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Category Archives: Memoir

A non-fiction work based on the author’s life.

The Ultimate Road Trip #Memoir Linda Brendle @LindaBrendle #RLFblog #RoadTripLinda Brendle author of A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos answers five easy questions.

Please tell us about yourself.
I cared for my parents — both of whom had dementia – for 15 years. I began writing in the hope of maintaining my sanity and of encouraging, inspiring, and amusing other caregivers, and anyone going through a difficult time, with my experiences.

I’m a life-begins-at-50 kind of gal. I received my BAS in management and psychology at 51, found new love at 52, learned to ride a motorcycle at 56, and published my first book after I began collecting Social Security. My husband David and I live outside a small East Texas town with a cat named Kitty who adopted us a couple of years ago. I am a blogger, a correspondent for our local weekly newspaper, and I work as the part-time secretary at my church in order to support my writing habit.

What’s your favorite down-home family style meal?
I like a wide variety of foods, but this would probably my favorite menu because it’s David’s favorite. Half the fun of cooking is seeing someone enjoy what you put on the table!
Pork roast with carrots and potatoes
Purple hull peas or speckled butter beans
Fried okra
Cornbread
Blackberry cobbler with a scoop of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla
Lemonade
Coffee with dessert

Describe the perfect vacation.
The trip I described in my memoir was nearly perfect. The chaos of caring for two people with dementia was a bit of a distraction, but we managed to make some beautiful memories anyway. The perfect vacation would be one without a time limit – a time when David and I could drive around the country in our motor home, stopping when we found something of interest and moving on when the spirit moved us. There are many amazing sights we have yet to see and many friendly people we have yet to meet. A year or so on the road is definitely on our bucket list.
Tell us about your favorite toy as a child.
My favorite toy was my older brother Jim. He is five years my senior, and he was always much more interesting than any doll or game in my toy box. As my mom used to say, he was always “hatching up” something, and I always wanted to be involved.
When you read for pleasure, what kind of books do you choose?
My choice of recreational reading is an odd one for the author of a memoir. Ever since I discovered my first Agatha Christie novel in the fifth grade, I have been a fan of tales of mystery and suspense. After I read everything Christie had to offer, I moved on to Dick Francis, Sue Grafton, Robert B. Parker, and others too numerous to mention. A couple of years ago, I decided to try my hand at a suspense novel of my own. If anything comes of it, I’ll let you know.
If the hero of your latest book called you on the phone, what would be a perfect ringtone for him?
My husband David has been a motorcycle rider since his uncle taught him to ride an old Cushman when he was nine years old. His perfect ringtone would be the sound of a Harley engine being revved as loud as possible. Many readers of A Long and Winding Road  have commented that David is the real hero of my story because of all the love and support he gave to me and my parents during my caregiving experience.

Please tell us about your latest book.

Alzheimer’s is a family disease, and this is a love story – not a boy meets girls love story, but a family love story. It is the story of the love between a daughter and her parents and her willingness to take them into her home when they could no longer care for themselves; the story of a mother and a father who loved their daughter but no longer remembered exactly where they were or why; the story of a husband who loved his wife so much that he stood beside her as they fought to survive the ravages of the brain-wasting disease that was stealing her loved ones away a piece at a time. It’s also the story of a seven-week trip for four across sixteen U.S. states in a forty-foot motor home – a trip that involved stopped up toilets, wet jeans, laughter, and headaches that were far from the easygoing retirement the Brendles had imagined for themselves.

Linda Brendle takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotional and spiritual challenges that many families are facing right now. Co-dependency, mental breakdowns, and finding love after divorce are just a few of the issues weaved into this journey of caregiving.
Genre: Creative Non-Fiction/Memoir
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG – No heat, but the subject matter might be a little intense for the younger reader.
Publisher: Anaiah Press
Amazon: http://goo.gl/ngqHno
Barnes and Noble: http://goo.gl/u3Gvs5
iBooks: http://goo.gl/PfkaGF
Kobo: http://goo.gl/bl3T1f
Smashwords: http://goo.gl/aIWifx

Linda Brendle Social Media

Linda Brendle cared for her mother and father — both of whom had dementia — for 15 years. She began writing in the hope of maintaining her own sanity and of encouraging, inspiring, and amusing other caregivers with her experiences. Linda received her BAS in management and psychology in 1998 and retired in 2007 after 40 years in the business world. She has traveled both in the U.S. and abroad, and since meeting her husband David in 2000, she has done much of that travel by motorcycle and RV. She and David now live outside a small town in East Texas where she gardens, writes, and takes an active role in her church.

Blog https://lifeaftercaregiving.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/linda.brendle
Twitter https://twitter.com/LindaBrendle
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/brendle0068/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7933327.Linda_Brendle
Amazon Author Page: http://goo.gl/YTfk2b

A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver's Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos @LindaBrendle #RLFblog #MemoirKayelle, Romance Lives Forever is an amazing website. Thank you so much for inviting me to share some thoughts with your readers.

Caregiving is not a romantic topic, but with some thought and hard work, it’s possible for a marriage to not only survive the experience but also to thrive. Being a family caregiver isn’t a task a person does in isolation. It affects everyone around you, particularly your family, and more specifically, your spouse.

In keeping a marriage strong during this trying time, the most important thing is to remember which relationship is the primary one in your life. It’s important to love and honor your parents or other loved ones, but it’s also important to find ways to do so without jeopardizing your marriage. I once read the memoir by a woman whose mother had Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. She cared for her in her home, and the task became so consuming that she neglected her husband and her children. The heart-wrenching task of caring for a loved one is more bearable when the caregiver has a strong relationship to fall back on – and when the task is done, she or he will need the support of a loving spouse to help deal with the grief.

Another way to keep your marriage strong is to guard your privacy. Having Mom and Dad in our home was certainly disruptive of our privacy.

A year or so before they came to live with us, Dad developed some kind of brain infection that required two weeks of hospitalization followed by three weeks of rehab. Mom was far enough along in her Alzheimer’s that she couldn’t stay alone, at least at night. She stayed in our guest room, but her sleep was frequently disrupted by bad dreams and delusions. She would burst into our bedroom in the middle of the night and declare that she knew that Dad was dead or that he had run off with a good-looking nurse.

I told my Aunt Fay about the situation. She had taken care of both her mother and her husband for many years, and she became my go-to person for advice. She empathized immediately. She advised me to put a lock on the bedroom door and to use it. It didn’t stop the nightmares, but at least when she knocked, I had time to grab a robe and slip out into the hall so David could sleep through the crisis.

Caregiving can be disruptive even if your loved one doesn’t live with you. Frequent phone calls at all hours of the day and night are not necessary or healthy to your marriage. It is perfectly acceptable to set healthy boundaries on the number of calls and to use your caller ID to screen calls when those boundaries are ignored.

A third way to strengthen your marriage is to intentionally make time for each other. If you are not intentional about it, it won’t happen. We were fortunate that Mom and Dad slept late most mornings, so we made use of the early hours some couple time. We would roll out of bed early so we could have a leisurely breakfast followed by a long walk or a neighborhood tour on our bicycles. We enjoyed the time so much that we got up early even on Saturday.

We also had date night on Fridays except that our dates were during the day. I’d leave cereal and fruit on the table and sandwiches in the fridge; then, we’d take off on the motorcycle. We’d ride to our favorite diner for breakfast. Then, we’d ride to the huge dealership where we bought our RV to check out the new arrivals and dream of going on the road full time. We’d visit with the sales people who had become good friends, we’d have lunch, and then we’d head for home. After a while, getting the sandwiches out of the fridge became too difficult for Mom and Dad, so I hired a caregiver to come in for a few hours. It was expensive, but it was cheaper than a psychiatrist or a marriage counselor.

Once or twice a year, we arranged for the caregiver to stay for a couple of days, so we could spend a weekend at a nearby RV campground. Occasionally, my brother and sister-in-law came for a week or so, and we had a really nice getaway. Sometimes, making the arrangements seemed to be just one more task added to an already-too-long list, but the relief of being away and the special time with David was well worth the effort.

Finally, remember to include your spouse in the many decisions a caregiver is required to make. A familiar saying says that a burden shared is half a burden. Allow your spouse to help carry your caregiving burdens. After all, these decisions will affect him or her as much as they will affect you and your loved one.

One reviewer wrote this about my book:

“Ultimately, this is a love story–but not in the way you might think. It’s the story of a grown woman who loves her parents. It’s the story of parents who love their daughter but can’t remember why they’re in her RV. It’s the story of a man who loves his wife so much that he assists her with caregiving for her two parents who cannot meet even the most basic of needs.”

I couldn’t have made it through the ordeal of caregiving without David – and our marriage not only survived, but it became stronger. By remembering to focus our attention, not just on Mom and Dad but also on our marriage and each other, we survived Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, and even fifty-three days in a four-hundred-square-foot box on wheels.


A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos, a Memoir by Linda Brendle

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

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

Genre: Creative Non-Fiction/Memoir
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG – No heat, but the subject matter might be a little intense for the younger reader.
Publisher: Anaiah Press
Amazon: http://goo.gl/ngqHno
Barnes and Noble: http://goo.gl/u3Gvs5
iBooks: http://goo.gl/PfkaGF
Kobo: http://goo.gl/bl3T1f
Smashwords: http://goo.gl/aIWifx

Linda Brendle Social Media

Linda Brendle cared for her mother and father — both of whom had dementia — for 15 years. She began writing in the hope of maintaining her own sanity and of encouraging, inspiring, and amusing other caregivers with her experiences. Linda received her BAS in management and psychology in 1998 and retired in 2007 after 40 years in the business world. She has traveled both in the U.S. and abroad, and since meeting her husband David in 2000, she has done much of that travel by motorcycle and RV. She and David now live outside a small town in East Texas where she gardens, writes, and takes an active role in her church.

Blog https://lifeaftercaregiving.wordpress.com/
Twitter https://twitter.com/LindaBrendle
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/linda.brendle
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/brendle0068/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7933327.Linda_Brendle
Amazon Author Page: http://goo.gl/YTfk2b

About the Author

Colin Guest, a 75 yr old Englishman first book was “An Expats Experiences of Living in Turkey,” published by Amazon Kindle. His second, “Follow in the Tigerman’s Footsteps,” published by Partridge Publishing Singapore, is a memoir. It gets its name from Colin’s love of Tigers and covers 19 years of his working as an expat in 15 countries, spread through the Middle, Far East & North Africa. During this time, he lived the kind of life most only dream about. Apart from his two books, he had an article published in his home town in England, carried out a one hour podcast, with a video recording of one chapter of his memoir read on Novels Wild Festival. He also had an article published in ExpatNetwork, a UK expat magazine, with over fourteen of his articles published in online magazines. These include Escape Artist, Escape from America, ExpatNetwork, Expats Focus, Global living and Oval Publishing.
           Colin’s working life started with his doing a five-year apprenticeship as a joiner/shopfitter in Plymouth, Devon, England. This led to an early start in first traveling around England on numerous projects, before working on two projects abroad. While working back in England, due to a back injury, he and his wife were put in serious financial difficulties. As a result, after deciding to work as an expat, never looked back.
Apart from his writing, Colin worked as a volunteer at three wildlife rescue/rehabilitation centers, two in South Africa, and one in Thailand. This for animal lovers, he recommends as an alternative to a normal holiday.
After living in Turkey for over twenty years, since the death of his wife, he later married a Turkish lady. They now enjoy a happy second life in Istanbul, Turkey.

Interview with Colin Guest

Why did you write this book?
It started as a record for my children to know more about the 19 years I spent working abroad, but then I thought my experiences would be of interest to others as it shows there is more to life than a boring 9-5 job.
What is your favorite genre to read?
Thrillers
Who is your favorite character from fiction (not including your own)?
Reacher from the Le Child series
What are you working on at the moment, and will see from you in coming months?
I have just started writing my first novel
Please tell us about your latest book.
“Follow in the Tigerman’s Footsteps,” sub-titled “The Adventurous Life of an Expat,” comes from my love of tigers that like me love to roam far and wide. It reads more like an adventure story than a memoir and covers a working life most only dream about. As a qualified joiner/shopfitter, I worked on fitting out shops, banks and offices all over England, as well as a few projects in Scotland. However, never in my wildest dreams did I think I would end up experiencing travel and working in so many different countries. Readers will see that there is more to life than a boring 9-5 job, with the whole world waiting for you to experience life in a country other than your own. 
Until an old company contacted me about a contract in Iran, I had no thoughts about working overseas. Although in two minds about accepting, when made redundant by the company I worked for, it made my mind up. Working in Iran proved both exciting, and dangerous. Without doubt it was a far cry from working in England, especially when along with sixty fellow workers we found ourselves caught up in a revolution. From Iran, my company sent me to Qatar, where life was peaceful and the beaches fantastic. On completing this contract, I returned to work in the UK. While doing so, a back injury cost me my job, resulting in my family and I put into serious financial difficulties. I decided that once cured, as I knew I could earn far more money by working as an expat than in my home country of England, I would work overseas.
As a result, of this decision, I went on to enjoy and incredible life.

About the Book

Title Follow in the Tigerman’s Footsteps
Genre  Memoir
Author  Colin Guest
Book heat level (based on movie ratings) PG

Buy This Book

Publisher Partridge Publishing Singapore
  

Author Social Media

Google+  google.com/+/Colin Guest
Youtube   youtube.com/C/Colin Guest
Linkedin   linkedin.com/Colin
Lifted to the Light 
From Kayelle Allen: This week on Romance Lives Forever I’m sharing
stories by authors who have faced cancer either in themselves, or a family member.
The importance of friends and family, and having a support system is vital. One
key to success is being able to ask for help — and then being willing to accept
it. It’s a lesson I’ve had in my own life during various times. I don’t accept help
well. It’s something I fight with all the time. I’d like to think “I’ve got
this” but sometimes I don’t have as good a grip as I thought I did. I have
a friend who’s dealing with cancer right now. A friend’s brother died from cancer
last year. Cancer affects all of us. I hope I’m even half as good a friend as those
you’ll read about in this series.
I’m presenting these posts as an opportunity for the authors
to share their real life stories, as well as their fictional ones. There’s a short
list of ways you can show your support at the end of each post.

From Lifted to the Light

A Story of Struggle and Kindness. a Memoir by Alice Orr.
I’ve always loved the Statue of Liberty
because she stands so powerfully erect even though she’s profoundly alone. She holds
the lamp for others to see and guides them to a life of possibility. She does all
of that from a tiny island surrounded by rip tide currents and she does it on her
own. That was the woman I thought I should be.
I also thought I should be like my
grandmother Alice Jane Rowland Boudiette. She was a role model closer to home than
Liberty Island and warmer than copper and stone. My grandmother exemplified two
things for me. The first was service. “If you’re not making the world a better
place why are you here?” she’d say. The second was stoic strength. She did
everything for everybody – including me – and hardly anybody did anything for her.
This was my vision of strong womanhood
and what I should be. I should stand strong and steadfast. I should press on always
forward and I had to do all of that by myself. I didn’t resent this. I simply assumed
it was the way of things and kept on going – until I was stopped in my tracks by
a reality too formidable for me to power past in solo drive.
That reality was breast cancer and
in its clutches I would learn the most valuable lesson of my life so far – that
I am not on my own after all.
When I could no longer do for myself
others did for me. By accepting their deeds and my need of them I became more than
I’d ever been in all my years of prideful independence. I emerged from the experience
with a startling new vision of myself and of life.
I’m no longer the lone warrior woman
I once aspired to be. I no longer believe I have to wage solitary battle to make
my way. I know now that I have an army around me – an army I’ve come to think of
as my angels in human form. They’ve been with me always from Grandma on. I know
now that I haven’t been alone after all.
By the grace of that knowledge I have
been Lifted to the Light.
Alice Orr

Lifted to the Light, a Story of Struggle and Kindness

A Memoir by Alice Orr
At the beating heart of this moving story a woman struggles –
most mightily against herself.
All her life, Alice has taken care of herself and believes she
must always do so. Now she faces an adversary too formidable to battle alone. She
fights anyway with all of her strength, until that strength is gone. Caring individuals
appear, one by one, determined to help. As they reach out, she learns to reach back
and comes to think of these generous souls as her angels. When she’s too weak to
lift herself, they carry her through on wings of kindness.
Lifted to the Light is a real-life story of resilience and growth
in the face of terrifying circumstances. Each thread of powerful storytelling leads
to another in a dramatic, emotional read.

About Alice Orr

Alice Orr loves to write. Especially Romantic Suspense novels
of danger and romance. She’s well known as a workshop leader, book editor and former
literary agent. Now she lives her dream of writing full-time, especially romantic
suspense. Alice has published thirteen novels, three novellas and a memoir. About
her novels, Amazon says, “Alice Orr turns up the heat.” Alice also presents
workshops on writing for publication and/or pleasure. She is a former book editor
and literary agent. Alice has two grown children and two perfect grandchildren and
lives with her husband Jonathan in New York City. Most of all, Alice wants to hear
from readers.

Author Social Media

Other Alice Orr Books

A Wrong Way Home – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series Book
1 – the eBook – is free at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00T9RVGGC
It is also free at Barnes and Noble and iTunes and KOBO and other online platforms.
A Year of Summer Shadows – Riverton Road Romantic Suspense Series
Book #2 – is $2.99 at those same platforms including http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZBOTH5O
These are my 12th and 13th novels. Writing this series Lifts Me to the Light. Alice
Orr – www.aliceorrbooks.com

Ways you can show your support

Share this post on social media
Follow the author on Twitter, Facebook, or other sites where
you’re active
Encourage the author by sharing what they share
Purchase the author’s books
Review the author’s books
Leave a comment on the blog
Thank you for being part of the Romance Lives Forever community.

Hillary, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Tell us, what is the most important thing you do for your career?

I keep writing and keep promoting! Even on those days that it seems like it isn’t possible to make it.
What do you enjoy most about life?
I love to have fun. My mother once told me that wasn’t what life was about, but I find that it is the only thing really. I love hanging out with my husband and our two year old. The joy she finds in things makes me so happy.
What did you learn from writing your first book?
I can do better—and I did. My next two novels are progressively better.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
Do something you love. You spend WAY too much time working to not enjoy it.
What are some jobs you’ve done that would end up in a book?
Most of my jobs ended up in my first novel, Cappuccino is the Answer for Job Dissatisfaction. In fact, I started writing because I quit a crazy job after two days. People would have tears rolling down their cheeks when I told them about it. I figured I’d write in down and send it into Reader’s Digest—instead, I wrote a novel.
List two authors we would find you reading when taking a break from your own writing.
I would read anything J.K. Rowling writes.
If Diane Satterfield ever writes another novel (her first was The Thirteenth Tale), I’ll be reading it.
If money were not an object, where would you most like to live?
San Francisco.
What song would best describe your life?
You and me against the world.
As a child, what was your favorite thing about school?
Talking to friends!
Please Fill in the Blanks
I love pizza with mushrooms and olives.
I’m always ready for shopping.
When I’m alone, I read.
You’d never be able to tell, but I played the piano really well at one time (i.e. I played Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony for a recital).
If I had a halo it would be slightly tarnished.
If I could do anything, I’d go on Dancing with the Stars!
I can never relax because I’m constantly thinking about what else I need to do.

Wings of Hope

Wings of Hope (Kindle)

Wings of Hope (Paperback)

 
Blurb: The letter said he was dying, that’s all Jules Weinstein knows when she leaves her life in San Francisco and moves to New York City to be with her father. She goes for the remarkable opportunity to really know her father. She never dreamed he had liberated a concentration camp, dealt cards to Bugsy Siegel or saved the life of a Black Panther. Wings of Hope is a road trip through the memories of a man making peace with his life. Little does she know that by getting to know her father, she will find herself. While her father struggles with whether his life was meaningful, Jules discovers that her father’s last gift to her is the ability to reach for her dreams. Her journey teacher her that “the goodbye” is sometimes the most heartbreakingly beautiful part of life.
Genre: Literary Fiction
My Booklist
Wings of Hope
Cappuccino is the Answer for Job Dissatisfaction
Books Coming Soon
Justice Scorned, a legal thriller
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