Walks by Big Alex’s Pond by Henry Van Berkel – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

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Ten years after Big Alex MacDonald leaves his home in Ashdale, Nova Scotia, in the 1880’s to find his fortune, he amasses fabulous wealth almost overnight in the Yukon and becomes known as “the King of the Klondike”. At his death a decade later, there is not enough money in his estate to cover expenses. What happened to his immense riches? A century after Alex’s departure from Nova Scotia, the author purchases “Big Alex’s” family land and finds his own El Dorado amongst the riches of friends, neighbours and family, and the endless fascinations of nature. On hikes along the roads of the historic property he muses about the drama of his own past, and the life journeys of his family members and those of his neighbours.

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First, I must tell you the story behind the name for the pond. Alexander “Big Alex” MacDonald was born on this property on October 15, 1854, and baptized fifteen kilometres away in St. Ninian’s Cathedral, Antigonish, a week later. Alex was the son of upright, hardy Scottish immigrants who had laboured mightily to clear the land and build a prosperous farm on top of these Ashdale highlands, located approximately two miles north of Lochaber

Lake, the very lake Joseph Howe had described in 1821 as “Sydney’s sylvan pride.” (Antigonish County was called Sydney County in his day.) Alex’s family were known locally as the “Black Bills.” I think this was because Alex’s father, William, had black hair. It was a way to distinguish this MacDonald family from numerous other members of the MacDonald clan who had settled in Antigonish County, having been forced out of the highlands of Scotland during the century following the 1746 disaster at Culloden.

William MacDonald was born in Strattglass, Scotland, in 1814, migrated to Nova Scotia with his buddy, William Chisholm in 1834, and bought the Ashdale property from Edward Hayes. To earn the money to buy the farm, he walked eight hundred kilometres to Miramichi, New Brunswick, to work in the woods. There he saved his hard-earned cash, and after accumulating sufficient funds to give him prospects, he returned to Antigonish the way he had come—by foot.

William then laboured one summer for Murdock MacRae in the neighbouring community of Beaver Meadow. His payment was a cow. With these carefully gathered assets, he entered marriage in 1844 with a Margaret Catherine Chisholm of Antigonish Harbour, and together they developed their farm and raised a family of ten children: sons William, Donald, Daniel, Alexander, John, and Colin and daughters Margaret, Ellen, Ann, and Elizabeth. Alex was their fifth child.

It is likely that Alex learned Gaelic at his mother’s knee. Whatever English he picked up during his childhood at home or at the local school did not give him ease and fluency of expression in his second language. His speech, in adulthood, was described as hesitant and awkward, so much so, that some thought he wasn’t too smart.

About the Author:Ten years after Big Alex MacDonald leaves his home in Ashdale, Nova Scotia, in the 1880’s to find his fortune, he amasses fabulous wealth almost overnight in the Yukon and becomes known as “the King of the Klondike”. At his death a decade later, there is not enough money in his estate to cover expenses. What happened to his immense riches? A century after Alex’s departure from Nova Scotia, the author purchases “Big Alex’s” family land and finds his own El Dorado amongst the riches of friends, neighbours and family, and the endless fascinations of nature. On hikes along the roads of the historic property he muses about the drama of his own past, and the life journeys of his family members and those of his neighbours.

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Bringing Up Mother by Beverley Johnson – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organizee by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Beverley learns about God in Kindergarten and invites Him to come to Jamaica and give her her own Bible story. She goes home each day and waits at her gate for Him to show up. Will He show up, and will she be ready for her story if and when He does?

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Over the years, financially speaking, things had gone from bad to worse in my home. I got used to living with poverty and disappointment. Things had gotten so bad that I was forced to drop out of school before my fourteenth birthday. That was a very traumatic experience for me, because I loved school and did well in school. I wanted to be with kids in my age group at Denbeigh Junior Secondary School, doing what they were doing: learning, planning the future, and having fun being silly and carefree. To protect my mind, I told myself to stop expecting good things to happen and just take each day as it came.

The very day I dropped out of school was the day The Man dropped into my life. I had never seen Him, but after some time, I concluded that He was very intelligent, so He must be a spirit. I also sensed He was a man. In fact, the day I came to that conclusion, I shouted, “I know who you are!” I knew that I knew Him, but I just couldn’t put my finger on the name. After spending some time trying to figure out who He was, I gave up and yelled, “You are a man… and you are a spirit!” So much for knowing who He was. I prayed and begged for help getting back into school, and all I got was that presence. Well, that and the burnings that followed my every attempt to escape Him.

What I’d come to refer to as burnings felt more like being zapped by electricity or a laser. As soon as I sensed my environment become extraordinarily quiet, I knew The Man was present and I would try to run, but something like electricity would hit me and I would become paralyzed. My survival instincts would take over, and I’d fight, cuss, yell, or scream—but to no avail. No one ever heard me. I’d lose consciousness for about fifteen minutes, then reawaken to the intense burning sensations inside my body, especially my joints.

So that morning, when I felt Him looking at me from the foot of my bed, I thought He was there to “burn” me, again. I opened my eyes and stared at the spot where I sensed the strong presence. Under the blankets, I was cussing, among other things, saying, “Leave me alone! Leave me alone! Why won’t you leave me alone? What do you want from me? What do you want from me? Why are you bothering me?” I yelled in my mind, something I did every time I felt His presence.

Although He remained unseen, I always sensed Him. I even covered myself from head to toe with a blanket in a vain attempt to protect myself from Him as I slept, just in case He showed up while I was deep in sleep.

About the Author:

Beverley was born and raised in the rural parish of Clarendon, Jamaica, where she attended the Content United Brethren Church and its Basic (Kindergarten) school, better known as Sister Betty’s school. Growing up, she attended York Town Primary and Denbigh Junior Secondary school, now Denbigh High School. She migrated to Toronto, Canada, as a young adult. A graduate of the University of Toronto and OISE, she is an Elementary teacher by profession, and also a Sunday school teacher. She enjoys reading, writing, travelling and working with children.

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The Rise of the Last Beast Kingdom by One Who Loves GOD – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Loves GOD will be awarding a $75 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Enslaved by a system of its own creation, humankind desperately seeks to free itself from the Beast. Lacking the knowledge, having refused the truth, all hope is gone…or is it?

Examining our history from creation to the present, this book provides insight as to why we are where we are today. Using the Hebrew Scriptures as its guide, we are taken from the cause of our plight to the ultimate ending. Although the Hebrew Scriptures are used, this is not a book supporting any major religion. There are only a few people in the world today who actually follow and obey the WORD of God – YeHoVaH. Most of the world follows man made religious practices. This book explains how this came about and how the present day systems evolved. This book provides a means for hope for the world, something surely needed now and especially in the coming days.

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The archeological evidence which is currently being discovered support what we are told in the Bible. The site Tel Eridu currently known as Abu Shahrain has been identified as the ancient site of Eridu. The findings in chronological order are consistent with the biblical narrative – Founded by the strong leader of the period who introduced the worship of a new god, came to dominate the region, began the building of large temple-Tower of Babel-to a new deity which was abandoned, as was the area and surrounding areas were afterwards abandoned. Archeologists have noted these facts.

It has also been noted by the archeological studies that what is known as “the Uruk expansion” began at the time Eridu was abandoned – at the time YeHoVaH confused the Language and spread the peoples out of the areas they had settled before the confusion. Archeological findings indicate a period of rapid decay occurring after the Late Uruk expansion and the rise of the cities throughout the Mesopotamian region.

After the Confusion of Language, Eridu was abandoned for hundreds of years.

This coincided with the Uruk expansion. Archeologists have found the spread of the Uruk and its successor culture Jemdet Nasr spreading from lower Mesopotamia (Shinar) to areas throughout Mesopotamia and beyond.

The descendents of Noah continued to spread out across the globe after the Confusion of Language, spreading and developing various cultures as they went. As we are told in the Bible, the sons of Noah and their descendants each spread in different directions, although it must be understood that there was mixing of the various clans from the beginning. Erudu was later reestablished after the 750 years absence.

About the Author:

As a child in elementary school, only attending church on Easter, the author did not feel strange when getting down on their knees and praying to GOD. Entering high school, the pull to understand GOD became greater and greater. A study of various religious books began – the Bible, Islam, eastern religions and thoughts were all examined. After reading the Hebrew Bible and particularly Isaiah 56:7 – “I will bring them to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples.”

The author determined that the GOD of the Hebrew Bible was in fact GOD. The author then began following the Hebrew traditions.

After earning an undergraduate degree from an Ivy League University and a law degree, the author began a successful law practice, joining the ranks of the millionaire’s club while living in Brentwood, CA near Beverly Hills. Life continued with marriage by a Rabbi and a family – until disaster hit. Business fell apart and bankruptcy left the author with nothing except faith in GOD which continued. A period of moving back and forth across the USA, 6 times in 8 years, finally resulted in settlement in the eastern USA. Upon finally deciding to stay in the east, one last trip was needed to the west by the author. During this trip, GOD brought an understanding to the author which changed everything and led to the writing of this book.

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I’ll Go the Lengths of Meself by Dr. Philip Earle – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dr. Philip Earle will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

“Guy’s life was a living adventure: he was a mariner and navigator of the first order, a character with the bravery of a Viking and the kindness of Robin Hood. Generous to a fault, he could never turn his back on someone in need, and would risk his life in a flash to save the life of another. He was like a godfather to the coastal people.
– Philip Earle

“Guy Earle commanded ships when he was a boy. He had the qualities admired by Newfoundlanders, and created maximum employment in the family business wherever he could. He was truly a Newfoundland hero.”
– Geoff Stirling, (1921–2013), founder, CJON-TV (NTV)

“Guy had a mind of his own. He was a terrific leader and he played hard to win at anything he did. He was quick to size up a situation and quick to take action. He never, ever accepted the word ‘can’t’; if it was possible, it had to be done.”
– Fred Earle (1924–1999), Guy’s brother and partner in business

“Skipper Guy could take charge on anything. He had no fear and believed in himself. He could make friends with the Queen, as they say, if he wanted, and get anything he wanted.”
– Fred Rossiter, (1905–1985), shipmate and friend of Guy.

“It must be a beautiful thing to know you saved someone’s life. Guy Earle saved me. I’ve had a long life, a successful business, and raised a family because of him. He was a great man.”
– Ed Wahlen, businessman and friend of Guy

“Guy Earle was the exemplification of courage in everything he did. His trade was with people and his warmth spread as widely as his countless business negotiations. He gave his life to his vision of the fishery; it was his gift to his homeland, a gift few men can claim to better.”
– Maurice Quinlan (1910–1983), co-founder, Quinlan Brothers Ltd

“Guy Earle was sent here by God to give to people.”
– Pasteur Harold Slade

“Captain Guy was a daring seafarer whose legendary adventures rivalled those of the heroes in such Hollywood films as Captain Blood, Down to The Sea in Ships, and Captains Courageous.”
– Gordon Lore, author

“There will never be another Guy Earle; there couldn’t be.”

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A little while later, I was alone in the pilot house, which was at the front of the deckhouse. Besides the compass, the wheel, and lots of steam heat, there was a talking brass pipe connected to the chart room, bridge, engine room and the skipper’s quarters. When you blew into the end of the open pipe, whistle plugs at the end of the other pipes sounded, letting others know that a message was being sent. This ensured communication between the skipper, the bridge and the wheelsman.

For the rest of the trip, I was alone on watch steering the Kyle. Alone at night with only the glow of the compass light on my face, I was in charge at the helm in a storm—it was incredible. She let me lead her and control her in the seas while all hands aboard, except for one man on the bridge, slept soundly in my care. Do you know what it’s like to be empowered over something so immense and to control it fully? It is a beautiful thing to experience! The thousand-ton Kyle responded to my every touch on the wheel during the storm and gave me a wonderful feeling of importance. That’s when I started singing to her …

I see her face in every place

Her lips kiss every breeze

Her loving arms reach out to me

to calm the stormy seas.

I didn’t know that someone had taken the plug out of the wheelhouse voice pipe, and the chief in the engine room, the mate in the chart room, and the Skipper in his bunk could hear me all night singing over the pipes. Imagine the Kyle on this one night long ago, crossing the gulf in a storm with a boy at the wheel, singing songs out of his heart to the sea and the ship he loved. All the while, the crew were laying in their bunks listening with a smile! A timeless moment.

About the Author: My father lived an exhilarating life. With I’ll Go the Length of Meself, my hope is to showcase his legacy as a great mariner, businessman, humanitarian, and exhibitionist, along with many other attributes. There will never be another Guy Earle, there couldn’t be. This is his story, and I’m proud to share it.

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In One Lifetime by Graham Forlonge – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Graham Forlonge will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

This book is an autobiography of a man who had over 50 mostly major PTSD events in his life. It recounts the trials, struggles, and lessons learned over a life span of 67 years. It recalls his childhood, time as lifesaver, police diver, police driving instructor, member of SWOS, professional NRL footballer, running Police Citizens Youth Clubs (PCYC), Security Manager of the world renowned Porgera Gold Mine in PNG and world record holder of going around Australia in under 10 days on a motorcycle. The events accounted whilst a police diver as well as a Highway Patrol Officer includes plane crashes, train accidents, body recoveries and numerous fatal road accidents, some of which are major historic events in Australian history. It also includes native raids, murders, abuse and many more traumatic events while working in PNG. Some of the accounts are captivating and others highly emotional. His life and determination to succeed was mostly driven as a result of having been sexually abused over many years at the hand of his tutor as a child. It is a true Australian story and displays considerable endurance and survival skills.

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The diving course was deliberately tough, but it had to be. At night, I would come home, eat and crash. I had been an erratic sleeper for some time but during this course, I actually slept well. I also loved the diving course because of the thrill factor; it would push me again and again and I knew I would have to be strong to overcome the challenges it placed before me. Graduating from the course lifted me into a whole new level of danger in my work, a level that I accepted, even longed for.

In my first week of joining the Diving Squad, we received a call out to the wharf area, known as “The Docks”, where a body had reportedly been seen in the water. We were given a reasonably precise location of the body, despite the fact that it was not floating on the surface! Upon diving in, we located the deceased male within five minutes. The man had apparently been murdered by a fairly savage blow to the head. His body had been there for about twenty-four hours, and as we lifted it to the surface we could see that the flesh around his eyes and lips had been eaten away by sea life, and much of his brain matter was missing, presumably also eaten. We could see through the back of his head; not a pleasant sight for a young fellow on his first diving job.

It was not to be my last such hideous experience, though, nor my worst. During one particular week, there were four separate dives for bodies. I believe that was a record in those days, and it was just my luck I was involved in every one of them.

The first of the four was the most distressing. It involved a boy who had been out for a swim in the Lane Cove River, a popular swimming spot in my local childhood area. As he had probably done on many previous occasions, he swung out on a rope tied to an overhanging tree branch and dropped into the water, Unbeknownst to him, an old fallen tree had floated down the river during a recent flood and the boy became wedged between a large branch and the trunk under the water.

As I approached the site, my stomach knotted up and my blood ran cold. I lived within walking distance from this swimming hole and knew the river well, having swum there many times as a kid, having swung off the same rope a hundred times.

About the Author:Graham Forlonge is a father, footballer, policeman, diver, security officer and the author of IN ONE LIFETIME.

In the 5-Star Review from IndieReader C.S. Holmes writes, “In the memoir In One Lifetime by Graham Forlonge, the author experiences murder, plane crashes, mine explosions, and more…on his way to healing from PTSD…Graham Forlonge’s memoir In One Lifetime is an expansively honest and brutally detailed submersion into aspects of trauma that left the author with a lifelong case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and is most touching when detailing his healing process.”

It took 10+ years to write his memoir. Now, Graham works as a part time counselor for the underprivileged.

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Shelter from our Secrets, Silence, and Shame by Rebecc L. Brown – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Rebecca L. Brown, MSW, RSW will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

I thought I’d share an excerpt from my book. This is the beginning of one of the chapters, I don’t want to spoil it; enjoy!

People say that I’m good with people. I’ve always been in the helping field. People and animals seem to be naturally drawn to me. Maybe it’s feminine intuition mixed with maternal instinct. I’m able to feel an energetic connection with people, and I prefer to be around others than on my
own. All my formal training, although helpful and a great foundation, just helped to lay the groundwork for what was to come: working with people to enhance their connection, healing and promoting growth and learning.

I’ve had my own struggles. Haven’t we all? I was separated from my family at an early age and taken in by a family who had the best of intentions. They wanted me to fill a void in their lives, but after a few years, I became invisible, a burden, and was left to myself most of the time. I felt that I had done something wrong. I became sensitive to strong emotions and could sense someone’s energy from a distance, particularly the negative. Negative energy is louder than positive energy. It takes me longer to trust people, and I withdraw myself sometimes. It’s a primal instinct. Some may say a coping strategy. Sometimes it’s more comfortable being alone, than risking being hurt and rejected, again.

I have a big heart.
I can hold space for people’s pain.
I can see into their soul.
I know when their insides don’t match their outsides.
I recognize the walls people put up to protect themselves.
I help them to break down their barriers and obstacles.
I lead them to a new understanding of themselves.
I teach people to trust themselves, to trust in others again.
Like I have learned to do.

We met on a cold and dreary day.
She approached me with gentleness and a bit of trepidation.
She wanted to make a connection.
Trust takes time for me.
She seemed like she was going to invest the time.
Our connection grew day by day.
She asked me to trust her.
I tested her to be sure she deserved my trust.
We found a new home together.
We work well together.
We take long walks together; we run together.
We can read each other’s body language now.
We have made other friendships together.
We have a strong relationship.
We respect each other.
We trust each other.
We challenge each other.
We work together.
We play together.
We help each other heal.
We help others heal.

I have blonde hair, brown eyes.
I weigh over one thousand pounds.
My name is Dolly.

To find out more about Dolly, my equine therapy partner, pick up a copy of my book and learn more about Equine Assisted Therapy and how it changed my life, both personally and professionally.
You can also check me out on Instagram and see our weekly “Mental Health Moments” straight from the horse’s mouth!

~Rebecca

As a mental health clinician, Rebecca Brown has been a safe place for many to seek shelter from their secrets, silence and shame. Inspired to finally slow down, stop running from herself and share her own story, she found ways to seek and savour her own shelter.

Rebecca’s personal journey takes us through sadness, tragedy, self-sabotage, the impossible pursuit of perfection, distorted thinking and eating, engaging with her shadow self, divorce, and numbing with alcohol, all in an attempt to avoid the story needing to be shared.

Dispelling the limiting beliefs we hold about ourselves can unlock our limitless potential to reach goals we never dared to dream. From the Boston Marathon to working with horses, Rebecca sets out to prove to herself that anything is possible when you don’t listen to the negative stories you tell yourself.

Everyone has a story. We become who we are because of what has happened to us, and because of the stories we tell ourselves. But do our stories continue to serve us well, or keep us stuck? Are our stories fact or fiction? Is it time to rewrite the versions we have been telling ourselves?

Shelter provides strategies to help reframe the thinking patterns we have developed, and offers tools to recognize when we are suffering from our own thoughts, feelings and actions. Resilience-building techniques are woven through the pages, and encouragement for the lifelong journey of collecting moments of awe and happiness.

Seeking and reading Shelter is a gift of self-compassion and self-discovery. Rebecca’s hope is that it will be read with a highlighter in hand, pages folded down, re-read, recommended to a friend, and used as a guide to start sharing our own stories with those we love.

We may not have written our beginnings, but we have the ability to write every word from this point forward and just imagine where our stories can take us when we are free of secrets, silence and shame.

About the Author:REBECCA BROWN is a clinical social worker with over 35 years in practice ranging from medical social work, childhood trauma, vicarious trauma for first responders, international psychological first aid, and Equine Assisted Therapy. She is honoured to hold a faculty appointment with the Department of Family Medicine at Western University in London, Ontario. She teaches extensively on the topics of trauma and resilience and has delivered keynote presentations throughout North America. She shares her life and career with her husband, a family physician and trailblazer in the field of Lifestyle Medicine. Together they live and work on the shores of the Great Lake Huron, where they seek and share shelter with their six adult children, four grandchildren, extended family and friends, two dogs, two cats and one horse.

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Audley Enough by Lesley Whyte Reford & Patricia Lavoie – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lesley Whyte Reford & Patricia Lavoie will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Audley Enough follows Audley’s journey through “The Matrix,” specifically his mental health. The book describes his adventures into his mania and depression that occurred during the peak employment years of his life, from 27 to 38 years old. It takes one through the spiritual essence of his being, and gives one steps to travel through mania and depression. After reading his book, one comes out stronger with multiple coping tools. The book is about Audley refusing to let his bipolar diagnosis define him, nor stop him from leading a mentally, healthy, and productive life.

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OUR barter started off as a light-hearted agreement between friends. I would receive personal training to achieve a weight-loss goal and, in exchange, Audley would have a story about his challenges and resiliency with mental illness. But as I chuckled to myself about any of it actually being realized, Audley took it seriously . . . very seriously! And soon, as I started grueling training with him and commenced writing his story, I found myself immersed in both, in order to honour my commitments to him and to myself.

Audley Enough is Audley’s very revealing and personal account of his life with mental illness. It’s courageous beyond words. And for substantial change and acceptance to occur in the field of mental health, more real-life stories have to be shared.

Everything shared in this book is from interviews and personal memorabilia of his life that he has provided. While some people happily recounted stories of their experiences with Audley, others could not be located. As such, some of the names in the book have been changed for privacy purposes.

At the outset, I would like to note that I don’t pretend to be an authority on mental illness. Any information on the illness and any offering of advice come strictly from Audley’s own experiences with his condition and how he has lived with it. He and I both hope that his story will provide inspiration and faith for those facing personal challenges; will encourage others to seek help for mental illness; and/or, will help diagnosed sufferers manage it effectively to lead balanced, peaceful, and productive lives.

Audley Coley is a mental health coach, a philanthropist, the subject of a book and a Friend of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign. He is often called upon to host forums on mental health awareness and was more recently seen on CBC’s You Can’t Ask That describing his life with bipolar disorder and on Facebook, hosting the live broadcast to the Alianait Arts Festival for the Nunavut community alongside his lovely daughter.

His ability to soar above mental illness is something he credits to many things. His support system: a strong Jamaican, God-fearing, and closely knit family, first. Sports and physical activity come in at a close second. Audley has always been extremely active. He played hockey, soccer and was a dancer/choreographer, most of his life. At the fine age of 62, he can be found at the Atwater Club teaching a class that could put people half his age to shame. Just ask his Yummy Mummies who subscribe to his workouts and carefully crafted playlist. And then, it’s about food for Audley. He perfected his culinary skills working as a chef in Frobisher Bay (Iqaluit) and today, cooking is truly his labour of love. He takes his vitamins (his medication) regularly and frequently visits to Up House, a place where he goes to get centered and to give back to those who once gave to him. The last and perhaps most important box he checks off on his self-care list is REST.

Audley’s objective is to tell his story often so people may recognize themselves, to provide hope for families of those affected, to share a recipe for success that he knows works and to have the opportunity to change someone’s life in the same way that Patty Duke’s openness changed his.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

LESLEY WHYTE REFORD is a seasoned writer who has a passion for communications and storytelling. She obtained her Master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA) from Queen’s University in 1993 and went on to build her career in Corporate Communications and Public Relations in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. As she raised her two sons, Lesley put her career on hold but continued with her writing when time allowed. Engaging in small contract freelance opportunities and volunteer work, Lesley published a centennial book commemorating the Montreal Children’s Hospital’s contribution to the Montreal community titled “100 Years of Stories” in 2004. In 2013, she collaborated with Audley Coley to author “Audley Enough”, an inspiring resource to share his journey with bipolar disorder and help combat the stigma of mental health issues. Lesley is currently a full-time grant writer at One Tree Planted, Inc., a global reforestation non-profit organization.

PATRICIA LAVOIE has been writing and producing feature films and television series for many years including seventeen seasons with Sesame Street (CBC) in Canada where she honed her pre-school expertise. She developed the original concept for and produced the first Heritage Minutes, a multi-million dollar television and cinema project based on anecdotes of Canadian history, as well as many award-winning preschool and family productions for broadcasters such as CBC, Radio-Canada, YTV, Treehouse, Animal Planet, TVOntario, TFO, Télé-Québec, Discovery Channel USA and PBS.

Ms. Lavoie also co-produced several feature length films with international partners in Australia, New Zealand, France, Japan and the USA. Her online game productions were created for PBS, National Geographic, CBC, Radio-Canada and Treehouse.

As a broadcaster, Ms. Lavoie also served as interim Director of Yoopa, a multiplatform brand comprised of a television channel, an online community for children and parents and a magazine for parents.

Audley Enough is her third book.

Connect with Audley Coley

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What Kind of Writer Are You? by Vito Altavilla – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Vito Altavilla will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

WHAT KIND OF WRITER ARE YOU?

I’m a writer that is now an old man and as a consequence have had many experiences in life. Fortunately, I still have an excellent memory hitch is the source for my writing. Mysteries are snippets of different times in my life.

I’m not a creative writer but rather a chronicler of real past events. I guess the most accurate description of me would be non-fiction narrative writer.

Joey has a fork stuck in his side! I’ll never use that pail and shovel ever again. I didn’t know an ashtray could hold so much… What do you mean she doesn’t have a penis? The great meatball Controversy of 1952, courtesy of ‘Fat Mama’ An industrial research chemist who participated in several technological breakthroughs and has a number of national and international patents in concert with his business partner to his credit has a much lighter side to his life. During the course of his life time he was often the cause or in the middle of a number of humorous and unique events that he focused this book on. I am sure that the reader will often smile and sometimes laugh out loud at his very original and unique stories. When was the last time you read a book that made you laugh or at the very least smile? This book will definitely do that. Read and enjoy.

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The stories are of a more innocent time where neighbors helping neighbors was the norm and payment was a handshake and a smile. This was the environment in the late nineteen forties and sixties where “SONNY” grew up in.

The following event occurred when SONNY was nine years old and the only difference between boys and girls that a nine-year-old noy knew was that boys had short hair and wore pants and girls had long hair and worker dresses. There was no other thought to a nine-year-old boy in 1949 that girls were really not that different until that day when he was with his mom when she visited her girlfriend.

His mom had just knocked on her friend’s screen door and was told her to come on in as she was just toweling off her daughter after her bath. SONNY being curios moved in front of his mom just as her friend dropped the bath towel.

SONNY looked at the young girl. A terrified look on his ashen face. “Mom! Mom! He yelled she has no pe pe! How is she going to pee! is she going to die?”

Calm down. She is not going to die. I’ll explain it to you later when we’re home.

On the way home SONNY pesters his mom to please tell him now.

“Okay Sonny, girls don’t have a pee pee, and the real name is penis. Girls have a vagina and that’s what they use. You will learn more when you older.”

SONNY gets home and sees his friend MATTY outside, goes out, yells, “Hey MATTY, you’ll never guess what I saw today.”

MATTY
“What?”

SONNY
“I saw a vagina.”

MATTY
“What the heck is a vagina?”

SONNY
“It’s what girls have to pee with.”

MATTY
“That’s weird. Look let’s play catch, I gotta get my glove, but I’m gonna ask my mom if she knows what a vagina is.”

“Hey Sonny, my mom looked at me and wanted to know where did I hear that word then told me that girls have that instead of a penis and that I’ll know when get older. I’m confused. Let’s play catch. Anyway, I’m glad I have a penis, it’s easy, just pull it out and pee ta da and you’re done.”

About the AuthorVito Altavilla has extensive experience as an industrial researcher and has participated in many technological breakthroughs. He also has his own podcast called, “The Year Was: A Podcast About Life, Love, And The Pursuit Of A Good Time.” Now retired, he lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. In addition to all of that he is currently finishing a screenplay based on the novel, as well.

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Blight of Denominationalism by John J. Wipf – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. John J. Wipf will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What purpose do all religions serve?

There are only two destinies after we die.

Do you feel like there is something missing in life?

Is Jesus Christ more than what is portrayed by status quo Christianity?

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“Denominationalism” in this book refers to groups of people who mostly stick to their name or doctrines and are not interested in most other groups. If you don’t fit their mold you will be brought to heel by peer pressure, or you’ll be broken in some other way. If that doesn’t work, you will be cast out as soon as the occasion presents itself. I am happy to say that we survived denominational breaking and are freed from the chain of manmade organization.

The blight (disfigurement, disease, stain, scar, blot, affliction) of denominationalism has been brought on by Christian leaders who do not die to self, and do not give up all for Christ. It comes in large part from the pride that a pastor or leader gets from thinking he is something if he is a leader in his denominational church.

Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done
through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness
of mind let each esteem other better than
themselves [emphasis mine].

Church leaders or laymen should not think that they are important just because a church’s leadership, which they think so highly of, has placed some confidence in them and put them in a respectable position. It’s an abomination to Jesus Christ the way pastors are operating, lifting up one another and protecting themselves, no matter if it goes against the Word of God or not. Denominationalism is one of the great downfalls of Christianity.

About the Author: John Wipf was part of the Hutterite religion for 18 years and was a member, college student, and a part time missionary in the Baptist denomination for 10 years. Other points of interest include:

● Five years of theological studies (Baptist)
● Mission work in Canada, Costa Rica, Panama, and Sri Lanka (Baptist)
● Independent mission work in west central Manitoba, Canada (present)
● Founder/CEO of a company that installs fertilizer and grain handling equipment in the prairies of Canada (present)
● Husband and father of 2 boys and 2 girls, and 1 taken to heaven before birth, and 1 on the way.

John Wipf married Faith in June 2013. Our goal is to start a cattle ranch (as a retreat) to help people with their relationship with Jesus Christ and to tell people about the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Faith Wipf was born and bred a Baptist for 32 years. She then left with her “Honey Bear” John to begin their independent ministry. She is currently very busy raising four crazy, wonderful children and looking forward to waddling during the next few months. Homeschooling and the “dreaded” housework fill her days.

In the Blight of Denominationalism we cover part of our journey from religious bondage to true and free freedom in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Also covered in this book there are summaries of my study on some of the world’s renowned religions.

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Preserving Wealth by Jack Lumsden, MBA, CFP – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jack Lumsden, MBA, CFP® will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

“Toronto-based research firm Strategic Insight projects that approximately $1 trillion in personal wealth will be transferred from one generation to the next in Canada between 2016 and 2026, with roughly 70% of that in the form of financial assets.” – Advisors Edge January 30, 2018

“70 % of Wealth Transfers fail.” – The Future of Estate Planning. Trusts and Estates June 2010

“65% of Canadians say it’s likely they will leave an inheritance to their heirs or estate but only 46% of Canadians have a will.” – Sun Life Canadian UnretirementTM Index, 2015.

Experts estimate that $1 trillion of inheritances will pass from one generation to the next within a decade in Canada. In addition, many individuals are selling their businesses, resulting in substantial gains. Accordingly, the ability to effectively manage one’s wealth and prepare and implement a proper estate plan is no longer just prudent. It’s crucial.

Jack Lumsden is an experienced financial advisor who uses an easy-to-read narrative style to clarify financial planning concepts that everyone needs to know. Preserving Wealth explains:

•Investment strategies to provide for growth and protection of capital,
•How to develop an effective estate transfer plan to reduce estate costs and taxes,
•Strategies to preserve wealth and safeguard an inheritance or gift for the next generation,
•How to select an executor, and what to do if you are an executor,
•The critical discussions to have with your family, and
•How to assemble a financial team.

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My wife, Sandra, got up from the table and said she’d meet Uncle Wayne down at the dock if I would get our kids, Connor and Paige, cleaned up. They’re just three and one, so getting sticky maple syrup off their little hands and faces is a bigger task than it sounds. However, I had them cleaned up and into their bathing suits in no time, so their cousins, Scott and Jan, could look after them.

Sandra and I had decided it was important for both of us to be as involved as possible in these financial meetings so that we could make decisions together about our family’s future.

Aunt Lorraine thanked Sally for breakfast and went outside to say hi to Uncle Wayne before venturing home to see what Mark’s boys and their girlfriends were up to.

As Scott took Connor and Paige outside, David asked if we had all made our Double-O lists of what we own and what we owe, along with a monthly accounting of our income and expenditures. We all had, except Sally. No one was particularly surprised about that.

Uncle Wayne burst into the cottage with Sandra in tow and was very direct. “It’s a beautiful day, so I don’t want to waste any time. Someone get me a coffee, and then let’s get right to work.”

I fetched the coffee, and we all gathered on the porch.

“First, let’s go over your Double-O lists,” Uncle Wayne said.

Sally looked a little sheepish while David pointed out that her list wasn’t ready.

Uncle Wayne admonished her gently. “You’ve got to put some effort into this, Sally. It’s very important for each of you to have a clear sense of everything you own and owe. You can’t plan wisely for the future without knowing where you are today. I’d keep the Double-O list and copies of all your other financial documents in a three-ring binder and/or use a secure cloud storage service. I really like the cloud storage service, as you can access it anywhere from your computer, and all the documents are stored and backed up for you in a remote secure storage system. That makes it easy to keep track of everything, and you’ll also have easy access for our meetings. I should also point out that all your original documents, such as wills, mortgage agreements, deeds to the house, and insurance policies, should be kept in a safety deposit box. If you haven’t got one, get one immediately. You can also scan all of those items in a cloud storage service as well for quick access. Okay, enough lecturing. Let’s go over the major liabilities that each of you have.”

We could see he wasn’t kidding about not wasting time. I mentioned that our major liability was the mortgage on our house. Mark had already paid off his mortgage, and David and Alice just had a small one left.

Sally said she had no liabilities at all. Uncle Wayne’s eyebrows went up and his eyes got narrow.

About the Author:JACK LUMSDEN, MBA, CFP®, is a financial advisor with over twenty years of experience. He has enjoyed building a strong career and loyal client base. In addition to helping clients preserve and transfer their wealth, he focuses on those who are or will be making the transition from their working years to retirement with the need to develop a lifelong income and cash-flow strategy from the financial assets they have accumulated.

A lifelong resident of Burlington, Jack dedicates much of his spare time to staying active and coaching high school football. Spending time with family is another of his core values. He enjoys attending sports events with his son, Connor, and country music concerts with daughter, Paige, while he and his wife, Sandi, like to travel with friends and explore new destinations.

Jack’s education includes a BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University (where he met Sandi), and an MBA from McMaster University. He is also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® or CFP® professional.

Please NOTE: The publisher is running a Goodreads giveaway in conjunction with the tour: 10 print-copies. Anyone in Canada on Goodreads can enter.

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