Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Starting a New Chapter ...

"I can't go back to yesterday  -- I was a different person then"

                                                                                          Lewis Carroll

CHAPTER 1

All my life I dreamed of having a book published ... my dreams came true in 2008. I had no idea what I was doing, but quickly figured out having a book FB page and a website would help ... and -- oh yeah -- getting out there and meeting people ... people who were interested in my books, people who wanted to talk about their books, people in the industry .... it was overwhelming but really fun.  The best part was going to schools and reading to kids ... and it was absolutely touching to read to adults and bring some to tears.
 
At times I'd feel like quitting ... at times I cried because I didn't get into an event or win some contest ... BUT ... when I'd get in front of kids and read -- their faces and smiles and questions and laughter always made me realize why I was doing what I was doing ... to share a piece of my heart with them and inspire them. 

 
 






 I never thought about what would happen or how I would feel if I couldn't do book events anymore. But, my world came crashing down a few weeks ago when I heard my publisher closed it's doors.  I had just found about 30-40 book events that I wanted to participate all through 2017. I spend hours searching for things .... it was now time to order stock for the year when I called my marketing rep and it went to voicemail. I decided I would email them and try and send them a message through their newly designed automated system.  But their site was down.  I tried calling back and the number was disconnected.  I tried again and again ... and I began to realize things were not right ... In a few minutes I was FB messaging some of my author friends ... we came to realize that our publisher had closed it's doors and left us out to fend for ourselves. My heart felt as if it had been crushed ....

But, I'm starting February with a FRESH outlook and do not want to dwell on the past ... I'm so grateful for all of the people I've met along my journey ... here are a few ...

Me and Jen Carle
 
Elaine Littau, Jane Harber, Jane Yolen, Sandra Biersdorfer, Alan Bourgeois, Katherine Boyer, James Warhol, Lynn Sheffield Simmons, Aileen Stewart, Ted Kerasote, Clifford, Debbie Dadey, Kinsy McVay, Patty Wiseman, Jen Carle, Robin Witt, Stephen Bagley, Edward Hancock, Greg White, R.L.Stein, Curious George, Kevin "Special K" Daley,
Virginia Wright, Diedre Harry, Cristy Bertini, Dellani Oakes, Charla Pavlik,  Jessica Dougherty, Ilyasah Shabazz,  Kristy Jarvis, Susan Earl, Kathryn Falk, Michelle Fewer, Cindy Nord, Spot, Karina Harris, Steven Newman, Brandy Herr, Kim Miller, Waldo ... and sooooooooooo many more!

Tucson Festival of the Books

Also -- I want to thank everyone who has supported me for many years ... all of my friends at St. Joan of Arc School in Chicopee .... where I held my VERY FIRST BOOK EVENT!  And my buddies at the Manara Academy ... who allowed me to talk about being an author for Career Days!!!

Mass Reading Assoc Dessert
W/Authors
My husband Steven has always been there believing in me and always encouraging me to write that next story that is stuck up in my head!  My daughter has been an inspiration ... my first book event was on her 16th birthday and I got to do a debut reading of A Simpler Time at the Massachusetts Reading Association Dessert With Authors and she was there to share that moment with me ... one I will never forget and hold deep in my heart!

Central Massachusetts Children's Book Festival
For those of you who don't know ... A Simpler Time is about Ashley.  There is a continuation of that story in my head -- but I want to make sure it is absolutely perfect ... and it will be written -- someday!

 
Texas Word Wrangler Event

 
CHAPTER 2
I am beyond thrilled to be starting my 2017 off with a new publisher.  I'm thrilled beyond believe that they will be republishing my past titles and my new titles will be with them as well ... my books will be published under their Outlaws Kids label.  I look forward to the 3rd Muffin book being released in 2017 as well as my first Jr. Chapter Book entitled The LOST Tooth which is part of my Kidspiration Series.

Here is the press release announcing my new CHAPTER!

  Press Release from Outlaws Publishing

I can't go back to yesterday ... all those things I hold dear in my heart -- but I am a different person now and I need to continue on this journey and I hope you will continue to follow it with me .... and I hope to do many more events like these ....
Richardson, TX Library
 


 Yes -- I met HIM! A COVER MODEL
         and ... he bought my books for his kids!  lol!  Readers & Writers Roundup - Dallas, TX

Cindy Nord, Me & Katherine Boyer
Readers & Writers Roundup
Aileen Stewart - Kentucky Book Festival

Vegas Valley Book Festival

Baltimore Book Festival
Ashley and Forrest Fowler

East Texas Book Festival - Sandra Biersdorfer

Perryton Craft Show -- Elaine Littau
 
Robin's Nest Montessori School
Red Goes To Kindergarten DEBUT

Trevor Douglas - from American Idol
Azle Main Street Arts Festival

DEAR TEXAS EVENT
The Thinkery - Austin, TX
 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Oh the weather outside ...

IS FRIGHTFUL!

On Sunday, December 4, Monroe, WI received it's first substantial snowfall ... Everything looked absolutely gorgeous and Muffin & Shadow enjoyed playing in the snow.  ENJOY the pictures from the GREAT WHITE NORTH!

My new star .... I LOVE IT!!!!!

Not a creature was stirring ... only Steven & I on a way to a book event!
6:00 am at the ECKROAT's ...

Pretty SNOWY out!

So pretty ...

The best way to drive in a snowstorm -- follow a PLOW!
 
SHADOW ... in the SNOW ... in his COAT ...

We're trying to pose for mom but want to go play!
 


Playing!!!!

Loving the snow!
 
THE HORSE!!!  Yes -- it made the trip to WI ... it's Santa Hat is covered in snow!

MEGA Snowblower!
Go BIG!!!  We learned that from Massachusetts!
This ain't our first RODEO -- or SNOWFALL!
 

Where's DAD???

There he is!!!

Our quaint neighborhood ... loving MONROE!

Just thought this was pretty!

OMG ... SANTA hanging from the roof!!!!  YIKES!!!!!  I think he's a bit early!
Merry Christmas to ALL!!!
Hope you enjoyed pictures from our first WISCONSIN snowfall!
 
 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

A TRUE HONOR

When we moved to Monroe, Wisconsin earlier this year, I had no idea how many amazing people I would meet through the Market on the Square Farmers Market.  I've met wonderful vendors, who sell amazing fruits, vegetables and many other wonderful items.  BUT ... I've met some WONDERFUL customers who stop by every time they come to the market to say HI! 


Laila with her A Simpler Time story pumpkins
I met a very sweet family early in the summer -- Mom, Dad, 2 sweet girls and an adorable little boy!  They bought a few of my books and the kids were excited to read them.  A few weeks later, the MOM stopped by and told me how they really enjoyed A Simpler Time.  It really made me happy that they loved this special book of mine!  About three weeks ago they stopped by my booth again and told me about a really cool project that Laila was making for school, using A Simpler Time.

Laila attends Northside Elementary School here is Monroe.  Her school was having a pumpkin decorating contest.  The cool thing about this contest was that the kids were to decorate the pumpkin to look like the character.  But, Laila did much more -- she decorated the pumpkins to tell the story!!!   LAILA picked A Simpler Time ... I'm truly honored. 

Here is her work ... she did a fabulous job!!! 


Laila and A.J.



 from left to right
Tadpoles, fireflies, clover flowers, cloud watching, 4-leaf clovers
 


Why Laila loves A Simpler Time
 
Thank you very much Laila -- you have truly touched me and this is a wonderful tribute to one of my books.  I am so glad you used nature to tell the story of this book that is about spending time in nature and enjoying its beauty.
 
THANK YOU.
 
I hope you all have enjoyed seeing this special tribute to A Simpler Time.
 
If you would like to order a copy of A Simpler Time, please email me at
 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Went To the Farmers Market ...

Came Home With a Cool Story ...

I know I haven't posted in a while ... I should have captured the WHOLE move in blog posts.  But, I have to admit -- it was tiring and I was stressed.  Now that we've lived in Monroe, WI for almost 2 months, I'm feeling less stressed and more AT HOME!

The summer did not fly by like it normally does ... I've been able to unpack boxes, take a few day trips, visit with my mom, spend lots of time walking the dogs, reading, a little gardening, and a bit of home improvement ... I did want to write more, but that will come! 

I love Monroe.  I was a bit scared to move to a small town; being away from Starbucks and Target and Kohls and Bed, Bath & Beyond!  But -- it's OK ... there's small coffee shops here and stores that I have been able to get everything I need -- and they are all within a mile from my home!  Walking to the post office is FUN! And living 3 blocks from the fair grounds and 3 blocks from the Square are wonderful!

I was very blessed to be OK'd to sell my books at the Farmer's Market!  I've met some wonderful people who are very talented and sell some great products and also producers who have some REALLY GOOD PRODUCE!!!!!! 

Shannon, ROXY, me
 
I also now have a very COOL story to go along with the book -- Went Out To Get a Donut - Came Home With a Muffin!  The secretary (at the school I'm going to be teaching at in a few weeks) stopped by my table a couple weeks ago.  We talked and she thought the Muffin book was super cute!  Her daughter (Shannon) will be going to college in a few weeks and is majoring in Broadcast Journalism -- she wanted to get her a fun book because she also loves to write!  I told her about the Muffin book and so she purchased it!  Last week, while at the farmer's market, this girl comes up to me and explains who she is!  She was SHANNON!  When her mom gave her the book, and she read it ... she actually got really sad and said to her mom "how could you get me a book about getting a rescue dog when you won't let me get a new dog!"  They had lost their dog about 6 months ago and Shannon really wanted another dog!  So ... that being said -- a friend was getting rid of their BEAGLE named ROXY and Shannon was able to RESCUE IT!  All because of Muffin's book!  So Shannon's mom went to the Farmer's Market, got a book, and rescued a dog!  Roxy is super cute and reminds me soooooooooooooooo MUCH of Mabel ....

But, you never know where a story will come from ... here are a few pics of me, Shannon and ROXY in the Monroe Square at the Famer's Market! I'm glad Roxy has found a great home and I wish Shannon much luck in college!



Trying to get ROXY to look at the camera ....
Roxy so looks like Mabel! 
 

 
Muffin & Mabel
Muffin's first week with us ... Mabel showing Muffin how it's done!
 
Muffin bugging Mabel!
How that little pup got bigger than Mabel in like 2 months was amazing!!!!
 
 
 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

RED wins AWARDS!

 
 R E D is Red HOT! 
 

Red Goes To Kindergarten has just been bestowed with a few honors!  I'm really excited about this book because for five years RED lived inside my head and it is always very exciting to see the book go from idea to print!  So it's very exciting that I can share with you the news about the awards RED has recently won!

 
The day RED debuted!  Sharing Kindergarten skills with pre-schoolers!

 
Back in December, doing the audio version of RED -- a FREE audio download  comes with EVERY book purchased!!!
 
 
On March 1, 2016 -- Red Goes to Kindergarten was awarded BEST PICTURE BOOK for ages 7 & Under by the Texas Association of Authors!
 
 
On March 9, 2016 -- Red Goes To Kindergarten was Story Monster Approved!!!!!
 

 
Some HAPPY Red Readers!!!
 
On Friday, March 11, I was interviewed by Dear Texas Radio Interview
I hope you can click on the link and listen to my interview!
I will be participating in the Wimberley Book Festival in May and many TAA Award winners will be there!