Guest Post: Meet Author Jaimie Hope

Thank you, Cindy for allowing me this time and space on your blog. My name is Jaimie Hope, and I am an author. I write in a few different genres, but I consider myself to be a Children’s book author first and foremost.

My first published book was a children’s picture book. The Adventures of Baby Jaimie was published in 2006. Since that time I have written two other books in the series. As of last night, January 8, 2012, I am proud to say all the books in my series are also available in E-book format as well as paperback. Who would have thought we’d be reading electronic novels and children’s books? Certainly not I.

Admittedly I have been slow to catch on to this new digital era of the electronic book. That’s obvious to anyone who pays attention to publishing dates. My third children’s book, The Adventures of Baby Jaimie: Baby Jaimie Gets Stage Fright was the first book I’d published that went straight to E-book format. My original, The Adventures of Baby Jaimie came second. The second in the series, The Adventures of Baby Jaimie: Baby Jaimie Goes to School was the third.

I had no control over when the first one was released because it was at my publisher’s Author House’s mercy to decide when to release that. However, I now wish I would have released two and three together. To be honest, it never even occurred to me. I e-published not only the Children’s book, but also my first Paranormal Romance, When You Come Back to Me Again in the same week. After I announced their release I got requests for the paperback versions. It wasn’t something I’d thought about up until that point, but since I believe in the motto “give the people what they want” I released them. You may be thinking that wasn’t a big deal since the manuscripts were already done, but you’re wrong.

The Children’s book had black and white illustrations and while my first Children’s book was released with black and white illustrations, I had decided I wanted colored illustrations after having them for my second book. This meant I had to color the illustrations myself. For someone who didn’t like to color as a child this was quite a task.

After the coloring was done I needed to reformat my manuscript, and work on the back cover. With an e-book all that is needed is a cover, so I didn’t have anything for the back cover except the synopsis.

You would think by the time I released my fourth children’s book I knew what I was doing, but you’d be wrong. While it took me the shortest amount of time from writing to publication to date there were still bumps along the way. Most of them had to do with my lack of math skills. Not sure why most people either seem to be good with words or with numbers when truthfully you need both skills to do most jobs. If dream is a writing career and you’re still in school do yourself a favor and pay attention in all your classes, you really will need it all someday.

All of these things probably seem like they would be no big deal to the average person. When I was dreaming of becoming an author when I was in school I didn’t think it was a big deal either. I thought all I had to do was write whatever story was in my head, and the rest would take care of itself. As I began to make my dream a reality I realized it was nothing at all like I had dreamed it would be. Not only did I have to write my manuscripts, but I was responsible for the front covers, the back covers, and marketing. I also quickly realized the tasks that I once weren’t a big deal are. Any time you release anything that has your name attached to it it’s a big deal.

 

Pre-Release of Waffles and Pancakes

Hi Friends,

On April 17th my first book will be released, Waffles and Pancakes, a lesson in friendship. I have pre-release copies which I am offering with free shipping. On my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/author.cindy.springsteen you can win bookmarks and more! Many good things coming for the website also! Stay tuned! Book 2 in the Waffles and Pancakes series is called a lesson in bullying is also coming soon. Head over to join the launch party and stay tuned here for lots of changes and many fun things to come.

Guest Post: Author Nicole O’Dell – New Book Release Girl Talk

Welcome Nicole O’Dell, who has just released another fabulous book you will want to add to your collection!

Q: I recently lost a lot of weight and started high school at the same time. I’m getting all sorts of attention from boys, and I just don’t know what to do about it because it’s so new to me. I kind of like it. . .but I’m nervous. What should I do?

That’s a question I would have asked if I’d written to Girl Talk at the start of my freshman year of high school. But, I didn’t know to ask. I didn’t know I was facing a challenge. I simply reacted to things as I faced them. And I made mistakes. Many of them.

Each of us has a set of experiences and circumstances, some within our control, and some not, that shapes the way we look at choices, temptation, sin, peer pressure, and everything that comes up along the way. If we can help prepare girls before they find themselves staring peer pressure in the face, they’ll feel more equipped to stand strong. To say NO to whatever life throws at them.

Why girls?

Hmm. What is it about girls? That’s a great question. I guess I relate to them because I am one. But, more than that, I have an ache in my heart that wants to help ‘em out. I’ve said it 1000 times, but I’ll say it 1000 more, I’m sure. It’s the memory of the poor choices I made as a teen, and the results of those choices, that motivates me to help today’s teenagers avoid those same mistakes.

And bad decisions are one thing, but there’s also the stuff girls deal with that they have no control over: Divorce, Abuse, Loss, Grief, Illness, financial strain, etc. . .etc. . . Those life-altering circumstances make it even more difficult for girls to stand against the pressure when all they want is friendship, acceptance, and love.

It takes pro-active, intentional effort to make the necessary preparations to help teens combat peer pressure.

That’s why my daughters and I started the Girl Talk Column on my blog. We wanted to give girls a place they could go with those tough questions about life. The column grew and the questions built up to the point when we, along with Barbour Publishing, decided to put 180 questions from readers and our answers into a book. But it’s not just any book–the vibrant, trendy format has a scrapbook-y feel as each page is full color with graphics galore. Take a look at the trailer to get a better feel for what it looks like:

Back Cover Information:

Q: My mom is always on me about what I wear. I just don’t see why it should matter to her. I mean, she got to wear the things she wanted to wear when she was young–the styles are different now, though. She won’t let me wear any shirts that show even a fraction of my stomach, and I have to actually bend over in jeans to prove to her that nothing shows in the back—if you know what I mean. She even says there’s stuff in the Bible about the way to dress right. Is that true? What should I do to change her mind?

Q: I have a friend who is pretty skinny, but she thinks she’s fat. . . . I actually heard her make herself throw up in the school bathroom a couple of times. What should I do about it? Or is it none of my business?

It’s Time for Some Girl Talk! . . .

Popular blogging trio—mother, Nicole O’Dell, along with daughters, Emily and Natalie—offer trustworthy, biblically-based advice for all your ups, downs, and in-betweens. Culled from actual questions they’ve encountered on their blog site, this fabulous resource offers real-life helps for issues including relationships, character, body image, fashion, gossip, and more. You’ll find 180 questions along with answers and related scripture selections that will both encourage and challenge you in your faith walk.

Nat, Em, and I hope you’ll pass this resource along to the teens in your life. Also, the Girl Talk column is ongoing. You can write to us with your questions anytime! Contact us here.

And if you’d like to win a copy of Girl Talk, signed by all three of us, just leave a comment here. Tweeting about this post will earn you another entry if you let us know you did. I’d also love it if you signed up for my Choices e-Zine/newsletter, too–that will earn you a third entry! Remember, it’s all about choices!

Cover of Girl Talk

Nicole O’Dell, founder of Choose NOW Ministries and host of Teen Talk Radio, is a mom of six—ranging from 20 all the way down to a set of toddler triplets. She writes fiction for teens including the popular Scenarios for Girls interactive fiction series and the Diamond Estates Series. Her nonfiction focuses on helping teens make good choices and bridging the gap in parent/teen communication. On Teen Talk Radio, Nicole talks with teens and special guests about the real issues young people face today, and she loves getting out among teens and parents when speaking at youth groups and conferences. Visit www.nicoleodell.com or www.facebook.com/nicoleodell.

Emily is a straight-A fifth grader at Eastlawn School in Paxton, IL. She lives with her mom, stepdad, three sisters, and two broth- ers. Never found without her iPod, Emily loves to dance and sing. She’s a busy girl who enjoys swimming, skateboarding, and hanging out with friends. She’s active in her community and local church, and plans to be a teacher when she grows up.

Natalie is an honor student in the eighth grade at PBL Middle School in Paxton, IL. The oldest daughter of six kids, Natalie is a very loving and hands-on big sister. She’s passionate about her walk with Christ, and almost as passionate about the game of volleyball. She holds first- chair clarinet in the school band and looks forward to high school marching band. At this point, Natalie aspires to a career in the culinary arts, but is open to other possibilities.

Guest Post: New Parenting Book: Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded?

Author Vanessa Van Petten tells us about her new book. Parents this is a must have book to add to your collections!

Vanessa Van Petten is the creator of RadicalParenting.com and author of the parenting book, “Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded?” (http://www.radicalparenting.com/books-and-products/book-youre-grounded/)

This is what Vanessa Van Petten had to say about her website and her new book.

When I was 16 I thought it was my Dad’s goal in life to make me miserable. I was convinced that he had a running list of all the ways he could embarrass me in front of my friends, trick me into doing more chores or make my curfew earlier.

Our relationship would have continued to devolve until one day I saw my Dad reading a parenting book. I flipped through it while my Dad was in the bathroom and realized a lot of the things he did that drove me crazy he was getting right out of this book! I looked at the other parenting books on our shelves and realized that they were all written by adults. I wondered—has anyone ever asked teens to write to their parents?

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9a2jw-xhTg&feature=player_embedded

I decided to build a website where teens could answer questions and write to parents called RadicalParenting.com.  I couldn’t believe how quickly it grew and how happy both teens were to get their voices out and parents were to have a new outlet for connecting with their kids! We now have over 120 teen writers who give advice.

Teenagers, when given a neutral space LOVE talking to parents and often offer some of the best insight because they are going through it themselves. We have also be so excited to help parents who feel like they cannot reach their kids and teens.

I think teens and parents can work together to overcome their differences and learn to work best together. We have just come out with our book: Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded and it is a radical approach to parenting because it is written from the kid’s perspective! We would love for you to check it out—if you are brave enough to see what kids have to say!

What is this book about?
So, you have to forget the old parenting book approach – this book gives parents a totally new way to reach their teenagers because it’s the only book that tweens and teens helped write – so we are hearing first-hand advice that actually works! It gets right to the heart of the problems and offers straightforward prescriptive – and effective advice. This is a very different approach to parenting that tackles these modern problems.

What makes this book different?
Before now there has only been resources written from one side of the family equation….the adults. This is the first book that gets both sides talking. What’s more, the book goes a step further by using techniques that human lie-dectectors use: What does a teenager’s face look like when they are lying? What questions do parents need to ask to get the truth?

You are not a parent, what experience helps you write this book?
Actually me not being a parent is what makes teenagers feel comfortable opening up to me about what they really need from their parents. It allows me to be a translator for what parents need, what teens need and then bringing the two together so they can be on the same side.

You are not a doctor, what experience helps you write this book?
There are already amazing resources out there from doctors and psychologists, we take a very different approach to parenting. We believe that for most families there are really simple miscommunications happening that we just need to decode. With this book, I teach parents what kids really mean when they say, “I don’t care” or “Can I have a later curfew.” This is advice from teens in the trenches of family life.

Here is what Publisher’s Weekly had to say:

“Van Petten, founder of the popular Web site RadicalParenting.com, offers parents a candid view of the contemporary teen’s world in this eye-opening text. Van Petten uses actual stories about teens and their often anxious, angry, or befuddled parents to introduce each chapter. Pointing out that she is neither a parent nor a teen (nor a doctor, therapist, or counselor), the college-grad author has nevertheless earnestly investigated her subject and includes current research on teens as well as hundreds of “real quotes, interviews, e-mails and advice from actual teens.” Van Petten explores a variety of timely subjects, including peer relationships, teen/parent communication, bullying, technology, and “risky business” (smoking, drinking, sex, and more). Her outlook on technology and “Internet savvy” is particularly incisive, emphasizing not only the hazards of “time-suck” activities (i.e., Facebook, chatting on IM, and texting) but also the many social and academic benefits of the digital universe. Like a crafty spy, Van Petten comfortably segues from parent to teen perspective, and while noting that each adolescent is unique, she skillfully opens doors to the collective teen psyche. “–Publishers Weekly.

Vanessa Van Petten is one of the nation’s youngest experts, or ‘youthologists’ on parenting and adolescents. She now runs her popular parenting website, RadicalParenting.com, which she writes with 120 other teenage writers to answer questions from parents and adults. Her approach has been featured by CNN, Fox News, and Wall Street Journal. She was also on the Real Housewives of Orange County helping the housewives with troubled teens. Her next book, “Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded?” is being released in September 2011 with Plume Books of Penguin USA.

(http://www.radicalparenting.com/books-and-products/book-youre-grounded/)

Newest Teen Trends

Just when I thought I have heard it all our teenagers of today keep amazing and surprising me. The things they are doing are so crazy and dangerous. Teens have always done things without thinking of the consequences but these are way beyond what I could of imagined. What could have changed so much in our society or in our teens worlds that have made them make these choices.

First we have Vodka Eyeball Shots! I can’t imagine anyone ever even thinking of doing such a dumb thing. This must not only burn like crazy but also can cause blindness.  Think of a time when you had something on your fingers and rubbed your eyes and the burning sensation you experienced. Now think of alcohol, that has to be so awful!  Yet, they are doing this to get a quick high and there are videos of this posted all over youtube. 

Next we move on to smoking incense. They are smoking this because its legal and its cheap. It gives them a high some say similar to marijuana. Schools are not able to do anything about it because there is nothing illegal about it yet.  Two teens have been in a coma as a result of smoking this. Once again videos about this incense called K2 are all over the youtube. 

Our newest is ‘Sack Tapping” This is when boys punch, kick and slap each other in the groin area. Whoever lasts standing the longest wins. Yes, this is true and happening and attached to my full article on this is a video of boys playing the game. There isn’t anyone that has not heard forever that a boy/man getting hurt in that area causing indescribable pain, yet these boys think its fun?

I received many messages of parents telling me that they had not heard of some of the above mentioned things. This parents is scary! If parents don’t know these things exist and have not talked to their teens of the dangers of them, how many are doing it or going to today? I try really hard to stay up to date and report to you my parenting readers all the latest trends.  Join me tonight on twitter at 9 PM est with @TheCoffeeKlatch for an truly informative teen chat #TCK. Parents you can’t miss this, many of these topics and many others will be discussed. Being aware is the best defense to prevent these from happening to your teen.

To read the full articles about these trends please go to http://www.examiner.com/x-33498-Long-Island-Parenting-Teens-Examiner

Thanks for taking time to read about these important topics and I hope to see you all tonight :)

Parents Need To Make Changes!

In the last week I have written about a teen changing his ipod song and crashing into a house and most recently two teens plotting to kill students, teachers and faculty at local schools.  These stories bring to mind once again, what is happening? Bad stories always seem to follow teens, but recently the stories seem to be much scarier. Are parents just too self absorbed with their own issues that they are not seeing what is happening to their teens? Could it be something else that is happening to our teens? These are questions that need to be answered. Thinking about the incident regarding the teens wanting to kill their fellow classmates and teachers, what will the other teens going to this school be feeling? What kind of memories will they carry with them into the future? Won’t they remember when someone threatened to possibly kill them? Won’t they be afraid to go to school? I know I would be scared to go to school and if my children went to this school I would be afraid everyday, even though these two were caught.  This could of been a much more tragic incident if someone hadn’t reported this. 

Parents let’s talk about this, please leave me your opinion on all this.

To read the articles please click here http://www.examiner.com/x-33498-Long-Island-Parenting-Teens-Examiner

Too Much Violence!

How sad it is that I had 3 articles this past week all involving terrible teen incidents. In the one story there were two events involving teen violence in school! Yes, your reading this correctly school and not necessarily handled in a way that I think proper. In the second story a teenager on drugs smashed into a woman and killed her in her front yard. The teen had no remorse for this and even stated that the “woman was old.”  The most recent story involved a teenager walking the streets at 1:00 a.m., yes your reading this correctly a 16 year old was walking the streets and was shot. What is going on with today’s teens? Is this a parenting issue that seriously needs to be addressed or is something else going on here with these teens? Lets talk about this parents and try to find some answers before its too late.

To read the 3 articles please go to http://www.examiner.com/x-33498-Long-Island-Parenting-Teens-Examiner

Fun With Author Nicole O’Dell GIVEAWAY HAS BEGUN!!!!

After reading Nicole’s books and writing about them I had the pleasure of interviewing this amazing author.  Instead of doing a typical interview with the same questions we can up with some fun ones and she even told two of her most embarrassing moments! I have truly enjoyed working with Nicole and look forward to reading all her future work. As promised with this interview the GIVEAWAY has now officially begun!  Nicole has been so kind with each of my reviews to giveaway a signed book and now for this interview she has graciously offered the ENTIRE series, yes that is ALL 4 books in this series to the winner! These are great books and what a generous offer by this author. So lets not let her down here and lets show her some support by joining in the fun!  To read the interview which is sure to bring a smile to your face please click here http://www.examiner.com/x-33498-Long-Island-Parenting-Teens-Examiner~y2010m4d22-Fun-With-Author-Nicole-ODell

Thank you for all your support it is always very appreciated!

As previously stated Giveaway #5 has now begun! This giveaway will end on Thursday May 6th at Midnight EST.  You can win the entire 4 book scenarios series autographed by Nicole O’Dell and you can win this by leaving me a comment below with a suggestion of a new Scenarios topic you would like to see Nicole O’Dell cover in an upcoming book.

Extra Entries can be earned by:

Becoming a Fan of Nicoles at http://www.facebook.com/nicoleodell

Subscribing to email alerts at  www.cindy-springsteen.com

Becoming a Fan of  Cindy’s Teen Advice by clicking  here http://tiny.cc/dS5ip

Following Nicole O’Dell on twitter by clicking here http://www.twitter.com/Nicole_Odell

Following me on twitter by clicking here http://www.twitter.com/CindyTeenAdvice

Tweet the following quote…(one per day)  Enter the @Nicole_Odell book #giveaways with @CindyTeenAdvice Details can be found at www.cindy-springsteen.com Please RT

As stated in 1st four giveaways if you leave a comment on each article, there are now 5 including the interview you can earn 2 extra entries on this final drawing.  Thank you again Nicole O’Dell for being so generous and good luck to everyone.

Is Your Teen Huffing?

This is so serious and so scary! When I was younger I remember hearing about this, mainly the whipped cream cans, they called it doing whip-its. It has been a long time since I thought about this potential danger.  Then this article came past me about a young boy around my son’s age and my eyes opened wide as I read what happened and all the statistics about this going on right now. I am hoping this very important article will open many parents eyes as mine were recently opened. Please take time to read this important article, share with a friend we really need to protect our kids and remind parents that this danger is out there, never went away. We need to keep our eyes open and tell everyone we know that this going on right now!

Take the time please and read about this http://www.examiner.com/x-33498-Long-Island-Parenting-Teens-Examiner~y2010m4d13-Is-Your-Teen-Huffing

You won’t be sorry and this information just may save a life!

Prom Is Coming!

Is your town taking as many safety measures as they can to help prevent many of the tragedies that occur on prom night? Many events happen during prom and most are not good ones! Prom night is associated with teens drinking, driving and having sex sometimes for the first time. All of these only lead to more problems and more dangers. What does your school do to help eliminate some of these? Check out this article and see what my school and local communities do.  http://www.examiner.com/x-33498-Long-Island-Parenting-Teens-Examiner~y2010m4d12-Prom-Night–Keeping-It-Safe

Then speak to your PTA and principal and start to make a difference for your teen! This is a dangerous night and the more done to prevent some of these tragic events the better!

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