The Burn Zone

A Memoir

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Pub Date 09 Oct 2018 | Archive Date 29 Aug 2019
FSB Associates, LLC, She Writes Press

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After seven years of faithfully following her spiritual teacher, Renee Linnell finally realized she was in a cult and had been severely brainwashed. But how did that happen to someone like her? She had graduated magna cum laude with a double degree. She had traveled to nearly fifty countries alone before she turned thirty-five. She was a surf model and a professional Argentine tango dancer. She had started five different companies and had an MBA from NYU. How could someone like her end up brainwashed and in a cult?

The Burn Zone is an exploration of how we give up our power—how what started out as a need to heal from the loss of her parents and to understand the big questions in life could leave a young woman fighting for her sanity and her sense of self. In the years following her departure from the cult, Linnell struggled to reclaim herself, to stand in her truth, and to rebuild her life. And eventually, after battling depression and isolation, she found a way to come out the other side stronger than ever. Part inspirational story, part cautionary tale, this is a memoir for spiritual seekers and those who feel lost in a world that makes them feel less than perfect.

Renee Linnell is a serial entrepreneur who has founded or cofounded five companies and has an MBA from New York University; before that she was a model and professional dancer. Currently she is working on starting a publishing company to give people from diverse walks of life an opportunity to tell their stories. Linnell divides her time between Colorado and Southern California.

After seven years of faithfully following her spiritual teacher, Renee Linnell finally realized she was in a cult and had been severely brainwashed. But how did that happen to someone like her? She...

Advance Praise

“Sometimes the events that change us are momentous, but other times they are so small and insidious we barely notice. Only upon reflection can we see those small choices and moments that change us irrevocably. This memoir is as beautifully written as it is incredibly poignant. Inch by inch, the author loses a sense of herself, and then, brick by lovely brick, builds her life back up again. It is a story about triumph; a story about all women who languish and ultimately relinquish their power; a story about love and the perplexing, elusive power of seeking your spiritual self.” 
—Fauzia Burke, president of FSB Associates and author of Online Marketing for Busy Authors

“So honest and real . . . Linnell’s ability to embrace her whole self, imperfections and all, is a great teacher for all of us. THAT is true self-love, a beautiful permission slip to embrace our own imperfections.” 
—Meredith Rom, author of Just Be: A Search for Self-Love in India

“In my thirty years as a world-renowned champion dancer and fitness coach, I've never run across a book that is so eye-opening on how vulnerable the human mind can be. I help millions of people learn how to move and what to eat to feel better physically; Renee Linnell reminds us that in order to be healthy and happy, we need to be just as careful with what goes into our minds. Everyone is looking for happiness and peacefulness; some find it drinking in a bar, some people dance, and some are singing in a church. Linnell reminds us that happiness is inside each of us and that we all are in this world with a different purpose and interests; live fully with your desires and embrace them fully!” 
—Jaana Kunitz, champion ballroom dancer and cofounder of Figure 8 Fitness

"Renee bravely shows up to share her journey of the human spirit with us. I found myself utterly spellbound by her story weaving us courageously through her experience with the ugly side of spiritual leaders gone bad. A must read for anybody who puts their heart in the hands of another for spiritual growth."
—Madisyn Taylor, bestselling author of Unmedicated: The Four Pillars of Natural Wellness

“Buckle up. You’re in for an exhilarating ride. This book is compulsively readable. Writing about joining a cool chic cult, and being a pole-dancing monk, this is a redemption story—not only for Renee Linnell but for all of us who are finally ready to love who we really are.”
—Tama Kieves, USA Today featured visionary career catalyst and bestselling author of Inspired & Unstoppable: Wildly Succeeding in Your Life’s Work! and A Year Without Fear

"Renee Linnell will burn you down to your soul with her true story of chill-to-the-bone heartache as she shares how she was brain-washed and sucked into a cult—for 8 long years. She'll take you through the trenches of despair, and show you step by step how to cultivate the courage, strength, and fortitude to meet any challenge. When you approach the final chapters of this gripping memoir, you'll find yourself realizing that if she can triumph and rise up victorious out of The Burn Zone, you too are capable of overcoming anything that interrupts your path to full-on-thriving! This book will touch the places in your heart that remind you who you really are!"
—Luann Robinson Hull, two-time award winning author of Happily Ever After...Right Now

“Sometimes the events that change us are momentous, but other times they are so small and insidious we barely notice. Only upon reflection can we see those small choices and moments that change us...

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ISBN 9781631524875
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Featured Reviews

This is the story of tbe author's quest for God. After seven years of following her spiritual teacher she finally realizes she is involved in a cult. This is the story of her experiances.

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This raw and gritty memoir grabbed me from page one and never let me go! The author did a great job of writing about how she ended up in a cult and about how her life was after she left. Really interesting and detailed. Highly recommend!

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A subject that I am truly fascinated in, written about in an intelligent and bold manner. Perfect. Absorbing and at times scary!

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I found The Burn Zone to be a fascinating memoir. Renee details how she came into a cult and her life changing journey back out of the cult. It is an incredibly detailed book which may not be for some readers, but I enjoyed it.

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Renee did such an amazing job with this book. If there is one memoir I think you need to read right away -- this is the one!! Not only is her story just amazing -- but her writing of her story is beyond excellent.

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This is a fascinating and raw memoir of a woman, Renee Linnell, being drawn into a cult. She offers an enthralling portrait of the seven years she spent being brainwashed by a cult. She can't believe that it would happen to her. A well travelled, well-educated woman. Cults have always been a fascination to me, which is what lead me to this book. I wonder myself that if I were in Renee's situation would I ever realize I'm in a cult as she had? I would I be able to get away as she has?

Renee's story just goes to show you that it can happen to absolutely anyone. It was a captivating memoir that was at times scary but thankfully it ends up good for her in the end. The book itself is very well written and paced nicely. The only downside I can think of for the book was the way it jumped around in the timeline. It would go to various points in Renee's life and at some points, it wasn't exactly clear at what point of her life she's referring to.

Overall, it's a beautiful memoir and I highly recommend it.

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When I read the synopsis of this book I was hooked and I knew I had to read it!! I am fascinated with cults and memoirs so I devoured this one! I definitely learned a lot from this book. Definitely recommend. The only downside (which probably has nothing to do with the author or book itself) was the type font was really small and I had to zoom in on every page just to read it.

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I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Thank you NetGalley.

I've already been extremely interested In books about cults.. so this book was right up my alley. Renee did an amazing job detailing how she ended up in a cult. I'd definitely read more books by this author.

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I received an digital copy of this book from the author, publisher and Thanks to all for the opportunity to read and review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Ms. Liddell's memoir is emotional and thoughtful. An amazing journey of self discovery and reinvention.

4 out of 5 stars. Recommended reading.

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Lindell has a true gift of words. You will be up all night with this beautifully written masterpiece.

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