Posted in Guest Author, Uncategorized

Please Welcome Misty Parker and her new release!

 

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you! Today, I’ve got Misty Parker as a guest and she’s telling us a little about herself and sharing her new release with us. So here’s Misty! 🙂

Mysti Parker

 

  1. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process? Every story begins with a loose outline so that I can get my thoughts together and keep track of what comes next. I say loose because very often the characters take me somewhere completely unexpected, so it can definitely change as we go along. I guess I’m somewhere between a pantser and planner. I can pretty much write anywhere, but my favorite places are at home when the kids are in school or at my local coffee shop. Oh, and coffee…that is a necessity!!

 

  1. What inspires you to keep writing? My kids. I want to show them that perseverance and hard work pays off, that we don’t just give up when the going gets tough. And it does get tough. But I want to set a good example for them so they learn to keep working hard even when they’re not seeing results they expect.

 

  1. What advice would you give an aspiring author? Read a lot and write a lot. Get critiques from people who know your genre, and learn to accept criticism so you can grow.

 

  1. Who inspired you to keep writing? Oddly, my mom, even though I didn’t start my writing career until about six years after she passed. She used to tell me, “Can’t never could do anything.” That advice has come to mind every time I want to give up, and it keeps me going. Thanks, Mom J

 

  1. What genres do you read? Whatever looks interesting. I most enjoy romance, speculative fiction, horror, steampunk, historical nonfiction and fiction. I’m pretty eclectic in my tastes.

 

  1. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be? Less gun violence in our country. The rising incidents of not only mass murders, but single killings in our area alone are terrifying. As a mother of three, I long to send my kids out into a world where they don’t have to fear going to the movies or to church or school. My hope is that someday, we can find solutions and work together to make things better.

 

  1. If you could sit down to dinner with one author, who would it be? And why? What would you ask him or her? I’d love to talk to the late Eleanor Hibbert (aka Victoria Holt & a bunch of other pen names). I devoured her romantic suspense and historicals when I was a teen. She wrote all these back in the days before computers and internet. And the details were amazing. I’d love to ask how she researched all these things and how she wrote such a HUGE amount of material. I can barely crank out a book or two a year most of the time J

 

  1. What is your ideal vacation spot? Ft. Myers, Florida at the Lovers Key National Park. Beautiful, quiet beaches teeming with wildlife like manatees. It’s amazing.

 

  1. Do you have any writing quirks that help you write? Music. I love to play music as I write, and very often, I start making playlists of songs that help inspire scenes. The Tallenmere series is definitely musically inspired! You can find my playlists on http://www.mystiparker.com.

 

  1. What is your favorite time of day to write? Any time I get a chance and have the motivation 🙂

 

ATimeForEverything 500x750

After losing her husband and only child to the ravages of the Civil War, twenty-five-year-old Portia McAllister is drowning in grief. When she sees an ad for a live-in tutor in another town, she leaves everything behind in hopes of making a fresh start. But as a Confederate widow in a Union household, she is met with resentment from her new charge and her employer, war veteran Beau Stanford. 

Despite their differences, she and Beau find common ground and the stirrings of a second chance at love—until his late wife’s cousin, Lydia, arrives with her sights set on him. Burdened with a farm on the brink of bankruptcy, Beau is tempted by Lydia’s hefty dowry, though Portia has captured his heart. 

In another time and another place, his choice would be easy. But love seems impossible amid the simmering chaos of Reconstruction that could boil over at any moment into an all-out battle for survival. Will Beau and Portia find their way into each other’s arms, or will they be swept away by raging forces beyond their control? 

Mysti Parker
 

Mysti Parker is a wife, mother, and shameless chocoholic. While her first love is romance, including award-winning historical and fantasy romances, she enjoys writing flash fiction (the weirder the better) and children’s stories. She resides in KY with her husband, three children and too many pets.

******


 

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Posted in Entertainment

Did Someone Say More Cowbell?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’ve got nothing. I can’t think of an interesting blog post to save my life. I’ve got the dreaded disease Blogger’s Block.

I don’t know if you’ve ever had it, but mine came on gradually. I’d start writing a post and it would start off good, but then it’d dwindle down until I found myself asking, what am I trying to say? Who is going to read this?

When no answers came to me, I trashed my words and started over. I did this three times. Now I’m confessing. I have Blogger’s Block and I need a cure.

Did someone say More Cowbell?

This image courtesy of allthefreestock.com

http://allthefreestock.com/

More Cowbell is definitely the cure for this horrible illness. Don’t know what I’m talking about?

Check out this YouTube Video and you’ll understand:

More Cowbell

I know I’m dating myself here, but this was one of my favorite skits on the great Saturday Night Live show. This show started in 1975. I remember, I was a skinny teen then and it was a big deal to watch it.

I’d have my best friend spend the night. We’d stay up late eating popcorn and drinking fizzy coke, while we watched this amazing comedy show.  We’d laugh and laugh. Our fears and insecurities would become non-existent because we were having too much fun.

We’d get to school on Monday and the buzz through the halls was, “Hey did you see Saturday Night Live?”

“Wasn’t that the best?”

We’d go into great detail about what skit we thought was the funniest. Then we’d discuss SNL shows of the past, ones that were truly iconic.

Saturday Night Live has been around since 1975. This show has been making people laugh for forty-one years. It is the longest running sketch comedy show on American television.

Many young comedians have gotten their start on Saturday Night Live. Dan Aakroyd, Bill Murray, and Will Farrell, just to name a few. These stars have gone on to have major success on the big screen.

Laughter truly is the best medicine. I’m sure you’re aware that laughing secretes endorphins in your brain. Endorphins are hormones that activate our opiate receptors. They make us feel good. 🙂

Laughing also exercises your abdominal muscles and the muscles in your face. Which means it also burns calories. I bet you can see where I’m going with this one, can’t you?

But the best time to watch SNL skits is when you’re going through chemo. Because you’ll laugh, and you’ll feel better even if it’s just for a little while.

So whether you’re dealing with Blogger’s Block, or something much more serious like chemo. Just remember, the cure is More Cowbell. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today. I’ve got some other SNL favorites for you to check out. The links are below.

Steve Martin’s Skits

Top Ten Picks of SNL Skits

Weekend Update

Funniest Cats

Church Chat

Another Top Ten List of SNL Skits

What are your favorites? List them in the comments. I’d love to check them out!

Posted in Health, Personal, Uncategorized

The War on Perfection

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about New Year Resolutions. It’s funny, but I’ve noticed the same goals find their way back on my list year after year. It seems like I make these resolutions, but somewhere along the way they get forgotten as I get busy with my day to day life. As I made my list this year, I added the old “lose weight and get back into shape.” A repeat goal from previous years.

Then one of my favorite speakers, one I was able to see in person, wrote this Facebook post. She’s brilliant and strong and vulnerable all at the same time.

Her name is Anne Lamott and here’s the article.  https://www.facebook.com/AnneLamott/

In a nutshell, she talks about accepting our bodies the way they are, that dieting doesn’t work, and you’ll gain the weight back plus five pounds. It happens every time.

Then I read this post. http://www.scarymommy.com/oprah-winfrey-weight-watchers-commercial/?utm_source=FB

This one’s about Oprah Winfrey and how she bought stock in Weight Watchers and made close to seventy million dollars in one day. Now she’s their spokesperson and she’s encouraging women to step up to the plate and lose weight. She understands your battle. She’s going to fight with you and make millions off of you while you do it. I’ve always been a fan of Oprah. She’s accomplished so much in her life, but this article made me uneasy, especially after reading the previous one.

That’s when I had an epiphany. I realized our society has always socked it to us women. I’m not being sexist here. It’s true. We have millions of makeup companies who preach to us about covering up our flaws and we buy into this crap because we want to be perfect. We want to look like the air-brushed models on TV and in the magazines. But who is defining perfection for us?

The makeup companies?

The Clothing Manufacturers?

How do they know what perfection is? How did they become experts?

These companies are making millions marketing to our insecurities and selling the idea that their products will help us reach that magical state of perfection if we purchase them. Don’t feel bad. I fell for it too. But now I’m older and wiser.

I realize, we’re already perfect. All of us. How do I know? Well, here’s the thing and I realized this back in college, but forgot it somewhere along the way. No one in the world looks exactly like us. So no one can be more beautiful than us.

Our perfection is in our uniqueness.

Why in the world would we want to look like someone else? If we strive to copy someone else, we’ll always feel second best, because no one can do better than the original.

Enjoy your uniqueness. Your originality. Be the best you, you can be.

 

Image courtesy of all thefreestock.com

http://allthefreestock.com/

With that in mind, I changed my resolution from the old losing weight and getting back in shape to maintaining my health. Instead of becoming a slave to the scale and counting calories, I’m exercising to stay healthy. I may change a few of my eating habits too. I’ll eat more fruits and vegetables because they’re good for me.

My hope for the future is that our culture will change its focus. Instead of focusing on perfection. Let’s focus on health. Let’s focus on appreciating the wonderful miracle our body is and taking care of it.

Let’s focus on fighting Anorexia and Bulimia, on building women’s self-esteem instead of tearing it down.

Let’s start a War on Perfection. We can do this, you know. We’ve changed history before. We can definitely do it again.

 

Thanks for reading my post, leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you! Are you going to join me in the War on Perfection?

 

Posted in Teen

Volunteering: Another Solution to Teen Angst

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you today! I wrote this blog post about three years ago and I thought it was important enough to share again. So, even though some of the info is a little dated. It’s still relevant today.  🙂

I’m back today and I’d like to just touch on some of the teen issues that I’ve discussed in the past, for example, bullying behavior, teen depression, and teen pregnancy. What I’d like to touch on is a possible solution to these problems. 🙂

All of these behaviors are a result of pressures that the young adults feel during these tumultuous years. These years are filled with new challenges and new emotions and this is the first time teens are testing their boundaries. These are exciting and frightening times for them.

So, it’s not surprising that they make some incorrect choices. 🙂 In the past, I’ve said that parental involvement and keeping kids active in sports are ways to combat some of these negative choices. I still believe that parental involvement is very important in developing positive behaviors, but what about the kids who aren’t interested in sports? Some kids just don’t have any inclination in that direction.

Well, I’ve thought about this and I’ve discovered a solution. 🙂 You knew I had one didn’t you? What about volunteering? That’s right. I came across a wonderful organization that encourages teens to volunteer and I’m very impressed by it.

In fact, I’m working with them on a project and I’m very excited about it! But, there will be a whole blog post about that as soon as we get all the details ironed out. 🙂  So stay tuned for that. 🙂 The organization is called VOLUNTEENATION and here’s the link to their website. Check it out! http://www.volunteennation.org/.  This is a national organization which means they have volunteer opportunities all throughout the United States.

I’m sure you all have heard one of the best ways to combat depression is by helping others…I believe this applies to teenagers as well and that’s what volunteering is all about.

Catholic Charities Volunteer Program

What I love about this organization is that teens are working with other teens in a positive situation. They aren’t at home closed off in their rooms brooding about their problems. Volunteering takes their focus off of their problems and gets them moving in a positive direction.  In my opinion, this might lead to more fulfilling friendships because teens are working together toward a common goal.

Another positive effect this type of organization has is that there are certainly instances where teens can utilize/learn leadership skills as well as team building skills. 🙂 Skills that are necessary for the working environment. 🙂

Maybe if we got our kids involved in volunteering we’d have fewer disasters like Columbine and Newtown. Something to think about my friends. 🙂

Check out Volunteenation’s blog. Here’s a post about how teens can support the Newtown victims. http://www.volunteennation.org/blog/categories/latest-news/203-how-youth-Lican-support-newtown

I can’t say enough about this organization; it’s getting teens headed in the right direction. 🙂

Thanks for reading my post today! I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please leave a comment and let me know what you think! 🙂

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! I HOPE 2013 IS YOUR BEST YEAR YET!

Posted in promotion

Promotion: The Step all Authors Struggle With

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m here today to talk about promotion. I know all my author friends are cringing right now. It’s one of the toughest parts of the job especially for newbie authors.

There is no tried and true method for marketing, I’m sad to say. What works for one author may not work for another. There are many tools out there for authors to use, Social Media, Blog Tours, Bargain Book Sites, and Online Radio Interviews.

What I’ve found is Social Media is a great way to communicate with your friends and followers. I’ve sold books this way, but if you talk about your books, too much it can be a turn off. When I think of Facebook and Twitter, I think of sharing of information. I have many author friends that I chat with and we share marketing tips and other helpful information.

8540717756_396867dbab_m

***This photo is courtesy of Flickr and https://mkhmarketing.wordpress.com/

I’ve also participated in Blog Tours. They’re a great way to get out in front of your audience, but they don’t usually net many sales. So why do them at all? Well, first, they offer exposure of your books and they offer reviews. I don’t know about you, but I find reviews are hard to come by and blog tours are an excellent way to get reviews from someone other than your mom. 🙂

Here are a couple of blog tours  I’ve used:

YA Bound: http://yabound.blogspot.com/

Goddess Fish Promotions: http://www.goddessfish.com/

There are also Bargain Book Sites. The purpose of these sites is to sell a large quantity of books to their followers. Therefore, you’ll want a site that has a history of success. Not all of them do, so this is where communication with other authors comes in handy. Check with your author friends to see what kind of success they’ve had. Some new sites will offer their service free. Take them up on it.  They may be trying to build a following, so you might not have a lot of success, but you might. It doesn’t cost you anything so it’s worth a try. The one site I’ve had great success with is http://ereadernewstoday.com/

The last but certainly not least way to get exposure for your work is by Online Radio Shows. This is a way to reach a larger audience fast. Again, I’m looking for exposure and getting my name out there. I’m working with The Author Show and my interview will be available for everyone to hear tomorrow.

I’m excited about this because they have a large following. I was a little nervous at first, because I hadn’t been interviewed in a long time. I worked with Linda and she eased my anxiety, she was so open and friendly. They do the interview and air it for one day free. They have social media sites they post on and they allow you to share the interview on all your social media sites. So you’re getting in front of a larger audience. Did I tell you they edit the interview too? So all those Umms…and Ahhhs… are deleted.  Again, they do this free. Here’s the link if you’re interested in listening to my interview, or if you’d like to contact them and set up an interview for yourself. Check it out! http://www.wnbnetworkwest.com/WnbAuthorsShow.html

We’re talking about the third book in the Starlight Chronicles Series. It’s titled “Starlight” and the cover and blurb are below.

LarkSinger 500x750Seventeen-year-old Lark Singer and her band Starlight have entered a competition that could launch their musical career if they win. However, Lark soon discovers that her nemesis, Duane McIntyre has also entered making her desire to win stronger than ever. How far will Lark go to win and what will it cost her in the end?

Thanks for stopping by and if you have any marketing tips you’d like to share, please do! We’d love to read them!

Posted in Entertainment, Reading

My Top Ten Books I’ve Read this Year

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about one of my favorite subjects. Books! While I was recovering from chemo, I rediscovered my love of reading. I had been working so hard on the “Starlight Chronicles”  (Check out the first book here http://www.lisaorchard.com/gideon-lee.html ) before I was diagnosed that I hadn’t done much reading.

Reading took my mind off my illness and it eased my anxiety. So,  I wanted to share with you the top ten books that I read over the last few months. This is in no particular order by the way. 🙂

Everything I Never Told You

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet . . . So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue—in Marilyn’s case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James’s case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party.

When Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart. James, consumed by guilt, sets out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage. Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to find a responsible party, no matter what the cost. Lydia’s older brother, Nathan, is certain that the neighborhood bad boy Jack is somehow involved. But it’s the youngest of the family—Hannah—who observes far more than anyone realizes and who may be the only one who knows the truth about what happened.

A profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family, and uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

Gone Girl

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

Sharp Objects

Fresh from a brief stay at a psych hospital, reporter Camille Preaker faces a troubling assignment: she must return to her tiny hometown to cover the murders of two preteen girls. For years, Camille has hardly spoken to her neurotic, hypochondriac mother or to the half-sister she barely knows: a beautiful thirteen-year-old with an eerie grip on the town. Now, installed in her old bedroom in her family’s Victorian mansion, Camille finds herself identifying with the young victims—a bit too strongly. Dogged by her own demons, she must unravel the psychological puzzle of her own past if she wants to get the story—and survive this homecoming.

The Husband’s Secret

My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died. . .

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .
Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves.

Big Little Lies

Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . . .
A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.

But who did what?
Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).
Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.
Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

The Nightingale

In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can…completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France–a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

All the Light We Cannot See

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).

What Alice Forgot

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child.

So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over…

Nineteen Minutes

Jodi Picoult, bestselling author of My Sister’s Keeper and The Tenth Circle, pens her most riveting book yet, with a startling and poignant story about the devastating aftermath of a small-town tragedy.

Sterling is an ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens–until the day its complacency is shattered by a school shooting. Josie Cormier, the daughter of the judge sitting on the case, should be the state’s best witness, but she can’t remember what happened before her very own eyes–or can she? As the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show–destroying the closest of friendships and families. Nineteen Minutes asks what it means to be different in our society, who has the right to judge someone else, and whether anyone is ever really who they seem to be.

Handle with Care

Things break all the time.
Day breaks, waves break, voices break.
Promises break.
Hearts break.

Every expectant parent will tell you that they don’t want a perfect baby, just a healthy one. Charlotte and Sean O’Keefe would have asked for a healthy baby, too, if they’d been given the choice. Instead, their lives are made up of sleepless nights, mounting bills, the pitying stares of “luckier” parents, and maybe worst of all, the what-ifs. What if their child had been born healthy? But it’s all worth it because Willow is, well, funny as it seems, perfect. She’s smart as a whip, on her way to being as pretty as her mother, kind, brave, and for a five-year-old an unexpectedly deep source of wisdom. Willow is Willow, in sickness and in health.

Everything changes, though, after a series of events forces Charlotte and her husband to confront the most serious what-ifs of all. What if Charlotte should have known earlier of Willow’s illness? What if things could have been different? What if their beloved Willow had never been born? To do Willow justice, Charlotte must ask herself these questions and one more. What constitutes a valuable life?

Emotionally riveting and profoundly moving, Handle with Care brings us into the heart of a family bound by an incredible burden, a desperate will to keep their ties from breaking, and, ultimately, a powerful capacity for love. Written with the grace and wisdom she’s become famous for, beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult offers us an unforgettable novel about the fragility of life and the lengths we will go to protect it.

I would recommend any of these books if you’re looking for a story to get lost in. All of them were wonderful!

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my list. If you have a favorite book you’ve read, leave the title in a comment. I’m always looking for a good book to read!