Category Archives: Family Relationships

Motherhood: Lost and Found

Books I’m Reading: Motherhood: Lost and Found

Motherhood: Lost and Found by Ann CampanellaI recently read the book Motherhood: Lost and Found by Ann Campanella. It was a good memoir about the sandwich generation trying to do the right thing for their aging parents, their children, and themselves. Campanella writes beautifully and truthfully about the difficulties of undertaking and balancing the tasks of having and raising children, family caregiving for ailing parents, and pursuing a career and personal hobbies. Thank goodness for Campanella it all works out in the end. Job well done!

International Book Award for Brought to Our Senses

Illinois Author Earns Next Generation Indie Book Award for Dementia Novel

Kathleen H. Wheeler’s poignant family drama Brought to Our Senses named a finalist in the First Novel category of the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Next Generation Indie Books Award LogoIllinois author Kathleen H. Wheeler’s debut Brought to Our Senses has been named a finalist in the First Novel category of the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Known as the ‘Sundance’ of the book publishing world, the international book award competition recognizes the most exceptional books published independent of the “Big Five” conglomerates through small presses, larger independent publishers, university presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors. The Next Generation Indie Book Awards are judged by leaders of the indie book publishing industry, including many coming from long careers with major publishing houses, to identify cream-of-the-crop books worthy of support to reach a wider audience of readers.

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Mother’s Day Memories Past and Present

Roller Coaster Reflections on Mother’s Day

Screamin' Eagle Roller Coaster Six Flags“Hey, let’s go to Six Flags today,” my mother suggested one Saturday morning in early June of 1980 as she hovered over the shabby sofa on which I sprawled. “We shouldn’t waste such a gorgeous day, and you don’t have to work, right?”

“Huh?” I peered up from the juicy novel I’d planned to devour first over summer break.

“Come on, it’ll be fun!” In one swift move, Mom confiscated the paperback and hoisted me from my cozy nest. “You can read in the car on the way there and back, okay?”

“What about the twins?” I asked about my sisters. “They’ll be ticked to be left out.”

“Yeah, right, aren’t you funny! And besides, they’re working today. This is our special treat … on me.”

My older siblings had entered the “it’s-not-cool-to-hang-with-Mom” stage of adolescence. At fourteen, I was headed in that direction too, testing my independence with my first job at McDonald’s and spreading my wings with activities away from home. The mood-swing-inducing hormones that would distance me from my mother for the better part of the next decade were already running through my veins. Continue reading

Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio Interview December 1, 2016

Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio Interview on Family Saga Novel Brought To Our Senses

Alzheimer's Speaks Radio interview with Lori La BeyHeads up so you can tune in and listen to my interview with the fantastic Lori La Bey of Alzheimer’s Speaks about my new dementia fiction saga Brought To Our Senses. You can hear our interview for the first time on Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 1 pm CST, or you can listen anytime afterwards right here. Lori and her panel have great perspectives on the topics of the novel and bring up some really good points. Let me know what you think about our discussion! Continue reading

Author Interview with Caregivers Advocate Carolyn A. Brent

Families Must Work Together for Caregiving Success

Brought To Our Senses book signing benefitThanks to elder care advocate Carolyn A. Brent for hosting a fantastic discussion about my new novel Brought To Our Senses on her BlogTalkRadio show Across All Ages. Carolyn and I share a passion for the topic of family unity as it relates to the care of aging parents. Listen to the hour-long author interview here: Continue reading

New Book Brought To Our Senses out today!

Dementia Fiction Saga Publication Date November 1, 2016

Brought To Our Senses: a family saga novelThe date has finally arrived for the release of my new family saga novel Brought To Our Senses, now available from all major online booksellers in print and ebook format.

Hooray! It’s been a long journey to get to this day. I want to take a deep breath and enjoy this accomplishment. The November release of Brought To Our Senses is well timed because it’s National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month. This book will speak to those affected by dementia and those charged with the care of aging parents. Continue reading

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

The NestThe Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the Nest, a quick and entertaining read. I think it portrayed a dysfunctional family accurately. Some people never change and not everyone gets their happy ending. That’s life!

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Afire Love by Ed Sheeran

A powerful love song pays tribute to family and tackles Alzheimer’s disease

Afire Love Ed SheeranSharing the album x by Ed Sheeran from her music library, my daughter recently reminded me of the incredible power of music. My husband and I were driving her back to begin her sophomore year of college, and she selected the soundtrack for our road trip.

My daughter has excellent taste in music, and like me she is really into it. Music in our family is not a luxury, but instead a basic necessity like indoor plumbing or electricity . . . or chocolate. I’m a fan of Ed Sheeran too, who isn’t? He’s talented, introspective and sensitive and all that, like another British musician who also makes the female population go weak in the knees. So I was content to hum and tap along to his tunes as the miles and cornfields rolled by.

When the song “Afire Love” started up my daughter announced, “This song is so sad, Mom. It’s about Alzheimer’s disease. Just listen to the lyrics.”

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The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls: book review

I recently finished reading the novel The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls.

Because I’m a big fan of her memoir The Glass Castle, I thought it was time to read another one of her books. I enjoyed The Silver Star and the fresh perspective offered by its twelve-year-old protagonist Bean. She and her older sister Liz are left to fend for themselves thanks to their selfish mother Charlotte, whose only concerns seem to be her lack of a singing career and herself.

The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls book reviewI chuckled many times at the juvenile logic and rash actions of feisty Bean, like when she decides how to handle her biggest adversary—the big baddie Maddox—by killing him. When she realizes the error of her judgment, she decides to slash his tires instead. Sounds just like how an adolescent girl would think.

Time and again the two sisters face difficulties and conflict while their mother is nowhere to be found, only to have her show up . . . too little, too late. Thank goodness for Uncle Tinsley, who takes his nieces in and helps them out after their mother goes missing in action. Tinsley really is the hero to Bean and Liz, and I would have liked for him to be a bigger part of the story. He remained a mystery in many ways: his own life, his relationship with his sister Charlotte, and his feelings for and interactions with his sister’s daughters.

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Alzheimer’s Daughter by Jean Lee: book review

An Alzheimer’s disease memoir and love story

Alzheimer’s Daughter by Jean Lee is a triple threat memoir with an unthinkable premise. One parent diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is a crisis, two parents diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is a disaster. Dual diagnoses and decline at the exact same time is a tragedy of epic proportions.

Alzheimer's Daughter Jean Lee book reviewAlzheimer’s Daughter follows adult sisters, Rosie and Annette, as they discover and manage the progressing cognitive impairments of their aging parents. Ed and Ibby Church are a loving couple in their eighties who’ve been married for over sixty years. Their two children are united in efforts acting as responsible caregivers to keep the parents they love safe through heartbreaking decisions, from the first telling hints of memory lapses through the inevitable end of life issues.

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