Product Amore

Hey-o! My friend started a YouTube vlog that will feature reviews of things she likes. The first episode is Breakfast and Books, and guess who wrote one of the books she featured. Me! I was a little disappointed that she didn’t say that I was the greatest writer of all time,  because when else would I hear that? But it was still nice and good. You should watch her vlog and then follow her.

 

Thanks, Diane!

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Guest Post: Dee Crabtree, author of Promise Road

Dee Crabtree is here to talk about her new book, Promise Road.

On its surface, Promise Road appears to be a book about scandal, infidelity and betrayal.  On a deeper level, it’s about mental illness.  My purpose in writing this story was to shine a light on this tragic problem; a problem that is very prevalent in our society.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (nimh.nih.gov) an estimated one in four American adults suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder.  Some instances, such as minor mood disorders, are fairly benign and easily managed, while others, such as schizophrenia, can be complex and even dangerous.   
Emily, the main character of my book, was raised by two disturbed parents and she struggles to understand their behavior throughout her childhood.  She is painfully aware that her family is remarkably different from other families and she longs to know why.
As an adult, Emily develops a layman’s comprehension of mental illness and eventually realizes that both her mother and father are deeply afflicted.   While she learns to accept who her they are, she begins to question who is she is.  The mistakes she makes in life cause her to fear that she might suffer from the same ailments as her parents. 
A lot of people in our society grow-up in a situation that resembles Emily’s early years.  Unfortunately, unlike Emily, they may never develop the insight that might help ease the pain of their childhood.  My hope is that this book will enlighten readers and lead them to better understand their loved ones who may suffer from some form of mental illness.
SYNOPSIS
Insanity and infidelity in the Midwest
Columbus, Indiana was a quiet, pleasant place during the turbulent 1960s and 70s.  However, with a seriously sociopathic father and a bitter, narcissistic mother,  Emily Anne Taylor’s life was anything but quiet and pleasant during those years.  She grew up in a broken, dysfunctional home and in an equally broken, dysfunctional culture.
As a grown woman, Emily is painfully aware that her parents’ dubious choices and behaviors shaped her understanding of what constitutes normal behavior.  Countless unfortunate memories affect her deeply as she searches for love and happiness.  She questions her own sanity with every choice she makes. 
Just as Emily reluctantly begins a painful divorce, she becomes close friends, and then more, with a married man who appears to be her salvation – but is he truly her soul mate and the key to her happily-ever-after or is he just another insane choice?

Link to the author’s website.

guest post: Prime Dining On Indy’s Northside – by Moore

Longing for the elegance and luxury of a classic supper club from long-ago with modern updates of the present? Then Ocean Prime, located at River Crossing, is the place for you. The decor at this Cameron Mitchell restaurant is inviting. There are spaces not only for dinner, but also to sip a hand-crafted cocktail or glass of award-winning wine, while socializing and listening to live music in the piano bar.

When it comes to food, there is something for everyone. The menu features a staggering 67-plus items, the majority of which are made from scratch. Also, Executive Chef Shawn O’Brien uses ingredients that are sourced locally, whenever possible. Meat lovers can feast on filet mignon (ranging in size from 8 to 12 ounces), the New York strip or a ribeye. The filet I sampled was tender, tasty and in no need of steak sauce or additional condiments.

However, for those who like to enhance their steaks, a bleu cheese crust, béarnaise sauce and other options are available. For seafood lovers, diners can choose jumbo lump crab cakes, oysters on the half shell, ginger salmon, and shellfish cob salad (below) just to mention a few dishes.

My personal favorite from the sea was the halibut, lightly seasoned with a lemon butter sauce and accompanied by crisp, seasonal vegetables. The fish was fresh, flavorful and had a firm texture.

As divine as the appetizers and entrees are, the desserts are a must for those with a sweet tooth. I had the chocolate cake, which featured multiple layers of rich sugary goodness complemented with a scoop of high-quality vanilla ice cream.

Not a fan of chocolate? Then consider the blueberry lemon cheesecake, the carrot cake, crème brulée and fresh berries, or a seasonal sorbet with an almond cookie.

As any foodie knows, courteous and knowledgeable personnel are key to a fine meal. That is why the staffers are required to attend hours of training not just on menu items but also on the importance of daily checks of all areas of the establishment, interior and exterior. Customer service is very important, said Greg Sage, Ocean Prime’s general manager. “Our goal is to go above and beyond every night.”

Ocean Prime opens to the public on June 7. Their website is http://www.ocean-prime.com.

(Photos not taken by Moore are courtesy of Ocean Prime)

a pile o books and a guest post link

Guess what I have! Do it! Guess! But don’t look at the picture below. What, you already looked? Darnit.

It’s a pile of books. Two of them are for the Goodreads drawing winners. The other three are for deeply insidious purposes. Muahahahaha  < —– evil laugh

Today I’m over at Mason Canyon’s Thoughts in Progress blog with a Lair post. Be sure to stop in, comment if you like. Bloggers appreciate that sort of thing.

guest post: The Magic of Changing Your Perspective, by Jackie Lapin

For most of us, dealing with changes and events that move us out of our comfort zone instantly takes us to a place of fear and negative thinking.

It is the rare person who doesn’t emotionally invest the experience with anxiety and assign a negative value to it.

Yet the truth is that all things are neutral, they just are—until we lend our perspective to them and assign value. More importantly, every experience brings with it an opportunity for growth—for greater wisdom, for new knowledge, for redirection from the Universe, or for expansion in some way, shape or form.

The task for us as Conscious Creators is to retrain ourselves not to immediately go to that dark place, but instead to seek the light and—assign positive value to every experience. The best way to do that is to learn new perspectives, and to apply them to each situation. You can magically turn a perceived problem into a blessing by asking the right questions or applying the right filter.

Let’s expand our thinking and open up to the many new ways to look at things. By having these “tools” in your tool kit, testing the ones that work best for you, then applying them through practice many times over, you will be able to change your knee-jerk negative pattern of thinking to a welcoming and positive perspective that raises your frequency. And eventually will become your new permanent pattern of perspective.

Here are some really insightful questions that will lead you to look at your perceived challenges, problems, and issues as your next opportunities, gateways, and gifts:

• What is the joy to be found here?

• What is really great about this?

• What can I learn from this experience?

• How can I apply this in the future?

• How does this ultimately serve me?

• What is the upside to this experience?

• What is the takeaway here?

• What message is the Universe offering me?

• How can I turn this experience into something positive?

• What is the underlying truth about this experience—what is the reality

without my emotional charge?

• What is the good that can come from this?

• Who can I help with this wisdom, knowledge, and experience?

• Where is this experience directing me?

• What is the invitation here?

• What new opportunity does this open up?

• How can I grow from this?

• Where is my expansion in this?

• What is this calling me to let go?

• What burden is being lifted through this experience?

• What deep calling within me wants expression through this change—even though it may be subconscious?

You undoubtedly know that everything happens for a reason. Here’s an opportunity to look at that reason as Source does. You would not be offered this

experience if there was not purpose here for you, your life, and your spiritual growth. But the Universe gives you these experiences out of its desire to help you reach your own truth and highest good. Use these questions for a more objective view of what is in your highest good.

Illustration by Richard Crookes

Jackie Lapin tours the world teaching Practical Conscious Creation. She is the bestselling author of “The Art of Conscious Creation; How You Can Transform the World” and “Practical Conscious Creation: Daily Techniques to Manifest Your Desires.” Filled with specific and imaginative practices, Practical Conscious Creation offers 70 articles with step-by-step actions to achieve greater empowerment and a more satisfying lifestyle.

To learn how to become a better, faster manifestor, secure a free chapter of “Practical Conscious Creation” or receive Jackie Lapin’s daily manifesting tips, visit http://www.jackielapin.com/.

The book is available here.

Jackie Lapin is also the founder of LifeWisdomNetwork.com, the Virtual Village that is the Marketplace, Directory and Information Resource for the fast-growing Consciousness and Transformational World .A place where mind/body/spirit entrepreneurs and self-help experts connect with their next customers and clients worldwide. Go to http://www.LifeWisdomNetwork.com for more information or to learn how to become a Village Member.

Discover the Tools to Make You a Better, Faster Manifestor!

Glenn Kleier, author of The Knowledge of Good and Evil

Glenn Kleier is visiting! Sort of. He was recently interviewed by JN Duncan on http://www.thebigthrill.org and has given me permission to share it with you, fabulous readers of mine. Here we go.

The Knowledge of Good & Evil by Glenn Kleier
By J.N. Duncan on June 30, 2011

I’d like to welcome one of this month’s ITW’s release authors, Glenn Kleier, whose novel, The Knowledge of Good & Evil, hits the shelves on July 19th. This is Glenn’s second novel, after his acclaimed debut, The Last Day, which is also an epic, theological thriller. So, let’s get right to the fun stuff.

Okay, Glenn, the first thing that obviously pops to mind is the fact that The Last Day, your first novel, was published in 1997. It came out with a pretty big push by the publisher, especially for a debut. And yet…fourteen years until Good & Evil. I find this intriguing.

Not exactly prolific, am I? I actually started this book (along with two companion novels) shortly after The Last Day, and was well into one when a family situation arose. It required a good deal of attention and pushed the writing aside for an extended period. I finally got back into things about six years ago, focusing on The Knowledge of Good & Evil. It took me that long to complete it.

Let’s hear a bit about who you are, what you do writing and/or otherwise, and anything else you would like to tell us about yourself.

I’m a Kentucky son, born and raised. Got exposed to great fiction early on, and it gave me a passion for writing. I picked up an English degree at the University of Cincinnati, intent on a career as a novelist, and landed a job with a publisher to be close to the action. But there I saw countless manuscripts flood in over the transom, not a one making it to print, and it disillusioned me. So I turned to another form of fiction—advertising—eventually co-founding what grew to be a national firm. Yet I never lost my first love. I worked on the side seven years to produce The Last Day, a suspense thriller/religious send-up. Warner Books bought world rights, Columbia/Tri Star the film rights, and that enabled me to write full time.

So guess what I tell my sons about following their dreams?

Give me your 25 word or less elevator pitch for Good & Evil.

A defrocked priest embarks on a perilous odyssey through this world and the next, seeking answers to life’s Ultimate Questions. And learns more than he bargained for.

Your book incorporates a fairly unique aspect for this genre in that you have some picture/images throughout. Tell us a little about that, why you wanted to do it, and/or how it came about with your pub, and what you hoped to gain with their inclusion?

Part of the story involves the intricate paintings of medieval artist, Hieronymus Bosch, whose pictures are worth ten-thousand words. Featuring those pictures saved me some pages. Also the plot centers around real people, places and events—an intentional device to ground the fiction in fact and blur the lines between reality and surreality. I felt photos of the people and places would abet that, and MacMillan publisher Tom Doherty and senior editor Bob Gleason got what I was trying to do and supported me. It took time and expense to chase down usage rights across the globe, but I trust it was worth it.

Now, I’m particularly intrigued with your notion of “discovering” what the afterlife is really all about. Great conflict here, or potentially so. What led you to want to explore this?

If you ask people where their mental images of the afterlife come from (assuming they have any), most point to the bible. Truth is, while heaven and hell are cited often in the bible, neither Old nor New Testament offers much in the way of description or details. And yet many people have rich and cherished beliefs about heaven, and fierce dread about hell. They might be surprised to learn where those beliefs spring from: primitive myths and folklore; pagan religions; pseudo-scripture; medieval theology; the literature of Dante, Marlowe and Milton; the paintings of Bruegel, Doré and Mr. Bosch—to mention just a few.

My intent was to give a little historical context to the subjects of heaven and hell, draw some correlations, and offer a different perspective on this much-misunderstood topic. And then push things a bit further.

What kind of theological research did you have to do while exploring this aspect? Did you learn anything completely unexpected here?

The research took years. I began with the oldest recorded inklings of a Great Beyond, seen in ancient Samaria and Mesopotamia cultures, and worked forward in time. Early Egyptian beliefs in an afterlife, Greco-Roman, Judeo-Christian, Islamic, et. al. On to the Doctors of the Church—Augustine, Jerome, Gregory, Aquinas. And finally, modern theological scholars—Karl Barth, Salomon Reinach, Homer Smith and more. What emerged was a huge and convoluted mosaic that I attempt to make sense of.

And yes, along the way I came across something that amazed me, and continues to. Compelling evidence of an “interpolation” that occurs in the New Testament gospel of Matthew. What amounts to a scriptural bombshell the Church has effectively suppressed from its earliest days. This point emerges near the end of the story, and has caught the attention of early reviewers on the religious right, earning me flack. For those interested in a closer look at the evidence, the book offers a bibliography.

What, for you, makes this book stand out relative to other thrillers out there?

Hopefully more than just the subject matter, which is intended not as salacious fantasy or horror, but as allegory. The story has a spiritual component, raising a few theological questions that readers might not otherwise encounter or give much thought to. Maybe these questions will encourage a fresh look at some commonly held beliefs.

What was the most challenging aspect for you in writing this book?

Drafting the chapter that reveals “The Ultimate Reality.” If I may draw an analogy: There’s a branch of science that’s spent a century trying to uncover something called “The Grand Unified Field Theory”—an equation to marry all the critical forces of the universe. If found, it would be the “answer to everything.” Einstein himself spent the last years of his life searching for it, in vain, and it eludes science still.

The protagonist in the story is a fallen priest who searches for the spiritual equivalent. A divine wisdom lost by Man long ago that would unite all religions, uplift Humanity, end wars and heal the age-old animosities between races, cultures and creeds. It was indeed a challenge creating “The Ultimate Reality.”

What’s down the road here for you, story-wise?

The Knowledge of Good & Evil is the middle book in a planned trilogy, so I’ve got my future pretty well mapped out. The prequel is ready for final draft, and the sequel is past chapter synopsis stage, about 25% drafted. That should keep me out of trouble for a bit.

Just for fun, what would you hope (or not) to find on the other side?

In addition to 72 virgins? How about an environment free of ideological entanglements, self-righteous sanctimony, and intolerance. That would be heavenly.

Finally, any parting words for your readers?

I suppose I’d ask them to read The Knowledge of Good & Evil with an open mind, realizing that little of what they’ve ever heard about The Other Side has substance—scriptural or otherwise. Who’s to know what’s fiction and what isn’t?

For more information on Glenn Kleier please visit his website. There is also a very well done trailer for his new book there, which I suggest you check out. Thanks for joining us Glenn and answering my questions, and I’m sure I speak for everyone here at ITW, when I say, “Best of luck with your new book!”

(original source: International Thriller Writers, http://www.thebigthrill.org)

View the trailer for the book here

Some Links:
Original link to the interview: http://www.thebigthrill.org/2011/06/the-knowledge-of-good-evil-by-glenn-kleier/

The author’s website: http://www.kleier.com

Glenn On Facebook