SLIVERS OF LIFE book review -Short Stories in vogue

IMG_20180213_185326.png

At midnight, my eyes are a little heavy. I didn’t have the attention span I had when I was younger to read a 300 plus page book in one sitting. I find myself searching for thin reads.

I took my car in for service at 8 A.M. this morning. As I walked out the door, without my tea and morning exercise, I realized that I might have a wait. I grabbed from the top of my books stacked on my dining table awaiting a read. My week started as one of those weeks that the books stared at me saying, “When are you going to read me?” Glancing at the book as I rammed it into my tote bag, I smiled knowing that it was not too heavy nor too thick. Arriving at the dealership and getting checked in, the specialist told me the car would be ready in two hours.

20160131_130417

I sat down and pulled out my book hoping that I had grabbed one that was not boring. Hallelujah, it’s a collection of short stories.

Four hours later, standing in front of me was a young smiling person apologizing for taking so long. Glancing up, I wondered to whom he was talking. I was so mesmerized by the stories in the book until I lost track of time.  I had two more of the 20 stories left to read. I was a little annoyed that I had to stop reading, but it was okay because I could finish at midnight very quickly and write my review.

My definition of short stories:

There’s a beginning to introduce and whet the appetite. An author can skip 20 years without losing the essence of the dialogue, bridge the work as not to lose the meaning, then boom, the dramatic ending that brings the story to a conclusion or an end that leaves the reader hanging and wishing for more. Throughout, the reader will discover threads of life lessons weaved throughout the story.

My hot seat author, Beem Weeks (@BeemWeeks) nailed this definition in his book, Slivers of Life – A collection of short stories.

1518568527654-1883964275.jpg

My Rating: 5 Stars

http://amzn.to/2BNbmCT

Follow Beem Weeks Blog

Voice of Indie – Twitter

The author’s description of the contents as listed on Amazon.com

These twenty short stories are a peek into individual lives caught up in spectacular moments in time. Children, teens, mothers, and the elderly each have stories to share. Readers witness tragedy and fulfillment, love and hate, loss and renewal. Historical events become backdrops in the lives of ordinary people, those souls forgotten with the passage of time. Beem Weeks tackles diverse issues running the gamut from Alzheimer’s disease to civil rights, abandonment to abuse, from young love to the death of a child. Long-hidden secrets and notions of revenge unfold at the promptings of rich and realistic characters; plot lines often lead readers into strange and dark corners. Within Slivers of Life, Weeks proves that everybody has a story to tell—and no two are ever exactly alike.

Here’s What I think

This book has 118 pages. Nice. It has a collection of 20 short stories some as short as two and a half pages. Don’t that just make you want to pick up this book right now and read it? Two pages – Wow!

By reading most in one session revealed a common theme of broken families with either the father or mother absent. The author covered everything from peeping toms to ligamatrix attacks to bigfoot to homelessness to a high school shooting, to coping during a time of grievance. Each story is compelling holding the reader’s attention with great anticipation. I loved the story of old Charlie and his wife, Elmira. I couldn’t stop laughing. Although I do not condone violence, I like Elmira’s style. The story of Richie losing his baby brother is heart-wrenching.

I wasn’t very impressed with the appearance of the book cover although it indeed represented the dark side of some of the stories. Beem has an intriguing table of contents and equally as exciting chapter headings such as “When Jesus Left Birmingham” or “Peepers Creepers.”  I found the stories to be vivid and coherent. I thought the story about the ligamatrix was a tad bit unrealistic but held my attention. I feel that the characters, for the most part, are well-defined forming a connection for the reader.

You can purchase copies of Beem Weeks books at:

http://amzn.to/2GYI8QS

FOOTNOTE: In light of the school shooting that occurred this Valentine’s Day in Parkland, Florida with 17 dead, I send my condolences to the families that lost their children and to the children and teachers who will never forget this horrendous day in history. Their lives will be forever changed. Let’s lift up the city of Parkland, Florida as you read this post.

Read Beem’s short story in his book entitled “Yearbook.” Yesterday’s fiction becomes today’s reality.

Advertisements

5 “Must Do” Tips For Traveling With Middle School Kids

Life can be dramatic and funny all in the same day… Jennifer Aniston #quote

Technology has taken control of your vacation. You think you are in control. Think again. Prepare to get stressed out or embrace the changes with a little laughter.

quotesforkidsashamed

Hello. The school is out for most kids. Summer and vacation time are upon you. Every time school is out you make a promise to prepare early for the family vacation. But, are you ever really prepared? Whether taking a road trip or by train or by bus or by air, these basic tips apply in any situation. Of course, when you decide to take the family pet with you, depending upon the kind of pet, prepare to expect the unexpected. These adorable pets love to travel and want to thank you.

tUESDAY THANK YOUC_4KJLSXgAIA_KO

Too Cute!

 

When my two kids were growing up, we would spend a whole week packing to prepare for the big day mentally. Inevitably, we would forget something. My little girl was the menace of the family. You probably have one in yours. She would pack and unpack so many times until she took all the fun out of getting ready. My son, on the other hand, packed in one hour and rarely changed what he packed in the first place. I recall one vacation when my daughter taped her cat’s mouth shut, stuffed him inside her coat, and made it all the way through customs without being discovered.

“Girls will be girls and boys will be boys.”

Vacation Checklist for Middle School Kids

cropped-logo.png

Gracie Bradford, M.S.-MBA        June 30, 2017    

Tip Number 1: Take the iPad loaded with a minimum of a dozen games and songs. You may not know how to operate the iPad, but trust me, the Middle School Kid does. Invest in a pair of earphones or “Beats” to avoid the noise. Download at least three long chapter books – they act as a sedative.

Tip Number 2: Pack the kid’s cell phone. Limit the number of snap chats, facetime, and texts even if you have an unlimited plan. The purpose of a vacation is to talk to each other face-to-face.

Tip Number 3: Be prepared for a snack attack. Most kids do not like generic food as most adults don’t either. Make sure the meals are their favorite nutritious snacks like fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, and beverage (pick up after clearing security if in the airport).

Tip Number 4: Never, never leave home without insect repellant.

Tip Number 5: Pack the backpack as if it is a survivor bag. Include an empty thermal cup, straws, napkins, individually wrapped wipes, a roll of traveling toilet tissue, bandage, a whistle, a small flashlight, single package of Kleenex tissue, their favorite spoon for taking meds, and chewing gum if riding on the airplane. Always insert a card inside the backpack with pertinent information about the child. I’m a senior citizen, and I do the same with my backpack with a few modifications.

My Name is:                                                                  I am ___years old.
My parents are:
My parent telephone numbers are:

My sister or brother name is:

I am allergic to:
I live in:
I take the following prescribed medications daily:
  • Writing this information on a colorful index card is ideal

Safety Alert: Find the child’s favorite wristband, turn it inside out, using a permanent marker, write the child’s name, your name, your telephone number, and destination for when they disappear without telling you. It’s normal for kids to get so excited that they do not pay close attention to where they are and may wonder off. It only takes a split second. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

 

 

 

COFFEE AND TEA LOVERS – LET’S CHAT

GOOD MONDAY MORNING – IT’S TIME TO WAKE UP! GRAB A CUP OF COFFEE OR TEA.

YOUR EARLY MORNING BRAIN TEASER……………

QUERY QUESTION.

If your dog could talk to you, what celebrity voice would you give her/him? Why?

 

 

Reply in the comment section.

 

Three Random Questions Interview with Author-Firefighter Danual Berkley

An interview worth reading!

Bonnie Ferrante - Books and More for Children

Danual Berkley is a full-time fire fighter, husband, father of two little boys, Army vet, and a guy with a dream. His dream is to one day become a well-known children’s author providing positive representation for black men, while tackling the lack of diversity in children’s literature for people of color.

 Bonnie Ferrante: Welcome, Danual. I’m so glad you agreed to an interview. You’ve gone from being in the army to being a fire fighter, both requiring huge acts of courage and selflessness. Why do you choose these kinds of careers?

Danual Berkley: Hello Bonnie. Thank you so much for having me! I chose these two careers for two separate reasons actually. While in high school, I always kept pretty good grades. I had no idea how to use those grades to get scholarships to pay for college, nor was I really interested in doing another 4 years of school…

View original post 1,582 more words

JOYCE SHAUGHNESSY – Romantic Historical Fiction Writer

It is an honor to host author Joyce Shaughnessy on her “Spotlight Author Blog Tour” sponsored by Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC). Joyce is featuring her book on historical fiction entitled, The Healing Place. On today’s tour, Joyce shares a few techniques she uses to promote books.

 

The Awful Task of Promoting

Most of my author friends would say that I hate promotion. But promoting with RRBC is wonderful. As long as I participate by reading books presented on the site, I will be chosen more often as a Spotlight Author or in interviews. Or one of my books has a chance to be chosen as Book of the Month. The point is, I know that RRBC is not only a place I can promote myself, but I can meet other authors. I love reading and giving reviews of books by other RRBC members. I put all of my book reviews on my blog, so hopefully, more people will be convinced to buy their books. I feel so lucky that I found RRBC. Their site serves as an inspiration to all of us.

Author Bio

author photo[9140]

The Writer and Certified Editor

Joyce Shaughnessy has published five books in the last seventeen years. The first three, A Healing Place, Blessed Are the Merciful, and The Unsurrendered, are romantic historical fiction based upon the Dust Bowl in the Great Depression and WWII in the Pacific. They reflect her love of history and historical fiction. She is also a certified editor and has edited four anthologies and several novels. She loves editing almost as much as writing.

She has two finished manuscripts on her desk. She hasn’t found the proper home for them yet, but will hopefully soon. She has lived with her husband in Midland, Texas for the last twenty-six years. They share a love of reading and own a very large collection gathered over the years.

Book Blurb

Go over to Amazon to pick up your copy of this beautiful book. Authors welcome reviews.

book cover[9141]

(https://goo.gl/aY9eNr)

A Healing Place is based on the Thirties and Forties and emphasizes the power of love, sacrifice, courage, and prayer. The Millers move to Texas from Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl of the Great Depression. Their son-in-law, Jed is sent to the Philippines during WWII where he walks the Death March.

 

Connect with Joyce online!

Twitter: @AuthorJoyceS

Facebook: @joyceshaughnessy1

Website: joyceshaughnessy.blogspot.com

RRBC Spotlight Author in May – Maretha Botha

AUTHORS SUPPORTING AUTHORS. IMPRESSIVE!#RRBC

Fauna Park Tales - An Illustrated Series

I would like to use this opportunity to thank Nonnie Jules, President of Rave Reviews Book Club and her awesome team for taking such great pains to give me such a wonderful month in the spotlight.  You are AWESOME!! Here is the link to all the activities which were planned for me – a grateful #RRBCSpotlightAuthor in May.

https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/spotlight-authors/

I was on the hot seat with Nonnie Jules this month. Here is the link where you’d be able to judge whether I did okay. https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/2018/05/25/maretha-botha-in-whos-on-the-shelf-w-nonnie-jules-rrbc-marethmbotha/

I would like to mention that it was this particular feature of Rave Reviews Book Club which hooked me to join the club.  This month, I’ve been a happy member for TWO YEARS. In an earlier blog post I tried to express how I feel about a quality book club such as Rave Reviews Book Club in a post called:  http://marethabotha2013.com/2016/09/27/rave-reviews-book-club-a-place-called-home/654FA5B5-DD94-4DF9-853F-F275C832C6A6

Here are photographs and…

View original post 322 more words

Maretha Botha in “WHO’S ON THE SHELF” w/@Nonnie Jules – #RRBC @MarethMBotha

Meet an author who writes great children books.

Rave Reviews By Nonnie Jules

Hello, and welcome to “WHO’S ON THE SHELF?” with yours truly, Nonnie Jules!  Since we are a book club, you know we had to offer something that included a bookshelf.  A lot of interviews merely cover an author’s work or an individual’s career stories.  Here on this “SHELF,”  we get down and dirty and ask the questions no other interviewer dare ask.  We ask the questions that you want to open up a book and find the answers to on your favorite authors and fellow book club members, but, no one has dared to cover them.  We get personal!  Because when you sit on this “SHELF,” YOU are an open book! Even if I have to pry you open!

Today, we have a very special guest on the SHELF with us, RRBC member and May’s “SPOTLIGHT” Author,MARETHA BOTHA We have been celebrating her all month long and…

View original post 2,281 more words

#RRBC Pay-it-Forward

Writing and Music

Pay-It-Forward-Spread-002-2

We all hear the term, Pay-It-Forward, but how often do we get a chance to do something for someone else selflessly?

Today, I take the opportunity to tell you about a RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB Author, Larry Landgraf.

Larry lives a fascinating life. He was born and raised on the Texas Gulf Coast in the swamp country of the Guadalupe River Delta. Larry has spent his entire life dealing with nature. He is at home with snakes, alligators, and every other swamp critter. In fact, a rattlesnake which crossed his path the other day is now a hatband. Larry started hunting and fishing to provide for his family while still in elementary school. He can build stuff with raw materials and make things work. Larry is a survivor by necessity. And, he is an author.

He has a brand new book of true stories. And, it is my honor…

View original post 173 more words