Beverly Stowe McClure, Interview of Author Sal Barbera

TOUR WITH SAL BARBERA AND HIS SPOTLESS COW

Beverly Stowe- McClure authBeverly Stowe McClure, Author of stories for children and teens interviews Sal (Salvatore) Barbera for an inside look at a writer.

 

 

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Mr. Barbera was kind enough to answer some questions for me:

Sal BarberaPlease tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.

I’ve had the drawing bug since I was a little kid watching ‘Winky Dink and You’. It was a TV show where you (your Mom) sent in for this piece of plastic that you attached to the front of your TV set. Then you drew along with the guy on Winky Dink. I loved that show.
The early television kids show, Winky Dink (CBS, 1953-57)

 

 

 

I didn’t set out to become a writer. I wanted to do something that was fun. I started by drawing cartoons about my dog, Max. He was the inspiration for my character Sweetles™ who is the impetus for my book series: A Sweetles Dream®. A Sweetles Dream®The concept is: during the day, while Sweetles™ is playing, he sees something unexpected. That leads him to dream up a solution to the situation he’s seen.

For example, in my book, Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow, he is playing ball as soon as you open the book. He chases the ball across a field and Mary Elizabeth frolics past him. She triggers his dream.
Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow
The bonus in children’s books is that, not only is it fun, but I hope I can make a positive difference for kids through the affirmative actions and concepts about friendship, family, self-confidence and relationships in my books.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be an astronaut. Space, the final frontier…I was always intrigued by that. In science class at school they showed us the planets and stars and the galaxy. We had fascinating science books. Men were taking the first trip to the moon. Like Neil Armstrong. So my room looked like NASA. I had Lunar modules and rocket models and all kinds of planetary books.

How did you come up with the idea for your book and were there any glitches along the way?

My mother in law, who is a dear friend, had gone through a pretty rough time with breast cancer, chemotherapy and radiation. She needed to laugh. So I decided to write a funny story for her. When I picked up the pencil, some kind of crazy inspirational thing happened. A thought came to me about a farm in Ohio. Then there were lots of cows. Suddenly I had an idea—what would happen if a new cow, a spotless cow, arrived at a farm and encountered prejudice from the other cows for being different. The inventive, funny way she overcomes their spot discrimination would be the kicker. I rapidly had a beginning, middle, and an end. I didn’t want to forget any of it. I had to write and illustrate it as quickly as possible.

Five hours and many broken pencil points later, Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow was born.

You’re shipwrecked on a deserted island. What character from a book other than yours would you want to be stranded there with you? Why?

Huckleberry Fin or Robinson Caruso. Guys with raft and island life experience that could get me off of there. I’m not too good at building things without tools and a hardware store. I’d probably wind up talking to a soccer ball.

If we peeked inside your closet, what would we see?

A Hawaiian sunset! I like colorful, happy, fun attire. My main wardrobe consists of vivid Hawaiian shirts. If I get stranded on that deserted island not only will I look the part – but hopefully a plane will see my shirt and save me!

Tell us your favorites:

Movie:  City Slickers
Actor:  Billy Crystal
Book:  Jurassic Park
Singer:  Frank Sinatra

If you could have super powers what would you wish for?

My first thought is being able to fly…but no one would bring me peanuts. So I think something really super, like the power to be able to eat as many snacks as I want without gaining weight. Supersnack Man! Has a nice ring to it. Don’t you think?

If you could choose to live in another time, would you prefer the past or the future?

The past. Maybe on the ship with Columbus. I could say:

“You know this really isn’t India…nobody will think any less of you if you stop and ask for directions.”

Are you working on any new books now? Tell us about them.

Since Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow was published I’ve completed the second book in the “A Sweetles Dream®” series called Ernie the Dysfunctional Frog. Without giving away the surprise, it’s a fun, goofy and unexpected tale about acceptance, family, friendship and love. And, of course, frogs.
Ernie The Dysfunctional Frog Ernie loves being a frog. He loves the flies and the lily pads and the lotus flowers and the pond. But most of all he loves his frog friends. When he accidentally learns a secret, Ernie's life is changed forever. Find out what happens in this odd and wondrously goofy tale about Ernie The Dysfunctional Frog! Parents, guardians, teachers and especially children will enjoy reading this fairy tale. See how Ernie discovers his true identity and learns the importance of family and friendship. With vibrant, colorful pictures, humor for children and adults, and a fast paced story that will keep you interested in Ernie's adventure from start to finish you're sure to enjoy this story. This is the second book in the series “A Sweetles Dream”®. This series is perfect for families to enjoy together. Order this book now to build your Sweetles™ book collection! Your purchase will make a difference in the lives of children with critical and life threatening illnesses in the Phoenix Children's Hospital Child Life Program Read About The Author: Sal Barbera The Spotless Cow Song cartoon

 

Where can your fans learn more about you?

Website: http://www.salvatorebarbera.com/
http://www.sweetles.com/about-sal-barbera/
Blog: http://www.salvatorebarbera.com/blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sal.barbera
Twitter: https://twitter.com/swtlng
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18264358-mary-elizabeth-the-spotless-cow
SCBWI: http://www.scbwi.org/members-public/salvatore-barbera

Would you like to share anything else with your fans?

During the months of November-December, purchase Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow
from the Sweetles website for only $12.00 (List price: $17.99). When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program.

Visit http://www.sweetles.com/product/books/mary-elizabeth-the-spotless-cow-book/ for more information.

For more about the book watch Mary Elizabeth’s book trailer: http://youtu.b/72fOn1tEbDM

Thank you for having me and giving me the opportunity to talk about my book!

– Sal Barbera

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to visit with us.  Stop by anytime.
Beverly-Stowe-McClure
### Thursday, November 7, 2013

Vote for Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow book trailer on Indies Unlimited

Indies Unlimited Poll

January Video Trailer of the Month

Award

 

Vote for Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow book trailer on Indies Unlimited!

It’s time to check out the great book trailer videos INDIES UNLIMITED ran during the month of January. All month long, video trailer elves have been making movies just for you! Well, or something like that. Now, you have the opportunity to let them know which one you liked best by voting for Trailer of the Month. Take a look and pick your favorite. No cash. No prizes. It’s all for the glory! Check ‘em out for yourself by clicking the links!

 

Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow Book Trailer video

 

The contestants for January are:

Death Misses

Dead Burn

Mystery of the Attic

Mary Elizabeth the Spotless Cow

Which video was your favorite from January 2014?

VOTE HERE!

Posted by Shirley Rempel January 5, 2014

Mary Elizabeth the Spotless Cow: A Book Review

My Review:

Mary Elizabeth the Spotless Cow was introduced to me about a month ago, and I have read this book to my children countless times since! It is adorable, both in the story and illustrations! Realizing that one is different than others is not always easy but learning ways to adapt and be friends with those that are different from us are two HUGE themes within this delightful children’s book. I have truly enjoyed having it a part of our children’s library! 
 
I have not read other books from this author but I definitely plan on checking out more from him this year!
…learning ways to adapt and be friends with those that are different from us are two HUGE themes within this delightful children’s book.

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!

BUY IT: You can purchase Mary Elizabeth the Spotless Cow online here.

About The Book:

The story of Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow takes us on the journey she travels to figure out how to get the cows at a new farm to like and accept her.  While she hopes to find friendship at her new home, instead she learns what it means to be different from everyone else. (Spotless!)  Mary Elizabeth uses clever ideas and a sense of humor to help her on her quest for playmates at the farm.   This inspiring tale shows how perseverance in spite of obstacles, using a sound thought process to arrive at solutions and the importance of having fun, using humor and enjoying playtime can build friendships.   Parents, guardians, teachers and especially children will enjoy reading this fairy tale. It has vibrant, colorful pictures, humor for children and adults, and a fast paced story that will keep you interested in Mary Elizabeth’s adventure from start to finish. A Sweetles Dream®This is the first story in the books series “A Sweetles Dream®”. These books are perfect for families to enjoy together. Order this book now to start your Sweetles™ collection! Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program to make a difference in the lives of children with critical and life threatening illnesses.

About The Author:

Sal Sanford SchoolSal is the author and illustrator of “A Sweetles Dream”® book series. As the Creative Director for Hartman-Barbera llc, a family media & entertainment company, he is also an animator, sculptor, painter and all around fun guy. Sal lives the phrase: “A day without laughter is a wasted day”. To that end, he uses his writing, illustrating and animation skills to create endearing characters and comedic stories. Sal’s sense of humor and empathy for his characters explore personal and social situations in ways that makes it enjoyable for both adults and children to experience together. Born in New York City, Sal moved to North Bergen, NJ where he grew up on a steep hillside neighborhood with his four older sisters. He currently lives in sunny Arizona with his wife and artistic partner, Sheri, who he defines as his inspiration. On any given day Sal might be painting, sculpting, drawing, animating, writing or enjoying one of his favorite pastimes: cooking, television, movies and golf.   ***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of the author and Pump Up Your Book Promotions Posted by Shirley Rempel

Bella Harte Books A Sweetles Dream® ~ Guest Author Feature with Salvatore Barbera ~ Part Two

Bella Harte 2013A Sweetles Dream® ~ Guest Author Feature with Salvatore Barbera ~ Helping The Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program ~ Part Two

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Author Interview:

Hi Sal and welcome back to my blog

Sal BarberaFirstly can you tell us about yourself?

I come from a big Italian family in New Jersey and am the youngest of five. I have four older sisters.

When I was a kid, our house was the central meeting place for family holidays. All of my cousins and aunts and uncles from south Jersey, Brooklyn and New York City would come to our house for dinner. It was great. A lot of stories were told over a lot of food. We were loud,
we laughed louder and mainly just enjoyed each other’s company. I think that gave me a solid foundation for my love of storytelling and making people laugh.

It’s a good challenge to tell a story and get people to laugh.

How long have you been writing?

About 2 minutes. Oh…you mean in my lifetime. Well, I’ve been making cartoon style stories for about 20 years.

It started with drawings of Max, my dog. The first day we got him I was inspired to pick up a marker and start sketching him.

The sketches expanded into little cartoons that I drew of him to make my wife or in-laws laugh. Those drawings morphed into the character called Sweetles™ that is the upcoming star of his own comic book series as well as the host of a new children’s web series I’m working on called Sweetles TV Show.

I wrote my first published book about 3 years ago.

What inspired you to start writing books for your chosen genre?

My mother in law was my inspiration. She had gone through chemo and radiation treatments for breast cancer and was down in the dumps. She really needed cheering up.
So, I thought about what would make her laugh. First, my drawings always make her laugh.
And then saying something ridiculous. So I started writing a story about talking cows on a farm. And I set it in Ohio where her other daughter lives.

And the funniest thing happened, it just clicked in my head. And I was able to write the entire story in a day and that story is Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow.

I didn’t write it as a children’s book. But it turned out to be a fun, comprehensible way to help kids learn about prejudice and discrimination and how to deal with it.

That’s how I got the writing bug. The very next day I wrote my second book Ernie The Dysfunctional Frog.

How do you come up with the Titles for your books?

Hmm. First I name the main character, next I come up with a theme for the story. After that, it’s who the story is about and something about them.

So for Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow her lack of spots and the fact that she’s a cow made the title an easy choice.

Do you decide on your book title first, or do you write the book and then the title is decided later?

I decide the title first. For me, the title defines the book, even when there is a hidden surprise in the title.

My second book in the series, Ernie The Dysfunctional Frog, is a perfect example of a surprise title.

Are there any little tips or tricks you use to get to know your characters better?
I try to get into my characters head. Figure out what makes them tick. And then make them as real and personable as possible.

They might be someone I’d like to hang out with because they’re fun and witty. Or maybe they do something I don’t particularly like.

But that makes a good basis for a character flaw. For me it’s important to make a well rounded character that’s likable and fallible. Just like real people.

If you don’t like a character you’re writing about, what do you do?
a. Kill them off instantly
b. Get over it and learn to like them
c. Give them a whole new personality
d. or something else – do tell?! Please!

I’ve never written a character I didn’t like. Even if they start out unlikeable, they have redeeming qualities that change them to make them into a somewhat likable character before the book ends.

If you were stranded on a faraway island:- which of your characters would you like to be marooned with and why?

That’s a toss up. Mary Elizabeth, the spotless cow, is a lot of fun and very resourceful. While Ernie, the dysfunctional frog, is a great friend and has swimming skills that might prove helpful.

Do you have any input in the Cover design of your book?

My wife, a trained artist and designer, does the layout and background illustrations for the books. Although we collaborate, her sense of design and artistic talents lead the way.

How many novels/books do you typically read in a month?

A few. I like to read a book in small increments. It makes it more like a favorite TV show or mini series. Right now I’m reading John Grisham’s The Appeal. The previous book I read was by Carl Hiaasen.

What’s your least favourite part of the writing process?

I don’t really have a least favorite part of writing. When I’m in writing mode I really enjoy it. Sometimes it’s tricky figuring out what to say to get the reader to laugh.

Ideally, I’d like you to laugh out loud at some point. That’s a goal. Injecting humor that makes sense and reaches not just kids, but adults too. I think Dr. Seuss is a great example in that respect. His stories seem to be as much fun for adults to read as they are for kids.

If you didn’t write or you went through a dry spell (aka a bit of writers block), what would you do to fill the creative void instead?

I love to draw. People, animals, landscapes. I’m pretty good at drawing cactus now. I enjoy taking a blank piece of paper and creating something from nothing.

I know it’s what I do when I write, but with drawing I can just look at something and re-create it. With writing, I need to be inspired to create a new story.
Drawing helps to inspire me.

Finally, what 7 words best sum up your book?

Fun, educational, witty, endearing, inspiring, topical and surprising.

Thank you Bella, for inviting me to share my thoughts with you and your readers. I very much appreciate it.

I hope your readers will get Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow for the holidays. It’s definitely a feel good story for everyone.

All my best,

– Sal
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Many thanks to Sal for joining us again today, and if you have children, get them this fabulous book for younger readers. And if you don’t have children, get it for yourself and help a fantastic cause.

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A Sweetles Dream®Sweetles TV Show

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Welcome to the second installment to help the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program

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Featuring
y Elizabeth The Spotless Cow

Book Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Publish date: July 2012
Publisher: Sweetles Press
ISBN-13: 978-0985061111

Book Blurb:

The story of Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow follows her adventures to figure out how to get the cows at a new farm to like and accept her. While she hopes to find friendship at her new home, instead she learns what it means to be different from everyone else. (Spotless!) Mary Elizabeth uses clever ideas, diplomacy and a keen sense of humor to gain acceptance and friendship at the farm.

This inspiring tale shows how perseverance in spite of obstacles, using a sound thought process to arrive at solutions and the importance of having fun, using humor and enjoying playtime can build friendships.

Watch the trailer: http://youtu.be/72fOn1tEbDM

Purchasing information:

From now through December 31, 2013, you can purchase Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow from the Sweetles website for only $12.00 (List price: $17.99) and on Amazon for $14.66.

When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program. to make a difference in the lives of children with critical and life threatening illnesses.

Visit http://www.sweetles.com/product/books/mary-elizabeth-the-spotless-cow-book/ for more information.

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Author Bio:

Sal is the author and illustrator of A Sweetles Dream® book series. As the Creative Director for Hartman-Barbera llc, a family media & entertainment company, he is also an animator, sculptor, painter and all around fun guy.

Sal lives the phrase: “A day without laughter is a wasted day.” To that end, he uses his writing, illustrating and animation skills to create endearing characters and comedic stories. Sal’s sense of humor and empathy for his characters explore personal and social situations in ways that makes it enjoyable for both adults and children to read his books and experience them together.

Born in New York City, Sal moved to North Bergen, NJ where he grew up on a steep hillside neighborhood with his four older sisters. He currently lives in sunny Arizona with his wife and artistic partner, Sheri, who he defines as his inspiration.

On any given day Sal might be painting, sculpting, drawing, animating, writing or enjoying one of his favorite pastimes: cooking, television, movies and golf.

Visit Sal Barbera’s website at http://www.salvatorebarbera.com

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Book Buy links:

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Elizabeth-The-Spotless-Cow/dp/0985061111

Amazon UK Kindle: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mary-Elizabeth-Spotless-Sweetles-Dream-ebook

Sweetles Press http://www.sweetles.com/product/books/mary-elizabeth-the-spotless-cow-book/

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Links

Website

http://www.salvatorebarbera.com/

http://www.sweetles.com/about-sal-barbera/

Blog
http://www.salvatorebarbera.com/blog/

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/sal.barbera

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/swtlng

SCBWI:
http://www.scbwi.org/members-public/salvatore-barbera

Mary Elizabeth Puppet Short Video
http://youtu.be/WXyoYdPDEQc

Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/25684038-salvatore-barbera

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Book Excerpt:

Once upon a time…there was a farm in Ohio with lots of Cows. They all had many spots to be proud of.

One day a truck pulled into the farm. The back door opened and out came a new Cow.
The other Cows were so excited to have a new friend!

But as the new Cow came out of the truck, the other Cows looked on in shock!

“Oh My!”

“What on Earth?!”

It seems the new Cow, whose name was Mary Elizabeth, had no spots!

“Where are your spots?!’’ Demanded the Cow called Anna Belle.

“I don’t have any spots. I was born spotless, you see.’’

Well, Anna Belle and the other Cows were horrified.

(Not mad, you have to be very careful about mad).

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Posted by at

wv stitcher book blog

Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow by Salvatore Barbera ~ review by WV Stitcher

Monday, December 16, 2013

My take on this book:

Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow is the story of Mary Elizabeth who moves to a farm in Ohio, a farm where all the other cows have spots, and really don’t want anything to do with her because she is different. The plan that she comes up with allows the other cows to see that she is really an ok gal cow, who really is just like they are!
What a fun book that also teaches a valuable lesson about acceptance. The illustrations are so eye catching and the story really is an easy read that will have youngsters wanting to read along.

The humor woven into the story really had me smiling, but the overall message of acceptance is one that really makes this a wonderful book for youngsters.

A perfect gift during the holidays … the message of not judging others by how they look, and accepting people and cows for who they are is a lesson we all need to learn, and this book just might open the door for that discussion with youngsters.
 
Pump Up Your Book Presents Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow Virtual Book Publicity Tour & Giveaway

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Sweetles Press; 1st edition (July 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0985061111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985061111
 
 
Purchase a copy of the book in either of these places. This book is also available as an ebook.

SWEETLES

AMAZON

The Story of Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow takes us on the journey she travels to figure out how to get the cows at a new farm to like and accept her.

While she hopes to find friendship at her new home, instead she learns what it means to be different from everyone else. (Spotless!) Mary Elizabeth uses clever ideas and a sense of humor to help her on her quest for friends at the new farm.
This inspiring tale shows how perseverance in spite of obstacles, using a sound thought process to arrive at solutions and the importance of having fun, using humor and enjoying playtime can build friendships.
When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program to make a difference in the lives of children with critical and life threatening illnesses.

ABOUT SALVATORE “SAL” BARBERA

Sal Barbera photo
Sal is the author and illustrator of “A Sweetles Dream”® book series. As the Creative Director for Hartman-Barbera llc, a family media & entertainment company, he is also an animator, sculptor, painter and all around fun guy. Sal lives the phrase: “A day without laughter is a wasted day”. To that end, he uses his writing, illustrating and animation skills to create endearing characters and comedic stories.
Sal’s sense of humor and empathy for his characters explore personal and social situations in ways that makes it enjoyable for both adults and children to experience together. Born in New York City, Sal moved to North Bergen, NJ where he grew up on a steep hillside neighborhood with his four older sisters. He currently lives in sunny Arizona with his wife and artistic partner, Sheri, who he defines as his inspiration. On any given day Sal might be painting, sculpting, drawing, animating, writing or enjoying one of his favorite pastimes: cooking, television, movies and golf.
Visit Sal Barbera’s website at www.salbarbera.com.
 
Mary new banner
Posted by at

Literal Exposure Book Feature

November 18, 2013

Mary Elizabeth the Spotless Cow by Sal Barbera Book Feature

About the book:

The story of “Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow” takes us on the journey she travels to figure out how to get the cows at a new farm to like and accept her.

While she hopes to find friendship at her new home, instead she learns what it means to be different from everyone else. (Spotless!) Mary Elizabeth uses clever ideas and a sense of humor to help her on her quest for friends at the new farm.

This inspiring tale shows how perseverance in spite of obstacles, using a sound thought process to arrive at solutions and the importance of having fun, using humor and enjoying playtime can build friendships.

When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program to make a difference in the lives of children with critical and life threatening illnesses.

Excerpt:

Once upon a time……..there was a farm in Ohio with lots of Cows. They all had many spots to be proud of. One day a truck pulled into the farm. The back door opened and out came a new Cow. The other Cows were so excited to have a new friend!

But as the new Cow came out of the truck the other Cows looked on in shock!!! “Oh My!’’ ’’What on Earth?!”

It seems the new Cow, whose name was Mary Elizabeth, had no spots!

’’Where are your spots??!!’’ Demanded the Cow called Anna Belle. ’’I don’t have any spots. I was born spotless, you see.’’

Well, Anna Belle and the other Cows were horrified.

(Not mad, you had to be very careful about mad)

Watch the trailer: http://youtu.be/72fOn1tEbDM

Purchasing information: From now through December 31, 2013, you can purchase Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow from the Sweetles website for only $12.00 (List price: $17.99).

When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program. Visit http://www.sweetles.com/product/books/mary-elizabeth-the-spotless-cow-book/ for more information.

 

About the author:

Sal is the author and illustrator of “A Sweetles Dream”® book series. As the Creative Director for Hartman-Barbera llc, a family media & entertainment company, he is also an animator, sculptor, painter and all around fun guy. Sal lives the phrase: “A day without laughter is a wasted day”. To that end, he uses his writing, illustrating and animation skills to create endearing characters and comedic stories.

Sal’s sense of humor and empathy for his characters explore personal and social situations in ways that makes it enjoyable for both adults and children to experience together. Born in New York City, Sal moved to North Bergen, NJ where he grew up on a steep hillside neighborhood with his four older sisters. He currently lives in sunny Arizona with his wife and artistic partner, Sheri, who he defines as his inspiration. On any given day Sal might be painting, sculpting, drawing, animating, writing or enjoying one of his favorite pastimes: cooking, television, movies and golf.

Visit Sal Barbera’s website at http://www.salbarbera.com.

Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow Virtual Book Tour Schedule

 

October 1st

Interview at Blogcritics

October 2nd

Book spotlight at The Writer’s Life

October 3rd

Book spotlight at As the Pages Turn

October 4th

Book review at Alicia Finn Noack

October 7th

Book spotlight at Literarily Speaking

October 8th

Book spotlight at Between the Covers

October 9th

Book spotlight at The Book Rack

Book review at Classic Children’s Books

October 10th

Book review at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

October 11th

Guest post at Paperback Writer

Book spotlight at Review from Here

Book review at A Year of Jubilee Book Reviews

October 12th

Book spotlight at 4 the Love of Books

October 14th

Interview at Straight from the Author’s Mouth

October 15th

Book spotlight at Beyond the Books

October 16th

Book trailer reveal at If Books Could Talk

Book spotlight at Broken Teepee

October 17th

Guest post at The Story Behind the Book

Book review at Lynn’s Corner

October 18th

Interview at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

October 21st

Book review at My Devotional Thoughts

Book review at Deco My Heart

Book spotlight at A Year of Jubilee Book Reviews

October 22nd

Book review at 4 the Love of Books

October 23rd

Guest post at Mayra’s Secret Bookcase

October 25th

Book review at Mary’s Cup of Tea

October 28th

Book review at Thoughts in Progress

October 30th

Book review at Maureen’s Musings

October 31st

Book review at Blooming with Books

Guest post at Lori’s Reading Corner

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November 4th

Book spotlight and giveaway at Katie’s Clean Book Collection

November 5th

Book spotlight and giveaway at Book Marketing Buzz

November 7th

Interview at Story of a Writer

November 8th

Book spotlight and giveaway at Plug Your Book

November 13th

Interview at Broowaha

November 18th

Book spotlight and giveaway at Literal Exposure

November 19th

Book spotlight and giveaway at The Busy Mom’s Daily

November 20th

Book spotlight and giveaway at Janet Ann Collins’ On Words

November 22nd

Book spotlight and giveaway at Library of Clean Reads

 

November 27th

Book spotlight and giveaway at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

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December 2nd

Book spotlight at Bluebell Books

Book review at Mrs. Mommy Booknerd’s Book Reviews and More

December 3rd

Book review at Nancy Stewart Books

December 4th

Book spotlight and giveaway at Ramblings of a SAHM

December 5th

Join the book discussion at PUYB Virtual Book Club

December 9th

Book review at Library of Clean Reads

December 10th

Interview at Examiner

December 12th

Book spotlight at Penny’s Tales

December 13th

Book review at This Little Book of Mine

December 17th

Book review at WV Stitcher

December 27th

Book tour highlights at The Book Rack

TBD

Book spotlight at Bluebell Books

Want to host this author? Email Cheryl at ccmal(at)charter(dot)net!

This Little Book Of Mine

This Little Book Of Mine review of Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow

MARY ELIZABETH THE SPOTLESS COW

MY THOUGHTS ON THIS BOOK

I really love this sweet little cow book for children.

We have always either lived on a farm or near a farm, so cows have always be a part of our lives. Mary Elizabeth was a very special cow, and she was different from all of the others because she was spotless. But no one really liked Mary Elizabeth when she didn’t have spots, it wasn’t until she suddenly had spots that the others liked her. But this was not right. Her pals should like her for who she is and not what she looks like.

I like the valuable lesson taught here with this story.

The Children will learn from this book that it is ok to be different. If someone loves you only when you are just like everyone else, then they are the ones that are wrong. We should love everyone, regardless of who they are or what they look like, and I appreciate a book such as Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow that teaches children this valuable truth.

And using a cow is a fantastic idea. The characters were adorable, and its easy for kids to fall in love with them.

I know your child will love this book, just as much as my nieces and nephews did.

I received this book from PUYB to read and review.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 55.

ABOUT MARY ELIZABETH

THE SPOTLESS COW

Mary-Elizabeth-Spotless-Cow cover

The story of Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow takes us on the journey she travels to figure out how to get the cows at a new farm to like and accept her.

While she hopes to find friendship at her new home, instead she learns what it means to be different from everyone else. (Spotless!) Mary Elizabeth uses clever ideas and a sense of humor to help her on her quest for friends at the new farm.

This inspiring tale shows how perseverance in spite of obstacles, using a sound thought process to arrive at solutions and the importance of having fun, using humor and enjoying playtime can build friendships.

  • When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program to make a difference in the lives of children with critical and life threatening illnesses.

Watch the Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow video trailer at http://youtu.be/72fOn1tEbDM

SWEETLES

AMAZON

—————————————————————

ABOUT SALVATORE “SAL” BARBERA

Sal Barbera photo

Sal is the author and illustrator of “A Sweetles Dream”® book series. As the Creative Director for Hartman-Barbera llc, a family media & entertainment company, he is also an animator, sculptor, painter and all around fun guy. Sal lives the phrase: “A day without laughter is a wasted day”. To that end, he uses his writing, illustrating and animation skills to create endearing characters and comedic stories.

Sal’s sense of humor and empathy for his characters explore personal and social situations in ways that makes it enjoyable for both adults and children to experience together. Born in New York City, Sal moved to North Bergen, NJ where he grew up on a steep hillside neighborhood with his four older sisters. He currently lives in sunny Arizona with his wife and artistic partner, Sheri, who he defines as his inspiration. On any given day Sal might be painting, sculpting, drawing, animating, writing or enjoying one of his favorite pastimes: cooking, television, movies and golf.

Visit Sal Barbera’s website at www.salbarbera.com

Library of Clean Reads Review of Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow

Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow by Salvatore Barbera

Monday, December 9, 2013

Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow by Salvatore Barbera
Sweetles Press
ISBN: 978-0985061111
Published July 7, 2012
Hardcover, 32 pages

This is an adorable book that teaches kids about acceptance and tolerance in a humorous way. Mary Elizabeth is a cow without spots who is delivered to a farm in Ohio. The other cows were initially excited to get a new friend until they saw that Mary Elizabeth was different. She didn’t have spots like the rest of them! So Mary Elizabeth comes up with a clever plan to get the other cows to see her for who she really is.

My son and I liked this book for several reasons. Using the idea of a cow without spots is a unique and brilliant premise because young children could quickly relate to or understand how Mary Elizabeth would stand out. Mary Elizabeth had already experienced this discrimination before and although saddened, she was proactive. She took steps to make the other cows accept her as she was. We also liked that the leader cow who had initially shunned Mary Elizabeth felt regret afterwards and showed it not only through words but also through actions, making Mary Elizabeth feel truly accepted.

My son said this book teaches other kids that it doesn’t matter how you look or what culture you’re from. He had a smile after we finished reading it together and right away told me what he thought about it without my prompting him. We both think the illustrations are cute and will appeal to kids.

The author also includes aside notes in brackets – adult humor that was clever. My son got some of it too (he’s nine). This is the first book in a series “that help kids learn how to build positive social skills and good behaviors”. The next book is Ernie The Dysfunctional Frog.

Purchasing information:

From now through December 31, 2013, you can purchase Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow from the Sweetles website for only $12.00 (List price: $17.99).
When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program. For more information visit http://www.sweetles.com/product/books/mary-elizabeth-the-spotless-cow-book/.
And you have until Wednesday to win a $25 Amazon gift card in celebration of this book.
Note: This book is rated C = clean read.Reviewed by Laura & Son

Posted by Laura Fabiani at 9:15 AM

Thanks for the wonderful review of Sal’s book. I hope your readers check it out, especially since it’s on sale this month and 50% of the net proceeds benefit the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy holiday season.

This sounds like a wonderful book!

PUYB Virtual Book Club Q&A with Sal Barbera, Author of Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow

Thursday, December 5, 2013

PUYB Virtual Book Club Q&A + Book Giveaway with Sal Barbera, Author of Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow

We welcome Sal Barbera to PUYB Virtual Book Club! Sal is here today to talk about his children’s picture book, MARY ELIZABETH THE SPOTLESS COW. Ask him a question in the comment section and we will pick one of you to win a copy of his book! The contest will begin today and end on December 8. Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Only those leaving comments and an email address are eligible to win. Residents of the United States and Canada are eligible for a hardcover copy. A digital copy will be provided to an international winner.More about Sal:

Sal is the author and illustrator of “A Sweetles Dream”® book series. As the Creative Director for Hartman-Barbera llc, a family media & entertainment company, he is also an animator, sculptor, painter and all around fun guy. Sal lives the phrase: “A day without laughter is a wasted day”. To that end, he uses his writing, illustrating and animation skills to create endearing characters and comedic stories.

Sal’s sense of humor and empathy for his characters explore personal and social situations in ways that makes it enjoyable for both adults and children to experience together. Born in New York City, Sal moved to North Bergen, NJ where he grew up on a steep hillside neighborhood with his four older sisters. He currently lives in sunny Arizona with his wife and artistic partner, Sheri, who he defines as his inspiration. On any given day Sal might be painting, sculpting, drawing, animating, writing or enjoying one of his favorite pastimes: cooking, television, movies and golf.

Visit Sal Barbera’s website at http://www.salbarbera.com.

y Elizabeth The Spotless CowThe story of “Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow” takes us on the journey she travels to figure out how to get the cows at a new farm to like and accept her.

While she hopes to find friendship at her new home, instead she learns what it means to be different from everyone else. (Spotless!) Mary Elizabeth uses clever ideas and a sense of humor to help her on her quest for friends at the new farm.

This inspiring tale shows how perseverance in spite of obstacles, using a sound thought process to arrive at solutions and the importance of having fun, using humor and enjoying playtime can build friendships.

PCH logoWhen you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program to make a difference in the lives of children with critical and life threatening illnesses.

Thanks for coming today, Sal. It’s great to have you with us. In addition to your writing, you are also an animator, a sculptor and a painter. How do you channel your creativity for various projects?
Sal Barbera
Sal: I like challenging myself through as many mediums as possible, which keeps me thinking creatively. Plus the variety motivates me to create art in different forms. For me, focus and creativity go hand in hand. When I start a new sculpture, drawing or painting I generally don’t stop until it’s finished. Animation and video are different. I know those will be extended projects that may go on for days or even weeks at a time. Mentally I approach them differently from other art forms. I know they’re a long, evolutionary process that will eventually become a completed film. Or, as is the case right now, a full blown web series.

Do you feel your other creative outlets help with your writing? Why or why not?

Sal: I do feel all of the creative outlets I use help me. I might discover new characters from a painting or sculpture I’m drawing at the museum. Or, I might see something outside my window when I’m painting like a quail family chirping and bobbing and pecking the ground near a bush or a rabbit jumping straight up into the air. Both of which I’ve seen. Either one of them could inspire a new character. Characters may also arise from people I know or have met. It’s a lot of fun to create the personality for a cow or bird or another kind of animal.

In interviews, you’ve stated that you wrote Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow to cheer up your mother-in-law, who was battling cancer. Now you’ve also released Ernie The Dysfunctional Frog. Did you intend to write more books in the beginning or was this decided later?

Sal: I didn’t intentionally set out to write a book series at all. When I wrote Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow for my mother-in-law, I was so excited that I’d written and completed my first story that I didn’t want to stop. I”ll never forget the feeling of how the ideas just kept coming. New characters, new theme, new story – it just flowed. The next thing I knew, Ernie The Dysfunctional Frog had come to life and the story evolved quickly right after I completed Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow. More stories came after that one.

What common themes run through your writing?

Sal: Friendship, kindness, ‘being who you are’ and acceptance are common themes in my stories. And of course, there’s humor. It’s got to be funny. At some point, you need to laugh. This might be created through funny situations and/or humorous dialogue.

Then there are the big comprehensive themes of personal and social behavior of one character vs the behavior of society at large. In Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow, an all white cow arrives at a new farm. She hopes and expects to make friends there. But the cows on this farm are all spotted and because she’s different from them (spotless), they don’t want anything to do with her. I tend to write stories about serious subjects, like prejudice and discrimination, in a lighthearted way. I hope this helps kids understand how to deal with these type of situations (through my characters) using humor, intelligence and diplomacy.

You’re in the process of developing the Sweetles™ Web Series. How did this come about and what can you tell us about it?

Sweetles TV ShowSal: The idea for the Sweetles TV Show started out as a variety show, like the Carol Burnett Show, but focusing on skits to teach kids about good social skills and behavior. Sweetles is the host, and my story book characters mixed with puppets, toys and live talent are the guests. The original idea was to pitch a TV show. However, kids are using tablets, cell phones and electronic devices constantly now, so the internet became the logical choice and we decided to create a web series. The concept behind the show is Sesame Street meets Monty Python. That is, educational content mixed with entertainment in the form of silly, wacky and oddball skits. It’s a fun way to show kids the difference between good and bad social skills and behaviors and have a lot of fun doing it.

What is your involvement with the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation? How did you go about selecting them as the recipient of proceeds from your books?

PCH 2013 volunteersSal: My wife and I are volunteers for the the Phoenix Children’s Hospital helping out at events and fundraisers. During the holidays a huge group of us help install over 55 trees throughout the hospital to bring holiday cheer to the kids and their families. PCH holiday decoratingWe’ve been able to see first hand how the staff are with the kids, and we admire the Hospital for constantly improving their facilities and developing new ways to help children get healthy again. One of their programs we’re very enthusiastic about is The Child Life Program. It has specialists who work closely with the entire family during a child’s hospitalization to attend to a child’s “developmental, psychosocial, educational and emotional needs – which can be critical in the treatment and healing process.”child life zone at pch

It’s the perfect match of goals and values. Our goal is to help kids learn to get along with their peers and families, and community in general, and ultimately develop into valuable members of society. The Child Life Program helps children go back home and fit into society after they’ve been at the hospital. It’s the perfect recipient for a fundraiser with book sales.

Do you have more books planned in the A Sweetles Dream® series?

Sal: Yes, I do plan to write more books on A Sweetles Dream® logoMary Elizabeth’s adventures because she’s a delightful character and I enjoy drawing her and creating her story. I’ve also started James The Lost Homing Pigeon, Alfred the Flying Pig and Carina the Ballerina Javelina. I still have writing and illustrating left to do on all of them. Outside of this book series, I am completing a comic book about the Sweetles™ character. His motto: “Have fun, learn and play – that’s a Sweetles day!” is the driving force behind the comic books. All in all, it’s a pretty exciting time!

Thank you very much for inviting me to share my thoughts with you. I appreciate it.

23 comments:

  1. Great to have you with us today, Sal. Loved this book. I wish you great success.

    Reply

  2. Thank you for inviting me Cheryl – it’s an honor to be one of the first authors invited to the PUYB virtual book club. I appreciate the opportunity to discuss Mary Elizabeth or the story or any of the characters with your readers. And to hear their thoughts on the book. That’s just great!

  3. Hi, Sal. Will you be writing any other books about Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow?

    Reply

  4. Hi Susanne, funny you should ask! I was thinking that it might be time for Mary Elizabeth to start traveling. I happen to know she has a sister in Rome she’s been talking about visiting. Sister Mary Catherine, the holy cow (with a bad habit).

  5. Thanks for stopping by Susanne.

    Reply

  6. Loved this book! My 1st grade son shared it with his class. They also want to read more stories about Mary Elizabeth.

    Reply

  7. Hi Lynn. Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m so happy that your son took my book to his class to share it with them. They’ll be happy to know there are more stories in the works about Mary Elizabeth. It would be fun to know what their ideas would be for her next adventure.

  8. That’s good to hear, Lynn.

    Reply

  9. My sons 1st grade class read him this book and he adored it. He cannot wait to read more books about Mary Elizabeth’s adventures. Thank you for encouraging my son to want to read!

    Reply

  10. Hi Jenn, All the kudos for your son reading go to you – I’m glad my book contributed to his love of books. Keep checking my website for new Mary Elizabeth adventures – they’ll be coming out next year. Give your son my best and tell him I’m glad he enjoyed Mary Elizabeth’s story!

  11. Delightful book…the kids loved this, and we read it again and again!

    Reply

  12. Thank you Maureen, I appreciate your kind words. I’m so glad your kids love Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow’s story. It really makes me happy to hear that they want to read it over and over again. I think you’ll find that she becomes a part of the family! We find ourselves saying: “Here’s the thing Mary Elizabeth…”

  13. are you thinking of turning Mary into a series?

    Reply

  14. Thanks for asking Jennifer! I wasn’t thinking about writing her own series, just adding her new adventures to the “A Sweetles Dream”® series. She’s a very enjoyable character to look at and write about. I like her. I’d want to meet her! And it’s fun to come up with new situations to put her in.

  15. Thanks for all the comments, everyone.

    Reply

  16. Thank you for the interview and the giveaway, sounds like a wonderful way to teach tolerance and acceptance.

    elewkf1 at yahoo dot com

    Reply

  17. Thank you E.I. F. I think it’s so much easier for children to learn about tough subjects like discrimination and prejudice when they’re written in a fun and enjoyable way. By putting a common social situation in surprising surroundings (animals on a farm) and adding humor it makes the story more interesting for kids. And their caregivers too!

  18. What a great interview! Sounds like an adorable story and a fun one, too. Thanks for the giveaway… my grandchildren and I would love the book. Good luck everyone!

    Reply

  19. Hello LadyD! I do hope your grandchildren get the book! It’s a lot of fun to read and the drawings are vibrant and wacky. It’s also a great way for kids to have a discussion with their parents and grandparents about friends, friendship and society. Thanks for your kind words!

  20. Thanks for stopping by.

    Reply

  21. This book should be a big help in getting kids to accept others who are different. That should be especially helpful for children with special needs.

    Reply

  22. Hello Janet Ann, We have found that Mom’s with children that have autism really love this book. It is perfect for all children who don’t exactly fit into the mold of their peers. And a good way for children to learn how to express their own concerns about school or neighbors or friends. I hope it gives them ideas on how to make it all work. Thank you for your comments Janet!

Nancy Stewart Books

Nancy Stewart Books Review

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Cow With a Difference!

Mary Elizabeth the Spotless Cow is a girl with a difference.  In her new pasture live a lot of cows–all with spots.  Enter Mary Elizabeth, and the cow conundrum begins!

Mary Elizabeth The Spotless CowA book with a heart, Mary Elizabeth the Spotless Cow by Salvatore Barbara tells the age-old but important tale of discrimination.  But this time it can be found among the bovine set.

Author Sal Barbera
Sal Barbara

Published by Sweetles Press, Mary Elizabeth is a charming story of life amidst the clover, a clever but spotless cow, and a herd of spotted cows who need a paradigm shift.

Mary Elizabeth accomplishes her life lesson with adorable illustrations by Salvatore Barbera.  The cows’ personalities emerge as one reads the book, thanks in large part to Mr. Barbera’s efforts.

A nice addition to anyone’s holiday gift list, Mary Elizabeth the Spotless Cow could fill the bill.  In fact, if you buy the book through Sweetles Press,  the cost for the hardcover is greatly reduced.  In addition, 50 % of net proceeds benefit the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the fabulous review of Sal’s book. It’s really an adorable and funny story.

    I wanted to let your readers know that if they purchase the book from the Sweetles website, the cost for the hardcover is only $12 (reg $17.99). In addition, 50% of net proceeds benefit the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program.

    Wishing you and your readers a happy and healthy holiday season.

    Reply

  2. A pleasure to showcase this book on my blog today, Cheryl!

mrs mommy booknerd

Mrs Mommy Booknerd’s Review

Mrs Mommy Booknerd's Review
I adored this wonderful book.  What a cute and clever way to teach about discrimination to young kids.  This books WILL become a whole lesson in my classes.  I think that this is one of the best stories about discrimination I have seen in a long time.  My kids also loved it and we had a long talk about judging people by their looks alone.  There are so many other things to consider when determining friendship.  What a great dialogue building book for the whole family.   What a great story…5 stars!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sal Barbera’s Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow Blog Tour!

******************************************************************
About the book:
The story of “Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow” takes us on the journey she travels to figure out how to get the cows at a new farm to like and accept her.
While she hopes to find friendship at her new home, instead she learns what it means to be different from everyone else. (Spotless!) Mary Elizabeth uses clever ideas and a sense of humor to help her on her quest for friends at the new farm.
This inspiring tale shows how perseverance in spite of obstacles, using a sound thought process to arrive at solutions and the importance of having fun, using humor and enjoying playtime can build friendships.
When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program to make a difference in the lives of children with critical and life threatening illnesses.
******************************************************************
Excerpt:
Once upon a time……..there was a farm in Ohio with lots of Cows. They all had many spots to be proud of. One day a truck pulled into the farm. The back door opened and out came a new Cow. The other Cows were so excited to have a new friend!
But as the new Cow came out of the truck the other Cows looked on in shock!!! “Oh My!’’ ’’What on Earth?!”
It seems the new Cow, whose name was Mary Elizabeth, had no spots!
’’Where are your spots??!!’’ Demanded the Cow called Anna Belle. ’’I don’t have any spots. I was born spotless, you see.’’
Well, Anna Belle and the other Cows were horrified.
(Not mad, you had to be very careful about mad)
******************************************************************
Watch the trailer: http://youtu.be/72fOn1tEbDM
******************************************************************
I adored this wonderful book.  What a cute and clever way to teach about discrimination to young kids.  This books WILL become a whole lesson in my classes.  I think that this is one of the best stories about discrimination I have seen in a long time.  My kids also loved it and we had a long talk about judging people by their looks alone.  There are so many other things to consider when determining friendship.  What a great dialogue building book for the whole family.   What a great story…5 stars!
******************************************************************
Purchasing information: From now through December 31, 2013, you can purchase Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow from the Sweetles website for only $12.00 (List price: $17.99).
When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program. Visit http://www.sweetles.com/product/books/mary-elizabeth-the-spotless-cow-book/ for more information.
******************************************************************
About the author:
Sal is the author and illustrator of “A Sweetles Dream”® book series. As the Creative Director for Hartman-Barbera llc, a family media & entertainment company, he is also an animator, sculptor, painter and all around fun guy. Sal lives the phrase: “A day without laughter is a wasted day”. To that end, he uses his writing, illustrating and animation skills to create endearing characters and comedic stories.
Sal’s sense of humor and empathy for his characters explore personal and social situations in ways that makes it enjoyable for both adults and children to experience together. Born in New York City, Sal moved to North Bergen, NJ where he grew up on a steep hillside neighborhood with his four older sisters. He currently lives in sunny Arizona with his wife and artistic partner, Sheri, who he defines as his inspiration. On any given day Sal might be painting, sculpting, drawing, animating, writing or enjoying one of his favorite pastimes: cooking, television, movies and golf.
Visit Sal Barbera’s website at http://www.salbarbera.com.
******************************************************************
Follow the tour…….
Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow Virtual Book Tour Schedule
October 1st
Interview at Blogcritics
October 2nd
Book spotlight at The Writer’s Life
October 3rd
Book spotlight at As the Pages Turn
October 4th
Book review at Alicia Finn Noack
October 7th
Book spotlight at Literarily Speaking
October 8th
Book spotlight at Between the Covers
October 9th
Book spotlight at The Book Rack
October 10th
October 11th
Guest post at Paperback Writer
Book spotlight at Review from Here
October 12th
Book spotlight at 4 the Love of Books
October 14th
October 15th
Book spotlight at Beyond the Books
October 16th
Book trailer reveal at If Books Could Talk
Book spotlight at Broken Teepee
October 17th
Book review at Lynn’s Corner
October 18th
October 21st
Book review at My Devotional Thoughts
Book review at Deco My Heart
October 22nd
Book review at 4 the Love of Books
October 23rd
October 25th
Book review at Mary’s Cup of Tea
October 28th
Book review at Thoughts in Progress
October 30th
Book review at Maureen’s Musings
October 31st
Book review at Blooming with Books
*
November 4th
Book spotlight and giveaway at Katie’s Clean Book Collection
November 5th
Book spotlight and giveaway at Book Marketing Buzz
 
November 7th
Interview at Story of a Writer
November 8th
Book spotlight and giveaway at Plug Your Book
November 13th
Interview at Broowaha
November 18th
Book spotlight and giveaway at Literal Exposure
November 19th
Book spotlight and giveaway at The Busy Mom’s Daily
November 20th
Book spotlight and giveaway at Janet Ann Collins’ On Words
November 22nd
Book spotlight and giveaway at Library of Clean Reads
November 27th
Book spotlight and giveaway at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection
*
December 2nd
Book spotlight at Bluebell Books
December 3rd
Book review at Nancy Stewart Books
December 4th
Book spotlight and giveaway at Ramblings of a SAHM
December 5th
Join the book discussion at PUYB Virtual Book Club
December 9th
Book review at Library of Clean Reads
December 10th
Interview at Examiner
December 12th
Book spotlight at Penny’s Tales
December 13th
December 17th
Book review at WV Stitcher
December 27th
Book tour highlights at The Book Rack
TBD
Book spotlight at Bluebell Books
Want to host this author? Email Cheryl at ccmal(at)charter(dot)net!
GIVEAWAY!!!!

$25 Amazon gift card giveaway from November 4 – December 10, 2013:

Bella Harte Books Guest Author Feature with Salvatore Barbera

A Sweetles Dream® ~ Guest Author Feature
with Salvatore Barbera ~ Helping The Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program

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 Sweetles TV Show
A Sweetles Dream® 
 
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Today I’m very pleased to be sharing a really good cause
 
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Introducing
 
 y Elizabeth The Spotless Cow
 
Book Genre: Children’s Picture Book
                                             Publish date: July 2012                                             
Publisher: Sweetles Press
ISBN-13: 978-0985061111

Book Blurb:

 
The story of Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow follows her adventures to figure out how to get the cows at a new farm to like and accept her. While she hopes to find friendship at her new home, instead she learns what it means to be different from everyone else. (Spotless!)   Mary Elizabeth uses clever ideas, diplomacy and a keen sense of humor to gain acceptance and friendship at the farm.
This inspiring tale shows how perseverance in spite of obstacles, using a sound thought process to arrive at solutions and the importance of having fun, using humor and enjoying playtime can build friendships.
 
Watch the trailer: http://youtu.be/72fOn1tEbDM
 
 
Purchasing information: 
From now through December 31, 2013, you can purchase Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow from the Sweetles website for only $12.00 (List price: $17.99) and on Amazon for $14.66.
When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program. to make a difference in the lives of children with critical and life threatening illnesses.
Visit http://www.sweetles.com/product/books/mary-elizabeth-the-spotless-cow-book/ for more information.
 
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Author Bio:
 Sal Barbera
 
Sal is the author and illustrator of A Sweetles Dream® book series. As the Creative Director for Hartman-Barbera llc, a family media & entertainment company, he is also an animator, sculptor, painter and all around fun guy.
Sal lives the phrase: “A day without laughter is a wasted day.” To that end, he uses his writing, illustrating and animation skills to create endearing characters and comedic stories. Sal’s sense of humor and empathy for his characters explore personal and social situations in ways that makes it enjoyable for both adults and children to read his books and experience them together.
Born in New York City, Sal moved to North Bergen, NJ where he grew up on a steep hillside neighborhood with his four older sisters. He currently lives in sunny Arizona with his wife and artistic partner, Sheri, who he defines as his inspiration.
On any given day Sal might be painting, sculpting, drawing, animating, writing or enjoying one of his favorite pastimes: cooking, television, movies and golf.
Visit Sal Barbera’s website at http://www.salvatorebarbera.com
 
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Book Buy links:
Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Elizabeth-The-Spotless-Cow/dp/0985061111
Amazon UK Kindle:
Sweetles Press
 
http://www.sweetles.com/product/books/mary-elizabeth-the-spotless-cow-book/
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Links

 
Website
 
 
Blog
 
Facebook:
Twitter:
SCBWI:
 
Mary Elizabeth Puppet Short Video 
 
Goodreads 
 
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Book Excerpt:

Once upon a time…there was a farm in Ohio with lots of Cows. They all had many spots to be proud of.
One day a truck pulled into the farm. The back door opened and out came a new Cow.
The other Cows were so excited to have a new friend!
But as the new Cow came out of the truck, the other Cows looked on in shock!
“Oh My!”
“What on Earth?!”
It seems the new Cow, whose name was Mary Elizabeth, had no spots!
“Where are your spots?!’’ Demanded the Cow called Anna Belle.
“I don’t have any spots. I was born spotless, you see.’’
Well, Anna Belle and the other Cows were horrified.
(Not mad, you have to be very careful about mad).
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Author Interview:

Hi Sal and welcome to my blog ~ I just love the look of your book! 
Firstly can you tell us about yourself? 
The thing I enjoy most is to make people laugh. No matter where I am; at work, in a store, on the phone…I try to get someone to laugh. It's a quest. I've always wanted to do stand up comedy. But I get nervous at the thought of being on a stage.  I even took a comedy class at a local college to get over the nerves.  It was a great group of people and we had a lot of fun. Plus, I wrote a decent act. But the night of our real performance I looked out at the big audience and froze. I ended up reading my act from my cue cards. I haven't stopped writing comedy, I have about a hundred or so three minute acts that friends and family might have heard on the fly.
I also enjoy illustrating and writing children's books. It allows me to write about topics or issues that matter to me, like discrimination or prejudice. The great thing about kids books is that I can take a serious issue and write about it in a light hearted way with humor for kids and adults to enjoy reading together.
Are you working on anything new right now and can you tell us more?
I've completed the second book, after Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow, in the 'A Sweetles Dream'® series.
The title is: Ernie The Dysfunctional Frog. It is a fun, goofy and wondrous tale about family, friendship, adoption, acceptance and frogs. The concept behind the series is: Do Dogs Dream? I know my dog, Max (aka Sweetles) did. He would whoop and growl and his eyes would twitch back and forth and his little paws would run in the air. So my wife and I came up with the idea that he dreams about animals and their personal and social adventures. And that became the basis for the book series 'A Sweetles Dream'®.
I'm currently working on a comic book for the Sweetles™ character and a children's web series called Sweetles TV show. If you think Sesame Street meets Monty Python, you'll get the gist of it. Educational with a huge dose of silliness.
What motivates and inspires you to write?
Life's challenges and quirks. There's always some new curve that get's thrown at you. There are story lines and interesting plots everywhere. How you handle those challenges is what makes the difference in your life and the way it affects the people around you.
In my books I incorporate positive solutions to serious issues that kids can use in real life. I'm inspired by children and how receptive they are to learning. I hope to give them valuable tools to deal with  life's quirks and challenges using humor, diplomacy and  good moral judgement based on kindness and respect for others.
Do you have a favorite quote, if so what is it?
"A day without laughter is a day wasted." The great comedienne Charlie Chaplin said that.  If someone is laughing then they're feeling good and having fun. Even though it can be a real challenge sometimes, I always try to get people to laugh. Laughter, fun and happiness. My daily goals.
What is your preferred method of writing:-  The plot pre-planned from day one, or just go with the flow and see what happens next?
It's all inspirational.  An idea for a book can come from something someone says or does. And then the whole story starts to populate in my head. The important thing is to incorporate a positive message in the plot. But it flows from there.
Are there any little tips or tricks you use to get to know your characters better? 
I think of each of them as their own individual character, with their own back story. Then I inject my sense of humor into their story and make it their kind of humor to bring the character to life. It makes it easier to get my point across and make them accessible at the same time.
Which type of book do you prefer to read?  a. ebook  b. paperback c. hardback d. Non – I listen to audiobooks!
Hardback and paperback books are my preference. I like turning the pages and holding the book.  For travel, I put paperback books in my computer bag.
Do you have any weird writing rituals? (Such as, you can only start writing after you’ve scoffed all the choc-chip cookies and drank 3 cups of full-caff coffee?  Or only after you’ve listened to a certain song or playlist? etc… do share)
I guess my main writing ritual is using a pencil. Even though there are points flying everywhere once I start writing. I don't want to stop because I'm afraid I'll forget what's in my head. And it all happens so fast that once I start a new book, I need total concentration. So really pencils don't make any sense. I have to keep stopping to sharpen the point. I've started using mechanical pencils. But the points still break. But I don't have to sharpen them every time. Just press and boom. A new point appears.  So pencils are my ritual.
What is the very best thing about writing for you?
When a story comes together in my mind. When I know how good or funny it will be and all I have to do is get it down on paper. It's exciting.
Who’s your greatest inspiration/s to date?
Charles Schultz who wrote the Peanuts cartoons. Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and all of his characters are so relatable and lovable. They're a group of characters we've all met at one time or another. And he brought them to life with the simplest tools: pencil, paper and ink. Pure genius.
Are you a: | Laptop Writer |  Desktop Writer |  iPad Writer | Pen and Paper Writer
When I write a story, the first draft is always pencil and paper. I'm not the best typist in the world, so when I have an idea I like to write it out as quickly as possible. Plus those first fast and wacky drawings are always pretty funny. And they're the basis for the final illustrations that go in the book.
Tell us one thing that no-one else knows about you – your darkest secret if you dare! 
I'm addicted to Crunch and Munch. Carmel coated popcorn with peanuts.   I buy it, hide it and eat it secretly. I also buy it, flaunt it and eat it openly. I don't care. I'm a C and M addict. I think there should be a meeting for me to go. Maybe called "CAMAL" (Crunch and Munch anonymous lovers).
Can you tell us why you think we’d love to read your book?
First, you'll love to read Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow to get a few laughs. Secondly the story is an adventure. You want to see what happens to her. It's about a new cow on the farm that figures out how to get stubborn, stuck up and just plain mean cows to like her.  We've all met cows like that. But the third and most important reason is because you'll spend quality time with your children/grandchildren enjoying a book together. It doesn't get any better than that.  

Thank you for having me and giving me the opportunity to talk about my book! - Sal Barbera

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Thanks so much for joining Sal & I today, and if you have any cute kiddies buy them this gorgeous book, whether it’s a little Thanks Giving Gift or for a Christmas Gift, plus you’ll be helping the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program.  

And even if you don’t have any cute kiddies, buy it anyway because: a. it’s for a really good cause & b. how can you resist a tale about a funny cutesy cow?  

Moo know you can’t ~ sorry for the pun!

Have a great day and support a great cause

Bella Harte 2013

BrooWaHa Interview with Author Salvatore Barbera

BrooWaHa: Your Shared News & Views
Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow BookCredit: Salvatore Barbera
Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow by Salvatore Barbera.

Interview with children’s author, Salvatore “Sal” Barbera, who is donating 50% of the net proceeds from his first book to the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Salvatore “Sal” Barbera is an animator, a sculptor and painter. He is the author and illustrator of the “A Sweetles Dream”® book series. Sal currently resides in Arizona with his wife and artistic partner, Sheri. His book, Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow is on sale through December 31, 2013 and 50% of the net proceeds benefit Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program for children with critical and life-threatening illnesses.

Welcome Sal. We are excited to have you here. Can you please tell our readers a bit about yourself?

I like people and I like making them laugh. Charlie Chaplin said: “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” I agree. I try to get people to laugh every day. It can be a challenge, but it’s always great when someone gets my humor. Having fun, getting someone to laugh, and making people feel happy are three of the things I focus on each day.

My wife and I live in sunny Scottsdale Arizona, right around the corner from a sports park. We walk there almost every day and look forward to seeing the regulars: dogs, dog walkers, runners, joggers, electric plane flyers, kids playing soccer, the list goes on and on. It’s a terrific place to get story and character ideas and exercise at the same time.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been drawing and making up stories ever since I was a kid but never thought of myself as a writer. When we adopted our dog, Max, in 1996, I created cartoons about him that seemed to make everyone chuckle. I became a writer when I wrote my first story about Max. Although he passed away in 2011, he lives on in my work as the spunky little dog character Sweetles™ (one of the numerous names we called him).

Are you a morning or an evening writer?

I write when the inspiration hits me – day or night.
That said, I like to do most everything in the morning after a cup of coffee and a nice long walk.

Who or what is your greatest source of inspiration?

I’d have to say comedy is my greatest source of inspiration.
Finding the funny in anything, even something negative, becomes positive with humor.

For example, in my book Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow, a cow encounters ‘spot discrimination’ when all of the cows at a new farm have spots and she’s spotless. Although she is up against a difficult situation she uses humor to to turn it around and get the prejudiced cows to like her. Comedy is inspiring.

Tell us about your latest book. What is it about and what inspired you to write it?

My latest book is Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow.
It’s the first book in the series: A Sweetles Dream®.
A Sweetles Dream
The premise is: “Have you ever wondered what your pet dreams about?”

A gregarious little dog named Sweetles™ figures out how to solve tricky situations in his dreams. In this story, he dreams of a spotless cow arriving at a new farm. That cow is Mary Elizabeth. While she hopes to find friendship and acceptance, instead she encounters discrimination for being different from the other cows. They’re spotted and she’s spotless. So she figures out a way to be accepted by getting her point across that prejudice and discrimination are wrong. It’s not how you look outside but who you are inside that matters.

For an idea of what the cows look like, here’s the book trailer:

I was inspired to write this book for my mother-in-law. Awhile back she was going through a rough time with breast cancer, chemotherapy and radiation. She sorely needed cheering up. I thought I could write a funny story to lift her spirits with illustrations and cow humor to make her laugh. That turned into the tale of Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow.

Have you always written in this genre?

I didn’t set out to write children’s books. I write and draw from my heart. If it’s silly, funny and wacky but sincere it works for both kids and adults. It’s great to be able to use animals as characters in my stories. I can send important messages that kids can relate to more easily when it comes from a bunch of frolicking cows, hopping frogs or a dancing javelina.

What do you like about this genre?

It’s a genre that’s open to creativity, invention and ‘once upon a time’ scenarios. I don’t have to worry that my drawings are wacky and a cow might look like a mouse. Or a dog. It makes kids laugh. Plus, children’s stories are ideal for comedy. Kids love to laugh and so do I. We make a good team.

How long did it take you to bring this book from first draft to printed copy?

Well, the first draft took about 5 hours. Then the editing, re-drawing, re-writing, background illustrations, color corrections, formatting and layout took another 15 minutes. Just kidding! That took months. From start to finish it took about 18 months.

If you could be any character in your book, who would you be and why?

I’d be the main character, Mary Elizabeth. She’s witty, resilient and funny. I admire the way she uses humor and diplomacy to get the cows to become her friend. And she likes to frolic. I’d like to frolic!
mary elizabeth frolicking

What is different about your book compared to other books out on the market?

I think a lot of books out there also send important affirming messages for kids. So the main difference that sets my books apart is humor. Adults enjoy reading my stories with their kids. There’s something amusing in there for them – a movie reference or a topical point – that the kids probably won’t get – but the adults will. I didn’t set out to write stories for children, they just seem to love my books. So the main difference is that both adults and kids can enjoy reading and experiencing my books together.

What was your favorite book growing up?

I don’t have a single favorite book from my childhood. In fact, it wouldn’t be a book. Instead I would say my favorite stories were by Charles Schultz. I liked to read the cartoon ‘Peanuts’. I was heavily influenced by his simple but extremely funny drawings and relatable characters.

What is the most memorable book you have ever read?

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin, was the most memorable book I read as a kid. It’s a non-fiction book about a white man, Griffin, that artificially darkens his skin to appear black and then goes out in public to see how he’ll be treated. The book describes his six-week experience traveling through the racially segregated south in 1959 and passing as a black man. I read it in grammar school and I’ve never forgotten it. It was compelling.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Elizabeth-The-Spotless-Cow/dp/0985061111

Sweetles Press

http://www.sweetles.com/product/books/mary-elizabeth-the-spotless-cow-book/

What is up next for you?

I’ve written my second book: Ernie The Dysfunctional Frog about adoption, true friendship, acceptance and love. And I’ve got a comic book about Sweetles™ in the works along with a web series called Sweetles TV, that he’s starring in with the other fairy tale characters. Think Sesame Street meets Monty Python to get an idea of what the web series will be about.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

When you enjoy what you do it doesn’t seem like work.
We gave Sweetles™ a good motto to live by: ‘have fun, learn and play-that’s a Sweetles day’.

I have a great support system from my readers, family and friends and especially my wonderful wife. I’m very lucky.

And finally, there’s nothing like a parent telling you that they read your book to their child for the third night in a row because they asked for it again. I’ll never get tired of hearing that.

children’s books , mary elizabeth the spotless cow , salvatore barbera , friendship and acceptance , phoenix children’s hospital
Read more at http://www.broowaha.com/articles/17882/interview-with-author-salvatore-barbera#tYaVUK6hBggW2PQf.99

The Story of a Writer

Thursday, November 7, 2013

INTERVIEW WITH SAL BARBERA AND HIS SPOTLESS COW

Today I’d like to introduce you to Sal Barbera and his spotless cow.
 Mr. Barbera was kind enough to answer some questions for me:Please tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.
I’ve had the drawing bug since I was a little kid watching ‘Winky Dink and You’. It was a TV show where you (your Mom) sent in for this piece of plastic that you attached to the front of your TV set. Then you drew along with the guy on Winky Dink. I loved that show.I didn’t set out to become a writer. I wanted to do something that was fun. I started by drawing cartoons about my dog, Max. He was the inspiration for my character Sweetles™who is the impetus for my book series: A Sweetles Dream®. The concept is: during the day, while Sweetles™ is playing, he sees something unexpected. That leads him to dream up a solution to the situation he’s seen.For example, in my book, Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow, he is playing ball as soon as you open the book. He chases the ball across a field and Mary Elizabeth frolicks past him. She triggers his dream.The bonus in children’s books is that, not only is it fun, but I hope I can make a positive difference for kids through the affirmative actions and concepts about friendship, family, self-confidence and relationships in my books.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an astronaut. Space, the final frontier…

I was always intrigued by that. In science class at school they showed us the planets and stars and the galaxy. We had fascinating science books. Men were taking the first trip to the moon. Like Neil Armstrong. So my room looked like NASA. I had Lunar modules and rocket models and all kinds of planetary books.

How did you come up with the idea for your book and were there any glitches along the way?

My mother in law, who is a dear friend, had gone through a pretty rough time with breast cancer, chemotherapy and radiation. She needed to laugh. So I decided to write a funny story for her. When I picked up the pencil, some kind of crazy inspirational thing happened. A thought came to me about a farm in Ohio. Then there were lots of cows. Suddenly I had an idea—what would happen if a new cow, a spotless cow, arrived at a farm and encountered prejudice from the other cows for being different. The inventive, funny way she overcomes their spot discrimination would be the kicker. I rapidly had a beginning, middle, and an end. I didn’t want to forget any of it. I had to write and illustrate it as quickly as possible.

Five hours and many broken pencil points later, Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow was born.

You’re shipwrecked on a deserted island. What character from a book other than yours would you want to be stranded there with you? Why?
Huckleberry Fin or Robinson Caruso.  Guys with raft and island life experience that could get me off of there. I’m not too good at building things without tools and a hardware store. I’d probably wind up talking to a soccer ball.

If we peeked inside your closet, what would we see?
A Hawaiian sunset! I like colorful, happy, fun attire. My main wardrobe consists of vivid Hawaiian shirts. If I get stranded on that deserted island not only will I look the part – but hopefully a plane will see my shirt and save me!

Tell us your favorites:
Movie:  City Slickers
Actor:  Billy Crystal
Book:   Jurassic Park
Singer:  Frank Sinatra

If you could have super powers what would you wish for?
My first thought is being able to fly…but no one would bring me peanuts. So I think something really super, like the power to be able to eat as many snacks as I want without gaining weight. Supersnack Man! Has a nice ring to it. Don’t you think?

If you could choose to live in another time, would you prefer the past or the future?
The past. Maybe on the ship with Columbus. I could say:

“You know this really isn’t India…nobody will think any less of you if you stop and ask for directions.”

Are you working on any new books now? Tell us about them.

Since Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow was published I’ve completed the second book in the “A Sweetles Dream®” series called Ernie the Dysfunctional Frog. Without giving away the surprise, it’s a fun, goofy and unexpected tale about acceptance, family, friendship and love. And, of course, frogs.

Where can your fans learn more about you?

Website: http://www.salvatorebarbera.com/
http://www.sweetles.com/about-sal-barbera/
Blog: http://www.salvatorebarbera.com/blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sal.barbera
Twitter: https://twitter.com/swtlng
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18264358-mary-elizabeth-the-spotless-cow
SCBWI: http://www.scbwi.org/members-public/salvatore-barbera

Would you like to share anything else with your fans?

During the months of November-December, purchase Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow
from the Sweetles website for only $12.00 (List price: $17.99). When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program.

Visit http://www.sweetles.com/product/books/mary-elizabeth-the-spotless-cow-book/ for more information.

For more about the book watch Mary Elizabeth’s book trailer: http://youtu.be/72fOn1tEbDM

Thank you for having me and giving me the opportunity to talk about my book!

– Sal Barbera

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to visit with us.  Stop by anytime.

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Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow Virtual Book Tour Schedule
November 4th
Book spotlight and giveaway at Katie’s Clean Book Collection
November 5th
Book spotlight and giveaway at Book Marketing Buzz
November 7th
Interview at Story of a Writer
November 8th
Book spotlight and giveaway at Plug Your Book
November 13th
Interview at Broowaha
November 18th
Book spotlight and giveaway at Literal Exposure
November 19th
Book spotlight and giveaway at The Busy Mom’s Daily
November 20th
Book spotlight and giveaway at Janet Ann Collins’ On Words
November 22nd
Book spotlight and giveaway at Library of Clean Reads
November 27th
Book spotlight and giveaway at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection
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December 2nd
Book spotlight at Bluebell Books
December 3rd
Book review at Nancy Stewart Books
December 4th
Book spotlight and giveaway at Ramblings of a SAHM
December 5th
Join the book discussion at PUYB Virtual Book Club
December 9th
Book review at Library of Clean Reads
December 10th
Interview at Examiner
December 12th
Book spotlight at Penny’s Tales
December 13th
December 17th
Book review at WV Stitcher
December 27th
Book tour highlights at The Book Rack
TBD
Book spotlight at Bluebell Books
Max Asleep
Thank you for stopping by. Happy Reading.

Lynn’s Corner book review of Mary Elizabeth the Spotless Cow

Lynn’s Corner book review of

Mary Elizabeth the Spotless Cow

Posted by

My youngest son is just learning how to read.  He comes home from school every day with a new book that he is supposed to read to

My sons, Seth and Andru, enjoying Mary Elizabeth the Spotless Cow.
My sons, Seth and Andru, enjoying Mary Elizabeth the Spotless Cow.

 

 

Mom or Dad, or both of us.  Because he knows so many words on his own now, he doesn’t like to sit down and let me read to him anymore.  So when the opportunity came up to review Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow, I couldn’t resist. I told Seth that I needed to read the book for my job and asked if he would sit beside me while I read it.  So we snuggled close together to begin to read….

Mary Elizabeth is a cow on a new farm.  She is a little different from the other cows on the farm—Mary Elizabeth doesn’t have any spots.  This makes her unique.  It also makes her so much different from the other cows in her new home that she has trouble making friends.

[quote style="boxed"] Author Salvatore Barbera tells the story of differences and friendship in a fun way.  His illustrations are beautiful and fun.  Seth loved them as much as the story.  When we finished reading it, he couldn’t wait to read it again. [/quote]Author Salvatore Barbera tells the story of differences and friendship in a fun way.  His illustrations are beautiful and fun.  Seth loved them as much as the story.  When we finished reading it, he couldn’t wait to read it again.

This book is one that will remain on our bookshelf to be read over and over.  And before too long, I have a feeling that Seth will be reading it to me.[box icon="heart"] This book is one that will remain on our bookshelf to be read over and over.  And before too long, I have a feeling that Seth will be reading it to me. [/box]

Purchasing information: During the month of October, purchase Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow from the Sweetles website for only $12.00 (List price: $17.99). When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program. Visit http://www.sweetles.com/product/books/mary-elizabeth-the-spotless-cow-book/ for more information.

About the book:

 

Mary-Elizabeth-Spotless-Cow-coverMary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow Book

The story of “Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow” takes us on the journey she travels to figure out how to get the cows at a new farm to like and accept her.

While she hopes to find friendship at her new home, instead she learns what it means to be different from everyone else. (Spotless!) Mary Elizabeth uses clever ideas and a sense of humor to help her on her quest for friends at the new farm.

This inspiring tale shows how perseverance in spite of obstacles, using a sound thought process to arrive at solutions and the importance of having fun, using humor and enjoying playtime can build friendships.

When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program to make a difference in the lives of children with critical and life threatening illnesses.

Straight from the Author’s Mouth interview of Salvatore Barbera, Author of Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow

Straight from the Author's MouthStraight from the Author's Mouth - Snarky book publishing wisdom from authors who tell it like it really is!
Straight from the Author’s Mouth – Snarky book publishing wisdom from authors who tell it like it really is!

 

Straight from the Mouth of Salvatore Barbera, Author of Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow

Author Sal BarberaSal is the author and illustrator of “A Sweetles Dream”® book series. As the Creative Director for Hartman-Barbera llc, a family media & entertainment company, he is also an animator, sculptor, painter and all around fun guy.
Sal lives the phrase: “A day without laughter is a wasted day”. To that end, he uses his writing, illustrating and animation skills to create endearing characters and comedic stories.
Sal’s sense of humor and empathy for his characters explore personal and social situations in ways that makes it enjoyable for both adults and children to experience together. Born in New York City, Sal moved to North Bergen, NJ where he grew up on a steep hillside neighborhood with his four older sisters.
He currently lives in sunny Arizona with his wife and artistic partner, Sheri, who he defines as his inspiration. On any given day Sal might be painting, sculpting, drawing, animating, writing or enjoying one of his favorite pastimes: cooking, television, movies and golf.

Website/Blog Link: http://www.salvatorebarbera.com/ 

Amazon Link to Book: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-Elizabeth-The-Spotless-Cow/dp/0985061111 

Sweetles Press Link to Book: (sale price of $12 during October book tour) http://www.sweetles.com/product/books/mary-elizabeth-the-spotless-cow-book/

→Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

 
A. For me it all starts with making someone laugh. When I write something that creates laughter, well, that’s just great. Plus, as an author, I get to put my personal spin on whatever I’m writing. For example, in my book, Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow, I send a positive message to kids. It shows how to deal with difficult personal and social situations using humor, diplomacy and intelligence.
Oh. And it’s a lot of fun too.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!)  is it all it’s cracked up to be?

 
A. YES! It really is. Writing is fun. And writing a children’s book is funner. (That’s a word,right?) In my book series, A Sweetles Dream®, I’m writing stories that are the socially perplexed dreams of a little dog named Sweetles™. He dreams about animals  and their social and personal situations.
What could be better than that? It’s a silly, goofy concept. But it’s also a way for me to write about tough situations in a lighthearted way.

I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

 
A. I was just a featured author at the Orange County Children’s Book Festival. I watched a little girl, her sister and her mom read Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow from cover to cover. As the little girl turned the pages her smile got bigger and bigger. That’s a huge perk. It actually made my eyes tear a little. It’s very rewarding to write something and then have a complete stranger enjoy reading it. And want to own it so that they can re-read it again and again.
As for demands, well coming up with a complete ‘A’ story from start to finish can be tough sometimes. I think of a lot of good stories. But if my publisher, who happens to be my wife, says they’re a ‘B’ or a ‘C’ I have to keep at it until it’s an ‘A’ story. So there are demands I put on myself, and then there are the publisher demands.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published?

 
A. Well, it’s a little bit of both. In the traditional sense, I am an author who works with a publisher and editor. But my wife is the publisher so I would also say I’m self-published. We chose this route to have control over the content, illustrations and time frame as I both write and illustrate my stories. We have a good publishing team. Which gets us good results. And we have a lot of fun in the process.

Can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what that’s like?

 
A. When you self publish, it’s up to you to get everything done. I write  and illustrate the stories and then the text goes to the editor for grammar and spell checking. In the meantime, the drawings get scanned into the computer and then the entire story is laid out with text and illustrations. At that point, the background illustrations are added. When it’s complete, a file is created and sent to the printing house. Thousands of books are then printed, packed and ready to be shipped to buyers. Before that point we start advertising. It’s a non-stop process.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

 
A. Since it’s all in the family, and my wife is my number one fan, I know my family is all for it.

Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

 
I wrote my first book when my dog, Max, was still alive. He is the character Sweetles™ who is having all of these perplexing animal dreams. As the muse for the books, he didn’t complain about anything as long as I kept up a steady supply of dog treats.

Out of all the people involved in getting your book published, which one would you say did the most for you?

 
A. My wife. She was hugely instrumental, actually crucial in getting it published. And greatly appreciated for all she does. And that’s a lot.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

 
A.Since I’m my own boss, If I’m late to work and yell at myself I ignore me and keep writing. I don’t get hungry when I’m writing so no worries there. If my wife gets hungry she has peanut butter and jelly, her favorite. We would put food out for Max, aka Sweetles, so he was taken care of too. But, I love to cook so making dinner would be a welcome break if I needed one. But I usually write a story from start to finish before stopping. That’s about four to six hours.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

 
A. All social networks help. How can you be too sociable? I think visuals with word of mouth are the best advertising and all social networks allow pictures or video now. It’s amazing. It’s just finding the time to do it all. That’s the hard part.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of)?

 
I love book sales. Especially when I know that a percentage of each book sold is going to a great cause. We’re raising funds for the Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program with every Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow book sold. We chose PCH because it’s an amazing hospital that has consistently improved its facilities and programs for kids every year. We just want to help by lending a hand in funding those improvements. So every book sold is also a book that gives to a great cause.

How are you making the sales happen for you?

 
A. Our books are on Amazon and the Sweetles.com website. We’re exhibiting at book fairs, doing library readings, school events and contacting shop owners. Next year we plan to exhibit at gift shows. Right now I’m doing a book tour where Mary Elizabeth will find new readers through book bloggers. That’s very exciting. And we’re working on a web series for kids called, Sweetles, that will bring the book characters to life. Think Sesame Street meets Monty Python; educational and wacky at the same time. That’s what the web series will be.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

 
A. Great question…but I’m afraid of heights.
If I weren’t afraid of heights I’d get up there and scream “I LOVE MY WIFE!”

Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above don’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

 
A. There’s nothing like someone telling you that they read your book to their child the night before and the child loved it. I’ll never get tired of hearing that.
Thank you for having me as your guest.
All the best,
 – Sal Barbera
My website:
and

Paperback Writer Blog: guest post author Sal Barbera

Author Sal Barbera › Once upon a time – Magical Words That Make You Want to Read More- The Spotless Cow Children’s Book and Donation of Proceeds

Once upon a time – Magical Words That Make You Want to Read More- The Spotless Cow Children’s Book and Donation of Proceeds

The Spotless Cow Book Tour

[box icon="heart"] Before my daughter could read, I enjoyed reading her books that started with Once upon a time… There’s almost a guarantee that the story is going to have lots of twists and turns. [/box]Once upon a time… those words just seem so magical. Before my daughter could read, I enjoyed reading her books that started with Once upon a time… There’s almost a guarantee that the story is going to have lots of twists and turns. The story is open to all sorts of possibilities and where there is one story, it might just continue into a sequel book. Our guest today, Sal Barbera has written a book with just those opening words, Once upon a time… There’s even an excerpt for you to read and a trailer to watch, just keep scrolling down this page and enjoy!

[quote style="boxed"] How cool is this? The author has 50% of net proceeds going to Phoneix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program. [/quote]

Purchasing information: During the month of October, purchase Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow from the Sweetles website for only $12.00 (List price: $17.99). When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program. Visit http://www.sweetles.com/product/books/mary-elizabeth-the-spotless-cow-book/ for more information.

About the book:

'Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow' Book
Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow Book

The story of “Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow” takes us on the journey she travels to figure out how to get the cows at a new farm to like and accept her.

While she hopes to find friendship at her new home, instead she learns what it means to be different from everyone else. (Spotless!) Mary Elizabeth uses clever ideas and a sense of humor to help her on her quest for friends at the new farm.

This inspiring tale shows how perseverance in spite of obstacles, using a sound thought process to arrive at solutions and the importance of having fun, using humor and enjoying playtime can build friendships.

When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program to make a difference in the lives of children with critical and life threatening illnesses.

Excerpt:

Once upon a time……..there was a farm in Ohio with lots of Cows. They all had many spots to be proud of. One day a truck pulled into the farm. The back door opened and out came a new Cow. The other Cows were so excited to have a new friend!

But as the new Cow came out of the truck the other Cows looked on in shock!!! “Oh My!’’ ’’What on Earth?!”

It seems the new Cow, whose name was Mary Elizabeth, had no spots!

’’Where are your spots??!!’’ Demanded the Cow called Anna Belle. ’’I don’t have any spots. I was born spotless, you see.’’

Well, Anna Belle and the other Cows were horrified.

(Not mad, you had to be very careful about mad)

Watch the trailer: http://youtu.be/72fOn1tEbDM

 

About the author:

Author Sal Barbera

Author Sal Barbera
Author Sal Barbera

Sal is the author and illustrator of “A Sweetles Dream”® book series. As the Creative Director for Hartman-Barbera llc, a family media& entertainment company, he is also an animator, sculptor, painter and all around fun guy. Sal lives the phrase: “A day without laughter is a wasted day”. To that end, he uses his writing, illustrating and animation skills to create endearing characters and comedic stories.

Sal’s sense of humor and empathy for his characters explore personal and social situations in ways that makes it enjoyable for both adults and children to experience together. Born in New York City, Sal moved to North Bergen, NJ where he grew up on a steep hillside neighborhood with his four older sisters. He currently lives in sunny Arizona with his wife and artistic partner, Sheri, who he defines as his inspiration. On any given day Sal might be painting, sculpting, drawing, animating, writing or enjoying one of his favorite pastimes: cooking, television, movies and golf.

Visit Sal Barbera’s website at http://www.salbarbera.com.

 

Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow Virtual Book Tour Schedule

 

October 1st

Interview at Blogcritics

October 2nd

Book spotlight at The Writer’s Life

October 3rd

Book spotlight at As the Pages Turn

October 4th

Book review at Alicia Finn Noack

October 7th

Book spotlight at 4 the Love of Books

Book spotlight at Literarily Speaking

October 8th

Book review at A Year of Jubilee Book Reviews

Book spotlight at Between the Covers

October 9th

Book spotlight at The Book Rack

October 10th

Book review at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

October 11th

Book Spotlight at Paperback Writer

Book spotlight at Review from Here

October 14th

Interview at Straight from the Author’s Mouth

October 15th

Book spotlight at Broken Teepee

Book spotlight at Beyond the Books

October 16th

Book review at Lynn’s Corner

Book trailer reveal at If Books Could Talk

October 17th

Guest post at The Story Behind the Book

October 18th

Interview at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

October 21st

Book review at My Devotional Thoughts

Book spotlight at Deco My Heart

Book spotlight at A Year of Jubilee Book Reviews

October 22nd

Book review at 4 the Love of Books

October 23rd

Guest post at Mayra’s Secret Bookcase

October 25th

Book review at Mary’s Cup of Tea

October 28th

Book review at Thoughts in Progress

October 30th

Book review at Maureen’s Musings

October 31st

Book review at Blooming with Books

Guest post at Lori’s Reading Corner

TBD: Book review at Classic Children’s Books

A Year Of Jubilee Reviews: Mary Elizabeth the Spotless Cow *Review

Friday, October 11, 2013 | by Melanie

Mary Elizabeth the Spotless Cow *Review

Written and Illustrated by Salvatore Barbera
[quote style="boxed" float="left"]  Have you ever felt out of place simply because of the way you look? The color of your skin, your height, weight, hair style?
Well meet Mary Elizabeth the Spotless Cow. [/quote]Have you ever felt out of place simply because of the way you look? The color of your skin, your height, weight, hair style?
Well meet Mary Elizabeth the Spotless Cow. She was so excited to meet some cows at her new farm, but as soon as they see she is spotless, they don’t want anything to do with her.. just because she looks different. Mary Elizabeth concocts a plan and early the next morning goes to the local mud hole and puts ‘spots’ on herself. She tells the other cows they just appeared in the night. Now that she is like them, they play and have a fun day together as friends. As long as she has the spots, she is in the club so to speak.
The following morning Mary Elizabeth washes off her spots before greeting the other cows, much to their surprise she says her spots went away over night. Well they turn back to their old ways and turn away from Mary Elizabeth. She points out the fun they had the day before when she did have spots, so why can’t they have just as much fun if they went away?
Will the other cows see her rational?
[box icon="heart"]

This story I feel will help kids realize that what is important isn’t the outside of a person, or cow.. but on the inside! [/box]

My early reader daughter saw this book and just had to read it to me. She did great with many of the words, helping her through some like ‘spot discrimination’. We have always had cows and love books that show their funny antics. This story I feel will help kids realize that what is important isn’t the outside of a person, or cow.. but on the inside!

The illustrations we very basic, but I do enjoy when the author is also the illustrator. That combination really gives the book more a cohesiveness.

For the entire month of October you can get the $17.99 book for just $12.00 in celebration of the book tour!
Another great perk? That the proceeds from the book go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation.

The story is actually a dream scene of Sweetles the dog. Funny how a dog dreams of cows, maybe like we dream of sheep.

Check out Mary Elizabeth the Spotless Cow on
Facebook Sweetles
Twitter Swtlng

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WHERE BOOKS RULE

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow

About the book:

Mary Elizabeth the Spotless Cow book
The story of “Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow” takes us on the journey she travels to figure out how to get the cows at a new farm to like and accept her.
While she hopes to find friendship at her new home, instead she learns what it means to be different from everyone else. (Spotless!) Mary Elizabeth uses clever ideas and a sense of humor to help her on her quest for friends at the new farm.
This inspiring tale shows how perseverance in spite of obstacles, using a sound thought process to arrive at solutions and the importance of having fun, using humor and enjoying playtime can build friendships.
When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program to make a difference in the lives of children with critical and life threatening illnesses.
About the author:
Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow Inside Pages Once Upon a time...Sal is the author and illustrator of “A Sweetles Dream”® book series. As the Creative Director for Hartman-Barbera llc, a family media & entertainment company, he is also an animator, sculptor, painter and all around fun guy. Sal lives the phrase: “A day without laughter is a wasted day”. To that end, he uses his writing, illustrating and animation skills to create endearing characters and comedic stories.
[box icon="heart"] Sal’s sense of humor and empathy for his characters explore personal and social situations in ways that makes it enjoyable for both adults and children to experience together. [/box]
Sal’s sense of humor and empathy for his characters explore personal and social situations in ways that makes it enjoyable for both adults and children to experience together. Born in New York City, Sal moved to North Bergen, NJ where he grew up on a steep hillside neighborhood with his four older sisters. He currently lives in sunny Arizona with his wife and artistic partner, Sheri, who he defines as his inspiration. On any given day Sal might be painting, sculpting, drawing, animating, writing or enjoying one of his favorite pastimes: cooking, television, movies and golf.
Visit Sal Barbera’s website at http://www.salbarbera.com.