VBT's November Anniversary Tour Schedule


Well, it's a YEAR! That's right, we have been cross-promoting and helping one another for a year now.

To celebrate this accomplishment, we will have a SUPER-DUPER Anniversary Tour!

The number before the host's name is the day in November that he/she will post in the tour.

But, before I explain more about it, here's the schedule:

1 Dianne Sagan is hosting Heidi Thomas
2 Harry Gilleland is hosting Karen Cioffi
3 Karen Cioffi is hosting Martha Swirzinki
4 Kathy Stemke is hosting Brigitte Thompson
5 Nancy Famolari is hosting Deborah Weed
6 Margaret Fieland is hosting Elysabeth Eldering
7 Crystalee Calderwood is hosting Harry Gilleland
8 Katie Hines is hosting Heather Paye
9 Helena Harper is hosting Steve Tremp
10 Liana Metal is hosting Crystalee Calderwood
11 Carolyn Howard-Johnson is hosting Marvin Wilson
12 Gayle Trent is hosting Dianne Sagan
13 Mayra Calvani is hosting Carolyn Howard-Johnson
14 Marvin Wilson is hosting Gayle Trent
15 Linda Asato is hosting Mayra Calvani
16 Heather Paye is hosting Katie Hines
17 Steve Tremp is hosting Helena Harper
18 Elysabeth Eldering is hosting Linda Asato
19 Darcia Helle is hosting Liana Metal
20 Deborah Weed is hosting Nancy Famolari
21 Brigitte Thompson is hosting Margaret Fieland
22 Martha Swirzinki is hosting Darcia Helle
23 Heidi Thomas is hosting Kathy Stemke

Each day there will be prizes offered. All you have to do is leave a comment on the host's site on the day he/she is posting for their guest and you may be a WINNER!

The Winner will have a choice of ONE of 2 or 3 books of our members or other related gifts, OR a one day guest spot on THIS site!

Prizes being given away EVERY Day from November 1st through November 23rd!

OH! Wait a minute! That's not all! We are still having our Mystery Site Giveaway and the SUPER-DUPER PRIZE is a $25 (US) GIFT CARD to either Amazon, Target, or an American Express Gift Card. I'll know for sure by the end of this month.

Winners will be notified the day after each posting. The Mystery Site Winner will be notified Sunday, November 29th.

Come celebrate with us and have the chance of being one of the WINNERS of a great gift in the process.

Talk to you soon,
Karen

VBT - Writers on the Move's ONE YEAR Anniversary!

I can hardly believe it - next month is our anniversary! It certainly went by fast.

To celebrate, we are going extreme: For November only, we will have a blogiversary with prizes each and every day through November 24th.

What this means is each day one member of our group will host another member. The schedule will be posted here by this weekend.

Each day, the host's site will give away a prize to one lucky commenter!

You will have your choice between a member's book, other gift, or a one day guest spot right here on the VBT site.

In addition to this, we will still have our Mystery Site Giveaway. For this special anniversary tour, the prize will be a gift card (more details to follow later).

One note: if you are a winner, you will not be eligible for a 2nd prize unless there is no other commenter on a particular day.

Everyone who visits and comments on the Mystery Site is eligible to win the Mystery Site Gift Card Prize. That will be the only prize offered that day.

Members of this group are not eligible for any prizes.

Be sure to be part of this spectacular event and comment your way to prizes!

Talk to you soon,
Karen

It's OVER for this Year - The Muse Online Writers Confernce

Ah, and Awh, it's over. It was an action packed, information jammed packed, amazing, and overwhelming week - just like last year's. You would have thought I'd remember not to overload with more workshops than I can handle. But, how do you do that? I want that class, and that one, and oh yeah, that one...

Since the two super duper honchos (creator, organizer, manager and presenter) of The Muse Online Writers Conference, Lea Schizas and Carolyn Howard Johnson are members of this little writers group, it's a must to write about their absolutely astounding endeavor and achievement.

For this I'm posting the article I have on my site (with a bit of tweaking):

The Muse Conference is an amazing concept. I will plug it from now until next year's is at our doorstep. It is an astounding opportunity for writers to learn their craft, or a new one, get advice and tips, network, and move forward in their careers.

Before this week I didn't realize that Lea Schizas and Carolyn Howard-Johnson actually thought of disabled writers who can't attend conferences in person and writers who can't afford to go to them when they considered joining forces to attempt this wonderful and arduous undertaking. This type of altruistic act is a blessing for those in these categories. It allows us to partake of the knowledge and experience of wonderful writers, authors, editors, marketers, and publishers. And, it gives us the opportunity to get professional critiques of pieces of our writing within some of the workshops offered.

But hold on, if this isn't enough, you are given the opportunity to PITCH YOUR WORK!

Can you believe it? All this for FREE and in the comfort of your own home with 24/7 access to the site for the entire week (and usually longer). And all thanks to these two wonderful and generous women.

A GREAT BIG THANK YOU AND BUNDLES OF APPRECIATION to Lea and Carolyn for the time, effort, expense, and the obvious caring that goes into these amazing conferences.

So, what am I actually saying here? Simple: Run, jump, skip, hop, swim, whatever it takes, but SIGN UP for next year's Muse Online Writers Conference as soon as you can!

Registration opens in November; I'll post a link here when it's available.

And, while it is absolutely FREE, if you can afford to please help out with the conferences by donating whatever you can - even a dollar is something!

Talk to you soon,
Karen

Julie and Julia


Yesterday my wife and I went to see a matinee. The kids were in school and we had a few hours before we had to pick them up. The only two movies we could see during this time slot was The Informant and Julie and Julie. Guess which one my wife selected?

My mind immediately fast-forwarded three hours later when I would write on Facebook, "Just came home from watching Julie and Julie with wifey. Next time, I'M picking the movie."

But lo and behold, a funny thing happened on the way to the movies. Julie and Julie turned out to be a pretty darn good show. I really liked it. Two things captured my attention.

First, I can appreciate Julia Child's roller-coaster ride from being an obscure yet normal and talented-laden 37 year-old individual to publishing a best-selling book. She had a love and a passion for cooking food. She wanted to cook good food for her husband, Paul. Then, she decided to write a book about French cooking for American. Six years she endured the ups and downs, the rejection, the frustration, and the crazy unforeseen events that accompany writing and publishing a book. But the day arrived when a publisher said that word each one of us wants to hear, "YES."

Second, I can relate to Julie being an average person but having a dream and thinking big thoughts. Julie wanted to cook 524 of Julia Child's recipes in 364 days in one very tiny and crowded kitchen. She started a blog to recorded her journey and share it with the rest of the world.

In the movie, after some time, she finally had a comment. She was so excited to open and read it. But it was from her mom. Hilarious. Fast forward to the end of her journey and Julie was receiving countless hits, interviewed in the New York Times, and eventually wrote and published her own book.

This movie has inspired me, given me the motivation to move forward with big, big, big thoughts. Like you, I have had many successes and numerous challenges on this journey of writing and publishing a book. I thank my wife for dragging me to see this movie. I feel rejuvenated and ready to go.

Question Posed: What events have inspired you to move forward in the face of adversity? Please share with us as we can all benefit from examples from other writers and their words of encouragement.

FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials

The October VBT - Writers on the Move Viewpoint

This month the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) updated their Guide concerning the use of endorsements and testimonials in advertising, including bloggers. This update has a number of writers, specifically book reviewers, a little concerned.

When I first heard of it I thought it was a means of the government reaching out to create havoc with online reviewers and the books they receive in their work. Any product a reviewer receives must be disclosed along with the review. As compensation was mentioned, I figured it wouldn’t be long before the government decided reviewers needed to list the review books or products as income.

After reading the FTC’s 12 page document, I think I had it wrong. I have no problem with a reviewer having to disclose the source of his or her review product. Receiving a product to review does not ensure the reviewer will give a good review. And, I’m not sure the FTC is concerned with book reviews.

Here is the FTC’s Press Release pertaining to the changes. What do you think about it?

FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials
Changes Affect Testimonial Advertisements, Bloggers, Celebrity Endorsements

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2009/10/endortest.shtm
October 5, 2009

The Federal Trade Commission today announced that it has approved final revisions to the guidance it gives to advertisers on how to keep their endorsement and testimonial ads in line with the FTC Act.

The notice incorporates several changes to the FTC’s Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, which address endorsements by consumers, experts, organizations, and celebrities, as well as the disclosure of important connections between advertisers and endorsers. The Guides were last updated in 1980.

Under the revised Guides, advertisements that feature a consumer and convey his or her experience with a product or service as typical when that is not the case will be required to clearly disclose the results that consumers can generally expect. In contrast to the 1980 version of the Guides – which allowed advertisers to describe unusual results in a testimonial as long as they included a disclaimer such as “results not typical” – the revised Guides no longer contain this safe harbor.

The revised Guides also add new examples to illustrate the long standing principle that “material connections” (sometimes payments or free products) between advertisers and endorsers – connections that consumers would not expect – must be disclosed. These examples address what constitutes an endorsement when the message is conveyed by bloggers or other “word-of-mouth” marketers. The revised Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service. Likewise, if a company refers in an advertisement to the findings of a research organization that conducted research sponsored by the company, the advertisement must disclose the connection between the advertiser and the research organization. And a paid endorsement – like any other advertisement – is deceptive if it makes false or misleading claims.

Celebrity endorsers also are addressed in the revised Guides. While the 1980 Guides did not explicitly state that endorsers as well as advertisers could be liable under the FTC Act for statements they make in an endorsement, the revised Guides reflect Commission case law and clearly state that both advertisers and endorsers may be liable for false or unsubstantiated claims made in an endorsement – or for failure to disclose material connections between the advertiser and endorsers. The revised Guides also make it clear that celebrities have a duty to disclose their relationships with advertisers when making endorsements outside the context of traditional ads, such as on talk shows or in social media.

The Guides are administrative interpretations of the law intended to help advertisers comply with the Federal Trade Commission Act; they are not binding law themselves. In any law enforcement action challenging the allegedly deceptive use of testimonials or endorsements, the Commission would have the burden of proving that the challenged conduct violates the FTC Act.

The Commission vote approving issuance of the Federal Register notice detailing the changes was 4-0. The notice will be published in the Federal Register shortly, and is available now on the FTC’s Web site as a link to this press release. Copies also are available from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,700 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Betsy Lordan
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-3707

STAFF CONTACT:
Richard Cleland
Bureau of Consumer Protection
202-326-3088

You can read about the changes in the document itself at:
http://www.ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf


We'd love to hear what you have to say about this. Speak your peace!

Karen

October Mystersy Site Giveaway

Well, this month's mystery site didn't have any non-member commenters. So, no giveaway!

Hopefully, next month commenters will visit the mystery site and actually leave a comment.

Remember, the giveaway is a free book from one of our members, or a guest spot right here on the VBT blogsite.

And, tomorrow, is our Viewpoint / Hot Topic. Please stop here for more info about where it'll be!

That's it for now,

Karen

October 11th, Viewpoint

Boy, the weeks are just rushing by...next Sunday is our VBT - Writers on the Move monthly Viewpoint / Hot Topic.

This month the Viewpoint host will be Elysabeth Eldering. I'm not sure what the topic will be yet, but it's sure to be a conversation piece!

Please be sure to stop by Elysabeth's site on Sunday, October 11th and visit with us a bit.

Talk to you soon,
Karen

We're Back with Author, Darcia Helle

It was great learning about Darcia and her book, No Justice, on Thursday. But, that ain't all folks! Today, we'll learn a bit about another of Darcia's books, Beyond Salvation.

As I mentioned, on Thursday, Darcia is new to our merry band of authors, so I'm learning all about this with you.

Darcía is a fiction author of mystery/suspense. She currently has four books published and is at work on number five. Darcía also writes a monthly nonfiction, crime-related newsletter called Guilty As Charged. The newsletter covers a wide range of topics, from the history of burning at the stake to modern-day serial killers.

Okay, let's take a look at a blurb about Beyond Salvation:

A teenage runaway disappears from the streets. The only people that care, or even notice, are her two best friends who are also runaways. For reasons of their own, they can’t go to the police for help.

They seek out Michael Sykora, a software designer by day and hit man by night. Known on the streets as The Ghost, Michael has a reputation for taking on the twisted criminals. Rapists. Child molesters. He has never been hired to find the lost. Until now.

Michael teams up with ex-prostitute Nicki and full-time hit man Sean. Together they bend the rules of the justice system in order to find a young girl few people care about. In the process, they uncover a world where salvation comes with a price tag and God’s words are used to incite fear in a congregation of believers.

Wow, this sounds like another great read. I am impressed with writers who can conjure up mystery and suspense - I just don't have it in me. Thank goodness for authors like Darcia who bring suspense and mystery to us through their books.

You can pick up your own copy of Beyond Salvation at Amazon.com.

All Darcia Helle Books On Amazon

Enemies and Playmates paperback

Enemies and Playmates Kindle

Hit List paperback

Hit List Kindle

No Justice paperback

No Justice Kindle

Author Page On Amazon

Website:
http://www.QuietFuryBooks.com

Blog:
http://www.QuietFuryBooks.com/blog

Darcia, it's been a pleasure hosting you this tour. I'm looking forward to learning even more about you and your books in future tours. And, thank you, to the readers who took the time to stop by and visit with us a spell.

A final note: VBT - Writers on the Move is a great opportunity for authors who are looking to create or increase their visibility and readership. We use cross-promotional strategies such as these tours to help each other. Take that promotional step and increase your visibility and readership with ongoing tours and much more. If you're interested, you can contact me at: karenrcfv@yahoo.com.

Talk to you soon,
Karen

KOKH FOX 25 :: Morning News

KOKH FOX 25 :: Morning News

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Author of No Justice, Darcia Helle



It's such a pleasure to host a new member to VBT - Writers on the Move, Darcia Helle. We're all going to be learning about Darcia and her mystery/suspense book, No Justice, together!

First we'll learn a bit about Darcia:

Darcía Helle says she writes because, "My head gets cluttered with characters that demand their story be written."

Darcía is a fiction author of mystery/suspense. She currently has four books published and is at work on number five. Darcía also writes a monthly nonfiction, crime-related newsletter called Guilty As Charged. The newsletter covers a wide range of topics, from the history of burning at the stake to modern-day serial killers.

Words are Darcía's addiction. She will read just about anything: novels, biographies, history, sociology, ingredient labels...

Darcía grew up in Massachusetts but has lived in the Tampa Bay area of Florida since 2002. She is married and has two sons. An animal lover, Darcía has two very spoiled dogs and two equally spoiled cats.

Darcía's website - http://www.QuietFuryBooks.com - is her own creation. There you will find excerpts from her books, newsletters, monthly contests, blog, and a few pages of things to make you smile.

Wow, Darcia, you sound like a busy lady! Your monthly nonfiction, crime-related newsletter called Guilty As Charged sounds great.


Now onto a blurb about No Justice:

How far would you go to right a wrong?

For Michael Sykora, killing started as blind rage. Then it became something he's good at. To most of those who know him, Michael is a software designer, a smart but average guy with a workaholic nature. To a chosen few, Michael is a part-time hit man whose specialty is eliminating hard-core criminals.

Michael has managed to keep his two personas separate. Until now. When Nicki, a close friend, gets into trouble, Michael steps in to help. Having lost his fiance to a brutal crime, Michael will do whatever necessary to keep from losing another woman in his life.

At one time or another, don't we all wish we could do the things our Justice system cannot or will not? What would it take to push you over the edge?

Boy, is that one powerful question...I've always said, never-say-never. One really never knows what he or she is capable of if pushed over the edge.

This book sounds like the reader will be sitting on the edge of the seat. Get your copy of No Justice today at:

Amazon: No Justice paperback

Kindle: No Justice

And, here's a list of Darcia's other links:

All My Books On Amazon

Enemies and Playmates paperback

Enemies and Playmates Kindle

Hit List paperback

Hit List Kindle

Beyond Salvation paperback

My Author Page On Amazon

My Website:
http://www.QuietFuryBooks.com

My Blog:
http://www.QuietFuryBooks.com/blog

That's it for today, please be sure to stop back on Saturday, October 3rd; we'll learn about another of Darcia's books: Beyond Salvation.

Talk to you soon,
Karen