Please, Someone Invent the HotSeat BackSeat Warning Device to Save Our Babies’ Lives!

I’m sure many of you share my horror and sadness at the news of 1 year old twins—a boy and a girl—dying from heatstroke after being forgotten in the backseat of their father’s car for 8 hours. Their father thought he had dropped these angels at day care, but he was wrong. Rushing to get to work, he never looked back. At the end of his workday, his babies were unresponsive to all attempts at resuscitation.

Throughout the years, we have heard many stories of responsible, loving parents, totally devoted to their jobs, who have experienced the same horror. Part of this problem lies with our society whereby both parents must work to make ends meet. Parents are overwhelmed, exhausted, and concerned with maintaining job stability. As a result, they operate with blinders to avoid distraction. Who suffers?

The most obvious solution is simply to get into the habit of looking in your back seat before you leave your car. Sounds easy? This simple habit could save your children’s lives.

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, an average of 38 children under the age of 15 die from heatstroke from being left in overheated cars every year. Since 1998, every state in the Union has had at least one death from this horrific accident. In 2018, 53 children died of heatstroke because a parent of caregiver made a fatal mistake.

Is it illegal to leave kids unattended in cars? It is illegal in 19 states, but only an offence in the others. (Dogs also should not be left in hot cars.) It takes about 15 minutes before life threatening brain and kidney damage manifest themselves.

What can you do in 15 minutes? Run into the grocery store for milk and bread or stand in line at the bank. How many times have you done this? Only 15 minutes, you thought.

I beg inventors and car manufacturers to design a warning device to alert the driver that there is a child in the back seat. Babies and toddlers fall asleep so we cannot rely on crying and babbling to let us know that they’re strapped in, virtual prisoners, unable to move, waking up to an empty car with no one to hear their screams.I have named this device the HotSeat BackSeat Warning Device. You can give it any name you want. Please make this a priority. Help us save lives. There are people out there with the ability to do this. Put your skills to use in this life saving attempt.

Also, maybe day care centers and parents can communicate with each other. If a child is not brought to day care and no parent has informed the center of an absence, maybe the day care personnel can contact the parent to verify the reason for the absence.

As a society, we must slow down. Take the time to look in your back seat. What you see might surprise you.

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at author@elainedonadio.com.

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2019

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Book Signing— Oct. 19, 2019 Kitten Kadoodle Coffee Cafe, Selden, NY

Please Join Us

Saturday, Oct.19, 2019
11:00am-2:00pm
Kitten Kadoodle Coffee Cafe
600 Middle Country Road
Suite C&D
Selden, NY

Elaine Donadio, Debbie DeLouise, Lisa Diaz Meyer, Andrea Roche

                                                                 The Coffee House Tours

 

 

Book Review: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

Book Review: The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See (2017) 4 Stars ****

Beautifully written. Engaging. Often heartbreaking. A treasury of culture and traditions.

We first meet our main character Li-Yan in 1988 when she is six years old and follow her story until 2016. Li-Yan’s people are Akha, one of the fifty-five ethnic minorities of China, where the Han are in the majority. Li-Yan lives in Yunnan, the remote mountain village in southwest China, where snow-capped mountains, rice terraces, lakes and deep gorges surround one of the most perfect tea-growing regions of the world. As the tea industry suddenly booms, this most coveted tea category and prized product called Pu’er, impacts Li-Yan and the lives of her family, friends, and neighbors in ways never imagined.

Although set in modern day China, the characters we meet live without electricity, running water, modern bathrooms or kitchens, cars, TV, radio, computers. People are poor. Life is harsh. And harsher if you’re a female. Superstitions and strict cultural norms dictate actions and influence thinking. In such a world, if people fall on hard times, they stay there. People concentrate on their own empty stomachs and those of their hapless children. Behind the scenes, there are people who are slightly better off and who might create opportunities for the most hard- working, intelligent, and receptive. And in time, interrupted by bumps and bruises, detours and brick walls, unimaginable heartache and disappointment, the life of Li-Yan moves from abject poverty to education and experience to happiness and accomplishment as Li-Yan, now Tina of Los Angeles, California, takes her place in the modern world.

Competition for wealth from the tea industry brings treachery, betrayal, and mistrust to the once simple lives of the tea growers of Yunnan.

The ending of the book is way too abrupt, especially when almost every waking hour is filled with longing for this event for the two tea girls of this story.

This is no fairy tale. The government ruled the number of children a couple could raise. Educated people were forced into demeaning jobs. Men could be kidnapped off the street to serve as sailors or in the army at the government’s whim. Rights were trampled as the Chinese government evolved into today’s militaristic society.

Lisa See writes primarily about the Chinese culture. Although an American, the author has a Chinese ancestor and spends many hours in California’s Chinatown, absorbing culture, customs, traditions, mannerisms, and beliefs. A great amount of research has gone into this book, making this fictitious story read like a biography.

I admire the many immigrants who are able to assimilate into different culture, learn new ways, speak a new language, educate themselves and their children, and strive to improve their lives, especially when they often come from places so different from the land they now call home.

 

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at author@elainedonadio.com.

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2019

Remembering— A 9/11 Tribute

Whenever I see the places that once were the North and South Towers of The World Trade Center, my body reacts with chills and tears. Yes, the spaces are filled with something else, but the spirits of the lost remain. Native New Yorkers can’t forget. I did not lose family or friends that terrible day, but the collective conscience remains strong with the pain of loss experienced by thousands. My prayer for the lost: may eternal light shine upon them…

I remember my visit to the 9/11 Memorial in downtown Manhattan. It was something I wanted to do, but no one wanted to go with me. “Too far,” they said. “Too sad,” they added. “Besides, you can’t park there and I don’t do subways.”

I guess the universe picked up my thoughts. One of my former colleagues soon called me unexpectedly to ask if I was at all interested in visiting the Memorial. I was very thankful for this gift.

We boarded the Express Bus in Queens to the Wall Street area and rode in air-conditioned comfort on a scorching hot day.

At first the memorial seemed disappointing because we kept looking up, expecting to find the exhibits on the upper floors. Instead, we were directed to descend deeper and deeper into the very heart of the earth where the exhibit slowly revealed itself. We walked the same stone steps that led the few lucky survivors to life, and helpless victims to death—the remaining remnants of the stairwells filled with terrified employees rushing down, and brave First Responders confidently moving up.

How many made it out alive to tell their stories? How many left their wallets, shoes, photos, lipstick, handbags, ID cards, uniform buttons as proof they had once lived? Their bodies somehow missing, only scant possessions remained.

Sad for days, the visions stayed with me—the thwacking sounds as their bodies hit the pavement after jumping out of windows to escape the flames, screams of terror and disbelief, tears of sadness.

I remember.

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at author@elainedonadio.com.

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2019

Book Review: Tidelands by Philippa Gregory

Book Review: Tidelands by Philippa Gregory (2019) 5 Stars*****

True to her history of writing about strong, independent, and therefore powerful women, the author does not disappoint with her portrayal of Alinor. The story begins in the churchyard in the tidelands on Sealsea Island, England in 1648 on Midsummer Eve with Alinor hoping to encounter the ghost of her abusive husband to  determine if his abandonment of her and their two children led to his death or if he just left them high and dry by choice.

Instead, she encounters a handsome, charming, elegant man who admits he is a Catholic priest posing as an Anglican minister so he may act as a spy and assist in returning the imprisoned King Charles to the throne of England, endangering his life and the lives of all those involved in aiding and abetting this papist a royalist. The magnetic attraction between Alinor and Mr. James Summer is unmistakeable. “I didn’t know there could be a woman like you, in a place like this.” A strong bond forms with Alinor becoming a confidante, privy to his plans, protecting him in every possible way, despite the fact that she is not sympathetic to James’ political affiliations. This blind loyalty brings dire consequences.

Alinor’s family benefits from this association by being paid outright and by the hiring of her son as a companion to the son of a wealthy man, also sympathetic to the king’s cause. Alinor strives to improve the plight of her family. She acts as a licensed midwife/herbalist, catches fish to salt and sell, traps lobsters, dries herbs and produces healing oils, works at the mill, helps transport passengers on her brother’s ferry, and nurses the sick. Although excluded from power, wealth and education, Alinor is ambitious for herself and her children and encourages excellence through the rewards of hard work. Failure is not an option.

Rob, the handsome, brilliant, reponsible son, is a model of obedience and cooperation. Alys, the cunningly beautiful, fiery, bender of rules, lives by the code of her own morality, never anticipating the consequences of her actions. Many people mistakenly believe Alinor, with her ethereal beauty, accomplishments, high-achieving children and knowledge of herbs, to be a faerie temptress, a charmer or even a witch. Despite her great kindnesses and generous spirit, Alinor  becomes the target of malicious gossip and violence.

Mr. James Summer? It’s hard not to spoil the story by my assessment of this immature, self-serving, fickle, poor example of a man. Dedicated to ideals rather than people, this slinking-in-dark-hiding-places character reveals his soul to be as dark as the places in which he hides. Ugh!

The title of this book, I believe, is symbolic. Just as the tide ebbs and flows, covering up truths with high tide, trapping travelers in muck and mire in low tide, so go the lives and actions of the residents of this strung tighter than a violin, fearful island.

With a stunning surprise ending, Alys devises an extraordinary plan to quickly bring the story to resolution. I assume the author will write a sequel to this saga, so the readers might rest easy, knowing their beloved Alinor is safe and happy at last. I can only hope.

 

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at author@elainedonadio.com.

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2019

Please Borrow My Books From the Public Libraries!

Great news! Printed copies of my books can now be borrowed from Queens, Nassau and Suffolk County Libraries in New York. Request an inter-library loan!

Queens Libraries—Bay Terrace, Central(Jamaica), and Whitestone 

Nassau Libraries—Manhasset, Port Washington, Syosset

Suffolk Libraries— East Hampton, Huntington

The digital copies are available in Queens Public Library and may be available in other library systems throughout the country. If your library cannot provide access to these books, please ask them to purchase in digital or paperback formats to add to their collection.

The Science Project
The Ocean’s Way
Who Do Voodoo?
The Ocean’s Way Poetry Companion
Sojourn Into The Night—A Memoir of the Peruvian Rainforest

Happy reading! If you do decide to borrow my books from the library, please remember to write a review on the library website.

Thanks,

Elaine

Please let me know how you do. I’d love to hear from you author@elainedonadio.com.

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live

Book Review: Heels of Steel by Barbara Kavovit

Book Review: Heels Of Steel by Barbara Kavovit (2019) 3 Stars ***                              

How much is Barbara Kavovit’s life and how much belongs to the fictional character Bridget Steele? Growing up in the borough of the Bronx in New York City, our main character Bridget’s father teaches her about the constuction business and how to pack a solid punch into the noses of any punks or overly aggressive business contacts she might come across. And yes, she does use this super power!

Our author, Barbara Kavovit, is currently appearing on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York. The back cover of this book reminds us, “Barbara is a construction trailblazer and woman’s tool creator who founded one of the first general contracting and construction management firms in New York, becoming one of Crain’s 100 Most Influential women in Business by the time she was thirty.” Very impressive.

This brings me to the book character Bridget Steele. I hope this book is not biographical because this supposedly tough, smart, ambitious business woman in a man’s world, teetering on stiletto heels and wanting to be taken seriously, makes ridiculous decisions whenever she’s in the presence of a great set of pecs and abs, endangering and losing business. As much as Bridget vows not to let it happen, she again does the same stupid things.

The book is repetitious to a fault. How many times do men have to point out how gorgeous and sexy her body is, how pretty her face is, how good she smells, how smart she is? It seems like it was every page and even for a woman who possesses all these assets, it’s too much. The same goes for the descriptions of the men in her life. Some have more smarts and integrity than others, but for a supposedly tough woman, she’s putty in their hands every time she checks out their muscles. Dialogue gives the impression of instant replay, over and over and over and over. You get the picture.

Bridget Steele shows us how corrupt the construction industry is in New York. She learns the game in order to prosper. “Bridget liked to play dirty. It got shit done.” No business rival is safe as she pilfers business proposals and steals talented employees from her competitors. In all fairness, these guys do the same kinds of things, so she’s not usually preying on the innocent except for one time when she betrayed a good guy who later aggravated her, in a sense getting her revenge ahead of time.

Schmoozing is a full time job in this industry. Dinners, drinks, kick backs, bribes, threats, tickets, parties, attractive and  willing women, favors, sabotage, revenge—the merry-go-round of big business. So happy I don’t work there!

Here’s an example of how Bridget deals with stress. After she tosses a drink in the face of a powerful Manhattan male industry leader, who has betrayed her in business and has just made a pass at her, Bridget socks this guy in the nose. Big time! She reminds him, “Yeah, “she spat at him as he stayed bent over, his back heaving, dark red blood oozing between his fingers, “you’re right, Mark. I’m not from around here.” He looked up at her, and she saw fear in his eyes. “And I advise that you never forget that.”

Why did this happen? No muscles! That’s my guess.

I had the pleasure of meeting the author at a book signing. She’s a sweet, warm, friendly person, much prettier and more petite than she appears on TV. By the way, I didn’t see any of her Housewife of New York friends there. Maybe she was better off not having to share the spotlight with random hysterics.

This is her first novel. Maybe next time around, she’ll take time to learn the craft. Writing appears easy. It’s not.

 

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at author@elainedonadio.com.

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2019

Book Review: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Book Review: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (2019) 5 Stars *****

Delia Owens, a wildlife scientist in Africa, has astounded the world with her first novel Where the Crawdads Sing. Set in the Outer Banks marshes of North Carolina in the 1950s and 1960s, we meet six year old Kya, who has been abandoned one by one as her mother and siblings escape a drunken, abusive, irresponsible, neglectful father and literally leave her to fend for herself, each deciding to heal their emotional turmoil and physical pain in some other place, leaving the baby of the family as someone else’s responsibility.

By the time she is ten years old, Kya’s father also just walks away without explanation, leaving Kya without money, resources or hope. An outcast living in isolation and shame, Kya draws on her inner strength to find ways to generate income so she can eat and buy gasoline for her little boat that is her lifeline to the rest of the world. The Marsh Girl, as she is derisively called, grows up to be a beautiful, self-educated woman, loved and abandoned by two very different men, leaving emotional scars never to be healed, and embroiling her in scandal that haunts her for a lifetime. The ending of this book might surprise you, but then again, maybe not. Any reader understanding Kya’s innate intelligence and inner turmoil would never expect anything different from her.

Being an industrious, resourceful child, Kya generates income by selling mussels and smoked fish which enables her to subsist mostly on grits and whatever root vegetables she can grow in her marshy garden. Tate, a kind neighbor boy, teaches Kya to read, brings her books, and quietly looks after her from afar as they grow into adulthood. Kya is also befriended by Jumpin’ and his wife Mabel, an African-American couple in the rural south, who unobtrusively help and protect the proud and independent Kya. Kya’s accomplishments surpass all expectations. Living in the modern world is not an option. Kya’s beloved marsh offers a place of comfort and safety and a pathway to critical acclaim.

This book is filled with beautiful sensory images, metaphors, and similes.
Some examples:
*A floating mat of duckweed colored the water as green as the leafy ceiling, creating an emerald tunnel.
*Suddenly the ocean’s face—gray, stern, pulsing—frowned at her.
*Egrets took flight, a line of white flags against the mounting gray clouds.
*…Kya eased alone through the sea toward the village, the sky in a frumpy sweater of gray clouds.
*As evening fell, she took her blanket and slept in the marsh, close to a gully full of moon and mussels, and had two tow bags filled by dawn. Gas money.

Where do the crawdads sing? “Just means far in the bush where critters are wild, still behaving like critters.” The author emphasizes the differences between marsh and swamp. Its symbolism extends to Kia’s life journey. Keep this in mind while you enjoy the book.

 

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at author@elainedonadio.com.

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2019

Book Review: The New Girl by Daniel Silva

Book Review: The New Girl by Daniel Silva (2019) 5 Stars *****

Yay! Daniel Silva is back in his game of international intrigue! Sometimes too many details which I skipped over. Not so much patience for extraneous facts. BUT…great story. Great characters. Great follow through with connecting threads. Just enough background information to explain characters’ complicated relationships. Direct approach with Gabriel Allon dead center where he belongs. Interesting title refers to two people—one an innocent, one a back-stabbing, traitorous manipulator. Surprise ending— ambiguous, but maybe the next book will clear it up ? I hope. Happy ending? Not so sure.

The plot? Not at all improbable in Gabriel Allon’s World, a Saudi prince and future king engages Israeli Gabriel Allon to help with an extremely grave matter involving life and death and his political future. Gabriel, being a conscientious, strategic realist, agrees to help, endangering his own life for the greater good. Always ready to play the shell game, Gabriel plants some bogus information—that’s right, fake news—to insure the result he wants and needs. Nothing is as it seems. Double dealing. Double and triple agents. Double crossing. Everything a great spy story should have!

“You’re dead! Dead, dead, dead… “ This phrase, repeated many times throughout the book, haunts Gabriel and compels him to continue his quest. The associated event is heartbreaking, but I suppose realistic, when viewed through the lens of global wanton violence. At the suggestion of his wife, Gabriel finds a way to make peace with this painful memory, reinforcing his humanity and sense of justice.

 

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at author@elainedonadio.com.

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2019

 

Podcast Interview-Middle Grade Author-Elaine Donadio

Podcast – Middle-Grade Author Interview: Elaine Donadio      
April 17, 2019
LTV East Hampton, NY
Interviewer/Producer: Linda Maria Frank

  Click here to view my interview on YouTube.

My Book Titles
The Science Project
The Ocean’s Way
Who Do Voodoo?
The Ocean’s Way Poetry Companion
Sojourn Into the Night—A Memoir of the Peruvian Rainforest

 Click here and scroll my Blog for Free Standards-Based Online Study Guides. 

Questions? Please email me here at author@elainedonadio.com.

 

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