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Out of Breath [Kindle Edition]

Susan Salluce
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (195 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

On a drizzly October night in the coastal town of Santa Cruz, California, seventeen-month-old Nevaeh drowns. Her mother, Alyssa Buchanan, is wild with rage and regret for placing her trust in her husband Seth, a former pro surfer who has a drug problem. Seth is adamant that he was clean the night of Nevaeh's death, yet a dirty drug test contradicts his story. His parental rights stripped and criminal charges looming, he battles to prove his innocence, love, and family devotion. Adding to the couple's grief, their five-year-old daughter Daisy hasn't uttered a word since her sister's death. Alyssa turns to childhood friend and local police officer, Greg Wallace, for comfort and support. Although Greg portrays heroic devotion and justice, inwardly he swims with loss, narcissism, and explosive rage. He has long despised Seth and is more than willing to meet Alyssa's needs that reach far beyond friendship.

Into this fragile scene steps therapist Katherine Middlebrook. Her practice consumes nearly all her time--time that is even more precious now that her mother's cancer has returned. She hesitantly accepts three new clients--Greg Wallace, and Seth & Alyssa Buchanan, unaware of their intertwined history. Buried deep in Katherine's past is the loss of her own child. She's sure she can keep the boundaries of her past and her clients' lives clear until their intersecting tragedies awaken old demons.

An award winner in the South West Writer's Contest for literary and mainstream novel, Out of Breath is an exploration of parental grief, addiction, compassion fatigue, and suicide; it's the prodigal story of grace undeserved. Salluce's expertise as a psychotherapist and grief specialist enables her to create dynamic characters that will leave you breathless as you jeer their shadow sides and cheer their heroic journeys.

Product Details

  • File Size: 792 KB
  • Print Length: 265 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: BookBaby; 1 edition (September 1, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005KV26MY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,649 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An emotional and gripping story January 23, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I purchased a copy of Out of Breath on the recommendation of a friend. Being a Santa Cruz resident and a writer, I was interested to see my adopted town of 34 years portrayed by another local writer.

Alyssa Buchanan has a stormy relationship with husband Seth, owner of a local surf shop. She loves him, but hates that he is absent from their marriage much of the time and acquiesces to drugs and alcohol to get him through life's difficulties. When their toddler daughter Nevaeh drowns under Seth's watch, Alyssa's forgiveness turns to rage. A dirty drug test is damning evidence at odds with his story of being clean. Alyssa takes five-year-old , now mute, Daisy, and moves in with her grandmother.

Grief-stricken and stripped of his parental rights, Seth enters AA and tries to repair the shambles his life has become, while Alyssa combats her own despair by turning to a childhood friend, local police officer Greg Wallace. Greg has long loved Alyssa, but he fights his own demons-a failing marriage, grief over his brother's death and, at times, an uncontrollable rage.

Local therapist Katherine Middlebrook, in an odd quirk of fate, takes on all three as clients, not realizing that their lives are intertwined. But Katherine has her own secret-a child who died many years ago. Her grief runs so deep that she hasn't been able to reveal this to her closest friend. In addition, Katherine's own life is disrupted with the recurrence of her mother's cancer, making her own life unbearably stressful.

Ms. Salluce tells a strongly emotional story in first person from the viewpoints of each of the characters which is quite effective and allows a window into their souls. The reader grows to understand that each is damaged and flailing in the undercurrent of life.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was out of breath February 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I purchased this because it was .99 cents and I just got a Kindle Fire. I have been an anti person who did not want a Kindle. My son said "take a chance Mom and try a book on it. What I got with "Out of Breath" was an amazing surprise. This story touched me from so many levels. One the characters are real not rich and match the norm which is Santa Cruz. I felt like I was walking on the streets with them. This story is told from many points of view and I enjoyed everyone. I loved Oma who added faith and love. This story is the story of a couple who once fell in love over a physical attraction to have a to find a way to really fall in love. You will cry and hurt but you will be so glad you took the time to read this. I just hope there are many more books by this author she really gets the real lives of those of us in the real world. Take a day and curl up with your kindle and you will be so glad you did.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't out it down!!!! September 30, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Absolutely loved this book! The characters became so real and tangible to me that I could not put my iphone down!!Having grieved the loss of both my mum and dad, this book really dealt with the process and healing of grief so well.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard to get beyond the errors April 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this as the subject matter interested me and because the author is a psychotherapist. My sense of this book is that it tries to cover too many aspects and loses in the processes. There are many errors throughout it, which I find distracting and irritating. A family dog appeared, for the first time as far as I was aware, 60% into the book. This might sound petty, but there had been much upheaval in the storyline leaving the family home empty for weeks and no mention of the dog's whereabouts.

I feel the author tried to give insight into too many characters, and what might have worked as a story became too fragmented and coincidental.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grief Journey From Multiple Perspectives January 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The story's concept is strong: see a family torn apart by the tragic loss of their daughter, watch their lives unravel as the pain and guilt pile on, and then root for them to navigate the horrific journey so they come out stronger on the other side.

The author did a very good job with the internal thoughts of the characters, and I found the first-person narration (which spanned multiple points of view) to be effective. Maybe it's because I'm picky, but I did get taken out of the story several times due to a few misspellings and some misuse of punctuation. But let me be clear -- these are minor.

On the whole, Out of Breath does exactly what a book of this genre is supposed to do: make you care about the (flawed) characters and have an emotional reaction to the story. Besides, at 99 cents, it's an excellent value!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound! Wow! September 29, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This beautifully done story of loss, grief, and recovery truly touched my heart. Having lived through the loss of a child and the recovery process of a spouse, I can only say that Susan got it all. The process was shown so true to life. Compelling book and I also almost read it in one sitting. WOW! Thanks, Susan.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Story April 16, 2012
By matt
Format:Kindle Edition
This book has it all - from tragedy, suspense, heartbreak, gut-wrenching pain all the way to renewal, restoration & joy. But not in the way you'd expect. Written by a professional therapist with a unique insight in the counseling field, you will get a very personal behind the scenes picture of the human struggle to grieve. Susan brings each one of the characters to life through raw emotion and brutal honesty. I strongly recommend it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 6 days ago by Brittany
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved this book. It was heart wrenching. Happy for a good ending.
Published 6 days ago by Thomas Jacobs
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good reading
Published 7 days ago by Carol Bane
5.0 out of 5 stars It was a great find! Very clever plot and so well-written
I had no hint about this book before I chose it to read. It was a great find! Very clever plot and so well-written. I could hardly put it down once I got into it.
Published 23 days ago by T. Zook
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book.
Published 28 days ago by Linda Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth pushing through the emotions of the first chapter
Very touching story with believable characters. It was difficult to read the beginning event, especially as a parent, but as the story unfolded with different points of view, I... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Brwneyes
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read
Keeps you wondering the whole way through. Has some great twists and turns. Expect the unexpected. Sad story but a great read.
Published 1 month ago by Debra Harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Put It Down!
Wonderful book! Happiness,sadness,suspense & love - this story has it all.... loved the ending the most! Would love a sequel.
Published 3 months ago by Shawn Dragman
5.0 out of 5 stars Nanny
Excellent book. Had me in tears. The authors descriptions were so vivid I felt I was living the hurt and pain along with the characters. Beautifully done
Published 3 months ago by nannynonie
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read
I don't reviews into great detail, but I do highly recommend this book. I think many readers would thoroughly enjoy this book.
Published 3 months ago by Sara
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More About the Author

Susan Salluce, MA, CT, holds a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology and is a Certified Thanatologist--a death, dying, and bereavement specialist. With a passion for writing, impacting the bereaved, and having experienced her own sense of compassion fatigue, she wrote Out of Breath which is available on all E-readers and in traditional book form in a variety of local book stores. Out of Breath has sold over 16,000 copies in the first year, placed in the top three of the South West Writer's competition for Mainstream/Literary novel, and has remained on Amazon's Top 100 list for Psychological Thrillers for the past year.

Susan continues to contribute to the field of bereavement through her writing, consultant work, and for the past three years, a facilitator for Friends for Survival, a non-profit dedicated to those affected by a suicide death. She is currently at work on her next novel, Dancing My Father Home, a fictionalized memoir about growing up with her loving, often depressed, and sometimes violent father who in later life succumbed to Alzheimer's disease.

When Susan is not writing, you can find her either in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada's or on the beaches of Aptos, Ca with her family.

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