Victim 2 Victor shares your true story of your struggle with abuse and trauma and finding your way towards a life of empowerment. Why was this an important book for you to write?
As a woman once stuck in the vicious cycle of abuse myself, I know what it means to survive. Suffering through such difficulty takes a real, harmful, heavy toll on you, and many times it’s hard to figure out how to just be, after you’ve made it out. I want to fix that.
By making my story public, and offering a guide through pain, abuse, and healing, I am hoping that I can be a light to others who are experiencing the same. Through the benefits of self-help methods, determination and mindful healing, women and children everywhere will be able to overcome the hurt and devastation they have experienced so that they too can write their own stories of victory.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from you book?
My hope is to reach out to those who are stuck and looking for a way out and to understand that healing is available.
What is one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you were younger?
I wished that I had been guided to speak out and to not suffer alone. By not speaking about my problems had made me suppressed and not able to communicate effectively as I was growing up. By not being able to express my feelings led to depression in my later life. My life began to unfold and change for the better when I started seeing my therapist as I was then able to communicate about everything that had happened to me.
Do you have plans to write other books?
I do indeed. I want to explore further about the importance of self-worth and self-love. I also want to write further on the development of relationships for a person who has experienced abuse and trauma and the effects these experiences have on them.
Posted in Interviews
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The Hidden Gifts Within the Trauma of Sexual Abuse by Keira Poulsen is a non-fiction book intended to help victims of sexual abuse find a path to cope with their pain and provide healing through faith for the trauma they have suffered. Written by a survivor of sexual abuse, this book is a combination of self-help book and journal, with the author speaking directly to the reader and asking them to answer questions about their own personal experiences and feelings. The author shares her own story of abuse and the ongoing effects it has had on her through the rest of her childhood and into adulthood.
This book has an inspiring message of hope that can aid survivors of sexual abuse. Although readers may find many parts of it difficult to read, this book shines a much needed light on this pervasive issue in our society. It is aimed at helping those who have suffered through this specific trauma, but the principles outlined in the book can be beneficial for anyone who has suffered pain and trauma of any kind. I liked the author’s encouraging words and support of others. This book will resonate especially strongly with readers of faith due to the author’s inclusion of verses of scripture that were helpful through her own personal journey of healing.
There are several journal questions at the end of each chapter that can provide insight and guidance to gain strength and hope, if readers truly look inside themselves to answer honestly. I liked that the book provides lined blank pages to write on, rather than just a list of questions to consider, which are often merely skimmed over by readers. There were a few minor editing issues in the book. And I didn’t agree with the author’s assertion that there can be no joy without pain, however, suffering through pain often can make people appreciate more the good things in their lives.
I found The Hidden Gifts Within the Trauma of Sexual Abuse to be inspirational, uplifting and empowering. More inspiration can be found in the author’s next book, Warriors of Light: Stories of Hope and Healing from Survivors of Sexual Abuse, and I liked that a short excerpt was provided at the end of this book.
Pages: 123 | ASIN: B07G3LZFM1
Tags: abuse, author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, goodreads, inpirational, Keira Poulsen, kindle, kobo, literature, memoir, motivational, nonfiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, self help, sexual abuse, story, The Hidden Gifts within the Trauma of Sexual Abuse, writer, writing
After all… by Maria Trautman is the author’s story of the abuse she endured and her path to forgiveness. Maria was born to a mother who simply didn’t love her. To her mother, Maria represented a time in her life she couldn’t get past. Maria was a source of pain for her mother and her mother let that pain bleed into every moment of her child’s life. Maria’s grandmother was the only one who showed her true love in her childhood. After her grandmother passed away Maria went back to live with her mother. Throughout her stay with her mother, Maria long suffered abuse and manipulation from the hands of people that she should have been protected from in the first place, starting with her mother. Through desperation and conscientious acts, Maria moved to Canada to live with her aunt.
Despite knowing this is a memoir, nothing could have prepared me for the harsh reality that the author faced. The story of Maria is a heart wrenching story that will make you feel helpless, anger, and empathy with every word. Trautman’s writing is powerful, raw, and inspiring. I commend her for being able to share her traumatic story with the world and still find peace through faith. Her story gives hope to readers and shows us that no matter what we face we can still be a better person. The first half of the book is difficult to read and I had to put the book down a few times to compose myself. Don’t let this stop you from reading the book as this shows just how shocking Trautman’s story is and just how effective her words are.
This book hits close to home for many readers but there is hope and Maria is proof of this. Through faith and forgiveness Maria is able to rebuild herself as a person and start a life. You get a feeling of redemption and happiness when you finish reading the book.
Prepare yourself for the harsh reality of this book. The raw anguish, the struggles, and strife. After all.. It just might be worth every heartbreaking moment.
Pages: 221 | ASIN: B08KBSH81R
Tags: abuse, After All ..., author, biography, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, ebook, emotional, family, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, Maria Trautman, memoir, nonfiction, nook, novel, parenting, read, reader, reading, story, writer, writing
Bullying: What Are We Really Scared Of challenges our current response to bullying and explores successful ways of dealing with bullies. Why was this an important book for you to write?
I was able to get inside the head of a bully, learn all the secrets as to how they bully and why. Stemming from this, I was able to devise an action plan to stop bullies from hurting me. After many years of implementing this plan, learning that it worked every time, seeing the world was in such a state with bullying problems, saddened, I felt it was imperative I shared the secrets to defeating the bullies to help victims with this worldwide problem.
What were some ideas that were important for you to focus on in this book?
Divulging the truth about bullying, that it is not just the schoolyard bully or domestic violator, but that bullying is in every aspect of our lives. Exposing their secrets and sharing how easy it is for bullies to be retrained during counselling from being a physical violator to a psychological abuser because that is when they are most dangerous. Demonstrating, with examples, how easy it is to fall victim to bullies and what to look out for to be safe from the manipulations of bullies. Explaining to victims that the Justice system is more often than not, a lame duck when it comes to seeking help from them so they don’t fall into the abyss of depression when it fails to help them. Most importantly, I wanted to empower victims to be self reliant, to help themselves to stop the bullies in their lives.
What is a common misconception you feel people have about bullying?
That bullying is scary, that once they fall victim to a bully it will never stop, that they cannot defeat it and no one would believe them.
Do you have plans to write other books on this topic?
Yes, I am in the midst of writing a book for younger children (ages 3-8) to help them understand bullying and what they can do to stop it.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: abuse, author, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books to read, Brenda Turner, bullying, Bullying: What Are We Really Scared Of, children, ebook, education, goodreads, kids, kindle, kobo, literature, nonfiction, nook, novel, parent, read, reader, reading, school, self help, story, teacher, writer, writing
Victim 2 Victor, by Anu Verma, is an inspirational book based on a true story depicting how the effects of childhood sexual assault brought fear, frustration and hopelessness to Anu Verma. Through her self-discovery mechanisms she is able to break the cycle and let go of the pent up emotions, childhood trauma, guilt and fear of her dark past and change her life for the better.
In this book Anu Verma integrates her skills with life experiences to help those who have gone through similar traumatic experiences. As a reader who genuinely relates to the character’s feelings, I am particularly amazed with how the author maintains the first character narration. It draws the audience closer to her experiences. The way she builds her childhood memories tries to defend her pure conscience, but the same is suppressed by the very familiar people who should help her guard the norms of chastity. Anu Verma is eager to kill the “demon” of fear, and strives to achieve this through her travelling around the world, practicing of yoga, new friends, learning from the new crazy adventures and cultures all which culminate to her curiosity to discover a ray of hope for her already darkened past.
I applaud the author for having the ability to find her strength and value her self worth. Her teaching methodologies on trauma and help readers come out the other side with a clearer perspective on life. One thing I truly appreciated was her comprehensive counselling therapies at the end of the book. There is no doubt that she devotedly yearns to help the next broken heart. Victim 2 Victor is well equipped to empower and counsel all the readers who are going through a similar experience.
Pages: 239 | ASIN: B08H19PCHP
Tags: abuse, Anu Verma, author, biography, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books to read, ebook, goodreads, inspirational, kindle, kobo, literature, memoir, motivational, nonfiction, nook, novel, read, reader, reading, self help, sexual abuse, story, Victim 2 Victor, writer, writing
Isabel Wells covers the important topic of being involved in a relationship with a narcissist in Emotionally Broken, telling the tale of Katelyn, a single mother of two girls who meets Jonathan, the handsome, rich Prince Charming who sweeps her off her feet and into his arms. As the relationship develops, we see Jonathan’s true colors emerge.
This book is about such an important topic. Katelyn lives with her mother and works to provide for her girls. She doesn’t really have much else outside of those relationships. When handsome and rich Jonathan comes into her life this novel certainly becomes a much deeper and thought-provoking novel.
Isabel Wells does an excellent job of showing how little self-esteem Katelyn has, for example in how she reacts to Jonathan looking at her. The book takes us on a journey, slowly watching their relationship develop into a marriage and then the end of a marriage as Katelyn sees the Jekyll and Hyde nature of Jonathan. There is a lot of dialogue to share conversations and arguments between the couple, but the dialogue felt stilted. Once the couple marry, the pace of the book picks up, but I felt that there were areas that were underdeveloped. I wanted to see what leads Katelyn to confide in others, instead I felt that we were simply told that this is now happening. We proceed at breakneck speed through the last third of the book. Although there are mentions of lessons Katelyn learned, I wanted more explanation of what those lessons were. This is an emotional book and I was enthralled with Katelyn’s character so my desire to know more comes from the sentimental connection Isabel Wells is able to create between her character and the reader.
This is a complex and sensitive topic to deal with and Isabel Wells handles it with care. The book would have benefited from more show, less tell and more development of some crucial points to help the reader understand the relationship. But in the end Emotionally Broken is a touching story that explores emotional connections and different types of personalities.
Pages: 124 | ASIN: B08CGNNS3S
Tags: abuse, author, book, book review, bookblogger, contemporary fiction, ebook, Emotionally Broken, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, Isabel Wells, kindle, kobo, literature, Natasha Barber, nook, novel, psychological thriller, read, reader, reading, romance, story, womens fiction, writer, writing
The Other Cheek follows Rich as he struggles with his increasingly abusive wife and his attempt to escape. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing story?
First, I’d like to thank you for your brilliant, insightful and thoughtful review of my debut novel. It’s so refreshing and encouraging to read an intelligent review written by someone who holds such passion for the written word, and who “gets” my book!
Okay, back to your question: The inspiration for the setup of my story was pretty deeply rooted in personal experience, truth be told. There’s an old expression that advises writers to “Write what you know…”, and that was the springboard for taking on this difficult (understatement) story. Rich, the protagonist in the story, is a freelancer in the television industry, which mirrored my previous career in the Hollywood arena. So, there’s that. As for the story itself, and the harrowing predicament Rich finds himself in…well, without saying too much more about that, let’s just say I have some skin in the game––literally––on that front as well. Been there, done that, got the tee-shirt…ahem. The setting, the characters, and events naturally unfolded––once I allowed them to––but that took considerable time to process. Liberating it all from a depths of my soul was the biggest challenge I faced in deciding to share the story.
Rich is an interesting and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?
Writing the character of Rich didn’t require much invention, really, as he mirrored myself in many ways––not only professionally, but physically, emotionally, spiritually, and we had lots of shared experience. Rich came from a very loving and supportive family, as did I. His good character traits were forged in his upbringing, and I like to think that mine were as well. As the story has to do with a decent man who is living a secret life of pain, being subjected to a tortuous amount of abuse––both emotional and physical––at the hands of his supposedly loving spouse, Rich’s character had to plumb the depths of his soulful DNA to avoid responding in kind to the physical abuse. His childhood lessons were indelible, and the “boys don’t hit girls––ever” credo was adhered to at all costs. Plus, he took his vows seriously, and perhaps he took it all too literally. The cost was huge. Irreparable, really…
The novel explores abusive relationships and domestic violence. Was this intentional or incidental to telling the story you wanted to tell?
This story takes place in the 1990s, which––as the crow flies (?)––doesn’t seem like that long ago, but in terms of our lifestyles and attitudes, it was an eternity ago. By that, I mean, we didn’t have smart phones, the internet was just beginning to emerge, there wasn’t all of the instantaneous communication and technology at our fingertips, and along with that…awareness, it was lacking.
Domestic violence has long been a dirty little behind-closed-doors secret, really, and I wanted this story to challenge readers to reevaluate what they think they really know about domestic abuse. Rich’s predicament involved being on the flip-side of the “typical” domestic violence equation, as he was in that underreported (again, understatement) demographic of a male being physically abused by a female. He thought he was the only one on the planet going through that! Besides, who would believe him? With that well-kept secret, an immeasurable burden of shame adds enough weight to assure one sinks to the deepest abyss imaginable. It’s a dilemma and place I wouldn’t wish on anyone, and––sadly––it’s a place from where some never return.
I remember back to when I was a teenager, and my father recommended I read a book called Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl. This was some deep, dark––yet enlightening––stuff, as it dealt with his experiences in a concentration camp and his internal search for the meaning of it all. That, probably subliminally, was what I was looking for as I dove into the dark places I had to go in order to write this book. What would be the meaning behind it? What purpose could possibly be served by going through horrific experiences––whether they be in concentration camps, or as a prisoner of war in your own home? I figured, if the book touches just one person, then it will all be worth it. I guess my purpose was being a conduit to help with Awareness. I guess I was deemed strong enough to live through it, and to tell it. I needed to get it right, and necessary authenticity comes from that place.
Readers will also notice that I incorporated lots of music references throughout the narrative. The choices were very deliberate in not only establishing mood in some scenes, but also at times reflecting or belying emotions of the characters. I am especially grateful to Tom Petty’s estate for granting permission in the use of a song that was very important to driving the plot of certain scene (I won’t give spoilers here). I wish I could’ve included a two-CD soundtrack with every book, but that was prohibitive. It was challenging enough to navigate the licensing of the songs I decided to use, and there were several I had to let go. In the book, Rich interacts with “The Great D.J. in the Sky”, who is almost a character in his/herself. Readers have mentioned how much the songs added to the experience.
Amazingly, about a month ago, I was notified that this debut novel of mine received a Finalist Medal in its “Best First Novel” category in the 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Awards! This little naked-making project of mine, the one that I almost kept stuffed down out of fear and uncertainty, is slowly finding an audience, is being embraced critically, and being appreciated for its honesty and candor. I receive letters from readers who either know someone who’s going through an abusive relationship, or have been in one themselves, and I feel for them all.
I hope my book comes up on Oprah’s radar, because that would take readership and awareness to the next level! A guy can dream…
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Well, I’ve been wearing many hats as I try to get this book launched and safely out of the harbor. Without a major publishing house behind you, it takes a lot of extra effort to get your book noticed, as I envision my book as a little baby sea turtle trying to navigate that Normandy Beach-like stretch of sand to find relative safety in the deep water. It truly helps to have some great reviews to help differentiate it from the millions of other books out there, and I really appreciate Literary Titan taking the time to review the book and interview the author.
That being said, I think my next book will center on a female protagonist. I’m still in the early stages of fleshing out her character and story, but I think it will be a worthy follow-up. And, not unlike my first one, it’ll probably have a killer soundtrack!
Posted in Interviews
Tags: abuse, author, author interview, book, book review, bookblogger, domestic violence, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, Jafe Danbury, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, psychological, psychological thriller, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, THE OTHER CHEEK, thriller, writer, writing
Levels to My Insanity: Unmastered by Adrianne Mouton is a story of generational trauma that plagues three women from the Dagher family in West Virginia. The story starts with Ethel Dagher, the pain she suffers from childhood abuse, loss, and mental health conditions lead her to inflict pain onto the generations that succeed her. After Ethel’s story, we follow two generations of her granddaughters, Tawny and Violet. The women both suffer from traumas of their own while still carrying pain from the generations that preceded them. The sheer hope for relief, healing, and triumph is all the Dagher women have.
A roller-coaster of emotions; Levels to My Insanity grips you from the start! The development of the characters is quick but thorough. Mouton fleshes out her characters with detailed backstories, realistic dialogue, and poetic inner monologue. The use of foreshadowing in the stories of each woman leaves you craving more. A glance towards something by one of the characters can mean so much more than what meets the eye.
The realistic atmosphere is beautiful, but at times chilling. Mouton uses nature’s beauty to artistically convey the thoughts and emotions of the characters. Stormy clouds, a magnolia tree, and the night sky represent gloom, light, and dread; these are only a few of the elements Mouton uses.
Mouton is a master of prose; she takes the English language. Her poetic approach makes you feel as if you are inside the characters’ minds and living through their pain. Compelling descriptions and poetry like sentences set the story apart from similar novels on the market.
I must state that although I loved this book, the subjects discussed weighed heavy on my heart during and after reading it. Authors often promise to deliver a breathtaking and heart-wrenching tale but only end up scratching the surface of the issues they are discussing. In the case of Levels to My Insanity, Mouton delivers this promise brutally and truthfully.
Combining all the remarkable elements I mentioned previously; realistic imagery, thorough character development, and rich prose; Adrianne Mouton has created an unforgettable novel! Levels to My Insanity: Unmastered is a work of heartbreaking literary fiction that dares to speak on topics that many authors are scared to.
Pages: 287 | ASIN: B078YFJ77X
Tags: abuse, Adrianne Mouton, author, book, book review, bookblogger, drama, ebook, family, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, Levels to My Insanity: UnMastered, literature, nook, novel, psychological, read, reader, reading, story, suspense, thriller, writer, writing