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NOTE TO SELF: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth ~Laurie Buchanan, PhD

April 24th, 2017

NOTE TO SELF is the book I chose to begin the year 2017.  I have a consistent habit for the last 24 years of choosing a book that will facilitate self-realization and change within myself.  I also added the revised edition of THE BIOLOGY OF BELIEF by Dr. Bruce Lipton to my studies, and procured a new spiral notebook; setting aside a time each day for this activity.  The timing must have been just right, as though I was one of the three bears or Goldilocks, and this has proven to be a superior combination of study materials and activity for me.  I have successfully made some changes that I have been longing for during the past three months.  I hope my words will be an inspiration for others to find this book for your future self to enjoy.

“The baggage we carry on life’s journey is tied to a specific self, its core characteristic, an associated wellness, and a shadow side.  These include:

  1. Self-preservation, survival, physical wellness, and self-destruction
  2. Self-gratification, pleasure, occupational wellness, and self-denial
  3. Self-definition, personal power, social wellness, and self-importance
  4. Self-acceptance, love, emotional wellness, and self-rejection
  5. Self-expression, creativity, environmental wellness, and self-repression
  6. Self-reflection, intuition, intellectual wellness, and self-absorption
  7. Self-knowledge, divine connection, spiritual wellness, and self-unawareness

“As a holistic health practitioner and transformational life coach, I work with a wide range of clients – from young children to seniors and every age in between.  My specific areas of focus are energy medicine, inner alchemy (personal transformation), and spiritual awareness. “  Laurie’s opening words.

Buchanan is a minimalist in her life and in her expressions and writing.  Extremely positive with major portions of reality and optimism; research is surrounded with anecdotal stories which combine to form opportunity to take another step and then another.  The explanations are clear with no mask of poetic confusion.  All this with appropriate quotes found in the right places. There are lots of whimsical moments that are guaranteed to bring release. The end of the book is marked by the inclusion of 365 questions to send you to your journal and pinpoint one’s thinking for a whole year of focus.

“Each ‘key’ chapter includes ten sections:

  • Mind-Body Connection
  • Color Therapy
  • Diet
  • Aromatherapy
  • Affirmations
  • The Business of Being
  • Breathwork
  • Wellness Inventory and Vitality Check
  • Action Steps
  • Personal energy Signature”

After finishing one segment I literally saw orange everywhere I looked and it gave me an insight into the South African woman who previously owed my house who was a gardener at heart.

“Creativity is more than the capacity to be inventive or innovative.  It’s more than the ability to create great works of art, music, or dance.  Creativity is an inherent tool that’s needed for wellness.”

What is your mission?  How do you love yourself?  Have you outgrown the old rules that you adhere to?  Where do you feel powerful?  What is your favorite moment of joy?  What are you holding on and carrying with you?

I have followed Laurie Buchanan on her Blog – Tuesdays With Laurie www.tuesdayswithlaurie.com for a number of years, and Laurie is the most faithful commenter on my blog reviews.  I admire her spunk, guidance, and joy filled attitude.   I highly recommend this book to all – NOTE TO SELF.

Laurie Buchanan Facebook

“While we are all passengers on a planet called Earth, we can choose to enhance the way in which we travel-emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, and physically.  In fact, we can, through the pages of this book, discover new ways to travel that are lighter, more fluid, and life-enhancing.  The author, a wise and dedicated traveler, is also the right kind of guide – caring, inspiring, uplifting, knowledgeable – for your journey of self-discovery.  I recommend this tremendous book to anyone seeking the companionship of good energy and joyful presence.”
-D.A. Hickman, author of THE SILENCE OF MORNING: A Memoir of Time Undone.

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THE FORBIDDEN GARDEN: A Novel ~Ellen Herrick

April 20th, 2017

Ellen Herrick, the author of THE SPARROW SISTERS has written another delightful tale, which is as lovely a read as a cup of tea on a rainy afternoon.  THE FORBIDDEN GARDEN is filled with beautiful descriptions that include character’s thoughts as well as the magnificence of flowers, insects, birds and trees.   The English word expressions brought me right to home and I could relate to the things my Mother and Grandmother used to say. A cozy read.

Sorrel Sparrow, the garden whisperer, has been invited to England to restore a walled Shakespearean Garden that the estate owners believe to have been cursed by the darkness of a 16th Century ancestor.  As the young woman feels the hurt and toxic vibrations of the garden she presses the family to look further and reveal the tapestries, which spell out the dark enchantments and free the current family to find a new future and release the old expectations.

THE FORBIDDEN GARDEN does bloom again and love grows.

How are we each held captive by family expectations and ancient history?  How is history freed and the door opened to new options?  What change is rendered when family secrets are exposed to sunlight and new life takes root?

Reminds me of Brunonia Barry’s THE FIFTH PETAL.  A very good read – THE FORBIDDEN GARDEN

“Ellen Herrick was a publishing professional in New York City.  After nearly 20 years in London, Ellen now divides her time between her gardens in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a small Cape Cod town.” (Book cover)

Ellen Herrick Website
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Ellen Herrick TLC Book Tours

Related:
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THE HIDEAWAY: A First Novel ~Lauren K. Denton

April 17th, 2017

THE HIDEAWAY turned out to be a hard story for me to review.  I need to start with my disclaimer:  I worked in Alabama for a short period of time.  I was never in my life treated as rudely by the people of Alabama in my entire life.  I met several amazing women and lawyers while I was there, and I left with lasting memories of heat, sweat and unhappy human beings – I will never forget and this story was about some of those kinds of people.

We have a sweet Southern story about a lovely retreat location called Sweet Bay.  THE HIDEAWAY is two love stories, one from long ago; you know, the 1960s and one more contemporary.  It is the perfect beach read and the author loves reading at the beach.  She knows her locations.  The read is slow, interesting and well paced for a leisurely afternoon.  The early characters are charming and a bit rebellious; they are developed throughout the whole read as the stories go from Grandmother to Granddaughter chapter to chapter.

“When her grandmother’s will wrenches Sara back home from New Orleans, she learns more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever did in life.”

Maggie was a good Southern white girl and she married for money and then found out that her charming spouse was sleeping around.  After three years of this kind of abuse she packs her car and leaves for somewhere else and discovers THE HIDEAWAY.  There she discovers her work in caring for the house and the B & B tenants, who are primarily artists.  The house is losing money for the owner who leaves it to Maggie in a whirlwind departure.  Maggie falls in love with a woodworker who builds furniture.  She is loyal to the end of her life to her love and THE HIDEAWAY.

Sara lives with her Grandmother Maggie but does not appreciate her differences and her unique rebellious nature.  She discovers her Grandmother’s truth as she spruces up THE HIDEAWAY leaving her home decorating business to a friend’s care in New Orleans.  She falls in love with a carpenter.  Lots of wood and tree descriptions fill the story and the reader wonders casually about the synchronicity or the symbolism wrapped up in the “beauty” of it all.

TLC Book Tours  sent an advanced copy of THE HIDEAWAY for review.  It was an early PDF copy and it needed more editing.  My favorite blooper in the copy I received – made me laugh out loud!

“Mitch sat in the chair next to me, emptied when the previous occupant excused himself to go to the ladies’ room.”

I did not care for the main contemporary character – Sara.  She did not have the spunk or charisma of her Grandmother and she was just so sweet she nearly dripped with her charm.  She could not really connect with her Grandmother and did not try – though she appeared to like her and phoned her to check in sometimes – she feels entitled.  Sara is totally dependent on the males in her life to make decisions except about furniture and remodeling.  She has no depth perception – not a clue.  Everyone needed to help her right to the end.  I am sure she voted against women on her ballot; Sara needed men.  I know several folks who will like this book very much, I on the other hand was happy to come to the last page of THE HIDEAWAY

Lauren K. Denton:

Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Lauren K. Denton now lives with her husband and two daughters in Homewood, just outside Birmingham. In addition to her fiction, she writes a monthly newspaper column about life, faith, and how funny (and hard) it is to be a parent. On any given day, she’d rather be at the beach with her family and a stack of books. The Hideaway is her first novel.

Lauren K. Denton Facebook
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Lauren K. Denton Website

Related:
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DUPLICITY: A Novel of Suspense, A Julia Gooden Mystery ~Jane Haseldine

April 10th, 2017

DUPLICITY is a suspenseful tale about a journalist who writes about crime in Detroit.  Julia has to balance many parts of her life and has not totally come to terms with her 9-year-old brother’s disappearance years ago.  Her attorney husband is just starting to come home after straying to another’s bed and her young sons are anxious for a full reconciliation.  Husband is starting a trial against the biggest crime boss in the area and is trying to balance all the pieces to get a conviction.  Julia is covering the story and yet has to avoid talking about anything with her husband.  Her surprise witness story is scooped from her byline and this is adding stress.

We are part of the unfolding of a complicated truth that will make a profound difference to everyone’s future.  The tensions run high as Julia pieces together the various aspects of the story step by step and with the assistance of several police officers.   Her 2 sons end up in harms way and thus Julia must find safety for them in the process.  Thank goodness for her feisty nanny.

Other than a bombing blast for tension rather the story builds and builds with Julia’s discoveries and with her risking herself into the fray.  I believe Haseldine’s experiences as a crime reporter adds to the authenticity of the story and the details of the investigation.

Lots of readers will like this book.  DUPLICITY also has some strong relationship connections to interpret and those influence the outcomes.  Those who want big action will find it here at a steady pace.   Those who want to read about corruption and drug related crimes would be well satisfied.  It is a good second novel.  The book has merit and was a good read.  I enjoyed that is was not so gory as several books have been lately and it did not overwhelm my thinking or cause sleep deprivation.  I was worried about how Julia put her children so secondary on the list particularly with her past problems of abduction in her family.

A TLC Book Tours book

Jane Haseldine is a journalist, former crime reporter, columnist, newspaper editor, magazine writer, and deputy director of communications for a governor.  Jane graduated from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a degree in journalism. She resides in Southern California with her husband and two sons, but previously lived in Boston, San Francisco, New York, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana. You can find her at janehaseldine.com, Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook.

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