Extraordinary Biography: Ray Carpenter’s ‘Scribbles’

Author Ray Carpenter shares his life’s story in ‘Scribbles,’ a tale that takes readers on a journey from Graham County, around the world, and back again. Based on the author’s journal entries, Carpenter weaves the memorable, and at times humorous, tale of his life.

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Scribbles
ISBN: 9780989216975
eBook Price: 3.99

After honorably serving in the U.S. Navy, Ray Carpenter graduated from Western Carolina University with degrees in science, English, and philosophy, and received certificates in CPCU designation and Insurance and Risk Management from Georgia State. Now retired from the Hartford Insurance Company, Ray has one son, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. Ray is currently working on his second book while residing in his mountain cabin near Robbinsville, North Carolina.

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 Available at the following eBook distributors:

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BOOK REVIEW: Gail Briggs Nolen’s “Memories of Merritt Island: Birthplace of Ken

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Gail Briggs Nolen offers an intimate portrayal of her two bloodlines in Memories of Merritt Island: Birthplace of Kennedy Space Center. This story of Merritt Island is recounted through the lives of the Benecke-Briggs family.

Briggs Nolen shares the triumphs and failures of the homesteading lifestyle that was prevalent throughout Merritt Island. This rich history is brought to life with love letters, family photographs, government records, maps, and news articles. We learn about the struggles of a young German immigrant who yearns for financial stability and the warmth of his distant lover, become acquainted with the brave Aunt “alligator Lena,” and even told about the great family piano that not even Liberace could buy. The reader travels straight through this family’s lineage up until the eventful moment when their dreams were dashed by the United States government. Progress demanded change. John F. Kennedy ushered in the age of space exploration. Merritt Island was the location of choice.

Memories of Merritt Island is definitely a successful endeavor at passing on a special family heritage. The sentiments of the individuals who enjoyed the island before the Kennedy Space Center are quite clear. This historical piece is a gentle reminder that legacies are built on hard work, dedication, and ingenuity. Land lovers, adventurers, and history buffs can appreciate this work.

Kadier C. Carter, J.D.
http://about.me/carterkadier

eBook Available Where eBooks Are Sold

Discover the Real Appalachia: Mathew Link Baker’s ‘My Mountain Granny’

     Shortly after moving to western North Carolina, Matthew Baker met Evelyn Howell Beck of Whittier, North Carolina. This meeting was the consequence of Baker’s lifelong desire to discover the “real Appalachia” and the character of the people who lived there. Over the course of four-year period starting in 1998, Baker would visit Evelyn nearly twenty times. Their recorded conversations comprise the foundation of Baker’s book My Mountain Granny.
      Baker’s touching documentation of Beck’s life and the history of Whittier pays tribute to a once-booming mountain town and the resilience of its people.

ImagePublisher: Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, Inc.
ISBN-13 (eBook): 9780989216920
Publication Date: 7/17/2013
Genre: Biography, History
Price: $1.99

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Discover the Real Appalachia Today!

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Appalachian Author Janie Mae McKinley’s “The Legacy of Bear Mountain”

    

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     In ‘The Legacy of Bear Mountain: Stories of Old Mountain Values That Enrich Our Lives Today,’ Janie Mae recalls mountain life with her grandparents during the time her mother and father were involved in the war efforts of World War II. During those formative years, she absorbed her grandparents’ old-fashioned values and lifestyle. Although their secluded 1895 farmhouse lacked modern conveniences until 1975, they enjoyed a rich life of hard work, honesty, humor, gratitude, and faith. With amazing detail, Janie Mae, whose ancestors came to Bear Mountain in the 1700s, vividly recalls both humorous and scary stories, along with grandfather’s hard work on the railroad and her grandmother’s devout faith in God.

      In honor of the reader’s own memories, a page at the end of each chapter is designed for individuals, families, small groups, or church classes to record and share their own family’s legacy.

     A first-generation college graduate, Janie Mae Jones McKinley holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Mars Hill College, Mars Hill, NC, and a M.A.Ed. in Community Agency Counseling from Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC. Having returned to her childhood roots, she lives on Bear Mountain with her husband, Larry. Because of having no heirs, she donated many of her grandparents’ antiques to the Mountain Heritage Center Museum on the Western Carolina University campus. These treasured artifacts will be used to teach future generations about mountain farm life before modern conveniences. 

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REVIEWS of THE LEGACY OF BEAR MOUNTAIN:

McKinley does a wonderful job of drawing her reader in and immersing them in mountain life…An excellent book, and an absolute read for fans of creative non-fiction. McKinley should be very proud of her work and her heritage, I hope to see more work from her in the future. 
             – J. P. Dash

This is an incredibly detailed book; the author does an amazing job of showing us what her experiences on Bear Mountain were like…a very sentimental book, and the reader’s are allowed to go on that journey of remembering with the author. I believe that anyone who grew up in an area like that, or with family like that, would appreciate this book…I was touched by some of the stories in this book, and am glad to have had the chance to read it.
            –
Cianna Reider

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AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING eBOOK RETAILERS:

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FOR PRINT EDITIONS:

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Book Review: MEMOIR – Frederick J. George’s “Switched at Birth: My Life in Someone Else’s World”

After inexplicably being placed in the wrong bassinet at the city hospital where I was born, I grew up with a nagging feeling of somehow not belonging, and a father who always suspected I was not his. I lived another’s life and he mine, our paths amazingly crossing throughout the years, until 57 years later I discovered the truth. This is the story of my life in someone else’s world, my quest for answers, and how I’ve come to terms with the hand which fate has dealt me.

– Fred George, Author

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This is a story about two boys who, at birth, were inexplicably switched, a switch that would dramatically change the author’s life in every aspect—religion, ethnicity, economics, and culture. Time and time again, the two boys’ paths cross with one another’s before ultimately discovering, decades later, that they aren’t who they spent their whole lives believing they were. At 57, Fred George sees his birth family for the first time, recognizing in them his own mannerisms and traits. George’s retelling of his switch at birth is not so much an account of the switch itself, but rather the story of his life from birth to present with the George family. The story is interesting and insightful, complete with family photos that provide readers with an inside view of the culture and of the times of George’s life.

VIEW THE BOOK TRAILER HERE!

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See what readers are saying:

A compelling biography, interlaced with humor, of a man switched at birth who does not learn his true identity until 57 years after the midwife placed him in the wrong bassinet. Switched At Birth is an easy read that is hard to forget.
          – Emory Daniels, Book Review Editor

This book is a diamond in the rough… the stories are often comical, sometimes heartbreaking, and always enjoyable.
-Shaley Melchoir, For Immediate Release Reviews

Full of doubts, ironic coincidences, experiences, growth, the feeling of not belonging and being different, but most importantly [the author]shows us the essence of life itself…The idea of this book is fantastic and so is the approach…The author has impressive insights and thoughts as well as a definite writing voice…I highly recommend [it].
– Elisa Hidalgo

It is unimaginable to think that the life you have lived was not the one you were meant to have. Despite this tragic event, the author has a very uplifting spirit and positive outlook on life. This book is a great read for anyone.
– Lonna H., Amazon Consumer Reviews

Captivating memoir…definitely one of the best I have ever read…I recommend anyone to read this book. I absolutely loved it.
– J. Yoon, Amazon Consumer Reviews

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AVAILABLE AT THE FOLLOWING eBOOK RETAILERS:
(Also Available in Print from Select Retailers!)

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Monday Book Review: Autobiography of Laura Schmid Hogan – ‘I, Laura: The Story of a Kansas Family’

ImageReview by Laura Garnier, Super Phlum Book Reviews

“I picked this story out of a line-up of potential stories for review, and honestly, what drew me to it is the fact that my name is also Laura. That, and I was intrigued to learn about the life of another Laura in what is, essentially, a whole other world (specifically the town of Atwood, Kansas, U.S.A).

I was fascinated by Laura’s story from start to finish. Not only had her early life been quite different to mine, but it started nearly one hundred years ago. Another world, another time. Despite some similarities I found between myself and Laura Schmid (she was born with dark eyes and hair, like me; her father named her Laura, like mine had; she never liked her name, and neither have I, though she disliked it due to the fact no one had heard it before, and I dislike it due to how common it is these days!), her upbringing couldn’t have been more different.

She was born, lived and worked on her parents farm along with her fourteen other brothers and sisters, being the youngest girl with only three brothers below her in age (I grew up with five other siblings, and I thought that was tough!). They all attended school when they reached the right age, but were never permitted to go on to high school, as their father wouldn’t allow it. Of course, Laura, at eighteen, did eventually attend high school, and then college, although she was ‘twelve hours’ from graduating when she decided instead to marry. Quite a different time indeed.

Throughout the story (which reminded me of the television show, Little House on the Prairie, that I used to watch every Sunday, that included another young girl named Laura), Laura recounts not only her childhood, but that and the lives of her immigrant parents and her numerous brothers and sisters, even putting in accounts from her brothers Joe and Paul on their experiences of life on the farm and in World War II. Laura and her family experienced a lot when it came to life and death, loyalty and sacrifice, but in reading you get the sense that camaraderie was a way of life in those days; times were tough so you had to look out for each other. Illness was rife and much of it still uncured and untreatable, so when a family member or close friend was taken it certainly had a knock on effect on every one who knew them.

Laura’s story is beautifully and intriguingly written. It’s very factual but you also get a feel of who Laura is as a person; strong, smart and incredibly devoted to her family, close and distant. Not only do you come to understand what life was like for a large family in the early twentieth century Mid-West of North America, you also get to know what the world was like in general, particularly with the war and the Great Depression hitting the U.S.

I’m used to picking up biographies on celebrities or those who have led eventful lives in one way or another, and normally I would think that the majority of people in the world don’t have any particular reason to bother writing an autobiography (I may only be twenty-four, but so far I know my life would not make for an interesting read!). Indeed nothing major in the way of events ever really happened to Laura, but reading and understanding her life under different circumstances and in a different time is almost like a reading a history book, teaching lessons in humility, loyalty and sacrifice, and learning that although life may not seem eventful whilst you’re living it, when you’re eighty-something and looking back over the years, your achievements and experiences can mean a heck of a lot more than they did way back when.

Maybe instead of picking up another life story of some reality T.V star who is barely out of school, I will think twice and search the bookshops for something a little more understated and unknown. Perhaps I’ll come across another life like Laura’s, and learn a few more things from a stranger’s life on the other side of the world, and perhaps learn to appreciate mine even more.”

 

This book is available at the following eBook retailers:
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Special thanks to Laura Garnier with Super Phlum Book Reviews!

MEMOIR: ‘I, Laura: The Story of a Kansas Family’

“The story of the successes and struggles of this Kansas family is
a fascinating insight into turn-of-the-century heartland America and all that its inhabitants handled…”

 

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Schmid Hogan’s memoir is hard to put down; the chapters seem to race through increasingly harrowing tales of survival and sweeping range in which the family plants itself firmly in Kansas. The beautifully described farmland and solid structure of the home in which Laura grew up in evokes a nostalgic ache for four scores past in which there was little modern technology, little medicine, and little legroom – a memoir in which the Schmid family survived the trials of the elements and of each other in the delightfully scenic backdrop of Kansas.

                     – Elizabeth Vosk, Bibliophile Betty Book Reviews

 

“I, Laura” is the autobiography of Laura Schmid Hogan, detailing her life in a family of 17 and the hardships of growing up in Western Kansas in the 1920’s, 30’s, and 40’s. In a time before modern conveniences amidst the backdrop of American farm life, Laura survived , and thrived, through a lifetime of heartbreak and tragedy with the help of her faith and her mother’s words of wisdom: “The Lord never promised life would be easy!”

 

eBook available at:
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