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A Passion For Writing

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Karina and Rob Fabian are at it again!  They have gathered twelve stories of faith and science fiction with the help of several other authors, to bring us Infinite Space, Infinite God II. The Catholic Press has this to say about this new collection:

"The history of the Catholic Church is full of heroes: men and women of courage and conviction. Not only did these Catholic heroes live and die for their faith, but they saved others, fought valiantly, inspired the masses, and influenced nations.


Now, Infinite Space, Infinite God II honors that legacy with twelve science fiction stories featuring Catholic heroes. Meet a time traveler who sacrifices his life to give a man a sip of water, and the nun who faces venomous snakes to save a friend. Share the adventures of priests who battle aliens and machines in order serve the greater good.

Infinite Space, Infinite God II spans the gamut of science fiction, from near-future dystopias to time travel to space opera, puzzles of logic to laugh-out-loud humor and against-the-clock suspense. A great read for any science fiction fan--a must-read for the Catholic sci-fi lover."

I had a chance to ask several of the authors the one question I feel keep a writer going through all the rejections, critiques and days when the Muse goes on vacation--What fuels your passion to write?

The answers:

Karina Fabian: The characters. They tell me their stories, and if I don't write them out, it gets very crowded in my brain!


Rob Fabian: My wife, Karina, fuels my passion for writing. I enjoy reading fiction, but she brought me into writing.

Barton Levenson: Mostly daydreams, often fueled from books or manga I read or movies or TV or anime I watch.

Alan Loewen: For years I have been an entertainer, first as a stage magician, then as a stage actor, and now, in this season of my life, as a writer. Through all of this, I have taken great delight in creating worlds of my own making and sharing it with others—to safely and courteously be a talented tour guide as I lead my audience through equal parts of wonder and danger (And who is to say they are not one and the same?)—and then hear the words, “Well done,” and Thank you.”

John Rundle: I write to keep emotional pain at bay. Having a sense of accomplishment is what keeps me out of trouble. Science Fiction is particularly appealing since it forces me to use my imagination to its fullest, leaving very little room for anything else.

Andrew Seddon: Well, let’s see. Several factors.

1) Creativity. There is no scope for creativity at work, so I find that writing is a great outlet. I can create a world or character and (sometimes) have them do what I want. I enjoy playing the piano but have no skill at composition; ditto for painting; so I find that writing allows me to express myself in a creative manner. There are lots of personal touches and inside jokes in my stories. Characteristics of myself show up here and there. Sometimes, though, the characters are as different from me as possible!

2) Learning. Since I write mostly either historical or science fiction, and since I like my stories to be as accurate as possible, that means I have to do considerable background research. I love learning about ancient people, how they lived, in what ways they were similar to ourselves, and in what ways different. For science fiction, I’m interested in what ways science will affect the future.

3) Faith. For both fiction and non-fiction, writing is a way for me to express and share the Christian faith, sometimes overtly, sometimes in a more subtle manner. It is both incredible and humbling that other people will read something that I write, so I try to make sure my writings are edifying. I feel that it is a form of serving God and sharing the Faith.

Jay Sherer: Whenever anybody asks me about "passion," my first thought is to ask them what the word even means. I think it probably has a different meaning for each person. For me, a passion for writing means that I just can't stop doing it. I've tried to quit before and I can't. I get an idea and I have to sit down and write it out. Nothing fuels that desire more than reading or viewing someone else's story. When I see or read a well told story it makes me want to sit down and write one of my own. I'm sure God is behind it all. But, movies, comic books, novels, and even art can be gasoline for my writing tank. Anything that captures my attention and engages my imagination.


Tamara Wilhite: I have many ideas of how the world could be, and writing them in fictional format creates a world that others can see and experience - and hopefully choose to help create.

…and because Alex really gets into his topic…

Why I Write

by Alex Lobdell, author of “The Battle of the Narthex” in Infinite Space Infinite God II.


Every job has its perks. People who know how to fix computers always have a lot of friends. Chefs get to wear hats that make them look really tall. Librarians never get work-related hearing loss. Supermodels don’t get traffic citations. Dieticians get to live to be 110 years old.

Writing, too, offers some perks to its practitioners. Below are six reasons why I think writing is a fun and rewarding occupation.

1. Present-tense immortality. If people talk about an author in literature classes, they always use present tense: “I think Shakespeare is saying here that we should…” “When George Eliot says this, what she really means is…” So even if you’re an author who has been dead for hundreds of years, people continue to talk about you like you’re still on the job, still thinking, still making your case. You are present to the readers, in every sense of the word.

2. Freedom – you can go anywhere, do anything, be of any age, meet amazing people, travel through time, breathe underwater, fly, It’s like having a wonderful dream, but because you’re actually awake, you don’t have to worry about running in place when you’re being chased, giving a speech naked, falling from a high place, or having your body snatched by aliens and becoming a pod person.

3. You learn about other people. If you write, that means you are probably interested in people, and by writing, you can actually become other people – male, female, old, young, someone who thinks like you, someone who thinks very differently from you. And sometimes your readers react to your writing in ways that you could never expect. What you thought was hilarious and brilliant just seems weird and stupid to others, and what you thought was a throw-away bit gets picked up on as something significant and profound. Thus, people both real and imaginary open your eyes to the world as seen beyond your own perspective. Of course if the real people, especially critics, dislike your writing, their perspective is wrong, but technically it’s a perspective nonetheless.

4. You learn about yourself. You think you are just diligently applying your craft to meet a deadline and to stay out of the crosshairs of an agitated editor, when suddenly, you blink and the mask your character is wearing slips, and you catch a glimpse of the real face beneath it – a face you know. It may be a face you love, and it may be a face you loathe – but it’s a face that helped make you who you are, and when you see it – see that person whom you have made a part of yourself – you become a deeper person for it.

5. You get to play. When we are children, our parents say, “Don’t just sit around in front of the TV! Go outside! Play!” The inherent message is that an active imagination is good, and sitting around all day staring at a screen is bad. Our parents even give us props to help us in our imaginative endeavors: toys!

Then we have to grow up. We are told to pay attention. Focus. Attend to the matter at hand. Sit down in front of that computer screen.

And some of us think, “Hey! No fair! Why were we allowed to have toys as children and encouraged to engage in imaginative fancies that would later just have to be disciplined out of us? I think that writers, deep down, still want to play. Writing is playing. Playing is learning. Learning is good. Sure, when we write as adults we don’t get to use as many of the cool props as we did as children (though admittedly there are two rubber knives, a plastic triceratops, a pair of walkie-talkies, and a fossil trilobite on my desk at the moment), and we’re still sitting in front of a screen, but as writers we’re still exercising our imagination – we’re still playing! And we get PAID for it sometimes!

6. We get PAID for it sometimes!

And that is why I write!

Thanks for the wonderful answers, everyone!

Here is a brief synopsis of the stories you will find within the pages of this collection:

Story Summaries


The Ghosts of Kourion by Andrew Seddon: Professor Robert Cragg thought that he could escape the grief of losing his wife and daughter by traveling back in time to study a city soon to be destroyed by an earthquake. He felt safe in the fact that he could do nothing to save these people, but when he befriends a local family, however, he realizes he must try. In the end, he cannot save them, but he learns that if he cannot save the ghosts of Kourion, he can at least ease their sufferings.

Antivenin by Karina Fabian: Three nuns from the Order of Our Lady of the Rescue offer help to a ship that is off-course and not answering hails. They find the ship crawling with venomous snakes who have killed their handler and bitten the pilot. When one bites her partner, Sister Rita must conquer her phobia and snatch the antivenin from their nest.

An Exercise in Logic by Barton Paul Levenson: An ancient alien satellite has diverted an asteroid toward a human colony planet. The people who built the satellite refuse to veto programming logic installed by their ancestors. Can an Ursuline sister who is also an alien contact specialist change their minds?

Cathedral by Tamara Wilhite: Katarina's kind were engineered to love scientific research and dedicate themselves to bettering mankind until their jumped-up neurology caused them to die an ignoble death while in their twenties. Perhaps Katarina could have lived with this, but when she discovers the medicines she created were actually drugs to control the population, she spends the last of her tortured days righting her wrongs.

Otherworld by Karina Fabian: Father Jonas is haunted by the loss of his mother, who died while in a virtual reality world. As a priest, he's driven to evangelize to the players in Otherworld--to remind them of reality and the God who cares about what they do on both worlds.

The Battle of the Narthex by Alex Lobdell: What do you get when you mix a royal assassination, alien militia and the Saturday night Mass-and-Spaghetti dinner? Battle of the Narthex tickels the funny bone and touches the heart!

Tenniel by Colleen Drippe': Bishop Tenniel must fight the leader of the Wolfbane clan to win the conversion of the tribe to Christianity, saving their lives as well as their souls. Another exciting tale from Colleen Drippe's Lost Rythar universe.

Tin Servants by J Sherer: Father Paul's desire to serve his people in war-torn Ghana that he allowed himself to altered to resemble the androids sent to provide medical help. Once there, however, he finds himself limited in the comfort he can offer, and embroiled in a conspiracy to convert the andorginacs into soldiers.

Basilica by John Rundle: A Navy buddy needs help fixing up an old clunker of a spacecraft and Father Carpizo arrives to do his old friend a long overdue favor. As he turns wrenches, however, Carpizo finds a mystery to whet his appetite: a riddle deep rooted in the history of the Church. The scholarly priest unwittingly uncovers a dark secret which others have paid for with their lives. He is suddenly confronted by unspeakable evil and now Carpizo must make the ultimate sacrifice to destroy it…if only there is enough time.

Cloned to Kill by D. Mak: The power of Baptism helps a clone programmed to kill find her humanity--but to what lengths will Father Markham have to go to protect his new ward?

Frankie Phones Home by Karina Fabian: Sixteen-year-old Frankie was kidnapped by aliens who wanted to understand the mysteries of her human religion. Now, as they return to Earth to make First Contact, Frankie calls her family.

Dyads, Ken Pick and Alan Loewen: Father Heidler's latest assignment takes him to Cathuria, where the Catholic Church and all of Earth are blamed when a failed missionary's desperation boils over into terrorism. With the planet in the midst of riots and the Archbishop/Ambassador to Cathuria severely injured in a retaliatory strike, Father Heidler negotiates a delicate maze of politics and religious convictions to find a way to restore peace and reconcile the two worlds

Before you go on with your day, take a moment to leave a comment for these fine authors--and check out the book trailer !



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Harvest Moon by Krista Ball - A Review

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Click here to purchase
 Harvest Moon, 2010


Paranormal Fantasy

ISBN: 978-0-9865875-0-4

Pages: 35

Word count: 10,000

Price: $2.50

Available in PDF, epub, prc


Krista D. Ball allows her talent full reign in Harvest Moon. I found myself glued to the screen from the start to the end.  The twists and turns in plot sent me on a wild ride of surprise, anticipation increasing with each new direction.  Part romance, part paranormal and all captivating--this story contains the proper amount of each, making it a story that will appeal to a wide audience. 

Harvest Moon is character-oriented.  Krista's characters are well-developed without being so developed the reader is left with nothing to fill in.  I was able to visualize each one, hear their voices as I read and felt as thugh I knew each one personally.  Readers will find themselves drawn into Dancing Cat's world completely, and wishing they could follow her on her journey after the story ends.

Harvest Moon earns six colors on the Rainbow Scale.

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An Excerpt from Harvest Moon by Krista D. Ball

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Yesterday we caught a glimpse of Krista Ball's latest work.  Today, I want to share with you an excerpt from Harvest Moon and tomorrow will review it.  Enjoy and consider leaving a comment for Krista.

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Harvest Moon


Cross-legged, Dancing Cat sat pounding the sun-dried Saskatoon berries between two hand-sized rocks. The stone, her hands, and her buckskin dress all bore the tell-tale signs of berry duty. Streaks of red dye, impossible to clean, striped her clothing and tanned skin. She tried pushing her hair off her cheeks, only to have the sticky residue coating her fingers glue the dark strands in place. The black flies swarmed and buzzed, ready to feast.

She worked in silence as part of the greater circle of twenty women, who chatted as they worked. Dancing Cat had no reason to join in. They only spoke to her to criticize or belittle, never for companionship. The band no longer even called her by name.

Her attention faded away from her work. She stared past the women to catch a glimpse of Eagle Eyes, her brother, mounting his horse. He was only six years older than her and already leading hunting parties, while she sat, docile and obedient, making powdered berries. His gaze caught hers, full of warning. She looked away with the heaviness of her situation pressing against her chest. Dancing Cat pounded her berries harder, trying to crush her own aching loneliness.

“I wish I could ride again,” she mumbled.

Her mother, Crow, glared at her. “I have no patience for you today. We have berries to crush. Shall I remind you why we need them?”

“No,” Dancing Cat said, sullen. They couldn’t start the pemmican cakes without the berries. Without them, they would starve when winter fell. She’d heard the lecture many times before and did not want to hear it again.

“Good. Put aside your childishness and work in silence, Cursed One.”

Dancing Cat swallowed down the slight. She remained silent against the grunts and nods of the other women. She dropped her gaze, making snide, internal comments about how her mother’s black hair no longer resembled a crow’s blue-black feathers. It made her feel better, petty though it was.

Some days, she saw herself as Cursed One instead of her name. But today was not one of those days. Today, she was still the girl who wriggled out of the womb twenty years before and was joyously named Dancing Cat. Today, she hated her duty and silence. But she would do both and would not complain. One day, she would escape into death and be free.

Using a sharp stone, she scraped the mound of berry powder off the buckskin in front of her into the main pile. She dumped several handfuls of the tiny Saskatoon berries back on her ragged buckskin to resume pounding. But not before licking her fingers clean of the tart, feathery residue. No one noticed.

“Creator wills it, the men will bring home a buffalo from the hunt,” Crow said to the other women, who nodded in agreement.

Dancing Cat let her mind wander as the women chatted about the tribe’s need for a buffalo. The herd would move southeast in another moon cycle and so the entire tribe would move with them before the final move into their winter camp. Faded memories of riding ahead of the hunt flashed across her mind; images so foreign that she wondered if they were true anymore.

A chill crept up her spine. The late summer wind had turned cold. She flicked her gaze back to the hunting party. The rest of the men mounted their horses and galloped off to the nearby buffalo herd. She sighed, remembering the freedom of riding. She had been their tribe’s first female messenger. She missed it.

“Cursed One! Pay attention. You are chipping your rock. If I find stone in my cakes this winter, I will take yours and let you go without.” Her grandmother glared at her, her thin lips pursed. “Stop daydreaming.”

Dancing Cat stared at her grandmother, trying to control her tone. “Sorry, Nohkom. I was just…”

“Daydreaming,” Hawk Sight snapped. “We expect you to do your share of work. If you do not, you will be the first to starve this winter.”

Dancing Cat hung her head, fingers trembling from the nauseating mix of anger and fear. She bit back the disrespectful words that boiled inside her. Hawk Sight was not just her maternal grandmother, but also the band healer and an elder. No one would dare speak back to her, let alone the band exile.

She looked up at the several generations of women around her. The nodding heads and smug looks told her that the threat of starvation was real. She pushed her grandmother’s words out of her mind by grinding the berries perfectly between the two flat rocks.

“Remember Stoney?”

Dancing Cat slumped. Hawk Sight never could let things go.

“She thought she could laze around while we women worked. But when we ran out of food that winter, she was the one left to starve. We don’t need lazy women.”

“Yes, Nohkom.”

And on it went for the afternoon, story after miserable story about women who starved to death. It would have been bad enough for just her grandmother to have told the stories. Instead, the others joined in, telling of captured Red Valley, Cree or Inuit wives who had been left to starve when food stores ran low. All at her grandmother’s say. Hawk Sight might have been a great healer, but she was also cold and merciless in Dancing Cat’s opinion.

They told the stories to make her work harder, but it had the opposite effect. Her work slowed. She could not stand up for herself against an entire band, but she could refuse to obey the people who threatened to kill her. If they wanted her to die, then they could starve, too.



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Meet Krista D. Ball

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Over the next couple of days, I'd like everyone to welcome science fiction author Krista D. Ball.  Krista has a new book out called Harvest Moon .Here is what Krista's main character has to say about what she is about to embark upon:

As I sat on the bank of the swallow river, the drums pounding in the distance, I asked myself why the ancestors abandoned me. I had always behaved the way my elders taught me. I worked hard, shared with those around me, and never took more from the Earth than what I needed. I listened to my chief and my elders and respected the wisdom that the Spirits offered them. Why, then, would I be called “Cursed One”, never to be a person again?


The crowd in the distance sang and whooped in excitement, rhythmic drums echoing back to my isolated patch of ground. My job during the Gathering consisted of fetching water from the cold stream. Fearful of my presence polluting the festivities and angering the ancestors, several small children were designated to collect the bladders of water from me and run them back to the celebrating people. I could not even bring the water itself.

I was no longer Dancing Cat, messenger of my people. I was Cursed One. I would not experience the opening of the Sacred Bundle and receive guidance.

I looked out and over the endless field of grass opposite of the river and sighed. Someday, I will find a way to deliver myself. Even if I have to call upon death to rescue me.

Tomorrow, I will share with you an excerpt from Harvest Moon.  Today, I leave you with this:





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Women Can Succeed in Business--A Lecture By Barbara Weaver Smith

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To finish off our visit with Dr. Smith, I'd like to share with you a very inspirational talk she gave.  Enjoy!




The Whale Hunters is a strategic sales coaching company that helps small businesses achieve explosive growth by landing bigger deals with bigger customers. Our business development process has consistently helped hundreds of companies create a repeatable, disciplined sales culture that optimizes the company’s ability to land and harvest whale-sized accounts in any economic climate.


Small business is the best way to reinvigorate the American economy. Barbara Weaver Smith, founder of The Whale Hunters, shares a lot of information of benefit to business people who want to grow their business. The question is how can small businesses grow at a rate that will show results sooner rather than later? That’s where The Whale Hunters comes in – and we invite you to register for a free account which gives you access to the wealth of information on the new expanded Whale Hunters website– http://www.thewhalehunters.com/


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Freelancing and Whale Hunting -- Guest Post by Barbara Weaver Smith

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Dr. Barbara Weaver Smith has kindly offered a guest post today.  Read on for some wonderful advice:

Freelance Whale Hunting

If you have heard of my book, Whale Hunting: How to Land Big Sales and Transform Your Company, then you may know that ”whale hunting” is about growing your business by making bigger sales to bigger customers. It’s a business-to-business strategy typically undertaken by a team of people, not an individual freelancer.

That said, there are many whale hunting practices—strategies, tactics, and states of mind—that can be very useful to a “solopreneur.” You too can think like a whale hunter, act like a whale hunter, and sell like a whale hunter!

Today I’m going to offer three of the Whale Hunting practices that are useful to freelancers who want to grow their business.

1. Create Your Target Filter. This is a tool that helps you define your ideal customer. If you’re thinking like a whale hunter, your ideal customer is one that can give you orders that are ten to twenty times your current average job. You may have industry verticals, key needs that you fulfill, specific characteristics that make a prospect ideal for you. The goal is to identify characteristics of those clients who can provide you with continually recurring business, rather than selling piece by piece or project by project.



2. Populate Your Boat. The Whale Hunters define the “boat” as the team of people who hunt a particular whale. You, as a freelancer, may do all your hunting alone. But what could you hunt if you teamed up with some other freelancers—say, if you are a writer, team up with an illustrator and a graphic designer to offer a complete outsourced service? Or, if you want to go after big technical writing jobs (say, revising all of the Department of Motor Vehicles documents for a state), you could bid as a team of technical writers and design artists who can complete the entire project in record time. These are ways you can compete against larger companies.



3. Find Your Whales in Pods. If there is a particular kind of customer who is especially good for you, think about and research where these customers gather. With whom do they associate? What conferences, conventions, online communities, etc. draw them? What organizations do they join? Any time you can send a single message to a large number of ideal targets, you are whale hunting. Can you do a joint venture with a membership association, offering a discount to each of their members who engages your services.

Of course, there are as many flavors of freelance services as there are of ice cream. But if you are accustomed to finding your jobs one by one, if your customers do not have frequent repeat business to offer, or if you have to pass up bigger opportunities because you lack the capacity, these are problems that Whale Hunting can help you resolve.

I invite you to join our online sales and business development community at http://www.thewhalehunters.com . Basic membership is free. You will find the Target Filter and other tools for growing your business plus a wealth of resources dedicated to the fast growth of small companies.

Thank you, Joyce, for hosting me today!

Barbara Weaver Smith

October 2010

The Whale Hunters is a strategic sales coaching company that helps small businesses achieve explosive growth by landing bigger deals with bigger customers. Our business development process has consistently helped hundreds of companies create a repeatable, disciplined sales culture that optimizes the company’s ability to land and harvest whale-sized accounts in any economic climate.

Small business is the best way to reinvigorate the American economy. Barbara Weaver Smith, founder of The Whale Hunters, shares a lot of information of benefit to business people who want to grow their business. The question is how can small businesses grow at a rate that will show results sooner rather than later? That’s where The Whale Hunters comes in – and we invite you to register for a free account which gives you access to the wealth of information on the new expanded Whale Hunters website– http://www.thewhalehunters.com/

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The Whale Hunters Website is Growing

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Not long ago, I introduced you to Dr. Barbara Weaver Smith and her Whale Hunters book and website. 

Dr. Barbara Weaver Smith, founder and president of The Whale Hunters®, has an exceptional leadership background that began in higher education and successfully transitioned to entrepreneurship. With partner Larry Smith, she built the consulting firm Smith Weaver Smith, Inc., now celebrating 15 years of significant achievement in the education and economic sectors. In 2004, Dr. Smith founded The Whale Hunters to bring this proven change-management process to small and mid-sized companies. Dr. Smith guides entrepreneurs, CEOs, and sales leaders with education, peer coaching, and team training on this winning process that has helped transform more than 300 companies and counting.

Visit http://www.thewhalehunters.com and http://blog.thewhalehunters.com for much more information.

As Dr. Smith and her staff attempt to improve the services they offer clients, they develop more programs to reach this goal. The Whale Hunters is introducing Pier9, a new online community for entrepreneurs, small business owners, executives, and sales representatives who want to grow their business fast by making bigger sales to bigger customers. Pier9 offers a wide variety of resources for small business development:  articles, podcasts, recorded teleconferences and webinars, blog, and new material produced daily and available 24/7.   At Pier9 members can check the calendar of upcoming events, both virtual events and face-to-face events in their local communities, hosted by a Whale Hunters Certified Partner, located in many major markets throughout the United States and soon to be introduced in Europe.

Monday, I will be featuring a guest post from Dr. Barbara Weaver Smith telling reader how you too can obtain "big whale" accounts

The Whale Hunters is a strategic sales coaching company that helps small businesses achieve explosive growth by landing bigger deals with bigger customers. Our business development process has consistently helped hundreds of companies create a repeatable, disciplined sales culture that optimizes the company’s ability to land and harvest whale-sized accounts in any economic climate.


Small business is the best way to reinvigorate the American economy. Barbara Weaver Smith, founder of The Whale Hunters, shares a lot of information of benefit to business people who want to grow their business. The question is how can small businesses grow at a rate that will show results sooner rather than later? That’s where The Whale Hunters comes in – and we invite you to register for a free account which gives you access to the wealth of information on the new expanded Whale Hunters website– http://www.thewhalehunters.com/


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Wise Mind Open Mind by Ronald Alexander, Ph. D. -- A Review

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Ronald A. Alexander, Ph.D.

ISBN  978-1-57224-643-0

Change is one of the constants in life.  Most often, the changes are thrust upon us without our permission, causing us to hold tight to what we are familiar with in hopes it will pass and we can remain "safe".  At other times, our souls yearn for change, but something holds us back--fear of the unknown, concern about it being the right thing, and numerous other reasons. Wise Mind Open Mind is about these changes.

Ronald Alexander has spent numerous years as a licensed psychotherapist helping his clients deal with the changes in their lives.  At last, he shares his three-step method for coping with the world, allowing readers to benefit from the healing, fear and other barriers holding them back.  His method is simple:  Let Go, Tune In, Move Forward.  The author leads readers to a place where they can access their core creativity and arrive on the other end of the transformation path renewed, stronger and ready to move forward.

The first thought that entered my mind when I started reading about meditation being part of this process, was that I hoped this book wasn't just another in a long list that told me meditation was all I needed to bring about some magical transformation.  It wasn't long before I found out this book is different.  Meditation becomes a tool to help the reader brush away distractions so their minds can be open to the creative part of their soul.  Dr. Alexander does not promise an easy journey nor miracles, only well-tested methods that have worked for him and his clients throughout the years. 
.
Broken down into bite-sized steps, the journey seems possible.  It is obvious the author has spent many hours perfecting his training skills in order to convey concepts such as mindfulness to his readers. My only regret is that a CD of the included meditations were not part of the book, I feel the reader could have further benefited had they been.  Yet, the lack of a CD does not lessen the benefit. The self-evaluation questions scattered throughout the pages are cause for deep exploration--and many "a-ha" moments.  I'd strongly suggest reading this book with pen and paper (perhaps a journal) nearby. 

As he speaks of the things that hold us back, he does so without judgment. His words don't reach you with a bang, firing up your enthusiasm full-flame; they reach you with a gentle warmth, igniting an ember that glows brighter as it grows. Unlike the instant inferno, that fires up quickly and fizzles out the same way, the ember ignited by Dr. Alexander's words is meant to grow stronger with time, slowly warming the reader from within long after the book covers have closed.

For anyone facing a life change, be it self-initiated or enforced, this book will be a great comfort,  It empowers the reader to take hold of the change and guide it, rather than allowing the change to lead.  This is one book I can see being read many times over.

Wise Mind Open Mind earns six colors on the Rainbow Scale.

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In his groundbreaking book, Wise Mind, Open Mind pioneering psychotherapist, Dr. Ronald Alexander shares his innovative program for using mindfulness meditation, creative thinking, and positive psychology to transform times of crisis or change into opportunities for greater personal awareness, clarity, and creativity. His original three-step plan includes, learning to let go of resistance to change, learning to tune in to your soul’s deep wisdom or core creativity; and then learning how to move forward based on your newly acquired insight.


Ronald Alexander, Ph.D. is the author of the widely acclaimed book, Wise Mind, Open Mind: Finding Purpose and Meaning in Times of Crisis, Loss, and Change. He is the Executive Director of the OpenMind Training® Institute, practices mindfulness-based mind-body psychotherapy and leadership coaching in Santa Monica, CA for individuals and corporate clients (http://www.openmindtraining.com/ ).

For full details about the Wise Mind, Open Mind virtual blog tour, visit http://bookpromotionservices.com/2010/09/08/wise-mind-open-mind-ronald-alexander/



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Dr. Ronald Alexander Shares Insight

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Yesterday, I shared with you an article by author, Ron Alexander.  Today, I want to share both an article and a video to give you a chance to get to know this man and his book, Wise Mind, Open Mind. Enjoy!




How to Make Real Change in Your Life


Adapted from Dr. Ronald Alexander’s new book, Wise Mind, Open Mind: Finding Purpose and Meaning in Times of Crisis, Loss, and Change (New Harbinger Publications, 2009).

Want to make a change in your life? Whether it’s losing weight, a career change, or remaking a relationship if you want to make any real and lasting changes then you can’t do it alone. I work with hundreds of patients and workshop attendees who desire to transform their lives and one of the first points I tell them is that for real success they initially need to build a Wisdom Council of Support. Like an owner assembling a start-up baseball team you begin with those players who are already available to you, being mindful of the strengths and weaknesses of each.

In the council of support you bring people you respect around you, and who are not afraid to exercise what I call a strong dialogue with you in a way that a guru or teacher is not afraid to crush your ego. It is like creating a family of supporters who are willing to bring you along on your path, whether it’s an idea or a project you are developing, and are willing to confront you when you’re in your ego or your nonsensical stuff. They will also help you move through any resistances that arise and over come your procrastination or hindrances to the changes you want to make.

The core players to consider for your team are a peer, an educator, an entrepreneur or someone who can inspire you, some type of leader such as a minister or a role model, a coach who can help you clarify your goals and get organized. If you are looking for work you may also want to include a headhunter, employment agency or an out placement source. I would also suggest someone who has more experience than you and a therapist who can honestly confront you and wisely guide you. If you are on a limited budget you could ask someone at your church or synagogue, look into Toastmasters International or check out SCORE.org, a national association of retired business people dedicated to mentoring anyone who is sincere about developing a project.

Selecting wisdom council members requires that you be sensitive to others’ needs, boundaries, and time. You want them to be available to you, but some members of your council won’t be able to be on call, or respond quickly or at length to your requests for guidance, insight, and help in working through problems and some may require payment for their services. The key is not to become needy but to stay needful. Needy is not honoring people’s limitations or respecting their time. A needful person is someone who is aware of their needs but simultaneously is considerate and sensitive to other people’s situations.

The key to success is to be alive, open and present in order to receive what is unfolding. Check your ego at the door and listen to the possibilities not the limitations. Every change is possible if you are truly sincere, committed and willing to persevere.


Ronald Alexander, Ph.D. is the author of the widely acclaimed book, Wise Mind, Open Mind: Finding Purpose and Meaning in Times of Crisis, Loss, and Change. He is the Executive Director of the OpenMind Training® Institute, practices mindfulness-based mind-body psychotherapy and leadership coaching in Santa Monica, CA, for individuals and corporate clients. He has taught personal and clinical training groups for professionals in Integral Psychotherapy, Ericksonian mind-body healing therapies, mindfulness meditation, and Buddhist psychology nationally and internationally since 1970. (http://www.openmindtraining.com/ ).

For full details about the Wise Mind, Open Mind virtual blog tour, visit http://bookpromotionservices.com/2010/09/08/wise-mind-open-mind-ronald-alexander/

Watch Alexander’s YouTube Video on How to Build A Council of Support: Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYuknKKSG2A


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Ronald Alexander, Ph. D. Joins us the Next few Days

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Some books don't have fancy covers that scream "Pick Me, pick me!".  I've thought about all the advice we have been given, as writers, about needing a fancy cover.  The truth of the matter is, often the most precious gifts come in the plainest wrappers.  Take this book:

In his groundbreaking book, Wise Mind, Open Mind pioneering psychotherapist, Dr. Ronald Alexander shares his innovative program for using mindfulness meditation, creative thinking, and positive psychology to transform times of crisis or change into opportunities for greater personal awareness, clarity, and creativity.  His original three-step plan includes, learning to let go of resistance to change, learning to tune in to your soul’s deep wisdom or core creativity; and then learning how to move forward based on your newly acquired insight.

The cover isn't fancy, but the words inside are powerful.  We'll explore it deeper tomorrow and Thursday. 

Ronald Alexander, Ph.D. is the author of the widely acclaimed book, Wise Mind, Open Mind: Finding Purpose and Meaning in Times of Crisis, Loss, and Change. He is the Executive Director of the OpenMind Training® Institute, practices mindfulness-based mind-body psychotherapy and leadership coaching in Santa Monica, CA for individuals and corporate clients (www.openmindtraining.com).

Today, I want to share a post written by Ron Alexander.  Tomorrow, I'll be sharing both a video and an article--this man is a powerful speaker.  On Thursday, I'll give you my take on Wise Mind  Open Mind.  We're talking a full week here. I hope you enjoy. 

I want to remind you before reading that for full details about the Wise Mind, Open Mind virtual blog tour, visit http://bookpromotionservices.com/2010/09/08/wise-mind-open-mind-ronald-alexander/

How To Let Go of Negative Self-Judgments by Ronald A. Alexander, Ph.D.


Adapted from Dr. Ronald Alexander’s new book, Wise Mind, Open Mind: Finding Purpose and Meaning in Times of Crisis, Loss, and Change (New Harbinger Publications, 2009).

Many people cling to the myth that those who are successful inevitably feel good about themselves and are free from self-doubt and insecurities. I’ve worked with many clients whose résumés, personal achievements, and reputations garner the deepest respect and admiration, yet their negative self-talk is often utterly brutal. Despite their low opinion of themselves, they’ve managed to fashion lives that many would envy. Yet the disconnection between their inner feelings about themselves and their outer success causes them to hold back from making changes that would lead to far greater fulfillment and peace of mind. They’ll remain in a stagnant situation until change is thrust upon them, and then feel overwhelmed by any crises that occur.

The Destructive Power of Negative Self-Judgments

No matter how accomplished we are, no matter how happy we may seem, we all hold on to negative self-judgments, and they hold on to us. They prevent us from discovering our power to change our lives for the better. When we switch to more positive thought patterns, crisis stops being overwhelming, and it’s far easier to let go of resistance, tune in to our passions and inner resources, and move forward with confidence.

Positive thinking is indeed powerful, but don’t hold yourself to unrealistic standards and expect to quickly transform what are often lifelong thinking habits. The object is to stop assigning meaning to these self-judgments, because once you start to give them weight, they begin to weigh you down. Through the practice of mindfulness, you can learn to notice when you are tearing yourself down and begin to change your habit of self-criticism.

The Stories the Mind Spins

Often, the rational mind will string together a series of distortions. Instead of simply noticing “I am shy,” the mind will generate the thought, “I’m shy, which is why I’ll never find a romantic partner; my shyness makes me unattractive.” Another example might be someone who is out going spinning a disempowering story: “I’m an extrovert. My mother never liked that about me, and it seemed to embarrass my siblings. I probably made a fool of myself many times. I am too eager to connect to other people, who look down on me for being emotionally needy.” You may not even be fully aware that you’re embellishing your self-judgments in an unwholesome way.

Reframe Your Negative Self-Judgments

Through mindfulness practice and self-inquiry, you can render any negative self-judgments neutral and even see them in a far different light. To be “self-centered,” focused on resolving inner conflicts, can be perceived as negative, but it’s very important at times to direct your attention to yourself and your needs. If you feel that you are “callous,” you might reframe that quality as “courageous” or “bold.” If you see yourself as “weak,” consider thinking of yourself as someone who is sensitive to others’ feelings.

Here are some steps to help you mindfully reframe an unwholesome self-judgment that you know is of no use to you and that causes you anguish. It is beneficial to use a journal to work through each step.

1. Identity and label the judgment. Give it a simple name or theme, such as “inadequate provider,” “insincere,” or “people pleaser.”

2. Discover the quality of the judgment. Ask yourself, “What is this self-judgment causing me to think or feel about myself in this moment?” Does it make you feel ashamed, angry, or guilty, for example? Notice whether the feeling is wholesome and supportive of your well-being, or unwholesome, making it difficult for you to enter a state of spaciousness, openness, and trust.

3. Find a remedy for the unwholesome thought or feeling. Ask yourself, “Would I like to think or feel something different? What thought or feeling could I generate to shift myself out of this unwholesome state?”

4. Formulate a new thought, image, or feeling, and begin to hold on to it firmly. Experience it in your mind’s eye and in your body. Feel a wholesome sensation, such as relaxation, excitement, or expansiveness.

5. Assess whether you’ve shifted. Ask yourself, “Have I shifted out of the feeling, state, or thought that was unwholesome and let go of my negative self-judgment?” If you have, then enjoy the new sensations, feelings, and thoughts you’ve generated as a remedy. If not, go back and repeat steps 1 through 4.

You may never totally rid yourself of your unwholesome self-judgments. However, you can alter their quality, learn from them, and either let them go or transform them so that they no longer block you from a sense of well-being, a feeling of spaciousness, and openness to new possibilities. Hidden gold will appear when you let go of your negative-judgments. The aspects of yourself you’ve been overlooking will ascend to your consciousness. Through mindfulness, you can discover these forgotten qualities that will inspire and vitalize you, and carry you through the rough waters of criticism to more placid waters.

***

Ronald Alexander, Ph.D. is the author of the widely acclaimed book, Wise Mind, Open Mind: Finding Purpose and Meaning in Times of Crisis, Loss, and Change. He is the director of the OpenMind Training® Institute, practices mindfulness-based mind-body psychotherapy and leadership coaching in Santa Monica, CA, for individuals and corporate clients. He has taught personal and clinical training groups for professionals in Integral Psychotherapy, Ericksonian mind-body healing therapies, mindfulness meditation, and positive psychology nationally and internationally since 1970. (www.openmindtraining.com). For full details about the Wise Mind, Open Mind virtual blog tour, visit http://bookpromotionservices.com/2010/09/08/wise-mind-open-mind-ronald-alexander/




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A Visit From Marvin Wilson

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The other day, I shared information with you on Marvin Wilson and his newest book, Beware the Devil's Hug.  Please continue scrolling after this post and read about the contest information--then click beneath the cover art for a link to buy the book!!! 

I had a chance to ask Marvin a few questions, and he agreed to honor us with a guest post today!   Please enjoy--and show your manners by leaving him a thak you :-) (Always a mother, aren't I?"

It's all yours Marvin!

Hi Joyce, and everyone. It’s a pleasure to be stopping here today as part of the Hugs Therapy Virtual Tour 2010. Joyce, you asked me to write a special piece for this post, one that focused on how the book, Beware the Devil’s Hug, came about. Specifically, you asked:


· Where the idea came from

· Why did I write it

· What do I hope the reader takes away from it, and

· Who is my favourite and least favourite character – and why.

Good questions. The idea for the book is one that I came up with almost five years ago. I was observing—for quite some time—an old homeless man panhandling on a street corner. He seemed to me to be a kind man, gentle, very humble and gracious. But of course he was raggedy, old and ugly, poor, probably smelly, and just, well—to most people who didn’t take the time to really look deeply at him—repulsive. Some people would stop and give him some money, pulling their hands back quickly as soon as he had taken the cash—as if touching him might infect them with a terminal disease—and walk away without any emotion other than a mild relief. The majority of folks would look down and/or away, not even wanting eye contact with him.

And I thought to myself, what if this man is some high spiritual being, maybe an angel, someone with special powers, who chooses the life of a homeless beggar not out of necessity, but simply for the purity of it? And that’s where the adblurb and premise idea for the book came from:

What if a homeless, smelly, ugly, unkempt old man had a hug so powerful it could cure cancer? Cause a prostitute to stop hooking, find happiness and seek true love? Shake the demons of addiction free from a junkie? Make a radical terrorist Muslim want to befriend and love a Christian and visa versa? But rare is the beneficiary of his divine embrace – nobody wants to come near him out of fear.

I knew this book would be, needed to be, special. And several times over the next four and a half years I tried to write it. Each time the writing did not do it justice. Nothing but mundane, lame writing. I did more highlighting and deleting when trying to write this story than on any other manuscript. Then one day, several months ago, it all came together in my mind and heart. Suddenly I knew how to write the story. I wrote furiously, in the blessed writer’s zone, barely sleeping or eating. The characters were alive in my head, telling me, sometimes shouting at me, what they needed to do and say next. Three weeks and almost 90,000 words later the rough first draft was finished.

I wrote it because I had to. Just had to. For some reason I couldn’t rest spiritually and emotionally until I got it out of me. So I feel all better now. (big smile)

What do I hope the reader takes away from it? That appearances are not always what they seem; that beauty is not on the surface; that the people you call strangers could very well be your best friends if you would overcome inner fears, open up, and receive them into your world with love; that love is the tie that binds, connects us all together, and is the root meaning of all true spiritual paths—hating and warring against each other over religious beliefs is a horrible misuse and ignorant abuse of the great teachings of all the Avatars upon whom the various world religions were founded—Jesus brought people to the truth through unconditional, all-encompassing, non-judgmental love, not through hatred of those who had not yet seen the light. Also I would hope the reader was entertained, experienced the full gamut of emotions, including some laughter and a couple of wet eyes here and there. And when the last line is read, I’d hope the reader feels inspired to open up more to others, becoming more loving, understanding, and caring for people who may not seem, on the surface, like anyone they would normally allow into their life.

As for my favourite character, that’s a tough one, but I guess I’d go with Iam, The Old Man ... he’s an example of some of the vast potential within any of us. My second favourite would be Christian Dean Wilson, because after all, he’s fashioned a great deal after Marvin Dean Wilson (wink). Well, except for his prudish ways when it comes to sex. I was never that puritanical as a young man, but hey—nobody’s perfect, right? Christian’s views and beliefs on spiritual and social matters are mine. He is the author’s voice throughout the book.

Least favourite would have to be Hans. He’s one of the head leaders of the Zenith Group (which is really the Bilderberg Group, I just didn’t want to use the actual name and wind up having helicopters flying over my house when the book gets popular), and he is instrumental in the terrorist plot to squash Christian’s coalition, CUE (Coalition for Unity and Enlightenment). The Zenith Group considers CUE a threat against the establishment of their egregious and nefarious designs for the New World Order.

Joyce, again thanks for having me here today. It was a pleasure thinking through and writing the answers to your thought-provoking questions. I’ll be stopping in a few times today and through the early evening, so if any of your readers would like to ask questions or make a comment that inspires a reaction, I’d be happy to interact with you all.


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Beware the Devil's Hug by Marvin Wilson --A Review and more

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Click here to purchase!
 Those of you who visit regularly will recognize the name Marvin D. Wilson.  He has visited us several times over the years.  I'm especially happy for this current visit, for Marvin has written a book that is awesome.  I've posted my review below (aong with contest information) but let me first tell you abit about the book and author.

What if a homeless, smelly, ugly, unkempt old man had a hug so powerful it could cure cancer? Cause a prostitute to stop hooking and seek true love? Shake the demons of addiction free from a junkie? Make a Christian want to hug and love a Muslim and visa versa? But rare is the beneficiary of his divine embrace – nobody wants to come near him out of fear.
Marvin D. Wilson has a widely varied and rich life experience background - from Hippie Rock and Roll musician, to nightclub entertainer, to Zen Buddhist minister, to carpenter, to small business owner, to network marketer, to sales and sales training, to skilled trades instructor and adult education teacher, to public speaker and motivational coach, to now in his chosen “golden years” career, a writer and multi-published author with the self-proclaimed, “audacity to write novels”.


Wilson describes his spiritual path as one who is a non-religious, dogma-free, maverick spiritualist Christian, with a strong bent toward Zen, Taoism, and the Law of Attraction, and who believes in the Oneness of all creation and all paths leading to re-awakening to the On e. He is a family man with three grown children and six grandchildren, and works with his son and oldest daughter in their organic compost and vegetable farming business when not writing, traveling, and marketing his books.

Marvin writes primarily in the spiritual/inspirational genre, but likes to pen “cross-over” novels that appeal to a wide variety of readers. His books are uplifting, sometimes weighty, oftentimes humorous, abidingly thought-provoking, meant to instill and create passion and emotion, more than occasionally provocative to the point of controversial, and always “tell it like it is”, real world, no punches pulled writing. He likes to deliver spiritual messages in a non-preachy, often irreverent, sometimes sexy and ribald way, through the medium of an entertaining story.

***
Now for my thoughts :-)

Hugs—they bring comfort to many, disgust and horror to others and a feeling of safety to still others. Some hugs can invoke all these emotions. One hug can’t change an entire life—or can it?


In Beware the Devil’s Hug, Marvin Wilson has once again brought together an unlikely cast of characters whose lives entwine in such a way they weave the very tapestry we call life. Love, hatred, pain and laughter are the threads that bind the tapestry tightly, making it impossible for even one of the characters to remain untouched by all the others.

For those familiar with Mr. Wilson’s work, you won’t be surprised that he does not skirt issues that may cause controversy. He presents what is, leaving his own ego and thoughts completely out of the picture and allowing the reader to fully experience each issue from a perspective within their own soul. Before your experience, for this book is truly an experience, is through, you will question reality, ponder your idea of right and wrong and, if you are willing, get to see the world from perspectives you thought were much different than your own.

For those not looking for a spiritual revelation, that is fine too. The storyline is full of drama, action and a twist that I never saw coming. Beware the Devil’s Hug contains something to please almost any reader, male or female, young or old. It is definitely an adult book, but only the most prudish or narrow-minded will find it offending. Marvin Wilson may not skirt the difficult issues, but he handles them with finesse and a genuine empathy found rarely in today’s world. Marvin Wilson is a modern day Richard Bach – inviting the human race to question, strive and dream—but most of all to open their minds and hearts and embrace all the wonder that lies within each soul.

Beware the Devil's Hug earns the Full Rainbow of Writing Excellence--seven colors!

***
Marvin is holding a contest for those  who visit stops on his blog tour and for those who purchase his book. 

Hugs Therapy Virtual Tour 2010 – Contest, Prizes and Giveaways


Readers following the tour will have the opportunity to win prizes and receive giveaways in the following manner:

Point System-

· Every comment left will count as one point, be it on that day’s host’s blog and/or The Old Silly’s Free Spirit Blog. A reader can earn two points per day in this manner.

· Each tweet of any post stop will count as one point. Tweeting the host’s post and also tweeting the Free Spirit post that day earns two points. This one is on the honor system, so the commenter should include that he/she tweeted the post(s) in their blog comment.

· Each Facebook tour announcement/message with a link to that day’s host’s blog earns one point. This one is also on the honor system, so the commenter should include that he/she facebooked the post in his or her blog comment.

· Buying an ebook version of Beware the Devil’s Hug earns five points. Reader/buyer must confirm the purchase by emailing the author a copy of the invoice to: marvwilson2020@gmail.com

· Buying a print (paperback) version of Beware the Devil’s Hug earns 20 points. Reader/buyer must confirm the purchase by emailing the author a copy of the invoice to: marvwilson2020@gmail.com



Prizes for Point System Winners-

· Grand Prize – The person with the most points will receive an autographed paperback copy of Marvin D Wilson’s last novel, Owen Fiddler.

· First Runner-up Prize – The person with the second highest point total will receive an autographed paperback copy of the author’s first book, I Romanced the Stone (Memoirs of a Recovering Hippie).

· Second Runner-up Prize – The person with the third highest point total will also receive an autographed copy of the author’s first book, I Romanced the Stone (Memoirs of a Recovering Hippie).

· Third and Fourth Runner-up Prizes – these people will receive an autographed paperback copy of the author’s book, Between the Storm and the Rainbow.



Additional Incentives and Giveaways:

The first reader who purchases a print copy of Beware the Devil’s Hug during the tour (again providing proof via email), pays for rush delivery (if they feel that necessary), reads it, and posts a review on Amazon before the tour ends, will receive a $25 gift certificate to Borders or Barnes and Nobles bookstores, his or her choice.

· Any other readers who purchase a print copy of Beware the Devil’s Hug during the tour and can post a review before the tour ends will receive $10 certificates to Borders or Barnes and Nobles bookstores, their choice.

· All readers who purchase a print copy of Beware the Devil’s Hug during the tour but cannot or do not get a review up before the tour ends, will still be rewarded – with a free ebook copy of Owen Fiddler.

***
Remember, guys, just click the link under the cover art above.  You'll also have a chance to read an excerpt there.  These prizes are awesome (but the book is even more so).  To give you more chances to win, here are the rest of the tour stops:

Elizabeth Spann Craig http://mysterywritingismurder.blogspot.com/  10/17/10


Joyce Anthony http://joyce-anthony.blogspot.com/  10/18/10

Stephen Tremp http://www.stephentremp.blogspot.com/  10/19/10

L. Diane Wolfe http://circleoffriendsbooks.blogspot.com/  10/20/10

Patricia Stoltey http://patriciastoltey.blogspot.com/  10/21/10

Sylvia Dickey Smith http://sylviadickeysmithbooks.wordpress.com/  10/22/10

Michelle Emrath http://southerncitymysteries.blogspot.com/  10/23/10

Leeuna Foster http://leeunafoster.com/humorblog/  10/24/10

Jane Sutton http://janekennedysutton.blogspot.com/  10/25/10

Mason Canyon (Pamela) http://www.masoncanyon.blogspot.com/  10/26/10

Arlee Bird http://tossingitout.blogspot.com/  10/27/10

Helen Ginger http://straightfromhel.blogspot.com/  10/28/10

Lacresha Hayes http://learntofeelpretty.blogspot.com/  10/29/10

Kissie http://justkissie.com/  10/30/10

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The Journey to Truth by George Garlick, Ph.D. -- A Review

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· The Journey to Truth



· George F. Garlick, Ph.D.


· 978-1-933204-89-5


· VMI Publishers


· 2009


· 14.99

For more information, visit George Garlick's website




From the dawning of time, man has pondered many questions concerning the meaning of life, our place in the universe and other equally elusive concepts. Truth has always been near the top of the list. Dr. George F. Garlick has spent a lifetime searching for the truths of the universe. As a man of science, he believes there are answers to everything. As a man of God, he has tried to reconcile the apparent inconsistencies between religion and science. The Journey to Truth shares with us Dr. Garlick’s personal journey and gives us a view into the truths he has found.


In the past, science and spirituality have often battled against each other. It has been like two magnets with the south poles at the forefront, pushing against each other and never coming together. George Garlick takes the known discoveries on science’s south pole and has the foresight to turn the spiritual magnet around. What has resulted is a highly enjoyable book with many “a-ha” moments as the two disciplines come together into a seamless blending.


I enjoyed the way Dr. Garlick compared both science and scripture in a side-by-side manner that allows the reader to envision a compare/contrast chart. Visual readers will be able to follow along effortlessly, seeing how the two disciplines truly do support each other. Normally one to look for inconsistencies that are not addressed, I can say I found none in this book. The author was meticulous in his research and did not skim over inconsistencies, hoping the reader did not see them. With a true scientific mind, every “t” is crossed and “i” dotted.


I had a bit of difficulty with the science part of the book. The author speaks to readers who have a working understanding of scientific principles and I found myself having to re-read some of these paragraphs in order to understand. The understanding did come, but I would have liked Dr. Garlick to simplify some of the more complex areas a bit. The average reader may have difficulty grasping some of the more complex concepts. All in all, however, taking the time to re-read and dissect the passages helps with this.


George Garlick has shared with us one of the most personal journeys a person can take—that of the soul’s search for truth. He allows us to see his confusion, his pain and not knowing and finally his joy at discovering the two disciplines do not have to battle, for they are both necessary to truly understand our universe.


The Journey to Truth is a book I would recommend to anyone who has an open mind and a willingness to question what makes our universe the wondrous creation it is. Be prepared to take your time in reading, for this isn’t light reading’ it, however, is not dry and boring like a textbook. It is full of discoveries and understanding for those who seek answers. Dr. Garlick does an excellent job bringing together two very different disciplines—and he provides an extensive bibliography for those wishing to search deeper.


The Journey to Truth earns five colors on the Rainbow Scale.



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The Unexpected Son by Shobhan Bantwal -- A Review

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Read an excerpt
Secrets are a strange thing.  They tend to create lies and even more secrets and then seem to disappear, only to jump out at you when you least expect it.  This is what happens to Vinita, the main character in The Unexpected Son.

For many years, Vinita carried a secret she believed would forever remain in the past.  An innocent-looking note in the mail turns her world upside-down.  

Vinita discovers that nothing is as it seemed and her secret is nothing in comparison to that which was kept from her.  The time has come to face her past.  Will she be able to make amends after so many years -- or is she going to lose everything she holds dear?

Shobhan Bantwal writes with a sophisticated skill you might expect from an author of forty books, not just four.  The subjects that run deep within The Unexpected Son  speaks of secrets, lies and betrayals.  It examines the complex human emotions that  take many authors decades to perfect.

I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Bantwal's book.  Her setting and characters are without flaw. The entire book plays out like a dream that surrounds you and makes  it nearly impossible to shake off the after-images and return to the safe, yet uneventful, waking you experienced before starting to read.  

Once again Ms. Bantwal has created a masterpiece of words that explores the very bases of human emotion.  She leads you on a journey you won't soon forget.

The Forgotten Son earns five colors on the Rainbow Scale.  

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Shobhan Bantwal Writes on Mothers and Sons

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Last week I shared some videos with you that introduced you to Shobhan Bantwal, whose latest book, The Unexpected Son, will be reviewed tomorrow.  Today, however, I would like to share with you a very special guest post from Ms. Bantwal.  I'm sure she'd love to hear your comments!

Mothers and Sons


By Shobhan Bantwal - Author of The Unexpected Son

While practically every mother-child relationship is a bond based on unconditional love, there is something about mothers and sons that goes beyond the typical parent-child relationship. It is an instinct that goes back millions of years, when mothers considered it their sacred duty to raise strong, healthy sons who would be the salt of the earth and perpetuate the human race. To this day, mothers tend to act on that same primitive instinct.

Fathers and daughters sometimes have that rare connection that makes fathers go a little crazy when they perceive their little darlings are in danger. Macho male impulse can make a man easily go out to do battle to protect his daughter in some instances. But men are generally not as emotional as women, because their actions are ruled more by the head than the heart.

On the other hand, women often take the role of parenting to a level that can defy logic, especially when it comes to sons. This is even more apparent in Asian cultures like India, where sons are expected to take care of their parents when they grow up, while daughters are considered burdens, offspring that will someday marry and leave home. A son is expected to stay with his parents forever and shoulder the responsibilities of family, home, and fortune.

As a result, a son is viewed as a precious commodity to be nurtured like an exotic seedling which will eventually grow into a sturdy tree, produce wholesome fruit, and protect the clan. He is a source of comfort and strength, the one who will carry on the family name—an insurance policy of sorts. No wonder Indian women are so dedicated to their male children.

In my latest book, THE UNEXPECTED SON, a contented Indian-American woman wakes up one morning to a shocking truth: she has a grown son in India, a child she was told was stillborn 30 years ago. He is now seriously ill. Revealing her closely-guarded secret that could ruin her marriage and family. Nonetheless she is compelled to return to India to meet her unknown son, perhaps even save him.

A Note From Shobhan Bantwal - Information about my books, video trailers, contact, photos from India, reviews, contests, and recipes is available on my website: www.shobhanbantwal.com. All my books can be purchased at any retail bookstore or online bookseller. For more information about The Unexpected Son virtual tour, visit http://bookpromotionservices.com/2010/07/02/unexpected-son-virtual-tour/  



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Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines -- A Review

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Click Here to Purchase

On Thursday, May 21, 1863, a mortar shell rips through the wall of fourteen-year-old Elizabeth Stamford’s bedroom. Afraid their home is no longer safe, her mama, Susan, rushes Lizzie and her younger brother, Nathan, to the cave, where she plans to live until the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, ends. Lizzie, however, has her own plans–to enlist in the Confederate army and help drive General Ulysses S. Grant and his Yankees into the Mississippi River. Her older brothers, Joseph and Willie, are in Virginia, fighting for their cause. Can she do any less?


Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines is the story of one girl and her family’s day-to-day struggle to survive a changing way of life during the War Between the States.

***

I have always found it amazing how people can take an entire book and reduce it to a few simple words.  What I have trouble with is how do you convey all the subtle nuances that make the book come alive?  Take the above description for example.

Caves, Cannons and Crinolines is told from the viewpoint of Lizzie, who watches as the Civil War changes all she finds steady and true in her world.  We follow Lizzie as not only the outside world is changed, but her inner being as well.  We feel her fear as she dons boy's clothing and faces war first-hand and we struggle from crying when the war takes from her someone precious.  As we read, Beverly Stowe McClure literally takes us back to what it is like to be fourteen.  While many of us forget as we grow older, Ms. McClure has held onto that part of herself and writes purely from the perspective of Lizzie' she does not allow her adult self to enter at all, which is very rare indeed. 

This book packs a lot between its covers--laughter, pain, fear, anger, and most of all emotional growth that can only come from experience.  I applaud Beverly McClure for being able to convey so many subtle messages to her audience, without once sounding as though she's teaching, or preaching.  This book is sure to become a favorite part of any girl's library and I imagine many boys will secretly find it among theirs as well. (Secretly because I don't think many young boys will willingly be seen reading a book with crinolines in the title!).  To be able to craft a book that appeals to both boys and girls of this age is yet another rare accomplishment that Ms. McClure has achieved. You will never see war the same again once you finish this book.

Caves, Cannons and Crinolines rates a solid six colors on the Rainbow Scale!


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Talking With Beverly McClure, Young Adult/Children's Author

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Today and tomorrow, we'll be visiting with Beverly Stowe McClure.  Beverly has several books published and contracts for more.  I'll share info on the latest one tomorrow, but today I'd like to share an interview with Ms, McClure.  Don't forget to drop her a comment!!!


What three words do you think describe you as a human being?


Quiet, kind, emotional.


How do you think others would describe you?

Honest, dependable, a true friend

Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing

My grandchildren, animals, and genealogy

Do you have any pets? If so, introduce us to them.

I have a calico cat named Patches. She’s a little stray that showed up one day on our patio. She was catching insects to eat. So I started feeding her. At first she was shy, but eventually she let me scratch her ears. The next thing I knew, she was in the house, making herself at home. She talks to us with little squeaky meows. She also puts her paw on my knee when she wants in my lap and waits for me to tell her it’s okay. Can you tell how much I love her?

What is your most precious memory?

Bringing my second son home from the hospital healthy. My firstborn son lived only three days.

What is your most embarrassing memory

My mind must have blanked it out because I can’t recall anything.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

Probably teaching. I loved it when I was. Or traveling to historical places.

In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

Beverly quietly went to live with her Heavenly Father last night. On Earth, she was a Christian, wife, mother, teacher, and writer of stories and articles for children and teens. She graduated cum laude from Midwestern University with a BSED degree. She was selected Conservation Teacher of the Year in 1988 in the Wichita S.W.C.D. She loved her family and enjoyed genealogy research, playing the piano, and scrap booking.


She was blessed with her husband, Jack, for 53 years, and three sons and their wives. Rex and Kristina, Scott and Ann, Kelly and Amy. She adored her six grandchildren, Amanda (and husband Paul), Courtney, Felicity, Shawn, Scottie, and Katie. She also had three lovely great-grandchildren, Riley, Paige, and Henry. A sister, Linda Landers also survives her. Beverly’s parents, Lorena and Audra Stowe, a son, David, a granddaughter, Sierra, and brother Arwood left their earthly home before her. They are reunited now.

Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a “real” writer?

I think, when my first article was published in Happiness, a TV Guide type magazine, I finally believed I could be a “real” writer.

What is going on with your writing these days?

I’m busy promoting my latest young adult historical novel, Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines. Also, I’m editing my forthcoming contemporary novel, Life on Hold, due out summer 2011. I’m working on the synopsis and query letter for my middle grade paranormal story. Three other manuscripts are in various stages of development.

What are your future goals for your writing?

I hope to continue writing for children and teens as long as I am breathing.

Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

I usually start the day by checking my email and answering the important ones, saving the others till later in the day. From about 9 to 11 or 12 AM, I write. At the present, I have three novels in progress.

After lunch I work on promotion, do research, post on blogs, and whatever needs to be done.


Evenings, I critique manuscripts for my crit groups, write reviews, and take care of other business.


Why do you write

I write because I like to escape to other worlds and times and places. I like to explore feelings and emotions. I write because it gives me purpose in life and brings joy.


What writer most inspires you? Why?

I really can’t think of anyone in particular.

How do you define your writing?

Good question. I’d say, an eclectic mixture of humor, life, history, and contemporary.

In one sentence—what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

I wish I’d written that book. J

Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?

Web site: http://beverlystowemcclure.wordpress.com/


Blogs: http://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com/


http://lizzieswar.wordpress.com/


http://justbreeze.wordpress.com/


http://rebelinbluejeans.wordpress.com/

Is there a place where readers can reach you?

Beverlysmcclure(at)aol(dot)com

Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

Listen to the Ghost – YA paranormal


Secrets I Have Kept – YA mystery


Rebel in Blue Jeans – YA contemporary


Just Breeze – Tween contemporary


Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines – YA historical


For new readers—what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

Real-life situations with a touch of humor whenever possible, characters (even the ghosts) that have problems readers can relate to and cheer for them to succeed in their goals. I like to write about vivid settings that give the reader a sense of place and how it relates to the characters and their lives.

Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers—what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

I’d like you, my readers, to know how much I appreciate your interest in my work. Time is so valuable in these days of fast-paced living, I want you to feel like you can relax awhile, forget the jillion things you have to do and enjoy my stories. I hope you can bring away something positive from your reading.


I’m surprised that I’m actually a writer. My life plans did not include a career as an author. Sometimes, though, our lives take off in unexpected directions. Mine did. I’m so glad I followed the winding road with the uncertain ending.


You, dear readers, are very precious to me. Without you, I’d have no one to write for. Thank you. Thank you.



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