autobiography

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.”

self-publishingClick for details or to purchase

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.

autobiography

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.

self-publishingClick for details or to purchase

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.

Religion

Introducing Linda M. Hanahan, author of Not Alone In the Unknown: Living a Life of Trust

“This was my third book published by Outskirts Press and, once again, I am very pleased! Throughout the entire process, my Author Representataive was always very prompt in responding to me, as well as very patient!”

Linda M. Hanahan is a graduate of Western Illinois University, a retired elementary school teacher, and a follower of Jesus Christ. She has published two previous books, Touched from Above and The Journey Continues. She and her husband Bob currently live in Florida. They have two married children.

self-publishingClick for details or to purchase

Book description…

Not Alone . . . We might think we have a clear picture of what lies ahead. But in truth, each of us steps daily into “unknown territory.” Jesus desires to walk this journey personally with you and with me, sharing every joy and every sorrow. I invite you to join me as together we travel this road with Him. “Linda’s writings are refreshingly authentic. Through the lens of her own journey of life, she comes alongside of her readers and accompanies them on those pilgrimages which are unique to each one of them. As you ponder the vignettes which she shares, you will find yourself laughing one moment and shedding a tear the next, only to be assured that you are not alone as you travel through this life together.” -David M. Keazirian, Educator and Ministry Consultant “Linda’s writings reveal a relationship between her and God that is warm and loving. Her stories remind us that growth can be wonderful but can also include growing pain. In her books, we are invited to journey alongside Linda. We learn that a relationship with God can truly be personal and that God is calling each of us into a unique relationship with Him . . . a relationship not always easy but defined by love and purpose.” -Russell Holloway, Licensed Mental Health Counselor