Early December at the Farmstead in Central Maine—finally have a covering of snow and temperatures cold enough to keep the white magic around for a while. Conifer branches adorned in winter’s white called out to this writer: “Capture a photo, we’re all spruced up in our new attire!” from near the barn’s entrance. I simply had to pen their remembrance in a poem— Fresh Fallen Crystals.
“Stevens’ skill with dialect also makes this book unique. She doesn’t overdo it, but lets it flow like spring water, or rain in the forest…”Thanks so much for reading and reviewing DOG BONE SOUP, Mary Clark!READ ALL ABOUT IT… ~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine authorhttp://www.4writersandreaders.com
Thank you, AngelaKayBooks: “The novel is easily written, fast-paced, and laced with lessons for any of us, particularly the baby boomers…” (Read the entire review on Angela’s review blog.) ~ Bette A. Stevens4writersandreaders.com
Take a step back in time to “The Good Old Days” with protagonist Shawn Daniels as he encounters the challenges and experiences the glories of growing up poor in an era when many families were living the American Dream.
“Shawn Daniels and his siblings shake off extreme poverty, hunger, a dilapidated homestead and a drunken father, to somehow embark upon an idyllic childhood. Bette A. Stevens has crafted a remarkable tale of hope and happiness in the face of despair.” —Charles Bray (Founder of the Indietribe, a body dedicated to supporting self-published authors www.theindietribe.com)
Shawn Daniels isn’t your typical American boomer boy. Shawn is a poor boy and his father is the town drunk. Shawn’s family has no indoor plumbing or running water, but they do have a TV. After all, Dad deserves the rewards of his labor. Meanwhile, Shawn and his brother Willie keep the firewood cut and stacked, haul in water for cooking and cleaning and do all that needs to doing around the ramshackle place they call home. But when chores are done, these resourceful kids set out on boundless adventures that don’t cost a dime.
On a bitter New England day in 1964, Shawn is on his way to boot camp to soak up the southern sun and strike out on a new adventure—in a place where he believes it’s possible to make his dreams come true. Find out where this Boomer’s been and where he’s going in DOG BONE SOUP.
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—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 story.
PURE TRASH—the short story prequel to the novel DOG BONE SOP by Maine author Bette A. Stevens, offers readers and book clubs insight into poverty and prejudice in rural New England in the 1950s. Download your copy for #FREE August 24th through August 28th ! “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
PURE TRASH (Literary Fiction/ages 11-adult) by Bette A. Stevens—FREE eBook through AUGUST 28th at YOUR AMAZONhttp://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 debut novel DOG BONE SOUP.
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—DownloadPURE TRASHfor free today!
Inspired by nature and human nature, 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 début novel, DOG BONE SOUP, a baby boomer’s coming of age novel.
Illustrations for the poem “Sensational Summer” are from Bette’s award-winning children’s picture book, AMAZING MATILDA.
Much like a Monarch butterfly, the summer is quickly flying past us here at The Farmstead in Central Maine. In fact, it won’t be long before these amazing butterflies begin their great southern migration to Mexico, where they’ll aggregate (cluster in dense tree cover) to keep warm, enabling this generation of monarchs to winter over before they mate and begin the next generation’s migration north for the 2017 season. Matilda (a Monarch butterfly and the main character in my picture bookAMAZING MATILDA) and I wish you and yours a sensational summer! ~ Bette A. Stevens, Maine author/illustrator
“This work was recommended to me by my editor, and now I know why… Most enjoyable!” ~ Kev Cooper
(Read all about it and grab a copy of PURE TRASH by Bette A. Stevens at YOUR AMAZONtoday! http://bit.ly/1BMrqbL )
“A Window into a Baby Boomer’s Saturday.” ~ Christina Steiner
“A child’s perspective in everyday cruelty captured beautifully…” ~ Maria Catalina Egan
PURE TRASH, a short story adventure (ages 11–adult) by Bette A. Stevens, Maine author
#FREE eBook (Limited Time) FEBRUARY 6th – 10th
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. PURE TRASH is the short story prequel to DOG BONE SOUP, Stevens’s début novel DOG BONE SOUP.
Inspired 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