Posted by: Kathy Temean | March 15, 2018

Book Giveaway – The Enchanted Snow Globe: Return to Coney Island by Melissa Stoller

Today Melissa Stoller is giving away her debut chapter book, THE ENCHANTED SNOW GLOBE COLLECTION: RETURN TO CONEY ISLAND, illustrated by Callie Metler-Smith and published by Clear Fork Publishing.

All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

PAY IT FORWARD: Tweeting, reblogging, or posting it on facebook, can make a big difference in kicking off a new book. If you can help that way, it is really appreicated and a good way to give back to the children’s book writers and illustrators. Good karma for when your book is signed and coming out. Check back to discover the winner.

ANOTHER SPECIAL CRITIQUE OFFER FOR PICTURE BOOKS: Melissa has agreed to critique a picture book manuscript. If you want to take her up on generous offer, please let me know in the comment you leave. I will pick one winner. DEADLINE for this PB manuscript critique is MARCH 23rd.


They thought it was an ordinary sleepover . . .

When nine-year-old twins Emma and Simon shake a snow globe from their grandmother’s enchanted collection, they are transported back to Coney Island on June 24, 1928. According to family legend, that’s the day their great-grandparents meet on the Coney Island trolley. But if events don’t work exactly as they’re supposed to, the meeting won’t take place and the twins might never be born. After a day of adventures – from the Cyclone roller coaster to the boardwalk arcade, and finally to the all-important trolley ride – will the twins help make it happen?


Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog today, Kathy! I am a big fan!

My chapter book, THE ENCHANTED SNOW GLOBE COLLECTION: RETURN TO CONEY ISLAND, was inspired by a story my grandmother told me many times over the years, about how she met my grandfather on the Coney Island trolley. I love time travel stories, and I have a huge collection of snow globes, so I put those pieces together with my family history. The story is about nine-year-old twins who think they’re having an ordinary sleepover with their grandmother. When the twins shake a snow globe in her collection, and are transported to 1928 Coney Island, they must ensure that their great-grandparents meet or they may never be born. I really enjoyed incorporating themes of family connections, adventure, and making things happen into the story.

It took years for my journey from pre-published author to published author. I first attempted to break into the KidLit publishing world in 1997 when my oldest daughter was a baby. I joined SCBWI that year and have been a member since! I had many rejections back then and put aside this dream to work on freelance writing and editing work, parenting articles, and writing a book about organizing a parent-child book club. About five years ago, I brushed off this dream and started again. This time, I did things differently. I joined the 12×12 PB Writing Challenge and participated in Reading for Research Month, StoryStorm, the Chapter Book Challenge and other challenges and contests; took as many classes as I could; joined many critique groups; attended my local SCBWI events as well as the annual conference; and engaged widely in the KidLit community. The support and friendship I’ve found in this community is invaluable. 

Along the way, I also found The Children’s Book Academy. Over the past several years, I have been honing my craft through CBA classes. In “The Chapter Book Alchemist,” taught by Hillary Homzie, I worked on my chapter book while learning all about this genre. And I love “The Craft and Business of Writing Children’s Picture Books.” This interactive course, taught by CBA founder Mira Reisberg along with guest editors, offers information about picture book structure, plot, pacing, heart, characterization, language, revision, leaving room for the illustrator, and more. Equally important is the instant community of support that develops. I’ve taken the course three times and now I’m happy to assist Mira during the session. Also, I write a blog post each month for the CBA Blogfish. Basically, you could say I’ve become a Children’s Book Academy groupie!

After lots of hard work, I finally connected to my amazing publisher, Callie Metler-Smith, at Clear Fork Publishing. Initially, I queried a picture book, and shared that I also had a time travel chapter book available. Callie responded to the chapter book idea, and it was that manuscript, THE ENCHANTED SNOW GLBOBE COLLECTION, that she bought first. Later, she liked my idea of an art-related picture book, as we both love art history and visiting museums. Actually, I broached the idea of the book to Callie when we were together at the Kimbell Art Museum in Ft. Worth after an SCBWI conference outside of Dallas! And both Callie and Mira Reisberg, the picture book whisperer, were excited to work with me on the project. After a few critiques with Mira, I could see how she got her nickname.

I now have two picture books coming out this year with Clear Fork/Spork with Mira as my Editor and Art Director. Mira brilliantly paired me with two talented illustrators: SCARLET’S MAGIC PAINTBRUSH, illustrated by Sandie Sonke, releases in August 2018 and READY, SET, GORILLA!, illustrated by Sandra Steen Bartholomew, comes out in October 2018. I am so grateful for how Sandie and Sandra brought my stories to life with their beautiful artwork. I can’t wait to share these books with readers everywhere. And I’m also excited that Book Two in the ENCHANTED SNOW GLOBE COLLECTION series, THE LIBERTY BELL TRAIN RIDE, will chug down the tracks this summer.

Thank you, Kathy, for featuring me on your blog today. Happy creating everyone!


Melissa Stoller is the author of The Enchanted Snow Globe Collection (Clear Fork Publishing, 2017) and Scarlet’s Magic Paintbrush (Clear Fork Publishing, 2018) and the co-author of The Parent-Child Book Club: Connecting With Your Kids Through Reading (HorizonLine Publishing, 2009), in addition to many parenting articles

Melissa is an active member of SCBWIa volunteer with SCBWI Metro-NY, a Regional Ambassador forThe Chapter Book Challengean Admin for theDebut Picture Book Study Group​, an Assistant for the Children’s Book Academy, and a member of the12 x 12 Picture Book Writing Challenge.

A former practicing attorney and legal research and writing instructor, Melissa lives in Manhattan with her husband, three daughters, and one puppy. When not writing, she can be found observing the stars, swimming in the sea, and searching for treasure. Plus, on social media at:

Thank you Melissa for sharing your book, its’ journey with us, and offering a PB Manuscript Critique. I look forward to showing off the book covers of your new picture books next week.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Melissa, thanks for sharing your journey. Congratulations on your first, second, third, and fourth! How fantastic and inspiring! May there be many more coming 🙂


    • Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting! It’s been a long journey and I am beyond thrilled!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Ms. Stoller, for the opportunity of a picture book critique! I would love to be in the running. I also appreciate you sharing such valuable information on what motivated and inspired you to create this series (I collected snowglobes when I was a kid—right up my alley!) Congratulations on your success!


    • Hi Lindsay – I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! I have been collecting snow globes, and key chains, and glass animals (and lots of other treasures too!) for many years! It’s so much fun to see the collections grow and to buy souvenirs for my girls as well! Happy creating!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love snowglobes! Melissa’s book looks so delightful, thank you for sharing and giving us the opportunity to win a copy. I have shared the giveaway link on twitter.


    • Thanks so much for your lovely comment! Snow globes are such a wonderful travel souvenir. I love traveling and collecting them wherever I go. I’m so excited to be featured on Kathy’s blog today! Thanks for stopping by!


  4. Melissa, you are on fire! I’m so lucky to have you as my CP. Great interview!!!


  5. I’m happy for your success, Melissa! Great concept! Your ENCHANTED SNOW GLOBE COLLECTION series sounds like an updated Magic Tree House chapter book. I Tweeted –


  6. Hi Melissa thank you for telling us about your journey into publishing. I started writing in 1997 but still awaiting MY time!! I would love to have a picture book critique. Thank you for donating.


  7. I always love learning more about your journey! Folks, you WANT a critique from Melissa!


  8. I love how you incorporated your own family’s stories into this book. Just shared on FB.


  9. I have seen you active so many kidlit communities its inspiring how you keep up 🙂 so energetic. Very glad for your books congratulations. Wouldn’t pass up a chance for picture book critique either! Off to tweet your news.


  10. I love time travel stories too. Melissa’s book sounds delightful and I love her writing journey. I would love to win a critique as not a US resident. Will retweet on Twitter too. @kayebaillie Thanks!


  11. Melissa, your journey as a children’s book writer exemplifies the rewards of determination and persistence! Congratulations on all your publishing successes! Can’t wait to read RETURN TO CONEY ISLAND.


  12. Hi Melissa, this sounds fun- Back to the Future meets The Magic Treehouse! Congratulations, and thanks for sharing your journey. I took my kids to Coney Island on a visit to NY and we rode the train past where my grandparents lived- I look forward to reading this, and would be delighted to win a copy or a critique!


  13. Melissa, you rock!! Love your book and I can’t wait to purchase your new ones! True treasures, just like you!


  14. Congratulations, Melissa! Your new book sounds wonderful. Thank you for sharing your journey. I would love to have a picture book manuscript critique! Please put me in the running.


  15. Fantastic interview, Melissa! I loved the first book in the Enchanted Snow Globe series, looking forward to discovering where Emma and Simon go next!


  16. Love the premise for this book, Melissa! Congrats!


  17. Dear Melissa I won my copy awhile back but my surgery on my eyes have prevented me from reading and giving you the review you deserve. I would love to be in the running for a critique from you if that’s possible because that would be magical! Congrats on your success and in sharing away so others can enjoy your this wonderful book!!


  18. I just won a Melissa critique through Susanna Leonard Hill’s Valentiny contest and she provided such insightful comments. I’m busy revising per her suggestions! I would love to win Return to Coney Island, it sounds like a wonderful, magical idea. Thanks Karen for all you do and thanks again Melissa for all your help! Good luck for more successes.


  19. You followed me on Twitter. Not so sure why but I see it was meant for me to follow you and learn about you, your books, and all you do. Thanks


  20. What an amazing collection of stories – hope to be as fruitful some day. Thanks for the inspiration. Wishing you ! fun and success


  21. Congrats, Melissa! 😀


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