February 2, 2016

The eBook version of Not Another Sarah will actually (finally!) be out this month. It sorta fell off the radar in 2013. But since 2016 is the 10 year anniversary of the book coming out, I believe it is time.

Make sure you like the book on Facebook so you can get more up to date info and links on the book!

July 2, 2013

I am finally working on creating an eBook version of "Not Another Sarah" to sell on Amazon. I plan to have it available to sell online this fall-- just in time for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. I also am linking my website to my GoodReads page and to my Facebook Fan page. I probably could have/should have done this years ago to help promote my book, butÉ.. well, like I said before: Better late than never!

For a life update: I'm still teaching & speaking in Juvenile Detention. It will be 4 years this fall. I've taught over 500 teens. It's been a crazy, rewarding, frustrating, wonderful experience. Last fall, I started the Substance Use Disorder Counselor program to become a Drug & Alcohol Counselor. I'm in my final three weeks of the program and then I'm left with taking the board exam to get my license. I started finding that more & more of my teens had serious drug issues and I wanted to be able to do more to help them through that.

I have WAY more animals now than I used to. I have 5 bearded dragons, the desert tortoise, two dogs, two birds, a betta fish and a snail, and a leopard gecko. I have been working with a local parrot rescue organization and now am doing my own bearded dragon rescue in my free time.

I can't believe it's been 7 years since my book came out. That blows my mind how fast the time has gone by. It's been great to hear from people through my email about how the book has helped their lives. I frequently share my story in detention to teach the teens about dating violence and about how to overcome hard things. I plan to do more with my website and the other social media sites I'm on as I promote my ebook version. I'm ready to get the book back out there and making sure there is 'Not Another Sarah' in this world!

July 4, 2011

I should have done this a long time ago, but.... better late than never! I'm on Facebook. There's a page just for this book. Come find me there and get actual updates!

May 29, 2010

Just a quick update. Life is going really well for me. I took a break last summer from public speaking and turned my attentions to my long-time dream of teaching writing classes to teens. In September I started working at my local juvenile detention center. It has been AMAZING! It is by far the greatest part of my week. The kids have been great to work with and I've enjoyed getting them to think and write creatively. I wish I hadn't waited so long to go after this dream.

My family life is great. We're happy and healthy. My kiddos are growing up fast. I'm grateful to be a stay-at-home mom so I can be there for them all the time. Being at home gives me more time to write and to read. I've got a couple of novels I'm working on, but nothing is in the works to be published yet.

After having great success with it over the years, I finally decided to let my Foundation go. When all of the renewal dates came up for the license and internet, I let them go. There is no longer a functional "NAS Foundation." Through it, I managed to get copies of my book into the hands of many people who need it. I couldn't have done it without your help. I was ready to move on to other things. So if you click a link and can't find it, you'll know why.

I have a blog I maintain faithfully. If you'd like to know more about it, send me an email! It's not something I'll post here.

Thanks again for your support and love over the years. I've been privileged to know of lives I have changed through my book and that is an amazing gift to me. God bless you!

March 31, 2009

Last week there was a horrifying story in our local news about a man who severely beat his ex-girlfriend's puppy while continually calling her voicemail so she could hear the puppy crying and yelping. The story itself was horrifying by itself, but it triggered a strong flashback reaction in me. I easily remembered watching helplessly as my ex tortured my kitten in an attempt to get to me. If I cried or begged him to stop, he would attack it more. The abuse of the kitten is one of the few memories I have of the abuse that still brings me to tears.

Abusers often attack their partner's pets when they feel out of control. It's a form of psychological abuse that has a powerful (negative) impact on the family. Often abuse of a pet preceedes actual abuse of a person. Someone who abuses pets is in need of intervention immediately.

If you are in an abusive relationship or if you have recently left one, take extra precautions to protect your pets (AND your children) from your abuser. Even if it is a small animal like a hamster or fish, the abuser may feel like he/she can get back at you by torturing or killing something close to you.

Be safe! Get help immediately if you are being abused. There is help and hope for a brighter future.

March 24, 2009

This morning I was listening to KLUV, a Christian Radio Station, as they interviewed Mandissa, one of my favorite past American Idol contestants. During the interview, in her nice, bubbly voice, she said that she had been raped at 16. It totally caught the DJ off guard. Such a nice happy voice-- the same voice you would use to say "I bought a new outfit today" or "it's beautiful weather outside." But instead she said "I was raped at age 16."

Her comment, but mostly the way she said it, got me thinking again of what it means to be a survivor of trauma. When it first happened, it's impossible to talk about at all. When you do finally talk about it, it's with great emotions: fear, sadness, etc. After you talk about it or work through it enough times, it becomes very easy to sanitize it and talk about it with a casualness that catches other people off-guard. I know I can speak about my abuse in an upbeat and almost happy tone. It's not wrong. It doesn't mean that I haven't dealt with my trauma it means that I have polished my experiences over time the same way a rock tumbler files down the sharp edges and points of a rock. Occassionally the full impact of what happened to me comes back and I do go through feelings of rage, fear, hurt, sadness, etc., but they are always much, much less powerful than they were when I first started dealing with my trauma.

This is a good thing-- to move to the point where your trauma is part of your life and not ALL of your life. There are some who wear their trauma like a badge and use it to identify themselves in every circumstance. To me, that's just casting yourself in the role of the forever victim. Being a victim once was enough for me! My abuse is part of my life because it is part of my past. It is no longer my life, and for that I am very grateful. Your goal should be to move through your trauma and keep moving forward towards a healthy life.

A healthy life is possible. I know it because I'm living one. Don't relish or revel in your pain; deal with it and move forward. It will always remain with you, but it doesn't have to overwhelm or define you in the long run. I promise. I know because I've been there.

God bless you. Especially you who are struggling to deal with the effects of abuse.

January 27, 2009

A friend of mine told me about a Story Bank that has been started on the Department of Health's website in Utah. She would like to fill it up with stories from survivors of domestic violence. Will you help us? Do you have a story about domestic violence that you would like to share? Do you know someone who does? Will you follow the link below?

On the left side of the screen, there is a link "How to submit your story." Follow that link for instructions on how to submit your story.

UT DoH Story Bank

Also, we're looking for more energetic youth here in Utah who would like to serve as an Ambassador for the Dating Dangers portion of the "the Power of You" program. Do you or someone you know have an experience with dating violence or domestic violence? Do you or your friend have good speaking skills? Are you interested in sharing your story with junior high and high school students around the state? Then let me know! Send me an email and I can give you more information. Here's a link to the Power in You website:

Dating Dangers, Power in You Program

Have a great day!

January 22, 2009

I spent today giving this website some badly needed attention. I added another book excerpt and rearranged my blog postings so the newest one is at the top instead of the other way around. I hope it helps. It always amazes me that I still get traffic off my website even when I'm not actively promoting it! Thanks to all of you for logging in!

Let me give you an update on my life. I am a stay-at-home mom with 3 kids now. I am still the co-chair of the Dating Violence Task Force and, for now, that is the only involvement I have in domestic violence. I ran my first 5K last year and am still training so I can run another one this year. I have another personal blog that I enjoy keeping up each day.

Every so often I wonder if I ought to start public speaking again and so far my answer is still "No." I teach CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) trainings every couple of months and that is nice. I love teaching! I also occassionally write an article or two for local newsletters. All in all, I keep pretty active. I am happy and I am always thrilled to hear from my readers. Please send me an email if you need help or resources! I'd be thrilled to do what I can!

Have a wonderful, healthy, and prosperous New Year! God bless you!

October 27, 2008

Well, as of last Thursday I had found homes for the 500 books that we bought after the donation drive. We still have places that want them and some money left over so I am ordering another 230 books this week! What a huge success! I'm so grateful for everyone who donated. The books are going all over the country-- Florida, Maryland, Washington, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, North Carolina-- just to name a few states. I will keep at least a 100 books on hand. So if you need more, please contact me through email and I can hopefully send you some!

October 2, 2008

Oh no! Another long gap in blog entries? Really? Bad Sarah! ;o) The problem with this blog is that it's mostly abuse related and when I don't do much with abuse then I don't have much to report. Sorry for the delay.

I am working with my NAS Foundation to find homes for 500 copies of my book. The donation drive this summer to buy books at a deep, deep discount from my publisher was a great success. Those books are head to women's shelters, jails, juvenile detention centers, etc.. It's not too late to buy books for your organization. Just send me an email.

Have a great day!

May 16, 2008

Yikes! I didn't realize I had let so much time pass since I had written. I know I've updated my website before now, but somehow I overlooked the blog. I have purposely taken off the past year from speaking out about abuse. At first the reason was simple: I was newly pregnant and felt AWFUL! And then the reason changed: I didn't feel comfortable getting up in front of people with a big belly. Once I had my baby (a fact I failed to mention above-- baby boy born in October) there was just not enough time to add speaking to my crazy life. And another reason surfaced: I really was grateful for the break.

Speaking about abuse is a very draining thing. I love speaking and teaching. I love meeting new people. I love traveling around the area. But I grew tired of saying the same message. I found myself saying the same things and the same joke and raising my hand in the same way at the same time. And at the end of the day it was so much harder to fall asleep. I kept speaking because I knew my story helped people even though at the same time it wasn't really helping me. So taking a break helped me take a step back and look at why I spoke out and if I wanted to keep doing it. I gave myself a deadline (mostly so I had something to tell people when they asked me to speak). I decided to be on maternity leave until Spring 2008.

And then a funny thing happened. The closer we got to spring 2008, the more I started to panic. I'd think of speaking out again and I'd start crying. I wasn't ready. I told my husband "I'm not ready." He'd shake his head. "So don't do it." "But... but..." I'd try to say. I felt so obligated, like I HAD to. Like I had made a commitment to speak and I was bound to do it. One day I decided to break that obligation. It's a funny thing about abuse-- abuse takes away your choices. It leaves you with no agency. It takes away your ability to choose for yourself. So here I was taking away my own free will in teaching others how to AVOID abuse! Double Yikes!

About two months after I decided to stop speaking (for now) I got another royalty check for the sales of my book. It was just over $26. Don't worry, I didn't get the period in the wrong place. It was twenty-six dollars. As in less than thirty dollars! As in very small! And then my publisher told me they've sold less than a thousand books. Ugh! I can't tell you how many times I cried over that. It felt so worthless, so meaningless. But then I caught myself. How can you put a price tag on a human life? How can you put a value on the life of someone who is no longer being abused? You can't. That's a check I won't ever be written. And that's okay.

Right now I'm working my publisher to buy the rest of the Not Another Sarah books. Then I can do what I originally intended to do with my books-- give them to the people who need them regardless of the price. I may need your help with that. I'll let you know through email. I'm hoping to be able to send the books to good homes where they can be of great help instead of sitting in dusty boxes in the back of a warehouse or on a clearance table at a bookstore. I want them to do good. They can be my voice. They can speak out for me.

So for now I am at home mom. My life is crazier now than it has ever been. I'm not sure how that happened. It's wild! But I do still care about those who are suffering from abuse and I want to do something to help them. I just don't want to be the one to be behind the microphone for now. Maybe later. But not now. So I'll be in touch soon when I need your help with my books. Until then... Best wishes.

August 2, 2007

Hooray! It's finally August! We've survived July (the hottest month on record for years) and are now heading right toward school starting again! I think I'm much more excited about my kids going back to school then they are. I've spent the last two months trying to keep them happy and entertained-- some days were much more successful than others. My pregnancy is going well. It took about two months to stop throwing up. From there I just started getting bigger. I now have two months left. We did find out we are having another boy! He's an active one.

Not much else to report. I finished reading the last Harry Potter book in a day! Phew! What a read! Today I want to go back and read the last few chapters again. Talk to you soon!

April 26, 2007

It always amazes me how fast life can change. My little family and I have had some big surprises and blessings over the past two months. The day after my daughter turned 7, I found out that I was pregnant for the first time in 7 years! My husband and I were shocked! And delighted! A month later, we were able to start the paperwork to adopt our 3 year old foster son who we've now had for over a year. We're hoping the adoption will be finalized sometime this summer. So after being a family of 3 for many years, we're now about to be a family of 5! This pregnancy has not been easy for me, and I've had to really cut back on a lot of my volunteering activities. I just don't have enough energy any more! Since exhaustion and throwing up are almost constant companions, I've had to look really hard at what my priorities are. I'm grateful for the many opportunities I've had to educate people about abuse. I'm so thankful for the people who have taken the time to email me about how my book has helped them. It is such a rewarding feeling! As my belly gets bigger, I'll be doing fewer and fewer public speaking events, and, eventually, I'll stop doing them all together. Hopefully, by this time next year I'll be ready to get back behind the microphone!

Thanks for stopping by my website. I'm hoping to put more effort into keeping it updated and full of useful information. I still haven't figured out how to add new pages. One of these days I'll find someone to teach me how to do that. I'm always reading good books and listing them on my "Resources" page for you. I hope these books will be useful to you in your quest to learn more about abuse! I've even put some of my favorite books on there that having nothing to do with abuse! Enjoy!

As always, if I can be of any help to you, please send me an email. I always, always respond to my emails so if you don't hear back from me within a week, then please, please, please send me another one! My email account sometimes gets hungry and my messages disappear! Thanks so much!

March 17, 2007

I have had some incredible opportunities this year to speak to amazing high school students in the state of Utah. It is so rewarding to me to see these students wanting more information about abuse so they can protect themselves and help their friends. When I speak, I can see pain in some of the students' eyes. I know there are far too many who know first hand the tragedy of abuse. I sometimes also see students squirming in their seats-- the truth is too uncomfortable for them because they are-- or have been-- abusers. Teenagers who see and hear their mothers or fathers being abused are also abused. It affects them deeply! It is so hard to not suffer when someone you love is being abused. For all the teens who quietly approach me after my presentations and for all those who don't, I tell them to not give up. Learn all you can about abuse. Knowledge is power! The more you know, the better you will be at making choices that improve your life. Abuse does not have to be a way of life! As long as you are living on this earth, you have the ability to make choices. Today's choices can always, always be better than yesterday's. For those who are suffering and hurting-- hang in there! You are not alone. There are so many resources to help you. If you need help, please email me. I will do what I can to help you get the help you need!

March 9, 2007

HB 28 died of neglect in Utah's State Senate. Thanks to some unexpected (and completely unexplainable) opposition, a few key senators opposed the bill and refused to have it come for a vote. As the Legislative session drew to a close, there was simply not enough time left for a vote on the bill and it was "circled." Sadly, "Henry's Bill," a bill making it possible to punish people who abuse domestic animals, had the same fate as HB 28. So back to the Utah Dating Violence Taskforce the bill goes. We have another year to educate the people who opposed the bill-- and I might add, for absolutely stupid reasons! The bill will be back next year and I hope it will go through with great success. Thanks to all who contacted their state senators to vote on behalf of the bill.

On a more personal note, things are crazy! At one point I planned on going back for my master's degree, but finally decided not to. Thankfully I've been given opportunities to help and serve without having an advanced degree and for now I'm going to do what I can without all the outside requirements of a university.

Thanks to all of you for your love and support!

January 18, 2007

Hooray! Hooray! HB 28 has passed the House! There were 70 votes for, 2 against, and 3 abstaining. It is in the Senate now, but we have hopes that it will pass! Hopefully, HB 28 will become law soon! If you live in Utah, please take the time to contact your state senator and ask him/her to vote for HB 28. Thanks so much! I'll keep you posted!

January 15, 2007

Today is the start of Utah's 2007 Legislative session. As part of the Utah Dating Violence Taskforce, we've been working on adding an amendment to Utah state law that would allow victims of dating violence to obtain protective orders. Right now in this state you can only get a protective order if you are married, living with, have a child with, or about to have a child with your abuser. Our taskforce would like to expand this protection to the thousands of victims who are currently unable to get legal protection from their abusers.

Last year our amendment-- House Bill 10-- failed in the House by three votes! Our taskforce has spent the last year educating members of the community, police force, and legislators on the importance of the expanded amendment. The bill passed unanimously out of the Judiciary Interim Committee in October, and it is making its way to the floor of the House as soon as this afternoon or tomorrow! We are very, very hopeful that it will pass out of the House and into the Senate without any problems. The sooner this bill becomes law, the sooner victims in Utah will be able to get the protection they need.

I'll keep you posted on the progress of the bill. If you get a chance, please email your Utah state senator about voting for House Bill 28! Thanks so much!

December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas! Happy Chanukah! Blessed Kwanza! I hope all of you are having a fabulous holiday season. I feel very blessed. It has been a wonderful day so far!

November 18, 2006

I've had some fabulous speaking experiences lately. I've spoken to a group of about 100 community service workers, a group of over 100 teens and their parents, and several hundred junior high students (on a Friday afternoon!). It has been great. I feel lucky to be able to speak to teens, especially, about what I've been through and what I've learned from it. I sure hope that they can make better choices than I made.

After much agonizing, I've finally decided the time is right for me to go back to school. Starting in January, I'll be working on my Master's Degree in Mental Health Counseling. I'm very excited and very nervous! It's been over seven years since I was a full-time student. I always knew that I'd go back, but I always thought it would be after all my kids were in school. But then a funny thing happened: we couldn't have anymore kids. We have two kids that are in school at least part-time and I've got some extra time on my hands (kind of!). Eventually I'd love to be able to train future counselors and also offer presentations on mental health issues. It will take three years of schooling and internships until I'm done, but I'm ready (at least, I think I'm ready!).

October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween! I have to confess that Halloween is NOT my most favorite holiday. When I was a kid (and that wasn't very long ago) it was a lot more fun and cute. I cringe everytime I see the gory, scary, creepy costumes and decorations. Give me pumpkins, cute ghosts, and happy witches. There's enough real blood and guts in this world without having to spend the money and time faking it for Halloween! I'll be glad when tonight is over. We'll be taking our two kids up and down the street we live on and then calling it a night.

I've got a couple of speaking presentations coming up in the next three weeks. At the end of this week I'll be in Blanding, Utah to present at the 6th annual San Juan County Sheriff's Office Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault conference. I'm also speaking an adult group on Sunday, November 5th at 7 pm in North Salt Lake and then again to a youth group in Ogden, Utah on Sunday, November 12th. I'll be Herriman, Utah at the Junior High School on Friday, November 17th. After that I get a bit of a break with speaking. And I need one. I hope to finish the first draft of my second novel by the end of the year. I've got most of it typed out, but it's not totally done. I'm still not sure how I want to finish it. Oh, and I did hear back from one of the publishers I submitted my first novel to. Another rejection! Ugh! It doesn't feel any nicer now than it did years ago when I first sent out my "Not Another Sarah" manuscript.

On a very personal note, my husband and I are trying to adopt our three year old foster son. We go to court in December to see if we can prove that we are a better family for him than his elderly grandma who wants custody. It's such a struggle right now. We've had our son for over 6 months and he has become, in almost every way, a part of our family. It will be a devestating loss to us if we lose him. Please keep us in your prayers. We can use all the help and support we can get. Thanks so much for all your support. Email me if you have any questions!

October 7, 2006

Yesterday my publisher, Millennial Press, and I started working on a new program with my book! I can't even start to tell you how excited I am! Through Millennial Press' generosity and through your support, we'll be able to get copies of my book into places where it is needed the most: State Prisons, County Jails, Juvenile Detention Centers, and Battered Women's Shelters. We're still working out all the details, but you'll soon be able to buy a book online for $5 that will be donated to one of these organizations.

This idea all started months ago (even though I didn't realize it then!). I spoke at Victim Empathy class at the Utah State Prison. There were 50 men, 2 guards, two teachers, and me. It was the most amazing presentation I think I've ever given. I left that dreary, gated building feeling like I had delivered the most powerful address I had ever given. Over the past few months I've received letters from some of the inmates and their messages are inspiring to me. One man thanked him for helping him remember that he was still alive and could still feel things. Another man, after reading my book, thanked me for my story and wanted me to know that he recommended it to his wife, mother, and adult daughters. Their teacher, who arranged for me to speak, told me how desperately she wanted to have 6 more copies of the book for their libraries but how they had NO money to buy any. That's what got me thinking. She will be so excited to hear that she can have her 6 books and maybe even a few more. But I'll need your help!

In the next few weeks, I'll be sending out an email to all those on my registry list to let you know how you can donate a book for $5. Only $5 will make the difference in the lives of many, many people-- male, female, young, old, convicted, and free. I get goose bumps just thinking about how many more people can hear the message I worked so hard to put in my book: the idea that you can choose to overcome the bad things that happen in your life and that you can choose to be better, happier, healthier, and freer. Please help me help others realize that no matter what happens to you, you can ALWAYS have HOPE!!

If you haven't already, click the link below to register for my email updates so you know when you can donate! Thanks to all of you!

September 23, 2006

Every so often the thought occurs to me that somewhere someone is reading a copy of my book and I feel overwhelmed. There are so many of you who have read the book that I will never be able to meet in real life. I don't know your names, but you know mine and so much more about me! I hope that you didn't walk away from the book thinking that somehow I am a superhuman because I'm not! If you could glimpse into my day-to-day life, you would see how absolutely, boringly normal my life is. The dishes pile up in my sink (and start to smell really bad), my kids throw up in the backseat of the car right as I'm getting on the freeway, I wonder if any of my friends will ever call or email me back, I worry about my health, my weight, my family, my family's weight, my dog's teeth (you name it and I'll worry about it!).... the list can go on. And on. But my point is that my life is pretty boring about 90% of the time! Boring, but normal. And I absolutely love its "normalness".

Yes, there are still times when I really struggle because of the abuse that I went through. There are times when it takes a lot of effort and prayer to get rid of the anger and hurt I feel. There are days when I wish that William had been punished more. There are days when the last thing on earth I want to do is to talk about what it was like to be an abuse victim. Sometimes I want to give away the "fame," the book, the scars, the memories, and everything that goes along with it just so I can be free from the weight of all of it. But I can't ever let go of the thought that someone out there might hear my story and that I might be the "someone" they need so they can be free. Too many people suffer in silence, and I know what that's like. I don't want to not reach out, to not speak up. That's why I keep doing this. If I can just save one other person's life, then the blood and tears I lost will be even more worth it.

Thanks for your support. It means a lot to me! Until next time....

September 13, 2006

After much thought and much more stalling, I've decided to start my own blog! And here it is-- the very first entry! I've spent the past four months trying to figure out how to program most of my website by myself, and, while I won't be starting my own web development company anytime soon, I can add updates to the site without much help. Luckily, my husband knows more about HTML than I do and provides emergency backup services.

The book is going well. As of today my publisher has almost sold 500 copies of it! It's being carried by bookstores all over the US and now internationally as well (Canada & England, to date). If you've bought a copy of the book for yourself, I want to say 'Thank you!' I hope that you've learned from it and are able to share it with others around you. The book was definately made to be a 'pass along' book-- so read it and then pass it along. I've had many people tell me that once they started reading it, they couldn't put it down! My apologies if you stayed up past midnight to finish it! Please remember that it is a 'Happily Ever After' story, and that I am doing fine.

Email me if you have any questions or concerns. I love to hear from you and, most of the time, I actually respond! Talk to you soon!

To contact Sarah, email her at notanothersarah(at)yahoo.com or click here.

Click here to receive updates on Sarah's book.

I like to credit my greatest successes in life to my religion, my family & friends, and the super deals I find at thrift stores and on clearance. I spent 26 years of my life planning to become a great writer and finally broke down seven years ago and wrote Not Another Sarah. When I'm not writing or speaking out on domestic violence, I'm taking care of my husband of 18 years, my children, and my next load of laundry (unless it's still on the couch from last week). I currently have a house full of reptiles, a bachelor's degree in Sociology, a love of Pepsi and Dr Pepper, and a bunch of theories on how to save the world. I love garlic, ginger, all four Pride and Prejudice movies, coconut-flavored snow cones, and my yearly visits to the beach. I don't love drivers who won't use their turn-signals, mosquitos, mud, and saying good-bye to old friends.

When I first decided to write and publish this book, I knew that I wanted to do something special with the money I made from it, and that's how the NAS Foundation came to be. With some of the proceeds of this book, the Foundation was able to increase awareness of abuse by donating over a thousand copies of my book to jails, prisons, women's shelters, and other organizations. Thank you so much!

February 5, 2016

ItŐs FINALLY here! You can buy an eBook copy of Not Another Sarah on Amazon!
Click Here to Buy the eBook on Amazon!

© 2003, Sarah Southerland