Saturday, December 31, 2011

WRITE FROM THE HEART is FREE on Kindle New Years Weekend!

"WRITE FROM THE HEART takes readers on a powerful and captivating journey." #Review

New Years Weekend Special WRITE FROM THE HEART is FREE on Kindle Sat 12/31 and Sun 1/1! Happy New Year!
 Journals are a woman's best friend...
When Samantha Sounder quits her office manager job the day after yet another boyfriend breaks up with her, the emotional havoc of these two events launches the beginning of her new life.
Samantha dives into therapy with Ragnar Axel, a traditional therapist who explores her failed relationships and sends her on a wild goose chase through her old journals to rediscover herself.
Despite the unsettling reactions of her best friend, Amanda, and Ragnar, Samantha decides to walk away from the corporate world and follow her dream as a novelist. She sets out to craft her first novel, Winter's Truth. Hesitantly, she accepts the unexpected guidance from Craig, an unlikely man she meets at the coffee shop.
Along her journey, Samantha picks up a new journal and titles it her "Positive Journal," declaring to only write positive thoughts in it. Samantha's life transforms from one of despair and loss to hope and faith as she navigates through new territory and explores the possibility of finding love over lattes.

 Amazon Kindle

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Facebook's New Timeline and Why I Love It!

As of December 22nd, everyone's Facebook page will look a lot like a blog. It's the new Timeline layout and it's quite a big change compared to the last round we endured.

My Reaction
I will say right off that I LOVE the new layout. The "Cover" image at the top and the scrolling Timeline is much like the banner images and blog posts we see on people's blogs. As a photographer, I'm especially excited about this new design. As a writer, the new layout also comes in quite handy for promotional purposes.

So many people use Facebook for posting images and videos. I've been on people's walls where that's all they have - shared images and videos from other people's walls. There are days when it seems that the News Feed is filled with them. This new layout is conducive to a very visual environment, which is why I think it works so well. Posts are now side-by-side one another, unless you make a certain post a Highlighted one (see below), much like a column in a newspaper or a magazine. If you want to see a great example, check out Ann Curry's.

Here are my three top fav features for the new Timeline.

Cool Features: 

Cover Image
The new cover image, as I said above, is much like a banner picture. SO much better than the 5 thumbnails across the top that were there before and that we had no control over. With the new banner size image, there are limitless possibilities. As you can see with mine, I PhotoShopped in three pictures and added text in the upper left corner to my's subtle. When visitors click on the image, I've added a short bio and a link to my website. This is just one way authors, photographers, and many other people can utilize the new features to their advantage. By the way, the perfect dimensions for a cover photo are 850x315 pixels. If your image is that size, there will be no cropping or adjusting it. Remember that your profile picture will take up a portion of the bottom left corner, too.
This image is the Cover for my photography buddy, Marcel Pepin. He and I have been chatting quite a bit about the advantages of a landscaped image at the top of your page and all the different things you can do with it. From making it a collage of pictures as I did (easy to do in a program like Photoshop), to including a directional link in your photo description as both Marcel and I have done, there can be subtle and even not-so-subtle uses for the banner image. Choosing your image is a personal statement, and we all know a picture says a thousand words...sometimes even more.

Life Events

I chose to update and publish my own page before the December 22nd deadline so that I'd have time to be sure the posts from 2009 that I didn't want to be reminded of were deleted. The new Timeline goes back to the beginning of your Facebook time...including highlighted posts. You can add your own "Life Events" to years going back to when you were born. Most people might add their wedding day, when they had their children, etc. but there are great possibilities for authors, too. For example, I added when both WHISPERS FROM THE HEART and WRITE FROM THE HEART were published to my Life Events (as "Other"). One thing I noticed is that the default for Life Events seemed to be "Public" so I changed mine to "Friends."

Highlight Feature
One feature I really like is the "Highlight" feature. The "Highlight" feature is the Star next to the Edit (pencil) icon in the upper right corner of a post. When you click on the Star, it makes the post spread across both sides of the Timeline - looks cool for pictures and photo albums.

Fewer Ads
Another thing I noticed that's a big plus, is that with the Timeline layout, you actually have a Timeline bar on the right side of the screen - that's where ads use to be! So, now there are fewer ads on the right.

Birthday Wishes
We all love getting Birthday Wishes, but with the new Timeline, the hundreds or thousands of Birthday Wishes you get will now be contained in one Timeline box that lets you scroll through to read them. No more will all those posts dominate your entire page!

When people start posting Happy Birthday Wishes on your wall, Facebook's Timeline bulks them all together into one Timeline box. You'll get to see the first several, and can scroll through them until you get a notice to view additional comments...As you click on, for example "78 Additional Comments" (or close to that!), it will display the next bunch - you'll have to scroll down within that box until you reach yet another notice to click to view more additional comments (however many that may be). Keep clicking and scrolling through until you eventually hit the end of all your wishes. Note that you will see the gray bar on the right side of the box (within the window) and it will scroll down as you go through the list of comments until you reach the end.
Happy Birthday!

My Christmas Wish
My only wish for Facebook is that they do the same type of layout for Fan Pages, which they seem to never change.

Ready to change your Facebook layout? Click Here to learn how.

Heather Hummel is a celebrity ghostwriter and an award-winning, best-selling author. Her published works include:

Journals from the Heart Series:
Whispers from the Heart (2011)
Write from the Heart (2011)
GO BIKE & Other Signs from the Universe (2011)
Gracefully: Looking and Being Your Best at Any Age (McGraw-Hill, 2008),
Messages of Hope and Healing ( Sunpiper Media, 2006)
Blue Ridge Anthology (Cedar Creek, 2007) with David Baldacci and Rita Mae Brown
2009 Mature Media Awards, Merit Award
2009 New York Book Festival, Honorable Mention

Visit Heather’s website at
Follow Heather on Twitter:!/HeatherHummel
"Like" Heather's Fan Page

Visit Marcel's Photography at RedBubble 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chick Lit Plus Hosts Whispers from the Heart's Blog Tour

"Loved, loved, loved this book!  Heather Hummel has an amazing way

of keeping the reader completely engulfed in the story from page 1."

- Lost in Literature

is on a

    Blog Tour this month

    Hosted by Chick Lit Plus

    Some of the reviews brought even this author to tears...

        Michelle at Just Jump has this to say:

    "'Go read this book' doesn't do it the justice it deserves.

    Heather Hummel has written such a heartfelt and touching book.

    Madison Ragnar is such an intriguing character. One of

    those that makes you want to hug her and tell her it is going to be okay."

    And Lost in Literature gave this glowing review:

    "I recommend this book to anyone wanting to read a beautifully-written chick lit novel that will keep you turning pages eagerly."
    The tour started on October 10th and runs through Halloween.  Visit Chick Lit Plus for details.

October 10- Lost in Literature- Review

    October 12- Just Jump- Review

    October 13- Just Jump- Guest Post

    October 15- Books Etc- Review

    October 16- Reviews By Molly- Review

    October 17- Tea and Scribbles- Review

    October 18- Books Etc- Guest Post

    October 19- Amie’s Reviews- Review

    October 22- The Reading Nook- Review

    October 24- Chick Lit Plus- Review

    October 25- A Cozy Readers Corner Reviews- Review

    October 26- Books Like Breathing- Review

    October 29- The Book Bag- Review

    October 30- The Book Bag- Guest Post

    October 31- Jersey Girl Book Reviews- Review & Q&A

"I challenge readers to not only think, but to feel when they read my books. I do not sugar coat and present light, fluffy topics. WHISPERS FROM THE HEART deals with emotional abuse, trust issues, and teen suicide. These are topics that challenge emotions and thought. WHISPERS also provides hope and learning to trust and love again. I aim to not only entertain when I write, but to create an environment that invites the reader to think beyond their current belief system. When someone has an adverse reaction to a storyline, I know it's because I struck a chord in them...I made them feel, perhaps something they didn't want to, but I made them feel. And that's a good thing." - Heather Hummel
    **If you purchase your copy of Whispers From the Heart between now and October 31, and send your receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, you will be entered to win a $10 Amazon gift card!**

Monday, October 03, 2011

Blog Tours are Scarier than Halloween

As a kid, when I only dreamed of being a writer, what scared me were things like Halloween. Now, as an author and a handful of decades later, I have the same anticipated, nervous excitement of going on a blog tour that I did as a trick-or-treating youth.

My first novel, WHISPERS FROM THE HEART, of the Journals from the Heart series is going on tour this month. Hosted by Samantha Robey at Chick Lit Plus, the tour starts on October 10th and runs through, you guessed it, Halloween. Madison Ragnar's journey in WHISPERS FROM THE HEART will be visiting a dozen blogs in 21 days that will consist of reviews, guest posts and author interviews. (Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!)

But, is there a difference between a blog tour and trick-or-treating on Halloween? I don't think so. Think about each case, much thought goes into initial character development and implementation. Just like a book, Halloween brings out the good-will, generous and inspirational protagonists...Cinderella, Fairy Princesses, Luke Skywalker, Batman and Robin, and Indiana Jones. And then there are everyone's favorite frightening characters, aka the antagonists...witches, zombies, pirates, and Freddy Krueger. And when all is written and done, an author's book and a trick-or-treater's costume are ready for show.

Authors launch their books into to world via book signings, social media, and blog tours and await rewards in the form of reviews and notoriety in recognition of their book's fright or beauty or cleverness, and ultimately to score a few or more sales.

Halloween's tricker-treaters showcase their characters as they go from house to house, knocking on doors and awaiting their rewards in the form of costume compliments, recognition of their fright or beauty or cleverness, and ultimately to score candy.

As WHISPER FROM THE HEART heads out the door this month on tour, the feelings of excitement and nervousness abound. Though it's tempting to turn off all the lights and the television and to hide in the bedroom curled up under a blanket with a flashlight and a good book while others are out there trick-or-treating, at some point there's a need to brave the streets and neighborhoods in hope that there are more treats than tricks. Happy Halloween!

For the complete listing of blogs and more information on the tour, visit Chick Lit Plus.

Heather Hummel,The Gypsy Writer, is the author of the Journals from the Heart Series featuring Whispers from the Heart and Write from the Heart.

Her nonfiction titles include:

GO BIKE & Other Signs from the Universe  (PathBinder, 2011)
Gracefully Looking and Being Your Best at Any Age (McGraw-Hill, 2008)

Heather's books have appeared in newspapers such as: Publishers Weekly, USA Today and the Washington Post; and in magazines that include: Body & Soul, First, and Spry Living, a combined circulation of nearly 15 million. Visit Heather's website at

Friday, September 23, 2011

Book Review: ONE SUMMER by David Baldacci

ONE SUMMER by David Baldacci - Book Synopsis:

It's almost Christmas, but there is no joy in the house of terminally ill Jack and his family. With only a short time left to live, he spends his last days preparing to say goodbye to his devoted wife, Lizzie, and their three children. Then, unthinkably, tragedy strikes again: Lizzie is killed in a car accident. With no one able to care for them, the children are separated from each other and sent to live with family members around the country. Just when all seems lost, Jack begins to recover in a miraculous turn of events. He rises from what should have been his deathbed, determined to bring his fractured family back together. Struggling to rebuild their lives after Lizzie's death, he reunites everyone at Lizzie's childhood home on the oceanfront in South Carolina. And there, over one unforgettable summer, Jack will begin to learn to love again, and he and his children will learn how to become a family once more.

What Heather Says:

I have been a fan of David Baldacci since I happened to pick up TOTAL CONTROL in an airport right before moving to Charlottesville, VA, where the book essentially takes place. Baldacci had me hooked, and I've been a fan ever since. I've met him at several of his book signings, and he's an incredibly likeable guy and an engaging speaker.

As an author in the women's lit genre, I was really happy to see Baldacci expose his softer side with ONE SUMMER - the side I knew was there from having met him all those times.

Jack Armstrong is on his deathbed doing the unthinkable - saying goodbye to his family as he counts his last breaths. Jack's goodbyes are in the form of the love letters he writes to his wife, Lizzie, handling the emotional turbulence of each of his three children who run the gamete of too young, still innocent, and hardened teenager, and coping with in-laws whom you want to hate, but you almost can't.

The tragic event of Lizzie's sudden death shocks them to the core and the unexpected recovery of Jack creates a new reality for the Armstrong family beyond the realm of what any of them could have expected. I found Jack to be much like Baldacci himself - a likeable guy whom you want only the best for. As Jack rebuilds his life from his deathbed to now raising three children as a widower, they uproot and move to South Carolina to begin anew. The relationship with his daughter, Mikki, becomes the foundation of the story. Yet, each side story - Jack's new and tentative love interest and Mikki's adaptation to southern living - weave back and forth, while stitching their own relationship back together. The in-laws remain a force throughout the book, and the mother-in-law is someone you want to hate, but just can't. There are several characters, including Jack's best friend and the new friends of Mikki, who add depth to their characters by virtue of their interactions. Young adults would enjoy this book just as much as adults due to the many high school characters that come into play.

I very much enjoyed ONE SUMMER and hope that Baldacci continues to write in this genre. I think a lot of the feedback I've seen for this book stems more from people not being used to him writing in this genre than it does from a fair criticism of the book itself.

I don't rate books on a star system because I think that's like rating people on a scale of 1 to 10 and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Therefore, I will simply say that I loved this book and highly recommend it.


Heather Hummel,The Gypsy Writer, is the author of the Journals from the Heart Series featuring Whispers from the Heart and Write from the Heart.

Her nonfiction titles include:

GO BIKE & Other Signs from the Universe  (PathBinder, 2011)
Gracefully Looking and Being Your Best at Any Age (McGraw-Hill, 2008)

Heather's books have appeared in newspapers such as: Publishers Weekly, USA Today and the Washington Post; and in magazines that include: Body & Soul, First, and Spry Living, a combined circulation of nearly 15 million. Visit Heather's website at

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Facebook's Favs: Chocolate and Quotes

Without fail, when I open Facebook and see the sea of status updates in the News Feed, there are two guaranteed themes that compel others to comment. The first one is one I rarely adhere to. The second, I've learned holds merit.

Full disclosure: I am a firm believer in original thought. When someone posts quote after quote, it has two effects: 1) it leaves the impression that they don't have one original thought of their own, and 2) the quotes only become a meaningless blur of ABC soup..People's e-obsession with posting quotes sends creepy-crawling-cat claws up my spine. I did manage to find one other author,Van Heerling, who shares this peeve, so though I'm out numbered, I have a friend in kind.On the rare occasion that I do post a quote, such as "You is kind. You is smart. You is important." - the Help, I always have a caveat to the post. In this case, I noted that I couldn't get the words out of my head, so I was given them away to my friends. They were well received...of course, because people love quotes!

#2 Holy chocolate, Batman! 
People love chocolate! Though my other author friend, the unintentional antagonist in this post, Mike Sullivan, has many wonderful Facebook status updates, nine out of ten times that I happen to catch them in the News Feed, they are about chocolate! Mike posts about where he hid the last piece; how he's running out at 10 p.m. after everyone is asleep to buy more; or did you know the freezer is not the safest place to hide chocolate?  Full disclosure: Mike lives in a house with his wife and three daughters.

I began to worry about Mike. This man has an addiction to chocolate worse than flies to ketchup on a diner counter top. I also began to notice something else. People were responding! All the time! Here I was writing compelling, thought provoking posts about the demise of Borders really being the fault of iTunes and NetFlix since Borders sold music, videos and books; and yet no responses. Hmmmm. I can't be that far off in my evaluation, can I? But, it didn't matter if I was or not. After 5 p.m. people don't want to think so hard anymore. And since I'm in California, any post I write after 2 p.m. is already dinner time on the east coast. At that time of night, people want other people to do the thinking for them, so they read and post others' brilliant thoughts. And, they want dessert...ideally in the form of chocolate. Add some humor, and you've got a winner!

So, because Mike and I have been friends for a long time now, I messaged him and called him out on his chocolate obsession. I let him know about my thought provoking post at the same hour he posted something about cold milk, chocolate cake and a game...which, by the way, he didn't even mention the sport he was watching! It didn't matter though. What caught everyone's attention was the chocolate cake. So, I interrupted Mike's perfect evening of milk, chocolate cake and what I think was a baseball game...even his puppy was sound asleep at his feet...and asked him flat out - what is the deal with chocolate? Graciously, Mike took a moment between innings or periods or half time to answer my question. And, indeed, his answer was brilliant - and I believe original enough in nature - and it made me smile because he was right. What did he say, you ask? Simply this, "Food with sugar provokes emotional responses!" True that, Mike!

I also let Mike know that right before I messaged him, I tested his food for thought theory by posting a status that pondered if I could make brownies in my new Crock Pot. Within minutes (and not too long after my Borders post), I had a slew of responses...and some wonderful soup recipes.

The "Take Away"
People seek Facebook as a way to bond with friends, commune over shared emotions, and for it in the e-sharing of food or the read of a reassuring quote at the end of a hard day. What other platform in the world gives you these to peace offerings with just a click? It is quite compelling that we can have our cake and eat it too. There, I quoted a cliche. Happy now? (Just don't tell Van!)

With love and respect,

Heather Hummel,The Gypsy Writer, is the author of the Journals from the Heart Series featuring Whispers from the Heart and Write from the Heart.

Her nonfiction titles include:

GO BIKE & Other Signs from the Universe  (PathBinder, 2011)
Gracefully Looking and Being Your Best at Any Age (McGraw-Hill, 2008)

Heather's books have appeared in newspapers such as: Publishers Weekly, USA Today and the Washington Post; and in magazines that include: Body & Soul, First, and Spry Living, a combined circulation of nearly 15 million. Visit Heather's website at

Monday, August 22, 2011

Oz has Spoken! And "Oz" is the Reader! The New Trend in Kindle Tags

"This new trend of using tags to boycott traditional publishers' high Kindle prices is quite telling of the times."  - Heather Hummel

Anyone with enough online experience knows that when you "tag" something - such as a blog post - you're providing a searchable word related to the tagged content. For example, a blog on what to pack for a summer picnic might use the tag words "summer" "picnics" "sandwiches" "blanket" "basket" "flies" - you get the idea.

Any author knows that when their book is listed on Amazon (or other online bookstores) tags can be assigned to describe their book by using the  "Tags Customers Associate with This Product" feature. A John Grisham book would likely be tagged with words like "legal" and "lawyer" whereas a Jennifer Weiner book would be tagged with "Chick Lit" and "Women's Lit" etc. When a book is tagged on Amazon, other readers have the option to "agree" with a tag. The higher the number of "agrees" to a particular tag results in better odds of it moving up the ranks in search results for that word. For example, if someone searches "Chick Lit" and one of Jennifer Weiner's books is tagged "Chick Lit" and hundreds or thousands of readers agree, it will rank high in a search. Another author might have "Chick Lit" as a tag, but only a few people check on its box to "agree," causing it to rank lower in search results. It's all very word and click driven!

That was the original concept for tagging. However, what I'm seeing now is an interesting trend in readers using tags to boycott high Kindle prices set by traditional publishers. A Jennifer Weiner paper back might be tagged with "Chick Lit" "Funny" "Women" "Beach Read" and "Relationships" and yet, her Kindle version of her recent book Then Came You is tagged with: "too expensive for kindle, waiting for kindle price to go down, ebook overpriced, outrageous kindle price, publisher greed, 9 99 boycott, jennifer weiner, kindle swindle, no sale, agency 5 price fixing."

This new trend of using tags to boycott traditional publishers' high Kindle prices is quite telling of the times. Naturally, this use of tagging hurts the author because the tags that ought to represent their book aren't being used, but the tags such as the ones above are. Ultimately, the anger being directed at the publishers is punishing the author. My belief is that the publishers aren't even noticing this! A good publisher would ensure that their authors' Kindle books have the proper tags listed since it's such a powerful tool for books sales,  but they don't seem to be. Yet, if they did, they'd notice what tags are there instead.

One common misunderstanding that I'll dispel is that Kindle does NOT set the price for its eBooks. The publishers do. I hear many people complaining about Kindle setting prices too high, when in fact the price is set by the publishers. And, clearly the readers aren't happy with any eBook priced over $9.99.

Heather Hummel,The Gypsy Writer, is the author of the Journals from the Heart Series featuring Whispers from the Heart and Write from the Heart.

Her nonfiction titles include:

GO BIKE & Other Signs from the Universe  (PathBinder, 2011)
Gracefully Looking and Being Your Best at Any Age (McGraw-Hill, 2008)

Heather's books have appeared in newspapers such as: Publishers Weekly, USA Today and the Washington Post; and in magazines that include: Body & Soul, First, and Spry Living, a combined circulation of nearly 15 million.
Visit Heather's website at:
Join her Facebook Fan Page 

Follow Heather on Twitter

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Journals from the Heart - A Heartfelt Series by Heather Hummel

Are you an avid journal writer? 
Do you find comfort in knowing love is still
attainable even after putting your heart on a shelf?

Heather Hummel's new series Journals from the Heart threads the powerful theme of journal writing between characters who use the art in many areas of life. From reflection to grief to survival, journal writing carries these characters through challenges and to a place of love and empowerment. 

Madison Ragnar utilizes journal writing with her high school students in Whispers from the Heart

Samantha Sounder in Write from the Heart turns to her past journals and the beginnings of a new one in a mission of self discovery. 

The third, and forthcoming, Wisdom from the Heart, will introduce Jamie Jacobs, a fourteen year old girl who finds out she's adopted and depends on her journal entries to guide her through to her adult life.

Both novels are available on Kindle!

Heather Hummel is also a ghostwriter. Her books have appeared in newspapers such as: Publishers Weekly, USA Today and the Washington Post; and in magazines that include: Body & Soul, First, and Spry Living, a combined circulation of nearly 15 million. A graduate from the University of Virginia, Heather holds a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

This is Not Your Granny's Volvo!

It was 1971 when my grandparents left their New York City upper east-side apartment for the storybook town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. I was just six years old when they moved so far away. Naturally I didn't quite understand at that age just how far away California was, but I knew they weren't the short train ride from Connecticut anymore, and that was all I needed to know that life had just changed in a big way for a little girl. Though I visited them in Carmel over the years, it wasn't until ten years later, for my sweet sixteenth birthday, when I flew out to California on my own to see them.

It was during my visit that I took this photo of my grandmother's 1971 Volvo P1800E and silently wished it would be mine some day.

That wish came true in 1999...12 years after my grandmother passed away. I remember the day it came off the tractor trailer full of SUVs. The truck driver told me of all the people who asked about the "beautiful little car tucked behind his cab." He had carefully stowed it there to protect it from the elements.
From the moment I sat in it, I felt the connection to my grandmother again. But, it wouldn't be for a few more years before I started seeing the license plate and other signs that she was sending me.
 The first big sign I received, and therefore noticed, from her was through a license plate: CARMEL. Below is the story and excerpt from GOBIKE & Other Signs from the Universe 


The Story
My first memory of a strong license plate sign was in the late spring of 2004 while I was on a bike ride in Free Union, Virginia. I had left Grant, my ex-boyfriend of ten years, the previous fall, but in his garage remained my most prized possession—my grandmother’s mint condition 1971 Volvo P1800E. The idea of it safe in his garage was welcomed at the time since I did not have a garage at the house I was renting. But, having to drive my everyday car the 16 miles one way in order to pick up the Volvo whenever I wanted to take it for a spin, coupled with having to see him each time, was growing more and more difficult.
During one particular bike ride I contemplated whether or not I should permanently retrieve the car from his garage, and if so, how would I protect it from the elements of the varying degrees of central Virginia’s seasons? Within a mile of my internal conversation, a car approached…the only car I had seen for several miles…and its license plate was CARMEL. Instantly I knew that my grandmother was speaking to me through the license plate and that she wanted me to retrieve the Volvo.
Carmel, where I live now, is a quaint tourist town on the Monterey Peninsula in California, and is where my grandparents lived for most of my life and until Mima passed away in 1987, leaving Poppy on his own. It is also where Mima bought and drove the Volvo, and where I first silently declared while visiting them at the age of 16 that I wished to have that car some day. I still have the photo I took of it in their carport that trip.
My dream became a reality in 1999, seventeen years later, when I moved to Virginia and had a garage. My father shipped the Volvo from Carmel to me in Virginian, and that day, a few years later, in Free Union Mima was telling me to bring her car home. I did.
I researched and selected a portable garage, and it was happily protected and driven by me much more often than it had been while at Grant’s. As for the CARMEL license plate sign, it was powerful enough that I took notice. It was the first sign that I knew undoubtedly came from her, and one of many more to come.

NOTE: Sadly, my grandmother's Volvo is being held "hostage" by "Grant" - who will not relinquish it back to me. I am taking whatever steps I can to have my Volvo P1800E returned to me in Carmel, where it belongs.

To read more vignettes from GO BIKE & Other Signs from the Universe, you can download it to Kindle or a Kindle App for just $2.99.  60% of the proceeds are donated to the ASPCA.

Heather Hummel is a Celebrity Ghostwriter and the Author of Gracefully: Looking and Being Your Best At Any Age and the Journals from the Heart Series featuring Whispers from the Heart and Write from the Heart (Wisdom from the Heart is forthcoming). She has never smoked a cigarette or drank a cup of coffee. 

Find Heather Online at:
Join her Facebook Fan Page 
Follow Heather on Twitter

Monday, July 25, 2011

GO BIKE & Other Signs from the Universe on Kindle for $2.99!

 If you've ever felt deep love and then lost it; if you miss a grandparent who has passed away; if you ever had to put a pet down; or if you've ever seen your own Signs from the Universe, you'll "get" this book.

GO BIKE and OTHER SIGNS FROM THE UNIVERSE is a series of vignettes that exemplify events that most would see as “coincidences,” but, as will be understood, there are no such things as a "coincidences." This book highlights the author's uncanny knack for seeing Signs from the Universe, most of which are delivered to her in the form of license plates. From GO LOOK to URDSIRE to GO BIKE to CARMEL to THYKNGDM to HOT4LP and more, the author was shown these license plates only moments after having a related thought or question. As an avid cyclist, for cycling is her muse, she became noticeably aware of license plates while out on daily rides. When she realized these plates were practically screaming at her, she awakened to the Universe’s mode for delivering messages she needed to know. After eight years of compiling the most compelling vignettes, some of which occurred right up to the final draft of this book, she is now releasing them in this inquisitive and fun book.

NOTE: 60% of the proceeds benefit the ASPCA the other 40% go toward efforts to get my grandmother's car back from my ex. Once I have it back, 100% of the proceeds will benefit the ASPCA.

Heather Hummel is a Celebrity Ghostwriter and the Author of  Gracefully: Looking and Being Your Best At Any Age, Whispers from the Heart and Write from the Heart. She has never smoked a cigarette or drank a cup of coffee. 
Visit Heather's website at:
Follow Heather on Twitter

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Casey Anthony's Potential Book Deal

It's bad enough the prosecutors did a complete injustice to Caylee Anthony, but to further an already awful situation, there is now talk of Casey Anthony acquiring a book deal. As a ghostwriter for celebrities and public figures, I would not touch this book deal with a 3,000 mile long golden pen. But, when I saw an article on ABC's website about a potential book deal, I was compelled to read it. (Never mind that the article was listed under "Entertainment" and not "News"!)

But, there are literary agents and publishers who not only expect to see a book deal out of this catastrophe, but who would welcome it. One agent interviewed in the article is quoted as follows:

Konner said that it's "not impossible" to expect Anthony to get an advance between $750,000 and $1 million for her memoirs. On top of that, Anthony would receive a cut from the sales of the book. If a TV or film studio acquires the rights to it, she would profit even more.

I'm not the least bit surprised by this, just appalled. But, what's just as disturbing to me is how the concept of publishing and the way Casey Anthony would make money by writing a book is presented in this quote. The fact of the matter is, which is not made clear here, that Anthony (and her ghostwriter, who would likely receive a good percentage of the advance and royalties - and probably movie deal) need to earn out the advance before they get a "cut from the sales of the book."

I find it irresponsible to report that she could receive a hypothetical $750,000 to $1,000,000 advance and make it sound like the minute the first book sells, she's adding to her bank account. That's not how it works, and the proper term for "receiving a cut from the sales of the book" is called a "Royalty." Royalties are paid after the advance is met. So, any "on top of" means that Anthony's book will have to have sold a pretty darn good number of books before she sees more money. Ghostwriters can sometimes receive public credit for the works they pen (i.e. when there's a "with" credit), but often times ghostwriters barter for a larger percentage of advance and royalties with no public credit. Often the celebrity does not want any public credit given to the ghostwriter, so it's a moot point and the ghostwriter is under contract to not publicly disclose their clients.

In the case of Casey Anthony, I can't imagine any writer taking on this book and still being able to sleep at night and look at themselves in the mirror. And, if that many people want to read such a book, that's their prerogative. But, as a ghostwriter, I like getting my eight hours of uninterrupted sleep and working with clients who bring inspirational messages to could not pay me a million dollars to write Casey Anthony's book.

I'm proud to be a Californian where then have already enacted the Caylee Anthony Law!

Heather Hummel is a Celebrity Ghostwriter and the Author of GO BIKE & Other Signs from the Universe,  Gracefully: Looking and Being Your Best At Any Age, Whispers from the Heart and Write from the Heart. She has never smoked a cigarette or drank a cup of coffee. 
Visit Heather's website at:
Join her Facebook Fan Page 
Follow Heather on Twitter

Saturday, July 02, 2011

The 1970s Coca Cola vs Pepsi Commercial Battle - in Honor of 4th of July and Universal Connectedness

Remember the Coca Cola and Pepsi commercials from the early '70's? Pepsi warmed our hearts with countless puppies climbing all over an adorable, giggling little boy. Coca Cola made us feel universally connected, long before e-mails, Twitter and Facebook, with their hilltop crowd singing "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing." Over forty years later those commercials have proven to be timeless.

As I was writing my third novel, I needed to reference a commercial from the early '70s and for some reason the Pepsi Puppies came to mind, but "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing" played in the background of the vision of scrambling puppies and childhood giggles. Using today's technology, I went right to YouTube and found both commercials. Instantly transported to my childhood, I sat back and watched them a few times over. The nostalgia of this 4th of July weekend, enhanced by the Pepsi summertime theme and Coca Cola's reflection of what is now our incredibly global society, made for a good time to revisit these relevant messages.

If you're old enough to remember them, enjoy! If you're too young, well...then here's a chance to see what your parents' commercials were like. Schmaltzy, I know. But, damn they were not only good but timeless themes. Not many commercials these days have both of those qualities.

Heather Hummel embraces two careers--one as a land and seascape photographer and the other as a writer. Both Heather's photographic lenses and her writing pens have captured the faces and voices of public figures, corporations, politicians, and philanthropists.
Her photography is represented by Agora Gallery in the Chelsea District of New York City. She also has a passion for capturing dogs with their owners, as seen on her web gallery titled Life Is Full of Pawsiblities.
Visit and