Thursday, August 31, 2017

Clean Indie Reads Back to School eBook Sale September 1-8

Here we go again! Another school year is about to begin. After you get the kids ready for reading, writing and 'rithmetic, treat yourself to some new eBooks to keep you entertained through fall. Here are 21 discounted titles from Clean Indie Reads authors, all with a high school or college theme. Many genres: romance, sports, new adult, YA, coming of age, fantasy, paranormal. Priced FREE through 2.99. Sale ends September 8. Note: please check all prices before clicking the "BUY" button. Each individual author is responsible for ensuring the correct sale price for her book(s).

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

AlzAuthors: Margo Rose and "A Fitness Trainer's Guide to Caring for Your Health During Sad Times"

The Last Christmas Present

By Margo Rose

The first client with advanced Alzheimer's who I worked with as a fitness trainer was named Gwen.

When I met her, she was 92 years old and had already lived for five years in the dementia section of an assisted care facility.

I never met Gwen’s adult daughter, who had seen on the internet that I work as a fitness trainer doing on-site senior wellness. My only point of contact was a phone call from the daughter asking me to help her frail mother stay as strong as possible, and a monthly check that arrived in the mail.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

AlzAuthors: HA Robinson and "The Pebble Jar," a novel

By H.A. Robinson

When I sat down to write The Pebble Jar around this time last year, I had no idea of the personal journey the book would take me on. In March of 2016, my little Nana passed away at the age of ninety-one after a long and painful battle with Alzheimer’s. By the time she fell asleep for the last time, we had almost completely lost the essence of who she had once been, leaving us with a shell of the person we loved.

As a child, I remember her being this amazing force of life, so vibrant and always happy. She was the life and soul of every party she went to, and I can still hear the infectious sound of her laughter even though it’s been so long since any of us really heard it.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Swim Season Goes to Taiwan!

Photo by Norman Chan via Adobe Stock
Ah, the wonders of the internet! For writers it can make incredible connections and collaborations. This one happened with Swim Season, my YA sports novel released last October. 

Long story short - I met a writer named Annie Douglass Lima through an online writers group ( a while back and we've supported each other through many endeavors. Annie's an American teacher living in Taiwan.  

It happened one day that she sat next to the school's swim coach and somehow the subject of my book came up. The coach, Randy Schmidt, was interested in the book and thought his students/swimmers might be too. The problem was he preferred to read a paperback - not an ebook - and the cost of shipping a physical book halfway across the world was 34-66 dollars, a deal breaker. Annie and Randy came up with a great idea: his parents planned to visit him in Taiwan for Thanksgiving. I could mail a book to them in Florida and they'd personally deliver it to him. 

It worked! He received the book and circulated it among his swimmers. Here are their comments on the story, including some background on the individual swimmers. It's fascinating to see their responses to the book. Big thanks to all who took the time to read it, and especially to Annie and Randy for making this happen. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

AlzAuthors: Susan Kiser Scarff and Ann Kiser Zultner, authors of Dementia: The Journey Ahead - A Practical Guide for In-Home Caregivers

by Susan Kiser Scarff

Within a year of my husband receiving his dementia diagnosis, I had a classic case of caregiver burnout. I couldn't concentrate at work and most of my time was taken up with worrying about my husband's uncharacteristic and impulsive behavior. I was petrified and intimidated about the future…overwhelmed with basic day-to-day activities. Further, I was apprehensive about making the transition from wife to protector, nurse, and mother.

At the suggestion of a health professional, I began documenting the daily struggles of caregiving. After my husband passed away, I realized my daily journaling could be modified and turned into a valuable and timely resource for other caregivers in similar situations. Writing the book, and in turn helping others in similar situations, helped me to feel that my husband’s illness and my own caregiving struggles were not in vain. Something positive was able to come from the horrific disease called Dementia. Hopefully, the book, written with the help of my sister, Ann Kiser Zultner, will help fill in the huge gap between medical and in-home care for dementia patients.

Monday, August 14, 2017

My YA Sports Novel "Swim Season" is Now Available in Audiobook!

photo by stokkete via Adobe Stock

I love audiobooks, so much so that all of my books and short stories find their way to Audible. Today I am thrilled to announce that Swim Season finally landed on its own Audible bookshelf. 

Quick blurb: Swim Season is the fast-paced, drama driven story of Olympic hopeful Aerin Keane, starting senior year in her third high school and trying NOT to win. But can she hide her natural talent and competitive streak? Especially with a 50,000-dollar scholarship on the line?

Narrated and produced by the talented Evelyn Eibhlin through ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange), it clocks in at 14 hours and 43 minutes of action and drama. With a cast of almost 20 active characters, Evelyn had a big task on her hands, but I suspected she was up to it, and did she ever deliver! She's given each of the main characters their own distinctive voices and infused the story with the emotions and tensions I imagined when I wrote it. If she sounds familiar, you may have listened to her on books 1 and 2 in my Daisy Hunter series, also on Audible. I have an interview with her at the end of this post. 

For those interested in reviewing the audiobook I have free download codes, courtesy of ACX. Please email me at and I'll send you one asap.  

Find Swim Season on Audible (on sale right now for 7.49) and Amazon (free with an Audible trial.) It's Whispersync for Voice enabled, allowing you to switch seamlessly from reading with your Kindle app or tablet to listening. And the Kindle version is just 99 cents right now in my Back to School/Back to the Pool eBook sale. Regular price: 2.99. Get it here.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

AlzAuthors: Brian Wiggins and the Beautiful Novel "Autumn Imago"

WIGGINS_AutumnImago_NewCover copy
By Bryan Wiggins
No one I know has Alzheimer’s disease. My parents have entered their eighties with their sharp minds intact. Only one of my four grandparents suffered any kind of dementia, and Granny’s wasn’t that severe. So when I forget a name, lose my car keys, or question what the heck I’m doing standing in the basement after clomping down the stairs, I shrug my shoulders and carry on. I could still get Alzheimer’s, of course, but with no family history of it behind me, I find other things to worry about.
But when I decided to write a novel with a protagonist whose mother was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, my lack of firsthand experience with the disease threatened to damage the one thing most critical to building the fictive world that readers love to lose themselves within: character credibility. So I set out to do the research that could show me what my own experience had failed to teach me. I went to a talk by a nationally known Alzheimer’s expert at my local memory care center. I dove deep into the web. I read Still Alice to see how someone far more qualified than me—a neuroscientist with a Harvard Ph.D. and a grandmother who had died from the disease—built a book that rang true for the readers I was most concerned about pleasing: those who either suffered from the disease or loved someone who did.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Oh, The Places You'll Go! Giveaway Hop

After more than 16 years of back to school shopping, I thought I was done with the annual pilgrimage to the big box stores for school supplies. But no, I raced to the supermarket last week at the first sound of a major sale on pens, pencils, markers, paper, and glue sticks and stocked up. True, my daughter graduated from college in May, but as she is now a graduate student in early childhood education and Head Teacher at a preschool, the need for deeply discounted classroom essentials lives on. I suppose this will be an annual excursion for a lifetime.

But we've still got a few weeks of summer left, so before stressing over the whole back-to-school madness let's celebrate them with The 2nd Annual Oh The Places You’ll Go Giveaway Hop, hosted by The Mommy Island and The Kids Did It! Starts today! Visit all of the blogs in the linky at the bottom of this post and discover over 100 bloggers and all kinds of great prizes. Don't delay! The Giveaways end August  23rd at 11:59 pm. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

What I Read on My Summer Vacation

Summer is my favorite season, and my favorite activity during summer is catching up on my reading. This time, I have an extra large stack of books to get through because I picked up 25 additional titles at Book Con, some of my favorite authors recently published, and a number of titles about Alzheimer's and dementia are on my list because I'm an administrator for the AlzAuthors website. Here I'll share a few of the books that made me think, made me laugh, and /or made me wish that I had written them. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

AlzAuthors: Mary Ann Drummond, Meet Me Where I Am - an Alzheimer's Care Guide

By Mary Ann Drummond, RN 

When I was a young girl, I dreamed I would grow up and become a nurse. I seldom left home without my nurse’s kit filled with band-aides, cotton balls, and gum drop pills just in case my services were needed. 

It seemed so simple in those days to comfort and to heal, or at least that is what my Grandmother led me to believe each time she let me practice my skills on her.

If only caregiving were that easy! The reality is there are wounds a band aide cannot heal, diseases medication cannot cure, and hearts so burdened by the weight of caregiving, comfort cannot be found.