Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Yelp Review: Kari Hock, Green Darner Press / Gemelli Press

I have been like the shoemaker going without her proverbial shoes when it comes to keeping current with my own PR! In fact, I just found this wonderful review from Kari Hock, Managing Editor of the Seattle-based Green Darner Press and Italy's Gemelli Press.

Thank you so much, Kari! Here's her Yelp review (which Yelp did not "recommend" - along with denying me permission to claim my business):

As a managing editor of a small independent book publishing company, having Marlan on board has been an essential part of the process. She is so knowledgeable and an expert at what she does. She is a joy to work with.--Kari Hock, Green Darner Press/Gemelli Press


Wednesday, July 1, 2015

"Like finding an agate among river rocks": Italian American Immigrant Memoir WRESTLING WITH THE DEVIL beats the competition.

Title: Wrestling with the Devil
Authors: Antonio Russo and Tonya Russo Hamilton
Publisher: Gemelli Press
Date of Pub.: April 15, 2012
Genre: Memoir / Italian American / Italian Immigrant
ISBN 978-0982-102398 (Hard Cover)
ASIN: B008EWZ0TW (Kindle)

I had an outlet for my demons.
--Antonio Russo

Be not fooled by the staring young boy on the cover or the word "wrestling" in the title of Wrestling with the Devil (A Story of Sacrifice, Survival and Triumph from the Hills of Naples to the Hall of Fame) by Antonio Russo as told to his daughter, Tonya Russo Hamilton. This is a memoir with something for everyone, Italian Wrestler or not.

Wrestling with the Devil takes us along the simple-but-not-easy path that Russo took to Honor and the fulfillment of his Destiny. If filmmaker Martin Scorcese had not made a film about a raging bull of a boxer who cannot love, and made this story instead, it would have given American audiences a rare "insider" view of one determined man's journey from Italian boyhood to an Italian "American Graffiti-meets-Rebel Without a Cause" immigrant adolescence in Portland, Oregon to a miraculous college wrestling scholarship and finally, to a successful coaching career and induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

We are treated to a slice-of-Italian-American-Life in the 50s and 60s with all the warmth and family confusion, goodwill, great food and "immigrant drive for success" that such a cultural experience often entails.

What adds to this memoir's tenderness and heart is the equally touching fact that although it is told in the First Person, it is actually written by Russo's daughter, Tonya Russo Hamilton, who has spun a compelling, seamless narrative in her father's voice from what must have been hours and hours of taped anecdotes.

Friday, May 15, 2015


Title: Arrgh!
Author: Stacey R. Campbell
Illustrator: M.S. Corley
Publisher: Green Darner Press
Date of Release: Nov. 1, 2014)
Genre: Middle Grade / Adventure
Publisher: Green Darner Press (November 1, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-0988478442
Hard Cover and Paperback (282 pages)
Kindle (284 pages)

Arrgh! is a true treasure: Five not-easy lessons on the high seas. Stacey R. Campbell's Kidnapped-by-Pirates tale is greater than the sum of its title.

This Coming of Age Voyage takes off like a cannon blast when a runaway orphan finds himself forced onto a cargo ship by pirates posing as merchant seamen, and gathers momentum with inventive action until its gratifying conclusion.

Thirteen-year-old Christopher has escaped from an orphanage to search for family members. Ironically, he is nabbed off the street by two pirate thugs who pass him off to the ship's captain as a relative. Threatened with death if he does not pretend to be mute, Christopher enters a world of repressed silence—broken only during moments when he can communicate with Leo the Attack-for-Hire Mouse who comes to his assistance as a kind of life coach. The trained and certified Leo sets about teaching the timid youth Five Life Lessons.

Monday, April 20, 2015


I AM NOT SELLING MY TOOTH! graced the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books yesterday. Fest Kid Juliet struck some cute poses with this Kelli and Kelly book and bookmark designed by Kelly Hawkins. She also accepted the gifts with her terrific grin. (All photos by Marlan Warren, copyright protected.)

We found children's book author Scott Farrar catching his breath with his family in the afternoon shade, and they happily accepted I AM NOT SELLING MY TOOTH! and agreed to display it for us. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Books worth reading and authors worth knowing: Published 2013-2015

Kelli & Kelly Books for Kids were terrific on Seattle's "New Day" TV Talk Show

Kelli Nielsen and Kelly Hawkins of Kelli and Kelly Books for Kids absolutely ROCKED Seattle's New Day TV Talk Show today! Congrats, Super Mother Publishers! Here's the link for the awesome segment (Best Line: "Okay, which one of you is Kelly?"):

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Mom Entrepreneur Publishers Launch New Kids Book on Radio 2/9 7:30AM

For immediate release:

Kelli and Kelly Books for Kids launch: I Am Not Selling My Tooth! with Mike in the Morning

Summary: Mom Entrepreneurs Kelli Nielsen (Author) and Kelly Hawkins (Illustrator) of Kelli and Kelly Books for Kids will appear Mon., Feb. 9 at 7:30 a.m. on Mike Yeoman’s “Mike in the Morning” show (KAPS 102.1 FM / 660 AM) to talk about their newest book, “I Am Not Selling My Tooth!” and discuss their passion for children and books.

“Why can’t I just be small Austin and have small clothes, small teeth and live with my mom and dad forever?”—“I Am Not Selling My Tooth!”

Did you know that February is Children’s Dental Health Month? Kelli Nielsen and Kelly Hawkins do! These dynamic “Mom Entrepreneurs” of Washington State who sold over 1000 copies of their first children’s book, “You Will Always Be My Son” will launch their new book, “I Am Not Selling My Tooth!” just in time for two children’s museums to host the book’s launch during events that will focus on kids’ dental hygiene. Helping them get the word out is Mike Yeoman who will feature Kelli and Kelly Books for Kids on his “Mike in the Morning” show on KAPS (102.1 FM / 660 AM) on Mon., Feb. 9 at 7:30 a.m.

Kelli and Kelly will read and sign “I Am Not Selling My Tooth!” Fri., Feb. 20 at the Children’s Museum of Skagit County in Burlington, Wash. (1-3pm) and Imagine Children’s Museum in Everett, Wash. (6-8pm).

Cate Anderson, Executive Director of the Children's Museum of Skagit County (CMSC), said the museum is "excited" to host Kelli and Kelly because "not only does the book tie in perfectly with the theme in our museum, it really speaks to how many children feel about letting go of their teeth...and their childhood."

Author Kelli Nielsen and Illustrator Kelly Hawkins have been long-time supporters of the CMSC. They were brought up in Skagit County and raised their children there. Nielsen dedicates her new book to her “wonderful” son Austin: “Thank you for giving me the words.”

Hawkins credits her two daughters with giving her “inspiration every day.” Nielsen said, “We are two moms whose inspiring dream is to bring quality children's books to market.”

Title: I Am Not Selling My Tooth!
Author: Kelli Nielsen
Illustrator: Kelly Hawkins
Publisher: Kelli and Kelly Books for Kids
Pub. Date: 11/23/14                             
Genre: Children’s Picture Book (Ages 2-8)
ISBN: 978-1503366077
Available at Amazon in Paperback (40 pgs) and Kindle:

Facebook | Kelli and Kelly Books for Kids
Facebook | I Am Not Selling My Tooth

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Title:                           I Am NOT Selling My Tooth!
Author:                      Kelli Nielsen            Illustrator:   Kelly Hawkins
Pub. Date:                 11/23/14
Genre:                         Picture Book (Ages 6-8)
ISBN:                           978-1503366077
Paperback                 Pages: 40             List Price:     $9.97 
Publisher:                  Kelli and Kelly Books for Kids
Order at:                       

SUMMARY:  I Am NOT Selling My Tooth! honors children's need to be autonomous when coping with the life and body changes that come with growing older. A fun, useful book for parents, small children and anyone who needs to adjust to change.

“The kids in my class are losing their teeth. Yuck!”
                                  —I Am NOT Selling My Tooth!

What is there to say about children’s “baby teeth” that has not already been said? On the face of it, the traditional equation is simple: 1 lost baby tooth = $ from a Tooth Fairy. Kelli Nielsen’s I Am NOT Selling My Tooth puts a charming spin on this scenario with heartfelt warmth and humor by taking the position that children are capable of making their own decisions about how to respond to the body changes that are part of growing older. It is a gentle examination of a rite of passage that adults, as well as children, can relate to and appreciate.

The story takes off when the rebellious Alec declares, “I’m keeping my teeth small just like me.” He doesn’t see why his teeth just can’t grow bigger as he grows bigger. The fact that Alec shares the same name as the author’s son, whom she thanks in the book’s Dedication along with her other son Austin, grounds the story in reality and gives it a very personal tone.

Enhanced by Kelly Hawkin’s fun illustrations that evoke a child’s abstract perception of space, color and line, “I Am NOT Selling My Tooth” never talks down to children, but is right there with the child’s need to have some autonomy in life choices, no matter how “small” they are. It takes readers on a tour of the tooth-loss phenomenon that includes sharks, baseball injuries and even an octopus that receives something other than money for its lost tooth.

I would recommend this book for any parent with a child about to lose a tooth or who has lost a tooth, and as an excellent educational aid for dentists. It might even be helpful for therapists and life coaches who wish to discuss life changes and the various options available for responding and adjusting to them—no matter how old we are.