A writer inspired by nature and human nature

AM cover with MonarchCelebrate the Monarch Butterfly Migration with Award-winning AMAZING MATILDA. AMAZING MATILDA, A Monarch’s Tale by Maine author/illustrator Bette Stevens Award-winning Children’s eBook only 99¢ through Sunday, October—25, 2015 – PR12505036

Source: Celebrate the Monarch Butterfly Migration with Award-winning AMAZING MATILDA | PRLog

Bette A. Stevens:

Excellent tips and resource links! ~ Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com

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Originally posted on Michael's Origins:

As Bloggers, we must be aware of the vast competition that is out there from New to well-established Blogs. Self-publishing authors face this as well, everyone wants to get noticed in hopes of walking to the bank one day and or the hopes of that 15-minute slot on a talk show. Perhaps have a following of 10k plus. What can we do to better promote our Blogs?

When it comes to self-promoting your Blog, there are no secrets a fast Google search and there will be many articles on the subject. Here are some important guidelines to adhere to.

  1. Content should be top notched: I know you heard it before and probably more than you like, Yet, this is a crucial aspect pertaining to Blogs that climb the latter and those that fall off. Delivering solid content that your readers want to come back for.
  2. Post Regularly: I have read…

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AM Celebrate Autumn DROP SHADOW 2015 bas

To celebrate the season’s great Monarch Butterfly Migration, AMAZING MATILDA by Maine author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens is on sale for only 99¢ from October 21—25. Find out more about our amazing monarch pollinators and download your copy of Bette’s award-winning picture book today!

Monarch butterflies are a near-threatened species. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety filed a legal petition requesting Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch and its habitat.

Eighth-generation (2015) monarch butterflies in the US and Canada are migrating south right now—destination: Mexico and California’s coast where they will over-winter before mating to create the first generation of monarchs for the northern migration that begins during the spring of 2016.

 Celebrate the Great Migration with AMAZING MATILDA

Kindle version only 99¢
October 21—25, 2015
at Your Amazon

About the book

AMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens (Ages 4-11 + grownups love it too) 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. Matilda emerges from her egg on a milkweed leaf—she stretches and yawns and knows she wants to fly. Sparrow tells her to follow her dreams. Toad and Rabbit laugh at a creature without wings who wants to fly. You’ll be as amazed as Toad and Rabbit are as you follow Matilda from egg to imago. Science, art and wise lessons for children—all wrapped up in a tale the kids will want to read/hear again and again!

Latest 5✰ Book Review

AM cover with Monarchby T. Sanders (October 18, 2015)

As an early educator for nearly fifteen years, I am always seeking new books to share with my children. I stumbled upon this book and because I adore butterflies, I just had to give it a try. What I discovered is that this is not just another children’s book with pretty pictures and an engaging story line. It has a subtle, yet powerful underlining theme of perseverance, patience, and believing in oneself. The language isn’t too sophisticated for the targeted age group, yet it’s written in a way which would also cause parents to not be annoyed in having to read it ‘just one more time’ at the pleas of their little ones.

I own the Kindle and paperback version of this book now and I display it proudly in my classroom with my other favorites such as ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ and Dr. Seuss classics. With all the ridiculous contemporary children’s books being released, which have no positive message or valuable information in them, it’s refreshing to find a gem like this one to add to my library.

Download your copy of “AMAZING MATILDA”

ONLY 99¢  OCTOBER 21—25
(OR: Purchase paperback and download the eBook for FREE
any time) at YOUR AMAZON

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 reading, 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—an endangered species (and milkweed, the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Stevens is the author of AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book; The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, a home/school resource incorporating hands-on math and writing; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to her début novel, DOG BONE SOUP, a Boomer’s coming of age novel published in January 2015.

Please share this post… Monarch butterflies are a near-threatened species. The Center for Biological Diversity and the Center for Food Safety filed a legal petition requesting Endangered Species Act protection for the monarch and its habitat.

FIND OUT MORE: Monarch butterflies could get endangered species status

  • Download Bette’s FREE pdf for amazing links to:
    ★Monarch Facts
    ★Coloring Pages
    ★Video: How to Make an Origami Butterfly
    ★Butterfly Teacher Guide and more…
    ★Find out how you can help protect our Amazing Monarchs
  • Bette’s Books

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[Explore Bette’s Blog]

Christa is our “SPOTLIGHT” AUTHOR for the week of October 11 – October 17

Welcome, author Christa Nardi. It’s a pleasure to host you on your Rave Reviews Book Club “Spotlight Tour.” I’m looking forward to finding out more about you and your mystery books, meeting some of your characters in today’s interview and introducing all of you to our readers at http://www.4writersandreaders.com.  On with the tour! ~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator



The Characters of the Cold Creek Mysteries Series:


Interview with Sheridan Hendley

Thank you for meeting with me today, Sheridan. We wanted to talk today about the recent murders here at Cold Creek College.

Not a problem. What can I tell you?

Can you tell me about your role in relation to the murders here at Cold Creek College? How did you get involved?

I’m the lead faculty member for the campus crisis response team. Last fall, when Dr. Millberg was murdered, the Department Head, Jim Grant, assigned me to help the State Police Detective gather information. He wasn’t familiar with the college or how faculty interacted.

I see. Was that your only motivation?

Honestly, that was how it started out. Then, my close friend Kim was the prime suspect. Add in a healthy dose of my own curiosity, and identifying all the connections and issues became a puzzle to be solved.

Didn’t that put you in danger?

I didn’t think about that at the time. I wasn’t following people or actively involved in the investigation. I asked questions of some and others, like the student involved, shared information with me. I connected dots but had no idea I would be in danger or the complexity of the problems and motive for the murder.

And the murder of Justin Blake?

Chief Pfeiffe was looking for a scapegoat and Mr. Johnson was convenient. It was evident to many of us that he was innocent. We needed to find ways to counter the mindset that because Mr. Johnson was there to discover the body, he was the murderer. Again, I kept asking questions and connecting dots. I was more aware of the danger but my curiosity got the better of me.

In both cases, you worked with Detective McMann? How did that work out?

(smiling) Very well. With both cases, Brett – Detective McMann – asked for my opinion and listened to what I came up with in both situations. We became “friends” after Dr. Millberg’s murder; however, he is always professional. Brett and Officer Hirsch offered self-defense classes after I got assaulted. Several of the faculty, staff, and students took the class. There will be refresher classes soon.

Do you think you will be involved in more murder investigations?

I never plan to be involved in investigations, but if someone I know is involved, like Kim or Zoe, or if someone asks me to help out … even if I’m not actively involved, I’ll be trying to figure it out.

Thank you for your time, Sheridan.


From Chapter 1

I nodded and then checked the next open door. Unfortunately, it was Max’s office. I knocked. He swiveled around, his black hair somewhat uncontrolled and in need of a cut. I must have startled him. His brown eyes opened wide.

“Sheridan, you wouldn’t believe. I‘m ready to get this experiment going, and somehow the materials I ordered haven’t come in. Terra told me I didn’t have enough money in my account, and that’s not right! I don’t know what her problem is,” was his opening tirade. Max was the other experimental psychologist in the department. He was by far the one most interested in research .

“Yeah, well, Terra and Ali do the books. They would know. Maybe you didn’t figure right what you had in your lab account. I bet they can give you a full accounting,” I suggested. Max tended to have these tantrums a lot. He was relatively young and had come to Cold Creek straight from graduation the year after me. He had big dreams of doing enough research to get to a better university.

“You doing okay otherwise – you know with the rec center and all,” I asked.

“Oh, I gave up on the rec center last year. Too crowded. I joined a private club where I don’t have to deal with the students. At the rec center, they always tried to talk to me. Are you looking for a place to work out?” he asked, oblivious to the excitement on campus. But that was not unusual for Max. Unless it was going to directly affect him, he didn’t seem to know about it. Now, if he had wanted to work out today, he might have been more interested.

“Uh, Max, someone died at the rec center this morning,” I offered as gently as I could.

Jumping out of his seat, he proclaimed, “I knew it, I knew there were safety problems. I knew those students would wreck something! See what I mean?”

“Max, someone was murdered. It wasn’t an accident,” I added. I wondered at the fact that he hadn’t asked the obvious question of who? It was certainly the question I wanted answered.

“Oh. Well, it better not get in the way of my lab work. I’d love to chat with you Sheridan, but I have work to do,” he responded. With that, he sat back down and turned back to his computer. Good thing or he would have seen me shake my head in disbelief. It was also probably a good thing that he did research with rats or mice, examining their use of cues, learning, and such. He sure didn’t seem interested in people and didn’t always pick up on social cues. I made my way back to my office with a wave at Kim. I also quickly let her know that it wasn’t Jim, Doug or Max who was murdered.

Check out Christa’s books:

  • Murder at Cold Creek College (mystery, women sleuths, cozy)
  • Murder in the Arboretum (mystery, women sleuths, cozy)

Buy Links:

Follow Christa Nardi:

About the Author

Christa Nardi is and always has been an avid reader. Her favorite authors have shifted from Carolyn Keene and Earl Stanley Gardner to more contemporary mystery/crime authors over time, but mystery/crime along with romance and scifi/fantasy are her preferred choices for leisure reading. Christa also has been a long time writer from poetry and short stories to the Cold Creek series, Christa has joined many other reader/writers in writing one genre she enjoys reading – the cozy mystery. The series started with Murder at Cold Creek College; Murder in the Arboretum is the second in the series. Murder at the Grill is expected to be published in November 2015. Christa Nardi is a pen name for a real life professor/psychologist from the Northeast who is well published in nonfiction and technical venues.

Murder at ColdCreekCollegeBook Blurb:

Murder at Cold Creek College

on sale 10/12-17/15

Sheridan Hendley is a professor and psychologist at a prestigious college. Although she is not a sleuth, when her colleague Adam is murdered, her department head assigns her to assist the detective and help gather information. Unfortunately, her close friend, Kim, quickly becomes the prime suspect. As Sheridan draws connections between the people in Adam’s life, she realizes many women have a strong motive for Adam’s murder. Slashed tires are the first indication that her involvement is making someone nervous. The next indication is not nearly as subtle.


We invite you to follow Christa Nardi’s SPOTLIGHT Tour at https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/spotlight-authors/

Dear Readers, thanks so much for stopping by my blog for a visit today. Christa and I would love to hear from you (Comment Section below). Happy reading! ~ Bette A. Stevens

[Visit Bette’s Blog]

Author Sherri Rabinowitz has just released her first non-fiction book entitled Entering My Second Half. Today, you’ll get to meet my multi-talented friend, find out how she stepped out of her fiction-writing-comfort-zone to write a memoir, and then you’ll read a humorous excerpt from her latest book. I couldn’t keep from smiling at Sherri’s charming retelling of an unexpected meeting with Mr. Garner (that’s right—Hollywood celebrity James Garner) at Universal Studios, where employees got around the lot via golf carts, when Sherri was 16 years old. I clicked over to Amazon and downloaded a copy of Sherri’s new book to my kindle. I know you’ll enjoy today’s excerpt. ~ Bette A. Stevens http://www.4writersandreaders.com

Finding My Path to Memoir

Guest post by Sherri Rabinowitz

10409783_803245753049352_3893712058043773424_nWhen I was about to hit 50 years old it seemed like I was heading straight for a brick wall. I could feel so many things changing in my life. It felt like the end of the world. So I did what I usually do when I have issues, I wrote in my journal and tried to figure out what was going on in my pointed little head.

The first thing I did was write two columns on a piece of paper, the good things I have done in my life and the bad. The first piece of good news was that my good column was far longer than my bad. Whew! But then as I read all I had done, the places I have been, the people I have met, what I had accomplished I thought, this might make a good book.

At first I was thinking of fictional and I did use some bits of it in one or two of my books; but as I continued writing in my diary, I thought it would be good therapy to write a memoir. I had never written non-fiction and I was (I still am, really) scared out of my wits to tackle non-fiction. I am a fiction writer after all, what on Earth did I know about non-fiction?

But it is my life and who is an expert on my life? Just me. I also thought about the fact that I have tackled other things that I was scared of—acting, writing, hosting a radio show…. none of these things came easily to me. I am, believe it or not, a shy person who continues to do what I do because of a weird drive that is within me. So I thought this would be another challenge, another adventure.

Well this little adventure took four years to write and it was not easy. Whole chunks were put in and taken out. I had to worry about things I never really worried about when writing fiction so it was not an easy transition but it was ultimately satisfying, I am proud of my life and my story. My biggest hope is that some of the lessons I learned will help others, and inspired them to try new and scary things too.

Read an excerpt


from ENTERING MY SECOND HALF by Sherri Rabinowitz

Over the hill came my hero in a golf cart. To my astonishment it was none other than James Garner. “What are you doing here all alone?”

I quietly explained it to him. He told me to get in the golf cart. I was 16 years old, but I looked like I was 13. I was often asked on the tour if I was old enough to be working there and where are my parents?  I think Mr. Garner thought I was younger than I actually was, but he insisted that I get into the golf cart so he could take me back to civilization. To me, he was Rockford and Maverick, so I did what I was told.

We chatted amicably about school, my ambitions, the little theater and how excited I was to meet him. He was sweet, friendly and to be frank—quite fatherly. I think he had children my age and probably felt protective of anyone my age.  He really reminded me of my Dad so I trusted him. We got to the toll booth, which was my base, and he said I should stay in the cart.

Then he went into the tollbooth and really gave it to my boss: How dare he leave a child out in the middle of nowhere? How could you leave her there without a car or walkie-talkie? Anything could have happened to her. It was quite loud because I could clearly hear him in his cart.

My boss said they didn’t have walkie-talkies and that I was just sixteen and didn’t have a car yet. But Mr. Garner was not accepting that. He said that it was dangerous; he said he didn’t want anyone up there without a car or a means of communication.

Then he came out to me and said I wasn’t in trouble. That I would only be assigned to jobs in the parking lot or in the studio. I thanked him and then I meekly came into the toll booth.

Ross, my boss, smiled and told me, “It’s not your fault.”  And from that day on I was assigned crowd control inside the tour. Thank you Mr. Garner.

Years later, James Garner was at the Universal Sheraton. I worked and lived near there so I went to the gym at the Sheraton. He was promoting the new Rockford Files. (A young Renee O’Connor co- starred in one of them) I went up to him and asked for an autograph. And I asked if he remembered me. He said that I looked familiar. I told him about the story and he smiled replying, “That sounds like me. Well you grew up to be a lovely young woman.” I blushed, and said thank you. Then I was on cloud nine for about a week.

full cover of my bookTake a “Look Inside” ENTERING MY SECOND HALF at http://www.amazon.com/Entering-Second-Half-Sherri-Rabinowitz-ebook/dp/B015T985JO/

Other books by Sherri Rabinowitz

  • Murder Inc. —Alex Bennett led a double life. She was known the world over as the highly successful founder of a toy software company. But she was also the head of the infamous Murder, Inc. A situation she didn’t want but felt an obligation to fulfill.
  • Fantasy Time Inc.—Readers follow Anne on a trip to the pre-Civil War South with her client, Heather, who wants to be Scarlett O’Hara, the belle of the ball. But Anne warns her, she cannot alter the past, or it will alter the time line, and that is against the rules. But when Anne meets Morgan, will she break those rules herself? Or is the dashing man, her destiny?
  • Different Is Beautiful—Sherri Rabinowitz and Anja Gruber have found a unique way to encourage self-esteem in little ones while helping them develop a sense of appreciation and respect for everyone and everything in the world around them. A portion of the profits from this book will go to Anti-Bullying Charities.

Find Sherri Rabinowitz

Dear Readers,

Thank you for stopping by for a visit today. Sherri and I look forward to reading your comments on today’s post.

Happy reading and writing,

Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

580890_292694764163370_1843993266_n     Click link to WATCH this incredible NOVA/PBS Video…


    You’ll be amazed!

Bette Book Collage WHITE BORDERYou can take a “Look inside” AMAZING MATILDA and other books by Bette A. Stevens at http://viewauthor.at/BetteAStevens

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

AWESOME AUTUMN basThe deciduous leaves are sparkling against the conifers and the canvas sky the here at “The Farmstead” in Central Maine. Have a beautiful week, friends! ~ Bette A. Stevens

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

Revelation POEM bas 2015

First, you can read “An Apple Picking” excerpt from DOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens right here.
Only 99¢ for the whole story from October 3—7!

“The other America, the America of poverty, is hidden today in a way that it never was before.  Its millions are socially invisible to the rest of us.” — Michael Harrington
DBS Apple Picking Excerpt bas

DOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens
ONLY 99¢
for 5 days: October 3—7
Grab a copy today on YOUR AMAZON!

DOG BONE SOUP is a fictional story of the survival and the triumph of a boy who overcomes the odds of repeating the pattern of poverty in his own life back in the 1950s and 60s, an era when most families were living The American Dream.

Unfortunately, DOG BONE SOUP is as relevant today as it was in the 1950s and 60s. Fortunately, we do have the opportunity to change these statistics today. As caring and concerned adults, we can all make a difference—one child at a time.

Meanwhile, savor “An Apple Picking Excerpt” from DOG BONE SOUP

Right after school the next day, Willie and I grabbed two empty bushel baskets and headed over to Alvina’s place. We planned to fill ’em up over the tops.

“Hi, Mrs. Stevens,” I said when she opened the door.

“What on God’s green earth do you two want?”

“Saw your trees out there with branches tippin’ to the ground. Wondered if we could pick some apples. If you like, we’ll pick some for you too.”

“Hell, no! Those apples are mine and they ain’t goin’ to some white trash that lives down the road. I’ll have ’em rot before the likes of you gets a one. Now, get the hell out of here and don’t come back. My shotgun’s standin’ in the corner and I’m not afraid to use it. Now, git!”

We trudged back to the Buick, drove the quarter mile home and headed out to the garden to see what we could rustle up—a bushel of onions, a bushel of potatoes, half a bushel of carrots and fourteen Hubbards.

“Gotta head out to pick Mum up, Willie. You lug in the water and have the girls feed the chickens.”

Told Mum about it all soon as she slammed the Buick’s door.

Mum braided the onions and hung them down the basement so they wouldn’t rot. She had Willie line the Hubbards up around the edge of the kitchen floor without touching to keep them from rotting.

“I don’t think we have much grain left for the chickens and we can’t afford to buy any. Drive down by Bull’s Butcher after school tomorrow and get us as many dog bones as he’ll let you have. I can do a lot with those bones.”

So there we were, back to those god-awful stinkin’ dog bones. Mum boiled a big pot of ’em up that night. She scraped off what little meat was on them and separated out the fat to fry. We ate the crispings with our fingers. The meat scraps went back into the kettle with carrots, onions and potatoes and that was our supper for weeks on end.

Still, I had a plan.

“Hey Willie, let’s head over to Alvina’s after dark. We’ll park this side of her place, sneak into the orchard and snitch us some apples. We can lug ’em back to the Buick and Alvina’ll be none the wiser. What do you say?”

“You bet!” Willie was rarin’ to go.

Tell your friends all about it…

And don’t forget to grab your copy of DOG BONE SOUP for only 99¢ at YOUR AMAZON today!

Let’s all throw kindness around like confetti! ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

DOG BONE SOUP on kindle 2



Author Bio

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—an endangered species (and milkweed, the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Stevens is the author of AMAZING MATILDA, an award-winning picture book; The Tangram Zoo and Word Puzzles Too!, a home/school resource incorporating hands-on math and writing; and PURE TRASH, the short story prequel to her début novel, DOG BONE SOUP, a Boomer’s coming of age novel published in January 2015.

DOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens
“Throw kindness around like confetti!”
ONLY 99¢
for 5 days: October 3—7
Grab a copy today on YOUR AMAZON!

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

Bette A. Stevens:

REVIEW EXCERPT by N.A. Granger, author of The Rhe-Brewster Mysteries as well: Dog Bone Soup is a gem of a book, fast paced, entertaining, and moving. I loved it and devoured it in two sittings (I had to stop to eat!). Bette Stevens is a talented storyteller and I hope we will have another book from her soon.

Five stars!

Originally posted on SaylingAway:

Dog Bone SoupI grew up in New England the 1950s and ‘60s, and Bette Stevens has written a coming of age novel about a life I wouldn’t recognize. Call me lucky. Shawn Daniels, the oldest of several children, lives in poverty. His father is the town drunk and beats his mother, who struggles to keep the family together in an unfinished, tar papered house with no indoor plumbing, running water, and heat. They have a TV but that’s for the enjoyment of Dad. Shawn and his brother Willie do all his chores: cutting and stacking firewood, hauling water into the house, and helping mind their two younger sisters. Despite the curtailment of a real childhood, the brothers still find a way to have adventures in small pockets of time, fishing for one, with a home-made pole and a safety pin for a hook. Dog bone soup, made from the marrow in left…

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