Friday, August 28, 2015

Getting Back to Business

     I opened this blog site and was astonished at what I saw. I knew it had been a while since my last post. But nearly 2-1/2 years? Really? Yes, really. But, why?
    As I reflect on those missing years, I understand why my heart was not interested in blogging. I kept up Twitter and Facebook, but not blogging.
    If you are amongst those who had followed my blog in the past, you may remember that I wrote posts from the heart. Travelling and writing. Riding and writing. Writing and writing.
    Sadly, my heart was broken 2 years ago when my Dad passed away. He left an enormous hole in my heart, for he was not just my Dad, but my mentor, my teacher, my cheerleader, my confidante, my boss, and my friend.
    Five months after his passing, my Mom suffered her first stroke. It affected her speech center and she was led on the road to rehabilitation. We moved her from "their" home to my city and placed her in assisted living. It exacerbated dementia, but she was beginning to get over her depression from losing her husband of 62 years, when another stroke smacked her down. This time worsening her dementia and her speech once again.
I have been her caregiver in all things medical and financial. I spend a great amount of time with her. Not because I have to, but because I want to. She is my Mom. She's always had my back and she would've done the same for me.
    I am a caregiver for my Mom, my 28 year-old daughter who has special needs, myself who deals with multiple sclerosis, my husband's office where I am the manager, and my household(in general). Whew!
    So that is my excuse and I ask you to forgive me.
    Now that I have sufficiently depressed you all, let's concentrate on the good stuff.
    Last September, I visited Italy with a good friend. That was a great vacation and it gave me an idea for my third book.
    Last October, THE GOLDEN PEACOCK became available to the reading public and I have received a lot of positive responses. I also have a literary agent who works diligently to get a mainstream publishing house to contract with me.
    In June, I made it available in paperback because people complained (and rightly so) that they did not have an eReader.
    On a very personal note, I hit a BIG birthday year and went on a Caribbean cruise with my husband in April. We combined it with what will become our 30th anniversary in October. One of the islands the ship docked at was where we honeymooned - St. Lucia!
    We've added a new member to our family. An adorable terrier-mix pound puppy named Ozzy.
    My son is now living 9,000 miles away from me (sigh!) in Prague. But he is happy, so I am too. Kind of (you mothers know what I mean).
    This post is already too long, but I wanted to get you up to speed. I promise I will now get myself up to speed and start blogging again.
http://www.laurenbgrossman.com/



Monday, March 11, 2013

   

    Okay, as promised, I am celebrating MS Awareness Week by offering a FREE download of “Once in Every Generation” through Amazon’s Kindle program. The offer will last five days.
   Here are the links to the USA and UK Amazon sites, but I know it’s available in whatever country Amazon books are sold. http://amzn.to/d0MUEz (USA) - http://amzn.to/V8PX9S (UK).
   I’m not computer-savvy enough to know how it works, but I’m told you don’t even need a Kindle to download it. Do it for you, or mention it to a friend. Hey, it’s FREE!
    The caveat is that it is not about MS. It’s about relationships and learning how to face challenges (it just happens that a main character gets diagnosed with PPMS, so the reader learns about the disease). It can apply to any physical or mental challenges one may face.
   Enjoy! And, please remember that I love to get feedback. Read on!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Beauty of Being ...

Twenty-five years ago, when my daughter who has special needs, was a newborn, someone gave me this attached story. It really moved me and altered my thinking.

I can also relate it to my dealing with multiple sclerosis. There is no doubt that it pertains to almost any disability or life-altering disease.

Take a moment to read it. See if you are as moved as I was. You may have to enlarge your monitor screen to read it.


"The Beauty of Holland"


"I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability-- to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...

"When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous trip--to Italy! You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You even learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

"After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The flight attendant comes in and says, 'Welcome to Holland.' 'Holland?!?', you say. 'What do you mean Holland? I signed up for Italy. I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy.'

"But there has been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

"So you must go out and buy new guide books and learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you never would have met. It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills. Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandt's.

"But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all talking about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, 'Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned.'

"But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't go to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland"

--Emily Perl Kingsley

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Oh, what a ride....



And so, it is complete. No, not my second novel, but the Amazon 5-day giveaway. I had reservations about joining the Kindle Direct Program Select, because it required exclusivity to my book (only regarding e-book status). I found that to be a pompous request from a colossus of a company. But, after hearing from other authors that they successfully had their novels downloaded in the hundreds, and to celebrate its 2-year anniversary of publication, I decided to give it a try.

Five days later, I can report that I am tickled pink that I made that decision. There were 14,860 downloads! Of course, I’d be tickled bright red if those downloads were with a royalty. Nonetheless I am thrilled that my novel is now in the hands of 14,860 readers, who may have otherwise not have read it. Yes, it was FREE and people love getting things for FREE. I do too. Will 14,860 people read it on their Kindle? I doubt that. But, just suppose 500 of those people actually get around to reading it – then that means 500 more people will have learned about multiple sclerosis. (Though the novel is NOT about MS, one of the main characters receives a diagnosis of MS and the reader learns about the tribulations we MSers may go through daily.)

With the giveaway over, the novel is available to download once again for $4.99. In addition, it is in the Amazon Lending Library and available to their Prime Members for 90 days, exclusively. People have already begun to “borrow” the book, and they are still buying the paperback. With a giant push, I have added to the platform that I started building October 2010 when the novel first was published (in publish-speak a “platform” is an audience).

Now exclusively in the hands of Amazon, I feel a great sense of relief, in that I can really concentrate on my second novel. Yes, I still have to promote, but not on a daily basis. This affords me the luxury of working on this second novel.

My next novel is so different than my first, that I may have to warn some people before it goes into publication. I really stepped “outside the box” of my comfort zone with this one. It is partly historical fiction/partly contemporary. There is murder/suspense/mystery, and it is loosely based on a real person who survived the Holocaust. I promise: no vampires or zombies.

I can only hope that the platform I built will continue to follow my writings. And, I sincerely want to thank all of you who downloaded the novel and made it an Amazon Bestseller. Oh, what a ride it has been!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

DAY FOUR (Only 1 more day) UPDATE: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store) - which means only 15 more to pass before becoming #1!!!!! Downloads: Amazon USA 9644 Amazon UK 207 Amazon DE 1 (Germany) Amazon FR 1 (France) TOTAL as of 6:30 am = 9853. I think I may hit 10,000 by end of day! Wow, wow, wow! And, to think I was against the whole idea. Silly me. Remember, you do not need an ereader to download it. PC, smartphones, Ipads, tablets... Thanks to everyone who has downloaded it thus far. Share and tell your friends! Here's the link: http://amzn.to/d0MUEz

Saturday, September 22, 2012

CORRECTION: The ebook version of "Once in Every Generation" is NOW downloadable for FREE on Amazon for 5 days beginning today. You do not need a Kindle to download it. You can download it to your PC or other e-devices (Kindle for PC is free - and I have no doubt that Apple devices have their own version). This is in CELEBRATION of its two year anniversary of publication! After the free 5-day period, it will be available exclusively to Amazon Prime Members and their Lending Library for 90 days. Maybe by then I will be ready to launch my second novel. Here's the link: http://amzn.to/d0MUEz.

Oops! I stand corrected!

CORRECTION: The ebook version of "Once in Every Generation" is NOW downloadable for FREE on Amazon for 5 days beginnng today. You do not need a Kindle to download it. You can download it to your PC or other e-devices (Kindle for PC is free - and I have no doubt that Apple devices have their own version). This is in CELEBRATION of its two year anniversary of publication! After the free 5-day period, it will be available exclusively to Amazon Prime Members and their Lending Library for 90 days. Maybe by then I will be ready to launch my second novel. Here's the link: http://amzn.to/d0MUEz.