Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews – The Sleeping Serpent by Luna Saint Claire

Title: The Sleeping Serpent: A Woman’s Struggle to Break an Obsessive Bond with her Yoga Master

Author: Luna Saint Claire

Print Length: 428 pages

Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1928816762

Publisher: Compelled Books (October 19, 2015)

Publication Date: October 19, 2015

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Language: English

ASIN: B016LUUB1K

The Sleeping Serpent follows Hollywood costume designer Luna and several other women and their obsessions with their manipulative yoga instructor Nicolas or Nico. Appropriately titled, this book is deceptive on many levels. First, I picked it up as a psychological read but it can easily fall into erotica just the same so that was a bit of a surprise. (As I don’t usually review Erotica but since its not technically in the Erotica category we’ll let it slide).

Nico uses Chakra and Kundalini magic to put women under a spell that makes them cling to him in more ways than one. Falling victim to his elegant speech, smooth words, sex, and laced tea, the women become drawn to him without realizing it. Not only do they allow him to abuse them physically and emotionally, but they also invest in him financially and comes under the captivity of doing whatever he wants them to do and despite how he berates them, the women cannot get enough.

Nico is not just a yoga instructor. Nico is a warlock, a sleeping serpent preying on the vulnerability of successful women in an attempt to turn them into his mother. I think the most powerful portrayal of Nico’s spell is over Luna herself. While she is not as clingy as the other women and on occasion tells him how it is, I feel that the mental hold Nico has on her is stronger than the physical hold he has on the other women. Though married, Luna will drop everything to be with him.

The book is written well and maintains good pacing, although after a while I did start to think the story was just repeating itself as Nico captivated woman after woman and sexes them crazy.

I would recommend this book to lovers of Erotica, Romance, and Psychological Thrillers. (I’m starting to really like these psycho reads! Wait, does that make me a psycho??)

Ratings:

Plot Movement / Strength: 4/5

Entertainment Factor: 4/5

Characterization: 5/5

Authenticity / Believable: 4/5

Thought Provoking: 5/5

Overall Rating: 4 / 5

The Sleeping Serpent: A Woman’s Struggle to Break an Obsessive Bond with her Yoga Master by Luna Saint Claire is Available now on Amazon. Go Get it!

Introduce Yourself – Introducing Guest Author Hope Destiny

Its that time of the week again!  Welcome to another edition of Introduce Yourself, a new and exciting blog segment of The PBS Blog dedicated to introducing to you new and established authors and their books.

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Hope Destiny. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Latisha. I write under Tisha as well as the pseudonym Hope Destiny. I live in Orlando, Florida.

The Sunshine state! I love it. Your pseudonym is beautiful. What made you decide on this name in particular?

I was airing out my dirty laundry to the world about what I did when I was younger that I shouldn’t have been doing as well as the violations I endured and my feelings about my parents, and I just didn’t want any family members to know it was me or read it so as I was writing it the name just came to me, and I questioned it at first and tried to change it, but God already had planted that seed so it was no way around it or giving it up.

Photo: Latisha “Hope Destiny”. Used with permission.

Hmmm. OK. Tell me, what would your perfect writing / reading room look like?

Quiet. No sound.

I feel you. I enjoy silence myself. I understand you are employed outside of writing? Tell us about your job.

I am a Controller at a telecommunications company.

Cool. What’s your favorite color?

Baby blue.

If you could shadow your favorite artist, who would it be?

Eminem.

OK OK, I see you. Cleaning out my closet was my jam back in the day, Lol. Seems like a lifetime ago. Speaking of music, what kind of music do you like?

Slow throwback R&B.

Yaass! Me too. You’ll love PBS Throwback Thursdays. When did you publish your first book? What was that like?

May 2014. It was exhilarating.

You Don’t Know My Story: I Don’t Look Like What I Been Through was published in May 2014. (You Still Don’t Know My Story, and Let Me Finish Telling You My Story was published after that and each about 6 months apart). Part One chronicles my life from a child to the age of 18 years old with the subsequent books from the age of 18 and up. It was heartbreaking to write. I cried a lot. It was hard to recall memories that I had locked up in the attic of my memory to forget them and to move on then I realized how that only caused the anger that shrouded my heart which in turn lead to failed relationships and failed marriages. I had a wall up. I didn’t love anyone. Not even my own children so it was sad. I gave them things in place of love sort of like I was given growing up. It was an endless vicious cycle that needed to be broken and I wanted…no needed to break it.

AVAILABLE NOW ON AMAZON.

Sounds like a gripping read. I like that cover too.  I’m gonna have to check you out as soon as I find the time to read all these books! Hope, how long have you been married?

Almost one year.

Awwue! Go ahead Newlywed. Alright now fellas, you heard it here first, Hope is married. Lol. Children?

Yes. One girl and two boys.

Total preciousness. What takes up too much of your time?

Life obstacles.

Can you explain that?

There is always something that keeps you from doing things that you want to do. I would love to write every day all day but I can’t. I have a job. No. I have a career. While my imagination runs wild with stories and ideas all day, I crunch numbers as it does. I am the main breadwinner in my entire family. So many responsibilities. My parents. My children. Nieces and nephews and etc always needing things and I have to be the one to give it. Granted…everyone (my siblings mainly) had the same opportunities that I had but no one wanted the responsibility of doing what it took to get it. I am the responsible one. Everyone depend on me so I can’t live in my fantasy writer world that calls me. I have to live in the now so what really takes up a lot of my time? The need and want to put others before my own needs and wants. Other people problems take up a lot of my time.

Yea, I can imagine that’s a huge responsibility and some serious stress. Praying for your strength. Speaking of life, what do you think of the world we live in?

Its hectic.

Hope has a lot of reads for you to explore! Visit her Author Amazon Page HERE

What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?

The time to write. Finishing it.

As noted above….time is what I have so little of with a demanding career and family as I have so that is just it…so much to do…so little time….that is my mantra.

Once I do finish a novel, it is euphoric. I have completed a task (a most difficult one) that I had set out to do. It is always exciting to complete a difficult task with very little time.

Indeed. And speaking of finishing, why is writing important to you?

It gets me out of my head.

GET THIS BOOK NOW ON AMAZON

What does that mean?

I am always thinking about stories all day, everyday and scenes and such or an idea pops in my head and I always wrote poetry as a child to deal with a lot of anger and hurt of growing up with parents that were there but not there so writing became an outlet as it has now.

Thru all the hurt and pain I endured from a child and on, I learned that writing takes me places and gives me that release I yearn for. A release from pain and misery and I can make it continue or end.. in a story. In a story, it is a life I really control. The characters life is in my hands and they don’t have to be miserable like I was. It is wonderful.

Thank you for spending this time with us. I am sure you’ve given many new authors some Hope today!


Latisha “Hope Destiny”. Used with permission.

Blog website https://penpointpub.wordpress.com/

Instagram handle authorhopedestiny

Twitter handle athrhopedestiny

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorHopeDestiny

Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/authorhopedestinywrites/

 
To stay up to date on new releases and giveaways from Hope, text PENPOINT to 22828 and stay tuned for my next awesome author.

Are you a new author? Looking for more exposure? Learn more about my Introduce Yourself Feature HERE.

Renaissance: The Nora White Story by Yecheilyah Ysrayl

I am off today as usual and I’m actually not at home but I wanted to share the first official review for Nora. A special thank you to Rachel for taking the time to read and review my book. Her honest feedback is just what I need to make improvements before the big day.

Rachel Poli

Book Review | Renaissance: The Nora White Story by Yecheilyah YsraylTitle: Renaissance: The Nora White Story
Author: Yecheilyah Ysrayl
Published: 
July 15, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction
How I got the book: I received a free eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

Summary:

When seventeen-year-old NoraWhite successfully graduates High School in 1922 Mississippi and is College bound, everyone is overjoyed and excited. Everyone except Nora. She dreams of Harlem, Cotton Clubs, Fancy Dresses, and Langston Hughes. For years, she’s sat under Mr. Oak, the big oak tree on the plush green grass of her families five acres, and daydreamed of The Black Mecca.

The ambitious, young Nora is fascinated by the prospect of being a famous writer in The Harlem Renaissance and decides she doesn’t want to go to College. Despite her parent’s staunch protest, Nora finds herself in Jacobsville, New York, a small town forty-five minutes outside of Harlem.

Shocked by their daughter’s…

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10 Low-Cost Ways to Market Your Book

10 Low-Cost Ways to Market Your Book

Nicholas C. Rossis

Lisa Wheatley | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksThis is a guest post by Lisa Wheatley. Lisa Wheatly works for Top Aussie Writers in her spare time, where she creates unbiased essay service reviews. Lisa believes analytical thinking and an enquiring mind are her strongest points and does her best to put them to good use. She is a consultant to young entrepreneurs and feels that her understanding of the human mind allows her to accurately assess the abilities of young businessmen.

10 Low-Cost Ways to Market Your Book

Low budget | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksFor most writers, writing and publishing a successful book is a difficult task. That’s not because of hundreds of hours of hard work are the only way of coming up with enough quality for the readers. Nope. It’s something else.

You see, good writers can or can’t be good marketers. It’s the same with everyone else – we excel at something, and we suck at something else. In most cases, freshly…

View original post 1,434 more words

Embedding Amazon Previews on Your Website

Nice.

Story Empire

Hello, SEers! Harmony here 🙂

Recently, I had to update my webpage to reflect a book release due out soon. I realised that I had forgotten completely how to make the book previews that I’d done for my other books, lols. So, good old Google came to the rescue. Then I thought that it might be useful for folks if I outlined the process of Embedding Amazon Book Previews into your website here. If you know all this already, then of course feel free to ignore me! The other benefit of sharing this is that, in writing it all out, it might actually embed in this brain of mine! (Miracles have been known to happen.)

Happily, unlike donating digital gifts (including ebooks), this feature works on both Amazon UK as well as Amazon US. Yay! (Sorry, but being in the UK, that’s one of my gripes, ha ha.)

Anyhooooo …

View original post 426 more words

7 Things I Learned about Email List Building

I’ve learned so far that there’s a lot more to building an email list than getting people signed up. I’ve had an email list for years but I feel that only now am I starting to really understand how it works. A little. OK so maybe I just have an inkling of an idea. Who knows but it’s a start.

While having one is great, building an email list and the upkeep is not easy! OK, well, it’s not hair-pulling difficult but it does take some tending to. I don’t want to scare anyone away. It’s not brain surgery or anything like that but I guess that’s why they call it “building”. You don’t build anything over night. There are lots of steps and parts to keeping an email list updated and valuable.

(Click Here to read 7 Common Sense Reasons You Should Build an Email List)

Here are some things I learned, or I should say I am learning, about the email list:

  1. More Subscribers Mean Little to Nothing

At first, I was concerned with getting more subscribers. I mean, that’s a start, right? Yes and no. Yes because of course I want readers. No because that’s just the beginning.

I learned that getting people to subscribe, as challenging as it can be, turned out not to represent as much of the process as I’d thought. While getting subscribers is great, you should know that it’s never a guarantee that people will:

  1. Stay subscribed to your list (people can unsubscribe anytime)
  2. Open the emails you send
  3. Click on your links
  4. Support your product / service

One of the first lessons I am learning in my continual quest to better understand list building is that subscribers mean little to nothing in the grand scheme of things. It is not so much how many people are on the list so much as it is how many of these people are engaged: open emails, read the content, click links and offer feedback. Are they part of my target audience or just taking up space? Are they at all interested in what I have to say?

I’ve learned that an email list of only ten people on it in which eight are engaged and supporting is better than a thousand who can care less.

2. The “From” Address – Use the name that is the most popular and noticeable to your readers

When setting up an email list, part of the process is to enter a “From” Address or the name you want to appear as the person the email is coming from. For the two years or so of sending emails through Mail Chimp I used Literary Korner Publishing, my business name and all was well.

Toward the close of last year, I decided to do something different. I stopped using my business name and used my name, Yecheilyah, instead. I wanted to see if my open and click rate would increase. It did. It worked because it is the name most familiar to my readers.

3. Email – Use a business email address

Another thing I started off with is using my personal Gmail account as the email linked to my list. When setting up an email list, you’ll also have the option of choosing where the emails will come from / people can reply to. In the beginning, it was my Gmail account. I have since changed this.

Toward the close of last year I changed my email. It required an upgrade but it was worth it. It does look more professional but I’ll be honest in saying I didn’t do it for how it would look. I did it to make sure my emails aren’t going into my subscriber’s spam folders. As a result, my open rates did increase. I didn’t get a snapshot so you’ll have to take my word for it. I’ll remember to snag some images next time.

What’s a good business email address?

Your name (at) your domain name dot com (yourname@yourdomainname.com)

4. Headline – Choose a headline that will speak to your list

I didn’t start off paying much attention to my email list headline. If people opened the email they opened it. If not, oh well. That’s how I saw it.

And then I grew up…

I am not doing this for my health which means that it does matter if people are finding value in the content or not and if I am seeing a return as a result. So, I started to pay more attention to the Headline of my emails or the title that people see that tells them what the email is about. It didn’t occur to me that if this didn’t speak to them there would be no reason to open the email! Yikes.

Somehow, I’d taken it for granted that people, though signed up, are not obligated to open and read the content. I thought about blogging and how important the title of the blog post is. (Click Here for 5 Creative Ways to Headline Your Blog Post) I decided to apply this to my list.

Just like someone must be interested enough to click on the blog and read it, someone must also be interested enough in the email headline to open the email and read it.

The headline is the first clue to the reader on what the email is about. If it is something they can care less about, they will not open the email. I have noticed that putting more thought into my email headlines has increased the open rates as well. Meaning, more people are opening the emails and clicking on the links. (A decent open rate is anywhere from 30-55%. It means that most of your list is seeing every email. But do not expect everyone on your list to be engaged. I’ve learned that even if only 20% of my list is communicating with me, that’s good).

5. Dividing the List – Sub divide your list by interest

I really didn’t want to do this. The only reason I can think of is laziness. I didn’t feel like splitting anyone up and sending more than one email.

And then I grew up…

I have recently began the first process of dividing my list and I feel good about it so far! The feedback alone told me a lot about the people who open and read my emails and gave me an idea into what it is they each want. Right now, I am only working with two lists and it was interesting to see who fell into which group.

Monthly – My monthly email list is compiled mostly of people who have either known me for years (at least more than two years but also as long as ten), enjoy getting everything summarized into one list, or who I know have busy schedules and don’t feel like being bothered with me more than once a month. They know me too well.

Bimonthly – My bimonthly email list, which is much smaller, is compiled mostly of people who have met me recently (anywhere from one week to one year ago), open my emails regularly and give the most feedback, are interested in emails about inspiration and motivation, and who like their emails smaller.

I loved the process of dividing them up! It was fun and helped me to focus on every single subscriber and to get to know them on a more personal level based on their interest.

6. Less is More – Limiting the Creative Mind

I consider myself a boring person outside of writing. But when I am writing and putting together emails I love colors and images! I love doing different things and experimenting. I love being silly and using my cartoon avatar. However, I have since pulled back a little with this.

Maybe I’m just getting older or I just know better but I cut a lot of that out. My avatar remains but outside of this I’ve limited the number of images used, switched to a basic theme with a white background and toned down the colors. While I’d love for my email to look like a magazine spread, images increase the possibility of spam as well and too much going on is distracting. The white background on the other hand made everything pop and it is easier to read.

7. Removal – Taking people off your email list

What? You mean I did all that work to get people signed up and now I have to…take them off?

Yea, pretty much.

It took my numbers down a notch but I feel that the cleaning will do me some good. I am not interested in having people subscribed who really don’t want to be there or who are just there to spy, just for the sake of numbers. That’s never been me. One thing I am sure everyone should do every now and again is to clean up their email list.

This means to go through the list and either (1) reach out to or (2) remove altogether those emails belonging to people who never open your emails or interact with you at all. I imagine they see the emails and trash / spam them but for whatever strange reason they don’t unsubscribe. Or maybe they subscribed because you had a contest or offered something for them and now that they got it they’re no longer interested. Whatever the reason, it’s their business. Growth is not just about gaining. It’s about losing too. I believe trimming the weeds will help me to grow and I will soon have twice as much support as I’ve had to lose.

The point is that I want people on my email list who want to be there. Not people who are just there to spy or be nosy. They hate my guts but they open every email. That doesn’t make any sense. I also don’t want people on my list who never open a single email but they won’t unsubscribe. I don’t understand why they are there.

Even when people unsubscribe themselves, I’ve learned this is not a bad thing. It literally does me no good to have people around who don’t want to be. This is a business not a hobby. Whatever is not contributing to growth has gotta go. Don’t be afraid to get rid of dead weight.

When I look at my list today I feel good. I know that the people subscribed want to be there and if they ever feel bored, I hope they will just unsubscribe. That’s just the realness of it. You win some, and you lose some but you live. You live to fight another day. Yes, that’s from the movie Friday. It doesn’t have anything to do with this article but I thought I’d leave you with a chuckle. Or not.

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Interested in being part of my crew? They’re great! Emails go out once or twice a month based on your preference. CLICK HERE to sign up and thank you!

Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews – Define Your Voice: Narrowing Down Your Target Market by Altovise Pelzer

Title: Define Your Voice: Narrowing Down Your Target Market

Author: Altovise Pelzer

Print Length: 43 pages

Publication Date: July 14, 2016

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

Language: English

ASIN: B01IGD5WXW

*I received this book as a gift from the author*

Define Your Voice is a book that reads like a workbook and is designed to help authors to discover their unique voice. By voice the author means your unique story. The experiences that sets you apart as an individual and therefore makes your work reverberate unlike anyone else’s. The author shares with us some of her personal experiences and takes us through prompts designed to help the reader find his or her voice. I cannot say the information presented was new for me personally, but I can imagine it can be of great help to someone who needs a step by step guide on discovering and then embracing their real selves.

Rating this book was a challenge for me. I was excited to read this considering the author’s many accomplishments and there are parts I really liked. However, the book is also in need of more editorial and formatting attention. I also did not get much from the target audience perspective. Already familiar with the points mentioned, I was personally looking for something new to learn and from a business perspective, something deeper. However, the inspiring messages of hope and motivation were on point. The book was also an easy and short read which is always a plus. My decided rating is therefore based on these strong points. Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Motivational quotes are birthed out of the victories, trials and failures in a person’s life. They become popular because they are relevant and transparent.”- Altovise Pelzer

And my most favorite:

“Are you bitter or better? There is a huge difference and it will show up in how you talk about your pivotal moment. Are you speaking from a heart of forgiveness or hatred? Don’t think you have to wear a mask or pretend to be anyone other than you. I need you to be authentic. For me, being authentic means that you are able to share the pain and the purpose in your pivotal moment. People need both! There will be those who follow you even if you lean more to one side than the other. It’s better to stay grounded by sharing the good, the bad and the ugly then to have people believing that there is only one side to a pivotal moment.” – Altovise

Entertainment Factor: 3/5
Authenticity: 3/5
Thought Provoking: 4/5
Overall Rating: 3 / 5 stars

Define Your Voice: Narrowing Down Your Target Market is available now on Amazon

Be Sure to Follow this Author Online! Here’s more information about Altovise:

Bio. Altovise Pelzer is the host of “Our Voice Matters” on WoW TV and the #MorningPRESS series on Periscope and Facebook and has entered the world of publishing in 2016. Her most recently released book is the second of an eight-part series, Getting Through Difficult Situations: “The Ripple Effect”. This book is a follow-up to her first book “It’s Okay to Cry”. Altovise has learned, first hand, what it means to live in difficult situations. Because of her life experiences, she motivates women and youth to find their unique voice.

You can find Altovise at the following social networks:

 Stay tuned for my next awesome author!