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9 Unforgettable Books About People Who Refuse To Be Defined by Disabilities

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Something great happened! I just got an email from Ezvid Wiki.

“Ezvid Wiki was the world’s first video wiki, and is now among the top 3,000 websites in the United States. Our YouTube channel has over 425,000 subscribers, 250 million views since founding, and we have informed over $200 million in purchasing decisions to date.” Sounds pretty impressive, right?

They explained, “We’re writing to let you know that you have been included in our recently published wiki: Unforgettable Books About People Who Refuse To Be Defined By Disabilities.”

My curiosity rose, and I looked them up. Of course, I became even more impressed. Guess what? They thought my book, My Perfect Imperfections, was pretty awesome. They placed it in their list of 9 Unforgettable Books About People Who Refuse to Be Defined By Disabilities. Please see the link that has these wonderful books listed. They even made a video about it! LINK

To say I am honored, is an understatement. To be ranked with some very talented authors with such amazing stories…well, I am speechless. Thank you, Ezvid Wiki, for recognizing this beautiful love story of a young girl with cerebral palsy who faced horrific events throughout her life. But, each time she fell, she got back up. She did not let her disability define who she truly was.

If you haven’t read this story, I really think you should give it a try. Honestly, it will completely open your eyes to so many stereotypes. And, you’ll fall in love with the characters…I promise. Amazon My Perfect Imperfections. 

Until next time, good peeps!

Keep reading, keep dreaming, keep going. Love to all!

My Perfect Imperfections Won!

 

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Yes! I just found out that My Perfect Imperfections won the Outstanding Fiction Book in the 2016 IAN Book of the Year Awards! This is truly an honor since books from all over the world are entered. I am full of all sorts of emotions…shocked, humbled, thrilled. And yes, I did the happy dance with my dog this morning. I think he thought I lost my mind.

Here’s the official seal!

IAN Outstanding Fiction award for MPI

Oh you guys want to see a picture of my puppy too? The poor guy had to endure my craziness this morning!

Tyson

My Perfect Imperfections is a Finalist!

So excited to share that My Perfect Imperfections is a finalist for 2016 Independent Author Network Book of the Year Awards in General Fiction/Literary category. Completely shocked and honored! Here’s the official seal!

MPI Finalist IAN

I’ll share a short excerpt:

Chance continues to text me, but he doesn’t visit during the summer break. He has committed himself to working on a research project with one of the professors. Our texts are brief and detached. Sometimes, it almost feels like he’s texting out of obligation.

I bury myself in my work and my studies. It feels good to actually receive a real paycheck. I refuse to think about Chance, although once in a while, I find myself checking his Facebook wall to see what he’s been doing. Many times, I see the pictures he’s been tagged in by his friends. To my relief, he looks healthy. The pictures that hurt the most are the ones of him partying with girls. Often, these girls are hanging all over him, and Chance has no problems holding them in his arms. Once there’s even a picture of a beautiful girl sitting on his lap while he’s laughing.

For the life of me, I have no idea why I’m slowly torturing myself. I know if I click on his page, I’ll see things I don’t want to see. Powerless, I purposefully continue to cause myself the pain. I can’t help but be jealous. I don’t know if it’s because I wish I were one of the girls or because I wish I weren’t a prisoner in my own wheelchair.

I know Chance and I have been best friends for a long time, but a part of me has to accept that he never really saw me as he sees these other girls. Sure, he cares about me, but he’s never been attracted to me. Can I blame him? After all, he’s a gorgeous man who can basically get any of those beautiful, able-bodied girls who are all over him.

Knowing I need to let him go—not only for him but also for me—I eventually stop texting him back. At first, Chance continues to try to reach me, but I don’t respond. He even calls my parents to make sure I’m okay. When they assure him I’m doing fine, I receive one final email from him.

Hey, Lily,

I’ve been texting you quite a bit lately, but you haven’t replied back. I got worried so I called your parents. They assured me that you’re doing great and everything is working out well with your job and school. I wish I could be there in person so we can talk face to face about this. I just can’t get out of the commitments here, though. Since you’re not replying back to me, I can only assume that you don’t want to put in the effort any longer to keep in touch. If I’m wrong about this, please let me know. If I don’t hear back from you, I guess my assumption is correct. I’m not quite sure what to say, but if that is your desire, I respect it. Just know that whatever you may need in the future, I’ll be here for you.

 Always,

Chance

A single tear slowly rolls down my cheek and disappears behind my shirt.

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Kirkus Review of My Perfect Imperfections

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I took a chance. I sent My Perfect Imperfections to Kirkus Reviews. Sure, I debated for months whether I should or not. I know they have a high reputation in the literary world,  but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to invest the money into it, especially since they give brutally honest reviews. But, I told myself  that even if I get a bad review, perhaps I could learn something from their critique of the book.

After waiting for couple of months, I finally received an email that the review was ready. I think for the first few moments, I simply stared at my screen, not ready to read what they had to say. I mean My Perfect Imperfections was my baby, and who wants to hear any criticism about their child?

But, I decided to put my big girls’ pants on and click on the link. Completely surprised by the positive review, I don’t even think I shared it with anybody until later that night.

Here’s their review:

In this novel, a young woman with cerebral palsy lives, loves, and thrives.

Confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak without assistance from an electronic device, Lily Cooper accepts being dependent on others for help. Her only friend—her beloved sister, Layna—treats her like an equal, while her well-intentioned parents fight about her care. When Layna dies unexpectedly, Lily sinks into depression (“I have no idea of the purpose of my existence anymore. I question what it is in this world that is still keeping me alive”). But eventually she realizes that she must reimagine her future. What follows is an inspiring glimpse into the active and determined mind of a person who, from the outside, appears to be unresponsive. Lily remains, in fact, painfully aware of other people, from those who speak loudly and slowly as if she can’t understand them to those who call her “retarded” just to hurt her feelings. But the ones who take the time to learn how to communicate with her become charmed by her determination and grace. Lily never lets her disability stop her from pursuing her dreams. She finishes high school, attends college, gets her own apartment, and starts a family. Although there are a couple of structural hiccups (the time shifts in the first act seem unnecessary and cause Lily to introduce herself twice to the reader), Williby (Loving You Hurts So Good, 2016, etc.) successfully balances Lily’s many triumphs with detailed descriptions of the day-to-day hardships of living with cerebral palsy. Lily requires help performing the most basic tasks, and her limited mobility sometimes leaves her stranded in awkward—and potentially dangerous—situations. In one thought-provoking scene, Lily’s parents deliberately seize her communication device to keep her from asking too many questions about a painful subject. But Lily is willing to fight for her independence, especially when she meets Chance Ryker, who watched his father die from ALS and fears meeting the same fate. In one especially lovely scene, he tells Lily, “I love to see you smile because you smile with your eyes.”

An uplifting tale about a woman who voices her desires and transcends her limitations, shedding a revealing and flattering light on the private lives of the disabled.

Link: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/jalpa-williby/my-perfect-imperfections/

Of course, I am extremely excited about this review. Now  I need to figure out what to do with it. How do I use it for marketing? Who do I share the review with? Do average readers even know about Kirkus Reviews?

Until I figure out all this, I will continue to write because it is something that I can control. Hopefully, all these reviews and the awards/recognitions I’ve received for my books will help one day.

In the mean time, happy reading! Here’s the link to My Perfect Imperfections: https://www.amazon.com/My-Perfect-Imperfections-Jalpa-Williby-ebook/dp/B011H491IE

 

The 50 Best Indie Books of 2015

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I’m excited to share that My Perfect Imperfections received enough nominations to be in the running for The 50 Best Indie Books of 2015. Top 100 books were chosen from thousands of nominations.

My Perfect Imperfections made it into the Literary category. Yay!! Now, it needs votes so it can the in The 50 Best Indie Books of 2015. I think it would be a great exposure for it. I’m so passionate about this story… I gave it my all when I wrote it. That’s because I believe we need to raise awareness about cerebral palsy, ALS, and disabilities in general.

Here are some teasers so you can get an idea of what the story is about, in case you haven’t read it yet.

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Please take a look at the official trailer:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kw4dGuhtlB0

Here’s the link where you can vote. My Perfect Imperfections is in the Literary category.

http://www.readfree.ly/indie50-vote-2015-literary/

Thank you so much for all your support! I truly appreciate you all!

Five Star reviews from Readers’ Favorite for My Perfect Imperfections

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My Perfect Imperfections received three different reviews from three different reviewers. I am pleased to announce that all three reviewers gave it five stars. Here’s what they had to say:

Review 1:

My Perfect Imperfections by Jalpa Williby is an inspirational story that revolves around Lily who is diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Lily needs assistance for even her basic needs like walking, talking and eating. Her physical disability leaves her frustrated, but Lily doesn’t let it deter her from strengthening her mind. Her twin sister Layna is very supportive and includes Lily in all the activities. As the story progresses, readers are given a glimpse into the life of a disabled person. It’s a story of love, strength, determination and, most of all, hope and will strike a chord within the hearts of readers.

The story is heart-rending and the three main characters, Lily, Layna and Chance, leave a lasting impression with their strength, determination and ‘perfect imperfections.’ The story is helpful to all those who have disabilities and also to those who deal with disabled people. Lily’s determination to get rid of the fear of living with a disability is very uplifting and inspirational. The bond between Layna and Lily also forms an important part of the plot. Narrated from Lily’s point of view, the story highlights the basic needs that a disabled person looks for in their life; that of being accepted and loved, and being treated properly like any other normal person. The author’s writing style is fluid, which gives the story a good pace and movement. The story is complicated yet simple, and readers can connect well with Lily, Layna and Chance. The emotions are raw and leave readers feeling compassion, and also gratitude for all that they have.

Review 2:

My Perfect Imperfections is a contemporary fiction novel written by Jalpa Williby. When Lily and Layna were born, the doctors advised their parents that Lily had cerebral palsy. It had happened to many other parents, they said, and Lily and the rest of the family would learn to cope with it. Lily couldn’t move like her twin sister did as they were growing up, and she was unable to even feed herself. The physical therapy that was an essential part of her life was something she actually looked forward to. The therapists treated her like they would any other patient, and they pushed her to her limits. When she was finally able to walk with the aid of a rear-assisted walker, her parents beamed with pride, and Lily herself was incredulous at being able to stand and move without someone else’s assistance. Lily was mainstreamed in school for most of her classes. She had a speech device that allowed her to communicate with others, and one of her arms was strong enough to let her control her wheelchair. That control was so important to Lily — it was independence, the ability to leave a situation unaided. But throughout all the strangeness of growing up with cerebral palsy, Layna was there with her. They were best friends and soulmates in a way that some twins are, even with the disease that made Lily’s life so restricted and different. Layna was there.

Jalpa Williby’s contemporary fiction novel, My Perfect Imperfections, is an inspiring and moving story about a young woman who was born with cerebral palsy. The heroine of this tale does not inspire the reader’s pity or sympathy, but rather their admiration as she goes from accepting her imperfections to training on a professional level to help other disabled persons live full and satisfying lives. While this novel is categorized as an inspirational one, it’s also a coming of age, a romance, and a family saga that feels a lot like a fictionalized memoir as well, and it succeeds in all those genres. I learned a great deal about cerebral palsy and what the life of a person with that condition would be like in My Perfect Imperfections and am so pleased to have read it. Lily’s story is exceptionally well told and very authentic. It’s most highly recommended.

Review 3:

My Perfect Imperfections by Jalpa Williby is the story of Lily Cooper, a woman born with Cerebral Palsy. My Perfect Imperfections starts with Lily telling how she thinks doctors told her parents about her condition and then goes on to Lily telling the rest of her life story. Lily tells you about everything; from her early years, the cruelty of kids in school and the cruelty of adults in college. She tells about her fears but, most importantly, about her triumphs and success at overcoming and dealing with the problems she faces due to Cerebral Palsy and with all the bad that life throws at her. Through it all, Lily shows her strength and tenacity at living her life the way that she wants to live it.

My Perfect Imperfections by Jalpa Williby is an amazing book told in the first person, with clear detail and great imagery that puts you in Lily’s shoes or watching right over her shoulder. My Perfect Imperfections will pull at your heart strings as Lily experiences the ups and downs of life and the ups and downs of her disability. I cried, laughed, smiled, and cried again as I put myself into Lily’s shoes. My Perfect Imperfections was very hard to put down. It was an eye opener as well; it gives a glimpse into what life would be like with a debilitating disease and that you can’t let life pass you by – you have to grab it with both hands and experience the ups and downs that life has to offer.

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It has now been awarded the shiny five star seal! Go me!
Here’s the link to the reviews:

My Perfect Imperfections Reviews

Reviews are starting to come in from the ARCs of My Perfect Imperfections! I am so excited to see these reviews! Humbled beyond words.

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THIS.BOOK.OMG

I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

As soon as I learned what this book was going to be about, I knew it would amazingly beautiful. Once I got to actually read it… I was blown away. I will just say that I am a very emotional person…but not as a reader. I hardly cry with books. But I bawled my eyes out while reading and finishing this WORK OF ART. This isn’t just a romance, or a story about a girl with Cerebral Palsy. It is a story about hope, true love, real inspiration. It is a story that will open your eyes and your heart. It is one of those stories that helps put everything in perspective, and when you think you life has knocked you down…you get back up and say, I CHOOSE STRENGTH. I will remember this book for years to come, yes it is that beautiful and touching and most definitely real. -Amanda Walker Goodreads reviewer 5 stars

I am not quite sure where to start! This is not my normal genre, but having read Ms. Williby’s previous works (and loving them), I had to read this one as well. I loved everything about the book! It is hands-down one of the most touching stories I’ve ever read, and I’m so glad I did!

Lily is absolutely the strongest female lead I’ve ever read. What she goes through and overcomes is extraordinary. The supporting characters are also very strong, but Lily just blew me away. The way she is portrayed sheds new light on Cerebral Palsy and gave this reader great insight into the life of someone with CP. I still think about the characters and story even a few weeks after reading it.

You cannot go wrong with this book, no matter what genre you read. Jalpa Williby is also an author to add to your must-read list. Every book she writes, she grows stronger as an author. I just know her future works will be even more amazing!

I was provided an ARC copy of the book by the author in exchange for my fair and honest review. Angie Martin (International Award-winning and best selling author) 5 star review!

My perfect Imperfections by Jalpa Wilby is by far one of the best book I’ve read not only this year, but in the last few years. I wish there was more than five stars to give it. It’s a breathtaking story of strength, love, and living life to the fullest each day. Lily Cooper is a strong, smart, and beautiful woman. She also was born with Cerebal Palsy. This in no way defines who she is. It’s Lily’s twin sister and best friend Layna, who helps Lily see that she has so much to offer. Their relationship is one of my favorite parts of the story. The connection they have gets them through everything. When Lily feels down because she thinks no boy will ever like her or ask her to a dance, Layna is there to tell her there will be someone. I don’t want to give anymore away about this story because the way it unfolds is masterfully done.

Over the course of this story you’ll be hit with so many emotions. Even now just thinking about this book, I can’t help but think about certain parts that stick out because of the range of emotions I felt. Above all that there is this incredible heroine Lily. Even though you know she has CP, you forget about it. She’s vibrant, witty, sarcastic at times, full of love, smart, beautiful, and makes sure to take each day as a gift.
The people she meets and the hope and chance at love, ties everything together so perfectly in this story.

Jalpa Willby does a superb job with this story. The detail, characters, and emotions she conveys so effortlessly in My Perfect Imperfections, is what makes this one of the best books of the year. She shines a light on how society looks at people with disabilities and shows that there is so much more. What she does best, is tell a story of love and strength that you will fall in love with and never forget.
*Note: I was given an ARC of this book by the author for an honest review. -Elena Cruz (blogger/reviewer) 5 star review!

I was given a copy of this book through a book blog I help run and I was hesitant to read it at first because it isn’t what I would usually read, BUT I am so glad I took the leap and read it. This story will rip your heart out, repair it and rip it out again. It leads you on am emotional roller coaster that you will not want to get off of. I highly recommend this for anyone who wants something different that the norm, or for anyone who is looking for a deep read, this book is definitely not light. -Christina Escue (blogger/reviewer) 5 star review

From the moment I first heard that the author was working on this book I was intrigued. As publication got closer and teasers and more information started coming out, I knew I had to read it. I found the idea of a girl with cerebral palsy as the heroine so refreshing. I was absolutely thrilled to receive an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

I have been trying to decide what to include in the review for days since I finished it. The 5 stars was a no brainer – it is a fantastic, deeply moving book that you will not soon forget no matter how much you read. I can honestly say I’ve never read anything quite like it, which is both refreshing and a sad statement on the overlooked in our society. A beautiful love story? Absolutely! Inspirational? Without a doubt. Heart-wrenching tear jerker? Definitely has that covered. I am not usually one to cry when I read, but this one tore me up. It should come with a jumbo sized box of tissue, even for the most cynical and jaded amongst us.

The writing itself is fantastic, from beautifully prosaic to brutally real, it is all carried in a lovely cadence. Between Jalpa’s unique voice and a wonderful job editing there is nothing to complain about stylistically. A wonderful, realistic romance with all the highs and lows that real life brings, but it is so much more than that as well. The heroine has disabilities that most of us cannot begin to understand, but the struggles of her heart are the same any of us have gone through. The struggles with her body, while heart breaking, are a true testament to the resiliency of the human spirit and so inspirational. No matter what you are struggling with, it will bring perspective. The knowledge of the technology available to help those with severe disabilities is woven in such a way that you do not realize how much you are learning at the time, but in retrospect you have to respect the author’s research/knowledge and skill in relaying the information to the reader in such a subtle way.

I do not feel I am really doing the story any justice with this review, but it comes with my highest recommendation to almost any audience. -LaDonna (Blogger/reviewer) 5 star review!

My Perfect Imperfections Preorder

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Did you know My Perfect Imperfections is available for preorder? Release date is August 18th! Yikes! I’m nervous and excited at the same time. Here’s the link: http://www.amazon.com/My-Perfect-Imperfections-Jalpa-Williby-ebook/dp/B011H491IE

Oh, and here’s a special treat… My Perfect Imperfections trailer! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kw4dGuhtlB0

As always, thank you for your support. 🙂

Dream Cast for My Perfect Imperfections

Here’s the dream cast for My Perfect Imperfections (coming soon)! I am so excited to share this beautiful story about a girl with Cerebral Palsy. I promise you that this story will make you feel every emotion.

Maia Mitchell as Lily Cooper (Note: Lily has green eyes)

Lily has Cerebral Palsy and relies on her wheelchair to get around.

Maia Mitchell as Lily           maia mitchell as Lily also

Douglas Booth as Chance Ryker

(Lily’s first kiss, her first love… but, there’s a lot we don’t really know about him)

Douglas Booth as Chance

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Olivia Holt as Layna Cooper

(Lily’s twin sister, who is perfect in every way)

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Keke Palmer as Kathy (Lily’s best friend and colleague at work)

Keke Palmer as Kathy (Lily's friend)

Mackenzie Foy as Layna Ryker

Mackenzie Foy Layna (2)

Angie Harmon (Lily’s mother)

Angie Harmon Lily's mom

Reed Diamond (Lily’s dad)

Reed Diamond as Lily's Dad

Benjamin McKenzie as Mark (the other guy)

Benjamin McKenzie as Mark

Javier Bardem as Kenny (yes, there is a villain in this story)

Javier Bardem as Kenny

I’m so excited that I was able to find actors/actresses that fit the way I visualized the characters! This story is completely different than anything I’ve written in the past. It’s dear to my heart, and I can only hope that it brings inspiration and hope to the readers.

Cover Reveal for My Perfect Imperfections!

Hey, everybody!

Here’s my cover for My Perfect Imperfections (coming soon). I wanted something simple, yet powerful. Hope you guys like it. 🙂

Front Cover

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Full cover (front, spine, back)

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To celebrate, here are some teasers…

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Stay tuned for the release date! Will keep you posted. 🙂

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