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Monday, June 02, 2008

Blog tour for A.J. Kiesling's SKIZZER!



Join us May 26 - June 14th for the Skizzer blog tour!

A.J. Kiesling had this to say about her debut novel...

The story centers on two sisters, Claire (the main character) and Becca, her younger sibling. At the outset, Becca has disappeared--up and leaving her husband with just a cursory note offering no real explanation. Claire drives to North Carolina to pursue a hunch that Becca might have fled to the town where they grew up, perhaps taking refuge with their elderly Aunt Jess. She stops at a place where they used to play as children—an old estate the local kids called haunted—and finds a letter addressed to "Skizzer" inside a sister-secret box she and Becca left there more than twenty years earlier. The letter says "something both terrible and wonderful has happened" and that Becca needs time to herself, urging Claire not to look for her. But of course that's exactly what Claire and her distraught brother-in-law do. The story weaves between the present and the past through flashbacks to the girls' growing up years in North Carolina. The search for Becca ultimately takes Claire and her brother-in-law to England, to a town that imprinted the girls heavily in their youth. The theme of the story is that the people we think we know best don't always turn out to be who we thought they were.

Buy the book here

Interest piqued yet?

Find out more about A.J. and her debut novel by visiting the AWESOME blogs listed below.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Oh, and the contest!

Well of course there's a contest!

To enter the contest, leave a comment answering this question:

What's the Most Important Thing You've Ever Lost and Then Found?

A.J. Kiesling will select the winning response based on originality and sizzle!

The winner will receive a $40 gift certificate to the restaurant of your choice. Yum, yum

The winner will be announced June 18th!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Blog tour schedule:

5/26
Shannon at Wind Scraps

http://windscraps.blogspot.com/2008/05/book-review-skizzer.html
I liked the author's easy style and her descriptions. She's great at filling in the blanks in such a way that you find yourself right there in the scene, hearing the approach of footsteps or smelling the mustiness of old books in a office long used by scribes.


5/27
Sunny at Life in the Estogen Ocean

http://estrogen-ocean.blogspot.com/2008/05/blog-tour-and-giveaway.html
I gladly recommend this book! It is full of suspense and mystery, leaving you with a new set of questions after each revelation.

Patty at Girlfriends in God
http://patty-girlfriendsingod.blogspot.com/
This book has a great message. A.J. knows how to weave a story that truly keeps you thinking and guessing all the way through the book. I hope I have a chance to review another book of hers.


5/28
Amy at Amy’s Random Thoughts

http://amychristopher.blogspot.com/2008/05/skizzer-book-tour-and-review-and.html
Oh my gosh! Another great book! Im thrilled to have been able to read this and recommend it to you!!! I have never read this author but look forward to reading more. SHe really connects with the reader.Love the background ! Anyone who likes a good fiction novel will like this book. I hope hubby will read it next. You know when you have a really clear dream and you can remember details from your dream? This book is that clear. Her details to the story helped paint a wonderful story and it was easy to see the story in your mind.!!!!

Rachelle at Stifled Squeal
http://zyphe.blogspot.com/2008/05/skizzer-by-j-kiesling.html

Peggy at Sips & Cups Cafeteria
http://www.sipsncupscafe.com/2008/05/special-book-tour-skizzer.html
Recommended reading. A page-turner full of suspense and mystery that will keep you guessing to the end.


5/29
Susan at His Reading List

http://hisreadinglist.blogspot.com/2008/05/skizzer.html
From the very first page, Skizzer takes you on a whirlwind search for Claire's sister, Becca. Becca has disappeared, leaving only a cryptic note. .This book has a good balance of current time activities and well-remembered adventures that took place many years before. The descriptions place you right at the scene, and the search for the truth pulls together pieces of Claire's life that she didn't even know were missing.

Camy at Camy's Loft
http://camys-loft.blogspot.com/2008/05/book-giveaway-skizzer.html


5/30
Mindy at Ponderings of the Heart

http://philippians4verse8.blogspot.com/2008/05/skizzer.html
I love a good mystery, don't you? This book was well written and had lots of plot twists that I didn't see coming. Those are the best kind of plot twists, aren't they?!!? AND again, it is written by a Christian author so there is no need to worry about the contents being less than they should. I loved the flashbacks and they left me feeling like I really knew these two sisters and I too, longed for them to find one another again. And lastly, I am a sucker for anything set in North Carolina!

Tricia at It's Real Life
http://triciagoyer.blogspot.com/
Another great summer read! I really enjoyed the quick pace and unexpected twists! RECOMMENDED!


5/31
Pam at Without Fear

http://withoutfear08.blogspot.com/2008/05/skizzer-review-and-book-giveaway.html
She has a style of writing that slowly grabs hold of you then tugs you tightly in order to keep you gripped throughout the rest of the story. I am enjoying it and plan to finish it tonight when I am done here. So, read on, and I'll be racing to the end of this post so I can get back to my book!


6/2
Chris at Come to the Table

http://cometothetable.blogspot.com/2008/06/book-review-skizzer.html
When she finished the book I asked her what she thought. I loved her response, "It is one of those books that won't let you put it down. I felt like I was there, I wanted to know what was next, and you know how I love a good mystery mom?"

Margaret at A Cappuccino Life
http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/cappuccinosmom/541412/
Skizzer was another sweet, light read for me, and I enjoyed it. Interesting plot, engaging characters, and easy-to-read language. Every once in a while, in the middle of my pile of heavy-weight, occasionally depressing, non-fiction, I need something that I don't have to slog through with my brain on. Skizzer let me just relax and enjoy a good story.

April at Projecting A
http://projectinga.blogspot.com/2008/06/skizzer-by-aj-angie-kiesling.html


6/3
AnnMarie at More Than Just A Mom

http://afriedrick.blogspot.com/2008/06/book-review-skizzer.html
Skizzer is part mystery and part deep, personal reflection. I liked how well developed the character of Claire was, how she dug within herself to find answers, and the way she dealt with startling news. The author wove this mystery in an engaging way, making it difficult to stop reading, even at midnight!

Dee at Christian Fiction Blog
http://christianfiction.blogspot.com/2008/05/2008-summer-beach-read-nominee-1.html
I like that the story's structure isn't linear. Kiesling weaves from one decade to the next to help her find her missing sister. It is a great novel for sisters to read together. It has intrigue, a transcontinental adventure, Brit/American romance, and a great escape...


6/4
Brittanie at A Book Lover

http://abookloverforever.blogspot.com/2008/06/skizzer-by-j-kiesling-and-giveaway.html
I liked the mystery in this book with the added bonus of sister relationship development. The plot line is interesting and the flashbacks add to it. The finished product is a very enjoyable mystery that I recommend. I look forward to reading future novels by this author.

Gretchen at Inspire Me Dream
http://dreamwriter07.blogspot.com/2008/06/skizzer-by-aj-kiesling.html
Suspenseful and full of intrigue, Skizzer takes you on a transcontinental hunt for answers, weaving seamlessly between the distant past of childhood and the urgency of the present.

Leticia at Leticia's World
http://leticiasworld.blogspot.com/2008/06/skizzera-wonderful-read.html
This book is soooooo good I couldn't put it down and wound up reading it in one day! It was that great! The characters are very real and you can actually relate to them. This book just captivated my attention and I never left my comfy couch and enjoyed a nice hot cup of coffee and a biscotti on the side, then later munched on popcorn. Anxiously turn page after page waiting to see what was going to happen next.


6/5
Jill at Christian Work At Home Moms
http://cwahmjill.blogspot.com/2008/06/whats-most-important-thing-youve-ever.html

Laura at Lighthouse Academy
http://lighthouse-academy.blogspot.com/2008/06/skizzer.html
Suspenseful, and intriquing, SKIZZER is not a book to be missed.


6/6
Lynetta at Open Book
http://lynetta.blogspot.com/2008/06/skizzer.html
A.J. Kiesling's first novel takes the reader on many twists and turns in both the physical journey and the journey through the lives of two sisters. Her settings are so real the reader feels like they just landed in England. Whether it be English gardens, antique bed and breakfasts, or ancient churches, opening the book is like visiting there for the first time.

Melissa at Breath of Life
http://breathoflifeministries.blogspot.com/2008/06/skizzer-blog-tour.html
Suspenseful and full of intrigue, Skizzer takes you on a transcontinental hunt for answers, weaving seamlessly between the distant past of childhood and the urgency of the present


6/7
Billie at Hearing the Music Amongst the Noise
http://lifelaughterchaos.blogspot.com/2008/06/skizzer-book-review.html
My favorite...absolute favorite type of book is a good suspense/mystery. Once in awhile I enjoy a cheesy drama or romance, but for the most part I love a good plot. I've been on the reading kick lately (which is why less blogs). The latest book on my list is Skizzer, by A.J. Kiesling.

Christy at Christy's Book Blog
http://christysbookblog.blogspot.com/2008/06/skizzer.html
Claire's story is compelling, and her characterization is really the reason to read this book. Becca comes off as a bit of a flake, but her flight helps both sisters to understand each other and the other women in their family. Kiesling describes settings well from North Carolina to England, but it's her characterizations that really shine and carry this wonderful debut novel.


6/9
Joy at Five J's

http://fivejs.wordpress.com/2008/06/09/skizzer-more-great-fiction-plus-a-contest/

Tyora at FaithWebbin
http://faithwebbin.net/share/authors/?p=414
Great Interview...check it out!


6/10
Cindy at Still His Girl

http://stillhisgirl.blogspot.com/2008/06/book-tour-skizzer.html
I started my summer fiction reading with Skizzer by A.J.Kiesling. It's been a few weeks since I read it and I still feel like I could be in an English bed and breakfast watching the main character. The author does a great job of setting the stage and tone, and pulls you in.

Niki at My Journey
http://nikinowell.wordpress.com/2008/06/10/skizzer-by-aj-kiesling/
A. J. Kiesling’s debut novel kept me turning pages as the story of two sisters and the secrets of their family’s past unfolded with heart breaking questions and discoveries mixed with hope in new beginnings, and the stirrings of reawakened love.


6/11
Cara at Life, Law, Books

http://carasmusings.blogspot.com/2008/05/skizzer-review-author-contest.html
I was pulled through the story in quick fashion. I read this in the days after my daughter was born, and kept returning to the story at every moment I could spare.


6/12
Amy at My Friend Amy
http://www.myfriendamysblog.com/2008/06/blog-tour-skizzer-by-aj-kiesling.html
I picked up this book thinking I would just get it started and then couldn't put it down. I devoured it in a couple of hours. It's a fascinating look at family history, the bond of sisterhood, and what happens when you start uncovering the secrets of the past.

Janis at The Nearsighted Bookworm
http://thenearsightedbookworm.blogspot.com/2008/06/skizzer-by-angie-kiesling.html
The power of a sister's love is explored in this wonderful book. As a sister myself, I know how this relationship can ebb and flow over the years, but the love remains strong. This book was fun of twists and turns that left you guessing time and time again. Add it to your summer reading list. You will be glad you did!


6/13
Audra at Penning Prose
http://audrasilva.com/blog

Kelli at The Zen of Motherhood
http://thezenofmotherhood.blogspot.com/2008/06/review-skizzer.html
I quite like her low-key, mellow style.


6/14
Revka at Our Family Porch
http://ourfamilyporch.blogspot.com/2008/06/skizzer-blog-tour.html
Skizzer is A.J. Keisling's debut novel, and I think she did a great job. The title is what the author, as a little girl, called her sister, being unable to properly say the word sister. Since I love stories with mystery and a touch of romance, I really enjoyed this book.

Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee
http://2nd-cup-of-coffee.blogspot.com/2008/06/blog-tour-for-skizzer-and-chance-to-win.html
Every evening as I picked up Skizzer, I looked forward to the next step in discovering keys to the mystery. I loved that the name of the book recalled Becca's nickname for Claire, her sister, and its significance in the storyline in the end.

Michelle at Edgy Inspirational Author
http://edgyinspirationalauthor.blogspot.com/2008/05/my-review-of-skizzer-novel-by-aj.html

6/29
Trish at Books for Moms
http://www.booksformoms.blogspot.com/


October
Lena at A Christian Writer's World
http://lenanelsondooley.blogspot.com/





22 comments:

  1. Hello, My self-respect! Other than male family members, I have only truly loved two men in my life! My husband and one man before him. I lived and breathed for this man who I think was "my first true love!" He had me heart and soul. Then, he paraded this new lady right past me and my heart went to my stomach! We all three worked for the same company. I had to quit work because emotionally I couldn't take the abuse. God had better plans for me because I have been married to my husband 22 years at the end of this month. We have two fantastic teenage sons and I am very happy and have learned to like myself again. Many thanks,Cindi
    jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am a single mom of two boys. I have been divorced for 11 years. I have been a stay at home mom since they were born. Newly divorced the money was tight and it was going to be hard to pay the utilities much less buy food for the week. I went to my room and fell on my knees and prayed and asked God to please help us. I had a car in the driveway that did not run and I couldn't afford to fix the problems on this car. After I prayed my doorbell rang. I opened the door and there stood a man and he wanted to know if my car was for sale. I couldn't believe it. He was willing to pay cash for it but he asked me if I had the title. I told him to wait a minute and I would check where I thought it would be. It wasn't there. I didn't know where it was. He told me he would come back in a few hours to see if I found it. I called my sister and we prayed. I looked the house over again for the title and I went into the den and searched behind the desk through a stack of papers, I had already looked there but I looked again and there it was, the title was in my hands as the doorbell rang again and there stood the man and I was happy to inform him I had found the title to the car. He gave me cash for the car and God met our needs that week!! Praise God, HE is Good!!
    Blessings,
    Patty

    ReplyDelete
  3. Just wanted to say hello! Im a part of the book tour as well!

    I loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Just wanted to say hello! Im a part of the book tour as well!

    I loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  5. The most important thing I have lost and then found would be faith. When I lost my Mom at the age of 13, I also lost faith in God. I lost faith in my Dad when he remarried 3 months later. Many years later I lost faith in my husband when he became an alcoholic. I could go on and on with those that I have lost faith in but, I have since found faith again in Jesus, He is always there to catch me when I fall and when others let me down. I know not to put my faith in others but in Jesus. He is faithful.

    Thank you, Nancy

    ReplyDelete
  6. Our younger son was so violently against hearing about God or things of Him that he actually said straight out that if we said anymore about God or things of Him, he would not call or communicate with us ever again. Today is almost ten years since that statement that he has made and he has studied on his own, off and on, in God's word and have had some really good discussions with us since. He calls us and visits for sometimes hours and we are more free to talk scripture with him. We thought we were on the brink of losing him in everything but name only, but now we have our son back. More importantly, God is bringing him closer to Himself and him becoming found by God after being lost from Him is way more important than just us getting our son back here on earth.
    Pam
    cepjwms at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Housekeys

    dolls123[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Michelle9:07 PM

    Love. I was raised in a grace-filled home, but when I was sixteen we joined a legalistic religious group. It didn't happen right away, but slowly the rules became the gospel, and God surely didn't love me anymore because I was never "good enough".

    Then my husband left and I was divorced (which was the worst thing that you could do according to the "rules"). I was $200 short every month from making ends meet and I thought about finding a telephone pole, but I came home instead and found that I had added wrong. (And I am a bookkeeper!) God had added right, and I was $16 in the black, and I KNEW right then that the God of the universe loved me unconditionally. I know He had me add wrong so I would find His Love again. That was 3&1/2 years ago, and He has never left me alone. And I make more money now at a new job, so all is well. I am loved!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is a "silly" story...my boyfriend who later became my husband gave me a locket with a note in it before he went into the Air Force. I didn't know if this was the end of our relationship at the time he gave me the necklace. It wasn't, and like I said he did become my husband. One day I discovered that the necklace was missing. Later, when my husband was changing my daughter's diaper, he found the locket. She had swallowed it! How she found the locket and ended up swallowing on the locket and not the chain is only known by God. But I am grateful that she wasn't hurt and the locket was cleanable and safe. That boyfriend was and is my only love.

    Pam

    ReplyDelete
  10. Terri7:59 AM

    I once had a very close relationship with God, depending on Him for every small detail of my life and praising him for even the smallest things one could imagine. All of a sudden it seemed that I had drifted and got caught up in my own little world believing that I could do things on my own. Even my business started failing.

    I realized that I had drifted and through prayer, God's word, and the help of a movie, I found my way back into the loving arms of my Savior. I watched the movie Facing the Giants and then later Flywheel and saw that God was speaking to me through those movies, along with hearing my prayers, and speaking through His word and that is when I found my way back to Him.

    It is very difficult when we lose our relationship with Jesus Christ but awesome finding our way back. The thing is, I know He never left me. I am the one that drifted away from Him and the most precious part is that He was patiently waiting on me to find my way back to Him with His loving arms open wide. Welcoming me back.

    ReplyDelete
  11. My courage and will to live.
    I had open-heart surgery several years ago (for the 2nd time) and I got a staff infection in the wound while in the hospital. They had to re-open my chest (without any anesthesia) and scrape my sternum. It had to be the most horrific pain I've ever endured. And, then I was so weak and sick afterwards. I spent over a month in the hospital. Somedays I just wanted to go to sleep and not wake up. If not for my husband, children and faith I think I might have just given up.
    I'm so glad I found the will to endure and go on. And everyday I'm so thankful for my family, faith, and organ donor.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I was a substitute teacher planning on completing a masters degree in special education. On April 24, 2003 my student brought three guns to school, he killed the principal and then himself in a cafeteria filled with 8th grade students waiting for the start of school. I left the building that day with just my life, it was like being at the epicenter of an earthquake everything around me was destroyed. I began to forgive my student the day after the shooting, often with every breath I took. For 2 1/2 years I tried to regain the joy of being in a classroom, but finally made peace with no longer teaching. I spent the first year and a half wishing he had just killed me that day and begging God to let me fall asleep and not wake up because the pain was so overwhelming, there was no escape. I finally hit the point where I just had to let go and allow my life to completely fall apart. The past five years have been excrutiating, I completely lost the person I was before the shooting. While I do not act, look or sound the same as the young mom I was before I have found a person who is much better. Rather than the faith I had before, I now have knowledge that God is real and He can redeem anything for His good. My voice has been reclaimed and I am now writing and teaching about compassion, empathy, forgiveness, grace, grief and trauma. There is no glory in murder/suicide yet we are all capable of it, we can all reach that place beyond clarity and reason. I have truly forgiven my student and the legacy I was left with is to use my new found faith, experiences and personality to challenge others to forgive especially offenders and their families.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lego Grandma12:58 PM

    The most important thing I lost was my son at the mall when he was a toddler. He was in an umbrella stroller and I turned my back on him for a minute and when I turned around he was gone. I have never prayed soooo hard or been soo afraid. I went and asked the security to look for a little boy in a superman shirt. I walked all down on side of the mall asking if they had seen a little boy. When I got back to the middle and the security section, they told me he had been found. I waited and when he came back riding on the shoulders of a policeman I cried and cried and hugged and hugged and thanked God for returning my boy to me. I do not believe I have every been so afraid in my life.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Years ago, I was an executive for a commercial bank and had one of those day planners that contained my entire life. One day I accidentally left it on the roof of my car and drove off.... onto a freeway. When I realized what I had done (and what I had actually lost) my heart sank and my stomach flipped. About a week later, I got a call from a gentleman who had actually found it! He returned it with everything in tact. I learned my lesson, for sure.
    gkstratos @yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. The most important PHYSICAL thing I lost and then found, was my engagement ring. It was a family heirloom that was passed down to me from my husband's side. It was so dainty that I was afraid to have it sized to fit me, so I wore it on my pinky and my wedding band on my ring finger. I was sick just telling him it was missing. We retraced my steps through the day and my stomach lurched when I realized that I had taken it off while having coffee with a friend. She offered me some wonderfully yummy lotion and I couldn't resist. I think I slipped the ring into the pocket of my jeans so I wouldn't forget it on the table. I imagined it had fallen out when I reached in my pocket for my car keys.

    So there we were, my loving husband and I, searching the gravel parking lot with flashlights hoping to catch a glimmer of a precious stone. Instead we caught the headlights of a police car coming to find out what we were doing at 10 p.m. with flashlights outside the coffee shop. We lived in a small town at the time and were friends with the police chief, so that lent us some credibility. I cried all the way home trying to think of a way to tell my MIL I lost the ring. We pulled into our driveway and as I was getting out of the car, I spotted the ring on the floor. It DID fall out of my pocket, but thankfully it fell where even a blubbering, red eyed woman could find it.

    This is a true story, but please don't ever tell my MIL. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. it would have to be my daughter. our family had gone to Silver Dollar City and at the end of a long day we decided to watch the Christmas parade before going home. when it was over, we turned around and walked a few yards and she was gone! I stayed put with the kids and my husband looked for almost an hour until he found her. she had just gone with the flow of traffic and since it was dark and cold she was more scared than if it had been daytime. she was smart and found a security guard and tried to call me, but I couldn't hear my phone ring because all the noise around me. I just kept praying and am so grateful she was safe!

    ReplyDelete
  17. My toddler son years ago. I was at a large clothing store and he was right beside me. He was about 18 months old. The next thing I knew, he was gone. I panicked - looked under the clothing racks, started up and down the aisles calling his name. The woman at the cosmetic counter heard me and, pointing, asked me if that was my son on his way back DOWN the escalator (after having gone UP!) all by himself!! I couldn't believe how quickly he had gotten there, and it made me shudder to think how he could have gotten hurt on that escalator.

    ReplyDelete
  18. The most important thing I ever lost was my child's birth certificate. I cried for 2 days! I wanted to put it in her baby alblum. Then a week later I was cleaning under the couch and the ceiling fan must of blown it under the couch when i was going throught the papers I though it was in. I was so happy I went out for icecream without using a coupon!

    ReplyDelete
  19. For my 35th birthday my husband bought my a beautiful custom made diamond bracelet. Fast forward ahead 2 yrs and the bracelet I never took off was missing from my arm. The clasp must have broken! After much searching and retracing of steps, we decided it was gone for good and claimed the insurance on it. I then purchase another beautiful, but different, diamond bracelet.

    Several months later my daughter was building a tower with the sofa cushions and called out "mom, look what I found!" I felt like screaming "PUT IT BACK! QUICK!" But no, I had to call the insurance company and we had to pay back the money. I felt very guilty about having 2 diamond bracelets until a good friend reminded me I have 2 daughters...and a special inheritance for each of them.

    ReplyDelete
  20. When I pondered the question: What's the most important thing you ever lost, then found, I had two simultaneous thoughts:

    I once was so horribly addicted to nicotine that, while driving two nuns, one priest, and my favorite church musician, to a Christian Concert, I realized that I had left my cigarettes behind at the rectory. (smoking was more "accepted" twenty years ago)

    Well, I went bonkers. I was digging in the car's ashtray, poking my fingers between the seats and driving very irratically in the bargain.

    The sister sitting next to me knew, SOMEHOW, to look under the seats and she proudly came up for air with an old, stale pack of forgotten cigarettes...

    Before I thought, I said "Praise you JESUS!" To wit, everyone in the car said "And thanks be to the Blessed Virgin Mary!"

    The second of my simultaneous thoughts was that I totally lost my dignity........... and found it on the first puff.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I lost my nerve and then found it....
    at an early age, I fell into a deep pond at a fish hatchery and became deathly afraid of "unclean" water...I was ok in swimming pools, and as long as the ocean was clear blue and see-thru, I was fine. But lakes? Rivers that were muddy? NO WAY...I became a mom to 4 wonderful kids and at the age of 44 was coaxed by them to jump off a cliff at a lake we were visiting into deep water--couldn't see the bottom. The most beautiful music I've ever heard? My then 11-year old daughter yelling (on the top of the water, so loud that I heard her several feet down) "YEAH!!! That's MY momma!!!"

    ReplyDelete
  22. And the winner is...

    Sorry this is so late...the original Winner Announcement is apparently lost in cyberspace somewhere!

    NOTE FROM AJ! I also chose an Honorable Mention that was more comical in nature and just a good story all around.

    WINNING ENTRY:

    Thankfully Broken said...

    I was a substitute teacher planning on completing a masters degree in special education. On April 24, 2003 my student brought three guns to school, he killed the principal and then himself in a cafeteria filled with 8th grade students waiting for the start of school. I left the building that day with just my life, it was like being at the epicenter of an earthquake everything around me was destroyed. I began to forgive my student the day after the shooting, often with every breath I took. For 2 1/2 years I tried to regain the joy of being in a classroom, but finally made peace with no longer teaching. I spent the first year and a half wishing he had just killed me that day and begging God to let me fall asleep and not wake up because the pain was so overwhelming, there was no escape. I finally hit the point where I just had to let go and allow my life to completely fall apart. The past five years have been excrutiating, I completely lost the person I was before the shooting. While I do not act, look or sound the same as the young mom I was before I have found a person who is much better. Rather than the faith I had before, I now have knowledge that God is real and He can redeem anything for His good. My voice has been reclaimed and I am now writing and teaching about compassion, empathy, forgiveness, grace, grief and trauma. There is no glory in murder/suicide yet we are all capable of it, we can all reach that place beyond clarity and reason. I have truly forgiven my student and the legacy I was left with is to use my new found faith, experiences and personality to challenge others to forgive especially offenders and their families.

    HONORABLE MENTION:

    Niki said...

    The most important PHYSICAL thing I lost and then found, was my engagement ring. It was a family heirloom that was passed down to me from my husband's side. It was so dainty that I was afraid to have it sized to fit me, so I wore it on my pinky and my wedding band on my ring finger. I was sick just telling him it was missing. We retraced my steps through the day and my stomach lurched when I realized that I had taken it off while having coffee with a friend. She offered me some wonderfully yummy lotion and I couldn't resist. I think I slipped the ring into the pocket of my jeans so I wouldn't forget it on the table. I imagined it had fallen out when I reached in my pocket for my car keys.

    So there we were, my loving husband and I, searching the gravel parking lot with flashlights hoping to catch a glimmer of a precious stone. Instead we caught the headlights of a police car coming to find out what we were doing at 10 p.m. with flashlights outside the coffee shop. We lived in a small town at the time and were friends with the police chief, so that lent us some credibility. I cried all the way home trying to think of a way to tell my MIL I lost the ring. We pulled into our driveway and as I was getting out of the car, I spotted the ring on the floor. It DID fall out of my pocket, but thankfully it fell where even a blubbering, red eyed woman could find it.

    This is a true story, but please don't ever tell my MIL. :)

    Congratulations Ladies!

    Send me (amy@litfusegroup.com) your mailing address and which restaurant you'd like a gift certificate to...and AJ will get that out to you ASAP!

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