Sep 022014
 

WELCOME Lorraine Ash

Lorraine Ash

Lorraine Ash, MA, is an author, journalist, and essayist as well as a writing teacher. Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life is her second book. Her first memoir, Life Touches Life: A Mother’s Story of Stillbirth and Healing, was published by NewSage Press and has circulated throughout the United States as well as in the Middle East, Australia, Europe, China, Canada, and Mexico. Lorraine also is a veteran journalist whose feature articles and series have won seventeen national, state, and regional awards and have appeared in daily newspapers across the country. Lorraine belongs to the Association of Writers and Writing Programs and Investigative Reporters and Editors. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, Bill.

Connect with Lorraine at these sites:

WEBSITE        TWITTER   

Q&A with Lorraine Ash

Writing and Reading:
Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?

As a memoir writer, I draw from personal experience. Like all our lives, though, mine is touched by issues and trends of the day.

Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?

A memoirist has lived her story line. Though the story may have ended, in terms of what happened, it probably is still alive and kicking in the psyche of the writer. Indeed many people turn to memoir not only to witness and chronicle some important corner of life but to come to peace with what happened.

A well-constructed memoir poses a master question. It’s fair to say the writer does not, at the outset, fully know where that question may bring her. She usually knows, though, that it’s imperative for her to take the journey.
In a memoir, the journey follows the writer through what she experienced but also traces the shifts in her consciousness until she comes upon some master insight—a holy grail, if you will—that allows her to answer the question the best she can. Tracing those consciousness shifts while inching toward the insight makes for good storytelling, but it also can be therapeutic for the writer.

Everyone’s life, no matter how ordinary, can open into life’s big questions and grand themes. That statement is a revelation to some people. By virtue of having a mind and a heart, though, we’re hardwired to engage the big questions. Every life is important.

In my latest book, Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life, a spiritual memoir, I ask a question from deep in midlife, after I’ve had many disparate experiences, including the stillbirth of my only child and, less than a decade later, the parallel declines of my father, my industry, and the American economy. It seemed a good time to ask: What does it all add up to?

The question echoes one my father used to ask in his prime. He’d come home from his office, put down his two hefty legal briefcases, rifle through the mail, and mutter, “Where does it all take us in the end?” It’s a fair question.
Self and Soul takes readers to some interesting places in the world, including the hospital room where I lost my daughter, a caving expedition, an ashram, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, and Sedona, Arizona. Yet it’s very much about interior landscapes. The book shows that some of the experiences that happen to a person—a “self,” if you will— can seem futile or hollow or random and become meaningful only when we take them inside us to the “soul” level. That’s where the magic happens.

Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?

When a project, whether it be an article, series, or book, starts to build in my mind, I’m always writing it, whether my hands are on the keyboard or not. I’m forever jotting down ideas, assimilating information, and turning over scenes in my mind. Also, my ear is always to the ground for any news or ambient story regarding the issue or theme.

As a full-time journalist, I write in the newsroom whenever I’m on duty. As a part-time author, I write on weekends and, better yet, on vacation days. Both of the latter instances have the advantage of offering a run of days in which to keep a flow going.

I don’t find it useful to write in small snatches of time and my most productive hours are definitely in the afternoon and night—sometimes into the wee hours of the morning.

Is writing your full time job? If not, may I ask what you do by day?

I write full time as a journalist and part time as an author, which is a wonderful balance. I’m enchanted by long-form journalism and narrative writing.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

In the world of memoir, I find myself resonating with the voices and writing styles of Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail), Caroline Knapp (Drinking: A Love Story), and May Sarton, whose journals are sublime.

What are you reading now?

In the moment, I’m re-reading I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by the great Maya Angelou. I’m wistful, I suppose, about her recent passing.

Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?

In my case, it would be the next memoir. I have conceptualized and mulled it, having resolved to start next year. I can say that it centers around my late father’s dementia. I can say with certainty that dementia is a huge issue in the United States.

Fun questions:
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?

If the memoir Self and Soul were a movie, the dream lead would be Michelle Pfeiffer, hands down. Maybe we could get Kevin Bacon to lead the caving expedition, Ben Kingsley to play the swami, and Sela Ward to play the therapist. Perfection!

Manuscript/Notes: handwritten or keyboard?

I take notes many ways, depending on where I am when my mind illuminates with an idea—on my smart phone, PC, or a paper pad. From time to time, I’ll reach for my digital sound recorder, too.

Favorite leisure activity/hobby?

Spending time with my husband and friends, cooking, getting a massage, exploring the state of Maine.

Favorite meal?

There are so many and so much from which to choose, even for a gluten-free person like me—cavatelli and broccoli (with bacon and in a butter sauce), pineapple chicken, orange barbecue chicken over rice, filet mignon, saffron risotto with butternut squash, Cornish game hen, and a good old-fashioned meatloaf.
On my mother’s side of the family, there are a lot of great cooks. Indeed, my Great Uncle Primo was a chef at Asti’s, an Italian restaurant in New York City where the waiters were also professional singers who’d break into song for the patrons.

I consider the legacy of beautiful, healthful food to be one of my most joyful family legacies.

ABOUT Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life

Are you living a life of quiet desperation? Questioning what it means to succeed? Wondering if your efforts matter? In this uplifting memoir, Lorraine Ash uses her own life experiences to explore inner landscapes where the seeds of divine healing and insight reside. These are the landscapes on which we create our own meaning and find the resiliency to thrive in a changing and challenging world.

Self and Soul: On Creating a Meaningful Life is available as a digital audiobook. Find it at Audible.com and Amazon.com as well as in the iTunes store.

BOOK DETAILS:

Number of Pages: 176 pages
Publisher: Cape House Books
Publication Date: October 1st 2012
ISBN-10: 1939129001
ISBN-13: 9781939129000

PURCHASE LINKS:

       

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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.
ADDENDUM
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

 

Apr 232014
 

 

WELCOME SUE WILLIAM SILVERMAN


SUE WILLIAM SILVERMAN

Sue William Silverman’s new memoir is The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew. Her two other memoirs are Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction, which is also a Lifetime TV movie, and Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You,which won the Association of Writers and Writing Programs award in creative nonfiction. Her craft book is Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir.  As a professional speaker, Sue has appeared on The View, Anderson Cooper 360, and more.  She teaches in the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Just Thought You Should Know:

Sue William Silverman is also the author the memoirs Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You and Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction, which was made into a Lifetime Television original movie. She also wrote Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir and the poetry collection Hieroglyphics in Neon.
Connect with Sue at these sites:

WEBSITE        TWITTER   

 

Guest Post

Who Is That Masked Memoirist?

After my first memoir was published, Because I Remember Terror, Father, I Remember You, I received e-mails from readers who wrote things like, “Sue, I feel like I know you.” I received similar e-mails after publishing Love Sick: One Woman’s Journey through Sexual Addiction. Both memoirs frequently elicit this response – I feel like I know you – even as both books are very different.

With one, readers know who I am as a girl growing up in an incestuous family. With the other, readers know me as an edgy sex addict seeking yet struggling with recovery.
Of course, I’m enormously grateful for these e-mails: I had portrayed my self – or one aspect of myself – the way they perceived me.

Now, with my new memoir, The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew, readers might see me as a Pat Boone groupie. Or, as a girl who wanted to be Christian growing up – wanting to be adopted by Pat Boone – because the very Christian pop star seemed safer than my Jewish father who abused me.
Isn’t that my goal, after all: to take the flesh and blood me and craft myself into a real, breathing person on the page?

Yes!

But Who Is the Real Me?

While readers of each book might think they know me, how can they know the whole me? As I move from book to book, I wear different masks searching for identity – no, identities. Plural.

Who or which persona is the real me?

As a real person I “contain multitudes” (as Walt Whitman said); we all do. Until written, however, these various facets remain murky. It is only by writing, by carefully selecting relevant details, that I myself become fully able to understand these different aspects that suggest, but do not encompass, the whole person I am.

And, dear writer of memoir, this is the point: don’t limit yourself. Any given memoir is a slice of a life, not a whole life, because every life is multi-faceted. We are daughters, sons, teachers, hobbyists, extroverts, introverts, Democrats, Republicans, feminists, spouses, guitar players, shopaholics, marathon runners, gardeners, foodies, and much more. And each facet is worthy of your writerly attention!

A Core Self

But isn’t there still an essence of me? Of you? Some core? Something—some characteristic or trait that we simply are, that we can’t escape, that will show up in everything we write?
The answer is “yes.” And “no.” Let me explain.

After publishing the first two memoirs, I wanted to write from a more ironic, even humorous perspective. This dovetailed with a desire to explore my feelings toward Pat Boone, a Christian and politically conservative man so squeaky clean he hasn’t even been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame despite the millions of records he’s sold. (In his hay-day, he often out-sold Elvis Presley.) Initially, I figured I could write about Pat Boone without mentioning my father: a sort of light-hearted, baby-boomer coming-of-age story.

That only worked in part.

After all, my feelings toward the wholesome Pat Boone arose in large part because of what happened with my father. I had to introduce that into the new book for context and motivation.

At its heart, the book revolves around three separate times I met Pat Boone and how, ultimately, he did see me in positive ways that my real father never did. In our last meeting, for example, and referring to my childhood, he said he saw me “as a flower growing up through concrete.” In other words, his image of me is that of how a father should see a daughter.

So did Pat Boone see me with my mask, or without it?

I think he saw me with a mask that revealed if not “the” whole, true me, then at least “a” true me – a “daughter,” a flower – who experiences the world through the filter of Pat Boone as an image of safety.

In the new book, additionally, there are other ways I depict myself, which are revealing masks as well: I’m a Jersey girl, a hippy, a temporary Israeli, a dissatisfied wife, and more.

What these masks have in common, in addition to their transparency, is how they form a mosaic of a self, of many different personas that comprise me. Don’t we all – over the course of a lifetime – become different “selves” looking for a common characteristic to tie them all together?

As writers of memoir we get to have our masks and wear them, too.

In short, there are masks that reveal, masks that conceal. What part of your life is a revealing mask? What underlying part of you, the whole person, does that illuminate?

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Gentile reader, and you, Jews, come too. Follow Sue William Silverman, a one-woman cultural mash-up, on her exploration of identity among the mishmash of American idols and ideals that confuse most of us—or should. Pat Boone is our first stop. Now a Tea Party darling, Boone once shone as a squeaky-clean pop music icon of normality, an antidote for Silverman’s own confusing and dangerous home, where being a Jew in a Christian school wasn’t easy, and being the daughter of the Anti-Boone was unspeakable. And yet somehow Silverman found her way, a “gefilte fish swimming upstream,” and found her voice, which in this searching, bracing, hilarious, and moving book tries to make sense of that most troubling American condition: belonging, but to what?

Picking apricots on a kibbutz, tramping cross-country in a loathed Volkswagen camper, appearing in a made-for-television version of her own life: Silverman is a bobby-soxer, a baby boomer, a hippy, a lefty, and a rebel with something to say to those of us—most of us—still wondering what to make of ourselves.

BOOK DETAILS:

Genre: Memoir
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Publication Date: March 1, 2014
Number of Pages: 248 pages
ISBN-10: 0803264852
ISBN-13: 978-0803264854

PURCHASE LINKS:

            

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DISCLAIMER
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.
ADDENDUM
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

 

Dec 182013
 

WELCOME AUTHORS


Linda Joy Myers, Kate Farrell and Amber Lea Starfire

Connect with Linda Joy Myers, Kate Farrell and Amber Lea Starfire at these sites:

WEBSITE        TWITTER

GUEST POST

“Legacy of the ‘60s and ‘70s and What It Means for Women Today”
by Elise Frances Miller, Winner Second Place, Prose

In the early ‘70s, I was doing just what I wanted to do: teaching three art history and humanities classes and conducting research as a college instructor. I was not happy being “part-time,” underpaid, and with no benefits. I did not consider myself an artist, though I still tried my hand at a variety of media in those days. I admired artists, especially women, who put their work out there in public, sometimes defying a parent or spouse, usually for very little remuneration.

Then I joined an organization called “Women Artists It’s Time” (W.A.I.T). The mission was clear: find ways for female artists’ work to be appreciated and understood on a level commensurate with that of male artists. We had role models from Berthe Morisot to Georgia O’Keefe, Louise Nevelson to Joan Brown, but these pioneers did not have many peers. In the realm of art history, Women Artists: 1550-1950 published in 1976 by Linda Nochlin and Anne Sutherland Harris took academic art history departments and the stuffy College Art Association by storm.

At universities in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, almost no female artists made it into the curriculum. Nochlin and Harris broke the Western, white, male version of art history, and encouraged others, both men and women, to broaden their research for international, ethnic and gender equity in publications.

Our small efforts in W.A.I.T. soon blossomed, not because more women chose to go into art, but because more of them became known. We also celebrated the recognition of women’s “crafts” by art museums. Quilting, weaving, needlework and other handicrafts were accepted as subjects for both historical and current exhibitions.

By the 1970s and ‘80s, I was writing art reviews for major newspapers and magazines. Judy Chicago, Betye Saar, Eleanor Antin and Jennifer Bartlett were just a few of my favorite artists to review. As galleries began to exhibit women’s artwork, I encountered no resistance to featuring them in my articles.

Today there is no lack of women artists. Some of these have made a splash, but as in other fields, the struggle is not behind us. Women still lag behind men both in exposure and remuneration.

As a member of W.A.I.T., I learned that when we band together, boosting our sense of purpose, we push forward, and best of all, we create in diverse fields, guilt-free, with families and all. This personal growth was important to the expansion of social, political and professional roles for women in the 1970s, and in turn, women’s movement activity also enhanced the individual’s journey.

The Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the ‘60s and ‘70s preserves the record of that two-way nourishment in varied circumstances. As this anthology shows so well, in tandem with the political struggles, social experiments, and hard-fought gains that are the legacy for today’s women, there was always the girl becoming a woman, unsure, seeking strength through collaboration, building the story one scene at a time. Since our era, as never before, that has been the way it is done.

Elise Frances Miller’s novel, A Time to Cast Away Stones (Sand Hill Review Press, June, 2012), is set in 1968 Berkeley and Paris. With degrees from UC Berkeley and UCLA, Elise began writing about arts for the Los Angeles Times, Art News and San Diego Magazine. She taught high school and college humanities, and served as communications director at San Diego State University and Stanford. Her short stories have appeared in The Sand Hill Review (fiction editor, 2008), Fault Zone: Stepping Up to the Edge, and online. Her novel and its historical background are described at http://www.elisefmiller.com.

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Just in time for the holidays, Linda Joy Myers, Kate Farrell and Amber Lea Starfire launch their anthology Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the ’60s and ’70s. The book is the perfect gift for opening discussions with friends and family members and illustrating what a powerful time the ’60s and ’70s truly were.

Forty-eight powerful stories and poems etch in vivid detail breakthrough moments experienced by women during the life-changing era that was the ’60s and ’70s. These women rode the sexual revolution with newfound freedom, struggled for identity in divorce courts and boardrooms, and took political action in street marches. They pushed through the boundaries, trampled the taboos, and felt the pain and joy of new experiences. And finally, here, they tell it like it was.

Through this collection of women’s stories, we celebrate the women of the ’60s and ’70s and the importance of their legacy.

BOOK DETAILS:

Paperback: 354 pages
Publisher: She Writes Press
Publication Date: Sept. 8, 2013
ISBN-10: 1938314042
ISBN-13: 978-1938314049

PURCHASE LINKS:

           

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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.
ADDENDUM
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

 

Nov 212013
 

WELCOME BONNIE MILANI


BONNIE MILANI

Bonnie vividly recalls the book that helped her decide she could out-write another writer: it was a junior reader’s biography of Sir William Harvey, the 17th century English physician credited (in the West) with discovering how blood circulates. After about 30 pages of telling herself “I can write better than that!” she grabbed a crayon that just happened to be blue and started editing. She was all of seven years old at the time. Unfortunately for her juvenile bottom it was a library book. She followed the dream through college and after grad school, freelancing feature articles for newspapers along the East Coast. Milani even wrote a cover story for Science Digest! Alas life and grown up responsibilities caught up with her and by her late twenties she put writing away with so many other dreams while she followed a ‘career track’. After losing her entire family, she realized story telling just a want but a need and a gift God gave her. So here she is, a self-declared “middle-aged pudge” working on getting back into a writer’s kind of real life!
Connect with Bonnie at these sites:

WEBSITE    

GUEST POST

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

I don’t think there’s any one answer to that question.  Story ideas pop out of conversations, observations, day dreams, or even just a flat out ‘what it’?  Or sometimes even from just a shuddery moment.  I’m working on a short story right now that grew out of an incident like that many years ago.  Back when I was young and thin and thoughtless, I walked into a pet shop just to ooh and aah and the puppies.  I noticed a fellow with a circle – a wide circle – around him over at the store counter, but didn’t pay him any attention.  After all, to a ‘tweener what’s a guy compared to a puppy?  I should’ve noticed, though.  Because I was still ogling the puppy cages when I started to walk out – and found myself face-to-fanged face with the tarantula sitting on the back of that fellow’s hand.  Now, I don’t know about the spider, but I’m reasonably sure I broke an Olympic record for standing side jump.  I know I woke up ever living creature within a couple of hundred yards.  I certainly annoyed the fellow; turns out tarantulas hate loud noises and that one was sitting on his hand.  I didn’t stay around to find out.  Now the reason I’m telling this story purpose of this story is that while I was shuddering my way home I got to wondering what the incident felt like from the tarantula’s perspective.  And suddenly a very put-upon arachnid popped his head out of a web at the back of my mind and introduced himself as Rahss.  Took many years and more questions to spin a story (sorry; couldn’t resist) around him, but Rahss is finally coming into his own.

By contrast, the idea for Home World grew out of a dream I had. In it a young woman in a highly decorated military dress uniform was chained to a dungeon wall.   The imagery was so disturbing it woke me up.  I am emphatically not into S & M or bondage.  Fifty Shades does NOT have a place on my bookshelf.  So the idea of a chained woman both puzzled and intrigued me.  Maybe that’s why it turned into a recurring dream; I just couldn’t let the idea go.  Gradually I worked out that she was Keiko Yakamoto, a Samurai-trained native Hawaiian from the wrong side of the gene pool.  What grew up around her was a love story of interstellar political intrigue as two young princes vie for Keiko’s love with the very existence of humanity at stake.

I think we all come up with story ideas every day.  Most of the time we just don’t realize it.  Do you have something that feels like a story idea?  An incident, maybe, in search of a plot?  Sometimes all you need to do to find a good story is take a simple, everyday incident and turn it around.  And voila!  A story!

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Home World is a fast paced well written story about the power and the price of love. This story takes place amid the ruins of a post-apocalyptic Waikiki. Jezekiah Van Buren thinks he has found a way to restore Earth – Home World, to the other worlds of the human commonwealth. His goal is to restore his home to her lost glory.

Ingenious even by the standards of the genetically enhanced Great Family Van Buren, Jezekiah has achieved the impossible: he has arranged a treaty that will convert Earth’s ancient enemies, the Lupans, to her most powerful allies. Not only will the treaty terms make Earth rich again, it will let him escape the Ring that condemns him to be Earth’s next ruler. Best of all, the treaty leaves him free to marry Keiko Yakamoto, the Samurai-trained woman he loves. Everything’s set. All Jezekiah has to do is convince his xenophobic sister to accept the Lupan’s alpha warlord in marriage.

Before, that is, the assassin she’s put on his tail succeeds in killing him. Or the interstellar crime ring called Ho Tong succeed in raising another rebellion. Or before his ruling relatives on competing worlds manage to execute him for treason. But Jezekiah was bred for politics and trained to rule. He’s got it all under control. Until his Lupan warlord-partner reaches Earth. And suddenly these two most powerful men find themselves in love with the same woman. A woman who just may be the most deadly assassin of them all.

BOOK DETAILS:

Publisher: Promontory Press; 1ST edition
Publication Date: Aug. 22n 2013
Number of Pages: 423
ISBN-10: 1927559235
ISBN-13: 978-1927559239

PURCHASE LINKS:

        

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DISCLAIMER
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.
ADDENDUM
I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

 

Oct 242013
 

WELCOME SARA CONNELL


SARA CONNELL

Sara Connell is an author, speaker, and life coach with a private practice in Chicago. She has appeared on Oprah, Good Morning America, NPR, The View, FOX News and Katie Couric. Sara’s writing has been featured in: The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Parenting, Psychobabble, Evolving Your Spirit, and Mindful Metropolis magazines. Her first book, Bringing in Finn; an Extraordinary Surrogacy Story (Sept 4, 2012 Seal Press), was nominated for Book of the Year 2012 by Elle magazine.
Connect with Sara at these sites:

WEBSITE        TWITTER   

GUEST POST

Even before the seven-year journey I took to have a child, I would have said that every birth is extraordinary. The phenomenon of an egg and a sperm joining to create a human life is, to me, miraculous. Paradoxically, I’d always thought, the way an egg and sperm come together—through sex—is a wonderfully basic thing that anyone, regardless of education, creativity, skill or life advantages can do.

Nine years ago, when my husband and I gave ourselves over to the primal desire of having a child, this is what we wanted: a totally normal conception followed nine months later by an extraordinary event—the birth of a healthy child.

Normal, however, did not turn out to be our path.  Instead of dinner out and making love, we drove back and forth from the fertility clinic and took turns injecting hormones into my stomach and behind.  We worked up to IVF and got pregnant! With twins!  Five and a half months into the pregnancy I went into pre-mature labor and the twins were delivered, stillborn.  A year later: a miscarriage, more IVF (six rounds in all). The word “extraordinary” did not enter into conversation during this time, unless it was to describe our extraordinary feelings of grief, despair, and loss.

We took a break. And during this time, my mother, who had, according to her, never done an extraordinary thing in her life, saw a story about a post-menopausal woman who’d become pregnant and made the collosally generous and yes- extraordinary- offer to be a surrogate for our child.

Fearing our fertility clinic might refer us to a team of psychiatrists, we proceeded with caution, trying to guard our hearts. But to our surprise, our doctor did not dismiss our idea.  While the viability of a woman’s eggs are influenced by her years on the planet, it turned out that the uterus does not age in the same way. (definitely extradordinary!)

After batteries of tests, my mother was cleared to be a “gestational host” ( a woman who carries the biological child of a couple).  My eggs were joined with my husband’s sperm and then transferred into my mother’s uterus—and on the second joint IVF attempt, we heard the amazing news: we were pregnant and the pregnancy was advancing.

My mother moved in to our house in Chicago. We read Harry Potter books to the baby. We took walks and cooked my mother nourishing meals of her favorite foods. And in February 2011, thirty-nine weeks after we received that call of congratulations from our doctor, Finnean Lee Connell came into the world.  Two beautiful hands, ten perfectly shaped toes, a face with a tiny nose that lifted up at the end like my husband’s. A beautiful, vibrant new life that the doctors in the delivery room pronounced, perfectly, wonderfully, “normal.”

At two and a half years, Finn is talking, running, making friends and running to the potty – sometimes making it, sometimes not- when he needs to go.  He is – as many parents truthfully but obnoxiously say- our greatest joy; in every way “normal” and most definitely, extraordinary.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Bringing in Finn is the true story of a couple who wanted nothing more than to have a family and a mother who would do anything for her daughter. After unsuccessfully trying to conceive naturally, years of fertility treatments, miscarriage and a late term loss of twins, Sara and Bill Connell were emotionally and financially depleted and at a loss as to how they could have a family. When Sara’s mother Kristine offered to be their surrogate, the three embark on the journey that would culminate in Finnean’s miraculous birth and complete a transformation of their at-one-time strained mother-daughter relationship.

BOOK DETAILS:

Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Seal Press
Publication Date: October 8, 2013
Number of Pages: 336
ISBN-10: 1580055419

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