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text 2017-11-07 12:02
Survival Lessons by Alice Hoffman
Survival Lessons - Alice Hoffman

One of America's most beloved writers shares her suggestions for finding beauty in the world even during the toughest times. Survival Lessons provides a road map of how to reclaim your life from this day forward, with ways to re-envision everything―from relationships with friends and family to the way you see yourself. As Alice Hoffman says, “In many ways I wrote Survival Lessons to remind myself of the beauty of life, something that’s all too easy to overlook during the crisis of illness or loss. I forgot that our lives are made up of equal parts of sorrow and joy, and that it is impossible to have one without the other. I wrote to remind myself that despite everything that was happening to me, there were still choices I could make.” Wise, gentle, and wry, Alice Hoffman teaches all of us how to choose what matters most.

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In this nonfiction work, novelist Alice Hoffman thinks on some of the most challenging periods of her life and puts together lessons she's learned once coming out on the other side of those trying times. In her preface, she starts with the year of her cancer diagnosis, right when professionally she was feeling extraordinarily blessed and busy. Her novel Here On Earth had recently been chosen as an Oprah Book Club pick, while another of her works, Practical Magic, had a film adaptation in production starring Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock. As she flat out says, "I didn't have time to be ill." But cancer doesn't care what you have going on, so... ill she was. The experience led her to not only get in some "what does it all mean?" kind of deep thinking during this process of trying to get well, but also other moments in her life that brought her to a similar state of mind. Hoffman thought it might be beneficially to put it all down and create an inspiring little booklet for dark times. So Survival Lessons was born. 

 

 

Just some of the soul-strengthening ideas Hoffman offers:

 

* Find a hero figure, someone who exudes an inner strength and love of life you admire

* CHOOSE to enjoy yourself and your life. Sure, you're bound to have responsibilities that you need to address, but every so often set time aside to have a (guilt-free btw!) you-day! Yes, take care of your loved ones but also make sure you sometimes give into your OWN wants! Be unapologetically you :-)

* CHOOSE to forgive.

* Friends & Family: Choose your friends wisely, surround yourself with people who exude positive energy. Keep supportive, nurturing people close and turn away selfish, manipulative, soul-sucking people. Carefully consider the source before choosing to take advice of someone. Also, even in the midst of challenging schedules, be sure to make time for your friends.

* It's good to live in the moment but also not a bad idea to also make at least a few plans for the future! Give yourself goals to keep you mentally stimulated and motivated!

* Accept that there will be inevitable times of sorrow but choose to live in the light and allow yourself to dream of beautiful things / moments to come.

* Take risks and try new things. Make beautiful things.

* Tell your own story, in your own way, in your own time. Claim your past: Embrace, acknowledge and come to terms with your experiences. Don't be afraid to share your life story sometimes, never know who it could help -- talk with strangers, join support groups, volunteer at non-profit organizations. 

* For those emotionally struggling and in a relationship: don't block out your partner / spouse. Choose love and remember that while they might not know exactly what you're feeling, they ARE there going through it with you in their own way. They're trying to figure all this out too! 

 

If you're a member of the crafty crowd, Hoffman also includes a knitting pattern for a knit hat designed by her cousin, Lisa Hoffman. For bakers, she includes a recipe for the perfect boiled egg that she learned from Julia Child as well as the brownie recipe (requires a double boiler) of a close friend.

 

Here's a warning: Maclin's brownies will not appear perfect. They will sink in the middle. The top will crack. You'll want to throw them out. Don't. They will be everything they should be and more. They are perfect inside, which is even better than merely looking good.

 

Hoffman also includes some lovely blue-toned photographs and art images that nicely add to the calming vibe of this entire book. 

 

 

I don't think Julia {Child} would mind me giving out her secret. She was a survivor. When we worked together raising funds at the hospital where we had both been treated, I instantly wished she was my best friend. Her warmth and compassion were legend. She didn't want to talk about herself and was deeply interested in other people. She knew who she was, but she didn't know who you were, and she wanted to. Frankly, she was more alive than people half her age. Everything was beautiful to her: an egg, a stranger's life story, a battered cooking pot. 

 

This made it onto my list of favorite books I've read in 2017. It was one of those ones that seemed to find me at just the right time. In addition to sharing her cancer story, Hoffman discusses the experience of having to essentially be a parent to her mother (been there myself!). I also found myself feeling a bond over both of us having discovered the works of Ray Bradbury when we were both twelve years old. Though I've been aware of Alice Hoffman as a writer for many years, it's only been in the last couple years that I started cracking open her books for myself. She's since become a favorite of mine. It was just the cherry on top to discover we had such similarities in our life stories. Having lost my mother earlier this year, this inspiring work gave me just the heart lift I needed to work my way back to healing. Survival Lessons will forever have a place on my shelves and will likely be a book I gift out for many years to come! 

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review 2017-10-28 00:00
American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West
American Wolf: A True Story of Survival ... American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West - Nate Blakeslee https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/166873595623/american-wolf-a-true-story-of-survival-and

The corporate world conducts business all over this planet and has continually disregarded the environment stretching now beyond the crisis of climate change to the certain eradication of our natural resources. Clean drinking water is increasingly becoming scarce and our wild woodlands threatened along with its endangered creatures. Enter the wolf, long-hated and feared for centuries due to myth and innuendo. Nate Blakeslee produces a riveting history of the wolf’s re-introduction to protected lands once eradicated of them. The feature story throughout this sad but fascinating book centers on its main characters, good and bad, both man and wolf. Uplifting and at times defeating, this fine work brings important focus on a subject well worth our time. The fact that congress and our bureaucracies continue to enable and sell-out to the corporate hunting and ranching industry at the cost of the treasured wolf is a travesty. Every year our government agencies, established to serve and protect us, destroy thousands of wolves on our tax dollar. There is detail galore in this book to help us learn more about the social behavior of wolf and man. And it is sad that wolves prove themselves more humane and conservative than humans are.
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review 2017-10-21 14:46
Last Words
Last Words: A Diary of Survival - Shari J Ryan Emma's grandmother, Amelia is the rock of her family. That is, until the day Amelia suffers a stroke. At this point, Emma's life is forced to come into focus. Amelia suddenly wants Emma to find her old diary, one she wrote during the Holocaust, and a man named Charlie. Oh, and Amelia has also conned her cardiologist, Jackson into taking Emma on a date. When Emma finds her grandmother's diary, she is launched into a world of secrets from Amelia's life and horrors that she could not believe. In addition, Emma also reads about love found within the concentration camp. Amelia and Nazi Soldier, Charlie Crane find one another during the worst of times. Charlie, though a Nazi, has simply been forced to serve since a youth. In reading Amelia's story of survival and love, Emma comes to realize what she has been missing and dives into her new relationship with Jackson. However, she is now in a race against time to find the Charlie from her grandmother's past as Amelia's health worsens. I have always loved historical fiction and I'm so glad Shari took on such a heavy topic. Inspired by her own grandmother, Shari has weaved together a story of past and present, survival and loss and heartbreak and love. I was pulled into Amelia's story with her strength and tenacity throughout the pain, hardship, loss and desperation of being separated from her family and watching those around her continuously die while she lived with help and hope from Charlie. With alternating viewpoints of Amelia's diary and Emma's blossoming love life, I was given a reprieve from the Holocaust and given a taste of Shari's specialty with Emma and Jackson, a sweet and sultry romance. Through reading Amelia's diary together, Emma and Jackson are brought together quickly, realizing that love is something that you should hold on to. With just enough hints of spice, their relationship heats up quickly. I was also engrossed by the mystery of Charlie; was he alive, had he moved on, would Emma find him on time? I was glad for Amelia's happily ever after, although it came seventy-four years late. Most of all this story this story is about remembering those who fought to survive and the power of love when we have lost all else. This is also a way to remember those who have survived this hateful time in history and to make sure we have all of their last words recorded so that we will never forget. This book was received for free in return for an honest review
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review 2017-10-07 00:39
Emotional and entertaining
Survival Game (Men of London Book 9) - Susan Mac Nicol

I'll admit that I started this book with a bit of trepidation. I didn't notice until I was ready to start reading that it's the 9th book in the series and was worried that I'd be lost. No such problem here. The story works well as a standalone and while I'm sure that some of the characters are from past books, I had no trouble following Eric and Kyle's story. I will say that I found the secondary characters interesting enough that I will be checking out the rest of the series. 

Both Kyle and Eric have troubling back stories that tug at the heartstrings and have each of them being cautious in matters of the heart. Even with past troubles and caution, this pair is quite good together and I couldn't help but root for their happily ever after. The story is very well-written and while it is an emotional tale, there is some wonderfully witty dialogue and moments of levity to keep it from getting too angsty. 

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text 2017-10-03 12:40
Blog Tour: Survival Game by Susan Mac Nicol with Excerpt and Giveaway

Today’s stop is for Susan Mac Nicol’s Survival Game. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 


HANDLE...

Kyle Tripper has led an interesting life. Currently the manager of London's famous Club Delish, he used to be a croupier extraordinaire in Las Vegas. But not everything in that life was so glamorous; his ex was a piece of work. Now gun-shy, Kyle hopes there is someone special out there for him, and secretly wishes it's luscious paramedic, Eric Kirby.   WITH CARE   Every day Eric Kirby goes through the motions. Yeah, he saves lives, and, sure, he makes a difference, but he doesn't feel it anymore - not since he lost his one true. But, when he meets wild, flamboyant Kyle Tripper and learns there's a skittish, apprehensive man beneath the bold façade, the best of Eric's protective nature kicks in and opens his heart to a new love.

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Around ten that night, Eric walked into Club Delish to find it in full swing. He grinned wryly. Life carried on regardless of the owner being in hospital.

Determined to find Kyle, Eric manoeuvred through the writhing throng of half-naked, sweaty bodies, pouting drag queens, and men in various stages of grinding and sex play on the dance floor. He had a feeling he knew where to look.

Sure enough, Kyle was in Ryan’s office, standing with arms folded across his chest as he stared out of the large observation window down at the mass below. Eric couldn’t help but notice the strain of Kyle’s shirt across his shoulders, sleeves rolled up the elbows. His pert arse filled out his well-fitting trousers, one foot tapping to the faint strains of the music floating up from below. His hair colour had changed once again since Eric had seen him last. It was still a deep dark purple but now featured lilac streaks at the tips, and artful splashes that looked casually painted in.

Eric knocked and cleared his throat, announcing himself, knowing Kyle was skittish. Startling the man was the last thing he wanted.

“Kyle?” He waited as Kyle turned swiftly and a look of relief passed over his face when he saw it was Eric.

“Hi. What are you doing here?” Kyle moved away from the window and smiled softly. “Can’t keep away, huh?”

Eric walked into the room and laid his jacket on the chair. “I wanted to see how you were doing. And find out if there was any news about Ryan. I imagine things have been a little chaotic here today.”

Kyle waved a black fingernail-tipped hand. He had long fingers, and Eric had seen their dexterity first-hand when Kyle had done his card tricks. A fleeting flash of lust passed through Eric as he wondered what those fingers would feel like milking his cock.

 

Sue writes steamy, sexy and fun contemporary gay romance stories, some suspenseful, some gritty and dark, and others just plain ahhhh....

  Lover of angst and conflict, she enjoys putting her characters through the emotional wringer and bringing them out the other side with an HEA or at the very least, a HFN.   Sue is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and also of the Romantic Novelists Association in the UK. She’s also Editor in Chief at http://www.divinemagazine.biz, an online LGBTQ e-zine, and she’s a Charity Board trustee at http://www.beingmecampaign.com in London.   She’s passionate about research for her books and has stayed in a circus, taken lessons from a blind person on how it feels to be non-sighted, and travelled to a lighthouse with maintenance crew to see first-hand what it’s like inside. She’s also written a screen play with Hollywood actor and heart-throb Nicholas Downs, with a view to taking her latest release, Sight Unseen, to the big screen.

Links

Website *** Facebook *** Twitter *** Instagram *** Amazon *** Goodreads

 

   

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Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!
 
 
 
Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/blog-tour-survival-game-susan-mac-nicol-excerpt-giveaway
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