Murrieta children’s author highlights “local remarkable women”

MURRIETA, Calif. — Having already released two books in her “Remarkable Reese” series, Murrieta resident, Lisa Wellcome – a preschool teacher and aspiring author of children’s books – is preparing to launch the third book in her series, titled, “Remarkable Reese: I Want to be a Firefighter!”

In her Remarkable Reese children’s books, the main character, Reese – who was inspired by Wellcome’s own daughter, “the original Remarkable Reese” – is shattering female stereotypes by exploring male-dominated careers.

“Confident and sassy, Reese is anything but ordinary,” explained Wellcome; saying “Reese believes she can do anything! Why? Because the future is female!”

“The purpose of the series is to empower young girls to believe they can be anything!”, added Wellcome.


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About her books, Wellcome told RCNS that instead of creating a fictional character, she always tries to find a real-life inspiration in the form of “local remarkable women” to associate the main character of her books with. 

Her first book, “Remarkable Reese: I Want to be a Police Officer” was inspired by Murrieta police officer, Jennifer Metoyer, and “Remarkable Reese: I Want to be Dentist” was inspired by Temecula dentist, Dr. Walker.

The newest addition to her series, “Remarkable Reese: I Want to be a Firefighter!” was inspired by Cal Fire Captain Wendi Miller of Menifee, who currently serves the community of Rancho Mirage.

“This book is extra special because the inspiration was local Fire Captain, Wendi Miller,” said Wellcome. “I chose Fire Captain Wendi because not only is she a Captain, which is even more rare for a female, but she is also fighting cancer.”

Cal Fire Cpt. Wendi Miller, who lives in Menifee and is struggling to beat breast cancer, was the inspiration for Wellcome’s newest book, “Remarkable Reese: I Want to be a Firefighter!”

“Wendi is a strong role model for young girls and is a true hero,” Wellcome continued; saying she had no idea how many firefighters are affected by cancer.

Because of Cpt. Miller’s ongoing battle with cancer, Wellcome said she found an organization, Fire Fighter Cancer Foundation, that focuses on research to identify and reduce toxic exposures causing cancer.

“I reached out to founder and president, Cindy Ell, and spoke to her in length about her foundation and decided instantly to donate a percentage of my book sales to this amazing organization,” Wellcome explained.

“I believe all their dreams can come true”

With more than twenty years in early childhood education, Wellcome said she prides herself on consistently staying current with the trends in education and development of our country’s future leaders.

Also, as an active mom with three of her own children, Wellcome says she has a passion for helping all children and said she steadfastly believes their dreams can become reality-no matter how big!

Murrieta children’s book author Lisa Wellcome uses “local remarkable women” as the inspirations for her “Remarkable Reese” series. Her newest book, “Remarkable Reese: I Want to be a Firefighter!” was inspired by Cal Fire Captain Wendi Miller of Menifee, who is battling cancer.

Wellcome said she also believes that setting the foundation for learning and being a child’s first teacher “is the most important job in the world!”

Knowing their possibilities are limitless, Wellcome said she strives to empower remarkable girls and help them grow to their full potential and become brave and courageous women.

“I can do this!”

While working as a preschool teacher within a school district, Wellcome said her school was evaluated by ECERS (Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale), which is a tool with very specific criteria used to measure overall quality within a preschool program.

“I attended ECERS workshops and was given extensive training in setting up my classroom according to their standards,” the author explained.

“Confident and sassy, Reese is anything but ordinary and believes she can do anything!”

“As a preschool teacher I remember struggling with materials for the required category, Promoting Acceptance of Diversity—Specifically Gender in Non-stereotyping Roles,” explained Wellcome.

“Trying to find books in this category was difficult,” Wellcome continued; saying, “There were hardly any to choose from.”

“That’s when the light bulb went off,” Wellcome explained; saying at that moment she realized, “I can do this!”

Bringing Remarkable Reese to life

About her Remarkable Reese series, Wellcome said, “My writing style has more of an educational approach rather than the traditional story.”

“This style comes naturally to me because I write the way I would teach my preschool class,” Wellcome continued; saying she makes an effort to include exposure to sight words and vocabulary in her books.

Illustrator Ben Geiger helped Wellcome bring Remarkable Reese to life with simple drawings, meant to look like children’s crayon art.

About the simple illustration style chosen for her books, which were illustrated by Ben Geiger, Wellcome said, “I wanted the illustrations to look like a child drew them, and to be relatable to young children.”

“In addition, I just love crayon-colored children’s artwork,” said Wellcome.

“Whenever my students give me hand-drawn pictures, it warms my heart and makes me smile. I wanted that warm, happy feeling throughout the pages of my book.”

“My illustrator, Ben Geiger, did an excellent job bringing my complete vision – and Remarkable Reese – to life.”

“It’s important to make learning fun!”

Regarding how to effectively read to preschoolers as well as the difficulty of capturing and keeping their attention, Wellcome said, “Reading stories out loud to my students is one of my favorite things!”

“You need to be animated in order to keep their interest,” said Wellcome; explaining she will change her voice or tone to portray different characters in the books she reads aloud to her young students.

“I just love crayon-colored children’s artwork,” Wellcome explained; saying, “Whenever my students give me hand-drawn pictures, it warms my heart and makes me smile. I wanted that warm, happy feeling throughout the pages of my book.”

The author also said she works hard to engage her students and will often stop and ask questions related to the books she is reading.

“Not only does it give them a little break from paying attention to the story, but also it keeps them engaged,” explained Wellcome. “I like being very interactive when I read aloud and the children are more responsive too, which is a win.”

“It’s important to me to make learning fun!” she continued.

Remarkable Reese’s future books

Asked what other careers Remarkable Reese will be exploring in future books, Wellcome replied, “I have a long list of male dominate careers that I plan to bring to life in the Remarkable Reese series.”

“Reese believes she can do anything! Why? Because the future is female!”, explained Wellcome; adding, “The purpose of the series is to empower young girls to believe they can be anything!”

Potential story ideas include Reese as a pilot, football referee, and an astronaut, just to name a few. Visit for more details about the Remarkable Reese series.

To help Wellcome launch her third book, the author has created an indiegogo fund raising account, and hopes to raise the necessary funds to not only publish her third Remarkable Reese book, but to write future books as well. The fundraiser ends next Tuesday.

Also, a gofundme account has been established to help Fire Cpt. Miller in her ongoing effort to beat cancer.

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Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.