More and more people are becoming aware of the healing powers of creativity. Human nature makes people want to strive to feel good, and keep their bodies free from illness and dysfunction. Two goals most people hope for are to be creative and to improve/maintain health. Taking our cue from physics, the first law of thermodynamics states that energy is neither created nor destroyed but is changed from one form into another. Expressing your creative energy means the energy within you is given an outlet; it is redirected into a more positive energy. Everyone is inheritably born with the potential for creativity. Drawing, painting, writing, acting, sculpting, knitting, dancing, cooking and playing an instrument are all creative activities that can ignite that creative spark. Many people already embrace their creativity while others are in the realm of “I am just not creative”. The key to being creative is taking action!
“Another word for creativity is courage” ~ George Prince
Shifters, Vampires, and Witches…oh my!
I received a complimentary ARC copy of Midnight Curse (Disrupted Magic #1) by Melissa F. Olson from NetGalley in order to read and give an honest review.
I’m new to Melissa F.Olson’s work and I should ask myself…what was I waiting for?
I really enjoyed this book, her voice is unique, her characters interesting and a plot that kept me turning pages well into the wee hours of the morning. The protagonist is a cleaner of sorts, she cleans up magical “crime scenes” so that us mere mortals never find out about the paranormal “Old World”. She is a “null” who can negate magical powers within a certain radius. It is a unique ability which is helpful in keeping her safe…. most of the time.
When a former friend from Scarlett’s past, Molly, is framed for mass murder she desperately needs help to clear her name and escape the death penalty. Scarlett puts aside her baggage to save Molly, keep magic hidden and prove her innocence. With her friends, loved ones and trusty pup (okay, actually a magical monstrous Barguest) in her corner she goes against some diabolical opponents who want to keep the truth hidden at all costs.
Scarlett Bernard has been featured in a previous series and even though I loved this book as a stand-alone I wish I had read her first series. The back story given was just enough but it made me long to go back and see what led the characters to this point in their lives. I do plan on going back and reading the first series while I wait patiently (or not *pouts*) for the second book in the “Disrupted Magic” series.
The Diary of a Broken Father
(A Prequel to Closure)
Coming February 2017
In The Diary of a Broken Father, Garrison James shares his story from his own perspective of what his life is like now that he decided to go into AA in the hopes of changing his life. He shares the accounts of his daily struggles since his daughter Sara has left his side and what it meant for him to lose her. He is haunted by her loss and is also haunted by the memories of his beloved wife Lila whom he lost to cancer. Garrison is one broken man who is battling his demons, himself and God.
In this novella you will hear from Garrison James as he battles through being a better man all in the hopes of reconciling with his only daughter whom he has hurt so much.
Will he be able to do it? Is it too late for him? What will happen next?
Sylvia Stein is an Indie published author with several anthologies with her Writer’s group 750 on linked in. Stein obtained a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University this past July 2015. She is a mother of three beautiful children Paul 10, Michael 9 and Consuelo 6. She resides in the city of Fuquay Varina with her amazing husband Jeremy. Stein has also published two solo books one was her first novella Closure which she worked on while attending SNHU and published in July of 2014 and the other her first YA Chasing Clarity was published October 2015 and it was created during National Novel Month (Nano) in 2013. When she is not writing she enjoys time with her children and husband. The Diary of a Broken Father will be out this February 2017.
Where to find Sylvia Online:
I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Ripper’s Shadow by Laura Joh Rowland from NetGalley in order to read and give an honest review.
I have to say I loved this book. At first I was a bit leery reading another book based on the history of Jack the Ripper but this was such a fresh take on something that has been done time and time again.
In order to make ends meet Sarah Bain takes a side job shooting illegal boudoir photographs of Whitechapel’s ladies of the evening. When her models are being slaughtered one by one by Jack the Ripper, Sarah feels she needs to stop him. Not being able to go to the police Sarah and a group of eclectic friends put themselves in danger to try to save the rest of her models before Jack the Ripper makes another appearance.
It has it all; a fast-paced intriguing plot, dynamic characters, a touch of humor, edge of your seat scenes and some heartwarming moments between the characters. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to lose themselves in a good book.
I’m fortunate enough to welcome back a familiar face to this site, Lynn Hallbrooks. Lynn is back to tell us about her new book “Helpful Household Hints for the Harried Human.”
Welcome Back Lynn, can you give us a summary of your new book?
“Helpful Household Hints for the Harried Human” is a Non-fiction book of suggestions for dealing with everyday housework.
What lead you to write this book?
I have been cooking and cleaning for a household since I was a tween and my parents divorced. I was the eldest of four children. More recently, I’ve been living with friends who have put a roof over my head in exchange for my abilities. One day it occurred to me that I should share some of what I’ve learned. So I would make mental notes while I was cooking, cleaning, or doing the laundry.
What style did you choose?
One reviewer likened it to being a message from mom to her child setting off on their own.
Are you a mother?
Yes, I have two grown children and one grandson. I also have two godchildren who I lived with for 4 years. So I guess I’m a mother in three different ways, Mother, Grandmother, and Godmother.
Would you say you have a natural instinct to nurture?
Yes, very much so. That may be why I tend to help other authors.
I have noticed that. So where can people connect with you?
They can start by visiting the website – http://cswcllc.weebly.com/ – At the bottom of the page are icons that link to some places where I can be found on Social Media. Also each book that I’ve had a part in writing has its own page with links to where it can be found globally. Here’s the page link for Helpful Household Hints for the Harried Human: http://cswcllc.weebly.com/household-hints-global.html
Below are a couple of other places to find and connect with me:
“Some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.” ~Gilda Radner
It’s the start of a new year and I’m moving forward with lessons learned and more determination than ever. Working on new projects that I have been laying the groundwork for the past year and still in the throws of juggling two course loads; coaching (business) and history/archaeology/palaeography (academic). I will also still be writing copy, book reviews, volunteering and trying to work on my manuscripts…oh and stay sane…oops! Well that ship sailed a long time ago!
Here’s to hoping 2017 turns out to be a stellar year of new beginnings for everyone!
Wherever you may be in your day or evening, I hope you’re making each and every moment matter! 🙂
Live, laugh & love!
“Nothing is predestined. The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings.” ~Ralph Blum
#amwriting #researching #historicalfiction #urbanfantasy #learning #studying #archaeology #history #arttherapy #coaching #art #volunteering #palaeography #transcribing #amreading #photography #blogging #authorinterviews #journaling #organizing
My Spotify Playlist ~WIP Catacombs #HistoricalFiction #UrbanFantasy
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” -Maria Robinson
Review ~ Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude & Growth
I recently had the pleasure to interview author Laurie Buchanan about her new book Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude & Growth and this book is now one of my favourites. If you’re looking to make changes in 2017, Note to Self is the book for you. This will be one of my go-to books when I need to regain harmony in my ever-changing life. Articulate, authentic and relatable, Laurie’s book Note to Self will resonate with so many as will her motto “whatever you are not changing, you are choosing”. Often, we are so incredibly busy or too frightened to make much needed changes in our lives and as a result, get weighed down by our “baggage” and do not live our best life possible. Note to Self breaks the focus down into “Seven Selves”: Self-preservation, Self-gratification, Self-definition, Self-acceptance, Self-expression, Self-reflection and Self-knowledge. By using a holistic approach and breaking areas of our lives into small manageable pieces Note to Self helps us focus on specific areas one at a time and makes the task of self-discovery a little less daunting. Each section invites you to ask questions, offers advice and exercises that are thought provoking and meaningful. I particularly like the Internal Inventory Questions which help us peel back the layers and get to the heart of our baggage.
Embracing the belief that “Life is an expression of the choices we make,” Laurie Buchanan is a teacher and student of purposeful living. With tremendous respect for the earth’s natural resources, her goal is to leave the slightest footprint on the planet, while at the same time making a lasting impression on its inhabitants—one that is positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing.
A minimalist by intent, she lives a beautiful life with fewer things—simple, yet full.
Just wanted to wish everyone who celebrates….
a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Wishing you and yours all the love and joy the season has to offer.
❄I will be back in the new year with some exciting news …stay tuned!❄
Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma by Carol K. Walsh
via Amazon.com “When Carol Walsh pulled her fiance from the bottom of a diving well dead from a massive heart attack her life was turned upside down. Even though she was a psychotherapist working with clients suffering from trauma, this personal shock felt unbearable. Nonetheless, she had to heal herself while supporting clients and, as a single mother, her two children. Using the creative interests she d developed during childhood in order to emotionally save herself from a difficult mother, she fully recovered from her grief and PTSD symptoms and as she recreated her personal, artistic, and professional life, she began to thrive.”
I was recently honoured to have had the opportunity to interview author, therapist and artist Carol K. Walsh about her memoir, Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma. I have always been an avid believer in and advocate for the healing and transformative powers of living a creative life. Inspiring and powerful, Carol’s memoir shares with the reader the healing and empowering potential of the creative process to not only overcome, but to thrive and recreate oneself through life’s traumatic and challenging moments. Authentic and graceful, Carol shares her story in an honest, relatable and insightful prose, as she walks us along her journey of self-discovery through a challenging childhood to the trauma and heartbreak of the death of a fiancé. Each time she faced challenges she called upon her creativity to help her rebuild and redefine her life. Her words are like her paintings, they flow, carrying you along her journey interspersed with artistic antidotes that blend seamlessly with her story. I loved this book and know it will definitely be one I go back to time and again.
About Carol K. Walsh:
Carol Walsh’s life was turned upside down in seconds when she pulled her dead fiancé from the bottom of a diving well, after he had a sudden, massive heart attack. Even though she was a psychotherapist working with clients suffering from trauma, this personal shock felt unbearable. Nonetheless, she had to heal herself while working with clients and, as a single mother, supporting her two children. Using the creative interests she developed during childhood while emotionally saving herself from a difficult mother, she fully recovered from her grief and PTSD symptoms. More importantly Carol thrived by recreating her personal, artistic, and professional life.
Carol Walsh graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BFA. As a serious artist she wrote and illustrated a hard cover book for fiber artists, Design for Weaving, published by Hastings House of New York and reprinted in paperback by Interweave Press. Carol was a part of numerous exhibits, won international prizes and lectured nationally.
Later Carol graduated from Catholic University of America with an MSW and opened a private practice, where she has worked for thirty-two years. As a therapist she wrote and self-published The Art of Awakening Spirit. In addition, she wrote and illustrated forty, 3000-4000 word articles for Pathways a Washington D.C, metropolitan publication and subsequently consolidated her articles into a paperback book, Break Through: Coping Skills for Chaotic Times.
Carol lives in Maryland where she has a large studio. She has been happily married for 22 years and is the proud mother of two daughters and four grandchildren.
Find Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma on Amazon here.
I wanted to share a quick message from a familiar face on our site ~ Author and Artist Carol K. Walsh.
To all my fellow Creatives:
I am excited to tell you about an opportunity to hear 41 speakers discuss creativity, during the “Creative Life Summit”. The Summit is a two week event designed and sponsored by James Taylor in London, the founder of the C-school of Creativity, who also consults with major organizations. The Summit will be aired on the internet during the first two weeks in January. It is free, and will feature James in conversation with 41 people about all areas of creativity, including: the creative process, marketing, flow, creative blocks, finding your voice, etc. There are many topics to choose from. All we have to do is sign up.
Because of my newly published memoir, Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma, I was asked to be one of the 41 speakers. My specific topic is: “The Power of Creativity to Heal”. My interview with James Taylor will be aired on January 5th.
Just click on this link and sign up. It’s free.
Carol K. Walsh
✨”Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” ~ Les Brown✨
It’s hard to believe we are in the home stretch of 2016 and in retrospect I would have to say that the word that comes to mind that would perfectly describe this year would be “challenging”. Don’t worry it’s not all in the negative context, although there have been some tough moments a great deal of them have led to growth and in my mind, that is always a good thing (…unless of course it’s my waistline…and well yeah, not so good 😉 !)
On the downside, I have had to say goodbye to some dear friends and family, losing them broke my heart but all of whom have left an indelible mark on my heart and contributed to making me the person I am today. I will always carry the lessons they’ve taught me as I move forward in life.
On the upside, I have been given some wonderful opportunities to travel a new path that I will be continuing to pursue well into 2017. Although I didn’t finish NaNoWriMo, I did make a healthy dent in my manuscript that will hopefully lead (fingers-crossed) to a published novel in 2017.
I will have a few more posts this year but I would like to take the opportunity to wish all my friends and family a wonderful, joyous holiday season! (Chanukah, Christmas & Kwanza)
Wherever you may be in your day or evening, I hope you’re counting your blessings, not your problems! 🙂
Live, laugh & love! ❤
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”~Walt Disney
#amwriting #researching #mythology #urbanfantasy #learning #studying #archaeology #history #arttherapy #coaching #art #volunteering #palaeography #transcribing #amreading #photography #blogging #authorinterviews #journaling #organizing
My Spotify Playlist ~ #AmWriting #UrbanFantasy ~ Uisce