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Dad Died, Then Mom by Malia Arries is a Christmas in July Fete pick #nonfiction #memoir #giveaway

Title: Dad Died, Then Mom

Author: Malia Arries

Genre: Nonfiction Memoir

Book Blurb:

You might glance at this book and pass on it - assuming it to be a syrupy, depressing story. On the contrary, Dad Died,Then Mom is a genuine and heartwarming account of something every one of us will experience. There are distressing and tearful moments, but there are also moments filled with comforting smiles and even laughter. Moreover, the beyond this world moments described are awe-inspiring. Malia and her family show us how to face this time of life with legitimacy and graciousness.



The streetlight found its way into the room around the edges of Mom’s heavy drapes to outline objects, my sister Franchion, and my dad. A lingering smell of rhubarb custard pies Mom had made over the years now competed with odors of medicines, cleaning supplies, and body wipes. Fresh lilacs I had picked earlier that day and placed by Dad’s hospital bed offered a glimpse and scent of spring.

I had always loved hearing their grandfather clock, musically announcing the quarter hours and then banging out the full hours. But on that night, I was consciously and unconsciously focused only on the sound of Dad’s breathing.

The living room floor carpeting felt cushy enough, so I was sleeping on that with a pillow and a blanket next to Dad’s bed. My sister’s choice was his big, plush recliner. We both wanted to be near Dad. Franchion was unable to sleep, but I had drifted off until Dad’s breathing changed….


Marvel, Franchion, Shonnie, Bill, and I were gathered around Mom’s bed. Steve, Darrell, and Art were sitting nearby. We were all grappling with our intense emotions. It was so difficult knowing it was actually happening. Mom was leaving us.

At 4:50 p.m., we thought Mom was going; I heard us saying, “She’s gonna go!”—but she took another breath. A few minutes later, we repeated, “She’s gonna go.” Again, she took another breath. There was a remarkable change at 5:10. Art commented, “Being a cop, I’ve seen a lot of guys die, and she is gonna go.” We laughed as we were weeping.

At 5:15, as Mom did draw her final breath, her eyes marvelously opened wide. They became “alive” with an almost jewel-like crystalline and brilliant blue color, stunningly beautiful!...

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

What I love most about the holiday season:


Why is your featured book a must-read to get you in the holiday mood?

To experience authentic Christmas magic: “Later, when it was dark outside, we took Mom to Chippewa Falls to drive through Irvine Park. Entering the park, and continuing the tour through it, transported us into a Christmas fantasy world of dazzling lights, beautiful music, and festive decorations! Mom was her old self during those few hours; she was energetic and appeared to be healthy!”

Giveaway –

One lucky reader will win a $75 Amazon US or Canada gift card:

Open internationally.

Runs July 1 – 31, 2023.

Drawing will be held on August 1, 2023.

Author Biography:

I’m Malia and I am a wife, a mom to two dogs, and the author of Dad Died, Then Mom.

Family, friends, dogs, and dancing, are what I live for (and eating vanilla ice cream cones once-in-a-while).

During a usual day, I’m likely to be at my computer, throwing a ball for my dog, relaxing on our outdoor swing, or watching a movie. I am pretty much retired, but continue to teach a few ballroom and Latin dance classes; I practice patterns often so I won’t forget them – well, at least the ones I can still remember.

Darrell Shelby (husband), Arries (Labrador), Shelby (Border Collie/Labrador), and I live full-time in our vintage Prevost bus. Everything we own is in our “grand old lady” or in the Jeep we tow. Spending summers near Minocqua, WI and winters near Pahrump, NV takes us from lush woods and lakes to barren deserts and mountains. We love them both!

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1 Comment

N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Jul 20, 2023

Thank you, Malia, for sharing your book in our Christmas in July Fete!

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