Looking Forward to Shopping

I hate shopping for clothes (for anyone). And I’m not really fond of the mall–unless I’m hiding in the food court with my writing notebook eavesdropping on people and making up stories about them (someday I’ll find a story for that Hot Dog On A Stick girl…). But today I’m kind of excited about going to the mall. I’m actually looking forward to buying my daughter a whole bunch of new clothes!

My daughter has bravely endured two spinal surgeries–one for a benign tumor, a second to correct a curve resulting from the first surgery. Last May she found out that the rest of her spine had started to curve. And she’d have to wear a back brace for 23 hours a day. Every day. Not the greatest way to start junior high.

The thick plastic brace acted like a corset, squeezing her stomach so she couldn’t eat a full
meal, rubbing her skin red and raw, and, yeah, it gave her cleavage a nice boost, but finding clothes has been torture. Pants have to be bought a couple of sizes too big to fit around the bottom of the brace. T-shirts won’t work. An undershirt has to be worn under everything. Most teen girls love to shop, but my daughter dreads it.

Until today! We got great news at this year’s checkup. My daughter only has to wear the brace for 8 hours a day (at night). I’m so incredibly proud of the courage and grace with which my daughter has handled yet another physical challenge. So let’s shop M&M!!!

See you this afternoon Hot Dog On A Stick girl.

Breathing by Cheryl Renee Herbsman

Today it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Cheryl Renee Herbsman’s debut novel, Breathing. This is a great summer beach read with a make-you-swoon love story at its center. I really identified with this story because, like Savannah, the main character in my own love story has asthma.

I’ll never forget taking my boyfriend to the college health center because his cold had gotten a lot worse and he wheezed with every breath. An hour later, he literally started turning blue and the nurses called an ambulance. He spent a week fighting for every breath in the Intensive Care Unit. So scary! (Cheryl’s character Savannah is also hospitalized with asthma.)

But the worst part came later. My boyfriend had been an athlete, playing for the college soccer team, his fraternity’s basketball team, and he loved to run. Asthma complicated all of that. I used to sit in the bleachers holding his inhaler, watching him play basketball until his skin tinted blue and he gasped for breath. But he just wouldn’t give up all the activities he loved so much.

So often we focus on our physical appearance while taking our physical health for granted. Novels like Cheryl Renee Herbsman’s Breathing remind us about the things that are really important in life: health, love, and happiness.

About Breathing
What if the guy who took your breath away was the only one who could help you breathe?

Savannah would be happy to spend the summer in her coastal Carolina town lying in a hammock reading her beloved romance novels and working at the library. But then she meets Jackson. Once they lock eyes, she’s convinced he’s the one—her true love, her soul mate, a boy different from all the rest. And at first it looks like Savannah is right. Jackson abides by her mama’s strict rules, and stays by her side during a hospitalization for severe asthma, which Savannah becomes convinced is only improving because Jackson is there. But when he’s called away to help his family—and seems uncertain about returning—Savannah has to learn to breathe on her own, both literally and figuratively.

This debut novel has it all—an endearing, funny, hopelessly romantic main character, lots of down-home Southern charm, and a sunny, salty beach setting that will transport you to the Carolina coast. Buy your own copy here.

About Chery Renee Herbsman
Cheryl Renée Herbsman lives in Northern California with her husband and two children, but she grew up in North Carolina and often spent summer vacations at the Carolina coast. Like Savannah, she fell in love as a teenager, and like Savannah and Jackson, she and her boyfriend carried on a long-distance relationship. They are now celebrating their twentieth wedding anniversary. Read more about Cheryl at http://www.cherylreneeherbsman.com