Following Your Dreams

For me dreams are important to have in my life.   Whether they come true or not, in a way, is beside the point.  But you have to try to make them come true.

 

We try by submitting our writings and illustrations to agents and editors.  If we succeed there, we try to make our work be seen by a large audience.

 

Hard as it may seem, following your dreams is worth the effort.  Who knows what will come of your life, if you don’t.

 

My brother, Richard Bunker Maury, felt he was destined to be an artist.  He went to Florence, Italy, to study in 1960.  He met his wonderful wife, who came from Vermont to study, and they have been there ever since.  Richard is considered one of the world’s finest realists and the Italian government has published three of Anne’s books on Italy’s native plants and trees.  A nice outcome for following your dreams.

 

My sister, Anne Maury Costello, pursued her dreams of raising children, but along the way wrote a book called Bittergreen, which was published by Avon Books back in the late 1970s.  My brother, William Magruder Maury, pursued his dreams of getting a PhD in American History and then getting a couple of master’s degrees in other fields.

 

Our younger son and family baby, Steve, pursues his dream of being a jazz saxophone player and teacher in the Baltimore, Maryland, area and our younger daughter, Michelle, sings her songs in coffee houses around northern Virginia, D.C. and Maryland. Dean, our older son, is advancing in his career managing health databases. Our older daughter and oldest child, Susanne loved animals, in particular horses, so she learned to be a horse shoer.  But when she got married and discovered that female horse shoers were looked down on, she took up another of her skills and was making a name for herself as a chef when her life was cut short.  Anyway, all my children pursued their dreams.  And I’m proud of them all.

 

I am having great success with my novel, Terror’s Identity.  I have garnered several excellent reviews and a good response from other readers of my book.

 

So let’s dream away and see where it leads us.

 

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I liked the energy in this first book, in addition to the determination of the main character.  Plus, I learned a thing or two about designing clothes.

 

 

Chloe by Design: Making the Cut

Margaret Gurevich

Illustrated by Brooke Hagel

Chloe Montgomery admits she loves fashion.  She designs and makes her own clothes, so she’s beside herself with glee when the emcee of Design Diva, a television show set up to judge aspiring fashion designers, announces a contest for teenagers who want to be designers.  Her family urges her to try out and she does, but not without lots of urging by Alex, her best friend, who makes up names like Courageous Chloe.  Our aspiring fashion designer is afraid she’ll fail, but because her arch rival, Nina, is trying out, Chloe drums up the moxey to design three outfits in two weeks.  She makes it to the New York City Final Fifteen, where the TV show films them incessantly.  Of course Nina also makes it to the finals and does her best to undermine Chloe’s successes, but Chloe’s confidence grows with each challenge she surmounts.  Her mom and Alex are her back up crew and cheering squad.  Chloe is a likeable and creative teen and her support crew is very believable.  Even for the fashion indifferent among readers, Chloe pulls us into her world and Ms. Gurevich gives enough scenic backdrop to ground us in Chloe’s emotional and physical locations.  Ms, Hagel’s illustrations are exactly what a fashion illustrator produces, because that’s what she is.  This is a very enjoyable read and has many points of discussion about believing in oneself and holding on to one’s sense of moral rightness.  Plus, even the “blue jean” crowd likes to dream about wearing a dress that turns every head.

BIBLIO: 2015, Capstone Young Readers/Capstone Press, Ages 14 to 18, $14.95.

REVIEWER: Sarah Maury Swan

FORMAT: Young Adult

ISBN: 978-1-62370-112-3

 

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This one gives you an inside look at making movies, in addition to making you root for the better of the two boys involved Paige’s understanding of human foibles.

 

Famous in Love

Rebecca Serle

Paige Townsen’s dream of acting in movies comes true.  A dream she’s had all her seventeen years, eclipsing her earlier roles on stage and in commercials, this first movie role has her cast as the female lead in the movie version of a best selling series of novels.  Not only that, but her co-star is the red hot Rainer Devon, who takes her under his wing and shows her the ropes of being a celebrity.  To make things even dreamier, they’re filming on the Hawaiian island of Maui.  But then Jordan Wilder shows up as Paige’s character’s boyfriend and soon she’s in the middle of a love triangle paralleling the movie’s plot.  Paige learns a lot about herself, growing up, her family and navigating the world of acting and stardom during the course of this book.  The reader develops a closeness to all the characters, including Paige’s two best friends getting on with their lives in Portland, Oregon.  Plus, it’s a fun way to gain a rudimentary understanding of the backstage machinations on a movie set.  It’s a good read all around.

BIBLIO: 2014, Poppy/Little, Brown and Company/Hachette Book Group, Ages 13 +, $18.

REVIEWER: Sarah Maury Swan

FORMAT: Young Adult

ISBN: 978-0-316-36632-8

ISBN: 978-0-316-36634-2

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Life is not always easy and sometimes your dreams take a twist you’re not anticipating, but perseverance pays off.  This book will give you an education on the life of a clam fisherman.

 

Swim that Rock

John Rocco & Jay Primiano

Illustrated by John Rocco

Jake Cole’s fisherman father disappears during a boat accident.  His dad left a mountain of debt to a nasty loan shark, who threatens Jake and his mom.  But people come to the Coles’ rescue.  Gene takes Jake on his quahog clamming boat and then a fellow named Captain takes him out at night to do shady things like claim possibly abandoned motors from boats stranded during a hurricane.  The girls who work at the diner also help by planning a cabaret evening.  When Gene is badly injured in a boating accident, Jake and Captain take him to the hospital in a neighboring town.  At first Jake is uneasy about taking Gene’s boat out, but he will garner much needed money with a big haul from a bit of the bay just opened up to the quahoggers.  Gene’s hospital bills are going to be humongous and Jake must pay back the money his dad owes.  Jake gets to the new clamming ground early and positions the boat where Gene told him was the best spot. His friend Tommy arrives to help. A kid in his fancy boat with the latest fishing gear pulls up nearby and it is readily apparent he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Jake helps him out.  Jake ends up with an excellent catch for which he gets a fair price.  Once back at his home port, Jake takes the money to the loan shark, but it’s not enough, until the loan shark discovers Jake helped his son.  So the rest of the debt is forgiven. Jake finally admits his dad is dead, but knows the whole town wants the family to stay. This well told story has lots of information about the life of a shell fisherman.  Read the book to understand what swimming the rock means.

BIBLIO: 2014, Candlewick Press, Ages 13 +, $16.99.

REVIEWER: Sarah Maury Swan

FORMAT: Young Adult

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6905-8

 

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Dream on and we’ll all pray for our dreams to come true.

 

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