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by Brenda Vicars
1. When I was six, my parents gave me the privilege of naming my new baby sister. I was in a phase of loving rhymes, so I named her Vicki. And until she got married, she carried the cutesy name of Vicki Vicars. She married young!
2. A few years ago when I worked in Waco, someone sent a dozen yellow roses to me and never acknowledged them. I asked everyone I knew—still don’t know who sent the flowers. Thank you, whoever you are.
3. Someone—I won’t say who—gave me a wedding gift of salt and pepper shakers, which already contained salt and pepper and had kitchen grease stains on the bottoms. But they were cute shakers.
4. The most valuable gift I ever received was an all-expenses-paid trip to India–just because I had helped an Indian teacher get a work visa and job placement in the United States. Amazing. One day I said to her, “I’d love to visit India.”
She paused, stared at me intently, and asked, “You really would? Is that true?”
“Sure,” I said.
A few days later, she handed me a note with all the arrangements. It was the trip of a lifetime. Thank you, Mrs. Dandona!
5. My favorite mystery author, Elizabeth Buhmann, surprised me with a huge poster of the front cover of POLARITY IN MOTION to take to book signings. (Can’t wait to use it!)
6. My sister gave me stun gun and trained me how to operate it. (Hope I never use it!)
7. When I was a teacher, I once had a student who had recently emigrated from Turkey. He was usually quiet and solemn, but one day he bounced into the class room beaming and carrying a gift-wrapped box. He clunked the heavy looking box onto my desk and waited for me to open it. It contained a half-gallon bottle of bourbon. In his home community, it was customary to present teachers with spirits.
8. During a year when feral pigs were overly abundant in my south Texas community, another student gave me an iced-down, freshly butchered piglet that had been ruining his mother’s garden. In that school, it was customary to present teachers with pigs.
9. The gift I’d most like to receive now? Reviews from readers of my book!
10. My favorite romance author, Claire Ashby, surprised me with a video montage when POLARITY IN MOTION was published. Take a look at it and you’ll see the greatest gifts of my life—my family and friends.
Fifteen-year-old Polarity Weeks just wants to live a normal life, but with a mother diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, that’s rarely easy. Her life gets exponentially more disastrous when her sixth-period history classmates start ogling a nude picture of her on the Internet. Polarity would never have struck such a shameless pose, but the photo is definitely of her, and she’s at a complete loss to explain its existence.
Child Protective Services yanks her from her home, suspecting her parents. The kids at school mock her, assuming she took it herself. And Ethan, the boy she was really starting to like, backpedals and joins the taunting chorus. Surrounded by disbelief and derision on all sides, Polarity desperately seeks the truth among her friends. Only then does she learn that everyone has dark secrets, and no one’s life is anywhere near normal.
About the Author: Brenda Vicars has worked in Texas public education for many years. Her jobs have included teaching, serving as a principal, and directing student support programs. For three years, she also taught college English to prison inmates, and outside of her job, she mentors children of incarcerated parents.
She entered education because she felt called to teach, but her students taught her the biggest lesson: the playing field is not even for all kids. Through her work, she became increasingly compelled to bring their unheard voices to the page. The heartbeat of her fiction emanates from the courage and resiliency of her students.
Brenda’s hobbies include reading, woodworking, gardening, and Zumba.
Buy the book at the publisher.