By Manuela Cardiga’s
the plainest drab – want to believe in the Cinderella myth. Even the
harsh-faced and sour-hearted, somewhere deep in their night-time struggles with
their bitterest reality, dare to dream some Prince could still see past the
dense veil of unkind nature and time, to the delicate, frail-hearted beauty
But Clara wasn’t Cinderella, waiting for her
Prince, she was Sleeping Beauty poisoned by a deadly kiss. After 24 years Clara
awakens from a living nightmare of abuse and discovers her life unfolding
miraculously; but the true miracle is her own blossoming: the maturing of a
frightened abused girl into a strong woman capable of love, laughter and joy.
In Tahiti’s exotic landscape Clara finds her way from darkness to incandescent
light, embracing in herself the strength of choice, and the power of decision.
hope and renewal, a story of one woman’s discovery of herself and her journey
Africa where she studied fashion design. She moved to Europe where she worked
as a fashion designer, then moved to the crazy world of advertising as a
graphic designer and copywriter. Manuela is a designer by profession, a cook by
vocation, and a writer by compulsion. She currently resides in Lisbon, Portugal
where she writes contemporary and historical fiction, designs book covers,
illustrates children’s books, and mothers a gorgeous daughter while juggling a
day job. She also dabbles enthusiastically in exotic, experimental cuisine,
much to the discomfort of family and friends.
comes to Lisbon to study Art. She has just begun her adventure of
self-discovery in the extravagant bohemian world of the late 70’s, when her
journey is abruptly cut short by a brutal rape by an acquaintance.
and her family pressures her into marrying the man who assaulted her, and who
claims “she was willing”. Clara is plunged into a nightmare of abuse that is to
last two decades.
a word spoken in passing by a stranger, and Clara awakens. Wakes and takes
charge of her life. She frees herself of the nightmare and of her oppressor,
but can she heal herself of the scars years of abuse have left on her spirit?
Clara goes to Tahiti to fulfill her childhood dream and “paint like Gauguin”.
world of endless possibilities where she starts to blossom as a woman, and an
artist. There, Clara meets the right man, and falls in love with the wrong one…
vindication, closure, and triumph over her abuser, and yet her trials have just
begun. She is about to discover the path of life rarely runs smoothly, and before
she can reach for happiness, Clara must grow.
capable of making the hardest of decisions, taking responsibility for herself
and a new life. Setting out on the
difficult road that leads to maturity, Clara must complete her journey from
darkness into light.
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presumptuous as to consider myself a writer. I am hopefully learning…
to the previous one. That was a romantic comedy, and this is a much darker
book. I think I tell the story in the character’s voices and each one is so
very gifted artist living on a tropical island, and I had always loved this particular
painting of his, and so I asked him for permission to use it, and his response
was that he felt it wasn’t good enough…
sent him the final artwork for MANscapes, and he loved it. Unfortunately three
days later, my friend tragically passed away.
just because of the cover, but because the story is about an artist finding her
way home on a tropical island… Journeying into light. As he did.
behind, to grow.
the ultimate achievement when she becomes a free human being. It was terrible
and incredible. It was exhausting.”
story-teller, so my “thing” would be sitting in front of someone spinning a
yarn. This writing is something I am still learning…
yourself, not an audience, not the critics. Do it because you have a story that
needs to be told; because you can’t help yourself.
there. Many women are living in the hell of abuse, afraid to walk away because
it’s all they know.
be surprised to find the light meets you halfway. Life is not punishment, we
all deserve happiness; but it’s not going to fall into your lap.
steps into your corner. But you have to choose. The essence of effective living
is choice. We choose.
out. But it is YOUR choice, YOUR life. You will no longer be a passive victim
things happen to; you will be a survivor, someone who makes things happen, who
decides, takes charge and responsibility for her own life.
A PUBLISHED WRITER?
Never give up.
moment worth remembering. You don’t need to do huge things, change the
tickets, writing law; whatever it is, do it with love. Don’t take a single
moment for granted.