Wednesday, February 11, 2015

After the Silence - and a Giveaway!

A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.

After the Silence
(From Kenya, With Love #2)
Rula Sinara
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback, 368 pages
March 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Does following her passion mean losing her way?

Marine Ben Corallis is an expert at facing death, but nothing comes close to the terror that grounds him when his wife is killed in a car accident the day he returns from duty. He's left to raise an infant, a toddler and a ten-year-old girl who hasn't uttered a word since her mother's death.

It's hard not to care for the widowed marine with three young children. Yet he's still grieving, too burdened with guilt to fall in love again. And Hope Alwanga's future as a doctor awaits her on the other side of the world, in Nairobi. If two such opposites can't agree on a common country, how can they ever create a safe place to call home?

Suffering in Silence: Selective Mutism in Children
By Rula Sinara

We all know how critical communication is for progress and survival—whether of a species, culture or even a relationship (I still think things get ‘lost in translation’ between the male and female sexes;). And there are so many ways of communicating…different languages, including sign language, technology and, sometimes, a lot can be communicated with a look or a smile. But it’s a whole different world when the inability to communicate doesn’t stem from language differences, but from deeply rooted fear or anxiety. In particular, trying to help or raise a child who suffers from selective mutism is heartbreaking and often frustrating because you don’t want to watch them suffer.

Although, due to counseling, they’re better now, two out of my three kids struggled with some developmental issues, anxiety and associated communication difficulties when they were younger. Both had a tendency to shut down, sometimes for hours. One often acted out in frustration while the other would retreat into himself. He was emotionally hypersensitive and, if something happened at school, he’d sit and stare at his desk (sometimes for almost an hour). The problem was we’d be at a loss as to what tipped him off because he wouldn’t tell us. He’d clam up.

Ten year old Maddie, in After the Silence, has suffered from selective mutism since her mother’s death (some might say that she suffers from traumatic mutism but her symptoms run a gray line and often ‘labeling’ and definition changes occur in psychology, as they recently did with Asperger’s). I drew a lot from my experiences at home and at school with my boys when I wrote this story. That led to some emotional times when I had to take a break from writing because the memories would flood back. For those of you who know a child suffering from mutism and wish to find out more, I’ve listed a few resources. This is by no means a complete list and it’s not intended to replace a professional diagnosis and help.

A website called The Selectively Silent Child points out that “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth Edition (DSM-IV) defines selective mutism as:
·       Consistent failure to speak in specific social situations (in which there is an expectation for speaking, e.g., at school) despite speaking in other situations.
·       The disturbance interferes with educational or occupational achievement or with social communication.
·       The duration of the disturbance is at least 1 month (not limited to the first month of school).
·       The failure to speak is not due to a lack of knowledge of, or comfort with, the spoken language required in the social situation.
·       The disturbance is not better accounted for by a Communication Disorder (e.g., Stuttering) and does not occur exclusively during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorder.

A few great places to research information on child mutism are:

Selective Mutism: A Review of Etiology, Comorbidities, and Treatment by Priscilla Wong, MD:

In my experience, research is a powerful ally in helping a parent become a formidable advocate for their child. Plus, quite often, a child’s situation or presentation isn’t necessarily ‘textbook’. Individual cases abound in psychology and medicine. Different doctors can have different opinions on the same patient. But it all boils down to helping a child feel safe, loved and strong enough to embrace the world around them.

And to those of you who have struggled to help a child suffering from any form of mutism and its associated conditions/co-morbid disorders, hugs to you. Know that you’re strength and patience is admired, appreciated and a gift to that child…just as children are a gift to us all. There are no boundaries for love.

About Book One in the Series
(Each can be read as a standalone.)

The Promise of Rain (Book 1)The Promise of Rain
(From Kenya, With Love #1)
Rula Sinara
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback, 384 pages
January 1st 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming

He wants to take her child out of Africa...

The Busara elephant research and rescue camp on Kenya's Serengeti is Anna Bekker's life's work. And it's the last place she thought she'd run into Dr. Jackson Harper. As soon as he sets eyes on her four-year-old, Pippa, Anna knows he'll never leave...without his daughter.

Furious doesn't begin to describe how Jack feels. How could Anna keep this from him? He has to get his child back to the States. Yet as angry as he is with Anna, they still have a bond. But can it endure, despite the ocean--and the little girl--between them?

Rula Sinara
Rula Sinara lives in Virginia's countryside with her husband, three boys and zany but endearing pets. When she's not writing or doing mom stuff, she loves organic gardening, attracting wildlife to her yard (cool bugs included) or watching romantic movies. She also enjoys interviewing fellow authors and is a Special Contributor for USA Today's Happy Ever After blog. Her door is always open at her website and blog.

Tour-Wide Giveaway

Gift Card Prize Pack: $100 Amazon Gift Card and ebooks of The Promise of Rain and After the Silence (open internationally)
US Prize Pack: Paperbacks of The Promise of Rain and After the Silence
3 ebook of After the Silence (open internationally)


Rula Sinara said...

Thank you so much for hosting me, Annie! You have an incredible place here :).

Annie Douglass Lima said...

You're welcome. It's my pleasure! And thank you!

Unknown said...

This sounds like a good book. I will have to put it on my TBR list.

Jan H said...

Children can suffer in so many ways and act out in many ways after losing a parent. My brother lost his wife just days after giving birth. The baby had heart problems and died 10 days later. My brother was left to raise his 2 year old son. It has been an interesting journey for them both.

Rula Sinara said...

Thank you, Deb!

Rula Sinara said...

Oh, Jan. I'm so, so sorry for you and your brother's tragic loss. I wish your family all the love and strength you need to cope with the loss of your brother's wife and newborn...and to raise your little nephew. Hugs to you all.

Tina at said...

This looks really good! Thanks for sharing your review of this book at Booknificent Thursday!