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Sunny Photos for a Rainy Day

While Central Florida gets bombarded with monsoon-like rain this weekend, I figured I’d post some beautiful pics taken during a walk over the causeway. I am truly enjoying the natural scenery around here, which is still unspoiled by an excessive amount of ostentatious mansions and condos. It’s also nice to see big lawns as I stroll around the neighborhood.

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The sparkling Indian River.

No matter where you go within a particular state, there will always be good points and bad points. But living here, I feel like I can breathe. And the ability to live within blocks of the beach and the Indian River certainly helps!

Another view.
Another view.

In a few weeks the weather will be cooler, which will inspire me to do more exercising outdoors versus mainly indoors with the wonderful Leslie Sansone and her walkers (although I use those DVDs a minimum of four days per week, no matter the time of year).

Looking westward.
Looking westward.
A tranquil scene.
A tranquil scene.
A beautiful scene in the neighborhood.
A beautiful scene in the neighborhood.

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

 

 

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Karen-Niagara Falls-Foe Website

Karen’s Lyme Story

Chances are, you’ve probably heard of Lyme disease. But did you know how truly insidious and complex it is to treat? Or how politicized the process of diagnosis and treatment has become — to the detriment of Lyme sufferers (often ostracized as hypochondriacs) and the dedicated doctors who care for them?

Enter my friend and client, Karen Franks. Karen and I reconnected on Facebook a few years ago, having originally met in high school (more than a few years ago ;) ). She is truly one of the most decent, kind and caring people I’ve ever met, someone who always has a smile on her face no matter how difficult the circumstances.

Until she hired me recently to revamp her site, Karen’s Lyme Story, I had no idea how incredibly difficult her experience with Lyme disease has been. After decades of illness, she’s finally on the road to recovery, mainly due to her determination to find a doctor who could help her. Putting her experience to good use, Karen is now an advocate for Lyme patients, those who care for them, and the courageous medical professionals who treat them – often under a microscope used by skeptical medical colleagues and organizations.

If you or someone you love is suffering with Lyme – or suspects they could be – please visit Karen’s Lyme Story and bookmark it for daily reference. It’s chock-full of important, timely information, including how to get in touch with Karen personally.  After we complete Phase Two of her social media project, she’ll be rockin’ Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and YouTube!

 

 

 

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Counteract

Book Review: Tracy Lawson’s ‘Counteract’ a Dystopian Thrill Ride

‘Question Authority’? More like ‘Submit to Authority Without Question’. 

CounteractOnce upon a time, the Flower Children passionately exhorted us to “question authority.” Somewhere along the road to the 21st century however, their mantra transformed into “submit to authority without question.” Carried out to its extreme, the latter philosophy ultimately leads to the tyrannical, dystopian society brilliantly described by author Tracy Lawson in her debut novel, Counteract.

Although classified as YA fiction, Lawson’s fast-paced narrative, well-defined characters, and spine-tingling plot combine for a perfectly paced ride through a world in which rugged individualism, free will, and individual liberty have been all but eradicated by central authorities wielding an agenda of control. And what better way to control the masses than through the installation of irrational fear of an undefined, unseen external enemy?

In the oppressive society of Counteract, the United States as we know it has been fundamentally transformed into a series of quadrants, each run by a government agent known as a “Quadrant Master.” Gone is the rich diversity of 50 states bound together by the United States Constitution. In this freedom-killing society, the President and an oppressive government create a false enemy, followed by a government-created solution. In response to the threat of airborne chemical weapons which may or may not exist, the Office of Civilian Safety and Defense has mandated an antidote to “protect” and “save” the American population.

Author Tracy Lawson.
Author Tracy Lawson.

This final and most insidious step is the last in a series of top-down mandates including the banning of cars (for anyone but government-approved individuals), grocery stores, sporting events, travel and virtually anything that makes life a more rewarding and beautiful experience.

Yet as Lawson proves, there is no antidote or restriction that can fully eviscerate the human spirit. The character development of her two main characters – teenagers Tommy and Careen – dovetails nicely with the plot as they ultimately find each other and begin to unravel the mystery of what’s actually happening versus the propaganda that invades their consciousness on a daily basis through Orwellian-named devices like “PeopleCam.”

In Counteract, Lawson creates a depressing, joyless, and paranoid world but she also provides readers with glimmers of genuine hope in the form of all of the characters that comprise “The Resistance.” Expertly juxtaposing plot and characters, she makes it nearly impossible to put the novel down until the very end — which left me wanting more. Good thing she has a sequel planned for release in early 2015!

As a freedom-loving patriot, determined activist, and voracious reader, it does my heart good to know there are authors Like Tracy Lawson who can fuse entertainment and information into a compelling fictional narrative like Counteract – which has more power to affect the culture and the ultimate direction of our country than a dry, non-fiction book most people will never even bother to pick up, let alone read.

For more information, visit CounteractBook.com, where you can test your knowledge of fact versus fiction with a cool feature called Can You Guess?

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STSCoverWEB

Savor Our City and Slice of Provence to Host Shlomo Attia Book Signing

Denise Righetti, owner of Savor Our City & Denise’s Foodie Events and Boca Raton establishment Slice of Provence are hosting a book signing event for Shlomo Attia, author of Steps To Salvation, on Tuesday, September 23 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

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Attendees can enjoy a gourmet buffet of assorted pizzas, salad, wine, and dessert for one fixed price of $25.00 per person. For those who wish to purchase a paperback, Shlomo will be selling them for $19.95. Already have a copy of Steps To Salvation? Bring it along and he’ll sign it for you.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: DENISE RIGHETTI

Info@SavorOurCity.com

(954) 410-3177

French Pizza?

Boca Raton, FL September 8, 2014  Mais oui c’est vrai! (Yes, it’s true!): While it was not invented in France, The French are known for their aromatic, crisp and scrumptious pizza, crisp on the bottom and generously garnished on top with wholesome, authentic, fresh ingredients.

La Croisette

Slice of Provence Proprietor Cecile Giraud grew up in the French countryside where she would spend time with her grandmother in her garden.  It is here where she learned to appreciate the diversity of home grown spices and herbs, their generous fragrance and the astounding range of flavor profiles they offer when used in scrumptious recipes.

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While living in Provence with her husband and two children, Cecile began experimenting with interesting food combinations, bringing the best of what the native ingredients had to offer, and along with her husband Steve, together they created their own twist on the most authentic pizza recipes to make them uniquely their own.

Cecile and her husband decided to open their first Slice of Provence in the heart of Downtown Boca Raton, adjacent to the upscale Mediterranean-style plaza, Royal Palm Place. It’s the first and only pizza bar of its kind in the world. The distinctive taste of Slice of Provence signature pizzas relies on using the finest French products such as their hand stretched artisanal dough, made with extra fine flower, truffle oil and lavender honey and strict use of imported cheeses such as Cantal, known for its wonderfully complex taste and delectable aroma.

A few examples of the many artisanal pizzas served at Slice of Provence is their Auberginepizza, made with Cantal cheese, dices tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, roasted eggplant, black olive tapenade, goat cheese, sea salt flakes and micro greens; the Forestiere, made with Cantal cheese, sautéed shiitake, crimini & maiitake mushrooms, ricotta, white truffle oil, sea salt flakes, microgreens; the Pistou, made with homemade pesto, Cantal cheese, cherry tomatoes,sautéed portobello mushrooms, pine nuts; and the Croisette, smoked Norwegian salmon, red onion, mascarpone, lump roe caviar, micro greens.

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Slice of Provence’s menu consists of a wide variety of artisanal pizzas, salads and desserts with a lovely offering of imported French wines, starting at $5/glass.  Dine inside or better yet, al fresco and relax to the soft French background music, check out their specialty products and enjoy the extraordinary culinary experience they proudly call a . . . Slice of Provence.

They are located at 205 SE 1st Avenue and are open Monday through Friday 11am – 9pm; Saturday from 5pm – 10pm and Sundayfrom 5pm – 9pm, with plans to open for Sunday Brunch coming soon.

For more information, visit www.SliceofProvence.com or call 561-409-4821.

Follow them on Facebook for event updates and specials at: Slice of Provence.

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BookStack

Social Media, Book Sales and Managing Expectations

Although I originally broadcast this episode back in 2011, the advice is still relevant. It’s a delicate balance between budget, time, and expectations but if you’re going to make an impression and sell books as an independent author, social media is a necessary tool (in addition to “traditional” events like local speaking engagements). As someone who manages social media for individuals and businesses, it’s always a challenge to help authors understand its value when all they can see is the bottom line. I get it. You have limited resources and need to see a return on your investment asap. I wish we lived in a world where there was a direct correlation between effort (e.g. an appearance on a Blog Talk Radio show) and results (immediately following your interview you sell 100 books). Sadly, we don’t.

Then again, with traditional print advertising, there’s never been a guarantee that an ad costing X amount of dollars would directly result in X amount of sales. Either way, it’s a time commitment for the social media consultant hired to manage your blog and/or platforms so you can concentrate on the other more important obligations in your life — such as family and day job.

Anyway, I happened across the archived episode back when I was in a different business partnership. I hope it’s helpful for anyone curious about using social media platforms for success as an independent author. And let me close by adding I am very grateful to be in business with Lisa Tarves now!

Check Out Business Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with InspireMeChat on BlogTalkRadio
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