Guest Post with Sandra Ingerman

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Hi Everyone!

I am excited to be here to bring you a guest post from Sandra Ingerman. Please help me by giving her a warm welcome to the blog!

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The Hidden Worlds
by Sandra Ingerman

I have always loved working with children. Since the 1980s I have been teaching children of all ages how to perform shamanic journeys as this is such a powerful way to help children and young adults feel empowered by challenging life situations. Over the years I have also worked with children who needed healing work to retrieve their lost soul essence, to remove a spiritual blockage causing an illness, or to help children deal with nightmares.

I felt it was important to write a book that included not just how power animals can assist children of all ages, but also life practices that are the same taught to children in shamanic cultures. For how to navigate challenges of life, to live a life of harmony with nature, and where children are acknowledged for their gifts and strengths are all taught as early as possible to children living in indigenous cultures.  Our children are our future and deserve a way to work with the personal and planetary challenges they are facing.

So I set my intention to write a beautiful book that would incorporate the practice of shamanic journeying and how to live in harmony with nature.

When I submitted The Hidden Worlds to my agent she said, “This is the worst book I have read of yours.” My agent was born to be a mother, and she knew this book would not capture the imagination of readers. It was too heavy on spiritual lessons with not enough of a story to draw the readers in.

It was clear that as I did not have children of my own, I did not understand how to write an engaging story.

I was leading a reunion of shamanic teachers I trained. And Katherine Wood and I had lunch together. Katherine had a long career as a school teacher, and through our long history together I knew her work with children was simply brilliant!

She agreed to work with me and take the story I had created to become an engaging teaching adventure for young adults. Then the magic began.

Initially Isaiah, the main character of the story, appeared to me in a dream. In the dream I could see that he was frail and quite sick. I could easily see how writing a story of how Grizzly Bear could befriend and bring guidance and healing to child who was ill would be a great start to the story.

Then I wanted to bring in other characters who had certain issues. I created Rose, George, and Magda who were all so different.  Isaiah who was frail, George who had special needs, Rose who was Chinese was so angry about being adopted and fought so much at school, and Madga was so popular and a great soccer player. I paired them with Grizzly Bear, Octopus, Giraffe, and Panther to help them with their issues at home and with other students at school.

With Katherine’s help, we devised a story to bring more adventure into the book. For in the first draft I only had the characters meet each other and their power animals in their dreams—not enough intrigue for children to get hooked into the story. And I did not create much character development. Katherine with her knowledge of how children can act out in life and behave towards each other in school brought in the details of their stories and their personal challenges. She brought texture to the characters to make them alive so that readers could really relate to them and their struggles.

We came up with idea of the children meeting each other in a dream. And then during the day they met while wandering on their own during a break. They all found themselves at a pond that was filled with dead birds. This unlikely group of friends decided to become detectives to find out the source of the pollution. They did not tell their parents or any school officials what they were up to. By putting their heads together and also asking for help from their most trusted power animals they found that a toxic waste plant was disposing of poison illegally.

I have found that when crafting a story there is a point where the character’s lives deepen to the point that they take control of the plot. It was great for me to experience this as the four worked together to shut this plant down. The story took interesting twists as they developed respect for each other’s gifts, performed rescues, explored romance, confronted bullies, and resolved their conflicts with each other. I hope they will remind our readers of the limitless possibilities that are available in their own lives.

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Thanks Sandra for the post! 

About the Author:


Sandra Ingerman, MA, is an award winning author of twelve books, including The Hidden Worlds and The Book of Ceremony: Shamanic Wisdom for Invoking the Sacred in Everyday Life. She is a world-renowned teacher of shamanism and has been teaching for more than 30 years. Sandra is recognized for bridging ancient cross-cultural healing methods into our modern culture, addressing the needs of our times. For more information, please visit https://sandraingermanbooks.com and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter.



Happy Reading!

Book Review: Comics will Break Your Heart

Tuesday, February 12, 2019



Author: Faith Erin Hicks 
 
Summary from Amazon:

A sweet, funny contemporary teen romance for the inner geek in all of us from graphic novelist Faith Erin Hicks.
Miriam's family should be rich. After all, her grandfather was the co-creator of smash-hit comics series The TomorrowMen. But he sold his rights to the series to his co-creator in the 1960s for practically nothing, and now that's what Miriam has: practically nothing. And practically nothing to look forward to either-how can she afford college when her family can barely keep a roof above their heads? As if she didn't have enough to worry about, Miriam's life gets much more complicated when a cute boy shows up in town . . . and turns out to be the grandson of the man who defrauded Miriam's grandfather, and heir to the TomorrowMen fortune.

Personal Review:
First of all, Happy Book Birthday to this book today! When I first saw that this book was being released, I knew I needed to get it. I have been dabbling in the world of graphic novels for awhile. When comics meets YA, it is a yes please.

This book did not disappoint! It was a story about Miriam and the challenges in her life. No spoilers, but it will keep you turning to the end to find out what happens next. I am glad that I had a chance to read this one, thank you for the opportunity.


 Disclaimer: I was awarded this book from Netgalley. Though I did not pay for the book, the opinions are strictly my own.


Happy Reading!

#InLoveAThon

Sunday, February 10, 2019


Hi Everyone!

Stopping by to let you know about a readathon event going on this week (Feb 10-16)! Hosted by Cristina at Cristina's JourneyVanessa over at Paper FaerieMelissa over at The Bookish BabblerHannah over at the Tiny Book DragonJay at The Awkward Bookworm and Gia Over On Twitter @giatuits

Here are the challenges:


I hope to participate! Will you be reading along?


Happy Reading!

Guest Post with Sheri Langer

Saturday, February 9, 2019




Hi Everyone! I am excited to be here today with a guest post from Sheri Langer.  I had a chance to ask about what inspired her book and I think you will find the guest post very entertaining! You may even decide to buy an early Valentine or to treat yourself to the book!  

(Note: not an affliate link, just helping to get the word out!)

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We all have dreams. As a child, mine was to have long polished fingernails, a sparkly diamond ring, a husband, kids, and a puppy. It was my firm belief that my children would be the luckiest on earth because I would love them beyond reason. My only other wish was to be a movie star, admired by all.
We all have dreams that change. As a child I loved movies, especially the ones where sultry, stunning actresses had to do nothing but stand in a room to have every man in sight desire them. Their allure was disarming and enviable and as I got older, I wanted to be one of them. As a teen, it became somewhat painfully obvious that a 5’2”, very bosomy, bottle- blonde was not exactly the ingenue Hollywood was banging down doors to find. I still watched movies with palpable yearning, but as a matter of practicality, I knew I would have to switch gears.

We all have dreams that change us. I went to college because I had no choice but to graduate and be a “something.” I had given up my dreams of being an actress and so I returned to my most organic desire -to be a wife and a mother. My first serious boyfriend didn’t feel ready to comply with my wishes and broke up with me. Shortly after, I met the guy I believed was Mr. Right. He transferred to my school so we could be together. It was all very romantic in the screenplay I was writing in my head.

We all have dreams that work-until they confuse us.  We got married. I went for my MA in English Ed so I could actually be a “something.” I loved words. The problem was I didn’t want to be a teacher or a journalist. I didn’t want to be anything that required punching a time clock or reporting to a boss. I wanted to write movies, but as far as I was concerned those were created in some far-off land by nameless sprites. 

We all have dreams that shape us. I got pregnant and realized that being a mother was my truest calling. Except for the pen and paper that beckoned me in the wee hours, I was a mom all the way from colic to toddlerhood and then onto my next pregnancy, and my next pregnancy, and my next pregnancy. All the while, my movies kept me company. They reminded me, while my own marriage was unraveling, that true love was still out there.

We all have dreams that save us. I got divorced. It was a blessing, but destabilizing, nonetheless. I was no longer part of a couple. We divvied up the friends, but I got to keep the videos. The weekends I didn’t have the kids became my nights for take-out and romcoms. I needed to reinforce my childhood notions of love. I started dating, which I found was not the way to secure those notions. The more I dated, the more I needed my movies.

At some point, we all stop dreaming and start doing. One day, my sister said, very matter-of-factly, “just write your movie already.” Really? Maybe she was right. Maybe the only way I could have the love I wanted was to create it myself. I started writing a screenplay and while developing the main conflict, decided to reach out to my first serious boyfriend. I was in NY. He was safely tucked away in Florida. Maybe he would be able to explain why I was relationship-challenged.

We all have dreams that come true. My former boyfriend was now divorced and seemed to have been waiting for my call. We kept in touch and after a few weeks he said he needed to see me. Our time together convinced me to keep writing. Upon the advice of my late, treasured mentor, I novelized my screenplay and LOVE-LINES emerged. My boyfriend moved to NY, proposed, and after a mere dozen years of living together, we got married this past New Year’s Eve.

Keep dreaming.
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Thank you for  the post Sheri! 

More information:
If you are interested in reading in excerpt from her book, Love Lines or learning more about her

Happy Reading!

Waiting on Wednesday: Outer Order, Inner Calm

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Hi Everyone!

Just stopping by to let you know about a book that is releasing March 5th and I cannot wait! It is the latest from Gretchen Rubin. 

Summary from Amazon:
For most of us, outer order contributes to inner calm. And for most of us, a rigid, one-size-fits-all solution doesn't work. 

The fact is, when we tailor our approach to suit our own particular challenges and habits, we're then able to create the order that will make our lives happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. 

Gretchen Rubin has found that getting control of our stuff makes us feel more in control of our lives. By getting rid of things we don't use, don't need, or don't love, we free our minds (and our shelves) for what we truly value. 

With a sense of fun, and a clear idea of what's realistic for most people, Gretchen Rubin suggests dozens of manageable steps for creating a more serene, orderly environment—one that helps us to create the lives we want.


 

Happy Reading!

Book Review: Dreaming of Tuscany

Thursday, January 31, 2019



Author: TA Williams 

Publish Date: Feb 11, 2019
 
Summary from Amazon:The glamour of Hollywood. The magic of the Tuscan countryside. One big decision...
Beatrice Kingdom (Bee to her friends) wakes up in hospital in Tuscany. After an accident on a film set leaves her burned and scarred, she feels her whole life has been turned upside down.

Bee is offered the chance of recuperating in a stunning Tuscan villa in the company of a world-famous film star, the irascible Mimi Robertson. Here amid the vines and olive groves, Bee quickly finds there’s more to the place than meets the eye, not least a certain Luca (and Romeo the dog).

As she comes to terms with her injuries and her new life takes shape, Bee will have to travel a road of self-discovery… and make a huge decision.

 A joyous, funny and moving tale, Dreaming of Tuscany is a triumph, perfect for fans of Holly Martin, Tilly Tennant, and Jenny Oliver.


Personal Review:
When I saw that TA Williams had a new book coming out, I really wanted to read it. Thankfully someone at NetGalley/the publisher fulfilled my need. This book was super cute, and can I mention Romeo the dog? (**Heart eyes!)

I loved the setting for this book and the characters. The book kept me flipping pages throughout wanting to know what would happen next. I was really grateful for the opportunity to go on this journey with Bee and read this book. Thank you for the opportunity.

Disclaimer: I was awarded this book on NetGalley from the Publisher. Though I did not pay for the book, the opinions are strictly my own.

Happy Reading!

Guest Post with Hank Quense

Tuesday, January 29, 2019


Hi Everyone!

I am excited to be here today to bring you a guest post from author, Hank Quense. Please help me give him a warm welcome to the blog.

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What inspired the book?
Years ago, I had just published my Tales From Gundarland, an anthology of short stories and novellas.  Gundarland is the world I invented for my fantasy (and human) characters to romp around in.
Prior to that I had written a few short stories in which a zaftan alien showed up in New York City.  Zaftans are huge, squid-like creatures whose stench makes humans sick.  They are also quite vicious.
Around that time, something triggered a thought in my mind about First Contact stories.  I recall thinking most stories in this genre took themselves quite serious and it was time someone wrote a satiric First Contact story.
I volunteered to be that someone.  It seemed a natural development to combine the zaftans and the gundies, as the folks in Gundarland are called (by the zaftans)  The results were Books 1 to 4 of the Zaftan Troubles.  The books are filled with military and political satire.
I had so much fun writing the First Contact story I continued it with Books 5 to 7.  This second set is a Space Opera satire that occurs 300 years after the conclusion of the first adventure. It includes more military and political satire.
I’m currently writing a continuation of the second adventure and that will be in Books 8 to 10 of the Zaftan Troubles.  Guess what?  I will have military and political satire in it.

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Thanks Hank for the post!

Lucky for you all, I also have a  Short Synopsis:


ZAFTAN TROUBLES: BOOKS 1 TO 4:  SYNOPSIS

This novel takes place in a fantasy country that has reached the early Industrial Age of technology and recently instituted a democratic government. 
An alien space ship arrives over the planet. The ship is owned by a mining corporation and searches for exotic mineral deposits to mine and bring back to its home planet, Zaftan 31B where rare elements are extracted from the minerals and sold
The two main characters are MACDRAKIN GEMSEEKER, a dwarf miner and LESLIE HIGGINBOTTOM, a half-dwarf, half human constable in the small town of Skensfirth where the two have a budding romance. The alien captain, YUNTA, orders her second-in-command, SHTAP, to negotiate an agreement with the president of the country, ALBERT WEBLEY, a human.  Webley agrees to allow the aliens to mine the minerals if they can find them, provided the aliens respect property rights and don't harm folks.

Yunta faces a time limit, the ship's supply situation dictates they start the return voyage in less than two weeks, and has no intention of slowing down the exploration and mining to protect property.  Explorations are carried out by robots who cause considerable damage to property as they follow their search programs.  MacDrakin destroys a robot when it trespasses on his land.  After a few other robots are destroyed, Shtap demands that Webley take steps to protect the expensive robots and Higginbottom gets a telegram to that effect.  Upset that she must protect the robots rather than the property, she learns that MacDrakin has destroyed yet another robot.  Despite their mutual attraction, the alien presence and the telegrams are straining their relationship.  The strain becomes acute when MacDrakin declares war on the aliens and Higginbottom gets another telegram ordering her to arrest anyone who damages or destroys a robot.  Meanwhile, Webley's staff get reports the folks in Skensfirth are on the verge of revolt.

The robots discover two major mineral deposits.  One is on MacDrakin's land, the other is beneath the town of Skensfirth.  On their first attempt to mine MacDrakin's land, he and several hunter friends destroy all the robots who operate the mining machinery.  Yunta, with the deadline approaching, is outraged by the truculent natives and sends reinforcements to get the mining operation back on track.  Faced with more
aliens, MacDrakin abandons his land and sets out to prevent the aliens from entering Skensfirth.  A group of retired dwarf soldiers answer his call and join him. He is also joined by several government officials sent by Webley to solve the Skensfirth problems.
In the ensuing battle, the aliens are thwarted by weather problems, mutinous crew members and the MacDrakin's determination.  After many machines are destroyed, Shtap, the alien commander of the ground operation, calls for a truce and tells Drakin that he admits defeat and that the aliens will leave.  The aliens abandon the remaining mining machines, damaged robots, weapons, and a damaged cargo pod.  Engineers and scientists are ordered to examine these artifacts and decipher their secrets.

With the departure of the aliens, the reason for Higginbottom's and MacDrakin's feud disappears and they resume their romantic interest.
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Curious to learn more about the author or how to get a copy for yourself?


Author bio
:Hank Quense writes satirical fantasy and sci-fi. Early in his writing career, he was strongly influenced by two authors: Douglas Adams and his Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. Happily, Hank has never quite recovered from those experiences. He lives with his wife in northern New Jersey, a mere 20 miles from Manhattan, the center of the galaxy (according to those who live in Manhattan). They have two daughters and five grandchildren all of whom live nearby. For vacations, Hank and Pat usually visit distant parts of the galaxy.  Occasionally, they also time-travel.

Besides writing novels, Hank lectures on fiction writing, publishing and book marketing. He is most proud of his talk showing grammar school kids how to create a short story. He used these lectures to create an advanced ebook with embedded videos to coach the students on how to create characters, plots, and setting.  The target audience is 4th to 7th graders.  The book's title is
Fiction Writing Workshop for Kids. 


Purchase Links
Amazon    Barnes & Noble  iBooks    Kobo    Smashwords

Social Media Links:   FaceBook   Twitter    LinkedIn   Youtube Channel


Happy Reading!
 
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