Book Club Guide for The Long Awakening: a Memoir

Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

Some readers have been asking if there's a book club guide for my memoir The Long Awakening. Now there is. If your club has chosen my book, please tell everyone I said Thank You! I'm honored.

Click below to download the free Reader's Guide. It's also permanently available for download under "Useful Things" on the homepage menu.

The Long Awakening Book Club Guide

Is your book club reading my book?

Spread the Word and Get Some Perks


There are a few more spots available on The Long Awakening Launch Team for those who'd like to help get the word out about my new memoir, and receive a few things as well.

As part of the team, you'll get:

  • free hardcover or electronic copy of The Long Awakening.
  • To be part of the strategic planning team for a national book campaign.
  • Access to a private Facebook group to connect with other team members, me, and my marketing and publicity team at my publisher.
  • A one hour group consultation for those interested in writing and publishing.

Team members agree to:

If you'd like to be part of the team sign up here.

Thanks so much,


An Invitation to Join The Long Awakening Launch Team


So many of you have told me that you’re reading my new memoir, The Long Awakening. This means the world to me. I worked on this book for ten years and for it to finally be out in the world drenches me in joy and grace and gratefulness. I wrote it because I had to; some books cannot stay inside you. When I write I immerse myself in the story, the craft, the shape and heart of it, with utter honesty, working, bleeding, to find what the story is supposed to be.

When I’m done creating and have worked to make a little bit of art to the best of my ability,  and finally, finally launch it out into the world I have one thought.

It’s for you.

The book is no longer mine, but for you to take from it what you will. The act of writing is for me, but what it becomes is yours.

To those of you who’ve read it, want to, or have supported it in any way, I want to say thank you again and again until my voice and heart are raspy from the saying.

Would you like to be part of my launch team?

Staying put in front of my computer and behind my pen to work on new projects holds appeal, but now it’s time to join my publisher in sharing this book with others.

If you’d like to actively help spread the word about The Long Awakening and be part of the book launch team with some free gifts and special opportunities, sign up below for more details and to join the team. Limited space is available.

Click here for more details and to sign up.

This is my heart book. I will always write, but I’ll never live another story like this, God willing.



On Meeting My Two Month Old Infant

A person should never have to try to remember when they were introduced to their baby. Should never have to meet their newborn only to find the baby is no longer a newborn, but is now a  two month old tiny person. Of course, one should never have to sleep for 47 days either.  

"There's still so much I'm unclear about even now, years later, so much I'll never know, like layers and layers of baby Swiss cheese, holes lapping over substance, but when peeled apart, you still find holes. I keep doing what any good reporter trying to keep at a story does--as new questions in an old story surface, go back to your primary source. So much later I do.

"Tim, remember the day you first brought Caroline to me after I woke up?" I've called him at work because I'm trying to remember this and I'm unclear when exactly it happened. It's a memory floating, without context, and I need him to ground it for me. "She was wearing a red outfit. Sharon handed her to me. What day was that? Was it October 15th?"

"Well, there were two days. Which one do you mean?"

"Two days?"

"Can we talk about this tonight?"

"Sure, but you remember?"

"Yeah, but I don' have time right now to explain it."

I hang up feeling a little like when you get to the end of a chapter in the book you're reading and you get one question answered only to have another question raised, so you turn one more page because you really want to know what happens, except you have to stop reading now because it's time to fix dinner or the house is on fire or something and you're a little irritated because this unanswered question's still hanging out there and you want to read a little longer but you can't. I have a single memory of waking from unconsciousness and being presented with my baby. And now there are two days, another page to turn, another layer of Swiss to peel back.

-Excerpted from my memoir The Long Awakening.

The Contest Winners, and Good Memoir Reads

Thanks to everyone who took part in the contest for free copies of my memoir, The Long Awakening, and the $20 Amazon and Starbucks gift cards. It was fun to read your comments about your favorite books and to connect with you on Twitter and my Facebook page. And the winners are...

The winner of a copy of The Long Awakening is: The Curried Nut.

The winner of a copy of my book and the $20 Amazon gift card is: Lori Raines.

The winner of a copy of the book and the $20 Starbucks gift card is: Kimberley Stone Wade.

Congratulations! Please message me your information to receive your prizes. Thanks to everyone who participated. Be sure to keep an eye out for my next giveaway...coming soon!

If you enjoy reading memoir, here are a couple that I love.

In an Instantby Lee and Bob Woodruff.

In 2006 Bob had just been named co-anchor of ABC's World News Tonight and while embedded with the military in Iraq a nearby explosion caused a traumatic brain injury and nearly killed him. It's not only a fascinating account of this story that made national news, but also of Lee's experience as she dealt with what happened to her husband, because trauma also hits the family of the person traumatized. Eerily, Bob's description of his coma and recovery resonated with my experience, but I love this book because it's a story about courage, and coping, and love.

Keeping the Feast by Paula Butturini.

A journalist, action, food, and Italy, all in one memoir. I first got an audio copy of this book, a format I enjoy, but after the first two minutes of listening I went out and bought it because the writing was too beautiful not to savor slowly in print. Paula and her husband, John, were both foreign journalists working overseas when John was hit by a sniper's bullet twenty-three days after their marriage. His recovery was far more than physical and one way their family coped was through food. She shopped daily at a market in Italy and served three meals a day around their table, a ritual that was healing, sustaining. This book has rich, layered themes about healing and struggle, love and food. It's a literary memoir that  I'm going to read again.

Happy reading.

What's a memoir you love?

My memoir is out!

My memoir, The Long Awakening, has hit the shelves! To celebrate, I want to do some giveaways, so keep reading about how to get some great free stuff, but first let me tell you what it's about. You can check out the video below too. This is a true story of waking from a two-month coma after childbirth and struggling to discover what had happened, to love my child, and rediscover who I was.

It's a story of lost and found love, the effort to make sense of life-altering events and the search for self-discovery. An altered life and the long journey afterwards can be painful yet beautiful--a poignant lesson on the ambiguity of meaning, the power of love, and purpose when you know who you are.

To learn what happened to me and my family during my missing two months, I approached it as I do when reporting a narrative about another person. I used my skills as a journalist to report my own story. A surreal experience indeed.

To celebrate the launch of

The Long Awakening

I'm giving away three prizes this week.

The prizes:

  • An autographed hardback copy of The Long Awakening.
  • A $20 Starbucks card and a hardback copy of The Long Awakening.
  • A $20 Amazon gift card and a hardback copy of The Long Awakening.

To enter do both of these:

1. Comment

below about your favorite book, and ...

2. Share

a link to this post on Facebook or Twitter, with the hashtag #LongAwakening.

Do this next thing in addition to the above two and you get two entries.

3. Be sure to "like" my new Facebook page and say hi in the comments.

Enter by Friday, Oct. 4th.

Here's the video: