Book Review: With Ballet in My Soul – Adventures of a Globetrotting Impresario, A Memoir by Eva Maze

One of my favorite things about running this blog is getting to connect with other people. In this case, I also got a new book out of it!

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When I was first contacted about reviewing With Ballet in My Soul, I didn’t even know what an impresario was. But “ballet” was in the title and that meant something related to dance, so of course I was interested in reading the book. Yes, I judged a book by its cover (or title).

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Book Review and Giveaway: Competing Like a Pro by Jessika Ferm

I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I first received a copy of Competing Like a Pro: Spotlight Strategies to Help You Shine On and Off the Ballroom Floor almost a year ago, and I only read it in the last couple months. Jessika, the author of the book, actually took lessons at the same studio as me. We have never met in person, though I remember seeing her around. It may be awhile before we officially meet since I learned that she recently fulfilled her dream of moving to Costa Rica! She still plans to take lessons on return trips to the U.S.; they will just be spread out a bit more.

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Book Review – What You See Is Not What You Do: A Simple Formula for Ballroom Dancing by Nick and Lena Kosovich

Back in July, one of my readers sent me What You See Is Not What You Do: A Simple Formula for Ballroom Dancing. Although he felt the book moved a little slowly, he highly recommended it for the great information it contained, which had helped him several times while trying to conquer a challenging new dance step. Four/five months later, I have finally found/made time to read the book and write up a review!

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Book Review – Thinner, Fitter, Happier: Dancing Will Change Your Life! by Marion C. Condon

Marion is a fellow ballroom student and writer, and we exchanged books to read and review each other’s work. Thinner, Fitter, Happier… is a compilation of Marion’s personal ballroom journey, interviews with ballroom students and teachers, and a wealth of scientific evidence, designed to convince you that you shouldn’t wait another minute to try dance.

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I really enjoyed reading all of the different stories that people shared with Marion, including some from Ballroom Village members! I already knew how life-changing ballroom can be, but these stories of transformation never cease to amaze me.

Marion’s personality comes through in her writing. You can tell she’s highly intelligent and educated even before you learn she is a professor with a PhD, and she gets very excited when she gets to talk (or write) about her ballroom passion. Sometimes her mind seemed to get a little distracted in her excitement, as the writing occasionally went off on tangents. Her sense of humor, often self-deprecating like mine, was also weaved into her writing, which made it feel like you were having a conversation with a really smart friend instead of listening to a lecture.

One unique aspect of the book is it’s interactive! As Marion shares stories of other dancers, she also provides YouTube links so you can actually watch the people perform as you’re learning about them! For those who like hard facts and scientific proof of the benefits before entering into something like ballroom, she also provides references and links to the various studies cited throughout the book.

Despite the slightly disorganized feel of some parts, I was impressed with all of the interviews that Marion collected and shared in Thinner, Fitter, Happier… She didn’t stop at ballroom; she also interviewed teachers and students of west coast swing, hustle, salsa and urban dance like hip hop. The second half of the book’s title says it all. No matter which style of dance you try, dancing will change your life!

You can purchase Marion’s book on Amazon.

Dance Diaries on Tour!

The Dance Diaries virtual book tour is only one week away happening NOW! I have mixed emotions about that fact, but mainly I’m excited.

From September 26 to October 14, Dance Diaries: Learning Ballroom Dance (Dance Diaries #1) and Dance Diaries: Ballroom Budgeting (Dance Diaries #2) will be featured and/or reviewed on a number of websites, most of which are book blogs. Some of them have also requested guest posts or author interviews from me, so their readers can hear from me directly.

I signed up with iReads Book Tours, and they arranged everything for me. Here is the schedule:

Sept 26 – Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine – book spotlight / guest post
Sept 26 – Books, Dreams, Life – book spotlight
Sept 27 – Library of Clean Reads – review of Dance Diaries #1 / author interview / giveaway
Sept 27 – Writers and Authors – book spotlight / author interview
Sept 27 – Books for Books – book spotlight
Sept 28 – The Autistic Gamer – review of Dance Diaries #1
Sept 28 – The Dance Bible – review of Dance Diaries #1 / author interview
Sept 29 – Bound 4 Escape – review of Dance Diaries #1 / giveaway
Sept 29 – Library of Clean Reads – review of Dance Diaries #2 / giveaway
Sept 30 – Northernmsw – review of Dance Diaries #1 / author interview
Sept 30 – T’s Stuff – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Oct 3 –     The Autistic Gamer – review of Dance Diaries #2
Oct 3 –     #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 4 –     Bound 4 Escape – review of Dance Diaries #2 / giveaway
Oct 5 –     Bookworm for Kids – review of Dance Diaries #1 / giveaway
Oct 5 –     Book reviews nature photos – review of Dance Diaries #1
Oct 6 –     Book reviews nature photos – review of Dance Diaries #2
Oct 6 –     The All Night Library – review of Dance Diaries #1
Oct 6 –     The Dance Bible – review of Dance Diaries #2
Oct 7 –     Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 11 –    Northernmsw – review of Dance Diaries #2
Oct 11 –   Readers Muse – review of Dance Diaries #1
Oct 12 –   Bookworm for Kids – review of Dance Diaries #2 / giveaway
Oct 13 –   The All Night Library (separate links for review and guest post) – review of Dance Diaries #2 / guest post

Oct 13 –   Book Lover in Florida – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 14 –   Readers Muse – review of Dance Diaries #2

TBD –      XoXo Book Blog – book spotlight
TBD –      Deal Sharing Aunt – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway

You’ll note some of the scheduled tour stops include a giveaway! You’ll have to visit the sites on the appropriate days to get more details, but there may be a chance to win an Amazon gift card! *hint hint*

You can also access the giveaway link here.

You’ll also note just by the names of the blogs that the majority are not dance-related sites. The point of all this is to reach more readers and hopefully introduce more people to ballroom dancing. It’s also good exposure for me as a writer and author. I’m still not exactly sure where this path is taking me, but I want to find out and the only way to do that is keep moving forward!

The mixed emotions I mentioned in the beginning are courtesy of my demons, of course. I’m excited to reach a broader audience and connect with new readers! But there’s always that lingering doubt/fear that I’ll be rejected or called out as a fraud. Or worse yet, my books will be met with a whole lot of indifference!

I know these feelings are normal, and every writer out there can relate. All I can do is take a deep breath and push forward anyway. I keep reminding myself to glance back and acknowledge how far I’ve come despite being terrified. It’s almost hard to believe.

So I hope you’ll tag along and check out some of the stops on the tour. I’m sure the other bloggers who have been gracious enough to welcome me and my books to their websites will appreciate your visit just as much as I do! I’m going to keep this post on the top of my blog page until the tour ends, so it’ll be easy for you to check the schedule and click over to the other sites.

Cheers!

Book Review: Becoming Ginger Rogers by Patrice Tanaka

2016-07-17-10.44.52.jpg.jpegI finally finished reading Patrice Tanaka’s Becoming Ginger Rogers. If you recall, reading her description of her first competition inspired me to come up with this crazy idea of attempting to enter not one, but two(!) competitions before the end of 2016. I’ve since gone through a mental smackdown courtesy of the demons that live in my head, but that post will have to wait. First, I want to share how much I enjoyed reading this book!

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Only Five Days Left!

Hello everyone!

Just a reminder that Dance Diaries: Learning Ballroom Dance is free to download on Story Cartel’s website for only five more days!

You may as well download it now before you forget.

Another reminder: if you post a review about the book by June 6, you’ll be entered to win an advanced copy of the next one, Dance Diaries: Ballroom Budgeting! This second installment of the Dance Diaries series includes all of my secrets, tips and tricks to how I afford to dance while living paycheck to paycheck AND paying down debt. AND it comes with a bonus, but I’m not going to tell you what it is yet!

You can post a review of Dance Diaries: Learning Ballroom Dance on the website of your choosing. Here are the links to a few possibilities:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Goodreads

Just be sure to copy the URL of your review onto your Story Cartel dashboard so it’s counted in the drawing!

Good luck and happy dancing!

 

Ready, Set, Download

Ok, everyone, Dance Diaries: Learning Ballroom Dance is now available FOR FREE on Story Cartel’s website!

Click here to download your free copy.

Remember, you have the next three weeks to download it and four weeks to submit your review.

BONUS! Everyone who submits a review will be put in a drawing to receive an advanced copy of my next book, Dance Diaries: Ballroom Budgeting. And double bonus: my next book comes with extras. It’s like a transformer book (more than meets the eye).

I know you’re all super excited! Or not, because it’s Monday morning. I understand, I’m still on my first cup of tea myself. But free stuff is still cool, right?

I hope you all have a wonderful week!