On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Posts tagged ‘Blog Tour’

A Long and Winding Road – Rerelease and Blog Tour | by Linda Brendle

Campsite up closeWhile we’re waiting for Tatia’s Tattoo, my first novel, to be edited and readied for publication, I have some exciting news about my memoir, A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos. Winding Road was released by Anaiah Press, first as an e-book on July 1, 2014 and then in print in January 6, 2015. In honor of three successful years, Anaiah is releasing an anniversary edition with a new cover and fresh edits.

In case it’s been a while since you read it, or if you missed it the first time around, Winding Road is the story of the chaos that happens when four people, two of whom have Alzheimer’s, spend fifty-three days in a four-hundred-square-foot box on wheels. The publisher put a more detailed description on the back cover:

Sometimes, reality really bites. Alzheimer’s has wrapped Mom’s brain into knots; vascular dementia has attacked dad, and instead of carefree retirees, we have become caregivers. Regardless, dreams die hard, and we somehow stumbled into the purchase of a forty-foot motor home. That’s when all four of us set out on this seven-week trek across sixteen U.S. states. Now, Dad stopped up the toilet again; Mom wet her last pair of clean jeans, and David just announced he was hungry. My head is beginning to pound, and I know this isn’t going to be the easygoing retirement we imagined for ourselves.

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.

The release date has not yet been announced, but details will be posted as soon as they are available. In the meantime, if you would be interested in participating in a blog tour sometime between July 22 and August 4, CLICK HERE to sign up.

Thank you for all your support, encouragement, and friendship.

Blessings,

Linda

Release Day: Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Psalm by Dr. Sharon V. King

Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Psalm banner

Anaiah Press proudly presents
AGING GRACEFULLY WITH THE 23rd PSALM by Dr. Sharon V. King
a devotional that releases today!

 

 

Can we talk about getting older? With another Baby Boomer turning 60 every 7.5 seconds, the “age wave” has captured the attention of such diverse fields as financial planning, cosmetics, medicine, and—religion. How does aging affect our spirituality? Does it deepen our relationship with God, or have decades of life’s roller coaster rides left us “spiritually challenged?” Life after 50 can be particularly challenging for women because of the personal, social, and physical changes that naturally occur as we age. A rich spiritual life can help 50+ women gain perspective about their aging process and seek God’s guidance as they encounter the changes, challenges, and opportunities of later life.

 

Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Psalm applies some of the best-loved verses in scripture to a reflective study of ways women can grow in grace as they grow in years. The book format provides reflections on themes of aging found in each verse of Psalm 23, such as facing forks in the road; making fresh starts; resolving past conflicts; coping with social, personal, and physical changes; navigating through emotional transitions; processing loss and grief; and end-of-life planning. Illustrations of each theme follow, using biblical examples, vignettes from the author’s personal aging journey, a Takeaway Message from each psalm verse, suggestions for group discussion topics, and a journaling exercise to help the reader write a “Prayer Memo” to the Good Shepherd of the 23rd Psalm.

 

Get your own copy of Aging Gracefully with the 23rd Psalm:    Amazon

 

 

 

About the Author:
Dr. Sharon V. King

Sharon is a class of ’69 Baby Boomer, a native of Pennsylvania, and now resident of Georgia. The daughter of church musicians, she first worked as a music teacher and then turned her interests to writing about and working with older adults.A recently retired gerontology professor, Sharon now writes inspirational books and articles for 50+ women.

Connect with Sharon:    Website     Twitter

 

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Guest Post by Robert A. Polk, Author of Operation Tree Roper

Today I have the pleasure of sharing a guest post by Robert A. Polk, author of Operation Tree Roper: An Eye Above. Robert’s middle grade adventure was released by Anaiah Press on October 7. When he asked me what I would like for him to write about, I said anything that would fit in with caring for others. He knocked it out of the park!

Balancing Writing Time against Family Needs 

 I love your blog and look forward to reading your book, Linda. Thank you for having me on this week!

When I think about the situations you must have endured while caring for your ailing parents, I think of the word sacrifice – and on a grand scale.

A caregiver must not only endure, but often embrace the sacrifices which the needs of others demands. I’m finding that out on with my own family circumstances. Perhaps a little grace and humility filter in along the way as one goes about caring for aging parents or growing children. One can only hope.

In my struggles of trying to raise and teach my children while also trying to squeeze in time to take care of household chores and outdoor yard and home maintenance, not everything gets done. (My yard makes all my neighbors’ yards look great.) Whether I’m running the lawn mower, taking out the trash, picking choking hazards off the floor (darn Legos), wiping marker or pencil art off the walls, or changing diapers, the temptation to sit down and write teases me. But there’s still more to do.

There’s always more to do. But that’s okay. For even if I leave the mower in the yard, stalled on a half-mowed strip, or maybe leave a few dishes in the sink overnight in order to steal a few minutes a week to write some sentences or jot down a couple of ideas, I’m moving forward.

Yes, I want to do it all (and you probably do too), but I can’t. Not the way I want to, anyway. My constant struggle lies in deciding when I can indulge in my desire to write versus doing something else. God (and every busy parent) knows that there is not enough time in the day to have the perfect home/children/life or whatever.

So, maybe I can’t write all the time I’m thinking about writing – oh, well. That idea reservoir is always filling up, whether from things the kids say or do, or my own mental wanderings. Sometimes it’s just a trickle, sometimes it’s a downpour, but ideas, scenes and dialogues are constantly filling it up. And when I find a moment to open the spillway, the words flood the pages, and I’m relieved.

But the writing will end too quickly. For I’ll soon be needed to change a blowout diaper, or move a load of laundry, or cook a meal, or, yeah, you know. That’s when I try to remember that this is the moment I have, in my life, right now to share with others. For, right now my life is filled with little children. So I consider, what should I be doing with this moment? Should I be writing in my own little world, or sharing my time with my family?

I’ve sort of figured that out – for me – for now. While I formerly wrote whenever I could sit down at my laptop, I now mostly write in small bursts during the times I wait for a child to get done with dance class or band practice. (My laptop travels with me on my shuttle duties.) But when I tried to write at home during the day, I always felt irritated or guilty when one of the kids came to me for something. It’s hard to just shut off the flow of words when you’re going good, and I didn’t want to stop. However, I also didn’t want my children and wife to think that I valued the words I typed more than their time and presence. So I gave myself a nighttime writing schedule.

It’s been nice, to slow down my daytime writing regimen, so I can be present with my wife and children more. Most of my writing (like this guest post for Linda) is done late at night, where I’ll punch out words until I fall asleep on the kkkkkkkkkkeyboard. (Oops. Sorry about that. I guess I’d better wrap it up and get some sleep. Good night.)

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Meet Emily Ungar, Author of Liberty Belle

Anaiah Press

Liberty Belle

LIBERTY BELLE -Author Photo. eungar (2)Emily Ungar is a graduate of Indiana University, where she majored in journalism. After living in seven different U.S. states by the time she finished college, she now lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with her husband and very curious twin toddlers. When she isn’t chasing after her twin boys, Emily loves to curl up in a chaise lounge with a book in one hand and a lemon cupcake in the other. Emily loves connecting with her readers, so she welcomes you to say hi on her blog at http://www.emilyungar.com.

You can also find her on:

Twitter: @emilyungar

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/emilyungar/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/13863166-emily-ungar

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emilyungarauthor

  1. If you could tell my readers only one thing about yourself, what would you want them to know?

I moved around a lot during my childhood–all across the country, in fact. My constantly mobile childhood shaped who I am as an adult. I used to think that was bad–but now I know it’s actually a good thing. Not only did it broaden my experiences as a child, but it helped shape who I am as a writer.

  1. Who is your favorite author and why?

My favorite middle grade writer is Louis Sachar (author of HOLES and the Wayside School series). He writes with such a wonderful wit and respect for this age group. HOLES is one of those books that you can reread year after year and you still marvel at how the story is pieced together.

I also love to read women’s fiction. One of my favorite writers is Daphne du Maurier, the author of REBECCA (which was also an Alfred Hitchcock film). Her writing is beautiful without ever being flowery, and she is a master at creating psychological suspense.

 

  1. Did that author or another author influence your style, and if so, how?

 

Louis Sachar is definitely an inspiration to me, especially when writing more humorous middle grade fiction. I also love the Babysitters Club books from the 1980s and 90s.

 

  1. How did you connect with Anaiah Press?

 

Jessica Schmeidler (my editor) and I started chatting after she read a blog post I had written about a Twitter pitch contest I had entered. I ended up querying her with a different project that I hoped might be a good fit for the Adventures imprint. Jessica ended up requesting a full manuscript (which made me so excited!) and later on that month offered me a publishing contract for the book. I was so excited! I knew based on Jessica’s enthusiasm for the project that Anaiah Press was the right home for my book. A writer dreams of that editor who really connects with their work, and I feel so blessed to have found that with Jessica and with Anaiah Press.

 

  1. Was the editing process more or less difficult than you expected?

 

Here’s the funny part: I’m a professional copyeditor. I edit nonfiction projects during the day as part of my job. I knew there would be a few things that needed to be fixed. I was shocked when I received my first round of edits and saw how thorough Jessica had been with editing! The suggestions were terrific, and I learned more about style and grammar in that one round of editing than I had in many of my college classes! After we got through that one big editing round, the following rounds were a bit smoother and quicker.

 

 

  1. What advice would you give to new writers?

 

Don’t ever give up. Ever! Let me repeat that: don’t ever give up! There is a saying out there that the successful writers are the writers who just never gave up. And it’s true. Querying your writing out to editors and agents is in itself a natural-selection process for which writers are truly the most dedicated to their craft and the road to publication. While it’s okay to work on different projects and even set some aside for a time, it’s never okay to give up writing entirely. Find a mentor to coach you through those tough times when rejection letters get you down, but keep on walking down the road. Just improve a little bit with each setback. Learn something every time to give you a bigger edge the next time.

 

  1. What’s next after Liberty Belle? Can we expect further adventures for Savannah, or something else?

 

I think Savannah has quite a few tales left to tell. She’s definitely found her place at her new school, but next year Savannah will be moving with her classmates to a new middle school. Anything is possible. And bless her heart, Savannah can’t keep herself out of trouble for long.

About the book: 

On the same day she turns twelve years old, Savannah moves away from everything she’s known in sweet, sunny Georgia to preppy Washington D.C. Not only will she miss her best friends Katie and Tessa, Savannah will start a new school. She soon discovers that her schoolmates love to brag—about their clothes, their parents’ governmental connections, and even who has the in with the school authorities.

Unhappy and lonely, Savannah decides if she can’t make life better, she can at least make it sound that way. Soon she is living in the childhood home of George Washington, riding in the limo of the vice president’s daughter, and even moving into the former Luxembourg embassy.

All is well until she learns that her true friends from Georgia are coming for a visit. Now Savannah must create the life she’s been talking about in her letters—and fast! Will Savannah find herself or lose her friends?

Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Smashwords

Book Links: Goodreads | Anaiah Press

Rafflecopter Giveaway: CLICK HERE to enter to win an autographed Liberty Belle poster or a Liberty Belle folder.

Review of Runaway and Interview with Renee Donne

RunawayRunaway, a western romance by Renee Donne, was released by Anaiah Press two weeks ago on July 29. Today it’s my pleasure to share both my review of the book and a brief chat I had with the author.

About the book:

After Marianne discovers her bankrupt stepfather sold her into marriage to the highest bidder, she flees Philadelphia and heads west to start a new life.

Unfortunately for her danger follows.  First, a stage coach accident leaves her stranded in the middle of nowhere – with an injured driver. And henchmen, hired by her spurned would-be husband, are hot on her trail, threatening to return her to Philadelphia and the man who is determined to own her.

Just when things seem hopeless, Marianne is rescued by a handsome, cowboy who offers temporary refuge.  Knowing she can’t refuse, yet wary of his intentions, Marianne finds herself drawn to this quiet, enigmatic hero. But is he someone she can trust?

My review: Runaway by Renee Donne Is a Sweet, Western Romance

Romance is not my normal genre when it comes to choosing a book to read. Most of the women I read about carry a gun or can bring down an opponent twice their size with a quick kick to the temple. Runaway, however, was a nice change of pace for a lazy summer afternoon.

Renee Donne has written an engaging tale about an interesting cast of characters. You’ll care about some of them, and you’ll detest others, wishing you had the skill to deliver a blow to the head like one of the heroines on my typical reading list. Marianne, Donne’s main character, is not physically brave or aggressive, but she has the inner strength to survive betrayal, danger, and a life that has been turned upside down through no fault of her own. An underlying theme of faith adds another dimension to this sweet, western romance.

The next time you plan to spend some time in a lounge chair by the pool or on a blanket under a beach umbrella, pack your ereader along with your sunscreen. Renee Donne’s Runaway is a nice way to relax before hectic fall schedules call us back into the real world.

I received an advanced reader copy of Runaway in exchange for an honest review.

RDonneAuthor Bio:

Renee Donne is a native Floridian with a penchant for writing books with a western theme. In her head she’s a world traveler and an amateur chef. In real life, she’s a hometown girl with an affinity for fine wine and good friends. Her favorite place to write is sitting on her veranda, overlooking the beach.

Interview:

If you could tell your readers only one thing about yourself, what would you want them to know?

I am really quite shy, and feel that the characters in my stories lead more interesting lives.

Your author bio says you are a world traveler in your head. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

I would love to go to Ireland. My grandparents were from Ireland, and I have always romanticised about going there.

Your bio also says you are an amateur chef. If you were planning the perfect dinner party, who would be on the guest list, and what would be on the menu?

I would invite my closest friends and family; and I would have it catered. Seriously, though, I am rather shy and not into impressing people. I cook for my tastes and hope that my guests enjoy what I prepare. I love trying new dishes and when eating out, I can usually pick out the flavors of a tasty new dish and recreate it at home. Holiday meals are always at my house, and those are the meals I enjoy preparing and sharing the most. So, in answer to your question, the perfect dinner party would be with family and friends, and the menu would be whatever new dish I have been wanting to make.

How did you develop Marianne, your main character? Is she based on a person or several people you know in real life, or is she completely a product of your imagination?

Marianne is pure fiction. In some ways my reactions would be similar in some of the situations she found herself in, but she is not based on anyone that I know.

In your author interview with Anaiah Press, you mentioned that one author who has inspired you is Frank Perretti. What do you find inspiring about him and/or his writing?

When I read This Present Darkness and the sequel, Piercing the Darkness, it opened my eyes to the spiritual battles we face on a daily basis. Peretti draws you into the story in such a way that makes it very real; once I start reading one of his books, it is very difficult to put it down.

What would you say to inspire other up-and-coming writers?

Everyone has a story to tell. Don’t give up on yours.  Each rejection should only inspire you to improve your story. Perseverance reaps rewards.

When your readers finish the last page of Runaway, what do you want them to be thinking and/or feeling?

Sometimes I like to read what I call a “light” story, nothing too deep, but that allows one to relax and “escape” into a good story. I hope the reader is able to do this with Runaway. I wrote it to be an inspiring love story that shows how, with God’s help, people can overcome adversity and find love.

What’s next on your horizon as a writer?

I have a YA urban fantasy that is scheduled to be released through Anaiah this fall. I am also working on a romantic suspense.

Find Renee Donne on Twitter and Facebook.

Runaway is available from the following distributors:

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Smashwords, and Goodreads

Blessings,

Linda

Meet Jennifer Novotney, Author of Winter in the Soul, and Read My Review

Winter in the Soul

Winter in the Soul, Jennifer Novotney’s debut novel, is a young adult fantasy released by Anaiah Press on July 15. I had the privilege of chatting with Jennifer about her writing and her life, and today I’m sharing our conversation with you. Be sure to read my review of her novel following the interview.

JennNovotney head shotTell my readers a little bit about who Jennifer Novotney is. I’ve been teaching English and writing for over ten years. I’m originally from Los Angeles, California, but moved to the east coast five years ago with my husband and daughter. My first publication was a poem when I was seventeen years old. I loved poetry in high school and college and always thought I’d be a poet. A few years ago, when I was teaching at Pennsylvania State University, I started writing fiction. I had my first short story publication in 2011 and never looked back. Winter in the Soul is my debut novel and I couldn’t be happier.

What’s the hardest thing about being a writer? I think one of the hardest things about being a writer is the wait time. The publication process is a slow one and sometimes, it can feel impossible to wait for a response from editors and agents. From the time a writer signs a contract to the time the book actually comes out can feel like an eternity. The writing is the easiest part about it. The wait time can be the toughest.

You said in your author interview that you wanted to inspire your readers in the way that Paulo Coelho inspired his. What would you like your readers to be inspired to do? I would like my readers to be inspired to follow their dreams, to live a meaningful life, and to never underestimate the power of a well-planned goal. To read about characters who persevere, no matter how difficult the obstacles, can be truly inspiring. I love those type of characters and I strove to create this world in Winter in the Soul.

Now that Lilika is fully developed, is she like you, like someone in your life, or is she completely different from anyone you know? Lilika is an innocent, pure soul. I’d love to say that she is like me, but I’ve had way too many life experiences for that to be true. I think I am similar to Lilika in her determination and her intense curiosity. Those are things I’m glad I’ve never lost. Lilika reminds me very much of some of my students. She is tenacious, brave, and curious. Those are traits I see in my students every day.

In your author interview, you also said that Lilika had to move past her comfort zone and that she gained by doing so. How have you moved past your comfort zone in your writing, and what, if anything, have you gained? I always thought of myself as a good writer. All my life I’ve been told that I was one. While that may have been true for academic writing, I still had work to do with my fiction writing. It’s been an interesting experience for me to work on my own writing and it definitely offers a perspective shift since I’m usually the one teaching. I have a better appreciation for my students and how flexible they are with improving their writing. That is the most valuable aspect of improving my writing that I’ve gained. I think I’m a better teacher for it.

Lilika is drawn to Winter in the Soul, that unknown, forbidden place that arouses her curiosity. Is there such a place in your life or in your writing? There is always that element of excitement to go to a place, whether literal or figurative, that is forbidden. It does arouse one’s curiosity! I think for Lilika, Winter in the Soul is intriguing because she knows her parents originated from there, but she’s not allowed to visit. I like to live beyond boundaries. If something is off limits for me, that only makes me more curious about it. Sometimes this is dangerous, but often times, it leads to growth in my life. I’m never afraid to go that extra mile to explore various facets in life and in my writing.

When you’re not reading or teaching, what do you do for fun? I love spending time with my family. I’m off for the summer with my six year old daughter and we go swimming almost every day. This is time that I treasure and I’m so happy to share these days with her. My husband and I love watching movies together. He’s a filmmaker, so we watch movies in every category you could imagine.

What’s the number one thing on your bucket list? Wow, this is one thing I haven’t thought of much because I have the type of personality where if I want to do something, I just do it. 🙂 One thing I’d love to do with my family is travel to Europe. That’s probably the one thing my husband and I talk about the most.

What’s the next step for you in your writing career? The sequel to Winter in the Soul is in the works. I’ve also just completed another young adult book.

My Review: An Entertaining Tale of Good versus Evil

Jennifer Novotney does a masterful job of describing the world she created in her debut novel, Winter In the Soul. Her rich descriptions of the sights, sounds, and smells of Spring Bloom, Summer Harvest, and Winter In the Soul give her readers a sense of being part of the story rather than simply observing it. “The sky was restless. Black and gray clouds moved at a moderate pace, exposing the dark sky and a few bright stars desperate to shine.”

This young adult fantasy takes us on a journey of discovery with Lilika as she first finds a mysterious golden locket; then, the world outside her home town of Spring Bloom; next, an engaging young man named Talon; and ultimately, her destiny. We feel her growing anxiety as she sits on the road alone, guarding the cart that carries to market both the harvest and the hopes of her friends and neighbors. When she hears the approach of someone in the surrounding darkness followed by a friendly voice, we feel her initial shock, and then we feel her relief. Throughout the story, Novotney offers a full range of experiences, from excitement to terror, from new friendship to new love, from doubt to determination.

Winter In the Soul presents an entertaining tale of good versus evil that leaves just enough questions to make us wonder how long we’ll have to wait for the sequel. I look forward to watching Jennifer Novotney’s progress as a writer and to reading what happens next to Lilika and Talon.

Anaiah Press

Now Available at:

iTunes | Amazon |  Kobo | Smashwords

Thank You to My Blog Tour Participants | by Linda Brendle

The tour is over, and we’re back “home” again. I want to take a minute to say one more big thank you to all the wonderful bloggers who posted reviews, interviews, guest posts, and spotlights for A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos. You made the release of my first book a wonderful experiences.

To my readers, thank you for all your support as well. There wouldn’t be much point to writing a book without you. If you missed any of the stops, here is a complete list. Take a minute to visit a few of them and see what some of the early reviewers had to say.

June 17 –  Mormon Mommy Writers – Review

June 18 – The View from a Blank Word Document – Spotlight and Contest

June 19 – Princess of the Light – Interview and Review

June 20 – Confessions of an Ex-Ballerina – Spotlight

June 21 – Pam Thorson – Guest Post – “Caregivers and Heroes”

June 23 – Being Sam – Review

June 24 – Adventures in the Ballpark – Interview

June 25 – Keely Brooke Keith – Guest Post – “Street Teams for Caregivers”

June 25 – Donna L Martin’s ON THE WRITE TRACK – Review

June 26 – Angela Schroeder, Author – Spotlight

June 27 – Kick Start Your Heart – Spotlight

June 28 – Years Full of Grace – Interview

June 30 – Chuck Allen – Spotlight

July 1 – RELEASE DAY! A list of Release Day Blitzers will be posted on that day.

Princess of the Light

Angela Schroeder, Author

Keely Brooke Keith

A Book Lover’s Retreat

July 2 – Princess of the Light – Guest Blog – “The Darkness of Alzheimer’s Can Never Steal The Light”

July 3 – Ink in the Book – Review

July 6 – Mary Beth Magee Writes – Review

July 8 – Emily Ungar, Middle Grade Author – Guest Post – “Where I Write”

July 9 – A Book Lover’s Retreat – Guest Post – “Alzheimer’s Took Mom’s Ability to Read”

July 12 – Writeous – Guest Post – “Will Christianese Sell?”

July 13 – The Purple Jacket – Review and Guest Post –  “Tributes to Those We Love”

July 14 – Ink in the Book – Interview

July 15 – Kathy Pooler – Amazon Review

July 17 – Kathy Pooler – Guest Post – “Five Principles I Learned In Writing My Memoir”

If you have read A Long and Winding Road and enjoyed it, please tell your friends. Also, please consider posting your own review on Amazon, Goodreads or any of the other distributors that allow feedback.

Blessings,

Linda

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

Available now at:

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

 

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