The Team

kara shade and dale maiella

Dale Maiella (Author)

dale maiella

Dale is a first-time author based in Texas. She has been married 42 years and is the mom of 2 incredible daughters and "Nonna" to 3 precious grandchildren. She enjoys reading, bowling, trying new recipes, crafting, and spending time with her family, friends, and beloved lab.

She's worked in the health insurance field in various capacities for over 30 years. A true "Jill of All Trades" with incredible attention to detail, she handles all of the finish work in support of her husband's growing woodworking business.

Collaborating on this book has afforded her some welcome reprieves from oiling wood in the garage in 100+ degree temperatures. She should probably start the next one soon . . . 

Ironically, Dale had no intention of writing a book. This story weighed on her heart for more than a decade - begging to be told. Her oldest daughter, who is nothing if not persistent, wore her down, and together they penned this story - inspired by true events - honoring Dale's treasured friend of more than 30 years.   

Dale hopes it will inspire young readers to choose great friends and to do the work to cultivate and maintain them for the long haul (something she will never admit, but she does better than anyone we know). 

Kara Shade (Author)

kara shade

A wife and mom of 3 silly young kids, Kara has helped people live good stories as a relationship coach for more than a decade. Writing and sharing good stories feels like a natural extension of that work.  

As an undergrad, she felt drawn to communication and psychology - a bit of a black sheep in a friend group of engineers. 

How people talk. How people tick. Little did she know how much her life and work would coalesce around those two things.

Over the years, Kara has written a sea of academic papers, including a doctoral dissertation that doubles as a hefty paperweight. She's blogged on relationships for Psychology Today and proudly served as the lead writer on an international government project to develop research-based marriage tips for newlyweds. She loves harnessing the power of science and stories in her work. 

While this is her first book, everyone who knows her well suspects this is just the beginning . . . 

Kathleen Andrews (Illustrator)

Kathleen is pure magic. Her keen attention to artistic details and uncanny ability to take rough sketches and half-baked ideas and nail the execution is a testament to her abilities and experience. Dale and Kara knew they hit the jackpot with her when half of the illustrations in the book made one or both of them cry. 

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