Sunday, January 11, 2015

Blog tour for "Forgetting" by JL Brooks

Stella Brady was the epitome of indulgence. With a history of seducing gorgeous men, wrecking hotel rooms and provoking scandalous rumors, fame rewarded her extravagant behavior. Nothing was off limits when it came to gratifying her desires, except the one thing she craved most of all-anonymity.
In a strange twist of fate, a tragic accident robs Stella of all memories past the age of seventeen and she must reconcile the person she has become with the phantom of who she is supposed to be.
Trapped in a limbo of his own, Navy officer Julian Moreau has taken leave and returned to his childhood home in order to care for his dying mother. Growing restless with a life on hold, nothing could prepare him for the impossible. Stella Brady had returned to Mooresville.
Despite a decade of separation and hopeless circumstances, neither is able to deny the irresistible attraction and connection they share. As each layer of the past unravels, they must decide if falling in love could lead to a lifetime of happiness, or one worth forgetting.

My eyes grew wide and my stomach fluttered. Imagining his lips on mine caused my mouth to water in anticipation. The air between us grew tangible, and I could think of nothing else. I moved my chest closer to his, and felt my breath grow shaky. The moment his hand rested against my cheek, I melted into his palm and closed my eyes. I parted my lips slightly and waited for him to move. The air puffed out of his nostrils and his face moved closer to mine. He wrapped his other arm tightly around my waist and pulled me close. Time felt as though it was dragging along on purpose, just to torture me, until finally his lips brushed mine and offered sweet respite. A deep whine was pulled from my lungs, and I craved more as I tangled myself into him.
“Child, I know what it’s like to feel like a stranger in your own body. To not have any control, or answers as to why things are so. How painful it is to move through the day to day, and continuously give yourself a reason to fight, when all you want to do is just go to sleep and have it all be over and done with. Tell me why am I sitting here voluntarily having my body poisoned to fight this demon, when I know ultimately I am going to lose? Why do any of us here keep fighting?” I looked around and all eyes were upon us. The room had fallen silent, and not one person dared to respond. Raina’s hand reached out for my cheek and was quickly soaked with tears. I didn’t have to ask why. I knew. “For love,”

JL Brooks have knocked this out of the ball park folks. I loved every single minute of reading “Forgetting.” We have Stella who has risen to fame but she keeps her emotions locked away in a dark place that she never wants to visit. But one day tragedy hits her and she ends up going back to a life that she once knew because she woke up not remembering the life that she’s living now.
“Our greatest battles are not fought in the flesh, but with or minds, and our spirits. If we are bound within ourselves, we stand no chance against the external forces that threaten to destroy us- weapons, disease, abuse, or neglect. Of that which is earthly and that which is divine, we are all subject to the universal laws, but we are not without hoe. As Julian sought refuge in the most sacred of places, I sheltered him with my arms and gave him the strength he needed to get through another day.”
I had to share this because this part of the book was one of my favorite parts. You get to see a different side of Stella, she realizes what she could have with Julian but she’s still trying to fight faith. See the thing about faith is that you can’t fight it and that was what Stella kept doing from day one. Something happened while she was in college and because she thought she couldn’t handle it she tried to run from a past. But in the end she was right where she needed to be, everything happens for a reason. She was meant to come back to her past, even though it was thing as tragic as that which brought her home. She was trying so damn hard to battle with herself, trying making herself believe something, when in hindsight it was right in front of her face. Don’t want to give away much, but I only have one word to describe the epilogue, well maybe two, beautifully done. I also loved Julian’s mother, omg, the woman had intuition like none other, and she was so damn funny. That is why JL is the shit, she went so damn deep with this book, I kept saying “mmmmmm” and “that’s right” also a “preach girl.” She has out done herself with this one and I cannot wait to find out what next she has in store for us.

~About the Author~
JL Brooks is a former columnist turned novelist. What started as a bet changed her entire course in life. With a passion for adventure, she believes everyone has a story to tell. Chances are she will try to convince you to tell yours.
Favorite Quote:
"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it."
-Winston Churchill
~Social links~

I would like to include JL’s dedication and the letter Mylee Cardenas wrote and also the link to where you go donate…..

I wrote this book for numerous reasons…
For those who have suffered with mental illness
For those who have battled with cancer
For those who give their lives to take care of the fighters
For those who fight for our freedom
For those who have ever lost someone they loved
For those who feel as though they have never been loved
This is for you
For Shana Shaffer-Ficks, the most incredible fighter I have ever met.
For Mylee Cardenas.
And for Dr. Vincent Tuohy at the Cleveland Clinic, the creator of the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Vaccine. Yes it exists. Yes it works. So why haven’t we heard more about it? Because there is no money in a cure. It is sad but true. But we can make a difference. Where others have said no, we can say yes. A portion of the proceeds of this book is going directly to his research, and I will use my voice in any way possible to let others know that there is hope. You can donate directly to his work and know that every dollar will be used to bring it forth at a more rapid pace.
"We believe that this vaccine will someday be used to prevent breast cancer in adult women in the same way that vaccines prevent polio and measles in children," says Dr. Tuohy.
To learn more and to make a donation, please visit:

~Mylee’s Letter~
Hello Everyone,
My name is Mylee Cardenas and I am so honored to be writing this letter.  I met J.L when we did a radio show about breast cancer together.  Right away I could tell that we both shared a passion for sharing information and experience to help others.  J.L. reached out to me after the show to continue our dialog.  She has a heart of gold and a desire to make a difference in this world.  During the show J.L. mentioned the work she was doing with Dr. Vincent Tuohy, I was intrigued given the fact that he has created a vaccine that could prevent so many other women from future diagnosis of breast or ovarian cancer.  Needless to say J.L. and I bonded quickly and found that we both wanted to do something about this. 
Before I jump onto my soapbox let me tell you a little about myself.  I am a single mom of an amazing little girl who is my world and my best friend.  For 12 years I served in the US Army as direct support to Special Operations Teams.  After joining at 17 the Military quickly became my passion as well as our family.  I loved almost everything about it and I felt as though I was very good at my job.  In 2011 I was part of an amazing group of women selected to do a new job working and living with spec ops teams at the village level in Afghanistan.  This was the height of my career for me and I felt like I was finally where I needed to be.  I was constantly being challenged and learning new things, which was exciting to me.  We deployed in August and after my first mission I knew that I had found my path.  
In November 2011 after returning from a mission I discovered a mass that was about the size of a golf ball.  I didn’t think much of it because of where were located.  I thought maybe it was a boil or worst case a fluid filled cyst from all the vaccines and medications they had us on.  I decided to watch it and continue the mission.   By January it had grown into the size of a ping-pong ball and was quite hard, I began to get a bit concerned but still did not want to make a big deal about it.  I had worked so hard to earn the respect of the people I worked with and I didn’t want it to look like I was looking for a way out. Beside what if I was medically evacuated to Germany and it turned out to be nothing?   I would never live it down, so I waited and finished my tour. 
Upon returning home I went off post and paid for an ultrasound this led to my diagnosis of Stage 3c Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.  The military moved my daughter and I to a new base where I really only knew a couple people and I started treatment.  It was not an easy road I had an aggressive treatment plan; Chemotherapy, Bilateral Mastectomy, dissection of my axilla (with removal of 22 lymph nodes), partial hysterectomy, expansion, reduction, max dose of Radiation, and expansion again. Through all of this I was alone with my daughter, my unit had decided that I was a “problem child” and they became “impatient with my illness”.  Over the past 12 years I had developed my own way of coping with trauma and stress.  No matter what I would analyze it deal and just push though.
After the organization (military) I loved the most turned on me I was forced into facing what I viewed as “weaknesses” So in the mist of fighting my Cancer I was diagnosed with severe PTSD related to the Cancer, Combat, and a brutal physical and sexual assault from 2009 that I never dealt with.  Life was a mess but I did my best to keep it together because anything less would have felt like failure. 
I am so new to this world of speaking out and having a voice so I still struggle with what to say and I wonder if I am saying the right things.  I realized over the past few years that all I can do is share my experience because I really could have used that while going through everything.  When you are going through a traumatic situation everything is a challenge and you can either step up and fight back or just go along for the ride.  I am so not that person I fought back by educating myself and no matter how terrible things seemed I would find one positive thing to hold on to everyday.  I still struggle with my PTSD and I am still dealing with this Cancer thing but I refuse to let this beat me.  I will win through educating myself, staying healthy, focusing on the positives and finding ways to keep living to the fullest.  My goal is to not let my experiences just be my experiences.  I want to share them in hopes that they will help someone know that they can overcome whatever it is they are facing and that they are not alone. 
Which brings me here.  When J.L. sent me her book to read I was not only honored but I was excited to see the type of writer she was.  You can tell a lot about a person through their writing.  The story was amazing and very relatable.  You have this story about this tough woman that does not let anyone see any weakness.  And then she is stripped down to the most vulnerable she has ever been.  As I read it I thought “yup been there”. There were so many highs and lows throughout that I went back and re-read it to make sure I didn’t miss anything.  As you are reading this story you will think about the struggle, about love and about the true nature of the human spirit.  All of the things that make us human are what make us strong and able to bounce back from a dark place and find ourselves.
Life is so full of the uncontrollable factors and sometimes no matter how hard it may be we have to let go of the past and just exist in the present.  We have to try to understand how strong we really are and to give ourselves the permission to move forward and keep fighting for the life our dreams.  In a perfect world we would get to choose what happens to us however, this is far from a perfect world. We have to take it all the good, the bad, the ugly and the true.  I have been telling myself for the past 3 years “I may not have control over a lot but I do have control over how I think, how I feel and what I do.”
Action speaks louder than words and I am proud of the work that J.L. is doing and I want to thank you all for purchasing this book.  J.L. is donating a portion of the book sales to help fund Dr. Tuohy’s research.  I believe this vaccine should be available to the public but as J.L. says there is no money in a cure.  It infuriates me to hear this but it is the truth.  So I would like to challenge you all to share Dr. Tuohy’s donation page, do your own fundraisers or whatever we can to help make this vaccine available to the public.  Think of it this way a vaccine for the people by the people.  Can you imagine a grassroots funded vaccine? Cut out the middle man, if the government or pharmaceutical companies won’t give him the money then let’s raise it.   If this vaccine could keep my daughter from ever having to go through all this then I will be upfront leading the charge.  It’s all about action…..Dr. Tuohy took action in dedicating himself to creating this vaccine to prevent breast and ovarian cancer, J.L. is working to raise awareness and money to help fund this vaccine and now it is our turn. 
I cannot thank J.L. enough for working as hard as she does and also for giving me the privilege to speak to all of you.  Thank you for reading this and thank you for your help in this mission to support Dr. Tuohy. I cannot wait to see what we can do together for the future this vaccine. 
“Yesterday I did, today I can, tomorrow I will”
~Mylee Cardenas

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