September, 2010

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GAP Author Watch: Janet Halfmann a Guest on Book Bites for Kids Blog Radio

Join GAP Author, Janet Halfmann when she is a guest ont the Book Bites for Kids blog radio show. The show begins today at 2PM CDT. You can call in to Book Bites for Kids at (646)716-9239.

Callers will have a chance to win a copy of a chance to win a copy of Fur and Feathers or Good Night, Little Sea Otter.

Call in to Book Bites for Kids at (646)716-9239 to join in the fun!

GAP Author Watch: Cheryl Malandrinos a Guest on Red River Radio – A Good Story is A Good Story

Join GAP author, Cheryl Malandrinos tonight when she is a guest on Red River Radio – A Good Story is a Good Story. The show begins at 9 PM Eastern/8 PM Central. She’ll be talking about the release of her first children’s picture book, Little Shepherd, and about promoting your book online through virtual book tours.
Marsha Cook, President of Marcus Bryan and Associates Michigan Avenue Media and Marcus Maxwell Inc., will be joined by her co-hosts Freda Roberts and Virginia Grenier. Freda is a writer and creator of Literary Lounge on Facebook. Virginia is the Founder and Owner of Stories for Children Publishing LLC. She is also an author and editor and writes a successful blog as well as an online magazine.

Join in the fun either by phone or online. The call in number is  (646) 595-4478.

Top Mom Blogger Features My Book

Hi all,

My children’s picture book, The Magic Violin is being featured at a top mom blogger this week.

The blog’s name is Moms Wear Your Tees and it is hosted by Scarlett Paolicchi. Not only did she give the book a wonderful review, but she’s also hosting a giveaway! Thanks, Scarlett!

The blog has close to 1,500 followers, which I think it’s pretty awesome.


GAP Authors in the Community: Donna McDine to Participate in Publishing with a Small Press Panel

Donna McDine, author of The Golden Pathway, will be participating in a panel titled, Publishing with a Small Press, starting at 11 AM Eastern at The Ferguson Library, Harry Bennett Branch in Stamford, CT on Saturday, September 25th.

The Golden Pathway was released by Guardian Angel Publishing in August of this year. It is a storybook that shares the Underground Railroad with young readers. A good book to add to school curriculum, it tells the story of David, who 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.

Also on the panel are children’s authors, Lori Calabrese and YA author, Jo Ramsey. You may contact the library for more information at (203) 351-8292.

The Ferguson Library
Harry Bennett Branch
115 Vine Road, Stamford

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 if you sign the guestbook, you’ll receive a FREE e-Book Write What Inspires You: Author Interviews, and and

New Reviews of Recent Guardian Angel Publishing Books!

“If you are a concerned parent looking for a wholesome story to share with your child about the subject of being ridiculed or picked on, I highly recommend Marilee Crow’s A Short Tale About A long Tail.”



“I am very fond of a Necklace for Jiggsy because it can be used to teach young children the importance of being honest, and that it is not good to keep something they found if they know to whom the item belongs to.”


Both these reviews appeared at the Melange of Cultures’s Blog. Visit this blog online at to find reviews, author interviews, recipes, and fun with French and Spanish.

New Review of Little Shepherd by Cheryl C. Malandrinos

“I recommend this book for anyone four years old and up. It would make a perfect reading for children’s church during Advent or at home for the whole family on Christmas Eve.”

–Beth’s Book Basket

Read the full review here!

Donna McDine talks about "The Golden Pathway"

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, and

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.

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

YouTube Tuesday

YouTube Tuesday

International Literacy Day – September 8, 2010

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cutural Organization (UNESCO), one in five adults is illiterate. Two-thirds of them are women and 72 million are children out of school.

Since its foundation in 1946, UNESCO has dedicated itself to keeping literacy high on national, regional and international agendas.

UNESCO celebrates the power of women’s literacy on September 8, 2010 with International Literacy Day. This year they will, “celebrate women’s empowerment through literacy and pay tribute to the women and men who work behind the scenes who help others acquire literacy skills and enter a world of opportunities.”

For more information about International Literacy Day 2010, please visit UNESCO’s website.

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