About the bookThis collection of poignant and uplifting essays is the perfect book to enjoy over your morning coffee. The stories will warm your heart, raise your spirits and compel you to examine your own life. As a tie-in to her mystery book Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, novelist and award-winning journalist Stacy Juba invited her author colleagues to answer the question "What were you doing 25 years ago?" Read about school days, quirky jobs, romance, raising a family, hard times, the writing journey, and find out what makes your favorite characters tick. This 30,000-word book will help readers to discover new authors for their to-read list, and inspire them to reflect upon the small defining moments that have shaped their own lives. As a bonus, readers are invited to interact with the authors and discuss the past and the future in an online forum, with details in the Appendix.
Includes a foreword by Elaine Raco Chase, award-winning author of seventeen paperback novels with over 3 million books in print. Publishing credits of the contributing writers include New York Times bestselling, USA Today bestselling and Amazon bestselling. They also include recipients of the Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award, Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award, Mississippi Author Award, Benjamin Franklin Award and Eppie Award, as well as nominees of the Pushcart Prize, Agatha and Shamus Awards, to name a few of the many honors.
The following sections are included in the book:
School Days: Literary Friends by Stacy Juba, The Red Man by Maria Savva, Rocking in the '80s by Susan Helene Gottfried, Seniors are Wimps by Matthew Dicks, Prom Night by A.W. Hartoin, Friend in Need by Alina Adams, A Life-Changing Decision by CJ Lyons, Oldest Campus Editor Looks Back by Sharon Love Cook.
The Jobs That Shape Us: Lieutenant Pink Shoes by Laura DiSilverio, Training the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers by Gwen Mayo, The Biggest Job Shift Ever by Ann Littlewood, Long Live Rock by Loni Emmert, The Cost of Doing Business by Stephen D. Rogers, Life as a Singing Telegram by Monica M. Brinkman, The Pipe Bomb by Kenneth Weene, School for Sleuths by Carole Shmurak, Driven Bats by Sarah E. Glenn, Can One Beer Change Your Life? by Mike Bove.
Remembering the Romance: A Special Anniversary by Steve Liskow, California Magic by Mike Angley, Drummer and Dumber by Cara Lopez Lee, Paving the Road to Conscious Living by Lillian Brummet.
The Ups and Downs of Family Life: The Elephant in the Living Room by Mary Anna Evans, Baby Steps by Tracy Krauss, Finding the Right Balance by Barbara Ross, Climbing the Mountain of Single Parenthood by J. R. Lindermuth, The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same by Donna Fletcher Crow, A Busy Mom's Dream by Deanna Jewel, Family Fun at the Dinner Table by Maryann Miller.
Hard Times: Finding the Right Direction by Michele Drier, The Scent of Lives Changed Forever by Beth Kanell, Surviving the Killer Tsunami by Cherish D'Angelo (Cheryl Kaye Tardif), Christa's Legacy by Jaleta Clegg, Weathering the Storm by Red Tash.
The Writing Journey: Unit-Lessons in Composition by Stacy Juba, Traveling Down the Writing Path by Patricia Gulley, Sticking With It by J.E. Seymour, Detecting the Humor by Marja McGraw, Never Give Up by Karen McCullough, An Early Computer by Velda Brotherton, Choosing My Destiny by Peggy Ehrhart, The Tuesdays by Bonnie Hearn Hill, Cropdusting the Way to a Series by R.P. Dahlke.
Characters Have Pasts, Too: Diana's Promise by Stacy Juba, The Sandbox by Darcia Helle, An Empty Nest by Suzanne Young, Misfortune's Daughter by Mary Deal, The White Widow by Norma Huss, The Policeman by Vicki Delany, Miranda's History by Leslie Wheeler, Meeting Sam Fullerton by Ellis Vidler, The Gas Chamber by Douglas Corleone, Storm Shadow Eyes by Caitlyn Hunter.
Further Back in Time: A Long Look Back by Norma Huss, The Ghost of Mr. Stetson by Darcia Helle, Finding My Voice by Stacy Juba.
An excerpt from the bookFrom the Foreword by Elaine Raco Chase:
Writing a foreword to a book that looks back twenty-five years is an interesting challenge. I ran through all those quotations like "if we don't learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it," and "do our past experiences shape our future," and—well, you know them all!
And what did I come up with? Yes and no! Not much help, right? But the authors who have contributed to this delightful book will make you think, make you cheer, make you cry, make you take a harder look at your past to see if it helps with your present and make you re-shape your future.
I love the stories from school days (or should it have been 'daze'), jobs (gosh what haven't I done since I was 14!), romance (for me, just one and going on 44 years), family life (now with very funny grandchildren), hard times (do they ever go away?), writing journey (always something new—paper to ebooks), what my characters were doing (I'm letting them live again as I update) and going further back than twenty-five years.
1985—was my twenty-five years ago. Life was its usual turmoil. We had just moved from Daytona Beach, Florida to Houston, Texas. The kids were adapting, the dog was just staring at the armadillos and I was making new friends and writing. Writers can write anywhere!
My publisher called, all excited, as my book, Special Delivery, a Dell Ecstasy Romance, had hit #1 on all the bestseller lists, and had outsold any other Dell book for that time. "We are sending you to the BEA—Bookseller's Expo—in San Francisco."
I was stunned. And excited. And needed to go shopping! Off I went to the mall, just a mere five miles away. Found some great bargains and headed back home. A mere five miles away.
It was Saturday, twelve noon, slightly overcast. I sat waiting for the light to turn green—unfortunately the guy, drinking the beers in a truck, in back of me—did not stop! Did not even slow down! Just slammed into the back of my small Toyota with his battered truck. Despite the fact I was wearing a seatbelt—he hit me so hard, my body slammed into the steering wheel and kept going through the windshield. That's the last thing I remember.