Friday, March 29, 2013

Betrayal: Wounded Heroes Series Book 3 by Anne Patrick Book Blast and $25 Giveaway

Join Anne Patrick, author of the inspirational romantic suspense book, Betrayal: Wounded Heroes Series Book 3, as she tours the blogosphere March 18 through April 12 on her first Book Blast with Pump Up Your Book! Anne will be giving away a $25 Amazon GC/Paypal Cash to one lucky reader! To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form on the participating blogs below anytime during the tour and good luck!


Drew Presley's wife was murdered while he was serving his country in Iraq. Giving up a career he loved, he's returned to Dauphine Island to care for his son and try to make a new life for them. The unsolved murder of his wife continues to plague him. The islanders are very protective of their own and he fears a killer is among them. The more he searches for answers though the more dangerous it becomes. Just as troublesome is his attraction to his son's second-grade teacher. Trudy Walsh was Nora Presley's best friend so the bond she has with Nora's motherless child is only normal. What troubles Trudy is the growing feelings she has for Reed's father. How can she be so attractive to one man when Jack Diamond is all she's ever thought about? What secrets lie in Gianni's Cove, and what do they have to do with Nora's murder?
Purchase your copy:




Anne Patrick is the author of more than a dozen novels of Romance, Mayhem & Faith, including the award winning and bestselling WOUNDED HEROES SERIES, FIRE AND ASH, and TIES THAT BIND. Her books have garnered four-star reviews from Romantic Times, 'Top Pick' and 'Best Book' honors from Night Owl Reviews and Long and Short of It Reviews, and Five-Heart reviews from The Romance Studio. When she isn't working on her next novel she enjoys spending time with family and friends, and traveling to foreign countries to experience new cultures and adventures. Born and raised in Oklahoma, she now makes her home in Kansas.



Pump Up Your Book and Anne Patrick are teaming up to give you a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash!

Here's how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. This promotion will run from March 18 through April 12. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter and announced on April 13. Each blogger who participates is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog. If you would like to participate, email Tracee at tgleichner(at) What a great way to not only win this fabulous prize, but to gain followers and comments for your blog, too! Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Betrayal Book Blast


Participating Blogs:
Monday March 18 - Beyond the Books
Tuesday, March 19 - Review From Here
Wednesday, March 20 - Book Marketing Buzz
Thursday, March 21 - Authors and Readers Book Corner
Friday, March 22 - She Writes
Monday, March 25 - Bookingly Yours
Monday, March 25 - Cheryl's Book Nook
Tuesday, March 26 - Laurie's Thought and Reviews
Wednesday, March 27 - Maureen's Musings
Thursday, March 28 -Literal Exposure
Friday, March 29 - The Writer's Life
Monday, April 1 - Redroom
Monday, April 1 - Mary's Cup of Tea
Tuesday, April 2 - Blogher
Wednesday, April 3 - Allvoices
Thursday, April 4 - As the Pages Turn
Friday, April 5 - Literarily Speaking
Friday, April 5 - Waiting on Sunday to Drown
Monday, April 8 - My Book Addiction and More
Tuesday, April 9 - My Cozie Corner
Wednesday, April 10 - Janna Shay Fair Play
Thursday, April 11 - Plug Your Book
Thursday, April 11 - Self Taught Cook
Friday, April 12 - Between the Covers
Friday, April 12 - Splashes of Joy
If you would like to join this book blast, leave a comment below with email information or email Tracee directly at tgleichner (at)
Pump Up Your Book

Interview with Veronica Frances & Win Kindle Fire HD!

Veronica Frances is the pseudonym for a creative writer, residing in New York City. She has had a love of tickling for her entire life. She enjoys singing and writing songs. She also writes non-fiction and poetry.

Her latest book is Tickling Daphne H.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Tickling Daphne H. started out as a short story and then developed into so much more over time. The characters came to life and I really felt as though I needed to tell their story. I have always wanted to write a book of erotic fiction. Some of the ideas had been in my head for years, but a lot of the book unfolded right before my eyes as I was writing it.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

The hardest part for me was taking the story out of my head and putting it down on paper. In my head, the story was already writing itself. I think the hardest part about being a writer is taking the visions in our heads and making them a reality on paper for others to fully experience. My advice for other writers is to not rush the creative process. A story changes, sometimes day to day, and moment to moment. Take your time and let your creative visions unfold and never be afraid to change direction midstream, if the story calls for it.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

My publisher is Blue Note Publications and I have worked with them before on various projects.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

The sense of accomplishment was a big surprise, as well as the sense of power. Words carry power and being able to create a book over 400 pages gave me a huge sense of accomplishment.

Q: Can you describe the feeling when you saw your published book for the first time?

I thought to myself: Wow! I did that? Where did that come from? That large novel came from inside of me! I had finally written a book of fiction and I was truly elated.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I am working on several projects at the moment, but am not sure which one will stick.

Q: Fun question: How does your book contribute to making this world a better place?

I believe that the amount of laughter in my book definitely makes the world a better place. We all need to laugh more.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

I feel that we all need to stop hiding our fetishes and that our relationships would benefit greatly from revealing our inner desires. I believe that my book can help people with tickling fetishes feel more at ease about coming out in the open with their friends, partners, and most importantly, themselves.

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Thank you so much for this interview! I really enjoyed it!

And now for the GIVEAWAY!! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win a Kindle Fire HD!!
(Ends May 31, 2013)
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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

First Chapter Reveal: Giving Myself Permission by Pennie Murray


Can something as seemingly insignificant as a childhood playground game demonstrate how unconscious learning can impact your future success and personal dreams? Consider this: Mother, May I? Simon Says…. Red light/Green light. On the surface, these are just silly games. But their message resounds—do not act without permission; if you do, you are out! Oddly enough, many of us are still playing the adult version of these games. We wait for the green light from our parents, siblings, or others before we make a move. We depend on the opinions of significant others to determine the choices we make. In many areas of our lives, we do what “Simon” says at the expense of our authenticity. We play it safe. We avoid. We dumb ourselves down to pacify the egos of others. We act as if we don’t know what to do to change the negativity in our lives when, in fact, we do. Events that seem entirely innocent in fact have the potential to mark us for life. Giving Myself Permission: Putting Fear and Doubt in Their Place is a transformative, self-coaching book that will help to lessen the grip of the emotions that sabotage success, and end the addiction of seeking the approval of others.
Giving yourself permission is a pre-requisite for achieving success in any area of your life. Author Pennie Murray will guide you through a process of self-empowerment that shines a light on what is really preventing you from experiencing the quality of life you desire. Giving Myself Permission will help to reveal the negative conditionings that undermine your efforts towards success. Sifting through the clutter of learned inhibition and detrimental behavior to expose the real culprit behind repeated patterns of self-sabotage, this humorous, yet frank and inspiring book provides practical ways to challenge fundamental assumptions and basic thought processes. It also offers useful exercises that will awaken you to the depth of your personal value, reconnecting you with your potential and your purpose.
Addressing five emotions that frustrate and discourage our efforts towards success, Giving Myself Permission details three transformational shifts that will help you gain clarity and put fear and doubt in their place. Experiencing success in life, love, and purpose starts with giving yourself permission to do so. Read Giving Myself Permission and you will learn that these three words are more than a book title; it’s a higher level of living.
Purchase Link:


Giving Myself
Putting Fear and Doubt
in Their Place

Pennie Murray

Copyright © 2012 by GMP Publishing
Includes bibliographical references

ISBN-10: 0965194221
EAN-13: 9780965194228

all rights reserved. except as permitted under the u.s. copyright act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system without the prior written permission of the author.

unless otherwise indicated, scriptures are taken from the life application study bible, new international version®. copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by the international bible society. used by permission of zondervan publishing house. all rights reserved.

Library of Congress Control Number: 2012945924
GMP Publishing, Little Elm, TX

Chapter 1
A Philosophy in
the Making

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
~R. Buckminster Fuller

he foundation for the philosophy of giving myself permission was laid during one of my knock-down, drag-out fights with God! Yes, you read that right. You can call me arrogant, sacrilegious, gutsy, or just plain stupid, but I was none of those. During this particular fight, I had accused Him of being a liar. Not only that, I blamed Him for playing favorites between men and women, and among races.
It seemed a valid fight to me. Of course, I had been taught that God didn’t have favorites, and that He loved all of His children the same. Well at the time, I didn’t feel that was true, at least not for me. Today, I know better, but that day I felt like a stepchild who just never seemed to get the support, love, and attention the other kids were getting.
My talks with God are real conversations like the kind you would have with a person standing right in front of you. They’re not sugar-coated, and seldom are they done in the traditional way of bowing my head and falling to my knees. If you walked into a room while I was talking to God, your eyes would automatically scan the room in search of the other person in the conversation.
Anyway, I was mad as hell that despite my desperate pleas for God to help me, He wasn’t responding fast enough. Other times, I didn’t think He responded at all. Don’t you hate when He does that? You’re in head over heels, struggling to sleep at night, worried about how you’re going to make it out, and there He is seemingly twiddling His thumbs, or gone on an extended vacation. UGH!
Three years prior, I had lost my retail business of nine years. My home went into foreclosure. I was hiding my car to avoid it being repossessed. My bank accounts were frozen, and I was fighting two pending liens from the IRS. Not wanting to give into failure, I worked two jobs to get back on my feet, but things just weren’t turning around the way I needed them to. I was a single mom with two kids: an eleven-year-old son, and a twenty-five-year-old daughter who had a daughter and was trying to finish college.
Around this same time, several professional acquaintances had strongly suggested that I consider becoming a professional speaker, but I never really gave it any thought. Instead, I quit my second job, took what little savings I had, and started a business creating leadership development programs. After hobbling along for close to a year, I landed a big client that would put me on a sure path toward success. Life was good!
After two short months, I was blindsided when the client reneged on our contract. I had developed a special program to cater to their needs and already trained members of the company’s team. Suddenly the client terminated my services, claiming the decision was due to budgetary constraints. It added salt to the wound when I learned the company later implemented my program using their own people.
For a couple of weeks, I threw a major pity party by crying and feeling sorry for myself. I was emotionally exhausted and stayed in bed for days. Devastated, I barely ate anything or talked to anyone. Thank goodness my son had gone to stay with my daughter for the summer. She had finished college in Springfield, Missouri, and decided to live there, at least for a while. When I talked to them, I mustered enough energy to pretend that everything was great!

The Strength of Words
While I can’t remember my exact words to God the day I got really angry with Him, the gist of my accusation was that all my life I had been told by my mother that because I was a Black woman I would never be anything more than a peon. Though everything inside me completely rejected that nonsense, hearing those words over and over again subconsciously affected me.
SIDE BAR: It is amazing how a person’s words can have power over our lives. I believe words can either empower or defeat our efforts. Be careful about the things you give ear to. Like me, you may have been saturated with negative message that may have diminished your hopes and dreams. Often, the most hurtful and deflating words come from those you loved or respected — a parent, spouse, sibling, teacher, or friend.
When they spoke those words, you may not have given it much thought. But think for just a moment — do you sometimes hear a faint whisper of these words in your mind when you’re in certain situations? Do you find yourself believing some of the very things they said about you? Until now, you may not have consciously been aware that you have been harboring feelings associated with that particular moment in life.
If you think that perhaps negative words are having an effect on your progress, make a decision right now that you will forgive the person whose words have held you back. Then, replace the message they gave you with a positive message. For example, if someone said, “You will never amount to anything,” replace their words with a new message, like, “Deep within me is the power to be as I define myself and my life!” Or, perhaps they said, “You should have given up on that dream years ago. It’s too late.” Replace that message with something like, “I may have missed some opportunities along the way, but I choose to learn from those mistakes and move on. There is a definite plan for my life, and I intend to live for that plan and purpose!”
RESUME: Despite the negative words that were constantly spoken to me early on in life, I intentionally set out to make something of myself. I completed college, lived in the so called “right” neighborhoods, sent my children to the “right” schools, and socialized with the “right” people. I went to church, prayed, fasted, tithed, and gave to the less fortunate. In short, I dotted all the “Is” and crossed all the “Ts.” Even though I followed the blueprint for success, I wasn’t successful. My life was in shambles, and professionally — well hell, that didn’t turn out the way I planned either.
As if God didn’t know my situation already, I blurted every detail about the mess my life was in and reminded Him of all the work I had done to earn the privilege of having a better life. After all, I deserved every bit of the lifestyle I had been busting my butt to achieve. I insisted my overall experience as a Black woman and the persistent inequality Blacks endured, despite our efforts, just wasn’t fair. I went on to argue that I should never have had to suffer the absence of a healthy loving partner, the stigmas placed on me by both Black men and White society, and the consistent betrayals and emotional devastations that I was subjected to as a child.
As my anger surged and then peaked, I screamed, “God, You’re a liar and You play favorites! The Bible says You are not a respecter of persons. You rain on the just as well as the unjust. But what I see is Whites getting all the privileges and Blacks, well I guess to hell with us!  I’ve done everything people said I was supposed to do to be successful. And I’ve done everything to win Your favor. Yet I keep coming up empty handed, betrayed, and frustrated. I’m tired of picking up the broken pieces of my life! So tell me what’s going on?” I demanded.
If there was a feeling deeper than depression, I was feeling it. My life was so dark; I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face. I was convinced, more than ever, that God didn’t care anything about me. Before I knew it, I was in a full-fledged affront against Him.
Physically and emotionally exhausted, I heard God say, “It’s not Me, it’s you!”
Shocked and still pissed off, I responded, “What do You mean, it’s not You, it’s me?”
Then I heard Him say, “While you do have a lot of responsibility in your situation, I don’t mean ‘you’ alone — I mean ‘you’ as a human society — far too many people are locked in the residue of their past.”
This outrageous conversation, precipitated by my matter-of-fact, in-your-face attitude, led me on the most extraordinary journey of my life. First, I was eager to find out what God meant by me being responsible for my dilemma. Second, what was this residue of the past that human society was locked into?

Why Can’t I Stop the Madness?
As time went on, I began entertaining the suggestion my colleagues made about becoming a professional speaker. Just out of curiosity, I contacted a few public speaking seminar companies and within one month, I landed a job as a corporate trainer. Not having anything else to lose, I thought, What the hell? It can’t get any worse. I actually did begin speaking professionally, not because it was an intentional career move, but because I needed a job.
A year passed and things seemed to be leveling off financially. My head was beginning to clear. Over the course of time, I met a man who pastored a church. He seemed really interested in developing a relationship with me. Within six months, he asked me to marry him, and I graciously accepted.
Since my job as a corporate trainer required frequent travel, he insisted that I quit. He argued that a pastor’s wife needed to be available at all times to assist with ministry work. It sounded rational, and as you might suspect, I quit my job to fulfill my role as pastor’s wife. As the old adage goes, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Within the first month of our marriage, the good pastor became physically and emotionally abusive. Rather than entering into a marriage, it seemed I had entered into the ring to spar with an aggressive boxer. Then, as if things weren’t bad enough, I discovered he wasn’t legally divorced. Here we were three months into the marriage and we weren’t even legal! Can you see where this is headed?
The what else could go wrong? list kept growing. This man, whom I thought I loved, stole large sums of money from me and pawned my jewelry. I simply couldn’t believe that my life had taken such a downward turn. Devastated, I had to find a way out of that nightmare and somehow regain my dignity and sanity.
At the same time, life had presented my daughter with her own set of challenges. It seemed as though she was repeating my life patterns, because she too had become a single parent of two children. Eventually, she moved back home and we worked together to get over our hurdles. Months passed, and even with the two of us working long hours to get ahead, we were barely able to make ends meet.

An Unexpected Journey
By the time God revealed the philosophy of learning to give myself permission, I had gone back to conducting public speaking seminars for corporate professionals. It had been four years since my failed marriage to the pastor, which not only created heartbreak, but financial setback. I had decided to embrace the gift and talent of touching people’s lives through words.
My hope was restored, and I had set my sights on becoming the next great speaking sensation. But with this grand idea came a bigger problem — I had no idea how I was going to accomplish the goal.  So, when a colleague sent me information about a weekend retreat designed to help small business owners and entrepreneurs market themselves, I jumped at the opportunity. The event was held in La Jolla, California, and seemed like the perfect solution to help make me visible, busy, and booked!
It was November 2001, and the purpose of the retreat was to bring together a small group of entrepreneurs who had become stagnant in their efforts to move to the next level of success. The location overlooked the Pacific Ocean and was simply fabulous! We were all invigorated by the view. And certainly the presenter had done an outstanding job of inspiring us to refocus and pursue our dreams. During the conference, participants engaged in passionate discussions that produced tears, hugs, prayers, and major breakthroughs. Then — too soon, it seemed — the weekend ended.
There was no doubt our passion had been rekindled. We were headed toward the next level of success! As we said our goodbyes, a few of us lingered in the corridor of the facility and continued to talk about our weekend experience. We shared how the feedback from other creative, like-minded people had been simply stimulating.
After awhile, the pleasantries began to fade and the conversation began to echo the exact same conversations we had when we first arrived. Somehow we slipped away from the talk of hope and possibilities and reverted to doubt and impossibilities. It was almost as if we were openly reaffirming our loyalty to remain restrained by our limitations.
I chuckled and said to myself, Wow! We managed to spend an entire weekend making a 360 degree turn — only to end up exactly where we began — stuck in our own private hell of limitations and inhibitions. You know how it is. Sometimes we do things in life that are so asinine or bizarre that the only thing we can do is laugh. Any attempt to explain it would create even more confusion. This was indeed one of those moments.
My flight home was scheduled to leave in a few hours, so I said my final goodbyes, retrieved my luggage from the hotel bellman, and took a cab to the airport. As I waited to board the plane, I resolved in my mind that the retreat had only been a temporary mental departure from a darker reality that none of us wanted to acknowledge. It seemed our reality was far bigger, stronger, and more sinister than any pep rally weekend could change. I had experienced this feeling before. All too often, throughout the course of my life, my efforts to move ahead were met with criticism, and even ridicule, from others.
In retrospect, I realized the taunting didn’t always come from other people — most often it came from my internal self. However, when it did come from others, it was as if I somehow gravitated toward the negative words spoken about me. My pathetic attempts to break free from the mental and emotional self-sabotage seemed to intensify the abusive self-talk.
Over the years, I learned the only way to silence the taunting was just to be content with mediocrity. Unfortunately, for me, this method rarely worked because whenever I gave in to my negative thoughts, my passion and desire to pursue my full potential would rise up to haunt me. For as long as I could remember, I had lived in a constant internal tug-of-war between my potential and this dark feeling that I just couldn’t seem to shake.

The Awakening
I boarded the plane and was waiting for takeoff. Reluctantly, I had decided to pamper myself and fly home first-class. Fighting to keep the internal lunacy of negative self-talk at bay, I thought again about the group of strangers I had just met during our weekend retreat. The more I reflected on our conversations, the more I began to realize that the reasons we gave for not fully committing to our dreams were nothing more than a charade. It was just a pretense to disguise all the internal fears and doubts that were controlling our lives. In other words, the phony excuses that may have seemed logical and valid to the average listener were simply a cover-up for the subconscious, and often less credible, reasons that were holding us back.
For instance, one of the countless reasons I gave for not fully committing to my goals was I didn’t want to neglect my children by not being there for them. Using this excuse kept me from feeling guilty about not fulfilling my purpose. What excuses are you using? Do you think it’s too late? Are you procrastinating because you don’t have enough experience, or the right connections? Perhaps you’ve been delaying going back to school to get the degree you need to obtain a greater quality of life because you’ve convinced yourself you don’t have the time, money, or support.
Or, is your excuse similar to mine — your loved ones (mother, father, son, daughter, spouse, etc.) — need you? Whatever your excuse, I’m here to tell you that it’s time to give yourself permission to live through your potential. As I pondered why I was once again beginning to talk myself out of advancing my life and career, I was interrupted by the flight attendant. She asked if I wanted a glass of wine. Exhausted, I said, “Yes, a Cabernet please. I really need one.”
“Rough day?” she asked.
“No, just overwhelmed with reality,” I replied in a tone of accepted defeat.
As I enjoyed the subtle aftertaste of berries, plums, and ripened grapes, I watched passengers board the plane. I wondered just how many of them were disguising secret fears and doubts. Were they feeling hopelessly locked into the day-to-day routine of merely existing? I wondered. If someone asked, what superficial excuses would they give for not going after the bigger things in life? What were their internal hang-ups? Was it the idea of failing, succeeding, or never trying?
I began having another mental conversation with God. Our talk quickly escalated to an intense, passionate plea. “God!” I cried, “I just spent three days with a group of people who were as lost as I am. Yes, the retreat helped reconnect me to my dreams and passion; and yes it was rejuvenating. But the plane hasn’t even left the ground yet, and I have already thought of a half-dozen reasons why I would never be able to implement any of the information learned. God, I really want to know why this keeps happening. Why can’t I break free from the internal heckler that keeps me focused on the limitations and impossibilities of life?
The announcement blasted over the plane’s audio system that the doors were about to close. So I handed my empty wine glass to the flight attendant, adjusted myself, and buckled my seatbelt. For a moment, my internal chatter settled down as I watched the flight attendant demonstrate the in-flight safety procedures.
As the plane ascended, I began feeling a sense of comfort in the puffy, white billows of clouds outside my window. The view was tranquil and relaxing. But instead of indulging in it, I became frustrated about the idea of returning home a failure. After all, nothing had really changed.
All the encouragement I had received during the retreat to embrace my passion meant very little in the scheme of things. No matter what I did, things would still be the same. Living my passion, accomplishing big things, having a purpose, experiencing success, hell, that’s for special people, I thought. And I ain’t one of them!
Suddenly, I felt overwhelmed by feelings of intense sorrow. Tears began to run down my face and I cried uncontrollably. Once again that dark “something” that is always hovering over my life took possession of my thoughts. Every time that happened, my efforts fell flat and I continued living a mediocre life. I was mourning another failed attempt to break free from the internal chains that kept me in my limited existence.
Every link of the chain had been forged over the years by the sadistic reminders of what I couldn’t do because of my race or gender. Now the painful thoughts that fortified this chain were reverberating in my mind. Every negative word that had been said to me over the years began to flood my mind. Things like:
“You’re a peon, and you’ll always be a peon.”
“You need to learn how to stay in your place.”
“You have a Champagne mind, with a soda pop purse.”
“You’re just like your damn daddy. He ain’t shit, and you ain’t gonna be shit either!”
“Women are supposed to be seen, not heard.”
“No matter how much education or money you have, a Black person will always be less than everybody else.”
“Get your head out of the clouds and face reality. Ain’t nothing special about you?”
“If God wanted you to have better, you would have it by now.”
“If your prayers are not being answered, then you’re not praying hard enough, fasting long enough, or paying enough tithes.”
 “A Black person can’t, and a woman never will.”
The rattling of each link in this chain grew louder and louder, and I couldn’t make it stop! I felt an excruciating pain in my heart, but I couldn’t scream. It ached to the point of nausea. My sadness became more intense and the tears flowed incessantly. I wished that I could forcefully vomit out all the negative and malicious words locked inside my head, and the memories attached to them. Then I could be free from the darkness inside me that was always waiting to kill my hopes and sabotage my efforts. I kept thinking, If only I could throw up!
Having no control over my emotions, I continued to stare out the window of the plane, thankful that no one was sitting next to me. I figured that if the other passengers noticed me crying they would think it was because I had left a loved one behind.
My mind began to shift back to my conversation with God and why this one-step-forward, three-steps-backwards dance keeps happening. I also wondered again what God meant by me being responsible for my dilemma. I demanded that He tell me WHY? Why did success in life and love always seem to elude me? Why did I have to fight for everything I had, and still come up short? Why did I identify more with a victim mentality, and less with the mind of a champion? WHY?
Just as quickly as the crying started, a silent calm came over me. The disparaging thoughts had instantly vanished. A rare, indescribable peace swept over me. What just happened? I wondered. Maybe I had just experienced a momentary, psychological meltdown. Hell, maybe I was bi-polar and didn’t know it. I’m sure if a psychiatrist had observed my actions and heard my thoughts, he or she would have been writing me a prescription and scheduling my next appointment.

The Word is Given
While drying my eyes, I looked again at the billowy clouds. Then a word came over me so swiftly and powerfully that it literally shocked me. It was compelling and clear-cut. Yes, I had demanded an answer from God, but in all honesty, I didn’t expect to get an answer — well not right then. I was used to having to wait sometimes weeks or months for any kind of clarity of thought or wisdom. Sometimes, I didn’t get an answer at all. But it appeared this time I got the answer I needed just when I needed it.
I referenced an African proverb in the introduction, but it’s worth mentioning again: “When you understand the whys of life, you can endure any how.” The word God gave me helped me to better understand why I had unintentionally been sabotaging myself and living in mediocrity. It also gave me wisdom to finally move out of my own way and into a more powerful state of being.  The word I heard was “PERMISSION.
It came over me with such conviction that I said aloud, “WHAT?” Then I heard Him say the most astonishing thing: “It’s because you won’t give yourself permission to see a better reality for yourself. To be, do, think, or expect anything different. You would rather live imprisoned by your weaknesses, fears and inhibitions than give yourself permission to live freely in your possibilities and divine potential.”
Taken aback by the whole experience, I responded, “Oh, my God — that’s it!” (In fact I said it three times). It made sense. I had never, ever given myself permission to be or do anything other than live under the influence of the negative conditioning or experiences that had dictated my way of life. I had rarely challenged the status-quo, and when I did, I was riddled with guilt and a host of fears.
I immediately began to feel a release in my mind, heart, and spirit. Joy overtook me and my tears turned into laughter. It was truly an “awakening.” I would finally be able to live free of the internal torment that had undermined me practically all my life.
Totally oblivious to the things going on around me, I looked up to find the flight attendant standing in front of me with another glass of wine. It was as if I had actually asked her for it, but I hadn’t. As though she was aware of what had occurred, she handed me the glass of wine and with a gentle, affirming smile she looked me in the eye and said, “Reality is never as bad as it seems — is it?” Before I could answer, she walked away. Talk about God making a point! I’m convinced He used the flight attendant that day to reinforce that the Universe would work in harmony with me once I gave myself permission to be and do things differently.
For most of my life I had felt all alone, but something had just happened. A switch had just been flipped to the “on” position and I realized God has always been there. He heard me! He actually heard me, and He did care after all!
For the rest of the flight, my heart and mind raced with excitement. I had a ton of questions about this whole permission thing. I wanted to know what it meant to “give myself permission.” Was this some kind of newfound freedom? Would it be a whimsical free-for-all, an excursion of self-absorbed indulgence, or something completely beyond what I could comprehend? And if so, how would I learn it? Would there be principles to follow, steps to take, and how drastically would my life really change as a result of giving myself permission?
By the time the plane landed, I was ready to move full-speed ahead with the notion of giving myself permission. That day I was determined to share this new epiphany with everyone I met! And so my journey into exploring the self-permission concept began.
Not really knowing how to give myself permission, I tried everything from chanting daily mantras and affirmations to fasting, to taking spiritual sabbatical, to attending psychological counseling. I practiced the laws of attraction and took advice from life coaches. You name it, I tried it. Yet, when the cloud of euphoria cleared, I realized I was no closer to understanding what giving myself permission really meant. In fact, I was still burdened by the destructive habits of self-doubt and apprehension. However, I clung tighter to the notion of permitting myself to do, be, and think differently.
In my quest to give myself permission, I came to understand that I had failed to consider the mental conditioning I attained while growing up. Up until this point, I had subconsciously reinforced this mental conditioning by giving into my fears and inhibitions. It was a mindset that relegated me to a life that was defined by the deeply-rooted restrictions and limitations set by others. There I was, contemplating the unthinkable — to go against everything I had ever been taught, and instead of seeking approval from others I would now be self-approving. I would be “consciously” making the final decision.
Because my perceptual and emotional foundation had been distorted by years of abuse and was in need of major renovation, I misinterpreted situations, had unreasonable expectations, and often felt hurt or disappointed by the outcome of my efforts. I was quick to assert my control, set unreasonable boundaries, and in some cases, be overly self-protective. Somewhat frustrated by all the time I lost in previous years, I wanted to rush the journey of learning to be more self-approving. Bad idea!
A complete novice, I did a lot of things wrong, like writing my first book too soon. It was my first major attempt to introduce this philosophy. While I meant well, I was quite naïve in my timing and my understanding. The idea was relatively new then, and I really needed to have practiced the concept longer so that my readers could benefit from my trial-and-error experiences. If you read my first book Giving Myself Permission: The Simplest Path to Successful Living, you might have noticed that some of my thoughts were fragmented and disjointed. For that I apologize. In my pursuit to understand, I gained a greater sense of respect for the experience and the action of giving myself permission, and learned valuable lessons along this journey.
Since the inception of this philosophy in 2001, I have evolved in my understanding of what it really means to give myself permission. My experiences have taught me so much more than I can present in one book. In this book, I maintained the original integrity and purpose of the first book. I have even used some of the original content, but I’ve integrated new lessons learned over the years. In this journey I have come to the strong belief that giving yourself permission is an absolute prerequisite to achieving anything of value and meaning in your life. Without it, little if anything is possible. I will go so far as to say that we can’t truly receive the fullness of God’s love, until we give ourselves permission to. This is a truth I have lived.

Attitude is Everything!
The philosophy of giving yourself permission is grounded in theoretical research and exploration. In the first part of this chapter, I explained the origin of the self-permission philosophy. In the remaining portion, I will lay out a model that will help you to develop a mindset for giving yourself permission in life, love and success.
In my attempts to practice self-permission, I discovered something else. I call it “self-work.” I define it as the intentional, sometimes unplanned, act of soul-searching — examining your motives and methods and then telling yourself the truth in order to make positive changes and better decisions in life. To make the necessary changes in my life I had to exert some real effort to find out first “what” caused me to act and think the way I did. The process I am about to share with you helped me to accomplish that goal.
Self-work involves making small mental steps toward change. In other words, you must adjust the way you think. First, you must acknowledge the truth concerning many areas and things in your life. Second, you must have the courage to re-evaluate the attitudes and perceptions you have about yourself. Third, you must permit yourself to let go of things, people, and situations that cause you to betray or sabotage yourself. I’ll get into the specifics of doing your self-work in the next chapter.
When I became serious about changing my life so that I could be successful, I had to make three mental shifts. I’ll also discuss each of these in the next chapter. One of the ways I limited my success was by failing to prepare mentally for the success I wanted. In most cases, people have to engage in a type of mental preparation before they begin working toward their aspirations. Failing to do so will always result in temporary success. In other words, a person may be able to attain the goal he or she desires, but is unable to maintain it long-term because their unconscious attitude or mindset doesn’t match their conscious wants.
Many of our failed attempts at success occur as a result of a restricted mindset. We all want to be successful, but we’re not all able to handle it once we get it. How many times have you heard rag-to-riches-to-rags stories about people who finally achieved the success they wanted, and one self-sabotaging act caused them to lose it all?  It happens in business, relationships, and even personal goals like losing weight, buying a house, or letting go of defeating behaviors. For example, people subscribe to a particular diet, lose the weight, and then gain back more because they adjusted their mindset for temporary change, instead of a lifestyle change. After they lost the weight, they went right back to their old habits.
The same thing is true when it comes to buying a house. A person saves up enough money to buy the house, but they fail to realize that it will take more than a monthly house payment to manage it. Ultimately, they lose their homes because they carried their apartment mindset into their new home and lost it all!
I have heard people say, “You can take the person out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the person.” Another saying goes, “You can take the person out of the ghetto, but you can’t take the ghetto out of the person.” The undertone of both these statements that applies to every area of our lives is you have to transform your attitude and mindset if you want to change the results you get in life.
Whether your goal is to be successful in improving your quality of life, getting or maintaining love, or fulfilling your life’s purpose, you have to cultivate a fertile mindset that will sustain the success you desire. By taking the time to do your self-work— changing your attitude about success — you will have a more confident and deliberate start. You will also avoid the unconscious tendency to sabotage your efforts, and experience greater results!

Self-Permission Challenge
For your first challenge, I want you to accept for just five minutes that it’s “possible” to put the fears or doubts you have in specific areas of your life in their place. Start by selecting the simplest area of your life that you want to experience success in. After you have identified that area, answer the following questions:

1.   What is most gratifying to you about the positive choices you’ve made in this area of your life?
2.   When you have experienced success in this area what do you attribute it to?
3.   What in this area is important for you to keep, strengthen, or preserve?
4.   Without considering any limitations, what would you like to happen in order to achieve success in this area?
5.   Considering your responses to the first four questions, what is one small step you can make today that will get you closer to the outcome you want in this area?

There is no time span as to how long you work through this challenge, so don’t rush this process. This is all about allowing yourself to just experience the possibilities in your life.


Pennie’s various careers as a police officer, radio talk show host, business owner, and seminar facilitator have shaped her passion for helping others experience their brand of success. She is a speaker, certified NLP coach, author, and the creator of the Giving Myself Permission (GMSP) Movement and Emotional Clarity Workshops™, which help individuals manage the feelings and emotions that frustrate their efforts towards success. With additional certifications in conflict mediation and emotional intelligence, Pennie also coaches individuals to help resolve the internal conflicts that sabotage their efforts towards a greater quality of life. Pennie is the author of the book, Giving Myself Permission: Putting Fear and Doubt in Their Place and the audio CD Asking for Richer Ground: The Power of Your Words.
For more information about Giving Myself Permission: Putting Fear and Doubt in Their Place please visit the website at or contact Pennie Murray at 469-525-1156 or


Monday, March 25, 2013

First Chapter Reveal: Revelation: The Return of Mr. Breeze by Morrie Richfield

Genre: Inspirational Fantasy  
Author: Morrie Richfield  
Publisher: Morrie Richfield



Mr. Breeze is back; so is Michael Ryan and Rover, the magical dog.
MR. BREEZE fans can rejoice. REVELATION, Morrie Richfield’s much-anticipated sequel to his novel MR. BREEZE, has arrived. Readers new to the strange but inspiring tale of a super being and his attempt to set mankind on a straight and moral path for its very survival can immerse themselves in what critics and readers alike are calling an “inspirational fantasy” with important lessons for all of us.

In MR. BREEZE, published in 2011, Richfield introduced readers to Zackary, aka Zack, aka Mr. Breeze, an ancient being who claimed to be mankind’s creator and who still exerts a powerful force on the human race and its very existence. Zack appeared on earth as a powerful man who did miraculous deeds. He chose journalist Michael Ryan to tell his story in a book that, he hoped, would show mankind how to stop its self-destructive ways and bring paradise on earth. With man’s fate hanging in the balance, Zack disappeared, leaving humans to their fate and Michael wondering what his role really is.

REVELATION moves the action two years into the future. The situation looks bleak. Mankind has slipped back into its old, destructive ways and Michael has become a dissolute recluse. There are people who view Michael as a savior and others who see him as a threat to be eliminated.

Along this strange trip, Michael meets new friends and reunites with old companions, the most significant of which is Rover, an abused dog whom Zack endowed with superpowers. Rover becomes Zack’s messenger to Michael, as Michael tries to get Zack’s original message out to the world: If mankind doesn’t straighten out, he will destroy the human race.

Richfield plays down the description of REVELATION as an “inspirational fantasy.” He calls it a “self-help book, a textbook, a reality series on paper. It is what we see when we look in the mirror.”
If MR. BREEZE focused on Zack and his message, REVELATION focuses on Michael, following his struggle to understand his role in Zack’s master plan and to find his soul, Richfield says. “Michael’s final revelation is that we just don’t learn. Without the threat of destruction, we go back to our old ways. Our time is almost up and we need to do something. We need to show Mr. Breeze the human race deserves a chance to continue to exist.”


Chapter 1

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Yes, it is me, Michael Ryan. I’m sure you remember me. After all, for a short time, I was about the most famous man in the world. For those of you who have forgotten, let me fill you in on what has happened in the two years since I last saw Zackary Breeze and Rover.

Of course you must remember Zack Breeze and Rover. Zack as he called himself is this time is our maker. He cured our diseases told us our religions are nothing but of our own making and turned a normal German Sheppard dog whose name is Rover into the second most powerful being on the planet. Let’s not forget that he used me to write his story and threatened our immediate destruction should I refuse.

I wrote the book that Zack asked me to write. It sold more copies than any book in history, and you all read it. I was oh so pleased with myself. I was rich, famous, and revered. You could not open a newspaper or magazine without seeing my name in it somewhere. It was my fifteen minutes of fame, so to speak.

For a time, there seemed to be hope in the world. The wars and fighting stopped—it was as if no one knew if the next shot fired would be the one that would bring the human race to an end. People seemed to like that I was somehow partly responsible for all of these remarkable things that had happened. I was admired by many, but what I did not know at the time was that I was hated by an equal number.

It seemed that once people heard Zack’s words, most of them stopped going to churches, synagogues, mosques, or any public place of worship. They prayed on their front yards and in alleys and at any time they felt the need. Only now, they prayed to Zack, and a somewhat zealous few even prayed to me.

For those fanatics, you see, I was the messenger of God. Through me, they thought they could find salvation, and, boy, did they try. They camped out on my street, in my yard, and even in my neighbors’ yards. They also built structures to honor me out of stuff from my trash and the trash of everyone else on the street. As you can probably imagine, my neighbors were not pleased, and neither was I. I was like a movie star; I couldn’t go out in public without paparazzi on my tail and people asking me to touch them. My fifteen minutes of fame had turned into twenty-four hours a day of hell.

Then the reaction from the religious community came. They finally realized that without worshippers and money, they would not survive. For them, Zack meant the end of their existence, and I became their target for retaliation.
“The devil comes to us in many forms” became their rallying cry, and as for me, I became the devil’s minion. I guess I couldn’t blame them for trying to bring their followers back, but I was astounded by how many people believed them. They quickly forgot what they had seen and what Zack had done. They even managed to convince the majority of the world that Zack cured all of their diseases just so he could fool them into thinking he was our maker.

Let’s also not forget how the pharmaceutical companies chimed in. After all, no more diseases meant no one needed medication, so no more business. They jumped right on that bandwagon and within a few months had almost everyone believing their miraculous cures were temporary. So back on the drugs they went, and back came the profits.

I suppose I should have expected there would be some reaction; after all, I always believed religion was nothing more than a very profitable business whose main currency was either hope or fear. If they could not get your money by making you believe in one, they would threaten you with the other. Just like any other business, they needed their customers to survive.

Suddenly, my home, my yard, and my street became the focal point for the battle between those who thought Zack was our savior and those who thought he was the devil. It was not a pretty sight. At first, there were just signs and lots of chanting, but then came the physical confrontations followed by the police in riot gear. I was a prisoner in my own house—that is, until someone decided to throw a Molotov cocktail through one of my windows and burn my house down.

I barely made it out in one piece, but the fire and the confusion surrounding it gave me a chance to get away without anyone noticing me. At first, they thought I had died in the fire, and the celebrations that ensued over that news were televised a bit too often for my liking. So I decided it was time to keep a very low profile.
That was how I ended up here in northwest Maryland, in a house my old friend Al had rented for me. I still had a few friends left, though most of them would rather I not mention their names.

I’d been living in this house on this quiet street for almost a year. At first, I tried to write, but I just couldn’t find the words. Instead, I settled into a somewhat boring and mundane existence. Then, I had the brilliant idea that smoking pot and listening to the Grateful Dead might help me make some sense out of all this. So I called on another person I could still call a friend and asked him to send me up a whole bunch of it.
If the UPS driver only knew what she was delivering that day!

Oh, I’m sorry I forgot to tell you about Julie. You remember her; she was the woman I was with when all this started. She was not that thrilled with what Zack had made me realize about myself and was gone about thirty seconds after I was released from the hospital.

I suppose you could say that in many ways, I was living like a recluse. I had my food delivered, and I had not shaved or had a haircut in months. At first, I did it with the hope that it would make it harder for anyone to recognize me, but after a while, I kind of liked the look.

It seemed to fit my new lifestyle and made me feel more authentic as I got high all day with the Dead’s music as my only companion.

My only other activity was looking out of my front windows. The house I was renting was a Cape Cod. It had a porch and big vertical windows across the front. It allowed me to see the comings and goings on the street. It also allowed me to see her.

She lived in the house across the street with her daughter, who had the biggest mouth of all the kids on the street. I could always tell when she was outside. She was a bossy little thing too, always telling the other kids what to do. She was a miniature version of her mother tall, athletic looking with long blondish hair. I was not sure how old the little girl was, and I was equally unsure about her mother’s age.

She looked like she could be in her thirties; she was tall—I guessed her height to be around five feet eight inches. She had long blond hair, which she kept up most of the time, and a physique that must have been the result of a great deal of time in a gym. Her body was as toned and fit as I had ever seen.

It was her beauty and the way she moved that had me mesmerized. I had only seen her face clearly a few times when she walked on my front lawn to retrieve the toys her daughter had thrown. She was absolutely stunning, and she moved with the grace of a dancer; her muscles visibly flexing with every stride she took.
OK, I know I sound like a horny teenage boy, but somehow, I knew there was something very special about her and I was strangely drawn to her.

I would sometimes watch her daughter talking with her and see the little girl pointing toward my house when she spoke. I was not able to hear what they were saying, though I am sure they wondered about the mysterious man who lived here.

I had now spent the last ten months getting high every day, and I think I can safely say I had heard every song the Grateful Dead ever recorded. I had not read a newspaper, watched any television, or even looked at a computer screen since I moved into this house. I was not exactly thrilled by the fact that before I moved here, people were openly burning my photo or hanging me in effigy somewhere on a daily basis. It seemed to make the news constantly.

So, for the first time in my adult life, I had no idea about what was going on in the world. My little world at this point consisted of what was happening inside my house and as far as I could see out my front windows.
All that was about to change though. I had run out of pot, and my contact who had supplied it for me earlier would no longer take my calls.

-- Excerpted from Revelation by Morrie Richfield

Friday, March 22, 2013

Interview with James Berman, author of Lessons from the Lemonade Stand


Written for aspiring investors of all ages, Lessons from the Lemonade Stand explains everything you need to know in the context of that most classic of all American businesses: the corner lemonade stand.
Rooted in the fundamental truth that “common sense is the best investment tool,” the book slices important concepts into simple sections, sweetening them with folksy, easy-to-read language. The trials and tribulations of lemonade stand owner Lucinda highlight every concept from interest rates to retirement accounts to leverage. Learn investment basics as you follow Lucinda Lemonade Inc. along its sweet (and sometimes sour) journey as a start-up, from the squeeze of the first lemon to its initial private equity deal and its eventual foray into tech, all in the tidy town of Lemonville.
Entertaining and fun, Lessons from the Lemonade Stand supplies readers with the ingredients they need to become savvy investors.
Purchase Link:




James Berman is the president and founder of LLC, an SEC-registered investment advisory firm specializing in asset management for high-net-worth individuals and trusts. With over 16 years of experience managing client portfolios, Mr. Berman is a specialist in value investing and asset allocation. As the president of JBGlobal LLC, the general partner of the JBGlobal Fund LP, Mr. Berman manages a global equities fund that invests in the United States, Europe, and Asia.
Mr. Berman is a faculty member in the Finance Department of NYU (SCPS Division), where he teaches corporate finance. He also serves as subadvisor to Eitan Ventures LLC, a venture capital fund based in New York.
Mr. Berman has appeared on CNBC, the Fox News Channel, the Cavuto Show, and the Fox Business Channel and is frequently published and quoted in a variety of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Barrons, Fortune, Bloomberg, and CNN Money. As a regular blogger for the Huffington Post, he covers financial topics ranging from hedge funds to the economy. He writes a monthly interactive investment letter, the Berman Value Folio, a Forbes/Trefis publication.
Mr. Berman received a BA (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) from Harvard University and a JD from Harvard Law School.


Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, (INSERT AUTHOR'S FIRST NAME
HERE).  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long
you’ve been writing?

A: I was always reading everything from the age of 5, both fiction and non-fiction. It was the best escape. Still is! Soon after I could read, I wanted to write. It was arrogant. In elementary school, I was writing small books. My readers then were my parents. Fortunately, they still are around to be readers.

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A:Lessons from the Lemonade Stand simplifies investment concepts without watering them down. A stock, for example, is not defined in financial gibberish, but for what it truly is: a slice of the business that entitles the stockholder to a little drop of every dollar Lucinda Lemonade Inc. earns. 

Rooted in the fundamental truth that “common sense is the best investment tool,” the book slices important concepts into simple sections, sweetening them with folksy, easy-to-read language. The trials and tribulations of lemonade stand owner Lucinda highlight every concept from interest rates to retirement accounts to leverage. Learn investment basics as you follow Lucinda Lemonade Inc. along its sweet (and sometimes sour) journey as a start-up, from the squeeze of the first lemon to its initial private equity deal and its eventual foray into tech, all in the tidy town of Lemonville.

Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing

A: It’s always a challenge to parse complex topics-- particularly those that one may take for granted-- into clear nuggets that honor the intelligence of the audience.

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book
or appeared on radio or TV? What are your upcoming plans for
doing so?

A: I've appeared on CNBC, the Fox News Channel, the Cavuto Show, and the Fox Business Channel and have been published and quoted in a variety of publications, including the Wall Street JournalBarronsFortuneBloomberg, and CNN Money. I'm also a regular blogger for the Huffington Post, and I write a monthly interactive investment letter, the Berman Value Folio, which is published by Forbes and

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A: I'm currently working on and look forward to publishing More Lessons from the Lemonade Stand: A Common Sense Primer on Stock Picking.
Q: Thank you for your interview, (INSERT FIRST NAME; NO CAPS).
Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the
web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: You can find Lessons from the Lemonade Stand on the web at, on Twitter at @lemonadeprimer, and on Facebook at It's available for purchase on Amazon.