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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Muffin Commando Squad - A-Z 2015 Challenge

Logo by: www.matusic.com

Like so many of us in the writing world we have developed wonderful friendships through cyberspace. C. Lee McKenzie and I met just this way back in 2007/08 and have remained friends/colleagues ever since. When Lee reached out to me to join The Muffin Commando squad under her guidance for the A-Z 2015 Challenge I eagerly accepted.

My esteemed partners in crime...

Our fearless leader, C. Lee McKenzie
Yvonne Ventresca
Elizabeth Seckman
Carrie Butler
Patricia Lynne
Tyrean Martinson
Tara Tyler
Tammy Theriault


We are all working to prepare our posts for the Blogging from A-Z 2015 Challenge and we are looking forward to engaging with visitors to our blogs and visiting with fellow Blogging from A-Z 2015 Challenge participants.

Good luck and I look forward to chatting with you!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with
A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ New England Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

Monday, March 23, 2015

Theme Reveal - Blogging from A to Z 2015 Challenge


To keep with the theme of my blog, Write What Inspires You, my theme for the A-Z 2015 Challenge is....

Books, Reviews and Inspirational Thoughts

I am looking forward to engaging with visitors and as I surf cyberspace to visit with fellow A-Z 2015 Challenge participants!

Thanks for stopping by!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ New England Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Award-winning children's author, visits #IWSG


I invite you to cruise on over to #IWSG and visit with me today as I chat about... "Book Festivals: A Must Have for Your Book Marketing Toolbox" at...


http://www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com/2015/03/book-festivals-must-have-for-your-book.html

Thanks for your interest, I look forward to chatting with you, once I return from work!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ New England Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

KidLit Book Review - Helping Herbie Hedgehog by Melissa Abramovitz

















Title: Helping Herbie Hedgehog
Written by: Melissa Abramovitz
Illustrated by: Robert Lee Beers
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
Published: (February 15, 2015)
Paperback: 16 pages
ISBN-10: 1616336129
ISBN-13: 978-1616336127

  

I have never been one to judge a book by its cover, but today is the day my approach has changed. The ingenious cover with Herbie Hedgehog front and center amongst his toys is certainly intriguing.

The reader will squeal with delight as they take the hysterical journey with Herbie Hedgehog. With good intentions throughout his day, Herbie Hedgehog makes silly choices along the way with each task. Will he accomplish what he sets out to do or will his day end with chaos?

Come along on the silliest of adventures through children’s author, Melissa Abramovitz master storytelling in rhyme and clever technique of teaching children how to think analytically. I cannot say enough about Robert Lee Beers’ illustrations… remarkable, clever, funny, vibrant and unique. The author and illustrator have created a go to book for years to come and one that will not soon be forgotten.

Visit the author:

www.melissaabramovitz.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ New England Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

Monday, March 16, 2015

Four Tips to Get Inspired to Write by M.J. Austin

What a terrific way to kick off the week with a guest author post from M.J. Austin, "Four Tips to Get Inspired to Write."

Applause, applause to M.J. for taking the time out to drop in for a visit! I'm pleased to also share with you details about her book, Bright Fire!

Take it away M.J.

Writing a book is no easy task and then there is that pesky little bug called “Writer’s Block”.  The key to writing is to find what inspires you and keep going. Of course this is easier said than done. Here are a few tips to help keep you inspired to write everyday.

Journal
I find that if I have writer’s block and I start journaling, my thoughts start to flow again. The reason this works is, because sometimes you have so much on your mind, such as bills, kids, etc., that your brain focuses on that and limits creative thinking.

Read
I read like there is no tomorrow. I have a overly ambitious challenge set for myself on Goodreads this year. Reading is what inspired me to write in the first place. So if I run out of stuff to write, I read a similar book and try to think of what I think I can do differently that would make my book stand out

Talk to Your Fans
I was having trouble getting started on book2 for my Bright Fire series and I was talking to my sister-in-law about what she wanted to see happen in the next book. She gave me her opinions and all of a sudden my fingers flew across the keyboard at warped speed.

Open a Dictionary
I know it sounds basic, but if I am really desperate I open the dictionary to a random page and read the first word my mind stops at. I usually have to do this like three or four times until a word sparks something in my brain.

Writing is a rewarding experience that can become a successful career. All you have to do is keep writing and put yourself out there.  These are just a few tips to get inspired. There are endless resources on the internet to help spark the creative juices.


What inspires you to write? Comment below on what inspires you to write.


Absolutely beautiful book cover! 


Synopsis

Delfia thought she was a normal girl about to turn sixteen until her adoptive parents are murdered by creatures from the underworld. Her life gets thrown into chaos as she teams up with her best friend, a strange guy, and a prophetess. 

She soon discovers her biological father, Hades, ordered the attack on her and her family because a prophecy names her as the one to take him down. She must first complete a set of tasks to free Persephone, her mother, from the underworld and defeat Hades. 

Will she be reunited with her mother or will she get sucked into the underworld?

*Book is geared towards readers that liked Percy Jackson Series, Need Series, etc.*

 Excerpt
Mondays are the epitome of all evil. It's just a fact.

Do you ever get those feelings deep in the pit of your stomach? The ones that make you feel all queasy and anxious? Well, that’s how I feel right now. I am standing at my locker at a way too early hour, and I am in Dragon Bitch mode; which is surprising because today is my birthday.

Normally, I love my birthday. I officially turn 16 at 11:59 tonight, and instead of reveling in the excitement, am I staring at my locker without really seeing it. I just keep trying to figure out what’s causing this annoying pinch in my stomach. I jump when I hear the locker next to mine slam shut.

Lyla.

"Jeez, Lyla,” I huff. “How many times do I have to tell you not to do that? Now excuse me while I find a doctor to remove my heart from my nasal passage." I’m not in the mood for the early morning antics of Lyla Browning, even if she is my best friend.

"Soooorrry, but it seems to be the only way to get your attention. I say 'Happy birthday, Dell' and what do you do? You ignore me and stare at your locker. What is up with you?"

"Nothing, just a funny feeling."

She eyes me for a minute, then shrugs her shoulders and in a matter-of-fact tone tells me, "It's probably PMS."

“Yeah, maybe I dunno...” I trail off, the feeling still bugging me. I understand that she is trying to snap me out of it so I muster up some enthusiasm and sing, “Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me.”

She perks up instantly, and before I can clamp my hand over her mouth she starts bellowing out “Happy Birthday” in the middle of the hall that is seriously starting to fill up. By the time she finishes, everyone is staring at us, and my face is burning red.

“Aww come on, you love me and you know it,” she beams.

I smile because I do love her. Lyla and I have been best friends since forever. We first met in kindergarten when this little twerp, Zach Moreno, decided to pull my hair, and she punched him square in the nose.

We’ve been joined at the hip ever since then.

“But hey, you should be thrilled you’re turning 16.” she nudges me in the ribs a little.

“Yeah, I know, but my parents still won't let me get my permit till I’m 18.”

“No offense, but your parents are a little...intense.” She says.

“What do you mean by that?” I ask getting a bit defensive.

“Well, it’s just that lately they seem to be taking your safety to the extreme. You can't have sleepovers anymore, a car or a life. I mean it’s sweet that they care, but I thought parents got more lenient the older you get.” She fidgets with her wavy blond hair, afraid that she has gone too far.

The truth is she’s not wrong. My parents are great people, and I love them, but lately they have been too over-protective. When I ask them about it they just tell me, “the real world is full of dangers, kiddo.”

and that’s the end of that conversation. “Yeah, I know, I’m sure that is just their way of showing me that they care.”

“By the way, are we still on for binge night Friday?” She sees right through my attempts to change the subject. Binge night has been happening every Friday since the 6th grade. We start off at the roller rink and end up at my place with a large bag of cheddar popcorn, candy, and cokes.

“Uh, duh.” She says rolling her eyes. She grabs her stuff out of her locker. “Come on, we have homeroom.”

I turn to grab my bag out of my locker when the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. Everybody gets those feelings now and then, but it was so intense I had to shiver to shake it off.

“Dude, what is your problem? Take a picture it lasts longer.” Lyla clicks her tongue, her usual reaction when something annoys her.

I whirl around to see who she is talking to and meet the gray eyes of Alec Hales, who is staring at me intensely like he’s waiting for something to happen. He would be the hottest guy in school if he weren't so weird. He continues to stare at me unabashed. I can’t 
help but stare back.

“Come on,” she grabs my arm. “This guy is freaking me out” She throws him the stink eye, and we head to class.

I spend the rest of the morning stumbling through class in a daze worried about that creepy stare. I’ve never seen anything like it.
What’s worse is that I’m pretty sure he’s the reason I had a chill that ranked 100 on the creep factor. OK, Dell get a grip, I tell myself as I walk into the cafeteria.

I do my normal scan and Lyla’s waiting for me at our usual table in the corner of the room, trays in tow. We are not the least popular students, but we are definitely not a part of the in-crowd. Lyla could be, but she sticks with me. Aside from her slightly crooked nose, she is the picture perfect replica of a Barbie doll, with her blond hair, green eyes, and mile-long legs. You get the picture. Me, on the other hand, my height is OK, not too short or too tall, but my drab brown hair and beanpole body are nothing special. The only thing I have going for me is my clear blue eyes. Lyla always calls them hypnotic.

“Ugggghhh,” she whines as she rolls her shoulders back and forth. 

“I think the teachers are secretly evil demons sent to torture teens with tests on Mondays. Seriously, who wants to take tests on Mondays?”

“Who wants to take tests at all?”

She throws a piece of lettuce at me. With a mouth full of food she asks, “What are your birthday plans?”

“Dinner with the family.”

“Same old, same old,” she laughs “maybe we can do something special for binge night like go shopping before the roller rink.”

“Yeah, that would be...” I trail off instantly when I feel the same eerie feeling I had by my locker. I lean into Lyla and whisper, “Is Alec staring at me?” She lifts her head up, and I pull her down. 

“Can’t you be discreet?” I hiss.

She subtly does a sweep of the cafeteria and relaxes, “Nope; nowhere in sight. Why do you ask?”

“I just got this creepy feeling earlier and again just now. I thought maybe it was his intense stare earlier.”

“Wow, I hope your weird doesn't rub off on me. Do you think it happens to everyone when they turn 16?” she jokes.

I laugh half-heartedly unable to shake the strange feeling.

About the Author:

M.J. Austin is the author of the Bright Fire series and NaNoWriMo 2014 winner. She has always found the world of fantasy preferable to the real world. She channels this love of mystical worlds and creatures into her writing. She is an avid reader and proud bookworm. She has a Master's Degree in Project Management, but her true passion is writing.

When she isn't working or writing she is diving into random projects as often as possible. She lives in Tennessee with three children, husband, and three dogs.

Stalk The Author...




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ New England Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

Friday, March 6, 2015

Children's Book Review - Cindrella's Secret Slipper by Alinka Rutkowska



Written by: Alinka Rutkowska 
Illustrated by: Konrad Checinski
 Publisher: Capraro Press (February 6, 2015)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
ASIN: B00S5AB1J6

 Alinka Rutkowska creates a splendid twist to the original Cinderella by going into the future of Cinderella. Cinderella’s Secret Slipper reunites Cinderella, her prince, fairy godmother, and a new character who adds modern day mischief to Cinderella’s latest dilemma. The quirky illustrations by Konrad Checinski will have the reader chuckling out loud throughout Cinderella’s Secret Slipper. A new classic has been born!

Learn more about Ms. Rutkowska’s career at…

READERS Go to http://alinkarutkowska.com and get one of her children's books for free!

AUTHORS: Go to http://alinkarutkowska.com/authors-home/ and get her ebook "200 Book Marketing Tips" for free!

Purchase links:
http://alinkarutkowska.com/css-buy/ 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00S5AB1J6

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/cinderellas-secret-slipper/id958162112?ls=1&mt=11 

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/cinderella-s-secret-slipper 

Video Book (direct purchase from author): https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=9U3UPYK4W6SYU

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ New England Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Insecure Writer's Support Group Monthly Post - #IWSG



It's time to celebrate, it's already March 4th and you know what that means... Spring is on it's way! Yippee! 


To celebrate even further, it's the first Wednesday of the month and it's #IWSG day!! 

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG
The awesome co-hosts for the March 4 posting of the IWSG will be Chemist Ken, Suzanne Sapseed, and Shannon Lawrence!


For my post this month, I'm not chatting about my writing insecurities, I'm chatting about a cause near and dear to my heart...


Numerous studies from both government and the private sector provide clear evidence that early reading skills are an investment in a child's future. Early reading skill development dramatically affects the quality of life for children as they grow into adulthood. Sadly, a recent article by Carole Dickerson on the Journal Standard website quoted a local social worker who stated that many of the parents in the homes she visits do not own a single children's book.  

This is quite shocking to me and in response, I am announcing a children's book drive within my county to support the Rockland County Department of Social Services. I encourage other authors of children's books to do the same or if you have gentle used children's books to please donate to the book drive.

I invite those interested in donating to contact me directly at donna@donnamcdine.com.

In my opinion, "the bare essence of learning to read opens up the world of exploration to a child. Across the curriculum it is imperative children grow in their reading capability so success in their classes can be had. Without the fundamentals it is very difficult to progress successfully."

"I believe in ‘paying it forward.' That one book donation may be all it takes to make a difference in a child’s life. By encouraging the love of reading in our young muses their look of wonder as they bubble with excitement on their next reading journey swells my heart."

I urge you to join me in my quest to ignite curiosity in children through reading by donating to the Rockland County Department of Social Services book drive.

A big shout out goes to... Beverly Stowe McClureMelissa AbramovitzPenelope Anne ColeEmma GloverSharon Stanley, Terri Martin, Denise Stanley and Barbara Keahon for their generous donations! Thanks ladies...we are off to a terrific start! 

Deadline for donations April 30, 2015. 

I look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you!

P.S. I will comment back to visitors and visit with fellow #IWSG members once I return from work today! 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ New England Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist