When life is calling, often we need only the space and the support to remember our way. Sometimes we lean into our expansion, and sometimes we bolt from our greatness. The biggest shock is that big change happens in small choices. In Rebirth you will find real-life stories of people who made courageous leaps, inspiring you to make your own. It’s time to step out of line and back into the spiral of life—that’s where the alchemy is. This book fits right into the side pocket of your bag + your life to inspire you as you read others’ stories of how they listened and learned to make embodied changes in their own lives.
I chose to review this book for this WOW blog tour, because I am currently in limbo—again—so I wanted to read something inspirational. Already the introduction this “mosaiced memoir” of Benton’s own rebirth caught my attention with the line “I have lived through the time of transition from ‘what is no longer’ to ‘what is becoming’ several times over.’ Oh, so I am not the only one who finds herself repeatedly in limbo. Although Benton also writes in the introduction that not every chapter—which has a “guest star” as an example—will appeal to everyone, I found that there was wisdom in all chapters. However, I will focus on a couple of my favourites: “Continuous Becoming” Kim Murriera, a “Midwife of the Creative” says in this chapter, “When you hear that someone’s overarching theme matches your own, it helps you to realize life is not all about me and my traumas…Life is cyclic, and that is what I like to illuminate. There is a breathing in and a breathing out. There is a waxing and waning. There is happiness and there is sadness.” As well, Murreira notes, “We may realize, It’s not just me and my life; it’s how life is. We can settle into breathing into it with more calm and vitality and acceptance.” Wisdom such as this underscored that I am just going through a temporary period of my life, and that “This too shall pass”, and I found this comforting. “Trust Your Place” In this chapter, David Newman, sacred mantra artist, singer-songwriter, and teacher says, “Consider how much noise is out there in the world on so many levels…Whatever aspect of mind that has been drilling or driving at a person, when that’s released…an opening takes place where healing happens. Now there are many ways that can happen, but mantra is a very powerful and ancient one.” Later Newman continues, “For me, mantra is the closest sound to silence.” This chapter reminded me of the importance of taking breaks, and of silence, and it also made me more interested in learning more about Sanskrit and mantras. You can listen to Newman’s mantras on Youtube. My third favourite chapter (“Doubt and Grace”) I mentioned in my previous post for Nonfiction November, and if you want to read it, I direct you to that post. That’s just a small taste of what’s available to you in the book. I hope that you take the time to slowly savour this book. I am sure that you will find something of comfort in “Rebirth”, and I am betting that it will be more than one thing. You can stop by WOW’s blog to read an interview with Brenton and also to enter to win a copy of the book (enter by December 4). Be sure that you stop by the other blogs to read what others have to say about “Rebirth”.
Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Shoe’s Seeds and Stories @Copyright 2022 Linda Schueler
I have always been a sporadic journaler, usually picking up my journaling pen when life becomes really tough. For a while I did “morning pages” a la Julia Cameron, and even though I found it to be beneficial, somewhere along the line I put away my journaling pen. At the end of my very tough 2021, I started to do morning pages again, and I found myself slowly starting to relax into life again. So when I had the opportunity to review “Mindset Medicine: A Journaling Power Self-Love Book” by Mari L. McCarthy, I knew I had to seize the opportunity. What a better way to expand my journaling practice. In chapter 4, the chapter about wanting things, a door cracked open and let a little light back into my life. Sad to say, somewhere in 2021 I had stopped believing that the things I wanted mattered. But, according to McCarthy, “WANTING great things for yourself doesn’t make you selfish. WANTING great things for YOU just means you love yourself.” and “In fact, one of the things you can want is the means to help more people.” Hmmm, I pondered those thoughts for a while, and then I decided to let myself want things again. After that easing of some of my heartache, I was committed to finishing the book and the journaling exercises. I love McCarthy’s different take on things. For example, one thing that I have always thought, and that McCarthy validates is that “affirmations can be difficult to repeat and keep in the forefront of your mind as you’re bobbing and weaving your way through the day”. Instead she asks you to “transform your life by asking the right questions”. Wow! I love this idea so much that I now have a top-10 question list that I can refer to again and again. This is a book that can be read over and over to remind yourself to love the journey, pivot to better feeling thoughts, and establish rock-solid boundaries. I highly recommend the book, and I am thankful that I was able to review it. Good news! You can enter the giveaway over at WOW by March 2, 2022 for a chance to win a copy of your own by clicking here. Don’t forget to visit some of the other blog stops too. Please note: I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review.
Shoe’s Seeds & Stories @Copyright 2022 Linda Schueler
About the Book
Want the Cure for Culture Chaos? Grab your pen and pad and prescribe yourself, Mindset Medicine: A Journaling Power Self-Love Book. The news, the fear, the media, the texts, the constant bombardment of electronic sludge. It can all tear you down and rip you away from being YOU! You can choose to give into this madness and be manipulated into submission. Or you can join the Journaling Power Revolution, reconnect with your higher self, and love yourself without conditions. In her third book, award-winning international bestseller author Mari L. McCarthy reveals a journaling power path that leads to an awareness of how vibrant your life will be when you… Understand why you absolutely have to love yourself first Tap into your hidden gifts and talents Declare why others must ALWAYS respect you Establish rock-solid unbreakable boundaries Promise to be YOUR own superhero! Most importantly, Mindset Medicine explains in rich detail why the most empowering and loving relationship you can ever have – is with YOU! Find out more about Mindset Medicine on Amazon.com.
About the Author:
Mari L. McCarthy, Founder and CEO – Chief Empowerment Officer of CreateWriteNow.com, teaches curious health-conscious action-takers how to use Journaling For The Health Of It®️ to heal the emotional, creative, physical, and spiritual issues in their tissues. She also shows them how to use this powerful personal transformation tool to know, grow and share their True Self. Mari is the multi award-winning author of Journaling Power: How To Create The Happy, Healthy Life You Want To Live, Heal Your Self With Journaling Power and Mindset Medicine: A Journaling Power Self-Love Book. She’s also created 20+ Journaling For The Health Of It® Self-Management 101 Workbooks including Who Am I?, Take Control Of Your Health! and Start Journaling For The Health Of It® Write Now. Find out more about Mari by visiting her website CreateWriteNow.com, or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or YouTube.
Bonus! Leave a comment on this blog post, and you can enter a giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card. Just make sure that you click here to fill out this form (by July 15, 2021) to be eligible. And the more related blog posts (see calendar below) you leave a comment on, the more times you can enter.
“Only My Horses Know” by Cinda Jo Bauman
I chose this book to review, because not only have I always loved horses, but also because there are a few important people in my life who have a mental illness. Many families are touched by mental illness, but it’s still a topic that there is much stigma around. Books can help.
I found the topic was discussed sensitively. I don’t know anyone who has bipolar disorder, but I could relate to all the stigma surrounding having someone in the family with a mental illness. Questions included “Would people make fun of me if they found out?” and “Will I get the same thing?”
The most poignant line for me was “My thoughts wondered how somebody could be here and gone at the same time.” I wonder how many other teens feel this way. I hope that they find their way to books like this and find comfort in the fact that they are not alone.
The focus of the story is how Kye and her parents cope with her mom’s mental illness, but there are also the subplots of Kye’s friendship with her best friend Joey and her training for the rodeo on her horse Kiwi, which together make the book an enjoyable read.
The book ends on a hopeful note. I don’t want to put any spoilers here, but the possibility of a horse therapy farm is discussed, and I, a student of horticultural therapy, found this similar concept thrilling. After all, there is not just one approach to a challenge in life.
If you want to hear Bauman talk about her book, click here to access a video.
Please note: I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review.
“Read Aloud Stories with Fred” by Fred Olds
I admire the fact that this book was written by a 91 year old. I hope that I am doing the same when I am that age.
Like all anthologies, I found that there were some stories that stood out for me. When I pull out my Hans Christian Anderson collection of stories I immediately flip to my favourites. Similarly, the next time I pull out Olds’ book, I will flip to “The Hobbling Hermit”, which brought tears to my eyes. A close second is “The Cheerless Chairmaker”. But then I love fairy tales, especially ones that are retold with a new twist.
Other people might find that their favourites are about a cross-eyed crow (my third favourite) or one of the other stories. And don’t forget the first story, written by author and publisher Margo L. Dill, about Martin Luther King, Jr. and racism, which I also enjoyed.
Please note: I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review.
Book Summary of Only My Horses Know
Life on a Montana horse ranch has always been the best for twelve-year-old Kylie Hannigan. She bonds with the horses, rides them with her friend Joey, and helps her mom train them. Plus she barrel races her favorite horse, Kiwi, and with plenty of practice and grit, they will definitely beat her rival Olivia this year.
But then, something starts happening with Kylie’s mom. She sleeps all the time, and Kylie has to do the chores, the training, and all the care for the horses–and it’s too much! At least it’s summer, so she doesn’t have to worry about school, and she can spend time talking to her favorite animals. One day, a strange-behaving horse with an even stranger name shows up for
training but is only ignored by Kylie’s mom. Training a difficult horse used to be a fun challenge Kylie could share with her mom, but that’s not even happening now.
Then her mom changes again, and she’s up doing everything—including cooking and cleaning in the middle of the night. Kylie still gets no rest because Mom thinks Kylie should be able to do it all, too. So when school starts and Mom’s behavior goes back and forth and back and forth, and then embarrasses Kylie in front of Joey more times than she can count, Kylie decides the only thing she can do is hide everything from everyone—accept her horses.
Kylie’s life spins out of control along with her mom’s. She can’t train for the barrel races with Kiwi or keep up with homework or talk to her best friend. What will it take to get her life back to the way it used to be? Or is that even possible?
Cinda Jo Bauman lives in Central Illinois with her husband and dogs. During her high school years, she took every art class offered along with every child development class. After a class where she spent part of the day at a daycare, child development won out over art. Years of story time led to a love of children’s picture-books, which made her wish she had stuck with art.
Flash forward to today, and she still loves children’s books! After researching and much study; learning about writing and illustrating children’s books, she joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and found her passion. Besides writing children’s picture books and middle-grade novels, Cinda also creates with cut paper sculptures and paints in oil and acrylic. She loves iris flowers and the color purple.
Only My Horses Know is her debut middle-grade novel.
Book Summary of Read Aloud Stories with Fred Collection
In this full collection of Read-Aloud Stories with Fred, we have included all six stories from volumes 1 and 2, a bonus story “Looking Inside” by Margo L. Dill (only available in this collection), and a foreword by Margo also. Each story has an illustration to start the story along with a question for children to consider while the story is being read aloud to them (or older children can read to themselves). These stories are perfect for parents and grandparents to read to the children in their lives.
The stories are:
“Looking Inside” Join a kindergarten class as they learn about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and how he believed all people were the same on the inside.
“Ben and the Terrible Red Card” Ben is always getting in trouble at school, but he feels his teacher just misunderstands him. He’s trying!
“The Hobbling Hermit” The hermit’s feet hurt, and he takes out his grumpiness on his new housemate, a small, smart mouse.
“Sammy and the Cross-eyed Crow” Sammy lives in the jungle and talks to animals! What happens when he meets a crow who can’t fly straight?
“Ben and the Bully, Billy Bob” Here’s another Ben story, and this time, Ben’s in front of the principal’s office for a run-in with Billy Bob the Bully!
“The Cheerless Chairmaker” Fred Olds has written a new fairy tale with a poor, sweet chairmaker and a smart, savvy princess!
“Sammy and the Royal Rabbit” Sammy is back in the jungle with Jonathan the crow, and this time, he is visited by a rabbit who thinks he’s a king!
This is a very special collection of short stories by two experienced children’s authors. Don’t miss out on getting this collection today!
Fred Olds has crafted dozens of stories over the years and has been involved with various writing and critique groups. At the age of 92, he is a devoted husband and proud father and grandfather living in Central Illinois. After retirement from the Postal Service as an electronic technician, he finally has time to concentrate on writing. A true storyteller at heart, his first love is writing children’s books with an occasional murder mystery thrown in for a change of pace. Check out his kids’ short story books, Read-Aloud Stories with Fred, Vol. 1 and then Vol. 2, and his first book for adults, The Hobo Who Wasn’t, an exciting detective story. He’s also the author of The Dog and the Flea: A Tale of Two Opposites and The Cat, the Mouse, and the Neighbors’ Dog, two books of the Perky Pet Problems picture book series.
About the Author & Publisher, Margo L. Dill
Margo L. Dill is the CEO and owner of Editor-911 Books in St. Louis, MO. She is also the author of the American Civil War Adventure Series with two books, Anna and the Baking Championship and Finding My Place: One Girl’s Strength at Vicksburg, for middle-grade readers. Her other books are That’s the Way It Always Happened and Maggie Mae, Detective Extraordinaire: The Case of the Missing Cookies, which are illustrated picture books, and she has a short story about kids learning about Martin Luther King Jr.’s teachings in Fred Olds’s collection of short stories, Read-Aloud Stories with Fred Vols. 1 and 2. Her next book is for teachers and parents and is out in June 2021, It’s Not Just Academics: A Guide To Teach Kids’ Health, Communication, and Social Emotional Skills. She lives in St. Louis with her tween daughter and lively rescue dog, Sudsi.
Join us as we celebrate the launch of this incredible blog tour. Find out more about the authors, their touching books, and enter to win books for yourself. Become an active participant in the tour, and you can win a gift card.
“Olive is searching for her missing dog Ginger, but the dog has fallen into a hole and is trapped. Along comes Zen, a homeless dog who helps free Ginger. Together, they make their way back to Olive.”
There are several things I like about this book. I like the weaving-in of suggestions to improve your health naturally, such as through nature therapy, consuming superfoods, and using natural remedies. I like that Olive is a science geek. I also like the themes including teamwork and trust. In fact, my favourite line in the whole book is “To Open Your Heart You Must Trust.”
So how does the book end? Well, you’ll have to buy the book to find out. And if you do, you’ll be helping the authors buy books for children living in low income neighbourhoods, as they use 10% of proceeds to do that.
For a sample of what’s in the book, click here to access the book trailer.
Please note: I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review.
Be sure to check out some of the other blog stops.
Shoe’s Seeds & Stories
@Copyright 2021 Linda Schueler
– Blog Tour Dates
May 10th @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Join us on the WOW blog today and celebrate the launch of M.T. Becker’s book Zinger in The Woods. You can read an interview with the authors and enter to win a copy of the book too.
Zinger In The Woods was retold by, husband and wife authors, Mark and Tiesha Becker. The former elementary school teachers decided to write a book after fostering three malnourished puppies. Zinger In the Woods reflects the lessons they learned from being parents, doggie parents, and teachers for over thirty years.
Paying attention to what you like leads to a life of joy. Little by little, notice the things you like—the shiny, silver fish painting on the wall, the smell of honeysuckle on a summer’s day, lightning bugs at dusk, baking cinnamon rolls.
The world is full of delights that are here to please you. When you choose to notice them, your life automatically becomes happier. Easy-peasy joy.”
The is one of my favourite passages from “The Little Book of Big Knowing” by Michelle Sammons. It encapsulates what I have been trying to do lately in my life, and I find myself becoming happier as I follow this philosophy.
The book is like a bar of chocolate; it’s meant to be savoured in small nibbles or perhaps, on tougher days, to be devoured in big bites. Some insights were reminders of concepts I have already discovered—like the passage above—and others introduced me to powerful new ways of thinking, like the next passage:
“What if there isn’t one right choice of how to live your life? What if there is not a giant door with a sign on it that reads The Right Choice—this way?What if finding your purpose, career, or mate is more about making little decisions every day that feel good and naturally shift you into a place of Soul-alignment?”
So I find myself now making more little decisions to move myself to where I want to go instead of fretting over the sometimes overwhelming big picture.
“…You have my permission to take what resonates and chuck the rest…” writes Sammons, which is a refreshing philosophy. You are sure to find something that soothes your soul in the book, and maybe like me will want to read the book again and again, whether in little chunks or big. I really hope that Sammons writes a follow up or two to “The Little Book of Big Knowing”.
Please note: I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review.
Be sure to check out some of the other blog stops including this guest post on mindfulness, which contains a thought provoking definition of mindfulness that really resonated with me.
About the Book
The Little Book of Big Knowing is filled with tiny bursts of insight to nourish your heart, warm your Soul, and help you to remember your true self.
If you find yourself asking big, deep life questions like, “What’s my purpose?” and “Why am I here?” then you’ll want to curl up with The Little Book of Big Knowing.
Three reasons why you’ll love this book:
• It includes gentle reminders of why you are here, who you are at your core, and why your dreams matter to more than just you.
• This book will help you to look at life in a light-hearted, joyful way. Consider it spirituality with a playful twist!
• And the best part is, the book is written in short bursts you can read in any order. So you can pick it up, read a little bit, put it down, and come back to it when you’re ready for more!
This book is perfect someone who wants a little dose of playful spirituality every day to remind them of the bigger picture.
About the Author
Michele makes her home in Memphis, Tennessee, with husband Scott and chocolate Labrador, Dewey. The Little Book of Big Knowing is Michele’s first book, but probably not her last. You can discover more about Michele’s work on her website:
When Chitra discovered a stray cat in need of help, she never thought they’d wind up saving each other. Struggling to come to terms with an unexpected diagnosis, Chitra returned home to Oman seeking a sense of familiarity. What she discovered instead was a very special cat who changed her life. But First, Rumi is the story of how, day by day, Rumi and Chitra got to know one another, and as she learned to love the little stray, she began to see greater life lessons about herself, her family, her home country and her place in the world.
What unfolds when girl and cat meet? What happens when you follow your heart? What if the world is not as it seems? Is it worth taking a chance?
Print Length: 158 Pages
But First, Rumi is available to purchase now on Amazon.com.
Because I am a cat lover and also because I have suffered a mystery illness in the past, I was curious about this memoir.
The story is slow to start, but once it picked up in chapter 3, I found myself looking forward to reading the next chapter of the book, wondering what was going to happen to stray cat Rumi. Although Ramaswami mentioned her mysterious illness a few times, there is little focus on this part of her life. Instead she concentrated on her relationship with the cat, Rumi. I found this approach to be refreshing.
I love travelling and learning about other cultures, especially ones I have little knowledge of, and this includes the author’s home country of Oman. I found myself learning a lot, whether Ramaswami describes the environment—“The world around me looked a light shade of orange owing to tiny sand particles that were always suspended in a desert. Growing up I had happily assumed that daytimes appeared the same everywhere…”—or the very different to me (and I am sure to many North Americans) views on cats and pet ownership in Oman.
The memoir is peppered throughout with gentle words of wisdom, such as “There is a fine line between being prepared to act quickly if the worst were to happen and to continually expect the worst to happen and allow that feeling to weigh you down.” Each chapter also begins with a quote by the poet Rumi. I enjoyed learning along with the author her discoveries about life. I even learned something more about cat behaviour! Not being a lover of olives, I never knew the attraction cats had to them.
The book ends with a thoughtful discussion about the state of the cats in Oman and what action could be taken to improve their living conditions.
I highly recommend this eye opening memoir.
Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
About the Author, Chitra Ramaswami
Chitra Ramaswami was born and raised in the Middle East by Indian parents, and her childhood was spent reading every book she could lay her hands on or writing stories and lines of poetry. As a result of traveling the world extensively and being a natural linguist, she is an amalgamation of many cultures and tastes and is constantly looking for the next experience she can immerse herself in. When she isn’t writing, Chitra rides horses, climbs mountains and is a passionate advocate for the Omani Mau/ street cat. She currently lives in New York with her husband and a very spoiled cat and hamster duo.