Monday, December 16, 2013

Hot Pick of the Week Review and Giveaway: Dear Emily by Trudy Stiles


Two women. Carly and Tabitha. They each have suffered life-altering events that have left them both traumatically damaged. 

Carly Sloan’s life was perfect until her security and innocence was torn from her. The vast repercussions from horrific events threaten to destroy her stability and her chances for a happily ever after. Kyle Finnegan comes into Carly’s life at the height of her turmoil. Can he help her find what she desires most?

Tabitha Fletcher has constantly suffered from a very young age. She has been hiding from her past, which was full of sadness, loss and abuse. She has been so brutally damaged that she has very little hope for redemption. The revolving door of men only leads her deeper into misery.

What circumstance brings these two women together and can they help each other heal? And will they each find what they need? 


“Dear Emily” is the first book in the “Forever Family” series.

This book is not suitable for young readers. It is intended for mature adults only (18+). It contains strong language, adult/sexual situations, non-consensual sex and some violence.

5 star review by Jen Skewes

I am not even sure that I can begin to express just how much I loved this book and how truly amazing and touching it was.  Before even reading the synopsis of this book I watched the trailer and from that moment I knew that I needed to read it.  The trailer alone completely captures the emotions of this book.  So I have included it at the end of this review.  Dear Emily is by far one of my favorite books this year.  It is one of those books that will stay with you.

Tabitha had a tough life growing up.  Finding herself going from one foster home to the other.  She eventually moved in with her boyfriend, if you can even call him that.  But that relationship quickly turns into an abusive one.  Tabitha was abused physically and verbally, with decisions regarding her life being made for her.  She was treated in a way that no woman should ever be treated by a man.  She manages to escape the horrible life that she is in and move to a place where she can get a fresh start.  Move on from her past and maybe find some peace and happiness, even if she feels she is unworthy of both.  Along the way she meets two men, Seth and Alex who both play an important role in her life, each in a different way.  Tabitha soon finds herself in a situation where she has to make a tough decision in her life.  She knows in her heart what the best decision is for everyone involved but that doesn't make her decision any easier.  

Carly's life growing up was the complete opposite of Tabitha's.  She has a wonderful family and friends who love her.  She is now married to an amazing man that she met in college, Kyle.  Kyle was the man who helped save her in a way.  One night back in college she went to a party with her friends and it ended in a horrific way.  It was a night that Carly wanted to just forget and move on from.   Carly was broken and damaged after that night, both mentally and physically.  And even now as a married woman she is still scarred in some way from that night.  Carly and Kyle want a child but unfortunately that is not physically possible for Carly. So they decide to adopt, which is what brings Carly and Tabby together.  

Tabby has chosen Kyle and Carly to be the parents of her child.  Tabby knows that she cannot raise this child and knows that the best thing for her baby is to give her up for adoption.  Carly has everything that Tabby hopes to have one day in her life.  She is happy, in love and has an amazing husband.  She knows without a doubt that Kyle and Carly will make the perfect parents for her little girl.

Tabby and Carly are different in the way that they grew up but at the same time I think are alike in so many ways.  At one time Carly was broken and damaged.  But with an amazing support team, her 3 best friends and Kyle, she managed to move on from it and was determined to find her happiness.  She showed such strength and determination to move past the pain of that horrific night.  Tabby is still broken and trying to move on from her past.  She admires Carly and hopes to one day have what she has, a home, a family, a husband who loves her.  I think they are both very strong and loving woman, one who has moved on from the demons of her past, while the other is still fighting them.

Dear Emily is written in alternating point of views shifting from present to the past. We were taken back in time to see how these two woman ended up where they are today.  We see what brought them together.    Tabby is giving Carly the greatest gift that she could ever ask for. Together they formed a bond that will last a lifetime.  Dear Emily is an emotional, heart wrenching story that will make you make you sad, angry at times, happy and trust me you will cry.  But it will also warm your heart in so many ways.  Dear Emily is about real life issues and being able to see this story from both sides is one of the things that makes this story truly amazing.   You feel the emotions that both these woman are going through.  While you are happy for Carly because her dreams of becoming a mother are coming true, but at the same time your heart completely breaks for Tabby and all that she has gone through in her life.  I admired the strength of both woman tremendously.  Trudy Stiles did an amazing job capturing the emotions; the fear, happiness, sadness, love and strength of these two woman.  She writes from the heart and gives us a wonderful insight to something that many people go through in life. 

While this is truly Tabby and Carly's story we do see the men in their life as well.  And I just needed to say what an amazing man Kyle is.  His presence in this story doesn't take away from the true meaning of this story but at the same time his presence is a very important part as well.  He has stood by Carly since they met in college.  He loves her, wants to protect her and make her happy.  The moments that these two shared together honestly melted my heart and brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion, happy tears of course.  He was perfect.  Just needed to let you all know that :)  

Dear Emily is a beautiful, emotional story about love and hope.  It is one of those stories that will stay with you forever.  Trudy Stiles did an amazing job with this story.  I'm not sure if my words did this book justice but can tell you that it is a must read for all.  Have some tissue handy, there was one particular moment that had me in tears.   I cannot wait for the next one!  

Dear Emily,
How do I start off a letter to a child I have yet to meet?
A child that has always been in our hearts?
A child that is meant for our family?
Your Daddy and I cannot wait for the moment we are able to hold you in our arms for the first time. To lay our eyes on your perfect face, eyes, toes. To breathe in the essence of a new baby, swirling scents of powder and linen.
We cannot wait to feel your beating heart against our chests and to listen to your slow and steady breaths.
To hear your soft baby noises.
To soothe your crying.
We have always dreamed of you, Emily. We’ve dreamed that someday our family would be blessed with a child.
We are now so close to realizing this dream. Our new family is within reach.
So very close.
We are now hoping, waiting, praying.
Love and kisses,
Momma & Daddy
My eyes are glistening with tears as I scrawl my signature at the bottom of the letter, touch my fingers to my lips, press them onto her name and close my journal. I look over to my left where Kyle is softly snoring, sleeping soundly. I mouth the words “I love you” to him, touch his back lightly, put my journal in my night table drawer and turn out the soft light by my bedside. I curl my body into his, tuck my head into his chest and hold on tight.
I love this man with all that I am and I love the father that he is going to be.
My heart is full of promise and hope

Dear Emily from t. h. snyder on Vimeo.
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