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My Mission In Life Has Been To Help

Jocelyn Jones Author Interview

Artist provides readers with a step by step guide that will help them awaken their higher self. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I’ve been a teacher and a creative consultant for some 30 years. My mission in life has been to help. I feel like we’re at a precarious time in history. We’re exhausted by the pandemic, terrified by our political landscape, overwhelmed by global warming and despondent at man’s inhumanity to man. It’s no wonder we’re overwhelmed by a 24/7 deluge of epically bad news delivered by a media hell bent on keeping us afraid. When people are scared, they are easily manipulated.

All this noise keeps us from remembering to practice basic human values. It’s as if we’ve forgotten the importance of courtesy, kindness, honesty, and doing the right thing.

I wanted to write a book that shared not only my own experiences and lessons, but a book that offered some simple techniques to help people slow down, still themselves, and get in touch with their higher consciousness. I want to help folks discover their purpose for being here, take better care of their lives, and experience the joy of living a life of their own creation.

I wanted to share the tools and guidance I give to artists that can help anyone summon inspiration at will.

I appreciated all the personal experiences you shared in this book. What is one potent piece of advice someone gave you when you were younger and how did that help shape your growth?

As a troubled teen, my father asked me (with genuine interest) “Jocie, if you could have anything in the world, barring all obstacles, what would that be?”

To answer – I had to present the question to myself. This seemingly simple task was life changing. It made me realize; not only was it possible to pose an internal question, but I found myself waiting for an answer. An answer that came slowly – not from the head but the heart.

I have used this questioning process in various ways throughout my life and my art. Asking a question and then patiently waiting for an answer that makes my heart beat a little faster. This simple practice will empower you with the capacity to summon inspiration at will.

What were some key ideas that were important for you to share in this book?

I believe that there is an artist in everyone and that consciously creating our own life is not only our responsibility but our most essential work of art.

I believe the application of simple daily practices can help us live in the present moment and connect to our best self. I believe we are the result of what we practice.

Lastly, I want the reader to understand that posing questions to our most intimate self about what we want, how we’re doing, or what we might like to change in our life, is an essential component to a life well lived.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from your book?

There is an art to living, which begins with the capacity to still yourself and listen to the counsel of your own heart.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Artist: Awakening the Spirit Within

Artist: Awakening The Spirit Within is a life-changing book by acting teacher and writer Jocelyn Jones. The book covers many different topics within the few key ones that revolve around us as humans, art and how we view it, and the freedom and spiritual uplifting that comes with it as well as the law of attraction.

Jones is an acting teacher who comes from a family of artists with her father being Broadway actor Henry Jones, her mother being a photographer, and her stepfather a writer. She has taught many different people throughout her life from world-renowned actors to people who have never set foot on stage before coming to her classes. The book is written from her informed point of view and includes life lessons that she has learned as well as many different techniques, exercises, and meditations that she uses in her classes that are helpful for everyone, not just artists and actors.

In this enlightening book the author talks about goals, spirit, knowing that we know, happiness, and our vibration and connects that with her own life and different tales of Hollywood in a beautiful way. The author teaches readers that we first and foremost need to find peace within ourselves and know that we are one with the spirit to go on and live a life on a higher vibrational frequency.

Since the book is quite literally an homage to the muses, myths, and anything and everything spiritual and creative Jones’ simple yet elegant style of writing compliments the topics she covers perfectly. Reading this book is a lovely experience as it was a pleasure reading something written with so much love and passion. The way she writes about art and artists is touching, and will resonate with anyone who has ever been moved by art. The writing is easy to follow and the author’s passion and knowledge is evident throughout the book.

In the book, Jones mentions that you may find this book or it may find you because it needs to find you. So true. I found myself reflecting on what I read for hours after I put the book down. Being an actor myself, this book resonated with me on many different levels and opened my eyes to many things connected to my craft. I recommend this book to actors, artists, musicians, art lovers, and anyone who wants to feel free, happy, and more at peace with themselves.

Pages: 267 | ASIN: B0B2VDH84H

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The Villains Who Snapped My Spine

The Villains Who Snapped My Spine: A Memoir by A. H. Nazzareno recounts the experience of the health crisis that the author suffered, which culminated in 2021. The book begins when he is admitted to the Boston hospital for surgery in June. As he prepares to undergo the operation, he wonders how long he has left to live. The following chapters switch back and forth from his time in the hospital to descriptions of several previous events the author refers to as “villains.” Showing these snapshots of various points in the author’s life over the preceding ten years provides insight into the past to help the reader understand what contributed to bringing him to this current point in his life.

The author of this memoir has a unique and interesting writing style filled with unexpected and often amusing descriptions and metaphors that I enjoyed reading. I liked that he avoided using typical cliches and found original ways to describe events and express his feelings throughout his experience dealing with what he eventually learns is a rare medical condition. The introduction to the book provided hints about the significant event that affected the author’s life, and these hints had me interested in continuing to read to find out exactly what happened. I liked the hopeful tone at the end of the book, especially given the author’s uncertain prognosis.

There were sections of the book that were a little hard to follow for me because the narrative did not always progress in chronological order and jumped forward or backward on the timeline in several places or went off on seemly insignificant tangents. I would have liked a little more clarification at the very beginning of the book, when the author was being admitted to the hospital in Chapter One, as to the details of the surgery he was about to undergo to better understand why he had such a grim view of the outcome. Without this information, I found my focus pulled away from what was happening in the present to wonder about the things that had not been fully explained. It wasn’t until later chapters, after the author went back to describe some of the previous events in the past, that the reader finally learns what had led up to that moment.

The Villains Who Snapped My Spine: A Memoir is a personal account of rare nervous system diseases and what life is like living with this condition. The author is candid, and readers will get to know him and develop an understanding of the life-changing impact this has had on him and others with similar conditions.

Pages: 191 | ASIN : B09ZF1GJTD

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The Journey Through Which We Find Joy

Michele L. Sayre Author Interview

A Heart Full of Joy: Daily Perceptions on Life is a book with a year of daily reflections to help people see how they can make the world a better place for themselves and others. Why was this an important book for you to write?

I have always loved reading daily inspirations and reflections. One day, I just got it into my mind that I had something to say based on my own experiences and my unique view of the world, so why not share that with whomever was interested in reading it? About sixty percent of this book was written during my mother’s deteriorating health, death, and dealing with her estate. It gave me something more positive to focus upon and I wanted people to know that sadness and pain are part of the journey through which we find joy. Feel the emotions and let them go. These are the things that remind us how great it is to be alive.

How hard was it to come up with 365 separate perceptions to fill the book?

Actually, it wasn’t too hard to come up with topics to discuss. I would pull from my life, my feelings, the news – everything. What I did find a little hard was trying to not repeat the same messages or wording. I had to really think about the topic and why it was important to discuss, and how to go about it in a way that would open hearts and minds to lasting change.

What perception or reflection has the most meaning to you and why?

“Mommy Dearest” (May 20). That was my mother’s birthday. Our mothers are our teachers – they teach us how to behave or how not to behave. Good or bad, their lives are the parameters we set our own lives to live by.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have two projects that I’ll be starting this summer and hope to have completed by the end of the year. One is an account of how we can help our aging parents and some of the trials and tribulations that may result based on my own experiences with my mother’s prolonged illness and death. The other project is a play based on some of the unbelievable things my family went through during my mother’s illness and our interactions with doctors and facilities. The phrase that truth is stranger than fiction would be applicable here.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

If you are looking for more ways to fill your life with joy, then this book is for you. Three hundred sixty-five days of daily reflections that make you think about the world around you and how every one of us can do our part to make this world a better place in which to live.

Each entry is a new thought for the day about the human condition. Each day leaves you with a one-word mantra to focus upon to help you take steps towards a positive and permanent change for your life.

Be A Giant Killer

Presented alongside verses in the Bible, the book is separated into the seven giants you will face in life. You need not be religious to understand the clear message that author Ed Norwood has laced throughout the pages. That is, to overcome these giants we must not run from them but towards them. It is the only way to truly transform and benefit the next generation of lives, but doing so is not pleasant.

Norwood begins his book with his shocking personal experience and the giant he faced which was Jim Jones, a cult leader, and a murderer. He lost twenty-seven family members in the Jonestown massacre. A situation that turned others away from God and all religion instead was used as a source of strength and survival for the author. I immediately connected with Norwood as he overcame an experience that many will find hard to come back from. Norwood’s writing is inspiring and uplifting as he makes you feel like you can do anything.

The author doesn’t force religion upon the reader but he does provide examples of how having strong faith can give you the strength you need to overcome your giant. The seven giants that the author lists are very common giants that we all face in our day-to-day activities, such as fear, dissatisfaction, unforgiveness, addiction, laziness, procrastination, and folly. I enjoyed reading the real-life examples that the author shares about his own battles with each giant. I feel this brings authenticity to the author’s words and allows readers to make a personal connection as they may find a story similar to one of their own.

Be A Giant Killer: Overcoming Your Everyday Goliaths is a self-help book based on Christian religion for those that want to take a hard look in the mirror and unpack their true fears. It captures readers’ attention from the first page. A must-read for those seeking guidance through the use of biblical power and to overcome the demons in their own world.

Pages: 302 | ASIN : B09CVCTB4F

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A Heart Full of Joy

A Heart Full of Joy contains 365 daily perceptions on life, the world, the universe, or whatever divine being you resonate with. Each day includes a new mantra to help you take on the day. Each reflection will make you think of how you can make a change in this world and helps others around you. We all have the power to take care of problems that may prevent us from experiencing joy and happiness. Financial debts, mistreatment, lack of job satisfaction, and inner conflict are just a few examples. Author Michele L. Sayre inspires us to live our lives differently by taking charge of our destiny, addressing our fears, and embracing our unique individuality.

Sayre’s writing style is not only beautiful, it is also inspiring. The forward of this book explains how while there are references to “God” in parts, it is not meant to be exclusive to any one religion or belief. The concepts and ideas apply to everyone no matter where they fall in the spiritual realm. This allows this spiritual book to be a guide to everyone and not just to those that follow organized regions.

The concept for this thought-provoking book is to be read as a daily activity at the start of one’s day to get a dose of positivity and to prepare mentally for what the day holds. My favorite section is where readers learn that it’s ok to do nothing for an entire day. The author helped me to realize that we need to take moments to relax and rejuvenate, even if it is little moments here and there.

I also enjoyed the section “Our Gift of Health”, in which the author brings to readers’ attention that they should live each day with gratitude and a positive attitude. Part of living a life of gratitude is to care for one own body. Self-care is a key element in developing a positive and gracious attitude. Another area that the author reminds readers to pay attention to is the ability to take a moment and step back in order to open their hearts to others and show kindness.

We tend to lose sight of many things in our busy lives, like the importance of self-care, showing kindness to those around us, and expressing gratitude. Michele reminds us through the use of the daily prompts of all the different things we have at our disposal to help us work on understanding ourselves and on the importance of spreading positivity to others.

A Heart Full of Joy is the kind of work that will leave readers better than they were before reading it. At one point or another, everyone needs to take some time for personal growth. This self-help book is not meant to be read in one sitting but rather is beneficial to carry with oneself and be read daily for reflection. Life is short, and this stunning book encourages readers to make the best of it.

Pages: 548 | ASIN : B09CPQZGF6

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A Calf Named Brian Higgins

A Calf Named Brian Higgins, written by Kristen Ball, is a child-friendly story that addresses serious and interesting topics, including poverty, different cultures, friendship, mourning death, and personal development. The story follows Hannah Higgins, a typical grumpy teenager from suburban New York who is dragged to the plains of rural Kenya to visit her Uncle, Brian Higgins, while he is there doing charity work. Leaving behind her comfortable American lifestyle for one that is drastically less comfortable poses many challenges that Hannah needs to overcome, such as limited access to fresh water. By spending time with the local people and being immersed in the culture, she slowly understands why her Uncle loves Sauri so much.

This story answers a couple of important questions. How would a typical white teenager react to going into rural Africa? And what does it take for that teenager to change their perspective on their life? Ball tackles both of these questions in a way that is simple enough for children to understand but sophisticated enough for all ages to appreciate. This is a story of personal growth. Hannah goes from a naive and unworldly teenager to an individual who begins to value her life, others around her, and opportunities wholeheartedly.

Ball’s debut novel was written based on her experiences of being the first westerner to live in Sauri, the Kenyan village where her story is set. Therefore the book touches on many of her first-hand experiences, enabling her to paint a far more vivid and authentic landscape of an environment many Westerners (especially children) are likely not to be familiar with. Ball’s spin on the story’s events helps to give the story a more genuine and sincere feel. The reader is not being presented with a shallow story from someone with limited knowledge of these complex topics. Still, they’re experiencing the insight of someone who lived under these circumstances.

A Calf Named Brian Higgins is a fantastic novel to introduce children to heavy and challenging topics, such as poverty or entitlement, in a simple and engaging way. It’s essential for children to be exposed to several cultures and walks of life, and reading this novel with them and discussing it would be a great starting point.

Pages: 272 | ASIN : B07DNKC7G4

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THE HEART OF A LION: AND THE BODY OF A CAT

When a young lion cub is often sick, it is hard to stay in on the days when he feels better. One day, the young cub was feeling ok and decided to run out and play. The next day he was sick. It took a long time for him to get better again, but he ran back out to play as soon as he was able to. The cub’s parents have warned him to stay inside when the weather is terrible, but he would not listen. He just knew he had to run and play as hard as he could while he felt good. The next day the cub was sick again. This time it took longer for the cub to get better. Will the little cub, learn how to play safely so he does not keep getting sick?

The Heart of a Lion: and the Body of a Cat is written by Shani Night and illustrated by Reggie Howard. Together they tell the story of a cub that is battling an illness. While the cub’s illness is never stated, the story is inspired by the author and illustrator’s own little girl that has Sickle Cell Anemia Disease. This book is written for all the children that must fight a debilitating disease each day. Knowing the background for this amazing story made it even more emotional to read.

This picture book is filled with images that range from cartoonish to fine line drawings that look like the lions could jump off the page. However, the contrast of illustrations is appealing, and children will find the bold color of the characters accompanying the story to really draw them into the narrative.

The Heart of a Lion: and the Body of a Cat is a heartwarming picture book for children in preschool through elementary school age. It is a fantastic way to open up discussions on disabilities that are not something you can see on the outside. It is an inspirational children’s book that will help kids fighting diseases like Sickle Cell Anemia to know they are not alone and are seen.

Pages: 79 | ASIN : B09R6T6K13

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