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Apr 6, 2013

Sneaky Sundays: PUZZLES by Terri Lyons

Posted by Wendy Ewurum  |  at  3:16 AM

Debut novel by Terri Lyons, PUZZLES, is coming out Mother's Day - May 10th.
This is a little sneak into what you can expect from this talented writer.

 It's an obliging timepiece built on social customs, character, and saccharine compassion about a warm close-knit community, carrying that gentle 1959 southern charm, suddenly thrust into a nightmare when a menace moves into town. This small cohesive community's spirit is tested, rendering one of the most passionate historical stories of present day.  

The babble of Johnson’s Creek provided clear cold water and the company of frogs and Black snakes. Prickling heat beckoned children to frolic in the creek that also nurtured nearby sweet potato plants and Swiss chard. A clapboard shack, The Swedesford School for Colored Children, stood in the lonesome field and was where Nellie sat all day.
Nellie shared her ninth grade class with seventh and eighth graders who were struggling to read and write. They struggled to keep water off their heads on rainy days and to keep warm during the winter months. The pot-belly stove sat cold and was the source of a thin coat of soot that refused to be swept away. They didn’t need a hall pass to use the bathroom; they raised their hand for permission to use the wooden outhouse in the back of the school. 
Nellie sat near the back of the class on a wooden bench. Her younger sister Sheila sat toward the front with the other seventh graders. Her neighbor and classmate Clark sat in front of her. Clark and Nellie had played together since they were toddlers. He was a curly head, hazel eyed boy who loved to cook, climb trees, sketch, and garden. He was tall and muscular like his older brother Brad, but not nearly as rugged. Clark and Nellie knew each other better than their parents did. Nellie was friendly with Lizzy who sat next to her, but she shared most of her time with Clark.
Their teacher and Clark’s mother Missus Bellamy handed out envelops to the students on their last day of school that contained their report cards and a notice as to whether or not they were selected to attend a new school in the fall. It was a part of a movement taking place to integrate schools near Satterfield. 
As Missus Bellamy addressed the class, Nellie looked at her report card; all B’s. She looked at the note of congratulations for being selected to attend Whitman High.
“Pssst, Nellie. I was picked. I’m going to start at Whitman High. What about you?” Clark whispered. 
“Yeah, me too,” Nellie answered.
“Does it mean we’ll have new school books?” 
“Probably, we may even have new notebooks and desks,” Nellie said.
“We’ll have the army walk us to class I bet,” Clark replied.
“Quiet in the back,” Missus Bellamy said. “You’ll have all summer to talk,” Missus Bellamy continued, moving on to address the class. 
“Listen class, if you got a note saying you were selected for a new school in the fall, it means that you passed the standardized test. Getting into your new school may not be so easy. We have people going to court on your behalf to fight for you to have the best education. As you may know, schools have been slowly desegregating and next term some of you will be a part of that process.”

Terri E. Lyons, a Philadelphia native and graduate of Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, PA, is a spoken word artist and the author of several memoirs. She focuses on history and music, performing original poetry at open mics and local cafés. Terri has been featured in such venues as the October 2012 edition of Certain Circuits and the November 2013 edition of Manufactured Consent. She was invited to speak at the annual luncheon for the Delaware Valley Association of Black Psychologists, was a motivational speaker for the 2012 graduating class of Gompers Elementary School and paid tribute to the late Reverend Leon Sullivan at Progress Plaza, celebrating his life and legacy.

Recently, she won first place Award for the Best Storytellas in Town contest for her essay Dimensions in Music. Terri performed a debut spoken word event on the Public Access Television series Accentuate, inspiring her to write her first play, Kitchen Table Chats, and debut novel, Puzzles.

About the Author

Most know me as the author to Fabulosity Reads and in actual fact, that is the previous name of this blog. I have since then moved my books to a Wordpress self-hosted blog so that I can have a place to show a different side of me which I am equally passionate about and that is marketing and personal development. I hope you will love being here, watching me grow as I share and learn. My highest hope is that we will grown and learn together in all disciplines affecting our lives. I'd LUUURRRVE to hear from you, so don't be shy...


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