Book Review – A Spiritual Journey by Susan Kapatoes…

Did you know? That we are powerful beings with the ability to use our inner strength for the benefit of humankind. Throughout her life, Susan Kapatoes has felt moments of divine intervention – compelling events that caused her to remember and experience the omnipresent energy that is moving through our infinite universe and permeating our everyday lives.
A Spiritual Journey chronicles turning points in Kapatoes’s life. These are the unexpected moments that deeply touched her heart, revealing our existence extends far beyond the boundaries of the physical world. Stories of love, friendship, and difficulty are shared, along with those moments of grace, inviting the reader to expand his or her consciousness towards a greater reality. 
Kapatoes shares the inner tools for igniting our own spiritual journey: sincerity, awareness, joy, and knowledge. We all have access to such tools. How we choose to use these instruments dictates the course of our own lives, and that of humanity. A Spiritual Journey empowers each of us to take positive action and awaken our own higher consciousness.
I was given an ARC by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
My biggest issue with this book, and if I’m honest, this would have affected my decision to request this book is that nowhere in the book description is god mentioned. Spirituality is a large umbrella term that ensconces many different pathways. Had I known this book was solely about god, I would not have wanted to read it.
However, that being said, Ms. Kapatoes has described her enlightenment really well and given the reader some real insight into how she felt.
Another pet peeve. She uses the term “alternative therapy”. No no no. It’s complementary therapies.
The way that the author describes her friendships with others during her time working in a cafe is really lovely. She shows that the strong bond of friendship can help to lift our moods no matter what.
It’s just a great shame that this book is not what I was expecting.
A two out of five star read.
I am profoundly grateful to Netgalley for my copy of this book.

Book Review – The Fire Child by S.K Tremayne…

When Rachel marries dark, handsome David, everything seems to fall into place. Swept from single life in London to the beautiful Carnhallow House in Cornwall, she gains wealth, love, and an affectionate stepson, Jamie.
But then Jamie’s behaviour changes, and Rachel’s perfect life begins to unravel. He makes disturbing predictions, claiming to be haunted by the spectre of his late mother – David’s previous wife. Is this Jamie’s way of punishing Rachel, or is he far more traumatized than she thought?
As Rachel starts digging into the past, she begins to grow suspicious of her husband. Why is he so reluctant to discuss Jamie’s outbursts? And what exactly happened to cause his ex-wife’s untimely death, less than two years ago? As summer slips away and December looms, Rachel begins to fear there might be truth in Jamie’s words:
“You will be dead by Christmas”
I really wanted to like this book. I tried very hard to be drawn into the story by the words. Cornwall is painted beautifully by the words of the story. You can close your eyes and be transported to the utterly stunning landscape.
However, the writer loses me a little bit from then on in. I had issues with her uses of the word autistic to describe some form of landscape or area. Just my gripe.
The book is well written but the story feels just a little too strange to me. Not the page turner that I was hoping for.
A two out of five star read.
I am profoundly grateful to Natgalley and HarperCollins UK for my copy.

Book Review – Fuzzy by Tom Angelberger and Paul Dellinger…

When Max—Maxine Zealster—befriends her new robot classmate Fuzzy, part of Vanguard One Middle School’s new Robot Integration Program, she helps him learn everything he needs to know about surviving middle school—the good, the bad, and the really, really, ugly. Little do they know that surviving sixth grade is going to become a true matter of life and death, because Vanguard has an evil presence at its heart: a digital student evaluation system named BARBARA that might be taking its mission to shape the perfect student to extremes!
I was given an ARC by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
This is a fast paced and funny book about an American Middle School. Max is a very strong female protagonist and the perfect counterpart to Fuzzy.
The author’s distaste for school rules and systems peeps through between the lines which will make this book hugely enjoyable to every teen who reads it.
A four out of five star read.
I am profoundly grateful to Netgalley and ABRAMS Kids for my copy of this book.

Book Review – A Boy Made Of Blocks – Keith Stuart…

MEET THIRTY SOMETHING DAD, ALEX… He loves his wife Jody, but has forgotten how to show it. He loves his son but doesn’t understand him. Something has to change. And it needs to start with him. 

MEET EIGHT-YEAR-OLD SAM… Beautiful, surprising, autistic. To him the world is a puzzle he can’t solve on his own.


But when Sam starts to play Minecraft, it opens up a place where Alex and Sam begin to re-discover both themselves, and each other… can one fragmented family put themselves back together, one piece at a time?
I was given an ARC by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
This book has been brilliantly and beautifully written. As a parent of two autistic children, I welcome with open arms any piece of writing, whether it be fiction or fact that promotes the awareness of autism. My youngest son is utterly obsessed with Minecraft and can play for hours. It is his world.
Stuart has a real, in depth knowledge of the condition. You can tell that he has first hand experience of autism via his son. As I was reading along, I was nodding and thinking, “Yes. Yes. Yes” Every thing that he mentioned was something that was part of my own daily life or that of my children. Even through a work of fiction, Stuart shows us all that we are not alone in stumbling through life with our autistic children.
This beautiful story takes us through the highs and lows of this life. The joys and the sorrows. I would highly recommend this book to everyone. To promote awareness of autism to people who have no understanding of the condition and to promote support to those of us that do. Utterly stunning piece of fiction.
A five out of five star read.
I am profoundly grateful to Netgalley and the Little Brown Book Group for my copy of this book. 

Sometimes, I am very fragile

All. Of. This!

Healing From Complex Trauma & PTSD/CPTSD

fragile 1

It isn’t ‘popular’ to admit you are fragile. Abuse survivors are expected to be ‘strong’ all the time. In fact, we are expected to be stronger than those who have not endured much suffering. Which is bizarre in itself.

I have come to realise, we live in a very emotionally invalidating and abandoning society. And I don’t follow society, in ways I know is causing harm.

I have the courage to admit, I am really fragile at times. One of those times is now.

And I need self compassion. I need to take care of myself, while I try to deal with everything that has caused me to feel so fragile right now.

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Book Review – Let Me Tell You About A Man I Knew by Susan Fletcher…

Provence, May 1889. The hospital of Saint-Paul-de Mausole is home to the mentally ill. An old monastery, it sits at the foot of Les Alpilles mountains amongst wheat fields, herbs and olive groves. For years, the fragile have come here and lived quietly, found rest behind the shutters and high, sun-baked walls. 
Tales of the new arrival – his savagery, his paintings, his copper-red hair – are quick to find the warden’s wife. From her small white cottage, Jeanne Trabuc watches him – how he sets his easel amongst the trees, the irises and the fields of wheat, and paints in the heat of the day. 
Jeanne knows the rules; she knows not to approach the patients at Saint-Paul. But this man – paint-smelling, dirty, troubled and intense – is, she thinks, worth talking to. So ignoring her husband’s wishes, the dangers and despite the word mad, Jeanne climbs over the hospital wall. She will find that the painter will change all their lives.
I was given an ARC by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
This book starts in a beautifully descriptive way. One can close one’s eyes and just picture being stood next to Jeanne and working with her. The words are incredibly evocative and emotive.
The story takes us through the life of a woman who is changing and fighting against what her life has become. She visits the Dutchman and continues to after her husband forbade it. He gives her a sense of purpose and fire that she never did before.
The writer has created pictures painted with words, as she does with every book.
A five out of five star read.
I am profoundly grateful to Netgalley and The Little Brown Book Group (UK) for my copy of this book.