28 Resources, Tools and Tips for Self-Publishing Your Next Book


There are some really great ideas and services offered here. READ the fine print and see if something works for you. ❤

Want to skip traditional publishing and share your work with the world? Bookmark this list of resources now.

Source: 28 Resources, Tools and Tips for Self-Publishing Your Next Book

Mindful Monday – HEALTHY LIVING: The Diet Soda Dilemma & Sweeteners

Welcome to Mindful Monday – Healthy Living! Each week I try to examine new or sometimes old things about myself on my journey to becoming healthier. I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to, as I attempt to live in the present. Come and join me on my journey. You never know what you will learn about yourself.

…to all of you who have left comments and cheered me on and are interested in accompanying me on this journey to healthy living! Together, we can offer support and ideas to make this road to “healthy,” a fun journey!

My hope is that you will all visit the posts of everyone who participated last week. You can find their blog links and comments on last week’s post HERE. Stop by and say hello! You just might make someone’s day!


Welcome to another week of Mindful Monday – Healthy Living! Today I want to address a subject from last week that got a lot of attention – diet sodas.

The CON:

There are virtually thousands of blogs and websites that state that diet soda is bad for you. To be fair there is mounting evidence that drinking REGULAR soda is much more harmful than drinking diet sodas. This is something that you must weigh out for yourself. Of all the sites dedicated to stating the case against drinking diet soda,

Of all the sites dedicated to stating the case against drinking diet soda, Prevention shares the best explanations. Click here to read the article, “8 Things That Happen When You Finally Stop Drinking Diet Soda,” by

The PRO:

I decided to take one of my favorites (Diet Fresca) and show you what the can says the ingredients are. Here is a link to the Diet Fresca website where you can see what the company states the ingredients are. I have listed them here so that you can click on the ingredient links to find out just what some of those ingredients are. Make sure to scroll to find the ingredient you are looking for.


Carbonated WaterCitric AcidConcentrated Grapefruit JuicePotassium CitrateAspartamePotassium Sorbate (To Protect Taste), Acacia GumAcesulfame PotassiumNatural FlavorsGlycerol Ester Of RosinPotassium Benzoate AndCalcium Disodium Edta (To Protect Taste), Carob Bean Gum.

Whenever I talk about healthy issues I always try to use websites that are tried and true. One of them, The Mayo Clinic, is always a great source to begin your research.

When Dr. Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. was posed with the question:

“I drink diet soda every day. Could this be harmful?” she stated:

“Drinking a reasonable amount of diet soda a day, such as a can or two, isn’t likely to hurt you. The artificial sweeteners and other chemicals currently used in diet soda are safe for most people, and there’s no credible evidence that these ingredients cause cancer.

Some types of diet soda are even fortified with vitamins and minerals. But diet soda isn’t a health drink or a silver bullet for weight loss.

Although switching from regular soda to diet soda may save you calories, it’s not yet clear if it’s effective for preventing obesity and related health problems in the long term.

Healthier low-calorie choices abound, including water, skim milk, and unsweetened tea or coffee.”

After hours of research, I have reached the conclusion that MODERATION is still the best suggestion. Most successful diet strategies and plans, like Weight Watchers, say there is nothing wrong with a couple sodas a day. I like to have one after a hard day of blogging. These days, that diet soda becomes my “cocktail” of choice, leaving a nice glass of wine for the weekends. I think that is the best way to address this issue. Do what you feel is right and consult your physician if you are really concerned about the issue.

Image Credit: Heavy.com

Heavy.com (click the link to read the article) shares a study that came out of Colorado:

“A new study about to be published in June’s issue of Obesity was released with the title ‘Diet Beverages Help People Lose Weight.’ The clinical study, performed at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, tested 303 people over 12 weeks. All the people in the study got weight loss help and coaching over the course of the three months, but only one group was allowed to drink diet drinks. The other control group was only allowed to drink water and no diet soda.

However, to be allowed into the study, you had to already drink diet beverages on a regular basis. So the people in the water, or ‘control’ group were, in fact, giving up diet soda and starting a weight loss coaching plan at the same time.”


Image Credit: Healthresearchfunding.org

Still confused? You are not alone. You must do what you think is the best thing for you and your body. Talk to your own doctor and see what they have to say about diet sodas and foods with aspartame named as an ingredient.

Personally, I like Stevia. I know there are some diet sodas that contain this sweetener. Here is an overview of what Stevia is:

Image credit: Healthresearchfunding.org

Huffpost Healthy Living
has a great article to read about Stevia called, “7 Things You Didn’t Know About Stevia.”

With all of the healthy living concerns we have today about the foods and drinks that we are ingesting it is always best to do some investigative work on your own. There is always that little voice in the back of my brain asking if “they” are really telling us the truth. The answer is clear: MODERATION.

Image credit: PictureQuotes.com


Wow! All I can say is WOW! It was a stressful and busy week. We bought a new vehicle and our kitchen was torn apart while our contractors finished the last items that needed to be completed in my kitchen. The tile backsplash turned out beautifully! The sink and faucet are completely done. I am so happy to have this work done at last.

The result of all this work? I gained two pounds. I had to face the truth and I knew it wasn’t going to be good! I could not eat properly all week. The stove was torn out and in the middle of the room for much of the week. What a mess. I was never so glad to have everything done finally!

You know what? I am not discouraged. I just started all over yesterday logging my food and making wise food choices. I made a huge pot of vegetable soup and a salad. I had a 4 oz piece of salmon and a salad last night. It tasted so wonderful! That is the key. Don’t give up. Not all weeks will be a success. That is alright. Just keep plugging along.

Because of stress, I have had to come to grips with my blogging. My writing time on my novel is at a premium. I have started a production schedule and have decided to trim some of the things that are just to time consuming. I will still visit each and every one of your blogs that comments and supports me. We are on a journey and it is only with the help and support from each other that we will succeed.

So here is my mantra for the week. I found this image on Facebook. It fits me to a tee! J

I did manage to walk 6.39 miles this week. That is an increase from last week. My plan for this week is to just keep moving forward. Logging my food, drinking more liquids, and getting more exercise. That is just the way this journey goes.

How about you? What are your healthy living goals for the week?

Have a wonderful week! If you would like to join me in your own healthy living journey, please do. Use whatever program works for you. You do not even have to follow a program if you don’t want to. The whole idea is to start thinking about ways that you can become healthier and fit. This includes going gluten-free, fat-free, lactose-free, starting an exercise program, or even a new way of eating such as becoming a vegetarian. If it has to do with becoming healthy, write about it!


Remember, this is not a challenge.  Each of us has different goals that we wish to attain. This is an offering of support and a place where my online community can come to participate in attaining a healthy lifestyle.  If you would like to join in with your own Mindful Monday – Healthy Living goals you can do so in the comments, or on a separate post of your own making.  If you want to link back to my post, please feel free to do so, however, it is not necessary. Each week I will include a link to the previous week’s post where readers can find your links and comments from the previous week. My main aim here is to give and get support to become more mindful of my journey to healthy living.

Thanks for being part of my fabulous journey to a healthy lifestyle. Don’t forget to share your journey. ❤ No matter what your goals are in becoming more healthy, together we can do it!

Understand the Tools of your Trade

Here is some great EDITING help we all probably have at our fingertips and didn’t know! Thanks, Jo Robinson! ❤

Lit World Interviews

You’re unlikely to find gainful employment as a secretary if you can’t type. Any job of work that you want to do obviously requires some study and knowledge of what you’re going to be doing. Likewise if you’re self-employed, while you can call yourself anything at all, if you really want to do what you do as well as you can, you’d be wise to arm yourself with knowledge of your field, and also knowledge of the tools that you use to do your work. For scribblers one of your most important tools is your word processing software. If you’re an Indie publisher just knowing the very basics is not really good enough, unless you can afford to outsource formatting and all the rest. It’s a good idea to study up on what your word processor can and can’t do because either way knowledge can never be a bad thing…

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The Influence of the Civil Rights Movement on English – Grammarly Blog | Grammarly Blog


Our use of language should influence all Americans. Eloquence “Trumps” poor language in many ways. This is a great read! ❤

Freedom is never really won. You earn it and win it in every generation. —Coretta Scott King Half a century …

Source: The Influence of the Civil Rights Movement on English – Grammarly Blog | Grammarly Blog

SILVER’S BOOK REVIEWS – “Stella – A Short Story,” and Joseph’s Story – The Road to Freedom,” BY Yecheilyah Ysrayl

  • Title:  The Stella Trilogy (Review of “Stella,” A Short Story, and “Joseph’s Story – The Road to Freedom”)
  • Author: Yecheilyah Ysrayl
  • Genres: Women’s Fiction, African-American Fiction, Historical Fiction, American Literature

*The author provided me with a copy of each book in exchange for an honest review which follows*

I must apologize for the order of the reviews. I read Book Two, Stella – Beyond the Colored Line, first. You can find that review here.

This is a review of book one and book three.

Stella – Amazon

When Grandma Stella shares an old journal with Cynthia, her granddaughter, and her boyfriend Alex, the family’s history is laid bare. Grandma Stella explains that she was named after her Great-grandmother, Stella Mae, whose real first name was Hadassahyah, which in Hebrew means ‘myrtle tree.’ Many of the old names were taken from the Slave Ships.

The year is 1864 in Louisiana and the story slips back in time introducing Grandma Stella’s Great grandmother, Stella Mae, age nineteen years. Stella Mae begins her story with a memory of how as a child she was forced to use the facilities designated for “niggras only.” Young Stella Mae tries to reason out why her Mama can’t walk into the front door of the general store and why they can’t use the restroom everyone else uses. Even at a young age, Stella Mae could sense the inequality in her existence.

Stella Mae’s journey is that of trying to find her place in a world where she is only considered to be a piece of property. When her childhood friend, Miss Carla, the daughter of Marse Saddler, and her husband coerce her into following them to their new home; Stella Mae does so trusting that Miss Carla will be her friend just as when they were children. Carla dupes the naïve Stella who now becomes a slave to them. Freedom is just a fleeting image in Stella Mae’s mind. Traded like a farm animal, Stella learns that she is indeed a slave, not a free woman in any way.


This story retells the history of many African-American families alive today. It is a heritage rich with strife and suffering but also filled with a hope and a desire to finally grasp the freedom that has been so elusive and out of reach for so many. At times, I was forced to accept some uncomfortable truths about our American past. There is nothing wrong with that. This story makes you think about freedom and what it really means to you as a person, and as an American.

I loved this story because it is through the learning of other’s journeys that we begin to learn much about ourselves. Their pain becomes our pain and we begin to see through their eyes. Stella Mae will touch your soul with such a sweet simplicity you won’t even know it.

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

Joseph’s Story – Amazon

The final book in the series is Joseph’s story, where Stella’s grandson reconciles the feelings he has about his heritage. It is the story of a young man moved by the eloquent words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who yearns to be part of the white middle class and part of the movement to revolutionize the world all at the same time. A man, both white and black, hoping to evoke change in the world of 1960’s America.

The Jim Crow laws had come to an end in 1954 when the segregation of public (state-sponsored) schools was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States in Brown v. Board of Education. However, the lasting effects of these laws were felt all over the United States, not just in the southern states.

Joseph along with a group of his friends, both black and white, embark on a journey of self-discovery. Naïve but believing that they could make a difference, the young people set out to become part of the SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) conference in Georgia. This book chronicles the trials and tribulations of their journey.

My favorite quote from the book is when Joseph recounts: “In the beginning it was not about Civil Rights, it was about freedom and freedom is what it has all been about.”

The Merriam-Webster dictionary currently defines freedom as:

“noun  free·dom  \ˈfrē-dəm\

Definition of freedom

  1. 1:  the quality or state of being free: as a:  the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b:  liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another :  independence
    c:  the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous <freedom from care> d:  easefacility <spoke the language with freedom> e:  the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken <answered with freedom> f:  improper familiarity g:  boldness of conception or execution h :  unrestricted use <gave him the freedom of their home>
  2. 2a:  a political right b:  franchiseprivilege.”


In 1960’s America, African-Americans did not even have the ability to vote because of strict registration laws. Many African-Americans lived in poverty and were born in their homes. There were few hospital births. The end result was a lack of birth certificates, the very documentation needed to prove American citizenship. Of the African-Americans that did register to vote many lost their jobs, their homes, and their lives. This was happening when I was a young girl. It is not fiction.

What did I learn from Joseph’s story AND the entire Stella series? Flash forward into the future to the headlines that exist today. Unfortunately, racism still exists in our society. My hope is that the more we read and understand the plight of all Americans we will learn what freedom really means. We can all learn to be free by knowing who we are as a people. I was humbled by Joseph’s story. This was another emotional read for me, as are all of Yecheilyah’s books.

If you like provocative reads that make you think about life and your own values you will enjoy Joseph’s Story – The Road to Freedom. In fact, I suggest reading the entire series. It is well worth the visit back into the past.

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars

Here is more about Author, Yecheilyah Ysrayl:

Born in 1987 on the south side of Chicago, Yecheilyah Ysrayl (“EC”) is an author and Spoken Word Artist.

Yecheilyah started writing short stories and poetry at the age of twelve. She attended Harper High School (International Language Career Academy) Robert Morris College (Computer Basics/Administration), Chicago State University (Professional and Technical Writing), and Everest College (Medical Assistant/Phlebotomy).

As an artist, Yecheilyah Ysrayl is an incorporation of spiritual critique, honesty and an authentic analysis of African-American identity. She seeks to create work that promotes healthy research and investigation into the cultural identity, laws, customs and traditions of the African-American for self-revolution and advancement. Furthermore, “EC” seeks to advance the promotion of truth and identity by way of Spoken Word.

“EC” currently lives in Shreveport, LA with her husband where she writes full-time.

You can connect with Yecheilyah through her Twitter @ahouseofpoetry
and Facebook at Yecheilyah Ysrayl

To watch a trailer for the book click the link below.

Thanks for stopping by! I enjoyed seeing you all!


RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #85 Tight & Warm

Ron, from Ronovan Writes, sponsors a fun Haiku challenge each week. He gives us two challenge words and we take it from there. Creativity abounds when writing Haiku. It is the conciseness of words chosen that tell a mini story that I enjoy the most.

This week the words were “tight,” and “warm.” I spun the meanings and used “taut,” for tight, and “congenial,” for warm.

I heard a phrase the other day that I just loved: “His smile never reached his eyes.”

Just those few words evoked a description of a man who wears a smile that is fake or deceitful. He could possibly be a liar or a wordsmith trying to put a spin on his arguments.

Let’s see if you can guess who I am talking about. J

A congenial smile –

lips taut dripping with conceit,

touts the con artist.


Thanks for stopping by. I sure enjoyed seeing you all!