Friendship in the Face of Bigotry #FridayFunReads

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Have You Seen Luis Velez?

by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Copyright 2019.

 

What Amazon Says

 

New York Times bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde brings heartwarming authenticity to the story of two strangers who find that kindness is a powerful antidote to fear.

Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn’t belong. Not with his mother’s new family. Not as a weekend guest with his father and his father’s wife. Not at school, where he’s an outcast. After his best friend moves away, Raymond has only two real connections: to the feral cat he’s tamed and to a blind ninety-two-year-old woman in his building who’s introduced herself with a curious question: Have you seen Luis Velez?

Mildred Gutermann, a German Jew who narrowly escaped the Holocaust, has been alone since her caretaker disappeared. She turns to Raymond for help, and as he tries to track Luis down, a deep and unexpected friendship blossoms between the two.

Despondent at the loss of Luis, Mildred isolates herself further from a neighborhood devolving into bigotry and fear. Determined not to let her give up, Raymond helps her see that for every terrible act the world delivers, there is a mirror image of deep kindness, and Mildred helps Raymond see that there’s hope if you have someone to hold on to.

 

Buy from Amazon.

 

My Thoughts

 

It’s interesting how we don’t learn right away that Raymond is black. In the beginning, it’s clear that his mother, half sisters, and stepfather, who are all white, are, for the most part, indifferent to him. But the possible reason for this doesn’t come out until later.

I like the author’s realistic portrayal of blindness. Mrs. Gutermann instructs Raymond to put items in her apartment back where he found them. She uses her white cane when out walking with him.

I also recommend this book for its accurate depiction of racism in today’s society. Despite downfall caused by such prejudice, the ending will leave you feeling good.

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For those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

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New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

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A Teenagers Favorites List #OpenBookBlogHop

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Welcome to another edition of Open Book Blog Hop. Today’s question is: “Write a top 10 list in the voice of a character. Is your character a person making a bucket list? How about someone listing their greatest fears? What does the list they make say about the character?

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To me, a top ten list for one of my characters was a tall order. So, I shortened it to five. This list is for my main character Eve’s son in The Red Dress. This should tell you something about him and make you want to read the book, if you haven’t already done so.

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Thomas Sawyer’s Five Favorite Things

1. My Favorite Baseball Team: The Colorado Rockies. They don’t always play very well, but that’s okay. Their home is in Denver, not far from where I lived, Colorado Springs. Dad and I went to their games whenever we could. For my thirteenth birthday, Mom gave us two tickets, which was really awesome, although they lost big time.

2. Favorite Book: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. Dad read that book to me when I was younger. He said that when he and Mom first met, she asked him if he was related to Tom Sawyer in the book. That’s why they named me Thomas.
3. Favorite Food: Mom’s Enchilada Casserole. For as long as I could remember, that was the only thing she made from scratch. Because she was so busy writing, most of the time, she put a frozen meal in the oven, and that was it. But then, she started getting recipes for meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, tuna casserole, and other things. She even learned how to make oatmeal. But her enchilada casserole hit a home run for me every time.
4. Riding My Bike and Hanging Out with My Buddy Andy. I also got a new bike for my birthday. Andy got one for his birthday a few months earlier. So, the two of us had brand new bikes. We also liked going swimming when our folks could take us.
5. Doing Cool Stuff with My Dad. Not only did we go to ball games, but we also played ball in the park a lot. Once, I had to whitewash the fence, just like Tom Sawyer in the book. But I didn’t have to do it by myself. Dad and I did it together, and it was fun.

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How about you? If you’re not an author, maybe you could make a top five or top ten list about yourself and put it in the comment field below. If you’re a blogger and would like to participate in this week’s hop, click here.

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By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Image contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

Books

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A Novel about Compassion and Friendship #Thursday Book Feature

The Bean Trees

by Barbara Kingsolver

Copyright 1988

 

A couple of years after graduating from high school, Taylor leaves her rural Kentucky hometown, driving a beat-up old car, with no particular destination in mind. In a small Oklahoma town, after getting her car repaired, someone leaves an Indian baby girl on her front seat. Taylor decides to keep her and names her Turtle.

She and Turtle arrive in Tucson, Arizona, on four flat tires and settle there. She finds a place to live and makes friends. The book has other sub-plots involving her housemate, two elderly neighbors, and a refugee couple living above the tire shop where she works.

I could relate to this story because I did some of my growing up in Tucson, Arizona. The author’s descriptions of a picnic and visit to a local zoo remind me of similar trips I took with my family in the area when I was a child. Although this book was published in 1988, it reflects the plight of immigrants today, which is, I believe, much worse than it was back then. The Bean Trees is Barbara Kingsolver’s first novel, and I’ll probably read more of her work.

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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An Interview with My Writing Group #The Red Dress Promotion

Explorations in Creative Writing is a group with whom I meet at least once a bweek, mostly for critique purposes. While I was writing The Red Dress, they were supportive and helpful by providing feedback and suggestions, for which I’m eternally grateful. Soon after the book was released, others in the group asked me questions about it and other topics during one of our meetings. Thanks to Jackie McBride at Brighter Vision Technologies, facilitator of this group, for recording the interview and making it available for me to post here and on my website. You can hear it by clicking this link.

 

 

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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My Amazon Author Page

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WebsiteImage contains: Abbie, smiling.

Saturday Song: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/With A Little Help From My Friends

Fifty years ago on June 1st, the album was first released. When I was about six or seven, my parents bought a copy. I enjoyed listening to it, although I couldn’t understand most of the songs, and a few of them seemed wild to me. Ten years later when my brother got his first drum set, he played along with the record. Today, I still have the album on CD and am listening to it, as I write this. I searched in vain on YouTube for the original title track, but the closest thing I found was this. Enjoy, and have a great Saturday.

 

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

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