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IN FLAMES: A Thriller ~Richard Hilary Weber

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

“We were all good examples, and at the same time casualties, of a hunger for easy profits edging inexorably around the globe, our goal specific if narrow, little more than simply cashing in.  Despite the rising heat, this grim insight made me shiver.” (Loc 595 of un-proofed e- copy)

IN FLAMES  is quite the story and it moves at lightening speed; the setting is the exotic island of San In’igo, AKA the jeweled paradise of the Caribbean and a monumental jungle, lots of clandestine ruminations and  peasant strife.  The first pages are about the arrival of our fair-haired boy from Princeton, Dan Shedrick, and his walk across the tarmac to his first architectural job and a journey that appears to be a rich boy’s survival sequence.

While most of his peers are job-hunting states side, Dan has found this yearlong internship with an oil company and a foot in the door to his wealth and fortune.  Elaine the naughty bad girl finds Dan right away and he moves from the National Hotel to a country club site with lots of his cronies.  He runs, swims, works the drawings of the new wharf and drinks rum by the gallons.

He is offered a part-time job at the new Art Gallery in exchange for some spying and information sharing.  It is at the gallery where he meets an interesting Ex- Communicated Priest, who flares Dan’s curiosity and interest in the attached characters in the story.   At a club party , a very popular radio entertainer is murdered  and during the night the club’s owner and Elaine’s husband dies of a heart attack and the story quickens pace because Dan holds a clue and evidence to the murder.

Add the Island fortuneteller and a whole section of battling the jungle when trying to escape the kidnappers and we are roped into an amazing adventure and tons of insects.  This story has lots of appeal and is a very quick read.  I can visualize lots of folks enjoying this story on their daily commute or just to unwind after a busy day.

There is a great deal of escape in the story and even though there is a clear formulation, the premise is catchy and every young man dreams of making his fortune the easy way, accompanied a sexy girl, and with lots of money involved.  How about CNN making footage of a young man’s survival story?

Oh yes!  Some bad girls are amazingly successful and smart; some turn out to be just another pretty face.

TLC Book Tours  sent me this thriller for review and it provided a great escape and a quick trip to an island paradise.

About the Author (from book cover)

Richard Hilary Weber is a native Brooklynite- Park Slope Born and bred – and a Columbia Grad.  He’s taught at the universities of Stockholm and Copenhagen, has been a scriptwriter for French and Swedish filmmakers, among them Claude Berri and jBo Widerberg, and now lives in Provence, France.


Ayesha Ryder
Ayesha Ryder: American Treasure 
A Beautiful Heist
Supreme Justice 

DARING GREATLY: How The Courage To Be Vulnerable Transforms The Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead ~Brene’ Brown

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

I am a reader and life practitioner who just wants the best for people and I feel DARING GREATLY is one of the best reads and guides I could possible share with you.   I believe Brene’ Brown is defiantly on to something great and good for humankind’s best interests and outcomes.

I have reviewed Brown’s other major work The Gifts of Imperfection and was drawn into her research modes and interpretations.  Yes, I could find my own self and struggles in her words. I was not ashamed to look at my own feelings of shame, those times when I block my feelings of vulnerability, and I was challenged to evaluate my words and actions improving my outcomes and resilience.  I liked her fine-tuned definitions of words and responses; I could certainly understand how they made a difference in our conversations.  I have watched her TED TALKS numerous times, and listened to her full interview on the radio program ON BEING at least 3 times.  I have great praise for Brown’s ability to explain her data and what she understands in such incredibly human terms, so that all of us can comprehend and find useful her lessons.

In DARING GREATLY, the author has taken her research further by adding men to the studies and more interviews and by teaching and leading numerous workshops which have honed her vast knowledge into even more expository and useful words.  DARING GREATLY is a useable workbook not only for social workers but for anyone who looks to be a parent, a teacher, a human in a loving relationship and/or a leader.  This book pinpoints our control issues and politics – actually, it covers just about every way we as a people keep our actions from matching our values.

“Blaming, gossiping, favoritism, name-calling, and harassment are all behavior cues that shame has permeated a culture.”

I found myself releasing old feelings about my childhood and forgiving myself for my imperfect parenting skills when reading DARING GREATLY.   I firmly believe that children are hardwired for struggle and adversity and those are the tools which assist us in learning to be shame resilient and wholehearted people. (Author’s terminology)

This book can change lives and has changed lives and I recommend this book to everyone.  DARING GREATLY is a gift of change and an innovative approach to being the best that one can be – INSPIRING.

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s from this site, I will receive a few blooms for my bouquet.  Thank you.

This book is from my own library and I thought it was worth sharing with you.  I have already created a workshop using the information gained from Brene’ Brown’s work.

“I am Enough!”  

From Powell’s review page:
”Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. An award-winning teacher and speaker, she is also the author of The Gifts of Imperfection and I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t). Her groundbreaking work has been featured widely in the media, including a PBS special.”

TED TALK on Vulnerability

Related Reading:
The Gifts of Imperfection
The Wisdom to Know the Difference
When Women Were Birds
Search Inside Yourself

Morning Light is Revealing – II

Monday, April 8th, 2013

On March 23rd, 2009, I posted this post.  The spring light has been so revealing this year, I am busy painting the kitchen and using this Spring Energy Boost to clean out file drawers, cabinets, cupboards and simplify.  I thought I would share an oldie but goodie from the last time I felt this need to lighten up.     Ode to the joy of change!  Enjoy


Window Box

Window Box

Spring and summer the morning light enters my kitchen windows at just the right angle to reveal every drip, smear and dust particle on all the cabinets and appliances. The splashes above the sink look like sparkling tear drops on the window.

The morning light is so revealing and it inspires me to get into the corners and drawers to clean all the nooks and crannies.

Twice a year at our house, the sun rise comes right out of the top of the snow -capped mountain peak directly east of us. It the clouds are not overcast we get the sun’s rays as a wake-up call. It is so delightful to just stay in bed and feel the shine move across your body.

The dogs and cats we have shared life with could always be found in morning pools of sun on the floors- contentment napping.
The yoga studio I went to when pregnant was bathed in sunlight in the morning hours, and the salute to the sun pattern always felt an entirely appropriate and understandable movement in that space.

Morning walks are always towards the sun, sun at my back, sun to my side as I complete the circle of the Lake. It just feels right.

Journal writing, prayers, and meditations are done in the east window in the morning and I notice my note pad with “mind- wanders” is quite full in the morning as compared to the evening light. Problems from the night before seem to find resolution in the first light.

Yes, I spent years of my life getting up, going to work, getting children off to school, volunteering, and being hyper busy in the morning hours. It did not diminish my revelations in those first efforts.

For me I think it is the end of the darkness, the feeling my way around, that helps me see the light; let it shine. There is clarity and a celebration that the dawn has preceded.

What are your best moments of revelation? When do you know if you have seen the light?
Do you have a favorite story surrounding the light? Please Share, I look forward to your comments.

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

Related Reading I invite you to explore:
Red Fox – Good Morning
My Heart is Strong and Misshapen
Walking a Puppy – Meditation

CHIN MUSIC ~Lee Edelstein

Monday, March 4th, 2013

I had no idea what the term CHIN MUSIC was all about, as a matter of fact it just seemed like a curious title for a book I was being asked to review on a TLC tour.  I had to read the cover to get an adequate explanation and what turned out to be the best description of the story inside I have ever read.

“CHIN MUSIC:  In baseball terms, a 95-mile-per-hour fastball thrown at a hitter’s chin.  Its purpose?  To disrupt the batter’s concentration, throw him off kilter.  But there’s a split second’s difference between getting IN the batter’s head and hitting it, causing serious damage or worse.  In a larger sense, chin music is a metaphor for that split second – a phone call in the middle of the night, a visit to the doctor – when our lives are irrevocably changed and our destinies are forever altered.”

After reading this description, I am fully engaged with reading this book and discovering the words that make up the story.  It is actually several stories well told and it starts out about 85 years earlier with Babe Ruth at spring training in Florida and a haircut.   I wrote a report about Babe Ruth in 4th grade; it was an assignment not my choice, and my teacher knew that I had been hit in the eye by a fly baseball one of my early weeks in first grade – you see the 8th grade boys were having a game in the yard of the school and the bell rang and I ran into the path of the ball just off the bat.  My vision has been forever changed.  I still played a great deal of baseball in the back fields when the boys would let me play or were short for a team.  I went to my first professional baseball game in Seattle for my 58th birthday a gift from my daughter.

CHIN MUSIC moves one forward to the present day and a life altering car accident, which radically changes a family’s future.   This CHIN MUSIC event got caught right into one young man’s mind and was causing him nightmares and problems.

The love of sports and a good counselor assisted this fellow in healing and processing the accident. The story points out good life skills and asking for assistance.  It is a marvelous coming of age story.   It is listed as a young adult read, but I believe that many, many folks will like this story and find a bit of themselves in between the binding.

The Mother in this story was well characterized and not portrayed as just an add-on to the whole experience.  She was tracking down a mystery and a family secret which she believed would assist her family in healing and moving forward in their lives.   She was a vital part of the story.

The boy’s father was also treated with dignity and respect; often a rare find these days.

I thought Edelstein did a marvelous job of bringing in an older adult who became a mentor in the situation and helped the family trust.   I think too often the older person in stories is seen as the crabby, sit-com style neighbor who makes more discouragement and trouble for the hero, whereas in this story each character had the opportunity to be a hero and the main character – as big as Babe Ruth.

I believe the sport of Baseball gets a big boost from this author’s love of the sport.   Most readers would enjoy this book.


After my partner gets a chance to read this book, I am going to pass it on to Library Girl’s School Library, and you could win a copy of this book for yourself or your school library as the SELA HOUSE Publishers and TLC Book Tours are offering a giveaway.   Looking forward to your comments.

“Lee Edelstein was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY where his love of baseball was kindled by his Dad, an ardent Dodger fan.  After a successful business career, Lee resolved to pursue a lifelong passion for writing.  CHIN MUSIC is his first novel.”  His Blog which is also called CHIN MUSIC

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

Related Reading:
Confessions of Joan the Tall  
What the Zhang Boys Know 
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry 
Five Great Reads to Add to Your List