Articles for the Month of April 2021

Imbwa, The Story of the Dog and His Harsh Master by K. A. Mulenga

An enchanting children’s story conveying an important message.

As a dog loving family, I was immediately drawn to this story after reading ‘Donk and the Stubborn Donkeys’ by the same author. The incredible way this award-winning author conveys important life-lessons through short, beautifully illustrated stories, really keeps the attention of my two young granddaughters, and we all know that this is the way children learn.

This story contains a message which is very important to children. It is about two dogs, Imbwa the Rottweiler, and Galu the Great Dane. The two dogs are different breeds, but this doesn’t matter because the message in this story isn’t about them, it is general, transcending species. It is one of behaviour, of the way you should treat others, and how acting with kindness versus cruelty affects lives.

Imbwa, and Galu live next door to each other, and when they go to the park they meet. Galu is a happy dog, however Imbwa is always angry. Because they are friends they talk together and through their conversation, the child, or adult reader of the story to the child, discovers why the dogs are so different in temperament. They learn that the way the owners teach their dog right from wrong is the key, and that this in turn affects how the dogs understand things, and learn.

Through wonderful illustrations and based on the Bemba Proverb from Zambia, this beautiful heart-warming tale, sends a strong message for children, and adults alike. Highly recommended.

About the Author:

My name is Kalenga Augustine Mulenga aka K.A. Mulenga. My passion is writing. I started writing when I was 10 years old and my passion was reignited by my 11 year old son. Writing runs in my blood as my late father was a journalist and the first black editor of the Zambia Daily Mail and my late brother was a poet. To date, I have published 9 children’s eBooks on Amazon. I love writing children’s books with a positive message and also to make them laugh and entertained. I am a prolific writer and currently have 8 edited and completed manuscripts.
I am busy with a memoir and after that I would like to write some fiction and non-fiction in the near future.

Author’s Website: https://www.kamulenga.com/

About the Book:

Imbwa the Rottweiler and his next-door neighbour Galu the Great Dane are best friends. They love going to the park with their human masters because it means they get to see each other and have fun playing together.
One day, the two friends meet in the park as usual and begin a conversation about their respective masters. While Galu’s master is always kind and gentle towards him, Imbwa’s master’s approach is rough and tough. Galu tells Imbwa how he is always happy, because of the way his master treats him. Imbwa, on the other hand, shares with Galu how living with his overly strict and unloving master is making him thoroughly miserable. As he chats with his best friend, he also realises that his master’s methods, which are intended to teach him learn life lessons and prevent him from repeating his mistakes, are actually teaching him nothing and only making him make even more mistakes.
Together, the two canine friends hatch a plan to help Galu. What are they planning and will their plan work out? Will Galu find the peace and happiness that he craves? Read on to find out!
The story of Imbwa and Galu will appeal to children because of its relatable themes. Firstly, it teaches young readers that sharing one’s problems with trustworthy friends can help one to feel better, reinforcing the concepts of “communication is key” and “a problem shared is a problem halved”.
This delightful tale also contains valuable life lessons about how mistreating others can cost you dearly and lead to isolation and loneliness, and how kindness towards others can go a long way to ensuring your happiness and that of those around you.

Available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08Z7S1GDP/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1

4 Ideas With Actionable Wisdom by Bob Boylan

A book everyone should read!

Sometimes you come across a book and think, “Everyone needs to read this!” Well for me this little gem is one of those. The author is a photographer, and owns God’s Gift Photography. He lives in Woodland Park, Colorado, with his wife Linda. When asked, “What do you do, Bob?” Bob responds by saying, “I am a seed planter of ideas to creatively encourage and inspire others.” And he certainly does that!

There are lots of self-help books which delve deeply into how you improve yourself in various ways, however, the author in this one, had a unique approach. Firstly he plants the seed of each of his ideas, then he sprinkles it with fertilizer, this being examples of how others have helped him see the advantage of the particular suggestion. Next the idea is nurtured, with ideas on how to go forward in a positive way, and then encourages the reader to enjoy the fruits of their labour.

He covers, as the title suggests, four ideas which he incites his readers to adopt. He believes these will enable them to live better, more fulfilled, and peaceful lives. The first is one he was taught by his father, and it is one which resonates with me, as my father told me much the same. His father told him to give 110% to everything, because that way you would have given your best and know you couldn’t have done more. As his father quite rightly said, “Because that’s all you can do, and you will sleep really well!”

In this busy world his second recommendation is, in my opinion essential. This is to always incorporate quiet waters in the busy white waters of your life. Or in other words find a peaceful, reflective time in your day. Here he first suggests journaling, something he considers very important, and quickly the reader will understand why.

The third is the importance of gratitude for what you have, and here he has given some lovely quotes, my favourite being “Gratitude and attitude are not challenges; they are choices. —ROBERT BRAATHE.”

And the last is a very pertinent one for the world today, and that is to think outside the box. As he points out, corporations always worked in offices before the coronavirus, now, all of a sudden people are working from home. Throughout the centuries necessity has forced change, but we can instigate change ourselves, changes which although they may be scary at first, enrich our lives, give us new priorities, and enable us to dream.

In this troubled and uncertain world, take charge. Do not lead a “woulda, coulda, shoulda life,” embrace this incredibly motivational authors ideas, and be the best you, for your physical and mental wellbeing. Highly recommended!

There are lots of self-help books which delve deeply into how you improve yourself in various ways, however, the author in this one, had a unique approach. Firstly he plants the seed of each of his ideas, then he sprinkles it with fertilizer, this being examples of how others have helped him see the advantage of the particular suggestion. Next the idea is nurtured, with ideas on how to go forward in a positive way, and then encourages the reader to enjoy the fruits of their labour.

He covers, as the title suggests, four ideas which he incites his readers to adopt. He believes these will enable them to live better, more fulfilled, and peaceful lives. The first is one he was taught by his father, and it is one which resonates with me, as my father told me much the same. His father told him to give 110% to everything, because that way you would have given your best and know you couldn’t have done more. As his father quite rightly said, “Because that’s all you can do, and you will sleep really well!”

The author, in this cleverly written self-help book sows the seeds of ideas in his readers minds. Then he carefully nurtures them, encouraging personal growth and development.

An inspirational book which should be embraced by all.

About the Author:

Bob Boylan is a professional landscape photographer, author, nationally known presentation skills trainer, and self described “seed planter of ideas to creatively encourage and inspire others.” He has written books distilling his principles of presentation making, leadership, and life philosophy.

Author’s Website: https://www.bobboylan.com/

About the Book:

“4 Ideas With Actionable Wisdom” plants seeds of inspiration in the minds of readers who are looking to balance their lives, be more grateful, and increase creativity. If you’re interested in this book, congratulations! You’re fertile soil, ready to nourish these idea seedlings, reap the harvest, and improve your life.

These straightforward, implementable ideas are sure help you improve your life with intention. Are you ready to make effective life changes? Then this is the book for you!

Available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Ideas-Actionable-Wisdom-Bob-Boylan/dp/1098361563/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&qid=1618219462&refinements=p_27%3ABob+Boylan&s=books&sr=1-2&text=Bob+Boylan

Chains Across the River – A Novel of the American Revolution by Bevis Longstreth

This powerful and historically accurate book by retired international lawyer Bevis Longstreth tells the story of the incredible Machin Chains. Bevis Longstreth has previously authored three books of historical fiction, Spindle and Bow, Return of the Shade, and Boats Against the Current. Father to three children, and grandfather to nine, he lives in New York with his wife Clara, and dog McKenzie.

The protagonist, British born Captain Thomas Machin, was a brilliant engineer, enlisted in the British Foot, and posted to Boston, Massachusetts. However, disgruntled and disillusioned, the redcoat deserted, and like many others joined the patriots of the Continental Army.

Hearing of Thomas Machin, and impressed, in 1776 General George Washington summoned him and instructed him to design and install obstructions to stop the British Armada gathering in New York Harbour. This was an important commission because the Hudson River was an essential transportation route for the British. The waterway enabled the New England colonies to receive essential supplies, and therefore its obstruction would disunite them from their other colonies.

Thomas Machin, rose to the challenge, and the Machin Chains were conceived. However, their construction and installation proved to be a mammoth task. It is through the transportation and installation of these, and other events, that the readers learn a lot about the hardships and life of the Continental Army soldiers. Notwithstanding the adversity and obstacles involved, ‘The Great Chain’ at West Point, was never breached, and remained in place until the end of the American Revolution.

Thomas Machin had two important women in his life, Elizabeth Van Horne (Lisa,) and Caroline Filippante. It is through his relationships with these women that the readers discover more about the women of this era. Certainly these two add spice to the story, and definitely dissolve the image of demure young ladies. They were strong, scheming, fearless females, and their antics and those of their families provide interesting insights as to how the upper classes ‘survived’ the revolution.

‘Chains Across the River,’ is the exciting tale of how a British deserters engineering accomplishments were an important contribution towards the American War of Independence. It will appeal to lovers of historical fiction. Highly recommended.

About the Author:

BEVIS LONGSTRETH is the author of three historical novels: Spindle and Bow, Return of the Shade, and Boats Against the Current. He is a retired partner of the international law firm, Debevoise & Plimpton, where he practiced for his entire legal career, except for Government service in Washington as a Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission from 1981-84. He authored Modern Portfolio Management and the Prudent Man Rule (Oxford University Press 1987), a book arguing for interpretative change in the legal standard of care exercisable by fiduciaries responsible for other people’s money to reflect current developments in finance economics. He lives in Manhattan, New York with his wife, Clara, and their dog, McKenzie. They have three children and nine grandchildren. See bevislongstreth.com for further information about the author and his writings. 

About the Book:

In the Revolution, a British deserter could become a traitor to the Crown by joining the Continental Army and there become a hero. Chains Across the River tells the enthralling tale of one such soldier, Captain Thomas Machin, a brilliant engineer of flawed character born, educated and trained in England. He enlisted in the British Foot and was posted to Boston, where he saw action at Breed’s Hill before deserting to join the Continentals.

Observing Machin’s engineering skill and practical bent, Washington ordered Machin to the Hudson River, there to imagine, design and install obstructions to block the British Armada gathering in New York Harbor. Both sides believed control of the river a strategic necessity.

The immensity of Washington’s charge was matched by Machin’s audacity in imagining obstructions capable of stopping an 850-ton warship under full sail and following tide. He installed a chain at Fort Montgomery and, when the British overran that Fort and cut the chain, he installed another at West Point.

Filling out the story of Thomas Machin are the unforgettable women in his life, Elizabeth Van Horne and Caroline Filippante.

Why historians devote little attention to Machin is explained by what didn’t happen on the Hudson. The British cut the first chain without testing it and never sailed against the second. Washington and Machin understood the chain could deter without being tested. In these pages the known facts about Machin have been woven into an Homeric-like tale of daring, adventure, intrigue and triumph.

Available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Chains-Across-River-American-Revolution-ebook/dp/B08PSMBNKB/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1617780662&sr=8-1