Fast facts

1) I love cats! We have two rescue kittens that were so tiny when we first got them that I could pick them both up with one hand. My son named them: Felix Potvin and Jose Theodore. He Cheers for Montreal and my husband cheers for Toronto. I often post pictures of my two little writing buddies!

2) I love dogs! Last July we got a rescue/reclaim dog who is being trained to be my service dog. He is a strong willed, long coat Akita. This big goof tries to sit under my desk when I work. He hasn’t gotten the memo that he is NOT a lap dog!

3) I’ve always had a house full of pets and all my books have animals or pets in them that share character traits from those pets!

4) My son shares my passion for art and writing. I love when we sit together working on either an art project or our writing.

5) I have limited to no musical abilities! My son plays by ear and sings. I could spend all day listening to him play the piano or sing. I have a character that shares his musical abilities in my mg fantasy.

6) I have a middle grade fantasy series all planned out. Book 1 is in for its final proofreading. Book 2 is on chapter 4 and I have so many spin offs in their first outline drafts. I’m super stoked for my mg fantasy. The young betareaders loved it and all but one asked me when book 2 was coming out!

7) I now have celiac disease that was triggered due to my cptsd. Autoimmune diseases suck!

8) Writing my middle grade fantasy got me through the first half of my healing journey after I was diagnosed with cptsd and had my first breakdown. I’ve been off work for 3 years and just now slowly starting to venture out.

9) This month I opened up an online store to sell life inspired book clothes and accessories. I’ve always wanted to do this and my middle grade fantasy lends itself beautifully to all kinds of merchandise!

10) Thanks to Bane’s breeder and trainer it’s also a way to fund Bane’s service dog training and to give back to other people in need of a service dog!

Sales!

Hurry on over to your kindle unlimited and grab your copy of Timothy’s Adventures for $0.99 !

And sale 2!

Free shipping on Canadian orders of $100.00 or more. So pop in and check out the store. Sale goes until July 1st.

#kidlit #kidlitauthor #kidsliterature #kidsbooks #antiracism #antibullying #stopbullying

Coming soon!

I have exciting news to share!

Today I sent Nadira’s Storykeeper to have its final proofreading edit done! The count down is on now for a release date.

I also added some new products to my Cedar Hill Dog Academy collection and one of my designs from yesterday finally got approval!

Be sure to pop in to the store to take a peek.

#booklover #booknerd #bookaddict #writingcommunity #writers #kidlitauthor #kidlit #kittens #catlovers #fashion #fashiondesign
#middlegrade #fantasy #kidlit #kidlitauthor #mgbooks

Exciting News

For some time now I have dreamed of having an online store to sell t-shirts, hoodies, bags, and stuffed animals for my books. Well, I’m happy to say that that dream is now a reality! Or at least part of it is. No stuffed animals yet.

I had to rush the start up date, so I’m still working out some kinks, but do stop by and share your thoughts on my site!

tanyapackerstore.com

Surviving nightmares

In my experience there were two times of year that brought out the most nightmares: Halloween and back to school. According to the sleep experts, the reason our little loved ones wake us up as we’ve settled into a nice deep sleep is that nightmares happen during REM when the brain is active. But nightmares can strike at any time and any age. Over this past week, I’ve been plagued by anxiety nightmares. And I can tell you, my body is exhausted, but my brain is mush!

Our dreams and nightmares are our brain’s way of processing thoughts and emotional situations that we have faced during the course of our day. Nightmares may be more frequent during times of stress or when dealing with change or events that have been unsettling. They can be a reaction to real life trauma, reading a scary book, or watching a television show that has aroused an emotional response.

Nightmares are hard to deal with, no matter how old the inflicted person is. Emotions are real, and when you’re woken from a nightmare, the feelings are fresh and raw. Little ones may not understand the difference between a nightmare and real life due to how real the emotional response is.

Both Timothy’s Adventures and Kaylee’s Adventures have chapters that you can share with your little ones to help them deal with nightmares. Be sure to check them out!

So how do we help our little ones go back to sleep after a nightmare?

  • Reassure them that you’re there for them.
  • Label it as a nightmare.
  • Offer them comfort and love.
  • Check places that they are afraid of, i.e., under the bed, the closet or behind the door.
  • Provide a nightlight or flashlight.
  • Help them settle back in with a comfort item, i.e., dream catcher, soft music, stuffy.
  • Talk about the dream they might like to have.
  • Give them a kiss to hold while they sleep.

* Most important, be a good listener and if need be, in the morning, help them process by talking, drawing, or writing about it.

How can we help prevent or limit nightmares?

  • Help them relax and unwind before bedtime.
  • Try to establish a routine and schedule.

These help children to feel safe and secure!

  • Try to avoid scary triggers before bedtime.
  • Try to provide space to talk about their day openly and honestly with you.
  • Children’s bedrooms should be a safe place. It should be a place of comfort and peace. Never use their rooms as a place of punishment.

* Most nightmares are not a cause for concern, however, if the nightmares present with other emotional or behavioral trouble, seek professional guidance.

disturbing-clipart-nightmare

Friends treasure or vice

This year, more than ever, we need good friends in our lives. Over the years working with young people, I have had many discussions on the topic of good friends and bad ones. True friends are our most treasured gifts and can have a significant impact on our success and happiness, where a bad apple (or lousy friend) can infect a group of friends or ruin a young person in many ways.

Unfortunately, most of us have had to learn the hard way that someone wasn’t a true friend, so how do we help our young children to learn the difference?

By using their television and book heroes to open conversations, and by role modeling the characteristics we want them to cultivate we can assist young people in learning to identify and nurture the key character traits that make good friends. As parents, we need to be starting conversations early with our children on what makes good friends. Young people watch us like a hawk, and this means that we must put into practice, in our everyday lives what we say. Actions speak louder than words.

Good friends motivate, encourage, inspire, and support us to be the best we can. They help us to celebrate our achievements and help us to feel valued. Our bad friends do the complete opposite. They are jealous of accomplishments, offer little support or encouragement and are often bitter and resentful.

Everyone needs friends who listen and share without distractions or interrupting. These friends understand that friendship is a two-way street. There is also a difference between active listening and distracted listening. Active listening is engaging with the speaker to clarify, and validate, while distracted listening interjects an occasional “uh huh” to sound like they’re listening.

Listening has become harder with the introduction of cell phones and social media. Cell phones are a distraction for everyone (from senior citizens to children as young as 7 years of age have phones) these days. I often challenge parents to put their phones away and be present for their children no matter what their child’s age is. If a friend is always distracted or disinterested in hearing what you have to say, then it is time to evaluate your friendship.

Young people are generally good at seeking advice from people they trust, however, sometimes they have a hard time understanding what secrets are okay to keep and what secrets they need to share with a trusted adult. But everyone, not just young people, needs someone they trust to share with, and a true friend would not gossip. If you have a friend who talks about someone else when they aren’t there, then you can be sure that they will be talking about you when you aren’t there.

Both Timothy’s Adventures and Kaylee’s Adventures have chapters that you can share with your little ones to help them learn what a good friend is. It’s never too early to cultivate good friend character traits. Be sure to check them out!

Five key traits:

1) Trustworthiness

2) Honesty

3) Dependability

4) Loyalty

5) Stands up for you when you are being hurt, emotionally or physically.

all 3 books

Chapter 10 Parent/child discussion time questions from Timothy’s Adventures

Fruit Salad

The beauty of unity and diversity:

God created the body to function in harmony. Each part has a job to do, and there can’t be division in the body, or it doesn’t work. When one part of our body hurts, all of the other parts know it, and they feel it. No one part is more important than another part; all are needed and cared for. God tells us to care for one another as Jesus has cared for each one of us.

Each person is a unique child of God, created with love and cared for so much that God has blessed everyone with special gifts, unique to them, to use in celebrating God’s glorious body, the people of God.

Why were the little puppies barking and pulling at the park?

What did Timothy and Reid do when they saw the bullies?

How did the bullies respond?

What did Naila say to Timothy and Reid?

What did Sara say to Naila?

Why was Naila confused by Sara’s comment?

What did Sara wish?

Who did Naila remind Nanny of?

What did Maria’s grandmother say to Naila?

Why did they have fruit salad?

What made the fruit salad special?

What did Timothy remember about his daddy?

Read together 1 Corinthians 12:12–27. If time permits, you may also want to read Psalm 139:1–18, Jeremiah 29:11–14, Galatians 6:4, and Ephesians 2:10.

chapter 10

Facing Bullying & Noticing the Signs

Being off work for 3 years due to my break down and finally being diagnosed with cptsd has allowed me time to reflect on the playground bullies that became board room bullies.

How we as parents, teachers, and other adults in our children’s lives deal with the bullies will have a lasting affect.

Many of the situations that Timothy and his friends’ deal with in “Timothy’s Adventures” are real situations that came from my own personal experiences and the experiences of my son, my family ministry, and my friends that they shared with me. This means that children will be able to relate to the situations in “Timothy’s Adventures” and read about how Timothy and his group of friends dealt with them. It is my prayer that you will have an open discussion on how Timothy and his friends dealt with their situations and how your children can handle similar situations.The adults in Timothy’s life were open and willing to talk to the children but most of all, they were active, they listened, helped strategize, encouraged the children, and they brainstormed creative ways to deal with bullies which in turn allowed for opportunities for new friendships to blossom.Timothy and his friends learn the 5P’s for dealing with bullies from their Sunday school teacher after they talk to him. Being a trusted adult is a gift that should be treasured no matter how busy we are as parents or teachers. The 5P’s are a lesson I have both used at home with my son and within my family ministry. Chapter two of ‘Timothy’s Adventures” contains the devotional where Timothy and his friends learn the 5P’s. Friendship is one of the best ways to deal with bullies; this means intervening before, during, and after an altercation. Timothy and his friends demonstrate this numerous times in “Timothy’s Adventures”.

When someone is bullied, we need to teach our children to reach out to them. This may not only save that person’s life, but they may make a lifelong friend by doing it. Not only should parents recognize the signs of bullying, but parents should be teaching their children to be aware and recognize the signs of bullying.

Watch for:

  • Someone withdrawing
  • Complaining of headaches, stomach aches, or being sick
  • Not wanting to go to school or do extracurricular activities
  • Missing rides or carpool rides
  • Lack of appetite or overeating
  • Missing personal items or having their stuff damaged
  • Grades changing drastically
  • Lashing out at home
  • Loss of sleep

My Journey writing…

Changing publishers is always risky business, but I took a leap of faith and have self published all three of my devotionals.

Timothy’s Adventures is written to help parents teach their children about combating bullying and racism, which is even more prevalent now than it was when it was first published.

Below was an article I blogged shortly after releasing Timothy’s Adventures in 2018.

Here we are coming into August, and while most people are still in summer fun mode, as a Christian programmer, I am kicking into fall and winter planning mode. This planning and programming also carry over into my writing where I currently have three book outlines drafted, one that I am now working on writing, and two new book ideas that my brain has been churning and mulling over.

Combating bullying and racism have always been on my radar and is an area I have been passionate about all my life, so it was natural for it to flow over into my devotional books. After writing Kaylee’s Adventures and Kaylee’s Easter Treasure, a cousin suggested I channel my energy into both my passion for writing and a book dedicated to combating bullying and racism.

I am sad to say that many of the adapted situations in the devotional have been from real-life situations. These were shared with me from friends, family, or were taken from my personal experiences growing up or through my son’s life. (Please note that all the characters are fictional.) Because the stories are all adapted from real situations, it makes them relatable and real so that they are more comfortable for children to connect with them. Once the connections happen, it is easier for the doors of discussion to open.

Each chapter has been prayerfully crafted to connect real-life struggles with scripture, family, and healthy ways to deal with bullying and racism.