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 Does Include Happiness, Life, Fatherhood, Tears and Sadly Loss…”In Memoriam of Vaughn Edward Johnson.”

~In Memoriam of a Beautiful Son
Vaughn E. Johnson
October 21, 1987 – September 9, 2007~

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.

 

 He makes me lie down in green pastures;
            He leads me beside quiet waters.

      He restores my soul;
            He guides me in the paths of righteousness
            For His name’s sake.

      Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
            I fear no evil, for You are with me;
            Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

      You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
            You have anointed my head with oil;
            My cup overflows.

      Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
            And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever….

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It is not natural to lose and bury a son as a parent before YOURSELF.

And I can not imagine the pain and emptiness a father must feel when he has lost a son or a child for that fact. So when I wanted to offer a possible excerpt of the memoir Vance and me are writing together, I wanted to share this so YOU, the Readers, our Friends, Fans and all who visit can give us comments of Yes or No of what Vance wrote a few years ago of memories and a tribute to his son posted on his Facebook page back in September of 2015.

When I read it, it touched and moved me to the core of my soul, and I cried as I was reading this beautiful post he had written. Should we include this in the book?

We’d like to know your comments and thoughts…Catherine Lyon ~ Cat

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“When my son Vaughn passed from this earth, I wasn’t allowed to speak at his funeral. Maybe because there was so much attention to him being the son of a former NFL Broncos son being killed, I not sure. My ex-wife was harboring strife against me.

I choose to believe that I was, for the most part, an absentee father most of my adult children’s lives. I was however blessed to have many years of watching my beautiful son grow into everything greater than what I could have ever dreamed of for him.”

Today I celebrate the life of my son Vaughn and to share some amazing truth about our relationship. He was the most coordinated kid even as a baby, and I made the nurses put a football against his body even before he was given to his mother. When he was only a few weeks old, I took him outside in the middle of the night, held him above my head in the palms of my hands with just a diaper on him so I could show him this beautiful universe while standing in the cold Rocky Mountain air. I announced out loud; “son behold the heavens, the only thing greater than yourself.” See, I was brought up to believe in the creator but the enemy is subtle, and I allowed him to steal everything from me back then.

When Vaughn was two years old, I would play football in the front room when I lived at the yacht club off 68th and Sheridan in Westminster Co. He liked running past me as I caught him and rolled over like it was a big tackle! Then I would lift him above my head and toss him in the air. He would fly so high that he giggled so hard he would puke milk right in my mouth😝yuk! Lol. As he grew, he became very confident and had a bit of a chip on his shoulder like a little ‘baller.’

He ran fast and had NO fear of people or competition, yet he was compassionate and gentle, was moved to help others and give his candy away to a baby crying in a stroller….He loved, loved running and when I would be warming up at a football game I would have his mom drop him and Vincent his brother off at the Pre-game warm up.
As the crowd came filling in, he loved pretending like he was playing in a game and would take off running the full one hundred yards to score a touchdown🏈….

Once the fans saw him running and started cheering him on, he noticed them cheering and began to run faster. As he approached 40-yard line, they screamed 30-20-10 and just before he scored he looked up into the stands and tripped over his little feet and fumbled the ball into the end zone! I told him “it’s a fumble son, go pick it up for a Touch Down!” Instead of crying he ran to the end zone and jumped on the ball. The crowd screamed TOUCHDOWN! Wow, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry as I remember my baby boy. So many years I wasted because of this flesh desires and temptations abound while in the NFL.

As Vaughn got older, he began to excel in sports. Track was his preference, and he won most of the time. I hated watching him play football as he wanted to win so bad that he put his life on the line to make big tackles or run someone over to make a winning touchdown. I hate to think now he may have made the NFL and suffered from what so many of us deal with today after so many years of abusing the body. Head trauma, concussions and more, but how can you tell your own son NO, you can’t play pro football? He was an amazing brother and sacrificed his wants for taking care of his brother, let alone having to help and be a pretend father & husband to my ex-wife because of our failed marriage, and I wasn’t not there all the time for them.

I had custody for a while as Vaughn wanted to be with me and his brother followed. Sometimes his brother got home sick so he would stay with his mom in Avada Colorada, while I was in Greeley, Colorado running a business. I remember one night, Vaughn had gotten a call that someone had picked on his little brother, and then wanted to drive over an hour away to protect him. He wanted to make sure they knew who’s brother they were ‘messin with!’ I then moved to the western slope of Colorado, and my boys decided not to be that far away from their mother. There’s more to this story, but this is about my son, Vaughn….When he reached old enough to attend college, I purchased a home, as he attended Mesa State in Grand Junction Co.

More memories and another funny story. Being a former pro athletes son, Vaughn was a popular kid, let me take that back, he became well known because of his exceptional character, not mine. Anyway, I got him a home and taught him how to own real estate and rent it out to his teammates to cover his part of the rent. Well, his friends didn’t pay rent, so I served him an eviction notice. All along I had another property waiting because Vaughn learned a lesson the first time when he made this mistake.

I told the parents of the other kids this was just a learning experience but not to tell the boys what was going on until they felt the sting of eviction….Vaughn had stayed in a hotel for a few days. He then moved into a much bigger and nicer home, and things went smoother. Well, one last funny moment, actually not so funny but a learning experience for 16 guys on his football team. They had a dang beer-pong, is that what they call it? So, I told the coach about it, and some young heads began to roll that weekend.

A few weeks later my son and hero came to my home and said something to me that I want to share with you…

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As he sat at my kitchen table with his girlfriend, he said; “Dad, I want to be just like you when I grow up. I know you and mom have no relationship, but I love you, and whether it be football, real estate, banking or a restauranteur, I want it.” When he left, I cried as any proud father would. When the love of a father’s life, my son, just validated his love for his father, a father that was at best, sometimes around? Every dad wants his son to grow and walk in their footsteps.

At this point, the real-estate market, my business, relationship with addiction started destroying my life, again….I will always regret not being a real Christian father at that time, one that focussed on the riches given by Christ above and not the sadistic desires, unrealistic desires of money, greed, fame. I wish I had taught him about “God” and read scripture to him, made sure that his salvation was secure in Christ. The scriptures say in Romans 1:25; “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-who is forever praised, Amen.”

I share my loss, WHY? Someone, right now I know is reading this and dealing with the loss of a loved one. And I, like you, faced life’s heartaches, griefs, and tribulations. I, like you, have faced crossroads. We either lay down and die, stuck in the bondage of regrets, guilt, shame, and despair, or we can be like “Job and King David,” and mourn, fast, strip down to nothing and give Praise that God gives and takes away. Don’t let that death of a loved one be in vain of someone you love. GET UP!, Give Praise!
And make this your WHY!

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“Rest in Peace my love, my son Vaughn, for YOU are daddy’s Why! It’s Gods Grace that my life is transforming, restored, and redeemed! Because of you Vaughn, I know my path. Isaiah 12:2 says; “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.”      ~ NE14SOBRIETY ~ 

“Lyon Book Promotions Review Spotlight For “Anything For Amelia,” By: Author Andrew Branham.”

Hello and Welcome Readers,

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Well, I just finished Author, Andrew C. Branham’s new book, a memoir of his experience of adopting his daughter sweet Amelia. Andrew and partner DJ, explain the “HELL they went through, and what a ride these dads have been on. Reading Andrew’s book really opened my eyes to how our adoption process and system is so broken. Even the legal process a couple has to go through when they decide to start a family through adoption is also very broken.

And even though Andrew and DJ are two gay partners who had the desire to start a family together? By no means is this book just about gay couples wanting to adopt. It is about ALL couples who have to go through the same system they did to adopt. Yes, his book gives you an in-depth look for the LGBT community who are thinking of doing the same? But all couples go through a similar process. And Andrew had many obstacles to get over while this process played for them. I also want readers to know that Andrew and his partner are strong advocates of adoption and continue to help other families in the adoption process. 20% of his profits will be donated to the U.S. foster care system.

Here is a little about the book/memoir titled; Anything For Amelia: A true story of the challenges endured by two gay men who had the desire to adopt a child.

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
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An amazing book filled with tips, advice, and eye-opening first-hand accounts, this is one feel-good story that serves an important purpose and fills a critical gap in adoption literature. – D. J. Herda

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Andrew C. Branham
( DJ holding Amelia, and Andrew Branham, Author)

My Book Review of ‘Anything For Amelia.”
First I want to let readers know this book/memoir hit Amazon’s #1 Best Seller list for LGBT Memoir/Biography reads, and currently has 100% 5 Star Amazon Book Reviews. .. ..

An Amazing True Story Of Adoption and A New Beautiful Family.

on September 28, 2015
What more can I add to many other fantastic reviews of Andrew Branham’s new book titled, ‘Anything for Amelia’ that has not been written already. Very well written account of a truly heartwarming, and at times heartbreaking experience both Andrew and DJ had to face until the sweet victory of having a family they desperately wanted with Amelia as their daughter. I also came away from this book realizing that our adoption system is badly broken in this country. No parents should have to battle like Andrew had to start a family through the adoption system. Way to many open loop holes in our flawed system.

I want to echo what another reader mentioned in their review, that his book is not just about two gay men wanting a child, nor about the LGBT community. This is real lives, going through real pain when they came to many heart breaking road blocks in their process of adopting Amelia.

I feel more legal rights need to lean for the couples adopting than most all for the birth mother. Yes, much is and can be done through the legal process, but not through a broken system. and this book is proof how corrupt our system is, and seems to lean way more toward the birth mother, and not the family adopting. Very unfair balance.

As a book reviewer point of view, Andrew did an exceptional job with writing such an in-depth personal journey that will help many parents adopting now after Andrew and DJ, to use his book as a guide of what to expect when adopting a child. What a legacy to leave behind for his family and for all who read his book. My heart goes out to them of the heartaches they had to go through, but in the end? Just take one look at Sweet Amelia, and I’m sure she makes it all worth IT! . . . .

Excellent & Highly Suggested Read!  ~ ~ Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon
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A Few more Readers Reviews on Amazon:

Amazing story of Love
This book is a heart wrenching depiction of a difficult adoption story. Although the difficult process was detailed….heartbreaking to say the least. But the beautiful theme that cannot be overshadowed is Love….fight for love no matter how difficult the battle! Amazing story thank you for sharing it with the world. Highly Suggested Read!
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Great read! The emotional roller coaster of the open …

Great read! The emotional roller coaster of the open adoption from hell! Even knowing how the story ended, I couldn’t put the book down as I had to see what Sandi would come up with next. She is a character so evil that she couldn’t be made up; what she put Drew and DJ through for the duration of her pregnancy is truly evil! There is something wrong with the adoption laws if people like this can hold prospective parents hostage. I don’t know the answer but this shows that it is a question worth asking. Amazing that one woman could impact so many in such a negative manner. I only hope that CPS did their job; there are so many sympathetic characters in this story that you’ll find yourself rooting for all of them!
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“Thoughts from an Attorney:”

“The best adoption memoir currently on the market. Why is it the best? Because it is 100% transparent and honest. No other book will give you such a candid look at the darker side of adoption. This is a must read for all adoptive or soon to be adoptive families.”   – Anonymous Adoption Attorney

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So I think you the picture that this is a great book by the reviews its receiving. Andrew’s book is also now available in paperback on Amazon, and now available on Barnes & Noble as well. Please Visit Andrew’s website to learn more and support them: Anything For Amelia ~ Andrew Branham and purchase his book on Amazon today!

Product Details
( click book to purchase on Amazon )


HAPPY READING FRIENDS!
Lyon Book Promotions by Author, Catherine Lyon

Come Meet The Men. Fine Authors I Have The Honor of Book Promoting For…

Hello and Welcome Readers & Friends,

 

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Now since I spotlighted the women authors of who I have the honor of promoting a week ago? I thought it was time to make my GUYS shine and spotlight the fine men I have the honor of book promoting for!

My first fantastic writer and author is a prolific crime novelist with a brand new series release, and a 2 book current novel series that has received fabulous reviews! Please meet Novelist, Wayne Andrewartha .. ..
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( Author Wayne Andrewartha )


About The Author:
Author, Wayne Andrewartha is an accountant by day, and a fiction crime writer by night, and lives in Auckland, New Zealand.

Since he was a small boy, he has always wanted to write books. His love of travelling and his vivid imagination are obvious throughout his crime novels. His newest novel is packed full of action as Private detective, Jake Shaw faces impossible odds to rescue the wife of a client. It is guaranteed to keep you turning the pages which readers of crime stories will thoroughly enjoy.

And there is more ….

Wayne has written two other novels, Diamonds of Death and the much praised sequel, Roll of the Dice. For action/thriller fans, they are a must read and highly recommended. In addition, he has written 48 short stories, which will be published later this year.

Wayne enjoys reading good books, gardening, and ten pin bowling. He enjoys watching sports like rugby, motor sports, and football.

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( Click to Purchase on Amazon ~ What Goes Around Book 1 Jake Shaw Private Eye )


About The Novel:
Jake Shaw, ex policeman, now private eye, isn’t too fussy about the kind of cases he handles. His cash flow won’t permit him that luxury. Hung over and lucky to be alive after an unsuccessful drive-by shooting, Jake receives an urgent call from an old client asking for his help. His wife has been kidnapped, and the kidnappers have threatened to kill her if he doesn’t do exactly as they say.

They haven’t told the client what they want from him, and Jake presumes it’s the usual ransom demand for money. He undertakes to negotiate based on his assumption – pay the money and get the wife back alive.

But the kidnappers have a unique request, which takes Jake by surprise. What is even more frustrating is that his client has lied to him, placing him in a life and death struggle to survive.

As things start to unravel, Jake wonders if this assignment’s linked to a previous case – one where the horrific end result kept him awake for months on end?
And who is this mystery man who keeps stalking Jake?
How does he fit into the puzzle?  .. .. . Wayne’s crime novels will keep you guessing!
Wayne’s other novel series books 1 & 2.

Product Details  Product Details

(Click to purchase on Amazon)

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My next fantastic writer of actions and thrills? And his book is a brand new release. Meet Author, Vinnie Sorce.

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( Author Vinnie Sorce)


About The Author:
Author, Vinnie Sorce has released his action packed debut book titled, “Jersey Justice”. . .
And he is, The Real Jedi Master …

Vinnie Sorce, the prolific writer and author debuts his first book titled’; Jersey Justice.
It is an action packed thriller receiving rave reviews right here on Amazon.

He’s been writing now for over ten years, selling articles and short stories along with blogging. This man mystery, author and writer calls Chino Valley, Arizona home, but he grew up and raised in Jersey.

He enjoys spending time with his kids, and has one left still in the nest. Vinnie has worn many employment hats in his day, as he has been a Banker, IT Webmaster, and even an EMT.
He has also taken college courses in accounting.

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Product Details
(click to purchase on Amazon)


About The Book:
My name is Jimmy Vincent; I “fix” things.
Some people think I’m in the Mafia; I’m not.
Some people think I’m a hit man; I’m not.
Some people think I’m crazy?
They’re right.”

“I live in Jersey. I was brought up on a strict diet of sarcasm, bullies, and being a disappointment to my father. I help people who can’t help themselves. I’ve turned my bullied past into a one-man private army of retribution for the silent majority, too afraid to speak.”
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That night-I still have nightmares. It happened so quickly, so effortlessly. Walking to our cars in the far parking lot one fall night, we were jumped from behind. Eric hit the pavement quickly with a gash on his head. Blood trickled down his ear and he was dazed. I looked up to see the attackers. One was a large Puerto Rican kid, over six feet tall, who had hit Eric on the head with a piece of pipe. Even in the chilly air, he was wearing only a black muscle t-shirt and jeans. An American flag bandana covered his head and a diamond stud decorated his left ear.

A snake tattoo on his right arm completed the picture. His accomplice was an overweight black man of medium height with no distinguishing features. He wore a Yankees cap and a black leather jacket. His pants were riding low, and his boxers showed in the rear. I didn’t know what kind it was, but a gun of some sort was stuck in his waistband. As they came at me, I just stood there, frozen. I wasn’t terrified like I thought I should be. My breathing was calm and easy, my eyes focused on the six-footer first. I was angry. I was sick and tired of the world being this way for me, and for others like me.
It had finally become time to fight back .. .. ..  JERSEY JUSTICE.
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Now my last new writer and author has shared his true story in ‘Memoir’ form, and what a journey he has been on.
Meet my friend, Author Andrew Branham.

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(Amelia, Andrew Branham & DJ)
Now that sweet little one is what Andrew’s book is all about. A personal journey he wrote of the adoption process, including the huge obstacles he and DJ had to overcome to start a family and adopt Amelia. As it got titled, “the most difficult adoption in U.S. history” by adoption experts. Here is more about Andrew.

About The Author:
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.

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).

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Product Details
( click to purchase on Amazon)


About The Book:

“Hit #1 on Amazon’s LGBT Memoirs & Biography section!”

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.

“This Memoir is not just about a gay couple’s desire to adopt. This book is for all couple’s who have the desire to start a family through the adoption system.”

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.

An amazing book filled with tips, advice, and eye-opening first-hand accounts, this is one feel-good story that serves an important purpose and fills a critical gap in adoption literature. – D. J. Herda .. ..

A Reader Review by an Anonymous Attorney:
“The best adoption memoir currently on the market. Why is it the best? Because it is 100% transparent and honest. No other book will give you such a candid look at the darker side of adoption. This is a must read for all adoptive or soon to be adoptive families.”
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Now I had just finished Andrew’s book and I myself gave it an Amazon & Barnes and Noble 5 Star Book Reviews!
So there you go readers. These are just a few of the Fine Men and their books and novels I have the privilege of book promoting for! Please support these wonderful writers and grab a copy of their new releases today!

HAPPY READING!

Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon of  “Lyon Book Promotions”

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

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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!

 

#1.
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. . .

Fact:
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. . . .
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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.”
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Purchase His Memoir on Amazon: Anything For Amelia on Amazon
Author Website: Anything For Amelia
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I Welcome Guest Author, “Agathe von Kampen” To My Writers Blog Today!

Hello Readers, Friends, And New Visitors,

 

Today I have the honor and privilege of introducing you to a good friend of mine, who happens to be a fellow author and the best ‘Story Teller’ I know, Author Agathe von Kampen- (Turrell). S he is a delightful woman who has been through so much than any one woman should have to endure in one lifetime!  She inspires me as a writer and author truly.

We first met through our publisher, as we both are from ‘The Kodel Empire Publishing family’  http://kodelempire.com/ in So. Oregon where she resides. I was given a copy of her current book, “The Chocolate Bar” and when I began to read it, and I seriously could not put it down.
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I was so taken aback about what Agathe had gone through in her life, that I quickly learned she was one wise and a strong woman. I’m so inspired by her true story her life she was brave enough to share with the world, and I know she will also inspire all who read her book.

Here is a little more about Agathe and her wonderful book “The Chocolate Bar”…
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The Chocolate Bar
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Book Information:

The Chocolate Bar ~ by Agathe Von Kampen

“With no point of reference for a life of “normalcy,” seeking acceptance and security in a country not accommodating to immigrants, the author relied only on survival instincts, leading to her years of co-dependency, self-doubt, and utter despondency. She finds herself seeking refuge in controlling religious factions and abusive relationships.
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This life struggle reminds her constantly of her experiences in WWII where she spent her first six years on the front lines in Russia and as a refugee in Hitler’s Germany. Her lullabies were the sounds of gunfire and exploding bombs. Her arrival at Ellis Island was promised to be the beginning of freedom,  instead, it was only the continuation of abuse and control-intimate and personal relationships of psychological warfare.
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This is a compelling account of life as it was back “then” and how this child of war endured as she did, blossoming into a young woman, in a new land called America. A life’s journey, as told by the author with such honesty, innocence, joy, humor, lessons and revealing horrors and sins,  is it any wonder how this broken soul did in fact, survive
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book_cover
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

“After the first ten years of my life as a refugee on the front lines, I had survived unspeakable horrors and was looking forward to immigrating to America when I was a teenager. Having heard stories about life in the United States from the American G.I’.s occupying Germany, giving me hope that I could achieve the American dream too.

But, with good intentions my mother married me off to the first American man who showed an interest in me. With unexpected, horrible results, at sixteen I found myself married to a diagnosed sociopath. After living in emotional hell for thirteen years I found myself having to support two small children without the benefit of an education or any job skills.

This led to a lot of poor choices since I had never learned to choose for myself – only to follow orders.
Through a lifetime of errors I corrected one mistake at a time until now, at age seventy-eight I am finely living the dream I’d always hoped for!

I am married to a very kind and loving man who treats me with the respect I deserve – as any human being has a right to. I live life in beautiful So. Oregon, in a lovely home, nice community, and have the pleasure of my children being respectable, contributing citizens of society.
It has been a long journey but worth it.
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I hope you will read my book, take the journey of my words with me, and see how much one ‘Human Being’ can endure…”

As you can see, Agathe has lived an interesting life.  Like I said earlier, she is a very strong woman and has been through a lot. She now continues her life story, and what she is up to these days all on her blog: http://readthechocolatebar.wordpress.com
and it’s worth the visit. She has just began to start blogging again with a new post, but in her earlier blog posts she shares more of her thoughts and feelings of all she has endured in life.  She also enjoys sharing excerpts of her book as well. Some other places you may connect with her is on her ‘New Facebook Author Fan page’! http://www.facebook.com/AuthorAgatheVonKampen/
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Your can purchase a copy of her book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble: http://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-Bar-Agathe-von-kampen/dp/1624850146/  or  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-chocolate-bar-agathe-von-kampen/1116294467?ean=978
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SHE will also be The Guest Author on award-winning author and historian, “The C.L. Gammon Program on Blog Talk Radio!
So come tune in and hear Agathe share her story here  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/clgammon/

Agathe von Kampen talks about her book The Chocolate Bar’

The CL Gammon Program

The CL Gammon Program  ~Just click this link and tune in on Sat June 14th 7am PT 10am ET!

Saturday June 14th  at 7:00 am PT Reminder

Call in to speak with the host

(347) 989-8948

I hope you all will tune!

I want to say Thank You to my good friend, Author, Agathe von Kampen ( Turrell ) for letting me share her, her book, and all the happenings going on for her now! Please visit her sites listed above, and when you do? Let her know *Author, Catherine Lyon* sent you!

GOD BLESS FRIENDS!
Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon