Mystery Author and Writer Kim Carter is Everywhere. New Interview By The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ~ Talk of The Town.

Hello and Welcome Readers and New Visitors.

If you don’t know her yet? Please meet my dear friend and award-winning author and writer ‘Kim Carter’ who is the next big shooting star in mysteries! Now published by Kelly Keylon of “Raven South Publishing” of Atlanta, GA., I have been blessed and honored to have worked with Kim beginning in 2015 in promoting her books and author brand and with Kelly on and off to present.

They say it takes a “village” and many hours of marketing until it all pays off and then “BAM! This Begins to happen!” She is featured this weekend in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s “Talk of Town” and what a wonderful interview it is! Before you know it? Kim and her now six published titles will be seen next on “The New York Times” bestseller list! Well, everyone has to have a dream, right?

Her next featured is coming in October’s AMERICUS TIMES-RECORDER ~~ Life Styles magazine. And of course, Kim has been now chosen as a Finalist for Killer Nashville’s Falchion Awards in “The Best Thriller” category and will learn who wins August 25th, 2018! I hope you enjoy reading her article and interview as much I as have … Cat

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(Atlanta-based mystery writer Kim Carter is a finalist for the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion award for best thriller. Carter has written and published six mystery novels.)

 

~Atlanta author saved her life by writing mysteries ~

 

In September 1999 Kim Carter (then North) was on the way to drop her son at school before heading to work downtown when she suffered a grand mal seizure behind the wheel of her Grand Prix. She was 33, a mother of three and had never had a seizure in her life.

Carter and her 10-year-old son survived the terror and no one was hurt but the event set her on a long path to recovery. Carter credits her immediate survival to the brave couple who helped guide them to safety. But as the weeks of medical exams, medications and despair turned into months, she said it was writing that saved her life.

Eight months after the incident, Carter began writing mysteries like the ones she read by her favorite authors including the late Sue Grafton and Atlanta-based Karin Slaughter.

“It was my safe place. I had lost so much of my independence that was the one place where I could still be productive,” said Carter. “Even if it was just for me, even if it was a hobby, it was soothing.”

It would take several years, but Carter would eventually publish the books that once lived only on big floppy discs. Her 2016 novel “Murder Among the Tombstones,” — the first book in a series about two 70-year-old women who decide to become private investigators —  is a finalist for the 2018 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion award for best thriller. The winner will be announced Aug. 25.

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(“Murder Among the Tombstones,” by Kim Carter has been nominated for a Killer Nashville award.)

“It is an honor Carter never could have imagined when she was pecking out plots on the desktop computer she set up in her laundry room. After the traffic incident, Carter had developed agoraphobia. She worried that she would have another seizure at any given time.”

She had only learned about what happened that day after the fact. How her foot stiffened on the pedal and sent the car shooting down GA 138 at 70 MPH. How a passing couple realized what was happening and drove their car next to hers to warn other drivers out of the way. How her 10-year old son, Austin, would climb down to the floor, push her foot from the gas and press hard on the brakes until the car rolled across several lanes of traffic and came to a stop near a Saturn dealership.

Carter spent three days in the hospital and underwent weeks of medical testing. She searched for and found the couple that helped her. She even appeared on several televisions shows and in an AJC story. It was an emotional time, said Carter, and the seizures just wouldn’t stop.

It was hard to shake the anxiety and depression that her condition had brought to her life. She was a mother of young children but had limited mobility and her marriage was headed for divorce.

One day, she sat on the swing set in the backyard and resolved to do something to help her find some peace. So she moved an old desk into the laundry room, set up her computer and started writing. When the kids were at school or at night when she felt she needed to decompress, she was at her computer coming up with characters.

“I remember thinking, I have always been a reader. I thought about all my favorite authors and I thought about what I liked and didn’t like about certain books,” said Carter. “I said I was going to write the way I want books to be.”

Initially, no one knew what she was doing. But gradually she would print out her pages, roll them up with a rubber band and share them with neighbors.

In 2002, she began working on her second book. This time she did a lot of research. She visited a warden at the prison and an inmate on death row. She went to the Fulton County Examiner’s Office and began networking.

The process got her out of the house and lifted her mood. She began outlining her stories using sticky notes and storyboards. Though she was in and out of the hospital several times with health issues, her kids were thriving and her hobby kept her engaged.

Over time she reconnected with a family friend and after a shared dinner, they married in 2004. Her husband, Julius Herron encouraged her writing and she began sharing more and more of her manuscripts.

In 2005, she self-published her first book, “No Second Chances,” and threw a big launch party at the performing arts center in Newnan. They made the rounds of book fairs, sold books online and when they traveled they would give away books to people all over the globe and watch orders come in from around the world.

Then the seizures came back.

Julius set up a new desk and office for her. She cried over her old beat up desk but began writing again. For her next book, she worked with a small publishing house. When the book was released she had a signing at Barnes and Noble and sold more than 200 books. But despite what felt like success, the deal with the publishing house wasn’t a good one. Carter was disappointed and tired. Her self-esteem plummeted.

“I felt like I wasn’t really a writer,” she said. So she stopped writing for about a year. She began to feel depressed and the seizures started up again. Julius thought it was because her mind was idle. 

Four years ago, when the couple visited a convention for owners of greyhound dogs, they met Kelly Keylon, co-owner of Atlanta Water Gardens. The became fast friends and Keylon also encourage Carter to write again. “You have talent. You do not want to give up,” he said to her. Keylon was so sure of Carter that he founded Raven South Publishing to publish her books.
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They had to learn how to run a publishing company from the ground up and learned a lot as they worked with printers, cover artists, and editors.

Carter began tackling her writing again. One story was inspired by a girl’s trip to Biloxi, Miss. During a cemetery tour, Carter spotted a tombstone with a baby lamb on top. It said only, “Baby Belle.” She wanted to learn more about this little baby who seemed to have no family. It was so heavy on her mind, it became a plot twist in her book “Sweet Dreams, Baby Belle.

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It turned out to be the book in which Clara and Iris, the nosey widows who launch a second act as investigators were first introduced. She patterned the two characters after her mother and her mother’s best friend. “Readers love ‘Baby Belle” but I think what they loved the most were those two characters,” Carter said. So she decided to focus a series around them.

“Clara and Iris offer a humor break but they are also very smart women,” she said. She is now working another Clara and Iris book called “Murder on the Bayou” in which the two women buy an RV and hit the road!

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(From left, Kim Carter and Kelly Keylon pose outside an RV. This summer they plan to hit the road to do research for Carter’s upcoming mystery book, part of a series of novels about Iris & Clara — two 70-year-old women who become private investigators.)

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Soon after the idea formed, Carter hauled Keylon out to Greenville to look at an old RV so they could all take a road trip in October to do research for the book. Carter hopes her readers feel like they know her characters and she loves meeting with fans.
“I love doing book clubs and meeting people who read and hearing what they think about the books,” she said. At the end of the book club meetings, she leaves everyone with a note to send out to someone that has influenced their lives in big and small ways.

Carter also continued her connection to Baby Belle. She and Keylon have donated five large angel statues to the Old Biloxi Cemetery to watch over all of the babies buried there. The Killer Nashville nomination has helped give Carter the boost she needed to continue to reach higher and write the kinds of books that readers want to read.

“I just remain so shocked and humbled that people are reading, purchasing and enjoying what I have written,” she said. “For anyone who is writing and struggling, don’t give up. Just keep doing it even if you are just doing it for the love of writing.” 
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You can connect with Kim Carter on Social Media and please visit her website too.

All Author Featured Profile

Twitter – Official Website  –  FB Kim Carter Mysteries – And On Amazon.

BIG Congrats Kim for making Finalist for a Killer Nashville Silver Award!! CAT

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Social Media War and Blunders! How Do You Handle a Rude Person on Social Media? Be Careful …

My dear friend Marsha is back from “News & Experts” and her PR Insider post with some real solid advice on how to handle “rude” people on social media while keeping your Professionalism intact …

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How To Respond When The Social Media World Gets Unpleasant 

 

Most of you are fully aware by now that social media plays a significant role in building your authority as a thought leader and expert in your field.

One of social media’s great advantages over traditional media is that you get to control your message to an extent you can’t when you’re being interviewed by a print journalist, a talk radio host or a TV show host. With social media, there is no media “gatekeeper” standing between you and your audience.

That’s the good news!

But, as wonderful as social media is for promoting your brand, it does present its own treacherous pitfalls. A particularly onerous drawback is that your social media followers can post responses to your posts that are, shall we say, less than ideal!

That happened just this week to one of our clients when one of her Twitter followers suggested quite publicly and forcefully that she quit posting about one subject (business culture) and write about a different subject (blockchain) he cared about instead! (This is the polite version. I will refrain from injuring your ears with the sailor’s language he actually used.)

It was, to say the least, quite an aggressive response to a fairly innocuous post.

Luckily for all of us, there are lessons to be learned from how this situation played out. Jay York, our senior social media strategist who manages our client’s social media platforms, says there were a few options he considered.

On behalf of the client, Jay could have directly challenged the person’s comment. He could have also tagged the blockchain community, who likely would have brought down their wrath on the errant poster.

But the option Jay chose was to send a private message to the poster, politely requesting that the comment please be removed because it didn’t help a mutual objective they both had of bridging the gap between business and blockchain people.

A few hours later, the very contrite poster replied, apologizing and removing the post.

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So, in case you ever find yourself in a similar distasteful situation with one of your social media accounts, let’s break down how you can try to duplicate what Jay did:

  • Find common ground. “In marketing, sometimes you can turn threats into opportunities,” Jay says. Let’s face it, social media has plenty of trolls who post objectionable things just to be jerks, and there’s no reasoning with people like that. But Jay says he surmised this wasn’t the case in this situation. After all, this person chose to follow our client on Twitter and seemed to respect her. By finding common ground (their shared interest in blockchain) they were able to come to a mutual understanding.
  • Be respectful. When someone is rude to you (and this post was exceptionally rude with foul language to match) there’s a natural temptation to respond in kind. You want to just let them have it! Resist that temptation. Maybe you’ve heard the old saying “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” I think Jay proved that saying has merit because the disagreeable person became agreeable in the end, doing exactly what Jay wanted to happen for our client. A hostile response might have escalated the situation rather than resolved it.
  • Look beyond the face of what’s occurring. Everything isn’t black and white, and sometimes you have to dive below the surface and explore what’s really going on. Yes, this person had come off as critical to an almost irrational degree, but he also had raised a point about the kind of social media content he was looking for from our client. Once you worked your way through the vitriol, his post really was a request for her to share more content about a subject he cared about.
What’s interesting here, I think, is that while social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and others are largely a product of the 21st century, the human beings who use them are still fundamentally the same way human beings always have been.
Just like in face-to-face business dealings, good manners are still important and can help smooth the way through those less-than-desirable situations.
Respectfully yours,

Marsha

Book Reviews Pouring In For ‘The Hidden Motives Series’ By Author, A. Gavazzoni and Book Three Now Released …’The Brilliant Game.’

 

Welcome Readers! …If you love a good Psychological Thriller Romance Light Erotica Suspense? Then, Author, Adriana Gavazzoni’s New Novel Trilogy is what you should be reading! She is an amazing business lawyer by day and a sizzling writer by night … I just finished Book Three of her trilogy “The Hidden Motives” series and it is a fantastic read! I’m not saying this because I work for her in promoting her books, oh no! Lol.

It’s from loving all three books after reading them in this series. She is a talented writer and creative with all the twists and turns packed into all three of her titles. Now I am not the best writer of reviews as I never like to spoil a good read. But here is an amazing new review and by the beautiful Read-Headed Booklover shares that tell readers this is a Highly Recommended book and why she is winning so many Book Awards. ENJOY!

 

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The Brilliant Game, A. Gavazzoni ~ The Red-Headed Booklover …

 

Psychiatrist Simone Bennet feels like a pawn on a chessboard—as if some invisible, master chess player is toying with her life and the lives of the people she loves and cares for.
A series of horrific events—several murders and Simone being tortured at the hands of a serial killer—culminate in the kidnapping of her daughter and have turned Simone’s life upside down.

Struggling to stay afloat in the middle of a sea of chaos, Simone continues to receive her psychiatric patients and do more work for the New York attorney, Carl, while local police, the FBI, and Edward—Simone’s boyfriend, best friend, and business partner—are working hard to locate her child.

Simone is analyzing another set of Lara’s journals, and she becomes dragged into a vortex of sex addiction, suffering, and Lara’s struggle for some kind of balance in her life, while Simone battles an inner fight against her mixed feelings for the enigmatic lawyer.

 

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The Brilliant Game by A. Gavazzoni FACEBOOK and TWITTER TEASER

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Courtesy of “The ReadHeaded Book Lover!”

The Brilliant Game… where do I start book lovers? How about I start by writing that I am obsessed with this series and think that The Brilliant Game is the perfect conclusion to a series I have grown to love over the past few months. The Brilliant Game is the third book in the Hidden Motives series with the first book called Behind the Door and the sequel called Lara’s Journal. The first two books in the series floored me, honestly when I read them it was as if the exceptional author A. Gavazzoni had written my dream novel and that was because everything I love about literature was laced throughout these two books, so it is safe for me to write that I am obsessed with them! Now, when I finished book two, I admit that although I was excited to start book three a part of me was hesitant and this was because I loved the series and worried the conclusion would be a disappointment.

After all, I have read many series and the third book usually always fail so I was worried. However! When I started to read The Brilliant Game and take the plunge, I noticed straight away that A. Gavazzoni has done it again and has reunited me with her spellbinding literature that manages to terrify as well as thrill me from the start! That is why I am already going to recommend that you lovely readers read this book but once again if you need more convincing then continue to read to learn more book lovers!

The Brilliant Game once again reunites the reader with the much-beloved protagonist Simone Bennet, a psychiatrist who specializes in unusual and peculiar sex addictions. Over the course of the two previous books, Simone has endured a great deal, so much so that you worry for her and her mental health because she really has had a terrible time and sadly, in book three it gets even worse.

In book three Simone’s beloved daughter is kidnapped thanks to some previous unfinished ‘business’ I can’t spoil and this, of course, worries Simone greatly. Simone, however, realizes that she must continue to work, to treat her patients and to work with Carl, a New York attorney on a particular case they have been working on. All of this is happening why everybody else around her including law enforcement tries to find her daughter before it is too late. Will they be able to find her? Read the exceptional The Brilliant Game to find out!

The Brilliant Game is a haunting, terrifying and thrilling novel that bewitched as well as horrified me all at once. The Brilliant Game is the type of novel I love because I love any book that involves crime because I studied forensic psychology, so I love when psychological crimes are featured in a story. The Brilliant Game once again shocked me from the start because although I thought I knew where the book was going to go, it didn’t go that way and instead took a U-turn and wow it was shocking! The themes combined and laced throughout The Brilliant Game perfectly compliment the atmosphere of the book and story, the reader will experience mystery, action, terrifying and thrilling moments and many more exceptional themes.

As I read The Brilliant Game, I found myself racing through it, turning the pages with haste thanks to the addictive nature. What I loved the most about The Brilliant Game is that it was not a silly serial killer novel in which the author has to rely on gimmicks. Instead, the story is unique and has the perfect combination of crime, suspense, and mystery which are all perfectly weaved together by the exceptional author A. Gavazzoni who I must add book lovers is insanely talented!

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A. Gavazzoni is an incredible author who has written a fantastic story and come up with a brilliant idea. Gavazzoni from the very start sets the tone of the novel, she lets her readers know that this is going to be a dark and atmospheric book thanks to her literature and wow was it!

Gavazzoni is an exceptional writer because she grabs her readers attention from the start very quickly and keeps them engrossed until the end. There are no long build-ups that drag in The Brilliant Game; instead, the reader will be thrown into the thick of the story quickly, and the result of this is exciting (and slightly terrifying!).

Overall The Brilliant Game is a superb novel that has everything a reader would want in a story, it has a thrilling narrative, magnificent plot development and excellent characterization that will thrill and excite its readers so of course, I have to award this impressive piece of literature five stars! Be sure to have a read of the preview below book lovers and also have a read of the preview two books, you do not want to miss out!

“I love discussing wonderful books with all of you so please comment below and let me know your thoughts on The Brilliant Game. Do you see yourself reading this book? Do you love the genre? Please let me know your brilliant thoughts below and I will be sure to comment back. Thank you so much again for reading!

 

P.S. Here is a preview of the book for all of you lovely readers to enjoy! Please have a read of the preview and if you find that you have loved what you have read then all you need to do is click the Buy on Amazon button and it will take you straight to the book on Amazon U.S.! If you are in the U.K. then below I have attached a link to the book for Amazon UK too!

Below I have attached some links about the author and this wonderful book so if you would like to learn more about the author and the book then please have a browse. Thank you so much again for reading book lovers, I can’t wait to read your thoughts on this book!

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Now Available on – Amazon Books & Kindle Store –  Amazon UK –
Connect with A. Gavazzoni: Website – Facebook – Twitter – Instagram

My Friend Marsha Is Back of ‘News & Experts’ PR Firm. She Knows Mainstream Media!

How Small Publications Can Play A Big Role In Your Publicity Efforts …

 

I don’t believe I’m going out on a limb (well, at least not too far out) when I say that nearly everyone recognizes the giants of journalism. Such venerated (and at times vilified) publications as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and USA Today are hard to ignore, even if you’re not a regular reader or subscriber.

But as wonderful as they are, these behemoths of the reporting world aren’t the only option for those who long to see their names in traditional and online print.

Small towns throughout the country also are blessed with daily or weekly newspapers that keep their communities informed about who’s engaged, who died, whose child made honor roll and what the city commission and school board are up to these days.

These more obscure practitioners of journalism still serve a significant role in our information age, but admittedly without the luster and renown that those top-tier publications enjoy.

That’s why if you’re seeking to promote your brand, you could be thinking that it’s OK to ignore these lesser lights of the print and online media world in your quest for publicity.

Stop right there!

 

Let me tell you why that would be a mistake. These smaller venues, whether they appear online or in old-fashioned ink on paper, can be more important than you realize as you build your reputation as an authority in your field.

How so?

 

  • People read those local publications. Weekly newspapers and small dailies still attract a loyal readership for one simple reason: They provide readers with articles that have a direct impact on their lives and keep them apprised of what’s happening with people they know. If you want to promote your brand, it never hurts to start with your hometown newspaper. It can be a stepping stone to bigger things, plus as a bonus, you get to hone your interview skills in preparation for that day when the New York Times calls!
  • Smaller publications can have a bigger reach than you think. What happens in lesser-known media venues doesn’t necessarily stay in lesser-known media venues. Story ideas that bubble up on the local level can get noticed at the national level. Many smaller newspapers also are owned by large newspaper chains, and the publications within that chain share articles with each other. That means your interview with a small weekly in Wisconsin could be printed in sister publications far and wide. The fact is that not everything that grabs widespread attention begins life on the front page of the New York Times.
  • The media follow the media. There is little doubt that your friends (and potential clients and customers) are going to be impressed if you’re quoted in the Wall Street Journal or USA Today. How could they not be? But many of the authoritative voices that journalists at large publications seek out didn’t take a direct route from anonymity to the media spotlight. Instead, they built a media presence at smaller publications, establishing a trackable online presence. If you offer yourself as a source to top-tier media, those reporters are almost certain to Google your name. If they that see that other publications – even smaller ones – quoted you, they are more likely to view you as a credible source..

One final point worth noting. A Pew Research Center study in 2017 showed that Americans place greater trust in local news media than they do in national news media. The study showed that 25 percent of those surveyed said they trust their hometown news organizations “a lot” and 60 percent said they trust the local media “some.” That compares to 20 percent who said they trust national news organizations a lot and 52 percent who said they trust national media some.

Perhaps some of that trust in local media can rub off on you! After all, if the local media trust you enough to seek your insight about your area of expertise, potential customers or clients will be more inclined to trust you as well!
Locally yours,

Marsha

P.S. If you’d like professional help getting coverage in the press, and being interviewed on radio and TV, give us a call. We’ve been providing this service to clients for 28 years. We also offer a comprehensive social media marketing program for select clients, where we do it all for you.

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So friends, If you’re interested in Marsha’s help, please call here at 727-443-7115 Ext. 231, She’d love to hear from you! Let her know Catherine Lyon Sent YOU!

Marsha Friedman

I Hope You Will Join Me. Trump Needs To GO! I’m on Board …

It’s Time For The People To Take Back America. Time To Impeach Donald J. Trump and Send Him Back To The Golf Course Where He Belongs –Not In The White House. I Signed, Will YOU?

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“Donald Trump has brought us to the brink of nuclear war, obstructed justice, and taken money from foreign governments. We need to impeach this dangerous president.  ~By Tom Steyer and The Folks of Need o Impeach

 

 

July 17, 2018

BREAKING NEWS
Barack Obama warned of “strongman politics” and leaders who “double down” on lies, a day after President Trump met with Vladimir Putin

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 1:13

Without mentioning President Trump by name, former President Barack Obama delivered a pointed rebuke of “strongman politics” on Tuesday, warning about growing nationalism, xenophobia, and bigotry in the United States and around the world, while offering a full-throated defense of democracy, diversity and the liberal international order.

A day after Mr. Trump met with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, Mr. Obama delivered his highest-profile speech since leaving office, at an event in South Africa marking the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth.

Read More »

Donald Trump has obstructed justice over the investigation into Russia’s interference in our 2016 election. He has brought us to the brink of nuclear war through his reckless tweets. He has taken — and continues to take — money from foreign governments for his own personal enrichment.

He is, without a doubt, a clear and present danger to our nation. In December 2017, a panel of constitutional lawyers convened and agreed that there is more than enough evidence to begin the impeachment process. They argued that Congress has an obligation to act now.

Enough is enough. It’s past time for lawmakers to put country first. Our president is unhinged and must be removed from office. But too many members of Congress are afraid to take this necessary measure. They need to hear our voices and see the strength of our movement if we want them to do what’s right.

Will you join me and millions of your fellow Americans and add your name demanding impeachment? Add your name here by visiting this page: Sign The Petition for Need To Impeach Trump.

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ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
Just a few of the reasons WHY he needs to be impeached!! (Courtesy of Founder, Tom Steyer and “Need to Impeach” )

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Tom Steyer: Donald Trump has committed “treason”

(SAN FRANCISCO, July 16, 2018)—Need to Impeach Founder Tom Steyer released the following statement following the meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin and subsequent press conference in Helsinki today: More

Tom Steyer Statement on the Indictment of 12 Russian Intelligence Agents in the Mueller Investigation

(SAN FRANCISCO, July 13, 2018)—Need to Impeach Founder Tom Steyer released the following statement following the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence agents by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for the cyber attack on the Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign, Democratic National Committee, and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: More

Tom Steyer at the California Democratic Party Meeting: “The American people are getting played by the D.C. establishment.”

(OAKLAND, CA, July 14, 2018)—Tom Steyer today called out the Washington, D.C. establishment for “playing” the American public and for failing to respond to Donald Trump’s repeated attacks on our democracy, including his meeting on Monday to befriend Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who masterminded cyberattacks on the 2016 Presidential election. More

ALL 8 offenses are listed here: Impeachable Offenses!

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"Daily Show" interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates.

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If You Feel The Same As Me?

Visit “Need to Impeach” and sign the petition today so your voice can be heard as an American. America was always Great …Until Trump!

~CAT Proud Democrat!

Welcome, John Tracy and His New CD Release Titled “Quintessential.”

I am so thrilled and honored to once again have my dear friend and a fantastic musician and recording artist, John Tracy back with us. Now, your most likely wondering why Cat is spotlighting a musician since most of my spotlights are with authors and about books. Well, musicians are writers too!

Writing music I am sure can have a whole different set of challenges and be very rewarding when a new CD is finished like John’s new one titled “Quintessential.” So this time I am including a little interview with John on just how this new CD came about. Besides, Cat loves listening to music and I enjoy John’s sound of a little it soft rock with a dash of country twang … He makes a difference in the lives of the people who listen to and love his music on our “Journey of Life!” ~Catherine Lyon

 

My Interview With John Tracy

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Where were you born and raised? 

I was born and raised in Fort Worth, TX. I actually lived there most of my life until we moved to Virginia six years ago. It was just time for a change. Actually, I think my soul was crying out for a change, but that’s a whole other story. Our daughters moved to the East Coastand Virginia just seemed to be calling our name.

We spent some time in Charlottesville and last year moved to Richmond to put down new roots. I love the vibe in this community – it’s a big city without being pretentious. 

 

What inspired your writing and the new release of Quintessential?

This album is mostly an accumulation of the most recent songs I’ve written. It’s always exciting to get the new stuff out into the world. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the definition of “Quintessential” is “of the pure and essential essence of something” and “of or relating to the most perfect embodiment of something.” When we started out working on this album, I don’t think we had an overall theme in mind. Like I said, these were just the newest songs written and I think they are my best to date.

However, once we got started, I think the overall theme of the songs we put together is the quest to find that pure and essential essence. Perhaps that’s in the love and peace in “Home,” or in the comfort of listening to the “Midnight Moon.” Maybe it is in finding the joy in “Blue Sunny Skies,” or the longing for that healthy relationship in “The Shallow Game.”

 

Do you have training in music or attended music school?

I don’t have formal music training. I had a couple of guitar teachers early on that showed me the basics. As far as my fingerpicking style of playing guitar, I developed that on my own, playing by ear. I had a reel-to-reel (ok, I’m dating myself here) and I would record favorite songs onto tape and then play them back bar by bar, teaching myself to play every note.

 

What music and other musicians do listen to and inspire you?

Early on, I was inspired by all of my musical heroes from the 70s – singer/songwriters like Simon & Garfunkel, Dan Fogelberg, Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Jim Croce, etc. That was an era to me when music really said something, lyrics were meaningful, and melodies were intricate and interesting.

To be completely honest, I find it hard to be inspired by many mainstream artists in this current musical era. The music is either too electronic or to manufactured (meaning it all sounds the same) and it just doesn’t move me. There are artists that are fun to listen to of course, but I don’t find a lot of inspiration for my own songwriting.

The cool thing about working with Kevin is that he honors who I am as a singer and a songwriter, allowing me to be myself while adding in elements that are modern and current without destroying the integrity of the songs.

 

How long did this CD take and why?

It took almost a year from first recordings to the final product. We do things a bit differently perhaps than most. We record a scratch or demo of the song (just vocals and acoustic guitar) and send that to our producer, Kevin McNoldy at Cphonic Mastering.

He then lays down the framework for the song – a bass line, drums, maybe some piano or electric guitar. From there, we go back and re-record the vocal and acoustic guitar tracks. Once we’re finished with our parts, it’s back to Kevin for more instrumentation and background vocals. We kind of go back and forth like this, bouncing around ideas, adding or taking away parts until we’ve carved out the perfect song. This is why it takes a little while.

However, we don’t get in a rush. We work the song until all three of us (my wife Teri, who is the co-producer, Kevin and myself) are happy. I have that luxury because I am an independent artist not beholden to a label. It allows me to make good quality music, not music that has to be forced into a formula or rushed through.


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Your unique offer to do House Concerts is very different, how did this idea come about?

I’ll be really honest – these are the most fun and rewarding events for me. They are intimate, personal and the audience is really there to listen to what I bring. Unlike a bar or restaurant where there are tons of distractions and so much competing for the audience’s attention. Or like large venues where the audience is removed and separate that it’s harder to feel a connection with them.

My music is a bit more sophisticated than what is typically on the radio. So, it’s best appreciated when you can actually listen to and take in the lyrics and feel the melody move your soul. A house concert is the ideal setting for that. And the audience finds it ultimately more rewarding as well. Not only do they get to know the music, but they get to hear the stories behind the songs and get a glimpse into who I am not only as an artist but as a person.

If anyone out there is interested in learning more, just stop by my website
www.johntracymusic.com/houseconcerts.

 

Where in any state is your favorite place or venue to play and why?

That’s a tough one! I’ve had the opportunity to play all across the US and in Europe. Honestly, anywhere that I have an attentive audience is a favorite for me.

I will share this story talking about house concerts. About three years ago, I met a radio host from Sweden on Twitter. We hit it off in our conversations online. In 2016, I had the opportunity to travel to Europe, so I talked to him about hosting a house concert. It was something he had never heard about before but was intrigued by the idea. So, he set it up, inviting friends and family from all over Sweden. Some came from as far away as Norway. Everyone commented about how much fun it was to get together, have time to visit and then be able to enjoy live music together. They had so much fun, they keep asking when I’m coming back.

 

“I consider my style to be a blend of Acoustic Singer/Songwriter, Contemporary Country, and Adult Contemporary. Take a listen to “Mightnight Moon” one of Cat’s Favorites!”

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Tell us a little more about John Tracy, like, are you married? Have Kids? Pets? Hobbies?

I am married to my soulmate and my best friend Teri. Celebrating and coming up on 35 years together later this year. We have two grown girls, both out of college and on their own journey. We have a family pet – a Dachshund named Princess who has been in our family for 17 years now.

Aside from music, my biggest passions are food and movies. Favorite food is anything that doesn’t eat me first. We’re huge sci-fi fans in our family – Teri and I, our first date was watching “Return of the Jedi” and we indoctrinated our girls early in the way of the Force. Lol.

Lastly, what is one funny “Secret or Fedish” about your fans and new ones won’t read or find out about?

Well, funny and probably depends on who you are asking. I am a bit OCD and can drive my family crazy. I’m not sure if you remember the TV show “Monk” about a private investigator who was intensely OCD, making him a great detective. I’m not quite that bad, though my kids bought me the DVD set of the show for Christmas one year as an inside joke.


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Well, John, you are in good company as I too have OCD and a few other challenges in that department! Lol. I thank you kindly for allowing me to share you and your new CD! I hope readers you have enjoyed this interview and learning all about John Tracy Music. I urge you to take a visit to his amazing official website here at John Tracy Music to take a listen to a few more of his song and you can SHOP and purchase unique CD packages there too!

AND? John is a writer and author as well! Another wee-bit-of info you all didn’t know. Check out his book titled; Of Life, Love, and Famly – John Tracy Wilson.

Now that you know John, please connect with him on Social Media below and tell him “CAT” sent you.

Listen and Connect on YouTube!
On InStagram
Connect on Facebook
On Twitter

 


(What others say about John Tracy and his Music)

Summer Reading – What Is Our Former President, Barack Obama Reading While Traveling to Africa This Summer?

Since I know summer is the best time for reading good books, it seems our former President, Barack Obama is an avid reader too! Now, I have known this since way back when and while actually running for office. But recently I saw on his Facebook page his shares of summer reading he will be doing while traveling to Africa. I thought, “why not share what Barack will be reading this summer with all of you.”

Barack, while in office, was always a “surprise” visitor of bookstores no matter where he happened to be, or where he happened to be traveling as our President. He was never shy about saying “hello” to all the patrons and workers that happen to be inside the stores either! I feel that is some of what makes him such a special person. And there are many documented visits through the eight years he held office, just look them up on Google!

So here, courtesy of what he posted on his Official Facebook Page today is all about traveling to Africa and what he will be reading while on vacation. ~Catherine Lyon

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Over the years since, I’ve often drawn inspiration from Africa’s extraordinary literary tradition. As I prepare for this trip, I wanted to share a list of books that I’d recommend for summer reading, including some from a number of Africa’s best writers and thinkers – each of whom illuminate our world in powerful and unique ways.”
~Former -President Barack Obama

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“This week, I’m traveling to Africa for the first time since I left office – a continent of wonderful diversity, thriving culture, and remarkable stories.”

I was proud to visit sub-Saharan Africa more times than any other sitting President, and I’ll return this week to visit Kenya and South Africa. In South Africa, the Obama Foundation will convene 200 extraordinary young leaders from across the continent and I’ll deliver a speech to mark the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth. Kenya, of course, is the Obama ancestral home. I visited for the first time when I was in my twenties and I was profoundly influenced by my experiences – a journey I wrote about in my first book, Dreams from My Father.

Over the years since, I’ve often drawn inspiration from Africa’s extraordinary literary tradition. As I prepare for this trip, I wanted to share a list of books that I’d recommend for summer reading, including some from a number of Africa’s best writers and thinkers – each of whom illuminate our world in powerful and unique ways …



Barack Obama’s Summer Reading List:

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
A true classic of world literature, this novel paints a picture of traditional society wrestling with the arrival of foreign influence, from Christian missionaries to British colonialism. A masterpiece that has inspired generations of writers in Nigeria, across Africa, and around the world.

A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi Wa Thiong’o
A chronicle of the events leading up to Kenya’s independence, and a compelling story of how the transformative events of history weigh on individual lives and relationships.

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
Mandela’s life was one of the epic stories of the 20th century. This definitive memoir traces the arc of his life from a small village to his years as a revolutionary, to his long imprisonment, and ultimately his ascension to unifying President, leader, and global icon. Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand history – and then go out and change it.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
From one of the world’s great contemporary writers comes the story of two Nigerians making their way in the U.S. and the UK, raising universal questions of race and belonging, the overseas experience for the African diaspora, and the search for identity and a home.

The Return by Hisham Matar
A beautifully written memoir that skillfully balances a graceful guide through Libya’s recent history with the author’s dogged quest to find his father who disappeared in Gaddafi’s prisons.

The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes
It’s true, Ben does not have African blood running through his veins. But few others so closely see the world through my eyes like he can. Ben is one of the few who’ve been with me since that first presidential campaign. His memoir is one of the smartest reflections I’ve seen as to how we approached foreign policy, and one of the most compelling stories I’ve seen about what it’s actually like to serve the American people for eight years in the White House.

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And This Includes READING …  Happy Summertime Reading Friends!
~Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon