Posted in Guest Author, Health

Please Welcome Jodi Desautels As she Talks About “Emotional Literacy”

Hello everyone!  My name is Jodi Desautels and I will be guest blogging today.  Not long ago, Lisa guest posted for me.  She did so well, I posted it on two different blogs.  I hope you caught it on at least one of my blogs:  DUO Education Learning Blog and Little Chatter Box.  If not feel free to check them out.  Anyway, now it is my turn to post.  I hope you enjoy it.

Today, I’d like to discuss something I find very important:  teaching children to identify and express their feelings.  The term for this is “Emotional Literacy.”

I believe that Emotional Literacy is one of the most overlooked skills in childhood.

Some schools have guidance programs that teach children to identify and express feelings, but not all schools.  Also, according to Parenting.com, emotional literacy can be taught as early as 18 months.  This will cut down on behavior issues that form, because children do not have the skills to identify and express what they are feeling.  (Think, “fewer temper tantrums.”)

As a matter of fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, state that the ability of children being able to express feelings is linked to a decrease in child abuse and neglect.  Parents, especially at risk parents, are less likely to lose patience and ignore or strike out at a child who is behaving well.

Teaching a child about feelings and how to express those feelings may even decrease the chance that he or she may get abused, bullied, or violated as an adult as well.  People, who are assertive, know their feelings, speak their mind, and have high self-esteem make poor targets for violence.

With that in mind, the question becomes, “how do you teach your child to identify and express his or her feelings clearly?”  Parenting.com has some strategies that parents may use to teach Emotional Literacy.   Options may include discussing feelings and emotions with a child, practice making faces to fit various emotions, play games which require stating feelings or showing emotions, and reading books that depict various feelings.

    I wrote a wonderful concept book titled, “Clarinda Cloud,” for ages 2-6 that targets both feelings and colors.  This is a fabulous book to use while discussing feelings with your child.  Clarinda Cloud expresses various feelings with a face to match the emotion.  While reading and looking through the book, you could say things such as, “here is Clarinda Cloud’s shy face, what does your shy face look like?  Can you show me your shy face?”

“Clarinda Cloud” can be found at:

*Barnesandnoble.com

*Amazon.com

*Kindle

Lisa, I would like to thank you for this wonderful opportunity to guest post and also to tell everyone about one of my children’s book, “Clarinda Cloud.”  I hope you and your readers will come visit me some time at DUO Education and SmallReads Book Corner.  I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.  Also, feel free to email me at duo_dynamics@yahoo.com.

Thanks for being here today Jodi and sharing your thoughts with us on Emotional Literacy! Your book sounds like an excellent way for parents to introduce this to their children!

Advertisements
Posted in promotion

It’s Release Day for “The Super Spies and the Pied Piper!”

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! It’s release day for the third book in the Super Spies series and I’m so excited!  Here’s the cover, blurb and an excerpt below!

TheSuperSpiesandthePiedPiper 500x750Sarah Cole and her sister Lacey are at it once again when they learn their missing parents’ cell phone has been traced to Alden, Michigan. When the FBI declines to continue the investigation, Sarah takes matters into her own hands. She calls upon the Super Spies and they delve into the situation. Suddenly, the teens find themselves immersed in small town intrigue and mystery involving a menacing stranger, who Sarah dubs “The Stalker.” But when Sarah learns he’s connected to her parents’ disappearance, she’s determined to find out what that connection is. The Super Spies embark on a journey that leads them into a web of corporate corruption at its highest level that leaves innocent victims in its wake. Can they find the proof they need to stop the greedy corporation before it’s too late?

Here’s an excerpt:

Chapter One

“What do you mean you lost them?” Sarah Cole fidgeted as she waited for Agent Gray to answer. I can’t believe it! He lost the only clue to our parents’ location. What is wrong with this picture? Agitated, Sarah shifted in her seat and chewed on her lip. She was uncomfortable in the folding chair and rearranged her petite frame so she wouldn’t feel the cold metal against her bare legs. Shivering, she glanced around the all-too-familiar room.

The gray cement block walls no longer gave her that creepy, closed-in feeling she’d used to get when she first came to the interrogation rooms. She remembered the first time she’d been in that tiny space. It had been the day she’d discovered the Cat Lady’s dead body. Sarah shuddered at the memory and then smiled when she remembered forming the Super Spies and bringing the Cat Lady Killer to justice. Glancing around the room again, she realized she’d been in this room quite a bit these last few weeks, not only during the Cat Lady investigation, but the High School Bomber investigation as well. Shivering again, Sarah rubbed her arms but she really wasn’t cold. Her mind filled with the image of the bomber the Super Spies had helped apprehend just a week earlier.

Wow! Was it just last week?

She tugged at a lock of her honey colored hair, then brushed it away with an impatient hand. She sighed and glanced at her younger sister. Lacey sat beside her with her legs crossed, jiggling her foot at such a rapid rate it seemed like her whole body was electrified. She caught Sarah’s eye and for a moment her eyes glittered like emeralds before she shifted her gaze to Aunt June, who had placed her hand on Lacey’s leg in what appeared to be an attempt to quiet her. Sarah shifted in her chair and sighed again. Are we ever going to find Mom and Dad?

A commotion out in the hall drew everyone’s attention. Sarah leaned forward

and craned her neck to see what was happening.

“Chief, we’ve got an OD!” An officer yelled.

“What?” Chief Johnson yelled as he rushed by. “An OD on what? Give me the details.”

“The parents found their son unconscious in his room this morning, and an empty bottle of prescription medication on his bedside table.”

“What was it?” Chief Johnson asked.

“It’s Myodine.”

“Who makes it?”

“Ah… Piper Drugs.”

“Call Poison Control with the name and manufacturer and ask them what to do about an overdose. Instruct the parents to get their son to the hospital pronto,” Chief Johnson ordered.

“They’ve brought him here.”

“What?” Chief Johnson exclaimed.

The sound of policemen rushing through the hall pulled Sarah and her sister out of their seats. They hurried to the door, unable to stifle their curiosity. Peering down the corridor, Sarah caught a glimpse of a young man sagging between two officers as they desperately tried to keep him on his feet. One officer gently slapped his face while the other officers held him up. The young man blinked and then gagged, puking on the officer in front of him.

The rancid stench of fresh vomit filled the air. While plugging her nose, Sarah ducked back inside the interrogation room, followed by her sister. Sarah closed the door, hoping it would keep the smell from penetrating the room.

“Did you hear that, Lace? Piper Drugs! That’s the company Dad works for,” Sarah whispered in her sister’s ear before proceeding back to her seat.

Lacey opened her mouth to speak, but closed it when Agent Gray cleared his throat and motioned for them to sit down.

He continued his conversation as if they hadn’t been interrupted. We were on our way to the location of the ping… but before we got there it disappeared.”

“So, what does that mean? Did you find our parents or what?” Sarah blurted out as she sat down. She stared into Agent Gray’s icy blue eyes, trying to read his mind.

Here’s the Astraea Press link: http://www.astraeapress.com/#!/~/product/category=662245&id=24157242

It will be available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo tomorrow! 🙂

To celebrate this release I’ve lowered the price on the first two books in the series to $.99!

So if you know a tween/teen who would love to start a new series for the summer…how about The Super Spies? Here are the covers and blurbs below of the first two books in the series!

The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer 500x750This 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…

Astraea Press:  http://www.astraeapress.com/#!/~/product/id=10078468

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Super-Spies-Lady-Killer-ebook/dp/B007JZH61K

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-super-spies-and-the-cat-lady-killer-lisa-orchard/1109518725?ean=2940014338202

TheSuperSpiesandtheHighSchoolBomber 500x750This 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?

Astraea Press:  http://www.astraeapress.com/#!/~/product/id=13594238

Amazon:   http://www.amazon.com/Super-Spies-School-Bomber-ebook/dp/B008P8O7OY/

Barnes and Noble:   http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-super-spies-and-the-high-school-bomber-lisa-orchard/1112263058?ean=2940014992244

Thanks for stopping by and sharing in my celebration!

Posted in Health

It’s a Memorial Day Recipe!

Hello Everyone and Happy Memorial Day to you! This is a day when we remember all the people who have made an impact in our lives. Many people get together to celebrate those who have gone before us with a picnic or barbecue.

Well, I’ve got a great salsa recipe for you and it’s healthy too. A great treat for any Memorial Day barbecue!

I got this from my sister in law and it’s awesome!

I call it Marie’s Salsa!

Marie’s Salsa

One can black beans rinsed well and drained

One can corn drained

A few tablespoons of lime juice

Packet of McCormick salsa seasonings, mild—you can find this in produce sections of the store

Half red onion diced fine (I rarely add this)

Green pepper diced fine

Red, orange, or yellow pepper diced fine

Two or three tomatoes diced fine

One avocado diced fine and added close to the time of serving (if timing is not working in your favor, salsa is good without it)

Mix together. If adding the red onion, let dip sit about a half hour before serving

I use Tortilla Chips to dip!

Super easy and super yummy! It’s healthy too!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy this recipe and your holiday!

Posted in promotion, Teen

Sweet Saturday Sample

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! Well I’ve got an excerpt from my third Super Spies novel! It’s being released this Tuesday May 28th. I’m so excited! It’s titled “The Super Spies and the Pied Piper” and it’s an awesome story! (Can you tell I’m a little excited?) 🙂

I can’t show you the cover yet…but it’s AWESOME! Thanks to Elaina Lee for creating it!

Well…here it is! Leave a comment and tell me what you think! I’d love to hear from you!

THE SUPER SPIES AND THE PIED PIPER

Chapter One

“What do you mean you lost them?” Sarah Cole fidgeted as she waited for Agent Gray to answer. I can’t believe it! He lost the only clue to our parents’ location. What is wrong with this picture? Agitated, Sarah shifted in her seat and chewed on her lip. She was uncomfortable in the folding chair and rearranged her petite frame so she wouldn’t feel the cold metal against her bare legs. Shivering, she glanced around the all-too-familiar room.

The gray cement block walls no longer gave her that creepy, closed-in feeling she’d used to get when she first came to the interrogation rooms. She remembered the first time she’d been in that tiny space. It had been the day she’d discovered the Cat Lady’s dead body. Sarah shuddered at the memory and then smiled when she remembered forming the Super Spies and bringing the Cat Lady Killer to justice. Glancing around the room again, she realized she’d been in this room quite a bit these last few weeks, not only during the Cat Lady investigation, but the High School Bomber investigation as well. Shivering again, Sarah rubbed her arms but she really wasn’t cold. Her mind filled with the image of the bomber the Super Spies had helped apprehend just a week earlier.

Wow! Was it just last week?

She tugged at a lock of her honey colored hair, then brushed it away with an impatient hand. She sighed and glanced at her younger sister. Lacey sat beside her with her legs crossed, jiggling her foot at such a rapid rate it seemed like her whole body was electrified. She caught Sarah’s eye and for a moment her eyes glittered like emeralds before she shifted her gaze to Aunt June, who had placed her hand on Lacey’s leg in what appeared to be an attempt to quiet her. Sarah shifted in her chair and sighed again. Are we ever going to find Mom and Dad?

A commotion out in the hall drew everyone’s attention. Sarah leaned forward and craned her neck to see what was happening.

“Chief, we’ve got an OD!” An officer yelled.

“What?” Chief Johnson yelled as he rushed by. “An OD on what? Give me the details.”

“The parents found their son unconscious in his room this morning, and an empty bottle of prescription medication on his bedside table.”

“What was it?” Chief Johnson asked.

“It’s Myodine.”

“Who makes it?”

“Ah… Piper Drugs.”

“Call Poison Control with the name and manufacturer and ask them what to do about an overdose. Instruct the parents to get their son to the hospital pronto,” Chief Johnson ordered.

“They’ve brought him here.”

“What?” Chief Johnson exclaimed.

The sound of policemen rushing through the hall pulled Sarah and her sister out of their seats. They hurried to the door, unable to stifle their curiosity. Peering down the corridor, Sarah caught a glimpse of a young man sagging between two officers as they desperately tried to keep him on his feet. One officer gently slapped his face while the other officers held him up. The young man blinked and then gagged, puking on the officer in front of him.

The rancid stench of fresh vomit filled the air. While plugging her nose, Sarah ducked back inside the interrogation room, followed by her sister. Sarah closed the door, hoping it would keep the smell from penetrating the room.

“Did you hear that, Lace? Piper Drugs! That’s the company Dad works for,” Sarah whispered in her sister’s ear before proceeding back to her seat.

Lacey opened her mouth to speak, but closed it when Agent Gray cleared his throat and motioned for them to sit down.

He continued his conversation as if they hadn’t been interrupted. “We were on our way to the location of the ping… but before we got there it disappeared.”

“So, what does that mean? Did you find our parents or what?” Sarah blurted out as she sat down. She stared into Agent Gray’s icy blue eyes, trying to read his mind.

Well…what do you think? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you. And if you want to check out more Sweet Saturday Samples click the link and it’ll take you to the other authors participating this weekend! 🙂  http://sweetsatsample.wordpress.com/

Posted in Guest Author

Brenda’s Back with a New Release!

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’ve got  guest author, Brenda Maxfield with us today and she’s sharing her new release “Someday you’ll Laugh with us!” It sounds like a great story! And…it’s mostly true! So, take a look at the story and find out a little bit more about the Author!

Maxfield (2)Take it away Brenda!

When I heard that Astraea was looking for true love stories, I jumped at the chance. Traveling back to the 1970’s was a ball! Or should I say “groovy!” The more I wrote, the more I remembered. It was like being courted all over again. What fun.

Until I really got to thinking about it:

The angst of having to dump one guy for another, dealing with a jealous stand-by, recovering from a crushed heart — whoa, I think I’m glad to be in the present!

Yet, it was fun writing about it.

Here’s the cover and the blurb! It sounds like a great read and it’s on my TBR pile!

SomedayYoullLaughCover2 (1)Stunned when her boyfriend announces they should be free to see others when he leaves for college, Brenda pastes a smile on her face and walks away. Far away. Only to find herself irresistibly drawn into the arms of another guy.

Brenda’s previous boyfriend finds out, claims he made a huge mistake, and wants her back. She will receive a marriage proposal, but from which one?

Later, on her wedding day, Brenda awakens knowing something is wrong. Will she make it through the ceremony?

Buy Link:  http://tinyurl.com/c3nrzok

Thanks for sharing your story with us Brenda!  If you want to contact Brenda see her social media links below.

Buy Someday You’ll Laugh http://tinyurl.com/c3nrzok

Website:  http://www.brendamaxfield.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/TheEdgemontCollection

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/BrendaMaxfield

Blog:  http://www.brendamaxfield.wordpress.com

Email:  contact@brendamaxfield.com

Thanks for stopping by! Leave a comment and share some of your wedding day stories! We’d love to hear them!

  Welcome Julia as She Shares Her Experience With Cutting With All of Us

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’ve been busy this last week with Blog Hops and Book Fairs, but I’m back with another teen issue. The issue I’m talking about is Cutting or Self Harm.

According to my research, cutting is on the rise. In fact, the number of children and teenagers who have asked for help after considering hurting themselves with knives or drugs has gone up by two thirds in a year.

Read more from this article here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2243369/Worrying-teenage-trend-self-harming-sparks-sharp-increase-calls-Childline.html

I read about this and I wonder how does this happen? How do teens spiral down into this web of hurting themselves to feel better? So, what I did is, I spoke with someone who’s been in that predicament. Please welcome Julia Blakeney. She’s here to share her story on Self Harm.

Welcome Julia!

First a little bit of information. Julia is nineteen years old and a sophomore in college. She’s hoping to transfer to LSU for the next academic year.

This is Julie with her sister. Julie is on the right.
This is Julie with her sister. Julie is on the right.

Julia how did this all start?

It started in high school. I was feeling depressed and my mother, who was in health care at the time, took me to the doctor. He prescribed an anti-depressant (Prozac) and had me speak with a social worker. That worked for a while.

Then the summer after my junior year in high school my brother and my best friend went to boot camp. My brother, who is two years older than me, went into the army. And my best friend, who is one year older than me, went into the Navy. I felt totally alone and I didn’t have anyone to talk to.

So would you say your brother and your friend leaving was a trigger to the cutting behavior?

Yes. I would have to say that. I became angry and felt like I was screwing up all the time. My parents always seemed mad and so did my sister. And I couldn’t talk to my mother when she was angry with me.

Is this when you started cutting yourself?

Yes. It made me feel better to cut myself. It seemed to relieve the pressure. Please understand the cutting is not to get attention like so many people think. I tried to hide it. I would wear bracelets to hide the scars.

Why do you think you started cutting yourself?

I felt angry. Angry at being left behind by my friend and my brother. I also repressed a lot of anger and sadness. I wouldn’t let myself be sad or cry over missing my friend and brother.

Why do you think cutting made you feel better?

I’m not sure why cutting made me feel better. Maybe it was because of the adrenaline or it could be about control. You know, controlling the pain.

Did your Social Worker know?

I stopped going to her at the end of my junior year, so I don’t think so.

How did you stop?

I finally told my mom. And she was really cool. She didn’t yell or scream at me, but she did take away all the sharp objects that I could use to cut myself. I didn’t want to ask for help. My mom had me go back to my therapist and I switched medication. I dropped Prozac and started taking Zoloft. That’s when I stopped cutting.

However, I became anti-social during my senior year. I wasn’t feeling well emotionally and I didn’t want to be around people. I stayed in my room a lot.

Wow. Sounds like you were going through a lot. Can you tell us the warning signs that we should look out for?

Yes. My behavior changed radically. I was happy and outgoing and then I became withdrawn. I was sleeping a lot and that worried my mother. She took me to the doctor because she thought I had Mono.

I was crying a lot and then I shut down my emotions because no one wanted to hear about it. That’s when I started cutting.

Thanks Julia for being brave and sharing your story with us!

Cutting or Self Harm is a sign of emotional distress that young teens can’t articulate into words. According to http://www.mind.org.uk/mental_health_a-z/8006_self-harm  young women are more likely to engage in this type of behavior. For more information on self-harm please click on this link.  http://www.mind.org.uk/mental_health_a-z/8006_self-harm

Thanks Julia for being here today and sharing your story. If you suspect someone you know is engaging in this type of behavior please let an authority figure know, so they can take steps to intervene before it’s too late. Because self harm is the first step toward suicide. Please leave a comment and share your thoughts. If you have a question, speak up and we’ll try and answer it for you! 🙂

Thanks for reading my post today! 🙂