christmas, gifts, Shopping, Small Businesses

Shopping Past and Present

Seasons Greetings, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah! It’s been a rough 2020 for all of us and I’m not exempt. I haven’t felt much like writing, or doing anything else, for the past few weeks, but now Christmas is at hand, and even though it will be different this year, we will still celebrate the birth of our King in any way we can. Barring inclement weather, our family is going to have our own Christmas Eve service around the fire pit in my daughter’s yard, a true Coronavirus Christmas. I’m looking forward to that. My family is creative.

And then there is the commercial end of Christmas. Although it certainly is not as important as the birth of Jesus, it is still something we enjoy. I feel for the small business owners who are overshadowed by Amazon and other large corporations vying for our dollars. I may be giving away my age but I remember the days of riding around and around the mall parking lots from Thanksgiving until around mid-January waiting for someone to pull out of their spaces so we could hurriedly shoot in before someone else got it. Those were the (pre-confinement) days. Sometimes I yearn for those “old days” of shopping when we had to navigate through the lines of fidgety, excited children waiting to whisper in Santa’s ear and maybe score a candy cane, or the times when I was the one holding the hand of one of those children. Bittersweet nostalgia. Now I’m pestering my children to give me suggestions for Christmas gifts that I can purchase online.

COVID 19 has left its mark on virtually everything.  It has left us paralyzed, helpless and confused. As I watch small businesses and restaurants suffer, I have decided to try as hard as I can to support local businesses or at least purchase things that are made in the USA, which is very hard to do, sometimes. I have not been particularly successful at doing this, myself, but I am trying. If we commit to helping our businesses here, we should be ready to pay a little extra for our gifts because these products are usually a bit higher priced than those that have been imported. Many small stores are developing an online presence, but we may have to do some searching. If we are to survive, we must support each other in any way we can. So shop online at smaller stores whenever possible. Get some takeout to keep our restaurants in business. Every little bit helps.

At the risk of sounding, well, opportunistic, I will include links to my books for you. They make great stocking stuffers or gifts. If you don’t like what I have to offer, please purchase from other small businesses. My books are not sold in brick and mortar chain bookstores, but they are in a few local, independent ones: Rose Garden Boutique in Louisburg, NC, has the two children’s books. Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, NC, has The Town of Alpaca and The Prettiest House on the Block, and SoSo Books in Raleigh, NC and Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC have all three. If these stores are convenient, please look there first. The links below are to Amazon, but the books are also available at and

Stay safe and healthy and have a wonderful holiday season, no matter what you celebrate.

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!


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