Stage Seven, A Novel
A sweet but uptight single mom falls for an older man at an Alzheimer’s facility where her mother—and his wife—are patients. Barbara Gordon is a self-reliant, divorced mom, brilliant at managing her life with lists and spreadsheets. Lately, though, the demands of a teenage daughter, a manipulative sister, and a mother with worsening Alzheimer’s are more than she can handle. Then Barbara meets Jack, an appealing older man married to a late-stage dementia patient who no longer knows him. Jack and Barbara hold the power to make each other happy…but only if Barbara can break her long cycle of romantic abstinence. Funny, sad, and heartwarming, Stage Seven is about two people caught between love and duty, and the risks we take when we commit our hearts to family, friends, and lovers alike.
PRAISE FOR STAGE SEVEN
“A romance with emotional maturity and true connection, delightful and touching.” -Abbi Waxman, USA Today best-selling author
“A compassionate and moving novel about the lives we are living now. (Stevens) reveals the ways that Alzheimer’s challenges and changes who we are and how we love.” -Marita Golden, author, The Wide Circumference of Love, an NPR Best Book of 2017
“If you’re looking for humor, love, and the strength of spirit to face heartbreaking realities head on, Stage Seven may just be the elixir.” -Daniel Kenner, author of Room For Grace
“Stevens’ captivating story of Barbara’s roller coaster of desire, self-doubt, selflessness, envelope-pushing risk-taking, loyalty, and standing in her truth make this book a great read I enjoyed.” -Dan Gasby, co-author with B. Smith, Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer’s
"Its ability to juxtapose fun with serious inspections and thought-provoking moments makes Stage Seven highly recommended for women and families who are navigating the currents of dementia and romance concurrently, and who look for stories steeped in real-world emotions and interpersonal explorations."
-Midwest Book Review (Read full review here)
Watch Ruth discuss Stage Seven on the Summer Book Series co-sponsored by AlzAuthors and HFC (Hilarity for Charity), an Alzheimer’s awareness group founded by Seth Rogen and his wife.
COMING IN 2024 FROM BLACK ROSE WRITING:
MY YEAR OF CASUAL ACQUAINTANCES
A 50-year-old divorcee tries to live a new, commitment-free life after her husband leaves her for another woman.
Mar Meyer is not pleased when her husband of 28 years ditches her for another woman, so she reacts by changing everything in her life: her home, her hobbies, her friends, even her name. Though it’s not easy starting over at fifty, Mar is healthy, youthful-looking, and ready for new adventures—as long as they are commitment-free. This episodic novel follows Mar through her first year of single life. With each month, she moves from one acquaintance to the next with the goal of escaping her painful past, but every encounter in her journey brings her closer to self-awareness and, with it, a chance for happiness and fulfillment—if she’s willing to make some changes.
THE UNEXPECTED GUESTS
This novel follows the intertwining stories of three characters from the previous novel: a celebrated author who's off his game, a reluctantly aging widow, and a woman with a troubled past. All three are caught up in personal struggles when they find themselves thrown together by a series of quirky events. Days turn into months as personalities clash, secrets are revealed, and all three recognize they must find a way to vanquish their demons—if it’s not too late.