Thursday, October 19, 2017

What's in a genre?

The speaker at our local writers' group writes historical fiction, but his characters have traveled in time so it's science fiction, and there's lots of action, maybe even war, so military fiction perhaps, aimed at adults, but some of the characters are teens so adult and young adult, but...

But what's in a genre?

I'm so behind with posting book reviews I'm wondering if I'll ever succeed in collecting them together by genre. Perhaps I should just post and click and post and click again. But let's see how it goes. I'll try for mystery. What's in the mystery genre? And what coffee will you drink with it?

Murder at the Manor by C. T. Mitchell is a pretty short mystery. It's got a murder and the suspects are a very limited group. I think that makes it a cozy mystery. It makes for a fun novella though, and a nice introduction to characters who continue through an Australian detective series. Lady Maggie might be an Australian Miss Marple--I'd have to read more to find out. Enjoy this easy read with some lively 2-star easy-drinking coffee.

Then there's murder & mayhem in goose pimple junction by amy metz, set in a place as alien as Australia to me--the southern US. I don't speak Southern, but the author renders accents and phrases eminently readable, even making the reader believe they've heard those voices in their heads. Plus there's threat to life and limb, maybe some romance, recent history impinging on the present... Perhaps this one's more than one genre too, but cozy mystery is probably top of the list. Enjoy with some more lively 2-star coffee. Cozies are enjoyable easy-reading for vacation (which is why I've spent lots of time reading and very little time posting reviews recently).

Mother’s Day by Frankie Bow combines gritty realism in the misery of university fundraising with cozy mystery and a pregnant protagonist whose mother rules the roost from far away. The protagonist has problems with smells, and the story's full of olfactory pitfalls, providing pleasing humor in a Machiavellian world. It's another short enjoyable read to enjoy with some lively 2-star coffee.

And finally, The Best of CafĂ© Stories by Jerry Guarino is a short story collection thar certainly includes some elements of mystery, from twisted police procedural to twisted humor and romance. Heavily dialog driven, weighted down with detail, they're a much slower read than those first two books, and this volume's more aimed at readers who might pick it up and down, in a cafe for example as the title suggests. Enjoy in small doses with intense 5-star coffee served in small cups.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Still love the classics?

Today I'm delighted to host author Aniesha Brahma as she tours the internet with her Children's Classic Story book. I was one of those weird kids who didn't like fairytales when I was small, but I love them now, and this looks like the sort of collection I might have wished I could read - I can well imagine I would have longed to collect the set.

About the Book:
This gorgeous treasury of ten classic stories is guaranteed to delight and entertain young children, bringing the magic of traditional stories to the new generation of children. Aimed at 8-12 year olds, each favourite fairy tale or story has been sensitively retold for young readers.
The series 'Children's Classic Stories' contains total 100 stories in 10 volumes. The stories in this collection show the consequences of greed, pride, and vanity, but also tell of the love that grows from a kind heart and a cheerful nature.

Volume 1 includes the following stories:
01. Little Red Riding Hood
02. Cinderella
03. Hansel and Gretel
04. Sleeping Beauty
05. Snow White and Rose Red
06. The Emperor's New Clothes
07. Rumplestiltskin
08. The Wise Little Girl
09. Goldilocks and the Three Bears
10. Rip Van Winkle

About the Author:

Aniesha Brahma knew she wanted to be a writer since she was six years old. She was schooled in Dolna Day School and went on to pursue B.A., M.A., and M.Phil in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur Univeristy. She currently lives in Kolkata, with her family and five pet cats. She is the author of All Signs Lead Back to You, When Our Worlds Collide, The Guitar Girl and The Secret Proposal. She compiled and edited the 10 volumes series, 'Children's Classic Stories' with love and great efforts.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

What's In A Name?

Today I'm delighted to welcome author John Mugglebee to my blog. I have to confess, I misread the author's name when I first saw it, as I know people in England with the surname Muggleton, related to a historical sect, the Muggletonians. But that's not John's name, so I'm delighted to welcome him here where he can clarify, just What is in a Name?

What’s in a Name?
By John Mugglebee, author of Neespaugot

Neespaugot is a historical novel recounting over several centuries the trials (in some cases, literal ones) and tribulations of a mixed race, multiethnic family. Readers have asked me about a variety of topics ranging from writing technique to history, setting to character, Native American culture to personal influences. But there’s one question nobody has yet asked: What gives with the last name on the book cover?

Mugglebee is a different sort of handle, at once too odd to be a pseudonym yet too unbelievable to be
genuine, despite its obvious Anglo-Saxon skeins. So, is it real? Or is it borrowed from the non-magical folks in Harry Potter? And if it is genuine, what’s its origin? Finally, what part, if any, did the name play in the theme of Neespaugot and in the lives of the story’s characters?
It’s true, my last name is an invention, but it’s no nom-de-plume. I was born with it, my dad as well, but he and his siblings were the first generation to schlep the name from start to finish. My paternal grandparents had been called something different back in the old country, but upon their arrival in America, the old name had been chased from memory, a fairly common practice for the times, since most immigrants preferred to turn their backs on the misery they had left behind and instead face the future head on.

My grandparents came to America in 1882, following what was no doubt a brutal slog across Europe after a murderous escape from the Pale of Settlement. The Pale was a 700-mile-long pen stretching along the Russian Empire’s western frontier, into which Catherine the Great had herded the empire’s Jews where they could be systematically attacked and slaughtered. In 1881, the reformist Tsar Alexander II was assassinated by anti-reform terrorists, but the Russian ministry blamed his murder on the Jews, setting off the worst anti-Semitic attacks in the history of the Pale. Hence, the first mass exodus from Eastern Europe towards America. Somewhere along their road to freedom, my grandparents had let the old family name sink into the muck of history and had embraced the new one.

My dad, born 14 years later, on the eve of a new century, adopted a laissez-faire attitude towards the past. Unlike my mom, who was proud of her family’s multiracial history, my dad was indifferent to his heritage and more than content to carry around a last name that meant nothing to anyone. He considered it an unburdening from convention, and he took full advantage of his freedom, living multiple lives before the age of 40, and then, against his family’s wishes, marrying a “colored” woman half his age.

Each generation saw the name differently. For my grandfather, Mugglebee was a ticket to a better place. For my dad, it represented a Gatsbyesque repudiation of the past. For me, it was a source of embarrassment. Growing up I cringed every time a teacher roll-called my name. It wasn’t just because Mugglebee sounded funny and kids made fun of it and adults wanted to inject an ”S” between muggle and bee. What hurt was not knowing how to respond to, “Where’s that come from?” I felt dumb sputtering, “Erm, I don’t know, it’s made up.” Later, the name would become like the stray dogs that ended up at our place, often ugly, sometimes sick or lame, but definitely mine to be owned and loved.

The story of my name is one of oppression and flight, indomitable courage and resiliency, repudiation and reinvention, recognition and responsibility—all themes that have worked their way into the telling of Neespaugot. Multiple characters are affected for better or worse by a contrived name. The English colonists call the Indian chief Metacom “King Philip” to demean him, but he turns their joke against them. Melba Blue Jay is forced into foreign slavery and prostitution, stripped of her homeland, people and language—and her name. Lydia Freeman carries around a status for a name, free man being an indication to the authorities not to re-enslave her; her deepest sadness is not knowing the names of her parents. Ching Ah Chung is taken as a young boy to America and renamed Joseph in order to cleanse the Chinese out of him. Ezekiel Roxxmott, raised a Jew in a predominantly Italian neighborhood, believes that the names of people are as much a tell as skin color and hair texture, so, to get ahead in life, he changes his own name to Roxxmotto, opens a law practice in Little Italy and runs for mayor of Neespaugot as an Italian-American, with disastrous consequences.

During the famous balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet, the heroine decries the absurdity of something as amorphous as a name stymieing the lovers’ relationship. “What’s in a name? It is nor hand, nor foot, nor arm, nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man.” She’s right—a name in itself is a trifling thing. But whether in affairs of the heart or in a racial and ethnic context, the consequences of a name can be great. A name can present both a means and an impediment to one’s happiness. It can determine one’s fate. What’s in a name? A lot.

Meet the author on Facebook or Twitter.

Find the book on...

So now I'm wondering, what's in my name. But perhaps that's a post for another day. Meanwhile, if the name of the book Neespaugot or the author, John Mugglebee, has attracted you, let me tempt you to read more:

The tribes of Massachusetts are outnumbered by white men, and the white Christian leader of dark-skinned men has fallen prey to drink. Covenants are null and void, their “terms died with the Sachem.” And nothing changes in politics or war.

So starts John Mugglebee’s tale of Indians and more. A coin minted for trust becomes an emblem of belonging and history. Memories are lost with the land. Love is elusive. And family demands a home.
Well-researched details anchor the story in American history. Well-chosen words bring foreign languages to life without ever feeling intrusive. Well-drawn characters are strong, flawed, determined and relatable. And a genuine sense of human sins and frailties fills the pages, from rejected Indian to runaway slave, from Chinaman to French, from Canada to foreign shores and back.

Neespaugot views human sins through unfiltered eyes, recognizes our crimes, then builds stories and characters each with just enough good in them to feel real. The coin might be a tie to the land, or to an idea, to family, belonging or hope. Or it might just be a coin. The land might belong to tribe or nation or none. But the lives belong solely to themselves, transcendence lies beyond the labels we apply, and all of us are mongrels in the end.

The storyline spreads from past to present, through generations of large and small betrayals, assumptions and denials. It’s beautifully told. It’s characters are hauntingly real. And it’s ending, firmly anchored in the present, is smoothly powerful and achingly real. I really enjoyed it.

Disclosure: I was given an ecopy and I freely offer my honest review. I loved it.

Find out more. Follow the Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Sept 12 Interview  & Giveaway
A Holland Reads Sept 13 Review & Guest Post
Penny Amazon Reviewer Sept 14 Review
Between the Beats Sept 15 Review & Excerpt
My Reading Journeys Sept 18 Review, Excerpt,  & Giveaway
BookAunt Amazon Reviewer Sept 20 Review
Lisa’s Writopia Sept 26 Review
Lisa’s Writopia Sept 26 Guest Post
Dee Amazon Reviewer Oct 5 Review
The Page Turner Oct 9 Review, Excerpt,  & Guest Post
Sheila’s Guests and Reviews Oct 11 Review & Guest Post
JBronder Book Reviews Oct 25 Review
Room Wihtout Books is Empty Oct 30 Review  

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Ever been to Monsterland?

Today I'm delighted to welcome Monsterland author Michael Okon to my blog. He's touring the internet with Pump Up Your Book, and his monsters... well... there's more to them than most of us will know. Over to you Michael (except I may not be able to resist interrupting), and thank you for visiting my blog.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Monsterland
By Michael Okon

10. I came up with idea of Monsterland while watching an 80s & 90s movie marathon one weekend with my son. (Ah, those movie marathons with sons. Board game marathons. YouTube marathons. Sons are so great to be around!)

9. I called my brother immediately and told him I want to write a story about a theme park with zombies. He told me no, the theme park has to have werewolves, vampires AND zombies. I started beating out the story that night. ( And now I search my files for werewolves, vampire and zombies and wonder what tales they'll tell.)

8. It took me a little over three weeks to complete Monsterland. (That gives me time to write something before Halloween but wait--I'll probably be too busy reading!)

7. I self-published Monsterland in 2015 and it became a best-seller on Amazon. (I'm dreaming. Your monsters beat my monsters I guess.)

6. Within two years of self-publishing, I got a literary agent, an entertainment attorney, a film agent, a publicist, a two-book publishing deal, and film interest from a well-known producer. (Wow !!!!!)

5. Monsterland went from being an indie book in 2015 to the number one pre-ordered book in Teen & Young Adult Zombie Fiction on Amazon in 2017. (Double Wow !!!!!)

4. My brother designed the cover with an artist. (Brothers are cool too, just like sons)

3. There are two massive twists at the end of the book that most readers never see coming. (Now I really want to read it)

2. Monsterland 2 is completed and comes out May 26, 2018. (I really want to read that too!)

1. I have eight Monsterland books planned. (Triple Wow!)

After reading that, I really am thrilled to host Michael Okon's MONSTERLAND Blog Tour today! Leave a comment below to enter the book giveaway!

Author: Michael Okon
Publisher: Wordfire Press
Pages: 232
Genre: Monsters

Welcome to Monsterland—the scariest place on Earth.

The last couple years of high school have not been fun for Wyatt Baldwin. His parents divorce, then his dad mysteriously dies. He’s not exactly comfortable with his new stepfather, Carter White, either. An on-going debate with his best friends Howard Drucker and Melvin over which monster is superior has gotten stale. He’d much rather spend his days with beautiful and popular Jade. However, she’s dating the brash high-school quarterback Nolan, and Wyatt thinks he doesn’t stand a chance.

But everything changes when Wyatt and his friends are invited to attend the grand opening of Monsterland, a groundbreaking theme park where guests can rock out with vampires at Vampire Village, be chased by actual werewolves on the Werewolf River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville.

With real werewolves, vampires and zombies as the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?



Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help. He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance. Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling is his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.

Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.

His latest book is Monsterland.




Michael Okon is giving away 2 autographed copies of MONSTERLAND!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Two winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive a copy.
  • This giveaway ends midnight December 29.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on December 30.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Why Did Solomon Write This Song?

Today I'm delighted to welcome author Owen Sypher to my blog to talk about his book, The Song of Solomon Revealed. If you've read any of my Five Minute Bible Story books, you'll know why I wanted to meet him. He's touring the internet with Pump Up Your Books, and you're welcome to join the conversation by leaving a comment or question below.

I asked Owen what was the inspiration behind his book, so please read on and find out. Welcome Owen and thank you for visiting here:

Inspiration Behind The Song of Solomon Revealed

I am Owen Sypher and I love to understand the mysteries in the Bible. I got inspired to write my book from listening to someone who preached some from Song of Solomon.  I started to research the book so that I could give it out in church services as small sermons. I feel like God really started to reveal more truth and understanding about this book to me over the next 3 years.

This is a beautiful story or love letter if you will between Jesus and his bride or chosen people. It uses the natural to illustrate the spiritual and has we gain an understanding of the types and shadows my hope is that it will draw the reader into a closer walk with the Lord.      

Someone told me they did not want to hear lessons on this subject so I was not going to preach on the subject anymore, but felt like I had to much understanding to just let it go to waste so I started to write it down for my own sake in case I decided to use it later in life. The more I wrote the more I revelations God revealed to me. I started to joke about how it was becoming a small book and before I knew it I had decided to publish it as a book.

Then I needed to make the decision on who I wanted to publish my book. This was a new experience for me and I ended up picking a company randomly off of the internet who did a good job. I decided after it was publish that I had to revise it with new revelations and went with Litfire Press to re-publish the book with the intent of getting into book stores. This book and an e-book can be gotten off my web page at:

 The greatest thing about writing this book outside of the understanding that I have personally gained from writing this book was on a more personal level and that was being able to do a long term project and actually finish it.  As a kid we were always starting projects with good potential and never finishing it so for me to start writing a book and then publishing it was not only a personal victory but also a major accomplishment in my life and I thank the Lord for that victory.

I know that feeling Owen. I've loved researching and writing my Bible stories too and I'd love to learn more about the Song Of Solomon.


Author: Owen Sypher
Publisher: Litfire Publishing, LLC
Pages: 308
Genre: Religion/Bible Studies

The book of Song of Solomon is a spiritual book full of allegories or pictures where God used the natural to show the spiritual. By using the keys of understanding found in the Bible the author has unlock the hidden meaning of the book of Song of Solomon.

The book of Song of Solomon is about the love that Jesus has for his bride. When looked at from this angle a lot of the verses makes more sense.


Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Song 4:16: Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits. KJV
We know that north is God’s direction as stated in Psalm 75:6–7.
Ps. 75:6–7 For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. 7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. KJV
Since promotion comes from God, and the only direction not mentioned is north. That makes north God’s direction. That would make south man’s direction. This illustrates to me that we need the right spirit in our lives, no matter what comes our way. Whether the wind is blowing from the north or the south makes no difference; we still have the same spirit (our fragrance).  What this tells me is that no matter if I am receiving the blessings of God (north wind blowing upon my life) or cursing or tribulation from others (south wind, or man’s direction), I would have the same spirit blowing out of my garden or I would show the right spirit no matter what is happening in my life, and it would be a sweet smell to the Lord, and it is all because of the things that the Lord has planted in my garden.
We have the capabilities of doing this because we understanding this verse in Romans 8.
Rom. 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. KJV
Phil. 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. KJV
I use this scripture to show that I am not going to let outside circumstances dictate how my spirit responds to the Lord. I can be content in the Lord no matter what.

Owen L. Sypher is a devoted servant of the Lord. At eleven years old, he started a spiritual journey to discover and understand God and his word.

In 1979, he received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Since then, he has had fellowships with the same group. Song of Solomon is his first book.

You can visit his website at   

Friday, September 29, 2017

Can Those With Disabilities Still Be Successful In Business?

Today I'm delighted to welcome Swiyah Woodard to my blog, author of Don't Call Me Crazy! I'm Just In Love With God. She's been touring the internet for a while, so you've probably seen that cool purple cover in many places already. But why would anyone call her crazy?

Swiyah lives with and takes medication for her own diagnosis. In this book, inspired by a true story, she invites all who struggle with mental illness or the consequences of mistreatment to see a true way forward.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog Swiyah. And now, over to you...

Can those with a disability be successful in business?
By mental health expert, Swiyyah Woodard

Can those with a disability be successful in business? Sure they can. The secret is to find something you love to do, something that you are willing to do for free until you become a professional expert. Start off by volunteering. 

There's a such thing as positive stress and negative stress. Negative stress is what happens when you work a stressful 9 to 5 job. You really don't want to be at work. The customers get irate and there's little you can do about this. Challenges occur that you don't know how to overcome. Supervisors put more work on you than you can handle. All of this adds to your stress. All of this is negative stress. But when you're doing a job that is fun and a God given talent, you're a natural at it. You quickly attack problems. You rarely get an unsatisfied customer because you're working from your heart, and you get a load of work that you can actually handle. This is positive stress and I believe those with a disability can easily handle this type of job. 

I was misdiagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia but I have a mental illness and I cannot work a daily 9 to 5 but I blog and I find it easy. I write and I find it easy. I'm a TV producer and I find it easy. And I'm an actress and I find it easy. 

Start developing a list of different talents that you can do for free. The money will come eventually because you're doing it from your heart. Go online and go to the library to research how you can make money doing what you love to do? The more you practice at your craft the better you will get and when you hear those words, “how much do you charge for your services?” You will know that you are ready.

Build a team.  There will be things required of your business that you will not be good at and will not want to do. Find those that you can hire and find those who have a gift from God that would be willing to volunteer until you get on your feet.

I didn’t allow my disability to interfere with my progress. I believe that God created a person that can excel at any job created. You just have to do what you were created to do and learn how to delegate responsibility. Never stop. Never give up. Through God any dream is possible.


Swiyyah Nadirah Woodard was selected as a Bay News 9 Everyday Hero, which was seen by two million viewers, for publishing a book and teaching the community about her own battle with mental illness. She was hospitalized six times and misdiagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Her first book, Don't Call Me Crazy! I'm Just in Love, became required and suggested reading in Reading, Writing, Abnormal Psychology, and General Psychology classes at a four year Institution. 

She was born in the housing projects of 
Saint PetersburgFL. Her father left when she was three so she was raised in a single parent home. At the age of five she was molested by her eight year old brother. She later started school, she had slurred speech and didn't care to make friends so she was bullied by her peers. At the age of eight, she wanted to kill herself because a girl wanted to fight her. She looked into the medicine cabinet for medication. Thank God, she couldn't find any.

As a teenager she was physically abused by her step dad. The abuse was so severe, God blocked it from her memory. At the age of 20 the brother that molested her committed suicide, which was devastating to her and the entire family. Swiyyah has always viewed herself as normal. She never received any disciplinary problems in school, made good grades, and received her BA degree in Psychology from the 
University of South Florida.

When the doctors misdiagnosed her with the most debilitating mental disorder known in mental health, paranoid schizophrenia, she denied it. She questioned their expertise. She refused to take medication. She was then hospitalized six times. Her family took a picture of her at her worst and that's when she knew she needed help. She has been taking medication now for ten years without a relapse.

She is now a published author and a National Inspirational Speaker. Her first book is entitled, “Don't Call Me Crazy! I'm just in Love,” and is inspired by her true story. 

She was raised Muslim and the revelations she received from God and placed in her books, didn't make any since until she meet her Christian husband 14 years after her first relapse. 

Please contact Swiyyah to book speaking engagements, life coaching, author and speaker coaching, radio and TV interviews, or to purchase her books at 727-495-3217,


Author: Swiyyah Woodard
Publisher: Swiyyah Productions, Inc.
Pages: 229
Genre: Inspirational / Motivational / Romance / Christian

Because of God, nothing will stop Anika from marrying the love of her life, not even paranoid schizophrenia. You don’t want to miss this spiritual journey filled with inspiration and power.
This book is insightful and perceptive. Inspired by a true story. Few people consider the God factor in mental health. Join Anika and journey with her as she receives revelations from God while on her walk to overcome mental illness and naiveness towards religion. Required reading for High schools and colleges.

FIND IT HERE: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Excerpt:

     Anika begins to lose her mind. While continuing to stare at the television set, Anika sees a vision of Jesus. He appears to her in just as perfect form and image as the paintings on Mary’s wall. She then hears Jesus speak, “I am the son of God.” Then just as fast as he appears, he leaves her vision.
     “Did you see him? Did you see Jesus?” Anika turns and looks at her friends. Words are stuck within their throats.
     “Did you see him? Did you see Jesus?” Anika repeats once more.
     “Anika, you’re really scaring us. I thought you were Muslim?” Mary says.

Anika then feels as if someone was controlling her thoughts. “Forgive yourself.”  

She then begins to ramble, “Atoms are neither created nor destroyed. There was always an existence. You have to take baby steps to understand how this existence works, where we came from, how it started. Don’t jump from A to Z. No, you must go from A to C. Take a break. It has been painted. First there was nothing; it was blackness, pitch blackness. There was first the black hole. A plumber can understand the black hole. There was a white light. The creator is positive energy. We all have a little bit of positive energy. A person of positivity can change your life without saying a word. We try to increase positive energy which is the same as increasing spiritually. Once we are of that same positivity as the creator, we become one with him. Only a few souls have reached this level of existence. The rest of us are growing spiritually so we can reach that level.“

     It appears to Anika that she is making sense as she began to explain herself, justifying her words.

   “Positive times positive equals positive. Negative times positive equals negative. Therefore, if you have any negativity in you, you cannot become one with positivity.”

   “The creator is all positive energy. Negative times negative equals positive. If you learn from loads of negativity you will learn from your mistakes and become all positive. It’s mathematics. Everything stems from mathematics. Less than a cup of wine is what I need to rest. Don’t want to scare away this beautiful spirit controlling my thoughts.” While holding the sides of her head trying to rid her racing thoughts, she runs into the kitchen and pours herself a cup of wine. She then thinks, “no one will ever have to go through what I went through again!”

Anika takes a look at her past to see how in the world she got to this point in her life.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

On A Journey To God, or just walking a spiritual path?

Today I'm delighted to welcome Gary and Susan Eby to my blog, to share about their book of personal stories. In the book blurb they say "Our disclaimer: you are completely free to reject everything we have to say about spirituality. What we believe in is not that important. What really counts is what you believe that gives your life meaning, direction, and purpose," so I had to ask...

·       Who are your intended readers? How did that influence how you wrote the blurb?
We wrote Reflections: A Journey to God for anybody interested in walking a spiritual path. We define spirituality as a journey within to find the presence of the Divine according to your own understanding.  So our blub emphasizes the freedom of choice over strict compliance with a set of rituals or doctrines as indicated in a religious creed.

·       Do you expect your readers to reject what you say - or rather, which readers do you think might reject it?
Reflections is story about our two different spiritual journeys finally converging and ending up in the same place: hope, joy, love, and healing. It is also full of tips, advice, and positive thoughts designed to help all of us have a better, healthier life .  In addition, it's a strong message that we can put love into action to create a more peaceful world.
We suspect some people who subscribe to a strict and religious point of view may reject our spiritual approach. We do sincerely hope, that our readers contemplate our poems, essays, and talks with an open mind and heart.

·       What might be the consequences of lives lacking        meaning, direction, or purpose? And how do you see that playing out in modern society?                                                                                                 
Susan and I have experienced considerable adversity,  emotional pain, and psychological challenges in our life. We certainly don't have all the answers. But we do believe depression, anxiety, stress, addictions, financial problems, and relationship issues at their core reveal a lack of self-worth, meaning, direction, and purpose.
Reflections: Provides people with the powerful message that all problems (social and political too) can be conquered when you know and feel a personal relationship with the Divine. If you would like more information on our spiritual approach, we hope you will check out this link to an earlier interview of us done via The Crazy Mind in May of 2017.

·       What events or people influenced the development of your spirituality? Could you define your life's meaning, direction and/or purpose in one or two words, or is that asking the impossible?   
Love of nature, my profession (as a retired social worker, mental health worker, and addiction therapist),  as well as Susan's interest in philosophy and becoming an interfaith minister via The Emerson Theological Institute, has influenced us significantly on our spiritual journeys. "Magnificence" is the word that describes for us the path towards a more spiritual way of being. We explain this term in our book and on our spiritual blog. Hope you will choose to discover more about us at
Our life's meaning is to bring peace, joy, love, self-understanding, and self-acceptance to those who read our book.  This is our life purpose.

Thank you so much Gary and Susan.

Sending you Peace, Light, Joy, and Love today:  Gary and Susan Eby.  

And now for some more information...                                           

Author: Gary & Susan Eby
Publisher: Christian Faith Publishing
Pages: 268
Genre: Spirituality/Self-Help/Healing/Poetry

Our disclaimer: you are completely free to reject everything we have to say about spirituality. What we believe in is not that important. What really counts is what you believe that gives your life meaning, direction, and purpose.
This book is about our personal stories with Spirit and what we've learned along our journeys. We're sharing it with you because it might help you on your own journey to God. We only ask that you read this book with an open mind and heart.
We suggest you pick one of these spiritual essays. Ponder it, meditate for a while, even read it out loud. Allow yourself to feel the words and the light, which may lead you to discover the better life you truly deserve.


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Emotional Healing
In the twilight of an Oregon summer night, the half-moon projects a mystical glow. Cool mountain air flows with the gentle sounds of cricket music. A glimmering star curtain unfurls to reveal a celestial vision of power and energy that transcends all human worry, doubt, and fear.
Tonight I am at peace, yet I still struggle with discouragement. A part of me obsesses and worries about an unsure financial future. This negative side is unforgiving, self-critical, and emotionally abusive.
At age 60, it appears overwhelming and even impossible to change the direction and course of my life. As I try out new ideas and new technology to achieve my dreams and goals, I stumble and fall. So many barriers and obstacles loom on the horizon. The prospect of giving up and throwing in the towel appears seductive.  Why not just give up?   What's the point anyway?
I ask myself why am I trying so hard to achieve my dreams, when reality smacks of karma, suffering, powerlessness, and death?  We all know about all of those 'bad things' that keep happening to 'good people'. Right?
I accept that evil and injustice exists in this world.  I know random or calculated acts of violence, painful relationships, disease and the loss of loved ones, cause untold pain and suffering.  In these moments of despair, frustration, and discouragement, my consciousness returns to the power of the half-moon.
There is darkness but the moonlight always conquers the night. Even when no moon can be seen in the sky, the moon is there.  Tonight, I choose to thrive on the Light living within all of us.
Much of life will remain a mystery. The stars above and the universe within will sustain me through predictable trials and life challenges. I choose to embrace the majesty of life made sublimely radiant by those infinite, flashing, celestial spheres.
I feel myself merging with the universe and my thoughts begin to turn toward God.  This is the place I want to be.  This is the space I want to be in.  This is where I want to live my life.  I refuse to let the negative overtake me.  
I emotionally reach out toward the lights dancing in the sky and accept what is always, always true.  I am forever guided by God, and whatever happens in my life, I know Spirit will show me through.  No fears, worries or negativity can touch me when I am existing in the Love Light.
Link to Trailer:

Gary Eby is a retired social worker, mental health counselor and addiction therapist. He writes about self-help and spirituality. Gary loves playing the piano, the drums and walking on the beach with his wife, Susan. His motto is "Choose the positive, because it's all good!"

Susan studied philosophy in college. Some of her favorite philosophers are Socrates, Plato, William James and St. Thomas Aquinas. She is currently enjoying Emerson's mystical essays. We have conducted an interview with them.

Their current book is Reflections: A Journey to God.




With thanks to Pump Up Your Book for inviting me to share in this tour.