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

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.

#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!

#FromTheTube: Mental Health on Booktube Tag

Since I have no new reviews for you, I am trying to get some booktube videos done and up so you aren’t just consuming Music based content. Overall, I found this tag to be so wonderful as it helps to end the stigma about talking about mental health and also has anyone who does the tag openly talking about books that feature mental health storylines or helped in some way with mental health discussions in the readers life.

It was started by Beautiful Chaos of Books and you can check out the original tag in the description box.

#SuicidePreventionMonth: Four Reasons You Should Vote For Jen Ervig for Book of the Year!

Why hello there!

If this is your first time on my site, I welcome and offer you a virtual yet warm chocolate chip cookie welcome. 🙂

In case you didn’t hear, Jen Ervig’s amazing book When My Mind Winds Up is up to win Book of the Year!

Here are four reasons why

Vote now HERE and make sure after you vote you check your email and verify otherwise that vote you just placed does not count toward Jen’s rank in the contest.

Feel free to save this graphic and share it on your favorite social network!

#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

How You Treat Your Dog Helps Teach You How To Relate Better With People

This post is sponsored by WellPet but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

We’ve all been misjudged, misunderstood, heard a rumor about us that upset us, or even felt like the odd person out.

Heck, that’s why I created The Smart Cookie Philes in the first place. Yet, I think it’s why I love spending time and being around my dogs a lot.  I even have nicknamed my dogs and I “The Squad.”

You had a bad day at work? They love you.

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You just got rejected or broken up with? They love you.

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You just got let go from your job and don’t know how you will make your bills? They love you.

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My dogs are always there for me, in the good and the bad, and it’s why I search high and low to find the best treats for them.

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Treats that have all-natural ingredients.

Treats that are made in the USA.

Treats that have a variety of flavors so I always surprise their taste buds with a brand new experience.

It’s why I love that I was recently shopping at Wal-mart and came across Old Mother Hubbard’s dog treats.

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They come in small and mini size, and in a variety of flavors.

Flavors

Founded in Gloucester, MA, Old Mother Hubbard’s dog treats are all-natural and never artificial, and have been around since 1926. Each home-style recipe is carefully crafted from wholesome ingredients that allow you to feel good about giving your pup a reward that is healthy and heartfelt., and all the fun flavors in between, there is a natural choice for every taste that dogs drool over. And while still based in Massachusetts, Old Mother Hubbard is now available at Walmart nationwide!

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You can actually add them instantly to your Walmart cart here or here.

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The cool thing about biscuits is they look good on top of these Carrot Pineapple Mini Muffins recipe that I recently found and tried out. You can find the recipe in the video below and be sure to watch until the end to see “the squad” strutting their stuff with some nifty tricks in order to get their paws on another tasty Old Mother Hubbard dog biscuit.

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At the end of the day, it’s all about how you treat others and THE golden rule: treat others how you want to be treated.

Dogs treat me like I’m worth a million dollars. It sure doesn’t hurt my wallet or my heart to give them the best of the best in dog treats in order so they know how much I love them.

Maybe we as humans can take a few pages from their life handbook too and be quicker to love and understand those around us instead of judge them or throw them to the curb.

 

#SmartCookiePR: Willie Handler to Appear on Between The Lines Podcast

Willie Handler, resident funny man and friend to Martians, will appear on Between The Lines Podcast with Corine La Font.

They will discuss his science fiction novel Loved Mars, Hated The Food.

You can find all previous episodes of the podcast here and check out his book here.

Make sure to connect with Willie at all the networks below and subscribe to his email newsletter. Sources say he doesn’t give out top secret government information but you would only know if you subscribe.

Willie Handler Press Graphic