Nikki’s Hurricane Adventure by Kevin and Laura Sanchez

Nikki’s Hurricane Adventure is a children’s book enlightening the senses through a cat’s journey back home to his family. The book sales are devoted to helping find a cure for cancer.

Nikki is a cat who was separated from her family in 2008 during an evacuation for Hurricane Gustav.

Her adventures that followed were all in the hope of finding her family and getting back home.

This delightful tale leaves one with a smile all throughout, resulting in a happy ending. You will want to read it again and again.

The story and purpose behind this book has a meaning all in itself. Rather than summarizing it myself, I’ve asked one of the authors, Laura Sanchez, to share her story:

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When Nikki came home, she was skin and bones, her beautiful coat was matted and dirty, and she had no voice. Kevin and I would sit on the porch, brushing and petting her while she regained her strength, and telling her how happy we were that she was home. We tried to imagine what she had been through those four long months and so many miles. We knew she had made it through a hurricane and snowstorm, had crossed roads and rivers, and avoided cars, trucks, dogs, and who knows what other Louisiana wildlife she had encountered. In the spring we would sit on the porch drinking coffee in the morning and watch her playing in the yard, chasing birds and squirrels, back to her playful and loving self (still no voice, and definitely no longer the pampered house cat).

In July Kevin had a “mishap” while we were riding our mini-bikes and had to go to the doctor. During an ultrasound they noticed a shadow on one of his kidneys. He was sent for additional tests and was diagnosed with kidney cancer. We were of course devastated. Kevin’s father had died from cancer at 59, and we knew a couple of people who were currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. We knew our lives would be forever changed. As we sat contemplating our future, Nikki came up and jumped in Kevin’s lap as though she knew something was wrong. It was at that moment that I had an idea to write down Nikki’s story. Kevin loved the idea, and it gave us something else to focus on rather than the upcoming surgery and whatever other treatment was forthcoming. We decided that if we ever had our book published, half of whatever we made would be donated to cancer research.

We made it through Kevin’s surgery and recovery, while I was sitting next to him writing page after page of things that might have happened to Nikki in no particular order.  One day when my mom called from North Carolina, my three-year-old niece, Sarah, got on the phone and asked, “Aunt Laura, do you really have a Nikki the Cat?”  We had told my mom and family and friends, when Nikki first came home, some of the stories we had come up with. She told me that every night little Sarah wanted Grandma to tell her a bedtime story, and Nikki was her favorite subject. She would tell her a different adventure every night, and it always had a happy ending with Nikki coming home. We decided that the story would make a good children’s book. I started researching how to write a book and how to get it published. Kevin’s cousin Danny Wiggins (our illustrator) had also overcome a cancer diagnosis and was happy to do the illustrations for a worthy cause.

I sent the text to several publishers, but it was a long process with little encouragement. The following Christmas, my father was diagnosed with an aggressive esophageal cancer. It was the push we needed to pursue our book and its cause again. When we found Author House, they were very encouraging, and we decided to self-publish our book.  Nikki’s Hurricane Adventure was finally completed in February 2011. We are in the process of promoting the book, we have contacted Ochsner Hospital and made clear our intentions that half of the proceeds are going to cancer research. We have sold several copies to family, friends and co-workers, built Nikki’s webpage, introduced the book to our son’s elementary school, and pitched the idea of a school fundraiser. We have sold a few copies to a local bookstore and have sent out close to 1,000 e-mails (still ongoing). We have sent copies of our book to several distributors and are helping with a local fundraiser for a gentleman in our community who has medical bills associated with his cancer treatments. In addition, Kevin’s friend since elementary school was diagnosed with brain cancer in September and died just before Christmas at the age of 46.  He left behind his wife and two young children. We believe in our book, and even more, we would love to be able to contribute toward finding a cure for this devastating disease.

On a good note, Kevin has been cancer-free for 18 months, Danny Wiggins has just passed the five-year cancer-free mark, and my dad is on his second month, although he remains on chemotherapy treatments. ­­­Laura Sanchez

~

This is a book that is a delight to have, to hold and to read. The story touches your heart and soul and your are left with a smile. It is a “feel good” book and I can only highly recommend it.

Tina Turbin

www.DannyTheDragon.com

k.m.

Posted in Acts of Kindness, Books, Books-suggested by Tina, Children's Author, Children's Book, Childrens' Literature, Contributions, family
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15 Responses to Nikki’s Hurricane Adventure by Kevin and Laura Sanchez

  1. Rachel Meyers says:

    What a story! I can’t even BELIEVE this happened. Well, so glad Laura and Kevin decided to turn this into a book because it definitely should be.

  2. hailey giggams says:

    What great stories you have here, not just of the cat but of Kevin Sanchez’s successful fight with cancer! My kids are really interested in this story so I’m going to order it for them. I’m dying to know what Kevin and Laura dreamed up in their imaginations about what Nikki went through!

  3. Dolores says:

    Aw the cover of the book looks like it’s really well-illustrated. What a cute cat! Think I’ll be picking this up for the grandkids soon! Kind of looks like our old cat Cuckoo.

  4. Denise Chappell says:

    I’m glad to see you doing book reviews now! Your food and company and book reviews on glutenfreehelp.info are soooo good and you and I seem to agree on a whole lot. So, that being said, this is most certainly a fantastic book and worth picking up I’m sure.

  5. Tiffanie Leery says:

    Wow, this is a cool review. It has really inspired me to find an illustrator and get my children’s book illustrated and produced! I have been sitting on a really cool story for three years now and just haven’t been doing anything about it. Mr. and Mrs. Sanchez are awesome for taking the initiative to make this happen!

  6. Flora says:

    This looks like a gem! I’m so excited to read this. I’d love to hear more recommendations from you about some great “indie” children’s books, which I have seen now can be really high-quality!

  7. C.A. says:

    Sounds like a special book. I always like books that have a story behind them, not just IN them, you know? Very interesting. Look forward to reading it. -Cyndy

  8. Silvia says:

    This sounds like such a great book. @Dolores I totally agree with you on the cover illustration. I’m really amazed by this story! My kids would definitely be interested in this book!

  9. Tiffanie says:

    CUTE!!! I’m totally getting this! I only wish I could preview the inside online. Oh well…

  10. Nancy S. says:

    Wow looks like a great read. If you have any more recommendations please let us know! I wish we could get more indie books like this in libraries! Some of the books that get published are really just terrible. I just shake my head when I read them and think, “God, even I could do better than this!” and I’m totally not a writer in the least!

  11. Felicity Guevara says:

    Looks really cute. Has anyone read it yet beside Tina? I wish we could preview it online…

  12. Shelly Barnes says:

    Hi Tina I’m sure this is a great book since you’re recommending it! Must be really awesome in fact!

  13. Lara says:

    I can NOT wait to read this! It’s like a creative non-fiction story for children, huh? Love the idea!

  14. Sharon Magden says:

    You know what this reminds me of? I am having trouble remembering the name of the movie, but it’s based on a true story, too. Homeward Bound I think–about the two dogs and a cat who travel miles to get back home and go through all sorts of adventures. My son loved that movie when it came out and now I’d like to show it again this time to my granddaughter. It’s amazing what our pets are capable of!

  15. Trudy Williams says:

    This was one of those blog posts I read aloud to the whole family. They were so fascinated by Nikki’s story! We can’t wait to read this book and see what Nikki’s owners have imagined their special cat went through on her journey home.

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