by Amy Daws
At 33 weeks pregnant, Amy is certain something bad will soon happen, it had too many times before. Deep down she fears it’s only a matter of time before the baby she’s carrying will die. Despite the fact that Amy had been repeatedly slapped in the face with multiple miscarriages, she still can’t seem to quiet that tiny voice in the back of her head that’s screaming at her to not give up hope.
Follow Amy’s true story as she stumbles through her journey with humor and warmth, all while dealing with the neuroses that came along with getting her hopes shattered time and time again. All she has to do is close her eyes and she’s lurched back to the memories of her losses; on the floor in her bathroom, in the hospital, and even at her place of work. No one knows what the internal mind of a woman who’d lost five babies and suffered so many let downs goes through.
Can Hope ever truly survive memories such as these?
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Excerpt: (Please choose one to include with your post)
EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 5:
My husband tried to spare me the pain of seeing our baby who was no longer inside me. When he realized he wasn’t as subtle as he’d hoped, he looked at me apologetically and rubbed his hand on my arm.
“Just go,” I stated coolly, my face sneered with disgust.
He set the pictures on the dash of the car and walked into the pharmacy, shoulders hunched.
I hesitantly grabbed the photos and flipped through them; tears streamed down my face and fell directly onto the images. Our baby went from a tiny circle of digital goo, to a tiny bean, to a tiny tadpole, to a tiny baby. There was a picture of the baby’s hand in a waving motion, like it could have been saying, Hi Mom. It’s me. Don’t worry, I’m worth it.
EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 6:
A few days after we scheduled our C-section, I eagerly awaited my very first baby shower. I decided to have a baby shower while still pregnant instead of waiting until after the baby was born. This was a big decision for me, mostly because having a baby shower during pregnancy would insinuate to the world that I assumed this baby would arrive safely. That was a big no-no for me. Sorry God, please don’t curse me. Conversely, I just couldn’t shake the dream of my baby shower occurring while I was still pregnant and rocking a nice big baby bump.
I anxiously got dressed for my shower and carefully selected a bold print maternity dress with cap-sleeves. I accentuated my round bump by adding a thick black leather belt notched tightly at the empire waste line. I looked good, I felt good, and I was ready. Before I got into my car I had a quick and private conversation with my baby-to-be.
“Okay sweetie, you behave in there, okay? Mommy is going to be very busy talking and opening gifts. We’re going to attempt to celebrate your impending arrival. So if you could just wiggle and kick and let me know you’re doing alright in there, it would really help Mommy feel better and enjoy her day, got it?”
I, of course, received no response. My baby was not the type to be manipulated or guilted into anything on command. I could already tell she’d be one of those kids that would march to the beat of her own drum. The prospect of my baby having her own little personality, already thrilled me.
EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 11:
December twelfth was when I lost my fourteen-week-old angel baby and the holidays were coming up. I had another follow up with my OB/GYN. She graciously prescribed me Xanax, Zoloft and Percocet for anxiety, depression and pain. Boy, I must have looked like a hot mess in her office for her to give me a cocktail like that! Needless to say, I was prepared to live the holidays in a numb fog. Anything that would blur the image of my pregnant younger sister was what I wanted on tap.
I’d hardly been home a day and really hadn’t properly grieved. My brain kicked into overdrive and I decided I wasn’t done yet. It was amazing what I’d put myself through when I wanted something bad enough. I had such a visceral need to carry my own child. It didn’t matter how bruised, bloodied and broken I was. Nothing could top having a baby.
I was consumed with researching online to find answers for why I kept miscarrying right after the first trimester. It didn’t matter where I was, I was online searching. I emailed the public library to request specific medical textbooks pertaining to my issues. I did so much research that I was eventually able to understand the majority of those books.
EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 14:
You’ll need to take that necklace off before we go too, so don’t forget,” she said as she was typing into the computer next to the bed.
My hands instantly went to touch my five gold rings hanging from an old leather strap around my neck. My five gold rings for my five angel babies. I swallowed and silently prayed I would not make another angel.
I fumbled the clasp behind my neck and suddenly, the clasp broke and all five gold rings fell to the cold linoleum floor, clinking along the bed rail on their way down. “Kevin. My rings, they fell! Oh my God!” Shock and panic washed over me. It’s a sign. A bad sign. My baby isn’t going to make it! My angels are telling me to prepare for the other shoe to drop. Another nightmare headed our way.
I sat on the side of the bed while Kevin and Micaela searched the floor to find all five. Tears threatened my lower eyelids and I whispered, “This is really bad. This can’t be good. I’m losing her Kevin.” My chin trembled and my face twisted in pain as the tears poured down my face and sobs fled from my throat.
Micaela looked up at me seriously, “No, this isn’t a bad sign. This could be a good sign! Your angels are telling you it’s time to let them go and move on! You’re having this baby Amy.”
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Interview: (Please choose up to 10 questions to include in your post)
Welcome all. Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Amy Daws author of Chasing Hope: A mother’s story of loss, heartbreak and the miracle of hope. Hi Amy, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed.Please tell us about yourself and your background?
Well, I’m currently a TV commercial producer for a local network affiliate station in South Dakota. So I write, shoot, and edit commercials for a living. Electronic Media and Journalism is what I went to school for, so I’m grateful to have a job in my industry.What were you like at school?
In school, I was a class clown. My primary goal most days was to laugh and/or make others laugh. And I loved socializing and hanging out with friends. I had a little wild streak in me too and still like to cut loose to this day. But I’ve always been really responsible in life too, so I guess a good motto for me would be work hard and play hard.
Were you good at English?
Yes. Writing always came really easily for me. When I met my husband in college and saw the papers he was submitting for classes, I was appalled. I’d had to rewrite them before he’d submit them! I loved courses in college that were 100% essay and paper graded. Multiple choice is just awful.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I want to write more! Chasing Hope is a memoir and will have a sequel to it called, Chasing Peace that I’ve already started. But my true love, what I enjoy reading the most is contemporary romance. And I’m just about finished with my first contemporary romance novel and I absolutely love it. So I imagine fiction is where my writing career will be heading towards.
Which writers inspire you?
Well I have to first give a shout out to my all time favorite British Chick Lit author, Elizabeth Young. Her book, Asking For Trouble was one of the first chick lit books I read and I haven’t been able to stop reading since! She has a hilarious self-deprecating humor to her heroines that resonates so strongly with me. Love love love her! Also have to give a shout out to Jennifer Lancaster who made memoirs about non-famous people cool! She’s got a great voice on paper. Then of course there’s Samantha Young…love her On Dublin Street series, then Colleen Hoover, Jamie McGuire, Abbi Glines. Okay, I have to stop now!
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Well, since Chasing Hope is a memoir, the main character is me. I’m really self-deprecating through all my struggles and I think that resonates strongly with a lot of people. I’m really honest about everything in regards to infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss and how it feels to walk this earth with all that baggage. I even manage to take something very serious and sad and insert a humorous element in there because that’s how I am in real life.
What are you working on at the minute?
My first contemporary romance novel. I am in love!
What’s it about?
I’ve read hundreds and hundreds of contemporary romance novels and I’ve never really read a book that had an infertility storyline in it. Since I’m so experienced in that area due to my history, I thought it could make a really interesting storyline for a heroine of a romance novel to be struggling with something like this. I saw this as a way for me to interest my Chasing Hope readers, but also open up my demographic to romance lovers like me.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Oh goodness, I have to pick someone to play me? That’s hard. But I’ve always loved Amanda Pete. First of all, she’s beautiful, but she has a great way of looking natural on camera. Her face truly expresses every emotion and since my story is emotional, I think she would do an incredible job at it.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I’ve always dreamed of becoming a writer. When I was a kid, that was what I wanted to be. Because I was such a goof back then, I wanted to be a sitcom writer. That’s changed as my love for books has grown. I decided to finally sit down and try to start writing after my most recent miscarriage. I needed something else to focus on, something else to drive me. Even though I was writing about the very thing I was trying to get away from, it still felt extremely therapeutic.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
After my most recent miscarriage. I thought to myself, holy crap. I’ve been through hell and back. How will I feel about all of this when I’m older and these are distant memories? Will I remember everything vividly? Will I care? I didn’t want to forget all the moments, even the bad ones…so that’s what made me actually get to work.
Where do your ideas come from?
From wherever! I stole my daughters Hello Kitty notebook one day because I realized that if I didn’t start writing these great ideas that popped into my head then I would forget them and lose them forever. So now I have a notebook with me everywhere.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors.
I read constantly. I almost always have a book I’m in the middle of. And I’m bad too because good books consume me until I finish them. I’ve been known to stay up until 4am reading and then go to work the next day at 9am. One word ~ coffee. Favorite authors right now are: Elizabeth Young, Samantha Young, Jamie McGuire, Colleen Hoover.
What is your favorite book and why?
A Girls Best Friend, by Elizabeth Young. It’s just hot!
What is your favorite quote?
I used it at the beginning of Chapter 1 in Chasing Hope:
“Every experience, no matter how bad it seems, holds within it a blessing of some kind. The goal is to find it.” -Buddha
Are there misconceptions that people have about your book?
I think people hear memoir and cringe. They think it’s going to be boring. My book does not read like a memoir. It’s intense and emotional and reads like a great novel, instead of a factual story.
What is the biggest thing that people THINK they know about your genre, that isn't so?
That you have to be famous for a memoir to sell. And I know what they are saying, but look at all the talk shows that do in depth interviews of families or people that have undergone tragic or heroic things. They are regular, everyday people. Not celebrities. Those video packages are little mini memoirs, so why wouldn’t a memoir from someone who’s not in the spotlight be interesting?
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Yes, the working title is A Broken Us. It follows a girl named Finley who just breaks up with her amazing boyfriend, Brody, of five years because she finds out from her doctor that she can’t get pregnant. She is so incredibly distraught by this news that she leaves her boyfriend and flies overseas to London, England to live with her childhood best friend Leslie and her eccentric roommate Frank. Finley goes on a crazy emotional journey of coming to terms with her new infertile title but she’s living this lie that her boyfriend doesn’t even know about.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I love writing a great kiss. An epic kiss. A passionate, earth-shattering kiss. Sigh. Romance.
About The Author:
Amy Daws is local TV network affiliate commercial producer and lives in South Dakota with her husband, Kevin and their daughter, Lorelei. She graduated with honors from the University of Northern Iowa, despite fiercely executing her wild college-girl phase. Amy received her make-believe medical degree from the school of Google on infertility and miscarriage. On most nights, you can find Amy and her family dancing in their living room to Strawberry Shortcake's theme song or stuffing themselves inside children sized playhouses and then struggling to get back out because there is nothing they wouldn't do for their little miracle. She is passionate about sharing her story and connecting with other couples that have suffered infertility and loss and are in search of real-life understanding. Amy held on to hope in her journey because she knew the payoff of a miracle baby would be worth the wait.
- ebook copy of Chasing Hope by Amy Daws;
- ebook copy of All That is Seen and Unseen by Elizabeth Petrucelli;
- $5 Amazon Gift Card; and
One Grand Prize of: (1) autographed copy of Chasing Hope by Amy Daws; (1) autographed Chasing Hope bookmark; (1) Chasing Hope necklace; (1) ebook of All That is Seen and Unseen by Elizabeth Petrucelli; and (1) $5 Amazon Gift Card