Update on our Co-writing Journey. What Personal Info is Too Much Sharing When Writing Your Life Story in a Memoir and Legacy?

Hello and Welcome Readers, Friends, and Bronco Fans!

“Writing a Memoir is different than an autobiography”

A Memoir is a collection of memories that an individual writes about moments or events, both public or private, that took place in the subject’s life. The assertions made in the work are understood to be factual.

But it is also a personal essay about a significant memory in the author’s life that uses narrative devices like setting, character, and dialogue. Molding your “chosen memory” and in our case, ‘ How Addictions, Money, and a Shift from God and The Loss of a Son,’  that I am writing for Vance and bringing his story to an appropriate structure, using vivid detail and examining the memory’s significance will help us write a strong memoir


So our writing journey has begun and is moving along. Now I want to be transparent as possible as Vance and I continue to write together. I spoke with Vance yesterday and he is moving forward with working with a marketer and making choices on what type of book cover to go with. Do we do that now? Or do we wait to read the full manuscript first? Your thoughts readers? I also want to share a little about the process of writing and how at times one can be unsure of themselves of what to share about one’s life. We would love feedback from all who visits this post as a ‘Wee Bit of Encouragement’ to my writing partner. We’re exploring the topic and feelings of writing about others in the memoir, but is there a line we just don’t cross?

THE DILEMMA:

When I wrote my book/memoir, and it turned into a book manuscript (all by GOD Intervention), I too was riddled with reservations about some of the personal family drama and dysfunctional episodes that went on in my home I grew up in. I was raised at a time when you never bring “shame” to the family and never talk about what goes on in our homes out in public. Well, needless to say, I felt I needed to share of the topics as those events were a direct link to some of the roots of why I had turned to addiction later in life. NO, I didn’t share to hurt my family or those I spoke of, I did it to give an in-depth look inside one’s life and share how all of the events, abuse, chaos, and trauma in my home had an effect on me. Especially into adulthood. Not all children are raised in a perfect home environment the “Brady Bunch or The Cleavers.”

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Now? Vance is struggling a little with some of these decisions as we write. What does he expose or not about his family, events or old memories about growing up as to NOT hurt or offend his parents, sister, or others?

I explained to Vance that his book and the journey are not about them or others, it is about him and looking at the past pain and events that had an effect on his life and had carried that into his adult life and how he made it through to the man “Standing In Grace and Saving Lives from Addiction today.  Am I Wrong?  How do you feel about that? GOD never promised us a Perfect Life without trials and lessons to overcome.  Vance has come through many storms and trauma from addictions.  My own side of the family and I had been estranged for about six years before my book was released. But Vance’s family are in his life, but just not aboard with this book project.

So, do we share the good, the bad and the UGLY? Or do we change direction or not write his memoir chronological and start in a different place? Isn’t this part of Vance’s healing process of taking stock, process and then turn it over to GOD? Or is there a fine thin blue line between the paper your not to cross?

Any feedback, advice, and comments would be helpful and appreciated. It is why we chose to invite everyone to follow our journey. Your voice and advice is important for our project.

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A Memoir In The Making. Taking Stock of A Man’s Life As Memoirists.


We come to an age in our lives and seem to want to look back and take stock of what we have accomplished. Did we meet those early goals in life we set for ourselves? Did we have any regrets? Would we change anything? What will I leave behind in this world of my legacy for those still living and forthcoming?”

 

Many of these questions can be answered in book form. Though many of us may not feel comfortable writing a memoir of one’s life.  It seems when you are a person who has LIVED many LIVES within one? I feel you need to write about it. And that is what Vance Johnson has chosen to do. And after much research on my end to learn who he is? He has had an amazing life thus far that was screaming to be written about! Lol. My own opinion of course. The rest was God’s intervention.

So how did I become part of this project? Well, it started while I was still a columnist and reached out to him to see if he’d like to be featured at In Recovery Magazine.
Vance then was kind enough to reach out to me through social media and asked if I would be interested in writing a book with him. We met on LinkedIn and when I got the message from him there, I had to actually read a few times to see if it was real! LOL. Yes, I will admit I was a wee bit star struck for about 5 seconds! So, we talked by phone a few times and BAM! We are now writing his Memoir together.

Since this is my first full-length book writing project,  I think I gave him a pretty good deal on the cost of his project…Lol! Not only is he getting a writing buddy, but like he had when he played in the NFL having “his people” watching over him, he has ME now as his literary publicist and built-in book promoter too, not just a co-writer! Lol. So we have begun our writing journey and it has been awesome. So who is Vance Johnson? And why would readers want to read his memoir? WOW! TOO MANY reasons to list my friends! But let me tell you a little about the VANCE I know…


One place Vance works for that keeps him pretty busy is at “Futures of Palm Beach”.
They offer exceptional addiction treatment and have a wide variety of programs. He is a Community Outreach Coordinator at Futures.  This is where Vance went for treatment and helped to reclaim his life back from addiction. Yes, sometimes our life path may have a direction many do not walk down. Vance, however, is living proof and is one of God’s Miracles, like I am who are beating addiction. Heavenly Lessons needing to be learned on our journey. Here is more of what he does for Futures:

Prior to joining Futures, Mr. Johnson was selected by the Denver Broncos in the second round of the 1985 NFL draft as a wide receiver from the University of Arizona. Mr. Johnson played his entire NFL career for the Denver Broncos from 1985 to 1995 and assisted the Broncos on three consecutive trips to the Super Bowl. Throughout his college career, Vance was also a world-class long jumper. In 1982 he won the NCAA championship and won the gold medal at the Junior Pan American games. In 1984 he just missed making the Olympic track team, finishing fourth and becoming the alternate in the long jump at the 1984 United States Olympic trials in Los Angeles.

Now celebrating over three years of sobriety, Vance offers hope to the struggling addict and their families by sharing his own journey from addiction through treatment and the strength of his faith. Mr. Johnson advocates for athletes seeking addiction treatment help and speaks at prisons, schools and other public and private forums.”

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As Vance and I continue to write together, we look forward to any and ALL feedback from all our friends, readers, writers, and ALL Denver Bronco Fans for your help in telling us what you’d like to read in his new book. We want to give a “little something” for everyone to read in his memoir. Have a favorite football game you’d like to know the back story to? Or perhaps a player rivalry you want to know about? Or you want to know about his recovery? Leave all the questions in my comments and I will make sure we look and answer each one!

We just thought it would be awesome to bring everyone along with us on this journey from beginning to THE END.

 

 VANCE INSPIRES ~ FEEL HIS PASSION, FEEL HIS HONESTY. THIS IS The Vance I Know…

 

 

 

Connect With Vance:

The Vance Project  ~  Vance Inspires

His Website Vance Inspires ~ Driven By HOPE  ~ He offers Sober Coaching, Professional Presentations, Speaking, Awareness and more!

He Inspires on ~ YouTube

My Author, Writer, and Blog Pick of The Week. Meet My Friend Stephen Who Needs Your Advice Blog Friends!

Many of my friends and readers know I ENJOY meeting new authors and writers through social media. Isn’t that using social what using social media for besides maybe business, marketing, and promoting or supporting something…I met Stephen I believe on Facebook as we have a lot in common.

SO, I wanted to help support him and his awesome blog by sharing a recent post he has on “Seeking Advice” on his book project he working on. Here is more and I invite you all to share your tips, advice, and wisdom writers and authors. Even YOU Readers!

 

Meet Stephen Kavalkovich

Author/ Speaker/Recovery Advocate and Coach

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I am a man who was given the gift of many experiences in life. For most of my adult life, I was a 911 Paramedic. I have seen tragedy and suffering first hand for many years. Little was I aware that I was the one who needed the saving. Through seeking peace within by using all things external, I wound up dead and ruined in every way.

My goal is simple, to use my experience to connect and give you a voice. I have expertise in Emergency Medical Care, First Responder and Addiction/Substance abuse issues, Recovery Coaching, Intervention, Leadership, and Spiritual Studies. I am available to serve your coaching, professional speaking, and journalistic needs.

 

HELP! FRIEND, I SEEK YOUR GUIDANCE…

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Good evening, friends. I have taken to my blog to enlist your guidance. I have had a burning desire for many years to write a book. A few months ago, I sat down at my table and just began writing. I wanted it to be a memoir of sorts, but my research showed a massive selection of the same format in the marketplace. I wanted to do something different, so have decided to draw on my personal experiences and create a fiction novel. I also felt that it would give me more creative freedom regarding details and specifics. As you can see above, this is the book cover I have created along with a short description of its contents.

Now, for my humble request. I wanted to ask what it is you would want to read about when you see the title and cover design?
What is it that would keep you turning pages?

If you take the time to read my autobiographical story at https://www.facingaddiction.org/news/2017/05/25/paramedic-survives-911   
this might help you to understand who I am and where I came from. I am so excited to embark on this project and really thought it would be a great idea to have as much of your input as possible.

For those who take my request for help seriously, there is a reward for you.

Any feedback or guidance offered will get a mention in the acknowledgments and 2 free autographed first editions. Would you want war stories? Factual events? What is it that would get you to purchase the book from a store display or on your Kindle or Ipad? I know what I would like to read but I really want to know what you would want.
I sincerely wish to express my gratitude for your current and hopefully continued support in the future. I pray for blessings and peace for each of you on your own journey of life and transformation…

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I would like to invite you to visit Stephen’s blog  ~  Welcome to Tales from the Broadside.  And connect with him on Social Media too!

On Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  LinkedIn   ~  And Instagram!

Thanks, Friends!

“Cat Lyon’s Reading Den”

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An Author Interview With Allen Currie & Book OPERATION PHOENIX.

I’m happy to Welcome Author, Allen Currie and his book Titled; OPERATION PHOENIX to Lyon Book Promos.

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Editorial Review:

“The seeds of a global perfect storm are sewn. Scientists caution of potential mega quakes, super disease, volcanic eruptions or solar flares. Population growth and industrial activities increasingly stress the environment. One Middle Eastern state after another erupts in civil war. (Sound familiar?)

And most insidious of all, the governments, central banks and banking industries of every developed country on the globe have been systematically building funeral pyres of paper under their respective economies, building them ever higher over the course of decades with mountains of debt, printed money and derivatives, just waiting for a spark, a match, a stray bolt of lightning…

In the novel, the protagonist, elite headhunter Gary Alden didn’t have a crystal ball, just a comprehensive study of the demise of empires past. He’d watched the alarming parallels with current events developing for some time. But he was one of very few. The vast majority don’t like to hear that the party is over, and aren’t apt to listen until it’s too late.

So, when the pyres do burst into flame, Gary must marshal his family and his resources – especially his expertise in recruiting specialists in various fields – to navigate a gauntlet of economic and social calamity, build a new community and preserve what they can of a modern standard of living before the ashes of another fallen empire scatter in the wind.”
~ Val Martinez

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Allen

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A Canadian Author, Allen Currie resides in NW Ontario and enjoys nature and the outdoors. Part of the year this man of mystery hides deep in the Canada bush where who knows what he may be up to, but I hope it is crafting and writing more books. His release of ‘Operation Phoenix’ is now available on Amazon and Amazon Kindle Store. But I caught up with him and here is what Allen was willing to share ….
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“I was born and raised on a dirt poor farm during the dirty ‘1930’s. Began into computers when you still walked inside them and taught computer operation and programming. I then went on to become a CFO and CEO. Dabbled into consulting, primarily with the most advanced banks in the world. I later switched to “competitive intelligence” consulting, whose evil twin is industrial espionage.

I now live in Ontario. Along the way, I climbed mountains, traveled around the world, and became a glider pilot and a sculptural hot glass artist collected by international museums.”

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About The Book:

Are you comfortable with the state of the world today?

After decades of active mismanagement, neglect, greed, corruption and divorce from reality by humanity, the world reaches a tipping point. Having recognized the trend and studied the demise of empires past, Gary marshals his resources to deal with a financial collapse and subsequent gauntlet of social upheaval. It’s a thrilling and for some, terrifying ride…
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AUTHOR INTERVIEW:

Q – I read your bio and you have done a lot of unusual things. Computers when you still walked inside them, CFO and CEO, consultant to some of the world’s most advanced international banks, Glider Pilot, Hot Glass sculptural artist collected by international museums, world traveler, and now author. But before we get to that, one thing that intrigued me was Competitive Intelligence or CI. You say the evil twin to CI is Industrial espionage. Tell us about that.

“Well, the methods used in CI were really invented during World War 2. The Yanks needed spies in Japan, but they didn’t have many slanty eyed operatives. What is worse, a village on one side of a mountain speaks a different accent than a village on the other side of the same mountain. The North Islanders won’t even speak much to the Tokyo crowd because they are Gai jin – foreign devils. So any spy the Americans managed to find was going to stand out like a sore thumb, except in one small village where everyone knows everyone else.”

Q – You have been to Japan?

“Oh yes, I was briefly married to a Japanese I met in Tokyo. Mother nature likes to mix the gene pool. Anyway back to WW2. What the Americans did was to subscribe to every village newspaper in Japan. Of course, if there was going to be a factory built, the local paper would proudly write about how many people would be working at that plant, some idea of what they would be manufacturing, how many units would be produced, plus a lot of other details. Not only did the Americans know where to bomb to do away with critical things like bearings, but they learned almost exactly the capacity of the Japanese machine. They got 98% of what they wanted without leaving their desks.

Q – So, how does that lead to CI?

“CI is the art of gathering actionable information. Inferring information from other facts. If I ask someone who knows how many boxes for widgets a factory is ordering, I can be quite sure how many widgets they expect produce yearly. One of the more famous examples is about a company wanted to know secretly how many tons a competitor was shipping before they tried to take to take it over. They measured the rust on a railway spur leading to the plant and came up with an estimate that turned out to be within three percent of the actual.’


Q – Your intriguing thriller, “Operation Phoenix” seems to be positing the state of our society as we rush into turmoil. Are you predicting the end of the world?

“Definitely not the end of the world. I am predicting great change in our world, which some may think of as the end of the world as we know it. Change in the world is happening at a rate never before known to mankind. We are so accustomed to having some things, many of which most people don’t even understand, such as certain technologies advancing to solve various problems that crop up, that the world is reaching a tipping point on many fronts. Climate and weather change, over-population of our world, peak oil, financial excesses, super diseases, political short term solutions to real long-term problems, the list of possible tipping points goes on.” 

 

Q – Political such as?

“Consider the hoo-haw that went on in the most recent debt ceiling debates in the US. If the debt ceiling wasn’t raised, the US would default. If the US cannot pay its debt now, how could it repay a greater amount? If it cannot pay its debt, it is bankrupt. When Iceland reached the same point a very few years ago and its banks required a bailout, Iceland said they are a commercial enterprise, and let them fail. No bailout. Particularly the UK screamed blue bloody murder because UK banks were heavily exposed to Iceland but the UK bailed its banks out. The result in Iceland was vicious but short lived. Today Iceland is doing very well economically, thank you.
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They let nature release the stresses that had built up in the local economy. The last time that the Fed in the US did not interfere in an economic downturn was in 1919. That depression was probably the most vicious to that date, but short lived again. Eighteen months. The next depression, the dirty 30’s was history making. The government interfered and today’s estimates are that the resulting depression was doubled or tripled in depth and length because of that fiddling by government.
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Today the pressures have built too much higher levels because of more “management”.  The explosion will likely be much bigger. What makes it worse is that so many economies around the world have jumped on the same “management” theories. It will spread like wildfire. The US, Japan, and Europe are ‘Wily Coyote’ who is off the cliff but not yet looked down because of government “management” spin. Take the foul tasting medicine to cure the disease, otherwise, it becomes worse. But politicians loath to put forth “foul tasting” because they will lose their jobs. ”

Q- This is fascinating, but let’s get to your thriller novel. I didn’t notice any mention of CI. Is there a connection?

“On a very basic level, there is definitely a connection. CI is about information and using that information. It is a method of thinking. The ideas in the novel develop according to CI training. Some people would call it in a logical way. If  there is debt, it will be paid somehow. Either to the lender or to mother nature if only in a damaged credit rating, but it will be paid. The world has not only been borrowing financially but environmentally, socially, more ways than I care to count. Sooner or later the piper has to be paid.”

Q – So why did you write Operation Phoenix only now? It describes the result of these tipping points that you say you have recognized since 1987?


In 1993 I decided I had to give back to humanity for having lived in the best time and place mankind has ever known. I had thought about the problem since 1987 and had slowly come to the conclusion I was somewhere near correct. It turns out I was amazingly so. My forecasts have been much closer than I ever believed possible. However, in any field, you have to pay your dues to become proficient. Writing is no different. The basic story has not changed. What I had to learn was how to write a story. And I had never written any more than a letter till that time. It would have been much easier to have simply stopped and gone to university and taken a journalism course.

Stupidly and stubbornly, I had to do it the hard way. I learned, but it took 18 or 19 years. Mind you, I had no idea at that time that economists could spin the situation out as long as it has. They have muddled through amazingly well. They have learned too.

Q- Well I read most of the free preview and reviews, what I read is well written. I found it rather fascinating. Tell us how we can get a copy and where readers can connect with you?

It is available online on Amazon and my website. You can download copy or order a hard copy which will be printed for you specifically. Delivery is in about a week depending on your method of shipping. Usually, I get mine in about four business days.

Go to Allen Currie Website You can find a free giveaway contest of an autographed book, and a forum to discuss the ideas in the novel or your questions, which I try to attend on a regular basis. (At least weekly if I am out of touch.) There is also an unusually long free sample read. You can connect with me on Allen Currie, Author on FB  and on Allen Currie on Twitter …
(Now also available on Amazon & Amazon Kindle store)

AMAZON BOOK REVIEWS:

” Great detailed story, can’t wait for the second book to come out.

” Worst case scenario about a country drowing in debt ”

”  This book is a treat –  ” I read this book many years ago, I have communicated with the author a number of times. This story is a work of art it is very entertaining and well done. I am not going to say more than buy the book and read it. It as a book written by a man who saw the future for what it was over 20 years ago.

I applaud the book and the man who wrote it.”


Author Interview Presented By ‘Lyon Book & Social Media Promotions’

“Congrats To Author, Kim Carter~The Featured Book and Review on Killer Nashville!

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It seems all my authors I am currently promoting are going for the “GUSTO” when it comes to getting noticed. I call all my authors I have the honor of promoting my friends. I love what I do for a living, and it really is my “passion” to help elevate all my authors and their books to new heights! And Kim Carter is no different.

Kim has worked very hard on her next mystery book to release soon but has worked even harder on here four fantastic mystery thrillers currently out which includes, SWEET DREAMS, Baby Belle. Happily, this one has been recently chosen by  Killer Nashville.com ~ Featured Book of The Day  …
So here is a share of the nice article and review on Kim Carter and her newest release!

*Find Sweet Dreams, Baby Belle on Amazon.com*

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Sweet Dreams, Baby Belle by Kim Carter
Reviewed by Lia Farrell

Lizzie is just barely making it as a waitress when she meets Dr. Grant Chatsworth, and their quick courtship ends in what seems to be a picture-perfect marriage. Not only is Dr. Chatsworth tall and good-looking, but he is also a renowned cardiac surgeon and researcher into a new treatment for congestive heart failure. But when Lizzie moves into Dr. Chatsworth’s estate, things begin to go sour very quickly.

Lizzie soon finds herself a captive, cut off from her sister Maggie—her only family—under Housekeeper Flossie’s increasingly baleful eye. She is miserable and wants to leave: not only does she no longer love Grant, but she is increasingly suspicious that his research might be bogus. During a party intended to lure wealthy investors for her husband’s research, Lizzie faints. Flossie immediately suspects that she’s pregnant, which galvanized Lizzie into launching an escape plan.

Clara, Dr. Chatsworth’s nurse, also suspects he might be up to something, and joins causes with Lizzie, skimming money from the practice to help Lizzie escape to her sister’s house. Only able to venture outside after dark, Lizzie finds a gravestone in the Old Biloxi City Cemetery, labeled only “Baby Belle”. Feeling that Baby Belle is trying to contact her from beyond the grave gives Lizzie purpose, especially when she realizes the graves in that area are all labeled “Lunatic”. Lizzie is determined to unravel the mystery of Baby Belle and to achieve justice for the little lamb whose gravestone doesn’t even bear her last name.

As Grant Chatsworth’s empire begins to crumble, he becomes determined to find Lizzie and kill her before she can reveal what she knows. Can Lizzie stay hidden long enough to have her baby? Will Grant Chatsworth be shown up for the fraud that he is? Will the mystery of Baby Belle’s life and death save Lizzie, or kill her before Grant Chatsworth can?

Kim Carter’s Sweet Dreams, Baby Belle is a fast-paced action story with a subplot of messages from beyond the grave. It’s just the slightly spooky thing for readers who are interested in psychic phenomena.

**Congrats again Kim! Authors & Writers, visit Killer Nashville learn more about their Writing Conference this August 2016!**

 


Lyn Farquhar is the co-author of the Mae December Mystery series, under the pen name Lia Farrell.

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Join Us for Killer Nashville’s 11th Writers’ Conference!


Visit us at www.KillerNashville.comwww.KillerNashvilleBookCon, and www.KillerNashvilleMagazine.com.


*Killer Nashville is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you purchase a book from the links on this page, Amazon will give Killer Nashville a small percentage of the total sale. Killer Nashville receives zero compensation (other than sometimes the book to review) from publishers who have been selected for the Book of the Day.*

 

New Book Review Share For “Addicted To Dimes,” My Memoir!

Hello Readers and Friends,

 
It’s been awhile since I have shared a ‘Wee Little Bit’ about my book titled: Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat, available in both paperback and e-book on Amazon. And, my book was recently read and reviewed by two new exciting readers. The most current is a fantastic author herself from the UK and was very honored she read and reviewed my book. She then did an in-depth fair and honest book review on her Book & Author Blog! Author, T.R. Robinson, thank you! You got it! You understood all the points I was trying to get out through my memoir, and you did pinpoint the area’s my writing needs to improve. I have no problem with corrective advice as it helps me be a better writer!

The second was placed here Amazon Top Book Reviewer and I was both honored and surprised that an Amazon Top 100 book reviewer took the time to read my book and do a nice fair book review. He is a writer and journalist for, Vine Voice and a Hall Of Fame Amazon Reviewer.

The next I am sharing is from a new book site I came across and used my book as a test run for a low-cost Professional Book Review to see how well they do before I refer clients over on Online Book Club .org Book Review. I hope you enjoy reading more of what readers and book reviewers are saying about my Memoir and Sharing HOPE to others from addiction through my book….  Author, Catherine Lyon  🙂


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Monday, 11 April 2016

Addicted to Dimes (Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat) by Catherine Townsend-Lyon – Book Review

A very personal, honest, no holds barred memoir. This is the tale of the author’s journey with gambling addiction. Catherine Townsend-Lyon has been very honest about all her failings. Though she admits writing the book had a cleansing and cathartic effect on her, it must have been very hard to recall and put into the public view all that occurred on her journey. She has to be admired and respected for having taken this step.

The author has endured much but at the same time, I think it only right to remind readers she is anything but alone in this. Many of us, one way or another, have suffered in our lives, some similar to her own experiences, others very different. We are each unique and individual and though there may be similarities each of our journeys differ.

Though one of her motivations for writing this book is to help others who suffer the same addiction it should be born in mind this is her own tale, dark at times. No doubt others have and do experience similar circumstances but this is not a handbook for them.  Nevertheless, having said that, it should help many to appreciate they are not alone; that others have and are going through similar difficulties; that there is hope; that there is escape if they truly work toward it.

Throughout, ‘triggers’ are described and talked about but we must bear in mind these are also personal to her. For others, the ‘triggers’ may be very different.  Catherine (if I may be so personal as to refer to her by first name) frequently explains how, through her dysfunctional family, she consistently felt valueless. But also, and very sadly, briefly describes; how she was abused by someone outside the family; how she was unable to tell anyone about it; how this also acted as a ‘trigger’ and how the combined resulting mindset and emotions have continued to plague her throughout life.


Drawbacks:

Before mentioning these it is only fair to acknowledge the author has made clear she is not a writer but has simply decided to share her own story.  It is very much told in her own words and expressions which have the benefit of really making this a personal work.

Nevertheless:

  • I consider the book a tad  long. Much of what has been shared could be condensed and consequently, would make it a more readily readable book.  For many time is an issue and it would be a shame if readers gave up because of the length.
  • Until approximately the eighty percent mark (I read this on a Kindle and therefore am referring to percentages rather than page numbers) I did not feel drawn into the story.  Of course, this may be personal to me but up to this point, I felt I was simply being presented with information and facts.  I was able to sympathize but that was all. However, after this point there were areas where I felt empathy for the author; could feel her emotions, concerns, sorrow and disappointment.
  • Most addiction recovery programs have a twelve step process.  The author frequently refers to these but never really explains what is involved.  Of course, I appreciate this is not intended to be a formal guide but it would have been nice to have a little more understating of what these steps involve; many readers will not be suffering from the addiction but will be reading out of genuine and general interest.


Rating: As any regular or frequent readers of this blog and my reviews will know, I consider the majority of books fall within the three-star rating.  Regrettably, to my mind at least, the rating system has been undermined, sad to say mostly by self-published authors, by the constant allocation of higher ratings than often merited.  But at the same time, I acknowledge reading is a subjective experience. Consequently, what one may enjoy another may dislike and each has the right to reflect this.

Nonetheless, I do consider far too many four and five stars have been given.  Now, with respect to this book, I have found it difficult to determine a final rating.  The author has willingly shared everything, exposing all her faults and failures honestly.  She has taken us on the difficult journey of her life without drawing back from the realities, prepared to endure the opinions and attitudes that may result. For this reason, and despite the reservations referred to above, I consider the book merits a higher rating than three stars.  Existing rating systems, well at least those that are primarily used by readers, do not allow for percentages. Consequently, I feel there is no option but for me to allocate a 4 Stars (****).
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The book is available both as a paperback and as an e-book from: Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CSUJI3A

Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00CSUJI3A

Reviewer sidenote:
Catherine Townsend-Lyon contacted me about a year ago asking if I would consider a review exchange of books. I agreed and we exchanged free copies. I did explain it would take a while for me to read and review; there are many demands upon my time.

Nevertheless, a year is excessive. Unexpectedly some family issues arose, including health, that required my absence from my usual routine. At first, I tried to keep up but in the end had to abandon my on-line and reading activity. In the end, I was absent for eight to nine months. Of course, I then had the mammoth catching up process to go through.  However, I firmly believe we should always fulfill our undertakings, even, as in this case, where deadlines have to be postponed. All I may do is apologize to her for the long delay but in my defense point out it has been due to circumstances outside of my control.


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Now, my second review is just a partial review, as I would you like for you to visit the website to see all the awesome books and great free services they have for readers & authors over on Online Book Club .org Book Review !
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Official Review: Addicted To Dimes

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G, A Porter Posts: 21 Joined: 03 Oct 2015, Currently Reading: the king’s curse Bookshelf Size: 325 books  ~ Online Book Club .org

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[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of “Addicted To Dimes” by Catherine Townsend-Lyon.]

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A 3 out of 4 Stars…


Review by G A Porter … April 11th, 2016


Addicted To Dimes, Confessions of a Liar and a Cheat by Catherine Townsend-Lyon 
 is a Memoir about the author’s personal battle with gambling addiction. The book explores the author’s past experiences and decisions which eventually culminated in a financially and emotionally devastating addiction and the difficult ordeal of the recovery process. The author is open and honest about her past mistakes, her family drama, family dysfunctional dynamic, past abuse, and the long-term consequences gambling has had on her marriage and friendships.

The first section of the book is an introduction to the author’s early life. She grew up in a dysfunctional family and suffered abuse at the hands of her parents as well as outsiders. As a teenager and young woman, the author felt stifled by her mother’s overbearing control, particularly in controlling her own hard-earned money. She outlines decisions she made and relationships she began while searching for a replacement “unconditional love” that she did not receive from her parents. The hardships of her early life may have made the author vulnerable to the lure of addiction, and the continuing dysfunction may have added fuel to the fire later in her life.

The author gives the description of her family dysfunction and past to illustrate the person she used to be before the addiction took over her life. The addiction began slowly, but over time grew and drove her to drastic actions. As stress piled on her, gambling became an outlet and escape to her emotions. She also adopted the gambler’s mentality of placing bets to win money she desperately needed to pay bills, but in the end, would lose more money than she came in with and chased her loss’s. Over the years, and giving insights, not excuses, the author would borrow money, steal from friends and workplaces, and jeopardize everything she and her husband worked for to maintain her gambling habit before fully committing to the recovery process.

Townsend-Lyon was inspired to write this book after hearing the news of a local woman’s suicide due to gambling addiction. She wrote this book to give hope to those caught in the addiction that recovery is possible as well as to inspire empathy and bring awareness to others. The recovery process took a long time for the author and she described the “rock bottom” situation that appears to have been necessary for her to fully commit to the recovery process. She describes her own missteps, triggers from family and stress, and aspects of therapy which were most and least helpful for her. In the end, she appears to have been successful, if still in financial hardship at that time.


Please visit the website link to read the full review and Final Rate of my book: Online Book Club .org Book Review   Thanks, Friends! 🙂  *Cat*

Congrats To Author, Jack Barr For Making It Into “The Readers Favorite” Book Award Contest!

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I so enjoy sharing author news and updates about my author friends. And Jack, Jana and Marley Barr are no exception! I have had the honor of book promoting for Jack and the Barr family for quite some time now, and I’m very happy about this little project of his. He had asked me to research and find out more about a great place for authors and writers to submit their new books and novels for awards to an awesome ‘International Book Awards Website’ called  Readers Favorite’ . . .  So we did.

Well, not only did he get a fabulous 4 star book review, and now he has made it to the next round of their current 2015  book awards contest! Now I knew he would make the entry as I have read his fantastic memoir titled;
Failing at Fatherhood: a book for the imperfect father, which is available now on Amazon right here: Failing at Fatherhood

So I thought I’d share the review that Readers Favorite has done for his book, and I wish him and his family the very best of luck at winning an award.

His book will truly ‘touch your heart’! And a win would be well deserved for his powerful memoir.

A Little About Readers Favorite!

Readers’ Favorite has received the “Honoring Excellence” and “Best Websites for Authors” awards by the Association of Independent Authors, are members of the National Book Critics Circle and National Education Association, and are BBB accredited (A+).
Readers’ Favorite tries to help those in need as well by donating books and income each year to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Authors contribute as well by donating via our order forms and through our Book Donation program.
Awards and Logos
Donation Partners
Readers’ Favorite has been awarded the Association
of Independent Authors Honoring Excellence award, which
recognizes businesses and organizations that offer exceptional
products and services for independent authors.

Association of Independent Authors
On behalf of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,
and especially on behalf of the children and their
families, we want to thank Readers’ Favorite and its
authors for your kindness and generosity.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Readers Favorite Book Review For ~ Failing at Fatherhood ~ Author, Jack Barr

Review Rating:
4 stars.
Reviewed By Samantha Gregory for Readers’ Favorite

Failing at Fatherhood: A Book for the Imperfect Father by Jack Barr is the story of the birth of Jack’s daughter, Marley, and her diagnosis of Down’s Syndrome. Jack shares his feelings about the diagnosis and how it affected him in the early part of his daughter’s life. He becomes angry at his wife, Marley, and God over the diagnosis, but instead of talking to anyone about it, he bottles it all up. As the book goes on, Jack begins to accept his daughter’s diagnosis.

Jack Barr has written about a difficult event in Failing at Fatherhood, but in the early chapters you don’t really have any sympathy for him. His reaction is completely selfish – he is only worried about himself and how everything is affecting him. He has already written off his daughter before she has a chance to prove him wrong. Children with Down’s Syndrome can live very full lives. Gradually, Jack learns to accept it and comes to terms with it. He tells us about his own childhood and the experiences he had with his own father and how they shaped him.

There is a strong Christian influence in the book and Jack works in Thailand teaching people about God. Many parents of Down’s Syndrome children will tell you that, while it can be difficult at times, they wouldn’t change their child for anything. Having Down’s Syndrome does not define a child, it is just a part of them. I think the book is interesting, and a must read for parents of children born with a disability. . .


About Jack Barr and Family

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Jack, Jana and Marley Barr

Jack and Jana Barr are missionaries in Bangkok, Thailand.  Before their first date, they both knew God was calling them to serve overseas.  After completing their undergraduate degrees at Johnson University, and their graduate degrees (Jack M.Ed. Regent University, M.Sc. Canisius College/ Jana M.A. Lee University) they flew to Bangkok for the first time.  For the past nine years they have served God by teaching at the International Community School in Bangkok, Thailand.

Three years ago, Jack and Jana did not know God would use their daughter Marley, to forever alter their life plan.  Marley was born with Down syndrome and that event sent Jack crashing into a sea of depression. “I could not overcome the question of, Why us God”?  Since that day, Jack and Jana have rerouted their plan to align with God’s plan.  They started, If They Had A Voice, an awareness campaign that focuses on Down syndrome abortions.  Their story has been featured on CNN, CNN Mexico, Life Action News, and The Insight Channel.  Jack also wrote his first book, Failing at Fatherhood, which has been endorsed by Bob Russell, S.A. Bodeen, and Woodroll Kroll.  Jack & Jana had a simple plan for their future, but God has forced them to trust in HIS plan.

For general inquiries and speaking engagements, email Jack at info@iftheyhadavoice.org
Please visit their website If They Had A Voice and follow them on Twitter @jackjanamarley