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WALLFLOWER BLOOMING: A Romantic Story ~Amy Rivers

Monday, December 12th, 2016

TLC Book Tours sent me an e-copy of WALLFLOWER BLOOMING for review.  It is a nice read and is a variation of traditional romance as it includes a good amount of information about depression, anxiety, and control issues surrounding the heroine of the story.  Equal parts self-actualization and romance.

Val Shakely has her own business and her quiet and unassuming routines.  She runs a successful PR firm and has a life, which is contained within her comfort zone.  She has misread her sister and her mother after her father’s death and is glad they are not in the same city anymore.  Val enjoys her outgoing cousin Gwen’s energies and holds her as a dear friend.

Gwen has entered a tight race for Mayor of their city and has asked Val to be her PR person and attend many functions.  This opens up Val’s social life and makes her feel vulnerable and quite anxious as she re-arranges her carefully scheduled routines.  This also allows for the quiet city bachelor to discover her existence and join her routines and expand her comfort zones.

Although the politics get a bit over the top for Val and threats are made, she stands up when she needs to and learns a great many coping skills.  She becomes almost fearless as the race progresses and then begins to reconnect with her mother and sister and figure out the truth of the situation surrounding her father’s death.

Communication is good and solves many problems.  Being loved and adored by someone special makes the book light and smooth.  The story allows one to discover some extra problem-solving skills and shed light on better coping skills.  An enjoyable afternoon read.

About the Author:

“Amy Rivers was born and raised in southern New Mexico and currently resides in Colorado. She had an idyllic childhood despite a severe visual impairment and, perhaps because of her disability, she learned a lot about compassion and empathy from a young age. Her keen interest in social issues and violence prevention led to a Master’s degree with concentrations in Psychology and Politics. She was the director of a sexual assault response program and remains an advocate for social justice. Amy has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Nurses, Novelty Bride Magazine, ESME.com and Splice Today. Wallflower Blooming is her first novel.” (From TLC review page)

Amy Rivers Website
Amy Rivers Facebook
Amy Rivers Twitter

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THE LIGHT OF GRACE: Journeys of an Angel ~Kasey Claytor

Monday, July 18th, 2016

“The Light of Grace is an amazing journey through space and time and the most incredible journey of all – the one within.” – Mark Anthony, The Psychic Lawyer

THE LIGHT OF GRACE produces a number of hopeful feelings as one reads through each story.  The book is long and I needed to have set aside more time for reading as the stories held a denseness of ideas and lots of details.  Switching through various time periods gave a progression of history and as I always have a problem with time in metaphysical/ spiritual writings there was some confusion for me.  Mixing up the different stories seemed to decrease the concern.

Grace is becoming an angel and she is “assigned” 4 humans to mentor in 4 different time zones.  I believe this paragraph from the cover explains it with more clarity:

“THE LIGHT OF GRACE takes readers on an epic spiritual adventure as Grace, a newly-assigned angel, is given four humans to guide: Mumbi, an innovative prehistoric girl guided to break through limitations; Garth, a devout 14th century Christian who questions his faith; Arnina, a sensitive woman in the 21st century who seeks to rid herself of anxiety and fear; and Alistair, an extraordinary man living in the 26th century who explores the planes of consciousness.”

I would have liked this story better if there had been a chapter of explanation or introduction to the book before I began.  It was too much to just dive in and I did not find it similar to Dr. Wayne Dyer’s or Deepak Chopra’s work.  I did appreciate the story and yet it did take me a long time to get connected.  The reviews on Amazon are nearly all 5 stars and extremely positive.

Larissa Ackerman of the Claire McKinney PR firm sent me a copy of this book for review.    I have enjoyed all the books they have sent but I am not sure I was the right reviewer for this particular book.  I only dabble in metaphysics.  Very good storytelling and interpretations, the individuals were well explored and expressed. There was simplicity in each story, which provided several interpretations and clarity.  I was happy to read the book and for the opportunity.

Kasey Claytor is a metaphysical teacher, certified meditation instruction, money manager, and inspirational speaker.  She loves to teach others ways to find happiness and has penned several books on prosperity and spirituality, including THE 7 LAWS OF RAISING FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT KIDS and THE GOD OF ANNA. Claytor lives with her husband and dog on a lagoon in Florida.

Kasey Claytor Facebook

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LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER: A Coming of Age Story ~Catherine Ryan Hyde

Monday, June 13th, 2016

Catherine Ryan Hyde is an award winning, New York Times best selling author. She is probably best know for her novel PAY IT FORWARD, which was made into a movie.  I am always pleased to read her books, which might be categorized as young adult and yet very satisfying read for a wide age range.

TLC Book Tours sent me an advanced copy for review.  It is a very good book.  You can find what others thought by connecting to the TLC link.

Ethan Underwood is a 5 foot 2 inch seventeen year old who lives in NYC.  The story opens with Ethan having just been mugged and is at the police station.  He was born to very competitive parents, his mother is short and his father is tall and an extreme athlete.  Ethan got the short part and none of the athletic/competitive part and he is just wondering who he is and what he will become.  His father’s relentless teasing is no help.  There is a love/hate relationship growing by leaps and bounds.

A convergence of problems descends on Ethan and especially his Mother.  Dad handles it by leaving NYC and heading to a cabin in Blythe River. Ethan’s anxiety blossoms into a major problem and there is just too much on his Mother’s list and so she ships Ethan and his dog Rufus to finish the school year in Blythe River and be safe with his Father.  The father-son relationship festers and grows and Ethan is getting extremely worried about bears in the area.

The writing is vivid and the characters are well detailed and believable.  The inter-generational interaction is once again highlighted and creates a successful team approach to the terrain and the growth of the human spirit.  The dimensions of emotions are well explored and the dialogue is very realistic.  I could identify with the sore muscles of being in the saddle all day.

I have read 2 of Catherine Ryan Hyde’s books PAY IT FORWARD and THE LANGUAGE OF HOOFBEATS and I enjoy following her on Facebook.  I would highly recommend this book to a wide range of ages and think you, the reader, will find it a hearty well-done story.

About Catherine Ryan Hyde (From TLC Book Tours site)

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of thirty published and forthcoming books. Her bestselling 1999 novel Pay It Forward, adapted into a major Warner Bros. motion picture starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt, made the American Library Association’s Best Books for Young Adults list and was translated into more than two dozen languages for distribution in more than thirty countries. Her novels Becoming Chloe and Jumpstart the World were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List; Jumpstart the World was also a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards and won Rainbow Awards in two categories. More than fifty of her short stories have been published in many journals, including the Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and the Sun, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts and the bestselling anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot. Her short fiction received honorable mention in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, a second-place win for the Tobias Wolff Award, and nominations for Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have also been cited in Best American Short Stories.

Ryan Hyde is also founder and former president of the Pay It Forward Foundation. As a professional public speaker, she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with AmeriCorps members at the White House, and shared a dais with Bill Clinton.

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WHERE HAVE I BEEN ALL MY LIFE? A Journey Toward Love and Wholeness ~Cheryl Rice

Monday, January 19th, 2015

“WHERE HAVE I BEEN ALL MY LIFE? Is an engaging, nourishing must-read for any woman who wants to love and accept herself more fully.” (Marci Shimoff #1 New York Times best-selling author of LOVE FOR NO REASON and HAPPY FOR NO REASON – cover)

TLC Book Tours sent me a copy of WHERE HAVE I BEEN ALL MY LIFE? for review.  The book is a memoir and a very gentle personal story about recovery and self-discovery.  As the opening quote says it is a book for anyone who wishes to accept himself or herself more fully and find that moment of self-love which sustains the whole person.  I heartily recommend this story.

WHERE HAVE I BEEN ALL MY LIFE?  was a very good read for me in January of a new year.  I am sorting out my business and my life and thinking about where I want this new year to move me; what is my goal for this year and what will I work on for myself?  So reading a memoir about someone taking action is a good inspiration.  Cheryl Rice was catapulted into her journey by the loss of her mother after a short dance with cancer.  Rice was overwhelmed by the profound sorrow that surrounded her and by the fact she came to a stop in her own life efforts because of this sorrow.

After cleaning every closet and room in her life and making stacks of things for charity she did not know how to proceed further, move on, and she felt like she had lost her self in all the care giving to her new husband and his children, the intense workout of caring for her mother’s last days and her father’s profound depression.  Rice proceeded to therapy and found her therapist trustworthy, helpful, and her ‘love object rescue hero’ extraordinaire. She kept going and peeling away the masks and actions which restricted her best self from emerging and being present.   She was taking care of everyone except herself and it was a deep and old pattern.

I could identify with Rice’s position and the fatigue of not being able to move forward and not wanting to stay in the intense caregiver mode any longer.  I too had children to care for and a partner and the intensity of the loss reveled that I too had been trapped into a caregiver role for way too long and self recovery seemed distant and beyond the reach alone.    I believe this kind of storytelling enhances our own well-being and revels clearly the way to healing and rediscovery for the next endeavors and discoveries.   “Life is constantly changing”, but when we are captured in a cycle of intense care giving making change can seem beyond our reach.  Looking back to our early years, how did we get caught into these roles and how did they keep us from our best selves, from finding our own true lives and our truest love?

WHERE HAVE I BEEN ALL MY LIFE? is an excellent look at people pleasing, of separation anxiety, of social anxiety and how we get pulled into the ‘perfect life’ of exterior acceptance and often loose ourselves in the process.  I believe everyone could benefit from this story of Cheryl Rice’s experience and how she embraced change in her life.

Cheryl RiceAbout the Author

“Cheryl Rice is a professional speaker and coach. Her company, Your Voice Your Vision partners with women striving to be leaders in their own lives. When Cheryl decided to take the advice she so passionately offers her clients, she emerged with a memoir. Her essays have appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Cactus Heart, and Cure Magazine. Cheryl has M.S. degrees in both Psychological Services and Organization Development, and lives with her family outside of Philadelphia. Find Cheryl online at www.YourVoiceYourVision.com. You can also find Cheryl on Facebook and Twitter.”

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