Sybil’s Choice – Author Iris Sechriest – Book Review

It takes inner strength, courage and conviction to do what Iris Sechriest has done, chronicle the events of her daughter’s fight with cancer. This is not an ordinary book, the subject deals with unyielding determination and faith. It shows the difference caregivers can make how positive attitudes promote healing. “Sybil’s Choice” is certainly a necessary book. First it is a tribute, a memorial, to Sybil, bringing to the reader the true story of a real person from the small town of Forest City, North Carolina. Secondly it was a necessary labor of love for Iris to write this book to help cope with her loss. Finally it is necessary to have all that has happened not be lost but be both instructional and inspirational to those of us that may find ourselves or loved ones in such an unfortunate position.For me, I found it often easy to slip from book reviewer to empathic reader; from a witness of Sybil’s demise to remembering my own family’s similar circumstances. From the true story of Sybil to the story of my losing my mother after her fight with cancer. As few of us live a life unscathed by medical tragedy, “Sybil’s Choice” brings the sober reality of surreal decisions people are faced with in the light of such devastating alternatives.Iris Sechriest has an amazing emotional constitution; deeply embedded in her faith however noticeably she doesn’t take her daughter’s demise as an opportunity to preach her personal belief. Her writing is as objective as a journalist, and as honest as a witness under oath. She respectively names and identifies the scores of doctors, places, and procedures Sybil had undergone. She honestly assesses the contribution each has made to guide them through their ordeal. She has shaped her book to become a tool for others undergoing similar choices.”Sybil’s Choice” is a terse 173 pages with a thought provoking cover photograph of a woman walking towards a light at the end of a tunnel. Iris Sechriest stays “on topic” throughout her book, as if she were to digress into telling stories about Sybil this would no doubt rival War and Peace in word count. There is a lovely high school picture of Sybil at the end of the book, revealing her charismatic smile and intelligent eyes.For any person or family faced with a malignant diagnosis, this book is a must read.Title: Sybil’s Choice
Author: Iris Sechriest

Book Review for “Sebastian’s Salvation”

Book Review for: Sebastian’s Salvation
Written by: Jillian Chantel
BookStrand Publishing
ISBN: 1-61926-313-0
Avail as: an eBook
4 StarsReviewed by: S. BurkhartChantel crafts a story filled with romance, betrayal, suspense, and love with “Sebastian’s Salvation.” Sebastian Hughes has seen combat in Afghanistan that’s left him scared physically and emotionally. Is he ready to find love or will a foe seeking revenge ruin his happiness?The story is set in modern day London. Sebastian Hughes is an American ex-green beret now medically retired. On his last mission, Sebastian’s body suffered shrapnel wounds and he uses a prosthetic from the knee down on one leg. While in the hospital, Sebastian became a portrait painter.The story opens with Sebastian’s friend, Jackson, an art curator hosting a show of Sebastian’s work. Sebastian is the talk of the town. His work involves painting women in the nude – tastefully, of course. A slew of potential clients make the night a success, but not before Sebastian receives a cryptic warming – a dead rat.Sebastian, treating the rat like a prank, meets Lady Joanna Gresham at the event. Joanna challenges Sebastian in ways he hasn’t been before and reawakens urges he hasn’t felt in years. Still, he keeps her at bay, afraid his scared body is repulsive and he isn’t a whole man.Joanna isn’t intimidated in the least by Sebastian’s off-putting nature and goes after what she wants. When she learns her father has made arrangements for their family to entertain a group of friends at their Swiss chalet. Joanna is delighted to find out Sebastian is on the guest list. While Joanna makes her plans, Sebastian’s stalker becomes bolder, putting him on edge. Dare Sebastian let Joanna into his heart knowing that danger lurks just around the corner?Chantel’s writing is easy to read and pulls the reader into Sebastian’s story with ease. I appreciated the contemporary setting and Sebastian’s military background. It gives the story a topical theme in which many returning from the war zones have struggles. The plot flows smoothly. Chantel builds suspense well, leaving the reader anxiously turning the page.The author uses a good economy of words to paint nice visuals of the London setting. The dialogue also adds a nice accent to the characters.The characters make the story shine. Sebastian is a true hero and his intentions are always noble.Joanna is as tenacious as a bull when it comes to letting Sebastian know how she feels about him. Her steadfast belief in their love proves to be his salvation.The supporting cast is well rounded and a delight, complimenting the main characters well.The story is sophisticated for romance readers. There are several love scenes that capture the passion and intensity of the couple. Sebastian’s Salvation is a page-turner. I highly recommend it.