Happy St. Patty’s Day

looking down on a crowded field of clover
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

You may not be Irish and that’s okay. We all like to celebrate this day as if we are. The Irish really know how to live!

My husband did one of those genetic tests and turns out he is 26% Irish (the most percentage of anything) which surprised him. I think he thought something more along the lines of Belgian or German would take the seat as the most genes in his gene pool, but alas it is the lucky Irish that he has the most of!

I have Irish in me too but I haven’t done a genetic test yet. I want to but geez, they are expensive!

We have a favorite place we like to go to eat cornbeef and cabbage and that’s a restaurant called Meg O’Malley’s in Melbourne, Florida. They have a huge festival every year with Irish dancers and music and of course, beer! (I don’t drink beer though because it doesn’t taste good to me. I guess I never acquired a taste for it!) But, the festival is a lot of fun!

What about you? If you’re Irish, do you know how much you have in your gene pool? Do you celebrate? If so, where or how?

Leave your answers in the comments. I’d love to hear about it and connect with you on this luckiest of days!!



Spikes for Hank Teaches Self-Acceptance

Spikes for Hank, a children's book, by Anita Kovacevic

Hello, everyone! Thank you for stopping in today. I want to introduce you to a very talented children’s author named Anita Kovacevi. She will be introducing us to her newest book, Spikes for Hank, today. I have read one of her other books and just loved it! I can’t wait to read this one. Please welcome, Anita…

SPIKES FOR HANK by Anita Kovacevic

What can you do when you are a tiny hedgehog, and your parents keep telling you to roll into a ball and defend your life with your spikes? So much worry and constantly having to hide from danger leaves you with no fun, no play and no friends. Or does it?

3-D image of Spikes for Hank children's book by Anita Kovacevic

Hank Hedgehog lives in a beautiful forest surrounded with all sorts of animals, both dangerous and friendly. His parents love him so much that they try, a little too much, to protect him from harm. Eventually, Hank starts hating his spikes and becomes very lonely. However, all good families have problems – once they talk them out, and with a little bit of help from friends, the world can be a wonderful, fun and exciting place again!

Having over 20 years experience in teaching and storytelling with children and adults, I know very well that children need to be involved in a story while it is read, and what helps them relax and open their minds and hearts up in that reading niche is having someone they trust ask the right questions at the right time. Sometimes adults who read the stories with children need a little help in that department – some of them don’t realize talking to kids while reading is a good thing, whereas others know it is good, but lack ideas for questions. Therefore, just like all my children’s books, Spikes for Hank also contains simple illustrations and questions after each chapter to help both children and adults enjoy themselves, using the story as starters of more conversations, developing empathy and strengthening children’s problem solving skills. These questions do not interrupt the flow of text, but follow each chapter, and one does not need to read them to be able to follow the story line.

The book also contains riddles and coloring pages in the final chapters.

Spikes for Hank, a children's book, opened to a page for a "sneak peak"SNEAK PEEK

From the FOREWORD:

We are all born with some part of ourselves we don’t especially like. In fact, sometimes we hate it and wish we were different.

But with time, and a little help from our friends and family, we all discover we are as we are for a reason, and each of us is special and unique in our own way.

Sometimes, quite often in fact, what we thought our weakness turns out to be our most prized possession. Would it not be a dull world if we were all the same?

From one of the chapters:

‘I’m a tiny hedgehog, love my spikes and all,

When danger comes my way, I just roll into a ball.

If you want to harm me, know my spikes can sting.

Just let me go my way and I’m a happy thing.


My spikes are superpower – they help me do some good –

No winter is too long when I gather food.

Apples, mushrooms, pears, they all stick when I roll.

So no one goes hungry when deep snows fall.’

From the riddle section – about Hank’s unusual animal friend:






Everyone always talks about the magic that happens when a child reads a book or hears the story. I love it, too.

But you want to know what my favourite moment is?

It is when children finish reading the story and step out of it, bringing the magic with them into the real world. When they finish Alice in Wonderland and realize there is always more than one way of looking at the world. When they read The Little Prince and know the box can contain anything you wish – it is all up to us.

There are so many stories which can empower us all to be better and stronger versions of ourselves. May we all find them and spread that magic to the world.

Anita Kovacevi's collection of children's books


Spikes for Hank  ebook https://tinyurl.com/y8np4as5  ppb https://tinyurl.com/y86wkq56


In “Spikes for Hank” Ms Kovacevic has drawn upon her experience as an educator and her knowledge of children to create a tale that will entertain and reassure as well as teach and spark the imagination.

Erica (E J) Gore, Author, Speaker, Teacher; Taya Bayliss Mysteries for young readers; The Gummshoe Gang – Taking a stand against Bullying; The Tooth Fairy Tales


I really enjoyed reading “Spikes for Hanks” by Anita Kovačević and I would highly recommend this book to children and adults – parents and teachers –  everyone who likes tales and believes that good stories can develop our imagination and creativity! A wonderful story for all ages!

Ana Vlahek Horvat, parent, educator and cultural management expert

Anita Kovacevic adheres to the same learning philosophies I do: children learn best through interaction and questions, paired with relatable themes and characters.(…) Her stories integrate life lessons in a subtle and engaging way, without being preachy, something parents and kids will appreciate.

Traci Sanders, Award-winning author of parenting, children’s, and romance titles

By using simple illustrations and describing a well-known situation in a child’s life, the author helps children understand the problem. She provides an interesting way to actively engage children in the reading process by adding questions after each chapter. Children can give different answers, have new ideas and form their own opinions, which is what makes every child unique and exceptional. A book like this one can be very useful and helpful in the life of a kindergarten child, as well as to us, preschool teachers.

Sandra Perko and Tanja Petric, parents and preschool teachers (early foreign language development)

Anita Kovacevic, children's author, holding Spikes for Hank book


Anita Kovacevic is a multigenre author and teaches English as a second language. Her parenting, teaching and storytelling experience is blended into all her children’s books. She enjoys using stories as teaching tools and never misses a chance to do so, relishing storytelling lessons in which she not only teaches children, but also learns a lot from them. Her books include children’s literature, but also adult fiction and stories featured in various anthologies, including charity ones.

Anita always has several works-in-progress, and you can read her interviews and reviews on her WordPress blog Anita’s Haven (https://anitashaven.wordpress.com/ )


Winky’s Colours  ebook https://tinyurl.com/yb5a76wx  ppb https://tinyurl.com/yask4nhy

Mimi Finds Her Magic ebook https://tinyurl.com/y8tmw9nc ppb https://tinyurl.com/y7a7oe8y

The Good Pirate  ebook https://tinyurl.com/y9dejlha  ppb https://tinyurl.com/y77htxrg


Amazon universal link Author.to/AnitaKovacevicAmazon

Barnes & Noble all Nook https://tinyurl.com/ybfpg9gb

Kobo all Rakuten https://tinyurl.com/ycxuds4g

iTunes all Apple https://tinyurl.com/ydfyn8hq

Book Gorilla  http://tinyurl.com/le5h4x2 Lulu http://tinyurl.com/ltbvq54

Goodreads  http://tinyurl.com/jwovbbv

(find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as Anita’s Haven)

Thank you, Anita, for sharing your newest book with us! I just love little hedgehogs and Hank is just adorable. Plus, the lovely message he shares with children is one we all can use (learning to accept ourselves just as we are).

Maureen Larter, Children’s Author

Maureen Larter, children's author, picture

Hi, everyone,

Today, I’d like you to welcome someone very special to me. Her name is Maureen Larter. While I met her through social media, I have come to know this woman as incredibly generous and kind and one of those people that is spreading seeds of goodness so very much needed throughout our world today. And an extra special birthday, her 70th, will be on Wednesday, March 7th. So, leave her a Happy Birthday message in the comments. I know she’ll love it! And now, please welcome, Maureen Larter.





Writing for children is not easy.

You have to think like a child.

And, as I am far from my childhood, I decided to think like a parent instead. So now, when I write my stories, I consider what the parents would like to be reading to their children.

I am aware that many children are growing up these days with a love of toilet humour and violence – they see so much on television if they are allowed to watch it. But I decided to go down the path of fantasy, trying to teach children lessons in a pleasant and entertaining way.

Most of my picture books have a message about life, and at the back of my ‘Alphabet Animals of Australia’ series, I have purposely written a list of projects connected with the stories for school teachers to follow up. For example, in the book ‘Betty Bee’s Birthday Bash’ I suggest researching into other colony type insects.

In ‘Frank Frog feels Foolish’ I recommend a day excursion to a pond or swamp land to find ways to keep our waterways clean.


My latest release is ‘Kathy Koala’s Kerfuffle’, I ask that the students do a project on any animal beginning with ‘K’

Maureen Larter's children book called Kathy Koala's Kerfuffle. Illustrated by Annie Gabriel

My name is Maureen Larter and I was born in England in the late 1940’s and came over to Australia when still a toddler. I teach piano and violin, and live in New South Wales, Australia. Other than my children’s picture books, I also write chapter books and gardening guides I’ve also written a self-help book, as well as an adult novel under the name Marguerite Wellbourne. There are more books to be launched in 2018. Send your email to maureenlarter@gmail.com if you would like advanced notice.

I live on a small-holding of 12 acres, and try to live self-sufficiently, while taking care of the soil and the environment. In the past, I have taught English, Social Studies, Music and Mathematics in High Schools in Australia. In the last ten years, I have travelled, living in China and Cambodia for a short time, teaching English.

picture of all of Maureen Larter's childrens books

To connect with Maureen or follow her on social media, please follow the links below:

Email:- maureenlarter@gmail.com

facebook :- http://www.facebook.com/eBooksByMaureenLarter

and  http://www.facebook.com/AlphabetanimalsofAustralia

blog:- readeatdream.net

Be Amazing; A New Children’s Book

Be Amazing! by Dolores Oldjohn; Illustrated by Julie Sneeden


Hi, everyone!

Today, I’d like to introduce you to a children’s author that lives in Africa. She has a wonderful picture book out that will help instill positive values in children all over the world.

Please read on to learn more about how to ‘Be Amazing’!


Be Amazing is a new children’s book written by Dolores Oldjohn, this charming book is perfect for young children, to help them understand the importance of virtues and values. Once read, the child will not only be empowered by knowing who they are and what they stand for, but they will be able to make better decisions, understand one another, and know their rights which in turn will result in happy children. These stories will have a positive effect on children and make their unpleasant experiences bearable. The book also includes enchanting illustrations to tell the story the way it deserves to be told and to make children understand the message better.

Co-editor of the bestselling book “The Journey” Dolores Oldjohn is an Engineer by profession. As a mother, Dolores understands the pressures parents are faced with in today’s world. Parents are busier than ever before; they are more stressed and worn-out. When they get home they let a lot of things slide, and by so doing they end up neglecting the core of engagement, character building, encouragement, and establishing values. This and many other social ills birthed this book to create awareness and to fill in the gaps while inspiring and encouraging little minds. Each story focuses on some of the core values that seems to be lost in society. This book makes a good bedtime story and enrichment for life skills. When she is not writing she enjoys playing ten-pin bowling, ice-skating, and board games.

Dolores Oldjohn has been interviewed in Morning live-SABC 2, Vuka Afrika- ANN7, E-TV, CTVSA, Alex FM, Jozi FM, Vaaltar FM, OFM, Rise FM, Lotus FM and Motsweding FM.

Below is the link where you can purchase the book
Loot online: http://www.loot.co.za/product/dolores-oldjohn-be-amazing/lvbg-5058-g790


Rhema Bookshop, Randburg
Life media bookshop, CFC Bonaero Park

And here is how you can connect with Dolores Oldjohn author of children’s book
Facebook: Dolores Oldjohn
Twitter: @flowerdoll
Instagram: Dolores Oldjohn
Email: doloresoldjohn@gmail.com

Thank you, Dolores, for sharing your book with us today.

Thank you, everyone, for stopping in and reading. Please consider purchasing her book and connecting with her to learn more.

JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder Presents ‘Can’t Wait for Spring’ Blog Hop!

Book covers and Swag from multiple books


Welcome blog hoppers from

JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder Presents ‘Can’t Wait for Spring’ Blog Hop!

You’ve landed on my blog where I love to share other children’s authors books especially those I find inspirational or have positive messages. I also share my own books here. I have written a total of 5 books and I have a story in a children’s anthology.

Since I’m a Guidance Counselor and Licensed Mental Health Counselor, I always weave positive social/emotional messages into my magical adventure stories. Such themes include forgiveness, self-acceptance, perseverance, love overcoming fear, and more.

I’d love for you to check out my books posted to the right (or at the bottom if you’re on a mobile device) and see if any meet the needs of the children in your life.

I would like to invite you to check out my other pages such as the Kids Page which has tons of coloring pages to print off and enjoy or the Parent or Teacher Page where I share links to websites that have tons of resources for you!

My company is called Lilacs in Literature “where we grow children with character.” If you’d like to be part of the movement, sign up for my newsletter through the Pop Up Box.

And now, drum roll….here’s a game for you to play (and yes, there’s a prize)…I spy with my little eye something green. What am I? Leave your answer in the comment section. And no, that’s not the secret word. HINT: it’s on this page. One winner will be chosen at random from the correct answer.

PRIZE: A personalized signed copy of one of my paperbacks (your choice)

Here’s the link back to the list of blogs for the blog hop https://jbbookworms.blogspot.com/2018/01/test.html

Thanks for stopping by!!

Happy Hopping!


After a Disaster: What to Say to Children


It was one week ago today that a terrible tragedy occurred on one of south Florida’s High School campuses, Marjory Stoneman Douglas. We each are experiencing different emotions from this incident ranging from shock and dismay to extreme sadness to outrage.

Today, our favorite School Psychologist, Dr. Valerie Allen, brings us some words of wisdom in helping our children cope with just such an event.


After a Disaster: What to Say to Children


Often referred to as An Act of God, a Natural Disaster, or Civil Unrest, it is an unexpected event resulting in loss and suffering. It raises to the level of trauma that is outside realm of typical human experience. Victims can be directly or indirectly impacted and harmed by the event itself as well as the aftermath.


A wide range of emotional and physical  responses can be expected especially by children who turn to the adults in their lives for reassurance. Emotionally it is not unusual to become angry, fearful, anxious, or depressed. Physically there may be headaches, stomach upset, lack of appetite or overeating as well as sleep disturbances.


Parents need to support children by establishing a sense of safety and security to help them process their thoughts and feelings. Some strategies which are helpful include:


  • Placing the event in the proper context
  • Offering accurate information about the possibility of this type of event in their community
  • Return to normal routines while being flexible
  • Listen to the child and observe his or her behavior for anything out of the ordinary
  • Accept children’s emotional responses without judgment
  • Explain there is no “right” or “wrong” way to feel
  • Encourage expression of emotions through discussion, journaling, art, or music
  • Monitor and limit exposure to media on television, radio, online, newspapers, etc.
  • Focus on resiliency and compassion
  • Identify various ways people are supportive of each other
  • Allow them to join in disaster relief efforts

Take time to discuss  the ideals of  caring and empathy for all people. Consider themes of diversity and equality among all  human beings.

# # #


Dr. Valerie Allen is a child psychologist in private practice n Melbourne, FL. She is the author of two children’s books, “Summer School for Smarties” and “Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends.” Oh yes, she has also raised six children! DrValerieAlen@cs.com  DrVAllen.com

Thank you, Dr. Allen, for sharing this important information with us today. And everyone take a moment and hug your children a little closer today.

Splotch, An Alice and Friends Book

Kenneth and Ann Hicks, co-authors of children's books


Hi, everyone!

Today, we have a couple that co-author children’s books, Kenneth and Anne Rothman-Hicks. Kenneth, please tell us what inspired your latest book, Sploth, ….

An idea for a book can come from almost anywhere at any hour of the day or night. Once, we were walking down the street in our hometown, New York City, when we saw a stain on the sidewalk that looked like a dog. Here is a picture of it.

an odd shaped splotch on the pavement


The image seemed so real, we wondered what might happen if it suddenly came to life?

We had already written two books about a young girl named Alice, who also lives in New York City. After seeing that splotch of paint, we began to think of ways that she might interact with a picture of a dog. Maybe, we thought, she might want a real dog, but her mother and father won’t let her have one. The Alice from our prior two books is not the type of girl who gives up easily. She has an idea. She will upload a picture of the dog on her computer and, on her social media account, she will pretend that she is taking care of her “virtual pet” and will post about taking her dog out for walks, feeding him, bathing him, and doing all the things that a dedicated pet owner does. She is sure that she will soon become an internet sensation, and her parents will be embarrassed into buying her a real dog.

Of course, this is not the way things worked out for Alice in the story. Splotch, as she calls her dog, comes to life and begins to act as her personal guard dog. This causes lots of trouble at school and with Alice’s friends when Splotch starts taking nips at whomever he thinks is mean to Alice. Finally, Alice has to figure out how to get Splotch back in the computer and out of her life!


Splotch, an Alice and Friends Book by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks
Available on Amazon



Also, in the Alice series are Stone Faces and Brownstone Faces. Like Splotch, both books were inspired by things that we saw as we walked together. We’ll tell you all about them on another day.

Anne Rothman-Hicks is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College where, in 1969, at a college dance, she met a student from Haverford named Kenneth Hicks. They have been together pretty much ever since, getting married, having children, writing books, making art, and generally conspiring to live lives that are happy, creative, and good.

Anne and Ken’s most recent novels and stories are set in New York City, where they have lived for most of their married lives.

Their middle reader series, Alice and Friends, features Alice, a 10-year-old girl with a vivid imagination that gets her into and out of trouble. The titles are, STONE FACES, BROWNSTONE FACES, and SPLOTCH.

In Ken and Anne’s tween book, THINGS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM, Jennifer and James find a pigeon in Central Park whose foot was caught in a bit of string attached to a fence. Only this pigeon was actually a man before he was turned into a pigeon over a hundred years earlier. Now he needs some help to be turned back into a man before a certain hawk captures and eats him instead.

A sequel, REMEMBERING THOMAS, will be published by MuseItUp Publishing in March of 2018.

Connect with Kenneth and Ann on these links

Ken and Anne’s blog: www.randh71productions.com/blog

Ken and Anne’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Kenneth-Hicks-and-Anne-Rothman-Hicks-622272714477979


Purchase their books here:

Buy links for Brownstone Faces:

Muse: https://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/now-available-in-ebook/brownstone-faces-detail

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Brownstone-Faces-Alice-Friends-Book-ebook/dp/B01MT6HM7V

Buy links for Stone Faces:


Thank you, Kenneth, for sharing about Splotch, what a cute idea for a book! And I love the New York City inspirations behind all of your books.

Jory the Terror, a Children’s Book about adjusting to new settings

Melia Neal, children's author


Hi, everyone! Today, I’m bringing you a new author who has a background near and dear to my heart, plus she lives in Missouri (the state I grew up in)! So, we already know she’s awesome.

Melia, tell us about yourself and your book, Jory the Terror…

My name is Melia Neal, I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Seven years ago, I relocated to Cape Girardeau, Missouri with my family. I am a wife and mother of three beautiful children, two boys ages 15 and 12 and one 10-year-old girl. I have a degree in Early Childhood Development and a degree in Psychology. My current position is a Children’s Service Worker for the state of Missouri.

Besides writing I enjoy working with children and families and being involved in the community. One community group that I am a part of is a nonprofit organization called Authentic Voices. Authentic Voices is a group of individuals playing an active role in the community to empower individuals to create solutions.

I started writing poems and short stories in high school as a hobby. I have written plays and movie scripts in the past. This past year I decided to take my writing to the next level by releasing my first children’s picture book called Jory The Terror on November 5,2017.


Jory the Terror by Melia Neal
Available on Amazon



Jory The Terror is a children’s story that emphasizes the importance of being oneself and adjusting to new settings. Jory the Terror is an alter ego that a young boy adopts to help adjust to having to leave home for school. Jory The Terror is dedicated to my little nephew who is the sweetest kid in the world but is often perceived in the wrong way because of his adverse approach.



After working as a director for an early childhood program I noticed that children may struggle to make friends because they do not understand how to communicate with others effectively. In the story, Jory is new to the school and is looking to gain new friendships with his classmates.

This book is the start of a series of children picture books that I will be releasing over the next few years.

I am planning to release my second children’s book this year called Aaliyah and Her Sidekick King. This book is a fiction picture book dedicated to my daughter Aaliyah. This book is to bring enlightenment on girls having the same physical capabilities as boys when it comes to playing sports. I am hoping that this book will empower not only my daughter but other little girls.

Through my children books, I am hoping to inspire the readers and the listeners through various issues that children face daily.

Learn more about Melia’s books at the links below

Youtube: https://youtu.be/RS0w5ckFJgw
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/jory-the-terror-melia-neal/1127228627?ean=9781635754032
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jory-Terror-Melia-Neal/dp/1635754038/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515816491&sr=8-1&keywords=jory+the+terror

Connect with Melia at these links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMeliaSNeal/
Cision(Preweb): http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/12/prweb14994111.htm

Thank you, Melia, for joining us today!

I look forward to your future books!