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CELEBRATE EARTH DAY with an amazing monarch butterfly!


Award-winning picture book AMAZING MATILDA is FREE from April 19-23 to CELEBRATE EARTH DAY! Download your FREE copy of AMAZING MATILDA: A Monarch’s Tale and share the gift of reading with the kids in your life http://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Matilda-ebook/dp/B00AU9ZISA/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1363893998&sr=1-1&keywords=amazing+matilda

HAPPY EARTH DAY!

Why, Oh Why, A Butterfly?

After I read AMAZING MATILDA to a group of students, the kids had excellent questions about writing, illustrating and publishing a book. They found out that research was essential for both the story and the illustrations. They also learned that this story was written, edited and rewritten many times. We talked about a story needing a plot (a beginning, a middle, an end and a problem to be solved). We had a chance to discuss some of the TOOLS in a WRITER’S TOOL BOX—consonance and assonance (repetitive consonant and vowel sounds that help to make reading fun), vocabulary, metaphors and similes, repetition. We also had the opportunity to discuss the story’s characters and the parts they played:  AMAZING MATILDA (hatching from her egg as the story begins) dreams of flying SPARROW (a bird who encourages MATILDA to follow her instincts) “DON’T BIRDS EAT CATERPILLARS?” one of the students asked. That’s when we had the opportunity to talk about milkweed (the monarch caterpillar’s only food source). Milkweed gives the monarch’s their color and it is poisonous (not deadly poison, but it does make birds vomit so they learn to stay away from monarchs during any stage of life cycle development). TOAD and RABBIT (friends who hop up onto the ledge near MATILDA where they can see the whole world). These friends are not Matilda’s friends at first. They laugh hysterically at a creature who has no wings but wants to fly. But then, they remember that they couldn’t leap or hop onto this very ledge when they were younger. They had to keep trying— it took a lot of hard work and time (persistence and patience) before they could sit on top of the ledge and see the whole world anytime they pleased. (These characters gave the class a chance to talk about teasing and bullying.)Toad and Rabbit tell MATILDA all about their challenges and keep reminding her that if she keeps trying, she will be able to do all of the things that she really wanted to do.(Now we get to talk about friendship.)

So why did I choose a butterfly? MATILDA’S not just any butterfly—she’s a monarch butterfly! Monarch butterflies and other pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds are indicators of how healthy our environment is. The monarch, indigenous to The Americas, is the only butterfly species known to migrate. They travel from the Northern US and Canada to over-winter in California and Mexico and these magnificent creatures are disappearing at alarming rates. Why? There are many reasons for this decline:

• Current agricultural practice
• Genetically modified crops
• Pesticide use
• Loss of habitat
• Destruction of larval host plant by Roundup and other weed killers
Weed killers are a major concern since they are destroying the only food that monarch caterpillars will eat and they are also adversely affecting farm crops harvested for human consumption.
What can we do? Monarch butterflies are extremely resilient and their decline can be reversed. But, for that to happen, we’ve got to save the milkweed!
• Plant native milkweed
• Provide nectar plants
• Avoid pesticides
• Report your monarch observations

Find out more about protecting monarch butterflies and print out your FREE POSTER at http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/monarch/conservation_action.html

And don’t forget to visit my website to download your FREE FUN & LEARNING WITH MONARCHS (A companion piece that I put together for AMAZING MATILDA). You’ll find awesome links (See poster below) to Amazing Monarch facts, crafts, games, coloring pages, gardening tips, teachers’ guides and more at http://4writersandreaders.com/fun-learning-with-monarchs-2/

 

 

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At home or on the go this Easter weekend, share the gift of reading with a child!


HAPPY EASTER & a FREE BOOK for YOU!

Share the gift of reading with a child this Easter! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Share the gift of reading with a child this Easter! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Share the gift of reading with a child this weekend. AMAZING MATILDA is FREE from April 19 (Saturday) through April 23 (Wednesday), 2014

Download your award-winning monarch butterfly picture book adventure HERE

Have a wonderful Easter weekend and lots of fun reading with the kids in your life!

Bette A. Stevens

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Looking for the Perfect Picture Book for the kids this spring?


AMAZING MATILDA’s got you covered!

AM Gem of a Tale Ribbet collage

One concern parents have is how to inspire their children to meet challenges with patience and persistence. This is the plot of the award-winning picture book, AMAZING MATILDA: A Monarchs Tale, written and illustrated by Bette A. Stevens. In this story a caterpillar wants to learn how to fly. She asks all of her friends in the meadow, but doesn’t find an easy answer. Yet, she continues the quest until, at last, she becomes what she wants to be—a butterfly. AMAZING MATILDA offers adults the opportunity to inspire the children in their lives to meet their own challenges with patience and persistence.

AMAZING MATILDA is available in paperback and eBook versions and it’s an AMAZON KINDLE MATCHBOOK—that means, when you buy the paperback, you can download the eBook version for FREE! Order your copies right here.

As a companion piece to the story book, Stevens has put together Fun & Learning with Monarchs FREE pdf that you can download at the tab at the top of this page. This resource will keep the kids having lots of fun learning about Monarch Butterflies and their endangered habitat and includes sites for butterfly gardeners and teachers as well. They’ll also learn about monarch and milkweed preservation. It’s a great resource for clubs, classrooms and home-schoolers, too.

HAPPY SPRING!

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SHE LOVES CHILDREN SO SHE’S WELCOME HERE…BETTE A. STEVENS!!!


Bette A. Stevens:

Thank you so much, Nonnie Jules. It is an honor to be a guest on WATCH NONNIE WRITE! ~Bette A. Stevens

Image

 

Originally posted on Watch Nonnie Write!:

Writing and Illustrating a Picture Book
AMAZING MATILDA was so much fun to write and illustrate. It’s even more fun to interact with my young readers now that my book is published and in their hands. Here is a photo of the Thank You Letters sent to me from fourth grade students last fall and the letter that I wrote back to these amazing students:

November 12, 2013

Dear Mrs. Glynn & Fourth Graders,
I was thrilled to check my mailbox last week and find your wonderful Thank You Letters. They really made my day. Your notes and illustrations are fantastic. There is nothing that makes an author happier than hearing from her fans. I’m so glad that you enjoyed AMAZING MATILDA. I definitely enjoyed meeting all of you, reading my book and answering your thoughtful questions about writing and illustrating books. It was also wonderful to have the…

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RRBC Spotlight Author Bette A. Stevens


Bette A. Stevens:

Thank you, Janice Ross, for hosting me on your blog! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on jgrwriter:

BAS Star copy

(Please join me in welcoming this week’s Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight Author Better A. Stevens.)

HEART-TO-HEART from author Bette A. Stevens

Find out why I wrote PURE TRASH & read an excerpt!

As a baby boomer that grew up in an average middle-class family in America during the 1950s and 1960s, poverty was not something I had to dwell on or even think about as a child or as a teen. For me, poverty was a hidden concept.

As an adult, I learned what living in poverty was like from friends and acquaintances that grew up in this invisible (to me) world―one where being poor was an accepted part of life for those who lived it. I became intrigued by some of their stories. They didn’t want to be there or ask to be there. It was just their lot. It was a tough way to grow up, but…

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MEET “SPOTLIGHT” AUTHOR: Bruce A. Borders


Bruce A Borders-AuthorMeet author Bruce A. Borders and read an excerpt from his latest suspense novel “INSIDE ROOM 913″

 INSIDE ROOM 913— “Thrill Ride From Start To Finish…”

RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB “SPOTLIGHT” AUTHOR, Bruce A. Borders was born in 1967 in Cape Girardeau, MO. Bruce’s childhood years were spent in a number of states, including Missouri, Oregon, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
During his high school years, Bruce was a member of the football, basketball and track teams, involved in various non-athletic activities such as school yearbook production and photography, and won numerous awards for his artistic creations. Bruce Borders graduated Valedictorian in 1984.

While in school, Bruce held three part-time jobs—a store clerk, a janitor, and a dental technician, working about 60-70 hours per week. After graduation, he became employed full time as a dental technician. Other jobs have included restaurant manager, carpenter and grocery store cashier. For the past sixteen years, he has worked as a commercial truck driver, logging more than two million miles.

At the age of fifteen, Bruce decided to become a writer. He began by writing songs, news articles and short stories. Eventually, books were added to the list. Over the years, he continued to write and currently has a catalog of more than 500 songs, numerous short stories and over a dozen completed books. Bruce writes on a variety of subjects such as fictional novels of legal issues and westerns. Titles include: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Journey, and in The Wynn Garrett Series – Mistaken Identity, Holy Terror, Remote Control, Judicial Review, Even Odds and Safety Hazard.

"Thrill Ride From Start To Finish..." ~ Michael Carrier (Reviewer)


“Thrill Ride From Start To Finish…”
5-Star Review~ Michael Carrier


Excerpt from
“INSIDE ROOM 913″

“I see we are on video,” Cynthia said, eyeing the camera mounted in the corner up near the ceiling.

“Oh, yeah,” Janet said with a dismissive wave of her hand. “The cameras are only on the first level. And there aren’t very many of them. Only four, I think. They watch the main doors and the lobby area. I never really think about them.”

The idea of being filmed while she worked was slightly unsettling to Cynthia. Not that she had anything to hide necessarily, she just felt awkward knowing someone could be watching. It was good to know the surveillance didn’t cover the entire building.

“You won’t even notice them after the first couple of days,” Janet predicted.

Cynthia wasn’t so sure and found herself continually glancing up at the ceiling, self-consciously straightening her hair and fixing her clothes any time she caught sight of one of the cameras. As if the tension of starting a new job wasn’t enough, now she had one more thing to worry about. And then there was the ever-talkative Janet, of course. The upside of that was, since Janet liked to talk so much; it should be easy to find out anything and everything about Room 913.

The slightly ditsy aide may have been a chatterbox, but she was right about one thing, the service elevators definitely were slow. Real slow. And a little scary. The jerky motion and periodic clinking noises reminded Cynthia of an old wooden roller coaster. The kind that was notorious for falling. She grimaced, hoping they didn’t suddenly start racing down some unseen track.

At least they didn’t ride too far at any one time, stopping on each floor with Janet going up and down the hall, blabbing away, rattling off the names of the tenants along with their room numbers.

“Should I be taking notes?” Cynthia asked with a half-worried frown.

“Nah,” Janet told her. “There’s really not that many people here. You’ll learn their names – eventually. Even if you forget, they will remember you. Most of them anyway,” she laughed. “There are a few who have trouble remembering their own name. But almost everyone here is normal – as sane as you and me.”

Deciding to reserve judgment on just how sane Janet was, or was not, Cynthia wisely kept silent.

Oddly, she noticed, many of the doors on the lower levels were open but as they moved on to the higher floors, most of the tenants’ doors were closed. She mentioned her observation.

“The upper stories are hotel residents who can pretty much manage on their own,” Janet explained. “While the lower floors are for the assisted living. They like to use us to run errands and other things. Nothing too strenuous. We might take out the garbage, vacuum, hang a picture on the wall, type a letter, find their meds, or anything else they have a problem with. We’ve even been known to help wash the dishes on occasion. So, you’ll spend most of your time on the first three floors. That’s the people we assist the most. Ha! I guess that’s why it’s called assisted living, huh?”

“Probably,” Cynthia agreed.

“Oh! Did they tell you,” Janet said, “about the guy in Room 913?”

“Sort of, but not really. Only that we were not to go inside – or talk to him.”

“It’s not so much that we’re not allowed,” Janet said. “We can’t. The door hasn’t been opened in years, and even if you try to talk, he won’t answer you.”

“So, you’ve tried?” Cynthia asked. Then she almost laughed out loud. Of course Janet had tried, the girl couldn’t stop talking.

“I’m not admitting to anything,” Janet said.

Cynthia grinned. “Seriously though, the guy never comes out?” Her inquisitive side was taking over.

“No. I heard he hasn’t been out of that room since the day he was put in there way back in the sixties.”

The sixties? Just how old is he, anyway?

“I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I do know he hasn’t been out since I came to work here.”

“Does the man have a name or is he just the guy in Room 913?”

“Oh, I’m sure he has a name,” Janet laughed. “But, I don’t know what it is. Come to think of it, I don’t even know if I’ve ever heard it or not. I don’t remember if I have.”

Probably too busy talking, Cynthia was thinking.

“Everybody just calls him the guy in Room 913. Even Mrs. Kirkwood. You’d think if anybody knew his real name, she’d would. She’s been here for longer than I’ve been alive, like twenty-five years or so. Actually, longer than that probably. I used to think she owned the place but I don’t really know.”

Cynthia held up her hand, trying to stop the incessant chatter long enough to get in another question. “If the guy, whoever he is, hasn’t been out of the room, and no one has seen or heard him in all these years, how do we know he’s even alive? I mean, how long can he survive without basic things like food, new clothes or,” she made a face, “soap?”

Janet was chomping at the bit, eager to answer, but strangely waited until Cynthia had finished. “He is alive. We deliver a tray of food every single day and it always gets eaten. We pick up the empty tray the next day. Come on,” she urged. “Let’s go up to the ninth floor and I’ll show you.”

As they headed back to the elevator, the girl continued her banter. “We also deliver other things he needs, like razors, stamps, and envelopes – all sorts of things. Oh, yeah,” she added, “and soap!”

“How do you know what he wants if no one is allowed to talk to the man?”

The elevator was making its slow ascent as Janet explained. “He leaves a note sometimes, with the empty tray.” She went on, relating more unimpressive details of mostly useless information.

At the risk of opening a verbal Pandora’s Box, but wanting to find out as much information as she could, Cynthia waited for Janet to take a breath. Quickly then, she asked, “So how did Mr. Man In Room 913 end up here? And who pays his rent? He can’t have a job. So, is he some rich guy? And isn’t someone, somewhere, missing him? Somebody out there must know who he is. No one ever visits him? Doesn’t he have any family?”

Janet gave her a sideways look and frowned. “You sure ask a lot of questions. You training to be a private eye or something?”

“No,” Cynthia said, wondering why Janet seemed so hesitant all of a sudden. “They are just normal questions that anybody would have, I would think. Aren’t you a little curious?”

“Well, no. Not really,” Janet said. “Most of what you asked I already know.”

“You could share some of your vast knowledge,” Cynthia said pointedly. The sudden tight-lipped behavior seemed totally out of character from what she had seen in the short time since meeting Janet.

###

Thank you Rave Reviews Book Club for voting me this week’s “SPOTLIGHT” AUTHOR! And, a huge thanks to all the members who agreed to host me on their site! ~Bruce A. Borders

Thank you, Bruce, for guest posting and sharing this gripping excerpt from INSIDE ROOM 913 with us here at 4writersandreaders. I‘ve already got your novel OVER MY DEAD BODY in the queue on my kindle. What a great excerpt from INSIDE ROOM 913.  I’m heading over to Amazon right now to download my copy. Readers, I know you’ll want one too—just follow any of the links below, grab your copy and start reading. And, please leave us a comment below. Bruce and I would love to hear from you! ~ Bette A. Stevens

INSIDE ROOM 913

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EZZOH2S

Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/inside-room-913-bruce-a-borders/1116894465 

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/354707?ref=BruceABorders

Sony https://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/bruce-a-borders/inside-room-913/_/R-400000000000001119674 

iTunes http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/inside-room-913/id705782049?mt=11&uo=4

Kobo http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Inside-Room-913/book-Gl7mhSHMlEaw344JW7YjaQ/page1.html?s=l47AMsNTcUurHRDYJUAVtQ&r=1

Connect with Bruce:

@BruceABorders

http://www.facebook.com/BruceABordersBooks

http://bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5752197.Bruce_A_Borders

Remembering Grandma


My Grandma (Elizabeth Babcock) is one of the woman who had a positive and long-lasting influence on my life. She left us many years ago, but her memory lives on in all of us whose lives she touched. My tribute to a great woman and a wonderful grandmother:

Photograph of Grandma Babcock and me circa 1954.

Photograph of Grandma Babcock and me circa 1954.

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Winter Haiku by Bette A. Stevens


Winter Haiku 2014Nature’s beauty is inspirational, no matter the region or the season. Winter 2013-2014 (as of January 8, 2014) has been extremely cold  in Maine and around most of the USA as well. Here in Central Maine, we’ve already had more than two feet of snow, several inches of ice and even some freezing rain on days when the air temperature rose above the freezing point and the rain froze as it hit the ground.  Nature’s winter wonderland beauty is breathtaking; and, the work it requires is breath-taking, too if you want to leave the homestead… HAPPY WINTER! Stay safe and warm. — Bette A. Stevens, MAINE Author/Illustrator

Wishing you a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Happy New Year 2014 PICMay PEACE, LOVE & JOY follow you into the New Year and beyond. ~ Bette A. Stevens

How to write a novel in 30 days!


NOVEMBER WAS NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH

THANK YOU NaNoWriMo and my writing buddies for helping me meet the challenge of writing a novel in 30 days!

2013 Accomplishment

ON NOVEMBER 27th, 2013, the draft of my upcoming debut novel reached more than 55,000 words as I finished writing the final chapter. If there are any writers or want-to-be writers out there who haven’t finished , or perhaps haven’t started, writing their stories yet, I highly recommend committing to the challenge of writing 50,000 words in 30 days. You’ll find plenty of support and encouragement both online and through regional group write-ins.

For more information on how to sign up and commit to write your own novel in 30 days next November, check out http://nanowrimo.org/how-it-works

Here’s what my draft looked like at the end of the day on November 27, 2013. Since then, I’ve taken a holiday break. Come January, I’ll be reading, writing & editing my draft over and over before having a professional editor take a look-see… Winter here in Maine is a great time for all of that inside work. I’ll get in a little snowshoeing on warm (30+), sunny days and catching up on all the books I still have on my TO READ LIST, too. Have a wonderful winter. ~ Bette A. Stevens, author of PURE TRASH, The Story (the short story prequel to my upcoming debut novel)…

The CreateSpace  (an Amazon affiliate for indie-authors and self-publishers) photo above was posted on my Facebook feed. The version you see, has been adapted by me for this blog post. I have self-published all three of my books using CreateSpace and recommend that you check them out if you’re considering self-publishing.

You can find my books—AMAZING MATILDA; PURE TRASH, The Story and THE TANGRAM ZOO AND WORD PUZZLES TOO!  at http://www.Amazon.com/author/betteastevens

First draft of PURE TRASH, The Novel (working title) for Bette's first novel planned for release in 2014.

First draft of PURE TRASH, The Novel (working title) for Bette’s first novel planned for release in 2014.

Sign up for Bette’s FREE Email Updates at http://eepurl.com/t-7JP

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