The Over 50 Writer

ROLLING WITH THE BOOKMOBILE by Cleo Lampos
Wednesday, November 30, 2022 by Patti Shene

Featured book: A Bookmobile Noel

Author: Cleo Lampos

Publisher: Amazon

Genre: Historical Fiction

Series or Stand Alone:  Series: (Dust Between the Stitches, Riding the Rails to Home, A Mother’s Song)

Target Age:  High school to adult women

 

 

 

IT IS MY PLEASURE TO WECOME AUTHOR CLEO LAMPOS TO THE OVER 50 WRITER. CLEO SHARES HER OWN EXPERIENCE AND WHAT RESEARCH HAS TAUGHT HER ABOUT BOOKMOBILES.

 

 

 

CLEO IS OFFERING A GIVEAWAY! SIMPLY LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW TO ENTER THE DRAWING FOR A PRINT OR KINDLE COPY OF A BOOKMOBILE NOEL..

 

 

 

ROLLING WITH THE BOOKMOBILE

 

 

 

by

 

 

 

Cleo Lampos

 

 

 

A pigtailed blonde hunched in her seat, engrossed in the book lying on the scarred desktop. Each turn of the page transported her further from the violence and deprivation of home. The series by Beverly Cleary brought chuckles and a light heart as Henry Huggins tried to take care of his dog, Ribsy. Classics such as Little Women produced the handkerchief from the desk before the older boys noted the tears. Any illustrated adventure from Thor Heyerdahl’s pen illuminated a world beyond the oceans. Walter Farley’s saga of The Black Stallion churned the quest for adventure. The regional stories of Lois Lenski developed empathy for other children in the United States. Through the written page, the imagination and creativity of this child blossomed in spite of the direst circumstances.

 

 

 

 

 

That child was me. The vehicle for the crates full of books was the bookmobile that rolled into the sparse one-room rural schoolhouse in southern Wisconsin. The new supply of reading materials was highly anticipated. I agree with Adriana Trigioni: People have often told me that one of the strongest childhood memories is the scent of their grandmother’s house. I never knew my grandmothers, but I could always count on the bookmobile.”

 

 

 

The years stacked one upon another: marriage, reading piles of books to my children, storyteller at the local library, missionary biographer at children’s church, special education teacher who read mounds of books to the class to keep them quiet. Significantly, to reach the emotions of the behavior disordered boys who circled my chair. Decades surrounded by life-changing literature.

 

 

 

Joining Jane Rubietta and Lynn Austin in a writer’s support group, my interest was piqued when Lynn researched the packhorse librarians of Kentucky as she wrote Wonderland Creek. Probing further into the WPA and Great Depression, I discovered Mary Utopia Rothrock and her work with the Tennessee Valley Authority. Rothrock’s literary reach to thousands of TVA families through bookmobiles intrigued me. Further investigation into my home state of Illinois uncovered the 1930’s bookmobile in Evanston, Chicago and other large cities as well as southern Illinois, a place where the CCC (Civil Conservation Corp) fought erosion and drought.

 

 

 

The personal touch for the plot brewing in my head came from a stack of letters that my mother wrote and received as a newlywed living in The Dust Bowl of the Great Depression. Two diaries from her pen chronicled day-to-day married life dealing with few resources in cabin camps and near Hoovervilles.

 

 

 

A narrative about a librarian navigating the dirt roads of southern Illinois in a bookmobile grew in my heart and mind as more information unfolded: hobos, quilts, WPA mural painting, the power of personal faith in Christ, and the value of oranges. A Christmas Noel.

 

 

 

The novella, A Bookmobile Noel, is a tribute to the librarians who ventured on muddy roads, snow-covered gravel, and blazing sunshine to transport crates of books to schools, post office drop boxes, and other delivery spots. For poverty-stricken farmers, their wives and children, these boxes of fiction and function filled the long days and nights with diversion and hope. Literacy from a bookmobile with a never-ending supply of knowledge, and comfort.

 

 

 

My fascination with bookmobiles knows no bounds. Currently I facilitate a group of senior and retired citizens on Wednesdays at my church. It is the custom for me to bring books for participants to check out and peruse. Some give a “book report” to promote an especially interesting read. Many of my presentations to the group are based on missionary lives, and the contributing volume is highlighted in my talk. This weekly meeting may not be a bookmobile in the ordinary sense, but my husband has expressed that our car has been reassigned for that purpose. Maybe it has.

 

 

 

As the little girl with a love of books, through the healing grace of God, I am now “living the dream”.

 

 

 

Back cover for A Bookmobile Noel

The Great Depression deepens across the United States in 1935. Dorothy Wagner lands a job as book mobile librarian for the Illinois Library Relief Fund. Packing her feed sack dresses in a cardboard suitcase, Dorothy rides the Illinois Central Railroad train to Deer’s Woods, the southern-most part of Illinois. Dorothy enjoys her accommodations boarding with Pastor Ray and his wife, Evie. But the news that Lieutenant Tom Nelson from the Civil Conservation Corp will drive her from towns to schools rubs her sense of independence. Eventually, the hobo jungles, quilters, graphic artists, school teachers and desperate farmers that Dorothy meets on her book route present glimpses of life that she had not experienced in Chicago. As the weeks pass, Tom and Dorothy discover the true mean of Christmas in the midst of economic deprivation.

 

 

DON’T FORGET TO LEAVE A COMMENT TO BE PLACED IN THE DRAWING TO WIN A PRINT OR EBOOK COPY OF A BOOKMOBILE NOEL  BETWEEN NOW AND SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10TH AT MIDNIGHT MST.

BY LEAVING A COMMENT, YOU GRANT PERMISSION FOR YOUR EMAIL TO BE REVEALED TO THE AUTHOR IF YOU ARE THE WINNER TO FACILITATE RECEIPT OF YOUR BOOK.

 

 

 

Cleo Lampos read extensively about the Great Depression through diaries, journals and books over several decades. A retired teacher with a library science background, Lampos researched the packhorse librarians and the advent of the bookmobile until a story formed in her heart and mind. The author of historical fiction and nonfiction based on this time period, Lampos lives in the Chicago area where she and her husband are urban gardeners and involved in church ministry.

 

 


Comments

Cleo Lampos From Oak Lawn, IL At 12/1/2022 5:38:47 PM

I still want to be a bookmobile librarian!!! Thank you all for sharing your fascination with books and literacy. It is one of the most soul satisfying pleasure to see a child reading good literature. And the old books never go out of style. The new generation of writers for children are great.

Katherine Pasour From North Carolina At 12/1/2022 3:46:19 PM

Cleo, I grew up with a similar love for books. Although we didn't have a bookmobile. My mother took me to the public library and, of course, I discovered Walter Farley's book and devoured the entire series. I developed a taste for a wide variety of genres and a life-long love of reading.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Katherine. I remember my sister and I riding bikes to the library in the next town and spending hours there. Thank you for stopping by and sharing.

Jan Bos From Byron Center, MI At 12/1/2022 3:46:13 PM

Congratulations on your newest book, Cleo. I enjoy historical fiction and I am sure it will be educational as well.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Jan. Thank you for stopping by and contributing to the conversation.

Suzanne Bratcher From Prescott Valley, AZ At 12/1/2022 12:51:09 PM

I was a little girl who loved the bookmobile too! The books Cleo mentioned were my favorites, Especially the Walter Farley books. My ambition, as a child, was to grow up to be a bookmobile driver. Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. It sounds like a fun book to read.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Suzanne. So glad you stopped by. How fun that you dreamed of being a bookmobile driver! Thank you for joining the discussion.

Becky Van Vleet From CO At 12/1/2022 9:59:32 AM

Hi Cleo and Patti--I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. Admittedly, I have never really read much about the history of book mobiles in early times, especially during the Depression. Cleo, I have the same great memories of reading Beverly Cleary's Henry Huggins and Ribsy books too!

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Becky. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing with us. I don't believe I read Beverly Cleary, although I may have.

Diane M Jellen From Boca Raton, Florida At 12/1/2022 9:07:50 AM

I love historical fiction, and this is a clever way to introduce the reader to a humanistic aspect of the Great Depression,--through the magic of the bookmobile.

Reply by: Patti Shene

Hi Diane. Thank you so much for stopping by and joining the conversation. Cleo takes us back in time in wonderful ways with her books.

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HOMECOMING by LINDA SAMARITONI
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5/18/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR CHRISTINA LORENZEN
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WELCOME AUTHOR TAMERA KRAFT
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WELCOME AUTHOR KELLY IRVIN
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WELCOME AUTHOR LoRee PEERY
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WELCOME AUTHOR SHANNON TAYLOR VANNATTER
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4/6/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR MARY DAVIS
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3/30/2017

MUSINGS OF AN OVER 50 WRITER
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3/23/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR BARBARA BRITTON
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3/16/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL KITTLESON
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WELCOME AUTHOR DELIA LATHAM
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3/2/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR LAURA V. HILTON
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2/23/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR JANELL WOJTOWICZ
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2/2/2017

WELCOME AUTHOR SUSAN PAGE DAVIS
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1/26/2017

CAN YOU TAKE YOUR TEETH OUT?
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1/15/2017

THE HEART OF THE OVER FIFTY WRITER
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1/6/2017

WHERE IS BABY JESUS by BETH STEURY
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12/21/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR KATHERYN MADDOX HADDAD
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12/14/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR PATRICIA BRADLEY
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12/8/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR LAURA V. HILTON
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WELCOME AUTHOR CHRISTINE LINDSAY
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11/26/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR KIMBERLI RENEE CAMPBELL
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11/16/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR JODIE WOLFE
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11/3/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR JEAN ANN WILLIAMS
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10/20/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR DAWN V. CAHILL
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10/6/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR JANET K. BROWN
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9/29/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR ROSE ALLEN MCcAULEY
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9/22/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR PATRICK E. CRAIG
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9/15/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR ALICE K. ARENZ
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8/31/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR CLEO LAMPOS
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8/18/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR JUNE FOSTER
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8/4/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR ELLIE GUSTAFSON
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7/28/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL KITTLESON
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6/2/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR JO HUDDLESTON
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5/19/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR CAROLE BROWN
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5/4/2016

The Tenacity of an Arachnid by Sandy Kirby Quandt
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4/21/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR BONNIE ENGSTROM
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REVIEW OF SAINT'S ROOST by TERRY BURNS
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3/30/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR ANNETTE O'HARE
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WELCOME AUTHOR DONNA SCHLACHTER
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3/3/2016

REVIEW OF HANNAH'S CHOICE BY JAN DREXLER
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2/27/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR WADE WEBSTER
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WELCOME AUTHOR PAT JEANNE DAVIS
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2/3/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR DEBRA E. MARVIN
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1/20/2016

HAPPY 2016 FROM WRITER SANDY KIRBY QUANDT
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1/7/2016

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL KITTLESON
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12/18/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR JUNE FOSTER
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12/3/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR TERESA IVES LILLY
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WELCOME AUTHOR NIKE CHILLEMI
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WELCOME AUTHOR KELLY IRVIN
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10/1/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR PATTY SMITH HALL
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9/17/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR HOLLY MICHAEL
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WELCOME AUTHOR CONNIE MILLER PEASE
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8/19/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR JOHNNIE ALEXANDER
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WELCOME AUTHOR TERESA POLLARD
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7/16/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL SATTLER
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WEIGHT LOSS DEVOTIONAL FREE ON KNDLE
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WELCOME AUTHOR YVONNE ADERSON
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WELCOME AUTHOR SHERRI STONE
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WELCOME AUTHOR MARIANNE JONES
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REVIEW OF INDEBTED BY BRAXTON DeGARMO
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4/29/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR DEANNA K. KLINGEL
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WELCOME AUTHOR TERESA IVES LILLY
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4/2/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR PEG PHIFER
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3/19/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR DARLENE FRANKLIN
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WELCOME AUTHOR MICHELLE GRIEP
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2/20/2015

NEGOTIATING THE LEARNING CURVE
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WHEN ENCOURAGEMENT COMES YOUR WAY
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1/30/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR SANDY NADEAU
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1/14/2015

I AM A WRITER--OR AM I REALLY?
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1/1/2015

WELCOME AUTHOR GEORGE DUNCAN
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12/3/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR MARTHA ROGERS
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11/21/2014

WELCOME AUTHOR EDITH EDWARDS
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WELCOME AUTHOR GAIL KITTLESON
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WELCOME AUTHOR CAMILLE EIDE
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WELCOME AUTHOR FRANCES SUSANNE BROWN
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WELCOME AUTHOR AVA PENNINGTON
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WELCOME AUTHOR LILLIAN DUNCAN
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WELCOME AUTHOR CYNTHIA TONEY
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WELCOME AUTHOR CARRIE STUART PARKS
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WELCOME AUTHOR & PUBLISHER TRACY RUCKMAN
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WELCOME AUTHOR JANET SKETCHLEY
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WELCOME AUTHOR ANE MULLIGAN
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WELCOME AUTHOR REBECCA CAREY LYLES
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DARK BIOLOGY BY BONNIE DORAN
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BY THE WATERS OF KADESH BY CAROLE TOWRISS
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WHERE HOPE STARTS BY ANGELA D. MEYER
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THE CHARM BRACELET BY SUSAN PAGE DAVIS
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Love Redeemed by Kelly Irvin
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Shadows of the Past by Patricia Bradley
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2/20/2014

WELCOME WRITER DELORES LIESNER
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2/5/2014

The Heartbeat of the Novel by James R. Callan
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1/15/2014

Don't Let Bible Contradictions Rob Your Faith
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1/2/2014

Welcome Author Lilliann Duncan
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5/30/2013

Confessions of a Reluctant Reader
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5/9/2013

WELCOME AUTHOR LENA NELSON DOOLEY
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5/2/2013

WELCOME AUTHOR KATHI MACIAS
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Review of Congo Dawn by Jeanette Windle
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I'm back
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4/11/2013

Welcome Author JoAnn Durgin
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2/14/2013

Welcome Award-Winning Author Susan Page Davis
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2/7/2013

Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks
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Introducing Jeanette Windle and Congo Dawn
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Author Carole Johnson on Perseverance
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The Value of Social Media
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1/9/2013

A Glimpse Into the Future
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1/2/2013

Welcome Author Jo Huddleston
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Give Some Holiday Hope for Just $3.99
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Great Christmas books from Lena Nelson Dooley
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Welcome to Author Jude Urbanski
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A Writers Journey Part IV
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11/13/2012

Interview with Author Kelly Irvin
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Whose prophecy do you believe?
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11/13/2012

Welcome Author Michal J. Webb
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11/13/2012

Meet Author Sharon Shrock and the Women of Valley
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11/13/2012

Welcome Author Lillian Duncan
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11/13/2012