From the AlzAuthors Blog: Robyn Hollingworth and “My Mad Dad: The Diary of an Unraveling Mind”

My Mad Dad Canva

By Robyn Hollingworth

About ten years ago my life took a turn. I guess you would say it took a turn for the worse, but really, it just changed. I was in my mid-twenties, living in London and working in fashion. My father  was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in his early 60s, and within the year, I had moved back to small-town south Wales to help my mum look after him.

His decline was swift, his actions included (at the start) repetition of stories, misplacing items, and accidentally putting on Mum’s cardigan to go to the shops – so far, standard! He had really mellowed and was fairly stoic and philosophical about the illness, often making jokes about his forgetfulness, even though it must have been terrifying for him. Then life took a turn for the “even worse.” Mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away just three months after I moved home. The effect this had on dad was profound and catastrophic. The seismic shift in the family dynamic tipped him right over the edge. By this point, my older brother was also in residence, but still we couldn’t give dad the level of care he needed. One day he mistook me for a burglar and came at me with a knife. It was at this point that we had to seek more help and Dad went into a care home. Continue reading

The 12 Days of Christmas Book Blast! Day 1: “Wish Upon a Christmas Star: A Boxed Set of 6 Fairy Tale Inspired, Sweet Novellas”

12 Days of ChristmasWelcome to The 12  Days of Christmas Book Blast! Each day through January 6th I’m featuring a Christmas-themed book from an author at Clean Indie Reads. All titles are considered “flinch-free,” meaning you don’t have to worry about overt sexuality, violence, and questionable language, and can feel comfortable sharing them with your friends and family. You’re sure to find enough new titles to fill your Kindle for winter or use up that Amazon gift card Santa left in your stocking. And be sure to subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss any posts! Merry Christmas!

Today’s Featured Book

Happily Ever After

Wish Upon a Christmas Star: A Boxed Set of 6 Fairy Tale Inspired, Sweet Novellas

To help you celebrate this holiday season, six authors have joined together to bring you a box set of stories filled with the Christmas spirit. Each story is a clean, contemporary romance, inspired by a beloved fairy tale.

This box set, new for the 2018 Christmas season, includes stories from best-selling, long-time favorite, and new authors: Kit Morgan, Danielle Thorne, Allie Pleiter, K.D. Garcia, Rachel A. Andersen, and Jessica L. Elliott.

Snuggle up next to a warm fire, grab a mug of cocoa, and enjoy:

The Way You Look at Me (A Sweet City Hearts Novella):  When Anna learns the identity of Charleston’s infamous food critic, they both discover about how love reveals true beauty–inside and out. Inspired by The Ugly Duckling.

A Mermaid Under the Mistletoe: When Leilani Hale’s morning workout is interrupted by an attempted burglary, it’s going to take all of her faith and a few Christmas miracles to get her life back on track. Inspired by The Little Mermaid.

Giant Love: Best-selling author Kit Morgan’s Jack and the Beanstalk inspired romance.

The Leprechaun of Christmas Present: A leprechaun gives a young man lessons about business and love just in time for Christmas. Inspired by A Christmas Carol.

A Little Christmas Pretense: Cindy Ashby thinks her life is as good as it’s going to get until a handsome stranger comes and turns her world upside down. Inspired by Cinderella.

Henry’s Holiday Charade: Henry must find a girlfriend in time for his family’s company Christmas party, so the cute but chatty and accident-prone, Amanda Hill, will have to do. Inspired by A Frog Prince.

Buy Now! Just 1.99

Christmas Books All Month Long! Day 15: “Christmas Kisses”

Banner

It’s the Christmas season! One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is to curl up with a Christmas-themed book, a steaming cup of tea, and a seat. I can’t send you tea and cookies, but I can send you some great book suggestions. Throughout the month I’ll be featuring DOZENS of books. Load that Kindle! It’s going to be a long winter!

Today we have Christmas Kisses by  Stacy Lynn Carroll, Tara C. Allred, Stephanie Connelley Worlton, and Ali M. Cross. This selection comes from the lovely ladies at Lovin’ The Book’s Christmas Countdown. Don’t miss the giveaway at the end! I’ll be hosting this Christmas Countdown through December 23rd, followed by my Twelve Days of Christmas Book Blast starting December 26th through January 6th.

Christmas Kisses

About the Book:  Are you ready to fall in love? Take the chill out of winter with four new multi-genre romances from best-selling and award-winning authors Tara C. Allred, Stacy Lynn Carroll, Ali M. Cross, and Stephanie Connelley Worlton. From heart-warming traditions to heart-pounding suspense, this cozy collection of toe-tingling first kisses set in Utah’s North Pole (aka Bear Lake) will leave you feeling cheerful and bright.

Universal Amazon Link ~ 
  Continue reading

12 Reasons to Put Books at the Top of Your Holiday Gift List

christmas-2618269_1920

Friends and family tell me I’m easy to shop for – just buy me a book or a gift card to a bookstore and you’re sure to make a hit.  I make it even easier for them by posting the titles I’d like on my Amazon wish list well before the holiday shopping season starts.

Books are the perfect gift.  Here are twelve reasons to put them at the top of your holiday gift list. Continue reading

Christmas Books All Month Long! Day 3: “When Night Falls Around Us”

Banner

It’s the Christmas season! One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is to curl up with a Christmas-themed book, a steaming cup of tea, and a sweet treat. I can’t send you tea and cookies, but I can send you some great book suggestions. Throughout the month I’ll be featuring DOZENS of books. Load that Kindle! It’s going to be a long winter!

Today we have When Night Falls Around Us by Laura L. Walker. This selection comes from the lovely ladies at Lovin’ The Book’s Christmas Countdown. Don’t miss the giveaway at the end! I’ll be hosting this Christmas Countdown through December 23rd, followed by my Twelve Days of Christmas Book Blast  starting December 26th through January 6th.

Walker Cover

Description: Nineteen-year-old Felicity Everstone is living her dream while attending college and serving alongside her parents in the North Atlanta Georgia Mission for the LDS Church–not to mention dating a charming guy who sweeps her off her feet. But when she is unexpectedly sent home to Idaho to care for her nephew through her sister-in-law’s difficult pregnancy, and the friend she has been sharing the gospel with no longer wants to pursue that path, everything that once brought light and joy into her life nearly flickers out. Until she meets her good-looking but solemn neighbor, Erik.

Erik Cannon has already lost the love of his life. Now, as a young, successful businessman, making money seems to be his God-given talent, but he can no longer ignore the emptiness he feels inside. He needs to find purpose and meaning in his life once again. When his best friend’s sister comes to help her family through a crisis, Erik’s heart is reawakened. He senses this is a second chance at love for him, and that he and Felicity might be able to build a beautiful life together–until her old boyfriend comes back into the picture.

When darkness settles over Erik and Felicity’s path, will their emerging love be enough to light the way?”

Purchase Now! Continue reading

Christmas Books All Month Long! Day 1: “The Spirit of Christmas”

Banner

It’s the Christmas season! One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is to curl up with a Christmas-themed book, a steaming cup of tea, and a sweet treat. I can’t send you tea and cookies, but I can send you some great book suggestions. Throughout the month I’ll be featuring DOZENS of books. Load that Kindle! It’s going to be a long winter!

First up: “The Spirit of Christmas” by Lauraine Henderson. This selection comes from the lovely ladies at Lovin’ The Book’s Christmas Countdown. Don’t miss the giveaway at the end! I’ll be hosting this Christmas Countdown through December 23rd, followed by my Twelve Days of Christmas Book Blast starting December 26th through January 6th.

Spirit of CHristmas

Description: George Stone can’t wait for the Christmas season to be over and his employees, especially his executive assistant, Kathryn Gleason, focused once again on their work. When a missing report requires George to stop in at Kathryn’s parents’ home the day before Christmas Eve, he ends up as an unexpected guest. Between the haunting journals of his late grandfather and the unsettling dream of an unhappy future, George is swept away by the magic of Kathryn’s charm and her family’s love.

Will the Spirit of Christmas show George the happiness he’s missing, and will Kathryn’s warmth and beauty melt his cold heart?

Purchase Now!

 

About the Author

LauraineLauraine Henderson lives with her husband, dog and cat on 68 acres of woodland 40 miles north of Portland, Oregon. After growing up in Oregon, they moved their family of three children to Utah. From there they moved to Hawaii and Arizona, finally coming back to Oregon in 2015. Their three children, two girls and a boy are all grown and live across the United States.

After being a professional bookkeeper for over twenty years, she turned her hobby of writing into her first published novel in 2016. She loves to write inspirational romance and romantic comedy and hopes her readers will be both entertained and uplifted by her stories. When she’s not writing, she’s working her way through online university, loves to paint (watercolors, oils, and acrylics), sew, knit, crochet, make beaded jewelry, and read (of course!).

Connect with Lauraine Henderson: ~ Facebook ~ Website ~

Q&A With the Author

Describe yourself in 50 words or less. Writer of romance, painter of children and close-focus flowers, sewer of clothing, knitter of scarves, beaded jewelry maker, avid reader, online college freshman at BYU-I, former bookkeeper, certified scuba diver, mother of three (2 girls and 1 boy), wife for 33 years.

What do you love most in the world? I love to share others’ accomplishments and celebrate with them. Most of the time, I do this for my family, especially my children. I love to be a part of someone else’s happiness.

What inspired you to become an Author? It’s the old story of having an idea rattling around in your head until you take the time to write it down. The more I wrote, the more scenes came to me until, years later, I had the makings of a novel. From that point on, the stories just kept coming.

What is your favorite Winter/Holiday tradition? In our family, we draw names in October and create a homemade gift for that person. We exchange the homemade gifts on Christmas Eve, after a formal dinner and Christmas program. Throughout the years, everyone in the family has come to agree that the best part of Christmas is the homemade gift they give.

What is your trick for getting past writer’s block? And what advice do you have for other authors who are struggling to tell their story? This is tricky because everyone approaches writing from different directions. When I have writer’s block, I need to walk away from my work for a while. Sometimes it takes days. Sometimes it takes weeks before new ideas strike and I can work on that piece again. In the meantime, I usually work on something else or read a lot. Advice? Well, like most other writers will say, just write. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect. Write until you run out of words and then wait and write more when more words come. Read a lot. I find when I read really good authors, I can hear my own story in my head and it’s easier to write it down. Keep a notebook handy and write whenever you feel inspired.

Tell us a story. When my husband and I moved to Arizona, we bought a house in a sub-division about twenty miles out of town. Surrounding our half-built community, there were multiple dirt trails designed for ATV enthusiasts. We purchased two Honda four-wheel ATVs and frequently hopped on the wheelers for short excursions into the surrounding desert landscape. My husband fashioned a large shelf across the back of one of the wheelers so our dog could sit and enjoy the ride when he tired of running beside us.

On one excursion, we were following the dry canals—built for flash floods–through the neighborhood. During the course of the summer, wind had blown tumbleweeds into the canals and because the plants were fraught with prickly thorns, we carefully avoided them.

Approaching a large patch of tumbleweed, my husband (who was always in the lead because the dog would howl if he wasn’t first), ran his wheeler up the side of the canal embankment and down on the other side of the tumbleweeds. I was using a new type of throttle attachment that day and as I attempted to follow him, I pulled on the throttle too hard. The wheeler shot out from under me, crested the embankment and landed on top of the other side from where we started.

I landed smack dab in the middle of the tumbleweed pile! If it hadn’t been for the dog barking, I’m not sure how soon my husband would have noticed that I had stopped following him. When he finally came up beside me, I was still lying face-first, spitting the dirt from my mouth, and trying to catch my breath. I was pretty sure I hadn’t broken anything, but the difficulty I had breathing worried my husband and he gently helped me to turn over. Except, turning over meant I was now sitting in the bushes of thorns! Struggling to stand, breath, and stop shaking from the experience, he carefully worked all the thorns off my backside.

It took weeks before I could breathe normally again, and I have a residual lump on my thigh. Everyone needs a good wheeler story…

Continue reading