Tag Archives: non-fiction

Book Tours: Promo Post for When All Balls Drop


Book Excerpt

Release Me, Now Take Me Back

The studio apartment lacked the every-four-hour interruptions of the hospital, which was good. I needed to be more independent—or as independently dependent as someone could be in my situation. I ate very little, slept little, and was in a lot of pain.

Strangely enough, it was when I left the hospital that the sleepless nights began. Oh how I needed the sleep to heal! However, because of my brace, I couldn’t toss and turn, just quietly count sheep. I also couldn’t use my go-to method of counting the holes in the ceiling tiles because my new ceiling was cheaply painted white without even the oh-so-common popcorn for texture.

Around this time, I began to experience shooting pains in my legs. Despite walking daily to keep the blood flowing, every time I got up out of the car, a chair, or my bed, a sharp pain shot up my legs to my lower back. When I was still, the pain radiated from my toes through my legs up to my lumbar area.

During these shooting spells, I’d flash back to the agony of running the 2004 Boston Marathon. I had completed that grand physical feat but just barely. After mile twenty-three—after Heartbreak Hill and approaching Brookline with Boston’s Back Bay ahead—I felt like I was running on stumps. Each step traveled up through my body, bone by aching bone. But even that excruciating pain paled in comparison to what I was experiencing now. The stifling and severe agony in my legs from running the marathon lasted less than a week, but it had been more than two weeks since my surgery. And did my legs hurt!

How I suffered those first six days out of the hospital and in the studio. All I’d wanted was to get out of the hospital, but as soon as I did, I wanted to go back. The grass is always greener, right?

About The Book

whenallballsdropcoverTitle: When All Balls Drop: The Upside of Losing Everything

Author: Heidi Siefkas

Genre: Non-Fiction, Inspirational, Memoir

The true story of a survivor
who through losing everything,
redefined having it all

Heidi Siefkas was a happily married, globetrotting professional who seemingly “had it all”—until a tree limb in New York’s Hudson River Valley struck her down, breaking her neck and leaving her unconscious. Suddenly, life as she knew it stopped. She lost her independence. She lost her career. She watched her marriage disintegrate as she confronted a trail of devastating lies about her husband’s double life.

She had lost all that mattered, but she was a survivor. She fought to restore her health, repair her broken heart, and rebuild herself. Along the way, she gained clarity about her core values, ultimately coming to a deeper understanding of what it means to have it all.

Through down-to-earth, short vignettes, When All Balls Drop shows us how it’s possible to “look up” in spite of pain, deceit, and loss. Heidi’s memoir–rich with hope and humor, inspires anyone who’s had to confront tragedy and reassess their life in the wake of life-altering events.

Author Bio

Heidi Siefkas is an author and adventurer. Originally from small-town Wisconsin, she lives in Kauai and also calls the Midwest and South Florida home. Heidi is currently crafting a sequel to this memoir, embracing both her wanderlust and love of writing by documenting her many travels. You can connect with Heidi at www.heidisiefkas.com, Facebook, and Twitter.


Website: http://www.heidisiefkas.com

Twitter: @HeidiSiefkas

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeidiNSiefkas?ref=hl


There is a tour-wide giveaway for 5 paperback copies (US only). Contest will end on September 26, and winners will be announced on September 27. Additionally readers who sign up via the author’s mailing list, will get a free excerpt of the book.

Go here to participate in the giveaway.


Book Excerpt You Can Love Writing


coverTitle: You Can Love Writing: A Guide to get through your College Papers and Like it

Author: Connie B. Dowell

Genre: Non-Fiction, Educational

How would you like to

  • perform with the passion of an Oscar winning actor,
  • compete with the drive and fervor of an Olympic athlete, or
  • teach like you’ve got a Nobel Prize slung around your neck

all while doing your homework?

Believe it or not, you can do all of this and much more in the course of writing your college papers. This book takes you through the overlapping stages of the writing process, using game mechanics, cooperation, and learning styles to help you have as much fun as possible and take charge of your own education. With exercises and activities for groups and individuals, this text focuses on the meat of writing, the big picture elements that matter most in both college papers and real world writing situations, all with an eye toward enjoyment.

Sit down, crack open this guide, and give your favorite notebook a big hug. You may not have a choice about writing your papers, but who says you can’t love them?

Author Bio

Author Photo  C DowellConnie B. Dowell is a writing center coordinator and freelance editor. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Georgia and a Masters of Library and Information Science from Valdosta State University. She lives in Virginia with her husband, where they both consume far more coffee than is probably wise



Websites: conniebdowell.com, bookechoes.com, and youcanlovewriting.com

Twitter at @ConnieBDowell

Facebook at facebook.com/editorcbdowell

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KC87A3U



There’s a tour-wide giveaway for “Break Your Block” Cards.

Break Your Block Cards

Go here to participate in the giveaway.

Book Excerpt

Excerpt: Avoiding Accidental Plagiarism

Now, I’m sure don’t need to tell you that you shouldn’t present other people’s writing or ideas as your own. That’s like stealing multiplied by cheating, and your grandma would be disappointed in you. But plagiarism can be more subtle and even accidental. One of the most common ways people accidentally plagiarize is to forget to cite their sources, so being meticulous about crediting as you go is vital, but people also accidentally plagiarize by paraphrasing incorrectly. It’s not enough to change two or three words in a sentence; you have to really and truly restate something in your own words. Sometimes this can be challenging, especially when using certain words and phrases that are have specific meanings and can’t be changed. Here are examples of good and bad paraphrasing from our penguin story above.


I saw a penguin once. It was gosh darn adorable. Penguins rock my socks. I guess I must have been near a zoo and the penguin escaped. I don’t think penguins live in Virginia, but there it was, in the middle of the road, waddling along. I forgot all about what I was doing and stared at it. It waddled up to a car. Then, it pulled wire clothes hanger out of its little backpack and picked the lock. It drove away. The penguin stole my car. But it was so cute. Have you seen their little faces? How could I be mad?

Good Paraphrasing:

Dowell (2014) explains how she was so mesmerized by a penguin’s unexpected appearance and cute nature, she didn’t notice the penguin was stealing her car. Despite the incident, she remains positive in her attitude toward penguins.

Bad Paraphrasing:

Dowell (2014) discusses seeing a penguin in Virginia. She supposes she must have been near a zoo and the penguin escaped. The penguin was in the middle of the road. Dowell simply stared at it until it waddled up to a car and picked the lock with a wire clothes hanger. It was Dowell’s car. She couldn’t be angry, however, because of the cuteness of the penguin’s little face.

In the bad example, this person has changed quite a few words, but really the structure is exactly the same and there are still a lot of the original phrases. In the good example, this person has completely restated in a different structure and different words. The writer has some exact terms that can’t change (one can’t get away from saying penguin or car, for example), but it’s still a different writing of the same idea. Also notice that the good paraphrased example is considerably shorter than either the original sentences or the poorly paraphrased example. It hits relevant points, but doesn’t include all the details (like the clothes hanger). Summarizing often means creating a different structure as well.

Book Excerpt from Triumph! A Battle Plan for Joy


We’re hosting a snippet from inspirational memoir “Triumph! A Battle Plan for Joy”. We hope you enjoy the snippet!

Read an excerpt

In the hostility of segregated existence, African American parents protected their children from much of racism’s viciousness. They forewent their own comfort, and yes, their pride, to spare the children. They suffered indignities, withstood inhumanities, suppressed anger, masked resentment, and silently bore the pains of belittlement. Yet they held their heads high, and defeated the shame, finding solace in their hope for future generations.

As dictated by Jim Crow, we lived in our own communities, attended our own churches and schools, and enjoyed our own concerts and dances. On Saturdays, we went to see our own movies at the Harlem Theater. A few times we climbed some outside stairs to sit in the balcony at the Majestic Theater, precluding any contact with White moviegoers. They showed better films there. But the awkwardness of the experience underscored our relegation to second-class citizenship. So we preferred substandard movies at the Harlem Theater over substandard treatment at the Majestic.

While still a teenager, ambition enticed me to venture beyond the bounds of community to explore summer job opportunities beyond the invisible walls. I surrendered to the enticement. Equipped with the best preparation available, I stepped from behind my family’s protective shield, out of the village, and into the White man’s world.

I entered that world confident I had everything I needed to succeed: the forewarnings of family and friends, above-average intelligence, deep-rooted motivation, theoretical awareness of real-world inequities, and a philosophy for coping with face-to-face racism. Yet, despite my strong will and careful preparation, I still lacked the wherewithal to circumvent a simple reality—the incompatibility of hard-core bigotry and my genetic makeup.

I did not know to pretend ignorance and hold my head down in a posture of insecurity. Therefore, my uppity insolence offended the White interviewers. That quickly took me out of the running for the summer “Colored” jobs advertised in the Dallas Times Herald. So I returned to the village empty-handed.

About the Book

BookCover-TriumphABattlePlanforJoy-JPGTitle: Triumph! A Battle Plan for Joy

Author: Gladys Simmons Carson

Genre: Inspirational Memoir

When medical malpractice takes the life of her mother and the offense is dismissed as an unfortunate mistake, it rips a hole in seven-year-old Gladys’ heart and ignites fire in her anger. This act of gross negligence strips her of the joyful delight that has characterized her existence. Before she can grasp the full meaning of her loss, fate takes her on a journey through a series of harsh realities, including devastating child abuse, demeaning segregation and destructive thinking. These unsavory enemies assault her on all fronts, physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. But the child warrior uses youthful wisdom to triumph over the effects of them all. Her prize is a resurgence of bountiful joy. You may laugh or cry, but you will definitely cheer for the child warrior in TRIUMPH! A BATTLE PLAN FOR JOY.

Author Bio

GladysCarsonPhoto-JPGGladys Simmons Carson is an inspirational speaker and author of the much-talked-about memoir, “Triumph! A Battle Plan for Joy. For more than 45 years she has challenged and encouraged audiences with her message of assurance. Now in her debut book she gives insight into how we too can choose joy despite our circumstances.

Her passion for writing stems from an early introduction to the written word. By age three she was reading her older siblings’ school books. By age four she was introduced to her first novel, Betty Smith’s “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.” This early exposure gave birth to a love affair with books and a fascination for writing. By the time she reached adult status, she had evolved into a natural encourager with a wealth of information to share, and a zeal for sharing.


Amazon: www.Amazon.com/author/gladyscarson
Online Press Kit: www.gladyscarson.com/press
Website: www.gladyscarson.com
Book Trailer: www.gladyscarson.tv
Twitter: www.twitter.com/gladys_carson
Facebook: www.facebook.com/gladyssimmonscarson


Win a $50 amazon gift card during the tour. Follow the link below to participate.

Go here for the giveaway.