Friday, December 16, 2011

Blog Tour: Real (Review)


If pictures are worth 1,000 words, then Shelley Malcom and Terilee Dawn Ouimette have captured a priceless treasure in their collaboration known as Real.

The book is a collection of 60 inspirational stories, illustrated by amazing, yet anonymous, photos focusing on the subject's hands.


The publisher describes the people featured as ranging "from adolescent to elderly, former gangster to humble homeless, international refugee to hero-housewife, and pro athlete to Hollywood celebrity."

Each story and accompanying photo are unique. This book is not designed to be read straight through, but instead, savored like a fine wine or dessert. 

I can see the stories - and photos - serving as a launching point for small group discussion. 

There's something Real about the power of words and images. This book is the REAL deal. The photos are amazing and the stories will inspire you. 

More About Real
“REAL” is a collection of 60 inspirational stories by Shelley Malcolm, with photos by Terilee Dawn Ouimette.

The stories are deeply revealing, while the photos are anonymous, focusing only on each subject’s hands. Subjects range from adolescent to elderly, from former gangster to humble homeless, international refugee to hero-housewife, from pro athlete to Hollywood celebrity. 

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. 

She was named Pismo Beach’s Citizen of the Year in 2011 for her extensive contributions and involvement in the community. 

Malcolm graduated from University of Southern California with a degree in dental hygiene. She resides in Shell Beach, California with her husband, Doug. 

Malcom 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 http://marthamartha.net or

Online Resources
Proceeds from Real go to various charities. Want to know more? Visit

Cards and bookmarks, from various images in the book are available here:

See what others thought about this book:

Buy the book: 

Real - The Book from David Malcolm on Vimeo.

If the video link doesn't appear, see it here:

Before You Go... A Q&A With Malcom

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.

Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Litfuse Publicity Group. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.

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