Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Look Back At January 2016

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I had a very productive reading and reviewing month. I hope it's indicative of the sort of year I'll have for the rest of 2016.

Total Books Read: 43
Paperbacks: 17
Ebooks: 20
Audiobooks: 6
Requested Reviews:  38 
From TBR shelf: 6

Genres Read
Cozy mystery: 10
Fantasy: 2
Literary Fiction: 1
Mystery/Thriller: 6
Young Adult: 4
Christian Fiction: 2
Memoir/Biography: 3
Children's: 3
Women's Fiction: 4
Self-Help: 1
Classics: 2
Other: 5

Titles Read
Shamrock Shenanigans by Kathi Daley
A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly
A Free Unsullied Land by Maggie Kast
Stabbing In The Senate by Colleen J. Shogan
Last Dance By Joyce and Jim Lavene
Thread and Gone by Lea Wait
Swan Deception by Glede Browne Kabongo
14 Days To Die by A.B. Whelan
The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth
Whispers In The Reading Roomy by Shelley Gray
All In Her Head by Sunny Mera
A Day With Moo by Kerry McQuaide
Dee And Deb Off They Go-Kindergarten First Day Jitters by Donna McDine
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
The Memory Box by Eva Lesko Natiello
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Sweet Pepper Hero by J.J. Cook
Zimmerman Academy: The New Normal by Kathi Daley
The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
George by Alex Gino
Karma's A Killer by Tracy Weber
How To Grow An Addict by J.A. Wright
Dante's Gift by Aubrey Wynne
Caskets From Costco by Kelly Wilson
Gunfight At Grace Gulch by Darlene Franklin
Journey Beyond The Trauma by Dr. J. Denee
His Father Still by Tim Hollister
Double Doubt by Ann Hammerton
We Are All The Same by Jim Wooten
Anthem by Ayn Rand
Game Of Fear by Glede Browne Kabongo
Silly Elephant by Nadh Poduri
Follow Me Home by Cathy Woodman
Gone By Midnight by Joyce and Jim Lavene
The Ravine by Robert Pascuzzi
A Disguise To Die For by Diane Vallere
My Name Is Not Friday by Jon Walter
Murder On Wheels by Lynn Cahoon
Be Still My Beading Heart by Janice Peacock
Risen by Angela Elwell Hunt
Elemental Kingdoms: Darkness Descends by Peter and Lauren Arvo
Persuasion by Jane Austen

Favorite Book For January

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The Ravine by Robert Pascuzzi

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Book Information
Genre: Supernatural mystery and suspense
  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Hope Messenger, LLC (March 19, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615982999
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615982991

Synopsis: Are you ready to explore and question your own views on faith, hope, forgiveness and the afterlife? 

On a typical weekday morning in a peaceful suburb of Akron, Ohio, the town awakens to discover that Rachel Turner and her son, Evan have been brutally murdered during the night. A short while later, Danny Turner is found in his car at the bottom of a ravine, after having taken his own life. Any explanation as to why a loving father and husband would suddenly commit a series of such heinous crimes has gone to the grave with the accused.

The mystery only deepens as the details of the murders emerge, and evidence of premeditation as well as Danny’s hidden past are revealed.

Subsequently, Rachel’s closest friend, Carolyn Bianci, sinks into a deep depression, while her husband, Mitch, copes with his despair by attempting to uncover the facts of the crime. Eventually they encounter Joanna Larson, a fascinating woman who possesses extraordinary spiritual gifts. Through Joanna, the truth about the events that took place the night of the murders are unveiled. The answers Mitch and Carloyn get are beyond their human understanding.

Inspired by true events, The Ravine is a story of faith, forgiveness, and most of all, the restoration of hope—even for the most seemingly unredeemable among us.

Review: I chose to read this book because I had heard that it was a Christian book, based on a true story, and with themes of forgiveness and hope.  While it does focus on forgiveness and hope, much of the "theology" presented is not supported by the Christian beliefs I have held for most of my life.

Regardless of that issue, I still found this to be a story worth reading. Reading about the events which led up to the horrific crime, and then about the aftermath, where friends and family tried to deal with what happened and to understand why was heartbreaking. When it came to the portion of the story regarding Joanna, however, I found it difficult to accept. Including her in the story is what caused my rating to drop from four to three stars. In my opinion, her character pulled the story toward the occult more than the religious.

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating: Three stars

About the author
 photo 8127413_zpsquro7eao.jpg Robert Pascuzzi is an entrepreneur, husband and father from the Midwest whose comfortable existence was shattered due to a horrendous crime that impacted him and his family. In the wake of that tragedy, he was led on a spiritual journey that challenged his core beliefs. Compelled to share what he learned, this book was born.

Cloak And Dagger Reading Challenge: January Update

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1) Shamrock Shenanigans by Kathi Daley
2) Stabbing In The Senate by Colleen J. Shogan
3) Last Dance by Joyce and Jim Lavene
4) Thread And Gone by Lea Wait
5) 14 Days To Die by A. B. Whelan
6) The Memory Box by Eva Lesko Natiello
7) Sweet Pepper Hero by J. J. Cook
8) Zimmerman Academy: The New Normal by Kathi Daley
9) Karma's A Killer by Tracy Weber
10) Gunfight At Grace Gulch by Darlene Franklin
11) Double Doubt by Ann Hammerton
12) Game Of Fear by Glede Browne Kabongo
13) A Disguise To Die For by Diane Vallere
14) Murder On Wheels by Lynn Cahoon
15) Be Still My Beading Heart by Janice Peacock

Friday, January 29, 2016

RELEASE BLITZ: Sunstone by Holly Barbo

BOOK TOUR: Journey Beyond The Trauma by Dr. J. Denee

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Title: Journey Beyond the Trauma: Simple Practices of Resilence for 
Survivors of Sexual Abuse
Author: Dr. J. Denee
Pages: 99
Genre: Self-help

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Synopsis: Journey Beyond the Trauma: Simple Practices of Resilience for Survivors of Sexual Abuse goes right to the heart of the issues related to abuse. It shares the impacts of abuse and offers simple, yet, practical strategies and information to help survivors reclaim and restore their lives. Dr. J. Denee’ guides readers through a 30-day journey to jumpstart their innate resilience. Journey Beyond the Trauma helps survivors to:

· Take responsibility for your healing and your life
· Transform into your authentic self
· Identify and manage triggers
· Turn emotional pain into progression
·  Develop self-acceptance and reclaim self-worth
· Embrace resilience as a way of life

For More Information

  • Journey Beyond the Trauma is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Review: This book resonated with me as I have a family member who is an abuse survivor, with whom I plan to share it in the near future.  Each of the six pillars of the 30 day journey includes a section on "Working On Common Challenges," as well as "Resilience Practice" for continued work on that pillar. The author is a survivor herself, so she knows what she is talking about, and is very empathetic to other survivors.

All you need to start the journey is determination, this book, and 30 days.  Highly recommend it for all women who have survived sexual abuse and feel they need help to move past it.

Rating: Four stars

About the author
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Juanita D. Ashby-Bey, PhD, known as Dr. J. Denee’, is a sexual abuse speaker, author, and resilience expert who specializes in helping women survivors of sexual abuse to rebuild their lives. A survivor of sexual abuse herself, Dr. J. Denee’ has been dedicated to the prevention, intervention, and recovery of sexual abuse issues and other traumas for the past 10 years. She received her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins University.
After coming to an understanding of the extent to which the sexual abuse and trauma she suffered as a child had profoundly affected his life, Dr. J. Denee’ traveled her own personal road of recovery and resilience, and made a firm decision to help build awareness about sexual abuse and to empower and support other sexual abuse survivors and the professionals who engage with survivors along the path to recovery.
As an educator, Dr. J. Denee’ spent many years researching and applying intervention strategies to help people transform themselves and discovery new possibilities. Leveraging her 15 years of experience as an educator at the collegiate and K-12 school levels in the capacities of administration, accreditation, evaluator, professor and teacher, Dr. J. Denee’s approach includes practical and research-based intervention strategies that are designed to produce results that guide women to more loving relationships with themselves and others. She helps women to tackle feelings of powerlessness by finding their voice, build emotional muscle to manage anger and rage, rebuild and establish healthy relationships rather than sabotaging them, and to learn how to effectively establish, respect, and protect personal boundaries for themselves.
Dr. J. Denee’ is an acclaimed speaker who is available to conducts seminars, workshops, keynote addresses, and panel discussions. She empowers her audience to tap into their internal ability to persevere, recreate themselves, express their individuality, and welcome and manage life’s simple and complex challenges successfully. With an interactive and inspirational delivery, Dr. J. Denee’ provides her audience with an effective toolkit of strategies that help women survivors of sexual abuse transform their lives and create authentic happiness, joy, and progress.
“Beyond the Trauma… Living Triumphantly” is the ultimate goal that Dr. J. Denee’ desires for all survivors. Dr. J. Denee’s upcoming, inaugural book, Beyond The Trauma – Simple Practices of Resilience for Survivors of Sexual Abuse is available for pre-sales and will be released in September 2015.
For More Information

Thursday, January 28, 2016

COVER REVEAL: Murder at Morningside by Sandra Bretting

Inside the Book:

Title: Murder at Morningside 
Author: Sandra Bretting 
Publisher: Lyrical Underground 
Genre: Mystery 
Format: Ecopy

Hat designer Missy DuBois opened her shop, Crowning Glory, along Louisiana’s Great River Road to cater to the sophisticated Southern bride. But bless her heart, who knew creating stylish wedding veils would lead to murder?

Hired to craft a veil for a socialite getting married at Morningside Plantation means Missy can bask in the height of antebellum atmosphere. But when the bride is found dead in a women’s bathroom, Missy the milliner finds herself entangled in one unfashionable murder. With the list of suspects thicker than the sweltering Louisiana heat, including a gaggle of bridesmaids shedding nary a tear and a family with no shortage of enemies, it seems anyone at the mansion may have done away with the bride-to-be. While Missy has Southern charm to spare, she’s going to need more than manners and a manicure to put a hat pin on this murderous affair . . .

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Meet the Author

Sandra Bretting has served as a freelance feature writer for the Houston Chronicle since moving to Texas in 1996. She received a journalism degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, and spent her early career in healthcare public relations at medical centers throughout Southern California. Other publications for which she’s written include the Los Angeles Times and Woman’s Day. Readers can visit her website at

Follow Me Home by Cathy Woodman

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Book Information
Genre: Women's Fiction
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus; Reprint edition (July 15, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605988006
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605988009

Synopsis: A charming and poignant romp through the love affairs—both hound and human—of a country-village midwife, from the international bestselling author of City Girl, Country Vet, set in Talyton St George, Britain's most romantic town.

Life has been tough lately for Zara, a recently divorced country midwife. Now living with her grandmother, it is hardly the ideal situation in which to get her life back on track. And then one day, love walks in, in the form of an abandoned puppy. From the start, Zara feels in over her head: she knows nothing about dogs, and has been afraid of them for most of her life. Yet she quickly comes to adore her new friend, despite the fact that the puppy causes havoc wherever they go. She is grateful when a local shepherd, Lewis, offers to help train her. But Lewis has an ulterior motive for helping. And though Zara may be able to trust him with her naughty dog, can she trust him with her bruised heart?

Review: This is a fascinating tale with several layers. One is the romance between Zara, the midwife, and Lewis, the shepherd. Another is the strained relationship between Zara and her ex-husband. Yet another is the relationship between Zara and her grandmother, who has dementia that is steadily worsening.

While this book is the eighth in a series, it stands on its own with no issue. There is nothing to make the reader feel as if they don't understand or have missed out on something.

This story is about love, friendship, family, life in a small village, and hope. The characters are realistically written, flaws and all, and the story is very well told.  I also enjoyed the relationships which many characters had with their canine or feline friends.

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating: Four stars

About the author
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I began my working life as a small-animal vet. Like turning the pages in a book, I was never quite sure what was going to happen at the surgery next. From the sausage dog who swallowed a sewing needle to the telly addict of a rabbit who lost an eye to infection, there was never a dull moment.

I have always loved to read, escaping into all kinds of novels during those long nights on call, but I didn’t have much time to pursue writing until after my children were born and I gave up full-time work to look after them. I joined a creative writing group and entered all the writing competitions I could find.

My break into becoming a published author came in 2002 when I was joint winner of the Harry Bowling First Novel Award. At the award ceremony, I met Laura Longrigg of MBA Literary Agents who signed me up on delivery of a finished manuscript.

In April 2003, Laura rang to say that Headline were offering me a two book deal. I had to dial 1471 to check she really had called me and I wasn’t dreaming.

My first novel, Under The Bonnet, was published in November 2004. My second, Our House, was published in 2005, the third, Family Matters in 2006, and the fourth, The Boy Next Door in 2007.

Since then, I’ve been working on an exciting new project, a series of novels about The Otter House Vets, a fictional practice set in a quiet Devonshire market town. Trust Me, I’m a Vet, which will be published in paperback by Arrow Books in April 2010, closely followed by the second book in September 2010.

Since I last updated my website, my menagerie of animals has grown, much to my family’s delight. We now share our lives with two cats, three mad Border Terriers, two ponies and two pet rats which we found abandoned to starve in a cage in the woods nearby. You should have heard my husband’s sigh of resignation when I told him we were bringing them home!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

His Father Still: A Parenting Memoir by Tim Hollister

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Book Information
Genre: Memoir
  • Paperback: 314 pages
  • Publisher: Argo-Navis (September 15, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786756314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786756315

Synopsis: Reid Hollister was a rambunctious, handsome, and sometimes rebellious teenager. While he delighted many friends with humor and antics, he struggled as a student, regularly tested his parents’ patience, and chafed at efforts to guide and discipline him. As he began his senior year in a private high school, Reid suddenly found himself accused of misconduct, which he vehemently denied. Several days later, driving on a highway, Reid died in a one-car crash.

His Father Still: A Parenting Memoir is, first, Reid’s father’s disarmingly candid account of the tumult of parenting Reid through his teenage years, and then confronting the unthinkable obligations of a father to a son after a sudden tragedy. But this book is about much more than parenting and grief. In the months following Reid’s crash, as Tim Hollister worked to steady himself and his family, he found himself consumed by an accelerated need to answer two questions: Had he been a good father? And in raising his son, had he struck the right balance between exposing him to life’s risks while protecting him from life’s dangers?

Answers came in large part from a flood of condolences conveyed through letters and emails, and also in social media posts -- which at the time, 2006, were a brand-new phenomenon. From these messages emerged a mosaic of Reid’s character and personality that was barely known to Tim while Reid was alive because, as parents raise teens by “letting out the tether,” they see less of and know less about their kids. Thus, after Reid’s passing, Tim learned more about his son than he had known while Reid was alive. While this portrait arrived too late, it was not unwelcome; Reid’s crash and its aftermath eventually segued to Tim forging these new insights into the foundation of a renewed relationship with his son that was, if nothing else, a sustainable way forward.

This book is, therefore, remarkable not only for its honesty but also for its forays into a breadth of universal issues, topics that shaped both Tim ‘s experience as a father while Reid was alive and his reconstruction of their parent-child bond after the crash: balancing protection and freedom when raising a teen; delivering discipline; reacting to a school’s contested accusation of misconduct; supervising a teen driver; writing an obituary and eulogy for a teen; composing condolence messages, especially through social media; preserving and then giving away a deceased’s possessions; using the aftermath of tragedy to rebuild a frayed relationship; counting blessings; establishing an enduring connection with a loved one who has passed away; and harnessing the power of communities to care for those reeling from a sudden loss.

Review: This story is heart-wrenching in the beginning, as we read about the accident which took Reid's life, and the pain of his parents in the aftermath. By the end, however, you can feel the hope and continued love. 

Tim speaks from his heart and gives everyone a clear view of what it is like to raise a teenager. His great love for his son, as well as his intense grief, is evident all throughout the book.

I would recommend this book to every parent.

Rating: Four stars

About the author
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Tim Hollister is an environmental attorney who has been ranked among the Best Lawyers in America. After Reid’s crash in 2006, Tim became an advocate for safer teen driving. In 2009, he launched a national blog for parents of teen drivers, “From Reid’s Dad,”, and in 2013 he published Not So Fast: Parenting Your Teen Through the Dangers of Driving (Chicago Review Press), In 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation honored Tim’s advocacy with the nation’s highest civilian award for traffic safety, and in 2014, the Governors Highway Safety Association recognized Not So Fast with its own national public service award. Tim has appeared on the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, the “Home and Family Show” on the Hallmark Channel, and Kyra Phillips’ Raising America on HLN. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and daughter.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Gone By Midnight by Joyce and Jim Lavene

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Synopsis: Fans of Joyce and Jim Lavene will thrill at this collection of thirteen short stories—many are set in the worlds of their national bestselling mystery series, including the Missing Pieces Mysteries, the Renaissance Faire Mysteries, the Retired Witches Mysteries, and an upcoming mystery novel! 
These stories contain the elements of mystery and fantasy the Lavenes are famous for, as well as some new things their readers have never seen. Several stories feature characters interacting with ghosts, magic, and the supernatural—the healing woman in “Courtship;” the Civil War widow in “One with the Darkness;” the city girl who summons a wizard from the past in “The Magician and the Sorceress/Accountant;” and the young introvert in “Aunt Edna” who finds her calling with help from a ghostly visitor. 
Poignant, charming, and captivating, Joyce and Jim Lavene bring their characteristic wit and heart to these stories and introduce each one with a passage about its origin or how it ties into the universe they’ve created. Gone by Midnight is a treasury of tales that will delight the mind and touch the heart from one of the most prolific writing duos of our time. 

Review: I tend to LOVE anything written by the Lavenes, so that was what I expected from this short story collection. As you can see from my 3 star rating, I was disappointed in what I read, at least in part. Following are a list of titles and my individual rating for each story. They vary widely, from four stars to one star. 

1) Aunt Edna- 4 stars
2) Inn Of Many Pleasures- 1 star
3) Ghost Dance--3 stars
4) Assassin--3 stars
5) The Courtship--3 stars
6)The Singing Trees Of Jappa--2 stars
7) The Magician and the Sorceress-Accountant--4 stars
8) Fargan Rum--2 stars
9) One With The Darkness--4 stars
10) Cold Karma--4 stars
11) Alice in Renaissance Were-Land--4 stars
12) Gone By Midnight--4 stars
13) Spirit Warrior--3 stars

Rating: Three stars

About the authors
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Joyce Lavene and Jim Lavene are a wife and husband team who have written and published more than 70 books since 1999. They live in North Carolina with their family and enjoy cooking, photography and ghost hunting. 

BOOK BLITZ: In The Dark by Chris Patchell

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Book Information
Title: In The Dark
Author: Chris Patchell
Genre: Thriller, Suspense
  • Paperback: 478 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (September 10, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1514790068
  • ISBN-13: 978-1514790069

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Synopsis: When the worst happens and her daughter goes missing, a mother will do anything to find her…

Marissa Rooney’s daughter, Brooke, has been missing for days. Her roommate hasn’t seen her since that night in the bar. Standing in the middle of her daughter’s dorm room with a half-used vial of insulin clenched in her hand, Marissa comes to the terrifying realization that if she has Brooke’s insulin, it means that Brooke does not.

The missing person’s investigation takes a sudden and deadly turn when the police discover the body of another college student who went missing a week before Brooke. Desperate to find her daughter, Marissa fears time is running out.

But she isn’t alone in her terror. A phantom from Marissa’s past is lurking in the shadows, waiting in the night, and holding her family captive…In the dark. 

"An edge-of-your-seat suspense novel. It scared the hell out of me. Read it with the lights on!"–Robert Dugoni, Amazon #1 and New York Times bestselling author of My Sister's Grave

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When Chris Patchell isn’t hiking in the Cascade Mountains or hanging out with family and friends, she is working at her hi-tech job or writing gritty suspense novels. Why suspense? Chris blames her obsession with the dark on two things: watching Stephen King movies as a kid and spending ridiculous amounts of time commuting in Seattle traffic. Learn more about Chris and her books or follow her on Facebook at

Monday, January 25, 2016

BOOK TOUR: Caskets From Costco by Kelly Wilson

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Book Information
Author: Kelly Wilson
Publisher: Gravity
Pages: 182
Genre: Memoir/Humor

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Synopsis: For twenty years, I thought that I had been marching through the stages of grief in a straight line. I had been following the formula, crossing each processed grief experience off my list.

Except that I was totally deluded. And I didn’t discover that until Jim, my beloved father-in-law, died. I found myself drying off from my shower the morning after his death, really hoping he couldn’t see me naked. Or, if he could, that he was averting his eyes.

From that moment, my path through grief resembled a roller coaster, spiraling and twisting and turning, circling back around. Echoes of past trauma, including childhood abuse and cheating death, would no longer be ignored. I somehow needed to get from the beginning to the end of this grief adventure, and I don't have a good sense of direction.

But what is always present during a journey through grief, regardless of the path chosen?


Caskets From Costco is a funny book about grief that demonstrates the certainty of hope and healing in an uncertain and painful world.

For More Information
Caskets From Costco is available at Amazon.
Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Review: Who would have thought that a book about death and grief would be so full of laughs? Unlike most memoirs I've read recently, this one doesn't tell the story of someone who survives abuse or addiction, but is a story that the average person can read and find themselves nodding as they recognize themselves in the words.

Yes, the author did deal with OCD, PPD, depression, sexual abuse and loss, but those things aren't presented in depressing graphic detail. She tells us her life story with honesty and humor.  Hers is a story which I actually enjoyed reading.

**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

Rating: Four stars

About the author
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Kelly Wilson is an author and comedian who entertains and inspires with stories of humor, healing, and hope. She is the author of Live Cheap & Free, Don’t Punch People in the Junk, and Caskets From Costco, along with numerous articles and short stories for children and adults. Kelly Wilson currently writes for a living and lives with her Magically Delicious husband, junk-punching children, dog, cat, and stereotypical minivan in Portland, Oregon.
For More Information
Visit Kelly Wilson’s website.
Connect with Kelly on Facebook and Twitter.
Find out more about Kelly at Goodreads.

Book Excerpt:
I get lost using a GPS.
Don’t get me wrong, I use a GPS when I’m trying to find my way, but it’s more of a security blanket than anything else. It doesn’t necessarily offer the security of correct directions, but the GPS fits snugly into my palm as I carry it around, just in case.
Why carry a GPS if it’s so useless? Because I have no sense of direction. I understand the compass rose in theory, but my navigational skills consist of, “Head down that one road that goes by the Beaver’s Inn and turn left and then right at the crooked tree. What do you mean, is that north or south? I don’t know, it’s left, just do it.”
I get lost. A lot.
So I carry around the GPS and occasionally feel the need to turn it on and consult a map. But I have found through my many years of getting lost that even though there’s a map in front of me, this doesn’t guarantee that I will get from Point A to Point B without detours or diversions.
Kind of like the grief process.
When I was in college, I learned that there were five stages in order to appropriately process grief. They are locked in my memory as the acronym “DABDA,” which stands for Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance, terms coined by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross.
I bought into this concept with my whole being, interpreting the process as set-in-stone directions for grieving – a Grief Positioning System, if you will. I was going to navigate quickly and efficiently through my past trauma, happily leaving it behind me. There was nothing I wanted to do more than “Get Over IT,” whatever IT happened to be.
I wrote out my list of difficult experiences from which I wanted to be free, greatly anticipating the person I would become once my checklist of grief was completed.
That was over twenty years ago. Currently, none of the items are crossed off.
I had missed a fundamental principle: While there may be a Grief Positioning System with directions for navigation, there are often several ways to get from Point A to Point B.
For awhile, I was angry with the stages of grief theory and claimed it was fundamentally flawed as a Grief Positioning System, blaming it and Kubler-Ross for leading me astray. As usual, though, my misunderstanding of her work was the result of what we call in the technological world “Operator Error,” like when the printer isn’t printing and I think something is wrong with it, but it’s actually because I didn’t turn the blasted thing on.
Upon further reflection on the work of Kubler-Ross (after reading it again), I have decided that I may have been a little zealous about this set-in-stone linear map regarding the stages of grief.
But this led to the liberating realization that while stages of grief provide some helpful direction, a Grief Positioning System is not required to navigate this particular kind of journey.
This is my messy, circular, spiraling-up-and-down grief journey navigated with large doses of humor.
And without a map.