Thursday, October 29, 2009

Silk Flowers Never Die


Silk Flowers Never Die is an important and intensely personal memoir, powerfully showing with humanity and humor, the difficulties that exist for any family trying to cope with schizophrenia and mental distress. In a compelling story that reveals how much stranger than fiction fact is, Stella Mazzucchelli describes her determination to preserve her son form the worst effects of mental illness, while his young wife is dying of cancer.

In the process of trying to rise to these challenges, Stella is transformed from a beautiful, over-protected Society woman with alcohol issues, to an impressive, courageous earth-mother who now campaigns to reduce the stigma attached to mental illness by using her privileged position to positive effect. This moving book is informative on a host of subjects, ranging from the lifestyle of the International Super-Rich to the profundities of facing terminal illness and mental disease. Due to its intelligence, insight,and compassion the appeal of this amazing story and struggle should be universal.


It would have been wonderful if I had Silk Flowers Never Die when my husband went through his mental breakdown. Stella writes with such truth about her feelings and her thoughts when her son was diagnosed with schizophrenia that I would have found it helpful with what I was dealing with.

With all that Stella had to deal with she has come through with flying colors. Given one hope that if she can live through all that has happened to her and her family so can I. No matter what ones economic background very rich or very poor, I think one can find this book very relatable.

Silk Flowers Never Die is a book with a wonderful message of hope and courage. I think that this book should be given out to family members of people who have had a mental issues so that they can know that they are not alone and others have gone through this too and felt the same way.

Silk Flowers Never Die is an awesome read. I highly recommend it to everyone, esp to those who have to cope with mental illness in the family.


Stella Metaxa Mazzucchelli was born in Athen, Greece and married, aged eighteen, Riccardo Mazzucchelli, the famous Italian businessman. During their twenty-two year marriage, they lived in Zambia and London, where she became a well-known figure on the social scene,and had a brief and successful modelling career at the unusual age of 28. Fedele is their only child. After their divorce, Riccardo married Ivana Trump in 1995, though the marriage was short lived. Stella now lives in Athen where she brings up her grand-daughter Katerina. As well as being involved in the property and renovation business, which ensures she maintains connections with London, she is also a tireless campaigner for the better understanding of schizophrenia and mental illness. Silk Flowers Never Die is her first book.

You can visit her publisher online at .

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Daughter of Narcissus


Daughter of Narcissus is a stunning analysis by Lady Colin of her own dysfunctional family positioned at the heart of upper class Jamaican society from the middle of the 20th century to the present day. Covering the end of the British Colonial Age and the rise of a liberated generation, whilst addressing the narcissistic personality of her mother, the author brilliantly interconnects the sociological, political and personal. As she dissects the family dynamics lying beneath the appearance of wealth and power, Lady Colin’s understanding of personality disorder is revelatory: compelling the reader to comprehend the destructive and tragic reality concealed by rational language and behavior.

Set against a backdrop of glamour, wealth and fame, this compulsive book is both a fascinating history of one socially prominent family, and a uniquely detailed analysis of narcissism, its manifestations and how to survive them in order to lead a purposeful and affirming life.


Gloria Ziadie was a extremely abusive woman both physically and verbally to her husband, her children and her servants. It is amazing that her children were able to persevere and have successful adult lives growing up in that type of atmosphere. But also growing up in that type of household gave them strength esp Lady Colin Campbell or Georgia to deal with the difficulties that she encountered in her adult life.

But this book is not for diagnosis but to give a glimpse of what this disorder is about and how it effected Gloria and her family and friends. As I was reading it, I saw similarities between Gloria and my mother-in-law; especially encouraging her husband to do her dirty work in beating the children. Also the manipulation of people and situations to get what they want. Because of these similarities, I wonder if my mother-in-law has this disorder. Sorry if this is to personal, but as I continued to read Daughter of Narcissus that is what I was thinking.

After a slow and difficult start, I found Daughter of Narcissus to be an intriguing read.


Lady Colin Campbell is a highly successful and prolific author of several books, including London and New York Times bestsellers, and has been a prominent and often controversial figure in royal and social circles for many years. She perhaps is best known for her international bestselling book Diana in Private, 1992, and her subsequent extended and revelatory biography of the Princess of Wales, The Real Diana published in 2004. She has written books on the Royal Family, been a long term columnist and appeared numerous times on TV and radio as an experienced Royal Insider and expert on the British aristocracy. In 1997 she published her autobiography, A Life Worth Living, which was serialized in The Daily Mail. Born in St. Andrew, Jamaica, she was educated there and in New York, where she lived for seven years. She is connected to British royalty through common ancestors and marriage. She has two sons and lives in London.

You can visit her publisher online at

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rain Dance


Jonica is infertile. Stacie chooses an abortion. One is prolife the other prochoice. Both are suddenly alone in misunderstanding, facing hypocrisies in their belief systems, and grieving – one the death of a dream and the other the death of her child. As their hearts break where in the world will they find healing and grace? Can shattered dreams be part of the plan?

MY THOUGHTS: When I was reading Rain Dance, I kept thinking how was I going to review this Christian Fiction. Not because it was not well written, it is. But it is a controversial issue. Abortion. This book's viewpoint, of course, is prolife.

I started to focus on the relationship between the Jonica and Stacie. And I liked how the friendship developed. Two different people finding that they have more in common then they realized. DeKok writes this book from both of their viewpoints. It is nice to see how both ladies see the same event and their interpretations of the events.

DeKok adds a touch of realism to Jonica because she herself is infertile. She puts herself into the character of Jonica. Jonica has to deal with insensitivity's of others. Which makes one sad that people can be so cruel and they don't realize that they are.

In a twist the Christians are portrayed as hip and exciting and the liberals as rigid thinking. She is trying to break stereotypes about Christians but by doing this she does not put liberals in a good light. I think it is great that she is trying to break stereotypes but why put others in a negative light. I understand that is part of the storytelling and it is important to the plot but it did not sit well with me.

Jonica and Stacie's stories and their friendship did touch me. Overall, I found Rain Dance to be a nice read.


Joy DeKok and her husband, Jon, live in Minnesota on thirty-five acres of woods and fields. Joy has been writing most of her life and as a popular speaker shares her heart and passion for God with women. In addition to writing novels, she has also published a devotional and several children’s books.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

My Son, John

Murder. Could there be a more chilling word? Could it be any more horrible than to have a loved one killed, brutally and heartlessly, without obvious reason or motive? When Liz Peterson’s elderly mother is found viciously beaten to death in her home, Liz and her husband, Charles, along with their grown son, John, and teenage daughter, Sarah, are horrified beyond words. Their previously predictable, respectable lives seem to have vanished without a trace, as they struggle to make sense of a senseless act.

And then a second blow—more devastating, if possible, than the first—rocks them to their core. John is arrested for his grandmother’s murder. As what’s left of the Peterson family begins to crumble under the weight of loss and accusation, the Petersons’ longstanding Christian faith is put to the test in a way they could never have imagined, and unconditional love is stretched to its limits. Will family ties and relationships withstand such a crushing blow, or will evil succeed in dividing and conquering this once close and inseparable family?
My Review:
This christian fiction was a very emotional story about a family's unconditional love and their difficult journey to forgiveness. I was drawn into My Son, John from the very beginning.
I really felt the families sadness and despair especially the mother's. Having the viewpoints of the different family members really added to the emotional quality of the story.
This is a definite read whether you read christian fiction or not.
“I was in prison and you came to Me…” (Matthew 25:36).
Tick, damn it, tick! I cried silently, oblivious to the fact that I had just thought a word I would never say out loud. I glared through bloodshot eyes at the large, round, schoolroom-type clock that was the sole decoration on the cold gray wall behind the metal chair where John sat, dressed in an orange jumpsuit and holding a phone to his ear, while gazing at me through a glass partition, no doubt knowing that I was avoiding eye contact because the pain was just too great.
Still staring at the offensive timepiece on the wall, I demanded silently, Do you think just because you don’t make any noise that I don’t know what you’re doing, that I don’t realize that with every sweeping circle you’re stealing more and more of my son’s life?
Oh, God, if only there were a window in here! If I could just reach through this glass and touch him…!
The tears came then, and there was nothing I could do to stop them. I pulled my vision from the clock and caught a glimpse of John’s anguished, sweat-beaded face before squeezing my eyes shut in a vain attempt to block out the swell of emotions that threatened to drown me. I had to stop this denial and refocus my efforts and energy on my son. He would never survive this nightmare if I didn’t; none of us would.
I forced my eyelids open, wiping the tears from my cheeks and wishing I had been allowed to bring my purse in with me. But, of course, everything personal had been left behind before I had been admitted to the visiting area. You’d think those in charge would realize a mother’s need for a tissue in such a situation.
Slowly, I cracked my lips into what I was sure was a wooden smile. “You look good,” I lied, knowing he knew better but hoping to convince myself. “Are they treating you all right…feeding you, and—”
Trembling but quite obviously trying hard not to show it, he pressed the palm of his free hand against the glass in what was doubtless an attempt to cut off my pointless questions. “I’m fine, Mom. Honest. I told you that last time. And…please, you don’t have to come here. I don’t want you to come here. Can’t you understand that?”
How could I understand that my son didn’t want me to visit him and support him when he’d been accused of something so horrific it was beyond comprehension? How could I understand anything anymore? Not only had John been falsely imprisoned, but he was losing weight and I could see he wasn’t well. He needed me….
“I want to come,” I answered. “I have to. I’ve never abandoned you before. Why would you think I would now—especially now?”
The pain and fear in his dark blue eyes flickered before fading to dull. He pressed his lips together and shook his head. “I have to go, Mom. Time’s about up anyway. I…hate talking to you like this…seeing you this way.”
I watched his Adam’s apple bob slightly as he swallowed and then said, “I love you, Mom. You know that. Dad and Sarah, too.” Then, after only a brief hesitation, he removed his palm from the glass, hung up the phone, and stood to his feet. Immediately a corrections officer was at his side, escorting him from the room.
Still pressing the receiver to my ear, I whispered, “You didn’t even say goodbye, John. You didn’t say goodbye….”
At the thick metal door, just below and to the right of the silent wall clock, John stopped, turning slightly as his armed escort unlocked the heavy barrier. Glancing backward, his lips spread ever-so-slightly in that frightened, little-boy smile he’d had since he was a little boy, the one he’d worn when he walked on skinny, shaky legs into his kindergarten room on the first day of school, assuring me that he was all right. As I had that day when I stood in the hallway outside his classroom, I now did my best to return his smile. Then he turned his back to me and shuffled on shackled ankles through the passageway.
So little had changed in the eighteen years since that first day of school—and yet the world my husband and I had known since our oldest child was born twenty-three years earlier had exploded and vanished, washed away in tears…and in blood. Nothing would ever be the same again.
John’s kindergarten smile had been his signal to me that he could handle things and I should leave. With legs of lead and a heart even heavier, I forced myself to honor his wishes.
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored nearly 30 books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences, and recently won the prestigious 2008 member of the year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) at the annual Golden Scrolls award banquet. Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband, Al, where the two of them spend their free time riding their Harley.
Visit Kathi’s website at
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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Dispel The Mist

Welcome to Marilyn Meredith's
Pump Up Your Book Promotion's Virtual Book Tour

About The Book:

A Tulare County Supervisor, with both Native American and Mexican roots, dies under suspicious circumstances. Because of Deputy Tempe Crabtree’s own ties to the Bear Creek Indian Reservation, she’s asked to help with the investigation. To complicate matters, besides the supervisor’s husband, several others had reason to want the woman dead.

Tempe has unsettling dreams, dreams that may predict the future and bring back memories of her grandmother’s stories about the legend of the Hairy Man. Once again, Tempe’s life is threatened and this time, she fears no one will come to her rescue in time.

My Review:

Dispel the Mist is the eighth book in the Tempe Crabtree Mystery Series. I have not had the pleasure of reading the other books in the series, but I am looking forward to reading the series from the beginning. I was not lost when I read Dispel the Mist, Meredith is able to incorporate what happened in the past books nicely in the story line.

I found Dispel the Mist to be an entertaining read. I thought the characters were beliveable. I enjoyed the interactions between Tempe and her husband, Hutch. I liked how Tempe is exploring her heritage and how it is weaved into the story line. The ending was very dramatic and intense. I think any mystery lover would enjoy Dispel the Mist.

About the Author:

Marilyn Meredith is the author of over twenty-five published novels, including the
award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest, Dispel the Mist from Munda
nia Press. Under the name of F. M. Meredith she writes the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series. No Sanctuary is the newest from Oak Tree Press.

She is a member of EPIC, four chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, WOK, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She was an instructor for Writer’s Digest School for ten years, served as an instructor at the Maui Writer’s Retreat and many other writer’s conferences. She makes her home in Springville CA, much like Bear Creek where Deputy Tempe Crabtree lives. Visit her at
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Monday, October 5, 2009

Emily Waits for Her Family

Welcome to Carol Zelaya's
Pump Up Your Book Promotion's
Virtual Book Tour

About The Book:Follow the true story of the special bond between a tiny bird and a little girl, from first meeting to leaving, from new life to old friends. This story is told in a timeless, three-part series, with an easy-reading rhyme, and is certain to delight and touch your heart.
As I look closer, what do I see?
In the nest there seems to be,
The little bird named Emily,
And a big surprise of one, two, three!
Yes, three little eggs for me to see.
You’ll soon be a mommy Chickadee!

My Review: Emily Waits For Her Family is a sweet tale about a girl and a little Chickadee. Not only do we see the girl and Emily, the Chickadee develop a very special friendship; we also get to learn about the importance of watching and observing nature. I especially loved the Chickadee log at the end of the book. It made me wish that I had a backyard and a bird feeder so that my daughter could complete the log. Hmmm maybe I will change it to a squirrel log. That is what is great about the log, you can use it for almost any creature.

The rhyming and word repetition is great for a beginner reader. When I read this book to my 7 year old daughter that was the first thing she said to me. "Mommy, it rhymes." I read this book to my two year old classroom and they kept repeating Chickadee. They really loved that new word to them.

I also want to add that Kristen Metcalf, the illustrator, did a beautiful job with the drawings. She really brought the story to life. The children really loved looking at the pictures.

I will be reading Emily Waits For Her Family to my class over and over and some how incorporating the log into my lesson plans, maybe for squirrel observations.

There are two more books in the Emily The Chickadee series: Caring For Emily's Family and Emily's New Home. I look forward to reading the other two books in this series. I want to see what happens with Emily The Chickadee.

If you know a preschooler or a beginner reader Emily Waits For Her Family would be a great book to give them.

About the Author: Carol Zelaya is a former nurse, recently widowed, and mother of two grown children. She grew up in the Chicago area, where she eventually met and married her husband and where they raised a family. Having relocated to Oregon in 1996, Zelaya began her love affair with nature and its beautiful creatures. Inspired by her surroundings, she started taking pictures and writing. Writing poetry led to writing three children’s books, of course, in rhyme. Zelaya’s Emily the Chickadee books are the true story of the special bond between a tiny bird and a little girl and the true meaning of family.

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Book Spotlight-Dying Scream by Mary Burton

It's the last sound you'll ever make....Dying Scream. Doesn't that tag line give you chills at least it does to me.

Dying Scream is the new book by southern novelist Mary Burton.

From the Back Cover: An aspiring artist. A high-school senior. A stripper. Three missing women with only one thing in common-wealthy-Craig Thornton knew them all. For that, they paid the ultimate price. When Craig's widow, Adrianna, begins to receive cards and flowers from her late husband, she assumes it's someones cruel joke. Then grisly remains are found on the Thornton estate.

Detective Gage Hudson believes the bodies are linked to Craig. But the biggest shocks are yet to come. A psychopath has resumed his work, each death a prelude to his most cherished target. The only way to stop him is to uncover a family's dark past-and a twisted love someone will kill for, again and again....

For more info you can visit Mary Burton's website.

Dying Scream
Mary Burton
Zebra Books
Fiction/$6.99 ($8.99 Canada
On sale November 24, 2009

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