Monday, April 10, 2017

#RRBC 2017 Springtime Book and Blog Party - UPDATED



Thanks for partying with me over here in Miami, FL. I appreciate all of you who took the time to join me on my day of the RRBC Springtime Book and Blog Party! Here are my winners:

Today's Prizes - 04/11/17:

*an e-book copy of one of my novels (winner's choice) - 5 winners (KRISTY MODIA, MARETHA MENICHINI, C. S. BOYACK, JOAN HALL & CHARLES W. JONES)

* a signed copy of The One Discovered (continental US only) - 1 winner (MAE CLAIR)

* a signed copy of The One Enlightened (continental US only) - 1 winner (MAGGIE THOM)

* a signed copy of The One Betrayed (continental US only) - 1 winner (MIKE LYNES)

* a signed copy of The One Revealed (continental US only) - 1 winner  (SUZANNA BURKE)

* Author Spotlight on my blog - 1 winner (LARRY HYATT)

Total Winners: 10! :-)
I will be contacting all of my winners within the next couple of days to send you your prizes. Congratulations! :-)

If you did not win on my page, there are plenty of prizes still out there to win. Just go to: https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/rrbc-2017-springtime-book-blog-block-party/ 

Let's get this party started!

In order to win a prize, you need to leave a comment at some point today (04/11/17).  You don't have to be a member of RRBC to win, but if you love reading and/or writing, RRBC is the place to be. That will enter you into the drawing.  That being said, you are more than welcome to share this post with others. :-)

With each of these #RRBC book and blog parties, I have told you about my Chronicles of the Diasodz series. You can see those posts here and here and here.  I am thrilled with the responses that I have received to each of my novels, and I thank each of you who have taken a chance on me and have read my series.  If you are new to my work, you can read about my series here and here.

Today, I want to do something a little different. I want to share with you something that I did not write.  This was written by my very talented sister, Kristy Modia.  She is a high school Language Arts teacher who sponsors a creative writing club called Writer's Ink.  Her students perform in spoken word competitions through the Jason Taylor's Louder Than a Bomb organization.  Recently, the coaches were asked to share a piece of their own writing, and the following piece is what my sister shared.  Enjoy! :-)

This is my 19th year of teaching.
So much has changed since I first started,
And as a mentor, I’m tired,
Tired of education being one–sided.
So listen to my side.
You know what I hear often?
"Miss, what can I do to pass?"
I feel like answering by saying,
“What you should have been doing
While you were engaged in your routine of puff, puff, pass.”
That’s how so many of you end up blind-sighted.
You don’t want to learn.
You want a get-out-of-jail free card,
But this isn’t monopoly.
Education isn’t a game
And it’s not my job to bail you out.
In fact, you’re the one who bails when I try to help,
But somehow I am supposed to care.
Most of the time when I am teaching
Half of you aren’t even mentally there.
You see, I’m in a battle,
Always fighting off the lure of social media.
I’m left competing for your attention, and
Well, that’s not right!
I ask you to face the book and
You pull out your phones and hop on Facebook.
I ask you to follow me in the chapter and
You wonder how many followers you have.
You’re more concerned with Tweeting,
And you’ve perfected the art of cheating.
Yes, you’ve cheated yourself out of an education,
Cheated yourself out of real social interaction,
Cheated yourself out of living in the moment,
Moments that you will unfortunately never get back,
And while you should be working on improving yourself,
You're too busy taking selfie after selfie,
Hoping to get as many likes and hearts as you can.
Truth is, you wouldn’t do this if you really liked yourself.
You need affirmation from friends who don’t even know you,
But you don’t care; you don’t even know yourself.
You know how to use those filters on your Snapchats,
But you don’t know yet how to filter in reality.
So long as you have a cute Instagram,
You’re happy…
So I can’t compete or even instill a gram of knowledge into your heads.
You are the generation of instant gratification,
But few of you are ever really satisfied.
Education partly died when the word text went from a book from which to gather knowledge
To an abbreviated version of English used for virtual communication.
Congratulations! Your phones are now truly smarter than you.
So, you ask me how you can pass?
I will answer by saying, "Stop passing."
Stop passing on opportunities that I give you,
Stop passing the time on mindless acts,
Stop passing by your classes and actually go inside,
Stop trying to hide - 
Hide from responsibilities,
Hide who you really are in favor of false appreciation,
Hide from the only gift you have - the present.
Learn to present yourself as a student.
This generation is connected to being disconnected,
So here I am, representing one of many tired educators
Because students continue to give us less
And their only true connections to life remain wireless.


Besides being an author, I am also a middle school Language Arts/Intensive Reading teacher, so this poem resonates with me, and I hope it impacts you as well.  Many of you are parents who can also connect with this poem.  Technology is both a blessing and a curse, and it takes strong will-power and character to know what role it should have in our lives.  Too many people have forgotten how to enjoy life and have become prisoners of their own devices.

My sister has written two novels, but she is a perfectionist, so she has yet to publish either one.  She's afraid that they aren't good enough, so she keeps them hidden from the world.  She almost didn't give me this poem because she "just wrote it on a whim for the LTAB presentation."  One day, I will convince her to publish her works, so remember her name. ;-)

Thank you for visiting me today. I share today's party with two other extremely talented authors, so please visit their sites as well.  You can find them on the #RRBC 2017 Springtime Book and Blog Party line-up.

88 comments:

  1. Hi Yvette!
    I am glad you shared your sister's poem. It is a very timely and speaks in volumes what is missing today. I am always suprised to see two people sitting in the same room texting each other...I hope your sister puts her work out there soon. I can not wait to continue on my journey with your work, too! Great post.

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    1. Thank you, DL! I agree with you completely. I wish more restaurants would block cell phone reception, so that people would actually have to speak to one another. lol! Thanks for visiting and for always supporting me. :-)

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  2. Hi Yvette,
    A gem of a poem - 2 talented sisters!

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    1. Thank you, Wendy! My sister is very talented, and one day the world will be able to see that. :-)

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  3. Hi Yvette. Nice to read your sister's poem. Very inspiring. Sounds like there are two writers in the family.

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    1. Thank you, Joan. Reading and writing have been part of our lives since we were little. My sister can whip up a poem in seconds, and they are always very touching or thought=provoking. :-) Our writing styles are very different, just like our personalities, but different is great! :-)

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  4. That's a fantastic poem, Yvette. It was hard in my day for teachers to keep students focused. I can't imagine competing with the 24/7 world of social media. Your sister should be proud of this poem and I hope she does one day venture into publishing with her other works.

    I also look forward to discovering your books and the Chronicles of the Diasodz. Happy Party Day!

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    1. Thank you, Mae. I loved Eclipse Lake and just picked up A Cold Tomorrow. I love your writing style. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on my Diasodz. :-)

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  5. What a lovely poem, Yvette! I echo Wendy: two talented sisters! Best of luck with everything, and enjoy your tour today :)

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  6. Thank you, Yvi! I appreciate your kinds words and those of your friends! One day I hope to have your courage. Keep doing your thing-you were born for this ❤

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  7. I'm glad you shared your sister's poem. I agree that technology is both a blessing and a curse. I hope your sister eventually shares her stories with the world. It's when others read our stories that they come to life! Have a great day on the tour!

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    1. Thanks, Michelle! I'm hoping this day will inspire her to revisit her work and share it. :-)

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  8. All the best for your blog tour day, Yvette! I can see that your sister has strong feelings about the fact that people don't communicate any more - they seem to be dwelling in outer space having more to say to their cyber friends than those real ones who live right by their side! Thanks for including your sister's poem💝 This post was truly something different. I wish you lots of success. Maretha

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    1. Thanks, Maretha. :-) It's a frustrating challenge for teachers, for sure.

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  9. That poem sums up everything that is wrong with today's generation. I wonder how they will really learn how to compose a letter, or spell words correctly, or communicate in the correct way. Do they even use a dictionary now? Or a thesaurus? Can they speak? Something to think about. Thank you Yvette for making us think. I love your work.

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    1. There are no dictionaries, unless you want to count dictionary.com. lol! :-P We teachers do our best to help them learn the correct way to spell and write and communicate. It's a battle, to say the least.

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  10. Yvette, I think it's lovely that you shared your sister's poem. I hope to see her name on a book soon! :) Congrats on a beautiful day in the Block Party!! ~Mar

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    1. Thank you, Marlena. Not only will I make sure she publishes her book, but she will also be a member of RRBC. ;-)

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  11. Hi Yvette. Your sister's poem very much shows a system that needs changing. It must be quite a challenge to be a teacher these days. I hope your sister gets over her fear and publishes. We've all been there but it is so worth the leap. :)

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    1. I agree, Maggie. Parents are giving kids cell phones in elementary school, well before the kids have the understanding and responsibility that should come alone with such a device. It truly is a struggle.

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  12. Wow! Such a commanding and informative piece. Thank you for sharing your sister's thoughts.

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Mary! I appreciate your support. :-)

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  13. Wonderful poem, thanks for sharing your sister's work.
    I love your work and look forward to reading more.

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    1. Thanks, Jenny! I'm a big fan of your work as well. :-)

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  14. Super poem Yvette. You and your sister are so talented.

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    1. Thank you, John. I appreciate the compliment. :-)

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    1. I thought so, too! And you and I can SO relate. lol!

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  16. Thanks for sharing this powerful piece. Hope you get a ton of action at the party today.

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    1. Thank you, CS. I appreciate you stopping by. :-)

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  17. Yvette, I know what she means. The radio has me trying to be witty in eight seconds. I think I write, because sometimes, I just want to take a little longer.

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    1. Eight seconds! I could never do that! I am way too wordy. lol!

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  18. It must be murder being a teacher of any subject these days - selfie and smartphone culture has a lot to answer for, there's no doubt.
    Thanks for sharing your sister's work with us Yvette - I think most adults would connect with her feelings. :-D

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    1. On most days, it's actually quite enjoyable, but it's extremely difficult to compete with their devices. Thanks for visiting, Jan. :-)

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  19. Wow...your sister's poem captures the frustrations of so many teachers. Thank you for posting it...and sharing your beautiful blog site with all of us. I have several of your books on Kindle and they are nearing the top of the pile. ♥ All the best to you!

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    1. Thank you, Gwen. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on my books. :-)

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  20. Thanks for sharing the poem, your sister is talented, and needs to publish.

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    1. Thanks, Charles. That's what I keep telling her. :-)

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  21. Speaking from a teacher's perspective I say "right on!" I'd like to see that hanging in classrooms. Agree about the cell phones and the virtual culture. Everything is shortened. Shortcuts are the way to pass. Even Principals and social workers want us to pass seniors they have problems with. So if we pass them, what about other kids who show up, don't interfere and still shouldn't pass. Should I pass everyone? That puts a LOT of guilt on teachers. That's a wonderful poem. It deserves to be heard.

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    1. Thank you, Patricia. I feel the same way as you. It's frustrating work trying to get a kid to care about his/her future nowadays. The technology doesn't help the situation.

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  22. Beautiful thoughts from your sister, Yvette. I can truly empathize with her, having been a teacher for many years myself. She really nailed it for us teachers, but then, who is listening? Not those for whom this is intended I’m sure. :D Enjoy your tour.

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    1. You are right, Joy. That is why we are most frustrated. The teacher's voice is unheard by the powers who can change things. Sigh...

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  23. Hi Yvette. Your sister's poem resonates with me. After leaving journalism I taught 13 years at the University of Illinois where I discovered a lot of students were not only poor writers, but seemed barely able to use the English language. Looking forward to reading one of your books.

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    1. Thank you, Ron. I don't know about Illinois, but here in Florida, our governor has made it all about passing a test. The schools and teachers are evaluated based on how well students perform on a test, and that has led to teachers being forced to teach reading and writing based on what the test feels is acceptable reading and writing. It's formulaic and horrible, and that is why students are going to the universities as poor writers. Sad.

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  24. Great post and how lovely to share your sisters poem - now you just need to convince her to share the rest of her work :)

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    1. I'm working on it. ;-) Thanks for stopping by, D.E.! :-)

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  25. Great page Yvette, and love your sister's poem; she is talented too.
    Rob Kimbrell

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    1. Thank you, Rob! I'm glad you stopped by today. :-)

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  26. Great post! And wonderful reminder that we are not supposed to be perfect, we are amazing and wonderful just as we are. Glad I stopped by! :)

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    1. I'm glad you stopped by as well, Lynn! Thanks for the support. :-)

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  27. I feel the depth of frustration in your sister's poem. I have a good friend, who is a children's book author, and who has taught school for fifty years. This year she hangs it up and retires. She expresses the same frustration that your sister did in her poem. Love the message to STOP passing...Thanks for sharing, Yvette.

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    1. Thanks, Jan. I, too, loved my sister's play on words. If only students would listen, their struggles would be so much lighter! Sigh...

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  28. Loved your sister's poem. So deep and touching. Have enjoyed your books and look forward to more.

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    1. Thank you, Karen. I appreciate you stopping by. :-)

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  29. Hi Yvette. Wow, your sister is quite the poet! That was an exceptionally well written peek into what our teachers are dealing with on a daily basis. Please think your sister for sharing her poem with us. 😀

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    1. I will, Rhani. Thanks for stopping by. :-)

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  30. Hi, Yvette! Swanky digs you have here. The poem sure speaks volumes. Best wishes to you on your Block Party stop!

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    1. Thanks, Beem! I appreciate you stopping by. :-)

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  31. You know I have read and enjoyed your work, Yvette. Your sister's poem is so absolutely relevant to the current dilemma folks of all ages are facing. I shared a trip by train quite recently and was dismayed to see six young people all in school uniform, sitting directly opposite each other, and conversing with those they sat knee to knee with by using their smart-phones. No eye contact, no other interaction, unless it was to lean forward and take a selfie of the person they had yet to utter a verbal comment to. I was saddened and angered, and utterly frustrated. Your sister's work deserves to be out there, no ... it NEEDS to be out there. The time for action is rapidly fading. Provocative post, and one that needs to be read. Bravo.

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    1. Thanks, Soooz! It really is a serious issue. Parents have allowed these devices to become pseudo-parents, and as the child ages, they don't know how to interact in a healthy manner with others. It's sad.

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  32. Very true. Education is so very critical to a successful life.

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    1. I agree, Fran. Unfortunately, as an educator, I run into too many parents who don't feel the same way. :'(

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  33. Cool poem! Your sister is a very good writer herself!

    Hope it was a super blog/block day for you today! - MikeL

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    1. Thanks, Michael. I'm glad you stopped by. :-)

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  34. Such a powerful message to share! Thanks to your sister for the words and to you for encouraging her to share it. I don't have any children, but I try to understand today's challenges in the school system. I'm always amazed that cellphones are actually allowed in schools.
    A fantastic post for the tour! Thanks to you both. :)

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    1. Thank you, Natalie. When cell phones became popular, schools tried their hardest to keep them out of the classroom. We required them to be turned off during school time, but parents actually fought against us, and we lost the battle. Now, we have to constantly stop teaching to tell kids to put their cell phones away. It's frustrating. About 95% of my middle school students have cell phone, and they are completely addicted to them. It's sad.

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  35. I am so impressed and grateful that you presented your sister's poem here today. As a retired high school educator, her words resonated with me. However, the very best students in our schools are talented and dedicated learners who have managed to keep social media in its place and put their education first. It's the rest of them that frighten me! I'd like to take this opportunity to recommend your Diasodz Chronicles - I've completed books 1 & 2 and thoroughly enjoyed them. Hope your day has been great on the Block Party, Yvette.

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    1. Thank you, John. I truly appreciate you taking the time to read (and recommend) my novels. :-) I agree with you that we have many students who know how to manage social media, but there are way too many of them who do not. They are obsessed with it, and it has led to cyber bullying and social issues and self-esteem issues. I just think they are too young for the responsibilities that come with that much access to the Internet.

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  36. Hi Yvette! I enjoyed your sister's writing. It reminded me of what happened when I was in college a class. The instructor, with a flip of a switch turned all the computers off because some were doing other things rather than paying attention to what she was saying. I was an adult in my 50's when I returned to college. The lady who sat next to stayed on MySpace (it's been a while) most of the time during English.

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    1. Lol! Teachers started buying these devices that would prevent service in their rooms, but parents complained that they couldn't text their children (you know, because landline phones apparently don't work anymore in emergecies...cue the eye roll), so teachers were no longer allowed to use those devices anymore. My room has wall-to-wall computers so that my students can practice their reading skills through an on-line program or take on-line tests connected to the book we use in class. I am constantly having to walk around and make sure they don't have extra pages open to cheat. I also have to be vigilant to make sure that they are not taking their phones out because they like to take pictures of the test and send it to their friends. It's exhausting. lol!

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  37. So generous of you to share your sister's work. She's lucky to have you. Keep pushing her to share her work with a few beta readers for some constructive critiques. I'll bet she likes what she learns. I hope you had a great day, Yvette!

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    1. Thank you, Linda. We are lucky to have each other. She is one of my editors for my novels. She is gifted by the grammar gods and always finds my errors. lol!

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  38. Hi Yvette, I know you know who I am and I certainly know who you are my good friend in S. Florida. I loved the post. Too many kids are wasting their lives today and that is very sad. Electricity is off here so this has to be brief, but stored electricity is a wonderful thing. Party on my friend!

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    1. Hi, Larry! It's funny because when my sister first read her poem to me, I thought about your novel and how none of these kids would survive the minute the Internet shut down. lol! Pretty scary, huh?

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  39. Glad I've finally made it here. Been out with my dear OH having dinner out. I could really use A DRINK, is there anything left in the SPIKED PUNCH BOWL ??? PLEASE say YES ..... PLEASE !!! :-) :-) :-)

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    1. Down here, we have margaritas and coconut rum. Take your pick or have both, Robin. You are more than welcome. ;-)

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  40. Good evening, Yvette! This is a wonderful post, and I truly enjoyed reading your sister's poem! Keep encouraging her to write!

    I have your series of books on my TBR list and I'm looking forward to having time to read them sometime in the next several months.

    Thank you for the post today for the #RRBC Springtime Book & Blog Block Party!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Patricia. I can't wait to read your thoughts on my novels. I appreciate your support. :-)

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  41. Wow. What a talented family! Thank you for sharing your sisters work. I hope she publishes her novels soon!

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    1. So do I, Lizzie. Thanks for stopping by. :-)

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  42. Hi Yvette, could have sworn I was here yesterday lol. I love your site and hope you have a wonderful tour--had-- :). I have your book waiting for my attention.

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    1. Thank you, Micki! I appreciate your support. :-)

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  43. What a great poem, thank you for sharing!

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  44. I certainly applaud your poem and for sticking to teaching all these years. Kudos to you. Thanks for your participation in this event.

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    1. Thank you, Flossie. I appreciate you stopping by. :-)

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