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Branded is a great suspense story about innocence lost. BISAC = Law & Crime.

Hayden Heyer and the Twin Guardians is a wonderful tale about acceptance and love. BISAC = Love & Romance.

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Black Bear on Tree

Live in the Moment

It was 1990 when my husband and I took a leisurely drive for a little adventure, hoping to make it to the California coast but we never did. We both lost our jobs the week prior and decided there may never be another time to do what we wanted, when we wanted, so we took …

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Moral Malfunction

We live in a world filled with hatred, greed, violence, racism, injustice, and casual sex, all things the Lord opposes, so why are we shocked when He brings devastation and death? It’s kind of expected, isn’t it, for challenging Him? Still, we are. We have already surrendered to the biases, injustice and selfishness of this …

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What is a Christian?

A Christian is a person who believes in Jesus Christ and follows his teachings listed in the Bible. A group of people who want to live a life filled with love and respect; one that puts God first above all things. A way of life that is simple and guilt-free with hope for an unbiased …

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Hayden Heyer’s Class Schedule (Novel Character)

  Time  Class Teacher Room With 8-8:50 Homeroom Ms. Green 202 Joe 9-9:50 Communications Media Mrs. Lathrop 312 Joe 10-10:50 Geometry Mr. Grady 205 James 11-11:50 Lunch B100 Both 12-12:50 Spanish 2 Ms. Fuentes 330 James 1-1:50 Study Hall Mr. Hinkle 108 Both 2-2:50 Chemistry Mr. Whitlow 218 Joe       Haunted by memories …

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Thank You Stephanie Meyer and Edward Cullen

Well I did it! I finished 2 years of technical school and received a diploma as a web designer and two certificates; one in eCommerce and another in Multimedia. Yea!!!

Stephanie Meyer

I have to thank the TAA Program for this opportunity and Edward Cullen. That’s right, Edward Cullen from the Twilight series. Believe it or not, the reason I chose to go back to school was because of a scene in the Twilight movie where Edward commented that he doesn’t sleep he studies. It made me wonder why people wait until they have extra time in life before doing something they always wanted to do. So, when I lost my job I took advantage of the available time I had and decided to go back to school for web design and to write a book, and did both. Now the hard stuff starts – finding a job. :)

Thank you Stephanie Meyers for inspiring me!

Slavery in the 21st Century

If you thought slavery is a thing of the past – think again. It is very much alive in 2012 in every city, state, and nation in the world, and growing stronger every year. Human’s chained, beaten, intimidated, drugged, sold for profit, and held against their will. Why? Simple, the need and want is there to acquire people for profit and to provide a service.

Anti-SlaverySex Trafficking falls under the slavery category and it’s what I am trying to bring awareness too. You may think that something like this only happens in 3rd world counties to attractive women in their 20’s, probably for marriage, but that thinking would be wrong. Sex trafficked people are mostly between the ages of 8 and 20 of all races and in all nations. The most requested ages are children (boys and girls) between 12 and 15. Why? Because they are easy to manipulate and can fill the fantasies of sex offenders and sexual addicts, mostly through intimidation. How do they acquire these kids? Easy, they take them! Kidnap them from the local grocery store, movie house, mall, school, park, or any where they may be alone for a short period of time; a typical smorgasbord for the picking. Sometimes the parent is still around when it happens too. That’s right; the same children you see every day playing in your neighborhood can one day be abducted and forced into the industry, never to be seen again.

Slavery has been around for thousands of years and it looks like it is here to stay. Is it right? No. Is it fair? No. But who is going to stop it? Our counties leaders? What can they do? Every few years they are replaced in office and then whatever process that was started is put on hold or eliminated. WE need to get involved! WE need to remind whoever enters into office, that we are passionate about this subject and will fight to not have progress put on the back burner.

How was African slavery abolished? One person took a stand and said no, while others saw the slave as a person with feelings and not a thing. How was slavery abolished in Egypt? The same way; one person said this isn’t right. These are God’s people and he does not want them abused and treated as property. How was child war soldiers freed? Same way; one person said no, then another, and another until a coalition was formed, and it is still fighting today. The business of sex trafficking is not going to change anytime soon. Why? Because sex trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry. Why would they want to change? It’s easy money. Besides they can buy whoever gets in the way. But does it make it right? No. Is this what God wants? I doubt it. The only way slavery is ever going to end is if we “The People” raise our voice and take a stand for what is right and just. Someone needs to make the first move. I am, by starting a blog on this subject and letting people know this is not a fictitious problem. It’s very real and a lot of innocent children are the victims. Will it be easy? No. Will change happen overnight? No. Will people get hurt? Probably; but if we do nothing, then we stand for nothing. Our military fights to protect our people from foreign enemies every day. We need to do the same for the enemy already within our walls.

God placed the idea of my book Branded in my heart for a reason – he doesn’t like what is happening in the world today, especially to the innocent children. He wants us to get involved and stand our ground; to fight the war on evil. Would you like to see evil defeated? Slavery defeated? Then help me! Share this blog with others.

Vote For Me!

IBBA Award Logo
I entered the following blogs into the Independent Book Blogger Awards (IBBA) through Goodreads. Now I need people to vote for these 5 blogs.

    12/26/11 Something to Think About
    01/17/12 The Definition of Victim…
    02/09/12 What Would You Do?
    02/20/12 One Person Can Make A Difference!
    04/04/12 Let’s Make $1 for GEMS Go Viral!

Voting starts April 10th.

If you think my blogs have the following qualities, then click on the VOTE button.
•Quality of Writing (well-written, cohesive, succinct, without spelling or grammatical errors),
•Quality of Analysis (illustrates blogger’s knowledge and comfort with the topic at hand),
•Visual Design and Presentation (design and layout of the blog should be aesthetically pleasing without detracting from the focus of the content),
•Audience Tone (dialogue reflects intended audience), and
•Reader Discussion/Impact (relative concentration of the types of discussion that the blog prompts among its readers, regardless of whether the discussion is positive or negative in nature).

Live in the Moment

It was 1990 when my husband and I took a leisurely drive for a little adventure, hoping to make it to the California coast but we never did. We both lost our jobs the week prior and decided there may never be another time to do what we wanted, when we wanted, so we took advantage of the time we had together. We emptied our savings account and headed for the open road, hoping it would pick up our spirits.

 Black Bear on Tree

We began our sightseeing excursion in South Dakota. We saw the Badlands, the Corn Palace, Mt. Rushmore, and Wall Drugs, but the moment that stands out for me was when we went to Bear Country USA, which is a drive-through zoo. I have never been to a drive-through zoo before and was very curious about what it was like, so I talked my husband into going.


When we entered the park, we passed all the usual animals one would expect to see in a zoo like tigers, deer and wolves. Most of the animals were running freely through the park and around vehicles but others were in cages, like the tigers.


It was very hot that day and we had been driving for five hours prior with the air conditioner running. We were in the middle of the black bear exhibit when our car overheated and stalled. Rangers started yelling on their bullhorns to remain in our vehicle and keep the windows rolled up. This just acquired the attention of the bears and each time they used the bullhorn the bears got agitated.


Suddenly, bears were climbing out of trees and crawling from dens to check us out. I noticed one bear in particular, climbing from a tree and I watched his little round butt rock from side to side with each new paw position on the climb down. He came up to the passenger side of the car where I was sitting and began rocking us back and forth. Then he tried to open the window by getting his claws under the rubber to pull it down. The bear was maybe an inch from my face, and at the time and I found him adorable. I thought he looked like a big teddy bear. I even put my nose against the glass to be playful, and he did the same before licking the glass.


A ranger yelled on the bullhorn again and another bear approached, this time on the driver’s side, clawing at the window. My husband had it open a crack to get some air, since the air conditioning was not working, and quickly rolled it up when the bear surprised him. This upset the bear. He began rocking the car, growling at my husband, and slapping the glass but it never broke. Soon another bear approached my window and pushed the bear that was making faces at me out of the way. Then he began hitting my window too, trying to break it.


While all this was going on, my husband was desperately trying to restart the car. At this point, the engine heat was coming through the inside vents making it unbearable, and the windshield solution started to squirt on its own. We must have lost two pounds that day merely from sweating and waiting for the rangers to arrive. They did, five minutes later. They scared away the bears, not with guns or tranquilizers as I expected, but with their voices and jeeps.


Then my husband and one of the rangers popped the hood of our car to discover the source of the problem. They asked me for my cup of ice water, which by now melted, and added it to the radiator and the car started. Then the ranger asked us to follow him. We took the back roads to a gift shop outside of the park, where we purchased water for both us, and the vehicle, while we relaxed and reflected on all that happened. That was the first time I realized I should have been scared and my emotions caught up to me, all at once. I started laughing and crying at the same time for a good five minutes, excited and scared.


Not many people can say they have been nose to nose with a black bear and lived to talk about it, but I can. My husband and I set out to find adventure and excitement, and we did. We never would have if we stayed home and felt sorry for ourselves for losing our jobs.


I learned a valuable lesson on this trip that changed my perspective on life. Don’t worry about things you cannot control and embrace the situation you are in. Now, I live in the moment and leave the rest up to fate. I guess life is what you make it and not what’s handed to you.



(This is a true story, but it is also an essay on reflections from my English 201 class, 2010.)


Employment Frustration

interviewingIt amazes me that the stock market is reaching highs that we haven’t reached since 2007, before the recession. Yet, people are still out of work, or working 2 or 3 menial jobs to make up for what they lost. You would think the companies that downsized would be hiring again, since the economy is rebounding and making money, but they are not.  Most are only collecting applications, looking for that ideal candidate that can do everything at the lowest wage, while over-working their current employees. I realize rebounding from a major recession is going to be slow going, but you would think we would be further ahead by now, especially, if the stock market is reaching all time highs. I’m tired of hearing how the stock market is reaching highs while most of us are still struggling financially; and for those who lost their retirement fund in this recession, hearing about how the stock market is rebounding only adds salt to the wound. There has got to be a better way!

I think part of the problem is the way we pick and choose candidates. Job hiring and interviewing today has become a joke. The perfect way to find work and fill a position would be to apply for the position online, forego the in-person interview (this includes Skype), and have all positions filled within 7 days. This process would eliminate all bias from the process and actually fill positions in a timely manner – a win-win situation. The first person who had the credentials listed for the position and could fill 100% of the job description would get the job, and credentials would be judged by typed résumé, cover letter, references, and telephone interview only. Any falsification would result in an automatic fine.

That would be the ideal way to get a job, but things don’t work that way, do they? There are a lot of unethical interviewing techniques that are becoming the norm. Here are 3 examples: (1) Employers are asking for personal information (sex, age, and ethnic background) even though it’s illegal, but they get around it by listing them in a multiple choice layout and in a category called “optional” on the electronic application. However, they make it impossible to submit the application unless that area is completed. (2) Age discrimination – the phone interview goes great and you set the appointment date and time. However, once you get there and they realize you’re over 50, they let you sit in the waiting room past your appointed time, while interviewing younger candidates scheduled after you for 20-30 minutes at a time. When they finally call you in, they only give you 10 minutes in the actual interview before dismissing you. (3) Employers are keeping positions open for 1 ½ – 2 years. They interview and accept applications but have no intention of filling the position, and then say they are in the process of hiring. (4) Employers are asking for personal passwords to social networking sites. I really dislike this one. Since when does your facebook or twitter site effect how you do your job?

In my opinion, employers are asking for too much personal information, and if you tell them you’re not comfortable giving out that information, especially passwords, they tell you “then we can’t offer you the job.” They don’t want the candidate to embarrass the company. Since when did it become the employer’s responsibility for our personal lives and behavior? I thought we were all responsible for our own actions. Employers should only be responsible for the employee while they are on company time and on company grounds. It shouldn’t matter if the employee was injured while taking the bus to work, attends a New Year party and put pictures of it on facebook, helps at a nursing home, delivers pizzas on their days off, or plans on starting a family. That’s why we have flex schedules, vacations, and sick time. Besides, many people can work remotely today. We should not have to sacrifice our lives and our dignity just to get a job. There has got to be a better way!


Branded Review

Fantastic book, great read from first word to last. I highly suggest purchasing, reading and spread the word. If this only took 1 month to write, I can’t wait for the next book. I GIVE BRANDED ***** STARS

Expert Or Not

In the last few weeks I have received numerous comments and compliments regarding my expertise on the subject of abuse and abduction. I don’t want to mislead anyone, so I thought I better clarify a few things. First, I am not an expert. I do not have a PHD in Psychology or a degree in Behavioral Sciences (although there are times I wish I did.) To be an expert, I would need to acquire some sort of educational degree in these subjects, which I have not.

So then, what makes me knowledgeable of this area? Well, I have done research on the subject prior to writing the book Branded, and continuously follow up on the FBI website for current information. I have taken a couple psychology courses and have an idea of the human psyche. I was almost abducted when I was in elementary school, but a crossing guard saved me. My sister was abducted when she was two, but was found 4 blocks away, still with her abductor. I knew a person who vanished and watched the family spend every dollar they had on investigators to look for him. I comforted teens who were hit by their parents or ran away from home and seen the desperation and pain that filled their eyes as we talked. Plus, I have taken in family members who fell on hard times and lost everything, watching them go from hopeful to hopeless within weeks.

Now, I am an author trying to market and sell books and found a way to incorporate pieces of the above into the stories. I make the characters vulnerable in some way – something we all can relate too. Then the question is how will it be implemented? Will it make the character the hero, the villain or the Good Samaritan? What do they do? What is their reaction? Find out for yourself.

The questions I have listed under the fan section of my site only gives you a glimpse into the world of Cat Johnson, the main character in Branded. Those that actually read the book write me about how real it was for them. One fan read Branded over 300 times because she relates to the emotional undertones in the story so much it became comforting for her. (True story) She can’t wait for the sequel. Problem is, I’m not ready to write it yet. I have 3 other books to finish first.


Branded – A Fiction Book

For those that don’t know, Branded is a fictional book about a 12 year old who is kidnapped. It’s her story and how she survived. Later, who she fell in love with and why.

Link to new kidnap story.


Link to Today – Kidnapped 9 yr old Escapes

Here is a new story about a quick thinking 9 yr old who was kidnapped and escaped. Her story is similar to my book Branded.
If the link doesn’t work copy and paste this info.

Have we changed in 2000 years?

I have been pondering what the 4th of July means and what we have sacrificed to get where we are today. I thank God for the nation we live in with its freedoms and blessings, and for the people who sacrificed their lives so we can have and keep these freedoms; but in looking back it occurred to me that not much has changed in 2000 years. We still live in poverty. We still have senseless killings. We still have theft and dishonesty. We still have drought, earthquakes, sandstorms, and other natural disasters. We still have famine and rely on each other to survive. We still have people dying from illnesses that have no cure. We still have people pretending to be something they are not – lying and dishonesty. We still have leaders that try to be fair to all people, but the outcome is still unjust and unfair. And, we still have people who refuse to believe in God, Baptism and Jesus Christ. You would think that after 2000 years, we would have come farther as a people and learned from our mistakes, but I guess not.

camel_desertPart of the problem is temptation. It’s no secret that good and evil (Satan) have been at it since before Adam and Eve, but who do you think is winning? As a Christian and one of God’s people, we have gone through a lot in the last 2000 years and have been tempted in multiple ways by evil to turn from God or to hurt him. Idol worship; piracy; mercy killings; destroyed cities, rape and murder; slavery; beaten with whips, chains, and rods for our belief or speaking the truth; fed to lions for entertainment; tempted by money and prostitution; war; torture; beheadings; assassinations; burnings; holocaust (destruction of the Jews); unfair and dangerous labor practices; corrupt politicians and leaders; columbine; wolves in sheep’s clothing (clergy sex scandal); and embezzlement are just a few. Satan wants to hurt God’s name, his people, and his glory anyway he can, and he doesn’t care who gets in the way.

However, I have noticed a change in his strategy lately, and maybe you have too. He is now targeting our children and God directly, and he is using the media to reach as many people as possible. We have people going from state to state picketing and blaming God for the world’s problems. Families have left the church and are no longer handing down God’s laws to their children, leaving them open to temptation. We have bullying, child prostitution, child labor, and children used as shields in war (some countries). Our children are being tempted to worship demons, vampires, werewolves, dragons, dark magic, and disrespecting their parents and each other; giving glory to Satan. No, wonder why we haven’t changed in 2000 years. We are still fighting the same battle over and over again – like the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years circling the same mountain.

What do you think needs to change for good to win and how can we help? I prefer to be on the side of Good with God’s mercy and grace, then on the side of evil and constantly be deceived and lied too. What about you? Maybe, then we can stop circling that mountain and learn the lesson we have been overlooking for 2000 years.

A Christmas Poem

A Christmas Poem by Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt

Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone, in a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give, and to see just who in this home did live.
I looked all about, a strange sight I did see, no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

santaNsoldierNo stocking by mantle, just boots filled with sand, and on the wall pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kinds, a sobering thought came to my mind.
For this house was different, so dark and do dreary, the home of a soldier, now I could see clearly.

The soldier lay sleeping, silent, alone, curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder, not how I pictured a United States soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I’d just read, curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?

I realized the families that I saw this night, owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play, and grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year, because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone, on a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye, I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice, “Santa don’t cry, this life is my choice;

I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more, my life is my God, my country, my corps.”
The soldier rolled over and soon drifted to sleep, I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent and still, and we both shivered from the cold evening’s chill.

I didn’t want to leave on that cold, dark, night, this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and pure, whispered, “Carry on Santa, its Christmas Day, all is secure.”
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right, “Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night.”

By Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt


This poem was preprinted in a Christmas card we received. It’s part of the Home for the Holidays collection. There is also a web address on the back of the card
If anyone knows the writer of this poem, tell him Thank You, from us.


Marketing A New Book Is Not Easy

Being a new author and marketing a book without professional assistance is not easy. I rely on word of mouth advertising, supplied by my friends, family, and fans to do most of the work. But I guess that’s part of the marketing process too. I do realize the subject matter is not easy to swallow, but I felt it was something that had to be told. I want to open the eyes of the public so they may possibly becoming more involved in this matter.

How many times have we looked at the faces of missing children on the news, milk cartons, America’s most wanted and not really studied the faces or personality of the victims? Or, been annoyed by the constant Amber alerts, while watching our favorite shows, instead of being concerned for that child? I wanted to do something to change that – to make it personal.

Most people think kidnappings or abductions won’t happen to them or someone they know because they live in a safe neighborhood. But it happens more then we know. Thousands of kids are kidnapped each year.

As a child in elementary school I was almost kidnapped as I was leaving school and my sister was led astray by a very friendly older man and taken, when she was 2 year old. My mother was frantic when she found out she was not playing on the porch where she left her only minutes before. The entire family had to get in the hunt to find her. After not being able to find her around the house, Mom got in the car and started driving around the neighborhood. She found her a quarter mile away still walking and talking with the man, holding his hand, as if he was a friend of the family. Only he wasn’t and they were heading toward the Port of Milwaukee. Mom and Dad said they just grabbed her and put her in the car, yelling at the man and leaving him behind stunned. My sister thought nothing of it and doesn’t remember being in jeopardy, but she was.

For those people actually reading this blog, the attached link will forward you to an article giving you more information on this subject