Hello Recovery Friends and Visitors,
It’s been awhile since I have shared a ‘Wee Little Bit’ about my book titled: Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat, available in both paperback and e-book on Amazon. And, my book was recently read and reviewed by two new exciting readers. The most current is a fantastic author herself from the UK and was very honored she read and reviewed my book. She then did an in-depth fair and honest book review on her Book & Author Blog! Author, T.R. Robinson, thank you! You got it! You understood all the points I was trying to get out through my memoir, and you did pinpoint the area’s my writing needs to improve. I have no problem with corrective advice as it helps me be a better writer even though have grown much in writing since I wrote my book.
The second was placed here Amazon Top Book Reviewer and I was both honored and surprised that an Amazon Top 100 book reviewer took the time to read my book and do a nice fair book review. He is a writer and journalist for, Vine Voice and a Hall Of Fame Top 80 Amazon Reviewer. Very blessed!
The next I am sharing is from a New Book Club site I came across and used my book as a test run for a low-cost ‘Professional Book Review’ to see how well they do before I refer recovery author clients over on Online Book Club .org Book Review.
I hope you enjoy reading more of what readers and book reviewers are saying about my Memoir and Sharing HOPE to others from addiction through my book ….
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Monday, 11 April 2016 ~ Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat) by Catherine Townsend-Lyon – Book Review
A very personal, honest, no holds barred memoir. This is the tale of the author’s journey with gambling addiction. Catherine Townsend-Lyon has been very honest about all her failings. Though she admits writing the book had a cleansing and cathartic effect on her, it must have been very hard to recall and put into the public view all that occurred on her journey. She has to be admired and respected for having taken this step.
The author has endured much but at the same time, I think it only right to remind readers she is anything but alone in this. Many of us, one way or another, have suffered in our lives, some similar to her own experiences, others very different. We are each unique and individual and though there may be similarities each of our journeys differ.
Though one of her motivations for writing this book is to help others who suffer the same addiction it should be born in mind this is her own tale, dark at times. No doubt others have and do experience similar circumstances but this is not a handbook for them. Nevertheless, having said that, it should help many to appreciate they are not alone; that others have and are going through similar difficulties; that there is hope; that there is escape if they truly work toward it.
Throughout, ‘triggers’ are described and talked about but we must bear in mind these are also personal to her. For others, the ‘triggers’ may be very different. Catherine (if I may be so personal as to refer to her by first name) frequently explains how, through her dysfunctional family, she consistently felt not valued or loved at times. But also, and very sadly, briefly describes; how she was abused by someone outside the family; how she was unable to tell anyone about it; how this also acted as a ‘trigger’ and how the combined resulting mindset and emotions have continued to plague her throughout life.
Before mentioning these it is only fair to acknowledge the author has made clear she is not a writer but has simply decided to share her own story. It is very much told in her own words and expressions which have the benefit of really making this a personal work.
- I consider the book a tad long. Much of what has been shared could be condensed and consequently, would make it a more readily readable book. For many time is an issue and it would be a shame if readers gave up because of the length.
- Until approximately the eighty percent mark (I read this on a Kindle and therefore am referring to percentages rather than page numbers) I did not feel drawn into the story. Of course, this may be personal to me but up to this point, I felt I was simply being presented with information and facts. I was able to sympathize but that was all. However, after this point there were areas where I felt empathy for the author; could feel her emotions, concerns, sorrow and disappointment.
- Most addiction recovery programs have a twelve step process. The author frequently refers to these but never really explains what is involved. Of course, I appreciate this is not intended to be a formal guide but it would have been nice to have a little more understating of what these steps involve; many readers will not be suffering from the addiction but will be reading out of genuine and general interest.
Rating: As any regular or frequent readers of this blog and my reviews will know, I consider the majority of books fall within the three-star rating. Regrettably, to my mind at least, the rating system has been undermined, sad to say mostly by self-published authors, by the constant allocation of higher ratings than often merited. But at the same time, I acknowledge reading is a subjective experience. Consequently, what one may enjoy another may dislike and each has the right to reflect this.
Nonetheless, I do consider far too many four and five stars have been given. Now, with respect to this book, I have found it difficult to determine a final rating. The author has willingly shared everything, exposing all her faults and failures honestly. She has taken us on the difficult journey of her life without drawing back from the realities, prepared to endure the opinions and attitudes that may result. For this reason, and despite the reservations referred to above, I consider the book merits a higher rating than three stars. Existing rating systems, well at least those that are primarily used by readers, do not allow for percentages. Consequently, I feel there is no option but for me to allocate a 4 Stars (****)
Catherine Townsend-Lyon contacted me about a year ago asking if I would consider a review exchange of books. I agreed and we exchanged free copies. I did explain it would take a while for me to read and review; there are many demands upon my time.
Nevertheless, a year is excessive. Unexpectedly some family issues arose, including health, that required my absence from my usual routine. At first, I tried to keep up but in the end had to abandon my on-line and reading activity. In the end, I was absent for eight to nine months. Of course, I then had the mammoth catching up process to go through. However, I firmly believe we should always fulfill our undertakings, even, as in this case, where deadlines have to be postponed. All I may do is apologize to her for the long delay but in my defense point out it has been due to circumstances outside of my control.
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Now, my next new review by a professional book reviewer from Online Book Club .org Book Review ! Again, the rating system is NOT like Amazon from 1 – 5 stars. And again, I do appreciate the very fair and insightful book review from them. Even if I didn’t get a 4 star, a 3 is still awesome! (A 4 by Amazon System).
[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of “Addicted To Dimes” by Catherine Townsend-Lyon.]
A 3 out of 4 Stars…
Review by G A Porter … April 11th, 2016
Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat by Catherine Townsend-Lyon is a Memoir about the author’s personal battle with gambling addiction. The book explores the author’s past experiences and decisions which eventually culminated in a financially and emotionally devastating addiction and the difficult ordeal of the recovery process. The author is open and honest about her past mistakes, her family drama, family dysfunctional dynamic, past abuse, and the long-term consequences gambling has had on her marriage and friendships.
The first section of the book is an introduction to the author’s early life. She grew up in a dysfunctional family and suffered abuse at the hands of her parents as well as outsiders. As a teenager and young woman, the author felt stifled by her mother’s overbearing control, particularly in controlling her own hard-earned money. She outlines decisions she made and relationships she began while searching for a replacement “unconditional love” that she did not receive from her parents. The hardships of her early life may have made the author vulnerable to the lure of addiction, and the continuing dysfunction may have added fuel to the fire later in her life.
The author gives the description of her family dysfunction and past to illustrate the person she used to be before the addiction took over her life. The addiction began slowly, but over time grew and drove her to drastic actions. As stress piled on her, gambling became an outlet and escape to her emotions. She also adopted the gamblers mentality of placing bets to win money she desperately needed to pay bills, but in the end, would lose more money than she came in with and chased her loss’s. Over the years, and giving insights, not excuses, the author would borrow money, steal from friends and workplaces, and jeopardize everything she and her husband worked for to maintain her gambling habit before fully committing to the recovery process.
Catherine was inspired to write this book after hearing the news of a local woman’s suicide due to gambling addiction. She wrote this book to give hope to those caught in the addiction that recovery is possible as well as to inspire empathy and bring awareness to others. The recovery process took a long time for the author and she described the “rock bottom” situation that appears to have been necessary for her to fully commit to the recovery process. She describes her own missteps, triggers from family and stress, and aspects of therapy which were most and least helpful for her. In the end, she appears to have been successful, if still in financial hardship at that time.
I rate Addicted to Dimes 3 out of 4 stars.
It is heartbreaking to see a woman’s life in ruins and the impact on her husband and friendships. However, a sizeable portion of the book is dedicated more to her family drama and raised in dysfunction than to the actual gambling addiction, sharing some undertones of why many may turn to addiction from past childhood trauma. While I enjoy the author’s honesty and self-awareness, sometimes it feels voyeuristic to see so much into her family life and affairs.
The author explains, though, that her “war stories” from gambling were not shared because oftentimes they can be triggering to other people currently fighting the addiction. The book is instead focusing on the repercussions on her life. It is also worth bearing in mind that the author is not a professional writer and so sometimes the book reads as a private journal entry. The author includes phrases such as “OMG!” which can be somewhat distracting. It is also important to remember that this is not a self-help guidebook, but a personal memoir. This book may appeal to readers who are themselves battling a gambling addiction, or any addiction for that matter, or to those who have loved ones affected by the addiction. It may also be noteworthy for people who do not have any gamblers in their lives, but still wish to see how the addiction can be devastating and to see the victims as real people, rather than as statistics. As many say, “hate the addiction, not the addict.” Their addiction is not who they truly are as a person ….
“I will close my sharing by knowing that no matter the “type” of book reviews I have received from many readers and reviewers of my memoir, just about everyone who has read my book say one thing the same. They understood the “why” of why I wrote and published my book. To raise awareness about Gambling Addiction, how it destroys one’s life, and no matter how bad your addiction is, it is possible to recovery” …..
Blessings Friends ~ *Catherine* 🙂