Inspiration and Motivation From My Bookshelves

In 1977, I purchased my first self-help book, Your Erroneous Zones by Dr. Wayne Dyer. Since that time, I have devoured hundreds (possibly thousands) of self-help books. Some I’ve purchased…others I’ve borrowed…some I’ve reviewed…many I’ve given away.

Continue reading on the Soul Mate Authors blog.


Happy Peace Day!

Established in 1981 by a unanimous United Nations resolution, International Peace Day (Peace Day) provides a globally shared date for humanity to rise above all differences and contribute to a building a culture of peace.

I’m sharing the lyrics and music of “Imagine,’ a song written and performed by John Lennon. The best-selling song of his solo career, its lyrics encourage us to imagine a world at peace.

Encountering Two Tigers

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

When I first read the following Zen parable, I found the situation too difficult–even bizarre–to even imagine. It gives new meaning to the expression: “Embrace the present moment.”

A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.

Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!

Looking for Guest Bloggers


Attention: Authors, artists, coaches, entrepreneurs, and New Age Practitioners. I’m scheduling guest posts for October through December. You can write your own post or contribute to one of the following series: Second Acts, Power of Ten, Author/Book Spotlights.

These are my guidelines. You can obtain a PDF here.

Second Acts Series

The theme of my novels and website is one of reinvention. In the Second Acts series, I have featured the reinvention stories of over 90 women.

You can provide your own post or structure it around the following questions:

1. Briefly describe your first act.
2. What triggered the need for change?
3. Where are you now?
4. Do you have advice for anyone planning to pursue a second act?
5. Any affirmations or quotations you wish to share?

Examples – Second Acts Series

Power of 10 Series

The posts in this series can pertain to your book or any aspect of your life. Some ideas include…

10 Interesting Facts About My Protagonist (Villain, Back Story…)
10 Tips About a Hobby or Special Interest (Parenting, Gardening, Yoga…)
10 Favorite Books (Movies, Actors, Foods, Quotes…)
10 Best Moments
10 Most Embarrassing Moments
10 Life Lessons from… (Mentors, Role Models, Heroes…)

Examples – Power of 10

Author Spotlights

Provide a short post about your writing journey.

Examples – Author Spotlights

General Details

In addition to the post, I will need your picture, book cover(s), social media links, other publications (and anything else you wish to share) at least three days prior to publication.


Contact me here.

James Frey Visits Kitchener

Friday evening, I attended “An Evening with James Frey” at the central branch of the Kitchener Public Library.

This Premiere Series event was well-attended by fans of the best-selling author of A Million Little Pieces, My Friend Leonard, Bright Shiny Morning, and The Final Testament of the Holy Bible.

His latest book, Katerina, was released last week.

Before starting to read, James warned us that parts of Katerina were extremely dirty and the book contained tons of profanity. In an interesting twist, he asked members of the audience, to suggest excerpts.

Afterward, Michael Patterson, Drugs Strategy Specialist for Waterloo Region, engaged James in conversation. It didn’t take too long before the conversation veered toward the controversy that had surrounded (and still surrounds) A Million Little Pieces.

A bit of history…

2003 – Random House released A Million Little Pieces, a memoir of drug abuse and redemption.

2005 – Oprah selected the book for her monthly book club. Over two million copies were sold within months of the announcement.

January 2006The Smoking Gun released a report discrediting James Frey and the book. The investigative website reported that much of the book had been fabricated, including critical details about Frey’s criminal record and rehab experiences.

At first, Frey defended the book, but as the accusations mounted, he was forced to make a televised apology on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Nan Talese of Random House admitted that the company failed to fact-check the manuscript. You can watch the entire show here.

February 2006 – Random House published and included a note from James Frey, apologizing for fabricating portions of the book, in later editions.

September 2006 – James Frey and Random House reached a tentative legal settlement. Readers who felt they had been defrauded by the book would be offered a refund.

Friday evening, James admitted that a brief unpleasant period followed the telecast of the Oprah show. He faced 17 class action suits and five lawsuits. After receiving death threats and dealing with constant harassment from the media, he left the country with his wife and one-year-old daughter.

In spite of the controversy and scandal, James has no regrets and wouldn’t do anything differently. A Million Little Pieces has changed many lives and given hope to addicts. Two audience members publically thanked James for writing the book.

During the Q & A period…

• James was inspired by Henry Miller’s controversial novel, Tropic of Cancer. After reading, James set himself the goal of becoming the most notorious author on the planet.

A Million Little Pieces was not an overnight success story. It took twelve years to write.

• James doesn’t fear failure. If something doesn’t work, he tries a different approach.

• While he finds much of contemporary literature boring, he did enjoy reading Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. He also reads thrillers.

• He believes that authors don’t take enough risks. Too many of them attend writing school (something that didn’t happen thirty years ago) and write what he calls “homogenized literature.”

• James advice to writers (and all creatives): “If you work hard and believe deeply enough, you can pull it off.”

• He gave the following advice to an audience member struggling with her memoir: “Call it a novel or hire a lawyer.”

• While James wasn’t involved in the filming of A Million Little Pieces, he thought it was awesome when he saw it last week at TIFF. The film stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, and Odessa Young.

Spotlight on A Reason to Stay

I’m happy to welcome author Linda Charles. Today, Linda shares her latest release, A Reason to Stay.


Rachael, a successful lawyer in Sydney, returns to her foster family and the only place that ever felt like home: Mindalby, to help with the failing family business, the town’s bakery. With the cotton gin’s closure, all businesses are struggling, and it looks like the only option is to close up the bakery and hope to sell. But when Rachael returns, she realises that her skills give her other options: refreshing and revitalising the bakery and a chance to rekindle her love of baking.

Irishman, Mike O’Malley is a staying kind of man, looking to settle down in Mindalby with a woman who loves the wild country and wants to get involved in the community. Rachael is not that girl, but the attraction is hard to deny. Determined to show Rachael that Mindalby can be a home, he draws her out into the community and deeper into his life. But when it comes time to make a decision, can he trust Rachael to risk her heart?


‘Sorry,’ she said. ‘I don’t play ball.’

He hugged the ball close to his chest. He understood that. None of his sisters were into sport either. But, he loved his sports; it was a major part of his life.

‘What do you play then? I’m up for anything.’

She rubbed her hands against the afternoon chill, as her clear blue eyes met his. His heart hammered. They were the prettiest eyes he’d ever seen, and if he wasn’t careful his concentration would take a serious hit, and he’d sound like some daft prick.

‘I’m not very sporty. How did they go?’

Mike shook his head. ‘Another loss,’ he all but whispered.

She gave him a soft smile. ‘Oh, that happens. Are you having a reconnoitre with them?’

His lips quivered, but he couldn’t hold back. He let out a belly laugh.

She’s gorgeous. A one-off.

Buy Links

Amazon (Australia) | Amazon (US) | Barnes & Noble

Author Bio and Links

Linda Charles is a contemporary romance writer who lives in Newcastle in the Hunter Valley, NSW. She was born and raised in Sydney where she studied and taught drama for many years. She loves to read, travel and enjoys a good conversation. Following a move to the Hunter Valley she started to write her own stories. Linda is a member of the Hunter Romance Writers, Romance Writers of Australia, and Romance Writers of America.

You can visit Linda at her Webpage; or follow her on Twitter; Facebook, or Pinterest

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest


Linda Charles will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Enter here.

Follow Linda on the rest of her Goddess Fish tour. You can find out more here.

You are Special – Don’t Ever Forget It!

On Wednesdays, I share posts, fables, songs, poems, quotations, TEDx Talks, cartoons, and books that have inspired and motivated me on my writing journey. I hope these posts will give writers, artists, and other creatives a mid-week boost.

After a disappointing experience, I like to reread this modern-day parable. It’s a great pick-me-upper!

A popular speaker started off a seminar by holding up a $20 bill. A crowd of 200 had gathered to hear him speak. He asked, “Who would like this $20 bill?”

All 200 hands went up.

He said, “I am going to give this $20 to one of you but first, let me do this.” He crumpled the bill up.

He then asked, “Who still wants it?”

All 200 hands were still raised.

“Well,” he replied, “What if I do this?” Then he dropped the bill on the ground and stomped on it with his shoes.

He picked it up, and showed it to the crowd. The bill was all crumpled and dirty.

“Now who still wants it?”

All the hands still went up.

“My friends, I have just showed you a very important lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20. Many times in our lives, life crumples us and grinds us into the dirt. We make bad decisions or deal with poor circumstances. We feel worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value. You are special – Don’t ever forget it!

Source: Livin3 Blog