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STAINED book cover

Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain and body image issues, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself.

“Powerful. I raced through it, wanting to know if Sarah would find a way to escape both her captor and her self-doubts. A real nail-biter!“
- April Henry, NY Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

SCARS book cover

Kendra must face her past and stop hurting herself--before it's too late.

Awards: #1 in the Top 10 ALA Quick Picks, ALA's Rainbow List, a Governor General Literary Award Finalist, Staff Pick for Teaching Tolerance.

Yes, it's my own arm on the cover of SCARS.

HUNTED book cover

Caitlyn, a telepath in a world where having any paranormal power at all can kill her, must decide between saving herself or saving the world.

Awards: A finalist for the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy, and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award.

PARALLEL VISIONS book cover

Kate sees visions of the future--but only when she has an asthma attack. When she "sees" her sister being beaten, and a schoolmate killing herself, Kate must trigger more attacks--but that could kill her.

Awards: 2013 Gold Winner, Wise Bear Digital Awards, YA Paranormal category.

STAINED book cover

Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain and body image issues, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself.

“Powerful. I raced through it, wanting to know if Sarah would find a way to escape both her captor and her self-doubts. A real nail-biter!“
- April Henry, NY Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

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Give Yourself A Gift

by Cheryl Rainfield, 2003

In the season of holiday giving, we often rush around trying to find the perfect gift for everyone—everyone except ourselves. We turn ourselves inside out, trying to please others, and lose some of our balance, our equilibrium. Taking the time to check inside and find out what we really need is an important and healthy thing to do. Maybe we need to find a way back to calmness, or maybe we need to connect back with ourselves. Perhaps we need to take some quiet time, or to buy ourselves something that will make us feel good, something that others would never think of getting us. Whatever it is you need to do, give yourself permission to do it. In taking care of ourselves, we make the world around us a better place, because we are more loving and centered people. And taking care of ourselves lets others know that they can do that, too.

Give yourself time to think about what you need from yourself this holiday season. You might want to make a list, writing down whatever comes to you, and then seeing what feels the most important. Maybe you need to give yourself the gift of time—time alone, time to relax, time to read a good book, watch a movie, write in your diary, or time to just sleep. Or maybe you need to give yourself the gift of reaching out to others, of asking for a hug, for some talk time, or for the company of someone you love.

What is it that you want to do, that you keep putting off? Do you want to write poetry, paint a painting, go on a picnic, take a pottery class? Give yourself permission to do that thing. Give yourself that gift.

Or maybe what you want is something material--that music player or favorite movie that you've been eying in the store, but never buy yourself. Denying yourself special things while giving to others does not make you a better person. Rather, it could indicate a lack of self-love or self-value. You deserve to have something that pleases you, that makes you feel good. What other reason is there for money, after meeting our basic needs? It should be enjoyed. Of course, you won't want to put yourself into unmanageable debt or make it hard to pay your bills, and you may want to plan for your future well being. But a gift to yourself may be just what you need, and can be a positive thing.

Whatever gift you decide to give yourself, take a few moments to notice it, to appreciate it, and to appreciate yourself. You deserve to have a gift that you will value, as much as anyone else you're giving a gift to. Allow yourself that pleasure--and have some fun!

©Cheryl Rainfield, 2003

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If you like this article, you may post it on your website or use it in your print publication, as long as you provide a link back to my site (http://www.CherylRainfield.com), and credit me. I'd also really like to know where you put my article, but you don't have to let me know in order to use it.

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