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The Hyrax Song Receives a Reader’s Favorite 5-Star Review

The Hyrax Song, book two in The Pearls of Wisdom Series, published in March, 2022. The published manuscript has been reviewed by Readers’ Favorite and has received the honor of 5 stars.
Press Release

Reviewed by Sarah Scheele for Readers’ Favorite, April 2022

Princess Journee is a little mouse with a big mission. In The Pond of Reflection (Pearls of Wisdom Series Book 1), written by Catherine Ann Russell and illustrated by Brooke Connor, the princess lives with her royal father. He abhors shallowness and has forbidden mirrors in the peaceful kingdom so that no one will be selfconscious about their appearance. The internal person, the “insideout,” is of greater importance. But Journee doesn’t know what she looks like and feels she doesn’t know enough about herself even though she is aware that the external does not define her. For her birthday, she goes on a quest, traveling through the kingdom with three friends in search of the Pond of Reflection, which can serve as a mirror since the kingdom has none.

With a pristinely flowing narrative and quirky characterization, The Pond of Reflection (Pearls of Wisdom Series Book 1) has a lot of charismatic strength, and the story never falters. A moral fable at its finest, it springboards off a Bible verse, Proverbs 27:19, to build a winsome story about finding true self-respect. It’s a beautiful, high-quality fantasy story about a set of four close-knit animal friends who quietly meander through an enchanted countryside and discover life together. A splendid yet understated interior of illustrations and decorative page design makes this book perfect for little readers to savor and read over and over. Catherine Ann Russell’s book is the sort of story I loved to read as a child and I’m sure many young people today will enjoy it too because it depicts the world of children, what they need, and what preoccupies them so sympathetically.

All three books have been entered into the 2022 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest in the following categories: Children’s – Adventure, Fairy Tale, Christian, Coming of Age, and Illustration. Award winners in all categories will be announced September 1, 2022.


Please consider purchasing one or both of these books. During the month of April, 50% of book sales of either book will be donated to support the Ukrainian Refugee Crisis through the UN World Food Program USA.

The Pond of Reflection Receives a Reader’s Favorite 5-Star Review

The Pond of Reflection, book one in The Pearls of Wisdom Series, published in December, 2021. The published manuscript has been reviewed by Readers’ Favorite and has received the honor of 5 stars.
Press Release

Reviewed by Sarah Scheele for Readers’ Favorite, April 2022

Princess Journee is a little mouse with a big mission. In The Pond of Reflection (Pearls of Wisdom Series Book 1), written by Catherine Ann Russell and illustrated by Brooke Connor, the princess lives with her royal father. He abhors shallowness and has forbidden mirrors in the peaceful kingdom so that no one will be selfconscious about their appearance. The internal person, the “insideout,” is of greater importance. But Journee doesn’t know what she looks like and feels she doesn’t know enough about herself even though she is aware that the external does not define her. For her birthday, she goes on a quest, traveling through the kingdom with three friends in search of the Pond of Reflection, which can serve as a mirror since the kingdom has none.

With a pristinely flowing narrative and quirky characterization, The Pond of Reflection (Pearls of Wisdom Series Book 1) has a lot of charismatic strength, and the story never falters. A moral fable at its finest, it springboards off a Bible verse, Proverbs 27:19, to build a winsome story about finding true self-respect. It’s a beautiful, high-quality fantasy story about a set of four close-knit animal friends who quietly meander through an enchanted countryside and discover life together. A splendid yet understated interior of illustrations and decorative page design makes this book perfect for little readers to savor and read over and over. Catherine Ann Russell’s book is the sort of story I loved to read as a child and I’m sure many young people today will enjoy it too because it depicts the world of children, what they need, and what preoccupies them so sympathetically.

Review of the second book of the series, The Hyrax Song, is still pending.

All three books have been entered into the 2022 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest in the following categories: Children’s – Adventure, Fairy Tale, Christian, Coming of Age, and Illustration. Award winners in all categories will be announced September 1, 2022.


Please consider purchasing one or both of these books. During the month of April, 50% of book sales of either book will be donated to support the Ukrainian Refugee Crisis through the UN World Food Program USA.

The Zoe-Chai Seed Receives a Reader’s Favorite 5-Star Review

The Zoe-Chai Seed, book three in The Pearls of Wisdom Series, publishes in early June. The unpublished manuscript has been reviewed by Readers’ Favorite and has received the honor of 5 stars.
Press Release

Reviewed by Bernadette Longu for Readers’ Favorite, April 2022

The Zoe-Chai Seed (Pearls of Wisdom – Book 3) was written by Catherine Ann Russell and illustrated by Brooke Connor. What a wonderful way to teach children about loyalty and true friendship with a story about a kingdom of animals of all sorts who live harmoniously with each other and have a mouse for a king. The fact that the adventures are conducted by the king’s daughter Journee and that the king encourages her and helps her in the adventures with her friends is delightful. I like to think that it would encourage children to explore the world around them with the help of an adult with a lively imagination.

When I read it, I thought what a lovely book to share in schools and with grandchildren. The Zoe-Chai Seed by Catherine Ann Russell is well written for a young audience. Just before the journey to find the wonderful seed gets too long, another adventure or mishap helps keep the attention of the young reader. The illustrations are wonderful, especially the map at the beginning of the book which is a delightful way for youngsters to trace the adventure of Princess Journee, Mr. Steed, Mr. Owl, Mr. Toad, and Mr. Hopper from the Locust Army. I found it a delightful story and really enjoyed it, especially the message it sends to each child that love and generosity of spirit are more important than many other things we think are important. Thank you for a lovely book for children. It is well worth reading, especially in a classroom, or on a cold winter’s afternoon to loved ones in front of a warm fire, sharing hot chocolate and marshmallows.

Reviews of the other two books, The Pond of Reflection, and The Hyrax Song, are still pending.

All three books have been entered into the 2022 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest in the following categories: Children’s – Adventure, Fairy Tale, Christian, Coming of Age, and Illustration. Award winners in all categories will be announced September 1, 2022.


Please consider purchasing one or both of these books. During the month of April, 50% of book sales of either book will be donated to support the Ukrainian Refugee Crisis through the UN World Food Program USA.

The Hyrax Song is Ranking on Amazon

The Hyrax Song, book 2 in the series: The Pearls of Wisdom Series: Stories Inspired by a Biblical Proverb, launched March 14.

Book rankings on Amazon change continually, but at the time of this post The Hyrax Song ranks as the following:

For eBook:

For Paperback:

We are thrilled to announce that yesterday, the book achieved the status of #1 New Release in Children’s Christian Books

And hit #1 in Children’s Inspiration & Personal Growth, and #2 in Children’s Bedtime & Dream eBooks and Children’s Christian Books.

At this exciting moment, the first book of this series, The Pond of Reflection, did not disappoint.

The Basketful Relief Project (BRP) is honored that even for a brief moment, both series books placed in the top five books in both Children’s Inspiration & Personal Growth category (first and fifth respectively), and Children’s Bedtime & Dream eBooks category (second and fourth respectively).

Thank you for all your support for the BRP! Remember, for the month of March, 50% of book sales of The Hyrax Song will support relief efforts for the Ukrainian Refugee Crisis through the UN World Food Program USA.

Just Published: The Hyrax Song (2nd ed), on sale now!

We are thrilled to announced the publication of book two in The Pearls of Wisdom Series called, The Hyrax Song. The eBook is on sale now for $0.99, and free on Kindle Unlimited!

Staying true to our mission at the Basketful Relief Project, to feed both young tummies and minds, through the month of March, we are donated 50% of proceeds from The Hyrax Song book sales to the Ukrainian refugee crisis through the UN World Food Program USA. Please consider a purchase today to feed young minds with another fun adventure with Journee and her friends, that will also help our Ukrainian neighbors in crisis. Together, we make this world a better place!

Purchase this book on Amazon here

The Hyrax Song
By
Catherine Ann Russell
Illustrated By
Brooke Connor

Book 2 in The Pearls Of Wisdom Series
Stories inspired by a Biblical Proverb


There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise:

The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer;
The rock badgers are a feeble folk, yet they make their homes in the crags;
The locusts have no king, yet they all advance in ranks;
the spider skillfully grasps with its hands, and it is in kings’ palaces.

Prov 30:24-28 (NKJV)


Journee is not only a mouse but a princess who loves adventure, especially when she has them alongside her best friends, Mr. Toad, Mr. Owl, and Mr. Steed. Not long after their very first escapade together, finding the legendary Pond of Reflection, the four companions find themselves in yet another wild exploit, that is decidedly dangerous and threatens the entire kingdom. On one lovely fall day, the friends have no idea what is in store for them when they discover a furry blob on top of a boulder and learn of a message for Journee’s father, the Great Mouse King. This message leads them into an exciting adventure, with an unlikely plan that just might thwart a mysterious threat gathering in the Great Plains by the sea.  A plan that will require the help of every kingdom animal, great and small, and a very special gift of the rock hyraxes, who live in the crags of the High Western Mountain. For Journee, the best part about these kinds of adventure? If one can survive them, one undoubtedly will make new friends.
The Hyrax Song is a children’s series chapter book geared for ages 9-12.


This book is rated 5 stars

The Pond of Reflection Book Raffle Ends Soon! Not too late to enter.

A Final Reminder, The Pond of Reflection January Raffle for free book giveaways in exchange for a review on Amazon ends this Tuesday when three winners will be drawn and announced. It’s not too late to enter! Purchase the eBook for 99 cents here: https://www.amazon.com/Pond-Reflection…/dp/B09N2TKLF7/. To enter the raffle, email me at cat@spikeproductions.com. Not only is this a beautiful children’s story, percent proceeds from book purchases help support emergency famine relief. Find out more at www.basketfulreliefproject.com. Thank you!



Expert advice on what makes The Pond of Reflection January Book Giveaway Raffle a great success.

What Makes a Successful Raffle?

I’ve announced the January free-book-giveaways raffle for my new children’s chapter book: The Pond of Reflection. I haven’t heard from you yet, so I asked the critters on my farm, “what makes a successful raffle?” Well! They all gave me great advice, and I put their wisdom in a fun 2-min video. Take a look. Consider to enter. It’s all in fun and for a great cause: Emergency Famine Relief.

What makes a successful raffle? I asked our goats, burros, duck and chickens exactly that! Here’s their great advice. Enjoy!

Free Full-Color Hardcover Book Raffle, Now!

I’m announcing my raffle drawing for at least three, full color hardcover copies of my newly released children’s chapter book, The Pond of Reflection. This is about a $40 gift each from me to you. My goal is to reach 100 reviews on Amazon by the end of January. I’m asking you to:

  • purchase the eBook on Amazon while it is on sale for 99 cents this month, or “purchase” the free eBook on Kindle Unlimited if you use this platform to read books,
  • read it and
  • leave a review.
  • Then fire me an email telling me you have left your review and I will enter your name in the hardcover raffle. cat@spikeproductions.com

I will announce the winners in February. Anyone game? I see this as a win-win-win. You definitely win because at the very least, you get a fun read for next to nothing and at the very most, a brand new full-color hardcover signed copy of this beautifully illustrated book. I win because I reach my goal of 100 reviews by the end of this month. And everyone wins because percent proceeds of your Amazon purchase supports emergency famine relief. Not bad!

Here’s the link to purchase the eBook:

https://www.amazon.com/Pond-Reflection…/dp/B09N2TKLF7/

And Happy Reading!


Beautiful Illustrations by talented Brooke Connor, in The Pond of Reflection.

The Pond of Reflection is Ranking on Amazon

A thank you note to anyone out there who has seen the new release of The Pond of Reflection (2nd ed) and either bought the eBook on sale or passed it along to someone you think would be interested in getting this book for Christmas.

Just wanted to keep you informed of the latest results of all your diligent work for The Pond of Reflection.

Besides remaining a #1 New Release, here’s a few more bits of info:

These are all amazing stats, and I sincerely mean it would not be this way without all of you. You don’t believe me? Check this out:
This new release with your help:

Compared to my first edition of the same book, which went silently up on Amazon in 2020 without any help or promotion:

Thank you and Kudos!

Today, The Pond of Reflection is featured by Awesome Gang, a book promotion site. Here is the link to the feature on their website: https://awesomegang.com/?p=996298. Simply forwarding this link to your friends and family would be appreciated.

Thanks again for all you do, and I am thrilled to have you all a part of this journey.

Sincerely,
Cat