#RRBC, Poems

Following my passion and paying it forward! ~ Rave Reviews Book Club’s Blog Party! #RRBC

Welcome to Rave Reviews Book Club’s Blog Party!

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Today, I’ll be giving away three prizes. For a chance to win one of the three prizes all you have to do is read my post and leave a comment. Yup, it’s that easy!

1. $5.00 Amazon Gift Card

2.  $5.00 Amazon Gift Card

3. $5.00 Amazon Gift Card

Total prizes on this stop: 3

I’m so very grateful for you taking the time to stop by my blog today. To my RRBC family, I offer my sincere gratitude for the kindness and inspiration you have granted me over the past 1 ½ years.

Many of you know that I published my first book of poetry The Heart’s Journey Home in 2015. That endeavour brought me miles outside of my comfort zone. But it also, by chance or grand design, lead me here today, to be among you and feel at home. Without knowing it, you have fueled my passion for writing, and I am now able to venture into the unknown with grace, humility, and a gracious heart.

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Available Today for .99 cents! 

I’m delighted to say that my second book of poetry, The Heart’s Lullaby, has an anticipated release date of June 10, 2017. Yay!!

But today, I’m so thrilled to share with you a venture that is so very near and dear to my heart.

A little introduction…

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My twin sister (Nicole) and I are both proud wives of long-serving members of the Canadian Armed Forces. We didn’t plan it that way. But we are blessed beyond measure.

We all know the devastating impact of PTSD.  It hurts everyone. The man or woman suffering with it, their spouses, partners, children, parents, siblings, friends, relatives, and even their pets. Everyone is impacted.  Many of those who are suffering with PTSD are military, police, paramedics, and firefighters. They are our first responders. In their selfless acts of service, they have suffered. It’s painful to see.

Did you know that the simple act of piecing together a jigsaw puzzle can offer therapeutic benefits? It can, and the promising findings were impossible to ignore. While stimulating the brain, it also acts as a form of meditation, allowing the mind to relax. This simultaneous action has shown promising findings for people living with dementia, and can be a valuable source of reprieve for individuals living and coping with mental illness, including PTSD.

We have immense respect for those who serve, those who suffer, and those who struggle to find peace in their minds and hearts. If we can contribute even a small piece of peace, it is our privilege and honour to do so.

It is this inner call to action that Peace by Piece Puzzles was born.

We both have had fulfilling careers in business (Nicole) and counselling (me). Through our work and personal journey, we have witnessed the remarkable power of the human spirit. Equipped with empathy and compassion, we are eager to make a difference. We believe that every act of kindness, every gesture of love and understanding, is an infinite gift of grace. Let’s never underestimate its power, for it is a precious and always timely gift.

What is a Peace by Piece Puzzle?

Along with a beautiful, tranquil image, every Peace by Piece Puzzle carries an inspirational verse, a message of hope and love. The verses are written by me and come from a heart of gratitude. Through my words, I aspire to offer solace and hope, love and understanding.

In our face-paced, dynamic, and often complex lives, a gift to oneself or a loved one is special.  A Peace by Piece Puzzle is a gift from the heart; it is permission to quiet the mind alone, or come together with a loved one in a shared experience. During those moments when words are sometimes hard to find, a Peace by Piece Puzzle can be your voice.

We are launching Peace by Piece Puzzles with five verses. Today, I would like to share with you the verse “Into the Light” which was written for the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much in their line of service.

I believe mental wellness should not be a convoluted concept; it’s an essential piece of our lives. A daily promise to ourselves that we are worthy to be free of inner turmoil, free to love and be loved. Piece by piece, step by step, we can do this. We are all in this together.

Thank you all for sharing your time and being a part of this extraordinary journey. Please believe me when I say that each and every one of you hold a place in my heart and are, indeed, instrumental in my ambitions as a writer. Because of you, I have gained the fortitude to take this next giant leap outside of my comfort zone and venture into the unknown with grace and a humble heart. Yes, you are with me on this incredible journey. ♥

Please visit our website, view our puzzles, and share with others. Our official launch date is April 20, 2017.  Our online store will officially open at that time. But I really wanted to share this with you all today.

 www.peacebypiecepuzzles.com

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Into the Light

The wounds of battle
These scars you do not see
Have waged their own war
Its sights set on me.

Determined to break me
And scatter the remains
Fragmenting the life
That I once so proudly claimed.

A coward’s call to dance
It refuses to be seen
Lurking in the shadows
And tormenting dreams.

With defiance, I’ll hold on
And the sun will rise again
There is hope in my resolve
This battle I shall win.

I’ll pick up the fragments
Without indignity or shame
And piece by piece, with a mighty heart
I’ll rise and build again.

Thank you for stopping by. Please don’t forget to leave a comment below for your chance to win 1 of 3 Amazon Gift Cards. I hope to see you at the next stop on the RRBC Blog Party Tour!

143 thoughts on “Following my passion and paying it forward! ~ Rave Reviews Book Club’s Blog Party! #RRBC”

  1. There’s so much we don’t know about you, Natalie, but thanks to #RRBC family, we are getting to know our members better. It must be tough to be married to a man in the armed forces, especially because of the after effect such a job has on their lives. Because your husband is serving, you too are serving. It takes strong men and women, giving men and women to make such sacrifices for their country. Your services will not be in vain!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Joy! We are truly blessed and hope to be able to give back in some way. To do this with my sister is an absolute gift. I read a quote once that said “Behind every brave solider there is a strong military spouse.” We are grateful to be able to serve in this way. Thank you! 🙂

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  2. Thank you for this wonderful post, Natalie. My son, aged 14, suffers from PTSD due to a series of eighteen very traumatic and invasive surgeries he had as a child (between the ages of 1 and 6 years old). The information you shared about puzzles is very useful and I am going to try that. I have found that nursery rhymes are also very calming so you might like to try that. Have a lovely week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Robbie, for sharing this with me. Your son is a brave soul to have gone through so much at such a young age. When we started doing the research and saw how beneficial it can be for some, we just couldn’t ignore it. Thank you for the nursery rhyme reference. We’ll definitely look into that as well. Have a wonderful week! 🙂

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  3. A beautiful and most meaningful gift to those who have served in our militaries and suffer with PTSD. I will support your endeavor any way I can.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is amazing! I’m an Army brat, so I am well aware of how many military men and women suffer with PTSD. I also have friends who have had traumatic experiences and have PTSD as well as former students who joined the military and deal with PTSD. I will be sharing this post and your puzzles (LOVE the name of them!) with my friends and family via Facebook. 🙂 On a lighter note, my son and I love to complete puzzles together. It’s a very slow process because we have such busy lives, but solving puzzles is such great bonding time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Yvette! I really appreciate your insight. We are inspired and so thrilled to be able to do this together. Thank you for your kind words and support. Wonderful to hear that you and your son enjoy this pastime together. We have a puzzle titled “A Mother’s Love” for that very reason. Our mom passed away suddenly 20 years ago and we both thought how precious it would be to piece together a puzzle that has a message of love on it. Thanks so much for stopping by today. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a fantastic idea, Natalie. I’m very excited for you and your sister and I hope Peace by Piece Puzzles takes off. I visited your website and the puzzles are beautiful. Even viewing them is soothing. I hope they bring healing to many.

    I also wanted to congratulate you on your next book of poetry. I’m looking forward to getting my copy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so very much, Mae! We are inspired and so thrilled to be able to do this together. And thanks for visiting our site. 🙂
      I’m really excited about book two, as well. Thank you again for your kind words and continued support. You’re a gem!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a beautiful post, Natalie. I love the idea of the puzzles, and the poem is lovely. I have read The Heart’s Journey Home, and can’t wait for the next book to come out in June! Yay! Best wishes with all your endeavours 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Harmony! We are inspired and so thrilled to be able to do this together.
      I’m really excited about book two, as well. Thank you for your kind words and continued support. You’re a gem! 🙂

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  7. Having suffered from PTSD I am very interested in your thoughts on the subject. Who would have thought puzzles could help you. The things we learn from each other. I am checking out your works. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing this with me, Shirley. When we started doing the research and saw how beneficial it can be for some, we just couldn’t ignore it. We are blessed, inspired, and so thrilled to be able to do this together. Thank you for your kindness and continued support. XO

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, A.M.! When we started doing the research and saw how beneficial it can be for some, we just couldn’t ignore it. We are blessed, inspired, and so thrilled to be able to do this together. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Natalie, I have the ebook and print copy (gifted to me from you) of your first poetry book. Congratulations on your upcoming release on the second.

    The peace by piece puzzles are such a great idea, and for such a great cause. Best wishes to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Natalie, to you and your sister, my congratulations for your book, and for this unique and touching project. I don’t want to be put into the drawing, but I do want to say thank you for helping to fill a need most of us do not deal with face to face.

    Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Craig! When we started doing the research and saw how beneficial it can be for some, we just couldn’t ignore it. We are blessed, inspired, and so thrilled to be able to do this together. Thank you for your kind words and support! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What a beautiful poem, Natalie. PTSD is devastating for those held in its grip. I love that you have created puzzles as a way of calming the recurrent thoughts and fears. Your collection of poetry, The Heart’s Journey Home, was a beautiful read…. All the best today!! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Gwen! When we started doing the research and saw how beneficial it can be for some, we just couldn’t ignore it. We are blessed, inspired, and so thrilled to be able to do this together. Thank you for your kind words and support! XO

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  11. Hi Natalie – I enjoyed my reading of “The Heart’s Journey Home” – very well written poems. Have fun on the RRBC Blog Party Day – looks like beautiful weather here for once – MikeL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Michael. I treasure your review of my work. And, yes, it certainly is a beautiful day here. It’s 23 and the little bit of snow that remains is biding farewell. Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

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  12. Natalie, I really like your blog and your committment to those who are serving and who have served and who have the mental and physical scars to prove it. I was in the Army for four years during the Vietnam era and while I never had to deal with PTSD, I know plenty of buddies who did. The Puzzle video was great and its message is wonderful. Good luck with the Blog Block Party.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words, Ron! And thank you for your service. 🙂
      When we started doing the research and saw how beneficial it can be for some, we just couldn’t ignore it. We are blessed, inspired, and so thrilled to be able to do this together. We hope to be able to bring some measure of peace. Thanks again. I’m so grateful that you stopped by.

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    1. Thank you, Rob! When we started doing the research and saw how beneficial it can be for some, we just couldn’t ignore it. We are blessed, inspired, and so thrilled to be able to do this together. Thank you for your kind words and support! 🙂

      Like

  13. What a brilliant idea in support of military service personnel and other survivors of PTSD, Natalie. 🙂 I researched EMDR as one of the ways of coping with PTSD in MIlele Safari and can see how jigsaws like Peace by Piece could be a real boon to sufferers,
    Off to your website to order a beautiful puzzle for my mum.(who has dementia and has just gone into full-time care) and the rest of her little community.
    Thank you for sharing this with us today, Natalie – and best of luck with the Lullabys! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing this with me, Jan. Blessings to you and your mom. My husband’s mom was in the early stages before she passed. It was tough at times.
      When we started doing the research and saw how beneficial it can be for some, we just couldn’t ignore it. We are blessed, inspired, and so thrilled to be able to do this together. Thank you for your kind words and support!
      Please note that the store isn’t officially open for sales yet. Still a few things to do on our end. But we’re aiming for the 20th. 🙂 Thanks again and big ((hugs)).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Charles! When we started doing the research and saw how beneficial it can be for some, we just couldn’t ignore it. We are blessed, inspired, and so thrilled to be able to do this together. Thank you for your kind words and support! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, John! When we started doing the research and saw how beneficial it can be for some, we just couldn’t ignore it. We are blessed, inspired, and so thrilled to be able to do this together. Thank you for your kind words and support! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Natalie, I absolutely loved the post, and especially, the peace by piece puzzles. What a nifty idea. My Ellen was a concert pianist and I simply loooove piano music. We go to classical concerts regularly. And the poetry from the heart to go with it . . . Thank you so much for sharing. Great job and good luck with the Party.

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    1. Thanks so much, Larry, for your kind words and for stopping by! We were blessed growing up, as my dad is a talented musician and the piano notes graced our home daily. I miss it now, but he recorded many songs as keepsakes for us. A treasure for sure. It brings a feeling of peace that I have yet to find words to adequately describe.
      When my sister and I started doing the research and saw how beneficial puzzles can be for some, we just couldn’t ignore it. We are blessed, inspired, and so thrilled to be able to do this together. A huge thank you for your kind words and support today, and always. 🙂

      Like

  15. Hi Natalie, so sorry I’m late but thought I was here lol. That’s because we chatted on my blog yesterday. You know I loved The Heart’s Journey Home’ next in line for a review and I think the ‘piece by piece,’ puzzles are a brilliant idea and so needed. It is a wonderful and much important thing that you and your sister are doing. God bless you for it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Micki, for your kind and encouraging words. 🙂
      When my sister and I started doing the research and saw how beneficial puzzles can be for some, we just couldn’t ignore it. We are blessed, inspired, and so thrilled to be able to do this together. A huge thank you for your kind words and support today, and always.

      Like

  16. I forgot to tell you how beautiful the poem is–perfectly shows the emotional turmoil of our soldiers and veterans–especially in wars not clearly defined. “Peace by piece’ will make a big difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Natalie, that is a beautiful poem. I had a cousin who fought in Vietnam. He carried the scars of that war (both physical and mental) until his death at the age of 54. Much too young. I have the utmost respect for those who served in the military.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Joan, for your kind and encouraging words.
      When my sister and I started doing the research and saw how beneficial puzzles can be for some, we just couldn’t ignore it. We are blessed, inspired, and so thrilled to be able to do this together. A huge thank you for your kind words and support today, and always.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Soooz, for your kind and encouraging words. 🙂
      When my sister and I started doing the research and saw how beneficial puzzles can be for some, we just couldn’t ignore it. We are blessed, inspired, and so thrilled to be able to do this together. A huge thank you for your kind words and support today, and always.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Dear Natalie, My apologies, but even though I’m a day late, I loved reading your post and thanks for sharing so much of your life! I love that you introduced us to your twin sister💝💝I hope you had a fabulous blog tour day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so grateful for your visit and kind words, Maretha! 🙂
      When my sister and I started doing the research and saw how beneficial puzzles can be for some, we just couldn’t ignore it. We are blessed, inspired, and so thrilled to be able to do this together. A huge thank you for your kind words and support today, and always.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Natalie, I’m so sorry that I missed your Blog Party. I’ll try to do better next time! All the best, also to your twin sister. I’ve always been intrigued by the very notion to have a twin – what a special relationship. 💐💐But I do have teenaged twins in Fauna Park Tales😂

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Good morning, Natalie. I must say, your poetry has always touched me. You are incredible! I can’t wait for your next book of poems! But I must say, Piece by Piece Puzzles is something so far beyond incredible! To find a way to touch those of us touched by PTSD and those with Dementia is beyond description! Thank you to you, and to your sister, for this endeavor! You have a beautiful heart!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Patricia, for such kind and encouraging words. They brought an instant smile. I’m so excited about book two. Nervous, but more excited. 🙂
      When my sister and I started doing the research and saw how beneficial puzzles can be for some, we just couldn’t ignore it. We are blessed, inspired, and so thrilled to be able to do this together. A huge thank you for your kind words and support today, and always.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. PTSD is something that too often gets ignored. It really does have devastating impact on so many. It is so beautiful that you are taking something that has been shown to be helpful and providing something much deeper. Beautiful. Your poem is wonderful. On a side note I just finished writing a novel about twin sisters – to be published in a few months. It was fun to do. Congratulations on your new journey. It is not only necessary but will shine a light in a new way on PTSD and give hope to many. Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So sorry for such a delayed response, Maggie. I’m most grateful for your visit, and for such kind and encouraging words. We are truly blessed and hope to be able to give back in some way. To do this with my sister is an absolute gift. I read a quote once that said “Behind every brave solider there is a strong military spouse.” We are grateful to be able to serve in this way.
      Congratulations and best wishes for your upcoming release! I’m looking forward to catching up with your series. I really fell behind, but hope to resume soon.
      Wishing you a lovely Easter weekend. Thanks again for stopping. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  21. You sound like you are a very caring person. Great read. I have PTSD from being on the front lines in Iraq as a combat medic. Maybe your husbands would be interested in reading my book. They can find it on my website combatmedic.org

    Thanks again for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Samuel. Sorry for such a delayed response. It’s wonderful to connect with you. I’m following your blog now as well.
      Thank you for your service and all that you’re doing to heal and help others. It shows remarkable strength.
      My sister and I feel truly blessed and hope to be able to give back in some way. To do this together is an absolute gift. Thank you again for stopping by. I look forward to reading more of your work in the coming days. Cheers! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Peace by Piece puzzles. What a great idea! I’m wishing you much success. As I’ve said on the other posts, I can’t believe I missed yesterday’s parties. Sorry I missed your post. In my defense, my allergies were acting up and I called it an early night. I had to stop by and leave a comment though. Hope you had a great party. I’m on my way over to check out you website.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. A most beautiful post written with grace on a subject that affects too many. What a wonderful idea of ‘peace by piece puzzle’. I will visit there too. Congratulations on your upcoming book Natalie. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I loved your post and your message. As a nation, we need to stand up and care for our military and first responders. PTSD must be addressed and treated. I love your Peace by Piece puzzle ideas and can’t wait to see them.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. So sorry I missed the earlier stops in the blog hop party! I was sleeping off the flu. What a beautiful blog you have! Good luck with the book release – may you have many book sales!
    And thanks so much for following my blog – I’m honored! Stop by any time!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Wow, Natalie. Thank you for sharing about this project and wishing all involved much success! Peace by Piece Puzzles provides an amazing source of hope for PTSD sufferers and those around them xx

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I love the ‘peace by piece’ idea. How clever.

    Since I’m just testing out Kindle promotions, how did this go–offering your book for $.99? Do you think it was effective? I have mine free today(as you know!) and am eager to see what effect that has on the big picture.

    Thanks, Natalie!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Jacqui! So lovely to connect with you. I’m really pleased with the results from lowering the price to .99 cents. I’ve had many more downloads and subsequent reviews. It’s my first poetry collection, so I was eager to have readers take a chance on my work. I decided to keep it at .99 cents too. Today, I released my second collection and have it priced at $1.99. The sales have been fabulous and offer a huge boost of confidence. I hope this is helpful. I look forward to reading your work! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  28. What a beautiful idea! I love the whole concept behind Peace by Piece. It has a real Mother Teresa of Calcutta vibe. She had a gift for focusing on one simple thing at a time to make lives better. I’m going straight to Amazon to get my copy of The Heart’s Lullaby. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cathleen, your kind words brought an instant smile! Thank you so much for your words of encouragement and most generous support. I truly hope you enjoy The Heart’s Lullaby. With much joy and gratitude,
      Natalie. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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