Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.


Emily Zarecki
Golden Scars
Golden Scars is the story of my breast cancer journey as well as the seemingly insurmountable life challenges that helped me face a cancer battle with determination and positivity. While the main plotline of the book details my cancer journey, a sub-plot includes flashbacks of those significant life challenges, including losing my husband to suicide, solo parenting our three young children, embracing love again and supporting my mom in her short battle with ovarian cancer.
Writing with grace, poignant wit, and hard-won insight, Zarecki delivers a poignant and deeply personal account of her journey through breast cancer, intertwined with the echoes of past trials and triumphs, including the tragic death of her first husband years before. From the moment of her diagnosis, Zarecki finds herself thrust into a world of fear and uncertainty, haunted by memories of her mother's battle with ovarian cancer. Yet, amidst the darkness, she discovers a wellspring of courage and resilience within herself, plus, in her home with her kids and second husband, Mark, a “cocoon of comfort and healing.”

The narrative weaves seamlessly between Zarecki’s cancer experiences and poignant reflections on the past, though at times the pacing can feel uneven. Drawing on the losses she’s endured, years of measuring up to the challenges of single motherhood, and the profound impact of her mother's illness, she offers readers a raw and unflinching portrayal of love, loss, and the resilience of the human spirit. Zarecki describes adopting a mantra to help push through: “I am the storm,” she tells herself when embarking on chemo treatments, but she frankly notes that, at the time, she wasn’t “convinced of that yet.” What sets Golden Scars apart is that unwavering honesty and vulnerability.

Zarecki lays bare her fears, doubts, and moments of despair with a heartbreaking candor, from the process of shaving her head with a beard trimmer, to the deeply human moment of beholding her body after surgery, to her struggle to give herself the “grace” to not feel impatient as her “body works to recover from the brutal treatment that coursed through my veins to attack the cancer cells.” Zarecki’s story, told with a confidence she admits not always feeling as she lived it, offers a reminder to embrace our own golden scars as symbols of our courage, resilience, and capacity for healing.

Takeaway: Frank, moving account of surviving breast cancer with love and support.

Comparable Titles: Cara Sapida’s Not the Breast Year of My Life, Terri Sterk’s Thrive After Breast Cancer.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: B
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A