Monday, 31 October 2011

Join The Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012 & Win A Kindle


Updated 30 October 2011

With more than 2,450 blogs already listed at Blog-A-Licious Blogs, the 2012 Blog Directory will be released on December 1, 2011. If you would like to be a part of it and stand a chance to win a Kindle, here's how ...

Sign up for a FREE listing which will look something like this

Blog Title Peace from Pieces
Pandora Poikilos

Blog Link
How? Leave a comment below with your name and blog link or email ... last day to sign up is October 31, 2011

Pay $5.00 for the Plain Vanilla listing which will look something like this

Blogger Pandora Poikilos
Blog Title
Peace from Pieces

Blog Link
Description The {un}spectacular moments of a not so famous writer on a journey of self-change, instead of world change.
Hot Spot!/pandorapoikilos

Sign up HERE, last day to sign up is October 31, 2011.
("Send Payment" to "")

Pay $30.00 for the Chocolate Dream listing which includes a full page all to yourself! Ideal for authors, publishers or craft makers who want to share their great gifts and products with details of your website (maximum 10 links). Please email all relevant information to

Sign up HERE, last day to sign up is October 31, 2011. ("Send Payment" to "")

Don't want a listing but want to get your hands on the eBook the second it is out? Then, sign up HERE.

The directory will be released in an eBook format and will be provided for FREE via selected online eBook Merchants. This eBook initiative is expected to reach more than 100,000 people via national advertising and promotions (US & UK). A sample of the eBook, Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012 can be found HERE.

All participants and readers will be entitled to participate in the lucky draw for the Kindle. The winner will be selected at random and announced on January 7, 2012.

All payments received are not refundable. The delivery, usage and maintenance of Kindle will be subject to the terms and conditions at

Paid listings will be updated in the order they are received. To upgrade to a front page, a loading fee of $5 will be charged.

For Social Media Hot Spots, I personally do not recommend including your Facebook profiles if you have personal photos and information such as addresses listed on it. Once released, this listing will be public. Feel free to include your Facebook page or other social media sites you belong to.

For more details, email

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Orangeberry Book Tours - Guardian Of Time

It’s the near future, and society is government controlled. Technology tracks everyone, personal privacy does not exist, and even food supplies are being monitored. The hope for freedom lies in the operations of an underground organization, GOG, which fights against worldwide oppression. Their most powerful weapon is Ann Torgeson, a paranormally-gifted operative, who unseals The Prophecies with her powers. With the government doggedly pursuing her, she goes underground, fleeing the Pacific Northwest, but not before leaving three murders, one suicide, and an explosion behind her. Will she and her companions survive to change the world after everything twists and turns upside down?

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Science Fiction 
Rating - PG

Connect with Linda Hawley on Twitter & Fan Page
Check out where this author will be talking about her latest release!

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Self-Publisher’s Diary – Favorite Authors

By ES Lark 

If you’re a writer, you’re bound to have a long list of authors you buy from. Nothing beats the feel of a new book, no matter if it’s hardcover, electronic or a paperback. So, what does this have to do with favorite authors? I don’t have just one. Now, if you ask what authors (among my favorites) have inspired me, I have two who have inspired me most of all.

The first author I admire a great deal is Bruce Coville. I was first introduced to Bruce’s books when I read Into the Land of the Unicorns back in the 7th grade. I was actually running in what we called “The Reading Olympics.” I had to read a certain amount of books and then report back during a number of challenges with other schools. It’s kind of like a spelling bee, only a lot more severe. We ended up winning second place in our region with me reading “Into the Land of the Unicorns” as well as “A Wrinkle in Time.”
I credit Bruce Coville and the entire Unicorn Chronicles series for where I am today. I started writing religiously in the 7th grade after Bruce infected me with worlds of fantasy. I wasn’t ready for the story to end, so I started writing stories of my own.

And then came Mercedes Lackey—The Black Gryphon to be exact. You know the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” right? I didn’t even read the blurb on the back. I bought the book just because there was a gryphon on the cover. It was way above my reading level as well (I was only 11 or 12 at the time), but still, I fell into her world. With that said, Mercedes Lackey is one of the first authors to have introduced me to gryphons.

There are other authors I enjoy, but the two listed above are the most significant for me as both a reader and a writer. Out of all the books that have graced my bookshelf, those two are the ones I’ll never get rid of. Even if the spines have started to fall apart from overuse.

E. S. Lark is the author of fantasy fiction such as The Waking Grove and Trueblood’s Plight. You can learn more about her and the worlds she creates by visiting her website at

Friday, 28 October 2011

Orangeberry Book Tours - Terri D

What Secrets Do You Keep From The One You Share Everything With? Secrets. Lies. Half-Truths. A poignant tale of a circle of close knit friends whose lives are more intertwined than they realize. That is until the blurred lines of Love, Lust and Friendship begins to reveal the half-truths and lies that exist. Will the secrets they all hold from the past ruin their friendship and lives forever?

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Contemporary Fiction
Rating - PG13 
Connect with Terri D on Twitter & Fan Page
Check out where this author will be talking about her latest release!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Orangeberry Book Tours - The Choice

Marcie Hollis is a Wiccan, who’s always played by the rules. That’s until she meets Dan McKenzie, a man who she believes to be the knight in shining armor she’s been searching for all her life. However, Dan’s not who he appears to be. He lures Marcie into his world of lies, greed and high-grade marijuana. But fate intervenes on Marcie's illicit trip for Dan to New Orleans, when she's robbed in a crowded airport. The thug not only makes off with her suspicious backpack, he knocks her down, her head slams on the concrete floor, and she loses her memory right in the path of DEA agent, Sam Carre. 

After a six-month investigation into the activities of a big time drug dealer crumbles, the same day damming evidence is found stuffed in Sam’s locker – evidence suggesting he’s the notorious leak on the team, Sam jumps on the first plane home. Arriving in a crowded airport in New Orleans - his reputation and loyalty are in question. But even though Sam’s tired, disillusioned and haunted by a past that gives him no peace, he stops to help an attractive stranger when she falls in front of him. Then in an act of chivalry, he takes her to his home until the police can identify her. When questions arise about Marcie, and what she’s involved in, the answers lead them to the exact felons Sam investigated in the Pacific Northwest. 

When her illusive memory returns, this complex case pushes them both to explain the unexplainable, and leaves Sam with a haunting question. Was she set up, or was this a game she played? Sam’s forced to make a choice, walk away from the attraction that connects them, or risk losing everything.

Buy Now @ AmazonAmazon UK
Genre - Romantic Mystical Suspense
Rating - TBA
View the Book Trailer for The Choice

Connect with Lorhainne Eckhart on Twitter & Fan Page
Check out where this author will be talking about her latest release!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

All About You - Or Me?

By Paula Renaye

A reader sent me a really good question the other day and I wanted to share it with you because I have asked myself this question many times. Here it is:

“When you feel like there are too many "all about me" people in your life, how is that a mirror back onto you? Does it really mean that you’re actually an “all about me” kind of person, too?”
The short answer is: maybe or maybe not.

Once we commit to the self development path and realize our world is a reflection of ourselves—our thoughts, beliefs, limitations and efforts—we no longer look at things in the same ways. When something bothers us, we no longer point at other people and blame them for our feelings, we own how we feel and make it our business to figure out why. Once we know that, we know what to do about the situation.

The way I look at it, there are several possible reasons why the same type of person keeps showing up in our lives. Here are some options to consider:
  1. The undesired characteristic is an unacknowledged part of yourself that you need to face, and seeing it in others is the first step in seeing it in yourself.
  2. The behavior or characteristic is one you’re aware of and have worked to eliminate, but you haven’t fully let go of it because it represents a familiarity (or family tie) that is difficult to give up.
For example, I kept finding myself in sticky situations with negative people that there seemed no good way out of. For one reason or another I felt forced to have to maintain some kind of relationship or risk serious consequences, such as losing my job or being ostracized. In my case, it was a replay of the situation with my mother and her negativity, along with the unresolved issues of loss and guilt.
  1. The characteristic or quality is one you secretly wish you had—or you need. Even if it is manifesting as a negative thing to get your attention, the message can be that you need to embrace the positive side of the quality you’re resisting. In this case, maybe you need to be more self-honoring. Maybe it’s time for you to be a little “all about you” yourself in a positive way.
While the way these people are acting may feel offensive to you, it could be that they are showing you how you aren’t taking care of your own needs. Do you value self-sacrifice as the ideal to shoot for? Why? Warning: people who appear to give all for others are really selfish—I know, crazy isn’t it? But over-givers who don’t allow themselves to receive always have a selfish reason at the bottom of it all.
  1. The situation is a symbolic warning sign that things are not all right in your world no matter how much you will argue that they are. Back in my own dark days, I vehemently swore to anyone who’d listen that I was happy, happy, happy—and I’d bite the head off anyone who dared suggest otherwise. During that time period, I was constantly being treated badly by everyone. From the clerks who ignored me, overcharged me or otherwise treated me as insignificant, to other drivers on the roads, I didn't matter. I couldn’t pull out of my driveway without someone tail gating, cutting me off, pulling out in front of me going ten mph or otherwise putting their needs before mine and not giving a hoot about the consequences for me. I wasn’t doing those same things, but they were very much real world reflections of how I felt in my personal life at home.
  2. These are just selfish people being themselves and you don’t have to feel bad about not wanting to be around it.
These options should give you some things to think about and home in on the bottom line for your situation—you’ll know it when you find it, it will feel right.

Once you do, then you have to figure out what you want to do about it. If you’ve struggled to get over your negative ways, it’s really hard to stay positive around people who look for the bad in every situation. And quite frankly, the Gray Cloud Crowd doesn’t want to hear your new Suzy Sunshine spin about how the glass is really half full—they like it half empty.

Just like the recovering alcoholic has to get new friends who don’t drink to maintain his sobriety, we too need to be with people who support our new awareness and joy. Because, remember, we become who our friends are.

Sometimes, of course, when we gain greater understanding and change our perceptions, the actions of others no longer bother us and our existing connections may shift accordingly in a positive way. Other times, the situations may require a cold turkey approach to disconnect from people who are just a drain to be around. Some associations may simply fade naturally.

Whatever the case, it is all about you—as it should be! And the insights you gain from asking these kinds of really important questions are invaluable.

Keep asking those great questions—and taking the time to sleuth out the answers!
Paula Renaye is a certified professional coach, empowerment speaker and multi-award-winning author of The Hardline Self Help Handbook. She is passionate about helping emotional short-sellers become happiness moguls. Visit for details on upcoming workshops and to get a FREE copy of her latest ebook: Tweet-able Tough Love Quotes.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Last Call - Blog Directory 2012


With more than 2,450 blogs already listed at Blog-A-Licious Blogs
the 2012 Blog Directory will be released on December 1, 2011. 
If you would like to be a part of it and stand a chance to win a Kindle, here's how ...

1. Please read the sign up info and leave a comment HERE

2. To view a sample of the directory, please click HERE

Last day to sign up is 31st October 2011. 
Yes, that's next Tuesday. 

The directory will be distributed for FREE via Smashwords and other blogs. 
For any further info, please email

Monday, 24 October 2011

The Old Mule In The Well

Author Unknown

A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer's well. The farmer heard the mule 'braying' -or-whatever mules do when they fall into wells. After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. Instead, he called his neighbors together and told them what had happened ... and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.

Initially, the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back ... a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back, he should shake it off and step up! This he did, blow after blow. "Shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up!"

He repeated to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows, or how distressing the situation seemed the old mule fought "panic" and just kept right on shaking it off and stepping up! It wasn't long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped triumphantly over the wall of that well!

What seemed like it would bury him, actually blessed him ... all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity. If we face our problems, respond to them positively, and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity, the adversities that come along to bury us usually have within them the potential to benefit and bless us. 

May God bless us this week as we, "shake off the shackles and step up out of the wells" in which we find ourselves! "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me." - Phil. 4:13

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Falling Trees

By Robert Fulghum

In the Solomon Islands in the south Pacific some villagers practice a unique form of logging. If a tree is too large to be felled with an axe, the natives cut it down by yelling at it. (Can't lay my hands on the article, but I swear I read it.) Woodsmen with special powers creep up on a tree just at dawn and suddenly scream at it at the top of their lungs. They continue this for thirty days. The tree dies and falls over.

The theory is that the hollering kills the spirit of the tree. According to the villagers, it always works. Ah, those poor silly people. Such quaint charming habits of the jungle. Screaming at trees, indeed. How primitive.

Too bad thay don't have the advantages of modern technology and the scientific mind.

Me? I yell at my wife. And yell at the telephone and the lawn mower. And yell at the TV and the newspaper and my children. I've been known to shake my fist and yell at the sky at times. Man next door yells at his car a lot. And this summer I heard him yell at a stepladder for most of an afternoon.

We modern, urban, educated folks yell at traffic and umpires and bills and banks and machines--especially machines. Machines and relatives get most of the yelling.

Don't know what good it does. Machines and things just sit there. Even kicking doesn't always help.

As for people, well, the Solomon Islanders may have a point. Yelling at living things does tend to kill the spirit in them. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will break our hearts.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

What Have You Changed Today?

By Pandora Poikilos

Anyone who's been with the blog since it started will know that one of the people to inspire me the most was Steve Jobs. No, this post isn't entirely about him and yes, his death knocked the wind out of me. I'm not an Apple fanatic, I've never owned the iPhone and probably never will because I find the touch screen irksome. So why would Steve Jobs fascinate me? Here's why.

All my life I was told I was different. For whatever reason, everything I did stood out like a sore thumb. And I felt strange. I even felt unwanted. Until, I read this.

Here’s to the crazy ones. 
The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. 
 The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. 
 And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. 
 About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. 

Because they change things. 
They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. 
They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward. 

 Maybe they have to be crazy. 

 How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? 
Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? 
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels? 

 We make tools for these kinds of people. 
 While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. 
Because the people who are crazy enough 
to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. 

That was the light bulb that went off in my head, 1 May 2010. See, I even remember the date. I stopped trying to fit in. I stopped doing what other people wanted because it was "their" right thing to do. I started being me. Granted, it was a little late in life but better late than never. This is also how the blog description came about. The {un}spectacular moments of a not so famous writer on a journey of self-change, instead of world change.

Unlike Steve Jobs, I don't want to change the world. I will be content with looking in the mirror and changing myself. But if along the way on this extraordinary journey we come to know as life - if I were to find out that my words did indeed change someone's day and that my writing reached out to change someone else's life then I am blessed. How will I know when I'm done?

I probably never will. I'll keep changing to the day death will sneak up on me, when I'll open the door expecting a long lost friend but instead find the certainty of life. And I'll leave, hopefully with less regrets and more with a sense of having succeeded as the only person I was capable of being - me.

I guess, that's the plus point of having had brain surgery, you aren't afraid to talk about death. You can talk about it like you're planning afternoon tea. And it changes a lot inside you. The way you see things. The way you look at people and the way they look back at you. Everything changes.

And yes, there's that word that keeps popping out again and again isn't it? Change.

What did Steve Jobs do so different in his life? He had 24 hours a day, just like all of us. A human body frame that most of us do. His was even riddled with cancer. What made him tick more than you and I? I don't know. I wasn't fortunate enough to have known him personally. But I know this. He didn't fight change.

Now, read the title of this post again. It's "What" have you changed not "Who". We spend so much time thinking about the people we can change instead of thinking what we can change in ourselves. If she was like that ... If he was better at doing this ... I'm guilty of it too. But these days, when I catch myself at it, I walk away.

Some lessons are best learnt in stinging solidarity and still some lessons cannot be taught where change cannot be accepted. By default, we cannot rest until we have made things more complicated and we run around like headless chickens, changing the way this person does this and that person does that.

But what if ... just what if, we took a deep breath and reached out to change something within ourselves. How would that work? Love and light.

Friday, 21 October 2011

The Seven Ups

Author Unknown

Wake Up
Decide to have a good day.
"This is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalms 118:24

Dress Up
The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.
"The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." I Samuel 16:7 

Shut Up
Say nice things and learn to listen. God gave us two ears and one mouth, so He must have meant for us to do twice as much listening as talking.
"He who guards his lips guards his soul." Proverbs 13:3 

Stand Up
 ... for what you believe in. Stand for something or you will fall for anything.
"Let us not be weary in doing good; for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good..." Galatians 6:9-10

Look Up
 ... to the Lord.
"I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me". Philippians 4:13 

Reach Up
... for something higher.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path." Proverbs 3:5-6 

Lift Up
... your Prayers.
"Do not worry about anything; instead pray about e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g." Philippians 4:6

Thursday, 20 October 2011


By Shiny Oommen

Make them loving, make them calm,
Never let them do any harm,
They make a difference to ones near and far,
Let your words be kind never to make a scar.

They decide your life's journey,
They get you friends so many,
Speak your words thoughtfully,
Let them make your world a melody.

Use your words to comfort the one,
Who has lost his track in the long run,
Let your words bring a smile,
Throughout life across miles.

When life's journey comes to a halt,
Let your words remain without a fault,
Let your words give an everlasting memory,
Let them carry a hope for many!! 

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The Dark Side of Joy

By Paula Renaye 

When I was working at a job I hated, Friday couldn’t come soon enough. I couldn’t wait to have two full days to devote to what I really wanted to be doing—my real work and passion, which is exactly what I am doing as I write this. And as you can probably tell, I absolutely love what I do. But, there is a dark side to this joy.

In the old days, five o'clock couldn't come soon enough on any day, but especially on Fridays when I could go to be without dreading what the next day would bring. But, then I'd blink twice and it would be Sunday, half of which I wasted wishing Monday didn't have to come. 

The last months I was at that job, my stomach churned constantly and it took all I had to get out of bed in the morning and drag myself through the door. I tried my very best to remain positive, chipper and smiling. I kept my clients happy, but in many ways I had been gone for a very long time before my last day actually arrived. 

Now that I’m doing what I love full time, my "problems" are considerably different. I certainly don't dread Monday because it is no different than Friday or any other day. Wednesday does still get my attention, however Hump Day no longer signals relief that Friday’s almost here to free me from the misery called work. Now, it’s the total opposite and I get a little panicky because Friday is coming too soon and I still have so much I want to do. There are simply not enough hours in any day, and weeks seem to vanish in the blink of an eye. 

I'm really not complaining. You couldn't pay me to go back to those days where time dragged on and I felt I had no options but to endure. And since I don't have a time machine so I can go back and have a tough love intervention with myself to nip the nonsense in the bud early, I am making up for lost time today. So, if you know where I can find a magic week where I can pack about 10 years of work--and 20 years of fun--into seven days, please let me know. If I could do that, I think I’d be caught up to where I want to be. I think if I could do that, I'd be satisfied. 

Okay, we both know it wouldn’t. I'd just want another magic week and more time. Because here's the deal, feeling happy and joyful is addictive. It's like the best drug ever--I just can't get enough. And woe be unto anyone who tries to stand in my way of having it. 

In fact, I had a mini-meltdown recently when I found myself around people who were focused on fear and what is wrong in the world. I did okay for a little while--a very little while--but I'm not an enlightened master so I wasn't able to just be a positive Zen bubble in a sea of negativity. I understood that these people needed their fear--it's what gives them purpose--but the more I tried to be polite and endure, the worse I felt. I wasn't angry; I just felt this incredible dissonance inside. It became so bad that I literally fled the scene--that's the only way to put it. The more distance I put between me and the situation, the better I felt. Before long I had my peace, serenity and happiness back. I was back to myself.

And that my friends, is the dark side of joy. It's like spiritual crack. Once you get hooked, you just want more and more. And you will never ever allow anyone or anything to take it from you ever again.

Former eggshell-walker, emotionally-bankrupt wreck and utter failure at keeping her world from falling apart, Paula Renaye uses her journey out of despair into joy as a breadcrumb trail for others. Paula is a certified professional coach, empowerment speaker and multi-award-winning author of The Hardline Self Help Handbook. Visit 

Get a FREE Download of Paula Renaye's latest ebook: Tweet-able Tough Love Quotes from Smashwords here: These quotes are all formatted to fit the 140-character space and you may use them freely. The book also includes 3 articles and 5 Hardline how-to exercises. Get it for free now!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Book Launch Festival - The Traveler's Telescope

Granny McQuirky uses the traveler's telescope to teleport into another world. While she is away, Ruby's house-proud mother gives the telescope a polish and knocks the settings out. Ruby and her friends try to put it right, but accidentally zap Mrs Pinkus and her poodle into the other world. When they follow to retrieve her, they bring back more than they bargained for unleashing a threat to the genie world. Granny McQuirky is accused of the resulting crimes. If Ruby and her friends don't find the real criminal, Granny will be sentenced to life in a bottle. At every turn, a mysterious enemy threatens Ruby's life.

Buy Now @ AmazonAmazon UK
Genre - Children's Fantasy
Rating - G
Connect with Jodie Brownlee on Twitter & Facebook 
Check out where this author will be talking about her latest release!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Book Launch Festival - Hazardous Choices

After surviving life in a violent Chicago street gang through his high school years, Darnell Jackson’s future appears promising. A football scholarship gives him the chance to escape the thug lifestyle. 

During his first year in college, Darnell safely resides in a small Kentucky town, playing Division Two college football and trying to make something of himself. Adjusting to the new surroundings proves tough, but a teammate and a girl give him hope that his future will be better than his past. 

 In the summer after his freshman year, he returns to the old neighborhood to be with his mother. The gang reasserts its hold on him, and the leader orders Darnell to kill a member of a rival gang. Nearly dying in a gang fight, Darnell shoots an enemy gangbanger. This forces Darnell to re-evaluate his future. As a result, he lies to the mercurial leader of his gang, claiming he completed his assignment. After “doing work” for his gang, Darnell receives permission to head back to school and the security of small-town life. 

When the head gangbanger learns of Darnell’s lie, the small Kentucky town isn’t so safe anymore.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Contemporary Fiction
Rating - R
Connect with Joseph Rinaldo on Twitter & Facebook 
Check out where this author will be talking about his latest release!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Orangeberry Book Tours - The Last Prophet

Would you believe it if someone told you that you were one of the last two prophets mentioned in the book of Revelation? It is the End of Days. The power of the Antichrist and his grip on humanity grows stronger with each passing day, enabling him to deceive the world and entice humanity into joining him in his corruption, and in his eternal punishment. With the help of the False Prophet, the Beast persuades many to fall down and worship him, also forcing them to take his mark. 

When someone tells John March that he has been chosen by God to become the last of the two prophets mentioned in the book of Revelation, he doesn’t believe it. After a visitation by an angel followed by a miraculous sign however, he becomes convinced that it is true and decides to embrace his calling, despite learning that doing so will lead to his untimely death. March begins his mission by proclaiming God's message: that the End of Days is at hand, to beware the growing power and influence of the Beast, and to know that the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is imminent. 

Supernatural disasters, including a worldwide drought, rivers of blood, massive earthquakes, and a devastating asteroid, testify that the end of the world is at hand. Join John March on his journey to becoming, The Last Prophet.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Apocalyptic/Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
Rating - PG/PG13
Connect with Jeff Horton on Amazon & Facebook 
Check out where this author will be talking about his latest release!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Words Don't Come Easy

By Pandora Poikilos

I've had to fight off some demons this week. This time of the year is usually when I lose strength and I feel like Superman on Kryptonite. Eight years ago this time was when my life changed and when time literally stopped. To this day, I've stopped using a watch because what is time when you're caught between the unknown?

Here's how it  began. It started with headaches. Then, it was my double vision. Then, it was a CT scan. Then, it was an MRI. Then, it was a neurologist. Then, it was the diagnosis. That single moment when a man in a white suit gently points out that you are not in control of everything.

Deep breath. This was the moment I lost myself. I had no more words.

Over the years, I've had some rather strong, large demons in my life. One of this demons is the certainty that there is a monster in your room. I was raped as a child. It didn't happen once. It happened far more than that. Different people known to the family. Different stages of my life. When I tried to voice it out, I was told that for the sake of family honour "we must not make a fuss, we must let it go". And so I grew up thinking I was the problem. I became numb to everything I felt about the issue and I ran away from it. I'll never be able to put into words the sense of never feeling safe or the terror I feel at knowing I may never be able to keep my child safe enough.

My next strapping demon was also my biggest downfall. In the past, I was the best person "yes" you could've known. Nothing was out of reach, just maybe this was another way I could make up for the flaw of being sick. But it made me fall into the ground. The one day I was asked for a favour and I said no, my life was turned into an open showcase. As a joke, a website was started about me. Pictures, photo-shopped images, truths, half-truths and even blatant lies about who I was. My mistakes and my weaknesses were magnified and I was left bare naked for the world to see.

I had no more words. The few that I did have were taken from me and thrown away. I wasn't worth the effort. I became the village pariah. The lunatic whose brains were not so normal.

When I was all broken and burnt to the ground, someone asked me a very simple question. "Who are you?" I was gobsmacked. Of all the questions in the world, it was the one I could not answer. And so, the pieces slowly started falling into place. Words became easier.

For seven years, I had told myself that having IIH was a disaster. It was another demon I needed to fight off. I felt that I had to do everything I could to make up for this flaw that was growing inside me. I had run around trying to be perfect for everyone forgetting the simple truth that nobody is perfect. Period.

Now I know that the ones who claim perfection from you are trying to even out their own score sheets, don't fall prey to this. If they can't deal with their issues, move on. Because the key word here is "their" issues.

I had to lose myself only to find myself sitting right back where I started, in a hospital room with a doctor reminding me that I'm human. Nothing more, nothing less. And yes, now I don't just have a neurological disorder, I have added brain surgery to the things I've done.

But here's the best part, I found my words.

Sometimes it'll never be easy and sometimes I'll never be able to share it in the way someone else will want to hear. But these are my words, my life and what I'll leave behind for the world to see. Love and light.

Friday, 14 October 2011

What Is Cathy's Secret?

In conjunction with the upcoming release of my second novel, Frequent Traveller (that is a wee bit of the cover, by the way), here's a chance to guess Cathy's secret and win a $15 gift card

The book is about ...
Catherine Dixon is everyone's dreamgirl. Girls want to be her. Men want to be with her. From her charming smile to her gentle voice, one always turns to take a second look at Cathy. Wherever she goes there isn't an ill word spoken about her. Her job as Vice President of Communications at MoonStar, one of the world's top hotel chains is to make sure guests are happy to the point of perfection.

From the blue oceans of Antigua to the bustling streets of Vietnam, the racing adrenaline at the Green Hell, the devastating natural disaster in Japan and the stunning architecture in Germany, Cathy finds herself in a whirlwind of fine dining, plush clothes and sheer extravagance. But is perfection only a mask for untold disaster? In a job that deals so much with people, Cathy goes home to an empty bed. There are no pictures on her wall, no doting phone calls from a tongue tied lover and no family holidays to boast about.

What is Cathy's secret and how will her world change when the world knows? What is the significance of the blue pendant round her neck? Who is the mysterious man she is seen with every three months? What are the contents of the brown envelope delivered to her on the fifteenth of every month? Will her secrets ever catch up with her or will Cathy continue to sail alongside perfection in the world she has created for herself as a Frequent Traveller? 

Thursday, 13 October 2011

The Piano Lesson

Author Unknown

Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, a mother took the small boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her.

Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked "NO ADMITTANCE."

When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that her son was missing.

Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."

At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in he boy's ear, "Don't quit." "Keep playing." Then leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part.

Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running obligatio. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was mesmerized.

That's the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren't exactly graceful flowing music. But with the hand of the Master, our life's work truly can be beautiful.

Next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully. You can hear the voice of the Master, whispering in your ear, "Don't quit" "Keep playing."

Feel His loving arms around you. Know that His strong hands are playing the concerto of your life. 

Remember, God doesn't call the equipped, He equips the called. And He'll always be there to love and guide you on to great things.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Lunch With God

Author Unknown

There once was a little boy who wanted to meet God.
He knew it was a long trip to where God lived,
so he packed his suitcase with Twinkies & a six-pack of root beer,
and he started his journey.

When he had gone a few blocks from home,
he met an old man.

He was sitting in the park near the water just staring at some birds.
The boy sat down next to him and opened his suitcase.
He was about to take a drink from his root beer,
when he noticed that the old man looked hungry, so he offered him a Twinkie.

The old man gratefully accepted it and smiled at him.
His smile was so incredible that the boy wanted to see it again,
so he offered him a root beer. Once again, he smiled at him.

The boy was delighted!
They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling,
but they never said a word.

As it grew dark,
the boy realized how tired he was,
and he got up to leave,
but before he had gone more than a few steps;
he turned around,
and ran back to the old man,
and gave him a hug.

The old man gave him his biggest smile ever,
When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later,
his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face.

She asked her son:
"What did you do today that made you so happy?"
The child replied: "I had lunch with God."

But before his mother could respond, he added:
"You know what?
He's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!

Meanwhile, the old man, also radiant with joy,
returned to his home.

His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and asked:
"Dad, what did you do today that made you so happy?"
He replied: "I ate Twinkies in the park with God."
But before his son responded, he added:
"You know, He's much younger than I expected.

Too often we underestimate the power
of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear,
an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring.
All of which have the potential to make someone's day a very special one,
or even turn someone's life around.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Princess & The Rebel

By Paula Renaye

Sounds like a hot romance novel, doesn't it? Can't you just see the plucky princess, her hair billowing in the breeze as she waits for the strong-willed but good-hearted rebel rogue to approach? (Insert sound of fantasy coming to a screeching halt.) The two characters I’m talking about are both me--the two voices in my head that have called the shots for most of my life: the archetypes of the Princess and the Rebel.

The conversations went something like this:
P: "Oh, I can't wait for my Prince Charming to rescue me, love me and take care of me forever in our happily ever after." 

R: "Hey, Cupcake, that little scenario sounds like a prison sentence to me. I don’t know what you're thinking, but nobody's going to be telling me what to do. Furthermore, anything some man can do, I can do better, just watch me!"

P: "You hush that silly talk. You act like that and nobody is going to love us."

My brain jumped back and forth between these viewpoints so fast that it all blurred together into one big, runaway crazy-train. I can only image how it looked from the outside. 

Rebound Guy, the glorious teacher (and fellow rebel) I latched onto after my 25-year marriage ended, used to say that my thoughts bounced around like a ping pong ball. I found it highly offensive, and quite frankly, that was how I felt about him too. One minute he'd say one thing then turn right around and say or do something that was totally at odds with it. Who was he to be pointing fingers at me? Talk about mutual lessons!

There are positive aspects to these archetypes, too, of course. Rebel has served me well in so many ways. I have a long list of "impossible" things I've done thanks to her blind determination. "Go ahead and tell me I can't. I'll show you!" As Holly Hunter rebelliously vowed to George Clooney in O Brother Where Art Thou? (one of my favorite movies), "I can, I will and I am!" However, it also kept me needing something to rebel against and overcome so I could feel good about myself (my value, worth, competence, abilities, intelligence, talents, whatever).

On the positive side, Princess added softness, appreciation of beauty, an understanding of the need for compromise and the willingness to risk loving. Unfortunately, she was willing to risk everything to somehow extract from her Rescuer what she couldn't give herself. 

It's a complicated interweaving from all angles, of course, but I love looking at why we do what we do from the archetypal lens. Our greatest character attributes also hold the capacity to be our greatest flaws, so exploring those gives us a different way to discover the underlying limiting beliefs and programming that have kept us stuck in confusion and frustration. 

Once we understand the positive and negative aspects of our true nature, we can turn those attributes to our advantage. Not only can we stop the internal squabbling, we can use our strengths to compensate for our weaknesses to create an effective team that works together toward what we really want--joy. 

I love having the happy Rebel to call on to handle the seemingly impossible tasks, but I am no longer driven to constantly prove myself. I enjoy the girly ways of the Princess, and I occasionally still indulge myself with one of her amusing romantic fantasies, but I neither need nor want to be rescued and I know that my happiness is up to me. 

The two voices in my head that were once mortal enemies have grown up and are now best friends that support each other. When Rebel feels threatened and insecure and slips into the shadows, proclaiming she doesn't need anyone or anything, the Princess helps her remember it's okay to let others help from time to time. And when the Princess feels overwhelmed and afraid, the Rebel reminds her of all the things she's done for herself and how strong and capable she really is. 

Just like any great relationship, together they are more than the sum of their individual assets. And that is way better than any fictional fantasy.

* * * *
Former eggshell-walker, emotionally-bankrupt wreck and utter failure at keeping her world from falling apart, Paula Renaye uses her journey out of despair into joy as a breadcrumb trail for others. Paula is a certified professional coach, empowerment speaker and multi-award-winning author of The Hardline Self Help Handbook. Visit 

Get a FREE Download of Paula Renaye's latest ebook: Tweet-able Tough Love Quotes from Smashwords here: These quotes are all formatted to fit the 140-character space and you may use them freely (as long as you give me credit--or blame). The book also includes 3 articles and 5 Hardline how-to exercises. Get it for free now!

Monday, 10 October 2011

Keep Your Dream

Author Unknown

 I have a friend named Monty Roberts who owns a horse ranch in San Ysidro. He has let me use his house to put on fund-raising events to raise money for youth at risk programs. The last time I was there he introduced me by saying, “I want to tell you why I let Jack use my horse. It all goes back to a story about a young man who was the son of an itinerant horse trainer who would go from stable to stable, race track to race track, farm to farm and ranch to ranch, training horses.

As a result, the boy’s high school career was continually interrupted. When he was a senior, he was asked to write a paper about what he wanted to be and do when he grew up. “That night he wrote a seven-page paper describing his goal of someday owning a horse ranch.

He wrote about his dream in great detail and he even drew a diagram of a 200-acre ranch, showing the location of all the buildings, the stables and the track. Then he drew a detailed floor plan for a 4,000-square-foot house that would sit on a 200-acre dream ranch. “He put a great deal of his heart into the project and the next day he handed it in to his teacher. Two days later he received his paper back.

On the front page was a large red F with a note that read, `See me after class.’

“The boy with the dream went to see the teacher after class and asked, `Why did I receive an F?’

“The teacher said, `This is an unrealistic dream for a young boy like you. You have no money. You come from an itinerant family. You have no resources. Owning a horse ranch requires a lot of money. You have to buy the land. You have to pay for the original breeding stock and later you’ll have to pay large stud fees. There’s no way you could ever do it.’

Then the teacher added, `If you will rewrite this paper with a more realistic goal, I will reconsider your grade.’

“The boy went home and thought about it long and hard. He asked his father what he should do. His father said, `Look, son, you have to make up your own mind on this. However, I think it is a very important decision for you.’

“Finally, after sitting with it for a week, the boy turned in the same paper, making no changes at all. He stated, “You can keep the F and I’ll keep my dream.”

 Monty then turned to the assembled group and said, “I tell you this story because you are sitting in my 4,000-square-foot house in the middle of my 200-acre horse ranch. I still have that school paper framed over the fireplace.

 He added, “The best part of the story is that two summers ago that same schoolteacher brought 30 kids to camp out on my ranch for a week.”

When the teacher was leaving, he said, “Look, Monty, I can tell you this now. When I was your teacher, I was something of a dream stealer. During those years I stole a lot of kids’ dreams. Fortunately you had enough gumption not to give up on yours.”

“Don’t let anyone steal your dreams. Follow your heart, no matter what.”

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Where Is Your Dream Destination?

Today's post (which I actually wrote eons ago and am sharing again) is in conjunction with the Blog-A-Licious Blog Tour 11 a fantastic blog hop that brings together bloggers of all genres, backgrounds and locations. In tomorrow's hop, the blog featured before Peace from Pieces is Lorhainne.The blog featured after Peace from Pieces is Janu. Enjoy! 

5 Reasons To Add Penang To Your Bucket List
By Pandora Poikilos

September 2010 - When one mentions Malaysia, the first destination that comes to mind is the country's capital which is Kuala Lumpur. Fair enough, with the outstanding structure of the Petronas Twin Towers, diversified shopping, the Sepang circuit and of course the night life, where everyday is a party if you find the right spot, one is bound to be dazzled.

But no, it's not Kuala Lumpur that captured my heart, I went to Malaysia and I fell in love with the Pearl of the Orient, otherwise known as Penang. Located on the northern end of Malaysia you can get here by flight (you will need to transit in Kuala Lumpur), bus or car on the North South Highway or even train which is run by KTM Berhad and stops you at its mainland, Butterworth.

Even as you land in Penang and take to the streets, the only word that will come to mind is, rustic. You will see a blend of old and new, foreign and local, the luxurious and the basics all paraded on one street which brings me to the point of unity.

At the time of writing, the Malaysian government is carrying out a 1Malaysia concept which carries the objective to further strengthen and reitirate the unity among the three main races in Malaysia. Having been to most of the states in Malaysia, it is Penang that bears the emblem of this concept to perfection. You will see a mosque, a church and a chinese temple on the same street. In a hawker centre, you will find at least one spot that serves each kind of food although, in most areas, available food is Chinese food.

Now, if you're on a diet or the kind who doesn't enjoy trying food at your holiday spots, then Penang may not not be that fantastic for you. Otherwise, it's probably the other reason why Penang is known as the Pearl of the Orient. Selections are extensive and range from anything as light as roadside toasted bread for breakfast, Nasi Kandar for lunch, Ice Kacang for tea and Char Koay Teow for dinner. Now, naming a full Penang menu, well, I'd need at least a whole day. Price wise, I wouldn't call Penang food expensive, you can have one Roti Canai and a drink under RM3.00 (approx. USD1). There is a large selection of restaurants that range from middle range to luxury dining (at a minimum of RM150.00 per person) but word of the wise, the hawker food will have you salivating. The two areas where you can get most of the popular Penang dishes under one roof would be Gurney Drive or One World Park, both located in the central area of Georgetown.

While some people may often have gripes about public transportation in Penang or the non metered taxis here, there has been a vast improvement with its bus services since 5 years ago. However, transportation aside, most areas have your basic needs covered and you would usually find everything is accesible and conveniently placed in within one area. When it comes to food, there is a hawker, restaurant or cafe at least every 10 minutes of the way. When it comes to shopping centres, you have the fancy ones in the form of Queensbay mall or Gurney Plaza placed in prominent areas very accessible with public transportation and then you have hypermarket giants in the form of Tesco which has sprouted on the island and the mainland, Butterworth. You also have Carrefour on the mainland and some local hypermarket chains in the form of Giant and Econsave.

When traveling extensively to other places, you may find that history will be in a book or in a torn down building, but in Penang, chances are you'd be able to visit that building and be told the story of how it came to be. Like some of its other Asian counterparts, Penang was also once ruled by the British with Captain Francis Light landing at the sie of For Cornwallis and taking posession of the island in 1786. While outsider governance and the effects of the World Wars may hold bitter memories for some, it is also very enriching to see that in most parts of Penang, heritage has been preserved. Old schools, townhalls, fields and old buildings which over the years have been given a face lift still stand proud and erect as a reminder of past lessons for a current and future generation blessed with independence.

Most places in Asia, English serves as a second language, sometimes even a third which will usually mean that you would require a translator when walking the streets or talking to street sellers. Not in Penang. Almost everyone speaks English. And almost everyone will be more than willing to share their story with you. From the guide who will tell you of his school days in Penang to the hawker who will tell you how he raised his children by selling 'char koay teow' on a street corner, yes, everyone will have something to share if you are willing to listen.

And there you have it, I do not promise you a non-sweltering (Peas has vowed to never stay here for more than a week), non-insect bite Asian holiday, but I can promise you Penang will open your eyes to Asian treasures that will leave you with memories for a lifetime. She is after all, the Pearl of the Orient.
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Books Sold - 6 Nov 2011 to 31 May 2012

Some of you have asked me for my total number of books sold to evaluate KDP Select so here it is. Bear in mind, that results will vary based on genre and author. Good luck and remember, Keep Moving Forward.

Total - 120,836

1. Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out
Amazon Kindle - 42,559
Paperback -
Smashwords -

2. Frequent Traveller
Amazon Kindle - 35277
Paperback -
Smashwords -

3. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 1
Amazon Kindle - 462
Smashwords -

4. Mirror Me Martha (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 281
Smashwords -

5. Drive On Hope (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle - 190
Smashwords -

6. Blog-A-Licious Directory 2012
Amazon Kindle - 1
Smashwords -

7. Pandora's Reading Room 1
Amazon Kindle -
Paperback - N/A

8. The Cat That Barked (Short Story)
Amazon Kindle -

9. Dora's Essentials - Examining Anxiety
Amazon Kindle -

10. Dora's Essentials - Books, Blogs & Smiles 2
Amazon Kindle -

11. Elevenses from Around the World
Amazon Kindle -

12. Genetically Modified Foods vs. Sustainability
Amazon Kindle -

Blog-A-Licius - Sherbet Blossom



Dealightfully Frugal

Blog-A-Licious - The Few, The Proud, The Wife


My Soul Slippers

Blog-A-Licous - Textbook Mommy

Blog-A-Licious - Blue Frogs Legs

Blog-A-Licious - Pretty All True

Pretty All True

Blog-A-Licious - tbaoo



Powered by

Blog-A-Licious - The Invisible Art

Blog-A-Licious - Rediscovering Domesticity

Rediscovering Domesticity

Blog-A-Licious - Quiver Full

Blog-A-Licious - Cori's Big Mouth

Blog-A-Licious - Great Fun


Blog-A-Licious - Busy Wife

Blog-A-Licious - Steps To Happiness

Powered by

Blog-A-Licious - Toby & Max

Blog-A-Licious - Amelie

Raising Amelie

Blog-A-Licious - Peas In A Pod

Blog-A-Licious - Riley

Blognostics - Poetry


My Awards - September 2010

My Awards - September 2010
Awarded By Jo Frances

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded By Alejandro Guzman

My Awards - May 2011

My Awards - May 2011
Awarded by Kriti Mukherjee

My Awards - April 2011

My Awards - April 2011
Awarded By Roy Durham

My Awards - June 2011

My Awards - June 2011
Awarded By Sulekha Rawat

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