Friday, March 3, 2017

PUYB Virtual Book Club Features: Decoding 666: The Number Of The Beast by Erika Grey

About The Book

Decoding 666


Title: Decoding 666: The Number Of The Beast
Author: Erika Grey
Publisher: Pendante Press
Genre: Christian / Theology / Prophecy

No other passages in Scripture have been more talked about in end time Bible prophecy than those dealing with the mark of the Beast. Revelation 13:18 adds to the horror by posing the Bible’s most mysterious riddle. It states: “Here is wisdom, Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.”

In this Magi Report the riddle is decoded and examined phrase by phrase revealing the deep and seemingly hidden truths in Scripture, such as the frightening significance of being “numbered,” the meaning of 666, how the number will be counted and its shocking role. This commentary provides an overview of current technologies, which fit the prophetic forecasts along with showing how they will be implemented geopolitically.

Quantum computing, D-Wave, nanotechnology, biotechnology, advances in DNA- genetic engineering, holograms, CERN, FAST, transhumanism, and more are highlighted along with their speculated role during the Tribulation.

This report discloses the technologies that match the image and mark of the Beast along with what life will be like under the Antichrist’s police state and the accompanying Biblical references that support technology’s role.

As the technologies have advanced they have helped to provide the full meaning of the prophetic forecasts that relate to technological developments. This report provides a detailed analysis of the mark of the Beast and its road to fulfillment along with the Tower of Babel path that technology is taking and the future discoveries that scientists are anticipating. The analysis reveals why taking the mark guarantees eternity in hell, why it is the unforgivable sin of blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, which is a sin Christians have pondered for centuries. Never before have we been so close to the start of the Tribulation that an expose like this could even been penned.

The Magi Report name is adopted from the Biblical Magi who were analysts and learned men and women in the knowledge and disciplines of their day. At the time of Christ, Herod consulted the Magi who understood the prophetic predictions of the day when there were no living prophets.

The Magi Report delivers careful analysis of Bible Prophecy’s forecasts in light of current events and provides status reports of recently fulfilled predictions, those that remain unfulfilled, geopolitical forecasts and fresh biblical insights.


Book Excerpt

Chapter 1
What is the Mark of the Beast?
During the Tribulation, which is the seven year period of judgements predicted in Bible prophecy that ends with the battle of Armageddon and the second coming of Jesus Christ, Satan attempts to establish his kingdom here on the earth through a dictator known in evangelical circles as the Antichrist. He is used by God to judge the world for its sin. During his reign the Antichrist will implement a system by which no man can buy or sell unless he wears a mark placed on his forehead or wrist.  This etching in one’s flesh represents the Beast that is the Antichrist, or 666. It will provide him ultimate control in his police state.

Bible scholars theorized before the recent technological strides of the last decade that the mark would be part of a high-tech system that eliminated cash for the buying of goods.  The Antichrist institutes this system midway through the Tribulation.  He launches it as both a technological breakthrough and a prerequisite for life in his totalitarian regime. Revelation refers to the mark in a spiritual context.  Whosoever receives it spends eternity in hell. 

The mark of the Beast prediction this last century was out of touch with the times.  Writers noted the tattooing and numbering of prisoners at Auschwitz concentration camps during World War II to illustrate a use that fit the era.  This all changed in 1985 with the advent of the information and telecommunications revolution. From about 1990 onward we have seen a major spike upward in end time signs. 

Never before in history have we seen Bible prophecy literally unfold before our eyes. The technologies which could fulfil the mark of the Beast prophecy are now in existence.

For More Information

About The Author

Erica Grey

Erika Grey is an Evangelical Christian author, Bible Prophecy expert, journalist and commentator, features Erika's books, articles and video broadcasts. Erika Grey focuses on current world affairs, and their relation to Bible Prophecy from an analytical and geopolitical view point. Erika first coined the term "geopolitical" in relation to Bible Prophecy, which is now used in writings by renown prophecy teachers. Within Evangelical Christian circles, Erika Grey is the leading authority on the EU and Bible Prophecy, which is evidenced by her exposes and books on the European Union, for which Erika speaks on radio shows across the U.S..

Erika Grey hosts Prophecy Talk" on YouTube. Erika is a member of the society of professional journalists and holds high standards in her reporting of end time news. For this reason Erika sets herself apart from other End Time Bible Prophecy Ministries and labels herself as a Magi, from the Bible meaning wise men or wise women. She models her ministry and work on the Biblical magi who were analysts and learned men and women in the knowledge and disciplines of their day. At the time of Christ, Herod consulted the Magi who understood the prophetic predictions when there were no living prophets.

For More Information

Event Participants

Friday , February 3 -  The Literature Exchange
Monday, February 6 - The Writer's Life
Friday, February 10 - As The Page Turns
Monday, February 13 - Story Behind The Book
Friday, February 17 - Jersey Girl Book Reviews
Monday, February 20 - Literarily Speaking
Friday, February 24 - The Literary Nook
Monday, February 27 - Book Marketing Buzz
Friday, March 3 - PUYB Virtual Book Club

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Monday, January 30, 2017

PUYB Virtual Book Club Features: Lies And Love by Vanessa D. Werts



Inside the Book:

Title: Lies and Love: Cleansing the Heart to Make Room for Radical Love
Author: Vanessa D. Werts
Publisher: Higher Realm Publishing
Genre: Christian Non Fiction / Self-Help

The Lies and Love 30-Day Heart Cleanse is a deliberate approach to rid the heart of lingering issues that affect how you think, and limit your capacity to love and be loved. These heart issues or heart “chaos” as Vanessa calls it, includes feeling abandoned, angry, fearful, jealous, holding grudges, being sad, and even hating others. Vanessa says that this chaos will even lie to you, holding you hostage to your past, to keep you from walking in the fullness of who God created you to be.

“What is your heart story?” is the question Vanessa asks in Lies and Love as she shares her own victory over a chaotic heart that started with daddy issues and sexual assault as a teenager. For years, Vanessa questioned her self-worth until God got her attention with his hurricane winds of love and washed away every lie she ever believed. In thirty days, Lies and Love will help you identify your heart chaos, walk you through the cleansing process, and inspire you to receive and give love without limits. Vanessa says the key to unlock your breakthrough and healing is held up in your answer to the question: What is your heart story?

Book Excerpt:

Chapter One

Is the 30-Day Cleanse for You?

So, you’re probably thinking that my case of heart issues is extreme and your life experiences are nothing like mine. Perhaps you’re right. Honestly, I didn’t realize how bad off the condition of my heart was until God got my attention. Trust me. It made no sense then, but that one statement caused me to seek the Lord’s guidance about love, and it has changed the course of my life. So maybe your issues don’t have to do with rejection in childhood by your father or sexual assault, but I can guarantee you that life in general has impacted your heart in a way that God would like to heal and make whole.

Any attitude, behavior, or habit that is counterproductive to your life is an indicator that something is going on in the heart that should be addressed. If any of the following issues play out in your life or concern you on a regular basis, you are reading the right book and, yes, this 30-day cleanse will help you. ƒ Are you angry often and take it out on those close to you? ƒ Are you easily frustrated with people in general? ƒ Are you frustrated with your current station in life (career, personal, spiritual)? ƒ Is sarcasm your way of communicating with people?  ƒ Are you single and discouraged by the dating scene? ƒ Do you have strained relationships with loved ones? ƒ Does your childhood still haunt you today? ƒ Do you have poor customer service? ƒ Do you have a bias against a particular group of people? ƒ Are you indifferent about major decisions you need to make?

This is a short list, but I think it makes the point that the issues of life vary and can affect how we function day to day and how we treat people. God wants to change that, and love—radical and free—is the answer. During the 30-Day Heart Cleanse, your heart will be cleansed of the chaos that is at the root of the issues in the list above. God’s love for you will have the final say and not your past.

So, what is your heart story? You’ve had a glimpse at mine. How has life and your experiences of other people changed who you are? If you don’t fully know, God will unpack and reveal the condition of your heart as you read Lies and Love. Are you ready for the challenge?

For More Information

Meet the Author


Novelist, military veteran, and minister with a calling to speak value and honor into the lives of women, Vanessa D. Werts will release her first nonfiction book, “Lies and Love: Cleansing The Heart To Make Room For Radical Love,” A 30-Day Heart Cleanse for Women, on November 30, 2016. The book is published by Higher Realm Publishing.

The Lies and Love 30-Day Heart Cleanse is a ministry tool designed to help women get to the heart of lingering issues that affect how they think, thereby limiting their capacity to love and be loved. These heart issues or heart “chaos” as Vanessa calls it, includes feeling abandoned, angry, fearful, jealous, holding grudges, being sad, and even hating others. Vanessa says that, this chaos will even lie to you, holding you hostage to your past, to keep you from walking in the fullness of who God created you to be.

It is a spiritual injustice for a child of God to remain heart broken, to feel insecure, hopeless, unloved, and unworthy of God’s best for their life, says Vanessa.

“What is your heart story?” is the question Vanessa asks in Lies and Love as she shares her own victory over a chaotic heart that started with daddy issues and sexual assault as a teenager. For years, Vanessa questioned her self-worth until God got her attention with his hurricane winds of love and washed away every lie she ever believed.

Vanessa grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, where she fell in love with good food, kind people and especially, Jesus. She joined the military right after high school, traveling abroad and stateside in uniform for 13 years before making the Washington, DC, area her home.
During her time in the military, she married and divorced, and raised two sons as a single parent. After separating from active duty, Vanessa continued her federal service while working in the Intelligence Community. In September 2016, she resigned from the federal government after more than twenty years as a civil servant to write full-time and walk in her ministry calling.

The journey hasn’t been easy, but Vanessa has stayed the course and overcome every obstacle. Recognizing the grave damage that life and its oftentimes harsh realities can cause in the heart, Lies and Love grew from talking points related to her latest novel, Lies: Even Love Has Its Casualties (February 2016), to a full blown book to inspire woman to let go of the past and embrace the future. Lies and Love offers women help with identifying what’s going on in the heart that limits healthy thinking and behavior, a thirty-day step-by-step cleansing process, and provides inspiration to love without boundaries.

Vanessa has been featured in digital magazines such as EBE Magazine (July 2016), The Rhythmic Lounge Magazine (August 2016), a web feature with The Industry Cosign (July 2016), radio interviews, blog and podcast features, and a television interview on CTV News, a community station. She was a staff writer for the online magazine, for over five years with published articles, interviews and reviews to her credit. Vanessa is a Northern Virginia-based writer with an abiding love to bridge the gap from people’s life experiences to the promises of God.

For More Information

Event Participants

Monday , January 2 -  The Literature Exchange
Friday, January 6 - The Writer's Life
Monday, January 9 - As The Page Turns
Friday, January 13 - Story Behind The Book
Monday, January 16 - Jersey Girl Book Reviews
Friday, January 20 - Literarily Speaking
Monday, January 23 - The Literary Nook
Friday, January 27 - Book Marketing Buzz
Monday, January 30 - PUYB Virtual Book Club

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Features Human Origins And The Bible by Myron Heavin

About The Book

Title: Human Origins And The Bible
Author: Myron Heavin
Publisher: Redemption Press
Publication Date: July 20, 2016
Pages: 194
Genre: Christian Apologetics / Theology

An engineer takes a scientific approach to the study of human origins, and compares Scripture with the findings of current scientific discoveries and DNA research. Myron Heavin examines differing views on creation and human origins, and what the Bible has to say in Genesis 2-5. From how to read and interpret the Bible, to when Adam and Eve lived, to hominids and Neantherthals, Heavin examines the validity of various creationist viewpoints, always with the supremacy of Scripture in mind. An individual or group Bible study that uses nature and Scripture to answer questions on our origins.

Book Excerpt:

Introduction (pages IX – XI)
There is a need for a sensible discussion of how humans came to be, what recent fossil records reveal, what DNA reveals, what science has learned, and what we can learn from a careful and reasoned study of Scripture. We wish to interpret Scripture as literally as possible, since God was the real author of Scripture. God also created the heavens and the earth, and left clear footprints everywhere in nature clearly revealing to all humans that He did this. There is much passionate discussion among friends, between believers in the high schools, in the media, from the pulpit, from our politicians, etc. about both nature and religion. Most teach us today that science is king; the scientist is the wise one; advances in science and technology will lead to a better life for all; and careers in science and technology often pay well. Other people tell us religion is all-important; if the nation becomes more Christian it will succeed; and a nation that turns its back on God will surely sink into total failure. The result is a kind of polarization where religion and science are mutually contradictory, and one is the enemy of the other. Rejection of God leads to divisiveness.

It is suggested that God wrote both books, nature and Scripture, and they do not conflict with each other, but rather they help each other to a better understanding of both. It is observed that most people reject  both Scripture and science somewhat equally. They say they believe in science, but reject global warming, they reject immunizations, they are not supportive of exploration of space (NASA), they are against new developments in agriculture such as genetically-modified food, are against chlorination of drinking water, and are against even most economic theories. Likewise, most people believe in the Bible and the Ten Commandments, and literally believe the world was created in six twenty-four-hour days as they Bible says, but many say evolutionists like Darwin are from the devil. Our youth read the creation story in Genesis and the literal six days of creation and this turns them off religion entirely. 

This book takes both Scripture and nature seriously, because God wrote both books. The heart of the problem is people reject God, and this leads to rejecting equally both science and Scripture. We believers see only through a foggy mirror. It is important to be humble about what we do and what we do not know. We read and think we understand Scripture, but scripture is “living”—it speaks to us anew each time we read it. Our understandings today are often different from our understandings when we were young. Likewise, nature is “living” and our understandings are different from when we were younger. As we age, our opinions tend to harden, and we tend to become more conservative. We are always changing, always seeking, always hungry for new dialogue, but it always becomes more difficult to change. Our society, likewise, is becoming more polarized. We tend to read and see things that we already believed. When we hear something different, we somehow process it to reinforce what we believed before we heard it. Some of the greatest theologians and preachers did not do well in science and mathematics. Likewise some of the greatest scientists and engineers lack “people skills.” Perhaps this is because each believer is unique with his or her spiritual gifts and natural abilities. The scientist has trouble communicating with the theologian, and the theologian has trouble communicating with the scientist. This is further compounded by congregations that “hang” on every word their beloved preacher says; likewise, classroom students that “hang” on every word the science or engineering professor says. This tends to build up egos. Suddenly, the preacher knows more about science than the scientist; suddenly the scientist knows more about religion than the pastor. This tends to polarize society as people have trouble listening to each other. 

This book will avoid the creation issues (wars) in Genesis 1, but instead concentrate on understanding human origins in Genesis 2-5. Let’s tackle only one issue at a time, and try to understand it well. The main subject of all of Scripture is God. The main subject of Genesis 1 is God—see how God created the world! The main subject matter of Genesis 1 is not the creation, and how God created the fantastic creation. See how God is the intelligent creator; not “see how creation was intelligently created by God.” This temporary cosmos will someday be destroyed by fire, but God and those reborn will live in eternity with new bodies. Lastly, it is difficult to write anything about science and religion without later developments proving us wrong. We observe that bipedalism seemed to suddenly and miraculously appear as hominids seemed to evolve from chimpanzees, and we used this as somewhat of a proof God intervened to suddenly create a new species. When a later development finds an intermediate form, we are embarrassed. This has happened over and over each time a theologian gets too carried away by scientific specifics.

For More Information:

Human Origins And The Bible is available at AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreadsRedemption Press

Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club on Goodreads

About the Author

Myron G. Heavin graduated from Purdue University with a BS in aeronautical engineering, and has a BA in biblical and theological studies from Talbot Theological Seminary, and is currently enrolled in Christian Apologetics MA studies at Biola University. After fifty years as an engineer for the Boeing Company, Heavin retired and continues teaching and leading seven different Bible studies. Heavin and his wife Sharyl, who have been married over fifty years, have three grown children, and make their home in Lompoc, CA.

For More Information:

Virtual Book Tour

Monday, December 26, 2016

Pump Up Your Book! Announces Sealed Up: The Course of Fate: Book One Virtual Book Tour & Win Prizes!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Pump Up Your Book! is proud to announce Steve Dunn Hanson’s Sealed Up: The Course of Fate: Book One virtual book tour January 3 - March 31.  Steve will be guest appearing at blogs throughout the U.S. and international regions talking about his phenomenal new action/adventure/suspense novel that critics are calling “Fascinating. Intricate. Intelligent.”

Hanson has lived in places that grew him – from a small Idaho farm town, a run-down neighborhood in St. Louis, and a middle-class southern California community to Sydney, Australia and Bucharest, Romania. His experiences are as varied as the places he’s lived.  He says, “I have a hopper of ‘reality’ including being a volunteer jail chaplain and flying with a U.S. presidential candidate in his small plane when an engine conked out.  And all of this is fodder for my writing.”

In Sealed Up, UCLA anthropologist Nathan Hill, is in a funk since his young wife’s death, and learns of staggering millennia-old chronicles sealed up somewhere in a Mesoamerica cliff. This bombshell rocks him out of his gloom, and he leads a clandestine expedition to uncover them. What are they? Who put them there? No one knows. But, self-absorbed televangelist Brother Luke, who funds the expedition, thinks he does. If he’s right, his power-hunger will have off-the-charts gratification.
Striking Audra Chang joins Nathan in his pursuit and brings her own shocking secret. As they struggle through a literal jungle of puzzles and dead ends, she finds herself falling in love with Nathan. Her secret, though, may make that a non-starter.

When a shaman with a thirst for human sacrifice, and a murderous Mexican drug lord with a mysterious connection to Brother Luke emerge, the expedition appears doomed. Yet Nathan is convinced that fate—or something—demands these inscrutable chronicles be unearthed.

And if they are . . . what shattering disruption will they unleash?

Intricately layered and remarkably researched, this enthralling suspense-driven and thought provoking tour de force begs a startling question: Could it happen?

If you’d like to follow his tour stops, visit and you may win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or an autographed copy of his book. Please leave a comment or question at each of his tour stops to let him know you stopped by!

Pump Up Your Book! is an award-winning virtual book tour agency for authors who want quality service at an affordable price.  More information can be found on our website at While there, check out our Authors on Tour page to see what we have coming up in the months ahead. We’re always looking for new bloggers to join our team. 

Contact Information:
Dorothy Thompson
Founder of Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Tours
P.O. Box 643
Chincoteague, Virginia  23336

Friday, December 16, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Features Journey To The Cross by Shane Cloonan

Inside the Book:

Title: Journey to the Cross
Author: Shane Cloonan
Publisher: State Street Publishing
Publication Date: September 11, 2015
Pages: 35
Genre: Children's Christian Fiction

This is the story of the Jesus donkey, a fictional tale that takes readers on a journey from our Lord's birth to his ultimate crucifixion. Though written and illustrated for young readers, this book is perfect for people of all ages who want a fresh, youthful perspective on the life of Jesus. The book's message is imbued in the strength and simplicity of hearts that are linked to other hearts by Jesus. Journey to the Cross follows the light of hope that first appeared on that special night in Bethlehem.

Journey to the Cross helps answer questions that young people ask about the life of Jesus.

For More Information:
Journey to the Cross is available at AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club on Goodreads

Meet the Author

Shane Cloonan began writing Journey to the Cross as a sixth-grader at a Chicago-area Catholic school.

While his own journey to the publication of this book took three years, it was a complete labor of love. Shane is an avid outdoorsman. He also is an accomplished woodcarver. Shane took third place in his age group and category two years ago at the Ward World Championships Wildfowl Carving Competition in Maryland, then followed that up with a first-place finish in the International Woodcarvers Congress competition in Iowa.

Animals and pets of almost every shape and size have always been a big part of his life. It’s one of the reasons why he used a donkey as his lead character—a donkey that tells the most profound story in human history.

You can visit Shane’s website at

For More Information:
Author Website

Monday, December 12, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with Cheryl C. Malandrinos, author of 'Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving'

Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Little Shepherd and A Christmas Kindness. A blogger and book reviewer, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She also has a son who is married.


About the Book:

Ten-year-old Macy is waiting for her grandparents to arrive on
Thanksgiving. When the front door swings open, Grandma and Grandpa are covered with hugs and kisses. Crash! Everyone rushes in to find the dog gnawing a meaty turkey leg. Can Macy’s quick thinking save dinner?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Before you started writing your book, what kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

I performed online research about the first Thanksgiving for this story.

Did you pursue publishers or did you opt to self-pub?

Guardian Angel Publishing (GAP), an independent publisher out of St. Louis, published Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving.

If published by a publisher, what was your deciding factor in going with them?

They had published by first children’s picture book, Little Shepherd, in 2010. I love being part of the GAP family and firmly believe in their mission: change the world by investing in children, one child at a time.

If published by a publisher, are you happy with the price they chose?

GAP offers competitive pricing on their books. Paperback copies of Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving are available for $9.95 and a PDF download is only $5.00. You can download the digital copy at

Did you purposefully choose a distinct month to release your book?  Why?

The publisher dictates the release date, but because it is a Thanksgiving book it was released in November.

How did you choose your cover?

Talented artist Marina Movshina created the cover art based upon something that happens in the story. She has created artwork for numerous GAP books and I am honored she agreed to work on Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving.

Did you write your book then revise or revise as you went?

Like most of my projects, I write out a first draft and then revise. It’s easier when you’re talking picture books, but I also find that I don’t accomplish as much on my longer projects when I try to revise as I go either.

Did you come up with special swag for your book and how are you using it to help get the word out about your book?

Not yet. Bookmarks are a neat idea I would like to explore. Depends on the budget if I expand to other things.

Did you consider making or hiring someone to make a book trailer for your book?  If so, what’s the link?

I’ll be producing the trailer. I used to work for Pump Up Your Book, so I am familiar with creating book trailers.

What’s your opinion on giving your book away to sell other copies of your book?

If the giveaway copies turn into reviews it can be successful. My own experience as a blogger has been that you receive more books than you can realistically review in a year—many unsolicited—so I would limit the number of giveaway copies.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do before their book is released?

1.      Create an online presence. I began blogging in 2007, three years before my first book came out. I quickly realized that in order to generate interest, I needed to help out other writers by displaying their work on my blogs. The great thing about doing that: when my first book came out in 2010, I had close to 70 blog stops on my virtual book tour. Writers reciprocate.
2.      Create a relationship with other authors in your publishing house. I’m lucky to be part of a small publishing family where most of us know each other—if not in person, then definitely online. For years before I was published, I reviewed books by other GAP authors. Not only did that allow me to get to know what GAP was looking for in books, it allowed me to build relationships with their authors. We truly are a family. That type of support is important.
3.      Reach out to bloggers who read books like yours and see if they will review your book once it arrives. Release day can be a frantic, so get everything set up ahead of time. Then you can simply mail out copies once they arrive.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do after their book is released?

1.      TELL PEOPLE! Announce it online using social media to promote your new release.
2.      Set up a virtual book tour or hire a company to set one up for you. Book reviews and online exposure are very important. I used to be in the business and I’ve seen the impact virtual book tours can have.
3.      Reach out to your local community. One of the things I didn’t go a good job of when Little Shepherd came out is tell my local friends and neighbors about it. I was so focused online that I forgot about the people in my own backyard. Send a press release to the local paper and see if they will do an interview. See if your library will host a book reading or if they have plans for a local authors event. Check out your public access channel or weekly paper for news of community events where you might be able to sell your book.

What kind of pre-promotion did you do before the book came out?

I was much better prepared when my last two books came out—Little Shepherd (2010) and A Christmas Kindness (2012) than I was this time around. I’m a full-time real estate agent now, so that can interfere with book promotion time. Thankfully, there are sites like TweetDeck and Hootsuite to help me manage my social media accounts. I’ve also used Buffer to pre-schedule social media posts.

I’ve been talking about Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving online since learning of its release and all the people at my church know. I have a home office, so there are copies hanging around when friends drop by. That helps too.

Do you have a long term plan with your book?

Like my previous books, Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving is seasonal. Though they will sell anytime of the year, the big push is around that particular holiday. I usually hold a virtual book tour once a year around that holiday and look to be featured on more blogs those times of year. In addition, I bring copies of my book with me to our annual Christmas bazaar at church.

What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?

Thanks for all your support through the years. It’s wonderful to know readers enjoy my books. It’s a humbling experience and a true blessing.

Friday, December 9, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with Howard Jay Smith, author of 'Beethoven in Love; Opus 139'

Howard Jay Smith is an award-winning writer from Santa Barbara, California. BEETHOVEN IN LOVE; OPUS 139 is his third book. A former Washington, D.C. Commission for the Arts Fellow, & Bread Loaf Writers Conference Scholar, he taught for many years in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and has lectured nationally. His short stories, articles and photographs have appeared in the Washington Post, Horizon Magazine, the Journal of the Writers Guild of America, the Ojai Quarterly, and numerous literary and trade publications. While an executive at ABC Television, Embassy TV, and Academy Home Entertainment, he worked on numerous film, television, radio, and commercial projects. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Symphony - "The Best Small City Symphony in America" -  and is a member of the American Beethoven Society.




About the Book:

At the moment of his death, Ludwig van Beethoven pleads with Providence to grant him a final wish—one day, just a single day of pure joy. But first he must confront the many failings in his life, so the great composer and exceedingly complex man begins an odyssey into the netherworld of his past life led by a spirit guide who certainly seems to be Napoleon, who died six years before. This ghost of the former emperor, whom the historical Beethoven both revered and despised, struggles to compel the composer to confront the ugliness as well as the beauty and accomplishments of his past. 
As Beethoven ultimately faces the realities of his just-ended life, we encounter the women who loved and inspired him. In their own voices, we discover their Beethoven—a lover with whom they savor the profound beauty and passion of his creations. And it’s in the arms of his beloveds that he comes to terms with the meaning of his life and experiences the moment of true joy he has always sought.

Purchase Information:


Before you started writing your book, what kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

I spent almost two full years researching Beethoven’s life before ever writing a word.  This included reading a dozen or more biographies and notebooks from his contemporaries as well as his diaries and the six volumes of letters to and from Beethoven.  I also bought and recorded as much of his music as possible.  I attended every concert possible in the region that featured Beethoven’s music.  I also thoroughly researched numerous related topics, such as the spas towns of Europe, the Age of Reason, Voltaire, Napoleon, Mozart, Vienna, and the Archduke Rudolph. I visited the library of the American Beethoven Society and studied both their restored and replica pianos.  I generally read each book more than three times.  The first just to get a sense of his life or the material.  The second to highlight or underline sections I considered important or relevant and a third time to transfer those notes to my own ever growing computer word file organized chronologically.

Did you pursue publishers or did you opt to self-pub?

“Beethoven in Love; Opus 139,” is my third book. The second, “Opening the Doors to Hollywood,” was published by Random House.  When I completed my Beethoven novel, I went back to my old literary world contacts, only to realize how much the publishing world had been transformed since “Opening the Doors,” came out in the late ‘90’s.  I opted not to self-publish but rather to go with a small literary press owned by a close friend.

If published by a publisher, what was your deciding factor in going with them?

In going with a small literary press, I was able to have almost total control over the process by working in conjunction with knowledgeable editor who was also a personal friend.

If published by a publisher, are you happy with the price they chose?


Did you purposefully choose a distinct month to release your book?  Why?

Yes, we thought January would give a professional book publicist we hired sufficient time – six months - to pre-market a draft.  She pick the exact date.

How did you choose your cover? 

My son, Zak Smith, is an internationally known artist whose portraits hang in the collections of eight world class museums.  It was a natural to ask him to come up with a new and iconic portrait of Beethoven Dreaming of his Immortal Beloved.  Once we had the portrait in hand, we used our professional book designer, Hans Teensma, as the guiding hand as to how to incorporate the portrait into a full cover.

Did you write your book, then revise or revise as you went?

All of the above!!!  I wrote, revised and wrote again, polishing constantly even as I moved ahead.  My mentor, the late novelist and teaching, John Gardner had a simply concept about writing which he called “The vivid and continuous dream.”  “What you are doing when writing a book or telling a story,” he would say, “is creating a vivid and continuous dream in the reader’s mind that is so powerful and all compelling, that the next thing they know is that someone is calling them to dinner.  Anything you write, no matter how brilliant or wonderful you think it is, that breaks that that dream is no good.  Throw it out.”  That bit of advice is the single most important lesson about revising that I could ever share and in fact “The Vivid and Continuous Dream,” was the title of the writing class I taught at UCLA when I worked there.

Did you come up with special swag for your book and how are you using it to help get the word out about your book?

Postcards and business cards to hand out only.

Did you consider making or hiring someone to make a book trailer for your book?  If so, what’s the link?


What’s your opinion on giving your book away to sell other copies of your book?

Having worked for fifteen years in Hollywood, I all too often saw – and experienced – the exploitation of writers.  Therefore, no, I am not really fond of any marketing concept that forces writers to give away their product while the printers, publishers and E-Sellers such as Amazon make a profit.  At least in Hollywood there was and is a union, WGAW, that protects and fights for the rights – and wages – of its member writers.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do before their book is released? 

First is to write it!  Next is to make sure you are absolutely thrilled with every word, every line, and every page.  And then, make sure it looks and feels as wonderful and you believe it is. 

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do after their book is released?   

Promote, promote, promote.

What kind of pre-promotion did you do before the book came out? 

I did a lot though not all of it was as effective as I had hoped.  First, I made a point of reading from the book and speaking about it at professional seminars and symphony fundraiser, such as at the American Beethoven Society Annual Convention.  That led to critical reviews which enabled early promotional steps.  I hired and worked with a traditional Book Publicist who sent the book out to dozens of national newspapers.  However, given that we are no longer working in a “traditional world,” much of this effort was unproductive.  My publicist did however obtain a number of radio, Web-TV and a few readings and book signings for me.   I also set up Web and Facebook pages to promote those appearances. 

On Facebook I made “friends” in selected areas, including other writers, musicians and journalists until I reached the 5,000 mark.  I joined over 35 groups.  I began by posting news stories about the book, readings and reviews almost daily but eventually switched over to publishing snippets from the book in an ongoing series of posts I have entitled, “The Music Behind ‘Beethoven in Love; Opus 139.’” The response to these have been very positive, with each one reaching some 1,500 people daily.  Some of those posts are also boosted on Facebook in order to reach other audiences outside my groups and current friends.

Do you have a long term plan with your book?

Yes, to keep on selling and promoting.

What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?

Buy “Beethoven in Love; Opus 139.”  You will not be disappointed.