Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Hidden Illness: My TOS Testimony

Wellness Warrior Lisa Douthit headed to Washington, D.C. recently to advocate for those living with rare or obscure illnesses. She made a pitch for personal stories to take with her to present to lawmakers. I accepted her challenge and offered my TOS testimony.

Today is National Repetitive Strain Injury Day and I'm sharing the story I gave Lisa here. My twelve-year lifetime with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, as well as a number of other RSIs, has been a roller-coaster of physical, mental, and emotional duress. It's hard to believe I've been living with it for so long, and I understand I will always live with it. 

My TOS testimony: 

In 2006, my life was permanently disrupted by a number of conditions caused by repetitive strain injuries due to an inappropriate work station at my job: Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and chronic pain. I am a nurse and at the time worked for a regional medical center as a case manager, specifically performing clinical documentation review. I was given a laptop on a utility cart that also carried a large and heavy printer. I pushed that cart all over the building, diligently doing my work for a year or so before I started waking up at night with numb hands. This soon led to chronic and relentless shoulder pain, a frozen shoulder, and nerve and vascular problems with my right arm. My neck soon developed chronic pain and decreased mobility. This resulted in total disability and the loss of the best job I ever had.

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Rick Lauber, Author of "Caregiver’s Guide for Canadians" and "The Successful Caregiver’s Guide"

By Rick Lauber

What motivates a writer to write a book? It could be to share a story, educate/help the reader, or to entertain. I wrote both my books to support readers, raise awareness for a growing issue, increase understanding, and also to personally cope.

Before becoming a twice-published book author, I was a former co-caregiver (working with my two sisters) for my own aging parents (Mom had Parkinson’s disease and Leukemia while Dad had Alzheimer’s disease). This was not a job I was expecting or prepared for and came with a steep learning curve. Not only did I face a quick education about eldercare, I also had to deal with the physical, mental, emotional, and financial impacts of caregiving – it is certainly challenging to helplessly watch your parents decline.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Blog Tour: The Caselli Family Series by Ta'Mara Hanscom

Ta'Mara has published her Caselli Family series before, but she is now relaunching the series starting with The Pretender and Pit of Ambition!  Join this super fun blog tour and find out more about the first two books (of five). Also, make sure you check out the great giveaway!

About the Books

The Pretender: A Blackguard in Disguise is the first volume of 5 in the family epic series The Caselli Family Series

It begins in South Dakota in 1975 where eighteen-year-olds could order 3.2 beers in a bar and loaded guns were kept under the counter. Frankie Valli sang My Eyes Adored You, and American soldiers returning from Vietnam struggled with their new reality.

​It’s within this tumultuous season of American history that Tillie Caselli meets Noah Hansen, and they are never the same again. Their lives were mysteriously intertwined – and had been for many years – yet they had no idea. 

​From the moment they met, Tillie and Noah wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, but a deliberate omission will keep them apart – and that same omission will be responsible for the escape of a murderer, and a bride’s deception.

​These compelling stories are interwoven with Biblical truths and light-hearted, real life events from the author’s own past. Easy to understand and relate to, as well as encouraging.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Cover Reveal! "All Things Beautiful" by Keely Brook Keith

I'm excited to announce the newest release in Keely Brook Keith's Uncharted Beginning's Series: All Things Beautiful, Book 3. Enter to win an autographed copy hot off the press!

Here's a peek at the cover by the talented Najla Qamber.  

I wonder what she's thinking and what she's looking at from that window. What do you think?

Keely's genre-bending stories of the undiscovered settlement of  Good Springs are captivating, original, and unique. Skillfully combining historical, romantic, and paranormal fiction, the Uncharted Series and Uncharted Beginnings will keep you mesmerized. All Things Beautiful is coming April 17, 2018 from Edenbrooke Press.  If you're an audiobook lover, hang tight! The talented Amy Marie Smith is currently recording the audio version.

Some thoughts from Keely: "While I wrote All Things Beautiful, I wanted to express how important it is to use the talents God has given us. I was brought to tears many times as the Lord met me on the page, and I pray He blesses you through Hannah and Henry’s story too."

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Mary Ann Drummond Shares Grandma and Me – A Kid’s Guide for Alzheimer’s and Dementia

By Mary Ann Drummond 

Nearly five years ago, after presenting at an Alzheimer’s caregiver conference, a seed was planted in my heart to write a children’s book about Alzheimer’s and dementia. When the conference was over one of the attendees came up to purchase one of my books. As she was leaving she asked if I could recommend a book to help her young child with the changes her family was experiencing since her mother was diagnosed with dementia. I was at a loss. I had been so focused on education for adults that I had not researched current literature for children.

I soon learned there were several great titles available to help children understand the dementia journey. What motivated me to add to the existing collection was the growing need to help young children not only understand this difficult topic in a sensitive, age-appropriate way, but also a sincere desire to give families tools to help maintain connections for as long as possible.

Last year, I was blessed to partner in this project with a talented co-author, Dr. Beatrice Tauber Prior, and a brilliant illustrator, Julia Walther. The imagery in the beautiful artwork of Grandma and Me helps to capture the child’s imagination. My grandson liked the book so much he took it everywhere with him for two days, even into the movie theater!

Monday, February 19, 2018

New Release Spotlight: "The Sins of Maggie Black," by Howard Petote

This week's New Release Spotlight is Howard Petote's The Sins of Maggie Black. Howard is a fellow Books Go Social Author. Here he tells us about the inspiration and motivations behind his novel. Welcome to Adventures in Publishing Howard! 

Origins: An Irish Girl Named Maggie

By Howard Petote

In 1968, the state of Missouri was blessed with the arrival of a baby girl, a one-year-old lifted from the arms of nuns in the west of Ireland. Her name was Maggie, and her adoptive parents— strict Catholics—wanted her to be perfect. But Maggie Black was not perfect, she was merely human—an earthy, feral child who one day realized she would never earn their love. Drifting into drugs, con artists and petty crime, she becomes a single mother stuck in the gritty world of door-to-door sales—dangerously tied to a bad man.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Kathi Macias and "To the Moon and Back"

By Kathi Macias

As a fulltime writer/editor, I was blessed to be able to work at home and take care of my mother during her last few years of life. I was also blessed that even up until her death at the age of ninety, she was clear-minded. Sadly, so many others are not, making their caregiver’s job so much more difficult.

Though I didn’t have to deal with the issue of Alzheimer’s with either of my parents, I have countless friends and acquaintances who have done so in the past and are doing so even now. Because I write novels about current issues, it seemed a natural choice to base one of my books on the heart-rending topic of Alzheimer’s.

As I planned the book, I realized I wanted it to be about more than what the caregiver experienced; I wanted it to be told (primarily) from the viewpoint of the person actually experiencing Alzheimer’s. And so the idea for To the Moon and Back was born.

Rachel, my primary character, is in her late sixties and also in the early to mid-stages of Alzheimer’s. At times she is clear-headed, but more and more often she finds herself slipping into what she considers “the darkness,” where she begins to lose herself and the memories of a life she once considered happy and fulfilling.

Monday, February 12, 2018

New Release Spotlight: Angel Leya's Short YA Fantasy "Marked," Book 4 in her Running Toward Illumia Series

This week's New Release Spotlight is Marked, Book 4 in the Running Toward Illumia series, short YA fantasy by fellow Books Go Social Author Angel Leya. Welcome to Adventures in Publishing Angel! 

Hi, I’m Angel Leya, and I write clean young adult stories with (at least) a touch of magic and romance. My latest story in the Running Toward Illumia series is Marked, Astrea’s tale of finding herself while running from the one thing she wants most: To find her sense of belonging.

Astrea’s lived in the Mist all her life, and she loves it there. In fact, she’d do just about anything to feel like she fits in with her Rudan people, even hunt a unicorn to feed her starving tribe.

Illumia is the first city beyond the Mist, just past the Dragon Range. Astrea’s come up with 10 reasons to never go to Illumia. I’ll let her tell you more.

Top 10 Reasons NOT to Travel to Illumia

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Bobbi Carducci, Author of "Confessions of an Imperfect Caregiver"

By Bobby Carducci

“What’s going to happen to Rodger?’ was the first thing most people asked upon hearing of my mother-in-law’s passing. Extremely introverted, unable to drive, and not in good health, he’d been dependent on her to care for everything it took to run a home for many years. Fortunately my husband and I had talked about taking in one of our parents when and if the time came. We had the room and the desire to take someone in. We knew it would be hard at times but we were convinced we would make it work.

We didn’t know how sick he was, how hard it would be, or how long it would last. The first surprise for both my husband and I was learning that he was schizophrenic and had been since 1947. It certainly explained a lot about his odd behavior over the years, but until the medical records arrived no one in the family had ever mentioned the 13 years he spent in mental hospitals from 1947 to 1960. In addition to being mentally ill he developed dementia, Parkinson’s disease, congestive heart failure, and dysphagia.

I did what I could to educate myself about the various diseases and how to help him have the best possible life as long as possible. It was harder than I ever thought it could be. I called it creative problem solving on the run. All day, every day and night, was a challenge. I doubted myself so many times. Why couldn’t I figure this out? Why couldn’t I make him understand I loved him and wanted the best for him?

I often heard caregivers ask the same questions, express the same frustrations, and cry for help. “Why doesn’t someone write a book that tells people what it’s really like to care for someone with dementia at home?” I decided to write that book.

Monday, February 5, 2018

New Release Spotlight: "Five Days Five Kisses," a YA Sweet Romance By Guest Blogger Angela Carling

This week's New Release Spotlight is from Angela Carling who wants to tell you all about her new Young Adult sweet romance Five Days Five Kisses. Welcome to Adventures in Publishing Angela!

Hi everyone! Angela Carling here, writer of sweet romance and award-winning paranormal suspense. I'm so excited to tell you about my latest book, Five Days, Five Kisses and three best friends you'll want to hang out with long after you've finished the book. Their names are Nikola, Maya, and Liberty. Eventually each girl will have her own book, but Five Days Five Kisses is Nikola's story, and it's all about the awkwardness of a bad breakup. If you read on, you'll learn about my worst break up.

Do you like the cover? It was custom made by a very talented cover artist that I will definitely use again for the other two books! I love how it captures the vibe of this fun feel-good romance!

Here's a teaser:)