“Your book is very exciting to read. Something to think about on every page. “– Leann S, Sarasota, FL

Loved, loved, loved the book!! I hope you meant it when you said there its a second in the works!  What a glorious journey – thank you so much for sharing it with [us].” – Amelia Sheftall, NYC, NY

“Am just beginning chapter 8 and can say that it is extremely well written and I’m intrigued by the developing story.”    – Sharon VanDellen, Grand Rapids, MI

“I’ve finished my first (couldn’t put it down) reading of Poking Chocolatesamazing story, on so many levels!  Connecting real life to REAL LIFE in so many unexpected and beautiful ways.  It is a marvelous witness / document for now …”                  I loved your last chapter “The Fight We All Won” – the interweaving of your journeys and friendship. And the endnotes! Thank you for this gift of a book!    – Anne Hanchett, Beverly, MA

The writing was superb. Really. This should be on a national booklist somewhere.  So honest (and that is rare) and such a wonderful tale! And, you should know, I am not easily pleased with stories written today.  I just can’t say enough about how good this is.”                                                                                                               – Marie Tallmadge, avid reader, Shorewood, WI

Your book kept me up until 5am this morning. I HATE you!”                                                       – Ed Dick, Civil Rights & -Refugee Activist, age 90, Bradenton, FL

“I kept laughing. It’s hilarious, sophisticated, dense and well written…”
– Sophie Bunce, Software Engineer, Savannah, GA

[My wife and I] both read it within a few days.  It was effortless reading. We both laughed aloud at several points…Its great strength seemed to me the depth of graphic detail. …making it easy for the reader to imagine. It was cinematic.  The other strength was its exceptional honesty. ..I admire your courage. Whether or not yours brings fame and fortune, it has the stuff; it is an artful, beautiful rendering of an authentic human experience.”  –  Tom Griffith,  writer for The Gloucester Daily Times (MA)

“Well written. Highly engaging, You will not want to put the book down, and when you come to the end, you will want more. Nice update chapter by the co-author at the back of the book.”
– Melinda K. Greek, Indiana (Amazon review)

Cia’s book was a trip down memory lane for any of us growing up in the 1960’s. Her excellent, transparent, and clear writing style is a delight to read. Thank you for being a seeker of truth and then taking the time and effort to honestly share your journey with us. Thank you for not settling for the easy and mindless path others might, in your quest to define life. Thanks for giving me hope that ANYONE can change when they seek truth.
– Jan F. Northington, California (Amazon review)

“I enjoyed this very honest autobiography about a very honest individual who is amusing, eccentric, bigger-than-life, and at the same time thought-provoking. Cia Chester’s escapades made me smile, laugh out loud, and ponder – sometimes all three on one page…”
– Bronwyn E. Loring, Pride’s Crossing, MA (Amazon review)

“I love this book! Cia McKoy is a brilliant writer. Her turn of words makes the ordinary extraordinary. If you like books that compel you into the story and carry you along in delight – then you will love this book too. Poking Chocolates left me hungry for more works by Cia!”
– N. Grisham, Castle Rock, CO; author of Thriving (Amazon review)

I’m not happy with you. You should’ve put a disclaimer in the beginning of yr book – ‘Once you start to read this, you won’t be able to put it down.’ Don’t you realize how busy I am? Love it!”
– Marc Wannenmacher, Wauwatosa, WI

“Wow. Your book is amazing. I couldn’t put it down.
– Sue Parker, Emma, CO

“[My daughter] and I are relishing reading ‘Poking Chocolates’ together and find many witty, laugh-out-loud moments while reading in my mother’s garden…. This could really be a hit, Cia!                                                    Later, after finishing it, Ellen wrote: “There is only one word to express my emotions on finishing your captivating [story]…..More! I selfishly hope you are working away on the sequel…, so we get more fascinating details, more inspiration, from your life’s pilgrimage. Thank you so much for this gift of your funny, revealing, inspirational life….”
– Ellen Brumder, Waihi, New Zealand

“Very, very good book….every sentence a memorable vignette. Humour abounds. I can’t wait for the next volume.  ..Your book is having a remarkable (beneficial) effect on me!!”
– Will Hamilton, MD; Fairview, NC

“I finished your incredible autobiography in two sittings…outstanding and extremely powerful … written with stylistic genius… a gripping story that demonstrates tremendous honesty and courage unparalleled in anything else I have ever read. Poking Chocolates is a remarkable manuscript.”
– Jerry Bridge, Madison, WI

“You always want a critical review … but I can’t help but say that I SO loved reading the entire book. I mean….I REALLY loved it. I can’t believe that ANYONE would not find your story engaging and….captivating, really. You’ve managed to capture your actual self on those pages through stories that are completely delightful and thought provoking.”       – Jeri Stupar, Conference Speaker/ Pastoral Counsellor, New Berlin, WI

“This is a charming book with some terrific surprising twists…. Your story was skillfully handled and the writing style was absolutely lovely. I thoroughly enjoyed working on your book.”
– M.O., Archway’s copy editor for this manuscript (who has to remain anonymous)

I had a blast reading it. Not having another book on our cruise, I went back and read it again!”
– Joe Glatzel, consummate keyboardist & GE Medical guru, Waukesha, WI

“How I have been enjoying Poking Chocolates. I take “a sample” at night and savor each flavor!”
– Linda Preston, South Hamilton, MA

“Poking Chocolates is the fascinating account of one woman’s journey… set against the backdrop of the tumultuous decades of the sixties and seventies, the stormy dramas of adolescence and longings of the human heart – unfolding a surprising narrative …. Those who have lived through the sixties… will find this book to be both engaging and spiritually nourishing. Nancy Unsworth’s afterword rounds out this story with discernment and charm. I warmly recommend this book, especially to [those] who appreciate spiritual autobiography.”
– John Jefferson Davis, Professor & Dept. Chair at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary & Author of Meditation and Communion with God

I couldn’t stop reading it. The collaboration worked, and I am smitten by your story.
– Donna Dixon, virtual co-author of Karla Faye Tucker Set Free: Life and Death on Death Row, Austin, TX

After asking Nancy if she had two more books for her to buy, Sally H.(Edenton, NC) said, “My dream would be to send a copy to all my friends and then gather at a beach house to talk about it.”

“Cia has experienced more than many of us would experience in two lifetimes. This book…is a fascinating ride. You will not want to miss this true story of a wild young woman who was remarkably changed.”
– Anne Gehl, MS Science & Math teacher; Brookfield, WI

“I’m very impressed with Poking Chocolates.  Extremely well written and a page turner. Cia’s family is so interesting!!. At book club we talked about using the next meeting to discuss our book choices for the year. [Our leader] needs to know that Poking Chocolates has been published and to get it on the schedule. And, of course, we will have to get Cia to come as well…. I’m prepared for this to take off!”
– Gloria WIllis, retired bookstore owner, Edenton, NC

“Just finished your book and found it very interesting, encouraging and inspirational.    I lost my husband of 46 years 2 years ago… Since then I find little happiness in my every day life. I think now after reading your book, I will try hard to open a new relationship with God.      Thanks for sharing your life with me.                                                                                                – Kay H., Cinncinatti, OH

“Just read Poking Chocolates in one sitting. Part of my fascination was of course from remembering you 40+ years ago, but really it was an absorbing read on its own merits.”– Pamela Wesson,  recovering Priniceton roommate, Paris, France

From an endorsement letter to the National Letters Chair of the American Pen Women:   “The Board of the Sarasota Branch of NLAPW endorses Cia McKoy as a Letters member in our branch.  She is a professional writer whose lively book is appreciated by all who read it.  She would bring a new creative energy to our writer’s group.”                                                                                                                                      – Lolly Owens, NLAPW Sarasota Branch Membership Chair

“I have devoured your impressive book and can’t wait to hear more about your brave journey. I am in awe that you had the courage and perseverance to write such a probing personal work.”                                                                                                    -Judy Cutler Rauh, Milwaukee, WI

*       *       *

A sheet for comments about Poking Chocolates was offered at a book club  we attended in Edenton, NC.  The first responder left off her name, so the others wrote their comments anonymously as well.  Here are a few:

“Your book was fascinating! I read it cover to cover–including the end notes!”                  “Your story drew me into a foreign world. I felt as though I was living it.”                                  “A delightful tribute to the power of friendship ….”                                                                   “The life Cia lived gives us all hope ….”                                                                                   “Wonderful read. Well written, powerful journey.”

“Truly speechless. What accolades I can offer will only sound like a tiny tinkling bell against an ocean’s wild roar…. All this to say I loved reading this.”
– Elaine Zabel, New Berlin, WI

“We’d LOVE to have you great girls do a signing, you’re a brilliant team & we LOVED your talk [ on the Pains & Gains of Collaboration] at ABC. It left us wanting more!!   Cheers! Warm best!”  – Carole Stephens Bibisi, ABC Writers leader

NAUGHTY ADDITIONS FROM FAMILY MEMBERS INSERTED DESPITE THE GLARING AMATEURISH NATURE OF SO DOING (Where’s that sheepish emoticon when you need it?)

“It’s smart, genuine, hilarious, and powerful…. Everyone needs to read it!”
– posted on Abigail McKoy’s Facebook page

“This was my favorite book, ever.”
– Lily McKoy at 17 (after reading an early version)

“I’m addicted to it! I read over 18 chapters in one day. I couldn’t help it. It was incredibly fascinating. …If her parents had forced her into the cookie cutter, Ivy League life she never really wanted, and if she had never dared to take risks and ask the hard questions, she wouldn’t be the [woman] she is today.                                                                                                       Have you ever gotten to the end of a book and felt a surprising amount of disappointment because there is nothing left to read? That’s how I felt about Poking Chocolates. Some might consider me biased, but I couldn’t put her book down. It was an intriguing, incredible read. It’s very well written and I found myself laughing out loud at many of her misadventures and empathizing with much of her heartache.                                                         I can’t wait for the next one!!!”
– from Claire McKoy, Prof. photographer; Salvisa, KY

“It’s a really delightful story, at times laugh-out-loud hilarious. Nothing else has ever compelled me to read an entire book in two days. I couldn’t put it down!
– W.Mark McKoy, Cia’s completely unbiased husband

“I’m loving the writing and the stories…you are the epitome of the reliable narrator!” – Geoff Young, art dealer /poet / editor of The Figures Press and most importantly, once-husband of my sister Laura.

 

 

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