Posted in Guest Author

RIP Zig Ziglar

Hello Everyone! I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving and are looking forward to Christmas! I know I am! It’s my favorite holiday. 🙂

I’m just getting over a bout with the stomach flu, so my post is a little late today. Sorry about that. 🙂 But on the plus side, I’m feeling much better and I’m almost back to my old self!

Yesterday, a wonderful man passed away, one that was an inspiration to me as well as millions of people. His name was Zig Ziglar. I want to talk a little bit about Zig today because I was impressed with the man.

He was a World War II veteran. After the war he worked for a series of companies in the sales field. That’s when I first learned about Zig because I started my early career in sales as well and his books were recommended to me.

When I first started out I read a variety of “sales” books that were going to show me how to get to the top. They basically said a career in sales is really a numbers game. The more people you see the more sales you get…yada…yada…yada.  Then I read Zig’s. Not only did he motivate his readers to be the best sales people they could be but they also encouraged people to be the best humans they could be. 🙂

You see, to Zig a career in sales wasn’t just about the numbers. He really wanted to improve his customer’s lives with his product. And isn’t that what we all want to do as authors, with our books? Improve or make better the lives of our readers?

That’s what I gleaned from his books and his motivational speeches anyway. And the man was funny! 🙂 Not only were his jokes funny…but they also rang true in many cases. 🙂

Here’s one that I really like. “People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing that’s why we recommend it daily.” I always chuckle when I read that one and it puts me in a better mood.

I was sad when I heard he passed away. He was one celebrity I would have loved to meet in person.

Now, that I’m working on becoming a best-selling author. 🙂 I can use the same principles that he used in his motivational speeches to achieve that goal. And I must say I see many authors who use these principles too. I don’t know if they realize they’re using them, but they are. And that’s one of the things I love about the Publishing Industry.

So, many authors are out there willing to help each other out. What a refreshing experience after working in the dog eat dog world of Corporate America. 🙂

This quote from Zig summarizes what I’m trying to say. “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.

That’s how I feel about the authors and bloggers who have helped me by either critiquing what I’ve written or helped me by promoting my books. Thanks everyone! 🙂

And another quote that all of us authors can relate to, is this one. “There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.” 🙂

Just tuck that little nugget into the back of your brain and remember it when you get that one or two star review. 🙂

In closing, I’d like to say thanks to Zig for sharing his philosophies with everyone. He’s touched my life with his realistic humor and I’m sure he’ll continue to touch many people’s lives with his words of wisdom.

If you want to check out Zig Ziglar’s books click the link below.

http://www.amazon.com/Zig-Ziglar/e/B000AP7VIY/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1354205732&sr=1-2-ent

Thanks for stopping by today and reading my post. 🙂 If you’d like to share your thoughts on Zig…leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in promotion

It’s a Thanksgiving Blog Hop!

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! Some of my colleagues and I have put together a Thanksgiving Blog Hop just for you! There will be prizes so check out everyone’s site! 🙂

All of us are listing five things that we are grateful for this year. Check it out and share your thoughts! Let me know what you’re grateful for! I’d love to hear from you!

 

Five Things that I’m Thankful For

 1. My wonderful husband and my two boys. 🙂 They are my inspiration and keep me headed in the right direction.

2. My awesome publisher ASTRAEA PRESS for accepting my manuscripts. And the awesome editors that edit my books! Your guidance has been instrumental in my stories.

3. The wonderful AUTHORS that I’ve met in the publishing industry. Their help and encouragement has been a real blessing.

4. My Critique Group THE GRAND RAPIDS WRITERS EXCHANGE. They’ve been instrumental in helping me get my manuscripts in shape.

5. Last but certainly not least my FANS and READERS! Without you my stories would be sitting on the e-book shelves gathering dust!

So to celebrate my gratitude I’m going to give away a signed paperback of “The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer”! Whoo Hoo! 🙂 It would make a great Christmas Present for the Tween/Teen in your life! 🙂

How do you enter this giveaway? That is a very good question. You can enter by posting a comment about what you are thankful for and that will count as one entry. You can also enter by tweeting and sharing about the giveaway and then posting the tweet or share in the comment section at the end of this post. Each tweet and share equals two entries. So, if you tweet 4 times…you’re entered 8 times.

That’s it! That’s all you have to do! 🙂

The winner will be announced on November 23rd! I will post the winner on my blog, facebook, and twitter. I will also send the winner an e-mail. 🙂

Here’s the cover and blurb for “The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer”.

This book opens in a small town in Michigan where fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman. One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death. Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own fact-finding mission.  The Super Spies can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the inquest. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. To make matters worse, the police don’t even believe them. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer, or die trying…

The next stop on this blog hop is E.A. West’s blog! Check it out! The link is below.

http://thewestcorner.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/thanksgiving-blog-hop/

Thanks again for stopping by and I hope you have an awesome Thanksgiving! 🙂

Posted in Guest Author

Please Welcome Sherry Gloag as she talks about “Vidal’s Honor”!

 

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you today! I’ve got Sherry Gloag here and she’s talking a little bit about herself and her new release “Vidal’s Honor”. Thanks so much for being here today Sherry! 🙂 Take it away!

 

 

I have loved reading for as long as I can remember, and I discovered Georgette Heyer very early on, and have always had copies of her books on my shelves, both virtual and real.  So, in a way, I suppose, given I write romance, that I would one day try my hand at a Regency Romance.

Vidal’s Honor opens on the morning of the battle of Salamanca in July 1812.  Not having much confidence in my ability to research my subject I wasn’t sure how I’d get on.  Suffice to say, it was a pleasant surprise.  I even spent time researching the weather in various parts of Spain and France, and yes they, unlike the English, do have weather records going back that far.

There is a scene when my hero and heroine, Lord Charles Vidal and Lady Honor Beaumont are setting out to cross the English Channel, and although on that particular night, in reality it rained, I took the licence of turning it into a storm with huge waves, thunder and lightning.  It was great fun.

It often happens that secondary characters play a bigger part than expected and when your story is ‘finished’ they demand you start all over again and write their story, and so it is with my secondary characters, Juan and Consuela.  Because I am a ‘pantser’ writer, I’m not sure how or where their story is going beyond a very rough outline, but already I’m having the same fun with this story as I did with my Christmas Regency Romance, Vidal’s honor, published by Astraea Press on 31st October.

 

Vidal’s Honor

Blurb:

When plunged into a world of spies, agents and espionage during the Peninsula wars, Honor, Lady Beaumont, flees for her life when the French capture her husband at Salamanca, and relies on his batman to arrange her safe passage back to England.

Viscount Charles Vidal is ordered by Robert Dumas, the First Lord of the Admiralty, to travel to Spain and escort the only woman he’s ever loved, Lord Devlin Beaumont’s widow back home before the French discover her whereabouts.

Their journey is fraught by danger, least of all knowing whether they are surrounded by friends or foe. Will they survive long enough to explore the possibility of a future together or will whispers of treason be enough to see Honor dispatched to Tyburn first?

Here’s an excerpt from this very intriguing book! 🙂

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Will whispers of treason be enough to see Honor dispatched to Tyburn or can
Vidal save her again?

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

While Vidal joked with his cousin, the viscount scanned the room. The smell of fine wine, whiskey and cigar smoke blended into a rich aroma that was as much a part of Whites as the card games, the background chatter, and outbreaks of lewd laughter from the younger members of the club.
One member in particular interested Vidal tonight, and he watched Robert Dundas, second Viscount Melville, and First Lord of the Admiralty, take leave of his friends and head in his direction.

He wondered why the man spent the best part of the night watching his every move, and paused in the act of fobbing his snuff box while he waited for the viscount to join him.

“Take a walk with me?” Although couched as a question, Vidal noted the quiet steel of command in the other man’s voice. Dundas laid a hand on his arm; a companionable gesture for anyone interested enough to observe the two men leaving the club together. “I believe I live not far beyond your own house. I’d appreciate your company, and this is not the place for such a discussion. ”

With an indolent twist of the wrist Vidal returned the modish lacquered box, unopened, to his pocket and nodded agreement. A man’s club was no setting for private conversation, and it was plain the man wanted to talk about something away from flapping ears.

Together they strolled across the room stopping to take leave of several mutual friends.

Buy Links:

Astraea Press: http://www.astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=662267&mode=product&product=16090214

 

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Sherry+Gloag

 

Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_10?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=sherry+gloag&sprefix=sherry+glo%2Caps%2C251

 

 

 

This sounds like a great story Sherry!

You can find Sherry at these social media sites:

Web: http://www.sherrygloag.com

Blog: http://sherrygloagtheheartofromance.blogspot.co.uk/

FB: http://www.facebook.com/sherry.gloag

twitter: https://twitter.com/SherryGloag

Thanks Sherry for sharing with us today!

Posted in Guest Author

Please welcome Astraea Press author Patricia Kiyono

 

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’ve got Patricia Kiyono here today and she’s talking about her newest release! And I must say it does sound interesting! Check it out!

 

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today, Lisa!

 

The Samurai’s Garden is a project I started in the summer of 2005, just after I retired from my full-time teaching job. I had just learned from my mother that when her family researched the background of the Japanese American man she intended to marry, they found Dad had descended from a shogun! I started reading about the Japanese feudal system and quickly became intrigued by these warriors, and the samurai soldiers who fought for them. I learned that the entire class of people was eliminated suddenly when Emperor Meiji began his rein in 1870 and I wondered how these people coped with such an abrupt change. And as any author will tell you, the question “what if…” is the start of any good story!

 

As I wrote, Hiromasa Tanaka emerged as the consummate hero—larger than life, with a strong sense of justice and compassion for those less fortunate. Hanako Shimizu is a subsistence farmer with a distrust of former samurai soldiers (known as “ronin” or masterless samurai) because her farm was raided by a band of unscrupulous men the previous fall – men who had previously sworn to uphold the samurai code of ethics known as the Bushido. Hiro is disgusted by the rogue ronin’s acts and vows to help her restore her lands and improve her standard of living.

 

The Bushido (translated, it means “the Way of the Warrior”) is a series of tenets that each samurai swore to uphold. They include justice, courage, benevolence, politeness, honesty, honor, loyalty and self-control. I found several books and websites about this code of ethics. Most of them are characteristics we find attractive in a hero. Think of the heroes in our favorite stories from any setting or genre – the gruff but gentle cowboy, the fiery but passionate vigilante, the brooding cop. All adhere to a “code” of some kind whether it’s written or unwritten. It’s a strong sense of right and wrong, and they live their lives according to that code.

 

I fell in love with the hero, the setting, and the people in my make-believe village in rural Japan. Of course, life often gets in the way of large plans, and since I’d never published a book before, the writing project was put away in favor of other things. I’d pull it out once in a while, especially when I joined a critique group that forced me to keep plugging away at the manuscript. I even managed to write a short story about Hiromasa’s four times great-grandson, Andy Tanaka, and The Legacy was accepted for publication in July of 2011 as part of the Japan Relief anthology. That really inspired me to finally complete this story, and I am so thrilled with the entire experience at Astraea Press. I hope you enjoy the result.

 

Here’s the book blurb for The Samurai’s Garden:

 

Hiro Tanaka prepared for a life as a samurai warrior. But his world changed when Japan’s feudal system was abolished by the Emperor. Now, he must find a new vocation. Disillusioned with fighting and violence, he travels alone, going north to the island of Hokkaido.  Many other samurai wander through the country and are known as ronin. Some have forsaken their honorable way to prey on the less fortunate.

Hanako Shimizu experienced first-hand the devastation caused by these disreputable wanderers.  The previous winter, they raided her farm and killed her husband. Now, she needs to rebuild but has no money and no prospects—except for the dubious intentions of the town merchant.

When Hiro, tired of his wandering, encounters Hanako in the market, arguing with the merchant, he poses as her late husband’s cousin then offers to help her on the farm in exchange for a place to stay. Working on the land, Hiro finally finds the peace he has been seeking. But the reappearance of the rogue ronin, led by an unscrupulous leader from Hiro’s past, forces him to take up his swords again. But now, the stakes are higher.

This time, he’s fighting from the heart.

 

The Samurai’s Garden is available at Astraea Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

 

Patricia Kiyono can be found at her website, blog, facebook, and twitter @PatriciaKiyono.

 

Thanks Patty for sharing your new release with us! I’ve definitely got this book on my TBR Pile!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

I’m going to be on a Radio Show! Whoo Hoo!

 

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! I just wanted to let everyone know that I’m going to be on the radio tomorrow at 5:00 PM EST! I’m really excited about this! You can call in and ask me any question you want! 🙂 Here’s the link! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/webbweaverbooks/2012/11/12/webbweaver-books-proudly-presents-lisa-orchard

So call in and chat with me!

I’ll be talking about “The Super Spies” series! Books and blurbs are below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

This book opens in a small town in Michigan where fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole is stuck spending the summer at her Aunt and Uncle’s with her sister, Lacey. She’s not happy with the situation until she befriends a girl named Jackie. The three girls stumble upon the ruthless murder of a reclusive neighborhood woman. One of the officers investigating the crime believes the girls are responsible for her death. Fearing that this officer will frame them for the murder, the girls organize their own detective squad. They become the Super Spies and start their own fact-finding mission.  The Super Spies can’t understand why anyone would want to murder the “Cat Lady” until they start digging into her past and discover a horrible crime that happened thirty years ago. They uncover a connection between the two crimes and attempt to bring this information to the police, only to be reprimanded for meddling in the inquest. Not only are the girls upset by the admonition, but they also struggle with the fact that their exuberant investigating could provide a legal loophole allowing the killer to go free. To make matters worse, the police don’t even believe them. Frustrated by this turn of events, the Super Spies realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady killer, or die trying…

 

This book opens in a small town in Michigan where Sarah and her sister Lacey are now living with their Aunt and Uncle. Still reeling from the fact her parents have disappeared, Sarah starts the school year with her new friend Jackie Jenkins. When Sarah learns the school has been bombed, she’s filled with dread. Uncle Walt is a teacher, and he was in the school when the bomb exploded. Taking matters into her own hands, Sarah decides to search for him. The rest of the Super Spies are right behind her. When a fireman chases them away from the school, Sarah becomes suspicious. She decides to investigate. The FBI arrives on the scene. Sarah realizes this bombing could have even bigger implications. Searching for the bombers, Sarah is introduced to the world of terrorism. She fears that the bombing and her parents’ disappearance are connected and terrorists are involved. To make matters worse, the bombers are determined to finish the job. Can the Super Spies find the bombers before it’s too late?

So give me a jingle tomorrow and we’ll chat on the radio! 🙂 I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

 

Posted in Blog tour

Vala Agendas Blog Tour

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’ve got J.F. Jenkins here and she’s sharing some great information about herself and her new book “Vala Agendas”.  Take it away J. F.! 🙂

1)       What inspired you to write your Book?
Like most of my books, I had a really trippy dream. I call it “Divine Inspiration”. 🙂

2)       Who is your favorite character and why?

That’s a tough one to answer. There are many that I like equally for various different reasons. I guess if I had to narrow it down, however, I would pick Jewl, and that’s for reasons to be revealed in later books.

3)       Why should readers read your book?

Because it’s awesome? Lol. No, in all seriousness, because it’s the beginning of a journey like no other.

4)       Tell us a little bit about your writing process.

I just write. There isn’t really any other way to describe it. When I get an idea, I sort of think about where I want it to go and take it there. Usually there are twists and turns along the way of course, but I just keep writing even if I’m not necessarily feeling like it.

5)       What’s next for J. F. Jenkins the author?

I’m working on the fourth book in the Vala series, Denver’s book, which has no title at the moment. Then I’m going to finish the last book in my Dragons Saga.

Fun questions:

1)       Tell us something that no one else knows about you.

I can’t tell you that! Then everyone will know!

2)       What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

Everything and anything! Seriously, I span multiple genres.

3)       Who’s your favorite author?

Stephen King

4)       What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?

Big Time Rush

5)       If you could sit down and talk with a famous author, who would it be and why?

Probably Stephen King and that’s just because he’s so interesting to listen to.

Thanks J.F. for taking the time to be here today and anyone who wants to purchase her new book the links are below! Check it out!

Cheyenne Loveless was just a boring sixteen-year-old girl. Then Denver Collins bit her and everything changed. Her plants start talking to her, she finds out she’s a Nymph, and a witch and the angel of death show up at her doorstep to take her away to the prestigious Vala School and Seminary. Oh, and she has no choice in the matter.

All she wants to do is blend in and return to being invisible, but the more time that passes, the harder that becomes. Plus she’s a daughter of the Divine, an exclusive secret society which rules the world of myth, and discovers she is a key ingredient to an ancient covenant created before she was born. A covenant …

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Vala-Agendas-ebook/dp/B005WNXJRG

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/vala-j-f-jenkins/1111910922?ean=2940013301627

Posted in Uncategorized

Could e-books be the Solution to our Growing Literacy Problems?

Hello Everyone, I hope all is well with you today! I’m back with another topic that’s near and dear to my heart and that is the literacy problems that we have in the US today.

According to an article in USA Today a federal study has found that an estimated thirty two million adults are saddled with such low literacy skills that it would be tough for them to read anything more challenging than a children’s picture book or to understand a medication’s side effects listed on a pill bottle.  For more information from this article click here: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/education/2009-01-08-adult-literacy_N.htm

I find this alarming, don’t you?  The statistics for our youth are just as bad. According to RIF.org http://www.rif.org/us/about/literacy-issues.htm  nearly forty percent of US fourth graders do not achieve basic levels of reading proficiency. The number is higher among low income families, certain minority groups, and English language learners.

So, how can we turn this around?  That is a very good question and as I ponder it the memory of a conversation with my second grader comes to mind. We were getting ready to do his reading homework and he was grumbling that he really didn’t want to do it.  Feeling frustrated, I started to argue with him and then I stopped and asked him, “Why don’t you want to read tonight?”

He looked at me and said, “Because these books are boring.”

“Well…did you tell your teacher that?”

He shook his head. “No…she would get upset.”

I just stumbled upon part of the problem. Some of these books that schools are requiring students to read just don’t interest them. And with no interest in the subject reading becomes a “pain” to do and the young student’s motivation turns to dread. With all the millions of books in the world I’m sure we could find topics that would be interesting to our young readers.  Why can’t we offer them choices? I feel that offering our little chickadees a choice and letting them pick a topic they like would be a step in the right direction. It would solve the motivation issues that seem to be a problem with our reluctant readers.

As I pondered this I thought, what if all of the students were given e-readers? Look at all the books available today that are in e-book format. I’m sure we could find something to please even the pickiest reader. I know what you’re thinking…that’s kind of unrealistic.  Or is it?

When you think about it…look at the cost of a paperback versus the cost of an e-book. I mean educators will be making up the difference in cost relatively quickly.

And while we’re at it…why don’t we put text books in e-book format? Can you imagine the savings for educators in that arena? With our educators trying to cut costs I think that e-readers represent a viable solution.

Did you know that Scholastic has an e-reader right now? It’s called Storia and parents can get most of the books available from Scholastic in e-book format.

I see E-books as the wave of the future and if our schools hop on board maybe we can turn this literacy problem around. Kids could literally carry a library around with them. What do you think? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you! 🙂

I’d like to thank USA Today and RIF.org for some of the information in this post. 🙂

Posted in Guest Author

Lisa Greer talks about her Exciting New Project!

 

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! Thanks for stopping by. I’ve got fellow Astraea Press Author Lisa Greer here and she’s got an exciting project that she’d like to share with us! Take it away Lisa!

Thanks for having me as your guest today, Lisa!

Have you ever fallen in love with a book? Since you’re reading this post, I bet you have.

The one I fell in love with was Wuthering Heights. I can’t remember exactly when I first read it. I’d cut my teeth on Nancy Drew and other mysteries with Gothic themes and elements, but Wuthering Heights was the novel that made me go wow. I wanted to write like that…and to live in a story like that.

When I started writing gothic romance in the late summer of 2010, I wanted to be able to create characters with just a bit of the life that Cathy and Heathcliff have. DuMaurier’s Rebecca is another luminary example in the genre. The tension and foreboding of that novel, not to mention the creepy story of hate as DuMaurier herself said it was, captured my imagination.

I’ve been writing different types of gothic romance for a while now, and recently, I’ve gotten into historical gothic romance. Think Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre and the works of Victoria Holt, to name many others.

Serials and gothic romance/historical gothic romance seem to mesh well—at least for me. I’ve written a couple sets of these (The Montmoors and Delia Daugherty serials) and some linked series with two or more stories or novels in the set. Recently, I decided I wanted to try my hand at putting out serials on a real serial schedule (ie, short installments every few weeks without big delays that break into the flow of the story). Think Sherlock or Breaking Bad for the reading set—stories with cliffhangers that pick up where they left off in each new serial. Each serial will resolve some issues while leaving others open…till the next installment.

A regular/fast publishing schedule that works best with serials isn’t always possible unless as an author, I have control over the publishing process. That’s where my project, Sorrowmoor, comes in. I’m planning at least twenty historical gothic romance serials over the course of 2013. My motto is under-promise and over-deliver in terms of what I’ve outlined for the serials. So, it’s likely I’ll have more than twenty serials or that they’ll be lengthier than the minimum of 2000 words each. These will land in backers’ inboxes or e-reading devices, and I’ll also put the serials in a combined e-book edition with a fabulous cover and a print edition that looks equally great. I’m planning lots of other cool stuff, too!

So, how can you get some good reads and back the project? If you have a dollar, that’s a start. As of the writing of this post, I’m 47% of the way toward the goal after just a few days! I’ve set a really low, reasonable goal that’s a realistic look at the monies needed for editing, cover art, formatting, and extras. I want to provide good reads, rewards, and value to readers. There are all sorts of levels at which you can back Sorrowmoor, so please take a look. If you don’t like gothic romance (which is romantic suspense, just with paranormal elements) you can support the project and gift your rewards to a friend who will enjoy these serials. It’s like a year-round Christmas gift.

I appreciate the backing I have so far, and I’m really excited about this project! But this post is time sensitive. It’s all or nothing with Kickstarter, and the funding deadline is November 20th. Check my project out if you have a minute, and tell a friend who might enjoy reading these stories. You can see the video about Sorrowmoor and learn more here. If you like it, please back me today to keep the momentum going till the project is funded:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1394602435/sorrowmoor-historical-gothic-romance-in-serial-for#project-faqs

Thank you all for reading and supporting my endeavors as a working writer!

Here’s one of Lisa’s Books! Check it out! You’ll love her writing!

 

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Moonlight-on-the-Palms-ebook/dp/B00578UTLU

 

 

Posted in Teen

Cheating…an Epidemic in our Schools

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’m back after a two week Halloween Party. It was a blast! And I want to take just a minute and thank all the wonderful authors and contestants who participated in our event. I hope you had a great time and we’ll try and brew up some new and exciting events in the months to come. So stay tuned!

The topic that I want to discuss today is cheating.  From my research, I found that cheating is a way of life in our schools today.  At first, I was surprised by this but then I looked back on my own high school days, and realized that cheating was prevalent back then too.

Back in my day, (not so long ago, wink) I remember a certain football player who wanted to copy my answers on a test in health class. The teacher had left the room and there was a debate between all the students. Half of them wanted me to let him copy my answers and the other half didn’t. What a dilemma I was in, because I liked him and considered him a friend, but I didn’t want to get caught cheating.

Luckily, the teacher returned, and the class settled down.  I didn’t have to make that decision. But what about kids who do?  From what I’ve learned, it’s become easier and easier to cheat. It’s almost the norm nowadays.  There is tremendous pressure on teens to get good grades and many are taking the quickest route to success.

And it’s hard for parents to caution against the perils of cheating when kids get away with it and are rewarded with good grades. And isn’t that the goal? Good grades?

What makes the process even more difficult is that these students see adults cheating as well. In fact, what do you do when your own school does it? In this article,  http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/07/06/investigation-finds-widespread-cheating-in-atlanta-schools/

Authorities found that educators in Atlanta were changing test answers on students’ tests in order to get a better score.  Officials suspect this is a widespread problem brought on by the initiative “No child left behind” where teachers can suffer salary cuts and lose their job if their class doesn’t meet the requirements specified by this initiative.

So what’s the answer to the cheating epidemic that seems to be a problem not only among students but teachers as well?

In my opinion, the problem is that we’ve become a results oriented society.  Our society is sending this message and our kids are smart…they’re picking it up loud and clear, and that message is…we don’t care how you get the best score…it only matters that you get it.

How very sad.  We’re not doing our children any favors by sending this message. We need to shift that focus from results to the learning process. That’s right. 🙂 We need our kids to be graded on how much they’ve learned or improved and let’s make learning fun again! I mean when they were babies those kids were curious they wanted to learn. Now, that curiosity has been snuffed out because society says you’ve got to learn these specific things and you’ve got to achieve this result. I don’t know about you, but for me that takes all the fun out of it!

I know what you’re thinking, how in the world are we going to do that? That is a good question and I don’t have all the answers, but I’ve got some ideas, but you knew that didn’t you? 🙂 In my opinion, as parents we need to focus on the strengths of each of our children.  And we need to work in conjunction with educators in developing those strengths. I believe that our kids will grow up with healthier self-esteem and more confidence because they were able to develop these strengths.

There’s a great book available written by Jenifer Fox, M. Ed., titled “Your Child’s Strengths” and it’s a great resource for parents and teachers. We need to start there and create an educational environment that allows each child to develop their strengths. By doing this, we’ll eliminate the cheating problem we have in our schools today.

You can find the book in many book stores or on Amazon. Here’s the link.

http://www.amazon.com/Your-Childs-Strengths-Teachers-ebook/dp/B000VMFF5M

I know what you’re thinking…that’s going to be hard to do. You’re right it is…we’d have to revamp the whole educational system…but aren’t our kids worth it?

I’d love to hear any other ideas or thoughts on the topic. 🙂 Feel free to leave a comment and thanks for stopping by!