The Color of Together Virtual Book Tour

The Color of Together

A book written with honesty and empathy about things common to us all…
THE COLOR OF TOGETHER:MIXED METAPHORS OF CONNECTEDNESS
By Milton Brasher-Cunningham

Title: The Color of Together: Mixed Metaphors of Connectedness
Author: Milton Brasher Cunningham
Publisher: Light Messages Publishing
Pages: 160
Genre: Christian Nonfiction

The Color of Together begins with the primary colors of life–grief, grace, and gratitude–and enlarges the palette to talk about the work of art that is our life together in these days. The idea for the book began with understanding that grief is not something we get over or work through, but something we learn to move around in–something that colors our lives. Grace is the other given. Gratitude is the response to both that offers the possibility of both healing and hope.


“Locating ourselves in the adventure of life requires reliable tools for exploration. Milton Brasher-Cunningham gives us finely-tuned metaphorical gyroscopes to navigate our way with God, others and even ourselves. The Color of Together will help us find our place again and again along the way.”  ~ Rev. Dr. George A. Mason, President, Faith Commons, Dallas, Texas.

“In his beautiful new book, Milton Brasher-Cunningham shares arresting thoughts on grief, grace, and gratitude. He claims that we are all shaped by our sorrows and generously tells his own stories of loss. All the while, he leads us toward hope. The Color of Together is both poetic and instructive, relatable and deeply philosophical. It awakened my heart to read this book; I hope it will do the same for you.” –Jennifer Grant, author of A Little Blue Bottle

Amazon → https://amzn.to/30Urxsj

 Barnes & Noble → https://bit.ly/3jZ8OD6

Chapter 1

Sometime after we moved to Boston, Ginger, my wife, signed me up for a watercolor class at the Boston Center for Adult Education. Our first task was to make a color wheel. We set the three primary colors—red, blue, and yellow—equidistant from each other around a circle we had drawn on the paper, and then began mixing them to show the shades it took to move from one to the other. The purples, greens, and oranges that filled in the circle illustrated the relationships between the primaries, which stood in such contrast to one another on their own. Wherever we started on the wheel, there was a connection, a way to get to the other colors.

Color is more than pigment. It is figment as well. For us to see color requires an act of imagination and an understanding of relationship.

One Christmas after the watercolors, Ginger enrolled me in an iconography class at Andover Newton Theological School. I spent over a year learning the spiritual practice from a wonderful man named Christopher Gosey. Before we ever picked up a brush, we learned the vocabulary connected to what we were doing. We were not going to paint the icons, Chris said, we were going to write them.

As one who has learned to play with words more easily than with paint, the verb choice caught me. Good writing is descriptive and evocative. The challenge is to show, not tell; to reveal. Good writing tells a story, takes us on a journey, connects us to something larger.

The “cartoons”—the outlines of the figures we would write—had been passed down for centuries, much like basic plot structures in literature, or the elements of grammar and style.

The point of our work was to be faithful to those who had gone before and to what they had handed down, rather than to try and be original. Our offering was to trace the lines others had made and then color them with pigments we had mixed not so we could worship the icon, but so we could open a “window to heaven” to create a “thin place” for connection to God.

The phrase thin place entered our vocabulary through the earthy spirituality of Celtic Christianity. It describes the places where the border between what is seen and what is unseen becomes permeable. Liminal. Thin. Translucent. Transcendent.

It is a sacred space of disquietude; a turbulent silence where things are still and vibrant in the same moment.

As I sat in the sun-drenched room of the aging building, listening to recordings of Russian church bells, and learning how to write my brush across the blank parchment-covered block etched with the image of Mary, I came to understand more of what Jesus meant when he said, “Lose your life to find it.”

Our paint was almost translucent, by design. We mixed our colors by adding natural pigments to acrylic medium. In ancient days, the pigments were blended with egg yolks. The practice of iconography is more about prayer than painting; the necessary repetition was meditative and focusing. As we laid down the colors, we moved from heavier shades to lighter ones, choreography that held intentional theological significance. The first strokes of the lighter colors on the deep background didn’t seem to have much effect, yet, over time, and with intentional repetition, the colors took hold. The deeper tones became the background—the foundation—for the illuminating presence.

Without the contrast, the light would have had little significance. The base substances from which the pigments came were earthy and natural. The black was made from ashes. Some of the browns were made of dirt or powdered stone. At every level, the experience rubbed heaven and earth against each other like sticks to start a fire.

The work of icon writing is deliberate. To get a color to show up on the icon meant going over each line twenty to forty times. The spiritual practice was to turn the repetition into ritual—a sort of physical prayer. The move from heavier tones to lighter ones felt counterintuitive until I began to see the colors dawn on the icon. We traced images that had been handed down across centuries, much like we repeat rituals in worship. Everything about it was fraught with a sense of connectedness, a new way of seeing who we were in the context of who had come before and who would follow. The whole enterprise was steeped in metaphor.

In his letter to the Ephesian church, Paul wrote, “We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus for the good works which God has already designated to make up our way of life.”

In a sermon on that verse, Ginger said, “We are dust, which becomes pigment in God’s artwork.” The pigments we used to write icons were made from earthy substances, just as we are.

The Greek word translated as work of art is poiema, which even my spell check knows is the root word of poem. Paul said, “We are God’s work of art.” Not works. Work. Not I. We. Together we become the artwork, handmade pigments illuminated by God’s presence, as it has been from the dawn of creation.

Riding the color metaphor train took me to the field of the philosophy of color, which is as esoteric as it sounds, and perhaps, not a journey everyone wants to make. But I took a trip, nonetheless, as I wondered about grief as a primary color.

Philosophers look at the way humans see color, or whether we actually see color at all. One of the ways of seeing is called color adverbialism, which is to say, we do not see red, as much as we see red-ly. What that means is there is a relationship between the object, the perceiver, and the context—another relational trinity.

The philosopher articulating the theory was not being intentionally metaphorical when she said, “Color vision is as a way of seeing things—flowers, tables, ladybirds—not, in the first instance, a way of seeing the colors.” What I heard her say was the colors we see have to be connected to something or someone for them to be significant.

In 2020, our sense of what it means to be together has been heavily shaded by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have lived in quarantine, without the ability to gather, to hug those we love, to share a meal, to go to a baseball game, or to share a pew at church. I have watched people gather on the Guilford Green
in groups of four or five, separating their lawn chairs to an appropriate distance just to be together. As Zoom has begun to feel like a necessary appliance in our lives, we have found ways to change backgrounds so we are surrounded by palm trees and superheroes in our little square on the screen. We are colored by our losses in ways our world has not known so pervasively for over a century.

Life, however, is a litany of losses in any age: failures, injuries, disappointments, betrayals, missed moments, things done and left undone, deaths, falls, illnesses, fears, lowered expectations. Life is also a compendium of blessings, of things for which we can be thankful: families, ball games, good food, starry nights, first kisses and last ones, friends, sunshine, spring rains, puppies, and pie. And life is an abundance of grace, of those things we stumble into, that find us, that surprise us and ambush us with the reminder of a relentless love that will not let us go. All three are true all the time.

Though we often feel them singularly because of our limitations, one is not there without the others. They are the primary colors we see in the context of relationships, with something or someone, in any moment. When we see grief-ly, grateful-ly, and grace-ly, we can see the color of together.

Milton Brasher-Cunningham was born in Texas, grew up in Africa, and has spent the last thirty years in New England and North Carolina. He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, and has worked as a high school English teacher, a professional chef, a trainer for Apple, and is now an editor. He is the author of three books, Keeping the Feast: Metaphors for the MealThis Must Be the Place: Reflections on Home, and his latest, The Color of Together.He loves the Boston Red Sox, his mini schnauzers, handmade music, and feeding people. He lives in Guilford, Connecticut, with Ginger, his wife, and their three Schnauzers. He writes regularly at donteatalone.com.

Website: https://www.torchflamebooks.com/milton-brasher-cunningham

Blog: www.donteatalone.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/miltybc

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/milton.brashercunningham

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5863259.Milton_Brasher_Cunningham

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The Heart Revolution Book Tour & Giveaway

The Heart Revolution


Non-fiction, Business, Management, Leadership, Personal development

Date Published: 9-29-20


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Change happens in business and in life. Today’s success is achieved by learning how to thrive and come alive – manifesting our deeper purpose and true potential – through transformation.

For that to happen we have to shift our mindsets to build and sustain our own capacity to transform. By replacing fear with love. Waste with value. By enriching our personal and professional lives with deeper meaning and expanded capacity.

This book invites you to step out of your comfort zone, tear down your internal blockers, and follow the Ten Steps of Transformation, for a greater impact in your life, organization and society.

Join The Heart Revolution



About the Author

author Karen

Karen is a business executive, transformer and facilitator with 20+ years of experience in People, Culture and Transformation Leadership roles from several multinationals across industries.

She hates waste in all forms and shapes – and loves impact. That’s why she has a burning desire to help individuals and organizations to transform, disrupting their lives as a way to enrichment.

Karen is a self-proclaimed collector of the lightbulb moments, where people do things they never imagined they could. And she says she comes fully alive when deeply engaged in asking, listening to and sensing people – both what they’re saying and not saying.

She is lifelong student and learner, holding a bachelor’s in Economics – specialized in Organizational Development, an Executive MBA and a Masters in Gestalt Psychotherapy. But originally started her career as a nurse, caring for terminally ill AIDS patients. Seeing how differently people would meet death – whether embracing it having truly lived or facing it begrudgingly with regret – gave Karen existential insight into the importance of living fully, both personally and professionally.

Whatever the label though, working with people, their well-being and transformation has been the red thread throughout Karen’s life. And she is here to help everyone who wants to disrupt and enrich their lives – transforming through love and laughter – whether as individuals or whole organizations.

Contact Links

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Purchase Link

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Never Too Young To Change

Never too young


Christian Faith and Spirituality, Inspirational

Date Published: December 1, 2020


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Inspiring true stories of young people who have significantly influenced their worlds. Each story shows how age is not a factor in one’s ability to make a profound contribution to our world. Read and be amazed and inspired by these young ambassadors of faith, hope and love.


About the Author

Br. Dan O’Riordan, a Marist Brother, shares his inspiring stories of young people who have made significant impacts on the lives of many in our world in this, his second book.

He has served as a teacher, coach, counselor and campus minister at numerous Marist High Schools around the USA. He also served his Province as their Vocation Director and Vice-Provincial.

He has coordinated more than one hundred mission service trips allowing many young people the opportunity to serve the least favored in many communities. He has also led numerous pilgrimages for young people and continues to be a featured speaker on youth retreats and youth gatherings, where he encourages young people to find ways to answer God’s call and use their gifts and talents in responding to the many needs of our world.


Contact Links

Website

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Twitter

Blog: Coming soon on website

Instagram

LinkedIn: Brother Dan O’Riordan

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Flawed But Fabulous Book Tour

Flawed But Fabulous

Welcome to the Book Tour for “Flawed but Fabulous” by Michelle Best.

Embracing a Better You

Christian, Spiritual Growth, Christian Mentorship

Date Published: Nov 24, 2020

Publisher: Clay Bridges Press

 

Have you ever noticed that you are a greater cheerleader for others than yourself?

Imagine what you could accomplish if that same energy you applied to others’ success was used on you. In our Christian walk, sometimes we need a reminder of our internal tools. One of our greatest tools is to allow faith to conquer fear. This book is meant to challenge all the negative images and thoughts we often have about ourselves.

It will encourage readers to envision and take advantage of opportunities to promote a different outcome. In this book, the reader will be challenged to participate in self-reflection and deal with the hard issues, because avoidance is never deliverance. Know what you can handle and how to deal with it in a positive way. No matter how many bruises, scars, or flaws, there is a “fabulous” within you waiting to come forth.

 

Excerpt

God is an awesome God who desires for us to be made
complete. Sometimes, the scars of life will have us fake it
until we make it. Everything in life happens for a reason.
Scripture reminds the believer that “to everything there is a season”
(Eccles. 3:1). You are not what you experienced. The most important
thing you can remember is to use your experiences as opportunities
to learn from them. Embrace the better you by building off your
experiences. Maybe you planned on completing your education, but
the credit hours and grades did not work out. Or perhaps you have
been trying for a position with your company and cannot seem to
get the yes you have been waiting for. Did you know that the last
no does not mean no forever? There are countless professionals who
will share their stories of repeated failures before they got it right.
The point is that even if it does not work out the first time, that
is no excuse to quit. Let me challenge the better in you by saying
this: it is okay to try again.

 

 

 

About the Author

Michelle Best grew up in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, under the leadership of her grandfather, the late Bishop F. C. Barnes. She has worked in the healthcare industry for more than 19 years and holds an MBA in project management. Currently, Michelle is a faithful member of Monument of Praise Ministries in High Point, North Carolina, under the leadership of Bishop Kevin A. Williams. She serves on the minister’s staff as well as praise & worship leader and a member of the choir. She enjoys any activity she can find to do.

 

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Purchase Links

Amazon

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RABT Book Tours & PR

An Alaskan Family Christmas Book Tour

An Alaskan Family Christmas

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

An Alaskan Family Christmas (Northern Lights #7) By Beth Carpenter Contemporary Romance Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages (Large Print) November 1, 2020 by Harlequin Heartwarming

A little mix-up…

Could make her Christmas wonderful!

Natalie Weiss is mortified. After mistaking handsome Tanner Rockford for his cousin, she’s followed him to rural Alaska. Now she’s stranded—until Tanner invites her to spend Christmas with his family in their rustic, cozy cabin. But in this idyllic winter wonderland, Natalie discovers the family she’s never had…and the love she never knew she needed. But what happens when they all discover why she’s really there?

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Other Books in the Series

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About the Author

Beth Carpenter is thankful for good books, a good dog, a good man and a dream job creating happily-ever-afters. She and her husband now split their time between Alaska and Arizona, where she occasionally encounters a moose in the yard or a scorpion in the basement. She prefers the moose.

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Tour Schedule

Excerpt

Tomorrow night was the math department’s annual Christmas party, and Natalie could enjoy it with a clear conscience once she’d tailed Rockford home and reported back to Brooke. Everything was falling into place.


Her phone showed two bars. She got off a quick email confirming her hotel reservation and glanced over at Rockford. He was stashing his laptop in his satchel. Probably planning to stretch his legs. She could use a stroll, too, but following him up and down the train would be a little too obvious.


He pulled his coat down from the overhead shelf and put it on. Hmm. Maybe he was changing cars for some reason. She supposed it didn’t really matter. He’d have to claim his luggage in Anchorage, so he couldn’t get away before she did. He came to her seat and touched her shoulder. “Goodbye, Natalie. I hope you enjoy your new job.” Without waiting for a reply, he walked down the aisle toward the rear of the train.


Wait. Why was he telling her goodbye? They still had several hours before they arrived in Anchorage. What was he up to?
They’d come to a sort of village now, or at least a cluster of cabins near the tracks. The voice on the PA system was saying something about dry cabins and flag stops.


In the book she was reading, the protagonist had lost a tail by jumping off a subway car just before the doors closed and taking another train to a different destination. Could Rockford be planning the same? But if so, why would he tell her goodbye?


To gloat! The same reason he’d asked her to lunch. He knew she was following him, and he’d made up that whole story about writing books to throw her off the trail. Now he was going to leave the train early, no doubt catching a later one. Well, she hadn’t lost him yet.

Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive a signed print copy of A Gift for Santa, a set of jingle bells, a sheet of winter stickers, a peppermint bead bracelet, and a $25 Amazon gift card (US only – if winner is outside the US winner will receive an ebook of A Gift for Santa and a $25 Amazon gift card)

Ends November 18, 2020

ENTER HERE

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One Way Home

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

one way home

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour & Giveaway for One Way Home by Melanie Campbell, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

My Review

This story is about Sharon. She lives with her daughter Cassie and granddaughter, Renee. Sharon has had a hard life and is struggling in her middle years. She works as a cleaning lady for a local hotel. She is also an alcoholic who struggles to stay sober.

Sharon speaks throughout the book and shares her inner-most feelings. She gives an honest look inside her mind and heart and it is troubled. The story begins with her on a quest to find her biological father. Her mother only told her this secret right before she died.

Because the secret was kept very well, finding her real father proves to be very difficult. Sharon goes through so many emotions and fears as she looks for him. She’s tempted over and over to stop the emotional pain with a drink. People from her past also tempt her back into that lifestyle.

Cassie is a Christian who tries to get her mother back to church and getting right with God. She has to be patient with her mother and forgiving as Sharon struggles. The book follows this story until we see what becomes of Sharon.

I really liked the book and it kept my interest throughout the story. It’s a story that could be found in many families and could be helpful for those who are also living with these battles. It could also help those who have a friend or loved-one in a similar situation.

ABOUT THE BOOK

One Way HomeTitle: One Way Home Series: Whispers of Grace #2 Author: Melanie Campbell Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink Release Date: November 1, 2020 Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Women’s Fiction She’s hanging by a string—with only one chance left. A recovering alcoholic and longtime widow, Sharon has struggled to build a new life. She’s made amends with her only daughter, Cassie, who’s been through a treacherous divorce. Cassie’s daughter, Renee, too young to understand her grandmother’s earlier mistakes, has become the light of Sharon’s life. But Sharon can’t seem to escape from her past. Her mother’s deathbed confession haunts her. Convinced the answer to truly overcoming her addiction lies with her biological father, Sharon sends off a DNA test in the hope of finding him. When the results of the test aren’t as revealing as Sharon anticipates, she and Cassie team up to find the truth. Meanwhile an old flame shows up. Sharon doesn’t think she can ever love again, but what Johnny offers seems like a dream come true. His charm and kindness shine so bright, Sharon can almost believe he’s changed. As the search for her father continues to frustrate and tensions escalate with Cassie, Sharon wonders if leaving it all behind for a life with Johnny will save her crumbling heart. Will the truth set Sharon free? Or it will it be the final blow to her sobriety? PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Melanie Campbell

Melanie Campbell’s debut novel, One Woman Falling, won the 2020 Oregon Christian Writer’s Cascade Award for contemporary fiction and is a finalist for the Selah Award for first novel. One Way Home, the second novel in her Whispers of Grace series, releases on November 1, 2020. Melanie wrote her first story when she was eight-years-old and has been in love with the power of storytelling ever since. She is also passionate about social issues and holds a degree in Sociology from the University of Oregon, which she obtained during her stint as a single-mom. She’s now married and lives in Oregon’s beautiful Willamette Valley with her family and several spoiled pets. When not writing, Melanie enjoys exploring Oregon’s beautiful outdoors by hiking, kayaking, and going for drives in the country. In less-than-favorable weather conditions, you will find her enjoying an intriguing book and a strong cup of coffee.

CONNECT WITH MELANIE:Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a signed copy of One Way Home and a $25 Amazon gift card!

One Way Home JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 10, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on November 17, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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