We know the formula for living a good life but why are we still struggling? Learn techniques to help improve, inspire and refresh with The 5-Minute Recharge.
About The 5-Minute Recharge
Researchers have discovered the formula for living a good life, so why is depression still the world’s leading disability and anxiety the most common mental health disorder in North America? Most people don’t know what will truly make them happy, and far too few make proven wellness practices a part of their lives.
To cope with all the stresses we encounter, we need to actively care for ourselves, which includes heeding our ancient programming that demands that we move our bodies, connect face-to-face and get enough sleep. Science has proven that you have the power, through your habitual ways of thinking and behaving, to renovate the space inside your head, making it brighter, more resilient, and a more enjoyable place to hang out.
The 5-Minute Recharge contains 31 proven techniques to help you thrive at work and in life. They are backed by research and include additional resources to enrich your understanding of wellness and inspire you to care for yourself.
I think we can all admit that many times we feel overwhelmed, overworked and overstimulated. Life is so busy that it can be hard to unwind, relax our minds and emotions. This has so many negative consequences for our physical, mental and social well being. We know that in order to be happy we need to find that balance but we become lost somewhere in achieving this.
I loved how thoughtful and intimate this book was. It wasn’t a book that pointed out your failures, made you feel shameful and not too sure if you want to try the changes. Instead it uses humour, quotes, experiences to give you that personal connection in order to better your personal wellness. They encourage you to become a part of the journey instead of being a passive reader, you should do each of the exercises included in the chapters – they will really get you thinking and focusing on you. The book is not overbearing or difficult to read which everyone can appreciate. That being said – take your time reading each section, participate fully and allow the time for you to reconnect with you.
I know we can feel a lot of guilt around taking time to care for ourselves but with the evidence presented in this book, the easy exercises and healthy, manageable behaviours presented – you can take care of yourself, you will not feel guilty about doing so and it will make you a better person for doing so. At the end of the day, in order for us to function fully and be the best version we can be, we need to feel happy and balanced. This book helps us accomplish this in easy, manageable steps. A fantastic resource for all adults feeling overwhelmed and looking for better balance.
Lynne Everatt is a recovering MBA, LinkedIn Top Voice in management and culture, and nominee for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour for her first book, E-Mails from the Edge, a novel with the theme of workplace mental health. E-mails also appeared in The Globe and Mail as a Careers column. An ardent advocate for mental health through physical fitness, Lynne is a certified personal trainer who has completed two sweaty half-marathons and a marathon six minutes and twenty-three seconds of stand-up at the Absolute Comedy Club. She served for three years as President of the Board of Directors of the women’s shelter Interim Place where she met and became friends with co-author Addie Greco-Sanchez.
Addie Greco-Sanchez is the founder and President of AGS Rehab, a leader in disability management and assessment services since 1999 that has grown into a successful company with a head office in the Greater Toronto Area and a large network of professionals across Canada. Selected as one of PROFIT/Chatelaine’s top 100 Female Entrepreneurs, Addie is a passionate and expert advocate for mental health in the workplace, and frequent speaker on the topic of how companies can safeguard employees’ psychological health.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Scottish pride, persuasion, and passion—this is Highland romance at its breathtaking best.
About Highland Crown
Perched on the North Sea, this port town—by turns legendary and mythological—is a place where Highland rebels and English authorities clash in a mortal struggle for survival and dominance. Among the fray is a lovely young widow who possesses rare and special gifts.
A true beauty and trained physician, Isabella has inspired longing and mystery—and fury—in a great many men. Hunted by both the British government and Scottish rebels, she came to the Highlands in search of survival. But a dying ship’s captain will steer her fate into even stormier waters. . .and her heart into flames.
Cast from his home as a child, Cinaed is a fierce soul whose allegiance is only to himself … until Isabella saved his life—and added more risk to her own. Now, the only way Cinaed can keep her safe to seek refuge at Dalmigavie Castle, the Mackintosh family seat. But when the scandalous truth of his past comes out, any chance of Cinaed having a bright future with Isabella is thrown into complete darkness. What will these two ill-fated lovers have to sacrifice to be together…for eternity?
I fell in love with this beautiful romance set in Scotland during a time of poverty, war and social unrest.
Isabella is that strong, independent female character that you can’t help but love. She is a doctor, which in itself is enough to be admired as women in general were not encouraged to do something like this during these time periods but she also is confident in herself and her skills and she never backs down. She is also a wanted woman by both the British and the Scottish people. Her deceased husband was proclaimed a rebel to the crown and the British want her for her knowledge. The Scottish people want her so that they can ensure she never speaks. She is torn in between and desperate to escape and ensure her families safety.
By luck, she crosses path with Cinead, a ship captain that imports weapons and other supplies to the Highlands. They meet at his weakest moment and she cares for him until he is strong again. This sets them off on a path of survival, hope and perhaps a chance at a new future?
I loved so much about this book from the plot, the writing to the characters themselves. I loved how Isabella was portrayed to the reader, she was strong, intelligent and calm in the face of so much disaster, death and pain. You immediately fall in love with her and want to know more about her and keep praying that everything will work out okay for her. The relationship that begins to blossom between her and Cinead leaves you wanting more. I would love to see a second installment of this story! This is a definite must read.
Authors Nikoo and Jim McGoldrick (writing as May McGoldrick) weave emotionally satisfying tales of love and danger. Under the names of May McGoldrick and Jan Coffey, these authors have written more than thirty novels and works of nonfiction. Nikoo, an engineer, also conducts frequent workshops on writing and publishing and serves as a Resident Author. Jim holds a Ph.D. in Medieval and Renaissance literature and teaches English in northwestern Connecticut. They are the authors of Much ado about Highlanders, Taming the Highlander, and Tempest in the Highlands.
Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Drone Strike takes you on a fast-paced adventure across the Mediterranean, into Mexico, finally arriving in the States.
About Drone Strike
Karim’s family is killed by a U.S. drone strike in Iraq, collateral damage. The Islamic State in the Levant exploits his rage, recruiting him for a terrorist attack on the U.S., and only Anthony Provati can stop him. Drone Strike takes you on a fast-paced adventure across the Mediterranean, into Mexico, finally arriving in the States. Drone Strike explores the psychological realities that seduce Karim to commit an act of terror, includes a love story between Moslem Karim and Miriam, a Christian woman he defends in Turkey and highlights the plight of Middle Eastern and Central American refugees.
Drone Strike is intense, full of emotion, raw, painful and touches on the human perspective of conflict.
Karim loves his family and will do anything to keep them safe in Iraq even though his wife has pressured him to move them, he feels they will be safe. This all changes one day when his family is killed by a US drone strike as collateral damage. He is left full of anger, hate and bitterness. He will do anything to avenge his family and these emotions make him prey to others with dangerous plots.
This takes Karim down a very dangerous path of death, murder and suffering. We witness Karim be conflicted at times on what he is doing especially after he meets Miriam, a young Christian woman whose family was murdered by the men he is helping. They develop a relationship that you never see coming but one that is built on shared pain and understanding. Despite being from different backgrounds, their shared loss brings them together.
This is an intense but thrilling novel from start to finish. It builds up dramatically and leaves you not wanting to put the book down. There are so many tiny pieces woven into this story and this adds to how the plot unravels. I loved every moment of this novel and could not put it down.
As a former International Executive Vice President of 3M, Joe Giordano’s experience included running a business in the Middle East out of Athens, Greece. Born in New York, he’s had first-hand experience with the cultures and most of the locations in Drone Strike.
Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Rabbit has never had a wish before; but one day he gets not just one, but three!
Rabbit has never had a wish before; but one day he gets not just one, but three! Wishis a touching story about the power of kindness and the magic of friendship, with beautiful and emotive illustrations from Chris Saunders.
Once every year wishes take flight, filled with hope and twinkling light. They dance in the air, with a swirl and a swish, you have to be lucky to be chosen by a wish.
Rabbit cannot decide what to wish for, so he asks his friends Mouse, Fox, and Bear what they would do if they had a wish. Being selfless and kind, Rabbit grants all three wishes to his friends. They are so grateful for his kindness and generosity, they share their wishes with him.
Wish is an adorable story of friendship, kindness and caring for others. A much needed book in times when we hear so much about bullying. Rabbit is a breath of fresh air. He has such a good heart – he is gifted with three wishes in our story but he is not quite sure what to do with the great gift he has been given.
Does Rabbit use the wishes for himself? What should he wish for? He decides to speak to his three closest friends to get a good idea of what a wish should be. Rabbit decides to grant his wishes to his friends and he is rewarded in return with a very special surprise. A great reminder that when we put good out in to the world we receive it back.
We loved the message of the story and the delivery. It was a great read to our youngest son and really helped us begin that conversation about kindness, helping others and friendships. It was easy to read out loud and to not only be serious but also add a little humour as we acted out the characters (I loved the Fox!).
The illustrations were just beautiful. They are whimsical and fit the story perfectly. They really helped to bring the story alive.
This is an excellent book for young children that teaches a very important lesson on friendship and kindness. A perfect addition to your home library!
Chris Saunders is a freelance illustrator who received an Illustration BA Honours Degree (First Class) from the University of Northampton. He was awarded the 2010 e-Creative nomination for new talent in the field of illustration. Chris lives in Bishop Auckland, in the northeast.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.
What would you do if your daughter was kidnapped and given only a week to live?
About Dead in a Week
Lauren Pennington is celebrating her junior year abroad when life comes to a screeching halt. At Munich’s Hofbräuhaus, she engages in an innocent flirtation with a charming stranger for the length of a drink. Drink finished, Lauren leaves—only to be snatched from the streets and thrown into an unmarked van.
Officially, Aidan Deveraux is a communications expert for one of the largest financial firms in the world. In his secret life, the former Marine heads the Zermatt Group, a covert team of military and spy agency operatives that search the data stream for troubling events in an increasingly troubled world. When his artificial intelligence system detects Lauren’s kidnapping, Aidan immediately sees the bigger picture.
Silicon Valley: Lauren’s father, Vance Pennington, is about to launch a ground-breaking technology with his company NanoUSA—a technology that the Chinese are desperate for. No sooner does Aidan arrive on Vance’s doorstep to explain the situation than the father receives a chilling text message: hand over the technology or Lauren will be dead in a week.
In a globe-spanning chase, from the beer halls of Germany, to the tech gardens of California, to the skyscrapers of China, and finally the farmlands of Croatia, Aidan’s team cracks levels of high-tech security and complex human mystery with a dogged determination. Drawing in teammates from the Forensic Instincts team (introduced in The Girl Who Disappeared Twice), the Zermatt Group will uncover the Chinese businessmen responsible, find the traitors within NanoUSA who are helping them, and save Lauren from a brutal death.
Dead in a Week is a fast paced novel with a complicated plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Our main character, Aidan, is a former Marine that heads a very secretive agency that deals with military, spy and various threats. In this novel, his team uncovers the kidnapping of Lauren Pennington. Lauren is just a young girl enjoying a trip in Europe to gain freedom when she is kidnapped. Why would any one want to kidnap her?
Aidan with his expertise discovers that the technology that her father has developed and managed to keep top secret, is highly desired by the Chinese government. But who is selling secrets? How did they find Lauren? Who can the team and Lauren’s family trust? Her father is faced with quite the dilemma – trust those he has worked with for years or the former marine that shows up at his door in his time of need.
We are led down a fast paced story at this point, with each page turning another exciting development happening. I could not put this book down! There are little twists and turns at every corner, that leaves you guessing and hoping for more. I also enjoyed the human side we see of Aidan – while a tough operative, we are also introduced to his young daughter and how he balances these two opposite worlds.
This is an excellent novel from start to finish that will leave you on the edge of your seat. A definite must read!
You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
About the Author
Andrea Kane is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-nine novels, including fifteen psychological thrillers and fourteen historical romantic suspense titles. With her signature style, Kane creates unforgettable characters and confronts them with life-threatening danger. As a master of suspense, she weaves them into exciting, carefully-researched stories, pushing them to the edge—and keeping her readers up all night.
Kane’s first contemporary suspense thriller, Run for Your Life, became an instant New York Times bestseller. She followed with a string of bestselling psychological thrillers including No Way Out, Twisted, and Drawn in Blood.
Her latest in the highly successful Forensic Instincts series, Dead in a Week, adds the Zermatt Group into the mix—a covert team of former military and spy agency operatives. With a week to save a young woman from ruthless kidnappers, this globe-spanning chase, from the beerhalls of Germany, to the tech gardens of California, to the skyscrapers of China, and finally the farmlands of Croatia will keep readers guessing until the very end. The first showcase of Forensic Instincts’ talents came with the New York Times bestseller, The Girl Who Disappeared Twice, followed by The Line Between Here and Gone, The Stranger You Know, The Silence that Speaks, The Murder That Never Was, and A Face to Die For.
Kane’s beloved historical romantic suspense novels include My Heart’s Desire, Samantha, Echoes in the Mist, and Wishes in the Wind.
With a worldwide following of passionate readers, her books have been published in more than twenty languages.
Kane lives in New Jersey with her husband and family. She’s an avid crossword puzzle solver and a diehard Yankees fan. Otherwise, she’s either writing or playing with her Pomeranian, Mischief, who does his best to keep her from writing.
Normally, Lauren Pennington loved the sound of her combat boots clomping across the cobblestone apron. But right now, all she could think about was the growling of her empty stomach, urging her to move faster. She was oblivious to everything else—the couple on the corner sharing a passionate, open-mouthed kiss, the guy puking up his over-consumption of beer into the storm sewer grating, and the man watching her every move as he talked into his cell phone in a language that Lauren wouldn’t have recognized had she been paying attention.
She walked into Hofbräuhaus’ main hall, took a seat at one of the wooden tables, and placed her order. Minutes later, the waitress came over and brought Lauren’s food and drink. Barely uttering a perfunctory “Danke,” Lauren bit into a pretzel the size of her head and took a healthy gulp of Hofbräu.
The semester had ended, and she was entitled to some carbs and a dose of people-watching at the historic Munich brewery. Pretzels and beer were addicting, but people-watching had always fascinated her. Despite a whole winter semester of her junior year abroad studying art history at the Ludwig Maximilian University at Munich, she still enjoyed playing the tourist. Not at school, but every time she strolled the streets, studied the architecture, chatted with the locals.
Hofbräuhaus was less than a mile from campus, but the brewery’s main hall had a reputation all its own. With its old-world atmosphere of wooden tables, terra cotta floors, painted arches, and hanging lanterns, how could anyone not feel a sense of history just being within these walls?
Maybe that’s why Europe called out to her, not just here, but from a million different places. Museums. Theaters. Cathedrals. She wanted to experience them all, and then some. She’d be going home to San Francisco in July, and she hadn’t been to Paris or London or Brussels. She’d gotten a mere taste of Munich and had yet to visit Berlin.
When would she get another chance to do all that? Not for ages. And certainly not with the sense of freedom she had as a college student, with little or no responsibilities outside her schoolwork to claim her attention. On the flip side, she felt terribly guilty. Every February, her entire family traveled to Lake Tahoe together. It was a ritual and a very big deal, since her father rarely got a day, much less a week, off as a high-powered executive. Her mother usually began making arrangements for the trip right after the holidays. In her mind, it was like a second Christmas, with the whole family reuniting and sharing time and laughter together.
This year was no different. Lauren’s brother, Andrew, and her sister, Jessica, were both taking time off from their busy careers to join their parents at Tahoe—no easy feat considering Andrew was an intellectual property attorney in Atlanta, and Jess was a corporate buyer for Neiman Marcus in Dallas. Lauren was the only holdout. Lauren. The college kid. The baby. The free spirit who always came home from Pomona College to nest, especially for family gatherings and rituals.
Her parents had been very quiet when she’d told them about her plans. Lauren knew what that silence meant. After the phone call ended, her mother would have cried that she was losing her baby, and her father would have scowled and written off her decision as college rebellion. Neither was true. But no matter how she explained it, her parents didn’t understand. They’d traveled extensively in Europe, and to them, it was no big deal. But it was Lauren’s first time here, and to her, it was like discovering a whole new world—a world she felt an instant rapport with. It was like discovering a part of her soul she’d never known existed. And she had to immerse herself in it.
She’d entertained the idea of flying to Lake Tahoe for the week and then returning to fulfill her dream. Her parents would definitely pay for that. But given the long international travel, the flight changes, the time differences, and the jet lag, Tahoe would put too much of a crimp in the many plans she had for her break between semesters. She’d had invitations from school friends who said she could stay with them during her travels—friends from Germany and so many other countries.
The world was at her feet. No, despite how much she loved her family, she had to do things her way this time. There’d be other Februarys, other trips to Tahoe. But this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
She was still drinking her beer and lamenting her situation when a masculine voice from behind her said, “Hallo. Kann ich mitmachen?”
Turning, Lauren saw a handsome, rugged-featured guy, gazing at her with raised brows. He was asking if he could join her.
“Sind Sie allein?” he asked, glancing to her right and to her left.
“Yes, I’m alone,” she answered in German. “And, yes, please join me.”
The man came around and slid onto the bench seat. He propped his elbow on the table, signalling to the waitress that he’d have the same as the lady. The waitress nodded, hurrying off to get his refreshment.
He turned his gaze back to Lauren. “You’re American,” he noted, speaking English that was heavily accented.
“Guilty as charged,” she responded in English. “Is it that obvious?” She gave him a rueful look.
He smiled, idly playing with the gold chain around his neck. “Your German is quite good. But I picked up the American…what’s the word you use? Twang.”
Lauren had to laugh. “It’s my turn to take a stab at it, then. You’re French? Slavic? A combination of both?”
“The last.“ His smile widened. “You have a good ear, as well.”
“Your German and your English are excellent. I guess I just got lucky.”
“Speaking of getting lucky, what’s your name?” he asked.
His boldness took her aback, but she answered anyway. “Lauren. What’s yours?”
“Marko.” He held out his hand, which Lauren shook. “I’m in Munich on business. And you?”
“I’m an exchange student. I’m on break, and I’m looking forward to enjoying some time exploring Europe.”
Marko looked intrigued. “I can give you a few tips.” A mischievous glint lit his eyes. “Or I could travel with you for a few days and give you the best taste of Munich you’ll ever have.”
Lauren felt flushed. She was twenty years old. She knew very well what Marko meant by “the best taste.” She should be offended. But she couldn’t help being flattered. He was older, good-looking, and charming.
Nonetheless, she wasn’t stupid. And she wasn’t in the market for a hookup.
“Thanks, but I’m tackling this trip on my own,” she replied. “I’m meeting up with friends later, but I’m good as planned.”
“Pity.” The glint in his eyes faded with regret. “Then at least let me give you some pointers about the best sights to see and the best restaurants and places to visit.”
“That would be fantastic.” Lauren rummaged in her purse for a pen and paper. Having found them, she set her bag on the floor between them.
She spent the next twenty mesmerizing minutes listening to Marko detail the highlights of Munich and other parts of Bavaria, as she simultaneously scribbled down what he was saying.
“Thank you so much,” she said when he was finished. “This is like a guided tour.”
“Once again, I could do it in person.”
“And once again, I’m flattered, but no thank you.” Lauren signaled for her check, reaching into her bag and retrieving a twenty euro bill when the waitress approached the table. “The rest is for you,” she told her.
“I’ll take care of that,” Marko offered, stopping Lauren by catching her wrist and simultaneously fishing for his wallet. Evidently, he was still holding out hope that she would change her mind.
“That’s okay. I’ve got it.” Lauren wriggled out of his grasp, leaned forward, and completed the transaction.
“You’ve been a tremendous help,” she said to Marko as she rose. “I’m glad we met.”
This time it was she who extended her hand.
Reluctantly, he shook it. “I hope we meet again, Lauren. I’ll look for you the next time I’m in Munich.”
Still smiling, Lauren left the café and walked through the wide cobblestone apron outside. There were little tables with umbrellas scattered about, with patrons chatting and eating. Sated by the beer and pretzel, she inhaled happily, and then, walking over to the sidewalk, began what she expected to be a thoughtful stroll. Maybe she’d text her parents this time, try explaining her position without all the drama of a phone call.
She was halfway down the street when she heard a male voice call after her, “Lauren!”
She turned to see Marko hurrying in her direction. “Here.” He extended his arm, a familiar iPhone in his hand. “You left this on the table.”
“Oh, thank you.” How could she have been so careless? She protected her cell phone like a small child. “I’d be lost without that—“
As she spoke, a Mercedes van tore around the corner and came screeching up to them.
The near doors were flung open, and a stocky man jumped out, his face concealed by a black hood. Before Lauren could so much as blink, he grabbed her, yanking a burlap sack over her head and tossing her over his shoulder.
“Merr në makinë,” he said in a language Lauren didn’t understand.
By this time, Lauren had recovered enough to struggle for her freedom. Her legs flailed in the air, kicking furiously, and she pounded on the man’s back as he carried her and flung her into the back of the van. Marko jumped in behind her, slamming the doors shut and barking out something in the same dialect as the other man—neither French nor Slavic—as the stocky barbarian held her down. Finally finding her voice, Lauren let out a scream, which was quickly muffled by the pressure of Marko’s hand over her mouth. She could taste the wool of the sack, and she inclined her head so she could breathe through her nose.
A short-lived reprieve.
Marko fumbled around, then shoved a handkerchief under the sack, covering her nose and mouth. Lauren thrashed her head from side to side, struggling to avoid it. The odor was sickeningly sweet and citrusy. Chloroform.
Tears burned behind her eyes. Shock waves pulsed through her body.
Oh God, she didn’t want to die.
Marko clamped his other hand on the back of her head, holding it in place while he forced the handkerchief flush against her nose and mouth, making it impossible for her to escape. Dizziness. Nausea. Black specks. Nothing. “Shko,” Marko ordered his accomplice, shoving him toward the driver’s seat. The van screeched off, headed to hell.
Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.