LITTLE YELLOW MAGNET by JAMIESON WOLF

Little Yellow Magnet – A Memoir Life can change in an instant. Jamieson learns this the hard way. Waking one morning to find he has little-to-no motor control, Jamieson only wants the world to return to how it had been before. After a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, he thinks his life is over. What he doesn’t know is that it’s only just begun. Trying to navigate through the world in a body he no longer understands, Jamieson must travel through the dark forest of depression while waging a constant battle against himself. Over time, he learns what he’s truly capable of, and what it actually means to be courageous. Follow Jamieson as he loses himself…then discovers who he is really meant to be. Buy Links: Amazon.ca Amazon.com Kobo Jamieson has been writing since a young age when he realized he could be writing instead of paying attention in school. Since then, he has created many worlds in which to live his fantasies and live out his dreams. He is a number-one bestselling author—he likes to tell people that a lot—and writes in many different genres. Jamieson is also an accomplished artist. He works in mixed media, charcoal, acrylic and oil pants. He is also something of an amateur photographer, a poet, and a graphic designer. He currently lives in Ottawa Ontario Canada with his husband Michael and their cat, Tula, who is fearless. You can find him at www.jamiesonwolf.com Facebook Twitter Instagram The world was falling around me. Then again, I always fell. The ground would reach up to meet me, but I would get up and keep going. Having been born with spastic cerebral palsy, this was nothing new. But lately it happened with increasing regularity and without explanation. Normally, if I were about to fall, there’d be a warning: a tightness in the muscles, a spasm, or a vibration running up my legs or down my back as if someone were playing an internal instrument, causing my muscles to gyrate. Now there was none of that. I’d be walking one moment, then down I went the next. The ground wouldn’t welcome me in its embrace; it would pummel me, demanding a kiss. I wouldn’t even remember falling. I also began having problems speaking. Just odd little turns of phrase of sentences I couldn’t get out properly. I’d want to say cup and ended up saying cuppy. I would try to say computer and instead said something like commuter. This worried me more than the falling. I am a writer and words are my trade. I had always been able to turn out a quick phrase, public speaking never a hardship for me. I constantly had more words than the allotted time to speak—there had never seemed to be enough time to say all of them. These days I was constantly tripping over my tongue. The words didn’t come out the right way. I was concerned but put off going to the doctor. I don’t like doctors; I’d seen too many of them as a child. I usually waited until the last possible moment to see one. I had narrowly avoided pneumonia a few times that way. Then my mother called me. “Your brother has been diagnosed.” I knew he’d been having health issues. As I didn’t speak to him, I got second-hand updates from my mother. He had been losing feeling in his feet and the numbness had moved up to his knees. He was having his own kind of difficulties. “What’s wrong?” I asked her. “He’s been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis,” she said softly. I could tell from the sound of her voice that she had been crying. “They said it was progressive MS. You should get checked to make sure you don’t have it.” “Is that likely?” “You’re his brother, Jamieson, his twin. It’s very likely.” I begrudgingly agreed that I would go. I had postponed it for as long as I could, but after a fall at work and another fall in my apartment, I gave in to the inevitable. I made an appointment to see my doctor. He’d been my family physician for a while now and while he wasn’t great, at least there was someone I could see when I needed to. I explained everything: how I was falling more often and losing control of my body. How I was having difficulty speaking and getting the words out that I wanted to say. I told him about my brother’s diagnosis and my mother’s concerns. He was dismissive from the word go. “You don’t have multiple sclerosis,” he said. “How can you be sure? Aren’t there some kind of tests you need to do to prove that?” He waved my concerns away. “You don’t have multiple sclerosis. I’m a doctor, I know these things.” “What about my body?” I asked, growing slightly frustrated. “I know my body and I know my cerebral palsy. This isn’t cerebral palsy causing the falls. I know it’s not. There’s something else going on.” He stared at me with a somewhat bemused gaze. “I know my own body,” I said again. “What about my speech?” “This is all in your head,” he told me. “All this hysteria is affecting you. I would suggest psychological help. That’s what you need. I can recommend a good therapist.” I was shocked. I had never been talked to like I was an idiot. I felt quite hot under the collar now. “What about my speech?” I asked again. He waved his hand once more. “I would suggest elocution lessons.” I left his office furious, knowing without a doubt that I needed more than elocution lessons and therapy, but I had no idea what to do or who to talk to. On December 30, 2012, my hand went numb. I called my doctor again and got him to begrudgingly refer me to a neurologist, but the appointment was months away. Every time I smoked a cigarette my hand kept going numb. I would switch to the other hand, then I’d begin to lose feeling in that one, too. The cigarette would fall from my fingers. I would pluck it off the carpet before it burned a hole. Since seeing the doctor that first time, the symptoms I experienced had worsened. I fell almost every day with no explanation and had more trouble with my speaking. I made jokes about it, but I was worried. I looked forward to the coming new year and I decided to go to bed early so I would have plenty of energy for the day ahead. My body, however, had other ideas. I went to bed living one life and woke up living another.

1969 and Then Some Blog Tour @iReadBookTours

1969 and Then Some

By Robert Wintner

 

1969 and Then Some (2)

 

ROOM WITH BOOKS encourages our readers to follow the tour and leave comments.

 1969 and Then Some

About the Book

1969 and Then Some is a memoir of the 60s and the influence of those years over the decades that followed. Romance, psychedelic insight and motorcycling evolve with the narrator maturity, such as it is, and non-compromise on morality and the undying spirit of adventure in nature.

While the 60s is often discounted or as ephemeral—as a social aberration—1969 & Then Some offers keen insight to lingering values that cannot be separated from significant segments of the most significant population group alive today, the baby boomers, many of whom still hold sway in key areas of social and cultural evolution.

Purchase Links

Amazon ~ Audible

 1969 and Then Some Audiobook Cover

About the Author

Robert Wintner

Robert Wintner lives and works on Maui with his wife Anita, seven cats and Cookie the dog, who came in emaciated at 14 pounds, unable to stand. Cookie at 60 pounds raises a ruckus on the beach or in the living room in her continuing drive to make the world a happier place. The entire family eats well, stays fit and enjoys good health under blue skies.

Connect with the Author

Website  ~  Facebook

 

Giveaway

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Brainstorm: A Memoir of Love, Devotion, and a Cerebral Aneurysm Blog Tour @iReadBookTours

Brainstorm: A Memoir of Love,

Devotion, and a Cerebral Aneurysm

By Robert Wintner

 

Brainstorm by Robert Wintner

 

ROOM WITH BOOKS encourages our readers to follow the tour and leave comments.

 

About the Book

Brainstorm: A Memoir of Love, Devotion, and a Cerebral Aneurysm is a first-person narrative of incidents leading up to, through and after a cerebral aneurysm and hemorrhage in the immediate family. The action includes the dramatic process ongoing in trauma centers designed to process sudden occurrence of aneurysm, cerebral hemorrhage and morbidity. The American Medical Association estimates that 3% of all populations have aneurysm that may or may not leak—about 3½ million people in the U.S.

While the procedures and protocol for sudden onslaught are rote and fundamentally unchanged over the ages, hygienic and technological advances have reduced hazards. Death and debilitation statistics are still daunting, and Brainstorm factors a new component into the procedural mix, whereby a conscientious and healthy husband and wife seek participation in the process, to no avail.

Purchase Links

Amazon ~ Audible

Brainstorm Audiobook Cover

Book Review

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Brainstorm: A Memoir of Love, Devotion, and a Cerebral Aneurysm by Robert Wintner in exchange for an honest review.

As a book reviewer I rarely find myself feeling ambivalent about a book, but as I sit down to write this review I’m still sorting out how I feel about Brainstorm. I can say that it elicited a flood of emotions as I read through it.

I admire Mr. Wintner’s style of writing and the raw emotion exposed by the breast cancer diagnosis and later with the diagnosis of the aneurysm. I don’t find myself particularly drawn to the gentleman’s lack of tact in referring to parts of the female anatomy throughout.

This is an amazing story of love, discovery, adversity, and ultimately, of vanquishing. This is also a story that discloses one of the most intimidating parts of tackling any illness and communicating with the medical community. In the event of a life-threatening illness such as an aneurysm, everything escalates as seemingly every moment counts in getting treatment to the area affected.

This isn’t a book that one would pick up to read without expecting to live along with the Wintners the angst of living, treating, and surviving an aneurysm.

I highly recommend Brainstorm: A Memoir of Love, Devotion, and a Cerebral Aneurysm by Robert Wintner and give it five steaming hot cups of Room With Books coffee.

22387808-coffee-cup-with-space-for-text-vector-illustration22387808-coffee-cup-with-space-for-text-vector-illustration22387808-coffee-cup-with-space-for-text-vector-illustration22387808-coffee-cup-with-space-for-text-vector-illustration22387808-coffee-cup-with-space-for-text-vector-illustration

DIVIDER

©November 17, 2015

Patricia, Room With Books

 

About the Author

Robert Wintner

Robert Wintner lives and works on Maui with his wife Anita, seven cats and Cookie the dog, who came in emaciated at 14 pounds, unable to stand. Cookie at 60 pounds raises a ruckus on the beach or in the living room in her continuing drive to make the world a happier place. The entire family eats well, stays fit and enjoys good health under blue skies.

Connect with the Author

Website    Facebook

 

Giveaway

Win one copy of 1969 and Then Some (Open to USA & Canada)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

Asia’s New Wings @AsiasNewWings @iReadBookTours

Asia’s New Wings

by Clifton & Michelle Cottom

 

Asia's New Wings

 

About the Authors

Clifton and Michelle Cottom

Clifton and Michelle Cottom live in Prince George’s County, Maryland and they have one son, Isiah. The Cottoms are the co-founders and executive board members of the Asia SiVon Cottom (ASC) Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Connect with the AuthorWebsite  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter

 

Asia's New Wings (2)

 

Q&A with the Author

Tell me about you and your husband! How long you’ve been married, careers, anything about y’all! 

Clifton and I celebrated our 25ht wedding anniversary on April 4, 2015.    Clifton is a Behavioral Technician with the District of Columbia Public School (DCPS) System, where he has been employed for over 20 years.   He has also coached Girls basketball with DCPS for a little more than 12 years.   This is in line with his passion for young people, because he also functioned as the Youth Coach (i.e. Minister) for our local church for a number of years.  Currently, he continues to mentor young men and he works closely with men dealing with grief.

I am an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Manager for a federal agency in Washington, DC.  I have served as an EEO practitioner for 25 plus years.  I too mentor women, young adults and served as one of the Youth Coaches in our church.  Currently, Clifton and are I serving as workshop presenters and speakers to bereaved communities.  Through our first- hand experiences we now serve as subject matter experts.  Also, my MA in Counseling serves as the authority and foundation of our individual as well as our group coaching, mentoring and sharing sessions

Tell me about Asia and her older brother Isiah

Asia was six years younger than her brother Isiah Batey.  However, they were very close.  They played, laughed and cried together.  He was very protective of her and she was very protective of him.  He taught her everything he knew and she in turn taught him everything she knew.  As siblings they were inseparable despite their age difference.  Isiah remains devastated at the loss of his sister.  A void he continues to struggle with today.

When you lost Asia, how did your family function in the aftermath in the short term

We didn’t.  We just went through the motions.  Waking-up and taking one day at a time.  Actually, we took each minute by minute and tried to make some sense of what was really going on.  We each prayed that Asia wasn’t really dead.

How did things change as time went on?

The only thing that has changed is the fact that Asia is not physically present with us in the earth helm as we know it.  She remains alive and well in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.  This is obvious to us as people speak fondly of her almost daily and it’s been 14 years.  People share Asia stories with us all the time.  We as an immediate family constantly laugh and joke about what she would or wouldn’t be doing at various times and events in our day-to day life.

How did you help Isiah cope with the loss?

Isiah really helped us.  He helped Clifton get closer to God by illustrating his faith.  Isiah dropped to his knees and immediately began to pray when we told him about the plane crash.  That showed us as his parents tremendous strength and maturity for a 17 year old young man who had just lost his sister; his best-friend.  We always talked to him about his feelings, hurt, pain, angry, and frustrations.  We instilled in him that revenge and hate was not an option even though everything around us was going to war.  He also had to deal with the pressure and questions that came to him from his classmates and friends.  All of who, just like a lot of Americans wanted revenge.

 

Asia's New Wings (2)

 

Book Review

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Asia’s New Wings from authors Clifton and Michelle Cottom in exchange for an honest review.

It was an honor to be able to read and review Asia’s New Wings. There are so many passages of this book that I have highlighted as a favorite passage that I now have an eBook filled with rainbows. I pray that Asia loved to see rainbows. As I read Asia’s New Wings I was compelled to share a number of these moments in Asia’s life with my husband as I read.

How many times in life are we tempted to say “I know just how you feel!” in offering condolences for the loss of a loved one? I can’t begin to even fathom the loss of a child due to illness or accident. How much more unfathomable is the loss of a child to the cowardice of a terrorist’s act?

Asia’s New Wings is not a story of the recovery of Clifton and Michelle Cottom, but it is the story of a life taken too early and the huge impact that Asia Cottom made during her eleven short years on this earth.

“At about 10 or 11 p.m. the news reporter announced, “It is officially confirmed that American Airlines Flight #77 has hit the Pentagon.” Then a list of the names of all the passengers scrolled onto the screen, including Asia Cottom. With sinking hearts, we knew our world was forever changed.” (Page 18).

The Cottom family was forever changed on September 11, 2001, but not in the ways one would expect. Through years of grief and personal struggles, each of them has forged their relationship with God, each other, and the world that is truly a testament to the life Asia Cottom lived.

I love the description of Asia as if she knew that her time on earth would somehow be cut short.

“My daughter, Asia, was no ordinary child. She truly lived her life in “double time,” as if she knew she wouldn’t be long here on earth. You could say she fit more into her eleven years than most people do in twenty-two!” (Page 30).

The testimony from classmates, church family, friends and family of this beautiful little girl on the brink of becoming an incredible young woman brought tears to my eyes more than once.

“Everybody wants to move forward, and I get all that. There are a lot of times I just want to keep my best friend (my sister) private. I didn’t mind the scholarship fund. I didn’t mind helping people, but there are just a lot of times I want my best friend to stay private with me. Nobody knew her like I did.’ (Page 69).

Asia’s brother, Isiah, turned his grief and memories to music which allows him to honor her memory in a way that truly comes from his heart.

“The true story is that these parents took this tragic event and they are standing and building upon it—through all of their hurt—and they do this every day.” (Page 86).

The writing in Asia’s New Wings is very intense, very emotional from all that contributed to it, and is a story that I shall keep close to my heart for many years to come.

“Asia’s story needs to become an evangelism tool where others are drawn to Christ and His healing power.” (Page 87).

I highly recommend Asia’s New Wings by Clifton and Michelle Cottom and humbly offer five Christ-filled cups of Room With Books coffee.

22387808-coffee-cup-with-space-for-text-vector-illustration22387808-coffee-cup-with-space-for-text-vector-illustration22387808-coffee-cup-with-space-for-text-vector-illustration22387808-coffee-cup-with-space-for-text-vector-illustration22387808-coffee-cup-with-space-for-text-vector-illustration

DIVIDER© September 8, 2015

Patricia, Room With Books

Asia's New Wings (2)

About the Book

Asia Cottom lived eleven short years on this earth. Her tragic death on Flight #77 on 9/11 is forever etched in the hearts of the countless people who loved her. But her wise and influential life, her positive attitude, and profound faith in God are her true legacy.

You may love God with all your heart and soul, yet not understand what He is doing. In Asia’s New Wings, Clifton and Dr. Michelle Cottom, along with family and friends, walk beside you, sharing their thoughts and offering compassion to help you come to a place of acceptance, when trying to make sense of suffering great loss. The people in this book have learned to come to terms with what God allows, and are now in a place where they can help heal others. If you have gone—or are going through—the “valley of despair,” you will find comfort and empathy from those who care. You will also find hope and the strength to move forward as you rediscover your life.

What Asia’s parents and all those who loved her went through, healed from, and learned will bring comfort and relief to those who travel down the road of loss. Reading and experiencing Asia’s story will truly bring healing and life to all who turn these pages.

Purchase Links

Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble

 

Asia's New Wings (2)

 

Book Trailer

 

Asia's New Wings (2)

Giveaway

Win 1 of 15 print copies of Asia’s New Wings (open to both USA & Canada)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

iRead Website new logo

Asia’s New Wings Blog Tour @AsiasNewWings @iReadBookTours

Asia’s New Wings

by Clifton & Michelle Cottom

 

Asia's New Wings

 

About the Authors

Clifton and Michelle Cottom

Clifton and Michelle Cottom live in Prince George’s County, Maryland and they have one son, Isiah. The Cottoms are the co-founders and executive board members of the Asia SiVon Cottom (ASC) Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Connect with the AuthorWebsite  ~  Facebook  ~  Twitter

 

Asia's New Wings (2)

 

Q&A with the Author

Tell me about you and your husband! How long you’ve been married, careers, anything about y’all! 

Clifton and I celebrated our 25ht wedding anniversary on April 4, 2015.    Clifton is a Behavioral Technician with the District of Columbia Public School (DCPS) System, where he has been employed for over 20 years.   He has also coached Girls basketball with DCPS for a little more than 12 years.   This is in line with his passion for young people, because he also functioned as the Youth Coach (i.e. Minister) for our local church for a number of years.  Currently, he continues to mentor young men and he works closely with men dealing with grief.

I am an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Manager for a federal agency in Washington, DC.  I have served as an EEO practitioner for 25 plus years.  I too mentor women, young adults and served as one of the Youth Coaches in our church.  Currently, Clifton and are I serving as workshop presenters and speakers to bereaved communities.  Through our first- hand experiences we now serve as subject matter experts.  Also, my MA in Counseling serves as the authority and foundation of our individual as well as our group coaching, mentoring and sharing sessions

Tell me about Asia and her older brother Isiah

Asia was six years younger than her brother Isiah Batey.  However, they were very close.  They played, laughed and cried together.  He was very protective of her and she was very protective of him.  He taught her everything he knew and she in turn taught him everything she knew.  As siblings they were inseparable despite their age difference.  Isiah remains devastated at the loss of his sister.  A void he continues to struggle with today.

When you lost Asia, how did your family function in the aftermath in the short term

We didn’t.  We just went through the motions.  Waking-up and taking one day at a time.  Actually, we took each minute by minute and tried to make some sense of what was really going on.  We each prayed that Asia wasn’t really dead.

How did things change as time went on?

The only thing that has changed is the fact that Asia is not physically present with us in the earth helm as we know it.  She remains alive and well in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.  This is obvious to us as people speak fondly of her almost daily and it’s been 14 years.  People share Asia stories with us all the time.  We as an immediate family constantly laugh and joke about what she would or wouldn’t be doing at various times and events in our day-to day life.

How did you help Isiah cope with the loss?

Isiah really helped us.  He helped Clifton get closer to God by illustrating his faith.  Isiah dropped to his knees and immediately began to pray when we told him about the plane crash.  That showed us as his parents tremendous strength and maturity for a 17 year old young man who had just lost his sister; his best-friend.  We always talked to him about his feelings, hurt, pain, angry, and frustrations.  We instilled in him that revenge and hate was not an option even though everything around us was going to war.  He also had to deal with the pressure and questions that came to him from his classmates and friends.  All of who, just like a lot of Americans wanted revenge.

 

Asia's New Wings (2)

 

Book Review

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Asia’s New Wings from authors Clifton and Michelle Cottom in exchange for an honest review.

It was an honor to be able to read and review Asia’s New Wings. There are so many passages of this book that I have highlighted as a favorite passage that I now have an eBook filled with rainbows. I pray that Asia loved to see rainbows. As I read Asia’s New Wings I was compelled to share a number of these moments in Asia’s life with my husband as I read.

How many times in life are we tempted to say “I know just how you feel!” in offering condolences for the loss of a loved one? I can’t begin to even fathom the loss of a child due to illness or accident. How much more unfathomable is the loss of a child to the cowardice of a terrorist’s act?

Asia’s New Wings is not a story of the recovery of Clifton and Michelle Cottom, but it is the story of a life taken too early and the huge impact that Asia Cottom made during her eleven short years on this earth.

“At about 10 or 11 p.m. the news reporter announced, “It is officially confirmed that American Airlines Flight #77 has hit the Pentagon.” Then a list of the names of all the passengers scrolled onto the screen, including Asia Cottom. With sinking hearts, we knew our world was forever changed.” (Page 18).

The Cottom family was forever changed on September 11, 2001, but not in the ways one would expect. Through years of grief and personal struggles, each of them has forged their relationship with God, each other, and the world that is truly a testament to the life Asia Cottom lived.

I love the description of Asia as if she knew that her time on earth would somehow be cut short.

“My daughter, Asia, was no ordinary child. She truly lived her life in “double time,” as if she knew she wouldn’t be long here on earth. You could say she fit more into her eleven years than most people do in twenty-two!” (Page 30).

The testimony from classmates, church family, friends and family of this beautiful little girl on the brink of becoming an incredible young woman brought tears to my eyes more than once.

“Everybody wants to move forward, and I get all that. There are a lot of times I just want to keep my best friend (my sister) private. I didn’t mind the scholarship fund. I didn’t mind helping people, but there are just a lot of times I want my best friend to stay private with me. Nobody knew her like I did.’ (Page 69).

Asia’s brother, Isiah, turned his grief and memories to music which allows him to honor her memory in a way that truly comes from his heart.

“The true story is that these parents took this tragic event and they are standing and building upon it—through all of their hurt—and they do this every day.” (Page 86).

The writing in Asia’s New Wings is very intense, very emotional from all that contributed to it, and is a story that I shall keep close to my heart for many years to come.

“Asia’s story needs to become an evangelism tool where others are drawn to Christ and His healing power.” (Page 87).

I highly recommend Asia’s New Wings by Clifton and Michelle Cottom and humbly offer five Christ-filled cups of Room With Books coffee.

22387808-coffee-cup-with-space-for-text-vector-illustration22387808-coffee-cup-with-space-for-text-vector-illustration22387808-coffee-cup-with-space-for-text-vector-illustration22387808-coffee-cup-with-space-for-text-vector-illustration22387808-coffee-cup-with-space-for-text-vector-illustration

DIVIDER© September 8, 2015

Patricia, Room With Books

Asia's New Wings (2)

About the Book

Asia Cottom lived eleven short years on this earth. Her tragic death on Flight #77 on 9/11 is forever etched in the hearts of the countless people who loved her. But her wise and influential life, her positive attitude, and profound faith in God are her true legacy.

You may love God with all your heart and soul, yet not understand what He is doing. In Asia’s New Wings, Clifton and Dr. Michelle Cottom, along with family and friends, walk beside you, sharing their thoughts and offering compassion to help you come to a place of acceptance, when trying to make sense of suffering great loss. The people in this book have learned to come to terms with what God allows, and are now in a place where they can help heal others. If you have gone—or are going through—the “valley of despair,” you will find comfort and empathy from those who care. You will also find hope and the strength to move forward as you rediscover your life.

What Asia’s parents and all those who loved her went through, healed from, and learned will bring comfort and relief to those who travel down the road of loss. Reading and experiencing Asia’s story will truly bring healing and life to all who turn these pages.

Purchase Links

Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble

 

Asia's New Wings (2)

 

Book Trailer

 

Asia's New Wings (2)

Giveaway

Win 1 of 15 print copies of Asia’s New Wings (open to both USA & Canada)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Adventures in Mother-Sitting Book Tour

Adventures in Mother-Sitting

By Doreen Cox

Adventures-in-Mother-Sitting-Banner

Published:  January 2015

Publisher:  Whistling Duck Books

Genre:  Memoir

Recommended Age:  16+

 Adventures-in-Mother-Sitting

About the Book

For a daughter, at age 61, being called “mommy” by her own mother was a heart-wrenching experience. This happened to Dody during the course of a three-year adventure as the full-time caregiver to her mother, much loved yet caught up in a downward spiral of physical, mental, and developmentally regressed disabilities.

Each day was an adventure, because when dementia is present, the typical actions involved with her mother’s daily care habits became unpredictable. The experience is also termed an adventure because of the surprising twists and turns of emotion that arose in Dody, compelling her to recognize and face deep-seated fears and unwanted emotional reactions when her performance was not in accord with the spiritual vision that she had of herself. Moments of comic relief saved Dody from the depths of despair during pill-taking and messy hygienic episodes, and during her mother’s nighttime delusions. The mantra that kept her going was an echo of her mother’s life-long response to any calamitous event: you can do what you have to do.

ADVENTURES IN MOTHER-SITTING is not just a chronicle about the dementia-induced antics of an independent, spirited mother as she approaches the time of her death. The book is also about Dody’s journey through a rollercoaster passage of grief that gets intermixed with surprisingly sweet instances of joyful connections with her childlike mother, but also with her innermost self. Throughout the book, Dody portrays the ways in which the physical and mental needs of her mother and her own emotional, spiritual needs lovingly served each other and how dementia served them both.

The memoir depicts the role changes that occur in the relationship between Dody and her beloved mother, but more so, it portrays the more compassionate relationship that she gains with herself as she learns to walk more honestly and gently with her fears, worries, and shortcomings.

Connect with the Author

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

 

Excerpt

from Adventures in Mother-Sitting by Doreen Cox

As had become her usual habit, Mother fell asleep shortly after her dinner, around 7:30 p.m. After cleaning up the kitchen, I watched some TV then started working on a jigsaw puzzle in order to stay awake until midnight. If Mother didn’t wake up before midnight, there was a good chance that she would sleep until morning. By 10:30 p.m., however, I couldn’t keep my eyes open so gave up the puzzle and crawled into bed. About to drift off, I groaned when I heard noises coming from her room, sounds that portended the smooth flow was about to change. It was a few minutes before 11:00 p.m. when I heard Mother babbling loudly in conversation with what I assumed to be was her cast of invisible nightly visitors.

I stayed in bed at first, annoyed that her medications were not doing their job in managing the delusions. She wasn’t jangling the bedrails for all she was worth, so I did not feel an urgency to get to her room. However, when the word “catheter” zoomed into my foggy brain, I jumped out of bed and hustled down the hall, slowing as I got to her door. Mother was touching the bedrails a little when I peeked into her room, but she did not need me at all. She was having a pretend conversation with the three stuffed animals that shared her bed. Mother was trying to place the little bunny-eared duck onto the bedrail after having successfully propped her larger otter and tiger onto the rail. Now with a brain set at toddler age, Mother was talking and playing with her stuffed animal friends. In the midst of my recent musings about why humans hang onto life when any quality left in living seems almost nonexistent, an unexpected answer had come my way.

My annoyance disappeared immediately and was replaced with a feeling I had never felt so strongly before: fierce belly-warming surges of love and protectiveness. This must be what mothers feel when they watch their toddlers at play, I thought while gazing with moist eyes at Mother. If I had stepped into her room at this moment, I am sure that she would have given me one of her toothless grins and tried to say, “Look, Mommy!” But I didn’t step into the room. I’m sure my heart would have burst if I had heard those words. Love and tenderness had enveloped me so completely—it was hard to contain this unexpected sense of motherhood.

I stood and watched until she had drifted off to sleep then went in, picked the duck off the floor, and tucked Mother in once more. After getting back into my own bed, I lay awake for a while and thought about toddler-age children. Most are unable yet to totally understand the onslaught of images, words, objects, and noises that come and go at them throughout their day. Make believe conversations and playacting with small dolls, stuffed animals, and toys engages them completely; to them, their play is real. So, too, was having make-believe conversations with stuffed animals and imagined people so real to Mother. During delusions, her hand gestures became flamboyant, her face animated, and even her sentences were understandable instead of garbled.

This particular incident made me consider a poignant question even more seriously: is it possible that, on some level, dementia can be viewed as a blessing for those who have it and are at the end of their life? For people with dementia, make believe seems to be as much a part of end-of-life experience as it was when they began life as a child. A wave of melancholy hit me strongly then as sadness over the loss of Mother’s adult personality and her motherly presence in my life moved through me. After this wave passed, a feeling of gratefulness lightened my grief. Mother was having her own experience of delightful fun, so real to her. The dementia that had caused her brain to regress back to the age of a toddler served a greater purpose than I had ever imagined. It was me that had to adjust and discern the benefit to her.

The pictures I took of Mother lying in bed surrounded by her animal friends are priceless to me. She loved each one and handled them differently. She was constantly putting on and taking off beaded bracelets from around the neck of her bunny-eared duck. Toward the end of her life, a bunny rabbit propped up Mother’s head when it weakened and began to droop. After her death, each of us took one of her animal friends into our homes. They are our reminders that Mother did experience her own brand of end-of-life joy.

 

About the Author

Doreen-Cox

Born with a sense of wanderlust, Doreen (Dody) Cox had a somewhat convoluted career path, working in various business-related and mental health occupations. When dementia began to debilitate her mother, Dody resigned from her job as group counselor at an alternative school in order to take on an unforeseen endeavor: become her mother’s care bear. It was after her mother’s death that Dody’s path took another unexpected turn. She chose to honor her mother’s long-held wish: for her to write a book. ADVENTURES IN MOTHER-SITTING is Dody’s first publication, a memoir that emerged from the pages of her journal. Writing was a steadying outlet throughout the three years that dementia took her and her mother on an unpredictably tumultuous, yet heartwarming adventure.

Currently, Dody lives in her native Florida and works part-time, teaching a GED class comprised of multicultural adults in one of her favorite places: a library. She continues to write and has recently published A SACRED JOURNEY, a fictional short story with themes relating to nature, spirituality, hope, and dignity in death.

Connect with the Author

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Blog

 

Giveaway

There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

A $15 Amazon Gift Card & ebook copy of A Sacred Journey

Giveaway is International.

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Daws, Amy: Chasing Hope

CHASING HOPE

by Amy Daws

Release Date: May 26, 2014

 

SYNOPSIS:

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00025]

At 33 weeks pregnant, Amy is certain something bad will soon happen, it has too many times before. Deep down she fears it’s only a matter of time before the baby she’s carrying will die. Despite the fact that Amy has been repeatedly slapped in the face with multiple miscarriages, she still can’t seem to quiet that tiny voice in the back of her head that’s screaming at her to not give up hope.

Follow Amy’s true story as she stumbles through her journey with humor and warmth all while dealing with the neuroses that come along with getting her hopes shattered time and time again. All she has to do is close her eyes and she’s lurched back to the memories of her losses on the floor in her bathroom, in the hospital, and even at her place of work. No one knows what the internal mind of a woman who’s lost five babies and suffered this many let downs goes through. Can Hope ever truly survive memories such as these?

Purchase Links:  Amazon | Lulu

REVIEW:

Chasing Hope by Amy DawsPageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00025]

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

3D 5 Gold Stars

I started my first read-through and discovered I needed to stop being a reviewer/editor in order to get through the first reading of your story. “Chasing Hope” touched my heart so deeply, I found I couldn’t focus on the mechanics of the story and the grammar and punctuation because I was so emotionally entrenched in the story itself. I have just finished my second read-through and feel that I can begin to offer feedback on content and the few mechanical errors with some degree of confidence in my professional abilities.

I have never found a book that touched me on such a deep level that I couldn’t separate myself from the reading of it to do my job. My heart goes out to you and your family in so many ways, for the losses you have suffered, and for the joy your Lorelei Hope has brought.

 

EXCERPT:

“You’ll need to take that necklace off before we go Amy, so don’t forget.” Nurse Micaela said as she was typing into the computer next to the bed.        

My hands instantly went to touch my five gold rings hanging from an old leather strap around my neck. My five gold rings for my five angel babies. I swallowed and silently prayed I would not make another angel.

I fumbled the clasp behind my neck and suddenly, the clasp broke and all five gold rings fell to the cold linoleum floor, clinking along the bed rail on their way down. “Kevin. My rings, they fell! Oh my God,” Shock and panic washed over me. It’s a sign; a bad sign. My baby isn’t going to make it. My angels are telling me to prepare for the other shoe to drop. Another nightmare headed our way.

I sat on the side of the bed while Kevin and Micaela searched the floor to find all five. Tears threatened my lower eyelids and I whispered, “This is really bad. This can’t be good. I’m losing her Kevin,” My chin trembled and my face twisted in pain as the tears poured down my face and sobs freed themselves from my throat.

Micaela looked up at me seriously, “NO! This isn’t a bad sign. This could be a good sign. Your angels are telling you it’s time to let them go and move on. You’re having this baby Amy.”

 

INTERVIEW:

It is my pleasure to feature Amy Daws, author of Chasing Hope, on Room With Books. Thank you, Amy, for answering a few questions to help our readers get to know you better.

What inspired you to share your story with the world? Honestly, at first I just knew I wanted to strictly write my story out so I never ever forgot it and then once I finished it, I was like, “Well heck! I went to this much work already, I may as well publish it!” Then I started to share it with a few people and their feedback was tremendous. They were able to relate with what I was saying, or they were able to feel validated because I had similar feelings they had! So then I just knew I wanted to get it out there to help more.

What were the range of emotions you felt while writing the book? Oh brother. I was a mess most of the time. Any time I wrote vivid detail about the losses, tears were just streaming down my face and in to my lap. I just prayed no one tried to talk to me during those times because I probably would have screamed at them to get me a tissues and then leave me alone! But then I’d also have these moments of excitement, like I knew where I wanted to go and I just couldn’t type it out fast enough. Those moments were exciting!

How did your husband feel about you writing the book? I think Kevin was happy for me when I told him I wanted to do this. But when he read it, I think he had some reservations. I speak in great detail about things people said to me that hurt my feelings or what I was thinking on the inside while someone shared their joyful news and he, being the nicest guy on the planet, initially thought I was being too cruel. And I understand that. But once I told him he needed to look at the big picture and what WE went through as opposed to me offending my sister in law or something, he got with the program real quick and became super supportive.

What was the purpose of the book when you started writing it? Is that how the final product turned out? When I first started typing out my story, it was only because I didn’t want to forget. I didn’t want to forget the beautiful, wonderful, exciting moments…as well as, the horrifying, depressingly tragic moments. What Kevin and I went through together was HEAVY stuff. For real! I don’t think I had a specific purpose or theme when I first started writing it out, but as it developed, I realized that my story had this beacon of hope shining throughout it all. And that was awesome!

What’s been the hardest thing about enduring multiple miscarriages? The sadness never fully leaves you. Even after becoming a mother, you still have that sad spot in your heart for all the ones you’ve lost. Some days I feel like I’m on another plain than the rest of the world because I have this deep dark past that’s always with me. I’ll never get those babies back, hopefully in heaven someday yeah, but I’ll never get to experience being their mom and knowing what they look like, what their little personalities are. Ugh, just thinking about it brings it all back ye know?

If you had to give advice or words of encouragement to people going through your similar situation, what would it be? The baby that is meant for your is still coming. It’s hard to accept because you think that the baby you just lost should be the ONE for you! But once you meet the baby that you were supposed to have here on Earth, it all sort of makes sense! I will always be a better mother for what I have gone through…and no one can take that away from me! I’m can actually say I am lucky for going through what I’ve gone through because it made me a better person. If you had asked me that while I was in the thick of it, I would have said, SCREW YOU THIS ALL SUCKS! So, sorry if you’re in the darkness right now, I get it. But just hang in there. I cannot wait for you to see the light! It’s coming, one way or another! It will be the baby that was MEANT for you!

Amy, you have been so open and honest, both in your book and in answering these questions. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the time you have taken and for allowing Room With Books to be a part of your book release!

 

BOOK TRAILER/INTERVIEW:

 

AUTHOR BIO:

AmyDawsAuthorPic-FullRes

Amy Daws is local TV network affiliate commercial producer and lives in South Dakota with her husband, Kevin and their daughter, Lorelei. She graduated with honors from the University of Northern Iowa, despite fiercely executing her wild college-girl phase. Amy received her make-believe medical degree from the school of Google on infertility and miscarriage. On most nights, you can find Amy and her family dancing in their living room to Strawberry Shortcake’s theme song or stuffing themselves inside children sized playhouses and then struggling to get back out because there is nothing they wouldn’t do for their little miracle. She is passionate about sharing her story and connecting with other couples that have suffered losses and are in search of real-life understanding. Amy held on to hope in her journey because she knew the payoff of a miracle baby would be worth the wait.

Social Media: Website  | Facebook | Twitter

Joyce, Susan: The Lullaby Illusion

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Lullaby_Illusion_frontA bold and stirring memoir. One woman’s tale of dreams, war, love, and personal growth The Lullaby Illusion details the harrowing personal journey of a young American woman facing seemingly insurmountable situations while living in the Middle East and Europe.

After many miscarriages and the loss of a child in childbirth on the island of Cyprus, Susan seeks solace by creating art and recording her vivid dreams. Through difficult life changes — Cyprus s bloody coup and war in 1974, a rescue from a sinking ship in the Indian Ocean, learning of her husband s secret life, and surviving his deadly assault in Belgium — she discovers her ticking clock is not the child she fails to produce, but rather her creative potential.

Following her vivid dreams and intuition, she successfully reinvents herself as an artist and writer.

From beginning to end, Susan Joyce reminds us of the stream of awareness that flows through all of us. Early reader reviews show it resonates universally with men and women.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SJ&Michael'77“Michael” by Susan Joyce

I adored Michael. He was my first gay friend, and was just stepping out of the closet within the confines of friends when we met in Frankfurt Germany in 1976. He became my solace at a low tide in my life and introduced me to the vibrant world of opera and theater. He had an obsession with theater and anything presented live on stage. He had performed in a few shows in small theaters and his dream was to finish a play he had started writing years before and see it published one day.

“Love Wagner’s. Great action and food.” Michael smiled, eyeing a young man across the room. “Everyone here thinks I’m a movie star.”

“You’re the spitting image of a young Tony Randall.”

“And as fastidious and fussy, I trust.”

”You’re not fussy. Just choosy,” I assured him.

Michael of course then educated me on the origin of the phrase ‘spitting image’ and we both had a good chuckle.

I fondly called him ‘Mister Walking Encyclopedia’ because he knew obscure facts and figures on any subject conceivable. Michael always knew the real scoop. He loved fancy words and loved to use them.

“Gaydar,” he explained one evening, “is how I know if someone’s straight or bent.”

I chuckled. “Did you just invent that word?”

“Gaydar? Probably,” he replied.

He invited me to a play at the English Theatre in Frankfurt. I hadn’t seen the play before, but recognized the playwright, Oscar Wilde.

“It’s a trivial comedy for serious people. The second most known and quoted play in English after Hamlet.“

“I’ve seen Hamlet performed,” I said.

“This one’s a farce,” he said smiling, “The Importance of Being Earnest, first performed on Valentine’s Day in 1895. It’s nonsense that makes sense, if you get beyond the words.”

“Sounds like a must see,” I replied, wondering what the hell I was getting myself into.

I found the play a bit silly, but great fun. When the final curtain closed, we stood and wildly applauded again and again.

“I just love Wilde’s British dandyisms.” Michael chortled.

“Some wild expressions,” I agreed.

“Classic Wilde,” Michael continued, “They speak volumes about the hypocrisies of the society. Then and now. Reprobates always have more fun.”

I laughed.

As we discussed the play’s “real” meaning, over wine, later that evening, Michael educated me on the dark history of the play and the eventual exile of Oscar Wilde.

“Ernest was Wilde’s alter-ego,” Michael informed me. “The play is a satire about the hypocrisies of society, and the way these damage our souls.”

“He was criticizing Victorian society,” I said.

Michael smiled and took another sip of wine. “His speaking out landed him in prison.”

“Why?”

“Indecency. Romping with a royal. Of the same sex.”

“Wow!” I said, letting it sink in. “His writing is a harsh satire.”

“And still rings true today,” Michael said.

Michael taught me many different things—some shocking, some fun, some frivolous, some serious, but all inspirational. All encouraging. He taught me about striving and thriving, and being different, and accepting differences in others.

Years later, when I finally got around to searching for the word “gaydar” in a dictionary, I realized that Michael may well have invented the word, since the first known use, according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, was in 1982.

When the final curtain closed on Michael’s life in 1986, he left a trail of love, light, and divine information. Too bad he didn’t live long enough to witness the gay civil rights happening today. But knowing Michael, he’s aware and smiling.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Interview with Susan Joyce by Charline Ratcliff for Tour de Blogg Article first published as Interview with Susan Joyce, Author of ‘The Lullaby Illusion: A Journey of Awakening’ on Blogcritics. Welcome Susan. Thank you for taking the time to share some information about yourself with our readers. Let’s get started, shall we?

JoyceSusanSusan, I’ve been perusing the various websites and web-pages of yours and I have to say that you have lived an extraordinary life. If you don’t mind though, I’d like to start this interview a bit further back by asking you about your childhood. Who were you as a child? (Were you the shy, demure child, or did you always have that adventurous spirit)?

Shy? Never. I was more of a tomboy type. Always adventurous, I had a wild imagination. I was the second child born into a family of eight children. My father became a Pentecostal preacher months after I was born (was I to blame?) and my family moved from LA to OK, TX, CO, and then to AZ. Most of my childhood was spent in Tucson. I used to sit out on a hot rock in the desert with my dog and wait for the space ship to pick us up. I was convinced they had left me with the wrong family.

You mention that you were born in Los Angeles, but then you moved to Tucson, Arizona. Having myself lived in Phoenix, Arizona for many years, and knowing what a sleepy little town Tucson has been until only recently, that move must have been a huge transition? Were you old enough to notice/recognize the difference between the two cities/cultures?

Tucson was sleepy compared to LA, but because of the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base it had lots of activity happening. Because I was so young when we moved from LA, I didn’t really know LA as a kid. But when my family would pile into our nine-passenger station wagon and drive from Tucson to LA, to visit my aunt who lived there, it was very exciting. So many miles of cars and people scurrying about… I knew then that I wanted to return and live in LA someday. As my father used to say: “When you’re old enough to tell yourself what to do.”

What was life like growing up in Tucson? What did you do for fun? Is this where your love of books and possibly the notions for your photography/artist career began?

My creative juices were definitely stirred by the wide open spaces of nature surrounding me in the desert around Tucson. We lived out of town, near Sabino Canyon. We didn’t have a television. My father thought TV was evil and a waste of time. Imagine that! But we had a bookcase filled with books and a set of encyclopedias. Once a week we visited the public library and were allowed to check out as many books as we could carry. My father also read two daily newspapers and encouraged us to get beyond the comics. We all played a musical instrument and loved singing. At a young age, I wrote stories and songs.

At age twenty you left the United States, intent on exploring this big world of ours for one short year. How did that timeline work out for you? *chuckle* What was it you discovered that kept you from returning like you originally thought that you would?

I found myself wanting to stay a bit longer in every country. To explore more. When I needed money, I found a job and stayed on. So months of travel became years of travel. The more I traveled, the more I discovered. I was so young and naïve when I left the States, I often chuckled about the simple discoveries in life that changed me forever. Travel is the best education for anyone. The world is a great classroom. You learn volumes about yourself and others.

Even though I’ve familiarized myself with the countries you have visited/lived in, would you please share them again here for our readers?

I visited numerous countries during my years abroad—Israel, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, Italy, France, Germany, Luxemburg, Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Austria, Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Austria, India, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Australia, New Zealand. Lots of different countries mainly in the Middle East and Europe, and now South America.

I’ve lived in Israel, Germany twice, Switzerland, Cyprus, Greece, England, Belgium, Mexico, and now live in Uruguay.

Susan, what were your favorite countries? Do you have any “not so” favorite countries?

They were all favorites at the time. Exciting to explore and to learn about different cultures and their unique history. Cyprus was probably my favorite, until there was trouble in paradise—the coup and war in 1974. I also loved living in Germany. Its central Europe location made it a great home base for traveling around Europe.

While I’m not going to list your age, simple mathematics makes me wonder what it was like being an American woman traveling, and living, in some of these tumultuous countries during the time periods that you did? How often (if at all) did you worry for your safety?

I don’t mind people knowing my age. It was probably safer to travel then, than now. Especially in the Middle East. I usually traveled with friends and felt a bit envious that Paul Theroux (a man) could travel alone anywhere and never be bothered. I was in my 20s-40s when I lived in the Middle East and Europe, and I can only remember being worried about my safety once in the souk in the old city of Jerusalem. I was admiring some large colorful pieces of fabric when someone covered my head with one and started moving me toward the back of the tent. Sensing danger, I started screaming. My husband, at the time, realized I had vanished and started asking questions of others nearby. After a struggle with the man, I broke free and ran out. The man laughed and pretended it was a joke, and offered my husband a few prized camels in exchange for a blonde, blue eyed young woman… I knew it wasn’t a joke, was not amused, and felt grateful to be rescued.

What was it that started you writing? Was it you wanting to share your various world-life experiences, or did the writing itch start at a much earlier age?

I enjoyed making up songs and stories at a young age, but my language skills needed help. I had dyslexia and when I spoke I got my words all mixed up. People often laughed at me. My nickname was ‘Dutch’ because it sounded like I was trying to speak a foreign language. My mom played word puzzle games to help me. By the time I was in the fourth grade, I was reading, writing and telling stories that others understood. I wrote a short story about my dog Brownie and his bad liver breath, and how I loved him in spite of his bad breath. The story won first place in a competition, giving me confidence to keep writing.

Susan, You have a new book coming out: “The Lullaby Illusion – A Journey of Awakening.” What prompted you to write this “travel memoir” of yours? What do you hope that readers will take away from it?

The idea came as I struggled to find answers to questions about mysterious events that happened in my life. My life was shattered by the coup in Cyprus on 15 July 1974, followed five days later by the Turkish invasion on 20 July 1974. Thousands of lives were drastically changed forever by the atrocities, including foreigners who lived there. Of which I was one. Bewildered at how a place—which seemed like paradise— could simply disappear and how my own perfect life could unravel as a result pushed me to find the missing pieces of the puzzle. As I started putting my life back together, scattered fragments of news clippings, letters from friends, dream and travel journals, poems, notebooks filled with tidbits of thoughts fell into place and I started writing my story.

I always expect a book to encourage and inspire me. So I hope my work does exactly that.

How have your dreams, and that little voice of “intuition,” shaped you into the woman you are today?

Like spirit guides, my dreams and intuition have directed me to find my own unique path in life and my place in the universe. Because I believe and trust in these, I have lived a most extraordinary lucid, aware life. Being aware is key.

And finally… If you could tell every single person in the world just one important “something,” what would that “something” be?Charline Bio photo for written interview

Believe in yourself and trust your own still small voice. It speaks your truth.

Thank you again, so much, for sharing your story Susan. It has truly been a pleasure learning about you, your experiences, your books, and what makes you…well…YOU!

Link up with Charline facebook | twitter | goodreads | amazon | website | blog | in | google+

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

JoyceSusan

Susan Joyce was born in Los Angeles, but spent much of her childhood in Tucson Arizona. She left the United States in 1968 to follow a childhood dream to see the world. Planning on being gone for a year, she has spent more than half of her life living abroad. Exploring other cultures fuels her curious, eager to learn life style. In addition to writing travel articles and short stories, Susan is an award winning author and editor of children’s books.

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