A Woman's Voice

Book Reviews ~ Tell the Enemy to Scat

Christine HornbackTell the Enemy to Scat! by Author Christine Hornback (Kindle Edition)

“Tell the Enemy to Scat” by Author Christine Hornback is a short, true story that packs a powerful punch! Christine and her husband have remained childless for almost twenty years when she hears “the still small voice” that tells her she is expecting a baby. They are overjoyed to say the least, but then, she is plagued for the first five months of her pregnacy with the possibility of losing this long awaited child. She hears the words from within and is inspired to “tell the enemy to scat” so she can carry out her pregnancy to full term. The glorious birth of her first son ensues. Christine’s faith and prayers have been rewarded but…she believes she is meant to have children…not only one child. Therefore, at 40 years old, she trusts in the Lord for the miracle of a second child . After more trials and tribulations, once again, “the still small voice” is there for her and she gives birth to a second son!

In her book, Christine Hornback openly shares her struggles and disappointments. She eventually takes off her mask and shows her despair to those around her as they reach out in prayer to help her during this difficult time. In the end, her belief and faith in God and the fact that He is true to His Word…wins out! Christine’s book is an inspiration to others as she coaches them to not give up their dreams, no matter the obstacles, so that they, too, can be triumphant!
Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte

Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte

Book Reviews ~ Hidden Treasures

Hidden Treasures by Author Louise Dupont

Louise Dupont

I very much enjoy reading true stories that hit close to home. Debut novel by Author Louise Dupont is one such story. Although inspired by a very sad event in the life of this talented author and devoted mother, Louise manages to draw from the tragic death of her son Andre in order to glean…not only the “hidden treasures” in his life…but in hers as well. Andre Dupont, overcome by depression committed suicide at the young age of twenty-one years of age. This once vibrant young man could no longer endure the personal pain he was experiencing and decided to take his own life.

As difficult as this choice may have been for Andre and his family, he managed to leave a wonderful legacy to those left behind. Louise Dupont, a mother who personally knew the debilitating effects of depression, chose to look for the “hidden treasures” in this unexpected and tragic death of her dear son. She has succeeded in penning a picture of Andre’s life and the positive influence he had on those who crossed his path. His adventurous personality and engaging smile certainly warmed the hearts of many as he touched their lives.

Now, through the gift of his mother’s book about his life, Andre continues to live on and impact even more lives. When sharing Andre’s story, Louise succeeds in narrowing the space between this life and the next by bridging the gap between the two worlds. Although, she may no longer see Andre face-to-face, their heartstrings remain forever bound by love. His life lives on through the fond memories and pictures so eloquently shared in “Hidden Treasures”. Louise has chosen to rise above her sorrow and see the blessing in knowing that her son no longer suffers. This thought manages to take the edge off her loss.

It takes a courageous person to share her story so honestly and openly. Author and mother, Louise Dupont has done just that. Kudos to her for opening her heart to others, not only in memory of her son Andre, but in much the same way as he did himself during his short life.


Book Reviews ~ Cruising Panama’s Canal

Cruising Panama’s Canal by Authors Al & Sunny Lockwood

Turning tragedy into travel is the motivation behind “Cruising Panama’s Canal”. Married authors, Sunny and Al Lockwood were hit by a car at a red light. This unfortunate automobile accident served as an eye-opener to them. It was the impetus to live life to the fullest as it could suddenly end tragically with many desired adventures yet to be fulfilled. Al’s dream of sailing through the Panama Canal soon moved up on the “bucket list” and plans to take this wonderful trip were in the works. What better time than now?

As with most trips, a little research is required and then the fun begins…

“Cruising Panama”s Canal” reads like a daily journal or diary. It is an ideal handbook for those contemplating taking a cruise. Sunny Lockwood takes the time to explain in step by step detail exactly what it takes to plan such an exciting excursion. The pre-planning, the lay-out of the ship, what to expect as far as food and accommodations are concerned, the activities offered, etc. are found in this easy to read and well-written book based on their own traveling experiences.

Al Lockwood, on the other hand, has a sweet tooth. With that in mind, he has taken on the arduous task of eating a variety of delicious desserts and explaining in full mouth-watering detail such delectable delicacies as the chocolate eclair and Sacher torte. He also does a great job of elaborating on “transiting the Panama Canal”.

The protocol, the required attire, the ports visited, along with some great pictures really add to the pleasurable “vacation” the readers receive when they vicariously travel along with Al and Sunny while cruising through the Panama Canal. This is the perfect guidebook for baby boomers or anyone else…whether young or not so young…who plan on taking a cruise. The information provided will help any novice get an in-depth grasp of exactly what to expect should they follow the same course as these two enjoyable authors.

Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte

Book Reviews ~ I Will Never Forget

I Will Never Forget by Author Elaine C. Pereira

Okay…where do I begin? For those of us with elderly parents, this well-told and memorable true story is bound to pull at a few heartstrings. Talented Author Elaine Pereira tells it like it is. There is no sugar-coating as she goes to great lengths to describe her mother, Betty Ward’s, final years when dementia proceeds to ravage her once brilliant mind. Betty Ward has certainly experienced her fair share of hardships. First with the loss of David her two year old son due to an unfortunate car accident…tragedy continues to haunt her when in her later years; both her loving husband and son pass away just months apart from each other. Throughout all of her trials and tribulations, she shows the utmost stoicism and strength of character. Betty Ward is definitely a woman to be admired!

When her mind starts to fail, once again she continues to smile as often as possible to hide her confusion and growing anxiety. She makes every effort to mask her symptoms. This memoir by her daughter is most certainly a heart-wrenching story and not one for the faint of heart. Along with her mother’s struggles with forgetfulness, paranoia, and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s, Author Elaine Pereira gives the reader a bird’s eye view of the challenges and frustrations faced by the caregivers. The unconditional love and patience that is necessary during these “death by inches” years is well evidenced in “I Will Never Forget”. It is virtually impossible to fully realize the anguish experienced by those exposed to such a debilitating illness, yet this author does a fine job of doing just that…sharing her heart felt experiences.

As sad as this true story is and as difficult as it may have been to write, Pereira manages to add a dose of levity to the situation as much as possible by going back and forth between the present and the past. In doing so, she succeeds in taking the edge off the seriousness of her mother’s dementia to make, this oftentimes, painful read a little easier to digest. This is an admiral creative strategy as it engages the reader to embrace the reality and devastation of Alzheimer’s while still trying to look at life with the positive philosophy of the “glass half full”. It would seem that the “apple didn’t fall far from the tree” as we get to witness first hand the author’s upbeat and admirable character as she deals with her own losses…the death of her father, her brother Jerry to cancer, and then her loving and vibrant mother to old age and the devastation of Alzheimer’s. The wonderful support of her loving husband Joe and her twin daughters, Christie and Angie, help get her through this challenging time. Great read!

Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte

Book Reviews ~ But the Greatest of These is Love

Debbi Michael
“But the Greatest of These is Love” is one incredible tale based on a true story. From start to finish, Author Debbie Michael shares her heart-warming experience as she recounts her misgivings about adoption and her struggles with being obedient to God’s will. It appears that He has every desire for the Michael family to adopt Roman/Roma, a seven year old orphan boy from Russia.

This non-fiction story is sure to grab at the heartstrings of many a reader as they grapple with matters of their own faith and indecision in learning to obey the “still small voice” that resides in each of us. This author’s life was pretty well picture perfect until one evening in March 2000 when the niggling thought of adoption started to make its way into her mind and just wouldn’t let up. With a devoted husband and three lovely children, two teenaged daughters and a twelve year old son, why would she even consider such a possibility? Contented wife, mother, substitute teacher…how could she entertain the idea of upsetting the comfortable life she so enjoyed and appreciated?

In reading “But the Greatest of These is Love” one certainly realizes the persistence of God in getting His message across no matter our reluctance. The nudging, the coincidences…the support of her husband, children and friends, add to God’s intention of rounding out the Michael’s family with the embracing of a fourth child, Roman with his outgoing and endearing personality. Was this endeavor an easy task? Most definitely not. However, as in all new situations, the Michael’s face the challenges head on as their fears are replaced by the triumphant feelings of love. In doing so, they successfully overcome the obstacles presented as they settle into a normal family routine.

In this captivating novel, Author Debbie Michael uses a quote to introduce each chapter. Some are Biblical, others are not. Of course, they all manage to succeed in bringing home the point at hand. These two in particular grabbed my attention as Debbie shares her journey. She certainly is identifying with C.S. Lewis as he states…”I gave in, and admitted that God was God.” and also with Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his profound observation. “Only he who believes is obedient and only he who is obedient believes.”

I was very moved by this inspirational story. I enjoyed meeting the whole clan and especially enjoyed the photographs included in this exceptional read!

Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte


Book Reviews ~ Get Up-7 Life Lessons

It has been awhile since I have read such a touching book based on an incredible journey by a very talented young author. Twenty year old Author Jenna Phelps is bound to inspire anyone going through a difficult life experience. She is a cancer survivor and a motivational author. She not only speaks from personal experience….she reaches out to embrace, inspire, and touch the hearts and minds of others with a wisdom well beyond her years.

“Get Up – 7 Life Lessons” is absolutely refreshing! Ms. Phelps includes a description of her experiences and a wealth of photographs to clearly demonstrate her trials and tribulations. However, she does admit that what she once thought were her weaknesses, she has come to realize are her strengths. This well-written and carefully thought out book is not for the faint of heart. Her personal story is not easy to digest but her positive attitude and encouragement definitely are, as she turns her obstacles into opportunities on a daily basis.

Ms. Phelps also includes a thought-provoking quote at the beginning of each chapter. She generously shares the wisdom of others along with her own. To quote one of her personal views on life’s sufferings she states, “Traumatic events often scar us on the inside…and serve as life-long reminders of the difficult journeys we’ve faced.” Although, she has battled for the majority of her life to merely stay alive, she knows full well that not all scars are visible like her liver transplant scar. She shows the utmost compassion when she shares her philosophy about emotional or less visible scars with her reading audience as well. She has definitely gained both my respect and admiration, not only as a survivor but as an author as well! Yes indeed… “Get Up and be UNSTOPPABLE

I was encouraged to read this wonderful book by fellow Author Matt Patterson ~ My Emily

Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte

Book Reviews ~ Up The “Down” Ladder

Dolores Ayotte’s nonfiction book “Up The “Down” Ladder – Simple Ideas to Overcome Depression is a Breakthrough Masterpiece! As a Chemical Dependency – Lifestyle Disorder Councilor who interned at Woodview Calabasas Psychiatric Hospital’s dually diagnosed Chemical Dependency Unit, I can attest that usually in every generation there is new information that points to new theories. However, having worked in the system and then as a lay councilor for Freemont Community Church, discovered that the most valuable information is dispensed by those caring individuals who having overcome reach out a hand, say a word, show the way while sharing their personal experiences. Where once people did this as a natural and right thing to do more and more today’s mind set of `suck it up’ and `look good at all times not matter what it costs’ has created an environment where the norm is to look good no matter what!

Into this dismal abyss steps a women who sees herself as an ordinary person, who has had some experiences others might learn from. Dolores Ayotte does not tell us how to avoid life issues, she celebrates them! In reading her take we see that choices shape our world. This is clearly illustrated by the bank that wanted people to progress. Management meet with each employee to map out a year by year strategy so each employee could become self-actualizing. And a curious thing happened! Many who claimed to want to advance left. Why? Because for some…or in some situations it’s easier to `want’ than `do.’

Up The “Down” Ladder is a small book loaded with life changes examples gleaned from the author’s experiences, and I for one, found them affirming, and if implemented when ready, you might perhaps view them to be as, or even more, valuable than seeing a therapist who might prescribe medication so you don’t have to do the work, tell you that what you’re going through is Normal, or suggest that it’s someone else’s fault. All of these options have been tried and not worked. If they had we would be feeling better not worse.

No! What is needed is a Truthsayer who has nothing to prove or gain from telling it like `it’ is…if that’s what you’re looking for this book is a must read. But before you begin, I must suggest that you read a little and be kind to yourself as if you were your own best friend. For this is not a book to be rushed through because change that last’s takes time. It took you a while to get where you are… a while to realize that it’s not where you want to be. Now gift yourself the time to become the you, you wish to be.

Just as some of those who groused because they wanted to advance discovered, when the opportunity was available, that they didn’t really want to, your voyage of discovery may take you to places you never imagined and show you things about yourself you never knew. Yet, I can promise you this after reading this amazing book, you will always be in charge, you will be respected and affirmed. And in the end you will be able to say with happy conviction, “You get to be you, and I get to be me!” Although this simple statement might sound ludicrous, true health is achieved when one knows and likes themself, and supports others as they strive to become who they want to be for it is in moving from wanting to becoming that we arrive!

by Author Paula Rose Michelson

BOOK REVIEW ~ UNCOVERED No More…clothed by God ~ November 2, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

TITLE: UNCOVERED No More ~ clothed by God  (a true story)

AUTHOR: Cara Ann Coffey

PUBLISHER: Tate Publishing & Enterprises

UNCOVERED No More ~ clothed by God ~ is a soul-searching, non-fiction book by author Cara Ann Coffey. At the age of forty-two in the year 2008, at a very low time in Cara’s life, she started to question the meaning to her life. She feared that she was losing her mind as she grasped to hang on to her sanity. Almost as long as she could remember, she had walked “in obedience to God” as best she could, yet her Christian life seemed to be filled with much suffering. Cara enjoyed a fulfilling marriage to her husband, Curtis, the father of her ten children yet Cara was tormented by other challenges taking place in her life.

As soon as I learned that Cara is a housewife and homeschooling mother to ten children spanning a period of twenty-one years, I instantly had admiration and respect for this devoted and loving woman. Cara’s story is both heart warming and heart wrenching. She writes about her struggles with her inner demons as she attempts to get a better understanding of herself and her inner struggles. Cara shares her childhood memories and the events that helped shape her life. She tells of the painful loss of her older brother to heart disease when he was still in his teens. His untimely death plagued her for years as she worked through her incredible grief. Cara then goes on to share her experiences with having her mother-in-law live with their family over a period of twelve years. At this time, Cara is also trying to make some sense of her mental anguish and the challenges she faces within the Body of Christ, the Christian Church, as she tries “to determine God’s true will”.

From the first page to the last one, everything I read points to Cara’s heart being as pure and innocent as the cover and title of her book.  Cara has been honest and forthright in every word that she writes. She is absolutely correct in her understanding of a loving relationship with God. She has bared her soul in UNCOVERED No More and due to that fact; she is now clothed by God in the perfect love that He offers. Cara has opened up her heart and soul and exposed her vulnerability. By doing so, she has demonstrated her victory with the help of Jesus Christ over her inner demons and has gone on to tell her well written, thought-provoking story. Cara’s journey is an inspiration to us all.

To learn more about Cara’s story, please visit Amazon.


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