Jun 072012

I have to start by repeating myself.  I have met the most wonderful people through blogging and reviewing.  And today I have the honor to introduce you to a very special, amazing, inspirational and kind lady.  I was contacted by Jodi from WOW asking if I would like to read, review and host today’s guest.  I read the synopsis and it was a YES!!  After reviewing her book, I emailed her and shared it with her because it wasn’t going to be posted until today and I finished the book in April.  Since that time we have been in touch through emails, learned more about each other and we “clicked”.  Over these past few months we have formed a friendship whereas it feels that I have known her for years.  In one of our emails, when she found out where I reside, told me that she would be here in the fall for a conference.  We instantly made plans that include picking her up at the airport, out for dinner and have no doubt, a fun night filled with conversation.  I am so excited that I can wait to meet her face to face.   So please, get comfy, grab a coffee and help me welcome, my friend, Dawn Novotny to our group!!!


So many words describe Dawn Novotny: clinician, teacher, author, workshop leader, wife, mother, stepmother, grandmother, recovering addict, breast cancer survivor, reader, swing dancer, and snorkeler. But what she is most proud of is her ability to “thrive”. She thrived in the face of poverty, abuse, and addiction to finally become the woman she is today. She wrote her memoir to encourage other woman to look past their difficulties to what is possible, to the woman they should be.
You can visit Dawn at her website here and her Professional Clinical Workshop here (a visit every woman should take the time for).


                                    Forgiveness is Vital to a Healthy Life

When I first heard people talk about amends to those we had harmed, especially our ex-spouses, I thought they must be crazy. I believed that if my tormentors’ transgressions outweighed mine, my “sin” was somehow diminished, even canceled.

I thought if people knew how cruel my ex-husband had been toward me and our children, they would see how righteous I had been. That should exempt me from making amends to him, right? But I was learning that if I wanted healing from my past, then it was I who had to take responsibility for my own sins of omission and commission without defenses or excuses.

Grudgingly at first, I began to think about who I was and what I was like when I married my children’s father. What exactly did I—a frightened, needy, nearly delirious young girl—bring to the marriage? The answer was nothing. Absolutely nothing! I realized, while he was marrying me for his own reasons, I had married him to escape my love and rage at my first husband. I used what many would consider a sacred act—the sacrament of marriage—to arrest my descent into booze and promiscuity.

Thinking I was escaping the pain, I brought my nineteen-year-old self—an empty satchel stuffed with pain—to my second marriage. I appropriated him to escape my internal barbarians and shameful acting out behaviors.

Once I realize this, and with great trepidation, I wrote a letter of apology to himwhere I revealed my shameful secrets. I told him how my choices culminated in a brutal rape and suicide attempt just months prior to our marriage, and apologized for having nothing to contribute to our years together except fear and emptiness. I asked his forgiveness. I had to let go of any concern about how he would respond. The release that came to me after mailing that letter was like a huge stone of bitterness melting away. How he responded was irrelevant to my healing.

When he died four years ago, I was able to facilitate our children’s grief and farewells. By their own choice they had not spoken to their father in several years, but I felt that grieving his passing was paramount to their healing journey. We lit candles and wished him well on his crossing. They whispered their regrets. I felt blessed to have been given such softness in my heart toward him.

It takes enormous energy to address, think about and re-feel old transgressions. The remembering without release depletes our vital life energies robbing us of a healthy life.

Not only was I gifted with the peace that passes all understanding, my children no longer had to carry the heavy stone of family wounds heaped upon them by their parents.

The act of sincere forgiveness frees the soul in unimaginable ways. We are the benefactor of our acts of forgiveness, regardless of the recipient’s reactions.

Should you choose to follow this path toward healing a wound that holds your heart tethered to pain, please seek the advice of clergy or a trusted friend. There may be transgressors and transgressions that remain volatile and in need of counsel to proceed.



For 50 years, whether consciously or unconsciously, women have all been caught in the cultural clash between the almost immortal sexual mystique symbolized by Marilyn Monroe (in 1999 she was still voted “sexiest woman of the century” byPeople Magazine) and the retooling of the female soul by the women’s liberation movement.  Each of us has been left to ask ourselves, “Who am I?”  “Where do I fit?”  “What does it mean to be a woman?” And most important of all: “What does it mean to me to be a woman?”

Dawn Novotny writes about her struggle with those questions, but for Dawn it was more difficult to answer those questions. After all, she was married to Joe DiMaggio Jr. a man who was fascinated with his stepmother, Marilyn Monroe, and wanted to transform Dawn into his own version of Marilyn. RagDoll Redeemed is the story of one woman’s balancing act between embracing her sexuality and creating a person that utilized all her abilities: mental, emotional and physical.
Read my review here.



I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me,
in exchange for my honest review.
No items that I receive
are ever sold…they are kept by me,
or given to family and/or friends.

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  One Response to “Guest Author Dawn Novotny”

  1. Hi
    HI Cheryl,

    Thank you so much for your kind words, friendship and support throughout this blog tour experience. You have no idea how much you have helped me.

    Warmly, dawn

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