The waiting is over! I am so pleased to announce that, once again, Brave Nellie is available. Many of you will remember that last November, I had two book launch parties in Hallowell and Cape Elizabeth, Maine. I sold out of the 100 hardcovers and several paperbacks, thanks to the overwhelming support. Unfortunately, the second printing did not go as smoothly as the first and I had to stop publication of the hardcover. In February, I stopped publication of the paperback. I just did not like the quality of book that was being sold.
I cannot begin to share with you all the emotions that came with the decision to stop my book from being available. There was so much love put into creating the book and everyone was so supportive when I launched it. I was so sad and frustrated that I had to stop the momentum of getting Brave Nellie’s story out to the world! I am a firm, firm believer that “good comes from bad” and that valuable lessons are learned from difficult times. We may not immediately understand the reasons for the difficult times. It may take weeks or months or even years to have that “aha moment” when you can look back and say, that is the reason why I went through that. I am still waiting for more “aha moments” to be revealed but there is one very important lesson from all of this that I can share with you.
When I first published my book, I hired a consultant to help me through the process. In his dealings with the consultant, Lucas Richards my illustrator, learned so much about self-publishing that he was able to format Brave Nellie to be published. Thanks to Lucas, I can truly say that I am a self-published author. Brave Nellie would still be a dream without the diligent determination of Lucas. I am truly indebted to you, Lucas and I so appreciate you! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
In the next couple of days, Brave Nellie will be available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com in English and Spanish. I have ordered 200 hardcovers that are being printed to be shipped to Maine and 100 paperbacks are already on their way. I will be in Maine July 15 to Sept 10th, for anyone interested. The hardcover is $22.95 and the paperback is $14.95. Part of the profits from the book will be donated to AAASousa, (Asociación De Amigos Por Los Animales De Sosúa). They look after the strays on the north shore of the Dominican Republic and were a huge help when it came time to transport Nellie back to the states. I recently made my first donation and look forward to having it be a regular event.
Brave Nellie is the story of a dog who was living, along with two other companions, on the beach of Cabarete, Dominican Republic. For the two years that David and I lived in Cabarete, I fed the three dogs. When it came time for us to transfer, we determined that Nellie could be domesticated and brought her into our condo to teach her all the things she needed to know in order to live with a “forever family.”
I know that Nellie realized her life was about to change for the better and everything I showed her, she learned quickly and with such grace! She had to learn so many new things – ride in a car, go into a crate, sleep on a bed, walk on grass, wear a collar, walk with a leash, etc. She never once had an accident in the condo. She was and still is just plain amazing! David and I cannot have pets due to his international projects. Thanks to the power of social media, I was able to find a “forever family” in Michigan. When the time came, we flew with Nellie from the Dominican Republic to Maine.
Together, Nellie and I drove to Michigan where she met her new family. It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done in my life, driving off and leaving Nellie behind. We had bonded so much! I could not have found a more perfect home for Nellie! Sherry, her children Megan and Matt; and their rescue dog, Petey, all opened up their hearts to Nellie. When Nellie arrived, Petey was so excited, we had to walk the dogs up and down the street for a half-hour until Petey calmed down. Once calmed, Petey and Nellie met and they have been the best of friends ever since.
I never intended to write a children’s book but I started thinking about Nellie and that her story needed to be told. It was through encouragement of friends that I finally sat down and wrote her story. Nellie’s message to children is new things are scary but if you are willing to try, good things can happen.
I have received feedback from some who have purchased the book. One child had to undergo several medical test as the doctors could not diagnose his illness. As he was walking into the hospital, for yet more test, he looked at his mother and asked if he had to be brave like Nellie. Another young man, who has a disability, was moving out of the comfort and familiarity of his home to a group home. Brave Nellie was the first book that he had ever read completely on his own and he insisted on taking the book with him to his new home. I am pleased to say that he is doing very well in his new surroundings. It is my wish that Brave Nellie will continue to inspire children and adults to “be brave and try.”
I am so pleased that once again, Brave Nellie’s story is available. Again, many thanks to Lucas Richards. Thank you, reader, for taking the time to read this post. I will sign off for now….one very, grateful and humble author!