA columns from New York City.  

For more information go to  

Twitter: @david_s_grant  

Friday, March 16, 2012

VBTC Guest Post with Steven Novak - Goats Eat Cans

Today I'm pleased to introduce you to Steven Novak. Steven is the author of Goats Eat Cans and I think you are going to love it. As part of his tour, Steven is also giving you a chance to win a Signed Chapter Art Illustration or a Signed Paperback. All you have to do is comment on one or all of his posts during his tour, which you can follow HERE, and don't forget to leave your email in case you win. At the end of his tour 2 randomly drawn commenters will win!

Born in Chicago Illinois, Steven Novak has spent the whole of his life creating. After attending The Columbus College of Art and Design for four years he moved to California where he married his wife. The pair have been together for nearly a decade. He likes pizza. He’s sort of a nerd. He has terrible luck and worse personal hygiene. He also hates having to write bios about himself. He thinks bios are stupid. His work can be found online at


When I was asked to give my thoughts on writing humor versus writing fiction, I honestly wasn’t confident about which way to take it. Sure, I’ve done them both, but have I done either of them well?

That’s certainly debatable.

Last year I put the ol’ kibosh on a young adult fantasy/adventure trilogy titled Forts. The books were wordy, and they were heavy, and they were personal. I dealt with my fair share of ups and downs when it came to the original publisher and the whole process in general. When all was said and done, I’d dumped nearly three years of my life into writing them. If ever there was a story that I felt like I “needed” to write, it was Forts.

My most recent endeavor is, for the most part, a funny book. I’m not saying that there isn’t anything personal or worthwhile in Goats Eat Cans, because there is. There are also a lot of poop jokes, bizarre references to half-remembered 1980’s cartoons, and the occasional mention of Kardashian’s booty, though.

To the best of my knowledge there isn’t a single Kardashian posterior in Forts – not even Khloe’s.

Goats Eat Cans is basically a humorous retelling of some of the important moments in my life and how they ended up being more screwball than important. I’m Charlie Brown and the world at large is Lucy. That’s pretty much Goats Eat Cans in a nutshell. I tell you about the day I lost my virginity, and the day I got married, and give you a firsthand account of the day I decided to let a doctor slice open my testicle sack and prevent me from ever unleashing my unholy spawn onto the world at large.

Oh, I also tell the story (in remarkable detail) of the day my butt started spurting blood.

So that’s one you don’t want to miss.

Anyway, back to the question at hand.

So what’s the difference between writing fiction and writing humor? Is there even one? In my specific case, the answer is a resounding, no.

I think that when you get right down to it, in the end it’s all the same. Writing is writing no matter what you’re writing.

Okay, maybe that little quote doesn’t necessarily extend to the writing of a grocery list, but you get my point.

The fundamentals of good writing don’t adhere to genre and a good story is still a good story, no matter how it’s told. Tell your story, tell it in the best way possible, and get your readers involved. That’s it. That’s my advice.

If that sounds like I’m avoiding the question and instead settling for the simplest answer, I guess I sort of am, but I’m also not. In this case the simplest answer is the correct answer.

In Forts I dealt with child abuse and loneliness, and the healing power of creativity set against the backdrop of a war on in a faraway world. In Goats Eat Cans I used one chapter to the story of the time mu childhood friend poured a gallon of his own urine onto the head of his sleeping brother.

So yeah, they’re pretty different stories.

At no point, however, did I feel like I had to completely change the way I approached telling them. Let the reader get to know your characters and get them involved in the story. It really is that simple.

Don’t over think it.

If you’re writing humor you should probably crack a joke every once in a while – maybe that’s the only difference between the two. That’s pretty important thing, I suppose.

Oh, it also wouldn’t hurt to make sure the jokes you’re telling are a little bit better than my Khloe Kardashian butt-gag earlier in this very post.

That might help too.

Remember the weird kid with the greasy hair and the odd smell you went to school with? You know, the one who never talked to anyone? That creepy little jerk who sat alone at lunch? The oddball who never took a shower in gym class? The one you imagined might one day go on a shooting spree?

Believe it or not, that kid grew up.

He grew up, he got married, he never shot a single person, he wrote a book, and he even started taking showers after his workouts – most of the time.

Goats Eat Cans is his story.

Follow along as Steven Novak recounts the sometimes hilarious, sometimes hilariously painful, and sometimes painfully hilarious moments that have made his life so wonderfully frustrating. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you might even vomit. No matter what, you won't be able to stop reading.

Goats Eat Cans features 55 stories, 55 illustrations, 99 luftballons and enough nonsense to keep you chuckling and giggling for days on end – or hours – or at the very least a few minutes.

Thank you so much for stopping in and sharing with us today Steven. As always, it was a great time.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Book Tour Guest Post & Excerpt with Nicholas Maze - Exit:How To Leave Debt Forever

Inspiration to Your Writing

Because I write across the board (multiple genres), inspiration is the key element in my writing. I will quickly act on an idea, normally. I will not begin writing the story, but at least create an overview. A great example is a murder mystery that I plan to write in the near future. I was sitting down, at my job, and the idea came to me. Now, that idea could have stemmed from the increasing murder rate, but I do recall one key incident that led to the idea. I was leaving out of my driveway and there was setting at my neighbor’s home. There wasn’t any crime or suspicious activity, but it was a simple display of garbage resting on the corner. From that setting, my mind began to run! I had no main characters or names (for character or the story), but I had a unique storyline. This led to a small overview that will be later converted to a full story. The inspiration for my first story, White Collar Woman (Romance/Fiction), was women. I felt that women were the majority readers of books of all genres, so I decided to build a story around a woman and her love life. I tapped into the women that were close in my life and my experiences with women (relationships, co-workers, etc.) These influences and inspiration led to the creation of my first book.

My second book took a completely different route. My second book, EXIT: How to Leave Debt Forever, is a non-fiction, financial, self-help book. The inspiration for this book developed over time. I initially received a prophecy on the writing of this book. I was confused, because I had just wrote a romance/fiction book and didn’t see how the two would tie together. Although I was confused, in the beginning, I decided to pursue the prophecy and began studying heavily on the world’s finance. As I began to gather information on the topic, I became amazed and motivated. My inspiration for EXIT was that so many people had no understanding of money and wealth and they needed this information to have growth in this area of their life. I felt that this information could change lives and make an impact on the world, as a whole. And, this inspiration led to the creation of EXIT.  

What 12+ years of schooling never provided is located within this amazing literature. From basic instructions on saving to the reason for America’s current financial dilemma, we receive great advice in the world of finance. People across the globe are crying for relief that will never come. In EXIT, we learn that financial strain is planned and orchestrated. The more America suffers financially, the more successful certain individuals become. How do we eliminate a problem that has been in place for almost 100 years? We first learn how to exit, escape.


Introduction: Mental Restraint
Nicholas L. Maze
As I was driving down the street one day, I became conscious of the world’s condition. Contrary to what you would think, it wasn’t the abandon houses I drove by; it wasn’t the cracked pavement, or homeless people that seem to be in unison. It was the children. GOD gave me the understanding that a child is nothing but an adult that is trapped. In their minds, they live in an orchestrated fantasy world. Their world is orchestrated by other children that have aged over time and learned to be adults. The older children (adults) determine
what the younger children wear, eat, and drink. And for the most part, a child is okay with the control. For most children, it is all they know. They live in a mental fantasy world, because their knowledge is limited.

Limited knowledge brings forth the purpose of school. A school should strengthen a child’s mind, because one day that child will have control of other children and he/she should be mentally prepared and able to take on that task. 

This is what separates a child from an adult, knowledge. And, this is also what hinders are society…knowledge. Knowledge is the key ingredient in this book. My main goal is to educate many and erase the “get rich quick” mentality. The term get rich quick was created for those that lacked knowledge, because they knew that without intelligence, an individual would fall for anything. Getting rich quick is a scheme. And, if
I sell you a book that is nothing but a scheme, I have not only cheated you out your money, but I have also helped you go deeper in debt.

A lot of us have aged in features. Some of us, our hair is graying, while others have gone completely white. Even with physical changes, mentally we could still be trapped. Our lack of knowledge can keep us at the same mental stage we were at as 8 and 9 year olds. This observation exposed to me the purpose of this literature. Our lack of knowledge is constantly putting this world deeper in financial strife. So many people
do not understand the financial system and remain limited and under someone else’s control.

This book was written to strengthen your knowledge. Regardless of your age, you can be freed from this mental bondage. This one book is not the answer to all your problems, but it has been composed to be the “push” that so many of us need during these trying times. As you begin to read and take in this information, pray. Pray for understanding. Pray for mental strength. Pray and ask that the bondage be removed. After you pray, remember that prayer is not the only requirement. You have to take action, move forward. This book is your push to help you make that move. Take in the knowledge from this book and put it to work!

As I think back on that day, I noticed the children were on the playground at their school. I could hear laughter and see children playing with one another. Although the community was dying and the living onditions were getting worse, they found joy. They found joy with one another. They found joy, because mentally they were limited. They couldn’t understand the dying community, the abandon homes, and the increasing murder rate. Mentally, they were trapped. They were happy with having someone control their life and made the best of what they were given. Not knowing that someday their bodies will age, that strength would weaken,
that hair would gray, and that their minds will remain trapped. They will inherit debt that they have no knowledge of. And although they may live to be one-hundred, mentally they will be that same child I observed on that day. Never being properly taught and forever being controlled.

Born in Flint, Michigan, Nicholas L. Maze attended Baker College, where he earned his degree in Business Administration with a focus in Accounting and Marketing. With a knack for advertising and excelling in math, Nicholas seemed destined for a productive career in business. Instead, there would be another gift that would prove to be more dominant and rewarding.
In the summer of 1999, while still in college, Nicholas found a job with a nation-wide security organization. His initial plans were to work his job, until he finished college. But it was his stint with the security organization that would lead to a rebirth of his passion for writing. As a child, being driven by a strong imagination, Nicholas would write stories to past time. It was during his composition courses in college that Nicholas realized that his gift was still intact. His writing craft received praise from his colleagues and instructors. With substantial amount of free time on the job, Nicholas found himself writing more and more. He started by writing poetry and composing songs, during his free time on the job. It was at this same time that Nicholas began managing a small rap group, which allowed him to hone his writing skills even more. Nicholas began composing songs for his rap group and him. In 2004, Nicholas began to write his first published work. With ample amount of time and a number of ideas, Nicholas began to write. In order to compose a successful work, Nicholas had to make himself the reader. Nicholas placed himself in the passenger seat and let his imagination go to work.
As Nicholas was completing his book, he renewed his relationship with GOD and acquired a second job. Two jobs and attending college full-time, forced Nicholas to put his writing on hold. Once Nicholas completed his first degree in Marketing, he was able to focus on his unfinished work and complete his book in 2007. From there, Nicholas began to send out query letters for his book. After no success, Nicholas placed his book on the shelf and returned to school. In 2009, Nicholas received a prophecy on his writing gift and immediately began shopping his book around. “I instantly thought of my finished work and began sending out query letters. Within two months, I received a publishing deal.” Now, Nicholas is fine-tuning himself for a long, successful career as an author. His first love.

Follow Nicholas Maze's tour HERE
$25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway to one lucky tour follower!

Monday, March 12, 2012

VBTC Guest Blog with Janet McNulty - Sugar And Spice And Not So Nice

Today Janet is stopping in off the tour train to chat with us. Welcome Janet, we're happy to have you with us today.

How Has Social Media Helped You with Marketing?

You’ve written a book. Congratulations. You’ve published it. Great. Now what? Now is the time to market it. Most people stick with the traditional readings at bookstores, media advertisement, and press releases. They are all a good way to start, but one avenue of marketing that new authors forget about is social media.

Social media consists of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Myspace. These areas are a great way to let people know about your published works. If you already have an account with any of these sites, great. If not, sign up. It’s free.

Social Media helps you build word of mouth with free advertising. To begin this process, friend people on these sites that are authors like you or like to read the genre that your book is in. Let them know you are published and provide a link to the product sales page. Doing this once or twice a month will help them remember that you are a published author and might entice some to check it out. However, refrain from over posting the link to your book’s product page because that creates the illusion that you are a spammer.
Social Media also allows you to build relationships with a potential audience. Relationship building is very important when you are a new author, especially if you are self-published. This is why I follow other authors on Twitter. I also follow anyone interested in the genre that I write in. Then I post about my favorite books, hobbies, where I am in my current writing project, giveaways, etc. Sometimes I even post dialogue from my characters or trivia about my books. This allows people to see me as another person just like them and it allows them to get to know me. I do the same thing on Youtube and Facebook.

This is how social media has helped me with marketing. Keep in mind, you won’t get instant results and your books sales won’t skyrocket right away. Building relationships is a time consuming process. But by connecting with others like yourself on the various social networks, it allows you to advertise yourself without investing a lot of money. Each day post one or two updates so as to stay active. Gradually, your list of followers will grow and some will even post to their followers / friends about your book.

Janet McNulty currently resides in West Virginia where she moved after receiving her B.A. in History. She lives with her three cats who keep her on task.

Ms. McNulty has also recently published a novel, Legends Lost: Amborese, under the pen name Nova Rose. She is currently working on the second novel in the series called Legends Lost Tesnayr, but also has another nonfiction book in the works, that is untitled at this point. 

Mellow Summers just wanted to go to college and get her film degree. She moved into a furnished apartment with her friend Jackie only to find that it already had a tenant: the ghost of a girl who was murdered a year earlier. Now it is up to Mellow to not only discover who the murderer is, but to prove it as well.

With the help of the ghost Rachel, Mellow sets out to solve the year old mystery. She soon finds out that she may have taken on more than she can handle. Pursued by someone who wants the identity of the killer to remain a secret, Mellow will have to use all her resources to outwit him and help the spirit of Rachel move on.


 "I groaned as I rolled over onto my side. I opened my eyes. Rachel stood over me. “Oh, no,” I said, “It wasn’t a dream?”"

You didn’t tell me everything,” I accused. “You told me that you last saw Rachel at her apartment, but the truth is you went to the computer lab. Why didn’t you tell me?”"

"My name is Mellow Summers and I am twenty-six years old. I was never was one to believe in ghosts...That is not until I met Rachel."

Thank you for chatting with us today Janet! Your book sounds amazing! You can follow Janet's tour HERE

Friday, March 9, 2012

VBTC Pit Stop - Eldon Taylor

Announcing I Believe, the latest release
by New York Times best selling author,
Eldon Taylor.

Join the launch party for I Believe: When What You Believe Matters!
Hundreds of bonus gifts will be given away to everyone who participates. Plus, enter to win grand prizes worth over $5K from personalities such as Lindsay Wagner (Bionic Woman), James Van Praagh, Bob Doyle, Hay House, InnerTalk, Norman Shealy and Caroline Sutherland. For more information, visit

Q. Why did you write I Believe?
I have spent over thirty years investigating why people self-sabotage or limit themselves, thus experiencing so much less than their highest best!  What I have found is the reason rests solely in their beliefs—not their spiritual belief so much as their life beliefs.  I found this to be true when I was conducting lie detection tests and discovering criminality, and equally true when I worked with elite athletes, business executives, professionals and lay people alike.  The bottom line is this: What you believe always matters!  It’s like a web that fastens itself to belief-anchors, causing disheartening mediocrity in place of the glorious success we all seek.
I Believe spells out the power of belief and how it influences everything from our health and longevity to our success with relationships and life.  Astounding as it may seem, belief can (and has) defied our so-called laws of science and it has done so over and over again. As ordinary and trite as it may seem, belief nevertheless makes all the difference in success in all walks of life.  Knowing how we acquire our beliefs, and which beliefs serve us while others sabotage us, is critical to maximizing our individual potential.  I Believe: When What You Believe Matters! was written to empower you with the roadmap to decipher and re-write the programming governing your life.

The Mind-Body Belief System


Research with placebos—nontherapeutic substances are commonly thought of as sugar pills—is also telling when it comes to the role of belief and the function of the mind in matters of wellness. When the faith and expectation of a subject invests in the power of the placebo, amazing things happen. What’s more, the treatment is relative to the condition, so one false pill can treat pain half as well as aspirin and half as well as morphine. Not surprisingly, telling the patient that the same tablet increases discomfort will result in just that.
Placebos don’t have to be pills; they can be creams, injections, or even surgery. Just as interesting, the effect is larger if you increase the dosage size—say a larger capsule or two of them. Further, research shows that a branded item works better than a plain one, one in a shiny box elicits greater results than one in a plain package, a capsule trumps a tablet, with an injection working even better. If you use fancy, expensive-looking, sophisticated equipment, it yields even more dramatic outcomes. The bottom line is that the greater the expectation, the greater the effect. In other words, building a strong belief creates the foundation for the result.
There are still more revealing facts about placebos that dovetail directly into our human psychology. For example, color is often employed to evaluate mood states, as in the Lüscher Color Test. The validity of this test has been determined to be overall 81 percent in agreement with the Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis. So how does color correlate with the placebo effect? Well, blue is more effective as a “downer,” and red is the preferred color for an “upper.” Further, as Daniel Keogh and Luke Harris point out in their very informative Internet film, studies have shown that people who take their medication on a regular basis are much less likely to die than those who don’t adhere to their drug regimen, even if they’re only taking placebos. If that’s not enough to convince you of the power of belief, then try this one. Again, the creators of the aforementioned film point out that placebos can also be addictive. In one study, 40 percent of the women who’d taken an inactive medication for five years suffered withdrawal symptoms.
Remember that by definition, there’s no medical value to a placebo. It’s not what’s in the substance that matters but what we put in it via our belief. Clever researchers can weight our belief by feeding an already expectant psychology with the right color, shape, size, and so forth to further ensure the maximum effect! That’s right, a genuine medical result from a nonmedical intervention. It’s clearly our minds that have the power.

The Authority Figure

Several years ago, I conducted research that involved patients diagnosed with cancer. I used a cognitive approach by employing an audio recording (my Innertalk technology) designed to fundamentally influence what the subjects thought to be true, generating a positive outlook and confidence in the body’s ability to heal itself. In other words, the design of the study sought to measure the influence of a change in beliefs on the progression of cancer.
In short, this is what we found: First, every single patient who believed that the mind had a role in wellness, and whose physician believed this as well, was in complete remission (no evidence of cancer). By contrast, every single individual whose doctor reported that the mind had no role in wellness was dead. In a sense, it didn’t matter what the patient thought within this latter group—it all depended upon the medical authority.
Even though this was just a small test group, the results disturbed and puzzled me. That puzzlement changed recently when science learned through the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) that “parts of the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices, which play key roles in vigilance and skepticism when judging the truth and importance of what people say, were deactivated” in the presence of an authority. While the first study I noticed of this nature was about the clergy, other studies show that this effect includes anyone we think of as an authority.
Similar to the power of the placebo, it appears that the health-care professional can reverse the positive by informing us that matters are out of our hands, and as with the cancer patients in the study, we’ll just surrender to their preconceptions and die.
It now seems obvious: What we believe predisposes our expectation and behavior. It directly influences our health, sense of well-being, and even the aging process. So what is it that you anticipate? Do you think you’ll “catch” the cold, flu or other “bug” that’s going around? Do you assume you’ll be sick for a certain amount of time? Does it seem that some illnesses are more likely at a specific age, under certain conditions, or simply because of genetics? What would happen if you changed your own beliefs about this? Is it possible that you could become healthier, avoid many of the infections that go around, and recover more quickly when you do become sick? Many people are reporting just this result.

For information on the book launch, please visit

About Eldon Taylor

Eldon Taylor is an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of more than 300 books, audio, and video programs. He’s the inventor of the patented InnerTalk technology and the founder and president of Progressive Awareness Research. He has been called a “master of the mind” and has appeared as an expert witness on both hypnosis and subliminal communication.
Eldon was a practicing criminalist conducting investigations and lie-detection examinations for many years. He is listed in more than a dozen Who’s Who publications, including Who’s Who of Intellectuals and Who’s Who in Science and Engineering. He is a fellow in the American Psychotherapy Association and an internationally sought-after speaker. His books and audio-video materials have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have sold millions worldwide.
Eldon is the host of the popular radio show Provocative Enlightenment. He has interviewed some of the most interesting people on the planet. His shows are thought-provoking and always fresh in both their perspective and the exchange.

What is the foundation underpinning success in all areas of life? Is there a blueprint? What if you learned that your beliefs were the very cornerstones that supported success, and that having a few of these could give rise to success in some areas while complete failure in others? Would you choose to build a stronger overall foundation?

Very few people today doubt the power of positive thinking. We all know that if we expect to fail, then failure is inevitably what we get, and there is also the issue of the mind/body connection—science is repeatedly demonstrating the power of mind and belief to heal. What you believe can and does have a huge impact on the quality of your life—from success in business to success in relationships, from your ability to learn and master new subjects to your ability to heal your own body. But have you ever stopped to consider your own beliefs—to truly examine them and decide for yourself if they are serving you or sabotaging you?

Chapter 1: The Power of Belief: Who Am I ?

Belief influences almost everything in your life, from your DNA to the operation of your endocrine and immune systems; from your emotional well-being to the stability of your mood states and attitudes; from your relationships with others to your relationship with yourself—in short, with literally every aspect of life?I believe your beliefs can empower your life or cripple your every hope and ambition. In the chapters that follow, we will examine different beliefs and how they might influence our realities. I am a simple outcome- oriented guy and so I will attempt to keep our focus on just that—how our beliefs influence the world we live in and the people we have become.

I Believe releases March 13, 2012! Watch for Book Blitz Details to help us celebrate!

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