Tag Archives: decisions

Author Interview: MarkAnthony NZE

Meet Author MarkAnthony NZE

Interview with MarkAnthony NZE 
ULM: When did you first decide to become an author? Why?
NZE: The decision came, over two decades when I was in high school and, it was due to my voracious reading of novels.
ULM: How would you describe your character, Michael Nnaji?
NZE: My main character, Michael Nnaji is affable, brilliant, and honest with an unwavering faith.
ULM: What inspired you to create your book, Beyond Chains?
NZE: The inspiration to create Beyond Chains came as a result of some of the malpractices I witnessed in churches, and contemporary African societies generally, and Nigeria particularly.
ULM: What themes will readers find within your book?
NZE: They’re basically; perseverance, uprightness, and the absolute belief in good always triumphing over evil irrespective of how long the latter must have gone before the former.
ULM: Describe Beyond Chains, using only three words.
NZE: Beyond Chains is iconoclastic, classic, and interesting.
ULM: What boundaries are pushed and tested inside of your book, Beyond Chains?
NZE: Faith and integrity.
ULM: What was it like creating your antagonist for this story?
NZE: It was challenging as well as fascinating.
ULM: What other projects are you planning to write, if any?
NZE: Currently, I am at work on another phenomenal novel which is directed towards helping the young generation discover exactly what they’re called on earth to do and not stepping into areas that they will struggle till the rest of their lives without making any impact.
ULM: Where can readers find you and your work online?
NZE: They can simply visit me at my website; www.markanthonynze.com
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Review: Man of My Dreams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

She wants to make him pay. But will it cost her everything she’s ever wanted? After spending over a decade in the Air Force, Staff Sergeant Elena Garcia is more than ready to ditch her uniform for some girlie clothes and high heels. Starting over in a quaint town in Washington, her dream of becoming a romance writer is finally within her reach. But when a rival from her past comes barreling back, Elena will stop at nothing to make Captain Daniel Grant pay for making her life a living Hell seven years ago. With destiny on her side, Elena plans her ultimate vendetta. Feeling fate has answered his prayers, Daniel is ready to show the sexy and feisty staff sergeant what kind of man he can truly be and finally make up for his past mistakes. But can Elena let go of the past to find a future with the one man that she vowed to destroy?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Man of My Dreams by Stephanie Aviles is an entertaining romantic story. I loved the main characters. They were strong and charming. Their personalities made it easy to connect with them. Both characters were amusing to follow. One is attracted but is fully set to make a man pay for his mistakes. The other is attracted but wanting to make up for his past mistakes. It seems like their plans just got messy, complicated, and hotter. Romance, women’s issues, and second chances are discussed in this novel. I enjoyed the electoral charge that came from the characters. This book was more character driven. Their actions made me enjoy reading their dilemmas. Fate is partially cruel and partially not. Man of My Dreams is full of heat, emotions, and action. Overall, I recommend this fascinating romance to all.

Review: Amish Weddings 



Synopsis:

Gould’s Series Concludes in Love and Marriage



Gregarious Rose Lehman, who’s always the life of the Amish youth singings, is determined to marry the bishop’s son, Reuben Byler–until the handsome Army buddy of her future brother-in-law shows up in Lancaster County. In comparison to Trevor, Reuben seems downright boring. Trevor shares Rose’s sense of fun and adventure, and her easygoing disposition.

When her sister Lila’s buggy is rear-ended and Lila is horribly injured, Rose finds herself with more freedom than she’s ever experienced. Everyone is so concerned about Lila that no one realizes Rose is sneaking out with Trevor. Except for Reuben. But in his usual passive way, he doesn’t confront her, nor does he address the situation with her Dat or anyone else in the district. Rose appreciates Reuben’s discretion, but she also resents it. Part of her relishes the freedom she’s found with Trevor, but the other part of her wishes Reuben would “fight” for her, as much as any Amish man would. Too late, she realizes the foolish choice she’s made. Has she ruined her best chance at love, or is there another path to happiness she just hasn’t seen yet?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Amish Weddings by Leslie Gould is a must read. This engaging tale is unlike most Amish stories that I have read. It’s plot was unique. Inside, readers will find a lot of action, big families, and choices to make. The main characters have so much in common, I thought it would be a simple life for them. However, as in real life, things change. A young woman wanted marriage right away. But it didn’t happen. She felt a bit rebellious and believed in the wrong man. The one wrong man who made her pregnant. Despite her new life change, she grows as a woman. Doesn’t give up her faith and becomes kinder. Before, she only thought about a man’s riches and now, she doesn’t. All she has to do is put her faith back in God. God always helps. Blessings of all sorts happen within these pages. Beautifully written and highly realistic. I can actually see everything happening for real. Real choices and real world issues. Growing up, maturity, and love are just a few themes masterfully woven in Amish Weddings. Overall, I highly recommend Leslie Gould’s latest novel to readers worldwide. It’s sweet and emotionally entertaining. 

Review: Challenge Your Assumptions, Change Your World



Synopsis:

Andy Cohen, New York Times notable author of Follow the Other Hand, introduces the Assumpt!, a breakthrough way to make better business decisions, faster and smarter.

Orville Wright, co-founder of modern aviation, dismissed the idea of creating a landing strip. He assumed that if man had to smooth out the airstrip, he didn’t deserve to fly. Houdini, master of escapes, didn’t know how to exit a new model car. He assumed that all door handles operated in the same way.Even the smartest, most successful and talented people make assumptions. 

Yet good decisions are often stymied by assumptions that go unchecked.So why does this book encourage you to make assumptions? It turns out your assumptions are a key component in your daily decision-making process. But how do you identify your assumptions? How do you separate out those that help or hurt? Build or destroy? Solve problems or create new ones? 

This book shows you how to utilize your assumptions productively and in ways you haven’t imagined. Challenge Your Assumptions, Change Your World is full of big ideas–it’s a unique book that will change how you make decisions and in turn increase your success in business and life. 

Reviews

“Decisions are only as good as the assumptions they are built on. Cohen shows you which ones to use and which to watch out for. ” –John Danner, UC Berkeley and Princeton faculty member, global advisor and keynote speaker.

“Andy challenged the thinking and attitudes of my team with some real eye-opening consequences. In my experience, it is rare that such an impactful person can translate these skills into written form. Reading this is like he is in the room with you.” –Irene Dorner, former President and Chief Executive Officer of HSBC USA

“The vast majority of security issues we face today stem from misplaced trust assumptions. This is a must-read for the security professional.” –Colonel (Ret.) Greg Conti, Ph.D.

About the Author

Andy Cohen is a popular and recognized TEDx speaker, author, and international thought-leader. He has a degree in experimental psychology and a room full of prestigious advertising awards. Andy has taught at the world’s most respected universities including New York, Cornell, Duke, UC, Berkeley; ISB (India); and CKGSB (China).

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Challenge Your Assumptions, Change Your World by Andy Cohen is exactly that. This is one nonfiction guide that challenges, provokes, and teaches readers. The principles and content inside are based on the writer’s experience. His background in the business world is shown throughout the pages. Easy to follow along. I’m a full-time student and an entrepreneur. This book helped me understand a lot. I always make assumptions more so than my peers. Weeding through the good versus bad assumptions was made easier after reading, Challenge Your Assumptions, Change Your World. Andy Cohen’s book is indeed the best tool for all. Whether you’re a student, work in business, or an entrepreneur, you can easily learn what it takes to keep from making the wrong assumptions. Mistakes happen all the time. But if one could help prevent a good handful from being repeated, then it’s worth it. I really enjoyed following along. The chapters and writing style were well-done. Overall, I highly recommend this book to readers everywhere. 

Review: Smart Partners

Synopsis:

Most people want partners in their personal lives, and many businesses start with some form of partnership structure. Yet so many personal and professional partnerships disintegrate, sometimes quickly. That’s one reason why our own partnership seems so amazing, even miraculous, to people who know us. “How do you do it?” they constantly ask. “How have you spent so many years living and working together 24/7 without killing each other?”

A general business/how-we-did-it-book, Smart Partners outlines the methods and thinking we’ve used to achieve financial success while also keeping our personal partnership alive and interesting. Drawing on our unique experiences both personally and professionally, we present principles for building, sustaining, and growing not merely serviceable relationships in business and life, but true partnerships.
Partnerships are a big deal—not just specific partnerships, but the very idea of partnership. That’s why, from the very inception of a relationship, partners should proceed slowly, cautiously, thoughtfully, going “all in,” and doing whatever they can to keep the relationship vibrant and healthy. They should honor their relationship at every turn, and with all their strength.
No matter what business you’re in you can transcend your sense of “me” to create a very powerful “we.” It’s a matter of concentrating on partnership, committing to it, and embracing the right practices—such as choosing your partner well, negotiating proper roles, planning for your mutual success, and adjusting so as to overcome challenges as they arise. Fundamentally, it’s about looking beyond yourself so as to share business and life with another person. None of this is easy, of course, but it’s so worth it. Read our stories, learn our partnership principles, and apply them to your life. We think you’ll discover what we have long known: We is better than me. And the truth is, anyone can be a smart partner.
Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Smart Partners by both Jim Burba and Bob Hayes is a perfect read. This book discusses partnerships in both the business world and in our own personal lives. I know for a fact that these relationships tend to over lap each other. Or can make or break each other. Partnerships can easily begin but once they start keeping them strong is the toughest job. How we proceed, maintain, and grow partnerships that will be successful is what this how-to-book shows us. It has the real world insights to keep readers interested and educated. No matter what business aspect readers are in or will begin, this book has everything they need and should read about. Building up the relationships that can help make things smoother and easier for readers to run currently or later in life. There’s a lot of value to gain from reading this guide. Actually, it’s more than just an educational step-by-step guide. It takes readers on a journey that will open up readers to what the writers have gone through. Both live and work together. To many of us, that is a phenomenal event. Most us, can’t stand our business partners. Living with them woul create a friction. However, these writers have found ways to achieve a success that will hook readers into their book. Quite interesting. Jim Burba and Bo Hayes are a great team with excellent principles that should be shared worldwide. What better way to be successful than to learn and know how to keep a partnership growing? Overall, I recommend Smart Partners to readers everywhere. 

Review: Love, Reality Style

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Synopsis:

When cake-loving third-grade teacher Mary Grace Falcone receives a proposition of marriage from her germ-phobic boyfriend Ralph Ichy, her comfortable life is thrown into a tailspin. Should she marry Ralph? The man dubbed “the CEO of Antiseptic Hands”? Reluctantly, and despite the differing opinions of her best friends Jayde and Annie, Mary Grace accepts. Her decision gets her meddling mother off her back, but also lands her on a reality wedding show where the handsome host, Nick Charmin, unexpectedly falls for her.

Will Mary Grace choose hot Nick or faithful Ralph? Is the decision really hers to make? And, is a slice of cake actually the answer to all of their life’s problems?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Love, Reality Style by Judith Natelli McLaughlin shows readers what real love in the real world is like. It’s funny, sweet, frustrating…and once we realize who and how much we love that other person…it’s a beautiful ending.  However, Mary Grace Falcone has so much she’s got inside her that her own worst enemy is herself. Fear of her love and future marriage not working out is keeping her from her own happiness with a great man who loves her. Sure he may not be hot like the other man chasing her but he’s got his priorities straight. But a lot of trouble is in store for these two. Sure it’s easy knowing what you want…but it’s getting there that’s difficult and a bit rocky  for these interesting characters.

Judith Natelli McLaughlin  knows how to paint a stunning yet realistic portrait of love and marriage. She brilliantly takes readers on the roller coaster ride of a lifetime. After all, marriage and true love only happen once for most people. This tale was romantic and funny. Love, Reality Style is definitely one romantic comedy that readers everywhere will love. Overall, I highly recommend this title to readers worldwide.

Review: The Friends We Keep

 

Synopsis:

In this insightful and compelling story from book club favorite Susan Mallery, three close friends test the boundaries of how much a woman can give before she has nothing left 

After five years as a stay-at-home mom, Gabby Schaefer can’t wait to return to work. Oh, to use the bathroom in peace! No twins clamoring at the door, no husband barging in, no stepdaughter throwing a tantrum. But when her plans are derailed by some shocking news and her husband’s crushing expectations, Gabby must fight for the right to have a life of her own.

Getting pregnant is easy for Hayley Batchelor. Staying pregnant is the hard part. Her husband is worried about the expensive fertility treatments and frantic about the threat to her health. But to Hayley, a woman who was born to be a mom should risk everything to fulfill her destiny—no matter how high the cost.

Nicole Lord is still shell-shocked by a divorce that wasn’t as painful as it should’ve been. Other than the son they share, her ex-husband left barely a ripple in her life. A great new guy tempts her to believe maybe the second time’s the charm…but how can she trust herself to recognize true love?

As their bonds of friendship deepen against the beautiful backdrop of Mischief Bay, Gabby, Hayley and Nicole will rely on good food, good wine and especially each other to navigate life’s toughest changes.

Rating: 5 stars

Review: 

 

The Friends We Keep by Susan Mallery is heart melting and addictive. Every single novel of hers lures readers in like a moth to a flame. Readers can’t avoid an irresistible story and that’s exactly what The Friends We Keep is. Emotionally readers can easily attach themselves to Susan Mallery’s characters. Especially to Gabby and her step-daughter. Teen pregnancy is hard to deal with and when the young father leaves everything about the young stepdaughter’s life seems to crash. At first, we can feel and understand Gabby’s angry at first and then, later, on it blooms into something else. Family life is the strongest theme, within this novel. Friendships that we keep is another strong theme that readers love. When life comes crumbling downward…our friends are there to pick us back up.

When life comes crumbling downward…our friends are there to pick us back up. I felt my heart tug with sympathy, understanding, and love as the plot moved forward. A steady paced read that reader’s won’t be able to release anything soon.

Susan Mallery is a talented writer by all means. She never disappoints her readers. It’s incredible at how every novel she writes …she takes a piece of us readers with her. The characters will have you crying, laughing, and falling in love. The plot will keep you up all night long reading until the book is finished. The plot is juicy with trouble, drama, and sacrifices that have to be made. The Friends We Keep is just another brilliantly well-written story that all readers must add to their collection. Susan Mallery has done it again in creating another heart-pounding loveable read that readers won’t be forgetting. Overall, I highly recommend this romantic sweet story to readers everywhere.

Susan Mallery is a talented writer by all means. She never disappoints her readers. It’s incredible at how every novel she writes …she takes a piece of us readers with her. The characters will have you crying, laughing, and falling in love. The plot will keep you up all night long reading until the book is finished. The plot is juicy with trouble, drama, and sacrifices that have to be made. The Friends We Keep is just another brilliantly well-written story that all readers must add to their collection. Susan Mallery has done it again in creating another heart-pounding loveable read that readers won’t be forgetting. Overall, I highly recommend this romantic sweet story to readers everywhere.

Review: Gaikokujin – The Story

 

Synopsis:

外黒人 is a spiritual rag, to riches adventure. I have been blessed to live a ‘storybook life’ but not in any glamorous way. Writing this book has allowed me to examine my role as a person of color—which I refer to as ‘melanin-rich’—in a society which has proven itself to be hostile toward non-Caucasian people. Because this is part memoir, part historical treatise, and part survivor’s guide, it is my intention to stretch the parameters of a conventional novel.

In Japanese, the word Gai-koku-jin, literally meaning outside-country-person; i.e.  the foreigner, is traditionally written as「外国人」. I, however, am coining terminology by replacing the middle character with「黒」, which is pronounced identically but means ‘black’ instead of country. Not only does this symbolize my own cultural perspective, but it also represents a set of circumstances which is not limited to any race or country.

Book 1 of this trilogy is told through the eyes of a confused child. A stranger in my own home, like so many neglected children, I found a surrogate family in the street—mainly at our neighborhood basketball courts. After learning how to ‘make a dollar out of fifteen cents,’ I was headed down a tried-and-true path for disaster until, ironically, a Beast and a Serpent came to my rescue.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Gaikokujin-The Story by Taknan Amarn is one powerfully yet captivating story. A novel like this is a must read. Taknan Amarn gives his readers a story rich in culture, history,  and philosophy. His characters give readers a show not tell, version of life and how society operates. Society doesn’t always operate in a way to benefit all people.  Those of color and gender were mistreated in ways none of us can expect. That and the issues of poverty didn’t help these groups much either.

Gaikokujin – The Story is told by the Taknan Amarn’s point of view. His fictional world allows readers to see a side of the world most of us choose to ignore. Society’s norms take control of us like the Devil having complete control over what we say or do. Readers will follow a survivor’s journey through these troubling times. A refreshing and symbolic novel that readers will enjoy reading. I look forward to reading more by this talented writer and highly recommend his novel to readers worldwide. Gaikokujin – The Story is the story readers won’t want to miss. Absolutely inspiring…and suspenseful.

 

Review: A Fine Imitation

 

Synopsis:

Set in the glamorous 1920s, A Fine Imitation is an intoxicating debut that sweeps readers into a privileged Manhattan socialite’s restless life and the affair with a mysterious painter that upends her world, flashing back to her years at Vassar and the friendship that brought her to the brink of ruin.

Vera Bellington has beauty, pedigree, and a penthouse at The Angelus–the most coveted address on Park Avenue. But behind the sparkling social whirl, Vera is living a life of quiet desperation. Her days are an unbroken loop of empty, champagne-soaked socializing while her nights are silent and cold, spent waiting alone in her cavernous apartment for a husband who seldom comes home.

Then Emil Hallan arrives at The Angelus to paint a mural above its glittering subterranean pool. The handsome French artist moves into the building, shrouds his work in secrecy, and piques Vera’s curiosity, especially when the painter keeps dodging questions about his past. Is he the man he claims to be? Even as she finds herself increasingly drawn to Hallan’s warmth and passion, Vera can’t suppress her suspicions. After all, she has plenty of secrets, too–and some of them involve art forgers like her bold, artistically talented former friend, Bea, who years ago, at Vassar, brought Vera to the brink of catastrophe and social exile.

When the dangerous mysteries of Emil’s past are revealed, Vera faces an impossible choice–whether to cling to her familiar world of privilege and propriety or to risk her future with the enigmatic man who has taken her heart. A Fine Imitationexplores what happens when we realize that the life we’ve always led is not the life we want to have.

My Rating: 5 stars

My Review: 

Readers won’t be able to set this book down, once they begin reading it.  A Fine Imitation is the first novel I have read by the more than talented writer, Amber Brock. Her main character, Vera Belington, will call all readers to this intriguing historical read.

Vera Bellington is a woman who grows up having it all. The richness of life is constant but lacking in a few areas. One area is her mom. Another is the loveless marriage she’s found herself bound within…will her life change? Now, enters a mysterious man. Then there’s a painter, who ignites a passion in Vera that she can’t ignore. But nobody is perfect. Vera soon finds herself sandwiched in a place where she must make decisions. Where she decides to head and what happens next, is for readers to find themselves.

A Fine Imitation is one marvelous novel that is stunning well-developed and the words on every page will entice readers every time. Amber Brock is the new author to watch for…her writing is exciting, brilliant, and vibrant. Characters are so life like it’s hard to believe it’s all a work one clever mind. Overall, I highly recommend this title to readers everywhere.

Book Review: Lucid by Jeffrey Bolden

Lucid is daring and intriguing novel that readers everywhere will enjoy. Jeffrey Bolden has spun a tale of mystery, murder, drugs and romance all into one compelling novel. His characters will leave readers engaged in his wonderful plot. A well written story that entices it readers deep into wondering what will happen next. As a reader, I wasn’t sure which path the main character, Saint, would take. He has major decisions to make regarding the rest of his life. Changes that will leave their marks on him forever both inside and out. Saint has always done things to ensure his survival. Now, he has Shia, his adopted brother’s ex-girlfriend, who is giving him small hints of interest , killed drug dealers for their drugs and money, and he has been offered an art scholarship. But which path will he take? Will Saint take the art scholarship or become a lonely murder?

Jeffrey Bolden has incorporated many real life aspects into his stunning masterpiece. He has taken a fictional novel to new heights showing readers the realistic horrors of life that many don’t see. We see or hear about it them in papers, but this novel opens our eyes to life’s harsh reality. I enjoyed reading this brilliantly written story. Saint has a lot going on his plate and hard decisions to make. Interesting novel to read. I would highly recommend Lucid to many. For this is one novel that readers must read. Life isn’t easy nor is making huge life altering decisions. Jeffrey has a talent for bringing his characters and story alive. Overall, I rate this a five out of five stars.

Book Review: The Clique by Valerie Thomas

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The Clique is a sensational YA novel that should be read. The characters demonstrate what happens to teens as decisions and choices pop up in life. Sometimes we are forced into doing things we do not want to do. Our decisions have major consequences that pull us down. But then when they seems to be going for the worse we somehow manage to pull ourselves back up and out of our troubles. It may take a while but, we will eventually get there. I loved reading this story about a group of girls and how things didn’t go so perfect for them. It showed a realistic side of teens and their dramas. I enjoyed reading on and learning how one of the girls changed a lot. She went from being carefree to being a mature young adult. Her realizations and her thoughts were interesting to read. Readers will love this stunning book! Its believable, intriguing, and shows the reality of life. Plus, all the characters are easy to connect with. Fun, sassy, and absolutely enjoyable are the words I would use to describe Valerie Thomas’s plot. I definitely would recommend her novel to all readers! I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars!

Brainstorming for Authors!

How does your character imagine his/her new life ahead of time? How might the reality be

completely different from what your character was expecting? What mistakes might your

character make based on wrong assumptions?

A Great Story Plot Idea!

Here is a great story plot idea, that I wanted to share with you all:

Your character is in his/her late teens and living in his/her parents’ home. One day, your character’s parents sit him/her down and say that they’ve decided it’s time for him/her to become independent. They inform your character that s/he has to move out by the end of the month and that they’re also cutting him/her off financially.
 

Neither here nor there- poem written by me

im neither here nor there

nor anywhere

that matters

i feel worn

and torn

to pieces

i feel crazy

and a tad bit lazy

i come and i go

i dont care

and thats the scare

bc its not me

but whats to be

i wonder

and ponder