Life Interrupted: It’s Not All About Me is a memoir about your life and the challenges dealing with Multiple Sclerosis. Why was this an important book for you to write?
It was important to write for several reasons none of which was more important than the next. When I started out writing Life Interrupted, It’s Not All About Me, it was my intention to help one person, myself. You see, when I was divorcing my ex-wife to be’s lawyer had embellished much of the petty jousting that often goes on between individuals in the process of divorcing, but he really made me out to be a calculating monster, which I was not.
I wanted to share the truth with family members, in-laws and friends , but I believe God intervened and said, Chris, you can help one person, yourself, or you can help thousands of chronically ill and disabled individuals in the middle of their own desperate, downward spiral into the abyss of depression by helping them to avoid making the same relationship destroying mistakes that I once made.
In summary the two main reasons for writing my memoir were one, to save face and two, to help others with chronic illness avoid falling into the self – sabotaging, dismal, depressing downward spiral of the relationship destroying poor me attitude.
I enjoyed how you shared both the good and bad times and it felt like you held nothing back. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?
The hardest thing for me to have shared was my insidious anger and the fact that it was misdirected anger made it that much worse. I was out of control and in the midst of the worst I found God and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
What is one piece of advice you wish someone gave you when you were diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis?
The best piece of advice anyone could have given to me when I was first diagnosed with MS would have been, never stop living your best life. If I had given into my initial thought that life was over, I would have missed one of the most fabulous lifetimes full of unimaginable things, loves, wonders and experiences. I have lived and continued to live the most exciting joyous life with not a single regret.
The book is very emotional but also inspirational. What do you hope readers take away from your book?
My hope is that readers will look at what I have gone through and recognize that through hardship and misery comes purpose and direction. In my life it was God who saved me, when I thought I was not worth saving. Take a couple of moments to invite God into your life, asking Him to reveal Himself to you.
Life Interrupted: It’s Not all about Me, is a candid and humble memoir about one young man’s diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis and how his ‘poor-me’ attitude cost him his marriage. Chris hopes others might learn from his mistakes to communicate more effectively and not allow disability and low self-worth to destroy relationships. Chris also writes about his faith in God, and his new wife, Jane, who he married in April of 2007.
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Dealing with a disability or other debilitating disease is hard to begin with. When you don’t get the help that you need to deal with the changes your life is taking, it can cause irreversible harm to your relationships. Self-care is important; and is a burden that should not be placed on the people you love. It is alright to ask for help, but ultimately you are responsible for your own actions, how you deal with your situation, and making sure the people you love know you care about them. Chris Tatevosian gives readers an honest look into his life with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and how he let his attitude destroy his marriage. He shares his insights into what went wrong with his “it’s all about me” mentality; and how he learned to overcome that and build healthy relationships in life.
Life Interrupted, It’s Not All About Me by Chris M. Tatevosian is a short read of less than 150 pages. It is however, filled with deep topics covering depression, anxiety, abuse and recovery. That is a lot of emotional energy packed into a few pages. Chris Tatevosian’s purpose in writing this book is to help others avoid the mistakes he made. He is very honest about the mistakes he made and offers the reader ideas on how to avoid making the same mistakes. There is a good mix of positive and humorous stories mixed in with the challenges, so it is not an all-out depressing book. He talks about the good times and bad with his ex-wife. Hearing about the struggles to get disability and social security is relatable to many with disabilities of all kinds and he explains how the stress impacts both the people in the relationship, not just the one with the disability.
At times the book feels like it is a personal journal where Chris is just writing out bits and pieces of his memories. I feel this is important though to the reader because you see him before MS took away his independence. You see him as he was, and it helps to understand why he became so bitter and fell into the “poor me” attitude that eventually ruined his marriage. Letting others see this makes it more real and relatable. In the end this book is not just about him complaining about all he lost due to MS, it is about how he learned to adapt and how he learned from his mistakes. This is a good book for people that are struggling and feel alone and feel that they can’t ever change the situation they are in. You may not be able to change your disability or disease, but you can change your attitude and how you relate to the people in your life to make your situation a little better.
Pages: 148 | ISBN: 1606045636
Skeins by Richa Gupta is the story of a large group of globe-trotting Indian women who take a trip to see the sights in Spain and Portugal. The women are similar in heritage, but vary widely in age and experience. Even though they are from the same general area, they also differ in culture and socio-economic status. As the women grow closer, they let each other into their personal lives. They confide in each other and share secrets, regrets, hopes, and dreams. However, it’s not one big happy slumber party. Some of the women find some serious trouble along their journey.
Overall, Skeins was a pretty easy read. The grammar and sentence structure is impeccable. I didn’t find any errors at all. If anything, there were only a few turns of phrase that only suggested that the author’s roots were different than my own. That’s not a bad thing.
If I have any complaint, it’s that the cast of characters was very large. I found it hard, at times, to keep the names of characters and their story lines straight. There seemed to be so much going on at once between all of the background stories.
I enjoyed the diversity of the characters. I especially enjoyed the diversity paired with the camaraderie that the women enjoyed. They came from all walks of life, different social classes, and different customs to form one big, instant family. They seemed to get along very well. They will make readers hope for these kinds of quickly formed but long lasting friendships.
Readers will also identify with the problems that the women face. They discuss the not-so-perfect aspects of their lives without giving the story too heavy of a feel. The story doesn’t bog down or get lost in their troubles. They simply state what’s going on in their lives, but characters don’t seem to dwell too much for the most part. For a story that deals with adultery, a crime ring, decades old grudges, etc., it is a decidedly uplifting tale. The women tackle their problems instead of becoming victims of circumstance.
I liked that Gupta showed the women as strong, powerful, and independent. None of them were “just a wife” or “just a mother.” None of them were leaning too hard on anyone but themselves. In a country where women aren’t generally in hierarchical positions, it was refreshing to see these women being so self-sufficient. Still, they walked the line between traditional arranged marriages and living their dreams, while sometimes doing both with one foot in each world. They seek out independence, their wildest dreams, and love all at once.
The book feels light-hearted in nature. I enjoyed that combination woven with real-life issues. I enjoyed the cultural journey following the women from India touring the Iberian Peninsula. The characters felt real. I’d love to see one of the characters step forward to star in a sequel.
Pages: 312 | ASIN: B07HP6ZPYM
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Moira Carruthers inherited the reins of her family’s charitable foundation only to find her father embezzled millions before his death. Ashamed and determined to make things right, Moira decides to use her own trust fund to replace the money. There’s just one problem. Moira can’t touch the trust until she turns thirty or marries. It seems she needs a husband…fast. She’s always been too busy with school and working to date and she has no prospects. There’s only one thing to do. Run away. A week on a Caribbean cruise should give her time to come up with a plan. She never expected the answer to her problems would stroll onto the deck of her ship.
Jackson Kennedy has made billions in businesses and his next acquisition is an exclusive cruise line in the Caribbean. Spending all his time behind a desk or traveling for business hasn’t left much time for romance. Until his Army Ranger brother is killed in action and Jackson winds up with custody of his special needs niece. Suddenly, Jackson has a pressing need for a wife and mother for his niece. He plans to close the deal with the cruise line fast and then look for a wife. He never expected to find the perfect candidate right under his nose.
What starts as a marriage of convenience could turn out to be the greatest love Moira and Jackson could ever find.
Pages: 123 | ASIN: B07J1YN2PR
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Georgina Kemm is a woman driven to rediscover herself and heal the deep-seated wounds from her past. Her journey of self-examination leads her to Peru and to the somewhat beguiling arms of one shaman named Puma. After enduring the contemptuous complacency of her husband and battling the demons continuing to rise within her own psyche, Georgina finds herself almost inexplicably drawn to return to Peru following her best friend’s final fall from grace and admission of a friend’s ultimate betrayal. Her connection to Puma and the rituals in which she participates while visiting Peru haunt her and, in the end, pull her back to the place where her life actually began.
The Spell: The Shaman’s Lover Trilogy Book I is an autobiographical account by author Georgina Kemm. Georgina lays out her experiences in a simple but spellbinding manner. As she retraces her steps during the most painful years of her adult life using first person point of view, the reader is slowly absorbed into the events of those weeks in Peru and feels present in each of the mind-bending ceremonies.
Georgina weaves the most intricate details into her descriptions of the ceremonies and the intense and overpowering sensations she feels during each session with the shaman who seems to see right into her very soul. At times, I was left wondering how Georgina was able to survive her time in the wilderness of Peru, and I was always amazed as each new day began and she was still alive to tell about it. Though her tale is one of self-discovery, it is also one of endurance and immense amounts of physical and emotional strength.
One of the most effective portions of Georgina’s story is tucked neatly within the descriptions of her apologies to her husband and the inner battle she wages when she faces her own infidelity. Though she is angry with herself, she can’t seem to understand why. Georgina has communicated her own self doubt and feelings of inadequacies eloquently and powerfully for her readers.
Another powerful aspect of her tale is the relationship she has with her best friend, Sandy. As the weeks in Peru progress, Sandy and Georgina find themselves bouncing back and forth between confidantes and strangers. I was amazed at the way the two could seem to distance themselves from one another in the jungle thousands of miles from home. It is a true testament to the spell placed on both of them as the weeks went by. After seeing the way Book I ends, I fully expect to hear more of the strained relationship between the two women in subsequent installments.
Not often enough do we find individuals willing to come forward and bare their souls and show their battle wounds the way Kemm has done with this first in a trilogy. For her eloquent self-expression and her bravery, she is to be commended.
Pages: 308 | ASIN: B07D2N66WM
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Midwife of Normandy follows young Clare as she struggles to save her family and career from France’s tyrannical king. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?
An avid fan of history, I researched 17th century religious persecution of Huguenots by King Louis XIV and was surprised how few historical fiction novels had been set during this turbulent period (as opposed to numerous novels set in other times, like Tudor England.) I also noted that many historical fiction authors focused on women of royal or aristocratic blood as protagonists.
I wanted to do something different, so I created a Huguenot female protagonist, who rises from humble beginnings and dares to defy and outwit male authority, including the King’s soldiers.
After visiting Rouen and the beautiful countryside of Normandy, I felt certain this was the perfect location for my book.
I didn’t think being a midwife could be so interesting and this novel definitely caused me to look more into the profession. Why did you choose this profession for Clare in the story?
Let’s face facts; there weren’t many professional options available to 17th century women. It was widely held that their only proper role was marriage, absolute obedience to husbands, and bearing of children. Midwifery was almost exclusively performed by females, but was looked upon as a lowly trade.
In order to rise above her humble beginnings, Clare decides to offer her services, using a secret ancestral formula for pain-free birth, exclusively to wealthy members of the aristocracy who reward her handsomely, thereby turning midwifery into a lucrative profession.
Clare is a fascinating character that continued to develop as the story progressed. What were some themes you wanted to capture in Clare’s character?
Throughout history, women have struggled against many prejudices. What I set out to achieve was to create a strong, ambitious young woman who sought to control her own destiny. In a sense, Clare was an early pioneer for female equality in 17th century France, as she sought a career. However, she knew she was also obligated to marry in order to bear a female child to carry on her ancestral midwifery heritage.
At first, dewy-eyed young Clare is disappointed when her romantic childhood sweetheart leaves the country and she is coerced into marrying his older, dull brother. However, she turns out to be much stronger than her husband, even to the point of secretly using birth control until she decides the time is right for bearing children. And she is the one who must bravely plot their escape from France.
Another minor theme is the conflict a career woman faces between spending time with her children and working outside the home. A feeling of guilt. This balancing act continues through the present day, so it is a universal, contemporary theme.
What is the next novel that you are working on and when will it be available?
The second novel in the series, Lucina’s Destiny, is now available on Amazon.com. It follows the exciting adventures of Clare and her family as they settle in England.
On the brink of womanhood, she records in her journal the grand plan for her perfect life–marriage to the man she loves, renovation of mysterious Maison Dupres as her home, and a rewarding profession. The key to her plan lies in “the magic elixir,” her ancestors’ secret formula for pain-free childbirth, which she offers solely to wealthy aristocratic women.
But King Louis’ increasing pressure on Huguenots to convert to Catholicism shatters Clare’s dreams. Her lover forced to flee France, she is compelled to marry his boring brother. Then she is banned from practicing midwifery. Yearning to continue her profession coupled with fear that her children will be kidnapped by Papists, Clare tries to convince her stubborn husband to move to England, but he is blind to the growing menace. When danger lurks in the form of the King’s dreaded Dragonnade soldiers, she must summon all her strength and determination to save her family.
Can Clare succeed in getting her family safely out of France before it is too late?
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Mortgaged Goods follows the tumultuous relationship of Nata and Karl as they deal with the challenges life often poses. What was your inspiration for this intriguing novel?
Two key events in my life inspired me:
Firstly, the premature birth of my youngest grandson and supporting my daughter through hearing a diagnosis of a serious condition and months of watching her child fight for life in neo-natal intensive care gave me a keen awareness of the roller coaster of intense emotions mothers experience in this situation.
Secondly, I was involved, some time ago, with a Body Corporate of a young person’s accommodation building where investors suffered loss due to some shady dealing involving corrupt lawyers.
I want to stress that the story I told is complete fiction, but my personal experiences gave me fuel for the plot.
Marriage to someone who was removed from his family in early childhood and knowing several people who experienced foster care and/or child abuse drove a desire to explore the issues fostered, orphaned and abused children might struggle with in adulthood.
I tapped the memory of migrant friends to shape Nata’s foster parents and decide how they would approach child-raising and the potential effects of their methods of disciplining and showing love, because I wanted to include exploration of the challenges faced by immigrant families.
Nata’s character was interesting and well developed. What themes did you want to explore with her character?
I wanted to explore the effect on a woman of intense parental love combined with the strictest parental discipline and a deep religious influence, and I wanted to delve into the potential impact of this kind of upbringing on a woman who partnered with someone from an very different background. Karl’s background was on of great affluence combined with discipline that was is harsh and unloving, but one parent’s cautious affection drove hope of winning love if he could achieve well enough. I wanted to contrast diverse home environments and the effects of two completely different styles of parenting that both involved strict discipline and drove an intense desire for success.
My research with children who are removed from their families early inspired a strong desire to expose the emotional journey that accompanies a struggle for acceptance by substitute carers, the yearning for approval and a sense of truly belonging, and the feeling of never being good enough, because for so long society looked down on children who were not being cared for by their birth parents.
I also felt driven to expose the emotional journey of mothers of critically ill and special needs children.
This novel is very good at displaying the complexity of the decisions people make about family, relationships and love. Did you start writing with the intention of exploring these topics or did this happen organically?
I think it happened organically, though the short story that started this writing journey was about the a difficult family situation in which both mother and children were seriously abused by an alcoholic. I suspect my own childhood, as the child of a widow whose remarriages exposed me to two very different but extremely dysfunctional families, and my husband’s childhood as a Forgotten Australian, drove a desire to explore the complexity of family relationships, the potential effects deprivation of family connections, and the effect of different styles of parenting on children. We are all, to a greater or lesser extent, shaped by our experiences of care (or lack of it) in our formative years. Family and relationships are extremely complex, and researching how character and personality is shaped has always fascinated me.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Currently, I’m working on another novel about unethical legal behavior. My goal is to expose the hideous wrongs in the laws relating to challenging a will, and how the profit motive has displaced any legitimate desire to ensure fairness in the distribution of estates and abolished all respect for the stated wishes of the deceased. Though completely fictional, this novel is also based loosely on a personal experience. Once again, the central character is an ambitious and highly successful female lawyer, but her upbringing more closely resembled Karl’s than Natalya’s.
A gay partner is the Guardian in this story, and the antagonist is a self-serving narcissist consumed with extreme greed.
The story explores the dilemma of a fundamentally ethical woman whose ambition requires that she set aside all her core values in order to succeed, and how her choices impact on her and those around her. The character of the antagonist was shaped by disfunctional family relationships, poor decisions and personal trauma, and her story will explore these themes – particularly the personal consequences of decisions increasingly driven by greed and selfishness.
When this novel will be available is a question I can’t answer reliably. I am a painfully slow writer and one who struggles constantly with a frantically busy life and far too many distractions (though I am technically retired, whatever that means!)
My goal is to release it by mid 2019 at latest, but it will be available when it’s ready for discerning readers. I write for pleasure, not profit, and I strive to produce stories with genuine literary merit and characters who come to life in the minds of readers. Like most writers, I aspire to produce that elusive best-seller, and I am happy to invest whatever time is needed to deliver a work that I consider worthy.
Natalie is living the dream, but when tragedy strikes, her past comes back to haunt her and she must reassess what really defines a woman’s value.
Meanwhile, a crisis and confronting revelations challenge Karl to re-examine his standards and to question his deepest beliefs.
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Destiny Revealed begins with Gabby in a precarious situation, one that propels readers into an intriguing adventure. What was the inspiration for the setup to this thrilling novel?
The 1960’s was a fascinating time to be a teenager, although none of us realized it until much later in life. The historical events, music, art, pop culture, all contributed in many ways to who we are today. I knew many “Gabbys” in my high school in California. I experienced the loss of a “Jake” at an early age, as a result of the Vietnam war. In college I studied Literature, graduated with a BA and MA in English and became a high school teacher. Those years resulted in my continued appreciation for every author that I taught, even those that I was not always fond of. It was always my desire to be a writer. And, although I believed I could be successful, those years were so busy, teaching, raising a family, living life that there was little time for writing. Finally, once retired from teaching, and moving to the Midwest, my passion to write returned. As I met other people from this region, one thing that we all had in common was our memories of the ‘60s. This is when I decided to create a story that my generation, and hopefully others, could relate to; the desire to sometimes want to revisit those wonderful early years, and even reflect on what might have happened differently based on our choices.
In Destiny Revealed, the sequel to my first novel, Destiny Revisited, it begins where the last one ended, Tybee Beach near Savannah, Georgia. Gabby has come full circle and is still struggling to understand why happiness is eluding her.
My objective with this novel, was to answer all of the questions that still remained at the end of the first novel, now that all of the characters are approaching middle age. This is why I provided the history backdrop to the the two main characters, still living, Caden Cassidy and Sterling Powers. Destiny Revealed hopefully will add a new dimension that readers will appreciate.
I enjoyed how Gabby’s character continued to develop as the story progressed. What were some themes you wanted to capture in her character and the relationship with the men in her life?
Gabriella, means , a gift of strength from God. In this novel it will take her as much patience and self reliance as possible to make it through her complicated life. Each of the men in her life, Jake Girard, Caden Cassidy, Alex Blair, and Sterling Powers have contributed to her growth as a woman. But, it is not until she meets the mysterious lady, Maggie Mendoza, born on the same day she is, forty years later, and experiencing the same life threatening experience, on the same day, two thousand miles apart, is she able to realize how strong she is. Although I provide clues to the reader about what will ultimately happen, I am hoping that the conclusion is powerful and surprising.
The story has underpinning of a supernatural force at work, but I felt that the novel was well grounded in reality. How did you balance this while writing?
Balancing the supernatural with reality happens everyday, people just don’t always realize it. Whether it is prayer, or astrology, or a Shaman who performs rituals in Catemaco, Veracruz, people are in search of relief from their pain. By including Jake’s journals, Gabby believes she will be connected to him, even in death. The coincidence between Maggie and Gabby are both mysterious yet, realistic. We just do not always have the opportunity to meet our doppelgängers. My intention is to lead the reader into an unknown space without making it uncomfortable.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
Seven Days in Lebanon, my third novel, takes a totally different approach than my first two novels. It is based on the true story of my grandmother’s exile from St. Petersburg, Russia during The Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 and her marriage to the last Prince of Kiva. This is a historical fiction that is now complete and will be available at the first of next year.
The Mermaid’s grandmother is my next novel that I am currently writing. Although not completely “fleshed “ out it will be a story told by an aging mermaid that lives a normal life with a few idiosyncrasies. Her grandson, also part merman does not have any idea about his heritage. The bond that the two of them share, will offer readers a new perspective on some traditional legends.
“Where the hell are you, Gabby?” Is what Caden Cassidy wants to know and Destiny Revisited readers are also asking. It is also what Gabriella Gerard Blair wants to discover.
Floating in the freezing Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ashes, Gabby has no idea why she is at Tybee Beach and who saved her from drowning. It is Sterling Powers, a man from her past, who she turns to for some answers.
What Gabby finds is more questions than any answers. Can Caden convince Gabby that fate has finally allowed them another chance at happiness? What secrets are Sterling keeping from Gabby, and why? Will Jake’s journals be her guidebook to the parallel universe?
Perhaps the answers will finally be found at The Hotel California, in Todos Santos, Mexico when she meets the proprietor, Eleanor Rigby. It is here when Gabby, in desperation, decides to visit a Shaman located at Catamaco, Veracruz, the capital of sorcery.
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A woman destroyed his ability to trust. A man destroyed her ability to care. Can love unlock their fear and heal their wounded hearts?
His marriage over and his career in jeopardy, Trevor Donaldson seeks sanctuary at the Diamond D Ranch in Arizona. After gunning down the man who shot his partner, the accusations hanging over his head, the hounding media, and his own inner turmoil keep him awake at night.
Ketra Weston sought sanctuary at the Diamond D to escape the ugly backlash she suffered after a violent assault following a Good Samaritan act gone wrong. Time at the ranch promises to provide the peace and anonymity she needs to help her heal.
Trevor and Ketra are careful to keep their distance from one another. Trevor’s contempt for women, after his failed marriage, and Ketra’s skittishness after here brutal attack, leave them both wary of the opposite sex. But, everything changes when Trevor discovers that their lives are intertwined and he learns that her past just might hold the key to his exoneration.
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End it by the Gun follows charismatic and determined Beck who’s eagerness to get a top book deal and screen play ruins his life. What was the inspiration that helped you write the setup to this thrilling novel?
It’s simple! Sometimes the very things we go for end up being our source of worries, misery and destruction.
The first half of the book is characterized by Beck’s tumultuous relationships. What were some obstacles that you felt were important to developing his character?
The major obstacle is the very nature of being an aspiring writer in a creative industry that has been designed to constantly crush the hopes and aspirations of even very talented writers with no name yet. Lots of gate-keepers available to remind you how you don’t have ‘what the market wants right now’. You put in all the hard work and sacrifice into your craft, on and on, without a slight guarantee that you will ever become successful.
Beck ultimately finds success with one of his books that has a science versus nature theme which turns political. Being a writer writing about a writer, did put anything from your own life into this book?
Some of Beck’s struggles and experiences were informed to some extent by my own personal experiences as a writer.
What is the next novel that you are writing and when will it be available?
I currently have two manuscripts that I have finished working on. The first one is TASTE FOR CHANGE and the second one I just renamed and its new title is WHERE IS CASSANDRA?
I am looking to have at least one of these novels published in 2019.
Strong ambition drives Beck Blades, an aspiring writer from rural Nebraska, to become obsessed with having big Hollywood studios make movies based on his fiction stories. Taking a heavy toll on his marriage, Beck’s writing ambition soon proves hard to achieve. However, he is not a man to give up, even as rejections trail his efforts. He continues to write one fiction story after another with no breakthrough, until he writes his eleventh one, the unusual one, which grabs headlines through an unexpected route. Success begins for Beck, but little does he know his female literary agent has an extra plan way beyond representation.
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