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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Sheik's Rule - Release Day!

Today the first book in the Desert Justice series is being released.  Sheik's Rule is on store shelves, online and brick and mortar, wherever Harlequin Intrigue are sold.

He's an investigator on a mission, but it's impossible to ignore the brilliant woman helping him complete it… 
His sister's life is at stake, and despite his wealth and power, Sheik Emir Al-Nassar feels helpless. At least heading his family's security agency provides him with resources to track down her kidnappers. But when the ace profiler he's sent turns out to be K. J.—Kate—Gelinsky, Emir is furious. Finding the kidnappers' desert hideout is dangerous enough without the distraction of a beautiful woman. 
But K.J. is unlike any woman he's ever known. Her fearlessness and incisive mind inspires Emir's admiration. And her compassion breaches his guarded heart. Still, rescuing his sister is a perilous mission. And allowing desire to cloud his focus could endanger them all. 

I'm excited to have Emir tell his story.  He's the oldest of the Al-Nassar siblings and for years he and his twin have shouldered the responsibility of keeping his family together since his parents tragic passing when he was in his early twenties.  In fact, being too serious is what gets him into trouble with his heroine, Kate.  When his sister is kidnapped he recruits help and when he discovers she's female he reacts in a way that puts him immediately at odds with her.  But the two of them together prove to be a powerful combination as they race the clock to find Emir's sister before it's too late.

Setting plays a large role in any story and can be a character in its own rite.  It can act as an antagonist or protagonist as it helps or hinders the hero.  Morocco I found was a powerful setting that really affected the direction of the story.

I loved the setting of Morocco, roaming the streets of Marrakech - exploring the Medina and heading into the Sahara.  It's an amazing place that I visited once a long time ago but would love to explore again.   Memory only takes you so far because after all, the characters needed today's Morocco not yesteryears.  But research found some interesting sites and great information, and found me a new site to follow on Twitter - Magical Morocco.

So, the paperback version is out (e-book comes out April 1).  Copies are available at most bookstores and, of course online at:  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ITunes and Kobo.


And, there's more...

Mark your calendars and follow the by clicking here.  That will take you to the Goddess Fish site, scroll down for a list of the participating blogs.  Drop by, enter a comment, ask a question or just say hi.  I'll be hopping from blog to blog all day.  And there's a prize to one reader at the end of the day,  a $20 Amazon gift certificate.

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There's always lots going on and while I don't cover all of it here on the blog, most of it is in the newsletter that gets mailed out whenever there's news.  Plus, there's usually an exclusive contest and really, I do try to be a bit entertaining.  So, if you haven't signed up for my newsletter, The Walkabout - now is the time to stop missing out, sign up here:  Signup to The Walkabout 


Ryshia

www.ryshiakennie.com

Coming soon; Book 2, 3 and 4 of the Desert Justice Series.







Monday, January 30, 2017

"Choices and Illusions" - Audio Version

I’m excited to say that the audio version of Eldon Taylor’s book “Choices and Illusions”, has just been released.  While I've read the print version, the audio was a special treat.  I could listen as I walked and the smooth voice of the reader seemed to bring a new perspective to some of the ideas presented in this book.  It is a book that can't be read and set aside but must be picked up again, to remember various aspects and to learn to incorporate some of what is learned in daily life.  

Here's my latest review, the star rating didn't change - five stars.  What did change?  I like to think that I got more out of the book, the second time around.  This isn't a book you read and put aside but rather a reference to improve your life.  To reflect that, the wording of my review changed from the original, after all I like to think that I've grown and changed since that first post.  

"Choices and Illusions" provides an excellent base to begin the exploration of the unseen but very real conditioning within society that shapes the basis of our beliefs and ultimately our personalities.  The story of a hawk who is raised by chickens and therefore believes that is what he is, is a jumping off point to enlighten us as to how powerful our beliefs can be.  It provides the tools necessary to begin harnessing the powers of your mind instead of letting it run unfettered and potentially controlled by the power of hidden beliefs foisted on us by others.  And more importantly, it provides telling evidence that the mind is the one thing that can be changed and by doing so can change everything from health to personality and even IQ.

How many things do we believe because of conditioning and life experience?  How true are these beliefs and how do they create who we become?  How can others use these beliefs to their advantage?

It is questions like these that might make you pause and consider some of the beliefs you'd held without thought.  Eldon takes us on an unforgettable journey into the power of the mind.

Occasional quotes from some of the great thinkers of our times, along with an easy style of prose and a reader with a smooth voice make the audio version of "Choices and Illusions" an engaging version of this insightful book.


Q and A with Eldon


You came from a fascinating background.  How did you get inspired to write your books?

As a practicing criminalist, nearly every day I saw someone, who had a world of potential, blow it over some silly stupid notion.  Perhaps they stole from their employer and rationalized it away since in their minds the employer was a bum who treated and paid them unfairly.  The fact is, every perpetrator of a criminal act can tell you why they did it and when you stand back, their answers are justifications more than reasons.

It became clear to me that many people were making choices that were simply self-sabotaging.  Not just those who committed crimes, but the average person on the street.  at a certain point in my career, I became acutely aware of just how persistent this characteristic was with so many folks and the question became, "Why?"  Answering that question changed my life, as well as my vocation and led to the research and books that I publish today.

In your book, Choices and Illusions, you say that our choices are not our own.  What do you mean by
that?

Research clearly shows that there is activity in the subconscious before a conscious thought occurs.  In other words, our so-called conscious thoughts are given to us by our subconscious.  My work has shown that it is this subconscious information that dictates the kind of life we will experience.  Change truly must happen from the inside out. We must choose to take control of everything we put into our minds.

How can we uncover our true potential?  Is mastering our mind the key to our happiness?

The Buddha is credited with saying, "We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think."  Science supports this assertion today whole-heartedly.  Indeed, not long ago I attended a CEU for health care professionals dealing with the latest in neurological research.  There were some powerful concluding remarks, but the bottom line take away is one that is particularly relevant here.  Let me digress just a bit first.  When I attended University, the prevailing thinking asserted rather axiomatically that personality became fixed early in life, ages 4 to 6, IQ was fixed, brain cells begin to die and do not replace themselves somewhere beginning in our thirties, and so forth.  All of this is patently untrue!  Today the research shows us that among the best things we can do to improve our lives is change our personalities.  We know IQ is not fixed and indeed, the brain is amazing!  Voila, today we become excited about the possibilities inherent to euro plasticity.  So now fast forward to those concluding remarks and the big take away.  YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN CHANGE BUT YOU CAN ONLY CHANGE WHAT YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN CHANGE!


Eldon Taylor's Bio

Eldon has made a lifelong study of the human mind and has earned doctoral degrees in psychology and metaphysics.  He is president of Progressive Awareness Research, an organization dedicated to researching techniques for accessing the immense powers of the mind.  For more than 20 years, he has approached personal empowerment from the cornerstone perspective of forgiveness, gratitude, service and respect for life.

"Choice is an illusion.  Do I do this--do I do that--all of this arises out of confusion.  I can only choose when I'm confused.  When I know clearly, there is no choice."  Eldon Taylor



This is a thought-provoking book that has the potential to change your life.  I'd recommend reading this or any of Eldon's other works.  If you'd like to know more about Eldon Taylor or any of his publications you can find him at his website:  www.eldontaylor.com.  His books are all available at most bookstores and online.  He also hosts a two hour radio show each week called Provocative Enlightenment.  There's more about that on his website at:  www.provocativeenlightenment.com


Ryshia

www.ryshiakennie.com


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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Sheik's Rule - Cover Reveal

2017 is here!  Yes, I know we're into the second week of the year but let's just say that I was run over by the Christmas tree.   Having crawled out from beneath that to find good, no wait - great, news!  The first in the Desert Justice series, Sheik's Rule, is counting down to it's release:  April 1, 2017

The Sheiks are here - young, hot, wealthy and ready to take on the world!

The Desert Justice Series - four sheiks - four nail-biting stories twined with a romance that may have you aching for more.
From the heart of the Sahara Desert to the Plains of Wyoming - love and Danger Collide...

The Al-Nassar brothers have it all.  Four young sheiks who hold power and wealth in their hands.  Their powerhouse investigative company, Nassar Security uncovers crime and protects lives across the globe.  Follow these daring brothers from Morocco to Wyoming as in case after case they take it to the edge and back.  But, no strangers to danger... they're not prepared for love.

Let's begin it all with the eldest - Emir Al-Nassar...
                      



He's an investigator on a mission, but it's impossible to ignore the brilliant woman helping him complete it… 
His sister's life is at stake, and despite his wealth and power, Sheik Emir Al-Nassar feels helpless. At least heading his family's security agency provides him with resources to track down her kidnappers. But when the ace profiler he's sent turns out to be K. J.—Kate—Gelinsky, Emir is furious. Finding the kidnappers' desert hideout is dangerous enough without the distraction of a beautiful woman. 
But K.J. is unlike any woman he's ever known. Her fearlessness and incisive mind inspires Emir's admiration. And her compassion breaches his guarded heart. Still, rescuing his sister is a perilous mission. And allowing desire to cloud his focus could endanger them all. 

Excerpt from Sheik's Rule:

“You’re the new agent?” he asked, the words heavy with disbelief. “You’re the one Adam recommended?”

“Yes,” she said brightly. “I’m K.J.—”

“This won’t work,” he said. His thoughts were clouded with anger at the thought of what Adam had done, of how much time might be wasted, and of Tara whose life would be fur- ther endangered now that there was no help forthcoming.

Her wide, smoky-blue eyes narrowed. “By ‘this,’” she said slowly, “you mean me?” She took a step forward. Now she was in his face.

He frowned. If she were a man that would have been a mistake. But she was no man.

“That’s what you were meaning, wasn’t it?  I’m not a man so...” She let the remainder of the sentence hang.

He paused long enough to take a breath to control the anger that made him want to lash out at someone, anyone. “You need to get on the first flight home,” he said through clenched teeth.

“Give me a chance.” There was no hesitation in her voice or in her stance as she faced off with him, her head up, her eyes sparking as if enjoying the challenge.

“It’s not me that’s the problem or needs to give you a chance,” he said. All he could feel was the pressure of an invisible clock ticking and the betrayal of a friend thousands of miles away. Adam knew the customs, the inherent sexism that still wove through the ancient tra- ditions of the desert tribes. He knew it all and, still, he had sent her.

“I know,” she interjected. “It’s the customs, the tribes outside the city, the—”

“It won’t work,” he interrupted, thinking of the desert and where he suspected Tara’s kidnappers were hiding. He’d always been an equal opportunity employer and supported his sister, Tara, in her fight for change. It was a man’s world. It didn’t matter how much he disliked the fact, it was a truth that, for now, wouldn’t change. 

“Look, I know what I’m getting into. I’m qualified,” she said, her bag swinging from her shoulder, her eyes bright with passion. “I specialized in Middle Eastern studies—an exchange student.” She waved one delicate, well- manicured hand at him.

Just looking at that hand confirmed every doubt he had. It wasn’t just about customs, she was female and because of that and so many other things, she was the wrong person for the job.

“I’ll help you find your sister. You just need to trust me.”

“No!” The word came out with all the pent- up fury that had built since the fateful call from Tara’s kidnappers and now the full im- pact of it sparked in his eyes as his temple pounded and his fists clenched. “No,” he said with less edge but with no room for negotiation. He was wasting time, had wasted time, first waiting and now in a senseless airport run. “I don’t care what you specialized in. You’re a woman and because of that you’re going home,” he said bluntly. “I’ve wasted enough time. I’ll speak to the pilot and we’ll get you out of here.”

“You’re not being fair.”

“I’m not being fair,” he repeated, emphasizing each word. If she’d been a man he would have had her by the collar up against the wall, his face in hers. But she wasn’t and that was the problem. “You’re useless to me. I’d have to watch out for both you and me. That’s a distraction. Look at you—you couldn’t swing a punch or...”

One minute he was seething, glaring at her, and the next he was flat on his back.

“You bloody flipped me,” he snarled, leaping to his feet. 


Ryshia Kennie
ryshiakennie.com

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Monday, December 19, 2016

On the Road Again

It's interesting how my office can change from - serious office at home to on the road office - or holiday office.  The last few months have been a small office with the desk being a TV table.  I meant to upgrade that but somehow, it never happened.  I wasn't ready to put out the money for the short-term investment.  But in that office I finished a book, and the edits on two others, never mind some ideas for future projects.

We were in Arizona for the fall, enjoying a break from the dreary prairie fall weather that can be rain, sleet or full out winter weather and back again.   But now it's time to head home where my real office awaits - with reference books and space - yes, there's benefits to going home.

Today we headed through New Mexico after an overnight in Albuquerque.  I love the feel and look of New Mexico.  What I don't like is the endless stream of semis heading to and
from Albuquerque.  That aside, the New Mexico landscape is vast, wild and oddly prehistoric.  The towering cliffs and red rock, the wind swept plans, all of it seems to hold a story.  It's a place, I often think I'd like to stay for awhile, maybe enough time to write a book.  We'll see what the future brings.

In the meantime, it's further north and to Colorado where we meet what I've avoided right until the last days of fall - snow.  Snow arrives much earlier than the official date of winter, still a few days away but for today, the snow cover is minimal and the roads are clear.  Although the mountains looked glorious under a fresh coat of snow.  But then, a mountain is kind of like the best looking girl in the room - they can wear anything and still look spectacular.

Castle Rock is today's stop.  It is part of the urban sprawl leading into Denver.  Urban sprawl is an ugly word but Castle Rock is saved from that by the backdrop of snowcapped mountains that surrounds it.  Castle Rock is an easy stop before hitting Denver and then on to one of my favourite places, Fort Collins.  But Denver and Fort Collins are tomorrow - for today there's a little bar I can see from my window.  A cold glass of beer after a tiring day where I got to be the backseat driver (how tiring is that) and I sat in the front seat (confusing yet?).

Tomorrow, it's on to Wyoming.  I've travelled this route before but there's always something new on the open road.  Fingers crossed the weather holds.




Ryshia
www.ryshiakennie.com





Friday, December 16, 2016

Road Trip - Life Through A Different Lens

Our trip south is winding to a close and its soon time to head north and home where wishing for snow isn't part of my reality.  Christmas, except for one strange year, is always white.  The escape south has  been a good time.  It's a vacation but not really - more like a change of view from my office window.  My work day has been flexed around having fun.  That means getting up well before sunrise, which I regularly do but now it's just a bit earlier on almost every morning.  By the time the lights on neighbouring houses go on, I've already gone through a cup of coffee and a few hours of work.

The other day was different.  I was up early, the other houses, as usual, were in darkness.  But  I wasn't up early for work but for a road trip.  And as we pulled out of the driveway with the other houses in darkness excitement ran through me.


Our first stop was the Desert Museum just outside of Tucson.  This is a place we've wanted to see since our first trip down here over a handful of years ago when our trips south began.  They began because we were feeling landlocked as our Irish Terrier, Rourke,  was no longer young and we couldn't hit the road without him.  That limited our choices and had us come up with the plan for a road trip south.  Year one we arrived at the Desert Museum with the temperature perfect to leave him in the car for a short period of time.  We always made sure that we checked on him regularly and only left him when the temperature was well below seventy - and of course warm enough in the other direction.  But the signs clearly stated that no dogs should be left in the car no matter what the temperature - they'd break the glass to get them out, or so the sign threatened.  Frightening that such drastic measures had to be considered.  Who would leave their dog in hot weather - and no matter the weather, for any length of time?  Anyway, sometimes they have temporary kennels on such tourist sites but there was none of that.  The Desert Museum was a go no that year  and in a number of years that followed.  Until this year.  Sadly - we lost Rourke last fall.

So this year we arrive - me with a bit of trepidation.  I know there are animals here and i'm not sure how or what they're living conditions will be.  I'll be truthful, I don't like zoos.  So I was a little hesitant about what this might be about.  And while there were aspects of it I didn't like, what I did was that the animals all came there because they were injured and required rehab.  Once that was complete they remained there in habitats where a lot of effort had been made to make them as natural as possible.  Here, the mountain lion was majestically relaxed and clearly in his element.

The high point was the raptor demonstration
where the birds flew free on the command of their trainer.  It was amazing to see these birds flying just over our heads, catching prey and then returning to their handler on command.


Then it was on to Tubac, Arizona population 1,191 in the 2010 census.  The size alone and the few reviews had us expecting not a whole lot but it was on the way.  We were completely blown over - there was so much more than the little we'd expected.  The place was small but so eclectic and filled with artists and their work along with boutique shops bringing in unique and good quality crafts, clothing and accessories.  It was a shoppers dream  There wasn't enough time and one day I'm going to have to go back.  An hour and a half was all we had.  Way more in the day than hours in the day allowed - this will be a place marked as check it out again, spend an overnight.  Check out the funky cafes, the amazing art and the culture that ran like a live wire through this small town.

Next, we had planned
Tumacacori
to see San Xavier del Bac but there wasn't enough time before it closed at five.  So there was another heritage site right outside town - Tumac├ícori is an older but smaller site.  We headed there.

By the time we left the site, it was dark but the freeway was crowded with rush hour traffic as
Peas and carrots from a can - winter memories!
we reached downtown Tucson.  After an hour of bumper to bumper traffic we hit open road once again and stopped in Coolidge in a little cafe - best described as a hole in the wall.  The counter and stools were not only reminiscent of fifties or sixties era but the worn linoleum confirmed that this cafe had aged in place.  The chicken fried steak and huge clot of gravy only completed the whole ambience.  Add to that, that it's been a long time since I've had canned peas.  I remember now, as a child, why I disliked peas that didn't come straight from the garden and was reminded of winter and canned peas.  But despite that small gripe, it and all the experiences of that day were invaluable.  They are what paint the layers on life and make it a rich and intense experience.  It might not have been a good meal but it was filling and the ambience was priceless rather like road trips!

Ryshia
www.ryshiakennie.com





Sunday, December 4, 2016

Winslow, Arizona

I'm still playing catchup and moving backward to the last night on the road.

Waiting area for the train.
We spent that night in Winslow, Arizona in an old railway hotel that was turn of the century cool.  Not being a fan of the Eagles' song that has seemed to make Winslow famous, I was definitely a fan of that hotel.  And update, I came away a fan of the song too - somehow knowing something about the origins of a song makes you appreciate it that much more.  But back to the hotel, again wasn't sure what to expect.  A single room in an old hotel with no elevator is not something that comes with high expectations.  I envisioned lugging my suitcase up stairs - I was right there, in a dark and dingy - wrong on that one.

Very wrong...

The room was a comfortable size and old world elegance with furnishings that were both funky and old.  Full bookcases in the room and out.  A writer's dream!  Outside the room, the common areas were spacious and decorated with everything from art displays and reading nooks - even a memorial table for what I assume were once the resident dogs.  The hotel was an amazing place.  It's still is a drop off and pick up place for the railroad and there's a waiting area outside where you can sit comfortably waiting for the next train.  There was part of two floors that held entertainment for the guests From the funky grand piano to the paintings depicting stories behind each of the women who have been the United State's first ladies.  That was fascinating

stuff in the odd facts that were revealed and how the artist made the emotion real on the canvas.  And my favourite part - each room was dedicated to a famous person and a one page write up of their life was on the door - from the Doublemint twins to Betty Grable, if someone had opened their door they would have caught me lurking outside as I moved from door to door reading each of the write ups.  Fascinating stuff - too many to read them all though and I was feeling just a little creepy standing outside someone's door like that - even though it was really an innocent activity, really.

Then there was the reason for being here - we'd just missed the Take it Easy convention.  Yes, there is such a thing.  So the crowds have moved on but I still needed the picture.  The one beside the truck and of course then there were the requisite souvenirs.  Did I mention I'm not much into the song?  But once you're here you just fall into the mood of it all with Take it Easy and everything Eagles belting out from every store bracketing the area, the mood has been laid.

Well, I’m a standing on a corner 
in Winslow, Arizona, 
and such a fine sight to see. 
It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed Fordslowin’ down to take a look at me. 
Come on, baby, don’t say maybe. 
I gotta know if your sweet love is 
gonna save me. 
We may lose and we may winthough we will never be here again. 
So open up, I’m climbin’ in, 
so take it easy.

Excerpt from the Washington Post





And in other news!

There's a sale on!  If you haven't read my first two books, From the Dust and Ring of Desire, head on over to your fave online bookstore where they're on sale for 99 cents!  

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Ryshia
www.ryshiakennie.com