Spring is just around the corner, the weather’s a little bit warmer, and the days stay lighter a little longer. It’s important to stay in touch so what better time than now to save the date and come out and relax and enjoy the company of friends. The days are growing longer so grab your friends and head out to the local shops in Lebanon for a fun evening on the town. I’m excited to announce I will be at the Lebanon “Girls Night Out” event on March 16th. Yes, you will see I call this “Ladies Night Out” but that’s because I believe in spreading a positive message for women. Grab a friend or a few and come out to see me and Rainier.

What To Expect From Ladies Night Out

Downtown Lebanon is full of great local shops, restaurants, and attractions. Ever since the launch of “Flip, Flap, Try… A Cardinal’s Journey” I have been lucky to partner with Picture This as a local retailer for my book and you can still find a copy of Rainier and his journey located there. For the March edition of Ladies Night Out I will be heading back to Picture This so drop by and say hello. I’d love to meet you and sign a copy of my book, or even just chat. I love meeting my readers and I can’t wait to see all you lovely ladies on the 16th! This will be a great time to pick up a copy of “Flip, Flap, Try..” for all the little ones in your life.  

This month, Main Street Lebanon has set aside the theme “A Lucky Night in Lebanon.”  At the beginning of the event, you can pick up a VIP shopping bag at the Golden Lamb Gazebo. There are some fun and unique things to do in downtown Lebanon. In addition to “Flip, Flap, Try… A Cardinal’s Journey,” Picture This also has a selection of artwork from local artists, custom framing, and a great selection of Ohio State University gear for all the Buckeye fans.

Event Details

Be sure to check out Main Street Lebanon online for all the details about the evening. I’ll also have a Facebook event up (either mine or one from the organizers) for you to stay in touch with the happenings of the evening. When you make it out to A Lucky Night in Lebanon or for any picture with Rainier, be sure you use #FlipFlapTry and I will be sure to let you know I saw your post! I look forward to seeing you and your friends at A Lucky Night in Lebanon on March 16th.

Who: You and your friends!  

What: Ladies Night Out – A Lucky Night  in Lebanon

Where: Picture This, downtown Lebanon, Ohio

When: 4:00 PM  – 9:00 PM

As always, you can find more information about me right here on my website. You can also find more regular updates on social media where you can find me on Instagram and Facebook. Please feel free to contact me about any questions or if you know of any place that might benefit from “Flip, Flap, Try… A Cardinal’s Journey” or Rainier I would be happy to share it. 

Event Announcement: Girls Night Out in Waynesville

I’m excited to announce another event where you can find me and Rainier! I will be at The Peddler House for the Girls Night Out event in Waynesville on Saturday, September 29 from 4-8 pm. That’s right, after Rainier and I finish up at theREADLocal Indie Author Fair we’ll be flying down to The Peddler House for Girls Night Out.  

This event is organized by the Waynesville Ohio Merchant’s Association and they’re adding some fun for the ladies with a Photo Prop Contest! All of the participating shops will have different theme props and The Peddler House’s theme is the “Roaring Twenties.” If you’re interested in the Photo Prop contest you can sign up here.

I can't wait to see you and your girlfriends on the evening of the 29th.
Photo Credit: Waynesville Ohio Merchant’s Association

Event Details

What: Girls Night Out

Where: The Peddler House, Waynesville, OH   

258 S Main St

Waynesville, Ohio 45068

When: 9.29.18 from 4 pm – 8 pm

Host: Waynesville Ohio Merchant’s Association 

If you want more information about the event there are a few ways you can stay in touch. Follow me and Rainier through my Facebook page or you can check out the Waynesville Ohio Merchant’s Association Facebook page and theirevent page. I can’t wait to see you and your girlfriends on the evening of the 29th.

READLocal Indie Author Fair Library Image

Event Announcement: READLocal Indie Author Fair

As an indie author, seeing my fans and readers makes my day, it’s always fun to meet those who help me do what I love. I’m excited to announce that I will be in attendance at this year’s READLocal Indie Author Fair at the Midpointe Library. Support your favorite local authors (like me!) at the Midpointe Library in West Chester on September 29, 2018. I will have a table throughout the event where you can purchase a signed copy of “Flip, Flap, Try . . . A Cardinal’s Journey.” The event runs from 10 am to 12 pm and will be held in the West Chester Community Room A/B. Come out and say hello to me and Rainier!

READLocal Indie Author Fair Details

Who: Janet Kassalen, Author

What: READLocal Indie Author Fair

Where: Midpointe Library West Chester

9363 Centre Pointe Drive

West Chester, OH 45069

When: 10 am – 12 pm

If you are interested in going or you may know a friend or family member who is interested you can visit and share my READLocal Indie Author Fair event on Facebook.

Just like Rainier, we have all been at a place in our lives where we had to make a decision on what we want to do with our lives. But, unlike Rainier, we don’t have to wait until we are unhappy at home to find our true calling. This is especially true with children. We can help foster the future leaders and farmers, bankers and humanitarians, computer programmers and musicians today.

Children grow up, physically and mentally, well into their twenties but they don’t have to be swept into their adult life without guidance and support. One of the most important things we can do for our children is to continually embrace their curiosities. While it can be difficult for us to take a step back from our children, meaning we don’t push them towards any one thing, we should focus on letting our children show us where their interests lie. 

One way we can do this is to teach our kids a wide variety of skills, information, and knowledge. Children grow mentally by having a wide variety of experiences. So we can work with our children and take them to museums, allow them to play sports, introduce them to music and dance, share other cultures with them, and more. By learning more about others and themselves, our children grow into and know their own strengths and their own weaknesses. What we must remember is every child is unique; no two grow up exactly the same, even twins! Just like Rainier, who went through many different experiences with Mr. Gray and Aunt Patty, let’s be an avenue and allow our own children to enjoy different experiences.

When we begin recognizing each child’s unique strengths we can then begin nurturing those strengths. Even as we start to allow our kids to grow into their strengths, we must still consider bringing them newer experiences. Kids are humans too; they learn and grow in phases. Just like someone who loses interest in their hobbies, kids can lose interest in their hobbies, as well. This is why we must always let our children grow by giving them support and experiences. 

Even though the first month of the year is winding down many people are still working on their New Year’s resolutions. This year, like every other year before, there are many people looking for new adventures, setting new goals, and perhaps concentrating on one’s job search. One of the biggest reasons I wanted to have my book published was to give hope and encouragement to those who may be struggling to find a job that is a good fit for them.

Today, job search experts suggest searching for a job that emphasizes the strengths of the candidate. In fewer words, what are you good at doing? What makes you happy? What do you enjoy? With the winter weather here, many of us are keeping close to the indoors sitting in a comfy chair next to the fireplace and tucked under our favorite blanket. We have more time to ask ourselves the above questions and make plans.

And when there is a break in the weather, there’s never a better time than now to go out and find where you belong. There are many organizations and people who are ready and willing to help you find your dream job. It’s okay to ask for help; just think of Rainier. He had Mr. Gray and Aunt Patty to help him along in his journey.

Here in the real world there are organizations or groups to help you reach your goals. For example, Toastmasters can help you gain confidence and to hone your speaking skills. If you’re around Cincinnati you might run into me at a Toastmasters’ event.

You never know what your adventures may bring you. I wish for you the best.

With 2018 here I know many people have resolutions to stay in shape or become more active. Even thought it has been cold and snowy there are still things you can do outside. Here in Cincinnati there have been a few snowfalls recently and there is nothing better than a nice winter walk in a snowy wonderland. There are many Great Parks around the area for you to check out and take a walk. As always though be safe if you venture out, wear your layers, stay clear of any icy lakes or ponds and always be careful if you drive.  

If you are out for your walk with family you might take a little time for a fun activity. While you are out on your walk take a minute or two and see all the animals who stick around for winter. You might see Mr. Gray, the squirrel running around looking for some food. Or maybe you spot a few cardinals flying around in the bushes. Take a quick look at one of my recent blogs, The Cold Winter Months, to learn about where all the animals in “Flip, Flap, Try . . . A Cardinal’s Journey” might be hiding.

If you go out to one of the Great Parks of Hamilton County stop by one of their gift shops to pick up a copy of “Flip, Flap, Try . . . A Cardinal’s Journey.” You can find a listing of all their parks and gift shops on their website.


I want to wish you all very Happy New Year! 2017 was a big year for Rainier and me.

I have been busy over the past year to bring Rainier to life. From the earliest parts of 2017 I was working hard to create the story of Rainier. I worked with many people to bring Rainier’s story to life and it all led up to the release of “Flip, Flap, Try . . . A Cardinal’s Journey.”

Since Rainier was released to the world on July 7 he has made appearances all over, from his release at Farbach-Werner Nature Preserve to the Lebanon Girls Night Out to the Kentucky Dragon Boat Festival. Be on the lookout for more Rainier appearances across the region coming in 2018.

But even if you haven’t made it out to one of these events you can still find the story of Rainier in a few stores across Ohio. If you would like to pick up your very own copy of “Flip, Flap, Try . . . A Cardinal’s Journey” you can do so here on my site, at Picture This is downtown Lebanon, or at one of the Great Parks of Hamilton County gift shops.

I know 2018 will be another great year for Rainier. If you would like Rainier to make an appearance at your event or you know a store that would like to have “ Flip, Flap, Try . . . A Cardinal’s Journey” on their shelves please let me know.

I wish you a very Happy 2018!


Happy Holidays from me and Rainier! While “Flip, Flap, Try . . . A Cardinal’s Journey” takes place in warmer weather, did you know cardinals stick around for the winter? And it’s not just Rainier that stays during the colder months. Let’s see what the real life animals are up to during December.


Unlike some birds in the region, cardinals do stick around for the cold winter months. If you’re trying to spot a cardinal there are a few things to look for. It’s easy to spot the bright red males, especially when there’s snow on the ground. They like to put their nests in bushes, especially evergreens, so be sure to take a look at your bushes. Finally, if you have a bird feeder, put out bird feed and some say sunflower seeds are the cardinal’s favorite to eat. If you keep your eyes open, you might catch Rainier and his family.


Squirrels also hang around for winter but they do a few things differently than when it’s summer. One thing they typically do is fatten up a little to stay warm during their foraging trips outside. They also go out to forage, keeping food they find stashed around in little holes in the ground. It’s true they forget where some of their stashes are which can lead to some bushes, trees, and other plants coming up in the spring. Also, they try to stay warm by staying in their nests more. So while he might be a little bigger, you might see Mr. Gray.


While the others are still out and about, you won’t catch many ants in winter. They are easily cold so as soon as the temps drop the ants go hiding deep in their colony, keeping close to each other to stay warm. They too bulk up a bit for winter as their body slows down in the cold. So you might have to wait until spring to see Aunt Patty.

Let’s not forget the little boy!

Our little boy stays around during the winter. He enjoys sled riding and going for a skate on the rink. As we all know, most of us stay around during the winter, and we all have different traditions and activities we like to do during the winter months. What are some of the ways you make it through the winter? Do you celebrate Christmas with your family? Do you go out to your friend’s for New Year’s Eve? Do you make lots of soup? Do you curl up with a good book?

There are so many things to do during the winter but remember to stay warm, have fun, and be safe.

Merry Christmas

Happy Hanukkah

Happy New Year




Many people have heard about the importance of reading to children? But do you really understand why it’s important? It’s not about the children reading that is important, it’s important for children to hear others read to them. I want to talk a bit today on why reading is important and what you can do to make sure children are reading – whether the children are your own, your niece or nephew, someone you tutor, etc.

First off, and this is one of the most repeated things you read or hear: the ability for a child to read is closely related to their school achievement. In a white paper from The Center for Public Education the authors state children who fall behind in reading by the third grade have a hard time catching up to their peers. They even write about children who are behind in third grade are four times more likely to be high school dropouts!

One reason reading is important to learning is it is through reading that children learn new words, expand their understanding of the world, and use their imagination. These are just some of the benefits of reading. So what can you do to help your child stay ahead of the game? The most important thing is to read to your child and read to them early and often. Kids pick up on language and how to read long before they can read. But they can only learn the language if mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, etc read to them.  Bedtime stories can really pay off for your child long into the future!

Reading is a good way for children to soak in their knowledge of the world. Think of all the stories for kids! The books can teach them how to make friends, feel emotions, imagine their wildest dreams, and much more! Without the reading skill, your child will miss out on so many adventures.

What makes reading important to you? What do you remember about reading as a kid? How do you help children read?

Photo via Visual hunt


One journey ends and a new one begins.


Isn’t life really about going from one journey to the next? But sometimes we’re afraid to move out of our comfort zone – we feel safe because we have a job, we think we need to follow what the grownups tell us because they’re older and know everything, right, and if we don’t follow the status quo (gasp!) then people will think we’re a rebel or worse “weird.” My story about Rainier allows you to dismiss all the “stuff” you’ve been told or learned or held onto and choose to follow your dreams to do what makes you thrive and more importantly, what makes you happy. 

Even before I started writing the adventures of Rainier, I knew there was a story to tell and Rainier’s journey needed to be shared. Last last fall I decided to take the plunge and begin the process of bringing Rainier’s journey to life. Though it wasn’t always easy, with the many drafts, edits, choosing which illustrations to use, and all the other tasks needed to bring you Rainier’s journey, I knew Rainier’s self-confidence to eventually find his joy would touch everyone in some way. 

Rainier’s excursion has started; join him as he leaves the safety of his family nest and searches for a job he enjoys performing but is also rewarding. Meet Mr. Gray, the squirrel, who gives him his first job away from home, and be there as Aunt Patty, a dear family friend, welcomes Rainier into her colony. Laugh with the little boy Rainier helps thanks to everything Rainier learns through his personal journey. 

As someone said:

“. . . delightful story will inspire children to explore and discover new paths and will encourage adults to facilitate those efforts. Adults might decide to pursue their own new journey.”

I hope you enjoy the story of Rainier as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you decide to make a change and leap from one journey to the next, remember Rainier’s courage and go for it! You can purchase the book here or on Amazon.