Terry LaBarba

Welcome to my new author website. I plan to provide blogs that are interesting, informative and entertaining, throwing in a little eye candy along the way. Feel free to navigate the pages and discover more about my works and me. Catch a brief snippet from the Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday category. Or maybe you’ll find out why there is a picture of Mt. Shasta on the page.

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Healthy Raw Chocolates Recipe

I put together the following recipe in my kitchen. While on a raw diet, these chocolates should not make you gain weight since the fat has not been heated. It’s so simple to do you could keep the ingredients at a work location and whip up a quick treat to satisfy your chocolate cravings. As for Valentine’s Day, make this for who you love (I hope that includes yourself).

4 tablespoons raw cacao powder (for raw version) or regular cocoa powder
4 tablespoons coconut butter (unrefined, expeller pressed)
1 tablespoons honey or raw agave nectar, or maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla
pinch of salt (only healthy kind like Celtic Sea Salt or Real Salt)

Gently melt coconut butter in a bowl in a pan of simmering water. Remove the bowl of oil so the oil only melts, not letting it get hot. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Pour into any mold. I use an Ikea flexible ice cube tray with heart shapes or a plastic container. 1/2 inch thickness is a good start. Put in the refrigerator until it hardens. Remove container, pop out chocolates or cut pieces from the block and store in a cool place, wrapped in plastic, or stored in glass, never foil (for toxicity reasons).

This recipe is small for trial purposes. You can experiment with the recipe to adjust the sweetness, etc. Almond extract can be used and nuts can be added. A small amount of heavy cream will make the dark chocolate into a milk chocolate. Once you are happy with it you can increase the ingredient quantities for a larger batch or bigger mold.

This same recipe, unchilled/hardened, can be used to drizzle over anything you love, only serve it warm.


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Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday February 4, 2012

The following snippet is from The Race Within, Book One from the We, The Hidden series:

With Benson, the ex Navy Seal, looking for his daughter and held at Wayne’s compound, he’s gotten rather fond of Sonya, who is one of Wayne’s soldier/wives and hopes to rescue her from him, due to Wayne being a delusional and volatile man. They’re in Benson’s room and have been discussing the possibility of his daughter being with an ancient race, wanting Wayne’s help to retreive her. Here’s Sonya’s reply…

“Wayne’s lying if he says he can get your daughter back. He’s trying to compete with the Lemurians, not work with them. He has about as much clout with them as he does with our government, and that’s not much. He’s blown it with the Ancients.” She went silent, leaving him to his thoughts.
“I’m getting out of here tomorrow. I want you to come with me.” He saw a brief glimmer of hope in her eyes, but then a thought made it dwindle.
“He can find me anywhere. I don’t want to end up like Marcus’ mother.”
“I can protect you. I have the resources to hide you where no one can find you.”
“Trust me, he could. It’s a weird talent of his. Besides, what kind of life would that be, always in hiding?”
“Then we’ll have to neutralize the threat.”

Find more snippets from other talented authors at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday.

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Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday January 28, 2012

The following snippet is from the first book in the We, The Hidden series, The Race Within.
Our ex Navy Seal, Benson, is being held at an unusual, private army base, alternating between prisoner and guest, all depending on the illusionist general’s mood and Benson’s art of persuasion. Sonya is the pretty, number seven in the general’s harem —wife on Sunday/soldier on Monday, and has been sent to accommodate Benson.

“Why are you looking at me like I have two heads?” she asked.
“I’m wondering if Wayne is capable of shape shifting, too.”
She smiled and moved closer to him.
He tensed. “How do I know you’re not him, posing as a desirable woman, coming to my room?”
Sonya moved in even closer. “As a spy?” Her tone was sultry.
He nodded. Oh, please be for real. “What is Wayne doing here? What’s his master plan?”
“He believes he’s part of some prophecy, the father of an emerging nation. Trust me now?”
“Not necessarily.” His hesitation gave him away.
“Tell me,” she said seductively, “would Wayne do this?” She leaned in and kissed him on the lips.
He finally broke away, clearly affected. “God, I hope not.”

Find more snippets from other talented authors at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday.

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Confessions from an Indie Author – What I’ve Been Missing

Funny thing happened after I read my first indie novel that I found on Smashwords—I absolutely loved it. Why is that so funny, you ask? You may already know that indie authors are brave, persistent and talented. Why should that come as a surprise to me? Perhaps I’ve been conditioned to think that self-publishing means the author wasn’t good enough to be picked up by a publishing house, (not true) or that the copy must be riddled with typos, badly in need of an editor, (fallacy) or needed a guiding hand with content. Have I been a publishing snob by not buying independent novels? I would like to think that my recent book choices were due to the fact that I love a good series and I was continuing my current addiction. But was there a smidgen of prejudice lurking beneath?

To ponder that, I had to take myself back to my first efforts to sell a screenplay. After studying all the masters of screenwriting, picking my work to the bone until it bled in writer’s groups, getting wonderful reviews by test readers and yet still receiving the rejections (if I even got that much) from the publishing and agent queries, I had to rethink my strategy.

Thinking the problem was in the toughness of the screenplay industry, I decided to turn my script into a novel. While a whole world opened up to me with the freedom of fiction I soon found that no matter how many liked my books, finding an agent that would even consider reading a synopsis from an unpublished writer was harder yet. Their explanation: the description of your book has got to exactly fit the description of what the publishers are looking for. Where’s the room for an exciting, high concept or a brave, genre crossing breakthrough novel? In their defense, I realize there are too many queries/submissions to be read. So, as far as the writer is concerned, the system is broke and it’s the reader’s loss as well.

While studying the how to get published books a pattern was emerging. It appeared that all the hard work and expense I thought I would be handing over to a publisher to make a book successful was actually going back to the author. Publisher’s nowadays leave the responsibility with the author for editing, (although they’ll do it for a fee), publicity (you are expected to build your own platform), marketing ($$$) and then there’s the rewrite suggestions, making it more sell-able (commercial, they mean, perhaps void of the original concept or purpose?). Okay, now why, again, do I need a middle man if I’m supposed to do all this for myself?

So, I enter self-publishing with new material. I write my heart out, revise it many times, proof read 100 times more, have test readers give a thumbs up and I brave the ebook formatting challenges. Something wonderful has been birthed. It’s fresh, unique, a new voice from a “new” talent, but I was still missing something.

There’s a universal law, unwritten, but nevertheless, understood. It’s so simple that we often miss it and here it is: You give what you want to receive. Buy what you want to sell. Pay for something you expect others to pay you for and give a review if you want a review. So, I bought my first indie book. There was another funny thing about it. I also realized that I was an indie author. Suddenly, all indies were cool, and innovative, having something wonderful to say through their books. There wasn’t a governing entity to make them sell out or change their baby beyond recognition. What got cut out was from an artistic decision that was mine. A new mantra floated up from within: Indie authors are worth the read and whatever you pay for their work.

The moral of this story: I had to clear what I thought of indie authors and their work because that applied to me and that opinion would be projected out to all on an unseen level. As soon as I bought that eBook by an independent author I received another book sale and got my first review. Energy was moving once I took care of that little belief.

To argue the theory that self-published books have more errors, I’ve read many typos and mistakes with grammar in books from publishing houses. So what if one or two slip by. If the story has your attention, you’ll let it slide and if it’s an eBook, it’s a matter of time before it’s corrected. For all the anal reviewers out there who love to point out typos, tthis setnence is fur you. And for all the publishing houses that are reading this, hey, make me a really good offer, big boy. Let’s see what you can do.

Now, when I seek a book by an indie author, I feel I’m searching for hidden treasure, reading that includes the author’s original content, not part of the preordained trend, something controversial perhaps, the jewel that was missed by the book industry powers that be.

The wonderful novel that I read by an awesome, Aussie, indie author is Between Gods and Shadows by Dianne Gray. It’s also called The Everything Theory.


Terry’s latest release

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Creative Energy – Blissful Energy

Have you ever wondered why it feels so good being caught up in creative energy? It is said that while creating we are close to Spirit/ God or your Higher Self. The actual energy of creativity is governed by our energy center called the 2nd chakra, which is located a couple inches below the navel and glows with an intense orange color. It is the same chakra spinning around our sexual energy, which in turn governs our reproductive organs and sexual wellness. Both energies are related, with one example being how a celibate state directs more energy toward creativity.

Painting, writing, baking, crafting, making music, etc. is a wonderful outlet when sexual energy builds. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it works in the opposite way, against you, where being sexually active depletes creative energy, no not at all. Keeping the 2nd chakra open and flowing balances both expressions, and sexual activity with higher Love leads to a blissful state of inspiration, but that is another blog. It also stands to reason that when creative energy is imbalanced, so is the sexual. But let’s think more in terms of being in balance.

Remember how energized you feel while creating something? You can lose track of time, looking back at the extra stamina you had while creating. You missed meals and sleep yet you felt wonderful. It doesn’t have to be just art or what one first thinks of on the subject. Designing or engineering, constructing something from a sliver of a thought, building on a concept or something from what was once nothing but energy, but now exists in its own perfection is what I’m speaking of. Creation, reproduction —it’s god like isn’t it? And what bliss we feel from it.

Turning to creative energy in a most beneficial aspect of one’s self in terms of problem solving, can be instantly utilized. Survival skills, brainstorming your way out of a circumstance, remaining open and agreeable to whatever vehicle is to be used by creative energy is an example of limit free behavior. Letting go of perfectionism and expectations leads you into a free form way to get a surprisingly good outcome. It is an exercise in allowing without controlling, and of course being in the now, which is your place of power.

Where does utilization of creative energy start? In traditional schools for children (at least in the Western world) creativity tends to be stifled, suppressed in favor of more left brained functions and pinned down to preset constraints. When a child attempts to learn with his or her own personal, creative process, a quick correction to the “right” way is often applied, sending messages of rigid conformity and the opposite of free thought. What happens when a child is free to problem solve, staying tuned in to a higher energy? Would that child grow up to contribute answers to our world’s dilemmas? Would a sustainable source of energy be introduced, a solution for hunger, or for world peace even? I believe some of this is already happening with the Indigo Children who are allowed their unique process.

Creative activity is a good bridge for troubled or emotionally disturbed youths and adults. Mental hospitals have used creative therapy to stimulate responses and openness in patients with good results. Of course one would need more than creative therapy alone. I’m personally an advocate of natural, all four body healing (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) and removing the toxins and pollutants which create disease and disorders, but this is also another blog. Creativity is free and a gift to humans so why not explore it?

What would happen if committed couples worked on a creative project together? Once there is an agreement to check the ego, getting past any of the usual “button pushing” and power plays, clearing the need to be right or competing with the other (whew! all that?), then two people can merge their god like creative energy, channeling it into a joint work and have a higher form of communion. It would be an exercise in “where you are at” with self realization. Think for a moment of the looks exchanged between the father and the mother after gazing at their newly created, newborn child. Husbands and wives may go away but that shared moment exists forever.

Do you see how allowing the creative process of someone else would be liberating for them and strengthening of a relationship? It could result in fun, cheerfulness, a light heart, being right with the world again, much like being in love and having a sexual union. After the afterglow, there is a newness of spirit. What happens to your physiology when you create? I believe it changes your body chemistry (this can be researched). It’s a good alternative to having imbalances in areas governed by the 2nd chakra.

This raises more questions to pull out at a future meditation time, like what stimulates creative energy in you? What stifles it and what to do about it? What is that one creation inside of you that’s waiting to come out? When’s the last time you participated in something creative that altered your outlook, where time flew by and left you energized? Can you think of a creative endeavor that you could give yourself to? Go ahead and participate fully in it. Call it therapy.

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