Archive for October 18th, 2013

FWeinberg2Born in the high desert country, in Alamogordo, New Mexico, Florence loved exploring the wilderness on foot and horseback. Those grandiose landscapes formed her sensibility. Hidden pockets of unexpected greenery tucked away near springs in folds of barren mountainsides spoke to her of gentleness and beauty in an otherwise harsh world. She published her first poem in a children’s magazine shortly after she learned to read at age four; wrote her first ‘novel’ at age six, entitled Ywain, King of All Cats. She illustrated the ‘book’ herself.

She traveled extensively with her military family during World War II. With her husband the brilliant scholar and teacher, Kurt Weinberg, she worked and traveled in Canada, Germany, France, and Spain. After earning her PhD, she taught for twenty-two years at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY, and for ten at Trinity University in San Antonio. She published four scholarly books, many articles and book reviews, doing research in the U.S. and abroad. When, after retiring in 1999, she was freed from academia to devote herself to writing fiction, she produced ten novels, ranging from fantasy to historical romance and mystery. An avid researcher, she grounds most of her publications in historical fact. She spends hours combing through web sites, books and periodicals, and historical archives to enhance her writings with authenticity.

Eight of her ten books are now in print: an historical romance about the French Renaissance, published in France in French translation by Editions Lyonnaises d’Art et d’Histoire, and two straight historical novels, Apache Lance, Franciscan Cross and Seven Cities of Mud. In addition, four historical mysteries starring the 18th-century Jesuit missionary, Father Ignaz (Ygnacio) Pfefferkorn. Two of these are set in the Sonora Desert, the third in an ancient monastery in Spain, and the fourth, Unrest in Eden, follows Pfefferkorn’s fate after his release from Spanish prison. Five of the historical novels have received a total of ten awards. Unrest in Eden is now published in German translation by Dr. Renate Scharffenberg under title Unruhe im Paradies.

The most recent book, Anselm, a Metamorphosis: metaphysical suspense, weaves an aura of black magic and nightmare that should fascinate all levels and ages of readers.

Florence also serves as Lector at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas, as well as appearing as a guest lecturer to various groups throughout the country and abroad.

Her favorite animals are horses-an intense love affair over many years-and cats, her constant companions. She enjoys music, traveling, hiking, biking, gardening, and swimming.

Website: www.florenceweinberg.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/florence.weinberg.9

Twitter: htpps://twitter.com/floren4 

Purchase the book on AMAZON

Anselm_medQ: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Anselm, a Metamorphosis. What was your inspiration for it?

A: It began as a dream. The more I thought about it, the more fascinated I became with its potential for—in the beginning—a short story. It grew from that into a full-length novel.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist.

A: Eric Behrens is a cocky, oversexed young Assistant Professor at an Upstate New York university, Woodward State. He is slight in build, with a red-blond complexion, blue eyes. Fired for having seduced an undergraduate, he curses the world and wishes he were somebody, anybody, else. He wakes up in the body of a fiftyish, overweight, Benedictine monk with a potentially fatal heart ailment. The monk is erudite, arrogant, of Italian descent, powerfully built though now out of condition, black-haired, brown-eyed. He has planned the body-swap, using the ritus permutationis—a 12th-century ritual that enables one to usurp a new body under certain circumstances, including committing oneself to the Powers of Evil.

Q: How was your creative process like during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way? 

A: The book has a very long history. As I said, it began as a dream, in 1965. I began writing the dream as a short story, but soon found that I was almost obsessed by the story. Since I was supposed to write my doctoral dissertation, I hid the 50 pages or so at the bottom of the dresser drawer, under the drawer lining. I actually did forget about it, since my dissertation topic also fascinated me. In 1989, when we moved from Rochester, NY to San Antonio, TX, I found the 50 pages and decided to complete the story. It became a novella. I tried to publish it, but found that one novella alone is all but impossible to get accepted. Anselm landed in a drawer once again. Last January, I pulled the manuscript out and began editing, revising, and expanding. I completed it in three months. The setting remains “historical” with the technology of the 1960’s, since modern technology, cell phones, for example, would make the plot impossible.

Q: How do you keep your narrative exciting throughout the creation of a novel?

A: I try to have something significant, and if possible suspenseful, on every page—or a build-up to an important action or decision. Also, the reader must care about the protagonist and what is happening to him or her.

Q: Do you experience anxiety before sitting down to write? If yes, how do you handle it? 

A: I experience excitement before I begin to write—and anticipation. Anxiety comes in when I’m searching for a plot for the next novel and not finding it! The only way to lessen the anxiety is to find the new plot and embark on writing it.

Q: What is your writing schedule like and how do you balance it with your other work and family time?

A: I start each day (after breakfast and often before, so I end up having brunch) by editing what I wrote the previous day. This inevitably leads to further writing. I break at noon, eat a bite, and do whatever chores and errands I find necessary. That takes me to dinner. Afterward, I begin writing again, and my best inspirations come in the evening. If I’m on a roll, I might stay up until 2:00 AM, but I always rise at 8:00 AM regardless.

I am a childless widow, retired, and therefore am working only on writing and on some editing projects for others and the occasional translation (I taught French and Spanish language and literature at The University of Rochester as a teaching assistant, at St. John Fisher College in Rochester as professor and chair of the department, and at Trinity University in San Antonio, also as professor and chair. I am proficient in French and Spanish, obviously, and also in German). As a writer, I am extremely lucky, since my time is my own to budget as I wish.

Q: How do you define success? 

A: Success is being read and appreciated—preferably by a wide public. Also getting feedback—preferably not hostile!

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author?

A: I’d advise them to stick to their guns. Get marriage counselling if necessary; after all, writing is a calling that is just as valid as the husband’s/wife’s/partner’s job. Carve out a regular schedule that won’t conflict with other family duties and make that your “sacred” time. Don’t allow that time to be violated except in cases of extreme emergency.

Q: George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Do you agree? 

A: To appease the Dark Phantom, it might be more entertaining to offer a hair-raising story about my devastating struggle to write. However, when I find a subject that I really enjoy, as in this case of Anselm, writing is an exultation, a paean of praise to the Almighty Muse of Creativity, an exquisite Joy. When I’m writing about a subject that doesn’t totally enthrall me, however, I can empathize with Orwell. Given the grim subjects he wrote about, and his approach to them, I quite understand his suffering.

Q: Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?

A: Despite the suffering and confusion of my main character, this was a happy book to write. It incorporated much of my university study: philosophy and theology, and yoked them to a question mankind has still not answered. Is there a soul separate from the body? Science says it is an illusion, but religion, the spiritual outlet of all mankind from the beginning of recorded history, bravely maintains—in the face of all orthodox scientific doctrine—that there is. This question formed the genesis of this book.

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David Katz


David Aaron Katz is a professional Opera singer, Cantor, Nutritional Consultant, Herbalist, Head of the Vocal Faculty for the Bronx Defenders Training Academy and CEO of Superior Vocal Health.com. His life mission is to help Voice Professionals from around the world to learn how to heal, maintain and strengthen their voices naturally without chemical or drugs.

To find out more visit him at http://www.superiorvocalhealth.com

Natural Allergy Remedies for the Voice Professional, that do not effect the vocal mechanism.

Recently I was asked to be a guest on a podcast for singers and voice professionals. My role was to answer any questions about natural voice care from the callers. One of the most asked about issues, oddly enough, was allergies and how to deal with them naturally and safely without affecting the voice. As surprised as I was, the call prompted me to make this weeks post about dealing with allergies and singing.

Firstly, we must clarify what we are really focusing on. “Allergies” come in many forms shapes and sizes. My experience has been that most people I work with have, first and foremost, FOOD ALLERGIES! After a number of tests for food allergies, almost everyone discovers that what they have been eating is the problem. While this is not the case for all, it seems to be for most.
Eliminating white sugar, processed foods, artificial sweeteners, white flour, soda, gluten and alcohol from ones diet does wonders for overall health and vocal health. That being said, I am going to give you a number of herbs that can help when you may have allergies affecting your vocal mechanism. You may have some of these already in your cupboard so the cure may be closer than you think.
Chamomile- Chamomile has been used for ages as a treatment for allergies, in particular the German variety due to a chief compound within the chamomile called azulene. This compound when tested on guinea pigs has been shown to prevent allergic seizures for up to an hour after it was administered. It is also very useful when used to relieve hay fever. Drinking 3-4 cups a day during allergy season can dramatically help your allergies not to mention the calming, digestive and healing effects it has on your whole body. You may also try inhaling chamomile as a steam for ten to fifteen minutes before going to sleep at night.
Fenugreek seed is particularly useful for hay fever attacks. Soak the seeds in some filtered water for four to five hours, then boil the soaked seed for 2-3 minutes and drink one cup a day during the allergy season. You may find you have very few allergic attacks as before. As an added bonus Fenugreek is a wonderful healing herb.When used as a tea it is an excellent gargle for a sore throat and will also help expel mucus from the bronchial passages.
Honey- Honey has been found to have properties that help with allergies. One helpful procedure I found doesn’t cure hay fever and allergies but claims to drastically reduce them during allergy season. The person who gave me this remedy said you must follow the directions exactly as it only seems to work this way. Start this procedure one month before allergy season starts. Begin by taking one teaspoonful of honey after each meal. Then every other day get a small, waxy piece of actual honeycomb and chew on it for a couple of hours in between meals. It sounds easy, effective and inexpensive to me. You will also end up benefiting from all the other wonderful healing agents found in honey as well.
The following are two combinations of herbs that when mixed equally and brewed as a tea are an excellent remedy for helping allergies.
1. Black Cohosh, Blessed Thistle, Pleurisy Root, Skullcap
2. Comfrey, Fenugreek
I have known many colleagues, speakers, teachers and presenters who have used variations of all of the above mentioned remedies for allergies. They are effective and also very helpful in overall body healing. As always, consult a qualified herbal practitioner and your medical doctor if you are mixing herbs and medications. Use good judgement and moderation when trying new formulas or herbal remedies for your vocal health.
I wish you the best on your quest for Superior Vocal Health.

Pump Up Your Book and David Aaron Katz are teaming up to give you a chance to win a some great prizes!

Here’s how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. If your blog isn’t set up to accept the form, we offer another way for you to participate by having people comment on your blog then directing them to where they can fill out the form to gain more entries.

This promotion will run from August 5 – October 31. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on November 1, 2013.

Each blogger who participates in the Superior Vocal Health virtual book tour is eligible to enter and win.

Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour.

If you would like to participate, email Tracee at tgleichner(at)gmail.com.  What a great way to not only win this fabulous prize, but to gain followers and comments too! Good luck everyone!


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Brood X banner

Pump Up Your Book and Michael Phillip Cash are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or a Halloween Party Pack for 18!

We are so excited to be hosting Michael Phillip Cash’s Brood X Book Blast today! Find out below how you can win fabulous prizes!

Brood XTitle: Brood X: A Firsthand Account of the Great Cicada Invasion
Genre: Horror
Author: Michael Phillip Cash
Publisher: Red Feather Publishing
Pages: 303
Language: English

Seth is laid off from work. His wife Lara just found out they are expecting a baby this summer. Seth plans on documenting the entire pregnancy with his brand new digital camcorder.

During an evening home watching television, the news reports that a swarm of cicada (Brood Ten) are expected to overwhelm the entire Northeast. Brood Ten is vicious and ready to invade.

During a sweltering summer night, Brood Ten emerges and wreaks havoc with the electric grid, phone and cell service, wi-fi, food and water supply. Civilization as they know it is gone. Seth and Lara are thrown back to the stone age in their own home with trillions of cicada trying to deposit their eggs and breed. Fast paced and filled with tension, Brood Ten is the perfect summer read when you’re sitting outside listening to the cicadas sing.



Phillip Michael Cash. photo providedBorn and raised on Long Island, Michael Phillip Cash has always had a fascination with horror writing and found footage films. He wanted to incorporate both with his debut novel, Brood X. Earning a degree in English and an MBA, he has worked various jobs before settling into being a full-time author. He currently resides on Long Island with his wife and children. Stillwell: A Haunting On Long Island is his second novel.

Visit his website at www.MichaelPhillipCash.com or his blog at http://www.michaelphillipcash-officialblog.com/.

Giveaway Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Two winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Certificate or the Halloween Party Pack.
  • This giveaway begins September 23 and ends October 25, 2013.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, November 4, 2013.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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