Category Archives: Book Review

Shalilly by Elizabeth Gracen

It has been a long time since I shared any book reviews. I took a serious hiatus from my reading habits but I am happy to report that I am exploring new material. As a result of the current pandemic, I went looking for a good fantasy to read. In my search, I came across a book written by Elizabeth Gracen, Shalilly. This is Elizabeth’s debut novel, an adult fantasy novel, about a “sixteen-year-old mystic with unusual gifts”.

The 1st page captured my attention and pulled me into the world of Fippa and Ision. A story about a battle for Love, defeating darkness, and fulfilling a prophecy, While reading the story, I was able to reference how this fictional fantasy could be translated into the real world’s everyday struggles with love and darkness. There is a strong intensity and relief felt throughout Elizabeth’s writing. In my opinion, Shalilly was well worth reading.

The book is 271 pages long and has easy-to-read font and spacing. Click here to order your autographed copy of Elizabeth Gracen’s, Shalilly. She personally signed my book with a little note. I’m not sure what I was expecting but I was pleasantly surprised by her message. Additionally, she dated the message. I received the package within 5 days of placing my order.

Flapper Press

In addition to writing a novel, Elizabeth has created Flapper Press. An international team of talented artists and writers. “With a goal to make this site a useful and entertaining ‘go to’ portal for original ideas and observations, FLAPPER PRESS offers authentic expression, useful tips, and a platform that promotes wild imagination, daring leaps of creativity, and the compassionate, mindful ‘giving back’ that we think is necessary for a peaceful, productive, meaningful life. Visit the site, I think you will see she is fulfilling her goals.

check out my 1st blog I wrote for Flapper Press, Negativity.

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Striving for Self-Improvement

I like to start off my week with a quote and a motivational “to-do list”. When I start with mindful preparation, it guides me through a fulfilling, productive week. My goal is to perform acts of kindness and to partake in motivational, self-improvement exercises.

You Cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Life is delicate

I recently caught a cold which was more inconvenient than anything. Being sick made me realize how a simple illness can slow me down and derail my success on many levels. I hate it when I get sick. I feel like I am wasting precious time trying to recover. Yes, my body needs the rest to overcome the disgusting bug in my body, but I am a doer and feel totally worthless when I cannot accomplish something.

About the same time that I was sick, one of my grandsons came down with a virus that was pretty scary. He ran a fever, broke out in a rash when the fever spiked, and he complained of his legs hurting. The pain in his legs worsened and he stopped walking, for 4-full days. On the 5th day, I told his mom and dad that they must be freaking out inside. The doctors were telling them to let it run its course. After 5-days of not walking, I realized again, how delicate life is. One day, this 3 1/2-year-old is walking, running, and doing normal things that a young child does, and was unable to them the next day. The virus did run its course and he finally started walking little by little on the 5th day.

After reading that story, I encourage you to go back to the kindness quote at the top of the page and look for opportunities to be kind to your family, friends, and total strangers.

Self Improvement Exercise

This week’s exercise was to create a list of things that motivate me. Once I come up with that list, I practice putting it into action. I take one item and implement it every day for that week. Once I make that push to implement I start to see my accomplishments build up right in front of me.

In the 1st week of January, I sat down and developed my list of goals and dreams for 2019. After I accomplished that, I wrote down a list of things that would have to happen to turn each goal into a reality. At week 19, I revisited that list to see how much I have accomplished. I am pleased to say that 29% of those goals have become a reality as a result, and I have many things in play to see more of those goals through. One of my biggest, career goals, will come to fruition by September! I have completed the steps to acquire 62% of that goal. Because I am taking this mindful approach, all of the goals I set for 2019 will become reality.

The “to-do” lists weekly help me revisit the long term goals, and push me towards completing the short term goals that are in play to accomplish them. If I wander away from this daily project and take my eyes off my long term goals, the progress slows down as a result. It has been at least a month since I last visited my goals and weekly self-improvement exercise. As I reviewed completions, it motivated me to pick up where I left off.

Make your 2019, goals and dreams list today

Don’t wait for the new year to arrive before you make a commitment to work towards your goals and dreams. Get a journal out, ask yourself what do I want to accomplish before the end of the year, and write it down. The next step is to pick one of those goals and write an action plan on steps that need to happen to make that goal a reality. I recommend working through each goal the same way.

There are many online tools to help you develop a goal system. I prefer good, old fashioned, books and notebooks. I get my daily kindness quotes from “everyday kindness-365 ways to a peaceful life”. It was a gift that brings me joy daily.

Learn how to stop and smell the roses. Don’t get me wrong, I sink into dark moods as a result of life sometimes. But, I have learned to Take time for myself. Self-healing comes in many different forms. Find yours and implement it. If something doesn’t work, find another, healthy avenue.

Want help on Self Improvement Exercise ideas? Click here to read an article on 12 self-awareness exercises. Leave comments and share your self-healing and motivational ideas.

Catherine Bares

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#The Collector-Nora Roberts

Getting ready to board a plane for an early, long flight I decided I needed a distraction to keep my mind busy.  It has been a long time since I read a novel but decided it was a great opportunity to indulge and lose myself in a good book.  So, I walked into a #Hudson News Store in the airport and wandered over to the book section.  Browsing through what seemed like hundreds of titles, I opted to look for an author I was familair with and chose Nora Roberts.  I came across #The Collector.   Although I am only half way through the book I felt the need to share my thoughts.

Nora has a way of creating characters that grab your attention, interest and your heart. The leading, female character is refreshingly quirky, caring, light hearted and yet strong.  The leading, male character is, of course, dashing, unique, tempting, protective, loyal and strong.  The storyline is full of murder, mystery, romance and suspense.

I don’t want give too much away so I will save the suspense for your own indulgence.  Now, excuse me while I return to my book.  I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Catherine Bares

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