October 21, 2012

PURRS OF WISDOM: CONSCIOUS LIVING, FELINE STYLE by Ingrid King

Purrs of Wisdom: Conscious Living, Feline Style by Ingrid King
Kindle Edition, 84 pages
Published October 9, 2012 by The Conscious Cat
ASIN:  B009MP9P5A

This collection of essays features lessons in conscious living, inspired by the cats who have shared my life.

From help with every day challenges to inspiration on living a joyful life, this compilation provides guidance, inspiration and enlightenment, feline style.

Whether it’s creating balance, navigating turbulent times, or finding the magic in life’s ordinary moments, there’s something for everyone in this book.

Chapters include:
•The Healing Power of the Purr
•Making Time for Contemplation
•Routine as the Key to Happiness
•Purging Can Make You Purr
•Healthy Cats, Healthy Human

The stories may remind you of lessons your own cats have taught you, provide “aha” moments, or simply make you smile.

These essays are best enjoyed with a cat curled up on your lap.


My Thoughts on Purrs of Wisdom: Conscious Living, Feline Style
 
I was introduced to author Ingrid King back in 2009 when I read Buckley’s Story, a recollection of how of how her cat Buckley changed her life for the better.  I read it through smiles, laughter and tears, as a cat momma myself.  I understood every word of Ms. King’s story and it lead me to her website, The Conscious Cat, in which she discusses not only cat health and issues but uplifting messages that our little feline masters give us.  So when I was offered the chance to read and review Ms. King’s newest offering, I jumped at it.
Purrs of Wisdom came at exactly the right moment for me.  I was dealing with stress in one area of my life that was beginning to affect other areas of my life and my health.  I decided to begin reading Purrs of Wisdom during my lunch hour one afternoon.  What a fortuitous decision!   The life lessons and basic philosophy spoke directly to me as if Ingrid King herself was sitting across the table from me, holding my hand.   This little volume not only uplifted me but I could feel the tensions begin to evaporate from my body.  I felt renewed and focused, calm and yet energized.      

Purrs of Wisdom reminds us of the small moments of every day and how we must grab them and appreciate them.   Our pets are wonderful reminders of this, if we choose to observe them.  Although the “stars” of this book are Ingrid’s cats, you can appreciate Purrs of Wisdom and its knowledge whether you’re a dog owner, cat owner or pet-free.   
While my own cats have gone on to the Rainbow Bridge, reading Purrs of Wisdom I was reminded of how much love and support they gave me during their time here and how they greeted each day with joy and vigor.   

I found myself looking at my Boston Terrier with a new eye and noting that the balance of which Ms. King writes is very evident in him.   In such a fast paced, type A world, we all need to stop and look around and realize it’s okay to sit and contemplate and reconnect with your spiritual side.   As someone who used to meditate and dropped the habit over a period of time and for a variety of reasons, this book was a help in cementing my decision to begin to meditate again. 
Purrs of Wisdom is a very sleek guide, direct and to the point.  It’s quick read (I read it over two lunch hours) with relatively short chapters that deal with everything from the above-mentioned contemplation to purging your life of excess to getting enough sleep.  It can be read in the order in which it is written (as I did) or you can pick and choose those chapters that apply to you.  Either way, this collection of essays is a treasure to keep close by for those moments that you need that little extra push and reminder.    

I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Purrs of Wisdom to anyone looking for some positive encouragement and if you’re a cat lover, all the better!   I promise that you will come to like and respect Ingrid and her furry little teachers every bit as much as I do. 
Purrs of Wisdom: Conscious Living, Feline Style is available for purchase now at major booksellers, including Amazon.  I am an Amazon affiliate.  If you make a purchase through my link, I will receive a small commission.
Review copy of this book provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.  In no way did the provision of this book affect the outcome of my review.  

To read my interview with author Ingrid King, please go here 

October 19, 2012

SEARCHING FOR CAPTAIN WENTWORTH by Jane Odiwe

Searching for Captain Wentworth by Jane Odiwe
Paperback and Kindle, 320 pages
Published September 7, 2012 by Paintbox Publishing
ISBN 10:  095457222X
ISBN 13:  978-0954572228
 
When aspiring writer, Sophie Elliot, receives the keys to the family townhouse in Bath, it's an invitation she can’t turn down, especially when she learns that she will be living next door to the house her favourite author, Jane Austen, lived in. But, the neglected house is harbouring more than the antiquated furniture and nesting mice, though initially Sophie tries to dismiss the haunting visions of a young girl. On discovering that an ancient glove belonging to her mysterious neighbour, Josh Strafford, will transport her back in time to Regency Bath, she questions her sanity, but Sophie is soon caught up in two dimensions, each reality as certain as the other. Torn between her life in the modern world, and that of her ancestor who befriends Jane Austen and her fascinating brother Charles, Sophie's story travels two hundred years across time, and back again, to unite this modern heroine with her own Captain Wentworth. Blending fact and fiction together the tale of Jane Austen’s own quest for happiness weaves alongside, creating a believable world of new possibilities for the inspiration behind the beloved novel, Persuasion
 
My Thoughts on Searching for Captain Wentworth

Jane Odiwe has been a favorite Jane Austen-inspired author of mine for some time and she earns a special distinction due to her Lydia Bennet’s Story being the first Austen sequel/prequel that I read and starting me down the road of various Austen variations.  I loved Lydia Bennet’s Story, as well as her other sequels/reimaginings Mr. Darcy’s Secret and Willoughy’s Return in which she vividly brought beloved Jane’s original characters back to life.  Searching for Captain Wentworth is different from Ms. Odiwe’s previous work because while it does center on one of beloved Jane’s work (this time, Persuasion), it’s a modern take with time travel back to the Regency period of Jane Austen.  And oh yes, beloved Jane herself plays a very central role.

I loved how Ms. Odiwe took Jane Austen’s actual history of the time she spent in Bath and wove a wonderfully romantic tale of how Persuasion was conceived and birthed.  Jane is presented here as a feisty and charming woman, a loyal sister.  And yes, a writer at heart. In addition to Jane, Cassandra Austen and Charles Austen were both represented and it was a delight to have them included as both were vital in Jane’s life. 

I loved our heroine, Sophie, an aspiring writer who desperately wants to follow in Jane Austen’s footsteps.  She was utterly loveable and it was easy to root for her. 

The set up for the story is seamless and I was entranced by both Sophie’s present day conflicts and historical issues.  I adored both the modern day story as well as the story unfolding in Regency Bath.  When I was reading about Regency Bath, I didn’t want it to end and by the same token, present day Bath held me captivated.  I am a big fan of time travel pieces and never before have I experienced equal passion for both eras being represented.  It created a torn feeling in me as I fell in love with both Charles and Josh, Charles’ present day counterpart.  Both men have standout qualities, both are incredible fantasy literature men so who should Sophie choose?  

Ms. Odiwe’s knowledge of artwork and art history shines through solidly in the passages with Josh at work in the museum and as someone with very limited knowledge on art and art history, I was fascinated with it.  I also appreciated Ms. Odiwe’s insider knowledge of Bath.  Austen fans will recognize and rejoice over the Pump Rooms, Lyme Regis and assembly rooms.  The city comes alive in glorious detail and for an Austen addict and Anglophile like myself, only furthers to whet my appetite to walk in Jane Austen’s footsteps myself. 

I must give Searching for Captain Wentworth my highest recommendation. Reading it was equivalent to enjoying one of Jane Austen’s own works - - romantic, clever, entertaining and ultimately satisfying.  Ms. Odiwe’s affection for Jane Austen allows the reader to escape into a land in which disbelief is suspended and all things are possible and isn’t that what a good book is supposed to do? 

Searching for Captain Wentworth may well be my favorite of Ms. Odiwe's novels.  Every character is so real, so vivid, every scene so perfectly handled I desperately wanted to live within the pages of this achingly romantic book for more than the few short days I did.

Searching for Captain Wentworth is available for purchase now at major booksellers, including Amazon.  I am an Amazon  affiliate.  If you make a purchase through my link, I will receive a small commission.  
Review copy of this book provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest reviews.  In no way did the provision of this book affect the outcome of my review.
For more information on author Jane Odiwe, please visit her website or blog 

October 12, 2012

I Need a Break

I have been reviewing books for 3 or 4 years now, have thoroughly enjoyed it and have looked on it as a job of sorts and tried to remain diligent about posting honest and timely reviews.  Over the last few weeks my brain has been so consumed with work-related stress and resulting health issues that I have forgotten one or two review books.  Not just missed the review dates but utterly and completely blanked out on the book to the point of I have absolutely no idea what book is being referred to in a follow-up email. 

This has made me realize that the scheduled book reviewing is currently placing additional stressors on my already crowded plate.  I hate that I have overlooked a book and a review and let someone down.  I hate that I seem irresponsible as a result.  I hate that I feel like I am going to go absolutely crazy looking at my TBR pile and the general backlog after getting home from a long, exhausting day at the office. 

Until other areas of my life settle down, I think it's best that I step away from the virtual tours and scheduled stops and maybe just review those books that don't have the same sense of "obligation" to read, with the scheduled deadlines. I will get reviews up of those books that I missed, as well as author interviews and related reviews but you may not see me posting regularly (although my posts have been sporadic at best over the last few months). 

I hope you will still stick around as I plan to be back as soon as the storm is replaced by calm.  Thank you in advance for your understanding and support!