Friday, August 29, 2014

Giveaway: Two Days Left!

Two days left to enter the Book Lovers' Giveaways!

Many entries can be done with a simple Twitter, Facebook, blog, or Pinterest post. I finished this entire post (worth 12 entries!) in just a little over an hour.

Even better? One person could win all three giveaways - a combined total of 30% off, $30 in gift cards, and all five of my ebooks (plus a sneak peek at my WIP, since I don't have a sixth book to give)!

The more you do, the better chance you have of winning, but even just one entry could get you a prize (that's the beauty of raffles).


3. Write to an author whose books you enjoy: I wrote to Kathryn Elizabeth Jones, author of Conquering your Goliaths (among others), to let her know how much I enjoyed her audiobook.

4. Write a book review: I reviewed Reasons My Kid Is Crying by Greg Pembroke.

5. Check out an indie author whose books you haven't read yet: I got an ebook version of David Bergsland's newest, Designing ePUBs With InDesign.

6. Organize your bookshelf.
My newly-organized (little) shelf of books:


1. Create a new cover for a book you love. I picked Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.

2. Paint a scene from a book. Anne's unpleasant hair-dying experience from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. "She said it would be a beautiful, raven black!"

(I'm not an artist, so I "cheated" with Photoshop and stock photos. Feel free to do the same!)

Original artwork by Morgan LaRue

3. Rewrite a famous book scene: Lucy discovering Narnia in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.
Lucy stepped into the cold, wishing she had thought to bring her coat. But how would I have known? I certainly didn't expect it to be winter here when I was just playing in the warm sun! The door she'd gone through was the same one she had come out of an hour before, wasn't it?
Her curiosity grew as her eyes focused upon a man with furry legs. I would give my left shoe to have a snowsuit like his! Maybe he'd accept it, too, since he didn't seem to have any shoes of his own.
Are those...hooves?
4. Draw a character who interests you: Foehn from Toxic by Vicki V. Lucas.
(Again, I "cheated.")

(Yes, it's thilly.)

5. Create a "movie" poster based on a book: When It Rains by C.M. Stewart isn't yet released, but I've had a chance to get to know her characters and her writing style, and I know it will be wonderful!

6. Write a newspaper article about a book you loved or hated. Treat it like a news release.
Debut author makes a big splash! Monster by Mirriam Neal arrived in online stores everywhere on June 30th, 2013. Already a fan favorite with at least one award to its name, this is sure to be a classic. Get your copy today! Just $3.99 on the Kindle.
8. Are there any author signings happening in your area? On September 7th, there is a book signing for Nathan Johnson's book, Legendary Locals of Pine City. I hadn't heard of this book or author before, but I'm intrigued!

9. Act out a scene from your favorite book - on your own or with friends. I acted out a scene from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night when I was in England. Yes, this was years ago. It still counts! (The same goes for you, of course.)

(That's me on the far right, playing Viola.)

I have just two entries left! (Go on a book tour and create a fort with your books.) I can't promise they'll be done before the giveaways end, but they will be done soon!

Friday, August 22, 2014

My Easy #4, plus Medium #1 and 2


4. My modern-day version of Edith Adelon from The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott. (If you haven't read that book, I highly recommend it! It's very sweet.)

Created with


1. I requested Monster by Mirriam Neal at my local library.

2. Favorite book characters...and why:

  • Mr. Tilney (Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen)
    • He reads novels, is witty, and is altogether charming. What's not to like?
  • Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery)
    • She's so unpredictably quirky and fun! The scrapes she gets into are humorous but filled with real emotion. Plus, she loves books.
  • Foehn (Toxic by Vicki V. Lucas)
    • Such a sweet, flawed-but-trying character. I just love him!
  • Freckles (Freckles by Gene Stratton-Porter)
    • He's hard working and honest, and I can't think of two better traits. Could be considered too perfect, but it's never bothered me. (I've read Freckles multiple times.)
  • Klaus (A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket)
    • What reader doesn't relate to an avid book lover like Klaus? I also love the relationship he has with his siblings and the way they combine their strengths to work together.
  • Scout (To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee)
    • I love how spunky she is! She's also very realistic and her growth as a character is clear.
  • Edith Adelon (The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott)
    • She's almost too perfect, but her sweet nature and kindness to everyone around her - especially considering her circumstances - won me over.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Guest Post: Ways to Identify and Deal with Bullying

Ways to Identify and Deal with Bullying

“Hey Shorty, did you shrink over the summer?” Kids can be really mean. When my (Becky) youngest son returned to middle school in September for the start of seventh grade, it seemed everyone grew…except him.       

Bullying behavior is beyond normal conflict; it is contempt and cruelty. It is more than teasing. It is repetitive and unwanted.

The idea is to dehumanize and ostracize the targeted individual. Surprisingly, bullying can begin as early as age five, the age when most youngsters begin kindergarten.

The bully’s goal is usually to exert control or build him or herself up by putting another down. When acting without impunity, the aggression intensifies.

Bullying must not be ignored.

There are typically four types of bullying: social, sexual, physical, and cyber. Verbal, the most common characteristic of social bullying, includes name-calling, teasing, spreading rumors, and gossiping. Also actions such as intentionally leaving people out and breaking up friendships are considered social bullying. Girls are especially masterful in this realm. 

Boys have the corner of the market on physical bullying but girls surprisingly have an isle in the store, as well. This type of bullying usually begins in elementary school, peaks in middle school, and thankfully declines in high school.

The fourth category, cyber bullying, is the most insidious. Younger and younger kids are being exposed to this form of ridicule. Cyber-attacks are especially cruel because the perpetrator is often anonymous and its effects are far reaching. The Internet, mobile phones, and other digital technologies become powerful weapons in a cyber-meanie’s hands. This form can be a catalyst for the other three kinds of bullying.

Here are six signs your child may exhibit if he or she is a victim of bullying:
            • Child is alone a lot.
            • Child refuses to attend school, school events.
            • Child complains of excessive aches and pains: head, stomach, etc.
            • Child withdraws from friends, family, and even siblings.
            • Child exhibits uncharacteristic outbursts.
            • Child’s grades drop and interests change.

Conversation can be an indicator something is amiss.
Some kids may test the waters by saying, “Brooke wasn’t very nice to me today,” or “Tommy has to always be first.” Often kids give some information that cloaks clues of potential bullying. Many will downplay an event. Almost 60% of kids never tell their parents about their pain because it’s humiliating for a child to admit being a victim of his or her peers to a parent.

If you observe warnings or feel concerned due to a child’s comment, start a conversation by using general topics with questions like: 
            • Are there bullies in your school?
            • Who do the bullies usually pick on?
            • Have you ever seen it happen? What did you do?
            • How do those kids who bully others treat you?

Listen, be aware, and empathize. Let your child know you are on his team and will never desert him. When talking about the circumstances, keep your own emotions in check (This is really difficult). Reinforce that being bullied is not his fault. Tell your child you’re glad he trusted you with this sensitive information. Share a time you were picked on to remove the loneliness factor and to normalize child’s situation and feelings. Avoid minimalizing the situation.

This is a big deal.

When attempting to solve this heart-breaking problem, respectfully ask if he wants your help. Younger kids typically need more adult intervention. Older kids may prefer to handle the issue themselves. If you have your tween’s permission, call the school to learn the bullying procedures, find out the professional with whom to speak, and seek assistance in determining the next and proper course of action.

For the boys and girls who choose to deal with this tough situation on their own, empower them with a plan to “get their power back.”
• Practice exit lines to take the bully’s control away, “I’m not interested in being teased today.” Then walk away.
• Refrain from further abuse that could be motivated by the victim’s tears or emotional outburst. These responses are just fodder for the bully’s hostility.
• Plan an escape route. 
• Respond with humor. This disarms the bully. 
• Consider the source. Bullies have usually been bullied themselves.
• Encourage or assist child to be his own advocate to go to an authority figure. 
• Pray for the bully. (Not easy to do.)

It’s possible the circumstances are too difficult to manage. Your child may need to switch classrooms or schools. This feels unfair. The bully should be the one removed but usually this is not what happens.

At home totally remove, limit, or physically move technology to a common area until things cool off. Avoid having your son or daughter alone in his or her bedroom, obsessing over Facebook comments or Twitter tweets. Isolation combined with peer ridicule has scary potential. Continue to pay close attention to your child’s emotional, mental, and physical state. Keep in mind counseling may be necessary.

Help your child through this difficult time by encouraging a new hobby or extra-curricular activity. Support your child in seeking and fostering fresh relationships. Make home a safe-haven.
Most importantly, pray with and for your child.

Share with your child that even the saints in the Bible were bullied. Joseph was bullied by his brothers and David by Saul. But both victims rose up to be strong leaders. Remind your child God is the One who says that he is: precious, valuable, and created for a purpose. Encourage your child to rely on the Holy Spirit for the courage to persevere and tackle the hard stuff in life (even in dealing with a bully).

If you find your child is a victim of bullying, we are sorry for the pain you and your young one are experiencing. We hope the identifiers and strategies provided prove to be helpful. And know, with confidence, God is with you and your child.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Lori Wildenberg & Becky Danielson

Lori & Becky are licensed parent and family educators and cofounders of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting. Their book, Raising Little Kids with Big Love has just been released and their second book in the series, Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love is soon to be released. If this post was a blessing to you, you can find more great faith-based and easily applicable tips and information in their books which can be found on Amazon or

Their newest book:

My #3

A book I own but haven't read yet: All the Wrong Questions, book 1 by Lemony Snicket.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Monday, August 11, 2014

My #1...

Because I would rarely ask others to do something I'm unwilling to do myself, I will be participating in the list of 20 things to do on Book Lovers' Day (or...any day). I hope you'll join me!
Today I'm reading "If One Falls" by Elaine Baldwin and drinking - what else? - coffee. What about you?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

20 Ways to Celebrate Book Lovers' Day (Bonus: A Giveaway!)

Today (August 9th) is Book Lovers' Day!

To celebrate, Rivershore Books is holding three drawings! Entries close on August 31st.

The following 20 ways to spend Book Lovers' Day have been divided by difficulty. The higher the difficulty, the bigger the prize!

Easy To Do
  1. Curl up with a book and your favorite drink.
  2. Reread your favorite classic. (My choice: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.)
  3. Find a book you own but haven't read yet.
  4. Using or something similar, create a "doll" of your favorite character - or ten!

Medium Difficulty
  1. Visit the library. Put in a request for a book they haven't heard of. (See suggestions in #5 if you're not sure what to recommend.)
  2. Make a list of your favorite book characters and what you like about them.
  3. Write to an author whose books you enjoy. Most author's emails can be found by a simple web search, and fan mail is always appreciated.
  4. Write a book review. They are valuable to both readers and authors!
  5. Check out an indie author whose books you haven't read yet. (Not sure who to read? Mirriam Neal, Vicki V. Lucas, LA Ramsey, Elizabeth Ender, and any of our Rivershore authors are great!)
  6. Organize your bookshelf (or, if you're like me, bookshelves).

Expert Book Lover
  1. Create a new cover for a book you love. (Don't have Photoshop? Gimp is free and works very well.)
  2. Paint a scene from a book.
  3. Rewrite a famous book scene.
  4. Draw a character who interests you.
  5. Create a "movie" poster based on a book.
  6. Write a newspaper article about a book you loved or hated. Treat it like a news release. ("Extra; extra! Read all about it! Reader enjoyed new novel by an up-and-coming author!")
  7. Go on a book tour. There are iconic scenes in almost any book: recreate those in your area. Double the fun: Film it! Send your video to me ( and I may post it on the Rivershore blog in the future.
  8. Are there any author signings happening in your area? Find one to go to - whether you've heard of the author or not. It could be how you discover your next favorite read!
  9. Act out a scene from your favorite book - on your own or with friends.
  10. Create a fort with your books. (Suggestion: Use a sheet as a roof to avoid books falling on you.)

Important But Boring Info

To enter: On Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest (your choice!), post a photo, video, or description of what you did with #rivershorebooks or somewhere within the post.*

Copy the URL of your post, and enter it in the corresponding Rafflecopter giveaway!

Winners will be announced on September 1st! Some entries may be included on the Rivershore blog throughout the month. Please email me ( if you don't want yours shared.

*Not applicable for book reviews.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Blog Tour: Why I Write

Thanks to Virginia Ripple for inviting me to this three-question blog tour!

What am I working on?

Tomatoes Don’t Judge is my current work in progress. It’s a novel about a girl who meets a boy and falls in love...with his family. She comes from a family that neglects her, so being involved in daily things (i.e., planting tomatoes) is huge.

The prequel-of-sorts to Tomatoes is called Potatoes Still Bruise. It’s the main character’s journal from her early years. Just like a small bruise can affect the entire potato, Kara's scars have an effect on the way she views the world.

Not the actual cover; these were made by a friend using an actress who fits the main character - Britt Robertson. Aren't they cute?

While this book is first chronologically, I think it makes more sense to read Tomatoes before it, so it's on the back burner for now. 

Why do I write what I do?

I can’t remember a time I didn’t love words. When I was younger, I would tell stories verbally—usually things that had happened to friends (or, more often, fictional characters from books, movies, or Adventures in Odyssey). It was a natural progression to writing after that.

When I was a preteen I discovered the "Inspirational Romance" genre, and for a while, I was hooked. After reading several of these books, though, the stories seemed to mesh together. They didn't feel unique or believable to me anymore. I saw a void, and I wanted to fill it: (hopefully) realistic romance for Christian young adults.

I sometimes bring in tougher subjects like abuse because they're important to talk about.

My short stories are thilly and intended to induce laughter - because that's important, too.

One of my thilly stories.

What is my writing process?

To be honest, I don't have one. Where I write changes all the time. My regular spot is in the living room, with my laptop and some coffee. When I start to get stuck or distracted, I’ll move to my room, head outside, go to a coffee shop, or switch to a notebook. I also have a typewriter I’ll sometimes use.

One thing that doesn't work for me is scheduling when I write. I do make a point to write something creative every day. It doesn’t matter if it happens at 7 a.m. or midnight. Sometimes it’s thousands of words, and sometimes it’s under a hundred. Any writing is a success.

My first drafts tend to go quickly (I'm usually done within a month - thanks, NaNoWriMo!). I give myself a few months away from the story, then take between six months to a year to edit. Yes, I'm slow. I also consume lots of coffee.

Who is up next on the tour?

You are!