Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Feather Schwartz Foster, Author of The First Ladies


Feather Schwartz Foster, author of
"THE FIRST LADIES" & "LADIES:  A Conjecture of Personalities" …. And one more still looking for a publisher! 


Upcoming signings

Friday, July 3  -  10 a.m. - 2 p.m.  – William & Mary Bookstore (B&N), Merchants Sq., Williamsburg, VA. 

If you are in the area, stop in and say hello!

Check out my latest blog articles at www.featherfoster.wordpress.com

http://wp.me/p3z3zl-yE                                                            Mrs. Herbert Hoover's Bad Habit… The Surprise Supreme!
http://wp.me/p3z3zl-z3                                                            Kate Sprague and Roscoe Conkling:  Beauty and the Boss
http://wp.me/p3z3zl-zq                                                            Eleanor Roosevelt Looks in the Pot     
http://wp.me/p3z3zl-zQ                                                           President Garfield's Train 
All VERY nifty stories!  You will enjoy them! 


 Fall classes for the Christopher Wren Society and Christopher Newport University!

Christopher Newport University:   The "Typical" First Ladies 

Thursdays: September 10  October 8:  1-2:15 PM

Christopher Wren Society:  Three MORE Nifty Presidential-ish Stories

Tuesdays:  October 27, November 3, 10 – 9:30-11:30 AM

Feather Schwartz Foster

UPCOMING EVENT:  Saturday, October 3

19th National War of 1812 Symposium
Saturday, October 3, 2015, 
Old Moot Hall, University of Baltimore

I have been invited to do a segment on DOLLEY MADISON & her role in the War of 1812!


Feather Schwartz Foster

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Little Book That Could by Betty Jo Tucker (guest blogger)

Thanks to Linda Barnett-Johnson for the opportunity to blog about IT HAD TO BE US, the award-winning romantic memoir my husband and I co-wrote under the pen names of Harry and Elizabeth Lawrence. Romantic miracles do happen in real life! 

After being divorced and estranged from each other for nearly two decades, we accidentally met again and began a journey to rediscover our lost love. In IT HAD TO BE US, we use a “Harry Remembers/Elizabeth Remembers” format to share our feelings about the poignant -- and often humorous -- events that brought us back together.

Much to our surprise, this memoir received rave reviews and is now in the early stage of film adaptation. It also won first place in the E-book category at the 2006 Hollywood Book Festival and a coveted Psyche Award nomination from The Romance Studio the following year.   

Entertainment journalist and publisher Diana Saenger calls IT HAD TO BE US “the little book that could.” I think she’s referring to the way this short romantic memoir keeps getting a new life. Diana’s company (SANDS) first published IT HAD TO BE US as a paperback in 2001, then Laura Mills-Alcott of The Romance Club turned it into an award-winning E-book. And later  Denise Cassino’s Long Story Short Publishing company released the expanded KINDLE version, which includes the recipes already mentioned, a new honeymoon revelation (with Elizabeth ending up on the roof of a famous hotel!), and a section devoted to some of our favorite romantic movies.  

Nancy Lombardo, host of Comedy Concepts on BlogTalkRadio, calls our story “A Recipe for Love” in her enthusiastic review of the E-book. She also says the book is “a wonderfully touching homage to love -- sweet, honest and filled with hope.”
Because I don’t like to eat anything that once had a face, I added some yummy vegetarian recipes to our book, and that’s probably why Nancy used “Recipe” in her review title. As a movie addict, I gave most of the recipes film-related monikers, such as “Oscar-Worthy Nachos,” “4-Star Vegetarian Chili,” “Technicolor Rice Surprise,” “Thumbs-Up Spaghetti,” “Frida’s Bean Burritos,” and “Miracle Dessert.” However, my hubby is still a carnivore, so he fries up a bit of hamburger and mixes it into his own servings of “4-Star Chili” and “Thumbs-Up Spaghetti” -- which proves that vegetarians and carnivores can live together in harmony, at least at our house.

About those romantic films, I know many are highly predictable and not very entertaining, but my hubby and I still have a lot of favorites. In IT HAD TO BE US, we’ve included reviews of several excellent ones, such as Love Actually, Serendipity, Down with Love, Pride & Prejudice, Two Weeks Notice, Beyond Borders, The Fountain, Music and Lyrics, and Kate & Leopold. We really enjoy watching movies like these together. It was fun compiling our list of favorites, even though we frequently disagreed while making the selections.  

IT HAD TO BE US is available for $5.99 at the Amazon KINDLE store, and we happily donate our author royalties to the IMAGINATION LIBRARY, a children’s  literacy program sponsored by the Dollywood Foundation.
LINK to the Sizzle Reel by Misha Zubarev: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyBSB47WVMU

LINK to more information about IT HAD TO BE US:


Betty Jo Tucker serves as editor/lead film critic for ReelTalk Movie Reviews. She also writes film commentary for the Colorado Senior Beacon and is the award-winning author of Confessions of a Movie Addict and Susan Sarandon: A True Maverick. She hosts a radio show, “Movie Addict Headquarters,” on BlogTalkRadio. Betty Jo helped found the San Diego Film Critics Society and is a member of the Online Film Critics Society.  More information can be found at her website by clicking on www.BettyJoTucker.com.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Top 5 Reasons as To Why Businesses Need To Outsource Their Contact Centre Services (guest blogger)

Top 5 Reasons as To Why Businesses Need To Outsource Their Contact Centre Services

When your customers call you to inform you about the issue they are facing or ask questions, the contact centre representatives they speak to is responsible for handling their concerns and improving the view of their company so do make that your calls are handled smoothly. These professionals also serve as the spokesperson for their businesses while interacting with their customers, and when this department has a problem in talking calls then it is time to hire an outsourcing company. Given here are five important reasons as to why the business owners need to turn towards contact centre outsourcing.

Customer’s complaints increase: If a business receives complaints and does not stop them then the number of calls would continue to increase. Contact centre professionals are here not just to hear the complaints of their customers but also to defence against the negative comments that could have affected the reputation of the organization. So when you are dealing with angry customers and trained customers then know what you have to say in order to maintain and improve their relationship with them and bringing a change in the business.

Calls being put on hold on frequent basis: The long-time wait to connect to with the customer care could be unbearable for a few and could cause them to complain even more. And if the customer success team would continue to experience a backlog of calls, then it high time that you hire an external organization who has a great experience in taking the calls from the demanding customers. Outsourcing contact centre employees would continue to work efficiently and so quickly that the customers would not have to wait for a longer period of time.

Businesses using an outdated equipment: Sometimes the problem with the client and the customer communication begins with the equipment itself. When the businesses use the old equipment’s then it could mean of being more disconnected from calls. And since the organizations partner with the external service providers they do not have to pay for all the calling equipment of the outsourced workers, they could cut operating costs while improving the customer’s communication.

In house Labor costs outweigh the benefits: Because the contact centre workers are the major link between the consumers and the businesses, they are crucial in maintaining the customer’s satisfaction. Organizations pay more for the Labor costs for all the in house contacts that they have. As a client service team you need to support the growth of a business by effectively articulating the benefits for all their products and services. And an outsourcing company could provide such a group of skilled professionals.

Too much time spent on recruiting the callers: When you begin to get calls on continuous basis, it could be overwhelming especially if the customers are difficult enough to deal with. This could also lead with in house customer team to quit and leave a business shorthanded. Outsourcing contact centre services are well experienced in recruiting and in training the callers, saving your time and money. So instead of recruiting new callers themselves business owners should here consider of seeking external help in order to improve their customer support team.

About the Author
Abhishek Jain has over 10 years of experience within the BPO Industry and Contact Centre Services. Business Process Outsourcing delivers and manages various offshore/onsite projects in various technologies and domains.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


When did you first know you were destined to be a writer?
LOL, I never realized I was destined to be a writer -- I fell into it. I'd written poetry for years, collecting it in notebooks stacked in my attic when I wrote one I wanted to keep. This led me to several online sites and ultimately to discovering the Muse Online Writers Conference where I hooked up with Linda Barnett Johnson and joined her writers forums. She required everyone to write both fiction and poetry, so, with much trepidation, I started writing fiction. Then I got hooked on it, wrote a chapter book, took the ICL course and actually learned how to write it. Then in 2010, I was seized by a desire to write a sci fi novel, so I spent six weeks or so on world building, mostly, with a bit of plotting thrown in for good measure.

Who would you cite as your influences?
I'm a way-back sci-fi fan, and Robert A. Heinlein influenced me heavily. I took a lot away from his writing, notably the value of surprising one's reader. I also love Lewis Carroll, both his Alice books and his poetry. I can still recite several stanzas of Jabberwocky from memory. Isaac Asimov and James M. Barrie are also early influences.

What advice would you pass on to beginner writers that you wish someone had told you when you were first starting out?
Don't let your vision of yourself as a writer be limited. I never, other than for English class, wrote a word of fiction before I joined Linda's writing forums. It simply never occurred to me that I could - or that I wanted to. A clear failure of imagination.

You bio says you read a lot of science fiction aimed at boys when you were growing up.  There is a myth out there that science fiction is written by, and for, men.  Do you think any progress has been made in the last few years about raising public awareness that women write, and read, science fiction?
Well, there is certainly lots more sci fi written by women now-a-days, and I do believe more women are reading the genre. But there were actually women sci fi writers when I was growing up -- Andre Norton and C.L. Moore, to name a couple. Do notice, however, the androgynous names.  Things have indeed improved a bit since then. But I do believe that sci fi is viewed as a largely male preserve, just like, sadly, computer software engineering/

Where do think the human race will be a hundred years from now – utopia, dystopia, or the same place we are now?
About the same place we are now, truthfully. However, from a writers' point of view, this is probably the least interesting alternative {grin}, so my writing certainly won't reflect this rather mundane view of our future. As a writer, predicting disaster of one kind or another is a much more fruitful source. In my Aleyne novels, the backstory includes a collapse of technology here on Earth in about 100 years, due to riots that brought down the government and destroyed infrastructure.

Tell us about your latest release.
The latest release was Geek Games, which is actually the second Aleyne novel, in terms of chronology. It features a fourteen-year-old main character, Martin Samuels, who foolishly brings down the spaceport computer network, thus enabling the terrorists to set off a bomb which kills his friend's father. The third novel in the series, Broken Bonds, was released in July. It features Brad Reynolds, who is the Major in charge of the Federation Guard base on Aleyne. It takes place roughly four years after Geek Games.

What are you working on at present?
I finished the fourth book in the series, which is due out sometime later this year. It's another adult novel, a sci fi action-adventure romance, and the main character is Colonel Robert Walker, the man who (spoiler) arrests Brad for treason in Broken Bonds. I have a chapter book that should be out soon as well. And I'm working on a prequel to the Aleyne novels.

Five Fun Facts:

1.     While in college and studying for exams, I would make myself forgo trips to the library. Driven by boredom, I would reread Alice in Wonderland. I can still recite the first two stanzas of Jabberwocky from memory.
2.     When my kids were little, I read them Peter Rabbit so often I had most of memorized. It impressed my kids no end on boring car trips.
3.     I am a native New Yorker, born and raised in Manhattan. When I was in elementary school, a friend and I collected a bag of rocks from central park, which was then stolen by a gang of boys.
4.     I wanted electric trains but never got any, as my father was not interested in trains and was not at all handy. In fact, all home repairs were done by my mother or one of my uncles.
5.    I had originally intended to study Spanish in school, but my father was so upset by the notion that I switched to French, which both he and my mother spoke.

Born and raised in New York City, Margaret Fieland has been around art and music all her life.  Her poems and stories have appeared in journals such as  Turbulence Magazine, Front Range Review, and All Rights Reserved. She is one of the Poetic Muselings. Their poetry anthology, Lifelines, was published by Inkspotter Publishing in November, 2011.  She is the author of  Relocated, Geek Games, and Broken Bonds, published by MuseItUp Publishing , and of Sand in the Desert, a collection of science fiction persona poems. A chapter book  and another science fiction novel are due out later this year.

My author page on muse:

My author page on Amazon:

Where to find me on the web: