Reaching Our Dreams... One Book at a Time

Sunday
Apr152012

“Six-Pack of Blood” Launches April 1st! Wins BEST PARANORMAL BOOK Award, Reaches #1 Kindle (Horror) and Goes International in Only One Week

by Betty Dravis

 

Amazon Product Description: “Six-Pack of Blood” received Zodiac Entertainment’s “Best Paranormal/Horror” Award from Producer/Director Dimi Nakov. It’s a compilation of six short, malevolent stories by award-winning authors Betty Dravis and Barbara Watkins. Be sure to lock your doors and leave the lights on before reading these bloodcurdling, terrifying tales of revenge, lust, murder, cannibalism, witchcraft and more. Who in the world is safe when such benign things as snow domes, dolls, a Caribbean cruise and an innocent Sunday outing turn malevolent? Blood is everywhere...

How it All Started: About three months ago, a thought struck me to invite the talented paranormal writer Barbara Watkins to join me in publishing six paranormal/horror stories in an e-book; three to be written by her, three by me. Since she’s already established in that genre and I had some malevolent stories stowed in the depths of Cyberspace—the modern equivalent to Stephen King’s old suitcase—I was delighted when she agreed. Playing around with the number six, it didn’t take us long to come up with a title. Six-Pack of Blood is obviously a pun on Six-Pack of Bud.

We set to work fine-tuning our stories and lining up professional book designers because we couldn’t wait to get this book on the market. I was especially keen on the project, since it’s the first chance I’ve had to show my work in these spooky, dark genres--except for one horror story in Jeani Rector’s popular HorrorZine.

 Only the Best: Barbara and I wanted this book to be special for our readers, so I boldly asked Armand Mastroianni, one of the most esteemed movie directors/producers in the world, to write the Foreword. Mastroianni is an icon in the movie industry, having directed such classics as: TV – Dark Shadows, Midnight Café, Friday the Thirteenth; Movies – Pandemic, The Celestine Prophecy, Danielle Steel’s The Ring…and many more. We were elated (and a bit surprised) when he agreed, and we actually glowed when he read the manuscript and praised us and our writing in his gracious foreword.

Here is a blurb from Mastroianni’s foreword (also shared in the teaser trailer): "This is a feast expertly cooked up by master chefs venturing into the dark side designed to leave us captivated, enthralled and horrified. The perfect dish to accompany your six-pack...or if you prefer, a fine wine." - Armand Mastroianni, Producer/Director, Silver Screen Pictures, Hollywood

We couldn’t believe our eyes when we read the foreword and saw how much he truly appreciated our stories. When you consider that this man has worked with award-winning horror writers and produced blockbuster films, we were overwhelmed. (We are still sporting pretty broad smiles.) Mastroianni certainly knows how to “pay it forward.” What a caring man…

Colorful, Professional E-Book: Barbara and I carefully chose and worked closely with excellent artists for all aspects of the book: trailer-designer Kelly Komm, graphic artists Matt and Danielle Drake and eBook formatter Steve Caresser. (To view trailer go to: http://tinyurl.com/7mqyj5a )

The eye-pleasing, well-formatted result more than pleased us and, most importantly, our readers tend to agree. But even though it’s one of the “most eye-catching” books on the e-market, what delights us most is that people are “freaked” by our horrific stories. That’s what horror is all about!

Anointed with stardust:  Our Six-Pack of Blood has been anointed with stardust, not only by Mastroianni, but also by Dimi Nakov, Producer/Director of Zodiac Entertainment, who presented our “baby” with the coveted Best Paranormal/Horror Book Award, and by e-Book legend John Locke… Thanks, John, for simply “treasuring” me.

Other artists and high-achievers who read the book and gave great pre-reviews are: Actress Katherin Kovin Pacino and her husband, businessman William Lashbrook; Amazon Hall of Fame Reviewer Grady Harp; Janet Young Beasley, author of the series Hidden Earth: Maycly; Lia Scott Price, Book/Screenwriter and Horror Film Producer; Jeani Rector, Editor of The HorrorZine; Paul Payer, web designer/promoter; Dr. Niamh Clune, author of Orange Petals in a Storm, editor of Every Child is Entitled to Innocence, founder of Plum Tree Books; and Mark LaFlamme, author of Box of Lies, Dirt: An American Campaign and other novels.

Awards and Ranking: Like other authors, we couldn’t wait to see our rankings, so decided to share with you what happened during the very first week of sales:

  1. Wins Best Paranormal/Horror Award from Zodiac Entertainment:
  2.  Brisk Sales on Day One;
  3. Hit #1 on Amazon Paid Kindle (Occult) on Day Two;
  4. Hit #1 in Amazon Paid Kindle (Ghosts/Supernatural/Anthology) in the first week;
  5. Became an International Best Seller during first week by hitting  #5 in Germany (Horror) and #53 in the UK (Horror). We haven’t checked other countries;
  6. And "Six-Pack" received six 5-star reviews in first week. Yay...

My co-author and I are humbled to be able to say we are international best-selling authors and are pleased to report that while the sales are settling into more normal ranges, as of April 15, we still ranked #4 in Horror, #6 in Supernatural, #11 in Ghosts and #26 in Occult on Amazon Kindle U.S.

Wow! All we can say is: Thank you so much! We could not have done it without our friends, family and fans, readers like you. Thanks from the bottom of our hearts. For more information, please check our Facebook pages and Barbara Watkins’s website at: http://www.barbarawatkins.net

To get your copy of "Six-Pack" click the book cover inside the Amazon box at top left of this page (beneath the carousel) or click this link: http://tinyurl.com/7ew24ql

Thanks to everyone who helped make our book launch so successful; some of you are pictured below, but there are many more. Barbara and I are eternally grateful. Love you all.

Saturday
May282011

RAVE REVIEWS FOR LONG-AWAITED "DREAM REACHERS II" 

My co-author Chase Von and I are thrilled to announce that our latest inspiring book, DREAM REACHERS II, was released on May 15th and is now available for purchase on many online bookstores and can be ordered from your local bookstore too. Here's the Amazon link:
BUY DREAM REACHERS II NOW

Our friends and fans enjoyed the first DREAM REACHERS book so much that we had to do DREAM REACHERS II... Since we were meeting all kinds of fabulous people--like Katherin Kovin Pacino, lovely actress and step-mom of Al Pacino; Hollie "Hot Stuff" Dunaway, four-time World Champion Female Boxer; and many more--we knew you'd be interested in learning how they surmounted all the obstacles in their paths to fulfill their dreams.

We can’t get our minds off the wonderful DREAM REACHERS that we interviewed while creating this fabulous book!  We love this series so much that Betty turned down a chance to get her first murder mystery published while working on this and Chase took time out from his next poetry book! The new DREAM REACHERS are as fabulous and inspiring as those "stars" in the first book. With the inspiring stories and outstanding photos they share, we think you will love them too!

The complete roster of DREAM REACHERS (a club we founded) now totals 70; 37 from book one and 33 from book two. For your information, here's the list of amazing people who brighten the pages of DREAM REACHERS II (in order of appearance):

Jenny McShane, actress, singer, musician, model;
Bryant McGill, counselor to the stars, radio show host, author, founder of Good Will Peace Treaty;
Katherin Kovin Pacino, actress, singer (step-mother of Al Pacino);
Tony Tarantino, actor, film director, producer (father of Quentin Tarantino);
Antonia Tosini; screenwriter, author, Italy's Goodwill Ambassador;
Frank Nappi, award-winning author (two books going into film);
Susan Kennington, actress, screenwriter, model;
C. Robert Lee, retired photojournalist, author;
Cheryl Kaye Tardif, best-selling Canadian author, Imajin Books publisher/owner;
Marissa Autumn, actress, model, singer;
Stan C. Countz, publisher, promoter, poet, musician and lyricist;
Jessica Gilbert, talent promoter and founder of Talent Spotlight Magazine;
Sherwin Buydens, actor, realty investment entrepreneur;
Dr. Linda Salvin, psychic, radio show host;
John Manha, Vietnam vet, entrepreneur;
K. Michael Crawford, award-winning children's author, illustrator;
Rob Waterlander, "People Whisperer," LIfe Coach;
Jackie Krudop, founder of Pacino Worldwide;
Joshua "Deous" Gennari, Washington State Movie Director/Producer;
Hollie "Hot Stuff" Dunaway, four-times World Champion Female Boxer;
Ed Roberts, poet, author;
Elham "Elie" Madani, model, actress;
Gretchen Hirsch, author, professional editor;
Alexa Dectis, singer, actress, TV show host;
Claire Dodin, actress, model from France;
Jamie McCall, actress, model, author, poet;
Yolanda "Yo" Jackson, AKA Poetic Flow, poet, author;
Diane Wayne, singer/songwriter, actress, poet and founder of children's charity, "A Music Mission";
Nicollette Varanelli, model, singer, songwriter;
Wodige Wehali, AKA Reggie Solomon, musician, singer, songwriter;
Joan Baker, "Queen of Voiceover" and actress;
Judyth Piazza, journalist, Student Operated Press founder and radio talk-show host;
Ada "Ace" Velez, six-times World Champion Female Boxer.

Pictured above are only nineteen of the 33 DREAM REACHERS chosen for this book. I'll post the other 14 interveiws done by my co-author as this program allows me to do. (Currently it's challenging me... LOL)

As you can see, DREAM REACHERS II has a vast variety of high achievers; some are already stars, while others are people like you and me...still reaching for that top rung. We all have two things in common: God-given talent and perseverance!

To put it in gorgeous Susan Kennington's words: "True DREAM REACHERS aren't just DREAMERS, we are also DOERS!"

Other words of wisdom shared in DREAM REACHERS II:

"The Beautiful Path is not a place outside of yourself, but is a place you carry with you everywhere you go." - Bryant McGill (page 58); "Love is truly the most powerful force in the cosmos." - Reggie Solomon (page 732); "The very moment that you take the most physical, tangible step towards a goal or a dream, it has already begun to come true." - Judyth Piazza (page 782). As for Jessica Gilbert, you'll have to read the book to learn why she says this about herself: "I'm not your average girl because I've lived a life that most people don't get to experience." :-)

It's also exciting to read about the three generations of Tarantinos in show business when Tony Tarantino shares his story. Tony is not only an actor (started out with a role in "Where the Boys Are"), but he's also a director/producer and father of Producer/Director Quentin Tarantino. I guess it's in the blood because Tony's father was the "show biz" pioneer of the family. Wait till you read how he got started in Hollywood--way back in the "silent film" days!



All that to tell you that we are proud of our latest book. We fondly refer to it as our "Chubby Baby" because it turned out to be so thick. But we love our "Baby" because we like people and books--especially those that inspire others in positive ways--and more pages means more fascinating stories to share... Right?

Happy reading and may ALL your dreams come true! Dream big and remember: ONLY THOSE WHO STRETCH TO REACH THEIR DREAMS FIND THEMSELVES LIVING THEM.

Betty Dravis and Chase Von
(co-authors of the Dream Reachers series with other books to our individual credits)

Monday
May182009

Contact Betty at bettydravis@gmail.com

Betty chats with Judyth Piazza, "The Italian Oprah," on THE AMERICAN PERSPECTIVE RADIO SHOW--Listen now!

"Betty Dravis is a fantastic mix of Shirley Jackson, Edna Buchanan and Janis Joplin. Don't ask me how I came up with that unlikely comparison––I just feel it, and I haven't been drinking much tonight...." - Mark LaFlamme, author of "Dirt: An American Campaign"

Betty's Latest Book (with Chase Von):

DREAM REACHERS

HOT OFF THE PRESS
AT AMAZON, BARNES & NOBLE
AND OTHER ONLINE BOOKSTORES!

Click cover to buy on Amazon

 "Only those who stretch to reach their dreams find themselves living them..."

 

WELCOME, FAITHFUL READERS

Welcome to my "Dream" place in cyberspace! Pull up a chair, grab your favorite snack and “drink of choice,” kick back and browse around. Be sure to visit all the pages on the top menu.

This site is almost complete now; just a few more links for media, blogs, book contests, etc. and we will be finished. Don't you adore the book/photo carousel that my dear friend Linda Bulger designed? We selected the top banner and site name together, with Linda adding her special touch.

"DREAM REACHERS IS SPOTLIGHTED"

DREAM REACHERS WAS NO. 10 OF AMAZON'S ACTORS & ACTRESSES BOOKS!

Taking the spotlight at present is my latest book "Dream Reachers" that I co-authored with author and celebrity interviewer Chase Von. This book is hot off the press, published May 29, 2009. Purchasing links are posted above. I hope you get your copy soon. Enjoy!

BOOK DESCRIPTION AS POSTED ON AMAZON:

"Dream Reachers" is a magical mix of success stories and interviews with people who have dared to stretch to reach for their dreams. From living legends to legends-in-the-making, the subjects of this book let their imaginations soar.

In this book, I share my experiences as a young journalist when my idols, like Clint Eastwood and Jane Russell, walked right out of the limelight and into my life...for brief, memorable moments.

My co-author Chase Von, a celebrity interviewer and poet, shares his current interviews with high achievers in the arts: actors, writers, painters, photographers, musicians, singers and dancers. As these achievers tell you in their own words why they kept stretching to reach their dreams, they enchant the readers with their determination, inspiring them to DREAM BIG.

With over forty compelling stories and interviews, this literary work casts new light on what it takes to be a Dream Reacher. These are stories of how even disasters can turn into dreams, challenges into opportunities, with the right attitude of perseverance and determination. Whether you dream of walking the red carpet in Hollywood, taking the Big Apple by storm, having a cottage with a white picket fence––or all of those pleasures––this book will inspire you to “stretch” to make your dreams come true.

MY OTHER WORKS

I started writing in junior high school and enjoyed it so much I never stopped. I love writing! I adore being an author with three published novels of mixed-genres under my belt. Their titles are:1106 GRAND BOULEVARD, THE TOONIES INVADE SILICON VALLEY, and MILLENNIUM BABE: THE PROPHECY (pictured in carousel above and in the BOOK section). For photos and details, click the BOOK link in the top menu. My short stories will soon be posted there, also.

SEND YOUR PHOTO READING "DREAM REACHERS"TO BE IN MY LATEST SLIDESHOW

As I said above, my most recent book is DREAM REACHERS (co-authored by the celebrated author Chase Von). I know you will enjoy this book and adore reading about a few of your favorite icons, about newcomers to the arts––including some of your favorite new authors––and about “just plain folk” who have dreamed smaller but still reached their dreams. Be inspired! Then go out and do it yourself! Follow your dreams and never give up!

BE A DREAM REACHER - LIVE YOUR DREAMS

 

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