Father of Five and Stage 3 Cancer Survivor Writes a Novel About Love and Grief for His Family, Recognized as Top 100 Indie Books by Kirkus Reviews

ANNAPOLIS, Md., Dec. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — When USA TODAY bestselling author Jeff Gunhus received a cancer diagnosis from his doctor, he was devastated. Stage 3c metastatic melanoma meant immediate surgery to remove lymph nodes in his left armpit and several months of treatments. He decided to prepare himself and his family for the worst by writing a novel that explored the ideas of love and grief and loss. It was something meant only for their eyes if he died from the disease. Five years later, with his cancer in remission, he decided to publish the novel. Caroline and Mordecai the Gand has since received a prestigious Kirkus Star and selected as a 2021 Kirkus Top 100 Best Indie Book of the Year.

"The scariest thing about the disease was the chance I’d miss my kids growing up," Gunhus says. "It felt like losing all of them at one time." But the author of thrillers for adults and fantasy for younger readers decided to process his feelings through story. "I was worried that the grief my kids and wife would feel from my death might overshadow the fun and love that makes up our lives. I couldn’t stand the idea of that. The positive power of celebrating those we’ve lost despite the pain that comes from grief became the central idea for Caroline and Mordecai the Gand."

In the novel, a young girl named Caroline loses her father and has a hard time coping. One day she climbs a tree that hangs over a lake. A magical window appears to a different world and Caroline falls into it. She soon meets Mordecai the Gand, an odd and complicated man who becomes her travel companion. As Caroline tries to find her way home, she learns the importance of remembering those she has loved and lost as a way to keep them alive.

"While I wrote the book for my kids, I’ve been amazed by the reaction by adults," Gunhus says. "The reviews and emails that share how this book has helped people of all ages deal with loss is very gratifying."

Visit www.JeffGunhus.com for more information about the author

Contact: Jeff Gunhus
Phone: (443) 306-6691

SOURCE Jeff Gunhus