Local children’s book publisher and author Debbie Reece has been selected as one of eight finalists competing for "The Best of Texas Strong" award. Reece, a client of the Grayson College Small Business Development Center (SBDC), is owner of BeeBop Books, www.beebopbooks.com. She was recently nominated for the competition by Tommi Homuth, her business adviser at the Grayson SBDC.

Reece will be competing at the Texas Rural Challenge, a statewide conference designed to spur small business and economic growth in rural communities across Texas. The finalists were judged on innovation, the environmental impact, the market validation and the social good of their product or service. The winner will receive $1,000.

Five years ago, Reece published her first book "The Christmas Pumpkin," which celebrates the wonder of a family farm and leads to an interest in the rich heritage of Texas pumpkin farming and helps children understand it is okay to be different, just like Green Pumpkin, who made Christmas very special for a little boy.

Reece is a resident of Howe and has worked with the local SBDC to get her business started.