IMG_2698Please join me over at Christine Henderson’s The Write Chris – On Writing for a Christmas-themed interview.  Learn a little bit more about what inspired me to write GOODNIGHT, MANGER and find out what some of my family’s favorite Christmas traditions are. Thanks for having me, Chris!  (And this is your last chance for a giveaway, so be sure to head on over.)

‘Tis the Season… FOR MORE BOOK EVENTS!

IMG_1214Please join me, if you can, at any of these upcoming book events!  I’d love to see you!  

Upcoming! Saturday November 28, 2015 11am.  Hear GOODNIGHT, ARK and GOODNIGHT, MANGER at Booktowne in Manasquan, New Jersey. There will be crafts and coloring pages too!

 Upcoming! Saturday December 5, 2015 10am. Listen to a reading of GOODNIGHT, MANGER and GOODNIGHT, ARK at Short Stories in Madison, NJ and learn a little bit about how picture books are made. There will be a craft too.

Upcoming! Thursday, December 10, 10:30 am.  Join me at the 3’s Storytime at the Mountainside, NJ Library for a GOODNIGHT, MANGER reading and craft. 

Upcoming! Saturday December 12 2015 10:30 – 12:30 pm.  Join me for festive readings of GOODNIGHT, ARK and GOODNIGHT, MANGER with puppets, then shop at the Cranford United Methodist Church’s Christmas Shoppe and Soup Festival. Note: The festival is open from 10 – 3pm.

Upcoming! Sunday, December 13, 2015 2pm, Forum Theatre, Metuchen, NJ. I’ll be reading GOODNIGHT, MANGER and then signing books during intermission as part of the holiday merrymaking at Moving Youth Dance Company’s holiday production, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas & Other Works”.  For information and tickets to the performance: (908) 276-9100.

Upcoming! Wednesday December 16, 10:30 am.  Join me at Garwood, NJ Public Library for a GOODNIGHT, MANGER story time with craft.


     One of my favorite Christmas memories is of watching my daughter play with the Baby Jesus that was part of our Christmas nativity. All through December she’d carry him around the house saying things like, “Baby Jesus crying. It’s okay, Baby.”  Then she’d gently feed him or rock him and sing a lullaby. Before listening to her tender play, I’d never thought of Baby Jesus as ever crying.
     Her sweet play inspired me to write “Goodnight, Manger”, a Christmas bedtime picture book that not only serves as a fun reminder that Jesus was once a baby who cried and felt everything we feel, but which also keeps Christ, rather than Santa, as the focus during the holiday season. 
     With all this in mind, today I’m over at Noelle Kirchner, The Ministering Mom’s website,, sharing 8 Nativity Activities to Teach Little Ones About Christmas. Grab a cup of tea and join me!


IMG_2699Please join me today at Amy Hill Hearth’s Author Page.  She is such a gifted writer and interviewer. I think you will LOVE her insightful questions about GOODNIGHT, MANGER. She certainly got me thinking, and I hope my answers reflect that.  Thank you, Amy!


Join me today at Nancy I. Sanders’ BlogZone for an interview about writing and more.  Thank you, Nancy, for having me!


IMG_0764Thank you, Katey Howes, for interviewing me on your blog today.  Join us as we chat about creating extension activities for picture books.  (Oh, and there’s a giveaway!)

HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA: Signed (and personalized) Copies of GOODNIGHT, MANGER or GOODNIGHT, ARK!

IMG_0069Can’t make it to a book signing? No problem!

I am excited to announce that in response to requests from readers for signed copies, my local indie book store, The Town Book Store in Westfield, New Jersey, will now offer signed, personalized copies of my books for sale!

If this interests you, please call them to order the book or books you want. Be sure to explain that you would like to have them signed by the author and pass along the names you’d like included. They will take the order and do the transaction. I will then come in and sign the book or books. Readers can either pick them up in-store at no extra charge, or have them mailed. There will be a shipping fee to cover the cost of mailing, but they can give you those details.

I thought this was a nice way to make signed copies available and support a wonderful independent book store.  Their number is: The Town Book Store (908) 233-3535.

Happy Reading, all!

OLDIE BUT GOODIE: Spider Webs – Thoughts on Weaving Stories

IMG_2366I’m taking break from the tour this week to enjoy a special, but busy, week.  I’ll be visiting two schools, celebrating someone’s eleventh birthday, hosting a birthday party, and finalizing a couple of homemade costumes. I also plan to take nice, reflective walks each day.  Lately, I’ve been enjoying looking for and marveling at the abundance intricate spider webs in my neck of the woods. With those beautiful creations in mind, here’s an oldie but goodie to inspire your writing. Enjoy!

 Lately, I’ve been noticing an abundance of spider webs dazzling in the early morning light as the first rays catch their dewy threads. Their strength and structure amaze me. Each spider web I notice follows the same basic pattern. First the spider established her outermost framework and then worked her way inward in concentric spirals until she reached the heart of the web.

There’s no doubt that there is a universality to spider webs.  But look closely and you will see that even though they share many common characteristics, each web is also a unique creation.  Each web’s shape and size varies depending on where it was woven and on the delicate dance the spinning spider performed as she leapt from anchor point to anchor point. One web I saw was spun snuggly between two slender stems of Queen Anne’s lace, stretched oblong by early fall breezes.  Another was hung high among prickly pine boughs, round and tight, so as not to get prickled, yet big enough to capture a passing fly.

As writers, it sometimes seems that every story has already been spun and that there couldn’t possibly be a new way to tell anything. Yes, it’s true, like spider webs, most stories fit into plot types and there are common structures.  There are also universal themes.  And like spiders, who all use liquid silk to build their webs, our stories too, are created using the same building blocks – words.

But does this mean originality is impossible? Not at all. Like webs, the best stories do have a universal quality about them.  But, if we listen to our inner creative spirit, something unique will unfold within that universal framework.  A spider web’s uniqueness emerges as she weaves in response to the specific setting and conditions surrounding that creation.  She also leaps and dances in a way that only she can.  Another spider spinning her web in the same spot would create a different web altogether.

So take heart as you write and listen to your deepest inner voice, the one that expresses itself in a way only you can. If you do, then I am convinced that, like a spider weaving uniquely concentric circles, you’ll weave the story as only you can.

Happy spinning all!



Today I’m sharing my favorite bedtime picture books over at Mia Wenjen’s Pragmatic Mom. Please join me.  What would you add to the list?


IMG_0978Today I’m delighted to be interviewed by Glenys Nellist over at her blog. She sure knows how to ask fun (and thoughtful) questions.  Oh, and there’s a giveaway too! So grab a cup of tea and head on over. That’s what I’m doing.  Thanks, Glenys, for having me!