Inside the Book:

 
Title: Restoring Patterns 
Author: Gabrielle F. Culmer 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Romance 
Format: Ebook/Paperback
 

Kascey Kann is a focused, cutting-edge fashion designer ready to take New York City by storm. She is in the process of breaking away from her current employer and starting her own clothing line. Meanwhile, her financier boyfriend, Grady Chisholm, is setting up a new IPO. In the midst of their busy working lives in the city and global business commitments, Kascey and Grady find time for relaxing summers in Cape Cod and Monaco. What's more, they are about to formalize their relationship through marriage. Life seems good. But when unexpected setbacks force them to reevaluate their working lives, they must start the process of rebuilding while turning to each other for support. As Kascey and Grady struggle to cling to their principles and triumph in their business endeavors, they rely on their relationship as the foundation for their lives. But are they on the road to success? In this modern professional romance, a hardworking and enterprising couple provide encouragement to one another as they forge a path toward entrepreneurial achievement.

Meet the Author

Gabrielle F. Culmer is a lawyer who holds degrees from universities in New York, Chicago, and the United Kingdom. She is also the author of three other novels-Arrive by DuskDamp Whisper, and A Matter of Keeping-and two collections of poetry: Glenely Bay and Nostalgia from Paris and Blue Streams to Paradise. She enjoys traveling to New York and Europe.

Giveaway

Gabrielle is giving away a $25 Gift Card!

 

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins May 23 and ends on June 3.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on June 4.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Inside the Book:

 
Title: Little Cotton Heart 
Author: Florentine Pfluger 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Poetry 
Format: Ebook
 

Author Florentine Pfluger was mentally and spiritually trapped in a religious cult, along with her husband and children, for approximately ten years. During that time, she kept journals in which she wrote original poetry. In Little Cotton Heart, Pfluger shares the verses that resulted from that period, progressing from the realization of her family’s entrapment through the process of being set free and into the mental breakdown that followed. She experienced a psychological crash that took her on a long and painful journey into the causes of her collapse, and these poems depict her desperate search for healing in the aftermath of trauma. In the end, Pfluger also presents poetry written at the start of a new and much happier time. She hopes that this poetic journey from darkness and confusion into the light will help others in similar circumstances to know they are not alone. This collection of poetry outlines a journey from the trauma of a religious cult through the healing process that followed escape and into the wholeness that finally resulted.  

Meet the Author:

Florentine Pfluger uses writing to navigate the trauma that she has experienced in life. A housewife, she is a mother of seven and a grandmother of five. She currently lives in Carmichael, California.  

 

 
 

 

Inside the Book:

 
 
Title: In the Forest 
Author: Art Collins 
Release Date: October 1, 2015 
Publisher: A&J Publishing 
Genre: YA Fiction 
Format: Ebook
 
 

When two young brothers, Archibald and Jockabeb, find and old leather map hidden in the forest just beyond their backyard, they can’t help but sneak out one night to follow its path. So begins the first of the boys’ amazing adventures. After a terrifying encounter with supernatural creatures, the boys meet a young Indian brave, Haktu, who shares with them the tragic story of how he was separated from his tribe and placed under an evil spell. The saga leads the two boys into Haktu’s secret world behind the forest mist, the power of the blue feather, and teaches them the importance of friendship and loyalty in the face of untold evil.

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Inside the Book:



 Title: In the Mountains 
Author: Art Collins 
Release Date: October 1, 2015 
Publisher: A&J Publishing 
Genre: YA Fiction 
Format: Ebook

In the first book, the two brothers meet Haktu, the young Indian brave who was trapped inside the body of an underwater dragon, and then find his lost pony, Uno, deep within a mysterious forest. After the boys narrowly escape several vicious attacks from evil wolf-crows, they receive a magic blue feather from Haktu as he bids them his final farewell. Book Two begins with Archibald and Jockabeb flying to a secluded summer camp perched high in a rugged mountain range far from home. The fact that they are the only two campers to show up at Camp Bear Claw that summer is just the first of many surprises — incredible surprises that test the protective power of their magic blue feather in completely unexpected ways. On their way to a final face-to-face showdown with a deadly creature that possesses supernatural strength, the young boys meet several unforgettable characters who end up changing their lives forever. If you liked In the Forest, hold onto your hat as you read its sequel!
 
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Inside the Book:



 Title: In the Amazon 
Author: Art Collins 
Release Date: November 10, 2015 
Publisher: A&J Publishing 
Genre: YA Fiction 
Format: Ebook

In the first two books, Archibald and Jockabeb make a number of wonderful friends while battling unearthly foes that possess supernatural powers. In a dark forest close to home, they escape almost certain death with the aid of a young Indian brave, Haktu, and his pony, Uno. Later, in a distant mountain range, they come to know the kindness of Gran, Ben, Tommy Two Feathers, and their four-legged companions, Champ and Ghost Rider. Stalked relentlessly by the blood-thirsty wolf-crows in the forest, and then by the cunning devil cat in the mountains, the two brothers manage to barely escape with their lives. However, when they accept their uncle’s invitation to visit him in Brazil, little do they know that their most terrifying adventure is about to unfold — an amazing adventure that will again test the magical power of Haktu’s blue feather. So, as you prepare to read In the Amazon, get ready for an unforgettable journey into the dark recesses that lie between the crevices of reality and fantasy!
 
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Inside the Book:



 Title: In the Desert 
Author: Art Collins 
Release Date: April 2015 
Publisher: A&J Publishing 
Genre: YA Fiction 
Format: Ebook

In the first two books, Archibald and Jockabeb make a number of wonderful friends while battling unearthly foes that possess supernatural powers. In a dark forest close to home, they escape almost certain death with the aid of a young Indian brave, Haktu, and his pony, Uno. Later, in a distant mountain range, they come to know the kindness of Gran, Ben, Tommy Two Feathers, and their four-legged companions, Champ and Ghost Rider. Stalked relentlessly by the blood-thirsty wolf-crows in the forest, and then by the cunning devil cat in the mountains, the two brothers manage to barely escape with their lives. However, when they accept their uncle’s invitation to visit him in Brazil, little do they know that their most terrifying adventure is about to unfold — an amazing adventure that will again test the magical power of Haktu’s blue feather. So, as you prepare to read In the Amazon, get ready for an unforgettable journey into the dark recesses that lie between the crevices of reality and fantasy!

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Inside the Book:



 Title: In the Caribbean 
Author: Art Collins 
Release Date: April 2015 
Publisher: A&J Publishing 
Genre: YA Fiction 
Format: Ebook

The fifth book in The Adventures of Archibald and Jockabeb series picks up right where the fourth book left off. With many questions about what really happened in the Sonoran Desert still unanswered, Archibald and Jockabeb's family head to the island of Jamaica for spring vacation. What begins as an idyllic stay at a secluded beachfront inn soon takes a turn for the worse when the boys and the inn's proprietor, Salty, charter a fishing boat for the day. The captain of the boat is none other than Tommy Nat, Mr. Natonto's estranged son. The violent storm that follows turns out to be only the first of many unexpected events that quickly propel the two brothers toward an unexpected showdown on another Caribbean island. The elusive Tommy Nat, a mysterious island doctor, a giant Haitian named Maurice, and unseen zombies all combine to set the stage for another classic clash between the forces of good and evil. While the final confrontation that unfolds inside a deserted cafe ultimately provides answers to the remaining mysteries of Lizard Flats, it also places the boys in untold danger. The book contains a number of interesting facts about the Caribbean, its culture and religion, and a bit of the occult. As in past books, the reader observes firsthand how Archibald and Jockabeb grow as brothers and young teens, all the while learning the true meaning of friendship."
 
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Inside the Book:




Title: In the Big City 
Author: Art Collins 
Release Date: April 2015 
Publisher: A&J Publishing 
Genre: YA Fiction 
Format: Ebook

The sixth book in The Adventures of Archibald and Jockabeb series finds the two brothers and their younger sister travelling to New York City to spend a long weekend with their aunt. After finishing a wonderful dinner at Sardi's the first night, the boys become separated from Tess and Aunt Claire in nearby Times Square. Events quickly take a menacing turn when a mysterious person from the past suddenly appears with two henchmen in tow. Frantically trying to escape, Archibald has no idea what he'll find when he leads Jockabeb down the stairs into a nearby subway station-and what the boys do find launches one their strangest and most electrifying adventures to date. A beautiful young girl named Willow, a one-armed man called Meatloaf, and a dangerous gang leader who goes by the name of Shabazz are just a few of the characters who the boys meet in the abandoned subway tunnels far below the streets of Manhattan. As Archibald and Jockabeb try to make their way safely back to Aunt Claire, they only move closer to a final confrontation with their pursuers, both human and non-human alike. The reader will learn interesting facts about America's largest city while once again watching the teenage brothers' personalities evolve. As in all the previous books, the forces of good and evil are pitted against one another-this time, above and below the streets of "The Big Apple!"
 
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Meet the Author:



When Art Collins retired as a highly successful chairman and CEO of a Fortune 500 company, he didn’t write the book on leadership that many had expected. Instead, he decided that penning adventure stories that could be enjoyed by young and old would be far more interesting, not to mention much more fun. Borrowing two characters, Archibald and Jockabeb, from tales told by his father many years before, and drawing upon his own rich imagination, Art introduces the two young brothers to an incredible cast of characters—some human, some otherworldly—in locations that range from the mysterious forest behind the boys’ house to the lush and exotic Amazon. The nine book series reflects his love of the mountains and ocean, as well as his extensive travels that have taken him to every continent except Antarctica. Art currently divides his time between Chicago and the Vail Valley in Colorado. 

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Christianity Blog Tour
 
 

 

   Christianity and Cosmic Consciousness
 
Title: Christianity and Cosmic Consciousness 
Author: Alexis Georg Hoen 
Publisher: iUniverse 
Genre: Religion 
Format: Ebook 
 
 Born in the Ukraine, educated in Munich, and having practiced medicine in the United States, author Alexis Georg Hoen has been exposed to widely differing political systems and religious beliefs, and he has always maintained an interest as to the origin of these beliefs and their relation to the innermost nature of man. In Christianity and Cosmic Consciousness, he interprets the words and the sacrifice of Jesus as pointing the way toward a realization of our innermost nature—the will to live and love that exists within all. Sharing his experiences and ideas about Christ’s words and sacrifice, Hoen uses personal anecdotes and biblical examples to illustrate the nature of Christian belief. He provides a host of examples, including key illustrations from the Bible and relevant source material from other writers who address this topic. He shows us that through sacrifice we live in and for others. That is eternal life. Christianity and Cosmic Consciousness represents the core of Christian teaching without resorting to the supernatural and miraculous, yet doesn’t try to disprove it.  

 

THE CURSED FIG TREE
 
 
A puzzling story is related in the Gospel of Mark 11:12-14, continued in the verses 20-24, and in the Gospel of Matthew 21:18-22. Jesus is hungryand encounters a fig tree that has no fruit because, according to Mark, it is not time for it. He curses the tree and it withers. When the disciplesmarvel at the effect of Jesus's curse, he reminds them that prayer - in this case represented by his curse - can move mountainsthat mind can controlmatter. But the mind in this case is vindictive, not appropriate for a divine person. The Church, of course would have us believe that Jesus wassubject to human emotions and temptations, yet he never sinned, so that he should never have given way to a hateful urge.

 

 
The "New American Bible" and the "New Catholic Commentary on the
Holy Scripture" interpret the fig tree in the story as a symbol for Israel disappointing God by its lack of fruitfulness and there are indeed numerousbiblical examples for such symbolism. But there is, at least in Mark's account, the statement that the tree was not to be expected to bear fruit thattime of year, and even if Jesus hungers for Israel's producing fruit, an irreversible destruction of it in anger seems unreasonable and not consistentwith the forgiving nature of Jesus'God.

 

 
Bertrand Russell quotes that story as one keeping him from believing in Jesus as a divine figure although he apparently admires him as an individual. A Non-Christian might agree with Russell that Jesus is but a human being, subject to fits of anger who just happens to be in a bad mood.The story in both Gospels quoted is closely associated with Jesus angrily driving out the traders from the Temple, in Matthew that event immediatelyprecedes the cursing of the fig tree, in Mark the Temple episode is sandwiched  in between the cursing of the tree and the discovery that it hadwithered. Perhaps Jesus was irritable because he did not have enough to eat and because he was worried about the fate that expected him in thenear future.

 

 
If, on the other hand, we firmly believe in the divinity of Jesus, we might consider his action as impossible to understand as God's decrees are. The belief in predestination, still held by some, is an example of the apparent unreasonableness and inscrutability  of God's decrees. There is a biblical quote that, I believe, can be more appropriately pared with the Gospel story we are considering than those statements quoted  by the "New American Bible" and the "Catholic Commentary" It is taken from Ezekiel17:24 and it reads: "...1, the Lord, ...wither the green tree and make the withered tree bloom." Jesus may have acted inscrutably as God by"withering the green tree."

 

But, aside from any considerations of the human frailty or divinity of Jesus we may find an important symbolic meaning in that story. The tree is made to wither because it does not exceed reasonable expectations Does that lesson not apply to our lives? A soldier becomes a hero if he does something  beyond the call of duty. A worker is promoted when heperforms in excess of normal expectations. Whenever we accept the status  quo, we stagnate and wither. In the
1960 some people left their secure environment and risked their lives by opposing bigots and trying to obtain equal rights for blacks. They certainly could not be expected to do that. Some were killed, but they are forever remembered, whereas their inert contemporaries will be forgotten  one by one. Jesus himself did not continue a peaceful existence as a carpenter but freely agreed to become a "spotless victim."

 

He was therefore "brought to life in spirit" (!Peter 3:18). No innovator conforms to expectations of his or her society. We all need to try to break out ofour shells because that is dictated  by our innermost divine creative nature that is dried up by inertia and conformism. That is the meaning we canderive from the withering of the poor, correctly behaving, tree.


Alexis Georg Hoen attended medical school in Munich. He immigrated to the United States at age twenty-five, and he practiced medicine in Los Angeles for fifty years. In addition to the study of religion, he enjoys gardening and spending time with his three children and six grandchildren.