Camp NanoWriMo Winner!

July I began in earnest working on When a Pachyderm Comes to Visit.  I worked on three short stories as well.  I was able to complete all three short stories which gave me a word count of almost seven thousand words. I have the second book almost completed in first draft form at almost eight thousand words. The other fifteen thousand words were on a Christmas story that has not got a confirmed name as well as rewriting on Blip.


With these thirty thousand words came the banner and a certificate as well as a few special offers from sponsors. With it came a great deal of satisfaction that I had stayed on course even with the other tasks at hand.  I am excited to be once again finishing a month of on task writing and to say another Camp Nano is in the books.

If you have never tried NanoWriMo or Camp Nanowrimo, I invite you to set out a little of each day in November to try your hand. It is a fun opportunity to flex your staying power muscles and show your writer’s block and insecurity a thing or two.  November will have a fifty thousand goal and will be a little tougher to achieve, but it is ever so worth the effort.  Write a novel in thirty days! You can do it!

How do I know that?

Because I did!

If I can pen The Path of the Child and Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas? in thirty days, you can write one too.


Special Opportunity for Children’s Book Authors on Facebook

Authors that would like to have a real live audience with comments and the frequent heart and thumbs up emoji will love the opportunity that Discovering Diversity Publishing and Kids Club on Facebook provide.  Here is a chance that you will simply adore!


The offer is up for children to come together and watch and listen to an author read their own books live on Facebook. Sojourner McConnell read Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas? last night and once the nerves settled, it became fun. It was thrilling knowing that my words were coming to life for children that had not yet read the book. When reading, I might have bobbled a few sentences. True I had to wear my glasses while reading. That was one thing I had not planned in advance, so my glasses totally did not match my outfit. Lesson learned!


Here is the video and I hope you enjoy if you take the time to listen. This is my first children’s book, as well as first reading. I do hope I get better. You might notice Beau coming in for story hour. He felt he needed pettings while I was reading. Not that that isn’t distracting.  I enjoyed my grandson Nathan hanging out with me and manning the camera. It was much better than if it had truly gone dead during the reading.  (a distinct possibility if he wasn’t helping) So my thanks to Discovering Diversity for allowing me to take this step into live readings and book fairs.

Not only did Discovering Diversity Publishing host the reading, they allowed my book on their site for one month. That is a lovely bonus that comes with the reading. This is exactly what a new author needs, exposure.

DD Publishing

Children’s authors check out this site. It is an excellent opportunity and I love to share an amazing opportunity when I find one.  If you know of any special opportunities, share with me and I will share as well. The word of mouth and blog is a special tool we have to get our work out into the public eye.  Share with me! I will share with you!

If you like my book after listening and want a signed copy for your child, grandchild, niece or nephew, just comment below and I will make that happen.  Or contact me here Mention the book on the subject line, please.  I will ship out immediately.

I am adding a new feature to the blog which shares the lovely readers that have already gotten their copy and sent me pictures of them reading. Those pictures are always welcome and make me feel so wonderful. So please share your reader with their books.  Same for anyone that has read The Path of the Child. I will host your photo as well. I love hearing from people all ages that have read the books.   This picture came from last nights reading and shows a family enjoying the story hour.  Thank you lovely family for sharing this evening with me and Dolcey!

Family time reading

For more information on any of the above, just ask. I am all about sharing what I know.  Let’s brainstorm together!

Three Five Heart Reviews on Books for Children to Read


Timothy and His Missing Tooth

  • File Size: 565 KB
  • Print Length: 24 pages
  • Publisher: Clean Reads (November 9, 2016)
  • Publication Date: November 9, 2016
  • Language: English


My Rating ♥♥♥♥♥

My Review: 

The seven-year-old and I read Timothy and His Missing Tooth, together. She loved that it was about a missing tooth as she keeps losing them herself.

The illustrations were really well done and they suited each scene perfectly.

When we read the hardback copy, she loved the large illustrations. The large print was nice for her second-grade reading level.

We are looking forward to seeing what Mandy Leigh has in store for us next. The perfect mystery to keep a child engaged.

Where to find:

This children’s book can be found on Amazon in both hardback and Kindle edition.



Meet My Famous Friends

  • File Size: 3928 KB
  • Print Length: 68 pages
  • Publisher: DV Books (January 16, 2017)
  • Publication Date: January 16, 2017
  • Language: English

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

My Review:

This book is a clever book which makes you think while snickering at the pun-like names. I love a good pun, so I was in hog heaven. I liked how he told facts with a dash of humor and cleverness. I am going to check out more of his books to see if the same humor is as prevalent in them.

From the silly names he gives the famous people to the imagery he uses to convey those names, he had me laughing all through the book. Poe, Einstein, MLK were all treated with history and humor. I loved it. Sharing this book with my grandchildren.

Children can learn facts, and giggle too. Some of my favorite historically famous people were included. Excellent book for children of all ages.

Where to find:

This humorous book can be found on Amazon in Hardback, paperback, and in Kindle Edition.




Little Pearl’s Reflection: The Light in the Window

by Sarah Ann Kinnear (Author)
 Bodil Sebrina Christensen(Illustrations)
  • Series: Little Pearl’s Reflection
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (December 6, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1539791823
  • ISBN-13: 978-1539791829

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

My Review:

If you are looking for a wonderfully whimsical and fun book for your child, I suggest Little Pearl’s Reflection The Light in the Window.

Little Pearl has the most adorable way of telling her story. With narrative and personal moments interspersed into the story. The writing is lively and the characters are an unusual mix of silliness and teasing. When Little Pearl’s birthday comes around, she has a mystery to solve and that is when the cast of characters enter the story.

Sarah Ann Kinnear has the writing style of an artist. Her words draw pictures that invite the reader to visually see the story unfold. It is a lovely book to read with fun concepts.

Where to find:

This paperback book for children is available on Amazon.

Week 2 -3 in the Michele Elizabeth Personal & Spiritual Development course

I shared with you all how exciting and life changing week one was of the personal and spiritual development course was. Now I want to share with you the next two weeks of actual processing. Week one was finding the triggers and isolating the words and the corresponding feelings that the words evoked.

Michele Elizabeth 1

Week two and three were the processing. I am not going to share her procedures as I am not equipped to do so and I can never express the knowledge I gained from Michele.

The point of the processing is to take the negatives and change the way you react to them.  The words that make you feel like you are not worthy of the positives in life, need to be addressed, changed and that takes processing.

When I was learning the processes they clicked in my mind and allowed me to see how I have been punishing myself by holding on to little hurts and slights. Now I am able to accept that those were not personal. They were not about me, they were about the person that lashed out instead of dealing with their own problems.

Now, I am working on not personalizing slights and hurtful comments. I do not have to embrace hurtful things. They do not make me less than I was before they were spoken. After all this time, I do not have to embrace other people’s words and thoughts. I just have to make peace with them.  Making peace with the past and the present means I can be truly happy and joyful.

The ego is the part that keeps us hurting, blocked from blessings and forgiveness of our own mistakes. Our ego is quite the little manipulator. It is there to protect the status quo. Michele showed us how to get past that ego and find peace and joy.

This course was invaluable to me. It was worth the time, energy and tears that I spent.  Learning to process the pain away has made me see the entire world differently.

Get to know Michele Elizabeth on Facebook.  Learn more about building a passionate life on her website. Follow her at The Enlightenment Project.

Michele Elizabeth

Her joy shines through in everything she does and teaches. I am finding the joy that I had searched for all my life. It is a wonderful journey and there is so much to change to make it all joy filled.

The Book Competition That Keeps On Giving by Aviva Gittle

The Book Competition That Keeps On Giving Aviva Gittle, owner of Gittle Publishing, hosts a contest exclusively for self-published children’s picture books.

In 2013, I was a newly published author. Self-published. Many assumed that if an author self-published it was out of desperation. They figured you had enough rejection letters to wallpaper your bathroom. That you had your Aunt Mamie edit your manuscript. And, your illustrations were likely created by your 10-year-old. Why else would you self-publish?

The fact was, I never tried to get my work published. Although I did send a story, Chloe and The Belly Beast to an agent – a friend of my father’s – who in turn referred me to a children’s book agent. Never contacted her. Required writing a letter, buying a stamp, and placing it in the mailbox. This was the mid-1980s and there was no email. You had to work for it, baby. Lest I sound lazy, I was a single mother, working a full-time job and going to school. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

The main reason I decided to self-publish is that I would have full creative control. I had no idea what I was doing. But, as a former IT project lead, I had managed many technical projects where I had to learn things on the fly.

The hardest part of book publishing is – c’mon say it along with me – marketing. I needed reviews. Other than asking friends and family – I had no idea how to get them. One day, I stumbled across a group on called Paying It Forward. Mariana Llanos created the group to help self-published authors get reviews for their children’s books. It was not review swapping. You posted about your book and when (if) someone agreed to review it, you would commit to reviewing another author’s book.

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 10.47.22 PM

I reviewed a few books, including Mariana’s Tristan Wolf, and Gusty McCabe’s The Most Important Critter in the Whole Wide World. I found myself thinking about these stories long after I had read them. I realized I enjoyed them as much as the classics I recommended. Like Dr. Seuss and Maurice Sendak. It made me sad to know that very few readers would know about these wonderful books. I believed through cross-marketing indie authors could help each other. The Gittle List Contest was born. Now in its fifth year, The Gittle List continues to evolve. One thing that has yet to change: One Category. One Judge. Up To 10 Winners. The competition is only for self-published children’s picture books. I am the sole judge. Indie author of 17 books to date. Grandmother and lover of children’s picture books. A writer since the age of seven.


Originally, winners got the most attention. By the third year, I started giving entrants free book promotion by using their books covers in ads for The Gittle List contest. This could be a tweet, Facebook or LinkedIn post, Gittle News feature, press release, etc. Last year, I started creating videos. This year, I created a separate Facebook page and website dedicated to The Gittle List.

Facebook Contest link   Facebook Publishing Page


Indie authors enter the contest in the hopes of getting on The Gittle List and placing the award seal on their book. The entry fee is less than what most contests charge. What other contests don’t give entrants is free book promotion. And, winners are often promoted long after the contest ends. I’m still promoting winners from 2013. In fact, two winning books from that year are promoted in this very article.

If you’re self-published, don’t apologize. Be loud and proud. Those who make it on The Gittle List have a fan for life. And a 5-star verified-buyer Amazon review to prove it.

To learn more about The Gittle List Book Competition, see past winners, and view the current year’s submission guidelines, visit

Aviva Pub Photo (1)

Aviva Gittle admits she’s a bit of a late bloomer to the world of writing children’s books. In fact, it took her 18 years to publish her first children’s story, “Mort the Fly.” Once Mort took flight, so did Aviva’s passion and creativity. In the next four years, she published many children’s books. As the proud Grandma of bilingual grandchildren, most of Aviva’s books are available in English and Spanish. To see all of Aviva’s children’s books visit

A Plethora of Children’s Book Reviews by Indie Authors

The Hope Keepers: The Mousie’s Adventures While Finding a New House 
by Nance Hope Parry

The Hope Keepers by Nance Hope Parry

  • Print Length: 28 pages
  • Publication Date: July 5, 2017
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B073R54GYH

My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

My Review:

This family of mice is having a bit of a rough time and the story shows how resilience and unity can cure problems. With a cute mother and son working together to stay safe, dangers lurk around every turn. Well written and fun for children.

This children’s Fiction is available on Amazon and through Kindle Unlimited.

When Mommy Got Sick: A Bedtime Story to Help Preschoolers Find Comfort During Life’s Trials by Alma J. Wilson

When Mommy Got Sick: A Bedtime Story to Help Preschoolers Find Comfort During Life's Trials

  • Print Length: 25 pages
  • Publication Date: July 12, 2017
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B073WRS1RQ

My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

My Review:

This book is a way for children to see that parents can be under the weather and there is a need for the family to step in to help. It also shares that kids are conscious of changes. Cute book with a message.  The illustrations were nice and the message was good for young children.

This children’s book is available at Amazon and through Kindle Unlimited.

Zoya, The Cat’s Baker by Shubhra Sharma

Zoya, The Cat's Baker by Shubhra Sharma

  • Print Length: 24 pages
  • Publication Date: April 2, 2017
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B06Y169YXL

My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

My Review:

I so enjoyed meeting Zoya. What a sweet child with a generous heart. She bakes for the neighbor’s cat and is careful to make it a healthy treat. What a great lesson for children about cats.  This is a fun Indie release that children will relate to.

There was a super treat in the back for young readers that was brilliant. Loved the vision of the author.

This colorful children’s book is available on Amazon and through Kindle Unlimited.

Sugarplums and Shooting Stars by Lindsay DeRollo

Sugarplums and Shooting Stars

  • Print Length: 38 pages
  • Publication Date: March 2, 2017
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B06XDJN4F2


My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

My Review:

A Sweet encouraging story

A speedy story that shows how dreams can be realized if you want them enough. Sweet illustrations that represent the story perfectly. A very encouraging book for children. The illustrations will appeal to small children. I read it with the seven-year-old and she enjoyed it because of the ballerina.  
This children’s book is available on Amazon and through Kindle Unlimited.

Theo the White Squirrel by Robert W. Fuller

Theo the White Squirrel

  • Print Length: 54 pages
  • Publication Date: July 17, 2016
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01INQ6M3G

My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

My Review:

Excellent story and characters

Theo the white squirrel is the perfect story for children about differences in places and animals. The story is about a squirrel that is different from the others and shows how he felt about it. With his adventure in trying to find a different food, he found himself in a very difficult situation. There were cute turns in this book and lovely illustrations. A very colorful tale. I loved it.

This children’s book is available on Amazon and through Kindle Unlimited

The Clown’s Clothes (Children’s picture books) 
by Eszter MolnárAnita Bagdi

The Clown's Clothes by Eszter Molnár

My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

My Review:

The illustrations are amazing

Although a quick read there is a lot of activity in this story. Tommy the clown has to solve a mystery and his friends help out. A great little book that has really superb illustrations and clever prose. Kids loved it here at my house.

Jaidyn’s New Pet by Michelle Dennise

Jaidyn's New Pet by Michelle Dennise

  • Print Length: 22 pages
  • Publication Date: June 13, 2017
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B072N4JB8D

My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

My Review:

Jaidyn’s New Pet is such an adorable and quick read that engages the child’s creativity and imagination.

When Jaidyn wants a new pet his dad takes him on an adventure to find the perfect one. What they find along the way is fun and the illustrations are cute.

Each page is another opportunity for children to learn and enjoy.

This children’s book is available on Amazon and through Kindle Unlimited.
This week was filled with history and children’s books.  I had a fun time reading indie author’s work and sharing reviews.  Since reviews mean so much to the success of the book, I was happy to do that for this list of books. I hope you will take a look at these offerings that are listed through KU.

Austin Texas Book Fair. Here is your personal invitation to participate and attend!

A special invitation to anyone close to Austin Texas from participating author Sarah Hays.   Thank you for sharing this opportunity.


Book Fair!

Hi everyone!  Recently, I discovered that Orange CoWorking is hosting a local Austin author’s book fair!  They are looking for authors who would like to participate in book readings and signings.  To participate, contact Laurie at

The deadline for entries is July 15th.


When : Saturday, July 22, 2017

Time : 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Where : Orange Coworking

2110 West Slaughter Lane Suite 160

Austin, Texas 78748


As a new author, I emailed Laurie Leiker directly.  She sent me a google form, in which I provided my information.  Three levels of participation are available:


Level I : Books on display for sale, a table shared with other authors.  Participate in book signing.  $20.00

Level II : Books on display for sale on a table (shared with 1 other author).  Participate in book signing and read aloud.  $45.00

Level III : Books on display for sale on a solo table.  First choice of time slot for book reading and book signings. $60.00


To prepare, I am ordering stock of both my paperbacks and hardbound books as well as bringing a display stand.  I plan to bring stickers and brochures to pass out as well.  Feel free to bring whatever you’d like to promote your book!  I’d love to see you there!  


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I will be sharing more about Sarah Hays as she participates in a live reading on Facebook July 12th.  Children’s Book Authors are swimming in opportunities this summer. Join us for these amazing events.

Delicious Amazon Reviews for Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas?

Almost one month ago today, I released Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas?  It was my first real children’s book and I had been working on this dream since my granddaughter, Raevyndaun asked me to write a book she could read.


This month has brought in 10 reviews for the book. Most verified and thrilled to say that. Most have been 5-star reviews. Even the 4 stars have been so amazingly beautiful to me. Thankfully, no one has had a negative word to say about Dolcey or my writing.

I can’t describe how wonderful that feels. It is like a month of birthday cake without the guilt and weight gain.  That’s about the best I can describe it.

I am so thankful to everyone that has reviewed so far and I am going to call out your reviewer name in thanks.

I will start with the 2 Amazon reviewers.  🙂

Amazon Reviewer 1 

Janet Balletta             Blog post (check out the post! It is amazing!!!)


Sherrie Marshall      Blog post! (Check out the post It was wonderful!!)

Cathy A. Christmas

Leigh Holland          Blog Interview  (This was so fun. Check out her blog!)

Amazon Reviewer 2

Bob Richley              Blog post (Check this out, It is a great post!)

Aunt Bee

Sian  Claven               Blog Post (Check out the beautiful post from tbbmaniacs!) by Robbie Cheadle  Blog post (Special post is fantastic!)

So this is a monthly recap. This is an exciting month in paperback sales as well. I have been mailing out several books a week to readers that want a signed copy for their children and grandchildren. I appreciate every request and make sure the turn around time is quick. If you want your child to meet Docley and have a signed book, just write me or comment below. I sell them for the paperback Price of $9.20 and $3.00 shipping.


Thanks to, Gloria, Martha, Cindy and Maci,  Jacinthe, Laura, Beverly, Betty,  Cindy E, Tensley and Willow, Wilson, Elliot, Brynlea and Lulee.  I will not mention all the family’s books I have sent out. All I can say is when I walk into the post office, they call out, “MEDIA MAIL, right?”

Winchester Post office

So I am thrilled to be sharing this with you. I love to promote marketing ideas and Indie authors. I wanted you to see, I believe my marketing is paying off.  I am following as many posts, newsletters, and live events as I can to learn more.  Always willing to learn more tips if you have them.

Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas? is #118 in her genre right now.  She has been as low as 75 so I still hope to see her dropping toward #1. Even the top 100 is fine with me.

The first live book signing event takes place on August 26 and 27, 2017. I have books available or bring your own. I will happily sign a copy. I am also writing a prequel to Dolcey’s story for a live reading during the event.


There will be a children’s reading corner and I am going to read this new story. Yikes, I volunteer for so many things I am just not prepared for. So I have to race and get prepared.  Join us in August. BBBash.png

We’re STILL ACCEPTING authors who are seeking signing opportunities to participate in the Bluegrass Book Bash 2017 event. It’s taking place Aug 26-27 in Corbin, Kentucky and we still have several tables left to fill! Authors of all genres and locations are welcome, and there will activities for kids during the event. If you’re interested, please join this group to get the full info on table prices, payments, etc. We’d love to have you join us!


Share some feedback! I am curious as to how my little numbers are for a new indie author.


Introduce Yourself – Introducing Guest Author Sojourner McConnell

I was thrilled to be featured on PBS. This is a blog that I follow and as I said I am quite honored to be included.

The PBS Blog

Welcome to Introduce Yourself, a new and exciting blog segment of The PBS Blog dedicated to introducing to you new and established authors and their books.

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Sojourner McConnell. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

What is your name and where are you from?

Sojourner McConnell is my pen name and I am from Alabama, Birmingham to be specific. I now live in Kentucky and visit Alabama every few months.

Cool. My family is originally from Alabama (though I’ve never been). I also love your pen name. Sojourner, what do you think of the world we live in?

All in all, I think it is a pretty wonderful place. It has problems, but as long as free thinking individuals are making decisions, there will be problems. I also see it as a changing and evolving place. A place where people…

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