Thursday, February 6, 2020

Groomed: Overcoming the Messages that Shaped Our Past and Limit Our Future by Elizabeth Melendez Fisher Good with Beth Jusino (TLC Book Tours)

Elizabeth Melendez Fisher Good is the cofounder of Selah Freedom, one of the nation’s leading anti-sex trafficking organizations.  Good teaches that sharing our secrets and personal stories with others can help people to heal from personal trauma.  She also feels that messages that children receive when thy are young groom them to live lives that are not their own. In Groomed, Good shares her personal story to explore the areas where women are often groomed:  for appearances, to be invisible, for judgement, to endure, or for financial fear.  She explores not only how that can lead women to be sex trafficked, but how it can affect those that are not sex trafficked into leading lives that are not fully their own. 

The book starts with “How Did I End Up Here” with the story of a child having a secret, one that is so deep that they can’t share it with others although it will change the direction of their life forever.  This hooked me into the book and I was intrigued by the rest of the book as well.  It gave me a lot to think about and I recognized myself in several parts of the book.  The first three chapters of the book focus on how we’ve all been groomed.  The next five chapters focus on the specifics of how we’ve been groom and the last three are how to make changes and the leave the life that is causing you harm.

In the groomed for appearance section, I recognized my Grandma.  She and other members of the family were constantly remarking on the appearances of all of the girls in my family, even ranking us on our appearance and weight.  I was the valedictorian of my class, but always felt unworthy as I am not a skinny beauty queen.  It was just this Thanksgiving while going through her old pictures, I found an envelope with clippings about me and the awards I had won in high school.  She had never told me she was proud of me, but was always criticizing my appearance.  It made me sad. I realize now that was how she was raised and how her entire focus in life was to make sure she was groomed for her appearance and looking good. It was her way to help me out and love me I think to criticize, although I wish it could have been different. I really thought the quotes below from the groomed for appearance section were very thoughtful, especially this week where the news is full of the appearance of Jennifer Lopez at 50 and how the Super Bowl performance represents “Empowered Women.”  I found this focus very sad and falling into the same trap for women.  I don’t remember talk last year about Adam Levine doing well and looking well on the stage at his age and how it represented “Empowered Men.”

“Study after study shows that children intuitively believe what adults tell them, even if those messages contradict what they see right in front of them.  Not only that, but children internalize those messages and carry them into adulthood.  When boys are routinely complimented as smart and girls are told their pretty, it affects what they seek in the future.”

“Girls who were groomed for appearances often become women who don’t know how to look beneath their own surfaces.”

“Focusing too much on appearances takes all our energy and focuses it on what other people see, leaving nothing left for who we really are.”

The groomed to be invisible section sadly made me think of my other Grandma.  She was groomed to be invisible, always in the background serving and never the focus of anyone.  Poor Grandma.  “But far too many women hover in the background because they believe this unhealthy message:  You’re here to serve, not to be recognized.  You don’t deserve anything more.”

While I recognized myself in many sections of the book, I realized I was groomed to endure.  I am the always busy person that is always helping people and never having time just for myself.  This was what my family needed from me when my parents divorced, I needed to keep everything together in both households.  This has continued on to adulthood where I am now the always busy person trying to figure out how I got here.  This book gave me a lot to think about and I particularly liked these quotes:

“Your friends and family know that you’re the dependable one, the reliable one, the one who will be there for anything, no questions asked.   Most of the time they take you for granted – not because they are trying to hurt you but because they can’t respect your boundaries if you’ve never established any.”

“You were groomed to believe you exist to care for others, but that’s left you without space for your own needs to be met.”

This book not only gave me an insight on how people become victims of sex-trafficking, but it also gave me insight into myself and how I was “groomed” by others into who I am these days for both the positive and the negative.  I think it’s a good book for all women to read.

A lot of what I liked about this book was Elizabeth Melendez Fisher Good's personal story and the story of the development of the Selah Freedom Foundation. Her candor was refreshing.

One more Favorite Quote: 
“If you find yourself stuck in an endless loop of resentment or angry feelings toward a person who hurt you years ago, you’re probably spending too much time on something that can’t be changed.”                                                 

Overall, Groomed is an important book that gives insight of how people become victims of sex-trafficking, but also into how we are all “groomed” in our lives.  It was a very thought-provoking book and one that I think all women should read.

Book Source:  Review Copy from Thomas Nelson as a part of the TLC Book Tour!  For more stops on this tour, check out this link.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

A Sister’s Courage by Molly Green (TLC Book Tours)

Raine Linfoot has one goal in life, to become a pilot.  She is a proper teenager in 1939 England and her French mother wants her to have nothing to do with flying.  Through her sheer determination, work, and the help of her father, Raine is able to get a job at the local air field and pay for flying lessons.  She has a school girl crush on her instructor Doug, but he disappears in France after he joins the RAF.  Broken hearted, she meets the attractive and infuriating Alec. Will she be able to open her heart to love again?  And will she be able to be help her country out as a woman pilot?

I have always loved to read about aviation and in particular, woman in aviation since I was a child.  My Great-Grandfather taught aviation during World War II in America.  My Great-Uncle and Grandpa used to tell me all sorts of stories about my Great Grandpa and how he met Amelia Earhart and Orville Wright.  That lead me to read all about them and others in aviation.  My family loves to visit the Air Zoo aviation museum in Kalamazoo Michigan, which has a display about American female aviation heroes during WWII.

I thought this book was fascinating as it was from the British prospective and told the story of the important British women who helped to fly airplanes during the war.  They were not allowed to fly on the front lines, but they were able to fly planes to their destinations to efficiently make sure they were ready for men to fly to the front lines.  These ladies faced dangers and were also victims of prejudice and sexual harassment.  I really enjoyed Raine’s story and the story of her friends.  I liked the romance too, although I was sad about poor Doug.

An important part of Raine’s story was her family.  She is the oldest of three sisters and has a very difficult relationship with her mother.  I felt like at the end of the novel I wanted to know more about what would happen and that the story wasn’t finished.  Luckily at the end of the novel was an excerpt for book two about Raine’s sister Suzanne.  I want to know more about these characters!

Favorite Quote: 
“Enjoy yourself while you can, is my motto, and that’s even more crucial with this war on.  You could be here today and gone tomorrow.”

Overall, A Sister’s Courage is a great story about the courageous women pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary in Great Britain during WWII.
Book Source:  Review Copy from Avon Harper Collins as a part of the TLC Book Tour!  For more stops on this tour, check out this link.

About A Sister's Courage

• Paperback: 400 pages

 • Publisher: Avon (January 21, 2020)

 It’s 1939 and the threat of war hangs over Britain… The most ambitious of three sisters, Lorraine ‘Raine’ Linfoot always dreamed of becoming a pilot. As a spirited seventeen-year-old, she persuades her hero Doug Williams to teach her to fly. When war breaks out in 1939, Raine is determined to put her skills to good use. She enlists in the Air Transport Auxiliary, becoming one of a handful of brave female pilots flying fighter planes to the men on the front line. Raine embraces the challenges of the job, despite its perils. But when Doug is reported missing after his Spitfire is shot down, she realises the war could tear apart not only her country, but also her heart…  

A gripping story of family, friendship and courage, perfect for fans of Natasha Lester, Lizzie Page and Call the Midwife.


Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Molly Green

Molly Green is a seasoned author of fiction and non-fiction. She has sold lipstick in a Denver store, modelled in Atlanta, assisted the UN Narcotics Director in Geneva, chauffeured a Swiss Gnome in Zurich, assisted a famous film producer in the UK, and cooked in a sanatorium in Germany. She now lives and writes in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich

Title:  Turbo Twenty-Three
Author: Janet Evanovich
Read by:  Lorelei King
Publisher: Random House Audio
Length: Approximately 6 hours and 13 minutes (5 CDs)
Source: Kewaunee Public Library.  Thank-you!

Larry Virgil skipped out on a court case after being arrested for hijacking a semi-truck full of bourbon.  His next attempt is to hijack a freezer truck full of Bogart ice cream.   He is thwarted by bounty hunter Stephanie Plum and her partner Lula.  They are shocked to find a dead man frozen as a Bogart Bar in the back of the truck.  This threatens to change the ladies love of the ice cream bar forever. 

With the help of her cop boyfriend Joe Morelli and the mysterious bounty hunter/security guru Ranger, Stephanie works on hunting down bounties and trying to solve the Bogart Bar mystery.  Ranger is doing security at Bogart ice cream and at a rival company across town.  He uses Stephanie as an undercover worker in the factories to try to determine who would have a beef with Bogart.  Side characters also have stories of their own.  Lula is making a “Naked and Afraid” audition tape with Randy Briggs while Grandma Mazur has a new boyfriend who owns a motorcycle.

Turbo Twenty-Three is an entertaining novel.  Being in the depths of winter, I need a book to cheer me up!  I still am annoyed by Stephanie’s love life.  I thought she was making some progress in this book by deciding to move on to a relationship with Ranger, but then after sleeping with Ranger she keeps on dating Joe.  I was disturbed by this.  A love triangle where you sleep with both men is a little much.

Lorelei King is the best audiobook narrator in the business.  She has great unique voices for each character in the audiobook.  She makes the Stephanie Plum audiobooks for me.  I am entertained by her rendition.  It makes me laugh out loud.

Overall, Turbo Twenty-Three is a light humorous book with a great audiobook narrator.