Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and MuseItUp
Eric is a fellow MuseItUp author. He stopped in for a visit a while back and I’m tickled to have him here again. He lives with his wife and two sons in northwest Iowa. He began publishing in 2008 when he started writing a quarterly column for a local newspaper. Later that same year he published his first work of fiction, a spooky children’s story called Ghost Bed and Ghoul Breakfast. Since then, he has written stories for children, young adults, and adults. Three of his science fiction stories have won honorable mention from the CrossTime Annual Science Fiction Contest. His first YA fantasy novel, Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud, received the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval and the Literary Classics Award for Best First Novel. His second novel, The Squire and the Slave Master, continues the Saga of the Wizards. He is a member of SCBWI.
Now let’s get to the fun part where I get to ask questions and find out a little more about my guest. Eric, describe what you consider your ideal writing conditions.
I need my desk to be clean. Even though I use a laptop, I prefer to write in my office. I typically listen to music while I write. I try to find something that fits the mood of the scene I’m writing. It works best if I’m very familiar with the song. Writing is not a time for me to check out new music.
Name a book/author you can read again and again and always learn something new.
I adore the Harry Potter books. I’ve read them countless times to myself. I’ve listened to the audio books. I’ve read the series to my oldest son, and now I’m on book three with my youngest, yet I still catch new details each time.
I love the Harry Potter books, too. They remind me of the stories that drew me in when I was young–all mysterious, dark and magical. I wanted to live in that kind of world. Tell us about your current WIP.
My current WIP is titled A Wizard Reborn, and it will be the third and final volume in my Saga of the Wizards series. In Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud, Owen and Yara went on an adventure together. In The Squire and the Slave Master, Yara got her own book. This one is Owen’s solo project. It takes place at the exact same time as The Squire and the Slave Master, so I’m finding it harder to write than I had imagined (and I imagined it would be tough)
What is the best compliment you ever received as an author?
“I read your book.” Okay, it may sound like I’m taking the easy way out here, but think about it. Someone dedicated several hours of their time, time they could have done any number of things, including read a different book, to read your book. They are four simple words, but they hold a lot of weight.
You are absolutely right. What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
As a family, we travel a lot. And we usually drive where we’re going. When the kids get restless, I sometimes feel like pulling out my remaining hair, but when their teachers tell me how much they contribute to their classroom discussions with personal experience stories, I know it’s worth it. Last summer we took a road trip covering Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, back to Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and finally back home to Iowa. We redefined tired by the end of that one.
What is the one thing you never seem to have enough time for?
Cheesy Answer Alert! Okay, I warned you. I never have enough time to write. But the bottom line is, for me, writing doesn’t pay the bills. So when something has to get cut, either because I’m out of time or because I’m too tired to do anything productive, it’s usually writing.
Yeah, I hear you. There are only so many hours in the day. Sometimes things we enjoy have to get put on the back burner, don’t they?
Folks, here’s an excerpt from Book Two of Saga of the Wizards: The Squire and The Slave Master.
“I don’t know how long I’ll be gone.” Yara cut the fat from an emmoth rib. “I don’t suppose anyone knows. It will take as long as needed to end the slavery.”
Her mother pushed her mostly untouched meal around her plate. “I’d prefer you didn’t go. It sounds dangerous.”
“Mother, these people are engaging in slavery. Not farm animals forced to work, they’re humans.”
“I understand. I’m not saying we shouldn’t intervene. I’m just not sure why you have to go.”
“King Kendrick and Owen think an undercover magician could give us an advantage. I agree with them. Besides, I want to go. I need to get away from here for a while. Plus, I’m an adult now. You can’t tell me what to do.” Chancing a glance at her father, she hoped she hadn’t upset him again. Their earlier argument had been mostly in jest, but the comment she made about her brother must have stung.
Instead of looking angry, he leaned back in his chair and chewed his emmoth meat. When he finished, he grinned. “Don’t get upset, Kamala. At least she told us she planned on leaving this time.”
“When I left in search of Owen and Cedric, I didn’t have time to tell you. This time we have a plan.” Yara chewed her last piece of rib meat. She’d snuck out after her parents had turned in for the night.
She could usually count on her father to have a level head…when he wasn’t provoking her about a woman’s place in the world.
Her mother cleared her uneaten food from the table. “I don’t presume to tell you what to do. I just want to make sure you’ve considered all the aspects of the mission.”
“To the best of my ability, I have considered all aspects. First, I have to travel as a boy. Aside from my appearance, I shouldn’t have trouble with this. My best friend is a boy, and I’ve never had much interest in girly activities. And why would I? As a child, playing with dolls couldn’t compare to chasing piglets through the muddy stockyards.”
Her mother’s eyes lightened for the first time that evening. “You also don’t care much for washing clothes. If you did, you’d have realized most of the mess you got into in the stockyards wasn’t mud in the truest sense.”
She laughed. “Fair enough. Now my second concern, while traveling as a boy, I’m best to not get caught. Big burly men, out to sea for several days, may have more interest in a helpless girl than just someone to whom they could confide their deepest secrets.” She grinned, raised her hand above her head, and caused a blue flame to burst forth from her palm. “Good thing I’m not a helpless girl.”
As long as they don’t attack me in my sleep.
Her father collected the dirty dishes.
Yara helped him clear the table. “If I can keep my façade, the trip should sail by, so to speak. Once we get to Buisna, we’ll have to find the ruler of the slave operation. I suppose this could present itself as a difficult task, but at least I won’t have to do it alone.”
Of course there’s always the question of what we’ll find in Buisna. Why does a country the size of the Western Domain need our help? How large is this new country? How many people are there to fight? The military of the Central Domain is weakened from the attack by the Wizard Rebellion. Why would King Kendrick decide to send troops at a time like this? Do they know, or suspect, more than Owen told me?
With the table cleared of dishes, Yara stretched and yawned. “Now, if you don’t mind, I think I’ll retire to bed early tonight. Shoeing that horse wore me out, and I need to get some thorough rest before my training tomorrow.” She hugged her mother. “Everything will work out. King Kendrick and Owen will have a strategy planned for the whole mission.”
A loud, rapid knocking at the front door startled her. Answering it, she found Owen standing with a man about his same size but a few years older, donned in the armor of the King’s Sentry
Owen glanced around the room, his eyes wide and observant but clear of any panic. “Yara, you have to come to Innes Castle now. The plans have changed. You’re leaving tonight.”
If you haven’t had a chance, read the first book in Eric’s series. Unveiling the Wizards’ Shroud is where the story begins.
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Readers, thanks so much for stopping by. If you get the chance please check out Eric’s blog https://authorericprice.com/ for a peek at my newest book, Xander’s Tangled Web due out April 26th.
LEGENDS OF THE FALL is a film is about life in Montana in the early 20th century and how nature, history, war and love affect the lives of the Ludlow family. The film begins the decade before WWI, takes us through Prohibition era and into the 30s. Along with his three sons, Colonel William Ludlow, played by Anthony Hopkins who is one of my favorite actors, retires and takes up ranching. Alfred, the eldest, is responsible and cautious; Tristan, the Colonel’s favorite son, is wild and well versed in American Indian traditions; Samuel, the youngest, is educated but naive and constantly watched over by his brothers. Susannah is the young woman who loves each of them.
When Samuel returns from the east with his fiancée Susannah, she is captivated by the land and the Ludlow family. She loves Samuel but finds Tristan captivating. Before they can marry, Samuel joins the army, along with Alfred. Tristan does as well, but only to protect his brothers.
Samuel dies during a reconnaissance mission. Tristan tries to save him, but he’s too late. He cannot forgive himself. Susannah comforts him, and they become lovers. A jealous Alfred leaves home to make his name. Tristan leaves Montana for several years. Susannah patiently waits for him, only to receive a letter coldly telling her to marry someone else. She settles for Alford.
This story is about three brothers’ love for the same woman and how everyone has to learn to live with the choices they make. The scenery is gorgeous and the acting is wonderful, but the story always leaves me feeling less than satisfied. Maybe it’s because none of the characters seem to be able to decide what they really want out of life.
~ BAKED BEANS~
Baked Beans and Potato Salad are summer staples at our house. We serve them with grilled steak, hot dogs, burgers and barbecue.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Yield: Makes about 16 servings.
- ½ pound bacon, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 medium to large red bell pepper, diced
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- 3 (16-ounce) Pork and Beans
- Kosher salt & fresh coarse ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup BBQ Sauce
- ¾ cup ketchup
- ¾ cup unsulphured molasses
- ¾ cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons Dijon or spicy grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried cilantro or 1 tablespoon fresh
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- For the Optional Topping
- 8 slices bacon
- 4 tablespoons light or dark brown sugarIn a large frying pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until browned and just about crispy, about 5 minutes. Reserve rendered bacon fat in pan. Add onion and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in chopped red bell pepper and green onions; sauté until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside. Add all of the sauce ingredients to the bowl or stock pot with the bean mixture. Stir well to incorporate. Using rubber spatula, scrap and pour mixture, evenly dividing, into baking dishes.
- Bake in preheated oven until sauce has thickened, is bubbling and cooked through, about 90 minutes. If desired, top each with four bacon slices and sprinkle light brown sugar over the bacon after 30 minutes of baking. Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack to rest before serving, about 5 minutes.
- Combine beans in large bowl or stock pot; season with salt and pepper. Scrape bacon and vegetable mixture into beans. Season with salt and pepper; stir well to incorporate.
Sara Jayne Townsend is a UK-based writer of crime and horror, and someone tends to die a horrible death in all of her stories. She was born in Cheshire in 1969, but spent most of the 1980s living in Canada after her family emigrated there. She now lives in Surrey with two cats and her guitarist husband Chris. She co-founded the T Party Writers’ Group in 1994, and remains Chair Person.
She drew on her own background to create Canadian actress and contemporary amateur sleuth Shara Summers. The first two novels in the Shara Summers series, DEATH SCENE and DEAD COOL are available now from MuseItUp Publishing (https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/our-authors/70-our-authors/authors-t/420-sara-jayne-townsend). The third book, SPOTLIGHT ON DEATH, will be released by MuseItUp in 2017.
Learn more about Sara and her writing at her website (http://sarajaynetownsend.weebly.com) and her blog (http://sayssara.wordpress.com) and buy her books from Amazon (UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B003QROE8S & US http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003QROE8S).
You can also follow her on Twitter (https://twitter.com/sarajtownsend) and Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3500282.Sara_Jayne_Townsend) or join her Facebook Group, “Imaginary Friends” (https://www.facebook.com/groups/301037281383).
Poking around in family closets produces skeletons…
British-born, Toronto-based, actress Shara Summers turns amateur sleuth when her sister is stricken with a mysterious illness. Summoned back to England to be with her family during a time of crisis, Shara discovers doctors are at a loss as to what’s causing Astrid’s debilitating sickness.
After her aunt is found dead at the bottom of the stairs the death is deemed an accident. Shara suspects otherwise. Her investigation unearths shocking family secrets and a chilling realization that could have far-reaching and tragic consequences that affect not only her own future, but Astrid’s as well.
DEATH SCENE is coming 22 September from MuseItUp Publishing:
Ruth sat in her rocking chair watching the television–which was probably about ten years old, and appeared to be the most modern thing in the room. She was wearing a blue floral dress, with a patchwork blanket over her knees. I had seen that dress before. Her hairstyle hadn’t changed, either–her white hair was thinning, and she wore it short and curly, in the style of old ladies everywhere. When we came in she looked up, a toothless smile breaking out over her face. She had dentures that she never wore–something else she only saved for special occasions. As a child, Ruth had appeared very scary to me on the occasions she wore her dentures because we just weren’t used to seeing her with them.
My mother went up to Ruth and leaned in to give her a kiss on her soft wrinkled cheek. “How are you, Auntie Ruth?” she said loudly. Ruth’s hearing had been going even back then. She must be virtually deaf by now.
The house was freezing. The only source of heat was a three-bar electric fire on the floor by Ruth’s feet.
“I’m doing all right, dear,” Ruth said. Her voice was husky, ravaged by age and lack of use. “Mustn’t complain.”
Summer, still in my mother’s arms, began to cry and squirm, no doubt intimidated by the presence of this ancient lady. “Who’s this?” Ruth said, stroking one of Summer’s chubby legs.
“This is Summer,” Mum said. “This is my granddaughter. You’ve met Summer. Astrid’s daughter.”
Ruth frowned. “Astrid? Your little one?”
“Not a little girl any more, Auntie Ruth. She’s all grown up now.” Mum pointed in my direction. “This is my other daughter, Shara. Do you remember? Shara lives in Canada.”
Ruth was staring at me, frowning. There was no indication that she recognised me. “It’s been a long time,” she said eventually.
“Hello Auntie Ruth,” I said.
“Have you taken your pills, Auntie Ruth?” my mother asked.
Ruth frowned in concentration. “Pills? Think so. Can’t remember, you know. My memory’s not what it was.”
My mother thrust the crying child into my arms. “Watch Summer for a moment, Shara. I’m going to make Auntie Ruth some lunch.” And off she went into the kitchen.
I sat down in the faded armchair and bounced Summer on my knee. She kept crying. Ruth stared fixedly at the television. There seemed to be an Australian soap opera on. I couldn’t tell which one. I wasn’t a fan, and they all looked the same to me. “So what are you watching, Auntie Ruth?”
“Eh?” She swivelled round to stare at me.
I raised my voice. “The television. What are you watching?”
“Oh, I don’t know, dear. I watch everything. Keeps me company, you know.” And she lapsed back into silence, staring at the television. A couple of minutes went by and then she said suddenly, “they’re stealing from me, you know.”
“They’re stealing from me.” Ruth continued to stare at the television. I wasn’t at all sure she was even aware of anyone else in the room. I stood up with Summer in my arms and hurriedly went to find my mother in the kitchen.
They were dying to be famous. And someone was prepared to kill for it…
Actress Shara Summers has settled in London and is “between jobs” when her Canadian ex-boyfriend David sails back into her life, begging to her to fill the backing singer vacancy in the up and coming band he’s about to go on a European tour with. Short on funds and auditions Shara reluctantly agrees, but tragedy strikes at the opening night party when the band’s charismatic front man Dallas Cleary Anderson falls to his death from a hotel window. It soon becomes clear that Dallas did not fall, but was pushed. His arrogant and confrontational manner means there are no shortage of people who wanted him out of the band permanently – but who would resort to murder?
“You just don’t get it, do you?” David yelled. “You don’t own the world. You can’t swan around doing whatever the hell you please!”
“You’re just jealous because the lady prefers me to you!” Dallas shouted.
I jumped up and hurried over to the table.
David pointed a finger at Dallas. “You’re unbelievable. You just walk in and take what you want. You can’t treat people that way”
“You’re just sore because your little plan backfired,” Dallas sneered.
David took a step forward, his hands clenched into fists. As he and Dallas stood off against each other, I sidled in alongside the table and linked my arm through Astrid’s. She offered no resistance, staring at the two men standing each other down.
“What the hell do you mean?” David demanded.
“Oh come on, it’s obvious. Trying to make your ex-girlfriend jealous by making the moves on her sister. But neither of them is interested in you and that just pisses you off.”
Sara-Jayne Townsend is a UK-based writer of crime and horror. She was born in Cheshire in 1969, but spent most of the 1980s living in Canada after her family emigrated there. She now lives in Surrey with two cats and her guitarist husband Chris. She co-founded the T Party Writers’ Group in 1994, and remains Chair Person.
The first two books in her amateur sleuth series about Canadian actress Shara Summers – DEATH SCENE and DEAD COOL – are available from MuseItUp Publishing. She is currently writing the third book.
Today we have the pleasure of interviewing Shara Summers. She is the main character in Sara Jayne Townsend’s contemporary amateur sleuth novels.
We’re all dying to know about you, Shara. Give us a quick history.
I’m half British, half Canadian. Born in the UK, moved to Canada with my folks when I was young. My mother returned to the UK when she and my dad divorced, with my sister Astrid. I was seventeen and about to start my university education in Toronto so I stayed with my dad. I moved back to England a couple of years ago, and I’m settled here now.
Sounds like you’ve done some traveling. Now that you’re back in the UK, what do you do for a living?
I’m an actress. Or I try to be. It’s not always easy to make enough to get by. Between acting jobs I do whatever I can to pay the bills. Bar work. Office temping. Recently I was offered a job as a backing singer in my ex-boyfriend’s band. That really didn’t end well. Let’s not go there.
An actress, eh? How exciting. Now, tell me what you look like. Are you short or tall?
Very average, unfortunately. I’d like to be a statuesque blonde, or redhead like Nicole Kidman maybe. You can do a lot to change your appearance in the acting game, but you can’t do much about your height.
That’s true. I guess I never thought about it like that. What’s your preferred mode of transportation?
Living in South London I get by on train, bus or underground. I can’t really afford a car at the moment, and parking round where I live is a constant problem. Fortunately it’s pretty easy to get around London on public transport.
What are you most comfortable wearing?
My old jeans and a sweatshirt. I know that’s not the right answer for an actress. We’re meant to be glamorous. But clothes to me are costumes. Even when I’m not on stage, I feel like I’m playing a role. When I’m at an audition or a promotional event, I have to wear clothes that give the right image. Only when I’m at home do I get to be me, and that’s when the jeans come out.
Very true. What’s your favorite drink?
I like a nice glass of white wine. Chardonnay or sauvignon blanc.
How about food? What’s your favourite dish?
I’m very partial to Marmite on Toast. For anyone not in the UK, that’s a yeast-based spread. It sounds disgusting but I love it. You can’t buy Marmite in Canada, so when I lived there I used to get my mother to ship it out to me from the UK.
Tell me. Who is your BFF?
My best friend is Helen Grayson, and we’ve been friends since primary school. When I lived in Canada and she was in the UK we wrote copious letters to each other. Since I moved back to the UK we’ve reconnected, but even though we now live quite near each other it’s still hard to find time for each other. She’s a doctor and works long shifts, and I have to go where the work takes me. We try to make a point of catching up every couple of months or so. She’s probably the person who knows me best, outside my family. When we were kids we were always putting on plays for our folks. Of course I always had to have the starring role. And Helen always let me get my own way on that. She knew I was going to be a diva, even back then.
Thanks for coming and sharing, Shara. We’re looking forward to reading all about your adventures.
We’re in for a treat today. I’m welcoming Barbara Ehrentreu back for a return visit. She’s brought along the main character from her newest books and has graciously consented to interview her for us. But first let’s learn a little bit about Barbara.
Barbara Ehrentreu grew up in Brooklyn and moved to Queens. She has lived and taught in Long Island, Buffalo, NY and Westchester, NY as well as a year in Los Angeles, CA. She has a Masters Degree in Reading and Writing K-12. Currently she is retired from teaching, tutoring, and living in Stamford, CT with her family. If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor won second prize in Preditors & Editors as Best Young Adult Book for 2011. It was inspired by Paula Danziger for her children’s writing workshop at Manhattanville College. Her second book, After, considers what can happen to a teen when her father becomes ill with a heart attack. It is based on her own experiences when her husband had a heart attack and the aftermath of what she and her family experienced. She is preparing the sequel to If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, Who Is Jennifer Taylor? Barbara also writes poetry and several of her poems are published in the anthologies, World Poetry Open Mic, Prompted: An International Collection of Poetry, Beyond the Dark Room, Storm Cycle and Backlit Barbell. She has a blog, Barbara’s Meanderings, and she hosts a radio show on Blog Talk Radio, Red River Radio Tales from the Pages, once a month. She is a member of Pen Letters and SCBWI.
Interview with Lauren Walstein from After by Barbara Ehrentreu
Today we have the pleasure of getting to know a little more about Lauren Walstein, who is the main character of After by Barbara Ehrentreu. Since this is one of Lauren’s first interviews she has asked that her author interview her.
My name is Lauren and I am from Mill Valley. I love to play softball and I’m a pitcher on my school’s team. In the book I’m fifteen, a sophomore and I’m hoping to get a scholarship to go to college. My parents told me I can’t go if I don’t. My father is a lawyer and my mother works for an advertising agency. I’m pretty tall. My hair is short and kind of a dark brown. I don’t think about it much. My pet peeve is letting oil trucks on the highway. Blue is my favorite color. I don’t drive so I usually go with my sister, Diane, my parents or Joey. I am most comfortable wearing jeans and a tee shirt or tank top. I like to listen to all kinds of music, but the song I love because it means Joey is calling is: “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. I know it’s corny but it fits him. My favorite drink is diet soda and my favorite thing to eat is mini chocolate-chip pancakes. My best friends are Joey and Jenny. I would have to say my nemesis is Amber Goldstein. Ooooh!!!
Barbara: Lauren has gone through a very turbulent year. I’ll let her tell you about all that happened.
Lauren: Um, hi. I’m not sure who is here, but Barbara told me a lot of people would read about me, so I’m a little nervous. I come from a pretty small town in upstate New York, Mill Valley. I’m still in high school. When everything happened I was a sophomore. Now I’m a senior and getting ready to graduate this year.
Barbara: Why don’t you tell everyone what happened to you the first month of your sophomore year?
Lauren: Well, um, yeah I’ll try to remember. Do you want me to start at the beginning?
Barbara: Yes. Tell us everything that happened. You know with your father and Joey.
Lauren: Okay, but I might start crying, because I always do when I have to tell this story. Is that okay?
Barbara: We can’t see you. So just start talking. You can stop if it gets to be too much!!
Lauren: So it all started with me watching the Mets play on TV. They had a good chance to win the pennant that year and so I was really hoping it would happen, but they were losing this game. I’m a pitcher on the softball team, so I take baseball seriously. Just as I was getting so tired and the score was so ridiculous I decided to go to sleep. I put one foot on the first step and the phone rang. I picked it up, because it was right near me and it was my dad. Only he didn’t sound right and wanted to speak to mom. So I gave the phone to her and started upstairs until I heard mom saying: “You have indigestion and back pains?” So I ran back downstairs and Diane came right behind me. We both got close to Mom who was hysterical. She kept saying how Dad needed to go to a hospital and then she called our doctors and they agreed. So she called Dad back and he said he would. I won’t go into everything she said, but I really think my life changed with that phone call. So I started thinking of life as before the phone call and after the phone call. Before it was all me thinking about lunch and my baseball mitt, winning the next game and Joey and after the call I felt like my world had shattered and everything changed. I mean everything!!
Barbara: Are you okay to keep talking Lauren?
Lauren: Yeah, I guess. I’ll skip over this part, because I don’t like to think about it too much, but Dad went to the hospital and they said he had a heart attack after we had been there for hours. Then in the morning they moved him to a new room and then another hospital. He had to have
bypass surgery and they didn’t do it at that hospital. All I remember is being in the hospital and then getting into a car and going to another hospital and then that hospital was so stupid they didn’t even have good chairs in the waiting room and it was awful. Dad had to wait too long and …. You know I don’t think I can talk about this. You know….
Barbara: Yes. It’s okay. Tell us about Joey.
Lauren: Oh, Joey. He’s like my best friend since kindergarten and before this year we did everything together. But during the summer he met Amber and they started going out. So I saw him practically never. But he was really nice when he heard my dad was in the hospital and when I was with him I started to feel more than friends if you know what I mean. Like I liked him as a guy and a friend too. It got really complicated because Joey wanted to be with me too, but he had to deal with Amber.
Barbara: That does sound complicated. How did you handle it?
Lauren: Well, when I was BFF’s with only Joey I didn’t have any girl friends. So when I really needed a friend an old friend who helped me though I hadn’t talked to her since elementary school, her name is Jenny, she got me through school. As we got closer I realized how I had missed a real girl friend and it was all good.
Barbara: What happened with Amber?
Lauren: Do we have to talk about her? I can’t talk about her and really if Joey were here he would tell me not to think about her. She’s a non-person to me.
Barbara: Well, thank you very much Lauren for telling us about your experience and anyone who would like to learn more will have to go and read After to find out the whole story.
“After” is a story about the struggles Lauren Walstein, a fifteen-year-old girl, has to go through when her father suddenly has a heart attack and undergoes bypass surgery. In one phone call her life changes completely. Lauren is a character with whom most teens will relate. Her best friend since kindergarten, Joey, is going out with her enemy and they have grown apart. Before the phone call all she thought about was getting a scholarship for softball, and the Mets. Suddenly she must deal with both her father’s illness and being in school. The demands on her from both ends complicate the story. In the middle of all this, she finds she is developing feelings for her best friend that are more than friendly. Is he feeling the same or is he just comforting her? In addition there is Joey’s mean girl friend Amber, who doesn’t appreciate Lauren being in the picture. Will Lauren’s father recover? How will Lauren cope with her new feelings for Joey?
Excerpt: Chapter One
The phone rang as the ball left the pitcher’s glove and I glanced toward the sound. Mom’s tears made me forget all about the game. My life changed while the TV blurred and turned into a nightmare kaleidoscope. That moment has been indelibly pressed into my thoughts.
My sister, Diane, was upstairs hunched over her computer as usual. She’s not a baseball fan at all. But I lived and breathed for the Mets that fall. They had such a great chance of getting the pennant and maybe even winning the World Series. I obsessed about the Mets, and of course, Joey.
Joey, my best friend from kindergarten, was always there for me. It’s hard to imagine a recess without him by my side. He’s bigger than I am and always looked a little older than he was. Mom liked Joey because he reassured her he would obey her rules. Maybe it was his easy smile or his clear, gray eyes.
Lately, though, Joey and I haven’t been so close. It happened during the summer when he was a counselor at this camp and he hooked up with this girl, Amber, who goes to our school. So now he spends a lot of his time with her and we barely see each other. We used to watch the Mets together all the time, too. So I missed him being there with me, and his comments about the players. But all that was before the phone call. Pre-phone call my deepest thoughts centered on the Mets and finding the sweet spot for the ball in my new baseball glove. Pre-phone call, my world was worrying about homework getting done and wondering what lunch would be like on Monday. Oh, and of course, thinking about how to beat the next team we were up against in softball. I’m a starting pitcher this year and I want to show my coach she can believe in me. I’m only a sophomore, but I hopesomeday to play college softball. I need to get a scholarship in order to go. My parents have already told me they can’t swing it without one.
After the phone call my life was a ball of twisted emotions and all I could think about was Dad, and how Mom, Diane, and I would get through this night.
MuseItUp Publishing: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/young-adult/after-detail Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/After-Barbara-Ehrentreu-ebook/dp/B00NDYDC3C/ref=la_B00J0URGVM_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418409175&sr=1-2 For Nook on Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/after-barbara-ehrentreu/1120349821?ean=2940046242980
If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor: (print and ebook) MuseItUp Publishing: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/museityoung/if-i-could-be-like-jennifer-taylor-detail Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/If-Could-Like-Jennifer-Taylor-ebook/dp/B005NWRLL6/ref=la_B00J0URGVM_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418409175&sr=1-1
Blog: Barbara’s Meanderings: http://barbaraehrentreu.blogspot.com
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraEhrentreu
Thank you all so much for coming. I haven’t read After, but if it’s anything like her last book, If I could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, I can say you will not be disappointed. While you’re out an about, please run by Barbara’s blog at http://barbaraehrentreu.blogspot.com for a peek at my newest book Xander’s Tangled Web.
The 1995 movie Sabrina, starring Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond and Greg Kinnear, is a remake of a 1954 film of the same name co-written and directed by Billy Wilder. I’ve seen the earlier version that starred Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn and William Holden, and the choice of actors in both versions was really spot on I think.
The story is your typical ugly duckling turned into swan story. Sabrina, the daughter of the Larrabee family’s chauffeur, Thomas, has been in love with David Larrabee all her life. David’s a rich playboy. He never pays any attention to Sabrina until she returns from Paris after doing a fashion internship. She’s grown up into an attractive, sophisticated woman who immediately attracts David’s attention in spite of the fact that he’s engaged.
If the wedding doesn’t happen as planned, David’s workaholic older brother, Linus, worries a merger with the bride’s family business might be endangered. This could cost the Larrabee a lot of money. Linus mistakenly assumes Sabrina is a gold digger and tries to redirect her affections. His ruse works, but he falls in love with her as well. Things go downhill from there.
My sister and I recently watched this movie. It’s a nice little movie with some wonderful supporting characters like Linus and David’s mother, and when it ends you go away feeling everything worked out the way it should.
- 4 eggs
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 8 thick slices of bread
- Preheat griddle or skillet over medium heat. Grease well with butter.
- Add all ingredients, except the bread, to a shallow dish and whisk well to combine. Dip bread slices into the egg mixture, coating both sides, and place on hot griddle. Cook for a few minutes on both sides, until golden brown. Serve warm, sprinkled with powdered sugar and syrup