Category Archives: books

BOOK REVIEW: Informed Consent: Critical Truths Essential to Your Health and to the Health of Future Generations by Michele Stanford, M.Ed., CHC

I began to read Michele’s story and as a woman, my heart was filled with compassion and empathy for her and the situation she was in. As an RN, my heart was filled with rage for how this patient was treated by her physician! Michele was not defined by her circumstances, however. Rather, she decided to educate herself and therein lay her power, and now she is offering to share her results with all of us.

One quote resonated with me very early in the book, as the author described her experience with “continual roller coaster ride courtesy of allopathic medicine,” perfectly capturing what can happen if you are not empowered with the information you need to evaluate medical information and make good, informed health care choices for yourself and your loved ones.

Many other sentences speak to my own beliefs. On page 92: “The pharmaceutical industry is not interested in your health.”  Truer words have never been spoken. Also, on page 108: “The corruption at the CDC runs deep and wide and the health of the American public is not the sole priority, or even a priority at all.”

The chapters dealing with the pharmaceutical industry and vaccines will provide you with especially valuable information.

I highly recommend this book. Buy it here: Informed Consent

Spoiler alert: Cheez-its lovers, you are about to have your heart broken. J

 

Michele Stanford, M.Ed., CHC#InformedConsentTheBook

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Coming full circle (and announcing a free class!)

When I was in elementary school, I was in a new school every year.

Every. Single. Year.

No, my parents weren’t in the military. My father was disabled, and when money got tight, we got moving.

Kindergarten: The Hancock in Medford. First grade and half of second: The Emerson in Malden. Last half of second grade and third: The Parker in Billerica. Fourth: The Hajjar in Billerica. Fifth: The Davenport in Medford.

Maybe you noticed that Billerica is up there twice in a row. We actually didn’t move that year, but as luck would have it, the town built a new elementary school to accommodate its growing population and (you guess it) I was zoned to move to the new school.

Oh, happy day.

Moving can be hard for anyone at any age, and I was no exception. Every time I made a friend, we moved, and I had to begin all over again. As I got older, it seemed as if everyone was already paired up with a best friend, and had been forever. I always felt like the odd girl out. Like I didn’t belong.

And then something wonderful happened. I discovered my BFF’s in books!

Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking were among the first and are still my friends today.

Of course, Judy Blume’s books were part of my life back then, and the one that immediately comes to my mind when I think of that time is this one: Are You There God? It’s me, Margaret.

I have been thinking a lot lately about how reading books can help us find meaning and insight into our lives. Even in fiction–maybe especially in fiction–it’s the story we connect with, and how it resonates for us in our real lives, and through which we can find comfort and clarity.

The phrase, “Go back to go forward” popped into my head not too long ago, and it kept popping in, over and over, so I thought, hey, I have to do something with this.

About the same time, Margaret was also intruding on my thoughts

Pretty much everyone I know that is past puberty has read the Margaret book. Maybe because I have been re-reading other books lately that impacted me, it occurred to me that it might be very interesting to re-read this particular book now. Maybe that’s why it was so persistently intruding in my thoughts. It wanted me to read it again!

And then I had another thought: maybe other women would also enjoy this.
And my free mini-course idea was born!

You can join the Facebook group now to get notified when the free course is available. As of now, I expect it to be ready on the Tuesday before Labor Day (August 29, 2017). Once it’s live, this link should work to sign up for my free mini-course, GO BACK TO GO FORWARD! 

Feel free to share this with anyone else who has read this book and might enjoy coming with me on my learning curve to take this free course!

The BRAVE Interview #13 August 2017: Jennifer Davies

Please enjoy this month’s interview with Jennifer Davies!

INTRODUCTION

Hello everyone, I’m thrilled to be here as a featured guest in the Brave series. Thank you Karen for inviting me! A few facts about me; my name is Jennifer Davies, and I’m a fifty something mom with four boys, two cats, a dog, and a husband in tow. I have been married for twenty-one years this August to my best friend and strongest supporter. I’m originally from Wales in the UK which is why I have a funny accent, but I now reside on the East Coast of America in New England.

I have lived in North Andover for the past 14 years, and it’s a perfect distance from the city of Boston, the coast, and the mountains which I love. Living in New England has been a huge source of inspiration for me, but I find inspiration from many avenues, my family, my life, traveling and my persistence to keep writing. As a result, I always have ideas for future books.

I’m a former registered nurse/midwife. I am always battling my weight, but as I’m addicted to chocolate, it’s not a fight I will win anytime soon. I adore Grey’s Anatomy. I love yard sales and get excited at the purchase of old furniture that I can recycle. My goal is to be a NY Times best seller—one day!

MY BRAVE STORY

Well, it’s actually hard to choose which piece of my life to reveal that would showcase something BRAVE that I have done! I believe to be BRAVE you have to face something that is painful, fearful or difficult, and my life has contained many instances that would fit that definition.

Most recently, the one I still process is the loss of my mother. Even now, six months later I miss her. My mom, lived with Alzheimer’s, and had for the past almost five years. Living overseas made it difficult to provide the care I wished to, but in the early stages I could help by having mum visit through the summer and stay for several weeks at a time. As the disease progressed, even that wasn’t an option. Feeling frustrated and needing to do something, I started a support page on-line called ALZHEIMER’S SUPPORT, which still provides help to those going through the painful and heartbreaking experience.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/291824310860629/
In December 2016, my mother entered full-time nursing care and shortly after her renal disease deteriorated to the point that we knew we were entering the final stages of her life. At Christmas, my wish and prayer was to be able to care for mum in her final days. God answered in a strange way that enabled me to spend four weeks with my mum in the UK until her passing on the 29th January. Even now, I have tears as I write this because knowing your loved one is dying is devastating no matter the age or the situation. Being a former nurse, I knew what to expect to a degree, but I wasn’t prepared for the emotional trauma and loss as I watched my mum slip away.
The memories of her final four weeks are ingrained on my brain, good and bad. I remember the days that she slept, and we weren’t sure if she would make it through the next twenty-four hours, to standing next to her in the make-shift church singing hymns in shock at her complete turnaround, to holding her hand as she took her last breath. Those final hours were heartbreaking, and I have no regrets. In life, mum had always been there for me, and this was the least I could do no matter how hard or painful it was to ensure she wasn’t alone as she made her final journey onward to my dad.

All through the night there was a panic that I wouldn’t be able to face the end that I wouldn’t be able to find the words of comfort as her condition changed. In the early hours when the built up fluids became noisy, “death rattle” I lost it. Tears poured, and an overwhelming sense of panic and futility washed over me. I wanted to leave, but as I watched mum, I couldn’t let her down. I needed to be strong and to be there for her right until the end. I hated the thought of her being alone, and now, it gives me comfort to know she was surrounded by love, and her death was peaceful. My mum enjoyed a long and happy life, she was a brave woman loved by all her daughters and grandchildren. She is missed every day.

MY LIFE

My mum was always a strong supporter of my dreams to become a romance author, and her encouragement kept me going. I’m now a multi-genre author, and I’ve been writing full-time for the last eight years.  Every good and bad moment of my life has helped shape me as a writer. Throughout my life, I have always been an avid reader, and from that stemmed the desire to create my own stories.

My Latest Release THE WITCH’S HEART is the second book in the Rise of Orion series.

I love to hear from readers and these are the ways you can contact me…

FB Author page https://www.facebook.com/Jennifer-Owen-Davies-YA-J-M-Davies-Adult-1421409368089313/

Website            http://www.jenniferowendavies.com/
Email                 Jendaviesuk@gmail.com
Twitter              https://twitter.com/jendaviesuk
Instagram        Jengal124
Blog                  https://welshjensblog.blogspot.com

Thank you, Jennifer!!

Read the other BRAVE interviews here: https://kwrites.com/?s=The+BRAVE+Interview

If you would like to be interviewed for this series about something brave you have done in your life, email me at kmcwrites@gmail.com!

BOOK REVIEW: YOUR NEXT SHIFT by ELIZABETH SCALA

I first heard of Elizabeth Scala when she joined RN FM Radio. I didn’t know how much I was missing a female voice on the show until she arrived (yay!). I didn’t know she was an author right away. I started following her on social media and that’s when I became aware of the breadth of her nursing activities.

I knew from watching her on Instagram that Elizabeth made fun a priority in her life (I do, too!). I started reading her book yesterday afternoon, and if I hadn’t had an evening commitment, I would have finished it last night. Anyway, it was less than twenty-four hours later that I turned the last page. This book resonated with me on so many levels. The ‘Just for today’ philosophy that I first learned to practice after my Reiki attunements was one of the first moments that I knew I was in the right place reading this book. I love that Elizabeth is so honest in her description of her experience travelling the path of refining and expanding her own nursing practice to help the rest of us know that hey, we aren’t alone! Other nurses feel under-confident and under-brave and under-decisive, too! And this: “Maybe you’re just not that happy being a nurse anymore because you actually feel like your job doesn’t let you be one!” Hello? That was one of my first “Aha!” moments after transitioning from nursing practice in school and nursing practice in real life.

For years, I have been working on integrating my spiritual practices into my nursing practice and in this book, I feel like I have found a kindred spirit, another nurse who really gets it. Another nurse who is doing this, too.

I also love the quotes that were scattered throughout the book, including Susan Jeffers’ “Feel the fear and do it anyway,” a phrase that I find myself saying over and over these days, mostly to myself.

While I was reading Your Next Shift, I felt like I was having coffee with my nurse-BFF.

One note to the author: as a former waitress, I found a LOT of similarities between waitressing and nursing! Just sayin’.

After I finished reading it, I decided to draw an oracle card for the book, and I drew the 3 of Earth from Colette Baron-Reid’s new card deck, The Good Tarot.  Here is a quick line about this card from the guidebook that accompanies the deck: “Teachers and students, we are all learning, growing, and building collaboratively.”

I know, right?! 🙂

I highly recommend Your Next Shift for anyone. Read it.

My birthday

 

I hope you all had fun with me this week. In addition to the week of cakes, my daughter gifted me with a cake today, bringing my total to eight for the week, and this is the one with which we celebrated with singing and candles.

Here is today’s cake from Wells IGA: Caramel Sea Salt Cake!

Here is a slideshow of all seven cakes in the BirthdayCakeWalk2017.

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For my actual birthday today, I did more than just eat cake, if you can believe it! I ate whatever I wanted. A chocolate bread from Boulangerie in Kennebunk for breakfast. Sausage Flatbread with a salad from Pizza Napoli in Ogunquit for lunch. So far, that’s all. Oh, and the Salted Caramel Cake from my daughter!

And I tried to include things I love (besides food!) in my day. Connecting with my family and friends! Lilacs! The ocean! Reading! Writing! And of course, a visit to a bookstore!!

Now, for the point: It is my birthday wish that all of YOU have a day like this, too. Why wait for your birthday to be kind to  yourself? Do it now. Today.

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A friend of Kevin

I was lucky enough to be invited to be on Kevin Willett’s TV program, Business as Usual. I met Kevin on Facebook when I responded to a video he shared. I started following his page because the topics he was discussing resonated with me. One day, he mentioned that he had a TV show, and if anyone was interested in being on it, message him.

Was I interested in being on his TV show?

Duh.

I messaged  him. The next thing I knew, I was driving to Dracut. My husband came with me and watched from the booth. We arrived several hours early, as is my way, so we scouted out places to eat. I wanted Italian (so what else is new?) but Bill wanted the Chinese buffet, and when I saw that they had a dance floor, I was intrigued. We went.

The best part of the meal was the Hot and Sour Soup. And the Fortune Cookie. Isn’t this the best fortune ever?


Too bad it wasn’t mine.

Bill kindly agreed to share it with me with me.

Taping the show was so much fun! Kevin put me at ease right away, and the 28 minute taping went by in a blink. We talked about writing, publishing, and selling books. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to be a guest on the show. If you live in Dracut, you can watch it on DATV! If not, I will have a link to it at some point and will post it here on my website.

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P.S. The dance floor had a DISCO BALL!!! I couldn’t convince Bill to dance with me, though.

#stillpouting

A dream come true

I have always loved the library since I was a little girl. My dad would drive me every week and I would load up my arms with as many books as I could carry, and then stack them all around my bed when I got home, deciding which one to read first.

I was beyond excited last year when I was invited to give a reading at the Wells Public Library from my first novel, One Brave Thing, and when I saw it on the “New Fiction” shelf! I have stopped in to visit my first novel from time to time, but it’s always been checked out. Tonight it was there! I noticed it was little worse for wear. I decided to ask how many times it had been checked out. Twenty times over the past ten months! Plus two renewals! That’s twenty-two! YAY! I replaced it with a shiny new copy.

Also, I was going to donate a copy of my new book, What if Bebe Stays with Steven? I was thrilled when the librarian told me that they already have it! And even better, it was checked out!  I have been invited back to give a reading from this novel, scheduled for Tuesday evening, June 27th at 6pm. I am hoping that my new book will also be wearing out from being read so often and I will get to replace this one as well.