Letter to Teenage Self
The future is yours, no need to be afraid. Everything will work out, don’t waste time worrying. Things won’t always go as planned but it will be an awesome life. There will be some sadness and heartache but it will be nothing compared to the happiness and adventure you will have. Most of all, you will have much love in your life. You family and friends will support you every step of the way, no matter how crazy they may think you are. One door will close and others will swing open as you have the ability to recognize opportunity. You will meet the most amazing people along the way, make sure you learn from them. There is no road map, your life will not go in a straight line but the ups and downs, the ins and out, the twists and turns will make it interesting. There are no impossible dreams for those who make their own kind of music. Just do it girl and don’t let anyone stop you. Live, laugh, love will be your motto.
From Darlene Foster
Graphic provided by Darlene Foster
Author Sue Ford joins us today to share her letter to her younger self. Check this out!
Dear Younger Self,
Please don’t despair! Yes, you, 14, 15, 16-year-old teen. I know it’s hard that the boys you like don’t like you back. And it’s not because you aren’t pretty enough, or you don’t know how to talk to boys, or that something else is wrong with you. In reality most girls and guys your age aren’t in a relationship and aren’t ready for a relationship. But that’s probably not very comforting. Yes, I see you lying on the couch listening to melancholy songs like the Moody Blues Knights in White Satin. Thinking you’ll never have a love of your own. But it’s not true. When you are 17, a guy you met at 16, will make it clear to you on Senior Skip Day that he really likes you. And you’ll like him back.
He’s a really nice guy, with flavors of your favorite musician, John Denver. You’ll date all summer after your senior year—his junior year. So much for your I’m “never” dating a younger guy idea. He’ll talk enough for both of you, but draw you out as well.
Then comes your freshman year in college. What an ego boost it will be. Your college has four times as many guys as girls, so most of your classmates will be guys. Doors will be held open for you. Guys your age and older will pay attention to you. There will be some weirdos. And some nice guys, but after a bit of experimenting, who do you come back to? That one that gave you the sweetest kiss on Senior Skip Day.
Like grows to love and you now turn down all other offers. During the summer after his senior year, he almost off-handedly asks you to marry him. You say yes, but the two of you decide not to tell anyone until December.
When he goes off to college in another town, you write letters back and forth which you both treasure. And you see each other whenever you can. It’s your aunt Florence who notices what’s going on. At Thanksgiving she asks you a direct question, “When are you two getting married?” “July,” you answer, then realize, oh, my gosh, we’d better tell our parents. You do so quickly and probably awkwardly. You won’t even remember what they say.
But does it matter? No. Does it matter that complications from a car accident mess up your wedding plans? No. You get married on the chosen date and start a happily ever after life together.
He’ll do things such as make you custard when you are sick. Hold you when you are sad. Teach you how to be less shy. You’ll get through hardships together. You’ll learn and grow even closer to one another. The love of your own will be more than you can ever imagine.
So hang in there. I’ll be well worth the wait.
Sue Ford writes for children as Susan Uhlig and for adults as SM Ford. Her most recent book is an inspirational romantic suspense--she loved reading romantic suspense as a teen. You can read about the book on her website: www.smfordbooks.com. If you're interested in her children's writing, go to www.susanuhlig.com.
I'm very excited to have a fellow Clean Reads author, Heather Gray, here to share her letter with her younger self. Heather is the author of the Ladies of Larkspur inspirational western romance series, including Mail Order Man, Just Dessert, and Redemption. She also writes the Regency Refuge series with titles His Saving Grace, Jackal, and Queen as well as contemporary Christian romance. You can check out her website every Wednesday for her reoccurring blogs with excerpts from different authors on Wordy Wednesdays.
Letter to My Younger Self By Heather Gray
I'm just like you, only with a little more wisdom and perspective. Not quite enough to actually be wise yet, but I'm on my way. Okay, and I have a few more pounds on me, too.
There are a couple of things you might want to know about life.
Why does this matter? Well… it might help you the next time you get a bad grade. Or, more importantly, it might give you enough perspective so you can recognize what actually constitutes a bad grade. Let's go over a few things.
Don't cry if you miss one word on a spelling test.
Don't feel like a failure if you don't get picked to be on the school-wide radio program.
Don't worry too much if you can't master the German language by the end of the fourth grade. (Especially since you only started studying it halfway through the fourth grade. In a once/week class at school. Sounds like a no-brainer, doesn't it? Oye, you were such a stubborn little thing.)
Jump double-dutch more often. It's fun.
Practice your neigh. There aren't enough little girls in the world who can imitate a horse.
Be a camera hog. Once you reach five feet in height, you'll look kind of weird diving behind furniture to avoid getting your picture taken. Those pictures never look good. In fact, they're kind of embarrassing.
That about sums it up. Life is going to deal you some crippling blows, but bowing under the weight isn't going to be an option. People will be depending on you. The stubbornness that wouldn't let you give up on German is going to come in handy. You'll find strength you didn't know you had, and you'll be ever so thankful you learned some of these lessons early enough to have properly embraced life. You'll be thankful for the kazillion laughter-filled memories when those troubling times come. You're also going to learn to cling to your faith in a spectacular way. Don't be ashamed of that. It's a sign of your strength, not of weakness.
Oh, and one more thing. You're never going to master even the rudiments of German. But it's okay. You'll learn to live with it.
You in a Few Years
Check out Heather on her social media sites:
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KOSMOS Episode One: The Pendant
Author: Jo Linsdell
About the book:
Teenager Matthew Smith feels like his life is a mess. He keeps arguing with his mum, is being bullied at school, and worst of all has a crush on a girl from school who does seem to even know he's alive. Just when he thinks things couldn't possibly get any worse he finds a strange pendant that changes his life forever.
KOSMOS is a serial fiction of 12 episodes.
Purchaing link: http://amzn.to/2j4lL3e
About the Author
Jo Linsdell is the author of numerous books, including; How To Be Twittertastic, Virtual Book Tours: Effective Online Book Promotion From the Comfort of Your Own Home, Italian for Tourists, A Guide to Weddings in Italy, Out and About at the Zoo, Fairy May and The Box. She is also the illustrator of the A Birthday Clown for Archer series (written by Kathy Mashburn) and the Jasmine Dreams series (written by Maria Rochelle).
She is the founder and CEO of Writers and Authors and Promo Day. Linsdell studied A-levels in Business Studies, History and Art and has won several awards in her career. She was named the Who's Who in the writing industry in 2009.
Connect with the author at www.JoLinsdell.com
Author: Sara R. Turnquist
Title: Hope In Cripple Creek
Publisher: Clean Reads
How to reach me:
Tragedy strikes Katherine Matthews and the small town of Cripple Creek, Colorado. An epidemic teams her with an old enemy, Wyatt Sullivan, the town’s doctor. In the midst of desperation and death, Katherine has decisions to make. But she has no idea to what extent they will affect her daily life and livelihood.
The town is turned upside-down when the gold miners go on strike. The owners bring in outside reinforcements, ready to break the resolve of the Western Federation of Miners. Everything in an upheaval, Katherine faces a crisis of faith and hard choices. Will life ever be normal again?
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hope-in-cripple-creek-sara-r-turnquist/1124917787?ean=2940156874248
“Katie!” Someone shook her, rubbing her face. “Katie!”
Her eyes opened. There was no tunnel, no Ellie Mae. Katherine was in the hotel room in Denver with Wyatt. He leaned over her, hands on her arms, shaking her awake. Ellie was dead and had been for many years. Katherine lay covered in a layer of sweat as tears flowed down her face.
“Katie, are you all right?” Wyatt asked, his voice now gentle as he pushed her hair out of her face. He sat on the edge of the bed and pulled her into his embrace. “That must have been some nightmare. But you’re safe.”
Katherine did feel safe in his arms, but the memory of what happened to Ellie was fresh in her mind, in her heart, and she couldn’t let herself remain in Wyatt Sullivan’s embrace. She pushed at him to create some distance between them.
She smacked at her face, wiping the tears away. “I’m fine,” she lied.
His eyes darkened. Who cared if he didn’t believe her?
But she would have none of his comforting. The wound was fresh. He had left Ellie Mae behind.
Today I'm over on the Alz Authors website talking about how young adult fiction can help heal and educate. I share what inspired me in my own life to write about Nick's grandfather in Competing with the Star. I have to say this was the hardest thing for me to write. You can check out the piece here:
Check out the blurb from my upcoming young adult book, Dating the It Guy, coming March 21, 2017 in ebook and paperback from Clean Reads.
Emme is a sophomore in high school who starts dating, Brendon Agretti, the popular senior who happens to be a senator's son and well-known for his good looks. Emme feels out of her comfort zone in Brendon's world and it doesn't help that his picture perfect ex, Lauren, seems determined to get back into his life, along with every other girl who wants to be the future Mrs. Agretti. Emme is already conflicted due to the fact her last boyfriend cheated on her and her whole world is off kilter with her family issues. Life suddenly seems easier keeping Brendon away and relying on her crystals and horoscopes to guide her. Emme soon starts to realize she needs to focus less on the stars and more on her senses. Can Emme get over her insecurities and make her relationship work? Life sure is complicated when you're dating the it guy.
Girl moves to new town.
Girl meets Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome.
Cue Happily Ever After.
That’s how the story goes, right?
Except this is Lucy. The same Lucy whose stellar driving skills single-handedly wiped out both of her parents, leaving her with nothing but the suitcase in her hand and the screws in her skull. Not to mention that Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome—AKA Oliver—is just as annoyingly bossy as he is hot. According to Oliver, Lucy’s not safe in her new hometown, but he refuses to say why. He just gives her some lame warning about not going out after dark, like that’ll stop her.
When several townspeople vanish, the lethargic community springs to life, fearful of the danger lurking among them. The problem is that Lucy’s the last person to have seen any of the missing. Doesn’t exactly qualify her for the Neighbor of the Year Award.
Lucy’s already given up on Happily Ever After, but now she has two choices left: find out what’s happening in her new home, or become the next victim.
“Do you trust me?” he asks. He’s closer to me.
“Do I have a choice?”
“Not really. We’ve got to get you back to the mansion before . . .” His voice trails off. I want to slug him in the arm for being spooky again, but I’d have to find his arm first.
He swoops in without warning, whisking me from my feet. Again, I cry out. He sucks in a sharp breath that catches between his teeth. “Lucy, I’m not kidding—stop making noise.”
My blood simmers beneath my skin. “Warn me next time you’re planning on picking me up, then.”
“Sorry,” he fires back, his mouth too close to my ear.
I want nothing more than for the strength in my legs to return so I can get away from him and his nerve, but Oliver is in control now and holds me pressed unnecessarily tightly to his body. Turning my head from him is my only means of escape. I’d shown him, all right.
With a little more energy than necessary, he heaves me up into the blackness. My bottom connects to something soft yet solid—Jasper’s back—and pain spikes down my spine. I gasp as my body starts to curl in on itself.
“Okay,” Oliver says. “Slide your right leg over to the other side. I’ll keep you steady.”
My mouth flops open and I wonder if he can see the ever-growing whites of my eyes. Or maybe he’s picked up on the stampede going on between the valves of my heart, because he softens. “Lucy, I’m not going to let you fall. Trust me.”
“The only people I’ve ever trusted are dead,” I shoot down to him as I claw around for something, anything, to keep me from falling on my face.
Oliver snorts, which sends me over the edge.
“What? You think that’s funny?” I challenge him, no longer concerned about keeping quiet. His hand clamps on my leg in piercing reproof. I’ll have bruises there tomorrow, for sure. Through locked teeth, I order, “Let. Go.”
“Please stop,” he says. “I’m trying to keep you sa—”
A rumble beyond us, where the orchard fades into the rest of the forest, interrupts his plea. Even though I sit astride stoic Jasper, I can feel the ground vibrating beneath us.
“What in the—?” I cry, whipping my head in the direction of the growing commotion.
“Slide back,” Oliver commands. I know better than to take offense at his bossy tone. I’d made a big mistake, one he’d been trying to protect me from. The fear of horses leaves my body, only to be replaced by the fear of the unknown. Ignoring the bite of pain in my hip, I throw my leg over Jasper’s withers and shove myself backward, using my palms for leverage. A second later, Oliver sweeps himself upward and in front of me on his horse’s back.
“Hold on,” he yells over the thunder moving our direction.
Tiny Fox Press (http://tinyfoxpress.com/product/in-the-middle/)
S. J. Henderson is the founder of the Kid Authors Project, as well as a published author of the DANIEL THE DRAW-ER series. Now that she's published IN THE MIDDLE, she'll start working on the next big thing.
S. J. lives on a farm with her husband, four boys, two dogs, and cat. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her riding one of her family’s three horses. She loves to sing and is slowly learning to play the ukulele.
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How Writing This Book Kept Me Sane
By Darlene Foster
The latest adventure in the Amanda Travels series, Amanda on The Danube – The Sounds of Music was released October 1, 2016. In this book, Amanda Ross finds herself on an elegant riverboat with her bestie, Leah, cruising down the beautiful Danube, passing medieval castles, luscious green valleys and charming villages. When she is entrusted with a valuable violin by a young, homeless musician during a stop in Germany, a mean boy immediately attempts to take it from her. Back on their cruise, Amanda struggles to keep the precious violin safe for the poor prodigy. Along the way, she encounters a mysterious monk, a Santa Claus look-alike, and the same nasty boy. Follow Amanda down the Danube, through Germany, Austria and Hungary, as she enjoys the enchanting sounds of music everywhere she goes. She remains on the lookout, wondering just who she can trust.
A question I am often asked is where I get ideas for my books. In this case, I was fortunate to go on a fabulous river cruise down the Danube with my hubby and some good friends four years ago. We had a fabulous time and everywhere we visited I thought, Amanda would love this place. I took notes and tons of pictures. For a writer, your characters are always on your mind and you never really take a holiday from writing. I had just published Amanda in England and was working on Amanda in Alberta at the time.
When I eventually started to write Amanda on the Danube, I was in the midst of a huge transition in my life. I had just retired from my day job after 48 years of working. Then my husband and I sold, gave away and threw out seventy-five percent of our belongings, packed the rest and moved to Spain to start a new life. I couldn´t see how I would manage to get any writing time in and I was sure I had forgotten most of my trip. But I managed to sneak in some writing whenever I had a few spare minutes, as writers do. Thankfully I had my photographs and journal entries to remind myself of the exciting places I wanted to write about. The rest of the adventure just came to me as I wrote.
Somehow, and I´m still not sure how, I completed Amanda on the Danube, three years after my trip. I honestly feel that writing the story helped relieve the stress of moving and reconstructing my life. I guess I can thank Amanda for keeping me sane.
I hope everyone enjoys travelling with Amanda. This is what mother/daughter reader had to say:
"A mysterious travel adventure with a brave, inquisitive, compassionate heroine. This is a fast-paced, fun read! Amanda will take you on a wonderful, visual, descriptive adventure." —PJ Sarah Collins, author, Sam & Nate and Elena Collins
Social Media links
Buy the book https://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Danube-Sounds-Darlene-Foster/dp/1771681020/
Amazon author page https://www.amazon.com/DarleneFoster/e/B003XGQPHA/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Goodreads author page
BLURB: Twelve year old Amanda Ross finds herself on an elegant riverboat with her bestie, Leah, cruising down the beautiful Danube, passing medieval castles, luscious green valleys and charming villages. When she is entrusted with a valuable violin by a young, homeless musician during a stop in Germany, a mean boy immediately tries to take it from her. Back on their cruise, Amanda struggles to keep the precious violin safe for the poor prodigy. Along the way, she meets a mysterious monk, a Santa Claus look-alike, and the same nasty boy. Follow Amanda down the Danube, through Germany, Austria and Hungary, as she enjoys the enchanting sounds of music everywhere she goes. She remains on the lookout though, wondering just who she can trust.
AUTHOR: Brought up on a ranch in southern Alberta, Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world and meeting interesting people. She also believes everyone is capable of making their dreams come true. It’s no surprise that she’s now the award-winning author of a children's adventure series about a travelling twelve year-old girl. A world traveller herself, Darlene spends her time in Vancouver, Canada and Costa Blanca, in Spain.
PRAISE FOR AMANDA ON THE DANUBE “A charming and fast-paced story that will delight its young audience as Amanda and Leah travel along the historic Danube River to deliver a very unique and mysterious violin." ~ Suzanne de Montigny, Award-winning author, Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy “This fast-paced mystery will keep readers guessing until the very last chapter.” ~ Jan L. Coates, Children’s Author, Finalist Governor General’s Literary Awards "A mysterious violin case, two boys and other intriguing characters among ancient castles make this a page turning adventure for young readers.” ~ Margriet Ruurs, Author of My Librarian is a Camel "A mysterious travel adventure with a brave, inquisitive, compassionate heroine. This is a fast-paced, fun read! Amanda will take you on a wonderful, visual, descriptive adventure." ~ PJ Sarah Collins, Author, and Elena Collins, aged 11
Very excited to welcome my friend Angela Crook to the blog today. She's smart, funny, and I love the post she wrote for us today about her journey as a writer.
When I was a young girl, my older sister gave me a Harlequin romance by Penny Jordan. I was far too young for a romance novel, but it didn’t stop me from falling in love. Not with the handsome guy determined to win the heart of the beautiful young virgin, but with reading. In the years that followed I read everything I could lay my hands on, from the classics, to Greek mythology, fantasy, sci-fi, and even horror, the longer the story the better. Yet, in all my reading it never occurred that I had my own stories to tell, not until much later, that is. One night feeling overwhelmed and miserable after a break up with the guy who was supposed to be the One, I just sat down and started to write. That story became my first novel. Over the years, I attended writer’s conferences, almost gave up many times, but always continued writing and learning. No matter if I’m writing a dark thriller or a family drama, love is always at the heart of each story, same as in life. If I had to give any advice to readers, I would say, be bold. Try stories about unfamiliar people and places. I would say the same to new writers. Gone are the days that you must wait to be chosen, write from your heart and consider all your options, and write. Just keep writing.
Check out Angela's book, Fat Chance, here:
Belinda “Bebe” Jones thinks she has it all. After years of hard work and even harder choices, she has worked her way out of the hood, and into Cleveland’s middle class. She has a successful career, a devoted son, and enough money in the bank to ensure that her son will never know her struggles firsthand. But now she realizes that somewhere along the way the girl who set out to conquer the world has chosen to eat it instead. When she looks in the mirror, instead of seeing the svelte girl she remembers, it looks as if a fat stranger has swallowed her whole, leaving only her familiar eyes to peer out from inside. For longer than she cares to think about, Bebe has been ignoring her own needs while she has taken care of her son, looked out for her sister Maria, who is always involved in one drama after another, and served as a sounding board for her best friend, Navah. When Bebe receives an email from her first love, her secret loneliness is revealed and she, with a little help from Navah and Maria, set out to reclaim her life, along with her body, as she searches for the one thing that money can’t buy----love.
Can be purchased:
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Park Road Bookstore 4139 Park Rd Charlotte, NC 28209