Saturday, December 13, 2014

New Book Release | Writing for Love

It's said that we can sometimes speak our outcome into existense by what we say. Then, what if you could write your dreams into reality? What would you do?

The long awaited Christian romance novel Writing for Love by Dawnette Blackwood-Rhoomes, was released on Monday December 15th, 2014!

This book is a must-read inspirational romance with faith at the core of its message. With two stories happening simultaneously and the plot of one story transcending into the other, the book provides an interesting reading experience!

Writing for Love will be available in print and ebook format on  CreateSpace and and other online retailers. Be sure to get a copy of Writing for Love this Christmas!

Book Description:
Is God concerned with our love lives? If we ask, will He actually give us the desires of our hearts?

Willow Pichard is on a quest to find out the truth, as well as true love and her Prince Charming. When the opportunity came to enter a writing competition, held by Wickham Publishing, Willow decides to write her own dream fairy tale romance. In her story of Esther and the King, Esther enters The Fair Maiden Contest and must do the unthinkable, contend with the lovely Princess Leah to win the King's hand in marriage!

But as this fairy tale plot thickens, Willow finds that the love story of so long ago transcends the pages of her book and parallels a real life romance drama between her and Chad Wickham, heir of Wickham Enterprises! It would have been nice if Chad didn't get on her last nerve, and she didn't have to contend with the ex-girlfriend. Now with Willow entangled in a romance drama and the story of Esther playing out so vividly in her own life, Willow fears to finish the manuscript! Must she forfeit the contest or must she keep on writing for the sake of love?

Happy Reading!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Falling in love with the writing style

Currently we are reading, The Cubicle Next Door  by Siri Mitchell, author of Kissing Andrien. We are absolutely falling in love with the writing style of Siri Mitchell, and we love, love, love the candid, carefree narrative and dialogue of the book!

 Here's one of those easy dialogue scenes from the book:

"...And when they came into my office, they asked the question that would change my life.
"Where are they going?"
"Where are what going?
"The panels."
"I don't know. Don't you guys?"
"No. Who ordered them?"
"I did."
They stood there in front of my desk, all three of them in camouflage battle dress uniforms, arms crossed in front of them, ready to take on the world. "So...what do you want us to do?"
"Go find out who they're for." Duh. Double-duh.
They just stood there.
"Go ask Estelle."
That made them happy. Estelle was the department secretary. She knew everything-except how to use a computer.
That's what they'd hired me for.
They sauntered off down the hall, but they came right back two minutes later. "They're for you."
"No they're not. I ordered them, but they're not for me."
"That's what Estelle says." " (Mitchell, The Cubicle Next Door. 6-7)

Can you see the scene unfolding? Can you feel the confusion? Wasn't the dialogue realistic? As a by-stander listening to them going back and forth, can you envision your head swiveling back and forth as the conversation swirls around you?

We just thought we'd share this moment of 'awesome read' with you! When reading, slow down and take time to enjoy the setting, narrative, and dialogue of the book!

Happy Reading!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Guest Post | New children's books byJoanne Lécuyer

The following guest post was written by Joanne Lécuyer, author of new books My Friend Merlin and The Witch, The Cat, and The Water Dragon.

With a little bit of magic, anything is possible...

I’ve always enjoyed fantasy and sci-fi in books, art, and movies – especially magic, wizards, fairies, and dragons. Even now, I love to read about them or watch animated movies like How to Tame Your Dragon, Epic, The Sword in the Stone, and the BBC television series Merlin. They take me away from the day-to-day routines. They allow me to imagine and explore other possibilities.

In 2009, I started writing my own fantasy stories for kids. My chapter books are full of magical characters and creatures sprinkled with real life challenges and lessons that are dealt with in positive ways. I like to create characters that use their wits and imagination and enjoy helping other and doing good deeds. Adding some images makes the story really come to life, and more fun to read!

One of my favorite characters is the wizard Merlin. I decided to create a story around him, with a few twists on the legend, to make him more accessible to kids. In My Friend Merlin, a young druid boy named Merlin shows a young Prince Arthur that magic can be used to do good despite what King Uther and his followers have come to believe. It’s the tale of the meeting of Arthur and Merlin and how they changed the fate of magic. The book contains over 20 amazing color images by a Canadian illustrator, Rich Lauzon. Rich and I met at a Geek Market in Ottawa, Ontario a few years ago. He was drawing an image of a young boy and a dragon, which gave me the inspiration to start writing the story. I used it as the first image in chapter 1. I’m sure the kids, even adults, will love his illustrations.

When I first wrote The Witch, the Cat and the Egg in 2009, I had no idea that it would turn into a series of books. Juliane and Magicus, and the forest creatures, remind me of the magical stories that I read when I was young. In the sequel, The Witch, the Cat and the Water Dragon, Juliane is a young witch and forest guide to the magical Forest of Ennyar. The egg she had transported has now hatched and Tarak the last magical water dragon has emerged. As Juliane and the dragon will learn, not everything is as it seems. Friendship and courage will be required to face the unknown, and help save magic and the forest. For the images, I worked with another local illustrator, Brooke Alexander. I watched her drawing with colored pencils while I was at a book fair. I needed to find a new illustrator for the sequel and Brooke was a perfect fit.

My goal is to write books that make kids feel good and smile. I also teach writing workshops in schools and libraries with the hope that I might inspire some kids to become future writers and illustrators.

My other books include The Witch, the Cat and the Egg (2010), Kaptain Vamp (2011), and The Tales of Anex and Bit (2012). You can read more about me and my books, and purchase copies on my website .

The first three are also available on and Barnes and

I hope that you will make Topsy Books part of your reading collection.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Thank you and Congratulations!

TO: Our Readers and Subscribers

Thank you to all who participated in our Survey Raffle - "How Did You Hear About DBR Books?"

A winner was randomly chosen and now for the grand announcement!

The winner is Karl R. of USA! Congratulations Karl!

Keep checking our Blog to see what's next.

Best Regards,
DBR Books

Thursday, August 7, 2014

What did you read this summer?

The summer is almost over and soon it will once again be Back-to-School for our kids! Then comes that famous back-to-school essay question: What did you read this summer?

Get an early start on that question or on the school reading list and purchase a copy of the classic American novel - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Now available at our DBR Designs Tripleclicks store at

Price: Now $5.95 - 34% Savings!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Reading Journal | Little Women and Me Part 3

In our recent journal entries, we reviewed Little Women and Me written by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, and found the book to be a controversial yet appealing read.

There is a tug-of-war that will happen to the reader when reading Little Women and Me. Pointed details of Little Women, such as conversations and narratives are lost in Little Women and Me, which makes you feel that you'd like to know more about the other characters. However, one has to keep in mind that the story is really about Emily. To be honest, reading it from a different perspective is refreshing.

Although, the book has the foundation of the classic novel Little Women, Logsted tells Emily's 'version' in a modern, brash, yet unique way. However, some similarities still remain toward the ending of the book. Like Alcott's Little Women, main character Emily in Little Women and Me learns a valuable lesson; and also like the classic characters, Emily battles selfishness and gains insight to the significance of 'true sisterhood'.

This is our final journal entry for this book. Get a copy of Little Women and Me by Lauren Baratz-Logsted and read for yourself. Let us know if you agree with some of our main points here.

Happy Reading!

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Reader's Journal | Little Women and Me by Lauren Baratz-Logsted Part 2

For all those who have read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and find the story captivating and the characters lovable, you will appreciate Lauren Baratz-Logsted's efforts in rewriting the well-known story with a very modern twist to it in her novel Little Women and Me.  Logsted's main character, Emily March, is given an English assignment to chronicle what she would change in her favorite book. In rising to the challenge, Emily March is transported into the book, and becomes the middle sister of the infamous March sisters.

The first surprise in the book Little Women and Me, is that in a typical story of transporting back in time, the character is usually a bystander on the scene - the new kid on the block, if you will. However, Logsted chose for her main character to be added as a sibling to the March family, thus becoming the middle child. If that wasn't bold enough, then consider adding the character to an already existing story to continue on as if 'life as usual'. There was no expression of shock or surprise when Emily suddenly 'showed up' in the story, but instead she was accepted as if she is always expected to be there. We thought that this was a very ingenious way of continuing on Alcott's story of Little Women without shaking its foundation too much while actually changing parts of the original plot. Of course the dynamics and the storyline of the original fiction would have to make way here for the new, and we thought it was a good way of setting the stage and building the scene to carry out Emily's assignment - which is to look for areas in which she would change the plot. Emily was doing so without realizing it!

The first two chapters of the book set the pace and unfold the basic story plot change Emily had in mind for her assignment. Reading further into the book, readers will actually want to see how much Emily will accomplish her goal, and may be dissapointed if they were expecting more of the March sisters to play a greater part. But one has to remember that this plot (Little Women and Me) is written from a different viewpoint. Alcott's world with classic mannerisms and speech of 1860's New England is primarily lost in the narrative and perspective of Emily March; and understandably so because the story is being told by a teenager of the 21st century. Therefore, there is the typical whining and moaning about mondane life and boredom by a teenager who is far removed from all modern day technology and way of life. It's expected, and fans of Alcott may struggle with this.

Interesting read as we see Alcott's heroines from a different perspective. If you had a chance to change the plot, scene, the characters, or the outcome of your favorite book, what changes would you make?

Keep reading and follow along with us on our blog for updates in our journal entry on Little Women and Me!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Inside our summer issue of The Books Magazine

In our summer issue of The Books Magazine, we have wonderful and inspiring author interviews; our reader's journal book review; and awesome summer reads that we know you can't wait to read!

Inspiring and motivating author interviews with:
1. David Kalish, author of The Opposite of Everything
The Opposite of Everything is our 3rd book in our Reader's Journal section. We took the book a part, and we delved deep down into Daniel Plotnick's psychic. Now, we speak to author David Kalish one on one about his book, his main character Daniel Plotnick, his theme the opposite of everything, his battle with cancer and divorce, and his advice to first time authors.

2. Yon Walls, author of Seeing Colette
Seeing Colette is a historical fiction of a young woman, Colette Stonethrower, who flees from an epidemic in her village to life as a guardian for an orphange, a civil activist for the poor and destitute, and an advocate for the arts - all this on the outbreak of World War I and the Harlem Artistic Renaissance! Read DBR Books interview with author Yon Walls.

The Reader's Journal:
Our Reader's Journal book review is for our 4th read Little Women and Me by Lauren Baratz-Logsted. What if you could change a paragraph, a line, the plot, a character, or the outcome of your favorite book? What would you change, or whom would you change? Read along with us, and view our first journal entry for this book in our magazine!

Awesome Summer Reads
You'll be surprised at the great line up of summer reads we have in stored for you! Make a list of must read summer books now!

Click here and begin reading!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Thank You and Congratulations!

TO: Our Readers and Subscribers

Thank you to all who participated in our Survey Raffle - "How Did You Hear About DBR Books?"

A winner was randomly chosen and now for the grand announcement!

The winner is Joanne L. of Canada! Congratulations Joanne!

Keep checking our Blog to see what's next.

Best Regards,
DBR Books

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Reader's Journal - The Opposite of Everything by David Kalish Part 3

The Opposite of Everything is a new first book written by David Kalish, chronicling his battle with cancer and divorce, in the third person novel of the story of Daniel Plotnick. The book highlights many of Kalish's emotional struggle with his bout with cancer. It delves deep into past and present emotional trauma and this made Kalish main character Plotnick real to readers.

Our emotional history and our life experiences help shape our personalities. Daniel Plotnick and other characters in the book are well thought out and well developed due to their experiences. Readers 'get to know' them because Kalish sought to bring them from existing as sub-characters that help move a novel along to major players that fill in the blanks and answer questions readers may have about the main character. For instance, in reading the book, one may wonder why Daniel Plotnick harbored intense agitation toward his father Harold Plotnick. Kalish, instead of saying why, showed the reader as he temporarily switched narration of the story, continuing from Harold Plotnick's point of view. In doing so, this allowed the reader to understand Daniel Plotnick's background history, thereby making the characters more 'fleshy' and the story more real.

On their weekend together in the Catskills, Harold Plotnick saw for the first time what he deemed as "murder of his son's normality". Seeing his son in a different light, Harold angry at first, became grievesome when Daniel 'fell over' the George Washington Bridge. This switch of point of views show the story from different angles, perspectives, and the reader experiences each person's emotional struggle with Daniel Plotnick's crisis.

The characters that come to play as the story unfolds, Plotnick's Dad, Steve his best friend, Mona (Steve's Mom), and Sonia - Plotnick's Columbian girlfriend, are all rich and engaging. Their existence make the story more believing. As the characters unfold, Kalish cleverly interweaves their strong points, thereby bringing to the forefront how their existence enriched Plotnick's life. Amidst the tumult of emotions running wild in this book, as everyone comes to grip with the circumstance, his characters were able to work through their own struggles and somehow assist in the healing process of Daniel Plotnick.

Endowing his characters with real emotions, Kalish established in his book solid relationships that are intertwined and dynamically charged as they affect one another, and one can see that especially when Daniel Plotnick found love. Writer David Kalish has a knack for writing raw emotion and creating and interweaving complex relationships. It is also credible that he kept the theme of the book (the opposite of what comes naturally) running consistently as a never-ending thread throughout the story; even to the point of running the risk of the reader questioning the 'sanity' of his main character.

Although the ending was a little cliched for the theme of the book, we actually appreciated the way in which the story came to a close. We also liked that the story had a hopeful open ending, giving it the ability to 'live on' in the reader's mind and to ponder what's next for Daniel Plotnick?

This is our last journal entry on this book. If you haven't already gotten this book, we suggest you do as it won't be a disappointing read!

Link with author David Kalish and learn more about his book The Opposite of Everything  on his website - 

Happy Reading!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Reader's Journal - The Opposite of Everything by David Kalish Part 2

The Opposite of Everything by author David Kalish, made its debut in March 2014, and DB-R Designs received a copy for review. We chose The Opposite of Everything as our next Reader's Journal book and the first part of this review was written by The Books Magazine, May|June 2014 issue.

The Opposite of Everything, has recently been awarded 1st Place in the Literary Category of the Somerset Awards for Literary & Mainstream Fiction! A great start don't you think?

Picking up where we left off in Daniel Plotnick's radical decision to do the opposite of everything that was natural for him, in David Kalish new book The Opposite of Everything, Plotnick plunged ahead in his decision without restraint or regret.

After being diagnosed with thyroid cancer, Plotnick decided that his life should be lived by his terms. Therefore, going against his very nature as the doting husband, Plotnick changed the locks to his apt and served his wife (of just a year) separation papers. But if that wasn't crazy enough, true to his word Plotnick did the opposite of his opposite! And so, under his wife's encouragement, gained for himself a mutual separation, kept his apartment, and returned to a life of bachelorhood!

The layers of complexity that writer Kalish has created here is worth mentioning. In a two dimensional world, the opposite of light is darkness. In Plotnick's world of negative-positive and ying-yang, the opposites take on their own opposites; thereby creating a three dimensional outlook on the circumstance, where readers can assess the length, breadth, and height of the situation. This dimensional element of the story, gives the reader the freedom to choose whether or not to stand back and survey the circumstance or be engaged in it as Plotnick bounces back and forth between the ying and yang of his decision.

However, one can't help but to be caught up in the story as Plotnick toddles back and forth between decisions as he organize, agonize, and rationalize his thoughts. In this successful yet very subtle approach by author Kalish to bring his readers closer to the main character, readers can feel Plotnick's struggle in that quick flash of decision making. You want to empathize and at the same time you want to pat Plotnick on the back for a job well done!

If you haven't gotten this book as yet, we suggest you get your copy as soon as possible and follow along with us as we read! Don't forget to read PART 1 of this book review in May|June's issue of The Books Magazine .

Connect with author David Kalish on his website:

Happy Reading!

The Reader's Journal - The Opposite of Everything by David Kalish Part 1

The Opposite of Everything  by author David Kalish, made its debut in March 2014, and DB-R Designs received a copy for review. We chose The Opposite of Everything  as our next Reader's Journal book and the first part of the review is written by The Books Magazine, May|June 2014 issue.

Book Description:
When Brooklyn journalist Daniel Plotnick learns he has cancer, his fortunes fall faster than you can say Ten Plagues of Egypt. His wife can't cope, his marriage ends in a showdown with police, and his father accidentally pushes him off the George Washington Bridge.

Plotnick miraculously survives his terrifying plunge, and comes up with a zany plan to turn his life around: by doing the opposite of everything he did before.

In the darkly comedic tradition of Philip Roth and Lorrie Moore comes a new novel from author David Kalish, who draws us into a hilarious, off-kilter world where cancer tears apart relationships...and builds new ones.

Don't forget to also read our Book Review PART 2 on this blog site!

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Book Review | Cool Kind Kid Handbook #1

The following book review was originally written for The Books Magazine edition May/June 2014 . This is an updated version with new hyperlinks for purchasing the Cool Kind Kid Handbook 1 and its CD.

While reading through Cool Kind Kid Handbook 1 by creator of "Cool Kind Kid" Barbara Gilmour, we saw an area in the book activity in which an alien from outer space asked "Why are you doing that?". It got us thinking, if aliens were to visit the planet Earth, what would they think of our world today? Would they find a people of a generous nature, with mannerable social skills, caring, respectful, and practicing the Golden Rule with others?

In the Cool Kind Kid Handbook 1, Barbara Gilmour, Sydelle Mason, Ed.D, and Wendy McDermott, Ph.D, help parents and caregivers, eductors and counselors, to effectively assist young children in developing adequate social skills and successfully reject bullying within their peers.

The handbook is an activity book designed to help the parent/instructor introduce social etiquette in a fun way through Q & A exercises and catchy-fun songs and lyrics. The message? It's okay to be a "cool kind kid". The handbook demonstrates various circumstances in which kids can be kind to others - at home, at school, with their neighbors, in their community etc. This book is very practical and down-to-earth, and encourages kids to look for opportunities to be kind.

When we think of the Golden Rule -"do unto others as you would have others do unto you" - we see that it requires action. Just as Love is an action word, not just something you feel; the Golden Rule requires action too for it to be a practical, tangible experience. Cool Kind Kid fully explores the real meaning of this principle, and gives sound practical advice in areas in which the Golden Rule can be applied. The book encourages children to be "cool" at home, at school, at play, in their neighborhood and community. Then it goes into detail, giving parents/instructors/counselors wonderful tips and objectives on accomplishing this task.

One commendable aspect of the book is that it is interactive. Parents/instructors are not just simply regurgitating suggestions from the book; but they are required to ask the kids various questions on topics addressed, and then discuss the answers together. Also, kids and parents are encouraged to put into practice what they have learned from these 'training' sessions within various social settings and environments.

We liked that it wasn't the cookie-cutter format of creating good citizenship, but that the authors explored the avenues that have long gone neglected in our society. The issue of proper manners and respect for others are resounding key factors in the book.

Cool Kind Kid Handbook 1 is a guide book that should be kept by parents and caregivers as an instruction manual and activity book in which adults can refer to from time to time. For example, you may want to choose the objective 'character building' as a project for your kids. Parents are encouraged to read and involve their kids in the corresponding activities for the project. Remember to make it fun! What better way to learn and grow!

The book highlights a lot of role playing. This is important because children learn by emulating what they have seen and heard. For instance, acting out the polite and rude ways of using the magic words is a profound teaching tool that will definitely leave a more lasting impression in the minds of young children.

Cool Kind Kid is timely and appropriate for our society today in which bullying seems to have taken over as the "new norm". The book is refreshing and it reinforces those lessons that sets us high above the animal kingdom and makes us who we are, humans.

Which takes us right back to the beginning of this article. If aliens were to visit our planet, what kind of people would they find? Well, we hope, amongst the harsh realities of our world, they'd find honorable, upright citizens in our children and young adults; after all, they are our future. A future with honest, kind, and honorable citizens, is the kind of future we should all strive for.

For more details view the website:

[This book review of Cool Kind Kid, Handbook #1 is written for The Books Magazine - May/June 2014 edition]

The Cool Kind Kid CD (Single)

There are 17 original songs that can be used as teaching tools in providing young children with the proper social skills necessary for our society today. Each song (single), sold separately, costs $0.99 and can be downloaded on a MP3 player. Here are some of the titles:

  • Magic Word Mambo
  • When the Telephone Rings
  • Polite to Me
  • Rude Rudy
  • The Best Friend I Can Be
  • School Rules
  • Manners Matter Everywhere

Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Reading Journal - entry #7 - Lance's Travels- UK by Lance Leuven

Ever wondered about early UK history of countries such as Britain, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales? Why the Brits named their policemen "Bobbies"; what's the secret behind Stonehenge; or what does an old yew tree has to do with our independence? Find out what Leuven has to say about these things plus Scotland's infamous Loch Ness monster; a meal of Haggis (made from sheep pluck - heart, liver and lungs); the elusive red squirrel, and how tea became fashionable in Britain; all this in Leaven's new book Lance's Travels - UK .

Leuven delves into the history of the United Kingdom as he tours and journals his findings in his new guide book. DBR Books had the privelege to blog our review about the book, and we rather enjoyed the experience. We especially liked Leaven's witty style of writing, which has the tendency to pull the reader in for a richer reading experience. We also liked the seamless way in which Leuven moved from one historical site to another without the reader feeling bombarded with details. The book is overflowing with with a lot of historical data and readers learn several interesting facts while it makes for a good read.

This is our final blog entry on this book, and we'd like to say "Thank You" to Lance Leuven for making his book available for our blog. We hope that through our blogging, you have been inspired to take a trip to the UK this spring or summer, and make sure you take along a copy of Lance's Travels - UK with you!

In the following excerpt, we find that Leuven's words evoke inspiration and peek the curiosity to want to experience the world around us:

"I learnt and witnessed so much. I moved from standing in awe at ancient wonders like Stonehenge, to discovering modern ideas like Robert Owen's respect for workers...I'd been awed by the beauty of Scotland, touched by the friendliness of the Nothern Irish, impressed by the pride of the Welsh, and fascinated by the history of England."

Leuven implores us to "...switch off the TV, get off the sofa and do something..."; we say, "...and go exploring!"

Happy Reading!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Reading Journal - entry #6 - Lance's Travels - UK by Lance Leuven

In our last entry of The Reading Journal, we introduced Lance Leuven's new book, Lance's Travels - UK. Our read so far took us on an adventurous journey through the villages of the United Kingdom, and offered wonderful, intriguing historical accounts for each region visited. As we said before, Leuven's guide books are unique, as they not only retell history but interweave in them tid-bits of the author's personal encounters as well.

Did you know that a large ancient yew tree called the Ankerwycke Yew in the meadows of Runnymede, 20 miles west of central London, which sits opposite on the bank of the River Thames bore witness to the signing of the Magna Carter in June 1215? ( A document that helped shape American history and that was important in the forming of the constitution was not formulated in an office or courtroom as one would expect, but instead in a meadow by the River Thames!  This document was important because England's legal system became the model under which many countries developed their own.

Does the tree have any particular significance? Although the tree may be of little importance, Leuven, nevertheless went looking for it, and found that ironically, it was under this same tree that King Henry VIII and his lover Anne Boleyn later had their love rendezvous in the 1530s! If we were writing a novel, the irony here would probably be the starting point of the novel, to show how kings sometimes easily bend and sway under their own selfish desires, which is the very reason why laws are put into effect, to protect the people and the kingdom. The tree bore witness to both incidents in history. To do away with monarch absolutism, barons ordered one unscrupulous monarch (King John) to sign the constitution into effect. He signed to protect his greedy interest - his crown; while centuries later, the other (King Henry VIII) overshadowed the constitution and its significance in his drive to have what was otherwise forbidden.

Nevertheless, these periods in history were significant and helped to shape the legal system under which England is now governed. As a result of the signing of the constitution and the break away from Rome, England's constitutional monarchy was firmly established, and royal absolutism became a thing of the past for the country and her colonies.

In reading Lance's Travels - UK, we paused several times to ponder about earth's landscapes. In the countless generations that existed before ours, many dramatical events have unfolded within the same landscapes. While we're forging and embarking on our own history, many have created their own in the same place! Quite a sobering thought when you think of how many feet and good/bad intentions have paved the same pathway thoughout history. If we were to line up the generations that had tread that path, each person's historical encounter with that tree would tell a different story! Afterall, isn't that what history is all about?

Happy Reading!

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Reading Journal - entry #5 - Lance's Travels - UK by Lance Leuven

Our 2nd book for the Reading Journal is Lance's Travels - UK by Lance Leuven. DBR Books reviewed Lance's previous book Lance's Travels Does Cornwall, and we found the book to be an interesting mix of history and travel guide commentary, thanks to Leuven's witty storytelling abilities.

In his second book, Lance's Travels - UK, the author takes the reader on an adventurous journey, mixing in his own travel experience and historical data done through detailed retelling, with lots of imagination and a bit of speculation. The way in which historical facts are delivered in the book, produce for the reader special "what ifs" moments, which caused us to pause and ponder on a bit of history and speculate "what if history had gone an entirely different way, what then?" Leuven gets the reader involved and intrigued, and one can't help but be absorbed in the natural way in which Leuven retells history. This is a good thing because readers will want to visit; to be in the place where such grand history took place, and experience (even if it's just in imagination) that piece of history that Leuven has recreated for us!

Leuven's guide books are not the typical, but they are a more detailed, personal journal-like type of guide which take into account the writer's experience, and give a little bit of theatrical drama (both his and history's) along with it! For example, going into the history of the Crown and the fights and battles that ensued to gain control of the Crown and all the provinces and territories that comes with it, is pretty detailed oriented but the tasteful way in which Leuven embarked on this endeavor makes it an adventure for him as well as the reader. Therefore, you could tell that the author totally enjoyed his visit to the town of Battle, (in which the Battle of Hastings took place); his very descriptive, engrossing tale gave it all away!

If you love history and travel, then you'll love reading Lance's Travels - UK by Lance Leuven. We're just about to delve into chapter 3 and we look forward to hearing from you as you travel the UK with us through the eyes and imagination of Lance Leuven, our author and travel guide!

This article can also be seen in this month's issue of The Books Magazine .

Happy Reading!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Reading Journal - entry #4 - The Power to Transform by Chris Majer

This is our final journal entry for the book The Power to Transform by Chris Majer. We must say that Chris Majer took us on an inspiring journey of self-discovery, and reform. According to Majer, upon reading this book and performing all the necessary assignments required, a reformation takes place. This reformation takes place by reformed thinking, which is put into practice, and the outcome is a reformed lifestyle!

Don't get us wrong - it doesn't of course happen overnight. But one could see changes, even in the way you view things, after reading and engaging in the exercises set out in the book. The book awakens in the reader a desire for better, and through practical advice, Majer takes the reader through a series of uplifting and self awareness exercises. These practical steps become the building blocks and foundation to a better you. However, in order to get there, Majer suggests that one should learn to observe oneself. Cultivating awareness of self and your surroundings and how you affect others, is "a lifelong journey" that will "deepen your capacity to [truly] see yourself."

Majer's book, The Power to Transform, takes the reader through several key factors that are imperative for real change. The book brings about honest, authentic, soul-searching discoveries, and motivates the reader to perform beyond his/her comfort zone. Are you a victim or a victor in life's circumstances? Are you committed to excellence or satisfied to perform in your comfort zone? Are you exercising your power of choice or are you using the shadow of fear as an excuse? Majer's book helps you to honestly look within yourself to see who you truly are, and to help shape the new you.

We must say, that although the book is really a 90 day read, we would encourage readers to reread the book to fully get the gist of what it really means to transform your life from the inside out! And don't forget to put into practice what you've learned!

Exciting, adventuresome, motivating, and inspiring, The Power to Transform by Chris Majer is a must read for everyone and anyone who is truly looking to take your future off default and instead choose to reinvent it.

Connect with the author on his website here.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Reading Journal - entry #3 - The Power to Transform by Chris Majer

According to Chris Majer in his book The Power to Transform, when we say we "can't", what we are really saying is "I am afraid to," "I am currently not competent to/at," or "I am unwilling to,".

In his book, Majer in a series of assignments, states that "the object here is to bring your awareness to the conditional tendency of using 'I can't' as a hiding place." Many people use "I can't" to mask pain, insecurity, unwillingness, or a means to giving in to one's inner critic.

However, Majer takes the reader on a journey of self-discovery. His theory is that if you become more aware of the deep underlying reasons why we say we "can't", then the revelation can lead us to make better choices.

  • You should become aware of what your inner critic is saying.
  • Note how much this inner voice influences your actions and decision making.
  • What are you going to do about it? What choice will you make toward the desired course of action?

According to Majer, we "always have a choice." In choosing to act you are in fact choosing to believe that you are "inherently able" to complete the task. So the next time you catch yourself saying "I can't", Majer suggests that you stop and consider why you're saying it. Be true to yourself and to others. Answer why you choose not to follow a course of action. In assessing ourselves, we'll find the honest answer instead of hiding behind the shadow of "I can't". For the most part however, we have the ability to successfully complete what's asked of us.

Read The Power to Transform by Chris Majer. For more info, visit the author's website .

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Reading Journal - entry #2 - The Power to Transform by Chris Majer

Embarking on a project on "mental fitness", Majer began his career as founder and CEO of the Human Potential Project. He taught athletes that their goal was not only to become physically fit but becoming mentally fit was just as important. Majer later taught his fitness practices to the military and to organizations.

The book highlights flashbacks and stories of practical examples of overcoming and remaining mentally strong.  Majer highlights that facing the moment of crises head-on despite the anxiety we feel is far better than 'cowering' before the situation.

Key points in our reading:
“ centering, [and] accountability, avoiding the impulse to blame others for our problems, is a valuable skill, one requiring practice, but which yields great dividends.” And the world of obstacles that exist in our path may be as a result of how we perceive them in our minds. Therefore, the limitations that we face are “merely the limitations of our own minds.”

So what are the limitations you face? Realize this. According to Majer, they are not limitations but your struggle within. Maybe it's a struggle to simply get out of your comfort zone or to get over your fear. He rightly pointed out that "there is no learning inside your comfort zone."  We should aim to replace our laid back state of being with a more adventurous one. Fellow examiner Leila Rose-Gordon in her article Face Your Fears and Overcome Them, like Majer also stressed the importance of getting out of that constant, persistence of remaining in our comfort zone and daring once again to realize your dream!  

Majer reiterates that the only way to really learn is through practice. This book really works on the 'inner you', a transformational process over the course of 90 days. So don't just read the book, but also put into practice what you've gleaned from your reading and do the exercises. We hope you're reading along with us, as we are getting ready to delve into Chapter 3 to begin to put into practice what we've learned.

Visit the author’s website, Human Potential Project to know more about the book and the author. Video clips, forums, and the subscription to the newsletter are also available.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

The Reading Journal - entry#1 - The Power to Transform by Chris Majer

Harnessing inspiration from a variety of sources such as other motivational leaders, teachers, and coaches, Chris Majer author of The Power to Transform embarks on a journey of self discovery, team management, and developing innovative and strategic concepts in realizing the human potential. Majer is founder and Ceo of the Human Potential Project, a project which is "designed to deliver transformational education for athletes, the military, and corporate organizations".

In The Power to Transform, Passion, Power, and Purpose in Daily Life, Majer shares his knowledge and formulates his program for the individual. Irrespective of your status or your career goal, this book offers "easy-to-use" concepts that will produce change.

As the first book in our Reader's Journal forum, we will highlight key points and profound statements without giving too much away! Minutes into reading The Power to Transform, several fundamental points arrest the attention and lead the reader to the core message of this book, that is, the individual's power to make choices that will bring about a transformation in their own lives.

  1. We have the capacity to continuously reshape our lives. 
  2. We are not forever bound by our circumstances or occurrences.
  3. We can choose to reinvent ourselves and our futures. 
  4. Excuses are usually as a result of fear.

 Although many of us are already aware of these points, we fail to apply them which results in unrealized dreams and goals. These fundamental points speak to the heart of all human beings, because we all have something in our lives that we'd like to change. Maybe you'd like to become a better parent; or get that first novel out of your head and on paper; or make your business more enterprising. Whatever your goal or whatever your lack, according to Majer, you have the potential to reshape your life and reinvent your future. Put fear aside.

Okay. So let's bring it down to an everyday, practical level. You have a deep desire to write a novel, but you have a fear that you might not be able to do it. Or you think that maybe the manuscript will be no good. Or you have a fear that it will be rejected by the publishers. Well, write anyway! Choose to step out of your comfort zone and get the words out of your head and on paper. Write what comes to mind, challenge yourself and write, write, write! Here's a tip: keep a notebook and think about your characters (they are real within the pages of your book) and writing about them should come naturally. Also, you should know that readers make good writers, that's because we already know what we want in a story.

This is only the Introduction! Should you choose to implement these strategies in your life, then Majer promises a journey that is exciting, intense and rewarding. But he is not only promising change; he is also promising transformation.

Read The Power to Transform along with us, and feel free to discuss your findings and how this book has helped to transform your life.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Resolving to keep your new year's resolution

At the beginning of each year, people make resolutions for the new and upcoming year they are about to embark on. But making a resolution is a big thing and here's why: Resolution - a resolving, formal statement, a determination. Unless you have a determination to accomplish your goal, then don't make a resolution you can't keep. 

So this year DBR Books wishes to do something new for our readers.  We would like to give you a more enriching reading experience! We want to inspire you into action! Whatever your resolution, whatever your goal, we want to help you achieve it by inspiring you with outstanding phrases we see in our outstanding reads. Reads that will not only interest you, but reads that will motivate you to take charge of your life and to inspire the greatness in you! Our new reader’s forum, The Reader’s Journal, will help you to aspire to greater heights.

The Power to Transform - Passion, Power, and Purpose in Daily Life by Rick Majer is our first choice. Follow along with us as we dig deeper for a more enriching reading experience.

We are also inviting you to a share your enriching experience with us on Twitter @DBRBooks, and on our Blog.

Happy New Year!