Category Archives: Teen Life

He’s TOO Cute!!


Hello Friends! Last night we had a Christmas Cookie Decorating Party with the grandkids! FUN times! My youngest grandson had just learned the Lord’s Prayer, and he was eager to show off his skills!

Forgive my bragging, but I think he’s the cutest two-year-old ever!

Have a wonderful, blessed Christmas!

And as always, thanks for stopping by!


P.S. If you need a last-minute gift, books are the best! 



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Filed under Living, Teen Life

Welcome Stefan Haucke!

MEDIA KIT Author1Greetings, Friends! A very warm welcome today goes to fellow author, Stefan Haucke!  We are cheering the release of his book, Shadow of Ghosts. Since we have recently celebrated Halloween here in the United States, this book seems especially timely! 🙂

To whet your appetite, here is the blurb for Stefan’s book:

Shadows of Ghosts carries readers to Enara, a kingdom at war with itself, where for centuries centaurs have been treated like animals because of their horse-like lower bodies; they’ve been forced to work as slaves in the southern agricultural provinces, and have been bought and sold like livestock. But a strong abolitionist faction has convinced many that centaurs’ human torsos, heads, and intellectual abilities make them humans, who should be liberated from slavery and granted the same rights as any other person.

After four years of being forced to live in a remote village and having to keep his real identity a secret, Cal Lanshire, days away from his thirteenth birthday, is given the best birthday present he can imagine. He is told the war is almost over and he will soon be allowed to return home.

But then an old acquaintance unexpectedly arrives with news that changes everything. Cal’s father, the king, has been assassinated.

Suddenly the outcome of the war and the very fate of the kingdom depend upon Cal being able to reach the capital where he will take his father’s place.

With only his crafty best friend by his side and an escaped centaur slave to guide him, can Cal make it through an enchanted, hostile wilderness, past the assassins sent to kill him, and back to the capital before it’s too late?

MEDIA KIT Shadows of Ghosts_Front CoverAnd here’s a short excerpt for you:

After they had been walking for a while, Cal began to hear an occasional high-pitched noise, but he couldn’t tell which direction the noise was coming from. The noise echoed and seemed to be coming from every direction. Kozal started muttering unhappily to himself. The hard ground now felt soft, as if they were walking on a thin carpet. The high-pitched noise was becoming more frequent and seemed to overlap as if it was coming from different sources.

“What is that?” Cal asked.

“They make such a nasty mess,” Kozal grumbled. “We’re stepping in filth.”

“What are they?” Cal asked. “Where are they?”

“They’re above us,” Kozal said. “Many of them. We’re in their home, and they’re not happy. They’re not used to visitors.”

Cal was about to ask Kozal if the creatures he was talking about were dangerous when there was an explosion that sounded as if the top of the cave was coming down. Cal let go of Kozal’s shoulders and instinctively threw his arms over his head and crouched low to protect himself from whatever was falling from above. The high-pitched noises were incredibly loud now, but the high-pitched noises were being drowned out by what sounded like hundreds of leather coats flapping in the wind. Cal felt something briefly touch the side of his face, and then something slapped the top of his head. He tried to crouch lower and fell forward, and when he thrust his hands out to break his fall his hands slid because the ground was covered with a thick, slimy substance.

“Bats!” Mont called out.

It’s always fun to know a bit about the authors. (I love to see how their personalities shine through their writing!) Here’s the info on Stefan: (And I see that Stefan is a fellow traveler!)

Stefan Haucke, driven by the desire to learn about other cultures and the need for adventure, has traveled to over twenty nations. He rode a camel near the pyramids in Egypt, swam with sea lions in the waters of the Galapagos Islands, climbed the Great Wall of China, hiked near the Acropolis in Athens, went dog sledding in northern Michigan, and photographed polar bears in Canada.

Along his many travels, Stefan has successfully worked as a deckhand, a shepherd, a dispatcher for an emergency services unit, an electric meter reader, and an office manger. He has also found the time to study the literature and history of ancient Greece, Russia, and the United States, and loves reading folktales, fairytales, and urban legends. He also enjoys astronomy, and on clear nights can be found gazing at the stars and planets with his telescope.

Here are the links you need for Stefan’s book and to stay in touch with him:


GoodReads page:

To purchase his book: 


Kindle Edition

Barnes & Noble

Indie Bound – Independent Bookstores

And lovely readers, here is your chance to win a prize! Please let me know if you win! I’d love to celebrate with you. 🙂

Prizes for the tour are as follows:

  • One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.
  • One randomly chosen host will receive a $25 Amazon/ gift card.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

VBT Shadows of Ghosts Tour Banner copy


Are those of you in the Northern Hemisphere ready for winter? I’ve put on the flannel sheets, so I guess I’m moving in that direction! Ha! Stay warm! And read much!

As always, thanks for stopping by.


P.S. You can still escape to the warmer weather with Mags in Buried Truth! (And visit the Pacific Ocean while you’re at it!)


Filed under Book Tours, E-Readers, Teen Life

Teens Teach Senior Citizens and a Freebie for You!

Greetings Friends! I always get excited when I read about good works done by teens. (And there are plenty!) This morning, I read about teens in Kansas City who are being trained with a grant from Google Fiber to teach senior citizens how to use the Internet on computers. This project matches teens with seniors for technology lessons. There is a rigorous 60-hour training for the teens before they can do the teaching. They receive a stipend for their work.

I love this idea! What a brilliant way to harness the expertise of our teenagers to benefit our senior citizens. If you’d like to read about it, the full article is here.

FREEBIE: The third book in the Ocean Mist series is FREE today! Grab your copy here. TheReturn 500x750

Blurb: Following her mother’s death, Tiffany’s missing father reappears intending to take control of both her and her brother. Tough and rebellious, Tiffany doesn’t take kindly to meddling jerks and insists that neither she nor her little brother needs help, especially from the likes of him.

Tiffany plots her escape, but her plans become tangled when Jason, a new student whose past is shrouded in rumors, moves to Ocean Mist. Despite her intention to remain aloof, Tiffany falls for him and is driven to discover his secret.

When Tiffany’s brother sides with their father, Tiffany decides to run. But where can she go? Can she desert both her brother and Jason?


Feel free to share news with us about what the teens are doing in your community. (I love hearing from you!) Also, I’d love to hear your thoughts on The Return.

As always, thanks for stopping by!


P.S. Please share this blog post with your friends! I’d love them to grab a free copy of The Return, too!


Filed under Teen Life

Welcome, Laura DeBruce!


A very warm welcome to author Laura DeBruce! I’m so glad she’s visiting. We’re here to celebrate the release of her book, The Riddle of Prague! I have to admit that the title completely intrigues me because this summer I’ll be traveling to Prague for the first time. (Yay!!)

There are some special prizes to be given away during this tour! They are:

• One randomly chosen commenter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card.

• Two randomly chosen hosts will each receive a $25 Amazon/ gift card.

So, remember to comment below AND enter the rafflecopter at the end of this post!!

BLURB for The Riddle of Prague:

When 18-year-old Hana Silna travels to Prague to reclaim her family’s home, she discovers a riddle that may lead to a long-last flask.

The contents of that flask could change the fate of the world. When a ruthless enemy kidnaps her family Hana has to find the flask to rescue them. On her quest she meets a mysterious man with a penchant for poetry, a Gypsy girl with a haunting past, and Alex, an all-American boy who’s trying to save his sister from a crippling disease.   It’s hard to trust anyone when the stakes are this high — especially when surrounded by experts in deception.

There’s only one flask, and Hana desperately needs to find it.

Here’s an EXCERPT for you!

JFK Airport, New York, 1991

My mother says when we face our fears, we tap into a reservoir of courage. I’m not so sure. I’m strapped to this seat like a captured beast, and all I feel is panic. The airplane screams down the runway and thrusts its 800,000 pounds of steel into the sky. We’re taking off in the middle of a thunderstorm. My seatmate, immersed in a book, seems oblivious to the danger.

He’s got curly, blond hair that’s a little on the long side and one of those perfectly sculpted noses, and he’s wearing jeans and a batik-patterned shirt. Early twenties, I’m guessing. Not much older than me. The airplane gives a sickening lunge, and I tug the seatbelt tighter. My seatmate glances over, a bit eagerly, with piercing blue eyes.

“You all right there?” he asks with a crisp, European accent of some kind.

“I’m fine.” I’m not fine at all, but I don’t want to tell him that.

“This is the amazing part.” He gestures out the window, twirling his hand as if he’s conducting the storm outside. “Look!”

“I’d rather not.” The plane shakes, and I grab the armrests.

I’m only on this flight because my mother has inherited a house in Prague. Actually she’s reclaiming a house—the one where she grew up. The one the Communists took from her family when they seized all private property. My mom and dad had to escape when the Soviets invaded Prague in 1968. Now the Iron Curtain has lifted, and the people who left can finally return without being thrown into jail. Unfortunately for my mother, now means surgery and doctors. She’s at a hospital and can barely walk down the hallway, much less haul herself onto a plane. This didn’t matter to the bureaucrats in charge of the restitution of property. If the transfer of the house doesn’t happen immediately, they say it might not happen at all. That’s why my mother is sending me, her only child, in her place. That’s why I’m on this airplane instead of at the hospital at her side, where I should be.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Laura DeBruce is a documentary filmmaker and writer. She grew up traveling all over the world thanks to her father’s work with the U.S. Embassy. She and her husband spent twelve years living in Europe including Prague, Paris, Amsterdam and London where she found inspiration to write The Quicksilver Legacy Series. In Prague she worked as a lawyer for the first private nationwide television station in the former Communist bloc.  It was there that she fell in love with the ancient city of Prague and its legends.

She lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband and son and an unruly Golden Retriever.

Website with blog and trailer

Buy Link on Amazon 



Here’s where you enter the Giveaway: 
Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC! A Rafflecopter Giveaway

I’d also love to keep in touch with you through my FREE Newsletter Gang! You’ll get all the news about the latest releases, contests, giveaways, and fun tidbits! Gain Access Here!

I look forward to hearing from you!

And as always, thanks for stopping by,


P.S. Know a teen girl who’d like to crack the dating game?  Check out my new book Dating Advice for Girls from the Guys! Teen Guys Speak Out! It’s a quick, fun, and informative read! (I had a ball interviewing teen guys!) A perfect surprise gift!



Filed under Book Tours, Teen Life

Do You Know a Teen Guy?

teen guysCalling all teen guys!  (And if you’re not a teen guy, please forward this to the teen guys you know!)

Guys, what do you want in a girlfriend? Do you have good advice to share? In your opinion, what makes a good girlfriend?

Click here to let your voice be heard!  (It won’t take more than a few minutes.)

This is your chance to tell the girls what you want! 

All responses (we’ll keep you anonymous) will be crafted into a book that will be read by teen girls everywhere.

Guys, take this chance to be heard!

Thank you SO much for your help! I appreciate your time and willingness. Plus, I’m excited to read what you have to say.  🙂

Again: Just click here! It’s as simple as that!

And as always, thanks for stopping by,


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Filed under Teen Life

Happy New Year!



Happy New Year, Wonderful People! I wish you all the best in 2014. May you have lofty dreams, and may they all come true!

A big surprise is coming your way if you are one of my newsletter subscribers. January 8th is the day! It’s a BIG freebie! Eleven free book downloads — some from NYTimes best-selling authors! You won’t want to miss this! Click here to sign up for my newsletter. And tell your friends! Free books are always a good thing!  🙂

Thank you for a wonderful 2013. You guys are the best! I look forward to another exciting year in 2014, full of new adventures and new friendships!

Bless you!

And as always, thanks for stopping by.


Sign up for my newsletter gang here! I don’t want you to miss out!

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Filed under Teen Life

It Could Be the Brain

teens fighting

When I’m at a social gathering and someone asks what I do, I tell them I write and teach. Of course, the next question is always at what level I teach. When I answer high school, there is often a general rolling of the eyes and a sympathetic clucking of tongues.

Many people continue, “How do you stand it? Teens are so rude and violent these days.”

I’m happy to report that this hasn’t been my experience. The teens I work with are respectful and for the most part, peaceful. (At the risk of sounding incredibly sappy, I must admit that I adore the teens I teach.)

However, I know where my acquaintances’ questions are coming from – things we hear in the news can paint a scary picture.

Today I read an interesting article about how teens are more likely than adults to lash out than to flee.  The reason isn’t just that adults are more practiced at controlling themselves. Preliminary findings indicate that the actual reason has to do with the brain itself. Results suggest that “limbic prefrontal circuitry during adolescence coincide with the likelihood of approaching, rather than retreating, from danger in emotionally charged contexts.” Which is to say that teens are more likely to engage with danger.  (To read the entire article, click here.) Could this be one of the reasons that teens, particularly males – according to this study, engage in confrontational behavior? It’s an intriguing thought which I believe warrants more study.

The article continues on to say that the “propensity to act on impulse” is a transient developmental stage in teens.

This information does supply some interesting plot points for YA literature. Authors dig deeply in the drama of conflict wherever it may appear!

Yes, it’s fun to read about; perhaps not so much fun to live.

How about you? What do you think? Are teens more prone to court danger than to flee from it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

And as always, thanks for stopping by.


P.S. I’d love to welcome you to my newsletter gang! Not to worry – I’ll never share your email address and your inbox won’t be flooded.  Click here for my latest news and info! (I have the greatest bunch of subscribers!)

P.P.S. Click here for a fun Christmas read!


Filed under Teen Life