Fractured by Elizabeth Antonucci #BookReview @AntonucciAuthor

Cover: Fractured
by Elizabeth Antonucci

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)

(by Goodreads)

From the outside looking in, Elizabeth had the perfect life. She had a family who loved her, numerous friends, and a successful career. No one knew the hurt, pain, and angst she hid inside, struggling to keep herself small so those around her would still like her.

It all came to a head on October 23, 2007, when her parents received a call that she was lying lifeless in the ICU in a hospital in Utah — “You better get out here, your daughter is not going to make it.” Fractured: My Journey Back from Death and the Lessons I’ve Learned Along the Way is the memoir of Elizabeth’s recovery, spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is about her deliberate decision to begin the hard work of finding and using her voice and the struggle to break out of the box that society tried to keep her in.

​This is the story of what happens when one woman stared death in the face and decided to make a conscious choice not to go back to sleep, but to wake up and live the life she knew she was meant to live.

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Nonfiction > Self-Help > Eating Disorders & Body Image
> Health, Fitness & Dieting
> Health, Fitness & Dieting > Mental Health > Eating Disorders
Series: n.a.
Length: 258 pages
Release date: 2017-07-17



The one thing that I was still really struggling with was why David had to die. He was younger than I was. “It is just so unfair that someone so young had to lose their life. He didn’t even get to experience everything he was supposed to while he was here on earth,” I told Julie.

Staring straight into my heart with those piercing blue eyes, she told me, in her sweet, calming Julie Walker voice, “Even though David is not physically here in this realm, he will still be able to do all that he was supposed to do on this earth, just on a different plane. He will always be there if you need guidance or anything from him.”

My Opinion

This memoir introduces you to Elizabeth Antonucci, accident survivor and discoverer of her true self.

With Fractured, Elizabeth Antonucci has created a memoir about how an accident changed her life. She tells the readers about more than the accident and her way to recovery: She shares her insights on issues like group pressure, the urge to please, and how she tried to adapt – not only before the accident. It has certainly taken a lot of courage to write this memoir, even more so in breaking long-term behaviour patterns. Kudos to Elizabeth Antonucci – she has really learnt her lessons.

This is a book for you if you like memoirs with thought-provoking insights.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Characters n.a.
Mood Hopeful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (appropriate)
Violence :mrgreen:  (none)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (none)


About the author

Elizabeth Antonucci is the founding director of the non-profit company Step Up Chicago Playwrights and is on its advisory board. Through her charitable and non-profit work, speaking engagements, and her book Fractured: My Journey Back From Death and the Lessons I’ve Learned Along the Way, she aims to share her experiences, promote acceptance and self-love, and help others find their authentic voice. Originally from Chicago she is a huge Cubs and Bulls fan.

​Elizabeth currently lives in Clovis, California, with her loving husband Brian and their incredibly hyperactive, digging addict, toy-destroying puppy Walker. She volunteers at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central California and is a Realtor with Guarantee Real Estate.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you? What did you think about Fractured? Or – if you did not yet read Fractured – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂





10 Statements – S. Jackson

Mary L. Schmidt writes under the pen name of S. Jackson, and she is a retired registered nurse, who won the coveted Leora B. Stroup Bachelor of Science in Nursing Award for outstanding clinical performance, community involvement and academic achievement in Nursing Award, while at Fort Hays State University. She is a member of the Catholic Church, and has taught kindergarten Catechism; she has worked in various capacities for The American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, Cub and Boy Scouts, (son, Gene, is an Eagle Scout), and sponsored trips for high school children music. She loves all forms of art but mostly focuses on the visual arts; amateur photography, traditional, and graphic art as her disabilities allow. She has published fifteen books since retirement; the first a memoir, When Angels Fly, followed by an Art Picture book featuring her own works of art, one cookbook, and thirteen books for children of which seven are a part of a full series. Protecting children from molestation is important to her, and with that in mind she wrote Suzy Has A Secret. Seeing what bullies can do to a child inspired her to write the book, The Big Cheese Festival. Schmidt has designed all of her book covers. She loves spending time with her husband (and co-author under the pen name A. Raymond) Michael, and especially their first grandchild, Austin, age 21 months. She is a Member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators: The international professional organization for writers and illustrators of children’s literature, and Sigma Theta Tau International: The Honor Society of Nursing, which is the second-largest nursing organization in the world with approximately 135,000 active members.

Find me…

Amazon Author PageS. Jackson
Facebook Author Page:
Art Gallery:
Mailing List:


My personal mottoes:

“When life knocks you down, just get back up and keep on going!”

“Have faith and believe in yourself; don’t compare yourself to others, you are unique!”


10 statements
  1. A typical (work) day begins with… waking around 7:30am, making morning coffee and having a light breakfast, followed by answering email, jumping on Twitter followed by Facebook, and then I either spend time writing or designing until a late lunch with husband, followed by downtime for the two of us for about three hours, then social media – usually Instagram, morning writing, late dinner, movie with hubby, shower and bedtime.
  2. I lose track of time when I’m seriously creating new book covers and art works. Occasionally, I will glance out the window in front of my desk just to see what the cardinals and wild squirrels are to.
  3. I have always…loved reading since time began for me, and I read most genres.
  4. I have never… been to Europe and I would love to visit England, Ireland, Scotland, Hungary, Germany, Austria, Spain, The Vatican, France, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. I would love seeing all of the old castles. The foods and cultures are/would be amazing.
  5. Home means to me… spending quality time with my husband, and our children and grandson when they come visiting. My husband and I love to cook meals together!
  6. I am inspired by… strong women who persevere no matter what comes their way. Women who get back up after being struck down by whatever way/situation are inspiring; and women who nourish their children in a loving, full of hugs family – total love!
  7. I would like to meet… the Pope as he is inspiring to me.
  8. My worst character trait… reserved when meeting new people. It takes me a bit to warm up to those I meet.
  9. My best character trait… compassion and empathy which I learned early on during my nursing career and afterwards.
  10. The best advice I was given… “Don’t give up, the best is yet to come.”


When Angels Fly

We often find ourselves daydreaming about what our futures will be like. This may be especially true if one lives in an environment most would consider less than desirable. Some are lucky to find their futures much like their childhood dreams. Others find the paths to their dreams strewn with hurdles.

Growing up, Sarah dodged her mother’s blows. She often hid in her room crying about her life. Still, she believes in her future and the happiness it can bring. In their book When Angels Fly, authors S. Stevens and A. Raymond tell Sarah’s story–their stories. The authors use their journals to describe Sarah’s experiences of family dysfunction, strength, courage, faith, abuse, grief, and so much more. You’ll read how, like many, she attempts to escape from her mother’s abuse through marriage. And like many, she learns it is not a viable alternative. Then Sarah experiences a parent’s ultimate tragedy twice, the deaths of her sons, Joshua and Eli.

When Angels Fly is about much more than the telling of a family’s tragedy. It is also the story of finding faith after it has wavered. Most of all, it’s a story of love lost and found.

After reading When Angels Fly, I realized how fortunate I am that my two children are alive and well.

–J. Thayer McKinney, author, Haunting of LaBelle

Print length:  333 pages

Published:  2015-11-10

Buy links (eReader):

Shadow and Friends
Celebrate Ellsworth, KS
150th Birthday!

In this children’s picture book and seventh book in our ‘Shadow and Friends Series’, Shadow and Friends Celebrate Ellsworth, KS, 150th Birthday, two dogs and a family of squirrels decide to help Ellsworth celebrate the 150th birthday of the town’s history. This book coincides with the actual 150th birthday of Ellsworth in the summer of 2017. Illustrations are found on each page, most of them painted. Big Whitey tells the history of Ellsworth, and Fort Harker, with historical buildings, notable landmarks, and scenes painted by the author. At the end of this story, Little Whitey asks his father if they can re-enact the old west, dress like cowboys, and do a pretend cattle drive just like Ellsworth, KS. The squirrels dress in cowboy and cowgirl gear, and they even have a chuck wagon cook. They herd longhorn cattle, sing the state song of Kansas, and have lots of fun during their re-enactment. At the end of the story, they enjoyed a barn dance, celebrated the 150th birthday of Ellsworth, and Uncle Stubby took pictures and ‘selfies’. Children will love seeing the old west come alive with two dogs and a family of squirrels dressed in western attire, and using a small amount of cowboy slang. This delightful and funny book for children, targeted at ages 4-8, is easy to read and perfect for home or classroom. The story illustrates how cattle drives worked, the long dusty trails, life in the old west, and illustrations that produce pure imagination in children. Note: Actual gunfights and ‘adult type’ history were left out in this wild western history of Ellsworth, KS.

Print length:  39 pages

Published:  2017-06-17

Buy link (eReader):







Not Really Gone by Blaire Sharpe


The author sent me a copy of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  5  of  5  stars

(by Goodreads)

In every family there is a rock—the person that keeps things together. In Blaire Sharpe’s family, that rock was her grandma. As she shares the inspiring story of her relationship with her grandma, Blaire expands on the notion of what it really means to be loved. When she was just an infant, Blaire’s troubled parents divorced. Since both parents were incapable of raising Blaire and her siblings, the children were slated for foster care—until their grandmother, Eleanor, stepped in to raise them as her own. As Eleanor valiantly struggled against a family legacy of alcoholism and depression, she modeled strength and wisdom to endure the most challenging of times. Still, Blaire’s life was not perfect. As she matured into adulthood, she battled addictions that eventually led her into recovery, just as Eleanor’s health began to decline. When she found herself sandwiched between two generations, each increasingly needy, Blaire poignantly reveals how she discovered the true meaning of love and commitment, and the essence of what it means to be a mother. Not Really Gone is the story about the undying love a grandmother gave her granddaughter—a love that inspired her to carry on and become the rock in her own family.


Genre:  Memoir

Series:  n.a.

Length:  276 pages

Release date:  2015-05-15



Exhale. And there it was: the first glimpse of the end, the first moment I considered Grandma’s death as a real possibility. Not yet. I’m not ready. Grandma was my anchor. She loved and believed in me in ways I could not do for myself. I could not foresee a world without her in it.

My Opinion

This book leads us directly into the lives of Blaire Sharpe and her Grandma.

With Not Really Gone, Blaire Sharpe has created an unforgettable memoir of her life and the relationship with her Grandma. The memoir is told in honesty, comprising all ups and downs and beautifully portraying two remarkable women. It is a compelling read, I was drawn close to Blaire and her feelings – so close that I shed more than one tear. This memoir shows courage and compassion, it is obvious how much Blaire cares. Not Really Gone is a remarkable memoir, Blaire Sharpe’s storytelling is of a subtle intensity that lingers on in my mind.

This is a book for you if you are interested in memoirs – told in honesty and with an incredible intensity and with a great flow.

Highly recommended!

In brief:

Writing Great
Plot n.a.
Mood Hopeful
Pace Steady
Characters Complex
Violence No violence
Sexual content Some sexual content
POV First person


About the author

I live in a suburb of Detroit with my husband, three children, and two dogs.

I hold masters degrees in Business and Mental Health Counseling. I specialize in working with adults suffering from mood disorders and survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse.

My three children are the Universe’s greatest gift to me. They are each special in their own way. They have taught me so much about myself, life, love and commitment. For them I am eternally grateful.


Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Not Really Gone?  Or – if you did not yet read Not Really Gone – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂



10 Statements – Sandra Bullock Smith

Sandra Bullock Smith photo

Sandra is a retired human resources executive, world traveler, angler, adventure junkie and storyteller.  She grew up in northwest Florida then spent 20+ years in the colorful gumbo of south Louisiana. Her current home base is Santa Fé, New Mexico, where she lives with her husband, Mike and their mongrel pups. Mike is an endurance runner so you can often find her supporting ultra runners at 100 mile trail runs, where her resourcefulness is legendary.


Find me…

Twitter:  @SBSmithauthor
Amazon Book (buy) Page:



My personal motto:

Dream it, plan it, do it.


10 statements
  1. A typical work day begins with… a big cup of coffee and catching up on email. Then an hour on the treadmill unless I have a hike or yardwork planned. I spent many years arriving at work at around 6:30 a.m. Now, I like to gently ease into my morning.
  2. I lose track of time… when I am reading. I almost missed a flight once because I was so engrossed in a book. I didn’t notice everyone around me had boarded the plane.
  3. I have always… been curious. I love knowing how things work, why things are a certain way, how long things take to happen. I am particularly curious about the origin of sayings like “the whole nine yards”, “the rule of thumb,” etc. The rich stories behind the history of things fascinate me.
  4. I have never… broken a bone. How I managed to grow up as a tomboy and experience all the adventures of my adult life without a catastrophic injury still amazes me.
  5. Home means to me… where I find comfort when I’m tired, where I can celebrate good times and ponder rough times, where love is shared, where friends feel welcome and where my pups always greet me like I’m the best thing that ever happened to them.
  6. I am inspired by… people who do not shy away from challenges or play it safe. I love the idea of exploring your capability zone rather than staying in your comfort zone.
  7. I would like to meet… Tim Cahill, my favorite author. Tim Cahill is a travel/adventure journalist. He was one of the founding editors of Outside Magazine, who refers to his writing as “a witty mix of reporting, literary travel writing, humor, and self-deprecation.” Many years ago my husband gave me one of Cahill’s first books, “Jaguars Ripped My Flesh” and my initial response was “You’ve got to be kidding. I’m not reading that.” My husband assured me I would like the book, which turned out to be about Cahill’s adventures as a journalist. I’ve been a fan ever since. The only fan letter I’ve ever written was to Tim Cahill.
  8. My worst character trait… I’m fussy about a lot of things. This is a step down from being a perfectionist which I am trying to get over. My mother told me once that I was going to be a miserable old lady because I was so fussy. “No,” I said. “Everyone around me will be miserable but I like being fussy.”
  9. My best character trait… you can depend on me. If I tell you I am going to do something (or not do something), you can count on me.
  10. The best advice I was given… “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” My parents always stressed that “golden rule.” While I have been given many pieces of sage advice, this one really does cover it all.



Caring for an elderly parent can be extremely challenging. The role reversal involved is emotionally and intellectually demanding, and many caregivers find themselves unprepared to undertake such a difficult task.

In Trading Places: Becoming My Mother’s Mother, author Sandra Bullock Smith shares her personal experiences spending ten years caring for her ailing mother.

This heartfelt look at the trials and tribulations of that decade offers powerful insight and encouragement for anyone entering into a similar period of life. Smith’s touching stories share the heartbreaking, and sometimes comical, moments she experienced while providing assistance to her aging parent—and how they mirrored similar events from her own childhood.

In a very real sense, the two women traded places. Smith found herself uttering phrases she heard all too often as a child, such as, “Don’t give your food to the dog” and, “You’ve had enough sugar today.” Smith began jotting down the things she said, and thus this charming book was born.

Filled with respect, compassion, and love, this uplifting and amusing memoir is for anyone involved in elder care or who may face the role in the future.


Book Design Award logo


Miss Fortune – A Memoir by Albina Hume














The author sent me a copy (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.


My rating:  5  of  5  stars

(by Goodreads)

“Who would think that my inability to pronounce the letter R would turn my life upside down and lead me from Ukraine to South Africa?”

Albina Hume is often asked the same question – how did she meet her South African husband John, a property developer and a rhino breeder, who is 36 years her senior? She has always kept her response simple. Until now …

Her childhood fear that no one in Ukraine would want to marry a ‘crow’ at first resulted in various misfortunes, from failing dreams and relationships to even ending up in a police cell for 51 days, until she finally learned to focus on her dreams, not her fears.

Now, Albina and John Hume have dedicated their lives to preventing the South African rhino population from becoming extinct by breeding rhinos for future generations.

In the past six years, they have bred over 500 white rhinos, with Albina emerging as a pro-rhino activist, advocating for an end to the war on trade in rhino horn that has only resulted in illegal trade and killing of rhinos and also people in Africa. Albina calls for legalising trade in horn – a renewable product – to help create harmony between African people and their natural heritage.


Genre(s):  Memoir, Biography

Series:  n.a.

Length:  304 pages

Release Date:  2015-05-14



Her eyebrows rose in surprise. “And why is that?” She was very proud of her school.

“There is a school in Debaltsevo that has a more advanced programme,” I said. “I’ll be leaving for high school in a year. I’d like to be better prepared.”

I certainly wasn’t going to tell her the real reason I wanted to leave. I knew adults couldn’t fix the problem.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Albina; on her way from child to grown woman – searching for the one true love outside of the Ukraine.

With Miss Fortune, Albina Hume has created an unforgettable memoir. The story comprises a variety of interesting characters with sufficient depth and an excellent combination of a captivating journey with unanticipated events – some dreadful, some unbelievable, some too good to be true. I had a great time reading Miss Fortune – it is a very captivating and heart-warming read. I was drawn into the story right away, becoming an invisible and close friend. Albina is a very likeable character. As a reader, I watched her grow, suffer, struggle, win, lose. Albina tells the readers openly what happened on the rocky journey to becoming the woman she is today; at the same time, we readers are prone to bury some clichés. This memoir has a steady pace, it is hard to put down.

This is for you if you like intense memoirs, heart-warming reads and romance (as in ‘searching for the right one’).

This is a very captivating memoir to read again.

Highly recommended.

In brief:

Writing Great
Plot Some twists
Mood Hopeful
Pace Steady
Characters Complex
Violence Some violence
Sexual content Some sexual content
POV First person


About the author

I was born and raised in Ukraine, in a small village called Volchanovka in the Donetsk region.
My life’s journey could be described in one phrase: “Who would think that my inability to pronounce the letter R would turn my life upside down and lead me from Ukraine to South Africa?”
“Miss Fortune” tells the story of what it takes for some Ukrainians to achieve their dreams.
Note: “MISS FORTUNE” is about search for love and happiness, not about my current passion- saving rhinos for future generations.

Now, I live in South Africa, where my husband and I have dedicated our lives to preventing the South African rhino population from becoming extinct because of rhino poaching crisis developed from the change of national law where trade in horn was suddenly changed. We use own funds after selling property development business to breed rhinos for future generations.
In the last six years we have bred over 500 white rhinos- a world record in private rhino conservation.
Since the change of national ‘rhino’ law which caused rhino wars, I’ve become a pro-rhino activist, advocating for an end to the international war on trade in rhino horn, that only creates conditions for illegal trade and results in killing of rhinos and also people in Africa.
I founded the Facebook page- Future4Rhino, calling for legalization of trade in rhino horn – a renewable product – to help create harmony between African people and their natural heritage.


Connect with the Author:


Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Miss Fortune?  Or – if you did not yet read Miss Fortune – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

My question for you cinephiles:
If Miss Fortune was filmed – who should direct it, who could you imagine as actors?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂