I love people, nature, art, music and literature.
I advocate for kids and families, childhood literacy and for the protection of monarch butterflies and their threatened habitat in my books, my poetry and on my blog. My blog supports authors, features great books and poetry and provides tips for writers and readers as well. I am working on my first novel, planned for release FALL 2014. Thanks so much for stopping by for a visit. I look forward to hearing from you. — Bette A. Stevens
Archive for the ‘Maine Author’ Category
The Wonder of It All
A few flitting monarch butterflies and my favorite fall asters will soon dissipate into grand memories awaiting reincarnation.
As we expect this dawn of change, shimmering monarchs are heading south to aggregate in the warmth of southern groves. Meanwhile, I’m settling in for the evening with wood stove ablaze—I think I hear autumn’s tendrils softly tapping at the door. I close my to dream of butterflies and dancing blooms.
Although summer is coming to an all-too-soon close here in Central Maine, fall is sure to welcome us anew with its shimmering colors too.
Blessings to you at the close of one grand season and the opening of another! ~ Bette A. Stevens
- Find out more about monarch butterflies and download your FREE pdf from author Bette A. Stevens at http://4writersandreaders.com/fun-learning-with-monarchs-2/
- Help protect monarch butterflies and PRINT your FREE POSTER at http://4writersandreaders.com/help-protect-monarch-butterflies-free-poster/
Here’s the first endorsement:
“Shawn Daniels and his siblings shake off extreme poverty, hunger, a dilapidated homestead and a drunken father, to somehow embark upon an idyllic childhood. Bette Stevens has crafted a remarkable tale of hope and happiness in the face of despair.” ~ Charles Bray (author/editor/reviewer)
I invite you to sign up for my email updates for news on pre-release orders, specials, freebies and more at http://eepurl.com/t-7JP
Have a great day!
Bette A. Stevens
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.
Here I am reading, editing & rewriting one more time…
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.
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
It’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!
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
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/
HAPPY EASTER & a FREE BOOK for YOU!
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
AMAZING MATILDA’s got you covered!
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.