ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Monday, 30 May 2011

Ann Carbine Best's memoir In the Mirror is released - e-book and print!

Click on the image to order print version.
Sixteen months after Eric was born, I got home from work and found Larry talking on the phone. He looked startled when he saw me. Megan was on the couch, coloring in a book. I assumed Eric was asleep since he usually slept all morning for his father.

“I’ll see what my wife says,” Larry said. He paused a moment then hung up the phone.

“Who were you talking to?”

“A counselor.”

“You’re seeing a counselor?”

“Yes. A man on campus.”

“Why? Is there something wrong with me?”

“No. It’s me. Will you go with me?”

It was the end of April, the long winter was ending, the children might be well for a while. I wanted to enjoy the sun and the blossoming scenery. I didn’t want to see a counselor, which made me shake my head at myself. I was the one who needed to talk, not Larry. When our second daughter was a baby, I felt overwhelmed with marriage and went to a counselor. On the second visit Larry agreed to go with me. We took some tests and found out that he didn’t need to talk, or didn’t want to.

“He says we need a marriage counselor,” Larry said.

Again I asked, “Why?”

“I have a problem,” he said, avoiding my eyes.

*

The counselor was Don, mid-thirties, married with two children, a slender man with light brown hair that was a contrast to Larry’s darker and very curly brown hair. Always more comfortable in a room with women, I sat uneasily in a room with one man I thought I knew fairly well and one I didn’t know at all.

I asked Don, “What do you know about Mormons?”

“They put a lot of emphasis on education,” he said.

That was all he said.

In the next session, he suggested that we read sensual books, go to sensual movies, and use devices for sexual stimulation to improve our marriage. Obviously, he didn’t know how morally conservative we were. I cringed and glanced at Larry who nodded at Don, and a few days later came home with The Sensuous Woman for me and The Joy of Sex for both of us. I was mesmerized by the books, and uncomfortable. How was filling my mind with these images helping Larry with his problem, whatever his problem was? I was even more confused and stunned when Don said that adultery could sometimes be a good thing. What was he suggesting? When I finally told him how uncomfortable I was with his suggestions, he said he had been waiting for me to speak up.

“Do you realize what you do?” he said. “You assume you know what we’re thinking.”

“She does do that,” Larry said.

He looked at Larry. “That lets you off the hook.” He looked at me. “He knows if he makes a few simple comments he can sit back while you take the ball and run with it.” He turned to Larry again. “You let her do this, you know.”

Larry nodded.

“That way you don’t have to say anything.”

“It works, doesn’t it?” Larry said with a grin.

“I’m sorry,” I said to Don. “I’m just so confused. I don’t know what’s going on.”

“I’m trying to help you,” he said. “Larry’s more frightened of emotions than you are.”

Larry nervously tapped his fingers on his thighs. Was this true? Was he afraid to say what he felt?

“This week I want you to share secrets,” Don said.

“Secrets? I don’t have any secrets,” I laughed nervously.

“Just see what happens,” Don said.

In the Mirror, a Memoir of Shattered Secrets by Ann Carbine Best is the story of a woman who planned on her marriage lasting forever. When Ann marries Larry in September of 1961, she’s certain he will be that eternal companion. Eleven years later, she’s devastated when he confesses that he’s been having affairs with men. She wants to help him. She wants to save her marriage. However, powerful emotions pull Larry away from his family, and eight years later their marriage ends. As a single parent, Ann is now faced with four grieving children who do not want to leave their father and their home in Utah Valley. She wants to start a new life in a new place, and moves two of the children with her to Virginia. When she graduates with her master’s degree, she wants to teach literature, but her daughters are in a catastrophic accident. Change of plans. More trials. How will she take care of her children, especially her brain injured daughter? Will she be able to stay in Virginia, the place she now loves? William Faulkner once wrote: “The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past.” In the Mirror is a story of a woman determined to make peace with the past, a story of hope and survival and love.

Ann Best is a great friend and author. Let's support her in the release of her long-awaited memoir. She will need reviews as many won't buy a book without seeing at least a dozen reviews. Help our Ann! I will review Ann's book when I've read it. I am still waiting for my pre-ordered copy to arrive! Meanwhile below is an excerpt from Karen Gowen's review...you can read Karen's full review and many others on Ann's blog, Ann Best Memoir Author.

The writing style is intense in its simplicity, ideal for In the Mirror, A Memoir of Shattered Secrets. I got drawn right in and read the story straight through in a day and a half...In the beginning, it's a tale of shattered dreams and betrayal. In the end, a story of hope and determination, survival and love.

In the Mirror, NOOK.


In the Mirror, KINDLE, $3.99




45 comments:

  1. What a wonderful post, Denise. I got chills when I read your plea for encouragement in supporting Ann. And as one can readily see from the excerpt you have printed, that her book is a wonderful read!

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  2. KarenG: Nice to see you! Thank you. Ann is very deserving of our support.

    Denise<3

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  3. Hi Denise,

    What an excerpt. I know there's more and what it is yet it hooks us right in. Thanks for posting this. Ann's journey is so inspiring.

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  4. Nas: Thank you. It certainly is.

    D x

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  5. Thanks for sharing this with us Denise! And wow, I'm already drawn in, Ann. Can't wait to read all of it.

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  6. Deniz: I've been waiting so long. All these extracts are drawing me in.

    D x

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  7. Wonderful excerpt! Thanks, Denise for visiting my blog even when I was away for awhile. I'm back now...trying to catch up on postings. Hope you are having a great Monday! :)

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  8. What a great excerpt from Ann's book! And how insightful that counselor was, even though at first it seemed like he was talking crazy.

    I'm supporting Ann and wishing her the best with her memoir. She had so many amazing life experiences.

    Jai

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  9. Len: Great to see you back in the 'sphere.

    Jai: Great excerpt for sure. Thanks for your kind comments.

    D x

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  10. Denise, you have a savvy knack of knowing what section of a book to pull out as an excerpt. I envy and admire that talent.

    Ann, I bought your book on Kindle the moment I found it was available. As a harried rare blood courier, I find spare time to read an even more rare commodity than the blood I drive to hospitals.

    May sales of your book shoot through the roof, Roland

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  11. Ann, I've said it before, but what a life you've lived, and what a strong woman you are.

    How nice you're part of Ann's tour, Denise.

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  12. Roland: Can't wait to hear what you think of Ann's book. I've got a few goodies to finish, hey?

    Theresa: It's a pleasure to help Ann out.

    Denise<3

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  13. I'm so happy for Ann that her book is out - I really need to hunt myself down a copy!

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  14. Awfully good of you to help another author out. Have a wonderful week.

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  15. Trisha: Plenty of options here - print or ebook. Wasn't on amazon last I looked.

    Denise<3

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  16. Denise, you are so incredible to all of us writers! Thank you so much for guesting me again.

    And yes, we all do need reviews. I'm trying to do catch up on this, too!

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  17. Ann, my pleasure. I love the excerpt. Hope you're enjoying your Memorial Day Weekend.

    Denise<3

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  18. Suze: You must have slipped under the radar while I was replying to Trisha. It is always a pleasure to help out a blogger friend.

    Denise<3

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  19. Ann is awesome. It takes a lot of love and courage to do what she had to do throughout the years. Best wishes to Ann for her success with her memoirs!

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  20. This sounds such an interesting story! Ann's voice is very easy to read and her story sounds incredible. I'm off to order my copy now and when things have quietened with my launch competitions, I'll read it and post my review!
    Judy, South Africa

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  21. Hi Denise .. such a 'good' read .. showing us some of the communication challenges that Ann experienced .. very strongly told here.

    I can see the silences, the secrets, the complete wish to 'hide' behind society's norms of that dreadful blank space ... not being truthful or admitting anything - no wonder Ann you said you 'don't understand'.

    Sounds like a very emotive read .. I'm buying my copy this week ..

    Thanks Ann for writing and publishing this ... and Denise's excellent introduction to Ann's book .. and the picture of the thorn stemmed rose slicing through life so often in the years ahead of this true story.

    All the best with your promotions - Hilary

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  22. I've purchased this and am really looking forward to reading it. Who wouldn't want to support Ann? She is such a wonderful person!

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  23. Where is my book!??! I ordered it on the 17th!! Yay!!!

    I can't wait to get my hands on it now after this beautiful extract - thank you L'Aussie for hosting, thank you Ann too!! Take care
    x

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  24. Can't wait to nose through this book, just bought it for my Kindle PC.

    Ann has shared quite a bit of her story online, at least enough to get the gist of the book, and it's a powerful and moving real-life saga that we as writers will find educational -- twist and turn and throw your MC to the wolves -- and we as humans will find inspirational and uplifting for exactly the same reasons.

    Ann's strength and enduring faith are also proof that God doesn't give you more than you can handle. So it's wise, I think, to keep His expectations low. ;)


    - Eric

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  25. Her life experiences sound fascinating. I'll add it to my list of books to buy.

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  26. Ann is so cool and thanks for featuring an excerpt!

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  27. Denise, Answering the question you posted on my blog-- yours was still a bit long in loading compared to others but I do love the smooth lilac background! I'll try to visit more often!

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  28. Oh Ann, that is incredible. Thanks L'Aussie!

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  29. Ann, I would've been confused as well...

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  30. I was going to wait until June first to buy the book but now that I read those excerpts, I have to buy it now.

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  31. Clarissa: Great that you are going to buy it Clarissa.

    Alex: Yeah, me too.

    KarenG: I was hoping I'd speeded it up a lot! Be nice to see you more.

    Sylvia: Thanks.

    Brian: She is that.

    Joy: I'm glad.

    Eric: That is why we all find her and her story so fascinating.

    Old Kitty: I've been waiting forever too it seems.

    Jessica: It's great to see the reaction to this post and there's so much support for Ann.

    Hilary: Thanks for commenting on the rose pic. I thought it symbolised this relationship.

    Judy: That will be great Judy. I'll be looking forward to reading it.

    Stephen: Thanks for supporting Ann.

    Denise<3

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  32. Great excerpt. Wow, it is a heart wrenching tale.

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  33. Ciara: It is. Can't wait to read all.

    D x

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  34. Denise: Jen and I have had a peaceful day alone, A/C running to beat back the 94 degrees outside! Too hot for the end of May. The power flipped off once. Yikes! I was in the middle of revising a story, contest deadline tomorrow. I actually got something written in the past two weeks. How about you?!

    Got an email from a follower, Richard Hughes. Nice man who wrote three excellent stories he published on Smashwords (I'll put up a post about this). He says he's having troubles today commenting, like some others. He's thinking of finding another blog platform. I told him do WordPress. I scrambled mine yesterday and had to do a new one, but now it's looking good. Well, only one post up. It would be awful if Blogger crashed and we all lost everything!

    Anyway, Richard said he just posted a review of my book, I assume on Amazon. I told him it takes some time, can't remember how long, for it to show up. I'm excited to read it. We all need reviews! I've GOT to do catchup on this.

    Hope you and yours are having a pleasant day, too, whatever day you're on!

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  35. Ann: Glad you've had a great day, albeit hot! I'll track down Richard's review.

    I've managed to get quite a bit of writing done, mainly trying to get ahead for Romantic Friday Writers and editing my first novel. Nearly there!

    It's now Tuesday, 9am. I've a lovely lunch planned with my two sisters at the Room With Roses, in a drop-dead gorgeous Victorian-era arcade in the city (5 mins walk for moi). It will be superb. Giving me my first goodbye as I head off on my next overseas adventure. They both live 'out west.'

    Denise<3

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  36. Thanks so much for bringing this important book to our attention! It's a great excerpt & I'm really looking forward to reading my Kindle copy! :)

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  37. Lisa: Excellent. I'm sure it'll be a great read.

    Denise<3

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  38. This sounds like a really good read!

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  39. Denise, glad you shared Ann's book. The scene you chose hits one right in the gut. Powerful, Poignant. It tells a lot about what the book is about. Good choice.

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  40. Mama Zen: For sure.

    rosaria: Doesn't it hit you!

    Denise<3

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  41. I think that counselor needed a counselor.
    I've got Ann's book on my TBR list. :)

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  42. I have to agree with Michelle. What kind of counselor was that?

    Ann, I MUST drop by your blog to congratulate you. I've been a bit under the weather the past few weeks, but I will drop by. We had talked months ago and I believe your story is an amazing one.

    All the best with your novel.

    Denise, this was a terrific guest post excerpt.

    Michael

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  43. Denise, I cannot wait to read Ann's book. She is an inspiration to all.

    Lovely post.

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