Archive | February, 2013

HerStory by Dealaina M. Waldron

21 Feb

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Book Synopsis

HerStory a novel by Delaina M. Waldron is a paranormal/thriller that takes the reader on a journey in the life of a young African slave woman named Ayira who has a dark secret.  A dark secret she does not understand and is beyond her control.

Ayira can see the past and the future and she can also speak to the dead.

It is the beginning of slavery in America, a Native American tribe rescues Ayira and she struggles to balance her special powers and face her dark past to help the people around her.

Ayira must overcome her fears of her dark past, survive the present and accept her destiny to help prevent the Indian tribes fatal outcomes.

 

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Author Bio

Delaina M. Waldron is a Screenwriter, Novelist and freelance writer in her spare time.  She wrote two feature length screenplays one of which was adapted to her novel “HerStory” and the other a comedy called “Ghetto Ghost Hunters” was a finalist in the 2011 Hollywood Screenwriting contest.  She also wrote a short screenplay a thriller called “Peeper”, which is currently in production.

Delaina M. Waldron is a single mother of one and is currently a city bus driver and a military veteran for the Army Reserves, based in New York City.

 

Website:  www.herstorynovel.com

 

Twitter:  @delainawaldron

 

Blog: http://delainawaldron.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/hello-world/

 

Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delaina-M-Waldron/227854963892903?ref=hl

 

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My Review:

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This book deals with spiritualism/occult. If you are offended by literature that has themes such as this, you will not want to read this book. I often review Christian themed books, so I want to give this warning before I continue.

HERStory is about a woman from Africa who has special gifts to speak with the dead and see into the future. She is rescued by an Indian tribe after being sold into slavery. The tribe struggles to get to know her and understand her gifts as she continues to isolate herself from everyone.

Ayira is afraid of the gifts she has and of what her father wants her to use them for. She does not have control of the visions she sees, and she does not know how to change them. The people who reach out to help her are turned away as she does not trust anyone. The theme of this story is Ayira learning how to be in control of what she is seeing.

I gave this book three stars because, though it held my interest to the end, there were some things that were confusing to me. I did not understand fully why the Indians had rescued the slaves, or what their motives were throughout the story. I also could never understand why no one, except another spirit, could control Ayira’s father.

The story itself caught my attention. I wanted to finish because I wanted to know what would happen to Ayira. Ms. Waldron is a good story teller, but I couldn’t get past the details that confused me. I also thought it would have drawn more interest to know which tribes I was reading about. I like the history behind stories, and I felt like the history behind the Indians was a little lacking. I realize this is Ayira’s story, but I just felt that the Indian’s history might have cleared some things up.

All in all though, I enjoyed the story. Reading this story as a Christian, I could go into my beliefs about what was behind Ayira’s gifts, but since that was not the point of this book I will leave that alone. This is an interesting, and fairly short read, for anyone who wants something a little different.

 

Interview with the Author:

1)      What motivated you to write this story?

A: I admire the Native American Culture.  In the days of slavery in America, I always thought what would have happened if the Native Americans joined forces with the African slaves and fought against the foreigners.

 

I also thought what it would have been like to see the two cultures meeting each other and learning from each other and living together in the 18th century.

 

2)      Did you have any particular tribes in mind when you wrote this story? If so which ones?

 

A: I had an idea of certain tribes that lived in the area of the settlers that mysteriously disappeared back in 1587, the settlers were called the Roanoke colony in the North Carolina area.  The tribe was loosely based on the nearby tribes near the roanoke colony.

 

3)      In the story, you have the Indian tribe save the slaves, but later you find out they had taken slaves from another tribe. How do you reconcile the difference in their actions?

A: They did not take slaves from another tribe, they took in Native American tribe members displaced by the battles with the soldiers.

 

4)      Is the story, and the woman’s abilities, based on any particular religious or other beliefs? If so what beliefs?

 

A: There are various African beliefs and rituals, but the woman’s abilities are loosely compared to lets say “Nostradamus” a man that had special abilities in a century that had no understanding of his abilities and a man that was far advanced in his century.  So the woman’s abilities were too complex and advanced for her to understand and to control in the time and place where such things were unimaginable for such a simple young African woman.

 

5)      Do you relate to your main character, and if so how?

A: I relate to my main character mainly with her times when she is confused about her direction in life, what and where to go and how to overcome obstacles.  I found myself isolating myself at times when I did not want to get hurt also.

 

 

6)      What was your favorite part about writing this story?

 

A: My favorite part was writing the ending.  I love the twist at the end, it gave a sense of accomplishment for the slave woman and independence.

 

7)      What was your least favorite part?

 

A: My least favorite part was writing about the sad moment with Imani.  Imani is a great supporting character for the slave woman.

 

8)      Do you have any other projects upcoming?

A: I am currently writing a couple of screenplays, a short horror and the other a psychological thriller.

 

A New Blog for Authors and Wannabe Authors

20 Feb

A wgile back I did a review of the book Surviving in America by Paul Andrulis. Today he contacted me to ask me to share his new blog with authors and would be authors.

The blog is a place where he is linking to all the free or inexpensive resources he has come across to help authors in their journey of self-publishing.

Independent Author Resources is Paul’s new blog. He already has some links up on the site and will be adding more as he gets them all together.

Why has he started this blog?

His explanation in his own words:

“I want to help prevent as many indies from making the same mistakes I have, and find the stuff it took me weeks to locate. Some of the free programs out there will thoroughly trash a file, for instance. I am not selling anything, nor do any of the sources that I link. This is literally free stuff.”

 

If you are looking to self-publish, then you should go take a look. The links to the different pages are towards the bottom. If he doesn’t have a link in one of the pages, he will soon, so this is a site you will probably want to visit frequently.

Self-Doubt: A Choice Battle Ground for Satan

16 Feb

So often, we all fall into the trap of doubting our abilities and our influence. If we wallow in these doubts long enough, we may even begin to doubt our motivations. Nowhere does this self-doubt play out more than in our Christian walks. We become scared to talk to people about Jesus or to correct a brother or sister in their sin. We become scared to speak out against evil or to become too involved in things.

Satan loves it when we buy into these doubts. As long as we are scared, we are more likely to stand still and do nothing. This state of non-action gives Satan more and more freedom to exhert his will on the world and eventually in our own hearts. So how does this self-doubt look in our lives?

 

#1- No one will listen to me

First of all, you are going to encounter people who will not listen; that is just a fact. If you speak out though, you have a better chance of getting someone’s attention. Not speaking up because you might not be heard is like a baby who will not try to walk because they might fall down; neither one will get very far. You may be rejected a dozen times, but you may also be planting the seed for the next person who comes along, or even for the next time you speak to that person.

When we refuse to tell others about Jesus we are still expressing something. Staying quiet expresses our shame of the gospel, and Paul tells us not to be ashamed (Romans 1: 16-17). When we don’t speak out against sin, we are expressing our acceptance of those sins, which is just as bad as participating in them ourselves (Romans 1:32).

As Christians we cannot keep silent about things such as fornication or the murder of countless innocent lives. We cannot keep silent about unrighteousness or God will turn us and those who practice such things over to our unrighteousness. * Read Romans 1

 

#2- I am only one person, what can I do?

You can do plenty. If you refuse to fight past your doubt, you can become one that denies Christ and forfeit your soul. If you allow those you love to continue in sin and wickedness, you can forfeit their souls. If you do nothing, you can continue to call God a liar since God tells us we can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13).

Or, you can stand up and speak out. You can teach others and fulfill your role of spreading the gospel to all nations (Luke 24:47; Mark 16:15-16; Matthew 28:19-20). You can be a voice of reason, bringing the wisdom of God, into a world full of wickedness and foolishness (Romans 1: 20-25).

 

#3- I can’t really do much, how can God use me?

It is amazing to me how many people forget what gifts they have when it comes to living the Christian life. We seem to want to separate our Christianity from everything else. That is how you get people who know they have a gift for something like organization, saying they have nothing to bring to the table for God.

Where do you think you got that gift in the first place? And, what purpose do you think He meant that gift for?

1 Corinthians 12 tells us that God gave us each different gifts to be used to help the body of Christ. We each have our own unique way that we can help spread the gospel, and most of us know what we are good at. If you know this, then you know what you can bring to the table. You cannot separate your life into compartments.

You are either a Christian, or you are not. If you are a Christian, use the gifts you use every day for the work of God. All aspects of your life are His. And remember that God gives us His Holy Spirit who will give us the words to say when needed. We don’t have to rely on ourselves, but on God (Romans 5:1-5).

 

#4- Isn’t it the preacher’s job to teach others about God anyway?

Yes. It is also your job. Romans 8:30 tells us that He has called us. He desires us to take action. What action? to declare Jesus who was crucified, buried and rose from the dead. To declare Jesus whom we were buried with in our baptism so we could die to sin and receive eternal life in heaven (Romans 6:1-6). Knowing how great this is, why should we be quiet?

When you receive good news in your life, don’t you want to share it with everyone you can? Likewise, when you know someone may harm themselves, don’t you want to warn them? What greater news can you share with someone than the gospel of Christ, and what greater harm can people do to themselves than deny the full truth of salvation?

 

When we don’t share the truth we are denying it to others. Is our fear really worth our eternal souls and those of our loved ones? We use our mouths for so many things in our daily lives. Why not push our self-doubt aside and use our mouths to glorify God, to condemn wickedness in ourselves and others, and to bring others to salvation?

Asylum by Ashley Hodges Bazer

11 Feb

This is a book that is a little out of my normal interest zone, but the description caught my interest, so I decided to give it a try. This is a Christian based science fiction story pitting the Ghosts, members of Logia and other followers of the Crown, against the Legacy who are determined to terminate everyone who is associated with the Logia. The Legacy has spent an abundance of energy and resources in coming up with cruel tortures for all Ghosts they capture, and when they capture the wife of one of the gifted captains of the Ghosts, they experiment with one of their newest torture devices, wiping out all her memories.

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The story follows Chase, the Ghost captain whose wife has been captured, as he searches for his wife and looks for a way to rescue her. This book is about Chase learning to trust the Crown as he goes on his search, but the underlying theme seems to be the love he has for his wife, as well as the love she retains for him despite all the Legacy’s efforts to remove it. While I did feel that there were some areas of the story that were forced, such as how readily Chase gives up on the idea of vengeance after he has set his heart on it, all in all this was a good book. The book is definitely a page turner, and I was caught up in hoping that Chase would be able to succeed in his mission to get his wife back throughout. This book deals with some gruesome things at times, as you read about the torture that the Legacy inflicts on others, but it is a book I would recommend to my friends or blog readers.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

HMJ- Limping Across the Finish Line

8 Feb

HSMJ-wideIHN

  • In my life this week…

This week I started working out again. I have a friend that is acting as my accountability partner, and we went to the gym three nights this week. I hope to eventually get it up to 4 nights a week, but for now that is the time I can allocate for it. I decided I needed to get back to working out when I realized how close I was to the magic number I promised myself I would never allow to show on the scale.

As to the rest of my week, I actually got a lot accomplished. Danger Girl and I are going to start working on our garden this weekend, so I got all the items purchased to get that done. I also got some basic school supplies we were running low on.

Today I had a workshop to help with the math and science portions of the TEAS test. I did okay through math, but during the science portion I started getting a migraine, so I can’t guarantee I will retain any of that. I guess I will see as I start doing the practice tests.

  • In our homeschool this week…

This was not our best week for homeschool. Chatterbox did well Monday and Tuesday, then she had a complete meltdown on Wednesday, which Danger Girl decided to join in on. I had two children unwilling to work, and this lead to one very frustrated teacher.

Thursday I ended up spending a good portion of our school time on hold trying to get a company who had double charged me to give me my money back, but luckily Danger Girl willingly worked on her own through a lot of her work, and Chatterbox entertained herself by practicing drawing numbers and letters. I guess they had the meltdown out of their system.

Friday we had no school since I spent the whole day in the workshops, but Danger Girl got to go over and see some of her friends, so I think she had a good day.

  • Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

My best advice this week is to avoid meltdowns at all cost. They make for a very long day.

  • Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

This weekend my husband and I are having our date-iversary supper. Each year we go out to celebrate our first date. It started out as a joke, but it has now become a tradition. Danger Girl will go stay with my friend and her husband. They always have a good time.

  • My favorite thing this week was…

I would have to say my favorite thing is this moment when I am getting to sit relatively still and quiet for a while.

  • My kiddos favorite thing this week was…

Danger Girl’s favorite part of the week was probably spending the day with her friends.

  • Things I’m working on…

I need to start making sure I am caught up with my science from 8th grade up so I can do well on my test.

I am also working on making a meal plan and workout schedule so I can lose the weight I need to lose.

  • I’m cooking…

I don’t know yet. I have to come up with some meals that are healthier, but that my husband will still eat. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to do this for a man who likes fried foods and won’t eat vegetables?

  • I’m grateful for…

I am really grateful for my friend who is encouraging me right now with school and with getting healthy. She is a great encourager.

  • I’m praying for…

I am realizing that there are places where I still need to forgive people. I am praying that I will get there soon.

  • I rewarded my kids this week by…

I took Danger Girl out to Chili’s on Thursday for doing so well on her own while I fought to maintain my patience on the phone. That reminds me, I am also grateful for the people who were praying for me to be able to maintain that composure. Yes, I did ask for prayers after spending an hour and a half on hold before speaking to the rudest person ever.

  • Something I am ogling or have my eye on…

I am still looking at getting a new vacuum. Any suggestions?

  • A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…
Here is Danger Girl helping Chatterbox with her alphabet.

Here is Danger Girl helping Chatterbox with her alphabet.

My Journey to the Charlotte Mason Approach Part III

6 Feb

I have already explained what drew me towards unschooling and classical approaches, but that was only the gateway that led to our chosen path. As I continued my research, wanting to be more prepared when I went to my husband again, I came across an article (I have no idea where to find it now as I have had a computer crash since then)comparing the classical method with the Charlotte Mason approach.

This was the first time I had ever heard the name Charlotte Mason, and my interest was piqued. The name Susan Schaeffer Macauley was mentioned, so I decided to check out the book “For the Child’s Sake”. This intro into Charlotte Mason appealed to me, and I read more, eventually buying my own copy of the Charlotte Mason Series (You can currently get this in Kindle format for 0.99).

For More Info:

Simply Charlotte Mason – You can find basic info about the CM method, as well as a couple of free books to download for more info. There is also a free curriculum guide on this site.

Anbleside Online – You can read the Charlotte Mason series on this site, and there are also links to some articles from the Parent’s Review magazine.

Moments With Mother Culture – This is Karen Andreola’s blog. She is the author of “Pocketful of Pinecones”, which is a book I recommend for more info as well.

The idea of short (15-20 minute) intervals for each subject seemed great for Danger Girl. The focus on reading “living” books was equal to what I had seen in the classical method. What really sold me on CM though, was nature study. Regular time for Danger Girl to be outside coupled with the structure of the subjects was a great compromise for my husband and me, in my opinion.

I once again took my plans to my husband, a little less sure of myself this time, and presented the strength of this new method. This time we came to an agreement, so now we are in our second year of a Charlotte Mason education.

 

As I stated before, we do have some eclectic tendencies. I call our school a CM school, but I must admit I will sometimes let us follow “rabbit trails” so to speak when Danger Girl is particularly interested in something. As far as foreign language goes, I stick to the approach in “Teaching the Trivium”.

Overcoming Abuse God’s Way by Janet Marie Napper and Brenda Branson

3 Feb

It is hard to write a bad review because I know this woman overcame a lot, but I felt the book was lacking. This was supposed to be about bringing Godly wisdom to help in an abusive situation, and while there were reflections on God’s word at the end of each chapter, the book came across as more of an emotional
release of all her past hurts. There were places where she took responsibility, but much of it came across as look at what this person did to me. I was looking for a way that women could become conquerors, but felt I found a plea for empathy.

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It is good to see that she managed to use her experiences, and I hope this book can prove more useful to others than it did for me. It is obvious she does strive to trust in God, and my only other comment would be that she should search the Word more diligently for God’s full salvation, as should anyone who reads this book.

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Note: I do feel for the woman in this book. I understand that abuse is painful, and I hate that it happens to anyone. Had this book been written strictly as a memoir, I may have reviewed it differently, but since it was advertised as a book to help women deal with abuse, I could not say that it met that standard. Perhaps someone who is dealing with abuse currently will feel differently.

Broken Glasses and Funny Days- HMJ Week in Review

1 Feb

HSMJ-wideIHN

 

  • In my life this week…

This week had us going all over the place. We went to see my step-daughter in the play “Little Shop of Horrors”, and took some friends with us. I had never seen the movie before, but my husband had already told me what would happen, so I wasn’t surprised. My friend had seen another version, so she was surprised by the ending.

The night was an interesting one. We went to our favorite Chinese place before the play, then afterwards, since my step-daughter had not eaten yet, we took her to Denny’s where my friend’s husband began singing about blueberry pancakes. This of course caught the attention of the manager who came over and began talking to us about the play. My step-daughter gave her autograph afterwards on the play schedule, which will end up on their wall. That was a fun, but long night, since my step-daughters live about 2 hours away.

Later in the week my husband managed to break his glasses and called to have me bring his spares. He works in the next town over, so I got to make a half-hour trip to take him the spare glasses, then drive home to start school an hour late that day. Afterwards we took his glasses and got them repaired. I went ahead and got him a new pair as well, since his spares were pretty scratched and fogged.

I ended the week with a request from Chatterbox’s mom to come over. They have been having some problems, and she wanted me to come clear up a few things. Chatterbox has a tendency to tell stories to other people about her family, and the last one she told me I did not feel I could, in good conscience, keep from her mom. I hated to say anything, but if they plan on putting her in public school next year they will need to make sure she doesn’t go tell some of these stories to her teachers.

  • In our homeschool this week…

Our homeschool week was a fun one. We just finished learning about Turkey, so we got to do some fun activities this week. We had Turkish tea, and colored Turkish tiles. We also listened to some traditional music from the country, which Danger Girl liked. Then we listened to some Turkish dance music, and when I asked Danger Girl her opinion she responded, “Was someone stepping on a dog’s tail?”

We ended with a video of the Whirling Dervishes which interested my daughter greatly. She is amazed that they can do all that spinning without getting dizzy.

Danger Girl is supposed to wear glasses during school, but I have not forced her recently. This week I told her I will insist on it from now on after it took her three tries to read the word “bank” because she kept adding letters to it. Other than this, her reading is improving as is her writing which makes me very happy. She still has a couple of letters that she constantly writes backwards, so I am including some copywork which will have her writing those letters more often. I hope this will help.

  • Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share…

If you are interested in seeing how we came to do the Charlotte Mason method (very eclecticly), check out my Journey to the Charlotte Mason series. You can find parts 1 & 2 under the Clark Cottage School page.

It’s not necessarily advice, but I do give links to more information about different methods of homeschooling.

  • Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

This weekend, we plan on having my niece over for a sleepover. You never know how things will go with her, but I’m sure she will bring some amusement for me to share.

  • My favorite thing this week was…

I think my favorite thing this week would have to be all the free Kindle and Ibooks I found to download. I found a bunch of great stories to read during nature study, as well as some “living” books for geography, history and math. I will have to put these to use very soon.

  • My kiddos favorite thing this week was…

I think Danger Girl’s favorite thing was getting to go to singing this week. She loves singing, and therefore loves to go to 5th Wednesday singing with Daddy.

  • Things I’m working on…

I am a planner. I love to organize and make plans for everything. With this in mind, I have begun working on our school plans for next year. ( I say begun, I’ve been working on it for a while). This week I have set up my plan for paying for the things we cannot find for free.

  • I’m cooking…

I think as one last Turkey activity, Danger Girl and I are going to make Turkish Delight this weekend.

I also made spaghetti and meatballs earlier in the week and plan to make salt & pepper wings tonight.

  • I’m grateful for…

My mother-in-law has been sick for some time, but she is starting to get better, and I am grateful for that.

I am also grateful that I have friends that enjoy Danger Girl’s company and are willing to take her when I have to do something where she can’t come with me.

  • I’m praying for…

My husband has had some issues at work, and I am praying about these things. I am also praying for my mother-in-law because while she is getting better, she is having some issues after a fall she had and is having to get an MRI done.

  • I rewarded my kids this week by…

Because Danger Girl did so well this week, I plan to take her to the book store to get some new books this weekend.

  • Something I am ogling or have my eye on…

This is not really homeschool related, but I want to get a new vacuum cleaner. There is not really anything wrong with the one I have, but it is an older model and it is hard to find bags for it. I want to get one I can more easily keep maintainance on.

  • A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…

http://youtu.be/JsE05nXQPwo

This is a link to the Turkish music that Danger Girl really enjoyed.