Stacey Danson, lived through and beyond horrific child abuse. This book tells of her brutal beginnings, the streets of Sydney at the age of eleven were preferable to the hell she endured at home. She ran, and those streets became her home for five years. She was alone, ill, and afraid. Stacey also had an unshakeable belief that she would do more than just survive her life. She would not allow her future to be determined by the horrors of her childhood. She reached out for something different; there had to be more to life; if she could only find it. She had a dream of a life where pain and humiliation had no place. She was determined to find that life. Empty Chairs is the beginning of the journey. Now she is living the dream.
And now, my REVIEW:
This true story from Stacey Danson aka Suzanne Burke captivated me from the first word to the last. How could any so-called mother inflict such horrific and sadistic abuse on her young daughter? What kind of sick mind would let her think it was okay to sell her child’s body to soothe her addiction? Sassy-Girl’s mother, that’s who. So, when this child made the decision to run, looking forward to life on the streets as opposed to her current “life in hell,” I cheered for her. Did it matter that she’d beaten her mother severely? Hell no! I cheered for that too. But, this young girl of ten years old couldn’t have been more lost as she struggled to learn the rules of the streets. The daily chore of finding a safe place to wait out the nights proved difficult. Her instinctive distrust of people, in general, was her biggest ally. But, the part of the book where Sassy-Girl celebrated her first ever Christmas broke my heart. As she watched the families play in the park with children who ran and laughed and played, she realized on a small scale just what she’d missed. And the moment she started to think she had a grip of living on the streets, the unthinkable happened. A brutal rape that left her incapacitated for days on end only served to strengthen her resolve to not let herself be vulnerable ever again. And, when she lay sick and unable to move for days, I began to fear she would die. All I can say about this book is that if you think homeless kids on the streets are all thugs or brats, you need to sit down and read this. My heart will never forget this young child and the many others out there today like her. Stacey Danson bared her soul in such a way that at times I almost felt like an intruder for reading. This is a well-written gripping story from start to finish. But, if you are squeamish or faint-of-heart, this book might push you over the edge. And, now I am compelled to read the sequel to this story, “Faint Echoes of Laughter.“
Some of my readers may know and some may not know that Linda Broday is my sister. When she called and told me she was going to be a featured author on USA Today’s Happy Ever After, I jumped for joy!
She has a new release, Texas Redemption, which is a historical romance set in deep East Texas where Cypress trees grow so tall you can’t see the tops and where Alligator swish through the dark waters.
Originally released in 2005, Linda was thrilled when Sourcebooks chose to re-issue it.
This book is special to me for two reasons. First and foremost, it’s a great story about two men (brothers) who both love the same woman. Secondly, she wrote it shortly after she was diagnosed with MS and then lost her husband.
She inspires me because she never gives up! When the doctors told her that she had MS, she quickly tagged it “Mighty Spirit,” and that truly describes her.
Desperate to escape her dark past, Laurel James agrees to wed the mayor of a small East Texas town. With him, life will be quiet, respectable. Safe. It should be everything she ever wanted.
And it is. Until Shenandoah rides back into town.
Shenandoah never thought he would find the woman he’s loved and lost…and he certainly never dreamed she’d be pledged to his brother. He knows he should step aside—he has nothing to offer a woman like Laurel James—but the moment their eyes meet, Shenandoah is lost. He can only find peace in her arms…but can redemption be more than a dream for a man who has known nothing but war?
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