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Guest Post: Fighting the Storm Campaign Creators

What is the Fighting the Storm Campaign?

Anneke: Fighting the Storm campaign is about putting a light on those invisible illnesses no one else talks or even thinks about. 

Ashley: We really wanted to bring awareness to those suffering with an illness that you can’t see. There’s a stigma out there that in order to be sick or disabled it has to show. Whether it’s a wheelchair, walker, oxygen tank, etc. 

Zamma: That’s what happens when you cry your eyes out for days after reading a book written by JLA! I just wanted to do something to show Jen that we’re not all dicks (Can I say dick?) Jen gets a lot of weird looks when she asked people for help because she can’t always see or read signs. When I read that in Storm and Fury’s acknowledgements I got angry and then sad. So I got this super crazy idea to help raise awareness for RP. Like Peanut said – I messaged her and asked her what she thought and she was all for it. Then Anneke joined and Izzy demanded that I should make her admin so she can invite people on her own instead of bothering the rest of us (So happy that we became friends Ash!) Ursula joined us later when Stony started to bother me a lot and I could not do all the admin stuff I wanted. Ursula is my bestie for 8 years now and she saved my butt by joining the admin team! Thanx girls for all your help! The campaign would have been a fail without all of you helping me! 

Ursula: Fighting the Storm, was put together, to help raise awareness for invisible illnesses,  more importantly RP, which our favorite Author suffers from.

Kristen: The Fighting the Storm Campaign is a campaign we started after the release of Storm and Fury and so many of us were touched by the MC Trinity who suffered with Retinitis Pigmentosa. Excuse the pun but it really opened a lot of our eyes to the world people like Jennifer live in. It was one thing to know that she had this disease but another to see it so well described in a book. So it started out with Zamma messaging me about spreading awareness for this illness that not many people are aware of and then later on to invisible illnesses. So this is our movement to spread awareness of the invisible and to show the world there is more to what just the eye can see and that behind every person struggling with a chronic invisible illness is a fighter and a very strong determined soul trying to survive. This is all under the banner of Fighting the Storm. It isn’t just that it relates to the book title but the deeper meaning behind this name chosen. Everything we know about this illness and other invisible illnesses, they are 100% without a doubt like fighting a storm, and through this campaign and raising awareness it is our way of head-on fighting that storm that tries to control us. We fight the storm while it fights with fury. But the one thing it didn’t count on were love and friendship and that is truly what helps us to continue fighting. 

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Guest Post: Liz Talley author of Room to Breathe

Room to Breathe by Liz Talley
Liz Talley
Liz Talley

Room to Breathe is a story of two southern women at very different stages in their lives who are experiencing the same sense of “starting over.” Daphne Witt is weeks from turning forty, in a career that she never expected, and ready to start dating after a divorce. Her daughter Ellery is essentially untested in the world. Young, beautiful, accustomed to everything going her way, Ellery finds herself with a less than dazzling job, a distracted fiancé and, for the first time ever, doubts about who she is and where she’s going. When the novel begins, we find Daphne dealing with an awakened libido she thought long dead, and Ellery struggling to accept working for her mother and living with a fiancé who has little time for her. Both women redirect their dissatisfaction toward secret desires – Daphne for a much younger contractor, and Ellery for a secret email pal who thinks she’s her mother. Like the vines of a vineyard, things get tangled quickly by decisions that not only threaten the fragile mother-daughter relationship, but each woman’s future. 

One thing I really like about Daphne is her self-awareness. She’s been content to stand in the wings while everyone else in her life commandeered the spotlight, but now she’s ready to take her turn on the stage. She’s bumbled into a dream she never knew existed as a children’s author, and she’s really good at what she does and becomes an overnight success. But her family, even her ex-husband, can’t seem to let go of the woman she once was. They want the old Daphne, the one who put everyone else before herself. I intentionally gave Daphne a secret crush on a younger man and had her pay attention to her sexuality. Women of a certain age are often set aside, as if their “ sexiness” has a shelf life. I wanted Daphne awakened to the fact that as a woman entering her forties, she still needed intimacy and affection. I wanted her to struggle with the guilt, be tempted, and have a little fun with someone…young enough to date her daughter. 

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