Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Habits and Attitudes Goes to Cabo

What would you have if you took some of the country’s greatest minds, infused some of the most amazing speakers and placed it in the backdrop of paradise? Habits and Attitudes in Cabo! This five-day four-night trip takes place at one of Cabo’s newest and hottest Resorts, BREATHLESS. Watch the video (click here).

Thursday, August 10, 2017

What Reviewers are Saying About Grains of Truth

Overall, I really liked this book. I am really glad I got the chance to read it. Not many books unnerve me with their words, but this one did. I look forward to reading more of Ferry-Perata’s books in the future. ~ Jessyca Garcia, Reader's Choice

It will tug at your heart strings, and keep pulling you back in. A great read. Wonderfully, beautifully written story. ~ Amy's Bookshelf

This is a beautifully written book about the bounds of friendship ... Great story, great characters and an unbelievable twist at the end. Read this book! ~ Imaskeptic 

Available on Amazon (click here).

Grains of Truth takes readers into the lives of two best friends, Sarah and Zoe. Each woman has experienced heartbreak and betrayal in their quests for love. Their lives center on the happenings at the local feed store where each woman works. The store is managed by the affable and caring, Tom who is the only male heir to the chain owned by patriarch Otis. Otis, a larger-than-life personality, has decided his son’s future – meanwhile, Tom has fallen for the “feed store” girl Sarah, and this creates a huge family scandal.

As the scandal erupts into tragedy, Sarah relies on her best friend Zoe for support and comfort. The women lean on each other, as each face many challenges. Zoe’s own romantic history is checkered by bad relationships and a failed marriage that resulted in her son Derek. She too has fallen for the local town doctor and struggles with the idea of a serious relationship after so much personal heartbreak.

Grains of Truth examines deeper realities about love, friendship and loss. Buried within the subtext are questions about how to get through difficult situations and overcome tragedy. It begs questions about how to manage grief and accept life as it comes. It’s also about receiving and trusting love and also learning to let go.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Power Chord to My Heart

I haven't been blogging much on the personal side of my life. Maybe as I transformed my life for just this once I decided it didn't need to be on public display.

Now that I'm on the other side of the transformation and floating nicely in the current of my life, I'm going to open up. When I share my personal life, it's an endeavor to help enlighten others. If I can give back to the world through the lessons of life experience hopefully you'll either avoid the same pitfalls or nod and laugh, thinking, "Yes!"

Something important happened in the last year. Something quite literally "mind altering". After falling into the depth of depression and suffering some major life changes and losses, I woke up. I looked at my life and I wondered, "How did I get here?" I was broke, heart broken, and depressed.

I had allowed negativity to take over my positive outlook. I had allowed the negative to cloud the positive. I was living in perpetual fear and anger. I had lashed out at the world. The key though: I had lashed out at me. While I blamed others, I put the most blame and anger aimed at my own heart and soul. It was my fault other people had lied to me. It was my fault, period. Why give so much blame away when I could keep it and marinate it?

A few things happened. I hit rock bottom ... or at least hit the furthest part of my bottom I allowed myself to go. I was doing anything and everything to survive. I wasn't trusting others and I most certainly didn't trust myself. After all, I was the culprit in my own pain and self-blame. Why not heap more inward recrimination, right? Wrong!

About that time, it hit me. I had always lived my life following my passion and purpose, which is to be a storyteller and publisher. Now in my despair and desperation, I had lost my way. I knew what was my purpose and passion, but I was floundering in the desperation and fear vs. confidence and fearlessness.

This is when my daughter's middle name "Faith" kept coming up. Where was my faith? Where was my confidence? How was I going to get back on track. FAITH followed by focus on purpose and action to make it happen.

First, I did the scariest thing ever -- I embraced my fearlessness. Yes, it's an oxymoron when you think about it. I had to have the courage and the faith to be brave. I had to KNOW my purpose and follow it regardless of money or unpaid bills. I had to quit looking back and look forward. Then I took ACTION. I put all of my energy toward rebuilding my business and putting myself BACK on the right path. I had to quit jobs that did nothing more than pay a bill and fully believe that following my purpose would indeed MORE than pay bills but reward my life.

Then I had to address the negative self-blame and lack of self-love. I had to quit looking in the mirror and picking on myself. My joke goes like this: An Olympic athlete doesn't look in the mirror and say, "I'm going to lose today."

Instead, I decided to spend my last 15 minutes before I got out of bed meditating and creating my vision for my ideal life. I started using life-affirming mantras all aimed at positive "I am" statements. Then when I faced that mirror in the bathroom, I quit finding negative thoughts about my body or looks. I used positive statements once more using the "I am" in front of it.

Guess what as energy goes and creates, the negative lifted to be replaced with the positive. What seemed difficult just six months earlier now effortlessly happened. A weight lifted. A lightness of being overcame my heart.

And then I made the final step: forgiveness! I had to forgive those who had trespassed against me. Some of my friends and family fought me on that one. I shouldn't forgive anything. But forgiveness isn't for THEM! It's for ME.

And that weight lifted just a little more ... till it became more like a feather. My mind cleared. My energy lightened. My life transformed!

Where are you at in your journey? If it's become dark, just start with the basics. First, find your purpose. It's a good place to start on your road to recovery!

If you want a more specific assist with your journey, here is a link to my book Second Bloom: 10 Steps to Rejuvenate and Realize a New Life. (Buy Here)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Anatomy of Great Back Cover Copy

Sex, Drugs, Murder!
"As Pete walked into the door's shadows, he paused. He thought he was either walking through the doors of hell or entering the next phase of his life."
Welcome to rehab, a place where addicts come to get clean and sober, or in this case ... die!
The Abused is a psychological thriller about nine addicts whose poisonous drug use has destroyed lives, including their own. One after another, each addict arrives to face their demons. One after another, each addict is getting killed.
The Abused invites readers into the world of rehab where everyone, including the therapists, have issues. What happens when someone's "issues" become murderous? 
Nine go in ... who comes out?
Let's do the anatomy of what I did to create this effective back-cover copy.
Tip 1 - It's a marketing piece not a part of the book and not necessarily a summary. Your no. #1 goal without question is to sell books. The back-cover copy is the SECOND sales tool in your arsenal. Which is the first? The cover, of course.
Tip 2 - Create a PITHY headline! Short, snappy and mind-blowing is a winner. The headline needs to distill in 3-4 words the gist of your book. It shouldn't be a sentence. It shouldn't be longer than 4 words. It should be provocative - something to make people stop and wonder. It can be a fun play on words (mine is). It can be something just mind-blowing and interesting. Whatever it does it should capture the reader's attention. My headline plays off Sex, Drugs and Rock'n'Roll... which in any case many addicts come from that mindset, too.
Tip 3 (optional) - Use a sentence or a brief excerpt from the actual book. I don't always take this approach, but when you find a sentence that conveys the essence of the book and is throught-provoking, then use that trick.
Tip 4: The first paragraph should be a brief 100-150 words summation of the book's story line. It's really hard to distill an entire book down, but you can do it. Remember you only have about 300 words in total for your back cover, so try and keep it short. This paragraph gives you some specifics about the story.
Tip 5: The second paragraph is the "sizzle" description. It should be sexy and tell the reader essentially why the book is the one to buy! Is the book scary, a page-turner, sexy, funny, action-packed, romantic? Then tell your readers those things about it. Don't be afraid you're tooting your own horn. Nobody will read it that way. Again, your only goal is to sell books! So SELL them.
Tip 6: Brief endorsements can go here, too. Make sure they're only a sentence though - you don't have enough room. Even two-word endorsements by a big name will do just fine.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Abused: 9 Addicts Go To Rehab... Nine don't come out

Sex, Drugs, Murder!

"As Pete walked into the door’s shadows, he paused. He thought he was either walking through the
doors of hell or entering the next phase of his life."
Welcome to rehab, a place where addicts come to get clean and sober, or in this case ... die!
The Abused is a psychological thriller about nine addicts whose poisonous drug use has destroyed lives, including their own. One after another, each addict arrives to face their demons. One after another, each addict is getting killed.

The Abused invites readers into the world of rehab where everyone, including the therapists, have issues. What happens when someone's "issues" become murderous? 
Nine go in ... Nine don't come out!  

The Abused -- Coming Soon!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Q&A with Author Liz Perata, Grains of Truth

Q: What is Grains of Truth about?
A: The lives, friendship and lovers of two best friends, Sarah and Zoe. The women work for a local feed store owned by a blustering Texan named Otis. When the “feed-store girl” Sarah falls for Otis’ only male heir, scandal and heartbreak erupt.

Q: What makes this contemporary romance unique from others in the genre?
A: The story of love and friendship is timeless. While it might on the surface seem simple: girl meets boy; family doesn’t approve of the lovers; and girl loses boy – it’s the subtext that offers the fresh ideas. Much more is going on in this story than what appears to be obvious. The book calls for readers to really pay attention and dig a little deeper as the story unfolds.

Q: What is the sub-plot in the story?
A: While we have the romance between Tom and Sarah, the secondary story is about her best friend Zoe and her struggles. She’s a single mom whose ex-husband has betrayed and left her to raise their son alone. It’s nothing new and many women will relate to Zoe. She is like everyone else. She wants true love, and she thinks she’s found it when she meets the town doctor, whom she fondly nicknames “Dr. Sex on Two Legs”. Their love story is less fraught with obstacles – or so it seems. Some barriers in love have nothing to do with the obvious.

Q: What do you think draws readers in the most?
A: The story isn’t a fantasy or particularly unique. It deals with everyday people and their personal challenges and desires. Sarah and Zoe could be the women we all know who live in our neighborhoods. The book’s characters are highly relatable and flawed just like everyone. How the story unfolds and what happens and particularly the subtext are unique and thought provoking. When the reader finishes the book, he or she will be surprised and perhaps enlightened.

Q: What inspired you to write the book?
A: I always had one eye on my children and one eye on my career. I worked a typical Monday through Friday 45+ hours a week job. I was well respected in my field and still am. But, funding got cut one year and I was one of the unfortunate people to get laid off. It was devastating because I thought, what I am going to do? However, I had this opportunity to do something that has always been on my “bucket list”. I had the opportunity to write. As I began to spend time with my children, this idea formed into my head, so I began to write it down. Then I began to write every day. At first, I thought the story was going to be a basic story about boy and girl who meet, fall in love, and live happily ever after. However, as I got into the story, I realized that I wanted to write something that will intrigue readers and get them to think about how would they deal with certain situations if they were faced with them. When I made the characters, I derived them from real-world people and situations. Thus, Grains of Truths happened.

Q: Who is your favorite character and why?
A: To me every character is my favorite because this is my baby – my first book, and a labor of love. But, if I think more deeply, Sarah and Zoe are my two favorite characters. I see parts of Zoe in me. She loves her family, and is driven and very focused. For Sarah, it is how she looks at things and tells you how it is.

Q: What are you goals as an author?
A: To create stories where people escape from the hustle and bustle of life and fall in love with characters and places. I want the readers to feel alive emotionally and tell others about their experience after experiencing my stories. I enjoy telling my stories, and I get to spend time with my “families”. I feel like I have the best of both worlds.

Q: What can we expect from you in the future?
A: I am currently writing my second book Public Truths. It’s a complex romance about a Hollywood publicist who falls for her bad boy client, a major star with a reckless past. Like Grains of Truth, this story has a lot of layers and subtext. I am just now writing it and excited to see how it finishes.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

3 Tips to Effectively Pitch Your Book

So you're pitching your book or you've hired someone (hopefully me) to do it. I recently had a client say, he tried many times to get into Experience Life magazine (for his first book). I said, "Did you follow up after you pitched it?" He said, "No." I replied, "Fortune is in the Follow-Up," which is a great older book by Heidi Sloss we published several years ago. Follow-up is critical. Do you give up after one try? Don't give up if you want success and here's why...
How many times have you had an in-box full of email? Do you answer all of them right on the spot? Well, I do but I am the exception to the rule. I follow a strict customer service policy of being available and responsive. The only time I'm not responsive is after hours. Now, I have exceptions depending on the client. I have many casual and friendly relationships with clients where I respond regardless. We have that kind of rapport. Clients that I don't have that rapport, I won't respond to on my personal time.
Most people don't have that kind of policy nor do they even realize its value - or they are just overwhelmed and not as organized. Whatever the case non-responsiveness is more the norm than the exception. So, keeping in mind that "Fortune is in the Follow-Up" if you want results, you have to follow up with people. So, you contact them the first time, and then you make it a priority to follow up with them at least a second or even a third time.
When I followed up with Experience Life magazine, I got results. The editor acknowledged she had been busy, but yes, she would love to receive a review copy. Had I failed to follow up, I would have gotten the same results as my client - nothing. This approach is particularly important when you know your book/product is an ideal fit for the targeted media and yet they didn't get back to you. Niche pitching is really some of the easiest. You know you're going after a media outlet that publishes material related to your book/product. If you're not getting a response from a targeted pitch then following up becomes mission critical to success.
Here are some invaluable tips:
Tip 1 - Make sure your pitch is working. If your target media isn't responding but you know your book is something they cover then examine how you're pitching. What is your message? What are they looking for in terms of content? Analyze it. Break it up into some specific keywords that they use to describe what they are communicating to their audience. Then use those keywords in your pitch.
Tip 2 - Have you identified the editor who is the RIGHT contact? Most publications have a masthead of editors who cover certain "beats". Did you pitch your book on say orthodontics to the guy who only covers dental implants? What is the likelihood he is going to want to see your book? And you can't rely on his kindness to forward your pitch to the right editor. He might or he might not. It's your job to identify who either assigns articles to the writer who covers your topic or the editor.
Tip 3 - Always start with a phone call and a follow-up email pitch. Not all editors want to answer voice pitches and won't accept them. Those editors who still answer the phone are more likely to request your book if you actually make human contact with them. They're going to remember a conversation much easier than an email. So, don't be afraid to make a phone call.