Thursday, May 30, 2013

SOMEDAY, SOMEDAY, MAYBE: A Novel By Lauren Graham

Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 30, 2013 by Ballantine Books
Genre: women's fiction, chick lit, contemporary novel, romance, humor, New York
Rating: 5 stars plus

"...someday, maybe, I'll go into one of these stores instead of just walking past them looking hungrily into their windows, ...someday, maybe, I'll be carrying a real purse and wearing  heels like a grown-up lady instead of walking down Fifth Avenue in Doc Marten combat boots with an apron and a corkscrew and a crumbscraper in my canvas book bag. Someday, someday, maybe."

Someday, Someday, Maybe: A Novel by Lauren Graham 
She is the unforgettable lead character of acclaimed tv series (Gilmore Girls and Parenthood) and first class actress of big screen comedy features (Bad Santa, Because I Said So, Evan Almighty): it doesn't come as a surprise that at her debut as a writer, Lauren Graham proves to be a great caliber author, capable of conveying in her first novel all those trademark qualities of verve and witty humor that delivered  her breakthrough role as Lorelai Gilmore to such a huge fame and vast fan base.

It takes just a look at her biography to understand that Someday, Someday, Maybe is a fictional work 'loosely' based on her experience as a young actress struggling to find her way in the acting scene of a mid '90s New York. Lauren's voice is so fluent and consistent, her use of first person POV and interior monologues so intimate and pleasant, her dialogues so catchy, the protagonist's reveries so zany (in a way that can better be described as the "Lorelei" signature way) that all I could do after turning the last page of this engrossing debut was to hope that in a not too distant future the effervescent actress/producer will adapt  her first novel to the big screen or even pen a sequel. 

Everything in this sparkling cocktail of enthralling story concept and convincing characters gels with quirky humor and devastating sense of comedy. The combination of lighthearted tones and bittersweet reveries is seamless and glows with a delicate sheen of romance. I applaud the author for her ability to recreate a perfectly believable 'mid '90s New York City feel' with her vivid and evocative references to pop icons and memorable fashions of that particular era.

New York City is a hard place to live in for a young woman, especially for an aspiring actress with no agent and only few commercials in her acting portfolio. Franny Banks' dreams may be big, but money in her pockets is scarce and, although accepted into the acting classes of a prestigious coach, she has been wasting her innate comedian talent on commercials for detergents and ugly blouses, surviving on waitressing jobs, totally forgettable tv gigs, and a huge dose of self-deprecating humor. Her self-imposed deadline of three years to land a career as an actress, or pack her pride, head back home and settle for a happy normal life in the suburbs, is only six months away...six months to understand if she's the kind of person who can succeed "in a business that's completely indifferent to her efforts […], full of people who constantly talk about how real they are, but seem to her to be a bunch of phonies." Just when it seems that she is ready to abandon the stage of her New York adventure, as jaded and depressed as a J.D. Salinger's character, startling epiphanies will open Franny's eyes on an ever-valid life lesson and fundamental truth of the show business: in a world that feeds on illusions and functions on a set of rules that glorifies pretence and appearance, real talent doesn't need to compromise. 

(Photo Credit: Jeff Lipsky/CPI Syndacation)
About the author
Lauren Graham is an actress best known for her roles on the critically acclaimed series Gilmore Girls and Parenthood. She has performed on Broadway and appeared in such films as Bad Santa, Evan Almighty, and Because I Said So. She holds a BA in English from Barnard College and an MFA in acting from Southern Methodist University. She lives in New York and Los Angeles.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

MAMI' La Nonna Di Tutte Le Nonne di Onofrio Arpino

 "Nei sogni il potere e' assoluto"

Paperback, 136 pagine
Pubblicato da Ottimilibri (Edizione Italiana)
Genere: narrativa per l'infanzia, fantasia, favola
Valutazione: 5 stelle


MAMI' La Nonna Di Tutte Le Nonne di Onofrio Arpino
Era da tempo immemorabile che non mi capitava di leggere narrativa per l'infanzia in lingua italiana: le mie scelte di vita mi hanno portato all'espatrio, e, come conseguenza, alla rottura purtroppo inevitabile di abitudini e tradizioni. 
La lettura di Mami', La Nonna Di Tutte Le Nonne, opera notevole nel genere fantasy per l'infanzia, scritta dall' esperto della comunicazione e professore universitario Onofrio Arpino, e' stata per me una meravigliosa occasione di riscoperta e di riflessione: non si e' mai troppo adulti per un racconto fantastico. Come afferma lo scrittore e psicologo Bruno Bettelheim nel suo saggio The Uses Of Enchantment: The Meaning And Importance Of Fairy Tales:

"la natura immaginifica e irreale delle fiabe (criticata dai razionalisti) e' uno strumento importante, poiche' rende chiaro come l'obiettivo di questi racconti non sia la rappresentazione del mondo esterno e della realta', bensi' la descrizione del processo emotivo che avviene all'interno di ciascun individuo." [traduzione mia]

Costretto a letto dalla febbre e cullato dalla dolcezza delle parole della nonna, il piccolo Andrea varca la soglia dei sogni per ritrovarsi in un luogo popolato da creature fantastiche. L'incolumita' di una comunita' di gnomi e del loro ambiente e' minacciata dal Signore Nero: per prevenire una catastrofe ambientale ed evitare l'estinzione di queste creature fiabesche, Andrea dovra' recuperare il cappuccio del Re degli Gnomi, sottratto dal perfido nemico. Accompagnato da una fedele quanto lenta tartaruga, Andrea incontrera' sul suo cammino personaggi pittoreschi e ricchi di saggezza, portando a compimento la sua missione di salvataggio con un bagaglio di nuove conoscenze e di preziosissimi valori morali. I temi dell'amicizia, della solidarieta', della compassione, del viaggio come processo di crescita emotiva, sono tipici di questo genere letterario e vengono affrontati dall'autore attraverso un'approccio interdisciplinare vario e stimolante. Il racconto, caratterizzato da un passo sostenuto e avvincente,  ha infatti una forte connotazione geografica e culturale, in quanto elegge come scenario delle vicende una delle zone del Sud Italia piu' ricche di tradizioni, di storia e di misteri. Nel racconto di Arpino, quel territorio della magnifica regione pugliese noto come Murgia diventa un protagonista a se' stante: i riferimenti alla sua natura e alla sua storia sono numerosi e la sua caratterizzazione e' un invito alla rivalutazione della sua ricchezza culturale e della sua affascinante mitologia. In questa luce, l'importanza simbolica ed educativa di questo racconto e' inestimabile. Su una nota strettamente personale, il ricordo di antiche abitudini quali l'uso di servire ai bambini sorbetti di neve e vincotto (lo sciroppo di fichi, delizia tipica della regione pugliese) ha suscitato emozioni dal carattere fortemente ricordo lontano della genuinita' di una merenda semplice, quanto la morale sulla natura libera e democratica dei sogni, sono il segno di un patrimonio di valori e di tradizioni vicinissimi all'estinzione. Nella formazione ed educazione delle nuove generazioni risiede la sola speranza di salvezza. 

***Copia gratuita fornituta dalla casa editrice a scopo di recensione.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Interview With Sue Frederick, Author Of I SEE YOUR DREAM JOB: A Career Intuitive Shows You How To Discover What You Were Put On Earth To Do

According to Sue Frederick, career intuitive and author of inspirational guides I See Your Dream Job (read my review) and I See Your Soul Mate , "too many people make their decisions based on fear, that nagging inner voice that says, 'you can't' - no wonder happiness seems so elusive". Fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of other people's judgement hold us from unlocking our true potential. We base our choices on trends and fluctuating social fads, on what other people are doing or expects us to do. Trapped in a cage of negative emotions, conflictual relationships, unsuitable jobs, and buried under the weight of these predicaments, we are unable to connect with our higher self and natural talents. Sue Frederick has graciously accepted to answer a few questions about her book and today she is on Mina's Bookshelf to explain how all those challenging circumstances actually represent the greatest opportunities to understand who we really are and what we are meant to be.

Q. It's such an honor to have you on the blog, Sue. After a vast experience as a health journalist and career coach you have abandoned the practice of traditional counseling and decided to use your precognitive skills to help your clients stir their lives in a new and more fulfilling direction. What motivated your decision to become an  "intuitive counselor"?

A. My intuition has always guided my life and work, yet I seldom revealed that gift to co-workers or clients. But I reached a point where clients were telling me that I was “psychic” because I could see so much about them: their potential, their pain and their great work. Then I knew it was time to come out of the closet. I hung my shingle as a “career intuitive” – a term I invented and trademarked – and never looked back. Since then, I’ve owned up to my intuition in every area of my life, and it has all been deeply fulfilling. I’ve helped thousands of clients find their true work and heal their pain. I also train intuitive coaches and have trained and certified more than 300 of them around the world. This is truly my soul’s mission and I’m so blessed that I get to do this every day.

Q. Numerology is one of the tools you use to enlighten your clients' self-consciousness and understand where their birth path should lead them: their destiny is in a number. How does numerology, alone or in combination with our sun signs, work?

A. In 1980 when I lost my young husband to cancer, I was grief-stricken. A friend gifted me with a reading from a numerologist. In that one session, the numerologist changed my life in profound ways and I became obsessed with learning the Pythagoras’ number system. She trained me for many years and I studied the numbers of everyone I met and worked with from 1980 on – even when I was a journalist.

Today I use this Pythagoras number system combined with my own intuitive gifts to understand the work we each come here to do and how to move forward through challenges. It’s always accurate information and I’ve helped thousands of clients with it. I’ve created my own unique system of combining the birth path with the sun sign and using that as an intuitive gateway to understand the person’s journey here.

For example, my own path is the Virgo 22. I’m here to help shift consciousness with ideas and solutions that others can’t see, and to live deeply connected to the divine realms for this work. That’s what I do now, but it took many years to get to this – often getting lost in the perils of my path which included getting stuck in the drudgery of hard work, wanting to be accepted as conventional and like everyone else, and not seeing the bigger picture. Each path has its gifts and perils. Oprah is an Aquarius 22, and we’ve all watched her struggle with her exhausting career and succeed at doing her great work shifting consciousness with enlightened programming and ideas. This perspective is all explained in my books I See Your Dream Job & I See Your Soul Mate.

Q. More often than not, the real causes of a state of depression and uneasiness, or the relation between health issues and  lack of connection with our true self, go undetected. When should we consider seeking the help of a career coach, whether traditional or intuitive? How do we make sure our work is in alignment with our mission and destiny?

A. If we love our work, make good money at it, and feel fulfilled - we’re on path. But we each hit several pre-destined reinvention points in our lives when nothing feels right anymore and we know it’s time to change. (See below for more info about these pre-destined reinvention points).

Daily meditation is the best way to check in with our higher selves, quiet the worry mind, and remember who we are and what our next step is. I teach several meditation techniques in my books and webinars.

When we go through these reinvention points, it’s always helpful to reach out and get guidance from someone outside of our personal drama who isn’t affected by our choices. This is the job of a coach or intuitive coach like myself. I love helping clients move through challenging times and gain a new inspired perspective on their life and career.

Q. According to your book I See Your Dream Job, not only we are under the vibrational influence of a particular number, but each year of our lives is also characterized by a different type of energy and mission that follows a particular pattern. Can you tell us something about this cycle?

A. We each hit pre-destined reinvention points at 9-year cycles depending on our birth path. These 9-year cycles mark a letting go of the old self and a tweaking or reinvention of our work and personal lives. These cycles are perfectly designed to move us gracefully to a new level of our work that will be more fulfilling, more successful, and more in alignment with our soul’s great mission here. When we fight change, or refuse to let go of the past, or become too afraid to move forward into the unknown, we cause great hardship for ourselves. I help all of my clients understand these natural cycles of change and how to thrive within this flow of divine order. It’s truly empowering information.

Q. Life reinventions can be powerful and painful at the same time. When are they more likely to happen? How do we recognize the signs of an impending and necessary life change?

A. When we hit one of these reinventions it often feels scary - like we’re moving into unknown territory. And we may be grieving a career or loved one whom we’re leaving behind. These changes don’t have to be hard if we understand our 9-year cycles and listen to our inner guidance (instead of the monkey mind). Daily meditation taps us into our flawless inner guidance system. 

When we resist change or ignore what we know to be our next step, that’s when our life falls apart and we get the great cosmic nudge that’s perfectly designed to wake us up. These painful nudges make us ask the good questions: “Why am I here? What’s the purpose of my pain? What am I meant to do here?” We can’t find our true path until we seek answers to those questions – and that’s a spiritual process of looking within. It’s our moment of awakening.

Q. In your book you mention three "emergency switches" that can help raising our personal energy during times of challenge and transition.  What are they and how effective they can be in the improvement of our life quality in general?

A. When we’re in crisis, we reach a point where our pain, sadness, anger or blame is stopping us from healing and moving forward. This is when we need to use what I call EPR – Energetic Personal Resuscitation. We can choose to feel gratitude for something in our lives even if we’re in the midst of a rough patch. Or we can choose to share our sweetness – our authentic divine nature – with someone we’re in conflict with. And we can always use laughter to raise our energy and shift into a higher frequency. Any of these three emotions - gratitude, sweetness or humor - will help us feel better and be able to move forward.

Q. Have you encountered  skepticism in the course of your career as an intuitive? If so, how did you cope with it?

A. At first I encountered skepticism mostly from people around me who were invested in me staying the same. Change can threaten our loved ones. As my work became better known and my books were widely read, I encountered overwhelming gratitude from people who have been deeply helped by my work. If I encounter skepticism now, I send the cynics to study the science behind intuition and psychic phenomenon. There’s a lot of great science published in mainstream scientific journals that supports intuition. For example, Dean Radin’s work. His book Entangled Minds cites more than 200 studies validating psychic phenomenon.
Q. Quantum physics seems to be one of your strongest allies. How does science marry the mystical teachings you use in  your profession?

A. Quantum physics is a cutting edge science that has long embraced the idea that our physical world is made of pulsing waves of light – not matter. Quantum mechanics teaches that our world takes form for us only as we observe it.  When you really understand what these scientists are demonstrating in the lab, it’s mind-blowing. They’re validating a spiritual perspective on our human journeys; that we’re energy beings, pulsing waves of light, connected on a quantum level. This, I believe, is what every great spiritual tradition is also saying.

Q. Sue, do you have a favorite charity or philanthropic work you would like to share with Mina's Bookshelf readers?

A. Yes, I think we all need to support the Red Cross as we move into our future. So many changes are happening on our planet – designed to wake us up and help us remember who we are. Many of us will find ourselves needing help in our communities due to climate change. These super storms are becoming the norm. The Red Cross steps in first in a crisis.

Sue Frederick, thank you so much for gracing my blog with the favor of an interview. Readers, I hope you enjoyed it and found inspiration in her words. To know more about this author, please visit her website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon pages.

About the author
(Photo Credit: Gene Malowany)
Intuitive and author Sue Frederick, has been featured in the New York Times and has presented workshops at venues such as Omega Institute, The Crossings Retreat Center, Naropa University, Shambhala Retreat Center, Loyola University, American Business Women's Association and the National Career Development Association.
Her work has been featured in Self Magazine, Real Simple Magazine, Yoga Journal, Natural Health, New York Times, and Nexus Magazines.
An intuitive since childhood and a professional career counselor trained at University of Missouri, Sue draws upon a unique combination of ancient mystical teachings, powerful intuition, and current career knowledge. Her books and classes show people how to tap into their own powerful intuitive guidance and access it to navigate career and relationships. Her highly acclaimed books, I See Your Dream Job and I See Your Soul Mate, are roadmaps for manifesting the work you came here to do and the love you came to experience.
Sue's books include I See Your Soul Mate: An Intuitive's Guide to Finding & Keeping Love; I See Your Dream Job: A Career Intuitive's Guide to Finding the Work You Came Here To Do (St. Martin's Press) and Dancing at Your Desk: A Metaphysical Guide to Job Happiness.
As a former rock climbing and mountaineering instructor, Sue honed her teaching, mentoring and coaching skills while leading extreme survival courses through the Colorado Rocky Mountains for Outward Bound. Today, she resides in Colorado with her husband, Gene, and their two teen-aged kids. For more info or to schedule a session with Sue visit her website.

Monday, May 20, 2013

BARE IT ALL (Love Undercover #2) by Lori Foster

"A cop craving to know more about the woman next door could prove fatal."

Mass Market Paperback, 480 pages
Published April 30, 2013 by Harlequin
Genre: romantic suspense, contemporary romance, romance
Rating: 4.5 stars

BARE IT ALL (Love Undercover #2) by Lori Foster
Somebody out there is luring vulnerable women in ruse relationships. Targeted for their meek look and insecure temperament, these young women have fallen victims of a human smuggling ring and, after being abused and branded with encrypted tattoos, they are used as drug-mules. Alice Appleton, young 'virtual administrative assistant', is in the thick of it. Victim of a human trafficker herself, kidnapped and held in captivity for a year, Alice was rescued by a mysterious 'wraith' who posed as a bodyguard for her kidnapper. She is now seeking a life of isolation and anonymity, hidden in a self-imposed exile in the sanctuary of her home, armed to her teeth and emotionally guarded. 

"Hide emotion. Hide fear. Hide everything, so that she didn't really exist. That made it easier to get through."

She survives off her gut instincts, and although armored with a heavy dose of introversion, a heavy Glock in the closet and a taser on her nightstand, Alice  knows that, once a victim, she will never be able to feel entirely safe...until she meets her neighbor, Detective Reese Bareden. There is more to Alice than  meets the eye of the heart-stoppingly handsome cop: the prim and reticent young woman living next door will capture Reese's curiosity and imagination, becoming the focus of his red-hot romantic fantasies and the key to his unresolved crime investigations. 

Lori Foster has been on my radar for the longest time and I sorely regret not having read her previous titles before sinking my teeth in this explosive blend of high-interest plot, scorching sensuality, and dynamic characters. Bare It All is, in fact, the second book in the Love Undercover series, spin-off of the highly acclaimed Men Walking On The Edge Of Honor saga. Reese and Alice's book is quite enjoyable as a stand-alone novel, but I would recommend Run The Risk (Love Undercover #1) as an introductory read: it's in that book that part of our lead characters' emotional arc and backstories originate and unfold. 

When you have the combination of a gorgeous, protective, alpha-male character and a vulnerable-but-strong-to-the-core heroine  leading the readers through the twists-and-turns  of a suspenseful plot, you know that you're in for an intense ride and an emotional love story. What I expected to be an high-octane thriller, though, turned out to be predominantly an over-the-top, read-hot, week-in-the-knees romance: emotional connection and powerful sexual chemistry of our lead couple stole the scene for most part of the book. At times I had to wrestle with the complexity of Alice's personality, unique blend of innocence and sensuality, vulnerability and reckless bravery, but all in all the narration was well garnished with gritty and enjoyable dialogues, lively and well-drawn secondary characters, and a pulse-pounding finale that added zest and flavor to Reese and Alice's steamy love story.
Bare It All, currently #7 on the New York Times bestsellers list, is available at Amazon and all major book retailers.

About Lori
(Photo Credit: Grover Photography)
Since first publishing in January 1996, award-winning author Lori Foster has become a Waldenbooks, Borders, USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly and New York Times bestselling author. Lori has published through a variety of houses, including Kensington, St. Martin’s, Harlequin, Silhouette and Samhain. She is currently with Berkley/Jove.
Lori believes it’s important to give back to the community as much as possible, and for that reason she ran special contests in conjunction with a publisher, facilitating many first sales for new authors. She routinely organizes events among authors and readers to gather donations for various organizations.
Along with her good friend, Duffy Brown, Lori hosts a very special annual “Reader & Author” event in West Chester, Ohio. Proceeds from the event have benefited many worthy causes, including the Hamilton County YWCA Battered Women’s Shelter, the Animal Adoption Foundation, The Conductive Learning Center for children with spina bifida and cerebral palsy, and The One Way Farm, Children’s Home. From June 6 to June 9, 2013 Lori will be hosting her 9th Annual Reader & Author Get Together in West Chester Ohio. For more details about this charitable event, please visit Lori's website, her Facebook and Twitter pages.

***Review copy graciously offered by the publicist in exchange fo an unbiased opinion.

Friday, May 17, 2013


I have spectacular news for you, romance lovers! Summer 2013 will be BELLA ANDRE SUMMER OF LOVE - the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author is finally releasing the first three books of her sizzling series, The Sullivans, in print!!!

THE LOOK OF LOVE ( The Sullivans #1)
Chloe Peterson has vowed never to make the mistake of trusting a man again. Her reasons are as vivid as the bruises on her cheek. So when her car skids off a wet country road straight into a ditch, she's convinced the gorgeous guy who rescues her must be too good to be true. As a successful international photographer, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women. He's satisfied with his life—until he finds Chloe and her totaled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley. With every loving look—and every sinfully sweet caress—the attraction between them sizzles, and Chloe can't help but wonder if she's met the man who may be the exception to her rule…. (Goodreads)
Release Date: May 28, 2013
Available at Amazon 

 FROM THIS MOMENT ON (The Sullivans #2)
Marcus Sullivan has always been the responsible older brother, stepping in to take care of his seven siblings when their father died. But when the perfectly ordered future he's planned turns out to be a lie, Marcus needs one reckless night to shake free from it all. Known throughout the world by only one name—Nico—pop songstress Nicola Harding is seen as the ultimate sex kitten. But it's all a lie. After a terrible betrayal she refuses to let anyone else close enough to find out who she really is…or to hurt her again. Especially the gorgeous stranger at the bar. One night is all Nicola and Marcus agree to share with each other. But instead, a deeper connection than either of them could have anticipated begins…. (Goodreads)
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Available at Amazon

CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE (The Sullivans  #3)
Gabe Sullivan risks his life every day as a firefighter in San Francisco. But after learning a brutal lesson about professional boundaries, he knows better than to risk his heart to his fire victims ever again. Especially the brave mother and daughter he saved from a deadly apartment fire...and can't stop thinking about. Megan Harris knows she owes the heroic firefighter everything for running into a burning building to save her and her seven-year-old daughter. Everything except her heart. Because after losing her navy pilot husband five years ago, she has vowed to never suffer through loving - and losing - a man with a dangerous job again. Only, when Gabe and Megan meet again and uncontrollable flames of desire ignite between them, how can he possibly ignore her courage, determination, and beauty? And how can she deny not only his strong bond with her daughter.but the way his sweetly sensual kisses are challenging her to risk everything she's been guarding for so long? This winter, if one - or both - of them aren't careful, they just might end up falling in love. (Goodreads)
Release Date: July 30, 2013
Available at Amazon

More scenes, more content, more weak-in-the-knees romance...what could you ask for more! A giveaway? You got it!


To celebrate this memorable event, wonderful Bella is giving away a fantastic BEACH BAG stuffed with summer essentials (O.P.I., Evian, Not Your Mother's Hair Care, and Unisun Eyewear) to one lucky  follower of this blog (US residents only). Stop by and leave a comment about Bella Andre's fabulous romance novels for a chance to win. Don't forget to add your email address (ninja style) to your comment. Best of luck and stay tuned for my reviews!

And this is not all!!! 


Visit HARLEQUIN Facebook page ( from May 22nd to May 31st and enter their fantastic MIXTAPE CONTEST. You and three of your friends may win a trip to Las Vegas!
*No purchase necessary. Ends May 31st, 2013.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I SEE YOUR DREAM JOB by Sue Frederick

"A Career Intuitive Shows You How To Discover What You Were Put On Earth To Do"

Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 1, 2009 by St. Martin's Press
Genre: non-fiction, inspirational, career coaching
Rating: 4.5 stars

"Tonight, before you go to bed, spend a few minutes reviewing your life from a detached perspective - as if you were watching a movie. Take note of the moments when you can say, "Look how good I was at that...". Let those realizations guide you to the work you came here to do."

I SEE YOUR DREAM JOB by Sue Frederick
One of the most common behaviors when we are stuck in a job that doesn't gratify us anymore is to hold on to it, waiting for a change of luck or better times and opportunities to come around. In a general climate of uncertainty and economic downturn, perseverance seems to be the safest choice. It happens, though, that our need to change direction will become painfully obvious at some point: the circumstances we have been relying on for years fall apart, and we inevitably start looking around us for someone to blame. Hanger, frustration and uneasiness start poisoning our relationships, causing an accumulation of negative energy that will destroy marriages, family harmony and, in some cases, even cause chronic depression and health challenges. The truth is that we have probably downplayed or completely buried our talents and true nature since a young age, in order to make room for what is sensible and expected from us, a job that pays the bills but leaves our souls empty and stranded on the wrong life-path. Almost like driving on foreign lands without GPS. Our talents are our only true compass and, if uncovered and cultivated, they will guide us toward fulfillment and self-development.

But how do we recognize these talents and integrate them in our current life course? How do we convert the sense of dislocation and fear of change, that is preventing us from moving forward, into the very fuel that will raise our consciousness and propel us into a new career?
Whether you're skeptical or not about the use of numerology, sun signs, and intuition as a path to self-knowledge and personal renovation, you will find Sue Frederick's message to be inspiring and thought-provoking. Combining her precognitive skills with her vast background as a journalist and career advisor, Frederick embraces mystical teachings, meditation techniques, quantum physics' principles (human intellect as pure physical energy) as tools to unveil the destiny roadmap and life mission encoded in the numbers of our birth date.

I am sure the theories explored by Frederick in I See Your Dream Job, albeit interesting and fascinating, may raise a few eyebrows among those who would rather dismiss the connection between destiny and numbers as an entertaining topic, more suitable for the horoscope section of a glossy magazine. Consider that numerology, the ancient system according to which numbers carry a meaning and the sum of the numbers in our birth date reveal our life mission, has an illustrious pedigree in mystic, mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras (580 B. C.). Not to mention the endorsement of quantum physicists and PhDs such as William A. Tiller and Amit Goswami in support of psychic phenomena perfectly explained by physics:

"When individual minds focus their attention on anything, a quantum energy surge occurs, which has a physical and measurable effect on our reality...the universe is self-aware...consciousness itself creates the physical world."

The power of positive projection and Disney axiom "If you can dream it, you can do it", if you will. I wouldn't argue with these guys...I'd rather keep an open mind. Would you?

***Complimentary copy graciously offered by the publicist in return of an impartial review.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

GIVE YOUR MOM A BOOK: Mother's Day Book Recommendations From A Mom's Bookshelf

If you're planning to buy for your mom the -nth recipe book or that biography that was highly acclaimed by the critics but will bore your mom to tears, freeze right there! You want to celebrate the upcoming Mother's Day with a gift that will entertain, uplift, inform, educate, evaluate the most important woman in your life. Give your mom the chance to kick back and relax, expand her horizons or simply provide her with an escapist fantasy, a diversion from her chores and her daily routine...a recipe book may sound like an implicit invitation to spend more time in the kitchen (as if moms didn't do that in abundance) or a veiled criticism of her culinary skills. If she is a good cook, she won't need that book. If she needs to improve in that department of the housekeeping, she will hit the bookstore or the internet at her earliest convenience. 
Accept the advice and browse through these reading suggestions: they come from a mom who loves to read.

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham
"A charming and laugh-out-loud novel by Lauren Graham, beloved star of Parenthood and Gilmore Girls, about an aspiring actress trying to make it in mid-nineties New York City." (Goodreads)
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published by Ballantine Books
Released April 30, 2013
Genre: women's fiction, chick lit, contemporary novel, romance, humor

The Ashford Affair, by Lauren Willig 
"New York Times bestselling author Lauren Willig "pins a web of lust, power and loss that is by turns epic and intimate, transporting and page-turning." (Goodreads)
Hardcover, 358 pages
Published by St. Martin's Press 
Released April 9, 2013
Genre: women's fiction, chick lit, historical fiction, contemporary novel, romance, mystery, Africa

I See Your Dream Job, by Sue Frederick
"Have you ever wondered what you were truly meant to do in life? Have you ever felt that you have a higher calling? Let career intuitive Sue Frederick show you the way." (Goodreads)
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published by St. Martin's Press
Released September 1, 2009 
Genre: non-fiction, inspirational

Work Women Want, by Jennifer Forest 
"Jennifer Forest gives voice to a new generation of women who are finally finding the right balance between careers and motherhood. Work Women Want answers the questions asked by so many working women today."(Goodreads)
Published by Artisan House
Released May 1, 2013 
Genre: non-fiction, inspirational

Bobbi Brown Pretty Powerful, by Bobbi Brown & Sara Bliss 
"From Bobbi Brown, world-famous makeup artist, Pretty Powerful is a new kind of makeup manual that starts with who you are, rather than how you look." (Goodreads) 
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published by Chronicle Books 
Released September 26, 2012 
Genre: non-fiction, beauty

The Honest Life, by Jessica Alba
"The Honest Life recounts Alba’s personal journey of discovery and reveals her tips for making healthy living fun, real, and stylish, while offering a candid look inside her home and daily life." (Goodreads)
Paperback, 272 pages
Published by Rodale Books 
Released March 12, 2013
Genre: non-fiction, health

Thursday, May 2, 2013

ANGELOPOLIS: A Novel (Angelology #2) by Danielle Trussoni

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 26, 2013 by Viking Adult
Genre: paranormal novel, urban fantasy, science fiction, angels
Rating: 5 stars plus

"...angels existed on hearth as well as in heaven..."

ANGELOPOLIS: A Novel (Angelology #2) by Danielle Trussoni

"...angels existed on hearth as well as in heaven..." . The Bible refers to them as "Sons of God" (Genesis 6:1-4): in terms as controversial as cryptic, we are told that at some point during the antediluvian era, God's heavenly creatures "saw" the daughters of men, took them as wives in an act of rebellion to the Maker, and gave origin to the Nephilim, an hybrid offspring of humans and fallen angels. Whether a symbolism of the union between dynastic rulers and commoner women (fallen angels and mortal women, if you prefer), or a cautionary tale warning us about the sinful nature of a marriage between earthly and divine, the study of angels represents not only one of the major theological doctrines, but also a fascinating speculation on the ultimate destiny of mankind. The Scriptures are scattered with a trail of obscure clues and encrypted revelations about the existence of a higher order of beings between God and man, and if angelology has been questioned and disregarded over the centuries for lack of explicit descriptions, the abundance of references in the Apocrypha (scriptures not included in the canonical Bible) still sparks the interest and the imagination of intellectuals and writers.
In this vein, Angelopolis (second installment in the New York Times best selling and sensational series Angelology by Danielle Trussoni) bridges biblical lore and apocryphal documents, Greek mythology and Christian eschatology, merging in the process elements of intellectual thriller and science fiction. The result is a stunning breed of urban fantasy, as rich in cultural references as an historical archive. 
In Trussoni's fantasy, the modern day Nephilim are ruthless and ambitious beings, more connected to the material world than creatures from Heaven should be. Ready to step out of their shadow existence, they aim to destroy the human kind and create their own Paradise (Angelopolis) on earth. Unimaginable wealth and power beyond belief are within their reach: not only do they represent the 'aristocracy' of the angelic hierarchy, they also hold high rank positions within financial and political circuits of the human society. They always did. Some of the most powerful men and women in history since The Flood, throughout some of our most eventful eras (Elizabethan and Victorian England, The Romanov Empire, World Wars), were actually angels in human disguise. The war between humans and Nephilim has roots as deep as the history of mankind itself, and it's now being conducted on a genetic ground by a secret society of angelologists who won't hesitate to use  weapons and headhunters to capture the rebel angels and subdue them. When young nun Evangeline and art historian Verlaine were brought together (Angelology #1) by their common interest in angel iconography, little they knew they would become the most important players of a century-old conflict. Verlaine has the ability to see and hunt angels; Evangeline, daughter of hunters herself, is an angelic creature of superior lineage, sought after by angelologists and Nephilim for the extraordinary quality of her blood cells. The beautiful nun and the angel hunter should be fighting on opposite sides, but a visceral attraction and mutual affection will lead them to gravitate toward one another even in the midst of the conflict. 
I was utterly captivated by the beauty, complexity, and rich texture of this paranormal novel. The evocative and descriptive quality of Trussoni's prose  is mesmerizing and gains momentum especially in the most action-driven second half of the book. Reading the prequel (Angelology was published in 2010) before approaching this latest release is not absolutely imperative in order to enjoy world setup and character building: the author managed to pull the plot threads of the previous installment in a new narrative whole, filling the gaps and holes typical of highly imaginative paranormal sagas. However, a final resolution to the conflict between angelologist secret society and Nephilim will elude us at the end of this novel, preparing the ground for an apocalyptic scenario of doom, war, and antagonism between Verlaine and Evangeline. 
Spanning from the districts of Paris to the Siberian tundra, through the imperial palaces of St. Petersburg, the Bulgarian mountains and the Black Sea, this breathtaking and erudite 'affresco' will entice Dan Brown's and Umberto Eco's readers, as well as Deborah Harkness' fans. I enjoyed it enormously.

*Review copy graciously provided by the publicist in exchange of an unbiased opinion.