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The Brute and I 

Love is never easy. Alex and Marco know this, perhaps, better than anyone. They simultaneously make the perfect and the most volatile of couples. Their history is long, troubled, and charged with an animosity that neither of them is able to verbalize. This, in fact, may be the downfall of their relationship. When every battle they have been fighting comes to a head one night, violence threatens to end what they have worked so hard to build, and the two are forced to look at their relationships and themselves in an entirely new and terrifying light.

The Brute and I, by Suzanne Smith, is an utterly stunning piece of fiction. Not quite a romance and not exactly in the spiritual vein, this short novella delivers one of the most powerful messages of hope I have ever had the fortune to read. Alex and Marco have a tumultuous relationship, and readers see the result of their dynamic in the first few paragraphs. It is harrowing to read, triggering for some readers, and incredibly impactful by the story’s end.

One of the most gripping aspects of Smith’s plot is the focus on rationale versus raw emotion. There is nothing more realistic than the battle between these two when it comes to love, and the author is a master at conveying this through her characters. The first-person narration adds to the emotional impact of Alex’s story. Her fears, her jealousy, and her own disappointment with herself will grab readers from the first sentence. As a survivor of domestic abuse, I felt Alex’s trepidation as she grappled with staying with Marco or leaving him behind. The author has truly done an amazing job of creating a believable cast of characters with whom many readers will be able to relate.

The thing that sets Smith’s work apart from so many other books that deal with domestic abuse is that the characters’ experiences offer hope. Alex and Marco are both strong-willed and determined, but they are set on making their relationship work–no matter what it takes. Readers are taken on that journey and hold hands with Alex as she seeks the therapy she needs to heal. Marco’s journey is an absolutely breathtaking one. His healing, though different from Alex’s, is no less amazing.

The author delves into some frightening areas of the human psyche, and it is a ride I am glad I did not miss. The emotions of the main characters are raw from beginning to end and give readers a lot to process as they watch Alex and Marco move through some very challenging stages. I highly recommend Smith’s work to anyone looking for a psychologically rich story with well-developed and relatable characters. This is a one-sitting book and, hands-down, one of my favorites this year.

Pages: 211 | ASIN : B07F95G2FS

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Daria’s Secrets

Daria’s Secrets by Jeff Ingber tells the story of Daria Abramson, a young girl living a carefree life in Kalisz, Poland, until the war broke out. Then, one summer day, they were all marched out of the ghetto, and she was forcefully separated from her family and taken as a seamstress. Later, she would find out that her loving parents and sister were taken to Chelmno, a killing camp. Now, nearly half a century later, Daria is experiencing nightmares from her past and is trying to heal from the past traumas. Hence, she goes to see doctor Metzger, a therapist who guides her toward healing her past and making a beautiful life for herself. Alongside Metzger, Daria is loved and supported by her daughter Karen, her best friend Ruth, and the visions of Peter, her dead husband, and Chaim Rumkowski, someone who history and Daria remember very differently.

Ingber writes in an effortlessly beautiful tone with vivid imagery and creates details that lead the reader on a remarkable emotional and visual journey. As we travel throughout the pages of this book, it feels like we are embodying Daria and feeling everything she is feeling. Ingber manages to keep his narrative straightforward while filled with the most beautiful stylistic figures in a way that touches and lures the reader in and leaves us wanting more.

I am pleasantly surprised by Ingber’s approach to writing and his character development. Daria is written so beautifully that you can’t help but empathize with her and want to give her all your love and support even though she is a fictional character. She has the innocence and courage of the young girl forced to survive in the most inhuman conditions in Poland while also having the knowledge and heart of a lady who has lived a long life filled with both joy and sadness, success and downfalls, and love and loss.

In addition, the psychology behind Metzger’s question and every answer Daria gives, including her frows, begs, and smiles, are crafted so perfectly that anyone can sympathize with it. This is a captivating read, especially for those interested in Psychology.

Daria’s Secrets by Jeff Ingber is a lovely work of fiction that depicts the lives of many victims and survivors of any war, which is, sadly, still relevant today. This book will have you on your toes and reaching for the tissues from its first to its final page. 

Pages: 232 | ISBN : 163988341X

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Healing Yesterday’s Tears

Author Kyli Santiago’s life is one from which we can all learn. Fortunately, she has shared much of her experience with readers in the form of poetry. Santiago’s poems cover every topic, from depression to single motherhood. Within Santiago’s work, there is a prominent theme of overcoming adversity and bouncing back time and time again from situations that would break the strongest among us.

Healing Yesterday’s Tears, by Kyli Santiago, is eye-opening on many levels. First, I appreciated the real and raw emotions conveyed through her verse. Reading Santiago’s poetry is like looking through the window to her soul. Second, I found her words to be powerful and moving. The poems addressing depression explore truly dark and hurtful places, but Santiago always manages to show readers her own path toward hope. Many readers who are seeking words of encouragement will find her work difficult to read but inspiring all the same.

There is no better place to find a shining example of self-discovery than Santiago’s work. She leaves nothing to the imagination and provides highly relatable situations, including deception in relationships and sexually violent experiences. Her work gives hope to readers and shows them that the most adverse conditions can be overcome.

Santiago always leaves readers feeling strengthened and emboldened to meet obstacles head-on. I highly recommend Santiago’s work to anyone looking for the inspiration to love themselves again. Readers will appreciate the openness displayed in Santiago’s work. Learning through adversity is one of the most challenging processes, but Santiago has mastered it–we are fortunate she has been led to share her experiences with the world.

Healing Yesterday’s Tears: An Inspiring Poetry Book about Overcoming Emotion and Discovering Love of Self is a beautifully written book of poetry that contains some triggering situations related to suicide and intimate relationships, but each poem paves a path filled with strength and hope for readers.

Pages: 77 | ASIN : B09GNTJGKX

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Scatter Seeds of Kindness

Author K.A Bloch’s Scatter Seeds of Kindness is a book full of heartwarming and inspiring poems. The author covers various topics, including family, friendship, love, loss, societal expectations, and even bullying. Ultimately, her poems make you reflect on what’s truly important in life and how to ensure you never lose sight of it. They also help you empathize with others while still taking care of yourself.

Apart from poems, this book also contains prose explaining the stories and inspiration behind the poems. While some are rooted in the author’s personal experiences, some seem to have just come to her.

Whichever poem or story you read through, there’s clearly some intimacy there. You can see how they can apply to your own life or that of a loved one. Even when the author talks about challenging subject matter such as death and loss, you are not overwhelmed by despair. Instead, you can feel her peace and gratitude for her time with those she loved.

I really connected to one poem ‘Life Lessons outside the Classroom.’ This poem resonates with how I look back on life now. I went to college, but the things I have learned just living far outway anything I could have learned from a classroom. Especially things like dealing with other people and learning how to be a good friend and partner.

In many ways, the author reminds us to be kind to others and ourselves, even in the face of our own darkness. Her writing is light and beautiful, showing some acceptance of the passing of time and the tragedies that come with it. Ultimately, this book is charming, well-written, and extremely easy to read.

Scatter Seeds of Kindness is a beautifully written collection of poetry. Readers looking for an uplifting collection of poetry that encourages kindness to others and oneself will find this book to be a healing oasis amidst the struggles of daily life.

Pages: 83 | ASIN : B09JCJJT4G

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Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall, Where Does My Self-Love Fall?

Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall, Where Does My Self-Love Fall?: A Success Guide to Replace Toxicity with Love takes you on a journey of reflection. How are you living your life? Are you able to achieve your goals within the set time frame? How do you interact with others? Do you love and take care of yourself as you should? Is the environment you are in toxic? These and more questions are answered throughout the book. Nina Norstrom is here to tell the reader to love self, take life gently and make memories. This book has potent affirming power. When feeling low, the author knows which words to use to raise one’s spirits.

I appreciate Nina Norstrom for laying her life bare. The author talks deeply about her personal life and even invites the reader to walk the journey with her. By looking at life through Nina’s eyes, we get to see how beautiful the world is and how much disservice we are doing ourselves by not taking advantage of the good that the universe offers. This book is more than a self-help book. Nina Norstrom will help you grow into a well-rounded individual that will benefit society in many ways. One of the highlights of reading this book was connecting with the author when she narrated some of her experiences.

Certain chapters in the book made me connect deeper with the author. The chapters on toxicity in the work place, living healthy, relationships, emotional wellness, and toxic emotion were my favorites. In these chapters, the author is raw, and candid. The content in these chapters is eye opening and can be uncomfortable for some. By reading the text, I got to think of the toxic situations I was in, and how I probably enabled parties involved to be toxic. Nina Norstrom makes you feel like you matter. Your voice should be heard and your feelings are valid.

The author’s integrity and straightforwardness are a plus. Nina speaks her mind and does not mind. She is also objective in her writing and knows how to deliver a message gently. The author is charming and gives one time to process one piece of information before going to the next. There are multiple lessons in this book but the major lesson is about love. The author extensively writes about love for self, love for family, friends, and the people we interact with on a daily basis. This book will help readers love themselves more.

Pages: 89 | ASIN: B07BFGGM2N

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You Can’t Live Your Life From a Place of Fear

Denise Bossarte Author Interview

Thriving After Sexual Abuse shares your story of recovery and gives other abuse victims a starting place on their own road to recovery. Why was this an important book for you to write?

As part of my healing journey, I did a lot of journaling and poetry writing. My husband always encouraged me to share my story to help other survivors, but I didn’t think I could write a memoir about my experiences. As a survivor of trauma, I have difficulty placing the abuse memories in the context of my life outside of the abuse. This is pretty common for survivors. I didn’t feel I had enough of a storyline to put together a meaningful memoir.

And then the story about Dr. Larry Nassar and his abuse of so many girls and women gymnasts came out, and my heart was broken open by how many were suffering because of this one man. I thought to myself that someone should do something to help these women, and others like them, to heal from the trauma of their abuse. And that is when I realized that I could do that; I could write a book about my experiences in the context of my healing journey. I could share the practices and activities that helped me heal as an inspiration for others to begin, or continue on, their own healing journeys. That was the motivation I needed to write my book.

I appreciated the candid nature with which you told your story. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?

It was very challenging to write about how much the abuse affected me before I started my healing journey, to delve back into those years of shame, confusion, anger, and suffering. It was incredibly difficult to put those words on paper and to relive those experiences. But it was also very healing to see how far I’ve come and where I am in my life today compared to where I started.

The other most challenging part to write was the “Who Knew What and When?” chapter. To go back and consider who could have known about the abuse and had not stepped in to help me was tough. And to write that chapter in a way to help others go through the same process took quite a while to piece together. But I think it brought clarity for me to understand how and why I dealt with the relationships with those people they way I did as I moved forward in my healing journey.

What is one piece of advice someone gave you that changed your life?

A friend of mine once told me “You can’t live your life from a place of fear.” I was angry at him when he told me that! But I came to realize he was right. That I was keeping myself from living a life of thriving and joy because I was afraid of people finding out about my childhood abuse, afraid of being rejected or pitied, afraid of being my true self. Once I took his message to heart, I was able to be brave in my authenticity and live from a place where no one and no past experiences could control me or the life I wanted to create.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your story?

That healing from sexual abuse is possible.

That you are strong enough to start a healing journey that will take you to a place of thriving, and you deserve every minute of that joyful life!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Thriving After Sexual Abuse is an eloquent and empathetic self-development book laying out a blueprint for survivors to heal themselves. Denise Bossarte writes with fierce candor as she shares her own traumatic experience with childhood sexual abuse. Thriving provides tips and suggestions for readers to seek help, self-reflect, and pursue healing through a range of activities and practices and offers tangible strategies for readers to reclaim their lives and move forward to a life of Thriving.

Thriving After Sexual Abuse

A walking guide on healing practices and experiences from the victim of sexual abuse, Denise Bossarte’s Thriving After Sexual Abuse intends to help victims break free of the shackles of self-blame and feelings of unworthiness following sexual abuse.

The book is broken into four parts, each of which attempts to introduce and educate the reader about different methods, approaches, and self-analysis they can use to come out and win over abuse, transforming into a confident, more vital being with a sense of self-esteem and being loved.

With its four sections, the first part is the foundation of the healing journey, which includes choice of therapy, meditation, and reading self-help books. These sections encompass the author’s own experiences, options that she has explored and adopted for her healing process in her journey towards choosing from a variety of anxiety-provoking steps for a newcomer off on the path of release from the trauma of abuse.

Part two of the guide concentrates more on practices that are easy to adhere to and adapt and that have been scientifically proven to contribute to an overall feeling of well-being among humans. Here are some fun ways to improve connection with suppressed emotions using interesting, engaging, and convenient options such as yoga & creative art. A therapist’s constant guidance on some trigger-inducing practices is advised, just as in part one of the book.

Part three focuses more on the insecure questions that keep coming to the surface in the survivor’s mind that must be answered for overall healing. It presents explicit information about dealing with body triggers and memories and confronting the blocked memories of abusive experiences to overcome fear and anxiety related to such memories.

The fourth and last part contains the journaling of the author, a healing practice highly recommended by her. It includes the poems, which result from the healing process that allowed the author to identify & address her suppressed traumatic emotions. From a victim filled with fear, anxiety, and self-doubt regarding her worth to a healed, confident survivor who flourished in the world, these poems describe the journey of Dennis Bossarte.

Denise Bossarte, a victim of incest at the hands of her grandfather, shares in an easily perceivable manner the step-by-step process for healing that she applied. The resources such as books, meditation apps, and links to numerous support programs are an added bonus for readers who lack any external guidance. There is a considerate and polite tone to the book that leaves the ultimate delivery of healing to the survivor. Each section ends with a question that allows the survivor to reflect on the entire process and the subsequent effects, giving them complete control over how to proceed. 

Thriving After Sexual Abuse is a valuable guide that offers excellent support to a traumatic abuse victim, as they get first-hand knowledge of the process of healing directly from someone who successfully applied it and eventually transcended her journey to thriving.

Pages: 252 | ASIN : B0937GR5MR

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Praying Wife Healed Husband – Book Trailer

Praying Wife, Healed Husband is a riveting account of Marcy Myles-Clark’s spiritual fight on behalf of her husband, Theirrien “Tee” Clark, as the clock was ticking on his life. His was one of the worst COVID-19 cases known to one of America’s top hospitals in the early stages of the 2020 Pandemic. Hear how Marcy’s remarkable and relentless faith stirred up a bounty of prayer warriors to breathe hope into a hopeless situation. As the entire world has been challenged by varying degrees of virus upheaval and panic, resulting in ever-increasing death toll statistics, this book reminds us that there is a human element to this crisis that supersedes numbers. It reminds us to take inventory of our spiritual life while we still can. It reminds us that with every trial in life, we have the opportunity to respond with faith or with fear. When Marcy chose faith, miracles happened. Before March of 2020, Tee & Marcy were your typical, fun loving, empty-nester couple, living their lives to the fullest. Then, in the blink of an eye, life as they knew it drastically changed. During March 2020, COVID-19 struck their household forcing them to endure the ultimate test of faith to not only sustain their marriage and finances but life itself! Tee spent 46 days isolated, for the most part, from his beloved wife and family as Johns Hopkins Hospital’s worst COVID-19 case at that point in time. With 28 of those 46 days in a medically induced coma, it wasn’t looking good for Tee from a physical and medical standpoint. This book will have you devouring every page consisting of Marcy’s journal entries, progress notes from Tee’s medical team, and inspiring text messages to and from her friends, family, and spiritual leaders. You’ll be intrigued by Tee’s personal account of matters as he fought to defy death several times while intubated. Fortunately for Tee & Marcy, they had excellent health insurance and other affairs in place to overcome this major curveball life threw their way. As a bonus, enjoy their self-help section full of expert advice and resources to assist you in getting your own house in order regarding your health, wealth, and relationship wellbeing. Now, more than ever, you must protect yourself in these times of crisis.

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