Posted in Fund Raiser

“Books on Base”

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m back today to share with you an exciting project that I’ve been working on, it’s called “Books on Base.”

Books on Base Logo

The purpose of “Books on Base” is to gather children’s books and donate them to our military bases. I’m working in conjunction with VolunTEEN Nation on this project. VolunTEEN Nation is an organization that encourages teens to volunteer. They have volunteer opportunities throughout the United States.

Volunteen nation logo

To learn more about this wonderful organization click this link http://www.volunteennation.org/

We’re hoping to increase the selection of books for the young people whose parents are serving our country. As we all know by improving the libraries, we can have a positive effect on literacy levels. Check out this blog post for the proof.  https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/improving-our-libraries-will-improve-our-literacy-levels/

What a wonderful way to show our support of our troops by donating books to their libraries. I’m going to be making a donation. How about you?

If you’d like to make a donation, you can send your children’s paperbacks to this address:

VolunTEEN Nation

500 South Meramec Ave

St. Louis, MO 63105

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or you can e-mail me directly at lisa.orchard1@hotmail.com

Have a great day!

Posted in Holiday Posts

It’s almost Christmas!

Our kitty Lily. This was her first Christmas Tree :)
Our kitty Lily. This was her first Christmas Tree 🙂

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you! Christmas Day is almost upon us and I’m excited! I can’t wait to see my kids opening up their presents. It’s a time of family and celebration. I hope it’s that way for you as well.

At this time of year, I always look back and wonder where the time has gone. When you have kids, it just seems like everything goes by so fast. My kids are growing at an alarming rate. My oldest will be nine in a week! Nine years old! It seems like just yesterday I was changing his diapers. Sigh.

Luckily, they both still believe in Santa. I think it will be the last year for my oldest, though. One of his friends informed him Santa wasn’t real. I, of course, emphatically denied this. For the most part, he believes me, but he wants to set up a video camera to catch Santa in the act. He wants to use this evidence to convince his friend that Santa is real.

How can I argue with this logic? After all, aren’t I trying to raise critical thinkers? Don’t I want them to question things that don’t make sense? My husband and I have painted ourselves right into a corner in this debate. We’ve agreed to his idea. I’m hoping my son will forget about this request in the excitement of the evening and we’ll “forget” to set up the camera.

Otherwise, we’re going to have to set it up and have it malfunction in some way. 😉 In fact, I have it all planned out. When the video camera doesn’t do its job, I’ll ask him, “Well the milk and cookies are gone, isn’t that enough evidence that Santa was here?”

I don’t know what he’ll say, but I’m hoping it works! I’d love them to believe in Santa at least for one more year. 🙂 I love their innocent excitement even when they pull me out of bed at the crack of dawn. We spend so much time shopping and wrapping that I wish the unwrapping and squeals of excitement would last a little bit longer. I guess it’s like that for everything though. The preparation and anticipation before the event takes more time than the event itself. Have you ever noticed that?

Anyway, I’ll be bleary eyed with a squirrels nest for hair as I try to catch images of my kidlets in all their Christmas glory on camera. These moments are fleeting and I’m trying to capture as many of them as I can.

Not only is Christmas a time of celebration, it’s also a time of appreciation. Well at least for me it is. It’s a time to remember friends and family and give thanks just for having them in our lives. I want to send a special thank you to my family and friends just for being who they are. 🙂 You’re all very special to me and I appreciate each and every one of you.

I’d also like to say thank you to my friends that I’ve met via Social Media. Whether I’ve connected with you on Facebook or Twitter, I’ve met some pretty amazing people.

I want to send a huge thank you to my author friends. I’ve never met a more helpful and positive group of people and it warms my heart when I think of them. They’ve helped me so much and I appreciate it!

If I could, I’d give you all a hug, because a hug can communicate more than words!

Sorry, this post got mushier than I anticipated. 🙂  I tend to gush at this time of year!

Anyway, I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! If you’d like to share a special Christmas memory feel free, leave a comment! I’d love to read it! 🙂

Our Kitty Lily. This was her first Christmas Tree. :) She's such a little ham! :)
Our Kitty Lily. This was her first Christmas Tree. 🙂 She’s such a little ham! 🙂
Posted in Holiday Posts

Lessons Learned while Shopping for Halloween Costumes

My youngest in his Werewolf CostumeHello everyone! I hope all is well with you. I’m back today and I’d like talk about a little something on the personal side. This weekend I took my boys shopping for their Halloween costumes. This is always an adventure!

My oldest found his immediately and they had his size, so he was satisfied very quickly. However, my youngest is a tiny little guy, and we always have trouble finding something that will fit.

This shopping trip was no exception. You see he wanted a “creepy” costume just like his brother’s. Unfortunately, they didn’t have his size. He didn’t panic, yet. He scrutinized the costumes that would fit him, but didn’t like any of them.

By this time, I was anticipating a battle, or a crying fit in the store, so my anxiety level had turned up a notch. He went back to the costume that he liked, but wasn’t his size and started whimpering.

“I want this one.”

I reined in my frustration and said, “Well. That one’s too big.” I pulled it off the rack and inspected the hem. “Maybe, Grandma can hem it so it fits you better.”

“No.”

Why don’t we go to a different store and see what they have.”

“NO.” He shook his head stubbornly.

“Well, little man. I’m out of options. You need to decide what you want to do.”

By this time, I expected a meltdown. I prepared myself for the dreaded tantrum and envisioned a scenario where I’d have to drag him out of the store, kicking and screaming. Instead, what happened was he again inspected the costumes that were his size and chose one.

Of course, it was the most expensive one on the rack. Groan. Nevertheless, I bought it because that was the one he wanted.

We made it out of the store but on the ride home, he started to cry, claiming he didn’t get the costume he wanted. My heart went out to him; it’s so disappointing when we don’t get exactly what we want.

So, I said to him. “I know, honey. But you didn’t like any of the alternatives that I came up with either.”

It was as if a light bulb went off. He stopped his crying and sniffed. Then when we got home, he enjoyed his costume just as much as his older brother did.

This is one of those “life lesson” moments that we as parents get every once in a while. It’s about making choices and I feel that all kids need to learn this.

Sometimes we don’t get to have the choice we want for whatever reason. So, we have to make the best choice from the options that are available to us and live with it.

My son learned that lesson this weekend and it made me realize that I have to remember that too. I’ve got to make the best decisions I can with the options that are available to me. And not get caught up in the negativity of not having the perfect option. This just makes sense. I say my son learned this lesson this weekend, but I relearned it as well. What a bonus! Two life lessons for the price of one! 😉

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today! I appreciate your time and if you have any life lessons that you’ve learned from your kids, or vice versa, please share them! I’d love to read about them. 🙂

Posted in Health, Teen

Teens and Body Image Issues

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! I’m working on a Coming of Age Novel, I’m excited about this one, and I’m having a lot of fun with it. The story delves into the complexity of relationships whether it’s a friendship, mother/daughter relationship, or mentor/trainee relationship.

As I was writing this story, I started thinking about teens and all the issues they face during the teen years. As parents, we have to remember teens are experiencing many of their feelings for the first time and they haven’t learned how to deal with them yet. Some of these feelings can be very powerful and overwhelming.

An area that seems to cause so much trouble, especially for young girls, is the area of body image. During the teen years, a girl’s body goes through many changes. These changes can trigger feelings of insecurity.

The unfortunate thing about these feelings is that teens don’t know how to cope with them, and many get into the habit of comparing their body with the bodies of their peers. In my opinion, this leads them down the destructive path of comparison and competition.

This is unhealthy because it can lead to eating disorders and other unhealthy behaviors. I remember my own experiences as a teen. I ran cross-country in high school and so I was relatively skinny. Quite a few of my peers would tell me I was too skinny. I was sensitive so I took these comments to heart and started to have negative feelings about my thinness. Until one day, I was at lunch with my friends and the conversation turned to dieting and diet pills. I noticed the girls who were telling me I was too skinny were taking diet pills to squash their appetite. I didn’t voice this to anyone, but I remember thinking, if I’m too skinny why are you taking diet pills? As you can see it’s not just the overweight girls who struggle, the thin ones do too.

Many people blame the media for causing this body image issue because they promote airbrushed bodies and faces. However, studies show it’s not these images that cause the issues; it’s the comparison and competition among peers that cause it. See this article for further info:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/31/body-image-issues-for-you_n_2590719.html

As teen relationships move to the internet arena, studies have found that young girls who use social media sites are more prone to negative body image, anorexia, and bulimia.

Many young girls will post images of themselves and according to this article from Huffington Post; forty-one percent of women from the ages of 18-24 retouch their photos before posting them to social media sites. To read the article, click on this link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/31/body-image-issues-for-you_n_2590719.html

In my opinion, we as parents need to help our girls develop an appreciation for their bodies before they start changing. We need to compliment them on how strong and capable they are. We need to direct their focus on how important it is to be healthy and not on how they look.

For example, when I focused on how good I felt after a run, I didn’t worry about whether I was too skinny or not. I just felt good. I was healthy and I ate what sounded good at the time. If that was a double cheeseburger and fries, so be it. 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post today. If you have any memories or tips you’d like to share about promoting a healthy body image please do! I’d love to read them.

For related articles please click the links below:

https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/is-your-teen-bulimic-find-out-the-warning-signs-and-treatment/

https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/anorexia-nervosa/

https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/hello-everyone/

https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/please-welcome-back-laura-yochelson-anorexia-nervosa-survivor/

Posted in Events, Literacy, Teen

Reading Rocks in Rockford this Saturday!

20111210_ABS_1296[1]Hello Everyone, I hope all is well with you! Today’s post is going to be a short one because I’m getting ready for the Reading Rocks in Rockford Festival this Saturday.

I’m really excited about this because I’m going to be conducting one of my Mystery Writing Workshops that day. So stop on down and check it out!  Information on the Festival is below! I hope to see you there!

Reading Flyer 2013 b (1)

 

Posted in promotion, Teen

It’s the AP FAN FEST!

Not just romance books - romance WITH books! :D (Seriously, there are other fantastic genres and all clean!)

Come chat with over 50 authors! Learn more about them and their books! You can ask them anything! I’ll be there too!

There are over 60 prizes! The biggest prize is  a Kindle Fire! Click the link below to enter!

http://kellymartinbooks.blogspot.com/2013/06/win-free-kindle-fire-apfanfest.html

The winners will be announced after the party on July 16th!

So come join our Facebook Event and chat with some awesome authors!

Here’s the link to join!

https://www.facebook.com/events/370292336405909/

Hope to see you there!

Posted in Uncategorized

Sweet Saturday Samples

Here’s the cover and excerpt from my new release “The Super Spies and the High School Bomber”!

Image

Chapter One

A whoosh of roiling hot air lifted Sarah Cole and flung her against the kitchen wall like a fumbled football. At the same time, the windows burst into millions of pieces, showering everything with tiny shards of glass. Sarah crumpled to the floor, still clutching the phone. She lay there stunned, unable to inhale or exhale.

“Sarah! Sarah!” her younger sister, Lacey, screamed from the bathroom, where she’d been drying her hair.

The ringing in her ears was so intense, Sarah could barely hear her. Groaning, she opened her eyes and saw only red through her right one. Dread rippled through her body.

“Sarah! Sarah!” Lacey cried again.

Sarah dropped the phone, and put her hand up to her eye. She fingered the area gently before pulling her hand away. Blood.

“Lacey,” she croaked, unable to manage more than that.

“Sarah! Where are you?”

“The kitchen,” Sarah said, finally able to breathe. She blinked her eyes twice and her vision cleared. Relief flooded her body and she wilted against the floor.

“Holy Moley!” Lacey shrieked.

Sarah jumped at the sound of her voice. She didn’t realize Lacey had come up the stairs and into the kitchen. The ringing in her ears was almost gone.

“You’re bleeding!”

“No kidding,” Sarah said, covering her right eye with her hand and glaring at Lacey with her uncovered one. She brushed her shoulder length blonde hair away from her face and gasped at the blood running down her arm.

“We’ve got to get you to the hospital!” Lacey screamed in a voice edged with hysteria.

“Stop freaking out!” Sarah gave Lacey the old one-eyed glare again.

“Sarah, there’s blood everywhere,” her sister whimpered as she wrung her hands. She gazed around her. “What happened? Did our furnace blow up or something?”

“I don’t think so.” Sarah shook her head, dust particles and slivers of glass cascaded to the floor. She furrowed her brow and absentmindedly brushed off her clothes. “I think something exploded outside. Help me up.”

Lacey held out her hand to Sarah and pulled her into a sitting position.

Blinking, Sarah gazed around the kitchen. On most days it was a sunny room with pineapple wallpaper and pine cabinets. It was the most popular room in the house—everyone congregated there during the holidays.

Sarah blinked again. Dust floated through the air and glass littered the yellow linoleum floor. She groaned and turned her attention to her arm.

As she examined the blood running down it, another wave of panic flooded through her body. Sarah’s legs wobbled when she stood and she stumbled as she reached for a kitchen towel that lay on the counter. She used it to blot her eye. When she pulled the towel away, she was shocked to see the amount of blood that had soaked into it. Sarah gulped, trying to swallow her fear as beads of sweat broke out on her forehead.

With unsteady feet, Sarah stumbled into the hall where a mirror hung.

She was afraid to look. Taking some deep breaths, she  stared into the cracked mirror and noticed a cut in her eyebrow. The amount of blood that seeped from the cut was enormous compared to its small size.

Lacey walked past Sarah on her way to the den. The crunch of glass under her sister’s feet caught Sarah’s attention, and she sighed.

Thank goodness we

had our shoes on. A wave of relief washed over her body and she exhaled another deep sigh. The girls had been getting ready for school when the windows exploded and covered everything with glass.

“Sarah, come here! You’ve got to see this!” Lacey yelled.

Sarah whirled around and spotted her sister walking from the den—her eyes were round and full of shock.

“I think all the windows have been smashed. Come and look.”

Holding the towel against her cut, Sarah followed her into the den. “Holy crap!”

She gazed into the room. Shards of glass covered the furniture and the floor. The sun streamed through the window, shining on the jagged bits embedded in the carpet. It appeared as if tiny diamonds were buried within the fibers.

“What in the world happened?”

Sarah shook her head. “I have no idea.”

The shrill ring of the phone made Sarah jump. She dashed back to the kitchen and found the phone where she had dropped it earlier.

“Hello?”

“Sarah?”

“Jackie?”

“Yeah, it’s me.” Jackie’s voice eased some of the tension in Sarah’s body. Jackie Jenkins was her best friend. They had met when Sarah and her sister moved in with their aunt and uncle three months earlier.

Sarah glanced down at her legs and for the first time saw tiny nicks where she had been hit by flying glass. She bent down and examined the cuts further. They were not deep, and were already clotting.

“All of our windows exploded! Do you know what’s going on?” Sarah asked.

“There was an explosion at the high school.”

“There was an explosion?”

“Yep.”

“How do you know? Was it a bomb?” Sarah brushed her hair away from her face and watched as more dust cascaded to the floor.

“I heard it on the police scanner.”

“Was it a bomb?” Sarah asked again.

“They don’t know, but what else causes an explosion?” Jackie said with a voice edged with apprehension.

“Crap,” Sarah gasped, as the energy seemed to drain from her body, replaced with heavy dread. Sagging against the kitchen wall, she clutched the phone as if it were a lifeline. “Uncle Walt.” She choked, and then turned toward Lacey and stared.

“Sarah? Are you there? Are you all right?” Jackie yelled from the phone.

“Sarah?” Lacey’s lip quivered.

Tears welled in Sarah’s eyes as she spoke to Lacey. “There’s been an explosion at the high school.”

“What? No way!” Lacey shook her head and swung away.

“Sarah, I’m coming over!” Jackie screamed.

Sarah nodded numbly as she watched Lacey. Her sister’s breathing was labored and her face turned pale.

“I feel like I’m going to faint.” Lacey’s knees buckled and she reached for the kitchen chair.

“Put your head between your knees!” Sarah dropped the phone, grabbed Lacey and helped her to the floor. She gently pushed Lacey’s head down between her knees. Her sister’s face and knees disappeared behind the curtain of her long blonde hair.

“Now, take deep breaths.”

Lacey inhaled deeply and let her breath out slowly. The two girls sat like that for a few minutes, Sarah holding her sister’s head down and Lacey breathing.

“Thanks. You can let go now.” Lacey raised her head and smiled at Sarah.

Sarah nodded and peered into her sister’s green eyes that were so much like her own. “Better?”

“Yeah.” Lacey let out a long shudder. She sat back on the floor. “I’m not ready to get up yet.”

“Jackie’s coming over.” Sarah picked up the phone and pushed buttons with a shaky hand.

“Who’re you calling?” Lacey whimpered.

“Uncle Walt’s cell.”

Sarah listened to the phone ring, as her stomach tightened into a knot. “It went right into voicemail.” She gulped as the enormity of the situation hit her. Fear ate away at her self-control and her stomach clenched tighter. Taking some deep breaths, she wondered what she should do next. Without a doubt, Sarah knew that Lacey was going to lose it at any moment, and someone needed to take charge. “We have to call Aunt June.” The quiver in her voice betrayed the fear she tried to hide.