The road leading to self-publishing a children’s book is long and expensive. No, I’m not complaining, well, maybe just a smidgen.

LAGUNA WOODS, CA, September 30, 2020,/Neptune100/ — I started writing “A Christmas Love Story: Nicholas Nutcracker & Brittany Ballerina” back in January. I had no idea what would be involved to bring an idea for a children’s story all the way from concept to book form. After finding cute clipart, a dangling nutcracker, and ballerina hanging from a tree branch, I wrote about ten typed pages imagining a story about them. How would I turn those ten pages into a full-blown children’s Christmas picture book? Over the last nine months, I now know that it involves a ton of work and money. The adage “time and money” is very accurate in regards to producing a self-published book.

Besides, I don’t have children or grandchildren. That meant I had no “test marketing” audience to get real children’s feedback. Well, there was the one eleven-year-old in the neighborhood who didn’t think there was enough action in my story. By that point, though, I was way too far down the road with the plot to go back. More accurately, after hundreds of changes, I was unwilling to go back to do one more edit, one more tweak, one more anything. I was undeterred by the “first critical comment” about the story. Authors should know going in; there will be rejection by people who won’t like what you have created. Nevertheless, I persisted because I liked the story, illustrations, and graphic design. It began to come together in a way that pleased me.

After illustrations were procured (ka-ching) to make the story more fascinating, I sent “my baby” out for reviews in April. Also, I located a few willing parents and their children to read the story during the very early stages. And their feedback was positive. I am so grateful to my editor, friends, family, husband, neighbors, and “early reviewers” who believed in the “cuteness factor” of Nicholas & Brittany. Damn the expense; I forged ahead. Thank goodness, my husband is such a nice man. He still says sweetly to me, “it’s cheaper than golf or skiing.” Realize, though, a decade ago or so, our motto as a couple was “follow your folly.”

But, back to the backstory of “A Christmas Love Story: Nicholas Nutcracker & Brittany Ballerina.” What happens next? Well, more (ka-ching) as I am now in the “marketing and advertising” phase. Yikes! It’s not only uncomfortable but, dare I say it is also “expensive.”

For now, I will wrap up this blog post for all you “want-to-be” authors who long to self-publish a book with the following words of wisdom, “The road to self-publishing a book is both exhilarating and challenging, with pebbles, rocks, and boulders in the way.” It will be necessary to climb over these hurdles, or like my niece, you can try riding over them with a dirt bike full speed ahead to achieve the goal of self-publishing your book. And if you have no interest in writing a book, but you are a reader out there with young loved ones, ages four to ten, feel free to check out my “labor of love” coming this Christmas 2020, the year of the pandemic!

ABOUT THE BOOK: The story of two engaging Christmas tree ornaments: Nicholas Nutcracker, a retired toy-soldier from a small village in Germany, and Brittany Ballerina, a world-renowned ornament ballet dancer, are both in search of their true love before they go back into their boxes in the attic for another year. For Kids Ages: 4-10.


“If a tale of love, at first sight, is up your alley, then A Christmas Love Story: Nicholas Nutcracker & Brittany Ballerina is bound to fill the hearts of any who read it. It would be especially appealing for a story time session between a grandmother and her grandchildren.”
~ Bianca Schulze,, April 23, 2020

“I give this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars and recommend it to parents who are looking for a unique Christmas story. I definitely feel like this is a story that can grow with a child and be just as enjoyable at age 12 as it is at age 5. The writing, illustrations, and editing are all impeccable.”
~ ALynnPowers,, April 7, 2020

“Kids with good reading skills or read-aloud parents will find A Christmas Love Story a warm tale of ballet aspirations, romance, and overcoming obstacles set against a holiday backdrop that is beautifully rendered, nicely illustrated with colorful drawings by Anastasiia Khmelevska, and just the ticket for an original holiday read.”
~ D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review, April 6, 2020

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: After watching Hallmark Christmas movies more times than she cares to admit, Maureen reached maximum “Christmas Spirit” saturation by the end of December. Inspired by cute Christmas art of a nutcracker and ballerina ornament hanging from a branch, McCabe decided to write her first children’s book about these two ornaments and give them a backstory.

In-the-works, McCabe teamed up with Clyde Adams to write the fascinating tale of “Murray Korman’s Vintage Babes of Broadway,” which features stories and never-before-seen photographs of many well-known entertainers from the 1930s to 1961. The book scheduled for release in early 2021 should attract history and photography lovers. McCabe published “Moon Over Vaudeville,” which took a nostalgic look at her father’s show business career as a tap dancer in 2011.