Forensic Psychiatrist Reviews His Name Was Ben

In a private e-mail to me this reviewer, real name changed by the reviewer, wrote that he made a mention about Sara’s brother(with schizophrenia) in the review. He felt he needed to make the statement here as he’s a “psychiatrist in his day job” and advocates to change the stigma of mental health. At the end of the review I commented (see below).
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
His Name Was Ben is a sensitively written, well-characterised story about the effects of living with potentially terminal illness. It begins with the protagonist, Sara, a woman undergoing treatment for advanced breast cancer, receiving an invitation to participate in a trial for an experimental, possibly life-saving treatment. For Sara, this could be the last throw of the dice and her underlying anxieties are explored with great empathy. In her doctor’s waiting room, she sees, and is instantly drawn to Ben, a fellow patient, and what follows is the story of their developing relationship.At times gentle, at others angry and occasionally sensual, but never less than compelling, this is a very well-written book; in spite of the ostensibly bleak subject matter, I devoured this in a couple of sittings. Clearly, Mahurin knows how to craft a narrative and I’d frequently find myself wanting to read ‘just another chapter’ long after I should have turned in for the night. Partly, this is down to the skilful way she captures the tensions and resolutions of a burgeoning romance but she also introduces intriguing subplots about Ben and Sara’s respective backgrounds. Another strength lies in the believable characters. Sara’s mother, in particular, is brilliantly drawn; initially an all-too recognisable grotesque, she evolves into something much more rounded as the book progresses.SPOILER?: I do, unfortunately, have one reservation about the book and it revolves around the depiction of Sara’s brother. He’s identified early on as a sufferer of schizophrenia and then viewed only through the prism of others perspective of him. Eventually, it becomes clear why Sara harbours such conflicted feelings towards him but until this revelation, it just feels like more stigma and the views jar a little in an otherwise sympathetic character. (I should perhaps declare an interest here. In my day job, I work in forensic mental health and I see combating stigma as part of my responsibility. Schizophrenia is as much a disease as the illnesses which effect the characters in this book and we need parity between mental and physical health. This case is somewhat different as the brother’s character flaws are presumably independent of his condition but it’s never quite clear that clear that Sara sees it like that).Mahurin is particularly skilled at portraying the mixture of doubt and potentially futile hope her characters struggle with. According to her bio, the author is a Nurse Practitioner, and she’s channelled her experiences into producing a powerful and believable story.
Your initial post: 25 Oct 2014 16:12:27 BDT
Thank you, Etienne Hannratty, for reading my book and this very thoughtful review. I’m grateful for your feedback.As you’ve expressed your concern about the stigma of schizophrenia, please let me address this as well. The story line was written from the perspectives of the characters, some drawn on real conversations and others advanced through fiction. The point you make is very significant and important. I also write about and try to lift stigma, about mental illness, about preference (my first book centered around homophobia, anti-sematism, and racism) etc. As the story progresses and Sara gains some distance from her own traumatized past, she comes to realize and expresses to Ben, “He’s ill…” (referring to her brother) and further on the conversations about the brother being on medications and doing well is brought into the story, showing I concur with you that schizophrenia is as much a disease as the illnesses… To have written this any other way would not have reflected the character accurately and honestly.
OTHER RECENT REVIEWS:
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story of Two Bonafide Super Heroes, October 25, 2014
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
In this world of too many questionable, and even fallen, heroes, what a pleasure it is to discover two genuine heroes, even if they do only live in the pages of a book. In this case, however, the champions are real because His Name Was Ben by award-winning and best-selling author Paulette Mahurin is based on a true story. Once again, Mahurin has embraced a difficult, an uncomfortable topic, which seems her modus operandi as an author, an approach from which many authors shy away, especially when so new to the literary world. Check out her critically acclaimed first novel The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap to test the veracity of my assertion.Ben and Sara, both receiving treatment for end-stage cancer by the same oncologist, are the stars of this impeccably-written and easy-to-read novel of love and of discovery of the joy and fulfillment available in living in the moment, which, as Mahurin reminds us, is all we are promised anyway. Despite the specter of death overhanging them, Ben and Sara choose to live each moment of their remaining days, and the path they choose for their shared journey is a story that will keep the reader transfixed and rooting for these two indomitable people. This was just the right book for me to read at this time in my life because it nudged me toward counting my blessings rather than lamenting my losses. It is a lesson in attitude adjustment, in embracing a healthier, a more generous and compassionate perspective. It is ultimately a lesson of redemption found through love.I cannot leave this page without writing more about Paulette Mahurin. I don’t know her personally. I wish I did. I only know her through our mutual cyber-connection as authors of books. But I don’t mind saying that I am in awe of her gallantry, as a writer, and as a person. She forges ahead in her writing without a hitch—there are no awkward pauses for the right word, the logical consequence, the best concept, all of which are telltale signs of an author unsure of her topic, or harboring uncertainties about it, or even prejudices against it. If her work was lacking wisdom, it would be easy to think her an innocent, for her consciousness seems childlike in that it has avoided being afflicted by prejudice and other cruelties of the adult world. But far from innocent, I’m sure she is. I suspect that instead, her soul and heart have been purified by the fires of her own life, and of those others for whom she cares so deeply. Many of her most precious loved-ones are animals, dogs specifically—attested to by the fact that the profits from His Name Was Ben go directly to the rescuing of dogs from kill shelters and other rescue efforts. Just think, your purchase of this remarkable book will save the life of a dog. That is a blessing worth counting.Other recent reviews:

 

5.0 out of 5 stars An Emotional Story of Fight with Cancer., October 27, 2014
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
This is the story of Sara, a nurse practitioner, who is also undergoing treatment for Cancer. She meets Ben, a lawyer working for NASA, at the cancer hospital. She gets attracted to him even though she guesses him also having cancer. They become friends and share the stories of their families. They find out that besides cancer they have one more thing in common, disturbed childhood. They try to help each other and get so emotionally and physically attached to each other within few days that they decide to marry even when they knew that they may be having only a few months to live. For them living the life, whatever was left of it, was important than worrying over the inevitable. The story of both cancer patients and their disturbed childhood is so full of emotions and so well presented that you want Ben to live somehow miraculously as you read the book, even though the book title ‘His name was Ben’ keeps you telling that he will not survive in the end. I liked reading this emotional story and recommend reading it to anyone for an inspiration to seek and find the happiness in life even if you are facing any kind of troubles with life.
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to read schmaltzy love stories, this is not for you, October 27, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
If you want to read schmaltzy love stories, this is not for you.If you want to read about how to start living, when you are dying, then Paulette Mahurin’s His Name was Ben, is just the story for you.While death is ever present in the book, it’s treated very maturely and the book is a love story of two strong people who do not fill their lives with self pity, rather they seize the moment and start loving.

And start living.

Strongly recommended. Mahurin is an author to watch out for.

Her stories are real, different and immerse you in their depth.

 

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and Sensitive, October 27, 2014
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
I stayed up late reading about two very intriguing characters. It was worth it, on so many levels! Gorgeous Ben and curious Sara meet in the waiting room of a doctor who’s a cancer specialist. They’re attracted to one another in the midst of their own personal traumas. Their amazing relationship gave me a whole new appreciation for the various types of challenges and dimensions two very different types of cancer can pose for those who struggle with them. I’ve become sensitized to the struggles of cancer patients both psychologically and physically after reading the descriptions that Mahurin puts forth in this beautiful story. She’s a talented writer who can weave fact with fiction to pull the reader along in just the right way. The author is a nurse practitioner and works with women who have cancer. She knows the range of treatments explored in this novel as well as the social, physical and psychological struggles of those who confront the disease. She’s done a masterful job of making a very sober topic come to life in a sensitive and compelling manner. The love story between Ben and Sara added a wonderful dimension to Mahurin’s complex exploration of a very delicate topic. It’s also a tear jerker (like another popular novel out just now) but in a good way. If you liked The Fault in our Stars, you’ll also come to love His Name was Ben. Loved it!
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing and Intriguing love story, October 28, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
This is an intriguing romance novel full of hope and love. It is dear, sweet, tender love story about real issues that touch people’s lives.

It is a blessing to see that there are still doctors out there passionate about their patients and their treatment. Having been in the opposite situation many times, I too can relate to such a kind and caring doctor, and what a difference it makes.

I love how in spite of the seriousness of her condition, Sara is able to see the light and continue to find interest and joy in ordinary things like dating. I love how Ben is able to fully love Sara through and through inside and out despite what she sees as disfigurement from a double mastectomy.

Ben and Sara both found it in their hearts to love one another fully and to give freely of themselves to one another despite the fact that they were both dealing with physical, mental, and spiritual pain of their own. In doing so, they helped one another through some of the hardest times life had to offer.

This book reminds us to live every moment to the fullest, as if it is our last. It also reminds us to love unconditionally. Also, “Man’s best Friend”, holds true even through this book as Tazzie captures the hearts of the readers.

5.0 out of 5 stars Tazzie the Rottweiler brought a sweet note of unconditional love to this beautiful story, October 28, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
A tender tale about living in the moment when it looks as though all the sand is swiftly running from the hourglass. Tazzie the Rottweiler brought a sweet note of unconditional love to this beautiful story. Reading Sara’s experiences touched me on a personal level as well. I recommend.
Posted in HIS NAME WAS BEN, REVIEWS, REVIEWS FOR HIS NAME WAS BEN | 16 Comments

A reminder of life’s fragile nature and the luck we’ve been given to be alive!

5.0 out of 5 stars A reminder of life’s fragile nature and the luck we’ve been given to be alive!, October 22, 2014
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
Ms Mahurin is developing quite a reputation for thoughtfully tackling subjects most writer would not touch. And she does it with extraordinary compassion, imbuing her characters with sometimes disturbing reality, truth and perceptivness as she makes the reader’s heart bleed (in the case of …Ben) and cheer (….Mildred Dunlap) all the while translating pain into strength and dignity.It is a gift that many authors only play at. You know the ones. It’s something about authenticity and wisdom. Ms Mahurin has it. Along with a beautiful and lyrical ability to spin her tale with intelligence and pristine editing.I felt conected to Sara and Ben so much that I couldn’t stop the tears. The book is based on real people and I would so love to find out how “Sarah” is making out today. BTW, I loved the delivery in the ending…straight forward and dignified, creating all the more emotion by avoiding the overwrought and obvious. Just perfect.

5.0 out of 5 stars … of book I normally read but I am very pleased that I took the time to do just that, October 24, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
I’ll be honest to start – this isn’t the kind of book I normally read but I am very pleased that I took the time to do just that.The book is a love story but so different to the usual slush that (in my professional capacity) I read only so far because I can’t finish them. No so this one and the book stayed with me long after the last page. I will not spoil the story by giving it away but here are two people who really deserve each other; both have major psychological issues who, because they are together – selflessly (the essence of real love), work through them.There are always minor niggles with a book but they really are too small to mention and they are down to us each having a different writing style and the cultural differences between the English speaking world. Vive la difference is what I would say.A rich book with strong characters and I admit to a dampness in the corner of the eye as I finished the book. No, not a tear, not me ;)

5.0 out of 5 stars Touching and heartfelt!, October 24, 2014
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
Paulette Mahurin’s Ben is a wonderful novel. The story of Sara, Ben and her dog, Tazzie started off sad and tragic, but it quickly changed. Imagine, if you will, being attracted to a man while you were fighting the big C. That the kind of story Mahurin has written. From the get go, I was drawn into the story and the lives of these unfortunate people who were both fighting cancer. The author left nothing to chance but takes you on a journey of life’s unfortunate circumstances, which in the end we cannot change, but we must learn to accept that which is inevitable. This is a wonderful story about living, loving and dying, with the underlying theme of hope—where there’s life, there’s always hope. Enjoy!
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Deeply Touching Story of Love and Reconciliation, October 25, 2014
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
I have never read such a deeply emotional and touching book. The author perfectly weaves a story of true love of two people undaunted by their fight with cancer, to make the most of the time they have together. Sad but ultimately uplifting in the triumph of the human spirit, this book has my highest recommendation. A+
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, October 26, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
This book was very deep and heart wrenching yet filled with a lot of hope. I was reminded of times that I had forgotten about and it got painful to read at times (the writing was amazing, the subject matter just hit me hard). We meet two great people in Sarah and Ben and the author does a great job taking us through their journey. Cancer is a very painful subject to write about and it’s sometimes hard to nail it but it was nailed right here. A great book and worthy of the five stars that I’ve given it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Bittersweet and moving!, October 26, 2014
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
This memorable romance involves two cancer survivors in their fifties; Ben and Sara, who find their own personal baggage more daunting than dealing with their disease. Sara lives alone, but has a true friend named Ellen and an awesome rescue dog called Tazzie. Sara finds the courage to approach a man called Ben who she meets at her doctor’s clinic. What unfolds is lovely, meandering tale about two soul-mates, who, though being dealt a bad hand in life, learn that life is what you make it and relish every minute together. I felt this was a timely novel which advocates that each day is precious and that true love must neither be wasted nor overlooked. The writing was crisp and vivid, bringing to life the entirety of not only the main character’s emotions and struggles, but the landscape of Southern California and particularly Ojai, nestled near Santa Barbara. This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time and will ponder its message often in future days. Highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars is also a love song and powerfully shows us the magic and healing …, October 26, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
I just finished reading ‘His Name Was Ben’, by Paulette Mahurin. The story, touching on the strength one needs in dealing with Cancer, is also a love song and powerfully shows us the magic and healing of real love. I would recommend this novel to anyone wanting not only a great read but a little insight into perhaps how to better deal with and be at peace with some of the tougher aspects of being human. Very nicely done.
From Amazon UK:
5.0 out of 5 stars A VERY MOVING WEEPIE, 25 Oct 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
I’M NOT NORMALLY A READER OF WEEPIES, BUT THE MORE I READ THIS BOOK ABOUT THE LOVE AFFAIR OF TWO CANCER PATIENTS, THE MORE ENGROSSED I BECAME. BEING A MAN, I CAN ONLY IMAGINE A WOMAN GOES THROUGH FROM A DOUBLE MASTECTOMY, BUT TO OVERCOME THIS AND TO FIND LOVE WITH BEN, WAS A TRIUMPH OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT. ALONG THE WAY WE GET TO MEET MEMBER’S OF SARA’S LESS THAN PERFECT FAMILY, WHICH HELPS THE STORY MOVE ALONG. LOVED THE DOG TAZZIE, WHO ALSO HELPS BRING THIS STORY TOGETHER. NEVER CORNY, OR SOPPY, THIS BOOK MOVED ME PROFOUNDLY, AND IF I’D BEEN ON MY OWN AT THE END, I MIGHT HAVE EVEN SHED A TEAR OR TWO.
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning love story, 26 Oct 2014
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it so easy to read, so much so that I read it in one go! I loved Sara and her compassion and her tolerance of her mother, I loved her strength and her vulnerability and her courage to pursue love! The love interest Ben was sweet. I wanted to kick their parents’ asses! Ellen was great. And Tazzie was so cute! It made me wish I had a dog! Overall, it was a great read and was believable and then I remembered it was based on a true story which only made the story even more authentic and enjoyable. A must read!
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Miracles happen even if they are only in your mind and heart

I received this from Fran Lewis (her bio at the end of the review) this morning. It’s long, has spoilers, and is an honor to receive from this highly acclaimed woman. I’m deeply grateful for this.

His Name Was Ben: Paulette Mahurin

Life carries with it many obstacles, changes and roadblocks that are often insurmountable to overcome. Finding someone to share your inner most thoughts, wishes and desires with can take more than a lifetime or happen just by chance. The circle of life has no beginning or end depending on your outlook. But, what happens when you are thrown a serious curve ball that will send you into a downward spiral and falling into a chasm that you might never come out of? Love is defined as a profoundly, tender, passionate affection for another person according to Dictionary.com. The love of a parent for a child is different than the love of husband for his wife. Author Paulette Mahurin takes the reader inside the hearts, minds, fears, insecurities and hopes of two special people: Sara Phillips and Ben Gottlieb whose time on this earth might be limited but whose zest for life will live on forever.

Sara and Ben meet in a very different way. Both are cancer patients under the care of a wonderful doctor named Zimmerman. A special study and program has been created to help terminal patients find a possible way to slow down the illness or if lucky go into remission. This is their story and your will hear their words, understand their hopes and fears and realize that not everything is always Happily Ever After but sometimes you can have that Cinderella Love and Wedding!

Sara and Ben start off on a rocky path as Sara’s best friend Ellen encourages her to make the first move. Well, she did copy his phone number while he was filling out the paperwork for the study. How ingenious is that! First impressions made over the phone are not always the best but Sara forges ahead and manages to convince Ben to meet her. But, let’s not forget the other real star of the novel: Tazzie the Rottweiler who will steal your heart and who is Sara’s mainstay or security dog keeping her centered and safe.

Sara was a nurse practitioner diagnosed with breast cancer, the aggressive type. Just hearing the words can rip a person apart and the treatment alone plus the radical surgery changed her life forever but not her will to live and her perspective to find real love. Sara might have this horrific illness but what is even more compelling are the dreams that she shares with readers and the knowledge that something happened to her that her mother did not prevent although she tried. A brother that is mentally ill and his nightly trips into his sister’s room are the center of her nightmares and dreams. But, where was anyone to comfort her and why did her mother hide the truth for so long. With her father ill having two heart attacks not privileged to a lot of what she was going through, a mother who is critical, hard to get along with, super cold and unyielding, Sara only has her special dog and Ellen to comfort her when things get tough and they do. But, she is not the only one with a family that is dysfunctional and cold. When getting to know Ben the author allows readers to understand why he is distant from an abusive father and a mother who does not come to his aide. With his brother Michael, a doctor and his sister-in-law Candace Ben have all the support he needs until Sara.

Good insurance is great and access to the best doctors even better when a new research program creating a new trial drugs for this type of cancer. Both seriously ill but his quite grave as Sara experiences some changes allowing her to want more than just a passing friendship with Ben and igniting her innermost woman! The object of her desires Ben.

Things progress in a different way after Sara fails to meet Ben when in an accident before their first meeting. But, barriers are lifted and their friendship blooms and the author brings to light that living everyday and loving life is what keeps them both centered and going. Never yielding to their illnesses, going for treatment we experience with Sara the up’s, down’s failures and successes that both she and Ben experience. As their honesty with each other broadens and they promise to be “ honest but sensitive, and stay open to conversation,” the dam bursts, their love can bloom and an amazing world opens up for them even for just a short time.

Ben’s parents live by the liquor bottle; Sara grew up with a mother that enjoyed being in control critical, cold and a brother who was schizophrenic and an ex-husband that made things worse. Sara realized that cancer might be an obstacle she might or might not overcome but being with Ben just might negate all the rest.

This is a story about relationships past and present. Two people that find love embrace it and work out their problems in order to explore life together. As you read more you will learn just what both Sara and Ben experience when going through the many medical tests, shots and treatments and understand why Pancreatic Cancer is so deadly the toll it took on his body and the reason why more research and funding is needed.

Miracles happen even if they are only in your mind and heart. Is there such a thing as a miracle cure? One can only hope that there will be someday. The new treatment is valuable but just how much time does it give them both?

When the harsh realities set in Sara and Ben decide to take the next step. A love story that transcends all time, place and allows readers to know just how precious life is and to what lengths some will go to in order to live. Ben learns to trust Sara and Sara learn to open up to Ben. But, will they share their pasts and understand and come to grips it? When Sara confronts her mother about Jack what happens will surprise readers and help them understand her actions. When Ben and Sara’s father have a talk tears will come to your eyes as this wonderful young man is accepted into this family and her father takes a step that most would not. Can she talk to her father and tell him about Jack? Is he really that ill or will the truth make him stronger?

A final diagnosis that sets a chain of events in motion that will give both Sara and Ben a special time together to enjoy the outdoors, Tazzie and watch Orion Twinkle. An ending that was so touching, sad, heartfelt and endearing and a reviewer who used up two boxes of tissues just to finish reading the last chapter.

HIS NAME WAS BEN! The impact on Sara’s life will stay with her forever. The love of this man will never die as she remembers their life together, looks at Orion and remembers his poem that you can read on page 223. Friendships, loyalties, trust, hope, unity, family doubts and relationships are just some of the issues that this book addresses. Author Paulette Mahurin once again created a story so profound, compelling and honest that many will learn from reading it, others will regain some hope and readers will come away understanding the true meaning of LOVE OF LIFE!

Fran Lewis: reviewer

Fran Lewis

Reviewer Fran Lewis: Fran worked in the NYC Public Schools as the Reading and Writing Staff Developer for over 36 years. She has three masters degrees and a PD in Supervision and Administration. Currently. She is a member of Who’s Who of America’s Teachers and Who’s Who of America’s Executives from Cambridge. In addition, she is the author of three children’s books and a fourth Alzheimer’s book is Memories are Precious: Alzheimer’s Journey: Ruth’s story in honor of her mom. Fran hopes to create more awareness for a cure of Alzheimer.
She was also the musical director for shows in her school and ran the school’s newspaper. Fran writes reviews for authors upon request and for several other sites. You can read some of my reviews on Ezine.com and on ijustfinished under the name Gabina. Follow Here To Listen to Fran’s Radio Show and Here

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A Manly Man ~ truly

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap:

This reminds me of Ben and Sara, the couple I worked with way back the, the couple who are the subject of my new book, the couple who inspired me to laugh in the face of devastation and be inspired as long as my heart beats and my lungs will with oxygen. This is a two minute and forty-two second video that will forever live in your heart. One act of kindness, one moment of deep inspiration, one thing seen through the eyes of a child exploring the miracles that abound, and our lives are never the same. I love Huntie, who I am reblogging from. If you stop by and meet her, you’ll love her as well.

Originally posted on Chasing Rabbit Holes:

I saw this and had to share….

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His Name Was Ben and Her Name is Paulette Mahurin

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap:

My sweet new cyber sister, Lorna, has done (& edited, wink wink) and interview with me and my new book, His Name Was Ben. She, herself, is a great writer, has two books out, and has a blog that’s one of my favorites. She’s a gifted comic and woman.

Originally posted on Lorna's Voice:

You're not gonna want to miss a word of what I'm hearing!

You’re not gonna want to miss a word of what I’m hearing!

Are you ready for another dizzy blonde interview with an accomplished author-blogger?

Too bad. I know you’re already hooked because of my dizzy blondeness and her literary famosity.

A mixture like ours is kersplosive…in a good way.

Hang on! This is no ordinary blah-blah interview.

Hang on! This is no ordinary blah-blah fall-asleep-in-your-chair interview.

I kept this interview short because Paulette is one busy person. Actually, she’s more like three busy people. Just take a gander (look) at her part of her bio:

Semi-retired, she continues to work part-time as a Nurse Practitioner in Ventura County. When she’s not writing, she does pro-bono consultation work with women with cancer, works in the Westminister Free Clinic as a volunteer provider, volunteers as a mediator in the Ventura County Courthouse for small claims cases, and involves herself, along with her husband, in dog rescue.

And she has a

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The Wait is Over! “Never Turn Back” is Never Turning Back!

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap:

I love this author’s writing, blogsite, big heart, and now her second book is out and it’s a great read. Have a hop over to her site to check it out.

Originally posted on Lorna's Voice:

Yeah, I'm that happy. Hope you will be, too!

Yeah, I’m that happy. Hope you will be, too!

I’ve been talking about this novel for a long time.

The wait is finally over.

The Kindle version of Never Turn Back is available NOW.

Yes, you heard me. NOW.

If you want to know a bit about the book, check out the new page I put up on this blog dedicated to the book.

Hover your cursor over the picture of the book on the side bar, and you’ll be linked to the Amazon page.

Aren’t I quite the slick marketer?

Now the hard part begins (at least for me). Marketing the book while I’m getting ready to move across the country.

Marketing is hard enough for a highly sensitive person like me. Add the stress of a move, and, well, I’m about as glued together as runny oatmeal.

Ever feel like this? Then you know how I feel.

Ever feel like this? Then you know how I feel.

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His Name Was Ben Amazon Rank: #8 Best Seller Kindle Store

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A huge thank you to everyone who has purchased the book, written a review, or spread the word about this book. The first check was mailed to help rescue dogs.

5.0 out of 5 stars When “What If” Becomes “Why Not”, October 12, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
The good news is feeling an instant chemistry with the handsome man sitting next to you in a waiting room. The bad news is that the waiting room is in a hospital and both of you are oncology patients with uncertain futures. Such is the premise of author Paulette Mahurin’s compelling and bittersweet new novel, “His Name Was Ben.” The storyline strikes a particularly poignant chord with me these days as one of my dearest friends is currently going through her second bout with cancer. “I can get through all the chemo, the nausea, the fatigue, and wearing wigs,” she told me the first time, “if it means I’ll be done with all of it by this time next year.” Unfortunately, such was not the case. “I completely trust my doctors,” she said a few weeks ago, “but frankly this whole chemo thing is really getting old.” Mahurin’s likable protagonist, Sara, aptly captures the angst of a beautiful and accomplished woman who is as stressed about dying as she is about living, specifically if “living” not only involves dealing with a cruelly dysfunctional family but also an understandable reluctance to actively re-enter the dating pool if it means revealing to prospective dates that her body is no longer “whole.” For women who are still single or divorced, a double mastectomy is a death sentence in and of itself, especially if having breasts is equated with society’s definition of sexuality and desirability. Yes, that handsome man in the waiting room was exciting enough for Sara to surreptitiously note his name and phone number but can she muster the courage to actually call him and introduce herself? It’s her best friend, Ellen, who pushes Sara to take a chance, for certainly Fate has put “Ben” in Sara’s orbit for a reason. Ben, however, is as wary of romantic encounters as Sara. When their first “date” channels “An Affair To Remember” and Sara fails to show up, it’s little wonder that Ben assumes he has been set up for some kind of sick joke and that his caller was never serious. The fragile relationship that starts to unfold will have readers reaching for Kleenex on more than one occasion. Mahurin’s expertise as a nurse practitioner makes every scene resonate with accuracy, as does her knowledge of Southern California and the Central Coast which serve as the backdrop for the story. And what book isn’t made all the better with the presence of a dog – Taz – who teaches the bipeds a thing or two about unconditional love and the joys of living in the moment instead of apologizing for the past or fearing for the future. (Profits from Mahurin’s books go to help rescue dogs.) The story is also not without villains in the form of Sara and Ben’s respective family members who are themselves among the walking wounded that can only react to life’s disappointments with vitriolic anger, self-loathing, and accusations that loved ones were obviously predisposed to contract diseases because of things they did – or didn’t – do. A first-rate read from a first-rate author whose wordsmithing I admire and whose passion for storytelling comes deeply from the heart and soul.
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it! – and this very special book will stay in your heart for a very long time., October 21, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
An extremely brave subject to tackle, but done with dignity, compassion and style. This book is so well-observed that it is impossible not to be able to relate to it on so many different levels even without having experienced the terrifying subject matter itself.

The story centres around two people who are facing the unthinkable and whisks you away on an emotional roller-coaster which will have you laughing and crying but most importantly routing for the pair who show us what life is really all about.

This book and author really deserves some serious attention and I so hope that it receives it. In the mean time, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Read it! – and it will stay in your heart for a very long time.

5.0 out of 5 stars Love Speaks Loudest, October 20, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
Mahurin’s talent is her ability to be realistic and not pull any punches without getting lost in the drama and drowning the reader. When a couple spend the short time they have together trying to tackle the beginning of love and the end of life, at the same time, sometimes in the same day, it can seem surreal. It would be easy to overwhelm the reader with pain and sorrow instead of showing them that real people still live real lives under horrendous circumstances.

There’s little I can add to the details since the other lengthy reviews cover so many aspects of the book. It’s really necessary to leave some surprises for the reader. The key word in some of the other reviews is fictionalized. This work is based on a true story, which makes it all the more poignant. If you ever wanted to really walk in someone else’s shoes, Mahurin does an excellent job of taking her readers on that journey.

Cancer tears down many things when it ravages lives, but for this couple love speaks loudest. For them, the risks are worth the challenges because there are no guarantees of another chance to do even the mundane things of daily life. They don’t have the luxury of avoiding facing their mortality. They can’t live in denial for years either. They have a choice, live today, in the present, or miss what may be the last chance to live fully.

Most importantly, they love enough to let go and respect the other person’s wishes. There’s a wonderful lesson in there for all of us who will inevitably face final decisions with loved ones, regardless of the cause.

At my request, Ms. Mahurin provided a copy to me to review. I read and reviewed her other book and when I saw this book, I asked to read and review it. I have to say her work always surpasses my highest hopes and still improves. I’m looking forward to reading more by Mahurin.

5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read, October 15, 2014
By
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
His Name Was Ben by Paulette Mahurin 4.5 Stars His Name Was Ben is an extremely moving story about two cancer sufferers who meet through their illness and form a relationship. It does read like an adult version of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, which is still fresh in my mind and lost the book half a star for originality. Written with compassion this book does not make light of the horrors of the disease, it is heartfelt and though not gory, it does cover the less than pleasant emotional and physical suffering patients go through. This story serves as a reminder to everyone that tomorrow, even an hour from now, is not guaranteed for any of us and that we should live while we are alive no matter our circumstances. I came away from the read feeling enriched and positive even though the book covers a very sad and scary subject. Paulette Mahurin is without doubt a fantastic writer, I listened to this story while doing the garden and was so immersed in the book that I covered three days worth of trimming, weeding and mowing in one day, and didn’t stop until the book was finished! This is a read that I recommend to everyone, whatever your preferred genre, its compelling, insightful, written with empathy and understanding and is a must read for all. Copy supplied for review
5.0 out of 5 stars Very poignant and touching., October 12, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
I loved how the two main characters met though it was probably for the worst reasons. There’s probably a lot better places to meet someone special than at an oncologists office though Sara and Ben are perfect for one another. They both come from dysfunctional families and have managed to make the best of it through the years. Cancer is a very insidious disease and it instantly brings up fearful images for most. I don’t know how to describe it otherwise and it’s central to the story line. In many places I wanted to cry.
4.0 out of 5 stars Can love conquer cancer?, October 16, 2014
By
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
Stage four breast cancer has Sara Phillips planning an exit strategy from life when an experimental drug protocol pulls her back from the brink of death. As she grabs onto the thread of hope and struggles with her damaged self image, a chance encounter in the oncologist’s waiting room brings her in touch with a handsome stranger who rekindles the woman in Sara she thought was gone. Sara peeks at his new-patient form, learns the man’s name is Ben, and memorizes his phone number. Newly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Ben is told his life may end in a few months. In the face of death and against all odds, the two fall in love and grab on to life.”His Name Was Ben” is author Paulette Mahurin’s fictionalized account of the story of two real people who faced the reality of cancer and chose to live in love, no matter how much time they had. Together, they face the demons of their dysfunctional families and gain peace of mind.This poignant story offers readers the opportunity to experience the roller coaster of emotions surrounding cancer, to see how love can replace despair and how caring for someone else can help ease one’s own pain.”His Name Was Ben” is relevant for anyone who has faced a life-threatening illness, while carrying an important message of love and hope for all readers.

5.0 out of 5 stars Still Batting 1000!, October 18, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
I read Ms. Mahurin’s first book, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, giving it a 5 star review, highly impressed with her grasp of character under duress. His Name Was Ben goes farther and deeper, dealing with the often terrifying concept of personal mortality, the extinction of life, while still trying to live with both positive and negative relationships, memories and the detritus of everyday living. Add to that, the very poweful desire to live each moment better and create something new, powerful, loving and lasting while the Grim Reaper is constantly in the foreground, these make for great writing on Ms. Mahurin’s part.I won’t go into the storyline, as that has been stated elsewhere in these reviews. But her handling of the characters’ relationships with parents, siblings and friends, is especially poignant and very real. She draws us in, making us feel and understand what the two protagonists are going through, but also revealing the good and bad parts of the background players, each of whom contributes much to the story.As with her first book, this one cries out for a good film script!

 

5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, October 20, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
This isn’t my usual genre that I read but I was gripped from the first chapter. I was rooting for Sara from the start. Such a well written and honest work! I was gripped and as the tale unfolded I couldn’t stop. The romantic in me really wished and wished for what would be a happy ending and I feel the way in which the author told the story left me satisfied, yet emotionally drained. It’s rare to find a story that you are so invested and that’s so well and sensitively written that can make someone connect and feel such emotion. I felt like I was with Sara and Ben every step of the way, experiencing all the ups and downs that the circumstances brought. What else can I say but wow!
Posted in AMAZON, AMAZON RANKING, HIS NAME WAS BEN, REVIEWS FOR HIS NAME WAS BEN | 36 Comments

ROTTIE TAZZIE MADE IT TO A READER’S REVIEW

For those of you have been following my blog for a while you know that it was the loss of my 15+ year old rottweiler, one of the great loves of my life, that inspired me to donate all profits from my first book to the first and only no-kill shelter in Ventura County ( http://www.santapaulaarc.org/). The profits from His Name Was Ben are going to Canine Adoption Rescue League ( http://carldogs.org/)

Photo on 2010-12-23 at 19.53

Portrait I painted of Tazzie when she was a teenager. She was a purebred rottie sold through a pet store to a couple who had her a month or two and brought her to a kill shelter when she was hit by a truck and broke her femur. It was an aligned fracture, easy to fix, and so me the nurse went to walk dogs one day and brought her home. That leg never bothered her into the ripe old age of 15+. She’s a prominent character in my new book, His Name Was Ben. A special homage to one of the great loves of my life.

Press article about my relationship with Tazzie and profits to dogs:
http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/sep/08/ojai-authors-historical-novel-teaches-tolerance/

5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming Love Story with a Dog!!! Fantastic!, October 10, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
His Name was Ben by Paulette Mahurin surprised me only because I am not easily drawn to stories about illness, especially cancer patients. I guess they touch a little too close to home for me so, my tendency is to run in the other direction. I didn’t do that this time. The story drew me in right away as we are introduced to Sara and her beloved Rottweiler, Tazzie. We discover that Sara has been treated for breast cancer and is being accepted into a new and promising study by her oncologist, Dr. Zimmerman. While in the waiting room she sees Ben, another patient (pancreatic) and is immediately attracted to him in spite of their unconventional circumstances. She memorizes Ben’s phone number as he fills out his information form and eventually gets the courage to call him. Sara talks all of this over with her best friend, Ellen, just as the author also gives us glimpses into Sara’s home life (her mother is a grouse and her brother is a schizophrenic) The good news for the reader is that Sara, Ellen and Ben are extremely likable characters so as the story continues we can’t help but sympathize with them and the situation at hand. I got a particular kick out of Sara’s increasing libido as her cancer drugs were working! There were even a few moments where it got a little racy ~ go Sara! The story is told with great compassion and authenticity as medical information is revealed just as if it were real life. (Mahurin is a nurse and it shows in her writing)
But, this isn’t a typical love store between two cancer patients. There is another layer here that really made the book stand out and capture my heart. The awesome inclusion of the dog, Tazzie buffers all of the difficult things that Sara and Ben must deal with. Near the beginning of the story, Mahurin says that: “Sara’s life had been empty until she got a dog.” Indeed it was! Tazzie reigns throughout this narrative as great companion and stress reliever, offering all the things that dogs do: unconditional love, support, sympathy companionship. As Sara and Ben traverse the mountain before them: the difficulties with their imperfect families, the bleakness of serious illness, the struggles of a new relationship, Tazzie is there urging them on in her own way. The relationship between human beings with each other and humans with animals is one that this author knows well. I loved this story and so will you!
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, October 11, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
I have read others’ reviews of this endearing story and I have nothing by way of a useful review to add regarding the story itself or the writing. I agree with what others have said in theirs. However, . . . .What I would like to acknowledge is the wonderful courage and amazing heart possessed by this story’s author. In her inimitable down-to-Earth style, in her unique way, Paulette tells, not just her own or another’s story, but generically each of our own stories too, demonstrating to us how it is possible to escape the self-generated shackles, the self-protective illusions in our minds, to ignite and stoke our true potential for love, enabling us to create our own lives, moment by precious moment, as we live them.

Posted in DOGS & CATS, HIS NAME WAS BEN, REVIEWS, REVIEWS FOR HIS NAME WAS BEN | 44 Comments

CANINE ADOPTION RESCUE LEAGUE

Canine Adoption and Rescue League – CARL will benefit from profits of His Name Was Ben. My husband and I have been volunteers with this organization since its inceptions many years ago. It is the largest dog rescue non-profit in Ventura County with its own kennel. They have saved hundreds of dog’s lives through the years and are the group that runs the annual Ventura County Pooch Parade. They need help with funds, volunteers, and supplies for dogs (food, etc.). They are a terrific organization. Have a stop over there and feel free to give them a like. Tell them Terry & Paulette sent you.

Read a book. Save a life.

CARL’S FACEBOOK PAGE: https://www.facebook.com/CARLdogs

CARL’S WEBSITE: http://carldogs.org/

All profits from my first book, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, are going to http://sparcsaveslives.org/  They are the first and only no-kill shelter in Ventura County, CA.

Posted in ABOUT THE BOOK, DOGS NEED HOME, DOGS RESCUED, HIS NAME WAS BEN | 18 Comments

Thank you J.K. Bevill – Lost Creek Publishing

Kerry Bevill’s blog went silent a few months back but we stayed in touch. He continues to be a wonderfully giving, supportive friend. For all of us who know and appreciate how giving and generous he was in sharing and reblogging I wanted to share this and give a special shout out to Kerry. Thank you so much. Today a dog will be wagging because of you.

5.0 out of 5 stars There is a list, a very short list, …, October 8, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
There is a list, a very short list, of books that I have read non-stop from cover to cover. The first, and the one that still haunts me, is Ernest Hemingway’s “Islands In The Stream.” The second is Steven King’s “The Stand.” Recently, in December 2013, I added Paulette Mahurin’s “The Persecution Of Mildred Dunlap” and this month, October 2014, I added Paulette’s “His Name Was Ben.” I believe both of Paulette’s works should be made into movies and I have discussed this with her. Since some time has passed since we talked about the movie version of her first work, I do not remember who I decided should star. Since “His name was Ben” is fresh in my mind, I have decided that Leonardo DiCaprio should play Ben and Cote de Pablo should play Sara. So, there is my short list and, I believe, all works herein should be on everyone’s short list.
Posted in HIS NAME WAS BEN, REVIEWS, REVIEWS FOR HIS NAME WAS BEN | 17 Comments

Probes in rich depth a story about living life to the fullest

 All profits going to help save dog’s lives.
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Lessons, October 6, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)

Inspired by real characters, Paulette Mahurin’s HIS NAME WAS BEN probes in rich depth a story about living life to the fullest. Many books are out in the world that tell of patients, friends and family dealing with their own or another’s journey with cancer. The exceptionally tender, fact-filled and emotionally laden difference here is the intense dissection of fear, love, hope and endurance.

Sara’s condition improves with experimental drug treatment after her double mastectomy. Much slower to heal than the cancer is her negative self-image as it battles with the desire for love, sex and a caring relationship. Stealing a peek as Ben fills out a questionnaire at their oncologist’s office, she is attracted to him and takes note of his telephone number. Egged on by her friend Ellen, she finally calls him and sets a date…but when an accident keeps her from him, he figures she is a flake. After all, why would she be any different than his past experiences? The tall exceptionally good-looking man, she later learns, has pancreatic cancer, one of the most hopeless of cancers.

Ben and Sara literally grope toward a fulfilling relationship as they deal with their illnesses, toxic family histories and their developing trust and love. Mahurin’s writing is sharp as the surgeon’s scalpel cutting into the dynamics of childhood trauma. As Sara and Ben assist each other to deal with their pasts, their love intensifies and matures. Healing occurs on multiple levels, even in the face of Ben’s deteriorating physical condition. Mahurin has an enormous talent for exploring character development as the reader finds in the unfolding of layer after layer of individual growth and change. Sara’s dog Tazzie and her friend Ellen, a nurse as is Sara, have been her only support until Ben’s entry into her life. By the story’s end, their mutual support system swells and multiplies in numbers, understanding and love. Sara and Ben give the fortunate reader lessons in living.

Paulette Mahurin’s compassion is shown throughout her writing but also in her “real” life. Proceeds from her writing go to assist in animal rescue, obviously an issue close to her heart.

5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic and Inspiring, October 6, 2014
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
“His Name was Ben” is a true love story. It follows the lives of two cancer patients. Sara has given up on life until she receives word from her oncologist that she has been accepted into a treatment program that has promise. She is hesitant to hope, but trusts the encouragement of her doctor. The day she receives her first treatment, she meets a man. Ben is also a cancer patient and has little hope for recovery, but is determined to beat his disease against all odds. Both patients enter the same treatment program with drastically different results.
The story follows this pair as they deal with overwhelming family obstacles. Neither one trusts easily because of their past life experiences. As they push themselves to accept unfamiliar emotions, learn to trust and let go of fear, Ben and Sara find a deep, healing love that is rare. It is a great reminder that it’s never too late to find that special someone.
Mahurin does an excellent job of drawing her reader into this story. The characters are realistic and beautifully flawed. The story, although tragic and emotional, is powerful and inspiring. I would recommend this book to others and thank Paulette Mahurin for writing such a thought provoking and poignant story.

 

5.0 out of 5 stars Life is Precious, October 7, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
Amazing story about a woman who has cancer and is trying to find the balance of life. while at the doctors office she meets Ben he turns her world upside down. This is an emotionally gripping story about a couple that overcomes many obstacles and also has to face reality. Great read that reminds us how precious life is.
Posted in HIS NAME WAS BEN, REVIEWS FOR HIS NAME WAS BEN | 15 Comments

His Name Was Ben (Book Review)

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap:

Thank you, Kev, for this great review and posting it to your site. And a special heartfelt thank you for all you do to help indie authors. You’re a gem. <3

Originally posted on Kev's Blog:

51i68Gzmu9L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_Paulette captures the essence of emotions in gripping story of how two cancer patients find each other and fall in love.
It is a tale of highs and lows. It is the sense of the mixed emotions that grasped me as a reader.

There are the emotions one would expect from being diagnosed with the most aggressive forms of cancer… fear of the unknown and the known, despair and hopelessness. But there are other feelings involved: the fear of being rejected, of not being wanted and the fear of losing one’s womanhood or manhood.

Add to the mix unhealthy family relationships that cause even more stress and anxiety with a complete lack of empathy and even sympathy.

And then add…

The desire to be accepted and loved. The hope of new trials and medications, The effects of cancer and the after effects of treatment; The realization of success/failure and The determination…

View original 19 more words

Posted in REVIEWS, REVIEWS FOR HIS NAME WAS BEN | 14 Comments

How often do we read a narrative that cuts so close, we bleed emotionally?

5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary! Poignant! How often do we really get …, October 2, 2014
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
Extraordinary! Poignant! How often do we really get to see, to read a narrative that cuts so close, we bleed emotionally? Mrs.Mahurin is perhaps one of the most talented writers of our time. She draws us in, fills us with questions, and makes us realize our own frailties. We find ourselves weighing our values, questioning our capacity to deal with pain, suffering, and life in real terms. This story is too real, too raw, and too close to our own reality to put down. In the jargon of today, it is a real “page turner”. We have all faced tragedy in our lives, but how Sara, the main character, deals with her cancer, and the world around her, is a valuable lesson for us all. It is an emotional story that will make you wake up, and become part of the events happening all around us everyday. Her descriptive capacity makes the story all the more believable and a true reality for everyone. We can see who the heroes are, and they are all of us on some level. Life is hard, and life is complex, and how we deal with daily events is the summation of who we really are. Read this book and prepare to look at life differently, wholly, and with more respect than perhaps you ever have!
5.0 out of 5 stars I’m not very good at writing reviews so I’ll just keep it plain …, October 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
I’m not very good at writing reviews so I’ll just keep it plain and simple. I enjoyed getting to know the characters. I kept trying to put myself in their very real shoes. And I cheered, hoped and prayed for them all the way. More characters from Paulette to fall in love with.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wisdom in writing, October 5, 2014
By
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
Paulette Mahurin has surely “found a vein”, a particular niche for her writing which I would describe as “raw”, “honest”, “deeper than deep” and even “therapeutic” as she expresses in detail what other writers only touch on or imply. Her latest book “His Name Was Ben” reaches beyond mere story telling and hints how readers who have similar issues might even resolve them.I was especially impressed by her portrayal of the character “Rosalie”. It was beyond perfection. Everyone has experienced a “Rosalie” at some point in their lives and her bite came right through the pages.
Engrossing!
5.0 out of 5 stars … two cancer patients find each other and fall in love. It is a tale of highs and lows, 3 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
Paulette captures the essence of emotions in gripping story of how two cancer patients find each other and fall in love. It is a tale of highs and lows. It is the sense of the mixed emotions thats grasped me as a reader.There are the emotions one would expect from being diagnosed with the most aggressive forms of cancer… fear of the unknown and the known, despair and hopelessness. But there are other feelings involved: the fear of being rejected, of not being wanted and the fear of losing one’s womanhood or manhood. Add to the mix unhealthy family relationships that cause even more stress and anxiety with a complete lack of empathy and even sympathy. And then add… The desire to be accepted and loved. The hope of new trials and medications, The effects of cancer and the after affects of treatment; The realization of success/failure and The determination to make the most of life despite the odds. Well worth the read and all proceeds go to charity.
Posted in HIS NAME WAS BEN, REVIEWS, REVIEWS FOR HIS NAME WAS BEN | Tagged | 22 Comments

Smile!

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap:

I LOVE Clowie who is wise, and friendly, and considerate, and loving, and so ADORABLE. Have a visit over there and SMILE.

Originally posted on Clowie's Corner:

This Friday, 3rd October, is World Smile Day. The theme is, “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile!”

Smiley

That sounds like a lovely idea to me! It would be wonderful if every day could be like that.

It’s something that is easy to get involved in as most of us animals enjoy making people smile. There will be a smile blog hop on Friday, you can find the details on Sugar’s blog.

I thought about what I could do to make all of you smile. I decided that many of my blogging friends have lovely smiles, so I would share a few pictures of them. I’m hoping you’ll smile with them! Enjoy their smiles in the gallery of photos and then I will introduce them to you and tell you where to find them.

Aqua paw print
They all have interesting blogs. I’ve kept my introduction to a few…

View original 578 more words

Posted in REBLOGS | 22 Comments

Reviews for His Name Was Ben

I’m so grateful to all who have purchased a copy of my book. And to those who have taken the time to write a review. The profits are going to help rescue dogs. A few of the latest reviews:

5.0 out of 5 stars … from the heart with a rare openness to life love and compassion, September 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
This is a book written from the heart with a rare openness to life love and compassion. Gradually the characters come alive and permeate the reader with their intelligence, quirkiness and celebration of life. A great experience, thoroughly recommended.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars for joy and love, September 20, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
Mahurin writes with heart and passion, a story not about facing death but what it is to be alive. And it’s never too late. This every living, breathing moment, is here to be valued, a point driven home in this poignant read. This is a must read for anyone facing a terminal illness, anyone with a family me member with a terminal illness, or anyone wanting a glimpse into revelations that bring the miraculous living moment to the present, for joy and love. A truly beautiful romance novel that I will read again and again.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book offers many gifts to the reader., September 22, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
Mahurin, who wrote the wildly successful and award-winning “The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap,” has done it again! She is an adept writer who knows how to create complex characters living complicated lives, tugging the reader into the world she creates. The details and dialog ring so true that I felt I was in the story with them, often forgetting that I was reading. Paulette Mahurin’s writing is that good! This time, we’re drawn into the intimate lives of two cancer patients. It’s clear Paulette used her medical background and extensive research because the sections on the types of cancer, treatment options, and side effects are quite sophisticated. But this is no maudlin read. Instead, courage, hope, love, wisdom, and even levity are woven throughout the individual and collective journeys the characters take. This book offers many gifts to the reader. To me, the best books offer more than just a memorable story, which this one certainly does. The best books linger with you long after you’ve read them because they’ve taken you on an ethical or philosophical journey. “His Name Was Ben” took me on such a journey. If I was facing a terminal illness, would I opt for toxic treatment or let myself die naturally? Would I have the courage to start a relationship knowing that I had cancer AND that he had cancer? Does cancer matter since none of us knows what going to happen in the next moment? These questions still haunt me after reading this book. The best books also take you places you’ve never been, or get you to see things in ways you’ve never seen them. They open up new perspectives. Again, Mahurin’s book gave me this gift. I learned a great deal about cancer treatment, its side effects and the emotional toll it takes on both the patient and loved ones. I love reading fiction and learning things that apply to real life! At its core, this book is a story about accepting oneself, being open to romance, overcoming fear, and taking chances. Basically, it’s a love story about life, about living life consciously rather than on automatic pilot. Thank you Paulette for the gift of this book.
Amazon Reviews:
Format: Paperback

“His name was Ben” by Paulette Mahurin is a beautifully written, bitter-sweet love story between two cancer patients, Ben and Sara, and really also between them and her Rottweiler dog Tazzie.
Sara, a nurse practitioner, develops an aggressive type of breast cancer, first detected by said dog, Tazzie. The story of her diagnosis and the initial treatment is full of raw emotion and written with great empathy and with amazing medical knowledge.
We also learn about her family background and the issues that have made Sara’s life not the happiest until now. Blessed with good insurance and access to a top oncologist she enters a special research programme that trials a new treatment for cancer. The drug works and increases her libido, which is why she eventually asks out a handsome fellow cancer patient named Ben.
Once the two of them embark on their untimely love affair they help each other heal and work through their personal issues: Ben’s alcoholic parents; Sara’s unhappy childhood with a controlling and critical mother, a schizophrenic brother and her divorce from ex-husband Henry.
Mahurin has chosen her characters very well and given them so much more than just bad things like cancer. Ben and Sara are both highly evolved and reflective people who have the ability to work through their problems, speak honestly with each other and develop at last a proper relationship in their life based on solid foundations – it was moving to read about it.
The other characters in the book are equally interesting and get enough coverage to add extra colour to the often humorous and certainly inspiring novel in front of you; be it Sara’s mother, the cancer doctor or the friends – not to forget the lovely Rottweiler Tazzie.
Against the biggest of obstacles a couple can face, the positive message is that it is never too late to start living. The hope that patients have attached to miracle cures and new treatment means nothing when time is only spent on the clock but does not translate into moments of shared love and happiness. Be there breakthrough studies or not, never give up on living. Amidst so much understandably tragic and miserable cancer stories here is a book that shows positive role models to look up to and to keep in mind when the unspeakable happens to you.
I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

By Wanda on September 25, 2014

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

I almost managed to read this book in one sitting. Almost.
Ben meets a girl. Ok a woman whom is treated by the same oncologist he is seeing for the first time…
So begins an epic love story at times raw with naked truth about cancer at others lyrical about the mere act of living. Between our main two protagonists is a dog. One Ben learns to love as both he and his new love interest learn how to take a crash coarse with coming to terms with what formed them, driven their actions and dictated how they would live their lives.
Together the two love birds and Tazzie the mini-rotti lives through more subplots in a matter of months than the two human protagonists dealt with in their 45 + years leading up to diagnosis.Ultimately this story does not romantasize the horror of cancer. It is never over explicit but it does portray a less than romantic view of a very painful usually fatal disease.
But in the end although it seems as if the story is about death and endings at first it is in fact about love, life and hope.

A moving story where the characters grow so much it left me breathless.

I am convinced that this story will not be everybodies cup of tea. It is simply to “real” to be universally loved. I am however convinced that for the most part this book will be a firm favourite and it will serve not to only. Entertain but also to inspire.

By Ronni L. Sanlo on September 20, 2014
Format: Paperback

His Name was Ben is such a dear, sweet, tender love story about real issues that touch people’s lives. From true love to precious pets and friends, to crazy family members, this book held my attention from start to finish. Actually, I could not stop reading until I turned the last page. Paulette Mahurin has written yet another powerful, passionate book that will surely touch every reader’s heart.
Format: Paperback

An insightful , compassionate tale about love and life in the moment, when a moment is all there is. Both ordinary and extraordinary, Sara and Ben kept me up all night rooting for them, as did Mahurin of course, a writer of exceptional heart, for her tender and wise depiction of love against all odds.
Format: Kindle Edition

I want to start off with saying that Paulette Mahurin is an incredibly talented author. I can only hope to someday be half the writer she is. His Name Was Ben is another wonderful novel from Paulette Mahurin. I really love her books because she tells a great story about people who are not perfect, but are doing the best they can. Paulette Mahurin writes heartfelt stories about deeply flawed and human characters and about tragedy; after all, what would a great story be without a tragic event!
As the author has done in her previous book, here again, she delivers a fascinating read that you just can’t put down. Her characters are created with the perfect precision that only Paulette Mahurin can do. The story plot will keep you reading and make you hunger for more when you reach the end. I read her book, The Persecution Of Mildred Dunlap, and fell in love with Mahurin’s writing. I have been waiting for another book like it, and she has come through for me. Mrs Mahurin writes stories that pull out a wide range of emotions when you are reading them. The characters in His Name Was Ben are relatable people.
She writes heroes and heroines that are a little different than you are used to reading about. Sara Phillips is a likable character, and we hurt for her as she deals with the hell she’d been through, on the rollercoaster ride her life had become since the doctor diagnosed her with a fearful disease. She will need those around her as she struggles with an ugly reality, the monster in her life – cancer. Once healed from her double mastectomy, she awakens to life when meeting Ben Gottlieb, who works in the legal department at NASA. Ben is a patient, too, waiting to see Michael Zimmerman for a consultation. I hate spoilers so I won’t steal the other readers the pleasure of immersing in this compelling, touching story.
Tazz, the Rottweiler Sara saved from the shelter, is a perfect counter balance for the heartbreaking circumstances, Sara and Ben pass through.
Paulette Mahurin writes stories full of empathy, raw honesty, and grace. Her characters are memorable, the dialogue believable. All in all the message is a positive one – fight, never give up. It’s about love, life versus living, believing in yourself and others. I highly recommend this book.
This is the story of Ben and Sara, two cancer patients who meet at Dr Zimmerman’s surgery. With her dog Taz and best friend Ellen for support, Sara embarks on a new friendship, spending precious time with a new love in her life. The story is well paced and all the characters are well conceived, making this book a real page turner.Beautifully crafted, this is a compelling and emotional read. As the main characters assess and analyse their own lives, I found myself looking at my own values and confronting my own mortality. Am I truly happy with my life right now? Would I be living like I am if my life expectancy were threatened?

The love in this book shines through…love of family, friends and the wonderful, amazing planet on which we live. Not my usual choice to read and there were times when tears filled my eyes but I’m glad I read this beautiful book.

This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
What a sweet sweet story!!!!!I loved how Paulette’s new book just jumps right into the story and grabs you the reader right along with it.
This is a great story about love, trusting, letting go of fear and how amazing it is when one actually finds that special person they have been looking for.
I personally had a few aha moments.
I thought it was great how Paulette puts the thoughts of the characters into words while they where having a conversation. We all do that: that little voice in our heads talking to us “Do they think I’m fat?, or do they think I’m dumb? or do they like me?
Life is hard. But with an open mind and heart, a positive attitude, kindness and sensitivity and the willingness to be honest life can be GREAT!!!!!
Thank You Paulette for a great story.
Love you El

5.0 out of 5 stars This one comes from a loving place…, September 21, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
A sensitive and wonderfully written story. Paulette’s characters courageously deal with the vicissitudes of life with objectivity and loving that’s truly inspirational.
Posted in REVIEWS, REVIEWS FOR HIS NAME WAS BEN | Tagged | 31 Comments

Amusing myself

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap:

Dedicated to Seeker who helps so many with her big heart. For anyone who wants to play her game, have a stop over to her site. :-)

Originally posted on The Seeker:

I know nobody will see my status
but sometimes, when I am bored,
I go into the garden,
I cover myself in earth and
I pretend I am a carrot.

View original

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THE KINDLE BOOK OF HIS NAME WAS BEN IS UP AND RUNNING ON AMAZON

The kindle book has been reformatted and is back up for sale on Amazon. For anyone who purchased the first version and wants it updated, Amazon will do this for free. The errors were not in the text itself but rather the formatting indentations. Here is the Amazon link for the book and kindle. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who supports the book, which ultimately will help support a dog being rescued.

AMAZON RANKING: Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 4.03.51 PM

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AMAZON RANKING: HIS NAME WAS BEN

While the kindle book is being worked on, I just saw that the Amazon ranking started off well. Below is a current screen shot and the next one is a zoom in which shows it’s #12 in books with health/cancer related stories. A heartfelt huge thank you to everyone who has helped in this effort. It’s bound to make a lot of dogs very happy.

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 4.00.35 PMScreen Shot 2014-09-24 at 4.03.51 PM

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GLITCH IN THE KINDLE FORMATTING OF HIS NAME WAS BEN

Dear friends,

I obtained my kindle copy of my book, His Name Was Ben, last night. The formatting is way off from the paperback with sentences starting mid page, indents missing in places where they should be, what should be one paragraph broken into two, etc. I’ve written to kdp select for help with reformatting. Once I hear from them, I’ll pull the book, have reformatting done, and put it back up. For anyone who has purchased a kindle book the Amazon policy is they will exchange it for the properly formatted one. If anyone has a problem with this, I will gift you a copy of the kindle book myself. The paperback will remain on Amazon. And, for anyone who would like to read the book but can’t afford it, I’ll happily send you the text pdf, if you’d like. All I ask in exchange is sometime in the future you return the act of kindness to someone else, including a dog. My apologies for anyone reading the kindle book now and distracted by the poor formatting.

Paulette Mahurin

Posted in HIS NAME WAS BEN | 28 Comments

Introducing: His Name Was Ben

My book just went live on Amazon paperback and Kindle for anyone interested in reading it. As with The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap profits are going to rescue dogs.

SYNOPSIS ON BACK COVER: SYNOPSIS Hearing the words “it’s cancer,” threw Sara Phillips’ life into chaos, until an unexpected turn of events and a chance encounter with a stranger changed everything—his name was Ben. Based on real events, Ben and Sara discover that when all else fails, healing can come in the most unexpected ways. Chilling and heart wrenching, His Name Was Ben is a triumph over the devastating circumstances and fear experienced when faced with a terminal illness. In this narrative, the power of love conquers shadows and transforms the very nature and meaning of what it is to be fully alive. From the award winning, best-selling author of, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, comes a story filled with soul and passion that will leave the reader thinking about it for days after the last page is closed. “Paulette Mahurin compassionately renders an insightful tale about love and life in the moment, when a moment is all there is. Both ordinary and extraordinary, Sara and Ben kept me up at night rooting for them, as did Mahurin of course, a writer of exceptional heart, for her tender and wise depiction of love against all odds. A rare pleasure, His Name Was Ben is not to be missed.”—Lee Fullbright, author of The Angry Woman Suite “Against the biggest of obstacles a couple can face, the positive message is that it is never too late to start living.” –Christoph Fischer author of Sebastian. Paulette Mahurin lives with her husband Terry and three dogs, Max, Bella, and Lady Luck in Ventura County, California. Profits from her books go to rescue dogs.

AMAZON REVIEWS:

5.0 out of 5 stars This book offers many gifts to the reader. September 22, 2014
Format:Paperback
Mahurin, who wrote the wildly successful and award-winning “The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap,” has done it again! She is an adept writer who knows how to create complex characters living complicated lives, tugging the reader into the world she creates. The details and dialog ring so true that I felt I was in the story with them, often forgetting that I was reading. Paulette Mahurin’s writing is that good!This time, we’re drawn into the intimate lives of two cancer patients. It’s clear Paulette used her medical background and extensive research because the sections on the types of cancer, treatment options, and side effects are quite sophisticated. But this is no maudlin read. Instead, courage, hope, love, wisdom, and even levity are woven throughout the individual and collective journeys the characters take.

This book offers many gifts to the reader. To me, the best books offer more than just a memorable story, which this one certainly does.

The best books linger with you long after you’ve read them because they’ve taken you on an ethical or philosophical journey. “His Name Was Ben” took me on such a journey. If I was facing a terminal illness, would I opt for toxic treatment or let myself die naturally? Would I have the courage to start a relationship knowing that I had cancer AND that he had cancer? Does cancer matter since none of us knows what going to happen in the next moment? These questions still haunt me after reading this book.

The best books also take you places you’ve never been, or get you to see things in ways you’ve never seen them. They open up new perspectives. Again, Mahurin’s book gave me this gift. I learned a great deal about cancer treatment, its side effects and the emotional toll it takes on both the patient and loved ones. I love reading fiction and learning things that apply to real life!

At its core, this book is a story about accepting oneself, being open to romance, overcoming fear, and taking chances. Basically, it’s a love story about life, about living life consciously rather than on automatic pilot. Thank you Paulette for the gift of this book.

5.0 out of 5 stars for joy and love September 20, 2014
By Mr.
Format:Paperback
Mahurin writes with heart and passion, a story not about facing death but what it is to be alive. And it’s never too late. This every living, breathing moment, is here to be valued, a point driven home in this poignant read. This is a must read for anyone facing a terminal illness, anyone with a family me member with a terminal illness, or anyone wanting a glimpse into revelations that bring the miraculous living moment to the present, for joy and love. A truly beautiful romance novel that I will read again and again.
5.0 out of 5 stars sweet, tender love story about real issues that touch …, September 20, 2014
By
Ronni L. Sanlo (Los Angeles, CA United States) – See all my reviews
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
His Name was Ben is such a dear, sweet, tender love story about real issues that touch people’s lives. From true love to precious pets and friends, to crazy family members, this book held my attention from start to finish. Actually, I could not stop reading until I turned the last page. Paulette Mahurin has written yet another powerful, passionate book that will surely touch every reader’s heart.
Posted in REVIEWS, REVIEWS FOR HIS NAME WAS BEN | Tagged | 54 Comments
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