Wednesday, December 28, 2016

AlzAuthors: Paula Spencer Scott, "Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers"

By Paula Spencer Scott

I knew little about dementia back when my grandmother began using a kitchen pot for a commode. Or when my dad began wailing, "Oh why didn't anyone tell me?" on the day after my mother's funeral, because he'd already forgotten she died.

So how did I wind up writing a guide to Alzheimer's care? I followed the motto I've used for my entire career covering health and family for national media: “Write what you DON’T know.”

That's how you find out.

Back when firstborn balked at toilet training, I was lucky to interview Dr. Benjamin Spock himself. As a contributing editor of Parenting and Baby Talk while I raised four kids, I quizzed gurus-of-the-moment like T. Berry Brazelton, Richard Ferber, Sheila Kitzinger, and Penelope Leach. I tracked down researchers behind the latest studies for my Woman’s Day "Momfidence" column. I wrote a parenting book series for Time Inc. and The Happiest Toddler on the Block with top baby doc Harvey Karp.

It’s what I do: Find the best experts, ask the right questions, listen, and then organize and share their ideas in ways that help laypeople.

Friday, December 23, 2016

AlzAuthors: Sharleen Scott, Tangles

by Sharleen Scott

Her name was Judy, and I married her son. 

She was a Depression-era child who grew up in the Pacific Northwest forests, traveling with her grandfather’s logging company. She was an outdoorswoman who loved fishing, hunting, and hosting friends and family at her Cascade mountain cabin. 

She married Paul at age seventeen, but was separated from him soon after by the bombing of Pearl Harbor. While he operated the radio aboard a PT boat supply ship in the Pacific, she was the embodiment of Rosie the Riveter, making airplane wings in Spokane and welding in the Bremerton shipyards. When he was called up again during the Korean conflict, she packed their belongings in the car and shipped it to Adak, Alaska, on a ferry so she and her daughter could be with him for the duration. After the war, their son was born, and the family was complete.

She was a Campfire Girls leader, a women’s club member, and active in the Grange. She was a crew supervisor in a fruit-packing warehouse, and when she retired, she began to forget things. She’d laugh and say, “I’m not working anymore. I don’t need to think.” The memory loss escalated and ultimately the diagnosis was Alzheimer’s disease. It was the late ’90s, and we didn’t know much about the disease other than Ronald Reagan had it.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

New Release Spotlight: Drakkar ~ Beyond the Lie, a Paranormal/Fantasy by Sandra Bischoff

Sandra Bischoff is a fellow Hudson Valley author and a three-time participant in Middletown Thrall Library's Local Authors and Illustrators Showcase, which I am proud to help organize. This is her latest release, third in her paranormal/fantasy series.

~ About the Book ~

Drakkar Dragoni, the only son of Princess Absinthe Dragoni, always believes what his mother tells him. Humans are nothing more than cattle bred to nourish their kind, and her half brother, Jared Bonatelli, stole a kingdom which is rightfully hers. Drakkar vows to right this wrong, even if it means Jared dies by his hand. But what if none of it is true?
What if this is his mother's biggest lie yet? Who can he turn to? Who will help him escape the prison within his own home?

~ An Excerpt ~
The gods must have been on his side for once. When they got to Serenity’s house, her mother was asleep. There were no awkward introductions and no explanations as to why he needed to stay there till the next night. Nope, nothing like that. Instead, Nettie whisked him to the lower level in the immense home and led him to a cozy nook of a guest room, far away from any windows.  
Flipping on the light, she set about pulling blankets and pillows from the closet, tossing them on the full size bed across the room. Drake took advantage of her distraction and sat, watching her. She was nothing like the women he was accustomed to. That was saying a hell of a lot given the only female he was repeatedly subjected to happened to be Absinthe. With her as a role model, he’d been spoon fed manipulation and hatred since the crib and there was no end to it in sight.
He put a hand on the pile of pillows and linen beside him. “Exactly how many of these do you think I need?”
“Oh, is there not enough?” She turned to face him, blowing some stray hair out of her eyes. “I can probably find some more.”
“No, I think you have enough to smother me to oblivion right here. I’m good, thanks.” He chuckled.
“What? I figured since I don’t have a coffin, at least I could create a comfortable cocoon for you this way.”
“Cocoon? What the -  Serenity, I’m not a caterpillar. And I certainly don’t sleep in a coffin, geez. Friggin’ Hollywood.”
Nettie frowned, crossing her arms over her chest. “Hello! Joke! I’m only trying to make you comfortable.”
“Oh.” He patted the mattress beside him. Serenity flashed one more look of annoyance before sitting. “As long as we just keep sunlight away, I’ll be fine. The room has no windows, so we’re golden right now.”
“You’re sure? You don’t need anything else? How about something for that headache? I’m sure I can find some aspirin or something. Just give me a second to scrounge some up.” Nettie stood and sprinted for the door, only to have him snag her wrist, preventing her from leaving.
“Like I told you before, I’ll be fine.” He yawned. “Thanks for letting me crash here. I appreciate it. You don’t even know me. I could be a monster, yet you trust me in your home.”
He pulled her closer until she stood right in front of him. Cupping his cheek in her hand, Nettie bent till they were nose to nose. “Drakkar, you aren’t a monster. We met tonight for a reason and I have to believe it’s because I’m supposed to help you somehow.”
He gazed deeply into her eyes. She meant every word she said, believed it even. What if it was true? What if he was dropped there by someone or something so they could meet? But why? So many damn questions, but no answers.
“You know, if I decide to kill everyone in this house, there’s nothing you can do to stop me.”
She nibbled her lip, still cupping his cheek. “Think so?”
He nodded. “Bet your life on it.” 
Nettie leaned closer. Their lips were a breath apart. “That’s a bet I’d make any day.”
“Oh yeah?” His own voice was a mere whisper.
“Yup. I have a crossbow and I know how to use it. I’ll stake your ass before you could blink those pretty blue eyes of yours.” Serenity pulled away from him and headed for the door. “Just hit number one on the intercom if you need anything.” The door closed quietly behind her.

~ About the Author ~

Sandra Bischoff lives in the historic town of Cornwall, NY with her extremely patient husband and teenage son she affectionately calls the Demon. She is a Pharmacist by profession but found her true calling in a simple twist of fate. A friend approached her to write in a forum on a popular networking website. Over the next five years, her passion had found its niche. She went on to compose a few poems and short stories which she would post on her homepage at the same networking site.  

Her debut novel, Beyond the Sun, was published April 2013 by Bayou Brew Publishing. She recently was named to Amazon's best seller list in the Fantasy/Epic category. Sandra's second book in this series entitled Beyond Time was released earlier this spring in time for the Romantic Times Convention in New Orleans where she was a featured author at the Book Fair.
She has since left Bayou Brew Publishing to embark on the next chapter of her writing career, Independent Publishing. As of this time she has re-released both books in e-book and paperback formats. They can be found on

~ Other books by Sandra Bischoff ~
Beyond Time
~ Connect with Sandra Bischoff ~

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

AlzAuthors: Claudia Rumwell & The Senior Care Organizer

 by Claudia Rumwell

“Caregiving is not for wimps.”

Mom had been falling much too often. Then I heard from a visiting relative that in order to safely come up the stairs from the basement of their home, Mom and Dad had to sit on a stair and scoot up one at a time. 

Answers needed. 

Mom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Dad was fairly stable with his previous stroke. But it was time to make some changes. 

“Ducks in a Row?” Did I have my “ducks in a row” when it came to starting the process of taking care of my parents’ needs? I did not. Did they? No. And you might think that a nurse would know exactly what to do, but that wasn’t the case. I learned as I went along. 

And I learned a lot. I remember collecting pages of information which held answers to questions that I had asked. I learned about senior care professionals who can help find living locations, or guide you in care management. I found out that my parents didn’t have the needed documents e.g., health care directive; power of attorney. And I had to search for important papers that were well hidden in their home.
The ten years of “hands-on” experience as a parent caregiver was the main impetus and inspiration for creation of the Senior Care Organizer which is a “hands-on” guide for collecting and organizing the necessary information to manage senior adult care. My goal was to provide a resource for others who are or would be going through my experience. I thought…..Why should they have to “reinvent the wheel?” 

My parents may not have had Alzheimer’s, although in her last year of life, Mom did acquire the Parkinson’s form of dementia; but they are good examples of the importance of getting things in order as soon as possible. Especially once things change or the diagnosis has been made. 

The Senior Care Organizer will help you, as a caregiver, do that very thing. It provides an easy method and plan to get organized, identify resources, learn about what to do first, how to do it, and where to go to find specific help. It comes in a 3 ring Notebook format or in a downloadable interactive PDF format that can be saved and revised on your computer. You can see a Preview of some of the book’s contents on the website, or with the Look Inside feature on Amazon. 

So whatever caregiving challenges may be ahead, don’t forget there are others who can help you and resources to support you.

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” C.S. Lewis

About the Author
Claudia Rumwell is a registered nurse, educator, author and patient advocate who has worked with seniors for over 40 years. In 2008, as a result of advocating for her parent’s changing health care needs for 10+ years; she shifted her nursing focus to the area of senior care. In addition to consulting, she enjoys providing workshops that focus on senior care topics. In addition to updating the Senior Care Organizer, currently in its 4th edition, she updates the Links/Resources and publishes monthly educational articles in the Helpful Articles section of the Website:; and posts articles and other links on Facebook.  You can also find her on Twitter.

Monday, December 12, 2016

12 Reasons to Gift a Book from the AlzAuthors Bookstore

photo credit: Lilie Graphie via StockAdobe
Most likely, you know someone caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's or dementia. With 5.4 million Americans affected, this disease affects the lives of so many of our families, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. We may feel inclined to do something, to help, but may not know what to do, or how to do it, or when. 

The Christmas season provides us with the perfect opportunity to reach out to provide support, caring, understanding, and of course a meaningful gift. A book can be at the top of that list, because caregivers are often thirsting for knowledge, longing for support, or searching for guidance to help them get through their challenging days. What better way to learn than through the experiences and stories of others? 

And don't forget that, in addition to the caregivers, many others are in need of Alzheimer's resources, such as your physician or nurse,  a care facility in your neighborhood, the visiting nurse or home care agency staff, and your town or school's lending library.  

Here are twelve reasons to visit the AlzAuthors Bookstore for the perfect present: 

1. You will not find a more easily navigable assortment of books on the Alzheimer's experience anywhere else.

2. Every book in our bookstore was vetted by the founders of AlzAuthors, all of whom have experience as caregivers. Each  was carefully evaluated for content and quality prior to inclusion. You can be assured that you are purchasing a quality book.

3. Most of the books are the personal stories of their authors, or have arisen out of deeply personal experience with the disease. The stories contain truth, and are often heart-wrenching, sometimes heartbreaking. They are compelling, believable, and honest.  

4. The books are available in a variety of formats - print, digital, audio - which will satisfy any reader.  

5. The titles cover multiple genres: memoir, fiction (including young adult and children's), and nonfiction. There's something for everyone. Our categories: Caring for Parents or Grandparents; Caring for Spouses or Partners; Living with Alzheimer’s/Dementia; Books for Children and Teens; and Helpful Information For Caregivers.

6. The books are easily purchased via Amazon. Please visit an individual book's page on AlzAuthors to find its availability on iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and other retailers.   

7. A book is a gift that can be used again and again. These resources can be read and reread, and consulted at any time.

8. A book can be regifted, shared with others who may need its wisdom and know-how. 

9. There's a perfect price for every shopper. Most ebooks start at just 2.99, and paperbacks run around $10-20.  

10. Books are easy to wrap, especially ebooks.  

11. The small ones make excellent stocking stuffers.  

12. You can support your favorite books and authors by sharing them with others. 

AlzAuthors is an Amazon Affiliate and will receive a small commission from books purchased through our bookstore. These funds are used to cover costs associated with running AlzAuthors and do not affect the actual author's royalties or cost the buyer additional fees.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

New Release: USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield's World War II Romance "Garden of Her Heart"

USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield joins us with 
her latest release, a sweet World War II romance.


Can forbidden love blossom  
amid the constraints of war?

The moment the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, life shifted for Miko Nishimura. Desperate to reach the Portland Assembly Center for Japanese-Americans, she’s kicked off the bus miles from town. Every tick of the clock pushes her closer to becoming a fugitive in the land of her birth. Exhausted, she stumbles to her grandparents’ abandoned farm only to find a dying soldier sprawled across the step. Unable to leave him, she forsakes all else to keep him alive. After crashing his plane in the Battle of the Atlantic, the doctors condemn Captain Rock Laroux to die. Determined to meet his maker beneath a blue sky at his family home, he sneaks out of the hospital. Weary and half out of his mind, he makes it as far as a produce stand he remembers from his youth. Rather than surrender to death, Rock fights a battle of the heart as he falls in love with the beautiful Japanese woman who saves his life. A poignant, sweet romance, Garden of Her Heart proves love can bloom in unlikely places even under the most challenging circumstances.

Don't miss out on this beautiful happy ever after. 

Get your copy today!

 Available on:

“Please, Miko? Would you at least consider marrying me?”

She shook her head and tried to pull away from him, but he drew her closer, wrapping his arms around her and holding her. His breath tantalized her ear as he bent his head near hers. 


“I can’t, Rock. I don’t want to be the cause of you missing out on the love of a lifetime.” She turned her head to the side and pressed it against his neck. Unintentionally, she heightened the yearning that already pulsed between them. Forcibly, he relaxed his hold on her. 

“Miko,” he whispered. “Look at me, sweetheart.” 

Unhurried, she tipped her head back, drawn into the bright warmth of his eyes. 

“Miko, if I didn’t want to marry you, I wouldn’t offer. I rather like the idea of spending my future with you. We have more going for us than many couples who wed. There is no doubt in my mind at all about your ability to be a good wife. Me, on the other hand…” His cocky grin brought an amused light to her eyes. “It might be challenging to be married to someone like me.” 

A smile curved her mouth upward and Rock tamped down the desire to kiss her again, even with the pastor watching their every move.  

 About the Author
shanna-3 USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield writes character-driven romances with relatable heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.” Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, this hopeless romantic is out to make it happen, one story at a time. When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller. 

Find Shanna’s books at: Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Apple | Audible Shanna loves to hear from readers. 


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

AlzAuthors: Robin Perini, author of Forgotten Secrets and Founder of #1 Memory Challenge

by Robin Perini 

Looking back, it all started one Christmas morning with a seemingly minor event. Unlike every Christmas in the past, that morning my mom couldn’t remember which presents belonged to whom under the tree without looking at the tags. I didn’t know it then, but it would be the beginning of an over fifteen-year journey that still hasn’t ended. 

My mother suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. 

I won’t explain how long the illness took to diagnose, how many years it took to know what was wrong, or how much false hope we were given with phrases like Mild Cognitive Impairment. That information is available on the blog I’m writing with my dad, Moments of Clarity

I will say that it’s a horrible disease. My mother is only seventy-six years old. She and my dad should be enjoying retirement, traveling, playing with the grandkids. But those dreams and expectations were not to be, and over the last decade my family has learned two very important truths: As your loved one’s brain is destroyed, whatever its manifestations, it’s the disease, not them. 

Be thankful and appreciative of what you still have, not resentful for what you have lost—and continue to lose. 

Those two tenets have helped us through this difficult journey. In fact, my mom’s journey—our family’s journey—is what inspired my latest book, FORGOTTEN SECRETS. It's not a book about Alzheimer’s. It's a romantic mystery/thriller novel revolving around a kidnapping. However, the only witness is the victim’s grandmother who has Alzheimer’s disease. 

My hope for this story is it will entertain while raising awareness and understanding for families battling this disease. In addition, I am donating 10% of the royalties I receive from Forgotten Secrets to the Alzheimer’s Association, an organization that has been a God-send to me and my family in so many ways. Apart from the education and personal support, they were the ones who helped my family realize—finally—that we are not alone. The Alzheimer’s Association’s vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. I pray for that day. 

I have never been more nervous for a book to be released. FORGOTTEN SECRETS came out on July 19, 2016 and I didn’t know what to expect. Truth be told, I didn’t really anticipate the response I’ve received. I have been unbelievably moved by the words of my readers. So many have written, thanking me for bringing awareness and for showing a slice of truth about Alzheimer’s. Some have the disease; some are caregivers; some have lost a loved one; some have never known anyone with Alzheimer’s but have thanked me for showing them a small window into the world of this difficult illness. I have been so gratified and encouraged. Sometimes I wonder if this moment in time is why I became a writer in the first place. 

While writing FORGOTTEN SECRETS, all I ever wanted was to do my mother justice. I pray I have done so, but once the book was completed, I realized I wanted to do more, something that would impact more people, so I also created the 1Memory Challenge (#1Memory Challenge). The reason: I so wish that I could talk to my mom again, share memories, ask her questions about her life as a child, growing up, as a young woman. I can’t do that, but I can share my memories with loved ones. I can record them so they won’t be lost. And I can encourage others to do the same. Because once those memories fade (whatever the cause), they are gone. 

I decided to challenge friends and family to do the following:

1) Record a memory through a video, photo and/or writing a story and post it on social media.

2) Challenge 2-5 others to share a memory and tag them.

3) Give them 24 hours to accomplish the challenge or to donate to the Alzheimer’s Association (or another organization). 

The #1MemoryChallenge was a success for me personally because my dad began recording videos for the grandkids, to give them advice and wisdom. For our family, those videos will always be priceless. He will also be recording a few videos for my mom. So they will learn to know the amazing person their grandmother is. 

So, to those of you reading this, I may share my heart, my memories, my vision, my soul through my fiction writing…but your memories can do the same. So, I want to challenge each and every one of you to take the #1MemoryChallenge. For yourself and your loved ones. Share your memories. Pass them on. Consider donating to the cause. And hold your loved ones tight. 

Hopefully someday, none of us will have to worry about losing or longing for those forgotten secrets. 

Links to more information and some memories shared:

About the Author
International and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling and award-winning author Robin Perini is devoted to giving her readers fast-paced, high-stakes adventures with a love story sure to melt their hearts. A RITA Award finalist, she sold fourteen titles to publishers in less than two years after winning the prestigious Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award in 2011. An analyst for an advanced technology corporation, she is also a nationally acclaimed writing instructor and enjoys small-bore rifle silhouette shooting. As a result of her mother’s battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, Robin has become an advocate. She is donating 10% of her royalties received from her novel, FORGOTTEN SECRETS, to the Alzheimer’s Association. In addition, she started the 1 Memory Challenge, a challenge to encourage others to share memories and donate to the Alzheimer’s Association, whose vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. You can learn more and connect with her by visiting her website at 

Book Blurb

At age ten, Riley Lambert watched helplessly as her sister was abducted from her bedroom. Fifteen years later, she’s channeled the pain of her past into a career as an FBI profiler. Riley devotes her life to bringing violent criminals to justice…and secretly uses government resources to search for her sister, who was never found. 

When Riley gets a call from the only man who’s ever swept her off her feet with a killer two-step and dangerous smile—ex-Navy SEAL Thayne Blackwood of Singing River, Wyoming—it stirs up dark memories. Thayne’s sister, Cheyenne, has been kidnapped. There are no leads, and the only witness is the victim’s Alzheimer’s-afflicted grandmother. 

Desperate to find Cheyenne, Thayne needs Riley’s expertise. With time running short, they delve into dangerous small-town secrets while fighting against an increasingly ruthless adversary. But when her past and his present collide in a shocking revelation, can they overcome the secrets that have kept them apart?
Excerpt from Forgotten Secrets 
(I can vouch for this one. It's terrific.)

Thayne crossed the room and smiled. “Gram, are you feeling better? That bandage on your head is quite the fashion statement.” 

Her hand touched the dressing on her scalp, and she winced. Her sharp eyes shifted to Thayne, and her eyes widened. “Lincoln? It’s about time you got here. Get this old geezer out of here.” She tilted her head toward Pops and lowered her voice. “He’s trying to keep me here. I want to go home.” 

Those pleading words tugged at Thayne’s soul. He hadn’t realized he looked so much like his grandfather when he was young, not until Cheyenne had found a carousel of old slides. Thayne sat on the edge of the bed next to his grandmother and took one of her hands in his. Her pulse raced under his fingertips, and he cupped her face. “What’s wrong?” 

“I don’t know him,” she whispered, glancing at Pops. “I’m sorry I was mean. He looks nice enough, but . . . I don’t know him.” She clutched Thayne’s hand with a grip that belied her eighty years. “I’m scared, Lincoln. Something’s wrong with me.” 

(the final frames discuss Robin's Alzheimer’s projects). 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

AlzAuthors: Jana Panarites, author of "Scattered: My Year As An Accidental Caregiver"

scattered_coverby Jana Panarites

On a Monday night in November 2009, I had what turned out to be the last conversation I would ever have with my father. He and my mother had just come back from a trip to New York and they were now back in our family home in Maryland. Out in Los Angeles, I paced the floor as I spoke with them. My career was at a standstill. I was scrambling to make ends meet. I didn’t think life could get any worse, but it did the next morning when I learned my father was dead. Hours after we’d gotten off the phone, his heart had stopping beating.

Devastated, I flew east for the funeral and arrived at my parents’ house to find my once vibrant eighty-year-old mother standing hollow-eyed in the hallway. My parents had been married for fifty-six years. I knew that in good marriages like theirs, it wasn’t unusual for one spouse to die soon after the other because the surviving spouse loses the will to live. Having just lost my father, I couldn’t bear the thought of losing my mother too. So after spending my entire adult life in New York and LA, I moved back to the Maryland suburbs, into my childhood home—determined to save my career and my one remaining parent.

Like most caregivers, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. In between taking my mother to medical appointments and trying to make sense of her increasingly absent-minded behavior, I tried to earn a living. It took me a while to realize I already had a full-time job: caring for Mom. We wound up living together for a little more than three years, and in the third year my mother was diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

I wrote Scattered to contribute to a much-needed conversation about the impact of Alzheimer’s on family members. Before my mother was diagnosed, no one I knew talked about Alzheimer’s and I knew little about the disease. In the midst of grief and career transition, I felt confused, isolated and anxious—not just about my future, but about my mother’s. Scattered was my way of coming to terms with her illness and assuring readers with family members who have dementia that they are not alone.

Readers have praised Scattered for its candidness, accessibility and humor. A reviewer on Amazon wrote, “Reading it gave me tears but also laughter as I read her definition of "hanging in [t]here." I have recently used that phrase when asked about my husband's condition and the author's definition is perfect. Thank you Jana!”

Knowing I’ve helped even one reader feel less alone in their Alzheimer’s journey has given me great joy. Writing Scattered wasn’t easy, but I’m at peace with what I wrote mostly because of my mother’s response when I told her she might not like some of the things I’d written about her. She said, “It’s the truth, isn’t it?” Priceless. And vintage Mom.


About the Author 

Jana Panarites was born in Washington, DC to Greek-American parents. Her professional experience runs the gamut, from working in network television production and writing screenplays to managing the needs of high net-worth clients as a criminal litigation paralegal. In December 2014 she founded Agewyz Media Group, LLC to raise awareness about the plight of caregivers and promote healthy aging across the generations. Through her book, Scattered: My Year As An Accidental Caregiver and her weekly radio show, The Agewyz Podcast, she aims to provide people with tools and resources to make every moment in life count, at every age and even under the most difficult of circumstances. Jana is a graduate of the University of Vermont, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications; and the University of Southern California, where she earned a Master’s in Public Diplomacy, a joint degree from the Annenberg School of Communications & Journalism, and the School of International Relations.

Connect with Jana Panarites