On April 5, the new book “Lemons for Blessings” by local author Carissa Lovvorn will be released. “Lemons for Blessings” is the followup to her popular debut “Seeds for Sharing” that was released last spring. Lovvorn did not have to look far to find inspiration for her books’ main characters, the Sharing Sisters. They are based on Ella’s experiences with her daughters Ella Isabelle, 9, and Ella, 5.
Lovvorn has dreamed of writing since a very young age, and when she was just 8 years old, she wrote a story that was published in a local magazine.
“It wasn’t very big, but it was something. I never really felt I had the right story, and then, during COVID, we were at home and it just kind of came to me, “she said.
“I really wanted to touch on a social issue and then bring in a Biblical aspect for it. I ended both with a scripture,” Lovvorn said. “I want our kids to be volunteers and to serve others while sharing their faith. I want these books to encourage children to share God’s love, learn scripture, serve others and to thank our essential workers. I am viewing this whole endeavor as a mission.”
While at home, Lovvorn’s girls kept her busy while wearing their signature tutus and playing in the garden. That’s when the idea to write “Seeds for Sharing” came to her. The girls call the book “our book” and are very proud of their mom of her and of being her inspiration of her.
“My husband, Garth, and my girls are my biggest supporters,” she said.
“This story came as a continuation from that. My daughter started a little lemonade stand back in kindergarten in 2019. She had her first lemonade stand at the home and garden show. She donated all her money from her to her class project, which was to go to the Family Resource Center, ”Lovvorn said.
The girls weren’t able to set up their lemonade stand for the next couple of years because of the ongoing pandemic. They were able to take the stand, named Lemon Blessings, to the Earth Day festival last year.
“They raised $220.50, and they decided to donate it to the Learn-to-Read Council. So, the book is loosely based off of their lemonade stand, but also us wanting to thank those who helped everyone during the pandemic,” she said.
“Lemons for Blessings” is a sweet story of the Sharing Sisters, a little help from dad and a play on “turning lemons into lemonade.” The story is a lesson on giving to others and how something as small as a lemonade stand can be a blessing to others, especially frontline workers.
Lovvorn chose to self-publish her books, and after seeing his artwork online, she reached out to Joshua Wichterich in Louisiana to illustrate the books.
“He likes to illustrate books that glorify God, and he has been fantastic to work with,” she said. “I have a third book he is working on right now.”
Lovvorn hopes to continue writing about the Sharing Sisters.
“I have some ideas on how to branch out, and they will grow with the girls,” she said.
She is also working on building her publishing company, Starbeams Publishing.
“It’s in the works and very, very grassroots, but the goal is to eventually have my own.”
Lovvorn will hold a book signing at Frame Gallery of Athens on April 19, from 5-7 pm She will also team with High Cotton Arts for an event still being planned for May.
“It will be for kids and have them come paint lemon pictures, or something really pretty, as well as a thank you card they can give out to an essential worker of their choice,” she said.
Pre-sales of “Lemons for Blessings” have already begun, and the book releases on April 5. It is the No. 1 new release on Amazon for Children’s Christian People & Places Fiction. The book retails for $19.95 and can be ordered online from Amazon, Books-A-Million and other online book retailers. Locally, the book will be sold at CEI Bookstore. Books can also be ordered from carissalovvorn.com, and delivery is free in Athens.