Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ruby Rose News

Thanks to Any new books? for naming RUBY ROSE OFF TO SCHOOL SHE GOES as their staff pick of recently released picture books. Any new books? is a small team of Canadians who are passionate about reading and books. Visit them at

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

About the Dedication . . .

It’s All About the Kids

While Debbie Ridpath Ohi dedicated RUBY ROSE OFF TO SCHOOL SHE GOES to a special teacher, I dedicated the book to my students—past and present—who encourage me to kick up my heels every day. 

Some of my former students pushed me into writing by asking again and again, “Why haven’t you written a book?” and others have encouraged me along my writing journey, celebrating as books are released, checking my books out of the class library and reading them over and over, asking about my current works in progress, and saying things like, “I bet you’re rich since you’re a teacher AND an author.” (That one gives me a chuckle every time.) And my students encourage me through their own creativity and risk-taking. If they can try something new, if they can put themselves out there, so can I!

So here’s to the countless number of kids I’ve taught at school, church, and everywhere else. You have made a difference in my life.

Happy Book Day Ruby Rose

Welcome to the World!

Ruby Rose makes her debut today, Tuesday, June 21, 2016! She's available in book stores and on online venues.

In honor of the release of RUBY ROSE OFF TO SCHOOL SHE GOES, how about a contest? Ruby Rose’s favorite teacher is Ms. D. Mine favorite teacher in elementary school was Mrs. Janet Henley (she tells me these days to call her Janet, but even all these years later that’s difficult for me to do). Who was your favorite elementary school teacher? Post a comment with your answer and you’ll be included in the drawing for an autographed copy of RUBY ROSE OFF TO SCHOOL SHE GOES. A heartfelt shout out to teachers everywhere!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Here she comes!

Ruby Rose—Off to School She Goes comes out in one month! Debbie Ridpath Ohi and I are counting down the days until Ruby Rose dances into stores, libraries, and into the hearts of readers. Visit my Ruby Rose page to learn more and to find some kick-up-your-heels activities.!ruby-rose-off-to-school-she-goes/fn4qw

Out-of-this-world News!

Outer Space Bedtime Race

receives the

2016 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award—Southeastern Region!

The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) has announced their 2016 Crystal Kite Award winners. The prestigious award is chosen by writing peers; and is the only award of its kind in children’s books. Outer Space Bedtime Race received the most votes out of hundreds of submissions in the Southeastern Region, and joins the other fourteen 2016 regional winners.

View all of the 2016 Crystal Kite Award winners at

Thank you to illustrator, Brian Won who brought color and life to my words. Thanks to Rubin Pfeffer (who represents Brian and me) for championing this book. Thanks also to Maria Modugno at Random House Books for Young Readers who loved my spacey manuscript from the very beginning and worked to make it the best it could be. Finally, thanks to everyone who voted for OSBR—I am honored.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Sunday, January 3, 2016

What a Great Year

Celebrating 2015

Celebration #1
OUTER SPACE BEDTIME (illustrated by Brian Won) was released in January of 2015 by Random House, and Barnes & Noble in Tampa hosted our faboo launch party.

Celebration #2
Sold RODZILLA to Simon & Schuster in February.

Celebration #3
In, June, I co-taught the Picture Book track at SCBWI Florida along with Rubin Pfeffer and Allyn Johnston. The room was packed, the energy was high, and there were plenty of laughs.

Celebration #4
Toured England and visited Paris during a ten-day trip with my sister, Dr. Pat Sanders.

Celebration #5
Enjoyed a writing retreat in Canada with writing bud Aimee Reid. Our former critique group member, Kari-Lynn Winters, happened to be at the same retreat center. What a hoot!

Celebration #6
A week at Pass-a-grille Beach, Florida, with Pat, cousins Dawn and Kaile Lindsay, and the dogs—Baxter and Angel.

Celebration #7
Sold A FLAG FOR HARVEY (my first non-fiction picture book) to Random House.

Celebration #8
Led a Picture Book Boot Camp in Tampa, Florida, with some really great folks.

Celebration #9
Taught about revision to writers in Delray Beach, Florida. And we even got the projector to work!

Celebration #10
OUTER SPACE BEDTIME RACE was named one of the top twenty rhyming picture books of 2015 by KidLit TV and RhyPiBoMo.