Back to School, Back in Time & Giveaway with Sheryn MacMunn

From August 27th through September 10th, various authors will be stopping by my blog here at Lori's Reading Corner and over at my friend Jen's site Crazy-For-Books to share a guest post highlighting their best (and sometimes worst!) first-day-of-school experiences. Along with the post, the authors have graciously agreed to give away at least one copy of their latest releases! On some days an author will write a post for both both featuring both a best and worst first day of school experience. On other days, we will each feature a different author with different giveaways, so be sure to check out both of our blogs every day! We will also be sure to link  to each other's blog every day so you don't forget!
The participating authors have provided up with at least one copy of their books to give away. When an author is posting on both blogs, the giveaway entry form will be the same for the contest. You may enter on one blog, or you can double your changes and enter on both blogs. Check the bottom of this post for a full list of the authors that will be sharing their school experiences during our Back To School, Back in Time feature!
Make sure to head over to Crazy-For-Books to see what Sheryn has to say about her BEST first day of school and to enter for another chance at the giveaway
The Worst First Day of School 
By Sheryn MacMunn
My worst first day of school was the day I started fourth grade. But in order to tell you why, I have to admit to some bad behavior in the third grade. Something so bad in the mind of a ten-year old, that I vowed to tell no one. Until now.
Pierce School Elementary experienced overcrowding during the 1970s which resulted in a flat roofed building that we called ‘portables’ to be placed in the corner of the playing field. The portables were really a bunch of trailers linked together. This provided classrooms for the fourth and fifth grades. Since I was in the third grade, I had never been inside the portables. To me, it was a mysterious place and kind of scary.
As I mentioned, the structure was put in the corner of the field, where everyone played at recess. It wasn’t uncommon for a red kickball to accidentally smash against a window or, even worse, land on top of the portables and stay on flat roof. Often, while waiting for a turn at kickball, we would sit on the ground, leaning against the building. If we laughed too loud, the teachers would be forced to shut the windows or, if it were too hot, they would simply ask us to quiet down and we did. We tried to be as respectful as possible because when a student got into trouble in school ‘back then’, you had problems. Big problems.
I was a good girl and good student in school unless I was with my cousin. We had a competitive relationship which caused us to lose our common sense in our quest to beat each other. Our behavior was nothing outrageous, but it was disruptive enough that we were never put in the same class again. So with only a week left in third grade, my cousin and I were playing kickball at recess with the rest of our class when the whistle shrilled, signaling that everyone should to return to class.  However, the red kickball was down behind the portables. We both called out, “I’ll get it.” We looked each other straight in the eye, and then raced to find the ball. By the time we returned from behind the building everyone had gone inside.
I truly don’t know who started the dare for what came next, but it wasn’t a well-conceived plan. A teacher had opened a window and my cousin and I threw some pebbles into the classroom. Then we ran. That’s the beautiful thing about being ten. We honestly thought that we would be able to run thirty yards and get inside the main building before the teacher could walk across the room and look out the window to spot us. We also neglected to consider that being the only two on the field, we would be easily identified. My cousin and I were called to that teacher’s room later that day.
The teacher was Mr. Flynn. It was rare for a man to be a teacher. In fact, aside from our P.E. teacher, Mr. Flynn may have been the only male teacher in our school. That somehow made things doubly terrifying. My cousin and I stood in front of this angry man who told us how irresponsible we had been. He told us all the things that I now tell my children if they do something childish, or stupid, you decide. “You could have hit someone in the eye,” he said. “You could have hit me,” he continued. “You broke the rules.”
My cousin and I stood silently, shaking in fear while thinking the same thing: ‘Please, God, don’t let him tell my Mother’ and ‘This is all her fault.’ Miraculously, he said he wouldn’t punish us and we walked away. That provided little relief.
As I said, I really wasn’t a trouble-maker at school so getting into trouble sparked my Catholic guilt and shame. I also wanted to be liked. Now I was convinced that my good reputation, which I had built since Kindergarten was ruined. For the next week, I stayed away from the portables and prayed I would never see Mr. Flynn again. On the last day of school, I grabbed my class assignment for the next year and went home.
As my Mother and I chatted, I opened my letter with next year’s class assignment and burst into tears. Who would be my fourth grade teacher, you ask? That’s right. Mr. Flynn.
My Mother tried to comfort me as I told her that I didn’t want to be in Mr. Flynn’s class. I told her I was scared. I told her that I wanted a woman teacher. I asked her to call the school and have my class switched, but things like that didn’t happen in 1975. You took the cards you were dealt.
Now, my Mother’s not stupid so she started to get suspicious. It was becoming obvious that my tears were a bit too heavy for this situation. I knew if I kept talking, I’d blurt the entire story about throwing the pebbles and getting into trouble. Even in my dramatic state, I knew that would potentially ruin my summer. So I pulled myself together but all summer long, all I could think about was Mr. Flynn. I became convinced he chose me for his class just to torture me. I mean, he hated me. How could he not? I had thrown rocks which could have blinded someone. And my parents would have teacher conferences with him. He would definitely tell them what I had done. I carried this weight for the entire summer right up until the first day of school in the fourth grade.
I walked to school on that first day of fourth grade at the slowest pace possible. I imagined that Mr. Flynn had a desk just for me in the back of the class (the worst!). I imagined that he had some form of punishment waiting. Somehow my feet had brought me to the doors of the mysterious portables. I had no choice but to go in and face my doom. I opened the door and walked into the classroom which a few months ago had experienced a rain of pebbles. I was ready for the worst.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. Mr. Flynn smiled and said “Welcome.” He was gracious and funny and said nothing about our last meeting. In fact, he became one of my favorite teachers. See that’s the great thing about teachers. They know that kids are, well, kids. They expect us to make mistakes and they know that they have to teach us not to make those mistakes again. Being ten, I had no idea that he saw the incident as just another day at work. But in addition to teaching me reading, writing, and arithmetic, Mr. Flynn also taught me that people can forgive and move on.
    Sheryn MacMunn was born and raised in the Boston area, attended Simmons College School of Management, and works as a business professional in Manhattan. She has always had a keen interest in women's issues and women's literature. This is her first novel. Sheryn currently resides in CT with her husband and children.
Visit Sheryn's website
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Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace (April 7, 2012)
Genre: Women's Fiction
ISBN-10: 1470108097
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository


Getting dumped on the sidewalk by her live-in boyfriend of seven years and finding he nearly emptied their savings account is the first of Sheila Davenport's problems. At 36, Sheila had thought her life was on track.

Now she's saddled with a mortgage that is about to skyrocket, a psychotic boss, and she has to train someone who is unqualified and just doesn't care about the rules. Life no longer makes sense.

Her friends advise her to date immediately, preferably someone rich and successful, or risk being old and alone. But Sheila's trying to figure out what went wrong and how she got to this place. Since Prince Charming has ruined Sheila's life, who can save her now?

Help comes unexpectedly from her 86-year old neighbor who has had her own share of life's ups and downs. After each get together, Sheila begins to find the strength to put the pieces of her life together while fighting not to lose her head.

Will Sheila succeed at work or walk away? Can she save her home? And why do her friends think their lives are any better?

A story of love found and lost, true friendship, and how the human spirit endures.

Thanks to the author we have two (2) copies (paperback or electronic) of Finding Out to give away. 

Giveaway open to residents of the US only (paperback) and International (electronic).
Giveaway ends on September 13th

Winner will have 48 hours, from the time of notification to confirm their win or another winner will be chosen.

Don't forget to hop on over to Crazy-For-Books to double your chances of winning!

Participating Authors:

August 27th – Carla Stewart
August 28th – Spencer Quinn & Kaye George
August 29th – Krista Davis & Matthew Dicks
August 30th – Sheryn MacMunn
August 31st – Jane Myers Perrine & Charles Martin
September 3rd – Denise Swanson
September 4th – Christa Black
September 5th – Joanna Campbell Slan & Josie Brown
September 6th – Reyna Grande & Nancy M. Griffis
September 7th – Cathy Lamb & D.E. Johnson
September 8th – Cleo Coyle
September 9th – Kristina McMorris
September 10th – J.T. Ellison



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  1. I enjoyed reading MacMunn’s story. (I had more to say, but my computer ate my post!)

  2. I’m feeling a little lazy right now so I’m not going to comment on each post, but I really like the theme and stories of the authors. Definitely need to do something like this again.
    Lizzy recently posted..Book Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterMy Profile

  3. Another interesting start to school year. Thank you for posting.

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