Wednesday, April 18, 2018

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Norman McNamara Lives with Lewy Body dementia and has Written "The Lewy Body Soldier"




by Norrms McNamara

My name is Norrms McNamara. Someone once told me having Lewy Body`s Type Dementia is like having two diseases: you HAVE Dementia, and you KNOW you have Dementia. The same person, a Consultant, also told me that right up to the end of life, the person with Lewy Body’s will still have moments, if not hours/days, of clarity. I lost both my Father and incredibly wonderful grandmother to Dementia. (I say that because she brought me up. I am who I am today because of her.)

I have read the book, seen the last page, read the last line, I know what happens and know what can happen unless they find a cure for this awful disease. So when I was diagnosed myself nine years ago, aged just 50, I was absolutely petrified, and with good reason.

No cure, no sign of a cure on the horizon, and after checking out what help there was available for somebody my age with dementia, which turned out to be practically non-existent, I was at a loss at what to do. I was so lucky in one way because my wife Elaine had been, and still is, a carer for 30+ years, and it was she who helped me get my diagnosis as she recognised the signs.

So what’s changed in the last nine / ten years? A huge amount actually. We now have memory cafes all over the world, we have so many groups globally connecting up and beginning to talk about this disease. We have TV adverts, politician’s talking about it in Governments, and generally a better understanding, so why, oh why, is it still in the shadows when it comes to TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT THIS DISEASE!!?

It is only because relatives of those with Dementia and those actually living with dementia have started to write books about it that we are starting to know the real truth about this disease, and this is exactly what my book The Lewy Body Soldier is all about. This is a book written by someone who has Lewy Body’s type dementia but is still lucky enough to have the abilities, with a LOT of help, to write it, but let’s make one thing clear:

This book is not for the faint-hearted.

This book is not about Clever Medical Terms or graphs.

This book doesn’t wear rose-tinted glasses.

This book is about not only about how hard it is to live with this awful disease, how hard it is to get help etc., but ALSO a book of helpful hints about HOW to get help, what to do when you go for a diagnosis and what to do after. It’s a book of hope, but most of all it’s a book of truth, and about, as they say, “Hearing it right from the horse’s mouth.”

I am at peace with my illness. I believe every day is a bonus and every breath I take is a blessing, and no matter what happens, if I can give a little back to all those around me who have helped me along my way, then so be it.

Purchase The Lewy Body Soldier

About the Author

Founder of Global Purple Angel Dementia Awareness Campaign, now recognised in 55 Countries around the world with 860 Global Purple Angel dementia ambassador’s. To find out more please contact

Connect with Norrms McNamara

Friday, April 13, 2018

New Release Spotlight: "Chasing Love," YA Fiction by Kayla Tirrell



Professional wallflower Nicole Andrews can’t wait to get out of Marlowe Junction. With only one year to go, she is eager to become the best college applicant at Rosemark High.

There’s only one problem: she still hasn’t found a niche to make her appear more well-rounded.

When a chance encounter with hottie-extraordinaire Chase Saunders pushes her in the direction of cross country, Nicole thinks she’s finally found her answer. If only she could focus on her race times, and stop getting distracted by Chase.

Will joining the team be enough to make Nicole stand out from the crowd? Or will she lose her heart in the process?


A throwback to the early 2000’s, Chasing Love will have you longing for the days when Blockbuster was the coolest job in town and varsity letters were prized possessions. Back to when Friday nights were made for football games and sleepovers with the friends you’d do anything for. 

Purchase  Chasing Love

About the Author

Kayla has loved to read as long as she can remember. While she started out reading spooky stories that had her hiding under her covers, she now prefers stories with a bit more kissing. When she gets a chance to watch TV, she enjoys cheesy sci-fi and superhero shows. Most days, you’ll catch her burning dinner in an attempt to cook while reading just one more chapter. Kayla lives in the sunshine state with her husband and three boys.

Connect with Kayla


Website

Facebook
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Instagram
 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Vicki Kaufmann, Author of "Elegy for Mom, A Memoir of Family Caregiving, Alzheimer’s, and Devotion"




By Vicki Kaufmann, MA, MPSt

“Cobwebs in my mind!” was how my mother depicted the disease that ravaged her brain. Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia in May 2000, after episodes of TIA’s and early signs of dementia. She was 82 years of age. This was a major turning point in the life of our family. For me, it was the birth of a challenging new creative phase.

I was in my 50’s, at the top of my professional career as CEO of a large social service agency. Even with professional training and master's degrees in family studies and family counseling, I was not prepared to take on the role of daughter caregiver, looking after my frail, elderly parents.

I began to write poetry and keep a journal, jotting down what worked for me as each new trial unfolded in dealing with an unsympathetic health care system and the bewildering assisted living scene. I made a promise to myself that, when I had the time, I would write a book for family caregivers, filled with tips and ideas that I found helpful during my seven years of caregiving. Nine years later, after the deaths of both parents and shortly after I retired, I fulfilled this promise, completing my book, Elegy for Mom, A Memoir of Family Caregiving, Alzheimer’s, and Devotion, November 2015. On August 6, 2016, my book won gold and silver medals at the “President’s Awards” event of the prestigious Florida Authors and Publishers Association.

Being retired, I can now give back to the community in other ways. In June 2015, I initiated a website, “CaregiverFamilies.com,” along with a free e-newsletter dedicated to providing tips and resources to family caregivers of loved ones with dementia. I blog twice a month on aspects of dementia caregiving, and I maintain a “Caregiver Families” Facebook Page, an Author Facebook Page, and a “Caregiver Families” Pinterest Page. I also volunteer with my local Alzheimer’s Association for their Speakers’ Bureau, and make myself available for other speaking engagements.

Two of the greatest compliments I could ever receive about my memoir came from the national Dementia Action Alliance’s Board Chair, and from Alzheimer’s advocate/author Maria Shriver. “It’s outstanding! It was so inspiring, so warm! I don’t have the words to describe your book,” claimed Jackie Pinkowicz of the Dementia Action Alliance, leaving this message on my cell phone in the spring of 2016. This past December, after Ms. Shriver read my book, her assistant made a request to post one of the book’s chapters on their website, “The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.” I invite you to read Chapter 11 at their site: http://thewomensalzheimersmovement.org/elegy-for-mom-vicki-kaufmann/.

A decade ago when I was caring for my mother there were few resources to support my role. I am glad that caregivers and those living with the disease are coming forward to write and discuss their challenges, joys and heartaches, and advocate for a cure. I hope that my writings and contributions are making some impact for good in the lives of fellow caregivers.



About the Author


Through CaregiverFamilies.com and her award-winning book, Elegy for Mom: A Memoir of Family Caregiving, Alzheimer’s, and Devotion, Vicki Kaufmann hopes to provide “tender loving care,” support for the caregiver, and practical tools and resources to educate family members about Alzheimer’s and related dementia. Her mission is to provide information on the stages of Alzheimer’s, better coping methods, and assurance, so you know you are not alone in this journey.

Vicki Kaufmann, MA, MPSt, is a retired certified family life educator and counselor. She discovered great joy and blessings in the seven- year period, from 1999–2006, when she was a caregiver for her elderly parents. Her mother suffered from vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s. Read about Vicki’s journey.

Vicki knows the importance of a family support system, having counseled hundreds of couples and families during her twelve years as a certified family life educator, and marital and family counselor. In addition, she has over thirty years experience in nonprofit management, professional fundraising, community and public relations, and collaborating with numerous social service and ecumenical organizations.

Connect with Vicki Kaufmann





For more vetted books about Alzheimer's 
and dementia visit the AlzAuthors Bookstore.

Monday, April 9, 2018

New Release Spotlight: "Because...Anonymous", Contemporary YA Mystery by Diana L. Sharples

On the run from an abusive father, Noah Dickerson is supposed to be laying low and staying out of trouble.

Mistake #1, falling in with a group of anime fans who aren’t as harmless as they seem.

Mistake #2, crushing on a beautiful girl who isn’t fooled by Noah’s good looks and charm.

Mistake #3, being in the wrong place when she receives disturbing notes in her locker.

But the biggest mistake, Noah learns, is when his mother escapes North Carolina with him. Because, it turns out, transporting a minor over state lines in the middle of the night is a felony.

Purchase Because...Anonymous

About the Author


Diana L. Sharples is an award-winning author and illustrator who lives with her husband and daughter in the foothills of the North Georgia mountains. She’s an animal lover and an avid Harley rider. Learn about her books and artwork on her
website, and on  Twitter  and  Facebook.

Friday, April 6, 2018

New Release Spotlight: You Can Lead a Horse to Murder, Cozy Mystery by Tara Meyers



There’s a killer in Sanctuary, and the prime suspect is a horse.

When spirited Ember Burns is led back home to open her own veterinary practice, her first client lands her in the middle of a mystery. It starts as a desire for Ember to clear her name, and turns into a personal entanglement in a rapidly unfolding story of lies and deceit.

The small mountain town of Sanctuary has always had its secrets. Who can be trusted? It’s been ten years since Ember lived there but roots run deep. Discerning friend from foe isn’t an easy task. Relying on her intelligence and instinct, Ember tries to piece the clues together as the town gears up for its centennial celebration.

From the quaint historic shops, to the rugged mountains surrounding them, Ember works to unveil the true culprit before they get away with murder.



About Tara Meyers


At nineteen, I was recruited into a secret government program, where my memory was erased ... wait -- that's the outline for a potential book. Sorry, my real biography isn't quite as interesting, but I'll give it a shot!

I live in the Pacific Northwest, and when I'm not writing, I'm out beach combing with my dogs for sea glass or hiking in the rugged Cascade Mountains. It's the perfect backdrop to fuel my creative genius. *rubs hands together evilly*

You'll find all my adult romantic suspense and cozy mysteries here, and on my OTHER profile (secret identity ;)) Tara Ellis, I keep my middle grade and young adult books. Check them out, you might like those, too!



Wednesday, April 4, 2018

From the AlzAuthors Blog: Angel Smits, Author of "When Reasoning No Longer Works"



By Angel Smits

How does a romance writer end up writing a book about Alzheimer’s care? That question nearly stumped me, not because I don’t know how—I lived it—but because it’s a lot bigger question than it seems.

I’ve always written, always played with words and stories—ever since I was a kid. And romance has long been one of my favorite genres to read as well as write. It was a natural path to write romance when I started to focus on my fiction.

But I’ve also always known how hard it is to make a living writing, how competitive it is.

In college, I figured out that I needed to have a Plan B, a way to support myself—just in case writing didn’t work out. I’d worked in a nursing home in high school and enjoyed the people, so when I found a class in Gerontology was offered, I signed up—and promptly fell in love with a second?—first?—career.

Ever since, I’ve really never been able to decide which I enjoy more. I’ve published in both areas; mostly articles when it came to my Gerontology work and now nine romance novels, primarily for Harlequin.

While I was learning my writing craft, I kept working with the elderly, first as a social worker then later as a director for secure specialized units for Alzheimer’s patients. At night, I wrote and sent my fiction off to publishers, while during the day I created care plans, social histories, activity schedules and training staff how to provide the 1-1 care we specialized in.

I can proudly say that the work paid off. I got my first publishing contract and the special care units I ran were full with waiting lists for potential residents. I felt like I’d reached both my dreams.

One day I was in my office and the wife of one of the residents asked to see me. She looked upset and came in to sit across from me. She visited her husband nearly every day and participated in the activities with him. I knew her pretty well and it hurt to see the tears in her eyes.

She asked me a question that still haunts me. “You teach all these young people, these strangers, to take care of my husband.” I felt my pride swell at her praise. Then she continued. “Why can’t you teach me?” And I stared at her pain.

Her words hit me hard, like a bolt of lightning—and not exactly pleasantly. Why hadn’t such a thing ever occurred to me? I don’t know why, but it hadn’t. I was just so caught up in my job, in the fact that it was how the industry worked, that I didn’t think beyond those parameters.

But those words stuck with me, haunting me. When I started the next class of trainees, I saw things differently. This knowledge I’d gathered, that I was teaching, was easily something family members could learn—and something many wanted to do.

It was one of the biggest aha moments of my life.

I had the idea for the book for several months before I figured out how to do it. Just like in training, I wanted to use case studies to help illustrate the information. Finally, my fiction brain kicked in, and I came up with Rose and Lou—a couple much like the people I’d worked with every day. It felt right to blend the fiction with the training tools.

By the time I’d finished When Reasoning No Longer Works, I was writing primarily fiction and I’d moved away from working in the senior field. My focus is now on using my words to help those dealing with caregiving. My fiction has senior characters, a couple with dementia, where I’ve slipped in some of my tips.

The melding of both my passions now seems natural to me. I’ll always be grateful to the woman who asked me that one simple question that changed my world, and showed me how to share what I’ve learned with others who need it.

Connect with Angel Smits





Monday, April 2, 2018

New Release Spotlight: Primordium by Mario Loomis




My guest today is Dr. Mario Loomis, whom I had the privilege to work with during my years as a hospital nurse and case manager. Dr. Loomis has written two young adult sci-fi novels, and I'm pleased to feature his latest release on my blog. Welcome to my adventures in publishing, Mario! 


If you’ve had trouble finding “clean reads” that were thrilling enough to hold your attention or your teenager’s, try Primordium, one of Dr. Loomis’s debut novels.

About the book

Seventeen-year-old Noah Bolton is having the time of his life. His job at the biotech giant, Pridapt Incorporated, has not only earned him a college scholarship and the admiration of his peers, it has also gained him the eye of Zoe Halpern, the most popular girl at school. But, behind the perks, Noah discovers a disturbing pattern of secrecy. There is a cover-up of side-effects from the company’s latest miracle drug, and hidden research in the restricted East Wing laboratory, where something monstrous crawls in the dark. Will Noah simply look the other way, or will he risk his status, his future, and even his life to bring the truth to light?

Readers Say

"Primordium is an easy yet intellectual read that I would highly recommend to readers of all ages. Every chapter left me hungry for more. The author's medical background is woven seamlessly into the story, making it a science-fiction in the truest sense of the phrase—where real concepts are explored and manipulated to create totally believable fantasies. Primordium threw me into a world that's familiar yet filled with fascinating things I've never seen before—from monsters to medical miracles." Rebecca


About the Author 

Surgeon, author, and homeschooling dad, Dr. Mario Loomis, has operated in third world missions, done brain and stem cell research, and cared for thousands of patients over the years. He is now writing science fiction novels to both entertain and intrigue the mind.

Connect with Mario Loomis

Website