Monday, July 22, 2013

Review: Traveling for Love: Searching for Self, Hoping for Love

Traveling for Love: Searching for Self, Hoping for Love
Traveling for Love: Searching for Self, Hoping for Love by Becky Due

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"Traveling for Love: Searching for Self, Hoping for Love" is the story of Amanda and how she goes about trying to find out who she is and what she wants out of life when her marriage falls apart.

I have to say that I had mixed feelings about this book as I was reading it. When the story begins, you meet Amanda reflecting on the break up of her marriage. Her husband doesn't want to be married any more and she is realizing that she has buried herself while doing everything that her husband wanted to do. She no longer knows what she wants for herself. Since she sacrificed herself and her education early on to support him, she doesn't have a lot that she can do to support herself now that she is alone. Amanda slowly works her way up in the world as she finds out what she wants.

One thing that bothered me was that she seemed to latch on to the first man to pay attention to her. She would find things that attracted her to him, but after a while would need to leave the relationship. I know that she was trying to find what she wanted and needed after being married for so long, it just bothered me that she seemed needy in this way. But that is part of finding who you are when you leave a long term relationship, isn't it?

In the end, Amanda has found a place for herself at a job that she enjoys and is good at. She also finds a successful man who is attracted to her for all of the right reasons and whom she is attracted to for the right reasons as well.

This was definitely an interesting journey to read.

FTC Notice: I received a copy of this book from the author through Pump Up Your Book Tours for review. I am not being compensated for this review.

View all my reviews

Friday, July 19, 2013

Guest Post: Becky Due - 10 Ways to Get Our Zest Back

Life is difficult when we realize we have lost our zest and we have nothing to look forward to. Whether we are feeling rejected, feeling like a failure or just feeling down and lacking direction, these ten simple steps can help.

1. Take full responsibility for our life – This does not include what somebody else has done to us, but this does include everything that we have done to us. Never take responsibility if we are a victim of a crime or abuse—but everything we do after a crime or abuse is our responsibility. Taking responsibility will give us back our power! When we wait for somebody to apologize, rescue us, or make things right, we’ve given away our power. When we wait for somebody to change, or blame somebody else for our unhappiness, we are giving that person power over us. Take our power back by taking responsibility for our life! 

2. Make peace with ourselves/forgive ourselves – This is huge! So often we hear that we need to forgive somebody else, not for them but for us (good advice). But what about us? What about forgiving ourselves for us! Maybe it is time we forgive ourselves for the decisions we have made. Learn from every hurt and failure. Turn every mistake into a stepping stone to a better life. Face our flaws, embrace them and then congratulate ourselves for being normal and imperfect just like everybody else. It’s time to forgive ourselves and make peace with who we are; we did what we thought was right at that time. As long as we learn from our mistakes there is no reason to keep beating ourselves up.

3. Love our life as it is – Find the good in what is happening in our life right now and focus on that. What are we grateful for today? 

4. Give back – Do something for somebody else. The more we give the more we receive. We need to get out of our own heads; sometimes we need to stop the thinking about ourselves and start the doing for somebody else. There is always somebody worse off than us. Somebody who could use our help. Giving feels good. (But remember, helping is not enabling. Enabling is rewarding bad behavior over and over and over again.) Give to somebody who will appreciate it, and always be sure our own oxygen mask is on first before we help the person sitting next to us.

5. Balance – Find balance! It’s simple. Divide our life into thirds: One third of our time should be spent on our passion/purpose/career. One third of our time we should spend on ourselves, doing what we love. One third of our time should be spent with our family, friends, and significant other. Balance is important because if one part of our life is lost or in turmoil, the other parts will still be in order and carry us through the hard times. 

6. Demand more from ourselves, for ourselves – Set goals. Challenge ourselves. Just do something to move in the right direction and build momentum. When we find that we’re excited about the future instead of being dragged down by negativity, we’re on the right path.

7. Stay true to values – Make a list of what we value. What matters to us? What is important in our life? Life is about choices. Stay true to what fills us up and makes us happy. If we stay true to our values—who we really are at our core—we cannot be swayed by the many outside influences that bombard us every 

8. Give to ourselves what we wish we had from a partner – If we’re feeling lonely, get creative about being good to ourselves and surround ourselves with family and friends. If we are independent and happy on our own, we’ll make a much better partner down the road.

9. Stick with good people – Positive, healthy successful people are happy people and it is contagious! Avoid the complainers, whiners, drunks, druggies, thieves, abusers and needy people—it’s contagious! Positive people are happy people and fun to be around. They look forward to challenges and going forward in their lives. If we hang with positive people we will be positive people.

10. Allow ourselves bad days – we’ll have imperfect days of low energy, mood swings, confusion, loneliness and sadness. We’re human. It will pass. Remember that without some lows, we can’t experience the highs. We can always pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off and carry on. That’s what this wonderful life is all about.


About the Author:
Becky Due is the new voice of women’s fiction. She has the courage, honesty and writing style for today’s busy women, and she does not cringe away from hard issues. She will leave you feeling strong, self-confident, independent, and in control of your life.

Her books have won, and been finalists in, several independent competitions including the 2011 National Indie Excellence Awards, 2010 Indie Excellence Awards and the 2009 IPPY Awards.

Her novels are not the same story with different characters; she has the ability to cross genres from light-hearted romance to heart-racing suspense to keep her readers entertained and inspired.

Becky has been a guest on national TV and radio programs, and the subject of numerous newspaper and national magazine articles for empowering women with her books. She has served as a guest speaker at Women’s Resource Centers, Shelters, Colleges and High Schools throughout theUnited StatesBecky has had extensive training at Victim Services, worked the 24-Hour Sexual Assault Crisis-Line and was a Victim's Advocate where she offered one-on-one assistance and support to rape victims. In 2007, she started Women Going Forward, the first national women’s telephone support group, which ran for almost two years. After receiving much recognition for her books, Becky’s focus turned back to her writing and empowering women with her novels.

Her latest book is the women’s fiction, Traveling for Love: Searching for Self, Hoping for Love

Visit her website at

Connect & Socialize with Becky:


About the Book:

Amanda's life is suddenly turned upside down when her husband tells her he wants a divorce. She realizes she no longer knows who she is - her life revolved around her husband. At age 40, she finds herself divorced, childless, living in an apartment with a roommate, with little education and no career path. Can Amanda heal her pain and find love again? Will she find the career of her dreams? When will Amanda realize that she deserves to be happy?

Available online at:


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Guest Post: Kathryn Leigh Scott

The Story Behind Down and Out in Beverly Heels

“What if” for me is the powerful tool that jump-starts my imagination both as an actress and a writer. The “what if” factor that was the catalyst for Down and Out in Beverly Heels was my memory of a “60 Minutes” segment I watched some 20 years ago about homeless women who were living undetected in their cars in affluent neighborhoods.Beverly Hills, where I live, was one of the neighborhoods where these women, who had once lived in comfort and security, were now eking out a day-to-day existence on the streets. For these women, a roof over their heads came with four wheels and a dashboard -- and a good deal of fear and anxiety. They had lost everything, including the means to regain a livelihood. It’s awfully tough to fill out a job application without a home address. And, as Leslie Stahl pointed out, it’s alarming how little it takes to lose everything: divorce, catastrophic illness or accident, bad investments, career meltdown, physical or mental health issues, natural disaster -- one or any combination of those circumstances can destroy lives in short order.

One of the women interviewed, who had once employed a housekeeper herself, was now working as a housekeeper and cook for an elderly couple. That program made me think about what I would do if I lost everything, including my home, material possessions, friends, reputation and means of sustaining myself. What if I had to live on the streets?

At the time I began writing the book, I was also a longtime volunteer in the homeless program at my church, where we provide a sit-down meal every Monday afternoon. Along with the recognizably destitute, I was aware of a couple of women who turned up smartly dressed, well groomed and, to all appearances, were sociable members of the community -- except that they were dining among the homeless and availed themselves of the toiletries and other amenities we made available. They were what I call “homeless and hiding it.” I imagined myself in their shoes, scratching out an existence that relied on grit, resourcefulness and determination not to give in to the downward spiral life had taken.

As an actress, a role starts to inhabit you and you begin seeing the world through another pair of eyes. And so it is for me as a writer. I started to see my neighborhood through the eyes of a homeless person. What if? How would I survive? If, like my main character Meg Barnes, I was determined to reclaim my career and former lifestyle, what subterfuge would I use to fool friends and colleagues into thinking my life was unchanged? If I had to sleep in my car, but had an early morning audition at Warner Bros. for a film role, how would I manage to groom myself so I could not only audition but book the job? I drew on my long career as an actress and my knowledge of how difficult it is for a woman of a certain age to maintain relevancy in a profession that reveres youth and freshness in creating the character of Meg Barnes.

Down and Out in Beverly Heels is a humorous, light-hearted mystery romance, but I couldn’t introduce the topic of homelessness, the inspiration for my story, without delving into the gritty reality of what it is to be “homeless and hiding it” in one of the most glamorous, wealthy communities in the world.

Down and out in Beverly heels blog Tour Information:

About the Author:

Kathryn Leigh Scott is an actress, probably best known for creating the roles of Josette DuPres and Maggie Evans, the love interests of vampire Barnabas Collins in the cult classic TV show “Dark Shadows.” Down and Out in Beverly Heels is her second work of fiction. Scott wrote Dark Passages, a paranormal romance, with more than a passing nod to the ‘60s soap and she appeared in the Johnny Depp/Tim Burton film Dark Shadows last year.

Scott is currently at work on a sequel to Down and Out in Beverly Heels.

To learn more about Kathyrn, please visit .

Connect & Socialize:


About the Book:

Meg Barnes, a beloved actress for her role as TV detective Jinx Forgarty,  has it all but thanks to her newlywed con-man  husband,  loses everything and ends up living on the streets ofTinsel Town in her Ritz-Volvo. This fun, light-hearted romance takes us into the Hollywood social swirl, but also delves into the gritty truth of what it is to be “homeless and hiding it” in one of the most glittering, fashionable cities in the world. It’s also a story of redemption with a “Thelma and Louise” twist as Meg, incorporating skills she learned as a TV detective, tracks down her fugitive husband and struggles to regain her reputation, career and friendships.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON.



Excerpted from  Down and Out in Beverly Heels by Kathryn Leigh Scott, © Montlake Romance 2013

Actress Meg Barnes, homeless and living in her car, hopes to spend the night in a safer place than parked at the curb of a local park for the night. She needs a good night’s sleep because she’s got a job guest-starring in a TV pilot.

I park up the street in a cul de sac off the main road. Then, my overnight bag slung on my shoulder, I slip through a break in a boxwood hedge. In the shadow of a sycamore tree, I pause, listening to the sounds of the night. The lights are off in Marjorie Singleton’s house, my benefactor tucked in for the night. I don’t know Marjorie well, though whenever I voted,  it was in Marjorie’s clean, spacious garage, her Bentley parked on the street to make way for a bank of polling booths on election day. I’m sure Marjorie, if she knew, would be only too happy to extend a neighborly welcome to me.
It’s Wednesday: Marjorie’s son, who lives in Encino, is home with his family and won’t stop by again until Friday afternoon, when he’ll bring her Chinese takeaway. I know the rituals; I’ve watched Jake Singleton come and go. This is a safe night, and all is quiet.

I follow the flagstone walkway around the swimming pool, past the rose bed, and turn the knob on the side door to the garage. It’s unlocked, as usual. Inside, I slip quietly along the west wall to the workbench Marjorie’s long-dead husband built, and set down my carryall. I plug my laptop and cellphone into a wall outlet to top up, then move through the darkness to Marjorie’s Bentley. She rarely drives it anymore.

I toss my sleeping bag into the back seat. Tonight I can pack in a good six hours and be gone before the gardeners arrive. On those nights when I’ve had to spend the night in my own car, I remain fully clothed, doors locked, windows open no more than a finger-tip wide.

Usually I find a spot on the street around Holmby Park, the gates to Aaron Spelling’s mansion within spitting distance. Should his ghostly presence be hovering above his former abode, I can imagine his bemusement seeing me camping out a stone’s throw from his old bedroom window. I still get residuals from his shows, blessed checks from repeats of mindless fluff that pay my car insurance and buy me another month at the health club. But those nights parked on the street, hiding under spread newspapers, even with the tinted windows, are the tough ones, the only time it really hits me that I’m homeless.

More accurately, I am without a home. I am not actually a Homeless Person. I always manage to have a roof over my head, even if it comes with four wheels and a dashboard. I’m not a bag lady, a bum. I’m not a thief, though I suppose I’ve stolen a few pennies’ worth of kilowatt juice from Marjorie. But the back seat of an old lady’s car is only temporary accommodation, not Home, Sweet Home. I awaken too often in the night, dozing more often than sleeping.

I slide my legs deeper into my sleeping bag and hug my arms for warmth, trying to stop the rat-wheel of worry spinning in my head. I am far from complacent about the fix I’m in, yet I manage to drift off in welcome sleep.

 Moments later—or is it hours?—I’m fully awake and alert, every fiber of my being a listening device. What is it? What did I hear? My heart bangs in my ears as I strain to sort out the sounds. The irrigation system kicking in? A squirrel on the roof?

Hearing footsteps falling softly on the flagstone walk, I slide free of my sleeping bag. Who’s coming for me? Who in hell knows I’m here? My fingers close around a small can of pepper spray. I don’t even know that the aerosol works. The container is old and I’ve never had occasion to test it.

The garage door scrapes open. A beam of light arcs across the windshield. A male voice booms. “C’mon out. Now!”

 … It’s my Margot Kidder nightmare, a “caught-in-the-headlights” shot of myself disheveled, my arms clutching a sleeping bag, splashed on the cover of a supermarket tabloid: “Former ‘Holiday’ Star Down and Out in Beverly Hills!”

Tears sting my cheeks. Wouldn’t the paparazzi love this shot? Jinx, face puffy, mascara smudged, lurking in someone’s garage. I press my forehead into my sleeping bag, recalling poor Margot, missing her front teeth and in need of meds, cowering in someone’s backyard. What’s my excuse? If I’m busted now, it’s the end of my job next week, the end of pulling myself out of this confounding mess I’m in.


Down and Out in Beverly Heels Tour Page: