Book Excerpt & Giveaway: A Sandy Grave by Donna M. McDine

A Sandy Grave coverTitle: A Sandy Grave
Author: Donna M. McDine
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing
Pages: 24
Language: English
Genre: Tween chapterbook
Format: Paperback, hardcover & eBook

Purchase at Amazon

The anticipation of summer vacation can put anyone in a great mood with the excitement of adventures to be had–especially at the beach. But what is a group of friends to do when they discover mysterious men poaching whale teeth at the beach?

Book Excerpt:

In the back seat of the car, Leah closed her eyes and breathed deeply. The saltwater scent carried by the warm breeze filled her nose. A short block from the beach, Leah’s family car rolled to a stop at their rental house. She hopped from the car and kicked off her flip-flops, dying to feel the warm sand between her toes.

Shielding her eyes from the sun, she heard familiar voices, yelling her name. Squinting through little sunray twinkles, Leah saw Nicole and Hayley.

“It’s about time you got here,” Hayley said.

“It feels like we’ve been waiting forever,” Nicole said.

“I know how you feel. The car ride felt like forever, too,” Leah said. “I just need to take my bag inside, and then let’s head to the beach.”

The trio walked to the beach. Shouts roared over the rumble of the surf. They sprinted down the wooden-planked walkway over the dunes and stopped short.

Down by the water’s edge, a huge whale had washed up, and people swarmed around like bees on flowers.

“Holy cow! How the heck did a whale get here?” Leah pointed.

Donna McDine is giving you a chance to win a $50 Barnes and Noble Gift Card.

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $50 Barnes and Noble Gift Card
  • This giveaway begins March 3 and ends on April 25, 2014.
  • Winner will be contacted via email.

Good luck everyone!

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Up Close and Personal with Cheryl C. Malandrinos

Little Shepherd


Obed is in the hills outside Bethlehem when the angels appear to announce the Savior’s birth. Can he trust that the miracle of the first Christmas will keep his flock safe while he visits the newborn King?


Guardian Angel Publishing
Barnes and Noble

Up Close

The thing about me is that I still haven’t learned how to listen more than I talk. That’s not very good for a writer, but I’m working on it.

When I first get up in the morning, I groan because I’ve probably stayed up way too late writing, editing, or blogging. Or I could be watching Downton Abbey online.

The most important thing in my life is my faith and my family. I would be lost without them.

I love to travel to North Carolina. The Outer Banks is a wonderful place. It’s a lot busier than we first started going down in the 90s, but it has also retained a lot of its charm.

In my spare time, I read…a lot. You can’t write well without reading on a regular basis.

One thing I learned about life was there is no such thing as a perfect Christian. We’re all sinners. Just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I’m better than anyone else. Jesus came to save all of us.

The sole mission I am on this earth is to…oh, I have too many missions: to secure an agent, to live long enough to see if my girls end up with kids that have similar personalities to their own, to do whatever I can to spread the Good News, and hopefully to be a good wife and mom.

One little known fact about me that might surprise you is that when I was six years old I participated in a singing and dancing act at school where I declared I would be the first woman president. Obviously that didn’t happen.

My favorite time of day is nighttime. I have never liked mornings, probably because I’m a night owl and get a second wind about 10 PM and keep working past midnight.

I love to write message-driven fiction. I want to empower kids to use faith to solve their problems.

The most difficult aspect about writing is research. I love it, but I tend to get lost in it, which delays writing.

My most favorite aspect about writing is editing. I feel I’m a stronger editor than writer; that’s why I go for writing a crummy first draft and worrying about getting it right after I type, “The End.”

When I became a published author for the first time, I thanked God, and then I told everyone I know.

The inspiration behind my book comes from the Christmas carol, “The Little Drummer Boy.” I would sing it to my daughter at night and get this vision of a young shepherd in the hills outside Bethlehem on the night of Christ’s birth.

The most asked question about my book is, “Why did you write it?” In a nutshell, God placed this idea in my heart as I sang “The Little Drummer Boy” each night. But honestly, I had no intention of writing for kids when I first started out. I guess God had other plans.


Cheryl Malandrinos is a children’s author and freelance editor. She is the author of Little Shepherd, released by Guardian Angel Publishing, and A Christmas Kindness, released by 4RV Publishing, under her pen name, C.C. Gevry. A digital version of A Christmas Kindness will be released in 2013.

Since 2007, Cheryl has been an online book publicist specializing in virtual book tours. She is a member of the SCBWI, a book reviewer, and blogger.

Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two children. She also has a son who is married. Visit her online at or

Pump Up Your Book and Cheryl Malandrinos are giving you the chance to win a set of 2 Little Shepherd mugs.

Use the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to enter. Bloggers participating in this tour are eligible to enter and win.

Terms and Conditions:

  • Giveaway runs from 12:00 AM EST on 11/4/13 and concludes at 12:00 AM EST on 11/30/2013.
  • By entering you certify you are 18 years of age or older and reside in the United States or Canada.
  • Winner will be notified by email on 12/2/2013 and have 72 hours to respond with mailing address.
  • Prize will be shipped directly from the author to the winner via USPS.
  • Blogs participating in this book tour are not responsible for items lost or damaged in shipment.

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