Tag Archives: non-fiction

The Art of Holistic Living: The Balancing Act: Career, Family, and the Self by Dr. Manish Sethi Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author and Dr. Manish Sethi take readers on a journey of self-discovery as the book outlines how to live a fully balanced and holistic life through constant improvements to our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being in the book “The Art of Holistic Living: The Balancing Act: Career, Family, and the Self”.

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The Synopsis

Go far in all your life’s goals and endeavors!

The following descriptors collectively make us distinct:

Bodymindcareerfamilysocial circlethoughtsbeliefs, and aspirations.

What if all areas of our lives were truly blossoming?

What if we could live a wholesome, balanced, and holistic life?

The only way to achieve that is to become a better version of ourselves, with a mindset of continuous improvement.

The topics covered in this book are diverse:

  • Mental Health
  • Physical Health
  • Healthy Habit formation
  • Mindfulness and Spirituality
  • Being more efficient in 24 hours
  • Work-life Balance
  • Communication
  • Career Growth
  • Parenting


This book started as notes for myself. After studying and practicing different aspects of healthy living for the past 20 years, I realized an apparent gap in the teachings of all those topics; this book highlights that gap and an underlying connection among different principles.

The Review

What immediately stuck with me as I read this book was the way the author was able to connect very pointed and specific ideas on self-improvement that are found in many books on this subject by using a more general and holistic perspective. One of the most challenging things a person can come up against is life itself getting in the way of self-improvement. From an overwhelming workload to conflict within our relationships and ailments of both the mind and body, there will always be obstacles preventing us from achieving our innermost goals. 

The relatability of the author’s writing style and the multi-pronged approach to the guide itself on growth and change in our lives was brilliantly presented within this book. The honesty and clarity with which the author delivered his message and the experiences that informed his views were thoughtfully crafted and showcased the wealth of knowledge this book presents. 

The Verdict

In-depth, passionately written, and engaging, author Dr. Manish Sethi’s “The Art of Holistic Living” is a must-read guide on balancing our lives and improving our own selves. The balance of the author’s work in matters of spiritual, physical, and mental health was greatly emphasized in this book and the depth of information that the author is able to bring to such a short yet powerful read made this one enlightening experience. If you haven’t already done so, please be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10 

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About the Author

MANISH SETHI, PHD, lives a life of inquisition and exploration. His desire is to learn how to live a holistic life with a balance of career, family, and self.

His research, personal experiences, and thoughtful interactions in the spiritual realm have guided Manish to understand the deeper meaning of faith, mysticism, career and ambition, healthy mind and body, family, and even materialism. He understands that a fulfilling life consists of finding a balance between various facets of life and integrating these diverse concepts to become a more wholesome individual.

What began as personal notes of inspiration on his journey to becoming a better person today than he was yesterday, Manish has provided a resource full of concepts to assist the reader on a path to greater learning and deeper understanding.

Manish lives in North Carolina with his wife Mona and two daughters, Anika and Anaya.

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Laugh, Cry, Rewind: A Memoir by Judy Haveson Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Judy Haveson steps forward to share the emotional journey of her life, from the author’s childhood to the birth of her son, and how she has come out on the other side through a series of losses and painful experiences in order to keep on living her life to the fullest in the book “Laugh, Cry, Rewind: A Memoir”.

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The Synopsis

Growing up in 1970s and 80s suburban Houston, Judy Haveson is funny, sarcastic, and fiercely loyal, especially to her family, friends, and big sister, Celia. When she suffers a series of unimaginable traumatic events, her seemingly idyllic childhood comes to a halt, changing her life forever.

In Laugh Cry Rewind Judy takes readers on her journey of self-discovery, sharing funny, touching, and heartbreaking stories from her childhood all the way to the birth of her son. Her experiences serve as a reminder that while life is not always fair, ultimately, the choice to surrender or keep on living is ours. Her message to others who have experienced loss or tragedy is this: stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. Let life go on, and good things will be waiting for you on the other side of the pain.

The Review

As an older brother, the first and most important thing that stuck out to me was the deep-seated bond the author shares with her older sister. The emotional pull of their story and how her sister influenced her both in childhood and in the years following the tragedy in her life was haunting yet beautiful at the same time. The hopeful tone the author tries to bring out in their narrative was great to see, as it helped by acting as a guiding light out of the darkness that threatened to consume the author in the wake of this tragedy.

The themes of love, loss, and hope were strong in this book. The way the themes blended into the author’s story and kept shining through in natural ways was remarkable to read about. The balance in the author’s personal story set against the backdrop of the 70s and 80s, as well as the honest and personable way of writing the author utilized, made for a compelling and engaging story that readers won’t be able to get enough of.

The Verdict

Poignant, heartfelt, and emotionally driven, author Judy Haveson’s “Laugh, Cry, Rewind: A Memoir” is a must-read nonfiction book. The sense of history and culture through the author’s own background and the rich setting of her life helped elevate this personal story of growth and hope in the wake of tragedy and kept me as a reader emotionally invested and connected as an older brother to a truly remarkable sister myself. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Judy Haveson is a proud Texan who will never lose her southern charm or accent and uses both when the situation absolutely calls for it. Her one-time dream of becoming a journalist was shattered when a professor suggested she pick a new major due to her penchant for obsessive conversation. He claimed she’d be an editor’s nightmare because she wrote as she spoke and never stopped talking. This led her to a career in public relations. Judy’s fixation with reading books and stories about other people’s lives inspired her to write her debut memoir. She currently lives in The Hamptons with her husband, Adam, son, Jack, and beloved Yorkie, Toby.

https://www.judyhaveson.com/

Shine Baby Shine, 7 Steps to Energetic Self-Empowerment by Antoniella Del Vecchio Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Antoniella Del Vecchio shares an easy-to-follow yet comprehensive guide on how to improve yourself and gain a better understanding of what is happening around them emotionally in the book “Shine Baby Shine, 7 Steps to Energetic Self-Empowerment”. 

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The Synopsis

SHINE, BABY, SHINE 7 Steps to Energetic Self-Empowerment is an easy-to-read, easy-to-follow self-help book which allows the reader to gain understanding and awareness of what is happening within them emotionally, as well as energetically. There are integrative strategies and exercises that the reader can utilize to become stronger and healthier emotionally and spiritually. Reading the book and following the steps will facilitate change to help them raise their self-esteem, feel happier and motivated so that they can enjoy life. Following the Energetic Self-Empowerment program is so easy, so effortless, that they will feel surprised at how much they will accomplish, regardless of where they start. Self-transformation can be exciting, easy, highly effective, and quick!

The Review

Right off the bat, I truly appreciated the author’s honesty and heartfelt tone throughout the book. Immediately the author shares with readers that this self-help book is a workbook not meant to replace medical or psychological needs, which is so important in these types of books as so many people may confuse self-help with replacements for medical or psychological help they may need. The blend of energy work and emotional support that the author’s work promotes was great to see come to life on the page.

The step-by-step guided work that the author outlines in this book was both easy to follow and thoughtful in its approach. The way the author was able to hone in on both physical and emotional aspects of life that could impact our emotional state or well-being was insightful, and the balance of personal storytelling of her own life experiences with the guided work she put into place will help keep readers invested in the work itself.

The Verdict

Thoughtful, engaging, and well-written, author Antoniella Del Vecchio’s “Shine Baby Shine, 7 Steps to Energetic Self-Empowerment” is a must-read self-help and personal transformation book. The heartfelt delivery of the author’s personal story and experiences when developing these steps will help balance out the reader’s own emotional journey working through these steps themselves, and the book itself speaks to a large number of different people to help guide them on their emotional and often spiritual journey to self-improvement. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Antoniella Del Vecchio attended Marist College for a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Long Island University for a master’s degree in mental health counseling. Antoniella is also certified as an alcohol and drug abuse counselor, her area of specialty for the last ten years. She is a licensed mental health counselor in New York, and a licensed professional clinical counselor in California, with a specialty in substance abuse from the state of California. Antoniella is currently working with the military to help alleviate symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, depression, and patterns of addiction. She also has a private practice in La Jolla, California, where she works with people from all walks of life. Antoniella feels that everyone has the right and deserves to live a happy, empowered life. Everyone has their own innate gifts and skills that deserve to be expressed and celebrated according to their truth. With that in mind, Antoniella has created a signature program, Energetic Self-Empowerment, which will allow for individuals to reach their full potential in a compassionate, gentle way. Antoniella’s focus is to help those who are willing, to find their voice, their joy, and their personal power with no apologies. Antoniella lives by the motto ‘don’t talk about it, be about it’. She is now offering her program to the public for the first time. The method she developed and followed to reawaken her self-empowerment is now available. She promises that you, too, will feel a powerful shift in your own life in an easy, simple way that will help you stand in your own power while feeling happy, vital, and alive.

Interview with Author Laura Pratt

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I am a career writer. I’ve made my living as a journalist for almost thirty years. I would say, however, that I didn’t really find my voice until I started writing creative nonfiction.

What inspired you to write your book?

In 2018, I went to the University of King’s College in Halifax to start a two-year program in creative nonfiction. I earned my MFA in 2020. The graduate thesis for this program is in fact a book, which we work through with mentors over the course of two years. Ideally, you have your book finished in alignment with the program. I chose to write about heartbreak because it has been such a powerful experience in my life. My story, coupled with a range of more scholarly explorations into the phenomenon of this universal experience, seemed like juicy fodder for a creative nonfiction project.

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I think the biggest takeaway I envision for this book is that you’re OK. I’m OK. We’re all OK. If you’re reeling from heartbreak, you needn’t imagine you’re failing society or yourself or anyone at all for your failure to surface according to some perceived timetable. It’s OK to be reeling. It’s OK to hurt and yearn and struggle for a long time. I want people to stop judging themselves for not being OK, and to be kind to themselves in the face of their discomfort and despair. To realize, through my story, that it is entirely natural to hurt for a long time. They are not losers. They are only human.

What drew you into this particular genre?

Creative nonfiction is a natural fit for me. As a journalist, I am deeply concerned with the truth and feel strongly about holding my writing accountable to facts alone. But the *creative* aspect of this approach to writing was a wonderful discovery for me. Here, writers apply the tools and literary devices of creative writing (think: character development, scenes, detailed description, dialogue, etc.) to nonfiction. It elevates factual storytelling to a much more compelling and enjoyable place.

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I have launched an Instagram account around this book, and am excited to see where this path takes me. It is my first experience on that platform and I’m hopeful for its reach in terms of attracting readers.

 What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Keep going. It’s hard to write a book. It takes tremendous stick-to-it-iveness and patience. It’s a lot of work and a lot of words. But you need only to take a stroll through a bookstore, electronic or brick-built, to come away encouraged by the number of people who have been able to pull off this enormous undertaking. Have faith in yourself. If all those folks could do it, why not you?

What does the future hold in store for you? Are any new books/projects on the horizon?

I make my living now as a book editor, but feel strongly that there are more memoirs on my near horizon. I am a mother to four kids who are all young adults now, and I am kicking around ideas for another memoir that delves into this stage of maternal life. But I am so consumed right now with giving “Heartbroken” the birth it deserves, that I don’t want to muddy the waters by thinking too much ahead. I have loved every minute of writing this book and am awfully excited at the prospect of getting it out into the world. Thank you for taking the time for this conversation!

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About the Author

LAURA PRATT is a long-time journalist, writer and editor. She writes for Canadian magazines and edits books. Her first memoir, The Fleeting Years, was published in 2004. She lives in Toronto with whichever of her kids and dogs she can corral to join her. She’s a 2020 graduate of the University of King’s College’s creative nonfiction MFA. She won an honourable mention in Prairie Fire’s 2020 CNF contest and was shortlisted for The Fiddlehead’s 2019 CNF contest. She has served as a judge at the National Magazine Awards for several years.

http://www.laurapratt.ca/

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Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero by Michael Hingson and Susy Flory Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

The true story of a man blind from birth and the extraordinary bond between him and his guide dog that allowed them to survive one of American History’s most horrendous tragedies comes to life in authors Michael Hingson and Susy Flory’s “Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero”.

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The Synopsis

Faith.  Trust.  Triumph.

I trust Roselle with my life, every day. She trusts me to direct her. And today is no different, except the stakes are higher. Michael Hingson

First came the boom the loud, deep, unapologetic bellow that seemed to erupt from the very core of the earth. Eerily, the majestic high-rise slowly leaned to the south. On the seventy-eighth floor of the World Trade Center’s north tower, no alarms sounded, and no one had information about what had happened at 8:46 a.m. on September 11, 2001. What should have been a normal workday for thousands of people. All that was known to the people inside was what they could see out the windows: smoke and fire and millions of pieces of burning paper and other debris falling through the air.

Blind since birth, Michael couldn’t see a thing, but he could hear the sounds of shattering glass, falling debris, and terrified people flooding around him and his guide dog, Roselle. However, Roselle sat calmly beside him. In that moment, Michael chose to trust Roselle’s judgment and not to panic. They are a team.

Thunder Dog allows you entry into the isolated, fume-filled chamber of stairwell B to experience survival through the eyes of a blind man and his beloved guide dog. Live each moment from the second a Boeing 767 hits the north tower, to the harrowing stairwell escape, to dodging death a second time as both towers fold into the earth.

It’s the 9/11 story that will forever change your spirit and your perspective. Thunder Dog illuminates Hingson’s lifelong determination to achieve parity in a sighted world, and how the rare trust between a man and his guide dog can inspire an unshakable faith in each one of us.

The Review

The authors delivered a truly moving, compelling, and inspiring memoir. The visceral details of the harrowing experience both Michael and his guide dog Roselle had trying to navigate that stairwell and escape the towers that horrific day is chilling and haunting to read about, and is something that many readers around the world will be able to identify with as many experienced the fear and confusion that the news brought from that traumatic day.

The heart of the narrative lies in the bond between Michael and Roselle, as well as the emphasis the authors put on faith and trust as a whole. Whether it is the faith that Michael put into Roselle that day and throughout their lives as a whole or the faith in his belief system that gave him the confidence to face life’s struggles head-on, the theme of faith runs deeply through this book. 

Now I will say I had the pleasure of reading another book on this man’s life story, and you can read my thoughts on that here, but what made this version of his story shine in a different light than the first one was the emphasis the authors put on showcasing blindness as a whole and trying to move readers to look beyond the “handicap” of those who are blind and see the people they are instead, which gave a nice balance to the rest of the events portrayed in this book.

The Verdict

Thoughtful, inspiring, and hopeful, authors Michael Hingson and Susy Flory’s “Thunder Dog” is a must-read memoir and nonfiction book on faith, trust, and loyalty like no other. The emotional connection between Michael and Roselle, as well as the importance of understanding blindness and the connection people make with either their pets or in this instance, their guide dogs, and the shocking details of an experience few could ever put into words made this one book you won’t be able to put down. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

When the World Trade Center was attacked on 9-11, it was as though the world stood still. It was a day that captured our full attention. Michael Hingson and his Guide Dog Roselle were on the 78th floor of Tower One that day, and were able to make their way to safety and survive the attack. The duo was immediately thrust into the international spotlight, becoming well-known representatives of the strength of the human/animal bond and a living example of the powerful partnership that exists between a blind person and their Guide Dog. In 2002 Michael joined the Guide Dogs for the Blind team as the National Public Affairs director, to share his story throughout the world on behalf of the school. In June of 2008 Michael left Guide Dogs to form The Michael Hingson Group to continue his speaking career as well as to serve as a consultent for corporations and organizations that need assistance with Inclusive and Diversity training as well as adaptive technology training.

Michael Hingson is available for speaking engagements, public appearances, consulting and training contract positions and media interviews.

In his own words:

I lived through the 9-11 tragedy and have much to say about my experiences leading up to and escaping from the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. Since that day, I’ve traveled the world with Roselle and her successors; at first to help people heal and hope, and now, to help them find meaning and purpose. As a blind person living in today’s world I want people to see that while there are many different kinds of people, each with their own different gifts, we all can live and work together if we choose to open our minds and hearts and become a more inclusive world. There are positive lessons to be learned from every tragedy, and 9-11 is certainly no exception.

Because I am blind, I have a unique perspective. Because I believe in the power of partnering with my Guide Dog, I can speak from the heart about teamwork and trust. I’ve been a guest numerous times on Larry King Live, have been interviewed on Regis and Kelly, and have appeared on the CBS Morning Show – but I’m looking forward to my next big engagement: as the featured speaker at your event.

I promise to bring my faithful friend and guide dog, Africa – she has her own fan club! If it weren’t for our ability to work together as a team just as I Roselle and I did on 9-11, my story would be much different and I probably would not have learned the lessons I now can pass on to audiences throughout the world.

The events of September 11th changed the world, and they certainly changed my life. There’s something about almost losing your life that makes what really matters in life crystal clear. I left my successful 27-year career in high tech computer sales and management to travel the world speaking about the importance of teamwork and trust in our professional and personal lives.

I would like to bring my story to your audience at your next event or meeting and help you make it a memorable and rewarding experience. And you will have the satisfaction that any dollars you spend will not only cover my speaking fees, but will help others like myself enjoy the independence and companionship that comes from a partnership with a Guide Dog. 

Susy Flory is the New York Times bestselling author or co-author of fourteen books. A graduate of UCLA, she has a background in journalism, education, and communications. She loves reading and writing stories about unforgettable people who are living lives of adventure, courage, hope, redemption, and transformation.

She first started writing at the Newhall Signal with the legendary Scotty Newhall, an ex-editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and a one-legged cigar-smoking curmudgeon who ruled the newsroom from behind a dented metal desk where he pounded out stories on an Underwood Typewriter.

Susy’s first book, Fear Not Da Vinci, was co-written with Gini Monroe with contributions by Ward Gasque, and published in 2006. Other books include So Long Status Quo: What I Learned from Women Who Changed the World (Beacon Hill, 2009); Miracle on Voodoo Mountain (with Megan Boudreaux, Harper Collins, 2015); and The Good, The Bad, and the Grace of God, with Jep and Jessica Robertson (Harper Collins, 2015).

Susy’s runaway bestseller, Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero written with Michael Hingson, hit the New York Times bestsellers list in both hardcover nonfiction and e-book nonfiction the first week of release. Thunder Dog has also been adapted for the stage, optioned for film, and translated into over 15 languages, including German, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, and Chinese.

Her most recent book. The Sky Below, is the story of astronaut Scott Parazynski, the only man every to fly in space and summit Mount Everest. She just finished up Desired By God, a book with Van Moody, pastor of the Worship Center in Birmingham, AL, about a God who yearns for a vital and passionate relationship with us.

Susy is a member of The Authors Guild, Inspire Christian Writers, and INK Creative Collective. She’s a 2017 recipient of the Pacesetter Award from Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, and now directs the West Coast Christian Writers Conference in the San Francisco Bay Area and her startup, Everything Memoir.

A breast cancer survivor of four gnarly surgeries, Susy celebrates life by chasing great stories in places like Cuba, Haiti, Turkey, Israel, and her own backyard. She’s written with celebrities, heroes of the faith, athletes, explorers, and the girl (and boy) next door She loves riding a crazy ex-racehorse named Stetson, hiking in the High Sierras, and skiing black diamond runs whenever she can. 

http://www.susyflory.com/

Heartbroken: Field Notes on a Constant Condition by Laura Pratt Review

I received a free copy of this book In exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author and journalist Laura Pratt goes on a personal journey to understand the psychological and emotional impact of heartbreak and how it affects us all in her book “Heartbroken: Field Notes on a Constant Condition”.

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The Synopsis

In this definitive treatise on romantic loss, journalist Laura Pratt exposes the subject of heartbreak with a deep dive into the experience. Her reports chronicle her journey from grief to gratitude, and to perspective and meaning at last.

Heartbroken charts a hard terrain we all know–pocked with rejection, slick with sorrow–but it also offers some light and a map. And hope for arriving–changed, broadened, grateful–on the other side.

When Laura Pratt’s long-distance partner of six years tells her “it’s over” at a busy downtown train station, she is sent reeling, the breakup having come out of the blue. Her partner, meanwhile, closes himself off, refusing to acknowledge Laura and her requests for explanation.

In the following days, months, and then years, Laura struggles to make sense of this loss, alone and filled with questions. She mourns him and takes comfort in whatever reassurances she imagines the universe is sending her, and in identifying value for her ordeal under every rock she flips.

Here, Laura bares her soul as she brings alive the ups and downs of heartbreak–the recalled highs of when the relationship was in full, mutual bloom, and the long-time lows of her solitary vigil for Sam.

Seeking to understand this freefall and how so many before her survived it, she draws on forces across time and form and uncovers literary, philosophical, scientific, and psychological accounts of how we human beings fall in love in the first place, and why, when it ends, some of us take longer to get over it, or never do.

Effortlessly, Laura Pratt weaves this background of cultural history with her own bracing story of heartbreak and loss, and offers the heartbroken some solace in the common experience.

Imbued with Laura’s longing, erudition, and hard-earned wisdom, Heartbroken dares to delve into this most universal of mortal ordeals–perhaps the one that makes us the most human of all.

The Review

What struck me immediately upon reading this book was the profound sense of personal experience that somehow still felt all too relatable and engaging to the reader. The balance the author found in this memoir and relationship-driven book between her own personal heartbreak and the study of heartbreak, in general, was great to see. The pain and tragedy of the author’s experiences help to connect readers to the subject matter, as the emotions that influenced her mentality in those early days of the breakup showcased the power that a strong connection and its sudden loss can have, not unlike the sense of loss that comes with losing a loved one in life.

The artistry and almost poetic way the author wrote this book really became the heart of the story here. The insightful and free-flowing research into the subject and history of heartbreak, romance, and love as a whole in regard to the relationships we form was remarkable to watch unfold on the page, and looking at how history has shown the evolution of our thoughts and feelings on love as a people was incredible to read about. 

The Verdict

Heartfelt, emotional, and memorable, author Laura Pratt’s “Heartbroken” is a must-read book of nonfiction memoir and relationship storytelling. The way the author is able to share how love and relationships can influence how we respond to and appreciate things like music and memories as a whole was great to see come to life in the author’s writing, and the cultural and historical research that went into the author’s exploration of her own heartbreak made this a truly compelling read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!


Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

LAURA PRATT is a long-time journalist, writer and editor. She writes for Canadian magazines and edits books. Her first memoir, The Fleeting Years, was published in 2004. She lives in Toronto with whichever of her kids and dogs she can corral to join her. She’s a 2020 graduate of the University of King’s College’s creative nonfiction MFA. She won an honourable mention in Prairie Fire’s 2020 CNF contest and was shortlisted for The Fiddlehead’s 2019 CNF contest. She has served as a judge at the National Magazine Awards for several years.

http://www.laurapratt.ca/

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0B5K9DDQP/ref=x_gr_w_glide_sin?caller=Goodreads&callerLink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goodreads.com%2Fbook%2Fshow%2F61389212-heartbroken%3Fac%3D1%26from_search%3Dtrue%26qid%3DBFdCXa0sJJ%26rank%3D1&tag=x_gr_w_glide_sin-20

When Grace Found Me: Real-Life Stories of Women of Faith Volume Two by Kim Lengling Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Kim Lengling returns with new first-hand accounts from a collection of strong and faithful women to share their stories of what grace means to them in the book “When Grace Found Me: Real-Life Stories of Women of Faith Volume Two”. 

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The Synopsis

Have you ever felt unworthy?

The women of this book did not come together by accident. The stories that are shared within these pages are transformative, inspirational, and all of God.

Women from around the world who have persevered, triumphed and now thrive.

The roads travelled may have been hard, but our father God was and is with each of us every day. We can overcome and bloom into who God meant for us to be.

We use our stories and testimonies to shine a light on others. You will be blessed by taking the time to read this book, and who knows, one of the stories within may be the exact story that you needed to read to provide that light for your own path.

You are blessed, loved, and a masterpiece. Never forget that!

The Review

The author continues to bring readers an intimate and inspiring collection of stories from women who showcase the power that grace can have on a person’s life. The way the author is able to hone in on the emotional impact that grace has had on each of the women included in this collection by allowing the women’s voices to shine in an authentic way was brilliantly done. The relatability of the women and their stories will immediately grab the reader’s attention as they naturally bring their stories to life.

Again, while I may not be religious myself, I found the way the author approached the theme of grace and faith to be heartwarming, as the author allowed the natural progression of each woman’s story to showcase how natural, everyday life and major life-changing events alike could make an impact on a person’s life and bring people to a place where faith is needed to help drive their lives forward in a positive light.

The Verdict

Heartfelt, engaging, and relatable, author Kim Lengling’s “When Grace Found Me: Real-Life Stories of Women of Faith Volume Two” is a must-read book on faith and personal growth from a Christian perspective. Faith-based readers will thoroughly enjoy the book’s stories and find heart and hope in the women who bring their personal tales to life on the page. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Kim coordinates and is the lead author on a collaborative 3-book faith series, When Grace Found Me, with additional collaborative efforts to come in 2021. She is the mother of one grown daughter and has a rescue dog named Dexter.

Her writing showcases her faith and her emotional interpretation of nature and life and what it can teach us as we traverse this journey.

Kim has been writing since 2004 as a writer, author, and freelance writer. She is a co-author of two published books and one soon to be published in 2021. 

To learn more or to purchase a signed copy of any of Kim’s books, please visit www.kimlenglingauthor.com

Follow her podcast Let Fear Bounce on Anchor.fm https://anchor.fm/kim-lengling1

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Interview with Author Hal Free

1)     Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

My father’s love for the English language and the power of words. He used to repeat phrases from famous poems or speeches, caressing each word. Maybe that’s why I majored in Journalism at Rutgers and ended up as an advertising copywriter and author for many years. I still get excited when I come up with a way of expressing an idea I’ve been searching for.  In my advertising life, I ended up creating the emotional “Kodak Moment” campaign. From Kodak Moment to Good Dick, Bad Dick is quite a leap, I guess, but it’s for a good cause.

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2)     What inspired you to write your book?

Ten years ago, an art director and I worked on a comic book about the life of a cartoon penis. It was funny but mostly just a bunch of clever puns, and I stopped working on it. A year ago, as I listened to so many reports of famous men assaulting women, I suddenly thought about the book and turning it into a bigger, more important idea. I wanted to use the cartoon character to teach some bad “dicks” what they’re doing wrong to women by using the character’s own life’s story as a reformed bad dick. It could still be very funny, but do some good in the world.

3. What theme or message do you hope readers will take away?

    If you see yourself on these pages, get over yourself. If you can’t do right because it’s right, you’ll pay a price for mistreating women.

4.What drew you into this particular genre?

I grew up in a time when it was common to treat women like objects and possessions. I know the mentality. And then I thought about this idea I had which was an unusual way for guys to allow the message to sink in. It’s not as if they would be hearing the message for the first time, but using humor might be a new way to get through to them.

 5) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Facebook ads were tremendously successful at getting likes. Amazon refused to let me advertise the book.  They admitted it was helping the feminist cause, but they

couldn’t get past the title and visuals which violated their content guidelines.  Really a bad decision. I’m just starting to try blogging sites like yours.

6) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Love what you’re writing and the writing experience itself. When you’re not writing, read, so you’ll know how high the bar is and how much you need to improve.

7) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?  

I’m working on an unusual self-help book that explains how we cause a lot of our injuries and our pain ourselves by the way we move incorrectly, and how to easily prevent it. 

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Book Spotlight: Most Famous Short Film of All Time by Tucker Lieberman 

Hey guys! I’m so excited to share with you guys today a special book spotlight for author Tucker Lieberman and his novel, “Most Famous Short Film of All Time”, a nonfiction/fiction hybrid that you won’t be able to put down. Below you will find some information on the book, an excerpt from the book, and some info on the author himself. 

I will be reviewing this book in a few weeks, so be sure to follow my blog to receive updates on my site, including daily blog posts, and you will see my thoughts on this book soon. Until then, please enjoy this look at “Most Famous Short Film of All Time”.

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Book Info and Purchase Links:

Most Famous Short Film of All Time

by Tucker Lieberman

Munich: tRaum Books, 2022

Publisher’s website: https://traumbooks.com/most-famous-short-film-of-all-time/

Author’s website: https://tuckerlieberman.com/most-famous-short-film-of-all-time/

Booklife: https://booklife.com/project/most-famous-short-film-of-all-time-80120

Paperback

 $23.25 US: Bookshop

 £21.99 UK: Waterstones

 $25 US: Barnes & Noble

 $25 US: Amazon

Ebook

 $11.99 Kindle

 $11.99 Kobo

 $8 Itch

 $8 Gumroad

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Book Description

Ghosts and goddesses beckon Lev Ockenshaw. Oh, bother. Fortunately, he’s got a pill for that. In 2014, Lev is happily telling campfire stories in Boston with his longtime friend, Stanley, and his coworker, Aparna. One day, he receives an anonymous, threatening email referring to the company where he and Aparna work. Lev reports the threat to his boss, but is not believed.

Invoking over 250 books, songs, and movies, Most Famous Short Film of All Time is a non/fiction-hybrid philosophical novel about:

  • the nature of time
  • the ever-present threat of gun violence in the United States
  • the unhelpfulness of institutions and systems
  • the importance of solidarity and transparency and being excellent to your friends
  • belonging to Gen X or the Millennial generation
  • being a fictional character and realizing you’re stuck in your own story
  • the hazards of disclosing or not disclosing a gender transition you’ve already completed
  • the neverendingness of the journey
  • all 486 frames of the Zapruder film of the JFK assassination
  • belief and unbelief
  • prejudice, perception, and ethical action/inaction
  • undoing/redoing decisions and trying harder
  • reading as many books as you possibly can
  • the role of playfulness, irony, and absurdity
  • burning things that do not serve
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Excerpt from the book

[introductory remark to explain that it’s an excerpt]

“Flyleaf — By Which I Do Not Mean Myself” is one of the character’s Lev Ockenshaw’s musings in Most Famous Short Film of All Time. Here, he’s thinking about The Lord of the Rings and is indirectly wondering who’s telling his story.

[here’s the excerpt]

J. R. R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, wrote in a letter (categorized as Letter 192) that “Frodo deserved all honour because he spent every drop of his power of will and body, and that was just sufficient to bring him to the destined point, and no further. Few others, possibly no others of his time, would have got so far.” Frodo’s destination was Mount Doom, but he could not muster the energy to throw the ring into the lava. Tolkien continued: “The Other Power then took over: the Writer of the Story (by which I do not mean myself), ‘that one ever-present Person who is never absent and never named’ (as one critic has said).” A boss within the novel, directing Frodo’s story. A writer who isn’t the writer.

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About the Author

Tucker Lieberman is the author of the nonfiction Painting Dragons, Bad Fire, andTen Past Noon, as well as a bilingual poetry collection, Enkidu Is Dead and Not Dead / Enkidu está muerto y no lo está, recognized as a finalist in the 2020 Grayson Books Poetry Contest and nominated for the 2022 Elgin Award by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association.

His essay on a horror film appears in It Came From the Closet (Feminist Press, 2022). He’s contributed to three anthologies recognized by Lambda Literary: Balancing on the Mechitza (North Atlantic Books, 2011 Lambda winner), Letters For My Brothers (Wilgefortis, 2012 Lambda finalist), and Trans-Galactic Bike Ride (Microcosm, 2021 Lambda finalist). His flash fiction was recognized in the 2019 STORGY Magazine Flash Fiction Competition.

His husband is the science fiction writer Arturo Serrano, author of To Climates Unknown (2021) and contributor to the Hugo-winning blog nerds of a feather, flock together. They live in Bogotá, Colombia.

Socials

I’m @tuckerlieberman everywhere. 

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