Posted in reviews, Teen

“Black Like Me:” A Book Review

 

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’ve been working on my book and it’s coming together. Finally! This one has taken me a while because I’m a perfectionist.  I’m excited about it and I love the characters and the story line. I feel it has a lot of potential and that’s all I’m going to say about that. 🙂

I’ve also been reading, and I’ve just finished a book recommended to me by our high school librarian. The title is “Black like Me” and the cover and blurb are below.

 

Black Like Me: The Definitive Griffin Estate Edition by [Griffin, John Howard, Bonazzi, Robert, Terkel, Studs]

In the Deep South of the 1950s, journalist John Howard Griffin decided to cross the color line.  Using medication that darkened his skin to deep brown, he exchanged his privileged life as a Southern white man for the disenfranchised world of an unemployed black man.  His audacious, still chillingly relevant eyewitness history is a work about race and humanity-that in this new millennium still has something important to say to every American.

 

My Thoughts:

I was amazed by this story. This man, John Griffin, turned himself into a black man so he could experience what the Afro-Americans were going through. He wanted to understand.

It opened my eyes to how debilitating discrimination is. Not only for the black man, but for anyone who has been discriminated against. If I would’ve read this when I was younger, I don’t think it would’ve resonated so deeply with me.

I understood because I’ve experienced some of what John Griffin did, like I’m sure everyone has. Probably not to the intensity he did, but nonetheless it did strike a chord within me. The thing it made me realize is how damaging to the human spirit this kind of meanness is. It’s not something that can be brushed off. It eats away at you because you don’t understand this kind of hate.

I would recommend this book to teens and adults alike. It’s a sobering read. It’s even relevant in today’s world. The hate he experiences in the story is still alive today. It can be found on Social Media and at political rallies.

When I finished the story, I realized even though we have come a long way in dealing with discrimination, we still have a long way to go.

Thanks for stopping by my blog and checking out my post today. Do you have any great stories that you’d like to recommend? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Guest Author, Literacy, promotion, Teen

Please Welcome Krysten Lindsay Hager!

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. Today I have a special guest! Her name is Krysten Lindsay Hager and she’s here to share her series with us! Check it out!

 

Where the Idea for the Landry’s True Colors Series Came From

series

By Krysten Lindsay Hager

It’s so fitting to be writing about my teen series, the Landry’s True Colors Series, on Lisa’s blog because it’s set in Grand Rapids, Michigan! My parents both grew up in Grand Rapids, so I spent my summers and holidays there every year. I was one of just a few cousins who didn’t grow up there, so as a kid I used to imagine what it would be like to live there. So that’s how I picked the setting for the series, but, since I grew up in a city (Grand Blanc, MI) where I didn’t have any family members other than my parents, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to go to school with your cousins—that was something that seemed so foreign to me. Therefore I had my character, Landry Albright, living there without any cousins or siblings. I have a sister myself, but she was younger than me, so to me it felt like I was the one going out into the big, bad world on my own. It sometimes seemed like everyone had older siblings or cousins to protect them and then there was me trying to figure things out on my own. And I wasn’t exactly a trailblazer type! I was more the girl who waited in the corner to test out the waters before I took the plunge.

The original idea for the first book actually came to me when I was in the sixth grade and saw a Bangles’ album. It was actually a single cover for “Eternal Flame.” There were the four band members on it and I remember thinking, “I wonder what they were like when they were in middle school.” So I started making up a little story about it. I had no clue that years later I would be in college and my professor would suggest we write the book we wanted to read and that idea would come back to me. It was funny how I could remember little details like what Landry’s bedroom looked like and the type of furniture she had (mirrored). Once I got back into that mindset, the characters really came to life and I started reminiscing about my own middle school experience.

If you’re familiar with the Grand Rapids area, you might pick up on a few of the places I write about. The mall Landry has her modeling audition in (I call it the Perry mall) is actually North Kent mall, which sadly no longer exists. I used to enjoy going there with my cousins. Ignatowski’s ice cream palace where all the teens hang out is named after a family member of mine and I picture it between Diamond Avenue and Innes. In fact, one of Landry’s best friend’s, Ashanti Russell, lives on Diamond Ave. and Landry lives just off that street. The school, Hillcrest Academy is close by as well. Once I started writing the story, I would go for walks down Diamond Avenue picking out where the school bus would turn in and the market where Landry’s mom shops (mentioned in book 3) is named after my grandma and a store she shopped at on Fuller Avenue. All the places I frequented when I was younger have ended up playing a role in the series. I even use Arnie’s as an inspiration in the third book in the series, Landry in Like.

For me, the series is a way to remember my teen years and the lessons I learned along the way with my readers. I share things that shaped me as a person, both the good and the bad with lessons learned from dealing with both friends and frenemies. Since I was a kid who internalized things and didn’t go for advice, I put things in the books that will help out those readers who were like me and went to books instead of adults for help solving everyday problems. One thing that I hadn’t consciously planned on when writing the series was how the role of Landry’s dad, Mr. Albright, would evolve. In the beginning it made sense to have Landry go to her dad for advice because my own father gave me the best advice. However, when my dad (a former middle school vice principal) passed last year, many of his former students reached out to us to say how much he had helped them in shaping their lives. A relative said to me that my dad’s advice and wisdom would live on through the series and it touched me that my dad would be influencing another generation of teens.

Thanks for letting me share what went into creating my Landry’s True Colors Series.

 

series

Series Info: The Landry’s True Colors Series is a clean reads young adult humor series about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, middle school and high school, frenemies, crushes, and self-image. It’s a clean reads book so it’s suitable for ages 11 and up.

Blurb: Landry Albright just wants to be one of the interesting girls at school who always have exciting things going on in their lives. She wants to stand out, but also wants to fit in, so she gives in when her two best friends, Ericka and Tori, push her into trying out for a teen reality show modeling competition with them. Landry goes in nervous, but impresses the judges enough to make it to the next round.

However, Ericka and Tori get cut and basically “unfriend” her on Monday at school. Landry tries to make new friends, but gets caught up between wanting to be herself and conforming to who her new friends want her to be. Along the way she learns that modeling is nowhere as glamorous as it seems, how to deal with frenemies, a new crush, and that true friends see you for who you really are and like you because of it.

What people are saying about the Landry’s True Colors Series:

From Teenage Book Recommendations in the UK: “This is a fantastically relatable and real book which I feel captures all of the insecurities and troubles which haunt the modern teenage girl. It is about a young model who has to go through tough times when she is torn between a life as a model and managing her friendships. You learn which friends she can most trust and which will create the drama typical of teenage life. Follow the life of Landry and try to see if you can find out which are her true friends before their true colours are revealed. This book is all about relationships, hopes and truth. I loved this book!”

From Books & Authors Spot: “This book is such an inspiration for those who just care about their looks and are tensed about them. This thing is looks aren’t everything. This book is related to every teen’s problem. Hager has written a very inspiring novel.”

“Krysten captures the teenage girl today. The struggles are real, the issues are something children have been dealing with since before I was a teen, and oddly-Krysten captures the readers! I was prepared for another “Mean Girls” story. This is NOT that. This is the real story of teenage girls! You watch Landry flower into a young woman who finds out trust is an invaluable item to find, and friendships are hard to seek genuine realism in. You will learn about relationships with not just friends, but peers, boys, and others. The details put into the book will draw you, and make the story so much more realistic. Krysten expresses emotions beautifully through her writing, and the story flows flawlessly…” By Candice J. Conway Simpson

“True Colors, is just a dazzling story of how middle school kids show their true colors of jealousy, drama, loss and gains of friendship. However, the way Krysten wrote her story; she wrote it with passion, creativity and honesty that this story line could be placed in anyone’s life at any age.” Review by Double Decker Books

“Krysten Lindsay Hager understands what it means to be a teen today, and she writes with an authentic voice. Landry, the main character, is funny, lively, and very real. Readers will relate to her struggles with friends and family, self-esteem and self-discovery, boys and school and life in general. It’s fun to read about Landry’s blossoming modeling career and the changes it brings.” Review by Author Diana Jenkins

Excerpt:

The competition was for girls between the ages of thirteen and seventeen, but it felt like Ericka, Tori, and I were the youngest ones there. I only saw a couple of girls from school, and the lineup looked more like something you’d see on a music video set. All the girls were gorgeous, and they had these curvy womanly bodies. I looked like a skinny little kid next to them. The first girl walked out, and I heard the judges say she “owned the runway,” and, “walked like a gazelle.” I was starting to feel ill. I wasn’t sure which way it was going to come, but I knew I had to find a bathroom — fast. I started to get out of line when Ericka grabbed my wrist.

“It’s almost time,” she said. A tiny bit of spit flew out of her mouth and hit my cheek.

I wasn’t sure why she was so intent on me going through with it, but she had a death grip on my arm, so I didn’t have much of a choice. Her number was called and she walked out to the stage. One of the other girls said she walked like a kid with sand bucket stilts on her feet, but she came back with a smirk on her face like she knew she’d get chosen.

“They said they had never seen such long legs,” she said.

Tori was next.

“She walks like a gorilla at feeding time,” said the girl behind me. I went next, and I tried to focus on not tripping over my feet. My mom’s pumps had a rubber sole on the bottom, which probably wasn’t the brightest idea seeing as my shoes were making squeaking noises as I walked. I was so nervous I couldn’t stop smiling as I walked. I looked like the plastic clown who blows up balloons with its mouth at the Pizza Palace. When I got to the end of the runway, I tried to cross my feet to turn like the other girls had, but I over rotated and ended up doing a full spin which made my kilt fan out and gave the mall walkers a view of my blue underpants. I tried to act like it was intentional and did an extra turn. One of the judges put her hand up to stop me, and I held my breath as she started to speak.

Book Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96jxcUH54hU

Best Friends…Forever? (Book 2):

Landry Albright hopes the new year will start off in an amazing way—instead she has to deal with more frenemy issues, boy drama, and having most of her best friends make the cheerleading squad without her. Suddenly, it seems like all anyone can talk about is starting high school next year—something she finds terrifying.

Landry gets her first boyfriend (her crush, Vladi), but then gets dumped just as things come to a head with her friends. She feels lost and left out, but finds good advice about dealing with frenemies from what she considers an unlikely source. Landry faces having to speak up for what’s right, tell the truth (even when it hurts), and how to get past the fear of failure as she gets another shot at competing in the American Ingénue TV show modeling competition. Will she get a second chance with her friends, fame, and Vladi?

BFF book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFp2fPFbvTQ

Landry in Like (Book 3):

Things seem to be going well in Landry Albright’s world—she’s getting invited to be on local talk shows to talk about her modeling career, her best friends have her back, and her boyfriend Vladi has becoming someone she can truly count on…and then everything changes.

Suddenly it seems like most of the girls in school are into hanging out at a new teen dance club, while Landry just wants to spend her weekends playing video games and baking cup-cakes at sleepovers. Then, Yasmin McCarty, the most popular girl in school, starts to come between Landry’s friendship with her best friend Ashanti. Things take a turn when Yasmin tells Vladi that Landry is interested in another boy. Can Landry get her relationships with Ashanti and Vladi back or will she be left out and left behind?

Landry in Like book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CsGREKFQco&feature=youtu.be

 

Author pic

Author Bio:

Krysten Lindsay Hager writes about friendship, self-esteem, fitting in, frenemies, the celebrity world, values, and self-image in True Colors, Best Friends…Forever? Landry in Like, Next Door to a Star and Competing with the Star. Best Friends…Forever? was ranked at #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values & Virtues Fiction and True Colors is an international bestseller. Her work has been featured in USA Today, The Flint Journal, the Bellbrook Times, the Grand Haven Tribune, and on the talk show Living Dayton.

Author social media links:

Website: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/krystenlindsay/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KrystenLindsayHagerAuthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/krystenlindsay/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KrystenLindsay

Purchase:

Amazon US paperback: http://amzn.to/29gsqPw

Amazon US ebook: http://amzn.to/29tp2EF

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/29ilH8v

Amazon UK ebook: http://amzn.to/29mv46L

Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/29gCDe2

Amazon AU ebook: http://amzn.to/29umy7d

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/29xKc3k

Amazon CA ebook: http://amzn.to/29umCUm

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/29oFynI

Barnes and Noble Nook: http://bit.ly/1S5wUuk

itunes: http://apple.co/1Ue5lNm

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/true-colors-17

 

 

Posted in Guest Author, Reading, Teen

Resonating with Readers: Guest Author Sharon Ledwith

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you! I’m back today with gal pal Sharon Ledwith, who also happens to have an awesome Time Travel Series available, too!  She’s talking today about Resonating with your Readers. Take it away, Sharon!

 

Resonating with your Readers…

If you write it, readers will come. Or so you thought. But what if your readers don’t come? Worse yet, what if they can’t find you in an ocean of authors begging and bartering for attention? Writing is hard work. The business of writing is even harder work. So how DO you RESONATE with your READERS? I think the key here is that you have to RESONATE with YOURSELF first. Think the Law of Attraction: like attracts like, and you’ll know what I mean. You attract what you want (or don’t want) through your thoughts and feelings to create your life circumstances.

Let’s start by defining the word resonate:

Resonate: to be resonant; resound. To produce resonance.

Hmmm…let’s look up resonant and resonance:

Resonant: resounding or resching. Increasing the intensity of sounds by sympathetic vibration. Full of, characterized by, or intensified by resonance.

Okay, then. Sit tight. I narrowed down the next definition to reflect this post specifically for writers:

Resonance: an underlying or pervasive quality or a particular type, especially in a work of art or literature.

And just for fun, here’s what my thesaurus says about the verb resonate: echo, reverberate, resound, ring, vibrate, boom, have far-reaching effects, impact, have deep consequences.

Now we’re getting somewhere! In order for authors to build a readership, they have to LOVE what they write. They have to be passionate about what they’re writing. Don’t do it for the money, that affair won’t last. You’ll run out of steam before you even get out of the station. Remember Amanda Hocking? She was deemed an overnight success with her paranormal romance books. Um. Yeah. No such thing as an overnight success. That girl had a tough day job, then came home, did what she loved to do (wrote and published books), and sold over a million copies of her ebooks. Amanda is considered one of the exemplars of self-publishing success in the digital age. Her books also resonated with readers because of the genre made popular by Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight explosion. Boom!

Here’s the BIG question: Who are you writing for? If you answered ‘ME’, that’s a step in the right direction to create resonance with readers. Write what you want to read, what makes your heart sing and vibrate (resonate) to a different beat. There’s an old saying, ‘Do what you love and the money will come.’ It certainly came for Amanda Hocking. And it will come for you too. As long as you permeate the publishing world with books written from your heart.

What genre do you love to read? Are you writing what you love? Or are you writing what’s popular or trending at the moment? Would love to read your comments! Special thanks to my friend and fabulous author bud, Lisa Orchard for inviting me to guest on her awesome blog today! Cheers!

Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and is represented by Walden House (Books & Stuff) for her teen psychic series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her WEBSITE and BLOG. Look up her AMAZON AUTHOR page for a list of current books. Stay connected on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, GOOGLE+, and GOODREADS. Check out THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS TIME TRAVEL SERIES Facebook page.

BONUS: Download the free PDF short story The Terrible, Mighty Crystal HERE

 

 

Posted in Family, Parenting, raising kids, Teen

“Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution”

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m discussing an organization that is fighting the problem of Human Trafficking. It’s an insidious crime against our teens and I’m sad to say that Michigan is ranked number two in this arena.

The organization I’m talking about is S.O.A.P. Have you heard of it? It’s the acronym for “Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution.”  S.O.A.P. was founded by author, advocate, and survivor, Theresa Flores.  To read Theresa’s full story click here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theresa_Flores

Theresa became a victim of Human Trafficking when her family moved to an upper-crust neighborhood in Detroit. This abuse went on for two years. Theresa would be pulled out of class to be sold, but would return home every night. (You don’t want to get me started on the fact that the school officials looked the other way. That’s a whole blog post by itself.) Her family knew nothing of her situation. She kept it a secret because of threats against her family and fear of exposure. That’s how these traffickers work. They use the adolescents’ fears and shame against them, and this makes them extremely successful and very dangerous.

S.O.A.P. reaches out to the victims at their lowest points. This organization travels to cities who are hosting big events like sporting events, auto shows, or art competitions and distributes soap to hotels with an emergency number listed on it. This number puts them into contact with authorities who can come save them from their situation.

This organization also trains hotel staff about Human Trafficking and what the signs are, so they can report any suspicious activity to authorities as well.

Parents also need to educate their children about Human Trafficking and how these criminals manipulate and control their victims. Our teens need to break the code of silence that is imposed on them by the traffickers and allows them control.

If this code of silence is broken the traffickers have no power over their victims, and it will be much more difficult to continue perpetrating these crimes.

One other area that needs examination is the customers of the Human Trafficking Industry. This industry is very lucrative. Where are these customers coming from? Don’t they realize the girl they’re abusing is someone’s daughter? Could be their daughter? I believe we need higher penalties for the men who pay for this. Without customers this industry would dry up.

We’re all accountable when an industry like this flourishes. What can you do in your community to stop Human Trafficking?

More of Theresa’s story

Human Trafficking: Crimes against our Teens

Posted in Parenting, Teen

Dealing with the Pain of Ostracization

 

Hello everyone. I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’m talking about Ostracization. Did you know rejecting, ostracizing, or dissing one of your peers can have major effects on their immune system? If sustained, these changes can increase risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, mental illness, and some cancers.

This worries me as a parent. How do we combat the effects of this behavior? I’m sure everyone has faced this type of rejection before. It is very painful and can create depression and anxiety in our child.

Did you know that chronic ostracization can lead to violent behavior? According to a study performed of fifteen school shootings, eight seven percent of them were a direct result of ongoing exclusion.  This is alarming.  (For more information click this link: http://www.alternet.org/culture/social-death-penalty-why-being-ostracized-hurts-even-more-bullying)

 

Photo credit: danielfoster437 via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Since school shootings are on the rise, we need to combat or deal with this problem. Not only to help end violence, but to maintain the mental and physical well-being of our children.

Why are certain people ostracized?

That is a good question. Ostracization expresses a group fear. It can be either physical or spiritual.  The person being ostracized is considered a threat in some way.

The problem is the communication between the group and the individual ceases. The individual may not even know how he’s threatening the group, so there is no possibility of recourse.

What can you do if your teen is ostracized?

 

Photo credit: Ed Yourdon via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Well, the first thing we need to do as parents is realize there is a cycle your child will go through.  Click the link below for more information:

http://ostracism-awareness.com/recovery/

  1. There is a period of grieving. The individual will mourn the loss of the group.
  2. After that the individual happily removes anything that reminds them of the person or group ostracizing them.
  3. The next stage is Lifting. The person is distracted by life and let’s go of the group that ostracized him. The distraction of life lifts the person out of the grief cycle and they move forward.

Ways to help your teen deal with Ostracization:

  1. Keep the lines of communication open with your teen. If he’s willing to talk to you about what’s happening, you’ll be able to help him deal with this problem.
  2. Be sure your child can identify the difference between unkind behavior and bullying.
  3. Discuss what is controllable and what isn’t. We have no control over other people’s behavior, but we do have control over how we react to it. Discuss ways your child can cope with this and deal with the feelings this type of behavior brings out.
  4. Give advice but don’t fix things. It’s natural for parents to want to step in and fix the situation for their children, but it’s not recommended. Instead, let your child decide how he wants to cope with it and support his decision. This will go a long way to building self-esteem.
  5. Encourage participation in outside activities. Help your child develop new friendships and rebuild his support system. This can be extra-curricular activities at school, sports, or church groups.
  6. Consider outside help. If your teen seems depressed or isn’t coping well call a professional to help.

 

For more information click the link below:

http://bullying.about.com/od/Victims/a/How-To-Help-Your-Child-Deal-With-Being-Ostracized.htm

 

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I hope I’ve given you some good information on ways to help your teen deal with rejection. It’s painful, but they can recover. If you’d like to share your ideas leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Related Articles:

Can We Prevent Mass Shootings?

 

Volunteering: Another Solution to Teen Angst

 

What is the Underlying cause of Violence in our Schools?

Posted in Parenting, Teen

Human Trafficking: Crimes against our Teens

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I have finished my WIP, and all the tweaks my Beta Reader wanted me to make. I’m excited about this one. I can see the improvement in my writing and it just feels awesome. I’m sure you know what I mean! 🙂

I’m back today and it’s been awhile since I discussed a teen issue, so I thought I should talk about one that I’ve just become aware of. I didn’t know this, but the state of Michigan is ranked number two in Human Trafficking, the sex trade to be exact. When I found out, I couldn’t believe it. I was appalled and shocked. Nevada is ranked number one.

What is Human Trafficking exactly?

That’s a good question. Human Trafficking is the illegal movement of people, typically for the purposes of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation.

Image courtesy of allthefreestock.com

http://allthefreestock.com/

According to the article below, Human Trafficking is a highly lucrative trade. There are high profits and low risks. This occurs in the agricultural, manufacturing, and construction industries. For more information click the link below:

http://www.thetimesherald.com/story/opinion/columnists/2016/01/20/human-trafficking-real-problem-michigan/79055920/

Teens and runaways are at a high risk for this trade. These isolated individuals are lured into the industry with promises of love, affection, and gifts.

Photo courtesy of allthefreestock.com

http://allthefreestock.com/

I’m shocked Michigan, my state, is number two, but according to my research it’s because we’re so close to Canada. Traffickers are taking their victims across the border and forcing them into this illegal trade.

I’m drawing the conclusion that once these victims are across the border, they become much harder to find. According to the article below, many people feel that the Canadian penalties for this crime are too lax. Read more here:

http://bc.ctvnews.ca/report-says-canada-too-lax-on-sex-trafficking-1.408336

For more information regarding the Human Trafficking Industry click the link below:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_trafficking_in_Canada

It sounds like this is happening right under our noses. How do we know what Human Trafficking looks like? Below are some guidelines.

Signs of Human Trafficking:

  • Does the person appear disconnected from family, friends, community organizations, or houses of worship?
  • Has a child stopped attending school?
  • Has the person had a sudden or dramatic change in behavior?
  • Is a juvenile engaged in commercial sex acts?
  • Is the person disoriented or confused, or showing signs of mental or physical abuse?
  • Does the person have bruises in various stages of healing?
  • Is the person fearful, timid, or submissive?
  • Does the person show signs of having been denied food, water, sleep, or medical care?
  • Is the person often in the company of someone to whom he or she defers? Or someone who seems to be in control of the situation, e.g., where they go or who they talk to?
  • Does the person appear to be coached on what to say?
  • Is the person living in unsuitable conditions?
  • Does the person lack personal possessions and appear not to have a stable living situation?
  • Does the person have freedom of movement? Can the person freely leave where they live? Are there unreasonable security measures?

 

If you suspect someone is a victim of this crime you can call your local law enforcement agency and report your suspicions, or you can call any of the hotlines listed below:

  • Call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE (1-866-347-2423) to report suspicious criminal activity to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Tip Line 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. The Tip Line is accessible outside the United States by calling 802-872-6199.
  • Submit a tip at http://www.ice.gov/tips. Highly trained specialists take reports from both the public and law enforcement agencies on more than 400 laws enforced by ICE HSI, including those related to human trafficking.
  • To get help from the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC), call 1-888-373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733). The NHTRC can help connect victims with service providers in the area and provides training, technical assistance, and other resources. The NHTRC is a national, toll-free hotline available to answer calls from anywhere in the country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. The NHTRC is not a law enforcement or immigration authority and is operated by a nongovernmental organization funded by the Federal government.

Click the link below for more information:

http://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign/identify-victim?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=stp&utm_campaign=search-stp

Check out the below petition to change legislation to stop Human Trafficking:

https://www.covenanthouse.org/help-the-homeless/pledge/12-bills?origin=DHQEI1600EJRVN&interest_id%5B0%5D=2781&gclid=Cj0KEQiA89u1BRDz8enExq7rvN0BEi

Thanks for reading my post today. If you have any ideas how we can stop this crime from occurring please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from  you!

 

Posted in reviews, Slice of LIfe, Teen, Uncategorized

A Slice of Life: Review of “The Thing About Jellyfish”

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m excited today because I’ve figured out the ending to my story, and it’s a much better ending than the original one I had planned. Whoo! Hoo! So, I’m almost finished with the editing.

 

SOLSC Button

That being said, I’m back with another Slice of Life Post. Today I’m writing a review of an awesome book I just finished over the weekend. I loved it!

 

The Title is: The Thing about Jellyfish

 

After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting-things don’t just happen for no reason. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory–even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy’s achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe…and the potential for love and hope right next door.

 

My Thoughts:

This was an amazing read. I absolutely loved it. It tells the tale of a young girl trying to make sense of the loss of her friend who drowned. Franny, her friend, was a strong swimmer and Suzanne, the main character, believes Franny must have been stung by a jellyfish. That’s the only thing that makes sense to her. So, she decides to prove her theory. The author tells a tale of a young girl coping with the loss of her friend by trying to find a rational reason.

One thing I loved about this story is the science the author weaved into the tale. Her knowledge of the jellyfish species is vast, and she shares it with the reader in a way that keeps your interest. She also does this without losing sight of Suzanne’s story. I’d highly recommend this to teachers and librarians. There’s a lot of knowledge in this story the reader will pick up, and it may even spark an interest in science. Isn’t that what all good books do, spark interest in a subject?

Another reason I love this story is because it introduces the reader to the loss of a friend, and explains that sometimes there is no rational reason for a tragedy.  Things do “just happen.” This story is a great way to show your child sometimes we can’t find all the answers and we have to accept it.

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. If you’d like to read other Slice of Life Posts click the link below:

Slice of Life

And if you have a book you’d recommend, please do in the comments. I’m always looking for an awesome read!

 

Posted in promotion, Teen

Multi-Author-Middle-Grade Book Promotion

Here’s Andrea Pearson sharing her Book Promotion with us! Take it away Andrea!

I’m excited about this promotion because it’s geared to one of my favorite audiences: middle-grade readers! I’ve always been passionate about books written for kids ages 9 through 12. Harry Potter, Percy Jackson,Fablehaven, Diary of a Wimpy Kid… all excellent. 🙂 I wrote The Key of Kilenya when my younger brother, Josh, who was 12 at the time, told me there weren’t enough books for him to read. He’d ripped through everything our local library had and was hungry for more.

I dedicate this promotion to him and to all other readers who love and are searching for books written for middle graders!

The Multi-Author Middle-Grade Book Promotion starts January 4, 2016 and ends January 7, 2016.

******Please double check the sale prices before you buy the book. Some retailers may not have lowered the price for the sale yet. We’re working on that. (shakes fist at retailers)*******

 

From $5.99 to FREE
Kindle Nook  * iTunesAll Jacob wants is to make the basketball team. All the Lorkon want is to control the magical powers Jacob doesn’t know he possesses.
From $2.99 to $0.99
KindleTwelve-year-old Steven never wondered where the Loch Ness monster or Big Foot came from until he found a stone box with a dangerous secret–one people are willing to kill for!
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * KoboMore than anything, Benjamin Ravenspell wants a pet, but when he buys a mouse named Amber, he gets more than he bargained for.
From $0.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunesCassandra’s ordinary life is riddled with hilarious and sometimes heart-breaking mishaps as she guides herself through the world of pre-teens on the brink of adulthood.
From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * KoboPart Neanderthal, but raised as a human, Arken Freeth finds that he doesn’t fit in either world as he struggles to survive.
From $3.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * KoboAn eleven-year-old girl discovers she has the power to grant any living thing its one true wish.

From $3.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * KoboWhen a malnourished horse shows up as a rescue at the farm where she volunteers, Jacinda, a bullied girl, takes it on as a project horse, and the mare’s sweet nature inspires her to spread kindness around to make a positive difference in the world.
From $0.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * KoboJenni Kershaw and her eighth grade science class take a field trip they will never forget. Dragons and goblins and spirits, oh my!
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunesWhen Colin suddenly learns he has magic, he discovers that Atlantis is real, and that his new mermaid friend, Alleya, is in trouble.
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunesBed bugs, burglars, and a missing mother. For Doodle, it’s just part of a day’s work. A laugh-out-loud mystery for dog lovers of all ages.
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * KoboTo save her brother, the banshee Seven must save Atlantis.
From $1.99 to $0.99
KindleOne girl with a nightmare to live through; one ghost with a dream to live. With so much to lose, can anything be gained?
From $3.49 to FREE
KindleEnter a world of myth and magic as young English boy Thomas Farrell seeks to discover the identity of his late father, and why he left him a strange glass orb containing a serpent…
From $2.99 to $0.99
KindleWhen eating dog kibble on a dare gives 10-year-old Tawny special powers, her life nearly goes to the dogs!
From $5.49 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * KoboTwins Justin and Janine discover a mysterious egg … can they protect the hatchling while lost in Montana’s Absaroka wilderness?
$3.99 to $0.99
KindleDaniel doesn’t think there’s anything worse than spending a week at Camp Bigfoot . . . until he loses his prized possession: a pencil that brings his drawings to life.
From $4.99 to $0.99
Nook * KoboLaughing and Learning Little Life Lessons
From $3.99 to FREE
KindleWhen a blast from the past shows up and makes her BFF go nutburgers, Ginnie is torn between helping her friend and getting some very important questions answered.
From $3.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * KoboHarry Potter and The Hobbit rolled into one captivating and humorous epic fantasy series that will have kids begging for more.
From $0.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * KoboWinner of the Mom’s Choice Award honoring excellence in media for children. Classic fantasy adventure – quirky, funny, sinister, and action-packed
From $3.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunesTo save his friends from a dystopian future Earth, Nikolas leads them to a fantastic Moon in the past. But what happens when the fantastic becomes fatal?
From $3.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * KoboExplore the magical history of Kendra Kandlestar’s world in this collection of bonus tales from the Land of Een.
From $4.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * iTunesDREAMS: Dorothy called it Oz, Alice called it Wonderland, but Nightmares call it HOME.
 From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunesWhat’s worse than stumbling upon the dead body of the Cat Lady? Being accused of her murder. Sarah Cole and her friends take it upon themselves to catch the Cat Lady Killer.
.
From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle * NookWhen Turik finds a special egg his Grandfather is kidnapped and he must balance his power for good with the strength of the evil that wishes to consume him.
From $2.99 to $0.99
KindleFelicity, an ordinary sparrow learns that she can do extraordinary things!
From $3.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * KoboWhen a group of crazed ninjas take over their school, the Smartboys fight back. And it all happens on a day when Monkey has the worst case of flatulence imaginable.
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * KoboGeorge, the magical basset hound, is on the trail of the mysterious ghosty haunting his Packmate, Tillie.
From $2.99 to $0.99
KindleThe legend of the little red hen, as told by the acorn that smacked her in the head. NO ONE IS TOO SMALL TO CHANGE THE WORLD!
From $2.99 to FREE
KindleCarter’s life changes when an old man entrusts him with a book of magical spells, one of which grants the power to raise people from the dead.
From $0.99 to FREE
KindleEver wonder what it would be like to be pulled into your computer? Sarah is about to find out.
From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle Nook * Kobo * iTunesIt takes more than a school trip to change Christy’s life. It takes murder.
From $2.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunesWhen a savage pirate and a corrupt businessman join forces to steal the treasure for themselves, Christopher and his crew get caught up in pirate chases, time travel, and an underground network of spies!
From $0.99 to FREE
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunesSemi-autobiographical adventures from a 20th Century Northern California outdoorsman
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunesThe future looks bleak unless eighteen-year-old Lance and his young New Camelot Earth Warriors can save the planet from catastrophic climate change.
 Check out all these books! There are some great reads here! Including my first book in the Super Spies series!
The Super Spies and the Cat Lady Killer 500x750
From $2.99 to $0.99
Kindle * Nook * Kobo * iTunesWhat’s worse than stumbling upon the dead body of the Cat Lady? Being accused of her murder. Sarah Cole and her friends take it upon themselves to catch the Cat Lady Killer.
*****Sorry about the size of the covers, for some reason WordPress wouldn’t let me shrink them down to fit. 🙂 So sorry!
*****Please double check the prices some of the retailers may not have adjusted to the sale price yet! (Shakes fist at Retailers)
Posted in Teen

Volunteering: Another Solution to Teen Angst

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you today! I wrote this blog post about three years ago and I thought it was important enough to share again. So, even though some of the info is a little dated. It’s still relevant today.  🙂

I’m back today and I’d like to just touch on some of the teen issues that I’ve discussed in the past, for example, bullying behavior, teen depression, and teen pregnancy. What I’d like to touch on is a possible solution to these problems. 🙂

All of these behaviors are a result of pressures that the young adults feel during these tumultuous years. These years are filled with new challenges and new emotions and this is the first time teens are testing their boundaries. These are exciting and frightening times for them.

So, it’s not surprising that they make some incorrect choices. 🙂 In the past, I’ve said that parental involvement and keeping kids active in sports are ways to combat some of these negative choices. I still believe that parental involvement is very important in developing positive behaviors, but what about the kids who aren’t interested in sports? Some kids just don’t have any inclination in that direction.

Well, I’ve thought about this and I’ve discovered a solution. 🙂 You knew I had one didn’t you? What about volunteering? That’s right. I came across a wonderful organization that encourages teens to volunteer and I’m very impressed by it.

In fact, I’m working with them on a project and I’m very excited about it! But, there will be a whole blog post about that as soon as we get all the details ironed out. 🙂  So stay tuned for that. 🙂 The organization is called VOLUNTEENATION and here’s the link to their website. Check it out! http://www.volunteennation.org/.  This is a national organization which means they have volunteer opportunities all throughout the United States.

I’m sure you all have heard one of the best ways to combat depression is by helping others…I believe this applies to teenagers as well and that’s what volunteering is all about.

Catholic Charities Volunteer Program

What I love about this organization is that teens are working with other teens in a positive situation. They aren’t at home closed off in their rooms brooding about their problems. Volunteering takes their focus off of their problems and gets them moving in a positive direction.  In my opinion, this might lead to more fulfilling friendships because teens are working together toward a common goal.

Another positive effect this type of organization has is that there are certainly instances where teens can utilize/learn leadership skills as well as team building skills. 🙂 Skills that are necessary for the working environment. 🙂

Maybe if we got our kids involved in volunteering we’d have fewer disasters like Columbine and Newtown. Something to think about my friends. 🙂

Check out Volunteenation’s blog. Here’s a post about how teens can support the Newtown victims. http://www.volunteennation.org/blog/categories/latest-news/203-how-youth-Lican-support-newtown

I can’t say enough about this organization; it’s getting teens headed in the right direction. 🙂

Thanks for reading my post today! I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please leave a comment and let me know what you think! 🙂

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! I HOPE 2013 IS YOUR BEST YEAR YET!

Posted in Health, Personal, Teen

Dreams are important to Our Mental Health

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I want to talk about focusing on your dreams. In my opinion, dreams are important to your mental health.

Why, because our goals and aspirations are what get us out of bed in the morning. Your goals can be small or big, but if you have a huge goal, you might want to break it up into a bunch of smaller goals to make it more manageable.

Achieving our dreams provides us that motivation we need to keep doing those small mundane tasks that are boring. However, if we have our goal in sight, we can grit our teeth and get through them.

This is an important part of the process, because every dream has those moments of perfecting our technique. For example, let us say you want to be a professional basketball player. Well, in order to do that you have to be good at making baskets. So what are you going to do? You’re going to perfect your shot. And not just one shot either, you’re going to perfect your jump shot, your layup, your hook, and your free throw shot, just to name a few.

I bet you know where I’m going with this, don’t you? You’re going to have to spend a lot of time in front of the basket, just shooting the ball. If you have your goal in sight, this isn’t going to be a problem for you. You’ll grit your teeth and get through it because it’s important to achieving your goal. You’ll look forward to it.

In addition, the thing you’ll have to remember is, even professional athletes still spend a lot of time practicing their plays and perfecting their shots even after they’ve reached professional status. Because once your there, you have to keep your edge.

Another thing about goals is this, when you’re going through a particular trying time in your life, for example, like me having to do chemo. I have to for my health. However, I’m able to focus on my writing, not as much as I did before, but enough that I feel I’m moving forward with it. So staying focused on my goals is actually helping me get through this period. It helps me to make sure I’m doing what the doctor says because I want to write. I don’t want to spend my time dealing with the side effects.

So if I manage my side effects, I get to work on my next book, or on editing the ones that are coming out soon. My writing goals help me to manage my side effects so that I can work on them. And that’s good for my mental health too. I won’t be slipping into a depression because my side effects have gotten the best of me.

So there you have it. Goals are important for our mental health.

On a side note, I’ve received some awesome news! My next book “Gideon Lee” will be releasing soon! Yay!

It’s the first book in the Starlight Chronicles and once I receive my galleys, it will be set up for preorder. So crossing my fingers that all goes well and I can tell you the release date very soon!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and if you’d like to leave a comment on why goals are important to you, please do. I’d love to hear from you!