Hello Joy Nwosu, Here is your Smashwords Alert for June 27.This alert contains two new releases.
Not Again, Grandma! By Joy Nwosu Lo-BamijokoReleased June 26, 2020, Grandma is becoming a bit forgetful. She hides things in places she believes she will be able to find them when she needs them, but then, she forgets where the hiding places are. She forgets her car keys and a host of other things. What will Grandma forget next? This fun little book will have children 3-6 yrs. of age entertained by the antics of Grandma.PRICE: $0.99 USD
Fiction » Humor & comedy » Parody 
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The Agent of Death By Joy Nwosu Lo-BamijokoReleased June 26, 2020 Death is inevitable. Just as sure as we all live, we will all one day die. But, when family members start dropping like flies, it’s time to go searching to find out why.PRICE: $0.99 USD
Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories 
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Add to Cart 

Smashwords Alerts notifies you of new releases from your favorite authors. To follow additional authors, click to the author’s profile page at Smashwords and click “Subscribe to Author Alerts”.Manage your Smashwords Alerts at
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Sincerely, The Smashwords Team
 

NEW BOOKS

My New Books, All Short Stories of

Easy Micro Reads

Are Now Live on Amazon.Com.

Check Them Out!

Welcome to Day 4 of the “SIR CHOCOLATE AND THE ICE CREAM RAINBOW FAIRIES” Blog Tour!@bakeandwrite @4WillsPub #RRBC.

GIVEAWAY:  (7 winners) Each will win a copy of one of her Sir Chocolate Story and Cookbooks. For your chance to win, please leave a comment below!

Sir Chocolate and the Ice cream Rainbow Fairies story and cookbook

*Book Trailer link – https://youtu.be/Kxq0APHylJE

BLOG POST:

Welcome to part 4 of the fondant cat parade

The fondant cat parade tells the story in limericks of Dinah the Kitten, daughter of Daddy Grey and Mommy Cat, who likes to sleep and escape to Wonderland in her dreams. While in Wonderland, Dinah meets a variety of brightly coloured and fun fantasy kittens. The fondant cat parade illustrates some of the wonderful fondant art that appears in all the Sir Chocolate books.

Today, you will learn about Dinah in Wonderland.

Look out for part V of the fondant cat parade tomorrow when you will meet Small the Kitten. You can download the full illustrative PDF of the fondant cat parade here: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/dinah-in-wonderland-fondant-cat-parade/.

How to make a Swiss roll with a fruit and cream filling

Ingredients 

200 ml self-raising flour

4 eggs, separated

150 ml castor sugar

50 ml cold water

2 ml salt

15 ml extra castor sugar

250 ml whipped cream

Fresh fruit of your choice, strawberries or blue berries are what I prefer to use

Method 

Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Line a 20 x 23 cm Swiss roll tin with baking paper.

Beat the egg yolks and castor sugar until pale and mousse like. Add the water and mix through.

Sift the flour. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the beaten egg whites and flour to the egg yolk mixture. Fold in using a metal spoon until the mixture is smooth.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin. Tilt it carefully to ensure the mixture reaches the corners and is spead out evenly. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until golden brown. 

Remove the Swiss roll from the oven and turn out onto a clean, damp tea towel sprinkled with the extra castor sugar. Cut the edges off the cake, Make a small incision across the width at one of the short end of th ecake. Place a piece of baking powder on the cake. Fold the scored end over and, using the tea towel, roll the cake. Leave the cake in the tea towel to cool completely.

Add chopped fruit of your choice to the whipped cream. Carefully unroll the Swiss roll and spread with the cream mixture. Roll up and serve.

BOOK BLURB:

Join Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet on a fun adventure to discover why the milkshake rain is pale and white.

Contains five recipes that children can make under adult supervision

AUTHOR BIO:

Hello, my name is Robbie, short for Roberta. I am an author with seven published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with my son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about my mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of my children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications.

I also have a book of poetry called Open a new door, with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades.

I have recently branched into adult and young adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my adult writing, I plan to publish these books under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. My first supernatural book published in that name, Through the Nethergate, is now available.

I have participated in a number of anthologies:

  • Two short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Dark Visions, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre under Robbie Cheadle;
  • Three short stories in Death Among Us, an anthology of murder mystery stories, edited by Stephen Bentley under Robbie Cheadle;
  • Three short stories in #1 Amazon bestselling anthology, Nightmareland, a collection of horror stories edited by Dan Alatorre under Robbie Cheadle; and
  • Two short stories in Whispers of the Past, an anthology of paranormal stories, edited by Kaye Lynne Booth under Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Robbie Cheadle

Website

https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog

https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Twitter

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site. If you’d like to schedule your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE. Thanks for supporting this author and her work!

Welcome to Day 9 of “THE LOST AND FOUND BILLY BATTLES” Blog Tour! @JHawker69 @4WillsPub #RRBC #RWISA.

It is my pleasure to host  Ron Yates’ “THE LOST AND FOUND BILLY BATTLES”Blog Tour on my blog today

GIVEAWAY:  (2) Complete sets of the Billy Battles trilogy.  For your chance to win one, please leave a comment below!

BLOG TOUR INFO SHEET-9

The Lost and Found Billy Battles Tour

BLOG POST:

Writing for Nonreaders in the Post-Print Era 

Today, I am sharing something I wrote when I was the Dean of the College of Media at the University of Illinois. At the time I taught classes in journalism and shared this with my students. It still resonates with me even though I wrote it almost ten years ago. 

Recently a professor (Ahem. I won’t say who) created an outline for a new slightly apocryphal course called: “Writing for Nonreaders in the Post-Print Era.”

The course carried the following description:

“As print takes its place alongside smoke signals, cuneiform, and hollering, there has emerged a new literary age, one in which writers no longer need to feel encumbered by the paper cuts, reading, and excessive use of words traditionally associated with the writing trade. Writing for Nonreaders in the Post print Era focuses on the creation of short-form prose that is not intended to be reproduced on pulp fibers.

“Instant messaging. Tweeting. Blogging. Facebook & Google+ updates. Pinning. These 21st-century literary genres are defining a new “Lost Generation” of minimalists who would much rather watch Modern Family on their iPhones than toil over long-winded articles and short stories.

“Students will acquire the tools needed to make their tweets glimmer with a complete lack of forethought, their Facebook updates ring with self-importance, and their blog entries shimmer with literary pithiness. All without the restraints of writing in complete sentences. w00t! w00t! 

“Throughout the course, a further paring down of the Hemingway/Stein school of minimalism will be emphasized, limiting the superfluous use of nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, conjunctions, gerunds, and other literary pitfalls.”

Prerequisites

Students must have completed at least two of the following:

ENG: 232WR—Advanced Tweeting: The Elements of Droll
LIT: 223—Early-21st-Century Literature: 140 Characters or Less
ENG: 102—Staring Blankly at Handheld Devices While Others Are Talking
ENG: 301—Advanced Blog and Book Skimming
ENG: 231WR—Facebook Wall Alliteration and Assonance
LIT: 202—The Literary Merits of LoLcats
LIT: 209—Internet-Age Surrealistic Narcissism and Self-Absorption

There is obviously some truth at work here. When one talks to editors in the world of book publishing it is apparent that we are definitely entering the post-print era. Few students I talk with tell me they actually read a book for pleasure. It is always for a class.

When I ask students about John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker—even Earnest Hemmingway, only a few can tell me much about these authors and what they wrote. If they have read these writers at all it is because some American Literature teacher in high school assigned them to read one of their books or essays.

Take some time over a weekend to read a good book—one that tells a story, not some self-absorbed treatise on how to find your spiritual center or why you are so important, I tell students. You might actually enjoy it—and without a doubt you will learn something.

When I discuss writing with journalism students, who should have a keen interest in writing well, I tell them that the best way to learn to write well is to read good writing. They should then learn to imitate that writing—not copy or plagiarize it—but imitate it. Eventually, they will develop their own style of writing, but most important, they will become better writers simply because they have developed a life-long romance with and respect for the English language.

So while Facebook, Google+ and My Yahoo may be places to chat and hook up; while the blogosphere is a place where tedious pontificators can congregate with little if any accountability for truth; and while twittering is the latest e-rage, they are all poor substitutes for substantive literature, fine journalism or intelligent conversation.

The university is the place where an appreciation for good literature, fine journalism and intelligent conversation should be cultivated and enjoyed. It is, after all, one of the few times when students will actually have the time to take pleasure in these things.

Once they enter the world of gainful employment, their focus will shift to one of survival, meeting deadlines and accumulating “stuff.”

Reading well will be considerably more challenging. And one can only hope that they will not find themselves “Writing for Nonreaders in the Post-Print Era.”

BOOK BLURB:

The Finding Billy Battles trilogy tells the story of a remarkable man who is born in 1860 and who dies in 1960. For decades Billy lives an improbable and staggering life of adventure, peril, transgression and redemption. Then Billy mysteriously disappears. For several decades his family has no idea where he is or what he is doing. 

Finally, with his life coming to an end, Billy resurfaces in an old soldiers’ home in Leavenworth, Kansas. It is there, when he is 98 that he meets his 12-year-old great-grandson and bequeaths his journals and his other property to him — though he is not to receive them until he is much older. 

Years later, the great-grandson finally reads the journals and fashions a three-volume trilogy that tells of his great-grandfather’s audacious life in the old west, as well as his journeys to the Far East of the 1890s—including French Indochina and The Philippines—and finally, in the early 20th century, to Europe and Latin America where his adventures and predicaments continue. One thing readers can be sure of, wherever Billy Battles goes trouble is not far behind.

AUTHOR BIO:

Ronald E. Yates is a multi-award winning author of historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy. His extraordinarily accurate books have captivated fans around the world who applaud his ability to blend fact and fiction.

Ron is a former foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Illinois where he was also the Dean of the College of Media. 

The Lost Years of Billy Battles is the final book in the trilogy and recently won the Independent Press Award’s 2020 Distinguished Favorites Award. In 2019 it also won Best Overall Book of the year and the Grand Prize in the Goethe Historical Fiction Category from Chanticleer International Book Awards as well as a Book Excellence Award and a New Apple Award. The second book in the trilogy, The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles, was published in June 2016. It won the 2017 KCT International Literary Award and the New Apple Award in the Action/Adventure category. The first book in the trilogy, “Finding Billy Battles,” was published in 2014 and won a Book Excellence Award and Laramie Award from Chanticleer International Book Awards.

As a professional journalist, Ron lived and worked in Japan, Southeast Asia, and both Central and South America where he covered several history-making events including the fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia; the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing; and wars and revolutions in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, among other places. His work as a foreign correspondent earned him several awards including three Pulitzer Prize nominations.

Ron is a frequent speaker about the media, international affairs, and writing. He is a Vietnam era veteran of the U.S. Army Security Agency and lives just north of San Diego in Southern California’s wine country.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

-Twitter   https://twitter.com/jhawker69

-Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ronaldyatesbooks/

-Website   https://ronaldyatesbooks.com/

AMAZON OR OTHER PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon:

Barnes & Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/finding%20billy%20battles/_/N-8q8
To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishingsite.  If you’d like to schedule your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  Thanks for supporting this author and his work!

GRAND PRIZE Winner of our 2019 KCT INT’L LITERARY AWARDS Contest, “SO, YOU’RE RAISING YOUR GRANDKIDS!” by RWISA Author, Harriet Hodgson.

We honor today the 2019 KCT INT’L LITERARY AWARDS Contest, winner,

Author, Harriet Hodgson.

“SO, YOU’RE RAISING YOUR GRANDKIDS!”

BOOK BLURB

If you are a grandparent raising your grandchildren, help has arrived.

According to the US Census Bureau, more than 10% of all grandparents in the nation are raising their grandkids, and the number is going up. You may be one of the millions of these grandparents and it’s a role you never expected. Willing as you are to assume this role, you have some questions. How will I find the energy for this? Is my grandchild normal? What if I “blow it?” Each day, you look for ways to make life easier.

This book will:

•Help ease your worries and guilt;
•Offer tips for creating a grand family;
•Give methods for improving grandparent-grandchild communication;
•Suggest ideas for how you can connect with your grandchild’s school;
•Provide child development information;
•Recommend approaches to help your grandchild set goals;
•Stress the importance of having fun together;
•Offer ideas of how to foster your grandchild’s hopes and dreams.

So, You’re Raising Your Grandkids blends Harriet Hodgson’s wise and moving grandparenting story with recent research and findings. It shares her 21 years of caregiving experience, including seven years of raising her twin grandkids. Each chapter ends with What Works, proven tips for grandparents raising grandkids.

At the end, you’ll cheer for all the loving grandparents—including you—who are putting grandchildren first.

HARRIET HODGSON BIO

Rochester, Minnesota resident Harriet Hodgson has been a freelance writer for 38 years, is the author of thousands of articles, and 36 books. She has a BS from Wheelock College in Boston, an MA from the University of Minnesota, and additional graduate training.

Hodgson is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi). She is a contributing writer for the Open to Hope Foundation, The Grief Toolbox, and The Caregiver Space websites. Visit www.thecaregiverspace.org/authors/hhodgson to read her articles.

Hodgson has appeared on more than 185 talk radio shows, including CBS Radio, dozens of television stations, including CNN, and dozens of blog talk radio programs. A popular guest, she has given presentations at public health, Alzheimer’s, bereavement, and caregiving conferences.

Her recent work is based on Hodgson’s 21 years as a family caregiver. She was her mother’s family caregiver for nine years, her twin grandchildren’s guardian and caregiver for seven years, and is in her fifth year as her disabled husband’s caregiver.  Visit Harriet’s RRBC Author Page to find out more about this busy wife, grandmother, caregiver, and author, as well as more information on her many other books listed in the RRBC catalog.

 

      #rrbc

      #RRBC #RWISA #RWISARiseUp

      Today is Day 12 of our 2020 RWISA

      “RISE-UP” Blog Tour! 

      Featuring

      Nonnie Jules

      Here is her author’s RWISA PROFILE PAGE – https://ravewriters.wordpress.com/meet-the-authors/author-nonnie-jules/

       

      by Nonnie Jules

      By Friday, I doubted that I would even be part of this event.  I’m sure many of you noticed that I kept moving others ahead of me and ahead of me until I ran out of members to move – as I struggled with finding the time in my schedule to write something.  As of this morning, I had finally decided that I just wasn’t going to be able to participate, as again, I saw no opening in my schedule that would allow it.

      Then, I got a phone call at 7:37 this evening from a friend, sharing that her relative had just attempted suicide due to his personal struggles since the arrival of COVID19.  He had lost his job, had received an eviction notice, and saw no clear path to anything remotely close to “better” while the Coronavirus lingered.  That conversation forced me to sit down at my desk just as soon as I hung up the phone.  What you will find below may not be that great, but it’s what my heart rolled out in the final hour.

      ***

      And So, I Believed

      We are living through what is possibly the most trying time in many of our lives.  We are a world on lock-down, and though there are those of us who are living a bit more comfortably than others during this pandemic, many in the world are suffering.

      Some of us are not concerned with how our mortgages and car notes will get paid.  Some of us aren’t concerned with where our next meal will come from, or, if we’ll have to suffer through another night filled with tears streaming down the faces of our hungry children, along with our own tears of helplessness.

      For those who suffer from mental illness, their situations are creating a new wave of crisis, as many who see no way out, are, out of fear and desperation, turning to suicide.

      My heart breaks for these innocents in this war.

      ***

      It’s quiet.  

      I’m afraid​. ​

      I’ve been locked up inside for so long, I don’t know my nights from my days.

       

      It’s lonely.  

      I’m scared.

      There’s no place to hide, ​and ​no other place to go​, ​because it’s everywhere.

       

      I need to make a run

      ​…​just out to the store

      …but, I’m not even sure

      …it’s safe to open my door.

       

      It’s in the air ​we breathe​

      ​…​on everything that we touch

      I never realized ​until now​

      ​…​I needed people so much​. ​

       

      I’ve no medical insurance

      …so, I mustn’t get sick​. ​

      My stomach is growling​​​ 

      ​…​but, it will soon quit​. ​

       

      I’ll just stay inside for now.

       

      I do need my meds 

      …to kill the voices in my head.

      They’ve never been this loud before.

      A little knock at the door 

      …would really help right now.

       

      It’s ​too ​quiet.

      I’m ​so ​afraid.

      I open my wallet and remember…

      I haven’t even gotten paid.

       

      What will I do?

      ​How will I survive?

      I don’t even know if it’s worth staying alive.

      And, what will I eat?

      What about the heat?

       

      I know that it’s summer

      …and it’s supposed to be hot

      …but​, ​this thing has me terrified

      …all tied up in knots.

      ​So, I strangely shiver as if it is cold.

      While parts of the world move, my life is on hold. ​

       

      Under the covers

      …the only place I feel safe.

      Oh, how I wish

      …to feel the sun on my face.

        

      How will I ​cover​

      …the rent that is due?

      My landlord’s expecting 

      …to be paid at two.

       

      Some understand 

      …but others not

      My luck ran out

      …with the landlord I got.

       

      “I’ve got a family to feed – you’ve only got you.” 

      He does not ​see​ that only me has to eat, too.

       

      I don’t have the rent, dear Lord. 

      What will I do?

      Where will I go?

      I need a sign

      …because I just don’t know.

       

      How long will this crisis last?

      No one knows for sure.

      I’m afraid​ of my thoughts​.

      How much more can I endure?

       

      I just don’t know.

       

      My mind is racing

      …it just won’t stop.

      Please slow it down, Lord

      …these thoughts are just not – to your liking.

       

      I cover my mouth

      A cough escapes.

      ​I d​rift over to the window

      …and pull back the drapes.

      Unlocking the locks

      …one by one

      I can hear the calling ​

      ​…​not a voice​, ​but a gun.

       

      ​No, too noisy, I think.

       

      And what if I miss?  

      I’m already afraid to even consider this.

       

      Now, it’s a voice – louder – more clear  

      Almost a shout – deep in my ear.

      “Come closer to me. 

      Look, I’m down here.” 

       

      Five stories below me

      Cars rush​ing​ by

      ​I hear the voice again​

      “​C’mon, you can fly.”

       

      I look back over my shoulder

      As my landlord knocks

      Then I glance at the wall

      …it’s straight two o’clock.

       

      “Why are you hesitant? There’s only pain here for you.

      There’s nobody to help, so, what will you do?

      The world is on lockdown, but you can be free.

      Do not wait another second; come and join me!

      You see, I am free – down here. 

      And don’t forget, you can fly.”

       

      And so, I believed.

       

      ***

       

      To everyone reading this who might be struggling with thoughts in their head, that under normal circumstances wouldn’t make sense, yet, they seem to make sense in the moment, what you should always remember is that the devil is alive and well, and sometimes looks and sounds just like you and me. {And of course, he wants you to join him…in hell.}

       

      Fight those voices that encourage you to harm yourself and others.

       

      If you were not born a bird or created in the likeness of some type of aircraft, listen to ME – you cannot fly.

       

      Thank you for supporting today’s RWISA author along the RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the main RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour page on the RWISA site.  For a chance to win a bundle of 15 e-books along with a $5 Amazon gift card, please leave a comment on the main RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour page!  Once you’re there, it would be nice to also leave the author a personal note on their dedicated tour page, as well.  Thank you, and good luck!

       

      #RRBC #RWISARWISARiseUp

      Today is Day 11 of our 2020 RWISA

      “RISE-UP” Blog Tour!

      Featuring

      Peggy Hattendorf

      Peggy Hattendorf

      Here is her author’s RWISA PROFILE PAGE – https://ravewriters.wordpress.com/meet-the-authors/author-peggy-hattendorf/

      by Peggy Hattendorf

      “Mother is the most beautiful word on the lips of mankind.” Kahlil Gibran

      We define, mother or mom, as the female parent, whose responsibilities center around the physical and emotional care of a child, who may or may not be her own biological offspring. In certain circumstances, childcare commitments may be handled by the grandmother, stepmother, foster mother, godmother, or mother-in-law.  All categories of “mothers” who have a hand in nurturing, teaching, and fostering the development of a child, deserve respect and admiration.

      The American terms, mother, or mom, adopted from the British English names, mummy or mum, sound remarkably similar or are spelled the same, in many languages around the world.

      Whether we say,

      • Mother or Mom – American English
      • Mummy or Mum – British English
      • Mother or Mom – Canadian English or Maman – French-speaking province of Quebec
      • Madre – Spanish
      • La Mere – French
      • Moeder – Afrikaans
      • Ma – Hindi (India)
      • Moeder – Dutch
      • Madre or Mamma – Italian
      • Mama – Romanian
      • Matka – Polish
      • Mor or Mamma – Norwegian
      • Mum – Australian English
      • Mum – New Zealand English
      • Mueter – Swiss German
      • Mamma – Swedish
      • Mutter – German
      • Me – Vietnamese

      the meaning and the identity of the person referenced is the same – the female parent of a child.

      The initial love and affection, devotion, and care, given by our mothers, cultivated our early introduction to life and the universe around us. It provided the initial foundation and perceptions of the world as a happy, gentle, and kind place or a world to be viewed as hostile, brutal, and unkind.

      Without the support, training, guidance, and discipline set by our mothers, we would not have grown into social beings, in the image of God. Mothers help prepare us with knowledge, skills, and abilities to mature and become independent. In so doing, our mothers sacrificed many of their desires and needs for our necessities and demands.

      If the virtuous governing principles of life are learned by teaching and examples bestowed by our mothers, then a “world without mothers” would be:

      • A world with significantly less women
      • A world devoid of selflessness and unconditional love
      • A world less disciplined and restrained
      • A world less organized and efficient
      • A world less righteous, decent, and understanding
      • A world less emotional, demonstrative, and affectionate
      • A world with less compassion and empathy
      • A world less patient, kind, and gentle
      • A world with less encouragement and motivation
      • A world less balanced and controlled
      • A world less polite and respectful
      • A world less thoughtful, tender, and considerate
      • A world less merciful and forgiving

      Mothers play an indispensable role which is hard to duplicate.  As infants, nearly all of our physical needs are attended by our mothers. That physical care prevailed as we started to crawl and then walk, babble, and then talk, and shed our diapers when toilet trained. Our safety, protection, and physical well-being remained paramount to our mothers even as we matured and entered adulthood.

      For many of us, the emotional care given by our biological mothers originated before we were born. After birth, we were embraced with love and affection. That unconditional love stands as the cornerstone of the mother and child relationship. As our mothers motivated and inspired, encouraged, and supported, they provided the strength necessary for us to grow and mature. As our first instructors, they taught us about love, and hope, faith and spirituality, acceptance and tolerance, courage, and bravery, confidence, and determination, giving, and charity.

      And they raised us to let us go and assume independence; all-the-while, we remain in our mothers’ hearts and souls forever. Mothers change the world with every child they raise.

      Women are not handed an “instruction kit” as they assume the role of motherhood. No guidebooks, training manuals, or college courses prepare them for the most challenging, yet most fulfilling experience of their lives.

      It is hard to envision a world without our best supporter, best listener, and best friend forever. Mothers are the ones who are always happy to hear from us, no matter what we are calling about, or when we are calling. They are the ones that will drive us crazy – but we know will always be there.  And no matter our age, we always need our mothers.  My mother has been gone for twenty-one years, but there is not a day, I do not wish I could pick up the telephone and speak with her.

      Below, my grandchildren and daughter have shared their perspectives on what life would be like without mothers.

      From my 16-year old granddaughter Anabella:

      “I can’t imagine a world without moms, as my mom is my biggest supporter and sometimes my biggest critic. My mom has always been there to laugh at me when I fall but to also pick me up and wipe my tears. I love my mom; she is always there to help me. She is my best friend. I can come to her with all my problems and she is always there with a witty comment and some friendship knowledge.”

      From my 15-year old granddaughter Skylar:

      “A world without moms would be dark and unforgiving. There would be no one to love you unconditionally, no one to bring you back up when you are sad and feeling down. You would not have your biggest cheerleader and fiercest defender by your side. You would not have that unconditional love that a mother gives to her child. And you wouldn’t have anyone who utterly understands you like your mother.”

      From my 10-year old grandson Erik:

      “What a world without moms? No, that cannot be, because it means everything in the world to me to have a mom. She takes care of me when I am sick.”

      From my daughter Rebecca, the mother of Anabella and Erik:

      “Strong women raise strong girls and you are the strongest woman I know. I can’t imagine the world without you and all the other strong wonderful moms.”

      It would be a decisively different and fragmented world without the love, hugs, and the comforting touches of mothers.

      In a world without moms, we would lose our navigational compass, our emotional barometer, and our positioning in the world order. We would be set adrift in an ocean of ever-changing conditions and unknown dangers. Thankfully, we have mothers and live on a planet fondly called “Mother Nature” or “Mother Earth” from the Greco-Roman personification of nature that focuses on the life-giving and nurturing aspects of nature by embodying it, in the form of a mother.

       

      Thank you for supporting today’s RWISA author along the RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the main RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour page on the RWISA site.  For a chance to win a bundle of 15 e-books along with a $5 Amazon gift card, please leave a comment on the main RWISA “RISE-UP”Blog Tour page!  Once you’re there, it would be nice to also leave the author a personal note on their dedicated tour page, as well.  Thank you, and good luck!

       

      #RRBC #RWISA #RWISARiseUp

      2020 RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour! 

      Featuring

      Maura Beth Brennan

      Maura Beth Brennan

      Here is her author’s RWISA PROFILE PAGE – https://ravewriters.wordpress.com/meet-rwisa-author-maura-beth-brennan-maurabeth2014-rrbc/

      MEMORIES OF MOM

      by Maura Beth Brennan

      I miss my Mom’s quirks. Her superstitions, for instance.

      “Don’t you dare put your shoes on that table,” she would say. She wasn’t talking about putting shoe-clad feet on the coffee table. She didn’t want anyone putting a shoebox containing new shoes on a table—any table. Such an action could have dire consequences. That box must be placed on the floor. Period.

      No one in our house would have dared leave a wet umbrella open to dry inside the house. That would have, according to Mom, invited disaster. And if you left the house by the front door, you had better return that way. If not, who knew what tragedy might befall you?

      Now, when I walk my dog through the woods and take a shortcut home, I double around the house to reenter through the same door. I can still hear her voice, warning me. I leave that dripping umbrella on the porch. I place that shoebox on the floor. Because my mother—she’s a deep, tenacious part of me.

      I miss so many things about her—her funny remarks, her kindnesses, her soft voice. I say things to my daughter and think, there is my mother talking. She blurted the funniest things sometimes, and Dad, my brothers, and I sometimes teased her about it. One source of our amusement was her habit of mixing up common clichés. “Sit down, let’s chew the breeze,” my mom would say. Or, “It’s six of one, a dozen of the other.” When we’d laugh, she’d look confused until she realized what she had said. Then, she’d laugh along. She was the inspiration for the mother in two of my short stories, where the mother’s sayings always came out wrong.

      I miss having Mom to lean on. One difficult year, I had to take a leave of absence from work. A new house, a demanding job, a young daughter, night school to earn a degree—it was suddenly all too much for me, and I couldn’t seem to stop crying. One morning, as I sat feeling sorry for myself, I heard a knock at my door. There was Mom, smiling, bearing homemade muffins for us to share. She settled me at the kitchen table. “Now, don’t you cry anymore,” she said. “It will all work out.” She made me a cup of tea and brought it to me. “This is nice,” she said. “Isn’t it? Just us girls.”

      What I would give to have a cup of tea with her now. To let her know how much that meant to me.

      Mom was a shy and quiet woman, but she had courage and a steely spine when it came to her family. Her courage showed when, during World War II, she packed a suitcase and took her baby daughter (me) three-thousand miles across the country, by train and bus, to be with my father while he was stationed on the west coast. She stayed there, making a home for us until the war was over.

      She showed that courage when she won her first battle with cancer. She never told either of my recently married brothers how ill she was, not wanting to worry them. She told them she had “a little procedure.” When her health returned, it was as if it never happened. She never spoke of it.

      But cancer struck again, a different one this time, more deadly.

      And this is the memory that breaks my heart. She was in the hospital after exploratory surgery and a terrible prognosis. I went to visit, pulling my chair close to her bed to hear her quiet voice. Her eyes stretched wide and she grasped my hand in hers.

      “I’m so scared,” she said.

      She died nine months later. That January, the doctors had “given” her three months to live. But she was determined to live until her fortieth wedding anniversary on September 20th.

      The afternoon she died, my father, my brothers, and I were gathered around her bedside. She asked my father, “Bud, is today our anniversary?” She was suffering and my father couldn’t bear to watch it go on. It was September 19th,a day too early.

      He pulled her close and embraced her for the last time. He knew what he had to do.

      “Yes, sweetheart,” he said. “It is.”

       

      Thank you for supporting today’s RWISA author along the RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the main RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour page on the RWISA site.  For a chance to win a bundle of 15 e-books along with a $5 Amazon gift card, please leave a comment on the main RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour page!  Once you’re there, it would be nice to also leave the author a personal note on their dedicated tour page, as well.  Thank you, and good luck!

       

      #RRBC #RWISA #RWISARiseUp

      Today is the Day 8 of our 2020

      RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour! 

      Featuring

      Yvette Calleiro

      Yvette Calleiro

      Here’s her author’s RWISA PROFILE PAGE – https://ravewriters.wordpress.com/meet-the-authors/author-yvette-calleiro/

      SIGHTS

      by Yvette M. Calleiro

      What if,

      In our hustle and bustle,

      In our go go go,

      We made it a point

      To slow down and meditate –

      Tune in to the now,

      The beauty of each moment?

      If only we had slowed our lives down

      To enjoy the present moment,

      We’d have less people living with anxiety,

      Fewer suicides and more survivors,

      More productivity in our workplace

      With fewer hours at the job.

      What if we chose

      To care about the foods we eat,

      To focus on nutrients from our earth

      Without pesticides or genetic modifications?

       

      If only we had stayed away

      From GMO-products and processed foods,

      We’d have fewer loved ones suffering

      From obesity and digestive issues

      And autoimmune disorders.

       

      What if we cared

      About our fellow man and woman and child

      Enough to help them find shelter

      And food

      And employment?

      If only we had cared more about

      The community as one

      Instead of individualism,

      We would have risen up

      To find solutions for homelessness,

      To help rehabilitate the hopelessness

      And leave no human hungry.

       

      What if mothers and fathers

      Could spend quality time with their children,

      Laughing and playing,

      Nurturing and comforting,

      Molding them into loving human beings?

       

      If only we had valued the family unit,

      There would be fewer broken families,

      Children would grow into

      Caring and confident adults,

      Valuing love and laughter.

      What if we chose

      To heal the mind, body, and spirit

      As one,

      With natural remedies,

      Focused on healing and curing

      Instead of masking and prolonging?

      If only we had focused on healing

      Instead of profiting on illness,

      Our immune systems would be strong,

      Able to fight harder against viruses and diseases,

      Our minds would be calm and serene,

      Our spirit would be at peace and

      In harmony with the world.

      What if we cared about our planet,

      Sharing the earth with

      Its other living inhabitants,

      Making small sacrifices

      So our planet can grow and prosper

      Alongside us?

      If only we had not been so selfish in our ways

      And had made the necessary changes

      To allow our planet to heal,

      Our forests would flourish

      And shelter our animals,

      Our oceans would provide life and enjoyment,

      And our air would be clear and breathable.

       

      What if we changed our ways?

      If only we could do something

      To stop this downward spiral of catastrophes

      That we have created.

       

      We can.

      We should.

      We must.

      When RWISA asked its members to consider the new world we are now living in, they wanted us to consider what we would have done differently to better the situation we are currently in. This led me to think about foresight and hindsight. We all have the ability to pause and wonder what the world could be if we choose to make the hard choices and work toward a better world. Similarly, once the catastrophe has happened, we can look back and realize what we did wrong.

      So, I created this poem. Choose to read it line by line or read the left side in its entirety and then go back and read the right side. Either way works! 😊

      So often, our leaders look back and say, “Oops!” and then just keep trudging along without righting their wrongs. We, as citizens, do the same. We have become quite comfortable in our spoiled lives. We, as a society, focus on individualism instead of community. We live in a bubble that is only concerned with how enjoyable our own little world is, forgetting that we do not live in isolation. We ignore the pleas of others to help the planet/hungry/homeless/poor because that would mean putting effort or perhaps making sacrifices, and who wants to give up the luxuries that they have become accustomed to?

      And so it goes. Our current path is not sustainable. If we are to survive and thrive, we must put the planet and all who encompass it as our priority. We need to make changes/sacrifices to flourish. Just look at what the past month or two of stay-at-home orders has done for our planet. Endangered turtles are being born and surviving. The peaks of the Himalayan mountains can be seen in India for the first time in decades. Pollution levels have shown a decrease in nitrogen dioxide over China. The waterways in Venice are crystal-clear and fish can be seen swimming in the canals.The signs are everywhere.

      Can anyone still doubt that humans and our ways have hurt our environment and will continue to hurt our planet unless we make serious changes to our ways of life? How many businesses are realizing that their workers can actually do their jobs from home? That one change can cut back on car emissions, stress, and other pollutions. I don’t have all the solutions, but maybe it’s time that we, as a society, start to use our foresight to change our world for the better.

       

      Thank you for supporting today’s RWISA author along the RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the main RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour page on the RWISA site.  For a chance to win a bundle of 15 e-books along with a $5 Amazon gift card, please leave a comment on the main RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour page!  Once you’re there, it would be nice to also leave the author a personal note on their dedicated tour page, as well.  Thank you, and good luck!

       

      #RRBC #RWISA #RWISARiseUp

      Today is Day 7 of the 2020 RWISA

      “RISE-UP” Blog Tour!

      Featuring

      Wendy Scott

       

      Wendy Scott

      Here’s her author’s RWISA

      PROFILE PAGE – 

      https://ravewriters.wordpress.com/meet-the-authors/author-wendy-j-scott/

       

      FOLLOW THE LEADER

      by Wendy Scott

      Darkness swallowed dormitory B49. The lights had been extinguished an hour before at 8 pm. Stevie listened for the rhythmic breathing from the cots, aligned with military precision, one metre apart. Twenty beds, divided into two rows, sat on opposite sides of a red painted aisle. Identical grey bedding topped each hard mattress. The sheets were starched so stiff they were difficult to tuck under the corners, and the pillow was as unyielding as set concrete, but its worst feature was the coarseness of the blanket’s weave that threatened splinters.

      Controlling his breathing into an even flow, he opened his thoughts to the ones forbidden by the masters. Silently, he recited his litany of self, as he had every night for the past five years.

      “I am more than the number B49-17.

      My name is Stevie Robinson, my birthday is the 11th March, and I’m 12 years old.

      My father’s name is Mark.

      My mother’s name is Katie.

      My sister’s name is Jenny.

      My family existed.

      I vow to always remember our life together before the invasion.”

      Tears gathered, but he was careful not to snuffle aloud. The cameras and microphones embedded in the walls monitored any transgressions every minute of every day.

      Further, up the row, bedsprings creaked as B49-3 tossed in his sleep, deep in the throes of another recurring nightmare. The silence shattered. His roommate screeched into the blackness, “Mama!”

      Heart palpitating, Stevie squeezed his eyes closed, stilled his body, and faked sleep. Moments later, boots thundered into the dormitory, followed by scuffling sounds as the offending boy was dragged out his bed and marched away. The doors crashed shut, muffling the boy’s protests. Stevie had witnessed numerous night raids, so he knew to remain frozen.

      A torch button snapped on, then measured boot steps resonated on the wooden floorboards. Three paces. A pause. Stevie imagined the torchlight scanning over the statue-like faces. A few paces at a time the master inspected the dormitory until he halted by Stevie’s cot. The smell of leather polish ripened the air. Stevie focused on breathing. In and out. In and out. No twitches. Feigning sleep. Early into his captivity, he’d learned the harsh consequences of non-conformity.

      Finally, the boots trod away. Before he exited the master intoned, “The Leader watches over you all.”

      ***

      Clad in identical uniforms, the boys from B49 trooped into the instruction room, their orderly line pausing as each boy bowed before saluting the oversized portrait of the Leader. A shadow of crew-cut hair, a creased forehead, lips thinned into a disapproving line, and demon eyes bored out of the frame as if tracking each boy’s movements. The identical image dominated the boys’ access zones: the dormitory, the canteen, the corridors, and the ablution’s block. The Leader’s face had become more familiar than Stevie’s own. It had been five years since he’d seen his reflection in a mirror.

      Without a murmur, the boys filed to their designated desk and stood beside their seats. Stevie glanced at the empty space allotted to B49-3. A sickly sensation puckered in his stomach but it wasn’t due to the beige mash the servers had dished up for breakfast. Years ago, his taste buds had withered away as he learned to chew the gluey texture for its sustenance value. Refusal to eat resulted in ejection, and reassignment to the intensive reprogramming wing. For boys who cried out in the night, the punishment was the same. None ever returned, and within days a different boy would be slotted into their place, and assigned their numerical identification. The Leader’s message clearly delivered. They were expendable cogs in the Leader’s war machine, merely insignificant numbers. Individuals didn’t exist.

      Head straight, eyes forward, Stevie snapped to attention as the master strode into the room. “Be seated.”

      Chairs scraped across the floorboards in synchronised motion. The master’s laser gaze scanned above the boys’ heads. “It seems a reminder is necessary. Our lesson will focus on our basic principles until the Leader is satisfied that B49 understands their function.”

      Lies. Propaganda. Brain-washing. A turmoil of thoughts swirled through Stevie’s brain, but he kept his expression bland and his body language submissive.

      Do. Not. Attract. Attention.

      The master picked up a cane and whacked it against a board, directing the group’s focus to the three sentences printed in regulation white chalk.

      “Recite together.” He traced the written words with the tip of his cane.

      Obedience—Leader knows best.

      Conformity—Leader made everyone equal.

      Conception—Leader created each of us for his divine purpose.

      The taps acted as a metronome commanding repetition until their voices sounded like they’d gargled gravel.

      “Halt.” The master consulted the clock on the back wall. “Proceed outside for drill instruction. Convene back here in one hour. The Leader watches over you all.”

      ***

      Under the direction of another master, the boys marched around the quadrangle in orderly lines under an overcast sky. Beneath his cap, Stevie swept his gaze around his surroundings. Windowless concrete high-risers towered around the compound, each one housing identical dormitories. Electrified barbed wire fences and fortified watchtowers incarcerated the thousands of boys within the indoctrination camp. Overhead, a drone buzzed, surveying the sea of uniforms for any sign of non-conformity.

      A minefield separated a squat building from the rest of the compound. It accommodated the reprogramming centre. The only entrance was via a rusty metal door. Stevie’s nostrils twitched, the air tainted by the black smoke belching out of the stack of soot-stained chimneys on its roof. The air stunk like burnt barbecued ribs. The boys’ route included parading past the centre’s outside gallows platform. Relief flooded Stevie when he spied the empty nooses. A brief respite as today, they wouldn’t be forced to stop and stand to attention, witnessing the distorted faces of those who broke the Leader’s rules.

      For years, he’d shared a room with B49-3. They’d eaten, washed, and marched to the same regimented routine day-in and day-out. He shuddered to think of what the other boy was suffering inside the bowels of the centre. Trained sadists, the masters displayed no capacity for compassion.

      Behind him, a voice whispered, “His name is Tom.”

      Heart thumping, Stevie’s foot fumbled the next step. He didn’t dare turn his head and acknowledge B49-18’s forbidden comment.

      From the front of the line, the master roared. “Keep in time.” The cane whacked on the concrete. “Left, right, left.”

      The path turned sharply by the outer fence. A flash of purple and yellow caught Stevie’s attention. A lone pansy grew between the cracks in the pavement. He risked peeking at the master before stooping down and plucking up the flower. Careful not to crush its petals he tucked his stolen prize up his jacket sleeve. A tidal wave of adrenaline coursed through his veins; he hardly believed he had dared to jeopardize his life for a pansy.

      No outcry ensued and he concentrated on keeping the rhythm. Sometimes the authorities planted informants among the dormitories. Boys who traded secrets for extra rations. He could not afford to slacken his guard.

      ***

      The clock hand ticked over to 8 pm, and the dormitory plunged into darkness. Stevie waited ages before rolling onto his stomach. He extracted the flower from his pillowcase and brushed the petals across his nose. The floral bouquet reminded him of the tubs of pansies his mom had grown on their porch. After gardening, the pansy fragrance lingered on her skin.

      Memories cascaded like a broken dam. Blowing candles out on a chocolate frosted banana cake. Giggling with his younger sister as their dad spun them around in circles on the back lawn. Wet kisses from his puppy, Sparky. Rainbow lights flashing on the Christmas tree. His mom reading him a bedtime story before pressing a goodnight kiss on his forehead. “Sweat dreams, son.”

      He smothered a sigh with the pillow. Silently, he recited the words that kept him sane.

      “I am more than the number B49-17.

      My name is Stevie Robinson, my birthday is the 11th March, and I’m 12 years old.

      My father’s name is Mark.

      My mother’s name is Katie.

      My sister’s name is Jenny.

      My family existed.

      I vow to always remember our life together before the invasion.”

      Stevie swallowed the flower, destroying the incriminating evidence. He added to his mantra.”The Leader watches us, but I’m watching back. In my heart, I will never follow the Leader.”

       

      Thank you for supporting today’s RWISA author along the RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the main RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour page on the RWISA site.  For a chance to win a bundle of 15 e-books along with a $5 Amazon gift card, please leave a comment on the main RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour page!  Once you’re there, it would be nice to also leave the author a personal note on their dedicated tour page, as well.  Thank you, and good luck!