Book Review for ACQUIESCENCE by Velya Jancz-Urban

Title: Acquiescence
Author: Velya Jancz-Urban
Publisher: Second Wind Publishing
Genre: Paranormal
ISBN: 978-1630661021
Acquiescence+front+cover

Acquiescence
by Velya Jancz-Urban

Book review by Susan Emmerich

Even if you don’t believe in ghosts, and don’t believe that those who have passed on are still with us, you will be touched by the power of Velya Jancz-Urban’s Acquiescence. In her incredibly well researched novel, Jancz-Urban takes the reader on a journey that suspends belief as it explores betrayal, forgiveness, and acceptance. With my own connection to spirits, with my love of cemeteries, I identified closely with the characters and the story. I found myself regularly checking to make sure this was a work of fiction as the book read as both drama and a memoir, with the main character, Pamina, exposing intensely personal struggles and insights. Her wisdom is evident in passages like: “…Even when you heal, you’re never what you before. You can’t go back. You can’t change the past. It just is.” While Pamina’s family is the focus of the book, it is their experience with the spirit Susannah that guides their path to establishing a fresh beginning. This meshing of the past, present, and future is what makes Acquiescence a compelling read.

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Susan Emmerich is not a writer by training and discovered her love of words late in life.  In her first career as a licensed social worker, she worked in the areas of family violence and adoption.  When her own daughter became school age she made the leap to school guidance to take full advantage of snow days!

While having coped with multiple losses in her life, Susan did not really take notice of their collective impact until her first menopausal mood swing.  It was then that she found writing and biking to be the best medicine for a wounded soul.  She currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio and is still discovering miles of new bike trails.

Susan is the author of A Girl on a Bike: Musings on Life, Loss, and Hot Flashes. 

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Book Review for CRACK IN THE WORLD by Maribeth Shanley

Title: Crack in the World
Author: Maribeth Shanley
Publisher: Second Wind Publishing, LLC
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 978-1630661014

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Crack in the World
by Maribeth Shanley

Book review by Susan Emmerich

I picked up Maribeth Shanley’s novel, Crack in the World, with a bit of dread. As a former social worker, dealing with issues of sexual assault and domestic violence had been a daily task for me for a quarter century, and I was not looking forward to recalling decades of horror told by clients. I was pleasantly surprised that Ms. Shanley focused more on the emotional fall out from abuse, rather than the details. She accurately describes the family pain resulting from sexual abuse, without ever losing sight of the strength of her main character, Emily. The reader can’t help but rejoice in Emily’s triumph.
Yet, I found myself cheering equally hard for Emily’s mother, Sarah. It is through her eyes that we really come to know the depth of the damage, the layers of hurt. In her descriptive style, Ms. Shanley is able to draw the reader into understanding the thoughts, fears, frustrations, and sadness that often go unsaid in families impacted by the ultimate betrayal. 

If you are looking for a feel good tale of love and support, you will find it woven among the complications of human pain and lost innocence. You will be reminded that wounds can be healed with kindness and honesty, even if they never quite disappear. Crack in the World is accurate, raw, and honest. Anyone impacted by abuse will benefit from reading Ms. Shanley’s insightful novel.
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 Susan Emmerich is not a writer by training and discovered her love of words late in life.  In her first career as a licensed social worker, she worked in the areas of family violence and adoption.  When her own daughter became school age she made the leap to school guidance to take full advantage of snow days!

While having coped with multiple losses in her life, Susan did not really take notice of their collective impact until her first menopausal mood swing.  It was then that she found writing and biking to be the best medicine for a wounded soul.  She currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio and is still discovering miles of new bike trails.

Susan is the author of A Girl on a Bike: Musings on Life, Loss, and Hot Flashes.

Book Review for A GIRL ON A BIKE by Susan Emmerich

Title: A Girl on a Bike
Author: Susan Emmerich
Publisher: Second Wind Publishing, LLC
Genre: Essays
ASIN: B00UVVM6Q4download

A Girl on a Bike
by Susan Emmerich

Book review by Nicole Eva Fraser

Susan Emmerich’s irresistible reflections and vignettes are beautifully written—fresh, well-paced, well-crafted—and she has an astonishing gift for writing intensely personal essays with universally relatable notes. Emmerich calls life like she sees it; she writes direct, clear-seeing, non-fluffy prose, always with underlying wonder and gratitude for a world that brings both deep pain and amazing joy. In more than one essay, her openness to reveal her own flaws and fears brought tears to my eyes—tears of solidarity, and tears of happiness to have discovered this kindred spirit. I agree 110% with the reviewer who said this book should be on the New York Times best seller list! It will definitely be a birthday gift for my girlfriends this year.

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07-2014-nicole-eva-fraser-230x280Nicole Eva Fraser received her MFA in creative writing from NEOMFA consortium in northeast Ohio, and graduated summa cum laude from Baldwin-Wallace College with a double major in English and communications. She is an adult-literacy activist in Cleveland, Tanzania and Malawi. She runs 10Ks (slowly), used to speak French, and often can be found putting her foot in her mouth. Fraser is the author of It’s the Hardest Thing in the World and I Don’t Think It’s that Simple.

 

Book Review for A GIRL ON A BIKE by Susan Emmerich

Title: A Girl on a Bike
Author: Susan Emmerich
Publisher: Second Wind Publishing, LLC
Genre: Essays
ASIN: B00UVVM6Q4download

A Girl on a Bike
by Susan Emmerich

Book review by Carrie Jane Knowles

“I found myself with a bad case of bronchitis and a rare day in bed with a terrific book!

I loved A Girl on a Bike. It was fresh, honest, and insightful. This is a book for women of all ages. I felt like I had met a good friend and found myself hoping that I would some day have the chance to sit down and share a good laugh or cry with Susan Emmerich.

This is book to read then pass on to a friend.”

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Carrie Jane Knowles has been a freelance writer for the past forty years. She has published widely in both fiction and non-fiction and has won a number of prestigious writing awards, including: Midland Authors Poetry Award, the American Heart and Torch Award for Creative Journalism, and Glimmer Train’s Very-Short Fiction Contest. She is the author of Apricots in a Turkish Garden.

Carrie and her husband, Jeff Leiter, live in Raleigh, North Carolina. They have three children.

 

Book Review for THE HARDEST THING IN THIS WORLD by Nicole Eva Fraser

Title: The Hardest Thing in this World
Author: Nicole Eva Fraser
Publisher: Second Wind Publishing
Genre: Drama, Mainstream
ISBN: 978-1938101595
download (1)

The Hardest Thing in this World
by Nicole Eva Fraser

Book review by Susan Emmerich

In “The Hardest Thing in This World”, Nicole Eva Fraser weaves a drama of love, loss, and the complications of family relationships. Fraser’s descriptive style creates an image that is FELT by the reader, and in telling the story from each character’s perspective, she manages to remind us that our individual experiences never paint the whole picture.

When the meaning of the title was revealed, I found myself both reflective and moved to tears. Fraser’s tale of how we are influenced by those both living and passed, touched my soul deeply. But Fraser does not stop there! Hold on, as it is a ride that will surprise you til the end, and make you think about the human heart and its vulnerability. “The Hardest Thing in this World” is a novel that will stay with you long after the last page.

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Susan Emmerich is not a writer by training and discovered her love of words late in life.  In her first career as a licensed social worker, she worked in the areas of family violence and adoption.  When her own daughter became school age she made the leap to school guidance to take full advantage of snow days!

While having coped with multiple losses in her life, Susan did not really take notice of their collective impact until her first menopausal mood swing.  It was then that she found writing and biking to be the best medicine for a wounded soul.  She currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio and is still discovering miles of new bike trails.

Susan is the author of A Girl on a Bike: Musings on Life, Loss, and Hot Flashes. 

Book Review for A GIRL ON A BIKE by Susan Emmerich

Title: A Girl on a Bike
Author: Susan Emmerich
Publisher: Second Wind Publishing, LLC
Genre: Essays
ASIN: B00UVVM6Q4download

A Girl on a Bike
by Susan Emmerich

Book review by Maribeth Shanley

I found Ms. Emmerich’s writing to be very honest and even raw at times. I loved how she would end most chapters with a little bit of a light-hearted, quip of practicality.
Her relationship with her daughter, Jules was heart-warming. I felt as happy as was Susan was when she found Miss Jules’ poem. My heart melted with hers.
Ms. Emmerich’s love for her father filled me up. It was so genuine and loving, I found myself crying. I’m so happy she had the dad she did; and the Christmas traditions were wonderful!
I laughed out loud at Susan’s sarcastic humor when it came to the hot flashes which she described to a T. “I wake up thinking a God that I’m sure is a man because a woman would never have cursed women this way!” Right on, Susan!
Being one, I absolutely loved the answer to “What moves the souls of baby boomer women?” Freedom. In spades, Susan…in spades! Right on!
Overall, very poignant soul searching which left me smiling.

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MaribethMaribeth Shanley lives in Myrtle Beach, SC with her husband Bob Bibb.  They have three furry and three feathered children.  Maribeth is now retired from McCormick and Co., Inc. of the famous spice brand.  Once retired she decided to try her hand at writing.  “I’ve always loved to write and dreamed of becoming a writer.  Never did I imagine, however, it would actually happen.” Shanley is the author of the novel Crack in the World, which is based on her own experiences as a sexually abused child.