October, 2012

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GAP FAMILY BLOG WELCOMES TRACY HELIXON, AUTHOR OF LITTLE ISAAC’S BIG ADVENTURE.

Congratulations on the release of LITTLE ISAAC’S BIG ADVENTURE. Please tell us more about it.
About the book:
What if you could swing so high that you landed on a cloud and traveled through the sky? Isaac finds the answer to this question on a whimsical and windy fall day, full of surprises. He discovers that being small does have its advantages.
What was the inspiration for this book?

Tracy: When I was a little girl, I loved to swing on the swing set.  I used to pump as hard as I could, then look up at the sky and try to reach the clouds.  I always wondered what it would be like to swing high enough to land on one of those clouds.  Also, I wrote the story at a time when my second child sometimes became frustrated because he couldn’t do all the things his big brother could do. Those two concepts came together to inspire LITTLE ISAAC’S BIG ADVENTURE.
What is your favorite moment from the book?

Tracy: My favorite part of the book is actually the first illustrated page, when Isaac hears the wind whispering, but his big brother doesn’t hear it.  Illustrator Jack Foster captured the moment so perfectly – with the colorful fall leaves swirling in the background and Isaac looking up at the sky.  I also like that page because even though Isaac hasn’t realized it yet, he is beginning to learn that he has a special and unique perspective – not in spite of his smallness, but because of his smallness.  I hope the book will help young children to realize how special they truly are, wherever they happen to be in life.
Is this your first published book? 
Tracy: Yes – and I couldn’t be happier to work with the wonderful people at GAP!
We’d love to hear more about you.

Thanks for asking!  I have enjoyed reading and writing for as long as I can remember.  I grew up on books like Frog and Toad are Friends, Danny and the Dinosaur, The Happy Hollisters, and Little House on the Prairie.  When I found a good book, I had a hard time putting it down – even to go to sleep. I am the oldest of five children, and I also have a large extended family.  My siblings, cousins, and I used to write plays and perform them for our families.  My parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents always encouraged our creativity, and I’m so thankful for that.
Today, I am a full-time English teacher at a two-year college in Wisconsin.  My husband and I live in Wisconsin with our three children, who love to make up stories of their own!
Do you have any book signing events or book tours scheduled for LITTLE ISAAC’S BIG ADVENTURE?

Tracy: I am very excited to share this story with young readers!  Because of my teaching schedule, I am still in the process of arranging these kinds of events.  I will post updates to my author website:  www.tracyhelixon.com

How can our readers learn more about you and any upcoming LITTLE ISAAC’S BIG ADVENTURE events?
Please visit my website at www.tracyhelixon.com  If you read the book, you can also leave me a note there.  I’d love to hear from you!
Thank you for stopping in to share LITTLE ISAAC’S BIG ADVENTURE with us. Readers can purchase their own copy here. We are proud to add it to the ever-growing line of quality titles from Guardian Angel Publishing.

GAP FAMILY BLOG WELCOMES Jennifer LB Leese, AUTHOR OF “JORDIE’S SCHOOL DAY ADVENTURE”

Congratulations on the release of JORDIE’S SCHOOL DAY ADVENTURE. Please tell us more about it.
About the book:
This book is about Jordie’s first day of pre-school. She’s excited and ready to go. That is, until she gets to school and sees all the children. Now, she’s ready to go home. Her mommy hands her a small picture of herself for Jordie to look at whenever she gets nervous. Jordie places it in her pocket for safe keeping. Slowly, Jordie starts to relax and within no time she’s having lots of fun. She plays dolls and blocks during center time, she listens to her teacher read her a story from a big red book, and she sits beside her new friend, Sue during snack time. By the time her mommy comes to get her, she can’t wait to come back again.
What was the inspiration for this book?
Jennifer: My daughter. She was having a tough time being excited about starting school, because she knew she was going to miss being with me. Because of that, I got the idea to laminate a photo of myself and attached it to a piece of string so she could wear it around her neck. She was so excited to take me to school with her.
What is your favorite moment from the book?
Jennifer: The part where Jordie plays on the slide. I think the photo matches the text just perfectly. Kym (Jones, illustrator) really did an awesome job. Seeing her illustrations really makes me think of when I used to volunteer with my daughter at school. Brings back such sweet memories – especially now that my daughter is 15-years-old.
Is this your first published book?
Jennifer: No, I have several books. Several more children’s books (I AM ME, BOWS FOR PIGEL’S NOSE, and SOUNDS I CAN HEAR: IN A CAR) are due out with Guardian Angel sometime soon.
We’d love to hear more about you.
I have several published works including many articles, several children’s fiction picture books, a young adult fantasy book, and a paranormal fiction novel. I freelance children’s non-fiction books for book distribution and packaging companies and currently I work for the weekly newspaper, Picket News, in my hometown where I wear many hats that of which include editor, lead writer, graphic designer, layout, and whatever other hats may need wearing. I also freelance for local businesses designing brochures, advertisements, and print material.

Additionally, as an ordained minister, I perform weddings a few times a year.

I live in Maryland with my three children, Nicholas, Cameron, and Jordan, my husband, Thom, and our two dogs, Lily and Thorn, two cats, Orchid and Gray, Leo the iguana, two rats, and Meloni the bunny.
How can our readers learn more about you and any upcoming JORDIE’S SCHOOL DAY ADVENTURE events?
Jennifer: I have an author website at www.jenniferlbleese.weebly.com, which I am currently, and always trying to update.

Thank you for stopping in to share JORDIE’S SCHOOL DAY ADVENTURE with us. Readers can purchase their copy here. We are proud to add it to the ever-growing line of quality titles from Guardian Angel Publishing.

GAP FAMILY BLOG WELCOMES STACEY MARSHALL, AUTHOR OF Captain Courage and the Fear-Squishing Shoes

Congratulations on the release of Captain Courage and the Fear-Squishing Shoes. Please tell us more about it.
About the book:
In the story, a precocious third grader named Katie shrivels with fear during various common scenarios at her new school such as:  presenting at show and tell, chatting in the lunchroom, participating in class, and navigating the playground scene.  Unexpectedly, a unique superhero, Captain Courage, swoops in to the rescue and helps Katie find self confidence and courage.
What was the inspiration for this book?

Stacey: As a public speaking coach, motivational speaker, speech-language pathologist and Mom, I am acutely aware of the role that speaking with confidence can have on overall self esteem—especially in children.  So, many years ago, I invented a superhero/role model named Captain Courage, which I used in public speaking classes I taught in elementary schools.  I actually taught lessons about speaking with confidence and courage disguised as this outlandishly-dressed superhero.  Then, I decided to write fun-filled stories about Captain Courage and sneak in tips about confident, effective communication.  Hence, Captain Courage and the Fear-Squishing Shoes was born!
What is your favorite moment from the book?

Stacey:  The moment when Captain Courage unexpectedly makes his debut in Katie’s classroom, surprising everyone with his superpowers AND his identity!
Ooo, sounds intriguing! Is this your first published book?

Stacey:  Yes, but I’ve had numerous articles published in local and national magazines and newspapers.
We’d love to hear more about you.

Stacey:  I’ve mentioned that I’m currently a public speaking coach and Mom to two near-perfect children (Yes, I’m a little bit biased!).  I also have a background in broadcasting.  I have worked for CNN in Atlanta, WXDU Durham, and K97 Charlotte where I’ve done everything from delivering the news and serving as news director-to-public relations.  In my varied professional experiences as well as in my personal life, I’m constantly reminded about the importance of effective communication, namely verbal communication.   My hope is that Captain Courage will inspire children to speak up with poise and self-assuredness in any situation.
Do you have any book signing events or book tours scheduled for Captain Courage and the Fear-Squishing Shoes?

Stacey:  Yes, I already have some book signing events on the calendar.  Readers can learn about events by following me on Twitter @smarshallauthor 
How can our readers learn more about you and any information related to Captain Courage and the Fear-Squishing Shoes?

Stacey:  I hope that readers will visit me at www.captaincourage.com as well as www.staceymarshall.com to learn more about Captain Courage and me.
Thank you for stopping in to share Captain Courage and the Fear-Squishing Shoes with us. Readers can purchase their copy here. We are proud to add it to the ever-growing line of quality titles from Guardian Angel Publishing

GAP FAMILY BLOG WELCOMES JULIE HAMMOND, ILLUSTRATOR OF RILEY’S HEART MACHINE

Congratulations on the release of Riley’s Heart Machine. What medium did you use for illustrating this book? How do you choose?

Julie: I chose watercolor because I wanted a really sweet feel to this book.

What is your favorite illustration from the book? Why?


Julie: Probably the page showing Riley’s belly with her pacemaker bump. I love it because it shows a spunky girl who decides to finally share her secret with her friends. She looks so happy!

Did you have to do any research for this book?


Julie: Well, the author shared some pictures of her daughter, who is the namesake of this book. I also looked up pictures online. I already knew about pacemakers though because I used to work as an EKG technician.

Is this your first published book?


Julie: No, I also have an Easter book, “Why Do We Celebrate Easter?” by Dunrobin Publishing and more books soon to be released.

We’d love to hear more about you.


As well illustrating I work at my local library in the children’s area. I love working with children and getting them excited about books. I have two daughters, a loving husband and a seriously lazy cat. We live in a cozy house in a suburb of Saint Louis, MO.
In addition to RHM I illustrated an Easter book, Why Do We Celebrate Easter? by Mark I. Sutherland, and have illustrated for Guardian Angel Kids magazine, Stories for Children, and LaTeen Magazine. And I had a rebus picked up by Highlights magazine.

This coming year is going to be great! I will have a few more books that will be coming out: Birds In A Flower Basket by Mary Jean Kelso, Hockey Agony by Donna McDine, Santa Ate My Gingerbread House by Mark I. Sutherland, A Sandy Grave by Donna McDine and H-Hoo’s There by Jason Todd.

Wow, you must be busy all the time! How can our readers learn more about you and any upcoming Riley’s Heart Machine events?


Julie: Ooo I’d love to hear more from my readers! I have a website www.juliehammondart.com and a facebook page juliehammondart that they can visit!

Thank you for stopping in to share Riley’s Heart Machine with us. Readers can purchase their copy here. We are proud to add it to the ever-growing line of quality titles from Guardian Angel Publishing.

GAP FAMILY BLOG WELCOMES LORI JONES, AUTHOR OF RILEY’S HEART MACHINE

Congratulations on the release of RILEY’S HEART MACHINE. Please tell us more about it.
This story is a little girl’s journey of overcoming her fear of being different. She shares with her friends in a unique way that she has a heart defect and a pacemaker. Although Riley teaches her classmates what it is like to have a pacemaker, she indirectly shows everyone how to embrace what makes them special.
What was the inspiration for this book?

Lori:  My youngest daughter, Riley, was born with a congenital heart defect and at the age of one had a pacemaker implanted. She had replacement surgery this past summer. I wrote this story in the form of a poem when she was 18 months old. Little did I know at the time, that later she would go through a phase where she would be shy about talking about her pacemaker. The eight names used in the book are Riley’s sister and seven cousins.
What is your favorite moment from the book?

Lori: I love when the students start asking Riley questions and she relaxes, but my favorite part is when she tells them she can talk to aliens with her heart machine!
Is this your first published book?

Lori: Yes it is, so this is very exciting!
Congratulations. Lots of first book love for you! We’d love to hear more about you.
I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in communication and journalism and worked as a paralegal in Washington DC for several years before becoming a stay at home mom to my two daughters. That’s when I began to write. I am finishing up my second novel and hope to get those published soon. My story, “The Magic Spell” appears in the book Beyond the Diaper Bag and several of my flash fiction pieces have won awards. I have also written articles for the Tri State Area Outreach magazine. I now live in Pittsburgh with my husband and two daughters – and with my Pittsburgh Steelers obsession. I am a member of the Board of Directors for the Children’s Heart Foundation, Pennsylvania Chapter. A portion of my proceeds will benefit this amazing charity that funds research to help children born with congenital heart disease.
Do you have any book signing events or book tours scheduled for RILEY’S HEART MACHINE?
Lori: I am in the process of planning a launch party in my town of Wexford and several book signings in the Pittsburgh area for the month of October. I will be attending three events for the Children’s Heart Foundation in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia in the month of September, so my book will be available there as well.
How can our readers learn more about you and any upcoming RILEY’S HEART MACHINE events?
Lori: Please “like” the Riley’s Heart Machine Fan Page on Facebook, where I will keep everyone informed. Also, I’ll have information on my author fan page, Lori M. Jones, Author. You can also visit my website at www.lorimjones.com.
Thank you for stopping in to share RILEY’S HEART MACHINE with us. Readers can purchase their copy here. We are proud to add it to the ever-growing line of quality titles from Guardian Angel Publishing.

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