Never Miss a Beat

Audrey Press-Creator of Beautiful Books for Children (and how it all began)

It amazes me, as I sit in my sacred writing space that overlooks the foothills of the breathtakingly beautiful Smoky Mountains, that my boutique publishing house has been growing and flourishing for eight magical years.


For those who don\’t know, Audrey Press was created in 2010 and was born from my deep passion and desire to inspire children, families, and communities to experience, discover, and create a world together through the power of beautiful books for children. Over these last many years, I am thrilled to share that Audrey Press continues to pride itself on working hard to create books, e-books, videos, interactive stories, digital books, and mp3s. My main focus in the very beginning, and also to this very day, was to create paths that open up the world of possibilities for readers of all ages, through the magic of beautiful books for children.


AP is also the home of the “Book Jumping” concept; a phrase that puzzles many.  The act of \”book jumping,\” or as some would say, diving deep into the story itself and pulling activities from the pages,   its meant to reawaken the idea of \”living\” inside the pages of a book. Each story is a gateway into a magical world that takes reading from a solitary act to a group adventure that includes friends, families, neighborhoods, schools, and communities. You will see book jumping in all its colorful glory on my children\’s book review site, Jump Into a Book (JIAB). JIAB has also been around a very long time and I am proud of the many books I\’ve reviewed and the many original book-inspired activities I\’ve shared with my readers.


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It’s more than just an “activity.”  Book-jumping is a way of life. It’s where we look at the story from the same perspective as the characters. Instead of the book “being magical”, we actually become the magic. -Valarie Budayr

How did Audrey Press get its name? Audrey Pauline was my mother and Mom was an incredibly creative soul that used her gift of creativity to bring joy to others as a wedding dress and trousseau designer. My mother Audrey had a passionate love of books and passed that love on to me. She guided me in nurturing my love of books and taught me how to weave it into my family’s life through creating, reading, and writing books.  She taught us to go on “book adventures, “ and how to scavenge through rummage sales for old books “of value.” We treasured these words along with her during our family story hours.

When Mom\’s life neared its end, she sold the beloved design studio she had lovingly built and split the money between us, her children. We promised to further her pledge to “Create something in the world to show that you were here, that you existed. Make a change for the better. Be compassionate and loving and never forget what’s important. Loving in its purest form means having a good time and sharing it with those you love.”

For a time this legacy sat patiently waiting while we worked and raised our three children. But my heart never forgot and I knew that I would not forget my mother’s wishes or my promise to her. Audrey Press’s first release “The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden” is in honor of my mother Audrey Pauline.

During our year with the foxes, we were blessed with sharing our garden with these exotic, playful creatures. As I took photo after photo, a seed of an idea was planted. I knew very quickly that I would make a book about how sharing our space with these uninvited, soon to be beloved creatures, had changed our perspectives and our lives, even if only for that brief summer.

Me and my first book, The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden

From there I felt a calling to create a publishing house not only for my works, but for the works of others who are inspired to create learning moments through creativity, play, and discovery. All this fosters interaction between children, between adults, and between children and adults. This mind-frame helped form the foundation and mission that is now Audrey Press.

Our Mission: The mission of Audrey Press is to inspire children, families, schools and all of our communities, no matter how small or how large, to experience, discover, and create our world together through the power of books. Audrey Press strives to plant the seeds of adventure, magic, and togetherness by taking books off shelves and stories off pages. Discover, Inspire, Share.

As the years march forward, I am proud to announce that I\’ve added two new imprints to the AP family. Aletha Press is the new YA imprint of Audrey Press and this imprint focuses on books that are written by authors aged 16-26. Aletha is the Greek word for truth. We want to give voice to the young writers of this generation. The very first release under Aletha Press was the award-winning and wildly successful book author Hannah Rials.  Ascension has not only proven to be a winner, book #2 in the trilogy, Clandestine, is due to be released in July of 2018 and the buzz and anticipation for the book that continues the saga of half human and half vampire teen, Cheyenne Lane, is off the charts.



I\’ve also added Labyrinthine Press to the Audrey Press portfolio and this imprint released its first book in May 2018; Pilgrimage: A Modern Seeker’s Guide by Evans Bowen.


We hope you join Audrey Press on its mission to guide readers to grow together and develop a sense of purpose in our reading. Whether as individuals, as a family, or in ever-widening circles of community, when we come together to explore our world, we create strong connections within.

I am so glad you are here. 🙂

\Valarie Budayr is the founder of the independent publishing house Audrey Press and co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden. She is also the co-founder of Multicultural Children\’s Book Day. Valarie is passionate about making kid’s books come alive and bringing back the joy of reading to young and old alike. You can find her doing that on her popular blog and website, Jump into a Book.


Noreen Wenjen\Noreen Wenjen has spent the last two decades of her successful career recognizing the importance of creating a nurturing environment for music students. With two filled-to-capacity piano instruction studios to her credit and a vast knowledge of marketing gleaned from working at two Fortune 500 companies, Wenjen is sharing her proven business tactics with other music teachers who are committed to establishing a successful music studio with longevity.

In her new book, Two-Year Waitlist: An Entrepreneurial Guide for Music Teachers, Wenjen shares her proven\ method of using marketing, technology, and business know-how to grow a two-year wait list for a successful independent music studio. From identifying the value of a music teacher and connecting with students to taxes, fees and running a music school like a business, she shares knowledge and experience to educate other professional music teachers on how they can create an empire that will have students lining up for their expertise.

“Noreen Wenjen has created an invaluable guide for the private piano teacher. Her years of success in this field have enabled her to write a book that is both comprehensive and wise. An absolute must for piano teachers.”
– Dr. Stewart Gordon, Professor of Keyboard Studies at the Thorton School of Music, University of Southern California

Learn more about the book and author HERE.

Connect with Noreen via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


2 thoughts on “Audrey Press-Creator of Beautiful Books for Children (and how it all began)”

  1. i really enjoyed the informative backstory and admire your dedication to promoting the power of books and making so many diverse titles available.

  2. What a beautiful story! Your mother sounds truly wonderful! Thanks for sharing your story on The Blogger’s Pit Stop! Roseann from This Autoimmune Life

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