The Familius Christmas Anthology: Just for Kids

Ever wondered how to create some fun family time with your kids around Christmas? Never fear! Last year I worked on the annual Christmas anthology from Familius, and I did it again this year. Packed with Christmas stories, holiday songs and poems, wintery recipes and child-appropriate activities, the anthology this year was a bundle of fun to put together.Familius Christmas Anthology: Just for Kids

The recipes and activities were my realm of creation: Rick Walton gathers the stories and poems and helps me rank the best of them, and I put it all together. This year, instead of grouping all the stories together, all the poems together, and so on, we grouped one item from each category together according to a theme. In theory, you could use these groups to center an entire night around a single theme. Themes range from silly to thoughtful, so you can vary them according to what your little ones can handle on any given day in December.

Right now it looks like the book is only available in its paperback form (which, given the recipe-and-activity nature of the book, I think is a huge step up from the ebook-only run we had last year). You can get it from …

Enjoy the book and tell your friends. I will be posting a giveaway page soon so I can share some of these awesome author copies I have!


The Familius Christmas Anthology 2012

Familius Christmas Anthology coverRemember not too long ago when I mentioned I had a book coming out? Well, now it’s out! Actually, it’s been out for a few weeks now, but it took awhile for it to post to all the major stores. I give you The Familius Christmas Anthology 2012, compiled by yours truly and Rick Walton:

Christmas is a time for family and there’s no better way of helping your family enjoy the Christmas spirit than by taking time each night to explore the annual Familius Christmas Anthology. Filled with stories, poems, recipes, and activities to make Christmas time enjoyable, this collection is literally stuffed with feel-good content and activities that will bring your family together. The stories include such favorites as the “The Gift of Magi” by O’Henry to the moving “The Child Who Had Everything But—” by John Kendrick Bangs. The anthology also includes favorite poems like “Long Ago” by Christina Rossetti and, of course, “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen,” among many others. And delicious family favorite recipes provide an invitation to spend time at the family table, whether you’re enjoying Spiced Sugar Cookie Truffles or a simple pot of White Hot Chocolate. And don’t forget to round out your Christmas holiday with family activities like building Graham Cracker Cottages or playing Jack Frost Tag. The Familius Christmas Anthology is a fantastic way of enjoying this wonderful holiday and making sure your family enjoys it, together.

I love Christmas, and I’m happy to have been a part of putting this anthology together. The whole point of the anthology is the help families enhance the holiday time they spend together. I’ve always loved spending time reading stories and baking with my family around the holidays. (When I lived at home we used to light candles and read a Christmas story every night in December.) This year, I’m looking forward to starting some family traditions of my own with my husband and my son (even if the little guy will only be a couple months old by the time Christmas day rolls around). Maybe this little book can help you with some traditions of your own.

The book is currently available as an ebook from all major ebook sellers.

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Familius Christmas Anthology cover

Announcing My First Book

Spiced Sugar Cookie Truffles

Spiced sugar cookie truffles

I’m not exactly new to publishing, working with publishers, or working with materials that I know will be published. But my latest project does have me doing something new: instead of editing the work to be published, I’m helping to write it!

Right now I’m working on a joint project with children’s author Rick Walton to put together a Christmas book for Familius, a new press specializing in family-centered books and collections. The book is going to have short stories, poems, recipes, and activities for families to use during the Christmas season. The experience is, so far, a lot different than editing.

Writing Nonfiction

One aspect of the book that isn’t difficult for me to adjust to is writing nonfiction. I’m writing the recipes and many of the activities, but honestly, I haven’t written any fiction in a long time. Right now I blog, write summaries, and write research papers, so I’m used to a wide spread of nonfiction styles and voices. I haven’t ever written recipes before, but considering the fact that I used to be the kind of person who could get lost in even the simplest set of recipe directions, it isn’t too difficult to make sure my recipes make sense.

The tricky part of this, for me, is that instead of editing the text to align it with someone else’s idea of what the branding and voice of the book should be, I need to decide for myself and reflect that decision in my word choice, topic selection, and more.

Writing Christmas Nonfiction

The biggest problem I’ve had so far is the fact that I’ve been testing recipes for Christmas … in September and October. Among other things, I’ve made peppermint meringue cookies (difficult to do when you can’t find candy canes in the store), spiced sugar cookies (which aren’t too weird, because the spices I used are associated with fall as well as Christmas), and two types of hot chocolate. The temperature has been up in the 70s or higher lately, so convincing people to taste-test the hot chocolate was a bit of a challenge.

Book Release Details

I don’t have a publication date for the book yet, but it will be out as an ebook this Christmas season (if all goes well, hard copies will come out next year). I’ll keep you posted on the details as I get them.