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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

5 Star Review of Antoinette Truglio Martin's "Hug Everyone You Know; A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer"

During 2017's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, She Writes Press published Antoinette Truglio Martin’s touching memoir, Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. It is a 2017 USA Best Book Awards Finalist in Non-Fiction: Narrative and a 2018 Next Generation Indie Book Finalist: Non-Fiction Women's Issues.

In 2007, Antoinette believed her call back doctor appointment was routine, maybe a scare, nothing worse. Her shock at receiving a Stage I breast cancer diagnosis was instantly compounded by her own deep fears. As a self-described wimp—afraid of needles and uncomfortable with sedation—how was she going to get through this?

 Antoinette started her fight against cancer with words. She began by journaling and by writing emails to Her Everyone—the large close-knit family and circle of beloved friends wanting to offer their support, especially those who were fighting breast cancer alongside her. The emails not only helped to keep Her Everyone informed, they gave cancer less of a presence in Antoinette’s life, since she wasn’t repeatedly updating people or saying the word “cancer” over and over. The practice of writing calmed her and also gave her space to focus on living: on the house that wasn’t selling, an exciting new job, daughters in college, and summer beach plans. She signed every email with the reminder to “hug everyone you know.”

Those emails and journal entries are at the heart of this memoir, which gives the book an immediacy and raw power.

Hug Everyone You Know is a memoir about how Antoinette found the courage to navigate her first year of breast cancer treatment. It’s the story of how a community—colleagues, family, friends—rallied to support her. The book is moving, brave, informative, and occasionally funny—and it speaks to us all.

Print Length: 325 Pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: She Writes Press
ISBN-13: 9781631522628
ASIN: B07415341C

Hug Everyone You Know is now available to purchase on, Barnes and Noble, and  IndieBound.

5 Star Book Review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

Who hasn’t been affected in some way by cancer? The thought of reading a journal about Antionette Truglio Martin’s journey with a breast cancer diagnosis was a bit frightening. I didn’t know if I was ready for all the emotions that would come along with reading something intimately personal about something as terrifying as breast cancer. The title: Hug Everyone You Know is what drew me in as I hoped there would be a positive spin, a lesson, or an enlightening take-away … a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow as they say. I figured if the author had the courage to write it, I could at least muster up the courage to read what she had written. I’m glad I read this book and it did not disappoint. In my opinion, this is a book someone can read whether they’ve lost someone to cancer, are going through it themselves, or are just like me…affected…

Not every page is filled with rainbows and sunshine, but the overall tone of Hug Everyone You Know can be described as optimistic. Martin is a survivor and more importantly, she is passionate about loving herself and others; her insights are invaluable and her writing style is light and full of life. This is not a story about living through a cancer diagnosis, it is a story about living your best life and loving your people the best way you know how! There were times I cried, times I laughed, and moments when I felt a lump in my throat while imagining myself in Martin’s shoes. Her passionate ability to live and love through such a difficult situation is admirable. This is a beautiful book I enjoyed immensely!

and clearly I'm not the only reader who gives this book 5 stars...Praise for Hug Everyone You Know

“…a well-written, concise telling of what it’s like to be hit with a cancer diagnosis and the human thoughts that accompany it, like ‘how do I tell the family?’ and ‘what do I tell them?.... In five words: she writes a good story…. Martin’s persona is optimistic; you just want to hang around her and it’s that attitude that got her through. Not surprisingly, gratefulness is part of her mantra. So are hugs.”—The Suffolk County News

“Filled with fresh air, light, and life, Hug Everyone You Know is an intimate conversation with an intelligent, funny survivor. The voice rings true, and the insights resonate well beyond the cancer moment. Highly recommended.”—Joni Rodgers, NYT bestselling author of Bald in the Land of Big Hair

“… a compelling memoir about the importance of community while navigating a life crisis such as cancer. As an oncology nurse and a cancer survivor myself, I found Martin's writing to be a refreshingly real depiction of life as a cancer patient. Her writing is a testimony to the endurance of the human spirit, the importance of love and community, and the need for hope every day of the journey.”—Lee Ambrose, StoryCircle Book Reviews

About the Author Antoinette Truglio Martin

Antoinette Truglio Martin is a life-long Long Islander, teacher, wife, mother, daughter, and friend. She is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer—a memoir chronicling her first year battling breast cancer as a wimpy patient. Personal experience essays and excerpts of her memoir were published in Bridges, Visible Ink, and The Southampton Review. Martin proudly received her MFA in creative writing and literature from Stony Brook/Southampton University in 2016. Antoinette had also written the children's picture book, Famous Seaweed Soup (Albert Whitman and Company), and was a regular columnist for local periodicals Parent Connections (In a Family Way) and Fire Island Tide (Beach Bumming). Her blog, Stories Served Around The Table, tells family tales and life's musings. She lives in her hometown of Sayville, New York with her husband, Matt, and is never far from her “Everyone” and the beaches she loves. Since being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2012, she strives to not let cancer to dictate her life. 
Follow her at Facebook and her website.

--- Upcoming Blog Tour Dates
October 29th (today) @ Bring On Lemons
Turn lemons into lemonade today by visiting Crystal's blog and read her review of the touching memoir Hug Everyone You Know.

November 1st @ Bookworm Blog
Stop by Anjanette's blog again and read her interview with author Antoinette Truglio Martin.

November 3rd @ Ramblings of a Misguided Blonde
Visit Lindsey's blog today and you can read her review of Antoinette Truglio Martin's book Hug Everyone You Know.

November 4th @ Strength 4 Spouses
Visit Wendi's blog again where you can read Antoinette Truglio Martin's guest post about keeping a positive mindset during a health crisis.

November 5th @ Life Like a Galaxy Girl
Be sure to visit Alanna's blog where you can read her review of Antoinette Truglio Martin's book Hug Everyone You Know.

November 6th @ 12 Books
Stop by Louise's blog again where you can Antoinette Truglio Martin's guest post featuring 5 books to keep you motivated during difficult times.

November 8th @ Author Anthony Avina Blog
Stop by Anthony's blog where you can read his review of Antoinette Truglio Martin's touching book Hug Everyone You Know.

***** THANK YOU *****
WOW! Women on Writing for bringing this
great tour to Bring on Lemons !

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

5 Stars for "Welcome to Maravilla" by R. Douglas Clark

Thank you WOW! Women on Writing for including this blog and our young reviewer in this book blog tour.

Please contact WOW!  today to reserve your copy and participate in this tour. If you've never participated in a tour, feel free to inquire and you will receive a copy of this book to read and review for yourself! (crystal@wow-womenonwriting .   com )


The tiny hamlet of Maravilla, New Mexico is not immune to modern-day problems. But the citizens of Maravilla have their own special problems, as well:

A developer wants to build a Christian-themed amusement park next to Maravilla’s historic church.

The county line runs right through the town, splitting it in two.

And the government is threatening to close their post office!

Into this muddle steps Jake Epstein, a young writer from the big city. Jake is seeking peace and quiet to finish his current project: a science fiction story in which adventuress Tai-Keiko must deliver the secret formula for Zeton-9—with the evil Krossarians in hot pursuit.

But then reality and science fiction converge—and Tai-Keiko finds herself in present-day Maravilla, face to face with a gobsmacked Jake.

Join Jake on this comic run along the dusty roads of Maravilla, and find out who won the fight between Father Ignatius and the heathen pig farmer. How a basketball game changed the fate of the town. And was that white flash in the sky a UFO?

Print Length: 195 Pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Beeline Press (June 19, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1645400646
ISBN-13: 978-1645400646

Welcome to Maravilla is now available to purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound.

***** 5 STAR REVIEW  *****
by Middle School Student Carmen Otto

After seeing my mom reading and enjoying the book immensely, I couldn't wait to get my hands on Welcome to Maravilla by R. Douglas Clark. Now that I've finished the book I agree with my mom that the writing style is enjoyable and the descriptions are beautiful. It was clear to me that the author loves Maravilla and he really brought the town to life with his story.

My favorite part of the book was in chapter 12 when I learned a little more about how the law works - this was especially interesting since my oldest sister is currently attending law school. This chapter took me a while to read and I had a lot of questions, but I enjoyed it and found it to be both entertaining and enjoyable.

My least favorite part of the book was Jake and his deadlines - I'm a procrastinator too and absolutely felt for him when he was scrambling to get things done on time.

I enjoyed Welcome to Maravilla because it was full of adventure while also being informational. I enjoy any book that is well-written and can be read by someone my age and still be of interest to adults. I like chatting with my mom about books she's reading and I'm thankful she let me borrow her copy. I definitely give it 5 stars and think my friends would enjoy it as well.

About Today's Guest Reviewer, Carmen Otto:

Carmen is a 12 year old from a small Wisconsin town where she lives with her family. Carmen spends her days in school and evenings on her family's dairy farm where she milks cows alongside her father and grandfather. She enjoys swim team, reading books, and playing with her many siblings. When Carmen grows up, she plans to become a large animal veterinarian where she can help farmers with their cattle but also work with horses. Carmen's family recently added 2 horses to the many animals on their farm and she loves spending time caring for Princess and Paige!

About R. Douglas Clark
R. Douglas Clark was born in Vermont, grew up in Colorado, attended college in Chicago, and received a Master's degree in music from Brown University. Seeing no future for himself in academia, he spent a year in the Oregon woods, living in a primitive cabin, writing music reviews and cultural commentary for magazines and newspapers. Next stop, Eugene, Oregon where he spent 20 damp years as a bootstrap businessman, father and musician. On a vacation trip, he and his wife, Shelley, fell in love with sunny northern New Mexico and subsequently moved there. After four years running Boys and Girls Clubs in Chimayó and Abiquiú--and another four, running a U-pick raspberry farm--he retired to write fiction full time.

Find R. Douglas online:

--- Upcoming Blog Tour Dates

October 17th @ World of My Imagination
Nicole Pyles reviews Welcome to Maravilla by R. Douglas Clark and delights readers at World of My Imagination with an opportunity to learn more about this fast-paced sci-fi novel!

October 17th @ Selling Books
Don’t miss today’s author interview with R. Douglas Clark as Cathy Stucker finds out more about his latest release Welcome to Maravilla.

October 21st @ Memoir Writer’s Journey
Today’s guest author at Memoir Writer’s Journey is R. Douglas Clark with an article titled "Where I Live". Join Kathleen Pooler’s audience as they learn more about Clark and his latest book Welcome to Maravilla.

October 22nd @ To Write or Not To Write
Sreevarsha reviews Welcome to Maravilla by R. Douglas Clarks and delights readers at To Write or Not To Write with her thoughts about this excellent novel!

October 24th @ Look to the Western Sky
Visit Margo's blog today where you can catch today's author spotlight and learn more about R. Douglas Clark and his latest book Welcome to Maravilla.

October 25th @ A StoryBook World
Don’t miss today’s publicity post at A Storybook World as readers at Dierdra’s blog are introduced to Welcome to Maravilla by R. Douglas Clark.

October 26th @ World of My Imagination
Learn more about R. Douglas Clark and his new book Welcome to Maravilla as he shares a few thoughts in an interesting interview with Nicole Pyles at World of My Imagination.

October 28th @ Breakeven Books
Today’s Book Spotlight at Breakeven Books is Welcome to Maravilla by R. Douglas Clark – don’t miss this great opportunity to add this lovely new novel to your collection!

October 28th @ Lisa Haselton Reviews and Interviews
Lisa Haselton interviews R. Douglas Clark about his latest novel Welcome to Maravilla. Readers will delight in learning more about this science fiction story with it’s courageous characters!

November 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina
Author Anthony Avina interview R. Douglas Clark about his latest novel Welcome to Maravilla

November 12th @ Author Anthony Avina
Author Anthony Avina shares his thoughts after reading Welcome to Maravilla by R. Douglas Clark – don’t miss this review!

November 13th @ Bring on Lemons with Tara Forst
Wisconsin mother and book lover shares her review of R. Douglas Clark's latest Welcome to Maravilla with readers at Bring on Lemons.