November 15, 2021

One Woman’s Road to Independence / Guest Post by C. Lee McKenzie / SHATTERED Release

C. Lee McKenzie has a new release out called SHATTERED, and she's sharing an inspiring story with us.

Welcome, C. Lee!

One Woman’s Road to Independence:

A Brief Account of a Paraplegic who Returned to an Active Life in Sports

by C. Lee McKenzie

In her daily exercise program, she included pull-ups, push-ups, catching and throwing a ball, bicep curls, extended arm raises with weights, shoulder shrugging. All of these contributed to keeping her body healthy and in shape, but her legs still couldn't bear her weight, even if she used a standing frame. However, standing on her feet was one of her goals, and she never lost sight of it.

She learned to crawl face-first into her chair, and to recover if she slipped and fell. In her biography, she expressed gratitude for all those upper arm exercises that gave her the quadricep strength she needed.

Swimming was very important, both physically and emotionally. In the water, she had buoyancy and a sense of freedom of movement.

She progressed from not being able to stand, to using the standing frame, to doing squats, to kicking up from a prone position. But there were setbacks and while she'd removed the leg braces, her leg strength wasn't improving, so she had to return to exercising with the braces again.

She found that she could maintain the strength she'd developed by working out three times a week, but if she upped it to four, she started to see improvement.

Pain management was always part of her daily life. She took nerve pain blockers three times a day and quickly learned that it took at least half an hour to get on top of that pain.

Today Karen Trolan is a successful business person and still an active sportswoman. Her struggle to regain independence after her accident was an inspiration, and I think deserves to be shared. After reading her story, I certainly can't consider quitting when my goals seem unattainable, and I appreciated her book. It gave me excellent first-hand details that I used to write Shattered.

Nineteen-year-old Libby Brown is on her way to the winter Olympics for her shot at the Gold. But on a last practice run, an out-of-bounds snowboarder collides with her, and she wakes up in a hospital unable to move her legs. Terrible accident they say, but was it? Or did someone want her off the U.S. slalom team? Libby must find the truth or remain shattered forever.

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I'm a native Californian who grew up in a lot of different places; then landed in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I write most of the time, hike and practice yoga a lot, and then travel whenever I can. 

In my young adult books, I take on modern issues that today's teens face in their daily lives. My Evernight Teen Publication, Double Negative was voted as one of the best top ten Young Adult books, 2019. My other books, The Princess of Las Pulgas, Sliding on the Edge, Sudden Secrets and Not Guilty are out to four and five-star reviews.

If you visit my website and sign up for my Email Connect (emails two times a month)there's a free short story for you! Please stop by.

Thank you for sharing Karen's story with us, C. Lee!

Please leave a comment for C. Lee!


  1. That's amazing Karen was able to achieve her goal and get out of the chair.

  2. Thank you, Chris for hosting me today. Yours is a great showcase for any book!

  3. Yes, thank you for sharing Karen's story, Lee!

    Congrats on your newest book! Best of luck with the release!

    1. Appreciate the congrats, M.J. Glad the book's out and hoping it will be read.

  4. Congrats to Lee. It's great to find such first hand accounts when writing. It helps inspire.

  5. I just finished Shattered and really enjoyed it. I can totally see how Karen Trolan's story inspired her.

    1. That's wonderful! It sounds like a great story.

      P.S. sorry it has taken me so long to reply back.

  6. Hi Chrys - it's an excellent book isn't it ... I loved the story it told and I hope it'll reach into schools for youngsters to be able to discuss aspects of the effects of disability, as too how it impacts on those around them. Also how it might help in the future - to be aware should it happen within their circle of family or friends - opening up that understanding more easily.

    I was late for your Indigenous Heritage Month - I've a few books here I need to read ... having been much more aware of indigenous, aboriginal and tribal lives - and how knowledgeable they were and can be - we definitely need to allow ourselves to absorb their history; I've appreciated being able to live in South Africa, and Canada - and see how poorly we've treated these peoples ... especially their appreciation of the earth.

    Thanks - take care - Hilary

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Hilary! I'm sorry that the Indigenous Heritage Month post was closed to comments before you could visit it. I hate that I have to do that to fight back against spammers, but I love that you have books that you can read about indigenous tribes.

      P.S. sorry it has taken me so long to reply back.