Friday, November 27, 2015

New Release Spotlight!

Today is "Black Friday," which is traditionally is a shopping day, so I wanted to share a wonderful book to buy for your children or grandchildren. It's titled, Nappy and the First Day of Kindergarten.

The author is Arnitris Strong, and she is giving away a copy of the book to one lucky commenter.

Here's what she has to say about her writing and this delightful new book:

Earlier this year, I began my blog Blessed be the Tie as an exploration into the intricacies of the mother/daughter relationship. That relationship is the filter through which that child will identify and relate with the world around them. I began to realize that the strained, almost non-existent relationship with my mother was affecting the bond with my own girls. I was determined to break the  cycle. My mother and I committed ourselves to working on our  
bond.Blessed be the tie was my way of chronicling that journey. I have gotten support from people that I have never met, it seems that difficult relationships with mothers are universal. At some point, each of us have experienced a disagreement with our mothers. If we are  
persistent we can get past it, but I realize everyone isn't so fortunate.

Since January, the site has expanded to include Mom, You 
are the real MVP- my monthly tribute to mompreneurs. As a busy working mom, I struggled to incorporate quality mommy and me time. I vividly recall a scene a few years ago as I drove my daughter, Destani to  school. I asked about her best friend, Kerry Ann. Destani told me that they were no longer friends. This wasn't an especially rare occurrence, friends grow apart or have differences all the time. But, I felt this tremendous amount of guilt. I was so busy working and providing for my girls that I wasn't enjoying their childhood. I felt like a failure as a mother. In fact, I cried all the way to work. The Lion King on Broadway was scheduled to perform in Atlanta the following weekend.I bought tickets and scheduled a date with my daughter, just her and I. We had lunch and saw the show, we called it a mommy and me date. Each month I try to schedule time to spend with each one of them alone and just catch up. The dates are not always so  elaborate, they can be as simple as Netflix and popcorn. The point is to create memories and to have quality time.  I have begun to include a section of mommy and me experiences on the site, along with recipes that can be prepared with the help of the little ones. There is also a section where I discuss current events called A Spoonful of Sugar with Arnitris that is being revamped for January 2016. I also plan to provide live mommy and me experiences to encourage the strengthening of the ties that bind mothers and their children.

Nappy and the First Day of Kindergarten is the first physical product that Blessed be the Tie is offering. It is a result of a partnership through the CoLAB project. The CoLAB project is an effort by Latina bloggers, the ALT society and Be Blogalicious to bring awareness to  
bloggers of different communities. Each participant was paired with a blogger from a different community. My partnership can only be described as divine intervention, because I was paired with an amazing artist - Beth Allen.

A few years ago, it was a habit to entertain my 
coworkers with the antics of my girls. A coworker remarked that I should write a book about them, and the seed was planted. Initially, I was only interested in winning tickets to Blogalicious, but it only seemed right to monetize the book. This is the first in a series of books, as you can see this one is centered around Nappy's first day in kindergarten. The plan is to follow her through each grade, eventually progressing to chapter books. I also have plans to introduce literacy aids based on the characters in the books. My experience as a reading tutor with AmeriCorps prompted me to create innovative ways to ensure my students grasped the concepts. Now it seems that all of that training was just preparation for this journey into my destiny.

Here's an excerpt from the book:

Destani scowled at her. She snatched the earbuds out of her ears and  said, “What do you want?”  She was always so grumpy.

“Never mind,” said Lynn.

Destani laughed. “How did you get butterflies in your stomach? Did you  eat caterpillars, Nappy?”

“I knew she heard me,” thought Lynn.

“No, I did not eat caterpillars. And don’t call me Nappy!” Destani  pushed Lynn as she walked past her.

“Why don’t you want me to call you Nappy? It is your name.”

“No, it is not,” Lynn replied.

Mom walked into the kitchen just in time.

“Stop teasing your sister, Des,” she said. “Are you going to eat  cereal or do you want oatmeal, Lynn?”

“Do we have peaches and cream oatmeal?” Lynn asked.

Yes, we do. I will make it for you.” She looked at her watch.  “Go  ahead and get dressed. Put your robe on over your clothes so you don’t  get dirty before you get to school.”

“She is going to be dirty when she gets home anyway,” Destani yelled  from her bedroom.

“Shut…” Lynn began before looking up at her mother. She was not  allowed to say “shut up”.

“Be quiet, Des,” Lynn said before she ran into her room to escape her  mother’s gaze.

Mom had pressed Lynn’s white uniform shirt and navy blue skort last  night. A new pair of white tights hung next to the skort. Lynn hated to wear the tights because they made her itch, but her mother thought she looked so cute in them. Lynn sat on the side of the bed and put on her tights, then she slid on her  skort, and slipped into her blouse. Just then, her mother walked into her room.

Let me help you, baby,” she said.

“No, Mommy I can do it!” Lynn replied.

Mother glanced at her watch. “I know you can do it sweetheart but we need to leave soon and you still have to eat. Let me help.”

“Moommmyyy, I cann do it,” Lynn said before the first tears began to fall.

You can get in touch with Arnitris at the following links:
Twitter & Instagram handles - @arntrs77
FB fan page- Blessed be the tie

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