Another Book Review

My second review is for “Oak” by Angela B. Mortimer. I am liking this author. Her work is imaginative and, in the end, hopeful.

Oak is a delightful mystery within a mystery. First we have the murder mystery—a young woman found in a small British village. We see the story through the eyes of Detective Chief Inspector Michael Campion, who finds the quaint village of St. Athelstan a bit creepy at first; but soon begins to feel very comfortable. Then the second mystery starts to unfold and the rest of the world gets pulled in.

It all moves to a surprising conclusion that is both frightening and hopeful. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good mystery.



Ok, so it’s been a while since I posted. I’ve been busy trying to figure out this “author” thing. I mean, my books get good reviews and one even won an award. However, sales are slow.

The fact that my “Redemption” series seems to have a small but enthusiastic group of fans makes me think that perhaps there are others out there who might like it too.

Here’s my plan. Feel free to tell me what you think.

  1. “Rebecca’s Initiation” (Redemption #1) is now perma-free on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobe and Scribd. Get My Free Copy Now
  2. “Rebecca’s Destiny” (Redemption#2) is now 99 cents on Kindle. However, next Friday and Saturday (March 11 and 12) it will be FREE for two days. Be sure to grab your copy. You won’t be sorry. Get My Copy Now
  3. I am running a Goodreads giveaway for Rebecca’s Destiny. Today is the last day. Enter The Giveaway
  4. “Rebecca’s Coronation” (Redemption #4) is available on Kindle and in paperback. I have reduced the price from $4.99 to $2.99. Buy Today
  5. You could join my Readers Group. You get a free short story just for signing up. Also, members get access to exclusive material and advance notice for new releases. Sign Me Up Now

So, that’s what I’ve been up to. I really hope you try my series.

Great News!!!

Pip the gnome here. I’m so excited! The next book in the Redemption series, Rebecca’s Destiny, is available for pre-sale on Kindle now and will be available for purchase on Monday. Check it out here:

To celebrate its release, the first book in the series, Rebecca’s Initiation, will be free all weekend through Monday.

I have to say they are both pretty good books, but I think Rebecca’s Destiny is the best one. It’s twice as long as the first one so there’s twice as much of me. What could be better than that? Of course you get to hear about Rebecca, Naomi, Cedric the dragon, Lancelot and all the old gang. There are some new fun characters too. There’s a big battle and plenty of other fun stuff. Get them while they’re cheap.

Oh, I almost forgot. Lancelot told me to tell you there a few lessons in there too. That guy is waaaay too serious.


The Mindfulness of Flying

I returned last night from Miami where I attended the Readers Favorite book award ceremony. I received the bronze medal for “In Pursuit of Joy”. I have to say that one of the best parts of being there was meeting the other winners. There were a lot of very interesting people there. Even though there were a few famous and nearly famous people there, there was a positive camaraderie that transcended age, experience or social standing. On the whole, it was a very positive experience. Many thanks to Readers Favorite for this experience.

But what I want to talk about is something I learned about flying. While I wouldn’t say that my “concern” about flying rises to the level of a phobia, I did always get a tingling in my gut when I looked out the window and couldn’t sleep on a plane because my anxiety caused me to have terrible nightmares. So, I tried an experiment.

Since I couldn’t get a direct flight to or from Miami I had four flights to work with. During the first flight to Charlotte I decided to direct my attention to the present–as in the mindful practice of observation. I reasoned that the panic that comes when you look down from 30,000 feet is about the possibility, no matter how remote, that you could fall and be killed–something that could happen in the future.

I discovered that by directing my attention to the present I could appreciate the beauty of the clouds and the earth below. By the time I got to Charlotte, the view was breath taking. The sun was setting behind the mountains, the few clouds present were all colors from purple to orange and the trees, unlike in Minnesota, still had their fall colors and the sky was a brilliant blue. Beautiful.

That worked so well that I did it again on the next flight to Miami. Soon it became automatic. When I left Miami for Dallas I didn’t even have to think about it. We flew along the coast of Florida for a while and it was awesome to watch. On the next leg to Minneapolis I found I was so relaxed I had a hard time staying awake.

Mindfulness is a wonderful thing.


Some News and Cedric Speaks

Greetings readers. I have news. First, the second book in the Redemption series, “Rebecca’s Destiny”, is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Here’s the link: “Rebecca’s Destiny” is a fast-paced adventure that picks up the story where Rebecca’s Initiation left off. We learn why Pan wants Rebecca dead. Rebecca travels to the Oracle to learn her destiny. There are new characters and a few surprises. My wife says it is better that the first one—and I’m sure she’s not biased at all.

November is going to be a busy month for me. There is the annual deer harvest. Then I will be traveling to Miami to pick up my Reader’s Favorite Bronze Medal for “In Pursuit of Joy”. Here’s the Amazon link: Then there is Thanksgiving. Also, I have begun work on the third book in the redemption series: “Rebecca’s Coronation”. Last, but not least, there are all the last minute preparations for winter. So, I have decided to let some friends of mine post for me. I’ll be starting with Cedric.

Hello, I’m Cedric. I suppose I should mention for those who don’t already know, I’m a dragon. I don’t want to brag, but I play a pretty big part in Rebecca’s stories. I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I must be the villain, or at least mean and scary. Nothing could be further from the truth, I assure you. Like I told Naomi, “I’ve never eaten anyone who didn’t deserve it.”

Anyway, I’ve been around a very long time and I’ve seen a lot of things. I believe people are basically good and I try to help whenever I can. Gary told me I had to keep this short today so I’ll just offer a small piece of advice: Living in the present moment is not the same as living for the present moment. Live in the moment.

Author News

I have several bits of news.

I will get the unpleasant news out of the way first. I have had to take “The Mindful Lifestyle” off the market for a while. Apparently the term “transcendental meditation” is trademarked by the Maharishi Foundation. At least that’s what their lawyers say. So I have had to remove all reference to it from my book. Revisions are currently at the publisher and I expect the revised edition to be out soon.

The good news is that “In Pursuit of Joy” has won the Reader’s Favorite Bronze Medal in the category of Non-fiction—Inspirational. I will be receiving my medal at the awards ceremony in Miami the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Since that is the week of the Miami Book Fair I will be visiting there also. By the way, there were over 450 entries in this category so I’m feeling pretty good about third place.

I have always thought “In Pursuit of Joy” was a pretty good book, but it is nice to get some objective validation. I encourage you to check out the reviews on Goodreads or Amazon.

My final bit of news concerns my new fantasy “Rebecca’s Initiation”. Last weekend I ran a free Kindle download promotion. People download 89 copies. At one point it was #7 in one category and #23 in another category on the “Top 100 Free Amazon Best Sellers” list. I am hoping for more reviews out of this. Reviews so far are good. Here is the link:




In Pursuit of Joy now an award winner!!!

Hurray!!! I just found out that “In Pursuit of Joy” has won the Bronze Medal in the prestigious Readers Favorite book awards!

In my category there were over 400 entries and I got 3rd place!

Here is the link to its’ Amazon page:

Also, I would like to remind everyone that my new fantasy, “Rebecca’s Initiation” is FREE to download on Amazon through Monday. It has gotten positive reviews so far.

Here is the link:

Also, I wanted to thank you all for your support.


Do you like fnatasies with strong, likeable characters, a playful gnome, fairies, elves and a dragon?

Then you will love “Rebecca’s Initiation

I really want people to read it, so I’m giving it away. You can get signed copies by entering the Goodreads giveaway: (Pay no attention to the cover on this page. It has been changed.)

Or, you can get the Kindle version free on Amazon this weekend. “Rebecca’s Initiation” will be free from Friday through Monday here:

Medications and Recovery

A couple of days ago I posted about depression. After I posted I realized that I hadn’t mentioned anything about medications. I suppose that is because I didn’t use medications in my recovery from depression. There are two reasons for that.

First, and foremost is the fact that I didn’t want to admit that I had a problem. I just thought I was stressed out. Interestingly enough, years later when I was the director of a residential treatment facility for mentally ill adults; I observed that many of my clients were of the same opinion. We have so stigmatized mental illness that people are afraid to admit they have it. We are afraid to ask for help. “I’m not mentally ill; I’m just stressed out.”

Second, when I was struggling the most there were fewer options available for anti-depressant medication. There have been many useful drugs developed in the last 30 years.

I did, however, use medication for anxiety. That medication was alcohol. I self-medicated my anxiety with booze. While I do not currently recommend this practice, and at the time I knew it was not a good idea—I did it anyway. I did it because I was fed up by being immobilized by anxiety in social situations. I will say that I did benefit somewhat by being able to practice my social skills while under the influence. The problem is, of course, I became an alcoholic.

I also used mindfulness practices to overcome anxiety. The effects last longer and there’s no hangover.

Knowing what I know now, I would recommend that anyone with depression and anxiety work with a good psychiatrist AND a good therapist. Medication will help with the symptoms while the therapist helps you figure out what is broken in your life and fix it.

I have seen several kinds of wrong thinking regarding psychiatric meds.

  1. “If I start I will have to take the meds forever.” I have seen many professionals tell their clients this. While it is sometimes true (particularly with bipolar or psychotic disorders), it is most certainly not always true.
  2. “When my symptoms go away I can stop taking my meds.” It doesn’t work like that. Mental illness is not a headache. However, once your symptoms are under control you have more internal resources available to work on your “true recovery”. Perhaps as you make progress on that you can work with your psychiatrist to reduce or eliminate your meds.
  3. “Taking psychiatric meds is the same as being chemically dependent.” I have heard this from people who are passionately devoted to the 12-step approach to recovery—like AA. My response to these people is that there is a big difference between taking a medication according to doctor’s orders and self-medicating. Taking meds as prescribed enhances recovery. Self-medication sabotages it