Monday, May 18, 2015

From Left to Write: The Mapmaker's Children by Sarah McCoy

I received this book the Saturday before Mother's Day, and expected to use it as an escape from such a painful weekend. These plans were short sided as the book deals with the two issues I wished to escape: infertility and miscarriage. Suffice to say I put the book down for a while and have only recently found it in myself to pick it back up.

Again I found myself questioning, "Am I a mother?" Society, even most friends and family, would probably say no. Yet I carried a child with half my DNA (albeit briefly). All children have at least one mother and father. Who else would be this child's mother if not me? I love Jesse with a mother's love. I grieve like only a mother could. But yet, I different.

I am not parenting like all the other mothers. I am not raising my child with all the joy and heartache that entails. Being the mother of an angel is hard. Being the mother of a living child is also hard, but in a completely different way. The two are beyond compare.

I have come to the conclusion that I am a mother. I became a mother as soon as my egg met my husband's sperm and nothing, nothing can take that from me. But I am not a parent. I stopped being a parent the moment I got the fateful call from my OB saying my numbers had fallen below 5. I believe when most people think of mothers they are actually thinking of female parents. A small distinction, but an important one to a non-parenting mother (through death, adoption, estrangement, etc). I hope one day to be a parent again to another child, one who gets to live. Then maybe Mother's Day will be cause for celebration.

This post was inspired by The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy, a novel about two women are connected by an Underground Railroad doll. Join From Left to Write on May 19th as we discuss The Mapmaker’s Children. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Monday, May 4, 2015

From Left to Write: Spinster by Kate Bolick

My life has been very different from Kate's, seeing as I married my husband at the age of 21 and continue to have a happy marriage. Yet I didn't always think my life would turn out this way. I didn't date in high school and have never gone searching for love. It's quite a coincidence that I met my husband at all, and he had to work hard to convince me to date him!

I've written before (for another FL2W book) that I'm closer to being asexual than not. I have now heard a term I think suits me perfectly: demisexual. Basically it takes a deep emotional connection for me to feel attraction to someone. If you haven't read my previous post I would recommend it, as I don't want to spend too much time on that topic in this post.

Anyway I never knew being married would be in the cards for me, especially not so young. I've always seen myself as a future mother but not so much a wife. Funny how that worked out, isn't it? Married for 5 and a half years but still not parenting. I didn't feel the need for a man in my life and had a hard time picturing that for myself. I could have easily ended up an old cat lady librarian and thought there were worse fates.

Would I have been as happy? I don't know. Throughout the past few years I've relied heavily on my husband for emotional and financial support. There have been many times where my marriage felt like the only positive aspect of my life. Maybe without him I wouldn't even be here; my depression almost got the better of me even with his help. If in this hypothetical my health didn't deteriorate as it has I think I could have been happy living as a spinster. Maybe not as happy, but you can't miss what you've never known.

This post was inspired by Spinster by Kate Bolick, who explores singledom with famous women who fashioned life on their own terms. Join From Left to Writeon May 5th as we discuss Spinster. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

AlterWorld by D. Rus

From Goodreads:
A new pandemic - the perma effect - has taken over Earth of the near future. Whenever you play your favorite online game, beware: your mind might merge with the virtual world and dump its comatose host. Woe be to those stuck forever in Tetris! And still they're the lucky ones compared to those burning alive eternally within the scorched hulls of tank simulators.
But some unfortunates - the handicapped and the terminally ill, shell-shocked army vets, wronged crime victims and other society misfits - choose to flee real life willingly, escaping to the limitless world of online sword and sorcery MMORPGs.

Once a seasoned gamer and now a terminal cancer patient, Max grasps at this final chance to preserve his life and identity. So he goes for it - goes for the promise of immortality shared with a few trusty friends and the woman he loves. Together they roam the roads of AlterWorld and sample its agony and ecstasy born of absolute freedom.
This book interested me from two different perspectives. On one hand I'm a gamer, on the other I'm chronically ill. I may not be dying from any of my illnesses, but my quality of life is quite low because of them. Would I choose to enter an MMO for all eternity if I could? Honestly I'm not sure. Maybe, but probably only if my husband came with me. Said husband is busy playing an MMO as I type but he says he isn't sure either. If I could go back in time and ask my December 2013 self (one of the lowest times of my life) I know she would have said yes in a heart beat.

I enjoyed the blend of game description and plot in this story. At parts it was like listening to a friend describe his latest D&D adventures. We have equipment stats and ability descriptions that might be hard to follow for non-gamers, but are quite familiar to those who have rolled a d20 once or twice. Yet the book is only half game, intertwined is Max's new life with other very real people and problems. As you get farther into the story the immersion gets deeper until the end when you realize for some it is no longer a game at all.

I quite enjoyed this book and immediately upon finishing went to download it's sequel: The Clan. There is a third, The Duty, already out with the forth, Inferno, releasing June 20th. According to Goodreads there is a fifth and sixth planned for the series. I would give AlterWorld 5 stars and (so far) The Clan the same. I would recommend it to other gamers and non-gamers should give it a shot too!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

From Left to Write: If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie

“It's not a prison if you've built it yourself... It's a fortress.”

Sometimes I think I'm developing agoraphobic tendencies. I spend almost all of my time Inside already, which would drive some people stir-crazy but not me. I may step Outside the back door when I let the dogs out, but I'm just as likely to watch them from the doorway. When I do go Outside it is with someone else, like my mother or my husband, which makes me feel safer. There are times when I could go to the store by myself (as I am not on any meds that keep me from driving) but I choose not to. Part of me is scared to drive when I am out of practice. Part of me is scared to go Outside alone. There was a time or two over a year ago that I actually had a panic attack about doing just that. 

I have social anxiety, sometimes quite severely. If I am alone there is a higher chance I will have to talk to someone; if my husband is there he can do the talking for me. I have a terrible sense of direction so part of me is scared of getting lost. As I said above, driving when I haven't for so long is frightening. What happens if I have a flare and can't drive myself home? Do I have valid reasons or am I just making excuses?

This is not something I've ever talked about before. It's a normal part of my life now to go Outside with an escort and I don't think about it much. Maybe I should. I have a therapist and I haven't even mentioned it to her! For now I am fine with going Outside as long as someone is with me, but how easily that could change. I wonder if I will ever be that girl who walked around Midtown Manhattan by herself again.

This post was inspired by the novel If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie,about a boy who's never been outside, thanks to his mother's agoraphobia, but ventures outside in order to solve a mystery. Join From Left to Write on January 22nd as we discuss If I Fall, If I Die. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Come, The Dark by Rebecca Hamilton Release Announcement and Giveaway

Coula Killed Me

Thanks for stopping by to view this quick announcement on Rebecca Hamilton's latest release, COME, THE DARK, book 2 in the Forever Girl series. Although this book is the second in the series, it is a complete standalone following a completely new set of characters. And you can grab your copy today for only $0.99! Still apprehensive about reading the second book in a series? Well, you can grab the prequel, HER SWEETEST DOWNFALL, off kindle--Always Free--and on January 9th, THE FOREVER GIRL will be free also, for the first time ever! Worried you might forget the date? Join the mailing list using the option on the Rafflecopter below and you'll receive a reminder on January 9th to download your free copy anytime between January 9th and 13th!


by USA Today Bestselling Author, Rebecca Hamilton
Come, the Dark 2Rose desperately wants to escape the abuse of the father who impregnated her and the dark spirits that haunt her life. Being thrust from Georgia 1961 into the era of Salem’s infamous witch trials isn’t what she had in mind, and now her daughter is left hopelessly out of reach.
The only way to return to her daughter is by facing certain death to banish the dark spirits that plague Salem. If she doesn’t eliminate these dark spirits in time, they will destroy civilization and trap her in this strange new place, ages away from her daughter.
Even if she can complete the task in time to return home to save her daughter, there’s still one problem: she’s falling in love with a man who can’t return with her. Achieving her goals will force her to choose between the only man who has never betrayed her and a daughter she can’t quite remember but will never forget.
A heart-wrenching tale of a mother’s love for her daughter, this romantic paranormal fantasy underlines the depravity of both historical and modern society while capturing the essence of sacrifice and devotion.
TRIGGER WARNING: This book deals with the sensitive subject of sexual abuse.


by USA Today Bestselling Author, Rebecca Hamilton
Beautiful blonde with dandelions At twenty-two, practicing Wiccan Sophia Parsons is scratching out a living waiting tables in her Rocky Mountain hometown, a pariah after a string of unsolved murders with only one thing in common: her.
Sophia can imagine lots of ways to improve her life, but she'd settle for just getting rid of the buzzing noise in her head. When the spell she casts goes wrong, the static turns into voices. Her personal demons get company, and the newcomers are dangerous. One of them is a man named Charles, who Sophia falls for despite her better judgment. He has connections that might help her unveil the mystery surrounding her ancestor's hanging, but she gets more than she bargains for when she finally decides to trust him. The Forever Girl is a full-length Paranormal Fantasy novel that will appeal to lovers of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, witches, vampires, ghosts, paranormal mystery, and paranormal horror.
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About the Author

BeccaRebecca Hamilton is a USA Today Bestselling Paranormal Fantasy author who also dabbles in Horror and Literary Fiction. She lives in Florida with her husband and four kids. She enjoys dancing with her kids to television show theme songs and would love the beach if it weren’t for the sand. Having a child diagnosed with autism has inspired her to illuminate the world through the eyes of characters who see things differently. She is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA and has been published internationally, in three languages. You can follow her on twitter @InkMuse

What is a Forever Girl?

Being a Forever Girl Means

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Review: City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett

"Forgetting... is a beautiful thing. When you forget, you remake yourself... For a caterpillar to become a butterfly, it must forget it was a caterpillar at all. Then it will be as if the caterpillar never was & there was only ever a butterfly. "

For some reason I'm finding it hard to review this book. It was good, I enjoyed it a lot. Robert Jackson Bennett expertly weaved together fantasy and mystery while also being a master at world building. The characters where done well and Sigrud, Shara's secretary/henchman, was amazing. The plot was compelling and I would recommend it to other fantasy and mystery lovers. However I am finding it hard to put into words why I like it. Maybe it is my brain fog getting the best of me. After reading City of Stairs I would definitely read more from this author. 

I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. It is available for sale in both paperback and kindle form at Amazon.