25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back by Stacy Juba - Read Online
25 Years in the Rearview Mirror
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This 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.

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 and USA Today 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.

Published: Stacy Juba on
ISBN: 9781476382807
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    25 Years in the Rearview Mirror:

    52 Authors Look Back

    Edited By: Stacy Juba

    Smashwords Edition

    Published by Thunder Horse Press

    Copyright 2012 by Stacy Juba

    Smashwords Edition, License Notes

    This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. All of the articles in this book have been published in this ebook with written permission from the authors. Thank you for respecting the hard work of the writers included in this collection.

    Table of Contents


    Chapter One: School Days

    Chapter Two: The Jobs That Shape Us

    Chapter Three: Remembering the Romance

    Chapter Four: The Ups and Downs of Family Life

    Chapter Five: Hard Times

    Chapter Six: The Writing Journey

    Chapter Seven: Characters Have Pasts, Too

    Chapter Eight: Further Back in Time

    Appendix: Website Links

    Twenty-Five Years Ago Today Excerpt



    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.

    I woke from the coma twelve hours later, didn't know who I was, but insisted to the doctor that I was part of the TV show Marcus Welby, MD (it hadn't been on in years.) Maybe it was all those tubes, maybe it was all the bandages, maybe it was the sudden realization that all my good underwear, (you know the warning Mom always made wear your good underwear in case you're in an accident) was missing and in its place a lot of plaster, wrapped ribs, etc. brought me back to reality. Well, the reality that I was in the hospital, not moving and in a lot of pain.

    Everything but my nose was broken or bruised or twisted. I had always wanted a more 'refined' nose but alas…. Oh, my jaw was broken—lots of wires there—along with stitches in my tongue. And my vision was not right—glasses of course were missing, but even after an extra pair was popped on my nose by my husband, I still couldn't see—well, actually I could see double everything.

    As you probably guessed, I missed BEA and just about everything else for eighteen months. I shed glass for nearly two years from various parts of my body. The vision thing was permanent damage—but the NASA ophthalmologist was able to fix that with special lenses, similar to what the astronauts wear after ocular injuries from space flight trauma.

    Flowers poured in and telephone calls. No emails back then. The biggest bouquet was from the phone company—honest. They called, concerned, my phone bill was only $12 that month, not its usual $400-plus—what happened?

    My dentist was angry over the stitches in my tongue—did I want a 'fishtail' tongue? NO! So he redid the tongue/jaw—I was at my thinnest from liquid food (of course we all know that didn't last long.)

    Time marches on and I was finally able to—march and start writing again. What did I learn: never wear your good underwear when you leave the house because, if there's an accident, they just cut it off you and throw it away! Follow the rules and you get better both mentally and physically much faster. Seek out more than one specialist with things like vision and brain trauma. Never get hypnotized if you have a head injury. Oh, and realize drunk drivers seldom get hurt or even get jail time when they wreak havoc to others.

    The German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, got it right—That which does not kill us makes us stronger. At this writing, former American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson put it into song: What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. No matter what the hardship—come back stronger, come back swinging!

    Good advice—no matter whether you're looking at the past, the present or your future!

    Elaine Raco Chase is the award-winning author of seventeen paperback novels with over 3 million books in print. She is published in 25 countries and 15 languages. As a romance writer, Elaine has won two sales awards for top romance novels of the year, Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award for romantic suspense and the Affaire de Coeur Silver Pen Award for writing excellence. Her non-fiction debut Amateur Detectives—A Writer’s Guide was nominated for the prestigious Agatha Christie Award.

    Elaine was past President of Sisters in Crime International, a charter member of Romance Writers of America and a registered lecturer for Poets and Writers. She currently teaches a variety of writing courses.


    Why Twenty-Five Years?

    What were you doing twenty-five years ago? If you're too young to answer that question, then what do you think will stand out in your mind twenty-five years into the future? The answer might surprise you. It may reflect a significant event in your life, or it might turn out to be one small, simple moment that affected you more than you realized.

    I originally began soliciting these essays for a series on my blog, inviting author colleagues to use the question What were you doing twenty-five years ago? as a writing prompt. However, I soon realized that these essays would be wasted on the Internet, and would wind up buried and long forgotten. I gave the matter some more thought. The essays deserved a more special home, and the idea of compiling an anthology was born. Upon editing the articles for this ebook, I discovered that each and every answer neatly fit into one of six categories: School Days; The Jobs That Shape Us; Remembering the Romance; The Ups and Downs of Family Life; Hard Times; and since we're talking about authors, The Writing Journey. The writers were also offered the option of answering the question in the voice of a fictional character from one of their novels. Several authors chose to delve into a character's psyche and to get the creative juices flowing that way.

    So, what's the big deal about twenty-five years ago? The idea of posing the above question to authors and ultimately collecting the essays in an anthology, was inspired by my published mystery/romantic suspense novel Twenty-Five Years Ago Today. In the book, newspaper editorial assistant Kris Langley stumbles across an intriguing cold case while researching her 25 Years Ago Today column on the microfilm. While investigating the murder of talented artist Diana Ferguson, Kris finds herself drawn into a web of Greek mythology, family secrets, deceit and danger.

    I was compelled to write Twenty-Five Years Ago Today because, like Kris Langley, I once worked as a newspaper editorial assistant myself. One of my responsibilities was—you guessed it—compiling