Book Review: A Front Page Affair by Radha Vatsal

Front page affairVatsal--photo--blackandwhiteGuest post: What sparked your fascination with the early 20th Century?

I was at Duke University studying literature and reading a lot of 19th-century British literature, which I love. I think it was one summer that I was assigned to help a film professor with her research—which had to do with early women filmmakers of the silent era.  I was fascinated and amazed. I had no idea that so many women made films during the 1900s and 1910s, and that many formed their own production companies and managed theaters, and did all kinds of other work behind the camera. From then on, I was hooked. The more I learned about the 1910s the more I realized that it was an era very similar to ours but, at the same time, very different.

The clincher for me was when I first saw the films of the action-film heroines of the 1910s. Actresses like Pearl White, Helen Holmes, and Kathlyn Williams played characters who drove their own cars, battled villains, and brandished guns. They were independent, athletic and fearless, and as soon as I discovered them, I knew I wanted to put them into a story but didn’t know how.  (I wrote an in-depth article about the forgotten silent-film heroines of the 1910s for

As it turns out, Kitty Weeks, the heroine of A FRONT PAGE AFFAIR is inspired by Pearl White’s films; she wants to be like Pearl, but she’s a reporter, working for the Ladies Page of the New York Sentinel. Women didn’t yet have the vote in 1915, and although they worked outside the home in record numbers, their positions in many fields were circumscribed.  So, in journalism for instance, Kitty can write for the Ladies Page (many newspapers had a page or section devoted specifically to female readers) but she isn’t allowed to write real news since women weren’t supposed to be able to go out at all hours or handle deadlines like the men.

This tension drew me to the 1910s.  It’s a period during which America became modern– but wasn’t not modern yet.  So much fiction is set during the Roaring 20s, or in the Gilded Age with its robber barons, but there’s not too much fiction out there about the period in between, and it’s this transition that I wanted to explore.

How did we go from of Victorian America to an essentially modern America? Many different aspects of culture, society and politics changed to make that possible. To me, that seemed like a great backdrop for a mystery series. And in each book of the Kitty Weeks Mystery series—A Front Page Affair is the first—Kitty will learn about those changes over the course of her investigations.  If you want to know more about life in the 1910s—everything from cars, to books, movies, Europe’s royalty and more—please check out the World of Kitty Weeks Tumblr.


Radha Vatsal is a writer based in New York City. She was born in Mumbai, India and has a Ph.D. from the English Department at Duke University. Her debut novel, A Front Page Affaircomes out this May from Sourcebooks Landmark. You can write to her at or friend her on Facebook.


Time to Change

It’s time to stop feeling sorry for myself!

Romans 8:28:     We know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

         Since moving to Colorado I have worked in five separate school districts in 16 years. Not that this is unusual for a teacher. I know teachers who have taught in more districts.  I have also known teachers who have stayed in the same position, same school, same district for 30 plus years.

I have learned:

  1. Good teachers burn out and become bad teachers;Burn-Out-626x424
  2. Schools change; administrators micromanage and it became hard to teach.

school_leadership3. Teachers who can’t work in the new school climate don’t last

4.Teachers learn in different ways.the_ultimate_transformer_by_handdrawndragon

5. Teaching is hard for introverts.

The above five things cause teachers to lose their confidence, their nerve and learn to doubt themselves. When a teacher finds themselves in one of the above scenarios, the best thing to do is move out of the classroom.  If they don’t move out, they will be forced out of the classroom, regardless. The worst solution is to find a new classroom to teach in, the best solution is to find another area in education to work.

This is a great solution but it is a difficult one to follow through on, because bills need to be paid and spouses/partners aren’t always understanding. The biggest issue is the following question: “I’m a teacher, don’t teachers belong in the classroom?”

Not always. A teacher has knowledge to share and it’s up to her find a way to share it AND there are other ways to share this information.

Stay tuned!!!johnny-automatic-man-using-binoculars-2

Come With Me: Discovering the Beauty of Following Where He Leads

by Suzanne Eller and Michele Cushatt

This book asks a tough questions right from the start.  Will you follow me??

This book will move you from a comfortable faith to an energized type of faith. I discovered it during a time when life was not easy. Things have been happening at my job that are difficult to understand and even more difficult to walk through. I have questioned God. I have felt alone and in the dark. This book was tough to read during this time, because I go into a work situation everyday where I do not know what will happen. My situation has not changed. However, I have rediscovered joy. When my  joy doesn’t come I tell it too.  And that makes all the difference.

Each chapter touches on real life circumstances, through the perspective of walking through life as the “13th disciple” is fresh and compelling. You are encouraged to be the 13th disciple during the times when Jesus was on the earth. At the end of the chapter, there is a reflection to process the chapter.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book!  Great Job!


Disclaimer: I received an advance copy from the author in return for an honest review.


The Quarters

Youtube video of The QuartersBy Mari Bell

Ms. Bell did a wonderful job with “The Quarters”. The plot is written so that the reader wants to keep on reading. WARNING: The book is not the type you will want to read in the doctors’ waiting room? You may miss the appointment just to read “one” more page or finish the chapter.

The characters are wonderfully written.  I felt that they were part of my everyday world, they were so real.  Yes, even the con man!  I have been getting phone calls from scammers at home.  However, the book will play on all of your emotions as the reader gets to know the characters in the book.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book!  Great Job!


Disclaimer: I received an advance copy from Netgalley in return for an honest review.

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