Friday, March 18, 2016

I need a Pedicure and You need this Book!

Recently I flashed my toes in public and it wasn't pretty. You see, I decided last minute to attend a two hour Zumba class in the name of charity. When my friend asked me on a Friday whether I wanted to wake up early the next morning, as in Saturday morning, as in be there at 8am, as in get out of bed for a workout class, I told her absolutely no freaking way. Then Saturday morning rolled around and I was wide awake at six in the morning - which never, ever happens. I cursed my friend for her guilt trip, got into my too snug workout gear and went to the class. As it turned out, it wasn't just Zumba. It was also this hellish thing called High Intensity Kill-Me-Now which was followed by a lethargic Yoga Session.

Here's where my toes made an unplanned public appearance - the yoga session. Not only were my feet in full on nobody's going to see them winter-mode, but they beared remnants of the fuzzy socks I slept in the night before. Don't even try to imagine it. It wasn't my finest moment.

So where's all this heading? Well, like I said, I need a pedicure and you, my friend, need this book. What book? Oh, only the much anticipated, eagerly awaited re-release of the professionally edited, now available in more places than I knew existed ...

Why should you get Barefoot?

Because it feels great to be barefoot! I'll tell you, fuzzy, unpainted toes or not, I was darn glad to air out my tootsies at the end of my charitable workout. Here's a weird segway, but go with me. Sometimes it's just as oddly freeing and satisfying to sit back and escape into an entertaining read! GOING BAREFOOT IN GREENER GRASS is perfect for when you're in the mood for a pair of jealous friends and crazy, funny scenes. Ah! Now that's better!

So, what's it about?

For best friends, Olivia and Bethany, life looks a whole lot better on the other side of the picket fence. Olivia has the home, a husband and three lovely children. Bethany leads an exciting life of adventure as a travel writer. Each woman wants what the other one has and takes for granted. On a girls’ get-away to the Jersey Shore, tensions reach their breaking point (in the most hilarious manner). Kick off your shoes for a fun ride with relatable characters that'll make you say, "I know how that feels", humor filled scenes and unexpected plot twists!

How about a free first chapter?

Go to and sign up for my occassional, happy newsletter. Act fast! The next newsletter is March 21st (also, the first day of Spring) and will include a free download of the first chapter!

Wondering if other people read it and liked it?

They did! Here's what people are saying about Going Barefoot in Greener Grass (and these reviews are when the novel wasn't yet professionally edited):

"I found that it flowed very nicely and kept my interest (so much so that I felt like an addict and could hardly wait to get back to it); even while two kids were running around screaming, my husband watching TV and my dog barking - - I still wanted more! After reading it my immediate thought was that it reminded me of a mix between My Big Fat Greek Wedding & Moonstruck."

"I couldn't put it down once I started reading and then was sad it was over."

"It was well written and so easy to relate to the wonderful characters as they experienced the ups and downs of everyday life. Each time I read of their joys and struggles I thought "I know how that feels". I don't think that there's anyone who hasn't thought that "the grass might be greener"!"

*Click the tab above this post entitled "More about Going Barefoot in Greener Grass" for more reviews!

Let's Get Barefoot!

Thanks to Draft2Digital, Going Barefoot in Greener Grass is available on Kindle, at Barnes&Noble, and through Scribd., Apple iTunes, Inktera and Kobo. 

Ok, Friends, I'm off to schedule that pedicure! Happy reading!

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Light Side: Adding Humor to a Dark Story, Guest Post by Pamela Jane

Humor is a good friend of mine. It's definitely helped during life's more difficult times and often pops up in nearly everything I write. Today's guest author, Pamela Jane, provides three insightful tips for adding humor to your writing (not matter how dark the story is) and how to cultivate a sense of humor in life. Following her guest post, be sure to check out Pamela Jane's recent memoir, AN INCREDIBLE TALENT FOR EXISTING: A WRITER’S STORY.

The Light Side:  Adding Humor to a Dark Story
Tips from Three Famous Writers
by Pamela Jane

A relentlessly dark story, especially a memoir, can be difficult to read.  But what if your memoir is genuinely dark?  Some things just aren’t funny (although comics, a notoriously angry bunch, might disagree).  But even if you don’t add hilarity, you can “fluff up” your narrative by adding color, contrast, or contradictions.
Following are three are three tips to lighten a dark story:
1.  Jane Austen: Show Contrast
“…the work is rather too light, and bright, and sparkling; it wants shade; it wants to be stretched out here and there with a long chapter of sense, if it could be had; if not, of solemn specious nonsense . . .” – Jane Austen on Pride and Prejudice
Whether adding shade or sunlight to your narrative, the point is to show contrast. (Although Pride and Prejudice is dazzling in its brilliance, it is not all bright.  There are moments of sober reflection, regret, and disappointment.)
One way to add contrast is to try telling your story informally to different people.  Relating the story verbally to an receptive listener is relaxing, and you might find yourself making a joke or a wry comment that allows you to glimpse a new dimension to your work.
Poet and novelist Andrei Codrescu wrote, “I think you can teach people how to relax. I don’t think you can teach them how to be really funny, but if you teach them how to take it easy and see that something that really entertains them is in fact quite hilarious, then you’re half there.”
2  Giacomo Casanova: Laugh at yourself
“I am writing My Life to laugh at myself, and I am succeeding,” – Giacomo Casanova.
Making fun of your own foibles is probably good for your health as well as your writing, and shows good literary sportsmanship.   Are you ever inconsistent or contradictory?   Does life ever backfire or behave in a way that is darkly funny, or that makes you mad?  Renown screenwriting teacher, Bob McKee, notes that comedy is fueled by anger.
3.  Woody Allen: Develop a Comic Perspective
“I think if you have a comic perspective, almost anything that happens you tend to put through a comic filter. It’s a way of coping in the short term, but has no long term effect and requires constant, endless renewal. Hence people talk of comics who are “always on.” It’s like constantly drugging your sensibility so you can get by with less pain.”
I like to amuse myself by making up funny stories about things that were distinctly unfunny when they happened.  One way to do this is to step out of the scene for a moment.  Have you ever noticed a weird, unrelated aspect to whatever is unfolding?  For example, your cat licking herself while you’re waiting for the results of a scary medical test (so uncaring and narcissistic of her!)
Pay attention to something out of the scene that contrasts or contradicts it; by being objective or merely observant, you can begin to develop a comedic perspective that contrasts with your somber tale and keeps readers turning the pages.

Thank you Pamela Jane for these wonderful tips on using humor. Also, thank you to Crystal Otto at WOW - Women On Writing for providing this stop on Pamela Jane's Blog Tour. For more info and future tour stops, please click here.

About the Author:  

Pamela Jane has published over twenty-five children’s books with Houghton Mifflin, Atheneum, Simon & Schuster, Penguin-Putnam, and Harper.  Her books include Noelle of the Nutcracker illustrated by Jan Brett, Little Goblins Ten illustrated by NY Times best-selling illustrator, Jane Manning, and Little Elfie One (Harper 2015). Pride and Prejudice and Kitties: A Cat-Lover’s Romp Through Jane Austen’s Classic (Skyhorse) was featured in The Wall Street Journal, BBC America, The Huffington Post, The New York Times Sunday Book Review and The Daily Dot, and has just come out in paper. Pamela Jane has published short stories and essays with The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Antigonish Review, Literary Mama. Pamela Jane is a writer and editor for

Below are three clips of her work:

Literary Mama:


Find Pamela Jane Online: (children’s books)

Twitter:  @memoircoaching, @austencats

See below or click on the link for the Book Trailer for “An Incredible Talent for Existing”:

Book Summary:

“An Incredible Talent For Existing: A Writer’s Story” summary: It is 1965, the era of love, light and revolution. While the romantic narrator imagines a bucolic future in an old country house with children running through the dappled sunlight, her husband plots to organize a revolution and fight a guerrilla war in the Catskills.
Their fantasies are on a collision course.
The clash of visions turns into an inner war of identities when the author embraces radical feminism; she and her husband are comrades in revolution but combatants in marriage; she is a woman warrior who spends her days sewing long silk dresses reminiscent of a Henry James novel. One half of her isn't speaking to the other half.
And then, just when it seems that things cannot possibly get more explosive, her wilderness cabin burns down and Pamela finds herself left with only the clothes on her back.
From her vividly evoked existential childhood ("the only way I would know for sure that I existed was if others lots of others acknowledged it") to writing her first children's book on a sugar high during a glucose tolerance test, Pamela Jane takes the reader along on a highly entertaining personal, political, and psychological adventure.

Check out the book trailer:


For more information about Blog Hostess, 
Audry Fryer, please visit:

Friday, March 4, 2016

Find Your Hidden Talents 'Cause They Rock! Guest Post by B. Lynn Goodwin

Ever have a moment when you discover you have some unknown talent you never realized you had? Today's guest author B. Lynn Goodwin knows that feeling well. In today's guest post she'll discuss her coming of age novel, Talent, and give fascinating tips on how to discover your own hidden talents. Why? Well, 'cause they rock!

Find Your Hidden Talents ’Cause They Rock
by B. Lynn Goodwin

In my coming of age novel, TALENT, Sandee Mason tries out for her high school’s musical. She's been living in the shadow of her successful older brother, and she believes it’s time to find her talent, show it off, and maybe even earn applause. Instead of getting a role, though, she is assigned the task of assistant stage manager.

She’s already showing a talent for organization and trouble-shooting when her family gets some terrible news. When the principal asks her to speak at a school assembly, her talents for public speaking, for creating a meaningful power point, for staying composed in a crisis, and for reaching out to others are all in play. As it turns out, she has more talents than she ever imagined, including one that puts her on stage. She simply needed to see herself in a whole new way.

You might be as puzzled about your talents as Sandee. Life has a way of keeping us from seeing ourselves clearly, so here are a few steps to find talents you may not recognize…yet.

1. Make a list of your known talents. It’s always most comfortable to start in a familiar place. Maybe your known talents will help you discover your hidden ones.

2. Imagine you are your best friend. Step into that person’s head and describe yourself. Take 10 minutes and do it now. Try to sound like your best friend. Don’t have a best friend? Use a neighbor, a peer, a co-worker, your spouse or your pet instead. What? Your pet can’t talk? I grant him a special dispensation. Seriously, just go for it. Let your friend say what you can’t or won’t.

3. Read your list from #1 and your friend’s description from #2. Underline every potential hidden talent. Smart, hard working, enterprising, compassionate, good listener, good organizer, fun loving, great date, excellent lover, wonderful mom, and patient dad, are all talents. Remember, a talent is any natural aptitude of skill. Finding your talents is sometimes a matter of reframing your self-image.

4. What are your real passions (as opposed to your “should” activities)? If you love an activity, you practice it until you do it well. When your skills develop, your talent becomes obvious. Sandee takes pictures. She’d realize it is a talent if she weren’t hung up on hearing applause. Her friend Diego plays the drums, whether he has drums in front of him, or a kitchen table, or his lap. His hands won’t stop. He loves the rhythms. He cannot leave it alone. His passion became his talent.

5. Why do your friends like and respect about you? What about your kids? Make one list for friends, and another for your kids. Is anything in both lists? What traits, abilities, or skills do you see? How many of them do you recognize as talents?

I’d love to hear your answers, if you want to share. Contact me through my blog,

TALENT is available on Amazon at

Thank you Jodi Webb with WOW - Women on Writing for providing this stop on B. Lynn Goodwin's blog tour. For more dates and extra info, click here!

About the Author:
B. Lynn Goodwin is the owner of Writer Advice,, and the author of both You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers (Tate Publishing), and TALENT (Eternal Press).  Her blog is at Goodwin’s stories and articles have been published in Voices of Caregivers; Hip Mama; Small Press Review; Dramatics Magazine; The Sun; Good and many other venues. A former drama and English teacher, she now conducts writing workshops, writes book reviews, edits, coaches writers, and is currently working on a second book about Sandee Mason’s adventures and a memoir about getting married for the first time at age 62 to a two-time widower who she met on…gulp…Craigslist. She lives with her husband, Richard, and her dog, Eddie McPuppers, in Northern California.

B. Lynn Goodwin’s website:  &

About the book: TALENT by B. Lynn Goodwin

Fifteen-and-half-year-old Sandee Mason wants to find her talent, get her driver's license, and stop living in the shadow of her big brother, Bri, who disappeared while serving in Afghanistan.
She discovers that real life doesn’t have a script as she deals with loss, the manipulation of Bri’s best friend, her burning ambition to find her talent and figure out what happened to Bri, and unexpected bits of joy that pop up when she least expects them.

TALENT is available on Amazon at

Author: B. Lynn Goodwin
Genre: young adult
Publisher: Eternal Press
Publication Date: November 1 2015
Paperback:  284 pages (also available in ebook format)