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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.
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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.
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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.










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Take a Down Day

On this episode, meet my former work colleague Resia Nank and listen to her Brave Girl story and how she climbed the corporate ladder at major corporations in healthcare, banking and more. We talk about her career in public relations, investor relations, employee communications and leadership events and what she liked about her work.

She talks about her adrenal health crisis and what it taught her about herself, her perfectionist tendencies and how she has healed herself. She shares the techniques she used and how she rebuilt her adrenal capacity. Click the link below to read more and listen…

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“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.

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Event – Sun. March 19, 1 – 2:30 pm

Book Signing/Meet and Greet

Greetings and Readings

Hunt Valley Towne Center

What could be better than a lazy Sunday afternoon with a coffee at your favorite bookstore? How about meeting your friend at that same store? I’d love to hang out with you at my signing event. Mark your calendar and I’ll see you there!

Get Directions


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News Release


A Forbidden Two-Decade Relationship Revealed

Easton, Md., March 1, 2017 – Just in time for spring, Outskirts Press has published a shocking memoir by Resia Nank (née Andrews). This journey of forbidden love and sexual awakening begins in the “me generation” 1970s and follows her life and relationships into the “go-go” 90s.

Nank was born in Cambridge, Maryland but attended school and graduated from Easton High in 1977. As a freshman, she met and fell in love with a mysterious, married man who moved into her neighborhood. She spent her college years and most of her adult life in Baltimore. Her juicy memoir traces the ups and downs of her affair, courtship, then marriage, to a man 19 years her senior and its ultimate tragic end.

“For years, my friends would urge me to write a book,” Nank said. “It took me a long time to get my memories onto the page and create a coherent story. Then, I felt the time was right to be unburdened by revealing the secret.”

The book is available directly on her website, or on Outskirts Press, or Amazon (e-book only for Kindle), or Barnes and Noble (for Nook) as a paperback or an e-book. Any bookstore can order the book using ISBN #978-1-4787-7609-3.

Nank has always been a writer. During the book’s timeframe, she worked for the Star Democrat newspaper in her hometown. 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 lived in and around Baltimore and the Chicago area but spends as much time as possible at her favorite home in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Nank is currently working on her second book, a true crime tale of her best friend’s mother’s murder. Her lifestyle website is a well-curated, single source for affordable liberal arts and crafts products. Explore the books, stories, paintings, music and crafts made by humans for fellow humans, with an artistic eye to enriching lives and creating beauty, entertainment and pleasure. The site is still growing so if you would like to become a member of our community contact us at


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A Humorous Collection of Sayings—By Resia Nank


Were? – used interchangeably with and in place of Where?

Zinc – not the mineral, the basin in the kitchen or bathroom

Nekkid – naked

Purdy – pretty

Plat – braid

Pockeybook – purse

Step’n Fetch It – originally a derogatory phrase for a negro slave; now used to describe any person who is down on luck or does another’s bidding

Nicodemus – adjective referring to anything small

Chicken Neckin’ – catching blue crabs on lines tied to raw chicken necks


When the Eagle shits – when Social Security checks arrive each month

Tired as a dog – why dogs are tired is never explained

Raining like a cow pissin’ on a flat rock – a very hard rain

If a frog had wings he wouldn’t bump his ass – refers to something impossible

Wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which fills up first – translation: “fat chance”

Squeeze a nickel until it shits in his hand – (refers to buffalo nickels) someone miserly

Run anything that moves – refers to a person who pursues the opposite sex relentlessly

Going to the Store – generic reference to grocery shopping

Fart Crossways – to be upset or angry with someone “she’s got a fart crossways”

Enough to make you smack your mother – something that is very good or tempting

Ugly as a picket fence, lie gap in his teeth – refers to teeth with gaps or that a person with a center gap is a liar

He/she could bite the bottom out of a teacup and never touch the sides – refers to a person with a large oval bucktoothed mouth.

I’d rather be a wart on a dog’s ass – referring to the desire to avoid something unpleasant

His ass would make her a Sunday face – comparative term of beauty or lack thereof between two people

Too lazy to scratch fire off his ass – a very lethargic, inactive person

Can’t plant a turnip and get a pumpkin – meaning you can’t expect a child not to resemble his or her parents (other iterations: the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree)

Belongs to the milkman – a child that looks nothing like either parent

Slow as molasses running uphill on a cold winter day – moving very slowly

Old as Methusela – Bible reference; a very old person

It’ll be a cold day in hell before I … – not likely to happen

Couldn’t please her if Jesus stood on his head and stacked beebees – a woman who is impossible to satisfy