Saturday, March 31, 2012

Surviving Emily by Laurie Bellesheim

Surviving Emily

Abigail Hooper and Stephen Sparks had never heard of Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy until one fatal morning in November when it crushed their hopes and dreams. Twelve years after the devastating loss of their dearest friend Emily, they find themselves still affected by the trauma. 

Abigail, married and newly pregnant, helps others through her work for the Department of Children and Families. When a new client with epilepsy unexpectedly forces her to re-examine the past, Abigail realizes she's the one who needs saving. Stephen has struggled emotionally, physically and spiritually after losing the love of his life, and the long-term effects of his grief have kept him from truly living and finding love again. 

As the two search for redemption and the power to heal, their paths cross once again. Emily's presence so long ago still has meaning in their own lives, teaching them the meaning of true friendship and what's really important. Drawing on her own experience with a close friend with epilepsy who died, author Laurie Bellesheim raises awareness about the disease in this compelling tale told partially through flashbacks. 
(Copied from Goodreads )

From the outset, this was an emotional ride. Imagine losing a best friend and never quite letting go of future dreams and plans you’d made with that person. Heartbreaking.
Surviving Emily looks at some interesting faith issues surrounding death. Throughout the book the characters question their faith and relationships based on the loss of a loved one.

While reading, I could understand why people may also lose their faith because of false perceptions of illnesses – in this case, epilepsy, held by some religious people. 
A major thread through Surviving Emily is the danger or untreated epilepsy. I personally haven’t met anyone with epilepsy who doesn’t take medication – but I’m sure there are people out there who refuse to seek medical guidance.
Being such an emotional read, I was hoping for a happy ending. But it didn’t come. The ending was finished and satisfying, yet there was one scene that could have been made happy and wasn’t. I know that’s my personal reader preference – I’m a happy ending kind of girl.   

I received a complimentary copy of this book from World Literary Cafe to read and review. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Lucky Seven (7)

WOW! Its been forever since I've played along with a meme
Thanks to the lovely Carol Riggs over at Artzicarol Ramblings, I'm joining in with this one.

Lucky 7 Meme Award Rules:
1. Go to page 77 of your current manuscript.
2. Go to line 7.
3. Copy the next 7 lines (sentences or paragraphs) and post them as they're written. No cheating!
4. Tag 7 other writers to pass this meme on to.

In the shadow of an old bottle tree, Jason pulled her close and kissed her full on the mouth. She felt more passion in that kiss than he’d shown her in the grassy park. Electric currents shot through Stephanie’s blood sending flashes to her eyes. Was this what they meant in the movies when they said they saw fireworks?
Jason affectionately brushed a strand of hair out of Steph’s eyes while they stood embracing until a car shone its lights on them. Stephanie pulled away embarrassed. She caught her breath and ran to her front door.

So there you have it... 
If you'd like to display your 7 lines from page 77 for all to see... please do (and make sure you let me know when you've posted it) As I'm not following the rules and you are ALL welcome to copy the meme and join in. Go on ... you know you want to.. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Joy of Food

OK so I thought I'd take a break from book reviews and post a little food for thought.

I eat well most of the time, but when I get tired, I get slack and eat too much junk and drink too much caffeine.  Lately I've been overwhelmed with tiredness. This week I've found several super quick and easy meals to feed my family, including baked beans on toast. Not completely bad .. right?
Perhaps I need to try a raw week to get back on top of things. I've never been a fan of juicing - but maybe I need to give it a go. Or maybe I'll give the infamous green smoothy a go. Or maybe I just need to sleep for a day.

I need more energy to enjoy my next 40 years!

Do you consider your diet healthy?
Have you joined the raw eaters group or any other interesting fad?

Monday, March 12, 2012

Have you ever lived a Conundrum?

Conundrum by CS Lakin

From the beginning this novel is a delicious read. It has literary and psychological aspects. Though not a rapid page turner the story line gripped me all the same. I found myself wanting to reread paragraphs just because they were so eloquent and beautiful.

Thoughts while reading – Does the truth really set you free – or should you leave sleeping dogs lie. I believed before reading, while reading and still believe that the truth with set you free. Although, at times if another person is not ready to hear the truth, that is when you should leave sleeping dogs lie. The truth will set you free when you are ready to hear it.

Miscarriage affects not only the woman who loses her child but also her partner. It is a hard time that needs to be acknowledged and grieved. Here on the Gold Coast, Australia, there is a beautiful organisation called the White Butterfly Project – they care for those who have experienced loss of an unborn child or infant.

Mental illnesses can be misunderstood, and challenging to both the person with the illness and their friends and family.

Sometimes blood ties aren’t enough to keep a family together. It’s so important to support the people in your world who struggle to keep a healthy relationship with their family.
This book has so many facets, but I’ve only touched on a few. I highly recommend this book. It was a joy to read.

Please note - on the Saturday before Mothers day every year, the White Butterfly Project hosts a reflection service on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. 

I received Conundrum to review through the World Literary Cafe to read and review. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

White Collar Skid Row by Melissa Ann Bell

“Melissa thought her faith was strong, but when she fell in love with and married a charming doctor, in rehab for alcoholism, she quickly became his enabler and their relationship challenged all she believed about herself and her faith. White Collar Skid Row is a wake-up call for any woman who thinks she might be impervious to falling for the wrong man and excellent resource for any woman who already did.”

After reading the above blurb on Bookcrash, I thought this would be an interesting read. I was not disappointed in that regard. It was fascinating and quite educational as to what goes on in family where addictions control and lies prevail. I felt the pain of the family while I journeyed with them, through their lives.

As I began to read White Collar Skid Row, I found my internal editor jumping out...wanting to change words, sentences, punctuation and even paragraphs. You may or may not find that same.

What I did learn is that for many of us, going into rescue mode becomes human nature, but it can also enable the person to continue with their destructive behaviour - in this case - drinking and taking drugs. If someone is always there to clean up the mess, the person will never have to face the consequences themselves. We can’t make a person change, only they can do that for themselves.

White Collar Skid Row is a memoir that felt like a saga spanning many years and many challenges. The way Melissa has added some final notes, brings the story together to a satisfying end.  

I received a complimentary ebook of White Collar Skid Row by Melissa Ann Bell to review from Bookcrash 

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Milk... Our first form of food.

Some of us continue to enjoy milk from a cow.

Some of us don’t believe we should drink another animal’s milk.

And then there’s the argument of raw verses processed.   

Whatever your view – you should read this… from farmer’s perspective.

My brother has written about REAL Milk straight from farm to you.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Reading Aloud

Little Good Wolf's father is the Big Bad Wolf. Little Good Wolf finds it hard to make friends because of his nasty father so he sends his father off in search of a new job ... when he finds out that being big and bad is part of his father's job - it pays well. 
This book gave me a giggle, it’s fun, it’s cute and it’s a little quirky.
This short chapter book is aimed towards the beginner or early reader - though my 11 year old boy read it and thought it was fun too. 

Do you read aloud? If you have children, do you read aloud to them? 

For years I hated reading aloud, it’s something I was never very good at and just something I avoided. Until, my boy was born nearly 12 years ago. I started to read to him. When he was tiny it was anything, the newspaper, the novel I was reading… just whatever… if he was in the room and I was reading… I’d pick paragraphs or pages to read aloud while he played.

None of my children have sat for very long to listen to books until they were around 3 or 4. I began to read Little Good Wolf (a short chapter book –with pictures on most pages) to my 4 year old... but she wasn’t in the mood to sit and listen ... so I read it to myself. It’s such a fun book I found myself giggling all the way through.

I read to my older children most days – their attention span is still quite short but they all enjoy our story time. Perhaps its hereditary – my attention span is quite short too.

How often do you read aloud?

What is your attention span like when people read to you?

2012 Book Challenge

This is not a sponsored review