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DOG CRAZY: A Novel of Love Lost and Found ~Meg Donohue

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

“Packed with deep emotion and charming surprises, DOG CRAZY is a bighearted and entertaining story that skillfully captures the bonds of love, the pain of separation, and the power of our dogs to heal us.”  (Book cover)

DOG CRAZY came my way via TLC BOOK TOURS for review and it was a delightful addition to a very busy week.  The uncorrected proof came in paperback form and just tucked into my carry bag for a week of medical appointments (“Growing Old is Not for Sissies”~ Jack Benny) and my husband even dove into it when he was the designated driver and water bottle handler.

Maggie Brennan is making big changes in her life by leaving her mom and dad who live in Philadelphia and moving to a new apartment in San Francisco; starting a Pet Bereavement Therapy Practice on her own.  The apartment is within her former roommate’s home so not everything is new.  Maggie’s mother is agoraphobic and has not left her house without heavy medication for nearly 30 years.   Maggie also has her trusty dog Toby to help her make the transition.

Maggie sets out in San Francisco to make the connections to start her practice and finds an animal rescue group who refers her first clients and she is able to do lots of volunteering for them on their website.  Apparently, Toby was only meant to assist with the move and the actual living this new life with Maggie was not on the list and he becomes ill and dies.  This causes major problems for Maggie and threatens to ruin this new opportunity.

Along comes a very “INTERESTING” young woman who believes her dog has been stolen and does not want any therapy for her missing dog, just assistance in walking SF to find him.  With Anya in need and with “the assistance of a poodle, a mutt, and Basset retriever named Seymour” the funny, poignant story begins to unfold creating healing.

This story had a gentle voice in the telling, and I would have loved to take this story and my own pooch to the beach to savor.  It so reminded me of the Women’s Magazines full of short stories that my mother loved to read in the late afternoon with a cup of tea.  This tail/tale is about 255 pages long and I could pick it up and put it down with out losing the story line or any of the dog identities.  It was an easy to read study of how we humans handle loss and fear and that everything changes with one step at a time.  Very entertaining – DOG CRAZY.

MEG DONOHUE is the USA TODAY bestselling author of HOW TO EAT A CUPCAKE and ALL THE SUMMER GIRLS.  She has an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University and a BA in Comparative literature from Dartmouth College.  Born and raised in Philadelphia, she now lives in San Francisco with her husband, children, and dog.    (From Book cover)

Meg Donohue Facebook

Short Leash
Merle’s Door
The Language of Hoofbeats

THE SECRET OF YOUR IMMORTAL SELF: Key Lessons for Realizing the Divinity Within ~by Guy Finley

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

“Life will always give you something greater than what it’s asked you for, providing you’re willing to let go of that part of yourself that, for fear of the new, favors what’s old.  It’s impossible to cling to who you have been…and be free of yourself at the same time.”(page 75 – PDF copy)

This book review will be a bit different for me because THE SECRET OF YOUR IMMORTAL SELF is a very different experience.  I had a great fall last year and have been experiencing a great deal of pain; using most of the books I am reading as an opportunity to escape.  THE SECRETS OF YOUR IMMORTAL SELF has been my recent companion to all my Healing appointments and I am using it to let go of my pain and relax.  The PDF/ Kindle book is accompanying me to all my appointments and is a dedicated part of my late night sessions to let go of pain and allow sleep to heal.   It has not failed me and holds my thinking as I breath through the fiery interludes and provides focus.

I like the style of the book.  Short essays or stories, which open the mind to fresh thinking for the spiritual modes of our living, each followed with a Key Lesson to take away and contemplate.  I can freely add stories from my own life and personalize my own thoughts into key lessons, which allow me to let go and refresh.

Several years ago I reviewed Guy Finley’s book THE COURAGE TO BE FREE  and this book too was a good respite in reading while challenging my old assumptions.  When Eric Rafdal asked me to review Finley’s new book I did not hesitate.   I am not going to share more of my thoughts on this new book, rather I am going to put up Eric’s links and words, which will enable you to click into the larger launch program and receive the many free gifts being offered to the readers on the PR Tour – launch – March 12,2015

Eric’s first Note to include:

[Video] Announcing the worldwide release of best selling author Guy Finley’s new book The Secret of Your Immortal Self: Key Lessons for Realizing the Divinity Within. Discover the lost keys to a whole new and higher order of consciousness that lets you end painful problems before they begin! Learn the real secrets of how to be spiritually unstoppable.

PLUS today only… I’ve made special arrangements for you to receive 5 free gifts from Guy, including his groundbreaking new album, The Golden Rule of Self-Realization. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime moment. Discover a life so extraordinary you won’t believe it’s happening to you.

Eric’s Launch letter:

The One and Only Thing That’s Missing From Your Life


Something is happening today that could transform untold numbers of lives — including your own… and here’s how you can be a part of it.  Right now, as you read this, over 200 leading authors and experts are sending out this vital information so you and people around the world can start living fully, freely, and fearlessly. And it’s all happening today, March 12th.  Watch this stirring short video to find out what’s going on:   http://www.YourImmortalSelf.org/special/1793/

The big news is that my friend Guy Finley has written a new book that opens the doors to your brighter, more authentic life. It’s called “The Secret of Your Immortal Self,” and it’s being simultaneously released today in 142 countries. This book is so illuminating, and Guy is so well respected by his peers, that over 200 leading authors and experts are joining to spread the news. It’s a wave of enlightenment that’s racing across the planet right now.  If you’d like to learn the deeper secrets of your own self, and unlock all the love, vibrant energy, and confidence that lie within you, here’s the key — along with a FREE live webinar with Guy Finley, and over 120 additional free bonus gifts.

Visit this link now for all the details. This could be the turning point of your life.   http://www.YourImmortalSelf.org/special/1793/ 

All best wishes for true happiness,

Eric Rafdal

I am using this book right now to let go of the pain and find healing.  THE SECRET OF YOUR IMMORTAL SELF is definitely making a difference in my life and I wanted you to know about it and the special offers, which accompany this Book Release Campaign.  Thank you to the Life of Learning Foundation for sending this  book to me for review

About Guy Finley from the book cover:

“Guy Finley is the founder of the Life of Learning Foundation and author of more than forty books and audio programs on self-realization, including the International best seller – The Secrets of Letting Go.  Visit him on line at www.GuyFinley.com

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.”

The Long Goodbye
Little Island 
The Moon Sisters 

THE DIVORCE DIET: A Novel ~Ellen Hawley

Monday, January 5th, 2015

“I watch the last few minutes of the special on the diet industry.  A show on maximum-security prisons follows.  I’m struck by the parallels and wonder if anyone else notices them.” (location 33% on e-reader of an unproofed, uncorrected, advanced readers file)

THE DIVORCE DIET is a savory tale that turns life sweet, with all the greens and grains tossed into the mix then topped with a lovely dollop of humor and a saucy spirit.   This read is all about making personal change and is a creative self-help book based on Abigail’s life and her steps for making change and finding an authentic center.

Abigail thinks it is time to loose the baby weight and get back to some more intimacy in the bedroom.  She is sure this will perk up her marriage and make her husband happier.   The book begins with the baking of a birthday cake, which will make your mouth water, the preparing candles in the bedroom, and starting to read her new Natural Diet tome.   Thad comes home late, dinner is nearly ruined and he just plays and mushes the cake.

The diet book is full of tasteless uninviting recipes; it also contains the steps which are involved in all change and Abigail follows the rules. The amazing thing is that she develops her own Diet guru in her head. It reminds me of “Bridget Jones Diary”.  Her choice of personal exercises just kept me laughing all the way through.

While still weeping the pain of separation, Abigail begins the next step on the diet journey by making a list of her strengths and weaknesses; the wheels of her mind begin creating the list and this propels a brainstorming list she can study and refine into her best future.
Revenge has great promise and yet reinventing the self may just provide a yummy success, which is sweeter. In THE DIVORCE DIET the change is expressed deliciously with humor and just the right spices of sorrow and joy.  At the end, Abigail has lost 170 pounds (of husband) and found a satisfying life for herself and baby Rosie.

I highly recommend this book to any reader who wishes to make a change in their life, including losing weight!, or to find success in Resolutions of the New Year, and of course  that someone who likes to laugh at sadness, enjoy good story telling, and celebrate change and the experiences of life.

I send thanks to TLC Book Tours for adding me to the list for this great and fun read. And I extend thanks to Ellen Hawley for the wonderful read to start off the 2015 schedule.  How lucky am I!

Don’t forget to read the acknowledgements because the recipes are included!!

From Amazon:  About the Author
Ellen Hawley is the author of the novels Open Line and Trip Sheets. Her short fiction and essays have been published in a variety of magazines and anthologies. She has worked as an editor and copy-editor, a talk show host, a cab driver, a waitress, a janitor, an assembler, a file clerk, and for four fun-filled hours, a receptionist. She has also taught creative writing. Hawley is a native New Yorker who lived in Minnesota for two decades but now resides in Cornwall.

Ellen Hawley Facebook

ellen hawley

Fog Island Mountain
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry 
Walter’s Muse