A Novel is Born

I am happy and excited to say that in between the Jack Learns Series of Books, I have completed my first novel!  The Jack Learns Series of Books is one book out and has two more yet to be published. I am pushing to get them out before school as one of the books is entitled “Jack Learns about Bullies” and the other is “Jack Learns about Learning.” The latter is a book in which Jack learns that everyone learns in different ways- that we don’t all learn by reading instructions or hearing instructions, but that different people have different ways of learning. I feel it’s important to teach that early as it is sometimes a misunderstood concept. Misunderstood concepts lead to bullying and so it is best taught in the early years.  “Jack Learns to Grill”, the first in the series is just a playful ditty to introduce Jack as the curious dingo who loves learning new things-grilling being one of those things.

But, my novel, “The Conservative Congregant,” talks of the blessings received when we go out of our comfort zone and do something for others that we would not normally do. It is a story about a fifty-something woman who does just that and the blessings she receives are numerous, life changing and bittersweet. I have fallen in love with it and hope you will too. For now, it’s off to the editor to get ready for the final draft and publishing. I hope you will walk this journey with me and read “The Conservative Congregant” in search of your own blessing.

First Book Signing

Today was my very first book signing. I thought I was going to be nervous, but I was filled with a strange calm-as if this is where I was always meant to be. Those who know me well, know my nerves constantly get the best of me. But, today, I was determined not to let that happened and it didn’t. I felt at home , at ease in the C.F. Goodwin Library in Royse City, Texas.

Many friends and relatives came out to cheer me on and get their books signed. I read part of  “Jack Learns to Grill” to my audience and left them to find out the ending for themselves. That was hugely fun for me- to read my own book to an audience for heaven’s sake. “Who’da thunk it?”

The book was well received , was oohed and awwed over and everyone loved the artwork in the book. I have to call the illustrations artwork because they are watercolor paintings by my friend, Tana Jacks. She is an amazing talent and I’m so glad she is my illustrator.

My best friend (since 9th grade) was there, cheering me on and fixing up my table with my books, cards , setting it up so professionally. Thank you Kathy!

My good friend and mentor, Jackie Smith took time out of her busy schedule to attend and it made all the difference for me. She has held my hand and guided me along and still is. She has written three books and working on another. She is an amazing author and if you haven’t read her books, they are Cemetery Tours, Between Worlds, and Boy Band (to be released this month!) Gosh, she is just so talented. I want to be just like her when I grow up! No kidding. She’s that good.

Anyway, thank you to all who came and made the signing such a success. Here are some photos to enjoy. Now, you’ll be at the signing too!

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Signing a book
Signing a book

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Just One More Illustration to Send Out

My book is almost a reality! I just sent most of the illustrations to my friend, Jackie Smith, author of Cemetery Tours , Between Worlds, upcoming Boy Band and the third installment of Cemetery Tours. She is helping me format the book and I couldn’t be more grateful.

The illustrations for “Jack Learns to Grill” are amazing. My friend, Tana Jacks did a marvelous job of capturing Jack’s personality along with my husband’s , other dogs and even my personality. I get to have pink hair in the book and I’m very excited about that! How did she know I’ve always wanted pink hair?

Originally, my book was set to come out today, on my dad’s birthday, my granddaughter’s birthday and the day my sister passed away. It’s okay. I think now my book needs to have a day of its own. One that can be celebrated just for what it is and what it represents. The Jack Learns series of books are ones that teach tolerance towards others  and I want it to succeed on it’s own.

Meanwhile, I have one more illustration to send to Miss Jackie. It was going to be the cover of the book and is much bigger than the others, so I must shrink it down to send. I’m hoping I can just enlarge the illustration for the cover instead. We’ll see.

Thanks for staying tuned to my new project.  I’ll announce the release date soon!