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DOG BONE SOUP – A TREAT OF A READ


Originally posted on Fia Essen:

DOG BONE SOUP: A Boomer’s Journey

by Bette A. Stevens

Book Description:

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.

My Thoughts:

I’ve never read anything quite like DOG BONE SOUP. This novel is unique in the best possible way. In many ways, it was an eye opener for me. 1950s and 60s America was before my time. It was an era I only had the faintest of notions about… until I…

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DOG BONE SOUP – A BOOMER’S JOURNEY, BY BETTE STEVENS


Bette A. Stevens:

THE REST OF THE STORY…
An insightful review by Marilyn Armstrong.

Originally posted on SERENDIPITY:

DOG BONE SOUP Launch Banner

DOG BONE SOUP is the long-awaited “rest of the story”of Shawn Daniels from the original short story, “Pure Trash.” It’s particularly long-awaited for me because as soon as I read the short story, I wanted to read this book. The only problem was, Bette hadn’t yet written it.

But she did it. Dog Bone Soup is available for your reading pleasure. And what a pleasure it is.

Bette has the purest, freshest writing style I’ve read in many a long year. Reading her prose is like peering into an exceptionally clear, deep pool. It looks like the bottom is close enough to touch, but those waters run deep.

Bette Stevens is a class act, an author who knows how to tell a story. Her characters are real, so true to life, they practically leap off the page. In Dog Bone Soup, style and the story are blended to perfection.

DOG BONE SOUPI’ve read a…

View original 374 more words

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MEET THE AUTHOR: MARGARET MUIR


MEET MARGARET MUIR: Novelist and children's book author

MARGARET MUIR: Novelist & Children’s Book Author

 

 

 

“There is an edge to Margaret’s writing that is terrific. Rarely do I see such confidence on the page.” —Glyn Parry

 

 

Welcome to 4writersandreaders, Margaret. It’s a pleasure to have you with us today. To begin, tell us a little about yourself and your lifestyle.

MARGARET rcd more pix 3d feb 2011 006

I was born in England but moved to Australia in 1970. I now live on the island of Tasmania—it is called the island of inspiration and home to many creative people. I live alone in a beautiful location overlooking the Tamar Valley and find that the peace and quiet suits my lifestyle.

How long have you been writing and what type of writing do you do?

I have been writing in one form or another for fifteen years but the type, genre and target readership have varied considerably over the years.

In the late 1990s, I was made redundant and decided it was time to do the things I had always wanted to, namely, sail on a tall ship, farm goats and write a book. Though they were very different pursuits they all contributed to my writing career.

MARGARET at seaGoat farming was first and with it the role as editor of a goat newsletter. I also wrote articles for various magazines. Because I enjoyed writing, I wanted to improve and undertook a course in freelance journalism. From there I studied Writing for Children, however, I soon discovered that competition for publication of children’s books via a traditional publisher was huge and I had no success. About this time I sailed on my first tall ship.

But, I still wanted to succeed as a writer and enrolled at University. I completed the course in 2004 and my first historical novel was published in 2005. At the time, I thought I was very fortunate to be accepted by a London publishing house and wrote four historical novels under their umbrella, but I slowly realized that writing for a small publisher is very constricting—I had no control over my work—and the royalties returned very little financial reward.

MC Muir Cover 2As a result, in 2009, I self-published my first nautical fiction novel. The series has been well accepted and, a few weeks ago, I released Book 4 – The Unfortunate Isles. Visit M. C. Muir at Amazon.com to take a look inside the novel.

Yet, despite a growing readership, my wish to publish children’s stories had never left me. Having mastered the art of self-publishing adult books, I recently discovered it was possible to add illustrations to e-books and I decided I could apply them to children’s stories. After resurrecting the stories that had been gathering dust for a decade or more, I revised them and added pictures. Because I lack artistic talent and could not afford to commission an artist to illustrate my work, I used photo images purchased from Bigstock Photos. In early February, I released my first children’s book—The Bear that had No Fur—containing three short stories.

Slide1 resized for KindleWindmills and worms resize for KDP

Children’s books from Margaret Muir

FREE March 5th & 6th!

What is the title of your latest book and what prompted you to write it?

Grandma’s Windmills and Wild Worms is the latest book. It reflects the times I took my grandson to the Royal Easter Show. Like Bette’s “Amazing Matilda” the story carries an informative message for young children. It introduces them to various forms of wind power. Wild Worms is about recycling household waste, but when things get out of hand a fantasy solution comes into play.

What do you do besides write, Margaret?

Apart from books, I write a blog on various topics and once a year I take a long holiday—usually a cruise. I love the sea and enjoy visiting exotic locations. Often the inspiration for future stories comes from my travels.

How can readers get a copy of your books?

My books are all published as e-books and available on Amazon. I write my children’s books and English historical fiction under my full name but write my nautical fiction (for a male readership) under the by-line M.C. Muir.

What’s next for author Margaret Muir?

I have a few more children’s stories to share, then I would like to publish a collection of goat articles. After that I will write Book 5 in my nautical fiction series and that will take care of 2015.

In conclusion, I would like to extend a big thank you to Bette, not only for inviting me to appear on her blog, but for encouraging me to participate in the wonderful world of writing for children.

It’s been a pleasure having you stop by for a visit, Margaret. I’ve taken a ‘Look Inside’ your novels on Amazon and have added them to my “Want to Read” list. Your children’s stories are not only fun to read with little ones, they’re perfect for teaching character building lessons and for structuring a child’s awareness about the importance of taking care of the environment as well.

Margaret and I would love to hear from you and invite you to leave a comment below. You’re also invited to find out more about Margaret (M.C. Muir) and her books:

Children’s Books by Margaret Muir
(FREE on Amazon March 5th & 6th only):

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In the Spotlight: ANNWYN’S BLOOD by Michael Eging


Aldonzo—Prince, Fop or…Hero?

Annwyn's Blood CoverAnnwyn’s Blood has its share of heroes and villains that you recognize as soon as you see them chew up the scenery. However, one character in particular developed to be far more than we imagined when we began this journey. Aldonzo, the pampered prince from Southern Gaul is not your typical heroic character. Yet, as the story develops, he finds strength within himself to carry on following some horrific events. The following is an excerpt from Annwyn’s Blood, highlighting this fish-out-of-water prince.

“Sail to port!”

Aldonzo didn’t dare look up from scrubbing the deck. Ever since the previous evening, when he had been dragged aboard this miserable tub, his stomach had been turning in continuous knots. But he didn’t dare vomit. He’d seen a very graphic example the previous evening of what could happen if he did.

There had been an old slave aboard who’d suffered badly at the hands of the pirates—battered and bruised, cursed and tormented constantly. The extent of the abuse had been obvious to Aldonzo from the moment he had laid eyes on the wretch. But in the midst of the evening mess the oldster suffered a fit of coughing that ended in a vomit of bright red blood splattered across the Captain’s plate.

Fearful that he suffered from consumption (not to mention outraged at the slave’s audacity to spit up on the captain’s food) the pirates killed him on the spot before he could infect any others in the crew. So Aldonzo fought down the waves of nausea that washed over him. There was no telling what the pirates might think he could have.

He held no illusions why he, alone out of the entire expedition, had been kept alive. All the others had been merely soldiers. Even Kien, stout, dependable Kien, had been nothing more than another trooper to them. Aldonzo, on the other hand, was different—he was ransom material. He was nobility, from a rich, landed family with ties in both Britain and Gaul. The pirates knew well they could expect a healthy reward for his safe return.

Ha, he thought bitterly. Qualify that ‘safe’ return to mean simply in one workable piece. They beat him thoroughly to find out who he might be, and, much to his disgust and shame, he told them. He’d always imagined that in such a situation he would be filled with iron-willed resolve to oppose his foe, who would have to kill him before anything of use could be revealed. Some hero, he thought ruefully. But he had never imagined reality to be so brutal.

His left hand throbbed in its rough bandage where they had severed his finger to remove his ring.

So it was that when the lookout reported the sail of another ship, Aldonzo just kept his head down, his right hand scrubbing despite the splinters and lye, his left cradled against his chest. He fervently hoped the ship approaching would be one of Cynric’s war vessels. But even that hope hung by a thread. The Anglan king possessed little by way of a navy and lacked sufficient skilled sailors to use even what he did have. And even if he had, they seldom ventured this far from land.

He kept at his work, removing the accumulated filth of regular neglect, working his way aft from the stem to the mast and listening to the shouts and orders around him. Yes, it was a trader’s vessel and, yes, it attempted to evade this vessel crawling with unkempt reavers. The other captain probably knew this ship for what it was even before it sailed into smelling distance. Slow and cumbersome, the merchant’s ship would be no match for the faster raiders’ vessel. All around Aldonzo, the brigands prepared themselves for yet another plunder, yet more death.

From his position by the helm, the first mate shouted orders, and the distance between the ships closed. Aldonzo glanced up. The other ship teemed with passengers—Saxon settlers in search of a new life in Britain.

The other sailors hustled women and children below the decks. The crew and male passengers strapped on leather-covered bucklers and hefted weapons, arming for the impending attack.

Aldonzo put his head back down and slowly crept across the deck to the starboard side, away from the other ship. Deck crew cursed and kicked him as they ran past whether he was in the way or not. Others heaved ropes up from the hold and tied on the grappling hooks. Then the brigands clustered so tightly on the port rail that the ship heeled from the weight.

Due to an unfavorable wind, the fleeing ship wallowed a bit, wind spilling from her sail, and the pirates cut through the waves to close the distance. Aldonzo’s stomach churned with apprehension. The helmsman appeared not to be as skilled as he had thought, taking an unfavorable approach, but it only prolonged the gut-wrenching anticipation of the inevitable, and Aldonzo’s innards had had about all they could take.

A great shout broke from the pirates as the grappling hooks sailed through the air to the other ship’s gunwales. Some caught, some didn’t. But enough held to allow the raiders to start hauling the ships together by hand.

The defenders wasted no time hacking at the ropes, but the pirates constantly pitched out more hooks as archers picked off the defenders. Steadily, the ships rocked closer together, and with a great crash and grinding they struck sides. Brigands poured over the bulwarks to the other deck. The Saxons made a fight of it, but Aldonzo, peeking over a coil of rope, clearly saw they would not be the victors of the brutal engagement.

There were only a few experienced seamen on the Saxon ship; most of the rest were only farmers and had no sea legs. Their difficulty in keeping their feet on the pitching deck proved to be fatal. The Saxons briefly rallied near the afterdeck, but the stand was cut short when those pirates occupied with finishing off the Saxons in the fore completed their task and moved rearward to reinforce the aft contingent.

The entire battle lasted only minutes. Then the real killing began.

Mike Eging-9468sml
Meet Author Michael Eging

Author Bio
Mike has wanted to write since he was very young. His earliest memories are of carrying a battered old notebook around full of illustrations and stories. He would often transpose those ideas on his grandmother’s old typewriter. While in college, he was inspired by professors and visiting writers to BYU. Literary classics such as Song of Roland and Inferno were often in his backpack, along with Russian textbooks. Chapter 4 of Annwyn’s Blood was written during this time as a short story.

Mike works in Washington, DC since pursuing graduate studies in Russian History. He focuses in domestic policy issues. Recently, Mike has pursued an interest in writing screenplays for feature films with his first option being a medieval epic, Song of Roland. He continues to focus on a variety of script/movie projects, most recently a horror thriller, Feast of Saint Nicholas, and a political thriller, The Prince. Recently, he founded and launched Filibuster Filmworks with his partners to produce and develop feature films, television and other projects.

He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, Lori and his wonderful children. He dreams of one day driving to Alaska in his old Defender with his kids and their dog, Marlin.

  • What's In A Name CoverAnnwyn's Blood Cover
    Book Links:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble

 

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FOUR DAYS OF LOVE: Free Books from Bette A. Stevens


AM&PT 4 days of LOVE FREE Books

Dear Friends,

Two of my eBooks will be FREE on AMAZON from Thursday, February 12th through Sunday, February 15th in celebration of “LOVE MONTH,” and in appreciation of your continued support. I invite you to share the love with friends and family.

Blessings to you and yours,

Bette

ABOUT THE BOOKS & GIVEAWAY:

*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*FREE Kindle BOOKS*.✫*¨*.¸¸.✶*¨`*

DOWNLOAD One for your Little Sweeties + One for YOU!
FEBRUARY 12th-15th

—FOUR DAYS of LOVE GIVEAWAY from author Bette A. Stevens—

AMAZING MATILDA (Ages 5-10) Friendship, patience and persistence are among the lessons learned in this gem of a tale featuring an amazing monarch butterfly.This award-winning picture book adventure follows the monarch’s life cycle as Matilda embarks on a quest to make her dream of flying come true. Science, art and wise lessons for children—all wrapped up in a tale the kids will want to read/hear again and again! Download AMAZING MATILDA at YOUR AMAZON

PURE TRASH (Ages 11-adult) In this short story adventure set in New England in the 1950s, two young boys set out on a Saturday adventure you won’t want to miss! 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 DOG BONE SOUP, Stevens’s début novel DOG BONE SOUP. Download PURE TRASH at YOUR AMAZON

Happy Reading!

  • Visit Bette’s Amazon Page and Download both books for FREE at YOUR AMAZON!
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BETTE A. STEVENS, AUTHOR – PURE TRASH AND DOG BONE SOUP


Originally posted on SERENDIPITY:

dog bone soupAnd now, there’s the rest of the story. DOGBONE SOUP is the long-awaited “rest of the story”of Shawn Daniels and his brother. Bette Stevens novel is now available for your reading pleasure. And it is a pleasure.

Bette has the purest, freshest writing style I’ve read in many a long year. Reading her prose is like peering into an exceptionally clear, deep pool. It looks like the bottom is close enough to touch, but watch out. Those waters run deep.

This author knows how to tell a story. Her style and the story are a perfect blend. Like the clear water, this author runs deep.

If I hadn’t come down with the flu, I’d be writing my review. In the meantime, here’s a good one from Barbara Ann Mojica’s Blog, GROWING UP MUCH TOO SOON.

DOG BONE SOUP is a wonderful story. It’s a coming of in a hardscrabble world, armed only with…

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YOU CAN’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER


Bette A. Stevens:

Reading with kids is FUN-damental! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on Barbara Ann Mojica's BLOG:

Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Read Your World

January 27, 2015

Our mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.

mcbd,PIC

Children’s reading and play advocates Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom teamed up in late 2013 to create an ambitious (and much needed) national event. On January 27th, 2015 this dynamic duo will be hosting yet another Multicultural Children’s Book Day as a way of celebrating diversity in children’s books.

The Multicultural Children’s Book Day team hopes to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and…

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The Novelist Challenge – Bette A. Stevens


Bette A. Stevens:

Thank you, Fia Essen, for THE NOVELIST CHALLENGE and for featuring my 100 words on your lovely blog! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Originally posted on Fia Essen:

DOG BONE SOUP BW Border 2015DOG BONE SOUP

by

Bette A. Stevens

Book Blurb
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.

To find out more about Bette A. Stevens and her writing, visit her Facebook Page and her WEBSITE. You can also follow her on Twitter.

View original

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Book Launch Tour: DOG BONE SOUP is Simmering!


DOG BONE SOUP Launch Banner

DOG BONE SOUP is not only the title of Bette A. Stevens’s debut novel; it ranks high among the paltry meals that the book’s protagonist, Shawn Daniels, wants to forget. Plodding through mounting snow and battling howling winds, Shawn is ready to leave it all behind—living in poverty, Dad’s drinking, life in foster care, the divorce, the bullies….

Travel with Shawn Daniels through the guts and the glories of life. You’ll find them all in DOG BONE SOUP, a Boomer’s coming-of-age saga.  Available now at “YOUR AMAZON”

From the Reviewers

“Dog Bone Soup is the poignant tale of a dysfunctional family struggling to survive in America in the 50s and 60s, when most others were on the crest of a wave. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry. But most of all it will make you glad you read it.” ~ Charlie Bray, founder of the Indietribe

“In Dog Bone Soup, Bette Stevens captures the feeling and images of growing up in hardscrabble times perfectly.” ~ John Clark, librarian and author

DOG BONE SOUP

READ the opening Excerpt from Chapter One right here…

DOG BONE SOUP BW Border 2015The postcard arrived four days before my eighteenth birthday. All I had to do now was sign the final papers and light out for basic training. I could hardly wait to leave this place behind.

There were six of us ready to become soldiers. The other five guys were headed to Fort Dix. Soon as we were inducted, the sergeant who swore us in started calling us a bunch of lily-assed bastards and worse. When the jerk marched the other five guys off, I was happy as hell I wasn’t one of them.

Lieutenant Richards called me into his office. “You’ll be heading out tomorrow, Private Daniels. Here are your tickets.”

We sat in his office and talked about my future with the U.S. Army. Then he handed me a schedule for the next day’s journey and we went over every detail.

“Now let’s get you home so you can get a good night’s sleep before you fly off to serve Uncle Sam, soldier.”

“Good luck Private,” the lieutenant said when he dropped me off at the house. We saluted and I stood there watching until his car disappeared over the hill.

I’d always liked army people. They called me Mr. Daniels and even sir sometimes. Now I was officially a private in the U.S. Army and I was ready to start a new life. I pictured myself in an officer’s uniform one day—a lieutenant, a captain, maybe even a general.

Mum and I didn’t get much more than a few winks of sleep that night. I don’t know how many pots of coffee she perked while we sat at the kitchen table and talked the night away. Of course, it was Mum did most of the talking. Once she opened her picture books, I felt like I was drinking in the life I wanted to leave.

Mum took all of those pictures with her Brownie—that camera was her pride and joy. None of us kids was allowed to touch it unless she supervised a picture taking every now and then. If Dad wasn’t around, it was me peeking through the lens. Mum was fussy about taking pictures just so.

Five books were piled on the table and we went through them one page at a time. Mum had a story for every snap shot. Some made me laugh so hard that I doubled over.

It was two minutes shy of three when she closed the last album.

“Thanks for staying up. I’ve got the alarm set for six and I know that won’t give us much sleep.” Mum pulled out her hanky, sniffled and hugged me before we turned in. My leaving would to be hard on her.

Willie was snoring away, likely dreaming about cars. I slipped in next to him and pulled away some puffs and huddled under them.

The minute I closed my eyes I started dreaming about my new life. No more freezing to death up north. I was headed for southern sunshine and I saw myself soaking it all in.

Bzzzzzzz. I jumped out of bed, threw on my clothes, grabbed the suitcase and headed for the kitchen. Mum already had breakfast on the stove, so I ran outside to do my business and came back in to grab a hot biscuit and down it with a cup of steaming coffee.

I was half frozen and snow was whipping around me in circles when I headed out on the three-mile walk into town to catch that bus.

I shook flakes big as quarters from my jacket when I climbed the steps of the Greyhound. Two hours and I’d be boarding a plane headed to Fort Jackson. South Carolina was sure the place to be, especially in February.

### end of excerpt

About the author

BAS Author logo stamp 2015Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a 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, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies (milkweed is the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Bette A. Stevens is the author of award-winning picture book AMAZING MATILDA; home/school resource, The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to DOG BONE SOUP.

Find out more about the author and her books right here on “YOUR AMAZON”

Looking for a little help from my friends!


Hi Blogger Friends,

I’m planning to launch my debut novel during January and February and I’m looking for friends to host A BOOK LAUNCH POST on their blog to help me kick off the tour.

Here’s a sneak peek at the header:

DOG BONE SOUP Launch Banner

If you’d like to lend a hand…

  • Please email me at bettestevens (at) tds (dot) net
    Sorry to type my email address out this way; it’s to deter spammers.
  • In the subject line type [Launch Post for DOG BONE SOUP].
  • I’ll email the post to you and have you select a date that is convenient for you to host the launch on your blog.
  • All you’ll have to do is copy and paste the HTML post that I’ll send you by email into your text editor and supply a title for your post.

Thanks so much for your continued support and encouragement.

Read the first chapter of DOG BONE SOUP right now!

I would love to hear from you.

Best wishes,

Bette A. Stevens

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