On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Published in the Rains County Leader on November 21, 2017:

what_are_youthankful_forIt’s that time again. For the next few days, every time you sit down to eat a meal or have some kind of group discussion, someone will suggest that each person should tell what he or she is thankful for. I know. I did it with the group of AWANA students I was listening to last Wednesday. I had two girls and a boy who were all first graders. They tired of studying verses a few minutes before time to move to the next activity, so I asked The Question: What are you thankful for? The first girl exhaled such a long sigh that I finally moved on to the boy. He shrugged and gave me a look that said, I got nuthin’. The other girl brightened suddenly and chirped, “Turkey!” That works when you’re seven, but when you’re older, you might want to be prepared when the subject comes up. Read the rest of this entry »

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If you love bargains, the digital edition of A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos is on sale for just $.99!

A review by Mary Beth Magee of Reviews and Opinions and the Writing World: 

A book every caregiver should read by a woman who has been there

What do you do when the world you thought you knew starts shifting out from under you? 

That’s the dilemma that confronted author Linda Brendle. She faced a husband in career turmoil, a mother in the throes of Alzheimer’s and a father suffering from vascular dementia. As a potential cross-country move loomed, she and her husband made a decision to take an extended trip in an RV with her parents.

The result of that trip became “The Long and Winding Road.” Brendle moves back and forth between the trip and memories of past activities to show the way personal history influences personal present and perceptions. Her extraordinary memoir should be on every caregiver’s “must read” list.

As someone who has cared for a mother with Alzheimer’s, I identified immediately with Brendle’s situation. She doesn’t sugarcoat the problems, but she shows a path through them. Her poignant and heartfelt story can offer a glimmer of hope to anyone in the situation.

If you face a caregiving role, look for “The Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love and Chaos” by Linda Brendle. The book will provide an understanding shoulder, a cheerleader and a frequent “I know how that feels” chuckle. Her deep faith perspective will encourage you in your own faith walk. I wish I had this book when my mother was still with me.

A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos is the story of the chaos that happens when four people, two of whom have Alzheimer’s, spend fifty-three days in a 400-square-foot box on wheels.

A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

Available at:

B&N // Kobo // iTunes // Amazon // Smashwords

Blessings,

Linda

 

WindingRoadFinal

If you love bargains, the digital edition of A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos is on sale for just $.99!

A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos is the story of the chaos that happens when four people, two of whom have Alzheimer’s, spend fifty-three days in a 400-square-foot box on wheels.

A review from Talynn of Ink in the Book

If you want to read a great book, one that is heart felt, sincere, bittersweet, and yet inspiring and uplifting, A Long and Winding Road is the perfect choice.

The author is such a sweet lady, you can’t help but fall in love with her and her story. You’ll be crying as she cries, laughing at loud while you know she must have felt as she wrote. Not to mention, you’ll feel her pain as she discovers a whole new life and way of living.

I give it 4 of 5 stars!!

A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

Available at:

B&N // Kobo // iTunes // Amazon // Smashwords

Blessings,

Linda

 

WindingRoadFinal

If you love bargains, especially early Black Friday bargains, have I got a deal for you! Anaiah Press is offering the digital edition of A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos is on sale for just $.99! One of my first reviews can be found at Donna L. Martin’s The Story Catcher. 

From the back cover:

Alzheimer’s is a family disease, and A Long and Winding Road is a love story—not a boy-meets-girl love story, but a family love story:

The story of the love of a daughter for her parents and her willingness to take them into her home when they could no longer care for themselves;

The story of a mother and father who loved their daughter but no longer remembered exactly where they were or why;

The story of a husband who loved his wife so much that he stood beside her as they fought to survive the ravages of the brain-wasting disease that was stealing her loved ones away a piece at a time.

It’s also the story of a seven-week trip for four across sixteen U.S. states in a forty-foot motor home—a trip that involved stopped up toilets, wet jeans, laughter, and headaches that were far from the easygoing retirement the Brendles had imagined for themselves.

Linda Brendle takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotional and spiritual challenges that many families are facing right now. Co-dependency, mental breakdowns, and finding love after divorce are just a few of the issues weaved into this journey of caregiving.

A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos is the story of the chaos that happens when four people, two of whom have Alzheimer’s, spend fifty-three days in a 400-square-foot box on wheels.

A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

Available at:

B&N // Kobo // iTunes // Amazon // Smashwords

Blessings,

Linda

 

Ebook Sale! $.99

WindingRoadFinal

If you haven’t read it yet, now is the perfect time. For the next couple of weeks, the digital edition of A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos is on sale for just $.99! One of my first reviews can be found at Mommy Mormon Writers & Friends.

From the back cover:

Alzheimer’s is a family disease, and A Long and Winding Road is a love story—not a boy-meets-girl love story, but a family love story:

The story of the love of a daughter for her parents and her willingness to take them into her home when they could no longer care for themselves;

The story of a mother and father who loved their daughter but no longer remembered exactly where they were or why;

The story of a husband who loved his wife so much that he stood beside her as they fought to survive the ravages of the brain-wasting disease that was stealing her loved ones away a piece at a time.

It’s also the story of a seven-week trip for four across sixteen U.S. states in a forty-foot motor home—a trip that involved stopped up toilets, wet jeans, laughter, and headaches that were far from the easygoing retirement the Brendles had imagined for themselves.

Linda Brendle takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotional and spiritual challenges that many families are facing right now. Co-dependency, mental breakdowns, and finding love after divorce are just a few of the issues weaved into this journey of caregiving.

A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos is the story of the chaos that happens when four people, two of whom have Alzheimer’s, spend fifty-three days in a 400-square-foot box on wheels.

A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos

Available at:

B&N // Kobo // iTunes // Amazon // Smashwords

Blessings,

Linda

Published in the Rains County Leader on November 14, 2017:

LTJG Brendle

When I sat down to write this week, my mind wandered to the veterans we have been honoring for the weekend surrounding Veterans Day. I found an article I wrote in November of 2013, and I want to share it with you again. The Veterans Day program at the High School this year was a little bit different, and there were only 67 veterans, but the sentiment and respect were the same. So, to all the veterans who are reading this, once again I’ll say thank you for your service.

**

History runs in cycles and so do attitudes toward veterans. When I was a kid, soldiers were respected, and even idolized, often portrayed as bigger-than-life characters on the silver screen. Then came the 60s and 70s, and young men returning from Vietnam were met with disrespect and even hostility. Instead of being welcomed home as heroes, they were spit on and villainized as warmongers and baby killers. More recently, especially after 9-11, attitudes have shifted back toward a more positive view of our military personnel.

But one thing that still seems to be lacking in the treatment of our veterans is dignity. In recent years, restaurants have used Veterans Day as an advertising ploy, competing to see who can offer the best special. Charities vie with one another to offer the most compassion to those who have been wounded or those who have lost loved ones in the defense of our country. Sometimes veterans are used as political pawns in heated campaigns. But there are still places where members of the military, past and present, are treated with dignity. Emory is one of those places. Read the rest of this entry »

Cover A Sip of Death

About the book:

When a lifetime of grievances becomes unbearable, deadly consequences will follow. Revenge, secrets, and meticulously kept journals hold the key to solving the mystery of three unexplained deaths at Harrison University. Were these tragic deaths from natural consequences or is something more sinister lurking in the halls of HU? Dr. Bridget O’Leary, the new Provost at HU, doesn’t believe in coincidences. Although Bridget is tormented by the recent murder of her husband, she will have to put her personal pain aside and grapple with solving this puzzle before she becomes one of the victims.

While the HU campus is still dealing with the mysterious deaths of a student and two professors, an active shooter drill becomes an opportunity for attempted murder. Bridget realizes she will need to add a gun to her administrative toolbox as she works with Hazel Mars, a university police officer, Sam Adams, a city police detective, and Nathan Radford, a troubled student to find the person responsible for terrorizing the campus.

The Grievance Collectors: A Sip of Death is the first book in the series and although it is fiction, it may remind you of events and characters from your own university experience. Every university has its secrets.

My Review:

A Sip of Death by Karla Hull was an entertaining read and a good start to Hull’s venture into publishing. The characters were fairly well developed, and the plot was full of twists and surprises that kept me turning pages. That said, there were several issues that kept this from being a four-star offering. Because the plot was so intricate, the transitions from one thread to the other were not always smooth and were hard to follow. In addition, some sub-plots were introduced and then just disappeared. There were time jumps and point-of-view shifts that were a bit disconcerting, and some of the references to southern culture seemed a bit contrived and didn’t always ring true. Still, the story and writing are strong, and the issues I mentioned could be ironed out with the help of a good developmental editor. I did enjoy the book and would recommend it to mystery fans who don’t demand perfection. I look forward to reading more of Hull’s work in the future.

Author Headshot

About the Author:

Karla Hull is a mystery writer, professor, mother, and avid consumer of mysteries in books and film. She has spent 30 years working with students and faculty in a variety of university settings and incorporates humorous, poignant, and terrifying experiences into her mysteries.

After being an administrator at a university that experienced the murder of a young student, Karla vowed to write a complex mystery series that revealed some of the shadier sides of university life. Her characters operate in a university setting but they have the universal characteristics of greed, anger, revenge, and love that will resonate with with all mystery readers.

Find the author:

Twitter: @karlamhull
Blog: http://www.karlamhull.com

Buy the book at Amazon

Blessings,

Linda

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