books, diversity, families, Family, friendship, Helping Others, life lessons, Promotions, teenagers

The Dynamite Kids – So It Begins Preview

Life happens, or to quote words from the Forest Gump movie: “__it” happens. That’s where I have been all these months out of circulation: life. Most was part of the good life, some was “__it”, but it all happened, and all got in the way of finishing a task that I had started a long time ago: this book. It was so long ago that I had forgotten how far along it was. Answer: not very. I was dismayed when I opened the document and was reminded that I had only finished rough drafts of about four chapters. I have serious episodes of CRS and this was one.

I ended up making changes to it, including age appropriateness. It began as a very loose tribute to a little group of friends my son and daughter had when they were about 8 and 10 years old. They called themselves “The Dynamite Kids”, a mostly social group, but they did collect food for the local food pantry once, so they left a good mark on their timelines.

Initially the kids were just starting middle school but as the story progressed, it got a little edgier, and I decided to make them older and make the reader’s ages 12-16. It’s not horribly edgy but its about as much “edge” as this old fashioned grandmother could muster up for a middle reader book. It’s art imitating life with nothing gruesome or sexually suggestive, just thought provoking. All my books have life lessons to learn in their content.

There is no major plot, but more like one minor plot surrounding each individual that gets resolved with the help of one or more of the other characters. The first few chapters start out slowly as I’m creating settings and building my characters, but it progresses quickly from there. I tried to set up the storyline so that I could write a series if I so choose. I even wrote an epilogue that introduces The Dynamite Kids’ next adventure. (Does that mean I actually have to do it now?!)

I have now finished the entire rough draft, or might I say the 40 grit sandpaper draft, and I am posting the first chapter. I hope you enjoy it. Constructive criticism welcome!

                                         Chapter 1: Nothing to Do

“I’m so bored”, moaned Bo.

“Me, too”, said CeCe.

The twins sat dejectedly in their living room, surrounded by their tightknit group of friends, all pouting because they had “nothing to do”.  CeCe sat on the living room chair with half of her body hanging over its arm, her long auburn hair tickling Phoenix, the cat, who was lounging lazily on the floor by the chair. Quite content right where he was, he expressed his annoyance with a swipe at her hair and an indignant “Mrowr” and promptly relocated himself to a more peaceful location on the windowsill. His bliss, however, was short-lived. Chirping! Birds! His tail swished menacingly as he watched them fight over the seed in the feeders outside, longing to go out and make short work of them.

 Leo was a stray that showed up at The Rosetti’s door one day. They fed him and attempted to find his owner. They had no intention of ever getting a cat, but with his sad amber eyes, his tiger-colored fur, and his soft purring, he wormed his way into Bo’s and CeCe’s hearts. Every day he would show up at their door requesting his meal with a soulful “Meow”, and every day they accommodated his request, being rewarded by a loving purr and the cat rubbing against their legs, essentially “claiming” them as his own. Their parents knew him, too, by now, and neither one of them could resist getting a few furtive pets in on his soft fur, all while pretending to their children that they didn’t care a thing about this daily visitor. One day CeCe and Bo finally summoned enough courage to approach their parents.

“Please, please, please!”, they both begged. “We called the vets and the animal shelters, and hung flyers everywhere, but no one has claimed him. He loves us and we love him! We’ll take care of him, we promise!”

Looking at their children’s pleading faces and succumbing to their own reluctant affection for this cat, it was impossible for Faith and Christopher Rosetti to ignore their fervent request to keep it. Despite their own waning objections, they had to admit that they loved him, too, and they didn’t want him meeting an early or terrible demise living in peril in the wild as an outdoor cat. They had seen more cats than they ever cared to on the shoulders of the highways and couldn’t bear the thought of this one meeting that same fate. Almost before they had the word “Okay” out of their mouths, CeCe and Bo had thrown open the front door and their feline friend made himself at home, immediately claiming the sunny windowsill as his personal turf. They had given him a second chance at life, hence the name Phoenix.

CeCe, especially, loved animals and dreamed of being a veterinarian one day, but dogs were her favorite. She and Bo repeatedly begged their parents for a dog, but Faith and Chris had repeatedly denied their requests. 

“But Mom!” (Or Dad, whoever was there at that moment.) “We can take care of a dog!”, pleaded CeCe, defending herself and Bo. “We take care of Phoenix and he’s OK.”

“Taking care of a cat is very different than taking care of a dog”, Faith retorted. “They clean themselves, do their business in a litter box, and they don’t pester us constantly to play with them. Dogs need to go for walks, they want to play all the time, they need baths, they need to be fed, and then what comes out after that needs to be cleaned up from the yard. And dogs cost a lot of money. Be satisfied with the pet you have.”

CeCe glanced over at Phoenix sunning himself on the windowsill. He had wearied of fruitlessly trying to attack the birds from the inside of the house, but he loved the warmth of the sun on his body that the windowsill allowed.

“Come here, Phoenix!”, CeCe called, patting her lap and pondering how much she loved him.  A warm, still-sleepy Phoenix relinquished his place on the windowsill to jump onto CeCe’s lap and curl up, loudly purring, as if to tell her how much he loved her, too. CeCe and Bo both loved Phoenix, but he was independent and so fickle!  He accepted attention on his own terms, and they never knew when he would decide to sit purring contentedly on a lap, or swipe at them and nibble on their toes.

“How about if we do some volunteering at the animal shelter”, said CeCe, returning to the matter of deciding what the group should do for the day. “They can always use the help.” But no one appeared to be in a volunteering mood that day.

While CeCe petted Phoenix and tried to keep thinking of ideas, Bo occupied himself by tossing a baseball in the air, but not high enough to break anything. It was impossible for him to have a baseball in his hands and not put it in motion.  Leah, Mickey, Jeremy, and Maria, their BFF’s, were sprawled out in various positions on the furniture and floor, yawning and vaguely discussing what they could do on this long summer day.  The six friends had met in kindergarten and formed a strong bond that made them almost inseparable, even though they were all quite different. It was their differences, however, that seemed to make them so strong together. Their personalities complemented each other, and they shared a closeness that one doesn’t always see with so many close friends.

“I think we should play with remote control cars!”, suggested Bo, smirking. “I have enough for everyone! Even better, I think there is a race at the Wake County Speedway! Maybe we can get some of our parents to take us!”

He didn’t really think his ideas would appeal to everyone, but he figured it was worth a shot. He loved car races, anywhere and any kind and vowed to be a racecar driver one day, much to his mother’s chagrin.

“Yeah, you do have plenty of cars”, agreed CeCe, but how many of them work? You’ve taken them all apart!”

CeCe loved her brother and as twins, they had a special bond, but, as brothers will do, he could annoy her at times, especially when she stepped on car parts that were scattered all over the house. Bo was proficient at taking them apart to see how they worked, but he was less proficient at putting them back together. He was working on that.  Disassembled toy cars made everyone unhappy, except for maybe Phoenix. He loved to push them all over the floor and off tables.  

“Then wear shoes!”, Bo would say, as CeCe rolled her eyes.

“Geez”, said CeCe. “Just a couple of weeks ago we were celebrating the end of school and look at us already. Sad”

“Pitiful”, agreed Leah.

The rest nodded in agreement, sulking, and holding their droopy heads up like they were about to fall off if not supported by their hands. Games, movies, and other recreational devices surrounded them as they falsely repeated that there was “nothing to do”.  They had all survived their first two years of Raleigh Middle School and were looking forward to their last year there before high school, but right now the excitement of summer vacation had begun to wear off.

“Why don’t you go outside and play?” suggested Faith. I’m making lasagna and you are all welcome to stay for dinner if you want.”

Jeremy was the first to respond, shooting his hand up and gleefully accepting Faith’s invitation.

“Yes, please!” he said smiling. “Your lasagna is the BEST! I can help if you need me!”, Jeremy excitedly offered. He loved to cook.

“I’ll let you know if I can use you.” Faith said, smiling knowingly.

The Rosetti’s were Italian, and they were proud of their heritage. None of them grew up in Italy, but Faith loved to make recipes that had been handed down by her grandparents, and probably farther back than that. Freshly grown tomatoes, fresh Italian herbs, and from-scratch pasta sauce were staples in their home. No store-bought cans or jars for them. She canned the home-made sauce, herself, to use when tomatoes were out of season. Sometimes, when she was feeling particularly ambitious, she even made her own pasta.

“There’s nothing to do outside either”, claimed Mickey, continuing the discussion of their current plight.

Bo fidgeted around on the floor, still tossing the ball up in the air, higher and higher each time, and then with a sideways glance, he tossed it over to Jeremy, who not was quite ready for the pitch and missed the catch. Hearing something break, an angry Faith made an appearance.

 “My gravy boat!”, she yelled. “I knew I should have put that right away after I washed it!”, she bemoaned, more to herself than anyone else.

Somehow, the ball intended for Jeremy had made its way past him into the other room, striking the gravy boat and smashing it into a gazillion pieces. It wasn’t the first fragile object to succumb to Bo’s “practicing” in the house.  

“Bo!”, What have I told you about throwing balls in the house!” Faith said after the initial shock of seeing her fractured gravy boat on the floor wore off. “You have to clean that up immediately so Phoenix or someone with bare feet doesn’t step on it.”

“That would be CeCe”, Bo said under his breath. “

Then louder, and sounding sincerely contrite, he added: “I’m so sorry, Mom”. I should have waited until Jeremy was ready for me to throw it to him. He would have caught it then.”

“Dude, I’m a football player!” Jeremy indignantly shot at Bo, a remark that sparked a few giggles from the rest.

Ignoring Jeremy’s remark, Faith continued her lecture.

“Did you say you should have waited to throw it until Jeremy was ‘ready’?!”. Faith said, exasperated. “What about do NOT throw balls in the house do you misunderstand?! This will come out of your allowance, young man. You’re lucky it wasn’t expensive”.

Their mom didn’t get mad often, but when she did, they knew it, and when she said: “young man” or “young lady”, or called them by their full names, they knew it was real.

Bo hung his head and nodded. Remorsefully, he got up to find the broom and dusting pan to clean up the shards of glass on the kitchen floor, while the rest continued trying to figure out a game plan for the day.

“We could fly kites”, suggested Leah hopefully, glancing through the bay window, hoping to see some evidence of a nice wind. Leah wasn’t much interested in sporty games, but flying kites was fun. Alas, the leaves on the trees were still, birds sat still on the telephone wires and the American Flag and Philadelphia Eagles flag lay on top of each other against the flagpole. Even the weathervane that CeCe and Bo’s grandfather had made was completely motionless.

“There’s no wind”, said CeCe, frowning.

Leah nodded in agreement and sighed. Sometimes it seemed like she just didn’t fit in. Despite how much she loved her friends, she felt like she was “outgrowing” them at times. She already had a social media account, wore make-up and was always trying something different with her hair. CeCe and Marie still liked to play with the boys and be friends, but Leah’s interest in boys as more than just friends was decidedly different than the other two girls, and they worried that she was growing up too fast and did everything they could to keep her involved with them. They knew it was just a matter of time before they went their separate ways, but it was surely not in their short-term visions.

“Maybe we could go hang by the lake”, Mickey offered as an alternative.

He really wanted to get out and wrestle with the boys or toss any kind of ball around, but the whole group was there, and that, of course, included the girls.  As rough and tumble as Mickey could be, he was a thoughtful, sensitive boy and cared about everyone, so he thought just hanging out by the lake (and maybe getting in some fishing) might be something both the boys and the girls could enjoy. He snickered to himself at the thought of Leah putting a worm on a fishing hook, though! It didn’t matter, though, because his idea was nixed.

“Nope”, said Maria, shaking her head assertively at the notion of going to the lake. “There’s a bacterial warning down there so we won’t be able to go swimming.” Then, as if a light bulb went off over her head, she excitedly added: “But maybe we can stop by the lake for just a few minutes and get some of the water to look at under my microscope. We might be able to see the bacteria and even figure out what it is! We can wear gloves and be very careful!”

 Maria’s slight Columbian accent came through when she was excited.  (Which really was quite often!) and this was one of those times! She loved science, and particularly microbiology. She was too young to take it in school yet but clamored to get her older brother’s textbooks to read and learned everything she could from reliable sources on the internet.

“Absolutely not!”, yelled Leah. “I don’t want to take any chances on what might be out there around the lake. I mean, what if we fall and get some gross, untreatable germs in our bodies?”

Trying to hide her annoyance at Leah’s tone, Maria defended her idea.

“Leah, you can get germs in your skin through a scratch anywhere. Bacteria is all around us. But I guess a bacteria-laden lake would be a higher risk than other places”, she begrudgingly conceded.

“Hey! Maybe Mickey’s mom will make us milkshakes!”, Jeremy almost suggested, but then caught himself. Even though it had been a year, it was still hard to imagine that Mrs. O’Rourke was not around to make them, anymore, and he was so relieved that he caught himself before he said it. She had succumbed to cancer a year prior to that day and neither Mickey nor his dad have been the same since then.

“Cancer is a horrible, unfair disease”, he thought sadly to himself. “She did not deserve to die like that; no one does”.

That brief image of one of her mystery milkshakes topped with whipped cream and a cherry made him smile to think of her, but also made his mouth water, or as his mom says: “it made his salivary glands overwork”. The rest were envious of the sheer volume of food he could pack away while not gaining a pound and still sporting a great body. As a football player Jeremy consumed quite a few more calories than the others but he also expended a whole lot more energy through his workouts. The girls were especially jealous. Boys could always eat more than girls without gaining as much weight in proportion.  They thought it just wasn’t fair at all. Energy equals calories. He even started learning how to cook, and to his surprise, he really enjoyed it. Quickly dismissing the milkshake from his mind, he had another idea.

“Why don’t we go to the Y? It has something for everyone there’, he suggested.

“Leah and I don’t have memberships there”, Maria said.

None of the others had any guest passes left, and the group was running out of ideas, so they were about to give up when Mickey piped up.

“I know what we can do!” he said excitedly, breaking an awkward silence. “Why didn’t I think of this before?! We can play baseball!”

“That’s a great idea!” CeCe said. “We can fly kites on a windier day. We can race cars when Bo puts them back together, and we can stay inside and play games while we listen to music on a rainy day. But today is perfect baseball weather! All in favor of a baseball game raise your hands!”, CeCe said.

CeCe and the boys loved baseball. Leah would have preferred to stay in and listen to music while she experimented with a different hair color, but the group had run out of ideas, and she hated to be left out. Maria was happy doing pretty much anything. Her positive, upbeat personality and sharp wit made her a lot of fun to be around. When she and CeCe started to match wits with each other, it was hilarious.

The group used the “majority rules” method to settle differences and CeCe was always so logical in her thinking when it came to helping them make decisions. Immediately four hands shot in the air. Leah grimaced and faltered for a few seconds but then finally managed to get hers up there, too.

 “It’s unanimous! Baseball it is!” declared Bo.

With that, they asked Bo and CeCe’s mom to take them to Friendship Park; checked with their parents; grabbed some water bottles, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, baseballs, bats, and gloves; piled into her blue SUV; and off they went.

differences, Elections, friendship, Hate, Politics

What Are We Worth?

As the clock approaches midnight, I’m choosing to write this blog instead of crying. It remains to be seen whether it will plug up or stimulate the tear ducts. I suppose it could be considered a follow-up to the last one but I am so close to bursting into tears right now that I need to do this.

I have a bad habit of posting a political article that I find interesting and informative and then immediately regretting it or getting one upsetting comment that causes me to take it down. Either way, some people have seen it. Why should I care? We all have our opinions, right? And we are entitled to them because it is our constitutional right, right? Not quite. That piece has become so diluted that the political landscape looks like Moses parting the Red Sea.

I have heard people jokingly say that the internet is the work of the devil. I laughed, like everyone else did, but I’m beginning to wonder. Oh, it has been lots of fun, has helped businesses grow, keeps us all in touch with people from lifetimes past, and gives us all a space to brag about our families, pets, and even our gardens. Guilty on all three. All good stuff, but it is also a hotbed for criminals, pedophiles, pornography, etc.

Currently it is causing chaos and division in a way I have never seen before in my life, and I am no spring chicken. Not only do we have unsavory politicians and journalists in colors of red or blue, now we have a venue for them to spew their hate, deceit, and lies, creating chaos in people’s lives. Before the internet, people would discuss politics at the bar, at the barber shop, at family gatherings, even on street corners, and there were always debates, but as far as I know, politics did not cause the degree of hated that it now is causing. We can all still have fun and socialize on Facebook, but now there is an evil imbedded in the code that is seeping into every little space and fracturing lives and friendships, indelibly defining who we are with each stroke of our keyboards.

What makes me so sad is that, currently, we are not only defined by the things we choose to share with people, but by which politician or political party we choose to support. Even though lies and deception are rampant on both sides of the political coin, people only choose to believe what they want to believe, those on the other side be damned. There are so many nooks and crannies in the muffins we get served on a daily basis through biased media that we can’t even tell on which side the muffins are buttered. And is it real butter, or fake butter? The manufacturers have churned the products to be so smooth that you just never can tell. And that’s exactly what they want. Unfortunately, many people don’t believe that or want to believe it of their chosen leader of the free world.

I decided a long time ago that I would not be voting for “the man” but for the party that most closely aligns with my belief system. Curiously, it seems like one side will be voting for “the man” because they passionately despise the other one, and one side will be voting for the passionately despised “man” because they passionately despise the agenda of the other party, and ne’er the twain shall meet. That would be fine, in itself, except that people are tethered to one side, passionately hating the other, and there is little room for civil discourse. Passionately. Yes, I’m aware that I have overused the word, and have done so intentionally, because that is the only word that can nicely describe the emotions that have created the thick, immobile pollution of hate hanging heavily in the air we breathe, and that infiltrates the very depths of our hearts and souls. Emotions are expressed in words that jump nimbly onto our computer screens from keyboards.

What are we worth as people? We used to choose our friends because of similar interests, mutual friends, their children’s parents, etc. Our worth was measured by solid friendships, loyalty, shared backgrounds, willingness to help when in need, compassion, talents, character, and love. Those values are no longer important because now all of those things have been condensed into one angry category: who you will vote for. This measure of worth as a friend is decidedly unfair for several reasons, the most important being that we only have two choices. What if we believe half of what one side espouses and half of the other side? We have to choose one, even if we may not be happy with parts of their agenda, because we only have two choices.

Our value as friends and as people should never, ever be attached to a faction, (i.e, a party), that is divisible from the whole. Some of us are not red or blue, but varying shades of that purple I talked about in my previous post, but we don’t have purple as a choice, only dark red or dark blue. And yet, people on both sides continue to blame, chastise, name-call, and insult each other, even friends, because they are positive that they are totally right and the rest are totally wrong, and that is almost never true. Even in divorces, the scales may be tipped more to one side than the other, but because no one is perfect, the “blame” must be shared.

I’m not perfect, either. I admit to some of these bad thoughts, myself, and I know that. I continue to try to change those, but friends, it is not easy right now. I will try harder. Again. And again, until the discontent and confusion is wiped completely from my heart. (The devil loves discontent and confusion, too.) Everyone should be acknowledged and respected for their views, not called stupid or ignorant, or any of the other words I see flying around incessantly. I know a lot of very intelligent and caring people on both sides. No one corners the market on that.

Can we all please just take a few steps back and take a deep breath. Let’s get rid of the pollution and breathe fresh air into our lungs, our hearts, and our souls. Someone will win, and someone will lose. Life will go on, but if we burn bridges now with the people that matter to us, and even the ones that might matter a little less, they may impossible to reconstruct. And for what?

Elections, friendship, Hate, Politics

I Want Purple Koolaide

My heart is really heavy. It makes me so sad to see all the name-calling and denouncing of people on Facebook just because of their political leanings. Everyone is drinking the Koolaid. The people on the left are drinking blue Koolaid and the people on the right are drinking red Koolaid. What if I like purple Koolaide? We need a third party, a purple party. Right now we only have two choices: vote for the party (not the man) that most aligns with our beliefs, or don’t vote at all. I know “the man” will be the one at the top, but if we can’t believe in the other party, then what choice to we have? Frankly, not voting at all is looking more appealing to me all the time. That way I won’t have to claim responsibility for putting either one of them in office, and then I’ll let all my friends know, too, so they don’t hate me, anymore.

The danger to not voting at all is that it gives an advantage to the party (not the man) that does not align with your beliefs. Remember that the Senate and Congress are there, too, supposedly to help guide a president, executive priviledge notwithstanding. Lies and misinformation are rampant on both sides, and if anyone doesn’t believe that then they need to open up their eyes. Does what we find important to us make us bad people if it’s not what another person believes? Is all this worth losing friends over?

I feel like crying when I see all the hate directed at people, even those who used to be friends. Is it worth it? Is your party affiliation worth losing friends over? If it is, then I guess you weren’t really friends at all, because mature adults should be able to see past political affiliations to who people are inside. And don’t say that who we vote for shows who we really are because that is total BS. It’s only one part of our whole as people. People look at things differently but it doesn’t make one wrong and the other right, just different. And it doesn’t mean that someone believes in ALL of the points on a given side, it’s just that we have only two choices, and if they are both crappy, then does that mean we all have to hate each other? It’s not our fault this huge country cannot come up with better people to run for president.

I have friends that I disagree with and I still love them. Part of that is because I have always loved them and refuse to let this change that, part is because I can see their side of the arguments, too, part is because we might not discuss it, and part is because they still love me. (I hope!) I want our hearts to go back to the days before COVID 19 and this awful, awful election. I want our hearts to see what we liked about our friends before all this, and if we can’t do that, then I guess we were never friends to begin with.

America, animals, Book, Children, children's book, juvenile fiction

It’s That Time Again!!

Thanksgiving is over and I hope you all had a great one! Now the focus automatically switches to the holidays for many of us. What to get everyone? This is an age-old question, but I have an idea for your children. My books are perfect gifts or stocking stuffers. Some of you may have seen my posts before but if you haven’t, I have two children’s books on the market that you will love.

The first book is for ages 2-6. The story revolves around a little boy, Michael, who is new to the school and is very homesick. He never smiles. Davey is a friendly little boy who loves to laugh and giggle. He tries to make friends with Michael, but he just can’t make him smile, no matter how hard he tries, until a magic fairy steps in to help. “The Giggle Box” is a whimsical, full color book about being the new kid in school, friendship, sharing, the joy of helping others, and the healing power of laughter, all tied together with a touch of magic! It is beautifully illustrated with the text written over full page pictures, a perfect gift for your 2-6 year old! You can purchase this book:

on Amazon (

and on (,

but if you purchase it from my website at, (Click on the “Shop” tab at the top) you can get it at a discount for $8.00 with free shipping by clicking on the “Buy Now” button through the end of December, 2019.


If you are looking for an illustrated early reader that teaches children the values of diversity, understanding, acceptance, friendship, and overcoming adversity by working together, then look no further. My newest book sports all of these plus a glossary of some of the more difficult words found in the book followed by thought provoking questions. A chart of the similarities and differences between alpacas and llamas serve as an added educational benefit. In August, 2019, this book took third place at the independent author CIPA EVVY Awards in the Children’s Storybook Fiction category. It’s the perfect gift for all the children in your lives! It can be purchased:

through the publisher at,

at amazon (  ),

and at (,

but if you purchase it through my website at (Click on the “Shop” tab at the top), you can get it at a discount for $9.50 by clicking on the “Buy Now” button through the end of December. Ride the Llama and Alpaca obsession wave or listen to your children laugh. Order your books now, and please share this post with your friends, family, and followers! 

Happy Holidays!

animals, Children, diversity, juvenile fiction

Giggles and Such

Every so often I like to throw in a good word for my books, a pitch, as one might call it. Audiences change, friends get added on Facebook, and new people get on other social media sites that might not have been there before. If you are one who has heard this pitch already, my apologies! I don’t want to saturate those in my immediate circle, but I’m in this for the long haul, so bear with me, please!

I would be ever so grateful if the newbies, and the oldies, too, would take a look at these links to my books. I have written two illustrated children’s books, although I didn’t do the illustrating, myself; I have very talented artists do that for me. “The Giggle Box” is timeless. It’s a sweet story about a new little boy in town who’s very sad because he misses his friends at his old home. Davey steps in to help, but try as he might, he cannot get Michael to smile, until a beautiful fairy, who lives up in Laughterland, (Where all the tickliest clouds float!) helps Davey share his gift of laughter with Michael. This book is about being new, friendship, sharing, and the healing power of laughter, all tied together with just a touch of magic! You know, laughter is the best medicine! Ages 1 to 101! This can be purchased on Amazon, as below, and at

My second book was just released in November, 2018. “The Town of Alpaca” is for elementary school children. This book has everything you could want for your child. My books are written with healthy values in mind. This one is loaded with them: diversity, understanding, acceptance, tolerance, friendship, hard work, trust, persistence, working together toward a common goal, and hope. It’s message is quite timely, as the characters are depicted by a pair of llamas and a pair of alpacas. These animals are alike in some ways and different in some, exactly like people, and they need to learn that they can trust and like each other, even though they are different animals. In our world today, the messages of diversity and acceptance can never be stressed enough. And who doesn’t love llamas and alpacas these days?!

Along with the fun of the story, there is a chart detailing the similarities and differences of these two animals and a glossary with some of the harder words in the book. The glossary has the definition of the word, how it is used in the book, and then asks the child to think of something in his or her own life that goes along with that word. A story, animals, pictures, values, and education. See? What more could you want for your child?

The “Town of Alpaca” has been nominated for the 25th Annual CIPA EVVY Awards. These few nominations are made by Outskirts and “represent the very best of our yearly publications.”

It can be purchase on Amazon at,

at and

directly through the publisher at . They will give you a bulk discount if you purchase 9 or more books.

Finally, you can purchase them through me at The site accepts Paypal.

Thank you all for reading my post and for considering my books as worthwhile gifts for the most precious things in your lives, your children. I want my child readers to always “Do the ‘Write’ Thing!”. Feel free to contact me with any questions. Happy Reading!

animals, Children, children's book, diversity, juvenile fiction

Children Are Worth It!

The Christmas buying season is over and all my books have been delivered and paid for (well almost everyone has paid!). But wait, there’s more! Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, Welcome Spring, Easter, and of course the “Just Because I Love You Day” which is every day! There is never a bad reason to buy a book, especially for a child. This is my second book, and I’m pretty proud of it. It’s different than the regular children’s books because it centers around a real life, adult-type dilemma, written so children can understand it, and resolved by applying healthy values than they can use in their lives forever. My books all use character-building values to help children become better people and always do the right thing. All this plus a glossary of big words and a chart detailing the similarities and differences between llamas and alpacas make this an enjoyable and worthwhile book for a child to read. If you have a business such as  a medical office, school, real estate, etc., consider using these as perfect gifts or to keep children occupied in waiting rooms. If you buy more than 9 books at a time you will get a 50 % discount on my Outskirts site below, which is pretty nice! The bottom link is to my other website, where you can buy my first book, “The Giggle Box”.  Check them out! Happy gifting and reading!



Holiday Gifts!

Hello, friends! Happy Thanksgiving! The holidays are fast approaching and it’s high time we start thinking about gifts. Toys are lots of fun for kids and they love them, but how about considering books? I have written two children’s books that are now available to purchase and will be here before Christmas if you order soon!

The first one, “The Giggle Box”, is a beautifully illustrated, imaginative picture book for children aged 3 to 103! Davey is a little boy who just loves to giggle and laugh. Now he is starting kindergarten and he meets a new little boy, Michael, who is very sad being the new kid with no friends. Davey tries hard to make Michael laugh, but it just won’t work; Michael is still sad. That is, until a beautiful fairy, who lives up in Laughterland, where the tickliest clouds float, helps Davey to share his gift of laughter with Michael through her magic. It’s a story of friendship, sharing, and the healing power of laughter. Published through CreateSpace, it is available on,, and other online retailers.

On the heels of “The Giggle Box” is “The Town of Alpaca”. An illustrated book for early readers, this story is chock full of healthy values and education, brought to you by some same-but-different animals: llamas and alpacas. It has been published by Outskirts Press.

What does a town do when its largest manufacturing company, the biggest business in town, goes under? The town of Alpaca was once vibrant and bustling, but ever since that llama came to town and bought the company, it hasn’t been the same. He didn’t manage it well and now the alpacas are out of jobs, their once beautiful town has become a poor, run-down, dismal place to live, and the Alpackaging Company is on the market to be sold, but no one is looking to buy it. The situation seems hopeless for the alpacas. In addition, they now hate llamas … all llamas, so you can imagine how Albert Alpaca felt when a strange couple showed up at his little “Alpaca Inn and Suites” looking for a room. Llamas!! What will he do?

The story of The Town of Alpaca shows how heartwarming it is when hatred turns into friendship, misunderstandings into trust, and working together works!
You may think that the plot of this book seems like something beyond a child’s understanding, but don’t sell them short; they are smarter than we think, and often we don’t give them enough credit for their savvy. Part of what makes the book unique is that it presents real life issues, simplified enough for a child to understand. Many families have gone through challenging times, but those challenges don’t always wait for children to be old enough to grasp their implications. The story presents a problem and the resolution revolves around healthy values that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. This book is available through,,, and other online retailers.

As a purchasing alternative, you can browse my website, “It’s All Write”, and purchase it through paypal for less. Use the “Shop” link on the top of the page at Books make great gifts and I would love to share mine with you! And please “Follow” me!

20180901_222202  The Giggle Box picture