Saturday, April 28, 2012

What Can You Learn from Chicken Soup for the Soul Stories?

I have been editing Chicken Soup for the Soul stories and books for twelve years now, and I’ve learned so much from reading the submissions we receive from people who generously share their life experiences with others. The editor-in-chief at Chicken Soup for the Soul, Amy Newmark, recently wrote an article for The Huffington Post that does a great job of describing the “real value in telling stories” and what she has personally learned from reading Chicken Soup for the Soul stories. I hope you’ll read her article HERE. Then head over to and submit your own experiences to inspire others!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Doing Research for a Historical Novel

Have you ever wondered how to go about researching facts for a historical novel? Susan Spence, author of A Story of the West, was kind enough to share with me the process she followed for learning about the American West during the 1880s. I was especially intrigued to find that she didn’t find the internet to be particularly helpful in uncovering specific details about this time period. If you’re interested in writing historical fiction, I hope you’ll check out Susan Spence’s article. Just CLICK HERE to read it. To purchase Susan’s book, click on the cover of her book below.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fabulous Earth Day Giveaway from Dot-to-Dot Children's Books!

I wanted to share a giveaway that I'm offering over at Susan Heim on Parenting for some wonderful children's books! Here are the details:

In celebration of Earth Day, Dot-to-Dot Children’s Books is offering a fantastic giveaway for a complete set of hardcover picture books from their Endangered Species, Empowered Communities series! Each beautiful book in this series tells the story of an endangered species and their habitat. At the end of each book is additional information about the endangered animal and its country of origin.

But what is really unique about these books is that each was written by women and schoolchildren from Afghanistan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Republic of Congo, and Nicaragua! In conjunction with a number of not-for-profit organizations that provide support to the women and children in these countries (like the Somaly Mam Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Society and Help the Afghan Children to name just a few), Dot-to-Dot Children’s Books donates all proceeds from the sales of these books to directly fund these organizations. Their goal is to empower these women and children and protect endangered species in their countries.

The books in this series include:

Yara’s Amazing Nose - Learn how a nose transforms an identity and a friendship for one of the most unique creatures in the animal kingdom -- the lowland tapir!

Carey’s First Day - Follow Carey the hawksbill sea turtle as he navigates the hazardous journey from his nest to his future home in the open ocean.

When Honey the Tiger Flew - Written by the courageous participants in the Somaly Mam Foundation’s Voices for Change program, When Honey the Tiger Flew is the story of a young tiger who, through determination and ingenuity, rescues his mother.

The Snow Leopard Dream - Under blue skies dotted by clouds in a remote region, a young girl overcomes her fears and befriends a snow leopard.

Ndeze and Ndakasi’s New Home - Two orphan mountain gorillas learn the ways of the world as they find a new home.

Sam Learns Some Lessons - Using the wisdom of elders, a herd of elephants copes with a water shortage.

Shuba and the Cyclone - A river dolphin loses her way after a cyclone, and a crocodile becomes an accidental hero.

Kajo and Akari’s New Friend - Seeking adventure, brother chimpanzees chase a butterfly through the forest.

My children and I were blessed to receive a copy of each of these books, and I am SO impressed with them! The artwork in these hardcover books is gorgeous and the stories are delightful. My boys really love them. And we had a great time going through the information at the end of each book. For example, at the end of When Honey the Tiger Flew, there is fascinating information on endangered Indochinese tigers, along with photos. Did you know that the Indochinese tiger is only one of five tiger species left in the world today? Additional pages in this book introduce families to a conservationist in Cambodia and provide facts about this interesting country in Asia. Finally, information about the authors and the founder of the Somaly Mam Foundation, which fights human trafficking, are included. Every book in this series contains similar information tailored to the animal, country, and organization featured in each book. These books are vital additions to any home, classroom or school library!

For more information about Dot-to-Dot Children’s Books’ partners, projects, and how to get involved, visit Purchase books directly from their online shop at

One lucky winner will receive one complete set of the 8 books listed above! This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end on Friday, May 4, 2012, at 11:59 PM EST.

DISCLAIMER: I received complimentary products to facilitate this review. No financial compensation was received. All opinions are strictly my own.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Children’s Easter Book Review: The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes, by Du Bose Heyward

by Du Bose Heyward
For ages: 4-8

I found this Easter book in a used bookstore and was amazed to find it was written in 1939!

It’s a beautiful tale about a little girl bunny who wants to become one of the five Easter Bunnies who travel the whole world every Easter. She grows up to become a mother to 21 baby bunnies, but still she dreams of becoming one of the Easter bunnies. And she does!

This wonderful story teaches children they can become anything they want, even if others say it’s not possible or there are obstacles in the way. This charming tale has withstood the test of time.

What is your favorite Easter book?

DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Enter These Fabulous Book-Related Giveaways!

I have some terrific book-related giveaways going on right now on my other blog, Susan Heim on Parenting. I hope you will check them out!


Enter to win an Amazon Kindle ($79 Amazon gift code)! Open worldwide. Ends 4/10.


One lucky winner will receive Mirror Mirror: The Storybook (based on the hit movie), plus a $25 Fandango gift card! Three additional winners will receive the storybook. Open to US residents. Ends 4/11.

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If you like to order books on Amazon, you’ll want to enter this giveaway for a $100 Amazon gift code! Open to US and Canadian residents. Ends 4/15.


This prize pack of baby-related items worth $125 includes the books, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, What to Expect the First Year, What to Expect the Second Year, Your Pregnancy Week by Week, Oh, Baby! 7 Ways a Baby Will Change Your Life the First Year, and Chicken Soup for the Soul: New Moms. This would make a great gift! Open to US residents. Ends 4/15.


Enter to win Food Fights: Winning the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed with Insight, Humor, and a Bottle of Ketchup, by Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP, and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP! Open to US residents. Ends 4/16.


Ten (10) winners will receive a copy of How to Raise a Good Kid, by Starbuck O’Dwyer! Open to US residents. Ends 4/17.


A lucky winner will receive an autographed copy of Hunter Moon, by Cait Lavender, along with a $25 Amazon gift code. Four additional winners will receive an autographed book. Open to US and Canadian residents. Ends 4/20.