Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey


Welcome Author Irene Olson

They say people come into your life exactly when you need them. I’m thrilled to introduce you to someone who has been a tremendous support to me and my family, Irene Olson. She and another blogger friend have walked a path that’s now my own to travel. By sharing their personal experiences, they’ve helped me to prepare for the future. I’m also excited to announce that Irene’s book, REQUIEM FOR THE STATUS QUO, is a finalist in the Caregiving category of the 2018 National Indie Excellence Awards. I know she’s thrilled to honor her father in this manner.

Learn as you go caregiving

by Irene Frances Olson www.irenefrancesolson.com


All family caregiving has its seemingly insurmountable challenges. Whether a hands-on provider of care, or the long-distance caregiver managing care from afar, families on the dementia journey rarely enjoy a return to the wonderfully predictable and boring status quo of days gone by.

My father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease ten years after he moved into an Oregon Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). He moved in as a fully independent active seventy-six year old man and died in the community’s memory care unit twelve years later. Once my father was diagnosed, I ramped up my visits, purchasing a dozen discounted airline tickets at a time for the one and a half hour flight from my home in Seattle, Washington.

Jill asked me to share an experience from my caregiving days. Here is one example of when all semblance of a ho-hum existence flew out the window:

One day I called my father to chat. He answered the phone and immediately started talking extraordinarily fast. “Irene, I’m dizzy. I don’t know what’s going on. I can’t stay still. I’m nervous. I’ve been pacing back and forth in my apartment. All I did was take some cough medicine and ever since then my heart is racing. I don’t know what’s going on. Can you help me?”

I kept him on the line with my cell phone while I used my landline to call the nurses station and beg them to go to Apt. 194 to check on my father. I hung up that call and kept Dad occupied on the other while I waited for the nurse to race down to his apartment. In less than two minutes, I heard a knock on my father’s door. I told Dad that a very nice nurse was going to take care of him and that I would talk to him the following day.

Long story short, the Head Nurse called me back to say that it appeared that my father had ingested a considerable amount of cough syrup which caused severe agitation. I had put my father on medication-assist a few days earlier but the staff had not rid my father’s apartment of all his medications – both prescribed and over-the-counter. I was not happy and I felt helpless.

Whether dealing with this type of an emergency from 5 miles away or 500 miles away as I did, such incidents bring undue stresses for which family caregivers are ill-prepared; even my many years working in assisted living and memory care didn’t sufficiently prepare me for all the unexpected caregiving occurrences I faced.

My novel, Requiem for the status quo, addresses the drastic changes experienced by both the patient with dementia, and his or her family caregiver. The make-it-up-as-you-go nature of the disease keeps one hopping and what worked yesterday, or even an hour ago, oftentimes doesn’t work again. Status quo? Not likely, but we do the best we can with what we know and then move on to the next challenge. Even those with appropriate experience lose all confidence when their own loved one is involved – that certainly was the case for me. Did I make mistakes? Big time, but I did the best I could and I’ve learned that when you’ve done your best, you are to be honored because you’ve done your best. Sound simple? Not at all, but you should congratulate yourself nonetheless.

Irene Frances Olson writes from passion and experience. She was her father’s caregiver during his struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, and would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Having previously worked in memory care, she was not new to the disease, nor was her family immune. Irene hopes to make a difference in the lives of others by writing novels that encourage and support those who just might need another person in their corner.



Welcome Author Jacqui Murray

Today, I’m thrilled to help out friend and writer, Jacqui Murray as she welcomes her latest book into the world, Born in a Treacherous Time. She is one of the hardest working and sweetest writers I know.

This book was a labor of love for Jacqui. When she told me she’d worked on it for 22 years, I had to ask why it took so many years. Here was her response:

I kept changing my mind about how to approach the topic. I went from scholarly with footnotes to first person to creative nonfiction to finally, historic fiction. The last felt like the best way to share the excitement and drama of life two million years ago!


Lucy struggles to survive prehistoric Africa

Lucy and her band of early humans struggle to survive in the harsh reality of a world where nature rules, survival is a daily challenge, and a violent band threatens to destroy everything Lucy thinks she understands.

If you like Man vs. Wild, you’ll love this book. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. It will bring that world to life in a way never seen before.

Kirkus Review:

“Murray’s lean prose is steeped in the characters’ brutal worldview, which lends a delightful otherness to the narration …The book’s plot is similar in key ways to other works in the genre, particularly Jean M. Auel’s The Clan of the Cave Bear. However, Murray weaves a taut, compelling narrative, building her story on timeless human concerns of survival, acceptance, and fear of the unknown. Even if readers have a general sense of where the plot is going, they’ll still find the specific twists and revelations to be highly entertaining throughout.

A well-executed tale of early man.”

–Kirkus Reviews

Click here for the entire review

An early reader’s review

Born in a Treacherous Time sheds light on a period of time that gave birth to the human race, and allow us to bear witness to the harshness and tenacious spirit that is uniquely human—to survive and endure. Readers with a thirst for knowledge and who enjoy historical fiction, this is a must read. I am looking forward to reading book 2 when it is published.

“I devoured the book in 2 sittings.”

 –Luciana Cavallaro, author of Servant of the Gods series and webmaster of Eternal Atlantis

 Book information:

Title and author: Born in a Treacherous Time

Series: Book 1 in the Man vs. Nature series

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Cover by: Damonza 

Available at: Kindle


Author bio:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Wild seriesShe is also the author of over a hundred books on integrating technology into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

Social Media contacts: 








The Contract by John Howell & Gwen Plano #RRBC #RWISA

Today I’m honored to help promote a new book co-written by John Howell and Gwen Plano. Both are wonderful writers and fantastic people. Let’s celebrate their release!

The CONTRACT between heaven and earth

By John W. Howell & Gwen M. Plano

Thank you, Jill, for inviting us to join you today. We are so grateful to be featured on your blog. Our book, The CONTRACT, fits in beautifully with your mission of Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings while Enjoying the Journey. Thank you for this opportunity.

Available on Kindle and Paperback

Kindle priced at $0.99 for the introduction.

The CONTRACT is a different story for writers John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano. For either of them, it is their first attempt at co-authorship. After a year of Hurricane Harvey and other challenges, they have created, what they have termed, an inspirational thriller that bridges heaven and earth.

Here is the blurb:

The earth is threatened with a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.

Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance, and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appears to have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumble as Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits for the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.

If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires.


Here is an excerpt.

The headline read: Russian Spies Infiltrate Suburban America, and just below the headline was a photo of Nika. Sarah froze and dropped her glass. She got up, and without picking up the glass, went inside to call her former neighbor.

“H-hi, Donna, it’s Sarah.”

“I’m so glad you called; I’ve been worried about you. Is everything okay?”

“I’m not so sure. I arrived today and have just begun to settle into my new home. I was at the grocery store a little while ago and picked up the local paper. I couldn’t believe what I read. Abram and Nika were identified as Russian spies.”

“It’s horrifying, Sarah. Everyone is shocked. Nika’s photo was on the front page of our newspaper.”

“Here as well. I’m speechless. I can’t believe that members of the Russian intelligence service lived in my house and had God knows what discussions with my ex-husband.”

“And, you have to wonder why, don’t you?”

Authors Bio.

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.  His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The last Circumstances of Childhood is a family life story and launched October 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

John’s other books.

Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell



Gwen had a lengthy career in higher education, and it was there that she published her first book, Beyond Boundaries, for students interested in volunteer work in developing countries. After she retired, she wrote her award-winning memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love.

Gwen lives in Branson, Missouri with her husband.

Gwen’s books

Available on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2wdXsrn