Enjoy 17 excerpts of outstanding fiction by authors Christa Allan (All They Want for Christmas), Judith Arnold (Changes), Marilyn Brant (The Road to You), Sylvie Fox (The Good Enough Husband), Jenny Gardiner (Something in the Heir), Maria Geraci (That Thing You Do), Tonya Kappes (Checkered Crime), Leslie Langtry (Merit Badge Murder), Leslie Lehr (Wife Goes On), Maggie Marr (One Night for Love), Ellen Meister (Dorothy Parker Drank Here), Ellyn Oaksmith (50 Acts of Kindness), Jess Riley (Mandatory Release), Saralee Rosenberg (Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead), Sara Rosett (Elusive), Wendy Tokunaga (His Wife and Daughters), and L.J. Wilson (Ruby Ink).
Also included in this book as a *special bonus* are 34 of the GBC’s most popular blog posts on the subject of writing craft and the writing life, which you won’t want to miss. So pick up this sampler, sit back, and get drawn into a wonderful world of unputdownable essays & stories!
My life has a fine patina of violence. I grew up in a middle-class, loving home. I feared God, I guess, went to church and played Little League baseball. I earned a full-scholarship to college, possess a Master’s Degree and provide for a family. I am learning to play the violin. So how do I square the first sentence of this paragraph with this ordinary life in Elysian Fields? I’m not trying to impress with my bona fides; they are not that unique or enthralling. What should be intriguing is the violence and mayhem that underlies it all.
So begins Touched by Fire. The 1960s and 1970s were a turbulent time to grow up; racial tensions, Vietnam, Kent State, Watergate and leisure suits. The world remembers the sinister news stories and the nefarious sound bites. But what of the people who were reared during these decades and bathed in the vitriol of the era? We were the children at the middle and end of the Baby Boom Generation. Our parents and grandparents were the byproducts of the Great Depression and World War II. They have been called “The Greatest Generation” by Tom Brokaw in his book of the same name. What did this make us, the children of the 1960s and 1970s? We were touched by fire.
Mostly, the children of these two decades were oblivious to the world around them. There was a vague understanding of national and international events and nothing more. The late Baby Boomers grew up with fun, love and excitement just as any generation. But it grew up much more rough, robust, gritty and violent. Outlining and chronicling the violence, mayhem and chaos that were part of the 60s and 70s but are lacking in the last two generations is the purpose of Touched by Fire. The book takes a humorous tack when considering the much more earthy culture and lifestyle previous generations found as normal but current generations consider abhorrent and primitively quaint.
Surely reminisces among friend who grew up in the target era is an objective. Sharing reminisces with children and relatives go in tandem with the objective above. But making an irreverent statement, with a strong sense of the absurd, about the generations of the 60s and 70s to the generations soon to rule our world is the major goal. This irreverent statement should help them understand how their parents were reared and why. And perhaps elicit mirth and laughter. Plus, the book begs the question: Are all the cultural advancements actual improvements? Are children smarter, more independent and resilient over the past 25 years than they were the previous 100 years? Have we as a culture and society forfeited some of the characteristic American robustness in route to a gentler, less volatile existence? These questions are raised within the chapters of Touched by Fire. This author does not profess to hold the answers, but deems considering the proposition that a little violence and mayhem is not always a bad thing, taken in proper measure. The table of content and chapter summary will provide insights on how the book attempts to couch these questions. Truly, in our youth, our hearts were touched by fire…and dirt clods, fists, baseballs, lawn darts and many other dastardly implements. Yet we survived, grew and some thrived.
With a touch of makeup, even you, a meth smoking punk on the streets can grow up to be a political superstar.
The first ever complete campaign playbook as compiled by an “actual” Beltway Insider.
In this easy to read guide, Doug Goudsward lays out the simple steps that will enable you, the reader (and presumably a lazy slacker at that) to get elected President of the United States of America. Every election cycle, too many people ask, “Why bother to vote, there are no good choices?” or “How come no honest and talented people ever run for office?” Well the answer is really quite simple: the average American citizen just has no idea how to go about launching an effective presidential campaign. With this book, Goudsward takes away all excuses.
Presented in the form of a Campaign Playbook, this no holds barred political farce mercilessly lampoons the three ring circus and media feeding frenzy that our modern presidential elections have degenerated into. Each chapter is filled with seemingly outrageous tips on how to dress, speak, or act like the future president, yet the sobering truth is that real life candidates may actually find this to be a useful primer for managing their own campaigns.
Skewering both the left and the right Goudsward takes no sides, but instead reaches across the aisle to connect with the disgruntled majority! … And since most politicians have neither the time nor the inclination to actually read, every major talking point in the book is hilariously illustrated with Doug’s original cartoons that will leave you laughing all the way to the polls.
After being confronted for the last time, and with the help of a mysterious therapist, Sebastian puts into motion a plan to murder his worst customers. Meanwhile, the restaurant has become home to a large colony of cockroaches. They need customers to survive. Can they stop him before it’s too late? Or will they succumb to extermination brought forth by the elusive Mr. X?