New Release Spotlight! Cover Reveal for Patti Callahan’s Upcoming Historical Novel, Surviving Savannah

New Release Spotlight Driftwood Dreams (4)

New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan delivers a breathtaking novel based on true events.

It was called “The Titanic of the South”—the luxury steamship that sank in 1838 with Savannah’s elite on board. Through time, their fates were forgotten—until the wreck was found.

Now their story is finally being told.

When Savannah history professor Everly Winthrop is asked to guest-curate a new museum collection focusing on artifacts recovered from the steamship Pulaski, she’s shocked. The ship sank after a boiler explosion in 1838, and the wreckage was just discovered, 180 years later. Everly can’t resist the opportunity to try to solve some of the mysteries and myths surrounding the devastating night of its sinking.

Everly’s research leads her to the astounding history of a family of eleven who boarded the Pulaski together, and the extraordinary stories of two women from this family: a known survivor, Augusta Longstreet, and her niece, Lilly Forsyth, who, along with her child, was never found. The women were part of Savannah society, but when the ship exploded, each was faced with difficult and heartbreaking decisions. This is a moving and powerful exploration of what women will do to endure in the face of tragedy, the role fate plays, and the myriad ways we survive the surviving.

Perfect for fans of Before We Were Yours, Sold on a Monday, and Orphan Train, Callahan’s highly anticipated novel tells the story of a little known chapter of history that has long deserved a spotlight. This transformative tale told from alternating past and present perspectives will sweep readers away and move them to their core.

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Pre-order Surviving Savannah Now! 

Win an advanced digital review copy of the book! Enter here.

(NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. US Residents, 18+. Ends August 17, 2020.
See official rules at official website.)

 

Q&A with Patti Callahan

What inspired you to write Surviving Savannah?

Originally I was inspired by the Pulaski tales of survival, how the city of Savannah was part of this story, and how the Lowcountry was affected by this tragedy. I was also inspired and curious about the transformation of each passenger and the ways that each survivor not only lived through the explosion, but also how they chose to live their lives after the sinking.

How, I wondered, do some come to live better lives and others turn toward bitterness and cruelty? Who do we become after such great loss?

AND then!, everything shifted because after a hundred and eighty years, along came a shipwreck hunting crew who found the remains of the Pulaski a hundred feet beneath the waves, thirty miles off the coast of Wilmington, North Carolina. While the team went deep to bring up the artifacts and treasure of this beautiful ship, I dug deep to bring up the stories.

My exhilarating hunt for the forgotten story began.

What kind of research was required to write the novel? Did anything surprise you?

The research was as fascinating as it was extensive – from the archives at the Georgia Historical Center in Savannah and the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum to books, newspaper archives, personal accounts and letters, I read everything that I could get my hands on. I devoured books on steamships and Savannah in the 1800’s. I read about the rich history of the colonization of Savannah with General Oglethorpe. I walked the streets of Savannah and visited museums and artifact collections. I interviewed shipwreck experts and became enchanted with the world of wreck salvaging and treasure hunting.

During this journey, I was surprised over and over, but one surprise that opens the novel is the true narrative about a fifteen-year-old passenger named Charles who survived the sinking to become a slave trader with a horrific reputation. As he grew into a man, he earned the nickname “the Red Devil”. How had this young boy survived to become so cruel? I wanted to know.

Finally, after years of research, I put together a complete story of that calamitous night, and one family in particular.

Your story follows three women – Lily and Augusta on the ship in 1838, and Everly in present day. Which of the three women did you relate to the most and why?

While I was writing each section I always felt the most connected to the woman I was writing about at the moment. I don’t think I felt more for one woman than another but of course our modern-day character, Everly felt more relatable only because I know today’s Savannah and I know today’s southern norms and ideas. The historical narratives were almost two hundred years old, and yet I still felt as close to Lilly and Augusta because their plight and their desires and their inner lives feel familiar. As far as women have come in their roles in society, there is still the struggle for independence and agency. There remains the need to burst through familial and collective norms to build a life of one’s own.

All three women had their own tragedies, hardships and losses to navigate. All three needed to discover how they would make meaning and purpose out of their situation. All three found out what they were truly made of and if they wanted to merely survive or if they wanted to thrive and build new lives.

Add SURVIVING SAVANNAH to your shelf: 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54306882-surviving-savannah

Visit Patti online: https://www.patticallahanhenry.com/surviving-savannah

About the Author

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Photo Credit: Bud Johnson Photography, Savannah, GA

Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of fifteen novels, including the (Historical Fiction),  BECOMING MRS. LEWIS—The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis (writing as Patti Callahan).

In addition, she is the recipient of The Christy Award—A 2019 Winner “Book of the Year”; The Harper Lee Distinguished Writer of the Year for 2020 and the Alabama Library Association Book of the Year for 2019.

In March of 2021, a new historical fiction novel — SURVIVING SAVANNAH based on the true story of the Steamship Pulaski wreck will be released.

The author is also the host of the popular seven-part original “Behind the Scenes of Becoming Mrs. Lewis Podcast Series” launched, October 2019.  The podcast audiobook collection including bonus material was released in January 2020, and available now. The new expanded BECOMING MRS. LEWIS paperback edition was released on March 24, 2020, and available now.

Patti Callahan is the co-host and co-creator of the popular weekly Friends and Fiction Facebook Live Show and podcast, featuring the five bestselling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Kristy Woodson Harvey, Kristin Harmel, and Mary Alice Monroe with endless stories, special guests, and a way to connect readers and writers.

THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER (writing as Patti Callahan Henry—Southern Contemporary Fiction) was launched in June 2019, and THE PERFECT LOVE SONG—A Christmas Holiday novella released October 2019, and available now.

A full-time author and mother of three children, she now resides in both Mountain Brook, Alabama and Bluffton, South Carolina with her husband.

Connect with Patti Callahan Henry

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New Release Spotlight! One Minute to Midnight, Historical Family Fiction

New Release Spotlight

North Carolina, 1873–With one brother in the grave, another on the run, and his father’s farm failing farther and farther into disrepair, nineteen-year-old Louis Finley must do what he can to secure his own future and save the family he has left. But first he has to face the past, and find out what he’s really made of.

 

One Minute to Midnight

Purchase One Minute to Midnight

About the Author

Welcome to my little corner of the world! Pull up a comfy chair and stay a while.

I love well-told stories with heart, humor, and warmth, so those are the kinds of stories I write. And I love characters who stay with you–people who are so layered, flawed, and well-detailed that you could swear they were real, and you’d met them before. So, those are the kinds of characters I try to bring to life.

Each of my books is an invitation to settle in, grab a blanket, and make a new friend or two as they go on an interesting life journey. When you your favorite characters, let me know who they are! Happy reading!

Connect with Jessica Marie Holt

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Note: I am an Amazon Associate and may receive a small commission from book sales.

New Release Spotlight! Brenda Novak’s Latest: One Perfect Summer

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Some families we’re born into.

Some we find for ourselves.

When Serenity Alston swabbed her cheek for 23andMe, she joked about uncovering some dark ancestral scandal. The last thing she expected was to discover two half sisters she didn’t know existed. Suddenly, everything about her loving family is drawn into question. And meeting these newfound sisters might be the only way to get answers.

The women decide to dig into the mystery together at Serenity’s family cabin in Lake Tahoe. With Reagan navigating romantic politics at work and Lorelei staring down the collapse of her marriage, all three women are converging at a crossroads in their lives. Before the summer is over, they’ll have to confront the past and determine how to move forward when everything they previously thought to be true was a lie. But any future is easier to face with family by your side.

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About the Author

41IpMm+lt5L._US230_It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak’s career as a bestselling author–she caught her day-care provider drugging her children with cough syrup to get them to sleep all day. That was when Brenda decided she needed to quit her job as a loan officer and help make a living from home.

“When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book,” Brenda says. But she sold that book, and the rest is history. Her novels have made the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists and won many awards, including eight Rita nominations, the Book Buyer’s Best, the Book Seller’s Best, the Silver Bullet and the National Reader’s Choice Award.

Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are proud parents of five children–three girls and two boys. When she’s not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually raising funds for diabetes research (her youngest son has this disease). So far, Brenda has raised $2.6 million!

Connect with Brenda Novak

Join Brenda Novak’s Online Book Group on Facebook. They’re currently reading her newest release ONE PERFECT SUMMER. Get an autographed copy in one of Brenda’s popular Brenda Novak Book Boxes at her website.

New Release Spotlight! The Magnolia Inn, Sweet Romance From Anne-Marie Meyer

New Release Spotlight

The Magnolia Inn: A Sweet, Small Town Story (The Red Stiletto Book Club Series 1)

A story about new friendships, a forgotten Book Club, and finding what you didn’t know you needed. 

Welcome to Magnolia

Maggie is thirty-six, recently divorced and embarrassingly unemployed. With a bank account nearing zero she does the only thing she can think of: Make a business proposition to her gorgeous and successful estranged mother.

To Maggie’s utter surprise, her mother agrees. Any funds she can create off the sale of the dilapidated family inn on the island of Magnolia would be hers to invest.

So Maggie packs her few belongings and heads off to Rhode Island to make her dreams come true.

Clementine has been stuck in Magnolia her whole life. The moment her father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s she knew she could never leave. And it was unrealistic for her to rely on her older brother, Archer, who can’t seem to outrun the ghosts of his past.

So when Maggie blows into town, both Clementine and Archer find themselves intrigued by the new move-in.

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When they stumble upon an old photograph of Maggie’s grandmother buried up in the attic, Maggie can’t help but be drawn to a woman she’s never met. In an attempt to feel closer to a family she never knew, a book club is revitalized.

The Red Stilettos Book Club.

What starts out as an act of desperation, soon becomes exactly what the women of Magnolia island were looking for, a sisterhood.

The Magnolia Inn will capture you from page one. It is a story chock full of friendship, laughter, and swoon-worthy romance.

 

Don’t pass up this wonderful story. Grab your copy TODAY!

 

About the Author

Anne-Marie Meyer, author
Anne-Marie Meyer lives south of the Twin Cities in MN. She spends her days with her knight in shining armor, four princes, and a baby princess.

When she’s not running after her kids, she’s dreaming up romantic stories. She loves to take her favorite moments in the books and movies she loves and tries to figure out a way to make them new and fresh.

Join her newsletter at anne-mariemeyer.com

Connect with Anne Marie Meyer

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New Release Spotlight! Summer of ’79, Elin Hilderbrand’s Limited Release Kindle Single

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AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY!

Elin Hilderbrand’s brief, irresistible postscript to her #1 New York Times bestselling novel Summer of ’69.

Catch up with Blair, Jessie, and Kirby ten years after the summer everything changed. This “Summer of ’69 story” by Elin Hilderbrand will be published in print in spring 2021 as part of a Dorothea Benton Frank tribute anthology. Get it now in digital form, for a limited time!

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Purchase Summer of ’79 now!

About the Author

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Elin Hilderbrand is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University and the Iowa Writers Workshop. She has lived on Nantucket for 25 years and is the mother of three teenagers. THE PERFECT COUPLE is her twenty-first novel.

Visit MamaStrong.net

 

Connect with Elin Hilderbrand

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Note: I am an Amazon Associate and may receive a small commission from book sales.

 

 

New Release Spotlight! Accidentally Yours, a Rom-Com by Jessica Marie Holt

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Love By Any Means Necessary. 

That’s the new motto of old friends Ellie and June.

Fresh off the success of their first matchmaking endeavor, these two feisty grannies are ready to take their skills to the next level. They’ll do whatever it takes to help Maddie–their next target–find true love, including hijinks, shenanigans, and good old-fashioned subterfuge. Unfortunately, Maddie’s meddling mom makes their task more problematic than they imagined, and they soon find themselves in over their heads. Can they engineer the right outcome? Or, will their schemes all come to nothing this time around?

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Purchase Accidentally Yours Now

About the Author

Welcome to my little corner of the world! Pull up a comfy chair and stay a while.

I love well-told stories with heart, humor, and warmth, so those are the kinds of stories I write. And I love characters who stay with you–people who are so layered, flawed, and well-detailed that you could swear they were real, and you’d met them before. So, those are the kinds of characters I try to bring to life.

Each of my books is an invitation to settle in, grab a blanket, and make a new friend or two as they go on an interesting life journey. When you your favorite characters, let me know who they are! Happy reading!

Connect with Jessica Marie Holt

Facebook

Note: I am an Amazon Associate and may receive a small commission from book sales.

New Release Spotlight! When in Doubt Don’t Chicken Out, Irish Women’s Fiction

New Release Spotlight

What’s a girl to do with her unruly dog, a rogue chicken, and a foster bunny named Stew?

Caity Shaw is settling into her new life in Dublin. She is now juggling two event planner jobs, but she hopes the family clan gathering she is organizing will launch her genealogy business. Over the past year, Caity has transformed from an insecure victim of emotional abuse into a confident woman thanks largely to Declan, her Irish boyfriend.

When Declan moves from their Dublin flat to Killybog to care for the home of her Coffey family’s archenemy, Caity and Declan’s relationship takes a turn for the worse. Even her faithful companion Mac abandons her for life in the country. Caity goes to Killybog to try to mend their relationship, but she unexpectedly takes over the caretaker duties. Mischievous animals, the loss of electricity, and a mysterious man searching for an abandoned IRA hideout are just a few of the challenges she faces. When a popular soap opera films at her uncle’s home, Caity’s sister Rachel seizes the opportunity to get the English estate out of massive debt by organizing a slew of fan events while also planning a family wedding. Once again, Caity’s dream of becoming a genealogist is put on hold.

That is until she takes on a wealthy but unsavory genealogy client. As Caity tracks the family’s history, and the client disputes the nefarious findings, Caity finds herself in a real-life soap opera!

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Purchase When in Doubt Don’t Chicken Out on Amazon.com

Also available on:  Kobo Amazon UK    Amazon AU    Amazon CA
Eliza Watson
About the Author

Eliza Watson is a USA Today Bestselling Author. When Eliza isn’t traveling for her job as an event planner, or tracing her ancestry roots through Ireland, she’s at home working on her next novel, bouncing ideas off her husband, Mark, and her cats Frankie and Sammy. Eliza’s monthly newsletter features Caity’s travel tips column, genealogy research advice, and info about her latest news, giveaways, and releases! Subscribe at elizawatson.com.

Connect with Eliza Watson

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Note: I am an Amazon Associate and may receive a small commission on book sales.

New Release Spotlight: “Because of You,” Riveting Second Hand Romance By Allie Boniface

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Today I’m happy to feature a new book from my friend Allie Boniface. I met Allie when I was an aspiring author and she’d published her first book. She shared a lot of hard-won wisdom with me and served as a beta reader when I needed guidance. Now she’s a USA Today Bestselling Author. It’s been a thrill to watch her success. Here’s her new book, a romance.

 

Because of YouAbout the Book

Ten years ago, Piper Townsend fell to her death from the top of a fraternity house, and no one on Drake Isle has ever been the same. Blake Carter’s fraternity was scandalized. Misterion College closed down altogether. And Blake’s girlfriend, Emerson Doyle, fled the island after her best friend died and never looked behind her.

Now they’re back.

Blake’s the CEO of a multi-million dollar tech firm looking to relocate to the island. Emerson owns a yoga studio in the building he wants to buy. They haven’t spoken in ten years. They’re on opposite sides of the bargaining table.

But old flames die hard.

And the more Blake and Emerson fight both the past and each other, the more they realize that coming to terms with tragedy is their only chance of finding love again…

What reviewers are saying

“The chemistry between Emerson and Blake blazes throughout the book.”

“Wow, what a great start for this new series by this very talented author…This is a story that is at times heartbreaking and at others heartwarming.”

“I’ll start by saying I read this novel in one day. One day!…The relationship was so tangible to me, the shared history, all that was left unsaid, I just couldn’t stop reading. I just needed to unravel everything!”

“This was a moving story – so many emotions involved.”

Purchase Because of You  Amazon  ~  Barnes and Noble  ~  Kobo  ~ iBooks

About the Author

AllieAllie Boniface is the USA Today best-selling author of over a dozen novels, including the Cocktail Cruise, Hometown Heroes, and Pine Point series. Her books are most often set in small towns and feature emotional, thought-provoking, sensual romance with relatable characters you’ll know and love. A graduate of the University of Rochester and Case Western Reserve University, Allie currently lives in a small town in the beautiful Hudson Valley of New York with her husband and their two furry felines. When she isn’t teaching high school English, she likes to travel, lose herself in great music, or go for a long run and think about her next small town story.

Connect with Allie Boniface

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NaNoWriMo Writer? Watch Your Back, Neck, Shoulders, Arms, and Hands, Your Most Important Writing Tools  

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The month of November brings many things:  Election Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, Caregiver Appreciation Month, and Movember. But if you’re a writer, it also brings something else: NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month.

NaNoWriMoNaNoWriMo is a what-seems-to-be impossible challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. It starts at midnight on November 1st and ends at 11:59 pm November 30th. Sound crazy? It did to me when I first heard about it in 2013, a rather latecomer to the game since it started in 1999. Better late than never. Anyway, since I live with chronic pain related to Repetitive Strain Injuries and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome the concept of NaNoWriMo is well beyond my capabilities, but I’m still seduced by the idea of it.

Imagine being able to commit to writing an average of 1,667 words each day for 30 days. At the end, you’ll have the first draft of a book, which over the next few months you can polish into something presentable, maybe even publishable. The possibilities astound me, a writer who worked on the first draft of a novel for four years. I started it as part of a NANO challenge in 2013, when I was able to produce 4,000 words over the course of a week before succumbing to a flare-up of RSIs and TOS.

NaNoWriMo is not for anyone without the stamina to sit at a keyboard for hours each day. One thousand six hundred and sixty-seven words sound easy – it’s the equivalent of six and a half pages – in theory, achievable for most people who are able to keep butt in chair and type long enough to do it. But if you’re prone to carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, bursitis, headaches, or neck pain, this challenge will most likely exacerbate your condition and prevent future NaNoWriMo attempts.

Woman laptop sore neck Dollarphotoclub_47543595.jpgMaintaining the postures of keyboarding, mousing, and viewing a computer monitor for hours requires an incredible amount of exertion, muscle control, and energy. I’ve heard it said that an 8-hour worker at a computer station works her body as hard as a professional athlete, using primarily the smallest and most delicate of muscles and tendons, as well as a multitude of nerves. These micro-tissues, sustaining a static posture over long periods of time, become inflamed, injured, and cause great pain. If ignored, the condition continues. If left untreated, permanent disability can result. I am an authority on this topic: Permanently partially disabled since 2006, currently recovering from my fourth related surgery, the second on my right shoulder in ten years.

I’m not a killjoy. I simply don’t want to see other people end up like me. It’s no fun struggling to write 250 words a day and failing. It’s hard to complete a project when you have to avoid the computer for days on end. If you’re wrapped up in NaNoWriMo please take care of yourself. Here are some tips:

Prepare your body for a writing session:

  • Massage your hands with your favorite lotion.
  • Stretch your hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, and neck.
  • Don’t forget your back, which can also be overworked.

Adjust your work space for safety:

  • Make sure your monitor is an arm’s length away, at a height where your eyes are focused one inch below its upper edge.
  • Use a keyboard tray.
  • Ensure it’s at the appropriate height so your elbows are at rest and in a neutral position.
  • You should not be reaching for the keyboard.
  • Be careful with your mouse. It’s the root cause of a lot of disability. I use a keyboard with a built-in glide pad. Cured my five-year history of elbow tendinitis.
  • A lap top is not a desk top. Don’t use it as one. The ergonomics of it are completely off and will contort your body in painful ways.
  • Take the time to set your chair at the appropriate height, making sure your feet are on the floor. Use lumbar support if you have it.
  • If you can get a sit-stand desk get it! Makes a huge difference.

Watch your posture:

  • Sit up, don’t slump.
  • Position your ears over your shoulders and your shoulders over your hips.
  • Do not thrust your head forward. You’ll get “turtle head” and hurt your back.

Take frequent rest breaks:

  • Use a timer. Twenty minutes is as long as you should write before taking a break.
  • While resting, do some desk stretches or stand up and stretch, have a drink of water, rest your eyes.
  • Listen to your body.

After a writing session:

  • Stretch again.
  • Soothe your muscles with gentle massage, especially your hands.

If you have pain:

  • Don’t ignore it. Respond and treat.
  • Use ice or heat as tolerated on sore areas. Thermacare wraps are awesome!
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Motrin and Tylenol, can help.
  • Topical over the counter remedies such as Topricin, Bio-Freeze, and Real Time Pain Relief are easily available and provide relief.
  • Remember to stretch gently every day.
  • Limit computer time or perform multiple short sessions each day.

If the problem continues:

  • See your doctor
    • A course of physical and/or occupational therapy can ward off chronic pain issues.
    • Your doctor can order prescription strength medicine such as analgesics, muscle relaxants, and topical therapies.
    • Surgery is a last resort. Don’t let this happen to you.
  • Consult a chiropractor.
  • Hire a massage therapist.
  • Visit an ergonomist.
  • Stay off the computer!

Interesting FAQs:

  • Since its inception in 1999, 367,913 NaNoWriMo participants have completed a novel.
  • In 2017, 306,230 writers participated in NaNoWriMo.
  • Over 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published, including:
    • Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants
    • Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus
    • Hugh Howey’s Wool
    • Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl
    • Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator
    • Marissa Meyer’s Cinder

Avoiding repetitive strain injuries can keep you in the running to complete your own NaNoWriMo challenge and finish that novel!

For more info on NaNoWriMo visit https://nanowrimo.org/

NaNoWriMo image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month. Others via Adobe Stock and Dollar Photo Club.

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Michelle Spray Writes About Her Novel “Lost Memories Found Hope: A Granddaughter’s Story of Love throughout Alzheimer’s”

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By Michelle Spray

I truly feel honored to be included as an integral part of the AlzAuthors group. Not only have I written a book with will make my grandmother proud, I have lived the caregiving experience one hundred percent. I was Grandma’s primary caregiver for seven years and got my on-the-job training simply because I lived there. It was up to me. I learned how to cope, distract, exercise patience, and lean on hope to get through all the emotions of dementia and eventually an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. I understand the stress that families are going through, including worrying and grieving for the Grandma I knew even though she was still alive. The day she no longer recognized me is a moment that will forever be etched on my heart.

Lost Memories front cover 2018I didn’t want to write a sad book about Alzheimer’s because that had already been done, so I used the opportunity to write a fictional story based on Grandma’s Alzheimer’s. I included the funny things she’d say, or how sometimes, even in the midst of it all, she would have a quick reply or joke, that always took me by surprise. At the end of the day, it would be these funny moments that helped me through all times I felt like crying; waiting for the mailman who already came, having her accuse me of stealing her teeth, telling me that the golden years weren’t really golden but instead a little rusty. When I’d ask her how she was feeling, she would tap the table and say, “with my hands.” Oh, how I miss her. Continue reading