Hi all, I'm thrilled to announce the release of my latest picture book, Mama Graciela's you like cats? How about 1,000 cats?The book teaches compassion for animals, decision-making and ethnicity, and is available in dyslexic font. Join Mama Graciela in ...

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"Mayra's Secret Bookcase" - 5 new articles

  1. My new release: Mama Graciela's Secret... PLUS Goodreads Giveaway!
  2. Interview with Davin Whitehurst, Author of 'I Have Faith'
  3. The Writing Life with Children's Author Michelle Nott
  4. Discount of the day: Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat series, Book 1) only $.99!
  5. Interview with Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell, author of 'The Daffodils Still Grow: A Book for Grieving Daughters'
  6. More Recent Articles

My new release: Mama Graciela's Secret... PLUS Goodreads Giveaway!


Hi all,

I'm thrilled to announce the release of my latest picture book, Mama Graciela's Secret...
Do you like cats? How about 1,000 cats?
The book teaches compassion for animals, decision-making and ethnicity, and is available in dyslexic font.

Join Mama Graciela in a beautiful Puerto Rican backdrop as she sells codfish fritters, unexpectedly collects cats, and has to face an angry inspector threatening to close her restaurant down. Can she save the cats and her restaurant?


Mamá Graciela’s Secret
Publication date: October 10, 2017
Written by Mayra Calvani
Illustrated by Sheila Fein
MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing
www.maclaren-cochranepublishing.com
36 pages, 3-7 year olds
Reading guide at: www.MayrasSecretBookcase.com

Description:
Mamá Graciela’s TENDER, CRUNCHY, SPICY bacalaítos fritos are the best in town...
Local customers (including stray cats!) come from all over the island to enjoy her secret recipe. But when the Inspector discovers that Mamá secretly caters to so many cats and he threatens to close her tiny restaurant, Mamá must come up with a plan to save it—and all of the animals she loves.

About the author:
Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her children's picture book, Frederico the Mouse Violinist was a finalist in the 2011 International Book Awards; her anthology Latina Authors and Their Muses was a First Place winner at the 2016 International Latino Book Awards; her nonfiction book, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, was a Foreword Best Book of the Year winner. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications like The Writer, Writer's Journal, Multicultural Review, Bloomsbury Review, and others.

She lives in Belgium with her husband of 30+ years, two wonderful kids, and her three beloved pets. When she's not writing, editing, reading or reviewing, she enjoys walking with her dog, traveling, and spending time with her family. www.MayrasSecretBookcase.com

Connect with the author:



About the illustrator:


Born in Queens, New York and living in Los Angeles since 1987, Sheila Fein has always been inspired by the changing world around her. Earning her BA in Design from Buffalo State College of New York, her concentration was on drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography. Sheila's education as an artist has taken her everywhere from Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia to Bath University in England. Today, Sheila Fein runs two figurative workshops, Imaginings Sketch in LA and People Sketchers in Thousand Oaks. She has been featured in numerous collections, magazines, books, solo and group exhibitions. Her paintings and drawings reside in public and private collections. Sheila loves to make the imagination of others a reality and has done so through her commissioned Fein Fantasy Portraits and Interactive Paintings. In addition to being a fine artist Sheila works as an illustrator. She just completed the book "Mama Graciela's Secret" for Maclaren-Cochrane Publishing.

Book info:
ISBN:HC 978-1-365-86153-6
SC 978-1-365-86155-0
ISBN Dyslexic Font Version:
DY HC 978-1-365-86154-3 DY SC 978-1-365-86156-7
**This book also has version printed in the Dyslexic font, the typeface for people with dyslexia. Go to www.dyslexiefont.com to find out more about the typeface.
Suggested Retail Price - 17.99 Hardcover & 13.99 Softcover 40 % Discounted Price – 10.80 Hardcover & 8.40 Softcover
Available through - Ingram - Discount 40% Returnable – Yes
MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing – Discount 40% - Orders@maclaren-cochranepublishing.com Returnable – Yes
Publishing company Contact Info: MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing 1024 Iron Point Rd 100-1478 Folsom CA 95630
916-897-1670
Tannya@Maclaren-cochranepublishing.com www.maclaren-cochranepublishing.com
MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing 620 Buchanan Way, Folsom, CA 95630 916-897-1670 www.maclaren-cochranepublishing.com

-->



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Mama Graciela's Secret by Mayra Calvani

Mama Graciela's Secret

by Mayra Calvani

Giveaway ends December 31, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway
    

Interview with Davin Whitehurst, Author of 'I Have Faith'

Davin Whitehurst lives in the beautiful high desert of Southern Arizona with his wife and son. He is releasing his first book "I have Faith" in May of 2016 but has so many more that are in the making. The motivation behind the books are deeply rooted from in his own past. He is a living testimony of Proverbs 22:6. Growing up in Southwest Kansas and in a Christian household, he was trained up in the way he should go. By the time he became a teenager, Davin turned away from God and left church. Fast forward into his late twenties and God brought him back with a powerful calling. He and his family have been faithfully serving at Seed of Abraham Christian Center International for over seven years now. Proof that when we teach our children the way they should go. When they get older, they know where to turn and will not depart from God. Davin wants each book written to be a resource that parents have to help train their children in the way they should go. He writes stories in a simple way that will be fun and practical for every child. He wants children to get excited about faith and the things of God.

His latest release is the children’s book, I Have Faith.

For More Information
Welcome to Mayra's Secret Bookcase, Davin! Tell us, do you consider yourself to be a born writer?

I do see myself as a born writer. Just like anything though we have to perfect our craft. I have always been a creative person with ideas and stories that have written down over the years. It has taken me a long time to realize that I should finish them and get them published.

Did you always want to be a writer?

I never wanted to be an author and I ran from my calling for years. God began to speak to me about writing children’s books about eight years ago. I was in the middle of a music career and a developing government job. I just could never shake it though. About two years ago I told God that I would do what He had called me to do. From that point forward I have been working on getting every book idea and concept He has given me written, illustrated and published. I Have Faith is the first of those book ideas.

Tell us about your recent release. What was your inspiration for it?

I Have Faith is my first and latest book released. This is a story from my childhood. I had believed God for a dog and through faith and patience that puppy became mine after months of believing and trusting in God. A few years back God had spoke to me about turning that experience into a story for children to learn faith.

Tell us about your children's books.

I Have Faith is about a young boy named Danny who has been believing God for a dog. The story takes the reader through the journey of where faith comes from, that it may not come right away but God is faithful to His word and to not let doubt and outside influence distract you from what God said to believe Him for. The book has scriptures and a discussion section at the end which allow parents and children to dig deeper into developing faith.

Some writers go on long walks, others keep a journal, write at a café, or listen to music. What do you do for inspiration and unleashing your creativity?

I have always sought the wisdom of God and his plan for my writing. I am in the middle of a young adult novel now with some writers block and I am waiting on His guidance. He has never let me down. I think it is also time to move distractions out of the way and get focused back on the storyline. I always have my digital notepad on my phone ready and a small pocket notebook available because I never want to let an idea slip away.

Are you a disciplined writer? What is your working style? 

I am a very sporadic writer. So I have rearranged my recording studio to be more of my creative studio. I am in the process of getting to be a more disciplined writer. I have only been writing for about two years now so I am trying to find my balance in the midst of family and work schedules.

Do you like to outline and plot ahead, or are you more of a stream-of-consciousness writer?

I think I am a bit of both. With I Have Faith, I started off with a story board but as the illustrations were completed we changed some things and then I started finishing the writing as it came to me. Now with the YA novel I am working on I had main ideas and concepts that I am sticking to but also have been making things work as new ideas and concepts approach.

Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your works?

The website is under my publishing company Childlike Faith Publishing and can be found at www.childlike-faith.com

What are you working on now?

I have more children’s book ideas that I am in the process of getting illustrated and then published. I Have Faith is releasing in Spanish (Yo Tengo Fe) and will be available as an ebook. My next book is a book out of Genesis chapter one. It will be an educational book for ages two to five and tell the story of how God created the world around us.

I am in the process of writing my first young adult novel also and should be completed sometime in 2017. God has been so good to me and looking forward to getting many more children’s books published over the next couple of years.

Where are your books available?

I Have Faith is available on my website, Amazon, Apple iBooks, Barnes and Noble and you can order it from any book store.

What was your experience in looking for a publisher?

I had been struggling to finally finish a book for so long that I never went through a publisher. I decided to self publish through my own publishing company because I did not want to wait on publishers reviewing the book and just wanted to get this first book to the reader.

What was your experience in working with an illustrator?

Since this was my first book and experience with an illustrator; I had no clue what to expect. The process was very good. My illustrator did a wonderful job on getting across what I wanted and the overall process from start to finish was painless.

What advice would you offer aspiring writers?

Don’t be afraid to follow after the dreams God has placed in you. If your scared do it scared. There is nothing more fulfilling than living out the life you were meant to live. Don’t look at others as competition but learn from them and see what they have accomplished and learn from them. The bible tells us that as iron sharpens iron one friend sharpens another. When iron strikes there will be sparks but when you have people in your lives to mentor and push you to grow, it won’t always be fun but that growth and stretching will take you to levels that you never would have gone by yourself.

What was your favorite book as a child?

I think one of the books that stand out in my mind the most is the berenstain bears picnic. I have not read that book in so many years but can still remember the story and what they went through to have a great family picnic.

What is the best advice on writing you've ever received?

Don’t give up and don’t get discouraged. I now know what authors were telling me. Sales up to this point are not bad but can get better, even though that was not what I was going for when I published the book. Sales are just an indicator of where my reach is in the world and I would like it to be everywhere, but I will not give up. I will not get discouraged. I know I have to keep writing and put in the time and work it takes to become successful.

We hear again and again that picture books are incredibly difficult to write. Why is that?

I did not have that experience. I was thinking that it would be in the beginning but the process for me went so smooth. I was wondering when the hard times were going to come but it was an amazing time for me getting I Have Faith completed. My process may have been a little backwards from the norm to though. I did not write a manuscript until after the illustrations were done. I knew what I wanted the story to be about and I wanted the pictures to say just as much as the writing would. It worked out very well for me.

How do you see the future of children’s picture books?

I see it moving to the digital realm to a certain extent. I don’t have children any more, but I would rather have a physical book to share with my child. Many parents and kids are very comfortable with digital devices and I see apps, ebooks and programs catering to this more and more.

Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
I have some great books that will be releasing over the next couple of years so stay up to date with Childlike Faith Publishing and myself as an author. My goal is to bring the bible to life in a practical way for children to understand and live out. Thank you very much for having me on today.

 

About the Book:

Title: I Have Faith 
Author: Davin Whitehurst
Publisher: Childlike Faith Publishing
Pages: 26
Genre:  Children


Are you ready to get your child excited about faith? “I Have Faith” puts your child right in the footsteps of Danny as he begins to learn about faith. Danny and his older brother have been wanting a dog, but both know their parents don’t think they are ready for a dog. When Danny’s mom begins teaching him what the bible says about faith, he puts his faith into action. After praying and releasing his faith for a dog, doubt and even his best friend keep telling him that he will never get a dog. Over time Danny never loses his faith in the promises of God and finds that God is faithful and that faith works. Come along on this journey that is a real life event that took place in the author’s life as a child.
This book has great illustrations that support a wonderful story about finding faith in God. As you are teaching your child about principals in the bible; this book will help you teach faith. What a wonderful experience it is when we can see our children begin to develop their faith in God, and grow from a tiny mustard seed to a firmly planted tree. The back of the book has a parent/child discussion which will help children gain understanding in faith and some scriptures that Danny’s mom used to get him excited about faith.

For More Information

Book Excerpt:

“Hi! My name is Danny.” This is how I learned to trust God and believe His word.
It’s called faith, and you have faith too.

    

The Writing Life with Children's Author Michelle Nott

Before becoming an author, Michelle Nott enjoyed being a French teacher (pre-K to university levels) in the U.S., working for a French company in Paris and an art gallery in NYC. She has also edited and written articles for numerous on-line and print magazines in the American and European markets.

In 2004, Michelle moved to Belgium. When she noticed that her daughters' book collection included more French titles than English ones, she decided to put her creative writing degree to use. Many of these early stories can be found on her blog Good Night, Sleep Tight where she also reflects on raising Third Culture Kids.

In 2015, Michelle and her family returned to the U.S. But with American and French citizenship, they travel to Europe regularly. Their favorite places include the French Alps, the Belgian countryside, and the Cornish coast in the UK. Her family's life and adventures prove great inspirations for her stories.

Freddy, Hoppie and the Eyeglasses is Michelle's first book for children. Her future children's books are represented by Essie White at Storm Literary Agency. She is a member of SCBWI, Children's Book Insider and Houston Writer's Guild.

Connect with Michelle on the web: 
@MimiLRN

What’s inside the mind of a picture book/early reader author?
Children! Their daily lives. New experiences. Scary experiences. Loving experiences.

What is so great about being an author?
One of the best parts of being an author is having an excuse to write every day, to dream every day, to invent people and places and other worlds. As an author, I also love interacting with my readers and the adults in their lives. I really enjoy book signings. And as I used to be a teacher, I am thrilled get back in the classroom for what I loved most about teaching – the interaction and excitement that comes from working with students.

When do you hate it?
Hate being an author?? This question perplexes me.

What is a regular writing day like for you?
A regular day is irregular. I try to get up at 5:30 and write before breakfast, go for a bike ride or a swim, come back and write for at least four more hours, take a break when my daughters come home from school, and then write more or read in the evening. When my day pans out like this, I feel like a superhero. But, there are days when life puts a wrench in the plan or I may have interviews, school visits, or social media or other networking opportunities planned.

Do you think authors have big egos? Do you?
I think some people have big egos and some don't. I don't think authors would have any bigger ego than anyone else. As far as the writers I know, I think we all understand that writing is a tough business and whether or not someone is published yet does not make them the better person. Everyone's writing journey is different.

So no, I don 't think I have a big ego either. There is so much more I can learn and do to improve my craft.

How do you handle negative reviews?
Publishing is a very subjective business. And readers each have their preferences when it comes to literature. As there are lots of published books out on the shelves that I do not particularly appreciate, I keep that in mind if someone happens to not like my book. It's just part of life. You can't please everyone all of the time.

How do you handle positive reviews?
It always makes me smile when I read positive remarks about my books. I'm always very flattered when people take the time to say something nice about my work.

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?
Most people find it intriguing and mention how they plan on writing a book once they retire or ask what kind of books I write. When I say I write for children, the reactions are mixed. Most people find it very admirable, while others may say it's “adorable” and not think any more about it.

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?
I do really try to sit and write no matter how I feel. But if nothing is coming, then I go outside. Usually a swim, a bike ride or a walk does the trick and then I rush home to write down all my ideas.

Any writing quirks?
I try to put myself in the atmosphere of the world in which I'm writing. For example, when working on a MG fantasy that takes place under water, I put out seashells and a sea-salt scented candle on my desk while listening to beach sounds. While working on a MG magical realism story that takes place in Brussels in the 1930s, I surrounded myself with images of particular places in Brussels and listened to French music of the era.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?
Probably at first, on the inside, I'd be fuming. But then I'd calm down and remind myself that they just don't understand. They may never have been so overtaken by a sunset, or the scent of an unexpected plant in the forest, or the feel of a child's cheek on his to want to write it down so to never forget it, and to incorporate it into a story for other people to experience as well.

People who see writing as a hobby may not realize how touched their lives have been by a good book, or a beautiful phrase.

They may not realize that writing is the same as any profession. A certain amount of inner talent does play a role, but so does a lot of perseverance, discipline and hard work.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?
I love it. Always.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?
Absolutely not. Sure, it would be nice if all writers could actually make a decent living from their words. But I knew from the start what a high expectation that is.

For me, success is when families, librarians, and teachers are enjoying my books and using them to send a positive message to children.

What had writing taught you?
Writing has taught me that many, if not all, of my life experiences have served some purpose. Even though many years went by before jumping into children's writing, all those years were valuable and rich with emotions and adventures that I can use in my current stories.


////////////////////////////////////

Title: FREDDY, HOPPIE AND THE EYEGLASSES
Genre: Early Reader
Author: Michelle Nott
Website: www.authormichellenott.com
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing

About the Book:

Freddy and his imaginary frog Hoppie jump into each day. But numbers smudge, words blur, and classmates snicker. By the end of the week, there is no more spring in their step. Freddy knows he should tell his mom about the trouble they are having, but how?
    

Discount of the day: Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat series, Book 1) only $.99!



Title: Daughter of the Sun (Cult of the Cat series, Book 1)
Author: Zoe Kalo
Genre: YA mythological fantasy/paranormal
Word count: 93,000 words / 330 pages
Official Launch: May 1, 2016

Only $.99 until Wednesday May 11th(regular price $4.99)

Get your copy on Kindle today!

Daughter of the Sun, Book 1 - blurb

Sixteen-year-old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew.

But before they can get to know each other, her grandmother dies. All that Trinity has left is a mysterious eye-shaped ring. And a thousand grieving cats. As Trinity tries to solve the enigma of the torn papyrus, she discovers a world of bloody sacrifices and evil curses, and a prophecy that points to her and her new feline abilities.

Unwilling to believe that any of the Egyptian gods could still be alive, Trinity turns to eighteen-year-old Seth and is instantly pulled into a vortex of sensations that forces her to confront her true self—and a horrifying destiny.

What readers are saying….

“This was an amazing story!” –Hot Off the Shelves

“This book was so super good! Great writing, great characters, great plot. Very immersive reading experience.” –Awesome Book Assessment

“Wow- this book was a stunning, magnificent adventure! Very well written and full of intricate details, I was immediately drawn in and just absolutely did not want to put this one down... The intrigue just leaves you racing through the pages to find out what will happen next! I absolutely, completely enjoyed this book and can't wait to see what happens in the next one!” –The Recipe Fairy

“The way [Zoe Kalo] writes cats into the book is astounding. Every little quirk, mew and lick is incredibly authentic. I love it when a writer is skilled at writing about the animals in the character’s story, it makes it more warm and fuzzy, no pun intended.” –Samantha Writes

“Daughter of the Sun is an intriguing young adult mythology read full of mystery, magic, action, and history… [it] kept me flipping pages like an addict.” –Fishing for Books

“Oh my God. This is definitely a ‘something.’ This concept and the plot is soooo unique and weird and fascinating that I did not want to put this down. I literally breezed through this one…. This book was an overdose of kitty love.” –Grape Fruit Books

“If you are looking for a Young Adult Fantasy book that is different from the norm, then look no further. Daughter of the Sun is full of Egyptian mythology, with layer upon layer of mystery just waiting to be uncovered.” –Archaeolibrarian

About the Author
A certified bookworm, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery…
A daughter of adventurous expats, she’s had the good fortune of living on 3 continents, learning 4 languages, and experiencing a multicultural life. Currently, she’s working on a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature, which she balances between writing, taking care of her clowder of cats, and searching for the perfect bottle of pinot noir.
Connect with Zoe Kalo on the web: www.ZoeKalo.com /Facebook / Twitter

    

Interview with Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell, author of 'The Daffodils Still Grow: A Book for Grieving Daughters'


The Daffodils Still Grow was inspired by diary entries of the author/illustrator, Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell, after the death of her mother when she was 14. “My mother committed suicide when I was 14, and after nearly a year of crying and hurting, I was surprised -- almost shocked -- to see the daffodils she planted right before her death still bloom again. It was a big wake-up call to me that, even though she was gone, I could still carry on without her FOR her. Somehow, our loved ones still find a way of communicating with us when we need it the most." Sherri Elizabeth now attends Seton Hill University’s MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction. She has a BA in both communications and studio arts from Austin Peay State University. She hopes that every parent will know how irreplaceable and loved they are to their children and that every child who has lost a parent will know they are not alone. Remember, the daffodils still grow!

What was your experience in looking for a publisher?

After a frustrating experience with another publishing company, I called the CEO of Mascot Books, Naren Aryal, and spoke to him about The Daffodils Still Grow. I emailed him a link to a narration I did of the book on YouTube, which he watched while we were talking on the phone, and we decided to work together. Mascot Books is a hybrid between self-publishing and traditional publishing. I was very happy with the result. It allowed me to have control over the finished product but I also was able to seek out advice and support when I needed it. The quality of the book turned out beautiful, as well.

What type of book promotion works for you? Any special strategies you’d like to share?

I would approach it with a giving spirit. If you can find people who are in need of the story you’re telling, give them your story. They will pay you back in feedback and in doing their own marketing for your book, because they’ll be that excited and that pleased.

What advice would you offer aspiring writers?

Read If You Want to Write by Brenda Euland (1891-1985). She was so encouraging of writers and was such an inspiration that it just leaves you with less resistance to writing and helps you get more done.

What is the best advice on writing you've ever received?

I simply go by the old advice, “Write what you know.” I think that by doing so, the writing comes from an authentic place and has the ability to connect with others on a deeper, more personal level.

Is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
Who a person is, I think, should always be entangled into who they are as a writer – or as an artist, or a creator of any kind. Writing (creating) runs deeper than jobs that are done for dollars, and it has the power to bridge gaps, to touch people’s hearts and to heal. Being vulnerable and brave enough to put your heart out there as an artist and as a person is the one decision that will usually make what you are creating worthwhile and make it matter. It will be the one reason why it connects to those who see it or read it. So, be vulnerable. Be open. Be brave and be you.


 For More Information
About the Book:

Title: The Daffodils Still Grow: A Book for Grieving Daughters
Author: Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell
Publisher: Mascot Books
Pages: 38
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
The Daffodils Still Grow is a full-color illustrated book that portrays life after a loved one dies as seen from the observations of a motherless child. “Beautiful and inspiring.”

For More Information

  • The Daffodils Still Grow is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Watch a narrated video of the book at YouTube.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Sherri Elizabeth Tidwell is giving away a The Daffodils Still Grow T-shirt!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one The Daffodils Still Grow t-shirt
  • This giveaway begins February 1 and ends April 29.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on April 30.
  • Winners have 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!





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