Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Rose in Bloom


            My earliest memories of childhood are of my sister’s funeral. Debbie died of Leukemia at age seven; I was only five. We were born two years and one day apart, and each year I celebrate her birthday in my heart the day before mine.
            My world fell apart when she died. Grief counseling was virtually unheard of when I was a child. The adults in my life grappled with their own angst, as my grief slipped by unnoticed.
            I learned from an early age to guard my heart. I wandered through life, detached and lonely. Self-preservation meant tucking the hurt I experienced deep inside, so deep that many of my memories are forever lost to me.
            I did not feel love, perhaps because my heart was closed off, frozen in time. Hurt could not penetrate the walls of ice, but neither could love. I married as a young woman, still questioning the meaning of love. It was not until my daughter had taken root in the depths of my body, safe and sound from the world, did my heart slowly open; and, the vestiges of emotion began to emerge, like a bud opening up to the sun.
            As each month passed, and her little body grew, I enjoyed talking to her. I would rub the hump where she lay nestled inside my body. It was the two of us against the world. I couldn’t wait to meet this little being and at the same time, I wanted to keep her safe inside of me forever.
            She was such a tiny little angel when she was born, only five pounds twelve ounces. I loved my little baby and wanted to protect her. As I watched this wonderful little girl grow, I realized I could not protect her from love or from the hurt that accompanies love. It is what life is all about.
            She was the nourishment for which my heart had been starving. It is times like these that I look back on, and think of when I held my daughter in my arms for the first time, the bud that was once my heart spread its petals as though it were a rose in bloom, opening to the morning sun. My baby daughter, Ashley, just a newborn, taught me about love.


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Saturday, February 25, 2012

For the Love of Love - Love of Food

I was honored to have been asked to write a short story on "Love of Food" for the "Love of Love" series going on on Terri Giuliano Long's site. (See the picture.) I am now posting my story here. There are other stories as well so I am including the link at the end if you would like to go and read more.

Thank you Donna and Terri for inviting me to participate!


Food, A Celebration of Love By Donna McBroom-Theriot

            Here in the South, food is a way of life. We celebrate big. We love big. And, we eat big. We celebrate every occasion with a feast. Lavish banquets are set for weddings. We celebrate Christenings and birthdays with wondrous cakes and bar-b-ques. We celebrate every school graduation from Pre-K to high school with parties.

            We Southerners are famous for our Sunday luncheons that include aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents. And, when the occasion arises to include friends and extended family, a Boucherie or cochon-de-lait marks the celebration of friendship and love.

            On my blog, I have written stories centered on food. Just recently, Hubby and a cousin joined me in a day of candy making and baking. When we cook, and when we bake, we think of those who will be sharing in the fruits of our labor, a labor of love. We cook for those we love.

            The first way we show our babies that we love them is to feed them (right after the first kiss!) We honor our loved ones with a gathering of closest friends and relatives after we lay them to rest (and we eat.) Life is a celebration of love, and food celebrates love.

            The common thread that winds itself throughout each special occasion in our lives is that they are each a celebration of love, and every celebration includes food. Giving someone food says, “I love you.” Food is always given with a smile, and the knowledge that the giver gave his time and love to you.

            So, whether you receive a box of bought chocolates or a hand-made chocolate tart for this Valentine’s Day, know that the giver is giving with love (and food). Happy Valentine’s Day!




Friday, February 24, 2012

Montana Wildfire by Rebecca Sinclair

Montana Wildfire

About the book (from Amazon):

After her father’s sudden death, lovely Amanda Lennox had no money for the long trip from Boston to the ranch she’d inherited in faraway Seattle. When she saw the advertisement for a “wilderness expert” to escort eleven-year-old Roger Bannister, III to Montana, the adventure-loving woman jumped at the chance, never guessing she’d end up lost in the wilds of Idaho… with a twisted ankle. Then an arrogant half-breed on a palomino stallion came to her rescue and comforted her with is healing touch. Rugged ranch hand Jacob Blackhawk Chandler knew from experience that prissy white princesses meant trouble. He’d seen Amanda Lennox’s type before — haughty and citified and utterly unequipped to survive in the wide open country. He couldn’t just ride off and leave the lovely minx alone and hurt … but he sure wouldn’t be taken in by that sweet smile, either!
About the Author (from Amazon):

Rebecca has lived on the rocky eastern coast of New England all her life; first in Maine, where she was born, then in Massachusetts, where she grew up, and finally settling in the biggest little state of the union: Rhode Island. For the last 15 years she's lived in a big, turn-of-the-century (the last century--circa 1865) house ... that came complete with a widow's walk, a Table-of-Death (don't ask) and, of course, its own ghost(s)!

She enjoys spending time with her family(a lot), writing (a lot!), reading (a lot) and listening to a wide variety of music. Her favorite time to write is in the wee, wee hours of the morning, when all the sane(?) people are asleep; then, her creativity flows like melted chocolate.

Book Quotes:

The golden rays sifted over the boy, making the blond hair that clung damply to his scalp resemble a shimmering halo. Tight curls framed his brow, emphasizing the hint of baby-roundness still evident in his ten-year-old cheeks.

Amanda knew when he looked up she would see eyes bluer than a summer sky, wide and round, ringed with ridiculously long, ridiculously thick lashes.

She’d heard rumors of men who could strip a woman bare with one smoldering glance, but she’d never med one who would dare. Until now.

Jake let her remain wrapped in her thoughts, mostly because he couldn’t shake himself from his own long enough to distract her. What the hell had just happened here? Nothing extraordinary, he assured himself. Something very extraordinary…

The man was magnificent. Raw and rugged. Coppery and firm. Wet. The way he’d strolled onto the bank…
Oh, who was she trying to fool? Her entire body melted the second his mouth had claimed hers. She was soft, willing…embarrassingly responsive.

“But do you believe in me, Amanda Lennox? That’s the real question.” “Tell me,” he urged. “Tell me you believe in me, princess…more than I believe in myself.”

“Forever, I want to feel this good forever.”

“Yes, I must be,” Amanda said in a tone that would have done any tea social justice-calm, cool, collected…savage. “I’m crazy to have taken a job where my employer was a prejudiced bastard like yourself. Lord knows what I was thinking.” Jake grinned. He knew damn well what he was thinking: that his prissy little white princess had lost her cotton pickin’ mind! He didn’t say that, though. He couldn’t. For the first time in his life, a woman had left him speechless. He found his voice fast enough when Amanda spun on her heel and stalked toward the mare..."Amanda..." "Oh, shut the hell up, Jake," she snapped irritably. "I know what I'm doing." "I doubt that, princess. I really do."...Had Amanda just cussed? Amanda?

My Review:

Montana Wildfire is written for the reader who loves the period before the West was really tamed, a time when Indians were looked upon as savages, and a half-breed could expect a life of misery. The story is well written and the characters deeply developed. Rebecca Sinclair is a wonderful writer and knows how to weave a story that grabs a reader and doesn’t let go until the last page of the book.

The words, the smells, the sights, and the sounds leap off of the page and leave you gasping either for a fresh breath of air or at an astounding view of the mountains.

I am a great fan of this particular era and have read hundreds of books from different authors. This story was authentic and enjoyable. It had love, drama, suspense, murder, and did I mention love (sighing here). There were no noticeable grammatical errors in the book and in my opinion, well written and edited.

I am giving Montana Wildfire five stars because it meets all of the criteria I look for in a great book – original story, character development, grammar, and conflict resolution. Montana Wildfire is a definite must read, and Rebecca Sinclair is an author you should add to your list of favorites.

Disclaimer / Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book with no obligation for a positive review. No compensation - monetary or in kind - has been obtained for this post. Cover art and book description courtesy of the author, publisher, or PR firm. 

Montana Wildfire can be purchased here on Amazon.com



Rebecca Sinclair has offered a copy of Montana Wildfire
to be given to one lucky winner. Just play the
Rafflecopter for a chance to win.

Rebecca is also having a contest exclusively for her
readers/followers starting on Friday on her
Be sure and check it out!

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursday's Where Truth is the Dare


It's Thursday again - and we all know what that means!
Here is this week's question.
Truth? or Dare?

What is underrated about you?

I am deliberately not posting my answer to this question until later because 
I want every one to come up with their answer spontaneously 
and not be guided by my answer. I cannot wait to hear your answers! :)

Thank you all for participating. I will be doing this every Thursday so I
hope you'll all be back.


My answer to last week's question "What are you waiting for the right moment to do" is:  
My answer is I am waiting for the right moment to write a letter
to my daughter. 

This book can be found on Amazon:






It's also Favorite Things Blog Hop at  KatherinesCorner ! 
Tricia from NOLA Mommy is the co-host today!


If you are following via the hop, please leave a comment with your blog address
and I'll be by to visit you! And, if you'd like to participate - sign up at Katherine's Corner.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Immortal Embrace by Charlotte Blackwell


Immortal Embrace (Embrace Series)


An excerpt from Immortal Embrace:


Immortal Embrace (teaser)

Book One of the Embrace Series
By Charlotte Blackwell

Sophia Pierce has suffered since her brother left, and is unsure if she will ever get over it. That is until her family decided to move to Wenham, Massachusetts. Her and her siblings have been ordered to protect their little sister, and must return to High school. This is where Sophia finds her soul mate Nathanial and life as she knows it is about to change.

As a vampire, Sophia has always kept to herself, but as a high school student will she learn to step out of her comfort zone a little? Sophia has found a best friend in a powerful witch and a love to call her own. That is until something tragic happens and blood is spilled. Will Sophia be able to resist the sweet scent of her beloved’s blood?

This is Sophia’s story, a story of a girl who finds herself, love and everlasting friendship. The excitement of this story wraps mortals, vampires, witches, and shape shifters all into a romantic tale of young love, friendship, the meaning of family. The story of a girl who tries to finds herself when she thought it was all lost.





About the Author (from Amazon):

Image of Charlotte Blackwell

Charlotte Blackwell author of The Embrace Series is delighted to have the opportunity to follow her dreams of writing. She would love to share a little bit about her self with you now.
Charlotte was born in October of 1976. On the day of her birth Charlotte's father was racing stock cars, while her two older sister's watched from the stands as their father crashed through the wall of the race track. Within moments the stock car he was driving came back through the wall, and he won the race. He took his two daughters and hurried to the hospital for the birth of his third daughter, Charlotte.
Raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Charlotte enjoyed swimming, singing (although not so great at it) and writing her thoughts down. She never shared her passion for writing with anyone, and it got put on the back burner. As Charlotte grew, she found a new passion in medicine, she became the athletic trainer for her high school men's basketball team. Helping the team through their injuries are some of her best memories as a teen.

After the birth of he first daughter Jorden, Charlotte moved to Calgary, Alberta where she returned to college for her practical nursing certificate. During her schooling Charlotte became pregnant her second daughter, Shawnee. Due to complications, Charlotte was put on bed rest and have to step away from school. Shawnee was born and not breathing, the staff worked to resuscitated the small baby, and succeeded. Charlotte returned to school only six weeks later and completed her course. She began working with children, and eventually in the special care nursery for ill and pre-term babies.
Charlotte and James finally decided to get married in 2005 and completed their family with a son, Lucas in 2006 who was born six weeks early and had three surgeries by one month old. Today all three of their children are happy, healthy and very active, Jorden is a very talented dance and singer who performs with The Young Canadians and performs at the Grandstand show nightly during the Calgary Stampede, she is also home schooled. Shawnee is a competitive gymnast and is working very hard to move up through the level with hopes of becoming an national athlete.Both girls are honor students on top of their activities. Lucas is still young, but has been enjoying kick boxing and wants to try his hand at hockey.
Charlotte and James live with their children, two huskies and two cats just outside of Calgary, Alberta. They cherish every moment they have together as a family and hope to soon travel the world. James and the children have been great supporters of Charlotte from day one and continue to cheer her on along the way. Shawnee has also tried her hand at writing and recently completed an illustrated children's book. I guess writing is in her blood.
Charlotte has a strong passion for young adult novel especially those in the paranormal or dark fantasy genre's. As she continues to work on The Embrace Series, Charlotte is also working on a mainstream romance and a science fiction novel involving alternate universes. She will continue to up date this site with her work and what is next, and she thanks you all for your support and encouragement.



You can find Charlotte AND read a sample from the book on her website:


http://charlotteblackwell.blogspot.com/

and on Facebook here:

http://www.facebook.com/CharlotteBlackwellAuthor?sk=app_1345060532461


Guest Blog with Charlotte Blackwell

First off I would like to thank My Life In Stories for having me today.

Everyone has a dream in life, some want to be a doctor while others want to be a famous rock star. I never really knew what I wanted to be. I spent over thirty years going through the motions of life. I got married had a baby, got divorced, waitressed, met the man of my dreams, went back to school, had a another baby, finished school, worked as a nurse, got married, had another baby and became a stay at home mother. I asked myself, what’s next? What am I to do now? I have the most important job in the world, raise children. Now what if I fail at that too?  

My husband and my three children are the world to me and I want nothing more than for my family to be happy and follow their dreams. How do you teach a child to follow their dreams when you don’t even have any of your own? Well a few short years ago I finally found my dream, to write. I now have something to inspire my children as much as they inspire me.
In November of 2009 my oldest daughter handed me a book and said mom you have to read this. I wasn’t an avid reader but reluctantly took the book. I then read the entire series of 4 books in as many days. I wasn’t able to stop reading and thought to myself I can do this. I always enjoyed writing, but it was more of what I was feeling. Could I write an entire novel? Well I have answered that and it’s YES. Matter of fact I have write several in just over three years and even got a publishing deal. The first three books in my Embrace (YA paranormal romance) Series have already been released. I accomplished so much when this happen. I wrote some books, I got published, I taught my children that anything can happen if you work hard and believe in yourself and most of all I now have a dream.

Immortal Embrace released on July 1, 2011, with Forbidden Embrace and Mystic Embrace releasing two and four months after and a fourth book almost ready. Who could ask for more? Well it’s human nature, we always want more. So my next dream was to become a bestselling author. Now here is where the magic of dreams comes in to play.

I’m a huge believe in the power of positive thinking and the laws of attraction. I could write pages on pages of personal experience to prove this theory.  One example is my husband. He was laid off from his job and was having a hard time finding another, due to cut backs and such. He hadn’t worked in months. I told him to make a list of things he wants, bet to do it as if he already has it. The last item on his list was I have a great job to support my family. Within five minutes of putting the pen down, the phone rang. My husband was offer a job at a higher rate of pay than his previous one. Now I also made a list of my own. One of the things on my list was to be a bestselling author by January of 2012. This came dream came true for on January 14 and 15, 2012 Immortal Embrace made it to #4 on the Amazon Kindle best seller list.

So now what? Well I just make more dreams and continue to believe in myself and those around me, know that they can always come true. So what I say to all of you is dreams are important, have them, embrace them and believe in them and yourself because anything is possible. If you can’t believe in yourself, who else can? Reach for the stars and don’t stop there, keep reaching further and your life will be full of everything you ever dreamed of.  I used this posted on another blog as well, but kept it because I really believe in the message behind it and decided to use it again so that others can may be get the message and learn to believe in themselves a little more. 

Anything really is possible if you just believe, after all I did and all my dreams are coming true, so why not you? ~ Charlotte




Watch the Trailer here:


 Immortal Embrace can be purchased at Amazon.com



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Monday, February 20, 2012

Awaken by Sarah M. Ross

 

  Awaken (The Patronus)

 (The Patronus) Lucy Donovan was supposed to have a weekend of fun in the sun, celebrating her upcoming graduation from college. In a split second, everything changed. A drunk driver ended Lucy’s mortal life. Lucy opens her eyes to a world she never imagined possible and a new destiny: as a Patronus, a guardian of spirits. Adjusting to her new role and abilities while negotiating this confusing realm will test her limits and push her further than she ever dreamed she would go. From wayward spirits who don’t want her help to soul stealing vampires, and even a stuck-up British royal, Lucy must brave them all to save one spirit she can’t bear to lose. Further complicating her confusing life is an inexplicable yet growing connection she feels to a member of her team, Max, whose mysterious behavior leaves her both confused and intrigued. Waking up dead was just the beginning of her problems. Lucy’s death is about to become the greatest adventure of her life. Buy it - Kindle, Paperback, Nook, and Smashwords Author Sarah M Ross is working with Promotional Book Tours to bring you an incredible Prize pack. She is offering up


    

For 25 entries in the contest sign up for her newsletter to learn about new books coming out and contests. Go HERE to sign up for the newsletter Fill out the form to enter to win
a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway Follow the Tour!
 Feb 20 - Mandie http://ereadingonthecheap.com 
 Feb 21 - Adelina http://matterofcents.net 
 Feb 22 - Celeste http://organicmommytoday.com 
 Feb 23 - Anne http://www.upstateramblings.com 
 Feb 24 - Jessica http://www.crossroadreviews.com 
 Feb 25 - Jen - http://www.craftylife.net 
 Feb 26 - Lisa http://lisaisabookworm.blogspot.com 
 Feb 27 - Christine http://more4momsbuck.com 
 Feb 28 - Shawnna http://www.cutthemcoupons.com 
 Feb 29 - Dina www.myunentitledlife.blogspot.com 
 Mar 1 - Laura http://daybydayinourworld.com/ 
 Mar 2 - Emily http://emilysfrugaltips.com/ 
 Mar 3 - Linette http://kidsfunreviewed.com 
 Mar 4 - Michelle http://moneysavvymichelle.com 
 Mar 5 - Laura www.wheelndealmama.com 
 Mar 6 - Cecile http://www.theshoppingduck.com 
 Mar 7 -  Phaedra  http://identitydiscovery.blogspot.com 
 Mar 8 - Mandie http://mommyreadstoomuch.com 
 Mar 9 - Felissa http://twolittlecavaliers.com 
 Mar 10- Theresa http://www.mymommysworld.com 
 Mar 11 - Olivia http://www.blog.thisnthatwitholivia.com 
 Mar 12 - Amber http://www.jadelouisedesigns.com 
 Mar 13 - Dawn http://www.alifeunscripted.net 
 Mar 14 - Susan http://www.susiebhomemaker.com/ 
 Mar 15 - Karen http://practicalfrugality.blogspot.com 
 Mar 16 - Heather http://savingfor6.blogspot.com/ 
 Mar 17 - Jessica http://sewcraftable.blogspot.com 
 Mar 18 - Stephanie http://beautybrite.com 
 Mar 19- Jessie http://momvantage.net 
 Mar 20 - Dawn http://www.slopswap.com 
 Mar 21- Kathy http://www.beentheredonethat.com/ 
 Mar 22 - Melissa http://mychaoticramblings.info 
 Mar 23 - Terri http://www.terrislittlehaven.com 
 Mar 24 - Digna http://autumnbluesreviews.blogspot.com/ 
 Mar 25 - Krista http://www.http://www.beentheredonethatwithkat.com/heavenlysavings.net 
 Mar 26 - Brandy http://giveawayblogdom.com 
 Mar 27 - Mandie http://takingtimeformommy.com 
 Mar 28 - Erin http://www.forhimandmyfamily.blogspot.com/

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Writers are NOT accountants - at least not in this household

I have been tied up for the past couple of weeks working on the accounts for our business. With tax season upon us, it was time I finished putting things in order. It's not that I don't keep up with expenditures and such on a daily basis - I do! It is just that five years ago when we started the business and went into the construction of four houses, I didn't know didly squat about accounting. I'm a writer - not a number person (thank goodness, some people are number people!) I did what comes naturally for me - used my common sense! That is how I set up our accounts. 

THEN, the accountant tells me that, "Oh, that will work for now, but once the houses are completed, it will need to be changed over to Fixed Assets." Then, he proceeded NOT to explain Fixed Assets to me or how to do them. In fact, he did not seem to have any time to do anything I needed done. This is not an accountant I choose, but the one who handles the accounts for our business partners. 

So, I tried to figure out Fixed Assets on my own (remember - not a number person). I did the best I could and then things kinda got screwed up - big time. I had a different accountant "fix" things but that, in the end, turned out to be an even bigger mess. THEN, I found Lynn. She is an accountant that trained in Quickbooks and what she taught me in six hours helped me regain my sanity. I found out that I could do numbers. She set up Class Codes for me and explained them. So easy peasy. It is almost (I said ALMOST) a joy to sit down and do my accounting.

But, that also left me with the huge project of transferring all expenditures for the past five years into Class Codes so that we could have a true picture of the business. As all of you who follow me know, I have ZERO, let me repeat that - ZERO attention span and that is why it has taken me months to do this project. I had to go line by line, through every transaction, to put things to rights. It's almost finished.

I am sure my regular accountant will have a coronary when he sees the accounts - and then again, maybe not. I've deleted General Journal (sounds too much like General Chicken at the Chinese buffet) entries - I have a call into Lynn to find out if that is good or bad - hopefully she won't shoot me. And, I have deposits that do not belong anywhere. I hope that she will answer my SOS soon and put me out of my misery. Lynn has been such a blessing to me. I now understand Quickbooks (at least, much better than I did.) It is almost exciting - not quite.

Maybe now I can catch up on my reading and my writing. Today I am one of the featured writers in the Love of series that Terri Guiliano Long is having on her blog. My story is on the love of food. I hope you'll all stop by and read it. It is so exciting to be invited as a guest author. Here's the link:



On March 1st, I'll be guesting on Southern Writer's Magazine's "Southern T" website. 

I also have a book giveaway for "Empty Arms" going on here: Empty Arms by Erika Liodice

I also invite you to stop by the 99% Blog Hop to check out all of the giveaways going on this week. If you are here via the hop, please leave your blog link so I can visit you.



Have a great day and week!!!


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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thursday - "Where Truth is the Dare"


It's Thursday again - and we all know what that means!
Here is this week's question.
Truth? or Dare?

What are you waiting for the right moment to do?

I am deliberately not posting my answer to this question until later because 
I want every one to come up with their answer spontaneously 
and not be guided by my answer. I cannot wait to hear your answers! :)

Thank you all for participating. I will be doing this every Thursday so I
hope you'll all be back.


My answer is:  
My answer is I am waiting for the right moment to write a letter
to my daughter. 

This book can be found on Amazon:




Don't forget to enter for a chance to win 

It's also Favorite Things Blog Hop at  KatherinesCorner ! 
Angela from Kings Daughters 
is cohost today!


If you are following via the hop, please leave a comment with your blog address
and I'll be by to visit you! And, if you'd like to participate - sign up at Katherine's Corner.
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Monday, February 13, 2012

Empty Arms by Erika Liodice

Empty Arms: a novel

About the Book:

Catharine Chase’s entire life is built on a secret. In 1972, at the tender age of sixteen, she got pregnant. An embarrassment to her parents, Catharine was exiled to a maternity home to carry out her pregnancy far away from the watchful eyes of their tight-knit community. What they didn’t tell her is that she wouldn’t be allowed to keep her baby.

With her daughter’s screams still echoing in her ears, the medical staff told Catharine she’d move on with her life and have more children, they promised she’d forget. But they were wrong. Catharine never forgot Emily. And when she and her husband, Paul, learn that they can’t have children, she risks her job, her marriage, and her family’s reputation in a desperate attempt to find the daughter she never wanted to give away and reclaim her only chance to be a mother.

About the Author:

Image of Erika Liodice

Erika Liodice is an award-winning blogger and founder of the inspirational blog, Beyond the Gray, where she shares her journey to publication while encouraging readers to reach for their own dreams. She is a book reviewer at Reader Unboxed and a contributor to Writer Unboxed, The Savvy Explorer, and Lehigh Valley InSite. Empty Arms is her first novel.
You can visit her at www.ErikaLiodice.com or follow her on Twitter: @erikaliodice.


Guest Post from the Author

Empty Arms: The Story Behind the Story
By Erika Liodice

People are always asking me how I came up with the idea for my debut novel, Empty Arms. Believe it or not, it was served to me on a platter. Literally. Four years ago, I was at my Nana's house enjoying one of her delicious home-cooked meals. She's a natural-born storyteller, so believe me when I say that dinner with her is never boring. Quite the opposite, in fact. Usually she has me laughing so hard that I'm crying and trying not to pee my pants. But that fateful night, her story brought me to tears for a different reason.  

Earlier that day, Nana had been visiting with the daughter of a late friend. During their time together, the woman retrieved a picture from her wallet. "Who are these people?" Nana asked, studying the family in the photograph. "That's my daughter and her family," the woman revealed. Nana was speechless. She'd known this woman since the day she was born and she knew that she'd never had any children. That's when the truth came tumbling out: the woman had gotten pregnant when she was sixteen years old, and in effort to protect her family's good name, she was sent to live at a maternity home under the guise of studying out of state. She carried out her pregnancy in secrecy and when she gave birth to a baby girl, she was given no other choice than to place her for adoption. From that day forward, she was forbidden from seeing her daughter ever again. Everyone assured her that she would eventually forget about the baby and grow up and have more children. But she never forgot her daughter, and it wasn't until years later, after she got married, that she discovered the terrible truth: she was infertile and would never have more children. Her one and only chance at biological motherhood was long gone, and she was devastated.

That story stayed with me for weeks after our dinner. Curious about maternity homes and forced adoptions, I started doing some research and I soon discovered that Nana's friend wasn't alone. To my surprise, over 4 million unwed mothers gave birth in the years between the 1940s and 1970s and many were coerced into adoption too.
The numbers stunned me, and I couldn't help but wonder how an experience like that affects a young girl. So I started digging up testimonials, memoirs, and blogs; I joined adoption groups, and conducted interviews with people from every side of the adoption triangle – birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees – and even a missing person’s investigator. I learned that many of these "birth mothers" didn't go on to lead happy, carefree lives as implied but rather dealt with a staggering array of consequences: guilt, shame, depression, addiction, abusive relationships, post-traumatic stress disorder, and in some cases, suicide. What's more, many of these women are still silently suffering all around us – they’re our neighbors, our colleagues, our children’s teachers, members of our book clubs, our friends. And when you factor the birth fathers, the adoptees, and the birth siblings and relatives into the equation, the number of people affected by these long-forgotten scandals is countless.

Writing Empty Arms was important to me because I wanted to shed new light on a deeply painful, oft-overlooked topic that has shaped an entire generation. My hope is that it can somehow help those fragmented families make peace with the past and, if they desire, find their way back to each other.

Empty Arms is available in paperback and e-book formats at the following locations: http://www.erikaliodice.com/books
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A Note from the Author:
I’ll be donating 10% of my book's proceeds to Save the Children, because at the heart of every adoption story is a child. Sadly, there are millions of children around the world who don’t have a family to love them, clothes to keep them warm, food to nourish their growing bodies, a safe place to sleep, medicine to keep them healthy, or a decent education so they can thrive in this world. I’m proud to be supporting this fine charity through the sales of my novel, Empty Arms. Together we can help save the children.
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For more information, you can visit Erika's blog, Beyond the Gray, or follow her on Twitter: @erikaliodice.

Book Quotes:

I imagine a river flowing inside of me, a school of tadpoles swimming upstream aided by the gravitational advantage I'm providing.

"Catharine, Paul," Dr. Hurten begins. He measures his words, not quite able to force his eyes to meet ours.

"For ten to fifteen percent of all infertile couples" - I wince at the label - "the cause of infertility can't be explained. It's called" - and he looks almost embarrassed when he says it - "unexplained infertility."

Across the expanse of white Berber carpet, a sliver of darkness escapes from the door to the walk-in closet. Don't do this to yourself. But I will. I always do on her birthday.

One breath is all I ever allow myself for fear that I'll inhale the last remaining trace of her. One breath to prove that she exists.

My muscles tighten at the memory of fighting against hospital aides twice my size as they pinned down my shoulders and legs and...

"Your arm," she says, horrified by the scars and scabs. I yank at my sleeve, covering the hideousness. "It's nothing." "That's not nothing, Cate, Picking is self-harm."

Silence fills the line and then, "Is it really you?" I nod, but a torrent of tears holds my words...

My Review:

Empty Arms is a powerful story with a well-developed plot and characters. The story captures you and makes it impossible to put the book down. Empty Arms is full of surprises that catch you off guard. The author has the extraordinary ability to bring you to tears and then mend your broken heart. It is impossible to give you more information about the story without spoiling the book. Empty Arms deals with adoption, post traumatic syndrome, infertility, and complex relationships. Re-read everything above that the author has shared with us, and I guarantee you will be clamoring to read Empty Arms. It will touch your heart as no other book has. The book is well-written and it is obvious that the author took the time to research the subject. Empty Arms has a beginning, a middle, and a definite end. I enjoy reading this book. I am a constant learner (my own term) and I like when an author teaches me something. In my opinion, this book is a well-rounded book and well worth the read.

The author, Erika Liodice, has provided my blog with a book to give away. You can enter to win by "Rockin' the Rafflecopter." If you would like to purchase the book, you may find it on Amazon.com (click on the icon below.)



Disclaimer / Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book with no obligation for a positive review. No compensation - monetary or in kind - has been obtained for this post. Cover art and book description courtesy of the author, publisher, or PR firm. 



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