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Monday, August 26, 2019

Midwest Book Review: Judith Fein's Taboo-Busting Book of the Dead

Book Reviews, Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
Reviewer's Bookwatch
Volume 19, Number 9
September 2019

Marlan Warren's Bookshelf

"Communicating with the dead has been a secret part of my life for many years." –Judith Fein

Judith Fein’s fourth deep travel memoir, HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE DEAD AND HOW CULTURES DO IT AROUND THE WORLD, invites us along on her decades of investigations and explorations of the final frontier: Death.
For most of her life, Judith Fein has seen and heard dead people. Not all the time, thank goodness, or it would not leave much time for this prolific journalist to write about her soul-searching globetrotting with her ever-skeptical photojournalist husband, Paul Ross. "Judie and Paul" are the "Nick and Nora" of the travel adventure-supernatural set. She can see a ghostly figure in the middle of nowhere and believe it to be a specter. He can be right next to her, eyes huge, and afterward admit “maybe” it was real. Their yin-yang bonding and love adds to the delightful humor of this Odyssey.
HOW TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE DEAD signals a coming out of the woo-woo closet for Fein. The Oxford dictionary defines "woo-woo" as "unconventional beliefs regarded as having little or no scientific basis, especially those relating to spirituality, mysticism, or alternative medicine…" Throughout her illustrious career as a journalist, Fein has occasionally penned articles about seeking healers and rituals in “exotic” locales; although mostly she has flown under the radar as a gifted intuitive herself. This book puts the spotlight on Fein’s spiritual truths as she has lived them, revealing how she has embraced and been embraced by others around the world who perceive those truths without shame.
There is no navel-gazing in these stories that take us from her father’s untimely death (and her first stunned awareness that she could hear him beyond the grave) to her late mother’s skepticism that she and her daughter could communicate after her transition (and how wrong that turned out to be) to various vortexes of cultures and religions that accept death as a fact of life that does not end the soul.
Fein’s passion to communicate with her living readers shines as an honest desire to help others move through their grief and fears to an understanding that death itself is not the final word on existence.
A discussion guide ends the book with such thought-provoking gems as:
"Would you like someone to contact you after you die? Why or why not?"

No matter what the answer, I’m willing to bet it won’t be boring. Fein invites readers to discuss the most taboo topic in America, as if to say:

"Hey, it couldn’t hurt!"

#JudithFein #TravelJournalist #Death #CommunicatingWithTheDead #GlobalAdventure #AuthorJudithFein

Title: How to Communicate with the Dead and How Cultures Do It around the World
Author: Judith Fein
 Publication date: September 4, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-9884019-9-0
Publisher: GlobalAdventure.us
Distributor for bookstores and libraries: IngramSpark

Available in e-book & paperback via Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Booksamillion. You can also order directly from Global Adventure.

Santa Fe author Judith Fein is available to give talks, workshops, and book signings at interested bookstores and for meetings and events.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Author Marlan Warren reads from her memoir "Roadmaps for the Sexually Challenged" at the Annual Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference (8/16)

Los Angeles, CA, August 16, 2019 --(PR.com)-- Marlan Warren will read from her fictionalized memoir, “Roadmaps for the Sexually Challenged [All’s Not Fair in Love or War]” as a featured speaker in a workshop entitled “Writing a Best-Selling Memoir” on the first day of the Annual Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference (AGLAW), Friday, Aug. 16 at 6 p.m.

“It’s an honor to be included,” said Warren. “This will be my first public reading of this book.”

The e-book debuted as a "novel" on Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) in 2015. "Roadmaps for the Sexually Challenged" is set in Los Angeles in the mid-90s with the O.J. trial in the background and plenty of steamy sex. The story follows the hot romance of a divorcing Jewish American woman with a Japanese American man who still bears the scars suffered by his family during World War II. As both are on the rebound, the woman's girlfriends cheer from the sidelines, while issuing small craft warnings.

“A paperback second edition will be coming out this Fall,” said Warren, noting that the story has its roots in diary entries, which qualifies it as a fictionalized memoir. "I altered reality here and there, including scenes that let me say what I wish I had said.”

Warren is also a documentary filmmaker and playwright whose topics often involve couples of mixed races or cultures: “As a film writer/producer, I tried for years to bring racially mixed couples to the screen, and hit the wall every time in Hollywood."

Her “Japanese American Internment” documentary “What did you do in the War, Mama?: Kochiyama’s Crusaders” is in post-production. Two years ago, her play, “Bits of Paradise: Kochiyama’s Crusaders” debuted at Rogue Machine Theatre in Hollywood.

The panel will be moderated by writer/editor Robin Quinn, and also feature readings by authors Madeline Sharples and Herbie J. Pilato.

AGLAWC runs Friday, Aug. 16 through Sunday, Aug. 18, featuring best-selling authors, editors, publishers, literary agents, publicists, and film industry experts.



Venue | DoubleTree by Hilton | 6161 West Centinela Avenue, Culver City, California, 90230

Registration Details: http://www.wcwriters.com/aglawc/index.html
Program Details: http://www.wcwriters.com/aglawc/program.html
Contact: E-Mail: info@wcwriters.com | Phone: 310.379.2650

Book / Author Info:

Title: Roadmaps for the Sexually Challenged [All's Not Fair in Love or War]
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TYKV5ZG
Author Website: http://roadmapsforthesexuallychallenged.blogspot.com

Video Author Interview: "How a Memoir Evolves into a Work of Fiction"

Marlan Warren’s Film IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm9545796/
Contact Information
Roadmap Girl Publications
Marlan Warren
Contact       memoircity@gmail.com

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Say YES to Writers Conferences! 8/16-18 Annual Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference (Culver City) (Doubletree Hotel) #GLAWS

This has been an exciting year for me. Last spring, I was invited to join the faculty of the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society, and right out of the gate, they put me on panels for their free meetings, and scheduled me to speak on the plethora of topics that I've gained extensive experience in professionally.

My next opportunities will be Friday, Aug. 16th at 6 p.m., at the Annual Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference (#AGLAWC) when I will speak on memoir writing, and Aug. 18th at 10 a.m. when I will have fun hearing "First Lines" of writers' manuscripts to give feedback. On Saturday, Aug. 17th, I'll be on hand to hear your manuscript draft pitches for editorial feedback. (Yes! I am a book editor!) You have to sign up in advance to participate.

In 1979, I arrived in San Diego from Chicago with the goal of writing professionally. At a journalism workshop, the teacher urged me to attend writers conferences as a way to improve my skills, and even more importantly, connect with fellow writers. I attended my first conference a month later. It was a refreshingly supportive experience that made me feel that I was on the right track!


Friday, 8/16 @6-7pm

Writing a Best-Selling Memoir - Biographies That More Than Just Your Family Will Read:
What makes “Eat, Pray, Love,” “The Liar’s Club” or “Angela’s Ashes” garner dazzling reviews or make readers weep or howl with laughter? How do you impose order on a thousand memories? Why is it important to resist the temptation to summarize your life?

In this workshop, we’ll identify what makes great memoirs unforgettable, as well as identify moments from your own life: the lowest ebb, the most unusual, shattering, funny or triumphant incidents that reveal your character and move readers. We will also discuss how to write a memoir/autobiography for a friend or client/celebrity.

MarlanWarren, Madeline Sharples, Herbie J. Pilato, Robin Quinn

I'll be available Saturday, 8/17. After lunch! For this:

ProCritiques™ with Editors and Literary Agents
1 on-1 Pitch Sessions w/Agents and Publishers

Meet editors, agents and/or publishers for a personal consultation to pitch, discuss and improve pre-submitted pages of your manuscript. Schedule an appointment at the Registration Desk. Some editors may take new submissions on site. A separate fee applies to ProCritque and Masters ProCritique consultations. Some agents do not read or edit material in advance. Consult the wcwriters.com website for details. We recommend you attend the "How to Pitch" session in order to help identify the best professional for your individual genre and material.

SIGN UP at 1-on-1 Desk starts after agent panel.

Sunday, AUG. 18 @10 A.M.
Great Beginnings for Nonfiction Books –
Your First Line, First Pages

You've heard that if the first paragraph of your novel isn't strong enough, agents and publishers won't read the first page, let alone the first fifty. Now you can learn how to separate fact from fiction and remain true to your story. Learn to draft a first line that will grab an acquisition editor and announce your authority as an author. This will cover first pages, first chapters, and first characters. This is a unique opportunity for you to learn how pros consider the merits of the material and the intent of the author, then offer improvements covering everything from glaring grammar errors to story-structure flaws to the overall storytelling and more.

Bring six (6) copies of your first 2 pages. Selected works will be read aloud, so the audience can follow along and learn how an agent or publisher reviews a manuscript. Time permitting, they may suggest improving the samples.

Claire Gerus, Helga Schier, Marlan Warren, plus panel

Conferences tend to be a bit on the pricey side, so this Annual Greater Los Angeles Writers Conference is a godsend because they have broken it down into bite-size affordable $ chunks for anyone who wishes to attend. Here's the scoop (with details at wcwriters.com):

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Women of Color: Registration almost over! “Womb Doula” Cindy Bonaparte awarded grant from L.A. Department of Mental Health

Reiki teacher and womb doula, Cindy Bonaparte, will facilitate a free Reiki Level I certification class for lower-income “women of color” on Sunday, June 9 at Women’s True Healing (WTH), a center for holistic therapies for female reproductive wellness in Redondo Beach, Calif. The class is made possible by a Community Engagement Grant for Mental Health Awareness awarded to Bonaparte by the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health.

The class is entitled “Ubuntu-Care Reiki I: Mending the Heart-Womb Connection.”

Bonaparte (aka "The Womb Doula") credits a recent trip to Egypt with inspiring this project: “’Ubuntu’ is a South African word that means ‘I am because we are.’ This class is all about healing traumas that affect the womb, and healing that comes through mutual caring.”'

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

To Be or Not To Be: "Apocalypse TV" (Book Review)

His whole life has been a sham because he can’t accept responsibility for his failure to live by his own convictions.—APOCALYPSE TV

What do reality TV game show contestants, religious fanatics, true believers, atheists, zombies, quarreling siblings, an FBI agent, Elvis impersonator, and an almost-fired English professor at a Christian college have in common?

They all come together to interlock as essential players in Thomas Allbaugh’s tightly wound, often hilarious, debut novel, APOCALYPSE TV.

Shakespeare today might muse that “All the world’s a reality TV game show, and all the men and women merely players in their quest for prizes amid layers of illusions and media hype.” It is upon this slippery platform that Allbaugh has built a metaphor for our contentious world as viewed through the lenses of good vs. evil, secular religion vs. spirituality, and love vs. indifference. 

The story kicks off when Christian intellectual, Walter Terry, takes a leave of absence from his conservative college in California to visit his dying father in Michigan. Walter has just been put on notice for allowing students to express non-conservative viewpoints, and fears his job is on thin ice. 

Walter and his sister are approached in a Midwestern diner by a talent scout for a new reality TV show that claims to be “an investigation into American religious ideas.” He describes himself to the pretty interviewer as an “outsider in terms of religion,” but sees her write down “soft and vulnerable.” This pigeon-holing is exactly what makes these shows maddening, but also makes them fun for the fans.

Seduced by the promise of money and his own rationalization that perhaps a show like this could use an educated analytical thinker, Walter embarks on what will turn out to be a character-building odyssey. After he is entrenched in “Race for the Apocalypse,” Walter hears the producer refer to him as the show’s “sacrificial lamb.” And after that…all bets are off.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

I'm on Panels This Weekend for Genre-LA Creative Writing Conference (3/29-31)(Culver City)

Marlan Warren at GLAWS Special Speaker Event
WC2 Presents Genre-LA Creative Writing Conference
(Culver City) (3/29-31)

Now in its 22nd year, WC2 West Coast Writers Conferences presents the Genre-LA Creative Writing Conference at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Friday, March 29 through Sunday, March 31. The conference features best-selling authors, editors, publishers, literary agents, publicists, and film industry experts.

Friday, March 15, 2019

How to Build a Market for Your Novels and Short Stories (Panel)(3/16)(Culver City, CA)

I am excited to announce that as a new associate with the Greater Los Angeles Writers Society (GLAWS) Faculty, I will join fellow publicists to speak on the topic of "How to Build a Market for Your Novels and Short Stories" on Saturday, March 16 at 2:30pm at the Culver City Julian Dixon Library in the Ray Bradbury Room.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Patryk Strait: L.A. Photographer, Graphic Designer, Creative Artist

Patryk Strait/Artist Creative

Behind every great non-selfie professional headshot is a gifted professional photographer. A couple weeks ago, I had the good fortune of meeting up with Patryk Strait for an outdoor shoot, and am thrilled with the results.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Life After Hollywood: Artemis Craig's Firewalk Back To Salvation ("Inspirational Verse" Book Review)

Title: Inspirational Verse for Those Who Hunger and Thirst
Subtitle: A Book of Poems to Feed the Soul
Author: Artemis Craig
Genre: Inspirational and Religious Poetry
(Sale Sheet Info Below)
Reviewer: Marlan Warren

I have respect for anyone’s spiritual journey. And I have a lot of respect for the poet Artemis Craig, whom I met at USC, while we were both in film school studying screenwriting. We only met once, in the changing room of the gym, but her feisty humor made a lasting impression.

“Before they’re done, this school’s gonna own the drawers on my butt!” she said. I don’t know about her, but that school does own the drawers on my butt. The one thing I do know that we share is post-film-school depression. A not uncommon affliction in L.A.

Now, a couple decades later, Craig has risen out of the ashes of Hollywood as an evangelical poet who has walked through fire, and lived to tell her story in the form of Inspirational Verse for Those Who Hunger and Thirst: A Book of Poems to Feed the Soul.

With straightforward honesty and a gift for storytelling, Craig has arranged the poems in this anthology as an odyssey washed in the blood of heartaches, losses, and disappointments after returning home as the Prodigal Daughter. All the elements that make  “inspirational verse” inspirational are there (finding and praising the Grace of God), woven into searing moments from Craig’s life, told with her flair for dramatic prose and metaphor.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Is that a Confederate Flag Scarf or Are You Just Happy to See Me?: United Daughters of the Confederacy Tried to "Mend Fences" with Slavery History (2006 Picnic)

UDC Picnic at Pennytown: Photo by Marlan Warren

March 2006: Unpublished Feature for Newspaper in Marshall, Missouri by Marlan Warren
United Daugthers of the Confederacy visit first black settlement site in Missouri:
"Our mother told us if there was ever a fire, grab a box of records and run..."

   There isn’t much left of Pennytown anymore. But when Virginia Huston looks at its vacant landscape, she sees more than just meadows, a church and a house. She sees memories that must be preserved.

   Huston was the last person born in Pennytown, a black settlement located eight miles southeast of Marshall that was started by Joe Penny in 19871 when he managed to purchase eight acres for $160.

   “What is unique about Pennytown is that it was started by a freed-slave,” Huston said.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Saturday, April 21, 2018

MAKE YOUR OWN FUN -- Sneak Peek at Phil Wolff's and Monty Warren's Creative Process for #TwoBadasses

Happiness is...Creating! Phil Wolff decided to shoot his initial reactions to hearing how the 2 songs ["Wicked Man" and "Every Time"] that he sings lead vocals on are turning out (still unmixed, with some polishing to go) after Monty Warren passed them along, months after conception and initial laying of tracks. 

"Make your own fun."-- David Mamet

Due: TBA Date 2018
Phil Wolff (Spain) (We R Comin') 
Monty Warren (USA)(Monty Warren & The Friggin' Whatevers) 
Monty Warren - Facebook.com/monty-warren 
Phil Wolff - Facebook.com/philwolfffanpage/
Monty WarrenWebsite: www.montywarren.com 

YouTube Channels:
Phil Wolff Monty Warren
Marlan Warren (Publicist)

Monday, April 2, 2018

L.A. Artist Violetta Antonia Sorcini Will Show At La Galeria Gitana (4/21-6/1) Before Italy Art Trip For New Book

Echo Park DipTic by Violetta Antonia Sorcini
Violetta Antonia Sorcini
Artist: Violetta Antonia Sorcini
Gallery Website: http://galeriagitana.com/
Artist Website: http://www.sorcini.com/

If you've never experienced Violetta Antnoia Sorcini's passionate artwork, you will have this exciting opportunity starting Saturday, April 21 at La Galeria Gitana in the San Fernando Valley. The show, which features local artists, closes Friday, June 1.

Sorcini is a veteran artist whose paintings, photography and collages often show at local galleries, including ChimMaya.

Born and raised in East L.A., the half-Latino artist is now preparing for what she anticipates will be a life-changing Art Odyssey to Central Italy to meet and live with the Italian side of her family for a month.

"The whole reason I'm going to Italy is to create an art book about my experiences with my relatives and the communities that I'll be visiting,"
Violetta explained during our interview in her charming studio. Although she and her Italian relatives have often been in touch, they have never met in person.

Mixed Media Collage by Violetta Antonia Sorcini

The central theme of Sorcini's non-abstract paintings, photographs and collages is "story."

Señor El Sereno by Violetta Antonia Sorcini

"My artwork is composed of allegories that make statements about how I see the world," said Sorcini. "I invite contemplation while staying positive."

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