Review: Deep Fitness – The Mindful, Science-Based Strength Training Method To Transform Your Well Being In Just 30 Minutes A Week

Deep Fitness –

The Mindful, Science-Based Strength-Training Method to Transform Your Well-Being in Just 30 Minutes a Week

Author: Philip Shepherd, Andrei Yakovenko


North Atlantic Books


“Deep Fitness” is a 302-page book based on fitness through strength training by authors Philip Shepherd and Andrei Yakovenko. (Philip Shepherd is one of the leaders of the global embodiment movement, Andrei Yakovenko is the founder of New Element Training, which focuses on improving your entire metabolism with a half-hour workout once or twice a week.)

This 302-page book covers the simple steps that anyone can take to make a major difference in their health and vitality. It combines the principles of strength training and embodied mindfulness.

The authors note that the loss of strength that many of us are experiencing effects not just our ability to run or move through our day-to-day activities but it can affect our ability to breathe. They also note that aging and diseases of modern civilization are 100% related to sarcopenia (the loss of muscle mass as we age). A nice addition is a partial list of conditions associated with sarcopenia.

Some very interesting thoughts are presented in this book, such as muscle doing much more than moving our limbs around (it also acts as an endocrine organ in that it produces and secretes endocrine-signaling mediators that promote the beneficial effects of exercise on almost all cell types and organs.

Another interesting thought is the overview of the way in which myokines (a peptide or protein secreted or released from skeletal muscle cells) affect our health. The stronger a muscle is, the more myokines it produces.

The authors set up the working part of this book by going into the principles of strength training, including momentary muscle failure, one set is enough, slower is better, and the thought that strengthening happens after a workout.   

There is a strong section on getting the most from Mindful Strength Training To Failure – one that is based on being honest with ourselves. We must look within and see where MSTF fits into our lives, and how it matches our personal values. Then we must follow up by putting the MSTF principles to work in our lives.

There are several workouts presented: a whole-body workout (with emphasis on the upper body), a workout that emphasizes the lower body and core muscles, and a comprehensive whole-body workout. There is an entire section of exercises that are machine based, with excellent instructions, including photos. There is another section that deals with exercises done without using a machine. Again, with excellent instructions and photos.

Included in this book are four personal accounts of how individuals are making the best use of the MSFT program. It is a wonderful bird’s eye view into how this program can be used.

At the end of the book is a glossary, reference notes from the authors, a resource section, and an index.

While the authors include background information and terminology that is specific to the scientifically oriented, it is presented in a manner that is readily understood. The information provided is detailed and informative, with charts and lists that give a broader idea of what is involved. Each chapter includes talking points on what was covered, which act as an excellent reference.

The bottom line here is very important – including strength training in our lives not only improves the quality of our life, but has a positive effect on our aging process. It is something that we can all do for ourselves and encourage those around us to do. An amazing mind/body connection and a wonderful tool for rewriting our own view of aging! We are talking half an hour a week of resistance training – that is doable!

Muscle is an active resource for better living! I recommend this book to everyone who is looking for a better mind/body connection and a better quality of life.

© March 2023 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction is prohibited without the written permission of the author.

Review: The Psychic Protection Handbook – Powerful Protection For Uncertain Timess

The Psychic Protection Handbook –

Powerful Protection For Uncertain Times

Author: Caitlin Matthews



ISBN # 978-0749941659

“The Psychic Protection Handbook – Powerful Protection For Uncertain Times” is a 368-page guidebook for self-protection. Why do we need self-protection? Because life throws us a lot of curves, and we need to be able to handle them. Anything or anyone that takes us off our balance can become a major issue in our life if we allow it to.

In discussing how to use this book, Matthews has gifted the reader with several different situations and the chapter that is most applicable to them. Examples include: always feeling vulnerable (Chapter 3), stuck and unable to change (Chapter 7), and people-skills poor (Chapter 9).

 There is also a listing of positive blueprints to keep in mind as you read this book. Examples include: You are never helpless, unloved, or alone. Say “no” if persuasion or coercion is being used against you. You are a unique human being with a distinct role to play in the universe.

In her introduction, Matthews talks about being unprepared for psychic attacks. She also notes that what is termed psychic attacks are actually what she terms psychic disruption: disturbance of the soul.

The Psychic Protection Handbook is meant to be used for daily soul maintenance in the face of psychic risk. The whole point of this book is to look at the cause and effect of psychic disturbance, discern truth from lies, and know who we are. Throughout the book are short lists of items to consider under each topic, which I found to be very helpful.

Chapters in this book include finding spiritual protectors, streetwise psychic protection, the boundaries of power and energy, soul-care, uninvited guests, mind games, power of the word, people problems, home and environment, family and ancestors, relationships, the work of our hands, the world of spirit, and the unquiet dead.

At the back of the book is a bibliography, a list of resources, and an index. This book is a resource, one that can be turned to at any time the reader is having an issue. Matthews recommends reading the first seven chapters before attempting to work with this book.

The book is written in everyday language to that anyone of any background can use it. Even when you might think, “Oh, this stuff is very basic. I am beyond this.” You aren’t. Psychic protection has rules to live by – obey them, and you will be fine. The advice, exercises, and rituals in this book are down-to-earth and easy to use. Create the safe, positive life that you want to live on a daily basis.

© February 2023 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction is prohibited without written permission from the author.

Review – Dream Your Joy Oracle Cards

Dream Your Joy Oracle Cards

Author: Judy Mastrangelo

Artist: Judy Mastrangelo

Red Feather Publishers


ISBN #978-0764365324

Dream Your Joy Oracle Cards are comprised of a 59-card deck and a 128-page instruction book. They come in a sturdy cardboard box in the shape of a book. The author’s bio is listed inside the box cover.

The cards are 3 1/2 “ by 5”, made of a sturdy, glossy stock with no borders. The imagery is very gentle and done largely in pastels. The cards are very easy to handle.

In her introduction, Mastrangelo describes herself as an artistic painter of pictures and an author who chooses to look for the positive in life. She notes that this deck has many intentions, including sharing her artwork and sharing suggestions on how to bring happiness into your life by dreaming joy into your unconscious, then manifesting it into your life.

She urges everyone to look deeply within themselves to discover their innate talents that they can develop.

The purpose of this deck is to empower those that read it to feel the great joy and love that can be found in the universe.

In this deck, Mastrangelo is continuing to develop her own technique called Mind Painting (one that she introduced in her first deck – Inspirational Visions). It is used to paint a picture in the mind of the user of what their perfect life would be like.

In these cards, Mastrangelo is sharing her own visions through the use of colors and symbols. She advises the reader to allow themselves to experience the joy to dream their life.

The technique suggested to be used with these cards is to spread them over the table and pass your hands over them. Then place them face down on the table. By touching the cards, the reader’s intuition will tell them which cards are meant for their reading.

The cards are presented in a two-page spread – the left-hand page shows a full-color image of the card, while the right-hand side shows the name of the card, its purpose, and an exercise to place the card’s energy in the life of the person being read for. These are powerful exercises, making use of tools such as relaxing exercises, daydreams, meditation, affirmations, and more.

Examples of the cards include Lady of Stars (Our guiding light), Winter Delight (There is warmth even in the icy cold), Water Lily Pond (Never stop dreaming), Toy Box (Always keep your childhood memories safe within your heart), Thoughtfulness (Keep your mind and abilities going strong), and Rain (Liquid abundance).

This deck is a wonderful tool of empowerment that can be used by all ages. It can be used to do readings, to connect with your intuition, for personal growth, to connect with children/grandchildren, and more. I highly recommend it.

One note: the type in the book is very small and hard to read. Perhaps this will be a benefit, as it will cause readers to slow down and pay attention to what they are reading.

© January 2023 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction is prohibited without written permission from the author.

Review: How To Write A Mystery

Author: Mystery Writers of America

Edited By: Lee Child, with Laurie R.King



ISBN #978-1-9821-4943-7

How To Write A Mystery is a 313-page book from the Mystery Writers Of America. Written by 70 0f the most successful mystery writers in the business, it is an inclusive guide for providing resources on the art of mystery writing, addressing both the art of writing and the business side of publishing.

Featured are essays from bestselling experts, as well as shorter pieces from the Mystery Writers of America membership. The topics covered fall into the following categories:

  • Before Writing (rules; genres; setting; character; research; etc.)
  • While Writing (outlining; the plot; dialogue; mood; etc.)
  • After Writing (agents; editors; self-pub; etc.)
  • Other than Novels (short stories; true crime; etc.)
  • Other Considerations (diverse characters; legal questions; criticism)

In his introduction, Lee Child notes that he writes without a plan or an outline. Basically a pantser myself, I appreciated knowing this. He talks about the need for mystery writers to be fluid and flexible.

Under “The Rules and Genres” Neil Nyren wrote an excellent essay on the rules, and when to break them. Charlain Harris writes about crossing the genres, and Gayle Lynds writes about researching the spy thriller.

Under “Other Mysteries” Susan Vaught writes about mysteries for children, Chris Grabenstein writes about unleashing your inner child, and Art Taylor writes about the short mystery.

Under “The Writing” Jeffrey Deaver writes about always outlining, Lee Child writes about never outlining, and Laurie R. King writes about the art of the rewrite.

Under “After The Writing” Liliana Hart writes about self-publishing, Maddee James writes about authors online, and Daniel Steven writes about legal considerations.

At the end of the book are short author bios, contributor permissions, and an index.

I find this book to be an excellent resource for both beginning and seasoned writers. Under the above categories, I have listed only a few of the authors and topics included. There is much more material there – and a lot of food for thought!

(c) December 2022 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction is not permitted without the written consent of the author.


I am a bit late in getting this out there, but I am running a contest for the month of December with two free books as prizes. Sign up for my monthly author’s newsletter, and your name will be tossed into the hat to win one of two Christmas-themed cozy mysteries: “Cream Caramel and Murder” by K. E. O’Connor or “Mistletoe Cake Murder” by Lena Gregory.What a wonderful way to start out the new year! Free books and a monthly newsletter devoted to all things writing!

Sign up here:

(c) December 2022 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction is prohibited without the written permission of the author.

Review: Story Line – Finding Gold In Your Life Story

Author: Jen Grisanti

Michael Weise Publications


ISBN #978-1-932907-89-6

This 226-page book was published eleven years ago and still remains pertinent. Grisanti has a background of twelve years as a studio executive mentored by Aaron Spelling, working as Vice President of Current Programs at CBS/Paramount, and serving as a mentor for the CBS Diversity Program. She launched her own company (Jen Grisanti Consultancy Inc.) in 2008 and was hired to be the Writing Instructor at NBC’s Writers on the Verge. She is also a blogger for the Huffington Post.

The foundation for this book is to deepen a writer’s writing skills and increase your audience’s connection with your story. This is accomplished by each writer calling on their own life experiences to add depth and reality to their stories.

The book is divided into four sections: Set Up (the universal life moments that start the story), Dilemma (establishing the character’s dilemma and a clear goal for them), Action (how the character’s strong dilemma and a clear goal lead their central character into action), and Goal (what the character’s life is like after attaining their goal).

This book is aimed at scriptwriting, but I believe that the concepts can be used in any genre of writing. I am a pantser that writes flash fiction and cozy mysteries, and I took a great deal away with me after reading this book. Using my own life experiences as a springboard for my writing will make blocking out my stories easier and has already given me more confidence in what I am writing.

This book is an excellent guide for writing and decision-making, as well as for focusing on the process without getting lost in it. Bottom line – as writers, we have to do the work!

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is willing to get in touch with their own life experiences, wants to make a living as a writer, and wants to connect with their audiences in a strong fashion. This book is for all writers, not just screenwriters.

(c) October 2022 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction is prohibited without written permission from the author.

September Newsletter Contest

Bonnie’s World – September Contest

Are you interested in all things writing? My name is Bonnie Cehovet, and I write a monthly newsletter (Bonnie’s World). With the help of my two feline boys (Pumpkin and Midnight), we look into the world of writing, writing resources, where I am with my WIP, and more.

I am holding a contest during September – everyone who signs up for my newsletter will have their name tossed into a pumpkin bowl. The winner will receive a copy of Cleo Coyle’s “Espresso Shot”. This is a Coffee House Mystery – filled with recipes and coffee-making tips! Murder, mayhem, and the best coffee ever!

Sign up for my newsletter here to enter the contest:

Note: This contest is for those that live within the continental United States.

Review – Selling a Hoarder Home – The Ultimate Handbook For Realters

Author: Lynda Hykin

Independently Published


ISBN #9798834548188

“Selling a Hoarder Home” is a compact (101 page) treatise addressing how realtors can address the issue of selling a home belonging to a hoarder. Above all, this is a peopling issue, not just a “What do I do with all of this stuff!” issue.

Dedicated to her mother, Hykin was led to write this book after dealing with her mother’s estate after her mother suffered a stroke and went into long-term care. It took three long months to go through her mother’s house, separating the treasures, from the keepsakes, from the trash. In this book, Hykin offers the tools and resources to make sound decisions at a time like this.

In the end, her mother’s home went from being a hoarder’s home to one that was ready to be sold at fair market value. That was a 360, and then some!

Hykin notes that moving or downsizing when dealing with a hoarder is difficult for the client, and difficult for the real estate agent. What is overwhelming to some people is a “safe zone” for the hoarder. It has taken years for them to accumulate all of the items in their home, and they may not want to let them go.

Of particular note is Hykin identifying hoarding as a mental disorder that needs to be dealt with. Hoarders can be anxious about throwing things away, indecisive about what to keep and what to give away/throw away.

Hykin offers chapters on preparing the home for sale, preparing the hoarder (and showing respect), allowing the client to feel in control, as well as what questions to ask.

There are black and white photos included that show before and after images of truly out-of-control hoarder homes that Hykin has worked with herself. Talk about overwhelming!

The second half of this book is a bonus! It addresses ways in which a realtor can deal with a non-hoarder that has simply accumulated a lifetime of stuff. She discusses our emotional attachment to things, and why they are so hard to let go of. Also that our possessions become extensions of ourselves.

Then there is the keep/toss/donate scenario. That is a difficult one. And a chapter on the top ten ways to declutter a house to sell. (I distinctly remember a house that I was looking at as a prospective buyer – I opened a hallway closet door to see how big the closet was, and stuff was jammed in there so tightly that it just started to fall out!) Hykin goes room by room, with the best way to deal with items in that room.

While this book is aimed at realtors, I find that it could help any of us decluttering a house (or a relative’s house). When we do so, it also declutters our lives.

(c) July 2022 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction is prohibited without the written consent of the author.

Review: The Angelic View Oracle Cards

The Angelic View Oracle Cards

Author: Maria G. Mass

Artist: Stock Imagery From Canva

Artist: The following images were photographed by the author, Maria G. Maas: Signs, Inner Peace, Dreams, Prayers, You Can Do It!, All Is Well, Hello From Heaven, and Spend Time In Nature.

Independently Published 2022

“The Angelic View Oracle Cards” is a 44-card oracle deck, with four additional informational cards: a Cover Card, a Copyright Card, About This Deck, About the Author, and How to Use this Deck. There is a free downloadable Guidebook and Journal that can be accessed from the author’s site.

The cards are 2.75” by 4.75”, glossy, and from sturdy card stock. They are quite easy for small hands to work with. Themes within the cards include Angel Numbers, Guardian Angel, Dreams, the Archangels (Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael), and many other topics that will help connect the reader with the angelic realm, and ways to live a positive life.

The 24-page downloadable Guidebook & Journal includes information about the deck, suggestions on how to use the Journal, sample Card Deck Spreads, and information about the author. It is noted that these cards can be used by anyone that wishes to connect with the angelic realm, and that individuals may read for themselves, or read for others. Individuals using these cards do not need any psychic ability or any knowledge of arcane symbols – they only need to be open to receiving angelic wisdom.

The journal is meant to be a tool of empowerment to record each individual’s spiritual journey with these cards. The basic concept is a simple one: breathe and center, set your intention, draw a card, write and reflect. I appreciated the suggestion to take action during the day based on the wisdom received during your reading and to re-read and reflect on what you wrote at the end of the day.

Spreads offered include a one-card Daily Guidance draw, a three-card Past/Present/Future draw, and a three-card Full Moon draw. There are templates in the journal to write out each of the spreads.

The imagery in this deck is gentle and flows to the edge of the page (no borders). The card title is at the top of the page, with wisdom from the card printed on the bottom of the page.

This deck can be used by all ages, and from all cultures. It is an excellent tool for understanding oneself and creating a balanced life. I highly recommend it!

The cards can be purchased here.

© May 2022 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction is prohibited without written permission from the author.

Review: Books of the Dead

Books of the Dead

Required reading for bookworms holding their ground.

Author: Professor Oddfellow, Craig Conley

Independently Published


ISBN #: 979-8488741829

This small (108 page) book is a gem in its own right, a distillation of twenty-four books of the dead from around the world and across the centuries. Books of the Dead are unique in that they act as guidebooks for transition and are filled with mythological archetypes. Somehow, when I think of books of the dead, I am reminded of late-night TV stories from my youth about Egypt and mummies. Scary stories that we all loved to watch!

From the book:

“As night blackens

the emerald earth,

the wheel revolves;

death follows birth.

Strive through the dark

with every breath

to wake past day

and beyond death.”

A variant of a Zen poem

Preserved by Philip Kapleau

In his introduction, Professor Oddfellow notes many guidebooks for the dead presume that death is not an ending but a transitional journey, that requires attentive planning. He references Ptolemy Tompkins (from “The Modern Book of the Dead”) as noting that those who hate and fear death are unable to live happily, while for those who think the right way about death “life loses that gloom and becomes something entirely different: something larger, stranger, and infinitely more promising and positive than we might ever have imagined.”

Professor Oddfellow states that books of the dead are really action-drama-fantasies, with a cast of characters, theatrical journeys, and more. (Remember those late-night TV shows!) They are metaphysical in origin, rich with mythological archetypes that offer a wonderful window into human psychology.

This book is divided into four sections: Ancient and Classical Books of the Dead, Modern Books of the Dead, and “Fictional” Books of the Dead”.   

In his afterword, Professor Oddfellow addresses the two most mystical manuals for guidance in the Otherworld: The Tibetan Book of the Dead and The Egyptian Book of the Dead.

There is also what to me is a very magical appendix that addresses the Tarot as a book of the dead.

“Books of the Dead” was intended to act as a book-reader collaboration, to inspire a deep intuitive understanding of afterlife guides, and to connect with what Jung termed the “both-and” philosophy of the Universal mind. It has accomplished this … and so much more!

© March 2022 Bonnie Cehovet

Reproduction is prohibited without written permission from the author.