Branded Teaser3

After six months, I found myself smiling for the first time in a long time. Mostly, because of the freedom and the fact I made friends. My first friend was a horse named Marshmallow, because he had a white square on his forehead. I rode him every chance I could and at night you could find me in the stables grooming him. Marshmallow helped me see that things could always be worse than they are. I needed to learn how to accept my current situation if I was ever going to be happy again, just like he had too.

The second was a girl named Rebecca. She was from Southern Mississippi and was the same age as me. We looked a little alike, so Patrick would set us up together on assignments. We became friends and would stay up at night making fun of the assignments we had that day. She got me to laugh again.

Whenever my day would drag on endlessly, or I would be out with an assignment that was a real loser, I would think about how we would make fun of him later and I would grin. That alone would get me through the day and the next few years.

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).

What Does Memorial Day Mean To You?

It’s Memorial Day and I have been thinking about its meaning. To some it means the beginning of summer, graduations, family vacations, swimming, and fun. To others it’s remembering those we lost in the military who were protecting our country and its rights. Yet to others it’s remembering those that we recently lost in our family and community. But if you look closer it also means to assist.

Sacrifice Poster

Where would we be if it wasn’t for the connections we have to the people in our lives? Probably lost, desperate and hopeless. But isn’t that what we see every day on the streets? People who are lost and looking for assistance, who are desperate for a job or to be accepted, and those feeling hopeless at living a life without pain. You could also look at this spiritually – lost without a savior, desperate for forgiveness and healing, and wanting to be accepted and loved unconditionally. But, in a way don’t they go together?

I’m sure you could think of at least 1 person who could use assistance in their everyday life, but for some reason they never get it. They ask their community leaders for help, or try the government for assistance but for some ridiculous reason they are constantly denied. You feel bad, but what can you do? Right?

We may not have the best system at fixing societies problems, but we do have each other. If each person would just help 1 person in need we could change the world. Whether, it’s giving $5 to a person asking for food on the street, donating clothes to a fire victim, helping a child learn to read, volunteering at church, or reporting a misdemeanor you witnessed. Your actions have a domino effect. Sometimes, it’s even the spectator who says: If they can do it, then so can I.

We don’t need to join the service to make a difference. We can do it right here at home. Yes, we will be hit with opposition, but we can’t let that stand in the way of what is right and just! Where would our military be if they let the opposition stand in their way without fighting back? What good is remembering someone on this day for their sacrifice and then go against everything they stood for and fought for?

Our military represents freedom, unity, and a better way of life. Is that what you represent too?

Evaluate the Issues

undecidedVoterYou may, or may not agree with me, but when it comes to picking the next President, I look at things from the outside in. I believe we need to look at America and the issues like an egg – protect the shell and our perimeter first, before reorganizing the interior. Here are the questions I ask myself when trying to make a decision.

First, will the candidate make a good world leader? How will they represent the American people? You can usually tell by how they handle the election process and any controversy that arises. Do they lie; are they arrogant, thinking only of themselves and the hottest topic? Or, are they sincere, concerned about all Americans (not just some), and righteousness and justice?

excessiveSolutions
Second, when the candidates talk about the issues, I look at them from a world perspective first, then internally, and finally as an independent. I ask myself the following questions for each issue. Is it doable or just a ploy to get voters? In reality, how much will it cost? Will our freedoms be at stake? How long will it take to become effective? Will it ensure our safety? How will other nations react to it? Can it escalate violence? Does it fall in line with our national values and beliefs? How will it affect the American people as a whole? How will it affect the middle income? Will taxes go up? Will my life be better in the next 4 years because of it?

Third, who are the candidates bringing into the election and are they trustworthy? Sometimes, the candidates get so involved in pleasing voters they choose the wrong running mate. Make sure you put them under the same magnified glass you did the candidates. If they do not come up to your high standards, then eliminate them both. We need to be cautious in who we let run our country. Remember, they are representing you. We must preserve the values and beliefs this country are based on, and our good name.

Fourth, who is the speech writer? Watch out for that silver-tongue lawyer too. You know the type, the ones who likes to manipulate words to make the issues and the candidate sound great, when in reality they’re not.

As Americans, we are betrothed to the Constitution and Declaration of Independence, and one of the things it states is, “Let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor” to their country. Are you willing to give up your life for your country? What about your son or daughter’s? If you choose a candidate that does not have an updated plan to protect us, and strives for peace, you may be doing just that.

Our Values and Beliefs
Life – The ability to existence
Liberty – Freedom from control and captivity
Pursuit of Happiness – The right to try to find happiness
Common Good – Equal and good for all people
Justice – The moral principles of conduct
Equality – The state of being equal
Diversity – Distinct, made up of different parts
Truth – Conformity with fact or reality
Sovereignty -Independent authority over a geographic area
Patriotism – Love for one’s country

 

Link to the Lyceum Address by Abraham Lincoln

Link to the Declaration of Independence

Link to the U.S. Constitution

Should prostitution be legalized?

Troubled Teen 
NY Times Article Link

Should prostitution be legalized? Do you think that will eliminate the problem and stop the traffickers from abducting children, or will it just give them cause to continue doing so, but legally? The attached link discusses this avenue. What do you think the answer is in protecting the innocent from being abducted or kidnapped?

Actions are being taken to make it harder for trafficker and johns to walk away from a compromising situation and making them responsible for their own actions. The new legislation can help, but it is state based and not all states are approving it. If the industry is ever going to change, laws must be carried out by every state and nation world-wide. We cannot allow traffickers to pick up and relocate to another state or country just because the heat is on. This just allows them to take our children across borders and making it harder for us to find them and get them back.

I don’t know what the answer is to stop this horrible crime but I do know doing nothing is not the answer. Doing nothing gives them our permission to continue growing their business. Even something small is a step in the right direction until we can install righteousness into the minds and hearts of those committing the crimes. For now, my recommend is to ask every parent, school, and government agency to fingerprint their children to make sure their identities are on file. Maybe the government can even start an entirely new database for non-criminals. This would make it easier to find people that have been abducted, since they eventually get arrested at some point. Even applying for a job like bartender, would raise a red flag in the system then for a child that was kidnapped and raised by another family.

My other suggestion is to know your neighbors and their habits. I’m not saying interfere in their business or tell them what to do, just know what is going on in your area and try to friend them. This way you have a better understanding of who, or what, is in your neighborhood and when something is not right. Let’s face it, who knows more about our neighborhoods then us? We have to live in them. We should also be looking out for each other and helping those in need. However, if they become hostile or violent, that automatically tells you something is wrong. They could be going through a rough time emotionally or they could be up to no good and trying to hide it. If you sense foul play or danger is eminent contact the Police immediately! Most states will allow you to do so anonymously too. I’m not asking you to be known as the area pest, but to contact the Police when you feel something illegal is going on or when someone’s life may be in danger because of the abusive yelling.

What are your thoughts? How would you protect the innocent from predators?

 

Awareness of Missing Children

With Memorial Day and Summer coming up, people will be outdoors. Please view the attached links and memorize the faces of these missing children. You just might see one of them around town. If you do, get as many details as possible and call 911. You could be that childs angel, if you actually see them. Say a prayer until then for their safe return.

Missing Children

Missing Kids Day is May 25th

Pancake Breakfast

Attended a pancake breakfast this morning at the Knights of Columbus in Milwaukee. Met some really nice people and had some good food. Didn’t realize how much I wanted sausage links until I got there.
I met an overly enthusiastic man named Larry who loves to 1-up everyone on a story. Not to say he knows more but in a nice way to be funny. He would even wink at others when making comments. He made me smile.
I talked about the book a little and was received with praise and excitment. Not from the subject of the book, but from being someone who actually wrote one. I guess many people want to be writers, but few ever do and the people there were glad to know someone who did. Got some good information on another book seller that might work on consignment. Will keep you informed.

Heroic Rescue in Somalia

CNN-Rescue in Somalia

Today-Hostages Rescued in Somalia

Abductions are not only in the United States, sometimes its about the United States.
We need to change the mentality world wide, not just in the states.

Why are we shocked?

We live in a world filled with hatred, greed, violence, 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 opposing Him? Still, we are. Mostly because we have already surrendered to the injustice and selfishness of this world. Violence and death have crept into every aspect of our lives, from video games, movies, and television, to the classroom, daily news, and the neighbor next door, and it’s becoming the norm. We keep to ourselves as much as possible. But that is only making the matter worse. It damages our social skills and any eloquent way of speaking up against injustice so people will listen and take action. We avoid getting involved in any and all activities that will put us in with other people. We even hate going to parent teacher conferences because it takes us out of our comfort zone and puts us in an area that has been known for violence (schools). We’re afraid, and this fear is crippling us.

cowboy waving

Deep down, we know there has got to be a better way to live. One where violence is minimal and people actually care about each other. Well there is, but it is going to take a lot to get back to that point and it will not be easy. What we need to do is change the way we think. There is no reason why we have to be self-centered and self-absorbed about every little thing. In a perfect world, we, as a people, would be more concerned about the other person and their needs, than our own. In return, our needs would be taken care of because others would be doing the same for us. I am not talking about government involvement or socialism. I’m just suggesting a step up in community activity.

There is so much we can do to make this happen. Let’s start in our own neighborhoods. There is the widow down the road who feels alone, the neighbor next door in a wheel chair who feels forgotten; the teen across the street who feels unappreciated; the unemployed mother across the alley who need help finding work; the family on the corner who does not have enough food for the week; or the elderly man 3 doors down who needs help cleaning house and cutting grass. We need to get involved and start by knowing whom our neighbors are and what their needs are. Think about it! If we kept tabs on the needs of our neighbors there would be less violence and more caring people.

Neighbors
Neighbors

People are generally good. The ones that are not usually have been hurt by someone and want to be left alone or are up to no good. The hurt ones you can help by showing that you care and are there for them if they need something. The other ones, you should be cautious about and report any odd behavior to the police and other neighbors. Maybe you will be the one who finds a robber in your neighbor’s house while they are gone, a missing or abused child held against their will, or a person who is making bombs in their home, all because you were familiar with the comings and goings of your neighborhoods and their surroundings.

Getting started is as easy as saying hello when you see them in their yard, at the store, at a block party or cookout. I once met my neighbors for the first time 1400 miles away at a Taco Johns when we were on vacation. We sat in the restaurant together for a good hour laughing and talking. Don’t put hundreds of miles between you and your neighbor before you realize there is something special about them. Say hello now!

Branded’s Dedication

The book Branded is dedicated to all the children who are abducted, raped, beaten, tied up, starved, caged, and drugged. The violence, fear and trauma they experience will never be fully comprehended. This book honors their inner strength, for they are the true survivors of the world.

What Would You Do?

Kidnapping at a GA Wal-Mart

If you haven’t heard how easy it is to kidnap a child yet, watch this video. It just happened on February 9, 2012.
A little girl was looking at the toys in the toy section of a Wal-Mart in Georgia when an ex-con walks up behind her, grabs her and tries to walk away. The girl said she remembered her stranger danger training, and decided to scream, kick, and fight back, which is what saved her life.
This could be your child, niece, nephew, etc. This is why I stress talking to your children about stranger danger and why it’s so important for YOU to take an active role in your community.

Here’s a hypothetical to think about. What if the child couldn’t get away from the man? What do you think would have happened? What if you were at that same store at the same time and in the same section? What if you noticed a man with a hand over the mouth of a child walking down the aisle? Would you say something or just think it’s a dad disciplining his child? What would you do? What would you say? What if…(use your imagination)

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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.

 

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.

http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/quick-thinking-girl-9-escapes-captor/6syg5zk?q=msnbc%20videos&from=enus_msnhp&rel=msn&cpkey=5e67b9c2-fc9e-4d9f-87b5-5c8af76345ea%7cmsnbc+videos%7cmsn%7c%7c

Will Try Again

Looks like I didn’t make the cut in 2 of the book fairs. Could be that I entered too late to get “Branded” read and reviewed in time, but I won’t give up! It just makes me try harder to get it noticed. Besides, something can always happen later to make up for this disappointment. Wish me luck.

Winners of the 2012 San Francisco Book Festival
Winners of the 2012 Green Book Festival

First Review of Branded

I received my first written review via Facebook. Here is a copy of the facebook documentation she sent to me on April 9, 2011 after finishing the book and in response to my question about this being my ministry.

Judith B
READ YOUR BOOK, FROM 1ST TO LAST WORD, TOTALLY FANTASTIC. I STRONGLY SUGGEST ALL THAT KNOW DEB & THOSE THAT DON’T PURCHASE THIS BOOK. DONT JUST CONGRADULATE, BUY. DEB, READY FOR YOUR NEXT WORK OF ART.

TAKE UP WRITING AS YOUR MINISTRY? WELL YOU ARE GREAT, LOOK WHAT YOU DID IN 1 MO. I CAN ONLY IMAGINE…

The Definition of Victim…

The definition of Victim:

  • 1. A person who suffers from a destructive or injurious action or agency: a victim of an automobile accident.
  • 2. A person who is deceived or cheated, as by his or her own emotions or ignorance, by the dishonesty of others, or by some impersonal agency: a victim of misplaced confidence; the victim of a swindler; a victim of an optical illusion.
  • 3. A person or animal sacrificed or regarded as sacrificed: war victims.

Dictionary.com

I have been marketing my book Branded to parents and adults so far, because of the subject matter and the message I want to share which is – talk to your children about stranger danger and, you can make a difference. However, I don’t want to overlook the teens and young adults for whom Branded was written.

More and more teens today see themselves as victims or damaged goods. They have either tried or know of someone who has tried committing suicide, overdosed on drugs, sniffed, threatened a teacher, brought a weapon to school, was bullied, beaten, raped, interrogated, or displayed on some social networking software against their will. While others feel they’re stupid, misunderstood, or just don’t fit in. They all fall into the number 2 definition of victim listed above. They feel deceived, used or lied to by everyone from parents to friends and teacher, just ask them.

Teens today are also witnesses of mental and physical abuse of their peers. Sometimes they see it up close, other times from a distance, but they are usually a firsthand witness. Mostly because of the plethora of people they are connected to through the community and those that enter their lives each day as acquaintances. The teens today may be young, but they hold more knowledge of the real world than most adults care to admit. Furthermore, when it comes to sex, drugs and violence, they could probably teach adults a few things on what is popular and what is not, and where to find it.

Branded taps into this mindset in a way that relates to teens and the violence they see every day. It sends the message to be aware of your surroundings and get involved if something is not right. Say something to someone. Help a person in need. If they ask you not to get involved, get involved anonymously, but don’t put your life in danger. Sometimes the best thing is to just be their friend and talk through the problem. Who is going to understand what a teen is going through better then another teen.

There is also another definition that a small number of young adults fall under as victims and that is numbers 1 & 3. Kidnappings and runaways do occur and some are even killed because of it. Today, many teens are facing peer funerals at an astonishing rate. (My 15 yr old niece had 2 this month alone.) Something needs to be done about it. I am doing what I can but I cannot do it alone. I need your help. Take an active role in your community. Get involved!

It only takes one person to make a difference and a group of the same mindset to change the world.

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Moral Malfunction

redTulip_oneStandsAloneWe 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 world. Violence and death have crept into every aspect of our lives, from video games, movies, and television, to the classroom, daily news, and the neighbor next door, and it’s becoming the norm. We keep to ourselves as much as possible, but that is only making the matter worse. It damages our social skills and any eloquent way of speaking up against injustice so people will listen and take action. We avoid getting involved in activities that will put us in with other people. We even hate going to parent teacher conferences because it takes us out of our comfort zone and puts us in an area known for violence. We’re afraid, and this fear is crippling us.

 

Deep down, we know there has got to be a better way to live. One where violence is minimal and people actually care about each other. Well there is, but it is going to take a lot to get back to that point, and it will not be easy. What we need to do is change the way we think. There is no reason why we have to be self-centered and self-absorbed about every little thing. In a perfect world, we, as a people, would be more concerned about the other person and their needs than our own. In return, our needs would be taken care of because others would be doing the same for us. I am not talking about government involvement or socialism. I’m just suggesting a step up in community activity.

 

There is so much we can do to make this happen. Let’s start in our own neighborhoods. There is the neighbor in a wheel chair who feels forgotten; the widow down the road who is lonely; the teen across the street who feels unappreciated; the elderly man 3 doors down who needs help cleaning house and cutting grass; the unemployed mother across the alley who can’t find work; or, the family on the corner who does not have enough food for the week. We can make a difference, but we need to get involved! Start by knowing who your neighbors are and their individual needs. Think about it, if we all kept tabs on the needs of others there would be less violence and more caring people in the world.

 

People are generally good! Those that are not may have been hurt by someone and just don’t trust anymore. Then again, they could be up to no good too, but you won’t know unless you get involved. You can help the hurt ones by showing that you care and being there if they need something. The other ones, you should be cautious about and report any odd behavior to the police, and any neighborhood association you might have. Maybe you will be the one who finds a rapist, robber, or abused child held against their will, all because you were familiar with your neighbors.

 

Getting started is as easy as saying hello when you see them in the yard, at the store, or at a block party or cookout. I once met my neighbors for the first time 1400 miles away at a Taco Johns when we were on vacation. We sat in the restaurant together for a good hour laughing and talking. Don’t put hundreds of miles between you and your neighbor before you realize they are special and want to call them friend. Say hello now!

 

 

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

Tenor HS 7

 

 

 

Haunted by memories of the past, 16 year old Hayden Heyer (pronounced Higher) lives in a world where she feels invisible and insignificant, finding it difficult to fit in. Then she meets the Sparks twins during the first day of school and her life changes forever – Literally.

No Book Signing at B&N For Now

Well, I knew it was too good to be true. I went to Barnes and Noble to see about the book signing and get a few more details. It just didn’t seem right that they would want to do something for me, only 1 month out of the gate, and my instincts were right on. I was told that the book signing is not going to take place and they cannot order the books either. There seems to be a problem with the way my book is listed in their systems. Once that information is corrected they will try to acquire a few, but the book signing is off until further notice. Now, I am working with CreateSpace and my distribution channels, as well as Barnes and Nobles, regarding the way the book is set up for warehousing. I am also looking for information to have Branded placed on Kindle and the Nook.
Then later today, I received a call from Ellen in B&N small press division in New York. She stated books put out by CreateSpace will never be added to their shelves because it is an Amazon company and their competitor. They will place it in their system for online ordering, but it will never see the light of day on their shelves. Now, I’m really disappointed. Not with CreateSpace, but with the pettiness of B&N (or Ellen, if she makes those rules). I had no idea the bureaucracy involved in getting a book placed on a book sellers shelf.
This self marketing thing is not easy. If I had the money I would hire someone in a heartbeat to do it for me. One who knows the ins and outs of the business. Unfortunately, I am struggling financially. But I still have hope. With God’s grace and influence, I know good things are still going to happen. Who knows, once I get this system glitch fixed, my book might just take off and become a great success. Wish me luck and say a prayer for my success. 

Keep in Mind Video

I love this video from Locash Cowboys called Keep in Mind.
http://youtu.be/Y_GhhtLrXTg

Christian Persecution

christianophobiaWith all the talk about Christian’s being persecuted in the Middle East today, are you thinking twice about being a Christian? Then let me ask you this question, do you believe in Jesus Christ and what he stands for and teaches? If you do, then you are a Christian whether you admit it or not, because that is what a Christian is.  It’s as simple as that.

Christian persecution - IndiaHowever, being a part of a special group or community does not exempt you from being persecuted, which is harassment and cruel treatment toward others. Today we call it bullying. Whenever someone doesn’t fit into the normal way of thinking or doing something, that person is singled out and bullied. Christian persecution is no different. Is it right? No. Is it something new? No. Can this way of thinking be changed? Yes. However, after thousands of years of living sinful lives, do you think people want to change? Probably not, most people hate change. This is why it still exists today, but so does Christianity. After thousands of years of trying to eliminate Christianity, it is still here. God will always make sure of that. So, we must be doing something right.

If you are being bullied for being a Christian, take courage and keep the faith! You are not alone. The enemy will do whatever they can to break your spirit, but be strong and do what is right in God’s eyes. Let’s face it, Jesus himself was persecuted; and he was the son of God. We are just carrying on the fight that started thousands of years earlier against disrespecting one another and God. Think of this, as long as there are Christians in the world, there will be a world to live in.

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 http://www.kidsfightingchance.com/stats.php

Managing the Holiday’s

xmasCookies If Thanksgiving starts the Christmas season, then St. Nicholas Day (December 6th) is a reminder that Christmas is right around the corner. The shopping, decorating, cards, baking, and religious traditions can sneak up so quickly, you feel rushed and guilty for not starting earlier. Then promise to do so next year, but never do. Why? What do you think needs to change so you can have success? It doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does have to include others and some time management. Here are a few suggestions that work for me.


Holiday Meals
If you have the family over for Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner, put them to work. Nowhere, does it say you have to do everything yourself.

  1. Have every adult (family) bring or make something for the dinner table. It can be the pies, rolls, green bean casserole, or the snowflake placemats the children made for the table. Get them all involved.
  2. Have the holiday meal early, around 1 PM. Just the meal, not the desserts. The secret is to put the turkey in the oven over night and cover it tightly (3AM on 250º works for me.) Then go back to bed until 9 AM. Just make sure to cover the turkey tightly, so no juices can spill and start a fire. Baste the bird as soon as you get up and turn the heat up to 350 º. This gives you time to wake up and make the other items for the holiday meal. Not only will you have a tender bird, but less stress.
  3. If someone asks you if you want help with something, always say yes. Even if it’s only sweeping the floor. You may have to orchestrate the activities, but it makes the time goes by faster when there is someone to talk too and laughter in the air.
  4. Around 5 PM, everyone will want something to eat again. Here is the perfect time to serve the dessert, or eat up some of those leftovers. This is also a great time to talk about what everyone wants for Christmas, or his or her plans for the New Year.

 

Decorating
Putting up the decorations (or taking them down) doesn’t have to be tedious. If the family is still over for Thanksgiving, use them. Do it the next day as a family and start a new tradition. Better yet, have the men and kids do the tree, lights, and any outdoor decorations while you’re dashing through the stores on Black Friday. Or, just have a party. The goal is to have the decorations done by the first weekend in December.

 

Cookies
The best time to bake holiday cookies is with the children on Thanksgiving. It gives them something to do while visiting and a great way to hand down recipes. Make sure you have all the ingredients and decorative tins ready, prior. If however, Thanksgiving doesn’t work for you, then try to combine it with another holiday activity like decorating. The goal is to do holiday stuff together with someone special.

 

Shopping
Sometime before Thanksgiving, create a list of people you need to buy for, and place a dollar amount next to each person’s name, along with the method of payment you plan on using. Then try to stay on budget. Start your shopping as soon as possible. Right after Thanksgiving is perfect! Begin with places that have a layaway plan. This way you are not spending all your money at one time. It also gives you a place to hide the gifts from the kids until Christmas.

 

Cards
If you send cards to a lot of people that you never talk to, get a small notebook and use it as your Christmas card address book. It’s easier for updating information and doesn’t crowd your normal address book. It’s best to have them all in the mail before the second week in December. I start mine the day after Thanksgiving and usually have them in the mail by the end of November.

 

Now, you have the rush of the holidays managed and almost complete. You can sit back and enjoy! I am not going to go into religious traditions, since there are so many, but you now have the last 2-3 weeks to participate in holiday activities and help others.

Don’t forget to take time to meditate on the reason for the season – Jesus Christ.

nativity

Let’s Make $1 For GEMS Go Viral!

http://www.dperduehenderson.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/GEMSBear.png height=I’ve been thinking about what to do with the book Branded and its royalties (if any) if something happened to me. I want to continue bringing awareness to the child trafficking and child abductions issues and would like to give the royalties to a charity, but which one? I did some research online and found the GEMS organization and then checked to see if they were legit – they are. I think they are a perfect match for Branded and my message. They protect and support children that have been trafficked, and fight for changes in government that can help the victims and catch those responsible.

I’ve recently learned that some people think Branded is a sexually graphic and abusive read that tells the industry the way it really is, but that’s not true. That would make the book X-rated and it’s not. The Branded story lacks the violent torture and graphic scenes that exists in the real industry. I would say Branded is more of a thriller or crime story then a pornographic read, allowing me to open the subject up to a whole new audience (teens, parents and grandparents).

The majority of the reading public doesn’t know I’m out here. I believe it’s because I am a new writer and author. That’s why I decided to donate $1 to GEMS for every copy of Branded sold between April 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012. The money goes to a good cause and it will help get my name circulated.

If you believe in me or my message, or just like my writing style, tell your friends to check out my site and order a copy of Branded. There is a listing of online book sellers on the home page of my site making it convenient for you to order.

Let’s have some fun and make the $1 for GEMS message go viral!

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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.

Pick your favorite dph book at   www.dperduehenderson.com or www.amazon.com Get your copy now!!

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