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Chrys F. reads… #carolinareads

What’s the first book you remember reading?
Are You My Mother by P.D. Eastman was the first children’s book I ever read by myself. But the first book I remember reading as a child for the pure love of reading was The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank.

What’s the most recent book you have read or what are you reading right now?
I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction books lately, but the book I’m reading now is The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Why did you choose that book?
I’m reading The Handmaid’s Tale because it’s the May/June selection for Emma Watson’s Our Shared Shelf book club on Goodreads. I haven’t read all of their selections, but I have read many.

If you could meet one book character or one author, who would you like it to be and why?
Just one? I have two authors vying for the spot: J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) and J.K. Rowling. I wonder if I can get them to do a wrestling match, and the winner will be the author I meet. And maybe treat to a drink of her choice after the grueling match. I learned to write romantic-suspense by reading J.D. Robb, and I found my imagination by reading J.K. Rowling.

You can only choose five books for your bookshelf. What are they?
1. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

3. Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

4. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

5. Wizards at War by Diane Duane

 

Chrys Fey is the author of the Disaster Crimes Series, as well as these releases from The Wild Rose Press: 30 Seconds, Ghost of Death, and Witch of Death. She is an administrator for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group, for which she runs their book club on Goodreads and heads their monthly newsletter.

 


Join the movement!
I want to promote reading. I know there are so many out there who have read a book and thought, this is something others need to know about. Reading encourages a lifelong passion for learning. #carolinareads is a movement that will give readers a chance to share what they are reading. There is a five question interview. I will share it on my website and give you a chance to not only promote your love of reading but also to promote yourself as you can include a website in your two sentence biography. Don’t live in the Carolinas? Well, do you know someone who does (hint: the person who created this form) you can still participate. Submit the form and I’ll let you know the date of your spotlight. Spread the word! Join the movement. Please email a picture if you would like it to be included.

Poetry Contest Results

Last month author Sherry Rentschler, sponsored a poetry contest. The theme was “What Inspires You”. Special thanks to Regina Puckett, Jackson Dean Chase, Linda Vigen Phillips, and Ron Shaw.

FIRST PLACE:

 

Inspired Insanity by C. Rowe 

Inspiration does come
And it also does go
What inspires me to write
I really don’t know

 

Sometimes it is
The whisper of a word
Other times it is a thought
That’s really quite absurd

 

I dream of oceans
Being kissed by the moon
I envision creepy spectres
That would make you swoon

 

I paint visions in my mind
Using words as my art
Some are dark and spooky
While others are from my heart

 

Just little random words
I write as they come to me
A joyous culmination

Of inspiration and insanity

SECOND PLACE

Words Expressed by David Jacks 

I don’t always find my words
too easily expressed.
So if I were to speak them,
sometimes they are suppressed.

But if pen touches paper,                                                                                                                                                                 such worlds I can create.                                                                                                                                                                       It then frees me from my own,                                                                                                                                                          as if lifting a weight.

 

Cut the strings that hold me down.
Please tie me up no more.
Let loose feelings once secret
and open wide the door.

I can’t do this on my own.

Writing helps me to find,

all the things that were once sealed
somewhere deep in my mind.

 

For all the thoughts left behind,
I must pour out my soul.
Forever searching for them,
just to make myself whole.

THIRD PLACE

A Few of My Favorite Things by James Mathews Byers 

The subtle sound of soothing calm-
A bumblebee in flight;
Anointed treasure in my palm-
Considerate delight;
Amazement on a newborn’s face-
Transitions, foot to mouth;
Impressions of a living space-
The springtime in the South;
Combustion of a beating heart-
Removed from single life;
Conditioning a humble start-
A husband and a wife;
Perplexing rhythm of a song-
Commanding vocal cord;
The distance, short or ever long-
The pen, a mighty sword;
Forever in a lover’s eyes-
The sigh of falling fast;
Chameleons in their disguise-
The colors floating past;
Commencement of a wild parade-
An alter full of hope;
The jester and his vast charade-
The hangman and his rope;
Surrender to the burning fire-
Intrinsic is the fuse;
And so these many things inspire-
Combined, they are my Muse …

Let’s Chat with Kim Hemphill

1. What is the biggest takeaway you want people to get from reading your book?

I feel there are several messages that I would like my readers to recognize and/or learn from the book:

* One’s past life does not define his/her future life.

* Despite all odds against you, if you don’t quit, you can win.

* If you have experienced abuse and neglect in your childhood it can stop with you. There is no need to carry this tradition on to your children.

* When you do succeed and have accomplished success, do not forget who helped you. Honor your mentors by reaching out and helping someone that was like you were at the time, down and out on their luck. Continue to support the culture of being a “Giver-backer”.

2. What is your reasoning for writing this book? What did you hope to accomplish?

My goal was to show the poor and uneducated that they could also be successful. You really can move mountains and accomplish tasks and goals that very well could have been considered impossible. It can be an uphill battle but with hard work, faith and fortitude one can develop into a success. This takes just one step at a time and you will preserve and prosper.

3. Not everyone who experiences the same issues you did, come out as positively as you did. Why do you think you were able to survive and survive as well as you have?

If you are a quitter you will not dig out of the “rut” in which you found yourself experiencing. Vince Lombardi said: “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” I was very stubborn as a young child and always dreamed of being a proud success when I grew up. I was an optimistic opportunist as a young boy and at an early age I realized opportunities come far and few between from where I came from.

Now, at 65 years old I can count on one hand the real opportunities that have come around to me. Learn early on in life there are few real chances to make it big so when they do make themselves available, treat them special and do not squander them. You will only have a few so make the best of your good fortune and/or opportunity.

4. How have your daughters reacted to the book?

I have no contact with my daughters. My family is my wife, son and sister in law. I get all the love I need from these three people. I am sure they don’t even know about the book. As I mentioned in the book, I finally got to the point that chasing ones love gets very tiring after several decades of doing so.

5. Was the experience of writing this book cathartic? Why or why not?

At times there were more tears coming out of me than writing. But I stood fast and did not quit. The chapters about my brother and being estranged from my daughters were the toughest parts to write. The love for my brother and what happened to him was very hard to relive. The disappointment and pain endured with my daughters will always hurt. I truly believe the brainwashing that their selfish mother imposed on them at childhood actually worked. They were misdirected and still believe the lies.

6. Share the process you went through to write this book.

Once the decision was made that I was going to write, “I Remember the Time…” it had to be accurate and reflect the important experiences I had in my childhood. So I would sit and write down key factors in a single sentence that would trigger my memory back 60 years, then 55 years and so on. It was important that I got the sequences in the proper chronological order. It was easier to remember the last 45 years then the first 20 years of my life. Maybe I should say it was much more enjoyable to talk about success, love and happiness then all the pain in the first part of my life.

7. What advice do you have for children who are in abusive situations?

I can only advise from personal experience as I kid going through this trauma that it is wrong. You do not have to put up with the abuse or neglect. Children have rights as anyone else and there are people in your community that can help. You can reach out to your school, church, police or children’s charity organizations for help. My opinion is to not keep it to yourself but reach out for help. Someone will come to your aid.

What about adult survivors of abuse?

You are the one that can break the chain of abuse. Do not fall into the same pit as your parent(s) or provider. You of all people understand the damage and suffering that an abused child endures.

You are not measured today by your history. You can shed the negative blanket of child abuse that has impacted you for too much time. Break away from the stigma, as it is no reflection on you but rather the abuser. You can break away and be the winner, the abuser is the loser.

8. Were there any other stories you wanted to share that didn’t make it into the book? If so, share one with us.

 If it was interesting I put it in the book.

9. Do you have any type of relationship with your father’s family and if so how do they feel about the book and the things you shared about your dad?

I have had no contact with my father’s family for several decades. The time I was around them as a kid was enough for me. I totally divorced my- self from all the pain and disappointment that I experienced from the entire clan. If any of them are hurt or upset by anything I described in my book then the old saying “The truth hurts” certainly would apply.

10. What next?

My next book is about giving back. The angels on earth who stooped down and picked me up are my hero’s. They have all passed but not their memory or the legacy they left on earth. To pay back my hero’s, I’d like to classify myself as a “giver backer”. My goal for my next book is on how to give back and help people who are in need.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Kim was born in Pacific Northwest in 1951. He was about 15 years old when his family moved out into the hills and mountains north of his hometown. He still resides in the Pacific NW with his wife and son. His hobbies are woodworking, fishing and watching football and baseball. Kim’s favorite pastime is spending time with his wife and son. His dogs, two female boxers, bring him much joy and entertainment. He’s a big-time animal lover and claims that his dogs taught him how to love. He also has a strong interest in inventing, patenting and marketing his products. He declares that his imagination and “out of the box” type thinking brings about many ideas. Kim's not one to sit around on an idea but puts it in action and his products now or marketed throughout the United States and Canada. At this stage of his life he has turned his attention and to authoring and publishing books on his past experiences and interests. He loves and gets high satisfaction on successfully developing one of his inventions or one of his books as they reveal his creative side.

Terri Tuesday- The Outsiders

If you know me, you know I love The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. This was to me what Harry Potter is to my daughter. It turns fifty this year (glad I’m not there- yet). This book ha such an impact on me that years later, I still think about it. After seeing the movie so many times it is hard to know if the images I have in my memory are the ones I made from the book or the visuals from the movie.

The Outsiders was first published in 1967 and has sold over 15 million copies. It was pimped as “A remarkable novel about teenagers, for teenagers, by a teenager.” S.E. Hinton wrote it after she failed a creative writing class. I think the fact that she wrote it anyways, sent it to a publisher and published it two years later has a lot to say about her character.

For me, this book came at a time when I questioned everything in my life. Like most teenagers, I blamed everything wrong in the world on adults. They were the enemy. They were the ones who would end the world and me and my fellow teens, would rise victoriously and create nirvana. My parents divorced when I was young but got back together right before I started second grade. I knew early on that they should not have gotten back together. My father was an alcoholic and abusive to my mother and me. Reading became a magic carpet ride to a better life. I could be anyone I wanted. The characters in these books were so deep. The Greasers were noble and gallant. They were tough, but they also felt everything. They hugged and cried. They shared how they felt with each other and searched for some deeper meaning in the world. Heck, reading this book was my first real exposure to poetry. I started writing at this time and everything I wrote, looked like an Outsiders knock-off.

If you haven’t read it, you need to. I suppose when compared to today’s YA Lit, it may seem a little corny. There are no vampires or angels and the world has not changed into some kind of post-apocalyptic nightmare that only a select few who look good in leather will survive. Yet even today’s YA Lit, share similar themes. Would we have had Hunger Games, Maze Runner, or even Fifth Wave if we hadn’t had The Outsiders? I don’t know. But I think Hinton laid the groundwork and opened the doors for future YA Lit writers.

Happy birthday!

 

Hey Doorman VIII by John P. Kildemm

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review

This was another fun book to read. I found myself laughing out loud- A LOT. These are short vignettes from the author’s experience while he worked as a bouncer at a Los Angeles bar. Having lived in SoCal, I know people like the ones he wrote about. He has a casual and honest manner to his writing that I liked. I’m adding the rest of this series to my TBR shelf.

SEX — VIOLENCE — TRUMP Eight true tales from your wittiest bouncer’s, wittiest bouncer

Mister Kildemm chronicles the night life in the City of Angels as only he can, in the fourth installment of, Hey Doorman. But this time with a biting political edge working in cahoots with his always hilarious edge. That’s two edges people. TWO.

As Jerry Seinfeld once said, “I’m sure he’s having a good laugh over this with his doorman buddies.”

Amazon

Let’s Chat with Vikki Patis

You talk about your chronic illness on your blog, The Bandwagon. I admit, I never heard of Perthes Disease. I googled it, but could you talk a little about what it is so the readers know?

Perthes Disease is, in layman’s terms, is a disorder which results in inadequate blood supply to the femoral head. It usually occurs in children. When I was diagnosed, in around 1995, my left femoral head was in seven pieces. I was seen at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, but since little was known about the disorder back then, we were advised to go with the “wait and see” method, rather than down the surgery route. My femoral head gradually pieced itself back together, over the course of about 10 years, but it meant my movement was limited as I was growing up, and my activities were restricted.

Little is still known about this disorder. I’m not sure how the methods have progressed since I was a child, but it seems that many people who did not receive surgery have had trouble since their late teens. My initial prognosis was that I would require a hip replacement by the age of 25 (my current age!), but a couple of years ago, I was told that actually that wouldn’t happen until around 55, so just a little bit earlier than the general population.

Your blog, The Bandwagon, is run by a team of two other bloggers and you. What is it like working with a team as opposed to solo? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

It’s great to work with other people – they put their own spin on things, making the blog more unique and refreshing. It’s good to have some variety, and everyone has their strong points. But I definitely had to manage my expectations when I first expanded! I’m usually rather quick, writing several blog posts a week, but others work at a different pace, and that took some getting used to!

This year you added a new feature on your blog, What’s a Girl Gotta Do. Can you tell us a little bit about what it is and why you added it? What are your future plans for this feature?

This feature is all about sexism within the medical world. I’ve been asking to be sterilised for over five years, to no avail (most recently, my GP simply said he hopes I’ll change my mind, and that was the end of the conversation). I’ve found several doctors to be uncooperative when it comes to women’s healthcare. I’m currently suffering with Bartholin’s cysts, and my GP said that it’s unlikely I’ll be able to get the glands removed, as it may cause difficulty during sex. It’s this kind of thing that really hinders women, and is just one more example of things we have to fight for. There’s definitely a bias against women when it comes to healthcare, and it needs to be addressed. So this feature is documenting my experiences, with the aim of connecting with other women, and building a network.

If you’re interested in this topic, there are some great blogs to check out: http://www.misstreated.org/ is a good place to start.

Your first book, I Ink, Therefore I Am: A Critical Analysis From A Criminological Perspective was a dissertation exploring the negative perceptions of tattoos. What influenced this work and how did it come about?

This book is actually my BSc dissertation. I studied Policing, then moved on to Criminology & Criminal Justice Studies at Plymouth University, graduating in 2014. I decided to explore how the perception of tattoos negatively affects tattooed people because, as a tattooed person, I want to erase such beliefs that all tattooed people are deviant. From ex-criminals to indigenous peoples, tattoos can mean a variety of different things, and they aren’t always negative. My dissertation adviser wasn’t convinced at first, but he soon came round!

Your second book, Weltanschauung, is a group of short stories. What does weltanschauung mean and how does this tie all the short stories together?

Weltanschauung’ is a German word for ‘worldview’. All of the stories are written in a way that makes the reader think, and perhaps challenge their long-held perceptions. It’s kind of like Black Mirror, I guess!

You have worked with some pretty big authors and how glowing testimonies on your blog. Who was your favorite interview?

Oh, what a difficult question! I have to admit, I did love interviewing George RR Martin at WorldCon 2014. I had to go to his hotel, which was a yacht! And it was such a pleasure to speak to him. I was so nervous, but he made me feel comfortable, and we ended up chatting about Plymouth and my degree. It was good fun.

What are you working on now?

My next project is Some Girls Do, a YA novel that explores teen rape. This subject has been in the news recently, with a police captain in the US stating that only stranger rape is “abominable”. I want to help erase these misconceptions of what constitutes “real rape”. All rape is real. In Some Girls Do, Jess is out with friends, drunk, and goes off with a guy she’s hooked up with before. But she doesn’t feel too good, and decides that she doesn’t want to have sex, actually. The guy carries on anyway, and, afterwards, snaps a photo of her in an unflattering position, which soon starts circulating on social media. Some Girls Do also explores how social media can affect us, and how insidious cyber-bullying can be.

The story is influenced by something that happened to me as a teenager, so it’s a topic that’s close to my heart. When I was growing up, we were taught that “no means no”, but what happens when you don’t, or can’t, say no?

How do you go about preparing for your interviews?

I always research the interviewee beforehand. I take a look at their social media, and their website, to get an idea of what they do, and to see if I can ask questions that gives us more of an insight into their lives. Preparation is key, for sure.

What advice do you have for those who want to start a book blog?

Just start! Don’t worry about getting loads of followers or writing exclusive content – most writers write simply because they love it. Start writing, and the rest will flow. The Bandwagon is always open to hosting guest writers, so if you want to write but you’re not sure where to start, drop me an email and we can have a chat! thebandwagonreviews@gmail.com

What is one thing you hope to accomplish this year?

So many things! In my personal life, my career is changing, and I want to jump in with both feet. We’ve also got a couple of trips we want to take, namely a long weekend in Edinburgh in March, which we’re really looking forward to. I’m aiming to get Some Girls Do finished this year, and possibly published, but we’ll see. I’m looking for an artist to design the cover for me, so if anyone’s interested, let me know!

My main goal for this year is to stay on course. I want to stay true to myself and my beliefs, and keep raising awareness, promoting feminist goals, and continue to grow as a person.