In 2004 Stephanie Nimmo was a career-focused, suburban mother of three, happily married to the love of her life, Andy. In December that year their fourth child was born and life as Steph knew it changed dramatically. From having to give up a successful career to care for her fragile, life-limited daughter, to learning how to cope with the challenges of her sons' autism diagnoses and the cruel blow of Andy's terminal cancer, Steph learned very early on that it's not the cards you are dealt in life but how you play them. Far from being a misery memoir, Was This In The Plan?, is a frank, open and no-holds-barred account of how a family was determined not just to survive but to thrive when the odds were against them. It will make you question your own attitude to life and how you choose to respond when unexpected events throw you off course. From a family of six to four in just over a year, losing her husband to cancer and then 14 months later, her 12-year-old daughter Daisy, following life-long illness, Stephanie writes with such powerful, raw honesty that it is impossible to not be moved and inspired by her story. Resilience is a hot topic right now and Steph is the epitome of inner strength. A regular in the press opening up the conversation about death and grief.
A Lion’s Roar: Fear, Courage and Whispers of Change is the true story of a woman who, despite feeling afraid and alone, voluntarily left a life she knew for one of self-discovery in the wilds of Africa. It would be a lion that would change her life forever.
At thirty-seven years old, Sonia Rosenblatt was worn down by city life. Boyfriends and friends had come and gone. Single, lonely, unfulfilled, unemployed and battling frequent bouts of crippling anxiety, she knew she had to make change. This fiercely honest memoir, set against the breathtaking backdrop of the southern African bushveld, recounts Sonia’s experience of self-discovery.
A Lion’s Roar: Fear, Courage and Whispers of Change chronicles Sonia’s experiences volunteering at wildlife reserves in South Africa and Botswana. The grittiness of conservation, and the vast untamed wilderness challenged her strength and resilience at every turn, while the relationships she formed and the wild animals she cared for allowed her to find herself in the most unexpected of places. Finally, an unexpected encounter with a lion changed Sonia’s life forever.
Divided into six captivating chapters, Sonia begins by describing her upbringing in a close-knit Jewish community in Dublin, of moving to a large secondary school at the age of twelve, an environment that would unhinge the steady foundations upon which her life had been built. She describes why years later, she moved to London and then to Toronto where harassment in the workplace plagued her and only exacerbated her debilitating anxiety. Sonia yearned to be unshackled from a life that had completely derailed off the path she had set herself. Through a series of serendipitous events, Sonia touched down in Johannesburg to become a volunteer on wildlife reserves in South Africa and Botswana for twelve weeks.
Sonia shares her battle with anxiety and vulnerability with unflinching intimacy. She discovers that she can handle situations and overcome her fears far better than she could ever have imagined. Sonia takes us through the daily life of a volunteer, sometimes in remote places, showing what it is like to have one’s life stripped back and unadorned – so far removed from the life she knows. Finally, Sonia describes how she went back to her grey life under grey skies and endured harassment in the workplace, debilitating anxiety and more bouts of depression. That was until she was ready to listen to the message that the lion had willed her to hear years earlier. When Sonia finally starts to listen, her life begins to change, a life that would move her towards a greater alignment with who she really is.
This memoir, A Lion’s Roar: Fear, Courage and Whispers of Change is an essential read for anyone who feels stuck in their lives and for those who are afraid to take that first step. This story will inspire readers to find the strength within themselves.
As a small boy I loved to ride his bike, play football with friends and to laugh. I loved life and was always smiling.
When I was eight years old, I was targeted by a group of predatory paedophiles who subjected me to 18-months of horrific sexual abuse. I was too ashamed and scared to tell anyone what had happened...not my parents, friends or family.
In my new book, A Small Boy Smiling, I recount a remarkable story of survival and overcoming the trauma, guilt and shame of childhood sexual abuse, teenage alcoholism, sexual anorexia, and post traumatic stress disorder. My lifelong search for peace, love and healing culminates in personal spiritual awakening and a desire to help other survivors of sexual abuse to discover their own healing.
My search for healing inspired him to explore a variety of healing pathways which included conventional trauma therapies for PTSD in the UK; to Spain where I enjoyed an exhilarating month long pilgrimage along the 500-mile Camino to Santiago de Compostela; to Brazil where I experienced profound healing on a meditation retreat; and on numerous visits to India where I have studied spiritual philosophy, meditated in ashrams, and trekked the Himalayas.
However the initial catalyst for my healing was (and still is) Alcoholics Anonymous. I went to my first AA meeting at age 20 and have now been sober for over 25 years. My book includes a chapter by trauma therapist, Sarah Paton Briggs, about our therapy sessions together. Soulful Space: Reflections on my therapy work with Matt, has been very well received by my readers, many of whom are survivors.
A Small Boy Smiling is my story of how I’ve overcome my demons to reclaim my smile and learn to love and laugh again as an adult.