Saturday, September 27, 2014

Escape Through The Wilderness By Gary Rodriguez


Title: Escape Through the Wilderness
Author: Gary Rodrgiuez
Genre: Tween/Young Adult Christian Adventure
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Tate Publishing (June 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1-63268-201-7

Sixteen-year-old Savannah Evans walks with a slight limp thanks to a gymnastics’ accident that dashed her Olympic dreams, but didn’t stop her from attending an adventure camp in Idaho. At Camp Arrowhead, she quickly befriends Jade Chang and Rico Cruz, but Conner Swift taunts Savi because of her injury.

When the four are teamed together for an overnight white-water river rafting adventure, Savi refuses to get in the same raft with Conner. Unfortunately, the director will not reassign her.

A fun expedition down the river turns into a nightmare when their raft slams into a huge rock and their adult guide disappears down the river.

Without their guide and desperately trying to steer an out-of-control raft, they pass the “Last Chance” marker and enter the larger rapids. With Jade pinned between the raft and a rock, and Rico clinging to a lifeline, Savi must cut the raft free.

When the four drag themselves out of the river, they’re bruised, beaten, lost, and twenty-five miles from camp. Because of late-night campfire tales of Vexel, a vicious animal that roams the nearby woods, Savi and the others are terrified.

Savi becomes the unlikely leader who tries to guide the group back to Camp Arrowhead. Limited supplies, injuries, and the constant threat of Vexel—who Savi fears is stalking them, complicate the harrowing return trip.

Readers will enjoy dramatic survival scenes and the group working together, solving problems, and learning to overcome adversity.

Book Excerpt:
The river turned slightly to the right and then they saw the nightmare ahead. The turbulence was like nothing they had seen before. The water appeared completely white and rushed forward at a furious pace, breaking over and against rocks on both sides. The only way through was a narrow slot between the rocks, which they needed to hit just right, to make it through safely.

“Watch for rocks,” Doug warned with a shout. “And hold on!”

As they shot through the tight gap between the rocks, water rose above the raft on both sides. They flew through the first surge and then saw the river bend slightly left between a new set of obstacles.
“Paddle left!” Doug yelled over the thunderous roar.

“Hard left!” he shouted again.

“Rock!” Savi screamed.

Water drenched them from every direction. Conner removed his right hand from the paddle for a second to wipe off his glasses.

“Rocks left!” Savi shouted.


Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Miracle Man by William R. Leibowitz



Title: Miracle Man
Author: William R. Leibowitz
Publisher: Manifesto Media Group
Pages: 428
Genre: Cross-genre Thriller
Format: Paper/Kindle

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REVERED   REVILED    REMARKABLE

The victim of an unspeakable crime, an infant rises to become a new type of superhero. 

Unlike any that have come before him, he is not a fanciful creation of animators, he is real. 

So begins the saga of Robert James Austin, the greatest genius in human history.  But where did his extraordinary intelligence come from?

As agents of corporate greed vie with rabid anti-Western radicals to destroy him, an obsessive government leader launches a bizarre covert mission to exploit his intellect.  Yet Austin’s greatest fear is not of this world.

Aided by two exceptional women, one of whom will become his unlikely lover, Austin struggles against abandonment and betrayal.  But the forces that oppose him are more powerful than even he can understand.  
Book Excerpt:
  A tall figure wearing a black-hooded slicker walked quickly through the night carrying a large garbage bag.  His pale face was wet with rain.  He had picked a deserted part of town.  Old warehouse buildings were being gutted so they could be converted into apartments for non-existent buyers.  There were no stores, no restaurants and no people. 
  “Who’d wanna live in this shit place?”  he muttered to himself.  Even the nice neighborhoods of this dismal city had more “For Sale” signs than you could count.
  He was disgusted with himself and disgusted with her, but they were too young to be burdened.  Life was already hard enough.    He shook his head incredulously.  She had been so damn sexy, funny, full of life.   Why the hell couldn’t she leave well enough alone?    She should have had some control. 
 He wanted to scream-out down the ugly street, “It’s her fucking fault that I’m in the rain in this crap neighborhood trying to evade the police.” 
  But he knew he hadn’t tried to slow her down either.   He kept giving her the drugs and she kept getting kinkier and kinkier and more dependent on him and that’s how he liked it.   She was adventurous and creative beyond her years.  Freaky and bizarre.  He had been enthralled, amazed.  The higher she got, the wilder she was.  Nothing was out of bounds.  Everything was in the game. 
  And so, they went farther and farther out there.  Together.  With the help of the chemicals.  They were co-conspirators, co-sponsors of their mutual dissipation.  How far they had traveled without ever leaving their cruddy little city.  They were so far ahead of all the other kids. 
  He squinted, and his mind reeled.  He tried to remember in what month of their senior year in high school the drugs became more important to her than he was.  And in what month did her face start looking so tired, her complexion prefacing the ravages to follow, her breath becoming foul as her teeth and gums deteriorated.  And in what month did her need for the drugs outstrip his and her cash resources. 
  He stopped walking and raised his hooded head to the sky so that the rain would pelt him full-on in the face.  He was hoping that somehow this would make him feel absolved.  It didn’t.  He shuddered as he clutched the shiny black bag, the increasingly cold wet wind blowing hard against him.  He didn’t even want to try to figure out how many guys she had sex with for the drugs. 
The puddle-ridden deserted street had three large dumpsters on it.   One was almost empty.  It seemed huge and metallic and didn’t appeal to him. The second was two-thirds full.  He peered into it, but was repulsed by the odor, and he was pretty sure he saw the quick moving figures of rodents foraging in the mess. The third was piled above the brim with construction debris.
  Holding the plastic bag, he climbed up on the rusty lip of the third dumpster.  Stretching forward, he placed the bag on top of some large garbage bags which were just a few feet inside of the dumpster’s rim.   As he climbed down, his body looked bent and crooked and his face was ashen. Tears streamed down his cheeks and bounced off his hands.  He barely could annunciate, “Please forgive me,” as he shuffled away, head bowed and snot dripping from his nose.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ashe to Steele Virtual Book Tour Highlights

It's so sad to see our authors go, but in tribute we do a recap of the highlights of their blog tour with us at Pump Up Your Book.  Today we're highlighting Karen-Anne Stewart and her Ash to Steele Virtual Book Publicity Tour.

About the Author:

Karen-Anne Stewart has always adored reading and has now fallen in love with writing. Her written works are The
Rain Trilogy: Saving Rain, Healing Rain, and After the Rain, and the newly released stand alone novel, Ash to Steele. Her debut novel, Saving Rain: The First Novel in The Rain Trilogy, was a nominee for the Book Junkie’s Choice Awards, and Saving Rain and After the Rain were nominees for the 2014 RONE Awards.
When Karen-Anne isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, and visiting new places. She fuels her addiction of creating new stories by her only other addiction, caffeine, and listening to a myriad of musical genres. Tucked away near the Blue Ridge Mountains, Karen-Anne lives with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and their cat. She plans on writing new adult romance as long as her fingers maintain dexterity.

For More Information
About the Book:

Emma

Who I am and all I believe is marred with just one glance into angry, steel blue eyes. He seems to control my air, my ability to breathe. He makes me crave everything I know is a sin. Pure becomes tainted and lines are blurred. It’s my fault; I’m the one who isn’t strong enough. I’ve been damaged…broken. Breck’s words haunt me…’There’s a consequence for every choice you make.’

Breck

I’ve had so many women I can’t even remember over half of their names, but none of them are mine; I make damn sure of that. I take what I desire and never look back. I don’t need or want anyone, ever…not until I met Emma. Those eyes bore into what’s left of my soul and her touch sears me, weakens me. I want to hate her for that. She is my ruin…my sweetest hell.

For More Information


Virtual Book Tour Highlights:

Blogcritics: "Writing is the antidote to my anxiety.  I swear, being an author is the best form of therapy.  When anxiety strikes me is right before I hit that beckoning publish button.  That’s the point where I’ve had moments of second guessing myself, worrying about what others might think, and wondering how in the hell I’m going to go about marketing (which is the most anxiety inducing part of writing…for me, anyway)."

The Writer's Life: "The hardest part of writing Ash to Steele was my bouncing back and forth between which point of view (POV) to use to present the story before finally deciding that both Breck and Emma need to be heard.  The best advice I can pass on to other writers is how they need to follow their character’s lead.  I get an idea in my head of how a character needs to act and who he should be, but my writing doesn’t flow until I let go and allow the character to show me who he really is and where he wants me to take him."

The Book Faery Reviews: "Just like we need our BFF to love us, keep us grounded, support us, and knock us upside the back of the head at times, our main characters need their own best friends to share in their wonderfully, fictional existence.  One of my favorite parts of getting lost in a great novel is falling in love with the supporting characters and their fun, quirky, strong, sexy presence.  Not all supporting characters have to be friendly; some of the most intriguing ones I’ve read have been pretty damn dark and just plain mean."

Our Families Adventures (review): "This is one of those stories that really set in the saying "there are consequences to every choice you make." Emma and Breck realize this in some very dramatic moments. Breck  is just a hot mess. He has the right balance of bad boy meets good boy. Enough of a rough edge to draw you in and make you desire him without being a total jerk that you detest. He is a hard character to like at first because he is a womanizer and frankly that turns me off, but as the story progresses he tames a little and you see more of a caring and loving side to him."

Lori's Reading Corner: "I was an avid reader before I became an author…I think that’s some kind of prerequisite ;).  One of the best parts of this wild ride is having the opportunity to meet so many amazing readers."

Mia Downing's Blog: "New Adult Romance is a powerful realm of its own.  I LOVE the possibilities it encompasses and how, at this age, you feel everything and have the courage to take on the world!  I think this is why so many authors love writing this genre."

Passionate Encounters: "I love, love, love reading a series where each book features one of the supporting characters from the prior book as the main character, showing his own story! There is a myriad of authors who are awesomely talented at doing this! Not only is this fun for the readers, it’s fun for the author, too. For me, it feels like experiencing a loss each time a book ends because I’ve spent months thinking, dreaming, breathing, and even fantasizing about my characters…then their story is done. When an author does a spinoff book, those characters get to stay alive a bit longer! I haven’t taken a supporting character and made their own book yet; Gavin’s will be more first, and I’m sooo excited."

Sara's Organized Chaos (review): " I loved every single part of it, I never once doubted Emma and Breck and the ending is amazing. And thank god there was an epilogue because I didn't want to leave so unfinished without knowing what happens a little further down the road."

Read more at her official tour page at http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2014/06/24/pump-up-your-book-presents-ash-to-steele-virtual-book-publicity-tour/. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yell and Shout, Cry and Pout: A Kid's Guide to Feelings by Peggy Kruger Tietz



Title: Yell and Shout, Cry and Pout: A Kid’s Guide to Feelings
Author: Peggy Kruger Tietz
Publisher: Peggy Kruger Tietz
Pages: 40
Genre: Nonfiction/Psychoeducational
Format: Paperback/Kindle

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Yell and Shout, Cry and Pout: A Kid's Guide to Feelings is an essential guidebook for adults in steering children through the confusing behaviors that emotions evoke.  When you understand the purpose of emotions, behavior becomes understandable.  Each of the eight emotions is clearly defined thorough vignettes and illustrations, keeping both adult and child captivated, thus creating an opportune time for discussion. By recognizing that all humans experience these emotions throughout their lives, the book provides a true sense of comfort. Emotions are not to be shunned, but rather embraced and explained to provide a positive development environment for all children.

The Oath of Nimrod by David S. Brody



Title: The Oath of Nimrod
Genre: Thriller
Author: David S. Brody
Publisher: Eyes That See Publishing
Pages: 308
Language: English
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at Amazon

A mysterious race of North American giants. An ancient Hebrew inscription in a Cherokee burial mound. A blood oath made by blindfolded Freemasons. Are these three historical oddities the reason the CIA is trying to brainwash historian Cameron Thorne and his fiancée Amanda Spencer-Gunn? The answer lies buried in the legends of the Knights Templar, within the rituals of the secretive Freemasons and, most significantly of all, inside the bowels of the Smithsonian Institution. The problem for Cam and Amanda? If they go rummaging around the Smithsonian, they may find themselves buried alongside the ancient giants.

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Monday, September 22, 2014

To The Breaking Pointe by Cindy McDonald



Title: To the Breaking Pointe
Author: Cindy McDonald
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Pages: 250
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

Pushed to the breaking pointe!

Five years ago First Force operative, Grant Ketchum, let the ballerina of his dreams dance right of his life. Silja Ramsay returned to her birthplace, Russia, to take the position of principal dancer for the Novikov Ballet Company.

The owner and director of the ballet company, Natalia Novikov, has a dark secret: her beloved ballet company is almost broke. Natalia forces her dancers to prostitute themselves to financial contributors at exclusive after-show parties. Silja has been exempt and kept in the dark about the parties—until an American financier offers to bail the failing ballet company out. His prerequisite: Silja must become his personal companion, live in his home, and fulfill his every desire. Against her will, Silja is taken to the American's mansion, but before she goes she manages to send a text to the only man who can save her, Grant: HELP!

Now Grant is on a mission to find his lost ballerina and rescue her from this powerful man's subjugation. He will do anything to get her out alive. If they survive, will he let her chasse out of his life again?


Book Excerpt:

“Where is Silja?” Ballard Crafton asked Natalia as he searched the reception room in the basement of the theatre. The room wasn’t particularly large, yet it was quite elegant with red velvet swags hung in the archways, gilded crown moldings, and crystal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. A bar was set up in one corner while a violinist played softly in another. The room was filled with men, a few older women, and most of the dancers from the Novikov Ballet Company. Only one dancer in particular was missing... Silja Ramsay.
Natalia picked up her glass of wine from the bar. “Silja is not ready to attend our little soiree yet. She hasn’t been informed of my... financial situation.”
Ballard pulled a bracelet from his suit jacket. “Silja doesn’t like diamonds?” Natalia huffed at the sight of the bracelet that she thought she had convinced Silja to keep. He continued, “She had this returned to me by messenger this afternoon. Doesn’t she...don’t you understand just how wealthy I am?”
Natalia took a sip of her cabernet. “She still believes in love, Ballard—“
“I am in love with her!” he bellowed.
Taken aback by the sudden outburst, the crowd hushed, looking in their direction. Natalia forced a laugh, waving her hands carelessly at the crowd. She spoke to them in Russian, “Mingle, mingle, get to know our beautiful dancers.” With hesitant glances at Ballard, the crowd returned to their conversations. The women in attendance ran their hands up and down the male dancers’ muscled arms, while the men flirted mercilessly with the ballerinas.
“You told me that she would be here tonight, Natalia.” Ballard said, more hushed.
“As always, there are plenty of lovely ballerinas here to choose from this evening, Ballard. Forget Silja for now. I will keep working to make her come around. She still... how do you say... pines for another.”
“Who?”
“I do not know this. Be patient. Pick another for this evening. Here...” Natalia gestured to the bartender. He retrieved a box from behind the bar. Natalia took the box and offered it to Ballard. Lifting a brow, she said, “You may have first pick tonight, yes?”
“No. I am tired of spending time with ballerinas that I don’t want. I only fantasize that she is Silja. I want Silja!” Ballard said.
Natalia set the box on the bar. Slowly she dragged her gaze to meet his. He was like a spoiled child who had not received the gift that he desired on Christmas morning. No, he was worse—much worse. Finally she decided to put Ballard Crafton in his place. “I am quite aware of what it is that you want, Ballard. But I must wonder...will Silja meet the same fate as your other lovers?” His eyes widened in raw indignation, except Natalia did not allow his glare to dissuade her. “The opera singer from New York who no longer sings—instead she sits in a home with head injuries so severe that she can barely speak, or the concert pianist whose fingers are now crippled from the hammer that was used on them? What could these women have done to make you so angry, Ballard? What kind of monster lies within? I am desperate to save The Novikov Ballet Company, this is true. But I won’t let you destroy a beautiful dancer in her prime. How do you Americans say...we understand each other, yes?”
Ballard’s hands curled into fists of righteous agitation. The red flush started above the Armani tie that he wore around his neck and crept to his cheeks. He spun on his heels and marched out of the gathering.
Letting out a relieved breath, Natalia looked into the box which was filled with pointe shoes. Each shoe had the signature of the dancer from the Novikov Company to whom it had belonged. Her nerves tightened the knot in her stomach and shame swelled in her chest. She took another long drink of the wine, and then she managed a faux smile for the crowd, who anxiously anticipated the beginning of the evening’s event.
Natalia called out in Russian, “Who will be first to choose a pair of shoes tonight?” She held the box up high, shaking it. “Edvar! Where is Edvar?”
From the far corner of the room the ballet company’s dance instructor and choreographer, Edvar Kozlovski, brushed his fingers through ballet dancer Dominik Potrovic’s hair. After a whispered promise of return, he raised his hand calling back in their native Russian, “Here I am! Are you ready, Natalia?”
The crowd buzzed with excitement. The dancers exchanged nervous glances. All eyes were on Natalia. She said, “Yes! Who is our highest bidder this evening? Who will get first pick of the shoes?”
Edvar fished a paper from the pocket of his jacket, and then he announced, “Ballard Crafton!”
Everyone searched the room waiting for Ballard to come forward to choose a shoe for his evening of sultry delight, with the ballerina whose name was on the shoe.
Natalia shook her head. “No. He had to leave. Who is the second?”
Edvar squinted in a big show of reading the next name on the list. He proclaimed, “Belsky!”
From the back of the crowd, a tubby man merrily trotted forward to where Natalia stood. He could barely contain his excitement. He danced in place from one foot to the other. The ballerinas were now exchanging curled lips of derision hoping that he would not pull their shoe from the box.
He wiggled his fingers in anticipation of what lovely, well-toned ballerina would be his for the night. Belsky reached into the box and snatched a pair of worn European pink pointe shoes. The crowd tensed waiting for a name to be called as he handed the shoe to Natalia.
“Anna Antkowiak!” Natalia called out. The young girl from Poland shoulders drooped. Her face dropped. She was the newest member of the company. She hadn’t signed on for this. She had heard whispers among the dancers that Natalia’s ballet company was almost broke and about the after-performance requirements: prostituting the dancers for contributions to keep the ballet company above water. Tonight was her fist time to be summoned by Natalia to the contributors’ party. She could barely breathe as she watched Belsky’s eyes scanning the crowd for her.
Locking eyes with the innocent girl, Natalia crooked her index finger at the ballerina to come forward to claim her date. Trepidation filled Anna’s face. Her stomach twisted into a tangle of knots as she looked at the other dancers, who silently urged her to do as Natalia requested. When Anna suddenly noticed the bulge in Belsky’s trousers, she kept her head bowed, as she slowly crept through the crowd. Belsky grabbed her by the hand to hurry her out the door.
Natalia clapped her hands. “Another happy contributor to the Novikov Ballet Company! I’m sure Anna will make his night!” She shook the box again. “Who will be next to choose, Edvar?”


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Finding Zoe: A Deaf Woman's Story of Identity, Love, and Adoption by Brandi Rarus



Title: Finding Zoe: A Deaf Woman’s Story of Identity, Love, and Adoption
Author: Brandi Rarus
Publisher: BenBella Books
Pages: 320
Genre: Biography/Autobiography/Personal Memoir
Format: Hardcover

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In Finding Zoe, Brandi Rarus shares the story of her very personal path of self-discovery and the struggle of being caught between two worlds—the hearing and the Deaf. We travel with her through her mainstreamed younger years and later on to college at The National Technical Institute for the Deaf where she embraces Deaf culture and realizes that being Deaf is not a handicap, but a passport to a whole new and exciting world.

Brandi brings us behind the scenes as she takes on the world advocating for her Deaf Community as Miss Deaf America; meeting and falling in love with Tim, a Gallaudet University student leader who later helped write the landmark Americans with Disability Act on Capitol Hill. The two married and had three hearing boys—the first non-deaf children born in Tim’s family in 125 years, but with all their blessings something was still missing.

With a powerful foreword provided by Marlee Matlin, an Academy Award-winning actress and member of the National Association of the Deaf, Finding Zoe is an inspiring recollection of how two individuals who, already bonded by their diversity, come together as an unbreakable mother-daughter pair to navigate a silent world and shed light the adoption/foster care system.

Book Excerpt:

We waited to have kids for three years, and then I didnt conceive for another three. By then, we were both more than ready. I was hoping for a girl. Throughout my life, I had just always assumed that Id have a daughter.  When I was young, I never dreamt about my wedding day, but I did dream about my daughter.

Tim also wanted to have a daughter; hed longed to have children.  Because of his parents divorcing when he was young, Tim has always wanted to be the kind of hands-on father he had never had. We were both overjoyed when Blake finally entered the world. And we felt the same when Chase followed.

When I became pregnant the third time, I just felt inside that it was another boy. Tim, wanting to be positive, sent me a card that said, Congratulations, babe, on the birth of our daughter. I knew that the card was an expres- sion of his love, and I really appreciated it, but I just knew that it was wrong. Still, I never prayed for a girl—I didnt believe in messing with fate—I just prayed that I would be happy either way.

When I delivered Austin in August of 2002, I felt joy as I held my little darling tight. I wanted no baby other than him. But I will never forget the look on Tims face when he saw that brown-haired little boy. I think that for a moment he was afraid that I would be disappointed. But he quickly realized that I was more than just okay. Nevertheless, later that day he said to me, “Lets go to China.

We had talked about adopting a baby girl from China when we first married back in 1991, and I loved that he wanted to continue to expand our family.

Early on in our marriage, Tim would tell me the story of our future deaf daughter, saying that she would look and act exactly like me. “She’ll be blonde with two pig- tails, wear a red dress and black shoes, and carry a black purse, hed say, grinning. And she’ll have a strong person- ality. She’ll think that she runs the house! She’ll be classy, smart, and stylish. He also said that shed look just like the Coppertone baby from the television commercial—the little girl who looks back while a cute puppy pulls at her bathing suit, revealing her adorable, little white butt.

I laughed and I believed him, not only because he was describing my reason for being, but also because I was always so blown away by Tims ability to tell stories—they were always so graphic, visual, and funny. Ive always been
fascinated by ASL and, in particular,  Tims  ASL, how he just paints a picture. Its similar to when a hearing person reads a story to a child and the tone of their voice just cap- tures them. Tim made our future daughter seem so real, so alive, that I could practically reach out and touch her.

When Blake was born in 1997, Tim was beside himself with joy. I was sitting in the hospital bed still exhausted from giving birth, and Tim was sitting in the chair next to me. The nurse did the BAER hearing test to check Blakes hearing right in the room when he was born, and he passed instantly. She jumped for joy, while Tim, my mother, and I just  stared  at her.  Looking back, I think  that  she had never been in that situation before and realized that she might have made us feel a little uncomfortable because when she left the room, she never came back.

Having a hearing child, now that was news. I was thrilled for Blake. I wanted him to have the world at his finger- tips. But had he been born deaf, I would have been just fine with it. But I thought that Tim was going to faint—not because he was upset that Blake was hearing but from the shock of it.

For Tim, finding out that his child was hearing was probably just as shocking as when hearing parents find out that their child is deaf. Perhaps it shouldnt have been such a surprise. The genetic counselor we saw when we first started dating told us that we had a 50 percent chance of having hearing children, so Tim knew that there was a defi- nite possibility. Even though he had many hearing friends by then, including some of his best friends, I think that growing up in a family that was so steeped in Deaf Culture and in the Deaf community made the situation impossible for him to even imagine. It just did not compute. And there was little Blake all wrapped up in his hospital blanket, the first hearing child born into his family in well over a century.

For a split second, he wondered how on earth hed raise a hearing child who would go to public school. He worried how he would communicate with Blakes hearing friends because he wouldnt be able to talk with them. What would happen at Blakes birthday parties since Blakes friends and their parents wouldnt know how to sign? These were all just passing thoughts—gone in a few seconds. After he was over the initial shock, the adjustment felt on par with hav- ing to buy blue clothes and trucks instead of pink clothes and dolls. Blake would just have to learn how to sign.

Tim had to make some changes, however, now that we had a hearing child. For example, he had to learn the cor- rect volume for electronics. I remember once before when a few of his hearing friends had come over to watch a base- ball game, they told him that hed turned the volume on the television up so high that it made the entire house shake. Living with deaf people his whole life, he had no reason to be aware of the intricacies of sound. He would turn on the car radio and sort of dance to the beat, only to find out from a hearing friend that he was dancing to a talk show.

When each of the kids was born, we turned on the tele- vision for audio stimulation and also played mood music on a boom box to help them fall asleep. My family gave us Beethoven, Mozart, and country music CDs, and told us to turn the volume on the boom box up to five. I, too, needed to be reminded about when I made noise—whether  it was turning on the television, closing the cabinets, or with my voice, even—and to be quieter. I had forgotten.