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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sharing the Story of the Story

Life Goes On is the first novel I published.  I want to write and share many things and since it is the first of many I wanted to start with it.  When I wrote Life Goes On I wanted to find a way to write a story that held the interest of the reader but do more than that.  I wanted to write something that could be real enough that the reader knew the characters and could see what they saw and feel with the people in the story.  I wanted to write a story that people could relate to or empathize with.

With the problems that so many are experiencing at this time in history and with life in general, this story might reach out and be something that others could relate to.  I wanted to write the best story that I could but I wanted to be able and find a way to do more.  I wanted to be able to reach out and try to make this book something special. 

I wanted to see it become a book.  I wanted it to be something special and even designed the cover from a photo that I had taken over twenty years ago.  It was a real challenge but I wanted the books to be special from cover to cover including the covers that were one of a kind.  When a person held this book in their hands I wanted to share the feeling and awe inspiring beauty that I saw the day I took the photo and make it wrap from cover too cover.  I wanted to be able to hold it in my hands.  I began to fear that I was running out of time and might not have the chance to see that happen.

I read and called and tried my best to check out all different publishing options.  I know that everyone has an opinion and could tell this and that about any company mentioned so I will just simply tell you about my own experience.

You have to realize that I am not a high tech person.  I would love to have the knowledge and ability that I see in others but have never had the opportunities that others often take for granted…but I am trying my best to learn.  I have so much to learn. 

Time was short and I chose CreateSpace.  The services I chose were limited to what I could afford and my own abilities or lack there of.  What I received I marvel at over and over.  I was not the easiest person to work with because I not only lacked the basic understanding of so many things including what templates were and even basic computer functions but  I also tired easily.  I got very tired.  That made it hard to push to learn and complete the things that I need to do.  It also made it more difficult for me to learn and understand.  CreateSpace worked with me every step of the way and what I did not know or understand….they helped me to accomplish.

I have always wanted to make a difference in life.  I longed to find a way to reach out to others.  These things that I write are a voice that I can use to reach out and hopefully be heard even if it would only make as difference for one it would be worth it.  I wanted to be able to have the things that I created live on and be my voice that could be heard and not simply whispered alone to fade away.

I have had many health problems all of my life including an inoperable mass under the aorta.  These things motivated me not to wait years to be published.  At this point they had found cancer that was growing and could not wait.  The surgery would have to be done as soon as possible.  As soon as possible is when they thought I would have enough lung function to even survive the surgery and that did not look good.  I was working as hard as I could doing treatments to increase and function still left and not giving up to see this book become something real….something special.

CreateSpace worked with me through all of that and did even more.  The quality of what was created is something that I am very proud of.  They were ever so patient as they would have to explain things over and over or I would have a spell where I could not continue for the moment with the coughing or oxygen.  They did not give up on me and I did not give up.

When it came time to do the cover I felt so bad.  I was always so tired.  It was hard to face things and continue to work and hope to see dreams come true.  It was hard to look into the faces of my husband, children, parents, grandchildren, family and friends and know I might have to leave them and I did not want to go….not now…not today.  I would see the hopeful looks and hear the encouraging words but I also saw the fear and sadness as they felt helpless and remembered times in the past that I had come close to leaving this world.

I wanted to see many of the things that I had written and put such passion in live on.  I still do.  I did not give up.  There are many ways a cover can be done and almost all would have been easier than sitting there wondering what and how I could do something that would be one of a kind and from me to any other that had the book.  I thought about the story it’s self and finally chose a photo that I had taken over 20 years ago.  We had been on vacation and as we traveled saw a sunset that seemed to set the sky ablaze with such astounding beauty we pulled over to the side of the road.  The very sight of it filled a person with wonder.  A picture can never fully capture the feeling of such a thing but I took the photo and hoped it would be something special.  It is the cover for Life Goes On and wraps completely around the book to the back.  You can even see the headlights of cars as they traveled down the road.  The story and its characters are fictional but if it had been true that could have been the road they would have traveled to find their new life.

When I received the proof from CreateSpace I had worried how they would manage to make such an old photo into a cover but it was so beautiful and just as I had imagined it that I actually cried.  They were not tears of disappointment, or sadness….they were tears of joy.  What had been a passion and dream of mine was becoming something so real that I held it in my hands.  It was something that was real and would live on.

Since I am writing this it seems redundant to say that I lived though the surgery.   It was not easy.  It is not easy.  I still get so tired and live with the thought and fear that the cancer will come back.  I will not let those limitations stop me from trying in life.  I think that is part of the real story of the books.  The real story is more than in the pages and between the front and back cover.  The real story is for each and every person to believe that they should never give up.  What ever their dreams are if they are willing to work, believe and try there is no way to tell what they can do.

Who and what am I?  I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, aunt, neighbor, and Grandmother (I really like that one)  but who and what is Linda.  I do not really know.  I have always been what is needed and tried my best but…me???  I loved to write and arts and crafts.  I like to paint sunsets with a path that just might take you to a special place or lead you where you need to go.  Am I a writer?  I think I am.  I do write, but more than that... I need to write.  I want to be able to share so many things and now will not give up.  As I have said, I am learning.  I want to always learn and try and hope to reach out to others.

I want to tell you about the story now of Life Goes On but have decided to share not my words but those if two friends who did reviews on the book.  They have captured the story so beautifully I could not resist sharing since they have given their permission.  I hope that ever might read these words that I have written and share will enjoy.  I hope that each and everyone who reads the book finds something special.

I have to tell this.  I actually have managed to turn Life Goes On into an eBook.  I found out that my books are now available all around the world.  You can even go in a bookstore and ask for it.  They may not have a new author in stock but can get it for you.  Can you even begin to imagine the overwhelming emotion I feel as I sit here sharing these things.  It is my heart and soul finding a voice and reaching out.  It is my chance in life and for life.  I thank each and everyone who has helped in so many ways.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer
Life Goes On
By Linda Nance

Life does not always go according to plan. There are many bumps, slides, and mishaps along the way. Everyone’s life is different and even when you are part of a family and might have your own master plan for your future and success, things might not turn out the way you planned. Like an architect who creates a blueprint for his next structure and something goes wrong with the foundation, life can send you some serious structural damage and the foundation of what you have created can crumble if you are not careful. John and Becky have a serious problem their lives are about to change and their family dynamics too as they are forced to change their lifestyle and leave the city to live in rural Arkansas with family they hardly know. But, that is not the only obstacle they face. Their three recalcitrant children find it difficult to want to leave their friends, jobs and school and provide little or no support for their distraught parents as they travel to Arkansas and learn the true meaning of the word Life and much more.

As they move to Arkansas and the children begin to assimilate in the culture, the area and their new home Bobby, Donna, Stacy and both Becky and John will learn some really hard lessons in life that just might bring them together. Donna and Bobby are bent on returning to their old life and old ways. Bobby was involved in gangs, drugs and was becoming anything but what a parent would want for a son. Donna overly involved with a boy named Keith and Stacy who just wants to be like her older sister. This could be on formula for disaster. But, Uncle James is a really smart and savvy guy who tolerates nothing and takes no prisoners. When things get rough he takes both Bobby and Stacy for a long ride to talk, see the country and get to know and understand them better. Two parents who want the best for their children yet condemned for it.

As the children assimilate in their new environment things begin to change as Donna learns the truth about her boyfriend’s disloyalty and harsh words befall her, Stacy takes on the role of protective sister and Bobby begins to meet friends, work and attitudes turn around. But, Becky’s job turns dangerous, the police become involved and second thoughts about what she does need to be considered. But, Becky is hard working and caring helping her coworkers and a real asset to the owners of the motel who really do not appreciate her dedication and never really take heed of what is happening behind closed doors in their motel.

Families change and situations need to be dealt with as some are torn and in turmoil as one child needs attention, another in crisis and a third guidance as they all live in one house but in their own separate worlds trying to survive and some just to exist. As Donna bears her soul to her parents and Stacey proves she is wise beyond her years, Bobby strays in the wrong direction and hopefully a strong hand will guide him back.

As Becky’s job takes a dangerous turn and she the truth about some of the patrons of the motel where she works, she begins to question their ethics, business practices and enlists the help of some officers to help her. But, Bobby’s new friends in Arkansas seem as seedy and corrupt as those left behind in St. Louis and his behavior comes full circle turning back in the same direction from where he came and soon realizing that his actions and those of his friends could affect his mother’s safety. Just how you will have to read for yourself.

With their new home being fixed up and the anticipation of finally setting down permanent roots, the family faces some serious challenges that will either divide them forever or unite them.

Life Goes On is a narrative told by Becky, the mother who is town between the inner turmoil she faces within herself and the problems dealing with her family. True to life bringing to light many real life issues faced by families today, author Linda Nance takes the reader on a journey with many ups and downs, smiles, laughs and tears with a family that just wants to find somewhere to live.

Some kids will do anything to be accepted and have friends that they feel will back them up and protect them. Some are too naïve to realize that those same friends will think nothing of turning on you to suit their needs. Bobby learns a hard lesson when his old world meets his new one and things take a downward spiral turn. Friendships can link you together with others and create positive situations but in Bobby’s case this does not hold true as he becomes embroiled in major drug deal, tries to wrangle out of it, he endangers the life of himself and someone dear to him and things will never quite be the same again. Lessons will be learned and hard choices will have to be made as Bobby will come face to face with his past, his future, his families disappointment and their love.

But, the twists and turns at the end will surprise the reader and renew your faith in family, love, understanding and trust. One young man learns a lesson of a lifetime and one family understands the true meaning of the words Life Goes On. Never give up on yourself, be who you are and never give in to the wants of others because you are afraid. How do you teach children values and when do they finally realize that parents do know best and that they have their best interest at heart? This is a well written novel with real life characters for adults, young adults, teens, church groups and youth groups to read and discuss as start for kids to understand that parents are their best friends in the world and communication is the link to everything.

Life Goes On authored by my friend Linda Nance is an inspirational novel written by a woman of great courage, warmth and love for her friends and family. So, meet Becky, John, Donna, Stacey and Uncle James and understand what a real family goes through to survive. As John learns how to forgive and Becky will always protect the lines of communication need to stay open and Bobby, Donna and Stacey will learn that life in the country is not so different from that of the city it’s what you make of it that counts. Great novel, characters that are real, true to life and heartwarming, read Life Goes On by Linda Nance and learn the true meaning of Family.

I am honored that Linda asked me to review her book.

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

About Fran
I am the author of three children's books and have written a fourth one. I would like everyone to check out my books Bertha Speaks Out and My Name is Bertha on Barnes and Noble. GoodReads. Bertha FIghts Back is my third book in my Bertha series & on B&N. My other three books are Bertha Fights Back, Memories are Precious and Sharp as A Tack or Scrambled Eggs which describes Your Brain. I am an educator, book reviewer, talk show host on blog talk radio, online interviewer and author. My next book is a three in one handbook on Caregiving/Volunteering, Traumatic Brain Injury and Eldercare abuse.

I am an educator, writer, author, book reviewer and favorite aunt, sister and more. I am the vice president in charge of cemetery affairs for my family and their family circle secretary. I am a reading and writing specialist.I review books for authors all over the world. I host two radio shows on blog talk radio/red river writers for adult and children's authors and I am the author of five books and soon to complete number six.

Glenda Bixler
Books, Reviews, Authors, Publicity, Tips, short stories, essays...a little poetry, a cat story or two...check it out! ~~~ Books--Cats - Life is Sweet...

Hi! I'm a retired professional book reviewer...but I've continued my activities here on my blog! I also started the Reviewers Roundup Group on Facebook. I would be honored to have you connect wherever you find me! If you like the book I've just posted and would like that copy, just leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you!

Suspense, intrigue and family highlights Linda Nance’s debut novel as a contemporary ‘Little House on the Prairie’ novel of love, devotion, and inspiration. I was so pleased to meet Linda at my Facebook Reader's Roundup group and learn of her books. But I was honored to know her as an author when I had the chance to read her first novel, Life Goes On.
John and Becky were caught in a financial situation that was one they could not handle themselves. John knew he would not find another job in the city and that he had to do something dramatic--his answer was to turn to a relative--Uncle James, who lived in Arkansas. Becky was shocked to consider not only leaving the city, but to move to the country, and in Arkansas! John explained that he had already talked to Uncle James who had suggested he might find work at a local factory.

Just when Becky was beginning to consider the idea, Donna, Bobby and Stacy came home from school. Neither John nor Becky were surprised at their responses. But this time, John had planned ahead--he had already made the necessary decisions and the family were soon on their way! John knew he had not fully provided the guidance of a father to his family, but now with Uncle James' help, he was firm that he was going to make up for the past.

Soon everybody was adjusting, but the children felt they had been given no choice. Donna called her boyfriend often, Bobby soon was finding that he could find like-minded peers here as well as in the city--those that drank and did drugs. But what they now had was a father who had made up his mind to be more firm and an Uncle who was quite willing to help! They soon had Bobby working with them--at least when he didn't sneak off...

Becky had taken a job at a motel and soon began to see that there were just as many problems with co-workers and strange, potentially dangerous activities there as they had been worried about in the city. But when they discovered that Bobby could very well be right in the middle, the family had to pull together even closer. Even then, death reached out to Bobby and Uncle James who was there to save him!  
Nance has the heartwarming storytelling skills of the creator of The Little House on the Prairie, sharing family love, fortitude, and forgiveness, but adds a contemporary setting where it is no longer safe to have children out with friends where drinking, drugs and sex reach them. Life Goes On reaches out to parents in today's world and shares that hope that still is available when family love is strong and caring. Highly recommended for parents as well as young teenagers who just "don't get their parents!" Linda speaks for many of us who hold on to family values as the way to meet the future! 

Book Received Via
Facebook Reviewers Roundup

  I know this has been a long blog but if you find the time and want to share even more I hope you stop by the Linda Nance Fan Page on facebook and leave me a comment.  I have shared many things there because each and all of the are a part of me…Linda Nance.  There are sculpted roses, paintings, short stories and more.

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