A writer inspired by nature and human nature


The awesome Sally Cronin has shared Lauren Scott’s wonderful review of Amazing Matilda, A Monarch’s Tale along with D.G. Kaye’s fabulous review of Brody Cody by and The Haunted Vacation House by Toni Pike in Sally’s Smorgasbord Children’s Reading Room today. I invite you’ll stop by Sally’s to take a peek.. Thanks so much, dear Sally—you rock! ~Bette A. Stevens https://www.4writersandreaders.com 

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the Children’s Reading room with books for children up to the age of twelve years old.

The first author is Toni Pike who is receiving great reviews for her recent release .Brody Cody and the Haunted Vacation House (Brody Cody Series Book Two)

About the book

Brody Cody loves his new stepmother but is surprised to hear that she is expecting a baby. To celebrate, his parents take Brody and his friends away for a week to a very spooky house in the Blue Mountains, owned by the elderly and even spookier Mr Sludge.

Very strange things start to happen, and the friends soon become convinced that the house is haunted. They love scary stories and know all about ghosts, but will they be able to solve the mystery?

A hilarious adventure for children aged 6-9.

It would be best to read the series in order. Book…

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Happy #WorldPoetryDay! ~ Bette A. Stevens

Bette A. Stevens, Maine Author

BROOK SONGS poem by basInspired by nature, I love to walk to down the brook. It’s only a quarter-mile from “The Farmstead” here in Central Maine and no matter the weather or season, the sights and sounds of the water and the abundance of nature’s bounty always manage to refresh my soul and often inspire the writer child within me. The photo for the poem Brook Songs was taken last fall. As the autumn season nears a new dawning, I put pen to paper for a draft before designing the poem on the computer. ~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

  • Take a “Look inside” all of Bette’s books on YOUR AMAZON.
  • You’ll find more of Bette’s poetry right here on her blog

[Explore Bette’s Blog]

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Open a new door, a collection of poems

 

Today’s poem was inspired by the famous poem, Television, by Roald Dahl. In this poem, Roald Dahl takes a humorous look at the problem of children watching excessive amounts of TV and no longer reading.

My poem, called The grandparents, isn’t about as important a topic, but it takes a humorous look at the significant role of grandparents in our modern world. Many of us rely heavily on grandparents to help us raise our children in double income and busy homes.

About The grandparents

I wrote this poem about all the grannies and granddads that help their children to bring up their grandchildren in this crazy modern world of ours. I frequently see them at the school, filling in when mom and dad can’t be there and helping out everywhere they can. God bless grannies and granddads everywhere.

 

The grandparents

 

You’ll find them everywhere you look,

quietly observing from every cranny and nook,

drinking tea with friends in a local tea house,

in a pet store showing the children a mouse,

cheering on the team at a school hockey match,

in a chicken coop, helping the chicks to hatch,

at the hospital, bringing flowers to a friend,

at a play, watching until the very end.

 

They take the grandkids overnight,

they help resolve a sibling fight,

 they build a pirate island in the sand pit,

they search and find a missing soccer kit,

they teach our children not to stare,

and soothe them after a horrid nightmare,

they help us with our daily grind,

to our pressures and stress, they are not blind,

they support us through our daily toil,

although their comments can make the blood boil.

 

Their selective hearing can be hard to take,

you shout so loud, the dead could wake,

“No need to shout”, they say,

“we heard you clearly”,

sometimes it’s lucky for them,

we love them so dearly,

the dinner is too salty,

the cake is too sweet,

“Where did you find such frightfully tough meat”,

it’s easier to sit back and let them cook the dinner,

although watching them makes you feel like a sinner,

 and their criticism of our parenting style,

is enough our delicate feelings to rile.

 

There are so many positives to their involvement,

you couldn’t possibly bear any resentment,

I salute the moms and dads of the post war generation,

who changed the world with their determined inspiration.

 

BOOK BLURB

Open a New Door is a poetic peep into the life of poet, Robbie Cheadle, who lives in South Africa.

The book is divided into four categories: God bless Africa, God bless my family and friends, God bless me and God bless corporates and work. Each part is sub-divided into the good, the bad and the ugly of the two poets’ experiences, presented in rhyming verse, free-style, haiku and tanka, in each of these categories and include colourful depictions of the poet’s thoughts and emotions.

The purpose of this book of poetry is encapsulated in the following tanka and haiku poems:

What drives me to write?

To share my innermost thoughts

The answer is clear

It’s my personal attempt

To make some sense of this world.

 

Inspiration blossoms

Like the unfurling petals

Of the Desert Rose

About the author

Roberta Eaton Cheadle has published nine children’s books under the name of Robbie Cheadle. She has branched into writing for adults and young adults and, in order to clearly separate her children’s books from her adult books, is writing for older readers under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Roberta Eaton Cheadle has published two novels for YA and adult readers and has contributed to seven anthologies.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Thanks so much for stopping by to support my talented friend Robbie Cheadle, #RRBC SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR of the month. Robbie and I would love to hear from you. ~Bette A. Stevens

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Celebrating #Maine through Poetry

Maine officially celebrates its 201st Birthday on March 15, 2021! Find out more about “The Pine Tree State” and help us celebrate through another year with a haiku of your own. #WritingChallenge

Did you know?

Maine (nicknamed The Pine Tree State) remained a province of the Massachusetts Bay Colony when America declared its independence from Britain on July 4, 1776. At that time Maine was not one of America’s original thirteen colonies because it had never been granted a royal charter from Great Britain. It would be decades after the American Revolution and the signing of The Declaration of Independence (summarizing the colonists’ motivation for seeking independence) before Maine gained official statehood.

The Eastern white pine tree helped fuel the region’s economy in an era when shipbuilding and lumbering reigned supreme. The value of those pines actually provided a spark for the American Revolution. Massachusetts didn’t want to lose any of those pine profits it gained after the war, while Mainers struggled for political and economic independence. Maine officially celebrates its Bicentennial on March 15, 2020.

“A nature-filled land that enlivens the senses and soothes the soul—to me, Maine is poetry.”
–Bette A. Stevens

The Power of Poetry

How Readers & Writers of All Ages Benefit from Poetry

  • Improves Verbal Skills & Memory
  • Enhances Cognitive Function
  • Develops Empathy & Insight
  • Encourages Creativity

Why Haiku…

Inspired by the beauty and bounty of my home state, I write poetry in many forms; but I chose haiku for My Maine to offer readers a collection of story poems and photo snapshots of the unique land I know and love.

I invite you to join me as I celebrate #Maine2020 during 2020 & 2021 by submitting one of your favorite photos taken in “The Pine Tree State” and writing a haiku too! I’ll be publishing submissions here on my blog throughout 2020. Simply email me at bettestevens@tds.net SUBJECT: “Maine Bicentennial Haiku.”

How to Write Haiku…

A Peek Inside the Collection

~Excerpts from “Spring Awakenings”~

March shakes the remnants
Of sleep from wintery boughs
White confetti swirls

Granite boulders rise
Above the winter mantle
Midway the meltdown

Dark mask shrouds the land
Soaking downpour foreshadows
Season’s renewal

Rivers spill over
While ice jams—slowly melting
Weep upon their beds

Pot holes irk drivers
As roadways turn to washboards
Kids giggle in back

Hills and vales exult
Rivers and streams sing arias
Mud season arrives

Verdant shimmering
Emerald fields bursting forth
Souls rise from slumber

Sunbeams composing
Springtime melodies, humming
Tapping to the tunes

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 eight. 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 has written articles for ECHOES, The Northern Maine Journal of Rural Culture. As of July 2019,  Stevens has self-published five books and has a second poetry collection on the drawing board. Find out more about the author and her books at https://www.amazon.com/author/betteastevens

Contact the author at DBS Publishing to order author-signed copies of her books or to schedule a Poetry Event tailored to meet the needs and interests of your school, community group, company or organization, or simply to find out more.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I look forward to hearing from you. (Comment Section Below)

“Happy reading & writing poetry!” 

[Explore Bette’s Blog]


The Maine Bicentennial Continues…

Maine officially marked its 200th birthday a year ago—March 15, 2020. A Covid Pandemic may have slowed us down a bit, but in Maine we’ve always got plenty to celebrate.  (Photo of Frenchman Bay taken by author Bette A. Stevens from Cadillac Mountain, Acadia National Park in Maine.) Happy 201st Birthday, Maine!

Did you know?

Maine (nicknamed The Pine Tree State) remained a province of the Massachusetts Bay Colony when America declared its independence from Britain on July 4, 1776. It would be decades after the American Revolution and the signing of The Declaration of Independence before Maine gained official statehood in 1820.

Acadia National Park

Home to some of the most stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife on the Eastern Seaboard, Acadia National Park is open to explore year-round. Whether you’re interested in visiting Acadia National Park for fall foliage, winter skiing, spring fishing or summer hikes, it’s the perfect outdoor playground. Visit https://visitmaine.com/things-to-do/parks-natural-attractions/acadia-national-park to learn more about Maine’s only national park. Maine is a perfect place to spend a vacation—one you’ll treasure for a lifetime.

Check Maine.gov before visiting for the latest health and safety guidelines in place.

Maine is the easternmost state in the contiguous United States, and the northernmost east of the Great Lakes. It is known for its jagged, rocky coastline; low, rolling mountains; heavily forested interior; and picturesque waterways, as well as its seafood cuisine and its four distinct seasons. 

The Power of Poetry

How Readers & Writers of All Ages Benefit from Poetry

  • Improves Verbal Skills & Memory
  • Enhances Cognitive Function
  • Develops Empathy & Insight
  • Encourages Creativity

Why Haiku…

Inspired by the beauty and bounty of my home state, I write poetry in many forms; but I chose haiku for My Maine, Haiku through the Seasons. The collection offers readers story poems (150) and photo snapshots (49 original) + fun facts and symbols of the unique land I know and love. Writing haiku is a great way to celebrate the people, places and things that enrich our lives and inspire us every day. I invite you to give it a try!

How to Write Haiku…

 

A Peek Inside the Collection

~Excerpts from MY MAINE, Haiku through the Seasons “Spring Awakenings”~

March shakes the remnants
Of sleep from wintery boughs
White confetti swirls

Verdant shimmering
Emerald fields bursting forth
Souls rise from slumber

Windowsill seedlings
Watching and waiting, waiting…
Longing for fresh air

From the Master’s hand
Lily of the Valley shouts
Rejuvenation

Dandelion greens,
Fiddleheads along brook sides
Nature’s elixirs

 

“A nature-filled land that enlivens the senses and soothes the soul—to me, Maine is poetry.”
–Bette A. Stevens

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 eight. 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 has written articles for ECHOES, The Northern Maine Journal of Rural Culture. As of July 2019,  Stevens has self-published five books and has a second poetry collection on the drawing board.

Find MY MAINE and all of Bette’s books at https://www.amazon.com/author/betteastevens

 

Contact the author at DBS Publishing to order author-signed copies of her books or to schedule a Poetry Event tailored to meet the needs and interests of your school, community group, company or organization, or simply to find out more.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. I look forward to hearing from you. (Comment Section Below)

 

[Explore Bette’s Blog]


I’m delighted to have Toni Pike with us today. You’ll find out more about my talented author friend from Australia and get a peek into her latest children’s book. Check out this awesome teaser—Brody Cody’s second book is sure to be pleaser…

“Brody Cody loves his new stepmother but is surprised to hear that she is expecting a baby. To celebrate, his parents take Brody and his friends away for a week to a very spooky house in the Blue Mountains, owned by the elderly and even spookier Mr Sludge.” ~ Amazon blurb

Welcome back, Toni. ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author 

Meet Toni Pike

Thank you so much, Bette, for inviting me to your wonderful blog to talk about my new release, the second book in the Brody Cody Series. It’s called BRODY CODY AND THE HAUNTED VACATION HOUSE, another funny adventure for children aged 6-9. I had so much fun writing the first book that I couldn’t wait to send Brody off on another escapade.

It’s a chapter book for children to read by themselves – or for reading aloud. In this second adventure, Brody is dismayed to learn that he’s going to have a little brother or sister. When his parents take his friends with them on a trip to the Blue Mountains, it turns out to be much less relaxing than they expected. When spooky things start to happen, the children suspect that their vacation house is haunted. The Blue Mountains, by the way, is a beautiful area of stunning scenery very close to Sydney, and it’s a wonderful place to visit.

I’m a multi-genre author with several fast-moving thrillers: DESOLATION BLUFF, DEAD DRY HEART and The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series. I’ve also written two non-fiction books: THE ONE WAY DIET, a guide to losing weight, and HAPPY TRAVELS 101, a short book of travel tips.

I live in Canberra, the capital of Australia. With very tight border controls and restricted travel since the start of the pandemic, we’ve fared quite well here. Travelling is one of my main passions, but at the moment only limited travel within Australia is allowed. My main focus has been writing, and spending as much time as possible with family and friends.

About BRODY CODY AND THE HAUNTED VACATION HOUSE – Book 2 in The Brody Cody Series.

Brody Cody loves his new stepmother but is surprised to hear that she is expecting a baby. To celebrate, his parents take Brody and his friends away for a week to a very spooky house in the Blue Mountains, owned by the elderly and even spookier Mr Sludge.

Very strange things start to happen, and the friends soon become convinced that the house is haunted. They love scary stories and know all about ghosts, but will they be able to solve the mystery?

A hilarious adventure for children aged 6-9.

It would be best to read the series in order. In the first book, Brody’s life take a surprising turn when his father gets married.

About BRODY CODY AND THE STEPMOTHER FROM OUTER SPACE – Book 1 in The Brody Cody Series.

Brody Cody is almost eight years old and definitely, absolutely, positively does NOT want a mother. His mother died when he was a baby but life with his dad is just perfect.

Brody is horrified when his father goes away to a publishing conference and returns with a wife, Pandora Smith, who is a children’s author. His life spirals out of control as he is forced to eat healthy food, do his homework and help with some chores.

Even worse, he and his friends suspect that his new stepmother might be an alien from outer space.

Find out more about Toni Pike and her books

Thanks so much for stopping by to meet Toni Pike and learn more about her books. Toni and I would love to hear from you (comments below). Happy Reading! ~Bette A. Stevens

[Explore Bette’s Blog]


You’ll find me at Sally’s Smorgasbord Blog Magazine today along with a lovely review for my coming of age novel—Dog Bone Soup, A Boomer’s Journey.  ~ Bette A. Stevens, 4writersandreaders.com

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Welcome to the Wednesday edition of the Cafe and Bookstore updates with recent reviews for authors on the shelves.

The first author today with a recent review is D. Wallace Peach for Liars and Thieves (Unraveling the Veil Book 1)

About the book

Behind the Veil, the hordes of Chaos gather, eager to savage the world. But Kalann il Drakk, First of Chaos, is untroubled by the shimmering wall that holds his beasts at bay. For if he cannot cleanse the land of life, the races will do it for him. All he needs is a spark to light the fire.

Three unlikely allies stand in his way.

A misfit elf plagued by failure—When Elanalue Windthorn abandons her soldiers to hunt a goblin, she strays into forbidden territory.

A changeling who betrays his home—Talin Raska is a talented liar, thief, and spy. He makes a fatal mistake—he falls for his…

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“Wishing you Peace, Love, Joy and Hope as we embark on our New Year journey together…”

💞 Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

Bette A. Stevens, Maine Author

Peace Comes Walking POEM bas 2015

Wishing you love, joy and peace in the New Year and beyond. ~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator

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Wishing everyone “A Very Merry Christmas” and “A Happy & Healthy New Year!”  ~Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

🎄Celebrating the holidays🎉 and still looking for a special gift for a friend or family member?

Three of my eBooks are on sale for only 99¢ each through New Year’s Day 2021. I invite you to check them out at https://www.amazon.com/author/betteastevens

NOTE: You can also purchase any of these as paperbacks and download the eBook versions for FREE (Kindle Matchbook) anytime.

About the books

AGES 10–Adult/Novel & Short Story/Historical Fiction

DOG BONE SOUP

“Adventures and misadventures to the likes of Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry.” Frank Scozzari

  • Whether or not you grew up in the 1950s and 60s, you’ll find Dog Bone Soup (Historical Fiction) to be soup for the soul. 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 at a time when others were living The American Dream. This family drama and the emotional world of the characters are timeless and relatable. Dog Bone Soup (2017 Top Finalist KCT International Literary Award) 

PURE TRASH (Short story prequel to the novel Dog Bone Soup)

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

AGES 4–11/ Parents/Grandparents/ Award-Winning Children’s Picture Book

“If you loved P.D. Eastman’s incomparable book, ‘Are You My Mother’ about a baby bird’s search for its mother, you must read this book.” Jacqui Murray

If you read to children, you’re sure to want a copy of AMAZING MATILDA, A Monarch’s Tale (Award-winning Picture Book/Purple Dragonfly Book Award & Gittle List 2013) by Maine author/illustrator on your bookshelf. Follow Matilda, a monarch butterfly (through metamorphosis) from the time she emerges from her egg on a milkweed leaf until she realizes her dream to fly. Challenges and adventure at every turn, this story teaches children that patience and hard work really do pay off.

Find all of Bette’s Books and take a “Look Inside” on YOUR AMAZON

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Wishing you a beautiful Christmas and a New Year filled with God’s richest blessings… 💞 ~Bette A. Stevens

Bette A. Stevens, Maine Author

Christmas Eve Ponderings

The last cookie baked, the final gift wrapped.

Christmas Eve is upon us…

It’s time to relax.

Christmas music is gently reminding us why

Lord Jesus, the Christ Child…

Came down from on high.

He came as a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes.

Lived among us on earth…

God’s gifts to bestow.

Loving God, loving others —Christ bought with his life

He epitomized love…

Not anger or strife.

God’s love is a precious gift we’re to share

Not with just those we know…

But with folks everywhere.

© Bette A. Stevens, Maine author

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David
a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”
LUKE 2:11 (KJV) Bible


Christmas music in a 3 hours long playlist. Traditional Christmas songs & carols featuring piano, violin & orchestra – arranged and recorded by Peder B. Helland. Christmas songs in the mix:…

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