Life After Death

It’s been 15 months and 21 days since my husband passed away.

Some of us like to think that after a year, the grieving is done.

Well, I’m here to tell you that it isn’t.

I’m better, no doubt. I’ve come a long way since those painful days right after he passed. I was in the proverbial ‘shock’ phase. I knew it. I’m a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and had worked at Hospice with teens who had lost a loved one for 10 years. I knew the stages.

But, what I didn’t know was that shock would feel an awful lot like sadness. I was sad. I cried and wailed. I was sad. But, somehow, even in that sadness, there was shock hovering around my heart so I didn’t feel the overwhelming intensity of ALL of the pain.

That would come later.

I had several months at home because I work in a school and was off for the summer. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to stand those long, lonely, unstructured, unplanned days. But, thank goodness for good friends who reached out and took me to lunch or dinner.

I got together with someone every day last summer. What a blessing!

Of course, not so, this summer. Thank you, Covid.

Then, school started. I was happy to be back in a routine and I had a hard year ahead of me, graduating 350 seniors. And, if you’re not a Guidance Counselor, let me just tell you that it feels like herding 350 cats. LOL

So, my mind was very occupied.

But, still, those first few days at work, I would break down crying. Something would make me think about him…

Like someone asked me was I a Ms. or a Mrs.

Oh yes, that’s right. I’m no longer a “Mrs.”

Tears puddled in my eyes. I tried to remain professional. Thank goodness this was over the phone and they couldn’t see the tears and I choked back the lump in my throat and said, “Ms.”

Or someone would talk about their weekend plans and I’d think, “I got nothing going on.”

Or my friends that we used to share husband stories (nothing bad mind you, just funny stuff), would suddenly feel self-conscious bringing anything up.

Or when I put the key in my car’s ignition at the end of the day and realized I was going home to an empty house.

Yes, my life changed in big and small ways and if it weren’t for shock, I wouldn’t have been able to handle it all at once.

But, as the year went, I felt the heaviness come on me. The shock was wearing off.

It didn’t matter that I had a job to do. It didn’t matter that I was all alone in my house with no one to process my feelings with.

And so, thank the good Lord, a friend introduced me to another recent widow, and if it weren’t for her (you know I love you, Paula!), I would NOT have made it.

Her total and complete understanding of how I felt allowed me to say what I felt and process it and grieve it.

I’m also very grateful for Robyn at Griefshare for running that Grief Group. It made a huge difference to have a place I was not only allowed to talk about my husband and my feelings but I was encouraged to do so. And there were loving, kind people there who also understood my pain.

And my precious, sweet Mom. Lord bless her. I called her every day (I still do) and she would listen to whatever I had to say and she would love and support me, no matter what. Thank you, Mom, from the bottom of my heart. I could NOT have walked this journey without you.

And I stayed busy. Very busy. I started cleaning out closets and moving furniture and re-arranging my home. Apparently, alot of widows do this. It’s like you’re looking for something you lost and you think, “If I can just clean up this drawer, this closet, this bedroom, I’ll find it.”

And then, I took to the yard. I had never been into yard work before. But, I threw myself into it with abandon. I raked up leaves. I pulled up weeds. I dug flower gardens. I potted plants. I planted plants in the ground. I laid down rock.

I grew physically strong and loved seeing the work of my hands. It’s very rewarding to see something change by your own hands.

And then I would sit and stare at the beautiful backyard that I have been blessed with and I would feel peace.

It was the only place I felt peace.

Not inside. Nope!

While I love my living room, there’s something about being outside and feeling the breeze blow across your skin, hearing the tinkling of the chime, the bubbling of the water fountain, seeing the butterflies floating by. And feeling God near me.

Somewhere around January, I began to feel angry. Not the usual, “God why did you do this?” anger.

No, I had prayed to God when my husband got sick and I thought he told me, “This isn’t the end.”

I believed it with all my heart. But, indeed, it was the end. I questioned if I ever heard God in my life.

Have you been there?

Eventually, He and I talked and He said, “It wasn’t the end. Joe lives in heaven with me and one day, you will too.”

That’s true, but I sure wish you had been more clear, God.

And he said, you couldn’t handle it. You needed to stay positive.

Ah, that’s it. I nodded my head and understood.

Then, came busy-ness with people. I had friends who I could call last minute and we would go out for dinner or just hangout or shop. I didn’t have to be alone, unless I wanted to.

But, then….you all know what happened. Covid and Quarantine.

Suddenly, I was thrust to being inside my home all day by myself with no office noise or people to chat with. I started listening to the radio in the background, just for stimulation.

At first, I felt safe. It felt good to be home and know I wasn’t near the virus.

I was good until about May. Then, I was about to come un-done. I didn’t want to be home alone anymore. I didn’t want the silence. I didn’t want to do it anymore.

But, I also didn’t want to go anywhere.

The first year anniversary came and I decided to take my chair and go sit at my husband’s niche and talk to him. I talked to him for a good 1.5-2 hours. I got it all out. Everything that had happened while he had been sick and everything since.

I packed up my chair and as I drove away, I felt a lightness that I had not expected. I decided this would be a good ritual to do every year.

And then, I was past the first year. Past all the first’s, the horrible first’s. I can honestly say I didn’t handle any of the holidays well. I was a mess.

I couldn’t think about anyone but myself and I felt right sorry for myself. I’m sorry to my family, especially, my daughter. I know I hurt her. I’m thankful for your understanding and unfailing love.

This summer, I had no plans. Unending, unstructured days stretched before me.

I had a neighbor friend who walked with me and we rode bikes together. It felt so good to get outside and breathe fresh air. I’m thankful for her.

I decided to make a trip to NC and take my Mom’s things that were earmarked for my sister and brother up to them. It was a lovely 4 day visit. It was an easy drive up and back. It was great to be with family and give and receive hugs. It was definitely what I needed. And I’m ever so grateful that we didn’t get each other sick.

But, other than that, no plans. I worked some.

Honestly, I was thankful to get back to the routine of work this fall, even though it is anything but normal! I enjoy the chatter down the office hallway. I enjoy the kids and parents. I enjoy the teachers, even though they are stressed out of their minds. I’m so sorry for all they are going through.

We have had some setbacks. Two of our people decided not to work in the craziness of Covid, but one really wonderful addition and that’s our Mental Health Counselor/Social Worker. A welcomed surprise!

It was somehwere in the middle of Covid, that I realized I wasn’t crying every day anymore. Maybe once a week. And as time stretched on, even less than that.

I’m better. I know I can live the rest of my life, however long that may be, and be okay in the arms of Christ.

If it weren’t for Jesus in my life, I wouldn’t have made it this far. I prayed and meditated and listened to spirit-filled inspired preachers. I listened to Christian music that gave me hope. I filled up my bucket with Jesus. And He met me at every turn. I’m so thankful that I know Him and have a relationship with Him.

Whatever His plans for me, I know they are good and I will follow them.

No, grief, doesn’t end in a year. It changes, no doubt. I’m growing. It’s a process. I’m learning how to move forward while figuring out how to let go. But, it’s not over.

Some have suggested that the second year is even harder because the concept of “permanence” settles in. I have definitely cried tears wanting my old life back. You feel stupid. You know you can’t have it back, but your heart doesn’t care. It wants what it wants.

But, after the tears, you settle into, “Okay, this is forever, now what?”

I’ll touch base with you throughout this year on that.

Thank you for indulging me this post. I usually share children’s books and I’ll get back to that, but occasionally, at least I’ve heard that sometimes, people like to hear from the author behind the books.

So, here it is. This is me. All laid bare for you to see the painful journey I have been on these past 15 months and 21 days.

Thank you to everyone for all of your love and support. There have been others who have reached out throughout this year that I didn’t mention. I’m sorry. I don’t mean to offend anyone, just telling the story in broad sweeps.

Thank you to my blogging family. You all are awesome!

If any of you have gone through anything similar, I’d love to hear it. Please leave a comment.

Award-Winning Children’s Author, Cindy L. Shirley

Hello, everyone and welcome to Wanda Luthman’s Children’s Book Blog. I love sharing other children author’s with you and today I bring you someone that I know you’re going to love. I met her at a Reader’s Favorite Awards Ceremony several years ago and I just loved her vivaciousness.

Her books are funny and carry valuable lessons in them.

So, Cindy, take it away and tell us about you and your books…

Award-winning children’s author, Cindy L. Shirley grew up in a small town in Cherokee County Georgia. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother of two adorable granddaughters. She loves working with children and has tons of hilarious stories to share with her readers.

In addition to being a former ASP teacher in the North Georgia school system, Mrs. Shirley is the founder of Let’s Pretend Parties and Let’s Pretend Publishing. She continues to work with children of all ages as a party planner, entertainer, and hostess. These adventures along with her personal experiences are the basis for her heartwarming children’s books: “Diesel the Body Guard: No Bullies Allowed”, “Go-Cart Gertie”, “Doodle and the Magic Christmas Float”, “A Song for Birdie: A Child’s Journey with Autism”, “Kitty Ballou’s Sanctuary Zoo”, and the series of “The Fabulous Life of Minnie the Sassy Chick.”

Each beautifully illustrated book contains a valuable lesson that is ideal for elementary school-aged children. Her creative and fun-filled storylines are sure to make children everywhere laugh and smile.

Amazon author page: www.amazon.com./author/cindyshirley 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cindy Shirley

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cindyshirleyauthor

Twitter:https://twitter.com/C.L.Shirley@Preferredclean

Thank you, Cindy, for sharing all your wonderful books with us today.

And thank you, my loyal blog fans, I truly appreciate each and every one of you! I hope you will purchase one or several of Cindy’s books and make the day of your favorite little one.

As always, likes, comments, and shares are always appreciated.

Stay safe out there, everyone!

Future Plans: Career Exploration for Teens

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s children’s book blog. Today, we have our favorite child psychologist with us to help us help our teens find what they want to be when they grow up.

Dr. Allen, take it away…

Future Plans: Career Exploration for Teens

by

Dr. Valerie Allen

As your teen approaches legal age, he or she should be completing high school with an eye on the future. They can choose to apply for employment with on-the-job training, enter the military, enroll in a specialized vocational or certification program, apply a two year community college, or register for a  four year university. It’s not necessary for them to make an absolute career choice at this stage of their life. Typically, we first learn about the job and careers we don’t want. It takes a while longer to figure out the exact career path we will ultimately choose. Success and satisfaction in one’s career requires that we find something we enjoy, do well, and provides financial security. Here are some things to consider when teens begin to explore which career path will best  meet his or her needs.

  1. Technical: enjoys using a special skill; thrives on the challenges presented by the task; is not interested in climbing the corporate ladder.

2. Managerial: focuses on getting ahead; enjoys responsibility; likes having influence on the end goal; willing to change from one job to another to learn new skills and have new opportunities.

3. Lifestyle: may want to live is a specific community, small town, or large city; may enjoy living near a cultural center; wants to limit working hours to afford more time for a  balanced life with friends, family, and hobbies.

4. Autonomy: values independence; wants to be his own boss and set his own pace within the workplace;  wants to avoid the hassles, drama, and office politics of large organizations or corporations.

5. Stability: seeks security; would give up higher pay for less stress, more benefits, and a guaranteed paycheck.

6. Entrepreneur: wants to be creative; money a  motivator;  is inspired to provide a  new or creative service or product.

7. Services:   a humanitarian; his concern is to make the world a better place; he likes to shape policies and wants to help others.

8. Challenges: considers success from the point of view of “all” or  “none”; winning or losing is of utmost importance;  highly competitive; tends to be thrilled when seeking to solve the unsolvable.

Discussing your teens values, what is of interest to them, and where they think they will find satisfaction will help them move along  a career path where they feel comfortable and will ultimately find success.

~ ~ ~

Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist in private practice. She  has published two children’s chapter books, “Summer School for Smarties” and “Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends ” and  a  picture book  for beginning readers, “The Sun and The Moon.”  Oh yes, she has also raised six children!

Thank you, Dr. Valerie Allen, for sharing your expertise with us today and being a guest on my blog. Everyone always appreciates what you have to say.

And to my loyal blog followers, thank you for stopping by today! As always–likes, comments, and shares are appreciated.

Stay safe

Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action, Children’s Book

Children’s Author, Darlene Foster

Hello, everyone!

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s Children’s Book Blog.

Today, I want to introduce to you one of my favorite children’s authors. I’ve known her virtually for several years now. Her name is Darlene Foster and she’s written a series of books on a girl named Amanda in the Amanda Travels series.

Darlene, please tell us about you and your inspiration for this book as well as the series…

Why I Wrote Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action

My interest in the country of Holland began when a teacher read us a book called, Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates, by Mary Mapes Dodge, which I loved. The book, written in 1865, by an author who had never been to Holland herself but heard stories about it from her Dutch neighbours.

Over the years I read other books that took place in Holland, many of them about the war years. Two of my aunts married men who immigrated to Canada from Holland and shared interesting stories about growing up in the war-torn Netherlands. Then, as a teenager, I read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, which had a profound effect on me. I vowed to one day visit the place where she hid with her family and wrote in her diary.

Tulips are my favourite flower and I dreamt of seeing them growing in the fields of Holland. A few years ago my dream came true when my husband and I visited Holland. While there, I kept saying how much Amanda would love it there. I made sure to spend time at Anne Frank’s House and was brought to tears.

It didn’t take much convincing for me to place my next Amanda adventure in the land of tulips, wooden shoes and windmills. I wanted to tie in some history of Holland during World War II and have Amanda visit Anne Frank’s House and reflect on the serious effects of racial discrimination.

Along with an abandoned puppy and a mystery concerning stolen tulip bulbs, Amanda looks for clues as to what happened to her great-uncle who was reported missing in action while serving in Holland during World War II and makes a startling discovery.

I hope that children reading the story will become interested in this amazing country and want to visit it one day. I also hope they learn more about the effects of war and strive for world-wide peace and acceptance in this crazy world we live in.

As Otto Frank, Anne’s father said, “We cannot change what happened anymore. The only thing we can do is to learn from the past and to realize what discrimination and persecution of innocent people means, I believe that’s it’s everyone’s responsibility to fight prejudice.”

If my books create interest in other countries and cultures, encourage travel and cause readers to think as well as be entertained, I´ve done my job as a writer.

Bio of Darlene Foster

Darlene Foster is a Canadian author of the popular Amanda Travels series featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places where she encounters mystery and adventure while learning about another culture. Readers of all ages enjoy travelling with Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another in countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Spain, England, Germany, Holland and her own country, Canada. Darlene’s short stories have won prizes and a number of them have been published in anthologies. She has also written a bi-lingual book for English/Spanish readers.

Darlene grew up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where her love of reading inspired her to travel the world and write stories. Over the years she held interesting jobs such as an employment counsellor, ESL teacher, recruiter and retail manager, and wrote whenever she had a few spare minutes. She is now retired and has a home in Spain where she writes full time. When not travelling, meeting interesting people and collecting ideas for her books, she likes to spend time with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.

Her books include: Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask, Amanda in Spain: The Girl in The Painting, Amanda in England: The Missing Novel, Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone, Amanda on The Danube: The Sounds of Music, Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind, and Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action. Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady will be released in the spring of 2021.

Social media links

Website: Darlene Foster    

Facebook   

Amazon author page

WordPress Blog     

Goodreads     

Twitter@supermegawoman

Thank you, Darlene, for sharing your latest book in the Amanda Travels series. She’s quite an amazing girl, Amanda, in all the places she has traveled and the mysteries she has unraveled.

And thank you, my loyal blog readers. I hope you enjoyed meeting Darlene, the author, and Amanda, the character.

As always–likes, comments, and shares are appreciated.

Stay safe

TALK TO TELL-IT-TO-THE-WORLD MARKETING PODCAST LISTENING PAGE

I’d like to invite you to listen to my interview with Patty Fletcher, the host of Talk to Tell-It-To-The-World Marketing. It’ll give you a glimpse into me and my writing journey.

Scroll down until you come to Franky the Fearless Flamingo’s picture.

It’s podcast #9.

Click on that and listen.

It’s about 30 minutes.

As always–likes, comments, and shares are appreciated.

I Wish You Happiness, A Children’s Book

Children;s Author, Michael Wong

Hello, everyone!

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s Children’s Book Blog where we share children’s books with positive social/emotional messages.

Today, I have a new author, Michael Wong, sharing a wonderful book that is incredibly timely in today’s social climate.

Here’s Michael to tell us more about his book…

I Wish You Happiness is a beautiful and inclusive book of inspiring wishes and beautifully enchanting illustrations by a prize-winning artist, to empower children to be the best they can be.

Hi, my name’s Michael. I got the idea for the book last December. As parents, we have so many wishes for our children, such as happiness, love, dreams, courage, hope, etc. We typically give children a gift, attach a card, and write a wish or two on it. I thought it’d be so much more meaningful to give a book full of empowering and inspiring wishes.

I designed the book to be a gift book. I wanted the book to have the most beautiful illustrations, so people would love giving it as a gift for birthdays, baby showers, Christmas, graduation, etc.

I compiled a dozen potential illustrators. The one I liked the most and contacted wasn’t available. I asked my wife which illustrator she liked the most. She told me she loved Ann Baratashvili’s work. So, I contacted Ann. Thankfully, she was available and agreed to work on my project.

Ann and I worked on the illustrations for about five months. Ann is an incredibly talented illustrator. She had already illustrated two books for major publishers in South Korea and Georgia. I count my blessings every day that I listened to my wife’s suggestion. 🙂

The book’s designer is David Miles, a US-based designer of over 300 books, and former Creative Director of Familius Publishing. I’m so grateful for the fantastic team of creative talent that’s helped turn my idea into a beautiful reality.

I wanted the illustrations to be diverse and inclusive. I know from firsthand experience how it feels to grow up in a world where some people don’t understand and accept everyone as unique individuals and treat them with respect. My parents were both Chinese. I was born in England and grew up there for the first thirty years of my life. I moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2014.

The beautiful illustrations embrace diversity and inclusion and show children the many ways we are different from one another, to help them understand and accept themselves and others as unique individuals.

Available on Kickstarter

My two beautiful boys are the inspiration for my books. They, along with my wonderful wife, bring me happiness and joy every day.

A big driving force for me is to create something meaningful that can empower and inspire my boys, and all the beautiful children in this world, to be the best they can be, not just today, but in five years, twenty years, and even after I’ve left this world.

I’m inspired by all the incredible books I’ve read to my children that were written so long ago, such as the wonderful books by Dr. Seuss. I think it’s incredible that something you create today can still have an impact decades later, even long after you’re gone.

With everything that’s going on in the world right now, there’s no better time to bring positive energy to the world. I honestly believe that I Wish You Happiness can empower and inspire children to be the best they can be. And, of course, it is a truly thoughtful gift for any occasion. But of course, I’m biased. 🙂

I Wish You Happiness will be released on November 20, 2020 (World Children’s Day).

You can order a copy on Kickstarter.

You can follow Michael @PiccoPuppy on Instagram, Facebook, and his PiccoPuppy.com website.

Thank you, Michael, for sharing your wonderful book! It’s is most definitely both beautiful and inspiring! I think people are going to love it! I wish you all the best in its success.

And thank you to my loyal blog readers. I hope you will grab yourself a copy and cuddle up with your favorite little one and read it over and over with them.

As always–likes, comments, and shares are appreciated!

A New Puppy Children’s Book

Children’s Author, Wanda Roberts

Hi everyone,

I have a new children’s author to introduce you to today and I love her name, Wanda!

Here she is to tell you about her book, A New Puppy. Take it away, Wanda…

Wanda’s books are fun and educational. Her fantastic books are based on her real-life dogs who were raised, and rescued by her son. 

A New Puppy, Book 1, The Adventures of Tara and PepPep is a young children’s book series based on the backyard adventures of two young puppies out to explore the world!

Available on Amazon

Tara and Pep Pep are both real-life rescue dogs, who were adopted and given a wonderful, new home in a loving family.

What will Tara and Pep Pep get up to next, I wonder?

Wanda also has a passion to help children succeed.  She has been a volunteer Court Appointed Advocate for fifteen years for neglected and abused children,  and recently became inactive due to her demanding medical profession. Wanda received the Presidential Volunteer Award for her dedication to improving children’s lives.

Wanda L. Roberts was born in Milford, Connecticut on December 4, 1960.  She juggles a full-time job in the medical field, and writing wonderful children’s books.  Wanda also is the Founder of The Writers Rock groups which she created to help aspiring writers develop their writing skills and provide them the necessary resources in their writing journey, including a platform to market their books.

It started out as a local project, but has expanded internationally to twenty nine countries. This became her non-profit organization and consists of aspiring writers to International best sellers. In the future she plans to hold book tours and various events to help them market their books. You can find her organization on www.writersrock2020.com


Her inspiration came when the beginning of the pandemic happened and gave parents no option, but to become teachers. Therefore, Wanda felt it was important to give parents a break, and offer them some reading time for their children. She set up daily reading time with the children’s book authors to read their books aloud. After the series of Children’s books authors finished, Wanda received her calling to write her own children’s books. 

It all just seemed to mold together within a few days, until she had all eight stories written for her series. Her books are for ages 3-5 years old and are available in eBook and paperback. They include life lessons and have fun activities in the back. 

Her first book was released June 20, 2020. She plans to publish all eight books by  Christmas and continue writing children’s books. Her book series can be found on Amazon. She received her first 5 star review a few days after her release date.

Thank you, Wanda, for all the good you are doing in the world for children and for you new book, A New Puppy. I’m looking forward to the whole series.

And thank you my loyal blog readers for stopping in today and reading this blog. As always–likes, comments, and shares are always appreciated.

Cefa the Cat, a Children’s Book

Childrens author, Cristine, and her cat, Cefa

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s Children’s Book Blog where I showcase children’s books with positive social/emotional messages.

Today, I have an author who wrote about a cat and if you know me at all, you know I love cats! I’ve rescued 15 feral cats. They still live outdoors in their colony but they have all been fixed and I feed them every day. Most of them let me pet them which is a real honor for any cat, much less a feral one.

Enough about me, here’s Cristine, to tell you about her book and her cat, Cefa.

Take it away, Cristine…

The Story…..

Cefa is a cute and curious little cat.  He manages to get into mischief and, along with his new found friends, always seems to find a way out of each sticky situation.

In this introductory book you learn Cefa lives at the Animal Shelter. It tells about his life there and how he ends up being adopted.

This books leads to the series of children’s picture books called The Adventures of Cefa the Cat.Each book tells how he meets a new friend and how they form a long and lasting bond.  We hope you like this little introductory book and will want to read more about Cefa, his adventures and all his friends.

Available on Amazon

This series is based on the adventures, or misadventures as some will find, of our Russian Blue cat. He was a very active cat with a lot of character. He would roam around the yard and eventually found himself in various situations. It was fun to watch as he tried to decide just how he was going to find a way out. I used these situations as the basis of our stories.

Biography…

I started out as a primary school teacher – second grade.  It was a lot of fun but then my life changed and I went through a serious of career moves and actual city moves until I landed in northern California. 

My husband and I bought a print and copy shop and I taught myself how to use various software programs such as photoshop, corelDraw, etc.  This was in the mid-80s when computers were just starting to become popular.

After I retired, I needed something to keep me busy, hence “The Adventures of Cefa the Cat” came to be.  I decided to put my teaching and computer skills to use and with the help of my cousin, who did the illustrations, we published our first Cefa book.

“The Adventures of Cefa the Cat” is an internet collaboration in the true sense of the word. Pictures were sent via email and put into a graphics program for finishing touches. After much writing and editing, drawing and redrawing, changing and rearranging the final product was made available online.

Since then Ive expanded.  There are now 6 Cefa books and Ive also created several other childrens picture books too.  Ive created a Cefa website, a Cefa facebook page and a Cefa blog.

Two years ago I decided I needed something else to do, so I volunteer for a program sponsored by our local United Way called Reading Pals.  Through Reading Pals we visit a local school two times a week and read various picture books to a Kindergartener.

It took me back to my earlier teaching days.  It was a lot of fun reading to each youngster and see their faces light up when they liked the book or express their controversy when they didnt.

Then came Covid-19 and you all know what happened.  Schools were closed and so was the Reading Pal program.  I missed my little guys.

I then decided that since I was already writing blogs about our favorite childrens books why not talk about them too.  Just like I was doing during my Reading Pal period.

I created a video blog channel on Youtube.  I’ve started by featuring two of my books and it is expanding to include other books too.  The channel is called Cefa’s Book Blog and I hope you will visit it and let me know of other books to feature.

Website – http://www.cefathecat.com

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/cefathecat

Youtube channel – Cefa’s Book Blog

Cefa’s First Adventure on Youtube

Thank you, Cristine, for sharing your Cefa the Cat book series on my blog today. Cefa sounds like a fun cat and beautiful too!

And thank you, my loyal blog readers. I hope you will check out all Cristine is doing with her books and blog!

As always–likes, comments, and shares are appreciated!

Hector the Inspector

Elaine Bourret, Children’s Author of Hector the Inspector Books

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Wanda Luthman’s Children’s Books Blog today!

It’s a Monday and that can make you feel a little blah, but it can also be exciting as you think about starting a brand new week with all sorts of possibilities out in front of you!

That’s what I hope you’ll feel while reading this post from a wonderful children’s author, Elaine Bourret.

I love a rhyme and Hector the Inspector is just fun to say!

So, here’s Elaine to tell us about her books.

Take it away, Elaine…

Just over two years ago, I awoke from a dead, dreamless sleep with the picture of a little, red-headed boy in an much-too-big trench coat and the words, “Hector the Inspector and the Quest for Kindness” taking up all of the little brain space I have left.  I instantly knew who Hector was as a character:  a sensitive, introverted, child who needed to face the often-overwhelming world around him by learning to look for the good amidst the noise. 

Initially, I was going to go back to sleep and think about it later, but I couldn’t.  So, I picked up a pen and paper and wrote down that first title (which has since become the second), and then more titles just flowed unexpectedly out of my pen.  By the time I was finished, I realized I had a children’s book series in my hands.  Totally unexpected.  While I have always enjoyed writing and hoped to one day have the time to take on a meaningful writing project, I’d never thought about writing children’s literature.  But, then, there was Hector, compelling me in this unexpected direction. 

As I was writing, it became quite obvious that my draft of The Quest for Kindness was too long for an early elementary children’s book, so, out of necessity, I split it in two.  Hector the Inspector introduces the reader to the main character, and Hector the Inspector and the Quest for Kindness begins his journey of looking for the good in the world.  I kind of see Hector as a Mr. Rogers in training.  He’s a gentle soul, but he’s still a kid and still figuring things out.

Because some of my older children thought some of my word choices were too advanced for young kids (I don’t know that I agree with them), I included a glossary in the back.  Because Hector deals with some pretty big feelings, and I have experience with kids who have had to deal with pretty big feelings, I also included a glossary of feelings that come up in each story, as well as some suggested discussion questions to help parents and caregivers who might find them useful.  Basically, there is a lot of back matter that is born either out of my English degree, love of education, many years of homeschooling my children, and/or my experiences with adoptive/trauma parenting.

My husband and I are the parents of six kids, ages 13-22.  Some are biologically ours, and some are ours through adoption.  If I have learned one thing through parenting and homeschooling my biologically diverse pack (until they reach the high school years), it’s that the nature vs. nurture debate is kind of silly.   It is both.  Every child comes with a basic personality (nature), and we, as the adults in their lives, have to help them identify and channel their strengths and temper and overcome their weaknesses (nurture); and, with our help and guidance, things that may seem to be weaknesses can become strengths.

You can follow me at:

www.ProbityPublishing.org

www.facebook.com/ProbityPublishing (mostly here)

To purchase:      https://probitypublishing.org/shop/ , amazon.com,  or your favorite bookstore’s website.

Thank you, Elaine, for sharing your fun, quality books with us that help to spread kindness in our world. Something we desperately need right now.

And thank you, my blogger friends, for reading my post today. I hope you will jump online and purchase both of Elaine’s books and share them with the children you love in your life today!

As always, likes, comments, and shares are always appreciated.

Stay safe