Ellwyn’s Blog

Interview With Author Kelly Bauer

By way of introduction, here is Kelly Bauer’s bio:

A storyteller from the moment she could talk, Kelly spun stories in rhymes and songs about the adventures of her family traveling the U.S.

She loves getting lost in another world, another time, and another dimension.

Her favorite bedtime stories as a child, and inspiration to write, came from Shel Silverstein, J. R. R. Tolkien, Beverly Cleary, and Maurice Sendak.

Hello Kelly, welcome to Angel Kiss Publications! Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Thank you for having me.

When did the writing bug ensnare you?

I was “writing” in my head long before I wrote on paper. When I was really little I would sing my own made-up songs all day long.

I would get lost in my own fantasy world playing out adventures and just singing about them. Then, in elementary school, I wrote my first book about a pickle. (I might still publish it one day.)

Is writing your full-time profession?

I guess you could say that! I am a retired restaurant owner. Writing is more my passion than profession.

I am the Tree is my first published book and I am excited to bring more works to life.

How long have you been writing?

All my life! I just never thought I would make a career out of it. Most of my writing has never been shared with anyone.

Have you won any literary awards?

Not yet, but I am looking forward to it!

How many published books have you written?

One

Which genres do you write?

Children’s & Memoirs for now.

What do you find most challenging writing for these genres?

I don’t have any kids of my own (just fur babies). So, I write from the perspective of my inner child and my memories of being a child.

What are you working on now?

Right now, I am just enjoying my first book on the market and connecting to readers.

I can’t wait to work with Stella Maris again, the Illustrator for I am the Tree. So, I am dreaming up some projects for another collaboration.

https://pixabay.com/photos/bumble-bee-bee-wings-flower-insect-7348702/
Photo courtesy of Erik Kartis via Pixabay

Where do you find inspiration for your characters?

Well, little known fact, the girl in I am the Tree is me.

And the Tree and the Bee really spoke to me at the top of a mountain in Hot Springs, CA. So, my inspiration so far is real life beings!

What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?

It blows me away every time someone relates to my story. To hear how they interpret it, how it speaks to them and the joy they experience in reading it is humbling and surreal.

It truly makes me appreciate the human experience and how we are all facing similar challenges and can learn from one another.  

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

Follow your dream! Don’t give up. Don’t compare. Be open to collaboration and find people with a similar vision to work with.

I knew nothing about publishing a book ,so I spent a year just researching the industry and learning everything I could to understand my options when publishing.

Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?

I have two pups and three cats and an amazing husband. We live in the country and enjoy being outside as much as possible.

I grew up a city girl and lived all over the United States. My favorite place to be is on the beach at the ocean.

What message are you sharing in your books?

Since closing my restaurant in 2020 I have really spent some time enjoying life again.

The pandemic was such a scary time. I had to walk away from the News and Media for a while to reset and connect with nature and tangible people.

The world seems to be moving at a frantic rate these days for both kids and adults. We are consumed with anxiety inducing messages and expectations.

It doesn’t take much to feel peace. We just have to know how and where to find it. I think true connection (not the on-line type) is the first step.

Connecting to the ground. Put your bare feet in the dirt and look up at the sky. Connecting to nature. Hug a tree! Yes, I said it…hug a tree. Pet a dog/cat.

Listen to the birds. Connecting to humans. Go for a walk together. Belly laugh with a friend.

Say hello to someone you don’t know. Smile. The more we practice these things, even just for a few minutes a day, the more we reduce our anxiety and find joy.

What are your favorite books?

Oh, so many!!! I have also been a reader since before I could read.

  • My Dad read me The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings as bedtime stories before I could read myself! Naturally those are two of my favorites.
  • Anything by Shel Silverstein…I think I own them all.
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – wow, just wow. I have read it three times.
  • Maybe by Kobi Yamada – beautiful illustrations and message
  • An Immense World by Ed Yong – Educational and moving

I could go on and on. My Goodreads que is full! I love all things books…reading, bookstores, book clubs, writing, giving books as gifts…all of it.

If you could create an author’s group with writers from any time period, who would you invite?

Beverly Cleary

Erin Morgenstern

Neil Gaiman

Shel Silverstein

J.R.R. Tolkein

Who has influenced your writing the most?

My Dad. He is an avid reader and writer with an amazing imagination, sense of humor, and fondness for adventure.

When I was three my parents divorced. My Dad would pick me every summer and we traveled the United States together in a camper.

Our first stop was always the bookstore where I could pick out any books I wanted and then he would pick out a few for me to read over the summer.

He always told me I would be a writer some day! He’s always been my biggest fan.

When you’re not writing where can we find you?

Walking, hiking, dancing (I love Zumba), reading, cuddling with my fur babies, laying in the grass, flying with my husband (he’s a private pilot), singing made-up songs in my kitchen (I still do that), or hanging out with friends.

A movie producer wants to turn your book into a movie and you get to make a cameo. What would you do in the movie?

Haha, I love this question. I would want to be a non-human being that the main character connects with at the end of the story, and I would glow and dance after connecting with her.

An elf named 12-25 approaches you. He’s sneezing, wheezing, coughing and there’s a strange tattoo of a snoring dog on his cheek. What do you do?

Offer him a tissue and sympathize because I have sneezed and wheezed my whole life!

Then show him the tattoo on my upper back of a rooster named Carl and ask to hear the story of his snoring dog tattoo! Maybe make a new friend in the process.

What are your most effective marketing strategies?

Being true to who I am. I often feel a lot of social anxiety, but there is no better way to connect to readers than being out in public.

I love to do readings and book signings, author interviews, and sending my book to organizations that resonate with the message and want to collaborate.

Marketing is so much fun for me! But because I knew nothing about this industry, I did hire a fantastic professional who created a 30 day marketing plan for me to follow and it has been amazing.

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?

www.seizethemoon.com

https://www.instagram.com/seizethemoon_books/
https://www.facebook.com/SeizetheMoon

Where can we find your books?

Ask for it at your local bookstore. It can be ordered by them from Ingram Spark. Or, amazon: https://www.amazon.com/I-am-Tree-Kelly-Bauer/dp/B0CBZBS5ZH/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3QJL3OARFG9FJ&keywords=9798988210603&qid=1689600889&s=books&sprefix=%2Cstripbooks-intl-ship%2C1177&sr=1-1

Thank you, Kelly, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success and lots of luck!

Kelly’s Featured Book

Available On Amazon

Title: I am the Tree 

Author: Kelly Bauer

Illustrator: Stella Maris

ISBN: 979-8-9882106-0-3

Publisher: Seize the Moon

Format: Hardcover

Price: 18.95 USD

Nature is calling us

…to bring us a message of Harmony, Laughter, Love and Joy

…to bring us back to our roots and connect us with one another

…that the whole Earth might vibrate as one.

Can you hear it? She did.

The writing of this book was inspired by true events. The author, like so many people today, felt anxious and uncertain about the future of humanity, the future of our planet, and her own part in all of it.

When she was little, she had such magical dreams for her future and the world in which she lived. How could she get those back?

She sat under a tree, dug her bare toes into the soil, closed her eyes and listened to the words of a bee who brought a message of hope.

To read Ellwyn Autumn’s Review on Lemon Drop Literary click here.

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I’ll be joining Amelia Griggs today for her Author Journey Workshop at 1:00 pm EST!

Does anyone need help with any part of the authoring process? Did you write a story that you would like to turn into a book? If so, the Author Journey Roadmap Workshop is for YOU.

It’s happening on August 17th at 1 pm EST. It’s a live zoom training workshop based on the book “Author Journey Success: 7 Steps to Your Bestselling Book” by Amelia Griggs.

In addition to explaining her 7 proven steps on how to transform an idea into a book, there will be freebies like downloadable worksheets and an author roadmap.

There will be a Q & A segment at the end of the workshop which is a BIG benefit if you join live.

In case you can’t join live, the workshop will be recorded and available for replay, but you have to register for the workshop to get the replay!

Who is ready to turn your dream of becoming an author into reality?

Click here to sign up right now:
https://ameliagriggs.podia.com/author-journey-training-7-steps-to-success

Interview With Author Marla Stahl

Photo courtesy of Marla Stahl

By way of introduction, here is Marla Stahl’s bio.:

Children’s book author Marla Stahl is not a grandma (do grand-dogs count?), but she loves to have adventures just like the grandmas in her book, The Adventures of Grandma Charlotte!

She has studied foreign languages, plays the drums (which she learned later in life), and is a tour guide at a major-league baseball stadium. And yes, she’s even taken a ride in a hot air balloon, just like Grandma Charlotte!

Marla’s other children’s book titles include: Can Sugar Come Out to Play?, Lucy the Amazing Wonder Dog, Mason the Ambassadog (in both English and Spanish), Sugar Goes to the Dentist, Nutsy the White Squirrel and Tommy and the Messed Up Order, and her newest book, A School of Fish, which is both a story and a coloring book!

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Hello, Marla, welcome to Angel Kiss Publications. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Thank you for having me.

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When did the writing bug ensnare you? 

Let’s go waaaaay back to my childhood in Queens, New York. My very favorite teacher was Mrs. Stella Rizzo for both 4th and 5th grade.

Every week she sent home a newsletter for our families that was filled with stories that we students wrote, plus puzzles and class news.

I was one of the most prolific writers in my class.

One of the moms sent me a note telling me how much she loved my stories and that she thought that one day I would be a famous author!

Well, I’m certainly not famous, but I have been writing and editing a lot during my career. 

Is writing your full-time profession? 

No, although I did write a lot throughout my career in various roles. 

How long have you been writing? 

I began writing children’s books in 2015.

Image courtesy of Marla Stahl

How many published books have you written? 

My books are self-published. I have written 9 of them (9.5 if you count the one that was translated into Spanish!) 😉  

Which genres do you write?

Children’s books, although one of them is for adults or young adults—a compilation of blog entries that I began writing in 2012 or so. 

What do you find most challenging writing for these genres? 

The easy part for both types of books are that they are written from the heart, inspired by real-life events. Something ignites a spark, and the book pretty much writes itself! The challenging part of being self-published is marketing. 

What are you working on now?

Nothing in the works at the moment.

Where do you find inspiration for your characters?

In real life—my own life, from pets and people I love.

Occasionally someone asks me to write something for them, and I get inspiration from the background they provide and their passion for the characters.

It’s especially fun when I get to actually meet one of those characters in real life! 

Image courtesy of Marla Stahl

What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work? 

Definitely seeing kids (and adults) loving my books. I get photos and videos of kids hugging the books, being read to in a grandparent’s lap… that sort of thing.

They warm my heart! I also enjoy reading to school kids. But the most rewarding time was after releasing a book that was written about my mom’s best friend.

Sadly, my book supply was not shipped in time to present one to her; she passed away just days before my box of books arrived—in fact, it arrived on what would have been her birthday.

But I took several to her funeral, autographed, and gave them to her relatives, and when it was my turn to speak about her, I read the book aloud.

They all read along in their copies, smiling and crying simultaneously, and told me afterwards how special that was and that I perfectly described her amazing life. It is something that will forever be in my heart.

I also loved when, at a book signing event, a young man walked by, recognized me, backed up, and came over to tell me, “I remember you from last year! My little sister still asks me to read your book to her!” 

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

Don’t give up! You may never get that “big break” (I’m still waiting!) but keep your goals in mind.

Have you made your readers happy? Have you taught them something valuable?

Sometimes it’s not all about winning awards or making money — it’s about making a difference. (Although the money is definitely an added benefit!)

Image courtesy of Marla Stahl

Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?

Yes! I give part of my book proceeds to support animal rescue—and sometimes to people-oriented efforts as well.

A purchase helps me to help others. And that makes my heart happy. 

What message are you sharing in your books?

Oh, so many!

First and foremost, kindness to animals; the concept of animal rescue; the love of reading; the love of learning; philanthropy (through my sales donations); and diversity, as most ( but not all ) of my human characters have a somewhat neutral appearance so as to let the readers perhaps see themselves, no matter who they are.

One of my stars is a dog who uses a wheelchair, and he has the most important job in his animal sanctuary—and was actually featured on a TV show!

I also incorporate humor (both for the kids and to keep the adults interested). My books have also inspired kids to explore using their imagination. 

What are your favorite books?

Whichever one I am reading! I love Jan Karon books, autobiographies, and of course, cute books about animals.

When you’re not writing where can we find you?.

Walking with my dog out in nature or sitting on our porch, playing musical instruments and singing, or at a baseball stadium.

In the evenings, watching HGTV! 

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A movie producer wants to turn your book into a movie, and you get to make a cameo. What would you do in the movie?

Hmm… I’d be a fellow traveler with my character, Grandma Charlotte, who in real life went all over the world doing good things for animals and people.

I would want to be in the scene where she goes to an orphanage and simply hugs and rocks babies for 7 hours a day, for a whole week.

Agent 12-15 from Chris Kringle’s Cops

An elf named 12-25 approaches you. He’s sneezing, wheezing, coughing and there’s a strange tattoo of a snoring dog on his cheek. What do you do? 

RUN LIKE MAD! He might have Covid! 

What are your most effective marketing strategies?

Still working on this one.

So far, my best customers have been my friends, who buy my books for grandkids, nieces and nephews, baby showers— or even their spouses!

I also have had the gift of befriending some lovely folks who own pet supply stores, bookstores, or specialty shops, who carry my books in their stores and/or allow me to come in and do book readings and book signings.

They are angels. Additionally, I have participated in many outdoor festivals—book fairs, special animal rescue events, community “Yappy Hours” (community concerts where you are welcome to bring your pets), Fall festivals, holiday craft fairs, and such—pre-Covid.

Looking forward to getting back into these events! Meeting new people there is always a joy. 

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?

Yes! My website is www.woofbooks.com.

I also have a Facebook page (also called Woofbooks), but I have found that most folks there like videos, photos, and memes about animals (of all kinds) more than they like my posts about my books. ; )

But that’s ok, if I am making them smile, I’m happy. It’s fun, kid-friendly, and wholesome. 

Where can we find your books?

Two are on Barnes and Noble, the others on Amazon. They can be found on my website (links will take you right to where you can order).

On my site you can also see videos I made of me reading the books aloud during the beginning of the pandemic shutdown (to entertain kids before virtual school came about—as well as to help me maintain my own sanity!)

That way you can get a feel for what the books are about and whether they are a good fit for the recipient. Not on video is the newest book—a coloring book and story all in one.

One of my books, Nutsy the White Squirrel, can be found in The White Squirrel Shoppe in Brevard, North Carolina. Others can be found in Park Books and LitColab in Severna Park, Maryland, and Growing Minds Bookstore in Catonsville, Maryland.

Thank you, Marla, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success and lots of luck!

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Marla’s Featured Book

Image courtesy of Marla Stahl

Available on Amazon

Hi, kids! Do you wear glasses? Do they stay on your face?

Well, Martha’s glasses liked to fly off her face, and — oh, no! — they especially liked to blow into the sea!

When Martha went scuba-diving, she found some fish–wearing glasses that looked strangely like hers–and the fish looked very much like they were going to school! Find out what this is all about in A School of Fish.

You even get to color in all of the pictures, because it is a COLORING BOOK! Have fun!

Common Sense Gun Reform Petition

Image provided by Goran Horvat from Pixabay.

ENOUGH!

That’s it! Whose school is next?! Whose child is next?!

We must stand together and raise our voices loudly to STOP the VIOLENCE that PLAGUES our SCHOOLS and safe spaces. Our children deserve better!

We must do all we can to make the changes needed to protect our kiddos in and out of the classroom.

Our elected leaders represent us! The majority of Americans support Common Sense Gun Safety.

School shooters don’t care whether you’re Independent, Republican, or Democrat. This is an AMERICAN problem!

Common Sense Gun Reform is one small step in 1,000 mile journey. Let’s take the first one together right now!

Please click the link to sign the petition and share.

Second Chances By Marsha Casper Cook

Photo courtesy of Marsha Casper Cook

Book 2 of the Warrington Legacy!

FREE ON KINDLE TODAY!

Available on Amazon

Leo and Gracie are back again, but their hearts have been broken by previous relationships and that’s keeping them apart.

Even though their podcast, “It’s All About Love,” is successful, they can’t seem to take their own advice while others around them find love and happiness.

Can they forget the past and let love take its course or will they never allow themselves to be happy again?
Is the timing right this time or will they miss the boat?


What readers are saying about It’s All About Love, the first book in the Warrington Legacy series:

“Marsha Casper Cook’s romantic novels are always a pleasure to read. Her characters are so well developed and interesting.”

“I really enjoyed this book! Written by Marsha Casper Cook, an author that believes family is everything.”

“This would make for a wonderful made-for-television movie. I was so invested in these characters that I want to know what happens to them. “

“Leo is the man all men, and I suspect women too, can admire. He proves old-fashioned virtues have a place in modern society and it can’t help but make you feel good.

“This story is heartwarming and beautiful; I haven’t read such a lovely romantic story for a long time.”

“As a person who greatly enjoys reading romance stories, this book is definitely one of the most heartwarming stories I’ve ever read.”

About The Author

Photo courtesy of Marsha Casper Cook via Facebook

Marsha believes family is everything.

In the majority of her books, the memories of her family give her great joy as she reminisces her fondest times bringing her fictional characters to life.

Her hope is her latest stories bring a smile to your face as you read them or listen to them on Audible.

She is also a children’s author and carries her love of family into those stories as well.

To learn more about Marsha click HERE!

Interview With Author Matt Terry

Image courtesy of Matt Terry via Facebook

By way of introduction, here is Matt Terry’s bio:

Matt Terry was born and raised in Nottingham, England, where he works as a Primary School Teacher.

He found his love of writing from the children’s literature he taught from, creating ideas for his own stories.

Inspired by the underlying morals and messages often found in children’s work and with a personal love of rhyme; his own writing style was born.

Matt is still teaching and thoroughly enjoys being able to reach out and impact children’s lives through his work.

Hello, Matt, welcome to Angel Kiss Publications. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.

Thank you for having me.

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When did the writing bug ensnare you?

I’ve had the idea to write my own rhyming children’s book for years, probably since an early teenager.

My mum and I used to make silly poems up all the time to make each other laugh. I have used this love of rhyme to combine with my ideas for story writing.

Is writing your full-time profession?

No, I’m a full-time primary teacher currently, working with children aged 9-11.

How long have you been writing?

I suppose no longer than my first book officially, which was February 2020.

Image courtesy of Matt Terry

How many published books have you written?

Just the one, my first ever. It’s called ‘The Boastful Pansy’.

Which genre do you write?

I only write children’s books, and despite only having written the one, I will definitely ensure all of my published works will rhyme, I just love it!

What do you find most challenging writing for this genre?

With being a teacher, I can’t help but think about what I would want to teach from my books if I were to use them in a classroom.

The vocabulary, literary skills, necessary reading abilities for the techniques used, and wider comprehension are all aspects which prove challenging when writing a children’s book.

What are you working on now?

The Boastful Pansy has only recently been released so a lot of my time and energy is now being spent in promoting it further and gaining an interest from my target readers.

I do however have another story idea for my next work about a curious cow, but I don’t want to give too much away!

I’m very interested in making my next work more accessible to boys as I feel they would lack interest in The Boastful Pansy purely for having a main character as a flower.

Where do you find inspiration for your characters?

My characters are drawn from the storyline of my works, that’s where I begin. I find a situation that intrigues me and run with it to see if I can create an underlying moral or message from the story.

Once I have this, I use the scenario to best gauge what kind of characters I have in my books. For The Boastful Pansy, I was looking out into my garden one wintery morning whilst washing the dishes and I noticed that a pansy I had in my border of the garden was the only one getting any sunlight.

My imagination ran with me and I started to think how much it would think it was the best because it was the only flower in the sun; then equally how jealous the others would be of it.

The story grew from there and the characters naturally along with it.

What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?

I think the most rewarding experience has been the engagement with my work and seeing how it has impacted on other people.

For example, the first time my Godchildren heard The Boastful Pansy was when I read it to them before bed and they were so excited to hear it and engage with it knowing their Uncle Matt had written it. That was truly special.

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?

Don’t be afraid of being afraid!

As first-time authors, we enter a completely unknown world of contracts, publishing and marketing; all of which are extremely daunting and constantly make you question whether you’re doing the right thing or how to move forward.

I’d say this is a completely normal reaction to have and with thorough decision-making and taking the time to weigh up the options, it’s definitely worth taking the plunge!

Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?

The Boastful Pansy is dedicated to my wife’s Nana, who unfortunately passed away the week after I’d finished writing the book.

Although she wasn’t directly family, she was an incredible woman who lived to an astonishing 97 and someone who I held extremely close to my heart.

There was nothing she loved more than beautiful flowers and she had a magic touch with helping plants to grow in her home, which made the dedication all the more poignant.

What message are you sharing in your books?

I am an author who ensures there is a deep meaning or message throughout my work, especially as they are aimed at children, and I personally feel that books are a fantastic tool at helping children to realize their own morals and standards.

In The Boastful Pansy, the key messages are humility and forgiveness, both of which I think are obvious from the storyline when you read it!

What are your favorite books?

My absolute all-time favorite books, unsurprisingly a children’s book series, are the Rupert the Bear Series.

My mum used to read these to me as a child and she would always read the rhyming couplet version, which is possibly where my love for rhyme was born.

I used to love his adventures and all of the wonderfully mythical characters and friends he’d meet along the way. They’re just fantastic and I’d highly recommend them to anyone!

I also love anything by Julia Donaldson, again for her rhyming perfection! I think the Snail and the Whale would have to be my favorite of hers.

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If you could create an author’s group with writers from any time period, who would you invite?

I’d have a lot of old school authors such as Enid Blyton, A. A. Milne, Dr. Seuss and Mary Tourtel. I think it’d be fascinating to hear their stories of how they became who they so famously are nowadays.

Who has influenced your writing the most?

I would have to say Julia Donaldson.

As a teacher, whenever I picked up any of her works, I’d immediately be captured in a world of rhyme and fun.

I love everything about her books, and she has definitely inspired my own writing style for sure.

When you’re not writing where can we find you?

I’m an incredibly social person, so if not writing or teaching, I’m usually socializing with friends, having them over for dinner or going for a drink at the local pub.

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A movie producer wants to turn your book into a movie, and you get to make a cameo. What would you do in the movie?

I can imagine the movie of The Boastful Pansy would be an animated film, so I’d love to do the voice over for the Sunflower. It has a deep, booming voice and is what offers the pansy its most invaluable advice. I’d love to voice this character!

An elf named 12-25 approaches you. He’s sneezing, wheezing, coughing and there’s a strange tattoo of a snoring dog on his cheek. What do you do?

Invite him round for dinner! He sounds such an interesting elf, I’m sure I’d be able to get all sorts of wonderful ideas from him for a fun children’s book!

What are your most effective marketing strategies?

I’m finding a direct approach is proving the most useful. I have been directly contacting local newspapers and television stations to inform them of my new book and asking if they’d like to do a piece about it.

It’s worked well so far and I love the dialogue you can have with different industries surrounding the same topic.

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc.?

I do! They’re as follows:

Website: https://www.austinmacauley.com/author/terry-matt

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mattterryauthor

Instagram too: @mattterryauthor

Where can we find your books?

They’re available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waterstones and WHSmiths (the latter two UK only)

Thank you, Matt, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success and lots of luck!

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Image courtesy of Matt Terry

Available on Amazon

Book Blurb:

In a beautiful English country garden, all manner of plants and flowers grow peacefully in their flower beds. The winter sunshine beams brightly, but the tall, tall fence that surrounds the garden blocks almost every ray of light from reaching the ground – well, almost every ray.

One very proud golden winter pansy stands in the only sliver of light that reaches the flower bed, and oh, how it boasts to the others. This pansy needs to be taught a lesson in humility and the very seasons themselves help the pansy to realize the error of its ways.