The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap by Paulette Mahurin

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap:

What a nice way to start the week with this surprising blog post. A review of The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap. Thank you so much for reading my book and taking the time to write this review. Paulette

Originally posted on Ms M's Bookshelf:

PersecutionOfMildredDunlapThe Persecution of Mildred Dunlap is set in a small town in Nevada called Red River Pass in the year 1895. The story begins the day a telegram arrives with the news that author Oscar Wilde has been sentenced to two years hard labour by a British court of law under the recently passed gross indecency law making it illegal for men to have sex with men. When the news arrives in Red River Pass, it sets into motion a series of events of racism, hatred, religious discrimination, vicious rumour, jealousy, and, finally, subtle, satisfying revenge.  It reminded me a bit of Little House on the Prairie where Nellie and her mother were always stirring things up and starting rumours, except that here it’s carried to extremes.  As in any community, there are people who bully others and indulge in malicious gossip and those who refuse to stand up to them…

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The reviews are in…but whose?

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap:

Thank you Lorna for the great shout out. Very grateful.

Originally posted on Lorna's Voice:

Hey, I get the scoop any way I can. Don't judge me. Hey, I get the scoop any way I can. Don’t judge me.

I’ve been busy torturing interviewing some blogger-authors lately.

You may have noticed.

You may be wondering, “Did that cracker-jack blogger/author/interviewer (I’m talking about me, here, People) actually read the books she so generously promoted?”

Well, I’m here to tell you that wonders do cease.

Yes I did…read the books.

And here’s what I thought of them. NOTE: these are abbreviated reviews. For the full reviews click on the book links I provided on the titles.


I interviewed author/blogger, Liz Marshall, a while back. She wrote Seeing Eye: A day At the Fair. Here’s what I thought:

Liz Marshal is a gifted writer and Seeing Eye is the kind of murder mystery that I love.

The plot has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing to the very end and her characters are real–they have flaws, good…

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The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap:

This is great. A very clever way to communicate important messages. Deserves sharing and the world sure needs it.

Originally posted on ladysighs:

He took a ride and ate a snack
And threw the wrapper out the back
Then did the same with his canned drink
Some folks just do not stop to think


He raked some leaves and piled them high
Although they were a wee bit dry
He lit a match to let them burn
Some folks just never ever learn

fireHe took a drink got in his car
And said he wasn’t going far
Perhaps the wreck is just as well
He’ll learn his lessons now in jail


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Lady Luck joined our family on May 20, 2014 at the ripe age of what we were told was 15. She was emaciated, depressed, and disoriented, since it had only been three days since she was dumped at a kill shelter. The drive back to our place took 2 1/2 hours and in that time I hugged her until she decided she wanted to stand, stick her head out the window and catch every smell out there. When we got home we gave her a bath, to wash away what should have remained on a lawn somewhere. The first photo below is this beautiful girl after her bath, making herself right at home.  She fit right in with Max & Bella and has been a part of our family for the past nine and a half months. She died peacefully this morning of a stroke as we held her in our arms.


After her first bath, she made herself right at home in our house and hearts.


A beautiful and very sweet girl.


What is important in life

Thank you to Carl Sundholm for this very thoughtful review of my book. I’m grateful for this feedback and all who have purchased my book and taken the time to write a review. All profits are going to help rescue dogs.

5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have read – Great potential for a movie, if done with the right people!, March 1, 2015
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
Paulette Mahurin is an emerging award-winning author who should be on the “must read” list of those in-the-know. Her second book, “His Name Was Ben,” is a very rare, significant and insightful short story that uses a real life inspired story of facing immanent death from terminal cancer to teach what is important in life. This is an extraordinarily compelling short story, written in a way that quickly engrosses the reader in the characters’ experience of dealing with a terminal illness, which left me thinking about important questions about what death teaches about how life should be lived. Most people avoid thinking about death until someone near or dear to them dies, or when they are themselves face the prospect of their own death. The young rarely give much thought to the certainty of their eventual death, because their hopes and plans for the future loom on the horizon or because they are so engrossed in the present moment that thoughts do not turn to their future mortality. But as one lives life, and one’s contemporaries begin to pass away, the thoughts of many shift to the increasing proximity of their own eventual death, and coming to terms with it. This process of is accelerated with those who learn that they are living on “borrowed time” due to a terminal disease. And so this story of “His Name Was Ben” is told from the viewpoint of Sara, a thoughtful and insightful person who is facing the prospect of immanent death while being treated for terminal cancer. By chance, she meets she meets Ben, a fellow cancer patient who is traveling the same road and is facing similar issues. Together they work with one another in the attempt to gain the inner peace with which to face death by understanding and coming to terms with the issues, people, and insecurities that beset them during their lives. How they do this, the insights they gain, and the choices they make, are invaluable lessons for those whose consciousness has evolved to the point of realizing that such wisdom should be used to enrich our lives now, well before we face our eventual death.

All Reviews for His Name Was Ben: Just received word that I was nominated by a group of over 5,000 members of Amazon Reviewers as their #1 Author. This is quite an honor: Wanda's Amazing Amazon ReviewersRECENT REVIEW FOR THE PERSECUTION OF MILDRED DUNLAP:

Format: Kindle Edition
What a marvelous riveting read! The story really grabs the reader. I found myself expecting the worst for Mildred and Edra and actually dreading the ending. I’ll say no more as I don’t want to spoil it for others like myself who have never been familiar with the history behind the story. It’s not the kind of thing I normally read and I absolutely loved it!

Darmie Orem‘s review

Apr 16, 15
Read in April, 2015

His Name was Ben Author: Paulette Mahurin Rating: 5***** Summary:How many times do I have to relive this? Blinking away tears, she moved her hand under the sheet into her nightie, to rough wrinkles and edges of scar tissue that had failed to heal in normal time because of infection, delaying chemo and radiation treatment…. Scheduled on a journey of death and quietly praying for miracles that would expand her existence, life suddenly became significant. In her aspiration to escape mortality, she met the right man, another cancer patient, who brought her the contentment her life has never for once experienced. However, the story of true love soon ended. A twosome became single, but not without rebuilding the broken. The story His Name Was Ben, takes place in some areas in U.S, and Ojai California where beautiful Sara Philips, a nurse practitioner and a divorcee lives by herself in the same city with (a cold mother, a father with a heart problem and a schizophrenic brother. Sara lives a tough life, and experienced a number of problems: Henry who dumps her, three years into their marriage, for a metaphysical cult he is involved in and makes her she shied away from sentimental investments with men. A mother with sickening attitude that can’t offer her daughter sincere comfort when dilemmas hits hard, ridicule because of a schizophrenic brother, and an abuse from the same brother which snatched away memory of a sweet childhood and plague the future with nightmares. As Sara’s treatment continues at UCLA with Doctor Zimmerman, we soon see in the story that Sara meets Michael Gottilieban attorney who works at NASA, and a fellow cancer patient. Intrigued by Ben’s good looks and situation, what Sara has successfully kept blocked for so many years begins creeping back in, one dream, one image, and one memory at a time—the pieces of a puzzle that has not yet formed a whole picture. But, entertaining the idea of receiving affirmation from Ben that she is still attractive is a balm. And wanting to feel normal, she continues to obsess over Ben. When Sara is encouraged by her close friend Ellen to tell Ben of her feelings, she’s reluctant. But she soon gathers the confidence to tell him and he blocks her flirtation. Ben’s mind is set in a fixed direction, and that is to concentrate on his treatment and only that. After a little while, Ben swings from his determination to stay the course with his treatment and not get involved with any woman. He gradually takes to Sara. And the feelings the two of them couldn’t think is for real becomes the best thing that ever happens to the two of them. While Sara is experiencing encouraging changes from the ongoing approved cancer studies in UCLA, Ben’s health deteriorates. In spite the challenges, Ben and Sara gets married. And seven weeks after, Ben lost his life to the terminal illness. He dies, resolving the emotional trauma Sara has been hiding from her entire life. He dies leaving her a mended and fulfilled woman. Writing style: The writing style of the author is luxuriant. She used glowing descriptions and really paint clear picture of every event that went down in the novel in the most engrossing way. The novel flows like story told from the author to the readers without uncertainties. The parallel stories developed in the greatest fascinating forms. The author’s messages of life’s tests, liberation, love and fulfillment are clear and powerful in the middle of the story and at the end of it. She gave Sara a much fulfilled ending. She provides us with the value to be hopeful no matter what befalls us in life. My thoughts:His Name was Ben, is a sumptuous true story. Sometimes fate would try to discourage us from reaching fulfillment in life by deriding us with all sort of tests, but this story leads me to believe that a person would always find exciting ending no matter the situations which reduces his chance of a fulfilled life. The rest of us should encourage ourselves, repair our broken faith that we can never find extraordinary fulfillment because of the hindrances we have presently to the flow of exciting happenings in our lives.After tempestuous days, triumph stands by those that have faith in happy ending.
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Compassionate Giving

Bless all those who help others, especially at their own peril. Stay safe, my friend.


Dr. Larry Stock, my friend from working in the Antelope Valley Emergency Room, is helping Ebola patient’s in Africa. See what he writes below the photo.

Donning the “suit” is an essential step before entering the “hot zone”. This is where we treat diagnosed Ebola patients. Entering this completely closed protection requires the help of a tender. Each component part of this uniform is essential and must be respected. Once inside, it is like a sauna, and feels claustrophobic. I am getting more comfortable and acclimated to working under these conditions. Each day is long, but I am meeting fascinating people every day, and continue to grow and learn.

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Soulful and compassionate, love against all odds.

A review from a reader in Balkbrug, Overijssel Netherlands. I’m truly grateful for everyone who has purchased my book and taken the time to write a review. All profits are going to help rescue dogs.

4.0 out of 5 stars Soulful and compassionate, January 10, 2015
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
Hearing the “cancer” verdict often throws a patient in an emotional roller coaster ride. Paulatte Mahurin took the story of two friends as basis for her novel His Name Was Ben. Sara Phillips was diagnosed for having breast cancer. A short life expectancy, maybe relief from experimental drugs. At her oncologist’s she notices a fellow cancer patient, of whom she only captures his name: Ben. How do you contact a total stranger, who you think is gorgeous. Will he embarrass you? Take your removed breasts for granted? Will he be in for a deep relationship? Finally connected an interesting process of getting to know each other beyond the health indicator promiscuity is described from alternating perspectives. Both Ben and Sara have their say and limits in opening up for each other. Soulful and compassionate, love against all odds. Think of Ben’s alcoholic parents, Sara’s bullying mother, a schizophrenic brother, and the unhappy ended marriage with Henry. Honesty and realism on the chances of remittance and nearing death. Love gives a reason to live every minute and enjoy relationships, overcome problems and face reality. Even more than The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, I liked the writing style, readability, conversations, and colour of the characters.
5.0 out of 5 stars … cancer related story dissolved quickly as I fell in love with the characters Paulette crafted with such depth that …, January 27, 2015
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
My apprehension of reading a cancer related story dissolved quickly as I fell in love with the characters Paulette crafted with such depth that I forgot I was reading a work of fiction.
I want to call the book a bittersweet love story, a love that developed between two people that happened to have cancer, after they met by chance in an oncologist’s waiting room. It isn’t just that. This is more a story about life and living than it is about illness and dying. It is a life story.
This story left me surprisingly uplifted and reminded me that love will find us when and where we least expect it and that there are absolutely no coincidences in this world.
I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a good love or life story.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book, January 22, 2015
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
Paulette writes so beautifully ~ her characters spoke to my heart. I read the persecution of Mildred Dunlap and this is just as perfect. We all desire to be accepted and loved. I love paulette writing and loved this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars great book!, January 24, 2015
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
Wonderful book full of hope and life! The story of Sara and Ben is one of that fills a reader with love.
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A love that can transform your life

I’m very grateful to begin the year with this review. A heartfelt thank you to all who have purchased my book, written a review, and helped spread the word. All profits are going to help rescue dogs.

5.0 out of 5 stars An Inspirational Life, January 2, 2015
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)

So often we hear the phrase “cancer survivor” or “cancer patient”, which sometimes leads us to forget that these are real people, with real emotions. Paulette Mahurin’s novel, His Name was Ben, is a beautifully written and poignant novel. It reminds us that people with cancer are indeed real people, trying to live their life, all the while fighting though a terrible disease.

Her characters are so well developed that you cannot help but become immersed in their lives. The book will tug on your emotional heart strings and will stay with you long after you put it away.

But in the end, the book is a tribute to the most important thing all humans need – love. Love between a man and woman, love for animals, love for life, etc. A love that can transform your life.

I strongly recommend this book to everyone.

All Reviews:


Books by Paulette Mahurin

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap:

What a lovely surprise to happen upon Ronnie’s Blog helping to shine a light on rescue dogs profiting from my books. I’m very grateful for this and anyone who helps save a dog, helps save a life, helps with acts of kindness, no matter how large or small. A smiles can light a thousand hearts. Wishing all my friends happy holiday time followed by a year of days filled with laughter and peaceful nights. Love Paulette

Doggies over for dinner copy

Will love for food

Originally posted on Ronnie's Blog:

Profits from these books go to help rescue dogs.

Click on images for information at



Paulette’s pageon


See Paulette’s web-site here.

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What I particularly like about her books is that they leave me feeling good about life

Once again, a very heartfelt thank you to everyone who has purchased one of my books and taken the time to write a review. All profits are going to help save the lives of dogs. Profits from The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap are going to the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center, the first and only no kill animal shelter in Ventura county, CA.


5.0 out of 5 stars Great story!, December 10, 2014
This review is from: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap (Kindle Edition)
Another fabulous read by this author! What I particularly like about her books is that they leave me feeling good about life. The funny thing is that the author tackles heavy weight subjects such as cancer in the previous book I read and at the heart of this book we have a lesbian relationship at the end of the 19th century, when the word ‘gay’ had an entirely different meaning. However, though the lesbian relationship is central to the story this is not a romance or a strident voice for human rights. It is a far gentler, emotional story about real people trying to live their lives in difficult circumstances. We see people’s prejudices including homophobia, racism, anti-Semitism and religious hypocrisy but ultimately we have a story about how love and friendship are more important than anything else. I loved that the author did not hit me over the head with a heavy hammer to make her points. She lays out a story without condemning the majority of people with their varied prejudices but leaves us to be grateful that we live in more enlightened times. There is also the thought that the author is reminding us that though we have come a long way with tackling prejudice we still have a great deal further to go! The story is beautifully written and there are some lovely little touches such as the ongoing quotes of Oscar Wilde who features prominently at the beginning of the book. The next time you are fed up of hearing all the bad news in the world pick up one of this author’s books and feel better about life.
4.0 out of 5 stars an unusual tale, February 18, 2015
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This review is from: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap (Kindle Edition)
Expertly written story of life in a small town in the early 1900’s. The unusual characters win our empathy, and allow us to see how small minds can be the ruin of other people’s lives. Be ready for some mind stretching revelations. Highly recommended!
4.0 out of 5 stars The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, December 20, 2014
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This review is from: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap (Kindle Edition)
Pretty racy subject for that time in history, but it was interesting to see how the author put it together. Good read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it., December 26, 2014
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This review is from: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap (Kindle Edition)
Interesting! Enjoyed it.
4.0 out of 5 stars An engaging novel with a great message. Some parts were a little unrealistic, December 4, 2014
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This review is from: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap (Kindle Edition)
An engaging novel with a great message. Some parts were a little unrealistic, but it kept my interest. Loved each chapter’s quote from Oscar Wilde.
5.0 out of 5 stars a good historical book, January 20, 2015
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This review is from: The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap (Kindle Edition)
I was impressed with the authors ability to show what it might have been like for these two women to live in a relationship as they did and the struggles they faced. I find it difficult to believe two men would be so a accepting, but it is a possibility.
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep, touching and inspiring, December 23, 2014
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
Just finished His name was Ben. I can still feel the tears stream down my face. The story is so well written that the tears are ad much about joy as they are about sadness. The two main characters Sara and Ben take the reader through a complex journey of emotions, victories and acceptance. The courage to live and love to the fullest, inspires. I had high expectations and I was not disappointed, quite the contrary, Paulette Mauhrin’s flawless ability to bring characters to life made me feel as the reader a part of them. Dealing with subjects so rife with pain the surroundings light, healing and so much hope, where most would only be able to see despair. The kind of novel that touches so deep it makes readers seek light and love everywhere.
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Love Story, December 20, 2014
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
This story is uplifting, heart wrenching, and endearing. You are given the opportunity to witness an incredible love story between two cancer patients who’ve chosen to live and appreciate their lives after coming face to face with their own mortality. They don’t wait for a “second chance” because they know all too well that the future is not a guarantee. Through life’s trials and tribulations, both Sara and Ben have taken their diagnoses and, rather than dwell on them, they each blossom and open themselves up to love. They relate to one another beautifully and entrust each other with their most vulnerable selves. We follow Sara’s reconciliation with her past and self as a direct result of a chance meeting with a compassionate and handsome man, Ben. Despite Ben’s inner fear and disbelief that he has cancer, he finds strength to support Sara and reconcile with his own troubled past. Their love inspires the reader, who is filled with the hope that these two will be able to live out long, beautiful lives together despite having found one another under such terrible circumstances. After finishing the love story, you are reassured that their love is infinite.
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking and so beautifully written, December 11, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
His Name Was Ben is such a brilliant book that I read it in one sitting. I’ve never done that before! By the time I got to the epilogue, I shed a tear of both happiness and sadness. This is one of those books that grips you from the start and it’s a struggle to put it down. Paulette Mahurin has endowed her characters with a combination of qualities that make them relatable and inspirational. I was particularly moved by Sara and the many situations she encounters during the course of the story. Her relationship with Ben is beautiful but what differentiates them from most couples is that they endure some of the most difficult things imaginable whilst still maintaining such an incredible degree of love and respect for one another. This is one of those books that not only moves you but teaches you several lessons about love, relationships, family and personal growth. I’d recommend it in a heart beat!
All Amazon Reviews for His Name Was Ben:
Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 10.18.27 AM

Amazon Ranking for Dec. 18, 2014


Whole Brain Radiation

The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap:

A very lovely blogger friend could use some good wishes. She’s always so positive and supportive when she comes to visit my site and all the while this is what she’s going through. She’s an inspiration beyond words. My heart and love go to her in hopes the suffering she’s experiencing eases. Please friends feel free to pay her a visit.

Originally posted on A New Beginning:

I’m done with the radiation treatments – the last one was the day before Thanksgiving. But I’m not happy with how I’m feeling. I feel frail and off balance. As if I’ve aged 20+ years in the last 3 weeks of treatment. My throat is sore – every time I swallow it feels like I’m trying to swallow razor blades. If you’ve ever had strep throat you know what that feels like. No matter what I eat, it hurts to swallow. Except for ice cream after the first few swallows. And crushed ice. It even hurts to drink water.

I’m still off balance and listing to port. I am very careful about walking, especially in the house as Peanut has to lie down in the middle of the hallway so nobody can get past her without her knowing. I suppose that’s part of her herding instincts to know where everyone…

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I know firsthand how the dreaded “C” word coming from an oncologist’s lips can set one’s world into a tailspin

A deeply heartfelt thank you to Craig Furchtenicht for this thoughtful review.

5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful lesson in living, November 28, 2014
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
This is my first go-round, reading the work of Paulette Mahurin. It will definitely not be my last. She had me from the first paragraph and kept me tight in her literary grips until the final line. I was thoroughly impressed by her skills as a writer but I would have to say her mastery of dialogue was the one that kept me fully committed to the novel. From the initial phone conversation with Ben to the tense banter between Sara and her seemingly callous mother, the cleverly orchestrated exchanges were spot on. I usually do not let my full range of emotions kick in while I am reading fiction, but this book left me hugging my pillow and dabbing my eyes. Being the spouse of a cancer survivor, this book touched a bit too close to home at times. I know firsthand how the dreaded “C” word coming from an oncologist’s lips can set one’s world into a tailspin. I also know how tales of adversity in the face of death can inspire hope that sometimes seems so far out of reach. The subject matter not only touches on Sara and Ben’s disease but the many issues that they have faced during their lives. Mahurin pulls no punches in her writing so don’t expect a candy-coated version of the truth. It is a beautiful mixture of love story, tragedy and inspiration. I would recommend this to anyone who has been diagnosed with a terminal illness and their loved ones.
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Tale with Plenty of Spiritual Strength and Light, November 30, 2014
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
This is one of those real life dramas that I usually try to escape from in my reading, as opposed to plunge myself into. Especially when the tale is captured with this degree of vividness and proof that the author did her homework; there was no not feeling all the heart-wrenching emotions that go along with cancer therapy and struggling to survive the attempts to cure the person as much as the disease. But paradoxically, by making me live through this as if I were battling to survive late stage cancer myself, the book exacted its own healing, strengthening me to deal with the worst life can throw at me, which, in the final analysis, is what we hope all novels we pick up will give us, but that few truly do. Most are instead a temporary reprieve, an escape. And no, this story isn’t just about finding inner strength to carry an unbearable burden, it’s about the transformative power of love and relationships and of fully inhabiting the moment at the instant you most want to flee from it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Their love is presented with great dignity, December 7, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
‘His Name Was Ben’ by Paulette Mahurin is one the most touching stories
I’ve read in a long time. Though the title reveals what will happen to Ben, it
doesn’t take away from the reader’s anticipation. The reader follows both
Sara and Ben on their plight, as cancer patients, to face the horrendous
disease and help one another.Their love is presented with great dignity. The author depicts how Sara reacts
to having lost her breasts to cancer and how Ben praises her beauty even though
she has no breasts. Their love keeps growing until the very sad end. This story of love conveys that every day we have, can and should be enjoyed.
Tazzie is a dog to be remembered.
Sara’s difficulties with her awful past are intertwined very well into the story.
This well-written, well-edited novel is both sensitive and enlightening to how people can overcome the horrors of the BIG C.
Juliet C.B. Aharoni
A must-read

5.0 out of 5 stars His Name was Ben by Paulette Mahurin is an excellent book. It held my interest throughout the book …, December 8, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
His Name was Ben by Paulette Mahurin is an excellent book. It held my interest throughout the book and I found it very interesting. Paulette’s visualization is so good that it makes me feel as if I am right there in the story. I recommend this book. In fact, I have already told my friends and family to buy this book and read it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Told with style and charm, 10 Dec 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
“His Name was Ben” is a captivating love story between Sara and Ben, two people self- absorbed by their separate episodes with cancer, yet their lives achieve a new meaning when they meet each other. As we get to know these two scarred souls and the hard challenges they have already had to overcome, we come to like them more and more throughout this romantic tale.

I was particularly moved when Sara first met Ben in the waiting room. They chatted briefly and Sara was instantly attracted to the handsome stranger. Yet, because his prognosis was more serious than hers, Ben was hesitant to start a relationship. I shared Sara’s stress and fears as she was torn about whether or not to call Ben because of her own self-doubts.

As a side note, another reason that this book made my heart jump, besides the romance between Sara and Ben, was a reference in the text to the Self-Realization Institute locate in Malibu. Sara had gone there to find peace. I lived in LA for a short time and I attended services at the Institute. On one memorable occasion TV star Dennis Weaver (of Gunsmoke and McCloud fame) gave a guest sermon at the institute.

As an outstanding romance novel, this book hits all the right notes, and does it with style and charm.

It would make a great read for the beach, or to curl up with on the couch on a cold night.

All Reviews:

We are kept in suspense until the final few pages. And while the threat of death is always present, this is actually a positive, uplifting story

From time to time, I post reviews from my book, as a heartfelt thank you to all who have purchased, read, and taken the time to write a review. And, to everyone who has mentioned it to someone, blogged about it, or helped spread the word, again my heartfelt thank you. You’ve all contributed energy to help save a dog. Check #3 is going in the mail to Canine Adoption Rescue League:

5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, moving story of love and life, November 19, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
Sara, dying of cancer, meets Ben in the waiting room of her oncologist. They both have been accepted into a trial program for an advanced cancer treatment. They start to see each other and fall in love. As the story progresses, the shadow of death always hangs over Sara and Ben, and we hope they both will eventually survive, but worry that one or both of them will eventually succumb to their cancer. We are kept in suspense until the final few pages. And while the threat of death is always present, this is actually a positive, uplifting story.This is a very well written book. The characterizations are well done and believable. Sara is not just a young woman in the present: she comes to life also because of her memories of childhood and an earlier, failed marriage. A constant image in the book is of Sara’s frequent dream of a baby girl and an approaching man, who seems to be menacing and may be familiar to her. Ben’s character is also very well formed both in the present and in memories of his past, particularly of his parents. We become immersed in the world of Sara, Ben, Sara’s best friend Ella, and Sara’s dog Tazzie. I also loved the descriptions of the Southern California settings: the coast and the inland town of Ojai, where Sara lives. (I went to Google to see where and what kind of place Ojai is: a lovely town set in scenic valley, by the way.)This was a truly enjoyable and uplifting read. After awhile I was so captured by this story that I found it difficult to put the book down: I read the last third of the book in one sitting. I am impressed with this author and look forward to reading Paulette Mahurin’s earlier book, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap.Review by Mike, pen name Raymond Barrie
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Read!, November 27, 2014
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
The story of “His Name Was Ben” is one of the most heartfelt and beautifully written stories I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. The depth of character details was phenomenal. The way Mahurin describes the compassion, love, struggles, triumphant victories, heartache and loss between the two main characters, Sara and Ben, is something that will leave you breathless.
Unfortunately cancer is the contributing factor for Sara and Ben faithful meeting; it’s ultimately strength, shared family drama, hope and love, which keeps the pair joined, fighting for their lives together. A story of acceptance of one’s own personal doubts with their physical and emotional hardships, with a few twists and turns alone the way. “His Name Was Ben” is an exceptional read and I commend Mahurin’s brilliant and vivid version of the real story of Sara and Ben.
I look forward to reading more from this Author and wish her all the best with her future endeavors.
5.0 out of 5 stars Redemption and Hope on Four Legs, November 20, 2014
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This is so much more than a book about two people, a love affair and a dog. This is a book about life, and all it throws our way, and how those events shape and mold us and how we grow and heal when such events are less than happy. I cried with the characters even as I cheered them on. This is a story about redemption and hope–and a wonderfully written testament to both.
LB Johnson – Author of The Book of Barkley
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Read!!!, November 23, 2014
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His Name was Ben is an emotionally moving tale! Ben and Sara are infectious characters that play out two successful characters that have excelled in life, even when coming from two extremely dysfunctional homes. They face issues together, nurture one another, and face grim issues while entertaining the thought of metaphysics. I love the deep adoring love these two characters hold for one another, and how Tazzie, Sara’s dog, is right there in the story! Additionally, this heartwarming story provides a wealth of knowledge, historically and medically. Moreover, the story is extremely hard to put down. The reader becomes attached to the characters. One anxiously awaits what detail will unravel from page to page. One highly recommends His Name was Ben, as it is a brilliant story that provides a window of serious issues. Furthermore, it depicts two beautiful souls that fall madly in love, while admirably dealing with life’s tragedies.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great love story!, November 24, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
I have just finished this book in very quick time as I didn’t want to stop reading. It is a story about a couple who meet while suffering from terminal cancer and are taking a last throw of the dice, by volunteering for a trial of a promising but unproven treatment. Sounds like a recipe for a tear jerker. Well I did shed a few tears but actually this is in fact a very uplifting story because though their time together was limited, they found a love that we can all only hope to experience.
The story is emotional but inspiring and heart warming. It is also beautifully written and the characters seem very real. Apart from Ben and Sara we have some other colourful characters, in particular their parents.
I liked that the author tackled the difficult subject of Sara having had a double mastectomy and no longer feeling like a woman until Ben shows her and all of us that we are not defined by our physical looks but our spirit.
A great book!
5.0 out of 5 stars A Chance Encounter, November 24, 2014
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A most endearing story about two ill people and their chance encounter in life. Very well written.

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Reader writes, “my mother went through cancer treatment…”

Thank you Chasity Tarantino for reading my book and this very poignant, lovely review. I hope your mother is now doing well.

5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!, November 12, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
“His Name was Ben” was such a beautiful story. I was really touched by the characters and their situation. It is a story of heartache, pain, and tragedy, but it also showcases the love, hope, and strength that such pain can bring out in a person. Not only did I believe this story was amazing and the characters so strong, but it was written brilliantly.
I related to this story on a personal basis as well. My mother went through Cancer treatment in 2013 and the diagnosis was grim, reading ‘His Name was Ben’ brought back a lot of those feelings and experiences. I think anyone with a big heart will love this story and I believe it can be a really big eye opener for many who don’t have very much personal experience with Cancer.
This story is full of love, hope, faith, and trust. It’s a heart wrenching story that is ultimately beautiful in its despair. The characters were relatable and believable, the writing was on point. The backgrounds of these characters made their story even more potent.
An amazing read and I recommend it to everyone; you might want to get yourself a box of tissues to go with it though.
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book, November 13, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
I really enjoyed this reminded me that there is really love out there,and I hope with everything that is holy there will one day be a cure for cancer.five-star review all the way it really makes you think that some people have it worse than you.Thank you Paulette for writing this book.there is hope and love out there.
5.0 out of 5 stars I read this book and appreciated the great writing, the dialogue, November 16, 2014
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I am not a fan of romance novels, feeling that they are the stuff of fiction
and fantastical thinking, what’s portrayed in movies or fanciful
thinking. But, I read this book and appreciated the great writing,
the dialogue, especially around the dinner tables, yapping about past
Heisman trophy winners, etc. I also like the scenes where the characters
are living in the moment, just being, and must admit this author
knows how to write and write exceptionally well she does.
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching Love Story, November 16, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
A story of courage and hope as Ben and Sara , two cancer patients, show that life can be full of surprises. Falling in love can bring a healing and aliveness in the face of death. This is a transformational book, a must read for anyone who feels afraid of illness and life’s “slings and arrows.”
It’s great to find an uplifting book on a depressing topic.
5.0 out of 5 stars Sara and Ben though each fighting their own battles with cancer found love and friendship in each other and an affirmation about, November 17, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
His Name was Ben gripped me from the first paragraph and didn’t let go. Sara and Ben though each fighting their own battles with cancer found love and friendship in each other and an affirmation about life. Throughout the entire book, I hoped and prayed for a miracle. Reading it brought laughter, tears and hope that someday, somewhere there’ll be a cure. Ms. Mahurin’s writing style had the pages flying in my hands, before I knew, I finished the book. Her insight insight into the human mind and heart is a wonderful journey that left me uplifted.
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you for making me remember my true passion., November 18, 2014
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What can I say. I spend most of my working life as an EMP so I saw more than most and loved helping others. I would still be doing that today if not for my daughter and the demands of domestic life.
What does that have to do with his name is Ben? Everything. I can see the author knows what she is talking about, that she is not afraid to talk about the truth of a disease that kills and the love story and hope although not the type one would expect from such a book truly moved me.
I love this book and think it is a must read for all, especially if you or a family member of close friend is suffering from cancer. It might give hope, but it is guaranteed to give you a better understanding of the disease.
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally charged, November 18, 2014
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This was book that was filled with the fight for life as well as romance and the courage to live. When Sara met Ben, it changed her world. Not just hers, but his as well. The strength and courage of the couple as they both battle the demon Cancer, was a very emotional and inspiring book. I read this book in one sitting and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good story. It’s full of emotions, not just ups and downs, but with just the characters trying to live and stay alive. Sometimes the best cure one can find is love.
4.0 out of 5 stars heart wrenching tale of love and friendship, December 8, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
“His Name Was Ben”, by Paulette Mahurin is a tender, heart wrenching tale of love and friendship. Sara is battling an aggressive form of breast cancer when she meets Ben in the waiting room of her oncologists office. She is immediately drawn to him and surreptitiously gets his phone number. She has just entered a clinical trial for a new treatment for her cancer and is hopeful it will work.

Ben has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer with only a 25 percent one year survival rate. He’s visiting the oncologist for a last-ditch effort at stopping the forward progress of the disease.

Sara and Ben end up going out on a date even though he is less than eager to start a relationship. They quickly become friends and then more. As they both struggle with their treatments they help each other work through emotional issues from their pasts. reviews:

Snatching beauty from despair

Thank you to all who have purchased my book and taken the time to write a review. I’ve already sent two checks off to Canine Adoption Rescue League. (  The tails they are a wagging! Very grateful for all who have helped.

5.0 out of 5 stars Snatching beauty from despair, November 5, 2014
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
I don’t like sad endings. I prefer happy or fantastic stories. Strangely, this one is all three and it entertains in spectacular fashion.The story centers around a budding relationship between two cancer patients. Poignancy enough there to pull the heartstrings, but the author doesn’t go for the cheap win. Instead, there is such rich development, not just of the love story but of the inherent nature of love and bravery.Filled with lush descriptive narrative and insightful examination of motivations, both positive and ugly, there is so much contained within the story to engross the reader.It’s a rewarding read, with lessons about life that would be beneficial for all to pay attention to.
5.0 out of 5 stars Such conviction and heart felt love, November 11, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
Wow Paulette has done it again, she has taken my breath away with this beautiful story about a couple that meet during their battle with Cancer. This is a love story about Living and Loving and accepting a life like no other. I just can’t imagine not shedding tears while reading this book. Sara, Ben and Tazzie(Sara’s dog) learn how to live in the face of death. I love Paulette’s writing because she writes with such conviction and heart felt love. I recommend this book to everyone out there. Please read and enjoy. Thank You Paulette for writing another amazing book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Make the journey worthwhile, November 6, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
A beautifully written, tender and thought provoking story.
Sara and Ben, have family issues and a history of failed relationships, leaving them untrusting and aloof. As a couple they slowly take down their barriers as they learn to trust and live again. Together they have the courage to confront their past and make new memories.
“In accepting their fate and directing their attention to the real world as it moved moment to moment, they found inner peace, with each other and individually.”
The urgency of their love and need to live in the moment, free of past nightmares, is intensified as they met each other in an oncologist’s waiting room.
Like many others, my life has been turned upside down by the devastation of cancer, and I have a tendency to veer away from books, about the big, ‘C.’ But this book was about the deep connection between two people as they found the courage to be open, enjoy each moment as it came and make the journey worthwhile.
The characters were likeable and believable, as they made mistakes as they overcame their doubts and fears. I felt Sara’s pain when she thought she could never be desirable after her double mastectomy and realised she needed only one person to find her desirable to feel that way and let go of her inhibitions.
This book is an affirmation of life and not the sad book I feared it might be.
The message was clear, whether your journey is short or long, make it count.
I highly recommend this book to anyone and it is one I will re-visit in the future.
“…time isn’t measured by the clock, but by the moments of shared love.”
5.0 out of 5 stars A Romance you’ll Never Forget!, November 7, 2014
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
Sarah Phillips is a cancer patient, a young woman who has been through a lot…mastectomies, chemotherapy, and more. She’s contemplating suicide. Her dog is her tether to sustenance, providing someone she cares for, and someone who loves her in the way that only a dear pet animal could. A last hope is presented to her in the form of a new cancer treatment study that is being done by a Dr. Zimmerman. In the office waiting room of Dr. Zimmerman’s practice she sees a young man, Ben, and finds to her surprise that she is interested in him. She’s close enough to see on some forms that he has provided his name and telephone number. She memorizes the number, and is able to write it down. The predicament of whether or not to call him is deftly dealt with by the author’s use of Sarah’s dialogue, both inner with herself, and outward with others. She finally calls him—the personal tone of the phone call and the deeply emotional undertones of their exchange are relayed to the reader dramatically through well-written dialogue. Anyone who has had a cancer diagnosis should read this book. Having personally been through a similar situation myself, I felt deeply for Sarah and Ben, and so will you when you read this lovely novel of a romance against all odds. (Review by Howard Lipman, pen name PanOrpheus, author of the alternate history, sci-fi fantasy ‘Delphic Oracle’ and Tesla’s Tower’ book series.)
5.0 out of 5 stars … Paulette’s previous book ‘The Persecution of Meldrene Dunlap’ and loved it. She worked her magic again in ‘His …, November 8, 2014
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
I read Paulette’s previous book ‘The Persecution of Meldrene Dunlap’ and loved it. She worked her magic again in ‘His name was Ben’. A healing love story that everyone needs to read.
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars again to Paulette Mahurin, November 9, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I’m usually read non fiction or historical fiction, but having enjoyed Paulette Mahurin’s first book I thought I’d give this one a try.I found my self drawn in and committed to the book and the characters half way through the first chapter.The author has a way of making the characters seem so familiar, that it’s like I was sitting at the dinner table with my own family working out the big issues of American Life.

5 stars again to Paulette Mahurin

5.0 out of 5 stars Good read, good story and a great message, November 10, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
At the beginning of this book, it seemed to me that the plot would spiral downwards to a tragic ending. But as the story unfolds it became clear that it is more about hope in the face of defeat. (These kinds of stories are always a favourite of mine)The author does a great job in her writing, always setting the scene and capturing my imagination enabling me to be able to empathise with the characters involved.

“His name was Ben” is a very real account of the feelings and journeys of two cancer patients finding hope in each other’s company and hope in their battle.

I found this to be a very inspirational read, and it was the first book that I have read by Paulette Mahurin. Her writing captured my attention from start to finish. Good read, good story and a great message.

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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.
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, October 31, 2014
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
I came across this book by Paulette Mahurin by accident and was drawn in first by the cover then by the free excerpt. I am so glad that happened!! I LOVED this tender, sweet story that was full of passion, life and love. The author is very colorful in describing a touching relationship between two people stricken with cancer who love each other freely and completely. I found myself getting wrapped up in their lives and rooting for them with all my might. I also adored how she kept all of this real and included a beloved four legged friend, Tazzie. I would highly recommend this book! You won’t put it down as Ms Mahurin is a very talented author that takes you on a journey sure to pull at your heart strings. I can’t get these characters out of my head now…. What a beautiful journey. I’m so glad I found this beautiful & intelligently written, touching story filled with hope. Truly inspiring.
5.0 out of 5 stars Life is precious, November 2, 2014
This review is from: His Name was Ben (Paperback)
What a wonderful book on what it is to be alive, fully alive, despite all reasons one might have to dwell on what was or what will be. To be diagnosed with cancer and have this open the door to love and a deep meaningful relationship certainly gives one hope that it’s never too late, to love, to live. This is a book to be read and reread. And cherished for it’s message on how precious life is.

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.
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and beautiful, raw and emotional, November 2, 2014
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This review is from: His Name was Ben (Kindle Edition)
As with her first book, The Persecution of Mildred Pierce, I couldn’t put down author Paulette Mahurin’s second novel His Name was Ben. And as with her first book, the characters’ unique situations and troubling circumstances are told in a genuine, relatable manner, pulling the reader in and changing his or her perspective on the subject matter.

We follow Sara’s character through her challenges with cancer treatment, as well as the challenges she faces with her distant, dysfunctional family. She meets Ben and a love affair blossoms, even with the knowledge that it’s on borrowed time. Ben has his own family demons to face, and the fact that he chooses to do so for Sara proves just how much he loves her. At the end, Ben makes peace with the reality that he will never have a normal relationship with his parents, a totally relatable experience for those of us who have had to come to realize the same.

Charming and beautiful, raw and emotional, I highly suggest this novel. All the profits from her books go to help rescue dogs, something very close to the author’s heart.

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)
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!

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 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 and on ijustfinished under the name Gabina. Follow Here To Listen to Fran’s Radio Show and Here


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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Posted in REVIEWS | 20 Comments

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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