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Paying it Forward

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Back in 2006, I decided that I was going to work on two things: myself and paying it forward. For too many years, I tried to make everyone else happy and found that I wasn't happy. I made small changes and found that my smile was a little brighter.

One of the pivotal moments in this journey was a regular day that I went to a local Starbucks drive thru. On my way, I saw an active duty solider home on leave,  walking on the sidewalk towards Starbucks. I waited in the long drive thru line and right as I got to the order screen that young man walked into the store. I placed my order and paid for that young soldier’s beverage. That was in early 2006 and ever since that day, I now pay for the person behind me in the Starbucks drive thru every time I go!

Simple acts of kindness

A simple thing such as buying someone a cup of coffee makes a huge impact on the life of another human being. I simply tell the barista to tell the person behind me, "to have a great day," and drive away! I don't look behind me and I hope that it puts a smile on their face. It is a friendly reminder that kindness matters. The simple gesture truly makes a difference in the lives of others, which makes my heart happy.

Encouraging others to do simple acts of kindness for random strangers became my mission. As a relatively new author, people and events inspired me to do something outside of my norm. Around 2007 I had the idea that I really wanted to write a book however it was completely outside my comfort zone. I like to push myself to do things I haven't done before and this would be a very challenging yet very rewarding. Being able to visit so many wonderful groups and schools talking about my books and paying it forward is something I really enjoy. I am proof that you don't have to be a celebrity to self publish (or even publish) a book.  It wasn’t easy but it was totally worth it and I learned a lot in this process! Oh and are my books perfect? Absolutely not but what I love is that they are exactly the way I wanted them. There are certainly things you see that I should have changed but overall I am proud that I took this chance and made a dream into a reality.

The Books

I want my books to be an extended version of me so I stick with the theme of "Paying It Forward".  People that know me say that they can hear my voice in the stories, which I love!  My books are geared towards  7-12  year olds, but the message is appropriate for parents to read to their 4 year old or someone who may be in their 90's. My hope is that parents read the books with their children and discuss how they can pay it forward for others to benefit.

See more about my inspiration behind Tom T's Hat Rack and my inspiration behind A Trip To Remember here.

There is a project with instructions in the back of each book. I want children to have something that their parents, grandparents or perhaps a crafty aunt or uncle can help them with. It is something that they can work on together as a service project or gift they can provide to a person, organization, or donate to a local charity of their choosing.

A Trip to Remember

Jaxon James has a heart for others as big as the sky. Lt. Colonel F. A. Percy is a true American hero who deserves to be honored and treated to a tour he'll never forget. Join Jaxon, his amazing family, and Mr. Percy on a journey that will forever change all their lives with a story of respect, true sacrifice, and grace.

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Tom T's Hat Rack

Shelby Summers has a zest for life that can't be tamed... Tom Tucker has a dream of helping others who are facing the challenges he faced not too long ago. Join Shelby and Mr. T as they join forces to give back to their community, and be challenged to do the same for yours!

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