Wednesday, November 7, 2018

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Visit our National Caregiver Appreciation Month Book Sale & Giveaway Now Through November 13th!



AlzAuthors is built by caregivers for caregivers, with a mission to provide carefully vetted books and blogs to help you find the answers and guidance you need. The majority of our authors have "walked the walk" with a parent, spouse, or other loved one, and have chosen to write their stories as balm for the soul and to share with others the information they wished they'd had on their dementia journeys.

November is National Caregiver Appreciation Month. What a wonderful time to recognize the long hours, sacrifice, and love all caregivers bring to the task of caring for a loved one with dementia or any long-term illness. In honor of their efforts, AlzAuthors is hosting a book sale and giveaway. This is a terrific way for caregivers who are looking for knowledge, guidance, and support to build a library of carefully vetted books to help guide and inspire them every day.

Starting today through November 13th, you can take advantage of this excellent opportunity to check out some of our books at reduced prices. We offer books in a variety of genres, including fiction, memoir, non-fiction, and children’s literature. All are available in Kindle, and many are available in other digital formats, paperback, and audio.

Our books are written from a deep place of understanding, experience, knowledge, and love. May you find one – or two, or more! – to help guide you on your own dementia journey.

Click on the book covers to visit each book’s Amazon.com page. Please check all prices before purchasing. AlzAuthors is not responsible for ensuring price reductions. Please contact the individual authors with questions (contact information is provided in each author's AlzAuthors blog post). All prices are in U.S. dollars.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Meet Tracie Bevers, Author of "Dancing Around the Chaos," an Alzheimer's Love Story



By Tracie Bevers

In the early days of the disease, when I heard stories of others in later stages, I actually thought… "Well, I know that will never happen." Little did I know what the future held; I was very naïve. Many times along the way, I would remember something a friend had shared with me two or three years prior, and reality would settle in. We were there; those things were happening. It was hard, no doubt, but at least I knew others had been down this road.

As we journeyed through Alzheimer's with Mom and Dad, I regularly took notes, sent emails to our kids, took pictures…that sort of thing. Somewhere along the way, I decided that one day I could write a book with all the notes I was taking. I had become passionate about sharing the story and encouraging others, and I wanted to share our journey with people who needed to hear about it.

My reasons for telling the story are:

1.) To help others beginning the journey – to share information that may be helpful to them, even if it is hard to tell…and hard to hear.

2.) To make it clear to those who don’t understand what Alz is…it is a cruel disease of the brain affecting 5.7 million Americans. According to the Alzheimer's Association, that number could rise to 14 million by 2050.

3.) To share a sweet story of two people who loved each other to the end. Their journey made it possible for others to witness a true, one-of-a kind love story and raised the bar for many.


It's not an easy story to tell, but the truth is – Alzheimer's is not easy. If I didn't tell the real story, even the parts that make us uncomfortable, then I'm not sure any of my three goals would be accomplished. I have struggled…hoping others don't think I shared too many intimate details, but mostly praying that Mom and Dad would approve. Now, I know that if they could hear the stories about how their journey is helping others, they would be pleased. 

Following are excerpts from some comments received:

"Sharing the most intimate of details, the book gently wraps its hands around your heart and guides you down a path of love and loss that will provide you perspective and lessons you can apply while navigating the dark and turbulent waters of Alzheimer's. Bevers allows us into her compassionate and emotional world so we may emerge strengthened with greater understanding."

"Wonderfully written, I found it both inspiring and frightening since I now realize that our own experience is only at the halfway point in the book. A lot lies ahead but this helped me prepare for it. Thank you for sharing such a personal journey."

"I could feel each beautiful moment and the emotion of every heart-wrenching decision. What a truly remarkable treasure this will be for many facing uncertain times."

"I am beginning the journey you just left and reading this book has changed how I approach it. I have a better understanding of what my mom is going through and I will hopefully be a better son to her because of it."

The unexpected gift that came from writing the book was that it was a healing experience for me…it was the right thing to do for Mom and Dad, for others, and for me.


About the Author

Tracie Bevers lives in the Houston area and is known as "Honey" to her six grandchildren. She loves writing, reading, cooking (AND eating out!), traveling (AND spending time at home!)...but mostly she loves spending time with family and friends. She has known her husband since she was 14 years old, and they have been happily married for almost 39 years.

Tracie spent well over a decade journeying through the world of Alzheimer's after her parents were diagnosed. She learned a lot...mostly about real, true love...a precious gift that she now realizes she may have missed had she not been on the Alz journey with them. Along the way, she became passionate about sharing information with others just beginning their own long journey to goodbye.

Connect with Tracie Bevers


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Monday, October 29, 2018

New Release Spotlight: "Christmas at Blue Hydrangeas" is Now Available on Amazon




I'm pleased to announce my latest story "Christmas at Blue Hydrangeas" is now available in the Amazon store for Kindle.

C@BH, as I like to call it, is the prequel to "Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer's love story." So many readers said they were enchanted with Jack and Sara and their bed and breakfast that I was inspired to write more stories about the Harmon's and their welcoming home.

It’s Christmas Eve, and while Sara waits for Jack and their son David to arrive home to Blue Hydrangeas, their Cape Cod bed and breakfast, a blizzard threatens to close the bridges, stranding all travelers to and from the Cape. As she prepares for the holiday, a few unexpected visitors arrive at the inn, all sharing the common bond of grief. Sara is determined the storm and sadness will not spoil Christmas, and that Santa will find his way to two fatherless children far from home. A sweet slice-of-life story about loved ones and strangers coming together to share the spirit of Christmas.

I must admit it took me a very long time to write this story, which consumes all of 49 pages. Many obstacles got in my way: My chronic repetitive strain issues which prohibit writing on a regular schedule, and caregiving for my mother and stepfather, which came to its own natural end. Perfectionism also held me up because I wanted this story to be as special as "Blue Hydrangeas," to be "beautiful," as so many readers said it was. I hope I have succeeded.

I love the short story form. It's a challenge to include all the details of the plotline and qualities of the characters and tie it up tight in a few pages, which may also be a reason that it took almost two years to complete this one. My last book, "Swim Season," weighs in at two 2 pounds, 593 pages and took five years to write. Hopefully I'll get a little faster in 2019.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Meet Malia Kline, Author of "Sisterly Shove," an Alzheimer's Caregiving Story


By Malia Kline

When our mama was diagnosed with infiltrating pancreatic cancer and given three-to-six months to live, she was the sole caregiver for our 87-year-old father “Papa,” who was in the early stages of dementia. Over the next 13 years, my sister Diane, a pathologist, and I shared care of them from opposite coasts and opposing viewpoints, often engaging in hand-to-heart combat over what constitutes quality of life. Sisterly love turned to Sisterly Shove in the new book we co-authored.

After hearing the news that Mama had pancreatic cancer, Diane proclaimed her “a goner.” But after she became dissatisfied with both the home care I arranged and the health care system in our hometown in North Carolina, Diane took Mama against doctor’s orders to live in her home in a California beach town. She quickly discovered that the wild card of having someone like Papa with dementia in the mix made cancer care and practicing medicine impossible for her.

Papa ping-ponged back to me in North Carolina and lived in a memory care facility I loved for five years. But after he broke both hips, Diane eldernapped him from the facility, quit practicing medicine, and doctored him by herself 24/7 for more than seven years at her home in California.

The story my sister and I tell in Sisterly Shove reflects a new kind of sibling rivalry among baby boomers: Which sister, or sometimes brother, is best willing and financially able to care for and make life-or-death decisions for elderly parents, especially in light of their own obligations to young children? Is it possible to share care among siblings, especially in a strong-willed and highly opinionated family like ours with a both a sister and brother who are doctors calling the shots long distance?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Monster Mash Countdown: Ann Swann's "Sutter Creek," Suspense-Filled Fiction



As Halloween approaches I'm participating in Loving the Book's Monster Mash Countdown, a collection of intriguing, mysterious, and scary reads. And a raffle! Watch this space!



Stutter Creek (book one) is a romance, brilliantly hidden within a suspense-filled tale of a psychotic serial killer with a chip on his shoulder. It is also a classic tale of young love lost, and a life of regrettable what-ifs.


About the Author

Ann Swann was born in the small West Texas town of
Lamesa. She grew up much like Stevie-girl in The Phantoms series, though she never got up the nerve to enter the haunted house.

Ann has done everything from answering 911 Emergency calls to teaching elementary school. She lives in Texas with her husband, Dude, a rescue cat named Oscar, and a part-time box turtle named Piggy.

When she’s not writing, Ann is reading. Her to-be-read list has grown so large it has taken on a life of its own. She calls it Herman.

Connect with Ann Swann


Q&A with the Author

When did you start writing, and was there a specific event or person who influenced you to become an author?

I began writing short stories in my teens. I kept them in a spiral notebook under my bed. I couldn't keep my sister out of my diary so I felt I had to hide everything!

Are you currently working on a project, and if so, can you tell us anything about it?

I am currently finishing up a romantic suspense and a YA novel. Both are contemporary and both have elements of suspense and romance.

What is your favorite writing snack?


My favorite writing snack is anything chocolate with diet vanilla Coke. They balance each other out, right? Calorie-wise, I mean...

If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? Why? What food would you serve?

If I could have dinner with any of my characters I think it would be with Big John in Stutter Creek or Reece in The Remains in the Pond because they are both hunks ... wait, so is Quinn in All For Love. Shoot. Any of those. And we'd have jalapeño poppers and margaritas. Yum!

Do you ever get Writers Block and how do you work through it?

Writer's block? Nah. If I get stuck on a story, I just close it and go to another story. I always have several going at once. Always. And pretty soon the sticky story will work itself out. If it doesn't, it wasn't a good story.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I do learn something with each book. I usually learn something about myself and what I would or would not do in a given situation. Sometimes it's hard to make my characters do things that go against my normal beliefs!

How do you relax, or what do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?

To relax I love to walk our local walking trails around town as well as going to our local drive-in movie and catching up on live music at the auditorium. Going to see Bob Dylan soon. Just saw Melissa Etheridge last week. So good!

What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it?

My largest unfulfilled dream is to see every historical tourist spot in the United States. I'm working on it ... slowly.

What do you fear most?

My greatest fear is becoming incapacitated and becoming a burden to my family.

What was your favorite Halloween Costume?

My favorite Halloween costume? The first year we my hubs and I were married, my mom (a very talented seamstress) helped me create a witch's costume for myself and a sexy vampire costume for my new husband. They were so good, we won a contest at the local dance hall. And may I just add, this was about twenty years before Bella and Edward. LOL

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To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page



Monday, October 22, 2018

Monster Mash Countdown: "Before," A Young Adult Romance by Catina Haverlock and Angela Larkin


As Halloween approaches I'm participating in Loving the Book's Monster Mash Countdown, a collection of intriguing, mysterious, and scary reads. And a raffle! Watch this space!

Day Eight belongs to Catina Haverlock and Angela Larkin and their Young Adult romance novel Before.




True love doesn't always mean a happy ending. Presley and Landon finally have a chance at a real relationship when they travel back in time, but their leap backward to two months before his accident has altered reality: Landon has no memory of Presley.

Hurt and lonely, Presley is still determined to save his life, even as Landon's death-date looms. He's alive for now, but nothing is like it was . . . Before.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Monster Mash Countdown: Christina Enquist and "The Immundus," Dystopian Young Adult Fiction



As Halloween approaches I'm participating in Loving the Book's Monster Mash Countdown, a collection of intriguing, mysterious, and scary reads. And a raffle! Watch this space!

Day Six belongs to Christina Enquist and The Immundus


Would you sacrifice your humanity to save mankind?

IT’S THE YEAR 2828, and Domus is the last remaining country. Divided into twelve walled cities known as genuses, Domus spans what’s known as the purist lands — lands unaffected by the genetic modifications that killed all other species of mammals. But outside the walls of each genus the Immundus threaten the welfare of those within. From a young age, all citizens of Domus are trained for combat against these intruders.

At sixteen, Nia Luna knows little of the Immundus, except for the citywide alarms that ring any time an Immundus nears the genus walls. What she does know is that her own species is dying—their numbers dwindling as a mysterious disease called allagine kills many before their eleventh birthday. The same disease that ravaged her family when it took her sister.

When Nia is recruited into Genesis, a research company pioneering the path to a cure, she knows that her dream to find a cure for allagine is finally within her grasp. But within weeks of starting at Genesis, Nia witnesses something she shouldn’t have — something that changes everything. As she sets down a dangerous path that uncovers national secrets, Nia will have to decide not only what kind of person she wants to be but also how far she’s willing to go to save humanity.

Purchase The Immundus


About the Author

I grew up in Salinas, California, the same hometown of John Steinbeck, one of America’s greatest writers. I loved to read (and still do) and frequented the John Steinbeck Library as a child. I discovered at an early age that I also enjoyed writing. In sixth grade, my teacher, Mr. Graham gave the class an assignment to write a story for a contest. The contest required that we create our book binding as well, which we did with cardboard, glue, and wallpaper. My book was called “Mully Mully” about a creature who lived in an underwater lake city. I was sad when I didn’t win, but I cherished my book so I kept it all these years. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I decided to put other stories, roaming around in my mind, down on paper again, or actually, in my case, into a computer.

I took a non-traditional route to writing, considering I have a doctorate in Educational Leadership. Aside from writing, I work full-time as a Training & Development Coordinator at Kaweah Delta, a teaching hospital, and some semesters I also teach at College of the Sequoias in Visalia, California, where I currently live. When I’m not at my full-time and part-time job, I enjoy writing, reading, watching TV, and spending time with my husband and pets (cat-Smokey, dog-Princess).

The Immundus is my debut novel.

Connect with Christina Enquist




Q&A with Christina Enquist

When did you start writing, and was there a specific event or person who influenced you to become an author?

I started writing in elementary school. The first book I wrote was in 6th for an assignment/contest. It was a story about Mully Mully who lived at the bottom of a lake in an underwater city. There wasn't a specific person that influenced me, but there were several stories that captured my heart, such as The Veldt, Mrs. Frisby and the the rats of Nimh, Watership Down, and others.

Are you currently working on a project, and if so, can you tell us anything about it?

I am working on two books right now. One of the books is The Liberatus, which is book 2 of The Immundus where Nia experiences the world outside of the world she is accustomed to and introduced to more of the culture of the other species in the story. The Liberatus is YA Science Fiction. I am also working on Macie and the Magi, a middle grade fantasy about Macie, an amputee who lives with her grandfather since the accident that took her leg killed her father and put her mom in a coma. When she learns that she is The Restorer who is destined to return magic, she goes on a journey to bring magic back, hoping she can use it to save her mom.

What is your favorite writing snack? 

Chocolate :)

If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? 

Sage Why? Because he is a unicorn who is disguised as a horse, but he can also transform into a human. What food would you serve? I'm vegetarian, as is Sage, so I would serve vegetable dishes. My favorite dish is Zoodle Bake, so I think I would serve that.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned to improve my writing through the beta reader and editing process.

How do you relax, or what do you enjoy doing when you are not writing? 

Well, I do have many other projects I'm juggling. Aside from my various writing projects, I have a short film in post production. I plan on adding an additional scene or two. I am currently serving as an assistant to two directors on a play, and performing in the play Escanaba in da Moonlight.

What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it?

I would like to open an independent bookstore in the city I currently live. I am conducting research right now to determine its viability.

What do you fear most? 

Failure

What was your favorite Halloween Costume? 

My Pocahontas costume. I had it hand made when I was in my 20's. I don't have it any longer, but it was awesome.

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To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page.