We can fool ourselves into thinking that we have our lives well planned out. It was that way for me, being a product of the 1950/60’s: I’d go to college, meet my prince, get married, have children and live happily ever after. As much as I thought I knew what to expect, my life was riddled with surprises. But the last was the most unexpected, compelling me to write Fifth Child, a non-fiction book about the anguish and consequences of a drug-addicted child, which resulted in parenting her child almost since birth.

My husband and I are cast into a shockingly large demographic. Grandparents raising grandchildren is a growing phenomenon in our country because of our shifting economy, unmarried teen mothers, alcohol abuse and illegal drug use. Close to 10 million grandparents comprise the club. We had already raised four children. Jaime was our third child, and Brady is her son, who began calling us Mommy and Daddy when he was three. Readers may be amazed to find calamity overcoming a so seemingly traditional family. But as events and family history unfold, disturbing pitfalls and unfortunate genetic vulnerability reveal fault lines that can sabotage people from any walk of life.

"The Addict's Mom Sharing Without Shame" Video is so important whether addiction has touched your life or not. It's powerful. Please click on the link below to watch the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHNZbbePiKg

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

“Judge, 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.” Judge’s Commentary*: HAD TO SHARE!

So I entered my book in a Writer's Digest Contest and expected all kinds of negative comments about how I'm not a real writer, etc. OMG! I had to share this! From “Judge, 22nd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards.” Judge’s Commentary*:
FIFTH CHILD is a real ringer – pick it up, and the first thing a reader notices are its so-so cover, production flaws (page numbers on the dedication and other front/back matter pages and on chapter title pages) and overall mundane design. But start reading, you are immediately transported into author Lynne R. Gassel’s situation – waiting at the airport for a flight with her husband Stu and five-year-old grandson Brady, she gets a phone call from a stranger from rehab where her daughter Jaime (mother of Brady) is supposedly staying– and she’s thinking, why bother me now? What follows unleashes an all-too-believable thread of events that takes the reader by surprise and might very well leave one in tears.
This and the rest of the FIFTH CHILD are a testament to author Gassel’s simple yet deceptively powerful writing style. The finely structured story weaves back and forth between the challenges faced by grandparents in their 60s; Jaime’s constant struggle with addiction and relapse; and the lively antics of Brady, whose quotes are cleverly placed at the beginning of each chapter. The author’s insight and lack of pretense cuts right to the heart of things, aided by her fine eye for characterization and dialogue. Especially poignant is the ending when one finds out the real truth about Jaime.
While this is a book best read with a box of Kleenex, it offers understanding to those with a limited knowledge of addiction and reasons why grandparents become "second time around" parents. It also offers hope.