Home Books The Painting and the Piano: An Improbable Story of Survival and Love

The Painting and the Piano: An Improbable Story of Survival and Love

By John Lipscomb and Adrianne Lugo

Ocean Ridge, FL (The Hollywood Times) 8/9/17 − When a baby is born addicted to heroin because of an addicted mother and is transferred to a loving foster home, then bounced back via a highly publicized court case to the unfit birth parents, any sense of normalcy seems unlikely for the child. Likewise, when a young privileged boy grows up with a high society, full blown alcoholic mother whose disease kills her at 42, his chances of a normal life are slim as well.


Sometimes the past doesn’t always stay in the past. In The Painting and the Piano: An Improbable Story of Survival and Love (HCI Books – $15.95), John Lipscomb and Adrianne Lugo tell the story of how the demons of their respective biological mothers tore their young lives apart. Despite their contrasting upbringings, they share tragic childhoods that damaged each of them to the cores of their psyches and emotional well-being and resulted in addiction.

It all started going downhill for Adrianne when her addict birth parents started a long court battle in an effort to get her back. For John, it was when his parents divorced and he started living with his alcoholic mother.


John and Adrianne had to endure the painful toll that alcohol, drugs, and a negligent court system wreaked on them, and were in the depths of despair and slowly dying of addiction. Instead of falling to darkness, John and Adrianne reached for the light and began their respective journeys of healing, which led to a serendipitous meeting, falling in love and building a shared life with the goal of helping others in need.

Told as a tandem narrative with chapters alternating between Adrianne and John, readers embark on a journey through their unforgettable story of pain, loss, and the undying human quest for happiness.

About The Authors:

John Lipscomb and Adrianne Lugo have each celebrated over a decade of sobriety. Both are fully immersed in the South Florida recovery community and John has been on the board of several men’s recovery homes. John has brought AA program meetings into prison and, with Catholic Church Ministries, worked with men and women in maximum security prison including those on death row. Adrianne worked for a recovery home company, sponsors women in AA, and both authors blog about recovery. Adrianne also worked with prisoners on death row and has been interviewed about recovering from opiate addiction. She was born addicted to heroin and was put into foster care as an infant. At the age of nine, her biological parents started a year-long court battle to get her back that made national news. Today, she works to help the public understand the foster care system and its future.


Available wherever books are sold, or to order directly from the publisher, contact: or (800) 441-5569.

The Painting and the Piano


An Improbable Story of Survival and Love
John Lipscomb and Adrianne Lugo
ISBN: 0757319920 – $15.95 – September 2017




Book Signing Dates:

9/02/17 Barnes & Noble, Boca Raton, FL
9/21/17 Barnes & Noble, The Villages FL
9/28/17 Barnes & Noble, East Northport, Long Island, NY

Author Interview:

1. How did you choose the name?

The piano belonged to Johnny’s mother and Adrianne’s mother painted the painting. These inanimate objects witnessed the story of the fall and rise from childhood to adulthood for both Johnny and Adrianne. The piano brings back sad memories for Johnny, but the painting brings back very happy memories for Adrianne. These objects were put together when Adrianne and her three girls moved into Johnny’s house and thus in the final happy chapter of the story.

2. What do you hope to accomplish from this book?

We want our story to reach out and help as many people as possible.

3. Where do you reside now?

We live in Ocean Ridge, Florida on the beach, which is just south of Palm Beach. It was a dream of both of ours to live in Florida on a beach at some point.

4. How are the girls doing?

They are doing great! One is getting married and lives in Chicago, one lives in Los Angeles and is a nanny, and one is a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder. We have a very happy family life, not the typical blended family that you hear terrible stories about after what we went through.

5. Are any of your parents still alive?

The only living relative is Johnny’s father who is doing great, is dating a nice woman and remains close to Johnny.

6. Are you involved in the Foster Care system?

This is our secondary goal: to hopefully reach out to those affected by the Foster Care system and help educate the public about the system. It is still archaic and needs updating as soon as possible. There are travesties similar to what Adrianne went through that are still going on today.

7. Will there be another book?

Yes, Johnny is working on a second book titled Through Jasper’s Eyes, which is about the prison work he did with minimum, maximum, and death row inmates, including both male and female residents (prisoners).

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and Entertainment Critic at, a website that aggregates showbiz news curated for, and written by, insiders of the entertainment industry. (@HwoodTimes @TheHollywood.Times) Milano, whose extraordinary talents for networking in the famously tight-clad enclave of Hollywood have placed her at the center of the industry’s top red carpets and events since 1984, heads daily operations of a uniquely accessible, yet carefully targeted publication. For years, Milano sat on the board and tour coordinator of the Television Critics Association’s press tours. She has written for Communications Daily, Discover Hollywood, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International, and contributed to countless other magazines and digests. Valerie works closely with the Human Rights Campaign as a distinguished Fed Club Council Member. She also works with GLSEN, GLAAD, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal, and DAP Health, in addition to donating both time and finances to high-profile nonprofits. She has been a member of the Los Angeles Press Club for a couple of years and looks forward to the possibility of contributing to the future success of its endeavors. Milano’s passion for meeting people extends from Los Feliz to her favorite getaway, Palm Springs. There, she is a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and a prominent Old Las Palmas-area patron.