Finally, after many years, with the help of my ingenious husband, we published Free Maree, the memoir. It first came out on Kindle in January of 2019, followed by the paperback version in February.
Next came promotion and marketing. We held a local book launch in Marysville, co-hosted by our dear friend and fellow writer, Chuck Champlin of Yuba City, who had recently published his philosophical book, Think Like a Molecule.
In June and July of 2019 we traveled around Australia and New Zealand in search of speaking engagements and media exposure. We were warmly welcomed, hosted and fed by friends and family in a total of 15 different homes throughout the region. Our travel adventures included a brief meeting with the Mayor of Invercargill, a live rugby game between New Zealand and South Africa, and a delightful air B & B in Narrandera, NSW, complete with an outing to a koala sanctuary. We went to Catholic Masses, Unification services and the new Scientology building in Auckland. We sang in a ukelele band and visited a marae. Ate fish and chips, Weet-Bix and a kangaroo omelette.
The Australian leg of our trip was cut short when my mother passed away at 94 on June 23, having hung on in her typically tenacious fashion much longer than was thought medically possible. Being in the general vicinity, we were able to actively participate in the funeral, wake and other events to celebrate her remarkable life. As they say Down Under, she had a good innings.
At the time of writing, Free Maree is enjoying a 5 star rating on Amazon. One reviewer wrote:
Free Maree reads like a movie script, except it is not fiction, it is a real story. I couldn’t put it down. Unbelievable what people will believe. A 26 year old intelligent woman accused of being “brainwashed” to exploit her parents and squeeze them for money. These so called “cult experts” have been damaging to families and their ridiculous opinions have led to the terrible consequences such as what happened at Waco in Texas based upon false information given by self appointed experts. Well done to Maree for coming out of such a horrendous experience with good humour and overcoming potential resentment to her parents. I strongly recommend this book.
You can support me by reading the book (if you haven’t already) and by adding your voice to the growing list of reviews.