Tag Archives: memoir

Book Tours: Promo Post for When All Balls Drop


Book Excerpt

Release Me, Now Take Me Back

The studio apartment lacked the every-four-hour interruptions of the hospital, which was good. I needed to be more independent—or as independently dependent as someone could be in my situation. I ate very little, slept little, and was in a lot of pain.

Strangely enough, it was when I left the hospital that the sleepless nights began. Oh how I needed the sleep to heal! However, because of my brace, I couldn’t toss and turn, just quietly count sheep. I also couldn’t use my go-to method of counting the holes in the ceiling tiles because my new ceiling was cheaply painted white without even the oh-so-common popcorn for texture.

Around this time, I began to experience shooting pains in my legs. Despite walking daily to keep the blood flowing, every time I got up out of the car, a chair, or my bed, a sharp pain shot up my legs to my lower back. When I was still, the pain radiated from my toes through my legs up to my lumbar area.

During these shooting spells, I’d flash back to the agony of running the 2004 Boston Marathon. I had completed that grand physical feat but just barely. After mile twenty-three—after Heartbreak Hill and approaching Brookline with Boston’s Back Bay ahead—I felt like I was running on stumps. Each step traveled up through my body, bone by aching bone. But even that excruciating pain paled in comparison to what I was experiencing now. The stifling and severe agony in my legs from running the marathon lasted less than a week, but it had been more than two weeks since my surgery. And did my legs hurt!

How I suffered those first six days out of the hospital and in the studio. All I’d wanted was to get out of the hospital, but as soon as I did, I wanted to go back. The grass is always greener, right?

About The Book

whenallballsdropcoverTitle: When All Balls Drop: The Upside of Losing Everything

Author: Heidi Siefkas

Genre: Non-Fiction, Inspirational, Memoir

The true story of a survivor
who through losing everything,
redefined having it all

Heidi Siefkas was a happily married, globetrotting professional who seemingly “had it all”—until a tree limb in New York’s Hudson River Valley struck her down, breaking her neck and leaving her unconscious. Suddenly, life as she knew it stopped. She lost her independence. She lost her career. She watched her marriage disintegrate as she confronted a trail of devastating lies about her husband’s double life.

She had lost all that mattered, but she was a survivor. She fought to restore her health, repair her broken heart, and rebuild herself. Along the way, she gained clarity about her core values, ultimately coming to a deeper understanding of what it means to have it all.

Through down-to-earth, short vignettes, When All Balls Drop shows us how it’s possible to “look up” in spite of pain, deceit, and loss. Heidi’s memoir–rich with hope and humor, inspires anyone who’s had to confront tragedy and reassess their life in the wake of life-altering events.

Author Bio

Heidi Siefkas is an author and adventurer. Originally from small-town Wisconsin, she lives in Kauai and also calls the Midwest and South Florida home. Heidi is currently crafting a sequel to this memoir, embracing both her wanderlust and love of writing by documenting her many travels. You can connect with Heidi at www.heidisiefkas.com, Facebook, and Twitter.


Website: http://www.heidisiefkas.com

Twitter: @HeidiSiefkas

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeidiNSiefkas?ref=hl


There is a tour-wide giveaway for 5 paperback copies (US only). Contest will end on September 26, and winners will be announced on September 27. Additionally readers who sign up via the author’s mailing list, will get a free excerpt of the book.

Go here to participate in the giveaway.


Book Excerpt Sister Surrendered


Sister Surrendered Ebook Cover jpgTitle: Sister Surrendered

Author: Darla Grese

Genre: Memoir

When you’re a twin, loneliness is somewhat unfamiliar because you’ve always had each other. So when a twin passes, the other is left unprepared. Our loyalty was steadfast and our devotion to one another, solid. Our love was unconditional no matter what the circumstances. I’m so grateful every day for the memories of the joy and laughter that we shared together. I know the bond that Kelli and I shared is impossible for anyone to replace.

This memoir has become something so much more than initially intended. It’s become a documented journey barely scratching the surface of the love between two sisters. And surprisingly, it’s also become an outlet for me to speak candidly and honestly about my struggles with the cause of Kelli’s death. This is a love story turned tragedy. An exposure of one of the greatest healthcare failures killing Veterans and civilians, and a cry for help to remedy the fiasco.

I’ve stressed about who I would mention in this book, nervous that I would hurt someone’s feelings by not mentioning their names. But I’ve realized that it’s impossible to do. Kelli had so many great friends, some I’ve never even met.

I need each person to know who has taken the time to reach out to me in whatever capacity that if it weren’t for your heartfelt show of support and love, I don’t know that I would be able to muster the energy to even get up each day. Kelli, we did it.

Author Bio

277920_4153854852406_1828888743_oDarla M. Grese is a twin sister who lost her better half to side effects from prescribed medication. As a U.S. Navy Veteran, she is an advocate of Veteran X and Veteran Hope programs that address mental illness, PTSD, and unintentional addiction issues. Both programs are sponsored by the Veteran Affairs Medical Center and focus on Veteran recovery and independence. She raises money for Team Kelli and annually participates in the Out of the Darkness Walk at Mt. Trashmore in Virginia Beach (http://www.sos-walk.org/sos/). While continuing to bring awareness to this cause, being a loving parent is her favorite passion and the main focus of her life. Darla’s love for the arts has been expressed as a talented actress with appearances in The F.B.I. files, The New Detectives, Diagnosis Unknown, Wicked Attraction, Discovery Channel’s The Haunting, and the movie Atlantis Down. She currently works full time as a respiratory therapist at a trauma center in Norfolk, Virginia.


Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sister-Surrendered-Darla-M-Grese-ebook/dp/B00JMFPBJO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1402257715&sr=8-1&keywords=sister+surrendered

Book Excerpt

He was extremely short with a goofy mustache and a mousy voice. I can still hear that tone today and it makes me cringe. A female who towered over him joined in the attack. They were our company commanders, our CCs. From then on, we referred to them as Ma’am or Sir. “On the line!” they synchronously shouted. Bewildered, we lined up with bed hair, bad breath, and all. We were then whisked off to the barracks, our new home for the next twelve weeks. The barracks was just like you’d see in the movies; A large, bare room filled with bunks. We were instructed to pick a rack and stash away our clothes quickly into foot lockers. Of course I chose the bunk with Kelli. She took the bottom and I took the top. “On the line!” We hurried to our positions, standing erect with our hands perfectly positioned at our sides. Down the line they went, examining our footlockers, our stance, and toe alignment. Our anxiety increased with every bit of verbal battering. I was so distraught even my fingers were tingling. Some of the recruits’ belongings were tossed into the middle of the room. Other recruits were being screamed at and openly berated which only added to my panic. One CC stood in front of me nose to nose. He glanced at my name, my face, and then at Kelli’s name, face, and then back to mine. Yep, he figured out that we were twin sisters. I was waiting for the same excitement and fascination we have always known that usually came with this discovery. I was expecting the same three questions that were always asked in the same sequence, “Are you related?” “Are you sisters?” And then finished off with, “Are you twins?” But I couldn’t have been more off. Instead, he blurted to the company in a foreboding tone that there were a set of twins amongst them. Just what I didn’t need-more focus on me-on us. He mockingly shouted that because Kelli and I looked so much alike, we would have to be separated to avoid any confusion. He then ripped all of my belongings out of my locker and insisted I move to the opposite end of the barracks. Yet another moment when I wanted to deliver Kelli an I-told-you-this-was-a-bad-idea beating.

Later that day after we were unpacked and settled in, Kelli came down to check on me. I informed her that I was leaving. I was going to tell our CC that I was suffering from some sort of mental illness and that I wasn’t stable. Kelli didn’t take it seriously until several minutes later when she saw me in their glass-enclosed office. It was designed this way to enable them to have eyes on us at all times. Through the glass, I saw a horrified Kelli watching. I thought I did a pretty damn good job at pleading my case but they didn’t buy it. They motioned for Kelli to come in and I knew from the look on her face that Kelli just wanted to curse me out, right then and there, but couldn’t, which was more than satisfying to me. Kelli, as dutifully expected, confirmed that I wasn’t crazy and requested to talk with me alone which the Chiefs’ reluctantly permitted. Kelli did her best to convince me that I could handle boot camp and that it would only get easier with time. I didn’t believe a word she was saying. To me, it was a stubborn trap-I was stuck there. And for the record, it didn’t get any easier. And anyone who claims that boot camp is fun is delusional. Just sayin’.

Book Excerpt from Triumph! A Battle Plan for Joy


We’re hosting a snippet from inspirational memoir “Triumph! A Battle Plan for Joy”. We hope you enjoy the snippet!

Read an excerpt

In the hostility of segregated existence, African American parents protected their children from much of racism’s viciousness. They forewent their own comfort, and yes, their pride, to spare the children. They suffered indignities, withstood inhumanities, suppressed anger, masked resentment, and silently bore the pains of belittlement. Yet they held their heads high, and defeated the shame, finding solace in their hope for future generations.

As dictated by Jim Crow, we lived in our own communities, attended our own churches and schools, and enjoyed our own concerts and dances. On Saturdays, we went to see our own movies at the Harlem Theater. A few times we climbed some outside stairs to sit in the balcony at the Majestic Theater, precluding any contact with White moviegoers. They showed better films there. But the awkwardness of the experience underscored our relegation to second-class citizenship. So we preferred substandard movies at the Harlem Theater over substandard treatment at the Majestic.

While still a teenager, ambition enticed me to venture beyond the bounds of community to explore summer job opportunities beyond the invisible walls. I surrendered to the enticement. Equipped with the best preparation available, I stepped from behind my family’s protective shield, out of the village, and into the White man’s world.

I entered that world confident I had everything I needed to succeed: the forewarnings of family and friends, above-average intelligence, deep-rooted motivation, theoretical awareness of real-world inequities, and a philosophy for coping with face-to-face racism. Yet, despite my strong will and careful preparation, I still lacked the wherewithal to circumvent a simple reality—the incompatibility of hard-core bigotry and my genetic makeup.

I did not know to pretend ignorance and hold my head down in a posture of insecurity. Therefore, my uppity insolence offended the White interviewers. That quickly took me out of the running for the summer “Colored” jobs advertised in the Dallas Times Herald. So I returned to the village empty-handed.

About the Book

BookCover-TriumphABattlePlanforJoy-JPGTitle: Triumph! A Battle Plan for Joy

Author: Gladys Simmons Carson

Genre: Inspirational Memoir

When medical malpractice takes the life of her mother and the offense is dismissed as an unfortunate mistake, it rips a hole in seven-year-old Gladys’ heart and ignites fire in her anger. This act of gross negligence strips her of the joyful delight that has characterized her existence. Before she can grasp the full meaning of her loss, fate takes her on a journey through a series of harsh realities, including devastating child abuse, demeaning segregation and destructive thinking. These unsavory enemies assault her on all fronts, physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. But the child warrior uses youthful wisdom to triumph over the effects of them all. Her prize is a resurgence of bountiful joy. You may laugh or cry, but you will definitely cheer for the child warrior in TRIUMPH! A BATTLE PLAN FOR JOY.

Author Bio

GladysCarsonPhoto-JPGGladys Simmons Carson is an inspirational speaker and author of the much-talked-about memoir, “Triumph! A Battle Plan for Joy. For more than 45 years she has challenged and encouraged audiences with her message of assurance. Now in her debut book she gives insight into how we too can choose joy despite our circumstances.

Her passion for writing stems from an early introduction to the written word. By age three she was reading her older siblings’ school books. By age four she was introduced to her first novel, Betty Smith’s “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.” This early exposure gave birth to a love affair with books and a fascination for writing. By the time she reached adult status, she had evolved into a natural encourager with a wealth of information to share, and a zeal for sharing.


Amazon: www.Amazon.com/author/gladyscarson
Online Press Kit: www.gladyscarson.com/press
Website: www.gladyscarson.com
Book Trailer: www.gladyscarson.tv
Twitter: www.twitter.com/gladys_carson
Facebook: www.facebook.com/gladyssimmonscarson


Win a $50 amazon gift card during the tour. Follow the link below to participate.

Go here for the giveaway.