PaperBackSwap Blog

Archive for December, 2009

Meet the Author: Gloria Hass

Monday, December 21st, 2009

A special thanks to Gloria Hass for taking the time to let us interview her. Gloria was nice enough to send us a signed copy of her new cookbook, Giving Back to Your Community Cookbook.  We’ll have a random drawing on the 23rd including all of those who comment on the post. Can’t think of a comment? …What’s your favorite way to give back to your community? …Favorite charitable organization?

Gloria Hass

Gloria’s Bio:
Gloria Hass is a published author, evangelist and a patriotic and public speaker.  She conducts women’s healing seminars in churches around the United States. Gloria is a survivor of domestic violence and is an advocate for helping the less fortunate.

Gloria lives in the beautiful state of Arizona and enjoys desert living. She also enjoys traveling and meeting new people.

Gloria has two more books coming out next year.
We asked Gloria:
I love the idea. How did you come up w/ a Cookbook that addresses  giving back to your community?

In 2006, I was thinking of writing a cookbook only I didn’t want it to be the run of the mill cookbook. I wanted this cookbook to stand out and contribute more than recipes. At the time, I had helped in feeding the homeless at one of the Tucson area churches and thought about what other ways someone could give back to their community. Some people I had spoken to didn’t know how to organize a progressive dinner and other people said they wanted to know other ideas in how they could help. Thus, my cookbook was born!

Do you have a favorite local or national charitable organization that you work with? …or what are some of the ways you like to give back to your community?
Actually, I have helped area churches feed the homeless with donating food for their food closets. I also run Touch of God Ministries and with funds donated, I have helped some people. I was able to help someone pay their car insurance premium. I have given crocheted afghans, a Christian music CD and poem to people diagnosed with cancer. With funds tight, I’m no longer receiving the donations like I had in the past.

I have just received a few boxes of men’s clothing and that will be going to a ministry that helps the homeless in Quartzsite, Arizona in January when I am in the area.

Right now, all I’m able to do is call someone and given them an encouraging word which is important with our economy the way it is. People just need to know that someone is listening and that they care.

What kind of food allergies do you have?  I know lots of our readers have food allergies. Can you give our readers any tips for dealing with their allergies?
I am allergic to some food additives, preservatives and food colorings. I am also allergic to food binders. I used to be able to eat everything and now my diet is quite limited. I had to learn to adapt my mental outlook from being a junk food junkie to a health food nut. I could no longer eat food with yeast or any leavening agent, so I experimented on making an unleavened bread. While the bread is heavy, my stomach adapted to it over time.

It wasn’t easy for me to adapt and over time instead of looking at the candy, cookies, cakes, ice cream and other gooey stuff that I could no longer eat, I had to tell myself that being healthy and eating to live was more important than living to eat. I had the help of my doctor in educating me on how being healthy was more important than being overweight and unhealthy. My doctor told me I could accomplish more in life with losing weight and living a healthy lifestyle. I have lost 60 pounds and have kept it off. I feel so much better! I changed to eating organic food and I have better mental clarity than I had in the past. Before eating organic food, I felt as if I walked around in a fog and I had difficulty concentrating. Now, I can concentrate as well as feel clear headed.

I know you’re going to say that I have the gooey stuff in my cookbook. There are people that can still enjoy the sweet snacks and why not give them something they’ll enjoy? Just because I can no longer eat the sweet snacks doesn’t mean that others have to stop. Besides, eating in moderation is the key.

How long have you been cooking? When did you become interested in cooking?
I started cooking when I was 9 years old. I didn’t have a desire to cook at all. I enjoyed watching my mom and grandmothers cook but I didn’t want to be a part of it. My brother and I were getting older and my mom decided that both of us should learn how to cook. Every two weeks, my brother and I took turns in cooking something. I enjoyed baking more than cooking. I loved making desserts and learned that was my forte. My mom insisted we learn how to cook all the different components of a meal which my brother and I both did. Through this experience, I enjoyed cooking as well as baking but it took a few years.

From whom did you learn the most about cooking?
I learned the most about cooking from my mom. After I learned to cook, I wanted to see if I could make my favorite recipes that my mom made, just as good as she did. My mom told me I was a better cook than she was but I disagree. I still think my mom’s food taste better than mine.

The person I learned the most about baking desserts was my grandmother.

She taught me how to cook ethnically and gave me the Jewish family recipes that were handed down from my great grandmother.

If you had to choose a favorite recipe from your book, Giving Back to Your Community Cookbook, which one would you choose and why?
Oh, they’re all good! My favorite is the Potato Salad recipe on page 62.  This recipe I learned from my mom and I always looked forward to her making her famous Potato Salad so I could eat it.

Your bio says you like to travel with your dog.  Where do you like to go & what kind of dog do you have?
I like to travel to places in the United States and Canada that I haven’t seen before. I look forward to going to eastern Montana some day as well as the Carolinas. While I have been through most of the states, there are still places I haven’t seen yet and I look forward to traveling there. I hope, through my book signing tours, I will be able to accomplish this. It will take time and time I have. I hope in my travels I do hope to help as many people as I can.

I have a Miniature Schnauzer. We have shared our lives for the last 7 years. She loves exploring the new places and enjoys our walks together.

How did you find out about PaperBackSwap.com?
I heard about PaperBackSwap.com on a book reading list when you first started. I signed up and became a member. I am still a member and enjoy trading books for ones that I am unable to find locally.

What’s on your nightstand?
Besides a dog toy, my Bible is on my nightstand along with my cell phone and the book I’m currently reading.

– Find out more about Gloria Hass by visiting her ministry’s website TouchofGod.com, Twitter/Gloria Hass

Meet the Author: Tim Link

Monday, December 14th, 2009

A special thanks to Tim Link for taking the time to let us interview him and get to know him and his special talent a little better.  Tim was nice enough to send us a signed copy of his recent book Wagging Tales .  We’ll have a random drawing on Friday including all of those who comment on the post. Can’t think of a comment?  …What do you think your pet would communicate with Tim about? …What was your favorite pet? …Strangest pet experience?  Congratulations to Gale G. (badgerdoglover)!

Tim Link

Tim’s Bio: Tim Link is an author, writer, speaker, president and CEO of Wagging Tales and is a full-time animal communicator. As part of his passion for helping animals, Tim also has mastered Reiki – an ancient art of energy healing – which he uses on animals.

Tim has recently been featured in numerous newspaper, television and radio shows including the Associated Press, “FOX & Friends”, “The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet,” “Good Day Atlanta,” Forsyth County News, The Bronx Times, Species Link, “Live Your Legacy”, “Cumming Home”, Luxury Las Vegas, Woman2Woman, Atlanta Magazine, “Everyday with Marcus & Lisa”, Detroit Free Press, “Good Day Columbus”, “Good Morning Texas”, Gwinnett Daily Post, “Colorado & Company”, “Good Day Colorado”, Shirley MacLaine’s “Independent Expression” internet radio show, Pet Gazette, “San Diego Living”, Aquarius, “Mornings with Lorri and Larry”, “Sonoran Living”, “The Pat McMahon Show”, Palladium-Item, “Arizona Midday”, Tails, “Tennessee Mornings”, “More at Midday”, Animal Fair and remains a regular guest on two internet radio shows. Since May 2008, Tim has been a featured AJCpets.com expert for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Tim Link with Better Mornings Atlanta host Jennifer Valdez and her dog, Sadie

Tim Link with Better Mornings Atlanta host Jennifer Valdez and her dog, Sadie

Tim grew up in Richmond, Ind. He married his high school sweetheart, Kim, and graduated from Ball State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in sales and marketing. After graduation, he built a successful twenty plus year career in sales management for the telecommunications industry, earning numerous awards and promotions for his achievements. He was living his dream as an all-American guy.

We Asked Tim:
When and how did you come to realize you had this special ability to be able to understand and communicate with animals?

I realized, with much surprise, that I could communicate with animals in February 2004 while attending an animal communication workshop. During the workshop, which had about 10 participants, we would practice asking questions of the pets that were present at the workshop as well as pets that were represented in photographs at the workshop. Once we were through asking the questions and receiving answers, we would relay the answers we received back to the pet’s human companions to see if what we received was correct. I was totally surprised to learn that all of the answers I had received were correct from each pet that I communicated with that afternoon.

Like many other talents, is this something that was difficult at first and you had to work/study to get better at, or could you tell right away you had a special talent?
I realized right away that I had the gift to communicate with animals. At first, the information came as a few words or an image or two. Over the years, as I have used my gift more and more, the way in which the animals communicate with me has expanded to include feelings, emotions, tastes, smells, full sentences, etc. Any sensation that we can experience as humans, they can experience as well. So, they communicate with me in whatever way they are most comfortable.

You are probably most often contacted about cats and dogs, but can you communicate with all types of animals, and what is the strangest animal that someone has asked you to communicate with?
The most unusual animal that I have been asked to communicate with has been a wart hog. After receiving Jack Hanna’s endorsement on my book, I was sent four pictures of animals that he would be working with in Kenya. One was a wart hog.

Are some more difficult than others?
I haven’t found it difficult to communicate with any type of animal. What is sometimes challenging is determining what the animal means when what they say has no meaning to me. That is when it is helpful for the human companion to be a part of the conversation. Usually, when an animal says something, it definitely has meaning to the family they are a part of.

Wagging Tales by Tim Link

How do you respond to the doubters?
When someone contacts me to help them with their pet I don’t mind if they are a little skeptical. It’s only natural. However, during the consultation I am able to share things that the pet tells me that no one else would know. That is when they know that the gift I have is real. After all, we all want what is best for our furry friends and that is what I am here for.

How many pets do you have?
I have 2 dogs, 8 finches, 1 turtle, 1 rabbit and 4 fish tanks.

Do you feel like you are able to understand what they are thinking all the time, or just at certain times?
I don’t have my gift “on” all the time. However, if I notice that one of the pets is acting differently than they usually do, then I will communicate with them to find out what the problem is.

What is the most unusual animal problem you have been contacted to help with?
The most unusual problem that I’ve been asked to work on is a horse that had stopped eating and drinking over a two week period. The vet said that there wasn’t anything medically wrong with the horse. So, the human companion called me. When I asked the horse why it wasn’t eating or drinking, the horse initially only communicated the words, “Green water”. I didn’t know what that meant and neither did the family. When I asked for clarification from the horse, he showed me an image of the pales in his stall that he ate and drank from. So, I asked the family if there had been a change with these pales in the last two weeks. They said that they used to be green but, about two weeks ago they put new ones in the stall and they were blue. So, I recommended that they put the green pales back as soon as possible and remove the blue pales. As soon as they did this, the horse resumed eating and drinking as usual.

I see you are from the Atlanta area- Do you have a favorite place to go with pets in Atlanta?

I love to take my dogs to the locally owned Red Bandana pet supply stores. When my dogs walk in the door, the look on their faces is priceless. They act like they are in “doggie heaven” with all of the food and treats that they smell. It’s great!

Part of the proceeds from your book, “Wagging Tales”, is donated to animal rescue organizations. Which ones?
During the book tour this year, I partnered with a lot of local rescue organizations in the cities that I visited including Little Shelter in Long Island, NY, Humane Society of North Texas in Fort Worth, TX, Denver Dumb Friends League in Denver, CO, Arizona Golden Rescue in Phoenix, AZ, PAWS of Coronado in Coronado, CA, Humane Society of Forsyth County in Atlanta, GA and Lifeline Animal Project in Atlanta, GA. Throughout the year, I also participate in a lot of rescue organizations’ charitable events at which I donate a portion of my proceeds back to those groups including Gwinnett Humane Society, Rescue Me! Animal Project, Our Pal’s Place, Mostly Mutts and Good Mews. In partnering with local groups, it helps them to gain exposure for their organization and donations through the sale of my books.

Have you found animals that are rescued to be different ‘spiritually’ from ones that are not rescued?
Not at all. Each animal is as unique as each human being. They all have their own personalities, likes and dislikes and reasons for being here.

How did you learn about PaperBackSwap?
I initially learned about PaperBackSwap from one of my friends. That same week, at the Georgia Literary Festival, I met someone that worked for PaperBackSwap. He suggested that I participate in an author interview when I had time.

What do you have on your night-stand?

I am usually reading the latest pet/animal-related book.

Find out more about Tim by visiting his website Wagging-Tales.com.

Dear Librarian; Printable Gift Certificates

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

Dear Librarian-  I love the new Gift Certificate pictures!  I have seven buddies I’d like to give gift certificates to, and I want to use a different message and picture for each card.  But I can’t seem to save the card I am working on and add another – every time I finish one card and click Discard to start over, it throws away my design!  There has to be a better way to do this.  — Donder

Dear Dondy,
We’re sorry you are having this experience!  Yes, the template can save only one design at a time, so what you need to do is buy the giftcodes (purchase 7 gift certificates) in the Kiosk and then come back to the Gift Certificate page and make the cards, applying a gift code to each one. Once you’ve created a card and it has a code, you will be able to re-generate it from the list in your Receipts link in your account.  In other words, you can save your design by applying a gift code to it and printing it or sending it as an eCard.

We hope that helps.  Please give our warmest regards to your “deer” buddies, and be careful on those icy roofs!


  • The next round of Books for Schools schools...keep your eye on the donations page for updates.
  • Christmas…if you’re going to Amazon to shop, use the Buy From Amazon link on any book here to get over there, and your purchases (of anything, not just books) will support the club!

Member of the Month – December

Saturday, December 12th, 2009

Valli A. (ALbookbugg)

Members have been nominating Valli for a couple of years, but the votes came flooding in recently!  Valli is a longtime member who is very active in the Historical Fiction genre Discussion Forum; she’s also one of our Tour Guides.   We got so many great comments about her that we can’t begin to share them all here. Just a SMALL portion of the comments we got:

“She is a great organizer and a very considerate, caring person. I think that I can honestly say that those of us who participate in the HF forum love her. Anyone new to that forum is graciously welcomed by her.”

“She is always willing to lend a credit, send out free books to those in need, or just chat with you if you need some feedback about books in our genre.”

“She…does wonderful, short & quick book reviews. There are many books I have picked up just because she reviewed them.”

“This is my first year at PBS. Valli has been very helpful and made my time here enjoyable.”

“When I have a question, Valli has the answer (or finds it for me). She organizes activities for us at the HF Forum – read alongs and challenges. She spearheaded our 2009 Historical Fiction Challenge, which was a huge success.”

“She has a great sense of humor. She makes everyone feel welcome. We love discussing books, and Valli often leads such discussions.  She’s a natural born leader and worthy of your MoM award.”

Valli, you have a mandate!  The sheer volume of praise we got about you was…historical.  Thanks for doing all you do to make PaperBackSwap a better place.  You are our Member of the Month for December.  Congratulations!

If you have any nominations for Member of the Month, submit them to us here.  Your nomination will not “expire”–anyone you nominate will have a chance at getting Member of the Month if enough nominations accumulate over time. Each month the person who has the most votes accumulated when the Newsletter goes to press gets to be Member of the Month and gets a newsletter mention and a nifty MoM icon to wear on profile and forum posts with pride.  So go for it! Tell us who’s helped you in the Forums, who’s been a great swapper, who in your opinion is a credit to PBS.  We are keeping a list of all the nominated members.  Who knows–one of them might be YOU!

Local Book Club Chapter News

Friday, December 11th, 2009

The Northern Virginia PBS Chapter meets on the third Saturday of each month, except for December, somewhere in the Fair Lakes region of Fairfax County… here they all are on 21 November at the Chantilly Regional Library.  If you are in the NoVa area and want to join these meetups, contact Aubrey H. (Bookpurrsn).

Above, left to right: Mary H. (Ladyhawke), Aubrey H. (Bookpurrsn), Shirley S. (Nacirema540), Joan W. (media-junkie), Nicki B. (treefinder).

New Local Chapter Leaders:

  • Kathy A. – arizonk – American Canyon (Napa Valley), CA
  • Dawn B. – dbaltezor – San Francisco, CA
  • Laura P –  laura612 – Long Beach, CA
  • Betsy G. – bg – Philadelphia Suburbs, PA
  • Caroline H. – carolinefaye – Morgantown, WV

If you want to be a Local Chapter Leader for PBS, you just need to have a PBS NIckname, a viewable public profile, and some organizational skills…check the Local Chapter Leaders Forum List of Official Chapters to see if your area already has a local Chapter.  If not, and you want to do this, just contact us.  There are no formal guidelines for being a Chapter Leader.  All of the information is in the Local Chapter Leader Discussion Forum topic.    If you are an official Chapter Leader and want us to include your upcoming meetup in the Newsletter, send in a message to us with the date, at least a week before the end of the preceding month.

Book Suggestions for the Holidays

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Holiday tales… each one available to request right now!

Skipping Christmas Luther and Nora Krank are fed up with the chaos of Christmas…this year, celebrating seems like too much effort. They decide that just this once, they’ll skip the holidays, and spend their Christmas budget on a Caribbean cruise set to sail on December 25, and happily settle in for a restful holiday season.  But they soon learn that skipping the holidays has consequences they didn’t bargain for…  A modern Christmas classic, Skipping Christmas is a hilarious look at the mayhem and madness that have become ingrained in our holiday tradition.

The Power of Light: Eight Stories for Hanukkah Isaac Bashevis Singer, Nobel Prize- winning author, gives us these eight stories, one for each night of Hanukkah.  Publisher’s Weekly said that this collection “can enrich readers of all faiths, all ages, with its descriptions of the miraculous power of light over evil.” Why not start a tradition in your own family of reading these stories aloud each year?

Christmas Ghosts Can’t get enough ghosts?  If Scrooge’s three ghosts just leave you wanting more hauntings for your holidays, then here are some ghostly tales for you! This collection includes twenty-seven original stories, featuring Mercedes Lackey, John Betancourt, Judith Tarr and other favorites.

It’s Kwanzaa Time! Here’s a Lift-the-Flap book to introduce your littlest ones to this holiday of unity, togetherness, and creativity. For Reading Level ages 4-8.

Santa Baby... Three Christmas tales from three bestselling authors, in one book…Jennifer Crusie‘s shopper grabs the very last hot toy action figure off the shelf, only to find herself plunged into the middle of a real life spy game, in the arms of a sexy secret agent…Lori Foster delivers a steamy office romance of two coworkers with a lot of secrets (and fantasies!) between them planning a Christmas party side by side…Carly Phillips‘ “mistletoe moment” begins when a no-nonsense lawyer intent on seducing her boss meets his twin instead…

News; Customizable Gift Certificates, Virtual Box Swap, Games Forum, Books for Schools

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Let your fingers do the shopping… Why fuss over what to give?   PBS Gift Certificates are the answer!   We’ve spruced them up and now you can create your own custom card with a gift code redeemable for 5 or 10 book credits.   You can choose from among the many holiday-themed designs we offer OR upload your own graphic.  Then add your own personalized message, purchase the gift code and email the card, or print the card out to go into the mail.  There is even an option to send an e-Card to a PBS Buddy (so you don’t have to know his or her email address to be Santa)!   It’s a great way to show the readers in your life that you care – no worries about sizes or colors or do-they-already-have-one…  You can’t go wrong with books!

Started as a game, turned into friendship... junie (June E.) writes in to tell us that the Mystery/Thriller Virtual Box swap she participates in is the longest running Virtual box in the club, and all of the participants have become good friends.    “We are planning a get together in June 2010 with some of us flying from all over the Country, possibly in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee.  However, six of us didn’t want to wait, so we all met in Lake Anna, Virginia Oct. 23 thru 25th in a beautiful 5 bedroom house on the lake.” Looks like they had a great time!

Left to right, Debbie G-(deb3009), Diana M. (booklady4), Rachel P. (Retrogram), June E. (junie), Nita A. (nawatramani), Kay A. (jegka).

We looked and saw that this Virtual Box began way back in May 2008!   If you are interested in playing Games at PBS (or finding out what the heck a Virtual Box is), check out the Games forum. Don’t be shy! Experienced Gamers and Games Moderators will help you learn the ropes, and there are topics in the forums that you can read to teach you how things work. Make some friends, get some books, have some fun!

We think you guys are awesome. And so do the schools to whom you all so generously donated your credits, so that we could send them books.  We were astonished by, and really proud of, the response our Books for Schools program got.   You donated enough credits to provide books to NINE schools in need – for some of those schools, these books will actually start their school libraries!  Currently, we’re getting the books all shipped and making sure everything goes well with the first nine, and then we will be enrolling more schools from the long list of needy schools we’ve compiled from your suggestions.  You can read more about Books for Schools here.

A letter from one of the teachers in NC says it all:
I want to thank all of the PBS members from the bottom of my heart for the book donations! With your donation, teachers will have many books in their classrooms that students can have easy access to. Our students are enthusiastic and excited about learning and reading. Your donation — your thoughtfulness — is helping to grow these kids into lifelong readers and learners.  You are readers, so you know the power of books.  Thank you for giving that power to our students! – Jayne Jennings, AIG Specialist, Henderson County Schools.