Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What I'm Reading Now!

Losing My Soul by Barbara Joe Williams

When a man and a woman commit to one another in the bonds of matrimony, they agree to love until death. However, in Barbara Joe Williams’ exciting novel, Losing My Soul, the question remains: exactly whose death are we referring to?

Belinda Taylor has it all – a rich and handsome husband, lovely children, a grand home, and the material trappings of wealth. Look deeper, though, and one will see that beneath this perfect fa├žade lies an adulterous spouse whose love affairs are ruining their marriage - and Belinda has taken on the task recommended by her aunt of becoming a one-woman wrecking crew who is hell bent on destroying her husband's latest mistress Bridget Hunter!

This isn’t the first time that Belinda has dealt with her husband’s little playthings. In Barbara Joe’s previous novel, A Man of My Own, we see her fury as she handles the gold-digging Lisa LaRaye Bradford. But in Losing My Soul, Belinda moves beyond the norm and is swallowed up by a pit of despair that rocks her sense of identity and cripples her spiritual core! 
With all hope seemingly lost, Belinda begins her long journey of self-acceptance, forgiveness, and the restoration of a soul caught up in life's worldly desires! 

Barbara Joe is a master storyteller and Losing My Soul proves it, hands down! Her
 ability to incorporate uplifting themes such as faith and healing alongside the ugliness that can manifest due to hatred and materialism makes Losing My Soul a must-read! From the prologue until the final chapter, I was drawn in by the antics of a very desperate housewife - all the while being shown that although our problems seem insurmountable, God can and will restore lives!

Now I know why Barbara Joe's fans keep turning the page...and I have become one of them!


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Five Ways to Succeed as a Travel Writer

(NewsUSA) - As the media landscape keeps changing around us, travel writers are following many paths to success. Some are book authors, some write primarily for magazines and others are earning a good income by blogging or running destination websites. Tim Leffel, author of "Travel Writing 2.0" (, offers these tips on making it as a travel writer, whether in print, e-books, travel apps or the next media we haven't seen yet.

1. Get the Basics Down First. There is far too much competition in this desirable field for sub-par writers to succeed. Read books on writing well, take a course at your local community college or attend workshops that include peer and teacher reviews. At a minimum, travel writers need to master the basics of reporting and writing engaging prose before blogging or getting hired by an editor.

2. Find Your Niche. Trying to be a generalist travel writer puts you into a bloody pool with incredible competition. It is far easier to make a name for yourself becoming the expert on one region or one style of travel.

3. Be Original. Ideas are your main currency as a travel writer. The ability to find good original story ideas for any destination is often more important than what you actually put on the page.

4. Be a Professional. The main complaint of editors is that so many writers are unprofessional. They send sloppy e-mails. They miss deadlines. They make promises they can't deliver. You can rise above the pack by reading publication guidelines carefully and not wasting editors' time.

5. Travel Every Chance You Get. It's difficult to succeed as a travel writer, even a part-time one, if you are not traveling on a regular basis. It can be in your own region, but you need to go find the stories nobody else is writing and get past the routine vacations that have been reported on a thousand times already.

Learn more about travel writing in the book "Travel Writing 2.0: Earning Money From Your Travels in the New Media Landscape" or by visiting

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Summer Reading Tips From the Experts

(NewsUSA) - Summer outdoor play is central to a child's development. Many experts agree that reading, however, is just as important.

According to Richard E. Bavaria, Ph.D., senior vice president of education outreach for Sylvan Learning, summer is the perfect time for learning and discovery. "It's very important that children continue to practice their academic skills in summer as strong reading skills are incredibly important for all subjects in school. The more children read, the more they'll enjoy reading, and the better readers they're likely to become."

Here are some reading tips from the brain-trust at the National Summer Learning Association and tutoring authority, Sylvan Learning.

* Be a reading role model. By spending time reading at the beach or using the lengthy directions to put the grill together, you show your child that reading is both fun and useful.

* Set aside a consistent time each day for reading. Depending on your family's schedule, reading time might be in the morning, afternoon or before bed. Whatever time you choose, stick to it! Consistency is key to building good habits.

* Let your child make their reading choices. Let kids read whatever they want. Now is a good time to encourage reading about topics they don't study during school to explore new interests, discover new talents or delve into old hobbies.

* Get your child to savor the book she or he is reading. Don't rush through a book -- take time to enjoy it. Have your child stop and think about plot points and characters. This will develop their analytical skills.

* Set goals and reward effort. Reward reading with more reading. Download the next book in your child's favorite series on your tablet or Kindle. Let your child peruse library catalogues online for e-books.

* Read the book, then watch the movie. Few things make kids feel more "superior" than comparing and contrasting a movie to the book it's based on. "That's not the way it was in the book!" Let them explain the differences, guess why a director made those changes and then discuss which version they preferred.

* Go online for ideas. There are lots of websites for kids' book choices. Visit for reading tips, book suggestions and educational games.

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

3 Ways to Encourage Your Child to Read

(NewsUSA) - The number of children who read digitally is on the rise, according to a report called "The Children's Digital Book Market: The future looks bright." In both the U.S. and Canada, e-book sales for children have increased substantially for some companies. No matter how you may feel about digital books, this is great news.

More kids reading is always good news -- especially when reading achievement levels are so abysmal. Data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress says that only one-third of all students entering high school are proficient in reading.

It's no secret that children who read tend to be more successful in school. Reading helps instill an interest in learning, exercises the brain and improves concentration, critical thinking and vocabulary.

"As a parent of three, I'm constantly looking for new ways to encourage the love of reading in my kids. At the same time, I am also trying to manage the amount of time that they spend on electronics and in front of screens," said Michael Tamblyn, Chief Content Officer of Kobo Inc., an e-reading service. "Even with a range of ages, they have all found books they like, so the e-readers in our house are now filled with Percy Jackson, Emily Windsnap and Geronimo Stilton."

Use the following tips to encourage youngsters to read more and enjoy it.

1. Read to children as much as possible. This may seem obvious, but reading to your kids helps them develop their own interest in books. Read to them at all ages, as babies, toddlers, young kids and pre-teens. Discover what types of books they prefer, carve out reading time and then teach them to make time for it, too.

2. Consider using an e-reader. These days, kids tend to be more technologically advanced than their parents. Use that to your advantage, and give your child an e-reader with a digital library.

For instance, the Kobo Mini eReader is lightweight, portable and perfect for first-time readers -- The Huffington Post says it's lighter than this week's issue of The New Yorker. The Kobo Mini ( also has a touch-screen and Wi-Fi, so young readers can look up unfamiliar words, make notes on the page and access free books.

"E-readers, like Mini, let them have instant access to their favorite stories without the distractions that other devices provide," says Tamblyn.

3. Read all kinds of materials. Books aren't the only way to encourage reading. Depending on your child's interests, find related comic books, graphic novels, magazines, poetry, recipes, board games with reading cards and movies with subtitles. Get creative!

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bright Horizons for Readers With Visual or Physical Disabilities

(NewsUSA) - The joys of reading -- from relaxation and entertainment to the ability to learn new things and connect with the world -- are not out of reach for people with impaired vision or a physical disability.

Bright Horizons for Readers With Visual or Physical DisabilitiesThe National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), part of the Library of Congress, is dedicated to enriching the lives of its patrons by offering them books, magazines, music scores and other materials in audio and braille at no charge.

NLS provides service to any U.S. resident or U.S. citizen living abroad who is blind, has low vision or has a physical disability that makes it difficult to hold a book or read regular print. Thousands of bestsellers, classics, biographies and more may be downloaded from the Internet or ordered for home delivery through a nationwide network of cooperating libraries.

NLS, established in 1931, expanded its service to include physically disabled readers in 1966. People with cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, or other conditions that result in paralysis, loss of the use of arms or hands, lack of muscle coordination, prolonged weakness or visual impairment may access the NLS collection. So can people with temporary limitations resulting from strokes, accidents or other occurrences.

San Francisco resident Ivana Kirola, 38, has cerebral palsy and doesn't have the strength to hold a book. Audiobooks from NLS allow her to indulge her myriad interests in politics, travel, health, music and more. Kirola enjoys a variety of titles, from historical nonfiction and real-life adventures to books about the inner workings of Congress and the life of Jimi Hendrix. A recent favorite is Jennifer Woodlief's account of a deadly Lake Tahoe avalanche, "A Wall of White."

"I really appreciate the services from NLS," Kirola says. "They help me in my daily life, in understanding people and keeping up to date with the news. My favorite part of NLS is the widened horizons that reading audiobooks gives to me."

Kirola also attends a yoga class at the San Francisco Library -- one of NLS's regional partners -- to help maintain flexibility. "The thing that has helped me is to remain persistent in what I would like to experience," Kirola says. "Sometimes what you need is elusive, but it's important not to give up. There are solutions for everything but sometimes it takes persistence to find out what they are."

If you or a loved one is blind, has low vision or has a physical disability, learn more about the free reading program by calling 1-888-NLS-READ or visiting

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