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SOUVENIRS OF SUFFERING: A Child’s Memoir of Surviving Cancer – Trailer

Through the eyes and voice of a child, Dazhoni Green recounts her battle with brain cancer, wrestling with the debilitating effects of its initial symptoms, the diagnosis and ensuing treatment. These experiences, doubts and fears, were a prelude to a lengthy and arduous recovery. Souvenirs Of Suffering is a candid account that will find the reader cheering Dazhoni on, sometimes with tears, at every obstacle on her way to become the compassionate, energetic young woman she is today. The champions in the story are friends, family members, teachers, hospital staff and camp counselors who patiently and lovingly supported her and other children struggling with debilitating diseases. These children are the real heroes, each and every one. Having cancer as a child changed Dazhoni’s view of life, something the reader will sense as she portrays each milestone along the way.

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Lessons from the Frogs I’ve Kissed

Lessons from the Frogs I've Kissed: I have made all the mistakes in the book so you wont have to by [Kolnik, Krystal]

If you can imagine it, Krystal has experienced it. If you’ve ever wondered what an abusive relationship truly feels like, Krystal can tell you. If you’re curious as to what a true survivor looks like, take a good long look at Krystal–her life is a testament of dedication, overcoming the worst of the worst in relationships, and learning from one’s mistakes. When Krystal finds Pete, she believes she has found forever. She could never have foreseen that the world into which she would bring her children would be one in which their father would make their lives a living hell.

Krystal Kolnik’s Lessons From Frogs I’ve Kissed is one of the most heart-wrenching stories of love and loss I have ever read. The strength it takes Krystal to simply live from day to day in the presence of such a dismissive and disloyal husband is completely stunning. As I read page after page filled with descriptions of her husband’s indiscretions and manic outbursts, my heart ached and I was filled with a rage of my own.

Krystal’s willingness to open her heart and spill her experiences for the world to read is beyond admirable. More than that, her story resonates with both men and women across the globe. Abusive relationships of one type or another are, sadly, a common occurrence. Readers who are desperately seeking validation will see themselves mirrored in the way Krystal is drawn back to Pete time and time again as his hollow promises are broken one after another–so goes the life of a victim of domestic abuse.

From Krystal’s own struggle to believe or not to believe Pete to her family and friends’ choice to conceal their own knowledge of Pete’s ongoing affairs, the author details each and every crushing blow before calmly describing the ease with which Pete is able to slide from his duties as a father and husband into the life he prefers as a sleazy cheater and abusive sociopath. Without having to present him as an actual character, Krystal succeeds in giving readers an antagonist worthy of all the hatred they can muster.

Krystal details the day-to-day struggles of being a single parent wanting to date in today’s world. Her descriptions of her young daughter’s vision of her father are almost too much to bear. Her recollections of his tantrums and abuse make my stomach turn. Krystal and her children have lived through more than their share of hard days and deserve all the good times life now has to offer.

Relationship after relationship, Krystal lays it all out on the line and goes for broke. Time after time, she is met with adversity. She does a wonderful job of making readers feel her pain and frustration–her descriptions of online dating are relatable in every way.

This is easily one of the most engaging stories I have read in years. Krystal’s mistakes become her lessons and, in turn, become the reader’s as well. Were it not for authors like Krystal, many of us would continue to feel alone in our frustration and misery. Krystal opens the door for communication. For that, I am grateful.

Pages: 342 | ASIN: B07NP6FNXC

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Strong Is…

Strong Is . . . by [Pulliam, April B.]

What is strong? According to Merriam-Webster, strong is not mild or weak. But what exactly does that mean? To determine if someone or something is strong you need to look at it in context and compare it to other things that are similar. Strong Is… by April Pulliam and illustrated by Amy Grantham looks at the situation through the eyes of a child. The child is relaying all the ways they have heard the word strong used to describe people and things. Each situation gives a new view on what makes something strong or not. As you go through the book you encounter funny images like a stinky dog or a hungry lion, but then it starts to focus more on people and the images become more serious; a hospital, a distraught mother. It all leads up to the end with a picture of a small child. While the book never says cancer in the story line, it is implied with the imagery and by reading up on the author’s page at the end.

This is a challenging subject and this book is a great way to introduce a young child to what might be going on. Learning that it’s okay and even when you’re little you can be strong in your own way. I think this is a great book for siblings or even a child that may be going through this to read and gain some confidence. It’s an emotional topic that is handled with dignity and simplified for young readers. I recommend this book to anyone that knows someone going through an illness and trying to explain it to a young child.

Pages: 15 | ASIN: B07NKH1FNC

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A Swift and Deadly Maelstrom: The Great Norwich Flood of 1963, a Survivors Story

'A Swift and Deadly Maelstrom: the Great Norwich Flood of 1963, a Survivors Story by [Moody Jr, Thomas R.]

March 1963 saw the devastation of the Great Norwich Flood and the aftermath that left one town struggling to pick up the pieces. One young boy and his family found themselves fighting for their lives when the dam wall burst and a watery hell was brought forth on their homes. As floodwaters moved from an odd trickle down the center of the street before them to a panicked roar, author Thomas Moody, his parents, and his siblings made a mad dash to escape their home and flee to higher ground. Neither the Moodys nor their neighbors could have predicted that a normal, peaceful night could have so quickly turned deadly for so many residents of their town.

A Swift and Deadly Maelstrom: The Great Norwich Flood of 1963, A Survivors Story, by Thomas Moody, is the account of the night that took his own mother’s life and changed the course of history for so many friends and neighbors in his hometown of Norwich, Connecticut. Moody, a young boy on that fateful night, relates the facts of the dam’s construction, its subsequent mismanagement, and the events leading up to that fateful rupture when the waters spilled into the streets, sweeping away automobiles, filling the local mill, and pulling citizens under its torrent.

Moody’s insight into the deadly night is invaluable to the reader. In addition to relating the events as they occurred and how they impacted families across the city, he includes his own thoughtful analysis as to what may have actually been the cause for his mother’s inability to maintain her grasp on her father’s hand in the final moments of her life. The heartbreaking moment his family loses their beloved wife and mother will forever be etched in the readers’ minds.

Moody gives readers stunning imagery over which to pore as he moves from one stage of devastation to the next. Accounts from other survivors serve to strengthen the impact of Moody’s writing and continually add layers of emotion to the tragic story. Moody includes the most amazing mental images of homes and businesses that miraculously escaped the floodwaters with minimal damage or no effects at all from the dam’s hellacious rage. Interspersed throughout Moody’s writing are stories of shining moments, making the overall tone of the account more bearable. The author manages to provide a wide array of views on that ominous night in March.

To find as an adult that the safety and security of the dam’s structure was so blatantly overlooked year after year and ultimately led to his mother’s death had to be unimaginably emotionally draining. I cannot imagine the strength and fortitude it must have taken to write the story of his own mother’s passing and relive the horrors of that night in print, but Thomas Moody has provided us all with a survivor’s account worth reading and taking to heart.

Pages: 288 | ASIN: B079K2GQDY

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The Ability to Manipulate

Jan Marshall Author Interview

Jan Marshall Author Interview

Romance Scam Survivor is an in depth account of your experience with an online scammer. What was the inspiration that made you want to turn your experience into a book?

Initially I gathered all the emails and texts in an attempt to understand what had happened. When I realised I had been scammed I was in a state of disorientation, so did this to try and make sense of it all, to try and see where my judgment had lapsed and how I had slipped up so badly. I chose to put all of this content together in a way that was totally honest, so the reader to see for themselves if they would have done the same thing. Once I had collated all of this I couldn’t look at it for some time.

The rest of the book wasn’t written until several years later. By that time I had done a lot of research and better understood the psychological skills that scammers have, and their ability to manipulate one’s emotions. Later I was writing to show that it is possible to come through the other side of such a devastating and traumatic experience.

It’s obvious in hindsight that this was a scam, but do you feel that there was something that someone could have said that could have helped you?

I was warned several times that it was a scam, but somehow could not believe it. I felt that the relationship was too intimate to be a scam.

I have also worked with others who are in this situation, and know it is very difficult to break through the hypnotic state that a victim is in when they are in a scam. I wish I did know what might have helped, because there are many others who could be helped with this information. There is no silver bullet that I have found, regrettably.

Do you think that finding love online is an inherently vulnerable prospect? Is there a way for people to be both safe and vulnerable online?

I am not against online dating per se. Many people have established and maintained successful relationships and marriages from meeting online. I do think it is important to not give too much away, especially personal details, until you are very confident of your partner.

For those who do want to do date online I would suggest

  • Make sure you only connect with those people you can meet face to face
  • Understand what the red flags are before you begin – later may be too late.
  • Have a friend mentor you in the process, but start with an agreement that you will take their advice. You need someone who will not be emotionally involved.
  • Follow the safety rules that are set up within the dating site – don’t get enticed to go off the site for convenience.
  • Never give money – ANY requests for money are a scam

What advice would you give to someone that is currently online dating?

  • Trust your intuition: If you have any sense that it might or could be a scam then it more than likely is?
  • Make sure you meet face to face.
  • Follow the guidance given above. If any of them raise concerns, it is likely to be a scam.
  • If you do get caught in a scam, report it to the relevant fraud agency.

Author Links: GoodReadsTwitterFacebookWebsite

Romance Scam Survivor: The Whole Sordid Story by [Marshall, Jan]

“How could you give money to someone you’ve never met?”

That’s the first question most people ask.

For Jan Marshall, life was good. She had worked hard, set herself up well, and was looking for a companion to share her future with. Just as countless thousands around the world do, every day, she turned to online dating.

In just a few months, Jan believed she was ‘in love’. She accepted a proposal of marriage, and then sent money – ALL her money – to a professional scammer.

How did it happen? How can an intelligent person be so thoroughly scammed?

Jan courageously shares the details of her devastating experience, in order to help others recognise such devious swindlers who prey on trusting souls, and maybe even to catch this thief.

You might think it can’t happen to you, or someone you love, but can you be sure?

The work is a non-fiction account and memoir covering the communication between myself and the scammer, based on my records of our communications. By sharing the personal and intimate nature of the interactions it asks the reader to put themselves in my shoes, and in response the question “how could you be so stupid?” is answered. It details the process of dealing emotionally with the scam and the financial difficulties that I found myself in afterwards. It is a story of my process through being a victim to becoming a survivor. Areas that need change are also addressed. Some support resources and links are also provided, though this is not the main purpose.

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Survivor

Survivor (The Survivor Series Book 1) by [Duke, Samantha K.]

Survivor is Book 1 in the Survivor Series by author, Samantha Duke. This book offers a little bit of everything – romance, darkness, and humor embedded within a great supernatural adventure.

Friendship is one of the first key themes that the reader is drawn into. All Max Wilson wants is to do is fit in with everybody else. Set in a typical high school, Max attempts to befriend a girl called Amy. They hit it off and everything seems to be going swimmingly, until the sudden disappearance of students from their school. From here, the book takes a dramatic twist which is where creepy paranormal elements start to permeate the story. When the students are reported dead, and Max is accused of abducting them, the novel continues by unwinding the plot and working out what happened to the students, and what this has to do with Max.

Although the plotline is well-thought out, I think that the author could have divulged more about paranormal activities. I like to feel a sense of escapism, but I also like to feel a sense of realism. I think this book is great at promoting escapism, but lacks in realism. This is a thoughtful book full of emotion, but I was unable to connect with the characters because I didn’t understand their emotions in certain moments and some of the language used to convey those emotions was inconsistent.

One of the great things that Duke does articulate in her writing is her originality.  The author of Survivor creates a story line that is  endearing, especially the ending. I really enjoyed how the novel ended on an optimistic tone. Many YA novels recently forget that we want to feel good after reading a book, and Samantha Duke knows how to deliver a suspenseful yet endearing story. With this ending, I think there is a great chance to continue the series. A few editing errors aside, Duke proves to have a great writing ability.

Having read this book, I believe this book adds something unique and interesting to the paranormal genre. Although I struggled to comprehend some of the narration, I can appreciate the author’s attempt to create an enthralling and exciting novel.

This novel could be listed under the young adult genre, but I think anyone would very much be interested from beginning to end. Survivor is a noble attempt at creating a novel in the young adult paranormal genre that would be enjoyable read for the right reader with an interest in friendship, survival, and innocence.

Pages: 276 | ASIN: B01N7GNVRW

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A Pardon For Tommy

A Pardon For Tommy

Who would have thought that a story about a turkey would bring a reader to tears? Within the pages of A Pardon for Tommy by Patricia Nmukoso Enyi readers will find just that. Chelsea Malibu is the protagonist of our story. We begin with her waking from a nightmare in her college dormitory. Chelsea is a survivor of Hurricane Katrina and still suffers from its aftermath. She is a young woman now, but she cannot let go of the horror she faced at the tender age of twelve. The story walks us through what Chelsea experienced during the hurricane, how it affected her and what happened to her family. Throughout her ordeal Chelsea had one pillar of support: the never questioning Tommy the turkey. Tommy was a prize her father had won and expected to eat on Thanksgiving with his family. However, life has a funny way of throwing you off track.

The pain that Chelsea experiences in this story is raw and real. Tommy isn’t just a pet turkey: he symbolizes her family. The family that was ripped apart by the hurricane during which her father went missing after trying to save her life. Chelsea is clearly traumatized by the events and the life she lives after relocating to live with her mother, brother and maternal grandmother isn’t as easy as it should have been. Aside from the emotional trauma, Chelsea is faced with discrimination and bullying. Her family is fractured, and no matter how much she prays it won’t become whole again.

While there are some mistakes in the grammar and the styling of the novel leaves a lot to be desired, the content of the tale more than makes up for it. Readers can feel the agony that Chelsea experiences in these pages. She is young and there is so much she doesn’t understand about what is happening to her. There are so many changes in short succession that it would make even an adult’s head spin. There is so much uncertainty in her life that it’s as if time stops for her. Because of this, Chelsea clings to Tommy, the turkey, for comfort. This turkey is the only thing that connects her to her missing father. The physical existence of the turkey allows her to have something she can touch to remember her father.

In the novel, it has been six years since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Our protagonist has avoided returning to the city where her life was so gravely changed. With the impending death of her beloved turkey Chelsea boards a bus to return. It is here that we are privy to the events that took place in that city. A Pardon for Tommy by Patricia Nmukoso Enyi is a beautiful, sad, and harrowing tale of a survivors experience with one of the deadliest events in modern history. This is a perfect book for young adults or those who enjoy more realistic fiction tales. Will Chelsea’s family ever become whole again? Will she ever find out what happened to her father? And most importantly, will Chelsea’s nightmares ever disappear? Read for yourself to find out.

Pages: 150 | ASIN: B0725M51SV

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