Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Beautifully Touching Story


Papa's Suns, written by Kevin McNamee and illustrated by Samantha Bell (Guardian Angel Publishing, June 2015), is an endearing story showing the love and affection between a boy, Jacob, and his grandfather, Papa.  Papa and Jacob enjoy spending time and doing simple things together like drawing.  Papa creates many wonderful drawings, but Papa's suns are Jacob's favorite.  Papa uses repetition in making his suns ("first we make a circle...") which is a great learning tool for children.  One day, Jacob learns Papa is in the hospital after having a stroke.  Mr. McNamee does a very nice job explaining stroke (only half his face moving and the other droopy with trouble speaking), rehab ("that's where they taught his body how to work again") and recovery ("his body is still learning how to do things again") in terms children can understand which is very helpful for any struggling to understand what happens when a family member or loved one suffers a stroke.  Ms. Bell's illustrations are so realistic with such terrific detail and really bring the story and characters alive.  Children and adults alike will cherish Papa's Suns, a wonderful story showing how, while some things in life change, others stay the same, like the love and bonds between Papa and Jacob and even the simple things enjoyed together, like drawing.  Great work!
Disclosure:  I received this book from the author but this review consists of my honest opinions, not influenced in any way by the author or publisher.

You can find more info here:

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Must Read

The Veterans' Clubhouse, written by Kristen Zajac and illustrated by Jennifer Thomas Houdeshell (Guardian Angel Publishing, June 2015), is a heart-warming, faith-based story of caring and giving of oneself to others in need, in this case homeless veterans.  This story, about a homeless Vietnam veteran named Charlie who is down on his luck, is told from the perspective of two children who work tirelessly to create The Veterans' Clubhouse for those veterans struggling to find work and a place to live.  This story uses art, music and colorful sounds to create a fun story to which kids, and adults, can easily relate.  The Veteran's Clubhouse shows other kids how possible it is to make a positive difference for others in this world and affirms that persistence and hard work pay off in the end.  This story is particularly important in this day and age in which we now live with so many veterans struggling for work and shelter.  I dare say the characters in Ms. Zajac's story will motivate many children to want to help others needing assistance.  Ms. Houdeshell's illustrations are truly incredible and bring the characters and story to life in such vivid color and detail.  Well done!  I love this book and highly recommend it.

Disclosure:  I received this book from the author but this review consists of my honest opinion, not influenced in any way by the author or publisher.

You can find more info at:

Children's Author & Writer for Everyday Family


Friday, July 24, 2015

Generating Book Sales

I've been thinking lately about how to re-energize book sales of Bedtime Kisses as sales seem to be in a bit of a slump lately.  Granted, it has been a crazy summer as of late and I haven't been very good at promotion; however, I've been mulling ways to creatively generate new book sales.

Today, I was perusing a new book, The Book: The Essential Guide to Publishing for Children 2015 (, and found a chapter entitled, "Keeping Your Book Alive."  That is just what I have been trying to figure out how to do.

This chapter discusses considerations pre-acceptance (hard and softcover, publishers, contract negotiations, etc.), post-acceptance/pre-publication (checking for accuracy, cover copy, inclusion in catalogs, etc.), marketing (reviews and awards) and book life post-publication (availability, rights, print life, etc.). 

There were certainly many great ideas, and I will be following through with those I have not already; however, it really made me start to wonder what all of you find most effective in re-kindling the sales fire when it subsides a bit.

If you are willing to share your ideas and tips for generating sales, I would love to hear them as I am sure would many others.  Perhaps we can all learn new techniques and ideas from each other.

If you are interested in this book, you can find more information at  I haven't had it long and have only browsed through a few chapters thus far, but it seems well worth the investment.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

I think now more than ever our great nation is in need of prayers...for safety, for freedom, for strength, for life...and the list goes on and on.  As you celebrate this great nation today, keep all those continuing to fight for our freedom close in thought and prayer.  It is an unbelievably scary time in our world, and we owe great debt to all those who have and continue to serve our great nation.

I found this Independence Day Prayer online ( and found it fitting for the times we face and the times we have seen:

Lord, we stand today as our forefathers have stood before You in times

gone by,

Celebrating our history and revelling in all the great things that our

country has achieved.

On this day we rejoice in the favor You have graciously given us.

We thank You for the blessings of liberty, for this generation and for

the generations to come.

We thank You for our independence, peace and for all those who have

bravely given their lives in the defence of freedom and justice.

We thank You that Your gracious and provident hand has given us so


Yet as a nation and people we have not always chosen the right way.

We ask You to forgive us for these times.

On this day we commit ourselves to wholeheartedly honoring and

serving You.

With everything that we are, we lay our lives before You.

Make us a generous people,

A holy nation,

A people set aside to love You forever,

For the sake of the land of the brave and free,

And the peoples and nations of this world.

Today, we do not presume Your grace for our country.

Our land is in need of You,

Our people are in need of You,

Our industry and business is in need of You.

May we look only to You

This Independence Day, dependent on You.

Please come now by Your glorious Holy Spirit,

Breathe new life into the sinews of this nation.

May justice flow like rivers,

And righteousness like a never failing stream,

Until the whole of our country is covered with Your glory,

As the waters cover the sea.

We ask all this in the wonderful name of Jesus,

Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit.

One God, now and for all eternity.