Monday, June 20, 2022

Tales from Cloud Canyon by Dr. Rachel Kowert PhD - Book Tour + Giveaway

Tales from Cloud Canyon 

by Dr. Rachel Kowert PhD


GENRE:   Children's




Tales from Cloud Canyon is a series of character driven, topical short stories celebrating the everyday child, doing everyday things, with their everyday abilities designed for children aged 3+.  Developed by a research psychologist and mom of 3, these stories were developed to be entertaining, educational, and celebrate the power of the everyday within our the beautiful, diverse world.

This Kickstarter collection features three topical short stories from the Cloud Canyon Universe: Here, There, & Everywhere, The Secret to Success, and Invisible Friends. Each of these titles are fully illustrated from artist Randall Hampton and are about 25 pages long.

The fictional characters in childhood stories are some of our earliest teachers. We learn a range of things through the observation of these symbolic models, such as what is right and wrong, a desirable and undesirable behavior, gender roles, norms, stereotypes, and more. The role of models is particularly influential in childhood as it can have a long lasting impact on development.  

Each story in this collection was developed to not only be entertaining but educational as well, with the stories' characters modeling a range of age-appropriate skills spanning four areas of human development: intellectual, social, emotional, and moral. The skills that are modeled within any particular story are displayed on the back cover of each book and explained in more detail on the last page of the book.

Tales from Cloud Canyon changes the narrative by reflecting and celebrating the beautiful and diverse reality of our world. The characters within the Cloud Canyon  Universe were developed to represent a range of shapes, sizes, abilities and disabilities, and traditional and non-traditional families.

In the Cloud Canyon universe:
-More than half the characters are female
-More than half the characters come from an ethnic-minority background
-1 in 10 characters have a visible disability
-Characters come from traditional and non-traditional families
-Different body shapes are represented
-she/her, he/him, and they/them pronouns are represented

It was also equally important that these details were not the central theme of the stories themselves as our shape, level of ability, and what our family unit looks like are just some of the many parts of who we are and not necessarily the defining feature of our stories.

All of the stories have been written and are currently being brought to life through the illustrative magic of Randall Hampton. The physical production of the books is expected to start in June 2022. Time from production to shipping is about 6 - 8 weeks (+/- 2-4 additional weeks due to COVID delays). Once Rachel receives the books, they will be shipped to backers. There is an expected arrival date of the books no later than November 2022.



Invisible Friends tells the story of Winnie and Yuna. On a playdate, Winnie finds Yuna is talking to strangers online and sharing personal information. which I know is an ever-present discussion in many homes. This story discusses the how’s and why’s of navigating online stranger danger.

After a while, Yuna softly said to her friend, 

“I'm sorry about earlier, down in the den 

I just thought it would be fun to meet someone new.

I didn't want to do something to upset you.”

Winnie smiled, “I know, it's just I've seen the headlines,

We stay safe by not talking to strangers online.

You can’t see them, you don’t know who they really are,

and they don't know you, it is all a bit bizarre.”

“It’s like when I venture off to play outside,

When I am online, all of the same rules apply.

I wouldn't walk into a stranger's house to chat,

Or invite the mailman inside to pet my cat.

If I don't really know someone, I stay aware,

Of all the risks - I was upset because I care.”

“I like to make new friends, too, really I promise,

But you can't tell if strangers are truly honest.

Online everyone's invisible, it's scary,

Because of that, it is best to remain wary.

With ‘invisible friends’ the risks are much greater.”

Winnie said she was a great de-escalator.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Author Interview


Introducing Tales From Cloud Canyon

An interview with Dr. Rachel Kowert


Cloud Canyon is a place where the everyday child is celebrated for doing everyday things, with their everyday abilities. It is a world where mistakes are learned from, diversity is celebrated, and every child gets to be the hero of their own story.  The Kickstarter for Tales from Cloud Canyon will be running through the month of June and features three NEW topical short stories: Here, There, & Everywhere, Invisible Friends, and The Secret to Success. 



How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?

It varies so much from book to book! I can have written three stories in one day but I’ve also been picking at a new male-centered story for several months now (Manuel the Musical, inspired by Lin Manuel Miranda).


How do you select the names of your characters?

Naming the characters it the most fun part of the ‘job”. All of my characters are named after people I know in real life or people I admire. For instance, Valerie the Victorious is named and modeled after my mom, Geralt the Grumbly is named and modeled after Geralt of Rivia from The Witcher series of books, and Eli the Enthusiastic is named and modeled after my youngest child.


What creature do you consider your "spirit animal" to be?

A turtle. Slow and steady but they always get there in the end. Also, they have a great shell to protect them from anything trying to chase them off their path!


What are your top 5 favorite movies?

My favorite movie of all time is Amadeus…. Everything after that fluctuates depending on my mood. Today I’d have to say:


1.     Amadeus

2.     Lord of the Rings

3.     Aladdin (1992 edition)

4.     Shine

5.     Love actually


What fictional character would you want to be friends with in real life?

I am currently reading The Witcher series of books and every time I pick it back up I am reminded how much I would enjoy being friends with Yennefer of Vengerberg. She’s strong, opinionated but fair and doesn’t mince words. She would be a great friend.


Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Write what you love and don’t let anyone else’s opinion of you keep you from following your dreams. I was on the receiving end of waves of rejection letters when I wanted to publish my first storybook collection (Pragmatic Princess: 26 Superb Stories of Self-Sufficiency). Did every rejection hurt? Absolutely. Did I feel disappointed? I still do, to be honest! But I took that energy, and my passion, and I ran a successful kickstarter that brought my book to life. My collection is now being read by children all over the world, integrated into classroom curriculum, and proudly sits on my bookshelf at home.


Tell us 10 fun facts about yourself! :)

1.     I have lived in the US, England, Germany and Canada

2.     Pugs are my favorite breed of dog

3.     I am pretty sure my blood type is espresso double shot

4.     Fall is my favorite season

5.     I am obsessed with everything to do with The Witcher - the books, the video games, the television show

6.     My favorite color is purple

7.     I have three children

8.     London is my favorite city

9.     I speak a little bit of Italian, German, and French but I don’t speak any of it particularly well.

10.  My husband was my high school prom date


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Dr. Rachel Kowert is a research psychologist, award-winning author and mom of three. In 2019, she launched her first Kickstarter project from the Cloud Canyon universe was a collection of female centered stories entitled Pragmatic Princess: 26 stories of self sufficiency and raised more than $25,000 in 30 days and won an INDIES award for educational children's picture book.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR Randall Hampton is an author, illustrator, husband and father of 3.  He is the Creator of "The Little Game Master" series of books and considers himself a story teller above all else. When he is not spending time with family and friends, Randall enjoys reading, video games, music, and table top games of all sorts.

LINKS: Author's Amazon page:

Kickstart Campaign:

Book video link: 




Dr. Rachel Kowert PhD will be awarding a $75 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC or 1 copy each of the 3 Cloud Canyon books (available in November) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


  1. Tales from Cloud Canyon sounds like a wonderful collection of stories to share with my grandchildren. Thank you for sharing the author's bio and book details

  2. Fantastic interview and excellent excerpt, Tales From Cloud Canyon sounds like a brilliant read for the kids to enjoy! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a spectacular week!

  3. Thanks for the great excerpt and author interview. The book sounds like a wonderful book to read to grandchildren. Love the cover!

  4. I like the cover and think the book look interesting.


Please try not to spam posts with the same comments over and over again. Authors like seeing thoughtful comments about their books, not the same old, "I like the cover" or "sounds good" comments. While that is nice, putting some real thought and effort in is appreciated. Thank you.