Review: Behind The Fortune Teller’s Tent

Behind The Fortune Teller’s Tent –
A Complete Guide to Fortune Telling
At Parties And Events

Author: Jay DeForest
Foreword: Carrie Paris
Living Magick Publishing
2019
ISBN #978-1-7336651-1-7

Behind The Fortune Teller's Tent

This is a book that has needed to be written for a long time now. It is one that I wish had been available when I first started as a professional reader. Fortune Telling (working with the Tarot, Runes, Palmistry, and other modalities) as defined in the author’s note is the reader’s ability to use their own tools, skills, and intuition to help their client examine their present circumstances, reflect on what got them there, and consider their options for moving forward. This is a profession, and takes professional skills and know how.

I was very pleased to see that one of the most creative lights in the world of cartomancy (fortune telling) wrote the foreword. Through a lovely personal story, she makes the point that we are all born to our calling. If we feel uncomfortable in whatever field we are working in, perhaps we need to look elsewhere for our true path. She makes a major point when she notes that a professional Fortune Teller must be able to balance magick with business.

Before I talk about the book, I want to talk for a moment about the author. I know Jay personally, and he and his wife Jadzia are stand up people. Together they have written many books and created a wide array of teaching material. They read locally (in the Portland, OR area) on all levels (privately for individuals and parties, at fairs, and at corporate events. Jay owns and operates a company (Portlandia Fortune Tellers) that employs a large team of readers that cover events throughout the year. He and Jadzia founded the yearly Northwest Tarot Symposium (NWTS), which is in its fifth year in 2019.

I love the tone of this book – it is that of personal story, of personal experience. And it works! I felt immediately at one with the material, and could not put the book down! Jay talks about skills, mindset, and ethics – and the willingness to put in the work. It is work in a business sense, and it is work in an ethical sense in that there is still stigma attached to doing readings of any kind, and anyone who wants to be a reader needs to know how to get past that. Jay also notes that before getting licensed as a Fortune Teller (using this explicit terminology), check out the laws in your area. It may well be that if you want to call yourself a Fortune Teller that you may face more legal restrictions than if you simply called yourself a reader.

The book starts at the beginning … literally! The reader is asked to look at whether this occupation is right for them. They need to understand that they will be working and that they have to respond to the questions that are being asked. And that they may be doing “cold readings”, where no questions are being asked.

I loved the story about the Portland Women’s Expo! Jay and Jadzia were booked the entire day, and came away with the wisdom that it is important for a reader to take care of themselves: to keep water and/or juice handy, as well as snacks, and to take frequent, quick breaks.

Jay also goes into the role of the reader at an event. He points out that the reader has been hired to cover a certain number of hours, and that they need to be there to do just that the entire time. It is also important to understand and follow the rules that the event organizer(s) have set down. I do not do events myself, but I have friends who do, and they emphasize asking questions up front, rather than assuming anything.

Jay spends an entire section of this book describing different kinds of events so that an individual that wants to read professionally can determine what their personal niche might be. This will save a lot of time and angst! Bottom line here – be open to business opportunities!

When I first started looking at reading professionally, I had no clue where to begin as far as setting up a business, local licensing, etc. Quite frankly, I was scared to death! Also (whispers) … the Internet was just getting started, and I did not have the resources that are available now. The chapter on setting up a business (including a business bank account) is a must read for anyone wanting to become a professional reader.  Included is information on setting up a professional website (you do not want to know what my first website looked like!). There is more – items like “booking agreements” (contracts), insurance, and what to charge.

Now that you are in business, how do you stay in business, as well as grow your business? Jay talks about having a vision for your business, being dedicated to succeeding, and being resilient. He addresses marketing and advertising (usually not easy modalities for any of us), how to attract clients, how to manage bookings (as in remembering to show up for them!), keeping your accounting straight (and getting paid), and finding fairs and festivals to read at.

There is an entire section devoted to you as a reader and your attitude about yourself. You need to be confident, dress the part (not necessarily in costume), knowing your place (you have been hired to do a job), understanding what different events want from you, and getting “in the zone” for doing readings. Important things that we may not think about are setting boundaries around our reading area when doing an event,  and how to deal with people like drunks, skeptics, deniers and more.

If you are someone who has not done fairs or events before, then the section on tools of your trade will be an important one for you. Here Jay discusses how to develop what he terms a “reader kit”, including such things as a tablecloth, a reading cloth, a set cushion, promotional materials, tissues, and pen and notebook.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is at the beginning of their journey as a professional reader, as well as to those already walking the path. There is something here for everyone!

© March 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

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Review: Fresh Eyes Upon The World – Making Life A Spectacular Journey

Fresh Eyes Upon The World –
Making Life A Spectacular Journey

Author: Neal Grace
Grizzly Peak Press
2019
ISBN #978-0-9988310-4-6

Fresh Eyes Upon The World

Neal Grace is a global traveler, a psychic healer, a leader of personal growth workshops, publisher of fourteen books, 2,500 poems, and two librettos. In “Fresh Eyes Upon The World” he is asking the reader to open their mind, to ask the questions that need asking, to look at their own personal assumptions, and to think outside of the box.

The book is broken down into five sections:

  • Section One: Self-empowerment & Relationships
  • Section Two: Hotly Debates Issues
  • Section Three: The World & Nature
  • Section Four: Spirituality & Philosophy
  • Section Five: Other Subjects

In each section, questions are asked, and Grace expounds for 2-4 pages on his thoughts, garnered from his life experiences. Nothing is gone into in depth – the aim of this book is to lead the reader to question themselves, to look at issues that are meaningful to them, and to come up with their own responses. The journey that this book represents is a conscious journey, one that leads to awakened thinking.

Each chapter is presented with a question, a quote, and 2-4 pages of Grace’s thoughts. The great thing here is that in reading Grace’s thoughts, the reader will start to formulate their own. His work kick starts the reader’s thinking process.

Questions in Section One include:

  • How can I be more receptive to new ideas?
  • What inspires creativity in people?
  • How can I be my authentic self?
  • How can I become a positive person?

Things that stood out for me here were opening your heart to other people, shifting ones understanding from an external to an internal one,  and that the path to freedom and authenticity is a conscious one.

Questions in Section Two include:

  • Why do people hold on to hurt and disappointment for so long?
  • What are your thoughts about gun control?
  • Why do people lie?
  • Why do so many people struggle with work?

Things that stood out for me here were why people hang on to misery, why we are so entrenched in fear of change, that it is a challenge to cope with negativity, that when we have a safe inner world, lying is contrary to our true self.

Questions in Section Three include:

  • How can we find peace with aging?
  • How do we heal our bodies?
  • Why is there so much violence in the world?
  • Is there anything that I can personally do to make the world a better place?

Things that stood out for me here were if we are to survive as a species, we need to be in harmony with the earth, how we treat our bodies is a reflection of how we respect ourselves, people who cheat and steal are self-serving, we need to live our lives in peace.

Questions in Section Four include:

  • What is the nature of traditional religions?
  • What are your thoughts about heaven and hell?
  • How does one become more spiritual and access the divine?
  • What is death?

Things that stood out for me here were that we are our own caretaker, that a great religion has no doctrines, that our mind wants to control us, and that when we choose to live in harmony, we are not easily thrown off course.

Questions in Section Five include:

  • What is art, and what is its function?
  • Why are some people mean to others?
  • Why is music so universally loved?
  • How do I become a better writer?

Things that stood out for me here include art being an attempt to explain the mystery of life, that art is a link to higher consciousness, that human nature gravitates towards that which is comfortable, that the food we eat shapes us physically, energetically, and spiritually, that music is the language of the spirit of life, and that the best thing for a writer to do is to write for themselves.

This is a wonderful book that acts as a starting point for readers to ask themselves questions and answer them. It is a great way to connect with self! Grace does not go into depth about anything, but he says enough to get the reader thinking. This is the kind of book that we can go back to time and time again, reading over specific questions, and starting our own journey of discovery for answers.

© February 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Review: The Road To Power – Fast Food For the Soul

The Road To Power –
Fast Food For The Soul

Author: Barbara Berger
O-Books
2018
ISBN: 978-1-78535-814-2
Original Copyright 1995 & 1996 Barbara Weitzen Berger
BeamTeam Books

the road to power

We are what we think.
We become what we believe.
Our life is what we visualize.
Our life is what we say it is.

We can change our lives
by changing our thoughts.
From Book 1, Chapter 1

I have followed Barbara Berger’s work for many years now. I have even had the pleasure of doing an audio interview with her. I am impressed with her authenticity, and with the fact that as a counsellor she gifts her readers with tools that they can use to take action in their lives.

“The Road To Power – Fast Food For The Soul” is two books in one. The power that she is talking about is the power of the mind, the power to take back our lives, and to create the life that we really want. Bottom line – we can change our lives by changing our thinking. We have the ability to change any area of our life that we want to – we just need to take responsibility, and put the effort in.

I feel that Barbara’s books, and her work, can benefit all people, from all walks of life. Included amongst her writing are “Are You Happy Now? 10 Ways to Live a Happy Life”, “The Awakening Human Being – A Guide to the Power of Mind”, and “Find and Follow Your Inner Compass – Instant Guidance in an Age of Information Overload”. Each book addresses something that we can do to live a better, more balanced life.

The focus in this book is on our mind, and how we create our lives through the power of thoughts and words. Negative thinking creates a negative life, positive thinking creates a positive life. (Apropos of nothing – 2019 is a number three year, which relates to creativity and personal power. What a great year to put the message this book carries to good use!)

Decide on the life you want, visualize it, affirm it, decree it, focus on it, believe it, have faith in it, and you will find yourself living this life much sooner and much faster than you ever dreamed possible.
From Book 1, Chapter 1

Barbara points out that we are victims of our own thinking, as if we are part of some cosmic joke. She make a very important point when she says that the outside world is simply a manifestation of what we choose to think about it. Power is an inside job! We need to do the work required on ourselves, the inner work. As our thoughts change, our outer world changes. Each chapter of this book presents specific techniques that the reader can use to control their life, and create the future that they want. Each chapter is a “stand alone”, so that the reader can go to whichever chapter they need most at any given time (for example – The Power of Focus, The Power of Money, The Power of Silence, The Power of Joy and Laughter, The Power of Vision).

The reader is presented with such concepts as a higher power, or force, and the need not to resist this force, releasing negativity on all levels, living in reality, the ability to make choices, and setting clear goals.

The reader is presented with tools such as affirmations, statements, the power of “no”, visualization, mental acceptance, entering the alpha state, guided meditation, the healing power of nature, the power of focus, working with lists, keeping things to yourself, the power of giving, the power of love, blessing people and situations, the power of silence, seeing auras, the gift of movement, living in reality, contemplation, connecting with our subconscious, and paying attention to thought patterns.

Each chapter is written in clear, straightforward language. Each tool is presented in a manner in which the reader will be able to implement it in their life. I loved the fact that Barbara mentions other well-known individuals in this book, and describes the work that they are doing. It is a “who’s who” of working on yourself! At the end of the book, there is a listing of these teachers, and their books.

This book is easy to read, and easy for the reader to implement in their life. I recommend it for all ages, and all backgrounds.

© January 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.

Recipes in Cozies by Karen Shughart

Excellent blog on including recipies in czy mysteries!

ladiesofmystery

Cozy sleuths (and sometimes their friends and family members) like to cook. Cozies are, well, cozy, and what’s cozier than the smell of freshly baked bread, cookies redolent with cinnamon and cloves, or a hearty stew, infused with bay leaves, simmering on the stove. There’s a sense of community when people gather together for meals, whether it be for a holiday, family dinner, or to share grief and memory after the death of a loved one. For many reasons Cozy authors intuit this.

caffeine chocolate chip coffee cookies

            When I decided to write Murder in the Museum: An Edmund DeCleryk Mystery, there was no question that it would be a Cozy, it’s a perfect genre for me. And I determined to include recipes for the dishes that my sleuth Edmund enjoyed, courtesy of his wife, Annie.

Cooking is not one of Ed’s strengths, but Annie, an amateur sleuth herself, has some of her…

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Review: Destined For Victory – 60 Days Of Inspiration

Destined For Victory –
60 Days Of Inspiration

Author: Arkevious Armstrong
Greater Working Women Publishing LLC
2018
ISBN #978-1-948829-06-9

Destined For Victory cover

“Destined For Victory – 60 Days Of Inspiration” is an amazing 93 page book from author, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, mentor and coach Arkevious “Arkinspire” Armstrong. Everything about this book is impressive – starting out with the lovely gold mailing envelope! The color was eye-catching, but I was also impressed that time had been taken to think about how this book would be sent out. The envelope itself was padded, so that no damage was inadvertently done to the book in shipping. Then we get to the book cover, which shows a very professional picture of Mr. Armstrong (looking confident and joyful!), with his name and the name of the book in purple lettering against a white background. I am so attracted to the color purple – if I saw this book in a bookstore, I would automatically pick it up.

Mr. Armstrong comes from a background of being incarcerated. He chose to use that time wisely – to earn his GED, and to complete other educational programs. He now has an Associates in Business Management from Strayer University, and, aside from his other work, has launched his own clothing line (Arkinspire/Inspire Apparel). He is a gentleman that has made something of his life, and aspires to help others make something of their lives.

This book acts as a personal challenge to the reader to take charge of their life. It covers a time period of 60 days, which are divided into weeks (the final week covering four days). It is presented in large type, which makes for easy reading for everyone. Each week starts out with a quote for the week, and each day starts out with a quote for the day, followed by inspirational words.

For example:

Week 1 Quote: “Choose to focus your time, energy, and conversation around people who inspire you, support you and help you to grow into your happiest, strongest, wisest self.”

Day 1 Quote: “Today you are coming for everything that belongs to you. You are going to be everything they thought you were not going to become.”

Day 1 Inspirational Words: “Trust yourself! Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live every single day. Have faith in yourself. You can, you will, and you should and if you are brave enough to start, you will!”

At the end of each week is an inspirational journal, with questions to focus on, and space to write in a response. Week 1 questions include: “How did you exercise your mind this week?”, “What are your current priorities?”, “What should your priorities be?”, and “What gifts do you need to unleash?”.

Committing to reading this material, accepting the energy into your life, and taking action on it will help you to see yourself in a different light, and motivate you to be the best person that you can be. Journaling – putting your thoughts on paper, is an excellent way to look at what may well be bottled up energy in a new light. You can go back to the inspiration of any day, at any time, to review the material, and to center and ground yourself. This book is a very strong tool for personal growth and transformation.

© September 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

Review: Notes From The Bottom Of The World – A Life In Chile

Notes From The Bottom Of The World –
A Life In Chile

Author: Suzanne Adam
She Writes Press
2018
ISBN #978-1-63152-415-8

Notes From The Botom Of The World - cover

“Notes From The Bottom Of The World – A Life In Chile” is a lovely 225 page book that in small sound bites (sixty-three short personal essays) gives the reader a front row seat in viewing living as an American expat in Chile. Suzanne Adam, a native Californian, graduated from U.C. Berkley, then served in the Peace Corp in Columbia. After returning to California, Adam met her future husband, Santiago, and followed him back to his home country of Chile. She has lived there for over forty years, marrying Santiago, raising two boys, and working as a teacher. Now retired, she has turned to writing as a pastime.

I am drawn to the short essays – little sound bites that I can read here and there during the day, smiling as Adam’s words trigger memories within myself. Adam writes with depth and caring – a caring for the people in her world, and for the world at large. She is an avid reader, and sprinkles references to books throughout her stories.

Her story in this book begins with her American roots, and her fiftieth high school reunion – something that was a recent event for me too (only I chose not to go). She talks about how she found out about the reunion, classmates that have died, her decision to attend, and reconnecting with classmates. These are all things that as readers we can relate to, so at the very beginning of the book we are forming a bond with the author.

Adam moves easily into her memories – of moving to Chile, of her sons, of her father (and the things that she did with him), and of her mother (with whom she did not have a close relationship). She talks about her love for California, and its history, and references to people like author Ursula Le Guin. She talks about her time in Columbia, the people, and the culture, as well as her life in Chile. (Where gardeners have an aversion to pulling weeds!)

The energy that connects the essays is Adam’s love for life, her search for universal truths, and her ability to live in the moment. She talks about her role as a woman, friendships, the spiritual life, and how as we age life changes us. One of the most interesting series of essays are those that cover Adam returning to Columbia to revisit where she lived as a Peace Corp volunteer, and to reconnect with the people that she knew at that time.

Adam’s essays are from the heart – insightful, passionate, in the moment – a beautiful connection to the people and environment that surrounds her. This is a lovely book to be able to go back to from time to time, and reread the essays that act to bring back our own memories, reconnect us with ourselves, and bring peace and joy into our lives. It is a keeper!

© August 2018 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission from the author.

Here We Go Again!

All authors – please read! This is downright scary!

ladiesofmystery

by Janis Patterson

It never ends. Writers are the sitting ducks of the universe, and it seems that someone is always trying to figure out a way to profit off our work without fairly compensating us for it.

Back when I was a talent agent for film, TV and commercials everyone wanted to be an actor. No, the word should be ‘star.’ Everyone wanted to be a star. I had people come to me and ask me how much we would charge them to be in a film or television commercial. The concept that acting was a profession and that actors were professional people who deserved to be compensated like any other professional was totally alien to them.

And there were companies who catered to those warped dreams – at a price, however, and usually with either ghastly results or no results at all. I remember a movie, a western…

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