Thank You, Local Supporters

031315_2304_ThankYouLoc1.jpgI wanted to take a moment and thank some of the wonderful local supporters who have helped me in my writing journey.
I’ll start with Maryland Senator Edward R. Reilly who celebrated the National Education Association’s Read Across America Day by donating copies if my latest book, “Believing In Horses, Too,” to Anne Arundel County Public Schools last week.
Reilly donates books written by local authors to schools in his district annually on Read Across America Day, and this year he recognized me in the Senate Chamber on March 3, and urged support for local authors. Of all the books in the country, he has selected both of mine as donations in the past few years.
Local news outlets including the Bowie Patch, and the Odenton-Severn Patch spread the word about the Read Across America event, as did The Equiery magazine.
I’ve had local educators, librarians, and writers support me over the past few years, including members of the wonderful Accokeek Women Writers Group.

Lucky at the Annapolis Book Festival (photo by Julia Simmons)

Lucky at the Annapolis Book Festival (photo by Julia Simmons)

I could not have asked for better support from the Maryland and Virginia equine communities in help writing “Believing In Horses,” and “Believing In Horses, Too.” What I did not anticipate was the continued support I would receive from Loftmar Stables, Freedom Hill Horse Rescue, Thoroughbred Placement Resources, Inc., the Maryland Horse Council, the Maryland Horse Industry Board, Maryland Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Spirit Serving Veterans, and the Caisson Platoon Equine Assisted Programs.
Just last week, I walked into the Crofton Dover Saddlery and saw my books on a special display. I asked the associates if they would like me to sign them, and their interest and enthusiasm made my day.
I definitely can’t leave out my family and friends who have invited me to events, participated in events, and spread the work about my books. My mom, Flo Ormond, has ensured that all her art students know about my work and has supported me every step of the way. My husband, Jaime Navarro, has supported event after event, even dubbing himself my “Public Affairs Officer,” while taking photos and talking to people. He even brought our horse, Lucky, to the Annapolis Book Festival to meet readers!
I know how lucky I am to have the support I do, and I don’t think I say thank you enough. It seemed the right time to publicly say thank you to a tremendous team of people supporting this local author.

Military Women Veteran Authors and Speakers Collaborate to Motivate in Business, Professional & Academic Settings: Offer Award-Winning Literature for Women’s History Month

 As the nation’s schools, libraries, government agencies, universities and corporations prepare to celebrate Women’s History Month in March, published authors who are members of the National Women Veterans Speakers Bureau are elevating their unique voices as women veterans, sharing leadership experiences through motivational speaking engagements and literature.

“Women Vets Speak” literature pack is an extension of the bureau’s mission to inform the public about the positive aspects of military service and to share women’s insights into leadership, mentoring and successful team building in corporate environments.

San Francisco, CA & Providence, RI (PRWEB) February 18, 2015 – In honor of Women’s History Month, the National Women Veterans Speakers Bureau (NWVSB) announces the release of a packaged set of award-winning literature —“Women Vets Speak.” This unique set is a collection of autobiography, leadership, fiction, young adult, biographical history and children’s books written by its members. The “Women Vets Speak” literature pack is an extension of the NWVSB’s mission to inform the public about the positive aspects of military service and to share women’s insights into leadership, mentoring and successful team building in corporate environments.

Formed in 2014, the bureau’s speakers have taken their messages across the country to corporate, military, educational and non-profit organization audiences, to inspire with their unique brand of storytelling gained while serving in uniform. For military service members, these speakers offer valuable, first-hand transition tips from military service to the business world. Now, access to their experiences and leadership material is available in a special set of signed books that includes:

“All I Could Be: My Story as a Woman Warrior in Iraq” by Miyoko Hikiji, [ISBN: 9781933909585] – a modern-day love and war story between two enlisted Army National Guard soldiers that explores the complexity of romance, harassment, and combat for women in the military, especially during deployment.

“Believing In Horses” by Valerie Ormond [ISBN: 9780973633023] – This inspiring young adult novel tells the story of a girl in a military family committed to saving unwanted horses.

“Believing in Horses, Too” by Valerie Ormond [ISBN: 9780973633047] – This standalone sequel to Believing In Horses follows a young girl’s adventures in the show ring and with therapeutic riding, while she learns to cope with her father’s deployment to Afghanistan.

“Good Night Captain Mama / Buenas Noches Capitán Mamá” by Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, [ISBN: 9780983476030] – This is the first bilingual (English/Spanish) children’s picture book showing young children (ages 3-8) why women and mommies serve in our nation’s armed forces.

“Iraq and Back: Inside the War to Win the Peace” by Kim Olson, [ISBN: 9781591145271] – a rare look inside in the earliest days of the Iraqi reconstruction, as seen through the eyes of a senior officer, wife, and mother.

“Military Fly Moms: Sharing Memories, Building Legacies, Inspiring Hope” by Linda Maloney [ISBN: 9780978736972] – a biographical collection of the inspiring true stories and photographs of seventy women who shared the same two dreams – becoming aviators in the military, and being moms.

“North of Hope: A Daughter’s Arctic Journey” by Shannon Huffman Polson [ISBN: 9780310328766] – a memoir of adventure and moving through tragedy to hope. When Polson’s father and stepmother are killed by a grizzly bear in Alaska’s remote Arctic wilderness, she retraces their final river trip in a search for understanding.

“Penelope Pilot and her First Day as Captain” by Lynda Meeks [9780615344331] – a children’s book about a young girl who had always dreamed of being a pilot. Entertaining and educational, this full-color, illustrated book empowers girls to consider non-traditional career opportunities and teaches that Yes, Girls Can Fly!

“Stepping Stones to Success” (Karen Baetzel, co-author with Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield & Dr. Dennis Waitle) [ISBN: 9781600134739] – a leadership anthology, where experts share strategies for mastering business, life, and relationships.

Purchase the “Women Vets Speak” literature pack now through March 31st here.

To request a speaker for your conference, association, educational event or corporate training session, please connect with Angel Picon below. Additional information including speaker biographies can be found at the NWVSB website

Lynette Hoy
Firetalker PR™
Tel: (415) 694-3004
Email: Lynette(at)firetalkerpr(dot)com

Angel Picon
Tel: (209) 688-0892
E-mail: angel(at)WomenVetsSpeak(dot)com

About Us
The National Women Veterans Speakers Bureau (NWVSB) was founded by and is actively managed by two women veteran-owned businesses —Gracefully Global Group LLC (SBA-Certified WOSB) and MMF Media Marketing LLC. NWVSB is the first organization of its kind, crafted to showcase the powerful voices of our nation’s servicewomen. These women draw from their military service, entrepreneurial, author, and life experiences to train and invigorate team members at every level of your organization. Visit Find us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter @WomenVetsSpeak.

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Ringing in the New Year with a Bang

Kevin Kruse Leadership Badge My Irish grandmother used to have certain traditions to ring in the new year. The first was to bang pots and pans at midnight to make noise, and the second was to light a candle all day, with one door or window open on each side of the apartment or house to let “in with the new, and out with the old.”

Well, I think my grandma would have been proud today to know that the good wind of 2015 brought in a listing of me as one of New York Times bestselling author Kevin Kruse’s top 101 favorite leadership and speakers.

Here is Kevin’s post, and I am so honored to be in the company of these speakers, including the other members of the National Veteran Womens Speakers Bureau. In Kevin’s words:

“Below are my top 101 favorite leadership speakers and trainers. If you are looking for a leadership speaker for your next corporate or association event, I would encourage you to review their work. Most of these speakers I’ve either hired myself for my own events, or I’ve seen them present in various settings. And if you know of someone who you think belongs on this list, just contact me at kevin at kevinkruse dot com.”

Thank you, Kevin Kruse, and may you light a candle next Jan. 1st as I did this year and start your year with the same happiness I have started mine.

Interview with Award-Winning Author Janice Spina

Award-winning multi-genre author, Janice Spina

Award-winning multi-genre author, Janice Spina

Today I’m happy to bring you author Janice Spina, who writes children’s books and thrillers. I had the pleasure of meeting Janice through Chris, The Story Reading Ape’s Blog.

Janice is the award-winning author of five children’s picture books, illustrated by her husband, John Spina. Her most recent book is her first novel and mystery/crime/thriller, “Hunting Mariah.” But let’s talk about one of her picture books that I shared with one of my younger reading pals, J.C.

About “Ricky, the Rambunctious Raccoon” Janice Spina

“Ricky is a rambunctious or very active raccoon who likes to wander around to find something new to eat. One night during his foraging for food, Ricky runs into all kinds of trouble. Will Ricky get home safely? Will he learn his lesson to listen to his mother?”

My review: [Read more…]

Lessons from a Humble Warrior

George Ormond, 1917, a proud member of "New York's Division"

George Ormond, 1917, a proud member of “New York’s Division”

In honor of Veterans Day – a story about my grandfather.

George Ormond’s pale blue eyes watered until the day he died. But he never complained about the Great War. Word was that mustard gas got him, but in those days, people didn’t talk much about injuries, follow-on treatment, or post-traumatic stress. My grandfather died when I was 21, about the same age he was when returning from the war. I wish I’d had adult conversations with him about his experiences, but it’s obviously too late. He likely didn’t realize how interested people might be in a blue-collar kid from Brooklyn’s renditions of his encounters on the front lines. [Read more…]

Military Writers Society of America Conference – Phoenix

Welcome to Guest Blogger and Author, Michael Wood

I recently met Michael Wood at the Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) conference in Phoenix. After seeing how well he captured the essence of the conference in words and photos, I asked if he’d be willing to share with this blog’s readers. So please welcome fellow Navy veteran Mike over from his Travel Photo Escapades blog, and enjoy this virtual visit to the 2014 MWSA conference.

 This is my first year attending one of these MWSA conferences. [Read more…]