Friday, 5 May 2017

Book Review | Alan Eisenberg | Crossing The Line

Crossing The Line: A Cautionary Bullying Tale

This book was sent to me for free in exchange for an honest review. Even if a book is sent to me for free, the review will always be 100% honest and the opinions shared will be completely my own. This book was sent to me through Bostick Communications. 

Author: Alan Eisenberg
Title: Crossing The Line
Genre: Fiction, Comtemporary, Coming Of Age, Young Adult, Teen

Pages: 342
Price: £12.72

Started: 30th April 2017
Finished: 4th May 2017

Synopsis: Four high school teens are going to find out just how much a bully target can take, before deciding that they can take no more. Will lines be crossed? On the surface, Berryville, Kansas looks to be a perfect midwest town to raise a family. But hiding in plain sight are the issues of teen bullying and the effects it has on the students at Lincoln High School. Four teenagers will learn the ultimate price paid for bullying others. Jessie, a girl with a tragic past, made worse by the turn of her best friend into her biggest bully. Brian, bullied during his younger years that led to a choice that made his situation worse. What decision will he make to deal with his fears? Sandi, the girl who got everything she wanted, except the attention she needed. What will happen when she schemes to bully and torture her old friend? Anarchy, a boy taken to the edge from a bullying event even he can't face any longer. Angry and lost, what will Anarchy do to get revenge on those he believes took his life away? Fate will bring these four lives together in a lesson about the ultimate cost of bullying others. Can anyone come out unscathed?

Review: I would like to thank Bostick Communications for sending me a copy of this book. When I read the synopsis I became very interested in this book and just had to read it. I could not wait to read this book as I knew that I would identify with some of the characters. I am a victim of bullying that started before I was 10 years of age and didn't stop until after I was 16 years of age. In fact sometimes I still get nasty comments that class as bullying but I have learnt to laugh at these comments and embrace myself as I am. This is a truly amazing book and a really gripping read that does not sugar coat the effect of bullying. I really enjoy books that are upfront about the effects of bullying and don't hide the feelings of those who are being bullied. This book is an accurate representation of what can happen because of bullying. It really highlights that bullying is a very serious issue that can have very dire consequences. This plot does not have a happy ending but that is the brutal truth of the outcome of bullying. I found the plot to be very gripping and realistic and could not bring myself to stop reading this book. A good thing about this book is how easy it is to identify with the characters that are bullied (if you have been the victim of a bully yourself). It takes a lot to make me emotional but I did find myself crying at the sad events that took place in this book. I think I was more emotional reading this book as I have experienced bullying for many years about many different things and I felt everything insult that was hurled at the poor victims portrayed in this book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary and teen books but also if you have been bullied or want to see the consequences that can come from bullying. This book will have a permanent place on my bookshelf as it shows me how lucky I was to survive the bullying that I had to experience and how I came out stronger on the other side. 

Rating: I gave this book a 5 star rating as it was a really gripping novel that I could fully identify with and I found myself lost in between the pages feeling all the same emotions and the characters that were the victim of bullying. 

Monday, 1 May 2017

Book Review | John R. Clarke | Finding God In A Broken World

Finding God in a Broken World

I won this book in a giveaway. The giveaway was listed on Goodreads. A review is not required but I like to share them as I like to bring attention to new or lesser known authors and as a thank you for hosting the giveaway.

Author: John R. Clarke
Title: Finding God In A Broken World
Genre: Religion, Belief, Christianity

Pages: 119
Price: £9.80

Started: 19th April 2017
Finished: 30th April 2017

Synopsis: There is no doubt that we are entering the final stages of the history of this world. Lawless abounds, terrorism is on the increase, and wars and rumours of wars are abound. Natural disasters such as tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, cyclones, floods and tornados are also becoming more common as the earth struggles under the burden of humankind's rebellion. So what does the future hold for the beloved of Christ? Finding God In A Broken World provides insight into the steps to remaining free in Christ during the turbulent days ahead. The book explores seven keys areas - from embracing the love of God, finding Gods purpose for our lives, and overcoming the world, to living the victorious christian life and remaining free in Christ, regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves facing in the coming days. Author John R. Clarke's scientific background gives him a distinctive insight into the Bible and the word of God, and it allows for a different perspective on the events of the end times and christian living than those normally provided by theologians. Although the times of the last days can be fraught with tension, unease and even hostility, it is important for christians to know that by understanding the difficult aspects of God's teachings, his positive purposes and his plans for eternity will come into better perspective. By meditating on these teachings, the hope and prayer is that believers can find inspiration, comfort and blessings. 

Review: Firstly, I would like to say that I am grateful for having won this giveaway. Even though I am not a religious person I do like to know what other people experience in turns of belief and how it influences their life. I find religion to be an interesting topic so am always happy to read about the different religions. This book provides lots of insight into Christianity, the Bible and the modern world. I found this book to be an interesting read and would be a good read for everyone, religious or not, as they can get an in depth look into and understanding of Christianity. This book is not one that sugar coats Christians and Christianity; it shows that Christians are just regular people and that they make mistakes just like everyone else but that they atone for their mistakes and it also shows that some branches of Christianity misunderstand the teachings of the Bible by charging for the word of God. This book was written to show that God is relevant in the modern world and that Christians should not lose faith. Whether religious or not I would recommend reading this book to christians, other religious people and people who do not believe at all as it is an interesting read. 

Rating: I am giving this book a rating of 3 stars as I am not religious but I did enjoy learning more about Christianity and how it is relevant in the modern world for those who do believe. 

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Book Review | Bruce Marcom | Galaxy Of Empires | Space Pirates

Galaxy of Empires: Space Pirates

I won this book in a giveaway. The Giveaway was listed on Goodreads. A review is not required on giveaway wins but I like to post them as a thank you for hosting a giveaway and to bring exposure to new or lesser known authors.

Author: Bruce Marcom
Title: Galaxy Of Empires
Genre: Science Fiction, Pirates, Humor, Fantasy, Fiction, Action
Series: Space Pirates

Pages: 71
Price: £3.97

Started: 19th April 2017
Finished: 19th April 2017

Synopsis: The Space Pirate Series is an action-comedy about Captain Meek and his mischievous band of pirates who set out to find trouble and treasure in the wilds of space. They are met with alliances, betrayal, pirates, space police, telepaths, sorcery, bar fights, beasts and of course space dragons. 

Review: Firstly, I would like to say that I am very grateful for having won a copy of this book. Reading the synopsis made me very excited to read this book. I tend to gravitate towards fantasy, fiction, action and crime novels and this book is a unique mixture of all of these. This book was exciting and gripping from start to finish. I found it difficult to stop reading this book and put it down. Another good thing about this book is that it is a quick and easy read. I think that if the book was longer I would not have enjoyed it as much. After reading this book it made me more interested in reading more by Bruce Marcom. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading short stories and the numerous genres that this book covers. This book will have a permanent place on my bookshelf as I cannot let go of books that I have been sent or won in giveaways as they are just so special to me. 

Rating: I am giving this book a 5 star rating as it was a quick read that was full of action. This book is the perfect blend of length and action. If the book was longer I think that the action and excitement would fizzle out. 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Book Review | Des Ferry | Did Socrates Get Pissed?

Did Socrates Get Pissed?

I won this book in a giveaway. The giveaway was listed on Goodreads. When a book giveaway is won a review is not required but I like to post them to help the author as I am grateful for having won the book. Any opinions I share on this book are completely my own and have not been influenced by outside people. 

Author: Des Ferry
Title: Did Socrates Get Pissed?
Genre: Humour, Fantasy, Fiction

Pages: 84
Price: £7.53

Started: 10th April 2017
Finished: 17th April 2017

Synopsis: If you enjoy British humour then Did Socrates Get Pissed? is a must-read book for you. It is a black comedy with a lot of laughs which starts in Camp Bastion in Helmand Province with the impending discharge, following Defence Cuts Review, of Fred .... his concerns about the job opportunities available to him in civilian life, his troubled marital life with Chardonnay, his friendship with Wily Sid, the Regiment comedian and can do man, and ends back in the Lower Pennines in the United Kingdom.

Review: Firstly, I would like to say that I am very grateful for having won a copy of this book. When seeing the title I was confused about what the book was going to be about but when I read the synopsis I knew that this was a book that I wanted to read. Normally, I do not enjoy comedy/humour books but there was something about this book that drew me in and made me curious about the book. This was an unusual and interesting story that managed to grip my attention and made me want to read more by the author. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading humour and fantasy/fiction. 

Rating: 4/5 I gave this book a 4 star rating as it is a good read but it is not the genre that I like to read. However, this book will have a permanent place on my bookshelf. 

Monday, 17 April 2017

Book Review | Kevin Scott Olson | Breakout

Breakout: A Michael Quinn Short Story

This book was sent to me for free by the author. This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. The author contacted me about reviewing this book after I signed up to his newsletter.  Any opinion I share about this book is completely my own and is not influenced by the author or publisher.

Author: Kevin Scott Olson
Title: Breakout
Genre: Thriller, Military, Fiction
Series: Michael Quinn

Pages: 38
Price: £3.84

Started: 15th April 2017
Finished: 15th April 2017

Synopsis: An American soldier, traveling alone in rural Mexico, is arrested and, without a hearing or trial, thrown into one of the Country's most notorious maximum security prisons. If the American's true identity and mission are revealed, he will never leave Mexico alive. Michael Quinn, ex-navy seal turned CIA special operative, is given the assignment: rescue the imprisoned American before the soldier receives a life sentence from the Mexican Government ... or a death sentence from the Mexican drug cartels. 

Review: I would like to thank the author for sending me a copy of this book. After reading the synopsis I was very excited to read this book. At the start of the book, I was unsure if I would actually enjoy the storyline. The more that I read the more hooked I was on the plot and ended up loving the book. This book was also a plus for me as it was a short, quick read that I finished in no time. Sometimes I lean towards short stories as I can have them finished in less than an hour. Short stories are something I like when I am in a reading slump as they don't take too much time up and they can also help to break through the reading slump. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys short stories, fiction and/or mystery thrillers. I would also recommend the rest of the series. This is a short and gripping novel worthy of a place in all book collections. After reading this book I cannot wait to invest in more books by Kevin Scott Olson.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

The only reason I gave this book a 4-star rating is that the first few pages were slow and made it difficult to get into the storyline.
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Sunday, 16 April 2017

Book Review | Priscilla McGreer | Darkness Visible

Darkness Visible

This is a book that I won in a giveaway. The giveaway was listed on Goodreads. The author of this book, Priscilla McGreer, did not ask for a review of this book. Any opinions I share about this book are completely my own and are not influenced by the author or publisher.

Author: Priscilla McGreer
Title: Darkness Visible
Genre: Poetry, Feminism

Pages: 50
Price: £6.95 (May Change)

Started: 10th April 2017
Finished: 15th April 2017

Synopsis: Lilith is a figure of enigma and myth. Historically, her first appearance in literature seems to be medieval Jewish folklore, where she is considered the first wife of Adam, although there are hints she was once a Sumerian goddess. Lilith represents one of the most ancient archetypes: the dark feminine who awakens to correct serious errors among humanity. Darkness Visible is a collection of poems, written through the voice of Lilith, but also a critique of patriarchal society. In the first part, she addresses prominent historical, mythological and literary male cultural heroes from the last few thousand years. 
In the second part, female figures address Lilith and share their wisdom, guidance, and strength. Sometimes, it is necessary to destroy in order to build up, like mother earth through volcanic eruption. Now is the time. The ancient spirit of Lilith has been reawakened, summoned into the light of modern society. Although her words refer to old, even ancient, figures, it does so in order to address contemporary issues before its too late.

Review: Firstly, I would like to make it clear that I am very grateful for having won a copy of this book. In all honesty, I had little interest in poetry but I thought it would be good to try some poetry before I made up my mind about whether poetry was something I would enjoy or not. This collection of poems has an interesting theme and I did like reading this book. I will admit that this book was not for me. It made me certain that poetry is not for me. This may not have been for me but I know that if someone enjoys poetry then they will love this collection of poems. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in poetry and feminism. Even though it was not my favourite read this book will always be a part of my book collection as I am just so grateful that I won this book.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Book Review | Lyn Coffin | A Taste Of Cascadia

A Taste of Cascadia

This is a book that I won in a giveaway. The giveaway was listed on Goodreads. As I won this book a review was not required. Any opinions shared on this book are 100% my own and are not influenced by the author or publisher. 

Author: Lyn Coffin
Title: A Taste Of Cascadia
Genre: Fiction, Play, Short Story, Comedy

Pages: 54
Price: 99p on kindle

Started: 11th April 2017
Finished: 11th April 2017

Synopsis: A taste of Cascadia features two short comedic plays, with the Pacific North West as a backdrop. 
In Lutefisk, a middle aged computer dating couple discover their previous connection from an unlikely event. 
Fries in a wine glass brings us two sisters exchanging differing accounts of their growing up years in a diner, following the funeral of their sister. Secrets and jealousies are revealed as they reconnect after a long absence, and hope for reconciliation. 
Following the launch of this book,  these plays were performed around the Seattle area in various senior centers with an abundance of laughter and appreciation.

Review: I would like to thank the author for listing this giveaway. If it had not been for the giveaway I would not have known this book even existed. I am grateful for having won this book. Even though I entered the giveaway, when I read the synopsis I was unsure whether I would like this book or not as I am not really a fan of plays or comedy. I much prefer crime, horror and fantasy novels. However, I found these short comedic plays to be relatively entertaining. This book is not something I would pick over something in my preferred genres but it was definitely an interesting read. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy plays or comedy; definitely a mix of the two. Even though this book did not blow me away it will remain on my bookshelves and maybe one day it will draw me back in for another read. Lyn Coffin is an excellent author and if she wrote stories of a darker nature then I would definitely invest in them. 

Rating: 3/5

The reason I gave this a 3 star rating is simply because I do not enjoy this genre of writing as much as others. My rating has nothing to do with the writing style or how enjoyable this book is. The writer has a good and gripping writing style and if this book had been a crime or horror novel then I would have been hooked.  

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Book Review | Michael Flexer | Edmund's Struggle

Edmund's Struggle

Author: Michael Flexer
Title: Edmund's Struggle: Under The Spell Of The White Witch
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Adventure, Children, Magic, Young Adult

Pages: 63
Price: £2.80

Started: 10th April 2017
Finished: 10th April 2017

Synopsis: Edmund isn't happy when he and his brother and sisters are sent to the professor's house in the countryside. But when he follows Lucy into an old wardrobe and to the land of Narnia, things get much worse. There he meets the evil white witch, who convinces him to betray his family. Before Edmund knows it, he's in over head! How can he escape for the white witch's clutches and find the strength to help save Narnia and his family from a terrible fate?

Review: This is a short story extension to the C.S. Lewis novel, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, and it gives insight into Edmund and his actions in The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe. Although this book is not full of action and excitement it is a good addition to The Chronicles Of Narnia. Having the insight into Edmund helps to understand his character and the choices that he makes. This short story shows that Edmund has made bad choices but is completely misunderstood. I can't say that this book gripped my attention but it is a great addition to the Narnia book series and for that reason alone it will have a permanent place on my bookshelves. This book is part of a four set short story. Each book revolves around a different child. The other three books follow Lucy, Susan and Peter. These books may not be read more than once if at all but they are worth having on the shelf for fans of The Chronicles Of Narnia. Each book adds detail and insight into the feelings and thoughts of the main characters as they embark on the amazing adventure to free Narnia from the control of the white witch. 

Rating: 3/5 stars

I would have given this book a one or two star rating if it did not add to The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Book Review | Pauline Baynes | Lucy's Adventure: The Search For Aslan

Lucy's Adventure: The Quest for Aslan, the Great Lion (The Chronicles of Narnia)

Author: Pauline Baynes
Title: Lucy's Adventure: The Search For Aslan
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Adventure, Children, Magic, Young Adult

Pages: 96
Price: £1.99

Started: 10th April 2017
Finished: 10th April 2017

Synopsis: At first Lucy Pevensie is sad when she is sent with her sister and brothers to the countryside to escape the dangers of wartime London. But when they arrive, something wonderful happens: a game of hide and seek turns into the adventure of a lifetime! In the magical land of Narnia, Lucy and her brothers and sister meet Aslan, the great lion, who calls them to fulfil their destiny - free Narnia from the evil white witch!

Review: This is a short story extension to The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe. It gives a slight insight to into Lucy and her thoughts as she embarks on this amazing adventure to free Narnia from the white witch and save her faun friend. I have to be honest and say that I did not find this book particularly interesting and I did struggle to keep my attention on this book. However, it is worth the time to read as it is always interesting to get an idea of the thoughts and feelings of characters as they embark on a journey that is filled with fear and excitement. This book is a part of four short story extension books. The other three are based around Peter, Susan and Edmund. Each book follows a different child. These four books may not be ones that are read more than once if at all but they are still worth a place on shelves for fans of The Chronicles Of Narnia. Each short story adds something new and interesting to The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe so I recommend giving them a read. Even if they aren't the best of stories, they are only really short books that can be finished in the blink of an eye. 

Rating: 3/5 stars

I would have given this book a one star rating if it did not add to the story of The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe. 

Monday, 10 April 2017

Book Review | J.D. Barker | The Fourth Monkey

The Fourth Monkey

This book was sent to me for free. This book was sent to me by the publisher. I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Author: J.D. Barker
Title: The Fourth Monkey
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Dark, Fiction

Pages: 475
Price: £12.99
Release Date: July 2017

Started: 10th March 2017
Finished: 9th April 2017

Synopsis: See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil ... do no evil. For over five years, the fourth monkey killer has terrorised the residents of Chicago. When his body is found, the police quickly realise he was on his way to deliver one final message, one which proves he has taken another victim who may still be alive. 
As the lead investigator Detective Sam Porter knows even in death, the killer is far from finished. When he discovers a personal diary in the jacket pocket of the body, Porter finds himself caught up in the mind of a psychopath, unravelling a twisted history in hopes of finding one last girl, all while struggling with personal demons of his own.
With only a handful of clues, the elusive killer's identity remains a mystery. Time is running out and the fourth monkey killer taunts from beyond the grave in this masterfully written fast-paced thriller. 

Review: Before I get into the review I would like to thank the publisher for sending me a copy of this book. It excites me that this book is described as "Se7en meets silence of the lambs" as those are two movies that I really enjoy. When it comes to thriller books and movies I have a pretty dark taste. This was a truly amazing book and with each turn of the page I became more and more lost in this book. This book is extremely exciting and action filled to the point that you will be on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next. The addition of the diary entries makes for good insight into the killer's life, childhood and why he is like he is. This is the kind of book that grips the attention of the reader and holds it hostage until the end of the book. In my opinion this is the kind of book that would be perfect in the book collection of anyone who enjoys crime fiction and thriller novels. I firmly believe that this book would make an amazing movie adaptation so long as they didn't remove too many of the details from the book. I would highly recommend this book to any avid reader who enjoys mystery thrillers but I also suggest that other readers venture into the book as I am sure that as long as you don't mind gory details that you will fall deeply in love with this book. It is the kind of book that once you start reading you can't stop reading and put the book down. The ending of this book is a major cliff hanger so I am ready to have the next book and find out more about the story line. I enjoyed this book so much that I pre-ordered the next book for me and my sister as soon as it became available on Amazon. 

I gave this book a five star rating as it was just an epic read and left me hooked. I can't wait to get my hands on the second book as I am sure that it will be as amazing as the first. 

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Book Review | John Murray | Code Name: Papa

Code Name: Papa: My Extraordinary Life while Hiding in Plain Sight

Pick up this book and you will be stuck between the pages right to the end.

This book was sent to me for free. I received this book from the publisher. I accepted this book in exchange for an honest review.

Author: John Murray

Title: Code Name: Papa
Genre: Memoir, Biography, Non-Fiction, Thriller, Autobiography

Pages: 326

Price: £13.75

Started: 15th February 2017

Finished: 10th March 2017

Synopsis: Who'd have thought a bright, but fairly ordinary young man from middle class America who got just above average grades, dated the same girl throughout high school and went to church most Sundays, would grow up to eventually head a very secretive band of brave individuals - both men and women - who regularly put their lives on the line because they wanted to protect the rest of you. Yet that's what we did, often sacrificing our personal lives (four marriages for me, all in the book) and our health (countless broken bones, major surgeries, even death) to do it.

Meanwhile, you're just going to have to call me 'papa' like everyone else around the globe has through most of those wildly unpredictable and dangerous years. 

Review: Firstly, I would like to thank the author for writing such an amazing book based around his life. Secondly, I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. When I accepted this book for review I was not sure if I would enjoy it as I had not read a memoir before. I was always much more into fiction than I was in things that had been in other people's stories about their life. Once I started to read this book I found that I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was enjoying this book and that feeling of interest lasted right up until the last page of the book. This memoir is full of adventure, danger and action that kept me hooked. This is a non-fiction thriller that kept me gripped from start to finish. I found it near impossible to stop reading and put the book down. This book has broadened my reading interests and made me more open to memoirs but also it made me think about giving other genres that I tend to avoid a chance as I might just enjoy them after all. Trying new genres is a good way to broaden your reading horizons and if you don't enjoy the new genre then at least you gave something new a try. I definitely want to invest more time into reading memoirs. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys memoirs and non-fiction thrillers. I also suggest just giving this book or any out of your book comfort zone just to try something new and you just might experience something new that you enjoy. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Book Review | Terry Goodkind | Nest


This book was sent to me for free. This book was sent to me by the publisher. This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. 

Author: Terry Goodkind
Title: Nest
Genre: Thriller, Fiction, Mystery, Adult, Action, Suspense, Crime

Pages: 432
Price: £15.90

Started: 24th January 2017 
Finished: 15th February 2017

Synopsis: Kate Bishop thought she was an ordinary woman living and working in Chicago. But she unexpectedly finds herself in the middle of a police investigation into a brutal murder, Kate makes a shocking discovery: she has the ability to identify killers just by looking into their eyes. Trying to grasp the implications of this revelation, Kate is drawn deep into a world of terror. She is tracked down by Jack Raines, a mysterious author with shadowy connections to those who share her ability. He tells Kate that her unique vision also makes her a target, and only he can help her. Now, hot on Jack and Kate's heels are a force of super predators, vicious and bloodthirsty killers who will stop at nothing until Kate is dead. But even as she fights for her life, Kate still isn't sure if Jack is really her salvation, or another killer coming to slaughter her. 

An explosive mix of action and suspense, Nest is a landmark new novel from worldwide best-selling author Terry Goodkind, and a complete reinvention of the contemporary thriller. Travel with Goodkind on a dangerous journey to the back alleys of the darknet, to the darkest corners of our minds, and to the very origins of what it is to be human. 

Review: Before I start the review of the book I would like to thank the publisher for sending me a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. I would also like to thank the author for all the time and hard work he puts into all of his novels and how creative and imaginative his books are. Novels like this are a true work of art and you can clearly tell that the author put a lot of time and love into his creations. I am so excited to have this book in my collection. This was a truly amazing read that had me hooked from start to finish. This book was filled with plenty of action that kept me on the edge of my seat. I found it nearly impossible to stop reading and put this book down. I found myself really interested in this story line and rooted for Kate and Jack. The ending came as a real shock and i'm hoping for a second book that will tie up all the loose ends. The cliffhanger ending really shook me and after this book I found it hard to get into another book. I wondered about the ending so much that I allowed myself to slip into a reading slump. This is a book that I can see myself enjoying numerous times and it also makes me want to read more by Terry Goodkind. I would highly recommend this book to all readers but especially those that enjoy a good thriller that they can get lost in. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Book Excerpt | Eldon Taylor | Choices And Illusions

Choices and Illusions: How Did I Get Where I Am, and How Do I Get Where I Want to Be?

The Real Meaning in Life
By Eldon Taylor

Years ago a young woman came to me for help. To maintain confidentiality, I will invent a name for her. I’ll call her Mary. This young woman in her late thirties had a history of self-mutilation and suicidal behavior. She came in for pastoral counseling, and I agreed to see her only if her psychiatrist agreed and was kept fully informed. That issue out of the way, her first appointment was made. My secretary brought me her file, including the pre-process forms I used. As I reviewed the information in the file, I was taken by the fact that one of her prior therapists was a famous psychiatrist. I thought to myself, “And what on earth am I to do if this person couldn’t help her?”
During her first session, the terms of our arrangement were agreed upon. I would see her for ten weeks, once a week, and my conditions and requirements had to be kept. She agreed, and the session began, or perhaps more appropriately, she began sobbing and wailing. An hour passed, and nothing but tears to show for it. Few words could I understand amidst the sobbing. “Until next week,” I said, and we parted.
I thought about her for the entire week and decided to try something totally new, at least for me and for that time (circa 1990). I theorized that all the excessive crying was simply her attention-seeking mechanism combined with true feelings of despair, but to get past that, we had to dispense with the wailing. I took a mirror that had been given me by a cosmetic surgeon friend, and which I had used for years to show, as he did, just how uneven the halves of our faces are (left versus right). Brain hemisphere dominance theories suggest a correspondence, so this was in keeping with my research and work.
When Mary visited in week two she again began crying. I placed the mirror in front of her, explained as nicely as I could that she had to maintain some composure for me to help, told her to look at herself while she cried, and to let me know when she stopped. I stepped out of the office. Soon she opened the door. As I began to sit down, she started weeping again, so once again I exited. After three or four repetitions that admittedly took more than half of our time together, she stopped the sobbing and began talking. Her story was a sad one about a child who was neglected in favor of a younger sibling who was smarter, prettier, and so forth. Her early relationships with men were equally sad but not out of the realm of what happens to psychologically well-balanced people.
When we were finished speaking for the day, it was clear that Mary had dwelled on all the bad, shared her negative stories all too willingly, each time probably exaggerating them, and otherwise remained almost fixated on the worst possible future—in her case, becoming a bag lady in Las Vegas.
I gave Mary her homework, as part of our agreed terms. She was to do one good turn for someone, anyone, every day. She was to record the good deed in her journal at bedtime, just before going to sleep, focus on how the deed made her feel, and imagine how it made the recipient feel. The deed could be anything as simple as holding a door for someone or as emotionally demanding as helping a colleague she didn’t like. She was to bring the journal with her each week when she visited me.
The following week we reviewed her journal entries and her thoughts and feeling regarding each. Admittedly, some of her first week’s good deeds were pretty weak, but a couple of them provided an opportunity to draw out the difference in how it made Mary feel as well as how she might have felt if she had been the recipient. Her homework for the remaining weeks was simple: two good deeds every day and recorded per the earlier instructions.
Mary’s perspective changed. Her focus moved from bad things to good things. It was that simple. There is nothing more eloquent than just saying it how it is. Armed with a positive outlook and an eye to opportunities to do good deeds, and supported with what I call a “warm fuzzy feeling” that comes from helping others, Mary began to reinforce her own worth and find joy in living. It wasn’t long before her medication was cut back and then eliminated. Mary found meaning in life.

The “warm fuzzy feeling” comes from helping others.

I suggest to you that the real meaning in life comes from what you give, not from what you take. As Wayne Dyer puts it in his book The Power of Intention, “purpose is not about vocation—it’s about service!” I believe that the ‘warm fuzzy feeling’ we derive from a true service experience—going to the aid of another in need—is the best feeling we can have when we put our head on the pillow each night. Gerald Jampolsky has observed in his attitudinal healing centers that when a person goes to the aid of another, even otherwise intractable pain disappears.”

The real meaning in life comes from
What you give, not from what you take.

As an aside, when the centenarian population was studied to determine the reason behind their long lives and health, everyone expected something like “clean living and self-denial.” It turned out that that wasn’t the case. Indeed, the comedian George Burns could characterize many of the centenarians. They lived life without fear, full of joy and humor. What they all shared was a sense of purpose or connectedness to a Higher Power. The value to this sense of connectedness and purpose cannot be overstated. For me the warm fuzzy feeling keeps me connected and provides purpose. It doesn’t really matter what we do for a living, provided we do it with integrity and for the good of others. A piece of Chinese antiquity I cherish is a book written on jade. The author, Su Dong-Puo, a very famous Chinese writer, says it this way: “We do not work or search for food but for truth.” As President Woodrow Wilson stated over a thousand years later: “You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.”

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Book Excerpt | Eldon Taylor | Choices And Illusions

Choices and Illusions: How Did I Get Where I Am, and How Do I Get Where I Want to Be?

It’s Never Too Late
Excerpt from Choices and Illusions by Eldon Taylor

In my journey there came a point when I hungered for more metaphysical information. I enrolled in a California university, The University of Metaphysics, and by correspondence commenced a study in metaphysical science. This was not the metaphysics of an upper division philosophy course, as I expected; rather, it was a practical metaphysics for living. I had worked for a long time, often doubling the required number of exams in order to reach their designated bachelor’s level of education in this unique form of metaphysical science when they sent me the news. I was ready to advance, but to do so I must become an ordained minister.
This was not a strictly academic environment, and I should have recognized that, but the requirement blind-sided me. Still, I knew I was not worthy of being anyone’s minister, including myself.
Weeks passed, and one Sunday afternoon while reading spiritual materials, I remembered a teaching from the school. I pulled out a binder in which I kept many notes, and the letter from the university fell upon the floor. As I picked it up, I knew immediately that I missed the lessons and all the joy and change they had brought into my life. I sat back down in my recliner and held the letter in my lap.
My thoughts put me to sleep, and soon I was dreaming. This is the dream.
Once upon a time a man looked to himself. He spoke to himself, “I desire to serve God, but my life has been full of error. The example I have set is not that of a cleric. People will only scoff and say, ‘Know ye them by the fruits of their tree.’ Who am I, then, to speak for or of God?”
With these words circling within his head, the troubled man lay down to rest. He spoke to God. “Your will, not mine, be done.”
As he drifted into sleep, pictures began appearing that told this story.
Once there stood a tree—a tree of life, full of fruit. The limbs bent toward the earth under the weight of the lush red cherries. The cherries danced in jubilee with the breeze that bathed their tender skins and turned their fullness and vivid color to face the Father, the Sun of the heavens.
With the dew and the rain they would polish their beauty and drink of the earth; to store within the energy and vitality of life taken from the soil through the roots and fired with the spirit of the Sun radiating through the leaves of their parent tree.
But alas, not all of the children of the tree would mature into lush red fruit. Out of an urge to experience and learn on his own, one turned away from the Father and ignored the parental warnings. Charlie, as he was known by the others, kept his life juices warm, daring the cold, the frost, the elements. He began to fill with color and mature early.
Pivoting on his base, he turned away from the Sun and took shade in the leaves. Daring to fornicate with the world, Charlie refused to release the natural pesticides within himself and took up affairs with the parasites.
Soon his delicate skin was broken, and his fruit exposed. The fragrance attracted the birds, and they too feasted on his flesh. Charlie lived off the flesh and of the world. Passion, experience, and knowledge were his prize.
Then one day the gardener came. Gently he took from the parent the pure and ripened children, leaving only Charlie behind. Hanging alone, Charlie looked about him. The fall nights were cold and lonely. His friends, the birds, were on wing, abandoning him. His flesh had spoiled, and even the insects avoided him now. His soul hung onto his tattered body. The elements he had once faced with a thrill now threatened to snap him from the stem of life. Charlie was sad and lonely. He had learned these things: knowledge is not necessarily wisdom; experience is not always a kind teacher; and passion is sometimes a poison that betrays whatever value there is to be had in experience and knowledge.
Charlie looked up at the beautiful blue sky and the buoyant white billowy clouds adrift, seemingly with nothing to do or a care in the world, lazily on sail across the vast blue heavens. “They and the lilies of the field,” Charlie said to himself.
“Dear God,” he spoke aloud, “I have sinned. I have wasted the beauty of your flower and turned my back on simple truth. In my pursuit of wisdom, I lost sight of Your Great Form and indulged in physical illusions. I was lost. I alone am to blame. I give my essence over to thee, Creator of all that is good within me and all that could ever be love within me. For you are Eternal Love, and what is best for me is also your way. That I should discover this so late in my life is my most significant regret.
“I have watched the caterpillar spin his cocoon and perch on the leaves above me as a butterfly,” Charlie continued, “but I fear that this recognition has come so late in my life that I will be unable to share this Beauty, this Truth, with others.”
With that Charlie lowered his head. Suddenly a squirrel jerked him from the limb and scampered down the tree and across the meadow. The squirrel paused, examined Charlie, and then as though rejecting him, dropped Charlie in the grass.
Charlie rested there for a day or two, and then the snow came. Covered by the white blanket, Charlie slept.
The seasons passed as though in the twinkling of an eye. Charlie took root and grew strong. From his branches came blossoms, followed by fruit more beautiful than Charlie could ever remember beholding.
Charlie praised and gave thanks to God!
The lowly man in my dream raised his head from slumber. His prayer had been answered. The Lord does not forsake man; man forsakes the Lord. Thy will, not mine, be done; for, after all, in their eternal boundless beauty, they are one and the same.
My life has changed since this dream. Today many faces provide that warm fuzzy feeling when I put my head on the pillow.

Eldon Taylor

Eldon Taylor has made a lifelong study of the human mind and has earned doctoral degrees in psychology and metaphysics. He is president of Progressive Awareness Research, an organization dedicated to researching techniques for accessing the immense powers of the mind. For more than 20 years, he has approached personal empowerment from the cornerstone perspective of forgiveness, gratitude, service and respect for all life. To contact Eldon in response to the story, you can reach him via his website: To get a copy of his new book Choices and Illusions, go to:

Monday, 23 January 2017

Book Review | Frank Cavallo | Eye Of The Storm

Eye of the Storm

This book was sent to me for free. This book was sent to me by the publisher. This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. 

Author: Frank Cavallo
Title: Eye Of The Storm
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction

Pages: 395
Price: £14.35

Started: 31st December 2016
Finished: 23rd January 2017

Synopsis: On a research mission in one of the most remote regions of the world, former Navy SEAL Eric Slade and Dr. Anna Fayne are caught in a mysterious storm. Catapulted through a rift in space-time, they are marooned on a lost world. Struggling to survive and desperate to find a way home, they must confront the dangers of this savage land - a dark wizard and his army of undead - a warrior queen and her horde of fierce Neanderthals that stand against him - and a legendary treasure with the power to open the gateway between worlds or to destroy them all: the eye of the storm. 

Review: Firstly, I would like to thank the author for his amazing imagination and the hours that must have been put into making this work of art a reality. Secondly, I would also like to thank the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Lately, I have struggled to fall into a book straight from the beginning and that it takes me slowly reading through the first few chapters to become lost in the book. This story has a fantasy and action filled story line that will keep the reader hooked at hours at a time. This book just keeps you wanting to read more and more and you just can't wait to see what is going to happen next. This was an excellent read and I was hooked on the story line. The way that this book is written makes the reader feel like they are a  part of the story line and are stood in the shadows watching the narrative play out. This novel had a lot of action throughout and that made it almost impossible for me to put the book down and stop reading. The only slight negative for me was that the last few chapters were a little slow for my liking; I was expecting there to be more action in the final chapters of this book. However, this is still an excellent book that I would highly recommend to fans of the fantasy genre. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars