Celebrate National Reading Month with a Special Offer to Read The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey!


Me, a book, and my cats. My everyday happy place…

Each year at the beginning of March, school children kick off National Reading Month by celebrating the birthday of the wonderful Dr. Seuss, who was born on March 2, 1904. Teachers develop contests, family literacy events, and more, and with the help from Read Across America, they hope to motivate kids to read every day of the year. For me, it’s a subject dear to my heart in so many ways. I was painfully shy through nearly most of my school going years, and I was also persistently bullied which triggered me to withdraw into a shell even more. Books were my comfort, my solace, my safe island, and my friends. Without them, I don’t know how I would have gotten through the day.

I loved everything about books. The captivating covers and compelling titles. The smell of the paper. Turning the pages. The structure of each sentence, bringing me into a world so vivid and alive that I felt part of the book myself. When the book was finished, I missed the rich characters who had become part of my life and the words on the pages of the heroine were always the voice I didn’t have the courage to speak. I probably read every single day and trips to the public library rewarded me with stacks of books to devour when I got home.

Me back in 1968 – 3rd grade – cat glasses and all, I was so shy back then…

I’m still shy, but I’m also strong, confident, and self-assured. It was a long process to finally feel comfortable with myself and in that journey, books have always remained a beloved and important constant. Not necessarily to retreat from the pain of life, although sometimes yes, to do just that, but also to retreat to whatever world I want. Whether it be a book to educate and inform me or a book to read purely for pleasure. All books are precious to me in their own right.

When the spark of an idea to write the Chronicles of Zee & Zoey struck me, my cats were by my side every step of the way, providing me inspiration and support!

Along with my love of books, cats have always been by my side as well, offering me nonjudgement companionship and a sense of peace and joy. It was probably no surprise, although it was to me at the time, that I’d turn my love of reading and cats, into writing my own books about cats. It started in 2008 after I was unexpectedly laid off from a 20 plus career in sales and marketing and my life and self-esteem took a deep dive into a dark hole of depression.

The love of two of my cats – Zee and Zoey – and the litter of kittens they brought into my life and heart changed it all. They gave me the strength and inspiration to do something completely terrifying – write and self-publish a book, and that’s how The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey – A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary was born. I’ve since written two other books – Purr Prints of the Heart – A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond, as well as the 3-time award winning Makin’ Biscuits – Weird Cat Habits and the Even Weirder Habits Who Love Them.

I’m very proud of my book writing achievements – The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey, Purr Prints, and Makin’ Biscuits, along with a contributing story to the Rescued, Volume 2 series.

They might not be books for children, but in many ways they are. The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey is filled with hundreds of gorgeous pictures of cats, kittens, sweet and funny illustrations and artwork. The paper is lush and thick, and it’s a full-color, coffee-table quality publication. Any child can look at the book and feel a sense of excitement as to what the story might be about. I’ve had several parents tell me how much they enjoy sharing the book with their little ones, and the book is also a wonderful opportunity to open the heart and mind of a child to have a pet.

A snippet from one of the many delightful pages in the Chronicles of Zee & Zoey! So many beautiful photos and whimsical artwork!

Purr Prints is not a book a young child could read, but because it was written to help with the grieving process for those that have lost a pet, or will be faced with losing a pet, it has invaluable advice, including how to help a child with the grieving process. And Makin’ Biscuits is a book nearly anyone of any age can read and enjoy. Little ones can have the story read to them in pieces and pre-teens could easily read the book and enjoy it. It’s filled with funny and sweet anecdotes and great photos, along with easy to understand educational snippets, paving the way to a lifelong understanding and respect of how the feline mind works, with the ultimate goal to keep cats out of shelters and get them adopted.

Literacy skills begin to develop at birth – it’s how they’re nurtured that will help to predict a child’s later success with reading and writing. We live in such a text-oriented, emoji, fast-paced world. I truly hope the children of this generation, and the children of the future don’t miss out on the wondrous blessing of reading. As my way of sharing my love of books and the joy they bring me, as well as my hope to inspire the youth of our generation, I have a special offer – for the entire month of March, U.S. residents only, you can get a copy of The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey – the book that started it all for me, for free!! All I ask is that you cover the shipping and handling of $5.95 for the book and it’s yours (this is an amazing deal – the book alone retails for $21.95). You can get as many books as you want – just email me at dbarnes@zeezoey.com and I’ll let you know how much the shipping would be for more than one book and how to make arrangements for payment.

Have a lovely month of reading everyone and do any of you have stories of how reading was an important part of your childhood?


~To read reviews and purchasing information for The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey on Amazon, please click here.
~To read reviews and purchasing information for Purr Prints of the Heart on Amazon, please click here.
~To read reviews and purchasing information for Makin’ Biscuits on Amazon, please click here.
~To read reviews and purchasing information for Rescued – Volume 2 on Amazon, please click here.

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  1. Deb,
    What a beautifully written post and so touching to read of your childhood and
    what led you to become the wonderful, caring, knowledgeable writer you are.
    Tha k you for sharing and for promoting reading and the love of books.

  2. Ellen Pilch says:

    I have all your wonderful books.

  3. I was just telling a co-worker about the time in 3rd grade, that I was able to look through the elementary school library all by myself, and how I fell in love with books, and reading right then! I was encouraged to read by my parents and siblings always, and now with Goodreads…oh my!

  4. jmuhj says:

    My folks raised me on reading — I was reading by the time I entered school at age 4, and read my way through the kids’ section of the library pretty quickly, carrying home stacks of books almost as tall as I was and devouring them. And being born into a home “with cat”, my favorite books of all were the ones about felines. I love tech, but I also love books, and I believe people of all ages benefit from reading.

  5. meowmeowmans says:

    We love reading. I, too, was raised to read at a very young age, and our family made a weekl trips to the library. What a joy — and a blessing that has helped shape my life. We have all your books, Deb, and we love them! 🙂