|I had an extraordinary time talking about writing, Southern Culture, Inspiration, and the writing life on the Storytellers Podcast with Grace Sammon, and I’m sharing the link for you here!|
The Storytellers Radio Show and Podcast, hosted by Grace Sammon, focuses on individuals who choose to leave their mark on the world through the art of story. Each episode engages guests and listeners in the story behind the story of authors, artists, reporters and others who leave a legacy of storytelling. Applying her years of experience as an educator, entrepreneur, author, and storyteller herself, Grace brings to listeners an intimate one-on-one experience with her guests.
The Storytellers is heard in over 150 countries. Each episode airs twice weekly on The Radio Ear Network subsidiaries of SOB Radio Network and Society Bytes Radio. Shows then become available at the links below and on SOB Radio at and Society Bytes Radio
To contact Grace about being a guest on the show, email her here.
Claire Fullerton has always known she’s a storyteller. She was born in Wayzata, Minnesota (the homeland of her father) and transplanted at the age of ten to Memphis, Tennessee (the homeland of her mother). She learned early that the art of observation can be an acclimating lifesaver. Her mother told her that as a child, she would sit and watch people. Claire was thirty years old the first time her mother said this, then her mother added: “You still do.” It is what is known as “the writer’s eye,” the ability to see the world from the outside in. If that is true, Claire admits, she is happily guilty.
Claire currently lives in Malibu, California, but will always consider herself a Southerner: a card-carrying member of the last romantic culture on earth. She found her niche in music radio as a member of the on-air staff of five different stations, during a nine-year career. Three weeks after her return to the United States from a year-long trip to Ireland, she reviewed the journal she kept while living abroad and knew then that she had a good story to tell. Today, she is the author of eight traditionally published books and multiple essays. Claire is a much sought-after speaker and radio guest with a strong voice for women’s fiction and the voice of the American South. Listen
Moderator Grace Sammon is the author of The Eves
Happy Release Day to Author, Christopher Swann, of Atlanta, Georgia.
I reviewed Mr. Swann’s last book, Never Turn Back, and waited for the release of A Fire in the Night with great anticipation!
For those who love mystery, suspense and a thriller’s edge, A Fire in the Night is for you!
Here is my book review, which appears in the New York Journal of Books!
Fire in the Night: A Novel
“finely wrought story sure to enthrall the most discerning reader.”
A fateful phone call from a brother not heard from in twenty years is the catalyst of author Christopher Swann’s spellbinding novel, A Fire in the Night, but it isn’t discovered until later in this action-packed thriller set in the mountainous region of Cashiers, North Carolina, that unfolds in riveting, oscillating layers of past and present tense.
Nick Anthony is an intentional loner. A retired college professor of medieval studies, he is a grieving widow living in an isolated lakeside cabin without a landline, so he is startled one morning to discover the uniformed Deputy Joshua Sams standing on his front porch.
It is bad news from the deputy. There has been a house fire in Tampa, his estranged brother is dead, and the sixteen-year-old niece named Annalise, whom he’s never heard of, is missing. Nick is found by Deputy Sams because his brother, Jay, told his lawyer that Nick is his next of kin.
At the unexpected news, Nick “was too weary to cry. Over the past year he had cried enough over Ellie for a lifetime,” but “Something shifted in his heart, rode beneath his skin,” and “He was angry. At Sams, for disturbing his morning. At Jay for not telling him about his niece—for dying.” The stunned Nick processes the news, and “Something circled at the back of Nick’s mind like an errant bat.” Nick, in considering Annalise, concludes, “If the police were looking for her, it was because she was a suspect.”
Annalise is in fear for her life and suspects her parents were murdered. While staying overnight at her boyfriend’s Tampa house, she saw the flames of the fire and, upon investigation, spied the men who apparently set it. Taking two days to flee to her uncle Nick’s North Carolina cabin, she arrives at night, exhausted and feverish, armed with a map her father had given her to give to Nick, though she is uncertain of Nick’s true identity until she puts him to her question-and-answer test. In time, Nick and Annalise vet each other and realize they are in it together, and the pair set out to unravel the mystery of what really happened to Jay.
Cole is ex-military and hired by a man named Mr. Kobayashi to track down Annalise, in hopes of acquiring sensitive information Jay had that’s thought to be on a flash drive. With a handful of hired hands, each paid a thousand dollars a day by Mr. Kobayashi, Cole and his cohorts track Annalise from Tampa to Atlanta to Cashiers reconnaissance style. They act as a gaggle of hardened criminals with do-or-die motivation, which heightens the story’s gripping, on-the-chase suspense.
Because Nick’s family has ties in Afghanistan, Nick suspects his brother acted as a contractor in the Middle East, in a dubious manner that either involved privileged information or arms. When the map Annalise gives Nick turns out to be a geological survey of a Middle Eastern oil field, the pair are led to a private investigator in Charlotte, North Carolina, who was entrusted by Jay, and in turn, Nick is tasked with locating proper means to decipher encrypted information on the flash drive his brother left in the PI’s care, while simultaneously protecting Annalise from Cole and his men as they get closer and closer.
Twists and surprises abound as the story unfurls, and Nick’s past experience as a CIA operative comes to light and is put to use in a way that counters Nick’s sedate life. Nick realizes, “He had stepped away from that life, with fewer regrets than he had felt later upon leaving academia to care for Ellie. But there were moments, when he had been in his office grading papers or sitting in a faculty meeting or even watching Ellie sleep that he found himself bored and restless, longing for something, that old shot of adrenaline that sent the pulse racing and the senses on high alert.”
A Fire in the Night folds mystery and suspense into a psychological thriller in a setting that lives as breathes as a character. The remote, mountain woods of Cashiers, North Carolina, are multilayered and foreboding. They are the beautifully described, perfect backdrop for this finely wrought story sure to enthrall the most discerning reader.
Claire Fullerton’s most recent novels are Little Tea and multiple award winner, Mourning Dove. Honors include the Independent Book Publishers Book Award Silver Medal for Regional Fiction, the Reader’s Favorite for Southern Fiction Bronze Medal and various other literary awards.
I’m sharing this post about the release of Rebecca Rosenberg’s book, Champagne Widows, from author, Susan Cushman, whose latest book, John and Mary Margaret released last June, and whom I featured here. I love it when authors support authors!
To refresh your memory on Susan Cushman’s book, here is the cover of John and Mary Margaret.
And here is Susan’s blog post on today’s release of Rebecca Rosenberg’s, titled, Champagne Widows!
Veuve Clicquot, Grande Dame of Champagne
Happy pub day to Rebecca Rosenberg! Here’s the blurb I wrote for the book, which I’ve also posted on Amazon and Goodreads:
Rebecca Rosenberg has penned a spectacular saga of the first of the “Champagne widows” of France, Barbe-Nicole Clicquot. With her gift, known as Le Nez (the nose), Barbe-Nicole can “smell the stink of a lie or the perfume of a pure heart. Or the heartbreaking smell of what could have been.” Along with her expertise she possesses courage and vision, overcoming incredible odds again women who dare to step up as entrepreneurs during the time of the Napoleonic Code, which left widows without rights to property—in Barbe-Nicole’s case, her Champagne business. Seamlessly interwoven with historical letters from Napoleon, the book sweeps the reader into the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century world. But it’s her imaginative tale of Veuve Clicquot’s personal life that captured me and wouldn’t let go until the end, leaving me wanting more!
From triple-gold award-winning author, Rebecca Rosenberg: Champagne, France, 1800. Twenty-year-old Barbe-Nicole inherited Le Nez (an uncanny sense of smell) from her great-grandfather, a renowned champagne maker. She is determined to use Le Nez to make great champagne, but the Napoleon Code prohibits women from owning a business. When she learns her childhood sweetheart, François Clicquot, wants to start a winery, she marries him despite his mental illness.
Soon, her husband’s tragic death forces her to become Veuve (Widow) Clicquot and grapple with a domineering partner, the complexities of making champagne, and six Napoleon wars, which cripple her ability to sell champagne. When she falls in love with her sales manager, Louis Bohne, who asks her to marry, she must choose between losing her winery to her husband, as dictated by Napoleon Code, or losing Louis.
In the ultimate showdown, Veuve Clicquot defies Napoleon himself, risking prison and even death.
Praise for Champagne Widows!
“These first known women of Champagne/Sparkling winemaking may not have even realized how strong they were until they had to learn and do it all to survive for themselves and their wineries! Reading Champagne Widows makes it even more of an honor to learn a craft still dominated by men.” ~Penny Gadd-Coster, Executive Director of Winemaking, Rack & Riddle
“For anyone who loves champagne, a must-read novel about Veuve Clicquot.”
~ Judithe Little, best-selling author of The Chanel Sisters
“Award-winning author, Rebecca Rosenberg returns with another Historical Fiction jewel in CHAMPAGNE WIDOWS. Meet the women who succeeded in creating world class champagne in a time men ruled business and society. Lovers of history, romance, and French culture will relish the multi-layered plot and cast of characters including the ultimate French icon, Napoleon Bonaparte.” ~Johnnie Bernhard, award-winning author of Sisters of the Undertow
With crisp writing, Rebecca Rosenberg serves us the sparkling story of Veuve Clicquot, an independent woman of indomitable strength, determined to find her way in a man’s world. Champagne Widows is vintage storytelling. ~Jean M. Roberts, author of The Heron
“Like the best wines, Rosenberg’s Champagne Widows will entice you with its complexity as it balances the story of a widow’s determination to produce the world’s greatest champagne in the face of Napoleon’s path of destruction. If you love France, historical fiction, underdog stories, strong women, or wine, then pop a cork to celebrate this perfect blend of a novel.” ~Mary Helen Sheriff, author of Boop and Eve’s Road Trip
Congratulations to Rebecca Rosenberg, and gratitude to Susan Cushman!
Book Review as it appears in the New York Journal of books
“The Maidens is an intricately plotted, mystery-thriller for the discerning reader. It’s an atmospheric story set on Cambridge University’s campus merging cliff-hanging twists with artful suspense.”
Mariana Andros is a 36-year-old, grieving widow. She is 14 months past the accident that killed her husband, Sebastian, on a beach in Greece while on holiday. A practicing group therapist, she continues to live in the yellow house she shared with Sebastian on Primrose Hill in Northwest London. “But in many ways, Mariana was still there, still trapped on the beach in Naxos, and she would be forever.”
Having met as Cambridge University students, Mariana and Sebastian had a marriage of opposites. “In contrast to Mariana’s privileged upbringing, Sebastian was brought up with no money.” They met when they were both 19, and “In many ways, Mariana’s and Sebastian’s lives began when they found each other.” Mariana believed their love would go on forever, but “Looking back was there something sacrilegious in that assumption? A kind of hubris?”
Mariana came to England at age 18 to attend St. Christopher’s college in Cambridge. She grew up in Greece, on the outskirts of Athens with her sister Elisa, who died with her husband in a car crash, leaving the married Sebastian and Mariana as surrogate parents to Zoe, who is now a Cambridge student. Mariana fears she has lost touch with Zoe. “Their relationship had been imbalanced ever since Sebastian’s death, and from now on, Mariana was determined to correct that balance.”
When Mariana receives a phone call from Zoe and learns something is dreadfully wrong, she packs a bag and immediately leaves for Cambridge by train, where she meets a student named Fred, who is pursuing his PHD at Cambridge, and quickly pursues Mariana to the point of being a pest.
Mariana gets off the train and approaches the prime setting of The Maidens. “And now, as she grew closer and closer to St. Christopher’s, she found herself walking with increasing trepidation as the familiar streets made it hard to hold back the memories flooding into her mind—ghosts of Sebastian were waiting on every corner.” Mariana has her reasons for soldiering on. “She’d do it for Zoe. Zoe was all she had left.”
In The Maidens, Alex Michaelides excels in writing character as place: “Mariana had been afraid to see it again—the backdrop to her love story, but thankfully, the college’s beauty came to her rescue.” “As Mariana neared the college, her surroundings grew more and more beautiful with each step: there were spires and turrets above her head, and beech trees lining the streets shedding golden leaves that collected in piles along the pavement.”
An unidentified body is found in Cambridge, and Zoe suspects her good friend, Tara, is the victim. Within minutes of Mariana’s arrival to her Alma Mater, Zoe’s suspicions are confirmed.
Although planning to stay in Cambridge only long enough to console Zoe over the loss of her friend, Mariana becomes involved in the search for the murderer, when a chance encounter reunites her with Julian Ashcroft, her Cambridge classmate from 20 years before, now a celebrated forensic psychologist, who keeps Mariana apprised of the murder investigation’s findings.
Zoe considers herself a college outcast, and Mariana worries about her now that her best friend Tara is dead. As Zoe’s predicament at Cambridge becomes clear to Mariana, she discovers the thorn in Zoe’s side involves an elite group of girls from privileged backgrounds who occupy a high strata of scholastic standing, and at the core of this special clique, known as The Maidens, is one Edward Fosca, a sinister Greek Classics professor come to Cambridge from America.
By all rumors, dubious activity surrounds The Maidens, and Zoe confesses they’re a secret society to which Tara belonged. Zoe further confesses that Tara had come to her in fear of Edward Fosca on the very night she was murdered. Alarmed and intrigued, Mariana can’t resist taking the murder investigation into her own hands.
Against a thematic background of Greek Tragedy serving as a template to two more Cambridge murders, the one thing the victims have in common is membership in The Maidens. When Edward Fosca invites Mariana to his rooms for an intimate dinner, Mariana is reluctant, but also convinced that Fosca is the murderer. In the interest of further investigation, she accepts his invitation and finds disturbing evidence in his rooms to support her convictions. Not knowing who to trust with her findings, Mariana calls Fred and the two put their minds together in unravelling the mystery.
Tangled threads and uncanny alliances are woven throughout this off-kilter story. Interspersed throughout are confessions from a troubled, unknown narrator, on whom the lens of possibility shifts from one character to the next.
The Maidens is an intricately plotted, mystery-thriller for the discerning reader. It’s an atmospheric story set on Cambridge University’s campus merging cliff-hanging twists with artful suspense.
Claire Fullerton’s most recent novels are Little Tea and multiple award winner, Mourning Dove. Honors include the Independent Book Publishers Book Award Silver Medal for Regional Fiction, the Reader’s Favorite for Southern Fiction Bronze Medal and various other literary awards.
Hear an excerpt from The Flying Cutterbucks Audio Book Here!
Decades ago, Trudy, Georgia, and Aunt Star formed a code of silence to protect each other from an abusive man who terrorized their family. One act of solidarity long ago lives with them still. With the election of a president who brags about groping women without their consent, old wounds and deep secrets come alive again, forcing hard truths to be told and even harder truths to be left to the dead.
On the outskirts of Pardon, New Mexico, Trudy returns to her mother, Jewel, to navigate an old house filled with haunting mementos of her father who went missing in action over North Vietnam. As she helps her mother sift through the memories and finally lay her father to rest, Trudy will do her own soul searching to say goodbye to the dead, and find her way along with the other women in her family, and through the next election.
Audio Book Press Release:
New Mexico Natives, Kathleen M. Rodgers (nee Doran) and F. Michelle Williams, have collaborated to produce an
audio version of Ms. Rodgers’ fourth novel, The Flying Cutterbucks, set against the backdrop of New Mexico and the
2016-2020 presidential elections.
The two Clovis Wildcats met as young writers on Clovis High School’s newspaper, The Purple Press, in 1975. Their
friendship has remained more than 40 years later even though their individual paths took them away from eastern
Ms. Rodgers is an award-winning author of four novels. Her accolades include 2021 Pulpwood Queens Book Club
Pick, 2021 Somerset Contemporary Fiction Finalist, 2020 Military Writers Society of America (MWSA) Founder’s
Award, 2020 MWSA Writer of the Year Finalist, and 2019 MWSA Writer of the Year Finalist. She was inducted into
the Clovis High School Hall of Honor in 2017 by the Clovis Municipal School Foundation. In addition to The Flying
Cutterbucks, Ms. Rodgers has authored three other novels: The Final Salute, Johnnie Come Lately, and Seven Wings to
The Flying Cutterbucks is set in the fictional eastern New Mexico town of Pardon. Those familiar with Clovis
landmarks and traditions will recognize them throughout the novel. The author also gives a nod to her personal
family history through her references to La Castenada in Las Vegas, NM where her grandmother, Olga Berg Lamb,
worked as a Harvey Girl from 1928-1930. New York Times bestselling author Kathleen Kent describes the story as
“A rousing timely novel of hope and solidarity among women in a family wounded by the tragedy of war and the
trauma of sexual assault.” The Flying Cutterbucks was released in print in June 2020 and is represented by Diane Nine,
President of Nine Speakers, Inc.
Ms. Williams’ began a media career as an announcer at Norman Petty stations KWKA and KTQM in 1974. She
took a detour after graduating from NMSU to work in the legal field including a stint at the NM Court of Appeals
followed by a twenty plus year career with the Health Law Section of the University of New Mexico Office of
University Counsel. Unable to “do retirement well,” Ms. Williams decided to return to her media roots after retiring
from UNM in January 2021. She launched FM Williams Voiceover Talent, LLC. The two friends reconnected after
a Facebook post announcing Williams’ recent audiobook narrations earlier this year and joined forces to produce
the audiobook version of The Flying Cutterbucks which will be released on June 29, 2021 from Skyboat Media.
Th Flying Cutterbucks is available from June 29 through Audible!
Book Review ( as it appears in the New York Journal of Books.)
“A poignant, masterfully controlled story of love and loss and redemption, Strange Flowers by Donal Ryan is a gorgeous, meditative treatise written in soul-deep, extraordinary language.”
In Donal Ryan’s quietly moving, Strange Flowers, the multigenerational story is so deeply rooted in rural Ireland as to epitomize the idea of character as place. It’s a heart-tugging, family saga with a central focus: the parish of Knockagowny, Tipperary, where a working-class couple’s only daughter, Moll, has packed her valise and disappeared without leaving a trace.
Paddy and Kit Gladney live in a tidy, small cottage with “a green and yielding world around them in every direction.” Paddy, the local postman and decades-long caretaker of the wealthy Jackman’s farm, and Kit, a bookkeeper, are simple people of devout faith. They remain stoic in the face of their unexplained tragedy. “In the years that followed Moll’s departure on the Nenagh bus, and the Dublin train, Paddy and Kit Gladney lived a solemn half-life of work and prayers and weakening hope, and the earth spun, and the moon phased, and the rain fell, and the sun shone, and their hearts grew heavier and heavier with grief.”
Until one day, five long years later, Moll reappears. Paddy and Kit “were reverent in those first minutes and hours, filled with supernatural awe at this miracle, not quite believing yet that she was real.”
In perfectly measured, lyrical long sentences, Irish traditions and social mores serve as both backdrop and interpreter as Strange Flowers unfolds. The local community is tightly knit, the neighbors sensitive to and solicitous of the Gladney’s plight, and when Father Coyne and Sergeant Crossley appear in the boreen and unlatch the Gladneys’, gate, Paddy suspects they bring no good news concerning what the changed Moll is guarding, with respect to her recent past.
With delicate hesitancy, Sergeant Crossley imparts the news that a young black man from London is in the next parish asking after the Gladney’s location, hoping to locate his missing wife, Moll. Paddy sets out to investigate, while he weighs the situation. “And yet she was back, and she was whole and, yes, she was holding her secrets fast to herself but that didn’t matter. And now it seemed a story had arrived under its own steam from England, in the shape of a gently spoken black man from the land of the old enemy, and there was a strange rightness about his queer situation, of inevitability, of fate’s ineluctable will being done.” On the road to Nenagh, Paddy contemplates the turn of events. “He wondered at how life could be a certain way one minute and a different way altogether the next with no effort at all from the person whose life it was.”
Alexander Elmwood meets Moll in London during her missing years and remains devoted throughout their unorthodox marriage, though Moll’s love for him is cool and distant. From a loving, religious family that embraces Moll before she disappears from London, Alexander has a child with Moll named Joshua, with black hair and eyes and skin that’s lily white.
When Alexander finds Moll and settles in to Knockagowny, he is willing to weather her aloof nature. He braves being a novelty in Knockagowny. “His blackness here was as remarkable as his son’s whiteness had been in Nottinghill, and all the pain of difference now was his and this was how it had to be.”
When Moll begins to confess her missing years to her mother, “Kit had an idea that some truth was close to being told, something revealed about her daughter that might lead eventually through its revelation to redemption though redemption for what misdoings Kit could not tell.” Moll says to her mother, “I never felt right inside, Mam. From the time I was ten or eleven. There was something wrong with me.”
Lucas and Ellen Jackman are wealthy landowners whose relationship with the Gladneys crosses class lines. The Gladneys live in the Jackman’s caretaker’s cottage, and their lives are enmeshed to include multiple generations. When Ellen Jackman appears at the Gladney’s cottage at the news of Moll Gladney’s return to Knockagowny, Moll breaks protocol and uncharacteristically rages at Ellen. Kit and Paddy witness the scene and Paddy worries. “He knew, somehow, and so did his wife, by some perfect and unexplainable force of love, that something was wrong with their daughter, inside her, that she was whole now but only just, and that she was in terrible, terrible trouble.”
Strange Flowers is layered with hidden motivational secrets that culminate in the confusion of Moll and Alexander’s son, Joshua, who flees his Knockagowny home as a grieving and disillusioned teen, and goes to London, where he falls in love with Honey Bartlett, a young woman uncannily tied to more secrets that circle back to his parents and lead Joshua back home.
A poignant, masterfully controlled story of love and loss and redemption, Strange Flowers by Donal Ryan is a gorgeous, meditative treatise written in soul-deep, extraordinary language.
Claire Fullerton’s most recent novels are Little Tea and multiple award winner, Mourning Dove.
Articles by and interviews with guests ranging from best-selling authors and award-winning filmmakers to leading professors, scientists, politicians and more!
|#Interesting #Informative #Inspiring #Interviews #Articles|
# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
I’m Claire Fullerton, the traditionally published author of Little Tea, Mourning Dove, Dancing to an Irish Reel, and A Portal in Time. I also have a novella titled, Through an Autumn Window, which is included in the book, A Southern Season: Scenes from a Front Porch Swing. I grew up in Memphis, Tennessee and now live in Malibu, California.
# What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?
There are no “real-life” stories in my novels, though I draw from a strong sense of place and am inspired by people and events I know.
# What inspires/inspired your creativity?
People are always my inspiration, My last two novels are set in the Deep South, and the South has such wonderfully colorful characters that are part and parcel to the Southern culture. I think all stories happen because of the people involved, so my inspiration comes from simply paying attention to people’s mannerisms, the stories they tell, and their way with words.
# How do you deal with creative block?
Full Interview Here: Interview With Author Claire Fullerton (nfreads.com)
YouTube: Books, Interviews, Malibu Beach Videos and More!
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6QbvYwbKM71znGk5zZBb-Q
My favorite Podcast is Charlotte Readers Podcast, hosted by Landis Wade, an author himself and “a recovering trial lawyer” who encourages authors to read and talk about their award-winning, published, and emerging works. This is the show where host, Landis Wade, visits with local, regional, national and international authors who read and discuss their work. The Charlotte Readers Podcast mission is to help authors give voice to their written words for listeners who love good books.
Host Landis Wade of The Charlotte Readers Podcast
The podcast’s community blog is populated with readerly and writerly content offered by talented writers. It contains nuggets of wisdom for readers and writers.
This week, I contribute to their Community Voices Blog with a short post about how I became a writer, and the link to the blog post, titled, There Is no There to Get to, is here:
Authors, look at this!
Charlotte Readers Podcast wants to hear YOUR voice! Charlotte Readers Podcast is so grateful for the love writers are showing our blog, Community Voices, where we invite writers to submit their readerly and writerly voices to be featured on our website. The submission guidelines are simple, but must be followed for consideration. Read our latest posts, learn more about what we’re looking for, and submit your writing for consideration on our website: https://linktr.ee/CharlotteReadersPodcast
Here’s the Link to The Charlotte Readers Podcast Website:
Charlotte Readers Podcast Social Media Links:
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Tina invited her friend Erica to attend a popular Tchaikovsky’s Spectacular concert on a summer evening with her parents. During the intermission, her dad left the seat to buy some snacks. Tina and Erica followed him wanting to use the restroom. The shoving crowd pushed them away, and they lost sight of him. It would be impossible to fight through the 18,000 people to find him or go back to Tina’s mom. This story tells about what happened to Tina and Erica after they got lost. Children can adapt to the learning from different situations they may observe or encounter. Adults could have discussions with the children about the situations to help them develop problem-solving skills.
My review of this delightful children’s book:
Third grader, Tina Tyler, looks forward to summer. It is the last day of classes, and she has had such a great school year that she hopes the next year will pair her with her teacher, Mrs. Jackson, who stands outside smiling and waving goodbye to her students and reminds Tina that the fourth grade will be a new adventure, a prospect that Tina readily embraces.
Tina is the exuberant sort, and when her mother takes her home to officially begin summer break, the two sit down at the kitchen table and prepare a ten-point list of best case scenario summer activities, and thus the merits of planning are demonstrated to the reader. Tina is excited by the prospects of swimming and asks her mother if she can host a sleepover party for her friends, which her mother encourages because it is important to be appreciative of one’s friends.
In a delightful surprise for Tina, Mrs. Tyler tells her daughter there will be an outdoor concert at the Hollywood Bowl where an orchestra will play Tina’s favorite music: Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. Tina, wanting to include her best friend, asks if she may invite Erica, and when her mother says yes, Tina jumps for joy and claps her hands.
There is much to look forward to at the concert, and Tina’s parents take her and Erica on a two hour train ride to the outdoor event, which will include a picnic and culminate in a fireworks display more resplendent than any Tina has seen prior.
But one has to be prepared for the unexpected, and when in dire circumstances, a child does well to remember the wise counsel of their parents, so when Tina and Erica discover they are lost in a crowd of thousands of people, Erica despairs, until Tina says, “We should stay here. I remember Mom told me a long time ago that if I could not see her, stay where I am, and she would come to find me.”
Miriam Hurdle’s Tina Lost in a Crowd is a joyous, vibrantly illustrated parable designed to depict the safety and security that comes from listening to and trusting one’s parents. In seamless companionship with the gorgeous artwork of Victoria Skakandi, it demonstrates that having a plan to resort to when in the grips of uncertainty will lead to a certain solution where all will be well.
Meet author Miriam Hurdle:
Miriam Hurdle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She published four children’s books at twenty-six years old. Her poetry collection received the Solo “Medalist Winner” for the New Apple Summer eBook Award and achieved bestseller status on Amazon.
Miriam writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. She earned a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California, and the visits to her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters in Oregon. When not writing, she engages in blogging, gardening, photography, and traveling.
Writer, Carla the Reader, writes this in her book review of Tina Lost in the Crowd:
“I read this book to my two oldest grandchildren (5 and 7) and we had some wonderful discussions. We read it straight through the first time, but on the second reading, boy did they open up. We talked about school ending and things they like to do in the summer. Fireworks are a favorite summer activity during the first weekend in July and as a family we go and watch them as well as have a BBQ. Swimming is another wonderful activity and then we talked about outdoor concerts. After all that, I brought them around to discussing what to do if they get lost. The oldest had a lot of ideas involving finding someone in a uniform, finding a mommy or daddy with kids to ask for help and find someone with a ph0ne to call their parents. We discussed what Tina and Erica did and decided that would also work well if mommy and daddy knew what direction they were heading. Even if they chose other options when they get lost, it opened up some great learning moments.”
Congratulations to author Miriam Hurdle on the April 15, 2021 release of this wonderful children’s book, which is available on Amazon!