Thank you to Netgallery for my free copy in exchange for an honest review. What an informative and interesting book. There’s just SO MUCH information to take in from these pages, it’s well researched, with lots of information on how the Aztecs, indigenous, African and Latin ancestors made use of the Sun and Moon to survive, and how we can today use our ancestor’s knowledge to improve our quality of life. My only problem was the organisation of this book, but let’s get into the review.
A practical guide to ancient Mesoamerican solar and lunar rites for healing and transformation
• Details shamanic rituals and practices for each period of the day, including dawn, sunrise, noon, sunset, and midnight, to best harness the energies of the sun, night sun, and moon for specific purposes, such as divination, journeying with animal spirit guides, or spiritual wisdom
• Incorporates shamanic breathwork, dreamwork, mantra chanting, mudras, dancing and movement, toning, chakra work, crystals, herbs, and limpias (shamanic cleanses)
• Explores how nighttime energies are affected by the phases of the moon, offering specific practices for each phase
Ancient Mesoamerican shamans and modern practitioners of curanderismo–a Latin American shamanic healing practice–divide each day and night into distinct periods based on the sacred rhythms of the sun and moon, with each time offering opportunities to connect with specific celestial energies for healing and transformation.
In this hands-on guide to working with the sacred energies of the sun, night sun, and moon, curandera Erika Buenaflor details the rites, rituals, and deities for each part of the day and night and explores the sacred tools and techniques used by ancient Mesoamerican shamans for harnessing solar and lunar energies. She explains how the sun is the source of soul energy that heals, animates, strengthens, and revitalizes us on many levels, while night energies are transformative and conducive for connecting with nonordinary realms. She explores rituals for dawn, sunrise, and midmorning to harness the energies of creation and new beginnings; for noon and afternoon to promote peak strength and spiritual wisdom; for sunset and dusk to bring about transformation, perform divination, and journey with animal spirit guides; and for midnight and predawn to facilitate shamanic dreamwork, connect with the ancestors, make offerings, and regenerate at the deepest levels. She also explores how nighttime energies are affected by the phases of the moon and offers specific practices for each phase.
By intentionally tuning our activities to the rhythms of the sun and moon, we can invite in their sacred energies of abundance and healing for more healthy, creative, mindful, and happy lives.
Kim’s Review 4 Very Informative and Practical Stars
I must admit, when I picked up this book I was hoping that it would be more of a reference book, as in, I could personally flip to the parts of interest or need, read, and apply. Then ‘rinse and repeat’ and that’s exactly what I got. This book has A LOT of info, and I think to read it cover to cover would just be overload, especially for a newbie to the subject. It’s very deep and I loved it! So for those with philosophical minds I recommend it. It’s generally really good for reference. The beginning chapters I did read all of, to get a good understanding of the research done, and the information download from ‘the ancestors’, and how they worked. Also, the first introductory chapters focus on how the Sun and Moon were viewed from their point of view, and how they were attached to certain deities. Very interesting. Here’s what I loved generally.
Detail- the level of detail is like none other I have come across on this subject, and I’ve read a lot of esoteric books on the Sun and Moon. I found that the detail is however focused on the Aztec people or the Ancient Mesoamerican shamans. Being from Afro-Caribbean descent myself, I found that their POV was very similar to my own ancestors when I compared it, and this was comforting. I also liked that this is not an ‘astrology’ book, as a qualified astrologer I loved that the Sun and Moon are discussed for what they are from an ancestor’s POV, rather than an astrology view point.
Practicality- there seems to be so much here that you can practically apply, easily just based on the time of day! I found that the author has made this a very easy to apply book. Also, I felt like the author did not ‘force’ things on readers ‘ you must do this’, generally I got the feel that it was valid information, ‘this is what you can do with it practically, should you wish’.
Break down of the Sun and Moon’s energies- This was my favourite part of the book, as the author clearly shows the differences between dawn, sunrise, high- noon, afternoon etc for the Sun and what activities, manifestations or practical things could be suited to their energies to help better your life! The same is done for the Moon. Lastly, the author has very accurately broke down the different Moon phases, as some who has studied astrology it all resonated, aligned with what I know, also felt like while this was not new information for me, for newbies it is very helpful!
Overall this is a book that I will buy for my bookshelf, I feel like I would refer back to it as a reference book. My only issue is the organisation of it LOL. I don’t know if it’s because I got a review copy, it’s not published until July, but I would love for the organisation of the information to be a bit cleaner, and that’s all! Four informative, practical and wonderful stars from me. I recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in this kind of topic, however you must have an open mind, and also be in the mood to ‘think’ and take in the deep knowledge that is passed on. This is not a book that can be read without some form of questioning to take in the full beauty of it. I really enjoyed it.
Here’s a group of some kick ass authors! All heat levels and free to read on Kindle Unlimited. Dive in! Click here Over thirty books! All sub genres too.
We all need a second chance sometimes! Some great ‘second chance’ romance here to discover,KU members read for free. Click here.
I love these kinda stories! If you do too, here’s a group of authors to discover, KU readers grab for free.Click here.
International bestselling romance author Lexxie Couper started writing when she was six and hasn’t stopped since. She’s not a deviant, but she does have a deviant’s imagination and a desire to entertain readers with her words. Add the two together and you get romances that can make you laugh, cry, shake with fear or tremble with desire…Sometimes all at once.
If you were to judge your favourite book by its cover, would you still read it?…
A really good writing prompt under today’s date in my book, and very fitting as just this week on Facebook, an author friend asked the question ‘ what’s more important the cover or book’s blurb for readers?’ Me being a big reader I responded, and said in my personal experience and opinion the cover is not really that important, compared to the book’s blurb. Ultimately this is what makes me buy a book not the cover.
Why Is a Book’s Blurb More Important To Me?
Well, as a reader this is what tells me about the book. I have read some books with shockingly plain or even boring covers. And some which don’t represent the true ‘ride’ the book gave me, and they turned out to be outstanding five star reads!! So this is why I personally feel as a reader, covers are cool and yes important, but more focus for me is on blurb.
If I find it interesting, or pulled to the characters I am for sure going to read that book! Regardless of the cover. On the other hand, I have read some terrible books either badly written, not my cup of tea etc , and the cover was real eye-candy. I feel that a cover does not really tell you the FULL detail of a book.
What Does A Book’s Cover Show Me?
If I’m really honest, as a reader what genre it might be lolz, and that’s about it. It does not tell me if I’d like it, if it’s interesting or pull me to buy it. It may sound weird to some who read this, but as a reader personally the cover just gives me a hint of the genre. *Shrugs shoulders.*
So… If I Had To Judge My Favourite Books By Covers Would I Read Them Again?
Yes! As it was probably the blurb that pulled me in, and that’s why I picked it up. The author then did a great job with delivering to me what was written on the tin, and I enjoyed it so yeah I would. Some of my favourite books have really plain covers. In all honestly book covers that are eye-candy are lovely, and every author wants one ( me included). But, at the end of the day, it’s all about the delivery and your blurb. I know this a reader and because of this experience I have had, as a writer I try to ensure that my blurbs deliver a true representation of what’s within the pages! So never judge books by covers is my response, go by the book’s blurb.
What about you, what’s more important the cover or blurb? Which one calls you to buy or read a book? If you had to think of your fav reads and their covers, would you read them again or be pulled to them?? Let me know?
Author friends you know how much I love to read, I’ve had the pleasure of reading some of your work. For five years I ran a book club in London, I loved it so much. I crossed paths with a wonderful author on Facebook, she has a book group with 1,000 readers and counting! I put it to her that we could actually start a proper book club, she accepted and so now I’m reaching out to all authors who may wish to submit their book to the club, to be considered as part of the Miss Flames So Bookish Summer Book Club. I’m seeking books for our club to read for June- September.
Here’s how it works…
1.Submit your book details below. Book club organisers will check the details, then confirm if your book has been included within the Club.
2. Your book will be put to our readers in a two week poll, to pick which book(s) they’d like to read! Between 1st-15th June 2020. On the 16th June 2020 the winning books will be announced, readers notified, and authors also notified.
3. If your book is one of the books in the top four with the most votes, your book will be allocated a month ( June, July, August or September) as a read for our summer book club.
4. Book club members will purchase your book – those who wish to join in on your book’s reading. We’ll start reading from the 20th of each month, and on the 25th of the FOLLOWING month there will be live questions and discussion, in the group, about your book. We encourage you to join us for this and engage with readers!
Note: the Club’s organisers have the right to accept books at their discretion to put to its book club members. It’s advisable to have your book available in as may formats as possible. We have readers who like audio most, some print, some e-book etc. We aim to be inclusive of members who have disabilities and need certain formats such as audio. The more you have the better!
Sound good? Great, get involved and drop those book links below on the sign up form. We’ll get in contact asap. Feel free to share this shout out with fellow authors or reblog etc.
The last few weeks have been a very unexpected experience for me! I got two jobs narrating two audio books, and uploaded my books to be narrated. That was the main intention, to have my books placed into audio and open it up to auditions. After speaking with a fellow author on Facebook, who happens to be an audio book narrator, I decided to see if there was any demand for British narrators following her encouragement. She was sure British accents would be some kind of ‘hot commodity’ that’s needed. LOL Turns out there is a massive demand!!
I did two auditions, of just two minutes reading a script for two books that interested me, and got both books offered to me to narrate. One from a publisher and one from an author. I thought I’d share both sides of the coin, how to place your books in audio, and why you might also wish to consider becoming a narrator yourself!
Where Do Authors Find Narrators?…
Easy peasy, lemon squeezy…head to ACX’s site this is Audible and Amazon’s website HERE.
Simply log in using your own Amazon account, or set up one under your author/narrator pen name. Then, head to the section which states ‘add projects’. Here upload the details and Amazon will automatically pull your book in, confirm it and that’s it! Then, you need to add a script for narrators to audition with. I recommend not placing your whole MS up there, just copy and paste a sample. It does not have to be the first pages either, you can use a really tense scene, steamy scene etc, to see how potential narrators would handle these aspects of your book. Or just opt for a sample from the first chapter. Either way paste it into the box, or save a Word.doc and upload it. Bosh! Done you’re book is out there for narrators to find.
What Cost Are Involved For Authors?…
None, if you don’t want there to be. Authors and publishers are able to place their book(s) up, and offer what’s called a ‘life long royalty share option’ to the narrator. This means, if you are willing to give exclusive rights to Amazon and Audible you just split all royalties earned from audio sales with the narrator. You’ll receive 20% and so will they, each month for life. The rest goes to Amazon and Audible of course.
Or, you can pay narrators a fee per audio hour they produce. This option will involve costs to you. So if a narrator’s fee is £50.00 per hour produced for example, and your book is eight hours long = 8 x 50.00= £400.00 must be paid to the narrator.
Or, lastly you can offer the royalty share option + an amount for each audio hour, say £20.00. So if your book is eight hours again 8 x 20.00= £160.00 PLUS a 20 % royalty share per month.
There are three options, the first one you have to give Amazon and Audible exclusive rights, with the other two you are free to have your book sold in audio elsewhere. But there’s costs to you. So if you don’t want upfront costs, then don’t go with them.
How Do Authors Find Narrators?…
Once you’ve added your book(s) as projects, fill out the options to decide what kind of narrator you’d like. eg accent, age, type of reader eg versatile, feminine, husky etc Basically narrow down the options to the best voice you feel would be suited, or that you’d like to hear bring your work alive. Press submit and that’s it.
Narrators looking for projects will come across your book(s), and if they are interested audition. You will get an alert of an audition and can hear their voice.
What Happens Next?….
Your book(s) will be up for ‘audition’ and narrators can find you.You should hopefully start receiving auditions and hearing different voices. You can respond to anyone who takes your fancy. You can also search the data base of narrators based on the criteria you selected, then invite them to audition or reach out in some way. Once your book(s) are up, it’s time to either reach out, or kick back and wait for people to find you.
Once you offer a project the narrator has two days to accept, if they do you upload the full MS. Then, they will start working and submit to you a fifteen minute sample of their work, before the deadline agreed. You will then approve it or not, and if you do they continue and you kick back, and wait for your book to be transformed into audio by the agreed due date! Then it goes up on sale once complete and ACX has approved it for quality.
Are Narrators Willing To Do The Work With No Upfront Fee?
In short, yes I was and would do it again. Depending on 1. if they feel your book will sell 2. they have a genuine interest in your book 3. you include in your book’s details what you plan to do about marketing. To inform potential narrators who may have an interest what you’ll do to spread the word. So they can see potential.
Of course there are professional voice actors who are not! And wish to be paid a fee, rather than risk the time and effort, your book sells little or nothing or not what they would have imagined.
My Experience So Far, As An Author…
Well as an author my books have only been up just over a week, I have not had auditions yet, but one narrator did make contact and say she would like to audition once she’s finished up a few books she’s working on this month. I honestly think patience will be needed. That said, I would advise any author wanting to place their work into audio, to be just that patient. Don’t run with the first voice you hear unless it grabs you! Remember you are looking for someone who will bring your story alive, be it fiction or non-fiction. I’m more than happy to wait and hear the right voice and emotions for my work. If you do this, I suggest you do too. This will increase the chances of you being happy, once the audio book is produced. I found that it was a very easy process to place my books up on ACX too.
My Experience So Far, As Narrator…
Wonderful!! Like I said, pick books and subjects that genuinely interest you. One book is non-fiction and is in the esoteric, spirituality, and metaphysics genre so of course I’m loving it! And it’s a short book, just 15,000 words or so. The second is a autobiography, this lady’s story really interests me too. The third, which the publisher emailed me about this week to potentially narrate, is a fiction book in the women’s fiction genre. This should be interesting as it will be a different type of narration voice for me, proper voice acting for different characters! I will review it and see if I am drawn to it and the characters.
The thing is, it’s not as easy as reading out a book, you do need to make it interesting and ‘act’, even if it’s not a fictional book. Think of the listeners, so adjusting your tone, speed and how you wish to present the author’s work for listeners in an engaging way, is key. Secondly, it can take time! To learn the software, to edit, and re-record the words and sentences you stumble on LOL. But it really has been a great experience for me, and would do more for this publisher and other authors for sure.
I am now more than fifty percent through my first book, and hope to get it all l completed this week or next. That’s the other thing, you will agree with the author or publisher a reasonable due date. I recommend, no matter how short the book ask for six-eight weeks on the project. Unless you really feel you could or want to do it in less time.
My advice is take your time, aim for perfection and quality ( after all you want good reviews, and more work from the publisher or author). And you want to do it right, right? You need time to get each chapter correct. I would advise you take more time, and if possible do it in less or at a pace that works for you.
When you start out I would not take on too many projects either, if you don’t have much time on your hands. I only took on two as the first book is so short, and the second is a novel. I would not have taken on two novels in my first attempt at this, trust!
Hence why, the first project that I searched for I wanted only under three hours production time, in the genres I was interested in, So I didn’t bite off more than I can chew. But from the experience, I do feel I could do a full novel with a good timescale, and one that deeply interests me, hence I took on the second book.
What Do I Need To Narrate Books? Could I Do My Own?
Yes, you can narrate your own. In fact the thought crossed my mind to do mine if I did not find a narrator I really liked. In order to narrate books, be it your own or someone else’s all you need is…
- a decent microphone and pop filter. ( Don’t even think about using your computer’s one it’s too crappy). A Pop filter will help to remove mouth noises, and sounds of breathing or inhaling and you DO NEED IT don’t skip it! I would not say you need to buy the most expensive either. Mine cost me under £30.00 with the pop filter. I think about £20.00 and it is ahmaaaaaaaaaaaayzin! Great quality.
- a laptop or PC.
- recording and editing software. Which you can grab free!! One called Audacity. ACX recommend a paid expensive software, you don’t need it all all. I recommend you grab a free software download of Audacity HERE. It’s so simple to use too.
- And I recommend this great ebook on Audio book production by Krystal Wascher . Recommended to me by the author who encouraged me to audition, and I too recommend it. It’s like a Bible and a must have. There are many resources on ACX’s website to help, I say get the book too. Free on Kindle Unlimited to read also. Grab it here.
- A VERY VERY quiet environment, table and chair. This is key, please don’t think that any old place will do. I record in my bedroom ( at the back of the house away from the main road). Choose a quiet room, the smaller the better too.
- Water to drink!
Overall, I think that audio books are great I have listened to them in the past. I also think that as authors it’s great to reach as many readers , via as many channels as you can! So while I am now redoing all paperbacks for my self-published works, I’m also doing audio books. My publisher who I signed with for my historical romance, really, really also recommends that audio is the way to go…. so go for it authors!
On the other hand, if you’re someone who thinks yeah, I have the time and skill or even desire to narrate books I say go for it too. Pick the books and genres carefully, stick to what interests you. Also, think of what your voice may suit also! Keep in mind that fiction work will have characters, so you will need to adjust for this. Male and female voices, non-fiction the author will want a different approach to how their book is narrated.
There is a demand for all accents. So I’ll give this a crack, add to my monthly royalties coming in and have some fun too!
Also, there are things to help you decide on books, such as the reviews it has on Amazon, sales rank, and how established the author is, their marketing plan etc. But at the end of the day, it’s down to you to decide. You may feel a book will sell well, but it may not sell as many copies and vice versa.
Decide if you want to be paid a fee or via royalty share or both! Remember royalty share is for life. Also remember that as the narrator you should invest in the book’s potential for sales too. Promote it once produced, you are a shareholder in it after all!!
Give it a go if you feel you’d enjoy it. Any questions get in touch or drop them in the comments.