Got the #WinterBlues? These #Books are Sure to Uplift You! #fiction #cookbooks #FridayReads


Friday Book Round-Up 2018

 

Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Book Round-Up. Blue Monday was this week and I discovered a lot of people get the winter blues this time of year. Whenever I feel blue, I read. Whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, I try to pick books that uplift me and make me feel better. I also cook/bake a lot in the winter. I find it relaxing and very enriching to create with my hands. That being said, here are some books that inspired me this week:

 

Happily Homemade: Cooking with Love by Rachel Schultz  (Author)

Cook up some love in your kitchen.

 

Does the question “What’s for dinner?” fill you with dread? Is the thought of looking for something to cook every day overwhelming? Popular food blogger and Pinterest celebrity Rachel Schultz has you covered in Happily Homemade, with 100 tasty recipes even a beginner can serve with pride.

 

Reinvigorating familiar dishes with interesting and unexpected flavor combinations, Rachel shares her go-to creations that always get rave reviews. Even with so much variety, Rachel’s approachable recipes include only ingredients you can find at your local grocery store. This gorgeous cookbook includes a photo of every recipe, plus essays and tips from Rachel (and her friends) on hospitality and making life easier in the kitchen.

 

Happily Homemade is all about celebrating food and joyfully loving others through cooking. Let Rachel show you how easy it can be to bring warmth and delight to everyone at your table by serving something happily homemade.

 

 

Balancing in Heels: My Journey to Health, Happiness, and Making It all Work by Kristin Cavallari  (Author)

For the first time ever, entrepreneur, designer, and TV star Kristin Cavallari shares how she juggles all facets of her busy life with style and grace. From outlining health and wellness, food, fitness, fashion, and her success as a businesswoman to more private matters of family, motherhood, and her relationship with her husband, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, Kristin leaves no stone unturned to give fans of Laguna Beachand The Hills all of the answers they’ve been looking for.

Tracing her journey from reality stardom to real life–the good, the bad, and the ugly–Kristin digs down to the most personal of relationships in her life and discusses how they made her who she is today. She also talks about the amazing effects of her healthy diet and exercise, which have made Kristin and her family the happiest and healthiest they’ve ever been. Kristin shares the family’s favorite recipes and even reveals how her food philosophy has drastically improved Jay’s type 1 diabetes.

Balancing in Heels is a behind-the-scenes, in-depth look at who the real Kristin Cavallari is–unscripted.

 

 

Soup & Comfort: A Cookbook of Homemade Recipes to Warm the Soul by Pamela Ellgen  (Author)

The answer to your dinnertime dilemma. Family-friendly soups to satisfy your soul—and stomach.

 

To close the coldest, bone-chilling day or soothe the roughest afternoon, turn to Soup & Comfort for hearty classics, international favorites, and inventive updates.

 

Packed with pages of nourishing, emotionally satisfying soups and stews using affordable, fresh, easy-to-find ingredients (No bouillon cubes here!), every recipe in this soup cookbook caters to a wide variety of dietary preferences and tastes, from tantalizing vegetarian versions to gluten-free options.

 

Featuring full-color photos, Soup & Comfort explores the many ways that homemade soup can nourish body and soul, with:

 

  • 135 mouthwatering recipes, from comfort classics like Grandma’s Chicken Noodle to international flavors like Chicken Faux Pho
  • Time-saving tips for making great stocks and preparing perfect garnishes
  • Convenient fix-and-forget slow cooker recipes plus handy soup tips to liven leftovers

 

From chilled soups to chowders, Soup & Comfort offers something for everyone to enjoy—one spoonful at a time.

 

 

New England Soup Factory Cookbook: More Than 100 Recipes from the Nation’s Best Purveyor of Fine Soup by Marjorie Druker  (Author), Clara Silverstein  (Author)

More than 100 of the best soup recipes Boston has to offer accompanied by fun stories and beautiful full-color photography.

Marjorie Druker is passionate about soups. She fell in love with soups when she first heard the story Stone Soup. After attending Johnston & Whales, Marjorie created the menu for the popular Boston Market restaurant chain, and soups were always her favorite. “My niche is taking what people like to eat and turning it into a soup,” she says.

The New England Soup Factory restaurant has won the Best of Boston award four times. People skip school to eat their soups. A pregnant in labor stopped by the restaurant on the way to the hospital to satisfy a last-minute craving. New England Soup Factory soups are like no other soups. And now you can recreate these delicious soups in your own home. The New England Soup Factory Cookbook contains 100 of Boston’s best-tasting traditional and creative soup recipes. The book also includes a chapter on sandwiches and salads to accompany such soups as . . .

  • New England Clam Chowder
  • Wild Mushroom and Barley Soup
  • Curried Crab and Coconut Soup
  • Raspberry-Nectarine Gazpacho
  • Cucumber-Buttermilk Soup

 

 

Winter Solstice (Winter Street) by Elin Hilderbrand  (Author)

Raise one last glass with the Quinn Family at the Winter Street Inn.

 

It’s been too long since the entire Quinn family has been able to celebrate the holidays under the same roof, but that’s about to change. With Bart back safe and sound from Afghanistan, the Quinns are preparing for a holiday more joyous than any they’ve experienced in years. And Bart’s safe return isn’t the family’s only good news: Kevin is enjoying married life with Isabelle; Patrick is getting back on his feet after paying his debt to society; Ava thinks she’s finally found the love of her life; and Kelly is thrilled to see his family reunited at last. But it just wouldn’t be a Quinn family gathering if things went smoothly. A celebration of everything we love–and some of the things we endure–about the holidays, WINTER SOLSTICE is Elin Hilderbrand at her festive best.

 

 

Even Witches Get the Blues (Wicked in Moonhaven~A Paranormal Cozy Book 1) by J.D. Winters  (Author), Dakota Kahn  (Author) – FREE on Amazon

Everyone remembers Haley Greco, except for Haley herself.

 

Haley is a witch with amnesia and she might be the most normal thing in the spooky town of Moonhaven.

 

She wakes up in a strange motel room, no idea who she is, with just the clothes on her back and, weirdly, the deed to a property in Moonhaven where everybody seems to know her. Back for less than a day she discovers, in no short order, that she has an entire missing family, a town history as a wild child, and a grandmother who seems to want her to prepare to save civilization. Not only that, she’s the lead suspect in a murder and Deputy Sheriff Shane McAllister knows more about her than he should. The real murderer is on the move. Can Haley clear her name and regain her memory before it’s too late?

 

Choose Your Own Adulthood: A Small Book about the Small Choices that Make the Biggest Difference by Hal Runkel  (Author)

Congratulations, reader! You’ve successfully navigated through the trials of childhood and adolescence. Now, as you voyage through high school to college and beyond, you’re set to begin your next big adventure: adulthood. A few big decisions await you, from majors and minors to jobs and careers (and maybe even marriage!). However, in between the big ones, you’ll make a million other smaller, subtler choices that will underpin everything from your friendships to your bank account. These are the daily choices that will truly define you . . . so how will you choose?

 

Choose Your Own Adulthood helps you approach these choices from a more thoughtful, curious, and ultimately self-aware perspective. You’ll learn why responding is so much better than reacting, how loyalty is really overrated, which risks are worth taking and which are best avoided, and so much more. Exciting things await you on your journey toward adulthood: which path you take is for you to decide. Choose wisely!

 

Have you read any motivational books that cured the winter blues? If so, which one is your favorite? Share in the comments below.

 

MRS N, Book Addict

 

 

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N. N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration – #BookReview and Author #Interview + #Giveaway! #ASMSG #IARTG #bookish


Another great review of our inspirational thought book as well as a giveaway. Don’t delay as time’s running out to win a free book!

 

via N. N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration – Book Review and Author Interview + Giveaway!

Get Inspired Through Positive Thinking! #inspiration #FridayFeeling #personalgrowth


Positive Thoughts

 

This morning, I woke up feeling positive. I had a great night’s sleep and I’m healing from my root canal nicely.

 

I’m a big cheerleader of positivity (is that a word… shrugs) and for some, it may be annoying. I don’t mind, though, because by being positive, I am ready to deal with anything life throws at me.

 

I’m a firm believer in having positive thoughts in order to attract positive people and positive life experiences.  Does it work? It sure does! When you have a positive outlook, life is filled with possibilities.

 

Want to change your life?

 

Start with yourself and incorporate positive thoughts into your mind throughout the day. It may take a little while but you’ll start to feel positivity course through your veins. Those positive feelings with then attract positive life experiences. Then, watch out world, here comes a multitude of positive people!

 

Wake up each morning and say to yourself, “I’m going to have a great day and I can’t wait to see what happens”.

Need #Inspiration? Check Out Our New Release and @jamescudney4 ‘s #BookReview! #personalgrowth


It’s January and many of us have set goals and resolutions. We’re ready to tackle our goals and we’ve got the perfect tool to keep you motivated:

 

NNL Book of Daily Inspiration

 

James J. Cudney’s Review:

As 2017 came to a close, I wanted to read a non-fiction book that would help me focus on potential goals and plans for the upcoming new year. Given I write a 365 Daily Challenge blog, it only made sense that I find a book where there were 365 daily messages for me to ponder; that’s when I stumbled upon this book from a blogger I’ve followed for most of the last year: N. N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration by N.N. Light.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of inspirational advice, quotes and reflection. I would recommend it to anyone, and I’ll even tell you now, I plan to re-read it (something I rarely do) again in 2018… perhaps 1 month at a time, soaking up each set of inspirational messages.

 

Books like these can be tough. Everyone can say ‘RahRah’ to help motivate you (is that the proper way to spell ‘RahRah’ — eh, sounds good!), but it can get old quickly if the messages aren’t lyrically written or vast in their range of advice and inspiration. The husband and wife writing team of N.N. Light definitely found a perfect balance in how they wrote this book… from quotes across all walks of life (sports heroes, artists, motivational speakers, profits, philosophers, et al) to finding an interactive approach to applying the message to our every day lives. I even blogged about the concept of ‘giving credit where credit is due’ as that daily inspiration truly spoke to me. Another one was the concept of not needing to take credit for everything, as it’s about the outcome, not who did it!

 

What I found the most intriguing about this book was the daily message for my birthday — a bit of irony thrown in as the focus was on finding your truth for that date. My blog is labeled ‘This Is My Truth Now’ — I couldn’t have asked for anything more nostalgic and introspective. So, the scoop… it’s 365 messages, each kicked off by a quote (sometimes famous, sometimes unknown), followed by N. N. Light’s interpretation and application to their lives. It’s not pedantic — in case that worries you — sometimes these types of books can feel too preachy, but that’s not the case here. It’s humorous as the authors’ personalities shine through in a way you want to get to know them more, especially as you learn about their lives and histories. A few entries were of course ‘normal/typical’ advice, but in at least 90% of the cases, between the quote and the inspiration content, I found myself keen to re-read the messages another time. I’d suggest skimming the book in the beginning, getting familiar with the style, then leaving it by your bedside to read when you wake up in the morning… a positive way to start your day. No actions, no moral lessons in the traditional sense. Just an opportunity for some fresh perspective that will push you to think about how you perceive everything around you.

 

I’m glad I read this one and am pretty confident, if you’re open to inspirational books (not religious or large-scale boring motivational speaker approaches) where a little bit goes a long way, you’ll be quite intrigued and connected to these words.

 

Buy Link:

Free to read on Kindle Unlimited for a limited time!

 

Amazon http://amzn.to/2COpREd

 

For $5, you’ll get this amazing e-book you can read and reread day after day and year after year! Also available in print.

Are You Thriving or Just Surviving? #WednesdayWisdom #motivation #inspiration


thrive not survive

 

Are you thriving or just surviving? 

 

I used to think that the key to a happy life is to just get through it. Yeah I know, a strange perspective nowadays but it’s the only way I could get through life without crying. Life was hard for me and with no reprieve in sight, I concentrated on just getting through the day. I had nothing to look forward to and no one to share my life with.

 

One day, while working in a soup kitchen, I met Jack. He was a little older than me and homeless. He had the most beautiful smile and always had a kind word for others. We got to talking after he ate and he asked me what was wrong.

 

“What do you mean? Nothing’s wrong?” I asked him.

 

“There’s a dark cloud hanging over you, darlin’. I can tell you’re unhappy.”

 

I blushed and immediately felt guilty. Here was this homeless guy caring about an angsty teenager who just had yet another screaming match with her mother. Finally I broke down and told him what happened. I also let slip how my life was in shambles and I couldn’t wait to die to go to Heaven.

 

He gave my hand a little squeeze and looked at me with compassion.

 

“Listen, life is hard and sometimes it kicks your arse so hard you feel like giving up. It’s o-k-a-y.” He paused. “Maybe you need to switch your perspective. Instead of going through life waiting to die, live life to the fullest. Embrace the bad with the good. It’s your life and it doesn’t have to be so miserable. You have the power to change it.”

 

It was a light-bulb moment for me and one I never forgot. My focus shifted from “woe is me” to “what can I do to make a difference”. Sure, life still kicks my arse from time to time but I took steps to thrive and not wallow in self-pity. 

 

I never saw Jack again at the soup kitchen. In my heart, I hope he took his own advice and is somewhere happy and successful in life. I wish I could run into him on the street and hear what he’s been up to. He changed my life and I’m so grateful.

 

Take this advice: Instead of just surviving, thrive. Shift your perspective from negative to positive. Take steps to change your life for the better. You’ve only got one life to live to make it great!

 

MRS N

 

 

Happy Release Day to… N. N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration #books #motivation #IARTG


Release Day NNLBODI

 

We’re so excited to announce our inspirational/motivational thought book is out in the world! Every release day is special for us but this one means so much more. It’s a compilation of 365 inspiring thoughts taken from this very blog. With over 500 pages of motivation, it’s a steal for only $4.99 USD. Also available in paperback which would make an incredible gift this holiday season. 

 

NNL Book of Daily Inspiration

 

Title: N. N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration

Author: N. N. Light

Genre: Inspirational, Motivational, Self-Improvement, Personal Growth

 

Book Blurb:

“Spread the Light and inspire others to do the same.” — N. N. Light

In 2013, we wrote a mission statement and started the Princess of the Light (POTL) blog. We wanted to test a theory. Could one person (or in our case, one couple) use uplifting words to create change?

The answer is a resounding yes! People from all over the world responded to our short inspirational thoughts of the day, and our following grew. What started out as a few people promoting kindness and goodwill turned into a movement. In every city, there are Light-Bearers making a difference and we want you to join us.

Everyone needs inspiration. It doesn’t matter what spiritual belief you hold dear, you have the Light inside you. Kindness, compassion, empathy, encouragement are all attributes of the Light. In this book, you’ll find a ninety second inspirational thought for each day of the year. You’ll be inspiring people to spread the Light daily with our collection of inspirational thoughts. From giving of yourself to simply smiling, these are easy concepts for anyone to apply!

 

Release Week Giveaway:

In honor of our new release, we’re giving away an Amazon gift card plus two N. N. Light books. Enter here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/92db77508/? 

 

Open Internationally and runs from 11/21/17 through 11/30/17

 

The winners are: Alana F., Sara Z. and Daisy. They’ve been contacted via email. 

 

Thank you everyone for entering. You made our release week spectacular. 

 

 

Buy Links:

Free to read on Kindle Unlimited for the first 90 days!

 

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/N-Lights-Book-Daily-Inspiration-ebook/dp/B076XT4YF5

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/N-Lights-Book-Daily-Inspiration-ebook/dp/B076XT4YF5

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/N-Lights-Book-Daily-Inspiration-ebook/dp/B076XT4YF5

 

Goodreads  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35519629-n-n-light-s-book-of-daily-inspiration

 

couple N N Light

 

Author Biography:

N.N. Light is the award-winning husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N.

Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

Sign up for their author newsletter to get exclusive content, sales and be entered to win a $5 Amazon US Gift Card every month: https://t.co/6B7trIIph6

They’re blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG and Independent Author Network.

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://princessofthelight.com

Blog: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

Newsletter: http://ow.ly/jWec308TabL 

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nnlight

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NNP_W_Light

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-n-light

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nnlight

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-n-light/90/1a7/902

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118060034268079734144/posts

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nnlight

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html

 

#CoverReveal — N. N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration #motivation #books #ASMSG #IARTG


NNL Book of Daily Inspiration

 

Title: N. N. Light’s Book of Daily Inspiration

Author: N. N. Light

Genre: Inspirational, Motivational, Self-Improvement, Personal Growth

 

Book Blurb:

“Spread the Light and inspire others to do the same.” — N. N. Light

In 2013, we wrote a mission statement and started the Princess of the Light (POTL) blog. We wanted to test a theory. Could one person (or in our case, one couple) use uplifting words to create change?

The answer is a resounding yes! People from all over the world responded to our short inspirational thoughts of the day, and our following grew. What started out as a few people promoting kindness and goodwill turned into a movement. In every city, there are Light-Bearers making a difference and we want you to join us.

Everyone needs inspiration. It doesn’t matter what spiritual belief you hold dear, you have the Light inside you. Kindness, compassion, empathy, encouragement are all attributes of the Light. In this book, you’ll find a ninety second inspirational thought for each day of the year. You’ll be inspiring people to spread the Light daily with our collection of inspirational thoughts. From giving of yourself to simply smiling, these are easy concepts for anyone to apply!

 

Excerpt:

 

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. – Harriet Tubman

 

I have a dream.  My dream is to be a writer, blogger and author.  My dream is to use words to uplift people and change the world.  I continue to work hard on my dream.  Achieving a dream doesn’t mean the work stops.

 

What is your dream?

 

No matter what your dream is or how far-fetched it may seem, you can make your dream come true!  According to Harriet Tubman, all you need is strength, patience and passion.  Sure, it takes a lot of work but let me tell you, it is worth it!

 

Can dreams change the world?  You bet!  Harriet Tubman is the woman who created the Underground Railroad.  She had a dream of her people being free.  Through her internal strength, she created a network of brave men and women who helped a multitude of slaves get to the North.  She didn’t fear death because she had a dream and she was passionate about her dream.

 

Today, take a few moments and write down your innermost dreams.  Then outline a plan to make your dream come true.  List all the things you may encounter to prevent you from making your dream come true.  Finally, come up with a plan to defeat those obstacles and make your dream come true!

 

Your dreams can change the world!  Your internal strength, patience and passion will make it possible.

 

Buy Links:

Paperback will be available shortly but you can pre-order the e-book today!

 

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/N-Lights-Book-Daily-Inspiration-ebook/dp/B076XT4YF5

 

Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/N-Lights-Book-Daily-Inspiration-ebook/dp/B076XT4YF5

 

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/N-Lights-Book-Daily-Inspiration-ebook/dp/B076XT4YF5

 

Goodreads  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35519629-n-n-light-s-book-of-daily-inspiration

 

couple N N Light

 

Author Biography:

N.N. Light is the award-winning husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N.

Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller.

Sign up for their author newsletter to get exclusive content, sales and be entered to win a $5 Amazon US Gift Card every month: https://t.co/6B7trIIph6

They’re blissfully happy and loves all things chocolate, books, music, movies, art, sports, trains, history, cooking and baking. Their mantra is to spread the Light.

Most of the time you can find them on Twitter or getting new ideas on how to spread the Light on Pinterest. They’re a proud member of ASMSG and Independent Author Network.

In addition to being authors, they’re also book promoters/reviewers, social media marketers/influencers and the owners of N. N. Light Author Promotions. They both love books, have ever since they were young. Matching up books and readers is something that gives them great pleasure.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://princessofthelight.com

Blog: https://princessofthelight.wordpress.com

Newsletter: http://ow.ly/jWec308TabL 

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/nnlight

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/NNP_W_Light

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-n-light

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/nnlight

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/n-n-light/90/1a7/902

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/118060034268079734144/posts

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/nnlight

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/n-n-light.html

 

Award-Winning Author Tia Shurina Shares #Wisdom + @everythingAAHE #RRBC


gratitude-1251137_640

 

We all want a happy ending in life, like Cinderella and Prince Charming, but sometimes Cinderella has to go through pain/suffering and discover her own path to a happy ending. Tia Shurina, author of Everything and a Happy Ending, is not only a talented writer but an inspiration. She’s got amazing inner strength and is proof-positive that when you spread the Light and Love to others, it comes back to you hundred-fold. Her book moved us so greatly that she won the 2016 N. N. Light Book Award for Nonfiction.

In honor of this award, she agreed to sit down with me for a follow-up interview. Everything and a Happy Ending talks about the three men in her life, her journey to self-discovery and working on her own happy ending. She’s an amazing woman and it’s my pleasure to re-introduce her. Take it away, Tia:

 

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

I’m a very sentimental woman, & because of that:

I’d cast Brooke Shields as me since she holds very significant meaning to my story.

I would cast Ray Romano as my dad.  The physical physique & resemblance is stunning, &, as the 3rd man in the trio, I feel that casting would add an incredible full circle beauty & intimacy to it.  Plus, as a gambler, dedicated golfer, softball enthusiast & avid all around sports fan, I feel he would really, & truly, be able to capture the spirit & essence that was my father’s heart & soul.

I would cast Tony Danza as Larry, my ex-husband.

And as Ray I would cast George Clooney, again, because, like Brooke Shields, he has an extraordinary special significance in the book.

 

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

My best accomplishment is my 3rd baby, Everything and a Happy Ending.  It accomplished the 2 most important things in my life…

feeling I came full circle as a mom to my 2 boys as I gave birth to my memoir.  As my boys grew, & my dissatisfaction in my life grew, I hid a sad sorrowful feeling of disappointment that I was short-changing my children by letting my fears push me to settle in my life.  My dad’s death was the catalyst & catapult to a transformation & metamorphosis long in the making.  As they watched their mom face her fears & follow her heart for the 1st time in her life, I became the example I wanted to be for them.  In that experience & thru that process, I am now ecstatic & feeling so proud they are well on their way to happy “everythings” in their lives…relationships, careers, experiences, at least with the things that are within the realm of their own control, of course.

 

 

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Five years?!  Oh my.  Seems like a mini-lifetime away!  I have to be honest, I’m holding a vision very close & clear in my mind for much sooner than 5 years right now.  The last 7+ years that I have spent struggling to turn onto a different course in my life, & change an ending to a story I wrote for myself when I was much younger, much less mature, & certainly much less spiritually strong has been challenging, exhausting, emotionally draining, & very painful at times & I am now eager to finally, fully, turn that corner & step firmly onto that path.  But, since 5 is the lucky number you asked about, let me say that in 5 years, I see myself having long climbed completely out of the financial hole that I dug myself into as part of the extraordinary gift of “everything” that I freely, & faithfully gave to another in a spectacular, sacred gift of trust.  I see myself long enjoying a blessed, blissfully happy very intimate romantic relationship with excitement & much joy & laughter with a man I am madly, crazily, fantastically in love with.  I was blessed with an answered prayer when I was given the opportunity to make some new choices for myself at this certain age in my life.  It is the reason I finally faced down my fantastic fears & rose above them by ending my marriage.  I will not let that gift be in vain or go unwrapped or unlived & I have full faith that the Universe will deliver us to one another…whomever that someone turns out to be.

 

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I have read each & every review that I’m aware of, so far.  Who I am, tho, struggles to NOT let the 1 negative comment out of 100 positive ones eat me alive so, can be draining.  In my life, I’m getting better at not engaging, or co-creating with other’s harsh criticisms, so, I keep the faith I will move to that place with the book as well.

In my heart, Ricky Nelson’s song, Garden Party, is my theme song (you can’t please everyone so you gotta please yourself)…but my head sings a different song many days!  I won’t plan on responding to the negative.  Constructive criticism is one thing…an important valid tool and as an inexperienced, nonprofessional writer I accept they will be a part of the process, but I will do my best to let negative mean-ness “walk on by” (that’s Dionne Warwick…& yes, I love music & find it to be a very powerful inspirational tool!).

 

What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

My least favorite part of the process has been the marketing & publicity aspect.  The book was a Plan C for sure (maybe even Plan D).  I had no desire or plan to share my own personal story so publicly.  When came time to promote that sharing…my book…a lot of old “stuff” seemed to circle their wagons.  I went kicking & screaming a bit to go with that flow I was so desperate to swim with finally in my life, instead of bucking that flow for so long in my life.  And, I’m so outside my comfort zone in soooo many areas of my life right now as a result.  It has brought a happiness & peace of heart I have never felt, yet, I am also exhausted from the journey I chose to take almost 8 years ago at this point.  Because I’m so beyond my limits, “running  on empty” at this point (with Jackson Browne singing back up for me!), & beyond in some important places, this particular part has hit me especially hard.  Ive been incredibly protective & especially particular about making sure the story ripples outward in the same energy & intention it was written in…and that is, of course, the spirit of LOVE, & because of that, I continue to wear many hats as I move along this beautiful journey I embarked on after my dad passed.  It has worn me out in some aspects, yet, in some other all important areas it has energized me & gifted me with a re-birth that has been so fulfilling.  What a rollercoster ride it has been.  Good thing I have always loved them!!  And, a good thing indeed I finally accepted the possibility that maybe this was something important I do & face & embrace in my life.

 

Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

The situation I find myself in right now.  My ex & I have a very Modern Family kind of living arrangement.  He moved out for quite awhile after we split & then became my roommate after his dad passed away over a year later…a gift to my ex, wanting to be kind & help him out, even as I was trying to honor myself 1st & foremost, finally, in my life.  That choice was also a gift to Ray, which is all detailed in the book as to the why’s I made them.   At the time, I trusted was going to be for a short amount of time & felt certain was a positive healing choice & opportunity for my ex & I…& our 2 boys actually, after they witnessed a bit of tumult between us in the time before we finally split.  But, it passed its circle of healing at a certain point & rounded back to an un-healthy situation again, & I’ve been struggling mightily as a result as my circumstances have changed through the years as I tried to do what was best for Larry, best for Ray & honor myself at the same time.  I gave everything to Ray, as I promised him I would…and, he accepted my gift, which continues to make me so happy, but, it has also wreaked havoc on my life in many, many ways.  And, because I was giving to Larry at same time too, all of our choices have co-created a firestorm that is indeed scorching me now.  Its a difficult time, but, I am so devoted to myself…&, as my father’s daughter, am rolling the dice & placing a big bet…on me!

I’m currently in full swing of trying to get myself out, on my own…the book is part of my attempt to gain back some of the financial security I gifted to Ray, part of my offering of trust.

 

What is your biggest fear?

Well, to piggyback off the last question, I will share that on a difficult, dark day, I will allow the fears to have their moment & take me to my knees in fear & worry that even a tiny remote chance exists that I will be unable to get myself onto a firm financial foothold & start the new life I so desperately wanted for myself when I made the decision to end my marriage is definitely topping the list these days.  After I allow myself to be human, however, I am well aware of the importance to get up from my knees & walk away from those fears so that energy does not get to stick around me.  It is so unhealthy to wallow in it but I am also aware of the importance of allowing feelings & acknowledging emotions as well, after a long time in my life of kinda stuffing them away.  It’s a balance, for sure.  There’s a powerful scene in Eat Pray Love where Elizabeth is on her bathroom floor, distraught, praying to her God for help.  It’s a beautiful scene of surrender, and faith…& I’ve certainly been there, as I’m sure many have.  But, for me, balance is so important…& in my ordinary/extraordinary, divine but very human “story”, there is a scene where it isn’t the quite of night but the bright light & busy-ness of day, in my bedroom, with neighbors downstairs & kids in the next room to hear me, even as I have closed the door to try & maintain some privacy & dignity, screaming to my God, in devastation & despair, feeling betrayed & forsaken.  So disappointed in a divine Universe I felt could never be capable of, or allow, such selfishness, such unfairness, such cruelty.  That scene is my best way to articulate my biggest fear in a visual, to accompany the words I shared about the state of affairs that my ALL-IN choice & promise to Ray created.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

I’d like to be able to become invisible.  Sooo much mystery & more than just a little angst too, would no longer exist in my life if I were able to do that.

 

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

Giraffe Hotel in Nairobi Kenya

 

What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?

 Besides above, which gets me to Africa, I’d like to visit Alaska & Hawaii, which were places my dad wanted to get to, drive cross country & see the Grand Canyon, a visit to a few other of the Wonders of the World (either classic, new or natural), a Mediterranean cruise, learn to speak a little French (which I find to be a very sexy language), learn to play the drums & piano, mentor…& since I have 2 sons, I’d like to mentor a girl, & lastly, have a book I wrote made into a screenplay!

 

EAAHE Cover (2)

 

Title:  Everything and a Happy Ending

 

Author: Tia Shurina

 

Genre:  Memoir

 

 

Book Blurb:

A memoir about 3 interconnected relationships & 3 special men in my life. The fact that youre reading this makes me happy. Maybe youve mistaken this for a how to give a good happy ending sexual self-help book. Maybe youre reading because you have a genuine interest in anothers journey. Either way, Im good. My journey almost destroyed me. Almost. Boy, have I come to like that word. What a pleasurable word almost can be. You may almost be ready to buy my book. You may almost be ready to begin an amazing new journey of your own. You may almost be over that rainbow Judy Garland sings about. What great potential almost can hold, if you can flip your way of thinking. Just imagine controlled pessimism, doubt, and fear flipped into blind optimism, faith, and love.

 

Excerpt: 

Chapter 8

EMILIO

Grow with the Flow

(of the Current of Your Life)

Come together… at just the right and perfect time

Such wonderful advice, to go (and grow) with the flow. I heard it from my dad, as he encouraged me to swim more with the current of my life, rather than against it, as I’d done for a long, unsatisfying time. It is a great title for a book chapter or TV episode, yet it can be difficult to true-ly live in real life, I think.

There’s an Oscar winning movie, Marty, from 1955. It’s a fictional story of two average people who meet a bit later in life, fall in love, and get a happy ending. Marty, a plain man, meets Clara, an ordinary woman. Both are lonely, and both feel even less than plain and ordinary. It is a beautiful love story about meeting, connecting, trusting, redemption, and second chances arriving later in life. It is extraordinary and ordinary, both at the same time. It is almost unbelievable, yet totally attainable. It is a once in a lifetime story and an everyday possibility—the perfect balance.

Now, imagine the story is not fiction, but real. Imagine there real-ly exists a Marty and Clara, who meet when fate crosses their paths, but not as middle-aged, world weary, lonely adults, but as much younger, scared, lonely adults. Imagine also that this particular Marty and Clara are not plain or ordinary at all on the outside, yet on the inside feel the very same way Marty and Clara felt. It is a difficult challenge for even the older, wiser adult to go with the flow, but for the younger, intimidated, un-wise young adult to ponder the paths that could be taken, instead of the choice to trust, to let it all go, to jump in and let the current flow you to where you are meant to be is much harder. Imagine that this very real and very scared Marty and Clara pair go their separate ways, rather than go all in and take the risk first time around.

But if life is a journey of human choices and divine plans and assistance in mind and soul from the start, consider the possibility that, if their destiny is to come together, they will make their way back around the circle to reunite. Given another chance to simply be together, when the time was right and perfect for them, they’d reconnect like yin connects with yang.

What if the universe has always been watching their backs, moving them along divinely, in just the right and perfect way, to help them get a second chance someday? As Sophie says in Letters to Juliet, “‘What’ and ‘if ’ are two words as non-threatening as words can be. But put them together side-by-side and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life: What if? What if? What if?” What if, like in reel life, the real life Marty makes a promise to the real life Clara, to come back to her so that they can have that love affair, finally, to go with the flow, and meet up with her soon? What if the real life Clara devotedly waits as the reel life Clara does—sitting, motionless, on the sofa, just waiting for her Marty to reach out, not moving or budging until he did, because she grew scared that if she did, it meant she didn’t trust him, petrified it meant she didn’t have faith in him? What if?

What if, in a very real life, a very real Marty and Clara can face their fears this time around their circle, and find the courage to actually go with that flow? Maybe, just maybe, they can have that love affair that often exists true-ly in fairytales, but once in a while moves into reality as well, jumping off the pages of a book, leaping out of the TV or off the reel life movie screen—a real and a very true love.

 

Buy Links: 

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Everything-Happy-Ending-Tia-Shurina/dp/0578166038/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1457713470&sr=8-1

 

Publisher https://mascotbooks.com/mascot-marketplace/buy-books/nonfiction/bios-and-memoirs/everything-and-a-happy-ending/

 

 

Press Release

 PR Newswire

 

 

Will Tia Shurina give Ray Romano a “Happy Ending”? New Memoir Reveals Relationship and Unveils Transformation

Tia and Ray

 

Feb 01, 2016, 12:11 ET from Everything and a Happy Ending

NEW YORK, Feb. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Sometimes a person’s outside public persona isn’t reflective of their inside private life. Everything and a Happy Ending shares her struggle with authenticity between her outer and inner worlds; her real and true lives. It also details how an old friendship turned to secreted emotional love affair and how she helped him flip a not so funny reality into a fantastical new reel life self.

As Tia transitioned through her own real life roles she became the muse for one of Hollywood’s most beloved stars.

Her book illuminates her awakening and metamorphosis, committed to embracing the high road of nourishment, while exuding courage and kindness. Her memoir shares her journey to give and receive love without domination, submission, or sublimation. She takes the reader through sorrow and tribulation leading to growth, clarity, peace, release and joy recounting three interwoven circles & love stories. EAAHE chronicles how her childhood relationship with her father set the foundation for her long marriage to her ex-husband; then shares how their adult relationship “set the stage” for a unique love story with the comedian. She details how her faith is strengthened as her own re-birth inspired her old friend to grow and evolve himself. She’s been his shadow muse since a poignant, powerful reconnection became the catalyst for her privately shared personal evolution which became the root and core of Romano’s own journey of “soulwork”. That inspiration allowed him to achieve some of the greatest successes of his career.

Shurina states, “My dad’s advice to his children was, ‘hold your form’. Those bestowed bellwether words were integral to embracing my faith, finding joy within (and without!), allowing ‘true’ love, giving in peace and empowering others to rise to their own best form.”

Her story is a tour de force of emergence into empowerment & the recognition of the interconnected heart, balancing the spiritual and the material, and her selfless, unconditional giving to help liberate another from a life born of a need for adulation and acceptance.

“It’s my prayer another woman of a certain age feeling dissatisfied in her life might take a babystep forward.”

EAAHE combines real and true aspects of Eat Pray Love crossing paths with 50 Shades, Marty, Parenthood and Someday Someday Maybe meeting When the Balls Drop.

 

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/will-tia-shurina-give-ray-romano-a-happy-ending-new-memoir-reveals-relationship-and-unveils-transformation-300212049.html

 

 

Author Bio:

Tia Shurina lives in Queens, NYC but still spends time on the Jersey Shore, where she feels safest in the bungalows she spent her childhood summers.  She is, most days, really filled with joy.  She is, every day, truly filled with peace.   She looks forward to a happy ending each new day, however it unfolds, whomever it holds, & however the Universe molds, as she continues to create a new “happily ever after”, staying committed to rising above her fears, moving out of her comfort zones and going with the flow of her life.

 

Website: http://everythingandahappyending.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/everythingAAHE

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14261868.Tia_Shurina

A Dark Journey Into the Light by Josef Smith @lifeofjosef #BDSM #bookreview #POTLReads


a-dark-journey-into-the-light

 

Title: A Dark Journey Into The Light

Author: Josef Smith

Genre: Memoir, BDSM, Personal Growth

 

Book Blurb:

Josef is lost in a secret world of sexual gratification, a true-life Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, unable to halt the “roller coaster of conflicting emotional extremes that never stopped long enough for me to get off.”

 

“I gave myself to that sexual playground completely, and loved every minute of it when it was happening. It was only afterwards that spikes of shame, guilt, and self-loathing would be driven deep into my heart.”

 

He traces the beginnings of his obsession to his childhood, where his natural innocent curiosity and need for exploration were at odds with his Catholic upbringing and the view of his extremely repressed mother, both of whom regarded the human body as ‘dirty’ and ‘shameful’.

 

For sixty years, Josef lived a secret double life. The only people who knew about this other life were the professional mistresses, trannies, and prostitutes with whom he indulged every conceivable sexual fantasy. No one in his ‘other’ life had any idea of who he really was or the things he did.

 

Yet his secret life claimed a terrible toll. The failure of his first marriage. The loss of his son. The loss of his beloved second wife.

 

Only after extensive therapy was he finally able to see and feel the light of compassion, and allow the healing energy of forgiveness to begin taking away the pain.

 

In his journey, Josef explores an astonishing variety of topics. In addition to sexual addiction and the hidden world of BDSM, he delves into the burden of guilt of the Catholic Church, fear, political correctness, nonjudgment, love and loss, philosophy, the soul, spiritual awakening, and healing.

 

This is the journey of an ordinary man lost in an extraordinary secret, dark world, who ultimately finds his way out of the tangled mess through the power of love and forgiveness.

 

My Review:

This book must have a strong 18+ warning and is not suitable for any minor to read.  Further this book is not for those with a weak stomach as parts of it may deeply offend.

 

Once more I have been graced with reading a tell all of a person’s life and once again, I cannot express my amazement at the bravery it takes to expose one’s life to the world’s eyes.  This book was extremely well written, professionally edited and flows well for the reader.  I am at a bit of a loss as to how to describe this book.  It was certainly cathartic for the writer and there are plenty of good things that come from reading this book.  I hope that anyone who reads this story of one man’s life comes to the understanding that whatever your healthy, consensual approach to sex is, enjoy it and be proud.  The writer isn’t providing another version of 50 shades.  This is a true tale of BDSM in its rawest form.

 

I recommend this book to all in the BDSM community.  There is a lot here for them and for anyone who may have had issues coming to terms with their sexual choices and identity.

 

I took issue with some of the author’s statements in regards to what might happen in the world if there were no consequences for sexual assault and I categorically state he is wrong.  There is a moral code that runs through the vast majority of people and it is only the few that would be intrigued by that sort of sordid opportunity.

 

A tough read but one that really opens one up to feelings of empathy and understanding.  ‘Josef’ finally overcame a lifetime of problems that stemmed from early childhood and his journey is one that will touch a lot of people.

 

My Rating:  4.5 stars

 

Buy it now:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LWWLGPH

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32571078-a-dark-journey-into-the-light?ac=1&from_search=true

 

Social Media Links:

Twitter https://twitter.com/lifeofjosef

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009374350287

 

Reviewed by: Mr. N

 

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