Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Donna McDine, Guest Author at Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages

I'm excited to announce...I will be a guest (along with Lea Schizas) at the Red River Writers Live Tales from the Pages:

Hosted by Barbara Ehrentreu

Thursday, January 28th at 4 pm EST

Call-in #: 646-595-4478

Hope you can tune in.

Haitian Support from the Depths of Despair

M E D I A   R E L E A S E

CONTACT: Nicole Weaver, Children’s Author

For Immediate Release

Haitian Support from the Depths of Despair

From the depths of despair one woman has risen out of her own grief for her perished relatives in the Haiti earthquake. Knowing her strong held faith in praying for those who died will help the spiritual side of this disaster, Nicole Weaver, has turned her helplessness into action.

Fluent in Creole, French, Spanish, and English Ms. Weaver is reaching out to American families who are contemplating adoption of Haitian orphans. Knowing the vast differences of American and Haitian cultures first hand being a Haitian American herself, Weaver is offering support through her blog as a one stop resource to make the transition of a Haitian adoption go smoothly as possible.

American families are offered detailed information on:

• Planning and preparing Haitian meals, including where to purchase Haitian foods.

• Lessons on how to learn Creole and French.

• Suggested books on the grieving process of losing a parent/parents/siblings.

• Free translation services.
Additional services for those living in the Denver, Colorado Metropolitan area, Weaver is offering in-person food preparation and babysitting services to assist further in making an adoption transition a success. If you don’t reside in the Denver Metropolitan area, Weaver is offering consultation via telephone, email, or Skype.

Visit today for more information and to be in contact with Nicole Weaver directly.

Thank you in advance for your interest.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Daily Words of Encouragement Now Offered to Writers Who Need a Little Help Getting Started Every Morning

Kansas City, MO (PRWEB) January 2, 2010 - Writer Suzanne Lieurance bills herself as "The Working Writer's Coach" and says she helps turn part-time writers into "working" freelance writers. As such, she knows how hard it is for some writers to get started each day. Either their muse refuses to show up, or a full-blown case of writer's block develops. To deal with both of those problems, Lieurance created The Morning Nudge, a few inspiring words to motivate writers to get a little writing done each day.

Every weekday morning, writers on Lieurance's mailing list receive an e-mailed copy of The Morning Nudge. One day Lieurance might coax new freelancers to begin "living the writer's life," simply by sitting down and writing something. Another issue of the Nudge might encourage writers to celebrate the writing they did manage to accomplish that day rather than the writing they didn't get around to doing.

"Writers face so much rejection," explains Lieurance. "It's easy to get discouraged, particularly when just starting out. I like to think The Morning Nudge gives writers a positive little message every morning that lets them know they are not alone, and that they can't really fail at freelancing as long as they don't give up."

Writers seem to enjoy The Morning Nudge. Lieurance receives appreciative e-mails almost every day. "Hey, thank you for your Morning Nudge," said writer Amy Kelly. "It is a great way to start the day!"

Lieurance coined a cute little catch phrase for her daily words of inspiration and motivation. She advises, "When your pen won't budge, read The Morning Nudge."

As an added bonus...If you subscribe to The Morning Nudge, you'll automatically receive an invitation to The Morning Nudget Club for no additional charge. Then, as a member of the club, you'll get FREE writer's tools and resources to help you improve your writing and build your writing career.
To learn more about The Morning Nudge, go to:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Guardian Angel Publishing - December Releases

Guardian Angel Publishing is pleased to announce the December 2009 releases.

As I Watch, a Littlest Angels by Author, CHITRA SOUNDAR and artist SAMANTHA BELL. Read about how a tiny egg changes into a creepy crawly and then into a colorful, elegant butterfly. The repetitive text helps young readers to join in the reading.

The Sister Exchange, a Littlest Angels by author KEVIN MCNAMEE and artist KIT GRADY. Dealing with sibling rivalry in a fun and creative way, The Sister Exchange reinforces the bond between siblings, and increases reasoning skills through comparison.

Poodle & Doodle a Guardian Angel Animals & Pets, by author DONNA SHEPHERD and artist JACK FOSTER. Angel thinks her life is ruined when Leah brings home a new dog. Will her worst fears be realized or will the new arrival make life better than Angel could have ever imagined?

Circulation Celebration: The Sum of Our Parts Series, an Academic Wings, by author BILL KIRK and artist EUGENE RUBLE. “Circulation Celebration” is an anatomical rhyme which is all about the blood inside you and how the heart keeps it circulating so all of your tissue cells get fed and stay healthy.

Be sure to stop by the GAP website to view the below new releases plus many others.

Thank you for your interest.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Now meet the 'cousins'

I introduced my gals earlier today but now it's time to introduce their cousins, or as my children like to refer to them as my 'grandchildren':

This is Bronze, he's a pit bull bully (but you can tell he's got the bulldog folds on him) and he's 4 months old. He's Phiona's best playbite buddy. And that's Jay, my future son-in-law...HINT...HINT.

And below we have my daughter Allie holding Neo, 2 year old French Poodle. He's got the same temperment as Daisy--the 'leave me alone' kind. 

And the last pic is of Daisy's best friend, believe it or not: the 110 or so pound Rottweiller, Triny. She's big but she's just a little ol' pussycat.

So now you guys have pics of the five dogs and there's one more coming but I need to search for Quincy's photo.

Now, just imagine all of these dogs in my office running around while I try to write or edit. Yep...tons of fun!

Two Writers Burst Through Cyberspace and Meet In-person for the First Time

Thanks to the Muse Online Writers Conference writers from all walks of like have the opportunity to meet without leaving home. Many times the friendships developed have no barrier of distance. And other times a pleasant surprise may drop in your lap of connecting with a writer from your own neck of the woods. This happened to me at the 2009 conference. Even though Barbara Ehrentreu and I had met before through cyberspace, neither of us ever asked the other "where do you live" until in a chat room at the 2009 Muse Online Writers Conference. We were both pleasantly surprised and delighted to learn we lived about 30 minutes from each other. It took us to overcome a few scheduling conflicts, illnesses, the holidays, and Barbara's displacement from an apartment fire next to hers. Don't worry she and her family made it out safely. To read about her very personal account visit her blog

Now on to our wonderful in-person meeting at where else a Starbuck's (located in Briarcliff Manor, NY). As we easily hit it off in cyberspace we did so in-person. Hugging each other like long time friends. We chatted about everything under the sun. Our families, our experiences in writing, what we did prior to our writing, etc. Our time together flew by with our easy conversation and our wishes to meet again soon rather than later.

A heartfelt THANK YOU to the creators of the Muse Online Writers Conference, Lea Schizas and Carolyn Howard-Johnson. For without such a wonderful forum we may have never met in-person.

Be bold, when you connect with a fellow writer on-line ask them where they live. Even though you may think you are chatting it up with someone far away, you may be as surprised as we were actually be from the sane area.

I'd love to hear how you have made connections with fellow writers and what you do to keep the friendship going.

Till then...wishing you all a blessed day!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Noted Author Receives USA Book News Nod for Retailing How-To Book

M E D I A   R E L E A S E

CONTACT: Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Phone: (818) 790-0502

For Immediate Release

Noted Author Receives USA Book News Nod for Retailing How-To Book

Los Angeles—Carolyn Howard-Johnson's first book in her HowToDoItFrugally series of books for retailers, A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Technique, was named a finalist in USA Book News' 2009 award for professional books.

Launched at the National Stationery Show at the Javits Center, A Retailer's Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions, is expected to be the first of a line of books and booklets designed to put Howard-Johnson's nearly three decades of retail experience plus oodles more in the fields of journalism, public relations, publishing, and marketing in the hands of retailers. She is also an author's advocate and coach. She consults in the three Ps, publishing, promotion and publicity, and is the author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers and award-winning books of fiction and poetry.

The cover design, part of the award-winning package, is by John Quinn of Design Solution 360ยบ, a veteran graphic designer for the retail industry and designer for Smiling Moon greeting cards.

Howard-Johnson was named Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment by members of the California Legislature. The American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) Impact Council also named her Woman of the Year and Pasadena Weekly honored her for literary activism. She is featured on national TV commercials and teaches marketing for UCLA Extension.

Learn more about the author at She blogs at Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites picks Find her tweeting at and

Preview A Retailer’s Guide to In-Store Promotions at It is also available as a Kindle book at
Support materials are available on request.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Indie-Debut 2010

M E D I A  R E L E A S E

CONTACT: Amy Allgeyer Cook, Author

For Immediate Release

Indie-Debut Authors Join Forces in 2010

Indie-Debut 2010 blasts into the new year to announce the impending arrival of debut books from Small Presses across America.

Come along to learn about these talented debut authors and their publishers through blog tours, virtual launch parties, and interviews. The fun doesn’t stop there. Once you learn about each author you may be pleasantly surprised to find out they reside in your neck of the woods, providing you the opportunity to meet them in person at a local event, such as a book fair, school visit, or book signing at your local book store.

Without further ado the Indie-Debut 2010 group consists of:

January 2010 ~ Connection by Jo Ramsey

March 2010 ~ Brigitta of the White Forest by Danika Dinsmore

Spring 2010 ~ Owen and the Dragon by Carla Mooney

Spring 2010 ~ The Bug that Plagued the Entire Third Grade by Lori Calabrese

Spring 2010 ~ The Golden Pathway by Donna McDine

Spring/Summer, 2010 ~ The Flute and the Dagger by Miriam Forster

July 2010 ~ The Invisible Sister by Amy Allgeyer Cook

Summer 2010 ~ Mice Don't Taste Like Chicken by Scott Heydt

February 2011 ~ Dogsled Dreams by Terry Lynn Johnson

Interested in learning more? Visit Indie-Debut 2010 at or contact the Indie-Debut 2010 creator, Amy Allgeyer Cook at

Thank you in advance for your interest. We look forward to your visit.


More information is available upon request electronically.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Book Review ~ Poodle and Doodle by Donna J. Shepherd

Title: Poodle and Doodle

Written by: Donna J. Shepherd

Illustrated by: Jack Foster

Soft cover: 20 pages

Ages: up to 12 years

Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing

Print ISBN: 978-1-61633-017-0 ; 6161330171

Ebook ISBN: 978-1-61633-018-7 ; 161633018-X

Published: December 2009

Price: $10.95 – Soft cover  / $9.95 – E-book CD / $5.00 – PDF or Flip Zipped E-book

The balance of friendship can be a difficult one to understand. At times one may feel they are overshadowed by a friend and become frustrated. Poodle and Doodle by Donna J. Shepherd explores an unexpected friendship in this delightful rhyming story of two distinctly different dogs.

What comes forth through the eyes of one fancy poodle pup, Angel, is her own insecurities of having another dog around. When Scruffy, a cross between Poodle and Labrador is brought home by their owner, Leah, havoc ensues wherever Scruffy goes. His less than stellar manners appall Angel until the “ah-ha” moment that Scruffy is not so bad and is actually fun to have around.

Shepherd wonderfully brings to life real life issues all humans contend with in finding their place with friends. Most of all, we are all individuals whether canine or human and should appreciate the positives in all we meet.

Illustrator, Jack Foster brings the canine characters to life with their young owner, Leah, making it an adventure to read over and over again.

To learn more about author, Donna J. Shepherd visit: and

Visit and explore Jack Foster’s colorful world at:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Book Review ~ One Fine Trade by Bobbi Miller

Title: One Fine Trade

Written by: Bobbi Miller

Illustrator: Will Hillenbrand

Soft cover: 32 pages

Ages: 4-8

Publisher: Holiday House

ISBN: 13-579108642

Published: February 2009

Price: $16.95

The peddler, Gregory Piney Woods, was no ordinary peddler. He possessed the knack of making the perfect trade to get to what he needed most. Now many would think make a trade and you are done. Not for Gregory Piney Woods. His adventures in peddling will have you scratching your head in wonder as to why he makes the trades he does.

Does Gregory Piney Woods ever accomplish what he sets out to do to please his daughter? Come along for this pedaling adventure and discover for yourself in this folktale, One Fine Trade, based on an old folk song.

Children’s writer, Bobbi Miller, pulls the reader into One Fine Trade through her humorous writing and the story further comes to life with the vibrant illustrations by Will Hillenbrand.

Add One Fine Trade to your home or school library today and explore the adventure of folktales with the youngster in your life.

Visit the enchanting world of author, Bobbi Miller at

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Book Review ~ Davey Crockett Gets Hitched by Bobbi Miller

Title: Davey Crockett Gets Hitched

Written by: Bobbi Miller

Illustrator: Megan Lloyd

Soft cover: 32 pages

Ages: 4-8

Publisher: Holiday House

ISBN: 13-579108642

Published: August 2009

Price: $16.95

Who would think something as simple as a burr in someone britches would seal their fate in marriage? For you see a special dance was underway to honor Miss Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind and the curiosity of handsome and no-so-handsome boys drew them to the dance to woo Miss Sally Ann. Unbeknownst to them all competition from Davy Crockett was to be had. Even though Davy Crockett was a strong match for Miss Sally Ann’s combination of spit and vinegar he had an extra leg up or should we say a burr stuck in the seat of his britches making it impossible for him to sit. What ensues is a hilarious account of Miss Sally Ann not allowing to be out danced by Davy Crockett and what she feels needs to be done to outlast him.

In this laugh out loud adventure of courting at the local dance children’s author, Bobbi Miller, brings to life the stubbornness of Miss Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind and Davy Crockett. Run don’t walk to your local bookstore and purchase Davy Crockett Gets Hitched and find out if marriage comes to fruition and if Davy Crockett ever gets the painful burr removed.

Bobbi Miller expertly brings to life the side of Davy Crockett rarely seen along with the brilliant illustrations by Megan Lloyd. Visit her delightful world at

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bobbi Miller ~ Guest Author Interview

Come along for this fascinating and humorous interview with children’s author, Bobbi Miller. Bobbi and I met through a referral for book reviews and I jumped on the chance to interview her. I’m thrilled she did! It has provided me a wonderful opportunity to learn about her amazing background and gifts as a writer.

Bobbi will be checking in periodically, so take the time to ask her questions or leave comments. She's looking forward to interacting with the visitors of Write What Inspires You!

DMc: What or whom inspires you to write?

BM: I read many books, on all kinds of subjects in all kinds of genres. Many of the best adventures are on our own landscape! The western frontier, the Mississippi, the Civil War, the Revolutionary War, New Orleans, Boston, Chicago, New York, the Midwest and the Southwest, the coming together of many cultures, many languages and many stories — why, we have the BEST stories in our own front yard! This inspires me to write.

When I write, I travel. I go to the landscapes where my stories take place. The key to inspiration is becoming engaged in the life and landscape surrounding you. Inspiration and motivation does not come out of the ether, and is not created in a vacuum.

I spend my time exploring the American landscape and the grand voices that make up the American story. The language that creates these stories is as big and grand as the landscape itself. It is this audacious, bodacious, just splendiferous landscape and language that inspire me to write.

DMc: How did you get started?

BM: I am one of those nerds who knew how to read and write by kindergarten. I have always read and written stories. I studied hard to hone my craft, too. As an undergraduate, I studied writing and anthropology.

I went to Simmons College, the Masters of Children’s Literature Program, where I studied the folklore process in children’s literature. I investigated voice and perspective, and most of all, the language of the storytelling process!

I also went to Vermont College (now the Vermont College of Fine Arts) MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults Program. To tell you the truth, I think everything I learned up to that moment was preparing me for this experience. I studied under true masters. Eric Kimmel and Marion Dane Bauer. I owe them for my life, true enough. It sounds sappy, yes. But when everything – every moment, experience, understanding – comes together to finally make sense and direction, it does become a sappy life-altering moment. I continue to call Eric my Guru, and Marion my ultimate Mentor. I also call them dear friends. That’s the experience of Vermont College, and I sense that everyone who attends the program walks away with a similar sappy moment. For my creative thesis, I wrote nine picturebooks, four of which were eventually sold.

DMc: What did you find to be the most frustrating step/process of getting your first book published?

BM: The business of publishing is the most frustrating for me. It’s more than just understanding contract language, various rights and clauses, which is complex enough for me! But the business, as any business, is constantly changing in reaction to economic stresses, consumer demands, and constantly changing technology. It’s hard to keep up. But writers need to understand how the business of publishing works just as any one engaged in a career should stay informed on what influences how she works. I try to educate myself accordingly, and found many resources that help me do this. I’m not shy about asking friends and people in the know about how things work. I belong to the Author’s Guild and to Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), who offer resources about this topic. Harold Underdown has a wonderful website that discusses this aspect: Cynthia Leitich Smith’s website is another incredibly valuable resource:

Now that my first two books are out, I find myself engaged in marketing these books. Marketing is an important aspect of the business, but Luddite that I am, the technology confuses me at times, so this is my challenge. I have a wonderful web goddess, Lisa Firke, who designed my website. We are creating an inspirational site, I think, a resource for educators, students and writers, and not just a promo for my books. I’m quite excited about how it’s coming together.

DMc: Do you have an agent? If yes, how long did it take for you to find one?

BM: I do not have an agent. As any writer would, I have written to a couple that I thought a good fit. Alas, they did not think so! From what I’ve heard, it’s tougher to get an agent than to get an editor. I think it’ll happen when it happens, just like any relationship. Meanwhile, I am working with the bestest, wonderfullest editor with my picturebooks. I just Love her to pieces. And, I’m talking with other editors, equally wonderful, about my older reader projects. I’m looking forward to building a relationship with them, too.

DMc: How long did it take for you to write One Fine Trade and Davy Crockett Gets Hitched?

BM: My process takes me a long to complete. As I tell my students, it takes as long as it takes. I can take me a year to finish a picturebook, and several years to finish an older reader. Many think because picturebooks are shorter, they are easier to write. But, not so! Picturebook writers have to do everything that the writers for older readers do—create characters, establish setting and point of view – but do so in less than 1000 words. Picturebooks exemplify those devices of style: figurative language, the imagery, symbol, hyperbole. Picturebooks are also a lesson in the conservation of words. Sometimes the difference between a really grand book and an okay book falls upon the choice of a single word. It’s an artform, and one I fear is an endangered species.

For Davy Crockett, I researched both the myth and the man. I researched the historical context, including gender roles, so I have a feel for Miss Sally Ann. I also read his books to get a sense of his language and personality. My story is a combination of many tales, some of which he told, and some of which were told by others. I highlighted the recurring motifs, engaged in the language, and then created a story from that.

Stories tend to be organic, and sometimes outlines, research, and all the ‘great plans of mice and men’ need to be tossed as characters take over. In which case, I tag along for the ride. Miss Sally Ann is not your typical gal, as Davy Crockett discovered, and you’ll discover more about her in my next book, also illustrated by Megan Lloyd and will be published by Holiday House. She demanded to whoop it up, and I whooped right along with her.

I take these lessons into my writing for older readers as well.

DMc: Which is your own favorite book or character?

BM: Because I tend to read a lot, I would say that any book I am reading now is my favorite book. I have always been a heavy reader. I was reading Charles Dickens in the fourth grade, and just loved Oliver Twist. So much so, that I copied the book, making it into a play: “Please, sir. I want some more!” I read Robin Hood stories, and wrote about the daughter of Robin Hood. I read about pirates – and I wrote about the Pirate Queen! None of these stories that I wrote were very good, but the process engaged me in the language of story, how language works.

I am now reading Anita Silvey’s glorious book, Everything I Need to Know I learned from a Children’s Book [Roaring Brook Press, 2009]. This book features 100 leaders from many fields, including publishing, arts, and science, and their recollections of a favorite children’s book and its impact on their lives. This book embodies everything I believe about children’s book writing and publishing: Children’s books change lives. In fact, I was so enamored with this book, I had a conversation with Anita Silvey about the process she underwent on collecting these stories, and posted it on my website, under A Conversation with Anita Silvey:

DMc: What advice would you give someone who wants to get a book published?

BM: The best advice: hone your skills. Read as a writer. Deconstruct elements of your favorite stories to understand how these elements fit together. Keep taking classes. There are many online courses, and I list a few on my website. I also teach online courses, both at the undergraduate and graduate level, in writing for children. [Write me for more information] Go to Conferences. I try to go to one or two every year. Recognize that rejection is a function of the business, and everyone gets rejections. Eric Kimmel shares some thoughts on this very element on my website, under A Conversation with Eric Kimmel.

DMc: What would you be if you were not a writer?

BM: I have never NOT wanted to be a writer. I’ve worked at many jobs to pay the bills, but the focus was always to be a writer. Sometimes I get frustrated with the business, and with the process, of writing, and I entertain thoughts of becoming something else. I once thought about becoming a nurse. Well, that lasted for about fifteen minutes. I teach now, and I never thought I would become a teacher. But I teach writing, so even this keeps me engaged in the language of story. It is as poet Rainer Maria Rilke suggests, “Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.”

DMc: A signature request I like to ask every author, illustrator, editor, etc., I interview is for the individual to share with us a tidbit from their lives that the reader will find either humorous or surprising. Bobbi, can you please share one with us?

BM: Most surprising thing: I once thought about becoming a nurse. I decided I’d rather be a pirate.

To learn more about Bobbi Miller visit:
Be sure to visit again on January 12th and 13th when I present my book reviews of Davey Crockett Gets Hitched and One Fine Trade. Thanks for visiting.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Guest Author, Donna McDine at Claudette Young’s Creative Corner

M E D I A  R E L E A S E

CONTACT: Claudette Young, Children’s Author

For Immediate Release

Guest Author, Donna McDine at Claudette Young’s Creative Corner

Claudette Young explores the written word through ever changing creative corners at Come along with Claudette on her weekly interviews of professionals in the trenches of writing for children.

Stop by Monday, January 11th and visit with Claudette’s guest author, Donna McDine. Donna will be checking-in throughout the day to chat and field any questions you may have.

Thank you in advance for your interest.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2010 Writing Goals

Here we are six days into 2010 already. The kids are back at school and the normal "routine" is back in full swing.

I've never worked off a weekly marketing plan to keep myself focused before, even though I've done a daily check-in with a writing buddy to keep me focused on my tasks (thanks to Kristi Holl). Coupled with the weekly marketing plan suggested by Suzanne Lieurance at the CWCC I began the new year in full swing with breaking down each day with specific categories. And I have to tell you it felt great to sit down yesterday to re-visit my previous goals in 2009 and to get rid of what wasn’t working and to expand on what has been working. It truly provided me a game plan to hit the ground running or should I say the good old pen, paper, and keyboard.

My main goals for 2010:
  • Network: visiting and commenting on blogs, conducting interviews for my monthly newsletter, and book reviews
  • Develop my marketing plan for The Golden Pathway to be published by Guardian Angel Publishing
  • Complete the monthy assignments with the CWCC
  • Attend the weekly teleclasses at the CWCC
  • Finish the edits on my historical fiction manuscript
  • Finish the rewrites and edits on my picture book
  • Keep my blog fresh and exciting 
I'm also learning not to put too much on my plate so I don't become overwhelmed and not accomplish a thing because my list becomes too daunting.

What are your writing and marketing plans for 2010? I look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous new year!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Preditors and Editors Readers' Poll

I am delighted to announce that my latest tween/teen novel, Just Breeze, has been nominated in two categories for the Preditors and Editors Readers' Poll. If you haven't already voted for your favorite, I would appreaciate your vote for my book. You can see more about Just Breeze at my site. Beverly Stowe McClure.

Here are the links to the voting categories:

The voting is easy. Just go to the above links, scroll down to Just Breeze, click the circle next to her. Go to the bottom of the page and write your name and email. (Good luck with reading the letters.) And vote. They'll send a confirmation email.

Thank you so much for your support