Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – A Christmas image and poem from Bette A. Stevens


Happy Christmas everyone and here is a festive image and poem from Bette A. Stevens to celebrate the day.

fresh-fallen-crystals-poem-bas-2016

Conifer branches adorned in winter’s white called out to this writer: “Capture a photo, we’re all spruced up in our new attire!” from near the barn’s entrance. I simply had to pen their remembrance in a poem—

Fresh Fallen Crystals.

Wishing you all a Season of Wonder!

~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

 

About Bette A. Stevens

Inspired by nature and human nature, Bette A. Stevens is an author, retired teacher, wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys writing, reading, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature.

She advocates for children and childhood literacy and for monarch butterflies, an endangered species. Stevens’s children’s activity book, THE TANGRAM ZOO and WORD PUZZLES TOO!, was first published in 1997 by Windswept House Publishing, Mt. Desert, ME; a second edition was self-published by the author in 2012. AMAZING MATILDA, Stevens’s second children’s book, self-published in 2012 won a 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Honorable Mention for Excellence in Children’s Literature – Ages 6 and older category) and also placed #9 on The 2013 Gittle List for Self-published Children’s Picture Books.

Stevens has written articles for ECHOES, The Northern Maine Journal of Rural Culture based in Caribou, Maine. In 2013, the author published her first book for the YA/Adult audience: PURE TRASH: The story, a short story of a boy growing up in rural New England and prequel to DOG BONE SOUP, debut novel released January 2015.

Books by Bette

About Amazing Matilda

Inspire the Kids with an Award-winning (Excellence in Children’s Literature) Monarch Butterfly Tale.
In this age of instant gratification, there’s an award-winning children’s picture book out that teaches kids that patience and hard work really do pay off.

‘AMAZING MATILDA: A Monarch’s Tale’ is a timely tale that follows MATILDA, a tiny monarch caterpillar, from the time she hatches from her egg on a giant milkweed leaf until she realizes her dream to fly. The story provides challenges and adventure at every turn.

Grandparents, parents and teachers will find that AMAZING MATILDA is a book that kids will want to read themselves and hear read to them again and again.

Get your FREE Authorgraph for your digital copy from author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens at http://www.4writersandreaders.com

The most recent review for Amazing Matilda

What a delightful book for children. A tale of a caterpillar who wants to fly and her interaction will all the creatures around her who encourage and support her. Toad and Rabbit both tell Matilda their stories of how they achieved their goals through trying over and over again. Sensible Sparrow advises Matilda to be patient and wait to see what happens. There is also a lovely learning message a caterpillar’s journey to becoming a butterfly.

This book is packed full of beautiful hand drawn illustrations which will delight any child.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette A. Stevens.

Website: https://4writersandreaders.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBetteAStevens
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BetteAStevens

My thank you to Bette and wishing you a most wonderful day — Sally

Advertisements

Smorgasbord Christmas Posts from Your Archives – The Christmas Story in Scripture and Song…by Bette A. Stevens


As we approach Christmas Day, Bette A. Stevens offers us a wonderful piece of music from Pentatonix.. Mary, Did you Know?

 The Christmas Story in Scripture and Song…by Bette A. Stevens

For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11 (KJV)

Lyrics

Mary Did You Know?

Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered, will soon deliver you
Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God
Mary did you know, Mary did you know, Mary did you know
The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb
Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the great I am
Mary did you know, Mary did you know, Mary did you know

Songwriters: Lamont Savory / Buddy Greene / Mark Lowry / Courick Clarke / William Barclay / Wayne Buchanan

Mary, Did You Know? lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

May the “Hope and joy found in The Christ Child” be yours at Christmas and always. ~ Bette A. Stevens

©Bette Stevens 2015

About Bette A. Stevens

Inspired by nature and human nature, Bette A. Stevens is an author, retired teacher, wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys writing, reading, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature.

She advocates for children and childhood literacy and for monarch butterflies, an endangered species. Stevens’s children’s activity book, THE TANGRAM ZOO and WORD PUZZLES TOO!, was first published in 1997 by Windswept House Publishing, Mt. Desert, ME; a second edition was self-published by the author in 2012. AMAZING MATILDA, Stevens’s second children’s book, self-published in 2012 won a 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Honorable Mention for Excellence in Children’s Literature – Ages 6 and older category) and also placed #9 on The 2013 Gittle List for Self-published Children’s Picture Books.

Stevens has written articles for ECHOES, The Northern Maine Journal of Rural Culture based in Caribou, Maine. In 2013, the author published her first book for the YA/Adult audience: PURE TRASH: The story, a short story of a boy growing up in rural New England and prequel to DOG BONE SOUP, debut novel released January 2015.

Books by Bette

About Dog Bone Soup

Whether or not You Grew Up in the 1950s and 60s, you’ll find DOG BONE SOUP (Historical Fiction) to be soup for the soul. In this coming-of-age novel, Shawn Daniels’s father is the town drunk. Shawn and his brother Willie are in charge of handling everything that needs to be done around the ramshackle place they call home—lugging in water for cooking and cleaning, splitting and stacking firewood…But when chores are done, these resourceful kids strike out on boundless adventures that don’t cost a dime. DOG BONE SOUP is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when others were living The American Dream.

One of the recent reviews for Dog Bone Soup

A delightful story on October 1, 2017

In preparing to write this review, I read a couple of other reviews of this book on Amazon and Goodreads. I was interested to note one comment that likened this book to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. I can see why this comparison has been drawn as Bette A. Stevens main character, Shawn Daniels, and Huckleberry Finn are both boys dogged by poverty and abusive and alcoholic fathers. Both boys are also fairly resourceful and have survival skills.

For me, however, that was where the comparison ended. Stevens depicts the Daniels family as being tight knit despite their unfortunate father. The children and their Mother work together to salvage their situation to the best extent they can. I really felt sad for the Mother as she was a victim of her own hormones and emotions and could not find the strength to break away from her selfish and abusive husband. She remained in a downward spiralling situation and ended up having a fourth child which was really unwise.

Shawn, the eldest child, does his best to be hard working, industrious and do well at school. He is a role model for his younger brother, Willie, and two younger sisters. Shawn tries to make the best of his situation and grasp opportunities that come his way.

I found this story to be very poignant and moving and Stevens’ writing is captivating. Despite some disturbing descriptions in the book I still found it to be a very uplifting book. Highly recommended.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

and Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette A. Stevens.

Website: https://4writersandreaders.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBetteAStevens
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BetteAStevens

My thanks to Bette for sharing this beautiful song and her sentiments which I echo.. Merry Christmas..

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update -Tina Frisco, Bette A. Stevens and Sue Coletta


We open the proceedings with a fantastic offer from Tina Frisco who is putting her latest book Vampyrie FREE from today until August 1st.

About Vampyrie

What if vampires were not the undead, but rather the dying? What if there were two factions among vampires: the sustained and the unsustainable? And what if those factions were at war with one another over the life of a young woman who promised them a future? Vampyrie brings the myth of the vampire into the realm of possibility. Phoebe Angelina Delaney is a reluctant genius and compassionate hothead. She finds herself in a pitch-dark underground and doesn’t remember how she got there. Did she drink too much alcohol and wander off in a stupor, or was she kidnapped by a malicious element determined to make her life a living hell?

Sir Michael Alan David is a vampire – an enigma, charismatic and mysterious, who weaves in and out of Phoebe’s life. Does he intend to use his title as a ruse to draw her closer to an unearthly fate, or is he a cloak-and-dagger knight in shining armor? Too many secrets have been kept for too long. Phoebe must unravel the mystery in order to survive. Two major characters from the author’s first novel, Plateau join forces with Phoebe to battle the demons in Vampyrie.

The most recent review for Vampyrie

Vampyrie contains all the classic vampire lore–the fangs, silent movement, brutal attacks, and human senses that are outmatched by their unearthly antagonists. In addition to this, it also holds some unique world-building, everything from the biochemical roots of vampires to their origins. As someone who’s written seven novels retelling fairy tales, I can appreciate this. A fresh blend of old and new can be an absorbing approach.

The book opens with Phoebe, the novel’s protagonist, being abducted, and unwittingly involved in the ongoing fight between the two branches of vampires. Fortunately for her, a league exists to fight the evil, degraded vampires, although she certainly wasn’t expecting her new knowledge to involve her own family history. Nor was she prepared to find her friends were also at risk.

If you’re a fan of paranormal reads with a scientific twist, Vampyrie is a read that should appeal to you.

Read the other great reviews and download Vampyrie FREE: https://www.amazon.com/Vampyrie-Origin-Vampire-Tina-Frisco/dp/154112720X

Also by Tina Frisco

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Tina-Frisco/e/B009NMOFNY

Read more reviews and follow Tina on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6497599.Tina_Frisco

Connect to Tina via her blog and website: https://tinafrisco.com/

The next author with an update is Bette A. Stevens whose books consistently receive fantastic reviews. This particular review is for her wonderful children’s book Amazing Matilda: A Monarch’s Tale, introducing the wonder of nature to young readers.

About Amazing Matilda.

Inspire the Kids in Your Life to Meet Challenges with Patience and Persistence!

This inspirational tale of a Monarch butterfly and her meadowland friends is the second children’s book written and illustrated by Bette A. Stevens.

Packed with action and adventure, this book is sure to entertain and inspire.

TWO LITERARY AWARDS–Excellence in Children’s Literature:
* 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Picture Books 6+)
* THE GITTLE LIST 2013 (Top 10 Self-published Children’s Picture Books)

Monarch Butterfly conservation is in the news. AMAZING MATILDA is too! Her storyline and illustrations follow the monarch life cycle and highlight milkweed, an environmentally threatened plant, the only food source for monarch caterpillars.

Two of the most recent reviews for the book

on July 16, 2017

Delightful! Matilda wants to fly and she must follow her instincts and be patient. Weren’t all of us once upon a time like tiny Matilda who wants to fly? An inspiring tale that benefits everyone, big and small. The illustrations complement the prose well. They are curiously simple and fresh, but a little too small in the Kindle version.

This is a lovely, gentle book about the birth of a butterfly, Matilda, who must be patient and trust her instincts. My almost-four-year-old grandson, Tornado Boy, was the perfect age to enjoy the story and started telling me all about Monarch Butterflies when we finished. The illustrations are as sweet as the words. I’m certain it’s going to be one of our must-read bedtime stories for months to come. 🙂

Read all the wonderful reviews for the book: https://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Matilda-Monarchs-Bette-Stevens/dp/1470187663

Also by Bette A. Stevens

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

Read more reviews and follow Bette on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens

Connect to Bette via her website: https://4writersandreaders.com/

And our last update for today is for Sue Coletta with her  new release Blessed Mayhem (Mayhem Series Book Two) on pre-order for August 9th.

About Blessed Mayhem

A chance encounter …a deadly predicament …a lethal decision.

The infamous Mr. Mayhem is not your average serial killer. Reminiscent of the beloved Hannibal Lecter, minus his thirst for flesh—because eating humans is just plain rude—Mr. Mayhem storms on the scene with style, grace, elegance, and a zest for life unlike any other. Impeccable manners also help. He may commit murder, but there’s no reason to be impolite about it.

Accompanied by his loyal crow companions, Poe, Allan, and Edgar, his crimes strike fear in the hearts and minds of folks across Massachusetts’ North Shore. When Shawnee Daniels—cat burglar extraordinaire and forensic hacker for the police—meets Mayhem in the dark, she piques his curiosity. Sadly for her, she leaves behind an item best left undiscovered. Or is it serendipity by design?

Color him curious, but he yearns to examine the psychology behind her life choices, tough girl routine, witty banter, and unique double-life. In a different time and place they may even become friends. But unfortunately, their predicament defines the risk.

The stakes are too high to stop now.

For reasons authorities cannot fathom, these seemingly unrelated murders will go down in history as the most impressive killing regime of all time. His coup de grace, if you will. Even if it means permanently erasing Ms. Daniels from the equation. All the pieces are there if the authorities look hard enough. The question is, will they? The only new wrinkle is Shawnee Daniels, and she may be his toughest opponent yet …if she’s clever enough to play the game.

Pre-order Blessed Mayhem at the special price: https://www.amazon.com/Blessed-Mayhem-Book-2-ebook/dp/B0749CJPYV

Also by Sue Coletta

The most recent review for Book One of the Series – Wings of Mayhem

What a read!  on July 23, 2017

WOW. This book is quite a ride! I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. I loved it! The storyline is fast paced, suspense filled, twists and turns I never expected it to take! I have already read Hacked, the fantastic 2nd book in this series, so now just have to wait for the 3rd one!!

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Sue-Coletta/e/B015OYK5HO

Read more reviews and follow Sue on Goodreads : https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14078869.Sue_Coletta

Connect to Sue Coletta via her website/blog: www.suecoletta.com

Thank you for stopping by today and please feel free to share… thanks Sally

Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Book Reading and Interview – Bette A. Stevens


Sally's Cafe and Bookstore

Welcome to this week’s Book Reading at the Cafe and my guest is award winning children’s author Bette A Stevens. I am sure that after reading the interview with Bette you will have plenty of our own questions to ask and please put them in the comments section of the post.

Inspired by nature and human nature, Bette A. Stevens is an author, retired teacher, wife, mother of two and grandmother of five. Stevens lives in Central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys writing, reading, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and childhood literacy and for monarch butterflies, an endangered species

Bette Stevens’s children’s activity book, THE TANGRAM ZOO and WORD PUZZLES TOO!, was first published in 1997 by Windswept House Publishing, Mt. Desert, ME; a second edition was self-published by the author in 2012.

AMAZING MATILDA, Stevens’s second children’s book, self-published in 2012 won a 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Honorable Mention for Excellence in Children’s Literature – Ages 6 and older category) and also placed #9 on The 2013 Gittle List for Self-published Children’s Picture Books. Stevens has written articles for ECHOES, The Northern Maine Journal of Rural Culture based in Caribou, Maine.

In 2013, the author published her first book for the YA/Adult audience: PURE TRASH: The story, a short story of a boy growing up in rural New England and prequel to DOG BONE SOUP, debut novel released January 2015. There is currently an offer on Dog Bone Soup and here is one of the many excellent reviews for the book.

Dog Bone Soup is an engaging tale set in the 1950’s and 1960’s and though Stevens indicates that the book will speak to boomers, in particular, the family drama and the emotional world of the characters are timeless and relatable. The story follows the oldest brother in the family, Shawn Daniels, a boy whose young life is burdened by dire poverty and an abusive, alcoholic father. His proud mother does the best she can for her children, and Shawn becomes a man before his time, helping to support the family.

Though the story deals with a struggling child in a tough situation, the book has many moments of childhood humor and delight, especially between the brothers. Shawn not only survives his rough start but comes through as a strong individual with solid values and high personal integrity.

Stevens writing is captivating, raw and sweet, with well-drawn characters. I read the prequel “White Trash” prior to this book, however, I feel that Dog Bone Soup easily stands on its own. A compelling read about childhood resilience and growth into manhood.

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/Bette-A.-Stevens/e/B009GOYT1M

ONLY 99c / 99p from March 22nd through March 27th

Now it is time to hand over to Bette for her interview and book reading.

Welcome Bette and can you tell us about your chosen genre of books that you write and why?

Realistic fiction because, when told as a fictional account, both writer and readers have the opportunity to learn valuable lessons through the lives of a book’s characters— and to relate those lessons to their own lives in a personal way.

What genre do you read and who are your favourite authors?

My favorite genres are (1) Historical Fiction, through which I can travel back in time and rediscover the timeless themes that still make humans tick; and (2) Contemporary/Literary Fiction, because it allows me to travel the globe and see the world through the eyes of strangers, giving me the opportunity to walk in their shoes for a brief time.

Many favorite authors, but, I’ll list two of my favorites along with books I’ve read from each:

Harper Lee (To Kill a Mocking, Go Set a Watchman) Historical Fiction
Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, And the Mountains Echoed) Contemporary/Literary Fiction

Do you have a favourite quote? What does it means to you as an individual?

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad

As reader, a writer, and a concerned citizen of the world, I find that books continue to provide me both the luxury and learning that Twain attributes to such extensive travel without the cost.

What inspired you to write Amazing Matilda?

I was inspired by the plight of our glorious monarch butterflies. At the time (1999) monarchs were considered an indicator species, letting us know the health of our environment, which was rapidly in decline. I researched monarch butterflies and discovered that I had a story to tell, not only to my grandchildren, but to my fourth grade students in California as well. For me, the monarch remains a symbol of life and life’s growing and changing stages for all living creatures, including humans. I typed the story, read it to my students and sent copies to my grandchildren. By 2012, I was retired and my daughter encouraged me to illustrate Amazing Matilda self-publish it.

In Pure Trash you address bullying issues. This was based in the 1950s and 1960s—50 years later this is still a major issue. How do you feel we could address this better?

Literature and media coverage can certainly help raise awareness and encourage compassionate behaviours. However, the printed word and talk remain a poor substitute if the actions of adults are saying one thing and doing another. As parents, a teachers and neighbors, adults must take the lead in showing respect for and finding value in people of all ages, faiths, beliefs, social standings, race, customs…the list goes on.

As a teacher what are the key subjects that every child should be taught to help them succeed in the world today?

  • Academically
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Public Speaking

Socially
Teaching and following “The Golden Rule”

In fact, during my years in the classroom, one of the first things I would tell my students is that we have only one rule that must be followed in our classroom by everyone, including the teacher. Does anyone know what “The Golden Rule” says?

One brave young fourth grader raised his hand, stood and spoke:

“He who has the gold rules!”

Needless to say, a teacher’s work is never done. We talked about my school days and the sign that was posted in every classroom back in the day: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” We were all in this together: day by day—and some days moment by moment—learning and relearning that respect for everyone and accepting our individual responsibilities summed up what “The Golden Rule” is really all about.

Now it is time for Bette’s Book Reading.

PURE TRASH by Bette A. Stevens
(Historical Fiction/Ages 10-adult)

SUMMARY: Experience the joy of a carefree Saturday and the blistering pain of feeling not quite good enough as you hop on a bike and ride into town with two delightful young boys who find adventure at every turn. Shawn and Willie Daniels live in the woods with no indoor water or plumbing. Dad spends most of his hard earned money on beer. Prejudice, class division, alcoholism, poverty, injustice, and bullying are cleverly woven into this 1950s adventure short. PURE TRASH is the short story prequel to the author’s novel DOG BONE SOUP.

Excerpt from PURE TRASH

Willie was having a race with himself, thumping and thudding in his seat trying to get high enough to fly over that bar. Me, I was just enjoying some time to sit and swing and think. Didn’t have time for that during recess. I was always trying to figure out some way to make myself invisible. I sure didn’t want to be the target in a dodge ball game.

Sometimes I’d set up a game of marbles and practice on my own over near the building. One day Timmy Doyle asked me if he could play. I taught Timmy the rules and showed him how to shoot. The next week, Timmy gave me 10 puries in different colors, two aggies and two cat eyes―huge―a blue one and a gold one. Before that, most of my marbles were the old clay ones Grampa used when he was a kid. Last year for my birthday, Grampa gave me a soft cloth bag with a drawstring. It was filled with his painted clay marbles. He taught me how to play the game and told me that I was real good at it.

I liked Timmy, but no one else did. Timmy was what they called “a little slow.” I reckon that was likely about as bad as being called Eddie Daniels’s kid.

Willie was over on the jungle gym hanging from the tiptop. His knees hung over the metal bar and Willie was swinging his body for all it was worth, arms dangling and chubby tummy jiggling. Every now and then he’d lift up his back, grab the bar with his hands and flip himself upright and hoot like Tarzan. Willie sure did look like the king of the jungle perched up on that bar.

Read the reviews and buy Pure Trash: https://www.amazon.com/TRASH-Historical-Fiction-Short-prequel-ebook/dp/B00EH0RV6K

Connect to Bette A. Stevens

WEBSITE/BLOG http://www.4writersandreaders.com
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE http://www.amazon.com/author/betteastevens
Facebook FAN PAGE https://www.facebook.com/authorbetteastevens.officialfanpage?ref=hl
Facebook AUTHOR/ ILLUSTRATOR PAGE https://www.facebook.com/AuthorIllustratorBetteA.Stevens?ref=hl
GOODREADS https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6037707.Bette_A_Stevens
TWITTER https://twitter.com/BetteAStevens

My thanks to Bette for joining me today and she would be delighted to answer your questions if you could leave them in the comments section of the post.

Please feel free to share the interview on your own networks.. thanks Sally