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The Royal Palm: multi award-winning children's book!

Runaway Clothes:multi award-winning children's book!

Good Morning, World! - Mom's Choice Award Winner

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Follow Carlo the Mouse Series!5 books are coming in 2017-2020!

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That Is How Things Are - Coming in fall 2017!

Who Will Feed Stacey First? Story 1:Coming 2018!

The Mysterious Life Inside a Closet-A New Children's Book Coming in spring 2018!!

A Beautiful Tribute From My Fans

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Night Before Christmas






Who doesn’t like stories about Christmas, family traditions, cats, and kittens? What could possibly go wrong in a story told from the cat’s viewpoint? But surprisingly, there is a story behind the story. Like all my other books, which are based on true events, The City Kittens and the Old House Cat includes two events that happened years ago.



One hot summer day, swimming in the pool, my younger daughter spotted something in the bushes.

“Mom! Look! Look! There is an animal hiding in the bushes.” She screamed, surprised.

“Oh dear,” I replied. “I hope it’s not another skunk or raccoon.” I left the pool and went to check on what was hiding inside the bush. To my amusement, a tiny kitten crawled out of the bush and rested its cute face on top of its tiny dirty paws.

“Hello, kitty!” I smiled at the little stranger, which was looking straight into my eyes.

Mew, the cute intruder replied, moving closer to my feet. Covered in dry mud and hay, it looked more like a porcupine than a calico kitten. It was teeny and playful, not old enough to leave its mom and take a long trip to our garden. Its white head, too big for its skinny neck, was covered in twisted fur mixed with pine needles and yellow grass.

“Where is your home, cutie?” I lifted the purring little stranger closer to my face. Feeling the warmth of my hands, the lost kitten clung to my shirt, looking for a mommy’s nipple.

“Where is your home?” I tried to examine its filthy collar, loosely hanging on the skinny neck.

Mew, the hungry drifter protested in a soft voice, sucking hard on my shirt.

“You must belong to someone.” I settled the tired kitten on my knees and let it enjoy my flannel T-shirt.

Purr… The kitten rolled on its back, still gripping my shirt in its tiny mouth.

“I am not your mom.” I tried to detach its small paws, which were poking my skin through the thin fabric of the shirt.

“I guess you are now.” My husband smiled from the pool, watching me cradling a sleepy kitten.

“How will we name the kitten?” my daughter asked as she touched the sleeping kitten.

“Nyda. It means found in English,” I replied, recalling my grandpa’s old story about the baby that was dropped on his neighbor’s doorstep. In the old days in Ukraine they called a found baby “nyda.”

“Not what I had in mind,” my little daughter said, disappointed. “But I found her, so the name suits her well.”

“Nyda it is.” I hugged my daughter tightly with my other hand.

“Let’s be friends, Nyda.” She petted the kitten’s widespread paw, which was still poking my stomach.




Nyda and my daughter became good friends, and I became Nyda's surrogate mother. Time passed. Many bad and good events took place in the life of the little explorer. An adventurer at heart, Nyda used more than nine lives while exploring the nearest woods and neighboring towns. But this is another story.



 Now Nyda had grown old and my daughter had moved to the city. The City Kittens and the Old House Cat is not the story of how Nyda was found. It is the story of how Nyda the old cat opened her heart to two playful kittens, brought home by my older daughter to celebrate Christmas at home.


The day before Christmas, the kittens arrived at our house in a fancy bag. Their noisy Christmassy collars annoyed the old cat all day. Frustrated with their playfulness and nosiness, Nyda judged them by their looks and spoiled attitude. But the story that the old cat heard the night before Christmas made her change her mind and realize that the kittens were not spoiled little things from the city. They were found outside a store, freezing in the cold and starving. So that made Nyda warm up to the newcomers and think that before you judge someone, you should learn their story.



The City Kittens and the Old House Cat recently won a prestigious Mom’s Choice Award. The detailed artwork in this award-winning children’s book is family-friendly and will appeal to any age. It is a short, sweet read for beginning readers and good for anyone who loves Christmas and cats. So light your fireplace, take off your boots, and read this compassionate story while cuddling with your child. I hope that the warmth of the story and its beautiful artwork will plant good seeds in the hearts of your little ones.  




The City Kittens and the Old House Cat is available in print in soft- and hardcover versions, and as an e-book. To order this book, please visit Amazon, B&N, or Dog Ear Publishing. All links are provided below. 

The City Kittens and the Old House Cat

A great story with a positive message, a perfect addition to the holiday library, and holiday traditions.
ISBN 13 (SOFT): 978-1-4575-1619-1
ISBN 13 (HARD): 978-1-4575-1682-5

To get a better idea of this book, please check out this charming book trailer. It will lift your spirit and put you in the holiday mood, and maybe it will make you think about our little friends in a more compassionate way and do something for others. 




May you have a very Merry Christmas and happy and healthy holidays!





Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Learn as You Live







We’ve all been there with our kids... cluttered desks, things on the floor, boxes under the bed, clutter on the shelves, messy closets, and rooms looking as if a tornado had just traveled through them. How many times have we told our youngsters that if they do not clean their room, something bad might happen? They just smirked, gave us a strange look, or simply ignored our warnings.

“Just wait!” We bite our lips, not having any idea how to replace the cutest smirks on their faces with an ugly fear. Some of us gave up and let them drown in their own mess, but some like me were determined to find the solution to the messy room.

Often, children learn lessons when we least expect them. That was what happened to my young heroine in my multi-award-winning children’s book Runaway Clothes. This book was based on an event that happened in my home many years ago.

That day was no different from any other.

“A mess again,” I said, walking into my daughter’s room. She looked at me with her angelic blue eyes, stopped playing with her dolls, and started stuffing her clothes in the closet on top of her shoes.

“That’s not how I taught you to clean your closet.” I pulled her clothes from the closet. Losing my patience, I started folding her new and now wrinkled clothes.

“I’ll help you tomorrow,” my daughter said sweetly, as she picked up her doll from the floor.

“There is no tomorrow. We must clean it now.” I made a strict face, determined to teach her once again how to take care of her stuff.

“I’m busy, Mommy. Can’t you see that?” She kept playing with her dolls.

“Time out! Rules start now!” I walked her to the corner in the hall. That was the first time I punished my child, and I was serious about making it clear who was in charge. Having grown up in a place and family where violence took place every day, I did not believe in punishments that degrade a child and harm his or her self-worth.

I checked on her in a few minutes. “Are you ready to say sorry and go back to clean your room?” I asked.

“I’ll have to think about it.” She turned away her cute face. Watching her playing with her fingers and talking to herself, I felt terrible.

“Rules must be obeyed,” I said, as I walked away, convincing myself more than my child. I checked on her again in half an hour, but she said she was still thinking.

“OK. Think a little bit longer.” I left her alone for another half hour.

“Still thinking?” I asked when I returned.

“I like thinking,” she said quietly, looking at her fingers. Another half hour passed, but she still refused to clean her room.

“I love my corner,” she mumbled, looking down. Three hours passed and she was still standing in the corner. Worried, I was wondering how I could finish this teaching ordeal graciously and still make her understand that it was a serious punishment, not a game. Debating with my motherly feelings for another half hour, I was ready to apologize for placing her in the corner.

“One day your clothes will run away from you,” I said casually.

“Where they will go?” she asked, not turning her face from the corner.

“To our neighbors, or maybe your stuff will find another girl who will take better care of it.” I came up with the first excuse that popped into my head.

She thought for a second and then simply said, “Our neighbors have boys. They don’t need my clothes.”

Not sure how to handle her answer, I said, “Bad things happen when you least expect them.” Losing my battle, I removed her from the corner and tried to change the clothes conversation to something else. The rest of the day, I felt as if I had punished myself.

There must be other ways to get through her. I searched for the right resolution day after day. Weeks passed, but nothing changed. I pleaded, I explained, I bribed, I complained, but her clothes were still jammed in the closet.

But one day everything changed. The night before, I rewashed all her clothes and put them out to dry on the clothesline behind the house. In the morning, she knocked on my door.

“It happened, Mommy,” she said, horrified.

“What happened?” I looked at her sad face, ready to cry.

“All my clothes ran away,” she sniffled, heartbroken. “Just as you said.” She cried.

“Clothes have feelings too,” I said, hiding a smile. I told her that if she doesn’t respect her stuff, her toys might follow her clothes.

“I guess they will.” She sobbed quietly.

“You better hurry,” I said casually.

“OK, Mommy,” she said, walking away. My distraught girl had learned her lesson without me trying or preaching. I went outside to fold her clothes.


Writing this story, I saw a great opportunity to help families learn how to deal with an issue that drives every parent crazy. Going back in time, I always analyze my behavior and reactions that taught my children and me great lessons. Now, looking back on their mischievous misbehavior and the rules I tried to apply, I see things that I wish I had done differently. Like many parents, I naively thought I would have perfect children, just as I saw on the front page of parenting magazines—happy, smart, and well-behaved. The reality proved me wrong. There is no perfect child or parent. Parents and children learn from each other on a daily basis. Raising my girls, I learned that not every rule is written in stone, and that sometimes, unplanned lessons are the best teachers.



Memories of my children have always been my golden treasures when I write children’s stories. Every time I dig out some event from my children’s childhood, I discover something new, something I did not see in the past, something I overlooked. Now I can honestly say that over the years, the best lessons I learned were the ones that my children taught me. These lessons helped me to raise my girls into determined and ambitious young women, and I hope they will help other parents too.





The older I get, the more memories I collect. Some of them vanish with time, but some never leave. Happy or sad, funny or disappointing, they are part of my life and my stories. With age, I grew wiser and looked at things differently. The stuff that once drove me crazy and seemed so important then, appear funny now. As my grandfather would say, learn as you live.




Runaway Clothes is a beautifully illustrated, award-winning children’s book that will entertain and educate children without them realizing it. It was awarded Mom’s Choice Awards, Readers’ Favorite International Awards, has earned the Literary Classic Seal of Approval, and is recommended for home and school libraries. It is a great read for any age. If the children are too small to read it independently, the detailed illustrations will tell them the story of the runaway clothes. The beautiful book trailer below will provide insight into what this book is about. Runaway Clothes is available in print in hardcover and softcover form as well as e-book form.






You may order Runaway Clothes on Amazon, B&N, and through Dog Ear Publishing. Please see the links below:



Runaway Clothes

 


Do you have a young lady in your home who is a less than perfect housekeeper?
This book might be just what the doctor ordered. An instructive story with a
happy conclusion!
ISBN 13 (SOFT):978-1457527197
ISBN 13 (HARD):978-1457528279






I would be delighted to hear your opinions and suggestions. Your reviews are always welcome on Amazon, Goodreads, and B&N.






And please don’t forget to read with your child.

Their love for reading begins with YOU.

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