Sunday, December 27, 2009

VBT tour schedule, January 2010

This is the January 2010 tour schedule for VBT-Writers on the Move. There will be no post on 1st or 31st January. Books and interesting articles by new and established authors will be featured and there will be a mystery site giveaway. So it's always worth while dropping by and leaving a comment! The number next to each person's name indicates the day in January that they will do their post.

2 Dianne Sagan is hosting Kevin McNamee
3 Harry Gilleland is hosting Maggie Ball
4 Karen Cioffi is hosting Lea Schizas
5 Kathy Stemke is hosting Heidi Thomas
6 Lea Schizas is hosting Martha Swirzinski
7 Vivian Zabel is hosting Liana Metal
8 Nancy Famolari is hosting Margaret Fieland
9 Elysabeth Eldering is hosting Mayra Calvani
10 Katie Hines is hosting Elysabeth Eldering
11 Helena Harper is hosting Dana Donovan
12 Liana Metal is hosting Debra Eckerling
13 Carolyn Howard-Johnson is hosting Dianne Sagan
14 Gayle Trent is hosting Helena Harper
15 Mayra Calvani is hosting Stephen Tremp
16 Marvin Wilson is hosting Linda Asato
17 Linda Asato is hosting Kathy Stemke
18 Stephen Tremp is hosting Katie Hines
19 Margaret Fieland is hosting Karen Cioffi
20 Darcia Helle is hosting Harry Gilleland
21 Martha Swirzinski is hosting Jane Sutton
22 Heidi Thomas is hosting Darcia Helle
23 Jane Sutton is hosting Nancy Famolari
24 Dana Donovan is hosting Linda Suzane
25 Dallas Woodburn is hosting Marvin Wilson
26 Linda Suzane is hosting Dallas Woodburn
27 Debra Eckerling is hosting Vivian Zabel
28 Heather Paye is hosting Gayle Trent
29 Maggie Ball is hosting Carolyn Howard-Johnson
30 Kevin McNamee is hosting Heather Paye

Happy reading and commenting!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A delightful trip for poetry lovers and a rare tribute to family and friends

I was extremely touched to receive this review recently of my book Family and More - Enemies or Friends? by Glenda Bixler at IP Book Reviewers.

"Helena Harper’s poetry book, Family and More, is autobiographical, but that does not detract from the feelings it engenders from readers! We are able to empathize with the author when she asks, which is my enemy? We are able to enjoy the stories she poetically shares about her family. Personally, I was, overall, impressed with the quality to the poetry and the skill that would be required to share these personal tales!

For indeed they are tales—the tale of her grandparents, her parents, and of herself as a baby. Surely we immediately know that Helena’s father is English and they were living there in England when she was born. And they were already hoping and praying that no war—no bombs or guns would invade the life of their child. Would their daughter be a symbol of hope for the future?

Soon we learn that Helena’s mother is from Germany and how that country was in her youth, only to have war enter that picture and the need to leave their country and escape, enduring “soup of water” for lunch or no food at all. Then we see the courageous woman grow and flourish, even while still under duress.

Will those of us who have never experienced war ever really understand? I think we can begin to by reading the words of those who are willing to share them so revealingly...

On she goes to share of her father, her grandmother, and even of her grandfather whom she had never known. Yet her love shines through as she has gathered information and placed it carefully together to both learn of and tell others of his life.

I found myself in the story of “The Colleague,” as I remembered the woman who was my first mentor and who has remained my best friend for over 40 years!

...showing the way to a younger one
with new ideas
but just three years under her belt.
A gentle manner guiding the younger
and an open mind willingly receiving...
And, alas, I also could well relate to “The Boss,” that individual—or worse—those individuals we all have in our lives who turn out to be “a devil in disguise, ready to stab you in the back...”

Harper then includes medical staff, coaches, etc., who have supported her in some way! Surely, Family and More by Helena Harper is a rare tribute; however, it is also a sharing of poetic words that are both beautiful and thought provoking in how we should remember and realize the impact of family and friends...and even an enemy or two. A delightful trip for poetry lovers as well as those who wish to remember their own families through the experiences of others."
G. A. Bixler
Family and More is available at present as an ebook from but it will be coming out as a paperback with photos and more in 2010. So watch this space!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Introducing Deborah Weed, author of “The Luckiest Penny” and a woman on a mission to inspire

As part of the ongoing blog tour of the group VBT-Writers on the Move, it's my great pleasure this month to introduce children's author Deborah Weed.

Deborah was born and raised in Miami and has had an extensive thirty-year career in marketing/ entertainment that has included everything from being Director of Marketing for Fame International, responsible for a 26 million-dollar pavilion; Director of Development for Citibank; Creator/Producer of “Sensations”, “The Disappearance of Dino Dinero”, “The Sticky Bun Bandits” and “Compassionate Chip Cookies & Milk.”

However, a life threatening health challenge redirected Deborah's life. She got stuck and realized that people defined her by circumstances, rather than by a lifetime of experiences. After regaining her mojo, Deborah decided to leap into the world of writing, inspirational speaking and coaching so that she could provide a shortcut for others who are experiencing disappointment and feeling misunderstood.

The Luckiest Penny is Deborah's first book. It's the story of two rare 1943 pennies. One penny remains out of circulation, full of himself and selfish, caring only about how much money he is worth. The other penny decides to experience living and along the way discovers what really matters in life.

I asked Deborah some questions about her book.

What inspired you to write The Luckiest Penny?
I wanted to remind myself, children and everyone else that life has its ups and downs. Yet, we have a choice.Either we can stay in a box and avoid life's disappointments--or we can jump into life. Obstacles will appear and here is where self-worth comes in. . .The only way to believe in ourselves is to keep on standing back up!

Why did you use 1943, pure copper pennies, as your main characters?
If you have a 1943, pure copper penny in your purse it could be worth $83,000 or more. Can you believe it? A lowly penny, that was made by mistake during WWII, is very valuable. When I was stuck in bed with a misdiagnosed, life-threatening illness, I felt pretty worthless. When I heard about the 1943 penny, I found my metaphorical hero!

What is your goal?
This book was written to give children a healthy set of values that will assist them on their journey in life. I want them to remember what is really important so that they don't get discouraged by life's roller-coaster ride.

What is the theme of The Luckiest Penny?
The book’s genre is a fable/allegory. There are a couple of central messages in the book: why experience is more valuable than money; how love makes us all whole; and why it doesn't matter how much something costs but what it's worth to us.

Could you tell us about the illustrations?
The illustrations by Ernest Socolov transport the reader into the alternative world of a penny who is tarnished, yet loved!

I believe there is going to be a musical production about the book?
YES! An original, musical interactive production is being created and produced and should be ready very soon. The original songs are fun and yet meaningful. I will be working with foundations, schools, fairs, etc. to perform the production and then talk about what it means to us.

This is what others have said about Deborah's book.

The Luckiest Penny gives us all an opportunity to look at what we value about ourselves and others. It's an engaging story that encourages the conversation of self-worth and love.”
Laura Duksta, Author, New York Times Bestseller, I Love You More

"Here's a story that shares why we need to jump into life - Live Fabulous Now!"
Sandy Grason, Int'l Speaker, Author & Founder of the JOURNALUTION: Journaling to Awaken Your Inner Voice, Heal Your Life and Manifest Your Dreams

"Deborah Weed has written a timeless fable that reminds us and our children what really matters. This lovely story is about love and values, and it will enrich and inspire you at this time of great challenge and change, when so many families are having to reevaluate what is important."
Ellen Brazer, Author of Clouds Across the Sun,

"This book is a treasure to share with your grandchild of any age. The story of two pennies is intertwined with the relationship between grandfather and grandson. It shows children what unconditional love truly is and the value of every single person, no matter how small, no matter what!"
Lily Prellezo, Author of Seagull One: The true story of Jose Basulto and Brothers to the Rescue

To purchase a copy of the book or find out more about it, go to

Deborah is currently working on a second children’s book with collaborator Ellen Brazer - a book that shares her father's wisdom (Dancing on my Father’s Shoes) - and she has established a social network to help people of all ages and backgrounds get unstuck.

Deborah is also an award-winning artist. Water sculptures are the primary medium for her mixed media pieces. The result is a salubrious technique that takes color into a new arena of purity that is vivid, fluid and alive. Residing in trendy South Beach is her inspiration. The vibe there is bold and daring and her studio is literally on the white sandy beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. According to her collectors, her work titillates the senses and is very sensual.

You can contact Deborah at
And these are her websites: