Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Title:  Real
Author:  Stories by Shelley Malcolm
              Pictures by Terilee Dawn Ouimette
Publisher:  AuthorHouse
Available:  Now through Amazon and Barnes and Noble or from the Author
Source:   The authors via Litfuse

Pages:  150
Genre:  True Life Inspiration
Rating:  G

All Proceeds from Real go to various charities.  Please visit RealtheBook for more information.

Here's a sneak peak into The making of Real!

Q&A with Shelley Malcolm
Thank you so much for stopping by my site today, Shelley. Your book Real is gorgeous. What prompted you to start this project?
Inspiration from a dream of similar images, that revealed the beauty in imperfections... the hand image is made beautiful by the life behind it, and it is a body part that is impossible to enhance or fake.

Is that why you chose the hands to symbolize a life lived?

The hand is more anonymous than a face or even eyes which show identity and emotion.  Also, they portray our work, our affection, our worry, scars, and even our mistakes...
What is unique about Real?
I believe the concept is unique, the layout is different, and it feels like reading a yearbook or journal.  It can easily serve as a devotional and it appeals to a widespread audience.
What do you hope the reader takes away after reading Real?
The simple pleasure of reading it, and more so, an appreciation of the beauty of authenticity of others or their own, and the "perfect plan of diversity". You can read more about this in my article on diversity located 
here. Pg. 35
With Christmas coming up, why would Real make a great gift for anyone on your gift list? 
Real is artistically beautiful, gentle and inspiring, and can be enjoyed by men or women of all ages. It is easy for all to relate to and feel comfortable with. The subject matter feels familiar, even though it’s new, and readers always relate and have something to say about their hands or their story. Real stimulates memories and discussion and has even been used in several ways: a memorial, a devotional, as a hostess gift, and other gifts of course. 

If you aren't sure about reading the book by's a synopsis about the book as well as my review!
About the Book:
“Real,” is now available in hardcover. Malcolm delivers a remarkable work of inspiration with 60 biographical stories, each illustrated by a captivating photo by professional photographer Terilee Dawn Ouimette. The stories are deeply revealing, while the photos are anonymous, focusing only on each subject’s hands. Research for the coffee table-style book was accomplished through a series of interviews and photo shoots,
with subjects ranging from adolescent to elderly, from former gangster to humble homeless, international refugee to hero-housewife, from pro athlete to Hollywood celebrity. Focusing on her subjects’ hands instead of their faces allows Malcolm’s subjects to share more freely about their lives, tragedies, hopes, dreams, loves, and toils. Ouimette displays an uncanny ability to capture each character’s essence on film by depicting one of more sets of hands at work, at play, giving or receiving help. The result shows the genius of the project, the use of anonymity displaying a greater level of intimacy and vulnerability than might have been possible by any other means. Malcolm states that her inspiration for the book came from a dream with similar images, revealing the beauty in imperfections in a person’s hands. “The hand image is made beautiful by the life behind it,” she explains. “More anonymous than a face or even eyes which show identity and emotion, our hands portray our work, our affection, scars…even our mistakes.” According to photographer Ouimette, “People can feel even more connected to photographs of hands than faces. There is a little bit of mystery to each one – allowing the reader to visually connect with the inspiring story.” Confronting the importance of status and beauty in our society, “Real” honestly unveils the life stories of remarkable individuals through moving images and stories that range from tragic to hopeful to triumphant. Originally published in March 2011, the book has been popular among widely diverse groups including youth and teens, women, parents and grandparents, men between the ages of 35 – 65, craftsmen, surgeons, hand, massage and physical therapists and many others.

My Take:
I didn't read this book from front to back, I picked and chose the stories by what kind of inspiration I needed at the time. The book is broken into eleven different categories from Courage, Hope, Dreams to Purpose, Wisdom and Life and several others. It's perfect for those times when you want to know how someone else lives or what obstacle they may have overcome or when you just need to escape your own reality for a few moments.  
The pictures of the hands will make you stop and look at your own hands and decide if they are telling the story you want to pass on to your future generations or do we need to change something in our own life. I remember looking at my grandma's hands before she died and wondered how many stories I missed because I didn't take the time to ask her those questions. This book may lead you to look into the hands around you and ask them how they came to the place they are in their life now. It could also make us more open to let others into our lives by opening our hands to those around us. 
Not only is this a book to be treasured for the stories, but the pictures are just amazing. I'm sure it's been said by many other reviewers before me...but keep this book out in the open to be shared and treasured among the family and visitors alike. God made us unique in his own image and Real shows us that uniqueness through the hands and stories of people around the world.  

Recommendation: Pick it up for yourself, a friend and a stranger. But...don't take my word for it.. Check out Litfuse for more reviews!

About the Author:

While “Real” is her first published book, Malcolm is no stranger to creative projects, as co-owner and restorer of an historic chapel, La Perla del Mar in Shell Beach, CA, and a set designer
for theater and film. Shelley Malcolm was named Pismo Beach’s Citizen of the Year in 2011
for her extensive contributions and involvement in the community. Proceeds from the book
benefit the author’s favorite charities. Shelley Malcolm graduated from University of Southern
California with a degree in dental hygiene. Shelley Malcolm resides in Shell Beach, California
with her husband, Doug. Shelley has four adult children. Her interests include painting, drawing,
sculpting, building, playing piano and other musical instruments, outdoor activities including
hiking, ocean kayaking, running, water and snow-skiing, international travel, sewing, reading,
writing and others. For more information, please visit or http://

About the photographer:
Terilee Dawn Ouimette specializes in photographing weddings, families and newborns through
her business, Terilee Dawn Photography. Ouimette’s love of photography began with a gift of
her first camera at the age of eight. Her collaboration on the book “Real” with author Shelley
Malcolm represents the first published book for both women. Terilee Dawn resides in Shell
Beach, California with her husband and the couple’s newborn son, Grayson. Ouimette’s hobbies
include art, photography, crafting, reading, and travel. For more information about her work
please visit

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