Tuesday, December 27, 2011

e-read me a story, Mommy - Picture books are facing tech updates by New York Daily News reporter Sherryl Connelly

In the Sunday, December 18, 2011 New York Daily News edition I read Sherryl Connelly's article "e-read me a story, Mommy" and I wanted to share with you the link to the article:


Thank you for visiting.

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Christmas Creed

A Christmas Creed

I believe in Jesus Christ and in the beauty of the gospel begun in Bethlehem.

I believe in the one whose spirit glorified a little town; and whose spirit still brings music to persons all over the world, in towns both large and small.

I believe in the one for whom the crowded inn could find no room, and I confess that my heart still sometimes wants to exclude Christ from my life today.

I believe in the one who the rulers of the earth ignored and the proud could never understand; whose life was among common people, whose welcome came from persons of hungry hearts.

I believe in the one who proclaimed the love of God to be invincible:

I believe in the one whose cradle was a mother's arms, whose modest home in Nazareth had love for its only wealth, who looked at persons and made them see what God's love saw in them, who by love brought sinners back to purity, and lifted human weakness up to meet the strength of God.

I confess my ever-lasting need of God: The need of forgiveness for our selfishness and greed, the need of new life for empty souls, the need of love for hearts grown cold.

I believe in God who gives us the best of himself.

I believe in Jesus, the son of the living

God, born in Bethlehem this night, for me and for the world.



Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Children’s Author, Nicole Weaver - Launches Children’s Book, My Sister Is My Best Friend – November 2011

M E D I A  R E L E A S E

CONTACT: Nicole Weaver, Children’s Author

Website: http://www.mysisterismybestfriend.blogspot.com/

Email: lumiereleclaire@yahoo.com

For Immediate Release

Children’s Author, Nicole Weaver - Launches Children’s Book, My Sister Is My Best Friend – November 2011

LITTLETON, CO – Come explore the wonderful world of sisterhood both together and with mother in Nicole Weaver's latest children's book, My Sister Is My Best Friend. The playful antics of the sisters along with the vibrant illustrations brings their lives into focus. The security of knowing that neither is alone in this vast world with the companionship and love of a sister is heartwarming.

My Sister Is My Best Friend is a trilingual story told in English, Spanish, and French making for a delightful reading and learning experience. Nicole Weaver tells a story of the simplicities of enjoying one's sister with gratitude, bringing to the forefront fond childhood memories of twin sisters and their unique shared experiences.

About the Author

Nicole Weaver was born in Port-au-Prince Haiti. She came to the United States when she was ten years old. She is fluent in Creole, French, Spanish and English. She is a veteran teacher of French and Spanish. Her deep connection with family resulted in her writing and publishing, My Sister Is My Best Friend: A Trilingual Story, by Guardian Angel Publishing, November 2011. Weaver also penned the children’s trilingual picture book entitled, Marie and Her Friend the Sea Turtle. The story is about a Haitian little girl who resided by the beach in Haiti. Visit Nicole Weaver: http://mysisterismybestfriend.blogspot.com/.

Title: My Sister Is My Best Friend, a Trilingual Story

Written by: Nicole Weaver

Illustrated by: Clara Batton Smith

Soft cover: 16 pages

Ages: 4-8

Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/sister-best.htm

Print ISBN 13: 978-1616332099

eBook ISBN 13: 978-1616332105

Published: November 2011


Full Media Kit, Headshot, Book Cover Art and more are available upon request.

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Writer’s Submission Guidelines: The Importance of Staying within the Parameters

Writer’s Submission Guidelines: The Importance of Staying within the Parameters

by Donna M. McDine

At a young age many of us are taught to follow directions, especially for school assignments and projects. As freelance writers it’s equally important to do so when querying or submitting a manuscript. Each publication or publishing house has their own submission guidelines that they expect the writer to read and adhere to. Said guidelines are the gateway to getting through the first step of the review process. Don’t make the assumption that most magazines follow the same guidelines, they do not. Treat each as an individual and research and learn about them before submitting.

Editors and publishers are swamped by hundreds even thousands of submissions a day and if a writer cannot follow simple submission guidelines, editors will not have the inclination to continue reading your manuscript. The lack of following guidelines, gives the impression that the writer did not do their homework by studying the magazine or catalog and reading through their submission guidelines. Therefore coming across as a writer who will not be easy to work with throughout the editing process. Another important point to make is for the freelance writer to utilize the proper chain of communication. Even if you come across the personal email for the editor or publisher in your travels through cyberspace, do not use that in your email communication. Use their business email address as indicated in their submission guidelines. Do not come across as an amateur. Keep your email professional and free of a laid back attitude.

For instance, if the submission guidelines state the word count for fiction is 500 words, stay within the count. To the average person it may not seem important, but for the freelance writer it’s imperative to do so. Even going over by a few words can mean instant rejection. Magazines work off of space requirement formats and even if your manuscript is brilliantly written they will most likely not have room for it. For example, Guardian Angel Kids Ezine http://www.guardian-angel-kids.com/submissions.htm has different word counts for different categories, so just don’t assume that because there is a 500 word count for fiction that it covers all categories.

Many magazines also follow a monthly theme or particular interests, so don’t just send off your manuscript without finding out first. What good would your baseball manuscript be for a magazine that is seeking animal manuscripts? None. It’s a complete waste of time for you and the publication. Again you will come across as not doing your research, an instant turnoff for many editors and publishers. You will also find the term requirements (i.e., “purchase all rights”), deadline for submissions, formatting instructions, email or snail mail submission, contact information, and response time within the submission guidelines. These are all provided to make the submission process and receipt of submissions smoother for both writer and publisher. Submission guidelines do change over time, so before you send off your manuscript double check the publication guidelines and cross reference that you are in compliance.

Writing the manuscript is just one aspect of a freelance writing career, research of publications and publishing houses submission guidelines is imperative to your success. Be thorough in your research and it will help guide you to forming good solid relationships with editors and publishers. Breaking into the publishing world is hard work and don’t make it more difficult by rushing through the submission process.

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Writers Workshop: Dec 15 at 11 am CST - How to Enter Your Children’s Book into Award Contests Part II with Award-winning author, Donna McDine

The world of book award contests is immense and the wealth of information is overwhelming. Learn how to navigate the ever changing landscape of children’s book awards in Part II of “How to Enter Your Children’s Book into Award Contests” workshop. Mark your calendar and join us at the Working Writer’s Club on Thursday, December 15 at 11 am CST and join multi-award-winning children’s author, Donna McDine as she shares what she has learned along the way.

Her first children’s book The Golden Pathway has received numerous awards: Preditors & Editors Readers Poll 2010 Top Ten Children’s Books, Global eBook Awards Finalist Children’s Picture Book Fiction, and Literary Classics Silver Award & Seal of Approval Recipient. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from someone in the trenches of children’s book award contests as she reveals what she has learned along the way.

Here’s the scoop on Part II of this LIVE Writer’s Workshop at the Working Writer’s Club:

Topic: How to Enter Your Children’s Book into Award Contests Part II

Date: Thursday, December 15, 11:00 a.m. CDT

Presenter: Donna McDine, Award-winning children’s author

Cost: Free for Working Writer’s Club Members

$19.97 for Non-club members (includes both sessions, you’ll also receive the November 17 Part I audio plus the Part II audio)

Not a Working Writer’s Club member? Register at the Working Writer’s Club http://www.workingwritersclub.com/events-2 and receive an email invitation to this live event, PLUS the replay the day after for Part I and II for just $19.97.

Description: In Part II of this Workshop you will learn and discover…

• Estimating how many books you need on hand

• Author copies from your publisher, negotiate with your publisher

• Determining your budget

• The importance of having a prepared hard copy media kit and website presence

• Do contests payoff in the end

Not a Working Writer’s Club member? Register at the Working Writer’s Club http://www.workingwritersclub.com/events-2 for both sessions of “How to Enter Your Children’s Book into Award Contests” and receive an email invitation to this live event, PLUS the replay the day after for just $19.97.

About Donna McDine:

Donna McDine is an award-winning children's author, Honorable Mention in the 77th and two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competitions, Preditors & Editors Readers Poll 2010 Top Ten Children’s Books, Global eBook Awards Finalist Children’s Picture Book Fiction, and Literary Classics Silver Award & Seal of Approval Recipient Picture Book Early Reader ~ The Golden Pathway.

Her stories, articles, and book reviews have been published in over 100 print and online publications. Her interest in American History resulted in writing and publishing The Golden Pathway. Donna has three more books under contract with Guardian Angel Publishing, Hockey Agony, Powder Monkey, and A Sandy Grave. She writes, moms and is the Editor-in-Chief for Guardian Angel Kids, Publicist for the Working Writer’s Club and owner of Author PR Services from her home in the historical hamlet Tappan, NY. McDine is a member of the SCBWI.

Visit the Working Writer’s Club, and become a Facebook Fan today at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/The-Working-Writers-Club/221038321276421. By becoming a Facebook Fan it will ensure that you are updated on all of the valuable resources and articles at The Working Writer’s Club.

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Children's Book Contest and Interview: While the Giant is Sleeping

TITLE: While the Giant Is Sleeping

AUTHOR: Alycia Holston

ILLUSTRATOR: Suzi Stranahan

WEBSITE: http://www.calmcreations.com/

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/whilethegiantissleeping 

EMAIL: calmcreations@live.com
I am pleased to host today, author Alycia Holston and illustrator Suzi Stranahan through their duel interview. Come along for this wonderful peek into their writing and illustrating processes. At the end of their interview there is contest information for you to enter at a chance to win a FREE copy of While the Giant is Sleeping.


Tell us a little about your background and how you became interested in writing children’s books.

My background is quite varied, actually. I began college with the intention of becoming a teacher. I finished with a degree in geography. Before graduating, my husband and I got married, so upon graduation, the job that was offered to me with the benefit of medical was too good to pass up. I worked my way up through a retail chain to a training manager…I was finally teaching. This is also where my writing career began—training manuals, that is. During this time, we began attending church and I became a Christian. When the Lord blessed us later in our marriage with a pregnancy, I was called to be a stay-at-home Mother. This began my career of reading books. There is such joy in reading a child a book, seeing the light bulb turn on when they understand part of it or see their smile as they enjoy the story. I began to desire to be a part of that and hopefully have something that my children could read someday.
Tell us about getting your mind in a creative mode? How do you begin your writing process?

I think the creative part of my brain is always working. I make notes all over the place. I find little slips of paper tucked in pockets, purses, drawers and notebooks. I am fairly new to the actual process of writing. I sit down, say a little prayer, take some deep breathes and attempt to focus. I usually have to read what was written before and then add to it as much as I can.
What was your inspiration for While the Giant is Sleeping?
I spent 38 years as a mid-westerner, so moving to the mountains was a real switch for me and the family. We had a fairly traumatic move…the house we were renting sold soon after we arrived and we had to stay in a shoebox duplex while we waited for our current home to be built. This meant three moves in less than six months but the one constant was always the Sleeping Giant. I would make up stories each day about what was happening to him and around him. I encourage my children to always look at the world around them, the world that the Lord created for them and appreciate the beauty in all of it. There’s so much to learn from simply looking out our windows.

Many writers utilize a writing group. Where do you get constructive critiques and feedback?
I have been blessed with very smart friends! My husband gets the first look at everything I do and is always constructive and encouraging. I have two people that are proofreaders and that help me develop my ideas. I also attend an online group through CrossRiver Media Group. The most important thing is to be open to criticism and not be married to your original train of thought.
What was the hardest thing about writing the book?

Getting my idea from my head to the paper. Once I found a publisher that understood my vision for the book, there was more editing, collaboration and compromising. I would say the absolute hardest part, though, was the waiting. I was not able to make a list and know when it would be done. There is so much out of your control, even to the point of our release date. It was the most incredible exercise in patience I’ve been faced with—and I have three children!!

Now that While the Giant is Sleeping is out in bookstores, do you have any projects that you're currently working on?
I have several but nothing that’s actually developed well yet. The main thing that I’ve been working on since the end of May is marketing. I really like getting out, reading the book and selling it. It’s so fun to see it in the stores and it is doing very well. My goal is to focus more on writing after the first of the year and pick the marketing back up in the spring.
When you're not writing, what do you enjoy doing?

I really enjoy cooking. I know it sounds like work but it relaxes me to read magazines and cookbooks in search of a new recipe for my family. I also like to shop antique and thrift stores. It’s my own personal form of treasure hunting.

Where can readers find your book?

While the Giant is Sleeping is available online through our website http://www.calmcreations.com/, my publisher’s website http://www.crossrivermedia.com/ or through Amazon. Several stores in the Helena, Mont., area also carry it.
Tell us a little about your background and how you became interested in illustrating children’s books.
As long as I can remember, I have loved art! My art teacher in high school inspired me to pursue my creative passion in college. I finished with a fine art degree in graphic design and textile design. During college I learned about different illustration styles and I have always thought I would enjoy illustrating. Following college I worked for a catalog company for 5 years which strengthened my knowledge of the print industry. That enabled me to pursue my illustrating dreams.

How do you go about finding the inspiration for your drawings?

I spent a lot of time driving around the Sleeping Giant and take pictures of the surrounding landscape. I fell in love with the beautiful colors! Inspiration was easy to come by. I captured as many as 1000 photos during the whole process. I learned what angle the sun had to be in for the mountain to look the most beautiful. I got the best pictures during sunrises and sunsets.
What materials did you use for your drawings, what was the process and how long did it take you to do everything from start to finish?

I used chalk pastels because I wanted to capture rich, vibrant colors. I started each illustration with photography research then sketched out the image on artist paper. Each illustration is roughly 27 in. x 12 in. After I finished the hand drawing with the chalk pastels, I had them professional photographed. Then I did an extensive amount of Photoshop work cleaning up the images and adjusting the colors. I spent approximately 60 to 80 hours per image, with a total of 16 images. I ended up redrawing six of the images. The whole process took about nine months.

Now that While the Giant is Sleeping is out in bookstores, do you have any projects that you're currently working on?

I am taking a break from illustrating, but I am working on some new design projects. My current focus now is learning more about web design.

When you're not drawing, what do you enjoy doing?

I have so many interests and passions. I love spending time with my wonderful family, being outdoors, camping, running, cooking, gardening, to name a few. I am a lover of life and enjoy learning and growing.

Contest information:

Alycia and Suzi would like to invite you to visit http://www.calmcreations.com/ and leave them a message about what their favorite winter scene is in the book and what it is about that image that they enjoy. The images are available for view on the website. Each reader who leaves a comment along with their email address will receive one entry into a drawing for a free book. The winner will be drawn randomly from all of the commenter’s on the blog from now until Dec. 16th.

Alycia and Suzi, it's been a pleasure hosting you today.

Wishing you all the best!

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Children's book author interview: Amelia Frump and her Peanut Butter Loving Overactive Imagination by Debbie Roppolo

DMc: I absolutely love the title of your book, Amelia Frump and Her Peanut Butter Loving, Overactive Imagination. Do you title your manuscript before, during, or after?

DR: Thank you, I’m glad you like it. I came up with the title while I was writing the manuscript.

DMc: Please share with us a day in your writer’s life.

DR: The alarm clock (it must have nine lives) awakens me every weekday morning at 4 am. I shuffle to the bathroom, cringe at my reflection in the mirror, put in contacts, then trudge to my office to check and respond to emails.

An hour later, I prepare breakfast, get my kids ready for the 6 am arrival of the school bus, and have a cup of coffee. It’s the latter that pleases my family the most. I’m not a morning person, and without caffeine I could intimidate “Cruella De Vil”.

After my husband is hustled off to work (7:30 A.M.), the rest of the morning is spent promoting Amelia Frump and her Peanut Butter Loving, Overactive Imagination. I edit and look for markets for my stories. When my bottom becomes numb and resembles a pancake, I do housecleaning, which I believe should be an Olympic sport.

Lunch is a light, at-home affair. The rest of the day (until 4 P.M.) is spent arranging author visits with schools, promoting, and writing. My work day ends at 4:15 P.M. when the children arrive home and take over the computer.

DMc: How would you describe your creative process while writing this book? Was it stream-of-consciousness writing, or did you first write an outline.

DR: I’ve always been a “fly by the seat of the pants” type of girl. I do use notes I jot down, but I never have been able to use an outline when I write. I admire writers who do.

DMc: From the moment you conceived the idea for the story, to the published book, how long did it take?

DR: Amelia Frump… took about a year. I’ve had other things published for adults, but writing for children is different, and I was never satisfied with how the story was progressing until just before I submitted it for publication.

DMc: What has been your most validating experience as an author at this time in your career?

DR: Having my first book (Amelia Frump…) published. It’s always great to have something published in an anthology or magazine, but a book with my name on the cover is very dear to me.

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. Debbie, can you please share one with us?

DR: I was a very daring child with a creative imagination. In kindergarten, I tied a string to a hot link and dragged it behind me for a few hours. I thought if it was walked enough, it would turn into a wiener dog, something I always wanted.

Debbie, thank you for visiting with me today. Phew, I thought 5:30 am was early I can’t even imagine 4 am! I enjoyed getting to know you better and wish you all the best.

Learn more about Debbie:

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYXknTUpNyE

Website: http://www.debbieroppolo.weebly.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/debbie.roppolo

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Fun Educational Tools that Engage Kids - Team Build Staff

November 29, 2011



21st Century Innovation Strengthens Families to Bridge Education Gap

Award winning promising practice provides fun tools to address the timely concern for increased family involvement to support greater student achievement, academic growth, and positive life outcomes. Parents report improved communication with children and strengthened family dynamics.


With the United States falling behind in the educational achievement gap, schools with Family-School partnerships and youth development organizations are actively seeking opportunities to help keep busy families connected and enable parents to become full partners in their children’s education. One solution to improve parent-child communication has received national recognition as well as praise from parents, educators, and importantly, students. From pre-K through college, the twelve activities included in Teamwork and Family Play™ by Creative Concepts & GivaGeta Inc. offer a buoy of hope in connecting families and supporting children’s academic growth and success in life.
The research is overwhelmingly positive. In A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement, Anne T. Henderson and Karen L, Mapp determine, “The evidence is consistent, positive, and convincing: families have a major influence on their children’s achievement in school and through life. When schools, families, and community groups work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more.”
Following testing by a panel of educators, parents and children, The National Parenting Center awarded Teamwork and Family Play™ its 2011 Seal of Approval. The organization noted the test panel “gave great reviews to this very unique and ambitious game. Game may not be the best term for Teamwork and Family Play as what it really did was get families talking and sharing like never before. Families reported learning interesting things about one another that they never knew before. Let’s face it teens and pre-teens aren’t always the most open when it comes to conversations with their parents. These cards found a way to bridge the divide and get real conversations started … This would also be wonderful for group leaders such as Scouts and the like.”
Inspired by a grandmother, Teamwork and Family Play™ is designed to improve family communication with meaningful and culturally relevant character building engagement that develops the whole child with 21st Century skills. Families report success even with children in more challenging stages of development. Deborah Dauphinas’ family was the first to use it in 2009. Initially attracted to the 96 Inspirational Quotes, she found, “The cards are a comfortable way to get a conversation started, and everyone can participate equally. So if your child or teen says everything is ‘fine’ and he or she spent the day doing ‘stuff,’ pull out a card and have a fun conversation.” The cards are easily adaptable to busy family routines to improve the quality of daily interactions.
Consisting of twelve hands-on activities, Teamwork and Family Play™ improves interaction and communication with a game-like style of play. The activities provide a fun and relaxed setting to put children of all ages at ease. Higher order and critical thinking skills are developed at each stage, including the icebreakers, conversation starters and brainteasers. The activities are fun, but also require thoughtful analysis.

“Since its introduction in 2009, Teamwork and Family Play™ is being used at PTAs / PTOs, in camps, workshops, home schools and conventional classrooms, as well as just for quality family time, in the car, and during or after mealtimes,” states Jim Cantoni, GivaGeta Co-Founder. “As one of the nine editions of The World’s Kindest Playing Cards™, this game works as a 21st Century learning aid that helps parents and family workshops. It incorporates concepts such as respect, responsibility, and positive attitude into everyday interactions and opens the dialogue to talk to kids about character before, not just after they encounter challenges.”
Flexible and designed to improve the home-to-school connection, Teamwork and Family Play™ provides an avenue for increased parental and community engagement. The simple and fun activities work to strengthen family connections and bolster communication within organizations. With both structured and unstructured activities, Teamwork and Family Play™ get kids to interact with adults and staff. The product is suitable for home and institutional use and can work as a fundraising platform for PTAs and other organizations looking to foster greater parental involvement in student education and development.
For more information on Teamwork and Family Play™, please visit http://www.givageta.com/ or contact Creative Concepts & GivaGeta Inc. at 860.657.0770.

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book Promotion and Marketing: I'm Whining - So Sue Me! by Margot Finke

I met children's author, Margot Finke online early on in my writing career and I'm delighted that we have kept our connection through cyber-space. We are on opposite coasts of the United States and it's my desire to one day meet this wonderful Aussie from down under in person some day. Keeping my fingers crossed that at our next Guardian Angel Publishing gathering this will happen. Hey Lynda....hint, hint. Isn't it time for another grand GAP gathering?!

Margot Finke writes rhyming picture books and young teen adventures. She has a Manuscript Critique Service, and her website ( http://www.margotfinke.com ) offers lots of help for writers.


“I’m Whining – So Sue Me!”

Donna invited me to write a column for Write What Inspires You, and my mind instantly went blank – that ever happen to you? So I am going to do a scatter-shot take on some of the things that I hate about being a published author. WHAT? You think I’m crazy? Who hates being published?

Okay, put away the butterfly nets and relax. I am not frothing at the mouth. Let’s clear up one thing at the get-go – I love writing books for kids. The child in me loves running rampant with ideas, plots, and wacky characters. The sort of stuff I loved when I was a kid. No mates, it’s what happens AFTER the darn thing is written, contracted, and actually published that gets my goat – my cat and my dog too, if truth be told.

There’s one dirty little word that sums it all up. Dare I whisper it? Oh, what the hey! I’ll risk it. . . PROMOTION! Like most children’s writers, I’m still a kid at heart. And kids believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy and Leprechauns too – right? So I want a Promotion Fairy, or Guru, or Kingpin I can call on to do all the dreary and time consuming “stuff.” Like constantly updating Facebook, Twitter, Googlex, Linkedin and JacketFlap. Like creating witty, reader grabbing tid-bits that would make my blogs go viral. Like researching on the internet to dig up mountains of possible niche markets for my various books – and then creating sharp Press Releases to send to all those niche markets. And don’t get me started on the time it takes to research and tee up newspaper interviews, school visits, book reviews, and nice bloggers willing to interview me about my books and my writing ideas. I’ll bet even promotion Fairies or Gurus would need a second string of helpers to deal with all this. Am I whining? YOU BET!

I want to spend my time writing new books, or polishing several I have already written. Neglected book files cry out piteously every time I open my PC. As a late bloomer ( that’s code for an older woman whose lush red hair mysteriously went white overnight, and whose mirror warned her, “Don’t even think about that old bikini in the bottom drawer!”), I do not have an infinite amount of time to stun the children of the world with my literary offerings. I love meeting kids and talking to them about books and writing. I get a kick out of book signings in stores. It’s the RESEARCH time needed to tee it all up that has me frustrated and frazzled. And to think a few thousand dollars would BUY me someone to do it all! Sigh. . .

So, with all this wonderful technology we have thrown at us every day, what I want to know is, which techno genius will come up with my Promo Fairy/Guru, first – Bill Gates, Facebook’s Founder, or some new fount of technological wonder? Who’s gonna stop me whining, and make me a happy full time writer once more – for a reasonable fee? And who gets to say what amount is “reasonable?”

I know! I Know! I’m whining again.

Meanwhile, looks like I’m stuck blowing my own trumpet for the coming holiday season.

So, stand back while I BLAST you with my terrific


+ a BONUS!

EVERYONE who leaves an ANSWER or a COMMENT

also WINS a FREE copy of my fun, eBook adventure for kids.

Leave your comments and answers on Margot’s Magic Carpet http://perfectmagiccarpet.blogspot.com/

If you haven’t read Taconi and Claude just GOOGLE for answers


And if you’d like to HEAR me READ from Taconi and Claude, link to the VIDEO on YouTube: http://youtu.be/eD8DblIxnHk


(Kindle – soft cover – eBook)

These + 8 other books on my website.

Guardian Angel Publishing http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/


It's been a true pleasure having you join me today. I'm sure many writer's are in the same boat.

All the best,

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Author Interview with D. Robert Pease the creator of Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble

I am pleased to have with me today author, D. Robert Pease. He recently gave me the opportunity to interview him and it was a splendid time.

DMc: Often times writers hear write what you know. In the case of your novel Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble please share with us your creative process in developing a world like none-other.

DRP: Well, there's much in Noah Zarc that is from what I know. The main character is a twelve-year-old boy. I had a twelve-year-old son during the time I wrote the first draft. The story is a lot about family. This is very important to me. Even the technology side, I love science and technology, so it was writing about what I'm interested in. But, you are right; I'm not an astronaut. I haven't been to Mars. So there is a lot of room for interpretation. I really wanted the world I created to be accessible to kids, so I didn't go too far with the technology. Or if I did, I made it okay for the reader to not understand it, since the main character didn't either. There were times though I didn't feel like I was pushing the technology far enough. I mean this story happens 1,000 years in the future. I think things could be almost unrecognizable by then with the pace technology is improving. But I felt it was important to dial it back a bit. Many of the gizmos Noah interacts with are simply more advanced iPads in many cases. At the same time I didn't want to dumb it down so much it wasn't plausible. So I tried to make the science fiction just a stretch of the science that is going on now. I wanted time-travel to at least have a little bit of possibility to it. Not just some "flux-capacitor" stuck on the ship. I wanted something that had a little bit of actual science behind it. So to answer your question, I started with a basic story of a family that has struggles, both internal and external, and then just set it in a fun environment. And what is more fun than traveling through space and time?

DMc: Please share with us a day in your writer’s life.

DRP: I'd love to tell you I have this perfect routine: get up in the morning, go ride my bike for an hour, come home, shower, have a cup of coffee, then sit at my desk and write all day, finally closing up my laptop to welcome the kids home from school having written my allotted 3,000 words for the day, but no. That's not my day at all. Most anything that has to do with actual writing is squeezed in here and there when I can find the time. Sometimes it is late at night. Sometimes it is in a coffee shop while the kids are at some activity or another, but there is no regular routine for me. Lately, I've also added marketing to the portion of my life devoted to being a writer. Since I released Noah Zarc in August, I've basically added another full-time job onto my schedule. Sadly this means I've had even less time to write. At this point I'm lucky to squeeze a half-hour a day in on writing. I'm planning on changing that after the first of the year. Marketing will have to take a backseat to writing, otherwise what's the marketing for?

DMc: Please share with us your road to publication with Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble?

DRP: I've been writing seriously for about five years now. In all but the last year, I had planned on going the traditional route to get my books published. That means, writing the book, querying agents, landing an agent, finding a publisher, etc... I actually started shopping around Noah Zarc, and had some great feedback from agents. I believed (and still believe) that if I worked at it long enough, I could get an agent and find a publisher. But then about a year ago I really started to take a look at my goals with writing. And started to question the reasons for wanting an agent and publisher. I realized for the most part I was seeking validation that my writing was worthwhile. That I needed someone in the industry to tell me I hadn't wasted the countless hours writing my stories. It wasn't money. It wasn't anything tangible. It was vanity. Then I read a post on a blog about the "New Vanity Publishing." The main idea being that in the past, self-publishing was considered vanity publishing (and still is by many). But in reality many of the reasons writers seek out traditional publishing is for nothing more than vanity. That was me. I started seriously considering the idea of self-publishing. The thing is, I realized, most everything related to the actual publishing of a book, I could do myself. I'm a graphic designer by day, so I could do all the design (cover/inside) and website design, etc... And much of the marketing of books, even if you are traditionally published, falls to authors anyway. The only thing I couldn't do was editing. So I hired that. Noah Zarc has now been out for about four months. I'm having a blast. It is yet to be seen whether it will be a financially wise decision, but there are no guarantees with traditional publishing either. At least this way I feel like I have some control over my own destiny as a writer.

DMc: What can we expect from you in the future and any works-in-progress?

DRP: I am currently editing the sequel to Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble, called Noah Zarc: Cataclysm. I'm hoping to publish it by mid-2012. I also have a book, in a new universe, called Joey Cola and the Stoat of Many Colors. It's about a boy, from a huge family in New York City, who discovers a hidden Egyptian world where a battle has been raging for 3,000 years between an ancient Pharaoh and a group of "Dream-warriors." I'm super excited about it.

DMc: What has been your most validating experience as an author at this time in your career?

DRP: The coolest thing, so far, is when I hear from kids who have read Noah Zarc. It's one thing to have an adult review it, and sing it's praises, but when a kid simply says, "It's an awesome book!" it really makes me feel like I accomplished something.

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. D. Robert, can you please share one with us?

DRP: You'll see how this fits in a moment, but when I was in college I worked at Disney World. While there, I went through a phase where I made up stories about myself. I don't mean I told myself tales in my head, I actually told other people "tall-tales" about who I was. To one group of people I fled South Africa because of apartheid, and I didn't think it was fair what the whites were doing to blacks (this came with a bad South African/British accent). To another group I was actually twins. I go by Dale with my friends, and I got a Chip nametag and wore it on occasion and told people that my parents were huge Disney fans and that's why they named us Chip and Dale. Somewhere along the line I realized there was a name for this. Lying! So I put aside this kind of story-telling for another, that isn't frowned upon by family and friends (as much), that of being a writer.

D. Robert Pease, thank you for joining me today. I enjoyed getting to know you and your writing world.

Blog Tour Notes

Noah Zarc: Mammoth TroubleOVERVIEW

Noah lives for piloting spaceships through time, dodging killer robots and saving Earth's animals from extinction.
Life couldn't be better.
But the twelve-year-old time traveler learns it could be a whole lot worse. His mom is kidnapped and taken to Mars; his dad is stranded in the Ice Age; and Noah is attacked at every turn by a foe bent on destroying Earth... for the second time.
Get your copy today by visiting Amazon.com (available in paperback or as an eBook) or the online retailer of your choice (more links below).

Guess what? You could win a $50 Amazon gift card as part of this special blog tour. That’s right! Just leave a comment below saying something about the post you just read, and you’ll be entered into the raffle. I could win $50 too by having the most comments. So tell your friends to stop by and comment on this post too!

Win 1 of 5 copies of the paperback version of Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble by entering the giveaway on GoodReads.

D. Robert PeaseTHE AUTHOR

D. Robert Pease has been interested in creating worlds since childhood. From building in the sandbox behind his house, to drawing fantastical worlds with paper and pencil, there has hardly been a time he hasn't been off on some adventure in his mind, to the dismay of parents and teachers alike. Also, since the moment he could read, books have consumed vast swaths of his life. From The Mouse and the Motorcycle, to The Lord of the Rings, worlds just beyond reality have called to him like Homer's Sirens. It's not surprising then he chose to write stories of his own. Each filled with worlds just beyond reach, but close enough we can all catch a glimpse of ourselves in the characters.

Discover ways to connect with the author by visiting his site at http://www.drobertpease.com/


THANK YOU! for visiting. And don't forget to comment below for that chance to win the $50 Amazon gift card. And of course head on over to your favorite online book store and buy a copy of Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble, for you or for the kids in your life.

Amazon Paperback | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble Nook | Apple iBookstore | Smashwords | Diesel eBook Store | CreateSpace Paperback | Amazon UK | Amazon France | Amazon Germany

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Children's Book Review: Sea Turtle Summer: Bella and Britt Beach Series

Title: Sea Turtle Summer: Bella and Britt Beach Series

Written by: Nancy Stewart

Illustrated by: Samantha Bell

Soft cover: 26 pages

Ages: 7-12

Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. / Academic Wings

Hardcover ISBN 13: 978-1-61633-206-8

Soft Cover ISBN 13: 978-1-61633-207-5

eBook ISBN 13: 978-1-61633-208-2

Published: November 2011

Print Price: $11.95

eBook Price: $5.00
Best friends, Bella and Britt live in a beach side community and take every chance they get to explore the beauty of the beach. Never bored the girls continually find surprises during their adventures. On one particular day they witness the unique opportunity of a sea turtle laying her eggs.
“We have to stand guard until she’s back in the water. Then let’s get the ranger.”

After safely covering the egg nest the mama sea turtle ventured back to the sea. Bella and Britt immediately jumped to action and sought out the beach ranger in hopes of securing a barricade around the nest. To no avail, the ranger could not be found. Not discouraged the girls vowed to return early the next day to prevent anyone from disturbing the egg nest.
Early that morning they were confronted by the sand cleaner operator and the volleyball competition committee to clear the way. Do Bella and Britt hold tight to their convictions of protecting the sea turtle nest or do they falter under pressure? Find out in Nancy Stewart’s uplifting story of the importance of protecting our sea life.

Nancy Stewart’s expert style of teaching and not preaching to our children about the wonders of sea life are presented in a glorious written adventure that the reader will surely cherish for many years to come.

Samantha Bell does it again with her welcoming illustrations depicting the beauty of beaches and the love of our environment through the eyes and actions of Bella and Britt.

Purchasing information: http://guardianangelpublishing.com/sea-turtle.htm

Visit with Nancy Stewart and learn what other adventures she has in store for her readers:

Website: http://www.nancystewartbooks.com/

Blog: http://www.nancystewartbooks.blogspot.com/  

Visit Samantha Bell's creative world http://www.samantha-bell.com/  

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Children’s Ezine Guardian Angel Kids: Faith – December 2011 Issue

When you think of Christmas, what comes to mind? The smell of cookies baking in the oven and the refreshing aroma of pine trees? Twinkling lights, fancy packages, and crowded stores?

This month our theme for Guardian Angel Kids is Faith. Why not take a few moments out of your hectic schedule to stop, sit down with your child, and talk about the real meaning of Christmas? Let's remember that the celebration is about the birth of a Savior, Jesus Christ. We celebrate His birth because of our faith in Him (See Luke 2:4-19).

As you navigate the crowded malls, bake holiday treats, and wrap garland around the tree, I hope you'll make this issue of GAK a part of your celebration by sharing all the articles, stories, poetry, and artwork in our December issue with someone special.



Diligence the Dragon by Kevin Scott Collier

Video Special for a Journey of Hope the Angelfish by Kevin Collier

“Have Faith, Not Fear” by Cathy MacKenzie – faith conquers all.
“Share Your Joy,” by Guy Belleranti – Joyful sounds and helping hands make a perfect blend.
“Have Faith,” by Carol J. Douglas and illustrated by Julie Hammond – put aside impatience and faith will bring results.
“Katie’s Mountain,” by Marion Tickner and illustrated by Kathleen Bullock – the difference between faith and wishes.
“Bands of Color,” by Karin Larson – the religious and multicultural beliefs about rainbows.
“7 Simple Tips to Relieve Holiday Family Stress,” by Dorit Sasson – Embracing the simplistic holiday lifestyle brings balance.

Draw and paint an angelfish with Painting Board
Featured Games from Books
Visit Guardian Angel Kid today and http://www.guardian-angel-kids.com/ and enjoy a child safe and ad free Ezine.

We also invite you to stay connected with Guardian Angel Kids through our Facebook Fan Page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Guardian-Angel-Kids-Ezine/163785080346247
Please feel free to drop Editor-in-Chief, Donna McDine an email at submissions@guardian-angel-kids.com and let them know what you think of Guardian Angel Kids and what you'd like to see in the future. They aim to please.

The Guardian Angel Kids Ezine staff and contributors look forward to your visit. Thank you for your time and interest.

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Award-winning Children's Author
The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.