Enjoy a BONUS interview with Ambrose below and enter for a chance to win a signed paperback of this AMAZING 5 STAR book!!!
Ambrose Young was beautiful. He was tall and muscular, with hair that touched his shoulders and eyes that burned right through you. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She’d been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have…until he wasn’t beautiful anymore.
Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl’s love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior’s love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.
Denise and Christine’s 5 STAR Review!!!
D: I wish I knew were to start; what can I say about this amazing story that will get you to understand you need to read this story… well maybe I should just say that, you need to read Making Faces!
C: Oh Denise…I couldn’t agree with you more…this was a beautiful, unexpected story from an author who I have never read before but will read again and again…this is a book that will sit with me for a long time to come! This was a diamond among many, something that is so different and it will grab you right from the start. You MUST read this book ASAP!
D: Making Faces is the journey of Ambrose Young, a high school superstar and Fern Taylor a bit of the ugly duckling in high school. These two live in a small town and their paths have crossed since childhood something the reader experiences in flashbacks to the past. These were so well done, they blended well with the story and laid ground work that truly allowed the reader to understand its context to the characters and in the story.
C: I also enjoyed the looks back into the past…I thought these scenes added depth into the story and really enhanced it in a way that had me connecting to the characters more.
D: Early on in this book when this cast is in high school, there is an amazing use of the events of 9/11, the kind of powerful imagery and compelling story that had me wishing I could sit and read all day!
C: Denise I thought that this was so well done. I was in NYC when this horrible tragedy occurred and I could see it in my mind as the students were watching it on TV, I relived it again and felt the overwhelming sadness and panic that these characters felt while watching the events of 9/11 unfold.
D: Though the blurb for this book reveals one of the major plot lines, it amazingly still ripped my heart out to read… I knew it was coming but it still gutted me to read. The aftermath of this event shaped much of the rest of the story and sends you on a journey of grief, self discovering, friendship and love.
C: OMG I had chills…I cried…It was so emotional and gut wrenching and the grief and sadness was real and truly broke my heart. This book was so much more than a growing romance between Ambrose and Fern. I agree Denise – it was about self discovery, ever lasting friendships, faith, hope, love and peace.
D: This book is about so much more than just Ambrose and Fern; so many characters blended together to build a wonderful cast of characters and town that felt real.
Fern’s cousin and best friend Bailey took a hold of my heart and wheeled me through his journey (you will understand when you read the book) with grace, dignity, humor, and unparalleled life perspective for a young man. Fern’s, Bailey’s and Ambrose’s fathers, all three parented differently but their presence, this interactions, their professions and place in the town all built upon the story and allows the reader to truly feel part of this small town community.
C: I loved the secondary characters in this story…each touching my heart in different ways. Ms. Harmon allowed me to connect to each one by really developing each character and giving them each a voice. My favorite was Bailey – his strength of character, his heart, his overall essence and goodness – he was the epitome of hope and life. He was such a good friend and showed the reader his strength through adversity, his ability to make light of situations and bring a smile to your face…above all he showed us how to look at the world in a different way and to truly appreciate everything.
D: This book truly allows the reader to see the characters bonding on an emotional level and as they do the reader is also faced with a series of questions that truly gets you thinking about life, what you want and what it means to be truly happy with yourself and those around you.
C: This book for me was real…this is what life is about. Experiencing the miracles – including the ups and downs and appreciating everything that is given to you.
D: Throughout this story, I often found myself truly pulled into the lessons in this book, the one asked most often what is beauty; I was also struck by the comments about disabilities, it is easier to deal with one if you are born with one or if you are effected by one later in life. On so many levels this book will have the reader asking themselves hard questions as these characters deal with adversity and triumph.
Toward the end of this book just when I thought the tears were gone, they started to flow on ernest, the kind of tears that have you reading a blurring kindle knowing the author made these characters real to the reader! That is the true sign of an amazing writer. I challenge you to read this book and not shed a tear because it is just that powerful.
C: Denise I couldn’t agree with you again more….this book touched my very soul. It was powerful and emotional and above all else something so different than what we normally read. It was refreshing like a breath of fresh air. Ms. Harmon magically brought us into this story where we connected and lived with these characters. We suffered through their pain and scars and were inspired to rejoice in their love and the power of healing. I can’t say enough about this book…This is a MUST READ for its beauty and the eloquent words that Ms. Harmon has written on each page that has evoked such strong emotions out of everyone who touches this book.
D: I feel like I should add, if you follow my reviews you know I tend to read hot, this book is not but amazingly I was engaged throughout the book and Ambrose and Fern will forever hold a place in my heart!
D&C: Thank you Ms Harmon for an engaging, thoughtful and heart pulling read about the power of love; love in all forms!
Interview on ESPN with AMBROSE Young
Sportscaster: We’re here with the 2007 NCAA Divison 1 National Champion, Ambrose Young. Ambrose has become one of the most inspiring figures in college sports. Ambrose Young, an Iraqi War Veteran, has not only excelled on the mat, winning a title as a junior at 197 pounds, but he’s the favorite to repeat in 2008 and has Olympic aspirations for the 2008 games in Beijing. Ambrose Young has started his own charitable foundation called Making Faces, a charity that works with returning vets who need facial reconstruction after sustaining injuries, much like Ambrose himself experienced in Iraq. There’s even rumors of a book deal by the same title – Making Faces – co-written by Ambrose’s wife, Fern Young, bestselling author of the Bailey Chronicles. Welcome, Ambrose. Thank you so much for joining us today on ESPN’s Off the Mat.
AMBROSE: Thank you for having me.
Sportscaster: It hasn’t been an easy road – has it?
AMBROSE: No sir. It hasn’t. But I’m convinced there’s no such thing.
Sportscaster: You were a stand-out high school wrestler, highly recruited. You had an undefeated record for three years, and you were a four-time state champion. But you decided to go to Iraq. Tell us about that.
AMBROSE: 9/11 hit me pretty hard. I was a senior in high school that year. My mom worked in the North Tower and the events hit pretty close to home. It was something I just felt like I had to do. I was pretty naïve, I admit. There’s a lot I regret about that decision, but I don’t regret serving my country or the things I’ve learned in the process.
Sportscaster: For our viewers, Ambrose and several men from his unit were out on patrol and hit a roadside bomb. Several men were killed and Ambrose was seriously wounded. Some of those men were your friends, is that right?
AMBROSE: Jesse Jordan, Grant Nielson, Paul Kimball, and Connor O’Toole were their names. They were all killed. They were my best friends. We wrestled together at Hannah Lake, grew up together, and we served together.
Sportscaster: You came back to Hannah Lake a changed man.
AMBROSE: Yeah. Changed. Messed up. I really wished I had died with them. I was pretty angry for a while.
Sportscaster: Did you ever think you’d wrestle again?
AMBROSE: (laughs and shakes his head) I knew I wouldn’t. I can’t see out of my right eye. I can’t hear out of my right ear. I was majorly messed up, out of shape, and definitely didn’t want to be in the public eye in any way.
Sportscaster: So what happened?
AMBROSE: Fern Taylor Young happened.
Sportscaster: Your wife?
AMBROSE: Yeah. My wife. Along with some other pretty important people. Coach Sheen – my high school wrestling coach – and his son, Bailey. I owe them everything. They were convinced I could do it. They convinced me.
Sportscaster: Coach Mike Sheen was awarded Pennsylvania High School Coach of the Year in 2002 – the year Hannah Lake took state and you won your fourth State title.
AMBROSE: That’s right. And nobody deserved it more than Coach Sheen.
Sportscaster: Coach Sheen has had his share of tragedy, hasn’t he? Mike Sheen is extremely well respected in his profession and in his life off the mat. His son, Bailey, whom you mentioned, had muscular dystrophy and was a fixture at every match and tournament, alongside his father. Coach Sheen lost his son in 2005, correct?
AMBROSE: “Yeah. We lost Bailey and wrestling lost its biggest fan.”
Sportscaster: You’re still affected by that, aren’t you?
AMBROSE: We miss him every day. He and my wife were incredibly tight – she is Coach Sheen’s niece – so they were family as well as friends. Life goes on, but yeah. We miss him. (Ambrose clears his throat and looks at his hands. Sportscaster takes a minute to let him compose himself)
Sportscaster: Speaking of life going on – you and your wife are expecting a child any day. Congratulations!
AMBROSE: Thank you. We’re pretty excited. We just have to cross our fingers that he or she doesn’t decide to make an appearance during the NCAA tournament.
Sportscaster: We’re all crossing our fingers that doesn’t happen. Before we let you go, we have the lightning round – twenty seconds until the whistle blows and the match (or the interview) is over. These are questions from wrestlers on Montpelier Junior High’s Wrestling team, about a half hour from Hannah Lake. These are wrestlers from twelve to fourteen who really look up to you. You ready?
Sportscaster: Favorite color?
(Sportscaster looks up in surprise) Red? Penn State and Hannah Lake’s colors are both Blue.
AMBROSE: Yeah…but my wife’s hair is red. (Laughter from camera crew)
Sportscaster: Favorite wrester?
AMBROSE: Dan Gable
Sportscaster: Favorite Olympic moment?
AMBROSE: John Smith’s gold medal match, 1992 Barcelona. I watched it with my dad.
AMBROSE: Brosey, Brose.
AMBROSE: (rolls his eyes) Yeah. That too. Next question. (laugher again)
Sportscaster: Favorite food?
AMBROSE: I’m a wrestler so I’m always hungry. I just like food. And lots of it. Did you just hear my stomach growl?
Sportscaster: Favorite Cartoon? Remember these questions are from kids.
AMBROSE: Scooby Doo. That dog knew how to make a sandwich. Did I mention I’m hungry?
Sportscaster: This last question is from Billy Jackson, captain of the Montpelier Hawks. He wants to know who your hero is and why?
AMBROSE: Bailey Sheen. He never gave up. Never let life beat him. Died a hero.
Sportscaster: (leans forward to shake Ambrose’s hand) Ambrose Young. You’re an inspiration. Thank you for being with us today.
Amy Harmon knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story.
Amy Harmon has been a motivational speaker, a grade school teacher, a junior high teacher, a home school mom, and a member of the Grammy Award winning Saints Unified Voices Choir, directed by Gladys Knight. She released a Christian Blues CD in 2007 called “What I Know” – also available on Amazon and wherever digital music is sold. She has written five novels, Running Barefoot, Slow Dance in Purgatory, Prom Night in Purgatory, the New York Times Bestseller, A Different Blue and coming October 20, Making Faces.
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