“When Angels Fly” is a true story of the struggles of a mother before and during the illness and ultimate death of her five year old son. It is a story of perseverance, heartaches, courage, and a mother’s undying love for her child.
A young girl grows up dodging her mother’s blows and as she hides inside her room to cry, she thinks that the years ahead will transform her life. With this belief, she is lured into love and marriage only to later on find out she cannot run away from her past life and that marriage is not a shield she can use against the emotional assaults of her mother.
But faith, in its many forms, drives this young-girl-now-turned-into-a-woman across the other facets of challenges the world has yet to play on her. The loss of a child in her womb, the grappling hands of the man she trusts, the family’s incessant fighting, and yet again the beckoning loss of another son.
Will Sarah survive through all this? And will someone come to turn things around for her, hold her hand, and see her through whatever life has still in store for her?
WHAT WONDERFUL BOOKS HAS PAULA SLADE BEEN RECORDING?
Her newest release, WHEN ANGELS FLY, a multiple award winning and deeply touching memoir of a mother’s love and loss by S. Jackson, A. Raymond and M. Schmidt.
To read reviews, listen to a preview and to purchase, please visit Amazon.com, Audible.com and iTunes.
Make no mistake; this isn’t a pity party or sob story memoir. It is life-affirming and you may cry, but you will be inspired!
“After surviving the cruel rage of tyranny from her mother and ex-husband, Sarah Jackson traveled a new path; a journey of loss, heartbreak, and ultimately strength. How do we survive the unthinkable, our child suffering from a terminal illness? Sarah Jackson’s life will teach you that despite all the hardships, you will survive, even if at times it feels like you won’t.”
“The most riveting story I have ever read about the strength of a boy and his mother. If you want to have your heart-strings pulled and your emotions tweaked then When Angels Fly is a must read!”
“Memoirs that deal with tragedy often turn out to be the most life-affirming and give a hope of resilience and strength. Kudos to you, Mary! You found the tender words to tell Eli’s story and your own journey.” ~ Jan Hawke, Author
“A heartfelt and heartbreaking story of a mother’s love; that this beautiful child was subjected to such horrific treatment by his own father, grandmother, and uncle and yet allowed by the “system” to continue to suffer abuse by them while he was undergoing such a serious illness is despicable. Thank God that she was there to protect him and his brother. A must read for anyone who has ever loved a child.” ~ S. Bailey
“So much praise to you for surviving the unthinkable. Thank you so much for sharing your story with the world as inspiration to any other woman who is going through this or has been through this and needs to know they are not alone.”
“As the father of two wonderful daughters, I cannot begin to imagine the horror that took place in this mother’s life. How any man can be so evil is beyond me. Thank God for men like Matt, however. There are a few happy moments in this story that made tears of temporary joy hint from behind my eyes: when Eli was able to drink apple juice without choking; the late-night trip mom took to get watermelon her son craved; when Eli and Noah played, as much as they could, in the hospital together. But sadly these moments too quickly moved aside, and the harrowing acts by a despicable grandmother and truly evil husband and father darkened the story. But this is real. That is partially what attracted me to this book. There is a time for the raw truth, it keeps one grounded. To me, this book was more than a succession of events. Often, I felt like I was sitting across from the mother at a diner. My mind fades to gray images as she recollects her story from years ago. She opens her heart, and I listen to her thought process in awe. The mother is amazing for hanging on for dear life, even when it surely felt the bottom had fallen away and there was nothing to believe in anymore. She was there for her son regardless of all else. If you don’t believe evil exists, you will after reading this. Above all, little Eli shows strength and heroism, and despite the bitter end, he triumphed over life.” ~ Robert Kimbrell, Author
“I couldn’t help thinking about womanhood while reading When Angels Fly. As a man and a father, it is hard to imagine the kind of feeling my wife has for our two kids. Many times I had to stop reading, close my eyes, and ask myself: “Could this be really happening?” I couldn’t help but wonder about the stuff of which women are made, because Sarah is a tough woman, sensitive, and rich in her humanity. It is inspiring to see how she gives life and nourishes it. The experience with Eli, her son suffering from cancer, is very touching and one that will inspire many people in the way they relate with their children. S. Jackson and A. Raymond have done a wonderful job in sharing experiences that will offer hope and provoke a silent revolution in the way most of us see women and life. It’s a book that every man should read. And I mean every man!” Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite
“I read this book after the author appeared on the We Love Memoirs group, Spotlight on Sunday. The story is a very moving account of the authors life and most importantly the story tells of her son Eli who becomes sick with cancer and subsequently dies. The book is in four parts with the third part being told from her diary recounting the months of Eli’s illness and his passing away. The first two parts of the book set the scene and show how Sarah’s life has been hard with an abusive mother throughout her childhood and then marrying a husband who is also abusive. As I read I felt very much that the mother was a psychopathic narcissist at best and the husband was an abusive alcoholic who had no feeling for his family and his only love being the bottle. Sarah has a very hard road which many of us would not survive I am sure. Her faith though does give her solace and even though it wavered at times in the end does help her through. I enjoyed reading the book but not so much the diary format although this was a way of telling the story day by day. I admired Sarah’s love and devotion to her children and her loving heart comes through. How she managed to cope with the mother’s ongoing abuse through her son’s illness is beyond belief. I will refrain from saying too much more as don’t want to give more away as there are many other aspects to this heartfelt story.” Julie Watson, Author
“This book’s effect on me is hard to explain. I gave it a 5 Star review because all the emotional triggers were engaged. As I read, I found myself crying, angry, happy, excited and overwhelmed by the detailed story of young Eli, Noah and their mother. I agree with other interviewers, no one should have to endure this type of life, but fact is, life isn’t always a bed of roses or cotton candy and everything nice. S. Jackson’s has poured her heart into telling the day-to-day story of her son’s journey, along with sharing her faith mixed with the power of a mother’s resolve. I highly recommend this book to anyone facing hard challenges in their life.” Raven H. Price, Author
“Kids can get hungry sometimes while on chemo,” says five-year-old Sammy, having a good day despite the malignant tumor invading his brain. Based on true events from the 1980s, Sammy’s story is imagined by his mother and brother as if the young boy might tell it himself. The result is gripping. Told in two parts, Sammy’s account first invites us into the everyday middle-American lives of a mom and her two boys. Sammy is a sweet, goodhearted kid, even as he faces the most difficult challenges in Part 2: “Cancer Arrived.” Here Sammy talks us through hospital trips and procedures, the hardest parts as well as moments of simple joy. It is not always possible to survive such a grim diagnosis, so Sammy and his family must embrace the smaller victories from one day to the next. Finally, our young hero is given one last opportunity to find his own unique path toward triumph. Listen closely as Sammy tells us all what matters most.
Reviewed By Lucinda E Clarke for Readers’ Favorite
“The story of Sammy: Hero at Age Five told by his mother, M Schmidt, and his brother, Gene D Donley, recounts the first years of his life from his earliest days until his sad death from cancer before he reached his sixth birthday. We learn of the early days, filled with love and happiness, his close friendship with his older brother, and the family friends who supported them. They had recently moved to a new town and his mother had met and was dating a nice man. Everyday life was normal, until Sammy began to get sick – again and again. The doctors did not diagnose his condition in the early stages and some tragic mistakes were made. Through all this, Sammy describes the toys, outings and events he enjoyed, the dressing up for Thanksgiving, his new bicycle, his favourite movies, followed by yet more visits to the hospital. Sammy shows us his world from the perspective of a small, five-year-old boy who shows so much courage through all the treatments he endured for long, painful months. There are moments of pure joy when he was released from hospital to spend a few days at home, before returning for more sessions of chemotherapy and radiation. It is no spoiler to say that sadly he passed away to go, as he tells us, to live with Jesus – the cover depicts him as an angel.
The true story of Sammy is a heart-breaking tale of courage, acceptance and an unshakable belief in a better life, free from pain, after death. While the facts of Sammy’s cruel illness are taken from journals and notes recorded during his treatments and hospital stays, what grips the reader is the roller-coaster feelings and the awe experienced by the reader of this child’s short life. There are both funny and sad moments, his understanding of how hard his mother fought to get him the best – sometimes at odds with the diagnosis and medicines prescribed by the doctors. His love-able personality shines through on every page and he has left a legacy of a life well lived that is an example to us all. The last few lines in the book are a complete shock. But I’m not giving anything away in this review. I am proud to award it 5 stars.”
Reviewed By Deborah Lloyd for Readers’ Favorite
Sammy, born the day before Easter in 1985, lived with his mother and brother Gene in a small town in Kansas. He lived the normal life of a little boy – riding his big wheels, playing with trucks, and running in the backyard. He loved the homegrown vegetables from his mother’s and Slim’s gardens. Slim was the man who lived next door and was like a member of the family. Then cancer arrived, changing their lives forever. Sammy shares the ups and downs of painful, scary treatments. He and his mother spent week after week in the children’s oncology unit at the hospital, several hours from home. Sammy was observant and knew when his mother had been praying or crying. He also became aware of Jesus’ presence and His help during difficult times. In the memoir, Sammy: Hero At Age Five, written by his mother and brother, M. Schmidt and G. D. Donley, the sad journey peppered with many joyful moments is shared.
One of the most intriguing aspects of this true-life story is that it is told from Sammy’s point of view. While written in the language of a five-year-old boy, the messages within his words are truly profound. The thoughts fit a little boy’s world – excitement in eating a Popsicle; hoping his mother will marry again, and he will have a new father; a wish to go to Disney World. The writing is clear and concise, and the photographs add to the realistic nature of the story. M. Schmidt and G. D. Donley shared their story to help other children and families facing these kinds of diagnoses in this memoir. This is a touching and unforgettable book!
“Written from the point of view of a five year old little boy… both funny and sad are moments that all children fighting cancer, their siblings, and their parents should read. The antics of Sam and his big brother, Gene, are funny and scary at times, but they are real—real-life events and situations. A must read!”
“All children who suffer from cancer and their families could benefit from, and relate to, this short story. Highly recommended and five stars all the way.”
“His love-able personality shines through on every page and he has left a legacy of a life well lived that is an example to us all.”
“…a story of Sam’s incredible bravery and faith in the face of a devastating situation.”
“..point of view of a five-year-old boy …main focus …is to relay the love he has for his family and how grateful he was to spend every minute he could with them.”
“…I couldn’t stop reading.”
“This story was written in such a way that it really feels like there is a five-year-old boy telling it to you, which makes it all the more heartbreaking.”
“…will keep you captivated right along with Sammy as he unfolds his story about a
horrific battle with cancer.”
“Sammy was a feisty little thing with a huge heart and desire to achieve his goals, and his relationship with Jesus was incredible for someone so little.”
“I highly recommend this book to families facing such trials. I know they would gather courage and inspiration along with an appreciation of life on earth and what awaits them in heaven with Jesus by reading Sammy’s story.”
“Sammy: Hero at Age Five is definitely an emotional roller coaster!”
“The photographs included throughout complete this five star read.”
“He was a hero since his conception.”
“Sammy: Hero at Age Five had me hooked from page one, and I found myself trying
to put my own person into the shoes of a five year old boy who became a hero.”
2019 Readers Favorite Five Star Book Award
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