Tag: 5 stars

Devotion Review: Loved Baby

October is National Infant and Pregnancy Loss Month. I have not experienced a loss as this, but earlier in the year I read and reviewed a devotion written by Sarah Philpott to help women that have experienced this loss. Today I choose to share this review with you as today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day . Thank you to Broadstreet Publishing for my copy I was sent via NetGalley.

Loved Baby: 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child after Pregnancy Loss
Author:  Sarah Philpot

Published: October 1, 2017
176 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 24-27th 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

At the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference on May 24, 2018, Loved Baby received Selah Awards for Nonfiction Book of the Year and Best Book in the category of Inspiration and Gift.

Close to one in four American women experience the silent grief of pregnancy loss. Loved Baby offers much-needed support to women in the middle of psychological and physiological grief as a result of losing an unborn child.

In Loved Baby, author Sarah Philpott gently walks alongside women as they experience the misguided shame, isolation, and crushing despair that accompany the turmoil of loss. With brave vulnerability Sarah shares her own and others’ stories of loss, offering Christ-filled hope and support to women navigating grief.

This fresh and compassionate devotional offers:
·       Real talk about loss
·       Christ-filled comfort
·       Tips to manage social media, reconnect with your partner, and nourish your soul
·       Knowledge that your child is in heaven
·       Strategies to walk through grief
·       Ways to memorialize your loss

Whether your loss is recent or not, Loved Baby can be your companion as you move from the darkness of grief toward the light of hope.

Jessica’s Review:

Firstly, I want to say I have not experienced a loss such as this so I cannot identify with who this devotion was written for. That is not saying I should not have read it. In fact, I am glad I did. I know many who have experienced pregnancy loss and now I feel I understand their loss better. I will never 100% understand this loss as I do not have children and more than likely won’t.

Sarah Philpott has written a 31 day Christian devotional to the women who have experienced various types of pregnancy loss: miscarriage, still birth, and ectopic pregnancies.  She wrote the devotional directly to the Mommy and she also shares her story of pregnancy loss and others share their stories as well. Philpott talks about the various changes one will go through medically and also the wide range of emotions that will be experienced. She also aims to help guide the mommy with spiritual changes.

There is also a devotion about the fathers, as they experienced the loss and grieve as well; there is a devotion about other children that the reader may have.  There are also devotions about honoring your due date, how you may feel afterwards if you want to try for another child or not.  There is also a devotion in regards to adoption or deciding to live a child free life.

Philpott includes Bible verses from a various versions of the Bible.  She has a section of each devotion called Soul Work to apply what the devotion was about. Each devotion ends with prayer time.  The last devotion is for the Mommy to share her story and cherish the baby she lost.

This is a devotion that should be completed.  I can see it bringing comfort to women. There will be a wide range of emotions and a great many tears as this devotion is completed. Philpott put her heart and soul into this devotion and her love for the mommies out there is felt and seen.

Bravo for a fabulous devotion to help the mommies that have gone through pregnancy loss, be it recent or from years ago.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

I want to share a site that might be helpful to both moms and those who have faced this type of loss.  The site is ThinkBaby.org

Before you go jumping to conclusions, yes this is a site for moms, but they also feature a Fertility section:
Fertility Resources
Fertility Stories

One of the Founders of ThinkBaby.org, Zoe, shares her fertility story here.

Blog Tour: Magic O’Clock and Magical Memories

Today I help end the blog tour for two short stories:  Magic O’Clock and Magical Memories by L.S. Fellows. I share my review for these personal yet fictional stories.

These are both fictional short stories based on the end of the author’s father’s life. The emotions and feelings the Fellows experienced are clearly put into these stories; as you read them you can’t help but experience those feelings as well.

Magic O’Clock: 16 pages
Magical Memories: 27 pages

Magic O’Clock Description:

Archie Royle is a kind, funny, gentle man.
He’s also my dad. My storyteller. My hero.

Except he doesn’t remember my face any more.
His world, these days, doesn’t include me or his family.

Life may have changed for him, but he hasn’t given up on life.
Not at all.
It’s just different.

Dad still tells his stories, albeit for a new audience.
He makes people smile and chuckle. As he always did.

He’s a fighter, a survivor and maybe sometimes too clever for his own good! He’ll surprise you. I can assure you of that.

Welcome to Magic O’Clock, where time is irrelevant and hope is unlimited.

Author: L.S. Fellows
Published: November 13, 2017

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: September 25, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Jessica’s Review:

The introduction sums up this short story perfectly: 

You can miss someone who died,
You can miss someone who moved away,
But the worst is when you miss someone you see every day. 

Magic O’Clock is written in first person and Fellows tells us the fictional story of her father Archie, who had Dementia. You can feel everything she deals with in the loss of her father not knowing who she is anymore. She captures the beauty and hope when her father possibly ‘reappears’ for those few moments.  

Fellows skillfully captures what family members go through who have to deal with this terrible disease. 

Buy Magic O’Clock Now:
Other e-retailers (Kobo, B&N, Apple)

Magical Memories Description:

As Archie Royle takes his final breath, three sisters race to say their goodbyes.
Two don’t make it in time.
I do.

And now, it’s all my fault they’re too late.
Despite him having dementia.
Despite them not visiting in over a month.

But I won’t let anger win.
After all, we’re all grieving, aren’t we?
Surely, as a family, we can let bygones be bygones.

It’s what Dad would want. Expect.
It’s what he deserves.
We have so much to be grateful for.
So many fond and magical memories to share.

Magical Memories is a fictional tale of loss, grief and moving on. A sequel to Magic O’Clock.

Author: L.S. Fellows
Published: October 6, 2018

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: September 26, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Jessica’s Review:

Magical Memories beautifully captures Fellows’ continued story after Magic O’Clock with the end of her father’s life and the after effects. It deals with the differences of opinions the siblings have and how they dealt with everything and eventually come back together.

**If you have a loved one dealing with dementia or have been in the room with someone who has passed away, you may become emotional while reading these short stories.  Even if you haven’t experienced those kinds of events, you may become misty-eyedThese are wonderfully written stories with many emotions.

**These stories can both be read during an hour lunch break.  Do yourself a favor and read both of these stories.**

Buy Magical Memories here.

About the Author (In her own words):

Despite being born in England, my heart now lies in Spain. Many moons ago, I was a student in Granada, Spain. I loved it so much and swore I would return one day on a more permanent basis. In 2003, I did just that.

Now, as a fur-mum to two adorable but mischievous mutts, in my free time I can usually be spotted with my nose in a book, armed with just the teeniest chunk of chocolate and a zillion pomegranates!

Contact L.S. Fellows:
Twitter: @lfwrites
Amazon Author Page


The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

Author: Dawn Kurtagich
Published: September 15, 2015
400 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Three students: dead.
Carly Johnson: vanished without a trace.

Two decades have passed since an inferno swept through Elmbridge High, claiming the lives of three teenagers and causing one student, Carly Johnson, to disappear. The main suspect: Kaitlyn, “the girl of nowhere.”

Kaitlyn’s diary, discovered in the ruins of Elmbridge High, reveals the thoughts of a disturbed mind. Its charred pages tell a sinister version of events that took place that tragic night, and the girl of nowhere is caught in the center of it all. But many claim Kaitlyn doesn’t exist, and in a way, she doesn’t – because she is the alter ego of Carly Johnson.

Carly gets the day. Kaitlyn has the night. It’s during the night that a mystery surrounding the Dead House unravels and a dark, twisted magic ruins the lives of each student that dares touch it.

Debut author Dawn Kurtagich masterfully weaves together a thrilling and terrifying story using psychiatric reports, witness testimonials, video footage, and the discovered diary – and as the mystery grows, the horrifying truth about what happened that night unfolds.

Kim’s Review:

This book is another result of my scary book phase. The cover drew me in and I just had to read it. I read it the first time three years ago, and since then, I had forgotten all the details. Plus, I’m a huge Dawn Kurtagich fan after reading The Trees Crept In. For some reason I didn’t make that connection until just recently. I decided to pick it up again so I could write a review . . . totally forgot about the formatting and I LOVE it!!!! I love the journal formatting combined with the “video clips” and audio interviews. It made the whole story more real. The tension created by all the mystery and psychological anomalies kept me guessing the whole way thru! Getting into Carly/Kaitlin’s head was terrifying and fascinating all at the same time.

The Mala and Grundi elements made me want to do some research to learn more about them. And there was very little teenage drama. Any “drama” was low key and realistic enough to keep it from getting annoying and ruining the story. And the ending was vague enough to leave you thinking and considering everything that I read, but satisfying enough to keep me from throwing the book across the room. I’d absolutely recommend this book to older teens and anyone looking for a psychological read.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK