Publishing the true stories of fascinating Prairie People and Unsung Heroes

Welcome to the blog of Deana Driver of DriverWorks Ink, a book publishing company based in Saskatchewan, Canada.
We publish stories of inspiring, fascinating Prairie people and unsung Canadian heroes - written by
Prairie authors including Deana Driver. We also assist authors in self-publishing their work. Visit our website and buy our books at driverworks.ca.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Hoarfrost-covered Winter Wonderland

Although fog can lead to some serious traffic accidents, the mist in the winter air of the Canadian Prairies can lead to hoarfrost - ice crystals forming on wet surfaces - and some beautiful scenery.

Yesterday, we took a short stroll in Wascana Park, which at 2,300 acres is larger than New York's 843-acre Central Park. The park includes the Saskatchewan Legislative Building, University of Regina buildings, and City of Regina buildings. It has a unique tripartite operating structure.

The Legislative Building is undergoing reconstruction, so we concentrated our walk on an area to the east of that grand building, overlooking Wascana Lake.

Here are some photos of the hoarfrost-covered scenery. Enjoy!













This is likely the last blog I'll post in 2014, so we hope you have a wonderful holiday season.


These 'NOEL' candle holders have been in my husband's family for decades.

Al's dad began teasing Al's mom years ago by convincing our children to occasionally rearrange the letters to spell 'LEON' instead of 'NOEL'. 

Sometimes it would take awhile before Mom noticed, and our children and their grandpa would eagerly watch for a reaction any time Mom came into the room where the misspelled Christmas greeting was waiting for her.

When Mom finally saw the changed letters, she would inevitably act annoyed and ask, "Who changed these letters?"

Then Dad and the kids would giggle at their shared silliness.

Our adult children still pull that stunt on their grandma, and we look forward to it happening again this Christmas season, fondly remembering Al's dad in the process.

So from our home to yours this Christmas ...


... Joyeux Leon!






Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Giveaways Lead To Giggles

This Christmas season, we decided to donate some of our DriverWorks Ink books to elementary and high schools in our home community. It's sort of a continuation of what we do with a number of our books – donating $1 from each book sold to a worthy charity – but donating to schools also has other benefits for us:
1)      More local teachers and school administrators learn about our small, local publishing company and will soon know about some of our great books written by Prairie authors; 
2)      We get more local stories into the hands of local children;
3)       We get our Prairie authors’ works to more potential customers that they cannot physically reach themselves;
4)      We reduce inventory for some books that have stalled in sales and pump up potential sales of some of our best-sellers just before Christmas; and
5)      We connect personally with more local people, which has led to some other unexpected results.
This last point is the reason for this blog.
We’ve had a few chuckles and several heart-warming moments because of Al’s deliveries of books to schools this past month.
So here, for your Holiday enjoyment, is a replay of several interactions between my husband and publishing partner, Al Driver, and individuals at some Regina and area schools.
Al’s routine was always the same – enter the school through the main doors, go to the office and present the books to office staff, along with a personal introduction and a letter explaining our company and our donation of books.

* * *

At one elementary school, he met two young lads who were waiting inside the school office. A little boy who was six was sitting with his six-and-a-half-year-old buddy. They'd already said ‘Hi’ in response to Al’s ‘Hello’ and had answered his question of their ages. (Al’s coached children for decades, so he is well-versed in how to relate to the little gaffers.)
Being an avid fan of the Detroit Red Wings hockey club, Al was wearing his Detroit Red Wings jacket. The six-year-old looked and looked, and then asked, “Do you play for that team?”
Al:  No. I’m way too old.
Student: Then do you coach them?
Al: No.
Student: Where did you get the coat?
Al: It was a birthday gift from my grandsons and their mom and dad (knowing the boy could relate to that).
Student: (After thinking for a moment) When was your birthday?
Al: June.
Student: Oh.

* * *

A young boy asked, “Are you here to help us with our Christmas concert?”
Al: No. Is somebody coming to help you with your concert?
Student: Yes. (Then he whispered) Our teacher said there will be a surprise.
Al: Well, if I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise, would it?
          Student: (thought for awhile, then said) Yes.
* * *

A teacher was in the hallway by the office with a group of girls in about Grade 4. The students were learning a dance for the Christmas concert. Al had go around and behind the teacher to get to the office.
The teacher started backing up and almost backed into him. Then she asked him if he’d like to join in and learn the dance, too.
Al declined. “They don't want to see me dance. It would be bad.”
The girls all giggled.
He carried on to the office, hearing tittering in the background.

* * *

At one high school, an office secretary came running over the second that Al set a Never Leave Your Wingman book down on the counter on top of the pile of other books.
“This is my favourite book ever,” she said. “I just loved it. Any time I see anything now about Dionne and Graham, I read it. How is she doing?”
            Al was pleased to respond, “She’s doing very well.” (See a YouTube video) Then he introduced himself and our company and said why he was at the school with the books.
“(Gasp!) You published this book! Your company published this book?”
Al replied, “My wife and I did. We’re a small company. Better yet, my wife wrote this book.”
“Oh, bless her. It’s a beautiful book. I want to take you and introduce you to the librarian because you’re giving us free books.”
The librarian was thrilled with the donation and was told by the office clerk, “This is one of the best books I’ve ever read.”
* * *

Some of the older schools do not have offices in the immediate vicinity of the main doors, so Al had to go searching a couple times. At one school, a little girl about eight years old looked carefully at Al as he walked into the school.
She sternly asked him, “Are you supposed to be here?”
Al refrained from smiling and asked, “Are you the hall monitor?”
“Nooo!” she replied, annoyed at his insolence.
He told her that he was looking for the office and had some stuff to drop off there, which seemed to appease her. She pointed him in the direction of the office and let him go on his way.
            (She’ll probably be a policewoman or security guard some day.)


* * *


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Eight-Time Cancer Survivor’s Beauty Gives Back

Inspiring eight-time cancer survivor Dionne Warner of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada is the face of a new campaign of Look Good ... Feel Better Canada called ‘Beauty Gives Back’. And we could not be more pleased or proud to call her our friend.

Dionne’s story is one of overcoming the odds, beating cancers of the breast, then brain, and then two bouts of liver cancer before spending seven years volunteering at the Allan Blair Cancer Clinic in Regina. During that time, she helped hundreds of patients through their treatments by sharing her positive, never-give-up attitude, and encouraging them to continue to fight this disease.


In December 2009, Dionne was diagnosed with Stage IV cancers in her liver, lungs and bones. She began dressing up in costume each week for her chemotherapy treatments and before long, she and her husband – her wingman – Graham, began to both dress in costume and dance into chemo as music played to accompany their themes.

Dionne Warners first costume/theme, Dec. 2009
I met Dionne and Graham in June 2010 and knew instantly that both of them were worthy of a book. It would be an inspiring book about this amazing couple and their never-ending, positive attitudes that showed their commitment to doing all they could to beat this disease and bring hope and laughter to others in the process.


  
  
Buy the Book

I promised Dionne and Graham at our first meeting that I would write their story and publish a book about them and their journey by the following June – which I did. The result is Never Leave Your Wingman: Dionne and Graham Warner’s Story of Hope.


The book has become a national best-seller in Canada, with copies also being purchased by readers in numerous countries around the world. It’s also in an e-book format, available from your favourite e-book retailer. Never Leave Your Wingman won an Honorable Mention in the Biography category of the 2013 Great Midwest Book Festival in Chicago, and continues to sell well and spread the Warners’ story of hope with all who read it. We repeatedly hear stories of how the book has helped cancer patients and their families, and many readers who have no connection to cancer, live happier, healthier lives by focusing on the positive and taking control of their own health.

Dionne has been a fan and supporter of the Look Good ... Feel Better campaign since shortly after she beat her second cancer. Here’s an excerpt from the Never Leave Your Wingman book:

In October 1997, a little more than a month after her second brain cancer surgery, Dionne attended a half-day workshop with the Look Good … Feel Better program, an initiative of the cosmetic, toiletry and fragrance association to help cancer patients feel better about themselves. She was also interviewed and photographed for a story in the Summer 1998 issue of Images Magazine, which was available through the Shoppers Drug Mart stores. In the photos, the beautiful bald-headed Dionne showed how to wear hats and scarves to feel more comfortable as a woman undergoing cancer therapy. Her husband was beside her in one of the photos and the headline read: ‘The Power of love – Dionne faced cancer twice in two years and beat it both times’. 
Dionne spoke about her struggle to feel attractive after her initial hair loss with the breast cancer chemotherapy and how she gave up all attempts to try to improve her appearance. “I felt so unattractive. I thought, ‘Why bother with makeup?’ So, if I had to go out, I’d just put on a hat and that was about it.’ The support and love from her husband, family and friends helped her to overcome her own insecurities as she healed from her surgeries, she said in the article. “Dionne decided to attend a Look Good…Feel Better workshop because she knew she needed something to make herself feel better. And, in October 1997, actually on the day before she was photographed for the Look Good…Feel Better magazine, she went,” said the magazine article.
“At the workshop, I put on one of my hats because my head was cold, and everyone commented on it! It’s a real thrill that I was asked to be the hat model for the magazine, because I’m a hat collector – I have about 30 different types of hats,” she says. “I feel so much better about myself; the workshop really made a difference to me.” 
Dionne had learned about the Look Good … Feel Better program through the cancer clinic. In the article, she encouraged all other cancer patients to attend a workshop, use the products in the gift box provided for participants, and start feeling better about themselves. “Thanks to Look Good … Feel Better, my skin is incredible, I feel great and everyone tells me I look good, too. It’s a wonderful program, and I know that anyone who participates will feel the same way!”
Dionne has supported the program since then and credits it for helping her to maintain a positive attitude while she goes through her cancer treatments.

In November 2014, Dionne was called upon again by her friends in the Look Good ... Feel Better program to share her story in a huge, inspiring way – through their new Beauty Gives Back campaign.






Once you’ve recovered from watching the inspiring video above, we invite you to view the City TV Toronto news clip of the launch of the campaign at the 2014 Mirror Ball charity fundraiser in Toronto, Ontario. 

We’re sure you will agree that Dionne Warner is an amazing, inspiring, walking miracle.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Award-winning Books & Their Foil Sticker Problems

Of all the problems for an author or publisher to have, this is a good one. Should you put a gold foil sticker on your award-winning book’s cover or not?

I’ve been saddled with this pleasant conundrum several times in the last eight years – ever since the second book I wrote (Never Give Up: Ted Jaleta’s Inspiring Story) won an Honourable Mention in the Biography category at the 2007 Hollywood Book Festival. That now out-of-print book was also shortlisted for Publishing In Education and for Reader’s Choice at the 2007 Saskatchewan Book Awards.

It is pretty exciting when a book you’ve written or worked on wins an award of any kind, so my business partners and I purchased gold foil stickers locally to announce the Hollywood Book Festival award. We were excited and decided to save time by carefully placing the stickers on the covers of most of our books, trying hard not to cover any part of the face of the book’s subject or any of the book’s title words. We thought we had made some clever decisions about sticker placement on that dark blue and black cover. A while later, we discovered that not only does a black, glossy cover show every mark and fingerprint, but a lower-quality foil sticker can show signs of handling, too, with scratches quickly appearing and some of the wording disappearing with the handling. Argh. Lesson learned, I thought.

A couple years later, Seeds of Hope: A Prairie Story by Mary Harelkin Bishop won several awards (Finalist in Children's Literature at the 2009 Saskatchewan Book Awards, Honourable Mention in Teenage/Young Adult at the 2009 Nashville Book Festival, and Honourable Mention in Teenage at the 2008 London Book Festival). Again, we purchased foil stickers. I can’t remember whether they were purchased locally or through one of the award competitions, but they were foil and presented similar problems. Although we placed stickers on only a few books at a time, the lettering would come off if we weren't careful with the books. Some of the permanent adhesive stickers also eventually showed signs of wear.


In following years, we added more books to our stable of award-winners:
-          -  The Little Coat: The Bob and Sue Elliott Story by Alan J. Buick received an Honourable Mention in the Biography category at the 2010 Hollywood Book Festival
-          -  Never Leave Your Wingman: Dionne and Graham Warner’s Story of Hope by me, Deana J. Driver, received an Honourable Mention in the Biography category at the 2013 Great Midwest Book Festival
-       -     Letters to Jennifer From Maudie & Oliver by Sharon Gray received an Honourable Mention in the Cats category of the 2013 Animals, Animals, Animals Book Festival.

  


We did not purchase stickers for any of these books. We announced our wins via media releases and social media, with posters, and small Post-it notes on the covers at various selling venues. A temporary sticker seemed to do the job just as well, but we did add the words ‘National Bestseller’ to the cover when we reprinted The Little Coat.

We recently entered our five newest books in the 2014 Great Midwest Book Festival, and were absolutely thrilled that ALL FIVE books received awards. As a Saskatchewan Publishers Group e-brief stated, DriverWorks Ink “cleaned up” at the awards festival:
-          -  Opening Up: How To Develop Your Intuition and Work With Your Angels by Lisa Driver was the Winner in the Spiritual category
-         -   Homegrown and other poems by Bryce Burnett received an Honourable Mention in the Poetry category
-        -   After the Truck Hit: Jennifer Kuchinka’sTrue Story by Jennifer Kuchinka received an Honourable Mention in the Wild Card category
-          -  Gina’s Wheels by Mary Harelkin Bishop received an Honourable Mention in the Children’s Books category
-         -   Jamie and the Monster Bookroom by Kerry Simpson with Jamie Simpson received an Honourable Mention in the Children’s Books category.

So that’s a LOT of awards ... which is wonderful, but it brings us to the current conundrum of whether to put stickers on those book covers or not.


 

I admit that I am a bit of a purist when it comes to covering up our book covers. We work hard to try to ensure that our book covers tell the stories of what’s inside while enticing potential readers to pick up the books and take a closer look.

Which part of the artist’s creation or the carefully chosen photograph should be covered permanently to announce an award?

Do award stickers even matter? Do people make decisions to purchase a book because the book has won an award?

I’d love to hear your feedback on this. 

At our recent DriverWorks Ink Open House/ Christmas Party, a friend commented that she appreciates gold foil stickers to announce awards and we should definitely be purchasing some and placing them on all our award-winning books. She said she recently purchased an award-winning children’s book from a Winnipeg author. She told us that the author had one gold sticker on her display book and then, once our friend had purchased the book, the author placed a foil sticker on our friend’s book. Clever, I thought. But a bit time-consuming if you are at a busy signing or event.

What do you think?

Stickers or no stickers? Do they matter to you when you purchase a book?

While you’re at it, please tell me where you would place an award sticker on our newest award-winning books. I look forward to your response.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Our SuperMom children's book is not weird - or is it?

Two little girls about seven years old made me laugh out loud this weekend. They came to our booth at the craft fair in Lloydminster, SK/AB running ahead of their moms and enthusiastically grabbing our SuperMom and the Big Baby book (written by Dave Driver and illustrated by Guy Laird).

One girl called it 'Superhero Mom'. Then they walked away.

Then they came back and grabbed it again.

I told them the book is about a little boy who has a temper and the madder he gets, the bigger he grows.



I showed them the picture of the boy becoming a giant baby who runs down the street, which scares everyone.

Then I said that his mom grabs a mask and cape and becomes SuperMom to the rescue.

One of the girls looked at me solemnly and said, "That's just weird."

I burst out laughing.

I didn't ask which part she thought was weird. It didn't matter.

They walked away again, then came back a few minutes later and looked at the book again - this time, with their mothers. 

They showed the book to their moms, one of whom corrected them on the book's title. Then the girls and I had a discussion about which of Robert Munsch's books are weird and which are silly.

"This book is like a Robert Munsch book in its style of humour. It is silly," I said. "Have you read The Paper Bag Princess?"

"Yes," said one girl. We have that one at home!"

"That's pretty silly, isn't it?"

"Yes. And Mortimer," she said

"That's a silly one, too," I agreed.

"Yes. We read that at school!"

"Well, this SuperMom book is a silly one," I suggested.

The second girl looked at me and repeated her friend's initial pronouncement, "That's just weird."

"It's not weird. It's called imagination, silly," I teased.

They and their moms all laughed.

I love the honesty of children and their openness to new ideas.

The moms didn't buy our 'weird' book right then but, by the looks on their faces as they left, I had a feeling that SuperMom and the Big Baby just might be under their Christmas trees this year.

That will be a weird Christmas, won't it?

(See my blogs about the creation of the SuperMom book and how kids love the book.)





Friday, November 7, 2014

Remembrance - Bob Elliott and The Little Coat book

Every November, I spend a lot of time thinking about our award-winning, best-selling book The Little Coat: The Bob and Sue Elliott Story, written by Saskatchewan author Alan J. Buick. This biography tells the true story of Canadian soldier Bob Elliott, who enlisted in the Second World War in Calgary, Alberta when he was 15 years old. (He told them he was 20.)

Bob became a tank commander and was fighting the Nazis in the Netherlands, near Alphen en Maas, when he met 10-year-old Sussie Cretier.




Her real name was Everdina, but her younger brother called her Sussie - which means 'sister' in Dutch - and the nickname stuck.

Sussie's family had escaped to the safety of the Canadian soldiers. Sussie was a feisty little character and she quickly became an adopted little sister and a good-luck charm for the Canadians.

They took her under their wing and decided they would like to give her a Christmas gift. She had a threadbare winter coat, so they took a wool Canadian Army blanket and asked a seamstress in that Dutch village to make the blanket into a coat for Sussie. The soldiers took buttons from their own tunics for the seamstress to use on Sussie's coat.

Bob Elliott, who was already Sussie's hero as the leader of this particular troop, presented the gift to Sussie on Christmas Day 1944.

The coat was the most precious gift she had ever received.

The war ended. Bob returned to Canada. Sussie carried on with life in the Netherlands.

Almost 30 years passed.

Bob travelled to the Netherlands to visit Dutch families he had met during the war, including Sussie's parents. Bob and Sussie reconnected as adults. They fell in love. She still had her little coat. She brought it with her to Canada and married Bob.

Sue and Bob Elliott with Sue's little coat in the 1980s.
The Elliotts lived in Hamilton, Ontario for many years, then moved to Edmonton, Alberta, where they lived for 20 years before moving to the Netherlands permanently so Sue could be near her ailing mother. Before leaving Canada, however, Sue became a member of the Royal Canadian Legion and, alongside Bob, participated in numerous Remembrance Day ceremonies.


Every year on VE Day in Holland, Bob and Sue would don their uniforms and honour those who had sacrificed so much for the freedom of others. The above photo was taken in the Netherlands in 2009.

Before they left Canada, Bob and Sue donated their special coat to the Royal Canadian Legion branch in Olds, Alberta, where Bob lived as a child. The Legion put the coat in a case and hung it on the wall with other war memorabilia. Alan Buick, a carpenter and singer/songwriter living in Pense, Saskatchewan, was performing one night at the Olds Legion when he started asking questions about the coat. He was delighted to learn that not only were the two people behind the coat alive - but they were married and available to be interviewed!

Alan spent hundreds of hours talking to Bob and Sue by email, by Skype and by letter. He brought his book to DriverWorks Ink in 2009, and I helped him turn it into the award-winning book it is today. (He tells people that I sent him home with three months of work to do on it - which he did, and which made the book even more amazing.)

Watch a video of author Alan Buick talking about his book, The Little Coat.

Our publishing company, DriverWorks Ink, gives back to the community by donating a portion of the proceeds from many of our books to various charities. See the full list on our website. More than $4,000 from The Little Coat books sold has been donated to the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command Poppy Trust Fund, which helps veterans and serving members of the military and their families.

Since 2013, $1 from every The Little Coat book sold is being donated to the Canadian War Museum, the new home of the 'child's coat' in this inspiring war story/love story.



Sadly, our hero Bob Elliott passed away in February 2013, but my husband Al and I were fortunate to visit Normandy in August 2014, and then to meet Sue Elliott in the Netherlands and share in some memories and laughs with this fine lady. She is still as feisty as ever!

We will never forget the sacrifices of Canadian soldiers like Bob Elliott and so many others around the world. They gave much for our freedom.

We all need to be thankful. Not just on Remembrance Day, but every day.





Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Authors See Their Books for the First Time

Authors spend months - sometimes years - writing their books. They put their hearts and souls into their writing and they work closely with editors and publishers like me to provide the best books they can to potential readers everywhere.

As an author, editor and publisher, one of the most rewarding moments in this process of creating books comes when the author - or, in some cases, illustrator - sees their book for the first time. That first moment can be exciting, scary, nerve-wracking, thrilling, rewarding, some combination of those emotions or so much more.

This year, we assisted several authors and illustrators in creating their new books. We hope you enjoy their reactions to their books.


***

We weren't with Swift Current, Saskatchewan rancher and cowboy poet Bryce Burnett when he opened his first box of Homegrown and other poems books, but we're pretty sure Bryce looked like this when he saw his book for the first time...

...  because Bryce is just a happy kind of guy.

We caught up with Bryce at Swift Current's summer fair. He happily launched his book there and signed autographs for folks as well.

This is Bryce's first book and we are receiving wonderful responses to his poems, which celebrate rural life on the Canadian Prairies, community connections, love, laughter, and spirit and soul. The poems are sometimes funny, sometimes gentle, sometimes enlightening, and always well-written.

* * *

In August, we received two more new books from the printers. 
 
Here I am, holding the book and the bookmark for Jennifer Kuchinka's inspiring memoir, After the Truck Hit: Jennifer Kuchinka's True Story

The book details Jennifer's recovery from an accident in which she was hit by a semi after she ran out of a hospital onto a highway due to postpartum depression. Jennifer's story is quite incredible. She has recovered to the point that she is back to work as a teacher and is speaking at conferences across Canada to raise awareness of acquired brain injury and of postpartum depression.

When Jennifer received her first shipment of After the Truck Hit books, this first-time author sent us this photo of her reaction:

Looks like a pretty proud author. Or a pretty, proud author. 
(Punctuation is important, but both sentences in this case are accurate - and thus correct.)
Jennifer's book is also receiving accolades from readers and is one of the 'Wow!' books we have in our stable of true stories written by Prairie authors.
'Wow' is what customers say to us when they hear the book's storyline.

* * *

The second book we received from the printer that particular August day has a special place in our hearts, because it was written by our eldest daughter, Lisa Driver. 
  

Here are the proud editors/publishers/parents Al and Deana (me) Driver, with Lisa's book, Opening Up: How To Develop Your Intuition And Work With Your Angels.
This picture of us was taken by our eldest grandson, who happened to be visiting that day and begged to use my camera to take this important picture from his six-year-old's view of the action.

And what did Lisa, another first-time author, think of her book when she first saw it?

No caption is really necessary for this photo, but let's just say she was happy with it.

Lisa's book is the first spiritual wellness book we've produced, and we're happy about the positive response to it and to Lisa's message of health and healing.
This is one of the books that we've produced which have prompted people to come to us and say, "I need this book." Well done, Lisa!

* * *

Ten years ago, I met Mary Harelkin Bishop (a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan teacher and award-winning, prolific author) at a self-publishing workshop in Saskatoon. We became instant friends and have worked together on Mary's books Seeds of Hope: A Prairie Story and Moving Forward: The Journey of Paralympian Colette Bourgonje

Mary, above left, visited us in July to put the finishing touches on her new children's picture book Gina's Wheels, based on a true story related to a little girl who met Canadian Paralympian Colette Bourgonje.
Mary and I always have fun when we're working together, as you can tell by the big grins on our faces.







When Gina's Wheels arrived from the printers' shop, this was Mary's reaction:

"Just picked up my books. They look wonderful!" she told us.

We're pleased. The book tells a great story with a wonderful lesson of tolerance and acceptance of others. A clerk in a bookstore told us, "This book needs to exist." We heartily agree.

Gina's Wheels was illustrated by Saskatoon artist Diane L. Greenhorn, with chalk drawings. Nice, huh?

* * *

The fifth book we published in the past few months is Jamie and the Monster Bookroom, a children's picture book by Kerry Simpson and Jamie Simpson, illustrated by Regina artist Erika Folnović. It's about a little girl who loves the library and reading, and has a marvelous adventure in one of the rooms of her local library.

Here's the book and bookmark:

And here is how artist Erika Folnović reacted when we showed her the printed book:
Nervous ...

... and then happy.


But really, Erika?
That's your reaction?

Come on, girl.
Show us how you really feel about your first illustrated picture book.


There you go.
  That's the Erika we know and love!

(Erika also created the cover and inside illustrations of our award-winning humour book Letters to Jennifer from Maudie & Oliver by Sharon Gray, by the way.)

At the launch of Jamie and the Monster Bookroom in Regina, Saskatchewan a few days later, we asked author Kerry Simpson to show us her response when she saw the book for the first time:

Thrilled. 

Nice.

Definitely another happy, first-time author.

***

So there you are, folks. We hope you enjoyed these glimpses into some of the special moments in our publishing lives.

We look forward to adding more of them to our list, as we help authors create more stories for your reading enjoyment.

We invite you to talk to us about how we can help you publish your first book. Check here for more details.

Until then, take care.

********

P.S. A few days after I posted this blog, we received word that ALL FIVE of these new books received awards in the Great Midwest Book Festival competition in Chicago! We were so excited! 
Opening Up: How To Develop Your Intuition and Work With Your Angels by Lisa Driver was the Winner of the Spiritual category!
After the Truck Hit: Jennifer Kuchinka's True Story by Jennifer Kuchinka was awarded Honorable Mention in the Wild Card category.
Homegrown and other poems by Bryce Burnett was awarded Honorable Mention in the Poetry category.
Gina's Wheels by Mary Harelkin Bishop, illustrated by Diane L. Greenhorn, was awarded Honorable Mention in the Children's Books category.
Jamie and the Monster Bookroom by Kerry Simpson with Jamie Simpson, illustrated by Erika Folnović, was awarded Honorable Mention in the Children's Books category.
Congratulations to our authors and illustrators!

These five titles have now joined Seeds of Hope: A Prairie Story by Mary Harelkin Bishop, The Little Coat: The Story of Bob and Sue Elliott by Alan J. Buick, Never Leave Your Wingman: Dionne and Graham Warner's Story of Hope by Deana J. Driver, and Letters to Jennifer From Maudie & Oliver by Sharon Gray in our stable of award-winning books. Not bad for a small publishing house like ours!