My Latest Book Review for K.A. Krisko’s STOLEN. A Science Fantasy Unfolds…

Before I go any further I have to be honest. I never venture into the fantasy genre. Well, I’m glad I did.
K.A. Krisko’s STOLEN has opened up a whole new world for me.
The opening paragraph drew me into the world of Lefollah “who in the day resembled the trees of the forest in which they grew.”
From that point I was drawn into Stolen. A civilization built upon a foundation of the tradition of the Council of Sorcerers, and a multi-dimensional array of cleverly crafted Skills. Many of these Skills were accepted by the Council, and had successfully been incorporated to add diverse and practical value into the functioning of everyday life.
It was the forbidden skills that had me the most excited. Their collective powers were masterfully described, and brilliantly crafted. Shape-shifting, mind-bending, viewing, and more. All brilliant.
As a young girl, Rioletta was abducted by the Tree People. Years later while attending a life changing meeting of the Council of Sorcerers, Rioletta learned of her destiny. “Your task.” Mosse said slowly, “is to solve the mystery of your life.” From here, the story of Stolen begins in earnest. Traversing a dynamic, well crafted fantasy world of dramatic landscapes, civilizations, might, power, Skill, and the complexity and frailty of relationships.
Rioletta is placed in numerous threatening situations and is pitted against people who are unknown to her world. It is during these times Rioletta has to make tough decisions. As her chosen course of action will not only affect her, it will also impact her community, and reverberate throughout the rest of civilization as she knows it.
The backbone of the story is skilfully crafted upon the sense of what is right and wrong, the moral strength of the value of community, the importance of caring for the environment, and in turn protecting the legacy of our future. Personal relationships interweave throughout the story adding warmth, empathy, understanding, and an admiration at the tenacity of the human spirit.
Perhaps it is my lack of experience with reading science fantasy, at times I did get lost, and confused with the different locations, character names, and the numerous Skills employed. I felt at times, the pace of the story was too fast, and in my opinion could have benefited from a slower more descriptive pace to concentrate the reader focus on all that was unfolding.
At times I felt I needed more depth to allow me time to grasp everything that was happening in the storyline.
If fantasy is your genre, Stolen is a very worthwhile read. If you are like me, and don’t tend to read fantasy, Stolen is a book worth exploring.

K.A. Krisko Website

Stop Looking. Start Feeling Happiness.

Wikipedia tells me, happiness is a fuzzy concept. 
“A mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.”

Sounds fair enough and I’m happy enough with that statement not to argue to the contrary.

Ah, who cares anyway, right? Happiness is overrated. Especially when you are constantly trying too hard to find and be it, chase it, feel it or, whatever it is that you think it is and, what it should be. Anyway, what is this elusive thing called happiness?

I must admit I haven’t given the nine letter feel-good word –  a noun, thank you google, too much thought. That is, until the other day when I genuinely experienced an ahh-haa moment of “so this is what happiness really feels like.” And, it felt brilliant.

Up until now, I hadn’t thought about taking the time to register what it was to feel happiness. I think somewhere or somehow I vaguely knew I felt it whenever I was upbeat, positive and just well, happy.

Whereas, I can definitely take ownership by admitting I have spent a whole heap of time analyzing the other end of the spectrum; unhappiness, heartbreak, angst, relationship woes and anything that I thought needed my all-consuming attention because life wasn’t going my way.

Yet, strangely I’ve never invested in thinking about how I’m doing on the happiness scale when life is great and going my way.  Doesn’t seem to make sense. Maybe it’s because I don’t know how to define the scale. Or, more honestly, I couldn’t recognize it as happiness even though, I was feeling it.

After my ahh-haa moment of clarity, the penny finally dropped. Despite me being generally happy I had simply misunderstood happiness.

Happiness isn’t something you hope to one day find. Neither do you look for it in yourself, or in others, situations, places and so on, but it is influenced by these factors.

Happiness isn’t hard work and you don’t have to work at it to feel it.

Happiness is a wonderful good-old overwhelming feeling of yumminess experienced in a moment of time.

Happiness is a state where everything seems shrouded in joy leaving you buzzing with a lightness of being feeling that all is well in your world.

Happiness is a feeling. Felt in a moment of time. Celebrate, love, enjoy and revel in the fuzziness of feeling happy.

My life my way takeaway – “Stop looking and start feeling happiness.”

When I saw Minnie Moo The Extraordinary Adventures of an Ordinary Cat sitting on the virtual e-book shelf I experienced happiness.
For a moment in time I felt unabashed happiness. Seeing Minnie Moo’s happy furry face on the cover and the accomplishment of becoming an author could only be defined as happiness.

Clear clutter. Make space for you.

Hands up if you regularly hold a pesky conversation inside your head that starts with the well-worn phrase of “if only I had more time…… for me?”

I’m sure that if I could see through the virtual world and into your space many hands would be sheepishly raised. Mine included.

That is until it dawned on me that if I don’t make time for me, who will? If I’m not happy and healthy then how on earth am I going to get through my day? If I’m not feeling good I’m certainly not going to be the best person I can be.

Break the phrase “if only I had more time….for me” into three parts and you end up with three parts of nothing much.

  1. If only
  2. I had more time
  3. For me

With more expected of and from you, more demands on time and with something to do squeezing out almost every single minute of the day it’s a wonder we haven’t all been reduced to a bunch of walking talking jibbering zombies.

With schedules crammed to bursting point some days there’s hardly time to make a bathroom stop and sleep let alone make time for the most important person. You.

I can only speak for myself here, but if I don’t have “me time” my mood takes a quick elevator ride up to the levels of cranky and crankier. Without making time every single day to do something that is important to and, for me, I simply would have a meltdown of epic proportions.

I make it my priority to prioritize me. Make it your priority to prioritize you.

Think about it. If I’m not happy, healthy and generally feeling good about myself then all other aspects of my life will suffer. Neither egotistical or selfish, it makes sense. After all, it’s up to me to get through my day, make the most of my life, make others happy, be a good person, achieve my goals and objectives. The list goes on with the one common factor, it’s all up to me.

To do this and more I need to take care of me first and not make myself the last priority on my to-do-list. Take the time and space that is right for you. Schedule a realistic amount of time that works for you and fits in with the rest of your day.

Whether it’s making time to exercise, go to the gym, read, write, bake, cook, plan, build, create, mediate, do yoga, blob and watch telly or to simply sit in quiet – write it, type it, either way, put it in your schedule and show up like you would for any other appointment.

Not a natural morning person I get up with the birds. As tough as it is to leave the comfort of my beautiful warm bed, I religiously get up an hour earlier for exercise me time. While churning out the running miles or pedaling my way through an RPM Spin cycle class I use this time to think and solve any problems. Often bringing a fresh perspective, stressful situations are eased or sorted. I also plan what to write, market and do that day. Within an hour my mind is clear of clutter and space has been made for the stuff that matters.

Clear clutter. Make space for you.

Put yourself at the top of your list and schedule time for you to do the one thing that will make you feel:

  • you’ve had time for you
  • good about yourself
  • content and satisfied that you’ve had time to do what you enjoy
  • able to give more of you to your family, work and others
  • great about being busy for the remainder of the day
  • less grumpy, dissatisfied, resentful or any other energy zapping negative emotion
  • ready to conquer your day
  • healthy and happy
  • like you matter

Plan to make time for you.

My life my way takeaway for Clear Clutter. Make space for you“Schedule time for you and show up like you would any other appointment.”

Clear Clutter. Make space for you is the title of Chapter 2 of my e-book Minnie Moo The Extraordinary Adventures of an Ordinary Cat.

Minnie Moo needed to clear his mind of negative clutter to overcome his fear of hawks and go on his adventure with Mr T.

It resonates with me too. If I don’t make space for me I’m not going to be the best person I can be.

Writing Inspiring Chapter Hooks.

In my last blog “The Power of Sharing Knowledge”I wrote about how much fun I had writing the chapters for my e-book, Minnie Moo The Extraordinary Adventures of an Ordinary Cat.

Having cottoned on that these Chapter Hooks can easily multi-task from dividing your writing to parading as publicity hooks I got busy. By using 120 characters your chapters can be used to capture the media, both regular and social, in a short, sweet, sharp and sure way.

I think that’s genius and too good not too share.

Getting down to the business of writing my chapters I scribbled down a creative brief and decided mine had to tick 3 boxes: 1.  Be Inspirational | 2.  Be Fun  | 3: Be true to Minnie Moo. After numerous versions I finally whittled it down to eleven chapters of bite size inspiring fun little Minnie Moo’ism’s that I imagined Minnie Moo might say or at least think…..they need no introduction, but if you get stuck feel free to send me a note. Enjoy!

Now, put your paws together for the 11 Chapters crafted for Minnie Moo The Extraordinary Adventures of an Ordinary Cat

Don’t judge a cat by its coat.

Clear clutter. Make space for you.

Chapter 3:
Got a bout of doubt? Breathe.

Chapter 4:
If life gives you the wobbles make jelly.

Chapter 5:
Got a sticky situation. Make toffee.

Chapter 6:
Words spell sword.

Chapter 7:
Stop! Wasting time thinking what others are thinking.

Chapter 8:
Hug your family tree.

Chapter 9:
Let the wind of change blow in.

Chapter 10:
Lighten your load. Unpack baggage.

Chapter 11:
Life dishes all ice cream flavors.

Minnie Moo The Extraordinary Adventures of an Ordinary Cat E-Book is out now and available for most e-book formats. To buy or for more information please click here

Minnie’s got his own blog too! You can folllow it here – tanks