Welcome to the Expecting Sunshine blog! In this post, I’ll be sharing about bookmark-making in a special behind-the-scenes video, some great reviews for the book, and our brand new book trailer!

Bookmarks:

Expecting Sunshine: A Journey of Grief, Healing and Pregnancy After Loss

Expecting Sunshine is about love and loss, true, but it is also about the power of sharing stories. I believe that openness about our struggle with grief can be incredibly healing. And not only for the person sharing. When we are vulnerable with our loss, we can receive support from others, but AT THE SAME TIME others are also encouraged.

They are encouraged to:

  • Figure out helpful ways to show love to those they know are hurting
  • Help themselves if they are that person needing support
  • Move forward with all they have been through into a new season of hope and healing

Sharing stories connects us in meaningful ways. It creates community.

I am making special bookmarks for people that come out to my book launch events at bookstores around the world. These bookmarks come from one huge painting inspired by the cover of my book. The symbolism here is that we will all have 1 piece of a greater whole, that we are all connected. This ties into my book as it is a story about family and those bonds which can never be broken, not even by death. 

Here’s the video of me painting! I will share a follow-up video once all the cutting and autographing has been done. I am making a huge grid of the painting and will number each piece. Then everyone will be able to see where their bookmark fits in the whole of the painting. You may have the piece right beside someone who lives in New Zealand. Now that’s pretty cool!

The first book launch party is taking place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada at Audrey’s Books on Jasper Avenue, Saturday, April 22 from 2 – 4pm. Please share this invite!

For more events, please click here.

Click any of the above book party invites to enlarge, save and share!

Book Reviews:

Expecting Sunshine has been receiving some very lovely reviews. Here are two examples:

Expecting Sunshine received 5 out of 5 stars from IndieReader, making the book “IndieReader Approved”, a designation created to make it easier for readers and booksellers to identify quality indie titles.

IndieReader Review:

Verdict: EXPECTING SUNSHINE is an invaluable resource for those dealing with loss, as well as a beautifully-told story of grief, hope, healing and love.

IR Rating

IR Rating

 5.0 StarsIR Rating
IR Rating

IR Rating

IR Rating

Alexis Marie Chute and her husband Aaron lost their second child, their son Zachary, minutes after his birth due to a heart condition called Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. For a year, Chute descended into what she calls her “Year of Distraction,” in which she was unable to function or focus for grief. On emerging from that year of mourning, she became pregnant once more, hoping desperately this time for a healthy baby. This book is a narrative of that pregnancy, full of anxiety, anticipation, fear, healing, and hope.

There are few if any losses in life that match the heartbreak of losing a child, and this book is an achingly beautiful response to such a loss. This is a straightforward, honest, day-by-day first-person account, all the more effective for being simply and clearly told, without melodrama but with an lovely, lyrical, almost poetic writing style.  Chute holds nothing back, from her anger at God to marital stresses to her panicked anxiety at the thought of possibly losing either this new pregnancy or her oldest child, her cherished daughter Hannah. However, there are moments of brilliant sunshine that illuminate the book as well, as when she hears her new baby’s heartbeat for the first time, singing a refrain of “I am alive, I am well, I am here.”

Bring a handkerchief either way – tears of sorrow and tears of joy are intertwined throughout the book. The honesty and the clarity of the writing make this an invaluable resource not only for those who have lost a baby to miscarriage, stillbirth, or early death, but also to their friends and family, who may be unsure of what to say or how to approach their loved one’s grief. Chute openly and directly discusses what helped her and what did not – the gentleness, openness, and warmth of her devout Aunt Ruth’s approach to her doubts about religion and faith versus the overbearing dogmatism of some members of her Mourning Together group, for example. The result is a book that is useful as well as deeply heartwarming.

EXPECTING SUNSHINE is an invaluable resource for those dealing with loss, as well as a beautifully-told story of grief, hope, healing and love.

~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader


Kirkus Review:

A mother recovering from the death of her newborn child experiences both hope and intense anxiety as she embarks on another pregnancy in this debut memoir.

Chute, a photographer and artist, lost her second child, Zachary, just moments after his birth when he died of an inoperable heart tumor caused by a genetic abnormality called Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. After a period of anguish that included an episode in which she pounded her head against a wall and stabbed her palm with a golf tee, she immersed herself in a “Year of Distraction” through frenetic work. Then, after being reassured that Zachary’s illness was not inherited, she became pregnant again—and began a new ordeal, chronicled here in 40 week-by-week chapters. Chute’s worry that the new pregnancy would also end in tragedy preoccupied her and made every doctor’s appointment, ultrasound scan, and bodily twinge an agony of apprehension. Meanwhile, she tried to process the unfinished business of Zachary’s death in a church-run mourning group where she found mainly a gruel of unhelpful platitudes; mothered her rambunctious 2-year-old daughter, Hannah; and tussled and bonded with her husband, Aaron, who was supportive but sometimes wounded her with his determination to get on with life. In this sometimes fraught, sometimes luminous work, Chute’s narrative brings together in a roiling, deeply felt tangle maternal experiences that are usually separated, as the exhilaration of pregnancy and the exhausting happiness of raising a toddler are overshadowed by lingering grief and dread. It’s an emotional roller-coaster, with giddy anticipation turning on a dime into fretful, claustrophobic brooding and self-laceration. Chute’s prose conveys the full force of her turmoil with powerful imagery—“I felt that I would be like uncooked ground beef, bloody and grated, for the rest of my life”—but keeps enough distance to probe and interrogate her feelings, and gain a deeper understanding of them.

A moving saga of motherhood in extremis that earns its moments of certainty and bliss through an honest grappling with pain and doubt.

Book Trailer 2:

Expecting Sunshine has a second book trailer!

A huge thank-you to Tom Lim, crew member for the documentary, for putting together this awesome second book trailer for Expecting Sunshine!

Please share this trailer and help spread the word.

Special BONUS Giveaway for Pre-Orders! Limited-time bonus reading!

I re-wrote one chapter from my book from my husband Aaron’s perspective; and the writing itself is an interesting story, which I share in the bonus.

In the bonus material, you will receive the chapter seen through my eyes AND the chapter re-imagined from the male perspective. Aaron joined me in this process to create as accurate a representation of his experience as possible.

This is a fascinating look into male grief and the effect of loss on a marriage.

Anyone who wishes they could climb into their partner’s head, to figure out where he or she is coming from, will enjoy this behind-the-scenes speak peak.

This special bonus only runs until April 18, 2017 when the book hits the shelves! 

That’s only 4 days from now!


All you have to do to get this 10 page bonus PDF:

  1. Pre-order Expecting Sunshine from ANY bookstore or online retailer.
    1. Pre-order from my store: http://shop.alexismariechute.com/product/expecting-sunshine-book/
    2. Pre-order on Amazon.com: http://bit.ly/orderES 
    3. See other retailers for pre-ordering: https://www.expectingsunshine.com/ (Click bookstore logos)
  2. Email:

    bonus@expectingsunshine.com

    with your proof of purchase. This can be a screen shot or a PDF or phone-captured image.

  3. I will verify and email you the bonus material!

Thank you so much for reading this book update!

Sending love and gratitude your way!

 – Alexis Marie Chute