Sunday, February 27, 2011

Kid Tips for Walt Disney World: Touring Advice for Kids by Kids AND Walt Disney World Adventure: A Field Guide and Activity Book for Explorers By Tracie Cook

Turn a trip to Walt Disney World into a learning adventure!

The mystery and magic of Walt Disney World is captured in this fun-filled adventure field guide. Jam-packed with curriculum-based activities and challenges, Walt Disney World Adventure encourages Explorers to follow cryptic clues, decode concealed messages, and solve challenging puzzles as they uncover hidden details and unlock Disney secrets around the four theme parks.

“Helpful hints”—tools provided to help the reader navigate the Challenges—ensures motivated young learners through adventurous middle schoolers will find the fun facts, games, and activities interesting and entertaining.
Walt Disney World Adventure: A Field Guide and Activity Book for Explorers is perfect for building anticipation before a trip, a useful and accessible guide to the parks, and a learning resource after the trip with the use of “Next Step” learning activities. There are also “Kid Tips” offering recommendations from other Explorers.

Now your Walt Disney World vacation will have the educational content of a school field trip, the self-guided fun of a quest, and the lasting documentation of a personal journal. Plus, kids can earn their “Explorer Certificates,” share their own recommendations, and find out how to become a “Featured Kid Explorer.”
Now kids can help plan their family’s Walt Disney World vacation!

This informative and charming book is filled with useful tips written by experienced kid-travelers. With a kid’s-eye view on everything from the best rides to the restaurants with the tastiest foods, you’ll get ideas on how to make the most of your Walt Disney World vacation. Included is an interactive opportunity for children to share their tips and experiences with the author.

Well written and easy to read, this helpful book will provide enjoyment for the whole family.

Tracie A. Cook has been visiting Walt Disney World since her childhood. As a self-proclaimed Disney parks expert, she decided to combine her love of Walt Disney World with her knowledge of education. Tracie holds a master’s degree in education and curriculum development, has extensive research experience with individualized instruction, and has worked with her intermediate school district on the integration and instruction of state and national curriculum benchmarks. With more than twelve years’ experience as a teacher and countless family trips to Walt Disney World, she recognizes that many valuable learning opportunities happen outside the classroom. Her goal in writing this book is to foster a love of learning and encourage children to explore new places. Tracie is also the author of Kid Tips for Walt Disney World: Touring Advice by Kids for Kids. She lives in mid-Michigan with her family.

MEET THE AUTHOR: Get to know Tracie Cook and her two fun books Kid Tips for Walt Disney and Walt Disney World Adventures at the I Love Authors Blog Talk Radio Show Thursday, March 3rd at 9:00pm(est). Join us for some fun and sharing with Tracie as we dive into the Magical World of Wonders!!

Twitter: @WDWFieldGuide


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bare Naked Bliss: ...Loving From Within by Suzanne Toro

Bare Naked Bliss tells the story of one woman's real-life experiences that many people can relate to, and provides accessible, practical methods for overcoming both mental and physical hardships and finding true joy. Bare Naked Bliss is a book that appeals to women and men who have experienced hardships and/or are seeking a more balanced, authentic lifestyle, as well as the broader audience of both men and women of all ages interested in spiritual growth and alternative paths to wellness. 

Bare Naked Bliss provides simple tools anyone can use to break down mental barriers, find deeper connections and discover their inner joyful, authentic self.  The teachings of the book are extended through inspiring poetry, guided meditations and music created by Toro with, singer/songwriter Anne Heaton, and other professional musicians.

In Bare Naked Bliss, author Suzanne Toro tells her personal story of recovery and transformation; how she was able to overcome unbearable pain and find bliss within herself. Both an inspiring meditation and practical guidebook, the book gives readers real-life strategies for healing and experiencing more joy in their lives. Through telling her own stories of recovery, Toro explores the subjects of letting go, tapping into the power of silence, balancing the masculine and feminine energies within us, having compassion and the regenerative power of laughter.

Suzanne Toro has suffered many hardships; sexual abuse, losing a child and dealing with a loved one's serious illness-but she has used each one as an opportunity to learn more about her and earn a real life PhD in personal growth. With a young family, Toro needed to find a practical, realistic way to begin her own healing and liberation process. By employing simple tools in her everyday life, she was able to reconnect with her inner-self and release the pain that led her back to her true self. Now; she is committed to embodying authenticity and walking the talk by reaching out to local, national and global communities to share her vision.

MEET THE AUTHOR: Get to know Suzanne Toro and her insightful book Bare Naked Bliss at the I Love Authors Blog Talk Radio Show Tuesday March 1st at 9:00pm(est). Join us for some fun and sharing with Suzanne as we uncover the healing power in all of us!!

Website: Suzanne Toro
Blog: Suzanne Toro
Facebook: Suzanne Toro 
Twitter: @SuzanneToro

BUY THE BOOK: Bare Naked Bliss: ...Loving From Within, Paperback, $16.99, 210 pages.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Kangaroo's Shoes by Richelle Krzak

Little Joey Kangaroo learns a valuable lesson as he embarks on an exciting outdoor adventure in search of his missing shoes.

While trying to keep a secret from his mother, Joey realizes honesty is always the best policy and mothers love unconditionally.

This heart-warming book includes skill building for children such as rhyming, alphabet identification and learning about animals in nature.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Richelle Taylor Krzak grew up in Beavercreek, Ohio. She attended Shaw Elementary, where her claim to fame was winning a school-wide contest to name the mascot tiger in 1986. Her suggested name “Sebastian” won. Sebastian the Shaw Tiger still exists today.

Richelle started out as an education major at The Ohio State University and was a member of the Alpha Phi sorority. She spent a semester as a student teacher of eighth grade English for Hilliard Middle School before eventually changing her major to Journalism. Richelle held internship positions at an advertising agency and with the professional ballet company, BalletMet Columbus, while earning her undergraduate degree. To help pay her way through school, she taught pre-Kindergarten for a La Petite Academy.

In 1997, Richelle graduated with a B.A. in Journalism and a minor in Textiles and Clothing, a foundation for her goal of eventually becoming a fashion editor for a magazine in New York. Upon graduating, she was offered a marketing position at BalletMet Columbus where she was responsible for TV and radio ad buys, public relations and design of the playbill. Richelle served as the primary liaison for the ballet’s first young-professional group and also for its internship and volunteer programs.

Despite earlier plans of moving to New York, cost and lack of jobs pushed Richelle to seek opportunities elsewhere. She resigned from the ballet and moved to Miami, Florida. For five years, she continued to work in the field of marketing and public relations, serving as the Director of Marketing for Landry & Kling, an incentive charter provider.

In 2004, a unique job opportunity overseas presented itself and Richelle couldn’t pass it up. As the Czech Republic was about to enter the European Union, global companies with offices in Prague began seeking English-speaking business professionals to assist with the transition of corporate culture and business processes from native Slavic languages to English. Richelle worked more than a year as a consultant living in Prague for companies such as Skanska, Siemens, Conoco Philips and BP to work with their senior level executives. While there, she became certified in TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language.) While an expat, she also became engaged to Polish-born Robert Krzak. 

The couple moved to the United States in 2005. By 2006, a fortuitous job opportunity in Dayton brought them back to Richelle’s hometown. She currently works in Marketing for Excellence In Motivation, a performance improvement company. 

In her spare time, Richelle does freelance writing for trade publications, online news sites and maintains her own parenting website, Biz e-Mom’s Blog. Kangaroo’s Shoes is her first children’s book.

The Krzak‘s have a 19-month-old son and three-year-old daughter. They currently reside in Springboro, Ohio with their two Yorkshire Terriers.

MEET THE AUTHOR: Get to know Richelle Krzak and her delightful book Kangaroo's Shoes at the I Love Authors Blog Talk Radio Show Thursday, February 24th at 9:00pm(est). Join us for some fun and sharing with Richelle as we talk about children, honesty and the fun of being a parent!!

Facebook: Richelle Taylor Krzak 
Twitter: @richellekrzak

BUY THE BOOK: Kangaroo's Shoes, Paperback, $12.49, 28 pages.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Last Waltz: A World War 1 Novel by G.G. Vandagriff

The heroine of The Last Waltz, Amalia Faulhaber, comes onstage as an innocent socialite with a strong personality in the nervous splendor of the last days of the Hapsburg Empire. It is the "Golden Age" of music, art, fashion, cuisine, and drama.

Amidst the sparkle and neuroses of Vienna, Amalia has been educated in the fine art of flirtation by her aristocratic grandmother and in matters of conscience by her socialist uncle.   She shapes and is shaped by her relationships with the men in her life—a Prussian soldier, a Polish doctor, and an Austrian baron--always remaining faithful to her own growing ideals.  The story of Austria's descent into fascism is counterbalanced by the developing love that she feels for her husband with whom she has a "marriage of convenience."  As flawed characters are transformed, the theme of the piece emerges as the redemptive power of love.

The book is a virtual journey into the events before, during, and after World War I.  An understanding of this period is critical for us to comprehend why democracy failed in Germany and Austria.  This understanding lays the foundation for a true perspective of present domestic politics and international relations with the Western and Eastern European Countries.

G.G. Vandagriff has lived with this story for half her life. It began in the Alps above Vienna where she studied Austrian music, art, politics, and history from Austrian professors. At her young age, her fascination with the country actually became part of who she was.  Returning to Stanford to finish her BA, she majored in an interdepartmental study of Central Europe's politics, history, and economics.  Upon graduation, she worked for the Hoover Institution at Stanford as a researcher and editor for the Yearbook of International Communist Affairs.

Following a two year stint in the world of finance, she attended graduate school at George Washington University, where she received her Master's Degree from distinguished émigrés of Central Europe. Once again, she studied politics, history, and economics of the region.  Her master's thesis, Comecon: Asset or Liability, foretold the disintegration of the Soviet Bloc nearly two decades before the Wall fell.
She married David Vandagriff, and put him through law school while she worked as an International Banker in Chicago and L.A. At this time, while commuting by bus, she sketched out the plot for the novel.  Until her first child was born, she researched the period of The Last Waltz until she had a file box completely filled with notes. When her three children were born, she wrote during naps, and later, during school. However, she was never satisfied with her ability to tell this tale. She was too aware of her youth and inexperience. Finally, she put it on the back burner, and concentrated on honing her writing skills. She knew she needed more experience with real life before she could understand the psyche of people living in such turbulent, tragic times.

Eventually, she became the author of a book on genealogy, Voices in Your Blood, and an off-beat genealogical mystery series: Cankered RootsOf Deadly DescentTangled RootsPoisoned Pedigree, and The Hidden Branch (coming in Fall, 09).  She also indulged her love of King Arthur and Wales in a novel of suspense, The Arthurian Omen.

Beginning with the birth of her daughter, GG suffered a twenty-five year bout with depression. After her miraculous recovery in 2006, she began working on Waltz again, knowing that she finally had the experience necessary to write about people who survived tragic times that completely altered their lives. She also co-authored a book on depression with her husband and son.

The Last Waltz was finally published in Spring of 2009 to wonderful reviews.

MEET THE AUTHOR: Get to know G.G. Vandagriff and her epic novel The Last Waltz at the I Love Authors Blog Talk Radio Show Thursday, February 17th at 9:00pm(est). Join us as we step back in time with G.G. Vandagriff and learn more about her and her book!!

Facebook: G.G. Vandagriff
Twitter: @GGVandagriff

BUY THE BOOK: The Last Waltz, Paperback, $13.57, 608 pages.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Women's Worth: Finding Your Financial Confidence by Eleanor Blayney

We are different.

Who said that personal finance  for women should be the same as it is for men?

At Direction$, we take seriously the differences between the genders when it comes to the financial decisions we must make.

Women live longer and are more likely to live alone for significant periods of time. Our workplace participation is often intermittent, and the care of dependents usually falls to us. Though we are better educated, hold more managerial, executive, and professional positions than ever before, and now have serious money to show for it, we often lack confidence when it comes to personal finance. Women want to be educated before we make decisions. And we want to be advised  in a way that recognizes our values, our lifestyles, and our unique  learning styles. We don’t want to compete. We want to collaborate.

In Women’s Worth, President of Direction$ and Certified Financial Planner™ Eleanor Blayney breaks through the traditionally male-dominated field of financial advice to offer information you—as a woman— can really use. Her frank approach intersperses practical advice with easy-to-do exercises that will help you understand your beliefs about money, learn the fundamentals of financial planning, and gain confidence in your financial know-how.

You don’t need to become one of the boys to get smart about money.  It’s time we started talking about personal finance for women, as women.

After all, you’re worth it!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eleanor Blayney, CFP® is President of Directions LLC,  dedicated to changing the personal finance conversation for women. 

Because financial planning needs to be different both in content and in delivery to address women’s unique requirements and attitudes around money, Directions seeks to bring women together in financial planning circles led by a Certified Financial Planner professional.  These circles provide a safe space for women to share and support one another as they gain confidence about their financial decisions.

Eleanor is the author of two books published in 2010.  “Women’s Worth: Finding Your Financial Confidence” speaks to women in and on their own terms about the major financial issues they face in their lives.  “The Home Budget Workbook” is a straightforward guide for creating and maintaining a practical budget.

Eleanor also serves as the Consumer Advocate for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, educating consumers and the media about the value of the financial planning process and the importance of working with a qualified competent professional.

As a managing director of Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blayney, Inc. from the firm’s inception in 1990 through 2007, Eleanor specialized in the areas of portfolio management, estate planning, helping clients to develop strategies appropriate to their goals and market conditions.  She also was responsible for firm communications and marketing.

Eleanor is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Cambridge University, UK, where she majored in English and French.  She also holds an MBA from the University of Chicago where she specialized in finance and international business.

A member of the Financial Planning Association, Eleanor has served as a member of the Ethics Committee.  She also served on the Ethics and Standards committee for the Financial Planning Standards Board, the organization that licenses and supervises international CFP® certificants.  She has been an adjunct faculty member for the College for Financial Planning and a member of the Alpha Group, a national network of independent wealth advisors. Eleanor has also served on advisory boards for the TIAA-CREF Institute and the CFP® Board of Practice Standards.  In 2002, the National Capital Chapter of the Financial Planning Association named her “Planner of the Year”. 

Ms Blayney is currently a Trustee for the National Hospice Foundation and volunteers for the Capital Hospice in Falls Church, Virginia.  She was formerly a board member for the Wolf Trap Associates, and the National Women’s Party Sewall Belmont House in Washington, DC.

MEET THE AUTHOR: Get to know Eleanor Blayney and her insightful book Women's Worth at the I Love Authors Blog Talk Radio Show Thursday, February 10th at 9:00pm(est). Join us for some fun and sharing with Eleanor as we delve into life, money and the confidence to be your own woman via her timely book!!

Facebook: Women's Worth
Twitter: @directions4her

BUY THE BOOK: Women's Worth: Finding Your Financial Confidence, Paperback, $26.95, 248 pages.



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