Friday, January 8, 2016

Racing Forward: Faith, Love, & Triumph Over Loss ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Blog Tour* & Review

Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours

Mica Mosbacher

Mica Mosbacher was barely hanging on. A single mother of a son, she worked in retail while she established a career as an award-winning writer. Feeling unlucky in romance after two failed marriages, she gave up on her dreams. In her early 40s, she met the love of her life, oilman mogul and 28th US Secretary of Commerce, Robert Mosbacher Sr. A modern day commoner who went on to meet and entertain heads of states and Royals, Mica turned out to be a kind of Houston Cinderella.Mica married her prince and soul mate only to lose him to pancreatic cancer leaving her heart broken. But instead of wallowing in pain, she decided to grieve forward. Her brother, a racecar driver, inspired her to learn to race a Ferrari. Testing her personal limits on the racetrack, she discovered her inner strength to move forward.Life brings losses on a regular basis. Whether it’s a garden variety loss or a life changing one―debilitating illness, divorce, death―it requires a resiliency, optimism and faith.


Excerpts from Chapter 8: Racing Ahead

We were intent on making a difference. My daughter-in-law often says that I like to make waves. So does Ellen [Cohen]! Together we united to create a tsunami. A vocal defender of sexual assault victims… (pg. 95)

It was a splendid ceremony, one that marked a middle-class “commoner” proving she was worthy of a prince. Letizia Ortiz represented the future of Spain in a progressive world. (pg.96)

I suppose that’s what reality is: a dream-like experience shattered with the clanging of an emergency. No wonder we lose ourselves in fairy tales. (pg. 97)

I recall being dropped off within walking distance amid a sea of protesters. I admit I was nervous—the protesters seemed very hostile—but I was also upset. While they may not have agreed with Reagan’s policies and actions as President, making a scene at his funeral was, more than anything, disrespectful. (pg. 97)

We [also] saluted our country, which we both held most dear. It was hard not to be affected, after having so recently said good-bye to an American President beloved by many. I remain impressed with Ronald Reagan to this day. He was able to connect with people and bridge differences. In this era of partisan bickering, our country could use someone like him. (pg. 99)

In Racing Forward, when author Mica Mosbacher says, "Loss. How I hate that four-letter word," she has plenty of reasons to mean it since she reminds readers that loss comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. It's clear that Mosbacher has faced some serious losses in her life: failed marriages, single mom-ing, lay-offs, sexual discrimination and abuse, health crises, and becoming a widow.  But just as clear is that despite the challenges, Mosbacher never lost faith in God or lost hope that something better was always around the corner.  Through the years, Mosbacher’s circumstances forced her to constantly reinvent herself and adapt, which makes for a fascinating memoir.

With the cover picture, title, and book blurb, it's no surprise to readers where the story will lead them. Mosbacher uses subtle and not-so-subtle driving/racing analogies throughout the book leading up to her joining a race team. For example, in reflecting back on time when she had to get some counseling, Mica says, "I learned to react to a change in the road conditions of my life."  This recurring theme threads the book together in a great way and encapsulates Mosbacher's approach to life.  

Racing Forward is very well edited and Mosbacher's voice is authentic, but I am not sure how many readers will be able to relate to the majority of the story.  While Mosbacher strives to weave in the "commonality" of all women in having to do and be everything (Super Woman) for the people in their lives -- the message often falls flat because it is so heavily countered by Mosbacher's privilege.  Where many women would be lucky to take a long lunch to recover from burning the candle at both ends, Mosbacher took trips to France or relaxed on a sail boat in Florida.  Her privilege doesn't lessen the sting of the losses she endured, but the financial and emotional resources available to her -- even in the worst of times -- put a real distance between her and readers living from paycheck to paycheck with little or no support at all.  

Racing Forward is probably best for people who like to peek inside the world of the social elite and who enjoy living vicariously through someone else's brushes with celebrity. Mosbacher includes detailed memories of elaborate events and meals, right down to what was served to the guests. For me, however, with the endless name dropping, I found myself skipping pages as paragraph after paragraph mentioned someone famous with whom Mosbacher or her husband had interacted. There are certainly universal lessons to be learned by all, and Mosbacher's life, her perseverance, and her faith are fascinating and inspiring.

Michele (Mica) Mosbacher, widow of the 28th U.S. Secretary of Commerce and oilman Robert Mosbacher, Sr., was commissioned as an Honorary Consul of Iceland, Houston and Central Texas, in 2010 by the Foreign Ministry of Iceland. She is an author, motivational speaker and proud sponsor of Godstone Ranch Motorsports, a family professional motorsports team that races for charitable causes.

She currently serves on the boards of the Houston Ballet, University of
Houston; and was appointed by Governor Perry to the steering committee of the Aga Khan Foundation. Mica previously served as a director of the American Hospital Foundation, receiving the board’s highest honor presented by Ambassador Howard Leach at the United States Embassy in Paris.

Focused on education, Mica previously served as on the University of Houston’s Board of Regents and the board of Strake Jesuit Preparatory School. Mica implemented Best Friends, a character education program and the Raoul Wallenberg Heroes program in the Houston Independent School District in the late 90s.

Mica has chaired numerous charitable fundraisers including Houston Ballet
Ball, Woodrow Wilson Gala, Museum of Fine Arts Costume Institute and American Hospital of Paris Foundation. With her husband Bob, she co-chaired the M.D. Anderson Milestones and Miracles celebration, honoring President George H.W. Bush, that raised more than $10 million (a record at the time). M.D. Anderson Cancer Center’s pastoral outreach group honored Mica, and she was named Pacesetter of the Year by the Cancer Assistance League.

In April of 2011, Houston Mayor Anise Parker honored her with “Mica Mosbacher Day” for her initiation of the prominent public art installation, “On Tolerance,” featuring sculptures by world-class sculptor, Jaume Plensa.

In 2013, Mica was appointed by Her Majesty the Queen to the Order of St. John; in 2012 she was awarded the Silver Good Citizenship Medal, the highest honor from the Texas Society, Sons of the American Revolution. She was named Philanthropist of the Year in 2007 by TAASA (Texas Association Against Sexual Assault). Mica was named Knight Commander of the Order of King Francis I.

In 2008, Mica was inducted into the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame along with Barbara Bush and other prominent Houstonians. A journalist, she has received prestigious writing awards for feature articles. Her career began in 1972, when as an intern at KPRC-TV/NBC in Houston, she was among the first female reporters on camera and radio and while an intern, Mica acquired an exclusive interview during a famous murder trial. She later pursued a career in print journalism and freelance writing.

A longtime horse lover, Mica is a former champion in the American Saddleseat Amateur Walk-Trot Division. She won her first horse show at the Dallas State Fair riding J Miller and was trained by Charles Smith at Tri-Oaks Stables in Houston.

Active in political fundraising, Mica has served as a co-chair on many statewide and national campaigns.

Born in Gainesville, Florida, Mica resides in Houston and Austin.

Check out these other great blog stops on the tour!
Jan 1 - All For the Love of the Word - review
Jan 3 - My Book Fix - promo
Jan 4 - The Page Unbound - promo
Jan 5 - Texas Book-aholic - promo
Jan 6 - Books and Broomsticks - promo
Jan 7 - Texas Book Lover - author interview
Jan 8 - Hall Ways - review
Jan 9 - Missus Gonzo - review
Jan 10 - Because This is My Life Y’all - review

 blog tour services provided by

*NOTE FROM KRISTINE at HALL WAYS: Except for the Hall Ways review, the content of this promo post was provided by Lone Star Literary Life Blog Tours.  If you're a Texas blogger interested in joining the ranks of Texas Book Blog Tours, contact Tabatha Pope

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