There’s still time to snag your copy of “A Visit to Oaklenbrooke Farm” and claim your goodies!
These bookmarks and baby keychain of the book are just begging to go home with you. ;)
Just email me a copy of your receipt and I’ll work on getting the gifts to you right away!
Get your copy today!
I wrote “A Visit to Oaklenbrooke Farm” years ago. One of the hundreds of poems I added to my collection. But there was something extra special about this one. From the moment I wrote it, I could vividly see each character and the charming animals. I just knew that one day it would become a children’s book!
But finding an illustrator proved to be such a difficult task.
I tried everything. From contacting artists I found online, to searching through the children’s books at the bookstore and writing down my favorite illustrators. I spent hours researching, but nothing came together. They were either too expensive, or too commercial, and the style was never right.
I finally just settled. I wasn’t too entirely pleased, and nothing ever felt right. She did a few practice illustrations and I sat down one afternoon to tell her to go ahead with the rest of the designs. But no matter how hard I looked, I couldn’t find her email! All of her contact information had completely disappeared. It was so odd! But looking back, I now know it was 100% God.
I ended up giving it all to the Lord, something I should have done long before then. If He wanted me to find an illustrator, He would bring me one in His timing.
A couple of years later, I was scrolling through Facebook one evening and came across some photos a friend posted from his trip to Realm Makers. Being the nosy totally-non-creepy-stalker that I am, I explored a group photo and clicked on some of the people he tagged. I stumbled upon Mariposa’s profile shortly afterward, and my excitement grew with each picture I saw. She was such a talented artist! Her style was 100% what I had envisioned for A Visit to Oaklenbrooke Farm. I couldn’t have found a more perfect match.
I quickly sent her a message and waited for a reply. But the doubts began to creep in. “There’s no way such amazing illustrations are going to be sold for cheap.” “She doesn’t even know me! She might not answer my message! She probably thinks I’m such a weirdo!”
Imagine my surprise when I discovered the complete opposite. I not only found my illustrator that day, but I discovered a new dear friend. We bonded over our mutual love for Charles Spurgeon, and the same excitement over the characters from A Visit to Oaklenbrooke Farm. These characters quickly become our own as we created this world together.
It just goes to show you that God has such a marvelous plan for your life. He cares about your dreams, maybe even more than you do. So just some encouragement for you today, if you’re not exactly where you want to be, just trust that God has a beautiful plan. And it’s going to be far, far better than you can ever imagine.
Are you excited?!
And Finn is SO excited he tried to eat the book.
You can check out the story here!
Unfortunately, the cover image hasn't shown up yet. =(
But we're not letting that damper our spirits! Finn told me this morning that it was because the cover was SO awesome, the website couldn't handle it!
This story has been in the works for so many months now. Watching it come to life has been one of the most exciting projects on earth.
We have some fun things planned for you today!
I created a post a few days ago, asking for your questions. Ya'll had some fun ones! And Mariposa and I had a blast answering them. You'll find the Q&A below!
We are also SO. EXCITED. to announce that we're giving away goodies to the first 50 people who order A Visit to Oaklenbrooke Farm! (An exclusive keychain, and bookmarks!)
All you have to do is send a copy of your receipt to: email@example.com, and I'll work on getting your goodies sent out as soon as possible!
Would you like a chance to win a keychain? We have a fun game today that you can take part in! Any time you share about A Visit to Oaklenbrooke Farm, (make sure to tag me in the post) and you'll be entered to win a keychain! (More details are on my social media sites).
Are you following my author page on Facebook? Or Instagram? A lot of the fun will be happening over there!
Some easy links:
Questions for Aleigha!
What are your childhood favorite stories?
My childhood favorite stories were Janette Oke's Animal Friends book series. The illustrations were adorable, and the plots cute and intriguing! I also enjoyed Magic Tree House, The Boxcar Children, and Daughters of the Faith series.
What was your favorite part of working on this book?
Watching my story come to life. I’m a very visual person, so seeing my characters and each illustration bring this story to life was such a joy! Also, working with Mariposa at the very beginning to nail down each character’s likeness and what I was envisioning for our story was so much fun!
Was Aleigha ever chased by a crazy horse like in the story?
Hehe, thankfully the answer is no. Surprisingly, I’m not actually around animals much since I’m allergic to most of them. But I think all baby animals are ADORABLE.
What do cows do with all four stomachs?
Great question!! I pulled the answer from the internet because it explains it better than I can. ;)
“When the cow first eats, it chews the food just enough to swallow it. The unchewed food travels to the first two stomachs, the rumen and the reticulum, where it is stored until later. When the cow is full from this eating process, she rests. Later, the cow coughs up bits of the unchewed food called cud and chews it completely this time before swallowing it again. The cud then goes to the third and fourth stomachs, the omasum and abomasum, where it is fully digested. Some of this digested food enters the bloodstream and travels to a bag called the udder, where it is made into milk that will come out of her teats, while the rest goes towards the cow's nourishment.”
Are pigs as scary nasty as some people say? (44 teeth!)
Well, I would say it probably depends on the breed. And the pig! And whether the pig has grown up around lots of people. But every pig I’ve ever encountered has the sweetest personality! We’ve even owned a 400-pound pig named “Gilbert” who would try to curl up in people’s laps! (We had to put a stop to that quite quickly, for obvious reasons.)
Questions for Mariposa!
Does Mariposa live on a farm?
Nope, but I’m a proud country girl (and always will be), and I have a pond in my backyard that’s an apartment house for a slew of frogs and turtles.
What's your favorite animal to draw?
My favorite animal to draw is a dinosaur. I had a fondness for them as a child, and I’ve adored them ever since (I was probably the only girl who collected dinosaur toys as a child).
As a Myers-Briggs lover, so fun to see INFJ in Mariposa's bio. Does she write as well?
A whole-hearted YES! I actually enjoy writing slightly more than drawing because I’m fascinated by creating characters and plots. I always weave my art into my writing, though, and I intend to illustrate my books.
Any other books she has illustrated?
No, A Visit to Oaklenbrooke Farm was my debut as an illustrator, though I hope to release an illustrated middle-grade book of mine (hopefully) sometime next year.
What does Mariposa like to draw the least?
Jungles and forests—drawing leaf, after leaf, after leaf is extremely boring (as a side note, I tend to draw jungles a lot because that’s where most of my books are set— apparently I like to torture myself).
What is her favorite medium to use?
Pencil is my favorite medium (that’s what I used to illustrate A Visit to Oaklenbrooke Farm), with acrylic paint being a close second.
What was your favorite part about working on this book?
Getting to work alongside Aleigha. I was nervous at first because I didn’t know her and this was my first illustration job. I didn’t know how easy she would or wouldn’t be to work with. But after the first couple drawings, I found out what a sweet and wonderful person she is, and now I look forward to every time she contacts me for an art project.
I also really enjoyed becoming acquainted with Aleigha’s characters. By the time I’d reached the last drawing, I felt like I was saying goodbye to a friend I’d come to know and love.
Childhood favorite stories?
Betsy, Tacy, and Tib, Angelina Ballerina, and any American Girl book (I practically grew up on those).
Get your copy today!
(And remember, don't forget to send a picture of your receipt to: firstname.lastname@example.org, so you can claim your goodies!!)