What can Book Clubs do for you?

Good Information!

Against Their Will

Books of every genre can be promoted at a book club. Books of every genre can be promoted at a book club.

Many of you may belong to book clubs, others may have utilized their exposure to boost name recognition and sales.

I recently made myself available to book clubs as a speaker and guest. It remains to be seen how profitable this will be (not just in sales made, but in gaining more exposure to future readers), but regardless, I think it will produce some helpful insight in how readers look for books, how they digest them and what they are looking for in a book.

I know, I know, we’re creative types, but business intrudes into our fantasy world, especially if we want to keep creating those fantasies for others to read. So, I feel this is a viable tool to help us research hot topics, see what is “happening” with readers as well as get a little much…

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The Dragon and the Goddess: Top Ten Reads of 2014

Top Ten Reads of 2014. Must Consider

Beyond the Dreamline

  1. The Turn of the Story – Sarah Rees Brennan
  2. Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
  3. Fairytales for Wilde Girls – Allyse Near
  4. On the Steel Breeze – Alastair Reynolds
  5. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
  6. Ancillary Justice – Ann Leckie
  7. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms – N.K. Jemisin
  8. To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
  9. Rose Under Fire – Elizabeth Wein
  10. Nimona – Noelle Stevenson

As if these books are not all wonderful enough, two are available for free online. Sarah Rees Brennan’s The Turn of the Story was intended as an extra for her short story ‘The Wings of the Morning’ (published in Monstrous Affections: an Anthology of Beastly Tales) but kept getting extended into more segments and sort of turned into a novel. It includes the most dangerous pacifist you’re ever likely to meet, his mildly concerned friends, matriarchal elves, a judgemental unicorn and all the fabulous fantasy meta you…

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January Book Photo Challenge

Good way to connect with like-minded people.

For The Love of Literature

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This is a photo challenge hosted by Books-Cupcakes on tumblr each month and its a fantastic way to show off the books you love and subtlety recommend them to your friends, followers, or subscribers. I plan on participating this coming month and maybe *fingers crossed* I’ll actually keep up with it. Though, I am not the best photographer so you will have to forgive me.

Anyone else that is participating, please feel free to post a link in the comments to where you will be uploading your pictures. I would LOVE to see them.

I hope you all had happy holidays and spent time with family and some wonderful books.

Keep reading and until next time!!!!!

~Danielle

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Rise Against Terrorism

We are all posting about #PeshawarAttacks , everyone is condemning the #terrorists. We are all genuinely feeling sad about it. But I was thinking is there no government among the ones who claim to be powerful or any leader #PMModi #BarackObama who will stand to bring an end to the catastrophe that a bunch of whimsical lunatics are inflicting on our fellow human beings. Once mishaps occur we go for candle marches, we have prayer services for the departed souls but does that actually matter? We all fight over petty issues but has any one fought over the right cause except freedom fighters. ‘United We Stand Divided We Fall’ – I guess the world comprising of each and individual should wake up and unite for creating a better world for each other only then the bunch of this dyspeptic species can be wiped out from the face of the Earth. No one can harm us until we want to..If we really feel for our race we must start to act instead of feeling sorry. We are all one! It’s time for a crusade. We have to make this World a Better Place.

Life and Evolution

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Yesterday was yet another beautiful day in my life as it gave me immense happiness. Why was I happy? I saw videos on the life and works of Swami Vivekananda, his Guru Sri Ramkrishna Paramhansa Dev and Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi  They are among the few great Saints in India. They have followers all around the world. They are the ones who have portrayed the right meaning of Hinduism and presented it to the world.

The videos and the books that I have been reading in the past gave me a new perspective in life about life itself and the process of our evolution. The two greatest chapters in the Gita, the Bhakti Yoga and the Karma Yoga are the basis and direction to a life towards super consciousness (a term that many want to relate to) or a life towards complete bliss.

Bhakti Yoga simply means leading your life for the love of God, everything else in life is insignificant. All your actions are guided towards him and you tread the path of righteousness. You are so happy and immersed in his love that you completely surrender to him. Jesus Christ is the greatest example that I can think of, if I would have to explain Bhakti Yoga to anyone. He knew nothing except his Lord, no wonder he is the son of God. He was chosen for the evolution of those people who had gone astray and had become sinful. As per the Gita whenever Sin rises, God or his loved Souls incarnate to balance the society/world order and free it from Sinners. Jesus Christ is that one great Soul that incarnated for the love of God, to pass his message to the masses and to sacrifice his life to set an example for Goodness. In his extreme devotion and love for God he bore the excruciating pain of crucifixion and still had a smile on his face. Only intense love for God gave him the strength to do so and that is Bhakti Yoga, where you forget all pain and suffering and you are in complete ecstasy.

In Swami Vivekananda’s words “Bhakti Yoga is a real genuine search after the Lord, a search beginning, continuing and ending in Love. One single moment of the madness of extreme love to God brings us closer to freedom”. Swami Vivekananda is the great Indian Monk who introduced Hinduism for the first time to the world in Chicago, USA in 1893 at the World Parliament of Religions. His main aim in life was to work relentlessly for the upliftment of the Indian youth and India, his motherland. He constantly worked towards his cause, which was the sole aim in his life. The more you know about him the more you will fall in love with him.

I have got a great perspective of life when now I know that life is not only about being born, breathing, going to work, earning money, running errands and partying and dying. Life is a much bigger phenomenon just like the cosmos. As we are unaware of the workings of the cosmos we are unaware in the same way of the intricate weaving of our lives. We can know about our life only when we lift the veil of ignorance and see things beyond our bear eyes can see. To begin with we have to connect with the Universe and trust that it is a friendly place and wants us to live a life of abundance and carry on our actions, which definitely have to be good, fearlessly. Trust is the greatest feeling while following life and Bhakti Yoga. With Bhakti Yoga follows Karma Yoga. According to Karma Yoga, one has to carry his actions without getting attached to the outcomes. There is a very logical reason to it. If one gets attached to outcomes and they do not materialise as per our wishes, we get miserable. Adding to this, I would say that the Universe/Cosmos/God has a much higher intelligence than us and can very well see the outcome of everything, so what he does is always good for us. Our calculations stand no where in comparison to his. So it is best to carry actions leaving him to guide you and decide results for you.

I would repeat that life is beautiful but you need to trust and give up being rigid. We have to go with the flow smoothly just like a speck in water. Live every single day, see the beauty in it and be very happy. We all are born for a purpose and the purpose being Evolution. Every single day we must strive to get better and try to help someone in whatever way we can. There should be plenty of room in our life for Love, Hope and Charity.

I read in Gita and also am reading ‘Miracles Happen’ by Dr. Brian Weiss and both the books have opened my eyes to the fact that all beings are connected as we originate from one single source, God and that is not only us humans but even the smallest living being. All go through the process of evolution to become human beings and then rise to the super consciousness to be free and with no need to be born anymore. That is when the soul graduates. So the ant, the rodent and the dog in our house are as important as we are. they have the same status, it is just that they are less evolved than us. Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi had a cow whom he loved very much and tend with much care, it is said that both of them communicated. As my mind could perceive, his communication with the cow must have played a role in its evolution. In fact, we all can do it. The day we start aligning ourselves with the Universe we can align ourselves with all living beings. We should realise that our primary purpose to be born is to evolve and keep evolving until we are ready to be absorbed in the source from which we originated and also help others around us to accomplish the same. That is what many have done. People become  great saints and leaders in their pursuit to help their fellow beings.

In doing so you do not have to renounce the world or cease to enjoy life but it is just that you must realise the higher purpose in life and align your activities accordingly.

© Trisha Malika Ghosh

Balancing Negativity

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Every one has a negative side and a positive side, that we may term as our dark and bright side. It is up to us what we let reign on us. Negativity is an addiction that we really love unconsciously, we are more drawn to thoughts that are negative and prone to enjoy them without even realizing it.  Being overpowered by negativity does not mean that you are a bad person but it means that your thought process is not in the right direction for you. The thoughts that are detrimental for us and overpower us so much that they govern our actions is a negative thought pattern. 

The reason I talk about it so confidently is that at one time rather for a long time, I have enjoyed being negative and have  devastated my life to the point that it appeared that it is over. By being negative I attracted bad experiences, severe ailments, accident and was drowned in misery. I loved to pity myself. Why I became negative, did have a justified reason but now that I look back I think there are always ways to come out of our miseries and circumstances that cause them. I am not an exception who brooded over her problems and indulged in self pity rather than finding solutions. Thankfully after reading a lot of books that changed my perception towards life, I not only emerged from my state but have controlled my thought patterns.  I would like to emphasize here that we have to be very disciplined in governing our thought patterns because they shape our life. Thought patterns are governed by our mind and hence, we have to govern our mind. Mind control is the mantra here. Try to connect with your subconscious mind which is called the higher mind. The easiest way to connect with it is to meditate and listen to it by silencing all the inner noise. Our gut feeling arises from our subconscious mind. You balance your mind and you will be able to balance your life.

I read, I contemplated, I introspected and I deeply studied myself to change my behavior and thought patterns. In the beginning I found it quite difficult but my previous state had made me so desperate to get rid of misery that I was prepared to do anything for it. My spiritual inclination and practice also helped me a lot.

Now I would like to share with you the simple practices that I followed to be positive and happy. First of all I connected with myself by watching myself as if I was a second person and I still do, that will be a constant process. Then I acknowledged all my fears and frustrations. Thought about the reasons from which they had stemmed and eradicated those reasons. I pushed myself to be happy and enjoy every circumstance by seeing the bright side of it shunning my habit to see what is missing and be sad about it. I have started living in today rather than the future and consider it a present. When things do not happen my way, I have learnt to trust the Universe on the logic that it is uncountable times more intelligent that I am and if something is not happening the way I want it may not be good for me, I may think something to be great, but the Universe knows all the consequences. The Universe is a friendly place and I am going to be happy in its friendship without doubting it. One has to be a believer to be happy in life. If you are a believer than the universe gives you everything in manifold. If you try to share your happiness and strive to give happiness and love to the people around you then you are showered with happiness and love. I have learnt how important it is to be in the company of good people. We should only be in the company of happy, positive and progressive people who bring out the best in us, whose influence will help us rise. I did have this habit before but now it is stronger than ever, I avoid, negative people, negative talks and negative environment that would fan and bring out my negative instincts. I only stay with those people who motivate me to be my best. If I fall in negative company by chance first I try to be positive but if I see that it is not being cared for then I distance myself. There are different classes of people, one who are wiling to evolve, one who are happy in their state but are open to change and the third class who want to be vice and will try to influence you too. One should stay away from the people of this category. However, I do not judge people and form opinions and discuss them with others but yes, I understand the person and tune up myself accordingly.I do not criticize people and accept them the way they are. I do not find it very difficult to adjust with people because I am a loner, I am with people for only for short spells. I enjoy my solitude. Every one is not like me so, if we are aware of how to deal with people keeping in mind positivity then it is easy to get along with everyone. It is a universal rule, if you are positive you will only attract positive people and positive circumstances in your life. My endeavor is to evolve in this life. My journey has just started and I am excited to delve deeper. I wanted to share my happiness and this little secret to make you happy. I read it in Robin Sharma’s  (The author of ‘The Monk who Sold His Ferrari’ series) book – ‘The Saint, The Surfer and The CEO’,  that wisdom should always be shared to help others to live an enriched life and that is what I have tried to do here.

Last but not the least, life is quite a riddle and is different for every one. To be happy in life one has to understand it very deeply and trust me there is nothing more interesting than life, as you unlock the secrets one by one, it will nothing but excite you. Books that I have read and am constantly reading have and are helping me understand the beautiful phenomenon called life. I would like to name a few that have influenced me – ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ series by Robin Sharma, The Laws of the Spirit World by Khorshed Bhavnagri, The Dr. Brian Weiss series, Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, The Power of Subconcious Mind by J Murphy and the Holy Gita. Do read them, your life will change forever, for good.

Happy Living! Life is Beautiful, Live Every Moment.

© Trisha Malika Ghosh