Sunday, April 14, 2024

Embark on a thrilling journey into the dark fantasy world of GrahBhag with "The Horrible Bag of Terrible Things" by Rob Renzetti. Join Zenith as he braves the shadows to rescue his sister from the clutches of mysterious creatures. A gothic tale filled with vivid imagery, suspense, and dark humor - perfect for young readers and fantasy enthusiasts alike. Discover this LitPick Top Choice Award winner today! 📚✨ #darkfantasy #booklovers #readingcommunity

Sunday, April 07, 2024

Spies Among Us

New LitPick Five Star Book - Dive into a world of intrigue and suspense with "Spies Among Us." Experience the authenticity and engaging storytelling that will keep you hooked till the very end. #spythriller #bookreview
BREAKFIELD AND BURKEY together build stories as fictional story writers. Storytelling is the best method to share excitement, thrills, and insights to today’s technology risks. has information on their 12 books, 10 short stories, audio books, book trailers, and the upcoming Enigma Heirs. Look for our cozy mysteries/murders in the Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles.  from

LitPick Interview

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Breakfield and Burkey, as a team, bring a unique blend of expertise and personal interests to their writing. As the Enigma Series' CTO, Breakfield leverages his decades of technology expertise to bring innovative technothriller elements into storytelling. His deep knowledge of World War II history, extensive world travel, and cultural exchanges provide multidimensionality to the people, places, and journeys readers discover in the stories. Beyond writing, Charles enjoys wine tasting, winemaking, Harley riding, cooking new recipes and extravaganzas, and woodworking, which adds a personal touch to his work.  Enigma Series’ COO, Burkey, uses her extensive professional knowledge to optimize technology and business investments influencing character experiences and situations within the stories. Readers can discover the distinctive characteristics of people she has met woven into contemporary situations between the covers. Rox treasures her family (including the puppies) and friends, reading and reviewing books, and traveling whenever possible. But one of her most cherished activities is meeting readers at various events, including book clubs. This interaction with readers is what truly makes her work meaningful.


Read more about their collaboration and exciting new Enigma series here!
K. T. Anglehart is an award-winning author from Montreal, with a multilingual prowess in English, French, Italian, and “Spanglish”. A dedicated academic, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, a graduate certificate in Scriptwriting, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.
Inspired by the wizarding world, the land of Narnia, and parallel planes, she penned The Wise One, inviting readers to connect with nature and its ever-present magic. Her exploration of the landscapes and folklore of Ireland and Scotland greatly influenced her debut YA urban fantasy, marking the inception of The Scottish Scrolls series.
K.T. Anglehart is a passionate advocate for bunnies, thanks to her late Netherland Dwarf, Magic—the inspiration behind her imprint, The Magic Dwarf Press. When she’s not writing or diving into magical reads, she revels in hiking, antiquing, and Netflix binges alongside her high school-sweetheart-turned-husband, Andy. They currently live in Toronto with their three pets: Nessie, a mysterious rescue dog from Puerto Rico, and their whimsical bunnies, Onyx and Stirling.


LitPick Interview

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m an award-wining author, born and bred in Montreal. I've dabbled in a few languages—English, French, Italian, and "Spanglish". With a background in Journalism and Creative Writing, including a Master of Fine Arts, I'm all about crafting stories that resonate. My writing is a blend of everyday magic and wanderlust. My debut YA urban fantasy series, The Scottish Scrolls, draws inspiration from the rich folklore of Ireland and Scotland—it's where my imagination runs wild.  Beyond the writing desk, I'm just a regular gal with a soft spot for bunnies. Magic, my late Netherland Dwarf, is the inspiration behind my imprint, The Magic Dwarf Press. When I'm not lost in a book or tapping away on my keyboard, you'll find me hiking, exploring vintage shops, or enjoying a Netflix binge with my husband Andy. We live in Ontario with Nessie, our mysterious rescue dog, and our whimsical bunnies, Onyx and Stirling.


Are you a multi-genre author or a single-genre author?  How did you decide what types of book you would write?

At the moment, I write urban fantasy. I was inspired by the rich folklore and landscapes of Ireland and Scotland, which gave rise to my young adult witchy urban fantasy series. But I wouldn't pigeonhole myself as a single-genre author—I may gradually shift towards new adult magical realism for my upcoming books. I also love historical fiction, so who knows where that will lead!


When did you start writing?  Did an event or person prompt you to take that leap?

I started writing stories in elementary school, after I won a storytelling contest in the fourth grade. That's when I discovered my passion for entertaining people!

How / where do you find the plots you write about?

It’s hard to say…if you grew up reading books and watching shows about magic (shout-out to my favourite TV show Charmed), your mind tends to conjure up these stories almost spontaneously. I might be engaged in something completely unrelated to writing when suddenly a plot element or character springs to mind. I make sure to heed those divine nudges as best as I can.


Mark Twain said “Write what you know.”  Tell us about your writing process. Are you a plotter or a panster?  Do you plot, plan, and conduct hours of research; or, do you just sit down and write whatever comes to mind based on your personal history and knowledge?

I do spend quite a bit of time conducting research because I strive to stay authentic to the cultures and folklore I'm incorporating into my writing. As for plotting, I typically start with the broader strokes—I know how the story will begin and end, and then I loosely outline key points for the rest. Essentially, my outline is flexible. I prefer to channel my inner Stephen King and allow my characters to lead the way. More often than not, though, they're quite vocal…making it hard for me to ignore their incessant nagging.


Tell us your latest news

The second book of The Scottish Scrolls was released this November, and I’m currently immersed in writing the third installment! Additionally, I've been invited to speak at Book Fest Spring 2024. You can catch the recording of my session on their YouTube channel.


Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I often turn to my very first ever reviewer's words when I'm asked this question because she truly captured the essence: “Don’t be a bully, love is love, protect our beautiful planet, accept your faults, family comes first and love your friends unconditionally.” –Sarah Bell


How much of the book is realistic?

The books take place in real places across Ireland and Scotland (where I’ve travelled to), and even briefly in the Isle of Man. As for the rest, it largely depends on your beliefs! If you subscribe to the existence of wandering ghosts and faeries, then the magic in The Scottish Scrolls universe might feel quite tangible to you. Some of the magic is rooted in Celtic folklore, while other elements draw from New Age concepts, like accessing parallel planes and harnessing magic from nature.


What books have influenced your life the most? 

It may sound like a cliché, but the Harry Potter series. Like countless others, those books they opened a whole new world I yearned to be part of, while also weaving in lessons in love, friendship, and the power of found family. They're likely the driving force behind why I write about magic.


Do you have a mentor that helped or encouraged you to follow your dream of writing?

I've been fortunate to have many. Firstly, my Irish-Canadian high school teacher, Mr. O’Neil, who made English my favourite class. Then there's my university professor, Laura Dunbar, who recognized my passion and talent for storytelling. And of course, my best friends, husband, and especially my mom, who continually insisted that my stories were worth telling.


What are your current projects?

I'm currently immersed in crafting Book 3 of The Scottish Scrolls, and I'm also exploring the creation of a TV pilot and pitch bible, which I'm excited to shop around.


Can you share a sample of your current work with us?

The Twin Flame, Book II of The Scottish Scrolls, Chapter V: The Cailleach

The old woman leaned in close, near enough for Mckenna to see her reflection in her glistening black eye. It was like staring into the abyss on a New Moon night. “We all have darkness within us.” The words sent goosebumps up Mckenna’s arms and legs. “We’re neither born with it, nor is it thrust upon us. We tip the scales. We forge our own path.” 
“Funny, I could swear some people are born evil.” She thought of Nissa’s father, Simon Fage; of the High Priestess; and of herself . . . prophesized to cause the death of billions of souls. A reincarnation of the maleficent Alice Kyteler. 
“No one is born inherently good or evil, lassie. We bide in duality—we possess both shadow and light. Without shadow, finding the light would be that much more challenging, aye?” 
“I’m not sure what you mean.” 
“Balance, Wise One. Balance.” Mckenna gasped. How did she know she was a Wise One? “Who are you?” 
“Just an old crone,” she said with a grin and began to walk towards the water, as still as the night itself. “I must go now. Winter is near.” 
“Careful, you’ll—” 
The old woman moved with an otherworldly grace, her steps defying nature as she glided effortlessly above the water’s surface. Slowly, she turned to face Mckenna. The wrinkles around her eyes, nose, and chin tightened, and her bluish skin brightened to a coconut white; from root to tips, her once snowy hair glistened into a brilliant blonde, and her single black eye split into two emerald ones, as vibrant as the hills of Ireland.


Pick one of your characters and share some of their backstory that didn’t make it into the novel.

Originally, I wrote Andre, one of Mckenna’s dads, as a Montrealer who relocated to Boston to pursue a career in law. In The Wise One, I only revealed that he worked as an immigration lawyer, which is how he crossed paths with Seán, Mckenna’s biological father.


Do you have any advice for other writers?

I don’t necessarily believe you should only write what you know. Instead, write about what you're curious about. Personally, I find inspiration in exploring topics I'm not familiar with, because once I delve into them, that's where stories begin to take shape.


Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

If I can be cheesy for a moment? I want readers to embrace the journey, allowing the magic to weave its spell around them. I hope the essence of that experience shines through in every page.


Is there one person past or present you would like to meet and why?

C.S. Lewis, the author of The Chronicles of Narnia. The opportunity to bask in his depth and wisdom firsthand would be extraordinary. And kind of badass.


What do you want written on your headstone and why?

"Life is too important to be taken seriously." –Oscar Wilde


Other than writing do you have any hobbies?

My husband, Andy, and I love hiking with our dog, Nessie. Lately, I've been finding joy in painting, and I have a knack for refurbishing unique pieces whenever I stumble upon a hidden gem. I'm also passionate about interior decorating—I’d like to think my home aesthetic is delightfully eclectic!


Can you share something personal with your readers?  Do you have any holiday traditions?  What kind of music do you enjoy?  What kind of movies do you prefer?  Do you have a favorite author?

People are always surprised to hear this about me: I love 90s and early 2000s punk rock. I grew up listening to Blink-182, Sum 41, Green Day, Lincoln Park—you name it.


If money was no issue would you prefer a cozy beach bungalow or a rustic cabin overlooking a mountain lake?

The latter, always. That’s why I’ve been to Scotland three times!


One final question...Do you have a blog/website? If so, what is it?  Do you have a social media platform where your fans can go to interact with you and follow your progress?

IG: FB: Website: > Subscribe to my newsletter for access to giveaways, exclusive material, magical content, and other bookish goodies!


Monday, April 01, 2024

Leading the Way: Insightful Books on Leadership in the Past 20 Years

Leadership is a crucial aspect of any organization, big or small. It is the driving force that can make or break a company's success, and it requires continuous learning and development. Over the past twenty years, many insightful books on leadership have been published, offering invaluable advice and guidance to leaders at all levels. These books have been written by some of the best minds in business and leadership, sharing their experiences, research, and insights on what it takes to be an effective leader. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at some of the most influential and insightful books on leadership that have been published over the past two decades. Whether you are a seasoned executive or just starting your leadership journey, these books will provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to lead your team to success.


Unveiling the Enigmatic: Trends in Adult Mystery Themes and Novel Lengths

Mystery novels have been around for centuries, and they continue to captivate readers with their suspenseful plots, intriguing characters, and unexpected twists. However, the genre has evolved over time, and adult mystery themes and novel lengths have changed as well. This blog will take you through the latest trends in mystery novels, including the most popular themes and the ideal novel lengths for the genre. From psychological thrillers to cozy mysteries, we'll explore the sub-genres that are currently gaining popularity and discuss why readers are drawn to them. Whether you're a mystery fan looking for your next read or an aspiring author hoping to write the next big mystery novel, this post will give you valuable insights into the trends in adult mystery themes and novel lengths.


Revolutionizing Reading: How Graphic Novels are Empowering Reluctant Readers

Reading is an essential skill that plays a significant role in a child's academic and personal growth. However, some children struggle with reading and may feel discouraged to pick up a book. Graphic novels are an innovative way to revolutionize reading, particularly for reluctant readers. These illustrated stories have become increasingly popular in recent years and have proven to be a powerful tool in helping children develop a love for reading. Graphic novels combine compelling storylines with visually appealing artwork, making them an excellent alternative to traditional books. In this post, we will explore how graphic novels are empowering reluctant readers, improving their literacy skills, and changing the way we view reading. Through this exploration, we hope to encourage parents and teachers to consider graphic novels as a valuable resource for children who are struggling with reading.


Friday, March 29, 2024

Navigating Future Shock: Coping Strategies for an Overwhelming World

With the rapid pace of technological advancement and the constant stream of information we receive, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and anxious about the future. Future Shock is a term coined by futurist Alvin Toffler in his book of the same name, describing the psychological stress and disorientation caused by the rapid pace of change in society. Coping with this overwhelming world can be difficult, but it's not impossible. In this post, we'll explore some strategies you can use to navigate future shock. From mindfulness practices to staying informed without getting overwhelmed, we'll help you find ways to cope with the challenges of living in an ever-changing world. So if you're feeling overwhelmed and anxious about what lies ahead, read on to learn some tips for navigating future shock.

1. Understanding Future Shock: A Brief Overview
Future Shock, a term coined by the futurist Alvin Toffler, refers to the psychological state of individuals and societies when the pace of change becomes overwhelming. In today's fast-evolving world, characterized by rapid technological advancements, shifting societal norms, and economic uncertainties, it is easy to feel disoriented and anxious about what the future holds.

As we grapple with the constant influx of information and the ever-increasing demands placed upon us, it is crucial to understand the concept of Future Shock and its implications on our mental well-being. By recognizing the signs of Future Shock in ourselves and those around us, we can better equip ourselves to navigate the challenges of an uncertain future.

In this section, we will delve into the key components of Future Shock, explore its impact on individuals and society, and discuss coping strategies to effectively manage the feelings of overwhelm and anxiety that may arise in the face of rapid change. By gaining a deeper understanding of Future Shock, we can empower ourselves to adapt, thrive, and find balance in an increasingly complex world.

2. The Impact of Information Overload on Mental Health
In today's fast-paced digital age, we are constantly bombarded with information from various sources - social media, news outlets, emails, and more. This never-ending stream of data can lead to what is known as information overload, which can have a significant impact on our mental health.

Research has shown that being exposed to a high volume of information can lead to feelings of anxiety, stress, and even contribute to symptoms of depression. The constant need to stay connected and updated can also result in difficulties with concentration, decision-making, and overall cognitive function.

As we navigate through this overwhelming world, it is crucial to recognize the signs of information overload and take steps to mitigate its effects on our mental well-being. Setting boundaries on screen time, practicing mindfulness and unplugging from technology, and prioritizing self-care activities are just a few strategies that can help us cope with the negative impact of information overload. By being mindful of our consumption habits and actively managing our exposure to information, we can safeguard our mental health and navigate through the challenges of a rapidly changing and overwhelming world.

3. Coping Strategies for Managing Information Overload
In today's fast-paced digital age, managing information overload has become a crucial skill for maintaining mental well-being. The constant stream of emails, social media notifications, news updates, and endless content can easily overwhelm even the most organized individuals. To navigate through this sea of information without feeling drowned, it's essential to adopt effective coping strategies.

One effective way to manage information overload is to practice digital detoxing. This involves setting aside specific times during the day to disconnect from technology and focus on activities that promote relaxation and mindfulness. Engaging in activities such as meditation, yoga, reading a book, or going for a walk can help clear your mind and provide a much-needed break from the constant barrage of information.

Another helpful strategy is to prioritize and filter the information you consume. Identify the sources that provide valuable and reliable information relevant to your interests and goals. Unsubscribe from unnecessary email newsletters, mute irrelevant social media notifications, and create curated lists or feeds to streamline your information consumption.

Furthermore, time management techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique can be beneficial in breaking down tasks into manageable intervals, allowing you to focus on one task at a time without feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information.

By implementing these coping strategies and establishing healthy boundaries with technology, you can effectively manage information overload and regain control over your mental well-being in an increasingly overwhelming world.

4. Mindfulness Techniques to Stay Present
In today's fast-paced world filled with constant information overload and technological advancements, practicing mindfulness techniques is essential to stay present and grounded. Mindfulness is the practice of being fully aware and engaged in the present moment, without judgment. Incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine can help reduce stress, improve focus, and enhance overall well-being.

One effective mindfulness technique is deep breathing exercises. Taking a few moments each day to focus on your breath can help calm the mind and bring awareness to the present moment. Another technique is body scan meditation, where you mentally scan your body from head to toe, noticing any sensations or areas of tension.

Mindfulness can also be practiced through activities such as yoga, tai chi, or simply taking a mindful walk in nature. Engaging in these activities allows you to connect with the present moment and cultivate a sense of inner peace and clarity.

By incorporating mindfulness techniques into your daily life, you can navigate the overwhelming world with greater ease and resilience. Stay present, stay mindful, and embrace each moment with awareness and gratitude.

5. Digital Detox: Unplugging in a Hyperconnected World
In today's hyperconnected world, where technology seems to infiltrate every aspect of our lives, taking a step back and embracing a digital detox can be a transformative experience. Unplugging from screens and devices offers a much-needed respite from the constant barrage of information and stimuli that can lead to feelings of overwhelm and burnout.

A digital detox doesn't have to mean completely disconnecting from the digital world, but rather finding a healthy balance and setting boundaries that allow you to recharge and reconnect with the present moment. This could involve setting specific times each day to be screen-free, engaging in activities that don't involve technology, or even taking a full day off from all digital devices.

By unplugging, you give yourself the opportunity to focus on real-world interactions, engage in mindfulness practices, and nurture your mental and emotional well-being. This intentional break from the digital realm can help reduce stress, improve sleep quality, enhance productivity, and foster a greater sense of presence and connection with the world around you.

In a world that is constantly demanding our attention and pushing us to be always available and connected, embracing a digital detox can be a powerful coping strategy to counter future shock and reclaim a sense of balance and control in our lives.

6. Setting Boundaries with Technology and Social Media
In today's fast-paced digital world, setting boundaries with technology and social media is crucial for maintaining mental well-being and a healthy work-life balance. With the constant barrage of notifications, updates, and information overload, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and consumed by the virtual world.

One effective strategy is to establish designated times for engaging with technology and social media. By setting specific time blocks for checking emails, scrolling through social media feeds, and using digital devices, you can create a healthy balance and reduce the temptation to constantly be plugged in.

Another key aspect of setting boundaries with technology is to prioritize real-life interactions and activities. Make a conscious effort to disconnect from screens and engage in face-to-face conversations, outdoor activities, or hobbies that bring you joy and fulfillment. Creating tech-free zones in your home or designating tech-free hours during the day can also help in reducing dependency on devices.

Moreover, practicing mindfulness and being present in the moment can significantly impact your relationship with technology. Take breaks to unplug, practice deep breathing exercises, or engage in activities that promote relaxation and mindfulness. This can help in reducing stress and anxiety associated with constant connectivity.

By setting boundaries with technology and social media, you can regain control over your digital habits, reduce distractions, and create a healthier balance between the virtual world and the real world. Prioritizing self-care and mental well-being in the digital age is essential for navigating future shock and coping with the overwhelming demands of modern life.

7. The Power of Simplifying and Decluttering
In today's fast-paced and overwhelming world, the power of simplifying and decluttering cannot be overstated. As we navigate through constant information overload, technological advancements, and ever-increasing demands on our time and attention, finding ways to simplify our lives and declutter our minds is essential for maintaining our well-being and mental clarity.

Simplifying can take many forms, whether it's streamlining your daily routines, decluttering your physical space, or cutting down on commitments and distractions that don't align with your priorities. By simplifying, you create more space to focus on what truly matters to you, allowing you to reduce stress, improve productivity, and cultivate a sense of calm and balance in your life.

Decluttering goes hand in hand with simplifying, as it involves clearing out physical, mental, and emotional clutter that weighs us down and hinders our ability to thrive. Whether it's organizing your workspace, letting go of possessions that no longer serve you, or releasing negative thoughts and emotions, decluttering allows you to create a sense of freedom and lightness that can positively impact every area of your life.

By embracing the power of simplifying and decluttering, you can navigate future shock with greater ease and resilience, enabling you to adapt to the challenges of our rapidly changing world while staying true to yourself and your values.

8. Time Management Tips to Prioritize What Matters
In today's fast-paced world filled with constant information overload and ever-increasing demands on our time, effective time management is crucial for maintaining productivity and well-being. Prioritizing tasks and activities based on their importance and urgency can help you focus on what truly matters and avoid feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of responsibilities.

One key time management tip is to utilize tools such as to-do lists, calendars, and task management apps to organize your tasks and schedule your time effectively. By breaking down your goals into smaller, actionable steps and setting deadlines for each task, you can create a clear roadmap for achieving your objectives.

Another valuable strategy is to identify your most important tasks or goals and prioritize them over less critical activities. This can involve using techniques like the Eisenhower Matrix, which categorizes tasks into four quadrants based on their importance and urgency, allowing you to focus on completing high-priority tasks first.

Additionally, learning to say no to non-essential tasks or distractions and setting boundaries around your time can help you allocate your energy and attention to activities that align with your goals and values. By establishing a balance between work, personal time, and self-care, you can avoid burnout and maintain a sense of control in an overwhelming world.

Incorporating these time management tips into your daily routine can help you navigate future shock and cope more effectively with the challenges of modern life, enabling you to prioritize what truly matters and achieve a greater sense of balance and fulfillment.

9. Seeking Support: Connecting with Others in a Digital Age
In today's fast-paced and ever-evolving digital age, seeking support and connecting with others is crucial for navigating the overwhelming challenges of the modern world. While technology has enabled us to stay connected in ways never imagined before, it has also led to feelings of isolation and disconnection for many.

One of the most effective coping strategies for dealing with future shock is to seek out supportive communities and connect with like-minded individuals who can offer empathy, understanding, and encouragement. Whether it's joining online support groups, participating in virtual meetups, or engaging in social media discussions, connecting with others can provide a sense of belonging and camaraderie in an otherwise isolating world.

Additionally, reaching out to friends, family members, or mental health professionals for support can also be immensely beneficial. Having a strong support network in place can help alleviate feelings of overwhelm and provide a safe space to share concerns, seek guidance, and receive emotional support during challenging times.

In a world where the pace of change can be dizzying and overwhelming, finding solace in human connections and supportive relationships is essential for maintaining mental and emotional well-being. By seeking support and connecting with others in this digital age, we can navigate the uncertainties of the future with resilience and strength.

10. Embracing Change and Building Resilience for the Future
In a world that is constantly evolving, embracing change and building resilience are crucial skills for navigating future uncertainties. It is no longer enough to simply adapt to change; we must learn to embrace it as an opportunity for growth and development. Building resilience involves cultivating a mindset that is flexible, adaptable, and open to new possibilities.

One way to embrace change is by staying curious and continuously seeking out new knowledge and experiences. This not only helps us stay relevant in a rapidly changing world but also allows us to see change as an opportunity for personal and professional growth. Embracing change also means letting go of fear and embracing uncertainty, trusting in our ability to adapt and thrive in new circumstances.

Building resilience involves developing coping strategies that help us navigate challenges and setbacks with grace and determination. This may involve cultivating a strong support network of friends, family, and colleagues, as well as engaging in self-care practices that promote mental and emotional well-being. By building resilience, we can face the future with confidence and optimism, knowing that we have the strength and flexibility to overcome whatever challenges come our way.

In a world that is constantly changing and evolving, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the rapid pace of progress. Our blog post on coping strategies for navigating future shock provides valuable insights and practical tips to help you stay grounded and resilient in the face of uncertainty. Remember, it's okay to take a step back, breathe, and focus on self-care. By implementing these strategies, you can empower yourself to navigate the overwhelming world with confidence and grace. Embrace the future with an open mind and a resilient spirit. ------------------------------

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Top Choice Award Recipient

Embark on a heartwarming journey with Mello Jello Magoo. 📚💕 #booklovers #mustread