Reviewers, Go To WaAr

Book 1Want free books, voraciously reading friends to discuss them with and prizes? Then you may want to go to WaAr—Wanda’s amazing Amazon reviewers. WaAr is an online group that combines their love of books with motivational challenges, all while helping authors get much needed exposure. WaAr is the creation of Wanda Hartzenberg.

In 2011 she was a newbie reviewer who held a massive page giveaway for Christmas 2010 all on her own with another soon after the following April. The Christmas event she did solo with more than 100 authors contributing and over 4,000 participants.

“I was exhausted even though I did the Easter Hop with a friend the Christmas one I did on my own,” says Wanda of the experience. ” I was ready to retire from the book promoting world after the Christmas giveaway let me tell you.” A friend and avid reader, Angie Edwards, started pushing Wanda to do more. Wanda responded by opening a review page.

“It was fun but seeing how little people it reaches it kinda left me feeling disconcerted,” says Wanda. “So I started Wanda’s amazing Amazon reviewers in May 2012. I had plenty of authors but not that many readers so ALLL and EVVVERY person that came across my FB wall was harassed….”

If you are an avid reader that would enjoy free books, good friends and the chance to help your favorite authors, consider joining Wanda’s reviewer group. You can find their group on Facebook here.

“Do you read?  Want free books…?” asks Wanda. Then WaAr is waiting.

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Happy Birthday Kyra!

Kyra BirthdayShe was born on a the most beautiful of days—a maple tree lit up the windows with autumnal flame as she came into this world. One star hung low in the morning sky, reluctant to leave with the night. Her eyes caught the morning sky and captured that clear, bright blue.

That glorious morning shines out on the world everyday in her smile, lighting up everything around her. How lucky am I to have been participating witness to such joy coming into this world.

Happy birthday Kyra Starr, brilliant video editor, cover designer, my daughter & so much more. She is clever and full of wisdom and the world would be so much darker without her.

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Kate F. reviews Literary Lizard

One of my favorite young bookworms, Kate F., read and reviewed The Literary Lizard. This girl is a talented writer herself, so to have her review my work is an honor. I have heard her read her work, and I see great things ahead for her. The Literary Lizard is illustrated by Robin Wiesneth. And here is Kate F.’s review:

New Book by Local Author

By Kate French

Have you ever heard of a reptile reading? I have, with the new children’s book, Literary Lizard. Step inside the mind of a miniscule dragon with this great story by Angela Yuriko

Kate F., a talented writer herself, reviews “The Literary Lizard.”

Kate F., a talented writer herself, reviews “The Literary Lizard.”

Smith. She is having a book signing at Café Bienville, Niceville, Oct. 17, with both her and her illustrator there to sign your book in person.

Meet this tiny lizard, learning all sorts of new words, just like us. From newspaper clippings in his small cage, to open books in the large library, he is learning to read one step at a time. This cheerful lizard is eager to learn more about every word he encounters, being taught by people reading the words beneath his feet aloud. The illustrations by Robin Wiesneth really help tell the story, with vibrant colors, touches of humor, and beautiful highlighting effects.

This book can make you laugh, teach you about the magic of reading, and still tell a story. To read this book is to explore the world alongside this little lizard, and get a book of your own. Angela Yuriko Smith has written many children’s books, such as “Monsters are Everywhere”, “What did the Cat See?”, and “Don’t Worry, Star”, and you can find them at and Amazon.

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Over 5 pounds in a week!!!

After losing 5.4 pounds in one week I had to go try on some of my old clothes.

After losing 5.4 pounds in one week I had to go try on some of my old clothes.

Stellar weight loss this week! Last Friday I weighed in 159.8. This whole week I’ve been on fire, losing almost a pound a day. To quote a famous internet meme… is this real life? I weighed in this Friday at 154.4! That’s a total of 5.4 pounds in a week!

Towards the middle of the week I started worrying that I was going to overdo it and hurt myself so I’ve been keeping a close eye on how I’ve felt and staying hydrated. I haven’t been hungry or tired, so I’ve kept on it.

Looking at weight charts I estimate the ideal weight for me is 140-135. Though short at 5 feet, I have a large skeletal frame. I’m also about to turn 47. When I hit 135 pounds I’ll see how that fits me and adjust. That means I’m just 19.4 pounds off my final weight goal.

I haven’t done anything much different this week to explain the stellar weight shed. I did start taking cinnamon in capsules with my regular 310 Nutrition meal replacement shakes.

My official weigh in Oct. 2, 2015. 154.4 pounds!

My official weigh in Oct. 2, 2015. 154.4 pounds!

I still have a shake for breakfast and a shake for lunch. I snack on raw almonds and bananas through out the day, eating as much as I want of them. At dinner I eat a light meal, avoiding grains and anything too fatty.

My work outs have gotten a little more intense. I generally keep them at 30 minutes, still doing the aerobics to music in my bathroom. As the weight has peeled off I’ve felt much more energetic and bouncy, making better work outs.

I can’t really explain the big loss this week, but as long as I continue to feel healthy and energetic, I’m not complaining. I don’t expect the same results next week, but I will be trying for them still.

If I could safely keep this up, I would have a chance to reach my end weight goal by Halloween. That would be worth screaming about.

You can follow my weight loss journey…

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Gillian Joy joins with Authors Allies Literary Group


Gillian Joy and Authors Allies Literary Group and Associates are tying
the knot.


Press Release! 
  Authors Allies Literary Group and Associates is pleased to
announce that AALG and Gillian Joy will join forces on the 3rd October 2015.
  Not only will we all, AALG and Gillian Joy be signing the
contract within minutes of each other on Saturday, 3rd October 2015 but we will
also be celebrating the birthday of Gillian joy.
  So let me introduce you to the author;
  Gillian Joy is a 46 going onto 47 year old mother of two who
designs houses for a living and lives to write. She grew up in the Western
Suburbs of Sydney Australia, the eldest of five children. She had two younger
brothers and two, much younger sisters. One of her brothers died when she was
only nineteen. No Chance to say Goodbye,
release date to be announced, is his story.
  She once had a boss who remarked she had a hard life, but she
states she never actually saw it that way. “Life is what it is,” she says. She
had food, clothes, a roof over her head and a family who loved her. “What’s hard about that?”
  These days she lives on the Mornington Peninsula, south east
of Melbourne Australia where she spends as much of her limited spare time as
she can either with her nose in a book or writing on her phone or tablet.
  “I love it here, there aren’t too many places in the world
that with less than a ten minute drive you can watch the sun rise over the
water, or you can watch the sun set over the water, and there’s just something
extra special about watching the sunset over the beach, something dreamy and
romantic.” Gillian lives with her husband, two beautiful but wilful children, a few fish
and a very spoilt English Staffie named Cleo.
  Gillian Joy is a proud Australian, who loves bbq’s, thongs
(worn on the feet) and vegimite sandwiches and calls her friends,
  Keep up to date with Gillian here:
  Or follow her page here
  Follow us at
  Or here
  Guardian book one in the Guardian
series is set for pre order on November 16th, 2015.
It will be available in print during February 2016.
Book two, Forever will follow in early 2016,
And Revenge, the final book in the trilogy will follow mid-2016.

  This venture is a unique partnership of the United States,
Australia and South Africa.   


  Gillian’s books, for the most part are set in Australia,
treating her readers with a sense of the homegrown exotic unique to Australia.

Our passion is for
the story, the writing and the art. 


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Pirantulas and Panhandle Focus ready!

Let October begin! Pirantulas! is up on Amazon in Kindle and special a Story² paperback. A short film based on this story will begin production Oct. 12. I’ll be signing copies of Pirantulas! on Oct. 24 at Cafe Bienville, Niceville and on Halloween at Southern Bound Books in Biloxi, Miss.

The latest Panhandle Focus is live at There’s also The Literary Lizard, Monsters Are Everywhere, The Braid—all in paperback. I was busy in September. October is stacking up to be just as busy.

Here’s the links to what I’ve been up to last month… no wonder I’m tired!

Pirantulas! Available Now!

Available Now!

Pirantulas! on Kindle

Pirantulas! Story² paperback

The Braid Story² paperback

The Braid on Kindle

The Literary Lizard Story² paperback

The Literary Lizard full size paperback

The Literary Lizard on Kindle

Monsters Are Everywhere Story² paperback

Monsters Are Everywhere on Kindle

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As September Wanes


At Cafe Bienville, Niceville, this past Sunday.

September has been a good month, but an insane month.

I became obsessed with a personal formatting project and battled it out with Createspace for about two weeks over it. I won. I now have adorable square 6×6 books ready to be signed and I’m calling them Story² books… because they are squared ;p Yes, I worry about me too.

The Braid, The Literary Lizard, Monsters Are Everywhere and my October release Pirantulas! will all be up for sale in this special format Oct. 1 and I will be signing copies this month. They will also be available for sale at Cafe Bienville in Niceville soon, as well as other local retailers. I will keep you posted on that.

What the scale read 9/30/2015

What the scale read 9/30/2015

I have been working hard on myself and losing weight. Looks like I will have some pretty stellar numbers to report if things continue like this until my weigh in. I started this week at 159.8. This morning my unofficial weigh in was 155.4! I was so shocked, I took a photo. I thought I might be dreaming.

A bunch of activity will be forthcoming in my favorite month of the year—October! The book signing at Cafe Bienville has been moved to Oct. 24 from 1-4, and my Biloxi signing was featured in the Horror Writers Association’s October newsletter. I’m super excited to see Marilyn Manson in concert.

Finishing up the Oct. 1 issue of the Panhandle Focus and getting ready to reveal our new website… and then it’s on to Halloween festivities. I’ll have a detailed list of upcoming events for you tomorrow.

Today, I’m savoring the last vestige of September.


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Impromptu Book Signing of Lizards


Robin Wiesneth, the artist behind the adorable lizard, and me.

Robin Wiesneth and I met to sign a stack of The Literary Lizard books for each other yesterday and wound up having an impromptu book signing!

People walking by stopped to admire our stacks of books, and Robin wound up reading the story to them. They loved it and all went home with a signed book.

And speaking of books… Robin Wiesneth and I both have a limited number of copies signed by both of us, author and illustrator, for sale $9. Contact either of us for details, or watch for them to appear at local retailers. And, of course, you can always purchase them from Amazon.

We will be signing copies of The Literary Lizard as well as all our other books, Oct. 24 from 1-4 p.m. at Cafe Bienville in Niceville.

Robin tells our visitors the story of The Literary Lizard

Robin tells our visitors the story of The Literary Lizard

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Ten pounds by Halloween…

Started at 185 in May. Today I weigh 157.

Started at 185 in May. Today I weigh 157.

Posting a few days late on my weekly weight loss progress due to my five-year- anniversary and some exciting news with the Horror Writers Association. Things had slowed down over the past week and my official weigh-in on Friday was 159.8.

This week is going fabulous and things have picked up steam again. This morning I stepped on the scale to see 157.0 shining at me so I look forward to reporting good news this coming week.

The important thing is I feel fantastic—I’ve had to buy new clothes and am in a medium for the first time in my life. I feel confident and energetic. I feel like I’m excavating my younger self out from the matron I had become. Everyone should feel this good, which is why I’m posting once a week with my progress. If my fat, desk-bound self can transform, anyone can.

While the first 20 pounds slid off effortlessly, I no longer have an easy ride but it’s not impossible. I work out almost every morning for 30 minutes. My work out consists of me marching in place to Deadmau5 and Krewilla in my bathroom. Nothing special, but I do keep the arms swinging to get my heart rate up.

I attribute a major part of my success to drinking my 310 Nutrition meal replacement shakes. Giving up sugar and sweeteners has been the catalyst to all this. The 310 Shakes make it very easy for me to do that. They are delicious, easy to prepare and have no sweeteners… but still very good. I feel full and energetic on them.

I have a shake for breakfast, almonds and bananas for a snack and then another shake for lunch. They recommend two shakes a day as meal replacements, but if I haven’t had a chance to work out one day, I usually just have a third shake for dinner. It’s as simple as that.

I also have to say thank you to Kevin, my 310 Nutrition Coach/Client Service Specialist. From pretty much the beginning he has been checking up on me weekly, cheering me on and asking how I was doing. Every time I send him my results his enthusiasm keeps me going.

Here’s the results. Yesterday I was trying on things in my closet to see what fit and what needs to go and I came across my favorite shirt. Originally this was tight and form fitting on me. Now it’s baggy. My new goal has become to lose ten more pounds by Halloween.

I had bought a few dresses on sale last May at Hot Topic to wear next May at StokerCon and I realized, at this rate, they will probably be too big for my by then. Darn—I will have to go clothes shopping again.

This… is… awesome.

You can follow my weight loss journey…

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Death Visits the Twilight Zone

Death is annoyed.

Death is annoyed.

Ever wonder what happens at the Twilight Zone discussions at Cafe Bienville? Here’s some accidental footage taken from Last Sunday.

I was trying to portray Death, but the shenanigans were making it very hard to get in character. You never know what will happen in the Twilight Zone.

Today we will be discussing episode 7 of The Twilight Zone, The Lonely. We will also be discussing all sorts of other crazy stuff unrelated, but having fun.

All are welcome to join us at Cafe Bienville, 314 Bayshore Dr, Niceville, every Sunday at 2 p.m.

I will also be celebrating my 5th wedding anniversary today to Mr. Smith, who puts up with all my craziness with love and support. I couldn’t ask for a better partner than my husband.

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