Two friends from opposite sides of the globe help one another through troubling circumstances

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Jodie Toohey pens inspiring new story based on own experiences, ‘Missing Emily.’

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two teenage girls living on opposite sides of the world

In her new book, “Missing Emily: Croatian Life Letters” (published by iUniverse) Jodie Toohey pens a story about how two teenage girls living on opposite sides of the world, one in the United States and one in Croatia, who are dealing with their own turmoil, one of deep depression and one of civil war, find comfort and solace by writing letters to each other in the early 1990s.

By February 1991, when Amicus Shoemacher is assigned to correspond with Nada, who lives in Rijeka in the Republic of Croatia, Yugoslavia, her life has already begun to unravel. The only bright spot in her life is her favorite baby cousin, Emily. Ami’s life further unravels on March 25 of that year when Emily is hit by a car and dies. Ami doesn’t respond to Nada’s letters at first, but when she does, she learns having a friend so far away comforts her.

Through her own letters, Nada shares insights into life in a country at war, including nights spent awake fearing that her home will be broken into and that she will be killed. Ami, while dealing with her own depression, tries to comprehend what it would be like to live in the middle of a real war. Together, the two help one another through their troubling difficulties.

“I was inspired to write this story after I met my friend, Biljana, who is from Croatia several years ago,” Toohey explains. “Biljana is from Croatia and after talking to her a bit about the civil war in her country which occurred in the early 1990s, I started thinking about what I was going through here in the United States at the same time. I wondered how my perspective might have changed had Biljana and I known each other at that time.”

About the Author
Jodie Toohey owns [Wordsy Woman Word Sales and Service, a professional writing and editing business. In 2008, she published a poetry book for preteen and teen girls, “Crush and Other Love Poems for Girls.” Toohey lives with her husband, daughter, son, cat and dog in Davenport, Iowa. Visit her online at

iUniverse, an Author Solutions, Inc. self-publishing imprint, is the leading book marketing, editorial services, and supported self-publishing provider. iUniverse has a strategic alliance with Indigo Books & Music, Inc. in Canada, and titles accepted into the iUniverse Rising Star program are featured in a special collection on iUniverse recognizes excellence in book publishing through the Star, Reader’s Choice, Rising Star and Editor’s Choice designations—self-publishing’s only such awards program. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, iUniverse also operates offices in Indianapolis. For more information or to publish a book, please visit or call 1-800-AUTHORS. For the latest, follow @iuniversebooks on Twitter.

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