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Genre – Literary Fiction Publisher – Create Space Release Date – December 2011
ABOUT THE BOOK:
The letter said he was dying, that’s all Jules Weinstein
knows when she leaves her life in San Francisco and moves to New York City to
be with her father. She goes for the remarkable opportunity to really know her
father. She never dreamed he had liberated a concentration camp, dealt cards to
Bugsy Siegel or saved the life of a Black Panther. Wings of Hope is a road trip
through the memories of a man making peace with his life. Little does she know
that by getting to know her father, she will find herself. While her father
struggles with whether his life was meaningful, Jules discovers that her
father’s last gift to her is the ability to reach for her dreams. Her journey
teacher her that “the goodbye” is sometimes the most heartbreakingly beautiful
part of life.
AUTHOR GUEST POST:
Making Your Dreams Come True In 2012
By Hillary E. Peak
Interestingly, when I received this blog
topic, I was stunned because this has been the theme of my personal year as
well.In order to make your dreams come
true, you have to be able to answer one question:What are your dreams?How silly!You exclaim.But it isn’t.Determining what your dreams really are is
First of all, dreams change over time.When I was in college, all I wanted to do was
change the world.I went to law school
thinking that I would get into government and solve problems.I live in Washington DC and what I’ve
determined is that the government is the source of many of said problems and as
one tiny individual, I’m not going to be able to make the difference I long to
make.What does this mean?It means my dreams have to change.
Now, I want to make it as an author.Making it for me means that I can retire from
the practice of law because I make enough money (i.e. my current salary or
more) as a writer.WOW! I must be nuts, huh?Well, that is my career dream—along with
wanting to join the team of the Today show to tell the good ole US of A what to
read and then get to be on Dancing with the Stars!
As for other dreams, I actually keep a list
of things I want to do:become a master
yogi, go to the Kentucky Derby and wear a fabulous hat, see the Serengeti.I don’t expect them all to come true in 2012,
but it keeps me excited about the life that is to come.
My novel, Wings of Hope, is even about
making your dreams come true.In it, the
main character, Jules, realizes that she is not fulfilled just having a good
job and a good boyfriend.She wants to
design fashions.I’m hoping readers will
take away that it is better to try and live your dreams, even if you fail, then
to never try at all.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Peak is a recovering idealist. She became a lawyer to change the world and is
still somewhat shocked that didn't occur. Now, her goal is to retire from
practicing law and write novels that people love. She is currently a practicing
attorney in the District of Columbia. She lives with her family in Alexandria,
As we sat at the table sipping coffee, I ventured my first question,
“Dad, what were your parents like? You haven’t told me much about them, except
that your mother had more brains in her pinkie than you’ve ever had.” I worried
I wouldn’t have time to find out all I wanted to know.
He looked up, surprised. “Haven’t I told you about them?”
I shook my head. “But I’d really like to know more about
them--especially what they were like.”
A smile spread across his face, “Really? I can’t believe
that. My mother would have loved you--eaten you with a spoon. Remember when I
took you to Fiddler on the Roof?”
I nodded, not wanting to break the spell by speaking.
I nodded again. That had horrified me, I couldn’t imagine
not falling in love, courting, all that comes with the fun of meeting someone
special, dressing up to go out, etc. The coffee mug warmed my hands, as I
“Well, my parents were married like that.”
Rather than actually seeing it, I felt my jaw hit the
floor. “You’re kidding!” I exclaimed without thinking.
“Nope.” He shook his head, watching me with
amusement.“They’d never even seen one another. Married in a little village in
Poland called Tarnapole. It is gone now--burned to the ground by the Nazis, I
think.” His eyes misted over, but continued anyway. “My mother got pregnant
with your Aunt Rebecca almost immediately. My dad was a barrel maker--and a
fine woodworker. He made furniture for people as well. Six months after Rebecca
was born, my mother got pregnant again--with Aunt Rachel. The pogroms went on
at that time, and getting worse every day from what I gathered from my parents.
Money and food were running out. It was quite desperate. My father decided to
come to America, make some money with my mother’s brother who already lived
here in New York, then send for my mother and the two girls. He left taking
nearly two months to get to New York. It was barely three weeks after he
stepped onto Ellis Island when World War One started. My mother and your aunts
were trapped for the next three years. For a while, my dad could get in touch
with them. He sent money, but after about a year, the lines were totally cut
off. He didn’t know where they were, if they were even alive. As far as I know,
he kept working, saving money. My mother on the other hand, was starving. The
pogroms were continuing. The Cossacks were riding through villages, raping
women and running everything that moved through with a sword.” He licked his
lips, concentrating, clearly thinking about what it must have been like for his
mother. My hair stood on end.
“One day, my mother was in the town rather than at their
farm when the Cossacks came riding in. One grabbed my mother around the waist
and lifted her onto the horse while he was moving. He intended to rape her in
the saddle and kill her. She grabbed his pistol from out of the holster around
his waist. She shot him dead as they rode.”
My mouth was open and my eyes were far bigger than
saucers. My dad laughed at my expression. “I know. Totally amazing--she was an
amazing woman. She never told me that story. Her brother told me after she
died. I remember saying to him, ‘My Mother?’ I couldn’t believe it.”
“What happened?” I asked mesmerized. “How did she get away
He nodded solemnly. “I asked the same question. She rode
back to the farm. Her brothers buried the body. They slaughtered the horse and
ate the meat—they couldn’t keep it, even though it would have been great for
the farm, because it would have aroused suspicion and questions--but it was no
longer safe for her or your aunts. People had seen it happen. They knew it
wasn’t long before someone turned her in for a loaf of bread.” He bit the
inside of his cheek, just a bit; frightened for them even though he knew it
turned out alright.
“So she took what she could carry, along with my sisters
and started walking to America.”
“Walking? Are you serious?” I literally could not imagine
walking thousands of miles.
“Yep. She and my sisters hid in the woods during the day
and walked at night for months. Eventually, she joined a refugee line.”
“How long did it take?” I couldn’t imagine. The fear I
felt hearing about it was palpable--what must it have been like to go through
something like that?