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Meet the author: Shirley Harris-Slaughter


A warm welcome to Rave Reviews Book Club Member and author Shirley Harris-Slaughter. Shirley’s got a special guest post for us today. Let’s listen in. ~ Bette A. Stevens

I’M A POLITICAL JUNKIE!

Shirley Harris-Slaughter is the author of OUR LADY OF VICTORY, the Saga of an African American Catholic Community

Shirley Harris-Slaughter is the author of OUR LADY OF VICTORY, the Saga of an African American Catholic Community

Hi, I’m Shirley Harris-Slaughter and I’d like to thank you all for having me today! Besides being a published author, here’s something else you probably didn’t know about me (if you know me)… I’m a Political Junkie! I have a love/hate relationship with politics. Another passion is my involvement in my local community. These two things keep me busy most of the time.

Politics - One thing for sure is the fact that I love to be in the know, because ignorance is no longer bliss. It could spell disaster if you are not informed on the issues, especially with what is happening right now.

Case in Point - Voting rights are being tampered with and compromised. I hate to say it, but there are some bad folks out there that are up to these shenanigans. If we don’t pay attention, we might wake up one day to find that we are no longer able to vote. In fact, that is already happening in urban communities in several southern and eastern states. One Party has succeeded in gerrymandering so many districts that your rights to representation is being challenged and compromised in the courts.

Voter laws are being challenged right now by the Department of Justice. Boy, do they have their work cut out for them.

But beware! It’s coming to a neighborhood near you.

The results of our last mid-term elections can already be seen in a dysfunctional Congress made up of these gerrymandered districts, virtually guaranteeing that these do-nothing incumbents will be re-elected. And guess what? Do-nothings affect all of us and our way of life. It doesn’t care if you are white, black, Asian, Hispanic; whether you live in the city, suburbs or rural areas… you will be affected negatively by this congress sooner or later. Look at what is happening to health care in North Carolina. Our crumbling infrastructure is another prime example of a dysfunctional government.

THAT IS NOT DEMOCRACY!

Please listen… You don’t have to be affiliated with Democrats or Republicans or even Independents to know there is cause for alarm when one group feels that the only way they can win, is by cheating and gerrymandering districts. Not only are your legislatures passing these draconian laws to make it harder for you to exercise your right to vote, they are also passing restrictive laws on women’s health choices and denying you the right to choose quality health care that your tax dollars are paying for.

I’m thrilled that the Justice Department has finally gone after the banks – CitiBank in particular; and making them pay back billions of dollars for their part in the economic meltdown that cost people their homes and their jobs across the country. What a sad chapter to the American Dream.

Another passion is my involvement in my local community. I got involved in hometown politics and helped elect a good friend to the Oak Park School Board. That paved the way for me to run for a position on that same school board later. I couldn’t turn down the offer because I wanted to be part of the solution. I wanted my property values to remain stable; and I wanted to play a part in providing a good education for our children who are the future.

I didn’t know much about ADD and all these other disabilities that our children are now being afflicted with. And everywhere I turned, everyone was acting like this was a normal thing. Where was I when this was going on? I was not in the public school system so I guess I missed something—something huge.

So there you have it, my greatest passions, because I love children and I care about my community and my country.

Thanks for listening!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Our Lady of Victory, the Saga of an African American Catholic Community

Our Lady of VictoryI wrote about local history while growing up in a Catholic Community. My love of history and tradition propelled me into this forum. While serving on the school board, they tried to take away the music “Pomp and Circumstance” played at every high school graduation and I got visibly upset over it. Were these people for real? I felt like a stranger among strangers.

So, writing this book was no exception to who I am and what I stand for. It was a natural outgrowth of my community activism. Besides, no one else was going to do it. I didn’t understand at the time, that I was the chosen one.

Little did I know the “can of worms” I was about to unleash. But I needn’t have worried…no one was ready to challenge my findings. They just pretended like there was nothing to be concerned about. And so I wasn’t taken seriously, for the most part, with the exception of a few close friends. And then Nonnie Jules crossed my path and I joined Rave Reviews Book Club and excitement for my book and my message, was re-ignited.

I am a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club—the place for Indie Authors!

 

 

This is an awesome trailer! Please take a look:

Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/aF3ZBZFn3AY

Five Star Review of Our Lady of Victory by Nonnie Jules “Seal of Approval”

 

CONNECT HERE…

Tour Lineup Page: http://wp.me/P43s9i-2g

Author Page: http://wp.me/P43s9i-1m

Email: sharrislaughter@gmail.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sharrislaughter

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/historybuff

 

Purchase Links…
Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/kindle/dp/B00KDO1MSM/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_eos_detail
Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/4751309
Limited Editions: http://rememberourladyofvictory.com/about-the-book/

 

SHIRLEY’S BLOGS…
http://shirleyslaughterblog.wordpress.com/
http://rememberourladyofvictory.com/

 

 

 

Meet Bette Stevens


You’re invited to find out more about my writing and ‘other’ adventures on Maine Crime Writers blog today. Stop by for a visit. We would love to hear from you! ~ Bette

Bette & 4 Books 2014 Green Vignette

John Clark sharing an interview with fellow Hartland author (and member of the library book discussion group), Bette Stevens.

http://mainecrimewriters.com/johns-posts/meet-bette-stevens

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Mama I Miss You… (poetry)


MAMA I Miss you POEM

 

 

Happy Birthday, Mama!

Seven years ago today, I called Mama to wish her a Happy Birthday and, as usual, we talked for hours. It was the last birthday we got to ‘celebrate’ together. Mama left us for her heavenly home the following April and there hasn’t been a day since that I haven’t thought about her and missed her. Today would have been her 78th birthday. Mama’s strength of character, her poise, wit and unconditional love live on within all those whose lives she touched. The photograph (circa 1951) is of Mama and me and was taken in California.

Happy Birthday, Mama. I miss you.

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COVER REVEAL + Manuscript of my debut novel should be ready for the editors this week!


Here I am reading, editing & rewriting one more time…

Dear Readers,

The manuscript for my debut novel (current Work-in-Progress title: DOG BONE SOUP, A Boomer’s Journey…) is almost ready to go to the pros (professional editors). I feel like I’m making progress. Wanted to share my latest cover design with you.

I would love to get your thoughts on the cover design and on the back cover blurb. Simply click on the image to enlarge.

The more 'eyes' the better. Thanks so much Marilyn and Dale for heads-up on changes. You're awesome! ~ Bette

Thanks for reading & comments. APPRECIATED. The more ‘eyes’ the better. Thanks so much Marilyn and Dale for heads-up on changes. You’re awesome! ~ Bette

For the latest updates on my novel, free chapters, excerpts, notices of author giveaways and other freebies, I invite you to sign up for my bi-monthly author updates at http://eepurl.com/t-7JP

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

I look forward to reading your comments.

Happy reading, writing & all of those other amazing things you do,

Bette A. Stevens

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A Spring Haiku


TULIP Haiku 2

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And you’ll find me writing… MORE PURE TRASH


Writers Write Postage StampIt’s time for this writer to get writing—finishing up my first novel MORE PURE TRASH (current working title). What’s this novel about?
First of all, it’s a sequel to my short story PURE TRASH released in July 2013. Here’s what I’ve put together (unedited & still in revision state) for the back cover of the novel slated for release Summer 2014. I invite you to leave a comment and let me know what you think of the title (above) and the back cover text (below). As things progress, I’ll  keep you posted. Thank you. ~ Bette A. Stevens

Onion sandwiches and dog bone soup… Shawn Daniels is leaving it all behind!

Remember the Good Old Days? You know, the 1950s and ’60s, when America was flying high. The All American Family lived a life filled with hopes and dreams and life’s necessities too.

Shawn Daniels isn’t your typical American Boomer Boy. No, Shawn is a poor boy. He can’t join Boy Scouts or sports teams. There’s not even enough money for what most folks consider the essentials. Besides, Shawn doesn’t have time for any of that. But when chores are done, there’s always time for fishing!

Shawn Daniels is the oldest in a family of four children. His father is the town drunk. Shawn’s family has no indoor plumbing or running water, but they do have a TV. Dad deserves the rewards of his labor at the tannery—television, beer and ballgames—while the boys keep the firewood cut and stacked, haul in water for cooking and cleaning and weed the gardens or shovel snow. Shawn hates school. He’s been the butt of the kid’s jokes for years, eating his onion sandwiches in the cafeteria while others feast on food that he only dreams of tasting.

It’s 1964 and Shawn Daniels is ready to leave it all behind. Shawn’s on his way to U.S. Army boot camp in North Carolina to soak up some southern sun and begin a new life. But for some reason, he just can’t get Mum’s scrapbook out of his mind. When a little fellow with blonde hair sits beside him on the plane, the life Shawn is leaving behind comes back in a flash. The plane’s getting ready to take off, so fasten your seat belt and enjoy the ride!

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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…

View original 748 more words

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