Since God placed the idea for Bella’s story in my heart, I’ve made every effort to walk in His Light and proclaim His Love. My mission for Bella’s Beautiful Miracle is and always will be bringing the love of Jesus into the hearts of others.
Following Bella’s release in September, I have been busy with craft shows, book signings, marketing efforts, and interviews. I am relishing the excitement and joy within each experience, with a grateful heart. Every event energizes me for the next one simply by the beautiful conversations, people I am meeting, and feeling surrounded by God’s Light!
Over the weekend, I hit a milestone. An opportunity to pre-record a podcast on a radio show called The Shephard’s Pie. Yep, you read that right, a radio show! When I first scheduled the interview, I had no idea the podcast would play on a Catholic radio station! Antony Barone Kolenc and I discuss the topic Helping Kids Deal with Change. I wasn’t sure what to expect while listening and I was surprised by my emotions.
I sat snuggled with hubby, and with a belly full of butterflies, I clicked on the listen live button. I felt silly at first hearing the sound of my voice, but that quickly faded, and joyful tears overcame me. I am not a fan of the word surreal, but I think the situation has earned its use here. The moment was unbelievable and fantastic all at the same time. Additionally, in the entertainment section of the podcast, we review A Single Bead by Stephanie Engelman.
Click the link below to listen.
Another milestone and blessing of late is the successful book signing held at The Butterfly House, where I enjoyed the butterflies and the joyful families and children I encountered that afternoon. I owe a shout-out to Wheeler Farms for the exposure on Go-419 News and for having me participate in the Grand Re-Opening Celebration. Click here for the news clip.
You can find a copy of Bella’s Beautiful Miracle in their gift shop!
As God continues sending me the “yes” from heaven, I look forward to some downtime this summer. When I say “downtime,” I mean time to write. I have had the urge lately to gather my thoughts on what is next for Bella and her friends. I won’t make any promises, but if God and I agree, words should appear on my blank screen soon.
Thank you for stopping by my website, Don’t forget to check out my recent articles listed here and on the Contributing Articles tab.
I am very excited to share that Bella has landed on Goodreads.com. I am familiarizing myself with the Goodreads author portal and will make updates very soon! Those of you with an account on Goodreads, please take the time to give Bella a star and a review. Click here
I look forward to the 2023 Catholic Women’s Conference, where I will sell and sign books alongside my fellow Catholic Writer’s Guild authors. If you are in the area or know someone who is, pass along the registration information. The speaker line-up is fantastic!
This year’s theme, Light Shines in the Darkness (John 1:5), is the perfect pairing for Bella’s story and her theme of walking in God’s light.
INTERVIEW: Cath-Lit-Live Podcast
I recently chatted with award-winning author, speaker, and educator A.J. Cattapan. Not only was this my first face-to-face interview, but it was my first live podcast. I will be sincere and share that I had an enormous amount of butterflies in my stomach. Amy was excellent and made me feel very comfortable. However, the emotion of sharing my story was powerful. As you will see, I had difficulty holding back tears, but happy that I could be 100% authentic. You can find Amy’s published works, and website at www.ajcattapan.com.
Every January, I attend and help facilitate a four-day women’s retreat, which always promises to leave me spiritually refreshed and rejuvenated. I love beginning the year with fellowship, prayer, and one-on-one time with God. Even though much of my week is leading prayer and helping to keep the team on track, God still manages to sneak in and gift me with blessings beyond compare. Every year, I return home on a spiritual high ready to take on anything and everything. I am often so spiritually energized that I cannot get enough of God. That, my friends, is a glorious feeling that I hope for all of you.
As we prepare our hearts for Lent, I invite you to go deeper into your prayer time and perhaps embark on an activity that will ignite the fire in your heart for more of God. Some suggestions are journaling, Ignatian Contemplation, Lectio Divina, and Eucharistic Adoration. If you would like more information on different forms of prayer and ways to connect deeper with God, please contact me via the contact form.
I look forward to sharing more of Bella’s news as spring approaches. I ask you to keep Bella’s Beautiful Miracle in your prayers as I continue to shine God’s Light and Love into the hearts of those who read her story and share in the adventures of faith!
Bella has arrived at the Cuyahoga County Public Library, Independence Branch! Check it out!
Talk about an exciting moment! Surprisingly, walking into the library to search for Bella made me a bit nervous. I can’t explain the reasons behind that particular emotion, but I was a little shaky. She was nestled in the Juvenile Fiction section, looking so cute among the other books. I had realized my dream of seeing her on a shelf other than my own, let alone in a public place.
I am happy to see how God works through me by using Bella and her story. My conversations with parents, grandparents, and children have been amazing; each carried its blessing. I pray that each one who reads Bella and encounters the adventures within the story becomes blessed and enveloped in God’s Love!
Have you read Bella’s Beautiful Miracle? Please post your review online at Amazon or other book-reviewing sites.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 22, 2022
“As a son of a pastor and a missionary kid, reading Bella’s Beautiful Miracle brought back joyous memories of Sunday school lessons. Kimberly writes in a way that is easy for her target audience to engage while still using strong imagery to engage any audience (e.g. “Looking back at her were two large eyes, and attached to the eyes was a snail.”).
I enjoyed that each animal companion Bella comes across on her adventure has a special, God-filled message to teach the inquisitive caterpillar; I especially liked Gracie the grasshopper who plays “the violin” with her leg against her wing. 🙂
There are nuggets of inspirations here to help anyone transform into a better version of themselves in Kimberly’s spiritual (and actual) story of metamorphosis.”
-Joshua Snowden-Bahr (writing from AnnettaMarie Snowden’s account)
Bella’s Beautiful Miracle has received the Catholic Writer’s Guild Seal of Approval!
Readers can be assured that SoA books will not offend their faith and have a certain level of editorial quality.
Inspire Writers Courage Anthology 2022 is now available
I am blessed to have been selected as one of 26 authors in this year’s Inspire Writers Anthology. My story, Courageous Love, was one that I had written several years ago. I could never find the perfect home for the story until I learned of this opportunity. Upon the leading of the Holy Spirit, I dusted it off, polished it up, and gave it one more try. I am thrilled with the outcome. Happy that it now sits among the stories and poems published in this book.
Psalm 62:5 For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.
Advent brings the opportunity of drawing near to God in a special way. Waiting for something can often bring anxious emotions to light, a lack of patience, and unrest. However, this time of year brings us into a time of hope within the waiting. Advent invites us to renew our relationship with God and prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
As we prepare to enter into this glorious season, I pray that you may receive the Grace and desire to reorient your hearts to the Lord. I ask my Father in Heaven, to draw you near with the blessing of attentiveness, and a renewing spirit within you.
Updates from Bella
On November 7th, Bella turned two months old! In the blink of an eye, the time has rushed by and we now look to the Christmas Season. Advent is one of my favorite times of preparation going into the holidays. It’s a time of longing for Christ, and the unending Joy on that Holy December day. The one time in my life when I actually enjoy waiting for something is during the Advent Season.
Advent can also be a time of checking in with my relationship with God and the way I have been living. In other words, using this time as a way to reflect on my desires, and if they are lined up with where God is calling me.
That being said, Bella and I have been very busy! I am happy to report that our craft fairs have been successful. There are two more weekends scheduled before Christmas. Make sure to check the schedule on Bella’s homepage.
Seal of Approval Announcement
I am very excited to share that Bella’s Beautiful Miracle, has been given the Seal of Approval from the Catholic Writers’ Guild! I cannot even begin to describe how much this has blessed my heart and Bella’s mission of bringing the Love of Jesus to as many hearts and homes as God will allow.
The Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval is not a literary award. The purpose of the Seal of Approval is to help Catholic bookstores and venues in their determination of the Catholicity of a work. This reassurance from a professional organization can assist authors in marketing and promoting their works. Books are also judged by their editorial integrity as well.
Christmas Shopping with Catholic Mom.Com, click the link for a wonderful gift guide!
I have learned a lot through my marketing mentor over the past couple of years, even about big words like algorithms. Amazon, Goodreads, and similar sites use the power of reviews, clicks, and likes to bring the item into a recommended list. “Items you may like” categories are populated based on the reviews of similar products.
How can you help? Well, I’m so glad you asked! RATE & REVIEW! The greater the number of yellow stars, ratings, and comments Bella’s Beautiful Miracle receives, the more often online retailers will bring it to the attention of their shoppers. It doesn’t have to be much, even a word or two saying how the story touched your heart or that of your child. Through your review or comment, you are helping to share in our ministry of shining the light and love of God to the hearts of many. Thank you for your part in being the light! Matthew 5:16
Author Interviews: I have been blessed to participate in a few online interviews. I will post them as they are available.
Inspire Christian Writers Anthology coming soon: I will have a short story published in the 2022 Inspire Christian Writers Anthology. The link will be posted as it is available.
Saint Joseph, The Foster-Father Saint, is the first in the Adventures with the Saints Series. Maria Riley takes the young reader on a journey into God’s word. Using honest and factual situational instances, Maria eloquently describes the foster care process through adoption. Throughout the story, the genuine love of family is highlighted between Joshua, the foster child, and his soon-to-be forever family. How Maria guides the young reader into this family is endearing and easily understood, appealing to a third-grade reading level.
Aside from the feelings of comfort Joshua receives once he joins this family in foster care are gems of inspiration and events which educate and enhance the knowledge of God and His love. Valuable lessons are woven throughout each chapter, which benefits not only Joshua but also his new siblings. These instances are portrayed in adventurous ways and have a powerful effect.
Many aspects of family life during the adoption process are depicted honestly and give the reader a look into the child’s heart. This is likely due to Maria’s deep love for all her children, even though they didn’t come to her the same way. Maria and her husband were foster parents and adopted three of her four daughters through foster care.
“You are a gift from God, and I thank God every day for giving me the precious gift of you.”
As the “adventure” unfolds, Maria brings the reader into the biblical story just after the birth of Jesus. It is in this endearing moment when the importance of God’s love for all His children is brought to the forefront. The many educational opportunities within this story are perfect for the intended reading level and beyond. As an adult, reading the story with child-like faith brought me deeper into the loving relationship between St. Joseph and baby Jesus.
The effects the adventure has on the three children differ depending on their ages, and this compares wonderfully to how God’s word affects us all in different ways. As a mom of three adult children, being reminded that my children are not only mine but belong to God was eye-opening. Children may outgrow the parent/child relationship; however, when a child is brought up in the love of God, spiritual growth is never-ending. This valuable lesson for parents is hidden within the creativity of Maria’s writing.
My favorite parent moment happens in the last chapter when Molly, their mom, enters the scene after the children have expressed their feelings to one another. Upon listening to the children honestly express what they had been up to that afternoon, Molly does not discount any of it. Instead, she responds with excitement, joy, and genuine interest in hearing about their conversations with the beloved saint.
As the first in the series, Saint Joseph, The Foster-Father Saint, is a blessing for all families, not only those involved in foster care! St. Joseph, The Foster-Father Saint, releases in November 2022, with more series installments in a few months.
Let’s celebrate with a surprise! Bella’s Beautiful Miracle electronic version is in full color!
Yep, click here to check it out and see for yourself! Bella and her friends are illustrated beautifully in full color, as this was my original vision for the work. I noted previously that my publishing journey was often a roller coaster ride, which proved true until the end. I had a wonderful experience with my publisher and the design team, they did Bella justice, and I couldn’t wait to present her to the world in living color. However, God had other plans, and it wasn’t until several weeks later that it made complete sense to me.
All the many hours and days spent designing the scenes, right down to how much sparkle was on Bella’s cheeks, were my vision. I had an attachment to every decision made concerning the 18 designs. They were perfect because I knew Bella’s story inside and out. I used specific colors to capture her and her friends’ emotions. I didn’t and couldn’t see it any other way.
That was until I learned of the price my readers would pay for a product done with full-color printing. The book price would have far exceeded what I thought was reasonable to ask my readers to pay. More importantly, was the fact that my goal and mission through this work is to share the love of Jesus. I feared a high price item would impede what I set out to do.
Finally, a decision to publish with black and white illustrations seemed most reasonable. The good news was that as I reviewed each one, I realized they were just as beautiful. Also, an agreement was made to publish the electronic version in color. A colorful version would be such a treat to those who opted to read Bella electronically.
Today marks the one-month anniversary of Bella’s Release date, and God has blessed me with the gift of clarity and purpose. As I mentioned, all the colors and decisions behind each one were all mine. Today, I believe that God wants you, as the reader, to color Bella and her friends beautifully. We are all unique, carrying with us our reasons for how we see color. Perhaps, what I view as “Friendly Yellow” someone else sees as too bright. I could go on and on with examples, but I think I’ve gotten to the point.
All of this leads me to some exciting news. I have created a coloring/activity book to relate to Bella’s story. I will post updates as I have them in my hands! In the meantime, I’m adding a PDF treat for you to get a head start on deciding how you envision Bella and her colors.
As we walk in God’s light daily, we will see the world in the colors God intends. There may be a reason I see the sky as a soft blue, and someone else describes it as smokey blue. Colors bring out emotions, memories, and matters of the heart. So, the next time you open a box of crayons, take a moment and have a prayerful chat with God sharing how each color makes you feel. Perhaps colors in your life will take on an entirely new meaning.
Bella’s Beautiful Miracle Book Give Away Begins Today! I’ve made it easy for you to enter. Simply click the link and follow the steps. The winner will receive a limited edition full-color, hardcover copy of Bella’s Beautiful Miracle, A Caterpillar’s Journey. The winner will be notified and announced pending approval on September 7, 2022.
Book Signing Event Scheduled! It’s actually happening! I have locked in my very first book signing event! I am very excited to share that I will be hosting a book signing on September 17th and 18th at the Beechcreek Nature Preserve Butterfly Release Celebration. The event runs 10:00am – 4:00pm both days. Click the link for more information and to preorder a butterfly for release! Partnering on this butterfly release is a dream come true for me and I look forward to seeing you there!
I want to thank you all for the help and for sharing of links! I can only be successful with God and you all at my side. I appreciate your prayers and interest in making this a Grand Adventure for Bella and her friends! If you are interested in promoting on your social media sites. I can email you all the marketing links so you have them in one place. Please comment below or send me a message using the contact form.
Hello friends! Bella and I have fun updates to share!
The final approval for print and distribution was signed on Wednesday, July 13th, and I received a congratulatory email on 7/20 outlining next steps. The current status is to wait patiently while Trilogy works behind the scenes to upload the files digitally. ( 3-4 week process) Once complete, I will be contacted with a release date, instructed on sales process, and purchase advance copies!
Volunteer opportunities are open for participation on my social media marketing team. Once the book is available, your involvement will include posting on your social media outlets, blog posts on your websites, and word of mouth. I will provide you with everything needed to help spread the news. A few reviewers are needed and required to write a note or two, which I will post on this website. Volunteer to review and receive an advance copy! Reservations are required to review the book and will be taken in the order received. Don’t miss out on this fun opportunity! Click here to let me know you are ready to help!
A new blog post recently published on outofthechrysalis.com
I am thrilled to share my membership with Inspire Christian Writers. If you are a writer, blogger, or simply want to interject God into journaling, then you need to check out this group!
This article describes God’s influence and my personal journey into Christian Writing. Upon being asked to submit such an article, my heart filled with joy as I recollected the spirit-filled moments. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I delighted in the remembrance of where God has taken my life and how He has filled my heart.
Hello friends! I thought I would give a quick update. I have approved the final draft of the page design for Bella’s Beautiful Miracle. Even more exciting news leaves us only needing to finalize the cover. I would love to approximate when the book is ready for release, but for now, only God knows.
In the meantime, I am going to gift you another teaser and a quick note about the page design process and how I made my edits.
Upon completing the illustration process, the designer uploaded the manuscript and illustrations into a book format. This stage used Adobe PDF, and we went through three passes back and forth before I was satisfied with the layout. As I’m typing this, it doesn’t sound like much work. However, time played a huge role. There is a standard ten-day turnaround each time the publishing company passes the document to me. I was diligent in making my edits within a business week. Still, adding ten days gave 15 days between each pass. Choices of font type, size, and margins were affected throughout this stage. A special shout-out of gratitude goes to my Facebook friends who voted on favorites for the title and subtitle font.
The photo shown here gives you an idea of what the pages looked like as I received each edit. If it looks blurry, then I formatted it correctly! I can’t give away too much about how that chapter begins…you’ll have to wait for the book release!
Illustration and text copyright Kimberly Novak 2022
I don’t want anyone straining their eyes to read beyond the blur; here is a little teaser for you. I am planning several more updates leading up to the release date. In addition to future updates, I will also take volunteers for a social media marketing campaign. If you are interested, please reply or click here to contact me via a contact form.
I hope I have done my job and made you a little impatient for the rest of Bella’s journey. I promise that I am equally anxious and ready to embark on the release of Bella and her friends. Not to mention all of the blessings, caves, and hidden surprises you will find as you travel with her.