Welcome

Belle BWHello I’m Belinda (McGrath) Witzenhausen~in a nutshell; I am a Writer,Editor,Creativity Coach, Artist, Amateur Photographer,Online Radio Show Producer, Lover of Psychology/Neuroscience, Armchair Archaeologist, Coffee Connoisseur, Bibliophile & Hubby’s Grossly Under-Paid Bass Roadie. 😉

I have always enjoyed helping others, both my education and work history have revolved around social services and as a result, I have been blessed to cross paths with many interesting, inspiring and creative people. I love life and try to make sure that each of my days is touched by the creative process.  I make it my mission to help others heal and ignite their creativity. I also am an advocate for children and adults with special needs, chronic illness, and learning challenges.

Currently, I am working on an Urban Fantasy novel to be released  2017, am a contributing writer for various mainstream websites, main writer/creator/coach at www.IgniteYourCreativity.net, www.WriterzBlox.net, partner at Professor Owl’s Book Corner and a producer for Blogtalk’s Radio show Conscious Choices (currently on hiatus).

You can also find me here:

 

IgniteYourCreativity.net

 

ProfessorOwlsBookCorner.com

 WBLOGO

WriterzBlox

 

 Bella’s Creations

 

Personal Development Blog

 COMING SOON!

Pleased to announce the launch of our publishing company…

MCGLogoBanner

McGrath Witzenhausen Publishing! 

It’s Here! New Release from Author Sylvia Stein ( @sylvia_stein07 )

The Diary of a Broken Father

(A Prequel to Closure)

bookcover

by

Sylvia Stein

In The Diary of a Broken Father, Garrison James shares his story from his own perspective of what his life is like now that he decided to go into AA in the hopes of changing his life.   He shares the accounts of his daily struggles since his daughter Sara has left his side and what it meant for him to lose her. He is haunted by her loss and is also haunted by the memories of his beloved wife Lila whom he lost to cancer. Garrison is one broken man who is battling his demons,  himself and God.

In this novella you will hear from Garrison James as he battles through being a better man all in the hopes of reconciling with his only daughter whom he has hurt so much.

Will he be able to do it?   Is it too late for him?  What will happen next?

LISTEN TO SYLVIA’S PODCAST ABOUT THE LAUNCH OF HER NEW BOOK AND HER UPCOMING BOOK EVENT!
Click Here to Listen to Podcast
ENTER NOW TO WIN SYLVIA’S RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY!
Click here to enter Rafflecopter giveaway

the-diary-of-a-broken-father-meme

About Sylvia

sylvia_stein-pic

Sylvia Stein is an Indie published author with several anthologies with her Writer’s group 750 on linked in.  Stein obtained a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University this past July 2015.   She is a mother of three beautiful children Paul 10, Michael 9 and Consuelo 6.   She resides in the city of Fuquay Varina with her amazing husband Jeremy.  Stein has also published two solo books one was her first novella Closure which she worked on while attending SNHU and published in July of 2014 and the other her first YA Chasing Clarity was published October 2015 and it was created during National Novel Month (Nano) in 2013.     When she is not writing she enjoys time with her children and husband.  The Diary of a Broken Father will be out this February 2017.

Where to find Sylvia Online:

Website:

http://sylviawriter07.wix.com/sylvia-author

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/sylvia_stein07

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/SylWriter07/

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Sylvia-Stein/e/B00EJT3FYQ/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

http://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Clarity-Sylvia-Stein/dp/1494964724/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463014469&sr=8-1&keywords=Chasing+Clarity

http://www.amazon.com/Closure-Sylvia-Stein/dp/061590694X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463014518&sr=8-1&keywords=Closure+Sylvia+Stein

Moving Forward in February…

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” ~Maya Angelou

february

February is off to a busy start!   Just when I think I can’t get any busier…SURPRISE!!! Feeling so blessed that during the past year so many wonderful people and opportunities have come into my life.  I’m looking forward to working on a new project with an incredible group of bloggers, writers and authors …our mission is to bring a little light into the world. I’m also busy making big changes to my coaching practice, Ignite Your Creativity and my partner and I are making major changes to Professor Owl’s Book Corner.  If you add writing copy, working on my current works-in-progress, doing book reviews, volunteering and studying, I should be staying out of trouble for a while….maybe! 😉

Wherever you may be in your day or evening, I hope you’re counting your blessings not your problems!  🙂

Live, laugh & love! ❤

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

#amwriting #researching #mystery #historicalfiction #urbanfantasy #learning #studying #archaeology #forensicanthropology #history #arttherapy #coaching #art #volunteering #palaeography #transcribing #amreading #photography #blogging #authorinterviews #journaling #organizing

My Spotify Playlist ~WIP Catacombs #HistoricalFiction #Mystery

Let nothing dim the light that shines from within.” ~Maya Angelou

Be the Change..

“We but mirror the world.  All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body.  If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.  As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him.  This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

rose

Sad to say that in the past week I have unfollowed/unfriended a few people on social media who I once appreciated and deeply respected. It wasn’t their beliefs/opinions that put me off as much as it was the way they treated those who disagreed with them. These people who are professional, spiritual/religious adults seemed to take every opportunity to bait, bully and degrade other human beings. Often they were people who shared the same opinions as I do, but the way to get your opinions across is not to belittle, argue or name call. If you want to make a difference DO something. I may not post political posts or tout my beliefs on social media but I have been volunteering for a peace initiative for a few years now. I have put my energies where they can make a difference and have chosen to try to keep my feeds as positive as possible. I am not naive, I would just rather spend my time being focused on what I can change. I had been contemplating abandoning social media for a while but for me it is a connection to colleagues, family and friends whom I love and adore. This article  popped up in my feed and it seemed to be perfect timing. Hopefully others can gain something from it too ~

How To Avoid Being Psychologically Destroyed By Your Newsfeed via AnnDouglas.net

Looking for ways to make a difference? Here are links to online worldwide volunteer community resources .

https://www.onlinevolunteering.org/en ~ UNV Online Volunteering is a service by United Nations Volunteers that connects volunteers with organizations working for the betterment of human development around the world.

https://www.dosomething.org/ ~ DoSomething.org allows you to volunteer for various causes, from anywhere, at any time.

http://www.idealist.org/~ Idealist.org is a great search tool which allows you to search by location, focus area, schedule etc. for volunteer opportunities with a nonprofit focus.

http://www.volunteermatch.org/ ~ Volunteer Match links volunteers to virtual opportunities both at home and abroad.

Book Review of Midnight Curse by Melissa F. Olson ( @MelissaFOlson )

midnightcursebookcovermelissafolson

Shifters, Vampires, and Witches…oh my!

I received a complimentary ARC copy of Midnight Curse (Disrupted Magic #1) by Melissa F. Olson from NetGalley in order to read and give an honest review.

I’m new to Melissa  F.Olson’s work and I should ask myself…what was I waiting for?

I really enjoyed this book, her voice is unique, her characters interesting and a plot that kept me turning pages well into the wee hours of the morning. The protagonist is a cleaner of sorts, she cleans up magical “crime scenes” so that us mere mortals never find out about the paranormal “Old World”.  She is a “null” who can negate magical powers within a certain radius. It is a unique ability which is helpful in keeping her safe…. most of the time.

 When a former friend from Scarlett’s past, Molly, is framed for mass murder she desperately needs help to clear her name and escape the death penalty. Scarlett puts aside her baggage to save Molly, keep magic hidden and prove her innocence. With her friends, loved ones and trusty pup (okay, actually a magical monstrous Barguest) in her corner she goes against some diabolical opponents who want to keep the truth hidden at all costs.

 Scarlett Bernard has been featured in a previous series and even though I loved this book as a stand-alone I wish I had read her first series. The back story given was just enough but it made me long to go back and see what led the characters to this point in their lives.  I do plan on going back and reading the first series while I wait patiently (or not *pouts*) for the second book in the “Disrupted Magic” series.

New Release from Author Sylvia Stein ( @sylvia_stein07 )

The Diary of a Broken Father

(A Prequel to Closure)

bookcover

by

Sylvia Stein

Coming February 2017

In The Diary of a Broken Father, Garrison James shares his story from his own perspective of what his life is like now that he decided to go into AA in the hopes of changing his life.   He shares the accounts of his daily struggles since his daughter Sara has left his side and what it meant for him to lose her. He is haunted by her loss and is also haunted by the memories of his beloved wife Lila whom he lost to cancer. Garrison is one broken man who is battling his demons,  himself and God.

In this novella you will hear from Garrison James as he battles through being a better man all in the hopes of reconciling with his only daughter whom he has hurt so much.

Will he be able to do it?   Is it too late for him?  What will happen next?

the-diary-of-a-broken-father-meme

About Sylvia

sylvia_stein-pic

Sylvia Stein is an Indie published author with several anthologies with her Writer’s group 750 on linked in.  Stein obtained a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University this past July 2015.   She is a mother of three beautiful children Paul 10, Michael 9 and Consuelo 6.   She resides in the city of Fuquay Varina with her amazing husband Jeremy.  Stein has also published two solo books one was her first novella Closure which she worked on while attending SNHU and published in July of 2014 and the other her first YA Chasing Clarity was published October 2015 and it was created during National Novel Month (Nano) in 2013.     When she is not writing she enjoys time with her children and husband.  The Diary of a Broken Father will be out this February 2017.

Where to find Sylvia Online:

Website:

http://sylviawriter07.wix.com/sylvia-author

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/sylvia_stein07

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/SylWriter07/

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Sylvia-Stein/e/B00EJT3FYQ/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

http://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Clarity-Sylvia-Stein/dp/1494964724/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463014469&sr=8-1&keywords=Chasing+Clarity

http://www.amazon.com/Closure-Sylvia-Stein/dp/061590694X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463014518&sr=8-1&keywords=Closure+Sylvia+Stein

Review of The Ripper’s Shadow Laura Joh Rowland via @crookedlanebks

therippers-shadow-cover

I received a complimentary ARC copy of The Ripper’s Shadow by Laura Joh Rowland from NetGalley in order to read and give an honest review.

I have to say I loved this book. At first I was a bit leery reading another book based on the history of Jack the Ripper but this was such a fresh take on something that has been done time and time again.

In order to make ends meet Sarah Bain takes a side job shooting illegal boudoir photographs of Whitechapel’s ladies of the evening.  When her models are being slaughtered one by one by Jack the Ripper, Sarah feels she needs to stop him.  Not being able to go to the police Sarah and a group of eclectic friends put themselves in danger to try to save the rest of her models before Jack the Ripper makes another appearance.

It has it all; a fast-paced intriguing plot, dynamic characters, a touch of humor, edge of your seat scenes and some heartwarming moments between the characters. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to lose themselves in a good book.

Interview and New Release from author Lynn Hallbrooks (@ LynnHallbrooks )

lynn-hallbrooks

I’m fortunate enough to welcome back a familiar face to this site, Lynn Hallbrooks. Lynn is back to tell us about her  new book “Helpful Household Hints for the Harried Human.”

helpfulhints-cover

Welcome Back Lynn, can you give us a summary of your new book?

Helpful Household Hints for the Harried Human” is a Non-fiction book of suggestions for dealing with everyday housework.

What lead you to write this book?

I have been cooking and cleaning for a household since I was a tween and my parents divorced. I was the eldest of four children. More recently, I’ve been living with friends who have put a roof over my head in exchange for my abilities. One day it occurred to me that I should share some of what I’ve learned. So I would make mental notes while I was cooking, cleaning, or doing the laundry.

 What style did you choose?

One reviewer likened it to being a message from mom to her child setting off on their own.

Are you a mother?

Yes, I have two grown children and one grandson. I also have two godchildren who I lived with for 4 years. So I guess I’m a mother in three different ways, Mother, Grandmother, and Godmother.

Would you say you have a natural instinct to nurture?

Yes, very much so. That may be why I tend to help other authors.

I have noticed that. So where can people connect with you?

They can start by visiting the website – http://cswcllc.weebly.com/ – At the bottom of the page are icons that link to some places where I can be found on Social Media. Also each book that I’ve had a part in writing has its own page with links to where it can be found globally. Here’s the page link for Helpful Household Hints for the Harried Human: http://cswcllc.weebly.com/household-hints-global.html

Below are a couple of other places to find and connect with me:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4950577.Lynn_Hallbrooks

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+LynnHallbrooks

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LynnHallbrooks

2017 Moving Forward…

“Some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity.” ~Gilda Radner

pen

It’s the start of a new year and I’m moving forward with lessons learned and more determination than ever.   Working on new projects that I have been laying the groundwork for the past year and still in the throws of juggling two course loads; coaching (business) and history/archaeology/palaeography (academic). I will also still be writing copy, book reviews, volunteering and trying to work on my manuscripts…oh and stay sane…oops! Well that ship sailed a long time ago! 😝

Here’s to hoping 2017 turns out to be a stellar year of new beginnings for everyone!

Wherever you may be in your day or evening, I hope you’re making each and every moment matter!  🙂

Live, laugh & love! ❤

“Nothing is predestined. The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings.” ~Ralph Blum

#amwriting #researching #historicalfiction #urbanfantasy #learning #studying #archaeology #history #arttherapy #coaching #art #volunteering #palaeography #transcribing #amreading #photography #blogging #authorinterviews #journaling #organizing

My Spotify Playlist ~WIP Catacombs #HistoricalFiction #UrbanFantasy

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” -Maria Robinson

Review of “Note to Self” by Author Laurie Buchanan PhD ( @TuesWithLaurie )

 

 

Review ~ Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude & Growth

Book Cover

I recently had the pleasure to interview author Laurie Buchanan about her new book Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude & Growth and this book is now one of my favourites. If you’re looking to make changes in 2017, Note to Self  is the book for you.  This will be one of my go-to books when I need to regain harmony in my ever-changing life.  Articulate, authentic and relatable, Laurie’s book Note to Self  will resonate with so many as will her motto “whatever you are not changing, you are choosing”. Often, we are so incredibly busy or too frightened to make much needed changes in our lives and as a result, get weighed down by our “baggage” and do not live our best life possible. Note to Self breaks the focus down into “Seven Selves”: Self-preservation, Self-gratification, Self-definition, Self-acceptance, Self-expression, Self-reflection and Self-knowledge. By using a holistic approach and breaking areas of our lives into small manageable pieces Note to Self helps us focus on specific areas one at a time and makes the task of self-discovery a little less daunting.   Each section invites you to ask questions, offers advice and exercises that are thought provoking and meaningful. I particularly like the Internal Inventory Questions which help us peel back the layers and get to the heart of our baggage.

 

About Laurie

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Embracing the belief that “Life is an expression of the choices we make,” Laurie Buchanan is a teacher and student of purposeful living. With tremendous respect for the earth’s natural resources, her goal is to leave the slightest footprint on the planet, while at the same time making a lasting impression on its inhabitants—one that is positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing.

A minimalist by intent, she lives a beautiful life with fewer things—simple, yet full.

Laurie can be found online at Tuesdays With LaurieTwitterFacebookGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Just wanted to wish everyone who celebrates….

christmas-2017

a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Wishing you and yours all the love and joy the season has to offer.

I will be back in the new year with some exciting news …stay tuned!

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