RELEASE DAY GIVEAWAY: Letting Go of Gravity by Meg Leder

 
I am so excited that LETTING GO OF GRAVITY by Meg Leder is available now and that I get to share the news!
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Meg Leder, be sure to check out all the details below.
This blitz also includes a giveaway for 3 finished copies of the book, courtesy of Simon Pulse and Rockstar Book Tours. So if
you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
About the Book:
Title: LETTING GO OF GRAVITY
Author: Meg Leder
Pub. Date: July 17, 2018
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 432
Find it: 
Twins Parker and Charlie are polar opposites.

Where Charlie is fearless, Parker is careful.

Charlie is confident while Parker aims to please.

Charlie is outgoing and outspoken; Parker is introverted and reserved.

And of course, there’s the one other major difference: Charlie got leukemia.
Parker didn’t.

But now that Charlie is officially in remission, life couldn’t be going better for Parker. She’s landed a prestigious summer internship at the hospital and is headed to Harvard in the fall to study pediatric oncology—which is why the anxiety she’s felt since her Harvard acceptance is so unsettling. And it doesn’t help that her relationship with Charlie has been on the rocks since his diagnosis.

Enter Finn, a boy who’s been leaving strange graffiti messages all over town. Parker can’t stop thinking about those messages, or about Finn, who makes her feel free for the first time: free to doubt, free to make mistakes, and free to confront the truth that Parker has been hiding from for a long time.

That she keeps trying to save Charlie, when the person who really needs saving is herself. 
A gorgeous, sad, funny, and wise book about letting go and finding your place in the world. Meg Leder has written a story about a brother and sister that will break your heart and have you whispering ‘I got you’ long after you’ve closed the book.” –Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces
“For readers who love and appreciate a good coming-of-age story, a realistic romance, and a novel where every character gets to be a hero.” –Kirkus
“A poignant and carefully crafted story….  A compelling coming-of-age novel sure to appeal to those who love realistic fiction.” –School Library Journal
“Effectively shows how illness affects families and how a person can get stuck acting out a persona and end up knowing very little about herself.” –Publishers Weekly
About Meg:
Meg Leder is the author of Letting Go of Gravity and The Museum of Heartbreak, and the coauthor of books including The Happy Book and The Book of Me. A former bookseller and teacher, she currently works as a book editor in New York City. She spends her free time reading, looking for street art, and people watching. She lives in Brooklyn with her cat Tim Riggins.
Giveaway Details:
3 winners will win a finished copy of LETTING GO OF GRAVITY, US Only.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

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BOOK TOUR SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: Scream All Night by Derek Milman

Scream All Night 

by Derek Milman

YA Contemporary

Book Description

A darkly hilarious contemporary realistic young adult novel about growing up and finding your place in the world, perfect for fans of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and Running With Scissors.

Dario Heyward knows one thing: He’s never going back to Moldavia Studios, the iconic castle that served as the set, studio, and home to the cast and crew of dozens of cult classic B-horror movies. It’s been three years since Dario’s even seen the place, after getting legally emancipated from his father, the infamous director of Moldavia’s creature features.

But then Dario’s brother invites him home to a mysterious ceremony involving his father and a tribute to his first film—The Curse of the Mummy’s Tongue. Dario swears his homecoming will be a one-time visit. A way for him to get closure on his past—and reunite with Hayley, his first love and costar of Zombie Children of the Harvest Sun, a production fraught with real-life tragedy—and say good-bye for good. But the unthinkable happens—Dario gets sucked back into the twisted world of Moldavia and the horrors, both real and imagined, he’s left there.

With only months to rescue the sinking studio and everyone who has built their lives there, Dario must confront the demons of his past—and the uncertainties of his future. But can he escape the place that’s haunted him his whole life?

Chapter 1: Return to Moldavia

Slightly before dinner, Keenan House, the group home where I live, gets a call that my homosexual exorcism is scheduled to take place next Thursday at four.

“But I’m not homosexual. And I’m not possessed,” I say to Len, my counselor.

“You sure?” says Len. He cracks open a PBR and takes a long, gurgling sip.

“Bet you’re both,” says my roommate, Jude, lacing up his boxing gloves.

“Actually,” says Len, belching, softly punching his gut, “I think it’s your brother calling.”

Oren. Of course.

Late-afternoon sunlight smears across the cinder-block walls through broken, yellowed blinds. I throw down my graphic novel, which I was actually half enjoying, and roll out of my sagging lower bunk with a groan. I walk down the hall and grab the phone.

“Why are you calling me?”

“’Cause I know you have lots of homo demons inside you,” says Oren, stifling one of his loud, chirpy laughs. “And I thought maybe it was time for a devil cleanse.”

“Uh-huh.” I hear projected voices in the background—like announcements on a PA or something. “Where are you?”

“Hospital.”

“What?”

“We’re burying Dad next week. Funeral is Thursday.”

“Dad died?”

“No, no.”

My dad has been slowly dying for forty years. Emphysema, hairy cell leukemia, diabetes, arthritis; it’s like he just went shopping one day for chronic diseases and never made any returns. More recently, he’s been sliding into dementia.

Thing is, this might really be it. The doctors are pretty sure. “He has two weeks max,” says Oren.

“Shit.” I bite my thumbnail—an old nervous habit instantaneously reborn. I’m suddenly terrified that my family, who I was legally emancipated from three years ago, might be planning something deeply, morbidly insane. But it’s not as bad as all that.

Just a live funeral.

“A what?” The phone slips out of my hands. I juggle it back to my ear.

“Dad’s final wish was to be buried alive,” says Oren.

 

 

About the Author

Derek Milman was born in New York City, but grew up in Westchester, NY, where he wrote and published a successful underground humor magazine that caught the attention of the New York Times, who wrote a profile on him at the age of 14.

Derek studied English, Creative Writing, and Theater at Northwestern University. He began his career as a playwright (his first play was staged in New York City when he was just out of college), and earned an MFA in acting at the Yale School of Drama.

Derek has performed on stages across the country, and appeared in numerous TV shows and films, working with two Academy Award winning film directors.

Scream All Night is Derek’s debut YA novel. He currently lives in Brooklyn where he is hard at work on his next book.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

PURCHASE THE BOOK

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1 winner will win a signed finished copy of SCREAM ALL NIGHT & swag, US Only.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

 

BOOK SPOTLIGHT & GIVEAWAY: She Doesn’t Know by Shane Morales

She Doesn’t Know

by Shane Morales

Contemporary YA

Book Description

Chloe Parker has just been uprooted to a tiny American compound in Saudi Arabia. You’d think after fourteen years of being an Air Force brat, she’d be used to being the new kid, but it still sucks. At least until she meets charming, charismatic Alex and falls for him hard.

But Alex is a year older and is heading off to boarding school in Switzerland. Chloe won’t see him again for nine months and it’s breaking her heart. She doesn’t even know if Alex likes her back until he gifts her his private binder of hand-written stories and song lyrics to remember him by. That has to mean something, right?

At long last the wait is over and Alex returns, but he’s a haunted shell of his former self. Something bad happened while Alex was away, something that killed the light in his eyes, and Chloe is determined to help him. She has to get the old Alex back.

But Chloe doesn’t know you can’t bring someone back from a place you’ve never been. All you can do is be there when they finally decide to come home.

About the Author

Forever young and living on the fringes of society, Shane Morales delights in questioning authority and challenging social norms. Drawing from his own teen experience, he writes young adult stories about first love and second chances.

Shane grew up overseas and attended a boarding school in Switzerland during the 80s. He went to college in Maryland where he earned a degree in physical geography with an emphasis in comparative paleo-anatomy (he knows a lot about dinosaur hip structure). After graduating, he disregarded his training, promptly fell in with a bad crowd and spent the next 17 years in IT.

He can usually be found at his computer writing, coding, or wreaking pixelated havoc online with his friends.

Shane currently lives in Florida with his wife and two Feline Masters.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

PURCHASE THE BOOK

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

– 10 Winners will receive a Copy of SHE DOESN’T KNOW by Shane Morales

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!!

 

Psychiatry as a Career

When thinking about a future career, a lot of young people think either one of two things: they want a job that will make them a lot of money, or they want to make a difference in people’s lives.  Though it’s there there are many ways in which a person can choose to make a difference, an option that some may not immediately think about is a position in psychiatry.

So many people visualize being a doctor as being in the emergency room or operating room and holding people’s lives in their hands.  But there are other medical paths that are just as important and are needed more now than ever–psychologists and psychiatrists.

With the advent of mental health awareness and the stigma around getting help for yourself vanishing, psychiatry is becoming just as important as traditional medicine.  A psychiatrist can take on many faces for a patient: confidant, adviser, friend.  Think about some of these benefits of taking up a career in psychiatry.

DEEPER RELATIONSHIP WITH PATIENTS

Although some psychiatrists do work in busy hospitals with a lot of patient flow in and out, for the most part a psychiatrist will have a smaller patient load than a traditional physician.  Because of the nature of mental health treatment, a lot of deep issues are discussed between doctor and patient, and as a result the patient can feel a sense of trust and security as the relationship between the two is built up.

FLEXIBILITY IN PRACTICE

As I mentioned earlier, the number of people who are searching for help with their mental health problems is growing exponentially.  So, naturally, doctors are making themselves more available so they can help a greater number of people.  Psychiatrists are now reachable on many channels; online, in office, through telephone and email.  So a psychiatrist who doesn’t want to work in a 9-5 office setting doesn’t really have to all the time. If you’re a night owl, having video chats with patients on a graveyard shift might be right up your alley.

CAREER ESTEEM

In my opinion, mental health professionals are taking up one of the most respectable jobs.  It takes a strong person to be able to listen objectively to others’ deep-seated obstacles and not take the stress of the situation upon themselves.  In a lot of cases, although you may not hold someone’s beating heart in your hands, you may be saving their lives another way–by giving them the outlet they need before they harm themselves.

Psychiatry is a medical field that will have many upcoming opportunities in the future, so you should consider these points as you choose what you want to do in life.

BOOK TOUR REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

The Last Time I Lied

by Riley Sager

Mystery

Book Description

Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she–or anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings–massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends.

Yet it’s immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp’s twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present. And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price.

MY THOUGHTS:

4 out of 5 FLEURS DE LIS


The Last Time I Lied
by Riley Sager

This novel kind of blurs the line between YA and adult. There are alternating sections between the current life of 28 year old Emma Davis, and the summer 15 years ago when she was a witness to her 3 summer camp bunk mates vanishing without a trace. Against her better judgment, Emma returns to the newly reopened camp as an instructor. She hopes to find some closure to the event that’s been haunting her, and to find out the truth.

I was hooked from the beginning chapter, and I knew I had to find out the truth about what happened to the missing girls. Emma has not been coping well with the night from 15 years ago; she did a stint in a psychiatric facility, she sees the faces of the girls in random places, and she’s been painting them over and over again, trying to clear herself of the blame she feels for their disappearance.

Emma is haunted, and it’s the defining aspect of her personality. The most interesting character in this book though is only seen through Emma’s memories of the past. Vivian, one of the 16 year olds who went missing, was a whirlwind of charm and bite, a girl who knew what she wanted and how to get it. Viv was the queen bee, and Emma felt pleased to be taken under the wing of a girl three years older. The relationship between them was complicated though, and helped shape the events of the night of the disappearances.

The final chapters of this book are fantastic; there are twists I definitely didn’t see coming and the action felt believable. The end left me wanting more, but I think the way things played out was perfect. I would absolutely read more books by this author.

View all my reviews

About the Author

Riley Sager is the pseudonym of a former journalist, editor and graphic designer who previously published mysteries under his real name.

Now a full-time author, Riley’s first thriller, FINAL GIRLS, became a national and international bestseller and was called “the first great thriller of 2017” by Stephen King. Translation rights have been sold in more than two dozen countries and a film version is being developed by Universal Pictures.

Riley’s next book, THE LAST TIME I LIED, will be published in July. It was inspired by the classic novel and film “Picnic at Hanging Rock” and one horrible week Riley spent at summer camp when he was ten.

A native of Pennsylvania, Riley now lives in Princeton, New Jersey. When he’s not working on his next novel, he enjoys reading, cooking and going to the movies as much as possible. His favorite film is “Rear Window.” Or maybe “Jaws.” But probably, if he’s being honest, “Mary Poppins.”

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

PURCHASE THE BOOK

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One commenter will win a copy of the book! US/CAN only please!

Let me know if you have ever been to summer camp!

 

The Fantastic Flying Book Club

3 Easy Ways to Make Your Home More Welcoming

You want your home setting to be as welcoming and comfortable as possible for you, your family and your guests. With a few simple changes, you’ll be able to create the inviting atmosphere that you desire. Here are three easy ways to make your home more welcoming.

Improve the Lighting

If the lighting is just right, anyone who walks into your home will feel more at ease right away. The bulbs for your light fixtures should emit soft light that still makes it easy to see without being too strenuous on the eyes. Using lanterns or floating candles to generate some of your light can also be more appealing. You can also try putting up some white string lights around your doors and windows.

Add Some Appealing Aromas

Certain aromas can also make a home setting more welcoming. Essential oils or air fresheners with scents like vanilla, lemon and lavender are great for enhancing the atmosphere. You can also try cooking some of your favorite foods with grill seasoning sets and letting the tantalizing smells linger for a while. Another simple trick is to heat a little bit of cinnamon in a pan.

Enhance the Entranceway

Anyone who enters your setting will immediately feel more at home if your entranceway is enhanced just right. A welcoming mat placed on your doorstep along with a long rug that sits inside the entranceway can make people feel as though they’re receiving the red-carpet treatment. Placing some mirrors, pictures or artwork just inside the entranceway can also help give a warm welcoming.

These are just a few of the simplest ways to create a living space that makes everyone feel like they’re wanted in your home. With a little imagination and creativity, you’ll likely be able to find additional ways to make your home more welcoming.

Thinking About Marriage Counseling?

As a rule, I don’t generally like to give out relationship advice.  There are too many aspects to consider when it comes to the intricacies of relationships between couples, and what works for me and my marriage may not work for yours.  But, if you have been thinking that it’s time to talk to a neutral party about what’s happening between you and your spouse, here is some information for you to consider before taking that next step.

Counseling Isn’t Always Negative

The general consensus around marriage counseling is that you should only go if you and your spouse are having serious problems that you cannot work through, or that you are on the verge of a divorce.  At least, this is how couples in counseling are usually portrayed on movies and television.

But, sometimes it’s a good idea to think about finding someone to talk to before you get that far into an issue.  Sometimes newly married couples seek counseling because they might want guidelines on how to solve problems that arise during the course of their marriage.  Or one spouse might have something they want to address with the other, but are not sure how to go about it.  In these cases and others, a counselor can help open up communication between you.

There Are Several Options

You should know that there are more options now for marriage counseling than just sitting in a room and talking about your problems.  Online therapy is becoming more and more popular, and can be an excellent option for those who can’t find an office nearby, or those who need a more flexible schedule.  If you have a trusted friend you can both confide in whom you think will be impartial, that is another option.  Many pastors of churches will also offer counseling if you ask.

If you’re worried about cost, some insurances do cover counseling, so be sure to look into your benefits to know what exactly you might have to pay. Online therapy is affordable, and you can often purchase packages of sessions to help lower the price.  If you are intent on helping your marriage through a difficult period, you should weigh the costs of therapy against the cost of not getting any help–and that might be a price you don’t want to pay.

REVIEW: Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Baby Teeth

by Zoje Stage

Thriller

Book Description

Sweetness can be deceptive. 

Meet Hanna.

She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

Meet Suzette.

She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette’s husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.

MY THOUGHTS:

4 out of 5 FLEURS DE LIS


Baby Teeth
by Zoje Stage

I haven’t really read a book with homicidal children, but now that I have I understand that it’s kind of a subgenre in horror. Baby Teeth was certainly enough to give me a few chills here and there.

This story is told in alternating points of view between a mother and daughter who cannot get along, and each has their own reasons for having a difficult time dealing with one another. Suzette is a mother who’s been forced to stay at home the past few years because she and her husband have not been able to find a school that can handle her defiant and behaviorally complex daughter. Though she has the support of her husband, he dotes on Hanna and does not see the abhorrent way she treats her mother. At times this makes Suzette feel like an outsider in her own home. Hanna is 7 years old. She’s nonverbal, and the only person she even remotely cooperates with is her father. Hanna has been ejected from every school she’s been sent to, and it’s clear she wants her mother out of the picture. What’s scary is how far she’s willing to go to accomplish that.

Absolutely the most amazing part about this book is seeing just how Hanna thinks, and how cold and calculating she is. I think some might say the way she plans things is very much above the level of a typical child her age, but she’s not typical and I believe some of her strategies could not be out of the realm of possibility for a highly intelligent child.

It’s also interesting to see how much Suzette is truly struggling with whether or not she loves her daughter the way she should, and how she can’t stop obsessing about where she might have gone wrong. We are given some background on Suzette’s life as well, which helps build up the basis that the way you parent is really decided years before you become a parent.

At its’ core, the book is about recognizing that something might be wrong with your child and how long it takes you to figure out that you cannot deal with their behavior on your own. Almost every parent I know prides themselves on how they’ve raised their child, but when you’ve done the best you possibly can and things still haven’t turned out normally, where do you go from there? I kept waiting for a happy, concrete ending to Baby Teeth, but just like real life, the future of this child is uncertain.

I would recommend this book for parents and also those who like a good look into the mind of an abnormal person, no matter what the age.

View all my reviews

 

About the Author

Before turning to novels, Zoje Stage had a deep and eclectic background in film and theatre. Highlights include being a 2012 Emerging Storytellers Fellow from the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP.org), and a 2008 Fellow in Screenwriting from the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA.org). In 2009 she won the Screenplay Live! Screenwriting Competition, which afforded her the opportunity to direct a staged reading of her winning script, THE MACHINE WHO LOVED, for the High Falls Film Festival (Rochester, NY). Zoje has written-directed-produced numerous zero-budget films, including the documentary short BEST OF LUCK (“an amusing take on the travails of aspiring writers” – The New York Times). Her films have screened at venues such as Anthology Film Archives and Two Boots Pioneer Theater (both in NYC), Film Kitchen (Pittsburgh, PA), and Emerging Filmmakers (Rochester, NY). As a playwright, Zoje is most proud of her play MONSTER, which was produced in Pittsburgh by the Upstairs Theatre (“Ms. Stage now makes her own contribution to holocaust literature with a demanding and intensely felt play… a must-see for those wanting another view of why and how the holocaust happened.” – The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). After living in Rochester, NY for many years, she is back in her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

Twitter: @zooshka
Instagram: @zoje.stage_author
Pre-order BABY TEETH

How Do Processing Terminals Work?

Most people take for granted the ability to quickly and securely pay for goods or services with credit cards, debit cards or mobile devices. However, the processes involved in making the act of paying so effortless are quite fascinating. Payment technologies represent the leading edge of both the cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT) currently entering everyday life. Cloud-enabled point of sale software applications such as Clover POS systems provide the necessary link between processing terminals and networks to give customers the convenient and safe payment methods they desire.

Moving Money With Ease

To accept payments other than cash, merchants must invest in a piece of hardware known as a processing terminal. These devices, which connect to cardholders’ banks through a secure network, capture and securely transmit account and transaction data. The issuing bank analyzes the information and sends an authorization or denial back to the processing terminal.

Payment software helps determine the speed at which the terminal can handle transactions. Leading cloud-based applications such as Revel POS or Clover allow the use of non-traditional processing terminals like iPads outfitted with card scanners. As developers continue to add innovations to both software and hardware, merchants and customers are enjoying the many benefits.

• Secure transactions
• Easy-to-use interfaces for customers and employees
• Acceptance of all forms of electronic payments
• Complete mobility provided by built-in wireless networking capabilities
• Tracking of inventory, sales data and loyalty programs

The payment solutions industry is rapidly evolving as product developers strive to meet the need of merchants to serve the continually changing habits and preferences of today’s consumers.

Choosing the Right Payment Processing System

If you are looking for the right POS system for your business, the payment experts at Merchant Account Solutions pride themselves in serving all types of companies. The firm also offers a lowest-rate guarantee, so contact a representative today, and learn more about the options that are available to you.

TRAILER RELEASE: Creed 2

PRIDE. LEGACY. FAMILY.
This fall, there is more to lose than a title.

In Theaters Wednesday, November 21st

 Life has become a balancing act for Adonis Creed. Between personal obligations and training for his next big fight, he is up against the challenge of his life. Facing an opponent with ties to his family’s past only intensifies his impending battle in the ring. Rocky Balboa is there by his side through it all and, together, Rocky and Adonis will confront their shared legacy, question what’s worth fighting for, and discover that nothing’s more important than family. Creed II is about going back to basics to rediscover what made you a champion in the first place, and remembering that, no matter where you go, you can’t escape your history.

Director: Steven Caple Jr.
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Wood Harris, Russell Hornsby, Florian “Big Nasty” Munteanu, Andre Ward, Phylicia Rashad, Dolph Lundgren
Writer: Sylvester Stallone
Distributor: MGM, Warner Bros. Pictures
#CreedII
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Everyone has faced a challenge or an obstacle in their life, right?  Think about this quote from Rocky Balboa: “But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

It’s not something I talk about much, but shortly after my husband and I got married over ten years ago, we discovered I was pregnant.  This was a baby that was very much wanted, and we celebrated and immediately told our families the news.  Within a couple of short weeks though, we discovered that I miscarried and the grief we both had was immense.

I was so emotionally worn out that I decided I wanted to wait a while before trying for another baby, but the universe must have known what I needed because within 2 months I was pregnant again.  Cautiously, we prepared for our baby.  Even though I had a very difficult pregnancy with a lot of illness, we happily welcomed our first son into the world on October 10, 2008.

It was hard for me to reconcile that I had lost a baby but there was one in my arms I had to take care of.  With the help of my amazingly supportive husband, I made it through those newborn days and we now have mostly fond memories of that time.

You move forward in life, you must know that you have to get back up as many times as you fall.