Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Meet Children's Author Claudia McAdam

 Welcome to Carpinello's Writing Pages!

Before meeting our author, I want to acquaint you with our new mailing list company. For years, I've used FeedBurner for my blog subscribers. In July of this year, they discontinued their blog feeds. Notices of new posts will now come from I hope you will continue to be a subscriber and recommend us to your friends and family, and anyone who enjoys meeting new authors and seeing their books.

Today we welcome
Colorado author
Claudia Cangilla McAdam

Before meeting her, I want to share reviews of her featured picture book The Christmas Light. These were done by local Colorado 5th graders. For privacy reasons, the names are not included. Each student used their own grading scale; some used 5/5 while others used 10/10.

(9/10): I liked it because it felt soft and sweet. I didn’t like it because it had no action.

(9/10): I give The Christmas Light a 9/10 because it retells the reason Christmas is a thing in an interesting way. It’s about a girl who helps two people who are in need and I like that.

(4/5): I like how the story tells how she felt that night and how she felt when she did stuff. I also like that when she was sleeping with her sister she was kind of annoyed, but when she came back from the stable she kept her sister warm when she was freezing.

(5/5): I’d rate it 5/5 because it’s about the birth of Christ and how it’s about Christmas.

(5/5): I would rate the book a 5 because I like the similes and how it is about Christmas.

And now, here's a bit about Claudia:
At age ten, I knew I wanted to be a professional writer when I grew up. My undergraduate degree is in English, and later in life, I got a master’s degree in theology. I began being published in children’s magazines and newspapers before I was out of college. To date, I have penned two dozen books, for both the secular and the religious markets. My faith-based titles explore the virtues, build character, and deepen faith. My most recent work is the 44-page picture book, The Christmas Light, published by Sophia Institute Press. My husband and I live in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, not far from our children and grandchildren.
Why did you pick to write books for children? 
I actually write for all three groups, but The Christmas Light is a picture book. I fell in love with reading when I was a child (it’s still my favorite pastime), and I remember how impactful books were. Story has the power to draw readers in and take them to a completely new place. It was an experience I treasured and craved, and I want to replicate that for young readers today.

What types of books do you like to read, and what do you do when you are not writing?  

My reading interests are wide-ranging. When I was a child, I would read every word on the cereal box at breakfast, and I admit to opening up a volume of the World Book Encyclopedia and start reading at random, getting lost in its pages. I loved how National Geographic could take me to far off places around the globe. Today, I read the Bible in its entirety each year, and in addition, you might find my nose buried in a nonfiction book, a work of theology, or various types of fiction from historical works to modern-day mysteries. Next up for me: Gary Paulsen’s biography. My “reading” these days is comprised in large part of audio books, which I can enjoy while driving, exercising, cooking, cleaning, gardening, and so on. I’m a big-time multi-tasker, so audio books fit into my life perfectly.

When I’m not writing or reading, I enjoy spending time with my large extended family, traveling, walking in nature, watching sports or movies, and binging The Chosen.

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

The story told in The Christmas Light revolves around the main character, the young daughter of the Bethlehem innkeeper, who is cold and cranky in her crowded home. When she remembers the young couple staying in her family’s stable across the lane and hears the newborn Baby cry, she realizes that if she is cold, they must be freezing. When she brings them fire for warmth, she has an encounter with the newborn Jesus and finds her mood suddenly altered and her life forever changed, thanks to the Christmas Light.

I remember the exact moment the story idea entered my mind. Our church has a large Nativity scene on display during the Christmas season. The figures are nearly life-size, so it’s rather impressive. While looking at the myriad characters that populate the scene, I began to wonder who else might have interacted with the Holy Family in Bethlehem. Since I write for kids, I speculated about the children who might have met Jesus when He was born.

I love what my friend and fellow children’s author Kathleen Pelley has to say about The Christmas Light: “The lush, lyrical text and bold, mesmerizing art enchant the reader into a long-ago world, glimmering with glimpses of grace and goodness beneath the seemingly ordinary surface of life . . .”

Here's a peek at The Christmas Light.

It’s the coldest night in Seraphina’s life, and she can’t sleep. Outside the house the wind roars like a lion and burrows through the roughly thatched roof. The thin blanket is more holes than fabric, and her little sister’s frigid feet prod Seraphina’s bare calf. Seraphina’s face crumples in an angry frown.

On a normal night, the children would not be so far from the fire, crowded in the loft, side by side like stones in a wall. But this is not a normal night.

How do you go about researching for your stories?

I do a lot of reading about the topics, watching videos, interviewing people, and even traveling to certain locations such as to the Holy Land, which has been inspirational for many of my books and critical for incorporating authenticity into those works.

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

Yes, many books, including three picture books with my text and the photography of renowned nature photographer John Fielder; books featuring profiles of heroes; retellings of legends; YA novels; and a MG mystery novel. I have a lot of interests and am likely to pursue writing a book about something that grabs my imagination and just won’t let go.

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

I have three faith-based books coming out in 2022: two picture books from Ascension Press, The Real Presence and Louie’s Lent, and a YA novel of Biblical historical fiction, Beckoning, from Our Sunday Visitor. A picture book from OSV is due in the fall of 2023, and I have three other manuscripts in the hands of interested editors at present.

What advice do you have for other authors?

I’m not the first to say it, but write what you know and love. Your authentic voice will shine if you do so. And know that your success doesn’t come when you complete a manuscript or even when you sell it. That’s just the start. Marketing, presentations, signings and the whole business end of being a writer is critical to success and longevity.

Anything else you want readers to know?

I love what I do and am so blessed to be able to live out the only career I’ve ever wanted since childhood. But I don’t take the credit. My faith is the bedrock of my life, and Proverbs 16:3 captures what I believe about my career: Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established.

Where can readers find you and your books?

My website is, and I keep it up to date with information about my books, appearances, and forthcoming works. My books are available at online retailers, including Amazon and brick-and-mortar booksellers as well as from the books’ respective publishers.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Icebergs & Meet Children's Author Cheryl Malandrinos

Welcome Carpinello's Writing Pages. This post catches us up with chidren's author Cheryl Malandrinos. We haven't had Cheryl on since 2012!! But before we see what she's been up to, let's take a look at Icebergs. Real icebergs.

On our trip to Iceland in early September 2021, we had the opportunity to see a lot of icebergs. And I mean a lot! And what's more, those icebergs were blue!

We stopped at Jokulsarlon Glacier Lagoon at the edge of the Breidamerkurjokull Glacier, which is a part of the larger Vatnajokill Glacier in southeastern Iceland. 
Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would get to see icebergs, especially blue icebergs!



The blue color is because the icebergs absorb all colors of the spectrum except blue which is reflected. And so, the icebergs seem appear blue.



If you get the opportunity to visit this land of fire and ice, be sure to put this lagoon on your itinerary!

And Now...
Join me in welcoming to 
Carpinello's Writing Pages 
Children's Author Cheryl Malandrinos

First, here's a bit about our author:
I am a freelance writer and editor, who has authored three picture books and the first chapter reader, A Christmas Kindness. I’m a member of SCBWI, a blogger and book reviewer. I live and work about 20 minutes away from where I grew up. I am also a wife and the mom of three adult children.
Why did you pick to write books for children?

I can’t say I picked writing for children as much as I fell into it thanks to a failed attempt at NaNoWriMo. After struggling through that month-long writing fest, I discussed my project with my pastor, who asked if the story was for children. Though I told him no, the gears in my mind began turning. I took one aspect of the story and developed my first picture book.
What types of books do you like to read, and what do you do when you are not writing?
I love reading historical fiction, cozy mysteries, Amish fiction, inspirational romance, and true crime. I’m a licensed real estate broker in Massachusetts. I also hold a real estate license in Connecticut and North Carolina. In my spare time, I enjoy gardening and spending time in the kitchen.

Tell us about A Christmas Kindness and how the story came to be.
A Christmas Kindness was born out of my desire to encourage my children to think of others. When the girls were younger, they browsed through the toy catalog and wrote down long lists of wishes. In A Christmas Kindness, eight-year-old Robert is excited to share his long list with the mall Santa on Christmas Eve. When he bumps into another boy in line, they talk about Glenn’s special wish. This makes Robert think about what he might do when he finally sits on Santa’s lap.

Here's a peek at A Christmas Kindness:

“Oh, when will we get there?” whispered Robert from the backseat of his mother’s car. He fiddled with the pull on his coat. The wipers brushed aside the snow falling on the windshield.
As they arrived, lines of cars streamed in and out of the mall parking lot. Robert peered over his mother’s shoulder and saw her white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel. She huffed as she scanned the parking lot for an empty space. He wiggled around, but his seat belt kept him secure.

Inside the mall, Christmas music and the tinkling of jingle bells tickled Robert’s ears. With his mother, Robert weaved through the crowd of shoppers. He smelled fried food from Burger Mart. The sweet scent of warm chocolate chip cookies from the bakery made his mouth water.

Robert’s shoulders drooped when he saw how many kids waited to see Santa. There were babies, some crying and struggling to get out of their mother’s arms. Little kids, many younger than eight-year-old Robert, clung to their father’s pants or jumped up and down as they waited their turn.

“This is going to take forever!”
How do you go about researching for your stories?
This particular story did not require research, but the additional activities and crafts did. The new material added to A Christmas Kindness in the second edition, also includes information on Christmases around the world.
Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.
I have written three picture books. Two place fictional characters into Biblical settings. The other is a humorous story about a girl needing to come up with a way to save dinner when the dog steals the turkey off the table on Thanksgiving. My fifth book, tentatively titled, Clever Tom, is under contract with 4RV Publishing.
What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?
Amelia’s Mission is a middle grade historical I’m plugging away at. I have completed twenty chapters. My hope it to have it done by the end of the year. After that, I have other stories in various stages and several new ideas to flush out.
What advice do you have for other authors?
Learn all you can about the craft of writing, creating strong query letters, and submitting your finished manuscripts. In addition to self-editing, work with an editor to polish your manuscripts before you submit them. Read books in the genre you are writing because market research is important.

Anything else you want readers to know?

All my books feature a hidden message to help kids learn about life and the world around them. It’s fun for me to create books that educate while they entertain. These messages are shared through the actions and reactions of characters to what is happening in the story, so they are subtly woven in. I hope your readers get a chance to check them out.
Where to connect with Cheryl and her books?

Visit Cheryl online at and her children’s book blog at

Connect with Cheryl on Twitter and Facebook.


Cheryl's Books:

Purchase your hard copy at Amazon.
Purchase the paperback at Amazon.
Purchase the Kindle ebook at Amazon.
Purchase directly from the 4RV Publishing.
Purchase at Barnes & Noble.
Purchase at Indiebound



Wednesday, November 10, 2021

New YA Fantasy by Tricia Copeland: Cover Reveal

 Carpinello's Writing Pages is excited to be part of fellow Colorado author Tricia Copeland's cover reveal for her upcoming release of her newest YA Fantasy!

Title: To Be a Fae Guardian
Author: Tricia Copeland
Genre: YA Fantasy/Fairies
Editor: Jo Michaels, Indie Books Gone Wild
Cover Designer: Elanor Lloyd-Jones, Shower of Schmidt Designs
Publication Date: January 20th, 2022
Hosted by: Lady Amber's Reviews & PR

She may be the only fae standing between her realm and the evil lurking below. Will Titania be given the power she needs?


Titania defeats a group of creatures threatening to colonize Middle Earth. In ending them she broke not one but two edicts of the High Council. But justice may fall on the only person holding the key to her ability to defend the fae.


The evil spirits manifesting the terrorists lurk below, lying in wait to strike again. With loss of a much-needed ally, she lacks freedom to learn what the realm may be facing. Worse yet, many, even some most trusted compatriots, distance themselves from the reckless Queen she’s painted to be.


Her power shackled and left alone, Titania loses faith in her once clear path.


Can she find her footing in time to save them all from eternal darkness?


To Be a Fae Guardian is the second book in the Realm Chronicles series, continuing a magical journey into the realm of Middle Earth. If you like dauntless heroines, you’ll love Tricia Copeland’s gripping fantasy.


Get To be a Fae Guardian to spiral into a new world.


An avid runner and Georgia native, Tricia now lives with her family and four-legged friends in Colorado. She believes that magic infuses every aspect of our lives, whether it is the magic of falling in love, discovering a new passion, a beautiful sunset, or a book that transports us to another world. You can find all her titles from contemporary romance and fantasy, to dystopian fiction at

Author Links:

Thursday, September 30, 2021