Introducing Brenda Ratajczak, author of Snippets of Heaven

“I have been thrilled with my experience under the guidance of your self-publishing company Outskirts Press from day one. Also, you have such a fantastic array of packages that would help anyone promote their book. When my book was delivered and I held it in my hands I was so overwhelmed, I cried.”

Brenda Ratajczak was born during the “Great Appalachian Storm” in the winter of 1950. It was a long and difficult labor at Saint Joseph Hospital in Buckhannon, West Virginia. Nuns prayed for the family. Just a year later her sister was born. Brenda’s mother suffered with severe schizophrenia and her father was an alcoholic. The illnesses of her parents were life-threatening. “There was so much abuse, fear and neglect”. Brenda started writing at a very young age. Her writing was her way of dealing with this life. “Glimpses of Hell” is a difficult work in progress. Thank God for summers on her grandparents’ farm. She wrote of the adventures and happiness she experienced in this loving and nurturing environment. Her book “Snippets of Heaven” is her first to be published. Brenda has been married three times, in her words “to very different, exciting, and interesting men. Each taught me so much.” “I very deeply loved them at some point in my life.” The men that she loved prompted her latest book “Loves Passion and Pain”. Motherhood was her greatest joy, expressed in her years of poetry. “I was blessed beyond words to be the mother of four wonderful children.” Two of her children have passed away long before their mother who loved them. “I often feel that I have to live for three, myself and my two children gone before me.” “I refuse to be broken by their loss. I thank God that I had them and draw strength from my memories of them.” Brenda has taken up golf and shooting sporting clays in the last few years. “You have to step away from computers. Sunshine and fresh air are my elixir.” Most recently she has added hula hooping to her exercise and weight training regimen. “Life is so short. Stay active, healthy, try new things and thank God every day.”

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Book description…

This book of stories, “Snippets of Heaven”, is a labor of love, a project of the heart. I visited my grandparents’ farm every year of my young life until I was well into my teens. My visits inspired these stories, and these stories influenced my life. When I was a child, there was no electricity connected to the farm or running water into the farmhouse. There was no furnace to keep the house warm during cold winter nights or an air conditioner to cool the farmhouse when the summer days grew hot. I wanted to share these stories with my grandchildren. My grandchildren live in a very different world than what I knew as a child. I will travel back in time and visit the farm I so loved. I will meander up the road and down the holler. I will wander through the yard within the white picket fence and visit each room of the house again. I will remember the animals and explore the acres in that wild and beautiful farm country. I will simply tell the stories that I recall or retell stories that were told to me by my family. The stories are true. I did change the ending to three of the stories as one was too graphic, one was too heartbreaking, and one was just so violent. There are so many stories that come to mind that I would like to share. The stories are dear to my heart. These stories are a part of who I am and why I am.

Introducing Gerlinde Pyron, author of Shadows and Joys of a Life in Bavaria

“The process of publishing this book was guided by the wonderful people at Outskirt Press. Most of all I was pleased with the book’s cover in which the art department was able to incorporate my own watercolor of our small town in Bavaria. I also liked having the chat feature, when now and then I couldn’t find my way around on the editing screens.”

Gerlinde Pyron arrived in Texas in 1960 at the age of seventeen, an unwilling immigrant, a farm girl with minimal formal schooling, who spoke only German. In less than two years, she mastered enough English to do office work. Later, night time college courses in computer design led to jobs in banking, manufacturing and in the oil industry. Early retirement offered the opportunity for community service, painting, writing, gardening, and enjoying grandchildren. But most of all, she has appreciated traveling with her husband, living out her childhood dream of visiting far-off lands…and frequently returning to her home in Bavaria.

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Book description…

A Childhood in the Shadow of War-Torn Germany. Growing up in rural Bavaria, Gerlinde didn’t know about Hitler’s regime in the way Americans learn about it in school. All she knew was the beauty and tragedy of daily life on the farm where she lived with her brother and sister, her mother, and her stepfather-she never knew her father, who was killed in the Siege of Leningrad. Experience country life in Germany in the 1940s and 1950s, through the eyes of an observant, imaginative child who watched as defeated German soldiers and their families tried to reinvent their lives after the war. From elaborate childhood games to the sobering reality of exhausting daily work, from the love and care of friends and neighbors to the heartbreak of a traumatized family, this compelling memoir is a testimony to the courage and grit of a girl who eventually came to America, fulfilling her own great-grandmother’s dream.

Introducing Capt. B.L. (Budd) Picketts, author of Flights of Four

“I couldn’t have done it without Outskirts Press – the best!”

Capt. B.L. (Budd) Picketts was born in 1923 in Akron, Ohio. The oldest of three children, he had a brother Leonard and sister Joan. His father was a successful businessman, owning a wholesale food business. After high school, he attended Akron University until he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in March of 1942 at age eighteen. He reported for training to the Santa Ana Army Air Base in August of 1942. He graduated from Navigation school in Texas in January 1943 and married Neva Jean Brown, who he had met in the Thrifty Drug Store on Hollywood Blvd. They remained together for the rest of his life – more than sixty years. After he got out of the Army Air Force, they moved to Los Angeles and he began working for Norwich Pharmaceutical, where he soon became the West Coast Division Manager. He remained with Norwich for nearly twenty-five years before starting his own company and worked for himself thereafter. His family includes one boy and two girls, six grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

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Book description…

The Journey from High School Senior to Army Air Force Captain and Squadron Lead Navigator in Less than Twenty Months. At age eighteen he enlisted in the Army Air Force in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. For a boy who had never been more than fifty miles from home the real adventure began when he boarded a bus to Chicago, went by train to Los Angeles, California, and then to Santa Ana Army Air Base boot camp, where his basic training began. Passed over for pilot training because of the huge number of men who wanted those jobs, he eventually was sent to bombardier training in Deming, New Mexico. Because he tested with unusually high math skills he was sent to El Paso, Texas, to become a navigator. Upon graduation he went by ship to Algeria, North Africa, and finally by plane to Lecce, Italy. What happens there is really what this book is all about.

Introducing Helen Payson Sebring, author of More Stories from My Neck of the Woods

“I’m looking forward to publishing my first children’s book!”

Helen Payson Sebring was born in Milton, Massachusetts. She was the only child of Alma and Carl Payson who encouraged her to read, write and explore. She did just that. She met her husband to be, Fred Sebring, in Harvard Square when she was 16 and he was 21. After graduation and World War II, Helen and Fred began their adventure together which included six children, ten grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Family was everything to Helen and Fred. That and traveling the world. Helen lived to be 90. She kept traveling and writing throughout those 90+ years, with a little bit of writing almost every day and one last trip to celebrate hers and Fred’s 69th wedding anniversary.

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Book description…

More Stories from My Neck of the Woods. These stories are about the author’s children, stories written for and from the grandchildren, adventures with family and travel with her husband Fred. Helen began writing as a child – first poems and then short stories. Her first book was published when she was 85. She always hoped there would be another book. Here it is.

Introducing Al Monroe, author of Ninety-Year-Old Vet’s Journey Through Life

“I’m glad that I chose Outskirts Press publishing, which has turned out to be an education for me. Now I’m looking forward to publishing my next book.”

Al Monroe, a retired chief electrician and veteran of five wars, is not an accomplished or career author. He seeks to capture people and places in his life, and how they have changed since the 1920s to the present day, but he can’t do that without writing about himself in this series of endearing autobiographies.

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Book description…

For many years now, I have wanted to write about my life, and especially about some of the people in my life. I’m sorry to say that due to my lack of faith in my writing skills, I gave up many times. In those days, I thought I wouldn’t live past sixty years old, but here I am — ninety years old, and still going strong. Well, not so strong, but people are surprised when I tell them how old I am! And would you believe it — due to the encouragement of a few of my family, friends, VA doctors, nurses, and counselors, I have completed this book about the first seventeen-and-a-half years of my life, and I have almost completed a book that ends on the year of my twenty-first birthday. And if the readers of this book will do the math, they will realize that I have a lot more writing to do!

Introducing Tabitha Eichelberger, author of Diary of a Lonely Prom Queen: Reflections on Parenting Teenage Girls from a Teenage Survivor

“My Author Representative was incredible! She took time to listen and got back with me even on weekends.”

As a teenage survivor, Tabitha experienced many opportunities that have helped her form a unique insight into the adolescent experience. High School Credentials 1. Prom Queen, 2004 2. Homecoming Queen, 2003 3. Consistent table for 1’er 4. Prom Princess, 2003 5. Expert bathroom stall crier 6. Homecoming Court, 2002 7. Cheerleader, 2002, 2003, 2004 8. Skilled Friday night laundry folder 9. Chorus member, 2000-2004 10. Introvert in Disguise 11. Recipient of the Masonic Lodge Scholarship 12. Participant in the Young Life Organization 13. Participant in the school mentoring program 14, Teenage Survivor! Tabitha is an author, business owner, wife, and mother. She lives with her husband Brad and their three children, Tinley, Garret, Noah, and their dog Hank. Tabitha enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, running, biking, and exploring their country property on summer evenings with her family.

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Book description…

….Sometimes looks can be most deceiving….”There is a reason God is putting you through this.” These words spoken from my mother’s mouth when I was a teenager still echo in my head. Fifteen years later I now understand that reason: to share my own junior/high school experiences in this book. My hope is to encourage parents as they help their daughters navigate through the prickly forest of “Girl World.” While this book focuses on my own personal struggles and triumphs, I also share stories, perspectives, and advice from many other mothers and daughters who have gone through or are going through these tough teenage years. We will look beyond the thorns, twisted paths and shadows to see the light at the edge of the forest. The light that is waiting for them even though it may seem far away.

Introducing Elizabeth Garcia, author of Resilience: A Personal Memoir

“My experience with Outskirts Press has been remarkable. Every person that I interacted with was pleasant and professional. Thank you so much to my author representative Lisa for the amazing support during the entire process.”

Elizabeth Garcia is the author of the Best Selling bilingual picture book El Viaje de Lucita Lucita’s Journey. She is a librarian in New York City. Elizabeth loves reading, writing and spending time with her family. She adores her children and grandchildren, and lives with her husband in Long Island, New York.

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Book description…

Life Was Peaceful Until the Dreadful Telephone Call. Elizabeth’s life seemed nearly perfect. Then she received a dreadful telephone call. Her sister Blanca was being treated in a clinic in Mexico and was in a coma. In this heartfelt, inspiring memoir the author opens her heart and invites the reader to experience the events that followed. Sometimes it takes an unfortunate event for us to realize how significant people really are in our lives. The reader is sure to connect with the characters of the story. This is a remarkable story that will remain with you long after you have finished reading the book.