Epic! App for Kids: The netflix for children’s books and research gold for writers

appstore_audio_480x360Raise your hand if you have young children? Now keep your hand raised if you also like to write books for children? Still have your hand in the air? Then you NEED to try Epic! An amazing app available on apple and android smart devices.

They have thousands of children’s ebook titles available, and are adding more each day including huge, mega popular titles and characters such as “Ramona”, “Peter Rabbit” and “Where the Wild Things Are.”

Here’s what my evenings look like now that we have Epic in our home. First, I set up a profile for my daughter and I to read together. Her current favorite books include “Old MacDonald’s Letter Farm”, “Duck Goes Potty”, and “Hello, How are You?” to name a few. That last one has taught her how to engage in a conversation with others. It’s very sweet!

Kids Profile_300x250After, my daughter is asleep for the evening, I switch to a second “research” profile and devour as many picture books, chapter books, and middle grade titles that I can before going to bed myself. If I find stories with structure or prose I admire, I can add those to my favorites to come back to and observe again later. I do this because, as a writer, it is difficult to write in your genre of choice without first taking the time to read many, many books in that genre! This is certainly helping me to shine up my very rusty writing skills.

lifestyle_fourkids_thousands_300x250You can try out Epic for yourself for 30 days for FREE!! Thereafter it is 4.99 a month to keep your subscription. That’s the cost of 1 board book per month, which I would likely easily be doing. (Or making special trips to the library to check out books, but who am I kidding? I’m a busy mom of a toddler … How often do I reliably make it to the library? In a perfect world we’d attend twice a week and engage in 20 minutes of uninterrupted storytime, but I digress.) Epic! makes life so much easier. We are building up a list of favorites and introducing new books here and there as well. She just loves the Beth and Bert stories from Highlights! Yup, Highlights! One of my favorite children’s literary magazines. Did I mention they have stories from Highlights?

SDSU Writers’ Conference 2017 features R.L. Stine, best-selling Children’s Author

conference-clipart-student-conference-clipart-1Alright. Any 80’s and 90’s babies out there? You likely grew up reading “Choose Your Own Adventure Novels”, “Babysitter’s Club” and “Fear Street/Goosebumps”! I am personally a total super-fan of Ann M. Martin, Christopher Pike, and R.L. Stine. How fabulous would it be to meet one of your favorite childhood authors in person?

Coming up in January 2017 SDSU will be hosting its annual Writers’ Conference in San Diego! This year R.L Stine will be featured as one of their Keynote Speakers along with J.A. Jance. I can only imagine their speeaches will be insightful and inspiring. I had the privilege of attending this event back in 2013. I found this conference to be fun, friendly, and informative . I love that along with their informative panels they also provide opportunities for networking and one-on-one sessions with industry professionals.

Follow this link to find out more about this fabulous conference: http://www.ces.sdsu.edu/wc

You can also sign up to receive updates about the event. They will be introducing a new conference format this year. I look forward to hearing all the details about their breakout sessions!


I’m appearing at a local author’s book fair!

localauthorsbookfairI’m so lucky to be participating in the Local Author’s Fair in Costa Mesa on March 26th. Writers from all genres will be there promoting their respective publications. I plan to bring stickers and coloring pages for the kiddos! I’m looking forward to meeting other authors and book lovers. Thank you Orange County Writers for hosting this event!

Find out more about it at: www.ocwriters.org

Picture Book research at Barnes and Noble

This past sunday, I was able to get out and do something I haven’t done in quite awhile! I walked into a yummy book-scented Barnes and Noble complete with a cd section ala Blockbuster Music, and headed to read some popular picture books! Of course, whenever I pass anything that might of interest to my little one, I get distracted.


I mean, come on, what 22 month old wouldn’t enjoy a soft barnyard full of chickens, ducks, cows, and pigs? Then again, maybe it delighted me just as much!


I finally made my way to the picture book section, and pulled out these five fun stories — and devoured them! A new Enya song I’d never heard came on for my listening pleasure making the experience even more pleasurable!


This little book, “Shh… we have a plan!” by Chris Haughton made me laugh out loud. The tiniest character on the left — That’s my daughter to a “t.”


I left feeling refreshed, inspired and ready to write my own manuscripts. Being a children’s author certainly has its perks!

Writing and rain



I opened up the front door earlier this evening to check for packages on my doorstep, and while I was not blessed with a bundle of goodies, I did get to take in a deep breath of damp, cool air with a slight musty smell that only comes with new rain. Though it is hours later now, I can still close my eyes and re-create the serenity that washed over me during that moment. I carried my daughter outside to show her the wonder of evening rain. She delighted in it so much, she ran inside telling her Dad “it’s raining.” Later, when putting her to bed for the evening, the tranquility continued. It wasn’t a raging in storm, just a light, constant pitter-pattering. It made me want to write! So after she was sound asleep, and for the first time in what felt like ages, I let words flow from my fingertips.

99 Monkeys on a Bus Now Available!


Do you like picture books? Monkeys? Bananas? Buses? Trains? Mysteries? Are you between the ages of 0-99?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, I think you might love this book! Now available from Guardian Angel Publishing.

Available for purchase at:

Guardian Angel Publishing



A New Direction

futureRemember that post with the turtle?? The one where I said I was back, but that I’d be taking things slowly. It’s true!

I have been transformed.

Those four words are probably the understatement of the year. Looking back on my life before and after motherhood I almost don’t recognize my former self. So it seems only natural to transform my blog as well.

When I first returned to writing my blog, I tried to fit into the cookie shape of my former self – and that just wasn’t working! Thus, I wasn’t able to keep a good flow going. So I’ve decided to vary things up a bit and include posts involving my motherhood journey, recipes, hobbies, including my current obsession with whimsical nail wraps, and of coursing reading and writing. A lifestyle blog is a better fit now, and I’m excited about my new direction.

Coming soon! 99 Monkeys on a Bus picture book

99monkeysComing soon from Guardian Angel Publishing, my second picture book “99 Monkeys on a Bus.” More news to come soon.

I am beyond thrilled to have a childhood dream of mine come true: To hold a printed picture book written by yours truly that is available to young audiences including my daughter, Ava, who is a budding book lover!

My two addictions: nail wraps and picture books

I must admit I’m a little addicted… to nail wraps and picture books. And I have suddenly been inspired to design some custom nail wraps to complement my favorite children’s books. So tell me, what children’s books would you use to inspire a nail wrap design?

Here is my first rough go at creating “The Very Hungry Caterpillar-esque” wraps. Can you tell I’m not an artist?image_1W