Happy Independence Day, friends! The poem below, “Sounds”, gained so much heart once Spencer added his pencil illustration to it. It’s pretty amazing how much more meaningful it is thanks to his care and talents.

Sounds

 

Hoping you all have a safe and fun July 4th holiday!

Real Mom of SFV book review!Jen, over at Real Mom of SFV did a book review of Could You Hug a Cactus? today and had some amazing things to say about the book!

It’s nerve-racking to send your book out for review. As much as I believe in this book and I’m proud of it, I’m still putting it in someone else’s hands, under someone else’s microscope and getting someone else’s honest opinion. Luckily for us, Jen seems to have liked it!

Again, the process of getting Cactus out into the world is slow-going at times, but when we’re able to get feedback like this, it makes the waiting and the regular effort so rewarding.

In addition to her book review, RealMomOfSFV is also giving away 2 signed copies of the book so head over to RealMomOfSFV for a chance to win!

Thank you, Jen!

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 2.27.40 PM

Spencer and I did a Q&A with Ruby at Westside Mommy and it just went up HERE. She asked some great questions about the difference between living in Michigan and California through the lens of the book – accepting and loving someone even when it is difficult.

Spencer also made clear his total man-crush on Ryan Gosling. All in all, I’d say that’s a win. There’s also a giveaway for free signed copies of Could You Hug a Cactus?  Check it out!

…Author visits!

Thanks to Dan Dabrowski at Stadium Drive Elementary, Gregg Valley at Orion Oaks, and Leah Karagosian at Pontiac’s ATAP, I was able to spend some time back in Michigan to share Cactus and speak to a whole lot of amazing students before the school year ended. This was an amazing opportunity and I’m so glad I got the chance to go!

IMG_3464
IMG_3385
IMG_3387
IMG_3393
IMG_3401

If you’d like to learn more about my author visits, or reach out about scheduling one for your school or a school you know, you can check out my Author Visits page.

No1NewRelease

What an awesome surprise today! Amazon named Could You Hug a Cactus? their #1 New Release in our category! (Children’s Humorous Poetry)

Considering how much I shop on Amazon for everything from home goods to groceries to books and media, seeing my book recognized to some degree on the site is kind of surreal. Just another example of the world opening up it’s arms!

Thanks, Amazon! Thanks, world!

H+I Sign

Could You Hug a Cactus? is officially on sale in downtown LA at Hennessey+Ingalls, the largest art, architecture, and design bookstore in the western US!

But why is our book in an art and architecture bookstore?

H+I-InStore

In good company!

Well, according to Brett Hennessey (the founder’s grandson and store manager), due to the closing of so many physical bookstores, customers are finding it harder and harder to find other types of books in local stores. Due to this reason, Hennessey+Ingalls expanded to include both cookbooks with exceptional photography and children’s books with exceptional art. After looking at Could You Hug a Cactus?, he decided that it would fit right in among their other beautiful children’s books, a testament to the amazing talents and hard work by Spencer.

We’re so happy to have our book available at such an esteemed bookseller. The process and the reach of Cactus continues to grow and we couldn’t be prouder.

Today is (especially) awesome!

One of the hippest kids’ book and fashion accounts on Instagram just put up an incredible post about Could You Hug a Cactus?. @AliSantiago shared such an amazing picture and had such kind things to say about the book and her son’s reaction to the book – I’m blown away.

Ali Santiago's instagram post was so meaningful to me.

The response that Could You Hug a Cactus? has received just continues to amaze me and make me so grateful for all of the people that helped it all happen.

Finally! We got Could You Hug a Cactus? into the hands of those that made it happen, and the response has been overwhelming!! We love seeing all the amazing pictures of people getting their books, reading them to their children, sharing them with their friends. This is everything we hoped it would be when we first started.

IMG_3206 2
Adam
Chad
Felix
IMG_3205 2
IMG_3210 2
JR
Roger
Sarah L
Snead
Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 6.03.55 PM

Thank you backers, fans, friends, and family! This has been a great journey so far and we’re only getting started!

Today’s the day! We shipped 250 books out today to our amazing Kickstarter backers! Caroline and the team at my local Post Office are rockstars. (Though I’m not allowed to take pictures inside the post office so we don’t get to see them) I completely filled the rolling cart 5 1/2 times and hung out for about two and a half hours while we got them all out! Looking forward to what people have to say about the book.

cart of books

This was the final cart – this is not full. There were 5 full carts before this.

Sending out the book, putting a mark of completion on the project was an emotional moment. It was kind of hard to let go and let everything move on. As I take on and tackle projects that are meaningful to me, I find myself confronted by unexpected emotions. My brain asks, “why is it difficult to mail out a book I’ve been championing for eight months?” but I feel it anyway.

By sending it out, I’m moving on to the next chapter, a place that is foreign to me. Selling books, pitching them to bookstores, tracking reviews – this is all brand new. I have to let go of this odd comfort of being in a place I have been for so long. And honestly, maybe there is fear that the book won’t be as well received as I want it to be.

But it’s done. It’s out. And I’m moving forward, like it or not.

Book Packing All-Star Team

Check out this all-star team!

What an awesome day! Some amazing friends came out to the office to help Spencer and I pack up the majority of the Kickstarter packages. All together, we got about 250 books ready to go, and ate some pizza while we were at it.

From the beginning, the Kickstarter that brought this book to life has been incredibly affirming – seeing the people around you contribute their money, their time, and their efforts to help Spencer and I succeed has been life changing.

Anyway, if you contributed to the Kickstarter, keep an eye on your mailboxes because your books are going to be there very soon!!