SMACKED – A Story of White-Collar Ambition, Addiction and Tragedy by Award-winning Journalist EILENE ZIMMERMAN Coming Soon – A Story That Will Open People’s Eyes to the fact that Addiction Effects all Socioeconomic Classes and is NOT simply a ‘Poor People Problem’ – AN IMPORTANT AND TIMELY MEMOIR THAT IS A MUST READ FOR US ALL

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Title: SMACKED

Subtitle: A STORY OF WHITE-COLLAR AMBITION, ADDICTION, AND TRAGEDY

Author: EILENE ZIMMERMAN

Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS, ADDICTION

Length: 272 PAGES

Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE

Received From: NETGALLEY

Release Date: FEBRUARY 4, 2020

ISBN: 9780525511007 (Hardcover)

Price: $27.00 USD (Hardcover)

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

A journalist pieces together the mysteries surrounding her ex-husband’s unexpected death from drug abuse while trying to rebuild a life for her family, taking readers on an intimate journey into the white-collar drug epidemic

Something was wrong with Peter. Eilene Zimmerman noticed that her ex-husband looked thin, seemed distracted, and was frequently absent from activities with their children. She thought he looked sick and needed to see a doctor, and indeed, he told her he had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. Yet in many ways, Peter seemed to have it all: a beautiful house by the beach, expensive cars, and other luxuries that came with an affluent life. Eilene assumed his odd behavior was due to stress and overwork—he was a senior partner at a prominent law firm and had been working more than sixty hours a week for the last twenty years.

Although they were divorced, Eilene and Peter had been partners and friends for decades, so when she and her children were unable to reach Peter for several days, Eilene went to his house to see if he was OK.

So begins Smacked, a brilliant and moving memoir of Eilene’s shocking discovery, one that sets her on a journey to find out how a man she knew for nearly thirty years became a drug addict, hiding it so well that neither she nor anyone else in his life suspected what was happening. Eilene discovers that Peter led a secret life, one that started with pills and ended with opioids, cocaine, and methamphetamine. He was also addicted to work; the last call Peter ever made was to dial in to a conference call.

Eilene is determined to learn all she can about Peter’s hidden life, and also about drug addiction among ambitious, high-achieving professionals like him. Through extensive research and interviews, she presents a picture of drug dependence today in that moneyed, upwardly mobile world. She also embarks on a journey to re-create her life in the wake of loss, both of the person—and the relationship—that profoundly defined the woman she had become.

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ADD ON GOODREADS

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MY REVIEW:

Part memoir, part exposé, SMACKED takes readers on a journey into the white-collar world of drug and work addiction.

When most people think about the Opiod Epidemic and even addiction in general, they incorrectly assume that the people involved must come from low-income communities and/or broken homes. This book proves just how wrong that assumption is.

Author EILENE ZIMMERMAN thought she knew everything there was to know about her ex-husband. After all, just because they had ended their marriage, didn’t mean they had ended their friendship. They were committed to providing as stable an environment as possible for their two teenage children. They were in constant communication and even attended important events, such as graduations, together.

So, when neither herself, nor the children, had heard from Peter for several days, Eilene went to check on him. What she found upon entering his home permanently changed her life and the lives of her children.

As a journalist, it was not surprising that her reaction to discovering her ex-husband’s drug addiction was to do research. What was surprising is what she uncovered. To find out all the details, you need to read SMACKED.

I am impressed with the writing style and how well the author is able to convey the details, including the emotions both she and her children were experiencing.

It is often difficult for memoir writers to be brutally honest about their experiences. Often, the desire to sugarcoat certain facts is given in to. EILENE ZIMMERMAN does NOT sugarcoat any details. This makes for a much more realistic and believable tale. She articulates her anguish with heart-wrenching clarity.

The fact that Eilene had believed all of Peter’s excuses for the changes in his behaviour in hindsight can clearly be seen as being caused by addiction. However, Eilene, as with others of a high socioeconomic status, had no experience with drug addiction and as such, the idea of it had never crossed her mind.

The more Eilene researched, the more she learned and what she was uncovering shook her worldview. She knew she needed to let other people know just how prevalent addiction is in high achievers. This discovery led to her writing an article for the New York Times which in turn, led to the writing of SMACKED.

Everyone should read this book and it should be required reading for new lawyers, stock brokers, and others who occupy high stress jobs.

I rate SMACKED as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

*** Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book ***

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Eilene Zimmerman has been a journalist for three decades, covering business, technology, and social issues for a wide array of national magazines and newspapers.

She was a columnist for The New York Times Sunday Business section for six years, and since 2004 has been a regular contributor to the newspaper.

In 2017, Zimmerman also began pursuing a master’s degree in social work.

She lives in New York City.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK – PUBLISHER

ABOUT ME WEBSITE

TWITTER – AUTHOR

TWITTER – PUBLISHER

TWITTER – PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

MEDIUM.COM

LINKEDIN

MUCK RACK

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

LIBRO FM AUDIOBOOKS

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

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“Addiction is a pervasive problem among lawyers,” says Doron Gold, a Toronto-based psychotherapist and former practising lawyer who helped develop the CBA’s online course on mental health and wellness in the legal profession.

– Obtained From THE NATIONAL MAGAZINE

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“The most important thing I want everyone to know is that addiction does not discriminate. What happened to me can easily happen to anyone of you. Guaranteed, someone close to you is struggling with mental health and/or substance abuse.”

Corey Phair

Quote Obtained From: THE POST ARTICLE FOUND HERE

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Click HERE to listen to a short interview with the Author describing her story.

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A MEDIC’S MIND by Matthew Heneghan is a memoir of his struggle with PTSD. A fascinating and compelling tale

Title: A MEDIC’S MIND

Author: MATTHEW HENEGHAN

Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS, MILITARIA, PTSD, MENTAL HEALTH, INSPIRATIONAL, CANADIAN NON-FICTION

Length: 258 PAGES

Publisher: WINTERTICKLE PRESS

Received From: THE AUTHOR

Release Date: OCTOBER 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-894813976

Price: $25.96 CDN

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Matthew Heneghan weaves an intricate web that is his life, in a style all his own. Once a medic in the Canadian Forces and a paramedic in the civilian world, he has a varied and traumatic past. Facing childhood abuse, addiction, suicide ideation, incredible loss, mental illness, he finds himself left rudderless, Matthew chronicles his journey towards a better way of coping.

If you have spent time in the military, paramedicine, or just love devouring an exquisitely written tale, this book is a must-have. Learning how Matthew transitions from the stereotypical position of “hero” to becoming the hero of his own life is nothing less than inspiring.

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MY REVIEW:

“At a certain point, the very best of humans will finally break, with long-lasting implications.”

Todd McGowan, Chief Warrant Officer (Retired), Canadian Armed Forces

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Sitting on the edge of an overpass, haunted by the demons of trauma and loss, Matt is ready. Ready to end his life, and along with that would be an end to his pain and suffering. However, when an ambulance passes on the road below, he realizes that he doesn’t want the EMTs inside to be traumatized because of him. He can’t bear to be the cause of someone else’s suffering.

Thank goodness he didn’t go through with his planned suicide attempt, or A MEDIC’S MIND would not exist and that would be a terrible shame.

This book might just be the catalyst for others who are experiencing the symptoms of PTSD to seek treatment – thus saving their lives, or at the very least, helping to identify and possibly alleviate some of their symptoms.

A MEDIC’S MIND is a memoir written by an extraordinary man who has served our country and saved many lives. Although I am sure he would disagree, it is my opinion that he is the very definition of a “Hero.”

So, if he is a hero, and a distinguished retired member of the CAF (Canadian Armed Forces) then shouldn’t his life be perfect? Shouldn’t he be happy and healthy in the knowledge that without him, many more families, military and otherwise, would be mourning their losses?

You might think so, but that would be a very simplistic view of what happens inside the human brain.

I don’t believe anyone who hasn’t experienced the trauma of war has the ability to understand the emotional, physical, or psychological damage such experiences can cause.

After leaving the military, Matthew became a paramedic which further exposed him to more and more trauma. It has only been within the past few years that our society’s first responders have had their psychological health taken into account and that it has been acknowledged that PTSD is not limited only to soldiers.

Matthew Heneghan may have been a fantastic medic and EMT, but his true calling, in my opinion, is writing about his experiences. In A MEDIC’S MIND, he opens his mind and heart and lays everything bare. The bravery this takes is monumental. In a recent blog post, where he writes about the suicide of his close friend, Matthew states:

“Living with a fractured mind can be torturous. Living with a fractured mind and a broken heart… that’s torture of the rarest kind.”

Matthew, at one point in his life turned to alcohol to cope and to try to fill the pain he was feeling. He is now clean and sober and still damaged. He has learned a hard truth which he shares with the reader, that just because you kick an addiction, does not instantly mean you are “cured.” Life can, and does, kick you in the ass, but you have to hold on, even if, at times, it feels like you are only hanging on by the tips of your fingers.

I truly believe that A MEDIC’S MIND is an important memoir. This book needs to be widely read and distributed.

I have read many biographies and this one is one of the few that will stay with me for a very long time. I wholeheartedly believe A MEDIC’S MIND will become a book that anyone and everyone who wants to understand the psyche of a PTSD sufferer needs to read. This includes others suffering from trauma, their friends and families, as well as those who seek to understand and/or treat this disorder.

I rate A MEDIC’S MIND as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and I sincerely hope that the author continues to blog and podcast and to speak out his truth. I think he is an important advocate for informing people about PTSD and it’s ongoing effects.

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****Thank you to the Author for providing me with a free copy of his book.****
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https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/my-therapy/episode-47-matt-heneghan-37J4KhXwHlN
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born in England, Matthew and his family emigrated to Canada when he was five years old. He is now thirty-six years old. Everything written in his book and on his blog are true.

Matthew was an army medic for 6 years and after his time in the army was finished, he became a paramedic for a busy city ambulance service. Most of what he writes comes from these experiences. The Good, the Bad and the Tragic.

He was diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and major depressive disorder in 2017.

He started writing his blog because he thought he was going crazy. Wanting to shout but not knowing how to do so. Not knowing where to direct it. So, this place, his blog is “Droplets of blood from an aching mind.”

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
http://www.amedicsmind.com

A MEDIC’S MIND – THE PODCAST

GOODREADS

INSTAGRAM

MORE LINKS TO THE PODCAST:

A MEDIC’S MIND – THE PODCAST

SPOTIFY

ITUNES

GOOGLE PODCASTS

ANCHOR FM

VOICE FOR MENTAL HEALTH COLLECTIVE

ACADEMIA

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

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TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE VOICE FOR MENTAL HEALTH COLLECTIVE, CHECK OUT THE FOLLOWING LINKS:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

FACEBOOK
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INSTAGRAM
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TWITTER

MAYBE YOU SHOULD TALK TO SOMEONE – AUDIOBOOK REVIEW – A fantastic read whether you feel you need a psychiatrist or not

Title: MAYBE YOU SHOULD TALK TO SOMEONE

Subtitle: A THERAPIST, HER THERAPIST AND OUR LIVES REVEALED

Author: LORI GOTTLIEB

Narrator: BRITTANY PRESSLEY

Genre: NON-FICTION, MEMOIRS, HEALTH, MENTAL HEALTH, SELF-HELP

Length: 14 HOURS, 21 MINUTES

Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Type of Book: UNABRIDGED AUDIOBOOK

Release Date: MAY 9, 2019

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Watch “Lori Gottlieb: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed” on YouTube CLICK HERE
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ABOUT THE BOOK:

“Ingenious, inspiring, tender, and funny. Lori Gottlieb bravely takes her readers on a guided tour into the self.”
Amy Dickinson, author of Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things

One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down.

Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in
whose office she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come
straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will turn out to be anything but.

As Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients’ lives—a self-absorbed Hollywood producer, a young newlywed diagnosed with a terminal illness, a senior citizen threatening to end her life
on her birthday if nothing gets better, and a twenty-something who can’t stop hooking up with the wrong guys—she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell.

With startling wisdom and humor, Gottlieb invites us into her world as both clinician and patient,
examining the truths and fictions we tell ourselves and others as we teeter on the tightrope between love
and desire, meaning and mortality, guilt and redemption, terror and courage, hope and change.

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is revolutionary in its candor, offering a deeply personal yet universal tour of our hearts and minds and providing the rarest of gifts: a boldly revealing portrait of what it means to be human, and a disarmingly funny and illuminating account of our own mysterious lives and our power to transform them.
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MY REVIEW:

Listening to YOU SHOULD TALK TO SOMEONE by Lori Gottlieb on audiobook was the perfect way to experience her witty writing style.

Lori truly brings readers into her world. Not only does she allow us to be a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ of her therapy sessions with her patients, but she also does something that I don’t think has ever been done before. That is, that she not only invites the reader into the intimate details of her patient’s lives, she also welcomes the reader into her own world and her own therapy sessions. This allows the reader to feel a deep connection with the author, one that is unique in the realm of memoirs and biographies.

Speaking about her expertise, Lori Gottlieb says, “I believe that of all my credentials, my most significant is that I’m a card-carrying member of the human race.”

That might sound strange to some, but it is Author Lori Gottlieb’s gift of humanity/empathy, and human connection, as well as her education and study of psychology that allows readers to emotionally connect with her.

Lori navigates the story-telling aspect of her patient’s therapy sessions with respect and is still able to tell their stories in detail. She also admits that even though she is a therapist, she is also a patient who attends therapy herself.

In my opinion, the fact that Lori participates in therapy sessions with her own therapist means that she is better equipped to understand the experience from both a clinical and a personal perspective.

Narrator BRITTANY PRESSLEY is the perfect choice of narrator as she has a gift for making the reader feel as if she is talking directly to them. Her inflections are spot on, and she narrates the humorous portions of the stories with professionalism. Brittany’s experience (she has narrated over 100+ audiobooks) allows the reader/listener to relax and enjoy each tale.

My favorite quote from the book is:

“We can’t have change without loss, which is why so often people say they want change but nonetheless stay exactly the same.”

I purchased this audiobook at AUDIBLE.COM

I rate the narration as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I rate the story/content as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Overall, I rate this audiobook as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author of “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone”, which is being adapted as a television series with Eva Longoria. In addition to her clinical practice, she writes The Atlantic’s weekly “Dear Therapist” advice column and contributes to The New York Times and many other publications.

A member of the Advisory Council for Bring Change 2 Mind and a contributing editor for the Atlantic, she has written hundreds of articles related to psychology and culture, many of which have become viral sensations.

She is a sought-after expert on relationships, parenting, and hot-button mental health topics in media such as The Today Show, Good Morning America, The CBS Early Show, CNN, The New York Times, and NPR’s “Fresh Air.”

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
https://lorigottlieb.com/

AUDIBLE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

AMAZON

CHAPTERS
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FAVORITE QUOTE:

Talking about doing therapy via Skype LORI GOTTLIEB says “It’s like doing therapy with a condom on.”

For film or television inquiries, please contact Michell Weiner (film) or OliviaBlaustein (television) at CAA.

For speaking or event inquiries, please contact Charles Yao at The Lavin Agency.

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ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

BRITTANY PRESSLEY is an Audiofile Earphones award winning narrator in NYC.

She has recorded over 100 titles and has received several nominations for American Library Association’s annual list of Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults.

She is also an accomplished singer/songwriter and voice actress.

Her voice can be heard on national and international TV and radio commercials as well as several animated series and video games.

She is a proud graduate of Columbia University.

VOICE REPERTOIRE:
– Youthful
– fresh
– smart
– girl-next-door
– raspy
– light

AGE & GENDER REPERTOIRE:
– Female young adult
– Female adult
– Female teenager
– Child

Additional vocal abilities:
– Child voices
– British accent
– Russian accent
– Southern accent
– valley girl
– New York including: Long Island and Queens accent
– Britney Spears

EXPERIENCE:
– Working professional voice actor. – 100+ audiobooks.
– Awards including Audiofile Magazine Earphones award
– Commercials for Wendy’s, DSW, Speedo, Target.
– Cast member on multiple animated children’s television shows.

TRAINING:
– Commercial and voice over training @ Actors Connection, NYC
– Music Production techniques, @ Columbia University

EQUIPMENT:
My home studio is well equipped with:

– a Neumann TLM 102 microphone.

– Sound isolation booth
– Logic Pro

BRITTANY is also a very experienced singer, songwriter and session vocalist.

Click HERE to listen to Brittany narrate a section of THE CROWN by Kiera Cass

Want to listen to Brittany narrating a terrific middle-grade novel called THE LAND OF YESTERDAY by K.A. REYNOLDS? Click HERE.

To learn more about this Narrator, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

AUDIBLE

iMDB

GOODREADS

VOICES.COM

LISTEN TO BRITTANY’S DEMO REEL
BY CLICKING HERE

VOICES 123.COM

INSTAGRAM

TWITTER

LINKEDIN

ESTORIES.COM

FANDOM

AMAZON

AUDIOBOOKS.COM

BOOKSONTAPE.COM

PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

HANDS UP by Stephen Clark has been released and is a story that seems ripped from the headlines. You NEED to check out this book

Title: HANDS UP

Author: STEPHEN CLARK

Genre: FICTION, MYSTERIES AND THRILLERS, SOCIAL THEMES

Length: 290 PAGES

Publisher: WiDō PUBLISHING

Received From: THE AUTHOR

Release Date: SEPTEMBER 28, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-947966-20-8

Rating: 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

Officer Ryan Quinn, a rookie raised in a family of cops, is on the fast track to detective until he shoots an unarmed black male. Now, with his career, reputation and freedom on the line, he embarks on a quest for redemption that forces him to confront his fears and biases and choose between conscience or silence.

Jade Wakefield is an emotionally damaged college student living in one of Philadelphia’s worst neighborhoods. She knows the chances of getting an indictment against the cop who killed her brother are slim. When she learns there’s more to the story than the official police account, Jade is determined, even desperate, to find out what really happened. She plans to get revenge by any means necessary.

Kelly Randolph, who returns to Philadelphia broke and broken after abandoning his family ten years earlier, seeks forgiveness while mourning the death of his son. But after he’s thrust into the spotlight as the face of the protest movement, his disavowed criminal past resurfaces and threatens to derail the family’s pursuit of justice.

Ryan, Jade, and Kelly–three people from different worlds—are on a collision course after the shooting, as their lives interconnect and then spiral into chaos.

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MY REVIEW:

This is a timely novel because of the very real increase in the number of police shootings of unarmed, young black men in the United States.

HANDS UP begins with Tyrell Wakefield being shot by rookie police officer Ryan Quinn. According to the police, the young man had punched Ryan’s older partner and was attempting to grab his gun.

However, Tyrell’s sister, Jade, finds that story very unlikely, as does her mother. So, Jade is determined to find out what really happened.

When Jade’s maternal Aunt turns Tyrell’s death into a #BlackLivesMatter rallying cry, the press get ahold of the story and it becomes bigger than Jade ever expected. It also brings an unexpected person back into the lives of Jade and the rest of her family and he is definitely NOT welcome.

Meanwhile, Ryan Quinn is horrified with what he has done. He never wanted to shoot anyone and he has never thought of himself as the racist monster he is being portrayed as. In fact, his police officer father was killed in the line of duty when Ryan was young, so he is accutely aware of the pain caused by losing a loved one to gun violence. Now, Ryan has a decision to make. Should he be loyal to the police and his partner? Or should he follow his heart and his conscience?

I enjoyed this book even more than I had anticipated. I had some idea of how the tale would unfold, but I was pleasantly surprised. This is not a predictable read and author Stephen Clark has created characters of depth and complexity.

In addition to the obvious issue of police shootings, several other social issues are also part of this story. In my opinion, this makes the story seem even more realistic. Police shootings do not happen in a vacuum and there are almost always several factors that contribute to the tragedy.
In DON’T SHOOT, racism by the police is not the only problem. The area in which the shooting takes place is poverty-stricken due to lack of education and employment opportunities, gang violence, a lack of social programs and much more.

On top of the above problems, this story also talks about homelessness, single parenting, divorce, abandonment, addiction, cutting, and even suicide. The author does a fabulous job of describing these issues and how each of them has affected the lives of the characters, and how a single issue can affect different individuals in different ways.

With non-stop action, current events, exquisitely complicated characters and a twisting plot, HANDS UP is a fantastic and must read, newly released novel.

This IS most definitely a book worthy of being on your “To Read” list. In fact, I will not be surprised when HANDS UP becomes an award-winning novel.

I rate this book as 4.5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐ and would like to thank the author for sending me a copy of this book.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Stephen Clark is a former award-winning journalist who served as a staff writer for the Los Angeles Times and as a politics editor for the Washington, D.C. bureau of FoxNews.com. As a reporter for the Utica Observer-Dispatch, he won a New York Newspaper Publishers Association Award of Distinguished Community Service for his investigation into the financial struggles of nonprofit services.

He also won a Society of Professional Journalists Award for Investigative Reporting at the Stamford Advocate for his series exposing an elderly grifter’s charity organization.

Stephen grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and now lives in North Jersey with his wife and son.

He has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Arcadia University and a master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University.

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

LINKEDIN

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

RED RIVER GIRL: The Life And Death of Tina Fontaine BY Award Winning Journalist and Author JOANNA JOLLY – A 5 STAR LOOK AT ONE MISSING AND MURDERED INDIGENOUS TEEN

Title: RED RIVER GIRL
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Subtitle: The Life and Death of Tina Fontaine
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Author: JOANNA JOLLY
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Genre: NON-FICTION, TRUE CRIME, INDIGENOUS NON-FICTION

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Length: 320 PAGES

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Publisher: VIKING – A DIVISION OF PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE CANADA
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Received From: NETGALLEY
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Release Date: AUGUST 27, 2019

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ISBN: 9780735233935

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Price: $16.95 USD (Paperback)

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Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

DESCRIPTION:

On August 17, 2014, the body of fifteen-year old runaway Tina Fontaine was found in Winnipeg’s Red River. It was wrapped in material and weighted down with rocks. Red River Girl is a gripping account of that murder investigation and the unusual police detective who pursued the killer with every legal means at his disposal. The book, like the movie Spotlight, will chronicle the behind-the-scenes stages of a lengthy and meticulously planned investigation. It reveals characters and social tensions that bring vivid life to a story that made national headlines.

Award-winning BBC reporter and documentary maker Joanna Jolly delves into the troubled life of Tina Fontaine, the half-Ojibway, half-Cree murder victim, starting with her childhood on the Sagkeeng First Nation Reserve. Tina’s journey to the capital city is a harrowing one, culminating in drug abuse, sexual exploitation, and death.

Aware of the reality of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, Jolly has chronicled Tina Fontaine’s life as a reminder that she was more than a statistic. Raised by her father, and then by her great-aunt, Tina was a good student. But the violent death of her father hit Tina hard. She ran away, was found and put into the care of Child and Family Services, which she also sought to escape from. That choice left her in danger.

Red River Girl focuses not on the grisly event itself, but on the efforts to seek justice. In December 2015, the police charged Raymond Cormier, a drifter, with second-degree murder. Jolly’s book will cover the trial, which resulted in an acquittal. The verdict caused dismay across the country.

The book is not only a true crime story, but a portrait of a community where Indigenous women are disproportionately more likely to be hurt or killed. Jolly asks questions about how Indigenous women, sex workers, community leaders, and activists are fighting back to protect themselves and change perceptions. Most importantly, the book will chronicle whether Tina’s family will find justice.

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THIS BOOK IS ON THE TORONTO STAR’S TOP TEN BESTSELLER LIST
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MY REVIEW:

As proud as I am to be Canadian, there are many things I wish I could change. There are even things that make me ashamed of my country and one of those things is how Indigenous people have historically been treated. Even more horrifying is that although it is finally improving, at least in some areas, Indigenous people still face an unconsciounable amount of racial discrimination to this very day. This racism and discrimination is not limited to Canada, and is a Continent-Wide issue.

The reason I bring up racism is because it is definitely a factor of Tina Fontaine’s disappearance and murder as chronicled in RED RIVER GIRL.

Police map of missing limbs in the Red River – Photo obtained from the BBC

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Author Joanna Jolly has researched Tina Fontaine’s life from childhood up to, and even after her death. I believe that Joanna Jolly’s experience as not only a journalist and author, but also as a documentary film maker has culminated in a book that must be read. She does not shy away from disclosing the horror that Tina experienced in her short fifteen years of life. Not does she gloss over the cultural stigma Tina lived with every day of her life.

This book not only highlights the life and death of Tina Fontaine, it also highlights the excellent investigative skills shown by the dogged police detective who pulled out all the stops to find Tina’s killer and to bring him to justice. However, that was not to be.

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When killer Raymond Cormier’s trial ended up with him being acquitted, people across Canada (myself included) were both outraged and dismayed. The only positive that came from that trial was the spotlight that was shone on the horrific epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

If you care about the truth, if you care about our Indigenous population, if you want to be more informed regarding Indigenous homelessness, as well as other related topics, you need to buy a copy of this book.

I rate RED RIVER GIRL as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

*** Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a free copy of this book. ***

Thelma Favel – Tina’s Great Aunt

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

JOANNA JOLLY

Joanna Jolly is a multi-award winning former BBC South Asia Editor and documentary film maker. Over the past decade, she has reported from Jerusalem, Brussels, Kathmandu, Washington DC and Delhi. Red River Girl is her debut novel. In 2016, she was a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Represented by Susanna Lea Associates on behalf of Toby Mundy Associates

To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

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A HOUSE ON STILTS: Mothering in the Age of Opiod Addiction by Paula Becker is a memoir that will have you riding along on the roller-coaster ride of her eldest son’s Opiod Addiction. This is an absolute MUST READ for every parent – 5 HUGE STARS – AVAILABLE SEPTEMBER 15th, 2019

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Title: A HOUSE ON STILTS
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Subtitle: MOTHERING IN THE AGE OF OPIOD ADDICTION
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Author: PAULA BECKER
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Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS, HEALTH AND WELLNESS, TRUE CRIME, ADDICTION

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Length: 176 PAGES

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Publisher: UNIVERSITY OF IOWA PRESS
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Received From: NETGALLEY
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Release Date: SEPTEMBER 15, 2019

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ISBN: 9781609386597

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Price: $18.00 USD

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Rating: 5+ OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

A House on Stilts tells the story of one woman’s struggle to reclaim wholeness while mothering a son addicted to opioids. Paula Becker’s son Hunter was raised in a safe, nurturing home by his writer/historian mom and his physician father. He was a bright, curious child. And yet, addiction found him.

More than 2.5 million Americans are addicted to opioids, some half-million of these to heroin. For many of them, their drug addiction leads to lives of demoralization, homelessness, and constant peril. For parents, a child’s addiction upends family life, catapulting them onto a path no longer prescribed by Dr. Spock, but by Dante’s Inferno. Within this ten-year crucible, Paula is transformed by an excruciating, inescapable truth: the difference between what she can do and what she cannot do.

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MY REVIEW:

I have recently read numerous biographies and memoirs and many of them have focused on the theme of addiction. Addiction was once ‘hush-hush’ and considered to be a dirty little secret. It is now beginning to be viewed not as shameful, but as a disease that is just as deadly as cancer, and one that can (and does) strike anyone at any age.

Many people look down on addicts and their families. They blame the addict’s parents, lifestyle, socioeconomic status, race, religion or any other of a myriad of factors upon which someone can place the blame. Often, in their smugness, they think “we are nothing like that family, therefore addiction will never be part of our lives.” Oh, how wrong they may be.

Paula Becker and her husband were living a charmed life. They were happy and when they added a son, Hunter, to the equation, they felt even more blessed. Adding another son and a daughter, and they were content.

In order to give their children, what they believed to be, an idyllic upbringing, Paula and her husband decided to homeschool them. Her husband was the main income provider and Paula could work as a part-time author from home. So, although it meant that they would have to be extremely smart with their spending, they were willing to do anything it took to ensure their children’s lives would be filled with learning and love.

Does this sound like a home where an opiate addict might come from? If asked, most people would answer “No.” Therein lies the challenge of identifying a person with a predilection toward addiction.

A HOUSE ON STILTS will force readers to confront the fact that addiction can (and does) happen to anyone, regardless of economic status, race, religion, colour, disability, location or any other of the myriad of reasons people have blamed for addiction.

Paula Becker’s memoir A HOUSE ON STILTS is being released at the perfect time. I firmly believe that every parent needs to read this book, and needs to read it NOW!

Paula Becker’s memoir will tug at your heartstrings as she writes about how her family’s life changes as her eldest son first dabbles, then dives headfirst into drugs. As Hunter’s addiction spirals out of control, his parents mourn the loss not only of his mental and physical health, but also the loss of a mother’s dreams for her son.

The Beckers family was lucky in that due to their economic status and health care insurance, they had the resources to get the very best treatment money could buy. Yet despite having so many advantages in life and even in addiction treatment options, they found that no matter what the family tried, that it would not work. They couldn’t wish Hunter better because it is the addict who must want to change.

One of the things I admire most about the author is her candor. She does not sugarcoat or try to justify any actions she has taken, nor does she try to make Hunter sound any better or worse than he really was. I am also happy that she chose to include details as to how Hunter’s addiction impacted his two siblings.

Written with her heart on her sleeve, Paula Becker’s memoir is important and deserves the highest possible rating. I rate A HOUSE ON STILTS as 5+ OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A House on Stilts: Mothering in the Age of Opioid Addiction (a memoir) will be published September 15, 2019, by University of Iowa Press.

To pre-order a signed copy of A HOUSE ON STILTS, please click HERE.

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*** Thank you to NetGalley and to the Publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book.***

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QUOTE:

“Hunter had been an erupting volcano during sophomore year. Now he was dormant. Barry and I monitored him, volcanologists. There was still smoke, there were occasional rumbles, but for a while Hunter put out relatively neutral readings.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photo by David Ryder

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Paula Becker is a writer and historian living in Seattle, Washington. She is the author of the book:

Looking For Betty MacDonald: The Egg, The Plague, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and I (University of Washington Press)
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She also wrote the following books with co-author Alan J. Stein:

The Future Remembered: The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair And Its Legacy (Seattle Center Foundation, 2011)

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Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition: Washington’s First World’s Fair (History Ink/HistoryLink in association with University of Washington Press, 2009)
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More than 300 of Paula’s essays documenting all aspects of Washington’s history appear on http://www.HistoryLink.org, the online encyclopedia of Washington state history, where she is a historian.

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Read one of her essays by Clicking HERE
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Seattle Magazine has named Paula Becker as one of “The Six Seattle Authors You Shouldn’t Miss This Fall” in the September 2019 Edition.

Image Credit: Hayley Young

From left to right: Timothy Egan, Lindy West, Shin Yu Pai, Shauna Ahern, Paula Becker, Charles Johnson

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To read the full article click HERE.
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Upon the release of A House On Stilts, Paula Becker will be making various appearances around Seattle including an appearance on September 21st at 2 p.m (FREE) at Seattle Central Library, downtown, 1000 Fourth Ave., 206.386.4636;
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and on October 28th (6 p.m., free) at University Book Store, University District, 4326 University Way NE, 800.335.7323
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To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
https://paulabecker.org/

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THIRD PLACE BOOKS – ORDER A SIGNED COPY AND/OR VISIT THE STORE ON OCTOBER 1st TO MEET THE AUTHOR IN PERSON
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AMAZON
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CHAPTERS

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PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE
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Resources for families of people with addiction:

American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) patient resources page

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American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) physician search

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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 24-hour a day national help line for treatment referrals

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Shatterproof (a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the devastation addiction causes families)

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Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

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Facing Addiction family and friends portal

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Sam Harris discusses addiction with Sally Satel, M.D., a practicing psychiatrist and lecturer at the Yale University School of Medicine who examines mental health policy as well as political trends in medicine.