Focus Friday: The Broken Collection


By Rachel ThompsonBroken Collection cover

This week’s focus is on Rachel Thompson’s new boxed set, which includes both her award-winning Broken Pieces and the follow-up collection of poems and essays, Broken Places.

Within one week of its release through Booktrope, Broken Places  reached the Top Five in Women’s Poetry and #1 on Amazon’s Hot Releases List. In it, Rachel courageously confronts the topics of sexual abuse and suicide, love and healing, in her second nonfiction book of prose and poetry (her fourth book overall). Rachel bares her soul in essays, poems and prose, addressing life’s most difficult topics with honesty. As you follow one woman’s journey through the dark and into the light, you will find yourself forever changed. 

Buy it on Amazon.

About Rachel Thompson

rachelRachel Thompson is the author of newly released Broken Places and the award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. Rachel is published and represented by Booktrope. She owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. For affordable group sessions check out Author Social Media Boot Camp, monthly sessions to help all authors! Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…),,,, and Self-Publishers Monthly.

Not just an advocate for sexual abuse survivors, Rachel is the creator and founder of the hashtag phenomenon #MondayBlogs and the live Twitter chat, #SexAbuseChat, co-hosted with certified therapist/survivor, Bobbi Parish.

She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

Visit her:

Sign up for her Author Newsletter and her BadRedhead Media Newsletter. 

And follow her on Twitter @RachelintheOC and  @BadRedheadMedia.


Focus Friday: Broken Pieces by Rachel Thompson


Broken Pieces by Rachel Thompson cover

This week has a special Focus Friday: three poetic essays  from Rachel Thompson’s Broken Pieces.


The right answer is to turn and walk away. But his arms are so strong and his words caress her soul. In his heat she abandons her resolve.

She’s unsure how it started, moving from found to lost. One day she watches birds fly on apathetic wings, the next he stands behind her—his hands inside her heart.

He damages her new home, where she now lays her head, the place where guilt and lust meet.

But she cannot leave. His eyes hold her captive.

“You are mine,” he tells her. “I own you now.” She doesn’t disagree.

Her breath quickens, her skin burns from the real and imagined hold he has on her. He whispers promises of life together, as long as all the pieces of her are his.

Pieces of her—

all he needs.

China Doll

I felt the storm break my heart.

Maybe I knew he had taken his life before I got the call; perhaps even before he left, his words a warning I didn’t know to catch.

I can admit that now.

Before he died, when we spoke a storm brewed in his words. He had lost so many people—some he hated, some he loved. But still. So many deaths. Drinking ruined him; alcohol killed his marriage, twisted his relationship with his young son into sadness. He only told me bits and pieces. His language, sparse, as if he had created his own. I gleaned as much as I could from every conversation, trying to understand unspoken words, held breaths.

If only I had read between his lines.

If I closed my eyes, could I have touched his words??

“SEE WHO I AM NOW!” he angrily shouted, though his rage was couched between desire and love.

“I’m not that man anymore who would hurt you. You’re my china doll, baby.”

He carried me for twenty years, freezing me in time; taking me out, looking at me, before putting me back on his shelf. Who he thought I was. Not realizing I would grow and change, becoming a different person. A stronger person. A doll who didn’t break quite so easily.

The mind warps what time can’t forget. But I will never forget.

And I am not his doll. I am not fragile.

Then again, I’m not the one who broke.


Allow me to drape my limbs over you; my secret murmurs soothing fears that keep you awake as the rays of the day fade on borrowed rest.

Grasping your hand to keep you from losing your way back to me, you meet my eyes with a rush of desire that slams me in a hard, brilliant flash.

Do you hear me? I whisper along your skin, cooled by the night air. Crossing this wide river to you, I pray you’ll reach for me as I pass by, drowning in your depths.

You, my only salvation.

Will you save me?

Waiting for the sun, I barely breathe so as not to wake you, unable to turn away from the glare of what we’ve wrought.

I bathe in our entangled gleam, where love lives inside the knowledge that tomorrow fades again.

Illumination only lasts until darkness decides to fall.

Broken Pieces is an award winning book about relationships, a study of women, and a book with heart. Vastly different in tone from her previous essay collection, Broken Pieces is a collection of pieces inspired by life: love, loss, abuse, trust, grief, and ultimately, love again. While still non-fiction, this best-selling book is not humor at all. In Thompson’s most intensive work to date, she opens her soul and invites the reader in for a visit. Thompson goes into those long buried rooms we lock up deep inside and shares a bit of her soul. Broken Pieces is vulnerable, raw honesty, and no-holds barred.


About the author

Rachel ThompsonRachel Thompson is the author of the award-winning Broken Pieces, as well as two additional humor books, A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed. She also owns BadRedhead Media, creating effective social media and book marketing campaigns for authors. Her articles appear regularly in The Huffington Post, The San Francisco Book Review (BadRedhead Says…),,,, and Self Publishing Monthly. She hates walks in the rain, running out of coffee, and coconut. She lives in California with her family.

Visit her

  • website
  • BSR Author page
  • Amazon Author page

and follow her on Twitter @RachelintheOC.



In Between, by Mohana Rajakumar

2013 profile photo

Mohana Rajakumar

I was born in India, raised in the United States, and now live in Qatar. This combination of ancestry and adventure seemed strange until global figures like President Obama made me feel normal. I’m not evoking him to start a political discussion but to say how isolated I felt as an immigrant child living in small town U.S.A.

As an adult I thought moving back overseas, closer to my birthplace, in the Middle East would make me less of an oddity. People would know the food I ate, the movies I watched, and the clothes I wore. I wouldn’t have to explain what the red dot was that Indian women wear or how to pronounce sari. After all Arabs and Indians had been trading for centuries; the Mougal Empire whose rulers ran much of India was made up of Muslims.

When I moved to Qatar seven years ago I didn’t know that my legacy of being different would continue despite being a mere four hours by plane from India.

I was in a less western environment that was true.  But being an Indian woman with a PhD set me apart from the hundreds of thousands of South Asians working in the country as laborers. Whether as nannies, cooks, drivers, or construction workers, Indians, Pakistanis, and Sri Lankans were most often seen in the blue coveralls or matching uniforms of the service industry.

In my western suits and heels, I was an anomaly. The other Indians who were writers, jewelers, or bankers, came more directly from India in their migration experience. The women of this community wore traditional clothes, married men from their language group, and were Indians living abroad.

I didn’t fit in with them either given my American accented English, non-Indian husband, and distance from India’s borders for over twenty years.

The blessing of being in-between is that all of life becomes fodder for fiction. (Okay, for writing, but I couldn’t resist the alliteration). From the margins of these societies, I ruminate. A lot. And turned those ruminations into From Dunes to Dior, a memoir that traces my personal development alongside the rapid social and Dunes to Diorfinalcultural change happening in Qatar. The similarities I find between Arab and South Asian cultures I used to create the romance and friendships between the main characters in my second novel, Love Comes Later. And the disparities I see between expats and their housemaids I brought to life in my recent release, The Dohmestics.

While real life is not as interesting as fiction, the ideas, themes, and concepts can help bring it to life.

§ § § § § § §

Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar is a South Asian American who has lived in Qatar since 2005. Moving to the Arabian Desert was fortuitous in many ways since this is where she met her husband, had a baby, and made the transition from writing as a hobby to a full time passion.  She has since published five e-books including a mom-ior for first time mothers, Mommy But Still Me, a guide for aspiring writers, So You Want to Sell a Million Copies, a short story collectionColoured and Other Stories, and a novel about women’s friendships, Saving Peace. Most recently, From Dunes to Dioris a collection of essays related to her experiences as a female South Asian American living in the Arabian Gulf. After she joined the e-book revolution, she dreams in plotlines.

Connect with Mohana from anywhere in the East or the West on  Twitter  Facebook  Pinterest  YouTube  website

Ever wondered what makes a proper villain? Tune in Monday, February 18 as Helen Hanson, bestselling author of Dark Pool, riffs on the topic.