Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Honor Redeemed by Loree Lough

Book Description:
Highly skilled Search and Rescue (SAR) team leader, Honor Mackenzie, works almost as hard at guarding the dark secrets of her past as she does when training SAR dogs. As for widowed Sun reporter Matt Phillips, not even his former SAR work is as important as protecting his ten-year-old twin boys. When a jumbo jet crashes outside Baltimore one cold night, their respective jobs put them face-to-face at the grisly scene--and force Matt and Honor to reconsider the difficult decisions that resulted in their long-standing "single forever" status.As Matt tries to come to terms with his feelings for Honor, he gets word that she hasn t reported in since starting the search for a missing child. Reverting to his SAR training, Matt leads the search team as a vicious winter storm bears down on the area. Will he find her in time? And if he does, will they find their way back to each other or go back to living life alone?"Honor Redeemed takes readers into the challenging--and often heartbreaking--world of emergency responders who enter disaster and find their lives and choices irrevocably changed by it. A timely novel about the power of love in all its aspects." --Susannah Charleson, author of Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search and Rescue Dog.

My Thoughts:
This book was ok.  Honor and Matt are committed to being single.  That is, until they meet.  Honor is devoted to SAR in honor of her deceased fiance and is good at what she does.  She meets Matt at a scene and where he normally wouldn't be.  Will either of them be willing or able to let the past go and see if their future together is bright?
The characters were good.  It was easy to like Matt, Honor and Matt's kids. Really, the majority of the story was told on the back of the book and there weren't a lot of surprises.  But it was a good story and I really enjoyed it.  The romance was nice, the supporting characters enjoyable and I will happily read the next in the series.
I rate it a 4/5.  It was a good book, but I would have rather it actually ended.
Thank you to PumpUp Your Books for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Invasion by Jon S. Lewis

Book Description:
He didn't ask for the job, but now all that stands between us and chaos... is Colt.
Colt McAlister was having the summer of his life. He spent his days surfing and his nights playing guitar on the beach with friends. He even met a girl and got his first car. But everything changes when his parents are killed in a freak accident.
He's forced to leave his old life behind and move to Arizona with his grandfather. The only person he knows at the new high school is a childhood friend named Dani. And Oz, a guy he's sure he's never met but who is strangely familiar.
But what if his parents' death wasn't an accident? His mother, an investigative reporter, was going to expose a secret mind-control program run by one of the world's largest companies. Before she could release the story, what if agents from Trident Biotech made sure she couldn't go public?

Vowing to uncover the truth, Colt gets drawn into a secret world of aliens, shapeshifters, flying motorcycles, and invisible gateways.
The Invasion has begun.

My Thoughts:
This was an interesting book.  Colt's parents are killed in a car accident and his world is completely turned upside down!  Not only is he an orphan but everything he 'knew' about life seems to be wrong.  His grandfather, whom he moves in with, is a lot more than he seems to be.  What if the accident that killed his parents wasn't really an accident?  How can a 16 year old save the world?
I liked the story line.  Some of it was a bit tough to swallow but then again it is science fiction so all is fair!  The characters were great.  The author doesn't gloss over the fact a teenager lost his parents but he goes through grief and it is well written.  Aliens, awesome guns, portals, this book has a bit of everything.
I rate this a 4/5.  It is intriguing and I look forward to the next one.
Thank you to Booksneeze for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Interview with Author Carter Taylor Seaton!

Tell us about yourself: Carter Taylor Seaton is an award-winning author and figurative sculptor. Born and raised in West Virginia, she graduated from Marshall University and lived in Columbus and Atlanta, Georgia from 1985-1995 before returning to her hometown of Huntington where she resides with her husband, Richard Cobb. While living in Georgia, she began running and completed several marathons after she was fifty, including the Atlanta, Marine Corps, and New York City Marathons. For fifteen years, she directed a rural Appalachian craft cooperative to benefit low-income women. Ladies Home Journal nominated her in 1975 for its "Woman of the Year" award.

Her first novel, Father's Troubles, was named as a finalist for the prestigious ForeWord Magazine 2003 Book of the Year award in the Historical Fiction category. She is a regular contributor to several regional magazines and The West Virginia Encyclopedia. In 2007, her article on the impact of the back-to-the-land movement on West Virginia was featured in Appalachian Heritage literary journal and won the Denny C. Plattner Award for its Best Work of Non-Fiction.

Genre: Throughout my career as a marketing professional, I'd written brochures, press releases, and ad copy and never considered writing as a career. But I had a story I wanted to tell, so I began. While it was based on a real historical event, it became my first novel, Father's Troubles. Now I'm a free-lance writer for several magazines, have just published my second novel, and am currently completing a non-fiction work.

About the book: At thirty-three, Mary Cate Randolph still believes in fairy tales. She’s been searching for Prince Charming all her life, but after she was date-raped by her last boyfriend, she is understandably cautious. When she meets tennis pro, Nick Hamilton, at her Asheville country club, she thinks she’s found the perfect man. He’s charming and intelligent, but not sexually aggressive. No wonder. It’s 1983 and unbeknownst to Mary Cate, a na├»ve homophobic, Nick is a closeted homosexual. Thus begins a tangled web of love, deception, and discovery that ultimately leads to Mary Cate’s transformation and realization that true love is far different from the fairy tale version.
Inspiration: When I lived in Georgia from 1985-1995, my best friend was a lesbian. She and I were kindred spirits, except that I am straight. That never mattered to either of us or her partner of nearly thirty years. Shortly after I returned to West Virginia, I overheard someone making a pejorative remark about gay people and it upset me. Not being confrontational, I let it pass, but it simmered. Writing a novel about a woman's change of heart journey, I decided would be my soapbox.

Favorite character: By far, my favorite character is Cassie, Mary Cate's next door neighbor. She's funny, slightly irreverent, honest, and accepting. We should all aspire to be like her.

Difficulty in writing the book? I think all of have trouble sometimes, keeping our butts in the chair. Life tends to interfere, doesn't it? It's easy to get distracted, but staying on task is crucial. They say most books don't get published because they don't get finished. Aside from that, this particular novel posed the problem of developing the characters of Nick and Mary Cate so they are seen as likable and yet culpable for the arc their relationship takes.

Current project: In the middle of writing "amo, amas, amat..." I received a grant to begin work on the non-fiction work I'm currently wrapping up. It's a study of the impact the back-to-the-land movement had on the state of WV, particularly as it relates to the heritage arts and crafts. I've interviewed forty-five artisans and performers who came in the late 1960s or early 1970s and made WV their home and I'm telling their stories.

Writing quirks: I write fiction with a pencil and legal pad, but I write all my magazine articles and non-fiction stuff on the computer. I think it's because the research for the latter is on a the computer, so it's easier to refer back to it. But, for fiction, all I need is a quiet room, and the paper and pencil. The mechanics of using a computer somehow stops the flow of words, conversation, and emotion. One other quirk, when I am intensely involved with a work of fiction, I often dream about the characters and see them in a scene, talking. When I awake, I feel like I'm merely recording what they said.

Advice for writers: If you don't journal, start. And, write in it first thing in the morning, even if you have to set the alarm half an hour early. The gems that come out in your journal writing will be valuable insights for your writing projects later.
Where can we find you? Follow me on Facebook where I've also got an author page. I'm on Twitter but confess I don't check it as often as I should. And I have a website:
Where can we find the book? Both "amo, amas, unconventional love story" and "Father's Troubles" are available in print on Amazon, and my website. And you can download either or both for Kindle/Nook/ iPad.

Thank you so much for chatting with us Ms. Seaton!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Shadow in Serenity by Terri Blackstock

Book Description:

Carny Sullivan grew up in the zany world of a traveling carnival. Quaint and peaceful Serenity, Texas, has given her a home, a life, and a child. Logan Brisco is the smoothest, slickest, handsomest man Serenity, Texas has ever seen. But Carny Sullivan knows a con artist when she sees one---and she's seen plenty, starting with her father. As far as Carny Sullivan can tell, she's the only one in town who has his number. Because from his Italian shoes to his movie-actor smile, Logan has the rest of the town snowed. Carny is determined to reveal Brisco's selfish intentions before his promise to the townspeople for a cut in a giant amusement park sucks Serenity dry. Yet, as much as she hates his winning ways, there is a man behind that suave smile, a man who may win her heart against her will. Shadow in Serenity is a modern-day Music Man, penned by a Christy Award-winning, New York Times bestselling author.

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed this book. Logan Brisco is a smooth talking man. He never stays in one place too long, a trait he was taught by a master. Carny Sullivan is happy with her quiet life in Serenity and doesn't appreciate Logan coming to town and trying to con her friends. She wants to show him for what he is, but is there more to him than just a slick con man?
I absolutely loved the quiet town of Serenity. It had been prosperous but needed a boost so that is what Logan preyed on. Logan fit the bill of a slick con man wonderfully but I liked that there was more to him than meets the eye. Carny was strong and intelligent. She wasn't afraid to stand up to Logan, in front of the whole town no less.
I rate this a 4/5. I enjoyed the storyline and characters.
Thank you to Zondervan for the review copy of this book. I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Friday, February 17, 2012

When the Smoke Clears by Lynette Eason

Book Description:
As a member of the North Cascades Smokejumpers, Alexia Allen always takes care of the equipment that keeps her safe. So when she nearly dies in a fire due to equipment failure, she knows something is up. Ordered to take time off while the investigation continues, Alexia makes a last-minute decision to recuperate at her mother's home and attend her high school reunion. Yet trouble seems to be following her, and within hours of arriving home she's involved with murder, arson--and a handsome detective. But the conflicts ahead are nothing compared to the ghosts of her past. As she strives to remember and forgive her family history, she must also decide if the secret she's been guarding for the last ten years must finally come to light.

Chock-full of the suspense and romantic tension readers have come to expect from Lynette Eason, When the Smoke Clears is the explosive first book in the Deadly Reunions series.

My Thoughts:
I loved this book!  Alexia has left her home town and has no intention of ever returning.  Her parents didn't want her and most of the town thinks she did something terrible.  When she goes into a fire to rescue a kid, she realizes someone has tampered with her equipment.  Because of events and a friend's request, she decides to go back home for her tenth high school reunion thinking she will get away from everything.  The problem is trouble finds her there too but she may just have found a safe haven in the town detective.
I loved that Alexia was a complex character and not just what she first appears.  The lasting question about her friend and what she witnessed was great.  The supporting characters, I can't wait to get to know some of them better.  All in all, it was great!
I rate this a 5/5.  Wonderful book and looking forward to the next in the series!
Thank you to Revel for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Next of Kin by Sharon Sala

Book Description:Beth Venable has seen too much. Witness to a major mob hit, she's placed in protective custody until the trial. But after her third safe house is riddled with bullets, she goes off-grid to save herself. What the FBI can't do, her kinfolk will.

The beautiful but forbidding Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky welcome Beth back, dirt roads and rustic shacks a world apart from L.A. But her homecoming—even her blissful reunion with strong, silent Ryal Walker—is made bittersweet by the fight she's brought to the clan's doorstep. Hidden in a remote cabin with the man she's always wanted, Beth begins to dream of a new life: her old one. But after so long, with such dangers stalking her…impossible.
But love can distill life down to its essence: an elixir of pure hope, nerve—and the will to survive.

My Thoughts:
This was a good book.  Beth's life is uprooted because her parents choose to move.  She left her whole family and the love of her life.  Now, her parents are dead and she needs protection.  The FBI can't keep her safe but she knows the family she left behind can.  Now she just has to make it to them and the man she never forgot...
Beth was a strong woman.  I loved how tough and resourceful she was, she didn't wait on someone to save her but takes care of herself.  Ryal, the man she left behind, was selfless in putting his hurt and pride aside to help her.  He is strong and caring.  The family was awesome and I love how they take care of their own!!
I rate this a 5/5.  I'm ready for the next one!
Thank you to netgalley for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Interview with Author C.A. Freeburn

 Tell us about yourself…

C.A. Freeburn has loved books since she can remember. There was nothing better than picking up a story and finding herself in another place and meeting new people. The love of reading evolved into the love of writing and she's been writing since her teenage years. Her first novel, Parental Source, was a 2003 Library of Virginia Literary award nominee. Whether it's a detective story or an inspirational romantic suspense, her stories usually involve some sort of crime where the characters are determined to see those wrongs righted.

What genre do you write and why?

I write mysteries and suspense because I want to write about people overcoming extreme adversity in their life. There is a 'need' in me to create heroines and heroes who struggle against allowing the worst in their life defining them and find a way past that moment. Sometimes, I do it with a more serious take, or like with the Working Shadow, Inc. series there is a humorous tone.

Tell us about your book….

Dying For Redemption is about a private investigator who was murdered and finds himself in Limbo. He doesn't want to spend eternity doing nothing and decides to help other murder victims rest in peace by helping them discover who killed them.

What was your inspiration for this book?

I was at a book festival where I participated in a mystery panel. At the end of the panel, a woman approached me and said she enjoyed the talk but she doesn't read books where people die during the story. That comment got me thinking. How could one write a murder mystery without having a character die in the book? What if all the characters involved in the mystery were already dead?

Do you have a favorite character and why that one?

That's a hard question. I hate picking one character (for fear the others will stop 'talking' to me when I'm writing) but with Dying For Redemption, I have to say Callous. He's different than any character I've ever written and stretches me as a writer.

Did you find anything particularly difficult in writing this book?

The hardest part was keeping a balance between the detective and paranormal side of the story. I didn't want either element to overshadow the other as they are both important to the book.

What project(s) are you currently working on?

I'm working on the second in the Working Shadow, Inc series, Dying for Perception, and the third, Safe and Sound, in my inspirational romantic suspense series New Beginnings.

Do you have any interesting writing quirks you want to tell us about?

Besides occasionally acting out fight and car chase scenes with Rescue Heroes or Matchbox cars, I don't have any writing quirks.

Do you have any advice for writers out there?

Every writer's path will be different. There is no right way, only the way that is right for you. Find that route and travel down it. Don't worry about all the other ones.

Where can we find you?!/ChristinaFreeb1

And of course we have to know, where can we find your book?

Currently, it's available at Amazon in ebook form, but the print version is being worked on.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Accidental Bride by Denise Hunter

Book Description:
When a wedding reenactment turns real, this cowgirl suddenly finds she's an accidental bride.
Shay Brandenberger is raising her daughter in Moose Creek, Montana on her childhood ranch, nestled against the Yellowstone River. Despite her hard work, she can't seem to keep her head above water-and now the bank is threatening to foreclose. She prays for a miracle, but the answer she receives is anything but.
Having agreed to play the bride in the Founders Day wedding reenactment, Shay is mortified to be greeted at the end of the aisle by none other than Travis McCoy, her high school sweetheart-the man who left her high and dry for fame and fortune on the Texas rodeo circuit.
Then the unthinkable happens. Thanks to a well-meaning busy body and an absent minded preacher, the wedding reenactment results in a legal marriage. But before Shay can say "annulment," Travis comes up with a crazy proposal. If she refuses his offer, she'll lose her home. But if she accepts, she may lose her heart.
Shay isn't sure if the recent events are God's will or just a preacher's blunder. Will trusting her heart to the man who once shattered it be the worst mistake of her life? Or could their marriage be the best accident that ever happened?

My Thoughts:
I loved this one! The last thing Shay expects from the fake wedding ceremony is to wind up legally married! Especially to her one time love Travis! Either through a cruel twist of fate or God's Divine will, they are married and Travis has a proposal. Can she trust herself? Will she have enough faith in God to give her heart away again?

I loved all the characters in this book, especially the ones returning from the first book in the series. Shay is a strong woman who has been hurt too many times to ever trust a man again! Travis realizes how badly he messed up years before and wants another chance and it seems God may have given him just that. I loved Shay's daughter, she is so sweet and innocent but has a lot of the same problems Shay did growing up. All in all just a good romance!

I rate this a 5/5. It was a great romance that I plan to read again!
Thank you to the B&B Media Group for the review copy of this book. I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Guest Blogger Author Jonathan Wutawunashe

Please help we welcome guest blogger Jonathan Wutawunashe!


The success of every animal in the food chain depends largely on its credibility. The roar of the lion, the size of the elephant, the athletic profile of the cheetah-all would be meaningless if they did not correspond to the big cats’ ability to act devastatingly to the disadvantage of their prey. A roaring wimp, a lethargic giant or a limping sprinter can be assured of minimal impact on the eco-system.
So it is with humans. While, on balance, our primary preoccupation is not predatory (this point, I know, is hotly debatable), the same principle that governs things in the jungle holds for us too in the different kind of jungle in which not only we, but our hopes and dreams too, must survive and succeed. We must fulfill our threats if our impact on society is to be meaningful.
Fifty-plus years of sometimes difficult life have taught me a few lessons that I am sure others have learnt over a longer or a shorter time. Among these, one that I have found the most motivating is about the principles that govern an individual’s ability to realize his or her potential in any area of human activity. My reading of history, university training in human behaviour, experience in international affairs, engagement with the arts and with business, family life and the successes and failures I have encountered in my own life have combined to convince me that the character of our participation in the processes of life has a direct bearing on outcomes
In this my first book, I offer the thesis that success is the outcome of a simple process based on deciding, doing and learning. These activities are locked in a sequential loop that can be linear or non-linear depending on specific circumstances. Whatever the sequence at any point, however, one element is constant, and that element is you. You take the decision, you do the things you have decided, and you learn the lessons that are necessary for you to succeed. I readily admit that this is a blatant truism, but venture that too few people realize how powerful and liberating this obvious fact is. Most failures in life are failures in commonsense.

In 1981, I went to several recording studios to present material that I thought was worth recording. At one such studio, I was told that it was a waste of time to try, as there was no market for that genre of music. The producer probably thought I was throwing a futile tantrum when I vowed, in response, that not only would my music be played on the radio, but I would one day open a recording studio so that new artistes would find a friendly place where producers would at least give them the benefit of the doubt. (In the event, my band, the Family Singers, became popular trend-setters who have recorded several chart-busters and are heard in many countries of the world.) Well, I have so far opened four studios where newcomers to the industry are made to feel safe, and are given encouragement and help with their recordings. In this endeavour, I have had the help of my wife Shuvai, our son Tinashe and our daughter Tendai, who are musicians of note in their own right. Tinashe is currently studying music at a leading music university on a merit scholarship, and Tendai, who recently won the hotly contested scholarship, plans to join him soon. I hope that when they finish they will bring their enhanced skills back to our studios, or create similar ones themselves. I made a threat, and I have fulfilled it.

I remember an incident in 1962 when my father, who was then a schoolteacher, taught us a startling lesson. On some trivial pretext, one of the older girls in the school had promised to commit suicide by hanging herself from a tree. When he heard about the crisis, my father drove us in his car to the scene of the drama, where he invited the lady with the death wish and a few on-lookers to join us in the car. We then drove to a wooded area, where he identified a sturdily built tree of adequate height, and offered to assist the young lady with the practical details of self immolation. He even provided a rope that was normally used to winch the car out of the mud whenever it got stuck. Our wide-eyed horror and disbelief quickly gave way to astonished relief when the girl showed clear signs of desperation to embrace life in the face of a real opportunity to carry out the terminal threat she had issued. She made a threat that she (fortunately!) could not fulfill.

In many ways, each of our days is a tabula rasa, a clean slate on which anything can be written, or nothing at all. We are the authors, and we choose whether, what and when to write. It is the nadir of escapism and denial to blame our failure to act on our dreams on the weather, the fates or other people. Some procrastinators even claim that they are “waiting on God”, even when God is recorded as saying that they should stand firm and take action. When our daughter was two, she amused us one day when she was caught with her head in the refrigerator, her hand buried in the peanut butter jar and her face unevenly surfaced with the brown delight. With not a moment’s hesitation, she announced, “It’s Tinashe”. Never mind the fact that her brother was at school at that moment, and it was she who was speaking with a choking accent from inside the fridge! How similar this is to our all-too-frequent fudge-faced denial of any involvement in creating, through inaction, the messes we find ourselves in!

My brother Andrew stopped suddenly as we were walking down Broadway in New York City. “Jonathan!” he exclaimed. We were standing in the shadow of the Grand Marquis Marriott Hotel. “Do you know what started all this?” He paused for effect. “An idea in the mind of a man.” Over the years, I have mulled this deep but simple truth, and it has motivated me to do things I had never thought of attempting. J.W. Marriott thought it, and then did it, and that is why it stands there. As I have thought about it, my mind has been drawn to examples closer home. When I look at the Reserve Bank building in Harare, the environment-friendly marvel at Eastgate and other architectural miracles that surround us, I realize that it was the disciplined leap from thought to action that accomplished them, ideas in the minds of men and women who chose the path of commonsense and refused to let brilliant schemes go unattempted. Such people reject futility and prefer lives that carry visible meaning. They choose to fulfill the creative threats that their fecund minds generate.

Every language under the sun has a saying about learning, experience and knowledge. Indeed, it would be odd if our languages were not replete with references to the acquisition of skills and of knowledge; the moment we were born, we embarked immediately on an urgent project to supplant uninformed instinct with knowledge that was more certain, starting with the rap music- like craning of our necks that we quickly refined to a more guided search for mother’s milk. The disgusted yelp with which we cursed an unfamiliar world soon enough gave way to a more devious stratagem to gain beneficial attention whenever we grew hungry, felt lonely or disapproved of the humid fit of our nappies. Anything that is alive will continuously monitor incoming information, carefully observe the consequences of certain actions, and relentlessly adapt its environment to its requirements. The dodo dies. It is therefore of vital importance, as we seek to fulfill the threats whose fulfillment can prolong our lives, that we be voracious in seeking and using information that will sustain our chosen venture in life.

The threat of this book is to cajole, annoy and shock you into self-fulfilling action. In it, I say think, act and keep your eyes peeled. Who knows, you just might be on to something.

Most people have a problem with taking the first step in any enterprise. The basic instinct responsible for this is essentially a good one: self-preservation is the most primal, and literally the most vital of the instinctive behaviours of all living things. We are programmed to take flight when the odds are against us. However, indiscriminate flight when manifested in humans is generally associated with psychological disorder, as it appears to negate rationality, the one attribute that sets apart humankind from the world of beasts.

The whole essence of human intelligence is the ability to discriminate, to tell the difference between one set of circumstances and another. When this faculty is suppressed, anxiety neurosis sets in, and paralysed inaction is the result. Herein lies the foil to many a great venture, but at the same time a valuable clue as to what needs to be done if great ideas are to be translated into real achievements. The urge to flee from we know not what must be recognised and accosted as the front-line enemy that it is.

The first rational step in confronting a problem is to cut it down to size. Exaggeration and panic are fast friends. The story is told of a dozen spies who were deployed to stake out a city that their group planned to invade. Ten of the scouts brought back the report that, whereas the place was indeed ideal for acquisition and settlement, this would not be possible on account of the terrifying size of the inhabitants. However, the two remaining spies placed a different emphasis on their report: the place was so ideal, they said, that it would be unforgivable not to wrest it from its gigantic inhabitants.

The moral of the story is that, in any given situation, we have a choice of perspective. We can shrink from a challenge or seize the opportunity of testing our skills in tackling it, depending on the perspective we elect.

In your specific circumstances, then, once you have conditioned yourself for action by going through a "why not?" inventory, you must consciously choose to define the challenge in a manner that makes it inevitable for you to tackle it. If you have applied the inventory properly, you will have by now eliminated genuine, rational reasons for not doing what you have been dreaming of by adjusting and simplifying the concept to the point where it is actually doable. You will also have, by now, eliminated any ambiguity as to who is to do the doable, having custom - tailored the challenge to meet talents that you know you have. By now, the yellow - bellied, cop - out red herring "why me?" will have been banished by an aggressive, action - oriented "why not me?" Now you must act.

Most people have had the experience, in one social situation or another, of wanting to start a conversation with someone they are meeting for the first time. The legendary butterflies begin to flutter wildly, and an onset of the shakes is not unheard of. The body's chemistry adjusts itself for flight, and the brain's language facility appears suddenly to have abdicated its usual responsibilities. The first sound that comes out, if it does come out, is often not the one that was mentally rehearsed beforehand. What we have in such situations is a case of an irrational activation of an instinct that is meant to kick in in radically different circumstances. The antidote is to deliberately impose rationality on the situation. Talk to yourself if you have to, but bring the instinct under the discipline of your mind.

Professional athletes are often to be seen taking deep breaths and verbalizing confidence - building slogans to themselves as they "psych" up for a tournament. This is their way of disciplining potentially debilitating anxieties and fears and converting them into winning aggressiveness. There is courage within us; all we need to do is to consciously draw upon it to obliterate irrational fears we have about doing things that are indeed good for us. In the social situation discussed above, once actual action - greeting the stranger about whom we are curious - is taken, the transgressing instinct retires and the normality of the whole situation becomes obvious.

The same principle holds true for the business venture you have been dreaming and fretting about. Take the first step, and soon enough you will be wondering what the hesitancy was all about. The truth of the matter is, everyday millions of people less talented than you are wake up, brush their teeth, take a shower, eat cereal and start a business. It is all very normal.

Take any action that is relevant to the realisation of your dream. Consider, for instance, the implications of walking to the bank and picking up application forms to open a business account. This action is simple, inexpensive, rational, and very normal. People walk to the bank every morning and pick up forms. But do not be deceived; this action is a very important one. It begins a chain of actions that are equally simple, but that together will result in the creation in reality of an enterprise that was just an idea in your mind. Each step you take obligates you to take the next.

Once you have the forms, it seems reasonable that you fill them out, giving details of who and what you are, the nature of the business you intend to run, and other details that, in sum, say what you intend to become. While you may not be particularly conscious of it, the animal that begins to emerge as you fill out an ordinary form with an ordinary pen is what the books call a business plan: who am I, what are my assets, how do I want to employ them and to produce what in what time - frame?

Of course, it will not make sense to take the trouble to complete a form, and then leave the matter there. An inescapable logic dictates that you should hand in the completed form to the bank clerk and wait for her to check the form, establish an account number and issue a temporary cheque book to be used while the proper one is being printed. Now something exists in reality that before was just an idea. All of a sudden, you are in business, and there were no dramatic bells and fanfare, just a series of ordinary steps, each requiring the next and making the completion of the sequence virtually inevitable.

Beginning is the most critical activity for the success of any idea. This is my first book - length publication. The idea of writing it was, clearly, a good one, but as long as the first word remained unwritten, the rest of the book could not take shape. By the same token, chapter 2 was made possible by the existence of chapter 1. As I sit at the typewriter now, it strikes me that a chain of momentous events was started by the simple act of scribbling across a piece of paper the thought with which this book opens. It soon enough became clear that, if the process of writing, editing and rewriting were to be reasonably painless, an upgrade of technology was advisable.

Because I scribbled the first word - "the" - on a piece of paper a fortnight or so ago, I am now the proud owner of a word processor. The excitement itself of learning to use what is for me a new tool has provided amazing momentum for the pursuance of the task of writing and completing the manuscript. The feat of producing a full - length book now seems possible on account of the fact that I am already involved and therefore motivated. It will not make sense for me to stop, now that the first chapter is finished, and the seeds of the third chapter are discernible in the chapter I am now working on. Whatever your chosen venture is, then, the thing to do is to begin.

Physicists tell us that most objects are inclined to stay in place, passively obeying the laws of physics. Animate beings define and distinguish themselves by their capacity to decide that they need not slavishly obey the law of inertia. They therefore execute, on a daily basis, acts of defiance against this law, driven by their conscious desires. In other words, animate beings differentiate themselves in that they have an agenda that has a logical relationship with their wishes.

Momentum is built the very moment inertia is overcome. Once something begins to move, it will take another, measurable force to stop it from moving. So it is with a venture once the first step is taken to pursue it. Once you begin, something more determined than you will have to oppose you if there is any chance of the venture failing. The fact of the matter is, there aren't that many such negative forces in the realm of logic, and searching the domain of superstition for such opponents is an unnecessary and self - defeating exertion.

You will find that, once you take the first step, powerful forces are unleashed to help you. A forceful psychology that exclaims to you that you can do it begins to operate in you and against what you now find are imaginary obstacles. A brilliant logic illuminates the sensibleness of what you feared to do. Faith begins to move the mountain that you now realise was standing on a major fault - line. Come to think of it, you did it before. The day when, as a baby, you took your first step or uttered your first sound all by yourself, you did it, and now this whole thing called walking and talking has come into its proper perspective. It is such an ordinary, normal and doable thing.

You will discover that it is the same with whatever enterprise it is that you have been hesitating to embark upon, once you have taken a step - any step - that is consistent with converting that brilliant idea into a tangible reality.

Title: Fulfill Your Threats

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Author: Jonathan Wutawunashe

Available on Amazon in Kindle Format:



Ambassador Jonathan Wutawunashe cut his teeth as a diplomat in Washington, DC and New York during the 1980s. Educated and trained in his native Zimbabwe, in Australia, the United States and Belgium, Wutawunashe played key roles as a top manager and leader in key posts and functions in Zimbabwe, North America, Europe and Asia. One of his more widely publicized accomplishments was his presentation of the case against nuclear weapons at the International Court of Justice in November 1995.

Ambassador Wutawunashe is a sought-after speaker and counselor who has motivated audiences at universities, churches, training seminars, trade symposiums and in other contexts in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. His personal achievements include writing for magazines and academic journals from an early age, musical compositions and an extensive discography that has caught the attention of researchers and writers on global culture. He has done creative work for television, for which he has received plaudits, and has also established several audio-visual recording and mastering studios. The Ambassador holds post-graduate degrees in literature and social sciences. He is married to Shuvai, and the couple have three children, Tinashe, Tendai and Paidamoyo. You can read more about Wutawunashe on Wikipedia:


This incisive, well-written book shares profound insights into the psychology that drives doers to do what they do, and to do it with confidence, method and persistence. Its energizing claim is that we can all be effective doers if we take simple steps to yank our ambitions from the realm of idle thought and idle talk, and to mobilize those dreams and aspirations into projects that achieve results that can be seen, touched and experienced. Wutawunashe draws from experience and observation to illustrate how business ideas, personal development efforts, social influence and other schemes can be pursued in a manner that assures effective, sustained impact . In an engaging style that melds entertaining anecdotes, humorous turn of phrase and powerful didactic principle in a uniquely seamless manner, Wutawunashe delivers a powerful manual that could well come with a warranty, given the ease with which the reader can apply these lessons and see results.


In this my first book, I offer the thesis that success is the outcome of a simple process based on deciding, doing and learning. These activities are locked in a sequential loop that can be linear or non-linear depending on specific circumstances. Whatever the sequence at any point, however, one element is constant, and that element is you. You take the decision, you do the things you have decided, and you learn the lessons that are necessary for you to succeed. I readily admit that this is a blatant truism, but venture that too few people realize how powerful and liberating this obvious fact is. Most failures in life are failures in commonsense.

Jonathan's Book Launch Contest February 4 -23
First Prize is a Kindle Fire
Two runner up prizes : $50.00 gift certificates

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Summer of Promise by Amanda Cabot

Book Description:
Though she had planned to spend the summer in Vermont with her sweetheart, Abigail Harding cannot dismiss her concerns over her older sister. Charlotte's letters have been uncharacteristically melancholy, and her claims that nothing is wrong ring false, so Abigail heads West to Wyoming. The endless prairie seems monotonous, but when her stagecoach is attacked, Wyoming promises to be anything but boring. Luckily, the heroics of another passenger, Lieutenant Ethan Bowles, save the day.

When circumstances--and perhaps a bit of matchmaking--put Abigail and Ethan together, there's certainly attraction. But Abigail is planning to marry another man and return to life in Vermont as soon as she is finished attending to her sister. And Ethan loves his life in the Army and the wilds of Wyoming. When summer ends, will Abigail go back East? Or will she fall in love with this rugged land herself?

Book 1 of the new Westward Winds series, "Summer of Promise" is a tale of following your heart to unexpected places. Readers will enjoy Amanda Cabot's passionate characters and vibrant setting in the beautiful high prairie.
My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this one!  Abigail is to get married, but first she HAS to travel out to Wyoming to check on her sister.  She seems troubled and Abigail is determined to take see of her.  After a long and interesting trip, she arrives at the Army Fort.  When she confides in  Lt. Ethan Bowles she begins to wonder if a life in Vermont is what she really wants.
The author did a wonderful job with both the characters and the story line.  I was expecting just a romance, but there was a roller coaster of emotions in the romance portion and then she added some mystery!  Abigail is a strong lady with a big heart.  Ethan's beliefs on love are challenged and he has a mystery to solve.  All in all a good book.
I rate this a 5/5.  It took a bit to get going but it was great!
Thank you to Revel for the review copy of this book.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review and the opinions stated above are 100% mine.