We have all had our lives impacted by certain people, whether family members or friends. This book was inspired by the stories I heard as a young person about family relations, including my parents’ star-crossed relationship. My parents’ passion brought them together under challenging times, and in the end, their stars took them in divergent directions, leaving a cloud of questions behind for my imagination to explore.
In addition, throughout my life, I was fortunate to hear about my cultural roots from three matriarchs in our family, my mother, aunt, and godmother. I also witnessed their bond of sisterhood that lasted over eighty years. They lived into their nineties, and they died a few years apart. Those matriarchs taught me to honor family, and to forgive others and oneself for what happened or didn’t happen in your story. My love to you, Maria, Josephine, and Rosa!
Defiance and Redemption is a story that is as current today in parts of the world as I imagine it was in early 20th century Ecuador when women’s lives were more restricted. Women need each other for support and to envision a more expansive future. But this story is not an autobiography or a memoir. It is fiction and it arises out of certain truths. Yet, I like to think the story has closed a personal circle for me in which the past is like a garden. It is enjoyed, celebrated, and at death, the earth turned, for new seeds to grow.
Maria J. Andrade was born in Ecuador, South America, and raised in New York and California. She has a bachelor of arts degree in English literature and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. As a licensed therapist and writer, Maria has been diving into other people’s minds and her own, through dreams, poetry, and books for over three decades. She traveled with the Four Winds Society where she studied and was initiated into Andean shamanism in 1990.
Before Maria retired as a therapist, she specialized in women’s issues and founded the Wise Women’s Circle a ritualistic and transpersonal study group that continues today. The women support each other through life’s challenges and in the growth of mind, body, and spirit.
Maria Andrade’s books for children and adults is found in a variety of genres. This is an unforgettable first novel that reflects her imagination and creative storytelling.
Defiance and Redemption is her latest release.
Title: AWAKENING THE AVATAR WITHIN: A Roadmap for Uncovering Your Superpowers, Upgrading Your Body and Uplifting Humanity
Author: Darren Starwynn
Publisher: Desert Heart Press
Genre: Spiritual Awakening/Meditation/Energy Healing/Personal Development
Awakening the Avatar Within offers a practical roadmap for deeply healing yourself and living an awakened, actualized life as an Avatar. An Avatar is Divine consciousness expressing itself as a human being, and this book will help awaken your awareness of this vital part of yourself.
You will learn many transformational practices for raising your level of consciousness and upgrading the health and functioning of your body. Many of these practices are based on the cutting-edge science of epigenetics. From this place you are able to become a vital part of the movement to heal and uplift the human race.
The information and energy transmissions of this book can empower you to:
- Identify and express your superpowers
- Become a powerful catalyst of healing for yourself and others on the Quantum level
- Increase your inner peace and clarity of mind through awareness of the Fifth Dimension and the Quantum Field
- Identify your “job description” as a Lightworker
- Create a fulfilling daily practice of meditation and self-development
- Activate your Light Body (Merkaba)
- Augment your self-love and come to peace with your shadow self
- Be a planetary healer, and join with other Avatars in uplifting the human race
Dr. Darren Starwynn has had a long career as acupuncturist, inventor, writer, healer and teacher, integrating therapeutic systems from around the world. He has written four groundbreaking books, led hundreds of workshops and seminars, invented several vibrational devices used worldwide and helped develop advanced mind-body healing systems.
“Awakening the Avatar Within is a phenomenal guidebook on how to live on the leading edge of consciousness and awaken your latent superpowers. It is indispensable reading for those wishing to claim their power to live an extraordinary life of deep love and fulfillment of their highest purpose.” —Christy Whitman, author of The Desire Factor and the New York Times bestseller The Art of Having It All
“Awakening the Avatar Within guides you through the essential actions and practices you can do to fulfill the higher potential that you always knew was possible but may have had a hard time actualizing. Avatars are human beings going through a process of re-wiring the energy circuitry of their bodies so they can embody higher light more of the time. This is required reading for anyone ready for awakening to their true self and learning to practice energy healing at a high level of expression.” —David T. Kyle, Ph.D., bestselling author of Energy Teachings of The Three
“Awakening the Avatar Within aligns with the energies emerging during this important time on our planet, calling us to step into our magnificence and embody our Truth as the Soulful Self, or the Avatar we are.” From the Foreword by Dr. Sue Morter, author of The Energy Codes
“Awakening the Avatar Within is one of those books you will want to keep around for years. It can help you gain insights for self-transformation. This book is a treasure of workable insight and approaches.” –Richard Gordon, Author/Founder of Quantum-Touch
“Darren Starwynn’s book, Awakening the Avatar Within, is both inspirational and practical. It is a treasure map of how to heal, grow and embody the Divine Self. Anyone with the willingness to follow this motivational guide and apply the simple and grounded processes can accelerate their awakening journey. This book is a spiritual gift, for it shows us how to be a part of the Second Coming of Christ, which is a group event. I highly recommend it for all who want to live their True Nature and manifest a creative and transformative purpose.” -Karen La Puma author of the A Toolkit for Awakening book series
“Awakening the Avatar Within is a sophisticated yet accessible guidebook for healing and spiritual awakening that brilliantly incorporates wisdom from many streams, including Darren Starwynn’s own direct connection with Source. Fresh, inspired, and heart-based, it’s filled with mind-expanding concepts, moving stories, compelling testimonies, and powerful exercises that will totally uplift your entire being, from body, to mind, to spirit. It’s also an illuminating resource for healing practitioners who want to go deeper with their clients. Thank you, Darren, for using your superpowers to bring this gift forth. It should become required reading for anyone incarnated on planet Earth.” – Marguerite Rigoglioso, Ph.D. Author, The Mystery Tradition of Miraculous Conception: Mary and the Lineage of Virgin Births
“These days, there seems to be an endless stream of books and Internet sites about healing and consciousness, Darren’s book Invoke the Avatar Within stands out like a bright beacon of light. Darren has done something new and different, very necessary in these destructive times on our planet Earth. He has provided a practical roadmap for evolving both our minds and physical bodies to a higher level of consciousness and vitality through the principles of epigenetics and spiritual alchemy. He has convincingly shown a way that people can become Avatars, and how awakened Avatars can join forces to literally change this world. Today, in the compromised political and public domains, it is truly difficult to name any heroes, Darren’s work is indeed champion.” -Jon Whale. PhD., author of The Catalyst of Power, scientist and inventor
“In his latest book, Awakening the Avatar Within, Darren Starwynn manages to describe the current problems, and the solutions for all of humanity in clear and easy prose, and makes it easy to follow his guidance in how to recognize and develop the Avatar you already are. In addition, you can feel an energy transmission that emanates from the very pages of the book. This book is chock-full of intriguing information along with easy-to-follow guided practices, all designed to awaken your remembrance of who you really are.” -Vidya Frazier, Author of The Ascension Lightworker Guide & Awakening to the Fifth Dimension
“In Invoke the Avatar Within You, Darren Starwynn, O.M.D., offers a practical and pertinent guide to how to be a “practicing evolutionary”, and help heal our own lives, along with humanity’s traumas. As the boundaries between the physical and metaphysical become more porous, Darren helps awakening souls guide others through this evolutionary passage – so that heaven becomes a practice instead of a destination.” — Steve Bhaerman, aka Swami Beyondananda, Comedian, Uncommontator and co-author of Spontaneous Evolution with Bruce Lipton
“Awakening the Avatar Within guides the reader through practical steps of a deep inner awakening of their highest self, helping tap into pure consciousness, your own healing transmission and the ability to transcend old habits and patterns that have kept us stuck as mind/limiting self.” —Shannon Kassoff, Yoga Teacher, Master Reiki Teacher
Release Date: September 15, 2021
Publisher: Desert Heart Press
Soft Cover: ISBN: 0578251426; 348 pages; $19.99; E-Book, $7.99
There is now a rapidly growing movement of people who recognize that the awakening of human consciousness is the ultimate solution to our personal and planetary problems. They recognize the truth that there is one common denominator to all the environmental, social, political, economic and health crises facing the human race now. That common denominator is the part of the human mind denying our true, divine self – the universal consciousness of Love and oneness.
This book is a roadmap to an extraordinary transformative process few people even believe is possible. Each of its chapters contains consciousness-awakening messages combined with transmissions of higher light energy. Receiving these transmissions and working with the guided practices offered will support you in realizing your true identity as an Avatar. The word Avatar is derived from the Sanskrit word avatara, which means “descent,” meaning the Divine coming down into material expression.
You probably know some people who radiate spiritual light in powerful and charismatic ways. Many are drawn to follow them, and they tend to be spiritual teachers, ministers or other kinds of leaders. You may wonder “I’m not one of those, how could I be an Avatar?” The truth is, there are many different ways Avatars show up and not all are in public view. I can assure you that you have your own “job description” for how you beautifully express divinity. Chapter 17 – Your Job Description as a Lightworker will help you identify it.
Living as an Avatar becomes real as you go through the physiological process of upgrading your body to be able to hold a higher frequency of energy and consciousness. From that place, you will discover you have real superpowers you can develop and share to help heal, bless and uplift others. And, have a lot of fun in the process!
These extraordinary transformations are possible because we are living through a wave of rapid planetary ascension of consciousness affecting all life. This is part of vast cycles of consciousness that have been documented in the ancient Vedas from India, traditional Mayan cosmology and other sources. The doors to awakened consciousness are now wide open, much more so than ever before in recent human history. In fact, our greatest impediment to taking advantage of this extraordinary opportunity is simply believing we can’t.
We are already moving through this ascension into greater light, and nothing can stop it. What is variable is how much suffering there needs to be during this transition time. This is where modern Avatars shine. We have powerful abilities to heal ourselves and reduce the suffering of others. We do this by helping accelerate the grounding of higher light in our bodies, our psyches, our societies, our arts, our institutions and our sciences.
There are so many good people working toward the healing and upliftment of humanity in all those areas. Yet without the major shift of consciousness Avatars help bring, our collective experience is likely to look like one step forward, one step backward. That’s not enough for humanity to make it through this time without increasing destruction.
Each of us is caught up in this ascension of consciousness, and our experience of it can range from blissful to deeply disturbing. A great analogy is riding a surfboard on large ocean waves. When surfers have good balance and skill, the experience of riding big waves is exhilarating and joyful.
If they lose their balance and “wipe out,” they can quickly find themselves crushed under a wall of water and gasping for breath.
In a similar way, when we trustingly allow the rapidly elevating energies of consciousness ascension to carry us, it is a high, joyful experience – the greatest ride of your life. Yet when we fearfully deny and resist this profound shift in consciousness, it can and often does feel scary and overwhelming.
The information, perspectives and practical methods presented in this book come from my own lifetime journey of learning, research, self-healing, helping heal others, meditation, facing my shadow self, teaching and direct spiritual experience. Rather than place a bio about me at the beginning of the book, I have woven my personal story throughout various chapters within it.
If you’re like many people on the path of self-healing, you may have consulted with a succession of healers, therapists, doctors, holistic practitioners, clergy, gurus or self-help books, and yet still have times when you feel a deep sense of trauma or disconnect within your being. And yet there is a mighty divine current flowing through you 24-7 that can free you from all bondage and give you the power to help free the rest of the human race. This is the missing link that can bring you what you have really been looking for through all that searching.
You can access more of this divine current through the process of becoming Christed. Christing refers to a process through which your mind, body, nervous system and genetics are literally rewired to operate at higher frequencies of love, intelligence and creative power.
These are attributes of what is often called God or Divine source, and as an Avatar, your job is learning to practically express them in your everyday life. In this case, the term Christing has a similar meaning to the words “maturing,” “evolving,” or other terms that describe a process of fulfilling one’s greater potential. The oft-prophesied second coming of Christ is not about one superstar person making a grand appearance. The second coming is happening as huge numbers of people become Christed, and through the immense field of love and power that generates, we are able to effectively rebuild our world.
Section Two of this book is titled Quantum Healing and gives you practical guidance in developing your Avatar healing abilities. As will be explained in Chapter 13, you are in holographic inter-connection with all life. This means there is no real separation between you, everyone else and the entire Universe. Therefore you can be a catalyst of healing for people thousands of miles away. Due to the holographic principle, there is essentially no difference between healing yourself and helping heal the planet – it all happens together. It’s just a matter of your intention and focus.
The phrase, I AM Avatar, is a supremely powerful affirmation and mantra of your highest truth. When you say I AM Avatar, you identify yourself as an expression of the pure love, power and wisdom of the Universe. You accept responsibility for being a vital part of the solution at this critical time. To some people, saying I AM Avatar or I AM the Christ may sound like a radical, conceited or even insane thing to say. Yet claiming I AM Avatar is the pre-eminent key to the fulfillment of your personal purpose, healing and self-realization.
The following passage from the beloved Indian scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, expresses the purpose of an Avatar well. The word Dharma in this quote means fulfilling your true purpose and living in tune with the laws of nature.
“Whenever dharma declines and the purpose of life is forgotten, I manifest myself on earth. I am born in every age to protect the good, to destroy evil, and to reestablish dharma.”
According to this phrase, we are certainly living in a time where Avatars are needed – lots of us.
I’m calling upon you to trust your own inner knowing and not settle for anything less than this highest and clearest truth that a vital part of you already knows. If you have ever felt that there was a bigger picture for fulfilling your life potential, or a more expansive way you could contribute to the welfare of the human race, now is the time to step up. It is my sincere wish that the message, practices and vibrational transmission of this book act as a touchstone to help awaken you to a greater truth of who you really are. The tools you will gain here can empower you to free yourself from your own inner struggles and contradictions, and recognize the divine energy transmission that is already flowing through you. The ultimate solution is right here to all the things that may have made you feel discouraged, frustrated or afraid.
Dogma–Free Understanding of Avatar, Christ, Buddha and Lightworker
The word Christ has a similar meaning as Avatar. It is derived from the Greek word Kristos which means the anointed one, referring to a human being who is expressing divine Presence. Christ is an innate quality of the true, higher self of human beings. Therefore, I use both terms Avatar and Christ interchangeably throughout this book. The term Christ is not used here in a religious, Christian context. The term Buddha, which means “awakened one” in the Pali language, also has a similar meaning. All of these terms describe the experience of being an awakened Avatar in human form, independent of any religious affiliations or beliefs.
A more contemporary word to describe those stepping up to heal and serve through higher consciousness is Lightworker. There are already many millions of people acting as Lightworkers on our planet now, and that is one of the main reasons that so many natural and human-caused disasters have been averted or lessened from how severe they could have been. If you are a Lightworker or moving into being one, Chapter 17 will help you identify the characteristic ways you offer your love and service.
Two of the most famous Avatars, Jesus the Christ and Gautama the Buddha, were not always awake. They had to go through a process of becoming aware of the illusions they lived in, taking back their power and awakening themselves to their true nature. They were able to break free of the profound amnesia most of us fall into when we grow up in human bodies. Yet they are no more Avatar than you are. It’s just that they accomplished their awakening to a greater degree, and so can act as our helpful big brothers. This same opportunity is in front of you now.
How Can Avatars Help Uplift the World?
Avatars are creators, and intuitively grasp a profound truth: what we see as “the world” is not any certain way. It is really what we believe it to be and make it to be. Realizing this truth is a major step in awakening our consciousness and knowing who we really are. Less awakened people generally see the world helplessly, in a fear-based way. Avatars learn to hold the vision of the world they choose to live in, manifesting their vision by focusing their love, consciousness and actions upon it. This means that each person living as an Avatar becomes a beacon of light helping illuminate the path for others.
This form of focus has unlimited potency, especially as large numbers of us develop our superpowers and focus together. See Chapter 4 to learn more about your superpowers.
I have witnessed many remarkable examples of the power of Avatars when we focus our light together. As a striking example, in fall of 2019 some of the worst wildfires in recorded history were raging throughout eastern Australia. Prior to the start of these wildfires Australia had been gripped by record heat and more than two years of continuous drought. By November of that year a state of catastrophic fire danger was declared in Sydney and other parts of New South Wales. By January, 2020 over 46 million acres were burning in various Australian states and territories, destroying thousands of homes and wiping out entire species of animals and plants.
In mid-January, 2020 I received a series of emails calling on me to participate in two scheduled times of global meditation to benefit Australia. Participants were requested to take a few minutes two days in a row to visualize heavy rains falling all over the fire-stricken parts of the country. It was suggested in the email that we visualize people standing out in the rain celebrating and giving thanks. I participated in these group meditations, feeling the power of people all over the world focusing their prayers.
Rain started falling within two days after these global meditations. The first rainfall in late January started putting out the fires. Then, between February 6th and 10th 154 inches of rain fell throughout the fire-stricken areas of Australia, putting out most of the fires. It was the heaviest rainfall recorded in Australia in 30 years.
I have heard about or witnessed many experiences like that. Another one happened at the time of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill back in April of 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico. Considered to be one of the largest environmental disasters in U.S. history, over 210 million gallons of petroleum was discharged into the Gulf with severe toxic effects on human and marine life. Scientists and engineers tried many methods to cap the deep underwater well without success over a five-month period.
On the weekend of September 18 – 19 of 2010 I was participating in a spiritual healing retreat in Tucson, Arizona led by Dr. Zhi Gang Sha, a teacher of advanced spiritual healing methods. At one point on Saturday the 18th one of the retreat participants suggested that I ask Dr. Sha if our group could somehow help mitigate the Deepwater Horizon environmental disaster. I did go up to him during a break and explained the situation. Dr. Sha had not heard about it since he apparently didn’t listen to the news. But he acknowledged the situation and agreed to “see what he and our group energy could do.” The next day, Sunday the 19th, I was checking the news and learned that a team of engineers had finally succeeded at capping and containing the oil spill.
Was this just an interesting co-incidence? Or could it have been a manifestation of the power of focused intention? I am open to the latter explanation because I have personally experienced or heard about many such extraordinary healings and reprieves from negative or disastrous situations throughout my life. Awakening Avatars can participate in a level of causality hard to explain through most of our sciences, yet can clearly be experienced. The science of Quantum physics has been catching up to being able to explain the power of consciousness to create reality, and you will find several explanations of quantum phenomena throughout this book.
Why Trauma Matters and Why Healing Trauma is an Essential Part of the Solution
Trauma is a big deal for the human race now. While about 8 – 12 million people in the United States are medically diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, almost all of the rest of us deal with what I call “low-grade PTSD.” It has become our new normal to feel stressed out in various ways due to economic pressures, isolation, family breakdowns, exposure to toxins and living in highly polarized societies.
Ironically, all of this easily recognizable stress is exacerbated by the mass ascension of consciousness we are part of. As our consciousness expands, we are becoming more empathic, literally feeling more of the pain of the world. Many of our own conveniently buried psychic burdens and unresolved past trauma are also coming up to the surface of our minds much more quickly than we can often process. These are reasons why so much of the traditional psychotherapies and holistic healing arts only ease part of people’s distress these days.
As mentioned above, Lightworkers are Avatars who specialize in helping others heal by awakening to their true nature. This is the highest and most effective form of healing. It truly frees people from their past mental and emotional programming and allows them to step up to being part of the solution themselves. Section Two of this book is full of valuable guidance for healers and specific healing methods.
Opening to your Avatar Energy Transmission
As you go through the process of becoming Christed, you become familiar with the specific ways divine consciousness expresses through you. I call this your unique energy transmission. This is a stream of pure vibrational energy emanating from your highest spiritual source that flows through you and blesses others in profound ways. This is the essence of you. It is also what makes you most effective at whatever you are called to do in your life.
Why do I say that your energy transmission is unique? Think of the human race as a huge symphony orchestra. Each musician in the orchestra has her own part to play that differs from most of the other player’s parts, although some players share the same part and play in sections. When each player in the symphony plays her part clearly and accurately an amazing, beautiful composite musical sound is created. This is the way it is with us. Our energy transmission is the part we are given to play in the grand symphony of the human race. Our highest key to success, effectiveness and fulfillment in every aspect of our life is identifying our unique energy transmission and cultivating our body’s ability to hold and emanate it.
The specific abilities your transmission gives you can be called your superpowers. These are the ways you express genius in your life. Yes, that’s right, genius. Genius refers to people who have opened up to allow their transmission to freely express though them. There is great, unlimited power in this. We have seen how a handful of people in touch with their genius have transformed the human race through science, technology, the expressive arts, furthering of human rights, spiritual awakening and much more. You are now called to be one of them. Why? Because you can! And, also because the world surely needs that special ability you are perfectly suited to offer.
The reason this book, and others like it are needed is that most of us who are Avatars in human form are on the latter part of a long journey in which we have been exploring the human experience. During this “long strange trip” we have experienced all manner of high and low vibratory experiences, from the heights of ecstasy to the depths of despair. We have repeatedly acted out the roles of both perpetrator and victim. Many of these experiences have created lasting energy imprints upon the ultra-sensitive inner membranes of our subconscious minds. By now, that has created quite a bewildering burden that can cloud our hearts and obscure our sight. I often use the Sanskrit word samskara, or the English terms “energetic gunk,” conditioning or “residoo-doo” to refer to this complex psychic burden that is at the root of most chronic pain, disease, anxiety and depression.
One factor that has made this burden even heavier is the tendency for some self-serving individuals and organizations to take advantage of others by programming their minds with messages and images designed to manipulate them into giving their divine power away. These individuals have been all too happy to take this power for their own personal gain. You will learn how to put a stop to that in this book.
Human beings are energy transceivers. This means that that we are constantly sharing energy vibrations with others – sending and receiving. This includes those close to us and those a world apart. The current Earth condition in which close to 8 billion people are sharing vibrations that are frequently stressed and fear-based has created a kaleidoscopic mass hallucination in which we have largely lost touch with who we really are. No wonder things often seem so bizarre.
The great news is that there are simple, effective methods for clearing your inner space so you can not only remember that you are an Avatar, but also embody that pure, high vibration of love in your everyday, physical experience. This makes you a powerful part of the solution whether you are engaging as an activist or living a quiet, contemplative life – or anything in between.
As I write these words our human family is living through a new set of experiences that very few of us ever expected. Fallout from the COVID-19 virus epidemic put the brakes on much of human activity through much of 2020 and 2021, and at the time of this writing is still adversely affecting much of the world economy. As is usually the case, those who are richer and more privileged are coping relatively well and even thriving, while the poor face increasingly devastating consequences.
There are almost endless beliefs and theories about what this epidemic is, where it came from, why it is happening and what the solution could be to get the human race back on track. People hunger to know – when will things go back to normal so we can get on with our lives?
My firm belief is that things will never go back to what we considered normal, and that’s a great blessing. We have been living on Planet Earth in ways that have become increasingly unsustainable, and as a result are facing a myriad of escalating consequences. To put it simply, we just can’t keep living the way we’ve been living. The issues surrounding COVID, and pressing social issues filling the news headlines daily have pushed an even more crucial truth to the background of most people’s awareness – and that is the environmental reckoning we are facing now. Ninety-seven percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities, and the majority emphatically state that this poses critical threats to human wellbeing and even survival.
The Day the Earth Stood Still is a well-known sci-fi movie that was released in two versions in 1951 and 2008. The story is about an alien with God-like powers who comes to Earth to tell the human race that our self-destructive ways are not only endangering ourselves but other worlds as well, and that we must change our ways or be stopped. In case you have not seen the movie I recommend it and will not spoil it by disclosing more.
Although our current situation is not the same as the plot of that movie the underlying truth – the urgent need for rapid, fundamental change – is accurate.
It would make sense for scientists, governments, churches and all concerned people to come together to mobilize our best resources to resolve the pressing crises facing humanity. Yet there is deep division among people, not only about what the best approach is but even what the most fundamental facts are about our situation. This extreme polarization has hamstringed the kind of massive, unified action and mobilization that is so needed now.
This book offers a radical perspective on some of the most effective solutions to these challenges of our individual and global situation. I will demonstrate that it is through our consciousness that we have collectively created our current situation, and it is through the unlimited power of awakened consciousness that we can save the human race and our Earth from destruction, while simultaneously ascending into a way of living we may have only dreamed of as conscious, joyful sovereigns.
About the Author
Dr. Darren Starwynn has been aware of the Quantum Field of consciousness since childhood, traveling to India to study with a spiritual master during his teenage years. Since then Darren has had a long career as acupuncturist, medical device developer, writer, healer and teacher, integrating therapeutic systems from around the world. He has written four groundbreaking books, led hundreds of workshops and seminars and invented several vibrational devices used worldwide. Darren’s workshops and retreats weave laughter and playfulness with profound personal healing and transformation.
Thousands of people have been directly or indirectly touched by Darren’s offerings, and he has inspired many colleagues to expand the scope of their work to include energy medicine and consciousness-based healing systems. His work integrates vibrational energy medicine with multi-dimensional quantum healing to help people rapidly release old trauma, pain and limitations to their self-expression.
Darren serves as a Reverend through the Lightworker Ministry, empowering healers and Lightworkers to live as Avatars and participate in the currently unfolding planetary ascension of consciousness. He is a graduate of the Tri-State Institute of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture and received a doctorate in Chinese Medicine in 1995 through the National Academy of Advanced Asian Medicine. He has been ordained as a Knight through the Sacred Medical Order of the Knights of Hope, a branch of the historical Knights Hospitaler from Europe.
Darren also loves playing and composing music, hiking, writing and dancing.
His latest book is Awakening the Avatar Within.
Visit his website at www.drstarwynn.com.
 See Chapter 17 for distinction between the terms Avatar and Lightworker
 Chapter 13 provides details of the remarkable practice of engaging in planetary healing
 Attributed to the ancient Avatar Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita
Title: AWAKEN TO TAROT: BE YOUR OWN GUIDE WITH ASTROLOGY, NUMBERS AND THE TREE OF LIFE
Author: Karen La Puma
Publisher: Soul Source Publishing
The Tarot is a visual system that reveals both our True Nature and our obstacles. Introducing a new Tarot deck, made with digital collage. Through pictures, symbols, meanings, questions, processes, Kabbalah, key words, and affirmations, you can learn to:
- Find ways to reflect your inner guidance.
- Explore the magical journey of evolution
- Blend Astrology, Numerology, and the Tree of Life with the Tarot
- Discover the power and implications of the symbols of Tarot
Release Date: November 2, 2021
Publisher: SoulSource Publishing
Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-1878203106; 420 pages; $24.95; Kindle Unlimited FREE
Watch the book trailer at YouTube.
Karen La Puma is the Author of a series of books called A Toolkit for Awakening, which are based on the Goddess Warrior on the Hero’s Journey. She is a motivational, intuitive, and spiritual counselor in private practice in the Bay Area since 1979. She is a teacher, astrologer, hypnotherapist, reiki master, inspirational speaker, and creative storyteller with a potent and timely message to empower your life.
Her latest book is Awaken to Tarot: Be Your Own Guide with Astrology, Numbers and the Tree of Life.
Title: SPIRITUALITY FOR BADASSES
Author: J. Stewart Dixon
Publisher: PIE Publishing
Genre: Spirituality / Self-Help / Humor
J. Stewart Dixon, award-winning, best-selling humor and self-help author of Spirituality for Badasses has a bone to pick with conventional therapy and pharmaceutical companies concerning our collective bounce back and healing from the stress, anxiety and depression of Covid-19.
Asserts Mr. Dixon in the introduction to his book: “So you see…I really do get it. I used to be depressed, anxious, too smart for my own good, opinionated and unhappy…a real loveless, badass-hole. But now I’m just a spiritual badass. Spirituality removed the hole. I transformed. I changed. I grew up. I learned some hard lessons. And I did all this without ever losing my cool, integrity, smarts, libido, sense of humor or soul. And that’s just what this book is going to help you do. “
Kirkus Reviews – the prestigious book review media outlet wrote this about the book: “A motivational work blazes a spiritual path for those who consider themselves too cool for such things. A jokey yet earnest and useful guide to enlightenment for badass readers.”
On a whirl-wind virtual tour of radio station and podcast interviews J. Stewart Dixon has been offering his “calm island in the middle of the hurricane” solution to eager hosts such as celebrity chef Pete Evans from Perth, Australia and sportscaster i-Heart radio-DJ Ken Broo from Cincinnati, Ohio. “It’s about noticing that part of you, which hasn’t changed your whole life. If you can notice and nurture this inner badass part, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by its’ ability to heal, help and restore.”
Mr. Dixon knows first-hand about finding an inner badass, as he suffered from years of depression during his early adulthood. “I didn’t throw myself into spirituality to become a saint or a purist– I did it because I was hurting and in pain. I did drugs and alcohol. I tried therapy and Prozac. None of it worked. I was dragged kicking and screaming into spirituality and mindfulness practices and what I found was that, lo’ and behold, this sh%# works.”
A common question Mr. Dixon receives is, of course – Why all the swear words and humor? “I love the title Spirituality for Badasses because it instantly disarms any preconceived notions about spirituality and renders it friendly, approachable and down-to-earth. I think many of us are burned out by absolute truths, cures and opinions right now. So– I’m simply offering an alternative non-pharmaceutical “cure” that worked for me. As a bonus, I’ve thrown in some humor, and to keep it real, a few swear words.”
Mr. Dixon’s background as an engineer and business owner has also shaped his opinion about spirituality and mental health. “As an engineer most of my adult life, I’ve been hired to reduce complex systems into bite-sized, manageable portions. In Spirituality for Badasses I do the same: Mental health and spirituality is, to say the least, complex. I spent decades sifting through and integrating it, and what I came up with – which I’m proud of and grateful for today- was a process that worked both for myself and the thousands of readers who are now finding their own inner badasses.”
“In his new book, Spirituality for Badasses, J.Stewart Dixon has written an irreverent, exuberant, free-wheeling, stream-of-consciousness saga that chronicles the spiritual journey in ways that are unique, humorous, challenging and a hell of a lot of fun. Gone are the heavy-handed, esoteric pontifications so often included in books about “living like a spiritual warrior” and, instead, J. focuses more on de-mystifying this eternal quest by successfully normalizing its ordinariness. So, buckle up and be prepared for a wild ride that’s readable, accessible and eminently relatable. Two enthusiastic thumbs up! Highly recommended!”
-Chuck Hillig, Licensed Psychotherapist, Spiritual Teacher& Author of Enlightenment for Beginners, The Way IT Is, Seeds for the Soul, Looking for God, and The Magic King
“Spirituality for Badasses is The Way of the Peaceful Warrior for the rebels among us who are tired of sickly-sweet approaches to spirituality and have a sincere need to laugh out loud on the regular. J. Stewart Dixon is a true original … He’s your irreverent, potty-mouthed best friend and big brother, but don’t let the humor fool you: the teachings offered here are profoundly liberating, important pointers to awakened awareness. Dixon teaches us all to en-LIGHTEN-UP with his special blend of hilarious, profound, crazy-ass wisdom.”
-Erin Reese, M.S., Spiritual Counselor & Teacher & Author of Truth Seeker: A Spiritual Journey of Love, Loss, and Liberation & The Adventures of Bindi Girl: Diving Deep Into the Heart of India
“Accessible. Compulsive. Irreverent. Fun. Practical- All the while lacking nothing in richness or depth. Take an adventure with J – a spiritual guide that comes off more Han Solo than Obi Wan Kenobi on the surface – as you journey along with the R-rated spiritual everyman with a lizard draped over his shoulders on a path that winds inside and out, through valleys and up mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes, as you make your way toward becoming more your badass true aware self. This book is rich!”
-Zac Cannon, Pastor
Release Date: January 21, 2021
Publisher: PIE Publishing / Awakening Resource Center, LLC;
Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-0-9858579-9-8; 329 pages; $15.99; E-Book, $5.99
Book Website: www.spiritualityforbadasses.com
About the Author
J. Stewart’s new book,Spirituality for Badasses, blossomed out of J. Stewart’s life as a spiritual seeker, finder and coach/teacher. He teaches based on his direct experience, twenty-nine years of interaction with numerous nonduality-advaita-zen-unorthodox teachers, his ongoing education / certification in modern mindfulness and a degree in communications / engineering from Syracuse University in Syracuse, NY. He makes his home in Virginia.
Book Excerpt Exclusive: Your Mid-Career GPS: Four Steps to Figuring Out What’s Next by John Neral @john_neral #bookexcerpt
Our exclusive book excerpt for today is from John Neral’s new book, Your Mid-Career GPS – Four Steps to Figuring Out What’s Next.
Are you considering a career change but doubt yourself or get easily overwhelmed by the entire process?
Are you a mid-career professional ready to level-up, but unsure of what steps to take?
What if there was an easy and supportive way to plan your next career destination?
Your Mid-Career GPS will guide you to create your own professional roadmap so you can find the job you love or love the job have. John Neral, Certified Professional Coach, will help you strategically position yourself in the marketplace while teaching you how to leverage your unique skills from a place of value and service for any organization.
Learn how to prepare, position, and promote yourself as you create a tactical and strategic plan by building Your Mid-Career GPS. Let this book be your guide to answer many of the current questions you have about creating your next advancement opportunity.
My career path has been messy. It’s had its share of ups, downs, spirals, and turns. There were incredible moments of joy, along with sheer frustration, pain, and stress. I’ve worked with some of the most memorable and incredibly talented people you could imagine. I’ve also worked with a few people who weren’t my favorites, but I have learned a ton from them and will always be grateful. And I’ve learned this is very common.
In Herminia Ibarra’s Harvard Business Review article, “Reinventing Your Career in the Time of Coronavirus,” Ibarra states, “Even in happier times, career change is never a perfectly linear process. It’s a necessarily messy journey of exploration – and to do it right, you have to experiment with, test, and learn about a range of possible selves.”
Reinventing your career isn’t new. We’ve been doing this as long as there has been “work.” But the pandemic made us pause, reflect, and consider what’s next for us professionally, perhaps a little more than during pre-pandemic times. That’s why you need a plan to help you get wherever you are going professionally, and it’s why I believe having a GPS is vital to your success.
Your career path is defined by particular moments where you’ve fought for whatever you wanted – be it a promotion, more responsibility, increase compensation, or more time with family. It’s during these moments when you are entirely committed and engaged in achieving the goals you’ve promised yourself and you are not going to settle. And while the outcome is important, you can’t overlook the steps you took to get there. Yet, sometimes, when people hit mid-career, they forget what those steps were.
You’re reading this book because you are feeling stuck in your career or feeling undervalued. You know you are capable of more. It has been years since you graduated high school or college, and you are easily overwhelmed by all of the things you think you need to do. And while you know you should get your résumé updated, the problem is you can’t find it, or it’s been years since you’ve written one. You believe you should be more engaged on LinkedIn but don’t know how to do that. You say you aren’t good at networking and interviewing, yet you know these things are integral to your success. Your thinking is continually putting you in a deficit, rather than focusing on what you are good at and taking a realistic inventory of where you can improve. You lie awake at night worrying about how you will navigate this career transition, and at times, it’s too much. It’s one of the many things keeping you up at night.
If you attended college, I’m willing to bet there was a time when everything flowed. You moved through the process. You enrolled, got accepted, took your courses, and four years later, exited with a degree, and hopefully, a job. You thought you had it all figured out. You knew what to do and were getting acclimated to that thing we call “adulting.”
Now, you may feel far removed from that time. Your strategic career plans may have derailed a bit, leaving you feeling alone, perhaps a bit shameful, and beating yourself up because you believe you should have figured this all out by now. You fear being perceived as irresponsible for not liking your job or wanting a change, but you don’t want to settle. You haven’t come this far to settle. You refuse to let go of your dreams.
What if you made a decision that you were going to welcome all of the new opportunities coming your way? Reading this book is one of the first things you will do to helping you build Your Mid-Career GPS, and it’s a great place to start.
It can be challenging to make a change mid-career. I know because I did it on several occasions. Many people doubted or questioned my career moves and gave me a reason to think I was foolish. It’s time to quiet the noise and get clear about what you want. Making a career change is just a circumstance. Your thoughts around an upcoming career change are an opportunity for you to hear what’s going on inside your head and decide how to help you take action.
This change for you is personal and may look very different from other mid-career professionals’ changes. For example, you may be seeking an internal promotion because you have spent several years at a company, have done great work, and value loyalty, so you want to stay and see if there is still room for you to grow.
You may have all the information you need to know that there isn’t a path upward for you at your current organization. Thus, you are looking to leverage your talents and expertise, take them to a new organization, seek a new and perhaps, more exciting title, and increase your salary. You want to work somewhere you feel more valued.
You may be looking to do something completely different. Navigating a career pivot can undoubtedly be exciting, but may cause tons of questions about whether or not such an opportunity is possible.
People struggle with SHOWing UP when they are fearful of the outcome. We are accustomed to ruminating on potential outcomes, only to waste energy about how things will play out, ultimately holding ourselves back from going after what we want. People often ask me how they can get out of their way. The answer is all about how you want to SHOW UP.
Throughout this book, you will notice that I always write SHOW UP in capital letters. My first book, “SHOW UP – Six Strategies to Lead a More Energetic and Impactful Career,” uses SHOW UP as an acronym for these strategies: Set Ground Rules, Have Intentional Conversations, Own Where You Are, Welcome New Opportunities, Use Your Genius, and Protect and Promote Your Brand. As you read this book and see this reference, I hope you will think of SHOWing UP in the context of these six specific strategies, what they mean for you and your career, and reflect your mindset and actions toward SHOWing UP. There is a section devoted to SHOWing UP later in the book.
For this book, I will use the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) definition that a mid-career professional is someone with more than 10 years of professional experience. You will reach certain guideposts or mile markers that distinguish the early, middle, and later stages of your career. You have experience. You have achieved some level of success in your work, you’ve been recognized, and perhaps earned a promotion or two. You are more focused and confident about the work you do and don’t want to do. Identifying as a mid-career professional is also a reflection of your mindset.
In my mind, you are a mid-career professional when you identify as being in the “middle” part of your career. I agree with OPM’s definition but I also see where some people like to divide their careers into thirds. After graduation, be it high school or college, you could easily have 39-45 years of gainful employment. That means you would define each third based on every 13-15 years. Typically, the majority of my clients fall in that 32-50 age range.
Whether or not you identify as a mid-career professional, the strategies outlined in this book will help you create your career GPS so you can take steps to help you reach whatever professional destination is next for you.
Mid-career professionals may find themselves in a constant battle between maintaining the status quo and doing something they’ve always dreamed of doing. While they are proud of their accomplishments, there is also a part of them that regrets not obtaining the level of success or recognition they thought they would’ve achieved by now. Maybe they’ve lost sight of how amazing they truly are. If this sounds like you, keep reading.
Additionally, by the time mid-career has happened, you’ve experienced a lot of life events. You may be married or divorced. You may have been in several long-term relationships or trying to figure out what a relationship looks like for you. You have certain hobbies but often struggle with finding time to do them because of your job and family pressures. You may have aging parents and struggle with the difficult shift of being their primary caregiver. I know only too well how difficult and emotionally wrenching that can be. Yet, you get up every morning, put on a happy face, and do the best work you can because that is the kind of person you are.
The clients I work with are heart-centered professionals and leaders. Their default is always to put everyone first, sacrificing their needs for the sake of a project or a dear colleague who needs their help. They struggle to find what work-life balance looks like for them. They know they want it, but they are not sure how to obtain it. Additionally, you find yourself in an energetic battle to keep your tank full. Because you are always giving to others and your employer, you run the risk of burning out at a moment’s notice, as your tank seems to always be on or close to empty.
In this book, I will ask you to define certain moments of your career. One of the most defining moments in my career happened in my 11th year as a middle school mathematics teacher. I loved where I was working, the people I was working with, and I certainly had a fantastic time with the students I got to teach every year. One day, as I was beginning to teach a lesson on multiplying fractions, I looked at 25 students’ faces staring back at me, and the voice in my head said, “You can’t do this anymore.” It was as if that voice came out of nowhere, but it was loud, and I needed to listen to it. I felt happy. I enjoyed what I was doing. But I wasn’t satisfied knowing that this could be it for the rest of my career. I wasn’t ready to settle. As I continued to deliver the lesson, I gave myself permission to question what I was doing with my career and why I wanted more from it. Have you ever had one of those moments?
What transpired over the next few months was an opportunity to honestly evaluate where my career was going and what I wanted. I had a fantastic consulting relationship with a Fortune 500 company along with a successful tutoring business outside of my teaching duties. I was learning that I wanted to shift my focus from teaching students to working with teachers. This would look like some kind of administrative position or an opportunity to level up, but I was unsure of what that was.
I talked to my closest friends and colleagues and told them I was considering making a significant career change. I had my résumé professionally written. I updated my LinkedIn profile. I started networking, looking for jobs, and sharpening my interviewing skills. And then the rejections came.
I got to several last-round interviews for a handful of positions that I not only wanted but also believed I would’ve been great at, only to learn I wasn’t the selected candidate. If someone were kind enough to give me some honest feedback, I would hear things like, “You made it a difficult decision for us, but we went with someone who had more experience.” These are comforting words amid disappointment and perhaps something you also have experienced recently.
My opportunity to make such a change came three years later, when I was 40. I accepted a position as a Professional Development Specialist for the District of Columbia Public Schools. In this role, I would work with and supervise 21 instructional coaches across 13 middle schools. I was going to help teachers be better teachers. I got the job I wanted and a fantastic opportunity to stretch and grow. While the job came with an advanced title, it also came with a pay cut. I relocated from New Jersey to Washington, D.C., for a professional and personal opportunity. My husband and I had been dating long distance for two years, and because he was happy with his job, I decided I would be the one to make a move since I was looking for a new job. Yes, you could say I made a move for love, but it was not only for the love of my husband but also for the love of my career. Relocating wasn’t part of my plan, but it was a welcomed detour and new destination for my Mid-Career GPS.
That move over 10 years ago accelerated my career. It gave me opportunities I would have never had if I decided to stay in my previous position. I had an opportunity to work as an administrator in a larger and high-profile district. From there, I went to go work at the State Superintendent’s Office. From that position, I leveled up to take a job at an educational nonprofit as a Training and Staffing Director. And then, I took an even bigger leap into entrepreneurship. I have never regretted any of these moves, and I continue to have an exciting career. I get to go to work every day. I get to coach amazing clients and help them figure out what’s next for them professionally by helping them create their mid-career roadmap to find a job they love or love the job they have. I’ve launched two podcasts. The first is called #SHOWUP2020 and highlighted everyday people who do extraordinary things because of how they choose to SHOW UP. My second podcast is “The Mid-Career GPS Podcast,” and it’s an extension of this book. You can listen to it wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.
I would be remiss if I didn’t take some time to talk about a defining and universal moment in all of our careers. That is the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic had on us both personally and professionally. Together, we saw a record number of people unemployed due to the pandemic. According to the Pew Research Center in an article titled, “Unemployment rose higher in three months of COVID-19 than it did in two years of the Great Recession,” Rakesh Kochhar writes, “The COVID-19 outbreak and the economic downturn it engendered swelled the ranks of unemployed Americans by more than 14 million, from 6.2 million in February to 20.5 million in May 2020. As a result, the U.S. unemployment rate shot up from 3.8% in February – among the lowest on record in the post-World War II era – to 13.0% in May. That rate was the era’s second-highest, trailing only the level reached in April (14.4%).”
We saw industries brought to their knees because life as we knew it had changed. People stopped traveling and staying in hotels. People stopped going to restaurants and instead learned how to cook. While food delivery services saw an uptick, we must acknowledge that many small businesses and restaurants closed because of the pandemic.
Millions of people were either furloughed or laid off. When 2020 began, many companies were positioned to have their best year. Their strategic plans, dreams, and goals quickly changed by late spring when COVID-19 didn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.
And with increased vaccinations and a potential return to “normal” on the horizon, it will take years, if not decades, for us to recover from the personal, professional, financial, and mental health impact this pandemic has had.
As an executive and career transition coach, I share this with you because I spent the majority of 2020 working with my clients about what their career roadmap would look like. Just like you, things changed for them. And while 2020 certainly gave us time to reflect and consider, it also hit our savings accounts and checkbooks; affected our mental health, families, and relationships; and caused moments of intense isolation. We missed milestone events and celebrations. Where possible, the majority of the workforce transitioned to a virtual platform, and running out to get your coffee in the morning or midday wasn’t something you were typically doing anymore. Gone were the casual, in-person conversations you had with dear friends and colleagues. Gone were the moments when you would stop by someone’s office and see if they could take a walk or grab a cup of coffee with you. Now, your dining room table or favorite chair has been turned into your home office or classroom.
2020, in my opinion, will go down as one of the most challenging years for us professionally. Whether you had a job for the entire year or didn’t, it took a toll on you. While you were grateful to have a job and a steady paycheck, I know many people who experienced a form of survival guilt and were hesitant to complain about something at work because they had a job and people they knew did not. You may still be unemployed as a result of the pandemic, and I hope the information in this book not only provides you with relevant and tactical strategies to help you navigate and create your mid-career roadmap, but also gives you some inspiration and motivation. Let me ask you this: How would you SHOW UP if you knew your value was non-negotiable? As you go through this book, I hope you will find an answer to that question.
How would you SHOW UP if you knew your value was non-negotiable?
My book will help you create Your Mid-Career GPS to create a plan to get you from where you are to wherever “Point B” is for you. In this book, I’m leveraging my coach training and experience to help you explore and consider all of the options you have in front of you by asking questions to help you reflect and decide on a course of action you see as best for you. By the end of this book, you are going to have a plan, a roadmap, a GPS to help you chart a path to whatever is next for you professionally. You have an opportunity to go after what you want – this isn’t an opportunity for you to settle. Lastly, I have no judgment on any client’s decision regarding their career path because I know they are making the best decision for them. This means that I have no personal stake or agenda in how a client reaches their best conclusion. My role is to facilitate the process of helping them get there. Let this book be a guide or a resource to help you create Your Mid-Career GPS.
Throughout this book, you will see a combination of information, both from my experience and experts in various fields, along with coaching questions designed to help you think, reflect, and explore the actions you want to take. They all combine to help you create a step-by-step roadmap, or a personal career GPS, to navigate whatever is next for your career. The ultimate goal is for you to increase your overall job satisfaction, know your value and worth, and be happier than you have ever been professionally.
Periodically, I will share my background and experiences that have helped shape these tips and strategies while supporting that information with research and additional expert information. Some topics in this book are virtually impossible to capture all of the information you may need or question. That is where Google is best. Do not hesitate to put the book down and search for things on Google that have piqued your interest or are not answered in this book.
This book will walk you through four specific stages to help you build Your Mid-Career GPS. In the Prepare section, you will explore your current career situation, along with your attitudes, strengths, and value to help you identify any move you want to make. In the Position section, you will look at best practices for writing your résumé, optimizing your LinkedIn profile, and creating your “Unique Professional Value Statement.” Once you have prepared and positioned, the next step is to promote who you are and what you do. In the Promote section, we will talk about building your networking and interviewing skills. More importantly, you will learn how to tell your story from a place of value and service, so you can get people interested in who you are and what you do, rather than just finding you interesting. The last section is an updated version of my #SHOWUP6Strategies. It was important for me to revisit these strategies because of what we experienced in 2020. I’ve updated these strategies through a lens of helping mid-career professionals SHOW UP to find the best ways they can make an impact and increase their job satisfaction.
Roadmaps are not created overnight. As you navigate the information in this book, you may find yourself taking detours and visiting various topics of interest to you right now. For example, if you pick up this book and have an interview tomorrow, I strongly suggest you immediately jump to the interview section and read it. However, I hope you will move sequentially through these sections. It will help you gain greater insight into the kind of work I do with my clients in helping them create their Mid-Career GPS over several months of working together.
As I say on my podcast, it’s time to start building Your Mid-Career GPS. Let’s get started!
John Neral, MA, CPC reawakens, energizes, galvanizes, and innovates the mind think of employees, corporations, associations, and systems. A celebrated executive/career and professional development coach and in-demand, mindset-shifting public speaker, John’s professional walk included a 25-year career in education and a longstanding corporate consultant for Fortune 500 giant, Casio America, Inc. He now leads John Neral Coaching, LLC, one of the most progressive, mindset-shifting professional and organizational coaching and public speaking firms in the U.S. He is the author of Your Mid-Career GPS – Four Steps to Figuring Out What’s Next and SHOW UP – Six Strategies to Lead a More Energetic and Impactful Career and the host of “The Mid-Career GPS Podcast.”
As a Master Practitioner in the Energy Leadership Index, John’s experience has made him an impactful and valuable coach to his one-on-one and group coaching clients and organizations. With Energy Leadership™, John identifies where people perform at their optimal levels and when they are under stress. Combining the Energy Leadership™ principles, a client’s workplace strengths, and their “unique professional value,” John helps his clients create their career GPS so they can take action toward achieving their professional and personal goals.
A former church organ prodigy, John is an avid traveler–having sojourned to 5 of the 7 continents, a professional bowler and the winner of a Professional Bowlers’ Association Regional Title (2010), and a game-show fan, having appeared on previous episodes of GSN’s Chain Reaction and Make My Day. John is happily married and lives with his spouse and their rescue cat, Amy Farrah Meowler (named after the Big Bang Theory character), in the heart of Washington DC’s Dulles Technology Corridor, Tysons Corner, VA.
Frazier, the Very Special Cat is a sweet, heart-warming story for young children! It teaches love for animals, counting, the senses, and encourages discussion and problem-solving.
Frazier is a stray blond tabby not doing very well on his own, but things get worse when he gets hurt. Fortunately, the author is able to trap him and bring him to the vet. Now, all he needs is a permanent happy home…but who will want to take a chance on a one-eyed cat? Not to despair, for a fully happy ending awaits this sweet kitty!
Frazier, the Very Special Cat is Book 3 in the Stray Cat Stories series, and it is the perfect tale to read at bedtime or discuss with an adult in a home or school environment. The rhythm and repetition make it a fun read-aloud picture book. A charming addition to any child’s cat bookshelf!
The book is available in Kindle, paperback and hardcover. Find out more and get your copy on Amazon.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Faye Rapoport DesPres is the author of the memoir-in-essays Message From a Blue Jay (Buddhapuss Ink, 2014) and the Stray Cat Stories Children’s Books Series (Writer’s Coffee Bar Press). She earned her MFA at the Solstice Creative Writing Program at Pine Manor College and has published creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry in a variety of literary journals. A life-long advocate for animals, wildlife, and the environment, Faye donates a portion of the proceeds from her children’s books to non-profit animal rescue organizations. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband, Jean-Paul Des Pres, and their rescued cats.
Connect with Faye on the Web:
Follow the author on Amazon and receive updates of her new books in this series.
We’re thrilled to have here today Frazier from Faye Rapoport DesPres’ new children’s book, Frazier: The Very Special Cat. Frazier is a former stray cat of unknown age who lives in Massachusetts.
It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Beyond the Books!
Thank you so for this interview, Frazier. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?
I think Faye did a pretty good job telling my story. Maybe the only thing I’d want my readers to know is that I am definitely the King of my castle, a condo in Massachusetts. I have a great human mom and now two feline siblings, but I’m the boss.
Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality? If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?
I think I am portrayed just as I really am — sweet, brave, and lovable.
What do you believe is your strongest trait?
I know what I want, and I get it. After all, I’m a cat — it goes without saying that I should get what I want. But I do give lots of love back in return.
Cats can have bad traits? That’s news to me.
If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?
Do you have a love interest in the book?
No, but I have a sister I love a lot. Her name is Snow White (though she’s called Opal by our human mom now).
At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?
I was nervous when I lived outside. It was hard finding enough food and water, and I got into a lot of fights. I never felt safe or like I could really rest. I had no idea how my story would turn out, and things were getting bleaker by the day, especially after I got injured. Thankfully a human or two stepped in and brought me inside and to a doctor. That was the beginning of a whole new life for me.
If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?
That’s a hard question. I guess I wouldn’t want to be the veterinarian, because I might have tried to scratch him once or twice in real life before I realized he was trying to help me. Faye doesn’t mention that in the book!
How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?
Let’s just say I’m very happy about the ending.
What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?
Call my agent.
Thank you for this interview, Frazier. Will we be seeing more of you in the future?
I’m here lounging on the bed if anyone wants to see me.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Frazier: The Very Special Cat is the third book in the Stray Cat Stories children’s book series. It tells the heartwarming story of a big orange tom cat who needed help and the humans who came to his rescue. The book, which is based on a true story and features colorful, charming illustrations by Laurel McKinstry Petersen, teaches children about compassion for stray animals and ways they can help. It also includes a message about being different and still being happy and loved. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of books in the Stray Cat Stories Series is donated to non-profit animal rescue organizations.
Find out more on Amazon.
Title: Tutankhamen Speaks
Author: Cheryl Carpinello
Publisher: Beyond Today Educator
Genre: Teen / YA / Ancient Egypt Historical Fiction
From over 3000 years ago comes the voice of the Boy King.
Scrolls found buried in the basement of the Egyptian Museum. Transcribed in an ancient hand. Record the words of King Tut for all to read.
Tutankhamen answers all of the lingering questions, including the big one.
Discover the real story behind this famous pharaoh. Transport yourself back to an Ancient Egypt filled with mystery, magic, and danger!
Growing up in Akhet-Aten
From the time I was able to walk, I had the run of our palace. Usually it was just me and Ankhesenpaaten. We played the normal childhood games. We would run through the palace chasing and hiding from each other. The gardens and the pools were great places to hide. All too often one of us would fall into one of the pools as we raced by. Then we would move the game outside into the heat so that our clothes would dry. In Egypt’s heat, it didn’t take long. [missing text]
Sailing toy boats
When I was small, palace carpenters made me toy boats. Sometimes these were made to resemble the barges that would carry crops and animals down and up the Nile from one settlement to another. Some were fully outfitted royal barges complete with sails and the poles used when the barge was moving up river. I started playing with these in the palace pools. Later, as I got better at loading them and maneuvering them, I would find a place near the palace where the Nile ran slower. There I would dig out canals for the boats to float in. Sometimes Ankhesenpaaten would help me. One time we had so many canals built that it took all afternoon for our crop barges and the royal barges to enter into the canal system and then sail through and re-enter the Nile. I loved those days with Ankhesenpaaten and the Nile.
In the evenings we would play Senet. My sisters and I became skilled Senet players, and our games would often last late into the night. My favorite were the casting sticks.
Title: Sons of the Sphinx
Author: Cheryl Carpinello
Publisher: Beyond Today Educator
Genre: Teen / YA / Ancient Egypt Historical Fiction
A grandmother’s gift usually bring happiness. Rosa’s gift: a very different story. Hearing the dead alienated her from classmates. Not good for a 15-year-old.
Many times very insistent, the dead cared little for her surroundings. They even bothered her in class. Dates? Forget that.
Then one day, he shows up in her room. An old dead guy. A really old famous dead guy. In living human form!
Thrilling story of battling good and evil in an ancient world.
Book Excerpt from Chapter 11:
A well-traveled dirt road leads back into the valley formed by the hills on either side. Although not high by my experience, rising up from the sandy floor, the Theban Hills are impressive. Jagged crevices run up and down the sides of the hills, and in many places, man-made square arches can be seen. The Tombs of the Pharaohs. I’m walking in the footsteps of an ancient people. How cool.
I hurry to catch up with him. A mistake, sweat stings my eyes and grit scrapes my cheek when I wipe my face. My shirt is sticking to me by the time I come even with him. Does Re never find a cloud to hide behind? Did I say Re? Now I’m starting to think as an Egyptian. Good grief. Must be the heat. There is no shade anywhere. Like a shimmering mirage on a hot highway, the heat rises in waves off the barren hillsides. No trees can withstand this burning furnace. The only shelter exists under the entrances to the tombs.
Tut hurries ahead, but I may never get here again, so I take my time. We pass one entrance, and I walk over closer to it. Heavy wooden doors covered in hieroglyphs bar the way. Ancient rope—rough, scratchy, and strong—twisted around the door handles and knotted tight, holds them closed. On the right door handle there is a clump of mud molded like those wax seals used on letters. It covers the handle and the rope. Symbols are pressed into it.
“Tut, what is this for and what does it say?”
He hurries over, curious.
“Why the rope and this lump of mud?”
“Lump of mud? Oh Roosa, you are looking at the Necropolis Seal placed here by the priests. That it is still here means that the tomb is intact. No one has entered since the burial.”
“Does the seal say whose tomb this is? Is it a pharaoh?”
“No, not a pharaoh. Here.” He points to a set of hieroglyphs. “These state that this is the tomb of the dignitary Ramose.” He pauses. “I remember hearing stories about him when I was young. He was the governor of Thebes during Thutmosis IV’s time.”
“Do all the tombs carry this seal?”
“Yes, but even in my reign, it was becoming difficult to keep the tombs sealed. Thieves continually broke in to steal the property of the dead.”
“Yes. When they were caught, their hands were chopped off.”
I gasp at such horrible consequences.
“You are shocked. I understand that in your time, there does not exist an undisturbed tomb here.” He waves his hand around the entire valley. “Who are these people who think they have the right to touch a Pharaoh of Egypt, even a dead one? They disturb our sacred resting places and steal the items left for our journey into the afterlife. May they all be cursed along with their families.”
I stand beside him, my mouth agape. Up to now, Tut has been determined in his mission, angry at Horemheb, but he hasn’t lost his composure. Until now. I try to find words to soothe him.
“They only want the world to know about the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. How magnificent they were. How they lived.”
He turns on me. “You don’t learn about a people by stealing what is sacred to them. In my time and yours, they are nothing more than common tomb robbers!”
“Scholars have shared what they learned. They search for knowledge. I learned about you from the artifacts in the exhibit.”
“Harrumph! What do you and they know? Nothing. Nothing at all! All you do is seek the treasures and the gold to make yourselves rich.” He spits in the dirt. “You wouldn’t know wealth if you were buried in it. Tomb robbers, the whole lot.”
He stomps away almost at a run, propelled by his anger. I hurry to keep up with him. We round a bend and to the left a small path winds up a cliff and then disappears. His chest heaves with ragged breaths and he’s actually vibrating he’s so enraged.
“We aren’t all like that, you know.” I whisper, wanting to avoid a harsh response. “Some of us understand that true wealth comes from within, from one’s heart, from love for others, and from respect for family.” I pause. “Some of us do.”
He says nothing; he doesn’t turn to look at me, but his breathing slows; his fingers unclench.
Cheryl Carpinello taught high school English for 25 years. During that time, she worked with numerous students who didn’t like to read for a variety of reasons. However, she discovered that even the most reluctant readers became engaged in the classroom and in reading when she introduced units on King Arthur and the works of ancient world writers. Upon retiring, she set out to write fast-paced, action-filled stories in these setting to encourage young readers to read more. When not writing, you can find her reading, spending time with family, and traveling.
“In 2008, my husband and I spent three weeks traveling around Egypt via train and visiting all those magnificent archeological sites. Since we returned home, Egypt has never been far from my thoughts. I truly believe that I left part of my soul in that ancient land. To satisfy my longing to return, I wrote Sons of the Sphinx and Tutankhamen Speaks.” Visit her on Twitter and Facebook.
OTHER BOOKS BY CHERYL CARPINELLO
In Death Rules the Night, the fourth Dan and Rivka Sherman mystery, Rosemary and Larry Mild deliver a smart, suspenseful tale that will keep readers spellbound.
About Death Rules the Night: Reluctant sleuths Dan and Rivka yearn for a tranquil life as owners of The Olde Victorian Bookstore in Annapolis, Maryland. When copies of a tell-all book on the prominent Atkins family go missing from the bookstore, from all the local libraries, and even from the author’s bookshelves, Dan wants to know why. But the price of “why” brings threats, stalking, break-ins—and a brutal murder. He and Rivka fear for their lives.
The Atkins family secrets are weaving a sinister web. Tom Dwyer, a retired truck driver, is ready to confess to a crime that he and Frank Mulhaney, another driver, committed twenty years ago. Frank plots revenge on Tom. Bookstore clerk Ivy hears ugly gossip aimed at derailing her wedding. Will the family secrets finally see the light of day? And will the killer ever be caught?
Death Rules the Night is a tightly woven, cleverly plotted tale with an irresistible cast of characters—including Lord Byron, the wily bookstore cat who springs his own surprise.
About the Authors:
ROSEMARY AND LARRY MILD, cheerful partners in crime, coauthor mystery, suspense, and fantasy fiction. Rosemary and Larry have published award-winning novels, short stories, and essays. They co-authored the popular Paco and Molly Mystery Series; Hawaii adventure/thrillers Cry Ohana and Honolulu Heat; and three volumes of short stories, many of which appear in anthologies. After forty-plus years in Maryland, the Milds currently make their home in Honolulu, where they cherish time with their daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren.
ROSEMARY, a graduate of Smith College and former assistant editor of Harper’s, also delves into her own nonfiction life. She published two memoirs: Love! Laugh! Panic! Life With My Mother and the acclaimed Miriam’s World—and Mine, for the beloved daughter they lost in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. On her lighter side, Rosemary also writes award-winning humorous essays, such as failing the test to get on Jeopardy; and working for a giant free-spending corporation on a sudden budget: “No new pencil unless you turn in the old stub.”
LARRY, who was only called Lawrence when he’d done something wrong, graduated from American University in Information Systems Management. In 2019 he published his autobiography, No Place To Be But Here: My Life and Times, which traces his thirty-eight-year professional engineering career from its beginning as an electronics technician in the U.S. Navy, to a field engineer riding Navy ships, to a digital systems/instrument designer for major Government contractors in the signal analysis field, to where he rose to the most senior level of principal engineer when he retired in 1993.
Making use of his past creativity and problem-solving abilities, Larry naturally drifted into the realm of mystery writing, where he also claims to be more devious than his partner in crime and best love, Rosemary. So he conjures up their plots and writes the first drafts, leaving Rosemary to breathe life into their characters and sizzle into their scenes. A perfect marriage of their talents.
THE MILDS are active members of Sisters in Crime where Larry is a Mister in Crime; Mystery Writers of America; and Hawaii Fiction Writers. In 2013 they waved goodbye to Severna Park, Maryland and moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, where they cherish quality time with their daughters and grandchildren. When Honolulu hosted Left Coast Crime in 2017, Rosemary and Larry were the program co-chairs for “Honolulu Havoc.”
Over a dozen worldwide trips to Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Great Britain, France, Italy, Israel, Egypt, and more have wormed their way into their amazing stories. In their limited spare time, they are active members of the Honolulu Jewish Film Festival committee, where Larry is the statistician and recordkeeper for their film ratings.
Brother and Sister from Death Rules the Night by Rosemary and Larry Mild
Cora drove her bright green Mercedes SL Class convertible up to the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel entrance and turned the car over to a young, good-looking valet parker, who tried unsuccessfully to flirt with her. Inside the lobby, she ignored the reception desk and headed straight for the elevator. Dressed in a navy business suit, she made her way directly to room 233. She knocked rapidly four times and waited.
“Who’s there?” a deep male voice answered.
Muddy opened the door and blinked twice. “What the hell are you doing here?”
“That’s no way to greet your sister. Aren’t you going to invite me in?”
“Sister schmister. What the hell are you up to? You’re not one to make social calls, especially not to me. Out with it, woman. You must want something from me.”
“Of course not, dear brother. It’s just that I hadn’t heard from you in several days, and I wanted to thank you for handling the movers at the old house. It sure made our lives a lot easier on moving day. At first, I wondered why you volunteered, but then I realized that you were just being nice.”
“Meaning you thought I was acting out of character?” he asked. His sarcastic tone was not missed.
“Don’t get me wrong, Muddy. Motive aside, you were appreciated. Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to come in and sit down.”
“Of course, my manners seem to be malfunctioning today.” His hand swept through a healthy arc, showing her the way in.
Cora took a seat in front of the wide glass sliding doors. The expanse revealed a view of the Annapolis City Dock and its famous Ego Alley, a tiny harbor inlet where boat owners paraded their floating prides and joys during the summer season. Muddy sat down on the bed opposite her and tried to analyze her real reason for coming.
“Yeah, I was just being nice.” He sounded as though even he wasn’t convinced of his own generosity. Her gratitude didn’t sound right to him. She hasn’t any idea that I really needed time in the empty house to seal off the secret room from the new owners.
“Muddy, I know you were opposed to Rae selling the house, but Daddy left it to her, and she should be free to do with it as she pleases. I believe she sold it for money to support her writing career.”
“Rae should’ve asked each of us whether we wanted to buy it beforehand,” he complained. “She never asked me. That’s why I’m so pissed at her.” The old buzzard could have left something for his only son. The house would have been nice—even a partnership, so I could have blocked any sale.
“I didn’t know you wanted to buy the house,” said Cora. “Were you able to save that much dough serving in the Merchant Marines all this time?” The Merchant Marines pays well, but not that well, she thought.
“No, but one of you sisters might have wanted to keep it—maybe turn it into a bed and breakfast or something.” He admitted to himself, No way I could have saved that much, even if I’d behaved and avoided spending the lion’s share on whisky, waste, and whores.
“I have no interest in that sort of thing,” said Cora, “and Gloria certainly couldn’t handle a project like that. No, Rae did the right thing in selling it. There are far too many rooms to clean and take care of without maintaining an expensive household staff.”
“But our house has been in the family since colonial times,” Muddy protested, “and I don’t want to see strangers living in it.” Ordinarily, I wouldn’t give a crap.
“I didn’t know you felt that way,” she said. “You’ve never taken any interest in the family history before.” The sonofabitch is lying. What’s his motive?
“There’re a lot of things you don’t know about me,” declared Muddy.
“I’m sure there are, but one thing is nagging at me.”
“Why are you so suddenly interested in Daddy’s book?”
“Who says I am?”
“It’s kind of obvious. I hear you’ve been following Dan Sherman, that bookseller, all over the place ever since he borrowed Daddy’s manuscript from Rae.”
“Damn it. You’ve been talking to that Sherman guy, haven’t you?”
“Maybe,” she admitted. “But why are you following him around otherwise?”
“That’s my business—and you’d better stay out of it if you know what’s good for you.” He hadn’t meant to voice an ugly threat; it just spilled out.
“What are you trying to hide, little brother?” Now I’ve got him, she thought.
“That also is my business, not yours.” The bitch is getting too close.
“I’ll bet dollars to donuts it has something to do with the house. Doesn’t it, Muddy dear?”
“You’re all wrong, Cora. You couldn’t be more wrong.” Too damn close.
“Ah! Perhaps you protest way too much, little brother.”
“Now you’re getting much too obnoxious, I think you ought to leave.”
“Why, Muddy? Am I getting too close to the truth?”
“You wouldn’t know the truth if you stepped in it. Now get the hell out of here before I throw you out.”
Cora stood and walked toward the door. As she passed him, he reached out and pinched her hard on the rump. It was his way of curbing his frustration—a way of having the last word. She spun around and slapped him—a stinging blow across the face in one swinging action. Stunned for only a few seconds, he returned an even stronger slap. She ran out the door in tears, the left side of her face wearing a red mark half the size of his hand. It smarted now, but later, it would turn sore, black and blue. She had failed to get Muddy to admit to anything, but she thought she knew what he might be hiding.
Title: MY FEATS IN THESE SHOES: A SOLELY ORIGINAL MEMOIR
Author: Ronda Beaman
Publisher: Adelaide Books, NYC
Genre: Memoir / Inspiration
If memoirs, done right, tap the right sort of personal journey to ignite fresh insight and inspiration into the human journey, then what better way to humorously and poignantly illuminate the sequential steps and stages of life than with shoes?
“My Feats in These Shoes” is an exuberantly spunky woman’s spirited and irrepressible romp—slips, missteps, leaps, scuffs, and twirls—toward becoming something bigger, something better, something more.
Far from serving up trauma porn (or emotional bunions), this memoir is an upbeat, humorous, affectionate and affecting coming of age memoir that ends each chapter with a ‘Put Yourself in My Shoes’ section for readers to consider their own strides in pursuing an out of the shoe box life.
I have never known anyone great who didn’t face hundreds of pebbles in their shoes as they climbed their mountain of purpose, contribution, and meaning. What do they do? They untie their shoes, pick out the biggest pebbles, throw them underfoot, put their shoes back on and then put all their weight into pulverizing the remaining gravel holding them back or down—and then they keep climbing.
Dr. Ronda Beaman has been Chief Creative Officer for the global research and solution firm PEAK Learning, Inc., since 1990. As a national award-winning educator, Dr. Beaman is Clinical Professor of Leadership at The Orfalea School of Business, California Polytechnic University. She is Founder and Executive Director of Dream Makers SLO, a non-profit foundation granting final wishes to financially- challenged, terminally-ill adults, and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Pay It Forward Foundation. She was recently named a Stanford Fellow at the Distinguished Career Institute.
Her national award-winning book, You’re Only Young Twice, has been printed in five languages. Her memoir, Little Miss Merit Badge, was an Amazon bestseller and was featured at The Golden Globe Awards. Her children’s book, Seal With a Kiss, is designed to improve skills for beginning readers and is offered at Lindamood-Bell Learning Centers internationally. My Feats in These Shoes will be released in Spring 2021.
Dr. Beaman is an internationally recognized expert on leadership, resilience, fitness, education, and life coaching. She has conducted research in a host of areas, written many academic articles and books, and won numerous awards. She was selected by the Singapore Ministry of the Family as their honored Speaker of the Year and named the first recipient of the National Education Association’s “Excellence in the Academy: Art of Teaching” award. She has been selected as a faculty resource for the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) university in Argentina, Kyoto and India, where she received the highest speaker ratings among 36 elite faculty. She has been featured on major media including CBS and Fox Television, USA Today, and is a national thought leader for American Health Network.
Dr. Beaman earned her doctorate in Leadership at Arizona State University. She is also a certified executive coach and personal trainer with multiple credentials from the Aerobic Research Center. Her family was named “America’s Most Creative Family” by USA Today and she won the SCW National Fitness Idol competition.