Posted in Parenting

My Seven Year Old and the Big Bang Theory

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I took a break last week and reblogged a previous post. Life gets busy sometimes. 🙂 However, I’m back today and I’m sharing an interesting conversation I had with my youngest son. We watch the Universe channel quite a bit and we’ve seen a couple of shows discussing the Big Bang Theory and the creation of the Earth.

So, I wasn’t surprised when I picked up my kids from school and he asked me, “Mom, where did the earth come from?”

I responded. “Well, there are two theories. One is the Big Bang Theory…”

“And the other is God,” he piped in.

“That’s right.”

“Which one is right?” He asked with a perplexed look on his face.

“We don’t know. That’s why they’re called theories. We can’t prove either one.”

“Hmmm…”

“You get to choose which one you believe,” I said as I glanced in the rearview mirror. “But I have another theory. Do you want to hear it?”

“Yeah.”

“I think God orchestrated the Big Bang.”

It was as if a light bulb went off. His eyes brightened and a big smile broke out on his face. “I think you’re right.”

It was a great moment. I reinforced both theories at the same time and I think it could be true. Why not? I hope I also illustrated that we don’t have to accept theories just as they’re presented to us. We can think about them and draw our own conclusions. I’m trying to grow critical thinkers even though I’m not sure how to do it.

Parenting is a formidable job and most days, I worry that I’m doing it right. However, this was one of my shining moments, when I felt like I had actually made progress. 🙂

How about you? Do you have any shining moments that you’d like to share?

Leave a comment. I’d love to read it! 🙂

 

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

Hello everyone! I thought it would be great to See Julia’s Story again! Here it is!

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…

View original post 667 more words

Posted in promotion

Middle Shelf: An Awesome E-zine that’s all about Middle Grade Fiction

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve got something short and sweet for you today. I’m here to give Middle Shelf E-zine a shout out. What’s so special about Middle Shelf? It’s an E-zine that specializes in Middle Grade Fiction.

Middle Shelf is a digital-only magazine that features the best books for middle grade readers. Each issue includes author interviews, reviews, and excerpts of top middle grade fiction.

It’s an extension of the larger E-zine titled Shelf Unbound which reviews books for readers. So if you’re looking for a great read for your middle grader, check out Middle Shelf. The subscriptions are free. 🙂

Here’s the link!

http://www.shelfmediagroup.com/pages/introducing-middle-shelf.html

It just so happens that the Emblazoners have an ad in this month’s issue! To find out more about the Emblazoners, which I’m a member of, click here! http://emblazoners.com/

To sign up for our catalog, click here! http://emblazoners.com/our-catalog/

That’s all for today, thanks for stopping by and if you have any great middle grade reads that you’ve read, please share the title! I’d love to hear about them!

Posted in Health

Let’s save the Bees!

Photo compliments of Creative Commons on Flicker. Photographer Mike Baird

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about Bees. That’s right. Bees. I received an e-mail early this morning and it was a call to action.

A call to action to boycott a company that manufactures a pesticide that is detrimental to bees’ health. This started me thinking, why would we need to boycott this company. Why are bees so important?

So, I did some research and I found bees are extremely important to our way of life. I was totally shocked. Who would’ve thought this tiny insect would have such an impact.

They do though, without bees there would be no cross-pollination. Cross-pollination occurs when a bee takes pollen from one flower and delivers it to another flower. Without cross-pollination, there would be no flowers or trees. In addition, without trees there’d be no oxygen.

I bet you can see where I’m going with this.

It’s a scary thought. Did you know more than one hundred agricultural crops in the United States are pollinated by bees? That means bees are essential for the production of nearly seven billion dollars’ worth of crops in Arizona alone.

So I can see the growing concern for keeping our bee population thriving. It’s not thriving though. In fact, bees have been disappearing from the hives. The normal declination rate is five percent each winter; this rate has risen to almost fifty percent in some cases. Scientists are calling this Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

Photo compliments of Flickr Creative Commons by Know Malta by Peter Grima

What is the cause of this disorder? Scientists aren’t sure. There are many who believe pesticides are the problem. Others believe a virus has weakened the bees’ immune system. Still others hold onto the theory that the use of cell phones messes with the bees’ ability to find their way back to their hives. Something about the magnetic fields that cell phones generate.

Whatever the reason, this is a cause for alarm. According to Albert Einstein, “Mankind would be extinct four years after honeybees disappeared from the face of the earth.”

What can we do? So far, scientists have only speculated on the causes of CCD. Until we know the real causes behind it, we’ll have to be cognizant about the bees and refrain from swatting them with a newspaper. They’re good for the earth.

In addition, if you’re interested in helping them, plant some flowers this spring and feed the bees. 🙂

Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons. Photographer is Patty Vicknair

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. If you have any thoughts on the bee situation please leave a comment. I’d love to read it!  🙂

 

For some interesting facts about honey bees, click the link below!

http://christinamercer.com/honeybees/

***I would like to thank beachbistro.com and Joyfusions.com for some of the information in this post. The links are below.

http://www.beachbistro.com/the-bees-knees-a-drink-to-bug-our-politicians/

http://joyfusions.com/what-is-pollination-and-why-honey-bees-are-important-pollinators/

Posted in promotion

Please Welcome Ashley Stambaugh as she shares her New Release with Us!

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’ve got Ashley here today and she’s sharing her new release with us! Take it away Ashley!

Collide Cover Art

Back cover blurb

Melina Rowe never thought her quiet, simple life could change to one full of fear and confusion just by accidentally bumping into someone. But after she collides with an elderly man named Walter, she starts to hear people’s thoughts and have unsettling visions.

Walter reveals himself as a guiding angel and explains to Melina that she’s a rare type of human who can absorb angel powers. But her special ability is more of a problem for her than a gift.

The powers are too strong for humans and will eventually kill Melina unless she can successfully use them to help a select individual who’s in need of guidance. Her chances are slim, though, seeing that the handful of other humans this has happened to before didn’t survive.

Scared for her life, Melina desperately tries to help a young man named Lee, but his continual resistance and her struggle with the powers make it almost impossible. Her situation only grows worse when a trio of soul-snatching demons is sent by an unknown entity to take her soul and kill her.

As a determined Walter sets out to discover who sent the demons and why, Melina must defend herself from their relentless attacks all while trying to use powers she doesn’t fully understand to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped. If she can’t figure out how to break through to Lee, the powers will ultimately destroy her. But if the powers don’t kill her first, the demons will.

Tag line

Absorbing angel powers that could possibly kill you is bad, but being hunted by ruthless demons who want your soul might be worse.

Book excerpt

Chapter One

Melina Rowe peered out of her bedroom window and wrinkled her nose. It was late October, so she knew it was cold outside, but it also appeared to be windy. These weather conditions weren’t her favorite, but she was determined to continue with her morning runs until snow prevented her from doing otherwise. She pulled her long brown hair up into a ponytail, slid a fleece headband on over her ears, and zipped up her coat before heading out her apartment door and down the stairwell to her bookstore below. The store didn’t open for another hour, so she had plenty of time. She took a quick look around and then turned to exit through the back.

Starting off in a slight jog, she followed her normal path toward the park, taking in the city in its early morning state as she went. Traffic was light, and there was only a handful of people out and about. The sky was a dull gray, and brown, dried up leaves swirled and danced around her, giving the city an even gloomier feeling. She hoped the blustery wind didn’t mean rain was on its way.

After only a few short blocks, the wrought iron gates that surrounded the park appeared alongside her. She picked up her pace and rounded a corner to her right, making her way toward the entrance, when she came upon an elderly man walking from the opposite direction. They met each other so suddenly that neither of them had a chance to move out of the way. Melina collided with the man, and it was in that moment that it happened.

As soon as their bodies made contact, she felt a powerful surge of energy pass through her and then a bright white light exploded between them, knocking them both away from each other. Melina, who had been knocked to the ground, pushed herself up to her feet, wondering what had just happened. The sensation that went through her body was like nothing she had ever felt before. It was very sharp and intense, like an electric shock, but at the same time it was soothing and warm. The feeling still lingered in her body as she finally looked over at the man.

After catching his balance, he looked over at her, and she noticed his expression of confusion and shock. His mouth opened as if to say something, but nothing came out. He stared at her for a moment and then finally he spoke to her.

“You,” he muttered.

“Excuse me?” she asked, returning his confused look.

“You’re one of them.”

 

About the author

Author pictureAshley Stambaugh grew up in a small town in Illinois where she and her two siblings created some of the best memories playing on their family’s farm. She stayed in the southern region of the state to attend college where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and also met her husband.

Now, she and her husband live in central Illinois and spend their time creating new memories with their two rambunctious boys and their comical black Pug. She also enjoys reading, taking long walks, and finding great bargains. When her sons are a little bit older, she has a great desire to travel with her family. Oh, and she also has a slight obsession with chocolate.

When she’s not busy chasing after her two young children or losing herself in a good book, you can find her curled up on her couch with her laptop, writing.

Social media links

Website: www.ashleystambaugh.blogspot.com
Facebook author page: www.facebook.com/ashleystambaughauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ashleystambaugh

Posted in Parenting

What I’ve learned Juggling Motherhood and the Writing Life

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m back today and I’m talking about  what I’ve learned juggling motherhood and the writing life. Those are my two main goals, to become an awesome writer and to be an awesome mother.

This photo was available from Flicker via Penn State News http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/deed.en

These goals are sometimes at odds with each other, because writing takes a lot of time and so does mothering. It’s a little bit easier now because the boys are in school and I get time during the day to write, but I still find myself stealing moments during the evening to write a smidge here and there.

In addition, there’s more to writing than meets the eye. There’s also editing, writing query letters, and finding an agent or publisher. After that, there’s more editing and then you have the unending job of promoting your work once it’s published. Sometimes I have a hard time balancing between promoting my work and actually creating it. Throw my hubby and my kids into the mix and that’s when I need about ten more hours in my day.

I try very hard to carve out some time for the family. I think it’s important. I want my kids growing up feeling valued and loved. It’s kind of a trial and error thing because our kids don’t come with instruction booklets do they? Moreover, with two distinct personalities; the needs of one child are different from the needs of the other child and as a parent; I have to figure out what those needs are. I’m fortunate because I have a hubby who helps!

There are times when I’m in the middle of a great scene and I’m going gang-busters that I’m interrupted because one of my little guys needs some attention. This can be frustrating, but then I think about how I want to be remembered. When I do this, when I imagine the result that I want, it’s much easier to keep my frustration under wraps so my kids feel like their emotional needs are being met. I don’t want to be remembered as the mom who was always saying, “Just a minute.”

Although, there are times when I have to say those words and it’s not always when I’m writing. It may be one of those times when I just need to sit down and take a breath. I tell myself that’s okay too, because if I get drained from always giving, then I can get a little grumpy. 🙂

Taking a break is good for me. Therefore, it would make sense that if it’s good for me, then it’s also good for my kids, so it’s one of those win-win situations. Mom’s less stressed if she takes a little time for herself and that means she’s more fun.

We all want to be one of those “fun” moms, right?

Having kids is a great way to set priorities. The things that seemed so important when I was single just aren’t important any more. When my kids were babies, everyone told me that my life would become busier and more complicated.

So not true. The complicated part anyways. Sure, I’m busier because I want my kids to have all kinds of positive experiences so I’m busy trying to introduce them to new things, but complicated? No way.

IMG_0267
Zoo Trip with my Kidlets! They’re looking at a bear. You can’t tell from the picture. LOL!

Having kids strips away all the meaningless crap you were doing because you just didn’t know any better. My children have simplified my life. I make sure I only spend time on the things that are important to me. That in a nutshell is what I’ve learned juggling Motherhood and The Writing Life.

If you have any thoughts on juggling motherhood and your other endeavors please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in reviews

Review of “The Dallas Buyer’s Club”

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m back today and I’m discussing the movie, “The Dallas Buyer’s Club.” I didn’t know much about it, but when the two main actors in the movie won both Oscars for the best actor and best supporting actor, I had to see it.

Before I went to it, I did a little research and I found that the movie is based on a true story. This piqued my interest even more. Therefore, I was excited to see this movie and the performances of the actors that won the Oscars.

I absolutely loved it. “The Dallas Buyer’s Club” was a heartbreaking portrayal of what people with aids went through when the drug AZT was in the testing stage. It was an accurate portrayal of the frustration many aids victims felt with the slow process of the FDA’s approval of new drugs.

I love stories about renegades who defy bureaucrats and perform acts for the common good. They’re modern day Robin Hoods and something about these types of people trips my trigger.  Matthew Mcconaughey’s character, Ron Woodrow, is the hero of this story.

Jared Leto plays Rayon, a transgendered woman who’s also a drug addict. He does a wonderful job of portraying the unique challenges that transgendered people face. There was one touching scene where Rayon approaches his father and asks him for money to help the club he’s running with Ron Woodrow. The emotions in that scene are incredibly powerful. In that one scene, it sums up the plight of the transgendered people beautifully. When Rayon’s father tells him that he made his choice and Rayon calmly tells him that it was not a choice.

You see many people think that transgendered people choose their lifestyle and it’s not a choice it’s their special wiring in their brains.

Overall, this was an excellent movie and an eye opening experience. The actors definitely earned their Oscars with this one!

Posted in promotion

On Sale at Smashwords! Check it out!

 

 

 

Photo: Happy Birthday Lisa!!  Hope you have a fabulous celebration!!  :-)
Isn’t this an awesome Birthday Cake? A friend shared it on my Facebook page and it looked so yummy, I thought I’d share it with all of you! 🙂

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after an exciting weekend. It was my birthday yesterday and although I don’t feel it, I’m another year older. Because of this and the fact that I’ve been editing my fourth book, I didn’t spend much time on a blog post for today. I know! My bad!

What I do have for you is a sale going on the entire first week of March! Almost all of  Astraea Press’ books are on sale at Smashwords! They’re half off this entire week! That’s 50% off!

You must use the code REW50 to get your discount!

Remember Astraea Press only publishes Clean fiction, which means no swearing or questionable content! The covers and blurbs for my books are below. I’ve also included the buylinks for Smashwords!

One last thing before I go, The Super Spies are geared toward the Upper Middle Grade/Lower Young Adult Age group. 🙂

Happy Reading!

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…

Buylink:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/144170

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?

Buylink:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/209072

TheSuperSpiesandthePiedPiper 500x750Sarah Cole and her sister Lacey are at it once again when their missing parents’ cell phone is 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 finds out 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 the Super Spies stop the greedy corporation before it’s too late?

Buylink:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/320907