Monday, June 29, 2009

Blog Talk Radio

Hi Everyone. I'd like to invite you to a special event coming up on Wednesday, July 1, at 2 PM Central Time. Host April Robins and Co-Host Laurie Zieber will take questions from listeners directed to the following FaceBook Group members scheduled to give a two minute speech about their work.

Carol Crigger
Barbara M. Hodges
Marlo Schalesky
Beverly Stowe McClure (me)
Latayne C. Scott
David Lee Summers
Don Hoesel
Virginia S. Grenier
Kenny Lee
Shirley Ann Howard
Velda Brotherton
Valerie Bouthyette
Michelle Marcos
Dianne Sagan

A varied genre of Authors, Writers, and Illustrators. This show will be Exciting.
I will be the first to talk because I have to leave early. My young adult novel, Rebel in Blue Jeans, is my subject.
You can listen at the Red River Writers Special.
Or the call in # is (347) 637-1731.

See you there.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cheryl Malandrinos Interview

I have the pleasure of interviewing Cheryl Malandrinos, a lady with many talents. Cheryl is a staff member for Writer2Writer and writes articles on time management and organization for writers, as well as on many other subjects. She is a member of Musing Our Children and is also a virtual book tour coordinator for Pump Up Your Book Promotion. Recently, she received some very good news, but I’ll let her tell you about that. Thank you, Cheryl, for taking time out of your busy life to visit with us today.
When did you discover you wanted to be a writer?

Growing up I knew I wanted to be one of two things: a teacher or a writer. I’ve always been an avid reader and English was a strong subject for me in school, so I enjoyed writing book reports, poetry, and my own stories. I have a manila folder tucked away in my hope chest of stories I wrote as a teenager.

Writing also helped me deal with the loss of my mother when I was fourteen. She had cancer for two years before she passed away. My writings during those times, as expected, dealt with death and loss. I usually write about much happier topics these days, but I know letting my feelings flow onto paper allowed me to move forward after my mother’s death.

You recently signed a contract for your first book. Tell us about your journey to this exciting moment.

Yes, God has been good to me. I had written off and on since my teenage years, but life got in the way. When I became a stay-at-home mom five years ago, I decided to follow my dreams of becoming a writer.

I entered into Long Ridge Writing Group’s Breaking into Print program and learned a great deal about writing articles. At the time I was reading non-fiction books exclusively and knew this was my strong point.

While I was attending the first Muse Online Writers Conference in 2006, the conversation shifted to whether or not writers should work pro-bono to secure clips. I believe in doing this at the beginning, and I mentioned how I wrote several time management articles for a now defunct eZine. Cheryl Wright from Writer2Writer contacted me and asked to see them and I soon began working for her on a regular basis.

I had written some fiction pieces, but showing instead of telling has never been my strong suit, so I continued to attend the Muse conferences, kept writing fiction, and took advantage of all the critiques I could get. The hard work paid off. Lynda Burch from Guardian Angel Publishing presented at the 2008 Muse Online Writers Conference and offered the attendees of her weekly forum a chance to submit their manuscript. After some additional revisions, Lynda offered me my first book contract. The Little Shepherd Boy should be out sometime in the fall of next year.

What are you working on now?

Honestly, most of my work revolves around promoting other writers; but that’s okay. I’ve meet many talented writers and made several wonderful friends.

When I’m not working on virtual book tours or creating video trailers for authors, I maintain three blogs, and continue to work on a variety of articles and manuscripts. I hope to get My Visit with Santa ready to submit to a publisher soon. I also recently took over the role of editor for Musing Our Children’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.

How do you balance your writing life with your family life?

You mean I’m supposed to balance my writing life and my family life? Someone should have said something earlier. LOL!

We have a full grown son who is on his own (though they never really stop needing their parents) and two young girls. I work when the girls are in school or after they go to bed. I try to limit the time I spend on the computer when the girls are home, but it’s not always possible. Thankfully, my in-laws come over three times a week to entertain the girls and that allows me to work without feeling guilty.

For the most part I keep up on housework by cleaning a little every day and picking up the main living areas at bedtime. Since I’m the only one who can cook, I have staple meals that I count on to make suppertime easier and I use the grill often in the summertime. Different marinades are a great way to change your menu up without a lot of effort.

How did you get interested in the Little House on the Prairie books and show?

I was a fan of the show long before I was a fan of the books. I grew up watching Michael Landon in Bonanza and then on Little House on the Prairie. I always imagined I was one of the Ingalls girls.

In Fifth Grade I had to read a book and write a report on it. This was the first time that we were allowed to select our own reading material, and since I enjoyed Little House on the Prairie on television, I figured I would love Little House on the Prairie, the book. I couldn’t get into it at all. I wrote my book report based upon what was going on in Season 5 of the show and I’m still surprised the teacher didn’t give me a big fat zero.

I rediscovered the books in my early twenties and was able to appreciate them for the classic pieces of children’s literature they are. Since then I’ve researched some of the real life of Laura Ingalls Wilder, her husband Almanzo and their daughter Rose Wilder Lane. The largest collection in my home library is my Laura Ingalls Wilder collection, which contains multiple titles by Laura Ingalls Wilder, biographies of her life, and books (fiction and non-fiction) about her family.

For fun: If you could live in any time period, when would you choose and why?

While I enjoy reading about and studying Colonial America, the Civil War era, and life in the 1800’s, I’m most happy living in the here and now. I appreciate and admire everything these people did to mold America into the wonderful place it is today, but I am too pampered to even consider using an outhouse, growing most of my food, or sleeping on a straw mattress.

While it breaks my heart to read of historical sites that are neglected or sold in the name of progress, I still believe that a healthy balance can be struck between preservation and progress.

Who/what is your favorite author, movie star, book, movie, song?

Laura Ingalls Wilder and Lucy Maud Montgomery have always been huge favorites of mine. I take a beating for it every once in a while, but I am who I am. I also enjoy the work of Stephen King, Jerry Jenkins, and Karen White. King wrote my favorite book, The Stand.

I don’t often watch television or go to movies, but Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks and Johnny Deep are talented and always involved in interesting projects. The Patriot, Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List top my favorite movies list. Learning from history is very important, even if we learn about it through entertainment.

Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art are two of my favorite hymns. They remind us of God’s power, mercy, and infinite love.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

You have the power to make your dreams come true. Use it! Don’t be your biggest obstacle. Fear of failure, self-doubt, even fear of success can cripple a writer. There are many motivational quotes out there, put perhaps Elbert Hubbard said it best, “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one."

How can your fans learn more about you? Web sites? Blogs?

My current website can be found at My goal is to have a new website with my own domain before the end of the year. Readers can also check out my blogs:

The Book Connection - - where I blog nearly every day has author interviews, book reviews, and guest bloggers, plus some special features.

I also maintain The Aspiring Author at that provides aspiring authors with motivational quotes, writing resources, and the occasional guest blogger.

My blog dedicated to Laura Ingalls Wilder, her books and the shows based upon them can be found at

I’ve enjoyed learning more about you, Cheryl. Congratulations on your book. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Thank you Bev, for allowing me the chance to be the interviewee instead of the interviewer for a change. I truly appreciate this opportunity. I hope your readers will stop by and visit my website and blogs. I’m sure we’ll be hooking up online again soon so that we can talk about your new releases. Wishing you all the best!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mosetta M. Penick Phillips-Cermak

Are your children already complaining they're bored this summer? A new book should cure that problem. Let's take a look at a couple.

Rajah Le Beau


PRLog (Press Release) – May 31, 2009 – Rajah Le Beau is a real live dog adopted by Dr. Mosetta from the Cleveland Animal Protective league. He will join Billie Williams, June 8, 2009, on her blog ( as the first stop in Rajah and Dr. Mosetta's virtual tour. Billie Williams is a mystery suspense author and a prolific writer. Dr. Penick Philips-Cermak said, "We want to thank Billie for this wonderful opportunity. Ragh and I are looking forward to it. Rajah is more outgoing than I am. He loves being on Facebook and Twitter. He has about 39 fans, and he writes to them three or four times per week. Right now his primary objective is to get people to buy his book so that he can sponsor a cage for a puppy or dog at the Cleveland Animal Protective League." According to the Cleveland APL website ( becoming a cage sponsor means that for a lucky dog or cat " ... their cage at the APL, complete with a warm bed, toys, plenty of food and water, and lots of TLC, is the only “home” they have ever known. For others, it’s a temporary home until they find the love of another family. For all of them, it’s the reason they’re getting a second chance."

Rajah said, "Not all dogs are as lucky as I am. That is why my mommy is donating one dollar of every book purchase to the Cleveland APL. Did you know that it is about 30% of the royalties for the book? Wow, that is a lot." Rajah also has his own page on (, and a Twitter account (

"We are encouraging people who do not have small children to buy a book, anyway, and donate it to a school or to a child that you know. Whatever we can do to generate enough money for our cage sponsorship," said Dr. Mosetta. To order an autograph copy of Rajah and the Big Blue Ball, visit . Rajah and the Big Blue Ball is also on sale at the following online locations: and

Dog Cage Sponsorships are $1,500 per year, Cat Cage Sponsorships are $1,200 per year, and Small Mammal Sponsorships are $1,000. Pledge Payment options are available. If interested, please call Judy Hunter, Director of Development, at 216-344-1353.


Rajah, the big black dog, likes to play in his big back yard. He chases the leaves. He sniffs the air every day. It is his favorite place. One day a strange thing happens. Something hits Rajah on the head. It scares him. A blue ball is up in the sky. Where did the ball come from? Did it do it on purpose? Did it want to make him afraid? Rajah has to find the courage to take back his own world. Written by the author of The Wishing Flower and The Magic of Laven-Rock, Rajah and the Big Blue Ball looks into the face of the unknown.

Title: Rajah and the Big Blue Ball

ISBN: 9780981777740

Author: Mosetta Penick Phillips-Cermak

Publisher: P.M. Moon Publishers, LLC
Additional Features:
hardcover/48 pages/approx. size 8.375" x 8.375"/ trade

Or how about a fairy tale from Dr. Mosetta for your children.

Book Title: The Magic of Laven-Rock
Author: Mosetta M. Penick Phillips-Cermak
ISBN: 9780981777733
Publisher: PM Moon Publishers, LLC
Genre: Children
Additional Features:
hardcover/68 pages/approx. size 8.25 x 10.75/trade
Price: $29.95


The people of K'briadron lived an idyllic life. Purple and blue magic created by the Jockspurs supplied their every need. That is, until the coming of the Lockstick.

Princess Kaylin Veronica and her cousin, Prince Theodore, escape the confines of their royal lives and set out to find the being who caused so many problems in their land.

Written by the author of The Wishing Flower, The Magic of Laven-Rock is a delightful fairy tale adventure where children learn that sharing is much better than fighting, and that people throughout the world are not so very different than themselves.

Now that ought to keep the wee ones happy this summer.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sneak Preview

On June 18, I'm delighted to host Dr. Mosetta Penick Phillips-Cermak. Her bio follows. Come back this Thursday to read about her children's books and how she's making a difference in the lives of our doggie friends.

Mosetta M. Penick Phillips-Cermak, Ph.D. lives with her two Labrador Retrievers, one black and one yellow, and two Siamese cats in West Park, Ohio. Dr. Penick Phillips-Cermak is the mother of two, grandmother of two, and great grandmother of two. A native of Cleveland Ohio, from a family of educators, she is a retired psychotherapist/counselor and a teacher of many years. Over the years, she has taught everything from kindergarten through teacher education, English, psychology and sociology. Mosetta’s first short, short story was published in the local newspaper when ,at the age of ten, she won first prize in a creative writing contest. In college, her literary essays and short stories were published in the colleges’ literary magazine, The Spectrum. Eventually, she rose to serve as editor-in-chief of the very same magazine. A woman with a myriad of talents, she performed as both an instrumentalist and vocalist, played the piano and flute, as well as teaching chorus, and both instruments. She is also a dog trainer, registered with the State of Ohio to train and certify Handicap Assistant Dogs. A relatively well-known speaker in the Cleveland area, this writer has presented more than a dozen papers and workshops throughout the State of Ohio. A minister ordained in 1980, she states that her main strength resides in her absolute faith and tenacity, a desire to know all that is knowable, a love of research, and the ability to consistently identify the truth of any subject matter. She is a member of has attended numerous writers’ workshops, and is currently active in a critique group. She also has completed several other short stories, a children’s interactive picture book to teach educational concepts, and her first middle-grade children’s fantasy novel that she expects will be published soon.

Friday, June 5, 2009

VS Grenier, Guest Author at Blog Talk Radio - Book Bites for Kids - June 5th

Stories for Children Magazine
a trademark of Stories for Children Publishing, LLC
A monthly Ezine for Children (3 to 12)


CONTACT: Donna M. McDine
Marketing Manager, Stories for Children Magazine
Phone: 800-670-4416

For Immediate Release

VS Grenier, Guest Author at Blog Talk Radio - Book Bites for Kids - June 5th

Join Suzanne Lieurance at Blog Talk Radio – Book Bites for Kids on Friday, June 5th at 2 pm CDT when VS Grenier, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Stories for Children Magazine will be the guest author.

Take a few moments and listen-in to learn about Grenier’s success in publishing her first picture book, Babysitting Sugarpaw. Visit for call-in details prior to the interview.

Be sure to check out the June 2009 issue of SFC Magazine for the magnificent articles and stories; and Bill Trombello’s Featured Guest Author interview.

Learn more about Stories for Children Magazine at:


Full Media Kit, Magazine Cover Art, and more are available upon request electronically.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Memorable Characters

Think about all the books you've read over the years. Do you have a favorite character, one whose name is etched in your mind forever? When you think of her, you picture the way she walks, or hear a word she uses that is uniquely hers. Have you read a book that the minute you finish the last page, you've forgotten the main character's name? What's more, you don't recall a thing he did that makes you care whether he got what he wanted or not. What makes the difference? Why does one character stay with you and make you smile, or frown, or cry, but another character leaves you indifferent to his/her fate?

One of my favorite heroines is Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind. Why does she stay with me, after all these years? She's selfish, self-centered, cares only about herself (and Ashley), and delights in breaking young men's hearts. She uses friendships to her advantage. Her goal in life is to make Scarlett happy. What she achieves, however, is anything but happiness. And I think, to me, this is why I remember her. As I read, I hope she'll change. I hope she'll have compassion for those around her. That she'll turn out to be a decent young woman. She suffers hardships, hunger, and loss of children, but to the very end, she's still Scarlett. Her goals change when she makes an amazing discovery. I like to think that she learned something and in her future, she might turn into a daughter her mother and father would be proud of. So I left the story with hope for her.

This week I'd love to hear your comments on your favorite characters, why a particular one stays with you when others are soon distant memories. I'm thinking now of some modern day heroes and heroines to see which ones I'll remember, the way I do Katie Scarlett O'Hara.