Thursday, November 7, 2013


Today I'd like to introduce you to Sal Barbera and his spotless cow.

About the book:

The story of "Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow" takes us on the journey she travels to figure out how to get the cows at a new farm to like and accept her.

While she hopes to find friendship at her new home, instead she learns what it means to be different from everyone else. (Spotless!) Mary Elizabeth uses clever ideas and a sense of humor to help her on her quest for friends at the new farm.

This inspiring tale shows how perseverance in spite of obstacles, using a sound thought process to arrive at solutions and the importance of having fun, using humor and enjoying playtime can build friendships.

When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program to make a difference in the lives of children with critical and life threatening illnesses.


Once upon a time........there was a farm in Ohio with lots of Cows. They all had many spots to be proud of. One day a truck pulled into the farm. The back door opened and out came a new Cow. The other Cows were so excited to have a new friend!

But as the new Cow came out of the truck the other Cows looked on in shock!!! "Oh My!’’ ’’What on Earth?!"

It seems the new Cow, whose name was Mary Elizabeth, had no spots!

’’Where are your spots??!!’’ Demanded the Cow called Anna Belle. ’’I don’t have any spots. I was born spotless, you see.’’

Well, Anna Belle and the other Cows were horrified.

(Not mad, you had to be very careful about mad)

Watch the trailer:

Purchasing information: From now through December 31, 2013, you can purchase Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow from the Sweetles website for only $12.00 (List price: $17.99).

When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program. Visit for more information.

About the Author:

Sal is the author and illustrator of “A Sweetles Dream”® book series. As the Creative Director for Hartman-Barbera llc, a family media & entertainment company, he is also an animator, sculptor, painter and all around fun guy. Sal lives the phrase: “A day without laughter is a wasted day”. To that end, he uses his writing, illustrating and animation skills to create endearing characters and comedic stories.

Sal's sense of humor and empathy for his characters explore personal and social situations in ways that makes it enjoyable for both adults and children to experience together. Born in New York City, Sal moved to North Bergen, NJ where he grew up on a steep hillside neighborhood with his four older sisters. He currently lives in sunny Arizona with his wife and artistic partner, Sheri, who he defines as his inspiration. On any given day Sal might be painting, sculpting, drawing, animating, writing or enjoying one of his favorite pastimes: cooking, television, movies and golf.

Visit Sal Barbera’s website at


Mr. Barbera was kind enough to answer some questions for me:

Please tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.
I've had the drawing bug since I was a little kid watching 'Winky Dink and You'. It was a TV show where you (your Mom) sent in for this piece of plastic that you attached to the front of your TV set. Then you drew along with the guy on Winky Dink. I loved that show.

I didn't set out to become a writer. I wanted to do something that was fun. I started by drawing cartoons about my dog, Max. He was the inspiration for my character Sweetles™who is the impetus for my book series: A Sweetles Dream®. The concept is: during the day, while Sweetles™ is playing, he sees something unexpected. That leads him to dream up a solution to the situation he's seen.

For example, in my book, Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow, he is playing ball as soon as you open the book. He chases the ball across a field and Mary Elizabeth frolicks past him. She triggers his dream.

The bonus in children's books is that, not only is it fun, but I hope I can make a positive difference for kids through the affirmative actions and concepts about friendship, family, self-confidence and relationships in my books.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an astronaut. Space, the final frontier…

I was always intrigued by that. In science class at school they showed us the planets and stars and the galaxy. We had fascinating science books. Men were taking the first trip to the moon. Like Neil Armstrong. So my room looked like NASA. I had Lunar modules and rocket models and all kinds of planetary books. 

How did you come up with the idea for your book and were there any glitches along the way?

My mother in law, who is a dear friend, had gone through a pretty rough time with breast cancer, chemotherapy and radiation. She needed to laugh. So I decided to write a funny story for her. When I picked up the pencil, some kind of crazy inspirational thing happened. A thought came to me about a farm in Ohio. Then there were lots of cows. Suddenly I had an idea—what would happen if a new cow, a spotless cow, arrived at a farm and encountered prejudice from the other cows for being different. The inventive, funny way she overcomes their spot discrimination would be the kicker. I rapidly had a beginning, middle, and an end. I didn't want to forget any of it. I had to write and illustrate it as quickly as possible.

Five hours and many broken pencil points later, Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow was born.

You’re shipwrecked on a deserted island. What character from a book other than yours would you want to be stranded there with you? Why?
Huckleberry Fin or Robinson Caruso.  Guys with raft and island life experience that could get me off of there. I'm not too good at building things without tools and a hardware store. I'd probably wind up talking to a soccer ball.

If we peeked inside your closet, what would we see?
A Hawaiian sunset! I like colorful, happy, fun attire. My main wardrobe consists of vivid Hawaiian shirts. If I get stranded on that deserted island not only will I look the part - but hopefully a plane will see my shirt and save me!

Tell us your favorites:
Movie:  City Slickers
Actor:  Billy Crystal
Book:   Jurassic Park
Singer:  Frank Sinatra

If you could have super powers what would you wish for?
My first thought is being able to fly…but no one would bring me peanuts. So I think something really super, like the power to be able to eat as many snacks as I want without gaining weight. Supersnack Man! Has a nice ring to it. Don't you think?

If you could choose to live in another time, would you prefer the past or the future?
The past. Maybe on the ship with Columbus. I could say:

“You know this really isn't India…nobody will think any less of you if you stop and ask for directions.”

Are you working on any new books now? Tell us about them.

Since Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow was published I've completed the second book in the "A Sweetles Dream®" series called Ernie the Dysfunctional Frog. Without giving away the surprise, it's a fun, goofy and unexpected tale about acceptance, family, friendship and love. And, of course, frogs.

Where can your fans learn more about you?


Would you like to share anything else with your fans?

During the months of November-December, purchase Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow
from the Sweetles website for only $12.00 (List price: $17.99). When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program. 

Visit for more information.

For more about the book watch Mary Elizabeth's book trailer:

Thank you for having me and giving me the opportunity to talk about my book!

- Sal Barbera

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to visit with us.  Stop by anytime.

Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow Virtual Book Tour Schedule
November 4th

Book spotlight and giveaway at Katie’s Clean Book Collection


November 5th

Book spotlight and giveaway at Book Marketing Buzz


November 7th

Interview at Story of a Writer


November 8th

Book spotlight and giveaway at Plug Your Book


November 13th

Interview at Broowaha


November 18th

Book spotlight and giveaway at Literal Exposure


November 19th

Book spotlight and giveaway at The Busy Mom’s Daily


November 20th

Book spotlight and giveaway at Janet Ann Collins’ On Words


November 22nd

Book spotlight and giveaway at Library of Clean Reads


November 27th

Book spotlight and giveaway at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection



December 2nd

Book spotlight at Bluebell Books

December 3rd

Book review at Nancy Stewart Books

December 4th

Book spotlight and giveaway at Ramblings of a SAHM


December 5th

Join the book discussion at PUYB Virtual Book Club

December 9th

Book review at Library of Clean Reads


December 10th

Interview at Examiner


December 12th

Book spotlight at Penny’s Tales


December 13th

Book review at This Little Book of Mine


December 17th

Book review at WV Stitcher


December 27th

Book tour highlights at The Book Rack



Book spotlight at Bluebell Books


Max Asleep
Thank you for stopping by. Happy Reading.
Want to host this author? Email Cheryl at ccmal(at)charter(dot)net


  1. Thanks for hosting Sal today. This is such a sweet--and funny--book. I hope everyone will consider it for a gift this holiday season, especially since it's on sale from the Sweetles website and 50% of the net proceeds benefit charity.

  2. It's my pleasure, Cheryl. The book sounds adorable and I hope sales are good.

  3. Sounds like a cute book. Thanks for sharing about it Beverly.

  4. I agree, Susanne. Kids should enjoy it. You're welcome. :)