New York (CNN)Hundreds of pages of court documents unsealed Friday in New York federal court allege new details of sexual abuse claims against multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein and several associates.
New York (CNN)Hundreds of pages of court documents unsealed Friday in New York federal court allege new details of sexual abuse claims against multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein and several associates.
In 1947 racially-charged Mills Hollow, South Carolina, Chloe Mason knows not to go near the Negroes who live in the river shacks, especially sixteen-year-old Big Jim. He’s something of a myth, a big black boy known for eating opossums and howling at the moon. At least that’s what Chloe’s brother, Caleb, and her Pa, a fiddle-playing Southerner who waves a Confederate flag, tell her. Yet when Chloe slips into Foxhole Swamp, it’s Big Jim who saves her from an alligator. She secretly befriends Big Jim and takes it upon herself to teach him to read, even bringing him a forbidden peach from Widow Jones’ tree. Chloe meets Big Jim in a tree fort he constructs in the woods, and together they endure the injustices Big Jim suffers – like being whipped by Chloe’s father for trespassing. But once her father discovers their secret meetings and is ready to lynch Big Jim, Chloe’s loyalty is tested to the breaking point, calling into question everything she’s come to believe about herself, her family, and what truly matters most.
Lisa Belmont’s debut novel is a vividly imagined tale set in the Lowcountry swamps of South Carolina; a poignant story of enduring hope, relentless determination and coming-of-age at a time when innocence is all but gone.
Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/2Zf7buQ
Book Releases July 31, 2019
A Peach for Big Jim is a tale about a girl who pursues a forbidden love. The protagonist, Chloe, dares to befriend a black man at a time when many people are still openly racist in the South. Their friendship begins when Jim saves Chloe’s life on a chance meeting by the river. Out of gratitude, Chloe befriends Jim and starts to teach him how to read. This is a great risk because Jim is well known and much hated by Chloe’s father and brother. How long can their secret meetings remain undiscovered?
This is a riveting tale with many twists and turns. Chloe starts teaching Jim out of gratitude but soon discovers a deep connection between them that compels her to protect him. Many would have her believe that Jim is dull and unable to learn, but she has no trouble teaching him. Their meetings are a joy to them both.
Not long after, Jim’s mother finds out that Chloe is teaching Jim. She is on their side but also wary of her son’s safety. There is a popular tale in town about a girl who tried to run away with a black boy; their story was tragic, and she thinks Jim and Chloe will suffer a similar fate. It turns out that Chloe and Jim aren’t the only ones keeping a secret. Someone else harbors a dangerous secret for which he would be willing to kill. In a town like Mills Hollow, Jim would be the obvious scapegoat for a murder. His race and physique set him apart. Theirs is a dangerous friendship, but they remain true to each other and to their principles.
I rate this book highly. The story was rich and its twists and turns were pleasant and unexpected. I also gained some insight into how Jim Crow laws impacted black people’s lives. I recommend it to anyone who loves historical fiction and thriller genres. The story might be about a girl and a boy, but don’t expect a fiery romance. A Peach for Big Jim is suitable for adults and young adults, too.
The build-up to the climax of the story is intriguing and full of suspense. Tolerance will fail the town’s people, friendships will be betrayed, secrets will be exposed, and a murder and a cover-up will ensue. I loved every moment of the story, and I couldn’t have hoped for a better ending.
Reviewed By: Esther Wairimu
I drew much of my inspiration for A PEACH FOR BIG JIM from my mom’s childhood tales. A gifted writer in her own right, my mother grew up in a rural town, much like the fictional Mills Hollow where the story takes place. Some of the more humorous elements of the story were inspired by stories of my mom’s younger brother, Harold, who was known to run around the woods and bring home wild animals. Once he brought home a snake and it disappeared inside the house. How they found it, I’m not sure, but I know it was pretty nerve-wracking while they were looking for it.
My grandpa was born in Mississippi and one of my earliest memories is of him chopping down a tree with my father. I remember him as a kindly older gentleman who loved God and was good to people. Thankfully, he was nothing like the patriarch in my novel. My grandma mirrors Chloe’s mother in the novel in that she had a great sense of hospitality. She could make a gourmet meal for a dozen people at the drop of a hat. How she did it, I still wonder. I like to think it’s a Southern gift, but whatever it is, there’s an indescribable joy that surrounds a table filled with food and made with love.
I currently live in Seattle with my family and a cute little bichon named Frosty.
Find more info about Lisa Belmont at – https://www.lisabelmont.com/
George Gray, San Francisco-based reporter for the New York Sentinel, receives two similar emails an hour apart. One offers to expose well-known individuals who have criminally perverted use of the internet to enrich themselves. The other promises to murder women who have ruined the lives of technologists who were changing the world. Could they be the same person? Mike McKenzie, San Francisco homicide detective was frustrated by his last major case. He never caught the serial killer who targeted the clients of prostitutes in the Tenderloin. He’s hoping that this time, he’ll be more successful. Samantha Louis, unmarried psychiatrist who has finally decided to find a life partner, takes on a new patient, a technologist suffering from late-onset schizophrenia who was hospitalized after a psychotic episode. Could he or one of her other patients be the killer? George, Mike, and Sam are about to embark on missions that will disrupt their careers and their lives as they race to identify The Misogynist.
Amazon Link – https://amzn.to/31Og10o
George Gray receives a tip on a groundbreaking story. Coincidentally, he is also contacted by a serial killer alerting him to his plan to kill his first victim in a week’s time. George hands this information over to the police, and this marks the beginning of a joint effort to catch the killer.
The Misogynist is an exciting, fast-paced crime thriller cast in Silicon Valley. It kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. The storyline is well developed and has no wasted characters. Everyone has a role to play, and they play it well.
My favorite character in the book is Janey, George Gray’s girlfriend. She is witty, funny, and extremely resourceful. The serial killer goes after women, and Janey is the exact opposite of the kind of woman the serial killer preys on. Not only does Janey help catch the killer, but she also brings balance to a narrative that portrays some women as selfish and opportunistic.
Author Steve Jackowski does a good job concealing the identity of the killer until the story reaches its climax. He does provide a few clues here and there, but you will never guess who the true killer is.
From the way he writes, you can tell that Jackowski has worked in technology and is familiar with Silicon Valley. In some ways, this book is an inside look into the lives of tech executives, if you were ever curious about them.
Dr. Louis is another one of my favorite characters. I found her most relatable among all the characters. She, too, has some theories on who the killer might be. Often, I found myself viewing things from her vantage point.
This is one of the best crime thrillers I have read this year. It had mystery and a good dose of suspense. I recommend it to anyone who loves mystery, crime, and thriller genres. The plotline is like no other, and the characters are well-rounded and believable.
If you find explicit language distasteful, you will enjoy this book. It steers clear of explicit language and is minimal in its description of explicit scenes, making it suitable for young adults.
The Misogynist isn’t just another crime thriller. It explores many themes that are relevant to this current cultural moment. Notably, it explores the misuse of the internet by actors who use it to make unfair gains while exploiting others. It also discusses the vast extent of modern-day slavery. You would be wrong to think that only the poor and destitute are vulnerable.
Reviewed By: Esther Wairimu
Born into a military family, Steve traveled extensively throughout the US and overseas, attending fifteen schools before graduating from High School. After studying mathematics, computer science, comparative literature and French at the University of California, Steve began his career with IBM as a software engineer. He later founded three successful high-tech start-ups.
A former competition hang glider pilot, Steve continues to surf, ski, kayak whitewater, and dance Salsa with his wife Karen whenever possible.
Steve divides his time between Santa Cruz, California and the Basque Region of France.
Find more info and his other books at http://www.stevejackowski.com/
Thank you Karen. I appreciate you having me here.
Which books/authors inspired your work?
The books in the Vale Investigation series draw a lot from various mythologies. Hostile Takeover features monsters from the Old Norse and Ancient Egypt. Book two draws from the Old Arabian Mythology, while book three features creatures from the Japanese lore.
So I had to get books on each mythology beforehand. It felt like going back to school and having homework to do. But it was a lot of fun too; I love learning about new cultures.
What’s one thing that you learned while writing your book?
One of the first big surprises was discovering just how many different mythologies there are. We’ve all heard about Greek or Egyptian, but there are hundreds of them… and they all have a plethora of monsters and creatures to draw inspiration from. Africa alone has several dozens.
To help spread that knowledge, I decided to try and focus on a new mythology for each book.
After this book, are you writing anything new? Where are you in the process?
Hostile Takeover is the first book in the Vale Investigation series. The second book Evil Embers was published earlier this year. I’m currently editing the third and working on the outline of the fourth.
Describe your writing routine. Do you outline? Edit as you go?
I outline everything ahead in details; it’s an important part of my writing process. For me, it simplifies the writing process. I start editing after the first draft is complete.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I have a day job that keeps me busy a lot. In my spare time, I enjoy watching TV or listening to music while going on a walk.
How do you combat/cure writer’s block?
Outlining really helps fight that. If you carefully plan out your novel before you start writing, then you don’t really get stuck anymore.
What advice would you give an aspiring writer who doesn’t know where to start?
Step one is defining your characters. Figure out who they are, and where you want to take them. For me, a story is a character’s emotional journey. If your character is identical on page 1 and on page 300 than you’ve failed somewhere. Once you have your characters figures out, you can start plotting. Create a detailed outline (which includes the ending) so you know where you’re going and you can start to check the consistency of pacing and look for plot-holes. And then you can start writing.
Do you have a social media presence? Where can people find you online?
There’s the official website: www.cristelle-comby.com and I’m also on Twitter (@Cristelle). All of my books are available on Amazon; additional reviews can be found on Goodreads.
Talk about your main character. What are they like and what inspired their personality?
The hero of the story is PI Bellamy Vale. He struck a bargain with Death herself a few years ago and agreed to become her envoy on Earth in exchange of a favor. He’s a tortured man, seeking redemption for past mistakes. He tries to do the right thing and help people, but Death doesn’t really have the same moral values.
How does your main character change throughout the story?
Being Lady McDeath’s foot soldier does have its perks: near immortality and a few boons which Vale has to learn how to use. At the start of the story, he doesn’t know yet what he’s capable of. He’s also making friends and allies along the way.
What made you choose the time/place in which your book was set?
It’s set in the present times, but in a fictitious American town. The first series of books I worked on, The Neve & Egan Cases, was set in London and I spend an incredible amount of times looking up street names and Underground stations, to make sure that I was accurate. So I decided to make things easier on myself this time… everything’s made up.
What type of person do you think would most enjoy your book?
Well these novels are a good mesh of classic detective noir and urban fantasy. So any fans of Jim Butcher, for example should enjoy the hell out of it.
How do you organize your book collection, if at all?
It’s not organized at all. I have a small shelf and a lot of books, so trying to make everything fit is a bit like a game of Tetris.
If you could invite your favorite fictional hero/heroine over to your house for dinner, who would it be and what would you talk about?
I’d like to invite Dr Who… so long as we can squeeze in a few trips between the main course and the dessert.
What’s the best book, other than yours, that no one has ever heard of?
Something under the radar… hum, I guess one would be Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman. It’s a short novel that is partly a biography of Einstein’s life and partly a poetic study of the structure of time—I really love it. Another one would be The Portrait by Iain Pears—a 200+ pages monologue. From a writer’s point-of-view, what he did is quite the tour-de-force. For casual readers, it may be a little hard to get into it, but once you’ve adjusted to the unusual style you’ll find a really gripping story (try the audiobook, if it’s too hard to get into it).
A cat that gained 5,000 Facebook followers after making a supermarket his second home has been “signing” copies of a book about his adventures.
Ginger tom Garfield took a liking to Sainsbury’s in Ely, Cambridgeshire, after the store was built on his old stomping ground.
The co-author Cate Caruth said copies of the book – What’s THAT doing There? – sold out in half an hour.
Garfield “signed” his book in Ely Library with a paw-print stamp.
It was modelled on his real paw.
Garfield, now 12, first started visiting the store after it was built in 2012 on a meadow opposite the flat where he lives with owner David Willers.
His favourite spot was a sofa in the Virgin travel shop in Sainsbury’s lobby, and he often tries to get into people’s cars outside the store.
Fans of the cat posted photos of him at the supermarket and at one point his owner had to ask people to stop feeding him as he was becoming fat.
A Facebook page set up with photos of the cat in the supermarket has a following of more than 5,500 fans from places as far away as the United States, Canada, Australia and Russia.
A book of his adventures and misadventures has now been written by Mr Willers with Suffolk author Cate Caruth.
The title – What’s THAT Doing There – refers to Garfield’s reaction when a fence was erected across his favourite meadow ahead of the supermarket being built.
The book tells how Garfield was once banned from the store for scratching a customer who became a little too familiar – and many of his other adventures.
In the book he is called Garfield Abercrombie Reginald Fergusson, but as that was “far too much like hard work… everyone just called him Garfy”.
“It is a little familiar of people,” Garfy would always think, “but I suppose I can live with it,” he says in the first chapter.
Speaking after the book signing on Saturday, author Ms Caruth said it was a “big hit.”
“Garfield took it all in his stride, posing for photos with his fans and inspecting the library services with great care.
“It was non-stop for two hours and we sold out of books in half an hour” she said.
Read more: https://imgur.com/gallery/EPfQkNb
A couple of years ago, we shared a publication with you about a talented Chinese artist Tango Gao (also known as Shanghai Tango) who creates thought-provoking yet still light and fun illustrations without using words.
If you fancy visual and intellectual humor, you don’t need to look anywhere further because you are up for a treat! Tango, whose real name is Gao Youjun, did not stop creating witty illustrations since the last time we wrote about them here on Bored Panda. No, Tango is back with a sequel to his art which is both simple and minimalistic, yet profound in the message it sends.
Tango began creating these illustrations back in 2010 when prompted by a friend, he decided to develop a habit of drawing daily (that’s an excellent habit to pick up). Now, he delights his 108,000 followers on Instagram with light-hearted and sometimes challenging illustrations on daily basis.
Scroll down the page and see for yourself!
Pets are always there for us, especially when it comes to putting smiles on our faces.
You can become whatever you want in life.
“Excuse me, may I see your baby?”
New Year’s resolution for 2019: let’s ditch the bra.
Possibly, a new idea for a SnapChat filter?
Up Next: The Secret Life Of Toiletries – Behind The Scenes.
A love letter written in hundreds of heartbeats.
Mood rings are so last year. Meet mood mustache. Perfectly edible as well.
That moment when someones tries to insult you, but you have achieved an excellent ability to deflect all things negative.
Despite the friendly smile that this polar bear wears, we would say the illustration definitely falls outside of the light-heartedness spectrum. Time’s ticking, what are your thoughts?
New Year’s resolution #584.
Who knew that music played by accordion could be so tear-jerking?
All that matters is perspective!
No one wants to be the third wheel. Certainly not on Valentine’s day…
This leaf will definitely go places.
“Get a tattoo that means something to you” doesn’t quite have the same ring here…
One cigarette a day keeps the doctor away. Or how does that saying go?
“In the beginning, God created the sky and the land.”
Pareidolia: seeing faces in unusual places.
Socialism is having a big moment in America. After a surge in popularity during the financial crisis of 2008, the long-verboten political label at last lost its toxicity after Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential run and the election of democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) in 2018. Among self-identified Democrats, socialism is now more popular than capitalism, reflecting a trend that has been evident among young voters for years.
Bankers and billionaires are, of course, desperate to reverse this political tide. Eyeing the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, the CEO of one giant bank recently told Politico that the party’s nominee “can’t be Warren and it can’t be Sanders.” To plutocrat Michael Bloomberg, Sanders is a “demagogue” preaching “unreason,” while Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) will transform the United States into a “non-capitalistic” system where “people are starving to death,” like “Venezuela.”
The rhetoric from the 0.01 percent is more than a little overheated. But for most people, Warren and Sanders hail from the same left flank of the Democratic Party ― both are supporters of enacting Medicare for all, breaking up the banks and dramatically increasing taxes on the very wealthy.
And yet in liberal and left-wing political discourse, the idea that Sanders and Warren are philosophical companions has become unfashionable. Jacobin, The New Republic, Splinter, BuzzFeed, The Week and The Guardian have all emphasized the supposedly critical ideological distinction between the two candidates: Sanders is an avowed socialist, while Warren wants to reform capitalism.
“As soon as the next president takes office, they will likely face intense pressure from powerful interests, especially big business,” writes Zaid Jilani. “The choice between Warren and Sanders may very well determine if that president confronts those interests with careful reasoning and principled advocacy or the force of a mass movement.”
“The two senators disagree over the best method to give the working classes a leg up,” according to David Dayen. “You can restructure markets so everyone benefits, or you can break down the market system, either eliminating the profit motive or giving everybody a public option.” For Jacobin founder Bhaskar Sunkara, Warren aims at “seeking to construct better policy but not an alternative politics,” rejecting “the class-struggle, worker-centric approach of Sanders.”
For once, the big-brain intellectuals have it wrong, and the delusional, selfish plutocrats are right. Whatever Warren and Sanders say to establish their political brands, the two senators do in fact represent a very similar way of thinking about politics. That’s why billionaires hate them both.
It’s true: You won’t find any videos of Warren singing “This Land Is Your Land” with a bunch of shirtless Soviets in the 1980s. And Sanders never slogged through troves of household bankruptcy data looking for the most common sources of middle-class financial strain. There are real differences between the two candidates (technically Bernie hasn’t announced yet). But these are differences of temperament, style and strategy. Sanders and Warren, in fact, see the world in very similar ways.
The trouble for leftish intellectuals is a confusion over the terms “socialism” and “capitalism.” Both words are extremely flexible, and their meanings shift with political currents. In an American context, it has never been easy to distinguish between socialism and reformed capitalism ― and committed capitalists have denounced both with vigor. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was condemned as a socialist by congressional Republicans. In the 1940s, American conservatives viewed the social safety net in Britain and the Stalinist Soviet Union with almost equal alarm. By the 1950s, Herbert Hoover had concluded that the words “liberalism” and “socialism” really just meant the same thing.
So, yes, Bernie Sanders has long been a champion of labor movements, protest marches and democratic socialism, while Elizabeth Warren is an academic wonk who talks about restoring competition to markets and making capitalism more accountable. But when it comes to their most detailed policies to date, both support an array of trust-busting, tougher regulation, wealth redistribution, public options and, where appropriate, nationalization.
It depends on the problem they’re trying to solve. In practice, they end up supporting an awful lot of the same solutions. In addition to Medicare for all, breaking up the banks and taxing the rich, both Warren and Sanders are advocates of a federal job guarantee, postal banking and a bill making it easier for workers to unionize.
All of these proposals transfer money and power from the super-rich to the not-rich. Take postal banking. About 32.6 million households rely on a check-cashing service, payday lender or other expensive, small-dollar financial bottom-feeder at least once a year, according to the FDIC. On average, these households earn about $25,500 a year and spend nearly 10 percent of their income ― $2,412 ― on these sketchy financial products. That’s over $82 billion going from hard-up homes to predators every year. You can deal with payday lenders a lot of different ways: ban them, regulate them or, the preferred tack of Warren and Sanders, have the government make them obsolete. If every household can get a low-fee bank account with the Post Office, they won’t have to turn to legalized loan sharking to get by. That’s bad news for payday loan executives, like ACE Cash Express CEO Jay Shipowitz, who made almost $4.5 million in 2004 alone. Is postal banking socialism or reformed capitalism? Yes.
In America today, the super-rich not only control an outrageous share of the national wealth, they also exercise a degree of political power incompatible with basic democratic principles. The choice for Democrats in 2020 is not really about policy minutia ― it’s about power ― who has it, and who doesn’t. And both Sanders and Warren have proved they are willing to confront the powerful and attack their sources of power. We can call this socialism, New Deal liberalism or Jeffersonian democracy ― whatever the label, it’s a critical ideological test for anyone who wants to be the next president of the United States.
Running for re-election in 1936, FDR noted that the “economic royalists” of “business and financial monopoly, speculation” and “reckless banking” all counted themselves among his political “enemies.”
“Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today,” Roosevelt said. “They are unanimous in their hate for me ― and I welcome their hatred.”
For today’s Democrats, that’s the ticket.
More than half of England’s universities have fewer than 5% of poor white students on their books, says an analysis of university entry figures.
The report, from the National Education Opportunities Network (Neon), shows white students from deprived areas in low numbers in many top universities.
There are 3% at the University of Oxford, compared with 28% at Teesside.
The study says too few universities have clear targets to recruit white working-class students.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds has previously warned of the risk of communities feeling “left behind”.
The study, from an organisation promoting wider access into higher education, calls for a “national initiative” to tackle the educational underachievement of disadvantaged white youngsters across schools, colleges and universities.
The university figures show the problem in recruiting white students from poorer backgrounds – and how many universities have very low proportions of them.
It warns that fewer than a fifth of universities have targets for admitting more poor white students – and that there are only “variable” efforts to improve participation.
Even if a target of 5% of poor white students were to be set across universities, it would mean another 10,000 students going to university, says the research.
The study looks at white students from so-called “low-participation neighbourhoods” – areas where few people usually go to university.
In total numbers, white students, of all social backgrounds, are the biggest group going to university, show figures from the Ucas admissions service.
But in terms of a proportion of the population, white youngsters are less likely to go to university than Asian or black teenagers.
The latest application figures, for courses in the autumn, show that applications from white students are declining, while they are increasing for Asian and black youngsters.
Cutting across this is a widening gender divide – with women much more likely than men to apply to university.
When these factors combine, it means that white, working-class men become among the most under-represented groups in university.
The study says projects to widen entry into university might need to be “redefined”.
The report shows a starkly divided picture in where poor white students are likely to attend.
They are particularly likely to take higher education courses in local further education colleges.
Among those going to university, 70% go to new universities, with low numbers going to some high-ranking institutions.
Cambridge has 2%, Warwick and Bristol 3%, Durham 4%.
At University of Sunderland, 27% of acceptances are from white students from deprived areas and the figure is 22% in Staffordshire University.
The numbers are particularly low in London universities – many of them 1% or 2%.
But these figures might be affected by the high overall levels of young people in London going to university – much higher than elsewhere in England.
Because of such high entry rates, even from deprived youngsters, there are relatively few “low-participation neighbourhoods” in London, or young people who would fall into this category.
The high cost of living in London could also deter some poorer students from elsewhere from coming to study in the capital.
Graeme Atherton, report co-author and director of Neon, warned of “big variability” in the chances of different groups to get to university.
“We need to know more about why this variability exists and do more to eliminate it,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Universities UK said that universities were “committed to widening access to higher education and ensuring the success of all their students, regardless of their background”.
The spokeswoman for the universities’ organisation said that “18-year-olds from the most disadvantaged areas in England are more likely to go to university than ever before” – and that this could be further helped if the government restored “maintenance grants for those most in need”.
Mr Hinds has highlighted the importance of supporting education in communities that might feel “left behind”.
In a speech in the autumn, Mr Hinds said: “White British disadvantaged boys are the least likely of any large ethnic group to go to university.
“We need to ask ourselves why that is and challenge government, universities and the wider system to change that.
“It’s vital that we do this to make sure that no part of our country feels as though it has been left behind.”