I’m thrilled to say that Little Shepherd is now available at Amazon.com. Autographed copies need to be ordered directly though me, but now there are two great online places to find my first children’s book–Amazon and Guardian Angel Publishing.
Title: Little Shepherd
Written by: Cheryl C. Malandrinos
Illustrated by: Eugene Ruble
Ages: 4 – 8
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
PRINT ISBN: 978-1-61633-085-9; 1616330856
eBook ISBN: 978-1-61633-086-6; 1616330864
Published: August 2010
In the hills outside Bethlehem, Obed guards his first flock of sheep. When the angels appear to tell of the Savior’s birth, he is hesitant to follow the others to see the new King. When Obed returns to his sheep, he realizes it is a night of miracles.
Read the Excerpt!
Off in the distance, a wolf howled. Obed moved closer to his flock, scanning the hills for any sign of a pack that might race in and steal his sheep. His family depended upon the sheep for food and their wool for clothing. No sheep would be lost under his watch.
He shivered inside his cloak. While the days were getting warmer, the nights still chilled him. He walked over to the large fire blazing inside the pit. He rubbed his hands together and held them up to the fire to warm them.
Above him, the sky twinkled with millions of stars. Obed couldn’t remember a night so clear.
Suddenly, a bright light filled the sky.
Obed trembled. “Father, what is happening?”
His father dropped to the ground, his right hand blocking his eyes from the intense light.
Obed pulled the edges of his cloak closer to his face as he squinted up at the mysterious form hovering overhead. He shivered, but this time it was not because of the cold.
Follow the LITTLE SHEPHERD VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR OCT/NOV/DEC ’10. Visit www.pumpupyourbook.com during the months of October, November, and December to learn more about Cheryl and her first children’s book.
Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor from Western Massachusetts. She is a founding member of Musing Our Children, and editor in chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.
Ms. Malandrinos is also a blogger, book reviewer, and online publicist. Little Shepherd is her first children’s book.
Visit Cheryl at http://www.ccmalandrinos.com
Title: The Golden Pathway
Written by: Donna McDine
Illustrated by: K.C. Snider
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
Hardcover: ISBN: 978-1-61633-081-1; 1616330813
Soft cover: ISBN: 978-1-61633-088-0; 1616330880
eBook: ISBN: 978-1-61633-082-8; 1616330821
Published: August 2010
Raised in a hostile environment where abuse occurs daily, David attempts to break the mold and befriends the slave, Jenkins, owned by his Pa. Fighting against extraordinary times and beliefs, David leads Jenkins to freedom with no regard for his own safety and possible consequences dealt out by his Pa.
Read the Excerpt!
He clamped his hands over his ears, but it didn’t block the high-pitched screams from the barn. He knew they would stop. They always did. Yet, the silence scared David even more, knowing Pa would seek a new victim.
Thud. Thud. Pa’s heavy footsteps echoed on the porch.
Clank. The buckle from Pa’s belt hit the floor.
Buzz saw. Pa’s loud snores shook the windowpane.
David grabbed his boots and with shaky hands slid them on. His small size made it easy to hoist himself out the bedroom window and shimmy down the trellis. David did his best not to leave any footprints in Ma’s tomato garden. He made sure each night to leave the straw broom on the front porch leaning against the railing by the garden. David reached over the railing for the broom. He carefully brushed the dirt to hide his footprints, all the while backing out of the garden. Satisfied that he’d covered his tracks, David shook the dirt off the broom and placed it back on the porch.
If Pa found out what he was doing, he’d skin his hide for sure. David loved Pa, but he had to make this stop.
Donna McDine is an award-winning children’s author, Honorable Mention in the 77th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition and two Honorable Mentions in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. Donna’s stories and features have been published in many print and online publications, and her first book, The Golden Pathway, will be published through Guardian Angel Publishing. Ms. McDine is a member of the SCBWI, Musing Our Children, and The National Writing for Children Center. Learn more about Donna at www.donnamcdine.com if you sign the guestbook, you’ll receive a FREE e-Book Write What Inspires You: Author Interviews, and http://www.donna-mcdine.blogspot.com and http://www.thegoldenpathway.blogspot.com.
Learn more about Donna McDine and The Golden Pathway by checking out THE GOLDEN PATHWAY VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR SEPT/OCT ’10! Visit www.pumpupyourbook.com during September and October to see where Donna stops next.
A beautifully told book to help teach children about faith is what you’ll find in A Wish and A Prayer by Beth Bence Reinke.
Jason is sad when his pet parakeet is scared by an ambulance racing by and takes off out the window. His friends try to help, telling him all about making wishes by waiting until the clock says 11:11, dropping a penny in a fountain, or even using stars. When Mom asks him who hears those wishes, Jason begins to think that praying for Sonny’s return would be a better idea.
I truly enjoyed how Reinke tackled the difference between wishing on objects versus praying to God for our needs. The message is given to the reader in such a way that it is easy for him to understand. In addition, as when Jason discovers without electricity the clock has no power at all, your child will realize that God has power in any situation.
The other nice thing, which parents will pick up more than children, is the peace that comes from casting your burden unto the Lord. Once Jason prays, he feels a song in his heart as he drifts off to sleep. Believers know the peace that passes all understanding, and will find A Wish and A Prayer gives them a simple and subtle way to share that concept with their children.
Artist Ginger Nielson did an excellent job on the illustrations for this book. She also provided the artwork for In My Bath, the other book by Reinke, which we reviewed here. I hope their collaborations continue.
A Wish and A Prayer will make a lovely gift any time of the year. With its lovely story and stunning artwork, your child will be reading it over and again.
I figure I better keep on top of this column if I ever want it to be successful. Besides, with Little Shepherd coming out soon I know I’ll miss a week here or there while I am busy promoting my book.
Dad hasn’t had much reading time lately. We came back from vacation and he’s been busy working his tail off. We took in a KISS concert last week, but that’s pretty much been all the goof-off time he’s had. Vince Flynn’s The Third Option is still on his nightstand.
Both the girls have been racking up the playtime with their friends, trying to hold onto the last couple of weeks of their summer vacation. Other than a tween magazine, no reading has happened. The Lil Diva was distressed to find out that she must read silently in class 30 minutes a day. That didn’t go over well.
Then there’s me, Mom. After teaching Vacation Bible School for a week, I’m tuckered out, but I still got a chance to read.
I finished the home and garden decorating book, Paula Deen’s Savannah Style, and the thriller, The Chill of Night by James Hayman. I’ve also been reading a manuscript for one of my son’s friends. He’s got a great handle on the English language, so that’s a plus. I’m currently reading Renters Win, Home Owners Lose by Tom Graneau.
Hope you’ve enjoyed From the Family Bookshelf. Until next time, keep reading!
Keep an eye on this site and at Guardian Angel Publishing for when it is ready for sale.
I’m still looking for a small handful of hosts for my blog tour, which will run weekdays from October 4th through December 17th. Feel free to email me at cg20pm00(at)gmail(dot)com if you’re interested.
It doesn’t seem possible that three weeks has passed since my July From the Family Bookshelf post, but it has. We celebrated the Lil Diva’s birthday yesterday by adding another furry creature to our crazy home. She had been asking for a kitten for a few years and I finally broke down and decided it would be okay to add a little kitty to this chaos. Well, except that I doubled my trouble by letting the Lil Princess adopt one too. As of tomorrow there will be five cats and four people living here.
I swear summer just started, but the girls return to school in 14 weekdays. The Lil Princess met her goal for the library’s “Go Green” summer reading program. In addition to the many weekly prizes she received, both girls got to attend a roller skating party to celebrate the readers who met their goals. It won’t surprise me if the Lil Princess decides to do it again next year.
While I won’t list the 27 books she read, the last couple were The Adventure of Oliver the Clownfish books by Stephanie Guzman, which we reviewed here.
Dad came home from North Carolina reading Vince Flynn’s The Third Option. This is a counterterrorism thriller. I like these kinds of books too, but they’re not my favorite. He’s still reading this one. He hopes maybe this weekend he might get more than five minutes to sit down with it.
The Lil Diva is trying to hold onto summertime play by not reading. Regular reading will pick up as soon as she starts school, so I’m not too worried.
I, on the other hand, have been a reading wizard. If you stop by The Book Connection, you’ll see I’ve posted several reviews. This list doesn’t include any books I mentioned in July’s post:
Drawing Strength from the Names of God by Catherine Martin (Christian living)
Drawn to the Land: The Romance of Farming by Elizabeth and Barton Cockey (historical nonfiction picture book)
The Big Ten of Grammar by William B. Bradshaw, PhD (reference)
For the King by Catherine Delors (historical novel set in Napoleonic Paris)
A Woman’s Heart That Dances: Keeping in Step with God’s Design for You by Catherine Martin
My reviews for When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton is Empty by Jackie M. Johnson (Christian relationship book) and Healing with Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey (memoir) by Diana M. Raab will be posted at The Book Connection on August 17th and 24th, respectively. I am currently reading Paula Deen’s Savannah Style and The Chill of Night by James Hayman.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this latest edition of From the Family Bookshelf. Until next time, keep reading!
If parents are looking for a fun series that teaches kids vital interpersonal skills, they don’t need to look any further than The Adventures of Oliver the Clownfish, a series by author Stephanie Guzman.
When readers first meet Oliver in Invitation Slip-up, the cheerful clownfish is not his usual happy self. It seems everyone has been invited to Sally the seahorse’s birthday party except he. It sure doesn’t help that his friend Paul is talking about what a great time it will be. Hurt and angry, Oliver finally confronts Sally, which leads him to find that sometimes things aren’t the way they seem.
In Acting Cool, Oliver and Paul enjoy playing with their new neighbor, Dolly, a dolphin whose body is covered in neon shapes. They spend the rest of the summer together, but when school starts, their friend Sally says she isn’t going to play with Dolly because of the way she looks. Paul and Oliver want to be cool, so at first they go along; but in the end, Oliver decides he must do what is right.
My youngest daughter (6) and I have read these books, together and separately. She is drawn to the vibrant illustrations provided by P.S. Babu (Invitation Slip-up) and TD (Acting Cool), and the ease with which she can read through them. I, on the other hand, like a story where animal characters display human characteristics and deal with human conflicts. I feel this makes the message of the book easier for children to accept and appreciate. Most of all, though, these are delightful stories that will engage your youngster. I’m sure my daughter and I will be reading The Adventures of Oliver the Clownfish again.
Our special guest is Beverly Stowe McClure, author of the young adult novels, Rebel in Blue Jeans and Just Breeze. McClure’s latest release, Caves Cannons, and Crinolines, is a departure from her contemporary stories. Today she will discuss the differencs in writing an historical novel versus a modern-day story, and why she plans to keep writing both.
Historical Versus Contemporary Novels–The Similiarities and the Differences by Beverly Stowe McClure
History was never my favorite subject. Writing an historical novel had never entered my mind. Then one summer my husband and I drove to South Carolina to visit our son and daughter-in-law. On the way we stopped at Vicksburg, Mississippi, and toured the national park there. We visited the museum, located in the old courthouse that dates back to the Civil War. I talked to the curator of the museum and also to a little old lady whose grandparents had survived the siege of Vicksburg. I read journals kept by the women who faced the horrors of war in their daily lives. And I knew I had to write their stories.
In some ways writing historical fiction is the same as writing contemporary fiction. No matter the time element, a story needs characters, a plot and theme, and a setting. To make my story set in the 1860s authentic, however, I needed to research the times. What did they eat? How did they dress? What were their interests: books, music, sports? How did they talk? Travel? To answer these questions, I bought books and journals and copies of old newspapers and read them and marked them and put myself in 1863 Vicksburg with its dirt streets, hillsides, and families terrified by daily cannon and rifle fire that destroyed their homes and in many cases their lives. I scoured the Internet where I found more journals, some written by children. Many university Web sites have great collections of Civil War information, including letters from soldiers to their families back home. From reading the way they wrote, their choice of words, and how many of the words differ in meaning today from the 1860s, I learned the flavor of their language. It’s very easy to let a modern term, such as a cell phone, slip in, so I had to check for the dates many items were invented. These letters also gave me the idea to have Lizzie write to her brothers who were away.
Research for my historical novel took several months, but it was worth every minute. When I knew what daily life was like for the people, not just the soldiers fighting the war, I could put myself in Lizzie’s place, or Nat’s. I could see the destruction of my home through their eyes, which added depth to the scenes.
My contemporary stories sometimes require research, as well. Small details make the difference, especially if the reader has some knowledge of the area of your setting. Readers will catch those little mistakes and then question the rest of the book, if the agent or editor doesn’t see them first. For instance, in Listen to the Ghost, set in Charleston, SC, I had to research the streets of the city to visualize a map of where they lived, where the library was located, and the park. I have been to Fort Sumter, where part of the story takes place and had pictures and other info to help me with that scene.
As for writing historical as opposed to contemporary, I enjoy both and hope to continue writing a variety of novels. My second historical fiction novel is under contract. It will be a couple years before it’s out, but the story is loosely based on my mother’s story as an Orphan Train Rider. I’ve discovered how much I love history. After all, our ancestors and the men and women who lived before us made us who we are today. What better reason to tell their stories?
Beverly Stowe McClure is the author of novels for teens including Just Breeze, Listen to the Ghost, Secrets I Have Kept, Rebel in Blue Jeans, and her latest Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines. A native Texan she lives in the country with her husband, cat, and a variety of wild critters.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Beverly Stowe McClure
TRAVEL BACK IN TIME
Imagine living in a cave, the earth quivering with each cannon shot, dust sifting down in your hair and your eyes, the walls threatening to collapse and bury you alive.
Iowa Park, TX June 15, 2010. Author’s novel explores the effects of the American Civil War on one family’s life through the eyes of the young daughter. Travel along with Beverly Stowe McClure on her Virtual Book Tour, August 2nd through the 13th and meet the Stamford family in their daily struggle to survive a changing way of life. Follow the blogs below. Be sure to leave a comment for the chance to win a signed copy of Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines.
Mon. Aug. 2: http://childrensandteensbookconnection.wordpress.com
Tues. Aug. 3: http://thewritingjungle.blogspot.com
Wed. Aug. 4: http://sgcardin.blogspot.com
Fri. Aug. 6: http://nasharpe.blogspot.com Interview and Guest Post
Fri. Aug. 6: http://cybrarianbookreviews.blogspot.com Review
Sat. Aug. 7: Book signing at Tom Burnett Memorial Library, Iowa Park, TX. 11AM to 1 PM.
Sun. Aug. 8: http://trtbookclub.blogspot.com
Mon. Aug. 9: http://joyce-anthony.blogspot.com Interview
Tue. Aug. 10: http://joyce-anthony.blogspot.com Review
Tue. Aug. 10: http://blogcritics.org
Wed. Aug. 11: http://Katiehines.blogspot.com
Thur. Aug. 12: http://donna-mcdine.blogspot.com Guest Post
Thur. Aug. 12 http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com Guest Post
Fri. Aug. 13: http://pennylockwoodehrenkranz.blogspot.com Review
Fri. Aug. 13: http://blogs.bethbencereinke.com/bethsbooksbasket/
About the author: Beverly Stowe McClure is the author of novels for teens including Just Breeze, Listen to the Ghost, Secrets I Have Kept, Rebel in Blue Jeans, and her latest Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines. A native Texan she lives in the country with her husband, cat, and a variety of wild critters.
# # #