Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Two Christmas Picture Books for Your Little Violinist

Author: Mayra Calvani www.MayrasSecretBookcase.com
Illustrations: Amy Cullings Moreno
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-61633-185-6; 1616331852
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-61633-186-3; 1616331860
eBook ISBN: 978-1-61633-187-0; 1616331879
For ages 3-7
Five days before Christmas, Emma is captivated by a doll in a shop window. Each day, she sneaks out of the orphanage to check if it’s been sold, but the shop owner, Madame Dubois, sends her away. Will the magic of Christmas bring Emma, Madame Dubois, and the doll violinist together?
ABC's Children's Picture Book Finalist!
Honorable Mention Award in the 75th Annual Writers Digest Writing Competition!

Purchase from Guardian Angel Publishing or Amazon.
Now in enhanced version with read-aloud sound for your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-doll-violinist/id560908783?ls=1

The Magic Violin
Author: Mayra Calvani http://www.MayrasSecretBookcase.com
Illustrations: K.C. Snider http://www.kcsniderart.com
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-933090-49-8
eBook ISBN 13: 978-1-933090-62-7
Ages 4-8
Purchase from Guardian Angel Publishing or Amazon!
Eight-year old Melina wants to become a good violinist. When she loses confidence, her Rumanian teacher Andrea decides it’s time for a magic dose of self esteem. A mysterious old woman in rags gives Melina some curious advice; a violinist Russian hamster, who happens to live under the old woman’s hat, offers her a virtuoso performance; a shooting star fills her with hope on Christmas Eve. Is Melina actually playing better, or has her violin become magic? Who is the old woman in the town square, and why does she wear the same emerald ring as her teacher Andrea? www.tips-fb.com

Zeppi’s Christmas gift for kids: FREE download on December 25th and 26th of books 1 & 2

The Adventures of Zeppi series    

A penguin named Zeppi makes a boy’s wish for a special friend come true. When young Alesdor finds Zeppi amongst the flowers in the garden, they adopt each other and grow in The Adventures of Zeppi series.
Zeppi and his friend have fun and discover a lot about friendship, tolerance and generosity. As Zeppi adapts to his new life with ecological-minded Alesdor, he will learn about taking care of the planet too.

Book 1 – New Friends

When Zeppi’s cage falls off a truck, he’s found by a kind boy named Alesdor, who teaches him that
compost piles are plant food and not penguin food.


Zeppi’s Christmas gift: FREE download on December 25 and 26:



Check out the other books in The Adventure of Zeppi series:

Book 2 – Circus

Now living in Alesdor’s teepee in the garden, Zeppi is overjoyed when a circus parade comes down the street. It’s so much fun, until he realizes some animals are caged. Have his parents wound up in cages at the circus? Zeppi decides to find out.


Zeppi’s Christmas gift: FREE download on December 25 and 26:



Book 3 – Learning


Penguins cannot speak human words. Will Zeppi the penguin learn to talk?  




Book 4 – Greenback Town

During a visit to his favorite toy store, Zeppi decides to snuggle between two plush penguins that remind him of his parents. But everything turns topsy-turvy when a wildlife protection officer wants to take him to the zoo.


Book 5 – Cackle Island

Zeppi takes his first swim in the sea, when a storm comes up and takes him to an island inhabited by strange creatures.

Available begin January 2013.






Monday, December 17, 2012

Call for Submissions!

Call for Submissions:

You see it all the time in dedications and acknowledgements of books:  Words like: “To my dear husband, who has supported my writing all throughout the years in spite of the odds,” or “To my wife, who never stopped believing in me.”

But what happens when your ‘significant other’ doesn’t support your writing, either because he thinks you’ll never make it or because she thinks you’re wasting your time and efforts for nothing?

Writers often talk about their supportive spouses/partners, but seldom do we hear about the unsupportive ones—mainly because it is a cause of great sadness and shame to the writer.

I’ve heard of cases where a husband told her writer wife flat out, “You’ll never make it.” I even once heard a story about a husband who was so jealous of his wife’s ‘writing world,’ that he burned her manuscript. 

Though I don’t have a working title yet, I’m looking for 2,500-3,000-word (or longer) honest, poignant first-person accounts in the style of Chicken Soup for the Soul series. That is, true stories that are ultimately inspirational and show a great deal of perseverance and determination from the part of the writer in spite of the odds—in short, essays that will offer hope and moral support to writers who are experiencing a similar situation. The essays will be compiled into an anthology.

  • Does your significant other totally ignore your ‘writing world’ or view it with contempt either because you’re not making enough money or because they feel jealous?
  • Does he/she refuse to consider your writing as anything other than a ‘mere hobby?’
  • Does he/she belittle or demean your ‘writer dreams?’
  • Does he/she believe you’re wasting your time and should be spending that time in something more ‘valuable?’
  • Does he/she make you feel guilty for those hours you spend writing?
  • Does he/she say they understand, but then they put demands on your writing time and don’t respect it?
  • Is he/she jealous of the time you spend writing at the computer?
  • How does their behavior make you feel as a person and as a writer?
  • To what extend do their criticism contribute to your insecurity, anxiety, and maybe even depression?
  • How do you cope with their behavior?
  • What keeps you writing and persevering in spite of all the odds?
  • What would you like he/she to understand about you as a writer?
I talked about this idea with my agent and she’d be interested in representing this type of project providing I come up with a compelling set of personal essays. Of course, submissions will be treated in confidentiality and real names of people and places can be replaced with fictional ones.

Deadline:  March 1st 2013 - EXTENDED TO MARCH 31st!

If you’re interested in submitting or if you have questions, you can drop me an email at: mayra.calvani@gmail.com.

You may pass on the information to people who you think might be interested.