The Tortoise Website

The Tortoise Website
Click on image to go to Author website. "THE RACE IS NOT TO THE SWIFT." Eccl. 9:11

Friday, 23 March 2012

Review of Counselling For Toads by Robert de Board.

This book was recommended to me by my daughter. It is subtitled: A Psychological Adventure and I was more intrigued and excited by the subtitle than the title, as I am not particularly enamoured of the counselling process.

This book is based on Mr. Toad, the main character in The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. I have not read The Wind in the Willows, this was one children’s book that passed me by, but I do actually own a copy, so I might read it.

Counselling for Toads is a very readable pastiche, in which the author, an organisational consultant and best –selling author of a textbook on counselling, uses the language and ideas of transactional analysis as his counselling method.
Toad gets in touch with his inner parent, adult and child as Heron, the analyst encourages him to explore his feelings and to develop EQ, his emotional intelligence.

Transactional Analysis is the brain child of Eric Berne who popularised the method in the sixties with books such as Games People Play and I’m OK, You’re OK, which I may have read, but have largely forgotten.

At 152 pages and written in lively language Counselling For Toads is actually a very enjoyable book and is an original approach to counselling. I recommend it.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Review of 12 Books That Changed The World by Melvyn Bragg

Who could resist a title like that? Not me! Before I provide you with the list of 12 books I am going to quote from page 321, as it could easily serve as an introduction to this splendid book.

‘One of the people I spoke to when I was thinking about this book’ Bragg writes, ‘was my friend the novelist Howard Jacobson. He was dismayed that the list held no novelists.’
“I’m a novelist, you’re a novelist, we love novels, novels changed my life and novels changed your life, good novels change lives every day, a list without a novel? Without one, not one, novel?”

‘I defended the list I had drawn up. I said that I wanted books that I could prove had changed, rootedly, the lives of people all over the land – people on trains, people at airports, people in clubs and pubs, women who were still campaigning for equality and enjoying the long-awaited acknowledgement of their right to orgasm, men who week in week out played, watched, celebrated and discussed a game so beautifully and simply constructed it remains a masterpiece of socio-leisure architecture, those who hold religious truths to be self-evident and those whose conscious and unconscious lives have been readjusted by the revelations from the Galapagos Islands, the industrialists and financiers who ride and lubricate international capitalism calling on the market and free trade as its two parents, those whose lives are devoted to seeking freedoms which were given such a lead in the abolition of the slave trade, those who go to the moon, put on the light, send a fax, vote in a democratic country, fight for their rights, those whose daily lives and the reach of whose minds and ambitions have been transformed by books which set off a shot that rang around the world.’

Having read the book and the arguments that Bragg uses for including each of his choices, I wholeheartedly agree and I learnt something about the reach and extent of each of his choices which I didn’t know before.

The twelve books are as follows:
1. Principia Mathematica by Isaac Newton, simply the world’s greatest natural philosopher and thinker.
“Nature, and nature’s Laws lay hid in night:
God said: ‘Let Newton be!’ and all was light.”

2. Married Love by Marie Stopes. ‘In my own marriage, I paid such a terrible price for sex-ignorance that I feel that knowledge gained at such a cost should be placed at the service of humanity.’ It was and it is. Sexual and reproductive health information and services is provided to 4.3 million people across the world through the MSI Global Partnership.

3. Magna Carta by Members of the English Ruling Classes. This is the bedrock of British and American democracy which guarantees our freedom from tyranny.

4. The Rule Book of Association Football by a Group of Former English Public School Men. The so-called beautiful game which is now played worldwide, a cultural phenomenon.

5. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. The book that caused uproar among fundamental Christians. “In great detail, Darwin laid out evidence for evolution as an undeniable process, with natural selection as its driving force. In doing so the book demolished beliefs in the fixity of the species and seriously challenged, and some claim wholly undermined, views and convictions about both the nature of men and the presence of God in the natural world.” It’s a point of view. Darwin may have some credence in his observations of the natural world, but extrapolating it to the human race does not have to follow, in my opinion. How or when God created man is open to interpretation, I am willing to concede, but not God’s Creatorship, which is a matter of faith.

6. On the Abolition of the Slave Trade by William Wilberforce. Cited as ‘one of the turning circumstances in the history of the world.’ William Wilberforce delivered this paper to the British House of Commons in May 1789. He began: “When I consider the magnitude of the subject which I am about to bring before the House a subject in which the interests not just of this country, nor of Europe alone, but of the whole world and of posterity are involved... it is impossible for me not o feel both terrified and concerned at my own inadequacy to such a task... the end of which is the total abolition of the slave trade.” Four hours later he emerged as a man of heroic moral stature, a man whose words would move the world. He died just three days after the Slave Trade was abolished in Britain in 1807.

7. A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft. The first great feminist thesis. She had a “firm conviction that the neglected education of my fellow creatures (i.e.women) is the grand source of the misery I deplore.” A seminal work that advocated equality for women.

8. Experimental Researches in Electricity by Michael Farraday. We owe everything that runs on electricity to Farraday. The list would be endless.

9. Patent Specification for Arkwright’s Spinning Machine by Richard Arkwright. The entrepreneurial genius behind the Industrial Revolution and the rise of Britain as the wealthiest nation in the world through its manufacture of textiles.

10. The King James Bible by William Tyndale and Fifty-Four Scholars appointed by the King. The influence of Tyndale on the English language is enormous. It is estimated that 80% of the words in the King James Bible came from him. The formative effect on generations of great writers is extensive. The moral power of the King James Version of the Bible in particular is embraced by America and its leaders. This book has been the greatest influence in my life.

11. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith. The advocate of Free Trade which has done more to increase the wealth of the world than any other economic doctrine. It is the basis for capitalism.

12. The First Folio by William Shakespeare. After the Bible, Shakespeare has provided inspiration and enjoyment to millions of English-speaking people around the world. I quote him constantly. Of course, he has been translated into more than fifty languages, also. Literary imagination unsurpassed by any writer, including Dickens, psychological penetration greater even than Freud, his influence on Western culture has been and continues to be far-reaching and comprehensive.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Best self promotion! by Neil Ostroff

It’s been a while since I posted all the sites I use to market and promote my books. I figured since I have so many new blog followers (I’m up to 111 so far; thanks all for following) it would help anyone looking for greats sites to promote on. I’m just going to list them in no particular order. They’re easy to sign up and have friendly people in their forums. I recommend you download all your books to these sites for the exposure. I also post my blog on these sites and participate in groups. It has definitely driven sales.

The book marketing


Google stream

Kindle Boards

Kindle direct publishing meet our authors forum







--I also highly recommend the sites below for writing advice. You can post samples, or stories, or just ask a question. The people here are very friendly and have given me great free editing and advice over the years. But DO NOT self-promote here.

Absolutewrite water 


--Here is a list of sites I recommend all authors put their books on for display. I don’t participate much on these, but I always add my book, summary, and link to my account when I publish a new one. It’s all about exposure.


--Well, there it is, the secret to my promotional efforts are now laid bare. I spend between two and five hours involved in daily marketing and promoting on these sites, including posting on forums without self-promotion. But as I posted earlier, Kindle Boards allows you to place a picture and link of your book after each post so it’s like promoting anyway. I hope this list helps. Feel free to print it.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Why I am a Christian by Alan Moreton

All the rational arguments in the world and all the so-called proofs of God’s existence did not convince me to become a Christian. These are merely a means of bolstering one’s faith after the event.

I became a Christian because God willed it. “For He says to Moses, ‘I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.’ So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.” Rom. 9:15-16

It is impossible to will yourself to become a Christian. You can will yourself to adopt the Christian religion but it takes a supernatural act of God in accordance with his plan and purpose for an individual to become a son of God. You cannot will yourself to be fathered, it is impossible!

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.” Rom 8;14.

Jesus makes this plain in John 3:3 “...unless one is born again (or born from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

The situation that caused me to become a Christian at the age of seventeen was a supernatural confluence between my hearing John 3.16 and God’s spirit acting upon it to create spiritual life within me.

When I heard: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotton Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life,” I heard God speaking directly to me and He imparted to me the faith to believe it, which engendered new life in me from the seed of this word.

This was not something I did but something which happened to me by the will of God.  Then I acted, by submitting to Christ as my Lord and Saviour.
I was not seeking God; I was not planning on becoming a Christian. I did not consider all the reasonable and rational arguments and then make a logical decision to serve God. No, all that came after God supernaturally intervened in my life. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Cor. 5:17

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Why I Am a Christian by Michael Spencer

1.     It is reasonable that God might exist.

2.     Further, it is reasonable (based on the evidence) that this God who might exist might be personal and therefore have communicated with human beings.

3.     The world’s religions are a reasonable place to look for evidence of such communication.

4.     Among those representing the world religions, Jesus of Nazareth seems to hold the consensus as the person most likely to provide convincing evidence of the God who might exist. (Since Jesus is- in some way- incorporated into all major world religions. If all the world’s religious leaders were locked in a basement until they could elect only one person to represent the best of their beliefs, I believe Jesus would be the person selected.)

5.     The resurrection of Jesus is a reasonable explanation for the existence of Christianity as a distinct belief system from Judaism.

6.     An examination of the various alternatives and existing evidence convinces me that the Resurrection is, in fact, true.

7.     If the Rez is true, then Jesus’ statements about himself, God, Truth, Sin, etc. (The Christian worldview) are true by deduction.

8.     Based on this conclusion, I relate to the God who I now believe exists through Jesus.

9.     My experience matches what Jesus describes, providing personal verification of the truth of Christianity.

10. Based on Pascal’s wager, I await eventual verification of this conclusion after death, but haven’t lost anything if I am wrong.