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Results 7,951 - 7,975 of 215,247
7951. Mother's Day Memories

Happy Mother's Day to all on this glorious day. Mother's Day is a day we celebrate mothers. I look back and am thankful for having a wonderful mother to share my feelings with and to rely on. She gives me advice and support when I need it and tells me the things, sometimes, I don't want to hear but need to anyway. She is the wind in my sail and the voice that reminds me to stay true to myself. She is my best friend.

I look at my life as a mother and always want to be the best I can be for my children, though I know I have room for improvement. Being a mother is a tough job, there is no doubt. It can stress you to the point of breaking yet can rise you up and give you the strength you never knew you had. It can help shape you to be the woman you were meant to be.

So to all the mothers out there. Happy Mother's Day!!

As I Look Back... 
As I look back on my life
I find myself wondering...
Did I remember to thank you
for all that you have done for me? 
For all of the times you were by my side
to help me celebrate my successes
and accept my defeats? 
Or for teaching me the value of hard work,
good judgement, courage, and honesty? 
I wonder if I've ever thanked you
for the simple things...
The laughter, smiles, and quiet times we've shared? 
If I have forgotten to express my gratitude
For any of these things,
I am thanking you now...
and I am hoping that you've known all along,
how very much you are loved and appreciated. 

Thank you Mom!

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7952. A Smiley for Mommy

Mark Myers:

I am so proud of Kylie. She was determined to write this and spent a good deal of time honoring her selfless, Godly mother.

Originally posted on Smiley For Kylie:

An open Mother’s Day letter from Kylie:

Dear Mommy,

I love you very much, but I haven’t been able to show it because I’ve been feeling so bad. But in between my naps and moods I have watched you strive to make me happy. And when I feel terrible you’re by my side with some sort of medicine to make it better. But when I thought deeper I realized that those recollections were just from this week, so I thought back further. I realized that you haven’t left my side since before I knew this was cancer because one day we went to get a MRI, and then that weekend you told me we had to spend a few days in the hospital and I was terrified. But you were there for me, even when the “few days” turned into a month. Guess who didn’t leave the hospital once: you…

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7953. Launch Party Wrap-Up!

OMG! To kick off the release of A BIRD ON WATER STREET, Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, Georgia hosted my launch party. My dear friends of Playing on the Planet played bluegrass music, we had munchies, I did a reading... and was caught off-guard when folks clapped after each section I read - wahhh? :)
     SO many friends showed up - over 100 folks. I was getting hugs and warm wishes about the book all night - so amazing! I signed tons of books and basically shined like a happy glow-worm! Perhaps the pictures tell it best...
     The party started before it started. The band and Doris Abernathy (the book is dedicated to her) and Stan and I all met at the Brick Store Pub for an early dinner...
     Stan has a new camera and has become my own personal paparazzi - the down side being, you won't see him in any of the photos. The upside being, he took some great photos! Like these of me and Doris, caught in a typical moment of her telling me a story, and me soaking it up like candy...

     I love this one too...

     He took so many great ones of everybody - I'll be sending them along soon.
     Back at the ranch, Little Shop put together a great display in the front window...

Playing on the Planet...

     Lisa Jacobi, the lead singer, is the friend who invited me to the meeting where the Muse first demanded I write A BIRD ON WATER STREET. I love it when life comes full circle like that!

They played for a while, and then I did my thing...
Ms. Kimmie gave me an awesome introduction - LOVE her! Picture coming soon...

It was a lovely, attentive crowd. You can tell from this photo, but it ended up standing-room-only with a big crowd in the back - yay!

My family sat in the front row - Aunt Anne, Doris Abernathy (my adopted Grandmother), Mom and Dad...

Everybody bought books and I signed for a good long while...

Then we all hung out and listened to more music. Here's Amy, Prescott and Lisa...

Donna and Lisa

Bruce, Vicky, and Diane (owner of Little Shop)

Daren Wang (Director of the Decatur Book Festival) and me...

Seu (Lisa's talented daughter) and Horace Holden's (hope I got the name right) copper-haired daughter - who looks just like the main character of the prequel I started a while back...

I was so grateful to Lisa and the band for coming from all over to north Georgia to help me celebrate...Click to see this next one larger in a new window.

What an amazing night, what amazing friends. I am so lucky and humbled and flattered and just, well, grateful!!!! THANK YOU all!!!!

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7954. Writing Works (For Me) Like This

I’ll feel the pull of a current, and I’ll wait for the current to get stronger. If I pursue the pull of the current before it’s strong enough, I won’t be able to ride the wave of the story because it doesn’t yet have enough force or momentum to carry me. So, I wait and mull and think, letting the wave, the idea, build and gain strength. When I can no longer resist its pull, I let the

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7955. Creative Writers and Illustrators

Check out http://creativewritersandillustrators.blogspot.com

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7956. My tweets

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7957. Picture Book Tips

Five award-winning picture book authors give their advice. 


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7958. Happy Mother's Day

Elizabeth Nourse (American, 1859-1938). La Mère (Mother and Child), 1888. Oil on canvas, Cincinnati Art Museum.

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7959. Challenging Mysteries Giveaway!

Coming in June I will have a new release in my Crypto-Capers Series called The Mystery for the Circus for Hire. I'm really looking forward to it. I will also be having a new romance novel which my fans have been highly anticipating. More about these books as well as bits and pieces of them will be showing up on my blog throughout the upcoming weeks.

In honor of these amazing new releases I am offering giveaways for them. But here is the challenge. Being a big mystery buff, and my books being on the mystery side, I have some challenges for you.
The person who gets these challenging deduction questions right will be getting a free copy of my children's or adult book. I will be posting these questions 2 times or more a week. To answer just post it below the post in the comments section. Make sure you include your e-mail for me to respond to you. All books will be sent out upon their releases. Let the games begin!

A priceless sword with associations to Mary, Queen of Scots had been stolen from an estate, and Max had agreed to lend his teams services on the matter. The local constabulary was making much of the thief's escape, and sought to ascertain which of the nearby villages was the closest-Shenstone, Rushock, or Chaddesley.

The sword's custodian expressed his opinion that it seemed as if all three were as far away as each other, although he had never actually attempted to measure the distances involved. The sergeant maintained that the exact distance was important to know.

It was known that the distance from Shenstone to Caddesley was one and a half miles, from Shenstone to Rushock was one and three tenths miles, and from Rushock to Chaddesley was one and two fifths miles.

Can you discern the distance from the estate to the villages?

The answer will be given this Wednesday.

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7960. Kishaz Reading Corner: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Now that I've watched the movie and read the book, I'm ready to do my review. So, yes, you are getting 2 reviews for the price of one :). Let's start with the book.

Disclaimer: I received no compensation from the author or publisher for this honest review.

About the Book/Movie

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Buy the Book

Here's what I'm giving it:

Rating:  3.5 stars

Here's why:

I read the book after I saw the movie so it gave me a chance to compare the two. There were several changes that they made to the film that were not necessarily in the book. There were also some things in the book that I would have loved to seen in the movie because I feel it would have made myself, as a viewer (and future reader of the first book), more invested.

But getting back to the book, I have to say that the characters felt "real." The societal themes such as conformity, finding a place to belong and, in general, growing up and leaving home, all helped to move the novel along and keep me invested the entire time.

The romance was so-so but that didn't deter me from finishing the book.

I will pick up the next book in the series to see what happens to the main characters.

Now on to the movie review.

Disclaimer: I received no compensation from the author, publisher or film companies for this honest review.

Buy the Movie

Here's what I'm giving it:

Rating:  4 stars

Here's why:

As I mentioned above, I saw the movie before I read the book. The action sequences, the plot and the overall acting were enough to make me pick up the book to see what else might be hidden in the book that didn't make it to the film.

Both the film and the book were worth my time to watch and read and, yes, I would recommend them to others.

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7961. mothering moments...

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7962. Sir Gradgrind and the Great Amphibium; or, a Peripatetic Defence of Fantasy - Cathy Butler

“Thus is Man that great and true Amphibium, whose nature is disposed to live, not onely like other creatures in divers elements, but in divided and distinguished worlds: for though there be but one to sense, there are two to reason, the one visible, the other invisible.” 
(Sir Thomas Browne)

Whilst in the park the other day I encountered my old friend and sparring partner, Sir Gradgrind Strawman, who like me was taking his morning constitutional. It wasn't long before the conversation turned to our habitual point of contention, the worth or otherwise of fantasy fiction. 

Sir Gradgrind, to do him justice, differs from his Dickensian namesake in that he doesn’t disdain all fiction. It is fantasy alone to which he takes exception.  “Escapist nonsense!” he exclaimed. “Ghosts? Unicorns?  How can I be expected to believe in things that aren’t real?”

It isn’t the first time he’s made this complaint. On previous occasions I have pointed out that realist fiction (his preferred reading, after cookery books) isn’t “real” either. It’s all made up – that's why they call it fiction. To this he’ll reply in a harrumphing tone: “Perhaps the things in those books didn’t happen – but they could have. They don’t contradict scientific fact. That makes all the difference.”

Today, I decided to take a different tack. “You ask how you can be expected to believe in things that aren’t real? Well, let’s take a look at those words, ‘real’ and ‘believe’…”

You see, I know that when Sir Gradgrind talks about “scientific fact” he has a vague notion of atoms, Newton’s Laws of Motion, evolution and the like. But his knowledge is almost entirely second hand, derived from long-ago school lessons, television documentaries and articles in the weekend supplements. So, when he asserts that the surface temperature of Neptune is -201oC he is really displaying a childlike trust. Not only has he not tested it for himself, he has very little understanding of how real scientists reached this conclusion – any more than he could explain exactly how his mobile phone works, or—

“What – are you saying that youdon’t believe that the surface temperature of Neptune is -201oC ?” Sir Gradgrind interjected at this point.

“Not at all – I believe it too. I’m simply pointing out that we both take it on faith. We have outsourced the authority to describe physical reality to scientists, just as our equally intelligent forebears outsourced it to Aristotle and Ptolemy, for reasons that seemed as good to them as ours do to us. But we don’t need to go to outer space in order to—ah, Pooh sticks!”

For we had reached the wooden bridge where it was our custom to indulge in a game of Pooh sticks. On this occasion Sir Gradgrind suggested that we “make it interesting” by laying a small wager, the loser being obliged to buy tea and scones in the park café afterwards – a proposition to which I readily assented.

Sir Gradgrind had the better of me at Pooh sticks, but walking to the café I sought to turn the situation to my advantage. For the placing of a bet, it seemed to me, was just the kind of reality-warping event with which his views were ill-equipped to cope. Making a bet is an example of what philosophers call “performative” language. When you use language performatively, you aren’t using it to describe something that already exists, you are bringing something into existence. Bets, promises, wishes, declarations, invitations, bequests, suggestions – all share this magician’s power, to conjure something into the world that wasn’t there before. They are not private fantasies – on the contrary, their validity is widely recognized and may even have force in law. Had I dismissed our bet as a fiction when it was time to pay for the scones, Sir Gradgrind would have been justifiably irked. But was the bet real in quite the same way that the bridge we stood on while making it was real? Sir Gradgrind had to admit that it wasn’t, quite. Yet much of what constitutes human life is built from this kind of material, neither real in the way Sir Gradgrind would be happy to hail as “scientific fact” nor unreal in the way he would be happy to dismiss as “escapist nonsense.” It seems that the Gradgrindian “real” is an unhelpfully binary term, which fails to capture a large part of our experience.

“Belief” presents itself as stiffly binary too. Either you believe something, or you don’t – right? Perhaps when you’re reading a story you can suspend your disbelief (to use Coleridge’s phrase), but that idea still casts belief as a kind of toggle switch, either On or Off.

Yet in practice reading fiction isn’t like that. For example, when we cry at the death of a favourite character, is it because we believe in them? If Yes – if we think that Beth March exists in the same way that Louisa Alcott did – then the implications for our view of the world are profound indeed. If No, then why on earth are we crying over an idea? When we read a horror novel and find ourselves compelled to check under the bed before turning out the light, is it because we really believe in ghosts? Neither Yes nor No adequately describes the case. In reading as in the rest of life we travel neither by land nor by sea but along the shifting foreshore, searching stranded rock pools, caught between reality and unreality, belief and unbelief, affected by and affecting both. The best fantasy fiction, taking this ambiguous aspect of human experience as its subject, reflects it back to us in a particularly direct, one might even say realistic, fashion. Or so I told Sir Gradgrind.

Sir Gradgrind was having none of it, of course. Approaching a large piece of granite statuary in the style of Barbara Hepworth (and momentarily forgetting that each action has an equal and opposite reaction) he swung his foot at it, crying “I refute you thus!”

I’m sorry to report that he broke his toe in three places.

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7963. How To Psyche Yourself Up for Whatever Your Next Big Thing Might Be (Part 1)

Here are the categories I’m dealing with lately: planning a new backpacking adventure. Planning a new book series. Planning another new series in a whole new genre. Which right now equals about 15 new books. I’m not even kidding.

And this morning it was starting to feel a little . . . daunting. As in, Can’t do any of them, just have to sit here and think about what I want to do.

That kind of stupor that could easily go on for days.

But I’m going to approach it a different way this time. Because recently I heard a great talk from outdoor adventurer (and mother and wife and owner of my favorite outdoor store Summit Hut) Dana Davis.

Dana has hiked up Mount Rainier. That right there qualifies her as badass. But she’s accomplished many other physical feats, and is currently training for her first Ironman triathlon, even though as she tells it she has bad knees, bad ankles, can’t run, isn’t so hot at either biking or swimming (I can’t remember which)–clearly not ideal when you’re going to be doing all three for miles and miles in one day.

But somehow that sounds fun to Dana.

And that fun is infectious. While it’s possible that some of the people in the crowd the other night might have thought to themselves, “Dang! I’m going to Ironman it, too!” I have the feeling they reacted the same way I did, which was to take Dana’s lessons about training for something hard and think about how we might apply them to some of the upcoming challenges in our own lives.

I think my favorite piece of her advice was this: Embrace the suck. Recognize that somewhere along the way you’re going to have to deal with a certain amount of discomfort, pain, and unhappiness. But if you recognize that ahead of time, really reconcile yourself to it, then when it shows up you can calmly tell yourself, “Yep, here it is. I knew it was coming. Here’s the suck. Let’s keep going.”

What’s “the suck” for me? There are times in every single backpacking trip when it’s as if I turn to myself and ask, “Did you really think this was fun? Are you really doing this on purpose?” Because mountains are high, trails are long, lightning storms scare the crap out of me, mosquitos bite, dogs roll in human feces (don’t get me started on people not properly disposing of their turds), and things just plain go wrong. That is the nature of outdoor adventures. Of any adventure, really.

I see it with my book adventures, too. When I set out to write something new, I know the time will come when my hands will feel like claws from typing for so many hours at a time, my brain will feel completely exhausted and empty, and yet the drill sergeant in me will try to force me to keep going even though all I really want to do is take the day off and watch Pixar movies. There’s a reason why The Incredibles exists. It is there to restore the worn-out brains of adults all over the world.

In a few days I’ll be posting Dana’s full list for psyching yourself up and preparing for something big, but for now I just wanted to whet your appetite for the whole thing.

Until then, you might want to reread a few earlier posts (that’s right, to psyche yourself up for the next big post. See how it works?):

How To Know When It’s Time To Make a Change In Your Life

Becoming the Possible You

The 100 Things You Keep Meaning To Do

Deciding To Worry About That Tomorrow

Stay tuned!

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7964. Happy Mother’s Day – Spinelli Poem

2014mother's Day

Children’s illustrator, Vesper Stamper sent in this whimsical mother and daughter illustration to help us celebrate Mother’s Day. Vesper was featured on Illustrator Saturday http://kathytemean.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/illustrator-saturday-vesper-stamper/.

Happy Mother’s Day! Eileen Spinelli has shared a poem to help us celebrate Mother’s Day. It reminds us how a mother feels about their child and that our Mom will always be with you. Today is the day to remember her.




I will be your mother.


Long into the spill of time
and when time no longer
has anything to do with
dawn or dark.


I will be your mother…


the local newspapers
and the rattling cat-bird songs.
You can grow up
wild and bright.
You can be wind
or fire,
willow or oak.


You can breathe green.
You can wear poppies
in your hair.
You can stand astonished
in the moonlight
or peek from a safe,
moonless space–


I will be your mother.

I may turn into sky
or red clay
or simply bones.
I may become delicate
as milkweed
or hammered hard
as canyon cleft–

but I will be
your mother.






by Eileen Spinelli


Thank you Eileen for sharing your poem with us. Did you see Eileen’s latest book, ANOTHER DAY WITH EMILY?

another day as Emily
Spinelli’s free verse presents a summer of self-acceptance for one girl. Suzy is almost 12 when her 4-year-old brother sees their elderly neighbor collapse. He dials 911 and becomes a “little hero” in their town. Suddenly everything revolves around him, and no one seems to care about Suzy’s needs. Worse, she doesn’t get a part in the community play, but her best friend, Alison, does. Suzy is feeling decidedly unloved and decides that her best bet is to emulate a poet she has recently learned about—Emily Dickinson. Suzy insists on being called Emily and makes a list of Emily-appropriate activities (write poems, dust, read, listen to crickets). But Suzy soon finds that being a recluse is a lonely occupation. Lots of white space on the page, short chapters and appealing illustrations make this an unintimidating read for even the most reluctant readers. And besides, it’s a rollicking good story. Spinelli mixes dollops of wit with her dabs of pathos to keep things lively and realistic in a fresh way that nevertheless feels comfortably old-fashioned. The interspersed bits of history (the origin of baseball, some famous people of the 1800s) and wholesome activities (bicycle riding, helping neighbors, going to the library) make this a story to be enjoyed and appreciated by readers weary of the mall-shopping, cellphone-centric, mean-girl genre. A witty and endearing story with a timeless message. (Verse fiction. 9-12) – Kirkus Reviews

Talk tomorrow,


Filed under: authors and illustrators, Holiday, illustrating, Illustrator's Saturday, poetry Tagged: Another Day with Emily, Eileen Spinelli Poem, Happy Mother's Day, Vesper Stamper

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7965. happy american mother's day

This one's for my jet-setting mother, who most surely is smoking a water pipe at this very moment. (Ha ha, maybe not.)

And totally unrelated, check out this great JohnnyExpress animation by Korea-based AlfredImageWorks:

JohnnyExpress from AlfredImageworks on Vimeo.

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7966. Question of the Week: What Deters You From Reading?

~Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, step-moms, foster moms, 
aunties, and grandmas out there! Enjoy your day!!~

Hey everyone! Clara Kensie here with another Question of the Week. A couple times a month at Adventures in YA Publishing, I post a question for you to answer. The questions cover all topics important to writers and book lovers: craft, career, reading, books, and more. Join the discussion!

Question of the Week:
What deters you from reading?

As writers and/or book lovers, we would like make reading a priority in our lives. But very often, we get so busy with family, work, school, household responsibilities, and social obligations that we push reading to the back burner. What deters you from reading? What steps, if any, have you taken to give yourself more reading time?

What deters you from reading?
photo credit: mikemol via photopin cc

Lisa Gail Green: Family gets in the way for me. My kids can't stand it when I have a book open. They know I'm only half paying attention to them. I like to think it's a good example, though, so I keep going. Hee hee. The truth is I don't read as much as I used to, but I still have to and want to. I always feel better when I read a good book. How do I make time? I wish I had a magic formula. It's just something I have to find time for but I'm so glad when I do.

Martina Boone: I always put a priority on reading, because I feel that as I writer you need to be a reader first. I also think it’s important to know what’s out there in our field. I read ARCs and already published books, not to mention a ton of research material. The research is for the day—that’s a legitimate writing activity for me. Since I’m on deadline for book two, my fiction reading is limited to about an hour every night, and sometimes if I wake up early, I’ll read before I get out of bed. In between drafts, I’m planning on taking a few days off read, both craft books and fiction, because I find that’s when my brain resets and problems with my own work will surface on their own.

Jan Lewis: I try to read every night before bed, even if it's just for a few minutes. On the weekends, I try to read at least an hour before bed. Doesn't always happen, but I try!

Alyssa Hamilton: For me, school is my biggest deterrent for reading. I am a full time student and also work part time so it's difficult to get in reading on top of my school reading. But I always have a book on me no matter where I'm going or what I'm doing, so any free second I have, I read. Also, I always read before I go to sleep. No matter what. It's my personal, uninterrupted time for just me!

Clara Kensie: Besides writing, my main deterrent from reading is…my husband! I would love to read for an hour or two before bed, but my husband and I are both so busy with work and driving the kids around and other obligations, that those late-night hours are the only time we have to spend time together. He’s not a reader (sinful, I know), so we usually watch TV or a movie. I sacrifice reading time for the sake of our marriage. Every single night I vow that as soon as he falls asleep, I’ll turn off the TV and turn on my Kindle, but I’m usually the one who falls asleep first.

Not reading enough is a huge source of guilt for me. HUGE. I look at my TBR and feel overwhelmed. So, to combat this, I have recently resorted to putting reading time on my daily schedule. Yes, I actually have “READ” on my calendar. On the three days a week when I don’t have to go to the office for my day job, and when I’m not on deadline for RUN TO YOU, I read for an hour or two every morning before I do anything else. I schedule an hour or two on the weekends, too. So far it’s working. This summer, I’m going to schedule this mandatory reading time for my kids as well.

YOUR TURN: What distracts you from reading? What do you do to find more reading time? I will be envious of anyone who replies that reading is already their main activity!

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7967. Happy Mother’s Day! I Just Gave Birth to a Book Cover! (OUCH!)

Happy Mother’s Day to my mama-writer friends. What you do every day is amazing! You created kids…and now you create stories!

And what I just did is amazing, too. I gave birth to a new book cover!

(Well, really, Benji Davies did.)

I THOUGHT THIS WAS A BEAR BOOK releases in August 2015 from Aladdin/Simon & Schuster. But you can catch a glimpse of the alien-bear mayhem right here, right now:

Bear Book final cover

Many thanks to my very cool editor, Alyson Heller, and art director, Karin Paprocki, at Aladdin. And of course, none of this would be possible without über-agent Ammi-Joan Paquette.

More sneak peeks to come soon. I promise you a cute bear tushy.

Have a great day, Mama Bears!

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7968. Sunday Morning Running Motivation: Breakfast of Champions

Eat like a champion. Take that, Wheaties. ;)
endorphins breakfast of champions
More Running Motivation HERE
skinny runner in ezzere
Wear your running motivation…Ezzere: Run.Laugh.Be.

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7969. Author Interview with Mom's Choice Award-winning author Camille Matthews

Tell us a little about you: I live in Reading PA along with the real Quincy. I am a clinical social worker and equine assisted growth and learning specialist. The real Quincy, who inspired the Quincy the Horse books when he was 7 is now 24 years old. He is an American quarter horse who was a trail riding horse for many years and is a mainstay of my equine therapy program.

Tell us about your book: It is called Quincy and Buck. It is the third book in the Quincy the Horse series. In this book I tackle the problems of overcoming fear and dealing with a bully. Quincy dreams of trail riding in the desert near his home but he is afraid of meeting wild animals out on the trail. His friend, Beau, an old horse who has done everything, explains to him that he will never become brave if he stays home, so he goes on his first trail ride. He hopes to find a trail buddy who will guide him but the horse he chooses turns out to be a bully. Over the course of the ride, he discovers that he is more confident than he imagined and that Buck is afraid underneath his façade of strength. The story of the day’s ride along with the illustrations takes kids into the desert of the Southwest which has breathtaking scenery. 

How did you find your publisher? I decided to self-publish the Quincy the Horse series. I did this initially because I wanted to have control over the entire project including the illustrations which were a very important part of the vision that I had for the books.
What do you like about them?  What I have liked about self-publishing is the chance to have so much input into the creation of each book. The illustrator Michelle Black was actually the one who encouraged me to do it and we have had a close collaboration on all the aspects of the process.

Do you have any advice for writers looking to get their first works published? Since I have not worked with a traditional publisher, I cannot compare. Self-publishing requires a huge commitment of energy. Over the 6 years that I have been doing this I have seen a huge change in how small independent publishers are accepted and there are many more resources for reviews and coop marketing.  However the vertical integration of publishing, sales and distribution makes it very hard for the independent on the business side of the equation.

What is your favorite type of book to read and why? I love British mysteries. I suppose I love the puzzle and suspense but it is also fun when there are ongoing characters to follow. I recently reread the entire series of mysteries written by PD James.

When did you first start writing? I have always loved writing and keeping a journal but writing a set of children’s books is an entirely new venture which I started about 6 years ago

What inspired you to start writing? The year before I wrote the first of the Quincy Books I participated in a training to learn how to do Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. EAP works because the client observes, interacts and empathizes with the horse/s. In the midst of the training program I had the idea of creating a series of books for children about Quincy’s adventures because the things he experienced were things that children also face. I thought they would be able to identify with Quincy and therefore learn more about the world of relationships and their own feelings and problems.

Have you ever gotten writers block or gotten stuck while writing?  Yes.

Do you have any tips for overcoming this? I try not to force it but just get involved in other activities until I reconnect with my writing voice. One activity that helps is cleaning the stalls in my barn. If it works and I reconnect, I try to sit and write things down asap.

How did you come up with the title and the story idea of your book? The events recounted in Quincy and Buck really happened and I always thought about using them for one Quincy’s adventures. Originally I was focused on the problem of Quincy’s fears and doubts which is a theme throughout the series. In the midst of writing the story I saw more ways to highlight Buck as a character and explore the theme of bullying and the fact that bullies are afraid underneath their façade of strength. I thought the title would illustrate that the book was about their relationship rather than just a story about Quincy.

What was your favorite part to write and why? I loved writing about the desert and the beginning of the trail ride. I am really happy with the way the description of Quincy’s actual experience of walking in the sand wash and his tripping on the rocks brings the trail ride alive for the reader. It also puts me back there and brings back happy memories as that was one of my favorite trails in New Mexico.

Describe your favorite writing spot. I had a study in my home in New Mexico with a picture window that looked out into the yard and the pasture where the horses were. I had my computer and also an old photo printer. As Michelle Black would send me photos of the paintings, I would print them out and then cut and tape them together with the printed text to make a mock up of the finished book.

What made you decide to write young/middle grade/YA readers? Having illustrations that were beautiful paintings of the horses was a crucial part of my vision for the series so that led to children’s picture books rather than chapter books.

Are you a re-reader or do you normally just read a book one time through? My old favorites are definitely re-read.

Besides writing, what are some of your other hobbies? I love to garden and have spent the last few years building an extensive organic garden and chicken keeping area on my farm. I also love photography.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers? Write about what you know and love and write down everything.

What would be one thing you would be lost without? My animals and the joy and structure of my daily life with them.

Describe your idea of 'the best day ever: It would  be a fall day with cooler temps and I would harvest vegetables in the morning, do some cooking and then ride. I would have everything on my to do list caught up of course.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans? I hope they enjoy Quincy and Buck. It may be my favorite Quincy book and I am excited to share it. I also hope that parents find that this book is a good way to start a conversation about fears, bullies and problems and a chance to reinforce that asking for help is always ok.

Where can readers find out more about you and your books? Our website is quincythehorse.com and my blog is pathfinderpursuits.com. I can be reached directly through the contact form on our website if anyone has specific questions or requests. We also have a great Facebook community at facebook.com/quincythehorse. Quincy’s previous adventures are Quincy Finds A New Home and Quincy Moves to the Desert.

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7970. Once a Year

Happy Obligation Day!
A day that’s like no other,
‘Cause woe to any son or daughter
Disregarding Mother.

Buy those flowers, sign those cards,
Make a reservation;
Phones are buzzing, gifts unwrapped
All across the nation.

More important – call again
Before your bouquet’s wilty;
If once a year’s enough for you,
You should be feeling guilty!

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7971. The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves- Powerless Edition


The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimba of The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  This is a weekly meme where we can share news of the week and highlight new books received.

Had a crazy week, which was capped off with no power Friday evening.  We had a massive, crazy storm blow through, which I got caught in because I was running errands for work.  I went home to let the dogs out, and was relieved to see that we still had power.  That relief turned to complete dismay after work, because by the time I got home, hours AFTER the storm was over, we didn’t have power.  UGH!  To make matters worse, none of my “essential” electronics – my phone, my Kindle, my laptop- had much battery life left, so I multitasked.  How?  I took the dogs to the park for a walk, and left my phone and my Kindle charging in my car!  I have now exercised every day for at least 45 minutes for over week (I usually take Friday nights off to clean the house), and my Kindle was locked and loaded for a weekend of reading in case we didn’t have power restored.

Dean and I then took advantage of the lack of cooking options (as in, we had none) to go and treat ourselves to sushi and a tasty Japanese dinner.  Then I cuddled in the dark with the pups and the Kindle, and tried to keep from freaking out about the fact that we didn’t have water and I might not be able to shower Saturday morning.  Power was restored around 10 PM, so we weren’t inconvenienced as much as we could have been, and I am trying to take things in stride like the dogs.  They didn’t care that we didn’t have lights or flush toilets!  

Check out my current contests!  See the Contest Widget on the Sidebar to enter!

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews to share new additions to our library.  Click here to learn more about it.

New Arrivals at the Café:



Nebula Awards Showcase 2014

Memory Zero

Claiming the Duchess: Fitzhugh Trilogy Book 0.5  FREE at Amazon

Collaboration (Backlash)

Love With a Perfect Cowboy

The Once and Future Duchess

The Queen’s Wings

The Culling

Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin Trilogy)  – 1.99 for the Kindle!

A Vampire’s Soul

No Accounting for Cowboys


Copper Magic

A great big thanks to the publishers for their continued support!

What did you get? Please leave links and share!

 Subscribe in a reader

The post The Sunday Post and Stacking the Shelves- Powerless Edition appeared first on Manga Maniac Cafe.

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7972. Free books

Thanks to all who provided suggestions for ramping up sales of Animal Cracker.  The ramp-up's working!

To wit: I've offered a giveaway of free books on Goodreads.  These are actual physical, paper books. Please check it out and tell your friends. 

Starting June 1, I'm offering  a discount the Kindle.  Stay tuned.

Also, the book will be available to 20,000 (I think, too lazy to check the real number)visitors to the nation's largest publishing event, BookExpo.  Yay!

More to come.  Happy Spring.

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7973. Happy Mother's Day

Take the time to spend precious moments and wish your mother a Happy Mother's Day for she loves you unconditionally and has guided you throughout your days! If your mother is longer with you, say a prayer and thank her for her infinite wisdom. 

God bless! 


Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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7974. Happy Mother's Day!

Don't forget, I have some lovely coloring pages for you to share with your favorite mom - CLICK HERE!

0 Comments on Happy Mother's Day! as of 5/11/2014 10:16:00 AM
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7975. Happy Mother's Day

Take the time to spend precious moments and wish your mother a Happy Mother's Day for she loves you unconditionally and has guided you throughout your days! If your mother is longer with you, say a prayer and thank her for her infinite wisdom. 

God bless! 


Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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