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Eva’s review on “Ashes” and “Hope”

Eva Pieczewska Leisti I just finished reading “Ashes”. I loved it. I identified with her story. My heart went out to this incredibly strong woman who speaks to her absent father throughout the book and throughout her roller-coaster ride of life. Through all of the trials that life threw at her, Alexandra maintained her dignity, her compassion and her faith. I highly recommend this book! ;-)

I just read “Hope is my Absolute” by Alexandra Tesluk. What a heart-wrenching story. I cried through most of it, but like the title implies, it gave me Hope. Thank you for writing your story Alexandra….

Thank you to Larry Kutcher !

Some say knowledge of the natural power of animal guides has been lost. This is not so. Many people think animals are not spiritual – having no spirit or soul. Most think animals are less intelligent than humans, savage and without society… or conscience. This is not so. Animals know the time and place to migrate, but man cannot find his way without a compass or the stars. Animals live well without the need of tools or weapons. Man cannot. Animals are happy and contented in their environment. Man is not. Animals live among their families all their lives. Man does not. Animals have found the right way to live with their limitations and skills without rancor or strife. Man has not.

Happy Birthday to my son!

I love you. XX

Humanity!

Today, March 13th, 2012 my faith in humanity has been restored!
L.L., you have created a world filled with justice, wisdom and courage; treating people with care, compassion and dignity ~ the best is yet to come!
Thank you!

The Beauty of Life

The beauty of life is, while we cannot undo what is done, we can see it, understand it, learn from it and change. So that every new moment is spent not in regret, guilt, fear or anger, but in wisdom, understanding and love.

Happy New Year, 2012!! Goodbye 2011!!

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.  ~Ellen Goodman

Daniel, Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to my handsome grandson, Daniel! I love you ♥

Merry Christmas, Megan

Merry Christmas to my beautiful granddaughter, Megan! I love you ♥

Books In Sync Author Spotlight Interview

Q: What makes you proud to be a writer from Canada?

A: To begin with, I’m “proud to be Canadian!!” Canada has so much to offer. I felt like I was looking at a canvas painting as I discovered cities and provinces, each unique in their own way.  When I first started writing, the quiet and solitude ignited the fires in me as I gazed out at our beautiful lake in cottage country or watched a blizzard raging outside my living room window. I love the four seasons in Canada and fall being one of my favorite. I could not think of a better environment to work in.

Q: What, or who, inspired you to become a writer?

A: As a child there were no bookstores available. Our reading entertainment came from libraries. I remember getting hooked on the Nancy Drew series and then graduated to Romeo & Juliet and Julius Caesar while in high school. I was always infatuated with biographies.

Q: When did you begin writing with the intention of being published?

A: I kept a journal for many years and it wasn’t until later when I reflected back at my life, that I felt a strong desire to share my story. The first printing of “Ashes” was released in 2008 and the second edition of “The Ashes of Innocence” was made available this past September 2011.

In 2008, I was diagnosed with Acute Monocytic Leukemia and write about it in “Hope is My Absolute.”  “Hope” was written and released in 2010 because many friends and readers wanted me to continue my story. They expressed a desire to follow me into the present, a yearning to learn more about my unexpected journey.

Q: Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and why?

A: Absolutely! “Ashes” is a true story based on my life. It is a story of my passion to find my father. I felt a complete displacement growing up without him in my life. As I entered my teens, I discovered that my father might very well be alive. I felt renewed hope that perhaps I could connect with his family unit.

My story is a cross-continental journey in human growth and wisdom. It combines accurate historical facts with authentic descriptions of Ukrainian, European and Canadian life.

I struggled with the thoughts of writing this book for a long time. Should I expose my soul to the world? Did I really want to share those very deep scars that were so personal and kept hidden for such a long time? I decided yes, my story needed to be told.

The absence of “safety nets” for women, men and children in the 1960’s who were in abusive relationships needed to be addressed. It opened doors for many that there was hope, life and love after abuse.

Did the market need another personal story such as “Ashes?” My answer is “yes” ~ we need stories of victory like “The Ashes of Innocence.” “Ashes” offers validation, inspiration and the knowledge that we are not alone in our trials and tribulations. The same would apply with “Hope is My Absolute.” My journey with leukemia took me beyond any perimeters I had previously known. I write with tears, courage, love and some humor.

Q: Do you come up with your title(s) and cover(s) before or after you write the manuscript(s)?

A: I played with titles for a while and one day I looked at the photo of myself as an infant in a labor camp in Hannover, Germany. This was the perfect cover for “The Ashes of Innocence.” Try and picture war torn Europe ~ bombs exploding, fires burning ~ eventually all that is left is ashes. A child is born during this period. Her father disappears….what memories she should have had of him are now part of the ashes. But the ashes don’t stop there, they continue in her new home in Canada. A child’s innocence lost forever in the ashes!

With “Hope is My Absolute,” the title was born immediately as I looked at the beautiful mandala. The cover design was a gift from the talented Anika Kanter and her work can be found at www.mandaladesign.com

Q: What has been your most negative experience while in the writing process?

A: Time, time, time!!!

Q: What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey?

A: To have people tell me how inspired they were after reading both books. They were able to move on in their own lives to a healthier and safer environment. My readers felt the act of forgiveness played a major role as they reflected back to their own situations.

Q: What has been your most negative experience in your publishing journey?

A: Once the press releases went out, I received many requests for “review copies.” I graciously sent these out to the book reviewers only to discover they were selling my books on line. Some even jacked the price of “Ashes” up to $80.00. I felt betrayed!

Q: What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors?

A: Your story is important. No matter how discouraged one can get at times, never cave in. It will all come together with time. It took me 6 years to write “Ashes” and I came away liberated!! Follow your heart!!

Q: Who is your favorite author and why?

  1. Margaret Atwood, a Canadian author! ~ The Cat’s Eye is an excellent read.

Q: Please tell us the title(s) of your current book(s):

A: “The Ashes of Innocence, A Memoir ~ Second Edition” 2011

and “Hope Is My Absolute, My Journey with Acute Monocytic Leukemia” 2010

Q: What format(s) are your books in: Print Only – E-Book Only – or Both?

A: Print at the moment and I am looking into e-book as well.

Q: What special projects are you working on now and what books do we have to look forward to in the future?

A: A break for now! And perhaps a children’s story book on “felines!”

Q: Is there anything else that you would like to share with us?

A: Having a cancer diagnosis robbed me of that blissful ignorance that once led me to believe that tomorrow stretched forever. I see each day as a precious gift to be used wisely and richly. I live in the moment! I love to travel and discovered the beauty and richness of Europe and the Caribbean. My family and close circle of friends play a big role in my day to day ambiance. And of course, I cannot forget my two beautiful felines, Natasha and Boris!!

Rest in Peace, dearest Sophie!

A page in life’s memories is sadly turned today. You are with the Angels now surrounded by your loved ones. You will forever be close to my heart!

Always loved and never to be forgotten.