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Monarch Butterfly teaches kids about friendship, patience & persistence


One concern parents have is how to inspire children to meet challenges with patience and persistence. That is the plot of this new book.

One concern parents have is how to inspire children to meet challenges with patience and persistence. That is the plot of this new book.

Award-winning picture book adventure AMAZING MATILDA teaches kids about friendship, patience and persistence. All the while, they’ll be learning about the monarch butterfly life cycle and the caterpillar’s dependence upon the milkweed plant for survival. You’ll find this gem of a tale for readers 6+ and about the author’s other books at  http://www.Amazon.com/author/betteastevens

Don’t miss Charles Dickens & Edgar Allan Poe!


Do you remember and love these two great authors and their classical literature?

Find out more about their lives and their writing…  ~ Bette A. Stevens

ENJOY!

Easy Christmas Tree Origami


The Legend of the Christmas Tree (German/Anonymous)

Most children have seen a Christmas tree, and many know that the pretty and pleasant custom of hanging gifts on its boughs comes from Germany; but perhaps few have heard or read the story that is told to little German children, respecting the origin of this custom. The story is called “The Little Stranger,” and runs thus:

In a small cottage on the borders of a forest lived a poor laborer, who gained a scanty living by cutting wood. He had a wife and two children who helped him in his work. The boy’s name was Valentine, and the girl was called Mary. They were obedient, good children, and a great comfort to their parents. One winter evening, this happy little family were sitting quietly round the hearth, the snow and the wind raging outside, while they ate their supper of dry bread, when a gentle tap was heard on the window, and a childish voice cried from without: “Oh, let me in, pray! I am a poor little child, with nothing to eat, and no home to go to, and I shall die of cold and hunger unless you let me in.”

Valentine and Mary jumped up from the table and ran to open the door, saying: “Come in, poor little child! We have not much to give you, but whatever we have we will share with you.”

The stranger-child came in and warmed his frozen hands and feet at the fire, and the children gave him the best they had to eat, saying: “You must be tired, too, poor child! Lie down on our bed; we can sleep on the bench for one night.”

Then said the little stranger-child: “Thank God for all your kindness to me!”

So they took their little guest into their sleeping-room, laid him on the bed, covered him over, and said to each other: “How thankful we ought to be! We have warm rooms and a cozy bed, while this poor child has only heaven for his roof and the cold earth for his sleeping-place.”

When their father and mother went to bed, Mary and Valentine lay quite contentedly on the bench near the fire, saying, before they fell asleep: “The stranger-child will be so happy to-night in his warm bed!”

These kind children had not slept many hours before Mary awoke and softly whispered to her brother: “Valentine, dear, wake, and listen to the sweet music under the window.”

Then Valentine rubbed his eyes and listened. It was sweet music indeed, and sounded like beautiful voices singing to the tones of a harp:

“O holy Child, we greet thee! bringing
Sweet strains of harp to aid our singing.

“Thou, holy Child, in peace art sleeping,
While we our watch without are keeping.

“Blest be the house wherein thou liest.
Happiest on earth, to heaven the highest.”

The children listened, while a solemn joy filled their hearts; then they stepped softly to the window to see who might be without.

In the east was a streak of rosy dawn, and in its light they saw a group of children standing before the house, clothed in silver garments, holding golden harps in their hands. Amazed at this sight, the children were still gazing out of the window, when a light tap caused them to turn round. There stood the stranger-child before them clad in a golden dress, with a gleaming radiance round his curling hair. “I am the little Christ-child,” he said, “who wanders through the world bringing peace and happiness to good children. You took me in and cared for me when you thought me a poor child, and now you shall have my blessing for what you have done.”

A fir tree grew near the house; and from this he broke a twig, which he planted in the ground, saying: “This twig shall become a tree, and shall bring forth fruit year by year for you.”

No sooner had he done this than he vanished, and with him the little choir of angels. But the fir-branch grew and became a Christmas tree, and on its branches hung golden apples and silver nuts every Christmas-tide.

Such is the story told to German children concerning their beautiful Christmas trees, though we know that the real little Christ-child can never be wandering, cold and homeless, again in our world, inasmuch as he is safe in heaven by his Father’s side; yet we may gather from this story the same truth which the Bible plainly tells us—that any one who helps a Christian child in distress, it will be counted unto him as if he had indeed done it unto Christ himself. “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

http://www.online-literature.com/anonymous/439

Make your own Pop-Up CHRISTMAS CARDS!


Christmas Poinsettias, are they flowers?


Bette A. Stevens:

Watch this awesome video!

Originally posted on Dear Kitty. Some blog:

This video is called How to fold a poinsettia flower, origami.

But … are the originals on which the paper copies are based, really flowers?

From eNature Blog in the USA:

Are Christmas Poinsettias Really Flowers—Or Something Else?

Posted on Monday, December 02, 2013 by eNature

Poinsettias seem to be everywhere during the holiday season— schools, homes, offices and everywhere in between.

But how many of us have seen a poinsettia in the wild? And what’s a plant doing blooming right as winter is beginning?

Just where did this plant come from?

What Exactly Is A Poinsettia?

It’s lot more than just a pretty flower (more on that below). In the wild, poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is a shrub or small tree, ranging in height from 2 to as high as 16 feet. Originally a native of Mexico, the plant has been introduced throughout the temperate regions…

View original 504 more words

Stephen King: Short Stories and Novels, How they Form


WRITERS: Enjoy some tips from the King! ~ Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com

 

Craft of Writing: Down with Adverbs?


Bette A. Stevens:

Schoolhouse Rock!

 

Don’t miss SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK w/ ADVERBS… Yo’ll love it! ~ Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com

 

 

Originally posted on The Daily Post:

For most people the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Author Stephen King says that, for writers, the road to hell is paved with adverbs. Let’s do a quick refresher on what an adverb is, learn why adverbs get such a bad rap, and why you might choose to think very carefully before you use adverbs in your writing. (See what I did there?)

View original 507 more words

Meet the Author: Hélène Clarke


Author’s children’s book helps parents address kids’ question: Why do bad things happen?

Hélène Clarke, author of 'Why Did the Osprey Poop on My Head?' and her cat Boo. (self-protrait).

Hélène Clarke, author of ‘Why Did the Osprey Poop on My Head?’ and her cat Boo. 

Children’s picture book with a practical purpose

“I decided to order a few of these  ['Why Did the Osprey Poop on My Head?'] for our store because we need books that will address this issue clearly for kids.” Paul Wilkinson of the blog, Thinking Out Loud.

Hi, Hélène. Welcome to 4writersand readers; it’s a pleasure to have you with us today. First, can you tell us about you and about your life?

I grew up as an only child. I would have loved siblings but it wasn’t to be. Even as a child I loved to read. Some of my favorites were ‘Peanuts’ by Charles M. Schulz, ‘Winnie the Pooh’ by A.A. Milne and ‘Narnia‘ by C.S. Lewis. My stuffed Snoopy dog and Winnie the Pooh bear both had the stuffing hugged out of them. I grew up loving the wonders of the imagination and I always loved…and still love, when good triumphs over evil.

What about your family? 

When I was 25 I married the love of my life and best friend. We were never blessed with children but my husband comes from a large family and so we have 21 nieces and nephews to inspire and make us laugh.

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

I have been writing for eight years. I’ve always written for children but I write many genres and for many age groups within those categories.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of ‘Why Did the Osprey Poop on My Head?’ 

My book is about a young boy who grows up knowing that God is good. He believes this wholeheartedly but one day an Osprey poops on his head. He is then hit by another tragedy and so questions that if God is good, why do bad things happen. The story ends with him realizing that bad things happening does not determine God’s goodness. God is good because he is.

I love your book’s video introduction. Let’s give our readers a preview: 

What prompted you to write? 

As a girl out of college I traveled to Perth, Australia to join up with a missions group called Youth With A Mission or YWAM for short. During my year and a half with YWAM I saw many different countries and cultures.  I was introduced to the poorest of poor and I’m embarrassed to say that there were times that I wished I was home watching it on TV so I could just change the channel. It was all a bit overwhelming. The amazing thing about people living in desperate situations is that you often still hear laughter. We were there to help where we could by sharing love through singing, puppets or hugging; but, the miracle of going out to bless others is that you’re often blessed yourself. Seeing the orphans laugh at the puppet shows inspired me more than I realized.

When I came home it took me awhile to find what I wanted to do. All through the years I was writing some small skits and puppet dialogues. I enjoyed doing this but never saw it as a career opportunity until I decided to take a correspondent writing course from the Institute of Children’s Literature. Once I completed this course, I realized that I was in love. I had found my passion. I wanted to write books for children to inspire them, teach them, and make them laugh. There’s no better sound in the world than a child’s laughter.

Do you have a favorite line from the book? 

“We can’t explain everything. All we can be sure of is that God loves us and that he is good.”

Who is your favorite character and why? 

Definitely Timmy, as this character is based on my husband. Joe the gecko is pretty cute though.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

My biggest challenge was in keeping this faith concept simple without minimizing it.

You definitely deserve an A for meeting that challenge, Hélène.  Do you do anything besides write? 

When I started writing I worked out of the home while writing on the side. For the past few years I have dedicated my time solely to writing and marketing. Writers are often natural hermits so the learning curve on how to get out there and market a book is a challenge to say the least. A need for more finances may alter this plan but for now I’m holding fast to it.

Helene's Book

How can my readers get a copy of ‘Why Did the Osprey Poop on My Head?’  My book is available as a soft cover with a  free audio download OR as an eBook. You can get it from amazon, barneandnobles.com, www.heleneclarke.com, Bell Tower books in Kelowna, BC or Searchlight books in Port Hope, Ontario.

What’s next for you?

Hopefully more books! I have many stories written for different age groups and in different genres. I continue to send them out and I’ll definitely post on my website the day another book gets published.

I just love the title and concept of your book, Hélène. The topic, ‘why do bad things happen’,  is a timely one for parents everywhere. ‘Why Did the Osprey Poop on My Head?’ provides the perfect opportunity for parents and other adults to talk about it with the kids in their lives. It has been a pleasure. I look forward to reading and sharing many more of your children’s stories. And with a FREE audio download or eBook to accompany your print edition, how can a parent or grandparent resist? It’s a fantastic idea and a real bonus. Thanks so much, Hélène Clarke, for joining us today. Happy writing. ~ Bette A. Stevens, www.4writersandreaders.com

Find out more about author Hélène Clarke and her books:

//

TEN 5-Star Reviews for new children’s book: AMAZING MATILDA!


Latest press release:

This tale of an Amazing Monarch and her meadowland friends will inspire you to reach for your dreams!

This tale of an Amazing Monarch and her meadowland friends will inspire you to reach for your dreams!

“Children of all ages will be able to relate to monarch’s plight in some way…This story is a true gem and one that will inspire children for years to come.” Renee Hand, author of award-winning adult and children’s books. Hand reviews for the New York Journal of Books.

READ THE FULL RELEASE:

http://www.prlog.org/12090532-good-news-new-book-inspires-kids-to-meet-challenges-with-patience-and-persistence.html

WATCH THE VIDEO!

Order your copies today:

Related Sites:

MEET THE AUTHOR: Suzanna Williams


Suzanna Williams, author of SHOCK WAVES, a great new sci-fi action and adventure novel for the young adult audience.

Suzanna Williams, author of SHOCK WAVES, a great new sci-fi action and adventure novel for the young adult audience.

Suzanna Williams is a ‘perpetually eighteen years old’ YA author who lives in the wet and wild, Welsh borderlands surrounded by ruined medieval castles and Celtic mythology where she looks for UFO’s amongst the stars and imagines that all the people she meets have dark secrets.

Reviewers are calling ‘SHOCK WAVES’…

“AMAZING![!] What can I say? Between the non-stop action, in-depth characters, and all the suspense in the second half I couldn’t put it down. Think the movie ‘Speed’, but with teens and telepathy…” (Juan, Amazon review)

Welcome, Suzanna Williams. It’s wonderful to have you here at 4writersandreaders today. I can’t wait to find out more about you and your writing. To start off, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born in Warrington, England but I’ve lived among the rolling hills of the Welsh Borderlands for twenty years. I’ve had many unrelated and generally badly paid jobs including musician, shop assistant, telesales, school lab technician and wedding registrar. None of these have used my degree in psychology in any way.

All of that real-world experience must have given you plenty of ideas for your writing. How about your family?

I have three grownup children and a ‘nearly’ grandson. I’ve been married for —— years and my husband is a CGI (computer generated images) artist. He did the filming and effects for my book trailer while my son and his girlfriend featured on the book cover.

How wonderful, Suzanna, that your family plays such an active role in supporting your writing career. I really enjoyed all three of the book trailers for SHOCK WAVES. Congratulations on winning the http://yougottaread.com/category/video-contest/. Your three SHOCK WAVES videos are all unique—professional, informative and lots of fun. My favorite is “Shock Waves Tour of Shrewsbury.” I know our readers will love it, too.

Come along and join us on the ‘ShockWaves’ Tour of Shrewsbury with author Suzanna Williams…



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

I could read really well before I started school. Writing stories followed close behind.

After leaving school, my writing went on the back-burner until my children became involved in the local amdram (Amateur Dramatics) group. Starting out as rehearsal pianist, I progressed to director/script-writer and was actually commissioned to write a pantomime for another group. Yes, I got paid for that.

I write YA because I still think of myself as being eighteen years old (don’t laugh) and also because I used to read all my kids’ books when they weren’t looking. There are some really awesome, inspiring YA books in print right now.

Can you give us a brief synopsis of your book?

“AMAZING!! What can I say? Between the non-stop action, in-depth characters, and all the suspense in the second half I couldn't put it down. Think the movie 'Speed', but with teens and telepathy…” (Juan, Amazon review)

ShockWaves is about a girl who gets kidnapped by an ex-IRA terrorist who is seeking revenge on the policeman that put him in prison, and about the boy who goes to rescue her. It’s made more complicated by the fact that a traumatic experience causes a telepathic link, or shockwave, between them and there are plenty of traumatic experiences for both of them as the story unfolds.

What prompted you to become a writer, Suzanna?

When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I had a list. There was musician, teacher, school lab technician (I like messing with chemicals lol) and author. Well, I’ve been a musician (that was great) and a piano teacher, too. I’ve even been a lab technician. But really, I wanted to be an author. So when the kids left home, I devoted my free time to writing. Holding real paperback copies of my book was a dream come true.

Do you have a favorite line from SHOCK WAVES?

My favorite quote is when Lee tries to explain to Paige’s friends what ‘parkour’ is.

“It’s parkour,” Lee started to explain. “It’s a proper sport.” He turned and jumped onto the bench. “We move from one place to another taking the shortest route.”

“Why?” asked Sonya.

“It’s a buzz,” said Lee.

Sonya arranged her face into a superior sneer. “You should try shopping,” she told him.

Who is your favorite character and why?

My favorite character is Lee. When I was writing ShockWaves, I imagined him as a teenage Bruce Willis in Die Hard. Lee’s the sort who will walk through the fires of hell for the person he loves…and he’s just a little bit sarcastic in the face of danger. Yep, my kind of guy.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

I spend a long time plotting my stories. That’s hard.

Then I take a long time writing lots of back story for my characters. I’ve got notes on my latest book written from the viewpoints of all the main characters so I know exactly what all their motives are and what they’re thinking. That’s harder because often I have to go back and change my plot again.

Then the actual first draft takes me ages because I edit as I go and I can spend ages agonizing over thinking up the best word and I get impatient. So that’s harder still.

But I enjoy the editing part because the pressure to finish the script is off. If the worst happens, I can just say “It’s finished,” lol.

Do you do anything besides write?

At the moment, I teach piano and work part-time in a shop. This funds my writing habit.

How can my readers get a copy of ‘Shock Waves’?

“AMAZING!! What can I say? Between the non-stop action, in-depth characters, and all the suspense in the second half I couldn't put it down. Think the movie 'Speed', but with teens and telepathy…” (Juan, Amazon review)

“AMAZING!! What can I say? Between the non-stop action, in-depth characters, and all the suspense in the second half I couldn’t put it down. Think the movie ‘Speed’, but with teens and telepathy…” (Juan, Amazon review)

ShockWaves is available as a paperback or as a download at Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/ShockWaves-Series-ebook/dp/B00A9XJ7FW  and Amazon US http://www.amazon.com/ShockWaves-Series-ebook/dp/B00A9XJ7FW

What’s next for you, Suzanna?

I have a sequel to ShockWaves half-written and expect to publish it at the end of 2013. I also have another book that I’m very excited about called Ninety-five percent Human on schedule for release in the spring. Ninety-five percent Human is a sci-fi/action/adventure with a touch of romance thrown in and I’ve really enjoyed writing it.

How exciting: a new book ready for release and the sequel to ‘Shock Waves’ in the works. It sounds like you’ll be right in your element, author Suzanna Williams. We’ll be watching you… Thanks so much, Suzanna, for joining us today at http://www.4writersandreaders Blog. ~ Bette A. Stevens

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