Brain to Books Blog Tour
Author: Angela B. Chrysler
Genre: Multi-genre author. Fantasy, Macabre, Memoir, and more
The Dark Fantasy Dolor and Shadow (Book #1 of the Tales of the Drui Series)
Broken: A Memoir
Angela B. Chrysler is a writer, logician, and die-hard nerd who studies philosophy, theology, historical linguistics, music composition, and medieval European history in New York with a dry sense of humor and an unusual sense of sarcasm. She lives in a garden with her family and cats.
And now…without further adieu…the Books!
Broken by Angela B. Chrysler
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY > Personal Memoirs
PSYCHOLOGY > Psychopathology > Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Joshua Robertson’s Review of Broken by Angela B. Chrysler
In the writing world, I am recognized as an author and the owner of a small press. There are few individuals who are aware of my – long-standing – profession, education, and related experience. Briefly, I need to share this with you before reviewing Broken by Angela B. Chrysler.
For over a decade, I have worked in the social services field. I have my graduate degree in social work with minors in psychology and sociology. I have been a behavior specialist in residential treatment, a therapist in child welfare, a supervisor in a psychological ward, and I currently train in areas of abuse/neglect, resiliency, and mental illness. I am also well versed in the areas of human trafficking, the neurobiological impact of trauma, and attachment disorders. In my practice, I have worked with hundreds upon hundreds of children and families that have experienced similar scenarios found in Chrysler’sBroken. In reviewing this book, I will be addressing this story through my expertise as a clinician and a practitioner – as a human being – and not as an editor, writer, or publisher.
Broken is raw. Chrysler has done the unthinkable, demonstrating the uncanny ability to capture what most would have no concept of understanding. This story has the complexity of The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy but written with the flow of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. This is the type of literature that social workers and psychologists are forced to read during their internships to give them some understanding of what atrocities they will face while working in the field. Broken is a memoir, and although haunting, this story gives an intensely, vivid image of how dysfunction within the family can impact children for a lifetime. But, Chrysler does not stop with such a simple message. Instead, through her crafted language, the reader falls helplessly into the main characters struggle to find some sense of safety, of control, and of self. To give a glimpse into this powerful theme, allow me to share a note from the author.
From the Author…
I wrote Broken from 7 March to 20 March. During that time, I relived thirty years of trauma, and Broken records it all: the triggers, the hyperarousal, the breakdowns, and the panic. I explain the rationale behind my behavior and the thoughts I used to justify my behavior in a philosophical discussion with an interviewer. I show you the four worlds in my head where I lived for more than twenty years, as well as the four fictional characters I created in place of the human relationships I lacked. I record the conversations I have with my fictional friends and lovers as they took place.
Broken shows you what trauma is like for some survivors years later before they even realize they have a problem, and what it looks and feels like to emerge from the mental cocoon I lived in for thirty years. It shows the road I took to awareness while going down that road. It shows how I began my recovery.
Broken is not suitable for all audiences. I will reiterate the author’s own warnings with this novel. Broken portrays sensitive subject matters including animal abuse, torture, and graphic sexual violence. There is strong language, drug reference and is not suitable for some audiences. Please proceed with caution. With that being said, readers will find themselves fighting everything within themselves to not scream at the pages. Readers will find realistic dialogue (external and internal) representing the voices of trauma survivors. Readers will be emotionally charged from beginning to end, wondering how such violence can occur in an ‘educated, civilized’ world. This story is life changing, and the Chrysler is unyielding – and courageous – in its delivery.
Broken is worthy of a reward. It should be shared and read among professionals as well as anyone who aspires to be an advocate against child maltreatment, family violence, or societal mayhem. I have already recommended this novel to many colleagues and professors. Help me spread word of her talent.
I received Broken as a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Read a quick excerpt from Broken
For ten years I had suffocated. Yes. It feels like a long slow suffocation. The desperation, the loneliness, the feeling of complete helplessness, lack of control, inability to direct your own fate…all of it.
You kill everything inside of you, anything that makes you feel, you destroy it just so you can live without the pain. After a while, you forget that you feel nothing. You get used to the state of perpetual numb. You forget that you aren’t feeling.
When Isaiah walked through my front door that night I saw his hands.
His hands. Those hands that I had remembered. I never touched him. Not then. I had no idea what he would feel like or taste like. I only remembered his hands.
We were shaking. Like we had been chained to the sea floor for ten years and suddenly, we both were being forced to the surface and experiencing the bends. Our bodies shook, we gasped for air, unsure what to do with so much air. It breathed life into me again. It wasn’t lust. It was need. Obsession? Perhaps.
Relief? So much relief. I didn’t fall into his arms. I wasn’t calm or content. It was a surge of relief so great that I felt my legs give out from under me and he caught me. I fell into him and we both broke. Our bodies trembled so violently we felt brittle and we were certain we would break with how much we shook.
Disbelief. Constant disbelief. That is what a separation like that feels like. It would take us another two years to look at one another and not say, ‘I can’t believe you’re here.’
You asked me if we made love. Yes. We did…during a Winter thunderstorm.
* * *
I should end the story here.
If this were a romance, the story would end here. Part of me wants to end the story here. To send you on your way and tell you that you have your biography now get out. You’ll hear no more from me. That is how I should end this. Right now, with Isaiah and I making love in December rain.
That is how it would have ended if…
Maybe I’ll give you a choice. If you want your happy ending, close the book and stop reading right now. Consider the story over and we lived happily ever after in New York. And I never went to Ireland. I never had a problem that was too great that Isaiah couldn’t fix.
Close the book here and pretend I was never broken.
Broken releases on 11 September 2015…the reason for this date is in the story. For now, Broken is available for pre-order.
Broken will be available this September on Paperback so you can smell the pages!
Broken is a work of creative nonfiction. All events, opinions, and views are that of Angela B. Chrysler and are portrayed through subjective perspective based on the memory of Angela B. Chrysler. While all the events are true, the author has altered and changed the names, places, characteristics, and relationships to protect the identity and privacy of the people involved. Some characters have been combined into one character while others have been divided into two to suit the story.
Dolor and Shadow by Angela B. Chrysler
FANTASY>Epic Fantasy >Norse Mythology & Celtic Mythology
Erin S. Riley’s review of Dolor and Shadow
I was a huge fan of sword and sorcery novels growing up, but hadn’t picked one up in a while as an adult. Dolor and Shadow reminded me exactly why I loved the genre, and still do. This novel is big, detailed, and sweeping in scope. The characters are very well done, multi-layered and deep. They don’t give up their secrets immediately, a fact I greatly appreciate in novels of any genre. Kallan is an amazing heroine, strong, spunky, but full of conflicting emotions about ruling. She has to grow up fast and make some selfless decisions for her people. Kallan is also conflicted about her feelings for Rune, the man she owes her life to, but whose kingdom she is at war with. The two sworn enemies have to work together if they want to survive a common threat, leading to much verbal sparring and sexual tension. I love the level of detail the author gave to world building. Norse place names, culture, and snippets of history were seamlessly interwoven into the narrative, making it clear the author did her research. This is a sweeping, epic novel to sink your teeth into! I highly recommend it to all fantasy lovers.
Read a quick excerpt from Dolor and Shadow
Empty and forgotten, the third flask lay among their bags as Kallan stared up at the crescent moon. With every image that plagued her imagination, her sanity slipped further from rational. Huffing, she flipped to her side. From across the fire, light spread up and over Rune, spilling over his back.
Just like Emma, she thought and again sorted through endless variations of Rune and his Englian strumpet.
Hatred swelled, clawing her insides with a maddening rage that urged her to march back to Nidaros and kill the wench while he slept peaceably, free of the demons he beset upon her.
How dare you sleep while I lay tormented?
The words rent all thoughts, stirring awake other memories—barely forgotten memories—of her father as he lay dying and her blood-soaked hands. A wave of hate washed over her, abating all thoughts of Emma, and Kallan gazed at the Ljosalfr asleep beside her. A new darkness consumed her and the eye of the dragon awakened.
Dead men breed no pain.
Her eye settled on the black and reds of Gramm’s pommel.
While he sleeps…he wouldn’t even know…and I could return and conquer Gunir.
Throwing off the blankets, Kallan grabbed the nearest saddlebag and rose to her feet. With full force, she threw the satchel into the back of Rune’s head, jerking him awake.
Before he could turn and assess, before he could comprehend, Kallan took up his sword and unsheathed Gramm, its blade ringing out as if sounding off the opening note to his dirge.
Within two long strides, she came to stand over the Ljosalfar king and gave her battle cry. Seeing the blade turned down, Rune visibly braced for the sword to penetrate his heart as Kallan dropped all her weight onto him and plunged Gramm into the earth.
Blocking her face in shadow, her hair hung free as she heaved. Blood flowed where the blade nicked Rune’s ear. Against the black of Gramm’s hilt, Kallan’s white fists shook. The fire popped as Rune watched.
“Far too long I’ve dreamt of my sword stained with the blood of your people.” Kallan said. “Too long I’ve sought your death. Too long I’ve moved to strike. Even as you pulled me from the rancid darkness and I lay dying, did I plan to kill you and avenge my father’s death. Even now, all I have to do is strike. At the end of it all, I must decide. Should I kill you? Should you die?”
Rune watched, ready for whatever choice she made next.
“I should kill you,” Kallan whispered, “and watch your blood run with the blood of my people. If I kill you, all my troubles end. And I go home to Lorlenalin, my father’s death avenged.”
“And if you’re wrong,” Rune said, “if it was another who stole your father’s life, leaving him to die dishonorably upon the fields of Alfheim, whose life then will you have avenged by wrongfully killing me?”
The heavy burden of understanding weighted down her eyes, and, all at once, there was doubt.
“What wars may come by staining your hands with my blood?” Rune’s hush swept through her. “What lies then will you tell yourself once you’ve lied to your people? Can you risk being wrong, Kallan? Can you risk all the lives that will die and mine, all from your mistake?”
“Why did you save me?” she breathed. “Why did you kill my father only to save me?”
“I didn’t kill him,” he whispered.
“I can’t believe you.” Her voice wavered as the words caught in her throat.
“A king’s head is worth its weight in gold,” Rune said. Her eyes widened with unshed tears as she recalled Aaric’s words to her. “Name your price,” Rune said.
The back of her throat burned as she forced all other thoughts aside.
“Crawl through Svartálfaheim,” she said, “into the depths of Hel, beyond the roots of Yggdrasill, and bring him home to me.” Kallan stifled a sob. “That is my price.”
The chill from Rune’s eyes was gone, replaced instead with a pity that reached down into her and shook the walls she had built on anguish.
“Find the father you took from me,” Kallan bade, “and restore him unto me.”
“I can’t,” he whispered thickly.
Kallan’s dagger was suddenly unsheathed and pressed against his throat.
“Please.” The word tripped on a gasp. A tear slipped from her eye. “If I let you live,” she said, “please give my father back to me.”
He visibly swallowed against the blade.
“Please,” she said.
A word from Angela B. Chrysler
This is the part where I interview the author, but it felt weird filling out my own interview. Therefore, I will simply provide you with a link to my newsroom where you can read through my collection of interviews or tune in to my radio appearances on Whistle Radio. So…instead of an interview, I will address you directly.
*grin* Hello dearest reader. I hope you are well.
First, I wish to send out my deepest and warmest thanks to all of you for attending the 2015 Brain to Books Summer Blog Tour. I also wish to express my gratitude to the co-hosts for their help and participation in this as well as all the authors who participated.
When I sent out the email back in April, I had no idea there would be such a large response. With 120 authors making an appearance over these 40 days on 20 websites, this truly has been quite an extraordinary experience. And for those of you who have been wondering…yes! The Brain to Books Summer Blog Tour is an annual event. I will be hosting the 2016 Summer Blog Tour next year along with The Brain to Books Book Blast.
In April, I host the annual Brain to Books Cyber Convention. Think comi-con only free…and online. We accept authors of all genres. If you are an author wishing to participate, you can join here. If you are a reader, we encourage you to stop in to any of these events. We are, after all, holding them for you. We have giveaways, games, and new releases coming your way. Updates and information on Brain to Books events can be found at both my sites: Brain to Books and Angela B. Chrysler.
I have two additional publications scheduled for release this year. “To You” is a macabre romance written in the second person. It is a short story scheduled to appear in an anthology published by the very talented Mia Darien. Also, “Bane,” a novella featuring Bergen from Dolor and Shadow is scheduled for release this coming winter.
In 2016, I will be releasing Lorlenalin’s Lies (Book #2 of the Tales of the Drui Series)
Thank you again, so much, for your ongoing support. Without the reader, an author is just a writer. Thank you. And may the kindest of words always find you.
Angela B. Chrysler
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May the kindest of words always find you.