Sunday, September 29, 2013

Trailblazer Katie Hnida, First Woman to Score in NCAA Division One Football Game

Katie Hnida

Football fever is in the air this time of year in the USA. Whether i'ts your school, university, or professional team, football is THE topic of conversation. 

Today I am introducing you to a trailblazer in college football athletics, Katie Hnida. She is the first woman to score in an NCAA Division I-A game, college football's highest level.. She was the placekicker for the University of New Mexico Lobos and booted the football over the uprights on August 30, 2003.

Interview with Katie when she joined 
the Ft. Wayne Firehawks professional arena football team.

Congratulations, Katie!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Story Behind the Story: The Rainbow Ghost Bus by Sue Perkins

Let's give a big Girls Succeed welcome to our guest author today, Sue Perkins! 

She is sharing her story behind the story of The Rainbow Ghost Bus. Let me tell you a little bit about this multi-genre author.

Sue Perkins grew up in Devon, England and emigrated to New Zealand with her family.
Sue and her husband live on a three acre property at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. Her interests include writing, reading, genealogy and aqua aerobics.
Her first romance novel was released in May 2007, quickly followed by a fantasy trilogy, more romance books, young adult and middle grade novels. 

Her aim is to write a full length epic fantasy novel. The outline is complete, and Sue hopes to finish the first draft by mid 2014.

Connect with Sue at her author website and Sue's blog 
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The Story Behind the Story of the Rainbow Ghost Bus by Sue Perkins

In 2011 I visited my family in England and my fascination with the old buildings returned, especially those in London. A glimmer of an idea for a Middle Grade book came to mind. The old bus depots were huge to me when I was a child, so my story combines childhood memories with the my genre of fantasy and developed into The Rainbow Ghost Bus.
MG Fantasy: Jack and his sister travel on the ghost bus through lands of rainbows,
leprechauns and dryads to solve the mystery surrounding the bus company owners. 
The name of the young hero came from my niece's son as he asked for an adventure book. As I'd written the book partly at his request, it seemed only natural to give the young hero Jack's name.

I love writing books for Middle Grade children. Boys or girls, I try to make them attractive to both. They are usually fantas books with a touch of magic and mystery in each. I try to keep things moving reasonably fast as I remember as a child I'd be engrossed in a book only to find a long explanation interrupted the flow. This would really annoy me and I often skipped parts of the book due to the interruptions.

Here is a little sample of The Rainbow Ghost Bus. Enjoy.

Back of the Book
Jack and his family renovate and move into an old Victorian bus depot, but soon the ghost of the Number 13 bus comes to visit. Jack and his sister get caught up in the search for the parts of The Rainbow Bus Company logo and hopefully solve the mystery of the disappearance of the owners, which happened many years before.

The driver's seat was not part of the inside of the bus. The poor man would have to sit outside in all weathers as he drove his passengers through the busy streets. This was a double decker bus, with an upstairs open to the air. The stairs wound up the back of the bus, again on the outside. Jack and Kate peered in the window along the side and saw wooden seats lined up with the backs toward them.
"Do you think it's safe, Kate? Look it's got the number thirteen on the front. Do you think it's the route number?"
Before she could answer a beam of yellow light curved down from the metal clad window above them. The nearer it got to the ground, the wider it became. It took a few curves on the way down and stopped at the front of the bus.
"Hey, that looks like a road." Jack peered intently at the yellow strip.
The bus revved its engine, moved forward a few feet to the base of the road, and then stopped again.
"I think we're being asked to go for a ride." Jack jumped on the rear platform. His sister reached out to grab him but he evaded her hands. Kate followed as he slipped inside the downstairs section, safely out of her reach.
Jack bounced up and down on one of the wooden seats. He saw Kate open her mouth to tell him off in her usual bossy way, but the bus jerked into motion throwing her off balance and she fell into the seat facing Jack.
"It is a road." Jack peered out the window and Kate joined him.
The bus trudged slowly up the slope.
"Come on, it's not going fast, we can still get off." Kate stood and turned to face the platform and Jack reluctantly joined her. He blinked in surprise. Only a yellow mist showed behind the bus. Jack grinned and sat down again.
Behind the driver's area a window allowed them to see forward. Between this window and the one looking out over the engine, a blackboard was attached to the inside wall. Chalky white words swirled across the dark surface.
The last bus of the Rainbow Bus Company ran on Friday 13th June 1913. The reason for the company's collapse is shrouded in mystery.
"Wow, Kate. Perhaps we can solve the mystery."
"Hold on. We have no idea where we're going, or how we're going to get home. What do you think Mum and Dad will say?" Kate peered out the window of the bus, but the yellow mist covered everything.
"Perhaps the bus wants us to solve the mystery. When it stops we'll be in a strange place and have to find clues." Jack grinned at his sister, glad she couldn't force him to return home.
The bus slowly crawled up the yellow road to the top and as the incline leveled out, the yellow fog thinned.
"Look. An archway." Jack pointed to the end of the road.
"It's not an arch." Kate joined him. "It's the frame around one section of the round window. We must have shrunk as we came up the yellow road."


Now available at a sale price of $2.99 from MuseItUp Publishing

Monday, September 16, 2013

Career: Barbara Chiles, Teacher and Coach

It's that time of year when many of us are back to school
and hitting the books (or laptops or e-readers).
I bet there are teachers who have influenced your life in a good way.

Barbara Chiles, after a grueling climb, reached the top of Long's Peak in Colorado

Barbara Chiles, also known as "Chili," certainly was determined to become a teacher because she admired her innovative physical education (P.E.) teacher, Mrs. Kreiter.  Due to Mrs. K’s encouragement Barbara became a gym teacher and developed her own resourceful ideas and creative teaching methods.
Chili, wearing the hat, at a girls residence camp when she was a girl.
At her school in Illinois, very little money was available to purchase new equipment and to repair the old. Barbara thought of a way to repair the broken strings in the badminton racquets at no cost to the school.  She asked the kids to bring in their moms’ old panty hose.  She showed the students how to pull a leg of the panty hose tightly over the badminton racquet head and duct tape it down to the handle. It worked.  The badminton birdies bounced beautifully off the panty hose!
It was this “get ‘er done” attitude that helped Barbara become the school’s athletic director. She was the first female high school athletic director in Illinois in charge of both boys and girls athletics.
Barbara loved her job as athletic director scheduling games and overseeing the athletic programs. She developed the physical education program for her school and for the State of Illinois. She created one of the first wilderness survival programs in the country.
The idea to establish the Challenges Unlimited Club for her students came to Barbara while she was sitting on top of Long’s Peak, a 14,000 foot mountain in the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.  Climbing that difficult mountain terrain was a challenge for her. After reaching the top, she felt the excitement of the achievement.  Barbara decided she wanted her students to have that same feeling of accomplishment. When she returned to school, she asked the students to choose big goals to challenge them.  Some decided to train to do 10,000 cartwheels or bike one hundred miles in a day.  Some worked toward goals in swimming, dancing, and more. When the kids achieved their objectives, they were thrilled and ready to set new challenges for the next school year.
“Success is a journey, not a destination,” said Barbara.  “Get all the experience you can.  No one starts on top.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.”

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Do you have a teacher who influenced your life? Please take a minute to tell us about her in the comment area below. Thank you.

Find out more about this trailblazing and influential teacher in the e-book for girls, Girls Succeed: Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women.

Inspiring and empowering girls to achieve the career of their dreams.
Here are the links to download a sample and contents or to buy a copy:

Study Guide is also available to accompany the book.

Study guide Smashwords Link:
Study guide Amazon Link


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Career: Author Katie L. Carroll Shares How She Became a Writer and Giveaway

Please welcome children's author Katie L. Carroll today. Katie shares the story behind how she became a writer. Please enter the contest below to win her book and other prizes during her tour. 

Katie and I are swapping blogs, so take another hop over to Katie's website to discover what sparked the penning of my non-fiction e-book for girls, Girls Succeed, and leave a comment to enter the drawing for a copy of Girls Succeed.

Let me tell you a bit about Katie.

Katie L. Carroll began writing at a very sad time in her life after her 16-year-old sister, Kylene, unexpectedly passed away. Since then writing has taken her to many wonderful places, real and imagined. She wrote Elixir Bound and the forthcoming Elixir Saved so Kylene could live on in the pages of a book. Katie is also the author of the picture app The Bedtime Knight and an editor for MuseItUp Publishing. She lives not too far from the beach in a small Connecticut city with her husband and son. For more about Katie, visit Katie's website, friend her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter (@KatieLCarroll).

How I Became a Writer
By Katie L. Carroll

I thought my life as a writer began when I was 19 on a particularly hot day in early spring 2002, a black-letter day, the blackest of black-letter days in fact. I was in college on track to becoming a physical therapist with an early acceptance into the graduate program. But I didn’t become a physical therapist; I became a writer.

I’ve since come to realize, with the help of my mom, that it was much earlier than that when I began my writing life. On my blog post on the release day of the ebook version of Elixir Bound, she wrote, “Although you would have done fine as a physical therapist, I always knew it was not your calling. You were a writer ever since you could pick up a pencil and I think I always knew that, after all the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree (of course I’m talking about your dad).”

Well, my mom was mostly right. Even before I could pick up a pencil, my mom would read stories to us, the Little Golden Books, the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, all kinds of fiction. I think that’s when I became a writer.

When I stop to think about it, I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out I was a writer. The signs were all there. My family and I used to write and illustrate our own picture books about the adventures of Sam the Billy Goat. At the climax of the story it would always read, “Voop Whoosh! Up went the Billy Goat.” And he would fly up to save the day.
I wrote (and sometimes illustrated) stories my whole childhood. In middle school, high school, and college I worked on the school newspapers. Yeah, I think I had been in a state of denial for 19 years…which brings us back to that black-letter day…April 16, 2002. The day my sister Kylene died.

I don’t like to talk about that day. How the forget-me-nots were in bloom. How there was recording-breaking high temps. How it was the worst day of my life. 
So what do you do when you’re 19 and your sister’s just died? Well, once you’re in a place where you can think again, you reevaluate. Everything. 

For me that meant rethinking what I wanted to do with my professional life. Kylene gave me the permission to pursue my passion. So I began writing. Eventually I decided not to continue studying to be a physical therapist. I kept writing, often not even sure who I was writing for. Kylene, an audience, myself?

I pursued publication. And got rejections, along with some encouragement. I revised, learned a lot more about the business of publishing. Wrote some more. Revised some more. Got a lot more rejections…You get the picture.

Ten years and four months after Kylene died, my book was finally born into the world. And what was that book about? A young woman, entrusted with the future of her family’s secret healing Elixir, goes on a quest to find the Elixir’s secret ingredient.

I don’t need a psychoanalyst to tell me I was fulfilling a wish with that book. It was supposed to be about Kylene, and it is in some ways, but it’s really about me. Because for those 10 years, it had been too hard to write Ky’s book. I tried. Elixir Bound started out from her point of view, but I just couldn’t write that book yet.

But I am writing it now. Elixir Saved, a follow-up to Elixir Bound, will be Kylene’s book. 
You see, I believe each of us as an individual doesn’t truly realize the impact we have on people. Each person we touch—whether it be with a story, a hug, a smile as we pass a stranger on the street—leaves a ripple. 

Kylene, in her short life, left lots of ripples. With the people she loved. With the people she cared about. The people she felt compassion for, which was pretty much everyone. The people she shared the Harry Potter books with. Even the nurses in the hospital from the short time she was sick felt her ripples.

I like to think that each ripple I make with Elixir Bound is really Ky’s ripple…because I’m not sure I would have discovered my life’s passion if it weren’t for Kylene. It makes my heart smile to think that Kylene is still making ripples on the world, and that I have my own little role to play in that.
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Elixir Bound Back of the Book:
Katora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone. 
It is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings that will stop at nothing to gain power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love.

Buy Links:

MuseItUp Publishing

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Trailblazer: Diana Nyad Swims from Cuba to Key West, Florida

Congratulations to 64-year-old Diana Nyad who made her dream of swimming from Cuba to Key West, Florida without a shark cage a reality. She did it! She's the first person to accomplish this feat.

Diana tried to make the journey when she was 28 years old. She never lost her desire to conquer that 112 mile ocean swim. It took her five attempts through the years before she could make it work.

Diana says to never give up!

Watch the abcNEWS video below to see her successful swim completed!