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Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Little Shepherd, A Christmas Kindness, Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving and the recently released, A blogger and book reviewer, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She also has a son who is married.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | BLOG

Would you call yourself a born writer?

I’m not sure I would say I am a born writer as much as I have always felt called to write. It’s important to me to make sure of my God-given talents. Writing is something I’ve always enjoyed.

What was your inspiration for Amos Faces His Bully?

Like my first book, Little Shepherd, this story places fictional characters in a Biblical setting. My first inspiration was to continue with the format of my first book—make it a series of unrelated, yet similar, stories. There are others planned.

My primary reason for writing Amos Faces His Bully, however, is very personal. I was bullied as a child; teased from the day I entered elementary until the day I graduated high school. Yet, with all the awareness of bullying and the anti-bullying programs that exist in our cities and towns today, bullying still exists. As I’ve worked hard to prevent my own child from being bullied, I wanted her to know God could provide her—and other victims of bullying—with peace and strength.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

Faith often plays a role in my books. Whether it be a young shepherd boy who must trust that God will keep his sheep safe while he visits the newborn King, or a bullied child seeking courage to deal with his tormenters, reaching out in faith has many rewards. A Christmas Kindness, while not faith-based, has themes in it that some might consider Christian values. Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving and A Christmas Kindness show young people as problem solvers.

How long did it take you to complete this picture book?

The first draft of Amos Faces His Bully took a few days…but that’s the easy part. It’s the editing process that takes a while. You’re not only looking for typographical or grammar errors. You’re looking to trim away the unnecessary words. You’re clarifying your meaning. You’re seeking out repetitive words or phrases. Even after a book is published, it’s not uncommon to wish you had done something differently.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

Um…no. Total panster who waits until there is a fair amount of time to sit down uninterrupted to write. Usually that means once a month at writing group, but I’ll take what I can get.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

Writing a book about a youngster being bullied when you were bullied and friendless for most of your childhood tends to bring up bad memories. Thankfully, as many of us discover, the years after high school bring with them a level of maturity the bullies—and you—didn’t have in school.

What do you love most about being an author?

It’s amazing to be able to go to Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com or other online retailers and find my books there. Have to admit that is a special feeling.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self-publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

All my books are published by independent publishers. After the manuscripts were accepted, the process—while not exactly short—was fairly painless. I’ve been blessed to work with wonderful people at both publishing houses. That’s why I keep going back with each new book.

Where can we find you on the web?

My friends say I am all over the Internet. Having worked in online book promotion and using social media for my current job means they probably aren’t too far off. I am out there a lot. The best places to find me are:

Website: http://ccmalandrinos.com

Blog: https://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cheryl-C-Malandrinos-170542359697682

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ccmalandrinos

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ccmalandrinos

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4341623.Cheryl_C_Malandrinos

 

About the Book:

Title: AMOS FACES HIS BULLY
Author: Cheryl C. Malandrinos
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Pages: 20
Genre: Christian children’s picture book

 

BOOK BLURB:

Amos is targeted by the town bully because he is so small. When word reaches Amos of his friend David’s battle with Goliath, he thinks back to what David told him about putting his faith in God’s protection. Perhaps the same God can help Amos face his bully too.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Guardian Angel | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |Indiebound.org

 

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Dreamer coverIs the Dreamer good or evil? As war looms between Britain and Argentina over the barren Falkland Islands, Major David Elliott is having nightmares. Long ago, in a dark jungle near Cambodia, he failed to do his duty. That duty was to execute a member of his team. David’s weakness eventually led to his team’s capture. Tortured by the Viet Cong, they revealed the dark secrets of the CIA’s Phoenix program. Forced to leave the service in disgrace, his men now live in the ‘darkness’. What do the dreams mean for them? David’s wife, Sonia, sees them as harbingers of evil things to come. A revolutionary in Argentina before the war, she escaped to America and became a citizen.

Now, Captain Alvarez, head of the Argentine Secret Police, wants her back. He devises a plan that lures her into returning to Argentina where she is imprisoned on Los Estados Island. Meanwhile, a mystical creature has summoned David and his former team to gather once more to honor the ‘covenant,’ a pact they made with each other when they believed their lives were coming to an end. Together, with an errant priest, Father Perez, they reluctantly agree to assault Los Estados and free Sonia. As they travel across Mexico, Central and South America, they encounter the CIA, Contras in Nicaragua, the M-19 narco-terrorist group and the United States Navy; while all along being shadowed by the mystical entity. Is the entity God or Satan? Will submitting to the will of the entity allow David and his men to stand in the light of men once again? Is the Dreamer good or evil? You decide.

Dreamer is a tale of redemption, honor, courage, belief in God and betrayal! If you enjoy military fiction, this book is for you.

Purchase information:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dreamer-Phillip-Davidson-ebook/dp/B00EZVKPFU/Phillip Davidson - Author

 

About the Author:

Phillip L. Davidson is an attorney who lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, Karen. He is a former infantry Captain who commanded a group of Cambodian and Vietnamese Kit Carson Scouts on a night ambush team in the Mekong Delta. Phil’s life in the military has provided him with a wealth of war stories.  He has used his creative insight to produce a military action adventure of epic proportions. Dreamer is a must read book. He is currently at work on a second novel.

Visit the author online at http://www.phildavidsonbooks.com/.

 

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Amber Leaf, Minnesota, 1942.

In spite of the hardships of war, young Jo Bremley lives in considerable happiness with her husband and 7-year old daughter. Then one night, influenced by his best friend, Jo’s husband announces that he has decided to join the war. Before he gets a chance to, however, he’s the victim of a snowstorm accident. Now a young widow, Jo tries to make ends meet as best as she can by doing laundry for an establishment called O.M. Harrington.

During the year following her husband’s death, Jo runs into several difficulties which put her job in danger. Her husband’s best friend, whom she’s always blamed for her husband’s death, sets up a successful law practice; her daughter has a couple of unfortunate incidents with Big Ole, the owner of O.M. Harrington; and Jo doesn’t think she’ll be able to get her daughter the Christmas gift she deserves. Eventually, through a series of twists, the characters learn the true meaning of love and forgiveness, all in time to celebrate the holiday season.

Though Tracks in the Snow is a slow read, and got me a little frustrated at times, I ultimately enjoyed it. I appreciate the way the author took her time in developing her characters and the question of how she was going to put all the loose ends together at the end kept me reading. At times I found Jo too perfect and goodie-goodie, but in the end she wins me over. I especially like Big Ole and his gradual change from a grumpy old man to a caring person. He has a nice character arc. The story is a snapshot of a family in Minnesota during World War II. The author did a good job portraying this situation.

The ending of Tracks in the Snow is heartwarming, without being preachy. In sum, although the pace of the book is slow, the characterization and the writing are good. If you’re looking for a page-turner, this isn’t the book for you, but if you like to take your time when reading a story and getting to know the characters, and you appreciate realistic fiction, you’ll enjoy Tracks in the Snow.

For more info, visit the author’s website or Amazon.

Originally published in Blogcritics

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Lisa is a brilliant, 30-year-old computer programmer recruited by ISF-Intel Securities Foundation, a contractor for the Department of Defense. At such a young age, she already has a patent on a software that the DOD is willing to buy from her at any price. Overnight, it has become the most sought-after program on the planet.

Then one day she is kidnapped and badly hurt in the process. To avoid giving her captors what they want, she fools them by faking amnesia. What keep her alive are thoughts of seeing again her son and the man she loves.

Meanwhile, her father Sam and her son Zach, together with the authorities, are doing everything they can to find her. Sam has a love-hate relationship with Lisa because he blames her for the death of her mother–and the only woman Sam ever loved.

Their relationship is further damaged by the fact that he took Zach away from Lisa and raised him as his own son. His action was partly due to the fact that Lisa was only a young teenager when she had Zach. The story, told in multiple points of view, switches from Lisa and her ordeal as she’s kept captive, to Sam and Zach as they try to find her.

There is quite a lot of backstory, especially at the beginning, which together with various punctuation mistakes, was somewhat distracting. However, I was able to root for Lisa and I also found interesting the dark family dynamics taking place between father and daughter, and mother and son until the compelling ending when there’s a transformation among the characters.

Part-thriller, part-drama, Betrayal and Forgiveness is an out-of-the-ordinary story that will appeal to fans of Christian fiction.

Purchase from Amazon.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN BLOGCRITICS.

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Rebekah RedemmedOrphaned Rebekah becomes a servant in her uncle’s house in Bethany. Traded from relative to relative, she suffers neglect and abuse. When a Roman soldier assaults her, she flees in fear of her life and hides. Rebekah is discovered and Lazarus becomes her kinsman redeemer. Can Jesus redeem her soul? Can she forgive or break the chains of her past?

Read an excerpt:

Benjamin sized up the little girl. A flicker of recognition in the older man’s eyes quickly turned to ice. Stepping closer he reached down to the child and she pulled away. “Look at me, child,” he commanded with a little less animosity in his voice.
Rebekah lifted her chin and looked into her uncle’s brown, lined face. He pushed the shawl off her stringy brown hair, and for a moment the lines in his face softened and his eyes showed compassion. “You look like your mother,” he mumbled to himself. Then he stood back, cleared his throat and narrowed his eyes once more.
“You want me to take her in, is that it?”
“Yes. We have little and cannot take her as our own.”
“What is in it for my wife and me?”
“She is strong and a good worker. She is good with lambs. She can help with cooking and drawing water. I know she looks small, but she is strong and obedient. She could be a useful addition to your household. A daughter is not like having a son, but they can work.” Caleb tried to sell the idea to the shopkeeper.
“Well,” he sized up the child and scratched his bearded chin. “She could help my wife.” He stood in silence, strolled out into the street, and looked up and down at his friends and neighbors. Then, turning on his heel, he walked back to Caleb and said without emotion, “You asked around the village for me? Others know of the child?”
“We asked people so we could find you.”
With one more glance up and down the street, Benjamin saw the rabbi walking toward them. “The Torah does say that we are to care for orphans and widows. She is my dead sister’s child, no matter what else happened between us. I will take her in, but not as a member of my family.”
“Shalom. May you…”
Benjamin reached for the girl. He interrupted Caleb, “I will not pay you for her. Go back where you came from. I take her because it is my duty under the Law of Moses.”
Caleb turned to go. Benjamin pushed Rebekah toward the back of the shop. She looked over her shoulder at her father’s friend for the last time.
“Come. You must meet your mistress. You have taken up enough time. I have a business to run and customers to serve.” He spoke as if he were an important man.
Rebekah stepped through the door into a small courtyard and into a new life. She prayed silently that it would get no worse.

Read a review on THE BOOK CONNECTION.

Purchase Info:

Title: Rebekah Redeemed
Author: Dianne G. Sagan
Publisher: Buoy Up Press
ISBN: 978-0-937660-52-2
SRP: $11.95 (U.S.)

dianneAbout the author:

Dianne Sagan, author, speaker, ghostwriter, and consultant has been a story teller much of her life. She started writing short stories for her children when they were small. Dianne has spent several years honing her craft as an op-ed columnist in the regional newspaper, Amarillo Globe News, short stories for anthologies and online articles on Suite 101, Writing for Dollars, and others.

Born in the Midwest, she grew up on the plains of West Texas and in her heart of hearts always wanted to write. She says that she loves being married to a writer and an editor because she always has someone to brainstorm with.

Her interests include reading, quilting, gardening, time with her children and grandchildren. She has spent years in volunteer work through Boy and Girl Scouts, her church, and the Sharing Hope Ministry to incarcerated women. She is also involved in writing about women’s issues. She loves speaking to groups about these issues and about writing.

Works in progress include a suspense novel, more Christian fiction novellas, and ghostwriting.

Her most recent published book is Rebekah Redeemed.

Visit her website and blog.

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