Strange (But Good) Book Reviews

Being someone who likes to write and to read books in a certain, well, strange sort of category, I have teamed up with a friend to bring the unsuspecting world a new concept in book review websites – yes folks – Strange Book reviews. The official launch will be towards the end of this week but as usual, I am impatient to hurl this at the world and see if it works! Take a look.

In looking for book reviews for my own novel – The Last Observer – I discovered that there really aren’t many sites that review occult books. This is a crime against humanity I thought and one that should immediately be rectified. And so I did.

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Here is the About Us section to further explain;

We like strange books – that is books with topics that include the following,

Non-fiction
Occult
Metaphysics
Esoteric Science
Tarot
Kabbalah
Crystals
Water divining
Hermetics
Life after death
Astral projection
Time
Gods and goddesses
Pagan
Wicca
Esoteric christianity/Islam
Fiction
Real magic novels
Novels that also teach something esoteric (e.g. Dion Fortune, Celestine Prophecy)

If your book fits into the above or similar, you are welcome to ask us for a review. Self-published books also welcome.

Our Reviews

Our reviews are paid. We offer two types of service as follows;

Basic Book Informational posting – $15
Written review – $30

For a basic book informational posting please provide us with some information about your book and you. This should include ISBN and publisher details and a link to the book on Amazon.com. We will post a photo and description of your book along with links to the Amazon purchase page. Your listing will remain on our site without a time limit.

For a written review, please send us a paperback or hardback of your book to the address listed. We will read the book and post a review within 30-days of receiving the hardcopy of the book. We cannot guarantee a favourable review but we can guarantee an honest review. Please don’t be offended if the review is not as brilliant as you might wish for.

So there you go… I am adding a bunch of reviews right now to the site….. Take a peek why don’t you!

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Fall Cometh

The temperatures dropped significantly on Sunday – from in the 20’s to 7C today. The leaves of the trees outside my window are beginning to discolor and even fall already along with the conkers that my daughter loves to collect. Fall cometh.

Actually, I quite like Autumn. The colors and the earthy smells. The damp and even the cold.

We used to go camping right up to November when I was a boy and the final camping weekend was always down near Goole by the River Humber. By the first weekend in November, many trees are already laid bare and leaves blew around in large numbers or lay in damp heaps sticky and wet. The air had a chill in it and by the relative warmth of a major estuary like the Humber there was mist and fog at dusk and dawn. There was always magic in the air along with the fireworks. Yes, it was cold in a tent but somehow it was snug too in the darkness and the thick softness of the blankets and sleeping bags.

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Its very flat in that part of the world too. Partly forested and partly ploughed muddy fields, there was plenty of walking to do and plenty of branches to collect for the bonfire. The smell of the smoke after dark always added to that magic that I felt.

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Yes, there is a sadness that summer has once more somehow ended. The warmth and the promise of vacations in paradise are now forlorn memories. But what lies ahead is also full of beauty and magic as the natural cycle of things continues as it should.

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Six Weeks of Eigg

As an undergrad Geology student you have to undertake what’s called a field mapping project at the end of year 2. The field mapping project is essentially about spending 6-weeks out at some location trying to understand the geology and make a geological map. It’s great fun. I chose the Island of Eigg to do mine….

Eigg? I hear you ask. Where is that?

Well, it’s an island off the west coast of Scotland below the Island of Skye. At the time I was there, it had about 50 inhabitants mostly living in the south of the small Island. I ‘lived’ on the north end of the island and sometimes I didn’t see anyone for days on end…..

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I took two tents there as my intention was to camp. After day one, the first blew down snapping a pole and after day 3, tent 2 was also uninhabitable. Camping on the old monastery’s grave yard wasn’t my cup of tea really anyway. I found an inhabitant with a caravan willing to rent it to me for the remainder of the stay.

Somehow, it was an idyllic time for me. I had quite a few strange experiences on the island that are discussed in my book Inner Journeys and I won’t repeat here. Being alone on a beautiful but windswept island was simply amazing. For the first 3-weeks, I truly was isolated and alone and somehow you think. Really think when alone like that. You think with an intensity that mostly isn’t there. I would like to repeat the experience one day just for that ability to think.

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Towards the end of my stay, I did meet a few folk. I started helping a fisherman in the mornings on his boat pulling in his lobster nets. I went to the island dance and met a bunch of people my age who were also there for the summer helping out on the estate. My father joined me for a week at the end and we shared a precious week as father and son nonstop talking about geology, life, and all the other stuff you discuss with your Dad. We climbed the mountain and walked the coastline. We made fires on the beach and we checked out rocky inlets for pretty stones and rocks. It was a week I shall never forget and nor did he.

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Discover the island – now much changed I might say – via its website.

By the way – my field mapping project went pretty good too. I won the Department prize for the best project in my year!

9-11… It’s my Daughter’s Name Day

Today is 9-11 and my 6-year old daughter’s name day. In the Czech Republic, everyone has a name day – except me. My name is too English unfortunately to appear on the calendar (it does however, appear on the Slovak Republic’s Dog Name Calendar…..:-))

A few years ago though, 9-11 meant something quite different to me…..

I walked into my office in The Woodlands, TX that morning shouting a cheery “Hello,” as I passed other’s office doors. One of the other business owners looked up at me as I walked by. He looked shocked and pale. I stopped.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“Have you seen the news?” he asked.

“No, why?”

“A plane has crashed into a building in New York,” he replied.

I didn’t quite know what to say. A plane? What sort of plane? What building in New York anyway?

I unlocked my office suite and went in to look at CNN online. By now, not one but two planes had crashed into The World Trade Center apparently. I put on the radio. Could this be real?

As I listened and watched to events unfold that morning I was only grateful that I had decided not to attend the big financial conference at The World Trade Center that day. I immediately worried about my NY-based colleague who just might have gone along. He though answered his email pretty much straight away. He too had not gone there…..
By mid-morning, I went home. I surely knew some of the people in that building. I drank gin and tonic and sat glued to the TV for the rest of the day.

The world changed that day.

Additional security, new laws that affect US citizens living overseas in a very intrusive way, wars and then more wars and a new enemy. An insidious threat from what appear to be ordinary people who through their inability to understand the central theme of ‘love’ in their religion have decided to hate instead. Sad.

Today is 9-11. It’s my daughter’s name day. It’s a day for us to be happy and celebrate her existence while quietly remembering the horror of another 9-11 and knowing that we need to all work to change a reality in which people can hate so much they will kill and maim.

Sword of Destiny

There is a day every author enjoys more then others and that day is when you finally hold in your hands the product of your long and loving labour…. the book! Yesterday was the day this happened for my friend and co-author of The Mystical Hexagram – Sue Vincent. I know that Sue had worked long and hard on her novel – Sword of Destiny – and the result is now available to share with everyone. Sue asked me to read and review the novel a few months ago and I was honored to do so.

In Sword of Destiny, Sue has written a beautifully magical story set in her beloved Yorkshire. Each of the main characters in her story experiences personal growth through a sharing a thrilling and magical adventure. It’s a heartwarming tale that is full of unexpected twists and turns. Sue writes with a real grasp of the human side of people which is expressed lovingly in the personalities of her heroes and the recognizable characters that they interact with. The power and essence of her story is found in the admixture of her undoubted love of Yorkshire, her ability to see the warm and the good in all folk, and her knowledge of the magical forces one can find at work in such places and between such folk. An inspired piece of writing that keeps your attention until the very last page.

Sword of Destiny is available in Kindle and Paperback form from Amazon and should be on every magician’s wishlist. I wish Sue every success with this book. As she says in her own words “the proof copy of Sword of Destiny makes me smile.” All authors love the feeling of that finished product in their hands but they all like even better the idea of their book being in someone else’s hands – the readers.

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…and the swords must be found and held by their bearers lest the darkness find a way into the heart of man. Ask the waters to grant guidance and tell the ancient Keeper of Light that it is time to join battle for the next age.”

Rhea Marchant heads north to the wild and beautiful landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales where she is plunged into an adventure that will span the worlds. The earth beneath her feet reveals its hidden life as she and her companions are guided by the ancient Keeper of Light in search of artefacts of arcane power. With the aid of the Old Ones and the merry immortal Heilyn, the company seek the elemental weapons that will help restore hope to an unbalanced world at the dawn of a new era.

Set in the ancient beauty of the Yorkshire Dales, Sword of Destiny weaves the tale of a small band of friends brought together as a new age of Man unfolds. Through their personal quests, through friendship, love and laughter, they learn to see the world with a clearer vision as they battle creatures of ancient myth and legend, under the aegis of the Keeper.

What you waiting for? Grab yourself a copy now!

Who Wants An Apocalypse?

Is it just me that grows weary (understatement) of those people who are all of the time posting end of the world doom and gloom stories? The internet is rife with these scare mongers (who half the time are promoting their recent book on the same subject and surely don’t believe a word of their own nonsense but rather hope that you will buy their book and line their posckets). Many are ‘born again’ types who seem to believe they will be bodily removed from the Earth as the rest of us die an ugly and prolonged death for our sins. The arrogance of these people is unbelievable.

Let’s get something straight. For as long as history has been written, people have been seeing the signs of the End. Yet, that End has never arrived – at least not in the form envisaged. If you go online and find someone peddling one doomsday scenario you will quickly find that they are peddling and have been peddling end of the world nonsense for years already – always wrong but always ready with a new story to cause fear. I really would like to be charitable to humanity but people are you really this gullable? are you really ready to be taken in by all sorts of ridiculous garbage such as found on the internet? Surely not?

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I can only surmise that many people actually want an apocalypse. The born again types do because they think they are off to heaven to spend eternity in pretty white blouses and matching wings singing hymns of praise. Reminds me of the terrorists who happily set off bombs to kill and maim sure in the knowledge they are about to get to heaven and screw a bunch of virgins for eternity. Both groups are absolutely insane and in times of better social welfare would have been carried off by men in white coats in vans with square wheels to some secure location where they couldn’t harm themselves further.

There is this view as well, that if there were to be a nuclear war, people would survive. It seems as if the people who talk about this stuff really do see it as an opportunity. I must conclude that education is an issue here. No one survives a nuclear holocaust and only an insane person would want to to be die a slow and horrible death poisoned by radioactivity. This weekend a friend of mine described a program he had seen about people who believe they can ready themselves for survival. One man was expecting to be able to find his stashed money, food and clothing using GPS on his cell phone! I’m not even going to comment on that stupidity.

Thanks to China Daily for this one….
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Let’s get a couple of things straight shall we?

1. We are living in a time of change and its difficult for people to experience change but the change we are going through is significantly more like a growing awareness of our plight and growing understanding of our ability to create reality (see, for example, Apocalypse-How for a clue or two)

2. If enough people want the end of the world then they will make it happen – that’s how reality works.

So, if you don’t mind, I am going to imagine a really great world and I ask you all to do the same. Let’s create something good. It’s so much harder to create something positive and good and so much easier to make up totally ridiculous stories regarding our demise….So, let’s all work a little harder shall we?

A New way To Pray?

In between work items yesterday, I found myself watching a video on Youtube that claimed to be a new way to pray. a more effective way to pray. It wasn’t a long video and it featured someone being interviewed about this radical new discovery. The key to prayer is not asking for something because when you ask for something you simply confirm that it doesn’t exist in your reality. No, what you do is IMAGINE it already is.

This wasn’t an occultist or magician talking but it might as well have been. I recently wrote about imagination on my other blog. Imagination is the engine room of magic. Its the engine room of reality. It is the engine room of our very existence. It is imagination without any frontier that creates. It creates not just in terms of inventions and ideas but it creates in the plastic substrate on which reality is based and then manifests on the physical plane.

To digress a little, The Last Observer, carries this as a theme in that Stanley, our everyday hero, has an imagination of such intensity and value that black magicians are trying to recruit him and that imagination to alter reality. While this is just a novel, I wrote it for a reason and that was to share these ideas in a palatable way.

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It is all coming together. People are waking to the fact that imagination creates reality. Magicians have known this for milenia. Physicists are having to accept it. Even street hustler’s have caught on and instead of selling snake oil and love potions they are out there selling ‘The Secret’. It’s no secret. It’s how things work.

So next time you pray, meditate or whatever it is you do. Imagine. Imagine so intently you are there already. See it, hear, smell it…… We can change this world for the better. It starts by imagining it better. It’s the new way to pray!

“Imagination is the eye of the soul.”
Joseph Joubert (1754-1824), French philosopher.

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
Albert Einstein (1879-1955), German mathematician and physicist.

“Man consists of body, mind and imagination. His body is faulty, his mind untrustworthy, but his imagination has made him remarkable.”
John Masefield (1874-1967), English writer.

(The above quotes selected from – http://www.artlex.com/ArtLex/ij/imagination.html