At-home profile: Lampasas resident was already homebound before pandemic started | Coronavirus |


BOOK REVIEWS for Love, Life, & God 

Renee has an amazing story of hope and triumph. Read this inspiring book and discover that it is indeed possible to transform a life of pain and heartache into one of joy and happiness. 
John Clark

Let me say up front, I have never before written a book review, but I’m about to give you a two-fer. I met this author, Renee Alter, quite incidentally when she was acting as a volunteer worker in the Lampasas, Texas visitors center. I had stopped in that city to do some casual photography and needed some information of the area. I would have never guessed at what would follow the brief visit with the vivacious lady sitting behind the desk. In a short time, I learned she was a published author, a budding photographer, a musician, and a songwriter. A lot of talent in a small package. But looking into her pretty eyes and at her sweet face, who could ever know the terrors and pain hiding behind her smile? I was soon to find out. This review pertains to two of her books – Appearances and Love, Life, & God. To read only one of the two would be like leaving the proverbial glass half full (or half empty) as the case may be. Even though each book stands on its own merits, I strongly suggest the reader not stop at just one. Appearances rather sets the stage for what is to come in Love, Live, & God, so by the time you’ve read them both you will have traveled with her through many years of her life as she shares the horror she faced, the hurts she endured, the disappointments which befell her, the betrayals thrust upon her, and the mental crashes she experienced. But fortunately, there’s an upside to all those pitfalls in her life. As the reader journeys through the years with her, Alter eventually claws her way out of the muck and mire in which she’s been existing to finally arrive at a point where she can see the sunshine, hear the birds sing, and relish the sight of a rainbow. She finally realizes she is a child – a child of God. So, go with her on her perilous journey, take her hand in your heart and share also the joy she now has. Let me make one point clear, these are not preachy books in any stretch of the imagination. They just tell it like it was. Life still continues to present unpleasant hurdles to her, but she will overcome with your help by ordering both Appearances AND Love, Life, & God. 
Ken Nichols, Retired US Navy Photojournalist

If you've had a lot of turmoil (aka adventure) in your life, along with numerous health challenges, this book may be for you! This book is a narrative of the many hardships this woman has experienced (a memoir). She entertains the reader with her life stories... places she had lived, people who have passed through her life - and animal stories, too. She begins to find multiple ways to shift her cognitive view of the world, which results in a transformation of herself, and her life. There is victory at the end of this book as her journey leads to her ability to create a meaningful life for herself, and enables her to deal with her physical challenges in a much healthier way. I think everyone's life is a journey, and everyone has a story to tell. It is inspiring when someone makes their 'ordinary' life - 'extraordinary'. Ms. Alter demonstrates by example, how one can begin to look at the long-held beliefs behind their problems, and take that journey to a better life. Auriel.


Book Review on Nonfiction Reads


(NOVEMBER 13, 2015)

[I wasn't one of the finalists in the Writer's Digest Self-Publishing contest, but I did get a great review from the judge who read my book (Love, Life, & God: Getting Past the Pain)]:

"I really liked the fact that the author was willing to be so candid about her physical and emotional challenges in this journey toward transformation. While many memoirs have that honest quality, this one even presented the author occasionally in a negative or non-positive light. Still, her voice didn’t waiver. I think the details of her battle with depression, addiction, peaks and valleys of recovery and her faith all meld fairly well. I especially liked the variety of voices in this memoir. The author uses poems, song lyrics and “conversations” with various non-physical entitles, including the spirit of her father and her own pain. This technique offers variety and makes the narrative less monotone. The author’s search for effective therapies, not always the conventional ones, also help give this memoir a value to readers who do not know her in their personal world. I liked the appendices, some of which offer interesting insight into the author’s personality, such as her list of her favorite Facebook pages. And her persona First Aid Kit is imminently pragmatic, offering support for anyone who is suffering a chronic illness, physical or mental, and experiencing intrusive treatment or therapy." Judge, 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.


Copperas Cove Leader-Press: March 29, 2011, Page 3 by Azeita Taylor      

     The Copperas Cove public library has held several events and used many programs to promote itself, and the library director aspires to expand on that vision.
    At least once a month, sometimes two, the local library brings in guest speakers and has book signings to help promote the library and the speakers themselves. Library Director Margaret Handrow said she feels the programs are working.
     "It is something that we'd like to expand on," said Handrow. Just recently, the library held a book signing and asked Renee Alter to speak to the Friends of the Library organization.
     Alter is the author of "Appearances," a book about her life experiences, how she learned she is not a victim and her journey of self-discovery. She spoke to the audience about choices she's made in her life and struggles she's had due to several illnesses, Fibromyalgia being one of them. Alter recited some of her poetry from her CD series "Toolbox of Poetry: Love, Life, and God."
     She also spoke about her journey with God and his guiding hand in her life and about personal gifts she feels God gives everyone to use.
     "So, my beautiful people, what gifts have you been given that you are supposed to be sharing with the world?"
     Alter said there was one thing she learned, in particular, during her life's journey and that was, she is strong.
     "I learned I was stronger than I thought I was and could do more than I ever thought I could," Alter said.
     Alter is a blogger on and has an email newsletter, under Pebbles in the Sand Ministries. (Note: This has been discontinued since this article was published.)
     Alter said the sequel to her book "Appearances" is in the process of being written and may be titled, "Fibromyalgia: A Journey For A Season, Not A Life Sentence." (Note: Two sequels have been published but not with this title. Love, Life, & God: Getting Past the Pain and Living With Symptomatic Spondylolisthesis: A Survival Guide.) 

Lampasas Dispatch Record: Friday, November 21, 2014, Pg 3           
 Renee Alter moved to Texas from California November 2006 -- one of more than 40 moves she has made. If you ask her what her passion is in life, she will tell you: "sharing and making a difference".
     Miss Alter hopes that the wisdom she has gained from her life adventures will benefit others who are struggling.
     The local author has now published her sixth book, "Creating a Meaningful Life After Disability: (Posts From My Blog), " and is working to assist others in getting books they've dreamed of writing into print.
     A book-signing is scheduled Dec. 1 p.m. at the Lampasas County Chamber of Commerce, where Miss Alter volunteers. She also will be available to answer questions about self-publishing, for those interested.
     Miss Alter's first book "Appearances: A Journey of Self-Discovery" evolved when she sat down to write her life story at the age of 40. She had left her then abusive husband and a job with an abusive boss, and she started from scratch as a single parent looking for new employment and a place to live.
     "The day after I started writing, I woke up each morning for two weeks with a clear picture of a topic to write about that day," Miss Alter said.
     With each topic, she included examples of her life experiences along with the new wisdom she learned from those. And with each chapter, she included one of her many poems.
     Some 15 years later, Miss Alter was encouraged by a friend to write a book with just poetry, so she created "Reflections: A Toolbox of Poetry".
     Her third volume came about when Miss Alter learned about a self-publishing contest that required a minimum of 50,000 words. She had a draft explaining how she had ended up living in Texas, but the first draft was only 30,000 words.
     Miss Alter began to collect letters she had written home to her parents, emails she had sent to friends and short stories she had written, and she proceeded to collate the material by date. She also included verses to songs she had written relating to what she was experiencing at the time -- reaching the goal of 50,000 words and beyond.
     The title of that book became "Love, Life, & God: Getting Past the Pain," which represents her conclusion summarized in four parts. "Love" represents relationships she had been involved with until finally she learned a new kind of love. "Life" represents her life experiences, places she lived, people she met, and even cats she had known. "God" represents her spiritual experience and finally finding her way back to God.
     "Getting Past the Pain" represents finding home here in Lampasas after 43 moves, and the cognitive shift that has enabled her to live with her 'abilities' rather than 'disabilities' to create a meaningful life.
     When I moved here, I was wheelchair-dependent because I had an accident the year before I moved [to Lampasas], Miss Alter said. My legs went to sleep and wouldn't wake up. It was supposedly permanent.
     "Four years ago, I was schedule for major back surgery that involved putting rods and screws in my lower back ... but the day before surgery the surgeon decided to enlarge my x-rays to check the density of my spine. The vertebrae were too porous to hold screws, so the surgery was canceled.
     "I've made an amazing, unexpected recovery with the help of my chiropractor ... and you now see me walking all over town and enjoying all the local events," Miss Alter said.
     A fourth book was penned when Miss Alter learned she was to become a grandmother. She decided to write a letter to her son about becoming a parent and create a book for him. It became "Be Prepared ... (for parenthood)."
     Miss Alter later was encouraged to write a little book with just her cat stories. She also experimented with photos of the cats she wrote about. Her fifth book became "View From A Tree."
     And most recently, Miss Alter has copied all her posts from the blog she started in 2011 to develop her book "Creating a Meaningful Life After Disability."
     In addition, she hopes to have her songs professionally recorded and made available to her readers.
     Meanwhile, Miss Alter has been meeting other people who have stories to tell and books they want to write. And she enjoys encouraging them to complete their project, sharing what she has learned about the process.


New Release: An Anthology of Modern Fairy Tales #1 April 12, 2015, on iPinion Syndicate by contributing author Kathleen Brotherton.


New Release: An Anthology of Modern Fairy Tales #1 April 2, 2015, Interview on Peggy McAloon's blog, contributing author. 


October 6, 2015 by Prisilla Mac of Fort Hood. 
This event was 1st Friday at Frames & Things in 
Copperas Cove, TX
Posted on her Media Page on Facebook

Author Renee Alter's book signing event was a full house. She demonstrated her skills of coaching on the spot as aspiring authors began to share their journey of intentions to pursue writing books as well. Renee is one who shares a very passionate expression through book writing in a therapeutic fashion and understands the struggles of overcoming the fear in just getting started. The popular book of this evening was "Love, Life & God: Getting Past the Pain" recognized by our Copperas Cove City Council Azeita Taylor and friends throughout the ‪#‎CentralTexas‬ areaThe event included live music, beautiful wall to wall art paintings, and all the luxury Italian food you could eat. Thank you, Renee, for sharing such insight on how we can all live to appreciate better lives and express ourselves through book writing.
Priscilla Mac's Website


October 21, 2015 Interview with Priscilla Mac on Blog Talk Radio


October 22, 2015 Book Trailer on YouTube for Love, Life, & God: Getting Past the Pain


January 26, 2016 Front Page of Lampasas Dispatch
Photo at Local Author Fest held January 23.


Book Reviews
Living With Symptomatic Spondylolisthesis

I love that you have a nice balance of sharing your personal story and tying in tools that you have used and how others can use them! Much of the terminology I recognize so I am ready to understand your chapters! (Like FEAR and ANTS etc.) Francie Dailer

As far as I can find, at this time, Renee Alter's book is the only book published that is a personal account of living with Spondylolisthesis. I'm grateful for her personal insights and have returned to the book often for her writing on resilience, managing fear, and cognitive behavior. B. Borden


Book Review
On the Move: Autobiography of a Survivor 

This was my 1st reading of an autobiography. Your story was captivating and kept me turning the pages. Renee you as the author brought out emotions of happiness and sadness to the point I could relate. Very well written and kept my attention to your life. I remember in your book Appearances on a bad day for you I said you were having such an adventurous life while I sat home being a wife, raising children and cleaning a house. Your life has been an adventure Renee and yes you did survive! ❤️ cherbeth

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment below.