Friday, June 5, 2015

***Dealine to Enter Extended!!***Summer Read Giveaway: Enchanted August by Brenda Bowen!

Happy Friday, people!! 

 Summer reading season is upon us and here is a perfect book to start with! This book is a reimagining of the classic The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim. Brenda Bowen uses one of my favorite places on Earth as her setting: Maine. Many thanks to the good people at Penguin  who not only provided me with a copy to read and review (which will be along shortly) but will also graciously provide a lucky reader with a copy of Enchanted August as well as The Enchanted April when they win my giveaway!  Here's what it's about:

ABOUT THE BOOK (from the publisher):
It's an unusually rainy summer in Park Slope, Brooklyn, when two unhappily married women, Lottie Wilkinson and Rose Arbuthnot, spot a battered index card on their children’s preschool bulletin board:
Hopewell Cottage
Little Lost Island, Maine.
Old pretty cottage to rent on a small Maine island.
Spring water, blueberries, sea glass.
Neither of them can afford to take a month away from their spouses and kids, but one look at Hopewell Cottage online and they are smitten. To share expenses, they find two unlikely companions—Caroline Dester, the damaged, beautiful darling of the independent movie scene, and Beverly Fisher, an older man recovering from a heartbreaking loss—and after a rocky start to the month, all four of them relax into island life. As the sea breeze works its magic, they rediscover the best versions of themselves, and find, to their surprise, that they can indeed be happy, and with the people they least expect.
Generous, optimistic, and as refreshing as a summer cocktail, ENCHANTED AUGUST is a feel-good summer read, whether you’re at the beach or just dreaming of being there.
A former children’s book publisher, Brenda Bowen is now a literary agent and children’s book author. She lives and works in New York, and spends as much of her summer as she can on an island much like Little Lost Island in Maine.

As an extra tidbit, you can access the book club kit as well as the playlist. /

Here's how you can win: 

1.  Follow my blog.  You can do this by clicking the Google Friend Connect icon to the right.  It will ask you to create an account.  This does not mean you will now be required to be a blogger-it's just so you'll register as a follower of my blog :).

2.  Comment on this post.

3.  Follow me on Twitter and include a tweet about the giveaway. 

4.  'Like' my Facebook page and leave a comment about the giveaway.

5.  Mama always said it's nice to share.  Share this post on your blog, Twitter, or Facebook page.  Each share counts as an entry! Share daily for additional chances to win!

6.  Each of the above counts as an entry.  Try one or try them all-they all count.

This contest is open to residents of the continental U.S.  Must be 18 or older.  No P.O. boxes.  The contest is open from 6/5/15 and will end at 6 p.m. EST on 6/19/15. The winner will be randomly chosen using the method my kindergarten teacher used when I won my pet bunny-I will pick a name from a hat. Winner will be announced at 7 p.m. EST on 6/20/15 and will be notified via email.  Winner can then email me the address to which their prize will be shipped.  

GOOD LUCK and thanks for reading!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Review: Changing the Conversation by Dana Caspersen, a Joost Elffers Book

Publisher's Synopsis:  Each day brings new moments of potential conflict.  Your ability to maneuver through them can spell failure or success both professionally and in personal relationships.  Changing the Conversation, written by conflict mediator Dana Casperen and produced by Joost Elffers, the creative genius behind The 48 Laws of Power, provides 17 principles for finding ways to talk through problems.

This invaluable handbook will teach you how to transform your mind-set and move beyond the destructive cycle of attack and counterattack, so you can turn conflicts into opportunities for growth.  Filled with real-life examples, spot-on advice, and easy-to-grasp exercises that allow you to test the lessons, this graphic go-to resource will guide you in learning to create dialogue and finding lasting solutions. 

*A review copy of this book was provided to me.

     Two things went through my mind as I began reading this book:  1)I've been going about conflict resolution all wrong; and 2)Wow, this is amazing.  As someone who was raised in an attack/counterattack household who then grew up to become a passive-aggressive repressed adult, I have been waiting for this book all my life.  Visually stunning, it's very color theme hints at  its contents.  The bold red suggests conflict, while the principles are outlined simply yet powerfully in black and white in an enticing format.
     Dana Caspersen has unearthed the roots of conflict and exposed them to the light of truth.  She writes, "Conflict can be both useful and inevitable.  Destructive conflict is neither."   We have all experienced conflict.  If we're honest, we can probably admit that we haven't always had the best response, whether we created the conflict or we were reacting to it from another person.  Caspersen points out that we can't change how other people behave, but we can change how we respond.  That is so empowering.  We have a choice.  Having a choice means we have to be willing to change our patterns.  Principle 12:  If you're making things worse, stop. This one was a biggie for me.  I often reflect on how I may be perpetuating the cycles I grew up with.  Although I know I've made vast improvements in how I communicate, there is still room for growth.  This book provides the principles as well as ways to practice changing the conversation.
     As Ms. Caspersen points out, we must "Expect and plan for future conflict."  If you plan to interact with other humans, you should probably have this book.  And lucky for you, it's available now.

    You can check out some videos of Dana Caspersen here.

About the Author:
An award-winning performing artist and conflict specialist, Dana Caspersen has been a primary collaborator of choreographer William Forsythe in the Ballet Frankfurt and The Forsythe Company for the last 27 years.  Since completing a master's degree in Conflict Studies and Mediation from the Woodbury Institute as Champlain College in Vermont, she has worked as a mediator and developed and offered conflict workshops and choreographic public dialogue projects internationally.  She also holds a master's in Dance from Hollins University. 
Follow Dana Caspersen on Facebook and Twitter.
About the Packager:
Joost Elffers is the packager and producer of the New York Times bestsellers The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, and The 33 Strategies of War.  He is also the producer of Viking Studio's Secret Language Series as well as Play with Your Food and How are you Peeling?.  He lives in New York City.
Title:  Changing the Conversation: The 17 Principles of Conflict Resolution
Author:  Dana Caspersen
ISBN:  978-0-14-312686-7
Publisher:  Penguin Books
Publisher's Website:
Author's Website: