December, 2012

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GAP FAMILY BLOG WELCOMES DONNA J SHEPHERD, AUTHOR OF AVA’S SECRET TEA PARTY

Congratulations on the release of “Ava’s Secret Tea Party.” Please tell us more about it.

Has your child dreamed of meeting Tooth Fairy, Santa, Sandman, or Easter Bunny? Ava wants to invite them to tea, but how? The answer lies with one special character who knows them ALL! In the style of classic fairy tales, I wrote Ava’s Secret Tea Party.” Enjoy the tale, look for hidden teacups and chocolate chip cookies in the sweet illustrations by Bella Sinclair, and have fun making the recipes and crafts included in the book!

What was the inspiration for this book?

When my daughter was little, she and her cousin had tea parties all the time. They never tired of them, so I knew a book about tea parties would appeal to children – and to the grownups, too. I still have tea every evening!

What is your favorite moment from the book?

When I first saw the finished illustrations, I would think I had a favorite until I saw the next one. Bella Sinclair brought such beautiful detail and whimsy to the book with her illustrations. But I have to say that when the Tooth Fairy first makes an appearance, I laughed out loud. She is precious, and I’m particularly fond of the rhyme on that page. Seeing it in hardcover thrilled me. I’m hoping it is one that children will reach for time and time again.

Is this your first published book?

No, this is my ninth book for children, my eighth with Guardian Angel Publishing.

We’d love to hear more about you.

I’m a children’s picture book author and inspirational writer with hundreds of articles and devotionals published – so far! All of my books for kids feature short, playful rhymes and humorous illustrations by several different and oh-so-talented illustrators. I’m the founder of Greater Harvest Workshops and Middletown Area Christian Writers, and a Bible teacher, conference speaker, singer, and voiceover artist. I live in the Cincinnati area with two dogs, two birds, and one husband. I have two grown children who inspire me every day.

Do you have any book signing events or book tours scheduled for “Ava’s Secret Tea Party”?

Several bloggers have graciously hosted me already and I have several more stops to make.

How can our readers learn more about you and any upcoming “Ava’s Secret Tea Party” events?

Bella Sinclair drew coloring pages and a banner for the blog at http://www.asecretteaparty.blogspot.  I hope you’ll visit the blog where you will find coloring pages, puzzles, more recipes, and of course, information on how you can purchase your own copy of Ava’s Secret Tea Party. Come visit me in Topsy Turvy Land (http://www.topsyturvyland.com) for even more fun or join the fan page on Facebook to keep updated on everything I’m doing: http://www.facebook.com/donnajshepherd

Thank you for stopping in to share “Ava’s Secret Tea Party” 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.

Thank you! I never grow tired of talking about writing for children.

GAP FAMILY BLOG WELCOMES MARY ESPARZA-VELA, AUTHOR OF “THE SMILING BURRO”

Congratulations on the release of “THE SMILING BURRO.” Please tell us more about it.
About the book:

This humorous and heartwarming picture book is targeted for children 4-8 years of age. It is about a tiny burro that shows up at a little boy’s house and becomes a real asset to the family. The day he disappears, they never expect to see him again until he prances in one dark, spooky night.

What was the inspiration for this book?

Mary:  When I was a child, my maternal grandfather would visit every weekend. He was a great storyteller and I looked forward to hearing his ghost stories before going to bed. The entire family always gathered around him and once he started, we were glued to our seats. “The Smiling Burro” became one of my favorite stories. 
What is your favorite moment from the book?

Mary:  My favorite moment is the surprise ending. 
Is this your first published book?

Mary:  This is my fourth book. The book is also being published in Spanish. Other published books include “The Odd Chick,” “The Turtle Who Imagined,” and “Bearly Learning About Water.”  
We’d love to hear more about you.

Before writing for children, I worked as an Editorial Assistant at a medical facility. I have written articles for religious publications and won various online writing contests, including “Honorable Mention” in a Writer’s Digest competition (Children’s category). “The Turtle Who Imagined” recently won a 2012 Book of the Year Award. I am also a patented inventor of three award-winning plush dolls. Picture book adventures with the doll characters are coming soon. You’re welcome to see the dolls at www.marysdollsandbooks.com. I live in Texas with my husband and three children.
How can our readers learn more about you and any upcoming “THE SMILING BURRO” events?
Author: Interviews and press releases are planned as well as introductions at small book stores, libraries, writers groups and conferences.
Thank you for stopping in to share “THE SMILING BURRO” 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.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from everyone at Guardian Angel Publishing. Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy New Year.

Holiday Memories with Author Kai Strand

My husband is from a large family (seventeen kids is large, right?). Each year it is tradition for someone to host a summer gathering and for someone else to host a Christmas gathering. Usually you call dibs for the next year’s gathering while attending one – which is what I did in 1996. “We’ll host all of you in December of 1997!” I eagerly agreed.

And then was blessed to learn that we were expecting our third child, New Years 1998.

To make matters worse, I had some very specific ideas of what my party would be like. There would be turkey, honey baked ham and roast. Scratch mashed potatoes, no bulk buy dinner rolls for my guests. And plenty of seating.

Realizing I would be cleaning and decorating and preparing for overnight guests, cooking and serving and cleaning some more, all less than a month from my due date gave me pause. Could I really pull it off?

It was my oldest sister who made the statement, “Do you think all of your sisters-in-law would let you do all the work when you are that pregnant?” I realized she was right. This would probably be the easiest party I’d ever thrown.

Mid-December rolled around and we hosted 58 people for a ‘sit down’ dinner, though obviously not everyone sat at a table. The meal went off without a hitch and like my sister said, my sisters-in-law were champions in the “You just sit and take it easy – we got this” department. Twenty-two guests spent the night in our house. It was truly a lovely time. My son was born late – January 8th – so in the end there was never really much for me to worry about.

Christmas is all about family to me and that Christmas party was the pinnacle of family togetherness.


Kai Strand writes fiction for kids and teens. Her debut novel, The Weaver, was a finalist in the 2012 EPIC eBook Awards. She is a (very lucky) wife and the mother of four amazing kids. The most common sound in her household is laughter. The second most common is, “Do your dishes!” She and her family hike, geocache, and canoe in beautiful Central Oregon, where they call home.

To find out more about Kai’s books, download companion documents, find links to her published short stories and discover all the places to find Kai both virtually and in person, visit her website: www.kaistrand.com. She loves to hear from readers, so feel free to send her an email or visit her facebook page, Kai Strand, Author.

GAP FAMILY BLOG WELCOMES Penelope Anne Cole, AUTHOR OF Magical Matthew.

Congratulations on the release of Magical Matthew.  Please tell us more about it.
About the book: 
Matthew has a big secret.  He can fix things magically with his mind.  Matthew secretly uses his magic to fix things for his family and friends.  Later, he expands his magical good deeds by fixing things in his neighborhood.  Matthew’s friend, Lily, suspects something is special about him.  Matthew must decide whether to tell her the truth or not.
What was the inspiration for this book?

Penelope: My book was inspired by my friend’s son, Matthew, when he attained “double digits.”  I thought, “How Magical is that – he’s not a kid anymore!”  Which led to, what if he really had magic?  What would he do?  And would he tell people, or keep it a secret?.
What is your favorite moment from the book?

Penelope: There are two special moments for me.  First, when Matthew confides in his Grandma Nonie, showing he’s comfortable sharing his secret with a trusted adult.  And, second, when he realizes he has abilities and talents beyond magic.

Is this your first published book?

Penelope:  Yes

Congratulations! We’d love to hear more about you.

I’ve had a few careers:  my longest was in government service Human Resources (HR), next as a teacher of adults and children, and now as a writer and book reviewer.  In most of my positions, I’ve been able to write and teach others.  English Literature was my undergraduate Liberal Arts major and Education my Masters program.

Do you have any book signing events or book tours scheduled for Magical Matthew?

Penelope:  For now I’m visiting fellow author’s blogs and Magical Matthew is being reviewed.  I hope to visit local schools, libraries and bookstores.
How can our readers learn more about you and any upcoming Magical Matthew events?

Penelope:  I will post them on my blogs:

http://penelopeannecole.blogspot.com and http://magical-matthew.blogspot.com.

Thank you for stopping in to share Magical Matthew 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.

Holiday Memories with Author Cheryl Malandrinos

The Christmas of 1982 stands out in my mind. It was the worst kind of year I can imagine for a child. My mother had battled cancer for two years, but her battle was nearly over. A hospital bed had been set up in my old bedroom downstairs. She planned to die at home. But that wasn’t to be. On Thanksgiving morning, Mom was rushed to the hospital in extreme pain. She would never come home again.

By the time mid-December rolled around, I swore we were cursed. A friend’s fiance was killed in a car accident on the 3rd. My aunt, my mother’s older sister, died unexpectedly of a stroke on December 12th. Mom was getting worse and had slipped into a coma. The rest of us played a dreadful waiting game. My dad working and spending all his down time at the hospital. Me and my middle sister trying to concentrate on school. My oldest sister, who was married by this time, trying to cope with being pregnant with her second child and taking care of her younger siblings. As you can imagine, there wasn’t a lot of Christmas spirit.

Mom died on December 18th and we buried her just four days before Christmas. I don’t think anyone expected presents that year. I doubted Dad had even had time to shop with all that was going on. Imagine my surprise when there were a few gifts under the tree. And included in one of each of our gifts was a note from Dad. I don’t know what my sisters’ notes said, but mine told me that the reason he bought me that particular gift was because it was the one thing Mom had told him to be sure to buy. She said I would need it, because I was growing up.

My father has never been a man of many words. Since my mother was home full-time until I was 10, he worked a lot of hours to make ends meet. When Mom died, I felt I was left to live with a stranger. But that Christmas morning, when I opened a gift he made sure to buy just for me, including the only note he has written to me in 44 years, I felt we could make it through the pain and the suffering, and that maybe, one day, the sun would shine again.

Thanks Dad!

Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer, children’s author and editor. Her first children’s book, Little Shepherd, was released in August 2010 by Guardian Angel Publishing. She is a member of the SCBWI, a book reviewer and blogger. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two children. She also has a son who is married. Visit her online at http://ccmalandrinos.com

GAP FAMILY BLOG WELCOMES Marilee Crow, AUTHOR OF Once There Was A Monster

GAP FAMILY BLOG WELCOMES Marilee Crow, AUTHOR OF Down By The Shore, Alleycat, A Short Tale About A Long Tail, Does Heaven Get Mail?, Cartwheel Annie, A Pocketful of Manners and Once There Was A Monster.

Congratulations on the release of Once There Was A Monster. Please tell us more about it.

About the book:

Every child at some point in their lives has a fear of monsters. Through charming, funny rhyme, see how one child conquers her fear of the monster in her room. What happens when the child finds out that monsters have fears too?

What was the inspiration for this book?

Marilee: I still have to have the closet door closed at night or I can’t go to sleep. The clothes hanging there creep me out in the dark.

What is your favorite moment from the book?

Marilee: When the monster comes up from under the house with all these creepy crawlies.

Is this your first published book?

Marilee: No, this is my 9th.

We’d love to hear more about you.

I have retired to South Carolina. Before that, I lived in Southern California where I worked at a private school for special education students. I was one of the PE teachers. I have been married to my best friend for 36 years. When we were younger, we owned a gymnastic center. We taught and had a competitive team for 18 years, all the while, raising one daughter.

I have always loved to write. I wrote two romance novels and had them published before I began writing children’s stories. I was taking a poetry class and when it came to the rhyming section of the course, I could only think of Dr. Seuss. I began putting together a corny little rhyme about a little girl who took a trip to the beach. That’s when I realized I had all these children’s stories in me.

Do you have any book signing events or book tours scheduled for Once There Was A Monster?

Marilee: I have a couple of Fall Festivals I’ll be at with all my books.

How can our readers learn more about you and any upcoming Once There Was A Monster events?

Marilee: I have a blogspot: booksbymarilee.blogspot.com and I’m on facebook, where I usually post for family and friends of my signings.

Thank you for stopping in to share Once There Was A Monster with us. Readers can purchase their copies here. We are proud to add it to the ever-growing line of quality titles from Guardian Angel Publishing


Holiday Memories with Author Stacey A. Marshall

For New Year’s Eve every year, our young children help create a menu of myriad appetizers. We search for unusual hors d’oeuvres recipes and spend the whole week prior to New Year’s creating our feast of finger foods, which will be served on our finest platters, coupled with sparkling cider served in our crystal champagne glasses. We eat our meal in the dining room on fine china (kinda funny to eat mini quiches and pigs-in-a blanket on fine china!), and the kids love the variety of foods and fancy table setting!

Stacey Marshall has been a public speaking coach and motivational speaker for over 15 years. Like Captain Courage, she enjoys teaching people of all ages how to be courageous in any formal or informal situation. Using her expertise, she has conducted optimal communication skills training for various groups including: politicians, actors, litigators, business executives, broadcasters, students, as well as media training for Division I, NFL, WNBA, and Olympic athletes. With a background in broadcasting, Stacey also is a winner of the Women Executives International Speak Out. She has written for numerous local and national publications, and often focuses her writing on how to demonstrate confidence/courage. She earned her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She currently resides with her husband and children in North Carolina. 

You can learn more about Captain Courage and the Fear-Squishing Shoes at http://www.captaincourage.com/

You can find this and other books from Guardian Angel Publishing online at http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/

GAP FAMILY BLOG WELCOMES JENNIFER REED, AUTHOR OF DOODLE GIRL

Congratulations on the release of Doodle Girl. Please tell us more about it.
About the book:
Rachel loves to doodle on walls, on her school books, on her back pack. Anywhere Rachel can doodle she does, but it gets her into big trouble. She tries to draw and color in other places. She learns she can mix colors and make more colors. Suddenly, Rachel’s doodling becomes a lot more fun!

What was the inspiration for this book?
Jennifer:  My daughter Emma was always drawing pictures. I’d find them on walls, on her toys, on her books.
What is your favorite moment from the book?
Jennifer: When Rachel, the main character, was caught drawing on the wall behind her bed- that really happened.
Is this your first published book?
Jennifer: No, this is my fourth published book with Guardian Angel and my 28th published book total.
We’d love to hear more about you.
I knew I wanted to be a writer in the second grade. That’s when the magic happened. I wrote short stories about a little hedgehog named Harold. I pursued writing whenever possible. In high school, I wrote for the school newspaper. I majored in English and writing in college. I worked on newspapers and magazines and did a lot of freelance writing. I got my master’s degree at Vermont College of Fine Arts in writing for children and teens. I love to write and share ideas with children! I have two older teens who have always given me much to write about.
Do you have any book signing events or book tours scheduled for Doodle Girl?
Jennifer: Nothing regular. I sometimes do school visits locally.
How can our readers learn more about you and any upcoming Doodle Girl events?
Jennifer: Visit my website at www.jennifer-reed.com. I just updated it with cool book trailers and photos and lots of information on my books.

Thank you for stopping in to share Doodle Girl 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.

November 2012 New Releases from Guardian Angel Publishing

Introducing Gatsby, the art gallery cat, who loves exploring famous paintings at night. When he forgets to jump out before dawn, strange things happen to Winslow Homer’s, ‘Snap the Whip’. Children who enjoy animals and art will learn about an artist’s work through the adventures of a mischievous cat.

Three-year-old Abbi is introduced to an interesting event right outside her living room window. Birds are nesting in the hanging flower basket. Abbi’s mother struggles to keep her flowering plant alive while birds raise their family in it. This gives Abbi a valuable lesson on how birds create a nest and raise their young. It is a learning experience from identifying the birds through watching the young hatchlings grow and take wing. Educational pages, too.

Michael likes to pretend. A tiny elf he finds in his parent’s garden asks him to pretend to fly him home. But a witch might stop Michael from pretending, and he must believe in himself.

A fun ridiculous adventure explores outer space, swims deep under the sea, bravely flies through a windy storm. Then find yourself in a tree or imagine yourself far, far away in this wonderful ridiculous adventurous book.

Peter and Jen devise a plan to capture a fat bullfrog. Humor, bullfrog facts and the thrill of adventure are laced together to create a book reluctant readers and boys will enjoy.

Un pequeño burro se presenta en la casa de un niño y se convierte en un valioso miembro de la familia. El día que desaparece, nunca esperan volver a verlo hasta que aparece una noche oscura y temerosa. (A tiny burro shows up at a little boy’s house and becomes a real asset to the family. The day he disappears, they never expect to see him again until he prances in one dark spooky night.)

Look for these are other fun titles at http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/

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