Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Brownie Fix by Ellen Cardona (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Ellen Cardona, author of Brownie Fix!

                                                                        Author Ellen Cardona

Author Guest Post

I often get the question, "Why do you write?" I usually try to avoid the answer because people would think I was a nut case.

I guess the bigger question would be, "Why don't I write?" That's an easy answer ... fear.

Before I tackle a big writing project like starting a new manuscript or even editing, I'll procrastinate in every way I know how. I'll get the house completely organized, clean out my kids' closets, and even clean out my own closet. Very scary. It's a way for me to organize the clutter before I tackle the clutter in the manuscript.

However, it's more than just procrastinating and organizing the clutter. At first, I thought that I wasn't writing because of the fear of failure. What happens if I can't do it? Will I really fail? That's stupid because I know I won't. I'm a good writer.

No, my biggest fear is the fear of success. What if I succeed? Success is scarier than failure. What if all I wanted, like to write my book and to have people actually read it comes true? It's scary for me, and yet I have to embrace success and to enjoy it.

That's what I'm learning now: to embrace the fact the people are reading Brownie Fix, and it's helping them. That's huge. Sometimes, all I want to do is go hide in a hole, but I can't. I have to put Brownie Fix out there and accept the fact that I did it. Wow.

Right now, I'm procrastinating with my next book, Raven's Return, because I'm editing, and I know once I start, I'll be sucked into the manuscript for a while and enjoy it. Yet, I procrastinate because it's not failure that I fear but success and event the feeling of satisfaction that goes into creating and editing a story.

Bottom line: it's easy to be miserable than to be happy. Happiness is hard, and some people really don't like to be around you when you're happy. That's scary.

I could easily chuck writing away and shut out my ideas and keep them all bundled in a tight ball in my head and be miserable, but that's not an option for me. It's not. I have to write.

I guess I should answer the first question now, "Why do I write?" It's ti quiet the voices in my head. If I don't let them out, then they make life very difficult, but that's another story for another blog post.

Really, I'm not a nut case. I'm a writer.

About The Author:

Ellen Cardona wrote Brownie Fix to help deal with the postpartum depression she experienced after one of her pregnancies. Through her writing, she found that postpartum depression was real but conquerable, especially when one has the help of some dark chocolate and even darker humor.

When Ellen is not writing, she teaches literature to college freshman and attempts to help them understand the writing process, though they think she's crazy because of her love for literature and writing.

Ellen graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas with a PhD in Humanities with a specialization in Literature. Even though she has published several academic works on Ezra Pound, she could not ignore her true passion as a fiction writer.

Ellen lives in Richardson, Texas and continues to learn daily from her husband and two children. In good times and bad, she still enjoys her brownies.

Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway

* Virtual Book Tour Contest Giveaway: $10 Amazon Gift Card *

Post a comment on Ellen Cardona's Brownie Fix Virtual Book Tour Page on Chick Lit Plus to enter to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card! Anyone who purchases their copy of Brownie Fix before July 30th, and sends their receipt to, will get five bonus entries!

Book Review

Brownie Fix by Ellen Cardona
Published By: CreateSpace
Release Date: August 20, 2011
Format: Paperback - 232 pages / Kindle - 544 KB / Nook - 397 KB
ISBN: 1466221518
Genre: Chick Lit / Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Brownie Fix

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus.

Book Description: 

Chocolate. Love. Sex. Really, what else could a woman want in life? For Persey, the heroine of Brownie Fix, her days are fun-filled until what is normally one of life's most fulfilling experiences, the birth of her son, leads her straight into a dark state of postpartum depression. Wandering in her own postpartum hell, Persey meets people that are absurd, like the swinging neighbors who want a little more than a cup of sugar and a group of mothers who become whipped up in worship to a climactic furor. On top of the madness, she keeps seeing a yellow-toothed old man who acts like he wants to breastfeed from her. Or is it her imagination? Add the voices in her head that become louder and louder, and it's little wonder that Persey reaches for brownie mix to soothe her insanity. Buckling under the pressure and lack of sleep from motherhood, Persey experiences the five stages of grief that lead her to uncover a buried secret, and gradually she begins to heal with the help of her family, friends, and, of course, brownies.

Book Excerpt:

                                       Chapter Three: Not Ready

"This baby is going to live," said Persey, and the pain of another contraction jarred her into the present.

"Yes, this is a living baby, and it's coming out right now," a skinny blonde nurse, dressed in white scrubs, calmly said and rolled Persey into a labor room. A panicked Hayden followed behind his wife, and they entered the room, where another nurse was waiting for Persey. The second nurse could have been a twin of the other nurse with the same white scrubs and long, layered hair, except this nurse had red hair, like Persey.

"What?" said Persey, climbing into the hospital bed.

"There's no way I'm having a baby. I'm not ready."

Another contraction hit Persey, and she tried to breathe through it. The contractions were on top of each other, and Persey was scared.

"Where's my epidural?" she demanded and noticed that the room was in mauve again. "Ugh, mauve."

"He's coming. He's coming," Hayden said in an excited voice and squeezed her hand. He was standing at his wife's side and sweating profusely.

"Um the baby's coming," the red head explained as she reached under the bed and pulled at the metallic stirrups with a thud. "The epidural man is not."

"No," Persey cried. "I want my meds."

"It's too late," the blonde said with a smirk. "You have to deliver right now. We can give you something to knock the edge off, but the baby's coming."

Persey screamed. "I'll go get it," the red head replied and darted out of the room.

My Book Review:

Motherhood, postpartum depression and deep personal issues ... this is the story of a woman who struggles to find a stabilizing balance when her world changes with the birth of her son.

Brownie Fix is a tragic yet poignant story about a woman dealing with the daunting role of being a new mother while having a severe and debilitating case of postpartum depression. Persey has a wonderful life: a loving and supportive husband named Hayden, a wealthy lifestyle and an artistic career as a painter. But for all that is good in her life, Persey has dark personal issues from her past that continue to plague her psyche: a horrible childhood trauma and voices in her head that inflict emotional and physical pain. Persey lost her first child to a miscarriage, and the grief and loss she felt from that tragedy persists as her second pregnancy advances, she fears that this baby will also die. With the successful birth of their son Ryan, Persey feels like she isn't ready to become a mother, and the frightening tentacles of postpartum depression wraps itself around her. Persey's coping mechanism is eating chocolate brownies (usually the raw brownie mix) and the disturbing act of cutting herself. When she begins to gain weight and her self-infliction escalates and her condition worsens, Persey has to make a choice between allowing the debilitating condition to completely control her, or fight back and reclaim her life.

Brownie Fix was a very difficult book to read, it's disturbing look into the seriousness of postpartum depression and deep traumatic personal issues had me feeling the full spectrum of emotions. While I think that the story was well written, I felt that the book description was misleading, as I did not find anything funny in the portions that contained dark humor. This tragic yet poignant story pulled at my heartstrings, no one should ever have to struggle and suffer through such a debilitating condition. I applaud the author's intention to provide insight and help for other mothers that may be going through postpartum depression through loosely sharing her experience and that of the fictional character's experience, in the hope to show them that they too can get through this traumatic condition.

Brownie Fix is a story of personal turmoil and the battle to fight back, it is an insightful look into a debilitating condition written in a thoughtful way that provides much food for thought.

RATING: 3 STARS *** (My Rating) / 4 STARS **** (Amazon Rating)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the opportunity to read, review and host the virtual book tour event.