Posted in Blog, Mental Health, Reviews

Review: Mommy I Need You by Regina Hall

This book is an easy read that I finished in two nights, but the topic of this book is not easy. This is the true story of sexual abuse that a young girl (Regina) had to endure. The book chronicles how she felt when it first started; scared and unsure, to a teenagmommyer who didn’t understand her own sexuality, to a woman who overcame the trauma.

There are excellent nuggets of wisdom and self discovery. Trauma can stay with you forever but Regina shows how you can use that trauma for good – by sharing her story.

The last few chapters were in-depth and I felt a real connection to the author. The first few chapters shared the story but were not as in depth as what was to come. Overall, for those that have suffered sexual trauma or are the parents to someone who has suffered sexual abuse this book gives great insight. Emotions can be difficult to explain and Regina does an excellent job of sharing those.

Posted in Blog, Reviews

Review: Redefining Normal by Justin and Alexis Black

Children should never have to suffer, but the reality is that many children do. Many children endure a life that others can only fathom through nightmares. If those children are lucky they may end up in the foster care system, but that doesn’t mean that their nightmare ends. Not all foster homes are loving or supportive. There is a need for loving families to become foster parents.

Justin and Alexis were two of those children living through a nightmare. As a parent it was a struggle to read the pain that they had to endure at the hands of those who were supposed to protect and love them. It makes me want to hold onto my children even tighten.

Though they were both in the foster care system they had significantly different reasons for entering. Throughout the book they each share what caused them to enter the system and their experiences within the system. It is interesting to see how different their lives were but in the end found love with each other.

Each section has an ‘Alexis’ and a ‘Justin’ portion where the reader learns more about each of their pasts and understand how they are similar. Culminating in the ending section that is written together.

Trauma in the past does not need to define who we are in the present. For anyone who is struggling with their past this is an excellent book to read. Even if you were not in the foster care system this book has something to offer. If you have ever thought about fostering a child but unsure due to their past trauma this is a must read. Just because these children had traumatic experiences does not mean that they are not worthy of love and respect.

Given the chance most children will shine through. If you don’t put a plant in sunshine it will wilt and die but if you give it what it needs it will flourish and bloom.

To purchase their story click here.

 

Posted in Mental Health, Reviews

Review: Breaking the Chains of Transgenerational Trauma: My Journey from Surviving to Thriving by Dorothy Husen

The title is a bit of a mouthful but the book will make your heart full. Right from the start of the book I was hooked; the author jumps right into her story and I wanted to know more! When she shares about her mother and grandmother’s stories it made sense how she was raised. It wasn’t a lack of love, it was what they knew and that is what they had to pass on.

I have heard about transgenerational trauma in the past; trauma that is passed on from generation to generation. It is quite common until someone finally learns how to break that cycle. That is what this book is really about. As much as I loved hearing about Dorothy’s story I was more interested in how she became the cycle breaker.

Throughout the book I could identify with some of the struggles that she had learned from her parents. I understood that certain lessons I had learned needed to be relearned. The trouble is how?

At the end of each chapter Dorothy gives you exercises that you can use to help break the cycle in your family. It is not an easy thing to do and I am a huge advocate for therapy if you have the opportunity. This book is a great starting point with the real life examples and the exercises. Don’t skip the exercises, they are worthwhile and will help you along your journey.

Posted in Mental Health, Reviews

Review – Yin, Yang, Yogini by Kathryn E. Livingston

Exercise is often stated as a coping strategy for mental health. I use exercise myself and love the release of endorphins that it gives me. However, yoga specifically is often given as a coping strategy for anxiety. The calmness of yoga and the idea of non-attachment can be very helpful for someone who suffers with anxiety. Being told this can seem silly and I used to wonder how that could possibly be true. How is focusing on my breathe going to help me?

Within this book Kathryn shares how she went from someone with extreme and sometimes debilitating anxiety to someone willing to put herself out into the world. To her this would not have been possible without yoga. She does a great job writing about the transition from her one self to her new self. The words are well chosen and the writing is clean.

I found that I struggled to get into the book in the first bit, kind of like how I struggled to get into yoga (yes not only do I do yoga

but I am also a yoga teacher). As I continued to read to I identified more and more with Kathryn and am so glad that I didn’t put the book down. By the end I couldn’t put the book down.

Not only was I identifying with her journey of learning yoga but her journey with cancer. She had breast cancer and I had cervical cancer. When she writes of wondering if it will ever return I feel her worry. When she writes about having to come to terms with this illness I feel her pain. She doesn’t gloss over the strong emotions that come with this diagnosis. She embraces that part of her journey and shares it openly with all of her readers. I felt like someone else finally understood me!

If you have ever wondered about yoga this book is for you. If you have struggled with cancer and the emotions that go with it, this book is for your. If you love a well written story about someone’s life, this book is for you!

You can purchase your copy on amazon.

Posted in On Writing, Uncategorized

A Little Scare

It’s almost ready! This book deviates from what I have published in the past but horror has always been my favourite genre. I am happy to be publishing my first collection of short horror stories. Each story is unique with its own format and characters.

Peter Topside author of the Preternatural books has this to say:

“I was given an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review (Thank you, Randi!)  Now it’s well known that I’m not a fan of short stories.  The only exceptions there are HG Wells’ The Invisible Man and his other well known sci-fi/horror type stories.  However, I read through the Little Scare collection, and really did enjoy these tales of the macabre a great deal.  They were diverse, and didn’t follow any type of generic formula or theme, which was refreshing.  Each tale was also long enough, without overstaying its welcome.  They were a bit gruesome at the right times, but it was more reserved and not overly graphic.  This is where the writing was done well, as it left certain things unwritten and just insinuated, which is much easier than going into excessive details on the terror at hand.  Aside from that, the writing was very easy-to-follow and the book as a whole just had this general creepiness and anxiety-producing uneasiness throughout.  My personal favorite here was A Scorched Letter, with Chookies being a close second.  If you want a quick read that’ll tickle your inner horror fan, give this a look!”

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