This picture was taken in 1961 when I was in seventh grade and 13 years old.

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 11.31.16 AMTwo years ago this week Herald Press chose it for the cover of my memoir.

See the subtle differences?

Blush_frontcover copy

When a baby turns two, people cluck their tongues and wish the parents well.

“Enjoy the Terrible Twos,” they say.

The book baby above just turned two.

To celebrate, Herald Press has lowered the price of the e-book

to 99 cents!!

On both Amazon and iTunes.

Even better, BookBub has selected BLUSH to be promoted to their email lists in

Canada, England, N. Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and India.

I can’t wait to see what happens. Hope I hear from readers in those countries.

And now here’s the bonus for you, dear reader in the US.

For a few days, the 99 cent price will apply to you also.

You can use the links above to purchase or share as a recommendation to friends.

The “terrible twos” mean that a child is finding her voice or feeling his unique energy.

Book children need to do the same.

What memories does the phrase “terrible twos” evoke for you? Share below. I’m all ears.

Shirley Showalter


  1. Marian Beaman on September 17, 2015 at 10:26 am

    You are soaring, Shirley! This milestone can be earmarked terrific and tremendous, not terrible.

    My memory of the terrible twos: I got a spanking for asking for a slice of apple out loud in church (I knew Mother had packed a treat). I persisted even though my parents didn’t want me to have more just then. Years later our city awarded me with an Outspoken Citizen Award. This can happen when tiny tots are re-directed – ha!

    Again, congratulations and best wishes in this fantastic promotion. πŸ˜‰

  2. shirleyhs on September 17, 2015 at 10:58 am

    Thanks, Marian, I’m eager to see what happens later today when the message goes out from BookBub to all those countries.

    I chuckled when I read your Terrible Two story. I suppose you heard about your stubborn insistence from your parents? Or do you actually remember this event. If you remember it, you deserve not only the Outspoken Citizen Award but the Memoir Writer from Birth Award. πŸ™‚

  3. Sharon Lippincott on September 17, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Congratulations Shirley. Two-year-old children may have their moments, but compared to babies, they have become semi-articulate and have a glimmer of comprehension and reason. Your “book voice” has become stronger and more articulate. You’ve never been short on comprehension and reason.

    You mention the difference in the photos. I had to look carefully to discern how the artist brought out your eyes and gently blurred from there on out. Effective! Like the way as writers, we pick our key point and zero in, softening surrounding detail.

    • shirleyhs on September 17, 2015 at 1:08 pm

      Thanks, Sharon. I’m amazed that you were able to take time for a comment while in the midst of such a huge life transition, moving from Pittsburgh to Austin. I have attachments to both places, as you know, and I think you’ve made a great choice.

      Thanks for your kind words about my voice and also for taking the visual challenge. I never thought about whether the eyes were highlighted before. I only saw the softness with the pink color added. You made me NOTICE more, my word of the year. I’m grateful. All best on the move and on feeling at home in your new place.

  4. Laurie Buchanan on September 17, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    Shirley β€” CONGRATULATIONS on BookBub selecting BLUSH for international promotion! As you know, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your memoir.

    Terrible Twos Memory? Seeing my grandma’s false teeth in a glass of water fascinated me. Having watched her use denture powder to adhere them in her mouth, I thought I’d give it a go, too. It took a while for my mom to UN-adhere my top and bottom teeth from each other. [In retrospect, I’m sure they wish they’d kept them glued together]…

  5. shirleyhs on September 17, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Thanks, Laurie. You’ve been a friend of my book baby since the time she learned to walk. πŸ™‚

    What a great story about Grandma’s teeth stuck inside a Terrible Two mouth. As we would have said at my house: “Ei, Yi, Yi!”

    • Laurie Buchanan on September 17, 2015 at 1:37 pm

      Shirley – It was actually my own little teeth that I stuck together with grandma’s denture powder after watching her adhere her false ones in her mouth. Having waited until the “coast was clear,” she was completely unaware of what my fascination would lead to…

      • shirleyhs on September 17, 2015 at 1:52 pm

        Ha! Oh no! Not sure which would be worse.

        “Ei, yi, yi!”

        We learn through imitation from an early age.

        Thanks for clarifying.

  6. Dolores Nice-Siegenthaler on September 17, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Shirley, this is wonderful news. I’m happy to think of your book continuing on to other readers.

    When I was two, my brother was born, and I remember him as having ‘closed eyes’ for a while. I thought all babies were born with eyes shut, like the kittens I saw as newborns.

    • shirleyhs on September 17, 2015 at 2:07 pm

      Thanks, Dolores.

      Your story is so sweet I can’t call it a Terrible Two story. As Sharon says above, age two is a time when comprehension, reason, and elementary communication begin. You were being 100 percent rational. Analogy is exciting. I remember when our little toddler Anthony took his Fisher Price people down the steps of the Fisher Price airplane and then continued the journey down the real steps in our split level.

      Like Anthony, you “got it” about babies. And you knew the eyes would open soon and you would have a new playmate.

  7. Carrie Ann Lahain on September 17, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    Very exciting! I just downloaded my copy and am looking forward to enjoying it!

  8. shirleyhs on September 18, 2015 at 10:16 am

    Carrie, how wonderful. Glad you can help celebrate the Terrible Twos with me. And hope you enjoy the book. You will have good background for reading it. πŸ™‚

  9. marylin warner on September 18, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    Shirley, I’m so glad I finally got through to the site–and now I have my very own copy of BLUSH on my Kindle. I’ve sent emails to my weekly writing group I teach and also to members of CAL (Colorado Authors League).

    Congratulations on you TWOs! As part of my graduate classes in literature and speech, I took an evening class taught by a wonderful older professor who explained this about the Terrible Two Tantrums: at the age of two the mind is working faster and clearer than the language ability. The child knows but can’t adequately express until the language catches up. So actually, it’s not a terrible but a wonderfully anticipatory stage.

    • shirleyhs on September 19, 2015 at 8:05 am

      Marylin, so glad you found the site again. I certainly hope we have fixed the major glitches here.

      Your professor’s explanation of the Terrible Twos makes a lot of sense to me. And your framing of this stage as “wonderfully anticipatory” made me smile. Sunny optimism comes naturally to you, I think.

      Thank you so much for helping to share the good news of this brief sale. I hope you enjoy BLUSH.

  10. Elaine Mansfield on September 18, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    You’re a year ahead of me and my book baby, Shirley, so I’m taking lessons from a more experienced mom. Thanks for your upbeat energy and for sharing what you’re learning. Lots of pink in the cover of Blush, but I think it’s effective.
    Terrible twos? I had a terrible second year after Vic died, mostly because I was desperate for it to be a better year than the first.

  11. shirleyhs on September 19, 2015 at 8:12 am

    Elaine, that definition of Terrible Twos took my breath away, partly because I recently participated in a ritual marking the end of the first year of a widow’s grief and whispered to her that I hoped the second year would be better. I hope I didn’t increase her desperation.

    Yes on the pink in Blush. The cover idea was to suggest the 1950’s when the glittering world for me was anything on TV. When I look at this font, I see the I Love Lucy scrolling letters with all their curves and “wonderfully anticipatory” (see above) suggestion of delights ahead.

  12. Merril Smith on October 6, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Congratulations! Such fantastic news about your book. You are so incredibly adorable in that photo-even with the extra “blush.”

    I don’t have a terrible twos story. In one of my earliest memories, I was probably two, and I wanted to wake up my baby sister. My mom saw me and motioned to me to go back to bed. I waited until she went back to sleep, and then crept back to my sister’s room.
    I don’t think my girls did anything terrible when they were two either. πŸ™‚

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