A Writing Adventure!

In my latest writing adventure, I have been accepted by Hay House Publishing Company as a book reviewer! This is a good feeling for me as not only do I get to stretch my writing chops a bit, I also get to choose which new books I’d like to review! I love it!

In The Shadow of a Badge by Lillie Leonardi
In The Shadow of a Badge by Lillie Leonardi

For my first official book review, I chose Lillie Leonardi’s recent release “In the Shadow of a Badge.” Here’s a bit about the book and my thoughts regarding Lillie’s story.

Ms. Leonardi worked in law enforcement and was the first female responder to the scene at Shanksville on that fateful day of 9/11. She was the Community Outreach Specialist for the Pittsburgh Division of the FBI and as such, was one of the first to witness the crash scene in that lone field. As she surveyed the barrenness of the landscape, she was overwhelmed by what WAS NOT there. There were no bodies and very little left of the plane and crew of Flight 93.

Lillie chronicles her story beautifully, delving into her law enforcement background and the prejudices that women face in such a male dominated field. There was no place for emotion, crying or falling apart by what she saw.

However, as you can imagine, the sheer sight of the crash scene floods all of the checkpoints she had developed to deal with such tragedies and loss. Her emotions overwhelm her as she gazes upon the sight, wondering how anyone could do such a thing in the name of God. Then, a light comes upon the field and a vision unfolds in front of her eyes. A legion of angels appears, led by the Archangel Michael.  “This archangel stood with confidence, radiance, and an aura of leadership. The saber in his hand angled toward the ground in resting mode. I knew instantly this had to be Michael, for in my Catholic upbringing the Archangel Michael had always been depicted as the warrior. He was also known as the guardian of law enforcement.”

When the vision disappears, Lillie wonders if what she saw was real. She asks God to show her a sign that she was not just dreaming. A bible on the ground, barely singed by the flames of the crash, blows opens in a sudden wind. It stops on Psalms 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd…..” This is her sign. The confirmation of a miracle.

Lillie holds onto the vision of angels but doesn’t tell anyone about it. For years. Finally she is diagnosed with PTSD and thus begins the long road of recovery stemming from years of denial and fear.

What touched me deeply about this book was the depth Ms. Leonardi was willing to go into her soul to tell this story. She reaches into herself again and again to face her fears and tell her story. Her law enforcement background makes a fascinating read and the effect that 9/11 had on her daughter and young granddaughter is poignant, one that any mother will deeply relate to.

My favorite chapter is entitled “Superwoman Has Left the Room.” Lillie wishes to remove her symbolic uniform and cape and ask her old persona to feel safe to return. As those of us who have been through a life changing experience can attest to, it is through the shedding of our previous self that real healing and spiritual awakening can occur.

I loved the spiritual lift this book gave me. I encourage you to read and enjoy it AND be transformed by it. Here’s the LINK.

And of course, here is my disclosure per Hay House. I get to choose the book I wish to review, it is given to me free of charge, and I am not compensated for my endorsement of this book. This review is my personal opinion.

Thanks for joining me on my first book review! What are you reading these days?

Join me on my graceful journey.

15 Replies to “A Writing Adventure!”

  1. Oh that sounds like a really good book! I am currently reading a book by one of the authors I edit for. This is the 3rd in a series she wrote before I met her. It’s called Desinty’s Light and the author is Sky Purington. Her books are mostly time travel romance and this series is set in medieval Scotland for the most part. The series is very good. I also just edited a time travel romance by Bess McBride…another very talented author I edit for. With editing, I get to read free books all the time! I also have another one that I started called The Real Downton Abbey. I am only a few pages in. I usually have 2 or 3 books going at once!
    Good luck with the new job! Sounds like fun!

  2. Yes it is. It is written by Lady Fiona Carnavon, the current Countess living in Highclere castle. It is the true story of Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnavon and the inspiration for Downton Abbey. She actually did turn the castle into a hospital for wounded soldiers during WW1. I also LOVE Downton Abbey and since I watched it all on DVD, I have been going through withdrawals since before season 3 ended here! Ha ha! They are supposed to start filming season 4 on the 23rd of this month! I can’t wait. I hear they are looking to have the first black character in season 4. It should be interesting!

  3. Well, Jo, it looks like journalism should have been your major after all. Love of the written word is something that I think always stays with you! Reminded of many hours spent working on the Silhouette.

  4. …and a new career blooms! I love that you are reviewing books. I have written it down and will most certaily check it out. You are really perfect for your new career. Love that your passion comes through your words.
    Today, during a hospital procedure, Mr. Right read aloud for 3.5 hours! Murder in the Air by Bill Crider. It is a silly murder mystery and sure gets your attention.
    Hugs from the West Coast.

  5. Joanne, a super congratulations to you!!! I have several of Louise Hay’s books, and her publishing company is remarkable…she is remarkable – yes? You be do a remarkable job, and I applaud your success.

    Have a very happy day,

    Marianne xo

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