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I Can See Clearly Now

I hesitated when asked to review Unfinished .  It wasn't the book description.  After all, who wouldn't be intrigued by this:

This is a true story of a woman who experienced such a profound awakening that she could no longer live the same way, the same life she was just one week before. She could no longer ignore the woman who was screaming to be set free from the ties that bind her to a life she no longer desired or recognized. The transformation to become the woman she really wanted to be has propelled her upon the most remarkable self-discovery journey of her life. She sold her home, gave up her career, kissed her children, grandchildren and friend’s good bye, got into her vehicle and just drove away…ALONE. Where was she going? 30,000km later she finds herself in the most unlikely place to try to piece her life together, trying to make sense of the constant feeling of being UNFINISHED.

Even Suzanne's bio sounded intriguing: 

Suzanne Gravelle is 49 Years old and has 3 children, 2 grandchildren who live in Nova Scotia.  At the time this book goes to print she is single and homeless by choice, still travelling, seeking that place of comfort she will eventually call home.

She spent most of her life living in Nova Scotia but her formidable years aged 10-25, were spent living on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. She resigned as a Real Estate Agent in Nova Scotia, to embark upon this most incredible journey, driving, exploring Canada and writing this book. To read Suzanne’s extended bio, visit http://bookpromotionservices.com/2011/11/10/suzanne-gravelle-bio/

The Universe, however, has a way of bringing things into our lives just when they are needed.  So it was with this book.  As I started to read, I could hear Suzanne's voice, as though she were sitting across the kitchen table from me.  Her writing flows so naturally you know that she speaks and writes in the same voice.  This is a rare thing.  Many authors strive for a conversational tone, Suzanne just comes by it naturally.  She simply tells you her story, holding nothing back. Her emotions flow freely throughout the pages, whether that emotion is relief, pain, wonder or confusion--or a myriad of others that make their appearance.

As I read, I felt something inside changing, a spiritual uplifting that took away the cloud of confusion that had settled in over the past year.  I began to see clearly where I must travel next n m road.  No, I won't be hopping in a car and leaving everything behind, that is Ms. Gravelle's journey, not mine. Suzanne's story, however, was a catalyst that allowed my own mind and heart to open up and receive directions from within my own soul.  Will this be the experience of every reader?  I can't promise that.

What I can promise is that this book will be one readers will want to keep handy and re-read again and again.  Much like the beloved stories we heard on our grandparent's knees, it will become a favorite source of comfort.  This is an absolute must-read for anyone who has reached a stage in life where they have realized that so much of their lives have been lived for others that they now don't have a clue about how to start living for themselves.

I won't give Unfinished a Rainbow Rating.  It impossible for me to put a value on a book that has literally changed my life.  My suggestion, however, is to seek out more information about this book and review how others have seen it.

For more information about Unfinished by Suzanne Gravelle, visit http://www.amazon.com/Unfinished-Suzanne-Gravelledp/192700506X and you can follow her journey on her blog – http://ontourwithsuzanne.blogspot.com.   

The Full Moon Bride by Shobhan Bantwal -- A Review

Shobhan Bantwal has graced the literary community with yet another work that shows the art of writing is still alive and well.  The Full Moon Bride has readers delving into two very different worlds--that of modern day America and old time India tradition.  I have yet to find an author who can blend two worlds so successfully.

A successful lawyer, Surya hears the clock ticking as she slides past thirty.  While her career is a success, her personal life leaves much to be desired.  Maybe her answer to love lie in the old traditions of India. Giving in to her parents' wishes that she participate in the traditional bride viewings, Surya fights within her soul, questioning all she knows from an American way of life and comparing it to the tried and true traditions of her parents.  Which way is "best"-- or can the only true answer come from within Surya herself?

Shobhan Bantwal takes the art of ethnic writing and applies it in a way that appeals to any woman who has ever felt the pull addition and the modern world.  Her characters come alive within the book and you feel as though you are helping your best friend through a crisis, or you must make the decisions.  It takes a true artist to be able to maintain an ethnic view and still reach the world as a whole.  Having read her previous books, I can say a fine writer has been consistently evolving and has become phenomenal. 

After reading The Full Moon Bride  you will want to go back and read Ms. Bantwal's previous books.  Her writing speaks to the softer side of women everywhere, from every culture.  You will immediately understand where her characters are in life and how they feel, not because the author tells you, but because you have been there.  The details may differ, but the basics are universal.

You can read an excerpt of The Full Moon Bride, as well as excerpts from her past works, at Shobhan's website .  I suggest you put aside a couple of hours when visiting, as you will find yourself unwilling to stop reading once you start. 

The Full Moon Bride earns six colors on the Rainbow Scale.
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Talking With Shobhan Bantwal

I have had the great pleasure of interviewing many authors over the years.  One of my favorites has been Shobhan Bantwal because of her openness and willingness to allow readers to see who is behind the books.  Today's interview is no exception,  Once you have enjoyed the interview, please leave a note for Shobhan (and a FB like or Tweet would also be appreciated!).  Thank you!


You are such a prolific writer.  Can you pass on any hints you use to keep yourself productive and writing consistently?

Actually I am not as prolific as I would like to be, mainly because I have a demanding full-time job that does not allow me the luxury of time to devote to my writing projects. But my best source of inspiration to boost my productivity and creativity is reading books by other authors. I love reading and try to fit in at least a half hour of reading just before I go to bed each night. It is a great way to wind down and relax, also a way to energize the muses and overcome writer's block.

As for writing consistently, I have to discipline myself constantly because I tend to go in spurts, and to succeed and meet a writer's deadlines, one has to establish a schedule. My writing is almost always done very early in the mornings.

Your books all have deep emotion throughout.  Do you find yourself emotionally drained after a particularly fruitful writing session or have you found a way to somehow convey the emotion and still distance yourself from its effects?

When I write an emotional scene I am completely immersed in it, heart and soul. It can be a lot of fun, but quite draining at times. Nevertheless that also tells me it is a good scene if it can move me, the writer, to that extent. A sex scene is not worth much if I don't feel at least a little aroused or a heartbreaking scene has not been effectively captured if I don't shed a few tears. Women's fiction by its very nature is very emotional and the writer needs to be completely engaged in the drama of it.

The subjects you have covered are ones that could be controversial in certain places.  Have you ever found yourself debating whether or not you should write about these subjects?  How do you decide if a subject is best left alone or is worth the flack you may receive?

Some of my topics have been subjected to controversy and negative scrutiny, especially dowry abuse and female-fetus abortion in India, the subjects of my first two books. Not everybody feels it is wrong to demand a dowry from the bride's family. A lot of otherwise morally upright people have secretly turned to abortion to avoid having a female child. Such folks feel that I am turning a simple social practice into a huge moral debate by bringing awareness to it. There are others who feel a writer should not expose the darker side of one's culture. Consequently I have to do a lot of deliberation and soul-searching before I embark on writing a story with a controversial or incendiary theme.

What prompted you to write Full Moon Bride?

After having lived in the U.S. for over 37 years and raised a daughter who was born here and is now married and has a family of her own, I have witnessed a lot of cultural and social conflict that the second-generation Indian-Americans and other Asian-Americans grapple with. Trying to fit into two vastly diverse cultures can be a tough challenge for young people. The Full Moon Bride is a result of my observations and what could happen when a young woman can't quite decide if it is passion or pragmatism that makes a marriage, and which path she should choose to realize her own dreams and those of her family.

Of the books you have written, can you pick one as your favorite (the one you would suggest reader’s who are unfamiliar with you start with)?  Why this particular choice?

I don't really have a favorite book, because I put my heart into every one of them. But my last book, The Unexpected Son, has elements that I can personally relate to the most. The college campus life that my heroine experiences in the 1970s in small-town India and the way her youthful indiscretions come to haunt her 30 years later, when she is forced to make a life-altering decision, make for a very emotional and intriguing story. I could picture a lot of what she was going through more vividly because my experiences, to some degree, as far as family life and the conservatism of it are concerned, are similar to my heroine's.

Are you currently working on anything you’d be willing to share information on?

My publisher prefers that I not discuss future projects, but I will say the next book is also about a young Indian-American professional, who in her quest for love and passion and family, ends up falling in love with the most unlikely man. Needless to say the journey to happiness has a few interesting bumps.

Is there anything you would like to say to our readers?

I would like to encourage readers who have never read any ethnic fiction to open their minds and read my books. Many previous skeptics have come to love my books and have become long-time supporters, some of them being men. I try to make my books both entertaining and educational. If nothing else, readers will learn something about Indian culture and be the richer for it.

Readers can find my books, events, contests, photos, recipes, and contact information on my website: www.shobhanbantwal.com/ or visit my facebook page: www.facebook.com/ShobhanBantwal.author

Thank you for the wonderful interview, Shobhan! Everyone, please come back tomorrow to see what I think of Full Moon Bride.

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An Old Friend Returns

Those of you have followed this blog regularly will be familiar with this week's special guest, Shobhan Bantwal.  She has visited us numerous times over the past few years--each time with a new book.  This time is no different, Full Moon Bride, her latest literary work, is now availableAward-winning author Shobhan Bantwal calls her writing “Bollywood in a Book”—romantic, colorful, action-packed tales, rich with elements of Indian culture—stories that entertain and educate. Shobhan has five published novels by Kensington Publishing, with a sixth slated for 2012. Shobhan can be contacted through her website: www.shobhanbantwal.com or Facebook.

About Full Moon Bride

What makes a marriage—love or compatibility? Passion or pragmatism? THE FULL MOON BRIDE is a compelling story that explores the fascinating subject of arranged marriage, as young Indian-American attorney Soorya Giri navigates the gulf between desire and tradition.
In choosing between two very different men, Soorya must reconcile her burgeoning independence and conservative background. And she must decide what matters most to her—not just in a husband, but in a family, a culture, and a life.

Later this week, I will be posting my review of Full Moon Bride, but tomorrow I'd like to share with you a wonderful interview I had the pleasure of doing with Ms. Bantwal.  I know you will find her as charming and insightful as I do. 

Until tomorrow, you can find much more information about Shobhan Bantwal and Full Moon Bride, you can visit her website http://www.shobhanbantwal.com and you can order your own copy at http://www.amazon.com/Full-Moon-Bride-Shobhan-Bantwal/dp/0758258844
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Amy Winehouse -- Don't Blame the Drugs and Alcohol

I realize my readers have come to expect book reviews and author interviews when they stop by.  In a way, today's post isn't too far off, as Amy Winehouse wrote many wonderful songs.  Comments today have ranged from "what a waste of great talent" to "I'm surprised she lasted this long".  Almost everyone mentions the drugs that were so present in the past few years.  I have read only a few comments that actually acknowledge Amy--not her talent, not the drugs--Amy Winehouse, a young woman who fought demons much deeper than many of us can imagine.

You see, drug and alcohol use aren't the problem in many instances, they are merely symptoms of something deeper, something a person finds too strong to fight.  Amy herself gave us a clue to this pain, scattered throughout the songs she wrote:  "My tears dry on their own."  "I tread a troubled track."  "I'm not going to spend ten weeks having everyone think I'm on the mend."  "I don't want to drink again.  I just want a friend."

The first time I saw Amy perform, my mothering instinct kicked into overdrive.  Take the time to view a few of her live performance videos.  Amy always took a deep breath and physically straightened as she entered the stage--an act so common with someone about to face something they fear.  Each song ending saw a look of pure relief, a silent "I made it through".  Her eyes did not seek out the audience, but submissively looked away, as one fearing rejection.  Pictures abound of this beautiful woman--and in only one did I see a real smile--one that lit up her face and crinkled her eyes.  Maybe it is the Psychologist in me, or the involvement I've had with others like her, who tried to fight their demons with drugs and alcohol.

Amy was one of those old souls who found herself in a world beyond her understanding--a world that requires an inner hardness that old souls seem incapable of  developing.  Look around you,, if you want to see what I mean, we all know someone who has had the drugs or alcohol become their existence.  Think back to before the drugs and you will see what I mean.  Many of these individuals were those who couldn't "fit" into the "competitive, do better than everyone no matter who gets hurt" lifestyle that seems so prevalent today.  These were the ones who reached out to the outcasts, gave all to see someone smile--the gentle souls who tried to make the world a bit kinder.

Is Amy Winehouse's death a waste of talent--no, for what she gave us, however briefly, will remain. giving us moments of joy and pain, comfort--and maybe understanding.  Amy tried to tell the world what she felt--but few, if any, heard her.  She did not hide her fear, her confusion, but few, if any, saw.  Amy's death wasn't a waste of talent--it was the loss of a special individual who could have taught the world love, compassion and looking beyond the obvious.

Amy Winehouse may you find the peace that so often deluded you here.  Tonight I mourn the passing of, not a star with great talent, but a young woman who had so much to give if only someone would have listened.

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And Twice the Marrow of Her Bones by Susan Petersen Avitzour -- A Review


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This is my seventh or eighth attempt at what has to be the most difficult review I have ever written.  And Twice the Marrow of Her Bones has a fairly straightforward synopsis.  Susan Petersen Avizour had a good job, a loving husband and seven children that meant the world to her.  Their lives were ones many yearn for--until the day her middle daughter was diagnosed with leukemia.
This book follows Susan and her family through the several years leading up to her daughter's death--and into the aftermath.  Through weekly updates at her church, a blog written five years later, based on these updates and poems written by Timora, we get to see how Timora's life, illness and death impacted not only her family, but those around her.

What is complicated about reviewing this book is finding words to describe pure emotion.  The author holds nothing back in the telling of her story.  You feel her pain, the anguish of feeling that all hope is lost.  You feel her great pride in a daughter that tries to make the most of every minute she has on Earth. 

Words do not flow from the pages of this book.  And Twice the Marrow of her Bones is an exercise in capturing and sharing pure, untainted emotion.  The subtitle is "A Mother's Memoir" and that doesn't come close to describing this book.  The closest description I can come up with is that this book IS a mother's love.

Women everywhere (and men too) will feel themselves in this book.  Even if you have not physically lost a child, every parent fears that chance. As your child moves from babyhood to school and from school to adulthood, you feel a sense of loss for the being they once were.  Take that feeling and multiply it a hundredfold and you can come close to what a parent feels when physically losing a child.

This is not an easy book to read.  You will find the need to step back and get your emotions in check before continuing.  You will have not only the wish, but an undeniable need, to hug your own child.  You may even find yourself having to force yourself to let them go.  In the end, you will feel as though you have been given one of the greatest gifts in existence, a mother's pure, unconditional love.

I am afraid there arent't enough colors on the Rainbow Scale to rate And Twice the Marrow of Her Bones.

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Susan Avitzour Visits

Tomorrow, I will have a review of an important book written by Susan Avitzour, And Twice the Marrow of Her Bones.  This book is different than most I feature here, but one I feel is necessary to share.  For today, I'll leave you with a brief synopsis and some information on Susan.

Susan Avitzour was born in 1955.  She earned degrees in French literature and law before moving to Jerusalem, where she and her husband raised seven children.  She worked as a lawyer, mediator, grant-writer, and translator before returning to school in 2005 for a Masters degree in clinical social work. She now works as a cognitive-behavioral therapist, helping people who suffer from depression, anxiety, and trauma.  Her fourth daughter, Timora, was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 12.  The family spent the next six years struggling to maintain a normal life while she underwent extensive treatment, including two bone marrow transplants.  She died in 2001, at the age of eighteen.  In addition to her memoir, And Twice the Marrow of Her Bones, Susan has written short fiction, which has been published on line and in Israel Short Stories, a collection of stories by English-speaking writers living in Israel.

In her memoir, And Twice the Marrow of Her Bones, Susan Avitzour uses narrative, poetry, and a journal to grapple with the profound personal, philosophical, and spiritual questions raised by her eighteen-year-old daughter’s illness and death from leukemia.  Ultimately, she faces the challenge many of us must confront in the course of our own lives: How to affirm faith and love in an unpredictable, often cruel, universe.

To learn more about Susan Avitzour, author of And Twice the Marrow of Her Bones, we invite you to visit her site - http://www.fiveyearslater.blogspot.com. For the full virtual tour schedule, visit http://bookpromotionservices.com/2011/01/06/twice-the-marrow-virtual-tour/

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The Digital Diet by Daniel Sieberg -- A Review

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Yesterday, I introduced you to Daniel Sieberg and his book, The Digital Diet. Daniel Sieberg has the knowledge to write this book.  He was once addicted to technology, to the point of losing sight of what was truly important--family, friends and peace of mind. The 28-day plan he sets down within this book is something he's tested and found to work.

I may not be the best one to objectively review this book.  Being very much old school, we didn't have a TV until I was twelve.  I still value my quiet time--disliking the sound of a ringing phone, being constantly available for anyone who chooses to call (I often leave my cell phone at home) and I find social networks like Twitter and Facebook too fast and too "busy" to remain calm while engaging in them.  However, I am surrounded by technology and have daily contact, even within my own home, of people who can't seem to function without it.  Multi-tasking is a way of life, I rarely see a pair of eyes when talking --or get a full sentence answer.  I could go on and on.  The human race has lost track of the joy of silence and the serenity of time alone.

Taking into account the shorter attention span of most people these days, The Digital Diet is written in sections that can be read in a minute or two and picked back up later.  The steps in the action plan are small ones that are meant to help break the habit of digital dependence without causing a shock to society's overloaded senses.  The purpose of this book is not to take society back into the Dark Ages, but to help everyone be able to enjoy the things we now have yet still keep in touch with family and friends.  For example, Day 18's exercise is to send five emails to people you truly care about and letting them know that.  This isn't a "I love you guys" post on a group, but a personal email to someone special. 

Daniel Sieberg writes without judgment, from a place only those who have been through the fire can write.  His words resonated with a truth that will immediately draw readers in and help them look at their lives clearly, without judgment, excuse or blame. Through self-questioning, brief quizzes and other similar exercises, the reader can see just how much he or she depends upon technology.  Further, the reader will see what damage may have already been done, emotionally, socially and physically, with this dependence.

Mostly, however, the reader will learn how to enhance their life with technology.  They learn how to integrate it into a well-rounded and full life --  without making technology their life.  By listing both the pros and cons of various technological items, the author allows readers to examine and decide for themselves whether a certain item is truly necessary or can be limited.  He does not make the choices for readers--only lays out the facts.

I believe this book should be in every home throughout the world.  It is a book that every person can read and see, if not themselves, than someone they love within its pages.  I truly believe the daily stress that is present in the world would be greatly reduced if that were te case.

The Digital Diet earns six colors on the Rainbow Scale.

For much more information about Daniel Sieberg and The Digital Diet: The 4-Step Plan to Break Your Tech Addiction and Regain Balance in Your Life visit  


For your own copy, visit

http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Diet-4-step-addiction-balance/dp/0307887383 (print)


http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Diet-addiction-balance-ebook/dp/B004J4WM3G (Kindle)

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Is Technology Taking Over Your Life?

The first time it occurred to me that technology was becoming something we depended upon too much was when I visited the library that had been my second home for years--and the computer was down so I couldn't check any books out!  It wasn't long after that I heard someone mention they couldn't write--because their computer was down. 

We have become a society that years to be connected constantly.  Cell phones seem permanently attached to ears, our children play video games rather than read books or play outside and when a computer system fails, whole work places stop!  Daniel Sieberg and about The Digital Diet have come to the rescue!  Listen to this brief video and then we'll talk some more:

Does this sound familiar? 

The Digital Diet: The 4-Step Plan to Break Your Tech Addiction and Regain Balance in Your Life by Daniel Sieberg

Have you ever felt that something hasn’t really happened until you post it on Facebook or Twitter? Does a flashing red light on your BlackBerry make your heart flutter? Do you know you shouldn’t be texting and driving—but still do it? If you said “yes” to any of these questions then you’re not alone; you’re among the millions of people who can relate to being overwhelmed by technology. Fear not—from leading technology reporter Daniel Sieberg comes the first self-help book to address America’s newest addiction: THE DIGITAL DIET: The 4-Step Plan to Break Your Tech Addiction and Regain Balance in Your Life, a four-step, dietary-style approach to help you slim down on everything from gadgets to social networks to video games.

The Digital Diet is a 28-day plan that’s meant to reawaken our awareness of technology in our lives, provide tools and gadgets to improve life, and instill the right motivational/practical formula for managing it in the future. It can be tailored based on age, profession, hobbies, and a person’s particular electronic poison and includes a self-assessment, a detox phase, and a week-by-week guide to building time for technology back into your routine.

Daniel Sieberg is an Emmy-nominated reporter who hosts Tech This Out! for ABC News NOW. He has also covered science, environment, space and technology stories for CBS News, CNN, PBS, NPR, BBC News, Planet Green, MSNBC, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Oprah.com, Details, Time, The Vancouver Sun, CTV News, CleanSkies.TV, Fuse.TV, The Nate Berkus Show and The Dr. Oz Show.

Tomorrow, I will be sharing my review of this book as well as Mr. Sieberg's ten digital diet rules.  Please come back--and bring your friends! 

For much more information about Daniel Sieberg and The Digital Diet: The 4-Step Plan to Break Your Tech Addiction and Regain Balance in Your Life visit  


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How Frank Lloyd Wright got Into My Head...by Sandy Sims -- A Review

Who decides your destiny?  Ultimately, the Universe works as a partner with us to manifest the things we want.  In How Frank Lloyd Wright Got Into My Head, Under Mu Skin and Changed the Way I Think About Thinking, author Sandy Sims takes readers on a journey of self-discovery--his own and theirs.  Having an idea inspired by the works of Frank Lloyd Wright, Sandy sets out to make that idea a reality.  Along the way, he meets many teachers and learns lessons we often don't stop and listen for.  Determined to realize his dream, regardless of how impractical it may have appeared, Mr. Sims learned how rge Universe strives to work with us to help us realize our full potential and our ability to create what we seek.

The companion workbook, Creative Thinking for the 21st Century:  An Experiential Guidebook, walks readers through the steps of discovering what they really want from life, clearing the blocks along the path and realizing that each of us has the power to create our own realities.

Sandy Sims writes as though his words are simply written in a journal for himself.  He illustrates concepts by showing how came to the realization rather than explaining them in a abstract way.  For example, he doesn't give us the dictionary definition of synchronicity; instead, he shows how he needs something and that something appears, or the means to achieving that something appears.  He allows his own learning to do the teaching, making the reader feel comfortable and unpressed.  The concept seeps into your conscious through osmosis rather than study. 

I haven't completed the workbook yet but have been doing the exercises step-by-step.  The way they are set up, Sandy Sims assumes you haven't analyzed things too deeply so he starts at the beginning, rather than diving into the deep end and hoping the reader can swim.  After each exercise, you are asked to consider what you have learned and how you can apply it--and what you will do to apply the knowledge.  He includes a fairly extensive list of further study material for the reader to seek out.

The fact that I'm posting this in the afternoon rather than first thing in the morning is testimonial to how inspiring Sandy Sims is in these two books.  I've had a dream for some time now, and reading this had me realizing that, even if it seems impossible, I have to attempt it--and I've worked non-stop trying to get the details in order and devise a plan of action.As it is any time you find yourself truly working with the flow, time becomes meaningless.  That this one book enabled me to allow myself to enter that state says more than anything else I could possibly write.

If you have ever had a dream, if you find yourself seeking deeper fulfillment and a direction in life, if you feel you have to rely on luck and not your own power to create, this book is a must read.  You will come away from the reading with a new sense of strength and faith in your abilities.  The book alone is inspiring, but I highly recommend using the companion workbook.  By using both, you not only see the path, but also can figure out the best way to follow it.

This isn't one of those "think it and it will happen" books.  Sandy admits that you need to act in order to achieve--and that action will prompt the Universe to help.  He also encourages you to think of the times you wanted something and it didn't occur.  Explaining that others are also adding energy to what they want and sometimes their wants may be stronger or more along the lines of what the Universe wants.  For example, he uses wanting to drive fast and not get stopped.  You may want that, but the rest of the people in the area want safety, safety that your speeding will destroy.  Their combined want is stronger than yours.  Mr. Sims really makes it possible to understand why or why not. He does not judge, only explains.

Ask yourself "Do I have a dream that I want to make reality?"  If the answer is yes, this book will give you a strong base from which to launch your journey.  Visit Sandy Sim's website now to learn more and find out where you can get your copy.

How Frank Lloyd Wright Got into My Head, Under My Skin and Changed the Way I Think About Thinking earns six colors on the Rainbow Scale of Reading Excellence.

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Talking with Sandy Sims--Author, Philosopher, Creative Genius

I don't impress easily -- in fact, it is almost impossible to impress me.  There have been a few times in my life, however, when someone crossed my path and totally earned my respect and admiration--and yes, impressed me.  I was fortunate enough to be allowed to review Mr. Sim's books and get to know more about this man.  It doubt if I'll soon forget him.  Today, I'd like to share with you an interview with Sandy Sims -- I think you'll understand my point completely.

 Who is Sandy Sims?

A Virgo with Pisces rising and a moon in Taurus he is comfortable in both the world of Ralph Lauren and Timothy Leary. Interesting people and ideas are a fascination. A curious soul he will try most things at least once. He is drawn to metaphysical ideas in terms of finding meaning in life. A good cappuccino, living abroad and smelling the roses are high on his list. His goal is to make life a continuous gracious adventure.

What role does passion play in your life activities?

Passion now is directed towards balance. Learning is for the sheer joy of learning. I pay attention to what I have energy for and move in that direction, not so much questioning why but realizing that that is where the energy is, and that is good enough.

What might be the most important thing the universe is telling us?

I feel that it is that we are truly the architects of our life and the choices we make lead to the life we have. The difficult thing is to realize our own personal power because there are so many events and set backs that seem to cloud that realization. If we can make notes as to when we first wanted things, or people or opportunity to show up, and then connect those dots in time to their occurrences, we can gather more confidence about our ability and move confidently towards what we want.

How do you define reality?

I feel it is simply the moment by moment we experience in our physical life through our senses, but that it does include in the background the vast consciousness of existence we live oblivious to.

What does success mean to you?

It is a bio feed back loop. It is understanding that where my efforts are applied there are results. Where there are set backs, or apparent disappointments it is because I have not yet applied the effort required. Perhaps I have not paid attention to my own intuition and been courageous enough to act, or realized that there are other forces working at cross purposes and my path is elsewhere.

Are we born creative or must we learn to be creative?

I feel that we are born innately curious and that as we learn how to survive and function in the world, we are required to conform. Those around us who have lost awareness of their own personal power are very influential and if there are too many we can become lost. Creativity is like a portal or channel or even a lifeline that gives us direction from the smallest incidents in life to the “Aha” moments. The ability of these portals to become more useful is enhanced by our awareness of their existence. Living life as a question is one way to do this.

What does the future hold for Sandy Sims?

The future for Sandy Sims is to practice the idea of living life in the flow. Getting used to connecting with my intuition, paying attention to what I am enthusiastic about and following through with intention. I feel that we are in the midst a huge consciousness transformation where we are being required to trust that life will bring us what we need and move more confidently into the unknown. I don’t say that this is particularly easy. However with practice I feel I can find exhilaration and reward in the process.

What would you like to share with our readers?

I once went to a lecture given by a man in a wheel chair who had burns over ninety percent of his body from an airplane crash. His message was that it isn’t what happens to us, but what we plan to do about it. He said he could have spent the rest of his life feeling sorry for himself and would have had good reason. Instead he realized that there was an entirely new life available, to travel and lecture on this very concept. I wrote my book first as simply a cathartic experience, recording my journey of learning about manifestation and applying those principles. I realized that I was not that interested in people telling me about what they had read on this topic, but more of what they had actually experienced. I was urged to share my own story on manifestation. I found that I had energy and resources to do so, and following the breadcrumbs; so to speak, I have entered the world of book writing, publishing and marketing.

Thank you for sharing your words and time with us, Sandy.  Feel free to return for a visit any time.

Don't forget to come back tomorrow, folks, when I share my thoughts on Mr. Sim's book (and the workbook), How Frank Lloyd Wright Got Into My Head, Under My Skin, and Changed the Way I Think About Thinking.
or more information about Sandy Sims and How Frank Lloyd Wright Got Into My Head, Under My Skin And Changed The Way I Think About Thinking, A Creative Thinking Blue Print For the 21st Century, visit http://creativethinkingbook.com/ and visit this page to get the Amazon links.   

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Sandy Sims On Synchronicity, Cosmic Partners and Ultimate Creativity

Yesterday I introduced you to Sandy Sims, author of the two books over there on your left.  Today, Sandy has provided us with his Seven Steps to Ultimate Creativity.  I'd also like to share with you a brief talk by Sandy on the subject of synchronicity and your cosmic partners.  If you have any thoughts, comments, questions, etc...on today's post, please leave a comment. (I know you guys, and you always have opinions!).  Don't forget to return tomorrow for even more from Sandy Sims.

And now for a guest post from Sandy Sims:


When we want create new ideas, methodologies and results, we can employ a variety of techniques to facilitate the process. Since we did not have the information before the process, we don’t spend much time thinking about where it is coming from or how it might be originating. Yet any explanation of how the field produces the new and novel or the context from which creativity springs, is simply left as a question mark.

Rather, we concentrate on how to coax it in to existence. If we get a flash of insight or an idea that is “Out of the blue” we usually do not imagine it as being the product of some other’s consciousness’s idea. But why not? Probably because our cultural way of thinking and the scientific method does not permit that belief at this time.

One of the trademarks of genius is an abiding and perhaps continuous state of curiosity as if the switch is continuously left in the “on” mode. It is as if there is a perpetual order to keep sending the new and novel.

I would like to think that the collective unconscious is inhabited not only by our connections to one another, but to a vast network of minds beyond ours, who operate not only to bring our desires into reality but to also give us their ideas as we seem ready for them.

To look at the universe in this manner gives rationale explanation to such things as synchronicities, or as Jung referred to them, meaningful coincidences, to original ideas when you least expected them to appear. Furthermore it gives us the comforting feeling that we are part of an immediate team. Therefore, from this point of view I would like to propose that our idea generation is often a result of a collaborative effort with friends we cannot see. In this regard our lives can be filled with the most useful and efficient idea generation possible.

Seven Steps To Establishing The Contextual Mindset To Ultimate Creativity
1. See the collective unconscious as the home of your partnerships, an army of helpers who have unlimited resources and connections willing to do your bidding and also willing to send you unsolicited ideas.

2. live as much in a state of constant question as if you are in a childlike state of curiosity. In this way while your conscious thought is involved in one area your helpers have their assignments and are working even as you sleep. For example if you are to meet in a few days to work on solving a problem, define the problem as well as possible and ask yourself for solutions now. By the time your meeting takes place the process has long been underway.

3 For complicated requests think of the collective unconscious requiring “ TIME ” to make all of the manifesting connections. Know that it is being worked on, and that some ideas may never be revealed due for example to conflicting interests.

4. Think of INTENTION as a means of transmitting importance, hence priority. Assign the degree of intention .

5. Let it all go with gratitude, in effect knowing that it will take time for your partners to generate for you depending upon the difficulty and appreciating their effort.

6. Now that the context has been established enter into the content generation phase and harvest the results. Think of employing various idea generation techniques (content) as a means of making and strengthening the connections. (for example: mind mapping, thinking in pictures, lateral thinking, 1000 mile an hour thinking, listing bad ideas to stumble upon good ones, throwing away all of the initial ideas to get to those in the outer orbits, combine different fields of expertise etc.).

7. In addition to actual “aha” of an idea received, be open to all forms of inputs especially synchronicities to lead you to people, symbols, and resources which may ultimately convey an answer.
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Sandy Sims, Frank Lloyd Wright and Creativity


Creativity is one of those words that conjures up a multitude of images.  It is something that seems readily available and yet strangely elusive at times.  Sandy Sims found inspiration in the work of Frank Lloyd Wright.  Over the next few days, I will be sharing much from the mind of Sandy Sims--and I guarantee you will find it all inspiring.

Sandy Sims was raised and educated in the South. After serving as Naval Officer and finishing graduate business school, he followed a dream to live in Honolulu where he built one of Hawaii's most successful advertising agencies.

The crisis of personal health and business setbacks opened the way to larger spiritual dimensions including a long association with the Caddy family, founders of the Findhorn Spiritual Community in Scotland His book,”How Frank Lloyd Wright Got Into My Head, Under My Skin And Changed The Way I Think About Thinking, A Creative Thinking Blue Print For the 21st Century,” is a memoir of his journey culminating in a 20 year project with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

He has collaborated with Psychiatrist, Kerry Monick MD, and authored Creative Thinking For The 21st Century, An Experiential Guidebook. Accepting the science that our intention does indeed affect the material world, it addresses what to be thinking about, how to shape these thoughts, and what might be the best way to avoid unintended consequences.

When not travelling, Sandy resides in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico where you can find him writing, playing tennis, poking around with his camera and embracing a new culture.

Tomorrow, I will be sharing a guest post from Sandy, along with a video.  Later this week, there is an interview to look forward to and my review of both the book and workbook.  Don't forget to come back so you don't miss anything!

For more information about Sandy Sims and How Frank Lloyd Wright Got Into My Head, Under My Skin And Changed The Way I Think About Thinking, A Creative Thinking Blue Print For the 21st Century, visit http://creativethinkingbook.com/ and visit this page to get the Amazon links http://creativethinkingbook.com/buy-your-copy/.    

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Emotional Freedom --Dr. Judith Orloff helps you move onward and upward

We all have emotions that tend to be so strong they block out all others.  Negative emotions are the worse for doing this.  Fear, discouragement, disappointment and many others fall into this category.  Judith Orloff understands how destructive these emotions can be; she also understands how difficult it can be to get past these emotions and replace them with the positive ones that can move you forward.  This is where Emotional Freedom comes in.

In Emotional Freedom, Dr. Orloff shows you first how to determine what emotional type you are.  She then continues to explain what negative emotions exist and how they can cause both physical and emotional pain and stagnation.  Rather than leave readers to figure out what steps are necessary to achieve this change, she includes Emotional Action Steps throughout the book.  These steps are easy to carry out and you can feel the improvement quickly. Dr. Orloff also includes mini-quizzes throughout the book to help you assess whether or not you need improvement in certain areas.

I have been a fan of Judith Orloff for some time now, so was looking forward to reviewing Emotional Freedom.  My anticipation did not go unrewarded.  I learned a great many new strategies to deal with emotions as I read.  Being a self-help junkie, I don't often discover new ideas in this area any longer.  It was a nice surprise to discover new ways.  I especially like her section on emotional vampires and how to deal with them. 

Dr. Orloff writes with a conversational tone that feels like a friend is explaining concepts to you.  Her direct approach gives off a confidence that you can't help but feel enter your own thinking as you read.  The book is written in short sections that allow for gaining insight in short periods of time. In today's world of constant activity, we don't often have the pleasure of a few hours of reading time all at once.  With this book, I found myself hoping for waiting tme so I could see what was next.

We all have negative emotions of one type or another that we wish weren't so huge in our lives.  Emotional Freedom addresses them all, allowing each reader to discover for themselves the pleasure derived from turning the negative into positive.  If you have ever felt deep emotional pain, this is a must have book, best kept on your nightstand rather than on a crowded bookshelf.  You will want to keep it near.

Emotional Freedom rates 6 colors on the Rainbow Scale.

To purchase the book and receive your "Celebrate Joy" special gift collection go to:


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The above video shows Dr. Judith Orloff speaking about one of the barriers to emotional freedom.  Tomorrow, I will be posting my review of Emotional Freedom. 

Dr. Orloff celebrates the exciting paperback launch of her New York Times bestseller Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life. She is treating you to an incredible one-time book-launch offer with special gifts from herself and friends such as Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Joan Borysenko, Dr. Michael Beckwith, and more!

To purchase the book and receive your "Celebrate Joy" special gift collection go to:


In Emotional Freedom Dr. Orloff states:

“I’m presenting the unique process I use with patients and in my own life to view emotions as a path to spiritual and intuitive awakening (not EFT). I synthesize traditional medicine with energy medicine to offer you new tools to master emotions and become heroes in your own life. Inner peace leads to outer peace in the world.”

Publisher's Weekly’s review of Emotional Freedom says:

“Superbly written..Dr. Orloff regards emotions as a training ground for the soul, and views ‘every victory over fear, anxiety, and resentment as a way to develop your spiritual muscles.’”

Emotional Freedom has rave reviews from USA Today, Dr. Candace Pert, Christiane Northrup, M.D., Caroline Myss, Dean Ornish, M.D., and Mary Oliver, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. They call it “spectacular,” “a must-read,” “a heartfelt, accessible guide,” and “resolutely compassionate.”

In the book, you will discover:

• Four questions to transform fear with courage

• What your emotional type is

• How to stop absorbing the emotions of others

• How to combat emotional vampires with compassion

• The spiritual meaning of depression and hope

Purchase book and claim your "Celebrate Joy" special gift collection at:


If you'd like to liberate yourself from negative emotions and compassionately own the moment in all situations instead of just reacting when your buttons get pushed go to:


Nelson Mandela said: “As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Help liberate others and please share this announcement with them. Your support makes us happy and grateful!

For more inspiration and to learn about the Emotional Freedom book tour schedule and sign up for our affiliate program visit DrJudithOrloff.com

Penny Lockwood Stops By for a Visit

I have the pleasure today and tomorrow of sharing a wonderful author with everyone.  Penny Lockwood is on tour with her newest book, and antholgy of half fantasy and half science fiction.  Tomorrow, I will share my thoughts on this book, but I'd like to take a moment to introduce Penny, share the contents of this book and give you some blog addresses to visit.  If you get a chance, please stop by and give these bloggers a great big hello :-)





FLIGHT OF THE ROC – Girl collides with a roc as she struggles to find her magic powers.

BLURRED VENGEANCE – Vain and aggressive, Temur ignores the warnings as he seeks vengeance for his father’s death.

WHO WILL HEAL THE HEALER – How can a young sorceress save her mentor when the powers of darkness threaten?

ASHLEY OF ASHLAND – Will the plain, younger brother win the heart of the fair princess or be executed as a traitor?

THE WATCHER – Her vision causes her to become a betrayer of all she holds dear. Can she be saved?

ENCHANTRESS – Merlin knows the one he loves will be his downfall, but can he win in the end?

DRAKONI – Torn from her modern day world and thrust into a world of dragons, evil magicians, and handsome elves, will Farah succeed or die trying?

HESHE- Forced to hide as a young man, will the young noble woman tell her benefactor who she is, or will her pursuers capture her and take her back into slavery?

THE BABY MAKERS – In a world where cloning is possible, will Reese be able to save his illegal newborn child from a government determined to make her a non-citizen?

3-D PICTURES – The government thinks he is crazy and sends him to a shrink. What will Avery do when the elves appear in the 3-D picture in the waiting room? Go or allow himself to be “cured?”

SCREEN SAVER – The program arrives as a demo. Will it be Clancy’s ticket to survival or a rip-off which brings him to destruction?

ISOLATION- The world as we know it is gone. The rich are isolated from the dying poor. Will Caryn and Rader make the right decision when they search for freedom?

LOVE IN A DIFFERENT HUE – What would you do if a blue-skinned robot wanted to protect and love you? Chiri isn’t sure until he takes her in his arms.

DOWN SO LOW, THE GROUND LOOKS LIKE UP – Sylvan drinks herself into oblivion to compensate for her psi talents. Can Deveneaux save her from her demons, or will he lock her up for propositioning an officer of the law?

REBELS WITH A CAUSE – Shayleena is tired of living her life through holovision. She wants a real life with real people. Will she find it as a volunteer for juvenile offenders, or will she be mugged and left to die?

CLOCKWORKS – John lives in Structured. His ancestors came from a country where time means nothing. What will he do when he tries to trace his roots and finds his structured life is now in chaos?

you can read an excellent bio of Penny--much better than I could write!

Don't forget to stop by tomorrow for my review of this book.  In the meantime, below is a list of the other stops on Penny's tour--enjoy!


http://ciaragold.blogspot.com/  - Feb. 1, Jamie Bevans

http://www.seriouslyinterviewed.blogspot.com/  - Feb 1, Romance Reader

http://mgddasef.blogspot.com/  Marva Dasef  – Feb 2

http://bit.ly/f2evHV   - Feb. 2 - Professor Baker

http://janiefranz.wordpress.com/ / Janie Franz – Feb 3

http://heatherkuehl.blogspot.com/  - Feb 4, Heather Kuehl

http://barbaraehrentreu.blogspot.com/  - Feb 5, Barbara Ehrentreu

http://lovesbooksandmore.blogspot.com/   - Feb 6, Dawn Roberto

http://jaletaclegg.blogspot.com/  Feb 7, Aleta Clegg

http://www.jqroseauthor.blogspot.com/  - Feb 8, J Q Rose

http://lizzietleaf.blogspot.com/  - Feb 9, Lizzie Lea
http://www.longandshortreviews.com/  Feb 10 - Judy LASR 13 Stories from APAAF

http://www.kaydeeroyal.blogspot.com/  Feb 12, Kay Dee Royal

http://mizging.blogspot.com/  Feb 13, Ginger Simpson

http://writerschatroom.com/  Feb 13, 7 PM EST, The Writer’s Chat room

http://kellyaharmon.com/  Feb 14 Kelly Harmon

http://www.suhalfwerk.blogspot.com/  Feb 15 - Su Halfwerk

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Losing Your Only by Dr. Debi Yohn -- A Review

Life has an order about it that we have all come to expect, even if we haven't thought about it.  We are born and we grow, become adults and usually parents. We grow older and eventually pass on.  In spite of this fairly predictable cycle, the order of things sometimes change and we are faced with losing a child.  Whenever this occurs, grief seems deeper than we can ever imagine.  When the child is our only one, the grief can be even deeper, for not only do we lose our child, we lose our identity as a parent.

Dr. Debi Yohn lost her son when he was only twenty.  In her book, Losing Your Only, she bares her soul as she relates the process she went through.  This isn't just her story, however, because she offers advice between the pieces of her story.  Using her experience, she reaches out to other parents who have lost their only child and helps them understand the process they will go through, giving helpful advice on how to best deal with each stage of the process.

Losing Your Only isn't a "get over and go on" book.  I really liked the fact that Dr. Yohn tells readers that they will question.  She is honest about the depth of pain.  She is also positive in her assertion that things do get better with time.  She acknowledges they won't be the same, but they will be better.  The author found her greatest strength in spirituality.  This book, however, isn't based on any particular religion.  She states many times that the parent needs to reach toward their own Higher Power, follow their own cultural beliefs and traditions.  What is most important is being able to reach out and accept the love and help of others.

I also found the process described by Dr. Yohn as one that can help any parent, anywhere get through the death of their only child.  She brings hope and healing through her words and practical actions a parent can take, not just find a way talk.  This is a book that should be available to anyone who has ever felt the loss of a child.  It is a subject so often avoided in written material, but it needs to be available--and Dr. Debi Yohn allowed her grief to push her forward to give hope to others.

Losing Your Only rates six colors on the Rainbow Scale.

Thank you for your interest in Losing Your Only, by Dr Debi Yohn. This is a very personal story which helped Dr Yohn discover her purpose – to motivate and support parents and others to live life to their highest potential. The digital version of the book is currently available at http://losingyouronly.com/get-the-book/. If you would like to be notified about the upcoming print and audio release, please visit this page and send Dr Debi your name and email address.

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Dr. Debi Yohn On Losing Your Only

Dr Deb Yohn is my very special guest today and tomorrow.  Dr. Yohn normally writes with a witty style that not only teaches both parents and children, but also entertains as well.  Dan Poynter, author of The Self Publishing Manual describes Deb Yohn as "Dr.Phil with red hair and heels!"  Dr. Yohn's current book, however, takes a different tone.  Losing Your Only came about from personal tradgedy--and the courage and strength it took to get through it.  Deb explains this book's origin best:

A Comment From Dr Debi About Losing Your Only

"My current book, Losing Your Only is written to the Parents or Loved Ones that have lost an only child. This book is written from my own personal experience. When my only child was killed in a car accident, my life took a different path. I was living in Shanghai China. He was going to college in USA. In my grief, I discovered that my purpose is to motivate, and support parents and all clients live to their life potential. Losing a child is horrific, losing an only child brings it up a notch. So what do we do with that kind of experience? We have decisions to make. We can live or we can die with the child. I decided not only to live, but to thrive"

Tomorrow, please stop by and see my review of this book.

.Dr. Debi is an accomplished international psychologist, author, mentor, mother and speaker with 32 years of the most remarkable experience anyone could imagine.

She began her career in psychology helping families in the poor rural south...where greetings were occasionally, "Please put the gun down...I'm a social worker not a revenuer."

As she continued her education, she lived in Saudi Arabia for 7 years where she conducted team building workshops…and in spite of an arrest for an airspace violation, forced landing and resulting disagreement with a middle eastern general, she managed to “discuss” her (and her 87 fellow passengers) way to freedom.

Back in the US, working for 2 Fortune 500 organizations, one in healthcare and one in insurance, quickly rose to the position of Director and skillfully avoided most “rightsizings” except the last one.

She was thrown into crisis intervention when a nearby explosion in a manufacturing plant killed 12 workers and injured another 50. She was part of a team of early responders that helped the families of the deceased, injured and non-injured survivors deal with the emotional aftermath of such a devastating accident.

Off on her next assignment of choice in China, she developed a private practice serving the English-speaking expatriate community of 300,000 providing psychological counseling and help for expats and their families adjusting to life abroad.

Eating bloodworms (yes, a Chinese delicacy and as nasty as it sounds) at the home of a government official or helping to establish “Lifeline Shanghai” an English speaking 911 service to help expats in need are just 2 of her many interesting adventures.

She has always felt that life teaches us what we need to learn and finding ways to learn those lessons as quickly and fully as possible helps improve the overall quality of the life experience.

Fortunately, in our complicated, overscheduled, and often crazy world, Dr. Yohn teaches specific strategies to bring joy, serenity and relaxation to your life even when things don’t look so good.

She has written four books and lectured on a wide variety of subjects related to parenting, mental health, adjusting to change, dealing with loss of a loved one and strategies for a success filled life.

She currently lives between Huatulco, Mexico and Shanghai, China. She travels the world working with her clients, writing and managing her diversified business and charitable interests.

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