Wednesday, March 21, 2018

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Meg Foster and "7 Spiritual Steps for Caregivers - A Path to Meaning and Hope in Alzheimer’s & Dementia Caregiving"

By Meg Foster

7 Spiritual Steps – A Journal to Ease the Way

According to Alzheimer’s International, globally, there are nearly 44 million people that have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia.

In America alone, there are 5.3 million living with Alzheimer’s disease. 74% of caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias reported that they were “somewhat concerned” to “very concerned” about maintaining their own health since becoming a caregiver.

Certainly these caregivers and their loved ones are in a health care crisis.

The immediate needs of these families in crisis are practical care coordination support and resources. But as those needs are sought by families, which is no easy task unto itself, there are also emotional and spiritual needs of the caregiver that cannot be overlooked but are in most instances.

I summarize that need as Spiritual Health - the emotional, physical, spiritual and social well-being that is critical for caregivers to sustain this caregiver journey.

I was the caregiver to my husband Dean, who was diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). It was a tough, long path of seven years for Dean. But for me, as his caregiver, I was on a different but related path - the caregiver path.

Often Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers feel lost, alone, and overwhelmed. I wrote 7 Spiritual Steps for Caregivers: A Path to Meaning and Hope in Alzheimer’s & Dementia Caregiving to alleviate those feelings with a self-awareness process and tools. This is a straight forward structured guidebook for family caregivers to discover and build upon their spiritual health foundation which will strengthen them for this arduous journey.​

Through growth in self-awareness and the strengthening of a spiritual foundation, caregivers can then experience ease, meaning and hope in the reality of their daily caregiving duties with their loved one thus reducing stress, anxiety, and feelings of being lost, alone and overwhelmed.

The feedback on the book has been positive and I’m excited to share this information. A recent Amazon book reviewer said, “Good resource and worksheets for caregivers. It gets you through the process with more grace and forgiveness, so that you can be the calm in the storm.” I hope many others can have easy access to spiritual help and that gives me satisfaction that my experience can be useful for others. There’s an ebook, paperback and expanded journal paperback available on Amazon.

Wishing you Light on your Caregiver Path,

Meg Foster

Connect with Meg Foster

Monday, March 19, 2018

New Release Spotlight: Wise Before Their Time, by Ann Richardson

So said Sir Ian McKellen in his Foreword to my book. And it is.

Do you remember the terrible times of AIDS and HIV in the 1980s and 1990s? If not, are you curious to learn what it was like for those diagnosed?

Wise Before their Time, first published in 1992, shows in moving detail what it was like to live with HIV/AIDS when there was no real treatment for this life-threatening illness. It tells the true stories of over forty young men and women from all over the world, attending an international conference of people with HIV and AIDS in London in 1991.

I have added a new cover and a short introduction to the new version, but the book remains essentially the same.

These were very young people (most were in their twenties and thirties) having to cope with an unexpectedly shortened life span.

They describe the difficulties of telling their parents, friends and partners of their diagnosis, while trying to cope with the day-to-day problems of staying healthy, keeping in work and supporting their friends.

They all experienced enormous stigma, blame and guilt because of the disease. This can be seen in all kinds of ways ­– from small things, like an Irishman being disappointed that friends did not want him to play with their child, to larger ones, such as a man being placed alone in an isolation hospital in Goa for some months with no help.

They all knew others who had died. And one mother tells the story of the death of her toddler.

Yet this is in no way a struggle to read. It is touching, it is enlightening and it is sometimes funny. But most of all, there is virtually no self-pity. On the contrary, the participants were committed to celebrating the joys of life to the full. Which is why I chose the title – they were, genuinely, wise before their time.

For more information or to buy:

About the Author

I have been a writer for many years. I am fascinated by other people’s thoughts, experiences and emotions and love to write books where they can express their views in their own words.

I write on different subjects that capture my interest for one reason or another. I have just re-launched a book about people living with AIDS or HIV at a time when there was no cure (Wise Before Their Time, Foreword by Sir Ian McKellen). This follows the re-launch of a book about what it is like to work in end-of-life care (Life in a Hospice, with a Foreword by Tony Benn). My most recent book is about how it feels to be a grandmother (Celebrating Grandmothers).

I live in London, England, as do my two children and two grandsons. Please visit my website at

Friday, March 16, 2018

New Release Spotlight: Silently in the Night, by Clayton Graham

A collection of tantalizing tales with more twists than braided hair!

This week's new release comes from fellow Books Go Social author Clayton Graham. Here you will find mystery, murder and mayhem – plus a moment of romance. All the stories will make you stop and think, even question your role in the world and the universe. Just what are we doing here, and where are we going? Easy questions with problematic answers.

This anthology of sixteen short and thrilling tales of unusual, extraterrestrial and conspiratorial stories is the latest compilation from Clayton Graham, the author of science fiction novels Milijun and the soon to come Saving Paludis. The characters in this eclectic collection are mostly ordinary people whose reactions to their fears and to unexpected events will have you guessing at every turn of the page.

This collection is intriguing reading which, among many other things, encourages the reader to:

Sympathize with a doomed husband and connect with an altruistic robot. Explore an isolated Scottish isle and touch down on a far-flung asteroid.

Many different visions of the future are within these pages. And as a bonus, there is an excerpt from the soon to be published Saving Paludis, which introduces the reader to two of the principal protagonists in this tale from the edge of mankind’s known universe in the year 3898AD.

If you love mystery with a hint of the paranormal, and the interplay of human foibles, grab this smorgasbord of short stories, then get yourself a copy of Milijun, the mind-bending sci-fi novel by Clayton Graham.

About the Author

As a youngster growing up in the cobbled streets of Stockport, UK, Clayton Graham read a lot of Science Fiction. He loved the ‘old school’ masters such as HG Wells, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov and John Wyndham. As he left those formative years behind, he penned short stories when he could find a rare quiet moment amidst life’s usual distractions. He settled in Victoria, Australia, in 1982. A retired aerospace engineer who worked in structural design and research, Clayton has always had an interest in Science Fiction and where it places humankind within a universe we are only just starting to understand. Clayton loves animals, including well behaved pets, and all the natural world, and is a member of Australian Geographic. Combining future science with the paranormal is his passion. Milijun is his first novel. Second novel, Saving Paludis, will be published early 2018. They are light years from each other, but share the future adventures of mankind in an expansive universe as a common theme.

He hopes you can share the journey. 

Connect with Clayton Graham

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Joy Johnston, Author of "The Reluctant Caregiver"

By Joy Johnston

Not everyone is born a natural caregiver.

Unlike some caregivers who can draw upon their experience as a parent or time spent taking care of siblings when they were younger, I had no such reservoir of caregiving knowledge when my parents fell ill. An only child who lived 1,300 miles away from my parents, my father began showing signs of dementia while I was in my mid-thirties. Assuming the role of long-distance caregiver, I helped my mother by paying bills, sending supplies, and researching care options.

It was not until six months after my father's death, when my mother suddenly fell ill and was diagnosed with colon cancer, that I became a primary caregiver. I was woefully unprepared and frankly, reluctant to step into the role. My mother required emergency surgery and faced a lengthy recovery. I ended up quitting my job and temporarily moving to New Mexico to care for her. What followed was a crash course in caregiving, with all the ups and downs that comes with the territory, like the most terrifying roller coaster in the world. (I've always hated roller coasters.)

For the next several months, I served as my mother’s caregiver and patient advocate. My mother suffered complications and required rehab in a skilled nursing facility. I filled out copious amounts of paperwork, ensured my mother was getting proper care, and made modifications to her home for her eventual return. Caregiving is physically, mentally, and emotionally the most challenging job I’ve ever had, and it gave me a whole new appreciation for caregivers.

I began writing essays about caregiving when my father was in the memory care center during the last year of his life, and continued writing through my mother's battle with cancer. The essay writing was both therapeutic and empowering. I submitted some of these essays to online outlets and found they generated a passionate response. Fellow caregivers seemed to appreciate my nontraditional perspective and opened up about their own difficult caregiving experiences. This encouraged me to release The Reluctant Caregiver, a collection of these personal essays. My brutally honest writing style contains language that some may find objectionable, but the essays also depict the love, humor, and heartbreak that accompanies the caregiving journey.

There are many wonderful books for dementia caregivers and about family caregiving in general, but I felt that there are few books that speak to the Generation X and younger crowd in a realistic manner. For those familiar with the book, Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us, I wanted to capture a similar tone, but for caregivers. I also wanted to be inclusive of those who may have reservations about caring for a family member and that it's okay to have feelings of reluctance, fear, and resentment. If I survived and even became pretty darn good at caregiving, then you can too!

Note: The Reluctant Caregiver contains profanity and graphic descriptions of medical care.

Purchase The Reluctant Caregiver on Amazon

About the Author

Joy Johnston is an experienced digital journalist who is a National Content Editor for Cox Media Group, where she specializes in creating viral content that drives web traffic and social engagement. Joy received the 2015 Rick Bragg Prize for Nonfiction from the Atlanta Writers Club. Her work has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul and other anthologies. Joy also works to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s and caregiving through her blog, The Memories Project, and through essays that have appeared in digital and print formats. The Reluctant Caregiver is her first book.

Connect with Joy Johnston

Monday, March 12, 2018

New Release Spotlight: "The Timelost," SciFi by Guest Blogger Chris Turner

This is a little different for the blog. I don't usually spotlight SciFi, but this new release looks intriguing, so I'm turning the blog over to fellow Books Go Social author Chris Turner. Welcome to Adventures in Publishing Chris!

Human vs Alien

A pilot stranded on a faraway planet, timelost. An alien seeking symbiosis.

Visceral alien battles, planetary wars. Experience the adventure...along with edge-of-the-seat SF audio in this Star Wars meets Alien thriller.

In 2014, I started sequencing original SFF to audio using the Booktrack free studio tool, and it offered up a unique, creative experience. I was amazed at how the placement of some well-crafted audio, synced by word, sentence or paragraph could make a story come alive—in the same way a soundtrack makes a movie come alive. To date, I have produced a few dozen, text-and-audio renditions of my stories, drawing on the wide variety of sound clips from the Booktrack audio library.

The Timelost, my most recent production, is a gritty, dystopian foray into the macabre.

The world-building was intense, as I tried to incorporate elements of ‘galactic empire’, the theme of ‘a few struggling against many’, and extraordinary alien adversaries. I also wanted to develop the concept that an ordinary person, the pilot Miko, when plunged into a hostile, colonized, or uncolonized world with chilling advanced alien technology, could become a hero. And not just by circumstance.

The movie Prometheus, even though I had seen it after writing The Timelost, deeply moved me and confirmed my fascination with a SciFi, man-vs-alien conflict. Human and alien genesis theories intertwine as the characters scramble to survive many bizarre and unexpected hostile encounters. The story took on overtones of fantasy horror as it gained momentum, with elements not dissimilar to the Cthulhu mythos a la Lovecraft and the imaginative works of R.E. Howard.

I invite you to enter Miko’s distorted world in The Timelost. The Booktrack text-and-audio based format thrusts the reader into the terrifying unknown of planets of deep space.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Cover Reveal! The Time Rift, by Liwen Y. Ho and David H. Ho

Today's Guest Blogger is fellow Clean Indie Reads author Liwen Y. Ho, who has co-written a book with her husband, David H. Ho. This is what happens when a sci-fi enthusiast and a romance author merge their talents.

By Liwen Y. Ho

There were many things I looked forward to when I married my hubby nearly 17 years ago. I had hoped we’d have lots of fun together (check!), travel to warm destinations together (check!), start a family together (check!), and grow up through all of life’s ups and downs together (double check!). What I never expected us to do though was write a book—together. Yep, that’s a lot of togetherness in case you couldn’t tell. But that’s what marriage is all about, right? (Haha, gulp!)

So, the story goes (our story, not his story, which we’ll get to soon), hubby enjoys sci-fi movies, and about five years ago, he came up with his own idea for one. And since he doesn’t like to read or write (did I tell you we’re opposites?), he asked me to write it. Now, this is where I double checked the vows I made on our wedding day. Even though I hadn’t promised “to have and to hold and to write a book together”, I agreed to do so because I love my hubby.

Oh, how I must love him … because I had NO idea what I’d gotten myself into. LOL.

Writing this book together took five years to complete—that’s almost a third of our marriage. A lot of things happened during that time, including a big job change for him, a dozen books published for me, and the challenges both of us faced in raising our two munchkins. Whenever we could though, hubby would write a chapter here and there and I would edit (AKA rewrite) it. Thanks to the wonder of Google docs, lots of coffee shop visits (for hubby), some hair pulling (for me!), one title change, and some storyline revisions (thanks to the help of our awesome beta readers), we ended up with a grand total of 73,861 words.

Whoa baby. (Did I mention hubby tends to be on the wordy side? LOL.)

We are so relieved to be finished with this book. Now comes the exciting (and scary) part of putting it out into the world for all to see.

About the Book

Renowned physicist Lance Everett has two great passions: donuts and time travel. The only thing that rivals them is Juliet Bradley, the redheaded beauty who captured his heart at a college football game. After reconnecting with her a decade later, Lance can’t imagine his life being more complete. Even without a time machine, he foresees a happy marriage and a breakthrough in his scientific pursuits.

Until the unthinkable happens.

Now Lance is left searching for answers and questioning what he values the most. A chance encounter with a mysterious man offers him some unexpected solace, as well as the opportunity of a lifetime. But the stakes are higher than he ever imagined. Will he risk it all to gain back what he lost, even if the consequences can never be reversed?

You can pre-order The Time Rift now for only 99 cents*! If you enjoy sci-fi, especially time travel stories, we hope you’ll check it out!

*Release day will be March 21st, and the print version will be ready a week later.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Linda Jenkins and "To Helen with Love, A Memoir of a Daughter’s Caregiving Journey"

By Linda Jenkins

After five years in the making, writing this memoir has been one of the most intense endeavors I’ve ever taken on, but well worth it.

While I was writing this memoir I discovered how much pain I still had deep inside of me. Pain from some of the experiences. Pain from not knowing what or how to deal with dementia. Pain of not understanding what caregiving entails. Pain from dealing with the healthcare field. Finally, pain when it’s all over.

Many times through my caregiving years I felt lonely inside. Even after my Mother’s death I felt loneliness. You know what I mean if you are a Caregiver or have been one. Even though I was surrounded by family and people I loved, there was still a sense of loneliness.

Pouring through my journals to capture information for my memoir was like going back in time and reliving the experiences. Some of my entries were humorous and other entries were screaming, “Help! I don’t understand.” Still others were filled with sadness and torment. I even found myself in tears while typing the manuscript! I began to realize I wasn’t “done” with my grieving, not even close. That’s when I discovered I had not had any closure; I had no idea how much I needed that. Personally, I don’t believe we ever truly “get over” the death of someone we love, we just learn to accept it; we never really forget. My loved ones are still close to my heart.

My intention for writing this memoir is to help other caregivers know they are not alone in their journey. To let them know it’s an ongoing learning experience all the way to the end. There’s no magic wand to free up the pain and sacrificing a caregiver deals with.

In my personal experience, my faith was my saving grace throughout my caregiving years. The Lord carried me through some rough and turbulent seas, without Him I would have drowned.

A scripture that came to me during the writing of my memoir, and is included inside the book is: "Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5.

The feedback I’ve gotten from my book has been one of encouragement, hope and most of all keeping the faith. This is confirmation of the need caregivers are searching for.

About the Author

Linda Jenkins has been in the skin care field for 18 years. Time spent with individual clients taught her how deep a relationship can go with genuine caring and the importance of touch. Having a nurturing character and personality helped her as she became the primary Caregiver for her mother after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Living the role as a caregiver, journaling along the way, Linda was compelled to share her experience with others after the death of her mother in 2011. To Helen With Love, A Daughter’s Caregiving Journey offers information, support and inspiration. 

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