Posted in Guest Author, promotion, Teen

Please Welcome Sharon Ledwith as she shares her Time Travel Series with us!

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’ve got fellow author and great friend Sharon Ledwith here today and she’s sharing her Time travel series with us, and also  giving us a little history lesson on Atlantis! So, without further ado…take it away Sharon!

Atlantis101…

No lost continent has a more powerful hold on our imagination than Atlantis. In fact, each generation has felt the need to search for the truth of its roots. Presumably, Atlantis was a flourishing island empire located in the present-day Azores. Or do the remains of this mystical place lurk deep under Antarctica’s ice cap? There’s also the possibility that remnants of this advanced civilization are buried under the marshes of Spain. Whatever the truth is, theories abound, and stories about Atlantis still flourish to this day. So much has been written about this legendary country that it was hard to lock down the information I needed to create my middle-grade/young adult time travel series. It was a challenge for sure, but I managed to find a handful of resources that allowed me to craft a master plan for the book series.

The oldest and fullest surviving account of the great island’s rise and fall was provided by the Greek philosopher Plato, who lived from about 428 to 348 BCE. In his seventies, Plato composed two dialogues (the way he wrote out his philosophy) called Timaeus and Critias based on information passed down by word of mouth through his relatives, and a Greek statesman named Solon, about the lost continent. It was gleaning through Plato’s numerous descriptions about Atlantis that I knew I had collected enough information to form a blueprint of what this mysterious place would look like for me and my readers.

Through Plato’s story of Atlantis, I gained an incredible amount of data on the people, their appearance and lifestyles, what was important to them, the architecture, their influences, the way they used and manipulated energy, and even about the final destruction. Too much information filled my head, until I sorted out what I could use to form the basis of my first story, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis and the prequel of the series, Legend of the Timekeepers.

I’ve always had an insatiable interest in this mysterious country. In fact I, like Plato, believe that Atlantis did exist. How about you? I’d love to hear your comments!

Author Info:

SHLE-0014Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, available through Musa Publishing. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, yoga, kayaking, time with family and friends, and single malt scotch. Sharon lives in the wilds of Muskoka in Central Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, a water-logged yellow Labrador and moody calico cat.

 

 

 

Here are Sharon’s books!

tltkataoa-500

Tagline/blurb for The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis:

Children are the keys to our future. And now, children are the only hope for our past.

When 13-year-old Amanda Sault and her annoying classmates are caught in a food fight at school, they’re given a choice: suspension or yard duty. The decision is a no-brainer. Their two-week crash course in landscaping leads to the discovery of a weathered stone arch in the overgrown back yard. The arch isn’t a forgotten lawn ornament but an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis.

Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers–legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial–Amanda and her classmates are sent on an adventure of a lifetime. Can they find the young Robin Hood and his merry band of teens? If they don’t, then history itself may be turned upside down.

legendofthetimekeepers-200Tagline/blurb for Legend of the Timekeepers:

There is no moving forward without first going back.

Lilith was a young girl with dreams and a family before the final destruction of Atlantis shattered those dreams and tore her family apart. Now refugees, Lilith and her father make their home in the Black Land. This strange, new country has no place in Lilith’s heart until a beloved high priestess introduces Lilith to her life purpose—to be a Timekeeper and keep time safe.

Summoned through the seventh arch of Atlantis by the Children of the Law of One, Lilith and her newfound friends are sent into Atlantis’s past, and given a task that will ultimately test their courage and try their faith in each other. Can the Timekeepers stop the dark magus Belial before he changes the seers’ prophecy? If they fail, then their future and the earth’s fate will be altered forever.

The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis Buy Links:

MUSA PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀ SMASHWORDS ׀ KOBO

Legend of the Timekeepers Buy Links:

MUSA PUBLISHING ׀ AMAZON ׀ BARNES & NOBLE ׀ SMASHWORDS

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her WEBSITE and BLOG. Connect with Sharon on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and GOODREADS. Check out THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS TIME TRAVEL SERIES Facebook page.

Thanks so much Sharon for sharing your new release with us! I’ve definitely got it on my TBR pile! 🙂

Posted in Guest Author

Please Welcome JQ Rose as She Gives Teens some Awesome Advice

Hello Readers.

Lisa, thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today.

Are you familiar with the song, “Little Boxes” written in 1963 by Melvina Reynolds?

~If you want to use the youtube video here’s the link~

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_2lGkEU4Xs

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same,
There’s a pink one and a green one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

Lyrics from http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/m/malvina_reynolds/little_boxes.html

Listeners to the catchy tune and lyrics have several ideas for its meaning. One of them is the protest against all the cheap housing of suburbia which sprang up in the 60’s. People called the sub-divisions a cookie-cutter method of building homes with ticky tacky or shoddy materials.

The message I receive from the lyrics is the complaint of everyone trying to be the same and not stand out, but conforming to what someone else thinks they should be. Pre-teens and teens especially want to “fit in.” A person is embarrassed or humiliated for being different. Wearing the wrong clothes, having big ears, not speaking clearly can all be reasons for a bully or uncaring person to criticize and make fun. Sad to say the teasing happens all the time, and it is hurtful.

Girls Succeed Cover 333x500 picnicIn my non-fiction ebook for girls, Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women, the family of a woman I interviewed moved so many times when she was a child, she couldn’t make friends. She was always the odd one in a group. Because she didn’t want to stand out, she tried to hide how smart she was and was not proud of it. Finally her last few years in high school, she joined the band and sports teams and made friends. She blossomed into the person she really was. She is now a medical doctor and researcher at a university.

No matter what your age, I think everyone should live by this quote from Oscar Wilde:

Be Yourself. Everyone else is taken.

~~Oscar Wilde

 

It’s very easy to forget to appreciate all the wonderful qualities each of us has. Instead of grumbling about what you don’t have, list the positive things in your personality. Every person is special with gifts and talents inside us just waiting to be developed along our life journey.

 

Tagline: Inspiring and empowering girls to achieve success in their dream careers.

Girls Succeed Cover 333x500 picnic

Smashwords Link http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/241825

Amazon Link  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009NY6ZAS

Kobo Link http://www.kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=girls+succeed%3A+stories+behind+the+careers+of+successful+women

Barnes and Noble Link http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/girls-succeed-jq-rose/1114041658?ean=2940045118033

Sony Link https://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/j-q-rose/girls-succeed-stories-behind-the-careers-of-successful-women/_/R-400000000000000883970

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABio: After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction writing with her published mysteries released by Muse It Up Publishing. With Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women she returns to her first love, writing about real people.  Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. Spending winters in Florida with her husband allows Janet the opportunity to enjoy the life of a snowbird. Summer finds her camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter.

Connect with J.Q. Rose online at

Girls Succeed blog http://girlssucceed.blogspot.com/

J.Q. Rose blog http://www.jqrose.com/

Author website http://jqrose.webs.com/

J. Q.  Rose Amazon Author Page http://tinyurl.com/aeuv4m4

 

 

Book trailer http://animoto.com/play/QcAByshul5wZ5Bob9bdiug

Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom JQ! I’ve got your book on my TBR pile and will be writing a review soon! 🙂

Please share some of your stories of courage or when you started to bloom! We’d love to read about them! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and reading JQ’s Post today! 🙂

Posted in Literacy

Improving our Libraries will Improve our Literacy Levels

Hello Everyone! I hope all is well with you! Last year I did a post on Literacy and it’s a subject that’s near and dear to my heart. And at that time I had the thought that e-books might be one of the solutions to our literary woes. But then I started working on a grant proposal for an organization (more about that later) and I did some research and found out something very interesting.

In all communities lack of funding or poverty is the number one cause of low literacy. By providing the tools (e-readers, e-books, and paperbacks) needed to fight this issue we are having a direct effect on it. Wan (2000) reviewed multiple reports to find the positive impacts of reading to children. Some experiments Wan reviewed involved reading aloud with individual students while others combined alone and group storybook readings to a class. Wan’s findings showcased that reading to children was vital to personal and school achievement. Even Stephen D Krashen author of “The Power of Reading” and Professor Emeritus at the University of Southern California said, “In my opinion, the place to focus is the library, both the school and public library. Studies show a positive relationship between library quality (school and public) and the amount read, as well as a relationship with reading competence. Better libraries mean more literacy development for younger readers as well as for high school students.” Therefore, successful approaches to reading including read-aloud programs and setting aside time for reading. The first way to do this is to improve the amount of books on the library shelves.

So the gist of the last paragraph is that if we improve our libraries (school and public) we’ll have a positive effect on literacy levels. Here are some statistics that support this claim.

Information Brief: Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement by the New York Comprehensive Center

State Impact Studies

 

Collaboration between Teachers and the School Library

Collaboration between teachers and the school library through cooperative planning, identification of educational resources, and imparting information literacy skills, positively impacts teacher effectiveness and promotes student growth.

• Colorado:  A study conducted in 2000 showed that students in elementary schools with highly collaborative relationships between teachers and school librarians scored 21% higher than students with less collaborative relationships on the Colorado Student Assessment Program, or CSAP (Lance, Rodney, & Hamilton-Pennell, 2000).

• Indiana: A 2006 study showed that when principals put an emphasis on in-service opportunities for collaboration between teachers and school librarians, there was an increase in test scores of 29.5% compared to those who placed a lower emphasis on such activities. Additionally, collaboration in curriculum design and delivery of instruction resulted in a 7.8% increase in test results. It should be noted that these relationships were evident in both the elementary and high school grade levels (Scholastic, 2008).

• Illinois:  A 2005 study involving high schools showed that American College Testing (ACT) scores were highest for 11th graders when there was a high degree of collaboration between school librarians and teachers across a range of activities such as identifying materials, planning lessons, and motivating students to read.

• Oregon:  A study indicated that schools with the best Oregon Statewide Assessment reading and language scores had teachers who were twice as likely to collaborate with school librarians. Furthermore, students      in such classes were over 3 times more likely to visit the school library (Scholastic, 2008).

Access for Students

Providing access for teachers and students to school library facilities and resources, including through flexible scheduling, helps support students and has a positive effect on retention, work performance, and grades.

• Delaware: A study noted that teachers and faculty placed high value on school libraries due to their role in providing students with technology access, as well as ensuring information source quality       and diversity. The study concluded that teachers believed that such access helped them perform their responsibilities and duties better (Todd & Heinstrom, 2006)

• Illinois: A study involving schools that provided increased access to the school library through flexible scheduling found that fifth grade students performed 10% better in reading and 11% better in writing on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) compared to those schools with less access. Similar results were seen in high school, where there were 5% differences between schools on the ACT    (Lance Rodney, & Hamilton-Pennell).

• Michigan: A study demonstrated that teachers and students in schools with the highest reading scores on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) were four times more likely to have access to the school library on a flexibly scheduled basis than those in the lowest scoring schools (Rodney, Keith, & Christine, 2003).

These statistics demonstrate that the more teachers work with their library and the more resources a library can provide this has a direct effect on literacy levels of the students. This also applies to public libraries as well.

Without a variety of books to choose from a public library will attract very few readers. So, the more books a library has the more young people will be using its facilities.

A low cost alternative is the e-book. E-readers can hold approximately one thousand e-books. And e-books are less expensive and more durable than paperbacks. So, let’s help our libraries. We can donate our books and our time to them. I said it before and I’ll say it again! E-books are one of the solutions to our literacy issues!

Thanks for stopping by today and reading my post! Leave a comment and share your thoughts! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Health, Teen

School Sports, the Positive and the Negative

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you! We finally have decent weather and I was able to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. As I watched my kids play in the yard, I thought about what sports they would participate in when they reached Jr. High and High school.

It made me think back to my own High school career and the sports that I participated in. I ran cross country and played softball.  I was the top runner for the girls on our cross country team. When I look back, I laugh because my biggest motivation was fear. That’s right, I was afraid of coming in last. So, I made sure I didn’t.  It never occurred to me that I would come in first, until it happened.

That’s when I felt the pressure to perform. Now, that I had achieved first place the fear of coming in last was replaced by the fear of someone else taking first place.

I wonder if all teens feel this way or it was just my particular makeup.  As I look back I remember the anxiety I felt and how I pushed myself. How I would only eat one piece of toast before an invitational so that I wouldn’t be weighed down with excess food.

I remember the second year I didn’t go out for the team. I kept asking myself; did I have fun? Was all the pressure worth it? I had answered no, until the cross country coach came knocking on my door. He wanted me to run. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to and I hadn’t trained with the team, but I was so flattered that he thought I was good enough that I joined the team again. My second year wasn’t quite as stellar as my first year to say the least. 🙂

I realize now, why it wasn’t. Aside from the fact that I missed the first two weeks of training, I wasn’t committed to it. I was doing it for the wrong reason. I didn’t want to disappoint the coach.

I should have been participating because I wanted to run. I should have been doing it just for the sheer joy of running. It shouldn’t have mattered where I placed. That’s the main reason any kid should get involved in a sport, just because they like it.

Being involved in sports does have a positive effect on kids. In fact, a Canadian Council for Social Development study showed that participating in structured recreation positively influenced young people’s physical and social development, as well as their civic behavior and skills.

A 2003 Sport Canada survey of 1005 Canadian youth, aged 12 to 21, found that their involvement in sports:

ƒ Improved their health (99 per cent);

ƒ Helped them make friends (87 per cent);

ƒ Improved their feelings about themselves (85 per cent);

ƒ Helped them succeed at school (58 per cent);

ƒ Helped them become more active with their family (54 per cent).

****I got these statistics from this site. Click here for more information. http://www.letkidsplay.ca/docs/LKPPositiveImpactSports.pdf

However, I feel very strongly that it should be the child’s choice. They have to participate because they want to, or they won’t enjoy it. And they probably won’t excel in that sport. They may even feel resentful because they were pushed into it.

I’ve also found that when a coach has his/her own agenda they can pressure kids too much. An example of this is Laura Yochelson, who’s cross country coach’s obsession with empty calories led her down the road to Anorexia Nervosa. Click here to read her interview. https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/please-welcome-back-laura-yochelson-anorexia-nervosa-survivor/

So when our kids get involved with sports lets make sure it’s for the right reason. Let’s make sure it’s what they really want to do and we need to stay involved. We need to make sure the coach is coaching to benefit the kids and not pursuing his own agenda. Thanks so much for stopping by today! Leave a comment and share some of your experiences! I’d love to hear from you!