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?


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.”


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.


Lyon Book Promotions Welcomes Author, Andrew Branham & His New Book Release, A Memoir. . .


I Welcome Author, Andrew Branham and his new book, a memoir titled; Anything For Amelia.

I am very honored to have Andrew Branham as part of the Lyon Book Promotions family of fine authors. I also celebrate the fact that his book is my very first LGBT Book and Author to promote for.  And his memoir is not only getting rave reviews on Amazon, but it just became The #1 New ‪#‎LGBT‬ Memoir on Amazon! He bravely shares his true story of his adoption process and journey when he and his partner, DJ wanted to start a family and adopt their sweet baby girl, Amelia.  So here is more about his book and more about the author himself. . .

Hot New Releases in Gay & Lesbian Biographies & Memoirs!


Anything For Amelia: A true story of...
Release Date: September 3, 2015
Kindle Edition

About The Memoir:
A true story of the challenges endured by two gay men who had the desire to adopt a child.

When Andrew and DJ decided to adopt and bring a child into their lives, little did they know what they were about to endure; yet never did the thought cross their minds to give up. The horrific, pitilessly, and beyond comprehensible hoops one woman would make them jump through demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that little Amelia was going to be much better off in the loving home that Drew and DJ could provide her. Just when you think, how can two people survive such a nightmare and the journey is just about over when little Amelia is born and will be safely in the arms of her loving dads, Sandi decides to pull one more shenanigan that could change their lives forever. . .

More than 10 million adults have been adopted or fostered in their childhood. Along with spiraling increases in adoptions comes a growing need to disclose the significant flaws in adoption laws that open the doors to fraud, manipulation, and abuse of the system. “

AMELIA is the first book to explore this dark side of the adoption process through the true story of one couple’s journey through hell. Called “the most difficult adoption in U.S. history” by adoption experts, the book appeals to nearly all families (traditional and non-traditional) interested in adoption, foster parenting, or surrogacy.



About Andrew Branham:

(Andrew, DJ, and Amelia)


Andrew C. Branham was born in the culturally rich town of Lorain, Ohio – a few miles West of Cleveland and on the shores of Lake Erie. He is the son of two educators and has an older sister that lives in Michigan.

Andrew attended Lorain High School and then proceeded to get his bachelors degree from Bowling Green State University. He majored in environmental science with a minor in business administration. He graduated at the top of his class and earned a cum laude degree.  He is a business professional and works as VP/Senior Director Customer Marketing at Dawn Food Products. Here is a bit more of his professional life.

“I specialize in building best-in-class, high-performing category development, sales and shopper marketing departments (including building from the ground-up and reorganization for optimal performance and profit).  High-caliber, seasoned and passionate sales/marketing professional with expertise in internal/external sales, category management, sales leadership, national account leadership, trade marketing, category development, customer marketing, shopper marketing. I have 16+ years of progressive experience with increasing responsibility at top CPG organizations.”

Upon graduation, Andrew entered the business world working for a major food company. He quickly climbed the corporate ladder and was soon promoted. As his career continued to flourish, he relocated to different cities 12 times (all over the United States). Today, Andrew is an executive working for a food company out of Jackson, Michigan. He is married to his long-time partner and they have one daughter.  In his spare time, Andrew enjoys family, cultural dining, reading, writing, Cleveland sports, and exotic travel. He has traveled all over the world to experience other cultures and religions. His favorite destinations are Costa Rica, Oman, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, Italy, and Bora Bora. One interesting fact about Andrew is that he once inherited a truffle farm in Froslone, Italy (of which he has since sold).

Andrew was inspired to write his first book, Anything for Amelia after he went through what many industry experts deemed ‘the most difficult adoption in U.S. history’. During his 206 day ordeal he kept a daily journal from which the book is based. It is the first memoir that explores the true dark side of the adoption world. His book has earned high praise from critics that appreciated the ‘dark subject matter’ and candid tone.

Andrew is a large supporter of gay rights, human rights, adoption, and foster care. 20% of his profits from the book are being donated to the foster care system. He also financially supports an orphanage in Thailand.  Andrew is currently working on his first fiction novel which is due to be released in early 2016.
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Now as many of my readers know, I only ask a couple of questions of all my Featured Guest Authors, so we can get to know a wee bit more about them.  So here are the questions I asked of Andrew, and what he wanted to share with all my readers. . . .

Andrew Branham


1.) How did you become a writer?
I have always had a passion for writing and find it as a great way to relieve stress. I wrote my first book when I was 25 years old however I never did anything with it. For most of my adult life, I have been very active in writing Op-eds for major newspapers around the country. For the most part they were political columns but I have also done some LGBT and business writing. Recently, I have contributed several business articles to Linked In. Writing has always come naturally to me and it has just become part of my everyday life.”
2.) What made you decide to Share Your Adoption process in Book Form?
“My partner and I went through what industry experts called “the most difficult adoption in U.S. history.” For 206 days we were abused, manipulated, and tortured by a very unstable birth mother. We were both under enormous levels of stress everyday. It got so intense that it became nearly impossible for us to sleep or even have a normal life. One night while we were visiting the birth mother in Arizona our stress levels became unmanageable and we were about to lose control. I became so tired of keeping all my feelings bottled up and I started to write everything down in a journal. I wrote for hours without stopping.
When I was done I felt like a new person and all the stress was lifted from me. From that day forward, I started keeping a journal with the hope that I would compile it all into a book.Our story was so extreme that I wanted the world to know about what happened to us. I wanted other couples who were hoping to adopt to learn from our mistakes. The ‘business of adoption’ is a taboo subject that most authors are afraid to discuss. There is a true dark side to the adoption process that everyone seemed to want to sweep under the rug. I wanted the world to know that while most adoptions are smooth and most birth mothers are wonderful people – there was abuse going on in the system. Our birth mother made a career of ‘selling infants’ and using couples who were blinded by the promise of a baby. I felt that our story needed to be told so that others did not fall into this trap. I wanted others to see the warning signs and do their homework before making any final decisions about their adoption. I also wanted to use some of the profits from my book to donate to the foster care system.”

3.) What should readers know about you personally and as an author?
“As a person and an author I am very blunt and transparent. My writing is usually bold and candid. I try to state things like they are without ‘beating around the bush’. I am very passionate about writing and I hope to have a long career writing books. I am from a large and very tight Italian family and that is where my values are rooted. Family is very important to me and that is why I was never going to let being born gay stop me from having the family I always dreamed of. Nothing was going to stop me from this dream….not even this birth mother. I am married to my long-time partner DJ and we have a beautiful little girl, Amelia. She is the light of our lives and she always makes us smile and laugh.
We both adore being parents and it has made our lives whole. I am a big advocate of human rights and gay rights and I fight that battle nearly every day through writing. I am also a supporter of the foster care system and adoption in general. Since 2006 I have financially supported an orphanage in Thailand. In our spare time we love to travel to exotic locations that involve nature. Recently, we purchased a new home in Michigan that has 31 acres of pristine nature reserve. We hope to adopt another child in the next few years. Lastly, I am in the process of finishing my first fiction novel which should be ready in 2016.”

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Come connect with Author, Andrew Branham on social media, and I urge your to give his amazing website a visit as well.

Purchase His Memoir on Amazon: Anything For Amelia on Amazon
Author Website: Anything For Amelia
LinkedIn:  Connect on LinkedIn
Twitter: Come Follow Us On Twitter
Facebook Page: Come Visit and Like our Facebook Page

A Fathers Day Message To My Dad.

Many of you know that I live life in recovery. And you can learn more about my testimony and story here on my recovery blog: https://catherinelyonaddictedtodimes.wordpress.com

There are many recovery authors out here who may or may not have the recovery support from our family. I am one of those people. So the pain is sometime hard to handle on holidays like these. We work through those issues within our recovery.
But, .  .  .  . it still doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt any less.
*Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon*  ~ A Recovery Post Share From My Recovery Blog


Happy Fathers Day to all Dads Today!

Sex Money Love Hell Its What We All Want's photo.
Isn’t 9 1/2 years a long time to not talk to your Daughter? .  .  .


Dear Father,
Today these things you will know,

That I’m thinking of you today on this Fathers Day.

That I do love you even though you have no relationship with me.
That I know your another year older, as your 80 now, that doesn’t give us much time to make amends.
That you hurt me by just cutting me out of your life for what reason?
That mom would be upset that you don’t speak to me or your son Robert.
That you have a grandchild, Roberts son you don’t bother to see or visit.
That even when I was riddled with addiction? You were 930 miles away, and you where not a part of that drama.

That a daughter can turn here life around and be a better woman in Recovery.
That I feel YOU should give me a 2nd chance like my Father in Heaven has.
That you never accepted me for WHO I AM TODAY.
That I have accomplished so many blessing in my Life and Recovery we could have celebrated together and SO MUCH MORE.

That the pain of not having you in my life has been unbearable all these years .  .  .  .

Your Loving Daughter Catherine
My Book & Testimony Is Available Here on Amazon


A Special Blog Review ~ Mom’s Choice Award Winning Book Titled “Failing At Fatherhood” By, Jack Barr.

Failing at Fatherhood: A book for the imperfect father

My breath was taken away many times while reading Author, Jack Barr’s book titled: Failing at Fatherhood, A book for the Imperfect Father.
While reading this book, it took me back to 2011 when I was writing my own now published book. It was a way for me to heal, inform, and raise awareness of what I felt I had failed in life with addiction. Jack to has done a similar thing here in his own fantastic book about his reaction to the news about his beautiful daughter Marley.

It is a raw, honest, and open look at one man’s faults when learning that his 3 day old ‘Marley’ has Down Syndrome, and how he reacts to this news. Even those with a strong “faith” can be rocked by such news.
We then tend to feel and think it was our fault some how that this has happened to “my child”.
Jack’s book shows us all as the human people that we are. We are not perfect by any means, we do at times react before we think things through, and we are a work in progress for a lifetime.

His open heart, spilling out all his faults is a very brave thing to do, even in our society when men are taught or raised to be strong, not to show feelings or emotions. Jack is like any other man.
My heart hurt many times of his deep sharing, and raw account of his story. Like one reader mentioned in their review, this book will take your on an in-depth emotional journey. And that is how I felt when done reading this well written book. I enjoyed his writing style, and like I did, take the reader on a journey.

And you could read the rawness when he wrote of Marley. She is now a vibrant, sweet little 3 1/2-year-old darling that you will also fall in love with!! If she doesn’t to it by her photo on the front cover of the book?
Reading more about her in Jack’s book will!

Jack has done an exceptional job at Raising Awareness of Down Syndrome with his first book. I hope he continues Marley’s story, and the families in future books. It truly is worth the time to read. And why I give it a 5 Star * * * * * Review.
About The Book:

Winner of a Mom’s Choice Book Award”

“Why do I fear her so much? Marley is my own flesh and blood, yet I lie here silently as a new father wondering if I will be here in the morning.”

When Jack Barr and his wife, Jana, had their first child, they were overcome with joy and excitement. Three days later, as they prepared to leave the hospital, two doctors entered their room debating whether newborn baby Marley, had Down syndrome. Mixed in with the confusion of whether or not their daughter was chromosomally different, Jack and Jana knew their lives would be changed forever.

Failing at Fatherhood embraces Jack’s honest struggles as a father, after receiving his child’s diagnosis of Down syndrome three weeks after her birth. He excavates the past, examines the present, and explores his future life in a sincere attempt to understand his personal failures as a father during his first year of parenthood. Throughout the book, Jack wrestles with the decision of divorce, suicide, and the existence of God. However, with His ultimate direction, Jack is able to understand the significance of fathers being committed to their children.

About The Author & Family:

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 has also released 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. . .

Jack Barr, Award Winning Author picture
Jack, Jana, and Marley Barr live in Bangkok, Thailand.
They have a wonderful website to share Marley, Jack and Jana’s happenings, raise awareness about Down Syndrome, just as Jack is doing with his fantastic book, and More! His book also became a “Mom’s Choice Adult Book Award Winner” just this month, so take a visit to: If They Had A Voice here: http://iftheyhadavoice.org/

Now they have a voice!

“When my daughter was born, I told my wife I did not want her. I spent an entire year depressed because I believed everything society told me about having a daughter with Down syndrome. Now she is the joy of my life. She is not a monster, she is not ugly, she is not retarded, and she is not a burden on our family. She is a beautiful little girl that brings joy to our daily lives. I understand the fear of having a child that is different, so I want to encourage you to consider taking the road less traveled, and see the beautiful things a child with Down syndrome can show you.”  Award Winning Author – Jack Barr .  . .
Another Fabulous Author Interview By Andi Cumbo:
Here is a bit of the interview . ..
Write to Serve Others – A Writers Write Interview with Jack Barr

“If you have ever struggled with the path your life has taken, if you love someone who has Down Syndrome, if you doubt the reasons you life has come the way it has, I think you’ll appreciate the words of Jack Barr” . . .
1. Tell me about your latest project.I have recently written my first book, Failing at Fatherhood.  It was released this past November.  A publisher contacted me about two years ago after he read my article about our family on CNN.  He encouraged me to write a book and share my story with a broader community. That led me to writing Failing at Fatherhood.

2. What role, if any, did books, writing, and reading play in your childhood?

I was not an avid reader growing up.  My parents encouraged me to read, but I was more interested in outside activities.  After I became a Christian in college, reading became more important to me.  One author that encouraged me in my journey was Tony Campolo.  His book, Carpe Diem, opened my eyes to our calling as Christians and the needs of others around us.

3. What is your writing practice, your writing routine?

Since I have finished my book, I occasionally blog.  Usually I blog when something in the news or my life strikes me as an interesting story to share with others.  Recently I wrote about Brittany Maynard and Lauren Hill.  I shared my own thoughts about their stories and my personal experience of watching my father die of cancer when I was eighteen years old.

4. Who are you reading now?

I have three authors that I follow on a regular basis: Michael Connelly, John Gresham, & Ken Follett.  I enjoy “getting lost” in their stories and taking a break from my other responsibilities.  I also read various Christian authors when I find a topic interesting to me.  Right now I am working through a devotional book entitled, Conversations, by Brian Rice. . . .

*Now for the rest of this wonderful interview by, Andi Cumbo? Please visit her fabulous ‘writers website http://t.co/xz909i0u6M the rest of Jack’s interview is really interesting.*

I hope you enjoyed my new review for Author, Jack Barr, and make sure you connect with The Barr Family and see how they are helping many parents and families who also have children with Down Syndrome, and sharing Hope with them!
On Twitter: @jackjanamarley
Jack’s Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JackBarrAuthor.FailingFatherhood
Happy Blessed Holidays,
Author, Catherine Lyon of “Lyon Book & Social Media Promotions”!