Happy Holidays from all of us at Lucky Penny Press

December 8, 2013

Enjoy this holiday season with this wonderful image created by Santa Barbara based artist, Karen Folsom.

“As an illustrator, working with Melissa and LLP is pure joy. Her vision and commitment to providing a breath and depth of socially and educationally oriented material (including some titles written by children) is admirable. The selections are varied and emotionally appealing and utilize very different styles. Her direction is spot on; constructive and very creative. It’s wonderful to be on the ground floor of what will be an immensely important and successful (ebook) publishing venture. I was honored to illustrate this year’s holiday image as well as Melissa’s childhood story, The Lucky Penny Christmas Story which will be released later this month.”

Children’s eBooks – AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT – Michele Dieterich

November 18, 2013


Michele Dieterich & Treasure Mountain Junior High School Students

As valedictorian of her graduating class, Michele Dieterich was strongly discouraged from “wasting” her time pursuing art, so she quieted those detractors and compromised by earning a degree in filmmaking and animation from Boston University. Michele has also always enjoyed working with kids–as a ski instructor, art teacher and in Outward Bound programs. She wanted to use art to inspire youth, helping them to explore different modes of creativity while at the same time teaching them practical skills that would prepare them for the future. On a deeper level, she wanted to encourage them to learn more about their community and get involved.

With these goals in mind, Michele created a Digital Illustration program for eighth graders and a Commercial Art program for ninth graders at Treasure Mountain Junior High School in 2007. She started small, with only two classes initially, but the classes have become very popular and are now offered every semester. In classrooms equipped with Adobe Creative Suites funded by grants from the Park City Education Foundation, students are introduced to Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign programs. Rather than follow textbook exercises, Michele’s students work with real clients, collaborating with local businesses and nonprofits as they develop their creativity and problem solving skills. “It’s a lot of extra work for me and for the students,” Michele says, “but the opportunity to challenge themselves on real world projects is well worth it.” The students’ latest projects are a series of alphabet e-books, entitled “Alliterations,” published by children’s online book publisher Lucky Penny Press. “It is exciting for my students to see their artwork published outside of school,” says Dieterich. “When the public can see the work, it means much more than a grade. These are art projects that will not end up in the attic–students will be able to share their Lucky Penny Press Books with their own children one day.” Dieterich is also partnering with the “Latinos in Action” (LIA) students at the Park City High School to create Spanish versions of the books, video trailers and a companion website.

To purchase these and other fine children’s books, please visit, www.luckypennypress.com. $1.00 of each ebook will support the art and technology programs at Treasure mountain junior high school.

Rex the Cat

October 2, 2013

Marymount Students, Staff Recall Fond Tales of Their Beloved Rex the Cat

The friendly feline, who became a fixture on campus after fleeing 2009′s Jesusita Fire, died unexpectedly over the summer


Gathered in a circle Monday around the school’s fountain, 220 students at Marymount of Santa Barbara held up their drawings.

Most of them pictured a sturdy orange cat, drawn in crayon, markers or paint.

Many of the students drew themselves with Rex, the cat that had become a staple on the campus since becoming a refugee from the Jesusita Fire in 2009.

The cat found his home on campus, wandering in and out of classrooms, walking with students to class, napping in hallways, ingratiating himself as the school’s silent guardian.

Click here to read the full blog post >>

Click here to view available books of Rex the Cat >>

Click here to buy an eBook from the iTunes Bookstore >>


Today’s Mama Blog

September 30, 2013

Lucky Penny Press Children’s eBooks

Self-publications seem to be a dime a dozen these days. Whether you have a Kindle, a Nook or an iPad, eReaders are inundated with great, good, and, let’s face it, not-so-good books for both adults and children. As a parent, I am appalled at some of the book choices that appear when my nine-year-old daughter hunts for a book to read on her Kindle. Some of them are clearly NOT intended for children – even after we’ve filtered our search accordingly.

Fortunately, there are budding eBook publishing companies like Lucky Penny Press that have a focused ideology of providing good quality books for children. “We want our books to have a message in them about culture, adventure, the environment – moral lessons” said Melissa Marsted, founder of Lucky Penny Press. Their books are targeted for children ages three to ten years old and are offered in several different languages, such as Spanish, French and Chinese as well as English. This is a great opportunity to expose your children to foreign languages, or reinforce one while learning about the myriad of messages each book has.

Click here to read the full blog post: http://portland.todaysmama.com/2013/08/lucky-penny-press-childrens-ebook/

Quote of the Day

September 30, 2013

“To hope and dream is not to ignore the practical. It is to dress it in colors and rainbows.” Dr Anne Wilson Schaef

Happy Birthday to Our Children’s eBook Author Ken Cohen

September 26, 2013

eBook in iTunes Bookstore


“As a published author, now affiliated with Lucky Penny Press, I feel as if I am stepping into a new paradigm in children’s publishing where the written word is but the beginning of a much more expansive adventure into the creative process. Here, in addition to the book’s illustration, are the additional elements of music and narration to enchant and enhance the child’s reading experience. I am also thrilled with the E-book’s ability to translate ones work into different languages, thereby giving the author access to a truly global market. I sense that Lucky Penny Press, in nurturing the creative spirit, is also pioneering the future of children’s literature as a multi-arts convergence into wonder and awe!” Ken Cohen

Click here to purchase Ken’s eBook on iTunes:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/songs-of-the-sandman/id557105265?mt=11

Perie Longo

August 30, 2013

Perie Longo, Poet Laureate Emerita (2007-2009) of Santa Barbara, California, has published three books of poetry: Milking The Earth, The Privacy Of Wind, and With Nothing Behind But Sky: a journey through grief as well as having numerous poems published in several journals and anthologies. She has been Poet-in-Residence in many local elementary schools since 1984 through the California-Poets- in-the-Schools (CPITS.org) program. Many of the poems included in this series were written as inspiration for youngsters to write their own poems. She has been on the staff for the annual Santa Barbara Writers Conference for over twenty-five years, is the poetry chair for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, and as a psychotherapist, integrates poetry writing for wellness.

Women 2.0 Blog

August 23, 2013
A Lesson on Perseverance: How She Started A Company After Losing Everything

For Womens Running

After losing everything in a fire, one founder shares how she went on to start a new company and uses running as a source of inspiration. 

By Melissa Marsted (Founder, Lucky Penny Press)

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
– T.S. Eliot.

I have lived my life with two conflicting family legacies – one heartbreaking and one inspiring. The first is cancer. My two grandmothers each died of cancer and my mother has survived both colon and uterine cancers.

The more positive family legacy is a gift for entrepreneurship, which has been passed from generation to generation.  My great grandfather, AC Gilbert, was an inventor and is most famous for creating the Erector Set.

My great grandfather was also an Olympic athlete. I grew up knowing that my DNA had some Olympic blood.

From an early age, I was inspired to compete – and to believe in greatness. Persistence, dedication, determination and motivation are my nature.  I swam competitively beginning at age seven.  I ran my first 10k when I was 15.

For years, I ran to stay a few strides ahead of cancer. I loved the open roads; I loved to race; I loved the challenges of training for a marathon.  I believed that exercise would beat stress and reduce my risk of cancer.  At the same time I was raising two sons, working as a grant writer for non-profit organizations and freelance writing.


Now approaching 48 years old, I never anticipated that years and years of long distance running – and eleven marathons – would prove to be as beneficial as they have been in helping me transition to, and sustain, the entrepreneurial spirit.

Today’s Image

August 23, 2013



New Poem Ebook

August 23, 2013

Children Poem eBook

Melissa C. Marsted, the founder and president of Lucky Penny Press, says she reached out to Longo because she wanted to expand her collection of titles for children ages three to ten to include poetry.

“I’m fortunate to know so many amazing artists and storytellers,” she says, “which is why I created Lucky Penny Press—to nurture the creative spirit. Art enriches our lives and when children are exposed to it early, it ignites their own creative fires.”

The two women found their collaboration artistically satisfying—and great fun.

“I was delighted when Melissa invited me to pull together some of the poems I’d written for children for a Lucky Penny Press eBook,” Longo says. “I selected poems that lent themselves to art, and Melissa also sent artists’ work for me to address in poetry.”

The results are magical.