BOOK REVIEW: BEGIN AGAIN Anthology
A.M. Johnson, Stephanie Rose, J.A. DeRouen,
Ginger Scott, Anne Jolin, Ariadne Wayne,
Emery Jacobs, M. Andrews, K.P. Haigh,
Kay Renee, Maria MacDonald, Faith Andrews,
K.K. Allen, Mara White, Autumn Grey,
Josephine Brierley, Amanda Richardson,
Stephie Walls, Jaci Wheeler, Stephanie Alba,
and L.A. TaylorForeword by Rebecca Yarros
Released January 11, 2018
Available in Kindle Unlimted at time of release
I sometimes find it challenging to start a review. For a book that I loved, it can be almost impossible for me to put into words all that I feel. So, bear with me as I try to explain all the reasons the 22 authors who contributed to the BEGIN AGAIN anthology are my heroines.
Longtime followers of my reviews know that in August 2017 I shut down Angelically Devilish Book Blog. I stepped away from the book community, from most people, from life, as I was struggling with severe depression. I found myself accused by those I considered friends as not reciprocating the friendship, being selfish, seeking attention. What these people didn't know, what most people didn't know, was how hard I was fighting to open my eyes each morning. Leaving my bed to take a shower and brush my teeth were overwhelming. There was no effort in doing my job. One business collapsed and the other, the one I worked years building, was on the verge. My life was dying around me, and I didn't care.
Feeling heartbroken, rejected, used, dismissed, embarrassed, worthless, and lonely, I realized I was at the bottom and had to find a way out of the darkness. I admit, suicide flash in my thoughts for one brief second, but I couldn't do that to my mother or my dogs (and I live for my dogs). It took several visits with therapists, a few unconventional ones, but I finally found one who worked for me.
Okay, so why am I including this in a book review? Because this book contains 22 stories about people like me. People who have found themselves, for various reasons, in darkness at some point in their lives, but gratefully found the help and just as important, the HOPE needed to get out of bed each day and tackle life. Because no matter how far they've fallen, no matter how deep into the hole they've crawled, they've learned, through the love and support of family and friends, there's always a way up and out, and back into the light.
These authors, these incredibly open, honest, brave, generous, caring authors, in 22 stories, shine a light on a subject few want to discuss: mental illness. This may be the greatest taboo of all, especially in the world of romance. There's no better genre of literature to tackle such a difficult subject because each story ends with a happily ever after, they end with hope. And when you can't see any good anywhere, one story with hope is what is needed.
So thank you, Amanda Johnson, for bringing together these authors and these stories. Thank you, Rebecca Yarros, for your honesty. Thank you for showing that we are not victims, not seeking attention, but only seeking connection and needing to make others aware. We are seeking light, love, hope, and a chance to begin again from the darkness.
All proceeds from the sale of BEGIN AGAIN will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.