Posts Tagged ‘children’s books’


Welcome guest blogger, author Caldric Blackwell!

Thank you very much for having me!

Today I want to write about access to children’s books. We live in an age where most people understand the importance of reading in a child’s development. It seems like everyone, from schools to publishers to parents, acknowledges the importance of reading.

For some children, accessing a book that interests them is as simple as going with their parents to the bookstore. Unfortunately, for other children, there are barriers that prevent them from accessing books that interest them.

Some people may think that donating books to libraries is the answer to this problem, but many libraries, for a variety of reasons, do not accept donations.

Fortunately, there are better ways to put books in the hands of children than donating to libraries. There are organizations, such as Sheltering Books, Inc., that specialize in getting books to children who wouldn’t otherwise have access to them.

Even larger organizations are becoming more aware of the barriers that prevent some children from accessing books. For instance, from Nov. 29 – Dec. 25, Penguin Random House ran a campaign in which they donated a book to Save the Children every time the hashtag #GiveaBook appeared on Twitter or Facebook.

If you’re interested in improving access to books for children who need them, contact your local library, and they’ll likely be able to put you in touch with an organization that accepts money or book donations.



 The Boy Who Couldn't Cry Wolf coverSix-year-old Byron Woodward is a werewolf who can’t howl. Determined not to embarrass himself after being chosen to lead a full-moon ceremony, he embarks on a mission to learn how to howl. He learns a lot about howling during his journey, but more importantly, he learns a valuable lesson about believing in himself.






 Purchase The Boy Who Couldn’t Cry Wolf

Amazon – Kindle

Amazon – Paperback
Barnes & Noble

*Borrow free with Kindle Unlimited & Amazon Prime*




Caldric’s Website /  Twitter Goodreads / Facebook caldric

Caldric Blackwell realized he loved reading when he read about a bunch of people (with single-syllable names) and their pets (also with single-syllable names) in kindergarten.

Exposure to a host of great authors while studying at the University of California, Santa Barbara inspired him to begin writing fiction. Although he began writing short stories for adults, he eventually migrated to writing children’s books. His debut work is an early chapter book titled The Enchanted River Race. His next release is a picture book, The Boy Who Couldn’t Cry Wolf.

Outside of writing, Caldric enjoys hiking, gardening, and playing a variety of string instruments. Caldric currently resides in California.


Follow the entire tour HERE


Hosted by Worldwind Virtual Book Tours

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Helping Children Fight Fear Since May 2014!

Be Sure to Check out the Fearless Giveaway Below! Enter just by commenting!
(see details below this post)

Bitterly and The Giant Problem

This is going to be the best year ever for best friends Bitterly, Abyssma and Belladonna as they are starting a new school year at Fright School! As young frights they’ll learn how to chase aware the fears of little human girls by entering their dreams and teaching them how to overcome nightmares. 

But when Bitterly, the most promising fright, is faced with a school bully and some nightmares of her own, she finds help from the last place she expected-the little girl whom she has sworn to protect. Pinkaboos is an empowering new chapter book series for girls and young readers (6-9) that presents the challenges of childhood through the thrilling and magical world of the Pinkaboos. 

Praise for the Pinkaboos chapter books from the author of Monster High: “Facing fears has never been so much fun. The Pinkaboos are ah-dorable!” -Lisi Harrison, author of The Clique, Alphas, Monster High, Pretenders.

(Chapter book for ages 6-9)



Laura Gosselin – After receiving her undergraduate degree in English from Cal State University Long Beach in California, Laura Gosselin completed her MFA at Stony Brook Southampton. She has since served as a reporter for a local newspaper in New York, an editor for a national magazine in Vancouver, Canada, as well as senior copywriter for a marketing firm. She currently lives in southern California with her husband and daughter where she works as a creative consultant for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.
Jake Gosselin completed his undergraduate degree in Anthropology at the University of Toronto before heading to New York where he finished his MFA in English and Writing at Stony Brook/Southampton College of Long Island University. He currently lives in Southern California where he works as an author, freelance writer and website producer for FourSeasons.com.
Connect with The Pinkaboos Team at their:




One lucky reader will win a Kindle along with a Kindle copy of The Pinkaboos!
For a chance to win the Kindle,  share your best anecdote on how your child overcame fear!
-We don’t need a novel, just simply share how your little hero conquered their biggest fear or helped someone else conquer fear..-
In addition to the Kindle, each blog on tour will be giving away 5 copies of The Pinkaboos: Bitterly and the Giant Problem just for leaving a general comment below!

And don’t forget to leave a way for us to contact you if you win!

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Donna McDine is an award-winning children’s author whose stories have been featured in multiple print and online publications. Her first book, The Golden Pathway, is about a boy who befriends a slave during the civil war. It is an illustrated story book for older readers (ages 9-12). Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Musing Our Children, and The National Writing for Children Center. You can learn more about Donna on her website. If you sign the guestbook, you’ll receive a free ebook, Write What Inspires You: Author Interviews. Donna also keeps two blogs, www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com and www.thegoldenpathway.blogspot.com.

Thanks for the interview, Donna! When did you start writing for children?

In 2006 I came across an ad for The Institute of Children’s Literature and completed their aptitude test and application and mailed it back for consideration. This came at the perfect time for me since I was longing to find something more fulfilling outside the scope of administrative and website work. About a month afterwards I received an acceptance to ICL and haven’t looked back since.

Tell us about your historical children’s book, The Golden Pathway. What inspired you to write it?

History has always fascinated me and when I had the chance to outline a book idea for my last ICL assignment the Underground Railroad immediately came to mind. While I did get positive feedback on my outline my ICL instructor did not feel there was enough appeal with a market flooded with the Underground Railroad books. I reluctantly put my outline away and tried to forget about it, but it kept calling to me to write it. And again perfect timing aligned and I discovered Suzanne Lieurance at the Children’s Writers’ Coaching Club and I dusted off my outline and eagerly began writing. This manuscript was critiqued in the early stages by Suzanne Lieurance (CWCC) and my online critique groups and placed as Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest 78th Writing Competition, then edited after the competition by Lea Schizas to assist in expanding the story since it was no longer under a word constraint from the contest.

I understand The Golden Pathway is an illustrated story book and not a picture book. Could you please explain the difference between the two?

A standard picture book is 32-pages with illustrations on every page and geared towards 2-8 years old. While a story book has roughly half the amount of illustrations the text is written with the 9-12 age range in mind and (in the case of The Golden Pathway) almost 2,000 words. Each publisher has their specific guidelines they follow. Over the course of the years many teachers have realized a vast majority of students respond better to their curriculum with visuals. Hence the story book format.

Did you have to do a lot of research for this book?

Initially online, then visiting the Tappan Library and thoroughly researching the Underground Railroad.

What is the main message children will learn from this book?

Overcoming adversity against immeasurable odds and that with determination success in achieving your dreams is possible.

The illustrations in the book were done by fine Oregonian artist K.C. Snider. How was your experience working with an illustrator? Did you have input in the artwork? Do you think she captured the mood and tone of the story?

My excitement over the quality of illustrations K.C. Snider designed blew me away from the onset of the book cover design. K.C. captured the true essence of The Golden Pathway from the get go. Since The Golden Pathway is my first book I honestly did not know what to expect from the collaboration process and I was pleasantly surprised. I have read time and time again that the author and illustrator never meet, but not in the case of Guardian Angel Publishing. As long as an author tries not to micro-manage the illustrator and puts full trust in the publisher and illustrator a win-win outcome is sure to be had.

You also offer press release services to authors. Tell us all about it!

My press release service is called Dynamic Media Release Services and with the overwhelming responsibilities an author has to promote their books I thought what better way to take the pressure off a bit is to offer this service at reasonable prices. For rates and testimonials readers should check this page.

What next for Donna McDine?

I’m thrilled to announce my manuscripts entitled, The Hockey Agony and Powder Monkey or Boy have been accepted by Guardian Angel Publishing. These will be my second and third story books with this publisher.

Any last words to our readers?

My road to publication has had the typical rejections (which I can wallpaper my office with) and doubts of my abilities to make a go as a published writer. I have found every writer experiences these feelings, but learn to push through the “doubting Thomas” thoughts to reach publication success. Don’t give up! Learn your craft, continued to network, and success will come your way.

Thank you, Donna, and best of luck with your book!

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Author Hill Kemp is a former Texas State Representative. Though his first novel, Capitol Offense, is a political thriller, he recently teamed up with his 9-year old granddaughter to write a children's chapter book, Lucky Penny. In this interview, Kemp talks about his books, writing habits and offers some writing advice. 

Did you always want to be a writer?

I wish. I didn’t start writing until I was 55! Now I can’t get enough. Where was this almost compulsive writer all those years?? I’ve gain, grown and taken flight since I opened up to writing.

Tell us about your recent release. What was your inspiration for it?

Lucky Penny from Guardian Angel Publishing is the joint work of me and my 7th grade granddaughter, Siena. The conflict in this tweener novel came right out of her experience in 4th grade. But Siena was truly the inspiration for Lucky Penny. She’s an avid reader and wanted to read my first novel, Capitol Offense, but we decided against that for a 9-year-old. So Siena and I built characters, used her experience and Lucky Penny is the result. The book highlights both the importance of friends and friendship and how it takes investment to sustain.

Are you a disciplined writer? What is your working style? Do you like to outline and plot ahead, or are you more of a stream-of-consciousness writer?

I write in bursts, stream-of-consciousness style. My books play out in my head like movies. My outline for a 100,000 word novel might have 12 or 15 major nodes with nothing listed under them. Only the major flow. Before any fiction, I write pages and pages on the main character(s) to get them fully three dimensional – almost a life history. Then I put them on the stage at the first ‘node’ and away we go. My characters are rich enough that they added 5 chapters in the first 40 in a novel I just completed. Writing a page or so each day doesn’t work for me. I try to block out a whole day (and night??) and get inside my story and go. Probably 5 – 7,000 words in a burst.

Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your works?

My website is www.capitoloffense.com

What are you working on now?

I am working with my publisher to get the final shaping of A Lone Star Special , the sequel to my first novel Capitol Offense . I am part way through ghostwriting the memoir of a person who wants her whole story out now that the Statutes of Limitation have expired. People from 5 other states want me to do their state legislature the way I did Texas in Capitol Offense. I have my native Louisiana already framed and that will be my next project barring other interventions.

Where are your books available?

Amazon, B&T, etc., my website.

Any special marketing strategies you’d like to share?

Most of the money I’ve made selling books has been to impulse buyers at the entry of Kroger grocery stores. Over $20K. I have the option to sell in Kroger stores anywhere in the 105 cities where they are the dominant grocer. I just need writers in those cities. Anybody in Cincinnati?

What advice would you offer aspiring writers?

Read, read, read any and everything you can find even close to your planned work. That old saw about write about what you know is mostly on target. Read the foundational book The Writer’s Journey. Try to remember that persistence stands almost equally with talent in actually getting a book into print. 80% of all books published are non-fiction. The average sales per published book is 200!(so don’t quit your day-job) Be open to let the writing process teach you, open you, scare you and inspire you.

Who are your favorite authors?

Grisham, Dick Fancis, Maeve Binchy

What is the best advice on writing you've ever received?

NEVER send out anything that has not been edited by an EDITOR (not you).

Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?

My inspiration quote by C. D. Lewis: “Do not write to be understood. Write to understand.” I gained a father I’d totally lost out of my fledgling writing effort.

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Contact Person: Lynda S. Burch, Publisher
Company Name: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
Telephone Number: 314 276 8482
Email Address: publisher@GuardianAngelPublishing.com
Website: www.guardianangelpublishing.com

New Christmas Children’s Book Focuses on Violin Playing


SAINT LOUIS, MO – Mayra Calvani’s first children’s picture book, THE MAGIC VIOLIN, has just been released in ebook and paperback by Guardian Angel Publishing, becoming one of the few picture books in the market today focusing on violin playing.

Book’s Blurb:

More than anything, 8-year old Melina wants to become a good violinist. When she loses confidence, her Rumanian teacher Andrea decides it’s time for a magic dose of self esteem. A mysterious, old woman in rags gives Melina some curious advice; a violinist Russian hamster, who happens to live under the old woman’s hat, offers her a virtuoso performance; a shooting star fills her with hope on Christmas Eve. Is Melina actually playing better, or has her violin become magic? Who is the old woman in the plaza, and why does she wear the same emerald ring as her teacher Andrea?

The message of The Magic Violin is that real magic lies in believing in oneself, and that if we trust ourselves, we can accomplish anything. The story, written for 4 to 8 year olds, shows how being compassionate and generous can have its rewards. It also introduces children to the violin and other countries–Belgium, in this case.

“The story combines violin music, magic, Christmas, and the charm of 19th Century Europe,” says Calvani, whose passion for the violin has led to several stories and novels since she began playing four years ago. “This is a book that little girls who are learning to play the violin will be able to identify with. The violin is an extremely difficult instrument to learn—probably the most difficult instrument there is, and sometimes learning a new piece can be quite disheartening. Hopefully my book will motivate young players to persevere and have self trust. Above all, I want my love for the violin to come through the pages and inspire children to try this incredible instrument.”

Author’s Bio:

Mayra Calvani is a multi-genre author whose short fiction, articles, and reviews have appeared on many print and online publications in the States, England, and Puerto Rico. She hails from San Juan, P.R., but now resides in Brussels, Belgium. Visit her children’s book website at www.MayrasSecretBookcase.com. Her official website is www.MayraCalvani.com.

THE MAGIC VIOLIN is distributed by Follett, the largest distributor of ebooks to schools and libraries. The paperback version is available from Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Gardners and Bertrams in the UK, most online retailers, and on order from any brick and mortar bookstore.

For review copies and/or interview requests, please contact the publisher, Lynda Burch, at publisher@GuardianAngelPublishing.com.

Title: The Magic Violin
Author: Mayra Calvani
Format: Paperback
Reading Level: 5-8 years old
ISBN-13: 978-1-933090-49-8
Publication Date: November 2007
Pages: 32
Price: Ebook $5.00, Paperback $10.95
To Order: 314 276 8482, or publisher@GuardianAngelPublishing.com


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