#BlogTour: Become the Force by Daniel M. Jones & Theresa Cheung @TheAspieWorld @Authoright #Excerpt

It’s always fun to kick off a blog tour, but this one I’ve been looking forward to for a while. Daniel M. Jones is the founder of the Church of Jediism and this is his book all about the principles of living according to the Force. I am totally fascinated with the ways religions work, what people believe in etc and as a huge Star Wars fan that’s just increased ten fold with this one. I have an extract which I hope you enjoy and do follow the tour, there is tour schedule below.

Description

Daniel M Jones founded the Church of Jediism in 2007, and it now has over 500,000 members around the world. This is the book his fans have been waiting for. In it Daniel outlines the Jedi perspective and provides practical tools for anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of how to use the Force in everyday life. The Force is a metaphor for the universal life energy that connects us all, and it can be both light and dark, good and bad. Now, more than ever, it is our responsibility to overcome the dark side. This book does not aim to convert but to inspire its readers to live a life of meaning and purpose according to the universal spiritual teachings from ‘The Way of the Jedi’.

Become the Force covers:

Daniel’s own fascinating spiritual journey and how overcoming personal struggles has awakened him to his purpose.
How Jedi teachings can empower mind, body, heart and spirit.
A comprehensive toolkit that will allow anyone to genuinely embrace ‘the way of the Jedi’.
Compelling reasons why the spiritual teachings of Jediism are relevant today.
A comprehensive explanation of Jediism as a spiritual movement (a universal desire for self-awareness, spiritual awakening, peace, love and harmony) rather than a religion.
Shows that it’s plausible that the Jedi-minded among us today might usher in a new spirituality and shift in global consciousness towards peace and harmony that is more powerful than any we can possibly imagine.

Become The Force - Tour Banner

Excerpt

This extract comes from fairly early in the book when Daniel explains with reference to his own life the importance of understanding the power of your thoughts.

 

If intelligence – and by that I mean curiosity – is the qualification or prerequisite for Jediism, becoming aware of the power of your thoughts to create your reality is the foundation stone or starting point. The journey begins with one step and thought control is that first step. Not taking responsibility for your thoughts allows fear to get the upper hand and when fear has the upper hand you attract negative situations, experiences and people into your life. This sounds like positive thinking but it is far more expansive and profound than that. It is understanding what your thoughts are and how to take charge of them so you become a living embodiment of the infinite power and potential of the Force.

 

The power of thought to create your reality and connect you to the living life Force is something I have felt many times in my own life.

 

Thinking ahead

 

I guess I’m lucky in that I have always been aware of the potential of my thoughts or thinking to shape my life and what I attract into it. I have always sensed that I am not entirely at the mercy of external events or a helpless victim of circumstances. My parents and teachers may have been worried about me with my Star Wars obsessions and strange, antisocial behaviour but I was choosing to live my life on my own terms. I wasn’t able to conform to the expectations of others. In my mind I trusted that somehow all would fall into place and self-understanding would manifest if I simply put my energy into doing what I loved.

 

After leaving school I continued to educate myself and absorb as much as I could about religion, spirituality, science and the search for life’s meaning. I also formed my own band. I composed songs for the band, despite not being able to read music, and performed locally in clubs and pubs. I had but one agenda and that was to be creative and to ultimately use that creativity to energise and inspire others. Perhaps this desire to create has something to do with my Asperger’s, which was still undiagnosed at the time. I have – and still have – this overwhelming urge to ooze creativity 24/7. I need very little sleep. If I’m not creative or learning something new I don’t feel alive. I always have to be doing lots of things. If I’m not busy I am more susceptible to meltdowns. Keeping my mind active and constantly learning and creating is my way of being and I’m aware that not everybody reacts to life like that.

 

From the outside looking in I must have seemed like a young drifter without any formal qualifications, or a rebel without a cause, but that transition period in my life from schoolboy to young adult made complete sense to me – I was learning, growing and finding out who I was. There was no urge within me to settle for security. There was only one road for me and that was the road less travelled as it offered constant stimulation and opportunities to evolve. I trusted the universe would support my creativity, and support me it did.

 

All along I knew that everything in my life was leading me towards a greater purpose. I wasn’t sure what that purpose was but I never panicked because I knew that all I needed to do was let my creativity flourish and the universe would guide me. I trusted that the universe would send me the right person or the right circumstances or the right insight to take me to where I needed to be, in other words help me fulfil my purpose. That is exactly what the universe did.

 

Answer noted but not counted

 

I was first alerted to the Jedi census phenomenon in early 2001 by a family friend who told me about a worldwide email campaign urging people to write Jedi or Jedi knight as their answer to the religion classification question in their country’s census. My friend knew that I was a Star Wars obsessive and that this would definitely appeal to me. They were right. The census phenomenon did more than appeal to me. It inspired and enlightened me. I may not have been aware of it at the time as I wasn’t yet 16 but it sowed a seed in my mind and in my heart.

 

In the coming months and following years I watched the census phenomenon with increasing interest. It made me think about how brilliantly an online community could fuel people power and rock the establishment boat. I was fully aware that some declared themselves Jedi on the census as a joke. However, I also knew that there were many people, myself included, who didn’t think it was a laughing matter at all but a genuine expression of spiritual curiosity and identity.

 

The forces that be (government officials) took note of ‘Jedi knight’ as a religious choice on the forms but did not count it. This felt wrong to me as it certainly deserved acknowledgement and investigation as to why people were doing this. People were listing Jedi for a reason. I did some research and found that it wasn’t the first time that people had declared themselves Jedi on the Census. Perhaps this was to do with the dawning of the new millennium and the unfounded fears surrounding computers crashing because of the Y2K bug. Or perhaps it was simply because Star Wars: The Phantom Menace hit cinemas in 1999 bringing Star Wars nostalgically back into people’s minds and hearts years after the release of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi in 1983

 

For whatever reason, in the years that followed the 2001 census it gradually became clear to me that people were crying out for some kind of ethical and spiritual framework but established religion was losing its relevance. It was also beyond doubt clear to me that the internet was going to be a powerful force in everyone’s lives. It was certainly a powerful force in my life. I felt completely at home online, establishing myself as a popular figure on My Space (an early version of Facebook) in 2005. I knew social media had the potential to reach more people than any religious leader and an online community might just be the ideal medium for a spiritual message that was modern, relevant, engaging and empowering……..

About Daniel M. Jones aka Morda Hehol

Daniel M. Jones aka Morda Hehol is a philosopher, scientist and musician. In 2007 he became world famous when he founded the Church of Jediism at the age of twenty one. Since then he has appeared in many national newspapers and Time magazine, and has been interviewed by the BBC, Good Morning America, ITN and numerous other TV and radio stations. Daniel also has a degree in Chemistry from the University of Bangor, Wales. He is a member of pop punk band Straight Jacket Legends, whose debut album charted in Japan. He also dedicates his time to his the Aspie World YouTube Channel highlighting what life is like with Aspergers, after having been diagnosed in 2013. For more information please visit: https://thechurchofjediism.org/

   

About Theresa Cheung 

Theresa Cheung was born into a family of spiritualists and has a Masters in Theology and English from King’s College, Cambridge. She has sold almost half a million books and encyclopaedias about the psychic world, the afterlife and personal transformation over twenty years. Her spiritual books Heaven Called My Name (Piatkus 2016) and An Angel Healed Me (Simon & Schuster 2010) became Sunday Times Top 10 bestsellers and have been translated into thirty languages.

 

Book & Buy Links

TitleBecome the Force: 9 Lessons on Living as a Master Jedi
Series: N/A
Author: Daniel M. Jones Theresa Cheung
Genre: Non-Fiction | Religion
Publisher: Watkins Publishing
Publication Date: 14 November 2017
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: eBook | Paperback | Audio
Pages: 176
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | FoylesBook Depository | Speedy Hen | Wordery

Shabby Sunday: The New Penguin Dictionary of Music – 1977

Shabby Sunday is a meme created by Mischenko at Read Rant Rock & Roll. The idea is to share our old/vintage books. I honestly don’t have much by way of books that qualify for this but when I was checking my bookshelves out I found this one and knew it was one to share. I will check out books I have in storage at my Mum’s as well when I can in case any of them qualify but that will require making my brother climb in the attic so I will need to catch him in a happy mood!

This book is probably one of the few things I would save in a fire. It’s also falling apart at the seams, and riddled with mould spores thanks to the house I used to live in being a mould death trap. My Great-Grandad who I adored gave it to me when I was 11 and moved up to secondary school. That was about the time it became clear I was going to take studying music seriously. This had belonged to him, he didn’t play any instruments as far as I know, but he absolutely loved music and we used to listen to music together quite often. He bought me my first clarinet and gave me this book, which went with me everywhere and helped me immensely with my music theory study.

This is the fourth edition and was published in 1977, this is a book which has been well used and is well loved. I can’t look at it without remembering my Great-Grandad and how supportive he was of my studies.

Quite coincidentally, when I was at the fantasy faction event at Waterstones in Bath a few weeks ago, I glanced up at one of the shelves and saw the most recent edition on the shelf and was so pleased they are still publishing it. Details for buying the latest version are below.

Book & Buy Links

TitleThe New Penguin Dictionary of Music
Series: N/A
AuthorPaul Griffiths
Genre: Non-Fiction | Music | Composition
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 3 August 2006
Review Format: Paperback
Other Formats: N/A
Pages: 912
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | Book Depository | SpeedyHen | Wordery

#Review: Alice in Brexitland by Leavis Carroll @LucienDYoung @EburyPublishing

Description

Lying on a riverbank on a lazy summer’s afternoon – 23rd June 2016, to be precise – Alice spots a flustered-looking white rabbit called Dave calling for a referendum. Following him down a rabbit-hole, she emerges into a strange new land, where up is down, black is white, experts are fools and fools are experts…

She meets such characters as the Corbynpillar, who sits on a toadstool smoking his hookah and being no help to anyone; Humpty Trumpty, perched on a wall he wants the Mexicans to pay for; the Cheshire Twat, who likes to disappear leaving only his grin, a pint, and the smell of scotch eggs remaining; and the terrifying Queen of Heartlessness, who’ll take off your head if you dare question her plan for Brexit. Will Alice ever be able to find anyone who speaks sense?

Review

I will be honest, satires aren’t my thing normally, but I was persuaded by the political slant on this and the fact that like a fair few people I’m living in a state of despair at the state of the country right now! Sometimes having a good laugh at the thing that’s causing you the most stress is just what you need the most!

Alice in Brexitland is a lighthearted romp through wonderland but not as we know it, Alice now falls down the rabbit hole and lands in Brexitland, our now familiar characters are reincarnations of the politicians who have played a huge part in our political landscaping in the past couple of years and Alice’s interactions with them is laugh out loud hilarious.

Writing as Leavis Carroll to ensure the authenticity of the satire, Lucien Young has even included the American political story with Trump making an appearance as Trumpty Dumpty, I think his personality was completely nailed and I was in stitches reading this.

I’ve said before that my sense of humour tends to miss the point with comedy. I often don’t laugh when I should and I watch comedy with a confused expression not quite understanding why everyone is laughing. That didn’t happen here. I laughed from cover to cover and the illustrations throughout just added to the hilarity.

This isn’t a big book, it took me an hour to read it, but it’s a great light-hearted read which really kind of puts our political climate into check!

A huge thanks to Lucien Young and Ebury Publishing for the eARC of this book in return for my honest review.

Rating

Book & Buy Links

TitleAlice in Brexitland
Series: N/A
Author: Lucien Young
Genre: Satire | Comedy | Politics | Non-Fiction
Publisher: Ebury Publishing
Publication Date: 1 June 2017
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Hardcover
Pages: 112
BuyAmazon UK | Amazon US | Waterstones | Foyles | BookDepositorySpeedyHen

Review: F**k This Journal: Betterness Through Bitterness by Dale Shaw

Description:
Paralysed with bitterness and an overwhelming desire to push people over?

Looking for ways to spur your rotten creative core?

Continue reading Review: F**k This Journal: Betterness Through Bitterness by Dale Shaw

Review: It’s Not Your Journey by Rebecca Lombardo

Description:
In her first published work, Rebecca Lombardo collects her internationally followed blog into the pages of “It’s Not Your Journey”. The memoir candidly details Rebecca’s two year long chronicle of her struggles with Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Self-Injury, and recovery from a Suicide attempt.

Rebecca shares her very real, raw feelings on these subjects, as well as addressing other issues that have contributed to her downward spiral and eventual climb out of her own pit of despair. Issues such as the loss of her mother to lung cancer, the death of her brother, abandonment from friends and family members due to her hospitalization, and more.

Review:
Every now and then a book comes along which tears you in two. It frustrates parts of you that like books to be a certain way, to hit that “book” standard! At the same time it tugs at your heart strings and you know “if only…” It would have hit the ball out of the park. It’s Not Your Journey is one of those books.

I think the point of this book was to show via blog posts turned diary entries how the mood of someone with bipolar can fluctuate over time, starting with a very traumatic event which does, absolutely touch your heart.

However I don’t feel this translated well into the book format from the original blog posts. As someone with bipolar disorder myself I didn’t recognise much beyond depression and anxiety within this book. At times the book felt muddled and confused, while the author was distraught with rage, sadness, or disillusionment.

Hypo-mania and/or mania is the essential “ingredient” to bipolar aside from depression. However only one short chapter was dedicated to this debilitating part of the illness and the chapter felt like a passing thought rather than something useful and educational.

The format as a whole felt disjointed. There was no flow or consistency between chapters. I’ve read books which have taken this ‘diary’ or even a letter format before but the entries still connect together like the dots in a dot-to-dot picture enabling you as a reader to create a clear flow of imagery from one chapter to the next.

Another issue with this disjointed format is that there is copious amounts of repetition, there were entire chapters which could have been lifted out and it would have made no difference. There were points towards the end of the book where I felt as though I was reading the same sentence for the fourth, fifth, even sixth time!

I felt very uncomfortable with some of the authors references not only to herself but also the way she refers to other people who were in the same hospital as her when she was committed. Throughout the book words are used such as “maniacs”, “freaks”, and “psycho”.

As someone who works towards eliminating mental health stigma it makes me sad that another person today living under the shadow of that stigma thinks these words are OK. If this was a work of fiction and it was relevant to the story context I may feel more comfortable, but even at my worst, the multiple times I’ve been in hospital on suicide watch, I couldn’t bring myself to refer to myself or others in these ways, it is so derogatory.

One of the chapters discussed some of the issues finding a publisher and how that felt. The reason I bring that up is twofold, one I spent half of it wondering the relevance of this to the book, every author I know has battled this issue and felt this way, mental illness or no. But the main issue is that the thing I felt this book needed more than anything was a really good copy editor and a good publisher would have leapt on that and it’s a real shame that one didn’t come along to do that.

The kind of issues I’ve spotted would have been highlighted at copy editing and written out during re-writing.

This is a book with so much potential but I felt like I was reading a first draft not a finished version and that for me is a real shame because we have a wonderful writer with a lot of passion, a story to tell, and a desire to help people.

The thing is this book has so much heart, and is compelling and deeply moving on so many levels.

I found once I started taking a breath between chapters, stopping instead of reading continuously I found it easier to read the next chapter.

Rebecca’s writing is solid, moving, and emotional. In fact it’s raw emotion, she lets the words tumble out and they fall where they may.

Rebecca has imparted her experience throughout the book. She has taken the time to say, if you feel like this try that. Thinking of her readers in a nice, friendly touch.

She is very candid in her discussion about self harm, her suicide attempt, and family death. So candid at times in fact I feel the book should come with a trigger warning for those needing one.

It is evident from the get go how frustrated, worn down, and tired she is with her illness. She tries to give a bit of positivity with each chapter but it isn’t convincing much of the time, under the weight of her despair and anguish at life with her crushing depression.

Overall, Rebecca Lombardo has taken a few of the worst years of her life and shared them in the hope of helping someone else and she did help at least one person…me! I discovered there is someone else out there I have an awful lot in common with, the days of feeling hopeless, the anger, years of crippling migraines, and much more.

Unfortunately, despite giving this her everything, this book is lost. It lacks structure; it’s not sure what it wants to be…is it a memoir, a diary, a self-help tool? It’s confused and this is confusing to us as readers.

This book should be read, especially if you live with mental illness, it is a true piece of the author’s heart, and you can’t say that about many books!

I’d like to thank Rebecca Lombardo very much for the ARC to review this book.

TitleIt’s Not Your Journey
Series: N/A
Author: Rebecca Lombardo
Genre: Non-Fiction, Mental Health, Memoirs
Publisher: PubKick
Publication Date: 21 August 2015
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback
Pages: 210
Buy: Amazon Nook iBooks

Book Review: Dear Stranger: Letters on the Subject of Happiness by Various for Mind

Dear Stranger Letters on the subject of happinessTitle: Dear Stranger: Letters on the Subject of Happiness
Author: Various
Genre: Mental Health / Non-Fiction
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 2 July 2015
Format: eBook / Hardcover
Pages: 202
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US

Book Blurb:
‘Dear Stranger is an inspiration’ Stylist

Continue reading Book Review: Dear Stranger: Letters on the Subject of Happiness by Various for Mind

Book Review: Gluten-Free Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond by Linda J. Amendt

Title: Gluten-Free Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond
Author: Linda J. Amendt
Genre: Cookery Book
Publisher: The Taunton Press
Publication Date: 3 September 2013
Format: eBook/Paperback
Pages: 224
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US

Book Blurb:
Breakfast is the favourite meal of the day for millions of Americans, but those with a gluten intolerance are out of luck, since many breakfast foods and baked items have been banned from their diet. They must find gluten-free alternatives or go without. For the rising number of Americans who are choosing to follow a gluten-free diet as a healthy lifestyle and for parents experimenting with gluten-free recipes for their families, they, too, are having to do without.

That disappointment will no longer be the case. In Gluten-Free Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond, home cooks will discover a variety of gluten-free recipes for their family’s favourite breakfast foods. From light quick breads, muffins, biscuits and scones to tasty pancakes, waffles, coffee cakes and sweet rolls, this collection of 100 recipes will bring breakfast back to the gluten-free table. A tantalizing array of frittatas, quiches, and breakfast casseroles are perfect for any meal of the day. The recipes in Gluten-Free Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond are quick and easy to make and yield delicious, satisfying results.


Recipes for home-made all-purpose flour, crepe batter, pancake batter, sweet roll dough, and biscuit dough will give every gluten-free cook the basics for creating delicious dishes of their own.

In addition to great recipes, Gluten-Free Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond will provide cooks with the information they need about gluten-free ingredients, including ingredients to include—and avoid–in their diet and preparing and measuring ingredients. Each recipe chapter will begin with tips to help home cooks create great-tasting gluten-free breakfast specialities to serve from morning to night.

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

My Review:
I have to start this review by saying how impressed I am with this book. From the way it has been written, to the detail for people who are new to Gluten Free cooking, to the variety in each section of the book, this is one of the best gluten free cookbooks I’ve picked up.

Linda J Amendt admits in her opening to the book that she herself doesn’t have coeliac disease or a gluten intolerance. But she does have food allergies and friends with gluten intolerances and so takes the need to be careful with gluten very seriously.

She has gone into great detail surrounding cross-contamination, different gluten free flours and flour blends, and how to make your kitchen gluten free, which as many of you know can be quite the ordeal!

In each section she provides information on the best types of pans and equipment to buy to get the best results. It is clear that she has taken great time and care to ensure that people embarking on trying out her recipes get the best possible results.

Now, I am a huge fan of American breakfast food, breads, cakes, waffles, and best of all pancakes! As someone with a gluten allergy I’ve seen these disappear, great for the waste-line not so great for the taste-buds! This book is a treasure trove of treats, for fellow Brits, there is a metric conversion chart on Page 228 or I recommend keeping an eye on Aldi who regularly sell imperial measuring sets at bargain prices!

I’m particularly bowled over with a whole section on Pancakes & Crepes, I have a particular weakness for these little babies. Having been through the waffle section I will definitely be adding a waffle iron to the shopping list!

I’ve also learned that when Americans refer to Coffee Cake they don’t mean ‘Coffee Cake’ as us Brits mean as in cake with coffee in. They mean cakes that go well with coffee. An important distinction to make when you are allergic to caffeine and can’t eat the Brit version of ‘Coffee Cake’!

I highly recommend this book, it will definitely be getting used loads in this house!

Finally, Thanks to Taunton Press for the ARC copy of the book to review!

About Linda J. Amendt:
Linda J. Amendt has authored four cookbooks, with two more books soon to be released, earning 16 national and international book awards for her food writing. Her friendly, easy-going writing style appeals to readers of all ages and makes home cooks feel like she is right there in the kitchen with them, guiding them through the process of preparing her delicious and creative recipes. She has the unique ability to speak to readers on their own experience level, whether they are a beginner or an advanced cook. Linda Amendt fills her books with an abundance of tips and shares her secrets to success so anyone can achieve great results at home in their own kitchen.

Linda J. Amendt Links: