Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Guest post from author, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, on Marriage and her new book, Next Year In Jerusalem

Guest post from author, Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, on Marriage and her new book, Next Year In Jerusalem. 

Stay tuned for my review tomorrow.

What Can Natalie Do to Make Her Marriage Less Boring
Often times in marriage we expect the honeymoon to continue forever and the till death do us part, to be glamorous and always fulfilling, but how does our spouse know what we want if we don’t tell them. Even characters get bored in their marriages. We asked author Barbara Holstein what advice she would give to Natalie to make her marriage a little less boring.
Barbara:  One of the critical mistakes that Natalie makes in her marriage in Next Year in Jerusalem! is not making her desires and needs clear to David. She is a woman with an amazing memory for detail and she is also passionate. The combination is wonderful. But that is a combination of talents that demands a feeling of frequent intimacy with a partner. Natalie needs and craves that intimacy. However, she doesn't understand that in order to get intimacy she has to be willing to share with David more of her inner life and herself. Ok, he's kind of a preoccupied guy. But that doesn't mean he can't make himself available. He loves her. He would probably feel very sad to know that she has busied herself with some very old memories that have nothing to do with him.
Here are some suggestions, Natalie:
  1. Bring David closer to you, not further away by reaching out to him. Don't wait for him to reach out to you! You have the talents. Use them.
  2. Plan a great sexy evening for the both of you and surprise him. He will love it. I promise.

About Next Year in Jerusalem
You may be wondering why I chose the title Next Year in Jerusalem! for my new novel.  Why not Forbidden Romance or Romantic Travel or Spiritual Awakenings or Lust, Memories and Old Friends on Facebook?  After all Natalie and Maggie are two women, both caught up in issues that many of us face: a somewhat dull but faithful husband; a bad marriage leading finally to a divorce; a desire for adventure; unsatisfied spiritual longings.  They have a great friendship with each other, something research keeps confirming, keeps us young and emotionally happy, but life is far from easy for either women. 
So again, why would I focus on a strange title that comes out of a book written thousands of years ago? 
Here is one of the reasons.  Next Year in Jerusalem! is actually a phrase that shows up at the end of the Haggadah.  Those of you who are not Jewish may wonder what that is.  The Haggadah is a book that the Jews have used for thousands of years to celebrate and relive the Passover experience.  Many people know that the central theme of the story is how the Jews, who were slaves in Egypt, were finally able to escape and began their long journey of 40 years to get to the promised Land, which was Israel.  However, what a lot of people don't realize is that this theme is universal and can be taken metaphorically for all of us.  That is why when the Haggadah ends with the fourth glass of wine being drunk, and the words, Next Year in Jerusalem! the phrase becomes so significant. 
We all have a struggle in our lives.  We all are searching for personal freedom, whether we are unfortunately in a horrible situation, such as a prison, or whether we are simply trying to be true to our own selves as we age and develop.  I'm going to talk a lot more about this theme. 
However, to make this more real.  Let me give you an example that somewhat parallels some of the struggles that Maggie goes through after her divorce.
Here is what a friend told me about a bad time in her marriage. She had gone to a lecture where the speaker talked about how we all have to go out of our own personal Egypt, at times in our lives. She said that was certainly how she was feeling, struggling through some bad days with her marriage where she often felt criticized or misunderstood. She felt that the language between them no longer worked. All words seemed to lead to further arguments and put-downs. She was trying to find ways to honor herself through speaking 'her own language'. Again, I mean that metaphorically. For example, one day she went out with her fiends, shopping and having so much fun. She felt as if she and was leaving her Egypt for a day and meeting her own needs. She could speak in ways that were understood, and relax without fear of conflict. She could laugh. Her friends 'got it' -whatever 'it' was, they all understood each other. She quickly found herself feeling uplifted during that day's outing.
My friend left her own Egypt, at least for the time being, by maintaining a sense of her own needs and what made her joyful. In her case shopping, good conversation, and laughter with friends was a successful recipe for well-being.
She knew she hadn't reached the promised land yet. She knew she had a difficult marriage to work on and/or ultimately leave, but she found a way to at least temporarily release herself and be was true to herself.  And in this sense she was already on her way to her promised land.  It might take another year or more, but she would get there.  And by the way she did!
So for her, she could honestly say, Next Year in Jerusalem!

About Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, internationally known positive psychologist, inspires thousands with her ENCHANTED SELF®. Around the world people benefit from her techniques to enhance well-being, and to live up to their potential. Known for her ability to make complex psychological concepts easy to understand and to implement, she has now turned her talents to novel writing.  "A great fiction read is a great escape, and yet, it is more! It is the gateway to new ways of thinking and behaving."

Dr. Holstein received her Doctorate in Education from Boston University and her BA degree from Barnard College. Dr. Holstein has been a school psychologist and taught first and second grades. She is in private practice with her husband, Dr. Russell M. Holstein, in Long Branch, New Jersey. Find her at

Her previous books include:
·       THE ENCHANTED SELF, A Positive Therapy
·       Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU!
·       The Truth (I'm a girl, I'm smart and I know everything)
·       Seven Gateways to Happiness: Freeing Your Enchanted Self.

Book Review of Cocaine Zombies

Book Review of Cocaine Zombies
Sponsored by Pump Up Your Books

Welcome to Books, Books, and More Books.  I am pleased to share my review of this book with you.  Thank you for visiting and please come again.

Blurb : 

Samuel Roberts, a small-town lawyer in Urbana, Illinois, is contacted by a prospective client accused of selling cocaine. Nothing Sam hasn’t handled before. Or is it? Thomas is accompanied by a mysterious and exotic beauty named Chloe. Who is she, why is she paying for Thomas’s defense, and why is the accused so antsy around her?
Soon after Sam takes on the case he is plagued by terrible nightmares. Only, in these nightmares, when he dreams of death, people die. Realizing that he is out of his depth, Sam enlists the help of his friend, Bob Sizemore. Bob is oddly insightful about the supernatural and deeply suspicious of big business and the government. Sam and Bob soon discover that a major German pharmaceutical company has been using human guinea pigs to test a highly addictive and dangerous derivative of cocaine first developed in Nazi Germany. Combined with ancient herbs provided by a Voodoo priest, the substance has become increasingly addictive and dangerous.
After Thomas’s head shows up in Sam’s refrigerator, suspicion naturally falls on him. Now he has no choice but to face the forces of evil head on. But how do a small-town lawyer and a computer geek defeat an enemy with the power to enslave mankind?

About the Author:

Author and attorney Scott A. Lerner resides in Champaign, Illinois. He obtained his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and went on to obtain his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. He is currently a sole practitioner in Champaign, Illinois. The majority of his law practice focuses on the fields of Criminal law and Family Law. Mr. Lerner lives with his wife, their two children, and their cat Fern. Lerner collects unusual antiques and enjoys gardening, traveling, reading fiction and going to the movies. Cocaine Zombies is his first published novel. Coming soon, the sequel: Ruler of Demons.


You can find Scott online at

Cocaine Zombies Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule
Monday, November 5
Read-a-Chapter at As the Pages Turn
Tuesday, November 6
Interview at As the Pages Turn
Wednesday, November 7
Guest Blogging & Book Giveaway at I Am a Reader Not a Writer
Thursday, November 8
Monday, November 12
Guest Blogging at Book Reviews by Elizabeth A. White
Tuesday, November 13
Book Reviewed at Elizabeth A. White
Wednesday, November 14
Character Interview at Beyond the Books
Thursday, November 15
Interview at Examiner
Friday, November 16
Monday, November 19
Interview at The Writer’s Life
Tuesday, November 20
Wednesday, November 21
Book Review & Guest Blogging at Waiting on Sunday to Drown
Thursday, November 22
Friday, November 23
Interview at Between the Covers
Monday, November 26
Book Review at This and That Reviews
Tuesday, November 27
Interview at Literarily Speaking
Wednesday, November 28
Interview at Blogcritics
Friday, November 30
Book Review at Mary’s Cup of Tea

Book Review:

Okay, I had two thoughts when I saw this title… new virus transmitted through drug makes zombies or allegorical\satirical comment on society.  Either way worth a read.  Both are true and not true.

No we do not have a post-apocalyptic type virus transmitted in cocaine making flesh rotting zombies, nor is this story an allegory of the impact of drugs (ie cocaine) making zombified people thereby giving a satire on the human condition (something I was strongly leaning toward given the vocation of the author).  Rather this story is a compelling, detailed (a little too detailed at times as I had bronchitis while I read this and had to stop a couple times to not toss my cookies over the graphic and visual word pictures) horrific race through a story involving a head in the fridge and a fabulous voodoo witch.

I give this story 5 out of 5 clouds, and remember why I only read horror during the day with all the lights on and my hands over my eyes … but I always peek.

As an aside, I read several interviews on other blogs and I think Scott has a witty and clever turn of phrase.  My favorite reason he gave for reading the book (of the interviews I read) was “When the Borders went out of business in Champaign it was replaced by a liquor store. We want to keep the bookstores in business so people still have an alternative to drinking.” Located in “The Examiner” ( accessed on Tuesday, November 20, 2012).

This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Review of Euthanasia

Book Review of Euthanasia
Sponsored by Pump up Your Books 

Welcome to Books, Books, and More Books.  I am pleased to share my review of this book with you.  Thank you for visiting and please come again.

Blurb : 
When Alex left the clinic that day, she thought she could move on from the rape that left her pregnant and the agonizing decision to have an abortion. That is, until the child she thought she left behind contacts her. Terrorized by mysterious phone calls and guilt, Alex feels her sanity slipping away as she becomes convinced that she must find the man who brutalized her to make a family for her dead daughter.
Anti-abortion crusader Tobin Bartell wouldn’t have it any other way. As The Leader of The Movement, when he’s not organizing protests or giving speeches, he’s orchestrating a campaign of harassment against women like Alex…and plotting to kill the local abortion doctor.
And Tobin has no shortage of candidates for the job: Paige wants money, Courtney wants love, Derek wants to belong. Tobin just wants it done…and it doesn’t matter to him who does it.
Life. Death. Murder. It’s all the same to them.

About the Author:

Mack Mulluncey considered writing a traditional bio, then she remembered no one really cares.


You can visit her at:

Book Review:

            This book was difficult to read on many levels.  It is about the abortion issue, which is so difficult and caustic for so many.  But more than that, it is about the evil that lives in the hearts of man.  This story is told in a disjointed manner, jumping from character to character, with the point of view shifting as the characters change.   This tangled web is very effective for telling this story as it fits the tangled emotions and frustration laced through the story.

            This is a book that everyone, on both sides of the abortion issue, should read because it effectively tells both sides of the story and the raw pain and emotion that exist on both sides.  However, emotionally it is very, very hard to read.  I strongly recommend that all older teens (at the very least college age) students read this book to understand the emotional baggage that comes with the whole abortion issue on both sides of the equation.

            I give this book a 4 out of 5 because while it was difficult reading emotionally and somewhat literary-wise, it was also powerfully evocative and life changing.

This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.