My Guest: Barbara Ehrentreu

Today we have with us on the Muse Blog Tour—Barbara Ehrentreu. During this past year, I have been getting to know and like Barbara, even though it is an online friendship. We aren’t just sisters in the Muse Family. Our books were accepted at the same time and Lea announced that the Muse “was being invaded by the Barbaras.” So we have kept up with each other through emails and on the Muse Gab Room and the Muse Author’s Site. We were both biting our nails hoping we would get permission to use quotes from Dr. Seuss in our books. And we did get the permissions. Wheeeeuuu!!! Welcome, Barbara.

 

Barbara lives in Stamford, Connecticut, with her husband and two grown daughters, but she spent most of her life in New York State. She is a retired teacher who now tutors children who have learning difficulties. Since she was a little girl, she has loved reading and writing. A few years ago, she received her Masters in Reading and Writing K-12 and became a certified Reading teacher.

Barbara stays very busy and wears lots of hats. She hosts Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages on Blog Talk Radio every 4th Thursday. In addition, her children’s story, “The Trouble with Follow the Leader” and an adult story, “Out on a Ledge” are published online. She writes book reviews for Authorlink.com. and several of her reviews have been on Acewriters and Celebrity Café. She is a member of SCBWI.

When she wanted to attend a workshop with Paula Danziger as the leader, she wrote three chapter of a YA story that just popped into her head. When Paula took an interest in working with her story, she was thrilled and decided it had merit. So in the next two years, she worked on finishing it.

The book became If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor and it has recently been published by MuseItUp Publishing. This is what Barbara says about Muse:

Being a part of MuseItUp Publishing has brought me another online family and I am thrilled to be one of the increasingly large members of this warm and encouraging group.

Well, mates, I’m here to tell you that Barbara has a winner here. I have just started reading the book and am just getting into the conflict. Already I can tell that Barbara knows a lot about the teen mind and the situations that come up in high school. There are issues and also some romance.

  

Here is an excerpt from Barbara’s novel, If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor, a young adult novel about the trials of being high school students.

 “If you have been checked on your somersault, you can jog around the gym until the bell rings.” Miss Gaylon is going to be nominated most annoying teacher in the whole school soon.

Why do we have to run now? Did I have any energy to do this?

Jennifer and I start to run, but soon she forges ahead of me. Is this a race, I wonder? Or am I so slow, she can pass me anytime she wants to? We’re halfway around the gym when suddenly I see Jennifer starting to slow down. She stops running and starts to walk. She looks almost white, and I wonder if she is really sick.

“Jennifer, are you okay?” I pass her at a slow trot.

“Just tired I guess. All of a sudden I felt a little faint. Don’t laugh. It can happen to anyone.”

“Did you forget to breathe as you ran? That could cause it.”

“Very funny, Carolyn; did I forget to breathe?”

“I thought it was. Do you need to see the nurse?”

“No, I’m fine, but I’d like to sit down.”

“There’s Miss Gaylon. I’m sure if you tell her you don’t feel well, she’ll let you.”

“This is funny. Now it’s me who needs to go to the nurse, but I’ll be okay. Just need to sit down. Once I do, I’ll be all right.”

Jennifer slows down, and soon she’s stopped completely. I look at her, and she looks way too pale. I grab her around the waist and walk her over to the bleachers. Miss Gaylon notices and comes over immediately. Jennifer looks dazed.

“Jennifer Taylor, are you sick? You don’t look good at all.”

“Miss Gaylon, I think she hurt her foot, twisted her ankle, but she’s okay now. I’ll stay here and check on her.”

“Let me see that ankle. Hmm, it doesn’t look swollen. You will be fine in a few minutes. The bell is going to ring soon. You stay there, and in a few minutes go get changed.”

“Thanks, Miss Gaylon. I’m feeling much better now.”

Jennifer looks at me with surprise and happiness.

“You are always amazing me, Carolyn. I guess I should have eaten a little more at lunch. Now I remember. I got sick after breakfast today, too. No wonder I have no energy. Thanks for helping me. I might have fainted if you hadn’t brought me over here.”

Across the gym, Becky and her partner are staring over at Jennifer and me. Becky mouths to me, “What happened?”

I mouth back, “She’s sick and needs to rest.”

“Are your plans off?” Becky keeps miming to me.

“No, she’s feeling much better now, must be her period.” This is the last lie I want to tell

Becky today. All of the lies I have told seem to be lying in a puddle at my feet.

The bell rings for the end of the period, and I race toward my locker. I change in a flash and run down the hallway to my other locker. I grab my books and streak down to the front door.

Meanwhile, I scan the halls for Brad. I don’t want to bump into him again.

I’m in a fog racing toward the front door. Brad comes from the staircase, and we are

separated by a hundredth of an inch. This time we meet face to face in the middle of the front hallway. Jennifer walks out of the gym looking a little frazzled. Jennifer Taylor looking frazzled?

The end of the world is coming. Brad sees her and walks straight over like a guided missile. “Jennifer, you look awful. What happened?”

“Brad, I’m so glad to see you. I felt sick in gym, but it’s probably not eating enough for

lunch. We had to run, and I couldn’t keep going. Do you know who helped me though? She’s like my savior—Carolyn. She got me over to a seat, and I didn’t even have to go to the nurse. What a girl.” She smiles at me. Even better, Brad smiles at me, too.

“Jennifer, it’s the least I could do for you,” I say. “Now we’re even, right?”

“Yeah, I guess we are. See you outside in a few minutes. You’re ready I hope?”

“Yes, I zoomed over and got my stuff. How about you? Are you feeling okay now? We

could postpone this you know.” I keep my fingers crossed.

“No, I’ll be fine. You’re coming over, and we’ll study, okay?”

I look at Jennifer and wonder why she didn’t tell him about the makeover.

“What do you mean you’re studying? I thought we were going to spend tonight together.”

Brad sticks out his bottom lip and pouts.

“Tomorrow night, I’ll go out with you. Remember, my parents only allow me one night a

week for dates.”

“Okay, I’ll call you tomorrow and see you tomorrow night.”

“Thank you, Brad. You do understand don’t you?” Jennifer purrs to him, rubbing her hands up and down his arm. Brad puts his arms around her and gives her a big hug. Jennifer gets up on her tiptoes and kisses him on the cheek. I’m way too jealous to continue watching this sappy scene.

I walk outside and try to forget what I just saw. Brad will never like me the way he likes

Jennifer. I don’t think she cares about him as much as he likes her, but she can sure twist him around her finger. I want to learn how to do that, too. One minute he’s angry and sullen, the next he’s hugging her. For the fifty thousandth time in my life, I wish I could.

Barbara, that is a teasing example of your story that leaves us wondering what is going to happen to these three youngsters. We just gotta find out!

Thanks for being with us today. And hey, everybody, I’m over at Barbara’s blog, also. Please drop in and learn about an aspect of Wounds—the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. http://barbaraehrentreu.blogspot.com/

 

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Barbara Ehrentreu
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 03:03:25

    Barbara, thank you so much for hosting me on your blog.Also, thank you for the kind words about my book. I really hope you enjoy it! There are a few words left out of the ending line. It should be: “For the fifty thousandth time in my life I wish I could be like Jennifer Taylor.”

    Barbara and I are definitely author twins and I am very proud to be paired with her. Good luck with Wounds. I am putting it on my TBR list right on top!!

    Reply

  2. barbarabockman
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 09:27:39

    It’s wonderful to have you here, Barbara. Sorry I left out part of that last line. My excuse is that I didn’t hightlight it from the document I copied and pasted it from.
    But I h ave to say the photos look great.

    Reply

  3. Nancy Rosenthal Stewart
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 09:30:31

    This was such interesting reading. Many thanks for sharing. A nice way to begin a Monday morning!

    Reply

  4. Barbara Ehrentreu
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 10:59:07

    Nancy, glad you could visit here with the two Barbara’s. Thank you so much!!!

    Reply

  5. Marva Dasef
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 12:44:46

    Barbara and Barbara: Great job to the both of you.

    Throughout the MG/YA Blogathon tour, I’ve become quite familiar with the authors’ works. Every one of them sounds like a great read. I’ve already purchased some on the tour and intend to purchase those that aren’t released yet when they are. I hope all the authors on the tour support their fellow authors by buying when you can afford it. I know I have a budget on new books, as I’m sure many of you do. That doesn’t make me any less eager to get my hands on the books. I’m HOPING I might win one or two by commenting.

    Reply

  6. Barbara Ehrentreu
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 14:16:03

    Marva, thank you so much! I feel the same way. Every time I learn about another new book I want to read it. It’s hard, so I’m going to see if I do win a few free ones. I have to do the drawings for all of my blogs at once.:) It’s been quite a month and it’s not over yet!!

    Thank you for visiting both of us.

    Reply

  7. C.K. Volnek
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 15:08:48

    Great interview Barbara. Such a wealth of information. Love it. And congrats on the glowing review! Wonderful, wonderful news.
    Great job.
    C.K. Volnek

    Reply

  8. Barbara Ehrentreu
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 16:07:56

    Charlie, thanks for visiting. Margot Finke just tweeted this interview, Barbara. I also retweeted it. I’ve been running all over today. I am thrilled about the review!!

    Reply

  9. J. Aday Kennedy
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 19:58:19

    Good luck, Barbara!
    Aday

    Reply

  10. barbarabockman
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 23:58:26

    Hi to J. Aday, C. K., Nancy, and Marva. I knew you landlubbers would all be impressed with this look into BarbaraE’s book. Thanks for responding.

    Barbara, I know you must be enjoying this mile-a-minute ride you’re on. Hang on tight, Matey (the day is over, and I almost forgot to talk like a pirate). Thanks for appearing on my blog.

    Reply

  11. Barbara Ehrentreu
    Sep 21, 2011 @ 20:21:05

    Thank you J. Aday for visiting and for the good luck! Barbara I didn’t know I was supposed to be talking like a pirate:

    Shiver me timbers, me spots a comely lass comin’ round the bend. Ahoy mateys she carries the purple hat. Batten down the hatches me hearties! She’s sweeping in any minute!!

    Reply

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