Honeycake Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway

Tuesday, November 29, 2022


Honeycake: A Helping Hand

Written by Medea Kalantar

Illustrated by i Cenzial

Ages 4+ | 33 Pages

Publisher: Medea Kalantar | ISBN-13: 9781777289768

Publisher’s Book Summary: In the sixth installment of the delightful Honeycake book series, Nala’s uncles, Victor and George, take her to a fundraiser where she meets Alexis, a girl with an artificial arm. Through her interactions, Nala learns that you are never too young to lend “a helping hand,” that it’s okay to be different, and that being different doesn’t stop you from doing great things in life.

Available for purchase on Amazon, Bookshop, Barnes and Noble.


Medea Kalantar is a Reiki master and practitioner, a Guinness World Record Holder, and a multi-award-winning, best-selling author of the Honeycake Book Series(TM). Inspired to write these books when she became a grandmother, Kalantar’s stories are based on her own family, whose members come from many ethnic backgrounds. This unique mix is a perfect recipe—just like the spices in a honey cake. That is why she calls her grandchildren her little Honeycakes.

With all the negativity in the world, Medea Kalantar’s series is a much-needed glimmer of hope and positivity. The Honeycake Book Series(TM) teaches valuable life lessons, giving children the tools to overcome obstacles in their everyday lives. The Honeycake books teach children about diversity, acceptance, kindness, mindfulness, trust, and gratitude. This series will enlighten, empower, educate, and entertain children and their families for generations to come.

Learn more on the website, Instagram, Twitter, Amazon, and Goodreads.


Life Is What It's Called - What inspired you to create the Honeycake series?

Medea Kalantar - Firstly, I would like to say thank you for featuring me and conducting this author interview. I’m honoured and grateful to be given this platform to discuss the importance and the valuable lessons my books will provide families worldwide.

I was inspired to write the series when I discovered I would be a Grandma. It was a full circle moment, so I started to bake a honey cake in honour of my Grandmother. My Bebi taught me how to bake a honey cake when I was a little girl. As I was making the cake, I realized all the different spices the cake had, like cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla, coffee, brown sugar, and honey. It made me think of all the different ethnic mixes my new grand-baby would have and how they would be just like this honey cake I was baking. The words and stories started to pour out of me. The fact that I have no formal writing training didn’t stop me from trying. I always wanted to write my biography someday, later down the road, because I’ve had so many hardships that I had to overcome. But I never intended to write—especially not a children’s book series. But the universe sent me a sign, and the messages were in me to share, and they had to come out. I wrote five books in four days, and I couldn’t stop. The universe had something planned.

Life Is What It's Called - What inspired you to write this latest book in the series, Honeycake: A Helping Hand?

Medea Kalantar - Alexis and Tracy are based on my friends who were born as a congenital limb amputee. I was so inspired by the incredible work they have done over the years and all their accomplishments that I wanted to honour them and highlight that you're never too young to lend "a helping hand" and that being different doesn't stop you from doing great things. I feel it's imperative to create books with a more positive message. Teach children to accept others and help them be aware that no matter how old they are or what challenges they face, they have greatness inside of them and can accomplish almost anything. I also want to reinforce that Kindness is a "Special Magical Power" we all have—the power to improve others' lives through charity.  

Life Is What It's Called - What do you think kids will like most about this book?

Medea Kalantar - I think kids will like to see that they are never too young to make a difference in this world and can do extraordinary things if they put their minds to it. They would also like to see that bodies can come in different shapes. 

Life Is What It's Called - How has your background experience helped you in writing this book? 

Medea Kalantar - Firstly, I had a lot of help from the War Amps Champs foundation and Unstoppable Tracy Schmitt to ensure we had the correct wording and captured the true essence of children living as amputees. I intend for each book I write to ensure every child feels empowered and represented in all my Honeycake books. The passion I have for diversity and inclusion is my driving force. I see my purpose as being one of serving humanity. I understand the idea is for us all to live in a world of love, peace, and kindness toward all. That time is far off but attainable. My work helping people as a Reiki master and writer is a step in that direction.

I am grateful to God for allowing me to serve, influence, and transform this planet for the higher good.

Life Is What It's Called - Why do you think the message in this book is important?

Medea Kalantar - Aside from the topic of amputees in "Honeycake: A Helping Hand," I wanted to incorporate the usual theme of blended families as the Honeycake series is known. I also wanted to introduce the concept of same-sex relationships, normalizing these dynamics. This book has many examples of inclusion and compassion, and I love that there is so much representation in this short children's book. But the most important thing about the book is the beautiful message that shines throughout, which is that it's okay to be different! Some great lessons here are to help younger children understand and accept other people. Promoting inclusivity and acceptance along with kindness and humanity. It's a simple yet powerful message and perfect for kids to read.

Life Is What It's Called - How do you see Honeycake: A Helping Hand being used at homes and classrooms?

Medea Kalantar - I think it's a fabulous teaching tool for kids to learn about disabilities/amputees and the wonders of prosthetics. There is even a glossary at the back that explains big, new words.

Life Is What It's Called - How does this installment build on the other books in the series?

Medea Kalantar - Honeycake books will teach children about feelings, aka emotional literacy, which is SO IMPORTANT for little learners. Identifying and labelling feelings in oneself and others is a life skill that takes lots and lots of practice. Honeycake books also emphasize open-mindedness toward anyone who looks and thinks differently than they do. Children will learn that people worldwide have different lifestyles, abilities, looks and family dynamics, and that’s something to be celebrated. Teaching children about diversity and inclusion is essential — we all want to raise tolerant, accepting, and empathetic kids.  I feel it’s imperative to create books with more positive messages to help caregivers teach children to accept others and help children to become more balanced, kind, grateful and honest. Books help children manage their emotions when things don’t go as they hoped. I always say there is no such thing as winning or losing; there is only winning. You win when you reach the goal you want to achieve, or you win by learning a precious lesson. It’s all about perspective and how you look at things. Giving children these tools at an early age will help them grow into happy and fulfilled adults that aren’t stressed out but live in harmony with a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Honeycake will be understood by all ages and truly is a refreshing approach to human life with its joy, blessing and unique qualities. While Honeycake has been written as a children’s book series, it has a charm which will delight people of all ages. I feel these books will be enjoyed by parents, grandparents, and children alike, and I expect the timeless positive messages in the series to resonate for ages. 

With all the negativity in the world today, the Honeycake series is a much- needed glimmer of hope and positivity. The Honeycake books are a great children’s series that teaches valuable life lessons on diversity, acceptance, kindness, mindfulness, trust and gratitude. These books will enlighten, empower, educate and entertain children and their families for generations to come. ‬ 

Life Is What It's Called - What writing projects are you working on right now?

Medea Kalantar - After this book, I will take a break to focus on a more significant project. I have partnered up with a production company, and my Co-Creator Lanette Ware-Bushfield, CEO of AWWB Production Inc., is helping me take the Honeycake Book Series and adapt it into a tv series. We are currently working on a 60-second sizzle reel to be pitched to major television and animation studios.

I plan to come back with another five books in the Honeycake series, with our heroine Nala and her little brothers when they are a little older, with books geared for middle graders.

Life Is What It's Called - What do you want readers to know about you as an author?

Medea Kalantar - Aside from being an author, I’m also a Reiki Master, Intuitive Healer, Spiritual Teacher, Guinness World Record Holder, a proud mom of a daughter and a son and, of course, a grandmother of two beautiful boys who were the inspiration behind the Honeycake book series. 

I want my readers also to know that I had no formal writing training, which didn’t stop me from trying. When you believe in something, and the intention is pure, you can accomplish anything in life.


Enter for a chance to win 6-book set of the Honeycake series with bookmarks—including a copy of Honeycake: A Helping Hand autographed by Madea Kalantar!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A signed hardcover copy of Honeycake: A Family of Spices
  • A signed hardcover copy of Honeycake: Help, I Swallowed a Butterfly
  • A signed hardcover copy of Honeycake: Special Magical Powers
  • A signed hardcover copy of Honeycake: A Circle of Trust
  • A signed hardcover copy of Honeycake: Counting All My Blessings
  • A signed hardcover of Honeycake: A Helping Hand
  • Bookmarks

Four (4) winners receive:

  • A signed hardcover copy of Honeycake: A Helping Hand

Five (5) winners receive:

  • A signed paperback copy of Honeycake: A Helping Hand

Honeycake: A Helping Hand Book Giveaway

This post is in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Medea Kalantar.

Of Pigs and Priests Book Review and Author Interview

Friday, November 11, 2022

It's 1557, and Father Young and Bishop Goldheart are fated to be single for eternity. As devoted priests of the Catholic church, the two men have committed themselves to vows of celibacy. But while their minds and spirits are devoted to their faith, their hearts ache with loneliness. Father Young has recently fallen for Fannie Porkshire, the daughter of the newest family to come to the little town of Bridgecrest. And in the neighboring town of Lushton, Bishop Goldheart has long admired Miss Denine, the owner of a local tavern. As they both resign themselves to suffer with their feelings alone, they find new hope when Queen Elizabeth comes to the throne and officially institutes the Church of England, which now allows priests to marry. Overnight, Father Young and Bishop Goldheart become the most eligible bachelors in town. Every mother wants their daughter matched with the notable men of the church. But as the two priests enter society in a way they never had before, they suddenly realize that their vows were not the only thing keeping them from love. Love, while now legal, is not necessarily easy.

I was pleasantly surprised with Of Pigs and Priests. It's a comedy of errors and reminded me a lot of the comedic mayhem that occurs in a Shakespeare play. The author does a good job at pulling in humor and intermingling it with the historical time period. It was really interesting to think about the confusion and trouble that could come from switching from Catholicism to the Church of England overnight and what that would do for the priests and their communities. The author described what could have occurred during that time period and how a community could change overnight. Overall, I thought it was a fun romantic comedy to read with plenty of humorous moments and amusing characters. I think a wide range of audiences would enjoy the book and find it entertaining from teens to adults, males and females. The author also did a good job with the pacing with the story and moving from one scene to the next. It's a fast read. To learn more about this fun book, click here.


Life Is What It's Called - What inspired you to write this story? 

Nathaniel Gee - This book was based on a dream I had. I was a priest who was suddenly able to date and marry. I thought what an odd transition that would have been and realized there was a time in history this happened. England in the 1500’s as they transitioned from the Catholic Church to the Church of England. That got the idea started and it grew from there.

Life Is What It's Called - What will readers like most about this book? 

Nathaniel Gee - Readers have liked the humor the most. It is a romantic comedy but it is more comedy than anything else. Readers have also told me they love the surprise at the end related to the narrator’s identity.

 Life Is What It's Called - Are you like any of the characters?

Nathaniel Gee - That’s hard to say. I don’t think I’m too much like any character but I’m sure the protagonist Father Young, who can often be a little awkward is much like me. And there is a lazy peasant farmer Henry who my wife will tell you I’m too close to at times.

Life Is What It's Called - What writing projects are you working on now?

Nathaniel Gee - I just finished the draft of my first detective novel. It’s all about a detective who is dead and solves murders from the other side. Llewelyn Hansen is the detective and he must solve who did it. Help influence the living police to catch the correct person and then find out if anyone dead influenced the murderer.

Life Is What It's Called - What was most challenging about writing this story?

Nathaniel Gee - For me the editing process is always a challenge. I love the first draft as the story unfolds but then the rewrites are always hard but very important. I’m grateful for a patient editor. 

Life Is What It's Called - What scene did you enjoy writing the most? 

Nathaniel Gee - It’s a scene where Bishop Goldheart gathers all the local priests together to let them know about Article 32, the article that changed the rule on celibacy and would allow them to marry. It was fun to imagine what it would have been like for these priests hearing for the first time this monumental change in their life and I was very pleased with how it unfolded. 

Life Is What It's Called - What authors influence your writing and style? 

Nathaniel Gee - PG Wodehouse is the greatest author ever to write about pigs but I hope to be on the list with this one.

Life Is What It's Called - What would you like readers to know about you?

Nathaniel Gee - I’m a dam safety engineer by day. And it’s hard to find a career that is more entertaining to say. That and my nine children keep me very busy but I always try to find a little time to write. Also, nothing makes my day more than hearing from readers so feel free to reach out and tell me what you liked or hated about the book. 

Please note that I received a free copy to review, however, I shared my honest opinion. This post is in cooperation with the author. This post contains affiliate links that help support this blog.

My Butt is SO Christmassy Virtual Book Tour

Wednesday, November 2, 2022



Written by Dawn McMillan
Illustrated by Ross Kinnaird
Ages 6+ | 32 Pages
Publisher: Dover Publications | ISBN-13: 978-0486850696

Publisher’s Book Summary: This delightful rhyming story follows our inventive young hero as he dreams about dressing up his plain backside in something festive “with layers and layers of green, with baubles that glow, bows in a row, and a star where it’s easily seen!” Will he get his wish? Kids will find out as they giggle all the way through this sweet holiday story.

Available for purchase on:


Dawn McMillan writes fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and storybooks for children. She is also the author of the hilarious best-selling I Need a NEW BUTT! series, as well as the adorable Doctor Grundy’s Undies, Seagull Sid and the Naughty Things His Seagulls Did!, and many more wonderful children’s books. She lives in Waiomu, New Zealand.


Ross Kinnaird‘s collaborations with Dawn McMillan include the popular I Need a NEW BUTT! series, as well as Doctor Grundy’s Undies and Seagull Sid and the Naughty Things His Seagulls Did! Ross also has illustrated such children’s books as 50 Body Questions and created the animated poem “Smaller,” winner of the People’s Choice Award at the World Parkinson Congress. He lives in Auckland, New Zealand.


Enter for a chance to win a copy of My Butt is SO CHRISTMASSY!

Five (5) winners receive:

  • A paperback copy of My Butt is SO CHRISTMASSY!

My Butt is SO CHRISTMASSY: Book Giveaway 

This post is in partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Dover Publications.
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