Thursday, September 10, 2020

Blog Tour and Giveaway: From the Lake House: A Mother’s Odyssey of Loss and Love by Kristen Rademacher

From the Lake House by Kristen Rademacher
From the Lake House: A Mother’s Odyssey of Loss and Love by Kristen Rademacher 
 Publisher: She Writes Press (July 21, 2020) 
Category: Memoir, Grief, Motherhood 
Tour Dates August and September, 2020 
ISBN: 978-1631528668 
Available in Print and ebook,
237 pages 
From the Lake House

Description From the Lake House by Kristen Rademacher

Dizzy with grief after a shattering breakup, Kristen did what any sensible thirty-nine-year-old woman would do: she fled, abandoning her well-ordered life in metropolitan Boston and impulsively relocating to a college town in North Carolina to start anew with a freshly divorced southerner. Dismissing the neon signs that flashed Rebound Relationship, Kristen was charmed by the host of contrasts with her new beau. He loved hunting and country music, she loved yoga and NPR; he worried about nothing, she worried about everything. The luster of her new romance and small-town lifestyle soon?and predictably?faded, but by then a pregnancy test stick had lit up. As Kristen’s belly grew, so did her concern about the bond with her partner?and so did a fierce love for her unborn child. Ready or not, she was about to become a mother. And then, tragedy struck. Poignant and insightful, From the Lake House explores the echoes of rash decisions and ill-fated relationships, the barren and disorienting days an aching mother faces without her baby, and the mysterious healing that can take root while rebuilding a life gutted from loss.

Advance Praise From the Lake House by Kristen Rademacher

“Over the course of this book, in well-structured, descriptive prose, Rademacher effectively leads readers through a gradually withering romantic relationship that culminates in a tragedy . . . Some of the most painful sections of the book are her loving letters to the little girl whom she held for but an hour, and whom she named Carly. It soon becomes clear that these missives helped to lead her back from a precipice of despair, so that she could finally face her future. A poignant and painful remembrance with comforting messages for the grieving.”-Kirkus Reviews “Kristen Rademacher’s achingly honest memoir about her losses of place, partner, and much-anticipated baby daughter Carly resonates with courage and an abiding gratitude for the preciousness of life. A truly tender reflection about loss that illuminates the devastating experience of baby loss.”-Janel Atlas, writer and editor of They Were Still Born: Personal Stories about Stillbirth “From the Lake House is an intimate, inspiring story of surviving in a world where blessings and tragedy walk hand in hand. Written with tender honesty and luscious language, it is a joy to read, even amidst the pangs of heartache and loss. As a bereaved mother, I found myself nodding in agreement with so many of Rademacher’s experiences of life after the death of a child . . . This book is for memoir-lovers and anyone who finds themselves in a turbulent relationship or who has said goodbye to a dearly loved child . . . Rademacher champions solitude for its healing capacities and the wholeness birthed from dogged, hard-earned resiliency. Perceptive and endearing, it is a moving saga of motherhood.”-Alexis Marie Chute, award-winning author of Expecting Sunshine: A Journey of Grief, Healing, and Pregnancy After Loss “In this beautifully written and poignant memoir, we learn that though people and dreams die, relationships don't. If we're attuned, the dead can transform our lives, offering enduring love and guidance?and hope.”-Carol Henderson, author of Losing Malcolm: A Mother's Journey Through Loss and Farther Along: The Writing Journey of Thirteen Bereaved Mothers

Enjoy an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter 8: Night-Light

The midwives praised my good health and thriving baby whose heartbeat

was always steady and strong. “You’re a model patient,” they all said. I gained

weight on schedule, all blood tests were normal, and once I was well into my second

trimester, I felt good. Both Jason and I looked forward to the ultrasound, a chance to

take a peek at our child in action. My favorite midwife explained that it would also

confirm our due date and pick up on any possible abnormalities in the fetus. “But

you’re in excellent health, no concerning family history for either you or Jason. I’m

not expecting any problems.”

“Don’t tell us the gender,” Jason told the technician on ultrasound day as I

hoisted myself on the steel table in a hospital examination room. I opened my robe

to expose my rounded belly while the technician readied her equipment. Jason stood

next to me, eyes fixated on the monitor next to us. “You want a surprise, huh?” the

young, energetic nurse asked.

I did want a surprise, even though every cell in my body believed we would

have a boy. I never pictured myself as a mother to girls, maybe because I grew up

with two brothers, and maybe because as a teacher I enjoyed the most mischievous

boys in the class, the ones who made other teachers nuts. I loved male energy, and

while I would have been thrilled with a girl, that possibility rarely crossed my mind.

Older women reinforced my fantasy. I’d at times get an unsolicited prediction from a

friendly senior citizen when shopping for groceries. “I know it’s early,” she’d say,

“but I’ve been around for a long time, and some things I just know. You’re carrying a

boy.” I’d smile, and my certainty grew that in the years ahead, I’d be strolling the

supermarket with a little boy sitting in the front of the cart.

“Wow,” Jason said repeatedly as the nurse pointed out our baby’s various

parts, like the heart, stomach, mouth. “Just look at him, Kris, he’s moving his arm.”

My child, who besides appearing like every other eighteen-week fetus as seen

through a fuzzy ultrasound image, looked adorable, little hand reaching up toward

its mouth.

The technician smiled. “Everything looks great. You’re right on track; due

date looks good.”

We celebrated the glimpse of our baby with high-fat cheese- burgers at a

noisy, crowded diner. I was famished, as always, and we were both giddy.

“What if he’s born on Christmas?” Jason asked as we dipped fry after greasy

fry into ketchup. The due date was January 2nd, and I had already been hoping this

wouldn’t be the case. A Christmas birth would mean my poor child would have a

lifetime of birthdays lost in the midst of holiday madness. His special day would be

divided into the Christmas half and the birthday half, and it already felt like too

much to plan for. Funny how in my last pregnant weeks, his birth date did cycle

through my rotation of concerns, along with whether my three-month maternity

leave would be enough, or how we would ever afford childcare. It never occurred to

me to worry about a healthy baby.

“Let’s just hope he doesn’t arrive early,” I said. “Once Thanksgiving hits, we’ll

sail straight through till New Year’s, pack up holiday stuff, and then I’ll deliver.”

“Deal,” Jason said. “We’ll just keep you incredibly still starting December

24th. No walking, no moving, no talking, no blinking.”

We chuckled, and then Jason reached across the table and grabbed my hand.

“Hey, I love you, you know.” Our eyes locked. “We’re going to make this work, Kris.”

“I love you too, Jason.”

We finished our lunch, walked down the block to my office building, and

kissed good-bye. We seemed like an ordinary pregnant couple, and I felt a tentative

sense of hope as I started up my computer and settled at my desk. We can be a

happy family, I reassured myself. If Jason’s career takes off, I reasoned, half of our

stress will be gone. I hoped the baby would draw us closer and perhaps bring out a

side to Jason that would take charge and get organized. And perhaps bring out a side

to me that fretted less.

Our excitement buoyed us, but before long we slipped back into our adopted

roles. Jason was the discombobulated entrepreneur, and I was the worrier, hovering

over the checkbook each week trying to keep us in the black.

I hushed up about my anxiety. Who was I going to tell, anyway? I did not yet

have a solid circle of friends in Chapel Hill, and while I told my coworkers about the

general stress Jason and I felt, I allowed them to chalk it up to expectant parental

jitters. And what was I supposed to say to my family and Boston friends? “I know

this will come as a shock after my well-planned and careful move to North Carolina

with Jason, but I’m kind of nervous about parenting together.” So no one knew that I

longed to be cared for, wanted an occasional foot rub or a home-cooked meal made

by someone else’s hands. Jason kept forgetting to scoop the cats’ litter day a after

day—a task pregnant women are advised to avoid—so I did the job myself,

scrubbing my hands afterward and tamping down resentment.

Despite my growing concerns and loneliness, I communed with the life inside

me wholeheartedly. Throughout the still moments of my days, I sent messages to my

baby floating in my womb, pictured his hand curled under his chin. Are you awake in

there? Listen to this. I’d stand at my kitchen sink washing dishes, imagining he heard

the water running from the faucet. Do you hear my keyboard clicking? I’d wonder as I

typed away on my computer at work. Stepping off the city bus that shuttled me from

campus back to my neighborhood at the end of the day, I’d waddle up the long

gravel road that led to my street. How do you like this bouncing? I’d push my feet

through the pine needles and wonder how his little ears took to my quickened

heartbeat. Once you’re here, we’re going to stroll all over the neighborhood. Wait till

you see these tall trees with red and yellow leaves sailing to the ground. I pictured

myself a year in the future pushing my toddler along the streets in a hand-me-down

stroller, wisps of his fine hair fluttering in the breeze, his chubby fingers grasping

the safety bar. These images gave me a surge of love so strong that my tension about

Jason and money faded. “Kick again, Little Boy,” I whispered when I felt him wiggle

around inside me, feeling proud when he did. “I’m going to take good care of you,” I

told him. “You won’t have to worry about a thing.”

About Kristen Rademacher

From the Lake House by Kristen RademacherKristen Rademacher has lived in Chapel Hill, North Carolina since 2002, which is when she began writing. FROM THE LAKE HOUSE is her first memoir. With a Master’s Degree in Education and a Professional Coaching Certification, Kristen is an Academic Coach and ADHD Specialist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also leads trainings and presentations at national conferences on the topic of academic coaching.

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Giveaway From the Lake House by Kristen Rademacher

This giveaway is for 1 print copy for 3 winners and is open to the U.S. only. This giveaway ends September 19, 2020,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only. a Rafflecopter giveaway

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My Review

I found Kristen Rademacher’s From the Lake House: A Mother's Odyssey of Loss and Love to be a good read. She does not hold back on her emotions and was truthful with herself on how she dealt with loss and grief. I have to admit I was brought to tears at times and did giggle at other times.

I am giving From the Lake House: A Mother's Odyssey of Loss and Love four and a half stars. I would recommend it for readers who enjoy memoirs and inspiring reads. 

I received From the Lake House: A Mother's Odyssey of Loss and Love from the publisher. This review is one hundred percent my own honest opinion. 


  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed 'From the Lake House'! Thanks for hosting!

  2. Nice cover. It sounds like an interesting book. Thank you for sharing.