Tag Archives: medical

The Bones of Amoret – A Novel by Arthur Herbert (Book Spotlight)

THE BONES OF AMORET by Arthur Herbert

 
In this enigmatic follow up to his critically acclaimed debut novel The Cuts that Cure, Arthur Herbert returns to the Texas-Mexico border with this saga of a small town’s bloody loss of innocence.
Amoret, Texas, 1982. Life along the border is harsh, but in a world where cultures work together to carve a living from the desert landscape, Blaine Beckett lives a life of isolation. A transplanted Boston intellectual, for twenty years locals have viewed him as a snob, a misanthrope, an outsider. He seems content to stand apart until one night when he vanishes into thin air amid signs of foul play.
Noah Grady, the town doctor, is a charming and popular good ol’ boy. He’s also a keeper of secrets, both the town’s and his own. He watches from afar as the mystery of Blaine’s disappearance unravels and rumors fly. Were the incipient cartels responsible? Was it a local with a grudge? Or did Blaine himself orchestrate his own disappearance? Then the unthinkable happens, and Noah begins to realize he’s considered a suspect.
Paced like a lit fuse and full of dizzying plot twists, The Bones of Amoret is a riveting whodunit that will keep you guessing all the way to its shocking conclusion. ​
 
 
BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon Kindle ~ Audible

 
 
 
Meet the Author:
 
Author Arthur Herbert

 
Arthur Herbert was born and raised in small town Texas. He worked on offshore oil rigs, as a bartender, a landscaper at a trailer park, and as a social worker before going to medical school. He chose to do a residency in general surgery, followed by a fellowship in critical care and trauma surgery. For the last eighteen years, he’s worked as a trauma and burn surgeon, operating on all ages of injured patients. He continues to run a thriving practice.
He’s won multiple awards for his scientific writing, and his first novel, The Cuts that Cure, spent ten days as an Amazon #1 Best Seller. His second novel, The Bones of Amoret, will be released on April 1, 2022 through Stitched Smile Publishers. Arthur currently lives in New Orleans, with his wife Amy and their dogs.
 
connect with the author: website twitter facebook ~ goodreads
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Tickling the Bear: How to Stay Safe in the Universe by David Wann (Book Review and Author Interview)

TICKLING THE BEAR: HOW TO STAY ALIVE IN THE UNIVERSE by David Wann
 
 
Anthropology professor Marc Blake is on a “hero’s journey.” His challenge is to overcome a troubling medical diagnosis –a virus from a tick bite. Along the way he shares his deepest thoughts as the reader follows his courageous efforts to survive. May, an attractive Danish woman, also endures setbacks with resilience, gradually coming center stage in the story. Her husband Kai has a passion for growing herbs and healthy vegetables, marveling how gardening provides a sense of purpose, good health, direct contact with nature, and companionship. Marc’s niece, a natural beauty and ex-model, offers readers a comical, on-again, off-again romantic episode with a Silicon Valley genius she fears might outshine her. Will she prove to be his equal?
 
Quirky humor injects both lightness and conflict into a 30-year marriage. A six-year old’s “best summer ever” is a reminder that life’s an absolute miracle. Collectively this extended family contests a widespread belief that life is happening to us – that we are passive consumers. On the contrary, each character in this upbeat book is actively self-guided, perfecting their passions and offering generous support to family and friends.
 

​Though author David Wann has previously written non-fiction books about sensible, sustainable lifestyles, in his first-novel these themes are woven right into a compelling story. “Our lives don’t look much different than most Americans,” the characters might say. “Really, we are not ‘doing without,’ more like doing within.” Kai enjoys investing in regional businesses, and also loves to travel effortlessly on Denver’s bike paths. Meatless Mondays or grilled-salmon Sundays are a great way for the outgoing May to bring friends together for active conversation. Each character would insist that kindness and gratitude are encoded in our genes and are far more powerful than anger. In a world that’s currently so full of disruption and confusion, they offer both a sense of direction and grounded hope.

 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ B&N ~ BAM ~ IndieBound
 
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Marcus Blake has been given a year to live due to the Q virus. David Wann (the author) states the virus steadily destroys white blood cells, is transferred from insects to people, and has a 5% survival rate. The odds are against Marc, but he decides to beat the odds.


While this is a story about a man’s quest to survive, we gain much insight into the lives of Marc’s friends and family. For example: Rocket, his brother, lives off the land and is a talented woodworker. Kai was taught the power of plants/herbs/flowers by his father.


David Wann spoke passionately about nature, his disgust for Trump and pulling out of The Paris Agreement, and even discussed gun rights and taxes. These might be problem areas for those who don’t want a book with political topics. However, if you don’t like the former president, you’ll have no issue with David condemning Trump’s actions. 🙂

Marc faced death head-on. At one point, literally (skydiving scene).
In the end, I won’t disclose if he lived or died. The journey to discovering Marc’s fate will be filled with love, laughter, tears, and some drugs. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of pot between brothers. 🙂
 
 
 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author David Wann

 
David Wann has been a self-acknowledged author since second grade. He’s written hundreds of articles and columns; ten books – one a best seller; and produced five TV documentaries viewed by 20 million. He’s lived in a cooperative neighborhood (cohousing) for 26 years where he has been the organic gardener for 27 households. He’s an amateur musician and the proud father of two. His greatest ambition is to make a difference in a world that urgently requires “all hands on deck.” His books include Affluenza; Biologic; Superbia; Simple Prosperity; The Zen of Gardening; The New Normal, Reinventing Community and others.
 
 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: KAM’S PLACE

 
What are some of your personal interests, and how do they shape the plot and characters in Tickling the Bear?

(David Wann)  Throughout my adult life, I’ve focused on several passions: my relationships; writing; playing guitar; being in nature, and gardening. Through thick and thin, these are what I relied on to keep me sane (though some might question if it worked!)
 
 
Would you say that one particular character is more like you than the others?

(David Wann)  I suppose all the characters resemble me in one way or another, but the protagonist, Marc Blake, is kind of an avatar for me. I wish I had his courage. He’s been diagnosed with a life threatening virus he got from a tick bite in Borneo. His journey in the book takes him from Denver to California and back in his quest to heal himself by spending time with family and close friends. Like me, he is interested in creating a future that works. He’s a professor of Future Studies, and admittedly, some of his words could very easily come from my mouth.
 
 
Are you a professor, too?

(David Wann)  No, but I’ve given many keynote talks and presentations at universities about sustainable lifestyles and designs. If I said some of the pointed things Marc says about life in America, people might think I was being overly critical, so I let Marc say them.
 
 
What about Marc’s brother, Rocket, who’s kind of a joyful dropout from mainstream America, making a living on a small organic farm and with his woodworking? Does that come from your experience?

(David Wann)  Partially. I’ve been an organic gardener for forty years, and I did dream the dream that Rocket and his family bring to “life,” but I have to say that I’m lucky I chose an easier path. Farming in California and most other places takes a lot of guts and also requires that a person loves being home. I enjoyed portraying Rocket as a man rooted in his community, carving two large totem poles that celebrate the indigenous people, plants and animals of the region.
 
 
Say something about your own home. You live in an intentional community, right?

(David Wann)  Yes, about thirty years ago I joined eight or ten others to buy ten acres of land and create a “cohousing” village – not a commune – that now has 27 houses. The idea is to provide support for each other and to follow our convictions collectively. We each own our homes but share common assets like a community house, a large garden, and a people-friendly landscape, perfect for the kids who build forts and give performances for enthusiastic neighbors. I’ve been the village organic gardener for 25 years, which is a great match with writing. I focus at my desk and un-focus in the garden. In terms of writing, one of my characters plays the role of an author who makes it to the “big tent” with science fiction and fantasy novels. (I should be so lucky). She jokes about her poor characters feeling lost when she’s taking a break from writing. “What are we supposed to do now?” She compares launching a new novel to launching a probe to Jupiter: it’s impossible to know if the mission will succeed, but there’s only one way to find out.
 
 
What do your other characters do for a living?

(David Wann)  The Sakata family runs an herbal business and also designs Zen-inspired landscapes. Two generations of the family live next door to each other with a large, shared backyard. The son, Kai, is a Wall Street dropout, and his wife May is an environmental activist and aspiring state senator. Solar panels on the roof their small home provide power and everything they really need is within walking or bicycling distance. There are always jars of canned and pickled produce on the pantry shelves and herbs hanging from kitchen beams to dry- a little like my own family’s kitchen. So yes, I guess my own passions and experiences made their way into the book, but I’ll confess that some of the romantic encounters are wishful thinking. I still get kind of choked up when one of the romances comes full circle, just like readers were hoping, though another attempt doesn’t quite make it.
 
 
It sounds very true to life!  Thanks for your comments, and thanks for writing the book.

(David Wann)  It really was my pleasure. My characters carried me through some difficult times. I hope they’ll do the same for the book’s readers.
 

connect with the author: 
website twitter facebook instagram goodreads
 
 
 
 
 
 
Disclaimer: All questions and answers were constructed by the author and/or their representative. 
 

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Letters to Jacob: Grieving the Loss of a Child by Maria Hopfgarten (Book Review)

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​Maria Hopfgarten’s son Jacob was born on January 31, 2006. He was the most perfect baby boy she had ever seen. But Jacob had devastating health issues, culminating in a diagnosis of mitochondrial disease, a fatal condition. In the ten short years of Jacob’s life, Maria found strength in blogging about Jacob’s life. Her raw, honest posts from the year after Jacob’s passing have been gathered into this book along with Maria’s tips for parents coping with their their own grief after losing a child. “If you have lost a child, you know you’re weathering the largest storm life can bring you. I hope that my words of loss, tears, punches, smiles, friendships, and renewed happiness can give you a sense of not being along on this journey.”​
 
Buy the Book
Amazon
 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
No story has ever hit me as hard as Letters to Jacob: Grieving the Loss of a Child by Maria Hopfgarten didThe “Introduction” did not just bring tears to my eyes; it had me sobbing. I had to lay the book down several times because I could not see the words through my tears. 


Each “letter” to Jacob touched my heart deeply, and I felt the family’s pain and their love during and after his departure from this world. At the end of each letter, Maria Hopfgarten (the author and mother to Jacob) gave helpful and thoughtful tips/pieces of advice in “Coping with Grief.” Since there are over 100 in all, I don’t think Maria Hopfgarten will mind if I share a few with you. 


 

  • Transform pieces of your loved one’s clothing into blankets or pillows.
  • Plant a tree or bush in memory of them.
  • “Cherish your family who is still standing by your side.”

 
Through the sadness, many touching moments will make you smile and possibly cry some more. I don’t want to divulge too much, but certain events recapped will emphasize how one little boy touched so many hearts, and his story will continue to do so for many years to come. 


After the “Epilogue,” I thought my crying time was over. I was wrong. “Mom” didn’t just make me cry a little — it caused me to sob. Throughout the story, I thought of my children, especially at this point, and the tears would not stop flowing. Even now, as I write this review, I’m wiping tears off my cheeks and stopping to blow my nose repeatedly. 


Maria Hopfgarten, thank you for sharing Jacob’s story with us. It was sad, beautifully written, and I’m forever changed for reading it. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
(deserves a million more)

 

Buy the Book
Amazon

 
 
Meet the Author
Picture

 
Maria Hopfgarten began her blog Moments with Jacob in 2009, writing about Jacob’s life with mitochondrial disease. She had followers around the globe. Maria continued to write blog posts to Jacob after he passed in 2016 to make sense of the loss of her son. Jacob was 10 years old. She has now turned part of the blog into the book “Letters to Jacob,” sharing her raw, honest first-hand experience on grieving the loss of a child.

Maria is the President of the non-profit Miracles for Mito and has been supporting families living with mitochondrial disease for over a decade. She has also been an active Parent Partner at Children’s Hospital Colorado and has been a Parent voice for many chronically ill children. Maria also sits on the Patient Safety Committee of the Board at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Originally from Sweden and with a degree in Journalism from Stockholm University, Maria lives with her husband Joakim, daughter Sarah, and rescue dog Max in Colorado. Her favorite thing to do is to share a good cup of coffee or glass of wine with a friend. Maria loves the outdoor and is always up for a bike ride or hike.

Connect with the Author:  Website ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

 
 

 

 

 

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Dream Accomplished: A Story of Cancer, A Mother’s Love & Taylor Swift by Elizabeth Gross (Book Review)

(Note from the author, Elizabeth Gross) 

Taylor Swift is not affiliated with the book, Dream Accomplished: A Story of Cancer, A Mother’s Love & Taylor Swift
 We are simply a family wanting to say “Thank You”.
For information about Taylor Swift, please visit her website at www.TaylorSwift.com
For Links to more of the good that Taylor Swift does for so many, please click HERE.​​ 

 

**All proceeds are donated to various charities. For the complete list, visit the Dream Accomplished website**

 

Hello, my name is Elizabeth Gross, author of Dream Accomplished.  In 2012 I was diagnosed with a rare cancer.  It changed my life.  This book chronicles my journey and is my way of saying “Thank You”, ​to my daughter’s hero, singer, Taylor Swift.  Paying forward the kindness shown our family, we donate all profits to fund cancer and invisible illness research and support causes.  I’d never written a book before, and didn’t know I was going to write this one, but in hopes my illness journey could be of help to others, ‘Dream Accomplished: A Story of Cancer, A Mother’s Love & Taylor Swift’ just poured from my heart, filling the pages with inspiration, resources, hope, humor, tips, tears & Taylor.  Thank you in advance for reading & sharing about ‘Dream Accomplished’.
​I sincerely hope it is a help to you or someone you love.   ​-Elizabeth Gross 

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Print Purchase Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

Print Purchase Link (UK)

 

Awards:​

 
Dream Accomplished has won the globally recognized Silver Mom’s Choice Award For Excellence in family-friendly media, products & services. Please Click Here to learn more.
 
‘Dream Accomplished’ has won Gold in the Memoir category at Readers’ Favorite.  Please Click Here to learn more.
 

New Apple E-Book Award for Excellence in Independent Publishing General Non-Fiction 2015 
Please Click Wording Above To Learn More.

 

Dream Accomplished has won the 5 Stars Award from Readers Favorite.
Please Click Here To Learn More.​

 
 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Cancer is a big, scary, ugly word. It creates havoc in your body. It affects your life, job, daily routine, and your family. It can break you down. If you can find a reason to fight, then FIGHT like Elizabeth Gross did. This is your body. Your life. If you give up hope, you’re not the only one affected. 

Elizabeth wrote a captivating story about the struggles a person faces when diagnosed with CANCER. Cost, procedures, conflicting diagnoses, specialists, and sometimes-unsympathetic hospital staff are just a few obstacles Elizabeth and her family faced. The frustrations, fears, confusion, and pain would break most people. Depression is not unheard of. However, despite all the uncertainties she faced, Elizabeth and her husband (Marc) had a little girl who needed them….needed a smile. 

I don’t know Taylor Swift personally. I know what I see and read about online or through magazines. What I learned through Dream Accomplished is that Taylor is kind, has a generous heart and made a lasting memory for a sweet young girl (Page) and her family. In the darkest of times, she gave them all a reason to smile. 

So even though the Gross family’s medical journey is far from over, when they need something happy to focus on, they can remember the time Taylor Swift made a little girl’s dream come true. 

Stay positive and never lose hope! 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Print Purchase Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

Print Purchase Link (UK)

 

**All proceeds to donated to various charities. For the complete list, visit the Dream Accomplished website**

 

 

Elizabeth Gross is a Wife, Mother, Cancer Battler, Invisible Illness Spoonie, Wildlife Gardener, Guest Blogger, Good News Sharer, Chocoholic, Dream Accomplisher & SwiftieMom.  She’s proud to now be able to also add  ‘Award-Winning Author’ to this list (Yay!!)  Most days you’ll find her singing along to Taylor Swift songs as she types away on her laptop or gardens with her husband, Marc, and their daughter, Page, on their Hudson, Ohio ‘Little Lot’.  

This is her first book. 
For more information please visit with her at www.lotsoflifeonalittlelot.com

Twitter Link
Website Link

 

 
 
 

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Climb Up the Steel Mountain by Len Steiner (Book Review)

 
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Kay was still alive and he had to save her now, right away. That was his duty as a cardiologist. He had read about the latest surgical procedures and went over them in his mind, but he had never really done one. Dr. Louis Stafford accomplished his first heart transplant and he prayed to God that it would be completely successful and his patient would live to a ripe old age.
Purchase links: Paperback / Kindle
 
 
 
images-13
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
 
While I can appreciate the journey Louie had to take to become a doctor, the anguish of all the losses he’s faced, and the mental and physical pain he’s had to endure, this book was dry – slow paced and had me yawning at times. That’s not a positive sign when I’m reading it while the sun is still high in the sky. 
 
I will say Len did a marvelous job with his medical research. However, other parts of the story were just as detailed and that’s where he lost me.
 
One section of the story, which I felt could’ve benefited from more details, was his time in Vietnam. This area was barely touched on. He was there and back home in a blink of an eye (or at least a few pages). It was a major part of his life downgraded to a blimp in time. 
 
Positive notes: I liked no matter how detached his mother, Emma, was during his childhood and adult years, he still rescued her — from Andy’s drunken tirades and from money woes. Also, I did like the history lesson regarding Pittsburgh and the medical jargon. You never know, it might come in handy if I ever make in on Jeopardy. 
 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
Purchase links: Paperback / Kindle
 
 
 

Len Steiner has a dynamic background. He is not only a fiction writer but worked 13 years in Saudi Arabia for a major company and was Program Director of the Saudi AF Air Defense Program. He is author of 15 short stories in the Poe genre as well as his medical novel, “Climb Up the Steel Mountain.” He has written for military and civilian publications including lyrics for two musical comedies. He had a short story dramatized on BBC World Service Radio. He has also won awards for his volunteering efforts. He is from Pittsburgh, PA and lives in Madison, AL. He is a graduate of The University of Nebraska.

 
 

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