GREETINGS - REVIEWERS, JOURNALISTS and other MEDIA FOLKS:
WHY IS THIS BOOK RELEVANT TODAY?
The book is relevant to two groups:
First group: People losing sleep and worrying themselves sick over a diagnosis of cancer (experiencing a life-threatening diagnosis), people wondering where their next mortgage payment is coming from (experiencing a tough time in the current economy), people trying to protect their family from the next natural disaster (earthquake, hurricane, forest fire or flood), people going through the tribulations of a punishing divorce . . . and people who want to come out better for having had these experiences.
Second group: People who want to laugh. People who want to be inspired. And people who are looking for a true life grown-up love story and are tired of sappy tales where the characters are as deep as the page they're written on. This may seem like a contradiction - people who are going through adversity and also want a good laugh. They're not! As one reader said, "The author has a way of making serious subjects seem not so serious."
WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK UNIQUE?
1. How many books have the ability to change the way you see life? This book definitely does!
2. There is no book on the market that covers the same ground as LOOKS EASY ENOUGH. A trip to the local bookstore will have books that deal with natural disasters and overcoming insurmountable obstacles. There will be inspirational books on combating cancer and using alternative treatments. There will also be many spiritual and personal growth books and many do-it-yourself books on how to build house. You could probably even find books covering the stress of watching the rise and fall of the stock market as your financial hopes slip away and books that take you through the legal process of an ugly, prolonged divorce, but it is doubtful there will be any book that combines all these topics into one inspirational story. Taken individually, each event could be a story on its own. Taken together, happening to one individual at the same time, is a tale worth telling.
3. LOOKS EASY ENOUGH is a fun read. The author has a unique way of making serious events seems not so serious. Even though the book covers some pretty heavy subjects, the story is light and humorous. Most readers are laughing or smiling throughout a good portion of the book and typically come out feeling happy.
4. The author has a unique style of writing that puts the reader at ease. Quite a few readers have commented that reading LOOKS EASY ENOUGH is like talking to a close friend while relaxing in an old comfortable recliner sipping coffee (or something similar).
WHO WILL BUY THIS BOOK?
1. PEOPLE FACED WITH A LIFE-THREATENING ILLNESS AND THEIR CAREGIVERS: The author describes in great detail his wife's struggle with breast cancer and with the ensuing treatment (both conventional and holistic).
2. PEOPLE INTERESTED IN ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: Currently, alternative medicine has become a viable option for treating serious illnesses as well as for preventative care.
3. PEOPLE GOING THROUGH A DIVORCE: Readers can pick up many useful tips as well as see how they can make it through their divorce with less pain and suffering.
4. PEOPLE WITH AN INTEREST IN DO-IT-YOURSELF CONSTRUCTION: Construction episodes, told both in a detailed and general way, give readers helpful tips and confidence that they too can tackle their building projects successfully.
5. PEOPLE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED A NATURAL DISASTER: Readers will find inspiration from this story as they see how the author and his wife, despite losing their dreams, turn their loses into a positive and uplifting experience.
6. PEOPLE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED FINANCIAL LOSS: The author details in a no-holds-barred manner, the stress and despair of watching the rise and fall of the stock market as his life's savings and financial hopes for the future slip away. His unbridled honest look at his own greed, as the fuel that drove him to risk it all, will give readers an opportunity to make different choices with their own investments as well as inspiration that all is not lost if they make the wrong choices.
7. PEOPLE ON THE SPIRITUAL PATH: Without a doubt, this memoir will appeal to people looking for answers.
8. PEOPLE WHO ENJOY A GOOD INSPIRATIONAL LOVE STORY: LOOKS EASY ENOUGH started off as a half page love letter from the author to his wife . . . and grew from there. LOOKS EASY ENOUGH is a grown up love story that weaves in and around an inspirational tale of overcoming some tough times.
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LOSING SLEEP AND WORRYING YOURSELF SICK OVER A LIFE-THREATENING DIAGNOSIS? . . . Wondering where the next mortgage payment will come from? . . . Anxious to protect your family from the next natural disaster (earthquake, hurricane, forest fire, oil spill)? . . . We all at some point in our lives have experienced tough times. Well, inspiration is on the way! Scott Stevenson, the author of LOOKS EASY ENOUGH, A Joyful Memoir of Overcoming Disease, Divorce and Disaster has had his share of trying times and has written a memoir of one man's journey of digging deep and coming up with surprising answers to life's challenges. Check it out at: www.lookseasyenough.com.
I SLEPT WITH RAGGEDY ANN, A Love Letter to My Wife on Her Journey Through Cancer.
"Stretched out on the floor, I rested my head on the soft lap of a five-foot-tall cotton-stuffed Raggedy Ann. My eyes were closed and I was half asleep. I discovered the doll leaning against the wall in the corner of the children's play area at the far end of the main waiting room of the surgery center. A perfect place to relax while I waited for my wife to emerge from surgery."
Follow the adventures of Scott Stevenson and his wife on their grown-up love story as it weaves in and around an inspirational tale of overcoming some pretty tough times. LOOKS EASY ENOUGH, A Joyful Memoir of Overcoming Disease, Divorce and Disaster, by Scott Stevenson Check it out: www.lookseasyenough.com.
A FINGER POKED MY THIRD EYE! An Inspirational Love Story.
"Candles flicker in the dark, the soothing sounds of gentle waves fill the air and the smoke of incense weaves its way to the ceiling. Lying on her back in a pile of overstuffed pillows, Susan's eyes are closed, her breathing is slow and she feels completely and totally at ease. Debra, kneeling over Susan, is in a light trance. Her hand, palms down, are outstretched floating six inches above Susan's heart, moving in a slow circular pattern. Susan senses a soft white glow emanating from Debra's palms. Debra takes a deep breath, exhales and gently pokes Susan in the area of her third eye."
Follow the adventures of Scott Stevenson and his wife Susan on their grown-up love story as it weaves in and around an inspirational tale of overcoming some pretty tough times. LOOKS EASY ENOUGH, A Joyful Memoir of Overcoming Disease, Divorce and Disaster, by Scott Stevenson. Check it out: www.lookseasyenough.com.
DISEASE, DIVORCE, DISASTER AND HOW TO BUILD A HOUSE, A Love Letter to My Wife on Her Journey Through Cancer.
When the author and his wife went through a four-year period of rough times - cancer, divorce (not theirs), a forest fire, and a stock market crash - they needed an escape . . . they built a house amongst the majestic coulter pines and black oaks adjacent to the Cleveland National Forest. Building their house took them away from their medical appointments, court hearings and market reports while allowing them to experience Mother Nature and the physical aspect of working up a sweat. It renewed their spirits. Follow the adventures of Scott Stevenson and his wife on their grown-up love story as it weaves in and around an inspirational tale of overcoming some pretty tough times. LOOKS EASY ENOUGH, A Joyful Memoir of Overcoming Disease, Divorce and Disaster, by Scott Stevenson. Check it out: www.lookseasyenough.com.
MY SISTER WAS A POLYGAMIST AND DIDN'T KNOW IT . . . ARE YOU? A Brother's Perspective of Helping His Sister Through a Grueling Four-year Divorce.
When the author's sister informed him that she had filed for a divorce after an eleven-year marriage, he didn't think too much about it. She and her husband never seemed to quite fit, and he figured it was probably for the best and that it would be a quick and painless procedure. Over the next several weeks, he discovered that her husband was an angry bully who had a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde personality - in public he was the nicest person you could meet, but behind closed doors he was an angry, violent man who took it out on his wife and four children. It was like she was married to two people - a polygamist! What else could the author do but jump in and help! Follow this gripping divorce story as it weaves through an inspirational tale of overcoming some pretty tough times. LOOKS EASY ENOUGH, A Joyful Memoir of Overcoming Disease, Divorce and Disaster, by Scott Stevenson. Check it out: www.lookseasyenough.com.
HOW TO CAGE A VIPER AND WHY YOU'D WANT TO! A Brother's Perspective of Helping His Sister Through a Grueling Four-year Divorce.
When the author's sister informed him that she had filed for a divorce after an eleven-year marriage, he didn't think too much about it. She and her husband never seemed to quite fit, and he figured it was probably for the best and that it would be a quick and painless procedure. Over the next several weeks, he discovered that her husband was a violent bully who took out his anger on his wife and four children. The divorce ended up lasting four long years. The final straw was when her husband brought the Viper on board - the sleaziest divorce attorney in town. Follow this intriguing battle of wits as it weaves through an inspirational tale of overcoming some pretty tough times. LOOKS EASY ENOUGH, A Joyful Memoir of Overcoming Disease, Divorce and Disaster, by Scott Stevenson. Check it out: www.lookseasyenough.com.
The following three reviews were purchased from several freelance book critics and are available for reprint in part or in their entirety for no cost:
"OVERCOMING LIFE'S CHALLENGES"
During this time of unemployment, foreclosures, diseases, earthquakes, and oil spills comes an inspirational tale of staring adversity in the face, learning from the experience and coming out with a smile. Scott Stevenson, author of the newly released LOOKS EASY ENOUGH, A Joyful Memoir of Overcoming Disease, Divorce and Disaster takes us on a journey through a losing effort in the stock market, being on the wrong side of a forest fire, struggling through cancer and battling with a nightmare of a divorce - along the way he also shows us how to build a house. All of these events happened in rapid succession after he married for the first time late in life and moved with his bride to the mountains to retire and build the home of their dreams.
His new wife was the one who contracted breast cancer and his sister was the one going through the divorce from an abusive husband. Mr. Stevenson was intimately involved in supporting both - attending medical appointments, hospital stays, attorney meetings and court hearings, helping prepare court papers, building them up when they were down, holding their hands when they needed a little comfort, and reminding them that they weren't alone when they felt that all was lost. The reader will find true inspiration in living right along with Mr.Stevenson's wife as she struggles during her cancer battle, not so much with the cancerous tumor which was removed during surgery, but with her fears of dying from a recurrence of cancer.
The reader will also be moved following Mr. Stevenson's sister through her divorce challenges which turn out to be not so much about her angry bully of a husband, but with her own struggles to transform from a victim into a strong, self-assured woman. The cancer and divorce stories are told from the male perspective of the author which leads to a somewhat unique, quirky,and entertaining way of seeing these experiences.
Mr. Stevenson said it was greed that made him invest their retirement money in the stock market - his friends were making thirty to forty percent while he was making only eight. We've all been tempted by greed, but Stevenson shows us how we can turn around our failures when we learn the true value of money.
Along with the cancer, the divorce, and the stock market plunge, Mr. Stevenson - a former architect and contractor - was building their retirement home in the mountains. Realizing they all needed an escape from their troubles, he formed a family construction crew consisting of his wife (battling cancer), his sister (suffering through a divorce), his sister's two youngest daughters ages eight and eleven, and his seventy-seven-year-old mother. Every Saturday the family construction crew came up to the mountains - they laughed, played and even got some work done. Best of all, there were no medical exams, court hearings, or market reports. And by the way, this is the same house that comes face to face with the eastern front of the Cedar Fire (San Diego, 2003).
At times while reading the book, I was laughing out loud. Stevenson had a way of making a serious subject seem less serious, as when he nonchalantly maneuvered behind the plastic surgeon to check out his hair transplant or the time he and his wife turned into Creatures From the Black Lagoon while waterproofing the block walls of their house, or the tale of the three-legged dog at the hospital in Tijuana where his wife was receiving treatment. At other times I was wiping tears. A scene that stands out was the day his wife found out she had cancer and the author is standing on the balcony looking down at her realizing how much he loved her. The way he conveyed his emotions, ". . . a sense of love that fills every cell of my being and goes beyond this lifetime . . . " And still at other times I was so infuriated with his sister's obnoxious husband that I could have strangled him.
Stevenson tells his story in the present tense and his writing is easy to read and very engaging - like you're talking with an old friend rather than reading a book. If you're looking for a heart-warming tale of survival, adventure, and love, LOOKS EASY ENOUGH might just be your ticket.
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"HOW TO MAKE LEMONADE"
What would you do if over the course of a few years you experienced a life-threatening diagnosis, a divorce, lost your home to a forest fire and your retirement money in the stock market? Scream? . . . Run away? . . . Hide in the closet and wait til it passes? . . . Well, Scott Stevenson, author of LOOKS EASY ENOUGH, A Joyful Memoir of Overcoming Disease, Divorce and Disaster did none of these things. What he did do was . . . come out smiling.
The book is an inspirational tale of an average guy, not unlike most of us, who worked hard his whole life, saved a little money, and tried to do the decent thing. And then after retiring, life decided to throw him some lemons: he supported his wife through her roller coaster ride of ups and downs in her battle with breast cancer, he helped his sister wade through the craziness of a divorce from an abusive husband, he watched as their retirement money followed the crash of the NASDAQ, and he refused to evacuate (until the very last minute) their home they had built themselves in the face of an oncoming forest fire. Yet, the author truly does cut and squeeze life's lemons and turns them into delicious, sweet lemonade. Not only does the author come out a better person for the experiences, but so do the people around him.
LOOKS EASY ENOUGH should appeal to a wide range of audiences - there is a little everything; adventure, romance and - believe it or not - humor. The author's somewhat eccentric way of seeing life and his willingness to open up and share his most intimate of details has lead this reader to . . . come out smiling.
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"LOVE AMIDST DISASTER"
The author on the back cover of the book tells us that the story is an inspirational tale of facing life's tough challenges and coming out ahead. Well, the author is right - facing cancer, divorce, a forest fire and a stock market crash yet still coming out ahead is very inspiring. The author is a skilled writer and a great story teller. He pulls you in, gets you involved in the lives of the characters, and he makes it hard for you to put the book down. And taken as an inspirational tale, I would highly recommend it.
But the book is more than an inspirational story; it's an honest to goodness love story. Not a sappy harlequin where the characters are as deep as the pages they're written on, but a real life romance between a real life man and woman. The tough times that befell the author and his wife became vehicles in which to express their love. There is one chapter in the beginning of the book where the author's wife received a phone call from her doctor informing her that she had breast cancer and the author rushed home to be with her. He saw her crying and realized how much he truly loved her. The description of his feelings, " . . .a sense of love that fills every cell of my being and goes beyond this lifetime . . . it overwhelms me and I grab the rail for support . . . " brought tears to my eyes. And the tender and caring way the author and his wife interacted and played off each other throughout the whole cancer journey; attending all the medical and hospital appointments together, giving each other massages when they were stressed out, the way the author fully accepted and supported his wife's decision when she switched from conventional to holistic treatments after her mastectomy, and much more.
Definitely a romance!
The author and his wife also jumped in to help his sister when she told them she was filing for divorce from an abusive Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde husband (friendly in public and abusive behind closed doors). This was yet another opportunity for them to not only strengthen their love for each other but also for his sister. Paying for his sister's attorney, purchasing her house out of foreclosure so she and her four children wouldn't be turned out onto the streets, attending all the attorney meetings and court hearings, and spending umpteen hours helping her gather and prepare court documents went way beyond generous. Only a couple confident in each other and truly in love could do that much for another.
Another chapter that comes to mind is when the author and his wife are in the cab of their old work truck, driving home from the mountains after a day of erecting a giant cedar tree in the middle of the house - they had just retired and were building their dream home in the mountains. The sun was setting and the blues played on the radio when the author said to his wife, " 'Hey Dudette, can you see the color green in the sunset?' 'No, Dude, I don't see any green in the sunset,' she replied. 'Really? I can see the color green just above the horizon just outside where the reds and oranges stop,' said the author. 'No Dude, there isn't any green,' said his wife for a second time. 'I'm sure I can see an olive green color,' the author replied. 'Well Dude, remember you're color-blind. There is no green!' " The previous evening the author and his wife had watched the movie, The Big Lebowski, where the main character played by Jeff Bridges is called The Dude. The author and his wife had been calling each other Dudette, Dude, Dudster and Dudest for most of the day. They made me wish that I had a similar relationship . . . other than with my cat!
And then there are the pet names for each other. At first they called each other Husband and Wifebecause they had just been married and were still getting used to the idea. Next she called him Bub ("Its easy to say; all you have to do is put your lips together and blow. It takes no effort and Susan definitely likes things that take no effort.") And then there were Newt, Mutt, Bean, Toot, and Monk (short for monkey). The author called his wife Babe-O ("I also like things that are easy to say. Like Bub, all you do is put your lips together and blow.) At other times he used Bubble, Monkin, Chile Bean, and other.
Tell me this isn't a love story!
But life for the author and his wife was not a bed of roses. Remember this is an inspirational story of making it through some pretty tough times. A forest fire, a stock market plunge, fears of a cancer recurrence, and a nasty four-year divorce are not the best of times. But through it all, the author and his wife trusted in each other, helped each other (as well as others), saw the humor in life, persevered, and truly did appear to come out better people.
LOOKS EASY ENOUGH is a heart-warming, grown-up love story woven in and around an inspirational story of overcoming some pretty tough odds.