Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Balkan Secret Conspiracy

The Balkan Secret Conspiracy tells the story of a Canadian writer by the name of Zlata Pierce. As a child growing up in Croatia during Hitler’s reign of terror, Zlata and her family were victims of the brutality that took place within Croatia. Years later, Zlata emigrated from Croatia to Canada where she married and started a new life. By building a new life, Zlata tries to forget the memories of a terrifying time in Croatia, particularly, the deaths of her brother, father, and the brutal rape of her mother.

Zlata’s life is turned upside down when she receives an ominous phone call from a stranger. In an instant, she is taken back to a past she struggled to put behind her. She begins a quest to unravel the truth behind the brutal murder of her brother. To uncover the truth, Zlata embarks on a journey that involves murder, cover ups, exposing evil entangled with the supernatural, and confronting two former Nazis determined to stop her.

The story starts out as a vividly described life in Croatia during Hitler’s reign of destruction and terror. The details of life in Croatia during Hitler’s reign are compelling. The plot of uncovering the role the German SS officers played in the death of Zlata’s brother is an intriguing and engaging story. A cast of characters are introduced that include Zlata’s husband, a psychic, a bitter detective, and a forensic pathologist. Where the story loses some of its focus as a gripping thriller is the plot to resurrect Hitler using dark supernatural methods. It overshadows the main plot of uncovering the truth regarding Zlata’s brother’s death in order to come to terms with a painful childhood that cannot be forgotten. As well, the cast of characters could have been reduced to just a few to allow for more character development.

The Balkan Secret Conspiracy is a novel containing many elements that make a good thriller. The author is a promising writer of thrillers as well as historical fiction.

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Paperback: 212 pages
Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (July 11, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0595452973
ISBN-13: 978-0595452972
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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

David vs. Goliath: Guerilla Media Buying for Small Business, A New Way to Win

In a highly competitive marketplace, small business owners can often be overwhelmed with the difficult task of making consumers aware of their product. With so many huge business conglomerates dominating the market place, it can seem almost impossible for a small business to efficiently reach their target customers. In his book, David vs. Goliath: Guerilla Media Buying for Small Business, A New Way to Win, author Ronald Geskey shows that small businesses can not only succeed against the Goliaths, but can thrive in the dog eat dog world of big business.

Geskey explains that a key to growing a successful business is to use an innovative, well researched technique known as increasing your share of voice and your quality of voice. Through a step by step method, readers will learn how to make each advertising dollar work harder for them. By dramatically increasing your effective share of voice without increasing your budget in your market area, you can increase top of mind awareness of your product. This will then lead to increased sales and market share.

Not only does the author provide an in depth analysis and understanding of marketing and media, helpful methods and tools are provided to make the most of your advertising dollar. As Ronald Geskey states, “The key is to eliminate advertising spending waste.”

Budgets are often wasted when the wrong type of communication is used for the job (e.g., direct mail vs. publicity) or the wrong media are used to reach the wrong target in the wrong place at the wrong time-- negotiated at the wrong price without value added and media investment safeguards.

When was the last time you read a book or an article about how to actually negotiate a media buy to get the most bang for your buck? Maybe never? Geskey’s book provides clear steps on how to negotiate traditional and non traditional media buys to get substantially more media exposure for the budget.

Because successful communications with the consumer are critical to the success of a small business, the author discusses and provides an analysis of the many benefits and pitfalls of different marketing communications forms and various advertising media. Advertising media discussed include television, print, radio, internet, direct mail as well over 60 non traditional media approaches.

With well illustrated diagrams and exercises at the end of each chapter, the author provides the necessary tools and skills for you to make your small business a long term success. I plan to implement the strategies for my own business endeavors. I highly recommend the book to current business owners as well as to those planning to start a small business.

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