Monthly Archives: September 2016

Genesis by Dr. Andreas Laurencius

An interesting perspective, though not one I completely share with the author.  I believe strongly in God and His goodness, however I also believe that we weren’t created to die.  So I’m intrigued by the presentation of the possibility that death can be thwarted…..that being said, I am willing to present different opinions on my blog.  That’s what gives life character!

genesis_cover_for_kindle-september

“There is no good or evil. We classify things into good and evil because we are currently unable to solve the two problems of the world: death and dearth. If there ever comes a time when we can solve these problems, we won’t be required to do this anymore.”

Where you can find Genesis:

https://www.amazon.com/Genesis-Dr-Andreas-Laurencius/dp/1515057615/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474792637&sr=8-1&keywords=genesis+dr+laurencius

Interview with Dr. Laurencius:

1. Please tell me about your book and why you decided to write it.
I’m a medical doctor. I’ve seen many deaths. Some are young people, most are old people. I’m appalled at our believing the Gods depicted in the scriptures and here I’d like to open our eyes and make us see the fundamental error that these scriptures have, therefore they will come to a conclusion that these scriptures are merely notes written by people of the past, and not by God.
The world is evolving and knowledge is the only thing that can enable us to choose. Without knowledge, we can not exercise free will against diseases, pain, and ultimately, death.
It occurred to me that we are what we are because, and what we produced was the product of what we know — and sadly — of what we don’t know. Now that we know, we have to change.
Free will exists in the simplest form of choice, the choices that we can do only because we have evolved. Before 1906, a person who was diagnosed with tuberculosis was simply waiting for him/herself to die. But after Calmette and Guérin achieved the first success in immunization against tuberculosis in 1906, we were able to exercise free will against tuberculosis. Here we see, free will can be used for good, and free will toward goodness can only be achieved through knowledge.
Death will hurt us. If it hasn’t, it will.
The main purpose of this book is to let us realize that there is a way to defeat death! I am a medical doctor and know this: it can be done.
2. Do you have any works in progress? If so, what are they?
Currently, no.
3. What do you hope to accomplish by publishing your story?
I hope all people will read it and support a research in neuroscience to defeat death.
4. What would you like your readers to know about you?
I’m just a regular boy with a big heart.
5. Preferences: Night or day? Camping or a resort? Gourmet or fast food? Coffee or cocktails?
I must say day, resort, gourmet, and cocktails 😉
6. If you could give me one piece of advice about life, what would it be?
Innovate! Because you could be our last hope.

Where you can find Dr. Laurencius:

Website: www.andreaslaurencius.com (coming soon)
Facebook: www.facebook.com/andreas.laurencius
Facebook page: Genesis Readers
Twitter: @genesisthebook

Follow Your Heart

Life can be rough.
It can make you want to say,
“Enough is enough! I quit!”

You throw up your hands
In dismay,
Not wanting to go through one more day,

Or minute or hour.
But life demands that you keep moving,
Whether you feel motivated or not.

live-your-life-with-a-grateful-heart-by-diamante-lavendar

The trials are turbulent.
The road is rocky.
Yet you know you must continue,

Despite your mind screaming
At you
That it’s time to quit.

This is the key:
Your mind is not your master.
Your heart discerns your personal truth.

Deep down you know
The right thing to do
Is to persevere;

So continue your fight
Until the sun of destiny
Shines on the horizon;

The explanation of all things difficult
Becoming a path of purpose
To Heaven’s door.

-Diamante Lavendar

Fractured Angel by Ken Williams

fractured-angel-by-ken-williams
How would you go about trying to help your daughter who, suffering her first psychotic break at fifteen, is chased by her wounded mind to the streets of Santa Barbara? That is the dilemma that Lynne Swanson faces. Out of her element, and definitely out of her comfort zone for this professional woman, she is forced to seek the help of Kerry Wilson, a social worker for the homeless. Unfortunately for her, Kerry is a rough-necked loner that has no inclination to hold the hand of a woman who he feels is out for a lark at the expense of his homeless clients. The harsh and deadly realities of the streets in one of the wealthiest cities in the world and an attempt to close a homeless shelter just as winter sets in produces a dramatic race against time with the life of Lynne’s daughter in the balance.
Praise for Fractured Angel:

Format: Kindle Edition

California is portrayed as some kind of paradise where everyone and everything is perfect, the reality is somewhat different to this Hollywood creation. Fractured Angels is all about the homeless in Santa Barbara, particularly a mother and daughter pair who are just trying to survive. Williams is a Santa Barbara author so this is a deeply personal writing and this really comes through in the book, you can really tell this is something he really, deeply cares about. After reading the book you will care about it too.

All too often the disparity between the haves and have not’s is swept under the carpet and hidden away. This disparity is oh so clear as people at the very bottom of the ladder are fighting for survival, not metaphorically, but literally, survival in what is one of America’s (and by extension, the world’s) most affluent areas. The characters are beautifully written; you really come to feel for them and want to actively help them out. I find it somewhat repulsive that there are people starving and living in the streets while not so far away there are folks with so much excess it is unbelievable.

The book is very well written and if you are interested in books about the homeless specifically or books about poverty in the western world, then you will love this. 5 stars and highly recommended from me.

Format: Kindle Edition

This book was AMAZING! [Ken Williams] tells the inside story of working with the homeless in the backyard of the rich and famous. In [Fractured Angel] he draws on his own experiences to create a fictionalized account of a social worker, a mother, and a fifteen year old runaway all trying to cope with their demons. [Williams] has a way with storytelling and the empathy he shows for all his characters shows through in his words.
Where you can find Fractured Angel:
http://www.amazon.com/Fractured-Angel-Ken-Williams/dp/0991180763/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1456162007&sr=8-1&keywords=fractured+angel+by+ken+williams
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fractured-angel-ken-williams/1119916882?ean=9780991180769
http://sakura-publishing.com/product/fractured-angel/
Interview with Ken:
1.     Tell me about your book and why you decided to write it.
FRACTURED ANGEL is the story of Lynne Swanson, mother, professional, middle class who is forced to visit the world of the homeless in Santa Barbara CA when her fifteen year old daughter, suffering her first psychotic break runs there.  To access this alien world she is forced to seek the help of Kyle Wilson, a social worker for the homeless.  Their interaction: mistrustful at first and eventually romantic drives the story as does the shock of the often brutal world Lynne’s daughter now finds herself trapped in.  With the approach of the cold and wet winter, known as the “killing season” amongst those who serve the homeless the search takes a desperate and dramatic turn.
 
The seeds of this story was planted several years ago when a man from Silicon Valley was told by the police that if anyone in Santa Barbara could help him find his daughter, who had run there after suffering a psychotic break it was Ken Williams.  The clashing life styles of this man and myself stood in stark contrast that day we met.  He was refined and his clothes and mannerism spoke of wealth.  The two of us would never have interacted in our respective worlds—except his daughter, with a wounded mind was somewhere out there who needed help.  The sadness in his eyes, his being humbled with the need to seek that help from me was etched on his face.  But the love of his daughter trumped all.  He gave me a picture that day of his daughter.  It was torn in half to protect the identity of other family members.  I have that photo to this day.  And sadly I have met many other parents looking for their mentally ill sons and daughters living on Santa Barbara’s cold and unforgiving streets.
 
2.     What is your favorite genre to write and why?
I have written in literary fiction, urban fantasy and currently speculative fiction.  Each one has its owns challenges and pluses.  The novel I am working on currently is speculative fiction and I find that intellectually stimulating.
 
3.     What do you hope to accomplish as an author?
I look to the writings of John Steinbeck, Upton Sinclair and Harriet Beecher Stowe—Uncle Tom’s Cabin as leaders in how novels can change reality.  President Abraham Lincoln is rumored to have said to Harriet Beecher Stowe when he met her: “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war!”  In my small way I hope to be part of a wave that will challenge how people view the poor, the mentally ill and especially the homeless and help end this national disgrace.
 
4.     What would you like your readers to know about you?
Even from darkness light can emanate.  My worldview and perhaps my sensitivity to injustice were born in conflict.  My time served in Vietnam during the war had a profound impact on me, including having a novel I read while recuperating on a hospital ship setting my life’s course of working with the mentally ill.  (I Never Promised You A Rose Garden). Then the streets, their brutality and the beauty of those who have nothing yet try to help someone in even worse dire straights taught me humility and well as humanity and how to keep things in perspective.  We are not able to avoid pain.  The only “free” choice we have is how we react to it.  We can fall victim to racism, sexism, blaming the “other,” or use our intellect and heart to make things better.
 
5.     Do you have any works in progress?  What are they?  
Since FRACTURED ANGEL I have completed two novels. HOMELESSNESS, A COMBAT VETERAN, MENTAL ILLNESNSS, A LOVE STORY is in fact a love story between a Marine combat veteran of Afghanistan and a mentally ill Vietnamese-American.  The backdrop is an abandoned warehouse taken over by the homeless.  GAIA’S REVOLT takes place twenty years in the future when global warming is having devastating consequences in California and throughout the world.  It is a story of how the fabric of our society is brutalized by those events.  Unending wars for natural resources, racial strafe, growing poverty of the middle class and rampant homelessness of the poor.  Sort of reads like today’s headlines doesn’t it?
 
6.     If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?
Interesting question… Perhaps that we quit fearing the “other.” That we simply see everyone as equal in our collective struggle to bring dignity and meaning to our lives.  Then again there is that brutal war in Syria.  Suffer the poor children. Why?
Author Bio:
For over thirty years Ken Williams worked for the homeless in one of the wealthiest cities in America: Santa Barbara. His clients included the mentally ill, alcoholic/drug addicts, war veterans, the infirmed, people with AIDS, the neglected, survivors of sexual violence and the aged. During that time he also battled the prejudices and fears directed against these new lepers. He was instrumental in establishing homeless shelters, soup kitchens, halfway houses and other client centered services. His most cherished project was Casa Rosa a recovery home and rescue for pregnant homeless women who were battling addiction or mental illness, and Maritza’s Cocina, a children’s soup kitchen. He won many awards for these efforts including being recognized as Public Citizen of the Year for California by the National Association of Social Workers. He also won the 2010 Civil Rights Award by the Santa Barbara Chapter of the A.C.L.U. He used these experiences to write novels, screenplays and columns for local media outlets.
Where you can find Ken:
http://kenwilliams-writer.com/
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22774590-fractured-angel?from_search=true&search_version=service
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1365099038

Birthdays

Birthdays are a special time. We are so used to celebrating with cake, friends and family that we usually don’t think much past that. But birthdays are so much more. Here is a video I created entitled What Is A Birthday?

Birthdays are a special day because they mark the beginning of our existence.  They are a reminder of how long we’ve been walking this earth.  Why not take a birthday to another level by making it a “new birth” point for the future?

Think of your dreams and goals.  Your plans.  What have you always wanted to be?  To do?  Why not make a resolution on your birthday to make those things happen?  Reflect on how far you’ve come then make a pact with yourself to go even farther toward your destiny!  What a wonderful “extra” way to celebrate each year when your birthday rolls around again!

If you know anyone who’s having a birthday soon, pass this along!  Maybe they’ll be inspired to give it a try!

Meet Artist Sherry Shipley!

Sherry is a member of my group Emotive Art on Fine Art America. She recently was tied for first place in a contest with her piece entitled Getting To Know You.  Sherry’s art flows beautifully and is full of color.  Here is her winning piece:

getting-to-know-you-sherry-shipley

Statement from Sherry:

Art has been a part of me all my life. I could never stop drawing as a child and in high school picked up my first paint brush. That was 1965. I have been painting ever sense.

Over the years I have explored many mediums and expanded my art skills when I attended the Art Institute of Seattle.

I depict animals in my art to create a feeling of wonderment with our connection with these creatures and a bond that only a true animal lover can feel. Animals have been depicted in art and stories since the beginning of time and our bond with them lives in legends and lore.

My art creates and reveals that bond in bold and colorful images either through letting the paint flow and working the images into it or use of lines that weaves the design around the subject to create it’s own story.

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A short bio:

Growing up in the shadow of the Cascades, the beauty of the Pacific Northwest inspired my love of nature and wildlife. Trips to the mountains have supplied a stunning and endless backdrop for my wildlife subjects which I have been painting for over 40 years.

My work has been seen in galleries from Seattle to New York. My wildlife art designs have sold on shirts and tote bags in Alaska, and many of the lower 48 states.

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If you enjoy this piece, you’ll love looking through her portfolio!  It’s stunning!  Here’s the link:

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/getting-to-know-you-sherry-shipley.html

Thanks for visiting!  I hope you’ll be back soon!

A Boost Of Inspiration!

If you like quotes, you’ll love this video clip I created which I entitled A Boost Of Inspiration! I combined several of my inspirational quotes in this video to give you a boost of motivation and determination!  So…without further adieu….here it is!

If you enjoyed it, pass it along to a friend!  A little inspiration is always a good thing!  And reminders are always very helpful in living a life of success.  So…..remember to be positive, purposeful and keep a good sense of humor!  Then everything else will fall into place!

Cheers!

Hardships Are Stepping Stones To Better Things

Nobody likes hardship. Not only does it put a “kink” in our plans, but it hurts. As human beings, we want to shy away from pain. But hardships are a part of life that we must accept because they’ll never go away. Here are some reasons to embrace hardship:

light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel-edited

Hardship strengthens our spirits. Although hardship is grueling, it creates resolve in us. It paves the way for our determination to increase. After going through a tough situation, we become more empowered and want even more to accomplish those goals that might have seemed much more difficult to reach before we endured the pressure of hardship. It makes us just a little more resolved to face life with determination.

Hardship makes us appreciate good things more. After going through a spell of extreme discomfort, even the small things seem much more meaningful. For example, even in a situation where your car is in the shop for a week, once you get it back you’ll be so much happier that you have a means of transportation. And the bigger the hardship, the greater the appreciation after it’s all over.

Hardships give us wisdom.  Think back ten years.  Think about what you’ve gone through to get to where you are today.  You’ve got to admit…you’ve learned a lot!  You’re so much wiser for the things you’ve been through that you can see your hardships as stepping stones to your dreams!

Hardships help us endure.  After you’ve been through the wringer, you’ll have a tendency to say, “I got through that.  I can get through this.”  When you get through one trial, you’ll have more faith that you’ll get through the next one.  It’s a matter of learning that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  As the saying goes, “this too shall pass.”

Hardships are a way to communicate with others.  We are more empathetic towards other people’s pain after enduring hardship.  We relate to each other and are able to be more helpful toward each other after enduring difficult things.

Hardships help to give us freedom.  Many times hardships have to do with things we fear.  After going through the problem, we become a little less fearful.  Like the Little Engine That Could, so are we when we walk through the fire and come out a little freer from our pain and fear.  That’s a beautiful stepping stone to future success and happiness!

Next time life gets rough, remember:  you’ll learn a lot and be happier once you graduate from the test.  You’ll be stronger, wiser, more determined, more empathetic and appreciative!  All perfect ways to be more successful in the future!

The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman by Robin Gregory

moojie-littleman-cover

Moojie Littleman is not just another disabled orphan with extraterrestrial friends, he is not just a kid who falls into a series of magical, mystical adventures involving love and family and watermelons. He is, above all, the most unlikely and powerful hero ever known. Moral allegory, magical realism, and lyrical prose, “The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman” tells the story of a disabled boy who is sent to St. Isidore’s Fainting Goat Dairy, where determination to “belong” stirs up trouble and leads to a surprising destiny–if only he can survive one last terrifying trial.

Awards for The Improbable Wonders Of Moojie Littleman:

Literary Classics Int’l Book of the Year 2016, Best First Middle Grade, Gold & Pre-teen Fantasy, Gold
Mom’s Choice, Best Books 2016, YA Fantasy, Gold
Library Journal, Self-e, Indie California Book Collection 2016, Curated Pick
IPPY, Book of the Year 2016, Cover Design ~ Fiction, Gold
International Book Awards, Book of the Year 2016, YA Fiction, Finalist
Rave Reviews Book Club, President’s Pick 2016
Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Awards, Book of the Year 2015, YA, Finalist; Cover design, Gold
Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award 2015, Fantasy, Gold
Kirkus Reviews, Best Indie Books of the Month, December 2015
Kirkus Reviews, Best Indie Books of the Year 2015, current long list

Where you can find The Improbable Wonders Of Moojie Littleman:

https://www.amazon.com/Improbable-Wonders-Moojie-Littleman/dp/1942545002/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473322777&sr=8-1&keywords=the+adventures+of+moojie+littleman

Interview with Robin:

1. What prompted you to write this book?

For most of my life, I’ve been drawn to the unseen, primary forces of life and the universe, and in discovering my relationship to them. At first, I did this through art. It was only later that I discovered writing. Both mediums have been a way to put what I’ve learned from life experience, spiritual study, and practice into coherence.

2. Is there anything autobiographical in your story?

My son inspired MOOJIE LITTLEMAN. Actually, I’ve had a pretty interesting life, beginning with being one of eight children in a pretty messed up family. This led to a lot of heartache, loneliness, and feelings of “not belonging.” I spent many years searching for spiritual answers, but the healing of these wounds really began when my husband and I adopted a baby with special needs. In spite of his difficulties, our son is the most kindhearted, courageous, and bright boy I have ever known. He has been teaching me so much. Especially, he is teaching me not to judge people by appearances, and to forgive others for hurting me. I wanted to put some of his life lessons together with mine to make a story that would inspire anybody who is dealing with difficulties and challenges.

3. Do you have any works in progress?

Right now, I am working on the audio book of MOOJIE LITTLEMAN. After auditioning readers worldwide, I, and my beta group, chose an incredible reader, James Stephens of London. We are on Chapter 4. It will be released Spring of 2016 through ACX, an Amazon company. I’m excited to know that the audience for the book will include folks who have challenges that prevent them from reading.

4. What do you hope to accomplish as a writer?

What a great question! I want to do my part to provide solace, laughter, and inspiration to readers. To help others recognize a greater sense of their divine nature. What starts with the imagination can flower into recognition and manifestation. Each of us is destined to awaken from material beliefs, and actually experience heaven on earth. As Moojie’s story points out—as Jesus, Buddha, Muhammed, Rumi, Kierkegaard, de Chardin, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., Amma, our present pope, and many more great leaders have taught—true change begins with love and compassion.

5. If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?

When I look back at my life one day, I would like to feel that I learned to put my limited sense of “self” behind, and helped others do the same, that we rose together out of the tomb of fear and fulfilled our greatest potentials.

6. If you could give me one piece of advice about life, what would it be?

Learn to be quiet. Avoid busyness, for it delays awakening. Liberation from suffering begins with silencing old beliefs, patterns, reactions, and allowing the divine pattern to surface.

“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”—Franz Kafka

Thank you, dear Bright Souls.

Where you can find Robin:

http://www.madmysticaljourney.com/

http://facebook.com/RobinGregoryAuthor

http://www.amazon.com/author/r.s.gregory

Twitter @ tweety_robin

Letting Go by Emily Medlock!

Feel Life 2

At twenty-three years old, Sophie Tyler had always lived, what some would call, a normal life. Growing up in a small Mississippi town, she was popular and beautiful. With plenty of friends and a loving family. Simply breezing through life with nothing to stand in her way. That is, until a tragic accident occurred, leaving her in a position she never thought she would be. Can she now repair her broken life and fill the seemingly bottomless pit in her ever-aching heart? Faced with racism, unwanted religion, new responsibilities, and grief, Sophie must learn to triumph over her hurdles and put her trust in the exact place she’s been hiding from.

Review:

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

With a heartbreaking and riveting first chapter, I was hooked from the beginning. I immediately connected with Sophie and felt whatever she was feeling. I laughed and cried with her. The characters were all real and unforgettable and the twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat, but the real gift from this story was learning what “letting go” really means and seeing what happened in my life when I did it.
Can’t wait for more books in this series!
Where you can find Letting Go:
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Letting-Go-Springdale-Trilogy-Book/dp/152365712X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1456674840&sr=8-1&keywords=letting+go+emily+medlock
Createspace:  https://www.createspace.com/6017004
Interview with Emily:
 

1.  Tell me about your book and why you decided to write it.

A lot of the subjects in this book I have always felt very strongly about. But, for me, I don’t sit and think of something to write about. In my mind and in my heart, my characters are real, I just record their stories, not create them.

2.  What is your favorite genre to read?  Who are some of your favorite authors?

I love reading in general, but I have to say that my favorite genre is Christian fiction (particularly romance).
My favorite author is easily Janette Oke. A few others include Beverly Lewis, Tracie Peterson, Chautona Havig, and Lynn Austin. I could go on for hours, because it’s hardly fair to compare or pick only a few.

3.  Do you have any works in progress?  What are they?

I do. I’m currently working on the second book in my trilogy, the first I already have published. I’m also writing a medieval fantasy and a historical fiction.

4.  What do you hope to accomplish as an author?

I just want to share what is in my heart and my mind with the world. Even if that involves a bit of controversy, if I touch just one life positively, then it will be 100% worth it.

5.  What would you like your readers to know about you?

I just love writing and I love reading. I’m me and I’m happy with everyone being themself.

6.  If you could give me one piece of advice about life, what would it be?

Be yourself (there’s only one you) and accept yourself as well as others, do what you know or feel is right, give and live life fully, and above all, love!
Where you can find Emily:
Facebook:  https://m.facebook.com/phoenix101593/
Amazon:  amazon.com/author/emilymedlock

Breaking The Silence Video Clip!

My book Breaking The Silence is now a double award winner in the genre of Inspirational Fiction! I am so grateful to Mom’s Choice Awards for their gold medal and to Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards for their award! It is humbling, to say the least, since Breaking The Silence is written about my life (though places and names have been changed). It has been a surreal experience to have such good come from such pain and turmoil.

Here is a video clip I created about Breaking The Silence with excerpts from my book:

 

If you are a victim of abuse or know a victim of abuse, please pass this information along.  It is my desire to help those who feel trapped by their pain.  I want them to know it is possible to heal.  Breaking The Silence is my story of agony and abuse to hope and healing.

God Bless!