Brian’s Journey is an emotional memoir about your son and the grief you felt when you lost him. What inspired you to write this book?
I truly believe it was/is to help other families that have gone through the horrific loss of losing a child, they are not alone. Also, I felt so strongly whilst writing that Brian wanted his story told. Mental illness can happen to anybody at anytime. It came on so fast with Brian, and although we will never know if it was the steriods, pot or the hit on the head that caused his paranoia.
I appreciated the candid nature with which you told this story. What were some ideas that were important for you to focus on in this book?
I tried to focus on the positive. Not to allow the darkness to take over my life. It was not easy. With all the signs I kept receiving while writing, I knew there was a higher power at play. I learned that my son was /is still around in.
Spirit and that his energy just changed form. I forced myself to look at all the beauty around me and not the negative. Brian did that, and helped me heal and look forward to completing my journey, however long that may be.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from Brian’s Journey?
The hardest thing about coping with loss, in my opinion, was the shear suddenness of my son passing away. It was a shock and happened so fast. When I knew my brother was sick or my mom, you knew the inevitable of their passing would eventually happen. I had no idea that morning my son would be gone from this earth. All my hopes & dreams were shattered beyond words.
What do you feel is the hardest thing about coping with loss? And what is one piece of advice you would give to someone?
My advice to any parent losing a child or loved one…. it really is not the end. Spiritually, it’s only the beginning for our loved one. Our turn will come when our journey is complete. We are all spiritual beings having a human experience, know & believe we will be with them again. Each and everyday we are one day closer to that Heavenly Reunion. Talk to them and listen to your heart that they hear you. They are never far to comfort you in your time of need. Remember, love never dies and we take it with us when we pass from this life to the next.
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Tags: author, author interview, biography, book, book review, bookblogger, brians journey, ebook, goodreads, grief, inspirational, janet dubrasky, kindle, kobo, literature, memoir, mental illness, nonfiction, nook, read, reader, reading, self help, story, suicide, writer, writing
The Thriving Hive provides readers with guidance on creating a work culture that is both satisfied and motivated. Why was this an important book for you to write?
All too often we hear about employee disengagement and high turnover rates. Both of these issues cost employers millions of dollars a year. When employees have an experience at work where they feel connected to the purpose of the organization and feel they are cared for, they are more likely to both be engaged and stay with the organization. In writing this book, I hoped to show leaders and managers that they can create a workplace where both the employees and the business thrive.
What do you find is a common misconception leaders have about employees roles in companies?
In many organizations, employees are treated as assets that are there to be used up and discarded. Without your employees, you can’t achieve your business objectives. Employees are an asset, but need to be viewed as the most important asset of an organization.
You are a workplace well-being strategist and CEO of Advancing Wellness. How has your experience helped you write this book?
I’ve spent my entire career in business, with experiences in organizations from some of the largest, most notable companies in the world to very small businesses. I’ve seen the good, the bad and, yes, even the ugly.
What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your book?
The one thing I hope readers take away is that they can influence their own organization to create a workplace where well-being is a core value and that caring for their people is a key priority.
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Hidden Unknown Truth is a guide to consciousness, spiritual awakening, and helps readers discover the joy of living. Why was this an important book for you to write?
For most of my childhood and young adult life I struggled with fear. This fear caused anxiety which was at times quite overwhelming. It stopped me from living as my true self. I did whatever I could to fit in and gain approval and acceptance from others. I would compromise my integrity just to feel accepted. It stopped me from taking healthy risks and from many opportunities. This fear eventually brought me to a place of despair by the time I was 30. With a child on the way I decided that I needed to find a solution. I began seeking. I found that seeking a solution to my ever chatting and fearful mind was actually the solution itself. When I focused my attention on hope that there was a solution to my fear, I had already begun to set in motion the manifestation of the solution. The road that I found myself on was practicing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to challenge my thoughts and help me with seeing the truth about any irrational fearful. This eventually brought me to meditation which has enabled me to contact something within me that is void of fear. A neutral state of being that brings relief and fresh perspective. From here I had questions, a lot of questions which lead me to seeking spiritual guidance. I experimented with contemplative and selfless prayer, gratitude journaling, and giving of myself to help other people. I found that when I focused on meeting the needs of other people, I was not focused on my own fear or unquenchable thirst to feel content. This was the turning point. This is when I realized that I only have a problem when I think I have a problem. To the degree that I try to contribute to life, are my own struggles taken care of, seemingly without my intervention.
The reason it was important for me to write this book is due to a decision I had made, that if I ever found out how to have peace of mind, that I would share it with anybody who was seeking it.
What do you feel is a common misconception people have about spiritual enlightenment?
It seems to me that society has the idea that spiritual enlightenment is reserved for the mystics. That we can only achieve enlightenment after we have solved our outer worldly problems or after years of intense spiritual teaching and practice. I believe wholeheartedly that spiritual awakening or enlightenment is available to us all now, if we seek it.
What were some ideas that were important for you to focus on in this book?
I hoped to produce a complete spiritual guide laid out in a step-by-step fashion using everyday language, so that anybody can contact with their own conception of a higher power, that will solve any difficulty they face and give them purpose and direction.
Another important idea is that when we focus on a solution, it become bigger. When we focus on a problem, it become bigger. When we do what we think is good, we attract good. When we do what we think is bad, we attract bad. If we have any problem, the key is to stop thinking about it and focus on what you believe is good. Whenever the problem arises is your thinking, again, stop thinking about it and focus your attention on what is good, such as your higher power. Eventually, your problem will be taken care of if you are persistent with this powerful technique.
Our mind is the creator of our daily struggles. We create our own problems. When we live in fear, we react in fear and this sets us on a path of unconsciously creating our own self-fulfilling prophecy. When we live in faith, we respond in faith, and unconsciously create peace and emanate love.
What is one thing that you hope readers take away from your book?
The most important idea that I wanted to impart was to watch our thoughts. As soon as we become aware that we are thinking about something, we are no longer controlled by that thought pattern. We have a choice let it go or not. Our thoughts lose all power when we bring them into the light of awareness. They are just thoughts. This one practice will change how we think, feel, and act. We do not have to act on any thought that enters our mind, ever, provided we are aware of the thought.
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If you had told me that a former professional wrestler would have any words of value for me as a writer of children’s books, I’d have laughed you right out the door. To think that two so different professions could possibly have any bearing on each other was unthinkable to me–until I read Dale L. Roberts’s book, Amazon Keywords for Books: How to Use Keywords for Better Discovery on Amazon. Having self-published two children’s books of my own through Amazon, I assumed I had dotted every i and crossed every t. After reading Roberts’s advice on how to restructure my thinking on keywords, I see I have a lot to learn and even more to gain by following his tips.
In this first of three books guiding users through the process of self-publishing specifically via Amazon’s services, Roberts lays out a clear path to identifying your readers, understanding the important difference between people and algorithms as they relate to your product, and carefully customizing the keywords you choose for your book. I would never have thought to revisit my selection of keywords and certainly never realized how important keywords are in achieving ranks and increasing circulation. Roberts makes clear the need to switch keywords regularly every 90 days–something I wouldn’t have thought to do. Judging from my sales, I am long overdue for it, too. Roberts’s advice is easy to understand and simple to follow and helped me get back on track to increasing my sales.
I am giving Dale L. Roberts’s book, Amazon Keywords for Books: How to Use Keywords for Better Discovery on Amazon, a resounding 5 out of 5 stars. The author has packed a virtual gold mine of information into a tiny 90-page book of sage advice. I look forward to applying his tips to my own self-published works and seeing an improvement in sales and circulation.
Pages: 89 | ASIN: B08HMCNKVT
A Gentleman Killer’s Society is an intriguing book that will have a chill running down your spine. The story follows James, a young boy whose loner lifestyle lands him in an eccentric and deadly group. James gets to be part of a serial killer book club, a group which despite making him feel like he belongs, gets him to engage in dangerous activities. The innocent James, who the reader gets to understand slowly, morphs into a character with a killer mind. Taking the life of another human being is no easy task as James comes to learn. James has no guts to kill yet all eyes are on him. The character also gets into a dilemma as, despite not wanting to kill, James does not want to leave the group as he feels the members are now in his close circle.
Noah John is raw with his words, brutal with the character formation, unforgiving when it comes to scenes, and very creative. The main story is like no other. As a reader, you are constantly surprised by the turn of events as Noah John adds various exciting elements in his narration. Nothing prepares you for the gory scenes and the unmerciful nature of the main characters. Reading A Gentlemen Killers’ Society gives one the impression of being an extra character in a horror film.
I loved the paradox that was James, his conflicting self made him an unusual character that I enjoyed following. The author’s characters are odd, uncanny, solid, and expressive. The development of the plot, growth of characters, and mystery surrounding some of the characters made the book a consistently compelling read. I enjoyed the satire in the book. There are some parts of the story that are hilarious, leaving the reader in stitches. One of my favorite things about Noah’s writing is how he introduces characters. The way each character is described gives you an understanding of the characters’ physique and their mental state, which is needed in such a riveting psychological thriller. A Gentlemen Killers’ Society is an engrossing crime thriller that expertly uses satire to deliver some thought provoking commentary on society.
Pages: 316 | ASIN: B07W462R4C
Tags: A Gentlemen Killers' Society, action, author, book, book review, bookblogger, crime fantasy, crime fiction, ebook, fantasy, ficiton, goodreads, horror, kindle, kobo, literature, Noah John, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, thriller, writer, writing
Reading Christopher Wheat’s Weirdo 2.0 will make you understand how different everyone is. The author uses his condition and real-life stories to tell of his experiences as a teacher and tutor living with Asperger’s Syndrome, a condition that is now shoved under the autism umbrella. The reader gets educated on the condition and autism at large. Reading this book made me aware of how autistic people live. Christopher Wheat writes in a calm and gentle tone. You can read his sensations through the text he pens in the book. I appreciate the author for talking about some encounters that not many people would be comfortable talking about.
Stories from the classroom and in the school were intriguing to read. As a person living with a condition that is related to autism, Christopher Wheat’s experiences were a little different from others. I was not pleased reading about the bullying and mild disrespect shown by some. The author is a strong individual for penning some of his most painful experiences as such things would easily break anyone with a fragile heart. I empathized with him on many occasions but also applauded him for remaining firm and standing up for himself.
Not many people understand the world of people living with autism and related conditions. From the book, I learned that there is no better virtue than kindness. Be kind to everyone, and not just the people you know or interact with. Christopher Wheat is an excellent writer. His style of narration and way of introducing new stories is one of the best things about the author. He takes his time when explaining situations and one can tell that he is happy writing his stories. The memoir is an amazing read for people who want some encouragement and inspiration as they face day to day challenges at work. Christopher Wheat’s story is moving and motivating.
Weirdo 2.0 evokes strong emotions. Reading about the harsh boss almost brought tears to my eyes. I appreciate the author for the lessons in the book. Once you are done with this book you get to realize how ungracious the world we live in can be and why some people choose to quit without saying a word. The author however urges all to speak up no matter the situation they are in. Apart from the touching stories, I enjoyed reading about Christopher Wheat’s happy days. One can draw powerful lessons in both his professional and personal life. I recommend this book to readers that enjoy thoughtful autobiographies and uplifting real-life stories.
Pages: 259 | ASIN: B083G1P5B3
Tags: author, autism, biography, book, book review, bookblogger, Christopher Wheat, disability, ebook, education, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, memoir, nonfiction, nook, parent, parenting, read, reader, reading, story, true story, Weirdo 2.0, writer, writing
The Little Breadwinner by Lucia Mann is about the Civil War that destroyed and raged in El Salvador. Thousands lost their lives, and those left behind were terrified, lost, alone, and wondering what future they would have after such horrors and tragedy. Going beyond telling us about the war, the author lets us go more in-depth and get a more personal account. In doing so, we feel a personal connection to the characters that make this a story that needs to be told. One woman, in particular, is Estella. She suffered and was brutally traumatized by soldiers. Throughout the story, you find yourself wondering, will she too be lost before the war ends?
The war was brutal, and I wanted to weep throughout this story. I feel that this is the reaction that everyone will have reading this heart-wrenching book. It’s a good thing for people to read because many people don’t know their history or any other history, and we don’t learn or evolve by staying ignorant. Don’t think that this is a book for you to enjoy (at least not that way). This book is meant to teach you something and draw attention to how awful things happen to good and innocent people in war. You can feel the author’s emotions, and the writing was done so well that you won’t have any difficulties understanding the message she wanted you to see.
I felt like I was inside the story because of how well the author wrote it. I also felt like my heart was breaking as I continued reading because I imagined the war and the people’s suffering. As a sensitive person, I did have to stop a few times, but that was only because I felt so sad that this was based on real events. The author is someone I will read again because of her powerful descriptions and writing ability—notably, the ability to connect you to characters like Estella. I also appreciated that there were facts because I wanted to be as informed as possible and felt that that was something the author had done successfully.
Pages: 272 | ASIN: B08JMCZ7VR
Tags: author, book, book review, bookblogger, ebook, fantasy, ficiton, goodreads, historical fantasy, historical fiction, history, kindle, kobo, literature, lucia mann, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, story, The Little Breadwinner, war, War and Survival in the Salvadoran Heartland, writer, writing
Demon Heart 2 Never Say Die by David Crane follows Naoko Kitamura who is forced to start a new life in Japan after saving her city of Osaka from a nuclear meltdown. With her new life in Tokyo she gets married and has children. She lives a normal life in the suburbs but secretly works for a covert organization sworn to protect Japan from supernatural threats. Unable to leave her past behind her she must face off with an old enemy that is determined to destroy her and her hometown. She must use her extraordinary powers of darkness and light to protect her country and, most of all, her family.
Crane has done an incredible job developing captivating characters in this spellbinding story. Naoko is a complicated character but you begin to connect with her and understand her battle with her inner darkness. I enjoyed reading about the characters’ history and their abilities. David Crane has a fresh take on demons and what they are capable of doing. The author’s description of Tokyo is picturesque and eloquent. His description of the culture implies that he has done his research and maybe even spent time in Tokyo. This book makes for a fast paced read that is full of action and explosive story development. At times it was a little tough to keep up with the story because of all of the action and movement of different characters. This does not take away from the story though. The non stop action and drama made it feel like I was watching an action movie.
Demon Heart 2 Never Say Die is an action packed supernatural thriller that has you rooting for Naoko the entire time in hopes that she will save her country and her family. I had high hopes for David Crane’s follow up novel to Demon Heart and I was not disappointed.
Pages: 322 | ASIN: B07F1BFC7V
Tags: action, adventure, author, book, book review, bookblogger, david crane, Demon Heart 2: Never Say Die, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, japan, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, paranormal, read, reader, reading, story, supernatural, suspense, thriller, tokyo, writer, writing