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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/




Friday, November 10, 2017

Book Spotlight - Free Will Odyssey by Larry Kilham

Thank you  for another great WOW! Women On Writing book blog tour!

Date: October 30th through December 1st 2017
Location: WOW! Women on Writing Blog and Beyond!!! 
Book Title: Free Will Odyssey
Author: Larry Kilham

Details
Print Length: 158 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: FutureBooks.info (August 27, 2017)
Publication Date: August 27, 2017
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07566LDCQ


We worked together with WOW! Women on Writing on this fun book blog tour! The tour will began October 30th with a giveaway and author interview on the WOW! Blog (the Muffin), and runs for a month. If you are interested in reading and reviewing Free Will Odyssey by Larry Kilham, please email: crystal@wow-womenonwriting.com as soon as possible!




About the Book: 
Peter Tesla, a prodigious young inventor, develops an electronic device to enhance the user’s free will. A major application is drug detoxification. Peter’s star client is the U.S. president. Along the way, Peter is tried for the mysterious death of a girlfriend and struggles with the machinations of a secretive industrialist.

About the Author:
Larry Kilham has traveled extensively overseas for over twenty years. He worked in several large international companies and started and sold two high-tech ventures. He received a B.S. in engineering from the University of Colorado and an M.S. in management from MIT. Larry has written books about creativity and invention, artificial intelligence and digital media, travel overseas, and three novels with an AI theme. His book website is www.larrykilham.net and he looks forward to hearing from readers at lkilham@gmail.com.

Author Spotlight - Claudette Sutton and Farewell, Aleppo

About the Book: 

The Jews of Aleppo, Syria, had been part of the city’s fabric for more than two thousand years, in good times and bad, through conquerors and kings. But in the middle years of the twentieth century, all that changed.

To Selim Sutton, a merchant with centuries of roots in the Syrian soil, the dangers of rising anti-Semitism made clear that his family must find a new home. With several young children and no prospect of securing visas to the United States, he devised a savvy plan for getting his family out: “exporting” his sons. In December 1940, he told the two oldest, Meïr and Saleh, that arrangements had been made for their transit to Shanghai, where they would work in an uncle’s export business. China, he hoped, would provide a short-term safe harbor and a steppingstone to America.

But the world intervened for the young men, now renamed Mike and Sal by their Uncle Joe. Sal became ill with tuberculosis soon after arriving and was sent back to Aleppo alone. And the war that soon would engulf every inhabited land loomed closer each day. Joe, Syrian-born but a naturalized American citizen, barely escaped on the last ship to sail for the U.S. before Pearl Harbor was bombed and the Japanese seized Shanghai. Mike was alone, a teen-ager in an occupied city, across the world from his family, with only his mettle to rely on as he strived to survive personally and economically in the face of increasing deprivation.

Farewell, Aleppo is the story—told by his daughter—of the journey that would ultimately take him from the insular Jewish community of Aleppo to the solitary task of building a new life in America. It is both her father’s tale that journalist Claudette Sutton describes and also the harrowing experiences of the family members he left behind in Syria, forced to smuggle themselves out of the country after it closed its borders to Jewish emigration.

The picture Sutton paints is both a poignant narrative of individual lives and the broader canvas of a people’s survival over millennia, in their native land and far away, through the strength of their faith and their communities. Multiple threads come richly together as she observes their world from inside and outside the fold, shares an important and nearly forgotten epoch of Jewish history, and explores universal questions of identity, family, and culture.

Paperback: 180 Pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Terra Nova Books (October 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1938288408
ISBN-13: 978-1938288401
ASIN: B00NMP6IJ2

Farewell, Aleppo: My Father, My People, and Their Long Journey Home is available in ebook and in print at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.




Thank you to 
WOW! Women on Writing 
for organizing this fabulous book blog tour!



Praise:

"A multi-faceted biography of her father and his long-ago journey from ancient Aleppo to skyscraper America, the story of the vanished Syrian-Jewish culture in Aleppo, now a battleground in Syria's civil war, [and] a look at how that culture still survives. A treasure of a book."
-Bernard Kalb, former correspondent for the New York Times, CBS News and NBC News, moderator of CNN's Reliable Sources and Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs

"Sutton merges the best of family biography with relevant and fascinating historical, social, and religious knowledge. Incorporating elements of history, religious struggles, pursuit of dreams, and the strength of kinship to create a stirring tribute to the foresight of her grandfather and the strength and perseverance of his offspring, Sutton craftily weaves interesting story lines into an encouraging and intriguing narrative."
-Foreword Reviews

Claudette Sutton takes the reader on a courageous journey as she tells the story of her father, whose world changed with the winds of World War II. Farewell, Aleppo is a story of how people are shaped by their past. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to explore this rich culture that many people do not know very much about.
- Elise Cooper, Jewish Book Council

An engaging, evocative, deeply touching book that is part memoir, part history and part a personal journey....virtually a love-story of a daughter to a father.
– James McGrath Morris, author of Pulitzer, and Eyes on the Struggle



About the Author:  

It’s no coincidence that family is the central focus of both Farewell, Aleppo and the work that has been the driving force of its author’s professional life.

Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in the close-knit community of Syrian Jews all were part of Claudette Sutton’s childhood in suburban Maryland, along with her parents and siblings. Years later, as a young mother in Santa Fe, it seemed only natural to think of creating a similar kind of close support for families in her new hometown by means of her journalism training and experience.

Thus began what is now Tumbleweeds, an award-winning local publication that for over twenty years has been expanding its role in serving the city’s families. As the quarterly newspaper has grown, so have its scope and community contributions, mixing news, commentary, personal writing, advice, and activity guides—all reflecting Claudette’s vision of a community resource to help her neighbors face the challenges of parenting.

Claudette’s eloquent writing, the other great strength she combines with the paper’s wide-ranging utility, has been a door to the world for her since she was a teen-ager. As a reporter, she realized early, “You can learn about everything”—a much more appealing option after high school than the enforced specialization of college.

After three years writing for the Montgomery County Sentinel in Maryland, Claudette moved to New York, where she earned a bachelor’s degree from the New School for Social Research. Living in proximity to another side of her extensive family, she built a deeper understanding of the Jewish exodus from Syria that has formed the backdrop for the story she tells so movingly in Farewell, Aleppo.

The narrative chronicles her father’s youth, his odyssey across oceans and continents, and the new life he made in America. But as Claudette talked with him and researched more deeply, she saw also the essential elements of the larger tale. What began as one man’s story grew into a portrait of the history that made his journey necessary, and of how a vibrant people have preserved their community and culture through the thousands of years from biblical times to today.

Find Claudette Online:

Website: www.claudettesutton.com

Twitter: @FarewellAleppo

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

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/claudette0589/farewell-aleppo-the-book/

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+Claudettesutton

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Eric Trant Reviews Farewell, Aleppo by Claudette Sutton

About the Book: 

The Jews of Aleppo, Syria, had been part of the city’s fabric for more than two thousand years, in good times and bad, through conquerors and kings. But in the middle years of the twentieth century, all that changed.

To Selim Sutton, a merchant with centuries of roots in the Syrian soil, the dangers of rising anti-Semitism made clear that his family must find a new home. With several young children and no prospect of securing visas to the United States, he devised a savvy plan for getting his family out: “exporting” his sons. In December 1940, he told the two oldest, Meïr and Saleh, that arrangements had been made for their transit to Shanghai, where they would work in an uncle’s export business. China, he hoped, would provide a short-term safe harbor and a steppingstone to America.

But the world intervened for the young men, now renamed Mike and Sal by their Uncle Joe. Sal became ill with tuberculosis soon after arriving and was sent back to Aleppo alone. And the war that soon would engulf every inhabited land loomed closer each day. Joe, Syrian-born but a naturalized American citizen, barely escaped on the last ship to sail for the U.S. before Pearl Harbor was bombed and the Japanese seized Shanghai. Mike was alone, a teen-ager in an occupied city, across the world from his family, with only his mettle to rely on as he strived to survive personally and economically in the face of increasing deprivation.

Farewell, Aleppo is the story—told by his daughter—of the journey that would ultimately take him from the insular Jewish community of Aleppo to the solitary task of building a new life in America. It is both her father’s tale that journalist Claudette Sutton describes and also the harrowing experiences of the family members he left behind in Syria, forced to smuggle themselves out of the country after it closed its borders to Jewish emigration.

The picture Sutton paints is both a poignant narrative of individual lives and the broader canvas of a people’s survival over millennia, in their native land and far away, through the strength of their faith and their communities. Multiple threads come richly together as she observes their world from inside and outside the fold, shares an important and nearly forgotten epoch of Jewish history, and explores universal questions of identity, family, and culture.

Paperback: 180 Pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Terra Nova Books (October 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1938288408
ISBN-13: 978-1938288401
ASIN: B00NMP6IJ2

Farewell, Aleppo: My Father, My People, and Their Long Journey Home is available in ebook and in print at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.

Review by Eric Trant:


First off, Aleppo is a professionally written, well thought-out, finely crafted memoir-slash-biography. That part is important, because there is a whole class of memoirs out there, especially on Amazon, that leads me to believe most writers cannot scribe themselves out of a bathroom stall. Aleppo, in this regard, is a pleasant and heartwarming reminder that yeppers, there are still some writers out there who are willing to stab into the memoir genre.

Second off, the book is well-organized and meticulously researched. I wondered at times how she managed to figure out dates and nail locations, but I suppose such things are possible when you are passionate about your story. It's her father's trek from the Middle East to the United States during and following WWII, and the details she dug out are an overwhelming testament to the love she shows toward him and her family heritage.

So, the book is technically sound. For memoirs, this alone ranks it in a rare class of books.

But not to bore you with the technical points, the book is also interesting and thought-provoking. There is the tragedy of her uncle's illness, her father's loneliness, and her grandfather's gut-wrenching decisions surrounding the eradication of Jewish families in the Middle East. You see her father's resilience and determination to succeed, at an age when most men would be better classified as boys. You taste the rigid structure of her Jewish background, and watch as the generations gradually peel away the old traditions and establish fresh ones, befitting of the new worlds they find themselves thrust into.

So, the book is not just technically sound, but is also a bustling crowd of stories within stories that keep the reader firmly ensconced in a world and a time that is best never forgotten.


Thank you to 
WOW! Women on Writing 
for organizing this fabulous book blog tour!



Praise:

"A multi-faceted biography of her father and his long-ago journey from ancient Aleppo to skyscraper America, the story of the vanished Syrian-Jewish culture in Aleppo, now a battleground in Syria's civil war, [and] a look at how that culture still survives. A treasure of a book."
-Bernard Kalb, former correspondent for the New York Times, CBS News and NBC News, moderator of CNN's Reliable Sources and Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs

"Sutton merges the best of family biography with relevant and fascinating historical, social, and religious knowledge. Incorporating elements of history, religious struggles, pursuit of dreams, and the strength of kinship to create a stirring tribute to the foresight of her grandfather and the strength and perseverance of his offspring, Sutton craftily weaves interesting story lines into an encouraging and intriguing narrative."
-Foreword Reviews

Claudette Sutton takes the reader on a courageous journey as she tells the story of her father, whose world changed with the winds of World War II. Farewell, Aleppo is a story of how people are shaped by their past. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to explore this rich culture that many people do not know very much about.
- Elise Cooper, Jewish Book Council

An engaging, evocative, deeply touching book that is part memoir, part history and part a personal journey....virtually a love-story of a daughter to a father.
– James McGrath Morris, author of Pulitzer, and Eyes on the Struggle



About the Author:  

It’s no coincidence that family is the central focus of both Farewell, Aleppo and the work that has been the driving force of its author’s professional life.

Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in the close-knit community of Syrian Jews all were part of Claudette Sutton’s childhood in suburban Maryland, along with her parents and siblings. Years later, as a young mother in Santa Fe, it seemed only natural to think of creating a similar kind of close support for families in her new hometown by means of her journalism training and experience.

Thus began what is now Tumbleweeds, an award-winning local publication that for over twenty years has been expanding its role in serving the city’s families. As the quarterly newspaper has grown, so have its scope and community contributions, mixing news, commentary, personal writing, advice, and activity guides—all reflecting Claudette’s vision of a community resource to help her neighbors face the challenges of parenting.

Claudette’s eloquent writing, the other great strength she combines with the paper’s wide-ranging utility, has been a door to the world for her since she was a teen-ager. As a reporter, she realized early, “You can learn about everything”—a much more appealing option after high school than the enforced specialization of college.

After three years writing for the Montgomery County Sentinel in Maryland, Claudette moved to New York, where she earned a bachelor’s degree from the New School for Social Research. Living in proximity to another side of her extensive family, she built a deeper understanding of the Jewish exodus from Syria that has formed the backdrop for the story she tells so movingly in Farewell, Aleppo.

The narrative chronicles her father’s youth, his odyssey across oceans and continents, and the new life he made in America. But as Claudette talked with him and researched more deeply, she saw also the essential elements of the larger tale. What began as one man’s story grew into a portrait of the history that made his journey necessary, and of how a vibrant people have preserved their community and culture through the thousands of years from biblical times to today.

Find Claudette Online:

Website: www.claudettesutton.com

Twitter: @FarewellAleppo

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

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/claudette0589/farewell-aleppo-the-book/

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+Claudettesutton



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

Wednesday, November 8th @ Bring on Lemons with Eric Trant
Fellow Author Eric Trant reviews “Farewell, Aleppo” by Claudette Sutton. Don't miss Eric's insight and thoughts about this touching story.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Thursday, November 9th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey with Kathleen Pooler
Kathleen Pooler of Memoir Writer's Journey shares her deep thoughts after reading and reviewing Farewell, Aleppo by Claudette Sutton.
https://krpooler.com/

Friday, November 10th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Linda Appleman Shapiro reviews Claudette Suttons Farewell, Aleppo and shares her insight and thoughts with readers at her blog!
http://applemanshapiro.com/category/book-reviews/


About Today's Reviewer: 

Eric resides in Dallas, TX with his wife and children, where he writes and manages his own business. His writing combines literary characterization with supernatural elements, all the while engaging the reader's senses with constant movement and vivid settings. His books are designed to be one-sitters, meaning they can and should be read in one (or a few) sittings, owing to the fast-paced nature of the writing.

You can visit Eric at http://www.EricTrant.com, or see his blog at DiggingWithTheWorms.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

5 Star Review - Claudette Sutton's "Farewell, Aleppo"

5 Star Review:

This story is incredibly moving. I was touched by Aleppo when scrolling through social media earlier in the year. The destruction depicted in the photographs stopped me in my tracks. Several months later, I learned of Claudette Sutton’s “Farewell Aleppo” and I was immediately drawn in.

While reading “Farewell Aleppo” I often had to pause. Such beauty and love intertwined with hardship and sorrow needs to be taken in slowly. Sometimes I had to read a section twice (not because it was difficult to read, but because I was overcome with emotion). I savored each page. Each unique story left me forever changed.

I am forever thankful to Claudette Sutton for sharing the story of her father and her people. Beautifully written, eye opening, and quite moving.



About the Book:

The Jews of Aleppo, Syria, had been part of the city’s fabric for more than two thousand years, in good times and bad, through conquerors and kings. But in the middle years of the twentieth century, all that changed.

To Selim Sutton, a merchant with centuries of roots in the Syrian soil, the dangers of rising anti-Semitism made clear that his family must find a new home. With several young children and no prospect of securing visas to the United States, he devised a savvy plan for getting his family out: “exporting” his sons. In December 1940, he told the two oldest, Meïr and Saleh, that arrangements had been made for their transit to Shanghai, where they would work in an uncle’s export business. China, he hoped, would provide a short-term safe harbor and a steppingstone to America.

But the world intervened for the young men, now renamed Mike and Sal by their Uncle Joe. Sal became ill with tuberculosis soon after arriving and was sent back to Aleppo alone. And the war that soon would engulf every inhabited land loomed closer each day. Joe, Syrian-born but a naturalized American citizen, barely escaped on the last ship to sail for the U.S. before Pearl Harbor was bombed and the Japanese seized Shanghai. Mike was alone, a teen-ager in an occupied city, across the world from his family, with only his mettle to rely on as he strived to survive personally and economically in the face of increasing deprivation.

Farewell, Aleppo is the story—told by his daughter—of the journey that would ultimately take him from the insular Jewish community of Aleppo to the solitary task of building a new life in America. It is both her father’s tale that journalist Claudette Sutton describes and also the harrowing experiences of the family members he left behind in Syria, forced to smuggle themselves out of the country after it closed its borders to Jewish emigration.

The picture Sutton paints is both a poignant narrative of individual lives and the broader canvas of a people’s survival over millennia, in their native land and far away, through the strength of their faith and their communities. Multiple threads come richly together as she observes their world from inside and outside the fold, shares an important and nearly forgotten epoch of Jewish history, and explores universal questions of identity, family, and culture.

Paperback: 180 Pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Terra Nova Books (October 1, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1938288408
ISBN-13: 978-1938288401
ASIN: B00NMP6IJ2

Farewell, Aleppo: My Father, My People, and Their Long Journey Home is available in ebook and in print at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.



Praise:

"A multi-faceted biography of her father and his long-ago journey from ancient Aleppo to skyscraper America, the story of the vanished Syrian-Jewish culture in Aleppo, now a battleground in Syria's civil war, [and] a look at how that culture still survives. A treasure of a book."
-Bernard Kalb, former correspondent for the New York Times, CBS News and NBC News, moderator of CNN's Reliable Sources and Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs

"Sutton merges the best of family biography with relevant and fascinating historical, social, and religious knowledge. Incorporating elements of history, religious struggles, pursuit of dreams, and the strength of kinship to create a stirring tribute to the foresight of her grandfather and the strength and perseverance of his offspring, Sutton craftily weaves interesting story lines into an encouraging and intriguing narrative."
-Foreword Reviews

Claudette Sutton takes the reader on a courageous journey as she tells the story of her father, whose world changed with the winds of World War II. Farewell, Aleppo is a story of how people are shaped by their past. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to explore this rich culture that many people do not know very much about.
- Elise Cooper, Jewish Book Council

An engaging, evocative, deeply touching book that is part memoir, part history and part a personal journey....virtually a love-story of a daughter to a father.
– James McGrath Morris, author of Pulitzer, and Eyes on the Struggle


About the Author:

It’s no coincidence that family is the central focus of both Farewell, Aleppo and the work that has been the driving force of its author’s professional life.

Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in the close-knit community of Syrian Jews all were part of Claudette Sutton’s childhood in suburban Maryland, along with her parents and siblings. Years later, as a young mother in Santa Fe, it seemed only natural to think of creating a similar kind of close support for families in her new hometown by means of her journalism training and experience.

Thus began what is now Tumbleweeds, an award-winning local publication that for over twenty years has been expanding its role in serving the city’s families. As the quarterly newspaper has grown, so have its scope and community contributions, mixing news, commentary, personal writing, advice, and activity guides—all reflecting Claudette’s vision of a community resource to help her neighbors face the challenges of parenting.

Claudette’s eloquent writing, the other great strength she combines with the paper’s wide-ranging utility, has been a door to the world for her since she was a teen-ager. As a reporter, she realized early, “You can learn about everything”—a much more appealing option after high school than the enforced specialization of college.

After three years writing for the Montgomery County Sentinel in Maryland, Claudette moved to New York, where she earned a bachelor’s degree from the New School for Social Research. Living in proximity to another side of her extensive family, she built a deeper understanding of the Jewish exodus from Syria that has formed the backdrop for the story she tells so movingly in Farewell, Aleppo.

The narrative chronicles her father’s youth, his odyssey across oceans and continents, and the new life he made in America. But as Claudette talked with him and researched more deeply, she saw also the essential elements of the larger tale. What began as one man’s story grew into a portrait of the history that made his journey necessary, and of how a vibrant people have preserved their community and culture through the thousands of years from biblical times to today.

Find Claudette Online:

Website: www.claudettesutton.com

Twitter: @FarewellAleppo

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

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/claudette0589/farewell-aleppo-the-book/

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+Claudettesutton



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

Monday October 23rd @ WOW! Women on Writing
Interview & Giveaway
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

Tuesday, October 24th (today) @ Bring on Lemons with Crystal J. Casavant-Otto
Crystal J. Casavant-Otto from WOW! shares her thoughts after reading Farewell, Aleppo by Claudette Sutton. Don't miss this engaging and enlightening book blog stop!
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 25th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Madeline Sharples reads and reviews Farewell, Aleppo by Claudette Sutton and shares her insight and thoughts with readers at Choices.
http://madelinesharples.com/

Thursday, October 26th @ Jerry Waxler
Readers of Jerry Waxler's memoir blog will enjoy reading Jerry's deep thoughts as he reviews Farewell, Aleppo by Claudette Sutton.
https://www.jerrywaxler.com/

Friday, October 27th @ Beverley A. Baird
Beverley Baird reviews and shares her thoughts after reading the moving story Farewell, Aleppo by Claudette Sutton. Don't miss this book blog stop.
https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

Friday, October 27th @ Lisa Haselton
Lisa Haselton interviews Claudette Sutton about her acclaimed book, Farewell, Aleppo.
http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/

Monday, October 30th @ CMash Loves to Read
Today's guest blogger at CMash Loves to Read is none other than Claudette E. Sutton. Hear from her  and learn more about her book Farewell, Aleppo.
http://cmashlovestoread.com/

Friday, November 3rd @ Janese Dixon
Don't miss today's author spotlight at Janese Dixon's blog - the author is none other than Claudette E. Sutton. Readers can learn more about Sutton and her beautifully written tale: Farewell, Aleppo: My Father, My People, and Their Long Journey Home.
http://www.janesedixon.com/blog

Tuesday, November 7th @ Coming Down the Mountain
Karen Jones Gowen reviews "Farewell Aleppo" by Claudette Sutton. Don't miss Gowen's insight after reading this touching true story.
http://karenjonesgowen.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, November 8th @ Bring on Lemons with Eric Trant
Fellow Author Eric Trant reviews “Farewell, Aleppo” by Claudette Sutton. Don't miss Eric's insight and thoughts about this touching story.
http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Thursday, November 9th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey with Kathleen Pooler
Kathleen Pooler of Memoir Writer's Journey shares her deep thoughts after reading and reviewing Farewell, Aleppo by Claudette Sutton.
https://krpooler.com/

Friday, November 10th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Linda Appleman Shapiro reviews Claudette Suttons Farewell, Aleppo and shares her insight and thoughts with readers at her blog!
http://applemanshapiro.com/category/book-reviews/


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 WOW! Women on Writing - Crystal is dedicated to turning life's lemons into lemonade!



Friday, September 22, 2017

Delicious Lemon Loaf with Lemon Glaze - Recipe

My mother in law loves lemon flavored anything & we whipped up this little beauty tonight. She's coming over tomorrow and we are sure she will be impressed! The children even enjoyed this delightfully delicious treat and you can cut down the sugar by serving it with a bit of butter instead of the glaze. It's also fabulous as the base under a strawberries and whip cream, or under a bit of rhubarb compote.

Let's get down to business:

Preheat your oven to 350F

Grab your ingredients:
3 eggs
1C sugar
6oz sour cream
1/2C applesauce (or vegetable oil)
1.5T lemon zest
2T lemon extract
1T vanilla
1T baking powder
Dash of salf


I tossed all the above ingredients into my stand mixer and mixed at a rather fast speed until they were combined. Now add:

1 1/2C bread flour

Mix again on low spead

Pour into greased loaf pan (or mini loaf pan, cupcake tins, or turn it into a cake and use a cake pan - the world is your oyster!!!)

Bake loaves for 63 minutes until golden brown, less time for the other options - use your nose as your guide (insert a toothpick to be sure it's cooked all the way through)

Let cool

Remove from loaf pans and prepare your glaze:

1C powdered sugar
1T lemon juice
1T vanilla extract

Whisk the glaze ingredients together and use as desired.

ENJOY!!!!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Review of Jason Schenker's "Jobs for Robots: Between Robocayplse and Robotopia"

Jobs for Robots: Between Robocalypse and Robotopia

Robots are everywhere right now, but what will they mean for us? Automation, robotics, and future technology present tremendous opportunities -- but also significant threats.The way forward is fraught with challenges, and we must bridge critical gaps between the present and the future to fully reap the benefits of tomorrow. Jobs for Robots puts this debate in a historical context and presents readers with actionable steps to robot-proof their professional lives. The book also includes a compelling discussion about the future of work, roboadvising, FinTech, and universal basic income.


Review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

Jobs for Robots is a thought provoking read. Whether you believe in a future with robotic co-workers or not, my take away is this: historically as humans we have caused ourselves unnecessary turmoil due to fear of what we don't understand. Reading a book like Jobs for Robots written by someone as knowledgeable on the subject as Jason Schenker can only be good for us. There is no harm in learning the views of others and considering possibilities and outcomes we may not have otherwise come up with on our own.

The tone of the book is that of "don't be afraid" which is helpful for those who may not necessarily agree wholeheartedly. A fast read whether you are techy or not. Worth keeping on your bookshelf to re-read twenty years from now.


About Jason Schenker: 

Jason Schenker is the world’s top ranked Financial Market Futurist. As the President of Prestige Economics, he advises executives, corporate boards, public corporations, private companies, central banks, and governmental bodies. He also directs forecasting, risk management, and strategic projects.

Mr. Schenker is consistently ranked one of the most accurate forecasters in the world by Bloomberg News. Since 2011, he has been ranked the #1 forecaster in the world for his forecast accuracy in 23 categories, including for his forecasts of the Euro, the British Pound, the Swiss Franc, the Russian Ruble, the Brazilian Real, crude oil prices, natural gas prices, gold prices, industrial metals prices, agricultural commodity prices, and non-farm payrolls.

Mr. Schenker is also the Chairman of The Futurist Institute, which helps analysts and economists become futurists. He is also a member of the Texas Business Leadership Council, the only CEO-based public policy research organization in Texas, for which membership is limited to 125 CEOs and Presidents. Mr. Schenker is also the founder of Hedgefly, a foreign exchange risk management platform using Blockchain technology and a digital currency backend that he developed while studying FinTech at MIT. Mr. Schenker is also the Executive Director of the Texas Blockchain Association.

Mr. Schenker has written four #1 Best Sellers: Commodity Prices 101 (2012), Recession-Proof (2016), Electing Recession (2016), and Jobs for Robots (2017). Mr. Schenker is also a Columnist for Bloomberg View and Bloomberg Prophets. Mr. Schenker has appeared as a guest and guest host on Bloomberg Television, as well as a guest on CNBC. He is frequently quoted in the press, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Financial Times. Prior to founding Prestige Economics, Mr. Schenker worked for McKinsey as a Risk Specialist, where he was responsible for directing industrial, energy, and agricultural trading and risk initiatives on six continents. Before McKinsey, Mr. Schenker worked for Wachovia as the Chief Energy and Commodity Economist.

Mr. Schenker holds a Master’s in Applied Economics from UNC Greensboro, a Master’s in Negotiation from CSU Dominguez Hills, a Master’s in German from UNC Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor’s in History and German from The University of Virginia. He also holds a Certificate in FinTech from MIT, a Certificate in Supply Chain Management from MIT, a Certificate in Professional Development from UNC, and a Certificate in Negotiation from Harvard Law School. Mr. Schenker holds the professional designations CMT® (Chartered Market Technician), CVA® (Certified Valuation Analyst), ERP® (Energy Risk Professional), and CFP® (Certified Financial Planner). He is also a certified Governance Fellow by the National Association of Corporate Directors.