Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Meet YA Christian Author Hannah Lapehn

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes YA author Hannah Lapehn and her Christian suspense story The Hands.

First, a bit about Hannah:

Hannah Lapehn grew up in the Midwest and married her college sweetheart. She attended Indiana University, where she graduated with a degree in Communications and Culture. Hannah is a military wife and mother of two young boys, Jackson and Jordan. Her husband was deployed for the second time when The Hands was written. In an effort to distract herself from the separation, she poured her heart into writing which became an overflow of self-expression.

Why did you choose to write books for YA?

I chose YA because I remembered that time vividly. It’s when we are figuring out who we are, and we have the ability to make a lot of mistakes and learn from them.

What types of books do you like to read?

I like to read mystery/suspense and dystopian novels. When someone comes up with a truly unique idea, like The Hunger Games, it really thrills me. It is such an escape to be taken into a completely created world, with only the author to navigate you through.

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

I like to spend time with my family. I have two young boys that keep me super busy! My favorite pastime is watching movies because I like learning about what motivates the characters and seeing different perspectives.

Tell us about The Hands and how the story came to be.

The Hands was a yearlong project for me. It was my first Christian suspense novel, and I had to take breaks to really gather my thoughts and create a complete story line. I got the idea from a school assembly I attended in high school. In chapter six, there is a scene where a Holocaust survivor comes to speak to Taylor’s high school, and I wrote that scene the way I wish it would have played out for me.

Here's a peek at The Hands:

After sneaking out to a forbidden party, Taylor Donavant is faced with an unusual punishment that sets her on an unexpected path. Shortly after, she receives a supernatural ability that alienates her from her peers, and she has to question why she would be chosen for something so significant. In a spellbinding battle of good versus evil, Taylor struggles to preserve her newfound identity as a dark force lurks close by, watching and waiting for the right moment to manipulate her gift. 


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

I am working on several new storylines at the moment. I began my next book in January. I plan to write a book a year, always starting in January.

What advice do you have for other authors?

My advice for new authors is to get help. Critical feedback is essential when starting out and although it’s hard to hear, we always need someone with a fresh set of eyes to tell us where our writing needs work.

Anything else you want readers to know?

I wrote this book because I see our culture fascinated with supernatural abilities.  I wanted people, especially young adults, to consider where this power comes from and that it truly only comes from the Lord.

Where can readers find you and your book?

The Hands is on Amazon.

For readers who'd like to join in the conversation, there is a Facebook.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Kid Lit Blog Hop 37


Welcome to the 37th Kid Lit Blog Hop where twice per month (the 1st and 3rd Wednesday) we continue to develop a dynamic and engaged community of children's books bloggers, authors, publishers, and publicists.

On this Hop, Carpinello's Writing Pages brings you interviews with international journalist and children's book author Randa Handler and YA author Hannah Lapehn.

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! We are pleased to welcome Divina from Beauty of the Picture Book as co-host this week. Please pop on over and give her a quick hello and welcome and be sure to follow her as specified below. Welcome Divina!

Happy Hopping everyone and enjoy the Hop!



Kid Lit Blog Hop Rules *Please Read* 1. We ask that you kindly follow your hosts. You can follow us any way you choose (Email, GFC, Twitter, Facebook, G+, Pinterest, etc.), but we've added our preferences below. If you could just give us a quick "follow" or "like" that would be much appreciated! Make sure to leave us a message if you are following us (i.e., on Twitter or Facebook or on our websites) and we will be sure to follow you back. Thanks! :-)
2. Link up any Kid Lit related post. This can be a link to a children’s book review, a discussion about children’s literature/literacy, or a post on a recently-read children’s book or one that you love from your childhood.
* Don't link directly to your blog, it must be a specific post.*
* For Authors, we prefer you to link to your blog if you have one. Please link unique posts each time ~ no repeats please. *
* Make sure you include an image relevant to the POST (e.g., book cover), not your blog button or photo of yourself.*
* Feel free to link more than one post.*
3. Please visit AT LEAST the TWO LINKS directly ahead of your own and leave them some love in the form of a comment. We are trying to build a community of bloggers, readers, parents, authors, and others who are as passionate about children’s literature as we are so please CONNECT and follow any or all of the blogs that interest you! 4. If you like, grab the button above and put it somewhere on your blog, preferably the post you're linking up. If you'd prefer, you can just add a text link back to this Hop so that others can find it and check out all these great book links! 5. It would really help us get the word out about the Kid Lit Blog Hop if you would be so kind as to tweet, share, and spread the word about the Hop!
Interested in co-hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop? If you've joined us before, you are welcome to join us again! Please email renee @ motherdaughterbookreviews (dot) com and put Co-Hosting Blog Hop in the subject line.
Happy Hopping!

Meet Children's Author Randa Handler

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes international journalist and children's book author Randa Handler and her story The Boy Who Spoke to God.

First, a bit about Randa:

Randa Handler is an international journalist, publicist and publisher. Her interview with actor Rock Hudson (his last) was published worldwide. In 2003, Handler moved into publishing, successfully launching an educational series of children’s books used as ‘lesson plans’ by elementary school teachers. She is currently dedicated to writing and illustrating children’s books.

Why did you pick to write books for children?

I really believe that early education is key! Having worked at the UN and having been exposed to so many cultures, made certain needs clear. Most importantly: teaching in a fun way tolerance of all differences. I wanted to see if I could help somehow. Even if it's in a small way.

What types of books do you like to read?

I like to read all kinds of books. I basically get intrigued by the premise and the background of the author.

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

I like to keep my mind busy doing something --it seems. If I'm not writing, you can find me starting some kind of project. I've rehabbed homes and furniture. Hobbies wise, I like to antique shop and catch a movie, an opera or concert.

Tell us about The Boy Who Spoke to God and how the story came to be.

I thought a long time about writing this book. Like many people in publishing, I shied away from
talking about anything that might be seen as spiritual in nature. At the same time, having worked with children's book authors and educators both in public relations and in publishing, I knew that children didn't have books that addressed their basic questions about God.  I decided to premise an early reader’s children’s book with exactly that.  I set out to try and find a way to do that without being religious, preachy, or slanted.  Believe me, that's a hard task. I thought if I set it as a fairytale, about a time long ago, it might be accepted. I decided on four tribes that find a way to live in peace and harmony despite vastly different religious beliefs. I will be happy if the book is accepted and is used as a tool to open a dialogue with a young mind.

Here's a peek at The Boy Who Spoke to God:

Unable to agree on their ideas about God and religious celebrations, four different ethnic tribes—Greeks, Chinese, Zulus, and Mayans—who live together harmoniously most of the year, combining aspects of each of their cultures to make their kingdom strong and prosperous, suddenly
become divisive when religious holidays approach. During such times, they cannot agree on the timing or manner of religious traditions, and they each have their own god who looks and dresses as they do.

When Niko, a young Greek boy, has several dreams of God, each tribe interprets the various details of his dreams according to its own view of God, further emphasizing the tribes’ differences in beliefs. Subsequently Niko is shunned for having created even more disharmony and for lying to the tribes, or so they think, as no one believes he dreamed of God.

To clear up all the confusion and arrive at the truth, Niko begs God to manifest in one final dream. This time God shows him that the tribes’ beliefs are actually different expressions of the same god. Niko concludes that God is like colorless and formless iridescent light, and the beliefs of all tribes about their gods are correct as these gods are like colors of the rainbow that derive from white light.

Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.
I have 5 books released and currently working on others. The Thanksgiving Dinner Platter takes place in 1941 when Thanksgiving became a national holiday and features the friendship between a Native American boy and a Japanese-American little girl. It even includes a real recipe for cornbread just like the one served at the first Thanksgiving dinner eaten by the pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians at Plymouth Plantation. The book concludes with the kids sharing the special cornbread with the Vets and thanking them for their service.

I also have two installments in the series Cubbie Blue and His Dog Dot. Book one sets the stage for this series of children’s books centering around the friendship and adventures of 3 multiracial kids and their special tiny friend Cubbie. Book two of the series What’s up with Mike? features a
blind child and helps kids learn how to deal with disabilities.

If I Were King centers around a feisty zebra who decides to befriend many jungle animals except other zebras. Winner of a 2013 Mom’s Choice Award, it focuses on finding true friendships and learning about boundaries.

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

Right now I'm working on the third installment in the Cubbie Blue series.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Don't let rejections detract you from your goal. Practice makes perfect and try to always work with a good editor who will really give you the honest truth. Not a friend but a business associate.

Anything else you want readers to know?

I'm sure news about new releases will be posted by my publisher, Premier Digital Publishing or on my own website.

Where can readers find you and your books?

They can follow me on Twitter or visit my Facebook page.

My books should be available online and hopefully at all book retailers in 2014.

Children's Book Week - Kid Lit Giveaway Hop 2014

Are you a children's book or teen literature blogger,
an author, a publisher, 
or a publicist looking to share copies of a fabulous book?

CBW Kid Lit Giveaway Hop 2014 - Banner - FINAL

We want to invite you to participate in the Children's Book Week Kid Lit Giveaway Hop 2014 (May 12 to 18). Mother Daughter Book Reviews and Youth Literature Reviews are joining forces to provide you with the opportunity to take part in a Blog Hop featuring links to giveaways for fabulous children/teen's books, gift cards, cash, or other prizes. What better way to celebrate Children's Book Week?