BETWEEN the SHEETS – By Molly O’Keefe

Book Review


This novel is like watching (or the better word is IMAGINING) an X-rated Hollywood movie with a superb storyline. The book cover does suggest an erotic allure and it does contain a fair amount of the same, which seems not as much of tender and with a trace of sexual violence between the story’s main characters Shelby and Ty, because through this literature the writer essentially tries to mention how supressed negative emotions sprung reflexively during the very intimate moments.

Furthermore, this story talks of — the illness of Alzheimer, the excess care and support needed by its affected; how brutal childhood has a negative imprint on adult personality.


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Shelby Monroe, an art teacher, is a part-time employee at Bishop Elementary school; who’d been in cold, slightly awkward affairs with men she wanted very little from, men there was never any fear would try to get more from her — meets Wyatt Svenson, his nickname Ty, a man with a tall and wide physique and a charming personality; through Casey – a eleven-year old, tall and gangly boy, Ty’s child from a former girlfriend …

There are many other characters in this story which gives the story a nice strength, by the end of this very beautifully story all the broken pieces of Shelby’s and Ty’s core personality is merged together because of their faith in each other and their willingness to try to chance the bad situation in order to move ahead in life.


The very lengthy erotic passages has some monotonous moments – otherwise from this, the narration captures the complexity of human emotions to the very core in a brilliant writing by Molly O’Keefe.


Few excerpts from this novel:

“Hey, Ms. Monroe,” Casey whispered, but before Shelby could say anything, Mom leaned over and shushed him.

Shelby gave him a wink and then tried very hard to pay attention to the church service.


“Tic-tac-toe?” he whispered. “Am I six?”

A laugh bubbled out of her and now her own mom was giving her the death stare. She composed herself and drew a hangman and the spaces for a ten-letter word.

“Hangman,” he whispered. “I like it.”

She pointed to a blank spot where he could write down his guesses and handed him the stubby pencil. Over the top of Casey’s bright head, Wyatt was watching her, and despite her years of experience ignoring things, she could ignore him for only so long. Almost as if her eyes were magnetized and he was true north, she could not help but look at him.  (pp.118 -119)


“Mom, we need to talk.”

“About the factory? Because I know our numbers are down, but I‘ve made some changes to the—”

“It’s not about the factory.”

“I can’t lay anyone else off. We’re running on a skeleton crew.”

“Mom. We’re going to have to bring someone into our house. A nurse. To care for you.”

 Mom was silent, and the tall weeds growing through the cracks in the asphalt and between the stones of the drive were laid nearly flat by the wind. Sturdy weeds levelled. (pp. 256 -257)


“We’ll go slow,” he told her. “For both of us.”

“Slow? We haven’t done anything slow.”

“We’ll start with dinner. Sunday night, my house. I’ll cook.”

“You can cook?”

“See all the things we don’t know about each other?”

She smiled at his joke and he felt the engine of his heart kick over. This was happening. It was really happening.

“What about Casey?”

“My son and I have kept enough secrets from each other, Shelby. If you and I are a thing, he’s got to know about it. If we’re in, we’re all in.”

She let go of the box only to cup his face in her hands. She pressed her lips on his, softly. Sweetly. She tasted of coffee and toothpaste, and if faith had a flavour, it was there too. (pp. 298 – 299)

Author: Molly O’Keefe is also the author of several other novels – Wild Child, Crazy Thing Called Love, Can’t Buy Me Love, and Can’t Hurry Love.

Amazon link: Between the Sheets (The Boys of Bishop)

Blackboard Diaries

THE blackboard, an orthodox requisite in schools is effective learning equipment in homes too. This conventional thing encourages learning through trial and error method and develops your child’s fine-motor and cognitive skills. Install a smaller form of it and witness its wonders …

THE blackboard, an orthodox requisite in schools is effective learning equipment in homes too. This conventional thing encourages learning through trial and error method and develops your child’s fine-motor and cognitive skills. Install a smaller form of it and witness its wonders …

Toddlers are aggressive scribblers; they go on a rage of random scribbling. “That’s mischievous!”, if that’s your outburst, then hold back. Well exactly… if you could ask their view they would blush to murmur, “Oh Mommy, I really like scribbling.”  Toddlers are at a grasping stage of development. Scribbling helps in achieving wrist and hand muscle control, and eye – hand co-ordination. Scribbling on the blackboard, your child can use chalk according to preference in colour, wipe off the marks then choose to use another colour. It gives them the freedom to manipulate without parental guidance.

After your child overcomes the scribbling saga, it’s the onset stage of forming patterns.  You can train your child to form patterns – circles, standing lines, sleeping lines, slanting lines, squares, rectangles, curves, triangles etc. which is the base to learn writing. At first write a pattern on the board, teasingly challenge your kid saying, “Can you write like me? Copy and write the same.” When the child is trying to copy the same, back your child’s performance with praise.

It’s easier to grip a chalk than a pencil at the initial stage of writing. The writing of alphabet and numerals becomes easier because your pre-schooler does not have to brother about the size of the script; it can as be as gigantic as possible or as minute as an ant. They can choose to write on the corner of the board or the centre. Their concentration is only on the formation of alphabet and numerals.  This helps your child to withdraw their apprehensions, if any, towards writing and leads for a smooth transition on writing in books.

Through observation, kids discover new words and numerals. A blackboard lends this exploration a means to exhibit. Foremost they observe the letters in their own name and will copy the same. They come across popular words usually displayed on TV e.g. ‘BHEEM’ or ‘DOREMON’ which they copy on the blackboard. By this exploration your child develops vocabulary and learns pronunciation of words with ease.

Children can be taught to draw simple things e.g. shapes, ball, apple, flower, cat, hut etc. to create interest towards sketches. If your child is drawn towards creativity they may build on to it and progress to draw complex sketches.

A blackboard is like a playground for your kid to reveal the details of what they have learnt or found interesting in school. They will draw objects; write alphabet, numerals and words which will give you a good glimpse into their growing world of knowledge.

Kids declare their ownership on the blackboard; they allow themself to make mistakes while writing on it. They play pretend games (the target – their Teacher, of course!) and it keeps kids engaged in free play. Older kids may set their own mini question paper and may even write answers to it. Kids study free willingly which further develops their interest towards studies. For young children, blackboards are a better option than whiteboards because chalks provide better grip and marker-pens are unsafe.