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BookTrib Guest Author has 129 articles published.

is a published author or professional writer who we are thrilled to present to our readers. These unique contributors provide readers with a fascinating look at the world from an author’s perspective.

Embracing the Obstacle of Autism: Do You See Me Out of Order?

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In our world, everyone faces obstacles and overcomes difficulty. The top neuro-psychological doctor told my parents when I was two years old, “Your son has autism, and will never be able to read, write or communicate.” My parents made the right decision to find the best resources around for children who have autism. People who have autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have difficulty understanding abstract concepts and communicating with the world around them. There was a notion in the last decade that if one had a mental or learning disability, they were considered stupid. Many citizens fight for the rights of people with learning disabilities. We are just like everyone else — and can do anything we set our minds to.…

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Itty Bitty Book Review: Diane Saxton’s Peregrine Island

in Fiction by

I don’t know how Peregrine Island (She Writes Press, $16.95, 252 pages) made it to the top of my reading pile, but I’m glad it did. Diane Saxton’s debut novel offers up the art world as a backdrop, along with the age-old dream of finding treasure hidden away in your house somewhere. Come on, admit it:  how many times have you combed through some box, hoping something worth a cool million may be hiding inside? That’s kind of what happens when three generations of Peregrine women find themselves in possession of a priceless painting. Not a bad story on its own, to which Saxton ably adds layers of surprises, some of which the painting itself, quite literally, contains. Any combination…

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DATELINE 1907 – Olympian Jim Thorpe’s Weaknesses and the Invention of the Halftime Show

in Non-Fiction by

Five years in the future, The Carlisle Indians’ Jim Thorpe will win gold in the pentathlon and decathlon at the 1912 Olympics. The King of Sweden will tell Jim, “You sir, are the greatest athlete in the world.” Jim will reply, “Thanks, King!” But in the ’07 game against Bucknell, the “greatest” had his worst kickoff return. Jim brushed aside tacklers like horseflies and headed for the goal line. In the last few yards, Jim eased up, got clipped by a diving player, did a face-plant and fumbled. Luckily, a teammate scooped the ball up and scored the touchdown. Jim would go on to perform many greatests in track, football and baseball. But some of his  “greatests” are less well…

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Letting Dreams Soar: How Travel Changed My Life

in Non-Fiction by

Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always dreamed of flying away to faraway places. I certainly have the travel gene. Every time I would see an airplane, my attention would dissipate for a moment while my 6-year-old self would ponder where the plane was going. It wasn’t long after our first family vacation to Florida that my interest in flying quickly became one of the consuming parts of my life. By the time I turned 15, I had flown well over 344,000 miles to four states. At that point, many people — especially my age — might consider this an accomplishment, or just insane. The truth is every single one of those miles was flown for a family…

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DATELINE 1907 – Football Trickery Abounds

in Non-Fiction by

Brian Meehl is the author of Blowback ’07 (MCP Books, November 1, 2016) and this article is the seventh in a new series discussing the radical changes in football from the 1905 to 1907.  No one masterminds trick plays like Pop Warner and the Carlisle Indians. If “there’s no rule against” (to quote Pop), they do it. In their ’07 game against Syracuse, Pop sprang the “many balls trick.” Each of his backs had a football-sized patch sewn on the belly of their jersey, making fake hand-offs impossible to read. (“Who’s got the ball? They all do!) Pop’s most notorious stunt is the “hidden ball trick.” For the 1903 Harvard game, Pop had elastic sewn into the bottom of the jersey…

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3 Ways I Live from My Deathbed Every Single Day

in Non-Fiction by

Man is not fully conditioned and determined but rather determines himself whether he gives in to conditions or stands up to them. In other words, man is ultimately self-determining. Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment. By the same token, every human being has the freedom to change at any instant. — Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning My boyfriend and I have been talking a lot about death lately. For a couple in our early twenties, this topic certainly isn’t something we’re expected to be dealing with. And while we’re not at the age where we should be getting our affairs in order or…

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Lost — and Found — in a World of Color and Sound

in Fiction by

The Lost Property Office (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, November 8, 2016) opens a new series of adventures filled with secret societies and stern-faced old spinsters, trackers and dragons —elements of plot and milieu that were loads of fun to create. But it is the character of Jack that is most important to me. I want Jack’s unique way of seeing the world to open a conversation. Jack Buckles is a new take on the hyper-observant detective. He has synesthesia, although he doesn’t realize it, much like I didn’t, and much like thousands of kids today, because no one knows to tell them. Synesthesia is a lack of walls between senses, sometimes poorly described as a lack of neural development.…

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DATELINE 1907 – Helmets, Broken Noses and Pretty Boys

in Non-Fiction by

Brian Meehl is the author of Blowback ’07 (MCP Books, November 1, 2016) and this article is the sixth in a new series discussing the radical changes in football from the 1905 to 1907.  Football introduces the first head protection: the “nose guard.” Who needs a helmet when players grow their hair long for all the skull protection they need. OK, if 1907 players fear a broken nose more than a broken head, are they dumb pretty-boys, or just plain tough? You be the judge. The “starting 11” means just that. You play both ways, offense & defense. Substitutions? Sure, but if you leave the game, you’re done, like in baseball. The only exception is if an injury takes you out, then…

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Author’s Corner: How to Craft a Killer Library Program!

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Andra Watkins is the author of Hard to Die (Word Hermit Press, November 1, 2016) and has written her first article for BookTrib discussing the importance of an author/library relationship.  Today’s libraries are more than book repositories. They have morphed into 21st century community centers. From business classes to art exhibits and movie nights to weddings, modern librarians juggle a staggering variety of programs. Many library users never even check out a book. Any library’s calendar of events reveals one tough fact: author programs are a small fraction of what’s offered. So why should authors bother with library programs? A library still serves captive groups of readers. In a world overrun with choices, library patrons rely on librarians to turn them on…

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DATELINE 1907 – Pop Warner Bets Big on the “Air Attack”

in Non-Fiction by

Brian Meehl is the author of Blowback ’07 (MCP Books, November 1, 2016) and this article is the fifth in a new series discussing the radical changes in football from the 1905 to 1907.  Coach Pop Warner, who maligned the forward pass in ’06, is singing a new tune in ’07. In the pre-season, he’s seen his Indians throw spirals that are “deadly accurate.” A change in rules before the ’07 season also smiled on the lowly pass. Instead of an incomplete and untouched pass being penalized by a turnover, such a pass now gets a 15-yard penalty from where the ball is thrown. (The rules guys still hate passing!) But when Pop’s star quarterback for the Carlisle Indians, Frank Mt. Pleasant,…

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DATELINE 1906 – Pop Warner Identifies the “Bastard” of Football

in Non-Fiction by

Brian Meehl is the author of Blowback ’07 (MCP Books, November 1, 2016) and this article is the fourth in a new series discussing the radical changes in football from the 1905 to 1907.  The tale is as wobbly as a bad spiral. Actually, the first passes weren’t spirals. They were lobbed like basketballs and thrown end-over-end. One “first” forward pass was a ref’s blunder. In 1895, as North Carolina played Georgia Tech, the Tar Heels’ punter, about to be blocked, lobbed the ball forward to George Stephens, who ran for a 70-yard touchdown. The Bulldogs’ coach, Pop Warner, protested the illegal pass, but the ref had failed to see it. The TD won the game! In a 1905 game between Washburn…

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High School Sports: Lost Arizona History Preserved in ‘Who is Gym?’

in Non-Fiction by

After officiating high school football and baseball in Arizona for nearly 30 years, it occurred to Scott Hanson that there was a piece of Arizona history that was slipping away: the who and the why high schools, their football stadiums, baseball fields and gymnasiums were named. Here Hanson discusses how he came to write Who Is Gym and what the book is all about: Do you know the history behind your high school alma mater’s football field? Or the gym? Or the school itself? If not, you are not alone. A three-year project has resulted in the uncovering and preservation of the stories behind Arizona’s high school sports venues, culminating with new history book, Who is Gym? I have been…

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The Harrowing Journey That Led Debut Author Tamara B. Rodriguez to Write ‘Hair to the Queen!’

in Fiction by

Introducing new children’s book, Hair to the Queen!, by first-time author, mother and cancer survivor, Tamara B. Rodriguez. Rodriguez shares her writing journey below. As nearly everyone knows, October is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by the media and cancer survivors, alike. So, why is a first-time author and career-long accountant like me debuting a children’s book about cancer in November? It’s a long story. My relationship with my breasts has been an emotional roller coaster, starting from my days as a busty teenager to becoming relatively flat-chested after I stopped breastfeeding my two daughters. At 34 years-old, I remember standing in front of the full-length mirror and nostalgically recognizing how much my body had changed over the…

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DATELINE 1906 – The Forward Pass and Football Fatalities

in Non-Fiction by

Brian Meehl is the author of Blowback ’07 (MCP Books, November 1, 2016) and this article is the third in a new series discussing the radical changes in football from the 1905 to 1907.  None of the new rules were as hotly debated as the “newfangled” forward pass. The good ol’ boys on the Rules Committee wailed, “It’ll turn football into roundball!” (aka basketball). “It’ll sissify the game!” So, to cripple the forward pass in its rookie season, they’ve hit it with strict rules and penalties. If the ball is passed over the line of scrimmage within 5 yards of each side of the center, it’s a turnover to the opponents from where the ball was thrown. A ball thrown across…

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How Reading at Summer Camp Led Dale Wiley to Write ‘Southern Gothic’

in Fiction by

I trace the moment I really became a reader to Fountain Campground near Washington, Georgia. We went there every year, on our annual trips to Georgia to see my mom’s family, and although I read voraciously all the way through school, I have to say I thought it was uncool … until I saw all those pretty girls at camp reading. My mind changed in an instant. Camp meetings in the South are almost as old as America, places where people go to church services and find ways to disconnect from the modern world. For me, a tall and skinny teen nowhere near growing into my body, younger than many of the other kids who stayed on the campground, I…

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DATELINE 1906 — The Rules of Football are Re-Written

in Non-Fiction by

Brian Meehl is the author of Blowback ’07 (MCP Books, November 1, 2016) and this article is the second in a new series discussing the radical changes in football from the 1905 to 1907.  Last year, President Teddy Roosevelt threw the gauntlet: Football, reform your brutal ways or be abolished! His decree triggered a battle between the good ol’ boys Rules Committee that has dictated the game for decades and college presidents who are sick and tired of seeing their student-athletes being killed and maimed on the football field. In the last days of ’05, the warring groups merged together (in what will become the NCAA). By the spring of ’06, they rewrote the rules of football with a major mandate:…

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