Book review: Two newly published books from first-time authors

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ENTERTAINMENT – Summer is in full swing but there is still time to add a few more books to your reading list.

Broken and Beautiful:

Christine Soule shares her testimony in her book, Broken and Beautiful: Let God Turn Your Mess into a Masterpiece. In it she details the trauma she experienced throughout her childhood and early adulthood. She also reveals how she overcame these situations. Her book also shares real-life, incredible, encounters she has had with people since turning her life around.

The description of the book says: From an early age, Soule was plagued by crippling fear that followed her into adulthood. Her past of brokenness — abuse, dysfunction, addiction and other trauma — could have very well defined her future. But once she turned to God and asked for His help, He answered her prayers and led her toward a life of healing and blessings.

Soule’s life was a jumbled pile of broken pieces. Her father was married seven times; her mother four times. Between her parents’ divorce when she was 5 years old and the day she allowed the power and presence of God into her heart, she watched her sister have an affair with her adoptive father; met 15 siblings she never knew at her biological father’s funeral; turned to drugs and alcohol; got pregnant at 17; had twins less than two years later; and became a victim of human trafficking. She had to break the cycle for the sake of her children. With nowhere else to turn, she dropped to her knees and prayed. And that’s when everything changed.

“The places where you feel hopeless are exactly what He wants to redeem and fill with beauty, dignity and strength. He has a plan for your pain. A wonderful intention for your failures. A purpose for your hardest, darkest stories,” Soule said.

Courtesy of Christine Soule

Senora’s Synopsis: This book is for anyone who has been through something difficult (AKA, anyone and everyone) who wants to heal or at least start the process of healing. Even if you do not consider yourself “religious,” or practice the Christian faith, there are still valuable lessons to learn from this book. Soule’s extreme honesty and sense of humor are examples to the reader that it is possible to not only overcome trauma but thrive in all aspects of life after overcoming it. The reflection questions at the end of each chapter will encourage the reader to do some soul searching and pinpoint how they can begin to help themselves.

About the Author: Author Christine Soule lives with the love of her life, Mitch Soule, in Seattle. They have five kids and three wonderful grandchildren. She is the founder and CEO of Providence Heights (www.providenceheights.org), a nonprofit created to house women and children in need and to provide counseling, education and jobs.

I’ve Seen Dead People: Diary of a Deputy Coroner

Donna Francart, former Deputy Coroner turned author, worked in the “death industry,” for almost nine years. She says the experiences she faced on a daily basis made lasting impressions on the way she views life, death and the afterlife. In her book, she shares lessons she’s learned and some she wants to pass on.

“Every day is a gift when you wake up and you have another day. I hope that the readers walk away appreciating their lives and living every moment like it’s their last—and love,” Francart said.

A statement about the book reads: Lacking access to structured debriefings, Francart turned to journaling as a way of privately unpacking the profound grief she faced in her role and preserving her own mental well-being. As she did, she found herself in a conundrum of perplexing relationships with both the living and the dead. 

Courtesy of Donna Francart

Senora’s Synopsis: This book is a real and raw account of what a coroner must deal with day by day and hour by hour. It is truly as if Francart took her journal from her desk, handed it to you, and said “here, want to read my diary?” She is incredibly honest and gives the reader a window into her inner most thoughts and feelings. This book is for anyone who is curious about what working in the “death industry” entails or interested in paranormal encounters.

About the Author: Donna Francart was born and raised in the Midwest. She served as a deputy coroner for nearly nine years beginning in 2007 and assisted with more than 2,000 death investigations. She now shares her life with her two adult sons, their two better halves and one granddaughter.

I’ve Seen Dead People is her first book and has been adapted into a screenplay by Frank Burmaster and Gary Revel, with plans to develop it for a feature film. Revel owns Jongleur Books, a publishing company associated with Mother Nature Festival Live Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to stop global warming.

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