Saturday, January 11, 2014

Rook Blog Tour: Guest Post by Stella MacDonald - How I Know I'm A Survivor

  rook updated

Could you be the monster to save who you love? Two women, separated by generations, must leave what they know to start a new life. Seventeen-year-old Kate's senior year is ruined when she's moved from the only home she's ever known. After an isolating month alone in her apartment, school starts, but neither her classmates nor her teacher are who they seem. Kali, a 

single mother living in the nineteenth century wilds of Montana, is stalked by a malicious past. She fights to keep her daughter safe while her freedom is threatened by her less than benevolent benefactor. Both find love, and with it hope, but that is quickly ripped away as one woman must learn the lessons of the other -- before it's too late to save either.  

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 Praise for Rook: 
      "This book also drew me in. I couldn't let go of what was happening and when life intervened and forced me to close my computer I kept looking for a few moments to sit down and read some more.” Brookeworm, a Blog 4 Stars 
     "Rook had me hooked from the first page. It all started so mysteriously that I just had to know what it was all about. “ Jannat Bhat, Obsessive Compulsive Reader 4 Stars “Rook is an amazing story that had me at the edge of my seat.” Tee Loves Kyle Jacobson Blog, 5 Stars   

Guest Post: How I Know I'm A Survivor 

In my list of things that I’ve done with my life, horses have played a pretty decent role. At one point, I had five brood mares, and I was running a very small sport horse farm. 

I had this one particular mare that was often a problem, needing frequent riding or she would get so out of the habit of having a job that she’d become dangerous. My mother had lectured me a million times on the importance of a helmet, and most of the time I was so certain I was invincible that I refused to wear one.  On this one particular day (and every day thereafter) I chose to wear one.

I’ve been tossed a million times.  I’ve never broken a bone, and other then a bruised ego, I always just hop right back on.  I’ve even had a horse lose his balance, somersault, and then I came to with him laying on his back and my leg pinned beneath the saddle.  I’m alive – didn’t break anything there – and that fall isn’t what this story is about anyway. The point is, I’d always been lucky, and who’s to say that would ever end?

So, this mare tossed me, and I landed on my head with a nice big dent in my helmet where she’d kicked me.  I found out later I’d the presence of mind to call my husband and my dad (the doctor). The first thing I remember was hours later, when I was evidently telling the nurse some terribly personal thing, while my mortified husband was hissing at me to shut it.

I had, and have, a TBI, which stands for Traumatic Brain Injury.  I suffered from post concussive syndrome, which meant that I couldn’t read (and comprehend) anything for three months, had a year long headache, and at the end of that year, I was told whatever I got back of my cognitive capacity was all I was going to be getting.

To make a long story short, I did not get nearly what I had back.  I used to have a near photographic memory, and after the TBI I struggled with remembering what I had for breakfast an hour after eating.  I had started back to school just prior to this, and flunked out because the information from the beginning of the semester simply would not stay with me to the end. I could not accept that this was my life, so I did a little research.

Did you know that people who speak more than one language see a big increase in their cognitive ability? True story.  And, people have half their brains removed, and still come back from that as well. Between those two things, I decided I should focus on making myself learn, and if I was going to pick a language, I was going to pick one of the hardest, because if the point was to fix my brain, I was going to make it work its very hardest.

Fast forward – it worked.  I went back to school, and graduated with a fantastic GPA. I applied to over 100 scholarships so I’d have the money to go to the Middle East and become pretty fluent in Arabic (although you’d never know it from how my Jordanian friends make fun of me.) I am in graduate school, and have written a book with which I’ve got a great deal of pride. I’ve done all this while keeping my family close – even while in the Middle East.  There is nothing – nothing – I cannot do.  So what is the lesson here?

Sometimes life throws curve balls that really threaten to break us in two.  But if that happens, we get to keep both pieces, and it’s up to us what we do with them. I know of people who struggle with a TBI, and there’s no doubt about it – it changes you.  But the change can be for the best, even if it is wrapped up in a pretty ugly package.

And, if you have a problem that’s not as serious, but still serious to you, I would offer this advice.  You can beat it.  You will live to see another day after it, and it’s up to you what that day will look like. The only time you should lose faith in yourself is when you’ve quit, and that, too, is a condition we can all come back from.

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Monica M Author Stella MacDonald 

 Stella is a married graduate student with three boys. Utah is home right now, but the need to wander has extended beyond the fantasy world of writing and into real life. She's lived all around the US and even into the Middle East. The world is really a small place, only made bigger through imagination.  
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  Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 1/24/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
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  1. Sounds very interesting!

  2. Wow sounds like a really great book to read!