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Review: TimelessYou Siminar: Changing Perceptions by Deepak Chopra, MD

[ 1 ] June 20, 2014

What if you could change the way your body ages without surgery or medication? What if you could actually make yourself younger?

deepak-chopra-siminar-timeless-you

Dr. Deepak Chopra has facilitated a series of Siminars called TimelessYou in conjunction with Grandparents.com. These five courses, available for $29.99, are designed to help users adapt the way they think about their body, time, and the aging process, and to apply new understanding to developing the mind, body, and relationships to stay healthy and vibrant long into “old age”.

There are six courses that each take approximately an hour to complete and tackle the individual components of embracing the timeless self:

  • Changing Perceptions
  • A Youthful Mind
  • Healthy Relationships
  • The Mind-Body Connection
  • Mindful Eating
  • Joyful Exercise

This review covers the first course, “Changing Perceptions”.

Though it may seem like a large chunk of time, 85 minutes moves quickly in the “Changing Perceptions” Siminar. The course is divided into five 15-minute sections, which are then further divided into related sub-sections that introduce and build on Chopra’s points.

As the course title indicates, the first course is devoted to understanding and changing the perceptions we have about our bodies and the way they age. The foundation of the course is the Ayurvedic principle that “what you see, you will become”. Therefore, how we age is a reflection of how we perceive aging and our bodies.

Another key component of the course is differentiating between “chronological” age, or the number of years we have been alive, and the “biological” age, or the physical condition of our bodies. Chopra encourages users to create their Biostat – a biological age within 15 years of their current age that they want to be – and to condition their minds to make their Biostat a reality.

The segments of each lesson were a combination of polls, short quizzes, written passages and video clips of Dr. Chopra himself expounding on the concepts in the section. Zoomable images illustrated such ideas as the “subtle body” and reinforced the mantras that Chopra prescribes throughout the course. Mixed media made the entire course easier to follow and will serve a variety of learning styles.

While I realized rather quickly that I am not the target audience for this series of Siminars (the youngest biological age range presented was 30-39 and I am 27 chronologically), “Changing Perceptions” was nonetheless full of valuable information that is applicable to adults of all ages. We can all benefit from realizing the control we have over our own physical and mental health simply by virtue of how we see the world around us. I am going to complete the remaining five courses for my own benefit, and I highly recommend the series to anybody looking to take greater ownership of his or her well-being.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Shannon lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her husband, son, and two cats. When she isn’t reading, getting paid to play on social media, or running her own business she enjoys playing with her baby, cooking, and blogging at www.shannontrenton.com.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Deepak Chopra Siminars. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Review: The Never Never Sisters by L. Alison Heller

[ 5 ] June 20, 2014

never-never-sistersReviewed by Amanda Schafer

All families have secrets and most times the children in the family know that something is amiss but can never put their finger on the problem. Many times they find out the details after becoming adults and it causes them to remember various details and situations from their past in a different light. Regardless of the situation, the secrets nearly always affect their own marriages. The Never Never Sisters is a book all about family secrets and how they affect us as adults.

Paige always knew that something major happened with her sister Sloane when they were younger, because Sloane just disappeared from the family and no one spoke her name for 20 years. Now, out of the blue, Sloane has decided to come to New York and wants to see the family. But her return causes Paige to begin asking questions and trying to find out exactly why Sloane left and why she’s not been around since. Vanessa, Paige’s mother, is all in a tizzy about Sloane’s return and is working hard to get Paige and Sloane to spend time together and reunite as sisters.

During this time of Sloane’s return, Paige’s husband Dave is put on a sort of suspension from his job while an investigation occurs. Paige begins to suspect that Dave has been involved in illegal activities within his company so she hires Percy to do some investigating on his own into what’s going on within Dave’s company. Percy just happens to be the friend of Sloane’s fiancé, Giovanni, and Paige finds Percy to be extremely attractive and easy to talk to. Paige tries to continue her work as a marriage counselor, all the while recognizing the irony that her own marriage is crumbling.

Paige discovers things about her mother’s past and secrets her mother kept regarding Sloane that cause her to reevaluate all of her relationships. She sees Sloane in a new light and they begin to forge a new friendship. She realizes that her marriage was over long before this fiasco with Dave’s work. And Paige sees a strength in her mother she never realized was there.

The story within The Never Never Sisters was an interesting one, but the characters were not developed as well as they possibly could have been. There wasn’t really any depth to them. I actually thought the primary plot would be focused around Sloane and Paige becoming what they never could be as children, but really it was all about Paige becoming who she was really meant to be. The “sister” aspect was only a sub-plot. Not a bad thing, just not what I expected when I first started reading.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Amanda lives in Missouri with her engineering husband, two sons, and one daughter. In between homeschooling and keeping up with church activities she loves to read Christian Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and any Chick-Lit. She never goes anywhere without a book to read!

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by NAL. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Blog Tour: The Piano Player’s Son by Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn

[ 3 ] June 20, 2014

the-pian-players-son-v.8-flat-312x486Please join Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn who is touring the blogosphere with her book, The Piano Player’s Son!

Reviewed by Garret Rose

Anytime someone looks at an abstract drawing or painting, one feels like the picture changes a little every time they view it. Shapes take on different images and colors, and what you thought you saw the first time turns out to be a misinterpretation. Because of this, one must look, think, and rethink what it is they believe they have viewed. This is the case with The Piano Player’s Son, by Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn. Each time one sees the family and the members, the dynamics change. The abstractions shift and so do the ideas of the reader.

Isabel is heart-broken when her husband leaves her and takes their two children with him. To complicate her situation, her father, Henry dies. Henry was in every sense the family patriarch and immensely loved by his endearing wife Eva. Eva has no idea how she will carry on now that her sweetheart has passed away. George, a constant failure and the apple of Henry’s eye is crushed by the news. Grace, sometimes aloof of the family situation, flies from Ischia, Italy to be with her family in this time of grief. Finally, Rick, the eldest and egocentric son, tries to take over all of the affairs, whether or not the others agree. The piano, once played masterfully by Henry, will now become the center of the abstraction as it is the focal piece argued over by the two sons, George and Rick. However, once long-lost secrets are revealed, one learns that the piano is only a small piece of the abstract.

After the funeral services for Henry, the reader starts to see the unwinding of the family. The abstract image of a tight-knit and loving family soon falls by the wayside. Eva is more helpless than ever, Isabel is desperately trying to get her cheating husband back, Rick is dealing with his wife undergoing cancer treatment, and Grace is trying to escape the constraining life of her in-laws. George, who has finally found some success running an art school, wants the rights to the piano, much to the chagrin of Rick. Each character brings their heavy loads home and in a short time, each one has to face an impenetrable fate. Will the family survive once the secrets surface? The family drawing takes on a new image, one that begins to become ugly and dark. Will it ever be rosy and beautiful again? Can the drawing take on a new definition?

Stanberry-Flynn has written a well-paced drama. While some characters remain flat, the others become dynamic. Each one is followed and interwoven into the family fabric seamlessly. However, the melodramatic and violent ending didn’t seem to coincide with the rest of the novel. What was an engaging and interesting story was hijacked by a few pages of chaos that didn’t meld with the prior development. There was an abrupt nature with the climax and falling action that can lead the reader mystified. Despite this, the story and characters are worth investigating and thinking about. The images that the secrets revealed create a new and provocative picture. Nothing looks the same twice. Stanberry-Flynn creates an abstract that leaves one wanting to look at again, to see how their perception has changed throughout the story.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Garret loves literature! He is creating the Vernal Journal for his students as well as anyone else that is interested in literature – be it fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, or even miscellaneous! Garret’s goal is to share, review and make connections to the world and each other.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Cinnamon Press. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Review: Cure for the Common Breakup by Beth Kendrick

[ 4 ] June 20, 2014

18667977Reviewed by Lindsay Yocum

Summer Benson was positive about one thing. She did not want to be proposed to. Not by the gorgeous pilot, Aaron Marchind, anyway. But her feelings were left scattered when it happened. It could have been the timing–a terrible accident happened that left Summer feeling scared and alone. Now she really was alone, and after the break up and accident, she didn’t feel like being alone in her apartment. So she picked up and left with her eyes set on a place called Better Off Bed-and-Breakfast that was nestled away in sleepy Black Dog Bay, Delaware, a far cry from the hustle and bustle she was used to back home in New York.

Better Off Bed-and-Breakfast was run by the stern and often times very understanding, Marla. Marla set up her bed and breakfast to help those in need of getting over a bad breakup, and help women learn to live again and regain the self confidence that seems to dwindle to the last thread during such times. It was said that a woman knew it was time for her to leave and that she was “cured” of her break up when she saw a black dog running on the beach. It seemed like such a great little spot, I couldn’t help but thinking how amazing a place like this would be in real life.

Summer got out of the funk she was in after a threatening call from her best friend, Emily, telling her to get her act together. Summer did just that, and when she headed out into this whimsical little town, she made her presence known–in a good way. Summer is the kind of woman that speaks her mind and just rolls with the punches, and after standing up to the awful Mimi Sinclair, she kind of became the town hero. Everyone seemed to love her, except for Dutch Jansen, the town’s Mayor. Summer had a slight run in with his rose bushes upon entering Black Dog Bay, and he was very clearly not amused and not interested in Summer, at all. Or so it seemed.

It was all going so perfectly for a while until Dutch’s reelection is threatened thanks to bitter Miss Huntington who owns practically all of Black Dog Bay. She’s a women full of spite, and most of it seems to be directed towards Dutch and Summer’s flourishing new relationship. After a deal is made with Miss Huntington, will this be the end of her and Dutch? Would he ever forgive or understand her reasoning?

I give Cure for the Common Breakup a rating of 4–it was so funny and so easy to read. I was left swooning over all the characters in the book long after I had finished it. It was the kind of chick lit that women go crazy over. I know I did.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Lindsay Yocum resides in California with her 5 year old firecracker daughter, Bear, and her hilarious husband. She spends her free time traveling, baking, ruining DIY crafts she finds on Pinterest, and running, when she isn’t nose deep in a book.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by NAL. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Giveaway: The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett

[ 17 ] June 20, 2014

16158563I have a copy of The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett to give away!

Open to US and Canada residents only

About the book

Charlie Lovett’s spellbinding New York Times-bestselling debut is guaranteed to capture the hearts of anyone who truly loves books. The Bookman’s Tale combines the excitement of a centuries-old literary conspiracy with the touching love story of a shy bookseller.

In a dusty bookshop in Hay-on-Wye, Wales, Peter Byerly, a widowed American antiquarian bookseller, stumbles across a miniature portrait of his dead wife—but his wife died in 1994 and the portrait is clearly Victorian. When he tries to learn more about the watercolor, Peter is swept up in a web of mystery and intrigue and uncovers what could be the most important (and valuable) artifact in the history of English literature—a book that appears to have marginalia written by William Shakespeare positively proving the identity of the great playwright. But Peter is not the only person interested in the watercolor and the book. Framed for murder and with the killers on his trail, he is desperate to find out if the book is genuine or a forgery. Along the way, the reader is transported back to London in the late sixteenth century and the English countryside in the 1870s, finally discovering not only the truth about the lost book, but also about Peter’s own past and that of his beloved Amanda who died so young.

Fans of Diane Setterfield, A. S. Byatt, Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Joanne Harris—and anyone looking to embark on an exciting hunt for the “holy grail” of literary finds—will love The Bookman’s Tale.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Review: The Disease Delusion by Dr. Jeffrey S. Bland

[ 3 ] June 19, 2014

disease-delusion-book-coverReviewed by Poppy Johnson

Does your doctor truly know best? Or are you your best advocate when it comes to curing yourself of a chronic disease? The Disease Delusion gives readers confidence to – if not cure their most common diseases – understand the nature of their disease for better treatment outcomes. Chronic diseases are those nagging long-lasting ailments that we just wish would go away, but won’t anytime soon: heart disease, AD, depression, cancer and so on. Doctors treat acute (temporary types) of ailments with antibiotics, but our chronic diseases have paralyzed our country into a health crisis. Symptoms are often treated first with little concern about the actual root cause of the problem. Well, treating symptoms only will only get you so far…

According to Dr. Bland, if doctors practice a new model of functional medicine and strive to focus on causes of disease (instead of treating symptoms), we will be in the best position to break the disease delusion and finally address the epidemic of chronic diseases.

The book covers the context of chronic diseases, the seven core physiological processes (detox, defense, energy, etc.), a suggested plan to personally manage your own health and resources to follow a seven-day meal plan, as well as other resources for those looking for more information. Dr. Bland is the chairman at the Institute for Functional Medicine in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and recalls countless examples of how medicine will change and needs to change to prevent chronic diseases. For example, years ago people who had heart attacks were told to take it easy, but new research shows heart attack rehabilitation needs to include personalized exercise programs to prevent a second heart attack episode from occurring.

The information in the book is very insightful. It goes on to highlight beating bad health by altering our genetic expression (family gene traits) with early identification of disease risks and taking drugs to counter the ill effects of the disease before it comes. The role diet play for someone diagnosed with autism, and the health risks of common environmental toxins (such as BPA, the plastic toxin common in water bottles) and how to detox from them (consume green tea and soy) are all covered in detail. The book also explains how to combat autoimmune disease (with garlic and cranberries), and shows readers how to take a renewed interest in diets and nutrition. Dr. Bland closes with the good news that we can take back our good health with simple changes that will accumulate great results daily and reward us with a lifetime of better overall heath. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in living longer and healthier.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

After a decade of working in several NYC law departments and teaching, Poppy decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, and lives with her husband and sons on the East Coast.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by HarperCollins. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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