My new book–public speaking for kids of all ages!

My new book–public speaking for kids of all ages!


These days, kids are asked to make classroom presentations as early as 3rd or 4th grade—yet their teachers rarely give them any public speaking guidance, much less ideas on how to handle stage fright. Though I’m now a professional speaking coach, I was mortified to speak in front of my grade-school classmates—I didn’t get over that fear until I started teaching in graduate school.


So … I’m excited to announce the publication of my first kids’ book: Ruby Lee and the VERY BIG DEAL. It’s a fun story for children 9 and up about conquering the fear of public speaking. Since the main character is a girl, it’s also a tale that helps girls develop more self-confidence.


You can buy a print copy or download the e-book on Amazon—and if you live in the Boise area, you can get a copy at Hyde Park Books or Barnes & Noble. If you’d like a signed copy, just email me and we’ll make arrangements.


Amazon listed Ruby Lee as a “hot new release” in October 2013, and the book has received great reviews. One Amazon reviewer wrote, “This children’s book contains very practical stage advice embedded in a believable and endearing story about a girl, a speech and a crazy aunt. It’s a rare kid book that leaves a parent with such practical food for thought, but the advice in this book, presented in the narrative and reviewed at the end, was an inspiration to father and daughter (8) alike. We are ready for our next speech, and have an updated classics filmography to watch together as well!”


Here’s how the book is described on Amazon:


“Ruby Lee has a problem. A very BIG problem. She has won a so-called “prize” in her school: to read her essay in front of her entire smallish town. Except that Ruby has a bad case of stage fright. Help comes in the guise of her eccentric Great Aunt Alice, who may–or may not–have been a starlet in the golden age of film.


Great Aunt Alice floats between two worlds: day-to-day reality, and a world of a past in which she hobnobbed with the likes of Marlon Brando, Humphrey Bogart, John Barrymore and Vivien Leigh. Her colorful stories–of helping Barrymore prepare for a role, teaching Bogart to whistle, pulling Brando out of bed to audition for The Godfather–will entertain and delight readers of all ages.Each of Alice’s tales contains one of her nine “secrets to becoming a star.”


These secrets, which unfold as Ruby prepares for her speech, ensure that she shines when the big day comes, her fear of public speaking now just a memory. The two come to appreciate each other–and readers come away with down-to-earth, effective public speaking tips.”


Artwork is by my dear friend and gifted illustrator, Stephanie Mullani. Each illustration is hand-drawn, with a warmth and charm you rarely see anymore in children’s books.


My awesome publisher is Tru Publishing in Boise ( They’re a fairly new publisher and wonderful to work with–inexpensive, speedy, accurate and ethical. They publish all kinds of work (not just kids’ books, in other words.) I hope to work with them for a long, long time.


I’d love your feedback on the book–please email me and let me know what you think, what was useful!


Happy holidays!


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