Follow-me

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July!




"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves." - 
Abraham Lincoln


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

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. ~ 2015 Purple Dragonfily 1st Place Historical Fiction, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2015 Purple Dragonfly Honorable Mention Picture Books 6+, 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, July 1, 2015

I'm back after several months of hiatus - #IWSG Insecure Writer's Support Group


I'm delighted to back with celebrating the Insecure Writer's Support Group the first of the month after several months of hiatus. 

Applause all around for the awesome co-hosts for the the July 1 posting of the IWSG will be Charity Bradford, S.A. Larsen, AJ, Tamara Narayan, Allison Gammons, and Tanya Miranda! 

I wish I could say my hiatus was for something fun like traveling the world and hitting lottery.... alas it was not to be. 

Much to our shock the doctor's discovered that my husband developed squamous cell skin carcinoma on his eyeball, inside his lower eyelid and eye socket. After three surgeries and plenty of down time, my husband is now back to work after a little more than two months of recovery time. Thankfully the brilliant surgeons were able to save his eyeball and with extensive reconstructive surgery he is just dealing with a lazy eyelid and a bit of blurry vision this time. I urge you all the protect yourself and your loved one's from the harmful sun. I'm not saying not to enjoy the great outdoors, but be sure to wear sunscreen, sunglasses and hats! 

Now, how do I get back into the groove of my writing and book promotion? I feel like I've lost a tremendous amount of progress in both categories. I've been taking the time over the last few days to get myself reorganized and plan on getting my July newsletter out before the July 4th holiday. 

Does anyone have any suggestions in not loosing one's mojo when dealing with a family crisis without exhausting one's self? I blogged a couple of times and actually released my June newsletter, but otherwise I took the easy way out and put my writing and book promotion on the back burner. My day job was and still is a fantastic support during my husband's health crisis and I'm eternally grateful for The Salvation Army, where I began work in January of this year. 

Your thoughts and suggestions are appreciated!

Thank 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. ~ Purple Dragonfly 2015 Award First Place Historical Fiction and Story Monster Approved 2014 and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Purple Dragonfly 2015 Award Honorable Mention Picture Books 6 & Older and 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, June 23, 2015

Middle Grade Book Review - A Shadow of Fear by Janet Ann Collins


Title: A Shadow of Fear
Author: Janet Ann Collins
Publisher: Mantle Rock Publishing (November 10, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1500918520
ISBN-13: 978-1500918521
Paperback: 54 pages

Janet Ann Collins has created a splendid coming of age story of ten-year-old, Ben. Young Ben tends to see life through his single viewpoint and can’t understand the rules hi parents set forth. With a solid foundation of faith in Jesus, Ben’s parents teach their children to live by Jesus’ example.

How can Ben do this when all he wants is to be treated like the other kids and never is? Due to his immaturity Ben’s parents hold back on privileges. Determined to prove to his parents and his older brother, Tom once and for all that he can be independent and unselfish Ben sets out on a quest to set things right.

Without realizing it Ben puts himself in a potentially dangerous situation when looking for Mary’s lost dog. Will Ben get punished for his attempt at a good deed or will his bravery set a tone of maturity acceptance?

Janet Ann Collins intertwines true-life circumstances with the goodness of Jesus’ teachings in a thought provoking story of adolescence. Well done! I look forward to more from Janet Ann Collins.

Purchase:





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

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 2011, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Book Festivals: A Must Have for Your Book Marketing Toolbox



Book Festivals: A Must Have for Your Book Marketing Toolbox
By Donna McDine

 With all the wonder of technology at our fingertips we are able to accomplish an abundance of work without even meeting people face-to-face. Don’t let the cyberspace vortex suck you in 24/7. Before you know it, it’s been days since you’ve had personal contact with others. It’s important not to get caught up into the loophole of isolation by keyboard. One of the best ways to put one’s self out there amongst is by participating in book festivals.

I implore you to stop screaming and wipe that worried look off your face. You can do this! Believe me, if I can do it you can do it. I’m not a sales person whatsoever and find it much easier to promote fellow authors than I do my own books. You give me a synopsis and bio of an author and I can talk about them endlessly. Me, my books…not so much. Until the day I pulled up my big girl pants and took the plunge into researching book festivals. Like anything in this world, some events are successful in sales, others not so much. It’s important to know either way the day is a networking opportunity to connect with fellow authors and yes the READERS we are dying to reach. Connections are essential regardless of the monetary, especially with the event organizers.

Hmmm, I hear you grumbling…

“How do I find out about book festivals?”

“It’s too costly!”

Slay your naysayer and get down to research. Yep, even though I’ve told you to get out from behind technology, this is one of those times where it’s imperative to hunker down at your keyboard. For here we go on the roller coaster ride through your region of events via the magic of cyberspace. One of the VERY BEST websites out there for book festival listings is…


It’s incredible the wealth of information provided!


Not to brag, but I want to share with you two of my success stories to hopefully get you out of your comfort zone…

In the fall of 2014 I participated in the Collingswood Book Festival and the 19th Annual Rockland Literacy Extravaganza. Both events targeted a different audience, the Collingswood Book Festival focused on readers and the 19th Annual Rockland Literacy Extravaganza focused on teachers.  Connections were made at both… At the Collingswood Book Festival I had the opportunity to meet readers and the 19th Annual Literacy Extravaganza I met over 60 teachers.

To top it off, I submitted my application to be a featured children’s author at the 2015 Collingswood Book Festival and YIPPEE I was accepted! I'm eagerly waiting for their webmaster to update their website!!

I dare you, put yourself out there….you never know what new friends and connections you may make!

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


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, June 8, 2015

Children's Book Award - 2015 Purple Dragonfly Book Award - First Place - Powder Monkey



I'm over the moon to announce that my children's early reader picture book, Powder Monkey has been awarded....drum roll please...


2015 Purple Dragonfly Book Award Winners

Historical Fiction 1st Place: Powder Monkey by Donna M. McDine, illustrated by K.C. Snider

Thank you K.C., for bringing Powder Monkey alive with your authentic illustrations!

Congratulations to all the winners! View the full listing.

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

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. ~ 2015 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Historical Fiction, 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, May 29, 2015

Guest Author, Sally Yolanda... Talks about writers' block


Welcome to guest author, Sally Yolanda as she takes over Write What Inspires You and chats about writers' block

How to Overcome Your Writer's Block with this New Perspective

by Sally Yolanda

What is the biggest fear among writers? It is not the fear of losing their job or the fear of losing money? It is the fear that they will run short of creative ideas and thus, experience a block. The dreaded writers’ block. The name of this terror can bring jitters to even the most experienced writer out there.

Reasons behind writers’ block

It can really sap the motivation of even the best writers out there. Why does it happen? There are a couple of views on this. It can happen owing to exhaustion; can happen because you are trying to force yourself to come up with neat ideas and that process is creating resistance to you, within you; it may happen owing to an intense, internal fear that the work you produce may never be good enough for people, that it may invite mockery and laughter and as a self defence, you subconsciously throttle your thinking process.

And within the factors, which give rise to this “block”, lie the answers to the question of how to solve the problem of writer’s block. The most important thing in this would be to change our perspective towards this issue as well as to methods we use to solve it.

Change our perspective, unblock the block!

One of the most important things we should realise is that we should stop fearing failure. Fear of failure is what makes a person even hesitate from starting on something new. So one great way of approaching writing challenges is to take them as stimuli to create something new. If something does not work out, use it as a starting point to explore other ideas, to stretch across different fields to find something that help the endeavour to go forward. Success need not come in one shot. Sometimes you have to try many different approaches that may take variable time to show their results. When a writer stops fearing failure, he may tend to develop patience. The ability to wait. For that creative spark, that idea. This would also help him or her to be open and receptive to all ideas that float across.

Stop taking things personally. Let Go.

Another way is to stop taking it as a personal threat to your ability to write. Maybe it is the way of telling the body to take it lightly or the mind to recharge itself. Use the opportunity to do other things, which had got pushed back to the back of your mind; go for outings, vacations. Take your problem off your mind. You can also engage in discussions with yourself or with a silent listener such as your pillow. Such kind of “pillow talk” may help you to reach within yourself to find out things or thoughts or attitudes that may be actually being a hindrance to your creative process.

Do creative relaxation.

Instead of forcing your creative mind to work under circumstances that it may deem unpleasant or unsatisfying, let it relax. Let ideas float in. Try out even the weirdest sounding ones. Sometimes, all it takes is a change in approach to the situation and bring it on from there.

Get rid of distractions!

It is all possible that your creative soul is not getting that space and silence it needs to chew on ideas in peace. Maybe all the noise from the electronic media, the Internet and the mobiles are distracting and leaving the mind in a state of overstimulation. In such a case, it would be useful to go on sabbaticals where you can stay away from all distractions in the world and work on your writing.

Reduce self-criticism

Another way of improving your writing is by decreasing unnecessary criticism of one’s own work. Changes can be made at any point of time. A great way of motivating the brain to work is through exercise and sleep. Getting lots of sleep, doing couple of runs in a day is sure to let those nerve cell gets recharged. Getting an outline of what you want to see in your writing and embarking upon it is a great idea to get the ideas coming and noting it down.

Experiment with new!

Changes in writing between routine, boring but necessary writing tasks may help you in recharging and refreshing your mind at regular intervals. This will reduce the kind of thoughts that lead to the occurrence of writers’ block.

Develop the habit of writing from consciousness first. Allow the thoughts, whatever they are, to pour out, to run out in whatever form they take. Do not try to force them in a particular direction. Edit them later. So, there are multiple ways of looking at the phenomenon of “Writers’ Block”. Changing your attitude towards it is a great way of overcoming it! So, go for it.


Bio: Sally Yolanda is an academic counselor at Assignmentwritinghelp.com. She has been teaching online courses for bachelor, masters, and doctoral level education programs. Her interests include online teaching and learning with focus on active students engagement.
Visit Sally at: 


Thanks for taking over the guest author spot. It's been a pleasure hosting 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