Monday Musings Forty-three: Dark Intent

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Dark Intent


‘A Truth that’s told with bad intent

Beats all the Lies you can invent.’

William Blake (Auguries of Innocence)

While researching for a magazine article I wrote recently, I came across the above poem by William Blake. For the piece, I wanted the opening lines … about the world in a grain of sand. However, these lines near the end of the work also grabbed my attention. They reminded me that it isn’t always best to ‘say it like it is’.

Intention is all important. Whether in deed or speech.

While I don’t advocate outright lying, I would advise circumspection in the truth you choose to tell. As with Monday Musings Forty-one on Gatekeepers, we need to exercise prudence in all that we say. Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary?

The third of those questions is, perhaps, the most pertinent. Is it necessary?

If your intention is to hurt someone, then telling a brutal truth will do far more damage than a lie, no matter how inventive that lie. The truth resonates deep within us. Don’t get me wrong, though; a lie does enough damage too.

I have come across many people who love to say, ‘Just telling it like it is.’ And they feel brash and harsh to be around. Moreover, much of what they profess as truth telling just comes down to spouting their own opinions that grow from their (mis)perceptions.

I spend as little time as possible around people like that. They drag everyone down and are the only perfect person in the room. Whether they realise it or not, their intention is a selfish one. And that kind of attitude usually indicates deeply buried inadequacy, hidden and festering.Zen Stones for Monday Musings

That last line bears re-reading. It shows us how important it is not to judge anyone. All of us have things we need to work on/with. All of us need help, not rejection. In the above case, the more rejection, then the further buried the inadequacy, and the louder the ‘telling it like it is’.

Study your intentions. Examine the motivation behind the words that bubble up behind your tongue. Ask again, is it necessary? If it’s not good to say, then remain silent. That proves far better than lying. And, remember, telling the truth gives you a far easier life; you don’t have to remember anything like you do when you make up a lie.

I have come across numerous quotes to the effect that making someone cry by telling the truth is better than making them happy with a lie; what none of them offer is the option of simply saying nothing.

One lie is all it takes for someone to lose faith in you. So, always remain upfront, and if you can’t do that, then don’t say anything.

This all comes down to integrity. To utter the truth with good intentions can only happen when we can be truthful with ourselves. If you can’t be honest within yourself, then you can never be honest with another. Always, you will only have your version of the truth, rather than the truth itself.

The saddest thing with all of this is that the more you lie, then the more you believe your own deceits. They become your reality and your truth. Eventually, your whole life becomes a lie. From such a place, you have no chance of seeing it like it is, never mind telling it like it is.

When seen through clear vision and said with good intentions, then truth or honest silence is the way to go. The truth may hurt for a while, but a lie hurts forever. And, when we get right down to it, truth uttered with bad intent proves no better than the worst of lies. This is because you are not speaking truth, as such, and certainly not living the truth. All of it comes through negative filters, and the person listening to your words will only hear the malice. No truth can come through because you’ve twisted it into something else.

In the wise words of Zen:

‘The most dangerous liars are those who think they are telling the truth.’

If you’ve missed my previous Monday Musings, you can find the links here: :)

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Monday Musings Forty-two: The Curve that Sets Everything Straight

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The Curve that Sets Everything Straight


It’s so important to smile. What we do with our face has a direct effect on what our bodies do with us. The chemicals and emotions with which they fill us. A smile keeps all of that cocktail on the positive end of the scale. And that upward curve of the lips spreads joy rather than pain.

Briefly, toward the end of Monday Musings Twenty-six, we talked about the importance of having a deep belly laugh at least once a day, and how even the tiniest of smiles contains a universe full of magic. Truly, it holds transformative powers.

Not only does our expression reflect our mood, but our mood can change depending on what we do with our face. If we frown enough, then we’ll end up feeling grumpy. The same goes for smiling. If we curve our lips upward for long enough, then we’ll begin to feel better. And, for certain, those around us will feel happier for receiving a smile rather than a scowl.

Our facial expression reflects in our voice too. When we frown, we tend to sound stern. And when we smile, we sound happier and lighter. So, even on the telephone, where our face remains hidden, it’s important to smile when we speak—or, at least, refrain from frowning.

From a vanity perspective, a smile helps us grow older without deep frown lines. Rather, any skin creases we develop, grow upward and smoother instead and help us maintain a more youthful appearance. The reverse, of course, is that deep frown lines age us immeasurably. I know which I choose.Zen Stones for Monday Musings

To smile throughout the day, and thus avoiding anger and grumpiness in response to events, helps to lower our blood pressure and has all sorts of other health benefits. As stated in Monday Musings Twenty-six, a smile has the power to transform even the blackest of moods and make the world a brighter place. Just that little upward lift of facial muscles can change the whole energy of a room and the mood of those around us.

Think about a time when you’ve walked into a room and immediately wanted to walk back out because the atmosphere has felt so dark and tense. Think about the people that you enjoy being around … what kind of disposition do they have for the majority of the time?

Note that I qualify that last question with ‘the majority of the time’. I do this because not a one of us can remain bright and happy one-hundred percent of the day. We’re all human, and we all wobble now and then. The important thing is that we can reset to a happy medium rather than a grumpy one.

Each one of us has a baseline to which we return time and again. Lottery winners have described an initial feeling of euphoria and walking around on cloud nine. However, after enough time has passed, they each return to their normal baseline of functioning. The same happens when we experience deep despair or trauma. Eventually, we will return to our baseline.

The more we smile, the more our baseline becomes happy and positive rather than gloomy and negative. Like anything in life, it takes time and patient perseverance, but is so worth the effort.

A smile can hide so many other feelings like hurt, fear, and sadness, but it also shows strength. Each time you smile at someone, you give them an invaluable gift. Be someone else’s sunshine. Be the reason that they smile today. And in return, you will receive the sunshine back into yourself.

Always, a reason to smile exists, just that sometimes, you have to hunt for it.

In the wise words of Zen:

 ‘Let your smile change the world, but don’t let the world change your smile.’

If you’ve missed my previous Monday Musings, you can find the links here: :)

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How to Catch a Cowboy


Hello, everyone! Today I bring you author Sandra Madden and her Western Historical Novel How to Catch a Cowboy. Sandra will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Matilda Rose Applebee isn’t looking for love when she captures Cooper T. Davis at gunpoint. Her younger sister is in the family way and claims Cooper is responsible. Matilda aims to haul the snake-belly back to her sister’s waiting arms. But Cooper insists Matty’s sister is mistaken as they begin a long and dangerous journey.



“You’re the best dancer of all,” she said, gazing up into his eyes, a beguiling smile on her lips.

Moist, pink lips, full and sweet. Lips he yearned to kiss. “Matilda Rose, be careful or you’ll bewitch me,” Cooper warned.

She laughed, a light lilting laugh, as if he’d said something terribly amusing.

As they danced slowly, silently, the tantalizing movements of her body pressed to his, propelled Coop’s heart into an irregular rhythm. The smoky simmer of desire curled through his core, shot to his fingertips. Like some demented soul, he continued to torture himself with a woman he could not have.

When the music ended, his lips grazed the top of her head, stealing a taste of her sweet, silky hair.

Matilda Rose stepped back, her lips parted in a dazzling smile, her eyes sparkling as they met his. She had no idea how he felt, how much he wanted her.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

This mostly truthful biography is longer than most of my books. But the older you become, it seems the more there is to say. Whether it’s important or not. Whether anyone is listening.

I was born in New York City but raised in Winthrop, Massachusetts, a small isthmus that juts into the Atlantic Ocean five miles north of Boston. During the long cold winters – read REALLY COLD! – I read and I wrote. My favorite authors were Bronte and Austin before they became required reading. I wrote stories to amuse myself which led to writing the 6th grade school play. When I discovered drama classes in the ninth grade, I gave up writing for a few years. And, yes, I was the perky cheerleader who played Emily in Our Town. Not a dry eye in the house!MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_HowToCatchACowboy

Following high school graduation my family moved to the warmer climate of South Florida – just when I was getting acclimated to the constant cold.

At the University of Miami, I majored in Radio/TV/Film. (As the program was called in those days – and one of the first departments of its kind in the nation.) I minored in drama. For three of my four years in college I acted in thirty- minute radio dramas almost on a weekly basis. Inevitably these live broadcasts of Theater X were love stories in which I played the heroine. Usually, the tragic heroine. I credit this experience as having set me on a course of no return. Romance and fantasy became my fate.

But first I experienced a short-lived career as a broadcast journalist. I was too far ahead of my time to fight the slings and arrows of the newsmens’ contempt, so I switched. I became a broadcast copy/promotional writer and worked in the Miami and Los Angeles markets. But my most rewarding work was as a writer/producer/host for a Miami PBS station. (Due to the public broadcasting budget each person is This mostly truthful biography is longer than most of my books. But the older you become, it seems the more there is to say. Whether it’s important or not. Whether anyone is listening.


I was born in New York City but raised in Winthrop, Massachusetts, a small isthmus that juts into the Atlantic Ocean five miles north of Boston. During the long cold winters – read REALLY COLD! – I read and I wrote. My favorite authors were Bronte and Austin before they became required reading. I wrote stories to amuse myself which led to writing the 6th grade school play. When I discovered drama classes in the ninth grade, I gave up writing for a few years. And, yes, I was the perky cheerleader who played Emily in Our Town. Not a dry eye in the house!

Following high school graduation my family moved to the warmer climate of South Florida – just when I was getting acclimated to the constant cold.

At the University of Miami, I majored in Radio/TV/Film. (As the program was called in those days – and one of the first departments of its kind in the nation.) I minored in drama. For three of my four years in college I acted in thirty- minute radio dramas almost on a weekly basis. Inevitably these live broadcasts of Theater X were love stories in which I played the heroine. Usually, the tragic heroine. I credit this experience as having set me on a course of no return. Romance and fantasy became my fate.

But first I experienced a short-lived career as a broadcast journalist. I was too far ahead of my time to fight the slings and arrows of the newsmens’ contempt, so I switched. I became a broadcast copy/promotional writer and worked in the Miami and Los Angeles markets. But my most rewarding work was as a writer/producer/host for a Miami PBS station. (Due to the public broadcasting budget each person is expected to fill a variety of roles for one salary. One small salary.) I focused on How-To series, public affairs – of the political kind – and women’s issues. During this time I met many inspiring women who shared their stories with me, women whose remarkable achievements, great spirits and strength influenced my work as I started to write. First, I became a published poet. It didn’t take much time for me to write short verses.

As with most writers, I wrote my first historical novels in the evenings after my day job. A second wind is required to do this and it magically appears with the passion for writing.

Passion for the writing and persistence in submitting are the keys to becoming a published author. The secrets of the sisterhood gleaned from lessons learned along the way.

Not long after being published I discovered that a writer’s life is not all about the voices in your head demanding release to a page – frequently at an inopportune time. And it’s not all about three figure contracts, champagne tours and as much chocolate as you can consume. Oh. No. A writer’s life includes thundering deadlines, dry spells, assorted blocks, carpel tunnel syndrome and frozen shoulders. Occasionally, the green-eyed monster rears her head and wraps grown women in knots. But most of all, writing romance is a wonderful love story in itself. There is nothing else a romance writer would rather be doing. She is totally in love with romance and with the ability to share her stories with gracious readers. Thank you, dear reader.

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Monday Musings Forty-one: Gatekeepers

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We’ve all heard the saying, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’ How true or not this proves, comes down to the listener. It might surprise you to hear that it has nothing at all to do with the speaker. Hurtful words can only ever truly harm the person who utters them. Everything else, as with so many of our Monday Musings topics, comes down to choice.

Our emotional and psychological responses come down to our particular conditioning and how free or bound we remain by such conditioning. And it isn’t just the words we say with our tongues that have an impact. You will never speak to anyone more than you speak to yourself in your head. So, take care to speak kindly to yourself.

Words, in and of themselves, have no substance and prove empty. It is actions that show us who someone is, not their words. Words just prove who someone wants to be. A promise of help gives nothing if not followed up with action. And still, we need to take care of our thoughts and speech.

Whether of the mind or tongue, what we say should have three gatekeepers:

Is it true?Zen Stones for Monday Musings

Is it kind?

Is it necessary?

Wise speech can empower. If we have the strength of character to stand up and say, ‘This is wrong,’ then this helps others to do the same. In this context, silence turns out to be more dangerous than words. Recently, I discovered an interesting fact. Apparently, in law, silence implies agreement and condoning. However, within Buddhism (and most spiritual disciplines), the opposite proves true. Silence implies disagreement and disapproval. This makes it essential to understand the situation in which we find ourselves. We have to ensure that our actions and words match with one another and fit the context.

When talking, we should speak in such a way that others love to listen to us. And when listening, we should pay attention in such a way that others love to speak to us. The only way to pay proper attention is to empty our minds as much as possible. A full mind cannot take in any more information and will miss things.

The more silent we become, and the less we speak—whether by mouth or mind—the more our eyes see, and our ears hear.

As with last week’s Monday Musing, The Blame Game, we need to stop and ask ourselves, ‘Is it good to do?’ I might also suggest that another useful question is, ‘Why?’ What motivation lies behind our words?

In the wise words of Zen:


‘Do not speak unless you can improve upon silence.’

If you’ve missed my previous Monday Musings, you can find the links here: :)

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MY GRL … Relaunch!

Announcing the re-launch of My GRL


The cover is new and the book edited once again to enhance the experience. What is really nice is the price has been cut for the introduction. You can buy the kindle version for a special introduction price of


Here’s the blurb.

John J. Cannon successful San Francisco lawyer takes a well-deserved leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body of the young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now stands between the terrorists and the success of their mission. Amazon for the kindle version

Here is the link to Amazon for the Kindle version

Here is the link to Amazon for the Paper version

Check them out and read the first few pages on Amazon.

Also, you can check out John Cannon’s other two adventures, as well as, the new My GRL at John W. Howell’s Author Page










Author Bio

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

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The Second Time Around


Hi folks!

Today, we have author Ella Quinn with her Historical Romance Novel, The Second Time Around. Ella will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Can a beautiful Worthington widow find love again? Depends on who’s asking . . .

Before he died, Patience was the Earl of Worthington’s second wife. So why shouldn’t Patience be allowed a second chance at marriage, too? Of course, finding a new husband was not something the mother of four had ever planned on. But a surprise encounter with her first love has suddenly made the impossible seem possible all over again . . .

It seems like a lifetime ago that Richard, Viscount Wolverton, was halfway around the world, looking for adventure . . . while Patience, at her coming-out, was left with no choice but to take old Worthington’s hand. Richard never forgot the woman whose heart he yearned for—and now that he’s back, he’s not going to let her slip away again . . .cover-second-time



Patience gasped. Not loudly, she was much too self-contained to draw attention to herself. But Richard could feel her pulse jump, and he was pleased that he still had the ability to shake her calm, to make her react to him. He wondered if her old husband had been able to command her attention in the same way. The corners of his lips twitched. Probably not. Whether she knew it or not, she was his and always had been.

If only he hadn’t been such an idiot. Who forgets the year of his beloved’s come out? A young man who had traveled halfway across the world looking for adventure, that was who. By the time he had returned home, it was just days before her marriage to Lord Worthington. He had argued with her father to be able to see her, but it was as if her parents had locked her in the house. When they’d traveled to Town for the wedding, he had followed. However, his pains had been to no avail. Neither her mother nor father was going to let him ruin their plans for Pae. After all, an earl outranked the heir to a viscount. There was also the scandal that would ensue if she broke the betrothal just days before the nuptials. He would not have cared, but he was the only one. Even his parents would have been appalled if Pae jilted Worthington for Richard.

Too late. That is what everyone had told him. But he wasn’t too late now.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Ella QuinnBestselling author Ella Quinn’s studies and other jobs have always been on the serious side. Reading historical romances, especially Regencies, were her escape. Eventually her love of historical novels led her to start writing them. She has just finished her first series, The Marriage Game, and her new series, The Worthingtons, began in April 2016.

She is married to her wonderful husband of over thirty years. They have a son and two beautiful granddaughters, and a dog. After living in the South Pacific, Central America, North Africa, England and Europe, she and her husband decided to make their dreams come true and are now living on a sailboat cruising the Caribbean and North America. Europe is next!





Blog http://ellaquinnauthor.wordpresscom

Amazon Author Page:


Buy Link:


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Monday Musings Forty: Too Tired

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Too Tired


Hello, everyone. With today’s post going up a little late because I just couldn’t get to it, I thought how apt it would be to write about the tricks our brains and bodies can play on us.

Usually, I have my Monday Musings posts scheduled and all ready to go by at least the preceding Friday, but not so this week. Last week proved rather hectic and fraught, and I made the classic mistake of putting off for tomorrow what I could have squeezed in today. The trouble was, I just felt too tired to force myself to make that one last effort. And, of course, when tomorrow came, I felt too unwell to get out of bed.

This offered me teaching on a number of levels. Not least of which was a refresher on the importance of letting go. As much as I hated the thought of my post not being up and ready for first thing Monday, I couldn’t do much about it. For sure, I couldn’t write it the way I felt.

Secondly, it reminds me not to put off doing something when I have the opportunity to do it, as we never know what’s around the corner. Last week, a family member got ambulanced to A&E and spent some time in hospital. For everyone involved, we had to drop our carefully laid plans and respond as needed. It would have done no good trying to stay locked on target. So, another reminder: flexibility proved key.

And, still, all of us have work that needs doing and have to make the time somewhere. As you can imagine, the stress levels rose. Little wonder, then, that by Saturday, I felt so tired and drained. What I didn’t know then was that I was sickening for something, which put me to bed all day Sunday. And even this morning, I’m dragging myself around and will make this a short work day.

This leads me to look at the nature of tiredness and prevarication.Zen Stones for Monday Musings

Often, when we feel tired, it is avoidance rather than a true need for sleep. While mine turned out to be a need for rest, it isn’t always so. How many times have you dreaded doing something and felt a complete lack of energy or enthusiasm? How many times have you experienced that energy miraculously burst forth when you switch your attention to something more fun and favourable?

If I’m honest with myself, and you guys, in with some of that mix this weekend was a need to hibernate for a while and just have the world go away. It all got on top of me, and that’s most likely why I came down with yet another cold. I’m sure I could have pushed myself more; however, would that have been the good thing to do? Sometimes, it’s good to push, but at others, it’s better to show ourselves some kindness and allow ourselves the space we need. In between sleeping, I got some good relaxing and reading done. And today, I feel much improved if not yet at a hundred percent.

It’s like walking a tightrope sometimes because if we ignore what’s really going on, we’re likely to end up in trouble. If the fatigue is genuine, we need to listen. And if it’s about avoiding, then we need to listen to that too.

As ever, I would suggest sitting quietly and asking yourself what your tiredness is about. Offer yourself the option in your mind of switching to a task or leisure activity that you enjoy … what happens to your energy then?

Sometimes, we just have to knuckle down and do whatever it is we’re avoiding. And, every single time that I’ve done that, I’ve felt much better once it’s out of the way and sorted. The more I put something off, the more it nags at me. Of course, we always have to listen as best we can. Because, sometimes, that need for avoidance is there because we’re about to do something that isn’t good to do. … Back to that old tightrope.

Sometimes, I don’t know whether I need a hug, a huge cup of coffee, or a fortnight’s sleep. (Or all three!) The important thing is to see what we’re doing and catch when our brains and bodies play tricks on us. And don’t judge. Just let it be. Work with it, not against it.

See, accept, and find the best way forward. Always, make the best of what you have right now. And, whenever (without good reason) you feel tempted to put off until tomorrow what you can and should do today: Remember …

In the wise words of Zen:


‘You don’t get the same moment twice in life.’

If you’ve missed my previous Monday Musings, you can find the links here: :)

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Monday Musings Thirty-nine: The Blame Game

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The Blame Game


From early childhood, we receive conditioning that teaches us to look to others to see how we’re doing. To gauge how good or bad a person we are. While this has its place and uses, we also need to see for ourselves. While children need guidance on how to behave until they learn compassion and the rules of polite society, as adults, we need to stand on our own two feet.

Part of this brings us back to Monday Musings 17 and 22 on owning it and not being a herd animal. If we act from a place of avoiding blame or seeking praise, then all of our actions will prove wrong. We will never get it right.

Whether in company or alone, we should act just the same. That is, live life in such a way that we have nothing to hide. Nothing to fear. If we wouldn’t do it in company, then why would we do it in private? If a thing is wrong, it is wrong, regardless of whether anyone but us is present to witness it. The same with those things we would deem as right. If it’s good to do, then do it. You don’t need an audience. No praise, no blame, just right living. For you.Zen Stones for Monday Musings

A side-effect of living in such a way is that we don’t manipulate our environments so much anymore. We are better able to accept what is instead of trying to force circumstances and people to meet our wants. When we need to manipulate, what we are actually doing is hiding. We live our lives in darkness and secrecy. The opposite of owning our life is to reject it.

Do you wish to live like a child or as an adult? The choice comes down to you. And if you live with someone who tries to control you, then it’s time to find skilful ways of managing that situation and your life. And, remember, to seek help is not a sign of weakness but rather one of strength.

To take charge of your world is to take charge of yourself. It is to have the courage to make the changes that you need to make, irrelevant of the opinions of others. It takes resolve and perseverance to forge your own path and become your own person. But, oh, what a relief it is when you achieve your liberation. When you can accept yourself fully, imperfections and all, then you have found true freedom. You have found a place outside of praise and blame. You have found your true heart.

In the wise words of Zen:

‘Just as a solid rock is not shaken by the storm, even so, the wise are not affected by praise or blame.’

If you’ve missed my previous Monday Musings, you can find the links here: :)

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Everything And A Happy Ending

Hi folks! 

Today, I am delighted to host author Tia Shurina on her Everything And A Happy Ending blog tour with 4Wills Publishing!

I can’t tell you how much pleasure it gives me to host this brave and delightful lady, so please help me to show her lots of love and support today …

TIA SHURINA author pic

Namaste, Harmony, & a heartfelt thank you for hosting me on Day 4 of my 1st tour! Since I specifically chose Valentine’s Day to start 7 special days, I knew one of them needed to include something especially lovely for the man who made all of this possible for me, my dad. Without his help, I would still be clinging to a half happy life, holding back from going ALL-IN in anything out of fear of just about everything.

As a memoir lover, other’s words have always struck a special chord in me for some reason. As a movie lover, those that include the concept of time, whether via flashback, or parallel interlocking stories that run simultaneously draw me in most. Because of that, the idea for my story in Timeline… in song & quote… was the genesis of my book. Even though I share it at the end, it was really the start! The entire Timeline of my history with the two men that bookend my special trio is comprised only of words that were shared between either me & my dad, or Ray & I. As we continue to celebrate a week of love, I’m honored to share that part of my story here now. It was created with the prayer that as a reader makes their way through other’s words & inspirations, they will see the circle I rounded in my relationship with my dad & know where we stood on the holy day he died, Holy Saturday & how our relationship continued to impact me after he passed over, on a holy day indeed, Holy Saturday. As I began a new journey with the book after it was born, the brutally challenging path that petrified me, promoting it, I added a new song & quote to it that I share here now with all of you…”this is for you daddy” Stevie Nicks Landslide

“Grace doesn’t depend on suffering to exist, but where there’s suffering you’ll find grace in many colors and facets.” William P. Young, The Shack

 “Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends.” Shirley MacLaine

 “Whatever road you may be on, know you’re never too far gone, my love is there wherever you may be.”

Sara Evans, “Always be My Baby”

 “Every time you forgive, the universe changes. Every time you reach to touch a heart or life, the world changes. With every kindness and service, seen and unseen, my purposes are accomplished and nothing is ever the same again.” William P. Young, The Shack

 “And I loved deeper, and I spoke sweeter, and I gave forgiveness I’ve been denying.” Tim McGraw, “Live Like You Were Dying”

 “‘Has she forgiven me?’ he asked. ‘Forgiven you for what?’

‘I failed her,’ he whispered.

‘It would be her nature to forgive, if there were anything to forgive, which there is not.’” William P. Young, The Shack

 “But I’m learning who you’ve been ain’t who you’ve got to be… but put some faith in me and someday you’ll see there’s a diamond under all this dust.” Tim McGraw, “Better than I Used to Be”

 “Blessed is the influence of one true, loving soul on another.” George Eliot

 “Wisdom is knowing I am nothing, Love is knowing I am everything, and between the two my life moves.”

Nisargadatta Maharaj

‘Goodbye,’ said the fox. ‘And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.’ ‘What is essential is invisible to the eye,’ the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember. ‘It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.’” Antoine de Sainte-Exupery, The Little Prince

“Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance, and when you get the chance to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.” Lee Ann Womack, “I Hope You Dance

 “How about love? How do you measure the life of a woman or a man? Measure in love.” Daniel Noonan, “Seasons of Love””EAAHE

 “There is a reason God limits our days. To make each one precious.” Mitch Albom, The Timekeeper

“Shadows are falling and I’m running out of breath,keep me in your heart for a while.” Warren Zevon, “Keep Me in Your Heart”


Easter Week, April 2009

 “Probably we will all regret to leave this world, yet I believe that after I have drained the first cup, and have possibly grown a bit weary of its flavor, I will then turn not unwillingly to the second cup and to the new and thrilling experience of exploring the unknown.” Edmund N. Carpenter II, “Before I Die”

 “‘Que Sera, Sera’ life goes on. Whatever’s meant to be will always be, and baby, what don’t kill you will make you strong.” Sara Evans, “Pray for You”

 “I love you, Tia.” “I love you too, Dad.”

The last words spoken between us that ended our last conversation with each other, April 8th, 2009.

“And in his final words, I found an ace that I could keep.” Kenny Rogers, “The Gambler”

 “Hang on Daddy, I’m on my way. I promise I’m almost there.”

A few of my words to my dad as I sat grounded at the Atlanta airport en route to him at the hospital,

Good Friday, April 10th, 2009.

“Hymn to Hope” by Secret Garden

 “That you’re waitin’ from the backroads by the rivers of my memory, ever smilin’, ever gentle on my mind.” Glen Campbell, “Gentle on My Mind”

 “Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”

Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

 “I see trees of green, red roses too, I see them bloom, for me and you.” Kenny G., Louis Armstrong, “What a Wonderful World”

 “Every soul is filled with light, it never ends if I’m right. Our love can even reach across eternity.”

Diamond Rio, “I Believe”

“I didn’t ask for money, or a mansion in Malibu, I simply wished for one more day with you.”

Diamond Rio, “One More Day”

 “Won’t take nothing but a memory, from the house that built me.” Miranda Lambert, “The House that Built Me”

 “You fuckin’ get out there, and use all the shit that you’ve been through, all that fuckin hell, all the shit we’ve gone through over the fuckin’ years, and you put it in that ring right now. This is yours. This is fuckin’ yours.” Dickie Eklund, The Fighter

“This bond between us can’t be broken. I will be here, don’t you cry… When destiny calls you, you must be strong. I may not be with you, but you’ve got to hold on. They’ll see in time, I know. We’ll show them together.” Phil Collins, “You’ll Be in My Heart”

Everything and a Happy Ending, an award winning memoir published by Mascot Books, details the soulful shift of a story as Tia shares her holy grail & trail she took to transform her life. After moving through her own metamorphosis she then helped an old friend, Ray Romano, move through his own transition, going with the flow very privately, but most profoundly.

“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 exciting 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 & fear flipped into blind optimism, faith & love.

That flip helped Tia move to a place where heaven meets earth…the pearly gates of her own happy ending. Changing the ending for her story brought a pure, precious peace of heart, but kicked her butt a bit as she made her way…committed to keeping her faith. The book was a plan C, maybe even D, but Tia was determined, after a dedicated intention & divine decision to start swimming more with the current of her life, instead of bucking that flow. Her ordinary, relatable story took an extraordinary, fantastical turn when she showed the Universe she was committed to her intention & her desire to be given an opportunity to make some new, different choices for herself. EAAHE is a memoir that shares the “how’d that happen?” & the “how’d she do that?” in a holy hope of helping others to see life in a new way.

EAAHE recounts 3 interconnected relationships & stories that enable Tia to love truly, deeply, & most of all, love herself. Three special circles she rounded with Ray, her dad, & her ex-husband. A woman’s full circle journey to learn how to really trust, how to “thine own self be true”, &then, the “real & true” love it led her ‘round back to. It shares how the power of love & a journey to intimacy helped her make a faithful flip which began a sacred circle and new chapter…one that would allow a different ending for a story she had begun writing for herself when she was much younger. One that Tia feels strongly will inspire other women of a certain age keep faith that it’s not too late to write a new ending for their own, as they embrace their history, not try to re-write it.

Tia is, most days, filled with joy. She is, every day, filled with peace. She looks forward to a happy ending each new day now, however it unfolds, whomever it holds, & whatever way 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, & going with the flow of her life.

Here are what some customers are saying on Amazon:

The tour sponsored by

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RRBC Pay It Forward #PIF Day! Showcasing Nonnie Jules

Hello and welcome to Harmony’s place, today.

I have the pleasure and honour of belonging to an online bookclub that feels more like family than anything and offers so much support for authors. Today, I would like to pay some of that forward to RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB’S founder and president, author Nonnie Jules! If you’d like to learn more about the club, then please visit HERE.

Oft-times, I’ve heard Nonnie given the moniker of ‘Wonder Woman’, and I have to agree. This gal has her fingers in so many pies, and I just don’t know how she gets it all done. And, still, she finds the time to offer personal support and uplifting where it’s needed. Aside from all this amazement, she’s also written a few books …

THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS, 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love

Daydream’s Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend (a novel)

Sugarcoatin’ Is For Candy & Pacifyin’ Is For Kids Yes, I Said It!

And you can also find her all over the web …

Watch Nonnie Write!

Ask The Good Mommy

Rave Reviews Book Club

4Wills Publishing

RWISA … Rave Writers International Society of Authors

As well as being so supportive, Nonnie isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. Just see her post 8 Ways to Tarnish Your Author Brand for great tips and telling it like it is.

More about Nonnie Jules, in her own words:

Nonnie Jules was born in the mid ’70s in  TX.  When she was a mere toddler, her family relocated to Shreveport, LA where red dirt roads and pick up trucks go hand in hand.  She still lives in Louisiana today with her husband, two daughters and their many animals.  She loves to write from all genres of literature including short stories, poetry, fiction and non, as well as How-To books.  Her first book “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love! is on sale now on Amazon, Createspace or autographed copies at BooksByNonnie. You may also watch the trailer to “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE…”  here on Youtube.

Her second writing,  a novel entitled “Daydream’s Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend” was just released in  November, 2013,  and was highly anticipated by many who had read only the first two chapters. It’s on Amazon as well as autographed copies at BooksByNonnie.  Check out the trailer.   To find out more about Nonnie’s other releases, please visit BooksByNonnie.  A children’s book is also scheduled for release sometime in the near future.

Nonnie recently started her own publishing company along with 3 partners, 4WillsPublishing.  Noticing some of the work that was being put out in the industry, it became a strong desire of hers to ensure that authors were only putting out THE BEST, and that the readers were only being offered the BEST, and that’s who her company will represent:  those that are already at their best and those aspiring to be the best!  So, if you have a story inside you that you want to get out, OR if you’ve already written and published, but are looking for other awesome marketing tools for your book(s),  simply visit our SERVICES page to find out about the  fantastic services the company has to offer.

In December, 2013, Nonnie founded Rave Reviews By Nonnie Jules and the Rave Reviews Book Club which you’ve probably heard so much about.  In less than 8 months, this organization has reached over 500 in membership and that number increases daily!  If you’re an author (or reader) and you are looking to become a part of an organization that feels like family, one that  will support you to no end, you need to add your name to that roster of the elite members of RRBC.

This Author lives by the premise that A CANDLE LOSES NOTHING BY LIGHTING ANOTHER CANDLE.  She’s always willing to lend a helping hand to another, and her hope is that her fellow authors will do the same for others coming up in the ranks, when they are presented with the opportunity. Nonnie can be be found most often on Twitter @nonniejules, relentlessly promoting other indie authors.  Nonnie says that she will continue to write as long as her readers continue reading her work.


Thanks for all that you’ve done and do, Nonnie, even down to creating this opportunity to pay it forward with RRBC PIF Day! :)

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Lifting As We Climb: talented author Lynn Hobbs!

Hello and welcome to Harmony’s place today :) 

It gives me great pleasure to host author Lynn Hobbs on her 4 Wills Publishing and RWISA tour!

RAVE-WRITERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA, is a gathering of award-winning writers who are ‘consummate professionals, dedicated, committed and driven to continually excel at producing the best written works possible’.

4 Wills Publishing offer blog tours and many other services for authors; please do check them out!

Below, we have Lynn’s interview, followed by her wonderful thoughts on ‘Descriptions and Words’. Take it away, Lynn :) 

Copy of IMG_3461v2web

  1. How long have you been writing?

         I began writing at the age of sixteen when I moved with my family from my hometown, the city of Houston, Texas, to the small town of Jefferson in North East Texas. My world of going to the Galveston beach almost every weekend with family, riding city buses all over town, ice skating, roller skating, visiting three story libraries, and ice cream parlors changed abruptly to learning how to shoot a rifle, identifying animal tracks, planting a garden, and how to catch and clean fish. I wrote about everything I experienced and sent huge, overstuffed hand- written letters in 4 x 9 inch envelopes; scotched taped on the back flap, to my aunts, uncles and cousins back home in Houston. They passed my letters around and all encouraged me to continue writing. They loved my descriptions, and I discovered how much I enjoyed writing. This led to writing poetry, and years later I became a published gospel song writer. My passion for writing continued. I later married, had my own family, and even later retired from the Texas public school system. I wanted to write more in-depth and now had time to venture out to short stories which soon grew into novels.


  1. How many books have you authored?

   I have authored 5 books. None of my books contain profanity or graphic violence. The first three are in a Christian Fiction series titled the Running Forward Series. Book #1 is Sin, Secrets, and Salvation. Book #2 is River Town. Book #3 is Hidden Creek. Real life situations. It is a powerful faith and family saga. Book #4 is a biography; Lillie, A Motherless Child, is about the life of my own mother. Book #5 is Eyes of a Neighbor. It is book one of three in a new Christian Fiction Series titled the American Neighborhood Series.


  1. Do you have a writing schedule?

     Yes, I do have a writing schedule. I write Monday through Friday, after an early morning coffee and breakfast; I write until 2 or 3 pm.


  1. You are a member of Rave Writers – International Society of Authors (RWISA). Why do you think you were accepted into this exclusive group?

     I have awards that were earned by my writing capabilities. Many others receive writing awards from organizations by the highest number of votes for authors by their individual friends and relatives. Mine were awarded by a closed group of judges reviewing content of material.

I give God the glory for my writing, and my awards.


  1. Modesty aside, what separates your writing from the millions of other writers in the world?

   I constantly learn from other writers, but I stay true to myself, my voice, my standards, and my brand.


  1. If you could spend a day picking the brain of one author, who would that be? Why?

     It would have to be Cecil Murphy. I have learned more from him than any other writer. I had the opportunity to meet him at a writing conference. He is awesome.


  1. Are you a die-hard INDIE writer who loves having complete control of your work, or, if you were offered a publishing contract today, would you sign on the dotted line?

     I would prefer having complete control of my work.


  1. As an author, where do you see yourself in 5 years?

   I see myself writing and offering my books to more age groups.


  1. What is the ONE tool that has been the most beneficial tool in the marketing of your books?

     I hand out my bookmarks instead of a business card. It has descriptions of my books, and includes my website,


  1. Name one writer that you know of, member or non-member of RRBC, who you feel should be added to the RWISTA Roster of elite members? Why?

   Again, it would have to be Cecil Murphy. He is a writer, speaker, teacher, pastor, and survivor. He has written over 135 books.


  1. What is the one piece of advice that you could share that would be most valuable for those aspiring to not only be writers, but those aspiring to be great writers?

     Besides attending writing workshops, learn by reading books written by great writers. Their style, their plots, sub-plots, etc. are valuable lessons waiting to be learned.


  1. Do you believe that writers who churn out several books a year are really putting out quality work?

     No, often it is not. There are always exceptions, though.


  1. If you had promised your fans a book by a certain date only to find that your book wasn’t the best it could be, would you go ahead and publish your book just to meet that self-imposed deadline and deliver as promised, or, would you disappoint your fans and shelve the book until it was absolutely ready? No matter your reason, please explain why?

     I would shelve the book until it was ready, because my name only goes on work I am pleased with.


  1. In your opinion, what makes a book “a great book?”

     A great book holds your attention from the first page until the last page.


  1. If you received a review of your book which stated that there were editing & proofing “issues,” what’s the first thing you would do? And the second?

     First of all, after several edits and several proof reading sessions, mistakes still happen. In my case, I would search the book again, find and correct the issues.

     The second thing I would do is to revise that edition of the book, if possible.

Descriptions & Words, by Lynn Hobbs

Great, short descriptions in a book hook me every time. They show me a writer who continues learning the craft of writing and enjoys selecting the right words for the right situation. It is a fun experience. It can be for you as well.

How can you create remarkable descriptions? Show the action, don’t tell it.

One of the easiest exercises in writing descriptions is to watch and listen to the public. Study body language. Attend a public meeting, and take notes. Honest conversation, unplanned dialogue, facial expressions, and tone of voice abound. Try the post office, grocery store, or a restaurant. Write what you see, and how you hear it. Add emotion, pauses, and background noises. Use this in your descriptions.

Who is your audience? Do you write words you don’t use in your daily conversation? Words you are not comfortable with either? Would your readers have to stop and look in the dictionary for the meaning of a word you inserted?

I once critiqued a chapter that included several words the average person would not know their meaning. I brought that fact to the attention of the author. She remarked she was college educated and would not replace them with other words as it would lower her standards in vocabulary. That’s fine if her readers are college educated, but a learning experience for those who aren’t. Most readers are discovering a great story; not reading to learn new words.

If your reader stumbles over your words you could lose a reader.

What can you learn from listening? Plenty, enough to stop having your characters do anything repetitive. Act out the action before writing it. Readers will relate better.

We all learn and grow as authors, daily. Enjoy the whole process. Happy writing!


Sins, Secrets, and Salvation by Lynn Hobbs

lynn hobbs sin, secrets, and salvation

Available at

Lynn’s other books:

Hidden Creek

River Town

Lynn’s twitter handle is @LynnHobbsAuthor

Lynn’s facebook url is

Lynn’s website is

Thank you for supporting our RWISA (RAVE WRITERS-INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS) Members!  Please follow and support the entire tour by visiting 4WillsPub

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Monday Musings Thirty-eight: Two Loves

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Two Loves


Today being right before Valentine’s Day, I wanted to talk a bit about love. In my experience, two kinds of love exist: selfish love and selfless love. The selfish kind grasps and demands and tries to force a person to change and/or conform. Whereas the selfless sort accepts folks just as they are and helps them grow and blossom.

If we find ourselves trapped in a cycle of selfish love, where we cling and struggle to accept what is, then it is highly likely that we are actually rejecting ourselves. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot truly love another. If we truly love ourselves, we cannot hurt another.

I came across a lovely quote today by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross:

‘I have never met a person whose greatest need was anything other than real, unconditional love.’

 This universal need for unconditional love and acceptance makes it so important to see yourself in others; after all, we all tremble before violence and fear death while loving life. When looked at that way, where can we find any differences?

When we live from a place of loving ourselves, we can live without pretence, listen without defence, speak without offence, and love without dependence. Without neediness. Of course, there areZen Stones for Monday Musings times when we struggle with such self-acceptance, and that is when we need a friend to help love us when we forget to love ourselves. However, when it comes right down to it, we don’t need acceptance from others but from within.

A successful relationship doesn’t contain two perfect people, but rather two imperfect folks who have learnt the value of forgiveness and acceptance, as well as mutual support. As I’ve mentioned in a previous Monday Musing, we don’t have to agree to be kind to one another.

Liberation and peace come not from discovering what is good or bad or advantageous, but from seeing what is (what exists right now) and allowing it to be. In this way, we starve the ego and feed the soul. We find true, unadulterated love.

Though it is good to give unconditional love, we also have to allow it to flow back to us; otherwise, we shall have no balance in life. We need to accept it without hesitation and without grabbing.

In your life, everyone holds a role. Many will test your resolve and patience, some will use you, and others might teach you. Some, too, will love you. And, sometimes, the same person brings us all these things at different times. Not one of us is just one type of personality all of the time. The truly important people bring out the best in you.

Be that person for your nearest and dearest—if not for everyone that you meet. Don’t be the one that puts people down or holds them back. Life isn’t a competition. In fact, the more love and support that we offer, then the more peace and success that we find for ourselves.

In the wise words of Zen:


‘You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.’

If you’ve missed my previous Monday Musings, you can find the links here: :)

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Monday Musings Thirty-seven: No Regrets

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No Regrets


How many times in your life have you done or said something that you regret? On the flip side, how many times have you regretted avoiding needed action or speech? Even the bad days have something to offer, and we need not lament their existence. Yes, that includes those times that brought us the worst events in our lives.

We all love and crave the good days: they bring us happiness and wonderful memories.

Bad days, we all try to escape or not have in the first place. However, such days offer experience. Even our worst days bring us lessons if we’re open enough. Yes, they hurt, but that doesn’t mean they have no value.Zen Stones for Monday Musings

Whatever it contains, never regret a day in your life. Each and every second is precious and can never come again. And every single thing helps us grow and learn and build our character.

And, if we have missed an opportunity to act or speak, then we can learn from it and make a commitment to do better next time … even here, we need not get stuck in lamentation and regret. Sometimes, afterward, we can make it right, but not always. Usually, we just have to let it go and chalk it down to experience.

If you can say in all honesty that you did your best and followed your heart, then that has to be enough. It’s not possible to do more than your best right now. And, of course, that best remains ever changing, ever evolving, and that’s fine. That’s how it should be. This gives us another reason for not regretting: despite yesterday’s best being less than today’s, at least we now know better; we’ve grown.

When we regret, we fall into a complaining mind, and nothing can ever be enough; we will always feel a lack. Instead, why not try seeing the positive side to every negative? Remember, every coin has two sides. There can be no light without darkness, and no darkness without light. The one contains and defines the other.

In the wise words of Zen:


‘Make a decision to talk about your blessings more than your problems. Whatever you focus on expands.’

If you’ve missed my previous Monday Musings, you can find the links here: :)

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Hi folks. Today, it gives me great pleasure to welcome author Sarita Leone with her Paranormal Romantic Suspense Novel: Regenerate. Sarita will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Synopsis:

The Octopus isn’t an urban myth—and its agents are anything but ordinary. The intelligence bureau is so well-hidden most doubt its existence. A handful know its location. And fewer walk the halls in the subterranean compound.


Benjamin Sinclair didn’t ask to be a scientific miracle but every mission has its risks and one perfectly-placed bullet ended his life—for a brief moment in time.


Nicole Anima battles demons every day. Life as a paranormal resources operative gives her tortured mind a rest—and keeps her from contemplating her own death.


When Anima and Sinclair partner on a globe-trotting race to eliminate the threat about to cripple humanity, all hell breaks loose. Leaping from planes, crashing into continents, dealing with voodoo priestesses, and running through jungles with zombies hot on their trail doesn’t leave much time for romance, but this duo somehow manages to sizzle.


Two agents. Telepathic mind paired with regenerated commando. One world—and a mission to save it.


Nicole ripped the iPod off her bra strap and tossed it, ear buds trailing like streamers from a small black kite, toward the sand beyond the boardwalk.

An ordinary man never would have heard the music playing. He never would have been able to hear the beating of her heart, either. But Ben Sinclair was no ordinary man. He heard both, and now that she remembered the important details of his life she wouldn’t forget them again.

“I can still hear old Mick jiving.”

The near-whisper sent a fresh wave of revulsion along every nerve ending.

“I can hear him. I can give you that satisfaction you need.”

“You don’t know what I need.” The words were hoarse. It was a miracle she could speak at all, given the tightness of her throat. “You have no idea.”

“Give me a chance to show you what I know. I promise, you won’t be sorry.”

“I’m already sorry. I’m sorry you know my name. Sorry you have my number. Sorry you’re even on this planet. Sorry? It’s just the tip of how I feel when I remember you walk among humanity.”

Silence. For one long moment, she thought she might have conquered the spider.

Then, the truth.

“You didn’t always treat me like this. There was a time when—”

“That was before I knew what you are, before I had any idea evil hides under…” She couldn’t finish. Wouldn’t finish. There was no way in hell she was going to admit his looks ever turned her on.

Worse. That he had stolen her heart. And, still held it—despite her attempts at retrieval.

Damn treacherous heart.

About the Author:

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_RegenerateSarita Leone is an award-winning author who has written romance in many forms including Regency, paranormal, and contemporary. She loves happily-ever-afters in any setting!

When she’s not writing, Ms. Leone spends her time hiking, learning languages, and traveling. She loves adventure and can pack a suitcase, grab her passport, and hit the road in less time than it takes to peel an apple!


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Triple Love Score


Hey folks, hello and welcome to my place :)

Today, it gives me great pleasure to introduce author Brandi Megan Granett and her Contemporary Romance Novel, TRIPLE LOVE SCORE. Brandi will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the book:


Miranda Shane lives a quiet life among books and letters as a professor in a small upstate town. When the playing-by-the-rules poet throws out convention and begins to use a Scrabble board instead of paper to write, she sets off a chain of events that rattles her carefully planned world. 

Her awakening propels her to take risks and seize chances she previously let slip by, including a game-changing offer from the man she let slip away. But when the revelation of an affair with a graduate student threatens the new life Miranda created, she is forced to decide between love or poetry.



“You sure you don’t want to take a cab?” Scott asked her.

“I’m sure. Then we wouldn’t see the diamonds,” Lynn said.

“Tiffany’s?” Miranda asked. “You’re a little young for that aren’t you? Though you are Bunny’s granddaughter.”

“Not like Grandma Bunny’s diamonds! The diamonds on the sidewalk. Look!”

Sure enough, the concrete in front of them sparkled. Four or five runs of sidewalk shimmered with mica flecks, then it went to plain for a block or two, then more that sparkled.

“I want to know what makes them different,” Miranda said to Scott, pointing at the abrupt change from sparkle to non-sparkle on the sidewalk in front of them.

triple_love_score_cover2“But knowing the difference would ruin it,” Scott said.

“You’d rather think it was magic?”

“I like the idea of magic. Don’t you?” he asked.

“I don’t take much stock in that,” Miranda said.

“Daddy, look!” Lynn said.

And there in front of them was a huge elephant balloon with a circus ball balancing on his trunk. The ball wasn’t all the way inflated yet; it wobbled a little and the sides of the elephant shuddered some as the helium pumped in. But an elephant as tall as a house at Central Park was a sight to behold no matter the size or amount of helium left to go. The crowd around them seemed to holding their breath in anticipation as the ball slowly rose.

“See,” Miranda said, “to people watching on television that’s magic. But it’s not magic. It’s a year of planning and then people working all night on the day before a family holiday to pull it off.”

“But it’s magic to her,” Scott said.

Lynn strained at the barricade, craning her neck to see down the street and the rest of the balloons staged there.

“Sure, it’s magic to her. She’s a kid. Kids have to believe in magic. When you really grow up, it’s different.”

“I guess I’m not really grown up then,” Scott said. “And maybe I don’t want to be.”

About the author:

Brandi Megan Granett is an author, online English professor, and private writing mentor. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University, Wales, an MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College, a Masters in Adult Education with an emphasis on Distance Education from Penn State University, and a BA from the University of Florida.newbrandithumbnail

Granett is the author of My Intended (William Morrow, 2000). Her short fiction has appeared in Pebble Lake Review, Folio, Pleiades and other literary magazines, and is collected in the volume Cars and Other Things That Get Around.

In addition, she writes an author interview series for the Huffington Post, and is a member of the Tall Poppy Writers, a community of writing professionals committed to growing relationships, promoting the work of its members, and connecting authors with each other and with readers.

When Granett is not writing or teaching or mothering, she is honing her archery skills. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, daughter and two dogs.


Author Social Media Links



Facebook:      Brandi Megan Granett, Author

Twitter:           @brandigranett

Instagram:       @mrsgranett

Goodreads:     Brandi Megan Granett

Purchase Links



Barnes & Noble

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Monday Musings Thirty-six: Shut up. Just … shut up

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Shut up. Just … shut up.


Often, when going through a tough time, all we need is to talk it out. To share with someone. What we don’t need—much of the time—is advice, and certainly not judgement.

The problem is that when a loved one is going through hell, we want to help get them through it. And it proves all too easy to spout our home-grown wisdom and interject our thoughts on the matter at hand.

I know that at the times I’ve felt at my lowest ebb, what I’ve needed above all else is a simple hug. At those moments, words can never fill the hole. Wait … did I just say hole? When it seems things can’t get any worse, that hole feels more like the deepest, darkest pit at the bottom of an impenetrable chasm.

It’s not just our tongues with which we talk too much. We need to learn how to shut our brains up as well. In fact, if we take care of the grey matter, the muscle in our mouth takes care of itself. So, please, shut up … just shut up.

Once we manage to grow quiet enough, we can offer what the person in distress needs the most … an ear with which to truly listen. A hand for them to hold, or am arm to offer that much-needed hug. We can offer our understanding, which is a far greater gift than our opinions.Zen Stones for Monday Musings

Of course, words can and do have a place. The point is to use them sparingly. Make sure they mean something. Only speak when we have something valuable to add. And, we must make sure that we know what we’re talking about.

Always, though, it is best to let people come to their own conclusions and ways forward. Let them get there themselves. Sometimes, they might need you to act like the barriers of a motorway so that they don’t veer off and crash into a tree. Be like the headlamps of the car and light the way.

The last thing anyone needs is for the damned horn to blare all the time. Who can concentrate with all that noise going on? Never mind having to deal with a running commentary on the ins and outs of the freakin’ route.

Above all other advice that you can offer, the most helpful is to help the troubled person to find some measure of peace. To teach them, if they’re open, how to perform a basic meditation. The simplest that I know of is the one I mentioned in last week’s Monday Musings where you count the breaths. When your brain is just too full up of noise to find the peace and quiet that you need, this is a sure way to refocus and calm the mind.

In the wise words of Zen:


‘When someone can’t look on the bright side, sit with them in the dark.’

If you’ve missed my previous Monday Musings, you can find the links here: :)

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Monday Musings Thirty-five: The Tangled Webs We Weave

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The Tangled Webs We Weave


Quite often, we are our own worst enemy and harshest critic, especially when things go wrong. To add insult to injury, it would be a rare thing for us to judge others in the same severe way. Instead, we would be more inclined to offer them our support. So, why can’t we do that for ourselves?

We tend to make black and white comments inside our heads, and take them as truth, when the reality is usually decidedly grey. The things we tell ourselves, subconsciously or in full awareness, directly affect how confident or inadequate we feel and how able we become to deal with a situation that faces us. We have the option to either tear ourselves down or build ourselves up. For sure, it serves nobody to call ourselves stupid or worse.

The trouble is, what we think is what we get. What we think is what we become. What we think is what we attract toward us. Whether this bodes for good or ill is entirely up to us. It is worth, once in a while, taking the time to stop. Just stop, and notice the kinds of thoughts we habitually think. Pause and listen. What is our mood? What lies behind it? Are we automatically self-defeating?Zen Stones for Monday Musings

Constantly, as we experience each second of each day, we tell ourselves things. And, oh, the tangled webs we weave. And then we wonder why we get caught up, why we get stuck, and add insult to injury by becoming more and more frustrated, which just adds to the glue. The spider of our mind lies in wait, ready to pounce, and injects its venom at every opportunity.

What happens if we turn all of this around? What then? We break the web of self-deceit. We free ourselves from the cloying, suffocating cocoon. We might even see a way forward, and even if not, we will surely find a more peaceful space in which to sit and wait for that longed-for resolution.

A while ago, when writing a magazine article, I came across a wonderful quote:

‘Your mind is a garden

Your thoughts are the seeds

You can make flowers

Or you can make weeds.’

William Wordsworth


A friend of mine is going through an incredibly tough time right now. In supporting him, I can see that one of his biggest obstacles comes because of trying to jump ahead all the time. This gets us nowhere but muddled and upset. Sometimes, we just have to wait for things to ripen. And it serves no purpose to try and guess or speculate on what might or might not happen next.

The wise words of Winston Churchill, ‘If you are going through hell, keep going’, show us how important it is not to get stuck where we are. In the same vein, while we want out of hell desperately, we have to remain aware of our surroundings right here and now; otherwise, we’re likely to get burned.

The most important thing is that when we fall, we get up again. The worst we can do is to give up and stay on the floor.

Often, at our worst moments, when our heads spin and minds whirl, the best we can do is to breathe. To climb down from our heads, and come back to ourselves and our situation, it is helpful to sit and count each breath. Breathe in, count one. Breathe out, count two. Up to ten then start again. Try and feel the ground beneath your feet; the seat upon which you rest. Ground yourself. Only then will you have a chance at seeing a way forward or finding some modicum of peace within hell while keeping on going. At the very least, you stop weaving more tangled webs.


In the wise words of Zen:


‘The one who falls and gets up

is so much stronger

than the one who never fell.’

If you’ve missed my previous Monday Musings, you can find the links here: :)

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New Anthology Release: Lustrate!

Cool Text - Book Release 225587325438482

Greetings, and thank you for joining us in the phenomenal yearly celebration, that we call, “Concordant Vibrancy’s Book Release”. Every year, thus far, we’ve had an amazing collection of authors collaborate in narrating their interpretations of that year’s theme question.


The very first Concordant Vibrancy revolved around the theme of Unity, represented by the element of earth. In that collection we had amazing talents come together to bring us stories like “Butterfly Mask”, “Lester’s Release” and “Coalesce”.


The 2nd installment of Concordant Vibrancy, called Vitality, was focused the question, “What moves your spirit?” This was embodied by the element of wind. In this remarkable collection we had the combined components of literature and essays, some of which were, “An Ocean of Questions”, “Arvum” and “Letting Inspiration Take The Wheel”.


Today, we present the 3rd installment of Concordant Vibrancy, called Lustrate, which is exemplified by water.


What embodies the composition of fluidity?

This is the query of the third installment of the Concordant Vibrancy collection, presented by All Authors Publications & Promotions, entitled “Lustrate”.

Nine incredible writers unite—through a combination of poetry, essays, and short stories—to produce unique responses flowing with vitality.

Works include:

Unsui” by Harmony Kent
Exiled” by Carol Cassada
The Satiationship” by Synful Desire
Twin Planets” by Y. Correa
Threes” by Queen of Spades
Luster Lingers” by Adonis Mann
The Boo Thang Convention” by C. Desert Rose
Overcome (Holy Water)” by Beem Weeks
The Bunny” by Da’Kharta Rising

(Movie Trailer)

You can go out and get your copy today!

With Concordant Vibrancy there is something for everyone.


On Kindle

( )

Or Paperback


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Monday Musings Thirty-four: Be the First

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Be the First


Any spiritual practice worth its salt will advise us to choose the path of humility. Why, then, have I entitled today’s musing ‘Be the First’?

It is more than possible to take the lead without taking control. The way in which we do this is important. If arrogance sneaks in, then no matter how good our intentions, all people will see is our attitude.

And what is it in which we’re taking the lead? Do we take the lead in apologising? In forgiving? In forgetting? Or rather in blaming and getting our own way?

Bravest is the first to apologise.Zen Stones for Monday Musings

Strongest is the first to forgive.

Happiest is the first to forget.

Whether you’re the type of personality to always be at the forefront or the one lagging behind and hiding at the back, you have some work to do. This is because either of these positions stands at an extreme. The key lies in being the first from the middle. As mentioned in Monday Musings thirty-three, you can only find peace from the middle ground.

Right on the heels of this is not judging or comparing but just seeing things as they are. Each and every one of us holds an opinion and likes and dislikes. They don’t matter. We don’t have to bend to another’s will, and nor do they need to bend to ours.

Any one phase of the moon isn’t any better or worse than another. Concrete isn’t any better or worse than porridge, and all we need to do is recognise the difference so that the right one ends up in our breakfast bowl. We don’t need to put a judgment on it. Wise discernment, not comparison. From here, both have equal value regardless of their different purposes.

So, whenever you find yourself stuck in set ways and opinions, try and soften a little. Practice being the first to move. Be like water, which always finds a way. Flow through life and go around obstacles rather than hitting them head on or damming up.

In the wise words of Zen:


‘You don’t have to agree on anything to be kind to one another.’

If you’ve missed my previous Monday Musings, you can find the links here: :)

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Monday Musings Thirty-three: Remember Me


Remember Me

How many times have you read somewhere that it’s good to give? Good to listen. Good to trust. While I wouldn’t go against any of that, I would put in a ‘but’. I would insert a cautionary word or two.

First and foremost, you have to factor yourself into the equation. This means allowing a little selfishness in there. Allowing for your needs too.

When you give, you also have to take care not to let yourself get used. When we give indiscriminately, this is precisely what tends to happen, and we soon find ourselves exhausted. And, sadly, all too often, those around us just take and take and take, and no matter how much we give, it can never be enough.

Likewise, although trust has great importance, we should also ensure that we don’t fall into naivety. This is a biggie for me, as here is an area in which I’ve fallen down more often than not. It’s a work in progress, and for sure, I don’t trust quite so readily as I used to. In some ways, I find that so sad. I like innocence. It holds something special. Until it gets abused. In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need that element of cynical discernment. And still, to distrust any and all would be to make the opposite mistake.Zen Stones for Monday Musings

An aspect of generosity that might not seem so tricky is listening. What harm could come from that? None, so long as we also listen to ourselves. It’s when we lose our voice that we lose our way. Above all else, we must be our own person. We must maintain free will and a sense of direction and purpose. One that comes from us rather than from others.

As with many things in life, the middle way is the best way. Extremes, in general, are not good. Being human, it is when we get hurt that we swing all the way over to the far side, and we end up like a pendulum, swinging this way and that.

To find peace, and offer that to those around us, we need to find the middle ground. The still point that holds the balance without the wild motion but with the potential for movement. Here, we find enough room to hold everyone in our lives as well as ourselves. From a centred position, we find the wise discernment needed to give and trust and listen in proportion.

When I manage to live from this place, I can remember me, along with everyone else. And even when I need to say no, it is still a yes. I remain open and willing without being a pushover. I keep an ear on my voice and an eye on my heart and love in my life.

In the wise words of Zen:


‘You can be a good person with a kind heart and still say no.’

If you’ve missed my previous Monday Musings, you can find the links here: :)


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Monday Musings Thirty-two: Let the Adventure Begin

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Let the Adventure Begin


Hello, everyone. Happy New Year!

What does the start of a new year mean to you? What are your hopes and wishes?

This year, I hope that you make mistakes. Now, why would I wish you that? I hear you ask. Well, most mistakes happen when we try something new and unfamiliar. When we step out of our comfort zone. When we push ourselves.

What the new year brings to you depends largely on what you bring to the new year. Forget resolutions and promises. Actions always prove best. Nothing happens without action. Words are just words. Until you turn them into something and make them real. Words just show who we want to be while actions show who we are.

You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes, what you need most is just to breathe. Trust, let go, and see what happens. Above all, be patient with yourself. Everything happens in its own time. Nothing in nature blooms all year.Zen Stones for Monday Musings

As we’ve discussed in previous Monday Musings, the best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best right now. Every single thing that we do and say right in this moment ripples outward into the universe and affects all living things. What ripples do you wish to send outward? In the words of David Deida:

‘Your posture can shine your heart or transmit anxiety. Your breath can radiate love or muddy the room in depression. Your glance can awaken joy. Your words can inspire freedom. Your every act can open hearts and minds.’

Right here, right now is where you shape your year to come. A new year means nothing if you stay stuck within your comfort zone. And what happened last year isn’t important. Today is a new day, and offers a blank page on which you can write your story. At the end of the year to come, what will fill your pages?

Let’s get creative. Let’s get brave. Let’s come alive right now. Let the adventure of our lives begin.

In the wise words of Zen:

 ‘If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine: it’s lethal.’

If you’ve missed my previous Monday Musings, you can find the links here: :)

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Monday Musings Thirty-one: Lighting A Lamp

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Lighting a Lamp


Well, today is Boxing Day, and Christmas is done for another year. I hope you all had a peaceful day yesterday with not too much drama. If not, then my thoughts and best wishes are with you.

Did you know that in South Africa they call December 26th The Day of Goodwill? I love this name, as it defines the original intention of boxing day, which is to box up all the excess and abundance of the holidays and give it to the poor. For me, what this does is to return the emphasis to attitude and away from possessions.

As I sit here and type today’s Monday Musing, it strikes me how fast the time has passed. All that build up for Christmas, and already it’s been and gone. Soon enough, we’ll be halfway through next year. Events come and go. People come in and out of our lives. It’s so important to ensure that we don’t miss even one opportunity to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us.

I’ve spent enough past Christmases alone that I appreciate deeply the chance to spend this period with friends and loved ones. This time will not come again. It’s not the presents that sat beneath the tree that meant so much to me but the people that sat around it.Zen Stones for Monday Musings

So, this Boxing Day, let’s pack up all those negative habits and complaints and unwrap an attitude of gratitude. Interestingly enough, in Australia, the day after Christmas day is called Procrastination Day. What will today mean for you? Excuses or action? Procrastination or Goodwill?

Before we put away all our Christmas boxes, I’d like to unpack the meaning of Goodwill just a little more.

Goodwill is an abiding attitude of generous thoughts toward others. It evolves to fit ever-changing circumstances and situations. For Goodwill to remain Good, we have to find ways to work with those changing situations without losing the essential definition of Goodwill, which is a friendly, helpful, or cooperative feeling or attitude.

Goodwill is not something that can wait for another time, neither is it ever ‘done’ and finished with, and it never gets used up. In fact, it is the very opposite to the attitude of procrastination and looking out for oneself only. It doesn’t complain but, instead, makes the best of whatever confronts it. And Goodwill never discriminates. It encompasses every living thing, including you.

In the wise words of Zen:

 ‘If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path.’

If you’ve missed my previous Monday Musings, you can find the links here: :)

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Cover Reveal: The Legacy of Marco Antonio and Amaryllis

Hello and thank you for visiting!

Today, the members of All Authors P&P bring you a spectacular cover reveal for a phenomenal story. But to know more about this story, you must first understand the its origins.


In 2013 Y. Correa brought you a Historical Romance for the ages. It was called “MarcoAntonio & Amaryllis”.

Within its pages you found a compelling story that could leave on mark on the soul of those who read it. Many compared it to “Tristan and Isolde” as well as “Romeo & Juliet”. However, “MarcoAntonio & Amaryllis” was much more than that, it was a love story AND an adventure. Riddled with magic, mayhem and drama, “MarcoAntonio & Amaryllis” was a story to be reckoned with.


The year 1585. The Anglo-Spanish War. England’s greed for Spain’s crops, land, and supplies gives birth to the inertia of intolerance on both sides. Yet, even then, Love surges forth.

MarcoAntonio, a Spanish gentleman and knight, defied all boundaries of color and culture, when setting eyes on the English lady Amaryllis. Although to others, he may be a bit reserved, he dares to lower his defenses solely for her.

Amaryllis is an English lady. One with an open heart, gentle spirit, and shining eloquence. She knew that she should not desire MarcoAntonio. Still, a love feeling so right couldn’t be so horribly wrong!

Travel with MarcoAntonio and Amaryllis as they duel with internal and external forces threatening to tear their powerful love apart. In the midst of troubles the likes of which have no compare, MarcoAntonio and Amaryllis find themselves having to fight the most unexpected of adversaries, just for the right to love each other.

Discover why their LOVE is the result of ALL things conquered!


Now, three years later, Y. Correa brings you the story of their son, MarcoAntonio Jr. and the legacy that their story left behind.


What happens when the Legacy of Love intersects with Legend?


For many years, legend spoke of two instruments—a sword and a shield. Together, they would act as catalysts to destroy the indestructible. At one point, all elements were in play, with the end result being a substantial sacrifice, along with the ultimate personification of love. That symbol is MarcoAntonio Junior—the Legacy of MarcoAntonio & Amaryllis.


With the legend seemingly at rest, fresh starts are on the horizon. A decade has passed, and Aishe and Damon—serving as caregivers for Junior—choose Borinquen as their new stomping ground. MarcoAntonio Junior is still haunted by the loss of his mother and father, but his budding friendship with Taino youth Yarisneth offers a shine of promise to counteract the sadness.


When fulfillment of legend is unsatisfactory to some, forces emanate to deliver their own resolution—affecting a positive present and blossoming future for all involved.


Will the Legacy show that Love is still the result or will these tenacious energies—antiquated and modern— give proof that the legend is a farce?


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Monday Musings Thirty: The Best Gifts Cannot be Bought

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The Best Gifts Cannot be Bought


As today’s post will be the last one before Christmas, what better time to talk about giving? For many of us, frenzied Christmas shopping and wrapping have filled recent days and weeks. For me, it feels important to remember what the spirit of the season is all about.

In Monday Musings Seven—No Strings—we looked at giving and not being attached once we’ve gifted something to another. Today, I’d like to consider the nature of gifts and what holds the most importance.

In my experience, the greatest gift that I could give or receive is time. And by this, I don’t mean having more hours in a day. Rather, that a friend, family member, or whoever I need right now, can give me their time. And that if someone needs it from me, I can give it too. When you give your time, you give a period of your life that you will never get back. What greater gift can there be? And, in the nature of No Strings, who’s counting?

Christmas isn’t always a time of joy and making merry. For some, it is a time to dread. A time of aloneness and isolation. At such times, what we need most is for a fellow human being to offer us their time. Their attention. Their care.

Recently, while searching for an inspirational gift to email to someone who loves inspirational quotes, I came across a list of Christmas Gift Suggestions. I love them so much that I share them here with you:

To your enemy, forgiveness.Zen Stones for Monday Musings

To an opponent, tolerance.

To a friend, your heart.

To a customer, service.

To all, charity.

To every child, a good example.

To yourself, respect.

In short, no matter the person or situation, we can always find something to offer.

In the wise words of Zen:

‘The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence.’

If you’ve missed my previous Monday Musings, you can find the links here: :)

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Concordant Vibrancy 3: Lustrate



Thanks for visiting.

In celebrating a new tradition, All Authors Publications and Promotions is rejoicing in the forthcoming release of the 3rd Annual installment of “Concordant Vibrancy”.

First there was “Concordant Vibrancy: Unity”, the first book in this multi-genre anthology collections.


Then there was “Concordant Vibrancy 2: Vitality”, the second book in this unique series.


Today, we celebrate the Cover Reveal of “Concordant Vibrancy 3: Lustrate”.

First a little about the book …

The Blurb

What embodies the composition of fluidity?

This is the query of the third installment of the Concordant Vibrancy collection, presented by All Authors Publications & Promotions, entitled “Lustrate”.

Nine incredible writers unite—through a combination of poetry, essays, and short stories—to produce unique responses flowing with vitality.

Works include:

“Unsui” by Harmony Kent
“Exiled” by Carol Cassada
“The Satiationship” by Synful Desire
“Twin Planets” by Y. Correa
“Threes” by Queen of Spades
“Luster Lingers” by Adonis Mann
“The Boo Thang Convention” by C. Desert Rose
“Overcome (Holy Water)” by Beem Weeks
“The Bunny” by Da’Kharta Rising

Now, without further ado, All Authors Publications & Promotions presents you, our precious readers, writers and precious patrons with the cover of the upcoming “Concordant Vibrancy 3: Lustrate”.


Learn …

What embodies the composition of fluidity?

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Monday Musings Twenty-nine: Your Life Purpose

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Your Life Purpose

Have you ever found yourself wondering what it’s all about? Asking why you’re alive? What your purpose is? Well, the good news is that you’re far from alone. Most of us have found ourselves in this exact place at least once (usually more). Unless still young and trouble free, I guarantee that questions such as the above will have visited you. And, unless you find your answer, they will continue to do so.

For many of us, our lives can seem insignificant and small. After all, what have I ever done that’s so special? What legacy will I leave behind? Will anyone even remember me?

Stop. These are the wrong questions. Or, rather, not the most helpful.

It isn’t about what a person has to show for a life but how they lived that life. Kind or cruel? Angry or peaceful? Greedy or grateful? Hatred or love? Fast-flowing stream or stagnant pond?

‘Don’t worry about trying to find your life purpose. Instead, start by acting on the small things that excite you each day. These are the threads that will connect you to your path, passion, and purpose in life.’

Ruben Chavez

If we feel discontent, then we have not yet found our purpose.Zen Stones for Monday Musings

If, throughout your day, you continually refrain from doing something you want to do, then you do not truly live. You deny your life’s purpose the chance to blossom or grow. How many times do you put off being you in favour of fulfilling your duties as employee/mother/daughter/brother/nice person?

While each of the roles in our lives has importance, we have to maintain balance. We have to ensure enough space remains for play and relaxation, and all those things that make us uniquely us. All those things that light a fire within and energise us. That give us joy in life.

We don’t have to achieve greatness for our lives to mean something. Actually, it is in the small things that true greatness can be found. Those small acts of kindness, thoughtfulness, compassion, and selflessness. Of course, if we leave ourselves (this person, me) out of the equation, then all of that is rendered irrelevant. If we cannot exhibit kindness, thoughtfulness, compassion, and selflessness for ourselves as well as others, then we are missing the essential.

In the wise words of Zen:

‘Your work is to discover your world, and then with all your heart, give yourself to it.’

If you’ve missed my previous Monday Musings, you can find the links here: :)

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Monday Musings Twenty-eight: As Easy As 1-2-3

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As easy as 1—2—3

Each morning, we are born again. We can’t start the next chapter in our lives if we keep re-reading the last one. What matters most is what we do today. For certain, worrying about what has been or what is to come will not take away tomorrow’s cares, only today’s peace and contentment. Right now is the time to write the next line in your story.

The only things that bind us are our thoughts and beliefs. The only thing that prevents us is our fear. The only thing that liberates us is our ability to let go and move on.

We all have a past. Don’t spend so much time and energy clinging to it or regretting it that you steal away your present and future. Let right now be the moment you learn the power of letting go and freeing yourself.

Of course, relinquishing our fears, judgements, beliefs, and ways of being isn’t so easy. Often, it can feel insurmountable. Sometimes, we become so full, so busy, and so harried that we have no clue of where to begin. So much so, that we don’t even see half of it, let alone have a chance of getting a handle on it.

So, what to do?

Happily, it’s as easy as 1—2—3.Zen Stones for Monday Musings

  1. Pause for a few seconds.
  2. Observe the flow of your breathing.
  3. Become aware of the silence within you.

Once you can do this, you will also begin to notice your still small voice that is both counsellor and ally. You will become aware of a powerful sense of presence; of something much greater and deeper than your small self with all its worries and clinging and rejecting and judging.

A Zen proverb tells us: Knowledge is learning something new every day. Wisdom is letting go of something every day. Remember: Nothing remains forever except change itself. So, what is the point in trying to keep hold and putting on the brakes? That way lies suffering.

All it takes is learning to simply breathe and notice. Catch your thoughts. See when you cling or resist or avoid. Don’t judge any of it. With gentleness and compassion, put it down. Lay it to rest with forgiveness and empathy.

In the wise words of Zen:


‘Breathe in. Breathe out. Move on.’

If you’ve missed my previous Monday Musings, you can find the links here: :)

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Westmore Launch!


You’ve been waiting for it, and now here it is …



Three families come together in this soap opera style romance. Westmore is the story of the Greens, the Braxtons, and the Reynolds—families enveloped by drama threefold.
Charlette Green mourns the loss of her husband while battling her dislike for her son’s new love. One day, handsome Detective Bryant comes into her life, rescuing her abandon. Meanwhile, Scott and Alicia, musical siblings, fight their way to the top of the charts when tragedy strikes.
Andrew Braxton is a ruthless and influential businessman who runs his household the same way he runs his company … with an iron fist. Upon learning his son Wayne plans on abandoning the family company, which Andrew has dedicated his life to, Andrew will do everything and anything in his power to stop Wayne from leaving.
After Laura Reynolds’ divorce, she and her daughter Megan move back home to live with her father. Her plan is to start life anew, relinquishing all sorrow. Little does Laura realize that it is harder than she thinks to leave the past behind.
Drama, mayhem, love and heartache are the ruling elements in this small New England town called Westmore.


In celebration of the release, you can now get “Westmore” FREE for a limited time only!


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Monday Musings Twenty-seven: Keep it Simple

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Keep it Simple


I don’t know about you, but for me, life has all-too-frequently felt like an uphill struggle. In my younger years, I took things far too seriously. And, while I had big ambition, I had small confidence. The gap between these two proved a chasm that I just couldn’t cross, and nothing seemed enough.

I chased after all the things that I thought would make me happy: a career, my own home, a life-partner, etc. What I didn’t realise was that my biggest achievement was to complicate my life way more than I needed to.

The more we have, the more responsibility lands on our shoulders. The more we need to take care of, the busier we are. We worry more. Get lost in planning the future more (and thus lose sight that God laughs at our puny human plans).

All plans have to remain loose. Life is subject to change without notice.Zen Stones for Monday Musings

When I gave up all my possessions and made myself homeless (becoming wholly dependent upon a Buddhist temple to house and feed me), to my surprise, I discovered how light and free and liberated life suddenly felt. I’m not saying that giving up everything was easy or done overnight (it took planning), but I did adapt to it and appreciate it much more readily and quickly than I could ever have imagined.

Up until that point, I’d lived my life on a calendar, with everything carefully planned out. My whole way of being was one of rigidity (and thus, suffering). Now, for most of us, leaving the world and the folks in it behind for X amount of years isn’t practical or what we want to do. Happily, we can effect positive change with tiny adjustments.

To live simply, we need to cease from grasping and filling our lives with as much stuff as we can. Instead, we need to know what is enough. That’s not to say that we can’t dream—we can, and we want to dream big. This isn’t the paradox it may seem at first sight. It is more than possible to dream while also being grateful for what we have right now.

When we manage to live simply, dream big, and feel grateful—knowing that our life is enough—then we can give love. We can laugh lots. We can brighten the lives of those around us.

In the wise words of Zen:

‘If it doesn’t add to your life, it doesn’t belong in your life.’

If you’ve missed my previous Monday Musings, you can find the links here: :)

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Guest Post: Carol Cassada and Westmore!


Hey everyone! Today, I have great pleasure in hosting author Carol Cassada to celebrate the launch of her latest novel, Westmore! Take it away, Carol :)

“A literary version of a soap opera.”

That’s how I describe Westmore whenever someone asks about the book.

Anyone who follows me online knows I’m a soap opera fanatic. I’m always posting my opinion about the latest happenings on my favorite shows. At times, the shows can be so bad that I often say I can do a better job of writing them.

That’s one of the things that lead to the inspiration of Westmore. I wondered what it’d be like to create my own version of a soap opera.

One day I grabbed a notebook and began writing ideas for a soap opera. I outlined the character descriptions along with the plot. I had about ten pages filled by the time I was finished.

westmore-front-coverWhen I decided to turn it into a book, I knew there was a gamble. Odds are people wouldn’t understand the premise or they’d get confused with the various characters.

But that was a chance I was willing to take. With the way the book industry is, I think you have to be different.

With Westmore, I’ve got a little bit of everything going with it. First, there’s the various characters. You have everyone from the millionaire CEO to a musician to a bartender. All these characters have a different background, yet throughout the story they become connected in some way. That’s one of the things that I believe is what makes the story. You read about these characters, become attached to them, and watch as their bond grows.

Aside from the characters you have the romance element, which is important in any soap opera. Then of course you have to have the drama. In Westmore, there’s heartache, family turmoil, and secrets from the past coming to light. All these elements combined together is what makes a great story.

Now, you won’t be seeing the usual outrageous stories you’ll see on the shows. For instance, I won’t have characters returning from the dead, baby switch stories, or a couple marrying for the twentieth time.

I prefer to keep my stories simple. Although, I don’t know how simple you can get with a soap opera book.

Author Biowestmore-front-cover

Carol Cassada hails from a small town in Virginia. Growing up, Carol loved to read, but it wasn’t until her teens when she decided to be a writer. After taking a creative writing class, Carol set out on her writing journey.

After graduating college, Carol began writing her first book, Going Home Again. Since then, she’s written and published 6 volumes in the Westmore series. With a penchant for romance and drama, Carol’s books draw you in with their soap opera essence.

Although, romance is her main genre, Carol has expressed interest in writing in writing other genres. With a notebook full of ideas, Carol promises there’s more to come with her stories.

Author Links

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