Self Help Book,
Taming The Tokolosh
Sneak Preview

My new self help book, Taming the Tokolosh: Through Fear into Healing is now available as an ebook on Amazon. You can read the first chapter further down on this page.

This is the original cover photo taken by yours truly. It is the bridge that goes across the Indian River, and where many scenes in the book took place.

Though it is written as a true-story account, it is really intended as a self help book. My goal is to inspire people to forgive themselves and others for past mistakes - to rise above anger, shame and guilt to find the peace and love that is available within and around each of us.

Let me warn you though, it is not your typical "How to" book. It is told as a true story about how surviving a brutal assault became a path of forgiveness, healing and grace. 

I call it a self help book because in addition to describing the traps that set me back along the way and the self healing techniques that got me out of them, I include a resource section called Mandy's Mind Tools that gives step by step instructions form using the mind power techniques I describe in the book. 

excerpt From My new, Self Help Book

Taming the tokolosh:
Through Fear into Healing

Chapter One: The Attack

I lay in fetal position on the cold floor of my family room as a drop of blood mingled with the rosy flecks in the beige tile flooring. I was too afraid to move. Then darkness welcomed me in and I drifted into the warm comfort of unconsciousness.

The urgent voice in my head was insistent: Get up! If you don’t find a way to get out now, he is going to kill you and no one will ever know what happened. 

Frozen in pain and fear, I tried to make sense of what was happening. I was certain I was going to die.

The wild-eyed intruder kicked me in the ribs.
“Do you believe in the forgiveness of Jesus Christ?” he ranted. “Do you?”
He kicked me again.

What does he want me to say?
“Get up!” my inner voice urged.

I struggled desperately to get to my feet but the brutal beating I had taken from the six-feet-tall madman was too much for my five-feet-two-inch, 112-pound frame.

What was this crazy guy doing in my home on a Sunday afternoon?

He was well-dressed and didn’t look like a hoodlum. But there he was, towering over me in my sanctuary, unleashing his wild rage.


I had no idea. I was certain I’d never seen him before.

I live in a quiet, safe, middle-income neighborhood in Melbourne—known to my friends as Mel-boring—Florida. It was Super Bowl Sunday.

As was my normal routine, I went to my weekly Zen meditation group in the morning, followed by grocery shopping. When I got home, I prepared a large pot of home-made chicken soup.  While the soup simmered on the stove, I sat down at my desk and opened my email, determined to get a head start on the busy week ahead.

Then came the sound of crashing glass from the opposite side of the house. Had one of my cats knocked something over?

The sound of glass shattering reverberated through the house. My mind grasped for clues.

“Must be something big,” I thought.

Finally, I concluded that the large mirror in my master bathroom had come unglued from the wall.

“Ugh, what a mess,” I imagined, and continued typing. I was in no hurry to walk into a shower of broken glass.

I finished the email I was working on and got up to investigate. Unhurried, I walked across the living room, toward the master suite, the cleanup of glass my only concern.

Then I saw him. A tall, dark figure emerged from the shadows between my bathroom and bedroom.

He saw me, too, and rushed toward me.  

Not being much of a fighter, I applied the same strategy I use when my cat drags in a live rat: I screamed.  It never worked for rats. It didn’t work this time either. 

“Get out!” I shouted, mustering up courage I didn’t feel, pointing to the front door.

He was in my face now, less than a foot away. I was more confused than scared. Who was he?

Slender and athletic, his young, black face looked soft and innocent, except for the craziness in his eyes.  What was he doing in my home?

Mimicking me, he pointed at the door and yelled back, “Get out!”

His fist smashed my face.

What the hell? How can this be happening to me?

Another blow.

Shooting stars pierced the blackness of my vision as my head hit the floor hard and I lost consciousness. For a moment, nothing but deep stillness. Then, as he kicked me repeatedly, I became aware of his shoe in my ribs and back. Remembering where I was, I curled into a ball to protect my organs and covered my head with my arms.

Mind whirling, I worried about my eighty-year-old mother. How would she manage?  She depends on me for all her financial support, and even her bank account is under my name.

How would she manage with me dead? Would she remember that I have life insurance?
What about my cats? Who would care for them? Would he hurt them too?

The kicking stopped. I lay motionless.
Does he think I’m dead? What will he do with my body?

A few moments passed in stillness. I was afraid to move or risk opening my eyes.

Then, from out of nowhere, the mood changed.
“I am so sorry! So sorry!” the attacker cried out suddenly, as if in shock at his own behavior.

Cautiously I glanced up at him, still shielding my head with my arms.  He looked bewildered, like he was waking up from a bad dream.
Distraught, he offered his hand, bending over to help me up.

Relief washed over me. I was confused by the sudden shift, and hesitantly extended my hand to allow him to help me up. I struggled for balance on my wobbly legs. 
“Thank God this is over!” I thought.

But it wasn’t.

No sooner was I up than a dark cloud of rage came over him again. Next thing I knew, the madness was back. Before I could protect my face, his fist smashed into my mouth. 

Teeth tearing through my bottom lip, I fell backward and heard my skull crack as I hit the floor.

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As the blood trickled down my neck and I played dead on the floor again, I couldn’t help but wonder why this insane situation was happening to me now. 

“No time for that!” I told myself. I knew I had to get out or I was going to die.

Adrenalin pumping, I stumbled to my feet and made a mad dash for the front door.

My hands fumbled uncontrollably as I struggled to get the front door unlocked. Finally, it was open and I reached for the handle of the glass storm door on the other side.

Crap! It was locked too. Why? I never do that!

Too late.

I could feel him behind me now. He grabbed my arm and yanked me back into the dining room.

The door slammed shut and I was trapped again.

I swung around to see him holding a large heavy chair over his head. He lunged forward, aiming it my head. Instinctively, I blocked with my right arm.

Crack! Arm broken but head intact.

Thank God!

He lost his balance from the break in momentum, and stumbled and struggled to regain control of the heavy chair. 

I ran for the door again. With numb fingers, I fumbled with the door handle, excruciating pain shooting through my arm. Somehow, I opened the front door and unlocked the storm door without looking back.

It was still daylight. I set my sites on the front door of the house across the street, praying that someone was at home, or that a neighbor would drive by and see what was happening.

Why hadn’t I been more neighborly? Will they recognize me or think I am crazy? I must look like a bloody mess. I wish I knew their names.

I knew he could outrun me, but I was hopeful that someone would see us and come to my rescue, or at least call the police. Weak and in pain, I knew this was my last opportunity to make it out alive.

What do you think so far? 

Like I said, not your typical, self help book but I think when you read it you will see why I am classifying it that way. Please leave your comments below and remember, if you are interested in getting the book to sign up for the newsletter (see the right hand column) so I can let you know when it is out.

I would love to hear about your favorite self help books:

  • What do you look for when you buy a self help book?
  • Which books do you find yourself referencing over the years?
  • Do you typically select self help books based on who the author is, what the topic is, or what other people say about the book?
  • How often do you buy self help books, whether it be for yourself or as gifts for others?
  • Where do you typically buy your self help books? Online, at a book store etc.
  • Do you prefer eBooks, printed books, audio books or a combination?
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