Thursday, January 22, 2015

ITGIRL4LIFE! Review and Guest Post

Author: Tamara Branch
Publisher: Heart Project Publishing
Pages: 98
Genre: YA/Self-Esteem
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Writer, artist and speaker, Tamara Branch serves up 40 bite-sized chapters on how to build unshakable self-confidence, honor your life, and shine bright in the world, in ITGIRL4LIFE: How to bring out your special something and so much more. Packed with sage advice, life-changing insights and affirmations to help you soar, ITGIRL4LIFE offers ideas, tools and principles that you can reference and build upon, supporting you in becoming your best. Get ready to fall in love with your own wisdom, beauty and strength.


The Author is also hosting a Rafflecopter Code for $25 iTunes Gift Card Giveaway:
 a Rafflecopter giveaway
My Impressions:  
This was a short read, less than 100 pages, but an exceptional one for the most part. Filled with wisdom, advise and lessons for young girls this quick read will help parents and  family with daughters turn a negative experience into a positive one.

I love books that encourage girls to see their worth and appreciate the unique ways God made each of us. But I disagree with the premise of this book. As a christian I prefer to teach my children and guide them to look towards God for their strength, courage, wisdom, etc., not inwardly. That being said, the basic principals this book lays out are not all bad. The author does offer insight and wisdom in letting girls know they need to investigate their feeling and girls do need to have a strong sense of self-worth. She also touches on helping girls understand their hidden talents and motivations. With that being said if  parents have filled their children with scripture and the will of God over their will,  they could still use the guiding principals the author lays out and tweek them to a focus upward. 

Guest Post: 

It’s all in the NAME: How I came up with the title for my first book
by Tamara Branch

When a prospective reader comes across a title that pops, they want to open up that book, flip through and investigate. Your title is like the first hello, the introduction. You want to make it good. I started writing my first book under the working title, Foundation for Girls — an inspirational handbook on how to build unshakable self-confidence, honor your life and shine bright in the world. I wanted to write a book that reminded girls of their wisdom, beauty and strength. I wrote 40 empowering ideas, tools and principles that would support girls in stepping into their greatness. The working title was spot on for writing purposes because it gave me a strong theme to follow. However, I always knew it was not the IT. I needed a title that resonated with the target audience emotionally, was as clear and concise as a hashtag yet captured the true essence of what book is about.

First let me say that coming up with a great title was not easy. It took a minute. I finished the content and it was time to start brainstorming. I began honing in on my book’s message, and intention. The book was packed with the important foundational principles that we often forget when we are feeling stressed, scattered, or out of balance. I kept  jotting things down. Every brainstorming session brought me closer. This book is chock full of  ideas on what you can do to empower yourself in any given moment. One day while watching one of the entertainment news shows, I finally got it! The reporter said, “The new IT girl is blah, blah blah,” I forget who they were talking about but it was a new Hollywood starlet that made a splash onto the scene. We all know she has about 15 minutes, before she’s off her throne, right?

Anyway, just hearing that phrase sparked a whole train of thought. I started thinking about the ‘it girl’ idea prevalent in Hollywood and how it stems from the notion that certain people are stars. She has IT - that ‘special something’ - that smile, that style, those boobs, those legs, that hair, that particular talent, etc.  This idea has become a part of the psyche of our society. The ‘it girl’, on tv, in films, at school, on the cheerleading team, at work and on the block, shines brighter than the rest. She’s favored and often celebrated for all of her superficial qualities. The celebration doesn’t last long. After her popularity dies down, a new girl is given the ‘it girl’ title and on and on ‘it’ goes. When taken out of context it can be damaging and the unfortunate pervasive message to many girls is that only a few are special, and that specialness is fleeting and based on other people’s judgement.

Ding, Ding Ding! After my ponderings, I had the perfect title for my book and it expressed exactly what was in my heart. ITGIRL4LIFE: How to bring out your special something and so much more, came to me fast and furious, along with a definition. “An ITGIRL4LIFE is a girl who loves herself, is authentic, takes charge and makes a difference. She has IT. IT is the GREATNESS she was born with.”  That was IT! The message of the book is that you have IT already. It’s your job to tap into IT and live your life to the fullest and here is a blueprint to help guide you to bringing out your specialness so you can create an amazing life for yourself. I was pleased.

Knowing your book’s core message is the key to finding your perfect title. It’s never one thing that gets you there. It’s the combination of all your efforts, being open to the magical whispers around you and your own clarity about the who, what, and why of your masterpiece.

About the Author:
Tamara has worked as a professional model and actor for almost two decades. She strutted down the runway for designers Calvin Klein, Donna Karen and Christian Dior, acted in a few independent films, co-hosted PBS New York’s education series, “What’s up in Technology” and appeared T.V. commercials and print ads for Levi’s, Old Navy, Hershey’s, Colgate, Kellogg’s Special K, Revlon, Hanes, Nike and many others. A Penn State alumnus and lifelong student of personal development, Tamara is deeply passionate about uplifting the human spirit.

After graduating from Institute for Integrative Nutrition, studying under Deepak Chopra, Dr. Andrew Weil and some of the top health and wellness experts in the world, she was inspired to raise the bar on her own ‘self care’ and support others in living more vibrantly. She is an abstract artist and teaches a dynamic dance class, where she gets to fuse her varied background, having trained in everything from jazz, ballet and modern to Afro-Caribbean and Salsa.

Tamara was recently asked to become a Female Visionary Author guest blogger for The Brave Heart Women Global Community.  She’s a SAG/AFTRA member since 1998, a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and is represented by Abrams Artists Agency.
Tamara currently lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband of seven years and offers ITGIRL4LIFE workshops to assist girls on their self empowerment journey.

For More Information
**Disclosure** This book was sent to me free of charge for my honest review from Pump Up Your Book.

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