Sunday, February 16, 2014

Seven Tears by Sheila Joyner

Seven Tears is a compelling story of a young girl’s struggle in trying to live a normal life within a sadly dysfunctional family.

Written in first person point of view, this story takes the reader straight to the heart of what Birch Thomas is experiencing and feeling. Her mother’s substance abuse issues left this youngster virtually on her own to manage life. The close residential proximity to Birch’s maternal grandparents should have been a blessing, but it turned out to be just the opposite. Rather than offering her protection, it was the location from which sexual abuse would emanate and denial would conceal.

The story continues with more traumatic circumstances occurring and lack of solid, positive support from home. Birch finds herself in the foster care system and unable to stop her self-destructive behavior.

Something that was impressed upon me in reading this book is the importance of growing up with a stable, loving, caring parent or parents. Parenting isn’t easy. That’s a fact. Even the most well-intentioned, engaged parents will find their kids testing the waters at some point; however, when there are parental addiction issues in the home, the kids will automatically suffer. They are the innocent victims of  compulsions, whether it be of the alcohol or other substance abuse variety, sexual or even a golf or tennis obsession--anything that is the top priority over the children’s best interests and creates limits or even excludes quality time spent with them. The addiction or obsession becomes what matters most, and the children are left to their own devices to fill their free time.

It’s also not easy being a kid. Everyone wants to fit in somewhere, and most children are going to participate in the same activities as their friends. One can only trust that the friends are on the right path.

Seven Tears paints a vivid portrait of Birch’s difficult situation and the effects of addictions in the home. It is a quick, but captivating read that leaves one wondering how many kids are out there silently suffering. I was incredibly  thankful for the positive ending!

Joyner approaches a difficult topic through the eyes of an innocent child, a rebellious adolescent and, finally, a young adult. I hope that this author has future books in the works.

Book Description

I was six years old when I lost my innocence. Keeping quiet about it was more out of fear of his wrath. When it was finally revealed, I was a drama queen, they said. At age thirteen, they didn’t believe me after the gang rape, but found it justified to send me away to have the baby. I was a drama queen, they said. Living in a family of dirty little secrets, I began acting out in a big way.

For seven years I fought neglect, abuse, and even death. And then one day it happened. For Birch Thomas, life is not easy. She had fought neglect, abuse, and even death for seven years, living with the dark secrets her family hid. Birch can’t seem to catch a break from the negatives of life, and she doesn’t know where to turn. She isn’t sure she’ll ever escape her secrets. Inspired by actual events, Seven Tears will captivate and inspire young adults and parents. Take an inside look at the skewed foster system and discover the true meaning of home.

In the Author’s Own Words

Sheila Joyner
“A friend once said, it only takes one person to change the direction of your life. Well, it happened to me and I started writing.

Raised in rural West Virginia and the daughter of a coal miner, my first job was with the hometown newspaper.

I now live in the seaside village of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina. We have a saying in our town... ‘quaint drinking village with a fishing problem.’  I love to fish.

My favorite quote is ‘Gardeners know the best dirt.’ I'm the type of person that has to be in the know, the inner circles, the front lines. I love gardening also.

Favorite genre is anything with a true story.

I'd be thrilled to get your friend request. Gracias!”

And More

Joyner was compelled to write Seven Tears when she experienced the life-changing event of losing several grandchildren to the foster care system. A debut author, she is now a therapeutic foster parent and advocate for children in foster care and kinship care. She lives in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, with her husband, Sonny.
Published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises, the book is now available through bookstores nationwide, from the publisher at, or by visiting or
Connect with Sheila Joyner on Facebook at
See you soon!
Mary Anne Benedetto
Author of Eyelash, 7 Easy Steps to Memoir Writing: Build a Priceless Legacy One Story at a Time!, Never Say Perfect, From Italy with Love & Limoncello and Write Your Pet's Life Story in 7 Easy Steps!

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