*UPDATE: Best Buddies: What’s in a Name? by Mother Melania Salem Book Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway! {Ends 6/30/23}

Jun 13, 2023 | 4 comments

Book Details:

Best Buddies: What’s in a Name? by Mother Melania Salem
Category: Children’s Fictions (ages 3-7), 32 pages
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Publisher: Holy Assumption Monastery
Release date: December, 2022
Tour dates: June 5 to June 23, 2023
Content Rating: G – This is a children’s picture book. It does deal with homelessness, but in a way that is appropriate for young children. There is nothing graphic and no bad language.

Book Description:

What happens when a homeless dog befriends a homeless teen? Join them and find out!
BUY THE BOOK: Amazon ~ Assumption Monastery

Guest Post:

Screamin’ Steven Stops Screaming

When I first came to the monastery, one of the nearby Orthodox churches had started a ministry to the local homeless people, and some of them took to hanging around the church property. Among them was a man whom the kids referred to as “Screamin’ Steven.” Steven was an alcoholic and, as his nickname suggests, he wasn’t the quiet version. He was harmless, though, and had become an accepted member of the community. When he got too loud, one of the men would quietly but firmly ask him to leave, and he would always listen. Otherwise, he was welcome to hang out. So, bit by bit, we got to know him.

Also, bit by bit, so slowly that it never really registered with me, Screamin’ Steven started to change. At some point, though, I realized that he wasn’t screaming nearly as much, he could have a prolonged coherent conversation, etc. Then, one day, when I hadn’t seen him for awhile, I asked the priest wheremhe was. To my joy and astonishment, Steven had gotten clean and had gone home to reconcile with his family, whom he hadn’t seen in some twenty years. He did come back, and last I heard, he was still clean and functioning well in society.

So, what’s the moral of this story? Love unconditionally? Never give up on people? Well, yes, but it’s not quite that simple. Loving unconditionally doesn’t mean letting people do whatever they want. Nor does it mean subjecting our children to dangerous situations. Nor does it even mean not humbly recognizing our own limited ability to help others. Deciding HOW to love people requires discernment, which I think that the leadership of this church had in abundance. They had standards that Steven and the other homeless people had to adhere to. And they certainly would never have put the children in danger. But within that context, they DID refuse to give up on Steven and the others, and the results
were amazing.

I would love to tell you that ALL the homeless people who frequented the Church had the same story as Steven did, but we both know that didn’t happen. What we DON’T know, though, is how these people ended their days and whether the love given them made a difference in the end. And that is plenty enough reason to keep loving everyone around us as wisely and patiently as we can. When our OWN ends come, it may make a difference for us, too.

By Mother Melania

Meet the Author:

Mother Melania is the Abbess of Holy Assumption Monastery in Calistoga, CA. She grew up in a house that always had tons of children around, her poor parents had to read to her till they were hoarse, and from the moment she learned to read, she always had her nose in a book. So, it was only natural for her to grow up to write children’s books.

She has written three series of specifically Orthodox children’s books – all in verse – which celebrate the high points of God’s work of salvation in the Person of Christ. Her remaining series teach children the virtues in a fun, non-preachy way.

Fearless and Friends chronicles the lives of Fearless the Fireduck (think ‘fireman,’ except that he’s a DUCK) and Charity the Church Mouse and their friends, who get in and out of trouble based on the wisdom (or lack thereof) of their actions.

The Adventures of Kenny and Scooter is a minimal-word series featuring six-year-old Kenny and his irrepressible Boston Terrier Scooter, who take turns getting into trouble and rescuing each other from their foolish antics.

​With all her books, Mother Melania is trying to celebrate virtue and God’s saving work in our lives.

Connect with the author: website 


The author is giving away PDF copies of the book via BookFunnel. This will be going on during the entire tour. Anyone who clicks on the link can download the book for FREE!


Giveaway Details:

Win signed copy of BEST BUDDIES: WHAT’S IN A NAME?, plus $25 Amazon Gift Card (one winner / USA only) (ends Jun 30)

To Enter the Giveaway click on the Rafflecopter link below:


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  1. Audrey Stewart

    What an adorable book. I would love this for children’s bookshelves.

  2. sherry fundin

    What a wonderful guest post. Thank you so much for sharing and putting a smile on my face.
    sherry @ fundinmental

  3. Marisela Zuniga

    This would be very good to read with my son

  4. Shelly Peterson

    Great book for my grandson.

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