In Sam’s Shoes: A Novel by Brooke Horton, Now on Amazon

I’m excited to announce that this contemporary romance is now available on Amazon.com:

Small-town Plain Jane Samantha Townsend thought she’d achieved it all by her early 20s. Madly in love and married to a handsome Air Force bad boy with a thriving career and a gorgeous new home, her idyllic life couldn’t possibly get any better – until an unforeseen event rips her entire world apart. Summoning newfound strength and resilience, she embarks upon a personal odyssey in which love comes with complications, appearances often hide reality, and tragic events forge unlikely alliances. Fortified by faith and an unrelenting passion for truth, can she find the courage to stand up to a powerful North Carolina family? Or will her dangerous quest for answers lead to another devastating outcome?

As the ghostwriter, I spent hours interviewing my client to understand the facts of her real story, then figuring out the best way to distill them into a fictional book. In a true collaboration, we made decisions together about characters, character names, plot, location, and outcome. Transforming someone’s life into a fictional story can be tricky, and in this case, we even eliminated a few real-life players for dramatic purposes.

In the end, it’s a compelling tale of Samantha Townsend, a responsible, small-town girl who loves deeply and learns how to navigate through life’s unexpected twists and turns, relying on newfound faith and inner resilience. It was a fun project to work on and I look forward to seeing plenty of book reviews on Amazon.

For those who prefer Kindle, it will be available in that format in a few weeks. Click here to purchase it in paperback.

Congrats and much success to Brooke Horton!

Share

In Sam’s Shoes: A Novel by Brooke Horton, Prologue

In Sam’s Shoes: A Novel by Brooke Horton, Prologue

The grand, mahogany casket loomed large ahead of her, topped by a massive cascading bouquet of pink roses. Around the perimeter of the room, display tables dressed in white linens bore artifacts of a life well lived, from golf memorabilia to seemingly trivial trinkets. The focal point of the entire collection was an exquisite eight-by-ten crystal frame bearing a formal wedding photo of a bride and groom in happier days. To the casual observer, the smiling couple represented an ideal – the beautiful, wholesome wife and the handsome all-American groom dressed in the finest attire befitting the occasion, their pedigree, and their lifestyle. On either side of this centerpiece, smaller and much plainer frames told the story of a father’s love for his sons, with images of the recently departed engaged in various activities with them like playing basketball and camping out in the woods.

As the funeral home worker entered the room, Sam stood at a distance with her back turned to the unfolding scene a few feet away. She could hear the rustling of the flowers and the barely audible sound of the casket lid moving against its hinges to reveal the body at rest inside. She trembled at the thought of laying eyes upon his still, lifeless form and doubted she had the strength to confront the reality of this devastating, unexpected loss.

Consumed by torturous thoughts, she continued to stare out at the hallway minutes after the woman had left her in privacy again. How was she going to handle the sight of his hideously disfigured face? The thought of staring at a nasty patchwork of scars stubbornly protruding through a heavy layer of funeral parlor make-up was just too much to bear. Her entire body convulsed as she broke down in uncontrollable weeping.

Why? Why did this have to happen? Why now? Why at all?

“Sam?” She heard Shannon’s soft voice behind her. “I have to tell you he looks normal. I think you’re going to be OK looking at him.”

She slowly turned to face her sister. “You really think so?”

Shannon put her hands on Sam’s shoulders in a gesture of comfort and confidence.

“Yes, yes I really do. I’d never tell you that if I didn’t believe it. But I can stay here in the room with you if you want; I’ll just hang out in the back.”

“No, no – I have to do this alone. Please.”

Sam drew her into a hug, appreciative of her unwavering support. She then watched until the door closed behind Shannon, leaving her alone with her soulmate for the last time.

She clutched her tissues in one hand as she strode past the oddly arranged folding chairs that appeared as if they’d been set up for a round of the classic children’s musical game. Instead of facing the front of the room, they faced the side walls, as if unwilling to confront the reality of death.

Filled with determination and resolve, Sam took a gulp of air and reached out to touch the side of the casket to steady herself. Then she opened her eyes wide.

Oh, my God, not a scratch. A dried-up creek, two inches of water. How can this be? How can he possibly look like the sweet manly man I loved?

She was dumbfounded as she gazed at his perfect face. For a few moments, all she could do was stare at him in silence and wish that the entire scene was nothing more than a nightmare from which she’d awaken at any second. She placed her hand on his cheek and reacted to its icy coldness as a fresh wave of sorrow engulfed her.

“Baby, I love you! I love you so much. What the hell happened? Why? Why did you get on that bike? Why? How could you just leave me like this!”

She dropped to her knees and prayed out loud through staccato breaths. “God, I need you. I have nowhere else to turn. I don’t know how I’m going to get through this. Please, give me the strength to focus on my kids. I promise, I’ll spend more time praying and appreciating the good things in my life. Just please, help me.”

Sam pleaded and cried until she was utterly spent. Then she wiped her face and got back on her feet just as Shannon re-entered the room to check on her.

“Let’s go,” Sam ordered.

“But the lady said we could stay as long as you need. You don’t have to rush; there’s plenty of time before the funeral – “

“I’m done. It’s time to move on and heal.”

“Ok, whatever you want.”

Shannon followed her big sister out to the hallway, hoping this little episode signified the beginning of her new life. God knew, she’d been through enough heartache for one human being.

Stay tuned for details on the forthcoming release this month!

Share

Lost, Found & Rewired: Mind Tools to Shift You from Stressed and Frazzled to Calm and Vital

Lost, Found & Rewired: Mind Tools to Shift You from Stressed and Frazzled to Calm and Vital

Congratulations to Writestream Author Cynthia Dougherty, Ph.D. on the release of her first book!

The mind is a terrible thing to waste. The world has changed at lightning speed over the last two decades. As a result, most of us are living our lives in a frantic blur of incessant emails, social media engagement, text messages as well as an over-abundance of multi-tasking – which leaves our minds in a state of low concentration, high stress and fragmented attention. Our minds are wasting away in this damaging environment which has become a normal way of life for the majority of people. Lost, Found & Rewired will give you the tools you need to shut off that distracting mind chatter, rewire your brains so you can get back to feeling calm, happy, purposeful, connected and joyful. When you understand how your brain has evolved, then you will be able to learn how to re-wire it and reap the endless benefits.

Written by a neuro-psychologist, but taught in language that everyone can understand.

Here’s some of what you’ll discover in this exceptional book:

  • How your brain conserves energy so it can survive and makes decisions on automatic pilot that may not be in your best interest
  • Why your brain has something in it called a “negativity bias” which causes you to attract the bad and repel the good
  • How negative experiences in your life become neural pathways in your brain, requiring re-wiring to replace the harmful effects
  • Understanding that a big part of your brain isn’t full developed and as a result, is causing chaos in your life
  • How the fight or flight response dictates your life if you aren’t aware of it
  • Why a few moments of intentional stillness a day can have a huge impact in your life
  • Understanding that you have an Inner Caveman lurking around your mind and ways you can get him under control
  • Dozens of Mind Tools that will raise your happiness levels and reduce your anxiety levels that you can add to your daily life
  • How to identify and remove the biggest stressors in your life
  • Ways to handle the daily overload in our lives
  • How to shift from the negative to the positive – even though your brain doesn’t want you to

The emotional, mental, spiritual and physical benefits of mindfulness Lost, Found & ReWired is filled with real stories, exercises, the latest research studies and tools to help take you from frazzled and fragmented to cool and calm! This is a must read for everyone who wants to quiet their minds and find more inner happiness, peace and joy.

 

About Cynthia Dougherty, Ph.D.

Cynthia Dougherty, Ph.D., has been in the “Helping” business for over two decades. You can reach Cynthia at her website: www.gratefulpeaceofmind.com Her all-embracing wisdom comes from her training as a Wellness and Life Coach, a Certified Meditation Teacher, and a Certified School Psychologist. Cynthia also holds a Ph.D. in Human and Child Development, a Master’s degree in Family Therapy and a Certificate in Neuropsychology. Cynthia has practiced in a wide variety of settings including a clinical practice, schools, hospitals and major corporations. Cynthia now combines her psychology and therapy training with her love and passion and for neuroscience and mindfulness. Cynthia believes that bringing mindfulness into your life both personally and in business will help you optimize your ability to create and live a happy, joyous and fulfilling life. Awareness is the foundation of who we are and what we do and is the key to self-knowledge, transformation and being able to not just survive in the stressful world we live in, but to really thrive! Cynthia helps people reduce their stress by teaching them how their brain operates and then showing them how to re-wire their brains using simple mind tools. Cynthia enjoys coaching people in using mind tools to live a more fulfilling, happier and less fear-driven life.

To preview and purchase the book in paperback and Kindle, visit Amazon.com. Discover more about Cynthia at her website www.gratefulpeaceofmind.com.

Check out the Writestream Publishing Author Spotlight here. And if you would like to discuss your project with us, contact us to schedule your no-obligation consultation today.

Share