Friday, May 10, 2013

Review, Interview, and Guest Post of Thoughts To Die For By C. G. Rousing

Thoughts To Die For

Author: C. G. Rousing
Series: Book 1
Pages: 340
Publisher: Self published through Create Space
Published: January 19, 2013
Source: Sent by author for review

High school sophomore, Levi Levy, has no idea how powerful his thoughts are and that his life depends upon them. He’s never been to the 11th Dimension, befriended ghosts or flown with carnivorous clawcons. All Levi knows is an uninspiring life with his mother, father and championship wrestling addicted brother, Darryl. Tired of the monotony of school and home Levi asks for more.
And that’s exactly what he’s about to get when he receives a prestigious invitation to a mysterious realm he never imagined existed. There he discovers not only friends, telepathic aerial sports, and wild adventure around every corner, but the secret to making all his dreams come true…if Levi can learn to direct his thoughts and survive the unpredictable encounter.

Tagline: A transformative adventure in the 11th Dimension where thoughts create reality. (Synopsis)


This was such a great book. I really liked the premise of this book which was; if you can think it, it happens. It was also a different take on school; Levi took a few scheduled classes and the other classes were learned through life experiences.  This was such a positive book, it brought my spirits up while I read it as it came to me at a perfect time in my life. I could have devoured this book in a day but I didn’t have the time. There’s so much to learn about the world Carolyn created and I wanted to experience it all. The possibilities were endless. The sifter which was what they called the kids that came from earth like Levi, they all had bags and they would think of an object and they would take it out of their bags. I thought that was so cool, you just think about something and then it’s right in front of you, I wish I could do that! There's an assignment that they got which was to write all of their thoughts down and for every bad thought, replace with a good one. That stayed with me and I think of that now and my day goes a lot smoother. When they started developing powers, oh my God was I laughing. Their powers developed to be the thing you most thought about, I’ll give you a hint… what do teenage boys think about all the time? Think about that one. 

I felt like the characters were well developed, like I learned a lot about them. Levi was leaving a life that he was bored with and did not want, he wanted to be challenged. I really liked reading from his point of view, his reactions to everything because it was all new. Sarabella was so funny, people say she drank too much crater water lol. Crater water was like a mass of water that the “sifters” would go in when they came from Earth, it took away unnecessary thoughts and clothes. It gave you what you wanted and it relaxes you. She was so underwhelmed by everything that happened because she had seen it all before. Garby, he always had something unique to say or do. Alphia had times where she was absolutely hilarious.

Feeling his way around the cool hardwood floor Levi yelled “Alphia, are you ok?”
“Abandonment, followed by physical abuse. Best day of my life.” (Said Alphia)
Levi followed the sound of her voice.
“Reminds me of the time you took me for a ride in the basket of your bicycle and hit the curb.” (Said Alphia)
I literally laughed out loud when I read this!
And I can’t forget to mention the villain, so cruel and obsessed with power.

I  give this book 4/5 enthusiastic stars! To me this book was more than Levi’s story, it really inspired me to have more positive thoughts in my life. I think the only thing that was missing for me was a romantic relationship between the characters, not the main characters since they were pretty young but a love story between adults in their world. I wondered how that would work since everyone is telepathic to some degree.

Image of C. G. Rousing


Q: How long did it take you to write Thoughts To Die For?
I began working on Thoughts To Die For over a decade ago. I was a busy single parent and would often put my writing aside for large blocks of time. At some point my son challenged me to complete it. He said something like, "You'll never finish that book. You just keep coming up with more ideas for things. You don't finish anything." He had a point and his words lit a fire within me. It was at that moment that I knew I had to finish it - for many reasons. Early on in the book you will see the dedication page - FOR FOREST. He is now putting the pressure on me to finish the second book! Every author should have a Forest. 

Q: How many books are going to be in the series?
How many would you like? (laughing) Honestly, I love the world I created and enjoy spending time there almost more than here. I originally outlined three books but have enough content to easily do more.

Q: Any other book ideas?
Ideas are my greatest asset. I never run out. It’s just something that comes naturally to me. I often joke that I should have been an “idea consultant”. So, yes, I have many. I also have notebooks full of poetry and songs. I write both music and lyrics. So, you may be hearing some of my music soon. My dream is that my book will be made into a motion picture and that my music will be part of it.

Q: Where do you like to write?
This depends on my mood. Sometimes I enjoy sitting at coffee shops with my Toshiba laptop; sometimes I prefer going to the beach. Other times I get cozy on my bed and write until the sun comes up. I’ve even been known to get in my Toyota Forerunner and drive to a park somewhere by the beach or bay and sit in my car writing until the battery in my computer runs out! As long as I’m comfortable and have a steaming cup of organic coffee (with soymilk and maple syrup) I enjoy writing almost anywhere.

Q: When did you figure out you wanted to write for YA?

I remember the exact moment. I ran a small chair massage business in the lobby of a 5-star hotel here in San Diego. I had a lot of downtime. One day I just started writing. Initially, I wrote based on a series of dreams in which I was given consecutive flying lessons inside a wind chamber. I often feel as though someone is telling me the story as I write it. 

Q: Who are your favorite authors?

A short list would include: Krishnamurti, Kahlil Gibran, Aristotle, Plato, Michael Talbot, Dean Radin, Dean Rudyar, Mary Alice Kemery, Louise Hay and Jerry and Esther Hicks. 

Q: What books do you like to read? 

Like Hemp, a character in my novel, I most like reading non-fiction fantasy! It’s a relatively new genre (wink). I must admit that I am quite easily bored with reading. It takes an out-of-the-box, transformative, metaphysical, mind-bending story to keep me reading (or writing) pages.

Guest Post:

Hi! I’m Carolyn, author of the Young/New Adult epic fantasy, Thoughts To Die For. I want to start by thanking Itara at (whom I met online) for reaching out and taking the time to read and review my novel.

I’ll begin with some trivia. I live in San Diego. It’s just 33 steps to the bay and 166 steps to the beach. I have a 20 year old son. I was a single parent. I have a degree in music and a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Penn State University. I write poetry. I also write music and lyrics. I have a Yamaha keyboard and often play at 3:00 a.m. with headphones on so that no one can hear me. I love painting crazy, colorful designs on any unfinished wood item. I once painted back scratchers and sold them at art festivals and street fairs. People loved them. It took way too long to paint these things and I made very little money doing this, but I loved it. 

I love lilacs. I once walked around the neighborhood where I lived in Mill Valley, CA gathering them. I filled vases in every room of my house with them. I can still recall the fragrant air. 

I started writing Thoughts To Die For over a decade ago and finally self-published it January 19, 2013 through the Create Space publishing platform. This is the first book in the series and here’s my hook: An action-packed adventure through the 11th Dimension where thoughts create reality. 

Levi Levy, the protagonist, is a sophomore in high school. He accepts an invitation to finish school in a parallel dimension in the Selective Thought Studies program and soon learns that the ungoverned activity going on between his ears is an untapped resource. He’s challenged throughout the story to focus his thought energy so that he can deliberately create his experiences.

My son was and is the inspiration for the story. Much of his childhood was spent in less than ideal situations over which he felt he had little or no control. I made his happiness and well-being my priority. I explored and experimented with metaphysical philosophies and over the years learned that our thoughts profoundly influence our experiences. This isn’t something we’re taught in school. It’s something that we stumble upon, hopefully sooner than later.

I coined the phrase, “The only wand you’ll ever need is a better feeling thought,” and it is my experience that it’s true. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the idea of magic. I think the fact that any of us even exist is in and of itself magical. And, if I had a wand that really worked I’d definitely use it. But the magic isn’t in the wand. Magic is in the mind.

I recall the first time I was exposed to the Law of Attraction philosophy. I was intrigued but doubtful. I tried to manifest a few things and when they didn’t happen like I thought they should I renounced the principles. It wasn’t until I was exposed to a book called, Ask and It Is Given, by Jerry & Esther Hicks that the missing pieces fell into place. I practiced some of the exercises and had amazing results.

We're taught to be primarily externally focused. We’re concerned with appearances so we do things to improve ourselves physically. I often wonder what our society would be like if our focus shifted and we were primarily internally focused; if our children were taught, from a very young age, that their thoughts influence and even create their experiences. It would change the fundamental structure of our society because empowered people are not easily led astray.

I wrote Thoughts To Die For for myself, and my son. At the same time I hope that others enjoy reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. I believe that those who are in alignment with, and ready to hear the message the book offers, will stumble across it.

The most rewarding part of this process is when I receive an email from an excited reader telling me that the book came into their life at the perfect moment and that it was just what they needed to hear.

Here’s an excerpt from the book:
“Right. Thank you,” said Levi turning the paper over and back again. “There are only two classes listed here.” Levi assumed Hemp had given him the wrong class schedule.
“Ah, yes! We’ve arranged for a few structured classes. We know that’s what you’re expecting. But, truth is, Levi, beings fail to reach their potential within the confines of conventional models of education. Traditional schools value obedience and memorization within the confines of walls. Here at the Universe City of Ceres we value joy, expansion and unbridled imagination, within the confines of an unlimited universe. We disguise learning in the form of life experience. We like to shift the status quo and free the mind. When the mind is free, magic happens. Levi, my boy, let joy and the discovery of your limitless potential be your syllabus. 

I want to thank Carolyn for sending me her book and being so patient with me and I can’t wait for the next one.

XO Itara

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