This Is The January Tarot Horoscope For Each Zodiac Sign

2020, a new beginning and a year where we will be tested. The Capricorn Stellium pushes us to reach our higher purpose, to go beyond our limits and to grow up. The childish mentality will not help you move forward. Time to drop those self-defeating thoughts and to focus on the big prize. This is your year to define who you are and who you will become. Take control of the next chapter of your lives and get ready to create a masterpiece.

Aries – 2020 strikes you with a bang making you wonder about your spot in the world. Mars enters Sagittarius early in the month on January 3rd, that will give you some much needed success when it comes to academics or anything pertaining to higher thinking. Venus, the planet of love will have you going from social butterfly to hermit in a blink of an eye. It will allow for you to bring about peace. Your general focus will be working hard and hustling, thanks to the major Capricorn Stellium. Your card for the month of January is the Seven of Wands which compliments your need to compete and thrive during these times. There will be many people who will test you and put you through the ringer. Stay calm, stay strong and remember to think long and hard before taking any action. This is your time to behave like your sister sign, Libra. When Mars moves into fellow fire sign Sagittarius, it will help you think outside the box and will aid in your successes as it sparks that drive you have craved for some time.

Taurus – Mars moving into the sign of Sagittarius might bring some intense times that will be highly beneficial. You will wield control and exude more magnetism when you are surrounded by people. With the Saturn and Pluto Conjunction, causing some friction in your expression and ideology, this Mars transit can help spice things up with someone you are in love with or interested in. Venus moving into the sign of Pisces will benefit your connections with new people. Creative types will surround you and they will bring about new inspiration. If you lacked the will to create, now is the time to keep at it. Saturn will help you work diligently. It is slow and the rewards seem to not be anywhere, but Saturn requires your patience. As the bull, you understand the importance of not rushing. Your card for the month is the Empress. Your creativity will be sparked during these transits, so trust in what you have to offer to the world. The only one holding you back is you.

Gemini – The highlight for next month will be when Venus shifts in the sign of Pisces. It will be your time in the spotlight, and you will shine and thrive during this month. This is the much-needed recognition you have been craving for. All of your hard work will come with gifts that will boost your morale. Jupiter in the sign of Capricorn will bring you with much needed stability and a new outlook on life as you finally begin to pull yourself out of the darkness of the Saturn and Pluto influence. This will be a month of hope and renewal for you. Mars in Sagittarius will make you more in tune with your needs. Vocalizing what is best for you in partnerships. With Mercury in fellow air sign, Aquarius, there will be insight and much to learn for you this month. Learn from books, learn from mentors and apply this knowledge to create better plans for the road ahead. Your card for the month of January is the Four of Pentacles. Try find new methods to expound on your financial stability.

Cancer – When Venus shifts into fellow water sign, Pisces, you will experience a change in mood. There will be more optimism on your behalf. The joyful outlook will be expanded by Jupiter in Capricorn, making you want to believe in love once again. The Saturn and Pluto Conjunction might bring a dose of reality to your partnerships and your current situation. Those in relationships will either sink or swim during this transit, as you begin to value your worth. This will either enforce the bond or you will come to terms that changes need to be made. Mercury moving into Aquarius next month might make your words sharper and you might feel more intuitive. The Devil in Reverse is your card for the month. You have acknowledged your struggle, the pain and the misfortunes that have happened this year. Now is the time for you to release this and not to cling onto the past. Much more awaits once you let go and stop thinking about the failures and what has not happened for you.

Leo – The month of January brings you some surprises. With the Saturn and Pluto Conjunction in the sign of Capricorn, you will be fighting for what you want in school or work. You have learned a lot of self-discipline during the Saturn transit. Things have not been easy and some of you might have had some health troubles in the last couple of years. It will be a month where you might feel generous thanks to Venus in the sign of Pisces, making you humbler and more excited for love. Intimate relationships will be intensified with this transit as you become more possessive and needy with your partner. Those who are single might enjoy having lots of fun meeting new people when Mars enters fellow fire sign Sagittarius. It will be a moment of lots of reflection and exhilaration that will make things more bearable for you. With Jupiter in Capricorn, you can feel the pressures and burdens lifting and there will be a more joyous atmosphere with peers. Justice in Reverse is the card for you this month. Try not to be shady this month, especially to those who have wronged you. Keep doing you and let the haters stay bitter.

Virgo – The last two years might have felt like a drain for you and a pain. The Saturn and Pluto conjunction it will probably hit a little hard for you, but that does not mean you should lose faith or optimism. The tides are turning for you, Virgo. Jupiter entering the sign of Capricorn brings you with much needed fun into your life. The Lovers is the card for the month of January, and this is very fitting considering that Venus enters your sister sign, Pisces. This is a wonderful time to renew the love for your partner or appreciate your friends. To those who are single, January brings about a new era in your love life, so get ready for some excitement that is to come. However, with Mars entering the sign of Sagittarius it will bring some friction when it comes to dealing with family. Keep the anger levels low, try to relax and meditate because this month will only bring you lots of love and excitement. Focus on bringing peace and harmony to your life because it can only bring better things.

Libra – It might feel like an extremely karmic year for you as you have endured and fought tooth and nail for your spot in the sun. Saturn and Pluto Conjunctions has caused some troubles in the home front, but you are getting out of that dark spot with Jupiter in the sign of Capricorn offering you with a much-needed reprieve. Your card for the month is the Six of Swords Reversed showing that you refuse to change your mindset, and this is the time to let go of what is hurting you and accept the transformations that are to come. With Venus entering the sign of Pisces, you will be focusing more on improving at work or in school. Perfection is everything for you and no one can stop you. Mercury in the sign of Aquarius helps you feel awakened, as you have an easy time putting thoughts in order and even connecting with your creative side. Mars in Sagittarius helps you with attaining more clarity when it comes to your thought process. Everyone might view you as cold and reclusive, but this will be your way to fight through the darkness that you will pull yourself out.

Scorpio – There have been some blockages for you with Saturn in the sign of Capricorn. Communicating with peers and siblings might have been complicated for you and Pluto added to unnecessary tension. With Jupiter in the sign of Capricorn, you might feel freer to express yourself more. Blockages might be clearing, and any karmic debts might be forgiven. This is a month of reconciliation and with Venus entering fellow water sign, Pisces, you will be more generous, caring and people will notice your compassionate side. It will be a joyous month for you as you are more in tune with yourself and the environment you are currently in. The only advise would be to watch your spending habits as Mars shifts into Sagittarius, making you much more impulsive with the purse. Your card for the month of January is the King of Cups. You are in your element, emotionally in control and a tactician.

Sagittarius – The month of January feels like the beginning of a new journey to self-discovery for you. The Saturn and Pluto conjunction might spark some depressive moments, as you ponder over financial security and your own worth. This will pass as Jupiter in the sign of Capricorn bringing everyone a little more optimism for their troubles. With Mars entering your sign on the 3rd, you will finally feel awakened. This is the boost that you have wanted for a while, as it brings you in touch with that fire energy. It will be a very productive month for you and as Venus shifts into Pisces, you will experience some much needed relaxation in the home front. This will be bringing a calming energy, but it might be occasionally challenged with Mars in your sign. Find the balance in your relationships and learn to pick your battles. For those who are single, this applies to relationships with friends and family as well. The card of the month for you is Temperance. Remember to practice the balance (mentioned in my previous sentences) because it will help with growth.

Capricorn – It is all about you this time of year. 2020 starts with a bang since most of the signs are in Capricorn. You have endured and survived the last few years, but now things start to heat up and you will most likely be up for the ride. When Venus enters the sign of Pisces, you will be more in tune with the world around you. It might even make you feel a little sensitive and contemplative, as you reminisce of lost connections and try to even rekindle past romances. The Sun and Pluto Conjunction might intensify everything revolving your persona. It will be a fight or flight transit as you either hone your power, accept the changes or cower away in fear. However, all might feel suffocating but Jupiter in your sign reminds you to keep at it. Brighter days are ahead. Your card for the month is the Three of Pentacles. Seek help from those around you when you need it. Collaborative effort might bring you luck and success. Timing is everything.

Aquarius – The Saturn and Pluto Conjunction in Capricorn feels like the pregame for the Saturn in Aquarius transit. This is a taste of what you will be feeling in the next two and a half years. You might feel tired and drained but with Jupiter in Capricorn, this will be the much-needed transit you have been dreaming of…literally. Jupiter will clear away all of the negative thoughts that you have carried. You will see things in a new light and might feel a little more optimistic. With Mars entering the sign of Sagittarius, it will prove to be beneficial for you as you interact with those eternal optimists. Surrounding yourself with people that will help you find a new method of thinking will prove perfect for you. A shift in your mindset is necessary because it will help you thrive in the years to come. Venus in the sign of Pisces will help give you a little self-love and care. It will feel therapeutic to spend some money on you but do not get too carried away. The card for the month is the Five of Swords Reversed which is telling you to forgive but not forget. If you ended something on bad terms because you were at fault, making peace with that person will be in your best interest.

Pisces – January brings you into much calmer waters as Venus enters your sign on January 13th. Being more appealing, feeling more at ease with past choices and practicing self-forgiveness will be tied to this transit. Connecting with people in the last couple of years has not been easy with Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn. The conjunction on January 12th allows for much reflection as you analyze your current state of independence and how much stronger you have become because of the transit. Mercury entering Aquarius ties dreams to reality as you weave a path through them to gain answers, but you should not stress it. With Mars in the sign of Sagittarius, there is a prominence that will be associated with you in the next few months. It may have been a time where you were low key, but now you come in full force, showing everyone that you are still a competitor and someone that has evolved after facing challenges. Your card for the month of January is the Two of Swords. Make those choices that you have been putting off, learn to be more assertive even if this frightens you. You have the tools needed to make the best decision that will allow for you to grow even more.


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Teacher Gives Anatomy Lesson In A Full-Body Suit That Maps Out The Human Body In Sharp Detail

Do you remember that one teacher? The one who cared? The one who always tried? Verónica Duque is that teacher. Recently, the 43-year-old decided to engage her students on a higher level and gave a class on anatomy in a full-body suit that mapped out the human body in great detail.

“I’ve been teaching for 15 years now,” Verónica told Bored Panda. “I teach natural and social science, art, as well as English and Spanish.”

Currently, Verónica teaches the third grade and is constantly looking for ideas on how to make the lessons more interesting. “I was surfing the internet when an ad of an AliExpress swimsuit popped up. Knowing how hard it is for kids this young to visualize the disposition of internal organs, I thought it was worth it giving it a try.”

Image credits: mikemoratinos

Image credits: mikemoratinos

Image credits: mikemoratinos

After her husband Michael tweeted some pics from the lesson, Verónica instantly went viral. Generating over 65K likes and 14k comments, the tweet has made her a symbol of creativity and dedication. However, she isn’t done yet. Verónica has plenty of ways to surprise her students.

“I decided long ago to use disguises for history lessons,” she said. “I’m also using cardboard crowns for my students to learn grammatical categories such as nouns, adjectives, and verbs. Different grammar kingdoms, so to say.”

“I’d like society to stop considering teachers to be lazy bureaucratic public servants. We’re certainly not.”

Image credits: mikemoratinos

Looking at Verónica in her suit, quite a few internet commenters mentioned Slim Goodbody.

Slim Goodbody is a costumed character created by John Burstein, and has been championing children’s health for over forty years. Currently, his productions are watched by millions of children on Discovery Education. His live show shows tour theaters around the US, reaching thousands of children every year. Also, Slim published fifty children’s books, and his work has been honored with awards from Parent’s Choice, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and the World Health Organization.

People really respect Verónica’s dedication

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Goodbye Homeboy by Steve Mariotti

Book Summary:

One sunny afternoon in 1982, a young businessman experienced a terrifying mugging in New York City that shook him to his core.

Tortured by nightmares about the teens who roughed him up, Steve Mariotti sought counseling. When his therapist suggested that he face his fears, Mariotti closed his small import-export business and became a teacher at the city’s most notorious public school–Boys and Girls High in Bed-Stuy.

Although his nightmares promptly ceased, Mariotti’s out-of-control students rapidly drove him to despair.

One day, Mariotti stepped out of the classroom so his students wouldn’t see him cry. In a desperate move to save his job, he took off his watch and marched back in with an impromptu sales pitch for it. To his astonishment, his students were riveted. He was able to successfully lead a math lesson for the first time.

Mariotti realized his students felt trapped in soul-crushing poverty. They saw zero connection between school and improving their lives. Whenever Mariotti connected their lessons to entrepreneurship, though, even his most disruptive students got excited about learning.

School administrators disapproved of Mariotti discussing money in the classroom, however. He was repeatedly fired before receiving one last-ditch assignment: an offsite program for special-ed students expelled from the public schools for violent crimes.

The success Mariotti had with these forgotten children—including coverage in the Daily News, The New York Times, and World News Tonight—inspired him to found the nonprofit Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship to bring entrepreneurship education to low-income youth.

By turns tragic and hilarious, Goodbye Homeboy shares Mariotti’s flaws and missteps as he connects deeply with his troubled students, and woos the most influential people in the world into helping them–saving himself in the process.

Today, Mariotti is widely recognized as the world’s leading advocate for entrepreneurship education. More than one million young people from Chicago to China have graduated from NFTE programs, and NFTE counts Sean Combs, Chelsea Clinton, Diana Davis Spencer, and many more business, entertainment, and community leaders among its staunchest supporters.

As Goodbye Homeboy powerfully illustrates, a spark of hope really can empower us to overcome life’s greatest hardships.

Amazon Link –


“I’m so inspired to finally read the inspiring, intense, and hilarious story behind the organization that helped me so much as a high schooler. NFTE taught me entrepreneurship skills that I still use to this day, as the CEO of a company that employs thousands and is transforming the real-estate industry.”

—Robert Reffkin, founder and CEO of Compass

“So many personal stories today are described as ‘inspiring,’ but Goodbye Homeboy is the rare true story that genuinely transcends the word. Steve Mariotti’s memoir conveys the heart, soul, and determination that has catalyzed the lives of so many young people.”

—Ray Chambers, World Health Organization Ambassador for Global Strategy


About the Author:

Steve Mariotti is the founder and former CEO of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), and an advocate for entrepreneurs worldwide. His previous books include the Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Running a Business and An Entrepreneur’s Manifesto, which makes a convincing case for the power of entrepreneurship education to combat poverty, terrorism and totalitarianism. Mariotti is also the author of award-winning junior, high-school and college textbooks on entrepreneurship and small business management. He is a popular Huffington Post blogger.

In 1982, Mariotti left a successful business career to become a public high-school teacher in tough New York City neighborhoods like East New York, Bed-Study, and Fort Apache in the South Bronx. Frustrated at first by his rowdy classrooms, Mariotti discovered he could motivate even his most challenging students by teaching them how to run a small business. This experience inspired him to create NFTE in 1987 to bring entrepreneurship education to low-income youth, and empower them to create pathways out of poverty. Today, NFTE is widely considered the leading provider of entrepreneurship education to low-income youth worldwide.

Debra Devi is an award-winning author, journalist and musician based in Jersey City NJ. She has co-authored numerous books with Steve Mariotti, including The Young Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting a Business, How to Start and Operate a Small Business, winner of the Golden Lamp Award for excellence in educational publishing, and An Entrepreneur’s Manifesto. Devi’s book The Language of the Blues: From Alcorub to Zuzu (foreword by Dr. John) received the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award. As a journalist, Devi has written for Investor’s Daily, American Banker, Crain’s New York, The Village Voice,, Guitar World and more. An accomplished guitarist and singer, Devi performs internationally and received a proclamation from Jersey City for her contribution to the arts.

More than 600 presents stolen from Santa’s grotto

Image caption Gifts from the community Santa’s grotto included children’s books, modelling clay and card games

More than 600 Christmas presents for children have been stolen from a community Santa’s grotto.

The gifts were being kept in buildings at the bowling green in Eastville Park, Bristol, after Father Christmas was unable to deliver them on Sunday.

High winds cancelled the event so the wrapped presents were being stored while organisers worked out what to do.

Volunteers called police and said the theft overnight on Monday and Tuesday had “knocked them for six”.

Friends of Eastville Park had planned a wildlife winter wonderland themed Santa’s grotto along with entertainment and crafts for its first Christmas event for children.

Volunteer Chrissy Quinnell, said: “It’s really hard to conceive that somebody would take children’s presents.”

“Hundreds of people were involved in the preparations but we had to cancel the event because of really high winds,” said Ms Quinnell. “So the fact the event didn’t take place was a bit of a low point for us and then to find this as well.

“We’re all pretty flat at the moment.”

Along with wrapped gifts – including children’s books, modelling clay and card games – thieves also “helped themselves to everything of value” including bottles of mulled wine and catering equipment.

Volunteers said it would take them a while to “bounce back”.

Posting on the group’s Facebook page, Andrew Gee said the loss of over 600 children’s presents was “particularly upsetting”.

“We are currently looking at CCTV footage from the car park area in the hope that something might come up,” he said.

Police are appealing for anyone who knows where the presents are following the burglary between 16:00 GMT Monday and 10:00 GMT Tuesday to get in touch.

A police spokesman said: “We’d appeal for anyone who saw or heard any suspicious activity around the building to contact us.”

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Are award winners and losers out of fashion?

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Vogue editor Edward Enninful (right) awarded the 2019 Turner Prize to the four nominees

“It’s a crazy contest between an orange and a spaceship and a potted plant and a spoon – which one do you like better?”

That’s how singer Anohni, formerly of Antony of the Johnsons, summed up awards in 2005.

She had just won the Mercury Music Prize, but was suggesting it was faintly ridiculous to pit very different artistic works against one another for the sake of a trophy.

The 2019 Turner Prize was a crazy contest between human effigies and a futuristic feminist city and a film about Northern Ireland and a sound installation about Syria.

So, before Tuesday’s prize-giving ceremony, the nominees got together and decided they didn’t want an individual winner to be chosen, instead asking the judges to let them share the coveted art award.

That wasn’t just because it was so hard to compare their works, but because they wanted to make a show of unity in divisive times, and didn’t want one nominee’s political message to be judged as more worthy than the rest.

There had never been a tie for the Turner Prize before. But the prize has changed since the headline-making days of the mid-1990s. Out have gone the indulgent, attention-grabbing sensations by Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, and in have come the socially conscious, message-driven works of recent years.

The gesture and the reasons behind it have been warmly received. But now this precedent has been set, will next year’s nominees feel they need to do the same thing?

And after the Booker Prize judges failed to choose one winner this year, is the notion of competition in the arts going out of fashion?

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo shared the Booker Prize

“Everyone agrees that competition is the enemy of art,” wrote Charlotte Higgins in the Guardian after the Booker in October. “And yet, on the whole, there is also an agreement to conspire in the notion that it isn’t.”

After all, a competition brings a certain amount of excitement and attention that wouldn’t have been there otherwise – if, for example, the Turner Prize was just another group exhibition.

BBC arts editor Will Gompertz said: “Maybe annual awards like the Turner Prize and the Booker Prize, which also didn’t have a single winner this year, are reaching their sell-by date: an anachronism from a bygone binary age of winners and losers.”

But Turner Prize head judge Alex Farquharson, who runs Tate Britain, told BBC News that Tuesday’s result was “very specific to this year”, and that the award had always evolved in order to stay relevant.

Here are four more recent examples of when artists or judges have decided to share the love – and one where they withheld their love altogether.

Turner Prize 2016

Image copyright PA
Image caption Helen Marten said the art world should show “an egalitarian platform of democracy”

Until this year, the closest the Turner Prize had come to a split award was when the 2016 winner, sculptor Helen Marten, decided to share her prize money (if not the prize itself) with her fellow nominees.

“Promoting a hierarchy is never the most useful thing for anyone involved, or the public,” she told BBC News at the time.

Her Turner win came just three weeks after she did the same thing with the £30,000 prize money from her win at the inaugural Hepworth Prize, after which she said art was “deeply subjective”.

“To a certain extent I believe in light of the world’s ever lengthening political shadow that the art world has a responsibility, if not to suggest a provisional means forward, then at least show an egalitarian platform of democracy,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Front Row.

Marten was following the example of the winner of the 2015 Artes Mundi prize, the Chicago artist Theaster Gates, who announced he was sharing his £40,000 prize with the nine other shortlisted artists.

James Tait Black Prize for Fiction 2019

Billed as Britain’s longest running literary awards, the James Tait Black Prizes recognise the best fiction and biography books of the year. Olivia Laing won the fiction award in August for her debut novel Crudo, and said she would share the £10,000 prize with her fellow nominees.

“I said in Crudo that competition has no place in art and I meant it,” Laing told the awards ceremony, according to the Guardian.

“Crudo was written against a kind of selfishness that’s everywhere in the world right now, against an era of walls and borders, winners and losers. Art doesn’t thrive like that and I don’t think people do either.

“We thrive on community, solidarity and mutual support and as such, and assuming this is agreeable to my fellow authors, I’d like the prize money to be split between us, to nourish as much new work as possible.”

Booker Prize 2019

It was the judges rather than the nominees who decided to split this year’s Booker Prize between Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo.

The Booker rules say the prize must not be divided, but the judges insisted they “couldn’t separate” the two works. Peter Florence, the chair, said: “It was our decision to flout the rules.”

He twice told organisers the judges wanted to declare a tie, and twice the organisers said no. The third time, the organisers relented. “We tried voting, it didn’t work,” Florence said. “There’s a metaphor for our times.”

But the decision was criticised by many, with some suggesting Evaristo would have benefited from having the spotlight to herself, whereas Atwood didn’t need it.

One of the judges was writer Afua Hirsch, who said the panel struggled to judge “the titanic career” of Atwood against “the quality and consistency” of Evaristo. That also raised hackles, because they were supposed to be judging individual novels, rather than careers.

“The outcome would always be imperfect, because it was an impossible task,” Hirsch wrote in the Guardian.

Bad Sex in Fiction Award 2019

The Literary Review’s tongue-in-cheek award for the most toe-curling descriptions of sex spoofed the Booker this year by also declaring a tie. Didier Decoin and John Harvey shared the dubious honour.

“We tried voting, but it didn’t work,” the judges said. “We tried again. Ultimately there was no separating the winners.

“Faced with two unpalatable contenders, we found ourselves unable to choose between them. We believe the British public will recognise our plight.”

Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize 2018

The judges of the Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction had a different problem in 2018 – they decided none of the nominees were good enough to win. So the award was withheld.

“We did not feel than any of the books we read this year incited the level of unanimous laughter we have come to expect,” judge David Campbell said.

A statement said there were “many amusing and well-written books”, but “none fulfilled the criteria of making all of the judges laugh out loud”.

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Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall

Gift Guide Book Suggestion #6

Got someone who loves fantasy and adventure in their life?

Book Summary:

Gravedigger Volke Savan wants nothing more than to be like his hero, the legendary magical swashbuckler, Gregory Ruma. First he needs to become an arcanist, someone capable of wielding magic, which requires bonding with a mythical creature. And he’ll take anything—a pegasus, a griffin, a ravenous hydra—maybe even a leviathan, like Ruma.

So when Volke stumbles across a knightmare, a creature made of shadow and terror, he has no reservations. But the knightmare knows a terrible secret: Ruma is a murderer out to spread corrupted magic throughout their island nation. He’s already killed a population of phoenixes and he intends to kill even more.

In order to protect his home, his adopted sister, and the girl he admires from afar, Volke will need to confront his hero, the Master Arcanist Gregory Ruma.

A fast-paced flintlock fantasy for those who enjoy How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, Unsouled (Cradle Series) by Will Wight, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.

Amazon Link –


WINNER of the B.R.A.G. Medallion for Fantasy

“Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall was rollicking good fun! Perfect for those who enjoy the Codex Alera series, the /Homas Wildus series and the Harry Potter series. Stovall is quickly becoming a name I look for.” – Seattle Book Review

“Volke carries readers into a darkly engrossing world with a passion that makes Knightmare Arcanist satisfyingly unique and hard to put down. Readers looking for a magic-based quest fantasy will find this story compelling and nicely written, with strong characters propelling action which is often unexpected and revealing.” – Midwest Book Review

“A spellbinding first installment of what promises to be an addictive series, Shami Stovall has produced a mesmerizing story of magic, intrigue, and true adventure.” – ManyBooks

“Richly crafted and laced with wry humor and intriguing magic, Knightmare Arcanist is a page-turner.” – The Prairies Book Review

Author Bio

Shami Stovall relies on her BA in History and Juris Doctorate to make her living as an author and history professor in the central valley of California. She writes in a wide range of fiction, from crime thrillers to fantasy to science-fiction. Stovall loves reading, playing video games, entertaining others with stories, and writing about herself in the third person.

When We Were Brave by Karla M Jay

Book Summary:

In WHEN WE WERE BRAVE, we find a conflicted SS officer, Wilhelm Falk, who risks everything to escape the Wehrmacht and get out the message about the death camps. Izaak is a young Jewish boy whose positive outlook is challenged daily as each new perilous situation comes along. American citizens, Herbert Müller and his family, are sent back to the hellish landscape of Germany because of the DNA coursing through their veins. In the panorama of World War II, these are the high-stakes plots and endearing characters whose braided fates we pray will work out in the end.

Amazon Link –


“When We Were Brave is not a novel about suffering, although suffering certainly makes up much of it. Rather, it is a novel about perseverance, the will to survive and push back against cruelty and death… It is what makes the novel exceptional and compelling.” -Daniel Casey, San Francisco Book Review

2019 Distinguished Favorites for New York City Big Book Award.
Jay’s (Speaking in Tungs, 2018, etc.) account is impressively ambitious, offering a sprawling view of the wages of war from three distinct perspectives. She ingeniously braids them into a coherent narrative tapestry, and along the way, she realistically describes the human degradation experienced by prisoners in the Nazi camps… – Kirkus Reviews 2019

Karla M. Jay’s novel When We Were Brave employs a dramatic triangle to create a highly-emotional, epic story of World War II, one that is as vivid as it is highly personal. Here is a moving, riveting tale that shows you how things once were–and how similar those times can feel to our own. Scott Lasser – Author of Say Nice Things About Detroit, Screenwriter for HBO’s True Detective Series

Great historical fiction teaches and entertains. When We Were Brave finds three little-remembered stories that beg to be heard. Told with vivid detail and meticulous research, these stories involve complex characters who demonstrate the resilience of the human spirit set against a backdrop of evil and tragedy. – Firoozeh Dumas, New York Times Bestselling author of Funny in Farsi, and Laughing Without an Accent

When We Were Brave is a vivid, heart-wrenching portrayal of holocaust years, as innocent victims grapple with loss, loneliness, and longing while the English and American forces fight against the Nazi army…The story is told from the perspective of three protagonists whose lives become entwined. The narrative is gripping and skillfully paced, and Jay’s depiction of her characters’ inner turmoil, hopes, fears, and mental anguish stir the reader’s heart. With complex characters and intricate plotting, Jay delivers a heart-wrenching, engrossing historical read. -The Prairies Book Review

2019 Silver Medal Winner, Readers Favorite Contest. Combining excellent historical research with a compelling storyline, the hard work of author Karla M. Jay really pays off the more deeply involved you become with the characters in her plot…As the plot threads and connections slowly come together, the conclusion marks the realities of war and sticks in your mind for a long time after. When We Were Brave is a highly recommended historical read.

“Jay demonstrates a mastery of emotion and landscape. The scenes are visceral, the dialogue is sharp and believable, and the narrators are immediately engrossing. For history enthusiasts, the level of detail, cultural accuracy, and research feels immersive. The world of the past spills out naturally, drawing readers into the relationships between these characters. When We Were Brave is a vivid portrait of a time and place with characters who are immediately recognizable.” Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★

Combining excellent historical research with a compelling storyline, the hard work of author Karla M. Jay really pays off the more deeply involved you become with the characters in her plot. I found Wilhelm’s story to be the most compelling … as a disillusioned SS officer trying to make things right for himself, and for the world. Jay really pays attention to the emotive aspect and motivations of all her characters, making them leap off the page with reality and endearing them to readers, which is what makes their hardship all the more harrowing to read about. As the plot threads and connections slowly come together, the conclusion marks the realities of war and sticks in your mind for a long time after. When We Were Brave is a highly recommended historical read.– Readers Favorite

Author Bio:

Raised in Western New York and Northern Pennsylvania, Karla M. Jay has worked as a speech pathologist since 1982. When she is not home in Utah gardening or writing, she is traveling, trying to see as many countries as possible–in particular, those with good coffee, ancient history, and great beaches.

Karen Wasylowski Questions for Cordelia Lee

1. Which books/authors inspired your work?

Over the years since I was a teenager, I have been reading real life people’s stories, whether in books or Readers’ Digest. It was with a motivation to inspire myself, and motivate me to overcome my challenges. Off-hand, I could not remember their titles. However, I always remember their impact on me until today – to be resilient, to be patient, to believe all will eventually end up well despite the many obstacles of life. I am grateful for these human stories who shaped me to be who I am today.

2. What’s one (3, 5) thing(s) that you learned while writing your book?

Rewriting, rewriting and rewriting! No matter how many drafts I have written, I will find there are always ways to improvement after constant rewriting. Especially to be patient in reflecting what I am trying to say in my writing to others. We cannot be writing for ourselves. The book is meant for readers, which I realize not all may be agreeable to the style. To be accepting of criticism with the aim of self-improvement.

3. After this book, are you writing anything new? Where are you in the process?

I am preoccupied taking care of my young toddler son. When I have free time, I am involved in activities that brings comfort, love and companionship. I am not writing any book now. It is more of song lyrics, blogging and poetry.

4. Describe your writing routine. Do you outline? Edit as you go?

Write as I go. Feel as I go. Edit as I go.

5. What do you do when you’re not writing?

Take of my young toddler son. I write poetry, I sing, I make dolls for others (for sickly children in the hospital, fundraising events and more), I meditate, I practice Qigong. I pray. Spend quality time with my family.

6. How do you combat/cure writer’s block?

Take a step back, do other activities. Before I know it, I am more relaxed enough to return to writing once more. Meditation is a good way to get myself unstuck. In fact, it has liberated my creativity to greater bounds and leaps. I have become more creative in different styles of writing and expression.

7. What advice would you give an aspiring writer who doesn’t know where to start?

Join writing workshops. Meet other writing peers. Join writing support group.

8. What was the most challenging thing about writing your book?

Myself. When I have self doubts in my writing. When I fear judgment from others based upon my life experiences. Eventually I come to an acceptance that not everyone would like my expression. Not everyone would accept my life experiences. Not everyone would like me. That freed me to write further.

9. Are you part of any writer’s groups or guilds? Which one(s)?

Yes, I am a part of a few writers’ groups. They are Malaysian Writers Society, Writers helping writers and Memoir writing group. These are in Facebook.

10. Do you have a social media presence? Where can people find you online?

a) Facebook under Cordelia Lee.
b) Instagram under cordy.lee
c) A blog attached to ( a platform for women empowerment)


d) Youtube channel by Cordelia & Ket (cordyket)

11. Talk about your main character. What are they like and what inspired their personality?

My book is a memoir. I am the protagonist.

12. How does your main character change throughout the story?

It is an awakening of self throughout the journey of exploration in mind, heart, body, spirit and soul.

13. If you weren’t an author, where do you think you’d be? What would you be doing?

To be an author is a childhood dream of mine. It will happen eventually. I did not expect my first book would be a memoir.

If events did not happen as they did, which I revealed in the book, I’d probably be a writer of a different genre. Perhaps in the movie industry and still very much into poetry. As it is, I’m a meditation teacher and energy healer, who managed to take time out to author my memoir.

14. What is the most satisfying thing about being an author?

When I receive feedback that it changed their lives for the better. Inspired them to do more with their lives.

15. How do you think your book (F)/story (NF) can help people? What do you hope people will take away/learn from your book?

I hope by my book people shall know there will always be second chances in life especially so long they do not quit on themselves.

16. What made you choose the time/place in which your book was set?

I base upon my life events and moments which I wish to capture in my book.

17. What is/are reviewers/family/friends/other authors saying about your book?

Most of them like my book. There are those who told me they find my book inspiring and motivational. Some told me they could relate with my life experiences. Some felt I have given them hope, faith and more. There are a few who expressed dislike to my writing style. There are those who find my story too incredible to believe yet they try to be open-minded with my book.

18. What type of person do you think would most enjoy your book?

A reader into supernatural, onto a spiritual journey, who seeks inspiration and motivation to change their lives. A person who is seeking for hope in their lives.

19. How do you organize your book collection, if at all?

Organise by theme and topic.

20. If you could invite your favorite fictional hero/heroine over to your house for dinner, who would it be and what would you talk about?

It would be Indiana Jones. I would ask about his next archaeological adventure and whether I can one day join him.

21. What’s the best book, other than yours, that no one has ever heard of?

I remember there was a book titled Honey. I could not remember the author’s name. It is about a teenage girl named Honey. She had an alcoholic mother and her dad left the family when Honey was a young child. As a result, she had to take care of her mother who is stuck in her own past and unhappiness. Honey made friends who gave her the love which she could not get from her family. She was seeking love from various sources. However, Honey always have this guilt of wanting to stay away from her mother and seek motherly love elsewhere. Eventually a university student who worked as a maid with a wealthy family made Honey feel less guilty in seeking other love besides from her own mother. That the accumulated love and care she received from each individual including from the maid made up one good pie of Love.

22. What’s a book you own that people would be most surprised to see on your shelf?

My first books by Enid Blyton. The enchanted forest. The wishing chair. They are over 30 years old. These are the books which inspired me to be an author.

23. Which author, living or dead, would you most like to meet? What would you hope to learn from them?

Enid Blyton would be one author I would like to meet. To find out how she gets his inspiration and ideas of her stories.

Aye-Aye Gets Lucky – Endangered & Misunderstood Book 1 by Terri Tatchell

Gift Guide Book Suggestion #5

Book Summary:

Join endangered and misunderstood AYE-AYE on his quest to win back the hearts of the people of Madagascar after his mischievous pranks get him banned from his favorite village and labelled bad luck. Luckily for AYE-AYE, he meets a new friend who shows him first-hand how unpleasant being scared can feel. Armed with a little empathy and compassion, it doesn’t take AYE-AYE long to figure out that being kind and helpful is the best way to turn his luck around forever. On the surface “Aye-Aye Gets Lucky” is about a misunderstood lemur finding a way to win the love of the villagers, but look deeper and it’s a story about empathy, self-acceptance, community and second chances.

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Aye-Aye is a small lemur who loves to play jokes on people, but his jokes are not much fun. They are mean jokes and often really scare the people he is playing the jokes on. Aye-Aye has big yellow eyes and long, sharp, crooked fingers. He is a pretty scary looking guy for people to see. Little children might be especially afraid of him when his would sneak up and wave his creepy hands at them. Aye-Aye has an ulterior motive. When he frightens people, they often throw food at him or drop it on the ground. Aye-Aye loves to eat, so this is a perfect result for him. But his antics get to be too much for the people in the village, and they ban Aye-Aye from the village and pass a law that says he cannot come back because Aye-Ayes are bad luck. It is not much fun for Aye-Aye to be all alone outside the village with no one to play pranks on and with no good food. He tries to think of ways he can get the village to welcome him back, but all he can think of are pranks and more pranks. Then a flying fox comes on the scene and teaches Aye-Aye a lesson about how it feels to be truly scared. Aye-Aye vows to change his ways and to find a way to get the village to accept him back. But is it too late? Can he ever gain their trust?

Author Terri Tatchell has written a truly engaging story that will keep youngsters entertained while teaching them an important lesson, but that lesson is well-hidden in a beautifully-written, rhyming text with perfect meter that will roll off the tongues of the adults reading the book aloud. There are a lot of funny touches that will have little ones giggling and keep them engaged. Aye-Aye is a fun character that kids will like and will root for as the story is read. The bright illustrations by Ivan Sulima are chock-full of delightful details that will keep youngster’s eyes on the pages searching for all the fun they can find. The charming illustrations really complete this story wonderfully. In addition, there are a couple of pages of back-matter that convey many interesting and important facts about Aye-Ayes and about Flying Foxes, which are endangered species. In addition to the facts, there are drawing lessons to allow youngsters to try their hands at drawing these two animals, and five ways to help the Aye-Aye to survive. This book is a terrific addition to any library, personal or public, and will become a favorite in a hurry.

San Francisco Book Review

Reviewed By: Rosi Hollinbeck

Author Bio:

Terri Tatchell is a Canadian writer known for her Oscar and BAFTA nominated work on ‘District 9’. Her love for animals and allegory have united in the creation of the ‘Endangered and Misunderstood’ series, giving the underdogs of endangered animals a lyrical voice filled with laughter, adventure and relatable themes.

Inspiring love and conservation for the endangered animals you’ve never heard of.

Endangered & Misunderstood is an ongoing series of picture books that takes a different approach to the serious subject of lesser known endangered animals, with an emphasis on laughter, adventure and relatable themes.

Proceeds from the sale of each book go directly to help the conservation of the featured animal.

Heart to Beat by Brian Lima MD

Gift Guide Book Suggestion #4

Book Summary:

Success is not reserved for the smartest or most talented—it’s earned by those who want it the most. Heart conquers all and the triumphant always go all in, never settling for anything less than their best effort.

As a leading heart transplant surgeon, Dr. Brian Lima’s life story is a testament to that mantra. He’s living proof that slow and steady still wins the race, and that the American Dream is alive and well. He persevered through countless challenges growing up in a Cuban immigrant family and defied the odds every step of the way. To fulfill his impossible dream, Dr. Lima opted for the road less traveled, enduring nearly twenty years of rigorous education and surgical training at some of the most prestigious institutions in the world.
In Heart to Beat, Dr. Lima shares the lessons learned throughout his improbable rise to the pinnacle of success in the medical field. He breaks down the keys to advancing well beyond your comfort zone and perceived limitations, regardless of your field of interest. No dream is too far-fetched and his Heart Way approach to life will help unleash your full potential and surpass your wildest expectations!

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In this debut book, a cardiac surgeon recounts his successful medical career and offers a guide for readers wishing to achieve triumphs in their lives as well.

From the beginning, Lima proclaims his hope to inspire people from “all walks of life,” not simply aspiring doctors. Throughout the book, he details his personal history to reveal how he overcame obstacles. After his parents and siblings fled Cuba in the late 1960s, the author was born in Kearny, New Jersey, in 1976. At an early age, he was motivated to work harder in school after he watched a friend, also from a family of immigrants, win multiple awards at their eighth grade graduation. By high school, Lima focused on academics as well as athleticism, excelling in football. His devotion to the former was how he gained acceptance to Cornell University. He recalls that he accomplished this feat with a strong work ethic. He then stresses the importance of continuing to work hard even after finding success, citing “constant motion, growth, and development” as essentials. Another key element is gravitas, which in this book essentially means being consistently levelheaded under scrutiny or pressure. This links with later points, such as remaining ambitious in the face of self-doubts and conquering fears of failure. While much of the volume involves the figurative heart, Lima allots the final pages to the literal one, discussing the “rapidly evolving field of advanced heart failure” and providing tips on promoting a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Lima deftly blends a useful guide with an absorbing autobiography; he doesn’t concentrate excessively on either one. The hardships he faced in his own life will likely elicit readers’ sympathies, including losing both parents and his family’s initially seeing his older brother’s schizophrenia as satanic possession. Although clichés at first saturate the book (“in it to win it”; “eyes on the prize”), they gradually subside as the account progresses. The author writes in an easygoing language that doesn’t condescend to readers. He’s instead humble (asserting that his above-average intelligence is not innate but the result of persistent studying) and occasionally self-deprecating (wryly mentioning his “critically acclaimed writing”). As a result, his criticisms of social media and the current culture of “safetyism” don’t come across as contemptuous. For example, he notes that the latter may adversely affect readers’ ambitions if they are too wary of taking risks. Lima playfully incorporates the volume’s main theme of putting your heart into what you do. Chapter titles, for example, typically consist of wordplay (“For the Most Heart, Gravitas is Essential”). He even includes a “handy mnemonic” for recalling the specific points of the subtitle’s “HEART Way” (Hard work; Eager or Entrepreneurial; Aligned; Resolute; Thoughtfulness). There are instances of repetition; despite a chapter on avoiding complacency, Lima repeatedly returns to this notion throughout the book (for example, doing the “bare minimum” or “just enough”). Nevertheless, the work’s short length prevents the reiterations from becoming too conspicuous.

Helpful advice from a keen, assertive, and relatable physician.

Author Bio:

Dr. Brian Lima is a cardiac surgeon, associate professor of surgery, and recognized authority in advanced heart failure. He has published nearly 80 articles in peer-reviewed medical journals and presented at numerous national and international medical conferences. As the surgical director of heart transplantation at North Shore University Hospital, Dr. Lima helped launch the first and only heart transplant program on Long Island. Dr. Lima completed his undergraduate studies at Cornell University and was awarded a Dean’s Full Tuition scholarship to attend Duke University School of Medicine. During medical school, Dr. Lima spent a year at Harvard Medical School’s Transplantation Biology Research Center as a Stanley Sarnoff cardiovascular research fellow. He then completed his general surgery residency training at Duke University Medical Center, and subsequent heart surgery training at The Cleveland Clinic, where he was awarded the prestigious Dr. Charles H. Bryan Annual Clinical Excellence Award in Cardiovascular Surgery