Wednesday, September 20, 2017

AlzAuthors: Candy Abbott - I’ve Never Loved Him More: A Husband’s Alzheimer’s, A Wife’s Devotion






By Candy Abbott

“Mom,” my daughter Kim said, “You know you’re going to have to write a book about how you’re dealing with Dad.”

I recoiled at the thought. It was all I could do to get through each day of unknowns and added responsibilities. “No, hon. I have to live this before I can write about it. I have no energy to think about ministering to others right now. Maybe after it’s all over—maybe then, I could think about writing—but not while I’m dealing with all this raw emotion. I’m still finding my way.”

A couple of weeks later, I shared my struggles as an Alzheimer’s caregiver with Delmarva Christian Writers’ Fellowship. During the coffee break, Claire Smith touched my arm and looked deep into my eyes. “Candy, you need to write a book about this, you know.”

I flinched and felt my face flush. “That’s what Kim said, but I don’t think so. Not for years, anyway. I have to get through this first.”

She tilted her head and said with a knowing look. “We’ll see.”

I wanted to smack her encouraging prophetic face. Instead, I smiled sweetly. But a seed had taken root. I felt it in the core of my soul.

And then came the phone conversation with my writing mentor, Nancy Rue.

“Everywhere I turn, people are telling me that I need to write about this, and I don’t have the time, energy, or inclination.”

“Well,” she said, “don’t think of it in terms of writing a book. Just try capturing some scenes now and then that seem significant. I think it could be therapeutic for you. No pressure, no goals, just get some of these things out of your head and heart and onto paper where you can look at them. It’ll give you a little bit of control, and it won’t be hard. Just capture some scenes.”

Nancy was on target. Right from the beginning, my manuscript began teaching me things about myself as I recorded my raw emotions and the mysterious changes taking place in Drew. I shared parts of the manuscript with Sara Lewis, and she said, “Candy, people need this NOW. You have to publish this as soon as possible.”

And so I did. Drew is still in the moderate phase of Alzheimer’s, and I have to hide all evidence of the book as he thinks he’s perfectly fine. But I have peace that I’m doing the right thing by releasing our story while he’s still living.

One woman said the first few pages brought healing of unresolved grief over her grandfather. Another said she overcame guilt over how she had cared for her husband until she recognized herself as a Proverbs 31 Woman. A seven-year-old granddaughter with severe anxiety reads the book with her grandmother every night. “She may not understand everything,” Sharon said, “but she feels the love.”

What pleases me most is that people see hope between the pages. I suspect my hardest days are yet ahead, and I’m still writing. But this I know: Alzheimer’s doesn’t have to break you. It can make you trust God more and teach you to appreciate living in the moment. It’s all about finding a depth of love you didn’t know you had in you.

Connect with Candy Abbott







Wednesday, September 13, 2017

AlzAuthors: Christina Britton Conroy, author of "How to Have Fun With Your Aging Parents"


By Christina Britton Conroy


When I was twenty-seven, my sixty-year-old mother died of cancer. I was left to care for my temperamental, over-controlling, eighty-year-old father. While grieving for my mother, I was also angry with her for dying young. Taking care of her elderly husband was supposed to have been her job, not mine.

Dad was bored, lonely, and wanted me to come over daily. I was a full-time musical theatre performer struggling to build a career, find a husband, and a start a family of my own. An aging father did not fit into that equation.

We had never had fun together, and I didn’t know what to do with him. I finally figured out that the only thing he enjoyed was talking about himself. I didn’t know it, but reminiscing with him was the start of my work as a Creative Arts Therapist.

I bought Dad a small cassette tape recorder and he recorded his stories. Every time he held a finished tape in his hand, he felt happily fulfilled. He died peacefully at the age of 92.

The next Christmas, I was hired to sing carols at a nursing home. I took my small Irish harp and entertained a half-dozen residents at a time in several locations around the building.

Unlike singing on a stage with a faceless audience in the dark, these few, frail people stared vacantly. I started singing Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Suddenly, like wilted flowers given water, they seemed to bloom with new life. Shouting out the lyrics, they sat up singing with pure joy. For the first time, I realized that music could be much more than just entertainment.

That night changed my life. I applied, auditioned, and was accepted into NYU’s Music Therapy Master's Degree program.

Years later, I was the director of a senior center for the well-elderly. One member was 67-year-old Bill, crippled from polio and wearing leg-braces. He had never attended academic school, but only a trade school where he learned to make costume jewelry. He was shy and bored, had little musical ability, but enjoyed singing in my chorus, and playing in musical improvisation sessions.

After about a year of improvising, Bill and a few other center members asked me to start a band. Shocked, but intrigued, I carefully explained that playing “real music,” meant they had to learn to play musical instruments. They were still adamant, so the band was formed.

Bill played the bass drum, loved it, and his self-esteem grew. He became so proud of himself; he volunteered to teach a jewelry-making class. Before long, his two-dozen elderly students opened a store and were selling jewelry. The sales made money for the center, and he was suddenly a very important guy. If Bill had never tried playing a drum, he might never have gained the personal confidence to teach a jewelry-making class, rediscover his old passion, and create a product that benefited so many.

Learning a new skill can rekindle passion in an old one. Sharing a passion, can ignite passionate joy in others.

* * *

"To all adult children, caregivers, professionals read this book! Conroy's approach aligns with 'Positive Psychology' – focusing on one's passions and strengths." Gerald Solk, Ph.D., CUNY, Psychologist, Gracie square Hospital

"…an insightful, unique approach to helping people cope with the demands of dealing with the elderly." John J. Daly, M.D., NYC Police Surgeon, St. Vincent's Hospital, NYC

"…social workers, nursing home and community center staffers, psychologists and family members… could all benefit from this information." Judy Foust, R.N., U.S. Army Hospital, retired, Low Vision Specialist, Lighthouse, NYC
                   
About the Author

Christina Britton Conroy, M.A., L.C.A.T., C.M.T. is the founder and Executive Director of Music Gives Life, bringing musical performing into the lives of senior citizens. Many of her elderly showstoppers, ages 60- 101, never performed in public before joining Christina’s program. NY1 - TV NEWS named them NYers of the Week. A former senior center director, nursing home music therapist, and primary caregiver for two elderly family members, Christina has unique insights into the joys and frustrations shared by geriatric patients and their caregivers. Also a classically trained musician/actor, Christina toured the world performing musical theatre. She lives in Greenwich Village, NYC with her husband, actor/media-coach/cartoonist Larry Conroy.

Connect With Christina Britton Conroy


Monday, September 11, 2017

What I Read on My Summer Vacation, Part Two



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.

Gone: A Girl, A Violin, a Life Unstrung, by Min Kym

Book Blurb: The spellbinding memoir of a violin virtuoso who loses the instrument that had defined her both on stage and off -- and who discovers, beyond the violin, the music of her own voice

Her first violin was tiny, harsh, factory-made; her first piece was “Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star.” But from the very beginning, Min Kym knew that music was the element in which she could swim and dive and soar. At seven years old, she was a prodigy, the youngest ever student at the famed Purcell School. At eleven, she won her first international prize; at eighteen, violinist great Ruggiero Ricci called her “the most talented violinist I’ve ever taught.” And at twenty-one, she found “the one,” the violin she would play as a soloist: a rare 1696 Stradivarius. Her career took off. She recorded the Brahms concerto and a world tour was planned.

Then, in a London café, her violin was stolen. She felt as though she had lost her soulmate, and with it her sense of who she was. Overnight she became unable to play or function, stunned into silence.

In this lucid and transfixing memoir, Kym reckons with the space left by her violin’s absence. She sees with new eyes her past as a child prodigy, with its isolation and crushing expectations; her combustible relationships with teachers and with a domineering boyfriend; and her navigation of two very different worlds, her traditional Korean family and her music. And in the stark yet clarifying light of her loss, she rediscovers her voice and herself.

Review:

I had to read this book the moment I read the blurb above. It was a review copy from the publisher. All of my life I've wished to play the violin, in fact, it's on my bucket list. In the only photograph I have of my paternal grandfather, a Polish immigrant, he is standing for the camera in a formal suit, holding a violin. I wish I had had the chance to speak to him about it. He died long before I was born. 

My father gave me the gift of classical music as a child, and the violin parts were always my favorite. So when this book came along I gave it an enthusiastic yes. I was also interested in it because of its glimpse into the life of a child prodigy, seeing as how I am fascinated with people who give their lives to the accomplishment of something great. The book did not disappoint.

Kym's recounting of her acquisition of the Stradivarius is in almost lover-like terms. It seems strange, but as I read her story, her history, as a small child discovering her talent, her family's sacrifices to ensure she had the best teachers, her own sacrifices to achieve greatness in just one thing, rather than mediocre mastering of many things, as most American children strive to do, I understood her devotion to that instrument, one of the finest and rarest in the world. The loss of the violin, which was as necessary to her as her right arm or left hand, is devastating. The story is paced well, leading to that heartbreaking moment.(I blame Matt.) An excellent read in many ways. 


***

Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys

Book Blurb: Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously-and at great risk-documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

Review:

This is book one in this series, which I actually read second. Taken from their home in the night, young Lina and her family are herded by the Soviet secret police with other townspeople onto  trains bound for Siberia. Their crime? They are members of the professional class, the intelligent elite, and considered enemies of the state. This, of course, is not explained to them. Thus begins a harrowing, horrifying journey, full of loss, death, but also hope and love. Sepetys' prose is vibrant and vivid. She raises complex issues seen from a child's point of view, and explains them with the realities of being both powerless but powered by the will to survive. A riveting, moving read particularly relevant in these times.


***

Salt to the Sea, by Ruta Sepetys

Book Blurb: World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, many with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer to safety.

Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people—adults and children alike—aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

Told in alternating points of view and perfect for fans of Anthony Doerr's Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See, Erik Larson's Dead Wake, and Elizabeth Wein's Printz Honor Book Code Name Verity, this masterful work of historical fiction is inspired by the real-life tragedy that was the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloffthe greatest maritime disaster in history. As she did in Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys unearths a shockingly little-known casualty of a gruesome war, and proves that humanity and love can prevail, even in the darkest of hours.

Review:

This was another riveting read, a continuation of the story above with different characters in different circumstances, although the heroines of each, Joanna and Lina, are cousins. Separated by the Soviets, they each have their own tragic stories to tell. Salt to the Sea is written in four points of view (I include the deranged and creepy Alfred) in brief alternating chapters sparingly written but filled with much detail and emotion. This was a stay-up-past-bedtime book for me. From the first pages I was engaged with the characters and their plight. There were many disturbing scenes of death, but considering the subject matter these were not unnecessary or overplayed. This book is very different from its predecessor Between Shades of Gray, which should be read first. Again, relevant reading for current times. Suitable for young adults.


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

AlzAuthors: Lori LaBey, founder of Alzheimer's Speaks





A Gift in a Strange Package

By Lori La Bey, founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks

I have to admit caring for my Mother with dementia was not on my bucket list. In fact, the possibility never crossed my mind. Dementia crept into our lives slowly. Its visits were spontaneous and behavior changes subtle, giving me the perfect excuse to live in denial.

Mom’s dementia symptoms began our thirty-year journey down the yellow brick road. We were off to see the Wizard. Yet along the way, I found I had the answers I needed: acceptance, forgiveness, compassion, and unconditional love. All were tools my Mother taught me growing up. I also needed to acknowledge and embrace our new lives. You see, dementia was not just my Mother’s disease. It was “our disease,” hers, mine, and everyone she encountered. I found each of us has a choice on how we are going to live with dementia.

Will it Be a Gift or a Disaster in Your Life?

Through illness, I was taught life lessons I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. The beauty of each lesson can’t be put into words, but each is embedded in my heart and my soul. Each is a memory of magnificent proportion. Each was brought forth by a simple question I would ask myself.

“What’s the Lesson?”

Each lesson was wrapped in a love deeper than I previously knew. By asking this simple question when I felt pushed up against a wall, simple answers came.

Answers Changed My Career and My Life

I felt strongly that old ways of caring and serving those with dementia weren’t working, and, for me, working in a broken system wasn’t an option. So, in 2009 Alzheimer’s Speaks was born. My goal was to raise all voices, share knowledge, and empower all to shift our dementia care culture from crisis to comfort. 




Named the “#1 Influencer Online for Alzheimer’s”
by Sharecare and Dr. O
z


Maria Shriver honored La Bey as an “Architect of Change” for Humanity.


Today, we are an advocacy group and media outlet making an international impact. We provide education and support for those dealing with all forms of dementias. Two of our educational platforms are: Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio, believed to be the first program dedicated to dementia in the world, and a webinar series called “Dementia Chats™”, whose experts are those diagnosed with some form of dementia.

People kindly refer to me as the spark igniting the first Dementia Friendly Community in the United States, and for helping expand the UK’s Memory Café concept in America.

There is nothing like finding your purpose and passion in life which allows you to help others. This fall we are setting sail with a Dementia Friendly Symposium and Cruise which will be an exceptional experience as we live gracefully together with dementia.

Makers of the Hollywood film, “His Neighbor Phil,” consulted with me to design a marketing plan. I was thrilled they were willing to try something new. The response has been remarkable as I have taken the film around the country doing talk backs. The film has proven its extraordinary ability to connect with audiences, remove stigmas and give hope.

As for the future, I will continue to keynote, speak, train, write, advocate, collaborate and push innovation forward developing new delivery systems and attitudes towards those living with and dealing with dementia.

For additional information, resources, or to be a featured guest or sponsor visit: www.AlzheimersSpeaks.com


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).




Yella's Prayers

by Nadine Keels

Coming of Age, Romance


She awoke with a gasp, sitting up. God? Was that You?

A pivotal year awaits Bless, a young woman who hides her passion: her music. She’s not exactly friends with T’meal, a talented athlete who won’t explain why he’s passed up the chance of a lifetime. Nor is Bless too close to Lamall, a boisterous playboy with a broken private life that’s spiraling out of control.

But Bless knows she’s meant to help these two young men. She can’t deny the Voice that told her so.

A coming of age story of compassion, the awakening of love, and knowing when it’s time to step out of the shadows and shine. 1.99 on Amazon

World of the Innocent
by Nadine Keels
Adult/New Adult contemporary fiction;may also be of interest to a Young Adult audience

“Are you ready to love this young man?”

Jhoi: she’s poetic. She’s guarded. And she couldn’t imagine having much to do with a guy like Marcas. Sure, Marcas is a brilliant fellow artist, admired by plenty of fans. But he’s so remarkably...strange.

Still, Marcas touches Jhoi’s soul. And through the counsel of a shrewd old neighbor, Jhoi will discover a link between intimate friendship and becoming a steward of an era.

A tale of love, enduring belief, and the meaning of innocence—based on a true story. 99c on Amazon

The Fearful Heart
by Cherry Christensen
New Adult, Coming of Age

The heart must be protected at all costs... but will Cassidy be able to afford the price? Cassidy has distanced herself from childhood friend, Tristan. She’s moved on from their days of best friend-hood and is attending college. And dating one of the most eligible males on campus. Life couldn’t be better. Really. Tristan has devoted himself to Cassidy since they were children together. But no matter what he did, she’s never treated him like more than her best friend. He knows they can have something deeper. If only he can find the key to unlocking her fearful heart. 99c on Amazon



When I Wake
by Lara Ann
Teen & Young Adult, short story

Ash, devastated by the recent death of her mother, is finding it hard to cope.

Things begin to look up when she meets Bentley. He's been through a lot and together things seem to be improving.

Ash has a secret, it has the chance to make or break her.

She confides in Bentley, but has she made a huge mistake?

This short story can be read as a standalone. While this book contains no fantasy elements, it is a prequel to the contemporary fantasy series The Alora Chronicles. The first book in the series is Until I Sleep. 99c on Amazon

Until I Sleep
by Lara Ann
Clean fantasy romance story for fans of Keira Cass, Gail Carson Levine, Amanda Hocking and Maria V. Snyder

I’ve just met the perfect guy…pity he’s a figment of my imagination.

What happens when your dreams are better than reality?

Ash has been dreaming about Wyn, he’s different than anyone she’s ever met before. He’s been trying to convince her that he’s real and he needs her help.

It’s like something out of a fairytale, and we all know fairytales aren’t true…right? 99c on Amazon


The Alora Chronicles: The Complete Series Kindle Edition
by Lara Ann
Teen & Young Adult, Science Fiction, Fantasy

A modern day fairy tale. Although this is no Cinderella story. There is a prince and a magical world. But Ash is one girl who can take care of herself, and even manage to rescue her prince. She not only wants to be with her man, she wants to fight beside him. A sweet love story with a twist....

The selection Series meets The Mortal Instruments.

**Includes the bonus prequel story When I wake.**

Swim Season
by Marianne Sciucco
Teen & Young Adult, Coming of Age, Sports

Sometimes winning is everything.

Champion swimmer Aerin Keane is ready to give up her dreams of college swimming and a shot at the Olympics. As she starts senior year in her third high school, Aerin's determined to leave her family troubles behind and be like all the other girls at Two Rivers. She's got a new image and a new attitude. She doesn’t want to win anymore. She's swimming for fun, no longer the freak who wins every race, every title, only to find herself alone.

But when her desire to be just one of the girls collides with her desire to be the best Two Rivers has ever seen, will Aerin sacrifice her new friendships to break a longstanding school record that comes with a $50,000 scholarship? 99c on Amazon

Whisper Bay: Oliver & Chloe, The Beginning
by Sybil Shae
Teen and Young Adult, Coming of Age

Meet Chloe Tyson and Oliver Pettigrew from Whisper Bay, a small community where everyone knows everyone or at least they think they do.

Oliver is a mysterious young man who has just returned home to Whisper Bay. No one really knows anything about him and really doesn’t seem to want to either. Except for Chloe, she needs to know all she can—her life as she knows it depends on it.

Can a socially awkward young man and a lonely young woman that has been deemed worthless by everyone who is supposed to love her, find hope—together? 99c on Amazon

The Case of the Defunct Adjunct
by Franky Bow
Cozy Mystery

“Follow your dreams, and you’ll never work a day in your life. Because that field’s not hiring.”

Molly Barda earned her Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from a top-ten doctoral program. After a year of fruitless job-hunting, she finally landed a job at remote Mahina State University (“Where Your Future Begins Tomorrow!”), in rural Hawaii. Teaching resume-writing. In the Business School.

Molly longs for working air conditioning. She sits on a yoga ball because there is no budget for office furniture. Her dean, unwilling to lose paying customers, won’t let her report cheating students.

But Molly’s determined to bloom where she’s planted, enjoy the tropical beauty of her new home, and stay out of trouble until she gets tenure.

Forced to attend the Student Retention Office’s summer retreat, Professor Molly brings her game of buzzword bingo to fend off boredom. When a serial harasser collapses face-first into his haupia cheesecake, the event goes from dull to disastrous.

Now Molly has to fight to keep her best friend out of the worst kind of trouble — and herself off the unemployment line.

If you like Dorothy Parker, P.G. Wodehouse, or E.F. Benson’s Mapp and Lucia stories, you’ll enjoy The Case of the Defunct Adjunct, a tale of passion, pilferage, and petty politics in the middle of the Pacific. 99c on Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Apple

Julia the Secret Keeper
by Franky Brown
Humorous

Everyone has a secret...and college junior Julia Fairfield knows them all. She is the one her family and friends tell all their secrets to. She never expected the shocking secret her mother asks her to keep, and she isn't sure if she can keep it a secret for long. Dealing with major changes in her life, the only one who understands her is Nick...the guy her best friend is in love with. She soon learns that on a rollercoaster ride through a world of hilarious secrets, love can take you by surprise. 99c on Amazon





Eyes Unveiled
by Crystal Walton
Coming of Age Romance, Clean College Romance, Musician Romance, Christian Fiction

If there's one thing she's learned to be good at, it's keeping walls around her heart. Until she sees herself through his eyes.

Twenty-one-year-old Emma Matthews lost the song inside her the same night she lost her dad. With an unfulfilled promise to make something of her life, the pressure of taking care of her mom, and an ultimatum threatening her junior year of college, maybe it's better that way. You can't hurt if you can't feel.

But when the reflection she sees in musician Riley Preston's eyes borders dangerously close to the one she's spent the last five years searching for, Emma wrestles to guard her heart from its fiercest desire.

Terrified of what she's experiencing, and even more afraid of what she might lose, Emma grapples for the courage to hold on to one dream without abandoning the promise of another. 99c on Amazon

The Last Great Wizard of Yden (Yden Series Book 1)
by Suzanne G. Rogers
Teen & Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Time Travel, Sword & Sorcery

Jon Hansen always thought his father’s tales about the magical planet of Yden were fiction. When his father is kidnapped by an evil wizard, however, Jon is forced to dig deeper. His investigation uncovers magical artifacts that will unlock another dimension—if only he can gather his courage to make the journey. On his quest to Yden, Jon encounters wizards, Cyclopes, and a warlord who seem to want him dead. Fortunately, he’s got friends by his side, as well as the ability to draw things to life. Can he and his friends defeat the most evil wizard the magical world has ever known, or will Jon become the latest addition to the Wolf Clan wizard’s gruesome collection of trophies? Includes a bonus Yden short story, RAN! FREE on Amazon

Out of My League
(Madison Musicians Book 2)
by Jennifer McCoy Blaske
Romance, Contemporary, & Women's Fiction

College freshman Annie O'Connor gets the opportunity of a lifetime when she's hired to play keyboard alongside the amazing guitarist, Scott Stewart. He's the perfect guy and she's determined to get him to notice her as more than another musician.

In her quest to woo a guy who's clearly out of her league, she stumbles across an Internet article called "5 Ways to Make a Guy Go Crazy Over You." Maybe this is just the answer Annie is looking for.

However, Annie soon finds out that there are never easy solutions to life’s challenges, and that relationships — and people — are more complicated than she originally thought.

The Princess and the Clown: Oliver's Story
(U R Missing Book 2)
by Bridget Burnett
Contemporary Christian Romance

DUPLICITY. How do you keep two separate lives separate...

How do you tell the girl of your dreams that you’re the clown she’s in love with? When Andi told him goodbye last year, Oliver sadly put away the clown suit. He trudges his way through his daily routine, certain that he’s lost the love of his life. Meanwhile, Andrea’s homecoming isn’t as pleasant as she’d hoped. Unsettled about her future, she goes to college in Essex. When Oliver learns that she’s been seen at the rink, he brings back the clown, buying some time while hoping to connect with her outside the rink. When they do meet, things take an unexpected twist... Oliver continues leading a double life, while trying to convince Andi to take a chance on love.

Next Door To A Star
(The Star Series Book 1)
by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Teen & Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Hadley Daniels is tired of feeling invisible.

After Hadley’s best friend moves away and she gets on the bad side of some girls at school, she goes to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Lake Michigan resort town of Grand Haven. Her next door neighbor is none other than teen TV star Simone Hendrickson, who is everything Hadley longs to be—pretty, popular, and famous—and she’s thrilled when Simone treats her like a friend.

Being popular is a lot harder than it looks.

It’s fun and flattering when Simone includes her in her circle, though Hadley is puzzled about why her new friend refuses to discuss her former Hollywood life. Caught up with Simone, Hadley finds herself ignoring her quiet, steadfast friend, Charlotte.

To make things even more complicated, along comes Nick Jenkins…

He’s sweet, good-looking, and Hadley can be herself around him without all the fake drama. However, the mean girls have other ideas and they fill Nick’s head with lies about Hadley, sending him running back to his ex-girlfriend and leaving Hadley heartbroken.

So when her parents decide to relocate to Grand Haven, Hadley hopes things will change when school starts…only to be disappointed once again.

Cliques. Back-stabbing. Love gone bad. Is this really what it’s like to live… Next Door To A Star? 99c on Amazon

Competing With The Star
(The Star Series Book 2)
by Krysten Lindsay Hager
Teen & Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Hadley Daniels's life seems perfect...

Before the beginning of sophomore year of high school, Hadley and her family move to a beautiful beach town, where she makes amazing new friends and lands the boyfriend of her dreams--Nick Jenkins. He's the kind of guy every girl swoons over, and it isn't long until Hadley discovers some are still swooning.

A famous ex-girlfriend makes matters more complicated...

After some time dating, Hadley and Nick form a deep bond. But insecurity sets in when Hadley discovers her boyfriend once had a huge crush on her friend--who just happens to be the beautiful former teen TV star, Simone Hendrickson.

The past is the past--or so they say...

Hadley confronts Nick, who confesses about his history with Simone. Though he claims to only have eyes for Hadley now, it's hard to believe--especially when she's blindsided with the news that Nick and Simone kissed after school.
Now Hadley must determine who is telling the truth. Love, betrayal, friendship...who needs soap opera drama when you're busy competing with a star? 99c on Amazon

Becoming Bryn
by Angela Carling
Young Adult, Sweet Romance

For months, Jesse has been envious of her twin sister Bryn and even has a crush on Bryn’s gorgeous, popular boyfriend, Quinton. When Jesse awakens from a coma to learn that everyone thinks she is Bryn, the option of actually taking over her sister’s life is beyond tempting, but there’s a downside. She’d have to give up Ethan, her best friend and the only person she trusts. Could she actually live as Bryn for the rest of her life? And if her family and friends found out, would they ever forgive her? 99c on Amazon / Apple / Barnes & Noble



Unbreakable Love: A Guardian Angel Sweet Romance

by Angela Carling

Young Adult, Paranormal



Jennie Townsend is unlucky in love, so she is immediately suspicious when a mysterious new student named Nate tries to gain her friendship. But there is something special about Nate, and in spite of her best efforts Jennie finds her feelings for the boy growing deeper every day.

In fact, Nate is more special than Jennie can even imagine. He is a guardian angel, sent to protect Jennie during a most dangerous time in her life. To do so, he must first become close to her – but not too close. The rules for Protectors warn against physical contact and strictly forbid falling in love. But the more time Nate spends with Jennie, the harder the rules are to follow. Will Nate be able to save Jennie from a premature end, or will his own emotions – and Jennie's – get in the way of completing the task for which he was specifically chosen? FREE on Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Apple

The Great Thirst Part One:
Prepared: an Archaeological Mystery (The Great Thirst Archaeological Mystery Serial Book 1)
by Mary C. Findley
Historical, Christian

Small town science teacher Keith Bradley climbs into a red Tesla with English teacher Talia Ramin for the field trip of a lifetime. At stake is a missing copy of the Scriptures on gold tablets. At risk is the trust of an ancient order sworn to keep the tablets safe.

Talia's archaeologist aunt and uncle may have lost their last clue to artifact thieves. A government ultimatum might undo every lesson they have taught their students about keeping the Word safe. FREE on Amazon



All that Glitters
by Ines Bautista-Yao
Teen & Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

When they have nothing better to do, college students Billie Santiago and Carlos Angeles enjoy imagining what their lives will be like five years into the future. It’s never serious—just a whole lot of teasing and poking fun at each other. Till blindingly handsome, PR professional Iñigo Antonio saunters into the university bookstore where Billie works. All of a sudden, she finds herself face to face with the physical manifestation of the very dream she tells Carlos about.

Captivated by Iñigo’s magnetic personality, Billie is lured into his dazzlingly glamorous world—much to Carlos’s frustration. But as Billie notices Iñigo might not be playing by the rules, Carlos begs her to stay away from him. When Billie doesn’t listen, she realizes too late that she is in over her head and it may take a miracle (or a boy who cares deeply about her) to get her out of it. 99c on Amazon

What Dreams May Come: In Dreams, book 1
by Beth M. Honeycutt
Teen & Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Romance

He knows her darkest secrets, sees into her dreams. Math class will never be the same.

Reality is overrated. Or so Ellie Cross believes. She greatly prefers the dreams she shares with her lifelong BFF and secret crush, Gabe, to her real life. And okay, so yeah, lately Ellie’s noticed that Gabe’s kinda hot. Make that incredibly hot. But that doesn’t mean she’s crazy or anything. And so what if she happens to have an itsy-bitsy crush on her reality-challenged friend? Who’s it hurting, really? Even better, since he isn’t real, she can tell dream-guy-Gabe anything, without ever worrying that he’ll ditch her for someone cooler or embarrass her by blabbing her secrets.

But things are about to get complicated, because there’s a new guy in school—a guy with hauntingly familiar eyes. A guy who knows things about Ellie that he shouldn’t have any way of knowing… 2.99 on Amazon

Masquerading Our Love (A Stonehaven High Series Book 1) 

by Audrey Rich



Junior year has been tough on Thalía Reynari. A new high school, trying to fit in with new friends, schoolwork, family commitments.With everything going on in her life, Thalía could use a break, an adventure. So when Thalía meets Christopher Cooper, the most gorgeous guy in town, her life should change for the better, right?


Don’t bet on it.

Thalía and Christopher find themselves caught in the middle of a simmering feud that’s kept the two families apart for a decade. And no one is sure if young love will be enough to bridge this divide.

As they hide their relationship behind masks Thalía must decide if this new love is worth losing her parents’ approval.


First-time novelist Audrey Rich imbues Masquerading Our Love with the joy and pain of how teens live life today as they wrestle with love, friendship, and faith. Thalía, Christopher, and Rich’s entire cast of characters is so vibrant, so alive, that they’re sure to leap off the page—and into your heart.

Buy this stand alone novel now to lose yourself in a clean and wholesome, heartwarming story about young love determined to stay together...even when it’s forbidden. 99c on Amazon

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That's it!

We hope you enjoyed our Back to School eBook Sale!