Author Archives: loiswstern

How to Conquer the Book Marketing Monster

Bette A. Stevens, Maine Author

Conquering that Marketing Monster

Guest post by Lois W. Stern

marketing.monster2Writing our books is the fun part, as it challenges our creativity, satisfying a need for self-expression. But marketing our books . . . that’s a whole different story. I call it the marketing monster! Many internet sites are out there to help us slay that dragon, but I’d like to share three little gems that you might have overlooked.

Hold on for a second. Before we begin, I want you to build yourself a promotional template. It will take a little time, and you won’t need all of these items for each venue, but trust me, in the long run, it will be a real time saver.

Template Items:

  • Book title:
  • Author:
  • Genre:
  • Book formats (paperback, hardcover, Kindle, other e-reader formats):
  • ISBN #:
  • Author bio:
  • Book teaser or elevator pitch:
  • URL links to any places where your book…

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My Special Boy, Obi – An Inspiring Story by Ashley Howland

What an Incredible Dog!

Obi and Ashley

Ashley Howland lovingly portrays Obi, her intuitive golden Lab, so smart and loving that you just wish your could reach out and hug him.

Obi influenced the lives of all whose lives he touched through his work and play both at school, at home and in a Labs ‘n Life program back in Ashley’s home in Australia. Obi also touched many hearts, and once you read this story, it is bound to touch yours as well.

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My Special Boy, Obi, a 2014 Tales2Inspire winner, is now published in
Tales2Inspire ~ The Sapphire Collection
Stories that Echo In The Mind

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 Click to oder

Lois W. Stern
Bringing you one inspiring story at a time,
From Tales2Inspire
http://www.tales2inspire.com

LOVE IS PRICELESS – An Inspiring Story

This video is dedicated to all for the Mothers Out There. And when you watch it,  have the tissues ready!

When a young boy presents his mother with an IOU for all the tasks he has done to help her, she responds to him in this most inspiring video. Take a moment to watch it now.

 

Brought to you from

Lois W. Stern

Tales2Inspire

http://www.tales2inspire.com/

Bringing you one inspiring story at a time.

Thanks you Natalie Hecht for this one.

* A FATHER’S DAY GIFT – An Inspiring Story by Jenna Ludwig

finalist  Ultimately, this story is about a gift I received from my father, posthumously, the year after he died. First, I’d like to tell you something about the man he was and why the gift was so important to me. Dad was my best friend growing up. We were alike in many ways. I have a strawberry birthmark on my right arm identical to and in the same location as the one that was on his right arm. We had the same droll sense of humor. When I was young, we ate sardines and crackers together in the kitchen, laughing when my other siblings would shy away from the smelly treat. I was the daughter who enjoyed snuggling up with Dad on the couch to watch his favorite cowboy and detective TV serials and was the first to try out the walking stilts he enjoyed making for us kids.

 I know Dad found our similarities endearing when I was a child. But as I grew older, certain other characteristics we shared, like fierce independence and a long stubborn streak, made us ‘butt heads’ more often than not. This was compounded by the fact that my mother died suddenly in automobile accident when I was 16, and my father remarried a woman with whom I did not get along.

 In 1965 I graduated from high school and went off to college.

Jenna’s High School graduation picture with her dad

As I recall, visits home were not always pleasant. I still loved my father very much, and knew he loved me, but when we talked, it often ended in a confrontation that was fueled by our differing points of view about everything from the war in Vietnam to how long my male friends should wear their hair. It seemed to me at the time that everyone was down with the news that The Times They Are A Changin’ except Dad and his whole pigheaded generation.

The year I met and fell in love with the person who was to become my husband was a particularly trying one for my father and me. Gene had long blond hair that hung to the middle of his back and enjoyed a freewheeling life on a sailboat that he and his father had built. Dad wasn’t impressed. He insisted that I reconsider my plans to leave school and marry Gene and come home instead. When I refused, he ceased speaking to me for over a year.

Under the circumstances, Gene and I decided to elope and were married quietly at a local Justice of the Peace. We celebrated after the ceremony by getting ice cream sundaes. We spent our first year together on our boat, docked close to where Gene was hired to help build a new marina in Englewood, Florida. When we became pregnant with our first child together, we moved off the boat and bought property in central Michigan where Gene’s parents lived at the time. By then, Dad and I were on speaking terms, but we were not as close as we once had been.

Married life was busy for Gene and me. We eventually had four children, designed our own house that we built to stand nestled in the woods on our property, and created a thriving wholesale fishing bait business in the resort area of Michigan where we lived. But no matter how busy we were, we always took time during the Christmas holidays to travel to Florida to visit my father and Jeanne— stepmother number two since my mother had died and the woman whom I grew to love over the 23 years they were married.

Jenna’s step mother Jeanne, with her Dad

THIS STORY CONTINUES IN THE

TALES2INSPIRE ™   SAPPHIRE COLLECTION 

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* THE HEART OF HOME IS HOT CHOCOLATE – An Inspiring Story by Mary Romero

finalist  To the outside world we were the ‘All American Family’; mom, dad, five well behaved children who went to church every Sunday, well groomed and dressed to perfection.We even had the array of pets. But, for my family the saying, “No one knows what goes on behind closed doors” rang all too true.

Sunday mornings seemed to be the favored time for my parents to have disagreements.These were not typical arguments that couples have about things like being late or who forgot to pay which bill, these ‘arguments’ usually turned into out and out physical altercations. During one in particular I recall being more afraid than usual after seeing my mother being held up by her throat. My father came to me and asked what was wrong. I asked through tears, Are you and mommy getting a divorce?” He pulled me close, and looked me straight in the eyes telling me they would never get divorced. I believed my dad. I needed to believe him.

I have very few positive memories of my childhood but one that has touched my life in different ways still stands out so vividly in my mind that I can still smell and feel the cold crisp air and how it burns your lungs as you take in that first deep breath as I reminisce about one of those cold winter weekends.

My father loved the outdoors and in the winter, he would take us ice-skating. This was not the ice-skating where kids go to an indoor rink and skate around in circles to music. This was real ice-skating! You had to wait until it was well into the winter months so that the ice in any given large body of water had a chance to freeze all the way through. Not only did you have to dress like you were going to climb Mount Everest but, when you talked you weren’t sure your lips were moving because your face was so numb from the biting cold and ice would actually form on your eyelashes!

Once in a great while my father would spring the question, Anyone want to go ice-skating?

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THIS STORY CONTINUES IN

TALES2INSPIRE ™   ~ The Sapphire Collection

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ANOTHER INSPIRING STORY – FAITHFUL ELEPHANTS

THIS INSPIRING ELEPHANT STORY WAS SENT TO ME BY MY FRIEND BARBARA R.,

Thank you Barbara for another inspiring story about the wonder of elephants!

Lawrence Anthony, a legend in South Africa and author of 3 books including the bestseller The Elephant Whisperer, bravely rescued wildlife and rehabilitated elephants all over the globe from human atrocities, including the courageous rescue of Baghdad Zoo animals during US invasion in 2003.

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On March 7, 2012 Lawrence Anthony died.

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He is remembered and missed by his wife, 2 sons, 2 grandsons and numerous elephants.

 

Two days after his passing, the wild elephants showed up at his home led by two large matriarchs. 

 

Separate wild herds arrived in droves to say goodbye to their beloved man-friend.

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A total of 31 elephants had patiently walked over 12 miles to get to his South African House. 

Witnessing this spectacle, humans were obviously in awe not only because of the supreme intelligence and precise timing that these elephants sensed about Lawrence ‘s passing, but also because of the profound memory and emotion the beloved animals evoked in such an organized way:  Walking slowly – for days –Making their way in a solemn one-by-one queue from their habitat to his house.

 

So, how after Anthony’s death, did the reserve’s elephants — grazing miles away in distant parts of the park — know?

 

“A good man died suddenly,” says Rabbi Leila Gal Berner, Ph.D., “and from miles and miles away, two herds of elephants, sensing that they had lost a beloved human friend, moved in a solemn, almost ‘funereal’ procession to make a call on the bereaved family at the deceased man’s home.”

 

“If there ever were a time, when we can truly sense the wondrous ‘interconnectedness of all beings,’ it is when we reflect on the elephants of Thula Thula. A man’s heart’s stops, and hundreds of elephants’ hearts are grieving. This man’s oh-so-abundantly loving heart offered healing to these elephants, and now, they came to pay loving homage to their friend.”

 

Lawrence ‘s wife, Francoise, was especially touched, knowing that the elephants had not been to his house prior to that day for well over 3 years!

But yet they knew where they were going.

You can find a wonderful collection of inspiring stories in Lois’ new book:

 Tales 2 Inspire ~Beyond Coincidence (The Emerald Collection) 

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HOW COURT REPORTERS KEEP STRAIGHT FACES

WANT A GREAT LAUGH TO START YOUR DAY?

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 These are things people actually said in court, word for word, taken down and published by court reporters that had the torment of staying calm while the exchanges were taking place.

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?

WITNESS: He said, ‘Where am I, Cathy?’

ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?

WITNESS: My name is Susan!

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ATTORNEY: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?

WITNESS: Gucci sweats and Reeboks.

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ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?

WITNESS: No, I just lie there.

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ATTORNEY: What is your date of birth?

WITNESS: July 18th.

ATTORNEY: What year?

WITNESS: Every year.

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ATTORNEY: How old is your son, the one living with you?

WITNESS: Thirty-eight or thirty-five, I can’t remember which.

ATTORNEY: How long has he lived with you?

WITNESS: Forty-five years.

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ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?

WITNESS: Yes.

ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?

WITNESS: I forget..

ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?

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ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn’t it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn’t know about it until the next morning?

WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

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ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?

WITNESS: He’s 20, much like your IQ.

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ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?

WITNESS: Are you shitting me?

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ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?

WITNESS: Yes.

ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?

WITNESS: Getting laid

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ATTORNEY: She had three children , right?

WITNESS: Yes.

ATTORNEY: How many were boys?

WITNESS: None.

ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?

WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?

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ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?

WITNESS: By death..

ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?

WITNESS: Take a guess.

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ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?

WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard

ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?

WITNESS: Unless the Circus was in town I’m going with male.

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ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition notice which I sent to your attorney?

WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

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ATTORNEY: Doctor , how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead people?

WITNESS: All of them. The live ones put up too much of a fight.

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ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?

WITNESS: Oral…

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ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?

WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 PM

ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?

WITNESS: If not, he was by the time I finished.

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ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?

WITNESS: Are you qualified to ask that question?

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And last:

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a pulse?

WITNESS: No.

ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?

WITNESS: No.

ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?

WITNESS: No..

ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began the autopsy?

WITNESS: No.

ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?

WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.

ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?

WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing law.

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Keep smiling. It will make you feel good. Share it with your friends and spread your cheer around.

* NO SUCH WORD AS CAN’T by Lois W. Stern

It’s easy to recognize dramatic acts of heroism, acts of great courage and selflessness. But what about the unsung heroes amongst us – the ones who think of themselves as absolutely ordinary while quietly living their lives with worthy acts of purpose. Enter Gerald and Sharon Bricker, for it is through them that their daughter Jennifer Bricker has reached unfathomable heights.

In 1987, Gerald and Sharon Bricker adopted their baby daughter Jennifer. Although they already had three biological sons, Sharon yearned for a daughter, a little girl she could dress in pink ruffles with trailing ribbons and bows. They adopted Jen, sight unseen, when she was 3 months old. She was a tiny baby, only 13 ½ inches long, but to Gerald and Sharon she was perfect.

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Jen as a baby

Luck shone down on this infant from the moment she entered the Bricker household. She felt the unconditional love of her parents and three older brothers, all with solid values that helped her grow into the remarkable person she is today. As a young woman reflecting back on her childhood, Jen says with admiration:

They are amazing and they don’t even realize it, they are just good people. I don’t know how, but they always managed to handle each situation exactly the right way.

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Jen with her parents, Mr. an Mrs. Bricker and friend Dave

From early on the Brickers told Jen that there was no such word as “can’t.” Instead they taught her how to go after the things she really wanted. With their guidance, Jen’s indomitable spirit and confidence soared. She vigorously dove into sports, meeting each challenge head on with confidence and the expectation of success. More often than not, she realized her dreams. Jen led a happy, rewarding life, playing softball, basketball and volleyball. But her passion was gymnastics. When she was 10, she won fourth place in the Amateur Athletic Union’s Junior Olympics in Hampton, Va., and was Illinois state power tumbling champion in her division.

Jen grew up idolizing popular gymnast Dominique Moceanu. It wasn’t just that the two girls shared a common Romanian heritage. They shared the same good looks: dark hair, sparkling eyes. ready smiles. Jen felt a magnetic attraction to Dominique, becoming her biggest fan. At fifteen years of age, Dominique was catapulted into the limelight as the youngest member of the “Magnificent Seven”, the U.S. gymnastics team that won gold at the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta. As she stood in line to receive her gold, the name Moceanu rang a distant bell. The Brickers quietly reopened the adoption papers they had signed years earlier. What it had taken them nine years to realize was that Dominique wasn’t just Jen’s idol — she was also her biological sister.

This story continues in Tales2Inspire™ ~

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The Emerald Collection

* THE GIFT OF FAMILY by Donna Surface

When I was introduced to Pat Surface he was sitting down. Then he stood up to shake my hand, and it seemed like he just kept going . . . up. I am only 5′ tall and at nearly 6’8″ Pat’s stature, and his story, both really impressed me.

Pat’s future didn’t look very promising in 1957. He was abandoned as a newborn infant and brought to an orphanage in St. Paul, Minnesota. Little Pat was placed in a series of foster homes, where, he later learned, he was treated pretty badly. After the last family brought him back to the orphanage, he was completely traumatized. As a result, he ‘acted out’ in ways that made him, well, less than ‘adoptable.’

But in every happy ending story there is a turning point, and in this story it started with a phone call from the orphanage to Lillian and A.J. Surface, a couple who had already adopted two children from their agency. ”Would they consider adopting one child more?” Well, they honestly couldn’t afford a third child, so this was not an easy decision for them. But an inner voice whispered to them and, fortunately for Pat, they listened. Pat says he was ‘rescued’ instead of adopted when he was brought to Grand Rapids, MN to live with his new family. He thinks of his adoption date as the day he was born.

A surprise for Pat’s parents – he grew tall. Very tall. They struggled to keep him in clothing that fit. Pat didn’t stop growing until he reached nearly 6’8″, a natural basketball star in the making. Actually he did become a college all-star, a MVP of the largest amateur basketball team in the country, a member of a semi-pro exhibition team, and eventually a college basketball coach. But he yearned for more.

Pat grew up with his brother, Jim, of Korean and Hispanic heritage, and his Native American sister, Linda. The gift of being included in this blended family fueled his appreciation of diversity. It never occurred to him to view anyone as ‘different.’

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Pat and his beloved guitar

 Pat’s future didn’t look very promising in 1957. He was abandoned as a newborn infant and brought to an orphanage in St. Paul, Minnesota. Little Pat was placed in a series of foster homes, where, he later learned, he was treated pretty badly. After the last family brought him back to the orphanage, he was completely traumatized. As a result, he ‘acted out’ in ways that made him, well, less than ‘adoptable.’

But in every happy ending story there is a turning point, and in this story it started with a phone call from the orphanage to Lillian and A.J. Surface, a couple who had already adopted two children from their agency. ”Would they consider adopting one child more?” Well, they honestly couldn’t afford a third child, so this was not an easy decision for them. But an inner voice whispered to them and, fortunately for Pat, they listened. Pat says he was ‘rescued’ instead of adopted when he was brought to Grand Rapids, MN to live with his new family. He thinks of his adoption date as the day he was born.

A surprise for Pat’s parents – he grew tall. Very tall. They struggled to keep him in clothing that fit. Pat didn’t stop growing until he reached nearly 6’8″, a natural basketball star in the making. Actually he did become a college all-star, a MVP of the largest amateur basketball team in the country, a member of a semi-pro exhibition team, and eventually a college basketball coach. But he yearned for more.

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Pat, center, with his sister, Linda and brother, Jim

Pat grew up with his brother, Jim, of Korean and Hispanic heritage, and his Native American sister, Linda. The gift of being included in this blended family fueled his appreciation of diversity. It never occurred to him to view anyone as ‘different.’

Another gift from his family was his love of music. His mom was born a LaPlant, a family with a strong musical heritage. Her mother, Bessie LaPlant, was related to William Boyd, known as Hopalong Cassidy, The Singing Cowboy. She passed her musical legacy on to her eleven children. Years later, Pat wrote the song, “Belle of the Ball”, to honor her.

The LaPlants have been fiddle champions for decades, best known for their gospel and bluegrass music. They are also well-recognized for their instrument building skills with LaPlant crafted instruments, described by The Minnesota Monthly Magazine as “exquisite guitars and flawless mandolins of national note”. Pat remembers the day he received his first LaPlant guitar – he was 19, it was Christmas, and the gift changed his life. To this day, Pat plays the guitars hand-built by his eighty-two year old Uncle Lloyd LaPlant – the master builder whose amazing guitars and mandolins are used by famous bluegrass performers even today.

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Uncle Lloyd, Pat, his mom, and Uncle String

Music was calling Pat, and in 1987 it became his full-time commitment.

This story continues in the Tales2Inspire™  

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Emerald Collection

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