Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday Coffee Talk: Sept.24 Cecile Smith

First, I want to thank Ms. Amanda for having me over today. The coffee is brewing and it smells delicious. I guess I should tell you ladies that Gerard Butler and Hugh Jackman are preparing the coffee and teas today. So, pull up a stool and put your drink order in!

(*blog owner note: just slap me if I get too distracted....oh, look, Mr.G is barefoot! So am I! *swoon...)

Ms. Amanda wanted me to pick a book that means a lot to me and share it with you why it does and how it effected me because of the characters... Inspire or empower... or both??

Now, I knew exactly what book I wanted. This book shook me to my core, made me look at myself and my relationships! This book made me see the highs of my life and the absolute low parts as well. This book made my heart swell with love and devotion and made me cower in a corner because I feel I do not do enough.

That book is BROKEN by Megan Hart.

It's a tragic and uplifting story about Adam and Sadie. They met in college and married soon after. A tragic accident leaves him a parapeligic. Newlyweds left with a decisions and uncertainty of their relations and their future.

Sadie is a woman after my own heart. She's a loyal person and a very devoted wife. She has two different sides to her… the facade she puts on for everyone else and one who wants desperately for her world to go back to normal.

I can really relate to her because don't we all have two sides of ourselves. I have my private side, the one that hardly anyone sees. The side of me that dreams of life being full of passion for my marriage. Then there is the public side of me... the one with a warm genuine smile on my face. (sometimes when life is a little hard, the smile might be fake.) I take things for what they are. I don't complain. I never play the victim of my circumstances. I will always try find the brighter side.

Sadie doesn’t want to bother people with her life. There are the things that cannot be changed. Life dealt her an unfair hand and she is playing those cards the best way she can. I am like that, too, not a complainer. What good does complaining accomplish? If anything it only feeds into bitterness, rage, hostility, and resentment. One thing that life has taught me is that I am the only person responsible for my happiness. No one else can make me unhappy.

Sadie tries to help her husband in many different ways and be there for him the best she can. Adam pushes her away and does not share his whole world with her. I could relate to that. I am a 'share-r' by nature and hubby is not. That is what I do; if I have something and you do not, I will give you mine. If you are sad, I will want to cheer you up... that's just me. I am an emotional person and hubby is not. So, I saw Sadie's hardship with Adam and I understood it. Adam's character made me take another look at my hubby, made me push pass things that I saw on the surface and go deeper. I admit, it wasn't easy, but I wanted to do it.

When I hit a rough spot, in life, I want to run. I love Sadie's character, because no matter what, she never gives up. Not even when things get the worst.

This is where true life for me comes in... because no matter what hubby and I go through, I will always be there... for him, with him, by him. I always tell him that God put us together for a reason, and it is not my reason to figure out... just my reason to go on.

Sadie in this book, inspired and empowered me. She made me take a look inside myself and look at the relationships I have around me. This story made me see what I have in front of me. Their story empowered me because it made me take my life in my own hands and left me feeling like anything is possible.

What book has inspired you... or has left you feeling empowered?

For those leaving a comment today, we'll be passing out a group of five yummy flavored coffee's to one lucky blogger, just in time for fall! Happy autumn everyone!

*from Amanda:
This is a great topic and one I'd love to hear more from you all about! One of my fav books is Romancing the Ordinary, by Saran Ban Breathnach-its an amazing insight to the human mind and spirit.
My thanks to Cecile for coming by to chat and share a cuppa.

You can check out more about this the lovely Ms. C at her blog!  All I Want and More


Booklover1335 said...

Hi Amanda & Cecile,
I absolutely loved Broken by Megan. Then again I have not read a book by her that I have not loved. It wasn't as personal a read for me as it was for you, but it really touched me. Thanks for sharing...oh and please don't share the coffee with me. Love the way it smells, but can't stand the taste :)

Amy C said...

Oh Cecile, that was such a wonderfully done post. I was in total agreement with all you said about Broken, however hard it was for me to read at times. Such dire circumstances Sadie and Adam fnd themselves in, and the outcome for Sadie to have a happy life again. Like I said when I read it, I hated it and I loved it. But Sadie is one hell of a stong woman, and sometimes I wish I was that strong. I love my family and that stroy really made you think of the possiblities that could arise, both bad and good, and appreciate what you have.

I really enjoyed this cuppa coffee with you this morning. I hope your day is bright and beautiful, Cecile :).

And thank you, Amanda, for having such a lovely lady host this Thursday Coffee Talk!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Cecile!! Wonderful post!!

You know, I think you're right. Everyone does have a "private" side. I know I do. For me, it's that little girl who still believes in fairy tales and happy endings. But, unlike in "Cinderella", marriage doesn't come with an HEA. You have to work together to achieve it, and sometimes it's not easy.

I enjoyed my coffee with you ladies :)

Again wonderful post, Cecile!!

Leontine said...

Oh Cecile, such a heartfelt post! And so recognizable hon. I have it with The Wedding by Nicolas Sparks, after watching the uber romantic movie The Notebook I wandered in my library that same week and noticed a copy of The Wedding which is kind of a sequel involving one of children of Allie and Noah (couple from The Notebook)

In The Wedding Wilson forgets to celebrate his 30th wedding anniversary and it causes a rift between him and his wife Jane. He still loves his wife and knows he has to do something in order to keep the love blossoming again to full strength. In the year that follows he plans and tries to make changes, for he is not a man who is outgoing about his emotions.

I consider myself lucky, I have a man whose happiness is very much tied to mine and he always say; to make or see you smile and laugh is when my heart falls in love again with you. But there are rough spots...and without getting too personal we hit them in our marriage. There are moments when the love is but a very small flame and I wondered, was it all going to be worth it. Where hubby and I going to make it? This is the time when I read The Wedding and it made me realize that in every marriage you have up and downs and it is important not to give up on each other, because where there is a small flame it can be ignited again to a blazing fire.

The Wedding will always make me remember to fight for the relationship you've got, for the man I have whom stands beside me to lean on, in front of me to protect me and stands beside me to catch me when I fall. This was a smart part of our wedding vow which hubby made me remember not so very long ago.

We have a good bonfire going on and though we still have arguments it has never gone back to that ultimate low point so many years ago. The Wedding will always be a treasured read, as will The Notebook. But The Wedding showed me that a marriage can hit rock bottom and still blossom again.

Going to get comfy and couch and sip on some good coffee.

Leontine said...

jeez, talk about a long winded post...sorry to ramble on like that!

Leontine said...

Oh and PS: Hugh, come sit right here besides me on the couch *grin*

Amanda McIntyre said...

Wow, I am really enjoying reading the posts and seeing how deeply books affect us. I've not had the priviledge yet of reading Broken, but I will certainly add it to my TBR pile after this post!I'll have to watch the Notebook now , too (thanks Leontine!;)

It's interesting to read the comments about the hills and valleys in marriage-I dont know many that don't have a few valleys, some deeper than others.

Something I've never shared before is that books helped me in a "valley" time of my marriage as well--not reading them, but by writing them.

Yep, for me, *writing romance* helped me to see that with love and determination, you can overcome the adversities of life.
Thats probably why I put my heroes and heroine's through the mill in my work! LOL But, by golly, they come through the fire better than before!


Amanda McIntyre said...

Booklover--you may not like coffee, but my lord , look who's serving it this morning!!!!!!!!!

And Leontine, H looks like he's just inviting someone to sit in that chair with him!;)


Cheeky Girl said...

The coffee smells great! Just what I need to get going this morning.

I've read quite a few books that really inspired me, but I also read one recently that just reached out and reminded me of myself and my journey.

It's not the kind of book most people would mention when speaking about a book that means a lot to them, but it is just so perfectly the book of my heart. It's Start Me Up by Victoria Dahl.

Victoria's main character is so similar to me that I almost wanted to see if she'd been stalking me! Through this book I was reminded of growing up in a small town, dealing with handicapped and very sick parents, putting college and traveling on hold to take care of them, and then not knowing how to move on afterwards.

Victoria handles all of this in her typical style, meaning it's not a touchy, feely chick-lit book, but reading about Lori finding her true love and overcoming those obstacles reminded me of what I had accomplished as well.

Sometimes it's nice to have a book remind you of your past and the accomplishments and growth you've gone through.

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

First let me start by saying, Thank you Ms. Amanda for having me here today. I am having such a great time! **Gerard and Hugh... damn the coffee is not the only thing that is hot this morning. Am I having hot flashes, whew**

The coffee is awesome and the company is just as amazing! Thank you all for coming here and hanging with us with today.

Booklover: Good morning. Thank you for coming!
Oh, I am glad to hear that you loved Broken too. And I am agreeing with you, I have not read a book by her that I did not like either.
Was there any book that you have read that has touched you in a deep way?? Just curious!
Hope you have a great day!

**Amy C!!**
Hey honey! Girl, pull up a chair and have a seat! **Gerard, fix Amy whatever she wants!**

It was a tough read, I won't lie about that. But that is what made it a treasure for me. I find myself struggling with life, love and everyday things and then I stop and think... Things could be a lot worst or just different. So, I take what I have and try to make the best out of it. But through life, I have learned that if I am not happy with myself, then I can not bring happiness to others. So, it is me first, then I can take care of others.
Thank you for coming Amy... it means the world to me that you came!
Amy, you know how to make a person blush ""And thank you, Amanda, for having such a lovely lady host this Thursday Coffee Talk!"" Thank you for the kind words my friend!
It is nice to enjoy coffee with great friends! I am just glad that you came!! I hope you are having a great day!

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Barbara!! Hey honey!
Thank you so much for coming!
There is a private side of to each of us. The one where when the door is closed and no one can see us... we are bare. And marriage comes with its own private side. We all go through the valley to get to the top, but while we are in the valley ~ it is rough. But sheer determination can get you out... that and great friends!! Thanks for joining us for some coffee!!
I hope you have a great day Barbara!!

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Leontine!! Hey honey... I thought you would like that Hugh and Gerard were serving the coffee this morning... Ugh, I mean this afternoon for you!
Wow!! That is some comment!! Long winded or not, I love having you to chat with!
And I did not know there was a book of one of Noah's kids! I remember the kids. I will be checking that out. Thanks for the heads up on that one.
Yes, you are lucky... your hubby is a great man! He is for sure a keeper. And you are right, there are those moments when we remember why we go through what we go through.
Thank you for sharing your book with us. I am glad that you have a book like that, that touches you!
Get comfy in that chair of yours... Gerard and Hugh will be here all day!! **wink**

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Good morning CheekyGirl!
I am glad that you are enjoying the coffee! It is delicious!
You are right about having books that remind you where you came from too! It is nice to read a book and think... "that reminds me when I..." No matter the book, it is nice to find that moment when it melts our heart!
Thanks for sharing!
Stay and enjoy the coffee! Have a great day!

Amy C said...

We do all struggle and lord knows, my husband and I have had a struggle this past year. It's been tough, but we take it all one day at a time. We stand by each other, but sometimes the struggle will get the better of us and we get moody with each other and others around us. Sometimes we can't help when stress interferes with those around us, but one thing I am blessed with, I know that I always will have my husband and he will always have me. No matter what is said and done, we can move on and grow stronger for it. Even though it's hard sometimes, we do it. And that is one of the things I love so much about reading romances. All the shit that is put before the hero and heroine, they always overcome and persevere and make it work even when it all seems hopeless at times. They have each other. In the end, they always have each other. So in the end, when I begin to doubt myself, I know I always have my husband.

Now Gerard and Hugh need to saunter their hot asses over here and refill my coffee :P.

Amanda McIntyre said...

I have to admit,Amy it is rather theraputic to see how much I can toss in front of my characters(internal and external) and see how they manage to overcome those obstacles!

The satisfaction, in the end, is exactly the same though for reader and author, I think.


Amy C said...

You know, Amanda, I would have to agree with you absolutely. What little bit of writing I have done, reaching the end with my characters was a very fulfilling moment indeed. I know what I have done, I cried and laughed, and then sighed when it all ended happily. Someone else may not experience the same gamut of emotions I did if they read their stories, as I'm sure that is with any author. They are more in tune with their creations and they seem real. So it might even be more rewarding for the author when that beautiful ending finally occurs than it is for the reader.

You know, there was a time when I could not understand why people enjoyed reading. I read a book here and there, but I would never have called myself a reader or a lover of books. But then one day I picked up the right book and it has set me on this path of reading. And I am amazed that it took me so long to discover the infinite realm of worlds and characters and places that books can take us to.

host said...

Hello Ladies! I'll take tea, thank you Hugh. It's rather late for the coffee.
Woderful post Cecile and I agree with you 100% Broken was also very emotional read for me. But it left my emotions so raw that I don't want to read it again any time in the near future. One similar to that one is Susan E. Phillips' Dream a Little Dream - but this one leaves the positive emotions and I can reread it always.

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Hey Ms. A!
I think we speak from the heart when we say that books really do find a way in our heart and soul and touch us. It is amazing how the words of others can do that to us.
And how the same book can affect people in a different way, that amazes me. Because I know Host read Broken, and it left her drained. It was a good read for her, but for me it left a stamp on my soul. So much so ***whispering*** that the book has taken a resident in my bathroom... Hubby has his magazines and I have my book. That way, when I am ready to unwind, I pull out my book and know that I will not be bothered and I just open the book to whatever page and read for a little while.

Yea, thanks to Leontine, I have to find The Wedding to put in my TBR pile! =)

I think as women, we bond more with each other over our trail and tribulations of life and relationships. And we bond with our books!

I think that is great that books has the same effect on you, just in the opposite manner... we read, you write! LOL!

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Hey Host!!!
I am glad that Hugh delighted you with tea!! **wink** I know now it is probably time for a night cap tea... and no you are not stealing my men away, so don't even think about it! LOL!

I know how Broken left you and I am intrigued that it was a very emotional read for you and you would not read it again. Where me, I would re-read it in a heartbeat. See, my point again about how even though we all love our books (and it may be the same book), we each have a special thing about each book that we love or whatever feeling it provokes.
Now, I have never heard of this Susan E. Phillips' book. I will be going check that one out! Thanks for the heads up on that one!
Thank you for coming Host, it means the world to me that you guys have come visit me here and it means even more that Ms. Amanda has asked me!!!
Thank you guys for making my day special! =)

Cybercliper said...

Hiya Cecile...great post!!! I apologize in advance for being such a downer. ((sniff)) I'm a little bummed - your post shook loose some melancholic thoughts. I heard Broken was wonderful but to be honest, this is the kind of heartbreak and pain I try to avoid. I'm surrounded by real life and to be honest real life sucks a lot of the time. So, I stay in the sci-fi/futuristic and paranormal world to avoid feeling like this - easier to deal with it when the entities it's happening to couldn't realistically exist.

I get my dose of positive thoughts from a lot of the people here in the blog world. I drop by your place, Barbara's , VFG, to name a few and I see some sort of inspiration each day - some little thing that lets me know there is some good strong people out there. Not everyone is a headline for the nightly news. A little girl's birthday party, a son's first date, and so many of you are so supportive and loving of your spouses (not so popular these days) - this normalcy gives me comfort and lets me know not everyone is a candidate for the Jerry Springer show and that the world hasn't truly gone mad :-) yet...

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Girl, get over here for a super ((hug)). You are a delight to have here and no need to apologize for being a downer. That you are not! And you know you are welcome to my place any time and I am only an email away if you ever want to talk!

I can understand your avoidance of not wanting to read those kind of books. They are not for everyone. But it is those books that give me hope of romance being out there. Holding the dream that a person can get swept off their feet into a worldfilled relationship! My hubby is an amazing man, but a difficult man. And he will tell you that, lol! Now, I can show you some candidates for the Springer show, lol!!
I am glad that you can by Cyber!!! Hope you have a great day! Thanks for coming!

Amanda McIntyre said...

{{{Group hug, Cyber}}}get Hugh and Gerard closer...there we go.
Your post really hit home for me, becasue it sounds like you've been down a road thatI 've been on. Hence the reason I began writing in the first place--heck myabe at the time, I was searching for my own HEA!
As its turned out,with age comes wisdom and like many have stated the realization of what you really have.Whether that is a great hubby, wonderful kids, or honest to goodness-shirt of the back type friends.

I went through a low time, when I couldnt stand romance-no way , no how, it was all bogus--all hype, right? And I started to write...maybe purging my demons.
and its pretty amazing when I realize how much of that "valley" time of my life plays into what I write.

as Steve Perry says,"Don't stop believing!"

Boy,Cecile, this blog has really opened up some great thoughts!


Unknown said...

Hi Cecile and Amanda!

Great post Cecile!

As I sit here and read through the post and the wonderful comments, it caused me to think, what has been inspiring to me? A person has inspired me the most, my dad. He went through incredible hardships to get us here. Polio, Korea, life in general. So, I tend to visualize my heroes and say, are they as good as my dad? That's what ultimately drew me to my husband, although, he has become more cynical with life, lol. I like a hero that looks at life with wonder, who's strong, who's see what others may have over looked, and maybe doesn't take everything at face value. I read a lot of books, more than I have time to review, lol. So, as I gaze over my past reads remember how deeply fantasy speaks to me, I realize it's the wonder of it all that inspires me. I'd like to say that it was one book in particular or even a genre, but it isn't. It's the sum total of what reading can bring to life.

There are heroes that I love, like Kisten from Kim Harrison's series. Sweet sexy, cares about other even more than his own life.

I love strong heroines too, I want her to be self sufficient, with a softness that lets her true colors shine through.

A heroine that inspires me would be Ivy or Rachel from the same series. Ivy is so misunderstood, yet she's strong, strong enough to battle the inner and external demons. Rachel has all a tough life growing up without her father, yet she's overcome it all. She always tries to do the right thing. The love story between Kisten and Rachel was too sweet and ended too soon.

I know this isn't exactly what the post was about, but this is what inspires me. An author who can spin a tale for me that brings fantasy to life, whether it be the new love of sweet romance, a journey to a new place or a different time, or fantastical battles of magic and mystic, it all inspires me bringing my imagination to life.

Dottie :)

Amanda McIntyre said...

Wow, Dottie. That post sent goosebumps across my flesh! I am inspired even more by these comments and I really have to thanks Cecile and her candid, down home love of people and books for sharing here today.

Its just been a bright spot in my day!


Leontine said...

Coming back for another cup of coffee and well, maybe to snuggle a bit with Hugh on the couch because he and share common ground in our personal tribulations. I so heart a man who understand a woman :) But what also comes to mind when reading all the post is two very recognizing moments with my sister. I watched The Color Purple as a movie (which is a different kind of storytelling IMO) and Tash and I were swept away with Celie but it is the ending that send Tash and I bawling, when Celie gets reunited with her sister Nettie in the end. Those powerful emotions were so familiar. We talked about what we would do if we got separated, would we be strong enough to handle that. I love it when a book is read or a movie is watched and it fuels a discussion to look at yourself and ask; What would you do? Those discussion are often accompanied by a glass of wine and a few things to nibble on and they last until the wee hours of the night.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cecile and Amanda!
Amanda, I too, think writing romance both inspires and empowers me. We take emotions and situations to the lowest human level possible and often must look into our own souls to find answers to the unspoken questions.

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Hey G! I am glad that you could stop by!! It is amazing, at just mere words, what a book or movie can do to a person. Whether it is as a reader or writer, the emotions that we go through is astounding. Then to have to look within yourself for the answers. Like reading Broken, it made me look at the things in my life, my relationship (which at the time was not doing to good ~ one of those deep valleys) and it made me look at me. It put me back with my roots... the root of everything starts with me!
Thanks for coming! I hope you had a great visit!

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Leontine!!! In your pj's and in bed you should be right now... And no, not with Gerard of Hugh... You can snuggle on the couch all you want... but no taking to bed, lol!!!

Thank you for sharing the memories and moments you shared with your sister. I watched The Color Purple when I was very young. But I do remember it being a very emotional movie for me, although I think I was a bit young when I originally watched it. But you are right...
when a movie/song/book/whatever can pulls those emotions out of us and make us look within. And to have it hit home, it very emotional.
And it is nice that we have friends, like you and everyone here and your sister... to talk to. Whatever it may be... a book, a bad day... it is nice to have people to "lean" on! And while we are at it, to share a glass of wine... so pass that this way next time =)!
It sounds like you and your sister have a wonderful relationship!! Miles... damn miles!!!
Hope you have a great night!

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Hey Dottie!!! Glad you could make it!!!
Thanks for coming! And can I say wow on your comment!
I never looked at my hero's that way. With a dad, husband, whatever... I never thought about it. But you are right, what inspires us when we read or write or think... What traits are we looking for, what qualities do we see in either ourselves or those around us. Wonderful insight!
I don't have a genre that speaks to me more than one.. Although my paranormal men are extra hot, so are the historical men... Wow! But anyway... you are so right ~"It's the sum total of what reading can bring to life."
Thanks for coming have a cup of coffee with us... Gerard... Dottie needs a refill!

Cecile Smutty Hussy said...

Hey Amanda!!! I love the group hug!!! **Hugh and Gerard were close... real close, wink**

Cyber did hit home with me as well... because I believe that is where that private side comes in at. How far do we want those around us to see those deep feelings and emotions in us. The things that make us raw, bare to the world. How far does the wall come up before we put on our smile and be as it may. I think that is what working at marriage is... achieving that HEA! The pay off is in the end, when we know we have loved with all we have, cared for with all we have and just been there with every fiber of our being. And if I can leave that to everyone, letting them know that I have given everything I can to them, then that is my HEA ~ whether it be a friend, family member or my husband.

But I am glad to know that there was a time in your life when you felt this way ~"I went through a low time, when I couldnt stand romance-no way , no how, it was all bogus--all hype, right?" because I have hit those times in my few years of marriage. But I push forward, refusing to give up. Hubby is not the emotional type of guy... so to say that the outside love is there... you would never see it. But in those few (and I mean few) times, when he lets his guard down just a bit, I see the man I married. And till this day, I still feel that way... romance, yea right! But you have given me an idea... "purging my demons."
Amanda, thanks for having me!!

Thank you for your kind words my friend. I heart ya!

Amanda McIntyre said...

Hey Genella...even soem of those questions I scream from the top of my lungs! ;)) Yeah, the neighbors wonder about those!


Amanda McIntyre said...

Just want to thank my guest , Cecile and all of you for stopping by today! I love these days, I really do!

Feel free to stop through the nigh to chat--or maybe cheeck out Leontines short story that I wrote from her hero description at my Build a Hero blog-- and later on tonight, I'll draw a name to send some fun coffee's to--except Booklover--I'd have to do exotic cocoa, maybe?

I've got some wonderful guests coming up in the next few weeks, be sure to check out the dates in the above right corner under my "steam" widget!

okay...its the ONLY techy think I've managed to do on my own, cut me some slack! LOL

If you are a fan of Dr Who and sci-fi/history--you won't want to miss next week's Coffee Talk guest, Spice author-the amazing Victoria Janssen!!

See you on October 1 !!


Amanda McIntyre said...

thanks to all who stopped in for a cuppa today!

The winner of a packet of coffees is ...HOST.
if you'll email me at I'll get your goodies ready to ship!

Stay tuned tomorrow for the exciting conclusion of the custom-written story using Leontine's fantastic hero description! The last chapter of UNFORGETTABLE airs tomorrow right here at House of Muse!


host said...

Thank you very much, Amanda!!! I've sent you an e-mail with my address.