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Sunday, December 3, 2017

5 Star Book Review of "Naked Joy" by Nan Kilmer Baker

Run out and grab a copy of Naked Joy. I'll wait...

while I'm waiting I'm going to grab a cup of coffee and leaf through the mail...

do you have your copy?

wait, what...you aren't coming back because you can't put down this fabulous read?

I get it!



About the book:

What do you know about Idaho other than potatoes or maybe that Ernest Hemingway killed himself here? NAN KILMER BAKER grew up in this sparsely populated northwestern state, a skittish Catholic raised in a town full of eccentric characters who intrigued her enough to write about them years later. Welcome to NAKED JOY, where the author’s heroine AUNT MILLIE raises peacocks, sews an elaborate wardrobe for her detergent bottles, campaigns for JESUS and ignores her sinister husband. Tortured by her mother’s hideous shoes and insensitivity, BAKER is traumatized when before she knows the word “cancer,” the town surgeon cuts off her neighbor CLAIRE’S right leg. An unforgettable visit to the prosthetic factory results as she joins CLAIRE and her glamorous mother while they shop for the perfect new limb. HEMINGWAY chose not to write about Idaho, perhaps because he wanted to keep it as his secret getaway. And get away is what BAKER longs to do while growing up in the “Gem State.” She escapes to attend college and spend a romantic year “studying” in Italy. Next the graduate heads east only to find work as a night receptionist catering to more lunatics. After enduring odd jobs and grad school, she marries and moves to Japan. There tragedy strikes, so the shaken new mother moves on to Thailand to experience a cavernous house full of maids, geckos, and the occasional snake. Eventually our world traveler returns to the states where she suffers “Reverse Culture Shock” and subjects herself to the horrors of retail. Not cut out for sales, she moves on to survive a stint as a spy while living outside the nation’s capital. A collection of charming, quirky, occasionally disturbing tales, NAKED JOY pulls back the curtain on life as observed through the probing eyes of a sensitive, small town girl turned worldly woman. While some writers have stories, others have their own unique voice and way of looking at matters. Warm, witty, and honest, Nan Kilmer Baker shares both.



About the author: 


Nan Kilmer Baker hails from Idaho, the “Famous Potato” state, where she began writing as a young girl and never looked back—moving from diary entries to ghost writing term papers to copy writing.

NAKED JOY is her first book, but in her dependably quirky blog she has been musing for years about topics as diverse as Mr. Clean, travel, toilets, butter and stain removal.
Nan is the mother of two young adults. Having lived abroad for years, she currently resides in Northern Virginia with her husband—and other treasures she collected during her travels.




5 star review:

Before I tell you about this fabulous book, I need to tell you a few things that are important to me:

I love coffee and it's even more amazing when enjoyed wearing slippers and sipping it with a close friend.

I love honesty and especially appreciate people who can laugh at their imperfections.

Of course, the list is much longer: faith, family, farming, blah blah blah and the list goes on.

I had to tell you about the coffee with friends and the honesty because it will help you realize just how big of a compliment it is when I say:

If you love sitting down with a brutally honest friend and enjoying a cup of coffee while laughing at life, you'll absolutely love the book Naked Joy by Nan Kilmer Baker.

Seriously! 

The entire time I was reading Naked Joy (and it didn't take long because I couldn't put it down), I kept thinking about the warm fuzzy feeling it brought me. Like enjoying coffee with a friend, this book make me smile, laugh, cry, and I had all the feels as if I were experiencing Catholicism and life right there in Idaho along with my bestie Nan. Isn't that funny? I've never met the author and yet I feel like we grew up together. She has such a nack for storytelling and such a fabulous sense of humor. Regardless of your faith or where you grew up, there are confessions in Naked Joy that will remind you of your own coming of age. 

This is a book you can read quickly or something you can peruse at your leisure. If you are looking for something better than the Chicken Soup for the _____ books but you enjoy a short story that is charming, this is a great alternative. A super fun gift for yourself, or something you could buy a friend and I'm thinking the super fast Amazon delivery people would get it to your door (or theirs) by Christmas!

...and when you are done reading, pop over and we can bake some cookies, brew some coffee, and chat about the lovely Nan as if we had played hop-scotch on the playground with her as children!

Hugs,
~Crystal


About today's reviewer:

Crystal is a council secretary and musician at her church, birth mother, babywearing cloth diapering
mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, Unicorn Mom Ambassador, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, five young children (Carmen 10, Andre 9, Breccan 4, Delphine 2, and baby Eudora, two dogs, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff here, and at the WOW!Women on Writing blog - Crystal is dedicated to turning life's lemons into lemonade!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Winner - by Dr. Leona Stucky

Dr. Leona Stucky’s
WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR
OF
The Fog of Faith

Stops today at Bring on Lemons with an inspirational guest post!


The Fog of Faith
SURVIVING MY IMPOTENT GOD


Paperback: 340 pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Prairie World Press (May 25, 2017)
ISBN-10: 099864742X
ISBN-13: 978-0998647425
Amazon Link: click here

About the Book:
After the trauma of a savage attack, a farm girl recovers physically, but her identity, faith, and relationships are shattered.

This is the true story of Leona Stucky’s childhood on a Kansas farm, surrounded by a loving family and the simple tenets of her Mennonite community. Violence enters her world in the guise of a young man who seems normal to everyone else but who Leona knows to be deranged in his obsession with her.

His unrelenting abuses take root, and Leona must deal with them utterly alone. Her pacifist father cannot avenge or protect her, nor can a callous justice system. Even God is impotent.

Leona is cast into a bewildering life of disgrace and poverty—with a baby, a violent husband, and battered faith. Through a series of page-turning events, she hacks through the bones of her naïveté to confront harsh realities and to probe the veracity of religious claims.

The Fog of Faith is a suspenseful and morally unflinching drama of shame and survival, as well as usable and unusual wisdom.

This edition includes thoughtful questions for readers and groups to further explore their own stories.


Guest Post: THE WINNER

The Direction of Destruction – Winning
Blog by Dr. Leona Stucky, www.thefogoffaith.com


Power struggles often provoke couple or families into therapy, especially when one person wins most of the time. Typically, the more one person wins, the more dysfunctional the couple or family will be. No one likes to lose all the time and winning often comes at the price of damaged relationships.
So I ask each family member, “What does winning mean to you?” Frequently members will say, “It means I get my way. They let me get what I want.”

“Does winning come at a heavy price?” Now they look confused. The ones who seldom win often struggle because the typical winner is a poor loser and will make their winning experience miserable by using resistance tactics or displacing disappointment. Other than that, they aren’t so sure what the price of winning might be. But, to some extent, they have already expressed it. They all felt locked into unsatisfying dynamics, feeling resentful and unhappy, even the winner.
Memoir

In the abusive relationship I described in The Fog of Faith: Surviving My Impotent God, most readers felt, at the start of the story, that I’m the loser and my partner is the winner. But that, in the long run, was not the case.

Whenever people persistently force their will or their way onto others, whether by physical or psychological ploys, they are paying a price for winning that will, in the end, be too high for them to be happy. Too high to allow them to gain a solid and satisfying sense of who they are. In those situations all parties are injured and the winner is also a loser.

In my case, though Ron could get what he wanted almost every time, his achievements made him less attractive, less satisfied with himself and with me, and less knowledgeable about the things that matter most to us humans – like being loved, being in tune with another, being capable of enticing another, being right for relationships. By winning, he lost the sense of being a warm and good human being. It made him feel bad and, soon enough, it deprived him of everything he thought he had gained, and more.

Famous Examples
Bobby Bare, the writer and composer of The Winner, tells of a young upstart challenging an older wiser guy who is a known successful fighter. Rather than taking it to the street, the winner reveals to the younger man what winning means – like losing a few teeth when you break the other guy’s bones, wooing the other guy’s wife only to discover you can’t stand her, and being drug into defending your title whenever a young-hopeful wants to take you on. After a litany of ‘winning’ consequences, the young man leaves the bar convinced he doesn’t want to be a winner.

Mark Twain, in the shortest story he wrote, The War Prayer (https://warprayer.org) made a similar case about winning war. Those who start war with patriotic fervor and a flourishing prayerful appeal for winning, he suggested, are expounding half-truths.

What if the prayer they uttered included the other half and sounded like this, “O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief;. . .”

Sometimes realizing the full impact of winning makes us smart enough to choose another course.

Mark Twain was aware that The War Prayer might create a furor among his following. He published it after his death. I’m guessing that today some blog readers are willing to explore what winning means to them, and that any furor will be manageable.

To Be List
In my thirty-plus year psychotherapy practice, I have discovered many patients who developed satisfying lives by being a gentler version of themselves and employing an unusual winning strategy.
• They didn’t enter the fight but rather learned patience to await a suitable solution.
• They weren’t afraid to be goaded-on or laughed-at. They followed their own wisdom voice.
• They often reframed contests to enlist cooperation.
• They genuinely offered care for the other party’s well-being and attempted to experience the conflict from that party’s perspective rather than vilifying or dehumanizing them.
• They avoided battles of wills by using similar coping mechanisms parents use with three year olds, by redirecting and offering other opportunities.
• They offered workable compromises and compassion whenever possible.
• They insisted on fair play and while they were happy to come in first, they were also willing to take-it-on-the-chin sometimes.
• They were aware that projection is often the culprit that creates enemies of others and therefore they realized that many battles could be fought internally and didn’t need external representation.
• When they were angry, they contained their external reactions until, not captive to their amygdala-brain, they regained their rational functioning.
• Thus they presented a strong case for their position but also were open to hearing the other side.


Final Thoughts
When winning means mutual gains and losses, it means enduring satisfaction with oneself and others. It offers a lasting peace.
We might want to ask ourselves what kind of winning propositions our own lives represent. In which direction are we going?








About the Author:

She fit bucking bales into God’s plan, but bucking fear left this Mennonite farm teen begging and now, after 30 years as a professional psychotherapist, Dr. Leona Stucky narrates her unflinching faith-and-violence dilemma in a riveting memoir, The Fog of Faith: Surviving My Impotent God, which spares neither God nor violence against women and has been recommended by MS Magazine.

Dr. Stucky first received a degree in psychology and philosophy from Boston College, graduating summa cum laude, before plunging into seminary, first at Andover Newton Theological School and then at Eden Theological Seminary. She earned a doctorate from Southern Methodist University with honors, and a Diplomate certificate from the American Association of Pastoral Counselors—their highest credential—for teaching, supervising, and offering therapy services. She currently has standing as a Unitarian Universalist community minister.

These professional explorations might have quieted her mind, but the areas where integration seemed impossible became mental sand kernels disrupting many intellectual resting places. Being fiercely honest in confronting contradictions, she honed her wisdom, gained unusual insights, and enjoyed a professional and personal journey that could only be shared by telling the whole story. After numerous failed attempts, Dr, Stucky finally completed The Fog of Faith: Surviving My Impotent God.

The provocative title aptly indicates the unflinching moral dilemmas she reveals. The gripping story reads like a real-life thriller that readers can’t put down. Still, each step grounds itself in nuanced networks of passion, relational complexities, cultural and religious dilemmas, circumscribed choices bound by woman’s poverty, persistent violence, and an untamable resilient desire to redeem herself with or without God.

Find Dr. Stucky Online:
Website:
http://thefogoffaith.com/

Link to Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071951HB6

Link to Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/leonastucky/


Praise:
The voice of this woman’s spirit and courage rings clearly as she faces the personal challenges of her faith—when the adversity in life tests the veracity of her beliefs against the reality of terror. This book is an important, insightful book that I highly recommend.
– Michael Paymar, author of Violent No More: Helping Men End Domestic Abuse

Naked with fear, aflame with rage, at once heart-pounding and heart-breaking, this true tale climbs from the wheat fields of Kansas to the promised Heaven above—and down again.
– Robert Mayer, author of The Origin of Sorrow, The Dreams of Ada, Superfolks, and other books


----------Upcoming Blog Tour Dates

Tuesday, November 21st (today) @ Bring on Lemons
Today’s guest blogger at Bring on Lemons is Dr. Leona Stucky sharing her thoughts about the direction of destruction – "THE WINNER" – don’t miss this opportunity to learn from Dr. Stucky and find out more about her memoir “The Fog of Faith; Surviving My Impotent God”.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, November 22nd @ BookWorm
Dr. Leona Stucky stops by Anjanette Potter's Bookworm blog with a moving and inspirational guest post about "Recognizing Evil - an Underbelly Job" - readers won't want to miss this opportunity to hear from Dr. Stucky and learn about her memoir "The Fog of Faith; Surviving My Impotent God".
https://bookworm66.wordpress.com/

Thursday, November 23rd @ Memoir Writer’s Journey
Kathleen Pooler hosts Dr. Leona Stucky at Memoir Writer's Journey - read Stucky's guest post "Shame - How Culture and Religion are Internalized" and learn more about Dr. Stucky's memoir: "The Fog of Faith; Surviving My Impotent God".
https://krpooler.com/

Monday, November 27th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Leona Stucky is today's guest author at Choices with Madeline Sharples. Her guest post is titled "Public Denial of Violence Against Women" - learn about this as well as her book "The Fog of Faith"
http://madelinesharples.com/




Friday, November 17, 2017

Book Review - Scientific Mystery Burtrum Lee by Mary Maurice (review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto)

About Burtrum Lee:

Coated with a life of lies and deceit, Burtrum Lee Conner is sick to her stomach. Dozens of times throughout her life the feeling of not being who she is has tormented her. But she kept it to herself, believing that maybe it’s just a chemical imbalance of some kind considering she is one of the first artificially-inseminated babies of the 1960s. Now, there’s more though, something much deeper, much more maniacal than she could have ever imagined. She’s not the first test tube baby at all, but the first…

Burtrum Lee Conner, born into a world of scientific mystery, discovers that the life she’s been leading for the past forty years, is the wrong one. Her parents, Jed and Jane Conner, stealing her as an infant, brought Lee up as their own. Even her devoted grandmother, Clair Conner, kept this secret close to her chest until they were found out. And now, Lee Conner’s biological mother, Katie Lee, wants her back, but not before the diabolical Dr. Stone has his say.

Paperback: 219 pages
Genre: Scientific Mystery
Publisher: Silver Leaf Books LLC (November 13, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1609751973
ISBN-13: 978-1609751975

Burtrum Lee is available in ebook and in print on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.



About Mary Maurice: 


When I was a child growing up in the Detroit area, I thought I wanted to be a painter, and then as a teenager the idea of being a musician intrigued me, then as a young adult, I realized that I’m a writer.

After attending Western Michigan University for two party filled years, I decided to leave academia and explore the real world to learn what life is truly about. For fifteen years I’ve traveled the country working in restaurants, writing and doing readings wherever I was welcome.

While living in Minneapolis during my twenties, I was fortunate enough to be tutored by Dr. Jonis Agee, who was at the time head of the creative writing department at St. Catherine’s College in St. Paul. Her lessons were imprinted in me for all of these years, and have influenced my writing ever since.

My adventures landed me in San Diego, Chicago, San Francisco, and Oregon, finally leading me to the Land of Enchantment where I’ve resided since 1994. Living in Santa Fe, and the beauty and isolation that surrounds me, has inspire my creative muse in ways that no other place has. While still working in the hospitality industry, my passion for the craft of writing has never been stronger. And I know with each sentence I write, and every paragraph I compose, my ultimate goal is to find the perfect word.

Keep on bookin!

Connect with Mary online:

Website: www.marymaurice.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marymauriceauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MMauriceAuthor



-----Review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

I love a book that keeps you guessing and Burtrum Lee certainly does that! Just when I thought I had everything figured out, there was a plot twist. Maurice kept me on my toes from cover to cover. The characters were well written and the storytelling was divine. I'm hoping to read more books by this author in the future.

Each character was well written and Mary Maurice has a distinctive and enjoyable writing style. Burtrum Lee is a rock solid mystery I am compelled to read again as well as recommending to others. It's such an unusual tale and yet at points quite believable. Maurice did her research and didn't leave any questions left unanswered. Such a captivating tale of life and how it isn't always as it seems.


----------Upcoming Blog Tour Dates

Friday, November 17th (today) @ Bring on Lemons
Crystal Otto reviews Mary Maurice's Scientific Mystery, Burtrum Lee! – don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about Mary Maurice and find out more about this page turning novel Burtrum Lee.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 20th @ Lisa Haselton
Lisa Haselton interviews Mary Maurice about her scientific mystery, Burtrum Lee.
http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 21st @ Margo Dill
Mary Maurice visits the blog of fellow author Margo Dill. Hear from Mary on the topic of: "What's So Hard About Being Nice?" and learn more about Mary's scientific mystery, Burtrum Lee.
http://margoldill.com/

Wednesday, November 22nd @ World of My Imagination
Nicole Pyles reviews Burtrum Lee - the Scientific Mystery by Mary Maurice.
http://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com

Thursday, November 23rd @ Writers Pay it Forward
"Who Left the Skunk on the Side of the Road" is today's topic at Writers Pay it Forward as Mary Maurice pens today's guest post and discusses her book, Burtrum Lee - A Scientific Mystery.
https://writerspayitforward.com/

Tuesday, November 28th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Mary Maurice writes an intriguing guest post at Choices today. She talks about "Keeping Readers Engaged". Don’t miss this post and opportunity to learn about Burtrum Lee - A Scientific Mystery.
http://madelinesharples.com/

Thursday, November 30th @ Women of Wonder
Ginny at Women of Wonder reviews Burtrum Lee - A Scientific Mystery by Mary Maurice and shares her thoughts with readers. Don't miss this exciting blog stop!
https://womenofwondercircle.com/

Book Spotlight - Fog of Faith by Dr. Leona Stucky

Dr. Leona Stucky’s
WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR
OF
The Fog of Faith

Stops today at Bring on Lemons with a book spotlight!


The Fog of Faith
SURVIVING MY IMPOTENT GOD


Paperback: 340 pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Prairie World Press (May 25, 2017)
ISBN-10: 099864742X
ISBN-13: 978-0998647425
Amazon Link: click here

About the Book:
After the trauma of a savage attack, a farm girl recovers physically, but her identity, faith, and relationships are shattered.

This is the true story of Leona Stucky’s childhood on a Kansas farm, surrounded by a loving family and the simple tenets of her Mennonite community. Violence enters her world in the guise of a young man who seems normal to everyone else but who Leona knows to be deranged in his obsession with her.

His unrelenting abuses take root, and Leona must deal with them utterly alone. Her pacifist father cannot avenge or protect her, nor can a callous justice system. Even God is impotent.

Leona is cast into a bewildering life of disgrace and poverty—with a baby, a violent husband, and battered faith. Through a series of page-turning events, she hacks through the bones of her naïveté to confront harsh realities and to probe the veracity of religious claims.

The Fog of Faith is a suspenseful and morally unflinching drama of shame and survival, as well as usable and unusual wisdom.

This edition includes thoughtful questions for readers and groups to further explore their own stories.


About the Author:

She fit bucking bales into God’s plan, but bucking fear left this Mennonite farm teen begging and now, after 30 years as a professional psychotherapist, Dr. Leona Stucky narrates her unflinching faith-and-violence dilemma in a riveting memoir, The Fog of Faith: Surviving My Impotent God, which spares neither God nor violence against women and has been recommended by MS Magazine.

Dr. Stucky first received a degree in psychology and philosophy from Boston College, graduating summa cum laude, before plunging into seminary, first at Andover Newton Theological School and then at Eden Theological Seminary. She earned a doctorate from Southern Methodist University with honors, and a Diplomate certificate from the American Association of Pastoral Counselors—their highest credential—for teaching, supervising, and offering therapy services. She currently has standing as a Unitarian Universalist community minister.

These professional explorations might have quieted her mind, but the areas where integration seemed impossible became mental sand kernels disrupting many intellectual resting places. Being fiercely honest in confronting contradictions, she honed her wisdom, gained unusual insights, and enjoyed a professional and personal journey that could only be shared by telling the whole story. After numerous failed attempts, Dr, Stucky finally completed The Fog of Faith: Surviving My Impotent God.

The provocative title aptly indicates the unflinching moral dilemmas she reveals. The gripping story reads like a real-life thriller that readers can’t put down. Still, each step grounds itself in nuanced networks of passion, relational complexities, cultural and religious dilemmas, circumscribed choices bound by woman’s poverty, persistent violence, and an untamable resilient desire to redeem herself with or without God.

Find Dr. Stucky Online:
Website:
http://thefogoffaith.com/

Link to Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071951HB6

Link to Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/leonastucky/


Praise:
The voice of this woman’s spirit and courage rings clearly as she faces the personal challenges of her faith—when the adversity in life tests the veracity of her beliefs against the reality of terror. This book is an important, insightful book that I highly recommend.
– Michael Paymar, author of Violent No More: Helping Men End Domestic Abuse

Naked with fear, aflame with rage, at once heart-pounding and heart-breaking, this true tale climbs from the wheat fields of Kansas to the promised Heaven above—and down again.
– Robert Mayer, author of The Origin of Sorrow, The Dreams of Ada, Superfolks, and other books


----------Upcoming Blog Tour Dates



Friday, November 17th @ Bring on Lemons with Michelle DelPonte
Wisconsin mother, avid reader, and autism advocate Michelle DelPonte reviews "Fog of Faith" by Dr. Leona Stucky. Don't miss this insightful review.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 21st @ Bring on Lemons
Today’s guest blogger at Bring on Lemons is Dr. Leona Stucky sharing her thoughts about “The Direction of Destruction – Winning” – don’t miss this opportunity to learn from Dr. Stucky and find out more about her memoir “The Fog of Faith; Surviving My Impotent God”.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, November 22nd @ BookWorm
Dr. Leona Stucky stops by Anjanette Potter's Bookworm blog with a moving and inspirational guest post about "Recognizing Evil - an Underbelly Job" - readers won't want to miss this opportunity to hear from Dr. Stucky and learn about her memoir "The Fog of Faith; Surviving My Impotent God".
https://bookworm66.wordpress.com/

Thursday, November 23rd @ Memoir Writer’s Journey
Kathleen Pooler hosts Dr. Leona Stucky at Memoir Writer's Journey - read Stucky's guest post "Shame - How Culture and Religion are Internalized" and learn more about Dr. Stucky's memoir: "The Fog of Faith; Surviving My Impotent God".
https://krpooler.com/

Monday, November 27th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Leona Stucky is today's guest author at Choices with Madeline Sharples. Her guest post is titled "Public Denial of Violence Against Women" - learn about this as well as her book "The Fog of Faith"
http://madelinesharples.com/




Michelle DelPonte Reviews Dr. Leona Stucky's Memoir - Fog of Faith

Dr. Leona Stucky’s
WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR
OF
The Fog of Faith

Stops today at Bring on Lemons with a review by Michelle DelPonte

5 Star Review:
In so many ways, I am speechless. The life that Dr. Leona Stucky has not only survived, but thrived with, is astounding. “The Fog of Faith Surviving My Impotent God” has taken me on a roller coaster ride of emotions that I never expected to feel. There were to many nights that I simply could not put the book down, and stayed up all night. I have reread numerous chapters in complete disbelief of what I had just read. I found myself in shock and horror, yet encouragement, love, and most importantly hope. While I know these events took place years ago, I still find myself praying for Dr. Leona and her family, including the man who nearly took everything away from her.

As a Christian and caregiver, I believe that prayer has a power to move mountains. Why is it that in times of strife, we turn from Him instead of towards Him? Dr. Leona suffered alone with a mentally ill boyfriend who threatens to kill her. He continually becomes dangerously close to ending her life. Who can Leona turn to? Everyone that is supposed to protect her has failed. Due to the way Dr. Leona is raised, her family, the police, and justice system cannot protect her. She is expected to not only protect herself, but her innocent baby boy and family from a complete psychopath. I can only pray that I would be able to endure half of what she has with dignity and grace. No one should ever have to live in fear.

This book is one that is not to be missed. I have learned to count the many struggles I have as blessings, compared to what others have suffered through. I am without question that there is suffering of this magnitude still happening today. While I see on the book cover that Dr. Leona has returned to a life of faith, I still have so many questions for her. I would love to know what her life is like today. What is going on with the man that terrorized her? Has she been able to forgive him? I would love to know how her son coped with this life. I think I am simply asking for Dr. Leona to write another book to let us see how her life has changed. In the meantime, I will continue to pray for her, as I encourage you all to read this life altering, view changing, spellbound book. I guarantee Dr. Leona will enter your heart and remain there long after you have read it. Fabulous job!





The Fog of Faith
SURVIVING MY IMPOTENT GOD


Paperback: 340 pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Prairie World Press (May 25, 2017)
ISBN-10: 099864742X
ISBN-13: 978-0998647425
Amazon Link: click here

About the Book:
After the trauma of a savage attack, a farm girl recovers physically, but her identity, faith, and relationships are shattered.

This is the true story of Leona Stucky’s childhood on a Kansas farm, surrounded by a loving family and the simple tenets of her Mennonite community. Violence enters her world in the guise of a young man who seems normal to everyone else but who Leona knows to be deranged in his obsession with her.

His unrelenting abuses take root, and Leona must deal with them utterly alone. Her pacifist father cannot avenge or protect her, nor can a callous justice system. Even God is impotent.

Leona is cast into a bewildering life of disgrace and poverty—with a baby, a violent husband, and battered faith. Through a series of page-turning events, she hacks through the bones of her naïveté to confront harsh realities and to probe the veracity of religious claims.

The Fog of Faith is a suspenseful and morally unflinching drama of shame and survival, as well as usable and unusual wisdom.

This edition includes thoughtful questions for readers and groups to further explore their own stories.


About the Author:

She fit bucking bales into God’s plan, but bucking fear left this Mennonite farm teen begging and now, after 30 years as a professional psychotherapist, Dr. Leona Stucky narrates her unflinching faith-and-violence dilemma in a riveting memoir, The Fog of Faith: Surviving My Impotent God, which spares neither God nor violence against women and has been recommended by MS Magazine.

Dr. Stucky first received a degree in psychology and philosophy from Boston College, graduating summa cum laude, before plunging into seminary, first at Andover Newton Theological School and then at Eden Theological Seminary. She earned a doctorate from Southern Methodist University with honors, and a Diplomate certificate from the American Association of Pastoral Counselors—their highest credential—for teaching, supervising, and offering therapy services. She currently has standing as a Unitarian Universalist community minister.

These professional explorations might have quieted her mind, but the areas where integration seemed impossible became mental sand kernels disrupting many intellectual resting places. Being fiercely honest in confronting contradictions, she honed her wisdom, gained unusual insights, and enjoyed a professional and personal journey that could only be shared by telling the whole story. After numerous failed attempts, Dr, Stucky finally completed The Fog of Faith: Surviving My Impotent God.

The provocative title aptly indicates the unflinching moral dilemmas she reveals. The gripping story reads like a real-life thriller that readers can’t put down. Still, each step grounds itself in nuanced networks of passion, relational complexities, cultural and religious dilemmas, circumscribed choices bound by woman’s poverty, persistent violence, and an untamable resilient desire to redeem herself with or without God.

Find Dr. Stucky Online:
Website:
http://thefogoffaith.com/

Link to Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071951HB6

Link to Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/leonastucky/


Praise:
The voice of this woman’s spirit and courage rings clearly as she faces the personal challenges of her faith—when the adversity in life tests the veracity of her beliefs against the reality of terror. This book is an important, insightful book that I highly recommend.
– Michael Paymar, author of Violent No More: Helping Men End Domestic Abuse

Naked with fear, aflame with rage, at once heart-pounding and heart-breaking, this true tale climbs from the wheat fields of Kansas to the promised Heaven above—and down again.
– Robert Mayer, author of The Origin of Sorrow, The Dreams of Ada, Superfolks, and other books


----------Upcoming Blog Tour Dates


Friday, November 17th (today) @ Bring on Lemons with Michelle DelPonte
Wisconsin mother, avid reader, and autism advocate Michelle DelPonte reviews "Fog of Faith" by Dr. Leona Stucky. Don't miss this insightful review.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 21st @ Bring on Lemons
Today’s guest blogger at Bring on Lemons is Dr. Leona Stucky sharing her thoughts about “The Direction of Destruction – Winning” – don’t miss this opportunity to learn from Dr. Stucky and find out more about her memoir “The Fog of Faith; Surviving My Impotent God”.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, November 22nd @ BookWorm
Dr. Leona Stucky stops by Anjanette Potter's Bookworm blog with a moving and inspirational guest post about "Recognizing Evil - an Underbelly Job" - readers won't want to miss this opportunity to hear from Dr. Stucky and learn about her memoir "The Fog of Faith; Surviving My Impotent God".
https://bookworm66.wordpress.com/

Thursday, November 23rd @ Memoir Writer’s Journey
Kathleen Pooler hosts Dr. Leona Stucky at Memoir Writer's Journey - read Stucky's guest post "Shame - How Culture and Religion are Internalized" and learn more about Dr. Stucky's memoir: "The Fog of Faith; Surviving My Impotent God".
https://krpooler.com/

Monday, November 27th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Leona Stucky is today's guest author at Choices with Madeline Sharples. Her guest post is titled "Public Denial of Violence Against Women" - learn about this as well as her book "The Fog of Faith"
http://madelinesharples.com/



About Today's Reviewer:

Michelle DelPonte is a busy mom and health care worker. Her two sons are the focus of her life and she works diligently to raise awareness about autism in the community. She loves reading, anything to do with history and geocaching just to name a few of her many hobbies. Michelle, her husband Ben and their two sons Sebastian and Asher live in Manitowoc, WI on the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan where they enjoy walking and biking on the Mariner’s Trail and spending time at the Library.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

WOW! Women on Writing Book Blog Tour - Review of Leona Stucky's The Fog of Faith

Dr. Leona Stucky’s
WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR
OF
The Fog of Faith

Stops today at Bring on Lemons with a review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

5 Star Review:
The provocative title of Dr. Stucky's book scared me a bit. Ok, it scared me a lot; the word impotent in reference to God stopped me in my tracks. I'm a Lutheran and and active in my faith and my religion and the title of this book is very provocative but was off-putting for me at first. I know how important it is to follow the age old rule of "don't judge a book by it's cover" and in this case, I didn't stop at the title of Dr. Stucky's book. I cracked the cover and dug right in without letting my own ideas, religion, and background stand in my way. I'm certainly glad I read this book and it didn't take long for me to really appreciate the path Dr. Stucky has traveled. I've never thought of my God as helpless, and yet as I read page after page, I couldn't imagine a more fitting title for this memoir.

The Fog of Faith is a book you won't want to put down. It reads more like a fiction novel and at times will take your breath away, raise your blood pressure, and make you down right angry. The writing has beautiful flow and I admire Dr. Stucky's honesty and bravery as she shares her story with the world. The lessons Dr. Stucky has learned she unashamedly passes along to her readers through her thought provoking writing. For her courage and tenacity, I feel I am forever changed and eternally grateful.



The Fog of Faith
SURVIVING MY IMPOTENT GOD


Paperback: 340 pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Prairie World Press (May 25, 2017)
ISBN-10: 099864742X
ISBN-13: 978-0998647425
Amazon Link: click here

About the Book:
After the trauma of a savage attack, a farm girl recovers physically, but her identity, faith, and relationships are shattered.

This is the true story of Leona Stucky’s childhood on a Kansas farm, surrounded by a loving family and the simple tenets of her Mennonite community. Violence enters her world in the guise of a young man who seems normal to everyone else but who Leona knows to be deranged in his obsession with her.

His unrelenting abuses take root, and Leona must deal with them utterly alone. Her pacifist father cannot avenge or protect her, nor can a callous justice system. Even God is impotent.

Leona is cast into a bewildering life of disgrace and poverty—with a baby, a violent husband, and battered faith. Through a series of page-turning events, she hacks through the bones of her naïveté to confront harsh realities and to probe the veracity of religious claims.

The Fog of Faith is a suspenseful and morally unflinching drama of shame and survival, as well as usable and unusual wisdom.

This edition includes thoughtful questions for readers and groups to further explore their own stories.


About the Author:

She fit bucking bales into God’s plan, but bucking fear left this Mennonite farm teen begging and now, after 30 years as a professional psychotherapist, Dr. Leona Stucky narrates her unflinching faith-and-violence dilemma in a riveting memoir, The Fog of Faith: Surviving My Impotent God, which spares neither God nor violence against women and has been recommended by MS Magazine.

Dr. Stucky first received a degree in psychology and philosophy from Boston College, graduating summa cum laude, before plunging into seminary, first at Andover Newton Theological School and then at Eden Theological Seminary. She earned a doctorate from Southern Methodist University with honors, and a Diplomate certificate from the American Association of Pastoral Counselors—their highest credential—for teaching, supervising, and offering therapy services. She currently has standing as a Unitarian Universalist community minister.

These professional explorations might have quieted her mind, but the areas where integration seemed impossible became mental sand kernels disrupting many intellectual resting places. Being fiercely honest in confronting contradictions, she honed her wisdom, gained unusual insights, and enjoyed a professional and personal journey that could only be shared by telling the whole story. After numerous failed attempts, Dr, Stucky finally completed The Fog of Faith: Surviving My Impotent God.

The provocative title aptly indicates the unflinching moral dilemmas she reveals. The gripping story reads like a real-life thriller that readers can’t put down. Still, each step grounds itself in nuanced networks of passion, relational complexities, cultural and religious dilemmas, circumscribed choices bound by woman’s poverty, persistent violence, and an untamable resilient desire to redeem herself with or without God.

Find Dr. Stucky Online:
Website:
http://thefogoffaith.com/

Link to Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071951HB6

Link to Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/leonastucky/


Praise:
The voice of this woman’s spirit and courage rings clearly as she faces the personal challenges of her faith—when the adversity in life tests the veracity of her beliefs against the reality of terror. This book is an important, insightful book that I highly recommend.
– Michael Paymar, author of Violent No More: Helping Men End Domestic Abuse

Naked with fear, aflame with rage, at once heart-pounding and heart-breaking, this true tale climbs from the wheat fields of Kansas to the promised Heaven above—and down again.
– Robert Mayer, author of The Origin of Sorrow, The Dreams of Ada, Superfolks, and other books


----------Upcoming Blog Tour Dates

Wednesday, November 15th (Today) @ Bring on Lemons with Crystal J. Casavant-Otto
Wisconsin mother, avid reader, and busy book reviewer, Crystal J. Casavant-Otto reviews "Fog of Faith" by Dr. Leona Stucky. Don't miss this insightful review.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Thursday, November 16th @ Jerry Waxler
Jerry Waxler reads and reviews Dr. Leona Stucky's memoir "The Fog of Faith". Don't miss this insightful book blog stop on another great WOW! Women on Writing tour.
https://www.jerrywaxler.com/

Friday, November 17th @ Janese Dixon
Don't miss today's author spotlight at Janese Dixon's blog - the author is none other than Dr. Leona Stucky. Readers can learn more about Dr. Stucky and her moving journey: "The Fog of Faith; Surviving My Impotent God".
http://www.janesedixon.com/blog


Friday, November 17th @ Bring on Lemons with Michelle DelPonte
Wisconsin mother, avid reader, and autism advocate Michelle DelPonte reviews "Fog of Faith" by Dr. Leona Stucky. Don't miss this insightful review.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 21st @ Bring on Lemons
Today’s guest blogger at Bring on Lemons is Dr. Leona Stucky sharing her thoughts about “The Direction of Destruction – Winning” – don’t miss this opportunity to learn from Dr. Stucky and find out more about her memoir “The Fog of Faith; Surviving My Impotent God”.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, November 22nd @ BookWorm
Dr. Leona Stucky stops by Anjanette Potter's Bookworm blog with a moving and inspirational guest post about "Recognizing Evil - an Underbelly Job" - readers won't want to miss this opportunity to hear from Dr. Stucky and learn about her memoir "The Fog of Faith; Surviving My Impotent God".
https://bookworm66.wordpress.com/

Thursday, November 23rd @ Memoir Writer’s Journey
Kathleen Pooler hosts Dr. Leona Stucky at Memoir Writer's Journey - read Stucky's guest post "Shame - How Culture and Religion are Internalized" and learn more about Dr. Stucky's memoir: "The Fog of Faith; Surviving My Impotent God".
https://krpooler.com/

Monday, November 27th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Leona Stucky is today's guest author at Choices with Madeline Sharples. Her guest post is titled "Public Denial of Violence Against Women" - learn about this as well as her book "The Fog of Faith"
http://madelinesharples.com/