Saturday, January 19, 2013

Release Day Blitz / Raving Violet By Valerie Gilbert

  Publication Date: January 19, 2013
Trade Paperback: $11.99 /  7.5” x 4.75”
Isbn: 978-1-937329-84-6
e-book $2.99 
Isbn: 978-1-937329-83-6
Black Opal Books 
238 Pages
Contact: Raving Violets
Raving Violets Valerie
Audio book to be released shortly, 7 hours length.

More about the Author
Valerie Gilbert
I write about Passion today. No, not romantic or sexual, though those are lovely. The kind that fuels your life.

I’m a spiritualist. A metaphysician. A mystic. A philosopher. One thing that drives me nuts is a “dryness” of attitude. A desiccation from overemphasis on the intellect. Talking head time. Now, the head is a great thing. We rely on it to see our feet, think about lunch, and count what’s in our wallet. But living in these times, post-2012, middle of the Ascension, and on the cusp of creating A Brilliant New World, what we need more of is plain old…Passion. Enthusiasm. Excitement. We need to engage our senses, our bodies, our minds, spirits and feelings all at once. No more disconnection. No more “talking heads.” Emotion is what makes us truly human. It’s time to start thinking with our hearts, and feeling with our heads.

I recently saw the movie Argo. While I’d heard it was fantastic and there were long lines at the theatres in New York City where I live, it was not something I would have paid to see. “Hostage crisis? Oh, that sounds like fun.” I decided to pass. But as a member of the Screen Actors Guild I have opportunities to screen movies for free so that I can vote on them for the SAG awards. I screened a lot of crap, let me tell you. Even for free, I couldn’t get past the first 20 minutes of many films. I won’t name names; I will only say that they were bleak, dark and depressing. Now, Argo is no bed of roses. It’s a thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and it’s about a very dark time in the history of our politics (was there ever a bright, sunshine-y one?) But there’s a purpose to this story, a magnificent exploration of the human spirit. In fact, I want to see the movie again.

Argo is about Americans who worked at our Embassy in Iran. 52 were taken hostage in 1979 when Iranian militants overtook the Embassy. There was a little “agitation” between America and Iran, something to do with our giving asylum to the hated Shah of Iran who had tortured and killed his people. He was a very privileged “let them eat cake” (while I’m torturing them) kinda guy. The Iranians wanted him back so that they could give him “some cake.” In all the hoopla, six Americans managed to slip out of the Embassy unnoticed. Once they went underground, there was no way for them to get out of the country alive. Their “absence” from the Embassy and the hostage group was soon noticed.

What is remarkable about this story is the protagonist, Tony Mendez, a CIA operative who devises a crazy plan. He enters Iran, trains these 6 Americans in 2 nights to get them out of the country under an extreme pretense: pretending to be a Hollywood production team scouting locations for a Persian Sci-Fi film. What? In a country roiling with anarchy and rebellion? Kind of like scouting Vietnam during the war, or LA during the riots. Doesn’t make too much sense.

It’s because the circumstances were so extreme that an extreme solution was necessary. The idea was so outrageous, it was viable. But this Tony Mendez guy? He’s married with 3 kids. A real guy, and he’s still alive. His job was to save total strangers while risking his own life. This is a brave, brave man. Ben Affleck did an excellent job as both director and portraying the understated Mendez (one does not draw attention to one’s undercover self). Argo is just damn good, and it started with the script. Yes, a good script is the foundation of any good film.

I’m a peace and love person (when I’m not ranting or raving) but I was on the edge of my seat as I watched Argo and chewed my fingers. Not my nails. My fingers. This was a first. I’m not a finger chewer. I’m a gum chewer. I got my knickers in a twist because I projected myself into the circumstances (short of I never would have taken a stupid job at an Embassy). But this Mendez guy, this guy whose job was to save lives, to get people out of tight spots the world over, always at risk to his own, who is this guy? This is the Real Superman. Tell me Passion does not rule his life. What is his Passion for? Freedom? Justice? The American way? All I know is, ohmygod, if my ass was kidnapped, taken hostage or just plain hiding in a bloodthirsty, war-torn nation, I’d want Tony Mendez training me how to act like a supermarket checkout girl or mechanical engineer.

In fact, I aspire to be Tony Mendez (in a more non-life threatening way), which is why I started my blog, “Raving Violet,” which led to the publication of my first book, Raving Violet, being released January 19th by Black Opal Books (available through Amazon and Black Opal). I believe in fighting for what is right, speaking the truth, and working for justice. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Tony Mendez, same thing. And let’s not forget the girls, Susan B. Anthony, Gloria Steinem, Princess Diana. How about adding your name to that list?

Chapter One of Raving Violet is a rant about the SWAT teams swarming NYC in order to “protect” us from terrorists in 2011. I’m a raving liberal and while I think things are getting better politically, I never bought those terror alerts, not even around 9/11 (Yes, I’m a conspiracy theorist. Check out “Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth.” These are the women and men who know the science of how skyscrapers actually come down. In reality, it takes a lot more than a jetliner.)

I decided to let it all rip with my blog and my book. That’s my Passion. Mouthing off. Not just to rant, but to communicate, to express. My joy for life. My Passion for truth. My Passion for Passion! I believe that happiness heals and the best and quickest way to help the world is to help your self become peaceful, happy and fulfilled. Not in a sanctimonious eyes to heaven/nose to thighs (downward dog) kind of way, but a Clifford Odets (playwright) “Awake and Sing” kind of way! A Martha & The Vandella’s “Dancing in the Street” kind of way! Kick up your heels.

I encourage people to find their Passion, to blow bubble gum, to whoop, holler, laugh and burp, to fight for what they believe in and to release what they don’t want or like anymore. We have that power. We are the creators of our lives. Yes, there are pesky circumstances that seem to be out of our control. I believe even these, too, are planned by our sneaky subconscious (I’m a karma girl) or our SuperlativeSuperSoul. You know, just to give us a kick in the pants? To see what we’re made of. Like Tony Mendez in Iran.

How do you know what you’ve got until fugitive diplomatic personnel in Tehran need saving? Sit on the couch, or get up and do something. It’s all up to you. This is the stuff that dreams and Oscar winning films are made of. Find your Passion. Live it. Speak it. Dance it. It’s What You’re Here For. It’s what’s for lunch! Make Your Mark. Even if no one ever hears or sees it. It’s for you.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Ms. Julia! I am truly grateful for your providing this platform for my release weekend! Valerie Gilbert, RAVING VIOLET, NYC


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