Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Meet YA Author Pat McDermott

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes author Pat McDermott. Even if you didn't know her ancestors were from Ireland, you'd guess her ties to that country from her stories. She talks today about her Glimmer books.

First, a bit about Pat:

Born and educated in Massachusetts, Boston native Pat McDermott writes stories set in Ireland. Her maternal grandparents emigrated to Boston from County Sligo, and she grew up in a family filled with music and myths that helped inspire her tales. After receiving an Honorable Mention for children's fiction in a national writing contest, she went on to pen seven books in various genres. She lives near the spectacular New Hampshire seacoast with her husband and three chatty Tonkinese cats.

Why did you pick to write books for YA?

I had already completed the Band of Roses Trilogy when an acquaintance suggested the YA angle. I found I loved writing about my “Roses” characters as teenagers. Their romantic escapades are sweeter than those of their grownup personas, but their adventures are just as exciting, thanks to the Irish fairies who joined the cast and created all sorts of mischief with their magical Glimmer.

What types of books do you like to read?

Although I write fiction, I rarely read it these days. Most of my reading is for writing research. Sounds boring, but I love delving into history, mythology, folklore, memoirs, etc. Such books guide me through difficult plots and provide wonderful story ideas. I also read a lot of poetry. Oh yes, and cookbooks.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

I can often be found in the kitchen trying new recipes or preparing old favorites. I love to cook and have my own cooking blog. Other favorite pastimes include reading, music, hiking, and traveling, especially to Ireland.

Tell us about the Glimmer books.

Adventure for Young Adults of All Ages! Each Glimmer Book spotlights a branch of Ireland’s fairy clans. The stories suppose that High King Brian Boru survived the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 A.D., and established a royal dynasty still on Ireland’s throne. The current King Brian upholds ancient traditions, as do his children, Princess Talty and Prince Liam. Teenager Liam stars in the Glimmer Books, along with his American friend, Janet Gleason, who can’t seem to stay away from the fairies.

Here's a peek at each of the Glimmer books:

In Book One, Glancing Through the Glimmer, Janet’s Bostonian grandfather becomes the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland. Janet hates living in Dublin until she literally bumps into Liam, who fails to mention that he’s a prince. Unaware of each other’s identities, they arrange a date. When they meet, the fairies steal Janet away. Liam’s attempts to rescue her triggers a series of misadventures that pit him against Finvarra, the quirky King of the Connaught Fairies.

Book Two, Autumn Glimmer, finds Janet settled into her upscale Irish boarding school. In late October, King Brian invites her and her grandparents to his country estate to celebrate Halloween. Janet and Liam enjoy their reunion until a troop of water fairies embroils them in their battle to constrain a bloodthirsty lake monster who wakes every seventh Halloween.

Book Three, my latest release, is A Pot of Glimmer, in which an ancient feud between a leprechaun and a Viking ghoul puts Liam and Janet in deadly danger. Janet's grandfather throws a Fourth of July celebration at the U.S. Ambassador’s residence. Even though the fairies’ escapades have dampened her romance with Liam, he attends with the rest of the royal family. The appearance of a gang of leprechauns triggers a chilling visit from an undead monster hungry for human flesh. Liam and Janet fall into a nightmare that tests their courage in ways they never imagined. Nor did they imagine that real leprechauns are nothing like the "little men" of Irish lore.

Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.

As mentioned, the Glimmer Books are “prequels” to my Band of Roses Trilogy: A Band of Roses, Fiery Roses, and Salty Roses. Each is a blend of fantasy, action/adventure, and romance. Ireland’s royal family plants a new rose to commemorate the birth of each child, hence the “Rose” titles. The pink Princess Taillte rose is dedicated to Liam’s older sister, Crown Princess Talty, who stars in this series. Talty dearly wishes to be anyone other than the heir to the throne. She sees a way out, goes for it, and finds her life turned horribly upside down. I’ve also written an adult contemporary romance called The Rosewood Whistle in which music, myth, laughter, and love provide an inspiring background for a widowed American writer and an Irish tour guide leery of love.

What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?

I’m currently writing a short ghost story loosely based on family lore concerning a great aunt. “Noreen” emigrated to Boston around 1900 but returned to Ireland with unusual contents in her steamer trunk, at least according to my version. Once I finish that, I’ll get to work on a sequel to The Rosewood Whistle.

What advice do you have for other authors?

You’re the only one with the ultimate vision of the story you’re trying to tell. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it. Join a writers' group, attend classes or workshops, and never stop reading. Exercise those writing muscles! Set goals and deadlines for yourself, and meet them. Persevere in your quest to become a published author, and enjoy the ride.

Anything else you want readers to know?

I think we’ve covered just about everything, but I’d like to add that no one has to be Irish to enjoy my stories. And I’d also like to add a huge thank you to you, Cheryl, for hosting the fairies and me today!

Where can readers find you and your books?

The best ways to contact me:

Excerpts from my books are posted on my Website.
The books are available in print and eBook through Amazon where I have an Author Page.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Meet Children's Author Gail Truax

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes Gail Truax who writes stories for children.

First, a bit about Gail:

Gail Truax was born in Rugby, Tennessee, which was founded by Thomas Hughes, the author of Tom Brown's School Days. Rugby was the last English settlement in America. At the age of eleven, Gail’s family moved to Kokomo, Indiana, which is the birthplace of Norman Bridwell, author of the Clifford the Big Red Dog storybooks. Gail began telling stories at the age of six to her nephew. The tradition continued with her children and grandchildren. The Greymalkin stories began as a way to entertain her granddaughters. Seven years later, they still request the stories.

Why did you pick to write books for children?

I do not think of myself as an author, but as a storyteller. For as long as I can remember, I have told stories to friends and family. As a child, my friends and I made up stories and acted them out to amuse ourselves. This is what my granddaughters and I do now. One story can take three or more hours to complete as we add dimensions to the play-acting. The fact that these stories are now in written form is just an extension of this type of earlier imaginative play telling and acting.

What types of books do you like to read?

I read a lot. The family closeness and core values of Louisa M. Alcott’s Little Women spoke to my soul. The Diary of Anne Frank raised my consciousness, introducing me to the ugliness of war, hate, and discrimination. Max Lucado, Billy Graham, and Joyce Meyer help keep me grounded while Dave Ramsey and Suzy Orman help keep me solvent. On a different note, some favorite fiction authors are (in no particular order): Maeve Bunchy, Cheryl Wilson, Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, Janet Evanovich, Taylor Caldwell, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Michael Williams, R.B. Claque, Steve Harrison, Bill Noel, and William Shakespeare. Historical books, fiction, and non-fiction often grace my reading table. In non-fiction, my preferences run to biographies, autobiographies, and travel.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

My husband and I stay busy with our grandchildren. We also like to travel, with “visiting every state in the union” and “exploring England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales” on our bucket list. Painting and creating various 'works of art' with the grandchildren also fill my days.

Tell us about Greymalkin, the Queen’s Cat and how the story came to be.

My wonderful little granddaughter was grumpy one day, an unusual occurrence for her, and said, “Nana, I’m bored.” “How about if Nana tells you a story?” “OK,” she replied. That inauspicious exchange was the beginning of the Greymalkin stories, which continue to this day. One big change now, however, is that I start the story but the two granddaughters finish it. It is so much fun to hear the different twists and turns the stories take as the girls tell them. No, they do not stick to “my” storyline.

Here's a peek at Greymalkin, the Queen's Cat:

Greymalkin and the princess are best friends and help each other in and out of many adventures.

Greymalkin and the Birthday Surprise is the story of how the princess and Greymalkin meet and become companions. Their immediate bond is hampered by the question of whether the princess will be allowed to have Greymalkin as her pet or only be able to visit him in the barn. The resolution to that dilemma makes an endearing story of the love shared between a child and her pet.

In Greymalkin and the Baby Dragon, the princess is now the queen leaving Greymalkin to go exploring by himself. Going for a simple walk in the woods leads him to a lost baby dragon who turns out to be the child of a very dangerous mommy dragon. Greymalkin thinks this problem through and finds a way to help the baby dragon and not upset his very protective mother.

Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them. 

At different times in my life, I have kept journals, but never shared my stories with anyone other than family and friends until 2013.

What is next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?

There will be a third Greymalkin story, Greymalkin and the Heroic Rescue, late in 2015 or early 2016. After that, there will be additional single Greymalkin stories, with a collection of stories planned for the future.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Do it.  For years I hid my writing away and did not share it with anyone. It was a pleasant surprise to discover that other people, not just my friends and family, also enjoyed my stories.

Anything else you want readers to know? 

Many people ask why his name is Greymalkin. When Izzy said “Yes,” I knew the story would be about a cat. With that decision made, I recalled hearing many years ago (50 or so) that Winston Churchill had a cat named Greymalkin. Since I am an admirer of Winston Churchill, it was only natural to name the cat Greymalkin. While I have been able to verify that Winston Churchill did have many cats, I could not find any of them with the name Greymalkin. The second most common question is, “Why do you spell his name with an ‘e’?” Greymalkin is a British Blue cat and the British spelling of the color gray is grey.” Greymalkin and the princess are best friends. In their many adventures, they discover they can always depend on each other.

Where can readers find you and your books?

Pinterest for free coloring pages
Amazon Greymalkin and the Baby Dragon
Amazon Greymalkin and the Birthday Surprise

Writing Tips & the 69th Kid Lit Blog Hop

Carpinello's Writing Pages is back this Hop with more tips from the Children's, Middle Grade, and Young Adult writers I've interviewed. These are from December 2014 and January 2015. Feel free to leave a tip of your own in the comments.

Write what you know, what you love, and what intrigues youHeather Fraser Brainerd, author of the MG novel Shadows of New York

Get to know the business before you get too far into your writing career. Know what agents can and can’t do for you. Know the difference between large and small presses. Never sign a contract without knowing what every paragraph means. Be aware that there are good reasons and bad reasons to self-publish. It’s a slow business, so there’s no excuse for being ill-prepared for the journey. Oh, and never forget that writers are the most important links in the publishing chainR. M. Clark, author of the MG novel The Secret at Haney Field: A Baseball Mystery

It’s a long road, especially writing a first book, but you never finish unless you start. I know everyone says that, but it is so, so true. Pirates & Winged Horses took four years from initiation to publishing!

And then once you start, set yourself goals, but make them realistic. I started with the plan of writing a chapter a week, and that soon fell apart. Once you’ve missed a goal, it's tough to find the motivation continue. So what I did was to set up goals that I knew I could realistically hit, but were strong enough that those kept me moving along.

Also, write for the genre that you most enjoy—you are writing the book for yourself as much as anyone else—and what you like is what you’ll have had the most exposure to and what you’ll be best at
J. B. Pelts, author of the MG novel Robin Pembroke: Pirates & Winged Horses

Read as much as you can, go to conferences and workshops, and get into critique groups. I’d also suggest not just taking a creative writing class, but a literature class as well to see how great novels come together. I think my most helpful writing classes were the many lit classes I took in collegeKrysten Lindsay Hager, author of the Tween/Teen novel True Colors

And Now,

Welcome to the 69th Kid Lit Blog Hop. This exciting Hop, now monthly, is where we develop an engaged group of people who love everything that has to do with children's literature.


On this Hop, Carpinello's Writing Pages interviews
Children's author Gail Truax
YA author Pat McDermott
Remember, you are always more than welcome to join us by popping in a post and hopping around to meet some of your fellow Kid Lit bloggers and authors!

Simply make a post and add it to the linky. (Please make sure to add your direct post only) 
Once you are done, then hop around to visit others. Please visit at least the two people above your link. Please leave a comment when you do visit, we all like those.
Also, it would be appreciated if you grab the Kid Lit Blog Hop Badge and display it on your blog and/or your post.

The hostesses will be around to see you. It would be nice if you followed all of them.

Happy Hopping!


Cheryl Carpinello, Author / Blogger


Pragmatic Mom

The Logonauts

Spark and Pook


Sunday, November 15, 2015

BookElves Anthology Volume 2 Release!

Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for the second volume of the "BookElves Anthology" featuring some of your favorite middle grade authors. Now available - just in time for the holiday season!




About the Book

Title: BookElves Anthology, Volume 2 | Authors: Jemima Pett, Cheryl Carpinello, Rebecca M. Douglass, Wendy Leighton-Porter, S.W. Lothian, Annaliese Matheron, Ben Zackheim | Publication Date: November 12, 2015 | Publisher: Princelings Publications | Pages: 176 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 14 Summary: Seven authors, seven new tales to twang your heartstrings as you snuggle up cosy and warm during the long winter nights. Will the Christmas fairy be ready to grant your wishes? Will Shirley Link solve all the clues to her presents? Will a keen inventor steal the heart of a lady? Will another lady have her life saved by a horse? And will Santa's reindeer, a lost and forlorn hero, and a boy under the spell of a wicked witch find their way home when they are left out in the cold at midwinter? Find out in this second anthology from the MG BookElves, a selection that older children will love, and adults will enjoy reading to younger children.
  • Shirley Link's friends help her rediscover the joy of Christmas by setting her musical puzzles to solve - and with her detective skills, maybe she's the only one who can! Ben Zackheim (Shirley Link Detective Series, the Camelot Kids)
  •  Max the talking Tonkinese cat has an unpleasant surprise when he finds himself trapped in the attic one night and, while pondering his escape, discovers that he’s not alone. Help comes from a rather unexpected quarter … and the Twelve Days of Christmas will never seem quite the same again! Wendy Leighton-Porter (The Shadows from the Past series)
  • Not only does Melvin Finklestein plan to impress his peers with his brilliant cracker at the Beverly Hills College of Gifted Inventors Xmas Reunion Spectacular, he’s determined to win the heart of the wonderful Trixie Tragik. What could possibly go wrong? S W Lothian (The Quest series, Time Square series)
  • If you found a lost reindeer in the woods, could you hide him away long enough for him regain his ability to fly? Find out who else Dougall meets when he befriends Reinhardt the reindeer. Jemima Pett (The Princelings of the East series)
  • Halitor can't find the people who need his help on the long night of Midwinter. But they find him, and there may be some holiday magic in the air. Rebecca M Douglass (The Ninja Librarian series, Halitor the Hero)
  • Once this warhorse carried a mighty king; now he carries a cargo more precious - the young girl destined to be his queen. Cheryl Carpinello (Young Knights of King Arthur series, Young Guinevere)
  • The Witch War is over, but the scars of their spells still cause havoc in Werifesteria, even King Aldridge is affected. When Jacob’s father is taken by the witch of The Dark Wood he and the king set out on a quest to return him. A fun fairy-tale adventure by Annaliese Matheron (Ninja Nan series)
  Each tale weaves its own seasonal magic. Each magician has already warmed the hearts of thousands of young readers with their stories. Enjoy these frantic races to meet the Christmas deadline while you curl up in your favourite reading spot this winter.

Amazon (Print) * Amazon (Kindle) * Amazon (UK)

Smashwords * iTunes * B&N * Kobo * Goodreads


About the Authors:

Cheryl Carpinello AuthorCheryl Carpinello is a retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books growing up, her profession introduced her to writings and authors from times long past. Through her studies and teaching, she fell in love with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. Now, she hopes to inspire young readers to read more through her Quest Books set in these worlds.

                                                         RMD cropped.jpg 

Rebecca M. Douglass has been reading and writing stories since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She has a special fondness for fantasy thanks to childhood visits to Narnia and Middle Earth. Ms. Douglass uses her word-processor near San Francisco, CA, where she lives with her husband and two teenage sons, while her imagination runs where it will, in this world and out. She is the author of the beloved Ninja Librarian books, as well as a picture book for outdoor families, a mystery for the parents, and of course the middle-grade fantasy, Halitor the Hero. Website:


Wendy Leighton-Porter devotes her time to writing books for children after 20 years of teaching French, Latin and Classical studies. Shadows from the Past is a series of time-travel adventure stories, featuring three children and a rather special Tonkinese cat. She lives in France and Abu Dhabi, and is currently working on the ninth book in the series, The Shadow of the Tudor Rose. Website:


S.W. Lothian is the creator of edge-of-your-seat time-travel adventures that provide thrills for all ages. From his sun-drenched home in Australia he pens exciting books that launch readers into epic settings filled with amazing action. Great characters, mystery, and humour make a broth of irresistible tales. Through recent personal experience, S.W. has become a passionate advocate of raising awareness of Childhood Cancer. Improved awareness leads to increased research, which hopefully will lead to a cure. Website: 

Annaliese Matheron - Mash Stories.jpg

Unlike many authors Annaliese Matheron never knew what she wanted to be. She wanted to do a million and one different things – be an ice-skater, or an archaeologist, or an astrophysicist, or a theatre director – luckily she realised that by being an author she could be all these things and more. Annaliese now spends her time making stuff up and writing it down. Her humorous adventure story Ninja Nan and Sidekick Grandad was a finalist in the 2013 People’s Book Prize. Website:

                                                        Jemima Pett 

Jemima Pett lives in a three-bedroom red-brick castle surrounded by water, along with her guinea pigs, the inspiration for brain-twisting The Princelings of the East. She writes their adventures as fast as she can, but sometimes writes science fiction adventures about asteroid miners and their friends instead. She lives in Norfolk, writes in UK English and occasionally in US English or double Dutch. Website:

                                                                                                 Ben Zackheim 

Ben Zackheim started writing Shirley Link in 2011 and hasn't stopped since. He's up to book five in the series, which will be titled Shirley Link & The Party Poopers. He lives in Massachusetts, at 42.5098° N, 72.6995° W, surrounded by the Forbidden Forest, with his wife and son. Website:      

Follow the MG BookElves on Facebook: and elsewhere using #MGBookElves.

Please also give your support to the other MG BookElves not included in this year's Anthology: * Melanie Abed * Julie Anne Grasso * Paul Hewlett * Fiona Ingram * M G King * S. Smith


Goodreads Giveaway

Prize: 2 copies of the "BookElves Anthology, Volume 2", the paperback edition, worldwide. Open: Worldwide Giveaway Ends: Nov 26 2015

Goodreads Book Giveaway

BookElves Anthology Volume 2 by Jemima Pett

BookElves Anthology Volume 2

by Jemima Pett

Giveaway ends November 26, 2015. See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

** Book Blast Giveaway **

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice Giveaway ends: November 26, 11:59 pm, 2015 Open to: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the authors of the BookElves Anthology, Volume 2 and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send an email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. a Rafflecopter giveaway

MDBR Book Promotion Services