Sunday, July 29, 2012

Third Professional Review of Bushels and Barrels

In his book, Bushels and Barrels, author Lee Ray suggests that on occasion, people need to “adjust the roadmap” that they’re on.  By “revisiting and revising” goals, dreams and hopes, it becomes possible to recognize the blessings in life that may have been obscured by the struggle through hardships.

Addressing difficulties most people face, such as divorce, self-doubt, rocky childhoods, loss of loved ones, and career and financial hardships, Bushels and Barrels combats these troubles by highlighting the positive aspects that may come out of them.  In doing so, Lee Ray helps readers see the light at the end of the tunnel and recognize the wonderful things around them that they may be having trouble recognizing.

Lee also shares his own struggles and how he found his way through them, explaining to readers that sometimes, a different point of view is all they need to keep going.  Each examination of life’s challenges is followed by a chapter that highlights the brighter side of things people face, which serves to help readers alter their perceptions of the life they live.

Eloquently stating “We’re all living the dream, right?  Sometimes we just need to change exactly what that term actually means”, Lee Ray sets the tone for his thought-provoking and inspiring look at both the barrels and the bushels, and does an amazing job of helping readers do exactly that.  Gently handling each of the difficult and sensitive subjects in his book, Lee’s positive and cheerful outlook provides comfort and hope for anyone suffering through a struggle in their lives.

By writing the book the way he has, barrels followed by bushels, Lee encourages a change of viewpoint and the reassurance that somewhere, in all of the troubles people face, there is still something to be thankful for, if they only search it out.

Recommended for anyone who is having difficulty in their lives, no matter what it may be, Bushels and Barrels is a well-written guide to redefining and living your own “American Dream”.

The book is available via Nook, Kindle,, and

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Professional Review of "Bushels and Barrels"

In Bushels and Barrels, author Lee Ray takes a refreshingly positive approach to dealing with the struggles and adversities faced by Middle America today.  Of course we all grew up with an interpretation of the “American Dream” and we all thought we’d have exactly that by now, right?  But if we don’t, what do we do then?

It’s so easy to get bogged down and depressed under the weight of the world around us.  What people often forget is that it’s the struggles that make us stronger and the adversity that makes us better and more able to deal with things as they come our way.  It can be hard to see sometimes, but it is true.

The author writes “We’re all living the dream, right?  Sometimes we just need to change exactly what that term actually means.”  This is the tone and message of the book: to redefine our dreams and realize that maybe, just maybe, we’re already living them, and we just need to open our eyes and change the way we think to realize it.

All readers will be able to identify with the struggles presented in Bushels and Barrels.  The commonality of individual difficulties is widespread, even if the exact problems aren’t the same.  Lee Ray’s history and stories of his own life are easily relatable, and his choice to overcome them and move forward in his life and in his faith is inspiring.

Each chapter addressing struggle is immediately followed by another that highlights the blessings we each have, encouraging readers to alter the way they perceive the world they live in and the way they look at hardship.  From each complication we face in life, a blessing is sure to be there, too, we just have to look for it.

Bushels and Barrels is a thought-provoking read that helps to remind us that life is what we make of it, just as it always has been and always will be.

To read more about and to purchase Bushels and Barrels, please click here

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"Bushels and Barrels" Faith-based review

Most people who have a strong sense of faith have found that faith tested at times.  The world that we live in can bring us down, which can make us question our own beliefs and abandon our idea of the “American Dream”.  Sometimes, it can even seem that life was designed to be difficult, but Bushels and Barrels author Lee Ray sees things a little differently. 

Sharing and discussing his own difficult upbringing and hardships that he’s faced, Lee brings the reader into his world, and introduces them to the idea that maybe, just maybe, the difficulties we endure in our lives are there to make us stronger, better, and more able.  By terming the obstacles we face as “barrels” and the blessings we receive as “bushels”, Lee makes it clear that you can’t have one without the other.  He tells readers that they have to have the confidence to face the barrels and keep going, stating that “you can’t do this if all you see are barrels…once you start seeing the bushels, you will see the barrels as chapters in your life with lessons to learn to help you achieve your dream”. 

An inspiring and uplifting book for anyone who has ever begun to focus on the “barrels”, Bushels and Barrels encourages his readers to try and embrace the positive aspects of life and to try not to focus on the negative.  He suggests, “Revisit and revise life’s boundaries when necessary”, and make the changes you need to make to be a better, healthier and happier person.

Sometimes, redefining your version of the American Dream is all it takes to remind you that you are living the dream you envisioned when you were young, it just may not be recognizable yet.  Bushels and Barrels inspires readers to take another look at their life, and find the bushels that are just waiting to be noticed.

To read more about the book or purchase your copy today, go to

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Rating and Review by Darin Godby

Find below the review of "Bushels and Barrels" by Darin Godby, a Christian, fiction, and Self-Help reviewer.

With a bushel representing opportunities and a barrel representing the
obstacles we will face, author Lee Ray takes us into
a descriptive view of the American Dream.  When one tries to
understand what the American Dream is all about there must be a soul
searching of self-identification of who one truly is within society.

When we are young we seem to have great expectations and later in life
have changed our view and focus of what those dreams encompass.
Getting out of one's comfort zone and moving toward the barrels that
we face in life is necessary to move forward and achieve our goals.

Here are the Ten Barrels and Bushels that Lee discusses within his book:
#1 is the barrel of abuse and the bushel is to discover God's love in
the midst of the circumstance.
#2 is the barrel of strained relationships and the bushel is family.
#3 is the barrel of divorce and the bushel is falling in love.
#4 is the barrel of overcoming self-doubt and the bushel is gaining
confidence and acceptance.
#5 is the barrel of the loss of loved ones and the bushel is community
#6 is the barrel of the price of military deployments and the bushel
is the pride of military service.
#7 is the barrel of transitions in life and the bushel is morals and ethics.
#8 is the barrel of career changes and unemployment and the bushel is
the bond of friendship.
#9 is the barrel of financial landmines and the bushel is educational
#10 is the barrel of facing life's challenges and the bushel is
recognizing life's rewards.

Lee provides the reader with many of his personal stories and
insights.  There are topics such as: marriage, divorce, children,
stepchildren, money, determination, encouragement and so much more.
The reader will find themselves getting caught up within the story
that Lee is sharing and seeing how they can incorporate the positive
things within their lives and work on the areas that need improvement.

There is also a section on the military where Lee discusses his
involvement as well as how families must deal with deployment and the
pressures put upon them.  Many times Americans don't realize how
blessed we really are and how those in the military are standing in
the gap for our freedom.

Lee also shares:  "The bushels and barrels of an identity shift make
us who we are."   He also states:  "Life is not only wonderful at
times and painful at is fragile!"

So one may ask will we be able to fulfill the American Dream?  Well
let's allow Lee to give us his words of wisdom.  He said:  "The
American Dream is a way of life, not something we can achieve with a
single accomplishment."  So each of us has our own duty in fulfilling
our dreams and desires.  Let's all do our part and make America a
better place to live.

I enjoyed reading this book and encourage you to read and grow from it.
This book was provided by author Lee Ray for my honest review and opinion.
You can read more about the book and purchase it from

5 of 5 stars

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Anticipation and Anxiety

As a young child, waiting for Christmas morning was always an exciting time.  You talked about it for weeks, months even.  When the morning finally arrived, you were so excited, yet scared the presents under the tree weren't going to be the ones you wanted.  The anticipation grew, the anxiety caused your heart to beat faster and harder.

With sporting events, when you have a particular team you root for and they are playing their rivals, you get the same sensation.  The game is about to end, the score is close, and it's your team's opportunity to score.  Or, if you watch racing, the laps are winding down and your driver is fighting for the lead and the win.  The closer to zero the clock ticks, the tighter the battle, the more engaged and involved you become.  The same heart racing and anticipation exist.  I've even seen it within my daughter as certain movies are about to be released.  The adrenaline rush!

The same anticipation and anxiety are existing within me these past few days as I await the delivery of my first batch of books.  Every time I see a delivery truck go down our street, I keep waiting for him to stop.  This is the day I've waited months for.  Actually, I've waited a lifetime for this.  The book has so much of my life within it, it's like it is least to me.  The urging of friends to write to a larger audience, the events in my life which are captured within the pages, and the honing of my writing over the years.  It all leads up to this moment in time.  It is a personal achievement, milestone even.  Just as I await the arrival, I also have the same anticipation and anxiety for people to actually be able to open the pages and read my story.

The anticipation, for me, comes from the desire to reach out and help readers rediscover the dreams that they once had and retrain them to pursue those very dreams.  The anxiety is from the not knowing.  Not knowing how the book will be perceived, if it will even be liked.  So much time went into the creation, how will it be accepted and judged?  My heart races, yet the anticipation is just as strong.  I can't wait!

What gets your heart racing?  When was the last time you felt that rush of blood and rapid-fire of your heartbeats?  If it's been a while, it's time you found a way to get the rush again.  Go get it!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Free To Be Me!

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending my wife's family reunion and meet more members of my extended family.  Four generations were represented, two of which were also represented by our attendance.  Hearing the stories and seeing the relationships around me took me back to a time in my own youth.  A large portion of the family in attendance were from the area, but there was also those of us who traveled in.  The location was in a small, midwestern USA town with country values and small town appeal.  In my childhood, visiting my grandfather's land was a point of happy memories, so this put me at ease immediately.

There are times in all of our lives where we feel out of our element and uneasy.  We are constrained in how we feel and what we feel we are able to do in these situations.  On this day, in this place, this is absolutely not how I felt.  There was no uneasiness.  There was the comfort of conversation.  There was the ease of acceptance.  There were no excuses to not be myself and let them accept me that way and to for me to accept them in the same manner and fashion.

Even though I knew very few of these people, I felt as if I had been part of this group forever.  In the years to come when we attend, I will learn more about these individuals, their lives, hear their stories, and get a greater sense of closeness with my wife and where she came from.  We have had such an amazing relationship already, this is only going to bring me even closer to her and allow us to carry forward the traditions with the next generation.  What a great weekend!

When you enter a new group and instantly feel free to totally be yourself and are accepted as such, that is where you belong...this is where I belong!  I can't wait until next year to learn more and begin to share me with them as well.  Let's see what this next year holds!