Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?
My latest book is the first in a series of books titled TALES2INSPIRE™. This first one is known as THE EMERALD COLLECTION, an anthology of winning stories based on a “Beyond Coincidence” theme. Not only are these stories inspiring, but the power of each of them is so enhanced by the inclusion of full color, author owned photos. My second book in that series is Tales2Inspire ~ The Topaz Collection (Inspiring Stories of Awakenings & Aha Moments).
Is there anything that prompted your latest book? Something that inspired you?
After publishing two books on physical beauty, I wanted a change of pace. I had always had a soft spot in my heart for what I call “Inner beauty” stories, stories that can enrich the spirit and warm the heart. Once that seed sprouted, it took some time for me to nourish it and help it grow. When it occurred to me that many people might have one inspiring, uplifting story to share, but not enough for a whole book, I began this project in earnest. And wow, has it grown. Just put the words “TALES2INSPIRE” into your Google search bar and you will see for yourself!
This book is a bit different from those written by other authors I have interviewed. Can you explain what makes it unique?
Tales2Inspire ~ Beyond Coincidence is actually a collection of short stories written by the winners of the Tales2Inspire™ contest as well as a couple I have written myself.
You call this an "Authors Helping Authors" project as well as a contest. Let's take those separately. What are the rules of the contest?
The rules are all spelled out at http://www.tales2inspire.com/STEPS_TO_SUCCESS.html I also have a video posted on my home page, where you can meet me and learn more details.
What about the "Authors Helping Authors" part? What are you doing to help your winning authors?
Well, for one thing, their stories get published, with their photo, name and mini autobiography posted at the end of their story. That’s a nice credential to have.
Secondly, they have an opportunity to make a video that appears on a growing list of local access TV networks, The Writer’s Dream YouTube Channel, the Winning Tales YouTube channel and more. I also post those videos on my Facebook author page, so you can look at a few of them at: www.facebook.com/tales2inspire.
And finally, I do a lot to promote each of my winning authors - all spelled out on the home page of my website @www.tales2inspire.com.
What are these authors doing to help their fellow authors?
During the judging phase, each author judges the tales submitted by three other authors whose ‘tales’ have already passed through the initial screening. Judging is done through a click, click click method which I created to simplify the process. You can see a screen shot of the form at: http://www.tales2inspire.com/JUDGING.html
Notice that I ask each author to give a short critique at the end of their evaluation - something that might improve this ‘tale’. I compile those critiques for each author after the awards have been announced. Winners and Finalist sometimes use those critiques to make small edits to improve their tales before they are published.
All of this sounds fascinating, Lois.
So, readers, here is the blurb for Tales 2 Inspire: Beyond Coincidence: The Emerald Collection.
Is there really such a thing as coincidence, or could there be an unknown force, a higher power, taking charge? This is a question you are likely to ponder as you read the collection of heartwarming stories contained within the pages of this book. Although all are true, don’t be surprised if you find yourself saying “unbelievable” as you finish reading some, or simply getting a feel-good rush from others. Tales 2 Inspire ~ Beyond Coincidence: A collection of inspiring stories written by talented authors from across the globe. Each motivational, uplifting story is enhanced by the inclusion of original, full color photos and/or drawings, making this a treasured gift book at a most reasonable price.Here is an excerpt.
It’s easy to recognize dramatic acts of heroism, acts of great courage and selflessness. But what about the unsung heroes amongst us - the ones who think of themselves as absolutely ordinary while quietly living their lives with worthy acts of purpose? Enter Gerald and Sharon Bricker, for it is through them that their daughter Jennifer Bricker has reached unfathomable heights.
In 1987, Gerald and Sharon Bricker adopted their baby daughter Jennifer. Although they already had three biological sons, Sharon yearned for a daughter, a little girl she could dress in pink ruffles with trailing ribbons and bows. They adopted Jen, sight unseen, when she was 3 months old. She was a tiny baby, only 13 ½ inches long, but to Gerald and Sharon she was perfect.
Jen as a baby
Luck shone down on this infant from the moment she entered the Bricker household. She felt the unconditional love of her parents and three older brothers, all with solid values that helped her grow into the remarkable person she is today. As a young woman reflecting back on her childhood, Jen says with admiration:
They are amazing and they don’t even realize it, they are just good people. I don’t know how, but they always managed to handle each situation exactly the right way.
Jen with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bricker and friend Dave
From early on the Brickers told Jen that there was no such word as "can't." Instead they taught her how to go after the things she really wanted. With their guidance, Jen’s indomitable spirit and confidence soared. She vigorously dove into sports, meeting each challenge head on with confidence and the expectation of success. More often than not, she realized her dreams. Jen led a happy, rewarding life, playing softball, basketball and volleyball. But her passion was gymnastics. When she was 10, she won fourth place in the Amateur Athletic Union's Junior Olympics in Hampton, Va., and was Illinois state power tumbling champion in her division.
Jen grew up idolizing popular gymnast Dominique Moceanu. It wasn’t just that the two girls shared a common Romanian heritage. They shared the same good looks: dark hair, sparkling eyes. ready smiles. Jen felt a magnetic attraction to Dominique, becoming her biggest fan. At fifteen years of age, Dominique was catapulted into the limelight as the youngest member of the "Magnificent Seven", the U.S. gymnastics team that won gold at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta. As she stood in line to receive her gold, the name Moceanu rang a distant bell. The Brickers quietly reopened the adoption papers they had signed years earlier. What it had taken them nine years to realize was that Dominique wasn’t just Jen’s idol — she was also her biological sister.
Wow. What are the odds? What an interesting story, Lois!
After twenty years as an active educator, Lois continued to pursue her love for writing, and soon became co-editor of the popular Long Island Internet web-zine, LI EYE. As she created and authored the column “Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives”, she began to solidify her special niche of investigative journalism while satisfying her innate curiosity about the potentially fascinating stories of unsung heroes amongst us. Although her column became a popular feature, due to financial constraints, this web-zine sadly met its demise two years later. “But the experience was a good one for me, as several years later I was able to put those same investigative journalism skills to work while writing Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery,” explains Lois, who gained the trust of over one hundred women while interviewing them about some of the most intimate aspects of their lives. (www.sexliesandcosmeticsurgery.com).
“The catch-22 today is that many truly talented writers never are given a chance, simply because they do not have a proven track record,” says Lois. “So I began to create an alternate path for me and other talented authors - a way to get name recognition and platform building opportunities for all of us.”
Tales2Inspire™ begins as an “Authors Helping Authors“ project, designed to help authors further refine their writing skills, by providing each author with honest feedback on their stories through anonymous critiques written by three other participating authors.
Winners (and in many cases finalists) get their stories published in print, e-book, and possible audio formats, with their name, headshot photo, and mini-autobiography included with their story - all in full color format.
These same authors have their full color headshot and a quote epitomizing the theme of their story printed on the back cover of the book.
Tales2Inspire™ gives authors a real boost in building name recognition for themselves because Lois blogs about one winning story at a time, highlighting them on her Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/tales2inspire, her winning tales blog: http://www.winningtales.wordpress.com,Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/myfabbeautyblog and other social media she discovers and by providing each author with concrete suggestions on how to generate further PR opportunities for themselves from the publicity she provides.
Winning authors have the opportunity to appear long distance on the Writer’s Dream Show for FREE, by making either a short video detailing a bit about their ‘tale’ or, for the camera shy, an audio/photo presentation. These videos are posted on several video channels including YouTube and a growing number of local access cable networks. See to watch several prototype videos.
Those who take advantage of the opportunity to appear on the Writer’s Dream Show, can use this video for any further publicity platforms including their own websites.
Authors can research Public Access venues in their viewing area to get their show to appear in their local viewing areas. See www.tales2inspire.com/PA_TV for directions.
Your tale will be highlighted in her PR web releases, her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/thewritersdream, The Authors Den: www.theauthorsden.com/lindamariafrank, her Constant Contact Newsletter, and more. (If you want to be added to this newsletter, e-mail your request to Linda Frank firstname.lastname@example.org).
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