A Good Story but Unrealistic Portrayal of Rehabilitation: My Review of Guiding Emily by Barbara Hinske #FantasticFridayReads #Fiction #Inspiration

What Audible Says

 

Sometimes the perfect partner has four paws….

Emily Main had it all: a high-powered career with a leading technology giant and a handsome fiancé bounding up the corporate ladder. Their island wedding and honeymoon were idyllic, until a tragic accident causes her retinas to detach.

Her well-ordered life is shattered as all treatments are unsuccessful and she slips into blindness. How will those around her cope with her tragedy? Can she rebuild her life in this most unwelcome new normal?

Meanwhile, a black Lab puppy named Garth fulfills his destiny to become that most esteemed of all creatures: a guide dog.

Guiding Emily is a heartwarming tale of love, loss, and courage as Garth and Emily make their way to each other.

 

Buy from Audible.

 

My Thoughts

 

I had opportunities to hear Barbara Hinske on two separate podcasts. She described what inspired her to write Guiding Emily and how she visited a training center for the blind as part of her research for the book. I found this fascinating.

That having been said, I’m not seeing “this most unwelcome new normal.” Just about everyone Emily comes in contact with after losing her vision knows how to help a blind person, and that doesn’t always happen in the real world. I should know. I’m visually impaired.

I would have liked to see more of Emily’s struggle to re-learn mundane skills such as cooking and dressing that most of us take for granted being able to do. Having worked with adults who lost their vision, I know how difficult the adjustment can be, but the author makes Emily’s rehabilitation sound like a piece of cake when I’m sure it wouldn’t have been.

I’ve never used a guide dog, but I know plenty of people who have them and have read many true stories about such experiences. Barbara Hinske breezes through Emily’s training with her guide dog, making it sound easier than it would have been.

Despite these shortcomings, I enjoyed Emily and Garth’s story. The chapters from the dog’s point of view add a nice touch. I like the narrators of this Audible version: a male reading chapters from the dog’s point of view and a female reading chapters from other characters’ points of view.

The prologue, in which Garth describes meeting Emily for the first time, is a red herring. I thought Garth was a human and was about to figuratively toss the book aside in disgust with this character who wanted to eat a Cheeto off the floor when I realized Garth was a dog. I love it!

Guiding Emily is the first in a trilogy. Although most loose ends are tied up at the end, one still flops in the breeze. So, I plan to check out the other two books in the series plus some of Barbara Hinske’s other work.

 

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

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Two Pentacles Publishing.

If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my twice-yearly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive will come from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

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Two Pentacles Publishing.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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For Fun and Education: My Review of History Mystery in Philadelphia by Cheryl McNeil Fisher #FantasticFridayReads #Fiction #Inspiration

What Amazon Says

 

Cheryl’s stories read with as much action, humor and intrigue as an adult book. You will be hooked right from the start when the spirit of Benjamin Franklin visits Sammy requesting his assistance in a mission of national importance.

Will they find Thomas Jefferson’s portable writing desk? What does it hold in the secret compartment?

The author creatively intertwines fact and fiction by using dialogue that makes the reader feel like they are right-there, in the story.

The 4th book in The Adventure of a Guide Dog Team series. New commands, why a guide dog team has to do things a certain way, and there is even a diagram showing the different parts of Sammy’s harness.

Excitement builds, and you’ll be anticipating where next they will go…

 

Buy from Amazon.

 

My Thoughts

 

As I said last week when I reviewed Time Capsule here, I met Cheryl McNeil Fisher through Writing Works Wonders and Behind Our Eyes. After attending a recent book launch event where I heard rave reviews of History Mystery in Philadelphia from other readers, I decided to give it a try and am glad I did.

I was drawn into Sammy’s story from the first page. I like the way Cheryl educates readers about our nation’s history, blindness, and the use of guide dogs while weaving a fun, fantastical story. The information about how she was inspired to write the book plus resources at the end add a nice touch. Although it’s a little late now, this book would make a great Halloween read without the fright.

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.

Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my email list to receive my twice-yearly newsletter and other announcements. This is a one-way announcements list, meaning the only messages you’ll receive will come from me. So, you can rest assured that this list is low-traffic. Send a blank email to:  newsfrommycorner+subscribe@groups.io  You’ll receive a confirmation email. Reply to that with another blank message, and you should be good to go.

 

New! Why Grandma Doesn’t Know Me

Copyright 2021 by Abbie Johnson Taylor.

Independently published with the help of DLD Books.

The cover of the book features an older woman sitting in a wicker chair facing a window. The world beyond the window is bright, and several plants are visible on the terrace. Behind the woman’s chair is another plant, with a tall stalk and wide rounded leaves. The woman has short, white hair, glasses, a red sweater, and tan pants. The border of the picture is a taupe color and reads "Why Grandma Doesn't Know Me" above the photo and "Abbie Johnson Taylor" below it.

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

Sixteen-year-old Natalie’s grandmother, suffering from dementia and confined to a wheelchair, lives in a nursing home and rarely recognizes Natalie. But one Halloween night, she tells her a shocking secret that only she and Natalie’s mother know. Natalie is the product of a one-night stand between her mother, who is a college English teacher, and another professor.

After some research, Natalie learns that people with dementia often have vivid memories of past events. Still not wanting to believe what her grandmother has told her, she finds her biological father online. The resemblance between them is undeniable. Not knowing what else to do, she shows his photo and website to her parents.

Natalie realizes she has some growing up to do. Scared and confused, she reaches out to her biological father, and they start corresponding.

Her younger sister, Sarah, senses their parents’ marital difficulties. At Thanksgiving, when she has an opportunity to see Santa Claus, she asks him to bring them together again. Can the jolly old elf grant her request?

***

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Website

 

 

Guest Blogger Willow Rides Again #WordPressWednesday #Reblogs #Inspiration

Joy is a fluffy gray and white cat with a pink nose and pink paw pads. The fur is long and mostly gray with white paws, a white chest, nose and white down the middle of her head. Her ears are pointed up, and she lies with her paws sprawled out in front of her in an open formation. Her head looks to the right of the screen. She’s on a brown wooden table. Behind her is a white wall and a basket of fruit.

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Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

Hi, I’m Joy, Abbie’s cat. Today, I get to introduce the blog post Abbie’s sharing for WordPress Wednesday. After hearing the voice on Abbie’s computer read this post, I’ve come to the conclusion that guide dogs have a lot more fun than us robotic cats. So, let’s see what Willow’s up to, huh?

***

Alas! During these “dog days of summer,” My Alice is allowing me to have another paw at writing her blog post for this week. I cannot believe that only one week of August remains on the canine calendar! Where do these doggie days go?

 

Read the original post.

Abbie wears a blue and white V-neck top with different shades of blue from sky to navy that swirl together with the white. She has short, brown hair and rosy cheeks and smiles at the camera against a black background.Photo Courtesy of Tess Anderson Photography

Photo Resize and Description by

Two Pentacles Publishing.

 

How to Get a New Guide Dog #WordPressWednesday #Reblogs #Inspiration

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. Her brown hair is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

On Monday, I shared a post from a guide dog’s point of view, which you can read here if you haven’t already done so. In the post I’m sharing today, fellow author Mary Hiland talks about how a blind person obtains a guide dog. Mary recently lost her Seeing Eye dog and hopes to get another soon. She has written some awesome books, and you can read my reviews of these books here and here. Now, here’s Mary!

***

By now you know that I lost my dear sweet Dora to cancer on April 3 of this year. Without going into the heartbreaking details, I’ll share with you what comes next. As with any kind of grief, I needed a few weeks to recover from this life-changing loss. Eventually, I was so lost without her that I finally contacted The Seeing Eye to apply for my next partner in life.

 

Read the original post.

The Wheels Are Turning at the Seeing Eye #FridayFinds #Reblogs #Inspiration

A photo of Abbie smiling in front of a white background. Her brown hair is cut short and frames her face. She is wearing a bright red shirt and a dark, flowy scarf swirled with hues of purple, pinks and blues.

After losing her guide dog six weeks ago, fellow author and blogger Mary Hiland is finally ready for another one. In this post, she explains the first steps in applying for a guide dog. You can check out my reviews of her books

here and here. Enjoy!

***

My darling Dora died of cancer six weeks ago. While there are times that something sets me off, a word, a song, or just the overbearing feeling of loneliness, and I weep, even sob, in self-indulgent sadness, I know that sooner or later, I must replace her with a new Seeing Eye ® dog. I hate using the word replace, because a dog like Dora cannot be replaced. Yet, I can’t go on needing to hold the arm of a kind person to go anywhere outside my home, and I’m terrible at using a white cane. It’s time to go back to the Seeing Eye to train with a new dog to regain my independence.

 

Read the full post on Seeing It My Way.