Sunday, December 30, 2012

Nobel Prize Winner dies at Age 103

Nobel prize winner, Dr. Rita Levi Montalcini recently died at the ripe old age of 103. She was very active into her 100s, working in science, and later in politics. She was born in Turin, in 1909, and never married.

Due to the war, she moved around with her family, changing their name. Eventually, she came to the United States and worked in research.

To read more about this wonderful woman, please click the link below:,0,4732404.story

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Blessings

This is my favorite time of the year, not only because of the sights of Christmas trees popping up everywhere, or the lights on the houses, or even the Salvation Army woman outside the shopping mall ringing her little bell. There is more to the holiday season. It fills the senses in every which way.

There are the Christmas parties, with their egg nogs and appetizers and Christmas carols. There are the Christmas songs on the radio with my all time favorite song, "Silent Night." 

The Christmas cards start flowing in early December, with their sweet words and familiar sayings, and photos of children. Visits to the post office take on a whole different meaning during this time of year. 

Then there's the shopping for presents at the mall which is decorated with all kinds of lights, wreaths, and trees. I love watching Santa Claus in the mall as the children sit on his lap and take photos with him. All this is followed later with the wrapping of the gifts and placing them under the Christmas tree.

Then there's the baking of cookies and goodies for Christmas. The aroma in the kitchen is warm and cozy during this time of year. 

I love this time of year, and most importantly, the reason behind it. Jesus Christ, our saviour, was born on this day and we lovingly acknowledge his birth with joy and delight. May his birthday be remembered on this very important day! God bless you all!



Thursday, December 13, 2012

10 Tips to Promote, Promote, Promote

Occasionally, I get asked by another Greek American author about promoting books, and I thought I'd compile the steps I took in promoting my books to the Greek American market. If you're not catering to the Greek Market, you might consider organizations that revolve around your market:

1) Make sure you have a website (or wordpress, or blog) that includes your bio, your books, and where to buy the books. An online presence is critical in this time of social media. Update it regularly. Check out my site as an example:

2) Join Social Media like Twitter, Facebook, and other social media. Make a Facebook Fan Page. If you want to attract likes on your page, go to  to sign up for more likes. Become active. Get a following.

3) Sell your books through a Greek American organization like AHEPA or Daughters of Penelope (DOP). It would help if you're  a member, too! You can start by sending a book to the AHEPA headquarters in Washington, D.C., like I did, and ask if they'd like to read/review for their AHEPA magazine. Also, the DOP have a book club, and you might want to contact them, too.

4) Contact all the Greek churches in the states with a flyer describing your book. Include ordering information. You can go on the archdiocese website ( to find parishes. Ask them to post the flyer on their bulletin, or give to their Philoptochos society.

If your book does not have offending material in it, your chances are better, you can even ask if they'd be interested in buying books for their library. I have sold many books through these outlets. I have also spoken through several church and Philoptochos events this way (NJ, PA,NY).

5) Contact your churches in your local area to see when they'll have their church festival. Sign up for the festival and be there to sell your books! Expect to pay a small fee for your table. You'll need a white table cloth, books, flyers, and a willingness to talk for hours at an end. Also, your local church might have a book club, or over fifties club, or even a cultural group you can talk to. I did book signings at all these groups at my church.

 6) Contact your local community newspaper. Send them a book and ask for a book review. Do the same for local magazine. They're always looking for new material.

7). Contact the Orthodox Observor, a newspaper of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese ( They do post community events, and when you publish your book that is a community event! Also, you can place an ad in there, I did a few times and got sales that way, too!

8) Mail order : This one's a tough one, but if you can get a mailing list, and send flyers to individuals, your rate of sales goes up dramatically. I still get Christmas cards from readers who I've maintained contact all these years. A reader just sent me a Christmas card asking me "when is your next book coming out?" Isn't that wonderful?

9) Contact your local library -  they typically have rooms where your can sign up to do a talk and booksigning. You can list this event in the newspaper and community news.

10) Contact your local bookstore - I left this one for last because they've given me the least book sales, but they do give sales.

Did you notice that the word "contact" has shown up several times here? This is a proactive situation. You need to be very active in promoting your books, and if you don't make that "contact" then your books will just sit there in your closet, collecting dust.

I made a lot of book sales over time using the above methods, and if you are a Greek American author, or even an author interested in different avenues of promoting, I hope you do well, too!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Strep Throat and 2012 Movie

Not too long ago, I found myself nursing strep throat. There was only one other time in my life that I had experienced this, and it was in college. 

I had forgotten all about the nasty symptoms, and now years later, all the aches, pains, fever, and inability to keep food down gnawed at me with a vengeance. A visit to the Urgent Care confirmed that I had the strep throat, so antibiotics were in order and lots of sleep. Everything that I would normally do became a painful chore, like walking. Couldn't even keep water down. Little sips. Little baby steps.

So that's what I did. Of course I was not alone, my whole family got sick in some form or another. A younger family member got the strep first, and an older member got a much lighter version of it. I was somewhere at the end. At first, I was saying how lucky I was not to catch it. I was taking care of everyone else, tending to their needs, etc. And then it hit me like a sledgehammer. Whammo, I was laid up and now my husband was nursing me. I love that man! He is so good to me! 

We all took turns in some way or another getting sick. As the nurse told me, "You're spreading the Love around." Of course she was kidding, right?

So, now, I'm at the stage of the disease, where I was able to sit up for more than 5 minutes in an awake state of mind, and able to keep some food down. My brain was functioning enough so that my husband and I decided to do something we don't normally do, watch a modern movie. We typically watch old movies, but somehow the 2012 movie, the one that came out in 2009, was the one we watched.

Boy, did that movie wipe out any thoughts of strep throat completely out of my mind! Strep? What strep? These people were fighting for their lives in a fast-paced, action packed dooms-day scenario of the end of the world.  Destruction everywhere, so that you're on the edge of your seat and afraid to go back to sleep in case you'll never wake up.

So if you want to get over strep, watch the 2012 movie! That'll cure anything!