#RRBCSpotlightAuthor

Life As I Know It

Good morning, bloggers!!

I would like to welcome this week’s “SPOTLIGHT” Author to my blog. This talented lady, Kathryn Treat, is not only a supportive member of Rave Reviews Book Club, but she is also the Membership Director.

Her story is one that has already touched many lives and it may, very well, touch yours. So as always, sit back, relax and enjoy………


What Is She Saying?

I am not a part of this world
When I speak, strange
terms come from my lips
People look at me with my mask
as if I am an alien
Holed up here inside my room—
stripped bare of carpet
I try to keep myself and my mind occupied
There is no one to talk to who
really understands me
After all, who is allergic to their house,
their food,
and everything around them.

 

Book Cover

Allergic to Life: My Battle for Survival…

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Liz Garton Scanlon: Fear No Difference

Guest Post by Austin Author Liz Garton Scanlon

This is the third week in a series of author guest posts about diversity in children’s literature and the BookPeople Modern First Library initiative. For more about BookPeople’s Modern First Library initiative, and for more recommendations of wonderful new and classic picture books to read, visit bookpeople.com.

Previous posts in this series:

Meghan G., Kids book buyer: Introducing BookPeople’s Modern First Library
Chris Barton: A Modern First Library List
Chris Barton: Loved, valued, unique? Yes. Center of the universe? No.
Cynthia Leitich Smith: Books as mirrors
Cynthia Leitich Smith: This book is for you
Liz Garton Scanlon: Soul reflecting 101

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In June, I sent my 15-year-old to China with a high school study abroad program. At the airport, I had a lump in my throat, because I’m a mom. She didn’t, because she was ready. And here’s what I absolutely believe…

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LIFE DRAWING a suspenseful examination of a marriage after betrayal

This sounds real good. Consider adding it to your list.

Read Her Like an Open Book

Life Drawing  Robin Black by Marion Ettlinger

Life Drawing

By Robin Black

Random House; July 15, 2014

$25.00, 241 pages

“There are often two conversations going on in a marriage. The one that you’re having and the one you’re not. Sometimes you don’t even know when that second, silent one has begun.”

Life Drawing is a ticking time bomb of a book that tells the story of a couple in their late-40s  trying to rebuild their marriage after a betrayal. Augusta (Gus) and Owen Edelman are a painter and novelist, respectively, who have moved to a farmhouse in the countryside west of Philadelphia to work on stabilizing their relationship without the distractions or stresses of life in the city.

It is not giving anything away to reveal that Gus had an affair with the father of one of her art students before breaking it off and confessing everything to Owen. From the start, we are curious…

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Excerpt from the South Hills Conspiracy

Lenticular05“So, Mr. Powell, tell me your story again,” Samantha said.  She was readjusting her gear in preparation for the next climb.  Her climbing partner Stacie was working similarly on the other side of the tent.  Andrew thrust his fists into his pockets where hand warmers embraced them with intense heat.  He’d spent the last hour trying to explain his presence without jeopardizing the chances of gaining Samantha’s cooperation.  Her reaction was tending towards skepticism so far.

“David and I work at the college together.  The chancellor asked me to find him.  He’s heading up a research project that is very important to us and it is nearing a very critical phase.  Since he left unexpectedly without leaving a method for contacting him, I was sent to do it the old fashioned way, in person.”  Not knowing just what Samantha knew about David or his work, Andrew was taking a risk by fabricating part of his story.  But standing near the top of the mountain he felt he had to play every card in his deck now that he’d found his only lead.  Failing to put Samantha’s piece of the puzzle in place could result in Andrew’s investigation coming to an abrupt end.

“And he sent you why?”

“She, Marie Marisol, thought I’d be a quick and inexpensive option.  For starters I know David.  I also have experience finding people.  Add to that the fact that I’m relatively free during the summer term.”

“What kind of experience?” Stacie asked.  She had been quietly but attentively listening since they’d met.  Now her curiosity was apparently piqued by what he’d said.

“He’s a cop.  I recognized your name.  Aren’t you the Police Chief of South Hills PD?” Samantha asked.  Andrew could see that Stacie was now giving him her full attention.

“I used to be.  I’m retired from law enforcement now.  I work at the police academy which is run under the auspices of the college, my current employer.”  Andrew pulled his hands out of his pockets and held his palms open.  Years of experience had taught him that if he was going to be able to establish rapport and build trust quickly, then his time to strike was now.  Otherwise he might never succeed, even after the considerably longer investment of time that would have to be spent in the relationship.

“So after talking with family and friends my search has narrowed down to Samantha being the only person known to possibly be able to help locate David.  We really appreciate any information you could give us.  Anything at all, no matter how trivial, I’d like to know.”  Andrew sat down on a cot and leaned on his elbows.  Body language was a key tool for interrogators and he was careful with his now – lower the tension, hide any indication of desperation – but keep the conversation moving forward on the subject of David’s whereabouts.

Samantha, however, was clearly resistant as she asked, “If you’re saying David is missing, shouldn’t the police be involved?”

“The South Hills PD does have a missing persons case open.  I am acting on their behalf.  The current chief Kenneth Hand will confirm that if you call the number on his card here.”  Andrew handed the card to Samantha who looked over at Stacie.

“So,” Stacie began, “the department found no evidence of criminal or suspicious activity at David’s home and there were no hits from his credit cards or cell phone I take it?”

“No.”

Stacie nodded at Samantha and Andrew detected an unspoken message passing between them.

Samantha asked, “Why not just wait to hear from him?  I assume that is what happens typically in these cases.  He knows the importance of the project obviously since he’s in charge of it.”

Everything about his police instincts told Andrew that something was not right about Samantha’s reluctance to accept him.  After years of dealing with interested parties an officer could recognize distinguishable patterns of behavior.  Innocent or uninvolved witnesses did not act the way Samantha had.  As sure as he was about Samantha’s behavior Andrew was also as sure that he had to get something out of her or all his efforts so far would be for naught.

“Well there is that yes,” he said calmly, slowing the pace of conversation, “But I’d hate to think that David might be in a situation where it’s not possible.”

“You aren’t suggesting that David is either in danger or has been harmed, is that correct?” Stacie asked.

“That is correct.” Andrew answered.  He was trying to plant a seed without pressing down too hard on the earth above it.  The question remained as to whether he had added the right amount of water.

Samantha appeared to have lost some color.  Her eyes widened and she folded her arms tight around her.  “Well what do you think?  What should I do?”  She was speaking to Stacie but pacing back and forth while doing so.

“I don’t know Sam.  But if it were my brother, husband or boyfriend, and he was missing under similar circumstances, I’d want somebody like Andrew here to care enough to come all this way to find him.  I like that in a man.”

Hearing those words caused Andrew to again take notice of this impressive woman.  A mystery lay there he thought, and well hidden.  He was motivated to stay around long enough to uncover those secrets.  If for no other reason than the fact there was so much more to her that Andrew found attractive.  Andrew stood, walked over to Stacie and smiled as he bowed before her.

“This is what I can tell you, Andrew is it?  I don’t know where David is or how to reach him.  I am expecting to meet him in three days though I can’t tell you where.  That leaves you with two choices in my view.  You can go home and wait until I meet David, and then let him decide whether or not to call you, but your problem is solved knowing you’ll eventually hear from him.  Or you can tag along with us and see him when we do.”

Andrew turned back towards Samantha as she spoke that last sentence and uttered the only reply he could think of, “Thank you.”

Detroit Emergency Manager: Increase Class Sizes to 43 to Save $$

Something is very wrong. Detroit is the city of my parent’s birth. What can be done, now, before another generation is sacrificed? Don’t we know?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Just remember: It’s all about the kids.

Just remember: The children are our future.

In Detroit, where they enroll thousands of children who need a great education, the state-appointed emergency manager has decided to save money by increasing class size to 43. Students will not get individual attention. Students will not get the support they need. Teachers will spend time on crowd control instead of instruction.

Governor Snyder cut corporate taxes.

It’s all about the children.

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Elyssa Rose–Part One (Caught in the Act)

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Elyssa Rose didn’t need a man in her life. She definitely didn’t need Jaxon Crutchfield in her life. No man had ever managed to irritate her as much as this one did. Of course she knew that was his goal. He wanted her to give up on her dream. He wanted her to throw in the towel after only one month. Oh he didn’t really care about her or her dream. In fact he’d have been happy for her to pursue her dream as long as she did it in another location. He didn’t care one whit about her–he was only interested in her building.

She stood in the side window of her corner shop, pretending to rearrange a couple of flower vases while glancing across the street. She could see through the large glass window to the inside of the fitness center where a number of people were lifting…

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Thoughts on Boyhood

This is a MUST SEE film, Boyhood

Writing about things.

For the inaugural post on this blog, I’m choosing to talk a little bit about Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, the technical tour de force which follows a broken family through 12 years of highs, lows and, most importantly, all the things that come between. Boyhood‘s publicity comes mainly from the way that it was filmed: 12 years of narrative filmed over 12 years of real time, with the actors growing and ageing organically throughout the filming process. Not only do we get to see our protagonist, Mason (Ellar Coltrane) grow from a six year old boy to high school graduate and college student; we also get to see his parents and sister transform completely, too.

As a character, Mason is often less than loveable: he spouts conspiracy theories and ‘deep’ musings on life, the universe and everything; he is reticient beyond belief, and maintains the kind of ‘special snowflake’ syndrome that…

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Calling All Indie Authors

About the #IndieBooksBeSeen Social Media Project

Suffering from Writer's Blog

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When you hear the phrase “Indie Author”, what do you think it means? Just a few years ago, people looked at the phrase as meaning, “An amateur writer who can’t get published by the Big 6 and so goes the self-publishing Route. Usually a sub par story for a select audience.”

Nowadays, the phrase “Indie Author” means that the writer is just as good as any mainstream author, but doesn’t have the finances for a big publishing firm and chooses a small press company instead. Oh yes, just because you’ve signed with a publisher, does not exclude yourself to be called an indie author. I had the same thought as above. I thought in order to be considered an indie author, you had to self-publish your book.

Before the Big 6

If your not familiar with the phrase, “The Big 6”, it’s the group of publishing houses that…

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Weekly Review #39

Here are two short reviews on good reads.

Life As I Know It

Good morning, bloggers!!

Let me begin by saying HappyIndependenceDay!! I hope you and your family have a wonderfully, blessed day. Enjoy each other. Embrace each other. Cherish those memories!

I hope you all have had an awesome week!! I also hope you are getting to enjoy a 3-day weekend, or at least an extra day off.  🙂  I know off days do NOT happen as often as we like, so please enjoy today.

Now……let’s jump right into today’s Weekly Review!

1)  Writing: Well, I have taken some time away from A MOMENTARY GLANCE. I think this is a much-needed break. I’ve been struggling with moving forward in the story, so I’m switching gears! Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had this idea in my head. About a book. About what I want to express in this book. SO I’m finally putting those thoughts…

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11 Things You Could Have Spent $561 On But Can’t Because Tuition Went Up

More on the rising cost of higher education.

Voice of SGA

Thanks to politicians in Oklahoma City neglecting to adequately fund OU, tuition and fees are going up by an average of 4.8% this fall. That means a $561 increase for nonresident students and $268.50 for Oklahoma students. As you wave goodbye to more of your hard-earned cash, let’s take a look at some of the things you could have spent $561 on.

1. 167 gallons of gas

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Particularly important when you’re driving around every day hunting for a parking space. Speaking of which…

2. 2 years of parking passes (including summer!)

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Maybe I’ll just take CART…

3. 1 month of rent plus utilities

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Well….probably not at the Cottages.

4. 6 textbooks

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Time to get a Kindle.

5. 2 months of groceries

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Pictured above: critical grocery item.

6. An iPad with accessories

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Guess you’ll have to stick with an old-school spiral notebook.

7. 37 Comfort Colors t-shirts

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Tuition increases are far…

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