Source: Publisher/ TLC Book Tours
—Dilip V. Jeste, MD, president, American Psychiatric Association
As a young girl in Bangalore, Gayathri was surrounded by the fragrance of jasmine and flickering oil lamps, her family protected by Hindu gods and goddesses. But as she grew older, demons came forth from the dark corners of her idyllic kingdom—with the scariest creatures lurking within her.
The daughter of a respected Brahmin family, Gayathri began to feel different. “I can hardly eat, sleep, or think straight. The only thing I can do is cry unending tears.” Her parents insisted it was all in her head. Because traditional Indian culture had no concept of depression as an illness, no doctor could diagnose and no medicine could heal her mysterious malady.
This memoir traces Gayathri’s courageous battle with the depression that consumed her from adolescence through marriage and a move to the United States. It was only after the birth of her first child, when her husband discovered her in the backyard “clawing the earth furiously with my bare hands, intent on digging a grave so that I could bury myself alive” that she finally found help. After a stay in a psych ward she eventually found “the light within,” an emotional and spiritual awakening from the darkness of her tortured mind.
Gayathri’s inspiring story provides a first-of-its-kind cross-cultural view of mental illness—how it is regarded in India and in America, and how she drew on both her rich Hindu heritage and Western medicine to find healing.
For more information, visit the website for ASHA International, Gayathri’s nonprofit organization promoting personal, organizational, and community wellness HERE.
Gayathri Ramprasad’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, March 3rd: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Tuesday, March 4th: Bookfoolery
Tuesday, March 11th: A Bookish Affair
Wednesday, March 12th: The Whimsical Cottage
Thursday, March 13th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, March 18th: Lavish Bookshelf
Wednesday, March 19th: Sarah’s Book Shelves
Monday, March 24th: The Best Books Ever
Monday, March 24th: Literally Jen
Tuesday, March 25th: Bookish Ardour
Thursday, March 27th: Books in the Burbs
Friday, March 28th: Good Girl Gone Redneck
Win a copy of the book, courtesy of the publisher and TLC Book Tours!
One random winner will be selected on April 10, 2014.
Open to US/Canada.
In the comments section:
Answer Question: What most interests you about this book?
In December, 2009, Susan Cox Powell was reported missing from her home in West Valley City, Utah. As law enforcement tried to piece together what had happened to Susan, her husband, Josh Powell, became the only person of interest in the case.
For Jennifer Graves, Josh’s sister, the nightmare started long before Susan’s disappearance. From her experiences growing up in the Powell family to the terrifying moment when she first started to believe her brother was a killer, she relied on her faith to stay strong. She devoted herself to the safety of Susan’s boys, Charlie and Braden, whom she hoped to be able to raise as her own. When the boys were murdered by their father in February, 2012, Jennifer was more than devastated, but she had to believe there was a reason for it all—including the deaths of her beloved nephews.
In A Light In Dark Places, Jennifer shares her struggles and her triumphs. In coming to terms with such tragedy she finally was able to embrace the truth that we all have the power to choose our own path—and there is always hope, no matter how dark things may seem.
I am not a news person, so I don’t watch the news. However, even this devastating story made its way into our home. I remember reading the news online and being utterly shocked and heartbroken about Susan and her sons. This story is told from Jennifer’s viewpoint, as she shares some childhood memories leading up to the horrific news about her nephews.
This story gives glimpses into the possibilities of why Josh would do something so horrible to his family, but it does not go into every gruesome detail. Rather, it’s a book that shares how one family member’s choice impacts the lives of the rest of the family, how family secrets can divide a family, and the strongholds family can have on one another.
Told in a sequence of events, with some flashbacks, Jennifer details the events leading up to the deaths of Charlie and Braden. However, it was really hard to truly understand the emotional impact it had on her parents and siblings. Because the story is told through Jennifer’s perspective and some discussions with Susan’s family, there isn’t a lot of information aside from what Jennifer was privy to. However, it still doesn’t take away from the storyline, because of the hope Jennifer brings to her readers. It’s also important to note that Jennifer wrote this book without the support of her parents and siblings, and she learned of certain events from Susan’s parents.
In writing this book, Jennifer broke through family rules and roles in her childhood, such as sharing family secrets and exposing lies her biological family told. This just makes this story even more powerful because aside from Susan’s story, Jennifer is also freeing herself from the chains of bondage her family has over her siblings. Jennifer choosing to write this story is a true testament to her faith, her strength, courage, and the love and support she has from her husband and Susan’s family. It is my hope that this book will reach many people, all over the world, to not only give hope to those in abusive relationships, but also to those who don’t want to be part of such a dysfunctional family structure. That everyone has a choice to do things differently, regardless of where you start!
Both Jennifer and Emily wrote a fantastic book that can be used in women’s shelters, church groups, book clubs, and organizations that help abused women and children.
About the Authors:
Jennifer Graves is the mother of 5 beautiful children, 2 girls and 3 boys. She and her husband have been happily married for 19 years and together have been active in their community and church.
Jennifer is the sister of Josh Powell who killed his 2 sons, Charlie and Braden, as well as himself in February of 2012, and is also believed to have killed his wife, Susan Cox Powell, in December of 2009.
She is the recipient of the 2013 ChainBreaker of the year Award, given for breaking the chain of abuse and violence in her family.
She enjoys homeschooling their children and mentoring in classes for the commonwealth school they attend. She also loves reading, playing card and board games, and learning new things. Most of all she loves to spend time with her husband and children. They currently reside in West Jordan, UT.
♦ ♦ ♦
Emily Clawson is an author, a mother and a mentor. She traditionally writes inspirational fiction. This book has been a life changing experience for her and she is grateful to have been a part of telling this story. She resides in Taylorsville with her husband and four children where they run their leadership mentoring programs for youth.
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Books in the Burbs Giveaway:
- Giveaway Tour ~ A Light In Dark Places ~ Tragedy and Triumph (fuonlyknew.com)
- A Light in Dark Places Book Blast (thewonderingsofoneperson.wordpress.com)
- Book Blast: FIGHTING FOR THE EDGE by Jennifer Comeaux (missriki.com)
- A Light in Dark Places Blog Tour (thewonderingsofoneperson.wordpress.com)
- Book Blitz: A Light In Dark Places (ashleyfarley.net)
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Experience the inner world of a woman with schizophrenia in this brutally honest, lyrical memoir.
Have you ever wondered what it is like in the mind of a person with Schizophrenia? How can one survive day after day unable to distinguish between one’s inner nightmares and the everyday realities that most of us take for granted?
In her brutally honest, highly original memoir, Kristina Morgan takes us inside her head to experience the chaos, fragmented thinking, and the startling creativity of the schizophrenic mind. With the intimacy of private journal-like entries and the language of a poet, she carries us from her childhood to her teen years when hallucinations began to hijack her mind and into adulthood where she began abusing alcohol to temper the punishing voices that only she could hear.
This is no formulaic tale of tragedy and triumph: We feel Kristina’s hope as she pursues an education and career and begins to build strong family connections, friendships and intimacy—and her devastation as the insistent voices convince her to throw it all away, destroying herself and alienating everyone around her. Woven through the pages of her life are stories of recovery from alcoholism and the search for her sexual identity in relationships with both women and men. Eventually, her journey takes her to a place of relative peace and stability where she finds the inner resources and support system to manage her chronic illnesses and live a fulfilling life.
I remember taking an assessments class in graduate school and watching a video of a Psychologist with Schizophrenia. It showed how she coped through each day and how she managed to take control of her life, or at least try to. So, when I read the synopsis for this book, I was instantly intrigued. Kristina Morgan, a woman who chooses to write so honestly and openly, as she struggles with the impact of schizophrenia is nothing short of extraordinary. It wasn’t a long read for me, but it still left a great impact on my mind! The book read at times like the struggles she has in her minds, sometimes fragmented, sometimes skipping from one subject to another, which was the beauty of it all. This story, Kristina’s memoir, wasn’t meant to placate what this illness truly is and she invites you into her mind to see what it’s like for her everyday. While Kristina navigates her way through life, she shows readers why mental illness is real, why it should be treated, and what it looks like if left untreated. During a time with a heightened curiosity about Amanda Bynes, this book will certainly show the real and scary struggles people with schizophrenia live. And hopefully, after reading this book, people will not only walk away with a little more insight, but also with a lot more compassion.
About Kristina Morgan
Kristina Morgan is a first-time author. She is currently married, working, and managing her co-occurring disorders, schizophrenia and alcoholism with the Twelve Step recovery. She lives in Arizona.
Visit Kristina’s blog at MindWithoutAHome.com.
Kristina Morgan’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, September 30th: Book Hooked Blog
Thursday, October 3rd: My Bookshelf
Monday, October 7th: Books in the Burbs
Wednesday, October 9th: Good Girl Gone Redneck
Thursday, October 10th: Book-a-licious Mama
Monday, October 14th: Love at First Book
Wednesday, October 16th: A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
Thursday, October 17th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Monday, October 21st: Justice Jennifer
Tuesday, October 22nd: Books Speak Volumes
Wednesday, October 23rd: Bookchickdi
Thursday, October 24th: Sara’s Organized Chaos
Monday, October 28th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Wednesday, October 30th: A Bookish Way of Life
Friday, November 1st: Bibliophiliac
Date TBD: Peppermint Ph.D.
2 Memoirs-One from Someone Who Escaped a Cult and Another Who Part of a New Culture: Real Housewives of BH
- Print Length: 416 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow (February 5, 2013)
- Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was raised as a Scientologist but left the controversial religion in 2005. In Beyond Belief, she shares her true story of life inside the upper ranks of the sect, details her experiences as a member Sea Org—the church’s highest ministry, speaks of her “disconnection” from family outside of the organization, and tells the story of her ultimate escape.
In this tell-all memoir, complete with family photographs from her time in the Church, Jenna Miscavige Hill, a prominent critic of Scientology who now helps others leave the organization, offers an insider’s profile of the beliefs, rituals, and secrets of the religion that has captured the fascination of millions, including some of Hollywood’s brightest stars such as Tom Cruise and John Travolta.
- Print Length: 258 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1476707626
- Publisher: Gallery Books (February 12, 2013)
- Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
- Scientology leader’s niece on growing up in the cult (thesun.co.uk)
- Former Scientologist speaks out about controversial religion (azfamily.com)
- File Size: 1566 KB
- Print Length: 304 pages
- Publisher: Harper (August 14, 2012)
- Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
- ASIN: B007BCG9N2
- Genre: Memoir
“My family doesn’t do happy endings. We do sad endings or frustrating endings or no endings at all. We are hardwired to expect the next interruption or disappearance or broken promise.”
Hope Solo is the face of the modern female athlete. She is fearless, outspoken, and the best in the world at what she does: protecting the goal of the U.S. women’s soccer team. Her outsized talent has led her to the pinnacle of her sport—the Olympics and the World Cup—and made her into an international celebrity who is just as likely to appear on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars as she is on the covers of Sports Illustrated, ESPN The Magazine, and Vogue. But her journey—which began in Richland, Washington, where she was raised by her strong-willed mother on the scorched earth of defunct nuclear testing sites—is similarly haunted by the fallout of her family history. Her father, a philanderer and con man, was convicted of embezzlement when Solo was an infant. She lost touch with him as he drifted out of prison and into homelessness. By the time they reunited, years later, in the parking lot of a grocery store, she was an All-American goalkeeper at the University of Washington and already a budding prospect for the U.S. national team. He was living in the woods.
Despite harboring serious doubts even about the provenance of her father’s last name (and her own), Solo embraces him as fiercely as she pursues her dreams of being a world-class soccer player. When those dreams are threatened by her standing within the national team, as when she was famously benched in the semifinals of the 2007 World Cup after four shutouts and spoke her piece publicly, we see a woman of uncompromising independence and hard-won perseverance navigate the petty backlash against her. For the first time, she tells her version of that controversial episode, and offers with it a full understanding of her hard-scrabble life.
Moving, sometimes shocking, Solo is a portrait of an athlete finding redemption. This is the Hope Solo whom few have ever glimpsed.
This is a book that shares very intimate details of the struggles Hope experiences from childhood through adulthood. I must admit that not being an avid soccer fan, I had never heard of Hope Solo before Dancing with the Stars. When I saw how Hope was portrayed on the show as very defensive to criticism, it just seemed in stark contrast to the jovial look I saw on her face when the soccer team for TEAM USA won gold. This is why I purchased her memoir. I wanted to know what was underneath all the costumes, whether soccer or dance, and learn more about her.
Hope Solo’s memoir bares it all on the floor for you to see. She shares every triumph, challenge, and personal journey through it all. As I was reading the book, I not only learned more about her, but also about the sport of soccer. It was amazing to see the hurdles she had to literally jump, the criticism she had to take from the national team under Greg Ryan‘s leadership, and how a woman must still break barriers to be successful.
Contrary to the media and all the hype her book has received for “throwing ‘so-and-so’ under the bus”, this is about Hope’s journey…nothing else. There is no hidden agenda in this book, she isn’t trying to make anyone out to be the “bad guy”, nor is she trying to justify her own actions. She is who she is and she gives it all to her readers….take it or leave it, you will walk away with a better understanding of the person behind the accomplishments and criticisms that come with it.
I walked away from this book with so much respect and admiration for a young woman who defied what critics had said, what statistics said based on her family issues and where she lived, and what others in her sport had expected her to be. Hope is not a “solo” act. She depended on her family for emotional strength and on her body for physical strength. She depended on her team to do their job and wanted them to know they could depend on her. Hope lives in a man’s world of sports, but through her sport and experience, she has allowed other young dreamers to follow in her place. The goalie position, known as the unpopular place soccer players want to be….Hope made it the place that demanded respect and deserved it.
She may come across as tough, uncaring, and she is when she needs to be. However, she is also very sensitive and loves to laugh, be with those who enjoy life, and who know that she is more than a soccer player…she is a woman with heart and passion. This is a book I highly recommend for anyone who wants to be inspired, who has been told “no” one to many times, and who obviously loves soccer. However, more than that, this is book that deserves to be read because it’s got pure heart and she holds nothing back.
Meaningful quotes that I loved:
” ‘Hope is, by definition, defiant. It is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to be a strength.’ ” (p. 31)
“….my goalkeeper coach, Amy, handed me a note that said, ‘A goalkeeper cannot win a game. A goalkeeper saves it.’ ” (p. 95)
“Only a daughter cries like that for her father.’ ” (p.124)
“Out on the field, I put my right hand over my heart for the national anthem and held my left glove carefully by my side. When I walked into the goal, I made the sign of the cross, kissed my closed fist, then opened my glove and let the ashes drop, saying a little prayer to myself.” (p.141)
“I was far beyond caring who judged how I celebrated something I had worked for my entire life. Never again would I worry about what others thought.” (p.184)
Follow Hope Solo:
- Hope Solo drama. Because there’s always Hope Solo drama (prosoccertalk.nbcsports.com)
- Hope Solo Slapped and Berated By Her Dancing With The Stars Partner (ebbandflowofcurrentaffairs.com)
- Monte Poole: Is it time for Olympic goalie Hope Solo to save herself? (mercurynews.com)
- Hope Solo Details All-Night Benders in Las Vegas, Kissing Girls in New Book (nesn.com)
- Clips from Last Night: Hope Solo on her public reputation and her inspiration for writing her memoir (piersmorgan.blogs.cnn.com)
- Hope Solo’s former coach denies shoving her (wjla.com)
- The latest Hope Solo drama; charges and denials over alleged 2007 incident (prosoccertalk.nbcsports.com)
- You: Hope Solo: My Dad Was Never Around, My Mom Was the True Champion (bleacherreport.com)
- Hope Solo Stands by Abuse Claim (huffingtonpost.com)
- Maksim Chmerkovskiy — Hope Solo is LYING … I Never Slapped Her (tmz.com)
- File Size: 4394 KB
- Print Length: 256 pages
- Publisher: Touchstone (June 12, 2012)
- Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0061Q13V2
- Genre: Memoir
AT FOURTEEN YEARS OLD, Dominique Moceanu was the youngest member of the 1996 U.S. Women’s Olympic Gymnastics team, the first and only American women’s team to take gold at the Olympics. Her pixyish appearance and ferocious competitive drive quickly earned her the status of media darling. But behind the fame, the flawless floor routines, and the million-dollar smile, her life was a series of challenges and hardships.
Off Balance vividly delineates each of the dominating characters who contributed to Moceanu’s rise to the top, from her stubborn father and long-suffering mother to her mercurial coach, Bela Karolyi. Here, Moceanu finally shares the haunting stories of competition, her years of hiding injuries and pain out of fear of retribution from her coaches, and how she hit rock bottom after a public battle with her parents.
But medals, murder plots, drugs, and daring escapes aside (all of which figure into Moceanu’s incredible journey), the most unique aspect of her life is the family secret that Moceanu discovers, opening a new and unexpected chapter in her adult life. A mysterious letter from a stranger reveals that she has a second sister—born with a physical disability and given away at birth—who has nonetheless followed in Moceanu’s footsteps in an astonishing way.
A multilayered memoir that transcends the world of sports, Off Balance will touch anyone who has ever dared to dream of a better life.
I absolutely loved this memoir!! Everyone remembers the petite size gymnast bringing the house down with her floor exercises at the 1996 Olympics, dancing to “Devil Went Down to Georgia”. However, to read about the dark secrets and her struggles that went behind closed doors is so daunting and traumatic for any child to experience. We’ve all seen the news reports and watched the interviews about her long lost sister, Jennifer, which certainly added another whole element to the book. However, you haven’t seen it or heard it all from those medial outlets, so you have to read this book!
In her memoir, Dominique really pours her innermost thoughts, fears, and questions about discovering she has a sister and what that meant for her (lost dreams of having a big family, family secrets, acceptance). She also writes very openly about the traditional Romanian family she lived in and how that also added to some of the abuse she experienced while training as a gymnast.
While there have been gymnasts trying to dismiss some of Dominique’s claims to the darkness and lack of support that goes on behind closed gymnasium doors, no one can take away from her own experiences. As a licensed marriage and family therapist, it is quite common for family members to express different opinions and have completely different experiences to the same situation.
So, no one can dismiss Dominique as she paints a very real and vivid picture into the struggles she endured, how she overcame them, and what she is doing now to help future gymnasts. This is her story, her voice, her struggles and triumphs, and I truly appreciated her authenticity and genuineness in writing this memoir.
I highly recommend this book for anyone that enjoys reading memoirs, enjoys the sport of the gymnastics and the Olympics, as well as those who like reading about family structures and roles within each family.
Connect with the Author
- Dominique Moceanu’s Years of Abuse (thedailybeast.com)
- Behind the Fame of Olympic Gymnast Dominique Moceanu (fox8.com)
- Olympian Dominique Moceanu Discovers Biological Sister, A Gymnast With No Legs (chicago.cbslocal.com)
- Dominique Moceanu Reunites With Secret Sister Jen Bricker [Video] (inquisitr.com)
- Dominique Moceanu Felt a ‘Primal Loss’ Before Meeting Secret Sister (people.com)
- Champion Gymnast Reveals Secret Sister (abcnews.go.com)
- An unbelievable story: Olympic gymnast Dominque Moceanu discovers her long-lost ‘secret’ sister (lifesitenews.com)
- 1996 Atlanta star Moceanu has adopted sister (espn.go.com)
- You: Dominique Moceanu: Memoir ‘Off Balance’ Reveals Secret Sister Jen Bricker (bleacherreport.com)
My family and I went to Maui for 10 gorgeous days! It is everything people say it is: mesmerizing, calming, gorgeous, breathtaking, and the list can go on. Being on the plane for 8 hours allowed me to read quite a bit!! En route to Hawaii, I read a really great and easy book:
It was a free book that I had downloaded onto my Nook a while back, but decided to read it. Having made the decision to be pro-active about my health and lose weight, I thought it was a perfect book to get started. Aside from discussing weight issues and her time on The Biggest Loser, Michelle shares her struggles with rejection and deeper rooted issues that impacted her choices and lifestyle. I was truly in awe of her courage to face those issues and even more appreciative that she chose to be so open about it in her memoir. I’d definitely encourage anyone that struggles with weight issues, is at a plateau in their weight, and/or wants to learn more about the journey of a contestant on The Biggest Loser, I suggest you read this book!
After reading this book and landed in Hawaii, I had to take a break from reading. It was gorgeous!!
Isn’t the water just gorgeous?? We were on a dinner cruise and saw the sunset, which was also spectacular!
This is the beach we went to all the time!!! It was so peaceful there and next to us were these huge lava rocks with mini caves underneath…the perfect place to climb and play. The sand was so clean and pure, so we just loved playing there. Of course, I lounged and read books!! :D
I loved the people there, too! It felt like the most safest place to be and we loved every moment. We met wonderful Islanders, spoke to people who had up and left their homes to move to Hawaii, and talked to business owners about how they have managed there. Yes, I’d love to move there, too!! Their tap water was AMAZING!!! Seriously. It tasted like Fiji Water without the expense. I only drank tap water because of how delicious it tasted. My daughter left her Nike sandals on the beach and someone was kind enough to put them to the side of the walk way and there they stayed the whole day!!! People were just so kind and we met some wonderful people….I just can’t speak highly enough of that place. The prices are high, so you just can’t go with love in your heart and no money in your wallet ;) BUT…it was sooo worth it! We hope to visit again next year!
We drove up this mountain to watch the sunrise. It was spectacular!!
- Aloha! Movie (mqyzoiy.typepad.com)
- Hawaii’s hometown race: the Great Aloha Run (orbitz.com)
- Download The Aloha Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts) e-book (eoyoorpn.typepad.com)
- Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffee Now Available Online (prweb.com)
- Aloha (mizzjinghu.wordpress.com)
- Agriculture Says Aloha to Hawaiian Farmers (damontucker.com)
- Aloha #59 (theeclecticelement.blogspot.com)
- Aloha Friday (talesofanoverstuffedprincess.wordpress.com)
- On Maui, Aloha is Automatic (naturallyhi.com)