Thursday, May 23, 2013

Chatting with Henry Sienkiewicz - Untangled Book Tour & Giveaway

Untangled: Contemplation And Entanglement
by Henry J. Sienkiewicz

BK: Have you always known you wanted to write, or did it just happen one day?

HS: First, I want to thank you for the chance to have a conversation with your readers. I still struggle to think of myself as a writer. I’m very much an observational, heterogeneous integrator. As an observer, I try to ensure that I’m aware of what is going on around me, and where the seams are in the fabric of what I’m observing. As a heterogeneous writer, I try to pull inspiration from highly, highly diverse sources. But, at the end, I try to integrate all of them into a comprehensive work.

BK: Untangled is meant to be thought-provoking. What sparked the idea to write such a book?

HS: On many levels Untangled was a reaction to many of the things that we all deal with on a daily basis. It was a reaction to the confusion caused by the stuff happening around us, or in my words our daily entanglements.

BK: Tell us a bit more about the 3 pillars of Contemplation.

HS: You are hitting the heart of the book. The literature of contemplation is wonderfully rich, from the mystics to the philosophers to simply people with perspectives. In my own quest to understand, I wanted to find some common pillars. Those pillars are silence, stillness, and solitude.

Silence is our embrace of a space that allows us not to just filter the noises out of daily life but to remove the noise. We have white noise surrounding us almost all of the time. We allow ourselves to be constantly distracted by the ticking of a clock in the background, the hum of the computer, the “bing” of an e-mail, or the siren’s call of an instant message? To paraphrase the Swiss philosopher Max Picard, silence is the mostly unrecognized source of our own beings.
Stillness is an intentional slowing down. Stillness slows us so we see details. Stillness slows us down so we can see the nuances. Stillness slows us down so we can see the depth of the world around us.
Solitude means being able to find the space to think by yourself. Solitude means finding yourself. Solitude means finding your own trail among the entanglements.

All three are necessary in life. All three are needed so that we can engage in life rather than being merely entertained by it.

BK: How complex is Untangled really? Can anyone use this book?

HS: I wrote Untangled to be approachable for anyone who is struggling with the complexity of daily life. I’ve been absolutely astonished at initial reactions. The immediate reaction when I describe the book is a story about how much the other person relates to it.

The readers’ reactions have been even better. I’m had many people tell me that they don’t normally sit down and read philosophy. In this case they did. For many, they read and have gone back to re-read it. I constructed the chapters to be easily understandable within a narrative that everyone could relate to and it appears that I achieved my goal. Most of the readers found it a wonderful read, that gave them a way to think differently.

While it would be helpful to have a slight grounding in philosophy, I don’t think that it is absolutely necessary. The book can stand on its own or the reader can use the references and citations as a starting point, and as a way that they can explore their own trails. Additionally, the book trailer ( provides a great introduction to the topic.

BK: What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

HS: I want to concurrently provoke and inspire. I want the reader to put the book down, think about it, and pick it back up in order to reread a passage that caused them to pause. I want the reader to use some, not necessarily all of it to make their lives better.

BK: What do you like to do when you're not writing, or contemplating?

HS: I truly enjoy the arts. I sit on the Board of Governors for the Arts Club of Washington (, the oldest non-profit arts organization in Washington DC.

BK: What is one thing readers would be most surprised to know about you?

HS: In both books, I would like to think that I’ve opened myself up a great deal to the readers. However, one thing that most readers would be surprised how little I’ve been able to travel in the last decade or so. When I was in the airline industry I was able to travel a great deal more. The last ten years have been focused on the first book, starting a software company, and then going into federal service. I’m looking forward to a time when I will be able to travel more.

BK: Using your first name as an acronym, describe your book.

HS: Can I use the French version of my name? H: Holistic E: Engaging N: Nuanced R: Respectful of the reader I: Insightful

BK: What's next for Henry Sienkiewicz?

HS: As I indicated, I’ve been a bit overwhelmed by sheer amount of positive reaction to Untangled ( I’m starting to pull together the notes for two more books. The third book is geared towards general management principles. The fourth book is still in the very early stages, but pulls some of the ideas that have surfaced in both Centerlined and Untangled. Your readers can follow me on Twitter at @hjsienkiewicz.

I just want to close by, again, thanking you for the time to have this conversation. Untangled is available in the major ebook formats, on the major on-line bookstores, and on the book’s own website –

Henry J. Sienkiewicz has served in multiple positions within the United States Federal Senior Executive Service since 2008. His previous commercial experience was as the founder and chief executive officer for Open Travel Software, an award-winning software developer focused on the global travel community, and in the chief information officer role at three technology companies.  He or his companies have been the recipient of multiple awards for innovations or achievement in the technology industry.  He retired as a United States Army Reserve lieutenant colonel in July 2008.
Henry holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Notre Dame and a master of science from Johns Hopkins University. He is also a graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College.
In 2006, he completed and published his first book, Centerlined, which dealt with interpersonal and organizational dynamics.
Henry resides in Alexandria, Virginia.
Website Book Site | Facebook | Twitter

Genre:  Practical Philosophy/Self-help
Publisher:  DogEar Publishing 
Release Date: April 2013

In a  social media-centric, Twitter-driven world we live, the complexity created by the entanglements has caused an overload Called a Walden for the Internet Age, Untangled draws from the rich traditions of both Eastern and Western philosophy to tease apart the hyper-connected web of the modern world and challenges the reader to recognize and embrace contemplation as a way cope. 

Through a highly approachable framework and the imagery of a journey through the heartland of Taiwan, Untangled provides the reader with the background of entanglement and contemplation, and identifies and discusses the three pillars of contemplation - silence, stillness and solitude.  The book closes with a series of actions that allow anyone to untangled through active contemplation in daily life. 



A Big Ball of Twine

We learn the rope of life by untying its knots.
—Jean Toomer
As we reached the first stopping point, we opened our packs and found chaos. The ropes that we had neatly packed were completely jumbled. The gear we had carefully stowed had been shifted around; it was an unrecognizable mess.
The jostling and shifting from the simple movement of the journey caused our coils of rope to transform from a neat roll to an entangled mess. We thought that we had taken care to pack them; the journey ensured that we had a mess to deal with.

Our mental backpacks are similar. Sometimes, regardless of the care we have taken, our world becomes a completely entangled mess in ways that we had not expected. Our journey ensures that we have a mess to deal with.
Many writers have used the terms connected and hyperconnected to describe our current state. I think that the term entanglement is more reflective of the state of our condition.
Connection implies that there has been an encounter but does not imply that the relationship is persistent. As will be discussed later, entanglement means two or more “things” have formed some type of permanent bond. This permanent bond is why I think that the term entanglement is more expressive of our actual condition.
Entanglement has many layers and many textures. It may be accidental or intentional. Entanglement may be in ways that may or may not be are attractive. Entanglement may or may not have relevancy to our lives. Entanglement may or may not have real meaning.
Entanglement may be the vines that catch your feet. Or it may be the limbs that brush your arms. Or it could be the rope that safely holds you onto the mountain.
Contemplation lets us mentally sort through the mess of entanglement that we all carry with us and allows us to repack meaningfully.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Chatting with Author, Daitoku Daiichi s & Giveaway - The Wonderful Adventures of Godfrey and Chucky:Hot Sprint

The Wonderful Adventures of Godfrey and Chucky: Hot Spring

by Daitoku Daiichi

1. Favorite Author

One of them is British author JG Ballard.

2. Favorite Book

One of them is Chinese classic 'Dream of Red Mansions' by Cao Xueqin.

3. Favorite Movie

Possibly the 'Passenger', starring Jack Nicholson and directed by M.Antonioni.

4. Preferred Drink

'Sencha' green tea in a pretty ceramic cup.

5. Favorite Activity

Eating. I would rather eat sleepily that to sleep hungry.

6. One thing readers would be surprised to know about you.

I am just like them, and I really do not have any supernatural powers like Godfrey or Chucky.

7. Actor/actress you see playing your main character in your book.

Brad Pitt with a blonde wig for Godfrey. Posing with expensive jeans and a rifle, other hand resting on a woman's bosom. Chucky can be played by almost any ordinary-looking person.

8. Night owl or early bird.

Night owl in the summer, early bird in the winter.

9. Favorite dinner.

An international buffet with nice salads, wines, seafood, pasta and ice cream.

10. Using the letters of your first name as an acronym, describe your book.

Daring (in concept)
Adventurous (on stage and in bed)
Insightful (about society)
Intimate (with the women)
Cheerful (the outlook)
Helpful (the locals)
Insidious (the foreign villain)

Favorite recipe

Whatever you want Tofu Salad! 

Slice the lettuce and the cold tofu. Add tomatoes, eggs, chicken, croutons, olives or tuna if desired. Best used with sesame dressing or caesar dressing. Not so good with sour dressing.

Genre: Drama/Teens/Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Daitoku Daiichi
Release Date: January 2013

The Wonderful Adventures of Godfrey and Chucky

Godfrey is young, wealthy and able-bodied. He has all the women you can imagine, and unbelievably deep pockets. But Godfrey wants more. His Great Greatness wants to rid the world of a menacing scourge, and restore what is truly superior to an elevated position. Why would anyone stop him? Who could possibly stop him?

Chucky arrives as the new assistant, and tries to perform every duty that is handed to him. What challenges for a dull servant! Look at him muddling through! With passports of exclusive privilege, the two adventurers make a splash in tropical Langkawi, where the water is blue and the girls are brown. Then they rendezvous with the locals in Singapore, where pleasures are plentiful and multicolored. Food and money are found in piles. Life in a global city should be, possibly, one of uninterrupted leisure…shouldn’t it?

Desire is a seductively red piece of jade, which resides even in our dreams.

"I am a healthy, strong and sexy male with a life, most of it sex life." - Godfrey Mann

"I did not know how to reply, since the words were difficult to speak." - Chucky

About The Author:

Inspired by English and Japanese gardens, Daitoku Daiichi is committed to sharing scenes of beauty with his readers. He hopes that through the mansion-like device of the novel, he can host a tea party to serve his readers exotic delights. In the day, he is a tutor, essayist, gourmet and world traveler. People somehow love to share their secrets with him, and he wants use his gifts of perception to tell innovative stories.

Readers are always welcome to chat with him at

Website | Facebook

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Book Tour & Giveaway: Softly and Tenderly by Lisa Binion (Horror Short)

Softly and Tenderly

by Lisa Binion

Author - Lisa BinionAbout The Author:
Lisa Binion is a writer, editor, and wife. She makes her home in the beautiful state of Kentucky. Her two children are now grown, but she has been blessed with two beautiful grandchildren, Tyler and Zoey. Her family also includes four dogs, four cats, and two goats.
As the Fiction Writing Editor for BellaOnline, she writes articles, reviews fiction books, and interviews fiction authors. She is also an editor for Silver Tongue Press and Edit 1st. In her spare time, she attempts to clean house and relax. You can find her at,, and

Genre: Horror Short Story
Horror Short Story
Publisher: Silver Tongue Press


“Mom died in her sleep last night.” Those are terrifying words for a child to wake up to. The beetle that falls off the stretcher and stares at her is only the beginning one of the strangest and most frightening times in Lori’s life. Death is not a pretty thing, especially not when the funeral is to be at the Lights Out Chapel and Crematorium. Once she walks into the funeral parlor, she experiences things that no little girl should ever have to experience. No one is acting normal. No one can see what is going on. Is Lori the only one who sees the blood oozing from the pictures of Jesus on the cross? Doesn’t anyone else see the beetles? Is Lori hallucinating when she sees her mom sit up and hears her speak? There is absolutely nothing soft and tender about what happens to Lori. From her overly morbid piano teacher to the creepy preacher and a father that just isn’t acting like himself, Lori is surrounded by people and things that hint of something bizarre. Once she leaves the Lights Out Chapel and Crematorium, things will go back to normal. Or will they?

 Excerpt 1:

Lori, it’s your turn to say bye now. You need to tell her that you love her and how much you will miss her.” Daddy put me down next to her coffin and placed his hands on my shoulders. He pushed me so close to her death box that I felt the white satin that overlapped to the outside. It rubbed against my hands. At least it was soft for Mommy. She would be comfortable in there.
I decided to speak out loud this time. Maybe no one else would bring me back up here again if I spoke my goodbyes out loud. “Mommy,” I began, but then I started crying so hard I couldn’t speak. Daddy rubbed my shoulders until I quieted down and could begin again. “Mommy, I love you. I don’t want you to leave me. Please come back. No one, not even this Jesus, is worth leaving me over.” I opened my eyes and looked at her. She hadn’t moved since Mrs. Minuet had dragged me up here. But then her eyes opened, and she stared at me. She was staring at me! I sucked my breath in and felt my legs grow weak as my head began to spin. With one hand I grabbed on to the edge of the coffin, while with the other hand I grabbed hold of Daddy’s arm.
Daddy! Daddy! Mommy’s not dead! She looked at me!” I screamed as I jumped up and down. “She was still alive when they took her out of the house. I saw her trying to get out from under the sheet.” I pulled on his arm and shook it. “Please, Daddy. You’ve got to save her.”
Daddy was beginning to sound a bit mad. He picked me up and held me over top of Mommy. “Maybe if you give her a goodbye kiss you’ll understand she’s dead, and believe me when I tell you she isn’t coming back.” I was so close to Mommy’s cheek that I could see the makeup was beginning to cake in her pores. There was no warmth rising up from her body, only icy coldness.


5 eCopies of Softly and Tenderly

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Book Tour & Giveaway: The Torment, The Shadow, The Heart by T.M. Shannon

The Torment, The Shadow, The Heart
by T.M. Shannon

Genre: Epic/Heroic Fantasy
Publisher: Self-published through
Release Date: 11 February, 2013

Book Description:

“To a kingdom facing darkness, a Hero will come…”

As the King of Talbadas nears his end, and treasonous parties seek to usurp the throne, young farmer Halm Dresden finds that his father’s dying advice, the actions of two elves, and a nightmare vision have put him on a destined path. While impressionable youth and some of his friends join this treacherous league, Dresden has a sword made and prepares for looming conflict…

About The Author:

T.M. Shannon works full time, pays rent, and has a head full of ideas.

He is currently living the dream in Sydney, Australia with his darling other half, and a 99% well-behaved son.

TM Shannon Blog | History of Talbadas | Facebook

Excerpt 1 - “Grab”

Dresden got to his feet, stretched his arms and legs, and cracked his neck and knuckles both. He looked to his family with eyes that no longer showed compassion, but dreadful finality; and he made peace with the possibility that he may never see them again.
Dresden?” Kethis asked uncertainly. Bindie and Gorden peered at him.
This will not be,” he said bluntly, his voice calmly level, different. “I will not have my family, nor the people of my town, fear for their lives.” He had nothing else to say; and having uttered those words, he strode for the hallway.
Mum, where is he going?” Gorden asked excitedly. “Where are you going, Dresden?!”
He moved for the study, his eyes set in cold, calculating slits. “Out for a walk,” he growled…

Friday, May 3, 2013

Book Tour & Giveaway: Epsilon AR by Zackery Humphreys

Epsilon AR
by Zackery Humphreys

Welcome to Mass Musings, Zackery! I hope you're having a blast on your tour, and thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today :).

Many authors relate their characters to people they know. Is this the case with your characters and do you see yourself in any of them?
I think each of my characters have a little bit of me and others in them. I tried not to base them off of any individual person though. I let their personalities shine through without thinking about it too much. We are all complex people but we only perceive small amounts of what another person is like from the outside. Basing my character off of others would put them in a box I would rather not stuff them inside. Hopefully that worked!

I see myself a lot like ALN-896. He's an everyman (almost literally), but he has a strong moral compass.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
I feel a little guilty not saying ALN-896, but I personally really liked INSN-3396 (Twitch). He had a heart that not a lot of people have, especially if they've gone through as much as he has. He just a great best friend.

Who is your most favorite character from any book of all time?
I really loved Eddie Dean from Stephen King's Dark Tower. I am also pursuing a life as an actor and playing him is my ultimate goal as of right now. He's just an amazing written character.

If you could dive into the pages of any book, which book would it be and what character would you be?
I would dive into the world of Harry Potter for sure. Magic? Sign me up! I would even ask to be 11 again so I could go to Hogwarts. Who wouldn't love that?

If your book was to become a movie, which actors/actresses do you see playing the parts of your characters?
I've thought about it a little bit. I could see Ewan McGregor playing ALN-896, although after working on The Island he may want to pass up another Dystopian setting. Ian McKellan would be perfec for Chief Joseph Freedmen. Twitch, surprisingly, reminds me of Eminem. Strange choice, I know, but it might work!

What can we expect from Zackery Alexander Humphreys in the future? Any new projects?
Plenty of new projects are on their way. I just finished up a staged reading of a One-Act play I wrote entitled, “Split Decisions,” we are in pre-production for a Short-Film script I wrote entitled, “Seamless,” I just finished with my final edit on my illustrated poetry-novel called Splintered, and now it's onwards to finish my sequel to Epsilon A.R.!

Where can readers connect with you?
The best place to get to know me is either on Facebook ( ) or on Twitter ( ) I give plenty of updates on projects, sneak-peeks and just random tid-bits from my crazy life.

About The Author:

Zackery Alexander Humphreys is a Novelist, Actor and Poet who occasionally dabbles in Screen Writing and Play Writing.

Book Description:

Hundreds of years into the future, mankind has gone under ground to relocate to the beautiful city of Epsilon. Epsilon is run by a strong, secretive government that keeps its citizens in check by subtle manipulation and strict schedules. No one questions its authority and no one is unhappy. ALN-896, an average man who is just trying to live a normal life, begins to have dreams; something strange and rare in Epsilon. In his dreams, he meets a man named Harry and everything is fine- until Harry dies. When ALN-896 wakes up, he shrugs it off as if nothing has happened. It was only a dream. But then the next day, he is suddenly arrested and sent to prison for killing Harry, whom ALN-896 assumed was just a figment of his imagination. Now inside prison, ALN-896 begins to learn about everything the government of Epsilon has been doing and he plans on escaping. Not only from prison, but from Epsilon. This one decision turns him against everything he has ever known and forces him to face against centuries of lies. To escape means to live. But what will it cost?


A black-and-white tie...
Thoughts froze within his mind. Spit bubbled through his pursed lips.
ALN-896 finally managed to pull away from the exposed wire. He fell to the ground and wiped away the spit dribbling down his cheek. His heart raced, and sweat poured down his body.
That was the most painful sensation he had ever experienced.
I never should have grabbed that wire...
ALN-896 stood up slowly and looked around. No one saw what had just happened. He was alone on the desolate stretch of Simov Street.
Fortunately, I did not get hurt.
Instead of continuing, he decided to get back into his car and let a nice cup of tea calm him.
From the center console of the car, green tea was automatically dispensed into a cup. He let the liquid slide down his throat, easing every muscle that had tensed. He melted into his plush seat as he let his mind come to a halt. Then the silence was interrupted by a robotic voice. “ALN- 896, your vitals are irregular. Is everything all right?”
Everything is fine. I went to inspect one of the house's trashcans as I was instructed to, but I noticed an exposed wire on the ground. I went to cover it back up when it...”
ALN-896 wasn't quite sure what had actually happened when he touched the wire. He hadn’t been electrocuted, but something strange had occurred. The only thing he could get out of the experience was that he had seen a black-and-white tie floating in the darkness behind his closed eyelids. Nothing surrounded it, but he knew it had been attached to a body. One he hadn’t been able see, but one he knew existed somewhere within the black.
When it...,” ALN-896 stumbled. “When it shocked me,” he lied.
Your job still needs to be completed. You still need to inspect the trashcans for Monday's workday. After your tea, you need to continue.”
Yes, I understand.”

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