SLIVERS OF LIFE book review -Short Stories in vogue

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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.

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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.

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My Rating: 5 Stars

http://amzn.to/2BNbmCT

Follow Beem Weeks Blog

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

 

Jump on board the #RRBCTreatReads Blog Hop! #RRBC #RWISA

Check out these amazing writers!

Watch Nonnie Write!

Hello, ladies and gentleman!  I’m back with a lot of fun for you to dive into and some amazing reads hot on my “tail,” as they say down in Texas.

For 13 days, the amazing RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB is hosting a blog hop for the grand prize winner, the runner-ups and the finalists in the 2017 KCT INT’L LITERARY AWARDS CONTESTS!  Now, all of these members are RWISA Members and that means that you can bet your bottom dollar, the reads are good!  (If you don’t know about RWISA, hurry and check them out!)

I’m sharing the Line-up here because I can just feel you itching for some good reads and you can definitely find one here, every day thru the 30th.

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“TREAT” READS BLOG HOP LINE-UP

Tuesday, 9/18/18:“THE IMPROBABLE JOURNEYS OF BILLY BATTLES” by Ronald Yates

Wednesday, 9/19/18:  “IN THE SHADOW OF LIES”

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10 Classic Picture Books for Fall

Rosco's Reading Room

Most people say summer is their favorite season, but I’m an autumn gal at heart. I love the changing weather, the warm colors on the trees, the orange decorations, the apple pie, and the visits to an orchard or a pumpkin patch. Plus, it’s my birthday season!

When my children were little, we’d visit the library and snag those prized, seasonal fall books off the shelves as soon as they hit the display shelf. Along with the seventy five or so 😉 other books the kids chose every two weeks–thank goodness for machine-operated checkouts–we’d haul them home and read a few each night at bedtime.

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But I also kept a collection of fall themed books that I purchased, and many of those became favorites that we’d read year after year.

I miss those toddler and preschool days and would recommend this tradition to every parent of youngsters, before they’re old…

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Making Your Reading Fun!

I promised earlier this week that I would share with you the type of books that I am reading since I have retired after 34 long years of devoted service. They range from sleazy to sexy to adventurous. To be politically correct, I do still read a few books related to the business world.

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My Daily Routine.

Sleep until 10 A.M. CST after staying up most of the night reading a new book I downloaded to my iPad.

Go to the gym to do stepping, senior exercise and strength exercise – So much fun with the older group.

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Visit with new-found friends. I clean the house, but it is not a priority!

Back home to take care of the garden and visit with my lizard, XELA.

 

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Meet X-E-LA!  He visits on the patio every morning while I am drinking my tea.

 

It’s time for lunch. My meals have changed dramatically. I eat like a bird.

After lunch, I am usually on the laptop or reading my book for the day.

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I do carve out time in the afternoon to give my healthcare consulting business quality time and to plan my next trip to exotic places that I haven’t seen before.

I make a point to write no less than 500 words per day for my next book. One day, I’m going to have a NY Times bestseller.

Let’s talk books.

Here is a list of some of the books on my Kindle that I have already read. Some are from traditional bestseller authors, but most are from independently published authors, a hidden treasure of writers. I have downloaded 80 more on my laptop. As you can see, a drastic change from leadership books.

  1. Divorcees Biz by Eileen Thornton – Recommended for the over 60-year-old crowd; hot and a page turner
  2. Step on the Crack by James Patterson and Michael Bennett – James is my favorite writer
  3. The President is Missing: A novel by James Patterson and President Bill Clinton – The suspense keeps you on the edge of your seats
  4. Confessions of a Geriatric Prom Queen by Lila Silvern – Recommended for women over 60 years old – get ready for some steamy advice about sex
  5. With Angel’s Wings by Stephanie A. Collins – Recommended for all adults who adore their kids; has won many book awards
  6. Mama’s Heart: A true to life story of tragedy and love by VJJ Dunn – It will leave you in tears
  7. Flame and Hope: An African Adventure Fauna Park Tales by Maretha Botha – Primarily for Middle-School Children but suitable for adults to read to their children
  8. Finding Katie by Harmony Kent – Recommended for any young adult struggling to find themselves
  9. Letting Go into Perfect Love: Discovering the Extraordinary after Abuse by Gwendolyn Plano – Recommended for anyone who has suffered from abuse or knows someone is currently suffering from abuse; guarantee to inspire and motivate
  10. Flowers and Stone by Jan Sikes – Recommended for all adults; one of the last books she published before passing
  11. Empty Chairs by Stacey Danson (Suzanne Burke) – A Must Read for all adults
  12. The Ultimate Betrayal (A Reverend Curtis Black Novel Book 12) by Kimberla Lawson Roby – Recommended for church-going folks
  13. Popcorn Behind the Bush (The Gracie Series) by Grace LaJoy Henderson – Recommended for Middle grade
  14. A Mother’s Heart: Memoir of a Special Needs Parent by Elchin Chang-Lim – Recommended for anyone who has a child with special needs
  15. Non-Profit by Larry Hyatt – Recommended for all adults looking for a sprinkle of humor
  16. To The Top by Deontae Henderson – Picture Book Recommended for K – 3rd Grade
  17. Acts Beyond Redemption – Book 1 by Suzanne Burke – Recommended for those who like to read suspense books
  18. Circus Tarot by Charles W. Jones – Recommended for adults; if you like the circus, you will enjoy this suspense thriller and learn more than you thought you knew about the circus
  19. The Old House: An Everlasting Love Story by Karl Morgan – Recommended for adults
  20. Has Anyone Seen My Brain? By Kan Nimak – Recommended for healthcare workers and teachers; appropriate for middle school and young adults
  21. Children of the Future by Jane Suen – Recommended for young adults
  22. There is a Reaper: Losing a Child to Cancer – This one is very emotional; recommended for all males who are facing the ordeal of coping with the loss of a child with cancer
  23. The Neon Houses by Linda Mims – Recommended for all adults
  24. Adventures in Mother-Sitting by Doreen Cox – This is filled with techniques for caregivers
  25. Type and Cross – Book 1 by Staci Troilo – Recommended for all adults if you like suspense and for healthcare personnel who works in emergency rooms
  26. Allergic to Life: My Battle for Survival, Courage, and Hope by Kathryn Chastain Treat (deceased) – Recommended for healthcare workers

All Kindle books on this list are available on Amazon.com

If you have read any of the books on this list, please share your thoughts with my followers in the comment or Reply section of this post.

 

WRITERS BLOCK-WHAT SHALL I DO?

Here are some funny quotes that may identify how you are feeling when you are experiencing writer’s block and worrying about poor book sales?  Laughter is like medicine for writers.

“When you’re looking for the light at the end of the tunnel, a buddy doesn’t just have your back… A buddy brings the map.” from Stephen Geez’s book BEEN THERE, NOTED THAT: ESSAYS IN TRIBUTE TO LIFE.

Been There, Noted That: Essays In Tribute To Life: Observations, Inspiration, Remembrance, & Noteworthies To Share

Find your buddy by joining a book club. Tell them that I sent you.

 

Feast upon these quotes from the book, BUTTER MY BUTT AND CALL ME A BISCUIT by Alan Zullo and Gene Cheek.

Butter My Butt and Call Me a Biscuit: And Other Country Sayings, Say-So's, Hoots and Hollers

Concerning consequences: “Don’t let your mouth write checks that your rear end can’t cash.”

Concerning ego: “Some people are so full of themselves, you’d like to buy “em for what they’re worth and sell ’em for what they think they’re worth.”

Concerning poverty: If you are flat broke and want to run off the bill collector say, “I don’t have a pot to pee in nor a window to throw it out of.”

Do you have any favorite quotes that make you laugh when you are in a writing slump? Share with my readers in the comment section.

www.authorgraciebradford.com

@iamXordinary

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BOOKS AND DREAMS

Have you ever measured the quality of a book by the intensity of the dream you have about the characters in the book?

You know that it is time to re-read a book when you find yourself dreaming about the characters. I am an avid reader. I will read most genres. I often dream about what the Antagonist is going to do next. When that happens, I know its time to finish the book or re-read the book.

The character that I dream about is Alex Cross in James Patterson’s books. You guessed right. I have read most of James Patterson books. What’s your all-time favorite author? Share in the comment section.

Tyler Perry played Alex Cross in the movie. Absolutely awesome!

Books touch you in such a way that you allow them to invade your inner thoughts. You wonder what you would do in a similar situation and can’t resolve until you come up with your ending.

Books make you laugh. They even bring out the worst in you. Sometimes, you will find yourself talking out loud at the characters. Other times, you are reaching for a tissue to wipe the tears and dripping from your nose. Mingled among those reactions could be a few curse words. Your heart is beating so hard from fear that you jump up and turn all the lights on in the house.

Then comes the deep breath when it’s all said and done.

That’s me!

 

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When I kick off my shoes, I am really into a book

 

Or, do you identify so with a character in a TV series that you wonder and dream about what he/she will do next? My favorite characters of all times on a TV show are Jason and Sonny on General Hospital.

 

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Jason and then Sonny

 

Who is your favorite TV character in a series? Share in the comment section. Let’s see what we have in common.

I am looking for that up and coming author who can keep me reading their books like James Patterson. I may have found the next dream invaders.

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Empty ChairsLetting Go Into Perfect Love by Gwen PlanoHis Revenge

Which up and coming author’s books speak to you in such a way that you keep coming back for more? Share in the comment section. 

I read both fiction and non-fiction books. I read books about effective management and leadership techniques while employed. I also read many books on how to prepare your financial nest egg for retirement. I would sprinkle a few memoirs in the mix. I read the books my children and grandchild read in school which was one of my reading priorities. Books about historical events did not capture my fancy. It’s not to say that they were not important, it’s that I focus on being the best I could be at what I did. Continuous learning was important to me and remains a top priority.

Crossword puzzles and Word Finds traveled with me on business trips.

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Oh, but NOW!

Wow!

Come back later this week to find out what I like to read now.