Stock Up on Great Books During the AlzAuthors Book Sale & Giveaway in Honor of National Caregivers’ Month

November is National Caregiver Appreciation Month and a wonderful time to recognize the long hours, sacrifice, and love all caregivers bring to the task of caring for a loved one with dementia or any long-term illness. In honor of their efforts, AlzAuthors.com is hosting a Book Sale & Giveaway from November 7th – 13th. This is a terrific way for caregivers who are looking for knowledge, guidance, and support to build a library of carefully vetted books to help guide and inspire them everyday.

Check out some of our excellent resources at reduced prices. We offer books in a variety of genres, including fiction, memoir, non-fiction, and children’s literature. All are available in Kindle, and many are available in other digital formats, paperback, and audio.

I’m offering the Kindle version of my own memoir, Motherhood: Lost and Found, for only 99 cents, the lowest price of the year, during this sale as a way to honor both caregivers and my mother, who had Alzheimer’s for 14 years. There is also a Kindle Matchbook price of 99 cents for the month of November, for anyone who has the paperback and would like to acquire the eBook.

All of AlzAuthors’ books are written from a deep place of understanding, experience, knowledge, and love. May you find one, two – or more! – to help guide you on your own caregiving journey.

Click on the book covers to visit each book’s Amazon.com page. Please check all prices before purchasing. AlzAuthors is not responsible for ensuring price reductions. Please contact the individual authors with questions (contact information is provided in each author’s AlzAuthors blog post.) All prices are in U.S. dollars.

AlzAuthors AnthologyAlzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiving Stories: 58 Authors Share Their Inspiring Personal Experiences (An AlzAuthors Anthology Book 1) by AlzAuthors, $1.99 (reg. $4.99)

This poignant anthology grew out of the first year’s blog posts on AlzAuthors.com. Fifty-eight authors reveal the backstory of their books about Alzheimer’s and other dementias. It is a heartfelt compilation from those who have been deeply touched – whether they live with the disease, are caregivers, or simply care. They join together to offer compassionate support and courage for anyone traveling a similar path.

Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s love story by Marianne Sciucco, Free November 7-11, then $1.99 (reg. $2.99), paperback $9.9 (reg. 14.99), fiction

BlueHydrangeas EBOOK coverWhat if the person who knew you best and loved you most forgot your face, and couldn’t remember your name? A care facility is everyone’s solution for what to do about Sara, but her husband, Jack, can’t bear to live without her. He is committed to saving his marriage, his wife, and their life together from the devastation of Alzheimer’s disease. He and Sara retired years ago to the house of their dreams, and operated it as a Cape Cod bed and breakfast named Blue Hydrangeas. Jack has made an impossible promise: He and Sara will stay together in their beautiful home no matter what the disease brings. However, after nine years of selfless caregiving, complicated by her progressing Alzheimer’s and his own failing heart, he finally admits he can no longer care for her at home. With reluctance, he arranges to admit her to an assisted living facility. But, on the day of admission, Sara is having one of her few good days, and he is unable to follow through. Instead, he takes them on an impulsive journey to confront their past and reclaim their future. In the end, he realizes that staying together at any cost is what truly matters.

ScatteredScattered: My Year as an Accidental Caregiverby Jana Panarites, $0.99 (reg. $2.99), memoir

In November 2009 Jana Panarites was scrambling to make ends meet in LA. Her career spiraling out of control, she didn’t think life could get any worse until she learned of her father’s sudden death two days before Thanksgiving. She flew east for the funeral, and was forced to confront her future head-on at the sight of her devastated eighty-year-old mother. After living her entire adult life in LA and New York City, the second generation Greek-American decided to move back into her childhood home in Maryland–determined to save her career and her one remaining parent. In Scattered: My Year As An Accidental Caregiver, Panarites takes readers on an unvarnished, hair-raising journey of reinvention, inspired by love and a dwindling bank account. Her tale of attempting to advance her career while attending to medical appointments, household chores, and a flood of grief-related emotions raises issues of family loyalty, the strain of caregiving, resilience, and the repercussions of a romantic marriage for those left behind after death. Fast-paced, compelling, and filled with dark humor despite the seriousness of the subject, Scattered sheds a much-needed light on the plight of baby boomers everywhere, eager to thrive in their own lives but put to the test by aging parents–and often unprepared for what lays ahead.

Support the Caregiver

Support the Caregiver: 9 Strategies for turning the stress of  ALZHEIMER’S CAREGIVING into Transformational Growth, by Dr. David Davis and Joko Gilbert, $2.99 (reg. $7.99), Self-Help

This is a series of effective strategies for Caregivers of Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementias for turning the stress of caregiving into an opportunity for growth, healing and transformation.

Requiem for the Status Quo

Requiem for the Status Quo, by Irene Frances Olson, $0.99 (reg. $4.99), fiction

Family caregivers are oftentimes ruthlessly challenged by uninvolved family members who are quick to condemn, but reticent to offer assistance. Such is the case for Colleen Strand, a widow who recently found her own footing who takes on the task of caring for her father, Patrick Quinn, recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Her older brother, Jonathan, criticizes Colleen at every turn and verbally abuses the father when he has the gall to exhibit symptoms of his disease. In short, Jonathan travels down the road of denial, leaving Colleen to deal with all matters regarding their father’s care. Connected tenuously to a father who barely remembers her and a brother who has become an enigma, Colleen faces the moving target that is Alzheimer’s disease, determined to clothe her father with the dignity he deserves, while capturing the far too fleeting moments of time with him.

elegy for mom2

Elegy for Mom: A Memoir of Family Caregiving, Alzheimer’s, and Devotion, by Vicki Kaufmann, paperback $19.95 plus postage and handling (reg. $24.95)

The author describes her caregiving experience of her mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.This memoir won gold and silver medals from the Florida Authors & Publishers Association. It includes “Tips for Caregivers” and an extensive resource section. Original poetry is also embellished by her mother’s original paintings.

 

Dementia Sucks: A Caregiver’s Journey – With Lessons Learned, by Tracey S. Lawrence, $0.99 (reg. $9.99)

Dementia SucksThe surprising true story of one woman’s journey through the nightmare of losing both parents to dementia, as she learns that a sense of humor is mandatory for survival. The true, heart-wrenching, and yet hilarious stories at the center of Dementia Sucks were borne of a journal and blog that author Tracey Lawrence kept as her mother transformed from classic Jewish mother, to mildly forgetful Floridian grandma, to geriatric delinquent removed by police for knife-play at a rehabilitation facility. Really.  Tracey’s journey takes her from being an established graphic artist in northern New Jersey through bouts of full-time, hands-on caregiving of both her aging parents. She discusses many of the common challenges families face, and provides a humorous and highly educational perspective on her emotionally charged ride through geriatric illnesses, doctors, hospitals, insurance, facilities, family dynamics, and much more. Anyone who has family members they care about will want to read this book. Whether dementia visits or not, some aspect of Tracey’s caregiving journey will likely resonate with, amuse, and enlighten you. The trick to surviving loss after loss is to find the humor in it all and avoid punching anyone, least of all yourself. This irreverent look shows you the way.

Competing with the Star2

Competing with the Star, by Krysten Lindsay Hager, $0.99 (reg. $3.99), Young Adult Fiction

Hadley Daniels’s life seems perfect… Before the beginning of sophomore year of high school, Hadley and her family move to a beautiful beach town, where she makes amazing new friends and lands the boyfriend of her dreams–Nick Jenkins. He’s the kind of guy every girl swoons over, and it isn’t long until Hadley discovers some are still swooning. A famous ex-girlfriend makes matters more complicated… After some time dating, Hadley and Nick form a deep bond. But insecurity sets in when Hadley discovers her boyfriend once had a huge crush on her friend–who just happens to be the beautiful former teen TV star, Simone Hendrickson. Hadley confronts Nick, who confesses about his history with Simone. Though he claims to only have eyes for Hadley now, it’s hard to believe–especially when she’s blindsided with the news that Nick and Simone kissed after school. Now Hadley must determine who is telling the truth. Love, betrayal, friendship…who needs soap opera drama when you’re busy competing with a star? This book has a sub-theme of Lewy Body Dementia.

Finding Ruth: A Daughter’s Quest to Discover Her Mother’s Past, by Cynthia Hamilton, FREE November  7-11, then $3.99 (reg. $3.99), memoir

Finding RuthA writer turns detective to learn what her mother’s life had been like before Alzheimer’s stole her memories. A true story of forgiveness and healing. As fiercely independent Ruth struggles to stay self-reliant at the age of 86, each day brings her closer to an event that will alter her life forever. While her author daughter shifts through Ruth’s possessions prior to her move into a skilled nursing facility, she discovers a previously unseen photo from 1949 and realizes how little she knows of her mother’s life. As Alzheimer’s continues to warp Ruth’s once sharp mind, she can no longer shed any light on the past. Yearning to know who her mother was as a person in her own right, the author painstakingly reconstructs Ruth’s life from photos, letters, public records and firsthand memories. What emerges is a portrait of a bright, beautiful woman who is propelled through decades of broken promises and heartache, bouncing from one ill-fated relationship to the next, but always staying strong, always surviving. Through a timeline going back sixty years, the author gleans a much better understanding of the woman she had known only as Mom.

Trading Places: Becoming My Mother’s Mother, by Sandra Bullock Smith, FREE Nov. 7-11, then $2.99 (reg. $2.99), memoir

TradingPlacesFinal-FJM_Mid_Res_1000x1500Caring for an elderly parent can be extremely challenging. The role reversal involved is emotionally and intellectually demanding, and many caregivers find themselves unprepared to undertake such a difficult task. In Trading Places: Becoming My Mother’s Mother, author Sandra Bullock Smith shares her personal experiences spending ten years caring for her ailing mother. This heartfelt look at the trials and tribulations of that decade offers powerful insight and encouragement for anyone entering into a similar period of life. Smith’s touching stories share the heartbreaking, and sometimes comical, moments she experienced while providing assistance to her aging parent—and how they mirrored similar events from her own childhood. In a very real sense, the two women traded places. Smith found herself uttering phrases she heard all too often as a child, such as, “Don’t give your food to the dog,” and “You’ve had enough sugar today.” Smith began jotting down the things she said, and thus this charming book was born. Filled with respect, compassion, and love, this uplifting and amusing memoir is for anyone involved in elder care or who may face the role in the future.

The Reluctant Caregiver, Missives from the Caregiving Minefield, by Joy Johnston, $0.99 (reg. $2.99), memoir

Untitled design (3)Not everyone is born a natural caregiver. One moment, digital journalist Joy Johnston is a cynical workaholic with an underwater mortgage. The next moment, she faces the responsibility of caring for her eccentric mother who’s battling colon cancer, just six months after her father’s death from Alzheimer’s. As an only child, she has no choice but to slap on the latex gloves, and get to know more about her mother — and herself — than she ever imagined possible.

The road from reluctance to resilience is bumpy and splattered with bodily fluids, but it also offers unforgettable lessons. Who knew you could learn how to change a colostomy bag on YouTube, or that hospice nurses like telling dirty jokes? Peppered with snarky humor, vivid observations, and poignant honesty, this essay collection will resonate with anyone drafted into a family health crisis.

Motherhood: Lost and Found by Ann Campanella, $0.99 (reg. $7.99), memoir

anncampanella

Alzheimer’s disease, infertility and love of horses intersect in this memoir, which was named “One of the Best Alzheimer’s Books of All Time” by Book Authority. At age 33, author Ann Campanella returns to her home state of North Carolina ready to build a horse farm and start a family. Ann’s foundation is shaken when she experiences multiple miscarriages at the same time her mother spirals into Alzheimer’s. Ann’s connection to horses sustains her as she cares for her elderly parents and her window of motherhood begins to close. As her mother’s memory fades, Ann receives a final miracle. The voice in Ann’s memoir has been called constant and abiding, her imagery indelible. Her graceful, exacting language rises above the grief of infertility and the struggle to care for aging parents, connecting the reader ultimately to the heartbeat and resilience of the human experience.

The Blue Velvet Drape by Anne Balcom, Kindle $2.99 (reg. 4.99) on sale Nov. 13-19, paperback $10.74 (reg. Blue Velvet$13.95) on sale Nov. 7-13, memoir;

After Mom’s diagnosis I was losing sleep from feeling worried, scared and frustrated. I began my blog shortly after her diagnosis to help clear my head. When Mom began forgetting I began to mourn losing her, I actually started to distance myself from her. It was difficult for me to watch her slip away mentally over the next several years. Mom passed away August 8, 2012 and now blogging has helped come to terms with her physical death. My blog is now this book. Find out the meaning of “The Blue Velvet Drape” which had such an emotional impact on me. This is my journal of experiences with dementia care giving. The pictures in the Kindle version are slightly different than the paperback version.

Tangles, by Sharleen Scott, $0.99 (reg. $2.99), non-fictionTangles2

While faced with the challenge of his mother’s escalating Alzheimer’s disease, Logan McKinnon discovers secret journals that leave him questioning everything he knows about his family. With no one to ask, Logan must find a man mentioned in the journals to discover a truth he may not want to know.

Set in Washington state–both eastern and western–Tangles is a story of love and forgiveness with a dose of Alzheimer’s reality.

How to Have Fun With Your Aging Parents by Christina Britton Conroy, FREE on  iBooks, to download please contact author on her website, (reg. $10.95), non-fiction

How to have fun w aging parents2

One afternoon, music therapist Christina Britton Conroy was taking nursing home residents to activities. She was thrilled when a sweet, disoriented lady joined her group.

“Mary, it’s so good to see you. Do you want to go to the Bible study or BINGO?” she asked.

Mary replied, “I want to go to Lithuania.”

“To all adult children, caretakers, professionals read this book! Conroy’s approach aligns with the newest movement in American psychology called ‘Positive Psychology’—focusing on one’s passions and personal strengths.” —Gerald Solk, Ph.D. , Assist. Prof. Psychology, City University of NY, Staff Psychologist, Gracie Square Hospital

Weeds in Nana’s Garden by Kathryn Harrison, $0.99 (reg. $6.99), illustrated children’s fiction

Weeds in Nana's Garden cover

A young girl and her Nana hold a special bond that blooms in the surroundings of Nana’s magical garden. Then one day, the girl finds many weeds in the garden. She soon discovers that her beloved Nana has Alzheimer’s Disease; an illness that affects an adult brain with tangles that get in the way of thoughts, kind of like how weeds get in the way of flowers. As time passes, the weeds grow thicker and her Nana declines, but the girl accepts the difficult changes with love, learning to take-over as the garden’s caregiver. Extending from the experience of caring for her mother, artist Kathryn Harrison has created this poignant children’s story with rich illustrations to candidly explore dementia diseases, while demonstrating the power of love. It is a journey that will cultivate understanding and touch your heart. After the story, a useful Question and Answer section is included. $1 from the purchase of this book will be donated to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. The Alzheimer Society is Canada’s leading health charity for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

learning to weatherLearning to Weather the Storm by Lauren Dykovitz, $0.99 (reg. $4.99)

Have you ever missed someone so much that it caused you actual physical pain? Have you ever grieved the loss of someone for so long that you thought you would never get over it? What if the person you were missing was sitting right next to you, but there was nothing you could do to bring that person back?  That is exactly what my life has been like since my mom was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease at the age of 62. I have been missing her and grieving for her ever since. At just 25 years old, I was forced to navigate the biggest storm of my life so far, while learning lessons of life, love, and friendship along the way.  Learning to Weather the Storm is a real and raw account of one daughter’s struggle to accept her mom’s Alzheimer’s. Learning to Weather the Storm is guaranteed to make you laugh, cry, and pick up the phone to call your mom.

Estate Planning by C HodderEstate Planning for the Sandwich Generation: How to Help Your Parents and Protect Your Kids by Catherine Hodder, Esq., $2.99 (reg. $9.99)

Do you care for your children and worry about your aging parents? Congratulations, you are a member of the “Sandwich Generation.” You probably have many questions about estate planning. You know you should be making a will and probably need some other estate planning documents, but which ones? What should you do to protect your children? How can you help your parents as they age? Where do you start? This book will educate and empower you to secure your family’s future. You will learn: 10 easy steps to creating your estate plan; 5 talks you should have with your parents; What to do if you are single, married, divorced, or remarried; What to do if there is a death in the family; How to handle it all. With conversation starters, questions to ask, and resources for the caregiver, you and your family will be prepared for future life events.

Sisterly ShoveSisterly Shove by Malia Kline, $7.50 (reg. $9.49), memoir

When Mama is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and Papa has dementia, a humor writer and her serious-as-a-heart-attack physician sister engage in hand-to-heart combat in a 13-year battle to do what’s best for the parents who were always there for them. Growing up, Malia and Diane always loved each other despite their differences. Dark straight hair vs. curly, light hair. A pleaser vs. a protester. A wallflower vs. a Governor’s School standout. But the two sisters don’t understand how truly differently they view life, death and the caregiving in between until middle age when their beloved parents are whittled away by disease and dementia. As they struggle to share caregiving from opposite coasts and conflicting mindsets, sisterly love changes to sisterly shove. Diane, a physician, proclaims Mama “a goner” when she is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in North Carolina, but then takes her against doctor’s orders to her home in California to preserve the hope that she won’t really die. When Malia moves Papa into an Alzheimer’s assisted living facility in their hometown, Diane calls it “assisted dying” and eldernaps him to doctor him herself 24/7 instead of entrusting his life to Malia and institutional eldercare. Will the sister’s relationship be the biggest casualty in this story of love outliving memory? Or will the demon dementia that consumed Papa and all his siblings also take Diane and Malia away from each other at the most vulnerable stage of their lives?

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National Caregivers’ Month: Finding Community in Caregiving

November is a week and a half away, and I’m already feeling the undertow of a huge wave that is getting ready to break. For those of you who don’t know me, November is the month that my mother passed away. It will be 11 years this November 17th.

Mom had Alzheimer’s for 14 years before she died. I was 33, and in the midst of a series of miscarriages, when we first started noticing the signs. Those were lonely years of caregiving. Since that time, I’ve been blessed to write and share a memoir, Motherhood: Lost and Found, in which I wrote about that difficult time. My prayer was that my book would reach people who felt alone in their caregiving role and offer them hope.

Two years ago, my book was picked up by Divine Phoenix and Pegasus Books, and my wonderful publisher, Laura Ponticello, who believes wholeheartedly in my mission, inspired me to reach out in every possible way to those who have been touched by Alzheimer’s and dementia.

In September of 2016, I met Jean Lee, one of the founders of AlzAuthors.com, a site with over 170 books and blogs about Alzheimer’s and dementia. Motherhood: Lost and Found was featured on AlzAuthors.com in January 2017. Jean invited me to join the Management Team a few months later.

Since that time, I’ve had the pleasure of becoming cyber friends with Vicki Tapia, Marianne Sciucco, Kathryn Harrison and Irene Olson – all wonderful people and authors who have a deep commitment for raising awareness about Alzheimer’s and dementia and sharing resources with those in need.

Now, it’s 2018, and AlzAuthors is in full swing. This past August, we had an amazing opportunity to share our resources at the Alzheimer’s Association – Western Carolina Chapter’s Dementia Education Conference. Over 60 authors donated books for this event, and Jean Lee, who flew in from Ohio, and I presented two workshops where we shared our own stories of caregiving and how they connected with the larger story of AlzAuthors.

On November 1st, I will have the privilege of joining with AlzAuthors Marty Schreiber, Mary Ann Drummond and Malia Kline at Cabarrus County’s 2018 2nd Annual Dementia Caregivers’ Conference in Concord, NC, along with three other AlzAuthors.

Marty Schreiber and his wife Elaine

Marty Schreiber, the former governor of Wisconsin, will be sharing the story of his memoir, My Two Elaines, which tells of his wife’s Alzheimer’s. Mary Ann Drummond, author of Meet Me Where I Am, a caregiving guide, and Grandma & Me, a picture book designed to educate children about dementia, will also be speaking. Malia Kline, author of Sisterly Shove, a memoir about sharing caregiving of her parents with her sister who lives on the West Coast, will join me at the AlzAuthors’ table where we will distribute information about AlzAuthors.com and sell our own books.  

For more information or to register for this event, click here.

Later, that same day, Mary Ann Drummond and I will join young adult author Frank Morelli at Main Street Books, 126 S. Main Street in Davidson, for a reading and discussion entitled “Alzheimer’s & Dementia: A Family Caregiving Affair.” Frank’s book, No Sad Songs is based on his own experience of being in high school when his grandfather developed dementia. This event is free and open to the public. It starts at 7 p.m.

These events will kick off an exciting month of caregiving events! Never did I imagine I’d have the opportunity to meet and work with a former governor and draw close with a community of authors who have this kind of shared passion. We have developed natural and easy bonds through our shared understanding of Alzheimer’s and dementia. I pray that our experience of shared community will inspire hope for others. 

Next week, I’m excited to share more about what’s coming up in November for National Caregivers’ Month!

Until then, for your listening pleasure, I’m sharing a podcast that was recorded today by Bridgetti Lim Banda and Mary Elizabeth Jackson of the Writers’ Corner with all six members of the AlzAuthors Management Team. Click here to listen. 


Poetry in Honor of World Alzheimer’s Month: “The End of Summer”

 

The End of Summer

 

Clouds hang heavy as damp laundry. I miss

summers at the lake, helping my mother

pin sheets and clothes on the line as mist

rose above the water. In pedalpushers

and sweatshirt, she stood like a goddess Read the rest of this entry »


Poetry in Honor of World Alzheimer’s Day: “The Chase”

Today is World Alzheimer’s Day, and I’m thinking of all those around the world who are living with Alzheimer’s and sending out prayers of comfort. I’d like to share a poem that I wrote about my mother when she was in the middle to advanced stages of Alzheimer’s disease. This poem received the Poet Laureate Award from the North Carolina Poetry Society.

 

The Chase

 

We’d try to catch her before

she got to the door dressed in layers

of sweaters or nothing at all Read the rest of this entry »


Poetry in Honor of World Alzheimer’s Month: “Child Mother”

 

Child Mother

 

She used to grip the rudder, auburn hair

slicked, cheeks round and pink

as two rubber balls. Duck, she’d yell

when the sail swooped across us, Read the rest of this entry »


Poetry in Honor of World Alzheimer’s Month: “Sewing”

Just wanted to share a special memory of my mother in honor of World Alzheimer’s Month.

 

Sewing

 

When I was six you made a sky

blue dress for me. Your auburn head

bending over the dining room table,

hands tracing tissue paper,

snip snip of scissors

as you shaped the blue. Read the rest of this entry »


Poetry in Honor of World Alzheimer’s Month: “What she doesn’t know”

In honor of World Alzheimer’s Month, I’m sharing a poem about my mother who had Alzheimer’s disease for 14 years. This poem was written before her diagnosis. We didn’t understand my mother’s strange behavior, and our family was distraught, so we arranged for her to be admitted to the hospital in hopes of getting some answers.

 

What she doesn’t know

 

Today, as wind pushes dried leaves

from poplars and sky turns to steel,

I say to my mother, Let’s go for a ride. Read the rest of this entry »