Trauma, Shame & The Power Of Love

synopsis

Bronze Medal Winner of the 2016 Global Ebook Awards.

Awarded the Readers’ Favorite® 5-Star Seal (2015).

There is a reason books that recount the regrets and advice of the dying strike so deep a chord: people who have nothing left to lose can tell their stories with a sincerity and unpretentiousness we crave but that is all too rare. In “Trauma, Shame, and the Power of Love,” Christopher Pelloski relates his own downfall from a prominent physician-scientist in the field of radiation oncology in a similarly candid way.

Without fear of losing society’s good opinion—having lost it already—Pelloski has the freedom to be sharply honest in his observations of himself and the world around him. To the question “Why would someone with so much going for him risk, and then lose, everything, by sinking so low?” he offers a gut-wrenching, soul-baring answer that dissects his decades-long downward spiral and examines it from perspectives that range from the historical to the molecular.

Pelloski chronicles the evolution of his devastating legal battle alongside his concurrent journey of recovery from childhood sexual abuse. He shares with us the lessons he learned from these experiences in the hope they can serve as both a warning and an invitation: a warning to abuse survivors not to follow his dark path of silence, and an invitation to society to deal more openly with the multitude of painful issues that have shaped not only his life but also, tragically, the lives of so many others.

Those brave enough to set aside their prejudices and preconceptions will be richly rewarded and challenged by this work.

trauma shame and the power of love Cover

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This book has been personally reviewed by AlliesOpinions! We felt it brings much needed awareness to the “War on sex crimes”! To see the review, click the title below.

Trauma, Shame and the Power of Love

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Review Stats

Amazon: 4.4 Stars!

Goodreads: 3.8 stars!

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About The Author

Chris Pelloski Author Pic

CHRISTOPHER E. PELLOSKI earned his medical degree from the Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago in 2001. He was accepted into the Radiation Oncology Residency Training Program and eventually joined the faculty at the University of Texas – MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston, one of the top cancer centers in the world. After his recruitment to the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2010, he ran a full clinical practice, supervised his own basic-science research laboratory, and served as his department’s Residency Program Director and as the Director of Pediatric Radiation Oncology.

Pelloski is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and subsequently suffered throughout most of his life with undiagnosed and untreated Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, with Dissociative Features.

In the summer of 2013, his personal, public, and professional life came to a painful reckoning.

Find out more!

Author’s Website

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Pelloski is currently working on a second book!


This book has the AlliesOpinions official stamp of approval. We recommend this book!

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Private Lucky! The Flying Dutchman’s Memoir.

synopsis

This true story of survival, determination, and incredible luck will lift your spirits and inspire you to never give up on your dreams! Some people are born lucky. Others make their own luck. As a boy, Hank wanted nothing more than to fly like the fighter pilots he admires in the skies over Amsterdam. When the lives of Dutch citizens are turned upside down with the Nazi occupation of Holland, his dreams will have to wait as he witnesses the tragic unfolding of events affecting those around him before finding himself in a fight for his own life. He must go into hiding before his sixteenth birthday despite the fact that he is not Jewish. After the war, his life takes another unexpected turn when he is enlisted by his father in the American Army in Germany where his inability to speak English results in hilarious missteps at every turn. He can roll with the punches if the Army will teach him to fly, but when he learns that pilot training stopped with the end of the war, it seems he’ll never reach his goal. Undaunted, Private Hank evolves into a suave and popular soldier. He learns what it means to be American, arriving in America broke but determined to pursue his lofty goals in a manner only this quirky and very lucky Dutch-American would even think of trying, flying by the seat of his pants to some of the highest levels of aviation.

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This book has been personally reviewed by AlliesOpinions! We LOVED it! To see the review, click the title below.

Private Lucky

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Review Stats

Amazon: 5 stars!

Goodreads: 4.8 stars!

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About the author button

MelissaGuzzetta

Melissa Guzzetta has owned The Computer Tutor Training company since 1998 and has always been an accomplished writer in the technical field, though recently, she has expanded into writing memoirs. She also founded Good Luck Publishing in 2014.

Find out more on the webpage Private Lucky !

This book has the AlliesOpinions official stamp of approval. We recommend this book!

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It’s Rome vs Celts in this Historical Novel “Eboracum” by Graham Clews!

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The time is A.D. 71, the place is Northern Britain. Set against the founding of York, and the real life characters who founded the ancient city, this award-winning novel follows the fate of Roman and Celt alike. Cethen Lamh-fada and his wife Elena are forced from their home by the Roman engineer Gaius Sabinius, as the Ninth legion moves in. From the first skirmish at Cethen’s village, to the inevitable battle as Stannick, The Village is a riveting tale laced with dark humour, hard romance and the reality of life in dangerous times. With no dashing heroes or outrageous villains, the story is about the people of the time.

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This book has been personally reviewed by AlliesOpinions! We LOVED it! To see the review, click the title below.

“Eboracum: The Village Review”


Review Stats

Goodreads: 4.7 average!

Amazon: 5.0 average!

Barnes & Noble: 5.0 average!

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Purchase Links

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Graham Clews Author Pic

Graham wrote his first novel, a World War II adventure story with a humorous slant, titled Don’t Budge, in 1980. The manuscript was submitted to the Alberta Search for a Novelist contest, and tied for first place against approximately fifty submissions. Doubleday Canada displayed interest and Graham met with two editors, who asked for a partial revision of the manuscript. After holding the novel for approximately a year and a half, Doubleday returned the manuscript with a letter explaining that it had been “bumped” by an author called Donald Jack. The episode was a ‘learning experience’, the principal one being a comment by one of the editors, a charming lady named Susan Dunlop. When offering words of encouragement, Susan said, “Graham, we would publish this tomorrow if you were someone!”

Somewhat discouraged, Graham hardly wrote at all over the next twenty years, and got on with his mid-life crisis: this involved politics, tough business investments and rejoining the Canadian Army Reserve at age forty five. To be blunt, he gave up on the publishing industry. However, he did submit a story to CBC radio that was selected for broadcast, won a humour award from the Edmonton Journal, and a prize for poetry.

At fifty five, Graham retired from the Army Reserve and with more time on his hands, decided to get serious about writing. In 2006 he published a middle grade fantasy novel titled Jessica Jones and the Gates of Penseron, which was evaluated, professionally edited, and kid-tested on a grade seven class in the Greater Vancouver area of British Columbia, where it was very well received. The book revolves around the changing world of Penseron, where mind matters more than matter, and time is merely a destination. The central character is a little person, Jessica Jones, who is lured to Penseron with her unwilling brother Jake, in order to solve—among other problems—the sudden disappearance of her ancient, first century look-alike. The book won the Edmonton BookAdz best novel of 2006 award.

In early 2007 Graham published Eboracum, The Village, a novel based on the founding of the English City of York (Eboracum) by the Romans in AD 71. This novel won the Premier Book Awards best historic novel of 2007/8. A second edition was updated on completion of the final book in the Eboracum Trilogy in 2010, and it was re-copyrighted at that time.

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There are two more books in this series that AlliesOpinions is set to review! Check them out for yourself!

Eboracum – The Fortress

Eboracum – Carved In Stone

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This book has the AlliesOpinions official stamp of approval. We recommend this book!

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A Dystopian Society Like No Other! “The Keeper and the Rulership”

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In a world where both magic and mathematics are forbidden, Raneh is growing magic and she can’t seem to stop. She’ll face the death penalty if anybody catches her, so she hides it in the weeds of her family’s land, pretending to be a typical eighteen-year-old heir. And it works.

Until the Ruler comes to visit.

Now, with the purpose of the Ruler’s visit a mystery and not only her safety but her family’s reputation in danger, she has to find a way to do the impossible:

Stop growing magic.

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This book has been personally reviewed by AlliesOpinions! We LOVED it! To see the review, click the title below.

“The Keeper and the Rulership Review”


Review Stats

Goodreads: 4.1 average!

Amazon: 4.5 average!

Barnes & Noble: 5.0 average!

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Purchase Links

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Emily Sorensen Author Pic

Emily Martha Sorensen is the author of The Keeper and the Rulership, Black Magic Academy, and the Fairy Senses series.  She also writes and draws a webcomic that updates every Friday: To Prevent World Peace.

She has four adorable little monsters (*ahem* children), and her husband is magnificent, wonderful, and even a great writer in the bargain: he wrote the fantasy book Prophecy, and he has a second book forthcoming soon.

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There is a sequel to this book! It’s set to release mid to late summer!

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This book has the AlliesOpinions official stamp of approval. We recommend this book!

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5 Star Children’s Book “The Insect Hotel”

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Click Here To Buy!

A 2013 ‘Wishing Shelf’ Gold Award Winner!!

Read the fun times and adventures Harry and his Dad share together during the day while working in their garden, then enjoy the fictional bed time stories Dad created for Harry about all the new insect friends they met that day.

The book also contains a lovely foreword from Nature expert and TV personality Bill Oddie who shares his high regard for both book and author with quotes like “if you think you can write better, I bet you can’t!”.

A book you and your young one’s will love and share together.



This book has been personally reviewed by AlliesOpinions! We LOVED it! To see the review, click the title below.

“The Insect Hotel”


Review Stats

Goodreads: 4.7 average!

Amazon : 5 average!

Purchase Links

Amazon : 6.00 (Paperback) 


 

About The Author

David Stringer Author Pic

David has recently written his first book, The Insect Hotel, which is about and includes three of his passions: His Family, His love of Nature and humor.

He is also embarking on a new career in the National Health Service, working in operating theaters.

His book, The Insect Hotel, is about him and his youngest son’s real life adventures in the garden as they attempt to occupy themselves as well as get some much needed gardening work done. Each chapter then moves onto bedtime (or should that be battle time) as David attempts to get his youngest off to sleep with some invented bedtime stories from their days adventures.

David is also very proud that Bill Oddie OBE, one of his childhood hero’s, agreed to write a lovely foreword for his book. If nothing else develops from this fun activity of attempting to write a book, he’ll always treasure some of Bill’s kind words.


This book has the AlliesOpinions official stamp of approval. We recommend this book!

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5 Star “The Three Graces” by Michele Wolfe

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Summary

College juniors Jessie, Isabel and Sara are linked in an unlikely friendship by visits to hidden places only they can see. Together on a trip to Hearst Castle in California an earth-shaking encounter with a stunning statue in the gardens binds them to the spirits of the Three Graces; Brilliance, Joy and Bloom.

Under the weight of school and family problems, Sara, Jessie and Isabel grow to be fast friends as they struggle with who they are and what will become of them. Until the fateful trip where they are gifted three magical pendants. Through these gifts the girls must find a way to unlock a centuries old curse and free the graces from their stone grave.

Will Brilliance, Joy and Bloom find freedom through the girls or will they forever be entombed in the statue of The Three Graces?

The Three Graces is a deep and beautiful story of discovery, of admitting to truths that have been buried, and of letting go of a past that hinders the present.

Buy it HERE!


This book has been personally reviewed by AlliesOpinions! We LOVED it! To see the review, click the title below.

The Three Graces


 

Review Stats

Amazon: 4.8 star average!

Barnes and Noble: 5 star average!

Goodreads: 4.5 star average! 

Purchase Links

AMAZON – 3.99 (Kindle) 12.99 (Paperback)

Barnes and Noble – 3.99 (Nook)


About The Author

Michele Wolfe Author Pic

Growing up between the Rocky Mountains and the city of Denver in Colorado, gave me a life-long love of both the scenic and the cosmopolitan. Soon after finishing college and becoming a teacher, I decided I wanted to explore the world. I took long road trips, spent time at Martha’s Vineyard, and fell in love with the ocean and California, which eventually became my home.

My marriage of twenty-three years and my two amazing sons have been an inspiration and my greatest support. To read an article published in the LA Times about us, go to: http://www.latimes.com/home/la-hm-affairs-20160102-story.html

Because being a busy teacher, mother and wife made finding time to write a challenge, I had to write whenever and wherever I could, even at the kitchen table. The first draft was conceived there next to my kids doing homework. Eventually I reworked it with a writing mentor and in writers’ groups.

I do a lot of research about historical times, places and people. Then I let the story and characters come to me in their own time, in their own way. I am inspired by music and art, which often influence a scene or a conversation. I hope my writing inspires others and makes people think and feel. And of course be entertained.

Sneak Peeks!

Michele is working on her next novel, Atoms of Memory, also about a work of art, this time a painting at the Museum of Modern Art in Rome.


This book has the AlliesOpinions official stamp of approval. We recommend this book!

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TTT- Ten Books From My TBR

This prompt comes from the ever resourceful “The Broke and Bookish”. Each week there is a different theme! It’s a fun way for bloggers to connect and readers to get to know us better! It helps the writing community get a little extra promotion for their work as well as give some pretty great intel to readers looking for a new read!

Top Ten Tuesday Heart

The original prompt is below:

Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf (Or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging That You STILL Haven’t Read Yet

My twist:

Ten books from my TBR list!

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

Fling Cover The Virgin of the Wind Rose Cover  Johnny and Jamaal Cover  Elphie and dad Cover

Dreaming of wakig up Cover  Arms from the sea Cover

Beyond the rainbows end Cover  Pathosis Cover

Deranged Cover  The man i had to kill Cover

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What’s on your list?

Book Review “Trauma, Shame And The Power Of Love” Christopher E. Pelloski, MD

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Bronze Medal Winner of the 2016 Global Ebook Awards.

Awarded the Readers’ Favorite® 5-Star Seal (2015).

There is a reason books that recount the regrets and advice of the dying strike so deep a chord: people who have nothing left to lose can tell their stories with a sincerity and unpretentiousness we crave but that is all too rare. In “Trauma, Shame, and the Power of Love,” Christopher Pelloski relates his own downfall from a prominent physician-scientist in the field of radiation oncology in a similarly candid way.

Without fear of losing society’s good opinion—having lost it already—Pelloski has the freedom to be sharply honest in his observations of himself and the world around him. To the question “Why would someone with so much going for him risk, and then lose, everything, by sinking so low?” he offers a gut-wrenching, soul-baring answer that dissects his decades-long downward spiral and examines it from perspectives that range from the historical to the molecular.

Pelloski chronicles the evolution of his devastating legal battle alongside his concurrent journey of recovery from childhood sexual abuse. He shares with us the lessons he learned from these experiences in the hope they can serve as both a warning and an invitation: a warning to abuse survivors not to follow his dark path of silence, and an invitation to society to deal more openly with the multitude of painful issues that have shaped not only his life but also, tragically, the lives of so many others.

Those brave enough to set aside their prejudices and preconceptions will be richly rewarded and challenged by this work.

trauma shame and the power of love Cover

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First lines: It was Tuesday, July 16,2013. I was away at a scientific conference at the University of Colorado, in Boulder. I had just returned from a poster viewing session where I talked with fellow scientists and had a few cold beers. My family was back in Columbus, preparing to fly out and meet me the next day, after the conference wrapped up. 

The first thing I ask of anyone who picks up this book is to keep reading. Don’t let the shock factor of the charges against Dr. Pelloski trick you into prejudging and closing the book. Dr. Pelloski has done a bad thing. At no point in time does he ever attempt to downplay his crime. He has done bad but, he is also doing a world of good with this book. I ask that you, dear reader, remember that the world we live in is a series of grey areas. Very few people can be conveniently cornered off as all bad or all good. Good people can do bad things.  

Dr Pelloski has written one of the most intimate books I have ever come across as a reviewer. He carries the reader through each event in a very personal way. A lot of memoirs or books that are written to bring awareness to a cause have a detached like narration. Pelloski dives deep throughout the entire book and shines a light not only on his ramifications but the backlash his family members receive as well. Pelloski combs through all the wretched and spot lights exactly how he has hurt others. His writing is intimate, raw and completely honest.

Pelloski, in my mind, is a great champion for this cause. His knowledge of medicine and his first hand experiences combine to shine a beacon of light on this neglected problem society has swiftly condemned without any real thought on the deeper problems. All issues in society are layered. It’s important to remember this if we want change. Nothing is ever simple.

For men, there is a huge stigma for speaking out on sexual abuse. This is an unacceptable reaction that society must move forward from if we are to find any lasting solutions. The current “war on sex crimes”, like the “war on drugs” does nothing to actually solve the underlying causes of the crimes. An alarming number of these cases are of people who have serious unresolved psychological conditions from the abuse they have suffered. These people need more than just our condemnation. They need our compassion.  They need a resolution.

I want to thank Dr Pelloski for his openness and the risks he has taken to write this book. I hope that it has the intended affect and causes a sweeping dialogue among the medical and justice communities. 

Like the “war on drugs”, the “war on sex crimes” is not a problem that we can jail away. Let us all learn from Dr. Pelloski’s writing and solve these issues with out minds and not our emotions.

One passage of the book stands out to me the most. Dr Pelloski is explaining to his friends that watching those videos did harm to more than just him. He is right to point out that as long as there is a demand for those videos, there will be a supply of them.

I would also like to interject another point. A person can be prosecuted for watching only one of those videos. Law enforcement is aware that there are millions of these videos online. Yet, they leave them available and convict the watchers and rarely the makers. It’s a net the police use. Where is the public outcry? Police use this net to catch the watchers because it’s easier to catch them than the makers. Those who are doing physical harm to these children continue to go on harming these kids because it’s hard to catch the abusers. Is that the standard of our criminal justice system? We pursue whats easy? How disturbing! I encourage every police officer to garner their resources and work harder on catching the abusers. Get this stuff off the internet. By leaving these videos online, the police are just as guilty of the watchers for using the victims. Childrens suffering shouldn’t be used to trap easy targets. Get it off, now.

Thank you Dr Pelloski for your honestly and bravery in writing this book. Thank you for choosing me to review it. My heart goes out to you for all the pain that you have suffered. I hope that your children and family continue to heal and life is kinder to you all.

5 stars.

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: Trauma, Shame and the Power of Love | Series:  N/A |  Author(s): Christopher E. Pelloski MD |Publisher: Create Space Independant Publishing / Publication Date: 2-12-2015 |Pages: 266 (Print) | ISBN:  978-1500755539 | Genre(s): Biographies & Memoir | Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 8-20-2016 |Source: Copy from author

Telling The Truth

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If there is one thing in life that I have learned, it is that people will always attack those who tell the truth. This is something that has baffled me for a long time. The older I get, the more I see this happen and the more perplexed I become. 

Often, that person who is telling the truth is doing so to protect others. This, of course, does not diminish the backlash. Whistle blowers are shamed, attacked, threatened and persecuted with alarming speed. 

Few people stop to question the risks the truth teller has taken. Most assume dark intentions and never stop to think….could this be real?

I’ve watched people rally behind the worst of people simply because they saw them as being attacked. Those people never stop to think if the allegations are true. They don’t look beyond the surface. The liar will put on a face and deny everything.

This is another thing that baffles me.

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People expect a liar to admit if they have done wrong. I’ve heard people say, well why would he keep lying? Why would he/she say this or do that….and on and on. 

My counter to that is why would he tell the truth?

Why would a liar out themselves?

It is the burden of the liar to prove that they aren’t lying. If they don’t do that…then…isn’t that confirmation in itself?

It’s one thing for the liar to point to the truth teller and claim they are the liar. But, if the liar really isn’t lying…why not provide proof and be done with it?

When a person relies on grandiose flippancy in the face of a serious accusation instead of showing transparency with proof that the accusation is false…..it’s time to ask questions.

It’s time to ask a lot of questions.

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Book Review “A Howl for Mayflower” Dan Gilmore

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Aging widower Tobias Seltzer prefers to spend his time with dead authors rather than live, but flawed, humans. That is, until the night Mayflower Bryant corners him in the basement laundry of the Coronado and persuades him to dance with her in his skivvies. Almost against his will, Tobias is drawn into the lives of his misfit neighbors – a grieving widower, a pregnant, homeless teenager, a one-handed juggler, a Vietnam vet left brain-damaged by a misfired suicide attempt, a woman on the edge of Alzheimer’s – and discovers that all problems can’t be solved by reading books. Sometimes, the only solution is life itself. Dan Gilmore’s debut novel takes a darkly humorous, painfully honest look at this last-minute journey toward love and self-discovery.

A Howl for Mayflower Cover

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First lines: My custom that summer when the heat made it impossible to sleep, was to go to the basement to cool off and read while doing my laundry. The last time I retreated to the basement was over a year ago, a night early in September. Past midnight. Silent. 

Gilmore has written an intimately unapologetic novel about the holes of selfishness and ideologies we find ourselves hunched in. His characters flaws, attributes and embarrassing urges are laid bare in a fashion that reminds us all that as humans we are complex and perplexing. Our motives a mixed bag in every circumstance.

There is no black and white to humanity. We are always in the midst of the gray.

I found this novel in many ways a comforting read. That’s not to say that its a fluff read because it couldn’t be further. It was like settling into anothers life. The characters are so deep and real that I felt like I had crawled into the brain of someone else’s body and became privy to their most private of thoughts and inadequacies. 

Each character is portrayed without hesitancy. 

There is a list of things I would like to applaud Gilmore for. 

His portrayal of mental illness is spot on. I want to thank him for being especially unapologetic on this matter. As a populace, we can’t always look upon someones behavior as their intentional attempt to be obtuse. Often, they are damaged and suffering. Gilmore expertly gives the reader a view into this world that I think many really need.

Another thing I would like to applaud Gilmore for is his portrayal of a persons right to die. Mayflower’s mind is deteriorating rapidly. She doesn’t want to wither away and die in pain and confusion. She wants to die on her own terms and I love that Tobias respects and loves her enough to be there for her in her hour of darkness.

In A Howl for Mayflower, Gilmore reminds each of us that we are shaped by those close to us and we shape them in turn. This was a fabulous novel. Gilmore is an author I have now added to my list of absolute favorites.

5 stars!

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: A Howl for Mayflower | Series:  N/A |  Author(s): Dan Gilmore |Publisher: Imago Press / Publication Date: 11-1-2006 |Pages: 220 (Print) | ISBN: 978-0972530385  | Genre(s): Literature & Fiction | Language: English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 8-6-2016 |Source: Copy from author

Top Ten Tuesday – How Books Inspire Me

This prompt comes from the ever resourceful “The Broke and Bookish”. Each week there is a different theme! It’s a fun way for bloggers to connect and readers to get to know us better! It helps the writing community get a little extra promotion for their work as well as give some pretty great intel to readers looking for a new read!

Top Ten Tuesday Heart

The original prompt is below:

Top Ten Tuesday REWIND — go back and do a topic you missed over the years or recently or a topic you really want to revisit

My twist:

How books I’ve read have changed and inspired me.

♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥  ♥

1: The Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia Box Set Cover

I was very little when I first saw this book upon a shelf in the library. I remember my tiny hand reaching up and grasping the hardcover book. I remember bringing it to my nose and smelling it. Once I opened the book, I had entire worlds open to me. I believed that a mere girl could do anything.

2: A Little Princess

A Little Princess Cover

I was about seven when I read this book for the first time. My family was very poor. My mother an awful person. Getting lost in these pages was my lifeboat. It taught me to remember that good people exist. It taught me that we are all worthy.

3: Night

Night Cover

I was ten the first time I read this. I remember my teacher picking it up off the corner of my desk and looking at me intently. She kept me late after class and told me that she didn’t feel it was an appropriate book for someone my age. She told me that such things were not for the minds of children. I told her that horror isn’t regulated to adults only. I told her that history belongs to us all. I told her that if others knew the capacity for cruelness in others, maybe we could over come it. She handed me the book  and never said another word to me directly. That entire year she avoided my hand in the air. She never looked me in the face again.

4: Peter Pan

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When I was eleven I met an elderly man at the library. He was reading Peter Pan and appeared to be crying. Curiosity overcame me and I approached him. I patted his shoulder and asked him if he was alright. He told me that his wife had just passed away and now he was alone and very sad. He told me that he had a child once who had died young. He told me of the folk tale about Peter Pan. I was intrigued and checked the book out that very same day. 

5: Silent Spring

Silent Spring Cover

I was a teenager when I read this book for the first time. This book inspired me to care more about the world around me.

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What’s on your list?

Workers Rights – We Need Them!

Change Quotes

Growing up I’ve often heard those around me lament about their terrible work places. I’ve heard of incredibly unsafe working conditions. I’ve seen unfair wage distribution. I’ve watched as my government passes law after law to protect the corporations over the people. 

Perhaps you have heard of these bad policies?

“Right to work”

“At will”

These sounds like they should help the common worker don’t they? Clever really. They name these rules in the most misleading of ways. 

Let me tell you a story. A true story.

We all have cars. They break down and we take them to a dealership or a mechanic shop. Do you ever stop to wonder about the people working in those shops? What about when it’s 110 degrees outside? Did you know that it’s most likely 130 degrees or more inside that shop? They have fans, sure. But, no air conditioning. They pour sweat all day long. Their job is physical. Constant movement while you wait in the air conditioned lobby flipping through the magazine selection. I know you console yourself by thinking that they are well paid. I know you look at the thousand dollar bill your paying and you scoff at the high cost. I know you probably think the tech gets a big cut of that.

They don’t. They get paid more than minimum wage sure. But they aren’t getting a very big cut of what you pay. On top of that, every single person in that shop gets a cut off what that tech worked on.

This is why we need real regulations for workers. We need laws that will protect the worker and not the company. 

Working conditions should be safe. 130 degrees is not safe. 

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August Submission Picks!

We had a lot of submissions this go round. It was extra tough since we only had 2 spots open but we managed to make some decisions. 

To those of you who have sent submissions in the past or recently, keep your chin up! Not being chosen this month doesn’t mean you won’t next month!

We chose one submission from the new list and one from last months list! 

The Winners 

Johnny and Jamaal Cover

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Two athletes from different planets are on the verge of greatness. Johnny’s a carefree Canadian making his mark in the NHL. Jamaal’s set to follow LeBron and Kyrie out of the ghetto. When their worlds collide, the catastrophic clash ignites racial conflict not seen since Ferguson. The incident tests the fledgling love of Johnny’s best friend Lucas and his African-American girlfriend Chantal, and sets them on a quest for truth and justice in the perverse racial landscape of 2016. As chaos escalates across American cities, an MLK-like voice rises from the ashes. Wilbur Rufus Holmes may be salvation for Luke and Chantal, but can he stop society’s relentless descent into racial discord? Johnny and Jamaal is awash with sports, violence and political taboo, as America’s seething dysfunction is laid bare.

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An artistic tour into the mind of an up and coming poet.

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Book Review “She” Michelle Latiolais

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A nameless fifteen-year-old runs away to Los Angeles, seeking life beyond the harsh constraints of her evangelical upbringing. She is the narrative of her passage, from her escape on a bus through her quiet, determined progress across the city’s unforgiving terrain. The journey takes her into and around the lives of Angelinos from all walks: a dancer whose hyperactive sense of smell makes her fiance’s presence insufferable; a penniless botanist who earns her keep creating sugar-icing flowers to decorate glamorous wedding cakes she can never afford; a dentist lamenting the abuses done to the teeth of a patient for whom he has cared dutifully. Her odd encounters, set against the backdrop of Los Angeles’s flagrant wealth, cast into relief its eccentricities and the everyday trials faced by its collection of lost souls. Together these stories reflect and refract one another, illuminating a poignant, unflinching portrait of loss and the search for identity in its wake.

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First lines: She’d been home-schooled for ten years, and whipped for eleven, and tomorrow she would celebrate her fifteenth birthday. That’s why she’d come to Los Angeles, to turn fifteen alone and free in a city she’d never been to before. 

She is the insightful tale of a fifteen year old girl escaping a life that was intolerable. She flees to Los Angeles where she flits through the city like a wraith through a variety of peoples lives. These people seem to have nothing in common but all have a yearning for something. An unfulfilled goal. She slips into their lives and takes crumbs of each encounter with her as she glides through the best and worst of this giant city.

Latiolais’ writing is introspective and charged with emotional turmoil. These are characters you will find yourself very invested in. From the first page, the reality around me faded and my mind guided me along with the story. I felt what She felt. I saw the dumpy apartment and the sugar flowers littering every surface. I could smell the old mans home and see his loneliness float in the air like dust motes. I could hear the murmur of voices at the art opening and feel the pretentiousness tighten the air.

Latiolais has written a study of humanity. This story is intense and so beautiful in its rawness. This may well be one of my new favorite authors.

5 stars!

5 stars

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The Technical Data:

Title: She | Series:  N/A |  Author(s): Michelle Latiolais |Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company / Publication Date: 5-3-2016 |Pages: 256 (Print) | ISBN: 978-0393285055  | Genre(s): Literature & Fiction | Language:English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 8-1-2016 |Source: Copy from author