Open When Wins Midwest Book Award Gold

Book of Encouraging Letters for Military Spouses Wins Best Nonfiction Family/Parenting Book

(St. Paul, MN, June 25, 2022)Open When: Letters of Encouragement for Military Spouses by Lizann Lightfoot (Elva Resa, Sept 2021) won the Gold for best Nonfiction Family/Parenting book of the year in the Midwest Book Awards. Winners were announced at a VIP Reception & Watch Party in Minneapolis and on the Midwest Independent Publishers Association YouTube channel on June 25, 2022. The Midwest Book Awards celebrate exceptional, impactful books published by Midwest independent publishers, recognizing creativity in content and execution, overall book quality, and a book’s unique contribution to its subject area.

Open When: Letters of Encouragement for Military Spouses is a collection of encouraging, informative letters for military spouses to read when facing specific events or challenges of military life. Readers can read the book cover to cover for an overview of the military life journey, or choose letters to read based on situations they are facing at the time, such as planning a military wedding, attending a military ball, giving birth while a spouse is deployed, moving on short notice, supporting a child who’s struggling at a new school, preparing to leave active duty, and many other military life moments in between.

The book’s format is one of the unique aspects that sets it apart from other personal growth books. Military spouses often write “open when” letters as a way to encourage their service members during deployment. Lizann adapted this practice to send encouragement to fellow military spouses. Each letter in the book is written from Lizann to the reader with advice and tips for that moment.

“Lizann’s approach is a creative and interesting way to share encouraging words and practical advice on a variety of military life topics,” says Elva Resa publisher Karen Pavlicin. “The result is friendly and inviting for new and seasoned military spouses. Our team loved working on this resource. It’s wonderful to see its impact in the military family community and for everyone’s effort to be recognized with this award.”

A Marine Corps spouse and mother of five, Lizann is known in the military community as The Seasoned Spouse for her blog where she shares her military family life experience with other military spouses.


ELVA RESA PUBLISHING LLC is an award-winning, mission-driven independent publisher based in St. Paul, Minnesota, specializing in quality resources by, for, and about military families.

MEDIA: Please contact Elva Resa PR at 651-357-8770 or pr[@]

TitleOpen When: Letters of Encouragement for Military Spouses
: Lizann Lightfoot
Publisher: Elva Resa Publishing
First Published: September 21, 2021
Distribution: Military Family Books, INscribe Digital
ISBN 978‐1‐934617‐59-5 (pb), 978-1-934617-62-5 (ebk)
Formats: 6″ x 9″ Paperback, 256 pages; ebook
Retail Price: $19.95 pb; $9.99 ebk
Case Quantity: 32

More information:
Book press page:
Author press page:
Table of contents:
Sample chapter:
Available everywhere books are sold.
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a must-have resource for any military spouse.… a friendly, honest conversation seasoned with hard-earned insights. A lifeline of support. A healthy, positive perspective that will recalibrate your thinking.”
—Jocelyn Green, coauthor of The 5 Love Languages Military Edition and Faith Deployed: Daily Encouragement for Military Wives

“…feels like a tight hug from a friend who gets it.”
—Becky Hoy, founder of Brave Crate, cofounder of PILLAR.

Every letter in this book is unbelievably relatable to every chapter in my life as a military spouse.”
—Jen Pilcher, Navy spouse, founder of MilitaryOneClick and MilSpousefest, and CEO of Patriot Boot Camp

The perfect gift for every military spouse in every walk of life. Truly a MUST READ.”
—Noralee Jones, writer and creator at Mrs. Navy Mama

“… Lightfoot weaves the words of healing many of us military spouses are continually seeking.”
—Jessica Manfre, LMSW, AFI 2019 Coast Guard Spouse of the Year

“… if you are a brand new military spouse seeking advice or recommendation or a seasoned military spouse, there is a letter in this book for you.
—Brittany Boccher, 2017 AFI Military Spouse of the Year and founder of Discover Your Spark

From nuts and bolts basics of military life to bigger issues of relationships and challenges … I recommend this book for any military mom.”
—Elaine Brye, author of Be Safe, Love Mom: A Military Mom’s Stories of Courage, Comfort, and Surviving Life on the Homefront

Open When is the transcription of a phone call to your military best friend/mentor whom you call when you are struggling or uncertain with an area of military spouse life. ”
—Richelle Futch, LICSW, creator of Her Ruck

“…first-hand advice on some of the more common situations military spouses find themselves in.”
—Rebecca Alwine, Army wife

“I would call this a book of love letters—each one full of loving advice from a seasoned spouse to the reader. ”
—Sally Ann Zoll, EdD, CEO of United Through Reading

Elva Resa Publishing