New Cookies for a Cause design saves cats and dogs from kill shelters ūüć™

As most of you know, I love my dogs more than anything. They are my world and basically give my life both meaning and purpose.

Yet, so many dogs and cats are killed in shelters around the USA and I don’t think any furry friend should have to die just because it hasn’t found a home. About 3 or 4 years ago, I came across Best Friends Animal Society. They are a non-profit that advocates entirely for both dogs and cats to be rescued from kill shelters so that they have a chance at a decent and humane life. Every animal has it’s purpose, right?!

In order to help them in their no-kill 2025 initiative, every hoodie and dog bandana will 100% benefit Best Friends Animal Society and their life-saving work for this planet’s most precious and vulnerable creatures.

The Hooman Hoodie is available in a selection of primary colors and runs at $48 with $20 being donated to Best Friends Animal Society.

The dog merchandise has the same “fur-ever friends” design and is available in my new Squad shop but also still benefits Best Friends Animal Society. I will be adding more designs from past squad days in the shop soon but for now get a matching Dog Bandana here. The Dog Bandana is only available in white but is very large to fit any size furbaby. It is priced at $15.97 with 10% of that going to Best Friends Animal Society.

If you or someone you know is an animal advocate, please share this with them.

Until next time, We wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy 5th Birthday to The Smart Cookie Philes!

It all started with a dream five years ago…just like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I was not going to let anything come between me and my dream of helping authors and artists get the right exposure for their project.

Like a fairy dust kiss from above, only one month after launching the site, I got the news that I was selected as a member of Rachel Platten’s Wildfire Tour Crew.

And I will never forget her words before she sang her anthem “Fight Song” the night of the concert. They had me tearing up and I knew without a doubt that this was what I wanted to do, where I belonged, and I wanted others to feel this way too.

So I began by building my audience. I started posting book and music reviews that nobody paid me for. And I launched both my Twitter and Facebook page so I could network with the people in my niche: other writers, musicians, and people who were just looking for a place to express themselves freely without any judgement.

I created a hashtag game to get people aware of my brand messaging without cramming it down their throat.

#ESPRESSOYOURSELF was a trending hashtag on Twitter when the game launched and it was fun for a while.

Yet, it became more of a burden than a blessing and I ended it in 2018. Yet, the site began to get offers for affiliates, brands that wanted to work with us, and even a queue filled to the brim with review requests.

I took a leap of faith the following year and launched my PR firm in hopes that I could be paid to do the work that I earned a college degree in. Turns out, authors were willing to work with me because they knew me to be a genuine supporter of all things creative and especially authors. (I am a bibliophile to my core).

Today, my first ever signed client is still with my firm!

In 2018, I wanted to begin giving back in a new way so I created a merchandise line through Teespring that is 100% cause based. Each design is created with love for a cause that I believe in. And I felt like maybe there were other people who would believe in them too. In 2021, we now have over 19 products currently available and 6 cookie based designs that 100% came from my brain, although I hired an artist to create them for me, and 7 causes that they 100% support.

In 2019, I gained the most clients I ever had at one time in my firm but sadly lost most of them at the beginning of the 2020 pandemic. Yet, do to supportive donations and an ad campaign featuring my dogs, I was able to withstand the stormy weather and I learned how freeing it is to dance in the rain.

My reviews and marketing services are sought after from traditionally published authors, independent authors, other publicists, and even independent music blogs and musicians. My clientele and brands that we’ve worked with span from small to huge but it hasn’t at all changed the reason why I began this site: if I have a dream and a vision, chances are other people like me do too so why not work together to create a community that is inclusive and welcomes art and projects from people of all walks of life.

This year I am excited to announce that my goal for 2021 was to READ MORE and Worry Less.

With that being said, I am making reading a daily priority this year because books are the world I choose to live in, and I refuse to apologize for that. Yet, this is a business that I truly care about and want to continue to see it succeed which is why I am revamping all my services this year.

First I am launching my review service for a nominal fee and you get a lot for a little chunk of change (As always). And this week only, if you request a review for your book, I will guarantee you I will get it done in 20 days or less or it’s free. For me, I want to be accountable this year and every year to come so this guarantee will allow me to do that to start. The guarantee is only good for this week only. After 1/24/21, it’s $40 regardless of how long it takes me to read your work. Sign up here today! This unfortunately means I will no longer offer free reviews so please let people know that I no longer offer those.

Second, I am re-launching my PR services. There will be two types I offer: freelance and contract.

My freelance services are perfect for artists or authors on a limited budget or local businesses looking for marketing assistance.

Lastly, I am pleased to announce that I am raising my publicist fees. Anyone who now signs with my firm will now be required to sign an annual contract and agree to the monthly retainer fee to secure me as your publicist. Big time agencies charge way more than I am but I am willing to believe the value of my work is worth every single dollar. And besides, every dollar earned is always re-invested in making my services or my brand more curated to fit the needs of any and all clientele, and with these new prices I hope to do that but I honestly also hope to attract clients that value my services 100% and want to grow together, and trust me above anything else.

Before I end this rather long personal statement, I wanted to announce that The Smart Cookie Philes is featured in a Book Promotion Directory for 2021. It includes 180 bloggers who will feature your book as well as 40 companies (mine included) who want to help you promote your work at affordable efficient rates.

As always, you can reach me by email at smartcookiepr26@gmail.com 24 hours a day!

And thank you to everyone who has allowed me the chance to work with you, given you a safe haven to belong to, and supported me and this dream for five years!

I am so glad I took a page out of Dr. King’s book and boldly declared “I HAVE A DREAM…”

To the unicorns, the outcasts, and the dreamers,

We welcome you and I just want to say thank you all so much for sticking around.

It means so very much to me!

So much love,

Chelsea DeVries

Publicist and Founder of The Smart Cookie Philes

Salvaging 2020: My Interview with Armed With A Book’s Kriti

2020 was a rough year for everyone for various reasons but I never felt so far away from everyone myself but thankfully within the book community, we always end up meeting people who are both on the same page and also inspire us to share more of our story on blank pages..

Kriti from Armed With a Book is one of those people who I came into connection with through a client but I also really liked her review style as well as her professionalism. She has a unique way of sharing about authors, creators, and even about the people who support them such as myself as a publicist. Honestly, as I come up to my 5th year as a publicist and my own boss, it felt like such a nice way to cement that into being.

You can read her amazing post by clicking my custom creative roulette wheel below.

Willie Handler LIVE on the Beyond The Trope Podcast…

Resident funnyman and Canadian author Willie Handler will be LIVE on your favorite streaming platform on Beyond The Trope Podcast in one week from today. The episode will be available on I Heart Radio, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.

If you have not listened to Beyond The Trope Podcast, it is the perfect excuse to let all your nerdiness out.

You can find out more about the podcast here and keep up to date with Willie Handler here.

Listen to the episode here or on the above platforms.

#FromTheTube: All About Cookies For A Cause

Bess The Book Bus Shirt: $21.99

Adopt A Classroom Tote: $15.00

Christina Grimmie Foundation Socks: $15.99

COVID-19 Shirt (Books, Coffee, and Music are my essentials): $25.87

Project Semicolon Backpack: $49.99

COVID-19 Hoodie: $49.99

COVID-19 Mug: $14.98

COVID-19 Long Sleeve: $30.99

Eco COVID-19 Tee: $27.78

Organic COVID-19 Tote: $24.99

The following designs help benefit the continue running and content creation of The Smart Cookie Philes:

Main Logo Mug: $14.99

Landscape Stickers: $6.00

Leggings: $44.99

Beach Towel: $30.99

Blanket: $45.00

#SmartCookiePR: What are the duties of a publicist?

When I graduated college, I knew without a doubt I wanted to be a publicist.

Not for all the perks but because I wanted to use marketing in a fun way.

As someone who made a career since her teens as a fangirl, I have a gift for encouraging others and highlighting the good that others say and do.

Some within the writing and music community, especially indie artists, are unfamiliar with the term “publicist.”

A publicist is a person whose job is to generate and manage publicity for a company, a brand, or public figure or for a work such as a book, film or album. Publicists are public relations specialists who have the role to maintain and represent the images of individuals, rather than representing an entire corporation or business.

Publicists are also hired by public figures who want to maintain or protect their image.

Publicists brand their clients by getting magazine, TV, newspaper, and website coverage. Most top-level publicists work in private practice, handling multiple clients.

  • One of the publicist’s main functions is to generate press coverage on behalf of their clients and serve as the bridge between clients, their public and¬†media outlets. A publicist manages campaigns and performs other¬†public relations¬†functions. It usually takes many years to develop the media contacts, experience and relationships necessary to be an effective publicist.
  • The main role of publicists is to get good press coverage for their clients. One way that publicists can do this is by sending press releases to journalists. A¬†press release is written like a news story; including a headline, and attention grabbing quotes. However, because of the high traffic of e-mails, today, many press releases sent by publicists are lost within the other e-mails that journalists receive. 
  • Publicists tend to have good working relationships with journalists, TV news producers, and producers. In order to have these relationships, publicists usually network with these media professionals.
  • To protect a client’s image, publicists will often ask journalists what questions will be asked during interviews to prevent any surprises and discussion of any unwanted topics.Publicists determine how to manage a person’s or brand’s image by what is being said about them in the media.¬†This pertains to websites and social media.¬†More recently, publicists have the need to network with¬†bloggers¬†and scope out their websites to make sure the content on their client is appropriate.

    A typical day for a publicist consists of being on the phone, networking through e-mails, and can make themselves available at all times of the day for when conflict arises.

  • ¬†Out of the office, publicists go to gatherings to network with media professionals.

The #1 I became a publicist is because I wanted to use my gift for writing from a marketing standpoint. And as someone who published novels before without an ally, I wanted to be that specifically for authors and musicians.

Publicists always do the work with the best interests of the client being served, and most of the times, it is a very thankless job.

Librarian signing her memoirs with stamp.

If you’ve stumbled upon this post, and you believe you need a publicist with a heart for writers and artists who the world has tried to silence, let me be your voice. Let me help you shine.

Smart Cookie PR

Send Me a Message

Some people hire a publicist but realize they just want book launch publicity and that’s it.

If you have a book or album about to come out, please check out the other service packages I have available.

 

#BookishMuses: Bluett’s Bright Yellow Sunshine is a ‘notes to self’ for the modern age

I see you right now.
Yes, you reading this.

Rain clouds dark and ominous reign your outlook and have fogged up your life.

Yet, if you need a lift, some water for your dry and desolate human soul, read Bright Yellow Sunshine by Cheyenne Bluett.

It is a beautiful collection of poetry written like notes to self and it has shaken me to my core.

There are poems throughout this collection that will light up your darkness, lift your chin, cause you to smile, or maybe even tear up like me.

This is Bluett’s second collection and it is everything you could ever need to read, and that much more.

Like this review? Consider supporting the work of the Smart Cookie Philes with a cup of strong espresso.

#BookishMuses: Combs’ poetry collection Love In Other Realms will carry you through

Melissa M. Combs is no stranger to heartbreak, as her previous works, breath light to that unfortunate truth but with this full poetry collection, the reader finds the other half to the painful truth behind the heartbreak: the heartbreak of being in separation with one’s twin flame.

Twin flames are two halves of the same soul placed in two bodies, created to mirror one another to become one powerful force that when in union, seek to awaken and save the world.
Combs poetry paints a spiritual picture in the works involving divine timing and interdimensional realms.

Love then becomes not something merely fashioned into glass slippers or some fancy idea that can be tossed around.

Love is ethereal, supernatural, and metaphysical, and when we truly experience it at its deepest, we begin to awaken to become expanded and growing into our highest selves.

Combs’ collection is seductively spiritual yet gentle and breathy like witnessing the height, length, and width of an angel’s wings.

If you’ve ever felt the heartbreak of meeting and loving your twin flame, and then having to separate, Combs collection will carry you through the love, the longing, and even the destructive and confusing pain inside you.

If you liked this review and want to support the content of The Smart Cookie Philes, no writer can get by without a cup of coffee.

#BookReview: You’ll Come Back To Yourself by Michaela Angemeer (Contest)

I happened upon Michaela’s poetry on Instagram and was immediately drawn by the way she wielded words, and how her words wielded me.

To be completely honest, I was a little somber when the collection ended as it really resonated with me.

The poems were short but exhilaratingly deep, and so perfectly poignant.

The poems discuss themes i am all too familiar with as a near-thirty writer who must have quicksand in her soul because every man I’ve ever loved fell right through and out some hidden trap door. No kidding there:

Loving someone who is meant for someone else.
Having toxic types that you are always drawn to like red flags are for fun and amusement, and how self-love is the key to true freedom, and attracting a love that loves you back.

You can win a copy of You’ll Come Back To Yourself by Michaela Angemeer. All you need to do is enter at this link and subscribe to my Youtube channel.

If you enter through the Rafflecopter and subscribe to Youtube, I will send you a paperback copy of the book.

This review is 186 words and took me 2 hours to compile. I was given no compensation in exchange for this review but you are free to Buy Me a Coffee.

#BookReview: His Green Eyes by @cheyennebluett

Cheyenne Bluett’t bright light lit up my Instagram feed. Her content is curated to encourage and inspire just about everyone.

Opening His Green Eyes, I was taken on a poetic journey of the depths of true love, something that writers have a fondness for attempting to understand by giving it a rhyme or a reason.

Yet, poets know love is unique to its counterparts and soulmates are real. Love knows no gender, no age, or no reason.

Love just is.

Reading His Green Eyes the reader is taken deep into the heart of the love and admiration for Bluett’s real life husband Robbie.

My favorite poems in the book appear below but the loving you in every color and loving you in my favorite places were by far so outside the box and refreshing, not to mention sweetly written and heartfelt, full of personal memories and momentos with her lover.

Whether you’ve always felt unworthy of lasting love or you just became a newlywed, these poems defy space and time to share sunshine into the darkest corners of any heart who cynically considers love something only of cinema screens and novel pages.

Bluett’s poetry will make a believer out of you. She made one out of me.

This review is 207 words and took me 1 hour and 23 minutes to compile. I received no compensation for this review. You can get a review just like this for $40. Order yours here.

#BookReview I am Restored:How I Lost My Religion But Found My Faith by @lecrae

When I heard Lecrae was putting out a book about his struggle with trauma wounds and mental health, I knew I had to read it because I also just went through similar circumstances, and like Lecrae, dealt with a heavy season where the wounds, the trauma, the unhealthy binge behavior could no longer be swept away or shooken off.

Although there were parts of this book I strongly disagreed with or lack the understanding to totally comprehended, I’ve always admired Lecrae because from the first time I listened to After The Music Stops in 2010 until now with his recent work, he is someone who never sugar-coated hard truths.

From being a 116 clique fan and reading his first memoir, I was aware of parts of his story but just like myself, I knew several paragraphs don’t make a chapter, a story is comprised of a beginning, middle, and an end. Rising action -> Conflict–> Resolve.

In fiction, most stories can come to a place of true resolve. The character begins a happy ending with someone they love. Their long-lost parent didn’t die. The princess wears armor and fights one last battle for the crown and the kingdom. A human marries a Vampire, and they give birth to a child. You get the idea. Yet, unlike in fiction, real life is more harsh, traumatic, and sometimes the only resolve we find is in our place or season of true healing.

So is the case with Lecrae. His words reminded me of my own hard pressed journey to self-acceptance, and the beginnings of true healing.

He also talks about how the entertainment industry is filled with illusions. Later on in the book, he mentions how through counseling, he became aware of how debilitating social media can be mental health with “it’s comparison and an abyss of arguments.”

Overall, anyone who wants to grow in faith and expand your mind as a spiritual person should read the book because God’s masterpieces are unfinished products.

You are still his masterpiece even if all your pieces or parts still look and feel weak, unusable, and broken. God has a habit of using people who make mistakes.

This review is 359 words and took 1 hour and 17 minutes to produce here. I received no compensation for this review but if you enjoy this review or any content produced by The Smart Cookie Philes consider buying me a coffee.

#HolidayShopping: Gift Guide 2020

Bookish and Music Based Gifts for The Smart Cookie in your Life!

It’s the time of the year (although I know 2020 has been one of those years) when you put yourself and all you want out of your mind for a whole month, and think about the people you love and how you could possibly make their lives better with a gift that screams them. Well, I’m not an expert on the best gifts for people who like fashion, home goods or even monster trucks. I am an expert on all things books and music and I have the perfect list of gifts for the Smart Cookie in your life.

Books

  1. Living Lightly: Bring Happiness and Calm to your Everyday by Dale Curd and Kimberly Alexander

In the beginning of the year I began reading this book and found it helped me have something positive and meaningful to reflect on each day. No matter your creed or color, this book is a helpful devotional style book which helps anyone feel lighter and more focused on what they bring to the table instead of what they lack.

2. Of Whelter and Whim by Mike Mac

This was my 2020 introduction to National Poetry Month and it definitely started the month off on the right note. I found it to be incredibly simple yet so telling which is my favorite reason for reading poetry. Perfect for non-poetry readers and poetry readers alike. My favorite poem would have to be this one right here although more are included in my review piece at the link above.

3. Beyond Worthy by Jaqueline Whitney

Sometimes you read a book of poetry and it absolutely hits you right at the center of your pain but instead of placing a band-aid over it, it was salve for the wounds I suffered following a season of double trauma. It was everything I didn’t know I needed post-trauma. And I thank Jaqueline Whitney for putting her words, her heart, her story out into the world because they helped me heal even more.

4. Betty by Tiffany McDaniel

By far, this was one of my favorite books I read this year. Not only because I am friends with the author but because her writing is so lyrically brilliant. I can’t tell you how powerful this story was. It’s crazy to me that this book took twenty years to come to fruition but wow, it’s absolutely worth all the work that went into writing it, and even more so, worthy of every ounce of buzz and nomination it has gotten since it’s release.

5. Good Brave People by Nicholas Trandahl

Sometimes you read a novel at the exact right time and it makes you nostalgic when you didn’t have to excuse you actually enjoying Fitzgerald or Murakami or even Garcia Marquez back in high school. If you like any of those writers, please consider Good Brave People as it reads with poetic prose but has the mystique and literary stamina of all three writers combined. It’s hard to believe this is his debut novel.

6. The Haunting by Melissa Combs

In preparation for putting out my own book, I began posting some poetry of mine to gain exposure for my collection as any writer does on social media. I connected with this writer and it was apparent right away we both were heartbroken and haunted by our twin flames. A twin flame is a spiritual concept where two people are actually two halves of the same soul so they complete each other, and sometimes the connection can span many lifetimes. They don’t always achieve union every lifetime but every lifetime causes them to cycle karmic cleansings and self-healing to achieve their highest selves until they achieve union or entirely mirror one another.

7. When My Mind Winds Up by Jennifer Ervig

Opening up the discussion about mental health by sharing her own personal story about her struggles with anxiety, it’s written in a devotional style so it is an easy read and helps people who suffer with anxiety through to defeating it once and for all.

8. Sticks and Stones by Chelsea DeVries

Shameless plug but my brand new poetry book is now available in paperback and ebook format. It’s already gotten 4.6 stars on Goodreads and even resonated with a Bookstagrammer in India. Overall, I hope that by me writing this to heal, it offers you the same no matter what you are going through or have gone through.

9 and 10. Cookies For A Cause: Bookish Merch That Deliciously Gives Back

Launched in 2018, we now have over 14 products and 7 charities that we support. The newest designs are the mask that helps Save the Children and the ESPRESSO YOURSELF fanny pack that helps end hunger.

Coming in 2021: a pet friendly design that celebrates that our furry friendships are fur-ever.

Music

  1. Tangerine EP by Hot Chelle Rae

2020 was the year my favorite band came back with new music and it gave me purpose yet again. Their Tangerine EP was a blessed fruit in the desolate year that was 2020 but it’s worth a listen and it’s less than $5.

2. Calm by 5SOS

Dare I say it but when I sat down to listen to their third studio album, I actually thought it was going to be sub-par but instead like their two previous works, not one bad song on it. So much strong lyricism and inventive musicality that again changes their sound as a band. Watch out 5SOS are always evolving. Try to stay CALM about it.

3.Folklore by Taylor Swift

If 2020 ever needed a savior it would have to be T. Swift. She showed up with a folk pop album written entirely in 3rd person and it was exactly what our quarantine playlist needed, and our souls needed too.

4. Out of Body by NeedToBreathe

You ever been given an opportunity just when you were about to give up and you literally wondered why you were picked. Well, the chance to review this album came like to me this year and it’s a wonderful body of work. My favorite song is probably Who I Am? on this album but the entire work takes you back to a youthful viewpoint and you all know how much I love being nostalgic.

5. Restoration by Lecrae

Lecrae is my favorite rapper so when I heard he was releasing new music in the year of all years I was restored that God truly is watching over us and is walking with us, no matter how much we wrestle with the Holy Ghost.

6. Thank U Next by Ariana Grande

You ever fall in love with someone and their potential of being with you was all in your head? Well, if not, if you’ve ever seen the good in goodbye, Thank U Next is Ariana’s most powerful work to date. It shares struggles with mental health, heartbreak, grief, and feeling too needy.

7. Colour Vision by MAX

Max’s second major label studio album is a colorful work full of strong musiciality and lyricism and you will not be able to stop yourself from dancing to the jam Working for The Weekend.

8. Smile by Katy Perry

While this one wasn’t my favorite, it definitely will get you dancing, jamming out, and it will make you smile. My unexpected favorite on this one is Champagne Problems.

9. Inspired by True Events by Tori Kelly

Musical Notes episode for this one coming soon but I was surprised by the fact that this charted so low for a Tori Kelly album. My favorite song on this one would have to be Coffee.

10. What You See Is What You Get by Luke Combs

Fine, I’ll admit it. I’m secretly in love with Luke Combs solely because he has a beard, drinks beer, and wears crocs. Haha. Well he’s newly married to the prettiest girl but his artistry sure has stolen my heart. He writes amazing songs. His song Beautiful Crazy stopped me in my tracks and I am still not over it.

Wishing you all an espressive Holiday season! Cheers to 2021!