I love looking out windows. Not only to see what is happening outside, but also to let my brain relax and reflect. After running a free ebook promotion of The Hard Way this weekend, I took some time to think about where I am in my writing journey.
It took many years to achieve the dream I had since I was a teenager, the dream of publishing a book. Two years ago, I published my first, The Hard Way. Now, book two, Shawn’s Way is due to publish this summer.
I built a writer’s platform and I am active on multiple social media sites. It has become the main way I engage with my readers. I have also connected with other authors, who have supported and helped me achieve my dreams to reach the point I am at in my writing journey.
I have a website where my readers can come and find me, my books and news about what is happening with me Selma’s Website.
With my busy lifestyle, I am still finding time to work on things to promote my passion. Whether it is a discount book sale or a free promotion. Thank you for your downloads and purchases of my book. It makes me happy to see it getting into the hands of readers.
My message for the week is to never stop dreaming. Working towards a dream can be a lot of work with challenges to overcome. It is frustrating, it is hard and it is a journey, but it can be achieveable. Sometimes I can’t believe I have published one book and will soon publish a second.
I have had my share of challenges and have had to make time in my life to make my dream come true. The journey hasn’t been easy, but it is so worth it when I see another copy of my book bought or downloaded.
As an author who writes young adult fiction, I am always up for reading a young adult novel from a fellow author. When this book was suggested to me, the title, Honeysuckle Holiday was definitely intriguing. I turned the book over to the back cover, like most people do, to find out what it was about. As I was reading it, I was drawn into the fact that the story was being told by a teenage girl from the south during a time of great racial tension.
Selma’s Book Review
Kathleen M. Jacobs
Type of Book
Young Adult Fiction
This is Kathleen M. Jacobs first young adult novel. After reading through her author bio on her website, it became clear where the inspiration for this story came from. With her favorite book being To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and making a move to rural West Virginia as a teenager, Jacobs writes this young adult novel flavored with two things which are personally important to her.
Summary of the story
Lucy is a spirited teenager growing up in the late 1960s. She is the middle child in a middle class family in Memphis, TN. With the racial tensions of the time, her father gets involved in an incident which leads to the unravelling of his marriage and family. Their mother, not wanting to worry her daughters, doesn’t tell them what their father had done. As the story progresses, Lucy and her sister Caroline, find clues to the story of what happened to their dad. And they learn a more about how they feel about themselves and others who may be different from them.
Reactions to the book
It was a good read. I liked the coming of age theme and engaging characters. I loved how the girls worked together to try to figure out why their dad went away. Reminded me of playing Nancy Drew when I was their age. Jacobs even mentions that Caroline liked to read those books. The author does a great job with setting by bringing historical themes from the 1960s and 1970s into the story. Made it easy to imagine what was going on in the story relative to the time period.
I think it would be a great read for any young adult reader. With February being African-American History Month, this would be a good read with the topic of racial relations in the south being addressed.
If you interested in learning more about the author, you can find out information about her at Kathleen M. Jacobs
If you are looking for a copy of the book, here is a link to it on Amazon.com Honeysuckle Holiday
Dystopian fiction is a genre of books which are speculative in nature and tend to focus on social and political structures. Their authors look into the future and say ‘what if’ the world turned out this way and write their story.
I am a naturally curious person who is interested in learning more about things. So, I decided to find out more about Martin Luther King Jr. to better appreciate why a federal holiday was declared in his honor.
When I started my online search, the first things that came up were what is open or closed today and what date it was going to fall on in the year 2019.
So, I dug a little deeper.
The observed holiday is celebrated on the third Monday in January, even though it may not fall on his actual birthday. Do you know when his birthday is? I looked it up. It is January 15, 1929 and he was born in Atlanta, GA.
It was declared a federal holday by Ronald Reagan on November 2, 1983 to honor King’s birthday, his legacy and to shine a light on civil rights. King played a very important role in the history of our country. He was involved in the civil rights and peace movements in the 1960s. Do you know what speech he is famous for delivering? I Have a Dream. He gave it during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963.
The march was organized to advocate for the civil and economic rights of African Americans. About 250,000 people gathered in Washington, DC in front of the Lincoln Memorial and listened to Dr. King.
I have always wondered why was he referred to as Dr. King. A little searching online provided an explanation. He received a doctorate in systematic theology from Boston University in 1955. I then asked, what is systematic theology?
According to Wikipedia, systemtic theology is
a discipline of Christian theology that formulates an orderly, rational, and coherent account of the doctrines of the Christian faith. It addresses issues such as what the Bible teaches about certain topics or what is true about God and his universe.
On March 28, a workers’ protest march led by King ended in violence and the death of an African-American teenager. King left the city but vowed to return in early April to lead another demonstration.
On April 3, back in Memphis, King gave his last sermon, saying, “We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop…And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.”
The day after that sermon, he was assassinated in front of room 306. This plaque was placed at the hotel after a local group saved it from foreclosure and turned it into a civil rights museum.
School aged kids, federal and government workers get a day off in honor of King. Just like Memorial Day and Columbus Day, do we even know or recognize what the significance of the day is? I am glad I took the time to learn a little more about Martin Luther King, Jr. He played a very important role in the history of our country. I hope you learned a little something about him from this post.
Be sure to take a little time on the holiday to learn more about who or what we are honoring. You will not only learn a little something, but you will also gain a better appreciation for why you are enjoying a day off.
Have a great week!
Photo for featured image was taken by the Associated Press
Resolutions are a list of goals that we want to accomplish. They are a pretty popular thing for people to make at the beginning of a new year.
How many of us put way too much pressure on ourselves to work on and complete resolutions? I have read many posts about how people are either leaving resolutions on their lists undone or they just don’t make any at all to relieve the pressure from themselves.
As an up and coming Authorpreneuer, there many tasks to complete in 2019, for me personally, my writing business, and blog. For a number of years, I tried to set my goals up as resolutions with all the best intentions to complete them. When I realized I wasn’t meeting my resolutions, I noticed a trend in my personal planners. I seemed gung ho at the beginning of the year with all of the tasks filled in and many marked completed. Then I would lose steam about March or April where either not many tasks are written in or the pages are completely blank. Part of it was having planners that weren’t really working for me. The other part of it was being able to stay motivated.
The goals for my business are going to be there whether they are resolutions or not. So, I am going to start calling them what they are, goals and not resolutions.
Exciting things are in store for me and my business this year. Staying motivated and on task will be important to make things happen.
I have come across many great motivational quotes and thoughts posted in different places on social media. Like having music on while cleaning the house, I am going to start using motivational quotes in the same way, to help me get and stay inspired to accomplish my goals and realize my dreams. Also, I am currently creating a planner which seems to be working for me and I hope it will help me stay focused to get tasks done and goals achieved.
How would you feel about seeing the motivational quotes which are helping me posted periodically on this blog? Would it help you get motivated to meet your goals or make those dreams come true? Please let me know in the comments below.
“The Royal Dragonfly Book Award contest honors excellence in all types of literature and book marketing, recognizing creativity and hard work for a comprehensive list of genres in 68 categories. Our judges are industry experts with specific knowledge about the categories over which they preside.” – From the dragonflybookawards.com website
Here is the list of all of the categories and winners for 2018.
Are you looking for a good coming of age novel for your teen or young adult reader? Pick up a copy of The Hard Way and see how my main character, Paul Jones, deals with making friends and hard choices influenced by by peer pressure. Follow the link below to get a copy through Amazon.com. Available in either e-book or paperback.
I intended on publishing this in October as a part of National Bullying Prevention Month, but we had a death in the family that delayed me from making it happen.
So, here it is now.
In my last blog post I talked about the differences between being rude to, mean to and actually bullying someone. Bullying is defined as repeatedly doing something intentionally hurtful and not stopping when asked to do so. Sometimes the bullying stops, and the victim is able to work through it. But, in some cases, this behavior has led to victims living not only with depression and self esteem issues but also hurting or even killing themselves because of it.
According to an article on the website, kidshealth.org, 60% of all teen suicides are committed by shooting themselves with a gun. Overdose, cutting and hanging are other options typically used by teens. How many kids have gotten to the point of wanting to kill themselves and changed their minds? According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) suicide is the third highest cause of death amongst teens ages 15 to 24 and there is one teen suicide for every 25 attempts. In my opinion, with the number of the teen suicides there are, the fact that there are 25 attempted ones just makes me sad.
Teens are at a transitional age. They want to be adults, but don’t have the life experience to handle everything that life throws their way. It may be one reason why some teens feel suicide is the only way to ultimately get away from a bully.
There are many programs available to help victims of bullying, why don’t teens choose to use them more? Fear of retaliation from the bully and being seen as weak by their peers and others are two main reasons why teens don’t try and get help. They try to power through their feelings. If the bully ends up getting bored or move onto someone else, the powering through it worked. If the bullying continues, then the teen may reach out for help or may resort to drastic measures to escape.
What are parents and mentors trying to do to help teens deal with bullying? We may be sending mixed messages to teens through what we are saying and doing. We teach our kids not to tattle on others. Is this helping the bully get away with hurting others? I will talk about this in my next blog post.
On another note…
My books in The Way series focus on teen issues. I would like to get copies of them into the hands of teens. I hope these books will help teens relate to what my characters are going through and help them work through the issue they are facing. Reading a book about the issue is a great way to start a conversation about it.
My first book, The Hard Way was published in 2017 about peer pressure. My second book, The Bully’s Way, is due to be published summer of 2019 and is about bullying.
Be sure to check out my website for a link to get your copy of The Hard Way!
Along with the coming of fall and Halloween, October is also National Bullying Prevention Month. Here are a couple of key dates.
Go Blue Day – the first Monday in October. World day of bullying prevention and kick off to National Bullying Prevention Month.
Unity Day – October 25, 2018 – a day to wear the color orange to stand against bullying
I found this really cool photo on a Facebook post. When someone says something hurtful to you, it is mean and shouldn’t happen. What they said may make you feel bad, but sometimes you have to ignore what people say and walk away. Easier said than done, I know. But, if it continues to happen, then you need to get somone to help you make them stop.
After reading many stories and obituaries written about teens who have tried or actually ended their lives through suicide, I am upset by how many of them are doing it because of how other teens or adults have treating them. How do they get to the point that they feel there is no other way out? Has our society not given the victim a viable avenue to pursue to get help? Or do we have a way, but the victim is afraid to pursue it because of potential repercussions that may come from it?
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, one out of every five teens reports being bullied. That is a lot of teens being bullied. And if that is per the definition stated above, we have a lot of bullies too.
This is one of the reasons why I chose bullying for the focus of my second book, The Bully’s Way, to be published Summer of 2019. To bring the issue up in a readable format in hopes that a teen may find some help or reassurance they are not the only one going through it.
My next post is going to dig a little deeper into the subject of bullying with a few more statistics and some other thoughts. Be sure to watch for it!
Looking for a book about peer pressure, another big teen issue? Be sure to check out the books tab on my website.