Monday, December 17, 2012

Eight-year-old Robert is eager to share his wish list with Santa at the mall on Christmas Eve. When he meets Glenn, who has only one request for Santa, Robert is confused over what he should do. Can he cast aside what he wants and ask Santa to bring his new friend a special gift? Inspiration Behind A Christmas Kindness
How is it that children have the ability to reach out and help others in ways adults don't always think to do? One year, our oldest daughter--then only eight--went door-to-door in our neighborhood collecting money for Toys for Tots. Coordinated by the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve, this program collects new, unwrapped toys each year and distributes them as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in our communities. This summer, my girls ran a lemonade stand so they could bring money to a local animal shelter. Why don't I think of doing such things? I guess it's easier to write a check and send it in the mail. But what effort is involved in that? My children make it personal, and much more meaningful, by giving something of themselves.
With A Christmas Kindness, I hope to capture the generosity of a child's heart--the way they look at the world as a place of endless opportunities to make a difference.
May you be blessed this holiday season. Cheryl Malandrinos, writing as C. C. Gevry, is a children’s author and editor. She is a member of SCBWI. A Christmas Kindness is her first book with 4RV Publishing. Visit her online at

Pump Up Your Book and C. C. Gevry are teaming up to give you a chance to win some fabulous prizes!





Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. If your blog isn’t set up to accept the form, then after they visit your blog, they are directed to where they can fill out the form to gain more entries. This promotion will run from December 17th - December 21st. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email, and announced on December 24th. Each blogger who participates is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour. What a great way to not only win these fabulous prizes, but to gain followers and comments too! Good luck everyone!

A Christmas Kindness Book Blast Schedule

Monday, December 17th
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Meet MG/YA Author Kay Lalone

Join me in welcoming MG/YA author Kay Lalone to Carpinello's Writing Pages. Kay's debut book Ghostly Clues was released in November 2012 by MuseItUp Publishing.

Kay, tell us a bit about yourself.

I have been writing for most of my life. Some of my short stories have been published in children’s magazines. Other short stories have grown into MG and YA novels. I have an interest in the unexplained things like ghosts, dreams, witches, demons, and just things that are weird so most of my stories reflect that interest. Ghostly Clues is my first book to be published. I live in Michigan with my husband and youngest son.

What types of books do you like to read?

Mystery mostly. I love the Harry Potter series and the Twilight series. I like books that have believable characters who are put into weird and strange situations that upset their normal life, routine. It is entertaining to see how they survive the situation and see how their lives change. 

Why did you pick to write books for Middle Grade/YA?

Children and teenagers have an open mind and wild imagination so it is fun to write MG and YA. Writing for that group of people is a challenge to dig deep into my own imagination and view the world like my readers would and to be creative and entertaining. I picked writing books for MG and YA because it gives me a chance to be a child again through my characters.

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

My favorite thing to do is spend time with my family whether it’s play games or watching movies. I have two adult sons and one teenage son at home so family time is hard to come by with everyone being so busy. My husband and I love to go to auctions and buy antiques. I love camping with my sons and doing things that interest them like playing video games (even though my youngest beats me all the time.) When I want to relax, I love to read.

 Tell us about Ghostly Clues and how the story came to be.

Ghostly Clues started out as a short story. I was around thirteen, same age as the main character, Sarah Kay when my grandma died. That was when I had my first encounter with a ghost. It was a ghost hand that crawled up on my bed and grabbed a doll. The next morning the doll was found way under my bed. I believe it was my grandma telling me I was too old to sleep with dolls. This memory has haunted me all these years. And I started asking myself what if questions and soon Ghostly Clues developed into a novel.


The sweet scent of lilacs permeates the air around Grandma’s gravesite. Only Sarah Kay can smell Grandma’s favorite flower, and they’re not even in bloom.

Sarah Kay and her best friend, Mary Jane, believe the lilacs are a sign from Grandma’s ghost. The girls follow one ghostly clue after another, uncovering a secret that Mom never wanted Sarah Kay to know.

Grandma makes sure Sarah Kay gets the message even from the grave. As the evidence piles up, Mom still refuses to accept the possibility Sarah Kay’s father is alive.

Sarah Kay finds Dad’s parents. A set of grandparents she didn’t realize existed. They make it clear her father is alive but days and miles separate the father and daughter reunion because Dad is a truck driver on a long haul.

Sarah Kay waits. The news reports a fatal car accident involving a semi and Sarah Kay fears the worse. She runs away which leads to Dad and the truth, Mom wanted Dad to remain dead.

Dad had faked his death so why not just stay dead.  The ghostly clues of Grandma wouldn’t allow Dad to remain dead to Sarah Kay.

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

I have written other books but they aren’t published yet. One manuscript that I am finishing up and will send to MuseItUp is a YA novel entitled Family Secret. It’s about a fifteen year old boy named Tom whose mother died and his father leaves him with a family friend to go away on business and try to figure out who killed his wife. Tom feels abandon by both parents. Strange things start to happen to Tom and he discovers the family secrets his parents have kept from him will put him in danger.

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

Yes. I am always working on new stories. I have a lot of stories running through my head. But another story that is almost complete is a YA novel Mysterious Visions. It is about Nicole who has visions, one of her parents' fatal car accident, and how she deals with her friends knowing her secret.  Also, strange things that happen in the caves on the island.

What advice do you have for other authors?

The best advice I was given is read, read, read, and write, write, write. Reading is important not just for entertainment, but to see how other authors write. As an author it is hard to find the time to write. So you need to discipline yourself to sit down and write. If you don’t have that discipline or drive to write, than learning to how to write a story is useless.

Anything else you want readers to know?

I would like to hear from my readers. I think the great thing about technology is that you can facebook or even email your favorite authors. I always wished I could do that when I was a kid, but way back then it was harder to contact an author. So I love hearing from my readers to find out what they are thinking and what they would like see in a story.

Where can readers find you and your books?
My website is Kay Lalone Author  and my blog is

Ghostly Clues can be found at MuseItUp Publishing.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Kid Lit Blog Hop #6

Welcome to the 6th Kid Lit Blog Hop. These Hops take place on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Thank you so much to everyone who has linked into the Hop previously and welcome to those of you visiting us for the first time! Every week we've been seeing a mix of new and familiar faces. So join in, link up, and hop around to make some new friends. The Holiday season is coming up fast and it is a busy, busy, busy time of year for all of us; therefore, we will only be having ONE Hop this month. You'll see us back at it on the SECOND Wednesday of January - that's the 9th! For just the month of January, the Hops will take place on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month.  
Kid Lit Blog Hop
<div align="center"><a href="" title="Kid Lit Blog Hop"><img src="" alt="Kid Lit Blog Hop" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Suggestions For How to Participate:

1. Although not mandatory, we ask that you kindly follow your hostesses and co-hostesses. You can follow us any way you choose (Email, GFC, Twitter, Facebook, G+, Pinterest, etc.). If you leave us a comment on our websites, we will be sure to follow you back.


Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Jaymie @ Snacks for Max

Heidi @ Geo Librarian

Sue @ Kid Lit Reviews

Our Co-Hostess for This Week:

Cheryl Carpinello, Author

Melinda @ Mom on the Make

Shaunna @ Mudpies & Melodies

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 *

* 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. Check out some other books. Don't be a stranger, go see what books other families are checking out, 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? Please email renee @ motherdaughterbookreviews (dot) com and put Co-Hosting Blog Hop in the subject line.
Happy Hopping!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Meet Middle Grade Christian Author Alice M. Roelke

Today I welcome MG/YA Christian Author Alice M. Roelke. I first met Alice about three years ago. We both took an online writing class, and once the class was finished, we decided to put together our own writing critique group. Alice was the first one to read Young Knights back at the begining. She writes in a variety of genres, including science fiction, fantasy, romance, children’s, and young adult. She is addicted to reading, cats, and farmer’s markets.

Alice, why did you pick to write books for young adults?

Actually, I just write the stories I want to read!  Sometimes they’re also a good fit for children or young adults, sometimes not.  I wrote most of the original draft of this story when I was a teenager, so I was literally just writing it for myself and my age group.  Writing it helped me figure out some things I was dealing with regarding life and my beliefs.  It was also a lot of fun to write my very own dragon story!

What types of books do you like to read?

Lots of different sorts.  My current favorite authors are Alexander McCall Smith, Ray Bradbury, Richard Adams, and Georgette Heyer.

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

Read.  Watch TV.  Play with my cats.  Shop at farmer’s markets.  Surf the internet.  I want to take up quilting again, but I’ve been too busy and intimidated by it lately.

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

My story is about a slave girl and the dragon who is her best friend. They are on the run for their lives seeking the cure for a plague and redemption.

How it came to be:
When I was a teenager, I wanted to read about dragons and a heroine my age with whom I could identify.  At the time, nobody seemed to be writing quite what I wanted to read, or else I just couldn’t find it.  So I wrote my own. 

I also wanted to write about some of the things I was figuring out and trying to make sense of in life.  It took me several years to finish the story, including a long bout with depression when I couldn’t write any of at all.  Finishing this story became one of my life goals during those dark days, and I’m so glad I was eventually able to.  :)

Being published by MuseItUp Publishing is very special to me, as well.  My publisher, editors, and cover artist helped me improve this story and make it stronger without changing my vision.  Respect and integrity are watchwords they seem to live by.  :)

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

I’ve been writing ‘books’ since I was eight.  So yes, I’ve written a lot.  You can read more about the stories I’ve had published at My Live Journal: Roelke.

What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?
I’m always working on a new story, sometimes several at once.  (They don’t always end up finished or published, though.)  Right now I’m working with Annie Duguid (an amazing and very patient MuseItUp content editor) on my YA romantic fantasy / coming of age novel Watch Over Me.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Don’t give up. 

Write from your heart. 

If you get jealous of other writers, don’t let it make you bitter.  Just tell yourself, “If they can do it, so can I.”  It’s really true!

Where can readers find you and your books?

Better ebook distributors everywhere!  Sorry.  I had to say it…. 

My blog at my Live Journal and my older blog The Writing Life For Me.

Anything else you want readers to know?
This story has some religious and Christian elements, for readers who care one way or the other about that.  I think lots of different people might enjoy this story, but the primary audience is going to be young women.  If a fifteen-year-old girl like I was finds my story, and it touches her, I’ll be over the moon.  :)