The Chicago Journal

Christian Cook’s Sophomore Novel Growing in the Gray Promises to Hit Close to Home

Contrary to popular belief, it is not debut books that launch an author’s career but their sophomore novels. An opportunity to surpass readers’ expectations, this next foray into the simultaneously exciting and painful process of writing and publishing allows authors to establish their names. With the recent release of Growing in the Gray, Christian Cook has managed to do just that and more. 

Originally hailing from the suburbs of Detroit, Christian Sandra-Elise Cook is a Columbia College Chicago graduate with a decade of experience in the marketing and business sectors. Considering her previous career and Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, it could have been a surprise for some that she dipped her toes into the world of young adult literature. However, such a move makes sense in light of her deep-seated love for writing. The Growing in the Gray author initially discovered her depth as a writer by taking various creative writing courses and using the city of Chicago as her campus. But it would not be until she got accepted into a writing program in Paris that the spark she had for writing would ignite. Her first time outside of the United States, Paris opened Christian’s eyes to new experiences and a slower pace with which to embrace life, making her question life as she understood it. Eventually, writing became an avenue for this world traveler to explore the answers.

Christian Cook

Christian’s journey so far is reflected in what she writes. Her sophomore novel, in particular, perfectly demonstrates how she pulls on her past to propel her characters forward. A book that centers around Krista Clark and her upper-middle-class family, Growing in the Gray is an exceptional read that invites readers to hear the heroine’s most intimate thoughts as she navigates a tumultuous period in her life and ponders on choices that may irrevocably change her future. 

With her family facing the threat of economic downfall being the last thing she needs on her plate, Krista has to deal with the struggles of calling a new city her home, work on ditching her lame high school label, and try to figure out what she wants from a guy who can’t seem to give a clear signal to save his life. But, just when she thinks she has her i’s and t’s dotted and crossed by moving to Chicago, she learns that not everything goes as planned. 

A coming-of-age novel, Growing in the Gray hits close to home and bears a story that resonates with the lived experiences of people across the world. It looks into the rough road everyone embarks on while growing into adulthood. With its relatability, it is nothing short of deserving that the novel debuted in the top 20 of all books on Amazon in the YA Fiction category the week following its release.Christian’s Growing in the Gray will not be the last of the page-turners from this promising author. In the future, readers and industry peers alike can expect more standout novels from the passion-fueled personality.

President Joe Biden reassures country that the inflation will be under control

President Joe Biden expressed optimism about the country’s economy on Sunday, saying America will be able to rein in the historically high inflation.

He also expressed hope that the Federal Reserve will achieve a “soft landing” by slowing economic growth without sliding into recession.

“I’m telling the American people that we’re going to get control of inflation,” Biden told CBS 60 Minutes Sunday night.

US inflation

In 2020, US inflation hit its highest level since the early 1980s.

Factors such as the pandemic, supply chain issues and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have impacted the global economy.

According to the latest consumer price index, annual inflation has recently started to decline, standing at 8.3% at the end of August, the second month of decline.

In June, the CPI hit 9.1% year-on-year, the highest inflation rate in four decades.

However, the August CPI report also showed a higher than expected increase of 0.1% on a monthly basis.

Economists were forecasting a decline and stock prices fell accordingly, with the three major US indexes having their worst day in more than two years.

Biden attempted to put out the fire and expressed optimism that the worst might be over, saying:

“Let’s put this in perspective [The] inflation rate month-to-month was just an inch, hardly at all.”

Solutions and price increases

President Joe Biden also highlighted his administration’s labor market gains, citing the 10 million new jobs created since he took office.

He also highlighted his government’s investment in the semiconductor industry.

“In the meantime, we created all these jobs and prices have gone up, but they’ve come down for energy,” he said.

Lower energy prices have had an impact on lower headline inflation, but increases in food and housing prices remain high.

Economist and Loyola Marymount University professor Sung Won Sohn said:

“If you look at the underlying trend — I look at labor costs and rent increases — they both are pointing in the wrong direction and going up at hefty paces.”

However, other measures of inflation shed a positive light.

A day after the CPI, the August PPI showed a sharp drop in the average change in prices paid to producers as supply chain issues eased and high energy prices stopped creeping in. the market economy.


Either way, the major factors contributing to and deflecting inflation were beyond the control of Biden and the Fed.

Despite the central bank’s efforts to tighten monetary policy to dampen demand, Fed officials are unable to tackle the supply side, which could keep inflationary pressures low.

The Fed’s decision-making committee will meet this week to determine the next steps in the fight against inflation.

Economists are speculating that the Fed will raise rates by 75% for the third month in a row.

However, in the fight against inflation, there are fears that massive rate hikes by the Fed could push the country’s economy into recession.

During the “60 Minutes” interview, Biden said he doesn’t believe the economy will deteriorate until it improves.


President Biden says America will get inflation under control. But it won’t be easy

Leaks of the upcoming GTA 6 game prompts developers to release a statement

While it’s in the works, footage of the development game Grand Theft Auto 6 has leaked, driving fans of the game into an excited frenzy.

Rockstar Games, the developer, responded to the leak.


GTA 6 was officially announced in early 2022, nearly a decade after the final episode was released.

Rockstar acknowledged GTA 5’s “unprecedented longevity” and said that is why it took the developers a long time to release a new game in the series.

Meanwhile, GTA Online has been carrying the game vigorously for years. GTA Online gave the game a longer lifespan than other titles in the series.

However, over the years, fans have been asking for a new episode.

Last weekend, fans finally got what they were asking for when a series of videos showed leaked footage of GTA 6 development.

The only downside is that Rockstar hasn’t released the video.

The leak

The leaked video showed gameplay footage of a protagonist named Luciana in the “Vice City” metro.

Someone claiming to be the hacker has also posted a series of requests online suggesting that others may have leaked, including a “GTA 6 test build”.

The hacker seems to want to make a deal.

They also claimed to have been able to log in with a Rockstar employee’s Slack account.

If they are paid, the hacker will hold off on further leaks.

It remains to be seen what Rockstar Games will do next.

The developers react

The leak showed an unfinished gameplay of what seemed to be a great theft of cars.

The developers subsequently confirmed that this was how it appeared.

Rockstar Games said they were “extremely disappointed” by sharing the details on the next game.

Rockstar Games released statement

The developers of the game made a statement on Monday and shared their feelings on Twitter.

“We recently suffered a network intrusion in which an unauthorized third party illegally accessed and downloaded confidential information from our systems, including early development footage for the next Grand Theft Auto.”

“At this time, we do not anticipate any disruption to our live game services nor any long-term effect on the development of our ongoing projects.”

“We are extremely disappointed to have any details of our next game shared with you all this way.”

“Our work on the next Grand Theft Auto game will continue as planned and we remain as committed as ever to delivering an experience to you, our players, that truly exceeds your expectations.”

“We will update everyone again soon and, of course, we will properly introduce you to this next game when it is ready.”

“We want to thank everyone for their ongoing support through this situation.”


Rockstar releases statement following massive GTA 6 leak

Facts about Georgeta Orlovschi, mother of actor, Sebastian Stan

Georgeta Orlovschi, the mother of actor Sebastian Stan, was born on September 22nd, 1929, in a village called (Barcău) in the district of (Leorda) situated on the left bank of the Mureş River. 

Georgeta Orlovschi Personal Life 

In 1946 she marry Victor Stan, who had been deported to Siberia during the war and return after 1945. They had two kids: Sebastian Stan – actor, director and producer and Iulia Stan – architect.

The family lived in an apartment in the district of Piatra Neamț.

In 1968 she left her husband and moved to Bucharest. Then, the same year or in 1970, she moved to Paris (France), where after a short time, she worked as a secretary for a Russian company located at Champs Elysees.

She also worked there as a receptionist, translator and acrobat. In 1971 she went back to Romania, and her two kids returned home. In the same year, 1973, she marry a man who was 7 years older than her called, Florentin Iliescu.

He was a foreman at a welding factory called “Muzeum-Ro”, specializing in the production of car parts. After their divorce in 1975, Orlovschi worked as an acrobat and dancer at several clubs, including “Viborg” in Bucharest, where she met Stan, and they began to date seriously. In 1977 they got married.

In 1983 Georgeta Orlovschi returned with her new husband to Paris, and in 1986 she moved to New York, where she has lived since then.

Georgeta Orlovschi married for the third time in 2003 to Juri Kozlowski. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California (US).

In the 1970s, Georgeta Orlovschi worked at the huge Russian nightclub “Cafe Moscow” Moscow.

Her first work in the city, she rode the train there. She spent her time there dancing, performing acrobatics, and subsequently translating songs from Russian to Romanian so that visitors from other countries might enjoy them. She also participated in other magic productions and gave numerous private performances for Russian tourists.

G. Orlovschi Teaches Her Son Romania Culture: She has always maintained contact with her son Sebastian and supported him in his studies.

After obtaining a six-month visa, she stayed at her son’s place. 

The lady says that initially, she arrived in Moscow alone, but after a while, she could also get a visa to visit Romania. She succeeded in helping her son during his studies, and he even got a scholarship of 100 lei (at the time, it was quite a lot). She taught him many things about Romanian culture and our folk festivals. 

Georgeta Orlovschi always wanted her son to know the language of his father, and he learnt it with great professionalism. Sebastian Stan speaks Romanian too and can sing folk songs. 

Facts about Georgeta Orlovschi, mother of an actor, Sebastian Stan: Since her son’s success, the lady has often been invite to various shows in Romania. She says that she dislikes this kind of exposure and prefers to keep a low profile on this subject.

She had three grandchildren

– Iulia Stan, 27 years old, studying architecture currently in Brussels(Belgium), lives in Bucharest (Romania) and

– 6 years old Victoria Stan lives in New York (USA).   

Stan’s wife, Argentinean actress Madalina Ghenea gave birth to a baby girl on March 18th 2017. The name of the little girl is Aida Margaret Sebastian Stan. Her godfather is actor Ashton Kutcher.

The family of Sebastian Stan, actor :

Iulia Stan – Architect living in Bucharest (Romania).

G. Orlovschi – Mother of a successful actor. I Live in Los Angeles (USA).

Juri Kozlowski – Husband of a Romanian opera singer who lives in New York (USA) and has 4 children: Olga, Mirabela, Angelica and Alexander.

HER SUPPORTS FOR HIS SON SEBASTIAN STAN: When he started his career, she did not hide the fact that she was very happy about her son’s success. She’s always supported him and was his supporter in difficult times.

Today, Georgeta Orlovschi says that the family of Sebastian Stan is one of the most successful and popular ones in Romania.

She confesses that she is very satisfy and pretty calm about her son being a successful actor. She won’t be surprise if, in the future, Sebastian Stan wins an Oscar.

As a mother, Georgeta Orlovschi says that she cannot forget anything from the period when her son was a small kid: “I miss him when he was small and used to sleep with us in our bed”.

She says that she would always love her children but now admits that she cannot return to live in Romania. “When we were young, we had a lot of things and a bigger family. But now I feel like I’m on my own,” – confessed the lady.

“Georgeta Orlovschi is a good mom. She would always support her children and try to raise them the best way so that they would be strong and have the best life. She was proud of Sebastian Stan’s success, and I think she would feel excited.” 

– Madalina Ghenea (Stani’s wife) on mother of an actor, Georgeta Orlovschi : 

“I know her well. We got acquainted in Moscow because we ate lunch together there. She is a very nice lady—simple and witty. And I think she’d be proud that her son was nominated for an Oscar. We want to congratulate him on this wonderful award and wish him success”.


It is easy to say that she is the most important person in Sebastian Stan’s career because she gave him all he had. She did not take credit for this because she wanted her son to find his way in life and make his own decisions.