Rotating Header Image


Helping YOU live your best life by inspiring change - Change Artist in Action

THE IDEA OF HIM: A Novel ~Holly Peterson

“I yanked open the curtains to let the early morning light shine in, while I forced myself to start working on my screenplay. I thought about something Helen Gurley Brown, the founders of Cosmopolitan, who looked fabulous into her eighties, once said: The greatest love in your life should be your work, not your man.”

Allie Crawford, the hero of THE IDEA OF HIM, is a screenwriter, a mother, a wife and a charming, intelligent 34 year old woman who is working for a prestigious PR firm in New York City.  Her husband is CEO for an arts Magazine which is having great difficulty during the recession and with all the changes in publishing; he is a born charmer.  Allie is making the stable funds in the relationship, being the supportive wife, keeping the children on track, not able to focus on her love of writing, and figuring out that all that is happening in her life is off center.  Her noisy, demanding boss is not making life any easier and she is creating a new film festival in the City.  She is also sorting out her relationship with her father, who died in a plane crash when she was 16; Allie survived the crash as did her best friend James.

Allie’s husband has confessed to a spontaneous, short term affair and she is reeling from this reveal and working on trust, when a very attractive woman confronts her with some very disturbing news about some illegal activities connected to the film festival, her boss, and a wheeler-dealer Texan who has just been released from Prison.  The pressure is on and this brings up Allie’s look into her father’s life and what she is reviewing about their relationship and her mother’s alcoholism.  There is always that wonder if she should have married the high school sweetheart instead.

I would name this book a great rainy day or beach read and it was good story telling.  The story line was interesting and even through there was enough money, everyone was not over the top wealthy and there was good representation of the financial dilemmas nearly everyone is encountering.   The story had a good mystery to solve and lots of self-study and self-realizations.  It moved smoothly along and held my interest well.  THE IDEA OF HIM was a very interesting read.  I think most of the members of my book group would enjoy this book, but we would not use it as a book group discussion book – more likely THE IDEA OF HIM would be a personal read.

When do you stick with a marriage and when does one give up on a marriage is definitely a theme in this novel.

“Holly Peterson is the author of the NEW YORK TIMES and international bestseller, THE MANNY. She was a contributing editor for NEWSWEEK and editor-at-large for Tina Brown’s TALK magazine.  Prior to those positions, she was an Emmy Award-winning producer for ABC News for more than a decade.”

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s  from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket. Donations also welcomed. Thank you for your support.


tlc logo I was sent an unproofed copy of this book for review by TLC Online Book Tours and Harper Collins/ Morrow Publishing.  Thank you for the opportunity to share THE IDEA OF HIM

Holly Peterson Online
Holly Peterson on Twitter 
Holly Peterson on Facebook

The Sense of Touch
The Exiles 
He’s Gone 

Enjoy this site? Subscribe and keep up with all the updates!
Or support this site by promoting us through your favorite network: Digg Facebook Google Google Reader Yahoo! MyWeb reddit StumbleUpon

INCINDIARY GIRLS: Short Stories ~Kodi Scheer

“A fresh take on the vagaries of the human body and the human spirit.  Scheer spins inventive tales, laced with a dose of magic.”   Danielle Ofri, MD. PHD; author of What Doctors Feel

INCINDIARY GIRLS is a gathering of short stories, primarily about women, the power of healing, science and medicine and the quirkiest, magical twists I have enjoyed placing before my eyes.  I have always known that I love to read but I didn’t know how much I loved the short story genre until I began reading Scheer’s book.

Recently short stories have given the characters a huge roster of problems to deal with and then often left me puzzled or wanting something more.  INCINDIARY GIRLS gave me enough of the character to truly engage and enough weight to the dilemma of the story to make me think and speculate but not enough to keep me awake all night.  I could relate to each of the women and had a laugh out loud moment of sheer delight with several of them.  The young woman victim in a genocide experience in 1915 defeating the Angel of Death, who is the narrator, at the age of 12 just touched many empathetic buttons  and I was so thankful to have read each page and found a sigh of recovery.

In our busy world, I truly believe the short story can activate our minds with finesse and charm; keeping our thinking skills well exercised.

The Story Titles:

  1. The Fundamental Laws of Nature
  2. Transplant
  3. Miss Universe
  4. Gross Anatomy
  5. When a Camel Breaks Your Heart
  6. No Monsters Here
  7. Salt of the Earth
  8. Modern Medicine
  9. Primal Son
  10. Ex-Utero

I just have to share this quote from the words of praise on the inside cover – do not know the author “In Scheer’s hands, empathy and attachment are illuminated by the absurdity of life.  When our bodies betray us, when we begin to feel our minds slip, how much can we embrace without going insane? How much can we detach ourselves before losing our humanity?  Scheer’s stories grapple with these questions in each throbbing, heartbreaking moment.”

I am sure both of my book groups would find weirdness in these stories, and that the discussion which followed would be animatedly connecting.  I am sure that medical students would find a special interest in these shorts!

Short Stories are great brain nutrients!

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s  from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket. Donations also welcomed. Thank you for your support.

tlc logo An unproofed e-copy of this book was sent to me for review by TLC Online Book Tour and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. It was a delightful privilege to review the short stories found in – INCINDIARY GIRLS.

Kodi Scheer Online
Kodi Scheer on Facebook
Kodi Scheer on Twitter

Sharing is a good thing.

Our Love Could Light the World
Olive Kitteridge
The Sense of Touch
Half As Happy Stories

Enjoy this site? Subscribe and keep up with all the updates!
Or support this site by promoting us through your favorite network: Digg Facebook Google Google Reader Yahoo! MyWeb reddit StumbleUpon

THE FIRST RULE OF INNER PEACE: Jesus’ Sensible Way To Be Happy ~John Kuypers

Matthew 7:5 “First take the plank out of you own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Today in western society there are a tremendous number of people who are not happy.  The pursuit of HAPPINESS is high on the list of the Human Agenda!  It is even a part of the US Constitution.  THE FIRST RULE OF INNER PEACE is a handy ebook – pocket guide to sure fire ways to get to your point of inner happiness in a very direct route.

THE FIRST RULE OF INNER PEACE is a very similar practice to a children’s problem – solving/ conflict – resolution tool which I learned at the University of Washington and taught at Elementary schools in the region. SIGEP is a very simple way to defuse any situation and move forward.  Kuypers has put the Biblical words ascribed to Jesus to take people through the same steps towards resolution.

S   Stop is the first step of making a change.  What you are doing right now is not making you happy
Kuypers says:  “First get neutral about outcomes and then you will see clearly what to do.”

I  Identify the problem.  This is the hardest step of all.  Easy for a child and masked by adults. Sometimes it takes going back 7 to 10 levels in order to see that past experiences are not what the present moment is all about.  Seek back into your expectations and identify what is the result and outcome which you expected; it might even be a childhood painful moment – not the present one.

Kuypers says:  This is the taking the LOG out of your own eye before you remove the speck from others.    This is the hard work of staying in the present, not worrying about the past or the future and not covering up the work which we need to accomplish.  “What we are failing to see is that other people have the right to make mistakes, even when those mistakes hurt us.”

G  Generate new ideas. This often takes a lot of pushing and sometimes laughter because we like to do what we know – and yet when we do push and pull some new ideas we are more satisfied and happy about doing NEW things than staying in the old ruts.

Kuypers says:  This sometimes takes study and assistance, because we are not always aware of our behaviors and cleaning up the old past analysis and using our old ideas to wish for future outcomes is not being in the present, but is a habit that we call forth quickly.  Once again, it is important to be in the present and not be “constantly chewing on the future relentlessly while analyzing the past.”

E  Evaluate the ideas generated.  This too might take a bit of new learning.  We like our old judgments to work with ease for us in the present tense.

Kuypers says:  In Jesus’ words, “Judge not lest you be judged”.  When you are judging others you are not working from your center or towards your inner peace.  To be peaceful with ourselves we need to be “accepting of others when they have differing religious beliefs.”

P  Plan of action and usually a few notes will keep us moving towards our present goal and release us from our expectations of what we cannot control.

Kuypers says:  “We are seeking to gain control over our inner experience by purposely exposing those aspects of our mind and heart that become upset when things do not go our way. In reality, we are digging up our past so that we can stop it from biasing our present moment reactions.”

The 68 pages in my PDF unproofed copy of THE FIRST RULE OF INNER PEACE was a nice reminder for me about looking to myself and discovering my strengths of discernment and dropping judgments which are blocking my happiness.  I like knowing I can carry this ebook with me and look at it again when I find myself angry and frustrated about what is happening in my life.  I am not very happy in response to all the “CHRISTIANS” in my community and in my government who are making judgments about my future; which involve a great deal of name-calling and dangerous outcomes.  They just do not need to affect my inner peace.  I wish those “others” would read this book!

This book was sent to me by John Kuypers the author, and it was an enjoyable read and a great reinforcement of my own beliefs about change, communication skills and finding peace within one’s self.  Thank you for the opportunity to read THE FIRST RULE OF INNER PEACE.

John Kuypers on You Tube
John Kuypers on Twitter 
John Kuypers on Facebook
John Kuypers Website

“John Kuypers is an inner peace leadership coach, writer and speaker.  He is the author of five books and is currently writing a memoir of his inner peace journey.  He has appeared on television, radio and print numerous times over the years.”

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s  from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket. Donations also welcomed. Thank you for your support.

My Country Tis of Thee
The Pocket Guide to Manifesting
The Most Important Day of Your Life 
Daring Greatly

Enjoy this site? Subscribe and keep up with all the updates!
Or support this site by promoting us through your favorite network: Digg Facebook Google Google Reader Yahoo! MyWeb reddit StumbleUpon

MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THEE: My Faith, My Family, Our Future ~ Keith Ellison

The First Muslim American Elected to Congress:

“When Americans are challenged, we generally rise to the occasion.  When we’re fearful, we generally become divided.  When we’re courageous and have good leadership, we unite.”

MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THEE is about being the first to do something.  In this book we discover the backstory of what it is like to be the first Muslim to be elected to Congress in the USA.  This is a significant story of how one accomplishes any action of being first to succeed. I believe the story is even more important because Ellison was born a US citizen and is from a family of many generations of US Citizens.  Minnesota’s 5th District Congressional Representative was born in Detroit to an educated couple and was the middle son of a family of 5 sons.  His mother is a devout Catholic and in a professional career, his father was a free-spirit and a psychologist.  One of his brothers is a Baptist Pastor and almost all have law degrees. Ellison became Muslim during college because the peaceful nature of the religion and the daily practices and study helped him center and mature as an adult.

“If I was going to complain about injustice, didn’t I have an obligation to try to fix it?  Complaining without offering a solution is whining.”

Keith Ellison went to college and then to Law School.  He went to fine colleges and participated in all the offerings.  He did not go to the Ivy League and did not attempt to be someone else.  He practiced law, got married, shared life with 4 children, worked within his community, and practiced his faith.  He recognized when he made miss steps and mistakes, acknowledged those actions and then worked to improve his balance.  He became an astute judge of comments and assertions which were false, racist, and sexist and he looked to educate and expose rather than shout and whine.

“Islam teaches that men and women are equal before God.  So why do we have these draconian laws subjugating women in some Islamic nations?  Because people confuse faith with customs, laws, and politics.”

I finished the book believing that Ellison was a good representative for his district in Minnesota and he was a focused individual about what was good for democracy and all the citizens of our country.  He is knowledgeable about many faiths, politics, communities and the law and I think he serves his country well and with great hope.  He represents his whole district and their needs and wants.  At this time, he is not one of the political “stars”, but rather a solid representative doing the best he knows how to do.  If he can remain in office, I believe we will eventually describe him as a Statesman for our time.

Net Galley sent an uncorrected proof copy of this book via KINDLE and asked that I review it.  It was an interesting story and I am grateful for the opportunity to read it and share MY COUNTRY ‘TIS OF THEE with my readers.

Keith Ellison on Wikipedia
Keith Ellison on Facebook

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s  from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket. Donations also welcomed. Thank you for your support.

Sharing is a good thing – will you pass this on, please!

The Lemon Treex 
Revere Beach Elegy
Moyers On Democracy
The Social Animal

Enjoy this site? Subscribe and keep up with all the updates!
Or support this site by promoting us through your favorite network: Digg Facebook Google Google Reader Yahoo! MyWeb reddit StumbleUpon