NancyFamolari’s Weblog

Michael Franzese tells it like it is. He knows what he’s talking about and is able to use stories from his mob experiences to illustrate his lessons.

Most of the discussions are standard business lessons. This doesn’t mean that people follow the advice, but it is generally available. However, for me, putting it in terms of another large “business” organization provided a slant that made the advice stick in my mind. A good example is: Cook the pasta, not the books. We all know this, but the stories made me think about it in a fresh way.

My favorite lesson, and one that I hadn’t thought about, was: Keep your eyes on the bookies. Before reading that chapter, I hadn’t realized how great the temptation is for an employee with a gambling problem to take advantage of his or her proximity to cash to begin pilfering. Now I understand the problem better. Thanks, Michael.

The other lesson I particularly appreciated was: Learn from your failures. Failure is discouraging and some people never come back from a serious set-back. It’s more productive to think of failure as lesson time. You got there for some reason. How can you do better next time?

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable and educational read.

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face-of-betrayalThree women are the faces of law enforcement. A young girl goes missing. Allison, the prosecutor faces the legal problems of getting an indictment for the supposed killer. Nicole, the FBI agent, must deal with the family and all the aspects of a federal investigation. Cassidy, the newswoman, follows the story hoping it will be her big break. The backgrounds of all three women are skilfully woven together to give a detailed picture of the problems involved when a child goes missing.

The novel pulls you along. The short chapters and fast action make it hard to put down. However, I did have two problems with the book. Because the author is knowledgeable her writing often sounds more like non-fiction than fiction. The second problem is that while the female characters are believable, the male characters are like cardboard cutouts thrown up for effect. However, the book is entertaining reading for a raining afternoon.

Available from Thomas Nelson:

ISBN: 1595547053
ISBN-13: 9781595547057
Format: Jacketed Hardcover
Trim Size: 6.40 x 9.20 x 1.50
Style#: 9781595547057
Page Count: 320

A disciplinary transfer moves FBI agent Raleigh Harmon from Richmond to Seattle. She’s the new kid on the block and experiences all the hazing her male co-workers can dish out. Her crazy mother and not too stable aunt provide a counter point to the harsh world of violent crime. Throw in Claire the Clairvoyant and you have a cast of characters that add a necessary a light element to an otherwise dark story.

In spite of her low status in the Violent Crimes Section, Raleigh solves a complicated kidnapping case that puts her own life in danger. She’s a tough, likable heroine who keeps up with the male agents and manages to go one step beyond.

One of the bonuses of this book is the insight into the difficult life of Felicia, an FBI informer. Responding to her plight brings Raleigh out of her shell and makes her realize that it’s not enough to catch criminals, you also need to show compassion for the victims.

Giorello’s prose is like poetry. Her descriptions of the mountainous terrain of Washington State are unforgeable. I could see the places she describes. It made me want to go hiking. The taut suspense, likable characters, and gorgeous scenery make this a novel to curl up with on a rainy day.

Scott Hamilton gives great advice for living whether you’re a figure skater, an athlete of any kind, or just a person trying to have a happy life. I loved hearing his tales about figure skating. I knew nothing about it before reading this book and found the descriptions on the par with reading a good novel.

Scott’s eight principles for a happy life resonated with me. I particularly liked the discussion of how much work and practice it takes to maintain happiness. We are all blessed whether we realize it or not. The trick is finding the things that make you happy and concentrating on them. It’s true, even proved by research, that happy people draw others to them. They raise the happiness quotient of everyone around them.

I particularly loved the chapter “Think Positive, Laugh, and Smile like Kristi Yamaguchi.” When you go down hard on the ice, or take any kind of fall physical or mental, it’s great advice to get up smiling. Just the fact of forcing your face into a smile takes some of the pain away. (I’ve fallen off horses, so I know from experience.)

All in all “The Great Eight” is a terrific read. I literally couldn’t put it down.

For more information go to:  http://www.thomasnelson.com/consumer/product_detail.asp?sku=0785228942

The authors, one a wealthy art dealer, the other a homeless black man were unlikely to become friends. A remarkable woman, Debbie, the art dealer’s wife, brought them together. This is the story of how these men overcame their prejudice, let down their guard and became friends for life. The truly remarkable part of the story is that whether they knew it or not they would need to sustain each through the tragedy of Debbie’s tragic bout with colon cancer.

This true story is filled with revelations about the reality of slavery in the South today. How can people be free when they are economically and educationally disadvantaged. Too often when we look at homeless people, we see the addiction, and the dirt, but we fail to see the person underneath. We turn our eyes away believing these people are less than human. The story of how Ron, the wealthy art dealer, came to love and depend on Denver, the black homeless man, is a true miracle. It’s a reminder that we never know what in our lives will turn out to sustain us in our darkest moments. This book should be read by everyone, believer and non-believers alike to remind us of our humanity.

I’m being visited today by Rose Marie Wolf. I asked her to answer some questions for us about her writing. You can find out more about her at:

Email—rosemariewolf@gmail.com

Webpage—www.rosemariewolf.com

Blog—rosemariewolf.blogspot.com

  1. What genre/s do you write in: I write paranormal romance/fantasy fiction. I do hope one day to expand my horizons and write in other genres eventually.

  2. Who is your current publisher. If you have more than one, let us know, but attach the publisher to the book. I have been published with Samhain Publishing, but my latest release, Dark Moon Magick, is with Red Rose Publishing. I have an upcoming release, Changed, that is also due out with Red Rose Publishing, sometime this year.

  3. Tell us a little bit about your background and how you became an author. I grew up in rural Kentucky, in a small town. Reading was my life. When I was in the second grade, I decided I was going to be a writer. Nothing could stop me then. I wrote little short stories and my own “book”, bound in construction paper, but it wasn’t until I was in my early twenties that I decided I wanted to get serious and get published. I took one of my short stories, fleshed it out and created my first paranormal book, which spawned a series…and the rest is history.

  4. Tell us about your current book. How you got the idea. Who is your favorite character? If it’s a series book, tell us a little about the series. Dark Moon Magick is the fourth and last book of my Moon Series. It is the conclusion of Jason and Rose’s story, which began years ago in Sweet Moon Dreams. The series follows the werewolf lovers as they are being hunted by a ruthless man and his hunters. As the story progresses, the characters learn that this man is not who he seems and his true intentions are more devious than they could ever imagine. In this final book, Jason and Rose fear their relationship is irreparable. While Jason is miles away, struggling to find the truth behind his new and growing psychic powers, his mate Rose is alone and very pregnant, fearing her life is in danger when sudden “accidents” threaten her and her unborn child. Of all the characters in the series, I would have to saw that Jason is my favorite character. He grows the most over the course of the books and he was fun to write.

  5. What is a typical writing day like for you? Approximately how many words do you try to write in a day? What is your workspace like? Lately, I don’t write every day. I have been under a tremendous amount of stress lately, and I think part is due to the fact I try to do too much every day. So, I’m cutting back on the writing and letting my muse hit me whenever she feels like it. Right now, I write probably 500 words a day. Sometimes it’s less, sometimes it’s more. Right now, my work space is very crowded, as I am in the middle of some renovations and major cleaning of my house. It’ll get cleared up, I’m sure, but for now, I have books, notebooks, papers and all sorts of things piled around me.

  6. What do you enjoy most about writing? I enjoy creating characters and worlds, and watching them come to life. I enjoy that people like these worlds. It’s a little like playing God. You have total control!

  7. How do you advertise your books? Blog? Website? Magazine advertisement? What works best for you? I do a lot of online advertising. I have website, a blog. I post on other blogs. Network on places like Facebook and Myspace. Whenever possible, I try for newspaper ads and things of that nature. The online stuff works pretty good. Also, word of mouth is wonderful.

  8. What are you working on right now? Tell us a little about the plot setting and characters. How did you get the idea? Right now I am working on a series involving both werewolves and vampires. I got the idea from two characters I introduce in Dark Moon Magick. I felt they deserve their own book series. Right now, the plot is still in development, but it’s about a vampire who realizes he is bound somehow to a werewolf, and this complicates matters with his aristocratic family. Not to mention, a death plot hangs around them. I think it’ll be promising, once I piece it all together.

  9. What is the best tip you can give someone who wants to be an author? The best advice I can give is to never give up and write from the heart. No matter now many rejections you receive, try not to get discourage. Perseverance is important.

  10. Do you have an agent? Do you think a successful writer needs an agent? No, I do not have an agent. I think having an agent is helpful, but is not always necessary. I am beginning to wish I had one, however, to deal with all the technical stuff and let me only worry about writing. That would be nice. <!– @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } –>

  11. What do you think about the current state of the industry? What about ebooks? Do you read them? Do you think they will eventually replace print books? I don’t think e-books will replace print, but they are growing in popularity. Yes, I read e-books when I can. I’ve even ordered an Amazon Kindle to try out the handheld experience. But, I will admit, there is just something about hold the paperback or hardback in your hands. It makes it more real that way. And as far as the industry and this economy goes, people are always going to read.

  12. Besides yourself, do you have a favorite author? Favorite book? I have many favorite authors, too many to name…but my favorite book of all time is Gone with the Wind. I have read that book about a dozen times. I love it.

dmmsmall1

Dark Moon Magick


Mainstream Romance: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal – Shifter
ISBN: 978-1-60435-158-3
Cover Artist: Brenda Porter
Editor: Melissa Glisan
Word Count: 108,140
Release Date: October 23, 2008

Blurb:  Werewolf Rose Barnett has a serious problem: She’s pregnant and unsure who the father of her child is. To make matters worse, her husband, Jason, is gone, unknowing that she is even carrying a child and a new werewolf arrival to the PRDI brings a wave of unexplained “accidents”, that threaten her and her unborn child…

As Rose’s pack bands together to uncover the truth behind the accidents and keep her safe, Jason works ceaselessly to find out the truth behind his growing psychic abilities. When an unexpected psychic call for help leads him to a research facility, Jason meets a strange woman who may be the key to discovering his true self. But before he can return home with his findings, he must stop a new threat before it is too late for them all.

Warning this title includes graphic language, violence and some sexual situations.

Excerpt:

Rose stared at first Glen, then Davis, then back again disbelievingly. “Wait a minute — you don’t want me to go out because of something that could happen? I’m tired of being stuck here. I need to get out.” She turned to Cheyenne. “You’ve got the list of what we need? Let’s go.”

Cheyenne’s eyebrows shot up in surprise when Rose brushed past her, not waiting for them to say anything.

“Rose, wait a damn minute.” Glen caught up with her easily, but Rose didn’t stop, not even when Glen grabbed her arm.

She pulled away from him as she jerked open the door. She met his gaze. “I am not waiting anymore. I want to go out.” She stopped, glancing back at Cheyenne and Davis, matching looks of worry and confusion on their faces. “I’m feeling much better. I look much better. There’s no better time than now.”

She lowered her voice, not wanting the others to hear the pleading tone in her voice. “Let me do this.”

Glen sighed and looked to Davis. Rose followed his stare. The stern look on the younger man’s face and the mild shake of his head confirmed the fact he had heard her and didn’t think it was a good idea. Cheyenne’s look was a little more relaxed, but there was still a hint of uncertainty there.

“I’m really not going to be able to stop you, am I?”

“No, you’re not. I’m large and in charge.” Rose was glad when Glen’s serious façade was broken with a grin. “Get used to it.”

She turned her attention to Cheyenne, who didn’t hide the fact she was listening. “You’ll keep an eye on me right?” When Cheyenne nodded, she looked back to Glen. “You trust Cheyenne, so, see — I’ll be fine.”

Glen’s grin faded a little, but didn’t disappear completely. He rubbed the bridge of his nose. “All right.”

“You can’t do that,” Davis exploded. He stepped forward, pushing past Cheyenne in his haste. “We talked about this last night. If there’s someone out there trying to harm Rose — ”

“Davis, shut up.” Glen glared at him and Davis did shut his mouth. He glared back as he spoke. “I know what we talked about and I still refuse to believe it.”

Davis’s mouth dropped open but Glen held up a hand to let him continue. “But I am cautious, regardless of that. Rose is right — she can’t stay here all the time. If someone is trying to hurt her maybe leaving for a short time might weed that person out.”

Rose didn’t like where the conversation was going and judging by the look on his face, neither did Davis. He gaped at Glen. “We don’t need to weed the person out. I told you — ”

“Shut up. We’ll talk about it later, just not here, not now.”

“Talk about what?” Rose asked. She wanted to know, but Glen dismissed it with a shake of his head.

“Nothing. Not important.”

Cheyenne cleared her throat loudly. “We should get going. Might take us a few hours to get everything we need.”

“Yeah, let’s get this show on the road.” Rose pulled her purse strap further up her arm and Glen stepped back to let her open the door. They filed out of the building, and started down the sidewalk toward the PRDI car parked on the sidewalk.

It wasn’t much to look at — a blue Ford Taurus with lots of trunk space — but it served its purpose. Glen purchased it for official use. His van had long ago died and was now resting in Automobile Heaven.

Nola was heading up the sidewalk toward them, her hands tucked into the pockets of her light jean jacket. She stopped when she saw them emerge, her eyes going wide.

“Hey,” she answered, sounding a bit nervous. “What’s going on?”

“Supply run,” Cheyenne answered, stopping with the others. Rose sniffed the air, something she was glad she was able to do now. The outdoors smelled of springtime: fresh cut grass, newly blooming flowers, and something that smelled like oranges that she couldn’t quite place.

“What are you doing?” Davis broke in, stepping up to face Nola. Rose could almost smell his anger.

“Taking a walk. What else would I be doing?” Nola answered, looking very chagrined. Rose looked down at her heeled designer boots. They didn’t look comfortable for walking, but she said nothing.

“You like to take a lot of walks, don’t you?” Davis said in an accusing tone. His face was livid, his temples throbbing. “Makes me wonder where you like to walk to.”

“What the hell is your problem?”

Davis opened his mouth to say something more, but stopped when Glen clamped a hand on his shoulder. Rose watched as her cousin turned his gaze to Nola and smiled.

“Don’t mind him. He just had a bad night.”

“Obviously,” Nola scoffed. She looked at Davis with an angry glare. Her gaze turned to Rose and they met. Immediately, Rose felt coldness move throughout her body and she almost shivered at it. Instead, she kept her gaze fixed on Nola’s until finally, she looked back to Glen. “I’m going inside. Enjoy your supply run.”

Before she pushed past them, she gave Davis another nasty glare and walked quickly toward the front door. Rose watched her disappear inside.

“What the hell was that all about?”

“I’ll tell you what that was about — ” Davis started but Glen gripped his shoulder a little tighter.

“Not now,” he growled. Davis shook him away.

Cheyenne chuckled and shook her head. She stepped up to Rose, who felt incredibly confused, and hooked her arm in hers. “Boys will be boys,” she whispered in her ear. “I doubt very much we’ll ever figure them out.”

“Most likely,” Rose agreed, though she was sure this wasn’t just some guy thing they were talking about. She started to walk with Cheyenne toward the end of the sidewalk.

Cheyenne said something, but Rose didn’t hear her. She was too blinded by the sudden stab of pain that shot through her stomach.

Oh God, Rose thought as she nearly doubled over. It knocked the wind out of her. She couldn’t breath. Not again. I’m healed. This can’t be happening!

Her legs went out from under her and she hit the ground. Cheyenne had hold of her and she was shouting, her voice loud in Rose’s ear. She felt nauseous and the pain hit her again, this time in her head. She saw something — fire — flash behind her eyelids.

She screamed, unable to bear it. Then she realized she wasn’t the only one screaming.

“Rachael’s Tears” touches all or us as a testament to the faith of one young girl and to her parents understanding and love of God. As a parent myself, I find it hard to imagine the level of grief that her parents must have felt when Rachael was murdered by a classmate – and murdered for her faith.

I feel very privileged to have had a chance to share Rachael’s Diaries. She was truly a remarkable person. Her love of God shines through even the most mundane entries. She was willing to give up her life for her beliefs. How many of us can say that.

The parent’s healing was as remarkable a part of the book as Rachael’s witness. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to put aside the grief and anger that had to accompany this tragedy and use it to save other children. The interviews with Darrel and Beth ten years later given at the end of the book show that they are also incredible people. God chose an exceptional family to work through.

I hope everyone who reads this book passes it on. It’s a book that must be shared. Our world needs this kind of witness. It needs the hope inspired by a young girl’s faith and the understanding achieved by her parents in working through their grief.

For more information go to: http://www.thomasnelson.com/consumer/product_detail.asp?sku=1400313473