Wednesday, January 16, 2013


As an author, I’m still discovering all the ins and outs, the whys and hows of getting my books out to the public. That’s why I appreciate the opportunity to share my books on Readalot. These blogs are a very important tool, not just for authors, but also for readers. There are so many books now in digital form and in print. How do you find out what the next best book is, if not by a recommendation from someone who loves to read?

Rhonda’s personal story has actually given her some valuable credentials as a reviewer. Books are her wings, and she is passionate about losing herself in a terrifying tale or laughing with a humorous character. When you read Rhonda’s reviews, you can find yourself swept up by the passion she has for a good storyline. She enjoys a real page-turner and it comes through in her enthusiasm. She makes you want to read more because it’s a pleasurable experience. That’s the best kind of reviewer.

I wrote The Practical Caregiver Capers after being a long-time family caregiver. Some people think that being a caregiver makes you noble. The truth is it makes you humble. If you’ve ever struggled to understand the world through the eyes of someone with a disease or a disability, you know the deck is stacked for that person, so you try to find the right card to play, to keep your loved one in the game as long possible, even when the odds are against it.

Wise caregivers learn valuable life lessons from the experience. If we do it right, it makes us better human beings -- kinder, more compassionate, more caring. It’s not about doing everything for a loved one. It’s about making your loved one as independent as possible. That’s why family caregivers are often so dedicated to helping a loved one in need. I’ve never met a caregiver who ever regretted the sacrifice. We’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. That’s because we know our loved ones are the real heroes, facing the battle to survive every day.

My favorite story in the Practical Caregiver Capers anthology, “Having a Killer Time, Wish You Were Here!”, is about a woman who becomes her mother’s caregiver after a stroke ravages Mama. As the main character in “The Passion Beach Psycho Strikes at Midnight”, the good-hearted Mel strives to do her best, but that doesn’t mean she has all the answers. Sometimes she’s just clueless. Even as she struggles to balance her career with her mother’s need for care, Mel knows she needs to do more to help. She takes on the task of taking her mother down to Passion Beach for the therapeutic benefits. That sounds a lot easier than it really is, because her mother has some serious physical disabilities. And yet Mama’s still feisty, with an independent streak a mile wide. That comes in handy when Mel is in trouble, because Mel needs all the help she can get to stay alive.

The thing I like most about Mel is that she really tries to figure out how to help her mother feel less trapped in a body that no longer works as it should. While other people might be willing to plunk Mama in a wheelchair, to spend her days immobilized, Mel refuses to quit. She goes the extra mile trying to communicate because she’s all too aware of how frustrated her mother is at not being understood.

But the real hero of the story is Mama. She may be stuck in a wheelchair and unable to speak clearly, but her mind is still as sharp as a tack. Who would ever expect her to come through when Mel is in danger? And yet she does. A lot of folks think that disabled people are somehow weaker than the rest of us. Sometimes those among us who struggle the most are the ones with the real inner strength, courage, and determination to survive. Mama is very resourceful, even from her wheelchair, and she’s determined to protect her daughter.

If you would like to read “Having a Killer Time, Wish You Were Here!” for free, please visit the Smashwords page and use coupon code XN46Y:
For more information on my mysteries (several are free!) and links to digital retailers, visit

I personally enjoy the books that I have read by Sara Barton

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