Posted in Teen

Parents Beware! Synthetic Pot is on the Rise

 

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. While I was at the Laundromat washing a couple of comforters, they won’t fit in my washing machine at home, I happened upon an article in Time Magazine about synthetic pot.

The title sparked my interest, “The Rise of Fake Pot.” To get a glimpse of the article click here: http://time.com/57167/rise-of-fake-pot/

The gist of this article claims there’s a new drug in town and it’s not heroin, cocaine, or even marijuana. It’s synthetic marijuana and the reason it’s so scary is that it’s for sale legally as Botanical Incense. It also goes by the names Herbal Incense and Potpourri.

This synthetic marijuana originates in Asia,is  transported to the USA, and sold in convenience stores and gas stations. It comes in heat-sealed foil packets. Users smoke the Potpourri and it acts on the same receptors in the brain as THC.

In fact, this synthetic drug is even more hazardous to your health than the real stuff. Why? Because it contains toxic chemicals that cause severe reactions such as seizures, strokes, cardiac arrest, and kidney and brain damage.

Read what happened to Emily Bauer here: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/miracle-progress-teen-near-death-synthetic-marijuana-article-1.1456099 She smoked the stuff for two weeks straight and had multiple strokes that left her paralyzed and partially blind.

The scary thing about all of this is the fact it’s unregulated and sold legally. Your child can stop at a gas station and pick up as many foil packets that he or she wants.

The problem with regulation is regulatory agencies don’t know how to regulate it, because it’s only dangerous if someone ingests it. To make matters worse, manufacturer’s state on the packet, it’s not for human consumption. Therefore, they’re covered legally if someone dies from ingesting their product.

Right now, there’s a push to legalize marijuana and this is muddying the waters even more for those regulatory agencies. According to this article, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/05/28/e-cigarette-poisoning.aspx?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=poisonings-from-e-cigarettes-and-synthetic-pot-are-surgi the legalization of Marijuana would obliterate the synthetic drug market. Why would teens need all that toxic, synthetic crap when the real stuff is available?

Hmmm…makes you think, doesn’t it?  Parents and Educators need to be aware of this drug. It has long lasting, harmful side effects that can derail a young teen’s life.

What are your thoughts on Synthetic Pot? Should we legalize the real stuff that’s actually safer? Please leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

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Posted in Uncategorized

Thinking about my Dad on Memorial Day

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. It’s Memorial Day today and I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day!

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to take today and remember my dad. He passed away about fifteen years ago and even though he’s gone, I think about him every day. I see his personality in my brothers whenever I get together with them, especially my youngest brother. He has the same mannerisms as my father and that same tone whenever he’s being cynical. I laugh whenever I hear my dad’s signature sigh. My brother isn’t even aware that he does this, but I see it.

This photo courtesy of Creative Commons Flickr.com. Photographer Senor Condo
This photo courtesy of Creative Commons Flickr.com. Photographer Senor Condo

It’s funny the things I remember about my dad. Like the way he used to say my nickname, or when he used to get irritated with me for being late for dinner, but then he’d feel bad afterward and ask me to play catch. 😉 He could never stay mad at me for very long. Now that I’m a parent, I understand how irritating being late can be! I just loved being outside and I didn’t want to come in. I was just a kid after all.

Just being with him had a calming effect on me, like everything was going to be all right. I’m kind of a worrier, so it was a relief to feel that way whenever I could. 🙂

So, here’s to my dad! (Raising a glass of wine to the sky) I miss him and wish he were still here. I wish he had been around to meet my kids. He would’ve loved being with them. I also would’ve loved to see his expression when I became a published author. He would’ve been so proud. Sniff.

Speaking of publishing, I do have some other news that I’m excited about. My fourth book has been accepted for publication and it’ll be coming out in November. Squeeee….I’m so excited! In fact, my publisher wants to break up my story into three books. Gulp! At first, I wasn’t sure about that, but after thinking about it, I’m on board with the idea. So, instead of one book titled, “Gideon Lee,” there’s going to be three books. I’m so excited about this series!

That’s all I can say for now, but I’ll keep you posted!

 

I hope you all have a Happy Memorial Day. I’m going to take a few minutes and remember my dad, hoping he knows about my kids and my accomplishments. I hope he’s proud. 🙂

Posted in Parenting, Teen

Social Media: What is Its Impact on our Primary Relationships?

 

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m discussing something that I’m sure is near and dear to everyone’s hearts. I’m talking about Social Media.

As an author, I rely on Social Media to get the word out about my books and events that I’m participating in. It’s a great way to make professional connections with other authors, bloggers, and reviewers.

Social Media Landscape 2011

****This photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons. Photographer Fred Cavazza

Link to license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/

However, that’s the business side of Social Media; let’s take a look at the personal side of it. Many experts feel that Social Media is weakening our primary relationships. When I say primary, I’m talking about our relationship with our families and close friends. The experts feel that people spend so much time building up their social networks that they neglect these relationships. In fact, this article states just that. To read more, click the link. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/how-does-social-media-affect-relationships.html

I can see where this would be a problem. However, I do see a positive side to Social Networking as well. I think it’s incredible that my child can communicate with another child from another country via Social Media. What a way to bridge the gap between different cultures. What a great way to learn something about another country first hand.

I see this as a great positive. In my opinion, a whole new world has been opened up for the next generation if it’s used properly. When I say if it’s used properly, I mean if it’s used in moderation.

Just like we don’t want our kids playing video games 24/7 we  don’t want them interacting via social media sites for that long either. We should use the same constraints with social media that we would for any new activity that our kids engage in. The motto around my house is that everything’s good in moderation.

We as parents can make sure our kids don’t forget about their “real life” friends by setting limits on the amount of time they’re on social media and making sure they’re involved in other things like clubs and sports.

If we do this then the negative impact from Social Networking will be less. I’m sure there’ll be some kids who abuse it, just like there are some who abuse alcohol, or text and drive.

That’s why it’s important to have parental involvement. If parents are close by monitoring their child’s activity on the internet, they’re less likely to get into trouble. I know. Famous last words, right?

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today! If you have any insight on how to set guidelines for social media use for teens, please leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Please Welcome David Chuka!

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! Today I have Children’s Author David Chuka as my guest! I’m excited he’s here sharing a little of himself and his books with us! Take it away David!

Author Pic LBF

 

1)    What inspired you to write your series? The Fartastic Adventures of Billy and Monster was never originally intended as a series. However, after the positive feedback I got from readers after I published the first book and the realization that there was a lot of mileage with Billy and Monster, it was only a matter of time before more stories were birthed. The story in the first book is about a little boy who is an only child and creates this imaginary character called Monster who those everything with him. Billy loves Monster and Monster loves Billy. There’s only one thing that threatens their friendship. Monster farts a lot and everyone blames Billy for it. You’ll have to read these funny books for kids to discover how lessons on moderation, honesty, self-control etc. are weaved into Billy and Monster tale.

 

Billy 1 Cover Aubs

2)    What do you love most about being a writer? I love the fact that I can create these unique characters in unique situations and invite readers to share in a story that I find fascinating.

 

3)    Who is your favorite author? Wow! That’s a loaded question Lisa J I like reading books from different genres and at the moment, I’m reading a lot of mystery books. My favorite author at this point would have to be Tim Ellis.

 

B2 Cover Image4)    Describe an average day in the life of David Chuka. Get my children ready for school in the morning, drop them off, catch a train to work, either read or write while on the train, do the same on my way back home in the evening, chill with my wife and kids in the evening or attend events.

 

 

5)    If you could offer any advice to other writers, what would it be? I think Stephen King said it best when he said ‘Read a Lot and Write a Lot.’

 

Billy 3 Cover - Aubs6)    Do you illustrate your books as well? I wish I could but I engage the services of my illustrator to bring to life the images I see as I write.

 

7)    If you could invite one famous author to dinner, who would it be and why? I think at this moment it would be Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who created the Sherlock Holmes series. I would ask him what was the inspiration behind Sherlock and how he managed to give a distinct voice to the characters in his books.

 

8)    If you could travel through time, where would you go and why? Hmmmm….I think I would love to see the battle between the Israelites and the Philistines where David used a smooth stone to conquer the Goliath.

 

9)    What’s next for David Chuka? I’m currently working with my illustrator on the fifth book in the Billy and Monster series. It’s titled ‘Billy and Monster Meet the President.’ It is going to be a July 4th special edition and should be ready mid-June.

 

 

10) Where can we find you on social media? It’s been an absolute pleasure being with you today Lisa and your readers can connect with me at one of the links below:

 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Author.David.Chuka

Twitter – https://twitter.com/DavidChuka

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6872534.David_Chuka

YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKbSJqQe5FQaJHvj-n5R4Gw

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/boldtrends/

Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.com/David-Chuka/e/B00AV6UT9U

 

You can get a copy of the books in the Billy and Monster series by clicking one of the links below

 

Billy and the Monster who Loved to Fart

Billy and Monster: The Superhero with Fart Powers

Billy and the Monster who Ate All the Easter Eggs

Billy and Monster’s New Neighbor Has a Secret

Posted in Uncategorized

Kid Lit Blog Hop!

*****The Winner is Ashfa! ******I will e-mail her now and if she doesn’t respond in 72 hours, I will pick another winner! 🙂 Thanks to all the contestants who participated! 🙂

******This contest is now closed. Winner will be announced shortly*******

 CBW Kid Lit Giveaway Hop 2014 - Banner - FINAL

  Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you and that you had an Awesome Mother’s Day! Welcome to the 2nd Annual Children’s Book Week Kid Lit Giveaway Hop, hosted by Mother Daughter Book Reviews and Youth Literature Reviews!

Here are the hosts’s links!

 http://youthlitreviews.com

 http://motherdaughterbookreviews.com

 

We are celebrating Children’s Book Week (May 12 to 18, 2014) by providing all of YOU, our loyal followers, with the opportunity to win fabulous children/teen’s books, gift cards, cash, or other prizes by hopping around to the 100+ participating blogs/authors listed below in the Linky List (see end of post).  What better way to celebrate Children’s Book Week?

The prize that I’m giving away is an ebook copy of “The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer” and a $10.00 Amazon Giftcard!  Check out the ebook below! A great read for that young tween in your life! So leave a comment below with the title of your favorite children’s book and at the end of the hop, I’ll have my son draw your name from a hat! 🙂 The winner will be notified on May 19th, since the hop is open until Midnight May 18th!  Best of luck to you!

Here’s the Linky Link of all the other authors, bloggers, and reviewers who are participating in this hop!

 Powered by Linky Tools Click here to view the complete list of participating bloggers and authors…

 

The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer 500x750An innocent game of Truth or Dare spins out of control when fifteen-year-old Sarah Cole stumbles upon the dead body of a reclusive woman in her Aunt and Uncle’s neighborhood. Sarah shows the discovery to her sister, Lacey, and her new friend Jackie proving to them the “Cat Lady” is indeed dead. While they’re at the scene, the police arrive. Frightened, the girls hide. Only to be discovered and taken into custody. The lead detective believes they’re responsible for the Cat Lady’s death, but doesn’t have enough evidence to keep them in custody. He releases them, but Sarah fears the detective will attempt to pin the murder on them. The girls take it upon themselves to form their own detective squad. The Super Spies are born. They realize it’s up to them to snare the Cat Lady Killer or die trying….

 

We need Diverse Books!

 

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m back today with some exciting news. My website/blog is getting a new look. You can already see some of the changes, but there are more to come, so please bear with me as the construction commences!

I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to what’s going on in the Twitter World, but this last week the #weneeddiversebooks hashtag trended. I even tweeted and retweeted some of the messages because I think it’s true.

Although, the trend was mainly bringing to the attention of Tweeties everywhere that most books are of Caucasian construction, I think we need to look at all kinds of diversity and not just skin color.

There’s diversity of religion, diversity of sexual orientation, as well as racial diversity. In my humble opinion, if there were more books on these subjects then people would become more knowledgeable and with that knowledge, they’d become more tolerant of these different groups. Maybe this would help the bullying issues we seem to be facing in our schools and workplaces. Wouldn’t that be great?

A few books out there deal with racial diversity. Not the subject so to speak, but one of the main characters is of a different racial group than Caucasian. These books are a start in the cry for diversity. Below are a couple of them that I’ve come across.

 

Esperanza thought she’d always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico–she’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances–Mama’s life, and her own, depend on it.

 

Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.

I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.

I’m wondering if there were more diverse books available, would there be less anxiety in our teens. When you think about it, the teen years are full of angst because everyone’s trying to fit in. What if they learned through reading that we’re all different and that’s okay? There’d be less teen angst that’s for sure. Wouldn’t it be great if teens spent their time investing in themselves as opposed to trying to fit some unrealistic ideal? More books that are diverse could accomplish this, wouldn’t you agree?

So not only do we need more of these types of books in our bookstores, but we also need to have our kids read them. 🙂 So make sure when you come across a book where the hero is other than a Caucasian or may be of a different sexual orientation, give it a shot. You might be surprised by what you learn. Remember, reading fiction is a great way to learn too.

Thanks for reading my post today and if you know of a great book that deals with diversity leave a comment. I’d like to read it! 🙂