Category Archives: Books

Conflicted Hearts by D.G. Kaye is free on Amazon until 9/23

Author D.G. Kaye’s memoir, Conflicted Hearts, is free on Amazon Kindle until September 23rd, in honor of the upcoming publication of Book II, P.S. I Forgive You. Debby is very talented and insightful. Anyone challenged by an emotionally abusive relationship will benefit from reading these books…

news-alert-dgkIn honour of my upcoming new release, P.S. I Forgive You, I am putting Conflicted Hearts on FREE PROMO all this week starting today Monday September 19 through the 23rd.
My new book was originally intended as a sequel to Conflicted Hearts, but it is also a standalone because of the content – learning forgiveness for myself as a daughter of a narcissistic mother, for my decision to remain estranged from her as her death was approaching. And also forgiveness for my mother’s sins.
For those of you who would like to get a copy of Conflicted Hearts before my new book comes out in the next few days, I am giving everyone a chance to grab a free copy of the first book.

book-debby-conflicted-heartsBlurb:

A lifetime of guilt — What does it take to finally break free?

‘Somehow I believed it was my obligation to try to do the right thing by her because she had given birth to me. 

Burdened with constant worry for her father and the guilt caused by her mother’s narcissism, D.G. Kaye had a short childhood. When she moved away from home at age eighteen, she began to grow into herself, overcoming her lack of guidance and her insecurities. Her life experiences became her teachers, and she learned from the mistakes and choices she made along the way, plagued by the guilt she carried for her mother.
 Conflicted Hearts is a heartfelt journey of self-discovery and acceptance, an exploration of the quest for solace from emotional guilt.

Get this book FREE HERE  

Here are a few reviews:
5 Stars Engaging, Emotional Read
on September 10, 2016
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is part women’s fiction, part memoir. It chronicles the highlights (and lowlights) of a daughter’s life as she moves from co-dependence to freedom; from duty and obligation to choice; from emotional insecurity to a healthy emotional base; from fractured to wholeness.

If you think back to a sporting event you’ve attended, you may recall sitting on the sidelines cheering, booing, shaking a fist or clapping. If you’re in touch with that experience, then you’ll understand when I say that Conflicted Hearts is that type of read.

You’ll become a fan of Kaye, while sitting on the sidelines, reading her life story. You’ll cheer for her when she makes “good” decisions and boo when she makes “bad” ones. You’ll clap for her when she learns a tough lesson and frown when she cycles through the same issue. You will sigh, displeased when she reaches for familiar, but harmful behavior and rejoice when she demands to be treated as worthy.

One can’t help but become a fan of Kaye because she allows us full access to her experiences, her mind and her emotions. She withholds nothing, which was not only brave of her but also wise. It is her honesty, wisdom and courage that drew me in from page one and kept me invested until the end.

I found this a highly enjoyable read, very insightful, touching and well written with a satisfying ending. I don’t need any other reasons to recommend this book but I will say that I admire the cover. It artistically depicts the content and title. Truly a work of art from cover to cover and in between.

5 Stars A Journey of Personal Growth
on September 4, 2016

D. G. Kaye writes a compelling narrative about her narcissistic mother who whirled through Kaye’s childhood life like a tornado, prone to rages, self-absorbed, and unreliable as a parent. Her father was in and out of the household, his relationship with his wife volatile, and Kaye remembers dreading his next departure and worrying that he might not return at the end of each day.

It wasn’t until she turned 18 and left home that she was able to begin looking back at her life, evaluating the dynamics of her relationship with her mother, and making choices for her own well-being.

Conflicted Hearts doesn’t read as a story as much as it does a reflection on Kaye’s life and emotional growth. For those who grew up in emotionally chaotic households, the dynamics of blame and guilt will sound familiar. The constant worry, the burden of responsibility for siblings, and the desperate need to keep the peace will ring bells.

Kaye’s writing is candid with bits of humor and some light moments of joy in her journey of growth. The message of the book speaks to the strength of a positive attitude and outlook, and the role of forgiveness in moving forward.

If you love memoirs and reflections on personal growth, this book will hit the mark.

5 Stars Read this and then give it to a troubled teen–it’s not their fault
VINE VOICEon July 10, 2016
 The preview for the book reads: A lifetime of guilt — What does it take to finally break free?And that’s exactly what this story is. A young woman’s guilt over parents who couldn’t love her, a childhood that included none of the nurturing events so critical to children, and mistakes made by the child–because she was a child–which she believed caused her parents to be distant and uncaring. Add to this horrible mix heartbreak, abuse, an incurable immune-deficiency disease, and almost losing the love of her life.– thank God children are resilient. You will want to hug this child and tell her it’s just not her fault.

Told with DG Kaye’s typical honesty and openness, and a writing style that draws readers right into the emotion. Plan to give this book to anyone suffering from childhood issues that simply aren’t their fault and they can’t fix.

Conflicted Hearts on Free Promo Amazon – Grab your copy here and prepare for book II

 

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Greg Marcus

greg-marcusGreg Marcus, Ph.D. is a practitioner, facilitator, and innovator of American Mussar, a 21st century spiritual practice for an authentic and meaningful life. He has a Ph.D. from MIT,  has worked for ten years as a marketer in the biotech industry, and is the author of The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions: Finding Balance Through the Soul Traits of Mussar.

Welcome, Greg!

Tell us a little about yourself.  I am a regular guy whose life was changed by a spiritual experience 9 years ago. It didn’t seem like it at the time, but it put me on a path to where I’ve evolved from a marketing professional with a Ph.D. to a full-time writer, speaker, and spiritual seeker. What do I seek? A path to be the best person I can be. When I’m not doing those things, I am a stay-at-home dad. I have two teen daughters and two 7-year-old cats who are brothers.

What is the genre of your latest book, and who published it?  It is a book of Jewish spirituality, and the publisher is Llewellyn. Kabbalah, the more widely known branch of Jewish spirituality, is spiritual mystical. Mussar is spiritual practical.

Tell us a little about your book.  Mussar is a 1,000-year-old Jewish book-2-greg-marcusspiritual practice that teaches us how to find those things inside that cause us to get stuck, and it offers a practical step-by-step path towards balance and healing.

We all have what it takes to be a mensch, a person of outstanding character. What we lack is a guidebook, a set of instructions on how to conduct ourselves in everyday life. Mussar teaches us how to balance our soul traits, things like Patience, Humility, Trust, and Truth. Too much of a soul trait is just as bad as not enough. Too little Patience leads to anger and frustration; too much leads to staying in a bad job or relationship.

What inspired you to write it?  The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions grew out of a class that I created and taught for 3 years. Mussar is an amazing practice. It has changed who I am for the better, and I watched as dozens of others became better people.

greg-marcus-soul-trait-patienceIn the book, I share a story of how one person went from being a curse-at-everyone driver to being “the most polite driver in California.” How? When practicing patience, she decided to deliberately let every car marge in front of her. That decision transformed her entire experience of driving. The frustration and impatience were gone. I want to help others have a similar experience.

Would you tell us a little about Mussar?  Mussar is a practice that gives concrete instructions and guidelines to help you live a meaningful and ethical life.

The fact of the matter is that we all have issues, whatever our religion or level of spirituality. Mussar teaches how to find those things inside that cause us to get in the same situation over and over again. And it provides guidance for how we can begin to make small changes in our lives to help bring healing to the Soul through greater balance. Rabbi Elya Lopian (1876-1970) defined Mussar as “making the heart feel what the mind understands.” I love this definition, because so often we know what we should be doing, but we just can’t seem to make ourselves do it.

greg-marcus-soul-trait

When did you first start writing?  I’ve done some work-related writing over the years; I’ve created business plans, marketing plans, strategy documents, and an occasional case study. I started writing my first book in my early 40’s.

What authors have most influenced you? How and why?  Alan Morinis, one of my Mussar teachers, wrote the book Everyday Holiness that served as the foundation of my Mussar practice. Alan personally is an inspiration to me. He, like me, is an ordinary guy who entered on a spiritual journey after a rough time in the business world. Malcolm Gladwell, who writes about complex and counter-intuitive truths with a sense of wonder, has also been a great influence on me. I try to emulate his ability to present information in an accessible way. Also, I love the way Brene Brown shares her personal story in an authentic way that people can relate to.

What was the first book that touched you deeply?  Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, which I read the summer before my senior year in high school, influenced my evolving sense of identity and sensibilities.  I related to the protagonist’s struggle to be seen; the way the storytelling unfolded just blew me away.

What genres do you like to read?  I almost exclusively read science fiction for fun. I also read a lot of books about Mussar, spirituality, and Jewish wisdom.

How do these books affect your writing?  To me, science fiction is a liberating genre. Science and spirituality both concern a search for answers. When I’m reading Sci-Fi, I never ask, “Is that possible?”  We make assumptions about the universe that the author has created. When I wrote the Spiritual Practice of Good Actions, I offered readers four assumptions that summarize the backstory of thousands of years of Jewish wisdom. You may or may not agree with it, but if you assume it is true, the practice holds together. The books on wisdom and Jewish spirituality inform my own Mussar practice, which I in turn offer to my readers in a modern context.

Where do you like to write? Why?  My book exists in part thanks to every barista within 10 miles of San Carlos, CA. I do most of my writing at Philz Coffee. I love the energy, being around people, and the coffee is great!

What time of day do you like to write? Why?  I write in the morning. I drop off my daughter at high school, drive over to Philz, and write for 30-40 minutes. Sometimes I write later in the day, but a good focused half hour is much better than 2 hours of stop-and-go writing.

In what genres do you write?  I am a practitioner, facilitator, and innovator of American Mussar. I write non-fiction to help people on a journey of personal transformation. My first book was on work-life balance, and my second is on spiritual balance. Writing fiction is on my bucket list. Someday.

E-books or paper ~ do you have a preference?  I prefer to read paper books, but I read many e-books too, especially when I travel. I own hundreds of books and love seeing them around my house. My wife owns even more.

How and where have you marketed your work?  As someone who spent ten years as a professional marketer, I find book marketing much harder. I do a lot of Facebook marketing. I write blog posts and then boost them to my readers, and sometimes I target certain audiences who I think will like what I have to say.

I have a free quiz on my website that people love – you can get your greg-marcus-soul-trait-profile-quizown personal Soul Trait Profile and see your current balance across 13 soul traits. Most importantly, you get a cool graphic when it is over. Pictures communicate something on an emotional level that we don’t get from words.

 

Do you have other publishing credits?  Yes. In 2013, I self-published Busting Your Corporate Idol: Self Help for the Chronically Overworked. I’ve done a number of guest posts and articles for website publications. One of my more recent works is “Join the Mensch Movement” on Tikkun.org. I wrote about the Democratic sit-in at the House of Representatives, which was led by John Lewis. Lewis is a mensch because his work is about other people, not himself. And he practices so that when the difficult choice arises, he is spiritually ready to do the right thing.

What is your current writing project?  I don’t have a current project. I am starting to teach a class on Mussar parenting, and I  suspect that class will evolve into a book as well. The class is Mussar with a focus on particular soul traits relevant to parenting. There are many books and approaches on how to parent children. The challenge for us is, “How to we parent ourselves? How do we hold it together, to be less stressed and more patient?” I’m teaching this class because there are skills that I need to develop. As I facilitate, I learn. We all learn from each other.

If you have a blog, what subjects do write about?  In my blog, I write about my spiritual journey and the lessons I learn about the real world. Mussar involves everyday life, and when I observe that I am challenged in Humility, Truth, or whatever soul trait I am working on, I write about it. Sometimes it is very unexpected, like when I realized that my book was published on the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek. I am a lifelong Trek fan, and I even wrote about Star Trek in the book.

There is one episode in which Kirk is split into a good Kirk and an evil Kirk. The good Kirk is nice, but he can’t make decisions. The evil Kirk is confident and decisive but frequently harmful, because he is driven exclusively by his base and selfish desires. This reflects the conflict that goes on inside each of us. But we can’t get rid of our “evil” side because it is a source of strength. We need to guide it and channel it.

Where can your books be purchased?  You can find my books on Amazon and in bookstores like Barnes and Noble. You can learn much more about The Spiritual Practice of Good Actions on my website, AmericanMussar.com, but the site will send you to Amazon to buy it.

What advice would you give a new writer?  Find a community of other writers. Non-writers may not get why you do what you do, but other writers will. And they can be a great source of feedback and encouragement.

What do you wish to say to your readers?  We all have the capacity to be a Mensch, a person of outstanding character. We just need to learn to get out of our own way and journey towards personal transformation. Real, lasting change happens by a series of small steps. I heartily invite you to visit my website or to delve into my book to learn about Mussar.

*************

A heartfelt “Thank You” to Greg for being a guest on my blog. Learn more about Greg here:  Website   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Twitter  Facebook  LinkedIn

A Thriving Thursdays Introduction – Guest Post…

Teagans Geneviene serves up a little humor and advice, along with engaging trailers to her books, as a guest on The Story Reading Ape. Hop over and enjoy this delightful post 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Minion writing

I was delighted when our Ape in Chief invited me here to the tree-house to do a mini-series.  Those of you who know me, are used to seeing me write fiction for my blog, Teagan’s Books.  However, for these posts, I’m sharing my “office” side.  While it’s not part of my job at the moment, I’ve written a log of motivational messages.  I continued that via my LinkedIn blog where I do mini posts.

We’re inundated with  information. That can result in a lot of gigo… garbage in — garbage out.  Yet one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.  When I stumbled across this quote, I thought it was a little gem.  Let’s give it a try.

Make a list of things that make you happy.

Make a list of things you do every day.

Compare the lists.

Adjust accordingly.

Enough said.

Thank you, my dear Ape, for…

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Like my New Facebook Timeline Header?

The Story Reading Ape is an ardent and unflagging supporter of authors. He and his sister, Lorna, recently published their mother’s poetry, giving her a voice in the world posthumously. Hop over to Chris’ blog and check out the terrific reviews this book is receiving as well as the striking facelift he has given his FB cover image…

Smorgasbord Autumn Reading – Krishna’s Counsel by Mira Prabhu

I like to think of Mira Prabhu as a spunky visionary wielding ruthless compassion. Her books delight, mesmerize, enthrall, and encourage the soul to grow, if even a little. Catch this delightful interview on Sally Cronin’s blog…

The Negro Spiritual – A Historical Document – Guest Post…

Outstanding guest post by Yecheilyah Ysrayl on The Story Reading Ape’s blog explaining the power and significance of and the veiled messages within Negro Spirituals…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Blog Post 1

The so-called “slave songs” of the United States are best understood when they are considered as expressions of individual Negroes which can be dated and assigned to a geographical locale. They are, in brief, historical documents”. – Miles Mark Fisher, Negro Slave Songs in the United States

Go down Moses
Way down in Egypt’s land
Tell ole
Pharaoh
To let my people go!”

During slavery in the United States, there were systematic efforts to strip the identity of the captive. When the so-called African was taken from the West coast of Africa, it was not a simple transition of country, to ship, to land, but he had to undergo an entire initiation process before stepping foot on the plantations of America. His name, being the most important, was taken from him, followed by his way of life which was stripped from him, and his history book taken from…

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Cover reveal, memoir, book promotion, forgiveness, emotional abuse, P.S. I Forgive You, Amazon, D.G. Kaye

P.S. I Forgive You is D.G. Kaye’s compelling story of her journey from guilt through grief to forgiveness. If you’re seeking to heal from an abusive relationship, put this book on your “to buy” list for late September

#Sneakpreview – Cover Reveal – P.S. I Forgive You

book-debby-cover-revealAfter a long summer of being held captive in my little authorly world working on the upcoming publication of my newest book, P.S. I Forgive You, I am finally sharing the front cover of the book and the blurb.

I’m currently running through another round of my own proofreading after the final proof has come back from the editor. By week’s end it should be off to my NEW formatter, Jo Robinson to prepare the book for lift-off.

I’ll make no bones about it, this was a difficult book for me to write and have to re-read a gazillion times in the rewrite and editing stages. There were many times I had to walk away from it for a day because it was like reliving painful moments. But like an old quote says:  “You know you’ve healed when you can read your words and they no longer make you cry.” Truly, this book was therapeutic, and I hope readers can find some solace in their own lives in their own search for forgiveness.

So without further ado, I’d like to add this beautiful note my editor left for me after she finished editing. And the book cover and blurb follows:

View Original: D.G.KayeWriter

Source: Cover reveal, memoir, book promotion, forgiveness, emotional abuse, P.S. I Forgive You, Amazon, D.G. Kaye

The PTS Files – The Rorschach Test – Guest Post…

Are you a realist or a dreamer? Pragmatic or idealistic? Enjoy Phillip T. Stephens’ guest post on The Story Reading Ape’s blog 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

The Rorschach Test

Imagine yourself driving down a rural highway…

Imagine you and your lover, or a former lover, driving down a rural highway at midnight, a two lane highway with no illumination other than your headlights and the stars. The moon set an hour ago and the clouds drifted away.

You argue about how badly you mistreated his parents, boss, former friend or second cousin who hasn’t spoken to him for years. Or perhaps her head is collapsed against the windshield while she snores, and you can see a single drop of saliva rolling down her chin. 

This leaves you trying to tune in a late night ball game from the West Coast because even baseball is better than Tammy Winette singing “D-I-V-O-R-C-E” between occasional waves of static.

Suddenly she jumps in her seat, or he shakes his head, points to the windshield and shouts: “What’s that?”

You see three lights, two…

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7 Micro Windows into Krishna’s Counsel

mira prabhu

KRISHNA’S COUNSEL goes alive internationally today, September 3rd 2016!!! Here are the links, not just for this second novel in the Moksha Trilogy, but for the first, WHIP OF THE WILD GOD: A NOVEL OF TANTRA IN ANCIENT INDIA, which I recently took it into my head to burnish to a shimmering gold: 

Krishna’s Counsel on Amazon – getbook.at/KcOnAmzn
Krishna’s Counsel on all eBook stores – books2read.com/mpKC
Whip of the Wild God on Amazon – getbook.at/WwgOnAmzn
Whip of the Wild God on all eBook stores – books2read.com/mpWWG

These memes below were designed by my dear friend, Atul Mehta, using quotes I selected from Krishna’s Counsel. The strikingly beautiful cover is the work of Mishi Bellamy, artiste extraordinaire (see here).

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