Category Archives: Brave 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!

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.

80’s-ish Playlist-Music to Write By

I played a lot of 80’s music as I was writing my new novel, and these are all songs that I loved then, and still love now. I thought I’d share them with you all as part of my book party celebrating the launch of my new novel, What if Bebe Stays with Steven?

Playlist:

Danger Motels

Girl Can’t Help It Journey

Cherish Madonna

Alive and Kicking Simple Minds

What I Like About You Romantics

I’ll Be Alright Without You Journey

The Way You Make Me Feel Michael Jackson

I Melt With You Modern English

You Give Love a Bad Name Bon Jovi

Gypsy Feetwood Mac

Love is a Battlefield Pat Benatar

Take Me Home Tonight Eddie Money

Everybody Wants to Rule the World Tears for Fears

Sweetest Taboo Sade

Dancing with Myself Billy Idol

Hungry Eyes Eric Carmen

Safety Dance Men Without Hats

I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) Hall & Oates

Living on a Prayer Bon Jovi

Mickey Toni Basil

Our Lips Are Sealed The Go-Go’s

Beat It Michael Jackson

 

ENJOY!!!

My new book

My new book started out as something else. I published my first novel, One Brave Thing, last year. Over the course of the year of doing talks and readings, I thought a lot about my characters and the story. One day, I had the thought: What if Bebe stays with Steven? How would her life have been different? I got excited re-imagining how the story might go.

What_if_Bebe_Stays_with_Steven_Karen_CreamerI decided it would be nice to write a couple of bonus chapters to give away at my book signings. I started outlining what I wanted to write. This was last October, and I thought I would take advantage of National Novel Writing Month in November to write it. This gave me plenty of time to work on the outline, and as I added to it day by day, I realized that hey, this wasn’t a couple of bonus chapters.

This was a book.

So, I wrote my second novel the same way I wrote the first. What if Bebe Stays with Steven? was birthed during NaNoWriMo 2016, edited over the winter, and will be launched this month.

 

To celebrate, I am running a special on the Kindle amazon-coverversion of my first novel. One Brave Thing will be 99 cents from March 13th (my mother’s birthday :)) to March 20th, for one week only.

And then my second novel, What if Bebe Stays with Steven? launches March 21, 2017!

BOOK REVIEW: This Life I Live by Rory Feek

I didn’t want to read this book.  I first heard about it when I came across an article in a magazine–some Woman’s Day-y type of publication, I think. I read some of the article, thought, “Oh, this is a sad story,” and put it down.

Well, it found me again.

Have you ever noticed how the books you are supposed to read have a way of doing that?

Joey and Rory are famous, but before that magazine article, I had never heard of them. I have since listened to some of their music and it’s beautiful (spoiler alert, this song is heartbreaking), in case you want to check it out.

Anyway, there is a lot of wisdom in this book. Parts of his story parallel my own, and probably your own as well. I relate to Rory talking about his childhood of being from “everywhere and nowhere” and about how “there are different levels of poor”. Moving so often in your growing up years isn’t easy. It certainly can begin to define who you are.

When Rory’s mom goes back to school in her 60’s, she ‘does the thing she thought she could not do’.  This resonated so strongly for me, recalling one of my favorite Eleanor Roosevelt quotes. It also speaks to one of the themes in this book, brave women, and the author’s respect for them.

My favorite quote from this book is:

“True joy and happiness have a way of attracting good things into your life.” (p 81)

So, I was right. It is a sad story, but it’s also a happy one. Rory tells it with raw honesty, but also with faith and hope. As anyone who has ever written (or tried to write) their life story can attest, this is no easy task. Rory has accomplished it with grace and love.

Read this book.

Doing the thing

I have been working feverishly, madly, to design the cover of my new novel. My publication date is 3/21 (as in: 3-2-1 liftoff! 🙂 ) and I am determined to make it.
frontcoverbolder-2-7-17I originally planned to use my own photos for the cover, but then I started looking around on Canva, you know, just for fun, and one image caught my eye. What drew me about her is that she looks like she’s trying to go forward, but is letting herself be pulled back.
Like Bebe. In the new book, What if Bebe Stays with Steven?, Bebe is thinking, should I stay or should I go? I also like the little bit of backpack showing, since she is a student. This one image captured all that for me.

Here’s the most important part of this story. Right after I saved and downloaded the image, one of my favorite quotes by Eleanor Roosevelt popped up on the computer screen!

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

I took this as a sign that this was exactly the right image for my cover. Of course, that was at midnight last week, and the next day, after I smacked my head into the corner of the huge mirror over my couch and hematoma’d my head, I started second-guessing it all.

 But I am going forward anyway. Like Nikki Groom said in her recent podcast (with Jodi Flynn on Women Taking the Lead), “Just start.”