Friday, October 29, 2010

Patrick M. Cunningham: An Author Interview with Vonnie Faroqui

Horror and Suspense for Halloween!

Vonnie Faroqui has a special Halloween interview with Horror/Suspense novelist Patrick Cunningham, author of The Devil and The Awesome Four, which is book one in a trilogy. Patrick is coming to us from his home in Ireland where his books are on the way to becoming cult classics. Patrick’s writing style is hailed as . . .
". . . madness and mayhem”. . .
“. . . a scary experience . . . stream of consciousness narrative with visions of blood, gore and death."
". . . a guided tour of hell.” 
This interview was made more fun by the level of commitment the author brought to the show . . . He even added his own sound effects. Thanks Patrick!

Click Play to listen . . .

MP3 File

Bookmark and Share

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Devil and the Awesome Four: A Review by Vonnie Faroqui

Book Title: The Devil And The Awesome Four: volume one
Author: Patrick M. Cunningham
ISBN: 1449592708
Publisher: CreateSpace
Link to purchase
Reviewer: Vonnie Faroqui for WITS

Bloody Mayhem with Overtones of Dark Humor

The Devil and the Awesome Four is gruesome horror that will set the hair at the back of your neck on end and make you wonder why you turned that last page. This novel is part one of a series being written by Patrick M. Cunningham. It is adult reading and not suitable for children or the sensitive. Cunningham is targeting the thrill and gore audience, no bones about it.

The heroes of the book, Rodger, Ben Jackie, and Sarah are common enough folks that seem to have no purpose in life but to run into situations where they are the least prepared to do battle but the most effective. The guys have arrived in Los Angeles, USA, from Ireland, to make a new life for themselves. They go out for a good time on the town and find one in Jackie and Sarah. While the four introduce themselves and get-busy, the forces of darkness move in to shake things up around town.

All manner of evils are headed their way; from incompetent demon summoning Satanists, U.F.O.s, aliens on the hunt, Harry-the-lumberjack soul harvester, to an army of murdering mutants, and the grand Satan himself. It won’t be long before our four unsuspecting friends bond over more than just drinks. There is nothing like a little demon slaying and mutant wrangling to cement relations between a couple of guys and their girls.

Make no mistake; this book is full of blood, gore, violence, and sex. The pace from one impossible situation to the next is fast. If you are seeking the finer points and form found in Horror/Suspense literature, you are not going to find them. This is a horror piece of tormented imagination and blood lust. The author laying out serious whoop a**, on some very personal demons, to bring his reading audience this pinball-ricochet horror ride.

The Devil and the Awesome Four will appeal to fans of horror that are looking for the excitement and splatter of a B grade flick. Cunningham’s writing style reminds me of a Sam Rani film; horror that doesn’t take itself too seriously but gets the job done. The book is full of dark situational humor with crazy characters that are willing to run toward danger just for the thrill of it, because they can. If you are into camp horror films, The Devil and the Awesome Four is a screen play in the making. Give it to Sam!

To learn more about the author visit their website at

Bookmark and Share

Friday, October 22, 2010

TJ Gets a Haircut: an Interview with Audrey Fuller

This Friday, WITS Podcast host, Vonnie Faroqui, interviews children's author Audrey Fuller. 

Click Play to listen . . .

MP3 File

Audrey is a 12 year veteran of the US Armed Forces. Her first book is titled, TJ Gets a Haircut: The Twintastic Adventures of TJ and Taylor. The book is suitable for young children. The tale of a father who helps his son build a stronger self identity and take one giant step on the path to growing up.

Audrey shares the process of selecting an illustrator and more considerations taken when self-publishing a children's book, in this interview about one author's journey.

Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Nashville Writing Workshop with Dianna Calareso

Stuck? Not sure what to write?
Bored with your own writing?
Come to

A workshop with Dianna Calareso of

Whether you write fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, you always write what you know. But what you know isn’t always on the surface–it’s often buried in your subconscious.

In this workshop, Dianna will lead writers through a series of writing exercises designed to help you tap into what you really know–and what you really want to write about. Each hour will include an introduction, discussion, writing time, and follow-up discussion/sharing time. We will learn from each other!

Saturday November 6, 
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Celebrity Centre Nashville
1130 8th Ave South
Cost: $100 (cash or check)

Email questions to Dianna:

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What is Breaking My Heart?

I am writing a book about my journey as an empath and need some feedback from other writers and authors about the proposed title. When you read the titles (in all caps) and subtitles (in italics) below, which combination gives you the clearest idea of what the book is about? Please answer by leaving a comment below.


How to Avoid Being Overwhelmed by Others' Pain, Energy, and Emotions

How to Stop Being Overwhelmed by Others' Pain, Energy, and Emotions
Help for Those Who Are
Overwhelmed by the Pain, Energy, and Emotions of Others

Bookmark and Share

Friday, October 15, 2010

Essays for Elders

Janet Riehl has a message for our readers today. Having a grandmother who just turned 94, I love elderly folks. This seems like something we writers with seniors in our lives would enjoy participating in. I’ll let Janet explain the award.

In 2009 you helped me with the blog tour for my audio book "Sightlines: A Family Love Story in Poetry & Music." I have a favor to ask.

Would you help in getting the word out on your blog on an award dedicated to my father, Erwin A. Thompson, who turns 95 this November 9th?

My birthday present to him is to establish an annual Second Mile Award. The holder of the 2010 award receives a $500 honorarium, a certificate designed by my niece, and publication on Riehlife of the nomination essay.

The deadline for nomination essays is November 9, 2010--my father's birthday. He'll join me in reading the essays to determine the holder of the 2010 Second Mile Award.

The Second Mile Award honors Elders 75 years and older whose dignity, character, creativity, and connection to community have quietly contributed to the world around them.

My father based his life on the parable of the Good Samaritan: Matthew 5:41: “And whosoever shall compel you to go a mile, go with him, go twain."

To find out how to nominate an Elder, learn more about the award, the meaning of the Second Mile, and my father's life go to this link:

What better way to voice the Village Wisdom for the 21st Century that Riehl Life is dedicated to?

I'm grateful for anything you're able to do to let folks know about the The Second Mile Award and how to nominate an Elder.

All the best,

Become a Riehlife Villager: Creative Catalyst archive: Award-winning "Sightlines: A Family Love Story in Poetry & Music"

Bookmark and Share

An Interview with Angie Printup and Kelley Dollar, authors of He Blew Her a Kiss

Welcome to Writers in the Sky Podcast. Today's interview will be with author's assistant Vonnie Faroqui and co-authors of He Blew Her a Kiss, Angie Pechak Printup and Kelley Stewart Dollar.

Angie Pechak Printup and Kelley Stewart Dollar, have teamed up to put together a compilation of true stories with the express desire of helping others in the healing process after losing a loved one. Being lifelong friends for 35 years, it was only natural for Angie and Kelley to work together, combining their talents to bring this healing book for the soul to the world. The idea for this book was born out of a heartwarming experience that Angie’s good friend, Tom, had after losing his beloved wife, Judy, to cancer in 2008. The first story in the book, He Blew Her a Kiss, retells Tom and Judy's amazing love affair in a third person narrative and provides the inspiration for the title.

Angie and Kelly will share details of how they collected the many accounts of after death communication[ADC,] how they turned these accounts into story, their editing choices, and recount their journey to publish and market their book. Included in the interview is a reading by Angie Pechak Printup from the book.

Click play to listen . . .

MP3 File

Bookmark and Share

Thursday, October 14, 2010

5 Famous Writers That Lived in Exile

The writers listed here are among the best and the brightest who created works that would go on to inspire and influence fellow writers and students for ages. Sure, maybe you’ve heard of Tolstoy and the Marquis de Sade, but do you know where they were as they skyrocketed to fame? Probably not. Here’s the stories behind five famous writers that lived in exile.

1. Dante Alighieri. Dante Alighieri is usually known as Dante and his most famous work is Divine Comedy. It consists of three parts and arguable Inferno is the work that resonates most with readers. Dante went to battle with the Florentine Guelphs against the Ghibellines in 1289. The Guelphs won and from there divided into two sects – the White Guelphs and the Black Guelphs. Dante belonged to the White Guelphs, which was ruled by Vieri de Cerchi. The Whites wanted more freedom for the citizens in Rome, while the Blacks supported rule by the Pope. The Pope asked Dante to remain in Rome, which later led to being condemned to exile for two years, along with a fine. Though Dante refused to pay the fine because he felt he did nothing wrong, the Black Guelphs had already seized his funds. It is while in exile that Dante creates Divine Comedy. Dante was granted amnesty in 1315 after the fall of the Black Guelphs. A fine and public penance were required and again, Dante refused, choosing instead to stay in exile.

2. Aristotle. There isn’t a subject Aristotle didn’t cover with his immense work. Whether it was art, philosophy, nature or logic, Aristotle had an opinion on everything and wasn’t afraid to share it. At the young age of 17, Aristotle went on to study at the Academy in Athens. He later became a tutor for Amyntas’ grandson – the future Alexander the Great (you might have heard of him). Alexander’s father was killed and later Alexander died, prompting the Assembly in Athens to rise against Antipon. Due to his background and connection to Alexander the Great, Aristotle was labeled pro-Macedonian and sentenced to exile, where he died at the age of 63.

3. Marquis de Sade. The Marquis de Sade and his work have made their way into pop culture in a major way. The Marquis de Sade was far ahead of his time and had a mind that begged to be censored in the 18th century. After a few relationships, the Marquis has a tryst with a prostitute in Paris who accuses him of verbal assault. A little over a week later, the Marquis is arrested and later exiled to his chateau. It is here that he creates his explicit works that are still deemed racy in the modern age. Though historical evidence shows the Marquis dabbled in explicit sexual activity prior to his being exiled, it is perhaps because he was confined that he chose to write stories on the subject.

4. Victor Hugo. After many attempts, Victor Hugo finally became a member of the French Academy, giving him a strong hold in the arts in France at that time. Many French academics tried to stop Hugo’s addition to the Academy, wanting to put a stop to romanticism in literature. Because of this, Hugo was forced to take a great interest in politics. When Napoleon III seized France in 1851, Hugo moved around after calling him a traitor in public. In exile, Hugo published several pamphlets which were banned by the French government. He also wrote several poems and his most notable work, Les Miseralbes. He saved the lives of six Irish prisoners who were accused of terrorism and whose lives were spared by the Queen Victoria government. Hugo’s influence is known for removing the death penalty from Colombia, Portugal and Geneva. Hugo was in Paris during the Prussian siege and ate animals from the Paris zoo. Towards the end of the Prussian invasion, he resorted to “eating the unknown.” By the time he was released from exile, Hugo was deemed a hero by the people of France.

5. Leo Tolstoy. The fascinating life story of one of the world’s greatest writers is just as interesting as his prolific books. Leo Tolstoy became revered in Russia by the people. Bred from upper crust society, Tolstoy was still a man for the people which led to his exile by the church in 1901. Though labeled an anarchist, Tolstoy was also a devout Christian and his excommunication from the church was taken with a heavy heart. Still, Tolstoy created his own philosophy which the public embraced. His formal exile from organized religion does not put a hiccup in Tolstoy’s faith. He continues to be religions, even refusing surgery for his ill wife at first because he feels she is spiritually fit for death. Eventually, Tolstoy gives in the surgery and his wife is well.

While exile isn’t exactly something we suggest to get your creative juices flowing, for a few famous writers, it did exactly that. This allowed them to leave their mark on the world with their words.

This article was reprinted with permission granted by

Bookmark and Share

Monday, October 11, 2010

He Blew Her a Kiss: a review by Vonnie Faroqui

This Week I would like to share my review of, He Blew Her a Kiss: Communications from loved ones who have passed, by authors Angie Pechak Printup and Kelley Stewart Dollar. This wonderful collection of real life accounts will touch your heart and be the opening for many a healing moment between friends and family.

Book Title: He Blew Her a Kiss: Communications from loved ones who have passed
Authored by: Angie Pechak Printup and Kelley Stewart Dollar
ISBN: 1432760920
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Link to purchase
Reviewer: Vonnie Faroqui

He Blew Her a Kiss is a collection of inspirational stories relating experiences of communication from loved ones who have passed. The entire volume has been compiled, with sincere and gentle treatment by the authors, from email submissions by and personal conversations with ordinary people. Accounts of after death communication [ADC] are difficult to explain in terms of religion or dogma, but are not uncommon, regardless of cultural or ethnic background. However, acceptance of the phenomenon is not necessary for enjoyment of the book. Instead of being sad or depressing the stories are touching and within moments will draw the reader into empathic resonance. The book will be especially gratifying to those who have had similar mystical experiences. Readers who have second hand or no ADC experiences to share, but for who near death and after death experiences are of interest, will also be attracted to these life affirming stories.

The idea for the book came to Angie Printup after a dear friend related what might be called, an extraordinary coincident by some and by others, a tiny miracle of after death communication. Kelley Dollar, a long time friend of Printup, was asked to assist in transforming the rough first person stories into a third person narrative form that proves to be both thoughtful and effective. The authors show tremendous sensitivity and embrace the mystery of ADC experiences with loving acceptance. It is obvious from the care and treatment of the stories that helping others overcome devastating loss and grief is the primary purpose of this work and their book. They have been tremendously successful in compiling the stories tastefully, without unnecessarily adding to or sensationalizing the individual accounts.

Believing that our consciousness continues after death, or in the possibility of communication with loved ones who are in spirit, is unimportant next to the immeasurable comfort and relief sharing these experiences bring. It is hard to refute the validity of a mystical experience one has not shared and the authors waste no time in trying to win supporters. They simply and deftly offer the stories up as messages of hope and comfort. Those with similar accounts to share will immediately relate and waste no time in debating the validity of ADC. Others will look to these stories for inspiration and as an affirmation of faith guiding the way into an afterlife full of hope and continued purpose.

He Blew Her a Kiss is a beautiful volume of collected stories that you will want to share with others. Not all of the stories are dramatic examples of after death communication, relating instead simple and poignant moments which have brought healing in times of grief. Some of the accounts are quite extraordinary and impossible to explain; all are uplifting and demonstrate humanity’s capacity to love beyond any obstacle, even death. The book is slim, attractive and would make a wonderful gift for conversational reading and is suitable for those suffering loss as an aid through times of grief.

Be sure to join us this Friday for the WITS Podcast as Vonnie interviews co-authors Angie Pechak Printup and Kelley Stewart Dollar about the inspiration behind their healing work and this lovely collection of stories, He Blew Her a Kiss.

Bookmark and Share

Friday, October 08, 2010

Free E-Book

Are you a new writer looking to improve your writing skills? Are you a writer who needs help with a starting freelance writing business? Do you need help setting prices for your writing? Need info about selling your work to magazines? This book is available at no cost to anyone who subscribes to Writers in the Sky Newsletter about the craft and business of writing. Request WITS Newsletter and download this free e-book on freelance writing!

Yvonne Perry,

Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services is a team of highly-qualified writers and editors with many years of experience in writing for articles, books, ad copy, media releases, PR kits, Web text, biographical sketches, and newsletters. Editing, proofreading, book review, and book evaluation services offered individually and as packages. Find us online at

Bookmark and Share

Monday, October 04, 2010

Craft of Writing Tues, Oct 19, 7 pm, Yvonne Perry, Guest Speaker

On Tues, Oct. 19, at 7 pm Yvonne Perry will be the guest speaker for the Nashville Writers Meetup Group. The topic will be on the craft of writing.

Be prepared for an exciting and informative experience.


Yvonne Perry is a freelance writer, author and keynote speaker who enjoys assisting people on a spiritual path by writing about topics that inspire excellence and uplift the spirit. She is a graduate of American Institute of Holistic Theology where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Metaphysics. She has written and published more than 170 articles on a wide variety of topics.

As a ghostwriter, Yvonne helps people get their message into a well-written book or article. She is the owner of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services—a team of full-time writers located in Nashville, Tennessee.

You will want to take notes at this meeting.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Hitting the Wall – What is the Change and How do We Make It?

By Maria Gamb

There are times when we all hit the wall.

We hit that wall when we start to wonder whether or not what we’re doing is making any kind of impact – not just on ourselves and our families, but also on those around us. So many times I have heard people ask, "Am I supposed to be working at the job I currently have?" People question their level of fulfillment and wonder what it’s all for – especially given all that’s transpired from an economic standpoint over the past few years.

Something’s gone awry in business. On morning radio and TV shows, pundits argue one way or the other about how to cure this problem. Recently I watched one commentator waving a large red pointer as he jumped up and down about financial projections and shortfalls. But is this really what’s going to motivate business to change and bring it back to its bastion of integrity and profitability?

Executives and entrepreneurs alike are facing the same problems: lack of motivation, less than stellar morale, and lack of fulfillment or a sense of accomplishment. They are fearful about their security and future.
But simply leaving the corporate world and working for oneself is not necessarily the solution. Sitting in a local coffee shop the other day, I overheard a conversation where one professional-looking woman was speaking to her sympathetic friend.

As she sipped her Americano, I heard the woman say, “I just want to walk out of this job and go weave baskets on the beach in Bali!”

Her friend replied, “Hey at least you have a steady job! I’m self-employed and it feels that way for me too. I thought I was supposed to be happier this way. I thought I was going to feel fulfilled doing work I believed in. But I can’t honestly say I am.”

They both stared at each other, looking beleaguered.

People want to feel productive. People want to make a difference where they work no matter what it is that they do. Many are tired of the problems we’ve faced in business year after year and are fed up. And they want to be making a better living (read money). However they are not quite sure how anything will get better.

So what’s the alternative?

It actually starts with each person-- from corporate executives to the office worker to the self-employed-- realizing that they are so much more powerful than they know, and by taking personal responsibility for their own happiness and fulfillment. It means they will have to make a shift and undergo the same kind of transformation needed in many businesses today: working from the inside out.

We start change by changing ourselves.
I thought this topic was of such importance, I wrote a whole book on the subject called Healing the Corporate World: how value-based leadership transforms business from the inside out.

To celebrate the launch of my new book, which is coming to Amazon on October 12th, I would like to invite you to attend a very special fr*ee 4-part online telesummit with 9 guest speakers on this very topic:

"Transforming Business from the Inside Out"

October 4th-7th

1pm EDT/ 10am PDT/ 6pm UK/ 7pm CET

Register FR*EE at

On this event, over the course of 4 days, you will get to hear thoughts from a distinguished panel of 9 passionate and innovative authors and speakers (ok, I'm one of them) to discuss the ingredients for becoming the 'Change Agent' in your business, in your life and in the world.

Below an overview of the 4-day line up.


Monday, October 4, 2010
• VIP Guest: Greg Reid, Filmmaker, Motivational Speaker, #1 best-selling author of several books including Three Feet from Gold

• Host: Maria Gamb, former Fortune 500 executive, business consultant and author of Healing the Corporate World

• Host: Lynn Serafinn, transformation coach, marketing coach, author of The Garden of the Soul.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

• VIP Guest: Allison Maslan, Life and Business Strategist, #1 selling author of Blast Off! Your Surefire Success Plan to Launch Your Dreams into Reality.

• VIP Guest: Pam Slim, Business Coach and best-selling author Escape from Cubicle Nation: from Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur

• Host: Maria Gamb, former Fortune 500 executive, business consultant and author of Healing the Corporate World

Host: Lynn Serafinn, transformation coach, marketing coach, author of The Garden of the Soul.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

• VIP Guest: Nicole Heimann, Leadership Coach and founder of 5C! Concept GmbH, Switzerland

• VIP Guest: Rich Gallagher, Business communications expert and author of many books on the topic including The Soul of an Organization, How to Tell Anyone Anything and his #1 customer service bestseller What to Say to a Porcupine.

• Host: Maria Gamb, former Fortune 500 executive, business consultant and author of Healing the Corporate World

• Host: Lynn Serafinn, transformation coach, marketing coach, author of The Garden of the Soul.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

• VIP Guest: Chuck Vollmer, founder and President of Jobenomics, and author of the book of the same name.

• VIP Guest: Michael McMillan, speaker, designer, creative consultant and author of the books Pink Bat, Paper Airplane and others.

Host: Maria Gamb, former Fortune 500 executive, business consultant and author of Healing the Corporate World

Host: Lynn Serafinn, transformation coach, marketing coach, author of The Garden of the Soul.

I believe people are the greatest raw material in any business when their mindset and belief is focused on creating rather than competing. When our values and rules of engagement, both for ourselves and our teams, are in alignment, we can finally become the Change Agents and get past that brick wall.

I hope you'll join me October 4-7 to hear what some of today's leading business innovators also have to say about this subject.

Bookmark and Share