Friday, June 23, 2017

Book Feature: Great Objectives by Robert Finch








In his book Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill refers to the great objects of human life. We may assume that that what Mill calls an object is the same as an objective in modern parlance. The examples of great objectives that Mill cites include power, fame, and money. One wonders how seriously Mill was actually endorsing such aims to be the overarching objectives of living or whether he was simply expressing his finding that many people actually do take such aims as these for life. The contention is that Mill was indeed recognizing that people do choose such goals in life. After all, happiness has been recognized as an objective of life at least since the time of Aristotle, and virtue has a similarly ancient pedigree. It is quite common for ordinary people to adopt such mottos as “Healthy, wealthy, and wise” as aims for life. But we know that having more than one such value can lead to conflicts. This had been a concern to Sidgwick as well as other nineteenth-century moralists. A resolution to the problem was found by the time of the twentieth century, when it was realized that we should not try to achieve definite objectives, but instead look to some other procedure, such as a variety of evolution, to shape our objectives. In that case, we make plans and evaluate them, as we proceed. We should use our values, as Dewey recommended, for guideposts. The book discusses the methods of arriving at such plans and weighs some of the ethical and moral problems an individual or a society might face at the present time.



Robert Finch is the author of five collections of essays and co-editor of The Norton Book of Nature Writing. He broadcasts a weekly commentary on NPR and serves on the faculty of the MFA in Writing Program at Spalding University in Louisville, KY. He lives in Wellfleet, MA.
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Monday, June 19, 2017

Interview with Raymond Floodgate, author of Life 2 the Full








Life 2 the Full is a self-help book that shows the reader how to improve health and well-being by preventing Illness from happening in the first place. This book will guide you through the elements needed to help you live your life to the full. Life 2 the Full covers such subjects as health and well-being, food, exercise for the body, and exercise for the mind. Stress is also covered in this book, including ways to eliminate it. Other topics include breathing, relaxation, meditation, money, and abundance. The goal is to help the reader achieve a life that is lived to the full. If you are struggling with your life through constant recurring illness, stress, food-related problems, or lack of purpose, Life 2 the Full will teach you how to change the life you are living now into a life that you never thought possible. The book is written in plain English, is easy to understand, and will give you an insight into how easy it is to change your life should you want to.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
As a child I was never interested reading or writing and this was reflected in my education as I could barely read when I left school. I started to read books in my mid twenties and began writing much later in life.

When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing in 2009, it was a slow process at first but now I write every day.

What do you consider the hardest thing about writing?
I write nonfiction self help books and I find it fairly easy to write about the subjects I know. The hardest part of writing this kind of book is the years of study and training that is needed to learn and experience the subjects in the first place. This must be done before the book can be written.

Do you intend to make writing a career?
My career has been and gone although I do teach the subjects I write about. I have already begun to writing my next book and will continue writing until I am unable to do so.

Do you have a specific writing style?
No I don't believe so. I just write what needs to written although I do try to make it easy to read.




Raymond Floodgate is a certified Reiki master and teacher, a qualified practitioner of energy healing, and an energy healing teacher. He was a practitioner and instructor of Shotokan karate for twelve years but now focuses on preventing illness. To this end, he has studied Tai Chi, Qigong, and meditation.


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A BOOKISH CONVERSATION WITH DIANA SIMS AUTHOR OF FOREVER KING: SURVIVING THE LOSS OF MY UNBORN CHILD




As a self-publishing author, Diana Sims has felt compelled to share her journey regarding the loss of her son, and the miracle that took place after his passing. She simply wants to let other women, who have lost children, know that there is still light at the end of the tunnel.

Aimed primarily at all mothers ranging from teenagers to the older women, Forever King: Surviving the Loss of My Unborn Child particularly addresses those who have lost a child, no matter the circumstance.

Diana is committed to humanitarian services whether in her field or position. She worked for many years helping customers keep their homes from foreclosure during the economic fall in 2008. Currently, she is assisting physicians and patients as a Patient Liaison. Diana is a California native and resides in Southern California with her loving husband Cory Sims, and three handsome Kings in training: Isaiah, Solomon, and Anthony Sims.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK




Sims life has been one of a survivor… a survivor of grief and distraught after having lost a child. , who have had similar experience of losing a child, whether through early pregnancy, miscarriage or stillbirth, to have hope.

Today, she is using the journey, to help other women

Watch the book trailer at YouTube.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

 I love to bake cupcakes. I love to spend time with my Husband and three boys watching movies and playing board games.

When did you start writing?

 I started writing poetry as a child. I also journal a lot, this helps me through life’s hardships and to remember wonderful things that took place in my life as well.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

The day that my book was published so I can finally share my story with the world. At first I had my share of reservations about being so transparent and so raw with the information documented but I chose to release the fear of judgement in hopes of helping other women like me.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

I would love to go to Nigeria, as I just completed a DNA test from Ancestry and I have a lot of Nigeria blood in me. Being close to my roots and the beautiful scenery would be great for inspiration.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

I would sleep an hour; I would spend time with my kids for one hour; I would spend more time with my Husband for one hour; Last but not least, I would spend time with God praying and reading my Bible.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

I would like to set a story that I haven’t done yet in the city of Los Angeles. Possibly about prayer and bringing hope into that large community.

Back to your present book, Forever King: Surviving the loss of my unborn child, how did you publish it?

Self-Published on Forever King Publishing. Having creative control over my book and choosing the right Editing/Proofing company that share my belief systems was vital to the completion and of the book.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

No, I did not travel anywhere. I wrote most of my book in the privacy of my home and at a beautiful peaceful place called “Gard of the worlds” located in Thousand Oaks.

Why was writing Forever King: Surviving the loss of my unborn child so important to you?

I wanted to help all the hurting women out there that have lost a child or will lose a child. See miracles are possible after loss. That it is perfectly normal to feel a vast amount of emotions and it is okay to grieve the loss of your child.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

I get my best ideas while driving. I live in California, a place known for traffic (smile). This allows time to have complete quiet time to pray, to think, to recording ideas with my phone, to just be me.

Any final words?

Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my story. I pray that everyone that read’s this interview will have hope and peace. Press through your pain into your purpose. Help another mother who is grieving. Also do not forget about all the fathers whom lost a child. They need love and lots of hugs too.



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PRE-ORDER BLITZ: SEDUCTION SQUAD BY AMANDA STEWART @RedHotRomance1 #Giveaway



Title: SEDUCTION SQUAD: TAINTED
Author: Amanda Stewart
Publisher: Carina Press
Pages: 111
Genre: Erotic Romance

The members of Seduction Squad are beautiful, skillful and deadly. Trained in the twin arts of seduction and assassination, their mission is to discover the darkest secrets of the world's most powerful men.

Sex, secrets and slaughter

On Christie Mason's eighteenth birthday, crime boss Theo Ward took her virginity and walked out of her life without a backward glance. She's quietly nursed a broken heart for ten years, but now, all signs point to Theo having masterminded her father's downfall. For that, "Uncle Theo" will pay.

In exchange for induction into the Seduction Squad, Christie will gain access to Theo's lavish floating sex party and take out a powerful Colombian politician—one of the Squad's untouchable targets.

What she'll do to Theo is her reward.

Christie hadn't bargained on her body betraying her, or on Theo still being all she ever wanted. And while Theo can't get enough of Christie, he's suspicious—and on borrowed time: Christie's not the only party guest out for revenge.

PREORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

 

Book Excerpt:


“Theo Ward is out to get me.” My father had said that just before his arrest.

“Theo did this.” His last words as they took him down to the cells. He killed himself later that day.

Now I was out to get Theo Ward. I had nothing to lose. After the scandal of my father’s disgrace, my business had taken a nose dive into oblivion. My social life had died along with it. Invitations had dried up, friends had stopped calling, acquaintances…well, I didn’t seem to have any. I had gone from socialite to outcast in a single, tarnished bound.

I learned about the Seduction Squad from my father. We had never been close, but we had made those prison visits count. For the first time, we had really talked to each other. And we had touched on the subject of Theo. The man whose life was so closely entwined with ours. I hadn’t gotten the whole story, but my father had finally mentioned his name.

“Bastard is bulletproof. Even the Seduction Squad can’t get close.” My father’s voice had been bitter.

“Seduction Squad?” 

He had clammed up then and it had taken some time to pry the details from him. He said it wasn’t the sort of thing a man discussed with his daughter. Eventually, he told me. Over the years, my holier-than-thou father had used the services of a unique organization to find out his enemies’ secrets. That organization was known as the Seduction Squad.

Even though I was shocked to discover this hypocritical side of my father, I was fascinated. To someone brought up protected from anything remotely erotic, it sounded so glamorous. The Seduction Squad were the modern-day equivalent of Mata Hari, the infamous spy who used her body to entice powerful men to part with secrets. The Squad was based on the sixteenth-century team known as the EscuadrĂ³n Volante, or Flying Squadron. Working on the orders of the French Queen, Catherine de’ Medici, they were a hand-picked team of beautiful courtesans who had ensnared the most influential men in the land.

The Seduction Squad was a private company. Governments, businesses, even wealthy individuals such as my father, paid its manager, a woman known as the Signora, millions for the services of its members.

Moderation had never appealed to me. If I was going to get my revenge on Theo, it was going to be absolute. I was going to make him pay for that night ten years ago and for the pain I had endured ever since. He was going to regret ruining my father out of petty spite and causing his death. And it turned out the Signora had a very lucrative contract lined up…one that could only be fulfilled if she could get an operative on board The Dark Side.

I knew now, of course, that being part of the squad wasn’t glamorous. My induction had been grueling and gritty. I had learned my new trade from an experienced sex worker and a trained assassin. There had been times when I thought I wouldn’t make the grade. Times when I hoped I wouldn’t.

After a particularly hard day, Jake, the squad’s Head of Security, had taken me to one side.

“You look like the princess who has escaped from a fairytale, but no matter what I throw at you—kickboxing, pistol shooting, assault course—you come out on top. What is it with you? Do you need the money?” The squad paid well and the Signora looked after her girls.

“No. I have an old score to settle.” I had smiled. “But when I’ve done that, the money is going to help.”

At the end of my training, Jake had handed me a graduation present. It was a T-shirt with a picture of a cute kitten holding a blood-stained machete between its paws. The words Killer Pussy were embroidered underneath. “Only Seduction Squad members can understand what those words really mean.” He had unzipped his jacket to show me he was wearing the same design. “And me, because I live with one.” Although they were totally professional when they were together, I had discovered from some of the other girls that Jake and the Signora were an item.

I had brought the T-shirt with me on this cruise, even though I figured I wouldn’t get a chance to wear it. It was a reminder of what I had been through to get here.

There was still plenty of time before I needed to dress in the clothes that would take me back in time. I sank lower in the water, sliding my hand between my legs. Closing my eyes, I pictured Theo’s face. His looks had a devilish edge, like a fallen angel or a hell-raising rock star. With pale skin and thick black hair that always managed to look tousled…as if he—or maybe someone else—had been dragging impatient fingers through it. His features were carved from granite with a determined, stubbled chin and cheekbones so chiseled they should be illegal. But it was his eyes. The memory of those onyx depths, so dark it was impossible to distinguish between the pupil and iris. If the eyes were the window to the soul, the bleak, beautiful intensity of Theo’s gaze held its own warning.
 


About the Author

Amanda Stewart writes erotic romance for Carina Press. “Just erotic. Nothing kinky. It's the difference between using a feather and using a chicken.” (Terry Pratchett)
She lives in England and loves to read and travel, trying to combine to two as often as she can. Amanda is married to a lovely man, is mum to two grown up children, and has recently discovered the joy of being a grandmother. 

Amanda Stewart also writes paranormal romance and romantic suspense as Jane Godman.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK



GIVEAWAY!

Amanda Stewart is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card & ePub Copy of SEDUCTION SQUAD: TAINTED!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive both $25 Amazon Gift Card & ePub copy of SEDUCTION SQUAD: TAINTED
  • This giveaway ends midnight July 7.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on July 8.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!




a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Book Blast: The Trials of Allura by Dina El Shammaa








Allura’s life is a testament to the strength and resilience of educated Middle-Eastern women in the modern age, who are railing against a life that makes little sense, with all its twists and turns. A tower of courage and energy, her enthusiasm to challenge life’s obstacles and temptations reflects some of the mind-blowing hardships various women face. Bound by passion, linked by need, Allura offers readers a better understanding of life in a cross-cultural environment, where women are wrongly perceived by the outside world as spoilt, reclusive, and vulnerable. Social constraints, family upheavals, and unexpected tragedies force Allura to stand on her two feet at a young age and make life-changing decisions, which is when her whole world begins to unravel. Join Allura on her extraordinary journey of highs and lows, humorous encounters, and fateful experiences, which transform her from a shy and sheltered teenager to a courageous, resolute, fiery, and tempestuous woman.




An author inspired by innocence, simplicity and beauty, Dina El Shammaa’s extensive writing background helps her uncover unexpected daily occurrences that affect the lives of millions of women in the region and beyond.

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Open Letter - How We Got Into This Mess and Can We Recover by Burt Hall, author of The Right-Wing Threat to Democracy







For over thirty years, World War II veteran and author Burt Hall assessed accountability in government and national security. Now, this seasoned, professional analyst delivers a tough account of what went wrong in our politics and system of government over the past two decades and what we can do about it. 

The right wing (not to be confused with Conservatism) has hijacked the Republican Party and wrecked havoc on our nation. It exploited basic flaws in our system to gain power and a series of major setbacks and a weakened democracy have followed. 

The Right-Wing Threat to Democracy lays out clearly what the basic flaws in our system are and how they can be fixed. The danger is that an ongoing shift of political power to the very wealthy and suppression of voting rights is silencing the voice of the average citizen. 

If elected officials do not fix the basic flaws, the American people have alternatives in our democracy and must take matters into their own hands.

OPEN LETTER – HOW WE GOT INTO THIS MESS AND CAN WE RECOVER

         May 17, 2017
Dear Presidents Carter, Clinton and Obama,

As Woodward and Bernstein would say, “the best obtainable version of the truth” is in the enclosed article now on a virtual book tour.  It concerns me how we lost part of our democracy, public accountability and America’s exceptionalism. There is increasing concern about external Russian interference with our democracy but not with internal Republican interference that has compromised the integrity and results of our elections for nearly three decades with devastating results.
Historically, the Democratic Party has not stood its ground against Republican assaults on our democracy to achieve a one-party system.  After owning the White House for 12 years, Republicans outraged at the loss of the presidency, began to delegitimize and obstruct performance of Democratic presidents and sought to remove one from office and force another to fail. They declared war on the Democratic Party and their win-at-any-cost strategies are detailed in the enclosure. Nevertheless, the two Democratic presidencies managed to survive the onslaught and are ranked by historians at near the top ten of U.S. presidents.
However, the damage was done – Republicans created a divided country and a dysfunctional government and by rigging our electoral system remained in control of an obstructionist House. If Republicans had accepted the people’s choice of president, the two Democratic presidents certainly would have achieved a lot more and today might be ranked near the top five of U.S. presidents.
A Republican president, sandwiched between the two Democrats, got involved in 9/11, two wars and a great depression. He and his vice-president mistakenly reversed the previous president’s priorities on balanced budgets with surpluses and on combating international terrorism. Unfortunately, both 9/11 and the two wars were avoidable based on information readily available and known to the White House at the time. In other words, a trained ape would have known what to do. Cover-ups followed the breach of national security and reckless war decisions. Neither the Democratic Party, the 9/11 Commission nor the media held Republicans accountable.
The failed Republican presidency was awarded a second term which also failed. The Republican strategy boomeranged. Instead of Republicans causing Democratic presidents to fail, their own president failed twice. As Tom Friedman of the New York Times recently said, the Republican Party “has lost its moral compass”
Republicans also employed a strategy to suppress participation of groups likely to vote Democratic and, for those who did vote, dilute their value or make them worthless. Diminishing the value of the vote was achieved by using a high-tech computer-aided method to draw distorted and partisan voting districts to elect only members of one party. Also, Republican-controlled legislatures are trying to rig future presidential electoral vote contests by using voting districts won rather than popular votes won, as we do today.
 It was these kinds of abuses of our voting rights plus low Democratic midterm turnouts that contributed to the large Republican majority in the House.  Republicans would have you believe that its majority resulted from the public’s desire to repeal Obamacare. Actually, it was derived from rigging our electoral system which the Supreme Court has yet to rule unconstitutional.
Democrats are no match for Republicans who do not play by the rules and use win-at-any- cost strategies. Republicans held Democrats accountable for things they essentially did not do and Democrats did not hold Republicans accountable for things they actually did do. The public was both misinformed and uninformed and vulnerable to choosing a president they did not deserve. By 2016, a grossly uninformed electorate frustrated with a Washington not working for them chose an outsider president. Now, the Republican Party that failed two terms is back in office and headed by someone without governmental experience.
The public must be informed on our deteriorating democracy and what can be done about it. How else can the public hold the people they elect accountable and make well-informed decisions at the ballot box? The bottom line is both parties must assume some responsibility for the current state of affairs and go above and beyond to work together and unify the nation. Should the current administration get out of control, the two parties together must take extraordinary measures to protect our nation and the American people from further devastating results.
If the two parties continue to refuse to work together in the public interest, dramatic action will be necessary. In that event, the enclosed article suggests two options to restore our democracy and deter further interference, whether by a political party or by a foreign power. One involves shutting down Senate business on Republican priorities until they agree to return powers stolen from Democrats over recent decades. This would include enacting major legislation that has been languishing for years in Congress to strengthen and protect our democracy.
The second option involves open public hearings conducted by distinguished statesmen and backed by previous presidents. You three, the media and the private sector would combine to support these public hearings. There are many moderates of both parties and independents who would be willing to participate. The public must be informed on how we got into this mess so it can assess accountability and take ownership of efforts to restore our democracy. History will have a way of repeating itself if the public is left out in the cold on how well the people they elect serve.
A third option is to combine the first two. It might be the most effective one should the current administration oppose democracy reforms. Please give it some thought. You may be our last hope.

Burt Hall
CC:  Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Tim Kaine, Mark Warner, Tom Perez, Keith Ellison


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