A writer inspired by nature and human nature

Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category

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Monarch Butterfly Haiku by Bette A. Stevens (+FREE “Help Protect Monarch Butterflies” Poster)


Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Monarch butterflies are a threatened/near-endangered 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.

Plant Milkweed Today

Monarch Butterfly HAIKU by Bette A. Stevens

Regal messenger
Standing at the podium
“Plant milkweed today!”

Did you know that monarch butterflies and the monarch caterpillars’ host plant milkweed is one that monarchs rely upon for their survival?  This summer I was able catch a glimpse of 43 of these regal creatures dancing around my gardens where I encourage milkweed to flourish among the flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables that we grow and harvest here at the farmstead in central Maine. I even managed to capture five of them with my Canon PowerShot~ Bette A. Stevens

Four more of the 43 Monarch butterflies sighted at the farmstead as of August 25, 2018.

 

  • To find out how you can help protect monarch butterflies—one of our amazing pollinators— download your free poster here:

PROTECT MONARCH BUTTERFLIES free-poster

More about monarchs

  • Find out how to tell a male monarch from a female monarch and discover other amazing monarch butterfly facts
  • Enjoy monarch crafts, games, gardening and discover so much more…

Download Bette’s free pdf here:

FUN & LEARNING with MONARCHS (free pdf)

Maine author/illustrator Bette A. Stevens
“Inspired by nature and human nature.”

Find AMAZING MATILDA and all of Bette’s books at YOUR AMAZON.

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

MY MAINE “Summer Songs” (HAIKU) by Bette A. Stevens + End of Summer Poetry Contest


Introducing MY MAINE, Songs of the Seasons—Stevens’s current work-in-progress. Summer Songs includes selections from her upcoming collection.

I am currently working on a haiku collection (My Maine Through the Seasons/current WIP title) reflecting the Maine I know and love. Here are several stanzas from the upcoming haiku collection MY MAINE
entitled Summer Songs. Hope you enjoy them…

Meanwhile, I’m planning my own Maine vacation for August and September. Company arrives in a few days and I’m ready to enjoy a great “Staycation” right here with family and friends from away…  Wishing everyone a blessed and beautiful end of summer.

I’m entering these stanzas  from Summer Songs into Kayla Ann’s End of Summer Poetry Contest. I invite you to visit Kayla Ann’s blog to find,  out all about it. ~Bette A. Stevens  

Summer Songs

From MY MAINE Haiku Collection by Bette A. Stevens

Celestial orb
Climbs the azure skyline
Ascending each day

Season of high notes
Fledglings abandoning nests
Wings and voices soar

Waves play taps on shore
Tall pines salute by moonlight
Waking stars stand guard

Loons at lakeshore wail
Campers bewitched by the sound
Sacred summer songs

Bees and Butterflies
Dipping from Rose to Lupine
Dance to summer tunes

Highlands and ocean
Bound by granite cliffs sing of
Ageless adventures

Lighthouses stand tall
Regaling stories of ghosts
From a bygone age

Steps along seashore
Toes can’t resist surfs calling
Cold reality

Golden noontide
Both natives and newcomers
Triumphant spirits

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AMAZING MATILDA by Bette A. Stevens: Inspiring children to meet challenges with patience and persistence.


“Meeting the challenges of life at every stage of life is no easy task. Matilda and her friends encourage readers and listeners of all ages to meet those challenges with patience and persistence.

“Matilda’s story is my story. It’s you story too. It’s a story the kids will want to hear you read to them again and again.” (Bette A. Stevens)

“One concern parents have is how to inspire their children to meet challenges with patience and persistence. This is the plot of a [children’s] book, ‘Amazing Matilda’.” ~Paula Hrbecek Examiner.com

Amazing Matilda, A Monarch’s Tale by Bette A. Stevens is available in paperback ($9.49) and eBook ($3.99) versions. Take a look inside and grab a copy or two today at  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AU9ZISA/  

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PURE TRASH by Bette A. Stevens—“A single day—a lifetime of lessons!” ONLY 99¢ thru July 4th, 2018


PURE TRASH by Bette A. Stevens—this short story set in the 1950s offers readers and book clubs insight into poverty and prejudice in rural New England during a time in history when many families were living the American Dream. Read all about it and GRAB A COPY of PURE TRASH TODAY! http://amzn.to/1T5tMAZ 

“A great book for young adults, parents, guardians, mentors, and educators to read. Strongly recommended!” Yoong

“A nostalgic gem – I was swept away from the first paragraph and thoroughly enjoyed this skillfully written short story. This author knows how to paint mind-pictures and flavor them with taste, smell, and sound.”  WJ Scott, Children’s Author, Fairy Dust.

“Pure Trash is unlike any story I’ve read. At first, it reads like a memoir from Reminisce Magazine, but as the story unfolds, I connected with the characters at a deep level. The author explores prejudice, class division, alcoholism, poverty, injustice, and bullying. It’s a story all audiences over the age of ten can enjoy. While reading this story, the reader will experience the joy of a carefree Saturday and the blistering pain of feeling not quite good enough.” Tricia Drammeh, AuthorsToWatch

Take a Look Inside at your Amazon to read more of the 62 reviews.

PURE TRASH (Literary Fiction/ages 11-adult) by Bette A. Stevens—ONLY 99¢ for a limited time at YOUR AMAZON  http://amzn.to/1T5tMAZ — is a short story about bullies and what it’s like to be bullied. It may redefine your concept of bullying. If you were a child who was thought of as “different” in some way, you know what bullying is about: torment, persecution, intimidation, to name a few of its descriptors. For Shawn and Willie, their difference was based upon the social status of the dysfunctional family and the alcoholism and abject poverty in which they grew up. This short story is a prequel to Stevens’s novel DOG BONE SOUP.

EXCERPT

Pedaling up the half-mile hill was a lot of work, but it was worth it, and not for just the empties. Flying down the other side gave me the best feeling in the whole wide world. I guess that’s how that old chicken hawk feels when he soars above the pines at the edge of the field out back of the house.

Once we reached the peak, we plopped our bikes on the ground and threw ourselves onto the soft, damp bed of leaves at the edge of the woods. It was so peaceful. My mind wandered into the sky and I dreamed about the ride down the other side and the 10 cent Orange Crush I’d buy at Stark’s General Store.

“Hey, Willie,” I finally asked, “did ya bring the slingshot?”

“Sure did, Shawn. Whatcha wanna shoot today?”

Willie’s brown eyes looked as big as Mum’s pan fried donuts and his smile pretty nearly filled his round face as he jumped right up from his leafy bed and hovered over me like a bear.

I helped Willie make that slingshot out of rubber bands I’d sliced from one of the old inner tubes piled out by Dad’s rusty Ford Roadster. That Ford had headlights on top of the fenders and the “old jalopy,” as Mum called it, was just rottin’ away out back of the two-holer. We broke a crotched limb out of the choke cherry bush to use for the handle. I tied the rubber band and the handle together with string from one of the flowered chicken feed sacks that Mum used to make her house dresses. That string was real strong and I was good at tying knots. Willie was proud as a peacock when it came to showing off that slingshot.

“How about we find some old tin cans and pile them up like a tower?” I asked Willie. “Better yet, let’s both make towers and see whose gets knocked down first.”

“Yes, siree!” Willie hooted as he made a mad dash to grab as many of the rusty cans as his chubby arms could hug together at one time. ###

Join Shawn and Willie for a 1950s Saturday adventure—Download PURE TRASH for ONLY 99¢ today!

Also available on MATCHBOOK: Purchase the paperback from Amazon for only $5.49 any time and download the eBook version for #FREE.

AUTHOR BIO

Inspired by nature and human nature, award-winning Maine author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher. 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 debut novel, DOG BONE SOUP, a baby boomer’s coming of age story.

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Bette A. Stevens: KCT International Literary Award Winner!


DOG BONE SOUP treat-award-1-2

via APRIL BOOK OF THE MONTH! @BetteAStevens – #RWISA #RRBC

Bette A. Stevens is a 2017 KCT INTERNATIONAL LITERARY AWARD ‘Top Finalist’ BLUE “TREAT” AWARD  Winner!!!

To learn more about Bette and her other books, please visit her RWISA profile page!  Please pick up your copy of this amazing title today!!!  You’ll be so glad you did!

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Book blurb

A compelling family drama in which a youth grows to manhood in a society where the poor are quickly and often wrongly judged.

DOG BONE SOUP by Bette A. Stevens

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#RRBC Book of the Month: PURE TRASH by Bette A. Stevens (Adventure/Ages 10-Adult)


A single day. A lifetime of lessons.

PURE TRASH by Bette A. Stevens has been selected one of three books chosen March Books of the Month by Rave Reviews Book Club. PURE TRASH (Available in Paperback $5.49 and eBook $2.99 versions).  A great book for adolescents, young adults, parents, guardians, mentors, and educators to read and discuss.

About the Book

In this short story prequel to the author’s novel DOG BONE SOUP, Shawn and Willie Daniels are off on a Saturday adventure in search of trash to turn into treasure. It is going to be a great day. Shawn is sure of it. No school and no bullies to remind him that he’s not one of the crowd.

“A nostalgic gem – I was swept away from the first paragraph and thoroughly enjoyed this skillfully written short story. This author knows how to paint mind-pictures and flavor them with taste, smell, and sound.”  WJ Scott, Children’s Author, Fairy Dust.

 

PURE TRASH by Bette A. Stevens (Excerpt) “Trash to Treasures”

Mr. Stark himself was behind the counter today. I always liked to see him. He was smiling back as if he was glad to see us, too. Empty bottles and all. Most of the clerks hated to see empties. They’d roll their eyes and shake their heads as if to say, “Not you two, again.” But not Mr. Stark. He was a different sort. His silver and black speckled hair had waves that curled around his face. His haircut sort of fit right in with his smile. Bright blue eyes sparkled and danced inside those wire-framed spectacles that looked way too small for his big round face.

“Hi, boys! Looks like you two young ’uns are in for some extra treats with all those empty bottles.” Mr. Stark smiled at Willie and me as he counted them up. “Forty-eight cents,” he said, reaching into the cash drawer for the four dimes and eight pennies that he pressed into my hand as he winked and smiled.

I was sure that Mr. Stark knew I’d divide the money between us. The other clerks would have tossed a quarter, two dimes and three pennies right down on the counter. But not Mr. Stark. He closed my fingers around the coins with his huge hand. It felt like a big friendly hug. I knew why I liked him a lot.

“Thank you, sir!” I smiled back at Mr. Stark and then down at Willie. Willie and me headed straight back out the door. We sat on the steps and began our storefront ritual. We had all the time in the world today. We were as free as the birds and the bees. We had our bikes and plenty of money to boot.

“What a day, Willie! We’ve got enough for ice cream, some soda pop and probably a bunch of penny candies, too,” I said. Then I handed Willie his share.

“Dang it, Shawn. You mean I get to hold on to my own money today?” Willie shook his head and quizzed me as I handed him his share of the cash.

“You sure do, Willie. I think you’re getting big enough now to do some figurin’ on your own. Just give a holler if you need any help.”

We grinned at each other. It was like we were sharing one of the world’s best kept secrets. Then, we marched right back up over those twelve steps and headed straight inside Stark’s to pick out our treasures.

I sure wasn’t in any kind of a hurry. Stark’s carried just about everything anybody could think of. I liked to wander around and look over the fishing gear. Today I had plenty of time to check out lots of other neat stuff, too. I knew Willie would head straight for the ice cream freezer.

I headed around the store to get a peek at all the stuff I’d never had time to take a real close look at before. Sporting goods. I loved to go fishin’. The glass case came nearly up to my shoulders and ran the length of the back wall, except for the space where a clerk could get in behind. The bottom shelves held knives of different shapes and any size you could imagine. Some of the knives were simple, others downright fancy. There were smooth leather covers and holders for those blades that likely cost more money than I’d ever see at one time. On the next shelf were handguns. One was so small it looked just liked a cap gun and there were lots of other pistols. Rifles and shotguns, too. There were even fancy leather holsters just like the ones Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger and all the cowboys wore on TV and in the movies.

On the back wall above the glass case hung bows and arrows, and gun racks filled with rifles and shotguns. There were jackets, vests, fishing gear and even bags to carry your trout back home in. Best of all were the fishing poles. How I longed for a real pole. One with a spinning reel and some store-bought hooks. Oh sure, I’d still use worms. They worked real good. Didn’t need all those fancy doo-dads made with feathers to get fish to bite. Didn’t need a store-bought pole either. But, oh, how I wanted one. “Someday, I’ll have me one just like that,” I told myself, spellbound by the shiny green pole and black reel that hung high over the glass counter. Someday.

“Yes. Someday, I think I’ll get me a store, just like Mr. Stark’s. I’ll work at the counter every Saturday when all the kids come in,” I thought dreamily, smiling up at that perfect, shiny green pole.

Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

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How to extend the attention span of your children.


Happy reading with the kids every day! http://www.4writer~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author http://www.writersandreaders.com 

Dayne Sislen Children's Book Illustration

Kids today are bombarded with video games as well as fast action cartoons and movies. Picture book publishers are requesting shorter and shorter picture books for young children. No wonder our children have problems keeping their minds focused on one thing for very long.

What can you do to help your kids have a longer attention span? My advice is not some new technical invention or app for your phone or tablet, but something easy and inexpensive that you can do in your own home.

SCBWI_Postcard_sm_sq_WP

You can extend your children’s attention span by reading to them.

What better way to show them you love them and help them at the same time. Kids love getting attention from their parents and grandparents. This one-on-one time without any distractions from phones or TV is important. Children can later illustrate the stories you read together so you have a visual reminder of the time you have…

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