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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Book Reviews For: Only My Horses Know and Read Aloud Stories with Fred


I am so excited to share our family reviews for two fabulous books we have enjoyed immensely! Thank you WOW ! Women on Writing for inviting us to participate in this book blog tour!

And now, without further ado - 

Read-Aloud Stories with Fred Collection and Only My Horses Know

Both books are perfect for parents who worry about the material their children are reading or they are reading to them. Both are clean and sweet. 

Published by Editor-911 Kids, an imprint of Editor-911 Books, a small, independent press owned and operated by Margo L. Dill that publishes books that readers love but aren't traditional. 


Read-Aloud Stories with Fred Collection by Fred Olds with a story by Margo L. Dill, editor (stories for kids ages 3-9):


In this full collection of Read-Aloud Stories with Fred, we have included all six stories from volumes 1 and 2, a bonus story "Looking Inside" by Margo L. Dill (only available in this collection), and a foreword by Margo also. Each story has an illustration to start the story along with a question for children to consider while the story is being read aloud to them (or older children can read to themselves). These stories are perfect for parents and grandparents to read to the children in their lives.

The stories are:

"Looking Inside" Join a kindergarten class as they learn about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and how he believed all people were the same on the inside.

"Ben and the Terrible Red Card" Ben is always getting in trouble at school, but he feels his teacher just misunderstands him. He's trying!

"The Hobbling Hermit" The hermit's feet hurt, and he takes out his grumpiness on his new housemate, a small, smart mouse.

"Sammy and the Cross-eyed Crow" Sammy lives in the jungle and talks to animals! What happens when he meets a crow who can't fly straight?

"Ben and the Bully, Billy Bob" Here's another Ben story, and this time, Ben's in front of the principal's office for a run-in with Billy Bob the Bully!

"The Cheerless Chairmaker" Fred Olds has written a new fairy tale with a poor, sweet chairmaker and a smart, savvy princess!

"Sammy and the Royal Rabbit" Sammy is back in the jungle with Jonathan the crow, and this time, he is visited by a rabbit who thinks he's a king!

This is a very special collection of short stories by two experienced children's authors. Don't miss out on getting this collection today! 

Purchase Read-Aloud Stories with Fred Collection on AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org. Be sure to also add this to your GoodReads reading list.

Only My Horses Know (middle-grade contemporary novel) by Cinda Bauman


Life on a Montana horse ranch has always been the best for twelve-year-old Kylie Hannigan. She bonds with the horses, rides them with her friend Joey, and helps her mom train them. Plus she barrel races her favorite horse, Kiwi, and with plenty of practice and grit, they will definitely beat her rival Olivia this year.

But then, something starts happening with Kylie’s mom. She sleeps all the time, and Kylie has to do the chores, the training, and all the care for the horses--and it’s too much! At least it’s summer, so she doesn’t have to worry about school, and she can spend time talking to her favorite animals. One day, a strange-behaving horse with an even stranger name shows up for training but is only ignored by Kylie’s mom. Training a difficult horse used to be a fun challenge Kylie could share with her mom, but that’s not even happening now.

Then her mom changes again, and she’s up doing everything—including cooking and cleaning in the middle of the night. Kylie still gets no rest because Mom thinks Kylie should be able to do it all, too. So when school starts and Mom’s behavior goes back and forth and back and forth, and then embarrasses Kylie in front of Joey more times than she can count, Kylie decides the only thing she can do is hide everything from everyone—accept her horses.

Kylie’s life spins out of control along with her mom’s. She can’t train for the barrel races with Kiwi or keep up with homework or talk to her best friend. What will it take to get her life back to the way it used to be? Or is that even possible?

Purchase Only My Horses Know on AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org. Be sure to add this to your reading list on GoodReads.

About the Authors


Fred Olds has crafted dozens of stories over the years and has been involved with various writing and critique groups. At the age of 92, he is a devoted husband and proud father and grandfather living in Central Illinois. After retirement from the Postal Service as an electronic technician, he finally has time to concentrate on writing. A true storyteller at heart, his first love is writing children’s books with an occasional murder mystery thrown in for a change of pace. Check out his kids’ short story books, Read-Aloud Stories with Fred, Vol. 1 and then Vol. 2, and his first book for adults, The Hobo Who Wasn’t, an exciting detective story. He's also the author of The Dog and the Flea: A Tale of Two Opposites and The Cat, the Mouse, and the Neighbors' Dog, two books of the Perky Pet Problems picture book series.


Margo L. Dill is the CEO and owner of Editor-911 Books in St. Louis, MO. She is also the author of the American Civil War Adventure Series with two books, Anna and the Baking Championship and Finding My Place: One Girl's Strength at Vicksburg, for middle-grade readers. Her other books are That's the Way It Always Happened and Maggie Mae, Detective Extraordinaire: The Case of the Missing Cookies, which are illustrated picture books, and she has a short story about kids learning about Martin Luther King Jr.'s teachings in Fred Olds's collection of short stories, Read-Aloud Stories with Fred Vols. 1 and 2. Her next book is for teachers and parents and is out in June 2021, It's Not Just Academics: A Guide To Teach Kids' Health, Communication, and Social Emotional Skills. She lives in St. Louis with her tween daughter and lively rescue dog, Sudsi. 

Find out more at:

Her website: www.margoldill.com


Cinda Jo Bauman lives in Central Illinois with her husband and dogs. During her high school years, she took every art class offered along with every child development class. After a class where she spent part of the day at a daycare, child development won out over art. Years of story time led to a love of children’s picture-books, which made her wish she had stuck with art. 

Flash forward to today, and she still loves children’s books! After researching and much study; learning about writing and illustrating children’s books, she joined the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and found her passion. Besides writing children’s picture books and middle-grade novels, Cinda also creates with cut paper sculptures and paints in oil and acrylic. She loves iris flowers and the color purple.

Only My Horses Know is her debut middle-grade novel.

Find out more about Cinda:

Cinda's website is: https://kidsillio.com/



Review(s) by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto and her family (children: Leah, Carmen, Andre, Breccan, Delphine, and Eudora - as well as husband Mark)


Every parent knows reading is important for children. At our house, reading is quite the family affair. Once you're old enough to read on your own, you'll be asked to write a review for mom's blog or a note to the author. When you're little and need help reading, mom will have you sit with her in the fluffy rocking chair where you'll enjoy stories before bed. Sometimes we read short stories and get through several of them each night. Sometimes we stop at our local book store and choose a book that can take us on an adventure lasting months. Regardless of your age, you'll be asked to share your thoughts and ideas about whatever book you're reading. You'll be asked to grab a book to take in the van, a book to read in the orthodontist waiting room, a book for the beach, a book for the tub, a book for beside the bed. The truth is - there are books in every single room of our house, and Grammy Patty is gracious enough to store the overflow in her attic (which is incredibly fun to explore in as well).

I'm sharing the back story so you can fully understand what a compliment it is when we say:

Only My Horses Know and Read Aloud Stories with Fred can both be found next to the couch in the living room. We've read each page at least once, and yet have decided these books cannot possibly be stored away. They will be enjoyed again and again by children of all ages. When the books arrived in the post, something magical happened. We opened the packaging and Eudora (3) said to Delphine (6) "look what mommy got for me!" and she was excited how the books looked. I like to say in my head 'score 1 for mom' when that happens!

The first night we cracked the cover of Read Aloud Stories with Fred, the children asked if we would start reading in a Facebook live video so our friends could enjoy the story too - and we did! I began with 2 small girls on my lap and only a few friends in Facebook land. Before I knew what was happening, I had doubled my audience and my boys came to sit with us and a handful of more viewers joined us on Facebook. One story turned into two and three into four and the time flew by!

The next afternoon was rainy, and the children asked if we could start reading Only My Horses Know and as a horse loving family, we were drawn into the unpredictable story of Kylie's life on her Montana horse ranch. The children were so excited to chat with our neighbor Christine about this book because she had also grown up on a ranch on Montana and had her own horse stories to share. 

Both of these books have sparked so many conversations and so much joy - there aren't even enough words to describe how thankful we are to have them on our bookshelf to enjoy again and again! 

  --- Upcoming Blog Tour Calendar

June 26th @ Shoe's Seeds and Stories
Join Linda as she reviews Read-Aloud Stories with Fred and Only My Horses Know. 

June 28th @ Jill Sheets' Blog
Visit Jill's blog where she reviews Read-Aloud Stories with Fred and Only My Horses Know. 

July 1st @ What is That Book About
Michelle shares a guest post about following your dreams at 92. What an inspiring story!

July 2nd @ One Writer's Journey
Visit Sue's blog where she reviews Read-Aloud Stories with Fred and Only My Horses Know. 

July 6th @ McFly's Book Bliss
Join Marisa as she reviews Only My Horses Know.

July 9th @ Strength 4 Spouses
Join Wendi at her blog Strength 4 Spouses where she shares her review of Read-Aloud Stories with Fred and Only My Horses Know. 

July 10th @ Shoe's Seeds and Stories
Visit Linda's blog again where she shares a guest post about finding a good critique group.

July 11th @ Strength 4 Spouses
Join Wendi again at her blog where she shares a guest post about the importance of communicating in families.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Upcoming WOW! Blog Tour - Reserve Your Copy Today! The Eternity Knot (Part of the Celtic Magic Series) by HR Conkli

  

WOW! Women on Writing Presents

 




The Eternity Knot

(Part of the Celtic Magic Series)

 

By H R Conklin

 

Tour Begins July 19th

 

Book Summary:

 

Mairi has been shown the future and knows humans must change their ways. Continuing on their path of disconnect with Nature will cause the destruction of human life. Tasked by the Seelie Fae to save the human world, Mairi and friends seek out ancient wisdom in the stories of old. The Queen of the Unseelie Fae decides humans have to prove themselves worthy of the Earthly Realm, or die trying. Dark magic makes Mairi push harder to find the answers she needs, but the Undersea Faerie Queen is weighing in and Mairi is uncertain whose side she is on. When young people representing cultures from all of the continents share their knowledge, Mairi finally feels the seeds of hope. Deadly faerie magic is working against humanity, but humans and faeries are working together like never before. As humans begin seeing the earth through ancient views, they are waking up to their dormant powers. Now Mairi must put all the pieces together before time runs out for human life on Earth, and for once she's starting to feel worthy of the task. Join Mairi and friends in this exciting conclusion to the Celtic Magic series.

 

This book is perfect for:

tweens, teens and adults of all ages who enjoy a modern take on myths and fairy tales!

 

The Celtic Magic series is a unique tale connecting modern day California to the Scotland of centuries ago. Join Mairi during a life-changing year in this eco-heroine's journey, following the Celtic wheel of pagan holidays through the seasons and time as she meets druids, witches, and faeries of both Light and Dark. Discover what role mythic stories play in saving the Earth from imminent destruction, and what happens when the world is inclusive of all people. This series includes The Trinity Knot, The Witch's Knot, The Faerie Knot, and finishes in book 4, The Eternity Knot, this summer.


 


You’ve heard about it in the Enchanted Living magazine Spring, 2021 issue. You’ve tuned into the podcast, and heard about it on Hot Mess to Awesomeness,

AND..

 

now it’s YOUR turn to get your hands on this delightful tale!

 

 

 

 

 

We have e-book copies available now with print copies in a few weeks. And for those of you looking for a guest post – there’s a few of those to choose from too:

 

·        Symbolism in fairy tales

 

·        Women's Circles

 

·        Eco heroines

 

·        Parenting

 

·        Storytelling with parents

 

H R says: ...I'm open to brainstorming

 

So….if you have any ideas for a different guest post topic, let us know!

 

Find out more on her website: Www.wildrosestories.com



About the Author:

H. R. Conklin grew up in the rural mountains of Northern California where her mother gardened and her father played the bagpipes, as well as spending long hours in the theater where her parents were a dancer and an actor. This undoubtedly led to her overactive imagination and love for nature. She currently lives in San Diego with her husband, two adult children, and three dogs. She used to teach kindergarten at a public Waldorf charter school in which she told many fairy tales to the children, and made up stories in her spare time. Now she is a Story Circle Leader and guides parents in homeschooling at a private Waldorf school.

 


If you'd like to participate in this tour - I can get you the PDF SOON! Please fill out the google form below:



 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Cathy Hansen Gives Allen Long's "Praying for Restraint" 5 Stars!

  


We are excited to be included in Allen Long's WOW! Women on Writing Book Blog Tour for his latest memoir Praying for Restraint.  Thank you WOW! 

About Praying for Restraint:

Allen Long works as a CNA-certified nursing assistant-at that supposed sanctuary of caring, an inner-city general hospital. What an unforgettable parade of bizarre, needy, abusive, menacing, endearing, and poignant humanity passes through its doors. And those are just the staff and administrators! Meanwhile, the patient population spans the affluent and sophisticated to the homeless, the mentally ill, addicts, gang members, and criminals in custody. Praying for Restraint takes the reader on a journey into the absurd and surreal that is ultimately uplifting and harrowing, both funny and heartbreaking. Long's struggle to survive a relentlessly toxic work environment with body, soul, and marriage intact is as gripping as the battle against childhood abuse in his previous memoir, Less than Human. Reviewers found that book "inspiring, honest, and beautifully written, engaging, and thought-provoking." Praying for Restraint earns that praise and more.


Praying for Restraint 
is now available to purchase on Amazon in both paperback and as a Kindle book as well as Barnes and Noble and as a Google Book. 



--- Review by Cathy Hansen

Having read a brief description of Praying for Restraint, I was curious.  One of my college roommates was a CNA for a couple years.  I was always amazed by her stories about coworkers and patients from her nursing home, and her willingness to do the demanding job.  Her stories left me with a great deal of respect for anyone who took on the job of serving others as a CNA.  I appreciated the pain and difficulty she faced when a patient passed, and admired her humor when she could say it was a good day at work because, “I didn’t get any poop on me today.”  Because of this experience with my former roommate, and having had some wonderful CNA’s who have touched my life, a memoir about the work of a CNA sounded like an interesting read.


I expected to read tales of helping others while performing a very challenging job with long, stressful hours.  I expected to read about understaffing and perhaps a few bad apples in patient care.  I was definitely not prepared for the horrors described within the pages of this book.  I finished the book feeling sad, angry, and frustrated that many patients did not get the level of care as ordered by their doctors and expected by their families.  I was furious that those working to provide that care are not always treated humanely or provided with all of the help and tools they should be.  It was appalling and eye-opening to read stories of mismanagement of resources, rude supervisors and coworkers, and poor patient care, even patient abuse.  


Healthcare workers are heroes.  Allen Long shows us just how hard they work, while also examining the demons he has faced in his personal life.  In Praying for Restraint, we learn not only about Allen Long the CNA, but Allen Long the person, including Allen Long the victim of abusive parents.  This peak into Long’s background helps the reader understand why effective healthcare workers choose such a challenging profession to begin with:  to make a difference.  


I applaud Allen Long for having the courage to share these stories, and I hope we can see a positive change in the level of patient care, but also in the level of respect for those working in patient care and providing excellent patient care. 


--- About today's Reviewer:


 

Cathy Hansen is a wife, mom, teacher, independent
beauty consultant, and small business owner. She and her husband operate SeedsNBeans, a local nature store, in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.


About the Author, Allen Long

Here’s how I became a writer. When I was a child in Arlington, Virginia, as soon as I understood what stories were, I began telling them to anyone who would listen. As a fifth-grader, I was recruited by the Storytellers, a small group of supervised fifth- and sixth-graders who told stories once a month to kids in the first, second, and third grades.

When I reached sixth grade, my teacher allowed me to skip all of my English assignments in exchange for me writing her a short story each week. In seventh grade, one of my stories placed second in an English class competition.

DNA strands
Storytelling seems to have been hardwired into my DNA.

One of my favorite memories from childhood is telling my younger brother, David, a made-up story every night during the summers we slept in twin beds in our cool basement.

I earned a BA in Communications/Journalism from Virginia Tech. While I was there, I took every creative writing class offered and wrote a story that placed second at a regional literary festival sponsored by nearby Hollins University. During my student days, I also worked half-time for two years as a reporter for The Roanoke Times.

After I graduated, I accepted a scholarship to earn an MA in English/fiction writing from Hollins University, where I wrote the first half of a novel. I then received a second scholarship and a teaching assistant position to pursue an MFA in fiction writing at the University of Arizona.

Shortly after I graduated, I published a story called “Second Honeymoon” in Concho River Review. After that, I decided to continue my writing education by working with master editor Tom Jenks. When Tom was a senior editor at Scribner’s, he completed Ernest Hemingway’s unfinished novel, The Garden of Eden, which became a bestseller.

I published two more stories, and then I decided to change gears and write a memoir called “Soul Breach” about the high level of illegal and unethical behavior I’d witnessed while working in the management consulting field. The story was published, and my good friend and editor, Kit McIlroy, told me it was the best piece I’d ever written, and he encouraged me to write more nonfiction.

I followed his advice and wrote and published magazine-length memoirs about the happiest, most intriguing, and worst moments in my life. These combined pieces became my first book, Less than Human: A Memoir (Black Rose Writing, 2016).

After that, I published memoirs on a wide variety of subjects, including two about my work as an assistant nurse in a poorly managed inner-city hospital populated by challenging patients, including violent mentally ill ones who often were not sedated or restrained.

“Keep writing about that hospital, and you’ve got your next book,” Kit said. I followed his advice, eventually producing my second book, Praying for Restraint: Frequent Flying with an Inner-City Hospital CNA (Legacy Book Press, 2021).

dolphinOne final comment—I’ve loved visiting zoos and aquariums my whole life, and I’ve raised box turtles, swum with sea turtles, and gone on multiple dolphin- and whale-watching expeditions. Therefore, you may notice that quite a bit of wildlife has crept into my writing. At last count, I spied lions, tigers, giraffes, eland, monkeys, chimps, elephants, alligators, caimans, box turtles, sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins, and humpback whales. Have I missed any?


You can discover more about Allen and his work on his website: http://allenlongauthor.com/



*****THANK YOU WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING*****






You Decide!

 


As most of you know - we have a big family. Every big family starts small and back when we were just a family of 3, I went with some friends to pick up their new dog. I had never been to a puppy breeder, but I guess thinking back, this was probably a puppy mill. There were puppies everywhere and it smelled funky. The elderly gentleman seemed to know who belonged to what and had papers to go with mot of the pups. While my friends finalized their deal, my 2 year old daughter managed to find the runt of the litter. I think that's an incredibly difficult thing to do when you're talking teacup chihuahuas as they are all very small. Regardless, the elderly man stopped to chat and of course offered me a phenomenal discount on the pup since he didn't have papers and she was so very small. 

I said I would consider it. I remember him clearly turning to me and saying I should think long and hard about adopting (or is it considered buying if you're at a puppy mill?) a chihuahua since My daughter was only 2 and they aren't known for being good with children.

I've gotten better at telling my children no. That may not be an accurate statement.

This dog makes me absolutely pull my hair out on a daily basis. I wish I had litter trained her (think teeny tiny dog even tinier bladder). She whines loudly for table food as if her bowl wasn't full of delectable doggy food. She can no longer see, hear, or smell the way she should be able to, and as soon as you let her outside she wants inside and once inside she'll ask to go out every half hour. 


But...


Let me tell you. That breeder couldn't have been more wrong. this 4 pound puppy has never nipped or bitten a child. She lets children pet her, carry her around, dress her up like a doll, and she was irreplaceable when we had children in highchairs. She's more effective than any shop vac you can buy at Menards! 6 kids have loved and adored this little pup. I have no idea how long she'll be with us, but I'm sure glad she's here!!

So...


The moral of the story is that I'm glad I decided for myself that getting a chihuahua would be a good idea. Doesn't matter if it's a new house, different job, bigger car, how many kids to have, who to marry, or what the choices are - you can't go wrong by deciding for yourself. I believe in you!


Hugs,

~Crystal

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Michelle DelPonte Encourages Readers to Read Allen Long's "Praying for Restraint"

 


We are excited to be included in Allen Long's WOW! Women on Writing Book Blog Tour for his latest memoir Praying for Restraint.  Thank you WOW! 

About Praying for Restraint:

Allen Long works as a CNA-certified nursing assistant-at that supposed sanctuary of caring, an inner-city general hospital. What an unforgettable parade of bizarre, needy, abusive, menacing, endearing, and poignant humanity passes through its doors. And those are just the staff and administrators! Meanwhile, the patient population spans the affluent and sophisticated to the homeless, the mentally ill, addicts, gang members, and criminals in custody. Praying for Restraint takes the reader on a journey into the absurd and surreal that is ultimately uplifting and harrowing, both funny and heartbreaking. Long's struggle to survive a relentlessly toxic work environment with body, soul, and marriage intact is as gripping as the battle against childhood abuse in his previous memoir, Less than Human. Reviewers found that book "inspiring, honest, and beautifully written, engaging, and thought-provoking." Praying for Restraint earns that praise and more.


Praying for Restraint 
is now available to purchase on Amazon in both paperback and as a Kindle book as well as Barnes and Noble and as a Google Book. 


About the Author, Allen Long

Here’s how I became a writer. When I was a child in Arlington, Virginia, as soon as I understood what stories were, I began telling them to anyone who would listen. As a fifth-grader, I was recruited by the Storytellers, a small group of supervised fifth- and sixth-graders who told stories once a month to kids in the first, second, and third grades.

When I reached sixth grade, my teacher allowed me to skip all of my English assignments in exchange for me writing her a short story each week. In seventh grade, one of my stories placed second in an English class competition.

DNA strands
Storytelling seems to have been hardwired into my DNA.

One of my favorite memories from childhood is telling my younger brother, David, a made-up story every night during the summers we slept in twin beds in our cool basement.

I earned a BA in Communications/Journalism from Virginia Tech. While I was there, I took every creative writing class offered and wrote a story that placed second at a regional literary festival sponsored by nearby Hollins University. During my student days, I also worked half-time for two years as a reporter for The Roanoke Times.

After I graduated, I accepted a scholarship to earn an MA in English/fiction writing from Hollins University, where I wrote the first half of a novel. I then received a second scholarship and a teaching assistant position to pursue an MFA in fiction writing at the University of Arizona.

Shortly after I graduated, I published a story called “Second Honeymoon” in Concho River Review. After that, I decided to continue my writing education by working with master editor Tom Jenks. When Tom was a senior editor at Scribner’s, he completed Ernest Hemingway’s unfinished novel, The Garden of Eden, which became a bestseller.

I published two more stories, and then I decided to change gears and write a memoir called “Soul Breach” about the high level of illegal and unethical behavior I’d witnessed while working in the management consulting field. The story was published, and my good friend and editor, Kit McIlroy, told me it was the best piece I’d ever written, and he encouraged me to write more nonfiction.

I followed his advice and wrote and published magazine-length memoirs about the happiest, most intriguing, and worst moments in my life. These combined pieces became my first book, Less than Human: A Memoir (Black Rose Writing, 2016).

After that, I published memoirs on a wide variety of subjects, including two about my work as an assistant nurse in a poorly managed inner-city hospital populated by challenging patients, including violent mentally ill ones who often were not sedated or restrained.

“Keep writing about that hospital, and you’ve got your next book,” Kit said. I followed his advice, eventually producing my second book, Praying for Restraint: Frequent Flying with an Inner-City Hospital CNA (Legacy Book Press, 2021).

dolphinOne final comment—I’ve loved visiting zoos and aquariums my whole life, and I’ve raised box turtles, swum with sea turtles, and gone on multiple dolphin- and whale-watching expeditions. Therefore, you may notice that quite a bit of wildlife has crept into my writing. At last count, I spied lions, tigers, giraffes, eland, monkeys, chimps, elephants, alligators, caimans, box turtles, sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins, and humpback whales. Have I missed any?


You can discover more about Allen and his work on his website: http://allenlongauthor.com/


--- Review by Michelle DelPonte 


As someone who has worked as a CNA, now a caregiver for people with behavioral issues, “Praying for Restraint” reminds me of another day at the office. Allen Long does a wonderful job of explaining the day to day concerns and lives of those that choose this much needed profession. He introduces us to many different types of people and circumstances that most people would not consider, from the patients to the upper management and everyone in between. This type of work is extremely taxing, but even more so with abusive clients and management. Entangled in the web, Allen shows how his work affects his PTSD and marriage. This book is a true testament to his character, as he is able to treat others with empathy and compassion while they are at their lowest points. The ability to care for people who are suicidal, abusive, and not in a good place is a gift that not everyone was blessed with. I encourage everyone to come and take a ride with this book and try to walk in the shoes of a caregiver.



About today's Reviewer:
Michelle is a busy mom, healthcare worker, and autism advocate. Michelle lives on the shores of Lake Michigan with her beloved family. 



--- Upcoming Blog Tour Schedule

May 25th @ World of My Imagination
Nicole Pyles offers her thoughts in an insightful review of Allen Long's medical memoir titled Praying for Restraint. Join readers at World of My Imagination as they learn more about this inspiring memoir and it's author. 

May 26th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Memoirist, Artist, and Psychotherapist Linda Appleman Shapiro offers some deep thoughts in her review of Allen Long's latest memoir Praying for Restraint. Join readers at Linda's blog today to learn more! 

May 27th @ Bring on Lemons with Cathy Hansen
Wisconsin educator and small business owner Cathy Hansen shares her insightful review of Allen Long's Praying for Restraint. Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about this memoir!




Monday, May 17, 2021

Crystal Otto Reviews "Praying for Restraint" by Allen Long

 


I am excited to be included in Allen Long's WOW! Women on Writing Book Blog Tour for his latest memoir Praying for Restraint.  Thank you WOW! 

About Praying for Restraint:

Allen Long works as a CNA-certified nursing assistant-at that supposed sanctuary of caring, an inner-city general hospital. What an unforgettable parade of bizarre, needy, abusive, menacing, endearing, and poignant humanity passes through its doors. And those are just the staff and administrators! Meanwhile, the patient population spans the affluent and sophisticated to the homeless, the mentally ill, addicts, gang members, and criminals in custody. Praying for Restraint takes the reader on a journey into the absurd and surreal that is ultimately uplifting and harrowing, both funny and heartbreaking. Long's struggle to survive a relentlessly toxic work environment with body, soul, and marriage intact is as gripping as the battle against childhood abuse in his previous memoir, Less than Human. Reviewers found that book "inspiring, honest, and beautifully written, engaging, and thought-provoking." Praying for Restraint earns that praise and more.


Praying for Restraint 
is now available to purchase on Amazon in both paperback and as a Kindle book as well as Barnes and Noble and as a Google Book. 


About the Author, Allen Long

Here’s how I became a writer. When I was a child in Arlington, Virginia, as soon as I understood what stories were, I began telling them to anyone who would listen. As a fifth-grader, I was recruited by the Storytellers, a small group of supervised fifth- and sixth-graders who told stories once a month to kids in the first, second, and third grades.

When I reached sixth grade, my teacher allowed me to skip all of my English assignments in exchange for me writing her a short story each week. In seventh grade, one of my stories placed second in an English class competition.

DNA strands
Storytelling seems to have been hardwired into my DNA.

One of my favorite memories from childhood is telling my younger brother, David, a made-up story every night during the summers we slept in twin beds in our cool basement.

I earned a BA in Communications/Journalism from Virginia Tech. While I was there, I took every creative writing class offered and wrote a story that placed second at a regional literary festival sponsored by nearby Hollins University. During my student days, I also worked half-time for two years as a reporter for The Roanoke Times.

After I graduated, I accepted a scholarship to earn an MA in English/fiction writing from Hollins University, where I wrote the first half of a novel. I then received a second scholarship and a teaching assistant position to pursue an MFA in fiction writing at the University of Arizona.

Shortly after I graduated, I published a story called “Second Honeymoon” in Concho River Review. After that, I decided to continue my writing education by working with master editor Tom Jenks. When Tom was a senior editor at Scribner’s, he completed Ernest Hemingway’s unfinished novel, The Garden of Eden, which became a bestseller.

I published two more stories, and then I decided to change gears and write a memoir called “Soul Breach” about the high level of illegal and unethical behavior I’d witnessed while working in the management consulting field. The story was published, and my good friend and editor, Kit McIlroy, told me it was the best piece I’d ever written, and he encouraged me to write more nonfiction.

I followed his advice and wrote and published magazine-length memoirs about the happiest, most intriguing, and worst moments in my life. These combined pieces became my first book, Less than Human: A Memoir (Black Rose Writing, 2016).

After that, I published memoirs on a wide variety of subjects, including two about my work as an assistant nurse in a poorly managed inner-city hospital populated by challenging patients, including violent mentally ill ones who often were not sedated or restrained.

“Keep writing about that hospital, and you’ve got your next book,” Kit said. I followed his advice, eventually producing my second book, Praying for Restraint: Frequent Flying with an Inner-City Hospital CNA (Legacy Book Press, 2021).

dolphinOne final comment—I’ve loved visiting zoos and aquariums my whole life, and I’ve raised box turtles, swum with sea turtles, and gone on multiple dolphin- and whale-watching expeditions. Therefore, you may notice that quite a bit of wildlife has crept into my writing. At last count, I spied lions, tigers, giraffes, eland, monkeys, chimps, elephants, alligators, caimans, box turtles, sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins, and humpback whales. Have I missed any?


You can discover more about Allen and his work on his website: http://allenlongauthor.com/


--- Review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

How many time throughout my career did I come home with an interesting story and think to myself "I should write a book about this; no one would believe it"? The answer to that question is probably what led me to blogging in the first place, but that's a story for a different day. As far as Praying for Restraint is concerned, there are many reasons to love this book and at the very top of the list is author Allen Long's bravery in writing it. It's one thing, to keep a journal and have fleeting thoughts of writing a book, it's another thing completely to follow through with the idea. I think this is especially true if your experiences are on the negative side of the fence. This book changed the way I look at healthcare and healthcare workers - and I feel this is a necessary read for all of us (regardless of our vocation). 

Praying for Restraint was sometimes difficult to read. The way I viewed healthcare before reading this memoir and the way I view it now are very different. This was an eye opening experience. I applaud author Allen Long for sharing his experience and hopefully it will help make someone's experience better. This book is described as being thought provoking and it is absolutely that. It's a story that will stick with you and I'm glad I had an opportunity to read it. We are all touched by healthcare at some point in our lives (whether that be as a care giver, receiver, etc...) and it's great to share in Long's experience to get a behind the scenes view. 

 

--- Upcoming Blog Tour Schedule


May 20th @ Book Santa Fe with Art Tucker
Avid reader Art Tucker shares his thoughts with readers at Book Santa Fe. Find out what Art thought about the latest memoir written by Allen Long titled Praying for Restraint.

May 23rd @ Madeline Sharples
Fellow memoirist Madeline Sharples shares her thoughts after reading Allen Long's latest memoir Praying for Restraint. Readers won't want to miss Madeline's review. 

May 23rd @ Kathleen Pooler
Kathleen Pooler reviews Praying for Restraint by Allen Long. Find out what one memoir author has to say about the memoir of another author! Don't miss this valuable insight! 

May 24th @ Bring on Lemons with Michelle DelPonte
Healthcare worker and Wisconsin mother, Michelle DelPonte shares her thoughts after reading Allen Long's memoir Praying for Restraint. 

May 25th @ World of My Imagination
Nicole Pyles offers her thoughts in an insightful review of Allen Long's medical memoir titled Praying for Restraint. Join readers at World of My Imagination as they learn more about this inspiring memoir and it's author. 

May 26th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Memoirist, Artist, and Psychotherapist Linda Appleman Shapiro offers some deep thoughts in her review of Allen Long's latest memoir Praying for Restraint. Join readers at Linda's blog today to learn more! 

May 27th @ Bring on Lemons with Cathy Hansen
Wisconsin educator and small business owner Cathy Hansen shares her insightful review of Allen Long's Praying for Restraint. Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about this memoir!