Posted in Thoughts

September is Suicide Awareness Month

We lost my son Kris on March 15, 2015, and he is never out of my thoughts. The pain he must have felt to make that choice is just heartbreaking.


We saw the signs, he was getting treatment, we thought he was doing better. I should have done more.



If you know of anyone having suicidal thoughts be there for them, don’t let them down, do things with them, stay in touch, and if you know they are having a bad day don’t leave them alone. Put them first!



On October 3 Kris’s Krusaders will walk in a nearby Out of Darkness Walk in his memory and raise funds for Suicide Prevention. His daughter Natalie, now 8 years old,  is our captain this year.



If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.


Thank you for your support.


Posted in Thoughts

TODAY IS Survivor Day

With the loss of my son on March 15, 2015 my life changed in a way I never would wish for anyone.

14232463_10209148017850782_3435854316278353244_nBeing mostly home-bound I am unable to bring awareness in a way I would like to, but I have this blog. I try to keep it all about the books except for a couple of days a year when I feel I need to use this platform and my voice to shine a light, bring awareness, to a cause that has become so important to me and my family. Suicide Prevention.

TODAY IS Survivor Day

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day 

A year ago I knew nothing about Survivor Day, last year at this time I wouldn’t have been ready for a day like this. It breaks my heart that a day like this exists.
Today I am sharing so that other survivor’s know about this day but also sharing because if you are in crisis and you think suicide is an answer to your problems you need to reach out and get help. People are ready to listen. They are ready to support you in any way you need. Just reach out. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Call your parents, call a friend, call your grandma, your sister, your brother, your aunt, your uncle, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Don’t give up! We are here to help.
About Survivor Day
Survivor Day is the one day a year when people affected by suicide loss gather around the world at events in their local communities to find comfort and gain understanding as they share stories of healing and hope.
All gatherings will include a screening of Life Journeys: Reclaiming Life after Loss, a new AFSP-produced Survivor Day documentary that traces the grief and healing journey that follows a suicide loss over time.*
Additional programming is specific to each event and may include presentations by loss survivors and mental health professionals, as well as small group discussions that bring together people who have experienced similar losses.
For more info or to find an event near you –
Unable to attend an event in person?
Join us for Survivor Day Live. On November 19, AFSP will host a 90-minute online program for those who cannot attend a Survivor Day event in person.
The program will include a screening of the documentary Life Journeys: Reclaiming Life after Loss; a post-screening discussion on coping and healing after a suicide loss; and a Q&A with online viewers.
Saturday, November 19
Start: 1:00 p.m. Eastern (U.S.); 12:00 p.m. Central; 11:00 a.m. Mountain; 10:00 a.m. Pacific
End: Approx. 2:30 p.m. Eastern
Shannon Donnick, AFSP’s Loss & Healing Programs Manager (moderator)
Dionne Monsanto, suicide loss survivor and volunteer with AFSP’s New York City chapter
Clarena Tobon-Guevara, suicide loss survivor and volunteer with AFSP’s Central Texas chapter
Al-x Gonzales, suicide loss survivor and volunteer with AFSP’s Greater San Francisco chapter
We’ll be using the YouTube Live system, which allows for live viewing and real-time viewer participation.
If you do not wish to ask questions during the broadcast, simply go to at 1pm ET on the 19th.
If you would like to ask questions during the broadcast, you will need a YouTube account and channel. We recommend setting these up ahead of time.

To set up a YouTube account, follow these instructions.

Once you have an account, set up a channel by following these easy instructions.

A note about the films
These films are appropriate for most middle and high school–aged children to watch with a guardian. They are not intended for children under 12, or for children or adolescents who are currently struggling or suicidal. Guardians, please use your best judgment when deciding whether to let those in your care view these films.
Please note that if you cannot join us live, you will be able to watch the recorded program at your convenience on this webpage afterwards.
If you have additional technical questions, please email
This year I am going to try to watch. I have also bookmarked the page because there are other films to watch from previous years.


If you are a Survivor please share. 

If you would like to help raise awareness for Suicide Prevention, please share this post anywhere you can.

Together we can make a difference!





Posted in It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Thoughts

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2016 Week #36

It's Monday! What Are You ReadingIt’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Hosted by Book Date

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

Happy Monday and Labor Day Everyone!!

suicide prevention week


Today also marks the first day of Suicide Prevention Week – September 5 – 11, 2016. Before I lost my son to suicide on March 15, 2015, this week really didn’t catch my attention. Now I know it should catch everyone’s attention because there may be someone close to you could be contemplating taking their own life. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. About 42,773 people take their lives each year. These statistics are provided by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. For more infomation including how to get help just click here.

Are you ready to Escape into some Good Books?

Here’s what I read and what I have planned for this week.


Faux Paw: A Magical Cats Mystery

For Flashback Friday last week! – My Review

Letters from Paris
For Review will be up Thursday! 

Bean There, Done That (A Maggy Thorsen Mystery)

My Flashback Friday Book!



Wicked Summer: A Cape Harriet Novel For Review

Paint the Town Dead (A Silver Six Mystery)

Nancy will be my guest for Cozy Wednesday next week!

Dying for Data (Adina Donati, Accidental Sleuth)
The Great Escapes Book Tour will stop here next Thursday!

escapeClick Here To See All My Current Giveaways!!

Happy Reading!!
Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent
Posted in Thoughts

In Memory of my son Kristopher Scot Caswell

kris nat

Today marks the 1-year anniversary of the day my son took his life.

Today in is honor I have turned the background of the blog black and taken the day off to remember all the fun times we had.

Tonight family and friends will gather for dinner and I hope even more memories will be shared.

In his eulogy the minister said “- Everyone has a life to live, and the life we live is the book we write… Kris’s life is like a book from which the last chapters have been ripped out. “

I still feel that way today. There were so many more chapters that needed to be written. Many days I have prayed that what he lived had just been a rough draft and we could rip it up and start over. Like I was stuck in a terrible nightmare and I just needed to wake up.

The minister goes on to say “There is also a sense in which his life is complete and perfect just the same. The only way we will ever understand Kris is if we first understand ourselves. This is the first thing we need to know: we all need healing. We are all hurt on multiple levels. Everyone needs some body to lean on, and if we don’t have that, life doesn’t have meaning.”

“We all need healing. The healing Kris did not enjoy while he was among us he is now receiving in the presence of God and his angels.”

This is the part I am still trying to wrap my head around. I’m a mom, it is part of us to help our children heal from big hurts and little hurts. I will live the rest of my life struggling with the point that I couldn’t heal the biggest hurt of them all. This is also awakened a mission for me. I don’t want another mother to feel this pain. I want to reach out as much as I can. Being mostly home-bound that means reaching out through this cyber world.

So today as I remember my son I am also asking you to look around you.
Here are some warning signs to watch for:
If a person talks about:

Being a burden to others
Feeling trapped
Experiencing unbearable pain
Having no reason to live
Killing themselves


Specific things to look out for include:

Increased use of alcohol or drugs
Looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online for materials or means
Acting recklessly
Withdrawing from activities
Isolating from family and friends
Sleeping too much or too little
Visiting or calling people to say goodbye
Giving away prized possessions


People who are considering suicide often display one or more of the following moods:

Loss of interest

If you are in crisis, please call the
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)


Click the banner above for more information.

Kris had been depressed, he was seeing a therapist, we thought we were doing the right things to help him but since that time we have learned so many things we could have done. My biggest recommendation it to BE A PEST! Be present in their lives and try to never let them be alone. Also don’t be afraid to ask questions and get them talking. I walked on eggshells not wanting to upset him. If they get mad, so what, better to have them mad at you than not there at all.

The night Kris took his life we thought his girlfriend was with him but she decided to go out with friends instead. Granted if a person really wants to end their life they will find a way to do it. Kris had been so good at reaching out for help. Someone rushed to him every time he called or texted. A year ago today he did not call. When the police finally gave us his phone weeks later we saw something that may have pushed him too far. I dwelled on that for a long time but my head knows that I can’t change what happened, someday my heart may catch up.

I want to thank everyone that has supported our family this past year. Your prayers, thoughts and words have given us comfort. Don’t stop as this journey is ongoing. There is no getting over the loss of a child ever. We draw strength from everyone around us each and every day.