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ImageBreak the Chains is an inspirational, compelling memoir about forgiveness.

Dr. Jay D Roberts takes the reader on an interesting and enlightening journey, from the time he was a little boy raised by a military father who abused him, to the time he studied medicine in the Philippines in the midst of communist insurrection, to the time he fell victim to a deadly disease and eventually was miraculously healed in Lourdes, France. Above all, the author takes the reader on an internal spiritual journey of the heart and soul, from darkness to light, from slavery to freedom.

I enjoyed reading this memoir. In a simple, straight-forward manner devoid of superfluous words or descriptions, Dr. Roberts states the facts and allows the reader to make his own conclusions about the meaning of life, faith, persistence, love and, of course, forgiveness, which is the central theme of this book. The story moves back and forth in time, showing glimpses of the author at different pivotal points of his life. I found the flashes to his childhood quite disturbing, especially the way Dr. Roberts’ mother rationalized  her husband’s abuse of their son. I also found inspirational the way the author persevered to become a doctor and help patients in spite of all the barriers he had to overcome. In addition, the segments about the political upheavals in the Philippines were like a little history lesson. I wasn’t aware of this particular time in history and was glad to learn about it.

This book is the poignant story of one man’s struggles to break the chains and find peace. Fans of inspirational and Christian memoirs should pick this one up.

Break the Chains book is available on AMAZON B&N / TATE PUBLISHING.

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Roberts_Jay-2491-EditJay D Roberts MD is a board-certified physiatrist, specializing in the treatment of physical disabilities with a focus of adding quality to life. He is currently in private practice in California. He is a member and lecturer at national and international conferences related to his specialty, a contributing author to Current Trends in Physiatry, and author of various scientific papers. In addition to his career, Dr. Roberts volunteers as part of a Christian ministry in maximum security prisons. He and his wife, parents of two grown sons, live in Indian Wells, California. Break the Chains is Dr. Roberts’ first book. Following in the long tradition of doctors who combine their passion for saving lives with their passion for writing, Dr. Roberts is currently at work on a novel, concerning children forced to work in mines. Visit http://jdrobertsmd.com/

BUY BREAK THE CHAINS ON AMAZON / B&N / TATE PUBLISHING 

Why don’t you begin by telling us a little about yourself, the person, as well as the doctor who treats patients?

I always wanted the love of my father, even just for him to like me or be proud of me. That is what drove me to be the best in what ever I did. But it did not work. He never told me once he loved me or that he was proud of me. It is “interesting” that I gravitated to treating people for their pain and wounds, while I could not heal my own.

I understand you went to medical school in a third world country against a dangerous political backdrop, and on your return, you had to deal with the demons you’d left behind. Could you expand?

I went to medical school in the Philippines, mainly to get away from my father. Living under martial law was challenging and threatening. It taught me how lucky are those who live in a free and democratic society. But the iron fist rule by Marcos was nothing compared to my tyrant reign of my father over me. While in medical school, my father was dead to me. Returning to the States and facing him again, reignited the terror that had been burnt into my being since my childhood.

There are many events which led to the writing of your poignant, powerful memoir, Break the Chains. Can you share with us some of these events?

So many- tortured by my alcoholic father; turbulent lifelong dialogue with God; cheated death from accidents; escaped attempts on my life by rebel insurgents in the Philippines; healed from a fatal disease; hating myself, God, and my father, until I learned the power of forgiveness in prison.

When did you start writing the book and how long did it take you?

I started about ten years ago. But it was awful. It read like an emotionless scientific paper, so I stopped for a few years. Then I bought books on the craft of writing, attended writing workshops, and started writing again. After a year I stopped again. This time because it was too painful to write of my past shame. I could not write for two years. Three years ago, I surrendered to my burning desire to write and dove head first into my memoir.

9781627467582medWere there times when you wanted to stop? If yes, what kept you going?

Yes. Every time I took down a stone from the wall around my heart, and exposed deep wounds that had been buried for years, I wanted to stop. But the burning desire, that flame that burned deep inside of me would not be extinguished. And Buddy, who you’ll meet in my story, told me I must continue. To trust him. And I did.

Was the completion of this work cathartic?

Immensely.  I never had any form of therapy as a child. First, during my time you never revealed to anyone what went on inside your home. Second, only crazy people or those rich movie stars went to therapy. The process was painful, as I broke down the walls around my heart that had protected me for years and years. In fact, I stopped writing it for two years because of the pain.

What themes do you explore in your memoir?

  • Mysterious power of forgiveness
  • Affirmation of faith in God and the human spirit
  • Physical, mental, and spiritual growth
  • Adapting to survive in two cultures 

In terms of craft, what did you find most challenging about writing the book?

The English language!  In my schooling, I shined in math and science, not English!!

What message do you hope readers will take away?

My hope and prayer is that my story will help others understand the importance and power of forgiveness to break their chains and be set free.

Is this a spiritual book a reader from any religious denomination can enjoy?

Absolutely! Forgiveness is for everyone, regardless of religious denomination, or absence of one.

Tell us about your publisher, Tate Publishing. How did you find them?

After many rejections, one glorious day, one of my mentors, Joan, found my book a home with Tate Publishing & Enterprises, a Christian-based, family owned, mainline publishing house.

I thank Dr. Tate for believing in my story and all the staff at Tate for their help in making my book a reality.

What’s on the horizon for Dr. Jay D Roberts?

I am currently finishing my first novel, Tin Kids, about the abuse of kids in tin mines. It is a medical, political thriller. I am very pleased with it. Can’t wait to send this baby out into the world!!

I plan to use proceeds from my books to help build an orphanage and return to medical missionary work to help heal the wounds of the less fortunate ones.

Any last words you’d like to share with my readers?

Never stop writing. Never take “no” for an answer. I was rejected- by many editors, publishers, and agents. I was even told to my face, “Even if you can write, which you can’t because you’re a doctor, and, anyway, no one will ever buy your book because you’re a nobody.” Believe in yourself. You are somebody!

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ImageBeing a dog lover and knowing a little about Aneeta and her love for Ladoo, I just could not wait to read this book and as soon as it arrived, I just couldn’t put it down.
 
My family and I have had various breeds of dogs over the years; each loved tremendously including the long bodied Basset Hound but never a Dachshund. Man has over the centuries, through selective breeding changed the shape of dogs to suit particular roles and it was very interesting to learn more about this wonderful breed.
 
That Aneeta and Ladoo shared a very special bond is obvious, and the story of how these two souls became one, sharing their life together is lovely to read. The chapters enable the reader to see snippets of their lives, and appreciate this bond whilst learning a little about culture and life in Malaysia. 
 
The phrase ‘They were made for each other’ is quite commonly used; however, you only have to read this book to see a true example. Ladoo was a wonderful dog who not only gave herself heart and soul to Aneeta [and received the same in return] but also touched the souls of many other people with her amazing character.
 

I would recommend this book to any animal lover, it will make you laugh, it will make you cry, but afterwards it will also leave you with the knowledge that you have been allowed a glimpse into this really special relationship.

This book is being sold to support two charities and so the author would like to encourage people to buy directly from her or from the publishers via PayPal (please send an email to editor@howtotellagreatstory.com orucansurvive@gmail.com) to ensure the money received goes towards the two causes she wants to support
 

Reviewed by Susan Keefe

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Author Photo“Internet famous” for her humorous and inspirational self-syndicated webcomics about surviving the insanity of life and parenthood, Tanya Masse, AKA: “Comic Strip Mama” is a mama, a writer, a cartoonist and an entrepreneur who has faced a tremendous amount of adversity throughout the challenges of her life and has risen above it all!

Enter the Comic Strip Mama™ Blog Tour of AWESOMENESS Extravaganza Giveaway for your chance to win some AWESOME prizes!

http://www.comicstripmama.com/STAIRWAY-TO-AWESOMENESS.html

Through her comics, award winning blog, social media platforms and literary works, she entertains and encourages others to: 

Make the best of the busyness, craziness, chaos, frustrations and challenges of life and parenthood!

Live on the AWESOME side!

STOP taking life SO SERIOUSLY!

Embrace the INSANITY!

Focus on the POSITIVE lessons!

Recognize the BLESSINGS!

Find the HUMOR whenever possible, and

CELEBRATE LIFE! 

Connect with Comic Strip Mama at:

http://www.comicstripmama.com

http://www.facebook.com/ComicStripMama

http://www.twitter.com/ComicStripMama

Purchase the book on Amazon.

Interview

Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Stairway to Awesomeness. What was your inspiration for it?

A: Thank you! My life was the inspiration for this book! Life is HARD and it isn’t always fair. And sometimes, life is downright insane! I have experienced many of life’s seemingly insurmountable blows and for many years I struggled and lived a dark, disturbing, depressing, miserable and reckless existence as a result. Eventually, I discovered why I was struggling so much. That is when I changed my way of thinking and being and reinvented myself into the person that I am today…a strong, happy and positive person and parent who strives to achieve “awesomeness”. Too many people take life WAY too seriously instead of focusing on the positive, recognizing the blessings and fining the humor. This book is based on what I have lived and what I have learned about what is most important in life.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist. 

A: Ummm…She had to google what “protagonist” meant and then I found out that my protagonist is ME. 😉  (Forgive my ignorance… I’m a virgin/not your average author.)

Q: How was your creative process like during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way?

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00068]A: Well, I talked about writing a book for a good year before I started the actual writing process in February of this year. Then I changed my mind about the title and table of contents twice and I finally managed to complete and submit my manuscript at the end of May. It wasn’t long enough!! So I had a week to resubmit the manuscript to meet the publishing deadline. At the time I was also working on the start-up phase of my self-syndicated webcomic company so it was slightly challenging. Also, I can put the “pro” in procrastination! But I did it!! =)

Q: How do you keep your narrative exciting throughout the creation of a novel? 

A: It’s real, motivating and humorous with a unique comic cartoon twist.

Q: Do you experience anxiety before sitting down to write? If yes, how do you handle it? 

A: Once I am able to focus, writing is soothing and relaxing. I feel WAY more anxiety after I submit my work to be reviewed and critiqued!

Q: What is your writing schedule like and how do you balance it with your other work and family time? 

A: I really don’t have a writing schedule. I will meet deadlines, but I work around my life as a mama and an entrepreneur. I have managed to balance it all pretty well, but sometimes I am a little overwhelmed. It’s ok! I embrace the insanity and laugh it off when I look back. 😉

Q: How do you define success? 

A: Success should never be measured in dollars and cents… it should be measured by life well spent. I am successful in life because I am a strong, positive, happy, awesome person who makes an effort to positively impact, empower and add value to the lives of others every chance I get. I am also successful because of my skills, knowledge, experience, my open mind and my ability to make good choices. I take great pride in all of it.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author? 

A: Healthy and strong relationships consist of individuals who are true to themselves, love themselves and respect themselves first. You should never be expected to stop being an individual in order to be in a relationship. Your life partner should bring out the best in you, encourage you and support you. I am a firm believer in living your dreams. Life is too short not to. Communicate your feelings about living your dreams with your spouse and then try to compromise. You both need to be reasonable and not selfish, especially if there are children involved. But if you spouse flat out refuses to support you and is not being reasonable, then you should probably reevaluate your relationship. 😉

Q: George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Do you agree? 

A: I don’t agree. Writing my book was challenging, but it was an awesome and fulfilling experience. I feel a great sense of relief and pride knowing that others will learn from what I have lived and hopefully more people will make an effort to change their way of thinking and live a life of awesomeness!

Q:  Anything else you’d like to tell my readers? 

A: Stairway to Awesomeness is not your average self-improvement book. It is the ultimate self-improvement book that goes against the grain of many self-help/self-improvement books out there. I take my readers on my very real tragedy-to-triumph life journey and explain HOW and WHY I changed my way of thinking about many things that so many of us are conditioned to believe. The 30 fundamental steps that I write and illustrate about are tried and true and life changing and I prove that achieving a life of awesomeness IS possible. There is also a very unique and humorous comic twist throughout the book that will make you smile as you make your own climb to awesomeness!

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Rita Garcia_Kaleidoscope Summer_200Kaleidoscope Summer: Book One of the Serenity Cove Series
by Rita Garcia
Inspirational Romance Fiction
Reviewed by Susan Keefe
Serenity Cove is a small town where everyone knows each other, the same families have lived there for generations and skeletons are settled nicely into cupboards.
Therefore, when Samantha and her hearing dog Goldie arrive spectacularly in town, she soon becomes the centre of attention, especially when people discover her identity.
Samantha, who became deaf at 15 years of age, is a beautiful, capable, independent woman and soon romance is in the air as she captures the heart of police chief Logan Delatorre. She makes some good friends, especially Logan’s sister Mandy, however, in towns like this, there are always unusual characters and mischief-makers.
We follow her on her rollercoaster journey of discovery, sharing her emotions as she discovers her roots and, with her faith in God, comes to terms with her discoveries.
Anybody who has lived in a small village or community can immediately emphasise with Serenity Cove, its very real characters and the life this book portrays.
A lovely story, which captivated me from page one and kept me guessing throughout with its twists and turns.

Barnes & Noble Paperback http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/kaleidoscope-summer-rita-garcia/1113853921?ean=9781481043175

 

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Amber Leaf, Minnesota, 1942.

In spite of the hardships of war, young Jo Bremley lives in considerable happiness with her husband and 7-year old daughter. Then one night, influenced by his best friend, Jo’s husband announces that he has decided to join the war. Before he gets a chance to, however, he’s the victim of a snowstorm accident. Now a young widow, Jo tries to make ends meet as best as she can by doing laundry for an establishment called O.M. Harrington.

During the year following her husband’s death, Jo runs into several difficulties which put her job in danger. Her husband’s best friend, whom she’s always blamed for her husband’s death, sets up a successful law practice; her daughter has a couple of unfortunate incidents with Big Ole, the owner of O.M. Harrington; and Jo doesn’t think she’ll be able to get her daughter the Christmas gift she deserves. Eventually, through a series of twists, the characters learn the true meaning of love and forgiveness, all in time to celebrate the holiday season.

Though Tracks in the Snow is a slow read, and got me a little frustrated at times, I ultimately enjoyed it. I appreciate the way the author took her time in developing her characters and the question of how she was going to put all the loose ends together at the end kept me reading. At times I found Jo too perfect and goodie-goodie, but in the end she wins me over. I especially like Big Ole and his gradual change from a grumpy old man to a caring person. He has a nice character arc. The story is a snapshot of a family in Minnesota during World War II. The author did a good job portraying this situation.

The ending of Tracks in the Snow is heartwarming, without being preachy. In sum, although the pace of the book is slow, the characterization and the writing are good. If you’re looking for a page-turner, this isn’t the book for you, but if you like to take your time when reading a story and getting to know the characters, and you appreciate realistic fiction, you’ll enjoy Tracks in the Snow.

For more info, visit the author’s website or Amazon.

Originally published in Blogcritics

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When I initially started writing “In All Things”, it was simply a way for me to try and process the grief of going through miscarriage. Later as I began to expand into other trials our family had gone through, I realized the pattern of God’s hand in all of it. My original intent was not to publish a book, however; when I had one person read it and then another, and another, the feedback was amazing! It was like a sense of urgency that the message within was something people needed to hear.  The writing process was very healing for me but the positive feedback that I received and the possibility others might and have already found healing as well was such a blessing that I knew I had to pursue getting this message out there for others. I am simply a real person with very real life issues and my desire is to share with others that they are not alone. My hope was also to help them possibly see a different way of looking at life’s trials. Since the publishing of this book, I have had inspiration for another book to be a second in the “In All Things” series. The next one will be “In all things; Expect A Miracle” which is about an amazing two years going through my dad’s cancer journey with him. Since the publishing, I have been asked to speak at a few local events and my desire is to be able to do that more. I feel that when you can share your story in person, it can touch people more deeply.  At one of events where I shared my story, there was a lady in the audience that was healed instantly from the pain she was suffering for two years! I would love the opportunity to see others find that same healing and freedom to live again.

About the book: 

ImageIn All Things is a witty and raw account of an otherwise normal life filled with incredible challenges that will make you laugh out loud and cry tears of joy and tears of sorrow. You will share in one woman’s spiritual journey through raising a difficult child, longing for a baby only to be told it is not possible and then to experience God’s intervention and devastating loss. Learn how one miraculous encounter with God created an unshakeable faith that would later give her the strength to face the near death of her oldest daughter.

About the Author:

Laura works as a medical coding and reimbursement specialist in Northern Minnesota. She spent her youth on a small dairy farm in Northeast Minnesota. She was married two weeks after her high school graduation. Three years and two children later, she was facing divorce and single parenthood. She moved to a college town in north central MN where she hoped to earn a degree and make a life for her and her two young daughters. There she met and married the love of her life. Together they embarked on a life together as a ready-made family facing all the challenges that comes with it. They had no idea that the life experiences they walked through early on and one life altering event would prepare them for the ultimate challenge, the possible death of their daughter.

Author’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InAllThings 
Author’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/LauraMStorrs

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4KBlLlBXhQ

Link to Purchase:  http://www.halopublishing.com/bookstore/Laura-Smith

Follow Laura’s tour here: http://tinyurl.com/77nwvdt 

Also available at all major online book sellers.

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