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Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category

#Bloghop – Survival of the Fittest (Prehistoric Fiction) by Jacqui Murray

 

 

 

Author Jacqui Murray is on a Blog Hop.  She’s here today to introduce us to her latest book—Survival of The Fittest—and I’m looking forward to an exciting prehistoric fiction read! ~Bette A. Stevens

Based on a true story, this is an unforgettable saga of hardship and determination, conflict and passion. Early man is the Hero and survival—or extinction—is the journey.

Today’s Q & A with Jacqui

Did Xhosa have any type of culture—art, music, that sort?

This time in man’s prehistory predated art, music, and most culture. There is very little if anything known about earliest man’s (850,000 years ago) interest in art and music. In Xhosa’s case, I extrapolated from what we do know about these early iterations of man. They appreciated colors but didn’t think of applying it to themselves. Their brains could imagine things unseen but that didn’t extend to painting themselves, wearing jewelry, or tattoos. Since clothing was only for warmth (or in Seeker’s case, to protect his sensitive parts), no thought was given to designing or decorating these.

Music—They did appreciate bird songs but considered it an animal voice, not something that they could replicate for their own pleasure. They could replicate it but it was to imitate the bird, not express creativity. They also appreciated rhythm but that was to set a running pace or sooth people.

Short Summary

Chased by a ruthless and powerful enemy, Xhosa flees with her People, leaving behind a certain life in her African homeland to search for an unknown future. She leads her People on a grueling journey through unknown and dangerous lands but an escape path laid out years before by her father as a final desperate means to survival. She is joined by other homeless tribes–from Indonesia, China, South Africa, East Africa, and the Levant—all similarly forced by timeless events to find new lives. As they struggle to overcome treachery, lies, danger, tragedy, hidden secrets, and Nature herself, Xhosa must face the reality that this enemy doesn’t want her People’s land. He wants to destroy her.

Survival of the Fittest

Series: Book 1 in the Crossroads series, part of the Man vs. Nature saga

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Cover by: Damonza 

About the author

     Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for TeachHUB and NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Quest for Home, Summer 2019. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

Social Media contacts:

http://twitter.com/worddreams

http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher

http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray

https://worddreams.wordpress.com

https://jacquimurray.net

 

Thanks so much for stopping by to check out Jacqui Murray’s new release. I invite you to spread the word about Survival of the Fittest by sharing this post on your social media sites. Have a great week and Happy Reading!


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February Writing Prompt from Diana Peach

Pixabay image by Marianne Sopala

So Long Sweet Dreams

Haiku by Bette A. Stevens

Beast of a blizzard

Tromping in to surprise us

Sweet dreams disrupted

“During February and March, I’ll be getting my first poetry collection—MY MAINE, Haiku through the Seasons—ready for publication. I invite you to take a peek at a sampling of haiku from the Winter Tales chapter. I’m looking for a few ARC reader/reviewers for pre-publication blurbs by month’s end. You can let me know in the comments section below. Thanks so much for your continued support”

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Winter Tale (Haiku) by Bette A. Stevens

Do you like variety? You’ll find it in Novel Thoughts, Sharon K Connell’s monthly newsletter—articles, interviews, tips, poetry, art, at least one recipe, plus more.

Starting with the next issue (February 2019), I’ll be a featured poet in the Author’s Pen section of the newsletter. Take a moment to subscribe on her website http://sharonkconnell.com/ And while you’re there, you can view previous editions of Novel Thoughts by clicking on the Newsletter Archive menu. ~Bette A. Stevens

 

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MY MAINE “Winter Tales” (Haiku selections) from Bette A. Stevens’s WIP

This upcoming collection of haiku reflects the Maine I know and love. Here is a sampling of several stanzas from the section Winter Tales. I hope you enjoy them and would appreciate your comments. I plan to edit and format the collection during the holiday season, and hope to publish my first poetry book—MY MAINE, Haiku through the Seasons—early in 2019. ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author 

Winter Tales

(Selected samples from MY MAINE, Haiku Through the Seasons by Bette A. Stevens)

Winter genie waves
Its icy crystal scepter
Dawn’s magic appears

Silvery branches
Read a charmed folktale
A spellbound story

Pine cones and tassels
Mirrored in moonlight upon
White weighted branches

Chickadees dozing
Nestling, captive till
Morning sets them free

Shovels and snow plows
Storm’s ravings unraveled
Till the next arrives

Soups, stews and chowders
Stories told round the table
Favored winter fare

The sundial declares
Dwindling days this season
When nightfall looms large

Neighbors helping hands
Gifts from the heart most cherished
As storm clouds gather

Families and friends
Make merry through this season
Knee deep in snow

Thanks so much for taking time to read these selected verses from MY MAINE, Haiku Through the Seasons. I look forward to hearing your thoughts about them as I continue work on the collection. Wishing everyone a blessed and beautiful Holiday Season. ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

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#FREE Limited Time Offer—PURE TRASH (Historical Fiction/Ages 10-adult) by Bette A. Stevens

PURE TRASH

“A single day. A lifetime of lessons.”

“A great book for adolescents, young adults,
parents, 
mentors, and educators.”

PURE TRASH (Historical Fiction) by Bette A. Stevens
#FREE eBook through November 23, 2018
Grab a copy of this #must-read story today at Your Amazon http://amzn.to/1T5tMAZ today!

Recommended reading ages 10-adult.

5gold-star3

“This is a glimpse into the characters of Shawn and Willie Daniels who take front and center in the author’s full-length novel, DOG BONE SOUP. A nostalgic vignette, PURE TRASH will whisk you into an era and place where many struggled to survive the grip of poverty. This short novella is filled with adventure, and the fun of boys being boys–riding bikes, collecting bottles for penny candy, and running into trouble…and prejudice.

“Enjoy this short read but when you are finished, I highly recommend purchasing DOG BONE SOUP. It’s a gem of a book that will leave a lasting impression with its memorable characters, heart and story line. Don’t miss it!” ~ Mae Clair, author

Book Blurb

PURE TRASH (Historical Fiction/Ages 10-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.

About the Author

Inspired 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 (milkweed is the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat).

Stevens’s children’s activity book, THE TANGRAM ZOO and WORD PUZZLES TOO! was first published in 1997 by Windswept House Publishing, Mt. Desert, ME; a second edition was self-published by the author in 2012.  AMAZING MATILDA , Stevens’s second children’s book, self-published in 2012 won a 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Honorable Mention for Excellence in Children’s Literature – Ages 6 and older category) and also placed #9 on The 2013 Gittle List for Self-published Children’s Picture Books. Stevens has written articles for ECHOES, The Northern Maine Journal of Rural Culture based in Caribou, Maine. In 2013, the author published her first book for the YA/Adult audience: PURE TRASH, a short story of a boy growing up in rural New England in a family whose poverty and alcoholism mark him as a target for bullying by young and old alike. This short story is a prequel to Stevens’s début novel DOG BONE SOUP (KCT International Literary Award Top Finalist 2017). Stevens is currently working on her first poetry collection—MY MAINE, Haiku through the seasons.

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MY MAINE “Autumn Leaves” (Haiku selections) from Bette A. Stevens’s WIP

My upcoming collection of haiku reflects the Maine I know and love. Here is a sampling of several stanzas from the section Autumn Leaves. I hope you enjoy them and would appreciate your comments. I plan to have the entire collection edited, formatted and published before year’s end. ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author 

Autumn Leaves

(Selected samples from MY MAINE, Haiku Through the Seasons by Bette A. Stevens)

Washed across woodlands
Blazing brush transforms the world
Into a canvas

Church steeples flashing
Like beacons across mural
Of the Master’s hand

Climb to the summit
Ascending steep timbered trails
Foliage at peak

Crispy, crunchy leaves
Frolic in the wind
Carnival classics

Skycastle ensigns—
Clever couriers announce
The coming tempest

Harvesting, mulching
Gardener’s work never done
But oh, the rewards

Cinnamon, nutmeg
Pumpkin confections abound
Connoisseur’s delight 

Window panes clatter
Leaves scatter in the whirlwind
Green fields turned umber

Drifting off to sleep
Reposing in tawny beds
Autumn leaves at rest

Thanks so much for taking time to read these selected verses from MY MAINE, Haiku Through the Seasons. I look forward to hearing your thoughts about them as I continue work on the collection. Wishing everyone a blessed and beautiful autumn. ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

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“TREAT” Reads Blog Hop!- Day 9 #RRBC #RRBCTreatReads

Thank so much for featuring us on your blog, Kester James Finley. ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author http://www.4writersandreaders.com

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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.

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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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