Thursday, January 6, 2022

Preyed Upon and Under the Orange Blossoms -- BOOK BEGINNINGS



Happy new year! And welcome to the first Books Beginnings on Fridays of 2022! Thank you for joining us to share the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week -- or just a book you want to highlight. 

Do you have any particular reading plan for 2022? Did you make any bookish reading resolutions? 

I signed up for a handful of reading challenges, which are more like reading guideposts than plans or resolutions. For those of you who join in the 2022 European Reading Challenge here on Rose City Reader -- THANK YOU! 2022 is the 10th anniversary of the ERC and the challenge that brings me the most joy to see all the participants that come back year after year to tour Europe in books. 

I'm also back for a second year with a TBR challenge that matches the calendar. The TBR 22 in '22 Challenge helps participants clear off their shelves by reading 22 books they already owned before New Year's Day. 

I hope you join me for one or both of these Rose City Reader challenges!

Now, back to our Book Beginnings!


I have a Books Beginnings two-fer to start the new year, because I got two similar books recently. Both are memoirs by abuse survivors seeking to help others by sharing their stories.

I couldn't believe I was back in his office. 

-- from Chapter One, "The Office Visit," in Preyed Upon: Breaking Free from Therapist Abuse by Amy Nordhues. 

I pop a warm orange slice into my mouth and methodically eat it to distract myself from the pain. 

-- from Chapter One, "Slices of Sunshine," in Under The Orange Blossoms: An Inspirational Story of Bravery and Strength by Cindy Benezra. 

Amy Nordhues was groomed and abused as a young adult by the church-based psychiatrist she went to for help with depression. Cindy Benezra was abused as a child by her father. Both struggled with the ongoing trauma of their abuse, especially the shame and self-blame they carried with them.

After much work brought them both their own healing and peace, Nordhues and Benezra wanted to write memoirs to share their stories. These memoirs are written primarily for abuse survivors. But they are comforting to anyone who has faced trauma and helpful for anyone supporting trauma survivors. 

I work with sex abuse survivors, so these memoirs ring true to me. I have cases going on right now working with survivors of people abused by their therapists when they were adults and many who were abused when they were children. It has been a hair on fire week for me with the Boy Scout bankruptcy hitting the skids because I have a lot of clients involved in that case. It is good news that the proposed plan did not get enough votes in favor from abuse survivors, for anyone following the story.


Please add the link to your Book Beginning post in the Linky box below. Add the link to your BB post, not your main blog page or social media profile page. Please use the hashtag #bookbeginnings if you share on SM.

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Freda at Freda's Voice hosts another teaser event on Fridays. Participants share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of the book they are reading -- or from 56% of the way through the audiobook or ebook. Please visit Freda's Voice for details and to leave a link to your post.


From Preyed Upon:
"Oh, I didn't realize psychiatrists did counseling."
"Oh, yes, getting to know my patients on a more intimate level drew me to this profession."
From Under the Orange Blossoms:
My racing heart draws my attention to my tight chest. I gently massage my chest to dissipate the tension. 


  1. Honestly I don't think I could handle this tough topic right now when the National News is so distressing.

    1. I hear you! I am the author of Prayed Upon. The great thing about my story is that it ends on a high note. In the end, God triumphs over evil. :)

  2. Good luck with your reading goals and challenges this year! I decided to take a break from formal challenges, but I do have a few goals I would like to work toward.

    The memoirs you are reading both sound worthwhile. I can see how they would be beneficial to other survivors.

    I hope you have a Happy New Year!

  3. Now I want oranges. Yes, I'm afraid that's where my mind went while reading the second book beginning.

    1. You're not the only one. My mind unfortunately starting thinking about the orange juice hidden in my fridge.

  4. Therapist abuse - now that's an interesting topic for a book!

  5. Hard topic to deal with.. Some of us just read about it, others experience it and then there are the people like you who try to prevent it as much as possible.

    Thank you....

    Elza Reads

  6. Two very difficult but fascinating books. I like how both openings grab you right away without being super 'in your face' about it! Thanks for hosting and good luck with all your reading challenges! I hope you have a lovely weekend :)
    Juli @ A Universe in Words

  7. Very important tough topics being addressed. I'm glad that we've reached the point where these issues can be addressed and spoken about. Although it's painful, I'm glad the authors can find healing through their writing and provide comfort to others going through the same.

  8. I do have reading goals and am participating in several (probably too many) reading challenges for 2022, but it's my first year participating and I want to do them all, LOL! Your book choices today are not ones that I can easily read...Happy Friday!

  9. Both books sounds interesting for different reasons. I hope you enjoy them! Happy New Year and happy weekend!


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