Indie Weekend: The Women in Me


Are you caring for your chronically ill husband? Did you grow up with suicidal, alcoholic parents? Are you searching for a loving relationship? Have your efforts at starting a fulfilling career been thwarted by someone determined to hold you back? Maybe you’ve postponed your own dreams in order to keep from making waves with a significant other. Does your life seem to be heading a long wat from where you’d wish it to be? Any of these can steal your happiness or keep you from achieving your potential. All can crush your hopes and dreams.

This is the story of a woman who grew up in a dysfunctional family, was trapped by a predator at age 8, was suffocated by an abusive marriage, grappled with being a single mother, finally found her soulmate, struggled with a blended family, juggled the incompatible roles of wife and caregiver, yet maintained her faith, at least most of the time. She did it thanks to some special women who supported her in ways she didn’t recognize until she unconsciously drew upon their influence.

We hope you’ll learn to call on the influencers in our own life. Possibly you’ve drawn on them in your past and can now appreciate their impact on you.


In The Women in Me, Nancy Maloney-Mercado looks back at her life and the women who influenced her, especially four relatives who knew her from birth. She shares the lessons she learned from them and the characteristics she tried to emulate.

This reads more as a memoir than a self-help book, but it does inspire the reader to look back at the people who influenced them and guided them through problems in their own lives. Nancy’s experiences, which include having a suicidal mother, marriage to an alcoholic, and becoming her husband’s caregiver are experiences with which many readers may be able to relate. As Nancy talks about different struggles in her own life, she shares how her influencers helped her get through them, either directly or by using lessons they had taught her. Her influencers are described well, and with love and gratitude.

Although I would classify this as a memoir, it is a helpful memoir because it talks about very challenging life circumstances and one woman’s way of dealing with them. Most importantly, it emphasizes that it is vital to lean on the support and experiences of others and not to try and get through these things alone. And it might inspire you to be an influencer for someone else.

I received a free copy of this book. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.


Nancy Maloney-Mercado was born in Chicago, IL., but spent most of her adult life living in San Jose, CA. She began teaching in her late 20s, and she has happily walked that career path ever since, along the way building a reputation as a valuable member of many educational programs and institutions. When her latent artistic talent pushed its way to the surface, she began drawing and painting. Soon it was an integral part of who she was. In 2019 her beloved soulmate, Raymond, passed away after a long illness. She spends as much time as possible with her two daughters and granddaughter. As the existence of this book indicates, she continues to teach, at the same time finding new techniques to let her art express her life, experiences, and beliefs.

Jackie O’Donnell is a CA native. Her life has been spent in teaching, writing, and editing. She has four adult children—a devoted, caring son and daughter-in-law, plus another son and daughter who are far more than “step”—plus three grandchildren. Her beloved husband, Frank, succumbed to Agent Orange complications in 2016. She has published seven books, including one on saving money while helping the environment, another on everyday activities to make our world kinder and more just, one about helping people with disabilities cope with new 141 parenthood, and a volume of poetry (descriptions on her website (link below). Follow her on Twitter at

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*If you buy the book, please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

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Indie Weekend: Unjoy by Len Lantz #Christianpsychiatry

I’ve extended Indie Weekend into Monday since it’s a day off for many of us this week. Indie Weekend is my effort to highlight Indie and Self-Published books and help the authors with the daunting task of marketing. Below is my review of Unjoy by Len Lantz. Unjoy is a book for Christians dealing with depression and the stigma sometimes surrounding it. Check it out below.


You can become fully free from depression.

Depression is real. It’s not your fault if you have it, but it is your responsibility to do something effective about it. Although depression is often stigmatized or ignored, Christians commonly experience it.

While it can sometimes feel like there are no solutions and that you can never escape depression, that isn’t true. In this easy-to-read book, Dr. Len Lantz addresses aspects of faith and mood while providing real answers about what works for depression and why.

In unJoy, Dr. Lantz shares engaging stories, common-sense reasoning, research-proven treatments, entertaining cartoons, and biblical encouragement for Christians struggling with “unJoy” and for their loved ones. There is hope and help for depression!


There are seven million Christians with Depression, and that’s just in America. In this book, Len Lantz, a psychiatrist and Christian, provides resources for Christians to break the stigma of seeking out help for mental health issues.

This is a helpful, well-thought-out resource that not only explains to Christians why medication and counseling are sometimes necessary, but also provides tools for anyone to deal with depression. There is also a section for family members and friends who have loved ones who are suffering from mental illness.

Lantz provides both medical and spiritual advice in this book, which intersperses scripture with medical facts. He reminds us that God sends help in a lot of ways, including doctors and medication.

The author warns us upfront that the illustrations are bad, and they are so bad that they are actually endearing and effective.

I received a free copy of this book. My review is voluntary and the opinions expressed are my own.


Dr. Len Lantz is a partner at Big Sky Psychiatry in Helena, Montana and has over 20 years of experience in psychiatric medicine, with specializations and board certifications in adult and pediatric psychiatry. He is an expert in the treatment of severe, treatment-resistant depression. He also is credentialed as a Certified Physician Executive (CPE), demonstrating capability in both medical leadership and management.

Dr. Lantz completed his undergraduate degree in cell biology and genetics from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. After earning his medical doctorate from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, Dr. Lantz completed his psychiatry residency and fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison.


In 2005, Dr. Lantz moved to Montana to provide care to patients for AWARE, where he also served as medical director from 2008-2015. Since 2015 Dr. Lantz has helped patients in Helena, Montana through his private practice, Big Sky Psychiatry, which he runs with his wife, psychiatrist Dr. Krista David. He is skilled in psychiatric diagnostic evaluation, evidence-based psychotherapy, prescription medication management, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy, and delivery of care via telemedicine and Collaborative Care (Integrated Behavioral Health).

Dr. Len Lantz is a Clinical Associate Professor in Psychiatry at the University of Washington School of Medicine’s WWAMI program. He developed the psychiatry clinical training clerkship in Helena for third-year medical students in 2013 and he continues to mentor and teach several medical students each year.

Dr. Lantz is passionate about suicide prevention. He founded the annual Montana Conference on Suicide Prevention, which he hosted for its first seven years. For three years Dr. Lantz chaired the Montana Suicide Mortality Review Team, and he founded and hosts the annual Montana Psychiatry Conference.

Learn more about Dr. Lantz on his Website.



Self-Published Spotlight: Oz Perch’s Elegantly Simple Introduction to #Jazz Improvisation

From Oz Perch: Are you a musician who is just beginning to venture into the world of jazz? Perhaps you have some experience playing blues, rock, R&B, funk, or other forms of popular music, but the idea of improvising a solo over rapidly changing jazz chords makes you dizzy?

I began playing the guitar professionally during the 1970s in blues, R&B and funk bands. I picked up bits of jazz lore back then from my fellow musicians. Then I took lessons from a nationally known jazz guitarist, who had a very sophisticated system of theory that left me thoroughly confused. I also attended college as a music major, which taught me some very useful theory, but not about jazz (they didn’t have jazz courses back then at your typical music school.)

45 years later, I believe I finally have a handle on all this. If I could go back and give advice to my 23 year-old self, the material in this book is the advice I would give, to significantly speed up the process of becoming a confident and articulate jazz soloist.

This book will teach you:

  • The relationship between the 7 modes, and the chords they generate
  • Additional scales that correspond to some of the more esoteric chords
  • How to use altered dominant chords, and the corresponding altered scales, in a way that sounds lyrical and not random
  • How to use the “theory of relativity” to expand your improvising vocabulary

This book will not teach you to play your instrument. For that, I would recommend a qualified teacher who can watch you play and assess your technique. What this book is designed to do is to teach you, as quickly and simply as possible, how to think about improvising over jazz tunes, specifically about the relationship between modes, scales, the chords that they generate, and how to navigate from one to the next.



*Kindle Unlimited Subscribers can read this book for free.

Self-Published Spotlight: Step Lively: New York City Tales of Love and Change

A fictionalized biography. Step back in time to 1980 in New York City.  “Step lively!” – what the subway conductors used to say when you got off the train — describes Jill, as she and her husband Alex “step lively” in adjusting to their new life in Manhattan. In their move to the city, they realize a long-held dream and struggle like all of us, to find their place in the world.

Each tale is a slice of life of the “ordinary,” the minutiae of daily life.  The tales can stand alone, but as a whole they compose the mosaic of Jill’s life. As she and Alex discover the city, we see the unraveling of love and dreams against the backdrop of change.

A cast of others joins the couple in their world: a businessman from Iceland the night John Lennon is shot, a restless philosopher, a born-again come-to-Jesus elevator man in their building, a talking parakeet, and Jill’s grandmothers. Then there is Jill’s bicycle. A character itself in the collection, it transports her through the streets of her beloved Manhattan. Much of what we see is from the handlebars of her bike – from there we explore Greenwich Village and the Upper West Side and get glimpses into the city’s loneliness and its rapid changes.  We see the direction Alex and Jill’s lives take in this constantly changing landscape that is New York City.



*Kindle Unlimited Subscribers can read this book for free.

Self-Published Saturday: So Far From Home: The Pearl Bryan Murder

Self-Published Saturday is my effort to help indie and self-published/indie authors share their books. Indie authors have to do it all, from cover design to editing to marketing. If I can help even a little bit, I’m happy to do it. Below we have So Far From Home: The Pearl Bryan Murder by Robert Wilhelm. This is a nonfiction account of the murder of a well-to-do Indiana woman, whose headless body was found in Northern Kentucky.


The headless corpse of a young woman, discovered in the woods of Northern Kentucky in February 1896, disrupted communities in three states–Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana.

. The woman was Pearl Bryan, daughter of a wealthy farmer in Greencastle, Indiana. Her suspected killers, Scott Jackson and Alonzo Walling, were dental students in Cincinnati, Ohio. How her decapitated body ended up in the Highlands of Kentucky is the subject of So Far from Home: The Pearl Bryan Murder.

It was the age of yellow journalism when sensational murder cases drove newspaper circulation, and daily papers competed to print the most gruesome details and explicit illustrations. Local crimes became national news, and readers followed the daily progress of police investigations and murder trials as if they were serialized mysteries. The murder of Pearl Bryan in 1896, featuring a headless corpse, remorseless villains, and threats of civil unrest, fit the bill perfectly. So Far from Home; The Pearl Bryan Murder revisits the story as it unfolded in the daily press.


Readers who follow true crime will be enthralled by this account of the Pearl Bryan murder. In 1896, Pearl’s headless corpse was found in Northern Kentucky. Investigators initially suspected she was a prostitute or actress but were shocked to find out she was the daughter of a rich and well-known Indiana farmer. This book does a great job of following press reports of the investigation and the shocking events that ended in the murder of a young woman. The author shows how much power and influence the press had back then. Murders were presented as juicy serial stories, and readers were whipped up into such a frenzy that they sometimes formed lynch mobs and carried out their own idea of justice before the trials even happened.

The investigation shown here is not a retrial and is not searching for a new conclusion. It is an account of the investigation, the backgrounds of those involved, and reactions from the family. It also shows how local murders were elevated to national news, and it brings home the degree to which the press got themselves involved in the story. All of the facts are portrayed in such a captivating way that you will be spellbound. I read it in one sitting. Robert Wilhelm really has a talent for relating facts in an interesting way and transporting the reader back to that time and that culture. True crime readers should not pass this one up.

I received a free copy of this book via Reedsy Discovery. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.


Robert Wilhelm is the author of Wicked Victorian Boston (History Press, 2017), The Bloody Century: True Tales of Murder in 19th Century America (Night Stick Press, 2014) and Murder and Mayhem in Essex County (History Press, 2011), a history of capital crimes in Essex County, Massachusetts from the 1600s to the turn of the twentieth century. He blogs about historical true crime at Murder by Gaslight ( and The National Night Stick ( Robert lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts.




*If you read the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!

More Of Our Readers’ Favorites of 2021 #Bestof2021

Below are more favorites chosen by our readers as their favorite books of 2021. The link to buy each book can be found by clicking on the cover.


Just when Areum, daughter of a privileged family in the totalitarian state of Choson, thought she was free from her personal prison, her world collapses around her as her family is taken away in the middle of the night to a hell-like camp in the mountains where people who have strayed from the righteous path are brutally re-educated through blood, sweat, tears and starvation.

There she has to fight for survival together with the family she hates and is forced to re-evaluate every aspect of her life until then: her deep resentment toward her twin sister; her view of her father in the face of mounting evidence that he is a traitor with the blood of millions of fellow countrymen on his hands; and even her love and affection for the Great General – the eternal savior and protector of Choson, whom she had always considered her true father.

This is the first book in the Juche series. There are a total of three books available right now, with a fourth coming in May. Click on the cover to find purchase information for the whole series.

Jack Monroe and his friends have been volunteered to help out at Saint Nicholas’ Farms to start off their Christmas vacation. They quickly discover that they’ve been selected to not only help decorate the Christmas tree for a big ceremony but also to foil the plans of a secret organization known as the Shadows.

Despite having his own adventure, Jack is summoned once again to witness the life of Niko Monroe, who is clinging to the hope that he can find his friends, save his family, and free the Faithful from the tyrannical reign of President Julius Arrigo.

Join Niko and his companions – Maia, Rafe, Wiley, and Flick – as they travel the State of Ariel, defy state officials out to stop them, and lead a new generation of the Faithful to unravel Arrigo’s insidious conspiracy to destroy Ariel and the neighboring nation of Jakkobah in unending war.
Is there hope for the Faithful?


Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. After all, her father was never around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before her daughter was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands.

At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98 percent compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Peña. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Peña. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get ‘to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess—who is barely making ends meet—is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could launch GeneticAlly’s valuation sky-high, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist—and the science behind a soulmate—than she thought.

Maya Jackson has worked for a renowned New York City bridal gown brand for years and dreams of becoming Head Designer. She has the talent, she just needs a chance to showcase her unique style. Due to an illness, she’s always prioritized her career over her personal life until Maya’s father fractures his hip and she returns to Charleston, SC. While home for only a few months, she’s thrilled to find an opportunity at the local bridal gown boutique, never expecting sparks to fly with its owner…

A military veteran and widowed father, Derek Sullivan hopes to save Always a Bride from bankruptcy in order to preserve the legacy of his family. He also wants to reconnect with his estranged, twelve-year-old daughter, who is still recovering from the loss of her mother. The last thing he needs is a relationship with a beautiful, smart, complicated woman who will be leaving soon.

When Derek begins to fall for the lovely Maya, he knows there’s no future. But destiny has its own plans, and these two lonely people with big hearts discover that coming home to love is the best gift life can give.


Drunk Chickens and Burnt Macaroni offers a remarkable insight into the lives of Afghan women both before and after Taliban’s rise to power. The reader is caught up in the day-to-day lives of women like Sharifa, Latifa and Marzia, sharing their problems, dramas, the tears and the laughter: whether enjoying a good gossip over tea and fresh nan, dealing with a husband’s desertion, battling to save the life of a one-year-old opium addict or learning how to deliver babies safely.
Mary Smith spent several years in Afghanistan working on a health project for women and children in both remote rural areas and in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. Given the opportunity to participate more fully than most other foreigners in the lives of the women, many of whom became close friends, she has been able to present this unique portrayal of Afghan women – a portrayal very different from the one most often presented by the media.

The undertow of the Great Depression becomes poignantly personal as we experience the travails of Leora and Clabe Wilson, a displaced Iowa farm family. Gritty determination fuels this family’s journey of loss and hope, a reflection of what many American families endured during those challenging times.

In this true story the Wilsons slowly slide into unemployment and poverty. Leora must find ways to keep her dreams alive while making a haven for her flock of seven children in one run-down house after another.

Philosophers and mystics ponder the mystery of these flashes. Pamela Wight writes about life flashes in her short stories that include family and friends, love and life’s challenges. Wight’s “Flash Memoir” promotes the belief that we all share sparks of the extraordinary that occur in our everyday life. Each short story is true and brings a smile of recognition to her readers: that life transports and enthralls us in all its confusing, amusing, challenging, and astonishing ways. Each story is light-hearted and short – like a flash – but be prepared for a page-turner that keeps you in your seat, smiling.

Blog Tour and Book Review: The Addiction Manifesto #Addiction #Recovery


2020 International Book Awards Finalist for Health: Addiction & Recovery

“Some people won’t believe in you, and that’s ok, this journey isn’t about them. It’s about you.”

The Addiction Manifesto has been uniquely designed to provide you with a new perspective on recovery and will show you that anything is possible.

In this deeply personal book, JR Weaver has crafted a raw insight into his life and how he’s been affected by substance abuse over the past 20 years. He details his recovery process and how he’s dealt with loss.

With this book he wishes to help people on their journey to recovery. His realistic approach details his journey to try to have a normal life again.

If you’re going through addiction recovery or want to help someone who is… This book allows you to fain a greater understanding of substance abuse and its many challenges.


In this excellent book, the author describes his own battle with addiction and how he hit bottom and rose back up again. He describes addiction itself and how it will rob you of everything dear in life, and then try to take your life as well. He outlines his process to recovery in order to help others that struggle with with this as well. The process is well explained and easy to understand. Most importantly, he talks of the continuing battle even after recovery. There are also true stories from others who have fought this fight and found their lives again.

The stories from the author and many others are heartbreaking, and tell of how addiction robbed them of everything and everyone they held dear, and how they finally broke the chain and began to live again. For anyone who struggles with addiction or knows someone who does, this will be a helpful and poignant read. This is also an important book for anyone who just wants to better understand those who have struggled with this.

I received a free copy of this book via Zooloo’s Book Tours. My review is voluntary.


JR Weaver lives in Charleston, South Carolina. He is a veteran of the United States Army and now specializes in helping other veterans adapt and adjust to the civilian world while dealing with issues such as PTSD, depression, and substance abuse. Jerry was like many veterans, lost and confused after finishing his time in uniform. His life quickly spiraled out of control, and he was at the breaking point. It was during his recovery and regrowth period where Jerry discovered the healing power of writing. He began writing down his thoughts and processing feelings and has gone on to become a staunch advocate for veteran’s addiction and recovery.

Contact JR Weaver:








Self-Published Saturday/Silent Rise: A City, the Arts, and a Blue Collar Kid

Self-published Saturday is my attempt to help Self-Published/Indie authors. These authors have to do it all, from cover design to editing to marketing and more. Saturdays are reserved for giving them a little bit of help with the marketing side. This week’s first offering is Silent Rise by Rick H. Jones. It is about his life and his path to becoming the Director of the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton, OH. As an additional note, I have stopped putting dates on Self-Published Saturday reviews. I think it’s better that they remain timeless.


This is the author’s memoir of growing up in Dayton, Ohio, his talent for painting and love for the arts, and the path that led him to become Director of the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton, OH.

I found this book to be part memoir and part “how to” book, as a lot of the mechanics of setting up, conceptualizing, and funding an arts center were discussed in the book. There are a lot of personal anecdotes as well. Jones pays well-earned homage to the leaders in Hamilton who helped him to bring the idea of an arts center to fruition and help it become the center of a thriving community. For anyone interested in setting up an arts center or any kind of nonprofit, this will be a fascinating read. 

Jones mentions his extended family in the “hollers” (or hollows) of the Eastern Kentucky mountains, and I appreciated the beautiful quote he provided about “the definition of a holler,” written by Roberta Stephens. The full article by Stephens is at…. I completely understood that quote. I grew up in Cincinnati, but my late Mom is from Western Carolina, and we spent summers with her relatives in Bryson City. I will be living in the very holler my Mom grew up in after I retire.

While the author said some of his family and acquaintances in Appalachian Eastern Kentucky were racist, I have not experienced that at all. My Western North Carolina mountain family includes cousins of Native American and African American heritage, not just Caucasian, and I haven’t seen racism there. Cherokee, home of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation, is just 10 miles away. I can only speak to my experience, but I just didn’t want people to think all of Appalachia is racist, because that is not so.

Overall, this is a detailed memoir about the arts and what they can do for a community. The author’s love and care for his adopted community of Hamilton, OH, are very evident and appreciated.


Cover Rating is a new feature where I give my opinion as to whether or not the cover will be noticeable when readers are scrolling through millions of offerings on Amazon. It does not reflect in the overall rating of the book review. I asked the author, who is an artist, if this was abstract art, and he said “No. It’s rusting metal.” This is to symbolize the rust belt and Hamilton OH. I thought that was pretty cool! I think the cover is very noticeable, especially for a non-fiction book.


Rick H. Jones

Rick got his start in the arts when his mother enrolled him in Saturday morning art classes at the Dayton Art Institute in Ohio. He continued for nearly a decade. With two degrees in painting, having taught college art for six years, and forty years’ experience in arts administration, he is now an exhibited painter, author, and sometimes poet. He has consulted on board development, fund development, grantsmanship, and arts management for numerous arts centers, councils, and organizations. In retirement, he and his family own an art supply and framing store in Hamilton, Ohio. In 1991 he was awarded the Ohio Governor’s Award in Arts Administration.


*The author’s books and paintings are both showcased here.




*If you buy the book(s), please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!

Book Review and Giveaway: Taken at Birth


The winner of the giveaway was drawn randomly, and I’m pleased to announce it is Nancy B. Klein. Nancy has been contacted and I’ll be sending the book to her soon.

Taken At Birth by Jane Blasio is the story of Blasio’s struggle to find her birth family, as well as the birth families of hundreds of other people after finding out about a baby-selling operation in a small town in Georgia. It all revolved around a hometown doctor, Thomas J Hicks, in the small town of McCaysville, Georgia.

Blasio’s struggle with uncooperative townspeople and her own anger and loss of faith makes for a fascinating read. Her journey to find not just her family, but her faith again is poignant. Her determination to find out the truth from a town that was mostly unwilling to give it up is admirable. She details her anger at her own adoptive parents, who were unwilling to reveal much information until right before their deaths. The book contains stories of some of the birth mothers and their dealings with Dr. Hicks, and shows his heartless, selfish, and creepy personality very well. Overall, this is a compelling read. Anyone interested in true crime stories and stories of family separation will enjoy this book.

There is also a six episode series, Taken at Birth, which aired on TLC in 2019.

I received a free copy of this book from Baker Books. My review is voluntary.


Jane Blasio

(In Her Own Words) My personal birth search, as well as acting as a search facilitator and representative for those sold by Doctor Thomas Hicks, has personalized my expertise and reputation. Today, I continue to assist those who are still bound to the Hicks Clinic and looking for answers. I’ve found most of what I was looking for, but not how I ended up at the clinic in the first place. The search of what happened in the clinic will not end until the deception which has marked everyone it touches, is burned off and truth restored. Truth that is owed to all of us lost and torn from the Hicks Clinic.






Book Review: Sunshine Girl – An Unexpected Life

For whatever reason, I don’t enjoy posting reviews about books I did not like, although I have done it in the past. Usually when I do, I feel strongly that people may want to see what I found wrong with the book and choose for themselves whether or not to buy it. That was the case here. See my review below and decide what it is you want out of the book before you buy it.

I received a free copy of this book from Random House via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

Sunshine Girl by Julianna Margulies is her memoir about being a child of divorce, living different lifestyles with her mother and father, and navigating difficult adult relationships. She is candid about her childhood and her adult relationships. This takes up a majority of the book. She spends very little time on her two major roles, Carol Hathaway on ER and Alicia Florrick on The Good Wife. Fans who are expecting a lot of interesting stories about these shows and her fellow actors will be disappointed. Fans of ER and The Good Wife might want to look at the table of contents before spending $14.99 on the Kindle version. Chapter 12 is about getting the part on ER, and most of Chapter 13 is about leaving ER 6 years later. George Clooney’s name is mentioned 9 times, but 7 of those times are in the story about getting the part in ER, and two mentions are while she’s complaining about fans, which I will go further into below. I could not find any mentions of Anthony Edwards, Sherry Stringfield, or Noah Wyle. As for The Good Wife, the amazing Christine Baranski is mentioned in one anecdote about a medical problem Margulies was having, but fans of Matt Czuchry and Josh Charles will be disappointed. I could not find them in the book. 

There was one story that completely bugged me because she complains about how embarrassed she was when a group of fans stopped her to talk about her two famous roles. People watched these shows for years, and are still watching them. She continues to benefit from these shows. At least she could treat her fans with respect instead of slamming them in a memoir.

Of course it is her prerogative to write about anything she wants, but fans of ER and The Good Wife might want to decide if it’s worth the money, depending on what they hope to get out of the book.

As someone who has enjoyed ER and The Good Wife, this fell flat for me. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in learning about Julianna Margulies’ childhood and relationships, and very little about her two hit shows. The title is also deceiving. There’s no sunshine in this book.


My Goodreads Review (Likes appreciated if you are so inclined)


As a contrast to this disappointing memoir, I would like to recommend Confessions of a Prairie Bitch, by Alison Arngrim. Her book is everything this one is not. She shares VERY personal information about her childhood, but also talks about the show (Little House), the fans, and her fellow actors. She even mentions members of the crew. She is witty, gracious, funny, and clever. It is one of the best memoirs I have ever read. Warning: She was sexually abused by her brother as a child and talks about it in the book. Interesting fact: Nobody liked Mary. I read this years ago but I will probably put up a review soon.