New Kiva Loans
Latest Posts / May 31, 2014

We made two new Kiva loans this week. While we don’t make loans very often, we do whenever we get the chance and are happy to help our fellow men and women. Click here to donate yourself Yrma from Peru Yrma is 43 years old and lives with her husband and sons in the Oyotun neighborhood, a community dedicated to agriculture, trade and livestock, located in the province of Chiclayo which is part of the Lambayeque Region on the north coast of Peru . She sells beer retail, plus the sale of llonque (a local drink). Her business is located in her home. She has requested a loan of 2600 soles to buy beer for her business and thus generate more income for her family.   Madiha from Israel Madiha is from central Israel and has an organic pesticide business. She has been trained in pesticides with special training in organic and green products. Madiha’s business is successful and as she has made the change to organic and green products she has also increased her outreach and educational information. She is a dedicated professional who also underwent business and microenterprise development training. She needed this loan to assist in purchasing…

Fun Facts Friday: Alfred Austin
Fun Facts Friday , Latest Posts / May 30, 2014

Alfred Austin (30 May, 1835 – 2 June, 1913) was the Poet Laureate of England in 1896. Mr. Austin was a barrister by profession, but left the law to be a poet. While being a Forreign Affairs Correspondent with the English Standard he was granted an audience with German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. According to his biography, Mr. Austin saw a picture a young lady in a friend’s photo album, wrote a letter of introduction and married her a short time later. After a few failures, Mr. Austin made a noteworthy appearance as a writer with The Season: a Satire. When Alfred, Lord Tennyson, died as England’s Poet Laureate it took several years until he was replaced. During his lifetime, Mr. Austin did not get much respect as a poet from his peers, in fact they called him a “Banjo Byron”. Mr. Austin got the job only after William Morris declined it. It is thought that Austin got the position due to his friendship with Prime Minister Lord Salisbury, his influence as editor and lead writer as well as his willingness to support the government using his poetry. Austin’s powers are known for their genuine love of nature. Flodden Field,…

Book Review: Tarzan – In The City of Gold (Vol. 1) by Don Garden
4 Stars , Graphic Novels , Latest Posts / May 29, 2014

About: Tarzan – In The City of Gold (Vol. 1): The Complete Burne Hogarth Sundays and Dailies Library by Don Garden is a 3 year collection of all Hogarth’s newspaper strips. This is the first of four volumes. The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book –to enter fill out the Raf­fle­copt­ter form at the end of the post. 208 pages Publisher: Titan Books (May 13, 2014) Language: English ISBN-10: 1781163170 My rating for Tarzan: In The City of Gold (Vol. 1)  by Don Garden – 4 Buy this book from Amazon.com* Thoughts: Tarzan – In The City of Gold (Vol. 1): The Complete Burne Hogarth Sundays and Dailies Library by Don Garden is a coffee table book featuring the early comic strips. While the title is similar to the Tarzan and the City of Gold, the story is different. For me, the story is secondary to the art when it comes to these type of books (a very close second, nevertheless…). While the adventures of Tarzan are always exciting, and especially in this format leaving you wanting for more, I found the story (which included time travel at some point)  to be somewhat lackluster. I really enjoy these…

Book Review: The Bat by Jo Nesbø
4 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / May 28, 2014

About: The Bat by Jo Nesbø is the first novel in the Harry Hole series. The series has been translated to several languages and even being made into a movie. My rat­ing for The Bat— 4 Buy this book in paper or elec­tronic for­mat* More Books by Jo Nesbø Thoughts: The Bat by Jo Nesbø is not the first  Harry Hole book I have read, I was on a book tour for The Devil’s Star and that’s when I discovered Harry Hole. The nice thing about  this series that, while you follow the characters, they novels are more or less standalone. Reading the other novels will give you more insight and more enjoyment, but they are not a must. This is an enjoyable novel, I found it peculiar that the author chose to set the novel in Australia, simply because it is the first novel in a series about a Norwegian detective, but it works. The “fish out of water” storyline seems particularly interesting in this case. Mr. Nesbø’s characters and descriptions are nicely written (great job by translator Don Bartlett) and the Norse attitude jumps off the pages. The novel’s mystery is solved about two thirds into the book…

Guest Post & Book Review: Parallel to Paradise, Addiction and Other Love Stories
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / May 27, 2014

May is short story month, so in honor of the short story let me introduce debut author Laura Newman. PARALLEL TO PARADISE is a collection of fourteen short stories, all stand-alone, and can be read in any order at any time. The writing is descriptive and vivid. Each character is well-crafted. It seems as if I was looking at a snapshot of each person, at times I wondered, were these actual people? I almost thought I was reading fourteen short memoirs. But, that is what we look for when introduced to new characters, as my friend and fellow writer D.L. Whitehead says, “Your characters need to walk, talk, eat, breathe and bleed.” He is a horror writer, so hence the bleed part. Ms. Newman’s characters definitely walk, talk, and breathe off the written page, and sometimes they do indeed bleed. (The Little Beast, Twentieth Century). The common thread running through each storyline is how the protagonists deal with the problems and complications of their lives, which are sometimes messy and not-so-nice. But, cope they must. We are introduced to people with addictions (Needle and Thread), some in abusive relationships, alternative lifestyles (Red Eye), and in another, a young mother copes…

Spotlight: Black Bear Lake
Latest Posts / May 20, 2014

ABOUT THE BOOK Adam Craig, a forty year-old stock trader in Chicago, finds his marriage teetering on the rocks and his life at a standstill. Desperate and on the edge of personal collapse, Adam takes the advice of a therapist and travels to his childhood family compound on Black Bear Lake with hopes of making peace with his past. Stepping onto the northern Wisconsin property, he relives the painful memories of the summer of 1983, his last summer at the lake. In August 1983, a self-conscious fifteen year-old Adam carries a world of worry on his shoulders as he arrives at Black Bear Lake for a month long family reunion. Between anger and fear of mother’s declining health as she quietly battles a quickly spreading cancer and his cherished cousin’s depression over her parents’ bitter divorce, Adam is swept up in smothering familial love among the multiple generations and heartbreaking misunderstanding and betrayal. The arrival of a sensual but troublesome babysitter throws the delicate balance of his family into a tailspin. Blinded by his attraction to the newcomer, Adam fails to see his cousin’s desperate cries for help and the charged electrical current running through his family’s hierarchy. Crushed in…

Giveaway (Over) : One Copy of Way Out: Thoughts of a Schizophrenic in Remission & $15 B&N GC
Latest Posts / May 17, 2014

Way Out by Arthur Thomas Morton       You’re homeless, living on the street, fighting to keep body and soul intact. Not so long ago, you were successful, competent, and liked, and your future was assured. But the unimaginable happens. Aliens begin watching you through their super-evolved technology. No one is aware of them except you. Then they begin speaking to you. After that, things get crazy.     Approximately one in a hundred people suffer from schizophrenia, a disorder characterized by delusions and/or hallucinations. For Eugene Uttley, the delusions are profound and kaleidoscopic, involving spirits and extraterrestrials, celebrities and spies. In his extended period of psychosis, Eugene also hears voices nearly constantly, and believes himself to be in telepathic communication with the objects of his delusions. Arthur Morton examines Eugene’s life and illness in great detail, bringing us fully into Eugene’s world, revealing the fascinating workings of the schizophrenic mind. Joining Eugene on a mad journey spanning decades and continents, the author captures the essence of the illness and the bizarre, desperate behavior it can cause. From a good job and comfortable lifestyle, Eugene is reduced to raving in the streets. Struggling for survival in Asia, on the road in…

Guest Post: Her Life, Her Voice, My Words: Bearing Witness to History Through Someone Else’s Eyes — Part 2
Guest Posts , Latest Posts / May 15, 2014

My youngest daughter was born the week after Rosemary and I began the background interviews for the book. So I was squeezing a lot of my work-at-home consulting business and book development activity around taking care of my then-2-year-old and infant daughters. I don’t know that I would have been as effective in telling Rosemary’s story had I not had that small insight into her early parenting world. It gave me empathy and appreciation for what this woman was able to do under extreme circumstances.

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