Review of Joan’s Elder Care Guide published by 4RV Publishing

thumbnail_Joan Y. Edwards smaller web AE9Z7443 I just finished reading my friend Joan Edward’s excellent book on elder care. Joan lovingly cared for her mother for many years and the book reads as if it is a friend telling you how to get through this difficult time of helping our parents in their last days.

I consider myself in the “sandwich generation” at this time of my life. I need to help my parents more and more, yet I am also needed to babysit for my grandson and his soon to be born little brother. Joan’s book is an excellent guide to help us.

She really did her homework in researching all that is needed in caring for the elderly. There are over 170 footnotes in the book. After telling us about her care-giving experience, she helps the reader to explore whether they can indeed be the one to care for their loved one by asking many pertinent questions.

Step by step, Joan covers every needed base, including chapters on gathering important papers, making a “care-giver tool kit,” dealing with insurance, types of assisted living facilities, how to deal with your elder’s doctors and what to ask if they have to undergo a procedure of some type. She gives advice even on how to work with the billing department when a medical procedure’s cost is sky high.

One piece of great advice I found on page 88. When you have taken your elder out on the road for more than 2 hours you should provide them with water and a snack before trying to get them out of the car upon your return home. That is something perhaps I would have forgotten during the stress of a road trip with Mom.

Joan has done the hard part: pulling together all the needed information someone would need when taking on the difficult job of care-giving. Included in the back are checklists so one can evaluate what specific needs their elder has, and what they are still able to do for themselves. Also are charts to list where important information is located, a 12 week walking log, and a chart to keep track of bills that need paid, among others. She gives great advice on conflict resolution, and most importantly she tells her readers that they must take care of themselves first in order to be able to care for their loved one.

As a non-fiction writer myself, I can really appreciate the time and effort Joan took to provide such a thorough guide for care-givers. Providing her list of references for each footnote itself is a treasure trove of information.You will also find plenty of websites listed throughout for enhanced learning.

I am happy that I have this book on hand. It is available both in hardback and paperback.  I know it will truly be like having a friend to help me as I care for my Mom and Dad. I am sure that Joan’s warmth and caring reflected through Joan’s Elder Care Guide will help many others also.

Publishing information:

People can email Joan at joanyedwards1@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Interview with Joan Y. Edwards, Author of Joan’s Elder Care Guide Published by 4RV Publishing

thumbnail_DSCN7704thumbnail_Joan Y. Edwards smaller web AE9Z7443

 

I am so happy for my friend Joan Y. Edwards. Not only did she help me in my own road to publication, but her first traditionally published book has just hit the market. I cannot wait to read it myself, and will be putting a review out just as soon as I can.

But today I want to interview Joan, and share some of her good tips on writing and her path to publication of Joan’s Elder Care Guide. Joan is the kind of person who always makes you feel encouraged, so I hope this interview will inspire you, whether you are a writer, a caregiver, a nurse, or just happened to stumble upon my blog.

 

1)      Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I taught elementary school for 35 years. I love seeing the light bulb light up when children learn new things.

2)      What led you to write Joan’s Elder Care Guide?

While taking care of Mother, I learned that I needed to leave detailed plans for her care. When I left detailed plans with Mother’s schedule and telling what she could and couldn’t do, certified nursing assistants from home health care agencies told me that they wished other people would leave the schedule and plans, too. That’s when I thought, “Perhaps I should write a book to share what worked for me in an effort to help others caring for their elders.”

3)  How long did it take you to write this book from first idea to finished product?

It took me two years to write this book. I started writing the book in October 2008. I completed the manuscript and proposal in 2010. I submitted it to several publishers.

 I signed a contract with 4RV Publishing on April 9, 2011. 4RV Publishing sent the manuscript to the printer, Ingram’s Lightning Source on April 15, 2016. Five years and one week from the date I signed the contract.

The editing process took from August, 2013 until April 15, 2016…two and a half years. I had two different editors. The editing process was a very humbling experience.

 I appreciate 4RV Publishing’s staff for believing in me and helping me make Joan’s Elder Care Guide a reality.

4)  What was your most difficult thing to tackle writing the book?

It was difficult to put things in strict categories. Things seemed to overlap.

 

5)  What part did you enjoy writing the most?

I enjoyed discovering different ways for caregivers to meet their needs and those of their elders. It made me feel helpful to share things that worked for me. It was fun researching other ideas that might make things easier for caregivers and elders.

 

6)  Do you have any advice for those who want to traditionally publish their first book? Keep on submitting to publishers that you respect who publish the genre you’ve written. Study the craft of writing. Believe in yourself and your writing. Never Give Up.

(My Note: That is clever that you say Never Give Up as that is the title of one of your blogs!)

7)  As a middle aged grandmother who has two elderly parents herself, I ask what would you say would be the topmost priority in being a successful caregiver?

To be a successful caregiver, take care of your needs. Plan time away from care-giving duties. Use family and friends or pay a professional so you can take time away. It’s vitally important.

 

8) What is your happiest memory from your care-giving experience with your mother?

I enjoyed taking Mother to her favorite restaurant to meet up with her friends. She was used to going every day. I didn’t do that but I made it a priority to take her as many times as I could. I especially enjoyed the times that Mother, my husband, and I spent with my daughters and their families at the beach.

9) Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?

Sometimes you may not know the right questions to ask. When you have questions, keep asking until you get an answer.

 

10) How can people obtain your book and/or contact you?

Information is given below on purchase information, the story of the artist’s cover and Joan’s other works and blogs.

Thank you Joan, for being a guest today on my blog and allowing me the privilege of interviewing you today and best wishes with the sales of Joan’s Elder Care Guide.

 History of the Cover, designed by Aidana WillowRaven and her review

http://aidana.willowravenblog.com/2016/04/joans-elder-care-guide-cover-art-and.html

Review: Author appreciates all reviews.

 

Official Video Trailer for Joan’s Elder Care Guide

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvMauKAqqQ4


 Joan’s Elder Care Guide: 

PURCHASE ONLINE NOW

Prices are subject to change by the vendors.

People can email me at joanyedwards1@gmail.com.

Joan Y. Edwards is an author, illustrator, and retired teacher in North Carolina. Joan’s Elder Care Guide: Empowering You and Your Elder to Survive is published by 4RV Publishing. She wrote and illustrated picture book, Flip Flap Floodle, and self-published it with BookSurge in 2004. She is currently working on illustrations for her chapter book, Larry, the Terrifying Turkey.

Her Never Give Up blog, http://www.joanyedwards.wordpress.com has over 340,000 views and 350 subscribers. She encourages writers, illustrators, and others to never to give up. Her website, http://www.joanyedwards.com has a multitude of Gospel-based devotionals, puzzles, and skits.

Joan is a member of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her article, “Find Your Creative Edge,” appeared in the July-August 2011 SCBWI Bulletin.

Edwards thrives on spending time with her family and friends. She presents interactive writing and motivational talks and workshops for children and adults for schools, writing groups, and conferences. She reads humorous and self-help books. For inspiration and self-acceptance, she heeds the wise teachings of Robert Schuller, Joel Osteen, Maxwell Maltz, and Tony Robbins.

Facebook Page Joan Y. Edwards, Author https://www.facebook.com/Joan-Y-Edwards-Author-111310278911077/

Twitter @joanyedwards

 

 

 

 

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Review of Under the Same Sky by Joseph Kim

 

I read this sad story after reading its review in World Magazine. A young man keeps on walking one day, a celebration day in North Korea, a day when the guards are not paying close attention. He walks so far that to go any further will lead him into China. His remaining family has been torn apart by the famine in North Korea, so he has no motivation to stay. But when he gets to China, the people who live in “rich homes” slam the door in his face. He only finds help after he listens to the advice to go to a building that has a cross on the top.

Joseph Kim is a strong survivor of an almost unbelievable tale. Little things that we take for granted here: namely food and freedom, are in high demand in the repressive regime that he defected from. Don’t read this book if you don’t want to know what the poor people of this world face daily while we live as kings and queens here in America, by comparison.

The subtitle is: From Starvation in North Korea to Salvation in America and on the front cover is a bowl with only few grains of rice outside it. Most of the book involves Joseph’s upbringing in North Korea. He started off with a secure family and ended up a filthy migrant (called Kkotjebi) who stole in order to survive. We all know that it is wrong to steal, but maybe we would do the same thing if we were in his shoes? It is something I don’t really like to think about. The saddest part of the story for me is when he talks about his sister, Bong Sook. I hope he finds her and that she can come to America one day.

When Kim left North Korea, he was in culture shock. By the time he came to America, even more was he astonished at the comparison between our two countries. He suffered a time of depression after leaving everything he knew for a strange land where he lives alone, but has since recovered. Joseph Kim is a bright and hard working young man and a college student in New York City.

This book is not a happy read, but it gives a dose of reality into what it was like to grow up during the time of famine in North Korea. I hope  God uses Joseph Kim’s story to enlighten others as to the plight of those who live in the “Hermit Kingdom,” where lack is suffered daily and to be a Christian is to be a criminal worthy of death.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, copyright 2015

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Review of Apostate: The Men Who Destroyed the Christian West by Kevin Swanson

I don’t know how I stumbled across this book, but it looked interesting so I checked it out of the library. It really made me think.

When our oldest was a teen, we sent him off on a bus to a Worldview Academy week in Miami, Ohio. I didn’t know too much about the camp, but thought it would help him in getting through the rough adolescent years. After reading this book, I have come to appreciate more what they try to do there and at other ministries for teens to help them shape their worldview, before it is destroyed by what they learn in the halls of academia. A Christiann worldview was something I did not receive as a teenager myself, and after reading this book, I realized I learned the hard way.

For example, one day I sat crying in despair in the Hillman Library at the University of Pittsburgh. My faith was belittled and mocked by a liberal anthropology professor who  taught us we all came from apes. Thankfully it did not  destroy my faith. Another instance was when confronted with the abortion issue in nursing school. I never really considered it murder until I was sent to observe one firsthand in my s0phomore year.

I grew up on a steady stream of progressive propaganda and didn’t even realize it. It was reflected by the movies I watched, the music I listened to and affected my whole outlook on life. Without faith, I would have concluded that life was meaningless and absurd, as expounded by Nietzsche in his  writings.

In this book, author Kevin Swanson sets about educating parents and high school children how our culture has come to be where it is today, by the slow and steady erosion of Judaeo-Christian values which started in earnest in the 1850s. Even before then, the damage started by  thinkers like Thomas Aquinas, who separated the “sacred” from the “secular.” Humanists such as Rene Descartes, John Locke, and Jean Jacques Rousseau laid the foundation for the big changes which exploded in the twentieth century.

Also discussed are Marx, Dewey, Darwin, Sartre, Mark Twain, Steinbeck and Hemingway, among others. Their literature formed the basis of my high school English reading. Sadly, most  came from Christian backgrounds but somehow lost their way. Not only they were lost, but they helped many others to follow their example. On page 126, Swanson states that Charles Darwin, upon entering Cambridge University, wrote that he “did not then in the least doubt the strict and literal truth of every word of the Bible.”  By the end of his life and completing his writings, he declared that the Bible is “no more to be trusted than… the beliefs of a barbarian.” What happened?

Mr. Swanson contends that the trail of destruction the apostates left us has destroyed Western society. He calls for a new generation to rise up and reclaim our heritage. I am not sure that is still possible at this point. For the end times were predicted to be (as they are now)  in the Bible:

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power… II Timothy 3:1-5

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn how our society’s values have undergone such enormous change in the last couple of generations. For parents, read it to be forewarned against what your children are taught in the public schools. And if homeschooling, don’t make the mistake of thinking your children will be able to discern the difference of humanistic writings from what they are taught in church. Get yourself prepared by reading this book.

Apostate: The Men Who Destroyed the Christian West was published in 2013 by Generations with Vision. Citations and a selected bibliography are included. The author is a homeschooling father who is also a pastor and the host of a daily radio show called Generations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Review of A.D. 30 by Ted Dekker

I love when I find a book that really moves me to the core, that stays with me. I love a book that I cannot put down. I love learning more about the times and people that lived in the time of Jesus of Nazareth. Ted Dekker’s book, A.D.30 was all that and more.

On a road trip with my parents this past weekend, I took along this book and found I could not put it down. When it got dark in the car on our way home, I pulled out a flashlight from my purse, in spite of feeling ill with a bout of bronchitis. It was that good. It helped me see another picture of our glorious Savior and His ways and dealings with people just like you and me, only that they lived in a different time and place.

Published in 2014 by Center Street of Hachette Book Group, A.D. 30 is followed with a sequel, A.D. 33, which only came out at the beginning of October. I will definitely be reading it soon!

Maviah, a rejected daughter of a Bedu king, is the main character  and suffers a tremendous loss. Because of this, she is sent on a mission to avenge her loss and restore the honor of her father (who has been defeated and rendered speechless)  by the Thamud with a sword of Varus. She goes on a long and dangerous journey to see Herod, the Jewish king in the time of Jesus. Two slaves of her father Rami are appointed to go with her: Saba and Judah. Together they cross a valley of death, the Nafud desert. Sandstorms and the loss of camels are only the beginning of their problems.

Fear and hatred imprison Maviah and it seems she is destined to never live up to what she really is: a daughter of a Bedu king and royalty. But that changes when she meets the Man everyone is talking about in the land of Judea: a so called mystic named Yeshua. The very minute she lays her eyes upon Him, Maviah is drawn to the Savior of the world.

There are many twists and turns in the plot and it kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved how the author instilled both deep meaning and a desire to read to the very end. Some of the book’s quotes about how Maviah’s thinking changed completely were amazing.

As the characters discuss the increasing threats to Yeshua, one of them says:

” ‘Yeshua finds no threat in this rumor!’ he proclaimed…’You will see, he holds no grievance. So then, we too must hold none. Rome only does what Rome knows. Herod only does what Herod knows. But we must offer them no judgment. All grievance comes from fear of harm. To release grievance is to believe in God and the one he has sent. Do only this to be saved. This is the way, you will see.’ ” 

page 318, AD 30

I marked that page with a piece of Kleenex. What wisdom! The world cannot do other than what it does. How many years has it taken me to realize that the ways of God are totally foreign to the ways of this world? When we are not afraid, we are living in His perfect love. (I John 4:18)

Mr. Dekker painted with words a beautiful picture of our Savior, and that for us to know Him is to no longer be afraid.  A quotation from Jesus’s teachings in the Bible begins each chapter of this book. In the end, an appendix provides references for the Bible verses that are used.

Mixed in with the fiction, the events matched what was recorded by ancient historians, for example, the divorce of Herod from his first wife, Phasa, the imprisonment of John the Baptist, and the calming of the storm on the sea.

Ted Dekker is known for writing Christian thrillers, but this is the first time I have ever read one of his books. In his prologue, Mr. Dekker, the son of missionaries, told how writing this story opened up for him a whole new way of thinking and living before His Savior. At the end of the prologue, he states:

“So enter the story if you like and see if you can see what Maviah saw. It may change the way you understand your Father, your Master, yourself, and your world.”

page X of Prologue

For me, the story of Maviah did just that. Thank you, Ted Dekker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Review of The Heretic’s Wife by Brenda Rickman Vantrease

I like historical fiction because not only do I enjoy a good story but I also learn more about history. In the book, The Heretic’s Wife, I got the best of both worlds.Previously, I researched about the life of William Tyndale,martyred for translating the Bible for the common people of Henry VIII’s England for a non-fiction manuscript I wrote. In this story, I learned more about one of his friends and fellow martyrs, John Frith, who is not recognized as widely as Tyndale.

This book bases itself on a character named Kate Gough, who runs a bookshop with her brother. Her brother ends up imprisoned for having copies of the Scriptures in their bookstore, which were illegal at the time. Because her brother also had a wife and small child, he recants while in prison so he can get back to his dependent family. Kate, his sister, was disappointed in her brother for backing down on his Christian stand in exchange for his freedom.

She went to help (disguised as her brother) to receive illegal copies of the Scriptures that came into England from Germany by boat. In this dangerous and risky mission, she met John Frith, a Cambridge scholar and writer. Their lives become intertwined from that point on, although Frith, like Tyndale, had become a fugitive from England because of his Protestant sympathies. Her fate was to be a fugitive with him in Antwerp, Belgium, hiding from the English crown and its spies.

The setting of this book is the 1500’s, when England was a Roman Catholic country and Henry was still married to his first of eight wives, the Roman Catholic Katherine of Aragon. However, the king was tired of her and her inability to produce a heir for him. Henry desired Anne Boleyn to be his wife instead. Anne insisted that she would not go to Henry’s bed unless he was divorced from Katherine, who was the widow of his brother. Henry sought an annulment  from the Catholic Church, but the Lord Chancellor Thomas More will not permit it. Thus More fell out of the king’s good graces.

The story of political intrigue was woven with the narrative of the fugitive and his wife. Because More did not give the king what he wanted, he ends up resigning his position in disgrace. More took out some of his own vengeance on the Protestants, the ones influenced from the writings and Reformation movement of Martin Luther in Germany.

Frith wrote against the doctrine of transubstantiation and the doctrine of purgatory in rare acts of courage when he resided in Antwerp. In the meantime, reports came out of England that Protestants were being burned at the stake. Frith went back to England on a short mission, and left his wife Kate in Belgium. After that happened, the book was quite hard to put down, as any reader would discover for him or herself.

Like I said, I love the fact that I learned history while I was also reading for pleasure. I enjoyed learning more about Anne Boleyn, who had Protestant sympathies, Thomas More and his fellow Catholics who persecuted the Protestants, Henry the Viii who both loved and beheaded some of his wives. And I especially enjoyed reading about the courage of Frith, how the Lord gave him grace to endure to the end without recanting. As persecution increase all the more in the day and age we live in, it is good to learn of those who went before us, leading the way in a Hebrews 11 “hall of faith” kind of way.

I look forward to reading more of  author Brenda Rickman Vantrease’s books.

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Review of “Where’s Peter?” a touch and feel and lift the flap book

100_1271I love reading this baby book to my grandson. It is so interactive for little hands to lift the flap and touch different textures. The beloved Beatrix Potter characters are displayed in a guessing game all the while searching for Peter Rabbit. In a rhyming sing-song, baby will search each double paged spread to see if Peter Rabbit is hiding under the flap. Included are Jemima Puddle Duck, Tom the KItten, Squirrel Nutkin, and my favorite, Mr. Jeremy Fisher.

Speaking of Jeremy Fisher, my grandson’s dad asked me once when he was just a little boy if Mr. Jeremy Fisher was underneath the  display glass at a science table at Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh. I got such a laugh that day he thought the frog there was Mr. Jeremy! Ever since, Mr. Jeremy has been one of my personal favorites among the Beatrix Potter characters.

Anyway, each character has a spot for a nice touch, and most of them are what we called “soft touches.” The last double paged spread, you can guess, is Peter Rabbit himself. He has just only tiny soft spot, his little fluffy cotton tail for baby to touch. But in the process babies learn about language in the lovely rhyme, which ends on each page with, “Peter Rabbit, Peter Rabbit, is that you?”

The one downside, as I see some of the Amazon reviewers have stated as well, is that the book is not as durable as I would have liked it to be. My grandson’s book is already tattered, and I would suggest keeping it away from general access and use it as a “special” book. But if it came down to it, I would still rather the child to have the book and let it get tattered than bypassing it altogether. As you can see, the artwork is spectacular.

Reading to babies and toddlers is one of the most important things we can do. They develop language skills and vocabulary just through enjoying books with the ones who love them. You can buy this book on Amazon, I got my grandson’s at Sam’s Club close to Easter time.

I hope you might decide to check this book out if you have little ones at home. What are some of your other lift the flap touch and feel baby books? I would love to hear them!100_1272

Come visit me at my other blog site as well:

http://inchristalone-byhismercy.blogspot.com/

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