Category Archives: self-published books

Feeling the Love

art © priscilla hayes

Tina Turner asks (okay, so it’s more like belts out) “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” Well, we say “Everything!” And we’re fairly certain Priscilla Hayes is right there with us. Who’s Hayes, you ask? She’s the Boston-based abstract artist–turned–children’s book author who combined a series of sweeping, sunny canvases with her own experiences involving “a child, a couple, a cat and a dog who are dear to [her]” to create a delightful new “fable in paint” called The Too Much Love Story.

Available mid-November (and more than worthy of some space on your bookshelf, we’d add) this story/art book involves a couple who—you guessed it—has too much love. Their love runs so deep that their hearts simply can’t contain it. So what happens? The love spills out of the house, into the yard, and through the streets of a seaside village; readers can literally see it happen through renderings of hearts of all shapes and sizes against Hayes’ vibrant backdrops.

When the town’s beaches, ice cream stands, playgrounds and theaters become impossibly overcrowded with the pair’s emotional outpouring, the couple searches for a solution. They find it—sound the spoiler alert alarms!!—in the swaddled-up arms of a new baby.

According to Hayes, The Too Much Love Story reveals just one of the many special ways of becoming a family. And, in a very cool touch, she encourages children and families to think about their own “love stories” by placing keepsake photos in a pocket that’s affixed to the book’s inside back cover.

Preview The Too Much Love Story here:


Riddle Me This

©Priscilla Hayes

©Priscilla Hayes

One of the most rewarding stages when making a children’s book is piecing together an edited manuscript with corresponding illustrations. There is a satisfaction—almost like completing a 2000-piece puzzle—that comes with matching text to images in different ways, all the while being mindful of page count.

That’s where we are currently with The Too Much Love Story, an exuberant “fable in paint” created by local artist Priscilla Hayes. This children’s book, set in a seaside town, pairs a heart-tugging tale about love and family with Hayes’ vividly rendered paintings. Hayes’ happy, rhythmic pictures have an instant appeal on the page, and are sure to inspire children and adults alike.

What compounds the thrill is when the author or illustrator, who, despite the fact that he or she knew they had the raw ingredients for a successful book, gets jazzed about how all of the pieces coalesce. It’s gratifying to see how their words and images take shape in book form, and rewarding for all sides to engage in the roundtable discussion that occurs throughout the process. For us, this creative dialogue between the creator and the creative team is what it’s all about. It’s how the very best book—for both the reader and the author—is achieved.

It’s Personal

A while back, we had the pleasure of producing Chef Peter Davis’s cookbook Fresh & Honest: Food from the Farms of New England and the Kitchen of Henrietta’s Table. Chef Davis, the lauded toque at The Charles Hotel’s beloved restaurant known for its sunny, homespun feel, knew long before it was de rigueur that sourcing farm-fresh ingredients for his New England-style fare created the most flavorful, wholesome dishes. From the restaurant’s inception in 1995, Henrietta’s Table championed sustainable, organic fare, and Davis forged close relationships with farmers, cheese makers, and fishermen peppered throughout New England. His patrons responded, returning regularly for a singular Sunday brunch, as well as for comfort food faves like Yankee Pot Roast, Maine Rock Crab Cakes, and Chocolate Bread Pudding with Rum Caramelized Bananas and Vanilla Ice Cream.

In Fresh & Honest, cowritten by Alexandra Hall, and with palette-whetting photography by Heath Robbins, Davis shares Henrietta’s Table’s most requested dishes with home chefs everywhere. With tantalizing recipes that run the gamut from breakfast to supper and dressings to drinks, the cookbook celebrates ultra fresh flavors, as well as the farmers and suppliers who produce them.

Clearly, Chef Davis was driven to share his message about the value of farm-to-table cooking with readers. But why did he choose to keep his hand in the project? We pulled the exceptionally busy chef out of his kitchen for a few minutes to share his thoughts on getting a book of your own published.

Three Bean Press: Why did you decide to custom publish your own cookbook?

Davis: I was looking to have control on the outcome and to allow for more of my personal touch and opinions in the book.

Three Bean Press: What was your favorite part of the process?

Davis: Getting together with the team, and working and brainstorming on what the best look and feel [for the cookbook] would be.

Three Bean Press: What tip would you give authors looking to self-publish?

Davis: Get help!

Three Bean Press: What is most gratifying about being a published cookbook author?

Davis: Having Fresh & Honest done. It took a lot of work, but the result is very rewarding. It’s something to be published.

“Something,” indeed. Fresh & Honest recently nabbed the New England Book Award for “Best Cookbook,” so we guess Davis isn’t the only one who thinks so.

A Family Treasure

Late last year, we had the pleasure of working with a local man named Jim to create a family cookbook entitled Life With Lillian: Recipes With Love. Jim came to us in the hopes of putting together this very special Christmas present for his wife’s family, and we were delighted to be able to assist him.

Jim explained to us what an important role his mother-in-law, Lillian, had played in his life. A smile lights up his face and there’s a sparkle in his kind eye when he talks about his family. Jim started compiling Lillian’s recipes several years ago, when the meal-minded matriarch was still alive, and he had each family member write their thoughts and favorite memories of the generous and inspiring woman. While sadly Lillian didn’t get to see the finished product, the book is a wonderful testimony to her big personality, love of life, and, of course, her culinary prowess.

The cherished family recipes, such as yubada (stuffed grape leaves), are interspersed with heartfelt memories and a collection of family photographs. The best part is, Lillian’s recipes can now be enjoyed by future generations.

We were touched by Jim’s thoughtfulness, and we can only imagine how impressed his family must have been when they received their books on Christmas.

What is your family’s culinary heritage?