#Review “Tess and Tattoos” by H.A. Leuschel


Tess and Tattoos cover

5/5 Stars!

The blurring of lines between caregiver and patient impacts the lives of two women, if only for a short time.

Octogenarian Tess is haunted by the past. As bits and pieces of her back story are revealed, we see a woman who, while seeking liberation and freedom, imprisons herself for the offense of love.

While she considers excuses like Stockholm syndrome and protecting her abuser, I couldn’t help but feel as though Tess was doing penance and wonder if she ever would have walked away on her own.

The care home resident has more time each day than she likes to reflect on her choices and missed opportunities to enjoy a true reconciliation with her beloved only child.

Less than half Tess’s age, young widow, Sandra, is the breath of fresh air Tess needed in her suffocating existence.

As the newest staff member at the care home, the single mom has a lot on her plate with rejoining the workforce, raising three children and moving on with her life.

I loved Sandra’s character and have much respect for her.

She’s not a super-mom, uber-employee, or even an A-type personality. She’s quite ordinary, trying to figure it all out while moving forward without the love of her life. Sandra could even be called pragmatic. She’s doing her best to be her best, and that’s why, upon learning about physical scars Tess keeps hidden, her gut tells Sandra this quiet, talented woman is also hiding emotional and psychological pain. This is when Sandra decides to help Tess find the healing her soul craves.

Without giving away spoilers, I will say I feel Tess’s choice was quite telling of her life journey and in the end, she freed herself and gave herself permission to let go.

The subsequent meeting between Sandra and Daniel brings together the two ‘halves’ of Tess giving the reader great insight into who Tess truly was.

Tess and Tattoos is an excellent read. This well-written, relatable tale takes only about an hour to read but will stay with the reader for far longer. It could even lead them to consider their own familial relationships and if there are topics avoided for far too long or unspoken words.

Bittersweet and heartfelt, Tess and Tattoos is an enjoyable read and I highly recommend it.




Tess and TattoosTess and Tattoos cover

By H.A. Leuschel

Genre: Literature & Fiction/Psychological/Short Story

A suspenseful and emotional novella exploring whether we can ever be free from our past mistakes.
In this story, the reader is taken on a compelling journey into the human mind where genuine friendship offers the key to inner peace.
Meet Tess, an elderly lady living in a care home apartment in the outskirts of Edinburgh, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision. She meets Nurse Sandra, a warm and bubbly single mother of three, who is instantly intrigued by Tess’s personality and the mystery that surrounds her.
Tess and Tattoos is one of five gripping stories in HA Leuschel’s story collection Manipulated Lives centred around psychological manipulation.

Universal Purchase Link

Tess and Tattoos is currently FREE through all retailers!


Author Bio

HA LeuschelHelene Andrea Leuschel grew up in Belgium where she gained a Licentiate in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She now lives with her husband and two children in Portugal and recently acquired a Master of Philosophy with the OU, deepening her passion for the study of the mind. When she is not writing, Helene works as a freelance journalist and teaches Yoga.





Author Links
Goodreads Author Page


Fibromyalgia and Triggers

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Each person who struggles with fibromyalgia can have different triggers and different things that make you feel better. It can be very difficult to navigate what is working to minimize your pain or prevent you from becoming in pain.

Keeping a fibromyalgia journal is the perfect way to keep track of your eating, exercising, and feelings. When you read back through your journal you may be able to identify certain foods that triggered your fibromyalgia, or certain exercises that made you feel much better for days after. It can also help identify stressful situations or people that caused anxiety or even a flare-up. Take the time to keep a journal and see if it can make a difference in your fibromyalgia.

Reducing Stress

We all have stressful lives and it might not be possible to totally eliminate stress from your day to day life. By journaling, you might be able to plan out your day better or deal with your feelings, which can reduce the stress you are feeling. Sometimes simply writing something down will give you a release so you can move forward with the rest of your day.

Reducing stress is an important part of your day to day health. Take whatever steps you can to write down your stressors from the day and try to tackle them one at a time. Make a list of things you don’t want to forget, or of people you need to call. Your fibromyalgia journal can be used for anything that will reduce your stress.

Use as Your Investigator to Identify Food Triggers

A key component in staying away from fibromyalgia triggers is the ability to identify what foods are making your symptoms worse. This is a long process that involves eliminating and reintroducing foods to test what effects they have on your body. A food journal is a perfect assistant on this investigative journey.

Write down everything you eat, when you eat it and how it makes you feel. You will quickly start to identify items that are causing you more fibromyalgia pain. If you are unsure if an item is a trigger for you, try reintroducing the food and see if you still notice the poor effects on your body.

Basics of Journal Keeping

Journaling can be as detailed as you would like or as sparse as you would like, it is all up to you. Your journal is what you want it to be. You can keep track of only your foods that you eat. Or perhaps you want to keep a detailed list of all your aches and pains throughout the day to see if exposure to other items may be making your symptoms worse. You decide what is most important to you and keep the journal with that information. It is important to be consistent and keep the journal for several weeks, even months, so you can accurately identify what works and does not work for you.

Electronic vs. Paper Journals, which is Best?

Everyone has their opinion on what works best, old-school paper journals or new journals you can keep on your phone or tablet. Both options have their positive and negative points, so it is important for you to find the journal type that works best for you. If you are not allowed to have access to your phone at work, it would not be good to keep your journal on there.

Instead, use a small notebook so you can accurately keep track of all the things you want to track. If you travel a lot and your phone is what you use for your calendar, appointments etc; your phone may be the best option for you to keep your journal on. There is no right or wrong answer to which type of journal you should keep.

Fitness Journaling can Help Too

Because staying fit is such an important part of managing your fibromyalgia, you might want to include your fitness activities in your journal as well. Keep track of the days you are more active and the things you do. Write down when you go for walks or get a chance to go to the gym. Then make sure and write down if you feel like your symptoms improved or got worse after your exercise. It is important to track which physical activity is making you feel better and which might be doing more harm than good. If you try out some Pilate’s classes or other new activities, track the changes they have in your mood and body to see if it is something you would like to try again.

Share Your Fibromyalgia Journal with Your Doctor

After all this work of keeping a journal, what do you do with it? Share it with your doctor. You and your doctor can go through the foods that you felt were causing you trouble and decide which one food you should eliminate first. You do not want to make too many changes at one time because you will not know which food was actually your trigger food.

Talk with your doctor about other items that you feel may be making your fibromyalgia worse, like your menstrual period or new tooth fillings. Your doctor is your partner in this fight against fibromyalgia, make sure and share as many details as you can with them.

Keeping a fibromyalgia journal may seem like a tedious task or something only your teenage daughter would do. But you may find that keeping a journal is the perfect solution for identifying your triggers and reducing or eliminating them. Take the clues you gain from your journal and work with your doctor to find the perfect solution for minimizing your fibromyalgia symptoms. You can also use your journal to monitor your own fitness and diet goals. Keep your journal on paper, or in an electronic device, but make sure you are updating it frequently throughout the day so you can have the best possible results of what your triggers are.


The preceding article is from FibromyalgiaTreating.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement intended. For additional information, please visit their website or consult your physician.

“Bad Boy: A Memoir” by Walter Dean Myers

Bad Boy cover

Bad Boy: A Memoir

by Walter Dean Myers

Genre: Literary/Biography/Teen & YA/Peer Pressure & Social Issues

1.99 at time of posting!

New York Times bestselling author Walter Dean Myers traveled back to his roots in this memoir that is gripping, funny, and ultimately unforgettable. Don’t miss this memoir by a former National Ambassador of Books for Young People!

As a boy, Myers was quick-tempered and physically strong, always ready for a fight. He also read voraciously—he would check out books from the library and carry them home, hidden in brown paper bags in order to avoid other boys’ teasing. He aspired to be a writer (and he eventually succeeded).

But as his hope for a successful future diminished, the values he had been taught at home, in school, and in his community seemed worthless, and he turned to the streets and to his books for comfort.

Here, in his own words, is the story of one of the most important voices of our time.

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“Out of Bounds: Seven Stories of Conflict and Hope” by Beverley Naidoo

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Out of Bounds: Seven Stories of Conflict and Hope

by Beverley Naidoo

Genre: Middle Grades/Explore the World/Difficult Discussions/Africa

1.99 at time of posting!

We are the young people,
We will not be broken!
We demand freedom
And say
“Away with slavery
In our land of Africa!”

For almost fifty years apartheid forced the young people of South Africa to live apart as Blacks, Whites, Indians, and “Coloreds.” This unique and dramatic collection of stories — by native South African and Carnegie Medalist Beverley Naidoo — is about young people’s choices in a beautiful country made ugly by injustice.

Each story is set in a different decade during the last half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, and features fictional characters caught up in very real events. Included is a Timeline Across Apartheid, which recounts some of the restrictive laws passed during this era, the events leading up to South Africa’s first free democratic elections, and the establishment of a new “rainbow government” that leads the country today.

A Junior Library Guild Selection

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“Jess and Wiggle (Imaginata Children’s Books #1)” by Uvi Poznansky

Jess and Wiggle cover

Jess and Wiggle (Imaginata Children’s Books #1)

by Uvi Poznansky

Genre: Children’s Books/Fantasy & Magic/Sword & Sorcery/Bedtime & Dreaming

FREE through 2/19/18

Written in rhyme, this is a story about a little girl who rarely smiles, till the day she meets Wiggle, an imaginary friend with whom she is having a contest: who will be the one to burst in laughter first?

Once there was a little girl
With the cutest reddish curl
Her name—how could you guess?
It was simply: Jess….


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