Coming December 5
Charade of Hearts Available Now at the Wild Rose Press. Part of the Jewel of the Night Series - Oliver's Story!
Artwork by Rae Monet
Echo of a Raven
Available now - Lulu
As the blind man sweeps the city streets with his white cane, I look away. As the blind man jingles his cup of coins, I look away. As the blind man sells his mops and brooms, I look away.
I begin hearing the frightening phrase diabetic retinopathy at the age of six when I am diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic. This condition causes clusters of fragile blood vessels to grow and rupture in the back of the eye and can lead to progressive blindness. When a doctor predicts I will be blind by time I am twenty-five, his harsh words change the entire course of my life, affecting every decision I make for years to come.
Read Excerpt 1 and Excerpt 2
Echo of a Raven received a CTRR (Coffee Time Recommended Read). My thanks to Cherokee for her great review.
ECHO OF A RAVEN is a narrative non-fiction about finding light at the end of a tunnel after going blind. It is comprised of three parts: Diagnosis, Picking up the pieces, and The uphill climb.
TARGETED AUDIENCE: Echo of a Raven is a must read for diabetics, those suffering from visual loss, and intelligent people who
want to find a cure for this world-wide crisis. With America in the lead at 20.8 million, there are more than 230 million diabetics,
and the number is rapidly increasing. More than half of these diabetics will develop some stage of retinopathy. Diabetes is one of
the biggest health catastrophes this world has ever seen. It touches all races and classes--including celebrities and pop culture
In the past decade, there has been a significant increase in type 2 diabetes in teens. Type 2 occurs when the body does not
produce enough insulin or cannot use it sufficiently. There appears to be a direct link to obesity resulting from foods rich in fat
and carbohydrates and far too little exercise. While puberty plays a major role in insulin resistance, teens who are obese are at
high risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Whether a type 1 or a type 2 diabetic, glucose levels must be kept at an acceptable level
in order to prevent complications.
SUCCESS OF THE BOOK: will depend on sales. But judging from the memoirs I’ve written about the sixteen weeks spent at an
organization for the blind and visually impaired, people are genuinely interested in learning about something they know little
about. With so many type 1 and type 2 diabetics, Echo of a Raven would lend itself easily to speaking engagements. My book offers
support, websites to find answers to unanswered questions, and mainly, inspiration for finding peace after a
long and winding road.
MARKETING APPROACH: I am willing to donate a certain percentage from sales of ECHO OF A RAVEN to the JDRF Juvenile
Diabetes Research Foundation fight for a cure. If I can prevent even one child from going through the nightmare of losing his or
her vision, my book will be a smashing success.
As the blind man sweeps the streets with his white cane, I look away. As the blind man jingles his cup of coins on corner sidewalks, I look away. As the blind man sells his mops and brooms, I look away.
“You’ll be blind by time you’re twenty-five,” a doctor at Children’s Hospital predicted. “Your blood sugars are way too high.”
I began hearing the frightening phrase diabetic retinopathy at the age of six when I was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic. This condition causes fragile blood vessels to grow and rupture in the back of the eye and can lead to progressive blindness. And at the age of twelve, when a doctor at a routine visit made this prediction, his cruel words changed the entire course of my life, affecting every major decision I made for years to come.
His words haunted me. They consumed me. They devoured me. Wherever I went or whatever I did, these words echoed in my head. The only time I found refuge was through my artwork. Painting became my sanctuary, a place where I could escape to another place and time. Peace and tranquility. No more pain. But one day when painting a picturesque Tuscan landscape, the initial bout of blindness struck with no warning.
Several buses pulled up, hissing and spewing as slush and mud splashed in all directions. People jumped back to avoid the mud-stained snow. It was a 71 and it was going downtown.
As I stood shivering, waiting for people to file out, a blind woman approached the bus stop, sweeping the snow covered pavement with her white cane. Her flat, monotone voice cut through my thoughts. “Does this bus go downtown?”
“Yes,” I answered her. I wanted to turn my head as I’d done so many times in the past, but my heart went out to her. It was so slippery out and she was so vulnerable. What if she got on the wrong bus—or got stranded somewhere? That could be me some day. Fear welled up in my throat as I watched her maneuver her way on to the bus. She cleared each step with her cane and stepped aboard.
A man in the front of the bus stood up. “Here, miss. Take my seat.” He tapped her arm. “Behind you.”
She wordlessly took his seat without uttering so much as a thank you. I sat in the seat directly across from her, not wanting to watch her--but unable to take my eyes off her. She wore dark glasses and a blank expression, so isolated in a world of utter chaos. She pulled a book out of her bag and began feeling it. Braille, I sucked in my breath. A foreboding premonition hurled through me and I thought I might be sick. I couldn’t take this. Visions of my future flashed in front of me, filling me with an uneasiness that had me completely undone.
How could she have the patience to read Braille, feeling all those bumps. After reading small print on legal documents all day, I would never have the tolerance to learn Braille. No way. How could a sighted person adapt to an unsighted world? Would that be me some day? Or was I just hitting the panic button. Then to my horror, the words screeched in my head. “You’ll be blind by time you’re twenty-five.”
Precisely one week later, I was down in my garage, putting the finishing touches on my painting. The rich fertile vineyards of the Tuscan landscape shrouded an inland harbor of mirror still waters. Age-old olive trees framed the hillside. Sitting back to admire my work, I smiled in eager anticipation. Just a few more strokes of the brush for fine detailing, and my masterpiece would be complete.
But suddenly, a huge splattering of black paint covered my beautiful painting. Confused, I wondered how paint had managed to get all over my masterpiece. I blinked several times, but it was still there.
Slowly but surely, my brain received the message. It wasn’t black paint covering my canvas at all; it was blood covering my retina. My worst nightmare had just come true. I’d had a massive retinal hemorrhage.
Dumbfounded, my paintbrush slipped from my fingers and rolled across the floor. I felt like I was drowning, losing consciousness. I sunk into a chair, clasping my hand over my mouth. Heart-wrenching pain stabbed at my gut. Nausea threatened. Then the tears spilled. “Nooo! Not yet. It’s too soon.”
Echoes of a Raven is an inspiring read. This was a story I could relate since I have a child in the family, who was diagnosed at eight with diabetes. One can practically share in the fear of uncertainty and foreboding as Sharon ponders on her future. Sharon Donovan unquestionably has composed a motivating story of love. She shares her struggles with living with diabetes at an early age, to undergoing the many steps of her blindness. It would be easy for Sharon to stop in her tracks and feel sorry for herself, but throughout it all, she maintains a positive attitude in this dazzling read.
Cherokee at Coffee Time Romance & More
This book is not all serious in nature. I was touched by the wit and humor that was displayed through the book. Ms. Donovan has approached a very serious subject with grace, wit and humor. One of my favorite parts of the books was when they were serving spaghetti and meatballs. Just the way the cowboy reacted, oh my gosh, I was rolling. I highly recommend this book to anyone! Not just those with an illness or a family member or close friend going through this but to everyone who needs to be educated on such a condition that takes a hold of you and won't let go. I was thankful for the information in the back of the book directing places to go to get more information. Echo of a Raven gets two thumbs up from me and I feel is definitely worth it's weight in gold.
You Gotta Read Review