Friday, August 25, 2017



the story of a little girl and the rescue dog that changed her life

I’m excited to announce the release of my debut children’s book 
Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell.

Meet Maggie, a spunky little girl in Ms. Madison’s first grade class. 
Featuring whimsical illustrations by Italian artist Emiliano Billai, here comes a heart-warming story for kids ages four to eight and pet lovers of all ages.

Get to know Maggie by clicking on this link:  Meet Maggie

You can take her home through   Click here  

If you would like an autographed copy, contact me at my website:

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Italian artist Emiliano Billai works his magic on the pages of 
Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell.

Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell 
tentative release date: August 24, 2017

Check out the jazzy website for more details: 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Maggie Book Launch

The Maggie Book Launch is underway!

  We have a terrific team that is creating buzz for Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell.  This children's picture book is illustrated by the amazingly talented Emiliano Billai.   

Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell is for ages 4 - 8 
and will be available in August.


To the Maggie Book Launch Team:

I am honored that you've joined me on this journey.  Thank you for spreading the word about Maggie.  

Amy Miller

Geary Smith

Sharon Blumberg 

Agnes Zimmer

Jennifer Provost

Rosa L'amour

Kim DeCoste

Betsy Lang

Sarah Kazenmeir

Andrea Kay

Kris Swoveland

Karen Kearney Sheetz 

For more information, visit: 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Give 'em a Problem

Want to get an agent interested in your children's story?  Give the protagonist a problem. This is what drives the plot.  Sure, you can write a piece for kids that has a lyrical language and a beautiful setting.  But without a problem, readers won't root for the main character.  There is no conflict.  The protagonist has nothing to go after or achieve.  

There are four types of story conflict:  person vs. person, person vs. self, person vs. nature, and person vs. society. Harry Potter vs. Voldermort is an example of person vs. person conflict.  In the book  Number the Stars,  the conflict falls into the last category.  For more examples, click on this link:

The best children's literature contains a problem that kids can relate to and understand.  It's important that the protagonist finds a way to deal with it. In the end, she must not rely on parents, adults, or friends to help her.  She must solve the problem by herself.

In my upcoming book Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell, the protagonist is Maggie. She's a bit like Charlie Brown, a kid down on her luck.  She has a big problem at school.  She's the only kid in her class who has nothing to bring for show-and-tell.  Maggie's conflict is person vs. self.

Maggie thinks out loud and comes up with unrealistic outrageous solutions. Midway through the story, she is filled with self-doubt and begins to lose hope.  This is a big deal for Maggie.  She doesn't want to come to class embarrassed and empty-handed.  

When there is conflict, your story has a better chance of attracting an agent.  Agents know that readers want to care about the main character. Readers want to learn how the problem is going to be solved. 

And Maggie's problem?  What is she going to do?

You can find out what happens to Maggie this summer.  Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell will be released in August.  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Finding Reviewers

Clueless.  Nervous.  That's how I felt when my editor told me I would need to find reviewers for my upcoming book Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show-and-Tell.  I had never done this before.  But that's no excuse.  It was time to figure it all out.

Since I'm a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, I turned to the SCBWI book reviewers directory, a comprehensive reliable source.  As I studied the directory, I made a list of reviewers who accepted picture books.  Next, I visited their websites to learn more about their submission policies.

Afterwards, I goggled "reviewers and picture books."  Some of these reviewers like Publisher's Weekly, The Picture Book Review, and New Pages were added those to my list.  Then, I began to fine-tune the list based on three points.  First, a reviewer could not charge a fee. Secondly, the reviewer must guarantee a timely and a fair review. Lastly, reviewers had to have updated websites.

You might think that's all there is to it.  List completed.  But there's one more step.  I learned that an author should comment on a reviewer's website.  So, once a week I read the reviewer's blogs and try to leave a comment.  This step is all about making connections. 

For now, there are about fifteen to twenty reviewers on my list.  My publisher Saturn's Moon Press will probably step in as well, because some reviewers require that the publishing house, not the author, send an advanced copy of the book for review.

Clueless?  Nervous?  Yes, but not as much as when I first started.  I'm still learning.  However, the more I read about reviewers and connect with them, the more confident I'll be when it's time to get reviews.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Official Bookmark

Drum roll please...


The Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show and Tell Bookmark

Making the bookmark was fun, but challenging.  I needed to think about spacing, fonts, text color, and overall design.  This took multiple trials, trying to get it just right and weighing the opinions and suggestions of my family. 

I hope the fans of The Maggie Project like the bookmark.  We hope to include it with the purchase of the book which will be released this summer.