Posted on

28th Annual Writers’ Digest Self Published Book Awards-Kitty Girl and Mr. Squirrel, Rescued and Homed

Kitty Girl and Mr. Squirrel Children's Book Series written by Resia Nank
28th Annual Writers’ Digest Self Published Book Awards


SCORES (1 low -5 high)
Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5
Production Quality and Cover Design: 4
Plot and Story Appeal: 5
Character Appeal and Development: 5
Voice and Writing Style: 5
Judge’s Commentary*:
Author does a nice job of handling the more difficult realities of a cat’s fate once it winds up at the shelter and beyond. Great writing instinct keeps the story authentic and honest, yet glides it over the more upsetting points to moments of connection. Author crafts a smooth, forward-progressing pace for this story, giving Kitty emotions and curiosity to which the reader can connect. Well done. Author’s writing voice remains consistently soft and natural, creating a balance between adjustment and play. Well done. We get a sense of setting in each scene, and author uses darkness to elicit a realistic sense of confusion and anxiety. Adding Mr. Squirrel to the mix gives Kitty not just a cohort through which to share details, but also a *reason* to share personal experiences and feelings. Mr. Squirrel makes the exposition natural, and Kitty’s heart comes through as well. Nice decision. Dialogue maintains its youthful innocence tone throughout, and characters are given differentiated voice patterns. Good work. I noticed many instances of using strong verbs, avoiding the passive voice for more engagement, and selecting age-appropriate vocabulary. Excellent elements for the story, and reader finds complete comfort in the reading or following along. Author does a wonderful job of giving Kitty a life and activities outside of the main plotline, such as playing on the porch, tracking birds, catching the gecko. That’s excellent world-building for Kitty, allowing her character to exist and to play in her timeline without it having a major impact on the storyline. What we’re getting is excellent character depth, plus movement and existence in the setting. Beautiful work.
Posted on

28th Annual Writers’ Digest Self Published Book Awards – Small Town Scandal

Small Town Scandal Real Life Love Lesson written by Resia Nank
28th Annual Writers’ Digest Self Published Book Awards
SCORES (1 low – 5 high)
Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 4
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5
Production Quality and Cover Design: 5
Voice and Writing Style: 5
Judge’s Commentary*:
SMALL TOWN SCANDAL: A REAL LIFE LOVE LESSON by Resia Nank is a bittersweet account of forbidden young love that took place in the 1970s. Those who remember those times, readers who like to read about young love, and romantics will be among those who will enjoy this account. A quick read, the story takes you back in time. However, the elements are timeless. Some may be appalled by the author’s young age at the time—fourteen—but when you are fourteen, you might look upon yourself as an adult and may feel that love conquers all.
The story opens with explaining the author’s situation in compelling detail, following with how she met Cookie. The story moves along as the couple’s romance ebbs and flows and life changes for them. True to the era, alcohol and drugs are present, which adds to the story’s authenticity.
The cover is creative. The reader likes seeing the photo of the author as she appeared at that time. The van and psychedelic background show perfect images of the era. The back cover, with a current author photo and bio and an explanation of the book, will entice readers to take the plunge into the scandal described!
Since Cookie is deceased and no harm can come from publishing a photo of him, adding that visual would have increased the story’s appeal, even though the author does offer a physical description of him.
Overall, an interesting story of young love that many will enjoy.
Posted on


Kitty Girl and Mr. Squirrel Children's Book Series written by Reese Nank

Book Two, Lost and Found Now Available as E-Book and Paperback

CHICAGO, Sept. 24, 2019—Chock full of double the number of original illustrations, Kitty Girl and Mr. Squirrel, Lost and Found can now be purchased as an e-book or paperback on or on Amazon. Both books also are available to libraries and bookstores through Ingram wholesaler.

Receive two coloring pages of the original illustrations FREE with every purchase from

In this second continuing adventure of Kitty Girl, Mr. Squirrel frets at home as Kitty wanders off and gets lost in the woods. Scared and hungry, Kitty searches for something familiar. With the help of technology and a few kind people, she is reunited with her best friend and pet parent. This story is perfect for new readers who can benefit from learning the responsibilities of pet ownership or as a read-to book for younger children.

Here’s the buzz:

“These books make a great birthday gift for grandchildren or nieces”

“The perfect stocking stuffer for Christmas”

“Cat rescue centers love books like this that promote responsible pet ownership”

“When your little ones want to curl up with a good book, Kitty Girl saves the day”

It’s never too early to begin your holiday shopping or to share a great story with a young person.

About the Author

Resia Nank has always been a writer. In her 25-year career as a corporate journalist and communications professional, she wrote for various industries on multiple platforms. She holds a Masters degree from Johns Hopkins University and an undergraduate degree from Towson University. She’s a native of Maryland and has lived in and around Baltimore and the Chicago area, but spends as much time as possible, with kitty Violet, at her favorite home in Scottsdale, Arizona.

About the Illustrator

Dana Kelly is an Arizona-based illustrator. She is working towards her bachelor’s degree in Media Arts and Animation at the Art Institute of Phoenix. Dana is also a background and layout artist in both 2D and 3D.










Posted on

“Small Town Scandal” by Resia Nank receives a 5-star review from Jack Magnus of Reader’s Favorite!

Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

Small Town Scandal: A Real Life Love Lesson is a non-fiction memoir written by Resia Nank. It was 1973, and Nank was a typical fourteen-year-old: filled with the excitement of crushing on teenage heartthrobs, thrilled with having her own slimline phone, and having a grand time riding her dirt bike on the trails near her home. Then, something momentous happened one day in late spring, when she noticed a moving van parked next door to her house and saw the hippie van parked in front of it. Her eyes bugged out at that painted van, but then she saw him. He was in his thirties, with long wavy hair and strong good looks, and she watched spellbound as he unloaded a large motorcycle from the truck. He introduced himself as Cookie, a friend of her stepfather, Robert. Nank was entranced by him, and the fact that he spoke to her as if they were on the same level made it even better. Soon the other girls in the neighborhood found out about the new guy in town, and they became non-stop visitors, earning some glares from Leona, his wife. But Cookie was Nank’s special friend, and he would become her first love and lifelong friend.

Resia Nank’s non-fiction memoir, Small Town Scandal: A Real Life Love Lesson, is a delight to read. Nank beautifully sets up her memory of life in the 1970s and the impact that the new neighbor had on her life. Her coming-of-age is filled with rushed assignations in the hippy van, stolen moments, and real affection as the two lovers get caught up in something larger than either of them. As I read this charming and sweet memoir, I realized that there might be some portions of the audience who would be offended by the idea of a fourteen-year-old having a relationship with a man eighteen years her senior. Considering the fact, however, that until recently girls of her age were considered mature enough to get married in many parts of this country, the age difference or her status as a minor did not seem to detract from the validity of her relationship or her memories as such. Nank’s story makes the point loudly and clearly that there was a strong and compelling romance shared by them. The ring episode is especially poignant and powerful, giving this modern-day Romeo and Juliet tale authenticity and depth. Small Town Scandal: A Real Life Love Lesson is most highly recommended.