Tag Archives: Memoir

Review: The Art of Fully Living by Tal Gur









Master the art of fully living, one life goal at a time.

Do you want to experience your one life—your whole life—to its fullest measure?

In this stirring book, author, blogger and lifestyle entrepreneur, Tal Gur offers his own transformational journey as an inspiring example and practical guide to implementing the art of fully living to its fullest potential. You’ll learn how to actualize your potential by forging all aspects of your life through the process built into your life goals.

Once you discover “the art of fully living,” there is no going back; it will feel unacceptable to settle for less than your dreams—and what’s more, you’ll dream even more wildly, aspiring to action with greater clarity of purpose, broader horizons of possibility, and holistic vision across all areas of your life.

The very structure of this book models Tal’s immersive approach to goal-driven living: each chapter of The Art of Fully Living is dedicated to a year of focus—socializing, fitness, freedom, contribution, love, adventure, wealth, relationship, spirituality, and creativity—and follows Tal’s endeavors as he works toward fulfilling 100 life goals in only 10 years.

This daunting ambition, springing from one late-night conversation among friends and a gnawing discontentment within the typical “success” story, becomes extremely relatable through Tal’s bold storytelling; what’s more, the deep lessons learned become immediately applicable for your own purposes as Tal thoughtfully extracts the actionable wisdom from his own experiences to articulate the principles and techniques of “the art of fully living.”

The Art of Fully Living takes you along the exhilarating ride of Tal’s journey while illuminating your own possible life-goal trajectory: as Tal relates how he socialized nonstop in vibrant Melbourne to master English and trained intensively to complete Ironman New Zealand and practice ancient Thai martial arts, you’ll learn how to apply immersion to achieve your own life goals; as Tal describes how he eliminated his crushing student debt in one year and attained financial and location independence, you’ll learn how to simplify your life, recognize your own present wealth, and turn your passions into a living; and as Tal animates his experiences learning to surf and salsa, to drum in a troupe and compose electronic music, and to write this very book, you’ll learn how to let your intuition be your guide, reveal your authentic core, and achieve flow—among the myriad other adventures and take-aways that fill this book.

Tal not only introduces the idea that the art of fully living is another skill to master but also guides you through honing this skill with chapter lessons and actionable key takeaways.

This is especially for you if you find yourself frustrated often, feeling low, or if you’re struggling while asking yourself “What do I REALLY want?”

You will find your calling.
You will define your life goals.
You will discover how to leverage your strengths to achieve your dreams.
You will know what it means to be truly free.
You will be fulfilled by the path you have chosen to take from this point on.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if everyone discovered and did what made them feel fully alive?

Your dreams are your dreams for a reason; they are rooted in your deepest understanding of who you want and can become.

Rating: 4.5-stars


The Art of Fully Living by Tal Gur is an excellent nonfiction book to read. It has many lessons about life that anyone, including myself can apply to their life. This book, was different than others that I have read in the past. The writer has gone on this journey for his own life and the way he tells it was enjoyable to read. I normally read mostly fiction because they can keep my attention. However, this memoir like guide was educational and refreshing to read. There were a lot of pointers that made me rethink the way I was going about my own life’s dreams. Overall, I recommend this book to all.



Review: The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton










A powerful, revealing story of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit.

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.

But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence—full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015.

With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy.

Rating: 4-stars


The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton is an informative nonfiction read. It is a memoir of one man’s experience and suffering of the injustice of our justice system. Political issues and racial issues were used to put innocent black men into jail. Some never got out of there. Very few ever regained their life back from the mistakes of the justice system. The messages in this book were strong and the author’s viewpoint can easily persuade others why. Having suffered under this injustice himself, he is speaking out about it. So much time was stolen from innocent men, like Anthony Ray Hinton. Overall, this memoir was powerful and should be read by all readers regardless of racial background.

Review: Entwined Hearts-The Sunset of Alzheimer’s Disease and More of Life’s Realities










As author JJ Janice reflects on her surprise connection with a mother-daughter duo, she finds herself, an outsider, overwhelmed by mysteries regarding the short time it took for her to become a new member in this tight-knit family with a complicated past. How did she get here? What forces are at work? Why was she chosen to be a witness?

Using her diary as guide, she sifts through layers of her imagination and shares her story in Entwined Hearts. It chronicles the ascent of forgiveness by and for three women who perhaps least expect it–all in two short years. Through the stories of Anita, who suffers from Alzheimer’s; Lynn, Anita’s daughter who struggles with bi-polar disorder; and Janice, a friend to both, it investigates how relationships change and endure through challenges.

Though this memoir touches on the difficult topics of Alzheimer’s, bipolar disorder, stress, drugs, incarceration, and alcoholism, it also looks at the world with kind generosity and love–a love that connected three unlikely women.

Rating: 4-stars


Entwined Hearts: The Sunest of Alzheimer’s Disease and More of Life’s Realities by JJ Janice is a great read. It covers a lot of topics such as alcoholism, Alzheimer’s, and bipolar disorders. This book took a piece of my heart. My own grandmother is suffering from Alzheimer’s. It has gone from forgetting something to having to repeat things many times during the day to her. It is emotionally hard because we have to remember to be patient with her. The book discussed the stages of Alzheimer’s, the path of the Alzheimer’s person fading from who they were into someone that one wouldn’t recognize. This road is painful for all who are involved. Overall, this nonfiction book was encouraging to read. I cried because a I know there are no cures for Alzheimer’s. It’s one of the most unpreventable diseases. I still carry hope that one day there will be a cure. I recommend this book to all readers.

Review: My Four Hollywood Husbands


Joyce Bulifant has lived the “Hollywood life” for nearly seven decades, and through it, experienced what few outside the entertainment world can imagine. While following the path of her own successful career, Ms. Bulifant managed to navigate the choppy waters of husbands’ alcoholism, codependency and an extended family of four marriages.

James MacArthur played Danno on Hawaii Five-0. Edward Mallory was Dr. Bill Horton on “Days of Our Lives.” William Asher was the famous director-writer-producer of “I Love Lucy”, “Bewitched” and the Beach Party movies. Roger Perry starred in “Star Trek” and over 300 TV shows and films. He has also composed music for Barbra Streisand and Bing Crosby.

Along the way Bulifant managed to command the spotlight for her own accomplishments. As Gavin MacLeod’s wife Marie on “The Mary Tyler More Show”, a concerned mother in the movie “Airplane”, dancing with Fred Astaire, and her reoccurring role on “The Match Game.”

My Four Hollywood Husbands is a rare peek into what happens off the screen. It’s a story of love, a lasting love that is woven through the fabric of the world of entertainment. It’s also a story about perseverance and overcoming obstacles—and that happy endings are indeed possible.

Rating: 4.5-stars


My Four Hollywood Husbands by Joyce Bulifant is a memoir that shows how alcoholism can affect the individual and their loved ones. This, was a bit tough to read, because someone I knew died from alcoholism. It’s a real part of life. Scary when it happens someone we all know. The struggles are hard.  The entire book gave an insider’s view to this difficult journey. I also showed the consequences of the alcoholic’s actions on others close to the alcoholic. Then, there was the hope of getting through the addiction. Struggles are a part of life. We just have to battle them, until we get to where we need to be. I liked how Joyce Bulifant demonstrated this in her writing. Overall, My Four Hollywood Husbands is a great read. It’s an eye opener and one that I recommend to others. 

Review: Misdiagnosed (The Search for Dr. House)


When a lymphoma scare threatened the life of a journalist, she began a quest to find the correct medical diagnosis for the mysterious illness she’d battled for nearly 20 years. She turned to her favorite TV show, House M.D., for inspiration. She used her research skills to look for a “real life” Gregory House to give her some answers. In this brutally honest memoir, Nika Beamon reveals how she found the doctor who saved her and how you can too. 

Rating: 4-stars


Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House by Nika C. Beamon caught my full attention. Everybody knows who Dr. House is. The title peaked my interest. I found this memoir interesting. A young female journalist is struck by a life threatening illness. Her search for a real life version of Dr. House was inspiring. Misdiagnosed is a sad, heartbreaking, and brave journey. The journey made me wary for the writer. I was worried as she went through all the exams, pills, and diagnosises. Searching endlessly for the right doctor proved difficult. But Nika C. Beamon never stopped her search. Her determination and strength is inspiring. A hope to all who suffer greatly. Overall, I greatly encourage readers worldwide to read this tale. 

Review: The Night Trilogy


Night is one of the masterpieces of Holocaust literature. First published in 1958, it is the autobiographical account of an adolescent boy and his father in Auschwitz. Elie Wiesel writes of their battle for survival and of his battle with God for a way to understand the wanton cruelty he witnesses each day. In the short novel Dawn (1960), a young man who has survived World War II and settled in Palestine joins a Jewish underground movement and is commanded to execute a British officer who has been taken hostage. In Day (previously titled The Accident, 1961), Wiesel questions the limits of conscience: Can Holocaust survivors forge a new life despite their memories? Wiesel’s trilogy offers insights on mankind’s attraction to violence and on the temptation of self-destruction.

Rating: 5-stars


The Night Trilogy by Elle Wiesel is a gruesome account of the suffering he and his family faced during World War II. A time of Death, loss, and torment. This was one of history’s nightmarish memories that will never be forgotten. The Nazis were cruel dictators killing innocent human beings without a hesitation. The page in this book showed it all. 
Young Elle Wiesel experienced what no other teenage boy should have faced. He and his family were just one of countless numbers herded onto cattle cars. Usuhered to their death. The showers of death, the endless starvation, beatings, and cruelty killed so many humans. Humans who didn’t know what lied ahead. 
As I read this book, it brought me back to something I wish I never knew about. Something that should never have happened. But it did. A memory that no being can wash away. The smoke from the screaming dying corpses in the “shower rooms” and the endless fears were terrorfying to revisit. It survivors like the writer who show the world what happened and may happen again. 
The Night Trilogy is memoir that will always be remembered. Survival, loss, death, and much more. Terrible days that never end. Even with so much time having passed. It is a gripping and well-written book. I recommend this Holocaust story to readers worldwide. 

Review: Look At You Now


CHICAGO TRIBUNE BESTSELLER – For readers of Orange Is the New Black and The Glass Castle, a riveting memoir about a lifelong secret and a girl finding strength in the most unlikely place.

In 1979, Liz Pryor is a seventeen-year-old girl from a good family in the wealthy Chicago suburbs. Halfway through her senior year of high school, she discovers that she is pregnant–a fact her parents are determined to keep a secret from her friends, siblings, and community forever. One snowy January day, after driving across three states, her mother drops her off at what Liz thinks is a Catholic home for unwed mothers–but which is, in truth, a locked government-run facility for delinquent and impoverished pregnant teenage girls.

In the cement-block residence, Liz is alone and terrified, a fish out of water–a girl from a privileged, sheltered background living amid tough, street-savvy girls who come from the foster care system or juvenile detention. But over the next six months, isolated and in involuntary hiding from everyone she knows, Liz develops a surprising bond with the other girls and begins to question everything she once held true. Told with tenderness, humor, and an open heart, Look at You Now is a deeply moving story about the most vulnerable moments in our lives–and how a willingness to trust ourselves can permanently change who we are and how we see the world.

Rating: 4-stars


Look at You Now by Liz Pryor is well-written. A memoir that is sad. Secretive, heartbreaking, and coming of age. I am happy that the parents nor the writer opted for an abortion. That made my heart happy. My heart still poured out to the baby she left behind…why, do pregnant girls get rid of their children? Why? I still can’t understand it. Then, the same girl goes on to have more kids later in life. Why not go back for the child she gave up? I felt frustrated, angry, and emotional. So many questions on what life did her abandoned child live…did it go to a good home, was the child safe? Then, I wondered did the woman even care? She didn’t even want to look at the child. I felt so disconnected from this woman. Her story tore at my heart. I have been in foster homes. Most kids don’t go to good homes. Look at You Now was devasting to read. I didn’t enjoy the journey. However, my feelings should not affect on whether this book was worthy of reading. It was well-told. The writer’s voice was done well. The writing was visual. Engaging. 

Author Interview with Patricia Gachagan 

Author Interview: Patricia Gachagan, Born Together
ULM: What lead you to writing your inspiring memoir, Born Together?


I have always been attracted to writing, keeping journals over many years as well as being a fan of the old-fashioned pen and paper letter writing as I travelled and lived abroad. I simply started one day to write down and express my deep feelings about the unexpected journey I had been taken on after giving birth to my son. I always wanted to write a book and before I knew it I had 20,000 words written and realised this was my opportunity as well as my motivation.




ULM: What was the journey like for you as you went through your diagnosis of multiple sclerosis?


There was an element that the whole situation was unreal and that surely it couldn’t be Multiple Sclerosis as I had only just had my baby and I was in the throes of adjusting to life as a first-time mum. It was also quite terrifying waking up in a ‘different’ body day by day, with my ability and mobility changing dramatically and I had no control over it. I was consumed by fear at the same time as experiencing joy with my wonderful baby. It was a real juxtaposition of my emotions to contend with.




ULM: What were your first thoughts when informed of your diagnosis?


I suppose it was disbelief in amongst the absolute panic as I had found out by accident, on my own with baby Elliot, at a routine doctor’s appointment. Even although I knew MS was the main contender, I was still shocked at the realisation that my worst fear had come true. My panic was not for just for me, but for how little Elliot’s life would be affected by my diagnosis. I was so scared to begin with.



ULM: How did you feel when writing about your journey in Born Together?


I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process of writing Born Together. From the very first sentence, I was hooked. My writing journey unlocked many emotions, from grief and fear in the beginning to finally the relief of accepting my ‘new’ self and abilities. It very much challenged me, but I embraced those challenges fully and seized it as an opportunity to move forward with my new life.



ULM: Was the writing therapeutic for you?


Writing was very therapeutic for me and serendipitously came along at the same time as the counselling sessions I had been referred to by my GP. They very much worked together. They challenged me to the core about how I had been dealing with my diagnosis and all the changes it had brought about in my life. I had to face some hard truths and painfully let go of the ‘old’ me. It was not an easy task, but it was the beginning of a much brighter and more positive future. I am very grateful for my writing journey.



ULM: How did you find the determination to get through this difficult time for you and your family?


That was easier than anything else I had to face physically. Just one look at Elliot, just the thought of my wonderful son with his whole life ahead of him was enough to drive me forward with lethal determination that his life would not be adversely or negatively affected by me having a lifelong diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.




ULM: What advice would you give to others going through what you did?


To stay positive and learn to accept your new self and the changes to your life. That is part of a process and doesn’t happen overnight, but the sooner it does happen, the better it is for yourself and those around you. There is the need then to adapt to those changes, but to stay very much focussed on what you can do and not hold on to the past and what you can’t do anymore. Try to see it as a new beginning and not an ending and take charge of your own health. I am very pro-active in managing my MS and that has been a defining fact in my new abilities and creating a different quality of life, but still one that is enriched and fulfilling.



ULM: As a mother of a new-born with a disability, was there anyone you had for moral support? What gave you hope during these struggles?


I didn’t then, and still don’t now, see myself as someone with a disability. I see myself as ‘differently’ abled, but able nonetheless. I focus on what I can do and achieve and it is a lot. My husband, Allan, was an amazing support and tower of strength. He still is and he too is very pro-active and determined. My mum and sister have been selflessly committed to supporting me and Elliot and were around a great deal in those early days. Elliot, and the importance of his future, gave me the hope and the belief necessary that I could manage well and turn my life around from a path of ill-health and disability to one of positivity, achievement and ultimately a happy and fulfilled family life.



ULM: What’s your favourite quote to live by?


‘Do ordinary things to live an extraordinary life.’




ULM: Your memoir mentioned a new treatment. Would you recommend it to others?


This new and pioneering treatment is called Robo-Physio and is based on a ‘Spinal Approach to Health’. It is a physio therapy device which releases the stiffness in your spine. I have seen good results of this therapy, but it needs to be used on a regular basis to maintain the benefits. It helped very much with my fatigue and ability during the period I tested it, allowing me to be able to move my body better, balance better and walk better at that time. This is a private therapy, but I would certainly suggest people look in to it and consider giving it a try. It is available through Pacla Medical and you can contact them to arrange a free trial. There are no side effects which is a clear bonus and seems to make it worth trying to see if it is suitable for you individually.



ULM: What are your plans for the future?


I plan to continue writing and sharing my positive message as far and as wide as I possibly can. I plan to live as full and enriched a life, with Multiple Sclerosis, as I possibly can. I want to show others that a chronic diagnosis like mine does not have to be the end. We all have to take what we’ve got, whatever that may be, and turn it in to the very best we can.

I have introduced my MS jigsaw to help support individuals with MS and I plan to develop that further with a view to extending self-help ideas for living with MS. My MS jigsaw has many pieces, all of which can help someone with MS manage their symptoms and reach the best quality of life they can.



ULM: Where can readers find you and your memoir online?


Readers can find me at www.patriciagachagan.com for more information and to buy Born Together. It is also available through kindle and at bookstores, such as Waterstones, to order.
















Review: My Soul Looks Black 


In this captivating new memoir, award-winning writer Jessica B. Harris recalls a lost era—the vibrant New York City of her youth, where her social circle included Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and other members of the Black intelligentsia.
In the Technicolor glow of the early seventies, Jessica B. Harris debated, celebrated, and danced her way from the jazz clubs of the Manhattan’s West Side to the restaurants of the Village, living out her buoyant youth alongside the great minds of the day—luminaries like Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison. My Soul Looks Back is her paean to that fascinating social circle and the depth of their shared commitment to activism, intellectual engagement, and each other.
Harris paints evocative portraits of her illustrious friends: Baldwin as he read aloud an early draft of If Beale Street Could Talk, Angelou cooking in her California kitchen, and Morrison relaxing at Baldwin’s house in Provence. Harris describes her role as theater critic for the New York Amsterdam News and editor at then burgeoning Essence magazine; star-studded parties in the South of France; drinks at Mikell’s, a hip West Side club; and the simple joy these extraordinary people took in each other’s company. The book is framed by Harris’s relationship with Sam Floyd, a fellow professor at Queens College, who introduced her to Baldwin.
More than a memoir of friendship and first love My Soul Looks Back is a carefully crafted, intimately understood homage to a bygone era and the people that made it so remarkable.

Rating: 3.5-stars


My Soul Looks Black by Jessica B. Harris is a great memoir. Her book is about famous African Americans featured in New York. Yet, I felt this Read fell flat. She spoke about the people but didn’t give more details about them that would have made this more of a fascinating read. It seemed like she mostly talked about those around her and not about having direct contact with these people mentioned. When she mentions a little bit about herself, it was okay. Still Jessica B. Harris could have done more for this memoir. I was interested in the title of this book and was curious as to what it held. After reading it, I’d say it’s okay but not exceptional. 

Author Interview with David Spencer

ULM: What inspired you to write your book, Dark Skinned? 

I was inspired to write Dark Skinned after listening to some people share on Youtube who had went through similar situations growing up that I did. Hearing their stories helped me heal and deal with some issues I had been holding onto. I was eager to share to so could be that motivation for someone else. I started out writing the stories for blog entries but I soon realized the content was more in depth and needed to be housed in a book. Being Dark Skinned was specifically what I had to deal with but that issues are interchangeable- one could be over weight, too short, too tall, not athletic etc. I believe talking about your issues can help others deal with theirs.  


ULM: Did you always want a career as an author? 

That desire came later. I always wanted to motivate and inspire people around me so I have always been in the light. Becoming an author was a natural progression to building greater influence.


ULM: How would you describe your writing style using only three words?

 Open. Honest. Transparent.


ULM: What is the message you would like readers to take from reading your novel?

You can control everything that happens to you but you can control your response to it. Don’t let dark moments make you dark. Use those moments to create light in dark places.


ULM: Why is it challenging to get African American men to share their experiences caused by their darker skin tone?

From youth, African American boys are told to stop crying and to man up. Showing emotions not equated to masculinity. Little boys are often forced to grow up to fast becoming man too soon. It’s easier to suppress the hurt then risk being viewed as weak.


ULM: Do you think the racism in America will ever end?

Honestly, I do not. I think it will become harder to openly display it. Racism is a legacy. Racist pass those ideas down to their children.


ULM: You mentioned holding a B.A. in Ethno-Musicology. Can you explain what it was like studying for that? 

Half of my academic career was spent in the music department and the other was spent in the history department learning about the African Diaspora. Not only were Africans shipped off like cattle but the oppressors tried to erase their history. There is evidence in the music of African American Music that supports Deculturization was not successful.   


ULM: You mentioned that African American men are supposed to be big and strong all the time. That they are not supposed to cry. I’ve also noticed that this stigma sticks to all men despite color of skin tone. Why do you think society view men in this way? 

We are what we see. Men have traditionally been the head of the house hold, the primary provider, and the stronger sex. That image is everywhere in history and media. Anything that doesn’t fit that norm is not accepted.  


ULM: How did your masters in entertainment, help prepare you as a newspaper executive, singer, songwriter and being an author?

It helped me pay more attention to presentation and packaging. A good idea will stay that if you do not connect the right people and get others to buy. We can limit our growth because of our inability to reach out. We do not have to be masters of everything.  


ULM: What songs have you written?

My most recent song is one called “Flawed” that sums up many of the emotions I dealt with growing up dark skinned. I went through a phase where I questioned God’s intentions in creating me flawed. I want my music to articulate feelings people are sometimes reluctant to express.

Listen Here:

Flawed (Dark Skinned)

ULM: Do you have more books planned, if so, can you share that with us, readers?


I want to do another book of “Dark Skinned” stories. I want to change the approach by interviewing others who have stories to tell. I also want to do a children’s book describing how great the world would be if we follow the rules we had on the playground. Be nice and wait your turn.


ULM: What lead you to the media and entertainment industry?

I love to create content for others to enjoy and/or scrutinize. I like tough conservations this career path welcomes those types of conversations.   


David Spencer

Sound of David LLC

DS Designs


Review: Under a Desert Sky


There comes a time in life when we find ourselves in the desert place of burning questions. Why? Why me? But even as we shake our fist heavenward, the heart whispers another question. Who? Who are you, God? It is a question of relationship, a question we all murmur in the hardest places. 

Against the backdrop of the Sonoran Desert, Lynne Hartke asks her own hard questions as cancer arrives like a thief with one goal: to take it all. Hair. The contents of a stomach. A marriage. A life. As her days become a blur of doctors’ appointments, treatments, and surgeries, she wrestles with a tumble of tangled emotions, a shaken faith, and self-doubt. Cancer is now not only threatening her own life, but, in a surprising twist, the lives of both her parents as well. 

Through her raw, lyrical words, Hartke invites fellow sojourners to discover that in life’s hardest places, they are not alone in their fear, they are not foolish to hope, and they are never forgotten by a loving, pursuing God. Never. 

Rating: 5-stars


Under a Desert Sky by Lynne Hartke is an inspiring memoir of one woman’s journey with cancer. Cancer is the toughest path one finds in life. It takes hold of us, crushing us under its pressure. Sometimes, we feel like we’ve lost the battle and want to give up. However, this book, redefines hope, beauty, and faith in the hardest places. Lynne Hartke’s words grabbed my attention immediately. Her words made me cry and feel that hope never dies. Pain only makes one stronger. Beautifully written by a survivor, who went through it all. Pain, grief, and hope. Overall, I deeply recommend this memoir to all. 

Review: Despair to Deliverance 


The story begins with a phone call from Robin. She and I had been working together in therapy for almost ten years. She usually didn’t call between sessions, partly because she was very aware of and careful about boundaries, but also because severe anxiety about making phone calls was one of her symptoms.
The story that follows this phone call is one of courage and determination. Despair to Deliverance is a memoir-one unique in its perspective from both client and psychotherapist-that uncovers the harrowing experience of recovering from mental illness.
Robin Personette’s descent into a severe mental health breakdown is not an experience she goes through alone. With her longtime psychotherapist, Sharon DeVinney, PhD, at her side, Robin must first learn to see the value in life before she can continue living.
With touching transparency and a courageous examination of what it means to fight for a stable and healthy life, both Robin and Sharon welcome readers to follow them on their unique journey together.
For anyone who has ever struggled with life’s challenges-or who has had a loved one dealing with mental illness-Despair to Deliverance is a comforting message of perseverance and hope. 

Rating: 5-stars


Despair to Deliverance by Sharon DeVinney, Ph.D. & Ronin Personette is a memoir forall to read. The path of having a mental illness is not easy to navigate through alone. Here, Robin has her psychotherapist, Sharon, to help her. A dark journey of despair is slowly lifted through a woman’s search for help. A triump over severe mental illness. After reading other books by  mental illness patients, this was the first one I’ve read by both the doctor and the patient. It was exciting to read pages written by both women. It peaked my curiosity. Many suffering from mental illnesses also suffer from depression. I was glad to see the outcome of Robin’s journey turn to be a good one. Despair to Deliverance is a recommended read for all. 

Review: The Gay Preacher’s Wife


The deeply personal memoir of Lydia Meredith, a woman who spent almost thirty years married to a preacher—only to have her husband leave her for a MAN —and how her life becomes a testimony of tolerance and a theology of love and acceptance.
After being married to Reverend Dennis A. Meredith for almost thirty years, Lydia Meredith discovers a shocking truth: the love of her life left her for a MAN. Now, Lydia opens up for the first time about how that revelation shattered her world—and strengthened her faith.
With her life turned upside down, Lydia struggled to put the pieces of her broken heart back together and that led her to pursue understanding through an accredited theological education. She wanted a way to put her family back together and she found Jesus’ ministry and teachings were “actually” about teaching tolerance and love for people who are labeled different.
Candid, honest, and incredibly touching, Lydia Meredith shows that faith and perseverance can get you through any challenge life throws your way.

Rating: 4-stars


The Gay Preacher’s Wife by Lydia Meredith is a deep memoir. Inside, I followed her journey as an African American women. Just being in that category is hard enough. Then, to add to the fact her husband had lied to her for the past 30-years. Well, it was easy to sympathize with her. I can only imagine how hard that was to deal with after finding out. Having a man lineage his wife for an reason is hard on the soul and heart. Lydia Meredith’s husband left her for another man. Wow. I wouldn’t know how to handle that scenario myself, if placed in the same situation. Her journey was emotional and interesting. I believe the writer dealt with the situation in the best ways possible. I can’t judge her nor her husband. Life is complicated, messy, and hear shattering. Readers can easily connect with Lydia as her words engage them further into her life. Overall, this personal memoir took great faith and courage to share. I recommend it to others. 

Review: Cancer Country


The only symptoms were itching. The prognosis was slightly incredible – a type of cancer that only one in a half million Americans get, and my chances of survival were one-in-ten.
That was the beginning of the journey. Along the way were anger and surprise and relief and fear … a bone marrow transplant … and the feeling of being in a strange country whimsically designed for the absurd.
Visit http://www.cancercountry.com for more information.
From Cancer Country
“In the Medieval world, Death was the standard guy with the scythe, coming around when your time was up. Now then, one morning, drinking coffee in my kitchen around 10 AM, I looked out the window and saw, a few houses away, a twenty-year old guy with a clipboard – a Mormon, a Jehovah’s Witness, or a college kid with some environmental issue.I then had this weird vision of him being Death, of him having started his canvassing miles and miles away, way up in northeast Portland or somewhere, and now, after 67 years of human life, he had made it down here, to me, and in about five minutes would be knocking at the door, and I’d answer it, and he’d ask me if I like unpolluted air and clean water and tall trees, and I’d say Yes, and then he’d ask me for a donation, and I’d write a check, and then I’d sign his petition, and then all this world would be gone, just like that. All the places I’d hoped to travel to – forget it. All the years left with family and friends – over. Yes, that’s it, I thought: the Medieval people had a nice thing going with the black hooded figure and the scythe, but he was so out of date, so past-millennia. This was our hooded guy now: a door-to-door canvasser, clipboard, politeness, a good cause. Death handing you a ballpoint pen that only half-worked.”

Rating: 5-stars


Cancer Country by Chet Skibinski is one of the best memoirs about this particular topic. Cancer. It is one of the most scary things that can happen to a human being. One day, we are perfectly fine, the next, we find out we have cancer. The shocking, frightening, sad discovery is a difficult one to swallow. One can live or die. Surviving it is slightly improving but still it takes a lot of will power going through the process. I was able to get lost inside this incredible memoir instantly. It was easy to relate to and follow along. I have lost people to heart conditions…so, I know how they writer felt when told about the cancer found. Anger, frustration, and grief. However, as the book unfolded, I found some humor as the cancer survivor fought back. I thought the book would end in a certain way and then, I was surprised. It took on a completely different path. One that I was super happy with and the emotional journey tugged at me. So many emotions and not knowing until the ending how or where it was going to lead me. Cancer Country is an inspiring read for all. I highly recommend to readers everywhere. 

Review: Voodoo Days at La Casa Fabulosa


When food writer David Dominé buys a three-story Victorian house, little does he know it is located in an enchanted neighborhood, one full of gargoyles and gas lamps, hidden courtyards, towers, turrets, and gingerbread trim. The 1890s structure he will call home becomes known as La Casa Fabulosa–or the fabulous house in Spanish–because of its elaborate façade. His is just one of hundreds of striking dwellings in an area famous for its fanciful architecture and 19th-century charm, however. The neighborhood is also replete with colorful characters–an assortment of vagrants, cross-dressers, gypsies, and random misfits that make life interesting, to say the least. There are even rumors of modern-day witches and voodoo queens. When strange noises and puzzling smells start to keep him awake at night, and bizarre coincidences punctuate his days, he discovers that enchantment can take many different forms. The oddballs and oddities, the weird and wonderful he encounters in this enchanted neighborhood come to life in Voodoo Days at La Casa Fabulosa.

Rating: 5-stars


Voodoo Days at La Casa Fabulosa by David Domine is a unique memoir. His writing isn’t anything like others that I have read. If I didn’t know it was nonfiction, I would have thought it was a novel. The creativity and exciting scenes leaves readers with amazing visuals. I can see the writer as each moment happened. His thoughts about how strange everything was…as well as the unexpected outcomes. I love anything with a history. It seems the place the writer bought as his new home, has a ton of it. The architecture is the best. I can only imagine the stories behind it. The characters are eccentric. But they make the reading enjoyable. Some scary, mysterious, and hilarious details will keep readers intrigued. The title of this book also, caught my attention. It pulled me into its contents and from there I was on a journey. Exploring those around the main character. From neighbors to animals, there’s a bit of everything you can and couldn’t imagine. The humor is great. I definitely enjoyed reading Voodoo Days at La Casa Fabulosa, and I highly recommend it to others. 

Review: Yesterday’s Moments…Today’s Memories


YESTERDAY’S MOMENTS… Today’s Memories is the third in David Turner’s nostalgic trilogy depicting rural and small-town life in Canada during the last century.

“From as far back as I could recall,” Turner says, “I’d been listening to the stories passed down through generations of my family. As the years went by, an unrelenting passion dictated I record these recollections and the lives of those who lived here. To flourish both intellectually and emotionally, we need to know who we are and where we’ve been. 
“One of the most enjoyable aspects of writing is the ability to convey those thoughts to others. Whenever a story is repeated, it rekindles the attribute of something otherwise forgotten. Friends and loved ones pass on, and with the years, our memories fade—but through their stories, the legacy of those who came before can live forever.”
The counties of Grey, York, Peel, Simcoe, and Perth have been home to the Turner family for many decades. In 2014, David and his wife Mary retired to Huron County.

: 5-stars


Yesterday’s Moments…Today’s Memories is a great biography and memoir to read. It took me back to the writer’s family history. His roots. Once there, I got to follow some of his ancestors as their lives unfolded before me. Page after page, I was dragged deep into the past. From farming to mechanics, the people inside the book come to life. I loved how David Turner preserved his ancestry and their lives. It thought it was interesting. As I read, I keep making comparisons as to back then versus now. Travel, adventure, exploration….can be found within the book as well. It was even more interesting when big historical moments landed on the pages. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to find that a relative was there the night of Titanic sinking? I thought it was. The lives and cultures as well as the food….was interesting. Yesterday’s Moments…Today’s Memories is a beautifully captured tale of many memories and history…that will lure readers old and young to its pages. Being a millennial, I find anything with the past and past lives as interesting as any of peers find advance technology. David Turner’s writing shows his talent as a story teller. There is so much to be found and learned…I highly recommend this memoir to readers worldwide. Truly a treasure to behold. 

Review: Don’t Trust A Stranger


Have you ever wanted to date someone online? Do you trust people easily? Sometimes that can be a deadly thing. Never be too careful. Never settle for less than what you deserve.

Rating: 5 stars


Don’t Trust A Stranger by Jacquelyn Wiles is a must read for all. Her memoir brings to life the issues many live with and are not aware of or may not have someone there to help them. It was quite frightening to read. I wanted to stop reading only because I thought it was going to get super worse with each page. Yes, the domestic violence upgraded; however, so did the help that the young woman received. I believe that without a supporting family behind her or the evidence and the timing of the police call, that things wouldn’t have ended as well as they did. I was then left with an ending that placed a relief within me for the writer but also a new fear emerged. What was going to happen next?

Don’t Trust A Stranger takes bravery to write and talk about it. I am happy that Jacquelyn Wiles has written this book. She has shared her experience with others who may be in that position right now…and need this to give them the help and motivation they seek. Inspiring and horrifying at the same. Overall, I highly recommend it to readers worldwide.

Review: Resolve, Courage, & Hope


On December 13, 2007, in the small town of Lake Wales, Florida, Leon Davis Jr. walked into an insurance agency with a gun, duct tape, and gasoline. He demanded money, wrapped two women in tape, doused them with fuel, and flicked a lighter.

In what is considered part of the worst killing rampage in Polk County history, Resolve, Courage, Hope tells the true story of how Scott Headley picked up the pieces after a longtime client deliberately and viciously killed two of his employees, the aftershock of Davis’s murderous rampage, court trials, night terrors, and regaining his sense of self.
Rating: 5 stars


Resolve, Courage, and Hope by Scott Headly and Alison Nissen was an intriguing memoir. It’s unlike most I have read thus far. It’s about one man’s journey into the darkness. How he crumbles and falls into a black hole. Letting it swallow him up whole. His journey happens so quickly and is quite frightening. I was shocked, scared, and interested. My heart broke into many pieces not just for the man mentioned but for his family and the families of the women who died. Death, destruction, and hope. Nightmares that come and stay forever. Those are images one can never forget. Sad, well-written, and highly engaging. I had to read it all. Needed to know how the memoir ended. Resolve, Courage, and Hope is a new read that I recommend to all. It shows the darkness that haunts our world and plagues those who still survive. Overall, a great read. 

Review: Enjoy the Ride


This memoir chronicles the last seven years of the life of Uncle Sammy, a Holy Fool, as he travels the different dimensions of dementia. There are stories of deep wisdom in this simple tale, written by Sandia Siegel and Sammy after he came to live with her in Hawaii. He is truly a rascal and an unlikely sage.

Rating: 5 stars


Enjoy the Ride by both Sandia S. Siegel and S. George Green is a beautifully written book that all will love. It is about an older man who goes through the journey of suffering from dementia. I can truly relate to this book because someone from my family is suffering from it as well. It’s hard for us to accept a loved one going through the it. This title, gave humor and wisdom everywhere. It made me laugh, cry, and love it. Truly a refreshing outlook and a real experience that readers can be sucked into as well as enjoy. Life seems too harsh not to try and enjoy the present moments. Enjoy the Ride is definitely a memoir that I would highly recommend to readers everywhere. 

Review: Yellow Tulips & Red Buses

Yellow Tulips & Red Buses by [Kamaria, Adia]



London. What if she pursued her master’s at an English university? Or left Florida to its sun and swamps, and feasted her eyes instead on historic towers set against overcast skies? What if crossing the ocean was the path to a brighter future?

Stuck in a dismal job and entangled in a back-and-forth relationship, Adia Kamaria ponders this unexpected idea for quite a while before finally taking the plunge. But when she does, she does so wholeheartedly.

Yellow Tulips & Red Buses reads like a journal in its vulnerability and hopeful honesty as it recounts Adia’s romantic escapades—first with a young Pakistani bloke, followed by a Nigerian prince—and traces her travels in the United Kingdom and beyond when she’s not hard at work studying. While she quickly learns she can’t leave her problems behind, she does realize that a fresh perspective can do wonders for the soul.

An inspiring view of life and love through the eyes of a thirty-something woman who’s had her heart broken one too many times, this no-filters account will make you laugh, cry, and long for adventures of your own.

Rating: 5 stars


Yellow Tulips & Red Buses is another fabulous adventure by Adia Kamaria. It’s her own adventure and travels that she shares with us, readers. I absolutely loved being able to travel the world with her while still being safe in my room. Life, love, and lessons…all integrated beautifully within this book. A biographical journey of one woman’s road to finding and failing at love. To traveling the world and meeting new people as well as finding a peace within herself. I truly enjoyed getting to know the talented writer through this book. Truly an engaging story that readers won’t want to miss. Steady and exciting. Readers can feel the emotions as if the emotions were their very own. The scenes come to life and the words suck readers into the tale. Adia Kamaria brings an inspiring piece to readers everywhere. Funny, sad, and frustrating to acceptance of her life. I highly recommend this book to all.


Review: A Long Walk with Sally

A Long Walk With Sally: A Grieving Father's Golf Journey Back to Life by [Clark Jr., David]



A parent’s worst fear and most unimaginable horror began on April 4, 2004. As his world was torn further apart, David’s only wish was to escape–to walk away–but how could he? How would he ever find the peace he so desperately needed?

On a golf course in Ireland, the answer came. Thus began a ten-year quest, taking David to 290 courses throughout the British Isles. As he was about to leave on his final trip, he looked out the windshield of his car and realized where he would find his peace.

Rating: 5 stars


A Long Walk with Sally by David Clark Jr. is a memoir that will an impact upon readers everywhere. Readers will get to travel a father’s darkest journey. The loss of his only daughter. A loved child…now, taken from this world.  The emotional journey within this memoir is something to behold. It will not only capture readers’ interest but also their hearts. Sad, powerful, and inspiring. Who knew golf, one of the most boring sports to me could be therapeutic to a father? I was surprised. I learned something from this book. Readers, I know without a doubt will take something deep and thoughtful from this father’s experience and the way he dealt with handling his daughter’s death. A Long Walk with Sally shows us that we all handle grief and loss differently. This father found a way to cope, to come to terms with the loss, and found an inner peace. It was easy to connect with the father in this book. Well-written and poised in a way that readers will enjoy reading it. Overall, I highly recommend it to all.


Review: A Wolf Called Ring



Dub Sibley, a farm boy growing up in pre-WWII Louisiana, raises a half-wolf pup and names it Ring. The black wolf dog with the white ring around its neck becomes Dub’s best friend, and together they work on the farm, explore the woods nearby, and hunt for squirrels and other animals that are vital to the Sibley family’s survival. No one understands the bond between the boy and his dog, not even Dub’s parents or his sisters and brother.
When Ring’s talent for hunting and treeing squirrels shows up a wealthy rival in a well-publicized contest, the rival wants more than revenge: he wants to own Ring. But Dub isn’t selling his prized dog, no matter what the man offers.  Because Ring isn’t his possession—he’s Dub’s best friend. The wealthy man finds he must use other, illegal means to ensure the wolf dog never again hunts for anyone but him.

Finding himself a prisoner, alone, confused, and far from home, Ring the wolf dog must seek a means of escape so he can head back home to his friend Dub. His cross-country journey from his kidnapper’s home in Massachusetts to Dub’s farm in Louisiana will be long, arduous, and filled with challenges that only a wolf can survive. Does he have the strength and courage it will take to find his way back to Dub? Along the difficult trek, Ring must decide whether to be a dog or a wolf—and his decision will affect not only his own survival but the also the life or death of the she-wolf he meets along the way.

Rating: 5 stars


A Wolf Called Ring by Dr. A.W. Sibley is definitely for fans of White Fang. This is a memoir that comes as a cross-over story. One that readers everywhere regardless of their age will enjoy forever. Dr. A.W. Sibley brings readers a journey of love and sacrifice between the boy and his best friend as well as the animal’s call to the wild.  Like other reads, this book shows readers how cruel humans can be towards animals. Some humans like the boy Dub Sibley can treat an animal with love and respect. In return so does that animal, treat its human, with respect. Instantly, I fell in love with this memoir from the beginning and didn’t want it to end. Stunning, beautiful, and intriguing. Readers will find this fast-paced tale memorable. A journey both sweet and sad. Overall, I highly recommend A Wolf Called Ring to readers worldwide.


Review: Only in Naples



Full of lighthearted humor, sumptuous food, the wisdom of an Italian mother-in-law, and all the atmosphere of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, this warm and witty memoir follows American-born Katherine Wilson on her adventures abroad. Thanks to a surprising romance—and a spirited woman who teaches her to laugh, to seize joy, and to love—a three-month rite of passage in Naples turns into a permanent embrace of this boisterous city on the Mediterranean.

When I saw the sea at Gaeta, I knew that Naples was near and I was coming home.

“There is a chaotic, vibrant energy about Naples that forces you to let go and give in,” writes Katherine, who arrives in the city to intern at the United States Consulate. One evening, she meets handsome, studious Salvatore and finds herself immediately enveloped by his elegant mother, Raffaella, and the rest of the Avallone family. From that moment, Katherine’s education begins: Never eat the crust of a pizza first, always stand up and fight for yourself and your loved ones, and consider mealtimes sacred—food must be prepared fresh and consumed in compagnia.

Immersed in Neapolitan culture, traditions, and cuisine, slowly and unexpectedly falling for Salvatore, and longing for Raffaella’s company and guidance, Katherine discovers how to prepare meals that sing, from hearty, thick ragù to comforting rigatoni alla Genovese to pasta al forno, a casserole chock-full of bacon, béchamel, and no fewer than four kinds of cheeses. The secret to succulent, tender octopus? Beat it with a hammer. While Katherine is used to large American kitchens with islands and barstools, she understands the beauty of small, tight Italian ones, where it’s easy to offer a taste from a wooden spoon.

Through courtship, culture clashes, Sunday services, marriage, and motherhood (in Naples, a pregnancy craving must always be satisfied!), Katherine comes to appreciate carnale, the quintessentially Neapolitan sense of comfort and confidence in one’s own skin. Raffaella and her famiglia are also experts at sdrammatizzare, knowing how to suck the tragedy from something and spit it out with a great big smile. Part travel tale, part love letter, Only in Naples is a sumptuous story that is a feast for the senses. Goethe said, “See Naples and die.” But Katherine Wilson saw Naples and started to live.

Rating: 4 stars


Only in Naples by Katherine Wilson is a surprising memoir that took me on a fabulous journey to Naples, Italy. There I followed a young woman who has just graduated and decided to intern in a foreign country like her parents did. This read was full of adventure and unexpected moments. Like when crumbs from the main character’s piazza fell, into her lap and the next moment a young woman sitting next to her reaches down by her crotch area…was like omg….what?! Then there was the car ride with the wind howling loud and she mentions marriage to a Neopolitan man like this: marriage…us? The answer was fine. Okay fine. Crazy, exciting, and definitely a memorable ride as readers like myself follow the American woman’s experiences living in Italy. The cultural, food, and language kept me turning the pages. Little by little I was learning words here and there in the Italian language. Not only was Only in Naples an entertaining read but also an educational one too. I loved reading this title that was brilliantly written by Katherine Wilson. Overall, I highly recommend this to readers everywhere.


Review: Harlem Heroine



Tonia Taylor’s life changed forever on the night that her friend and brother
Jermaine “Baby Jay” was murdered. But Jermaine was actually the last of a
long line of real, smart, and handsome street dudes she encountered growing
up in Harlem. In the early 80’s she became intrigued by the fast life despite growing up in a strict and disciplined household. That curiosity eventually led her, to becoming, one of the popular girls in Harlem who obtained luxury cars, money, diamonds, and furs. In this tell-all memoir, she takes us on a journey back to her life on the streets of Harlem, a journey that intertwines the stories of many Street legends.

Rating: 5 stars


Harlem Heroine by Ms. Tee is a deep memoir that sends readers on a journey into what a street life was really about and like for many. Heartbreaking and courageous tale in sharing the past of hurt, pain, regret, and the violence that came with it all. It was enchanting to read about the bad life and what comes with it from someone who has gone through each stage of that particular lifestyle. We all make choices. Sometimes for the best and sometimes for the worst. The drama felt like I was there actually experiencing first-hand.The events take place in Harlem around the 80’s and 90’s time era. It was quite an interesting and educational experience. The fact that this was real and not one’s everyday urban fiction novel, made the connection to the story being told that much more important. Ms. Tee is a talented writer and whose story will stick forever in the minds of every reader. One has to be a strong person inside and out to survive the street life or else risking it swallowing one whole. Overall, I recommend this novel to readers everywhere.

Review: Turka Bella



Compelling Military Love Story

A week after watching the events of September 11, 2001 claim thousands of innocent lives, Jonathan Feldman, a 23-year-old Jewish-American from Chicago’s affluent Gold Coast neighborhood, decides to join the U.S. Army.

With no prior interest in the military, but feeling lost a year out of college, Jonathan feels compelled to be a part of something bigger than himself. Like many young soldiers at the time, he enlists with ambitions of saving the world from Muslim extremism and visions of hunting down the evil perpetrators of 9/11.

Those dreams are shattered when he is transferred to a remote base in Germany that is soon to be closing down and left forgotten by the American government. But what happens when Jonathan’s brother and friends visit for Oktoberfest that changes his one-dimensional existence forever.

It is at that time, when Jonathan is perfectly unprepared, destiny brings Ela, a beautiful Turkish Muslim businesswoman from Istanbul into his life.

Love blossoms…

Rating: 5 stars


Turka Bella by Jonathan Feldman is a stunning memoir that will automatically grab readers and take them deep within its pages. The people and scenes come, to life, on every page. Everything and everyone felt so real. Readers are taken back to the before and the aftermath of one of the most horrific events in the history of the U.S. The terrorist attacks of September 11th will forever haunt the American people especially that of one in particular. He can’t shake the terror he saw happening in his own country. I enjoyed following the character’s journey and his family heritage. A Jewish culture and language…along with the character’s sense of American duty that leads him on his new path in life. A path of love and destiny. Jonathan Feldman’s memoir is brilliantly well-written and will captivate audiences from all over the world for ages to come. Love, hope, and fate…are all a part of this fast-paced memoir. A memoir that has a little of everything and will never be forgotten by its readers. I enjoyed reading Turka Bella, and I look forward to reading more future works by this talented writer. I highly recommend this powerful yet beautifully told memoir to readers worldwide.

Review: The Painting & the Piano



The Painting and The Piano is an improbable story of survival and love. Growing up more than a thousand miles apart and worlds away from each other, Johnny and Adrianne seemed to have all that children could ask for. However, the demons of their respective mothers would tear their fragile young lives apart.

Eventually, destiny would bring Johnny and Adrianne together, but first they had to endure the painful toll that alcohol, drugs, and a negligent court system would take on them. With parts of Adrianne’s story ripped from national news headlines, their story takes them from the depths of despair and near death to their first serendipitous introduction and the moment each knew they were finally safe.

Filled with hope, inspiration and humor, The Painting and The Piano, is an unforgettable story of pain, loss and the undying human quest for happiness.

Rating: 5 stars


The Painting and the Piano by both John Lipscomb and Adrianne Lugo is a beautifully woven memoir that will inspire readers worldwide. This read portrays what it’s like to live with a drug addict, an alcoholic, and an abuser.

The story opens up with a character about to lose a father only then to find out he’s going to make it. But once he’s home…the man he once was is gone. The strong father was now a frail man with his morphine tank…Then there’s Adrianne who was born addicted to heroin. She soon gets to meet her real birth parents. Next, there is Johnny whose mom drinks all the time.

Both have biological parents who choose to live a life that will send them falling apart faster and faster…until no trace of who they were originally was left to be seen.  Both Adrianne and Johnny had to go through life in a rough way that no child should have to…yet somehow they both might just make it.

The Painting and the Piano is indeed a must-read memoir for all. This is a story of how two individuals struggled with surviving in what life tossed their way and took away from them. Readers will be lead on an inspirational journey that will cause fear, at first, then tears, and then happiness. I loved this survival and love story. It something that readers all over the world can relate to and find inspiration to move forward no matter how hard life may become. Overall, I highly recommend this to all.


Review: Sex Tells



Sex Tells dives into the world of sex. What it does to relationships, religion, and even the mind of the individual. This book is semi-autobiographical and will definitely leave the reader wanting to read the sequel. This book will change your life.

My Rating: 5 stars

My Review:

Sex Tells in definitely an eye opener especially for the main protagonist, Ice. Inside of this very bold book, readers are instantly taken on the sexual yet lustful path that one man takes. He’s desires and fantasies with the beautiful women around him, cause him to want sex more. This and the combination of hot sex with these women, spikes his wanting or carnal need for more sex. Ice is a single man and  one of the women he has these sex flings with is married, but then something comes knocking his life out of portion.

Darick Spears has masterfully woven the stories of Ice during his sex craved moments and has given readers an insight at how these actions can lead to issues. It isn’t until the very ending where Ice will experience the biggest surprise and consequence of all. Readers will be left in suspense as to what happens next after Ice gets the wind of his doings. Who the woman is and what will follow next leads readers more piqued than before. Sex Tells is definitely for fans of Fifty Shades. Hot explicit sex scenes are found throughout this well-developed and well-written novel. Darick Spears is a new author on his way launching novels, that will grab readers in fast and leave them wondering. I highly recommend this to readers who like sexy, intense, and powerful reads.


Modern Girl: Chapter 2 – Revised

Modern Girl

Chapter 2

Family Issues

Okay, so I shared with you a bit on my early disasters with guys and a bit of my whole life summed up. But now, wait for it…..wait for it……yes, you now get a full sneak of my family issues that I had to deal with.

Oh, boring right? Well, wrong. These aren’t just issues but a peak into how I completely embarrass myself constantly.

At the end of my ninth grade year, my dad had left us. He left all three of kids with his parents. If it weren’t for his parents, I don’t what or who I would be today as of right this moment. I could be a totally evil, illiterate, hillbilly who had no life goals. How…disappointing..I instead turned out to be a pro reader, and unfortunately have more life goals than I know what and how to achieve them all.

So, my siblings and I went through one hell of a shocker when dad left and never said a goodbye. That’s when I lost all respect that I did have for my father. It was gone. Nada. Goodbye! Hello, grandparents!

I love my grandparents, however, we kids had a rough time not getting yelled at because we were kids we make mistakes and like most kids we blamed the other kids. I being the oldest of the bunch was the worse one when it came to accepting all responsibility. My brother, the middle kid, end of taking all the blame. I mean who would go blaming a beautiful baby girl, the youngest and the baby of te family for doing something wrong? No one that’s who!

I kind of realized what I was doing..and at the same time, I still blamed my brother. I was te most immature older sister anyone has ever meet. One word I would use to describe my younger self was a brat! Yes, I can admit I was an obnoxious outrageous little pest in the whole world. No denial here. Just a lot of shame, that I was like that.

Probably drove my little brother nuts. I don’t know. Anyway, my siblings were straight A students since kindergarten. Me….I did well in kindergarten got passed onto the first grade and then got held back a year. I remember those days. I couldn’t talk to former classmates because I was so humiliated by my lack of intelligence at the time. I wanted to hide in a wall somewhere, unfortunately all the walls were perfectly flat no crevices to hide in at all. I was a loner from first grade up until my third grade year.

So, everyday my siblings would come home with perfect grades. All A’s. Me…I was making D’s in math in everything we did in the awful subject. I still hate it to this day. It wasn’t until 8th grade that I finally made a B in everything I did in Math. Yeah, late bloomer. I was a major disappointment as an older sibling. My younger siblings loved the outdoors, were into sports and super smart. Me …I lacked in smarts, I preferred indoors, hated sports, and liked my solitude. Sounds like a loser right? I sure acted like one.

Growing up without a proper mom, sucked. I had no one to talk to about boys, my feelings, or girl stuff with. My 5th grade year, I got my girl thing. A year before everyone else. I was on the hot school bus on our way home, when I realised something was wrong with me. It wasn’t until I got home, I realized why. How embarrassing right? I had to go up to my grandma and tell her. I didn’t feel comfortable telling her nor telling someone like my dad. But, I had to tell somebody right?

Sixth grade came around and all the other girls got theirs. I felt like a wise old woman. Because I knew everything about having the girl thing. So, a lot of girls were coming up to me asking questions. Felt nice to know something that everyone else didn’t know about yet and to be looked up to. Made me feel great for a time being. Then I got into major trouble because I befriended a girl who was boy crazy. I wrote notes to guys to meet me in the library, and I never gave the notes to these guys…and well. My grandma went through my drawers, found the notes..and guess what?

She thought me, a sixth grader wrote these notes to the guys to meet me in our school library to have sex!

I didn’t know what that word meant or what it was about. But man, looking back at that day and what my grandma jumped to made me feel worried of what she thought of me as her granddaughter. I mean I was only 12 years old. What twelve-year-old girl thinks about sex at the age? Okay maybe now-a-days girls might, but back then hell no, we didn’t. I told my grandma no repeatedly to that outrageous thought but she didn’t believe me at all. How do you convince someone you’re not lying when they already perceive you as guilty so fast? I didn’t know what to do or to say to change her mind. It’s funny though…because I can’t lie worth a dime. It’s easy to tell when I do lie. I can try to lie but I know I will never get away with it, unless half of the story is true. But, I was telling the whole truth and yet, I wasn’t believed. Adults! Omg…

They think they know everything…

However, being an adult myself, it’s not easy. I don’t know everything. I have my faults, fears, and bad days. I do try to be the best I can be but most days, I feel like I fail rather than succeed.

My grandma is the strictest person I know. But she also is the move loving grandma I know. She loves you so much that she can’t let go of some of her old habits and ways of doing things. It’s the modern-day and time, yet she and now my grandpa struggle with letting us have freedom to make mistakes. So, every time we did make mistakes, and we did make a lot of them, they would jump down on us fast! Like a German Shepard jumping down on a robber who broke in. Yikes!!!!

My grandpa use to be that cool guy who let us go to everything, which left my grandma playing the bad cop role 99.99999% of the time.

Now, it’s just they are so worried about us kids especially, with the way the world has been turning out. Going to college, doesn’t look like fun anymore. Gun shooters everywhere. Random colleges been victims of these horrible crimes. Maybe doing college online is one’s safest bet. Right? What could possible go wrong with online classes? Um…maybe the price!

If your grandparent tells you to sweep of the deck and you do it too slow beware, they will attack. Just like a snake always trying to strike at your heel. I swept the porch too slow..got yelled at. I swept it faster, I got yelled at for sweeping it the wrong way!

So, then they come out take the broom from me and sweep it themselves. And then it comes…my being lefty is the reason I wasn’t doing sweeping it right! Really? Come on! Of all the things for an excuse to yell and that’s why? I was sweeping the deck off wasn’t I?

Days like that made me angrier that a swarm of bees when something tries attacking their hive.

Family, you got to love them.

Love them for their worst, love them for their best, love them because love is the best gift of all.

Modern Girl – Revised

Modern Girl

Chapter 1

Boy Drama

So, what does a girl do when the cutest guy comes up to her and starts showing off without even asking her name? She just stands there and silently, “Uh huh, sure you did.” But because he’s so cute you let him think he’s lured you in like a fisherman reeling his biggest catch.

It’s not until my junior year in high school that his true colors began to show. A guy I thought so highly of. One who I could talk to and think he actually listened or cared. It took a one time trip outside the double doors of our church to find out, that he was nothing but a true jerk! What kind of guy, who acts nice to you for so many years, goes behind your back and make fun of a girl? That’s it. No, more nice girl. No more, I’m going to believe every word you say.

It was high time, I changed. Everyone thought that I could easily be mislead. Yes, I was mislead. But, not with everything. Just gave people the benefit of the doubt. Was that such a crime?

Heck no, it wasn’t. But it didn’t matter much when my own family didn’t place too much into, who I wanted to become or how I wanted to become it. I had a lot of trouble, when I was younger. I didn’t learn to read until my first term in a private school. I finally could read those Disney kids’ book by the time September came. Now, I can’t go anywhere without a book in my hands. My room is cluttered full of them. I never had the time nor privilege to test out the dating waters like my girlfriends or like my other peers were able to. That bucket list that every sixteen year old girl has…well, mine never happened.

I didn’t receive my first kiss, until I was twenty-two. Yeah, and even then it was with a guy, who turned out to be nothing but a player and a real jerk. I thought he was cool in the bad boy kind of way, but boy did I let boys get to me then. I practically skipped my college courses just to be with a boy. My family wouldn’t let me go away to college. It wasn’t like my grades in high school were that great. I barely scrapped with a 3.0 my senior year.

Anyway, I screwed up my college education and finally returned, after three years. I wasn’t sure what to do career wise. The small town college didn’t have the desired college degree I wanted. Oh yeah, English was my favorite class. I loved to write. I remembered always having a new poem to bring to my English class to show to my girlfriend, Tori, at the time. She would always ask, “how do you  do it?”

Honestly, I didn’t have an answer. I just wrote. I stuck with poetry because it was like a secret diary that allowed me to let off steam whenever I needed to or to let down some of my greatest fears or let out my tears. I tried using a diary to write in every day. I did do that. But then, I spent so much time writing in it, that my grandmother went through and read random pages. Let’s just say, she didn’t like what I wrote. Even if it was the honest truth written down in there. Back then, I was always in trouble with my grandma. My dad would say think before you speak or act. It was common sense. He said it so much that I believed God just didn’t give me any and so next time they would say use common sense, and I would yell back saying I didn’t have any. They would then think I was dumber than before. Wow..great support. Family was always to have your back. In this case, it was I love you but you’re not going to make it far in anything with that attitude. I had an attitude? I never went around saying they needed common sense. 

Okay so back to boys, I remember my eighth grade year, I was in science class. I saw this really cute guy. I saw him before but still didn’t know who he was other than we have been attending school together for a while. Our science teacher that year was nuts. What kind of science teacher has you watch boring videos because he’s too grouchy because his wife who also happened to be a science teacher was expecting? He was more worried about his basketball coaching stuff then teaching us students. Fine with me right? Well, one day our teacher told us that to make someone smile all we had to do was draw a smiley face on one finger and wiggle it while saying smile. I was about to roll my eyes at the cute guy and say, “Can you believe how lame this is?”

But just as I turned around to do so, the cute guy was busying testing out our science teacher’s lesson. And…it worked. I couldn’t stop smiling that day. After the day, we talked in class everything. I was still shell-shocked that a super cute guy who was also smart, funny, and charming didn’t mind talking to me in class or outside of class. It was nice. I went from feeling shy to enjoying the fact that he thought I was not invisible. It was a nice change. Not too many guys ever talked to me. Except for one other. And he turned out to be a jerk later on.

One day during lunch no matter what the cute guy did, I wouldn’t smile. Not even for the smiley face. So, he walked away and never sat with my girlfriends and I again. One of my first best friend that I ever made just looked at me like, “Are you insane?! Go after him!” But, I didn’t.  I didn’t go after him. I was such an idiot and it wasn’t until our sophomore year in high school that I totally regretted that fatal day. One of the other girls, mentioned to me that he told her to tell me that he didn’t want to be friends anymore. I was shocked. I know now I shouldn’t have been that shocked but I was. I was really, really, really shocked. Other than the one day of being a bit down. I didn’t do anything to cause him to not want to be my friend. Right? 

Well, I had to ask her to repeat it to me a few more times before the news took over and made feel worse. I was a waking talking disaster. Hopeless. Or was that a sign that my high school career would also be just as much as a disaster? I wasn’t sure. But a girl could dream right?

Book Review: So..This is Awkward by Timothy Tuttlesmith

So..This is Awkward by Timothy Tuttlesmith is truly an outstanding memoir that leads readers on a journey of discovery. A path that Timothy Tuttlesmith engages his readers with turns out to be funny, hot, delightfully entertaining. Here the man moves to New York where he decides to take on online dating explores things such as his exploration of BDSM. Readers will love reading this story because it’s realistic, well written and lures them deep into the depth of the plot as it continues to unfold. I enjoyed reading this because the character’s personality and his relationship and discoveries made for a stunning read. A nerdy, decent, and a little bit wild kind of guy who searches for the girl of his dreams. So..This is Awkward explores a theme that will touch many readers’ hearts and keep them coming back to read his next masterpiece. Overall, I rate this a five out of five stars and recommend to everyone.

Book Review: Letters to Zerky by Bill Raney



Letters to Zerky, is a beautifully told non-fiction book that tells of a father writing postcards to his son about all the adventures in Europe. The wife kept a book about everything that happened and when she passed away, Bill Raney took that book and retold the adventures they all had by using his story telling skills. His story telling skills are amazing. The pages are filled with visual pictures of the events as they are happening just by his words. They pop to life. This story talks about the different cultures and how sometimes are greatest worries are our lesser problems. The book changes one’s perspective on the different cultures such as the Iranians. There was a moment when they let an Iranian man take their son upon his lap for a horse ride. They stood their breathless, watching as the man ran away with their son! Their worries and sadness grew for their son, but soon realized that they worried for no such reason. The Iranian man came back with the son, Zerky. How happy they all were then! There are many other culture differences within their adventures that hold exciting and intoxicating adventures ready for readers to begin their timeless journey following Zerky, his parents and their dog all over Europe! I highly enjoyed following all over as they traveled and experienced different cultures and people. I thought this was the most exciting novel that I have read so far! I would definitely recommend this stunning novel to readers allover the world! I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars!