Friday, July 30, 2010

Award-winning Penny and Rio series Contest

In celebration of the release of the third installment in the award-winning Penny and Rio series, Penny and Rio: The Diamond Collar Adventure, Jennifer Swanson, in conjunction with The Pawsitive Life is holding a Contest!

3 Grand Prizes of $50 giftcards

One of twenty ereaders of Penny and Rio Books on Ripple Reader

Winning pictures printed in The Pawsitive Life 

and on

as well as in The Homeschool Handbook

***Additional prizes offered on the website ***

For more information and to learn how to enter, please see her website at

Contest begins August 1st


Jennifer Swanson
Children's Author

follow me on Facebook!/pages/Penny-and-Rio-Mysteries/254158324961?ref=ts

Follow me on Twitter: JenSwanBooks   

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Guardian Angel Publishing Announces June 2010 Releases

Guardian Angel Publishing is pleased to announce their June 2010 releases:

Burgher and the Woebegone

Author: Kim Chatel
Illustrator: Samantha Bell
BURGHER and the Woebegone An interactive- "choose your own ending" chapter book about a gnome.

9781616330613; 1616330619; PRINT

9781616330620; 1616330627; eBOOK

Learning the Basics of Color

a/a Eugene Ruble

LEARN THE BASICS OF COLOR with Professor HOOT. This basic book of colors is a must for budding artists.

9781616330637; 1616330635; PRINT
9781616330644; 1616330643; eBOOK

Emily, the Brave

Author: Steve Fortosis w/as Doc McDuke
Illustrator: Michelle Morse

9781616330651; 1616330651; PRINT
9781616330668; 161633066X; eBOOK

EMILY, THE BRAVE Emily, a very brave little girl, had a sick heart, wrote to King Jesus who protected her. Her daddy loved her so much he didn’t care how people treated him just as long as his baby girl was okay.

A Short Tale About a Long Tail

Author: Marilee Crow
Illustrator: KC Snider

9781616330675; 1616330678; PRINT
9781616330682; 1616330686; eBOOK

A SHORT TALE ABOUT A LONG TAIL Stanley Squirrel wants to be just like all the other squirrels but he can’t because he has an extra long tail.

The Potty Train

a/a Nikki Schaefer

978-1-61633-043-9 1-61633-043-0
978-1-61633-044-6 1-61633-044-9

THE POTTY TRAIN Ben becomes a big boy on his potty after Pete the potty training conductor takes him on a whimsical train ride into Pottyland. ALL ABOARD!

Visit Guardian Angel Publishing - and order your copy today!


Monday, July 26, 2010

The Bug that Plagued the Entire Third Grade

2009 DFP Awards: Best Children's Book:

Ignoring his running nose and worsening cold, Matt’s single-minded pursuit of a rare bug wreaks havoc on his school, his teachers, and his classmates.

This amusing picture book celebrates the ambitious spirit of a third-grader as he tries to study, and uncover a distinct insect on the brink of extinction. Young readers will be buzzing as they follow Matt’s quest to win his school’s Bug-A-Fair. Or will he create a third-grade epidemic?

Check out the cool book trailer below!

Additional Information:

Author: Lori Calabrese

Illustrator: Chet Taylor

Reading Level: Ages 2-8

Publisher: Dragonfly Publishing, Inc.

Hardcover ISBN#: to be assigned

Paperback ISBN #: to be assigned

Friday, July 23, 2010

Guest Author Interview ~ Shari Maurer

Like so many connections these days we meet new friends through cyberspace. Shari Maurer first found me by searching authors in Rockland County, NY and to my delight she contacted me almost two years ago. AT the time we were both submitting and looking for a publisher and due to our determination we both met our goal. Ms. Maurer’s debut novel, Change of Heart, was released April 2010 and I recently had the opportunity to interview Shari during her busy promo schedule. Come along for this inspiring interview and be amazed.

DMc: Your debut novel, Change of Heart, released April 2010 by WestSide Books. Please share with our readers what or whom inspired you to write such a heartwarming story of organ donation.

SM: My husband is a cardiologist who cares for patients waiting for transplants. One night he and his patient were featured on a Discovery Health program. Also on the show was a little girl waiting for a heart transplant. I watched as they wheeled her into the OR for her transplant and was haunted by the look on her face. The more I thought about her, the more Emmi’s story evolved.

DMc: Please share with our readers your road to publication from inception of your manuscript to completed novel.

SM: It felt long, but after talking to many writers, I’d say it was average. I started writing Change of Heart in the Fall of 2006. Several revisions later, I found an agent. We were on submission for a year before we got the offer from WestSide. Edits went very quickly and less than a year after the offer, Change of Heart was published. Moral of the story: persistence and patience. I was always good at persistence, but I’m trying very hard to learn the patience part of the publishing industry.

DMc: What has been your most effective marketing tool to date? Why?

SM: I’m not sure I have one thing I can point to as the most effective. I kind of look at marketing like an investment portfolio, but instead of balancing your investments with stocks, bonds, CDs and real estate, I balance my marketing portfolio with blog interviews, bookstore signings, TV and newspaper interviews and social networking like Facebook and Twitter.

Though I have to say to anyone who is making their YA or MG debut, the best thing I did was join the Class of 2K10 and the Tenners. These are groups where debut authors have banded together both for support and for joint promotion opportunities. I didn’t know how important having this community of writers who were experiencing so many of the same things I was, would be to me. The Class of 2K10 can be found at and the Tenners are at

DMc: Where can Change of Heart be purchased?

SM: Right now it is in several Barnes and Noble stores (and if it’s not in your local store, ask them and they can get it for you), some Indies and on-line via Amazon, B&, Borders and Indiebound.

DMc: What can we expect from you in the future?

SM: I have another YA book that my agent and I love and are trying to find a home. If you enjoyed Change of Heart, I think you’ll love my new one, too. And I’m in the middle of a book that is currently a mediocre first draft with a lot of potential (and now you know how I’ll be spending my summer!).

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 form their lives that the reader will find either humorous or surprising. Shari, can you please share one with us?

SM: The other night my son was having trouble falling asleep. I told him to make up stories in his head and hopefully that would relax him enough to sleep. I confessed to him that when I was a kid, I used to do that every night. Suddenly, it occurred to me that this was probably a big part of why I became a writer—because every day I was creating stories and perhaps the natural next step was to start writing them down and sharing them (though most of mine were not for sharing—especially the ones featuring the Brady Bunch—enough said!).

To learn more about Shari Maurer visit:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Testimonials to Affirm Dynamic Media Release Services

Testimonials of one's writing services are as affirming as an acceptance from a publishing house.

I'm pleased to share with you the latest testimonial for Dynamic Media Release Services:

"As a new author, I was unsure of how to publicize the blog tour for my first book. I knew a press release would help, but had no idea what to include or how to write it up. Donna came to my rescue! She asked for the appropriate details, composed an attention-grabbing press release then posted it all over cyberspace.

Donna provided her service in a timely, professional manner and allowed me to give approval on the final press release. If you have qualms about handling your own media release, contact Donna – she’s an expert!"

Beth Bence Reinke, author

Monday, July 19, 2010

Come Explore Write What Inspires You for Testimonials, Author Interviews, Book Trailers, Releases, and Reviews

M E D I A  R E L E A S E

CONTACT: Donna M. McDine
Children’s Author
Phone: 845-721-7802

For Immediate Release

Come Explore Write What Inspires You for Testimonials, Author Interviews, Book Trailers, Releases, and Reviews

Cruise on over to Write What Inspires You at: and hear what satisfied clients of Dynamic Media Release Services have to say, author interviews, book trailer and reviews, Guardian Angel Publishing June releases, and a special contest announcement.

7/21/2010 - Testimonials to Affirm Dynamic Media Release Services

7/23/2010 – Guest Author Interview, Shari Maurer

7/26/2010 - The Bug that Plagued the Entire Third Grade by Lori Calabrese

7/28/2010 – Guardian Angel Publishing Announces June 2010 Releases

7/30/2010 – Award-winning Penny and Rio series Contest by Jennifer Swanson

8/2/2010 – Lost Island Smugglers Max Elliot Anderson

8/4/2010 – Children’s Author, Editor and Owner and Founder of SFC Magazine Interview, VS Grenier

8/6/2010 – Slip, Slide into the World of Book Reviewing – Mayra Calvani

8/9/2010 – Another Satisfied Client of Dynamic Media Release Services

8/13/2010 – Book Review: Brigitta of the White Forest by Danika Dinsmore

8/16/2010 – Book Review: Owen and the Dragon by Carla Mooney

8/18/2010 – Book Review: The Guardian of Kelmar ~ Book I of the Kelmr Trilogy by Laura Sepesi

8/20/2010 – Book Review: If I Could Be Anything by Kevin McNamee

8/23/2010 – Book Review: The Sister Exchange by Kevin McNamee

8/23/2010 – Author and Publisher Interview: Carole Anne Carr at

8/25/2010 – The Soggy Town of Hilltop by Kevin McNamee

Mark your calendar today and be sure to visit

Thank you in advance for your interest.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Meet Penny and Rio's Creator - Jennifer Swanson

Connecting with fellow writers early on in their careers makes watching their strides into publication that much more exhilarating. Jennifer Swanson’s road to published author is a wonderful testament to perseverance. Come along for this inspiring interview.

DMc: Please share your road to publication and what you envision for Penny and Rio in the future.

JS: As many writers can relate, my road to publication has had many ups and downs. I have had a myriad of rejections, but it's the one acceptance that we all remember. I actually wrote the first two Penny and Rio books while a student with the Institute of Children's Literature. After a long search, I was lucky enough to find a fantastic new small press, Mirror Publishing, whose editor, Neal Wooten, is very knowledgeable about the business and takes pride in putting out an extremely marketable and professional product.

I anticipate the Penny and Rio series to continue on for several more books. I know I have tons of ideas. They have been well-received in the global markets, as the first two books will be released in Thailand this summer and they are currently being distributed in France with Mariposa Press. In addition, I have recently begun marketing them to the homeschool market and have been pleased to get rave reviews. I hope that Penny and Rio will be around to give joy to children and to stimulate their imaginations for a long time to come.

DMc: What has been your most memorable writing experience to date?

JS: My most memorable experience probably has to be when I won the Mom's Choice Award for each book and then the Dove Foundation's Family-Approved Seal. It was a spectacular day. To be validated as an author is probably the dream of every writer. And to be recognized by organizations that represent the interest of family and children, it was just fantastic. I am truly honored to have received them.

DMc: What are your summer plans?

JS: Well, I will be busy this summer. Naturally, I am extremely involved in marketing the release of the third book in the series. Penny and Rio: The Diamond Collar Adventure will be released in July 2010. I am very excited to offer my first contest in conjunction with this release. I will be giving away 3 $50 gift cards to Barnes and Noble.

Details are available on my website

In addition, I am working hard on writing two non-fiction picture books for Capstone Press. I was thrilled to receive this contract to write about science, since that is my other love. Invisible Creatures in Your House and Invisible Creatures in Your Body will be released under Capstone Press' Edge imprint in Fall 2011.

DMc: What has been your most valuable marketing tool to date?

JS: That's a tough one. I did not have a marketing background when I released my first book, so it was a huge learning experience for me. I guess I would have to say the internet. I have learned to use social networking sites, book review bloggers and Blog talk radio to help get the word out about my books. It is a lot of fun to see how fast and how far information can travel. But it is a lot of work, too, as I'm sure you understand Donna.

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. Jennifer, can you please share one with us?

JS: I would have to say, that if readers aren't aware, Penny and Rio were my real dogs. They were a lot in real life like they are in the books. They were fantastic dogs with much character and energy. Penny was the more adventurous of the two and constantly got herself into many funny situations. As in book #1, Penny and Rio: The Mysterious Backyard Meeting, Penny loved to dig. One time I went outside and looked at my backyard and she had dug 26 holes! Believe me my husband was not happy to have to fill them all. But the funniest part is that she really did dig out a 3-foot tall flower planter and lie in it -- just like in the book. The picture is on my website if you want to see it. It's hilarious.

I guess it's no surprise that I'm a huge dog lover and I support a great dog rescue organization with my proceeds. It's called GREAT Rescue ( and they were the ones that helped us to find Hannah, the main character in the new book. It makes me happy to know that I am helping to find new and forever homes for our furry friends.

Thanks for having me, Donna. It's been great! Happy Writing!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What do Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines Have to do With Each Other?

Title: Caves, Cannons and Crinolines

Written by: Beverly Stowe McClure

Ages: 12 and up

Publisher: Twilight Times Books

ISBN: 1-60619-112-8

Published: September 2009

Soft cover: 153 pages

Price: $16.95

The year 1863 finds outspoken, 14-year-old, Lizzie Stamford at a crossroads of what her parents believe to be acceptable behavior for a young lady, and secret desire to join the Confederate Army disguised as a boy. Her two brothers, Willie and Joseph willingly joined the Confederacy to defend Vicksburg from the Yankees and Lizzie longs to be part of the glory. Her blind courage brings her into the midst of a battleground at nighttime. Much to her dismay war is not what she believed it to be. The horrific acts of violence overwhelm her and she runs away as quickly as she arrived.

Her emotions and beliefs that all Yankees are evil is put to the test when an unexpected encounter with a Yankee soldier has her doubting her belief system. Will Lizzie come to terms of the ever changing world and circumstances which surround her? And what is to become of her beloved brothers and the city of Vicksburg?

McClure balances the emotions of the Confederate and Yankee characters with such in-depth feeling the reader will find themselves switching sides throughout the perilous journey of Lizzie Stamford and her family, and their quest to reclaim Vicksburg.

To learn more about Beverly Stowe McClure visit:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hook Boys on Summer Reading by Margot Finke

For those with children who get bored during summer vacation, let me suggest you HOOK THEM on READING.

You will find a terrific selection of books for reluctant readers + easily bored boys, right here: 

Margot Finke -  

Children's Books - Manuscript Critiques

May 2010 - Ruthie and the Hippo's Fat Behind

Margot's Blogs:

Join me - Children’s Writers Coaching Club:

Friday, July 9, 2010

To Schedule or Not to Schedule

Phew…another summer upon us. With having school aged children (Nicole-15 / Hayley-12) I always welcome the end of the school year. Even though I remain on schedule with writing/marketing and my virtual assistant position I find it a calmer pace without the endless schoolwork deadlines, art classes, and sporting events. And it helps the girls are certainly at an age where they are quite independent. My best laid plans are to write/market in the morning before the rest of the house rises and then tackle my responsibilities of a virtual assistant.

I’d enjoy hearing from you as to what your summer plans are to keep up your writing momentum. I look forward to your visit.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

MuseItUp Publishing

For those of you who have surfed the Internet in the search of starting or expanding your writing career many of you have met Lea Schizas. Her impressive creditials will leave you inspired. She is the creator of the Muse Online Writers Conference and now the creator of MuseItUp Publishing -

PROFILE of MuseItUp Publishing:

We welcome new and seasoned Canadian and American authors to send us their manuscripts. Our view is that new writers aren't given an opportunity to showcase their talent. Although a submission doesn't guarantee an acceptance, we will offer comments with tips on how to improve your manuscript and invite you

to resubmit. Simultaneous submissions will be accepted provided it is clearly stated in your cover letter that another publisher is considering your work. Our authors do not pay a fee to e-publish their books with us. We provide editing and cover art for all our books, and assign the ISBN number to your work.

We are a small and upcoming royalty paying independent Canadian e-publisher, open to the following genres:

• Romance (no erotica) - everything from: romantic comedy, contemporary romance, fantasy romance, historical romance, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, western romance

• Paranormal - Fantasy - we love vampires, ghosts, witches, werewolves and shape shifters...and dragons

• Mystery - Suspense -Thriller - captivate us with the pacing of your novel.

Hint: we love cozy mysteries

• Young Adult - we're big fans of the Potter & Twilight series but seeking a unique voice for this target group

• Horror & Dark Fiction - scare the living daylights out of us with your settings, dialogue, and characters - not with blood and gore and missing human parts. Use the power of your writer's voice to draw images that will leave readers sitting at the edge of their seats.

We're seeking quality work, not first drafts, ranging from 3,000 words minimum to novel length. Please see our Theme word count below. We are currently NOT seeking: short story collections or anthologies, Poetry, or nonfiction.

We are an e-publishing house with the aim of publishing e-books first and print books to follow an e-book release within a year (only novel length books will be considered for print.) If print is not published within a year of the e-book release, print rights are reverted back to the author and the e-book rights are still maintained until the duration of the contract.


Publisher: Lea Schizas


Anne Duguid

Antonia Tiranth

Carrie RO

Chris Speakman

Fiona Young Brown

Karen McGrath

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz

Cover Artists:

Delilah K. Stephans

George Schizas


Thank you for your interest in MuseItUp Publishing -  

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Guardian Angel Publishing May 2010 Releases

I'm pleased to share the following May 2010 releases from Guardian Angel Publishing:

by Kristen K Zajac

art by Jennifer Houdeshell

The unbreakable bond between a courageous veteran, his loving daughter, and an animal hero who helps them realize the true meaning of service and strength.

by Donna J Shepherd

art by Kevin Collier

Vibrant illustrations with hidden hearts perfectly complement the clever rhymes and wordplay making this book a visual and auditory delight for children.

Susann Batson

A guardian angel must help a cloud conquer her fear of thunder.

by Margot Finke

art by K.C. Snider

How a big change turned Ruthie into a brat, and the something special that brought her back to her old happy self.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Versatile Blogger Award

Awards have their way of brightening ones day and when Lea Schizas bestowed me the honor of The Versatile Blogger award I was thrilled! Thank you Lea! The award, however, comes with some work and rules:

1. Thank those who loved me enough to bestow this gift

2. Share seven things about myself

3. Bestow this honor onto 15 newly discovered or followed bloggers - IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER - who are fantastic in some way

4. Drop by and let my 15 friends know I love them
Easy enough? No not really. This was no easy task to narrow it down to 15 since there are so many bloggers I love. First to my seven shared things about me:

1. I can't stand it when people (doesn't matter who it is) hovers by my desk.

2. Many think I always have it together, but I'm human and I have melt downs like any good old respectable two-year-old.

3. I can't stand it when someone does something wrong and they won't take accountability for it and try to spin it around on the person they've done wrong.

4. I'm a neat freak, but I'm getting better since I'm putting my writing first.

5. I cherish the times with my family when we have no set plans nor schedules.

6. I cry tears of joy when my children accomplish their dreams.

7. My day flows better when I get my writing in first thing in the morning.

Now for the 15 blogs I feel deserve this award:

1 - Lori Calabrese - because she always provides in-depth critiques with love - 

2 - Patricia Shirra - because she too always provides in-depth critiques with love - 

3 - Karin Larson - terrific with a virtual slap upside the head to snap me out of negativity - 

4 - Beverly Stowe McClure - always there to lend a supportive voice - thanks cyberspace mom! -

5 - Kathy Stemke - because she always provides valuable tips in getting out our young muses moving - 

6 - Terri Forehand - always offers up words of wisdom and help to families in crisis, especially in death and health related issues -

7 - VS Grenier - always willing to lend support in learning how to juggle motherhood and writing - 

8 - Margot Finke - always puts humor into her teleclasses giving an added jolt of inspiration - 

9 - Mayra Calvani - because she always shares info on writing for children -

10 - Nicole Weaver - because she always is a continued source of support and wisdom -

11 - Sheila Deeth - for her never ending blog comments and support -

12 - Carole Anne Carr - for her creativity and determination -
13 - Deborah Ramos - for her heartwarming poetry - 

14 - KC Snider - because her incredible artistic talent brought my first story book to life - 

15 - Nancy Sanders - because her honesty and willingness to share her experiences as a writer -

Thank you Lea for this award and for being an ongoing force of support. And congratulations to one and all. And for my readers please take the time out to visit each blog listed.

Best wishes for a lovely and safe summer!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July

The Pride of Our Country

by Roger Robicheau

Today as before, our brave do fight

For a land they love, a flag so right

The pride of our country, yes they are

The strength of our nation, best by far

Just as our brave from each war gone by

They march for us proudly, flag held high

From all over this land they come to serve

They’re taught by the best, this they deserve

When troops give their all, the world does see

Whether serving on land, in the air, or at sea

The pride from this country, march through war

With home drawn strength, held deep in their core

Our best are so awesome, their loved ones well know

May God guide their journey where they - for us - go

What these brave must have is support from their own

The love from their people, firm thankfulness shown

Our greatest achievement is that we’re still free

Please take time and ponder who caused this to be

©2005Roger J. Robicheau

Friday, July 2, 2010

Balancing the Writer’s Life and Mama’s Life

M E D I A   R E L E A S E

CONTACT: Donna M. McDine
Children’s Author
Phone: 845-721-7802

For Immediate Release

Balancing the Writer’s Life and Mama’s Life

Balance, balance, and some more balance. To find it at times with (as many fellow writers) the responsibilities of wife, mother, daughter, friend and my work as a virtual assistant can be quite daunting at times.

Visit with Donna McDine through her charismatic interview by freelance author, VS Grenier on Friday, July 2 at:

Stop by for a spell and enjoy the chance to get to know this up and coming children’s author. Donna will be on hand throughout the day to field your questions and to respond to your comments.

Thank you for your interest.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

How Has Blogging Inspired Your Writing Contest Winner Announced

I am pleased to announce the winner of "How Has Blogging Inspired Your Writing" Contest:

Kristi Bernard

Visit Kristi and learn about her exciting writing career at:

Congratulations Kristi. Your winning entry will be published in the June/July 2010 issue of Write What Inspires You!

Thank you to all who entered. All submissions were outstanding!

Best wishes for a safe and happy summer 2010!