Friday, January 22, 2010

Musing Our Children's latest issue of Pages and Pens

Click on the title of the post to be taken to the website to download your copy of the latest issue of Pages & Pens.

Happy New Year!

The latest issue of Pages & Pens ~ Your Tools to Imagination is now available for download at the Musing Our Children website.

We hope you’ll let your friends know about Pages & Pens. Subscribing is easy. Just contact us at and place “Pages & Pens Subscription” on the subject line.

As always, we appreciate your feedback and suggestions.

Best regards,

Cheryl C. Malandrinos, Editor in Chief

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Last day to vote in the P&E polls

We need all the help we can get for all of 4RV nominated books. Here are the current standings of those nominated. If you click the title, you will be taken directly to the voting pages.

We need to find some more votes for our Preditors & Editors nominations. However, even if we don't do any better than the current rankings, we can be proud.

Thursday is the final day to vote in the Predidors & Editors Readers Poll. To vote click on the title of the award, scroll down the page to the nomination wanted, and click on the circle beside the nomination. At the bottom of the page add your name and your email. Be sure to check your email to confirm your vote.

The ratings for nominations connected to 4RV Publishing as of January 13, 8:00 PM CST are as follows:

Best Publisher - 4RV Publishing - 2nd

Children's Books - books from 4RV include the following:
1. Tilly's Tale, Harry Porter, 4RV Publishing
2. Would a Kangaraffe Make You Laffe?, Rich Aaron, 4RV Publishing
3. A New Job for Dilly, Rena Jones, 4RV Publishing
4. Tommy Turtle: Exercise Is Fun, Eric Mathe, 4RV Publishing
7. A Puppy, Not a Guppy, Holly Jahangiri, 4RV Publishing
8. Bait for Lunch, K.A. Okagaki, 4RV Publishing
11. Lemur Troops & Critter Groups, Rena Jones, 4RV Publishing
13. Being Jacob: First Day of School, Suzy Stevenson Koch, 4RV Publishing
18. State of Quarries, Elysabeth Eldering, 4RV Publishing
19. Priscilla Holmes, Ace Detective, John Lance, 4RV Publishing
21. The First Miracle, LA Willis, 4RV Publishing

Young Adult Books -
3. Just Breeze, Beverly Stowe McClure, 4RV Publishing
5. The Art of Science, Ransom Noble, 4RV Publishing
16. Second Chance, Galand Nuchols, 4RV Publishing

All Other Novels -
1. Confessions of a Former Rock Queen, Kirk Bjornsgaard, 4RV Publishing
This will be the only nomination, besides the one for Best Publisher, that I will personally promote. Kirk passed away this year, about two months after his book was released. He cannot promote for himself. This opportunity will be the only one for him.

Artwork -
1. Tilly's Tale, Harry Porter/Mandy Hedrick
2. Would a Kangaraffe Make You Laffe? Rich Aaron / Stephen Macquignon
9. A Puppy, Not a Guppy, Holly Jahangiri / Ryan Shaw
9. Just Breeze, Beverly Stowe McClure / Aidana WillowRaven
10. Being Jacob: First Day of School, Suzy Koch /Aidana WillowRaven
10. Priscilla Holmes, Ace Detective, John Lance /Diana Navarro
10. A New Job for Dilly, Rena Jones / Lisa Oakman
11. Lemur Groups & Critter Troops, Jones/Shoemaker
11. The First Miracle, Lisa Willis /Aidana WillowRaven
12. Tommy Turtle: Exercise Is Fun, Eric Mathe / Rey Marz

Book/e-book Cover Artwork -
8. Just Breeze, Beverly Stowe McClure / Aidana WillowRaven
14. A Puppy, Not a Guppy, Holly Jahangiri / Ryan Shaw
21. Priscilla Holmes, Ace Detective, John Lance/Diana Navarro
22. Tommy Turtle: Exercise Is Fun, Eric Mathe /Rey Marz

Author -
1. Brian L. Porter
9. Holly Jahangiri
29. Lea Schizas

Artist -
1. Stephen Macquignon
5. Aidana WillowRaven
7. Ryan Shaw
11. Rey Marz
13. Nikki Shoemaker
18. Diana Navarro
19. Lisa Oakman

Book Editor -
18. Lea Schizas
21. Chris Speakman
22. Crystalwizard

As you can see State of Quarries is down in the second half of the top 20. I wouldn't mind being in the top 10, but I need everyone's votes today- Mrs. E & the JGDS - :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Children's and Teens Book Connection names top 10

Click on the title of this post and see who is listed in the top 10 favorite books from the Book Connection. Maybe you have read a few of these books and agree with the selections or maybe you haven't read them yet and would like to. Thanks, Cheryl for posting this. Mrs. E & the JGDS

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Interview with Mayra Calvani

Interview with Mayra Calvani
Interview by Kit Grady

When working on a story, what steps or process do you use?
For a picture book, what usually happens is I get an idea and then let it simmer in my mind for weeks, sometimes even months or years. Then one day I just feel the need to write it down and the whole thing pours out of me in a sitting. When this happens, I stay working on the story a whole morning or a whole day. I then take a break from it for maybe a day or two before going back and polishing it. Then I send it to my critique group for feedback. This is very helpful. I may or may not take on their suggestions, but their advice is always good. I save each version of the story, so if I edit the story 5 times, I’ll save those 5 files of each version under a folder named after the book’s title.

What sparks your ideas for stories?
Real life, newspaper articles, TV shows, family stories, memories, photos, beautiful scenery. Everything around me may spark an idea in me. The Muse is a very curious thing.

What is your strongest personal trait that make you a better writer?
I would say persistence. I never give up, no matter how many rejection letters I get or the competitive state of the children's book market.

Where did your last story idea come from? Where were you when you began working on it?
For a long time I wanted to write a picture book story about a little mouse or hamster who loved books so much, he didn’t have time for friends. That’s how Humberto the Bookworm Hamster came about. As usual, I let the idea simmer for some time, then, one morning, I got up from bed and had to sit down and write it. So that’s what I did, and the story poured out of me in one sitting.

Humberto loves books so much, he reads at all times of the day; even while he sleeps he reads—audio books. The other animals want to become his friends, but he doesn’t have time for them. He’s too busy reading! Then one day a flood comes and he must decide whether to salvage the rest of his books before they sink in the rising water or helping the animals. Humberto’s story is a tale about books and the true meaning of friendship: how good are books really if you can’t share them with people who care about?

I can sympathize with my character because many times I see myself in him. As a writer and reviewer, I’m so involved with books I tend to become a hermit. Socializing is important too.

What advice would you give a new writer?
My first advice would be, of course, to read a lot. If you want to write picture books, read dozen of picture books a month. Especially read award winners and when you read these books, study them and what made them so successful. If you’re new to the craft of picture book writing, read nonfiction books on the subject, take a course or a workshop. Join a good critique group, one that focuses on picture books. A writer who’s not familiar with this genre won’t be able to help you, no matter how good they are at writing, let’s say, chick-lit novels. Last but not least, WRITE. I try to write one picture book story a week, or at least two a month. You get better the more you write and, most importantly, the writing will come easier.

Peek inside Humberto, the Bookworm Hamster at Guardian Angel Publishing.

Where to find Mayra:
Mayra's website
Mayra's book website and blog
Mayra's articles

ForeWord Best Book of the Year Award Winner

Monday, January 4, 2010

Preditors and Editors voting now open

It seems State of Quarries has been nominated for the Preditors & Editors voting process. There are many 4RV nominations in the children's category. If you feel my book is worth voting for, go here and cast your vote. Also, there are other categories to check out as well. You can vote many times but whichever you pick as your last casted vote will be the one that gets the vote; any votes cast before your final vote do not count for anyone. Hope you all will vote - E ;)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Tragedy has hit home

The JGDS has lost two of its biggest fans, always there ready to find out what was in store for them with future books. Faith and Maxine, you will be missed terribly. Our prayers and thoughts will be with the families you left behind. Mrs. E and the JGDS

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