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PAINTING JULIANA: A Novel ~Martha Louise Hunter

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

“Husbands have refinanced the family home and moved the equity into their business; quite often, they will set up separate bank accounts with separate mailing addresses.  It is called insurance.” He pauses soberly. “You would think more women would do it, instead of being stupid, trusting imbeciles.” Chapter 6

PAINTING JULIANA is definitely about a Texas housewife which reflects the Texas attitude and spirit about women, and then it is not.  It is a story about dreams, careers, lawyers, light and dark, wind and tornados, canvas and brushes, mental health and psychological abuse. The story is Juliana’s experience of her lawyer husband throwing her out of the house and telling her they are getting a divorce.  She has only what she can grab in 20 minutes and put in her car and by the time she gets to the gas station her credit cards are cancelled and she has only the funds in her wallet.  She is court ordered to leave her 14 year old twins with their father.  He invents lies to tell the daughter and the son.  It takes the whole length of the book and Juliana figures it out and gets a very classy revenge.

Our first introduction to Juliana she is a seven year old and about to start second grade and a dream sequence/ nightmare begins to frighten her awake each night.  The dreams begin when her mother hangs up black – out curtains to keep the outside – outside.  Her mother has experienced so much racism that she has become an agoraphobic and she never goes outside.  Juliana’s parents are both CPA’s and she is not aware that her father is a painter, whose parents insisted he get a safe career and not paint.  He has lost his dream and his beautiful wife insists that he release his painting activity even more.

The writing is fairly fast paced and I think that helps the story move forward and not drag; the reader truly wants to know what happens next and is left guessing the outcome often.  There is a great deal of adultery in the story and subtle but stealth nasty maneuvers using the law.   Partners appear to be working with the other, yet we find that maybe these actions are part of their destruction.  This is Hunter’s first novel.   I think her writing will get better and I am looking forward to her second book.   My copy of the book is an uncorrected proof and had several unfinished sentences and abrupt transitions, which I am sure the editors will correct before the sale copies are sent to stores.

How can a woman endure so many problems at once and remain emotionally open and parent her children in stolen moments and car pool?  Alzheimer’s, no money, parent’s house in disrepair, only an old Indian motorcycle to drive, bills piling up, brother angry and not helpful and then this reoccurring dream; Juliana holds on – barely.  The divorce papers fly out the window, Texas sized problems and no true friends.

tlc logo TLC Online Booktours and Martha Louise Hunter,  sent me a copy of PAINTING JULIANA  for review and it was quite the exciting read and a warning to lots of women who are ignoring what is happening to them or are living someone else’s dream.   A woman finding her true self, the extremely hard way – PAINTING JULIANA

Martha Louise Hunter Online
Martha Louise Hunter on Facebook 
Martha Louise Hunter’s Blog

PAINTING JULIANA was a finalist in the Writers League of Texas Mainstream Fiction Contest.

The Fixer 
Little Island
The Idea Of Him


Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Be inspired daily to live your dreams and accomplish your goals

ACHIEVE ANYTHING IN JUST ONE YEAR is just the kind of book I love to start my day with and think about all day long.   ACHIEVE is a BOOK OF DAYS and an INSPIRATION, and a CHANGE ARTIST’s greatest support.  I think I could read this book several years in a row and still be inspired.  I believe it is all in the twist of humor which just catches your eye and brings on a smile.

These days I slowly get out of bed in the mornings, my luxury.  I check my emails, Facebook, and then other sites.  I do not write or respond, but rather get an over view of my day.  Zip and I then lift ourselves up and head for the window to get a glimpse of the weather  and clothing requirements for the day; ready to venture forth we set the stage by reading from a Book of Days or a poem/song;   heading out for our hour of walking and contemplation which becomes a moving meditation.  ACHIEVE ANYTHING IN JUST ONE YEAR truly set an interesting pace to our days.  These words gave us momentum and I can honestly say that one minute a day has made quite a difference in my whole outlook.

The book’s format is terrific.  Each day begins with a quote, that is relevant and success promoting. The quote is followed by a short essay and then an easy exercise, such as making a list of 5 things or giving a worthwhile compliment to someone you encounter.  The essays are centered on various themes which enable change; for 5 days I read about how to improve my listening skills and then followed through with an exercise.  I did do all the small assignments in my notebook and that took about 3-5 minutes on most days; reading the DAY was about 1 minute as noted by my Kindle.  One of the most delightful changes I have made is to stop doing “one more thing” before I sit down to write.  I have found sitting down and even just answering an email gets the writing juices flowing and when I hit the wall, well then I get up and cut the carrots, or put in a load of laundry.  Second little change is that I stop reading every hour and do my arm exercises and stretching, I thought I would lose track of the story and instead my productivity has soared. My Kindle tells me my reading pace and after a week of this change, took 2 hours off the reading time of a book and increased retention of themes and ideas.  I no longer had a stiff neck and my eyes were not as tired.

These changes took place during the 55 days I read the 365 page book (The book has an introduction and conclusion page also).  I only had 60 days before the review needed to be published and I will admit I randomly moved to the end to get a better sense of the whole and be able to share with you my thoughts.   I liked this Book of Days and will return to Day 56 and keep going.  I feel energized and not so often discouraged.  I feel successful at this very moment as I type and I want to continue feeling this way – when something works for a person they generally keep doing it.

I gave my partner a copy of ACHIEVE ANYTHING IN JUST ONE YEAR as he begins figuring out his retirement goals.  I believe doing a little step every day will give him momentum towards enjoying his new lifestyle to the max.

ACHIEVE ANYTHING IN JUST ONE YEAR is a great and simple habit and I can highly recommend it to you.

Jason Harvey is an International Bestselling Author and Life Coach and “founder of the Limitless Institute, a non-profit organization that funds research into human motivation and personal development.” He runs Marathons, is mastering piano and lives on the East Coast of Canada.  Jason Harvey sent me a Kindle Copy of his book to review and if you have PRIME on Amazon and a Kindle App. It is free to read!     ACHIEVE ANYTHING IN JUST ONE YEAR just makes me smile and brings me a sense of joy.   I was happy to have this book to read and enjoy – Thank you.

The book will assist you to discover dreams and goals – some maybe forgotten or set aside and many brand new.

Jason Harvey’s Web page
Jason Harvey on Facebook

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. Thank you!

Recommended Reading:
Daring Greatly 
Shiny Objects
Code to Joy 
Emotional Chaos to Clarity

THE NORTH ROAD: The Blue Child Series ~June O’Brien

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

THE NORTH ROAD is a Native American dream story which is compelling and revealing.  June O’Brien has taken some of the major offensives perpetrated against the tribes and the earth and put them into a wondrous tale, which portrays how the First People are recovering and healing themselves and the earth.  It is the second book in the Blue Child Series following ON THE MOUNTAIN  which I reviewed earlier in the week; both books can stand alone as good reads.

Ruby, Agnes and Grace are three sisters who have been living with their Grandparents and were trained in the family heritage, tribal mythology and magic.  Their survival skills were part of the daily ritual.  All three women are very capable and skilled and they know how to drum and sing to the spirit.  They see the signs.  This is a story of the three using their skills and knowledge to counter an attack from a group of beings who wish to control everything and everyone and are now involved in a large power grab.  It is a story about taking the healing-spirit child to a most powerful Medicine Man in the Southwest of the United States and then driving back to home on the Olympic Peninsula.  Each woman discovers her true vision, spirit, and work which needs to be undertaken.  The emotions are real and the danger.

“The women who think of themselves as sisters are part of a long lineage that helps to hold the world in place.”

We are introduced to the LILIN people in this story.  They are the overseers of the earth and all the people upon the earth.  They control what happens and have computer programs to watch when something gets in their way.  They are being driven these days by a Red Spirit who wants the ultimate control, which involved the finding of the Blue Child and her spirit guide.  They have been “messing” with the spirit medicine found on THE NORTH ROAD.   Gregory and Madge are interesting additions to their family tree and they are discovering a new truth about their lives also.   This part of the story adds some spying, tracking, and car chasing to the adventure.   Oh yes!  Those tricky coyotes are in full voice!

I believe that many folks will enjoy reading THE NORTH ROAD.

June O’Brien is a member of the Nansemond Tribe and knows plants and medicine. She knows the mountains and writes poetry about her life journey and her roots and dreams.  She has degrees in psychology and counseling and has written two books of poetry.  O’Brien is a dream consultant and knows how to capture a story from a spirit guide.

June O’Brien on Facebook
The Blue Child Series on the web

The book is a part of my own library and the author assisted me in getting a Kindle Copy to read.  Thank you.  Such a good adventure on a Winter’s night – THE NORTH ROAD.

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s (giving away a free tote bag this season with all orders) from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket.  Thank you.  Donations also welcomed.

Related Reading:
On The Mountain 
When Women Were Birds
The Crown 
The Lemon Tree 

ON THE MOUNTAIN: The Blue Child Series, A Novel ~June O’Brien

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Have you ever been on a dream journey?  You know the kind of journey where your legs grow weary and you feel the cold and heat of the exertion; caught up in a mission which needs answers.  Are you relieved when you awaken or just exhausted and left wondering about the experience?

ON THE MOUNTAIN is a dream-mission story which takes place on the mountains just outside of my window.  The Heavens have sent a spirit child to protect the earth and her people from the greedy, controlling, European invaders who have released powerful evil on the earth. The writing is vivid and poetic and yet as the reader my legs ached with the climb and the cold, I was on the journey every step of the way.

Ruby is an older, reclusive Native American woman who resides on the west coast line of the Olympic Mountains.  She is the keeper of her Grandfather’s drum and gear, she is the wisdom of her Grandmother’s lessons in survival; she wanders in the forest and beaches a free spirit.  Ruby is a medicine woman and knows the wisdom of Owl.  She can hear the voices of the spirits of the plants and animals; knowing just when to use the right herb at the right time.   Ruby is called by the Old Ones for a journey onto the Mountains.  It is a mission to assist and heal her people.  She has been told never to spend the night on the mountain and in order to survive she much hear the spirit guides, trust herself and the voices, and follow the Old Ones on a journey of many days onto the mountains.

June O’Brien is a member of the Nansemond Tribe and knows plants and medicine. She knows the mountains and writes poetry about her life journey and her roots and dreams.  She has degrees in psychology and counseling and has written two books of poetry.  O’Brien is a dream consultant and knows how to capture a story from a spirit guide.  The mission which Ruby is on is just such a story and the words and descriptions of her trust journey are compelling – flowing like the Glacier Rivers and streams of icy cold water wandering off the cliffs to the sand below.  I found myself hungry, cold, exhausted and concerned that such an old woman might not be able to complete this arduous task; then the snow began to fall.

ON THE MOUNTAIN is beautiful storytelling and I am highly recommending this first story to everyone.  You will be on the trail and wandering the forest trusting the elders all the way.  As I set this story down, I will move forward to the next book THE NORTH ROAD   just recently released and the continuation of the dream.  This book can also stand alone.

ON THE MOUNTAIN is from my own library and June O’Brien and Amazon provided me with a KINDLE copy to read and review upon request.

June O’Brien on Facebook 
The Blue Chile Series Online

“If you were called by a dream would you go?”

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s (giving away a free tote bag this season with all orders) from this site, I will receive a few beans in my bucket.  Thank you.  Donations also welcomed.

Related Reading:
The Most Important Day of Your Life 
Rejoice Beloved Woman
My Stroke of Insight
Psalms for Troubled Times