Musings and Reviews of Metaphysical, New Age and Meaningful Writings

Archive for the ‘Indie Authors’ Category

Now’s the Time for Women to Confidently Invest in their Futures


FSOG CoverFreedom is one of the most common values and desires. Financial freedom, access to monetary resources or money-creating strategies to have experiences of value and secure our future, is usually at the top of the list of the freedoms we most desire. But one that many women don’t even hope to attain.

Ramat Oyetunji provides the inspiration to attain financial freedom in her new book, Fifty Shades of Green: A Stock Market Guide for the Financially Independent-minded Woman.

I love Ramat’s take on “financial fantasies” – making the study of investing more fun than I expected, and the expectation of living a life of abundance more realistic. She takes the fear out of investing, explaining the stock and bond markets in terms everyone can understand and with suggestions you can put to use immediately, whether you’ve just started your first job and have your first paycheck in hand, or are a career woman who has neglected to save for the future.

Ramat’s book offers a simplified approach to investing, mixed in with a little bit of irreverence – linking everyday examples like shopping in a mall with investing concepts – to help readers feel confident about investing.

And Ramat offers investing tips at the end of the book that you don’t want to miss!

In this time of almost zero interest rates in savings accounts, we all need to know how to grow our money and beat inflation without fearing we will risk it all.

Here, Ramat Oyetunji, a passionate investor, answers my questions about Fifty Shades of Green. She graduated from the University of Maine with an MBA and has 15 years of experience investing in the stock market.

BECCA: Why did you write about finance specifically for women?

Ramat: I am passionate about empowering women, and gaining financial independence. I know from first-hand experience, and studies confirm it, that women lag behind men when it comes to financial knowledge, growing a nest egg, and gaining financial independence. We live longer than men do, and are more likely to outlive our money, which makes financial independence all the more important for us to strive to achieve.

BECCA: What do you see the #1 issue women face in becoming financially independent?

RAMAT: I believe that a lack of confidence with regards to finances is the #1 issue standing in the way of women becoming financially independent. The financial steps and actions taken by women is the most important factor to achieving financial independence, and a lack of confidence leads to inaction. Women can counter that lack of confidence by continually improving their financial knowledge, which is one of the things I hope to achieve with my book.

BECCA: What does it take to feel more confident about investing?

RAMAT: Some initial steps are gaining a better understanding of how the stock market works, an understanding of how the most common investments (stocks, bonds and mutual funds) work, and an understanding of the different ways to participate in the stock market (such as through a 401(k) or IRA).

BECCA: Did any of your personal experience inspire you to write this book?

RAMAT: Yes. I was laid off from my first job in 2002 and that experience has been one of the driving forces behind my passion for investing and financial independence. Being unemployed highlighted the importance of having money saved, and because the interest rate on savings accounts were, and still are, well below the inflation rate, it highlighted the need for a better investment strategy. I see other women in the position that I was in, and others that don’t have an investment strategy because of a lack of knowledge or fear of the stock market, and I want to use my book to encourage and empower them to take action.

BECCA: What tools do you offer on your website to help people achieve their financial goals?

RAMAT: My website offers some simple tools to begin the journey towards achieving financial goals, such as a simple budget with suggested targets, various calculators including one that calculates how much you will need to meet your goals, and a few other tools like a comparison of online brokerage firms.

BECCA: What will readers gain from your weekly blog?

RAMAT: Readers will gain insight into how the stock market events of that week could affect their current investments or investment strategy, and suggestions on steps that they can take in response to major events. I will also continue with the theme of the book by using easy-to-understand terms to explain stock market events in the blog.

BECCA: What suggestions do you have for other first-time writers who feel they have an important message to share?

RAMAT: Your message is important, and there is someone out there waiting for your book and your words. Keep writing and shaping your message, but set a target date for when you will finish/publish it. There is always one more thing you could add or refine, and that could lead to a book that is never finished or read by others.

For more information on Ramat Oyetunji, and investing, visit www.thefiwoman.com.

To your financial freedom!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras-Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet

www.TheChakras.org

 

 

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Back to the Basics of a Spiritual Life


Screen Shot 2014-12-27 at 1.43.11 PMAs a new year approaches, I’d like to suggest Awakened Living, A Practical Guide to the Spiritual Life by Russell Kyle to help you take steps toward a life filled with more peace and joy.

He agrees with many other philosophers that “the world is what you think it is,” so his first recommended practice is to take responsibility for your life and recognize the true cause of your experiences. He offers 15 additional practices, then finishes with 365 short readings for morning meditation or daily contemplation.

For positive change in your life, Kyle recommends a simple reliance on the “Highest Intelligence and Power governing all,” and recommends building a relationship with this higher power, without pushing specific religious beliefs. He recommends thinking about God, then talking to God, until the prayer experience moves from your head to your heart.

Kyle also recommends meditation, saying “you can achieve most anything” with just this practice alone, done consistently. He offers pointers for meditating and a Guided Meditation you can read or record and listen to. Practicing his daily meditations will bring you into the present and help you “let go and let God.”

He also makes a case for using positive affirmations, giving of yourself selflessly, surrounding yourself with good, and being humble, forgiving and flexible.

Here, Russell Kyle answers my questions:

Author Russell Kyle

Author Russell Kyle

BECCA: What hope or message do you wish to offer others with your book?

RUSS: The message I’m hoping to convey with this book is the absolute availability for anyone to develop a spiritually connected life. That beyond the mystical and illusionary is an authentic spiritual way of living and being, available to anyone. My hope is that it may lead those who have always been drawn to the idea of living a spiritual life to living that life. By making easily available to them some of the actions they can take to make this desire real and very much alive. These practices are practices that I know work.

This book doesn’t claim perfect teachings but instead points the way to where what one seeks may be found through practice. Practices directly affecting one’s heart, mind and body. Anyone with a bit of willingness for a positive change, along with an open mind, can grow and learn much from these age-old, and new, practices. The hope I would like to pass on is that good change can happen for anyone. That they may soon see that no matter what they’ve been through, what they’ve done, or even where they now stand, what really truly matters most is only the direction they are headed. And with one small step, one moment, one practice, this new direction can begin. Yet beyond my personal hopes, beyond my personal intended message, is my ultimate purpose: to play my part in any way I can in accelerating the awakening happening right now on our planet.

BECCA: Did any specific personal experience lead you to write this book?

RUSS: Yes, absolutely. My journey toward light began from the darkest of darkness. Due to years of sexual abuse, introduced to heavy drugs at a very young age by my abuser, I quickly became a full-blown drug addict and alcoholic. Parents divorcing and father dying, all this between the ages of 12 and 15. My course was set toward disaster. And I followed. Living on the street. Losing all of my family and friends. Attempts at suicide. Jail and everything else that comes with this lifestyle. I had no place else to go but 6-feet under, or up. Yet up seemed impossible, no matter what was said, who said it or when they said it, I was doomed and I knew it. Though, by some grace of Goodness, I one day stumbled into a group of spiritual people, recovered from many of these vices themselves. They offered a spiritual, non-religious way of life that I latched onto. They pretty much told me what I needed, but explained that finding it was solely up to me. What I needed was a spiritual awakening. And so my journey began… exploring different religions, spiritual practices, traveling and discovering. Practicing and experiencing. The more I awakened, the more I was freed from my past.

It wasn’t long before I began realizing the Universe was leading me to share this message of personal transformation. I cleaned up, sobered up, never to use or drink again. I’ve come to terms with my abuse and forgiven. Freeing myself. All through the power work of spiritual practices. I found that my learning accelerated as I taught and so today, as a student and a teacher, I grow spiritually and enjoy a life beyond what once were my wildest dreams. Am I traveling from place to place in my private jet, millions in the market, family all behaving, no problems, perfect health, perfect everything? No. But I’m coming to accept life on life’s terms. To see the purpose and meaning behind events, those we may label as good as well as those many label bad. Coming to see how this acceptance actually begins to transform not just one’s vison of the world but actual life circumstances and events. In turn, getting what one wants by first accepting things as they come. Living in this world of spiritual paradoxes, exciting, fulfilling and ever expanding. Today I live a deep and meaningful life. Full of purpose and full of unlimited possibilities.

One of the most exciting things about it for me, is that it too, in the very same way, is available to you, to anyone. I know today that the next best thing to having a spiritual awakening is to play a part in the awakening of another. Because of this, and a deep urging desire and love, I have put the basics of my beginning practice in a book for others.

BECCA: Can you explain what you mean by “having an open mind on our understanding of God?”

RUSS: It simply means to continue to explore beyond whatever knowledge, understanding or experience you may have of God. Even if you don’t believe in God, there is an understanding or idea that you are not believing in. For non-believers, I feel this is something still worth exploring. What do you have to lose? So you find out you were right… or not. Either way. The journey, the seeking, is good for the mind and heart. It’s worth the journey. We each have our own concept of the Divine. The only problem with having an idea of how something is, is that we limit it from being more. Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard once said, “When you label me you negate me.” Meaning, when you describe me, you limit me. For example, if I tell you my God is green, then I am also saying God is not red, not yellow, not pink, not orange, and not all the colors ad infinitum. So, as we grow, as our awareness expands and we begin to have some strong ideas on how things are, let us keep in mind that these ideas can limit further understanding. I find that once I experience an ‘ah hah!’ moment, a break into a higher awareness of some sort, it’s best to simply acknowledge it, and then let it go. Not grab, cling and clasp to it. For if I wish to grow spiritually, I must continue to let go of my concepts and understanding, making room for new ones.

The idea is to break our attachment to words and ideas. We easily get hung up on words. For many, the word God itself doesn’t bring up good feelings. As soon as it is used a wall goes up and we shut ourselves off. Like a trigger of sorts. We already have our idea of what the word means, what is probably going to be said and many times have also quickly formed a judgment of the one using the word. All predetermined by the concept we’ve attached to the word. Often this happens without our even knowing it. We never get past the word. We never give ourselves the opportunity to see what this thing is behind the word. There is an old Zen saying, “Truth has nothing to do with words. Truth can be likened to the bright moon in the sky. Words, in this case, can be likened to a finger. The finger can point to the moon’s location. However, the finger is not the moon. To look at the moon, it is necessary to gaze beyond the finger, right?” Right! So we can easily see that we must look beyond our current understanding to really see what we are attempting to see.

Many may be fine with their understanding. It’s working for them. I encourage anyone to work with what is best for them. But to continue to awaken, the confinement by concepts must be broken, and continually broken. Be open-minded: Remain teachable, a student, always willing to honestly consider new points of view and ideas, always willing to change one’s own mind.

BECCA: You recommend both prayer and meditation – how do you differentiate the purpose of each?

RUSS: I’ve heard it said that prayer is talking to God, meditation is listening. I like this but for many it’s become much more, and in many ways very different. It is my experience that the benefits of both prayer and meditation are ultimately much the same. They are a reserved moment to focus on, and connect with, your source of Good. Prayer focuses on a way of building concepts and ideas by word or thought. Placing intentions out into the universe in which the universe will respond. Meditation, for myself, is a way I connect more by not trying. To surrender. To heighten my sense of all parts of my being with all parts in which that being rests. To put the thinking mind on hold and see what else shows up. Even this description is limited as to the unlimited potential of mediation. Like most spiritual concepts and practices we carry, they share similarities, yet the experiences and uses are unique to each. One fact though that most can agree on, most who have tried prayer and meditation enough, is that it works. It works in maintaining, reinforcing and better developing our connection with our deeper selves and the world around us. They heighten our sense of something Wiser at work beneath all things. They raise our awareness to the coincidences and synchronicities. They open our eyes to the awareness of our part in this magical dance of this universe.

BECCA: Is there a time to pray, and a time to meditate?

RUSS: That is probably best left up to each person and what works best for them. The combination of prayer and meditation is a powerful recipe. Some may already view prayer and meditation as the same, again it’s a personal interpretation. Spending time studying other’s views on meditation and prayer has given me a better understanding of the many ways in which to connect with, and sense, ourselves and our connection to our multi-leveled environment. To better connect with the Divine if you will. So I tend to use prayer and meditation both in combination as well as separate as the situation or mood sees fit. I find prayer is quickly accessed and used throughout the day, when riding in my car or walking in the mall, these times meditation might not always be most accessible. Though walking meditations are great for enhancing a mindful state, I usually find sitting quiet most useful during meditation. Again, these are practices you will cultivate as your path forward sees fit. The only requirement is to begin.

BECCA: What would you say is the best way to pray?

RUSS: In my Chapter, ‘Practice Prayer’, I list some specific suggestions on prayer. But ultimately I feel it is a personal experience and practice. What I would tell someone new to prayer, is to just begin. It will develop from there as best fits your needs. Don’t get too caught up in ‘what’ you are praying to. Focus more on the content of your prayer, what or who you are praying for. I’ve found that positive prayer is most effective. Pray in affirmations. For example, “Thank you for the abundance flowing into my life right now,” “Thank you for healing my body,” “I pray for this person, and give thanks for the blessings unfolding upon her right now.” Again, these are examples of some ways to pray. The deeper a prayer life becomes, the more natural it will become.

Take a prayer walk outside, observing and being mindful of your environment, saying to yourself, praying, “Thank you for that flower,” “How beautiful is the sky,” “Thank you for my legs to walk upon, air to breathe and eyes to see.” Prayer which includes appreciation and gratitude tames the mind and opens the heart. It raises the one praying to a higher state. A state in which we see more, experience more and connect deeper. With practice, prayer can become a state of being, a connection we stay plugged into throughout the day.

BECCA: What suggestions do you have for other first-time writers who feel they have an important message to share?

Get it out there. Take care not to get hung up on how others may criticize or judge your message. We have little control on how people take what we say. If something is urging you to get it out there, just do it. As far as how; the only way I know to truly carry a message is through personal demonstration or testimony from those who have been there. For non-fiction writers, simply stick to the truth and how this truth may be demonstrated or has been demonstrated. If you feel a message is important, then you probably have some connection to it already, emotionally, mentally or physically. Whatever your connection, let this be your doorway of bringing it to life, to putting it on paper. What can speak louder than that? As author Wayne Dyer once said, “Don’t die with your music still in you.”

Awakened Living, A Practical Guide to the Spiritual Life by Russell Kyle is available now. To contact Russ with your own questions or comments, email him at AwakenedLivingGuide@gmail.com or connect with Russ at   https://twitter.com/RussellLKyle or https://www.facebook.com/LessonsExperiencesOfTheSpiritualPath.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Diaries, Chakra Secrets, Balance Your Chakras – Balance Your Life, and The Chakra Energy Diet

www.theChakras.org

 

Journeying to Healing Mother-Daughter Relationships


Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 8.01.20 AMNicole Lawrence bravely shares the limiting beliefs and patterns that were created in the wake of her troubled childhood in her powerful memoir, Doors to Transformation: My Mother – My Self. While each of our childhoods are different, I believe we all have traumas that may still be affecting us in our lives as adults.

This book offered me insights into how to become aware of negative patterns formed in the past and provided inspiration to go through the process of transformation.

Nicole’s “you can do it too” attitude comes from sharing her success in processing emotions and creating new patterns and also in providing the resources she used to accomplish her healing. She offers discovery questions and exercises to help the reader dig deep, uncover painful emotions, release them, and learn to make changes.

How does one face, feel and release pain? Nicole offers her tried-and-true method of reflecting on memories of traumatic experiences, then releasing emotions about what occurred and what did not occur, and examining the conclusions that you then drew about yourself, the other person and the world because of these experiences.

Nicole touchingly recounts how her mother neglected her as a child, leaving her feeling unloved and unlovable, and shares how she did her “emotional work” and learned to trust herself and others more and not follow exhausting patterns to receive outside approval.

The journey to forgiveness of things from our past and the journey to self-love is a universal challenge that this book can assist everyone with. Giving thanks to Nicole Lawrence for opening the door to show us the way.

An artist as well as a writer, Nicole views life as running in cycles and spirals, comprising the healing journeys we undertake as a regular part of our lives. This book is part of a healing cycle for her. She hopes it inspires others to push through their own journeys of healing.

For more information or to contact Nicole, go to http://nicolelawrence.com.

Namaste!
Becca Chopra, author of Chakra Secrets, The Chakra Diaries, Balance Your Chakras – Balance Your Life and The Chakra Energy Diet

P.S.  Enter to win my special book & DVD Holiday Giveaway at www.theChakras.org.

 

Somewhere Between Black and White… Therein Lies the Truth


Somewhere graphic ebookHave you ever felt an instant attraction to someone, felt like you’ve known them before, or felt at home with them right away? Could it be because you’ve had a past-life connection with them? This idea has been explored in my own books and in a wonderful read I just finished, Somewhere Between Black and White, a multi-layered, complex, thoughtful love story by Shelly Hickman.

Sophie, the heroine of Somewhere Between Black and White, isn’t one to put herself in another person’s shoes before making judgments, until she falls under the influence of the calm and cool Sam… and then the fun and her growth into a better person begins.

In this novel, Hickman’s lovers Sophie and Sam have been a couple in a past life, a past that Sophie “sees” when she first kisses Sam, a past she uncovers as their relationship develops. Sam’s Buddhist philosophy is one he learned in this past life and is one he more fully embraces in his current incarnation, and shares with Sophie, helping her in all her relationships. She becomes more understanding of her ill sister’s choices and more accepting of things that she found impossible to comprehend before.

The growth of all the characters in Somewhere Between Black and White is inspiring… wouldn’t we all be happier and healthier if we gave up judgment of others, and embraced kindness and compassion instead? I love the tingle that I get from romantic novels like this, and find it a bonus when there’s a lesson that the story leaves me with as well. The Buddhist tenets of non-judgment and non-attachment come across very well in Sam’s actions and we the readers, as well as Sophie, benefit from his teachings.

Shelly HickmanHere, author Shelly Hickman answers my questions about Somewhere Between Black and White:

BECCA: I enjoyed reading your work of fiction and finding an inspirational message, specifically the Buddhist tenets of non-judgment and non-attachment. How did you see these teachings integral to the growth of your main character?

SHELLY: When I began writing “Somewhere,” I wanted the theme to focus on our tendency, as a society, to judge others. I’m not trying to imply that there shouldn’t be consequences for our actions, and that people should be able to do whatever they like with no repercussions, but so often we assume we know another’s motivations and make snap judgments about people and what they’re about. But the truth of the matter is that, as the saying goes, we can never understand another’s choices until we’ve walked in their shoes.

Sophie is the personification of this shortcoming. Though her intentions are good, her love and concern for her sister blind her to the possible suffering of Christian, her brother-in-law. Because she refuses to consider life through his eyes, even briefly, she is quick to write him off as worthless. At the same time, it’s her attachment to her sister that makes her so overbearing, and oftentimes, obnoxious.

BECCA: Do you include many of your own experiences into your fiction?

SHELLY: Generally, it’s the little details throughout my novels that are from my own life. However, my first novel, Believe, was hugely based on experiences I had when my daughter went through treatment and passed away from cancer. My upcoming release, Menopause to Matrimony, also has quite a few references to things I’ve experience with the onset of perimenopause, and I’ve tried to approach them in a humorous way.

BECCA: What is the importance of the past-life connection between Sophie and Sam? Did they have specific lessons they still needed to learn from each other?

SHELLY: With the past-life connection between Sophie and Sam, I tried to show an ongoing mutual benefit they receive from their relationship. Sam (Matthew in a former life), was significantly impacted by his friendship with the Buddhist soldier, Ping. That lifetime was part of Sam’s “schooling,” for lack of a better word, that made him who he is in this lifetime. Sophie is kind of his learning partner, and although Sam is more evolved than Sophie, her presence in his life makes him better. She gives him the opportunity to practice the patience and tolerance he feels is so important, and at times, she expressly reminds him what he believes. For instance, when Matthew and Natalie argue about his need to avenge his father, Natalie calls him on his beliefs, and points out that he should let the man upstairs handle it. We don’t know the details of the loss of his father, and we really don’t really need to. All we know is that he’s angry and bitter, and Natalie (Sophie) is there to challenge him—does he buy into what Ping tried to impart, or not?  I feel Sam’s prior connection with Sophie, along with his forgiving nature, allow him to see past all her strong opinions to the essentially good heart underneath.

BECCA: Can you explain why Sam liked to say, It’s all good? How can we, as your readers, apply this in our lives?

SHELLY: Sam sort of addresses this idea when he shares his thoughts on the meaning of soul mate. He believes a soul mate is someone you learn from and who helps you grow as a person. I think we can all acknowledge that difficult circumstances, as well as difficult people in our lives, often help us grow. So when Sam says, “It’s all good,” he’s talking about in the big scheme of things. In my opinion, we’re all here to learn, grow, and love, and often we don’t do that unless we’re put in challenging, and sometimes painful, situations. I don’t know what it is about humans that we have to learn the hard way. Though easier said than done, I think when we’re going through a difficult or painful time, if we can manage to step back and try to learn something from it, in the end, “It’s all good.”

BECCA: What hope or message do you wish to offer others with this book?

SHELLY: The main message I wanted to convey with this book is that we should at least try to see things through another person’s viewpoint before getting all judgey on them. It’s difficult. I think the older I get, the more judgmental I’ve become, but in truth, when I try to see a situation through someone else’s eyes, I can’t help but be more compassionate, which makes me feel better, rather than having the opinion that people just suck.

BECCA: What themes are you addressing in your other three books?

SHELLY: As I briefly mentioned earlier, my first book, Believe, is quite different than what I now write. I wrote it after losing my daughter as a way to work through my grief and anger. The writing is quite bare, and because it has a lot of metaphysical elements, it’s not for everyone. Believe was something I had to write as part of my healing process, but I also hope that anyone who reads it might find it healing as well, especially anyone who has gone through horrible loss.

My third book, Vegas to Varanasi, and its sequel coming November 1st, Menopause to Matrimony, are very different than my first two. There’s no intended deeper message in these novels. They are romantic comedies that are meant to entertain, and hopefully give the reader a chuckle or two. However, in all of my stories, I attempt to show the human side of characters who create the conflict. Although there are people in this world who are truly awful and mean-spirited, I prefer to fill my stories with characters who still have endearing qualities, despite causing grief for the main character. Even “villains” aren’t one-dimensional. Not sure if I pull it off or not, but it’s my goal, at least.

BECCA: What suggestions do you have for other writers who feel they have an important message to share?

SHELLY: Try not to beat the reader over the head with your message, although this can be challenging. Because you will never please everyone, some readers will flat out miss your message, while others will think you forced it. It’s difficult to create a balance where the reader can come to conclusions on their own without spoon-feeding. Readers have sometimes said that in Believe and Somewhere Between Black and White, that they didn’t “get” certain elements, or that I left out too much information and rushed through. I will admit that I have always had problems with brevity, and I think that’s because of the kind of reader I am. I don’t require or even like long, drawn-out descriptions and explanations, and I’m quick to axe material I feel adds nothing to the story. And back to being cautious about spoon-feeding, I like to believe that readers will take away ideas or impressions from my intended message that I had never even considered, which is awesome!

Somewhere Between Black and White is available on Amazon.com. For more information on Shelly’s writing, please see www.shellyhickman.com.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of Chakra Secrets, The Chakra Diaries, The Chakra Energy Diet and Balance Your Chakras, Balance Your Life
www.theChakras.org

DOUBLE TAKE – PSYCHIC MYSTERY FREE ON KINDLE


Double TakeInspiration can be found in all areas of life – like when my partner, a psychic and medical intuitive, helped solve a murder mystery on the Big Island of Hawaii where we live.

Our powers of intuition and clairvoyance can be used not only to help ourselves but to serve others.

Most fiction writers use characters and striking occurrences from real life in their work, says author R.R. Harris, and he proves it in his novella, Double Take, FREE this week on Kindle.

Here’s a review of Double Take by Quantum Healer and author, Marya Mann, PhD:

“A Cowboy, Kupuna, a volcano goddess and a dolphin whisperer with mermaid hair populate this novel about travel through the rainbow paradise of Hawai’i. In Double Take, a writer journeys to the Island of Hawaii, lives like a local, absorbs everything in sight – and out of sight – solves a mystery, falls in love and regales the reader with the myth, daily rhythms and practical facts of the most magical and mysterious of islands.

“Exquisite photos of marine life, the tallest mountain in the world, delicate double rainbows and unthinkable lava sculptures shaped by red-hot magma, a Japanese tea house and rainforest orchids make you feel like you’re there, smelling the plumeria flowers and tasting the Kona coffee and local beer.

“Unlike the traditional travelogue, in this compelling novel you get the inside stories but also an experience of how much a person can grow through travel. If travel is the best form of education, travel fiction may be the best form of ‘journey literature.’ Planning a vacation to Hawai’i? Travel like a local. Buy this book and read it beforehand. Not planning a vacation? Harris’s book may be the next best thing.” ~ Marya Mann

I hope this book inspires you to learn more about your own psychic powers and intuition, as well as expand your horizons by visiting or learning more about the Big Island and the unique culture and natural wonders there.

R.R. Harris’ novella, Double Take, is FREE for download on Kindle (including 40 stunning photos of the island) from today through July 31. Learn more about his work and editing services at IndieAuthorCounsel.org.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Energy Diet, Chakra Secrets, The Chakra Diaries and Balance Your Chakras, Balance Your Life
www.theChakras.org

Manifesting Your Inspirational Best-Seller


How to Write a Bestseller and Feel Good While Doing It

by Roger Harris

Focus on what you want in your life, not on what you don't want.

Act as if it has already happened. Focus only on the end result. For example, “I have written and published the first in a series of self-help books sharing my knowledge, and I feel (insert emotion here, such as elated, powerful, satisfied, ‘on my way’).”  Repeat this practice often, feel imbued by its exhilaration, surf the blue-green waves of happiness and send any dark-eyed doubts packing.

Be not bashful – gleefully share the news with your loved ones and tell everyone you know of what you have begun to create.

Thoughts become things. Visualize the book gracing your mother’s proud coffee table, seeing its YouTube trailer go viral, or pitching the debut novel everyone is talking about on your favorite talk show.

As the saying goes, “It is not enough to stare up the ladder, one must take the first step,” so map out a game plan of action steps to bring your goal(s) to fruition and do them. Carry a symbolic reminder such as a crystal in your purse or wallet, tape notes on your bathroom mirror or photos of what will be, and BELIEVE it can happen.

You create your own universe as you go along. ~Winston Churchill

Thanks to Roger Harris, author of Double Take, who wrote this post on IndieAuthorCounsel.org.

Namaste!

Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Energy Diet, Chakra Secrets, The Chakra Diaries and Balance Your Chakras, Balance Your Life
www.theChakras.org

With The Transition Witness, Visionary Fiction Comes of Age


The Transition bookcoverThanks to guest interviewer and reviewer of The Transition Witness, Doryanne Wilkin, an artist and Quantum Healing Hypnosis Therapy practitioner.

Jonathan Livingston Seagull came into the world in 1970 as an anomaly. By the time Paulo Coehlo wrote The Alchemist in 1988, the new genre had a name: visionary fiction. And in the years since 1993, James Redfield proved it also had an audience; The Celestine Prophecy sold more than 20 million copies.

Now, a new author, Teresa Tsalaky, is helping visionary fiction come of age. She is showing that spiritual wisdom can be woven into a book that contains the best elements of literature: linguistic brio and a piercing look at the human condition.

The Transition Witness is an adventure in several worlds. There is the utopian world of the villages and the dystopian world of the dodecahedrons. There is also the interplay between the physical world and the metaphysical world beyond the veil of death. As the characters weave back and forth between these worlds, they journey toward their destinies – one to her redemption, and the other to his enlightenment.

Here, the author answers several questions about the book and her process of writing it.

Did you set out to write in the visionary fiction genre?

No. At the time, I had never even heard the term. As the story came out of my fingers and onto the page, I was a bit dismayed, because it sounded like science fiction, and that would not be my choice of a genre. But I knew it wasn’t really sci-fi. Last week, another author invited me to join the Visionary Fiction Alliance. I was so thrilled to learn that my book had a genre.

What can you tell us about the plot without spoiling it?

It’s about a woman whose job is to verify the deaths of people undergoing forced euthanasia. She’s a transition witness, and she hates herself for taking on that task. But she took the job because it would provide a way to escape the dodecahedron that covers the totalitarian society in which she lives. No one can survive outside the dodecs, because the weaponization of weather caused flash freezes and other severe weather events. But our protagonist will try, because for her, freedom is more important than life itself. Telling you what happens would spoil it, but I can say that through a series of adventures, she redeems herself and discovers her true purpose.

I heard that your writing process was a bit unusual. Tell us about it.

One morning, I offered a silent prayer, asking if any great author on the other side wanted to collaborate with me on a novel. The name Dante popped into my head. I then sat down at my iPad and wrote the first sentence that came to mind, and then the second sentence, and so on, until three chapters had finished themselves. Three months later, I wrote the last sentence, and tears came to my eyes, not because I had finished writing a novel, but because of what the main character had overcome and who she had become.

The writing has a style of its own. Was that you or Dante?

Well, first, I’m not saying that Dante wrote it. I may have simply tapped into my subconscious — that ninety percent of the brain that we rarely use. I’ve talked to other authors who use this same process. I jokingly call it “plot without thought.” As far as the use of the language goes, it’s definitely my style. As a kid, I wanted to be a poet when I grew up. Then I discovered you couldn’t make a living at that, so I went into journalism. But I’ve always woven elements of poetry into my writing, whether a hard news story, magazine article or now, this novel.

What is your favorite sentence from the book?

Of course, I like the book’s slogan: “Sometimes life begins after the last breath.” And I love the mantra that the main character uses to remember how to survive on the outside: “Wood burns. Roots nourish. Branches shelter. Leaves heal.” The very last sentence is my favorite, but I won’t spoil it. Mostly, I like the sentences that are poetic due to alliteration or meter or metaphor. Here’s one: “From far away, he must have looked like a spider’s prey, caught in a great iron web.”

Why did you publish independently?

I spent two decades in the newspaper industry, and for the last five years of it, I was the lonely voice predicting its demise. I see the exact same thing beginning to happen to traditional book publishing. Books and news will always be published, but one day, there will no longer be gatekeepers. There is now the opportunity for a very democratic process of readers choosing what’s newsworthy or what should gain best-seller status. I simply noticed that reality emerging.

Speaking of best-seller status, your book hit the top fifty in Amazon’s metaphysical fiction category two weeks after publication, and now it’s on a top-ten list. What advice do you have for other authors who want to successfully launch their independent novels?

Don’t be misled by the numbers. Getting to the top of a category does not always equate to stellar sales. But my advice would be these three things: Believe in your book. Never give up. Don’t follow the crowd; do something different. I almost got kicked off of Goodreads for doing something different, but it was worth the risk.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I can’t believe I’m saying this, because running a profitable business is what I do now, but I will keep writing even if it never pays off financially. I have to. I got that first taste of writer’s heroin, and now I’m hooked. Plus, we need to find out what happens to the character Gemini, don’t we?

The Transition Witness is available on Amazon Kindle.

 

Happy Reading!
Becca Chopra, author of The Chakra Energy Diet, Chakra Secrets, The Chakra Diaries and Balance Your Chakras, Balance Your Life
www.theChakras.org

 

 

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