Souled is Moving

Moving Clip Art

This is a tough thing to post, but I want to be sure my energies are utilized the best they can be. We were on day 6 of the campaign and at 17%. In order for this to succeed in reaching the goal I chose, I should have been over 30%. So I chose to stop the All or Nothing Kickstarter and relaunch it here with a better goal and more flexibility.


art by Junior’s Digital Designs

That isn’t a bad thing, really.

In fact, it just means I’m going to go about this another way. I wanted the Kickstarter so I could get a decent print run but that’s not the only way to publish a book.

Instead, I relaunched this on Indigogo. Any funds I raise will cover your rewards and printing in a smaller quantity. The good news about this, with the nature of my plan, is there will be no risk to either you or me. Those who order a book, will get their books. No matter how much is raised.

We also won’t have to wait as long for delivery of the books.

So head on over and get your books!

Pre-Order Campaign Now Live!

Today’s the day! It’s Launch Day for SOULED at Kickstarter! Your support means that SOULED can be printed and put into the hands of children everywhere.

So what exactly is Kickstarter? Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform but it is very different than just donating money to a project. Every project has reward tiers. Most projects, including mine, have tiers directly related to the project such as copies of the book or book swag. Most authors’ tiers are Pre-orders of the actual book. Below is an image of a few tiers that I have set up.

I have several more tiers created as an attempt to meet everyone’s comfort level of support. In addition to the tiers, I have a special announcement. For TODAY and TOMORROW only you can pre-order at the $18 level and get:

  • Autographed Hardcover Copy of Souled
  • Digital bookmark
  • Digital Download of Souled
  • Printed Autographed Bookmark
  • Digital Characters Card – a digital photo of the main characters
  • Printed Characters Card – A printed card featuring the Characters
  • Souled Sticker
  • TY Message from Ethan, Alyssa, Jason, and Brody from SOULED

Once you have stopped by my page and helped me out there, share the page and tag me in it. You will get a free downloaded image of Ethan, the main character in Souled. Again, be sure to tag me in your post so I know.

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Book Review: Cami and Wyatt Have Too Much Screen Time

Last week I recieved the book “Cami and Wyatt Have Too Much Screen Time” by Stacy C. Bauer. I purchased it when Stacy ran her pre-order campaign on Kickstarter. It immediately caught my attention because of the topic. During the school year I teach Technology, so this is a topic I talk about ALL the time with my kiddos.

The story takes place when Cami and Wyatt were playing with their new devices. They were so excited and so enthralled with it that they passed up opportunities to do the things they normally love to do. They missed out on hanging out with friends, the ice cream truck, a fishing expedition with Dad, and Mom’s yummy cookies.

When the power goes out unexpectedly at dinner, Cami and Wyatt must find another way to spend their time. With games of Hide-and-Seek, flashlight stories and board games, they were able to take their minds off the dark room.

When Mom and Dad explain their worries to Cami and Wyatt about their excessive screentime, they all find a way to solve the problem without having to give up their devices indefinitely.

I really enjoyed the fact that this story shows there is a balance. It doesn’t indicate chosing one activity over the other but they discover ways to spend their time instead of staying on the devices all day.

This book is a nice, calm and fun way to break the topic of screentime to your kids without seeming too “preachy”about it. Definitely put this on your To Read List.

Get it here

A Writing Update

I want to thank all my family, friends and readers for all your support during my writing journey. You’ve been there while all four of my picture books have been traditionally published. There may be a fifth one on the way…time will tell.

If you’ve been following me, you know I also started a whole other writing project and wrote my first middle grade novel. As I transition from the writing phase to the publishing phase, I am tackling another first for me- I’m choosing to independently publish my novel.

There are many reasons for this such as gaining higher royalties and control over my content, but the biggest one so far is how much I enjoy being part of the whole process. I find it fascinating and I’m always learning something new.

As the book passes through its final edits, I will be preparing for the printing stage. In order to meet the costs, I will be running a pre-order campaign using the Kickstarter platform. I haven’t started it yet as I’m still planning all the fabulous rewards for you. For this to be successful I need all of your support and I want you to be the first to hear about when it goes live. Why? Because the first day will be a one day deal only for a super deal. Sign up here to get the updates (I also send freebies occasionally). Make sure you add me to your safe list. Just by joining my group ,you will be helping me while being the first to access updates and my freebies.(Psst a cover reveal is in the works!)

Once again I am so grateful for all of you. Signing up is the a sure fire way of showing your support and ensuring you have the latest information.

Book Signing and Reading

I will be at the Barnes and Noble, Neshaminy Mall on Monday March 30th for a reading and book signing. All four of my books will be available including A Star in the Night, Teresa’s Shadow, Angel Donor and Caitie the Caterpillar. This event is in conjunction with a B & N bookfair supporting Saint Cecilia School. So, once you finish at my table, check out all the fun activities SCS has planned including: a Make and Take, a Scavenger Hunt, a selfie with the SCS Mascot (I’m DEFINITELY getting in on this one!) and more! If you are in the area that night, stop by and see me! Questions? Join the discussion on my Event Page.

Bloggger to WordPress

This started innocently enough. I followed a link to someone’s blog which was a WordPress blog. I had a WP blog years ago, but never fully converted over to WP. I was hesitant because I was used to blogger. Now that I’m more familiar with WP, I like the “clean” look that most WP blogs have.

As I visited my friend’s blog I decided to revisit my old WP blog. I started to toy around with it and I have to admit that I like this much better. It will be a pain to “start over” again, but I believe it makes sense. I’ve grown as an author and it is important to keep growing. You can’t grow if you never try new things. So, here I go. I’m starting a new blogging adventure.

R is for Reading #AtoZBlogging Challenge

Today’s word for the blogging challenge is READING for the letter R.  One of my favorite ways to unblock a writer’s block is to read. Whether my block is for my blog, my novel or  another writing project, reading usually helps in some way.

My favorite reading past time is reading novels. It is a great escape and if my writer’s block is caused by over thinking things (which it often is) then reading a novel is just the break I need. The fictional aspects of it still work my brain.

For example, if I’m reading about a character named Sarah who was supposed to meet her dad after school,  I often have a thought like, “What if Sarah’s dad doesn’t meet her at the store like he said he would?  What would make him miss it? Was it on purpose? Did something happen?” 

Suddenly I have my “what ifs” working in my writer’s mind again. Reading a great book is probably one of the best writing prompts we have as writers. 

Of course, that could just be another excuse to read from this reading addict

Just a Book

Is a book just a book? Ask any avid reader, and you might unexpectedly wander into Lecture Territory. Anyone who reads a good book knows that books are so much more than a few (all too fast) hours of reading, or just a way to spend time.  

When you read a good book it is so much more than watching a movie in your head. Yes, that happens: we see and hear the characters and all that is going on in the scenes. However, when you read, you not only are passively watching, but you are EXPERIENCING everything the main character is. By the time you finish reading the book, you have bonded with the characters. You have learned and grown with them. They feel like a new best friend – after all they’ve shared things with you that they shared with nobody else in the book. 

So after going through a good book, we are often not left untouched. Some small part of you learns and grows too. Maybe you are battling some issues that your favorite character was battling. Maybe you’re taking notes in case you’re ever in such a constant-life-threatening-situation.  We often gain new perspectives and learn life lessons. This is where a book is more than just a book.  It is often why we see memes like this: 

I will be going through that tonight. I’m about 50 pages before the end of the book. Yes. I am stalling. Stalling because I’m in the NO-IT-CAN’T-END-YET stage. Just a few more pages… This could be why I am currently addicted to trilogies. I just don’t want to let go of the characters I grow to love.

So no. A book is definitely not just a book. It is fun.  It is entertainment. It is growing. It is learning. It is experiencing. It is living. It is loving. And yes, when it ends, it is grieving. Have no fear, though. There’s more out there! 

Summer Reading Days

July has come and gone so fast this year. Luckily, the summer is still going strong and there is plenty of reading time left. My publisher just released five new books and I want to share them with you before school picks up again.  If you get a chance to read one or all of them, be sure to let me and the authors know what you thought. We love to hear what interests YOU, the reader!

All of these look exciting and I can’t wait to read them. There is a special book at the end of the list. It is a book by a fourth grader who was the recent ANGEL to ANGEL contest winner. Great job and congrats on your publication! 

On Angel’s Wings They Greet the King
Angelic Harmony hardcover and softcover

by Rosemary Kuhn

inspire with the spirit of the first Christmas. Multicultural children offer their unique gifts to the Christ Child and represent all the children of the world who possess special gifts to offer the newborn King on Christmas. A Christmas song, too.

Prairie Dog Play Days, Little Stinkers & Bald Eagles Rule
Academic Wings

by Margot Finke
Three fantastic American animals eat, fly, and dig their way across the pages of this rhyming picture book. Prairie Dogs, Skunks and Bald Eagles are just waiting for your child to meet them. Cool critters, and cool facts: how can you beat a combination like that?

by Joni Klein-Higger
In this fun educational musical about recycling, a “nutty professor” transports four modern day kids back to the 1950’s. Together they compare the lifestyles of today’s “disposable generation” to kids living in a time before plastic bags, aluminum cans, and water bottles became a part of our every day life.

The Fearless Grandpa
Littlest Angels

by Mary Esparza-Vela
A grandfather proclaims that he is not afraid of anything until a tiny mouse crawls under his shirt and causes a commotion. His grandchildren learn that their Grandfather is afraid of something after all, but everyone accepts it in a humorous way.

The Secret in the Attic – an Angel to Angel contest Award Winner
Angel to Angel 

by 4th Grader Laura Mansour

(Note, scroll down the page a little bit and you will see the book.)
That’s it for this month, so let’s get READING! Which ones are your favorites? 

Technology’s Impact on our Grammar

As an author who is also responsible for the promotion of my work, I use technology. I use it ALL THE TIME. In fact, on weekends when I do most of my writing and promoting, the first place my family looks for me is at the computer. During these times, I find myself reading over Facebook posts, Tweets, comments, e-mails, and many other outlets. 

The more I used these tools online, the more I notice how often grammar and spelling errors appeared. Now, it is almost “normal” to see these errors.When these trends began, spelling and grammar mistakes were often obvious. But I think something happens to us as we continuously expose ourselves to incorrect grammar and spelling. The mistakes become “normal” and if we are not paying attention, we may be teaching ourselves to read and write in this way as well. 

For example, how many times have we read a sentence like this:

“Your being silly.”


“The dog chaces it’s tale.”  

(Bonus: How many errors were in those two sentences? Hint: The answer is not two.) 

The more we see and read errors like this, the less we notice them. With phones and texting, our kids are taking in this information constantly. 

As a mom of three children, including a teenager, I know it is impractical to suggest our kids text perfect grammar to each other. In fact, they probably look forward to a few minutes where they are not graded on their usage.

So, what can we do? Aside from running a militant grammar home, I believe the answer is simple. We need to ensure our children are reading more. We need to ensure they are not just reading the computer screen, but are reading novels, chapter books, and picture books. Our children should be bombarding their brains with as much literature as possible. 

Why? Because just like reading constant errors online trains our brain to see the errors as normal, the more we read literature and other published material, the better our language skills will be maintained and sharpened. 

One way to do this is to encourage our children to read 15-20 minutes a day. If they can and want to do more, fantastic! Sometimes you’ll see that they read for 15 minutes and become engulfed in the book. Other times, they may be tired and have had enough. The important part is to get reading and make it a habit.

For great tips for encouraging children to read, visit Reading is Fundamental. There are great ideas and resources that will help with all readers. 

Share with me:

How often do you read? What do you read? Have you increased your reading this summer?