NITA’S FIRST SIGNS releases today!

“Nita’s First Signs demonstrates the value and fun of learning sign language for ALL infants, toddlers children AND adults, regardless of whether they are Deaf or hearing or hard of hearing.” – Marlee Matlin

Available now from Familius Press!

  • Text by Kathy MacMillan
  • Illustrations by Sara Brezzi
  • ASL/Deaf Culture Advisor: Dr. Barbara Kannapell

American Sign Language makes it easy to communicate with your child, and Nita makes it fun! Nita’s First Signs teaches ten essential signs for every parent and child to know, including eat, more, hungry, milk, all done, ball, play, love, please, and thank you. A simple story about Nita and her parents teaches each sign in context, and repetition throughout each story makes them easy to practice. Even better, each page slides open to reveal accurate instructions on how to make each sign, plus tabs on the side of each page make it simple to locate every sign for later reference.

Betsy Diamant-Cohen, creator of the award-winning Mother Goose on the Loose early literacy program, says: “This book will appeal to children and adults of ALL ages for the simple story, the lovely illustrations, and the access to American Sign Language that it provides.”

Makes a great baby shower or new baby gift!

Preorder now at amazon.com | barnesandnoble.com | indiebound.org

 

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Read This!: INKMISTRESS by Audrey Coulthurst

InkmistressInkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst

Summary: Asra is a demigod with a dangerous gift: the ability to dictate the future by writing with her blood. To keep her power secret, she leads a quiet life as a healer on a remote mountain, content to help the people in her care and spend time with Ina, the mortal girl she loves. But Asra’s peaceful life is upended when bandits threaten Ina’s village and the king does nothing to help. Desperate to protect her people, Ina begs Asra for assistance in finding her manifest—the animal she’ll be able to change into as her rite of passage to adulthood. Asra uses her blood magic to help Ina, but her spell goes horribly wrong and the bandits destroy the village, killing Ina’s family. Unaware that Asra is at fault, Ina swears revenge on the king and takes a savage dragon as her manifest. To stop her, Asra must embark on a journey across the kingdom, becoming a player in lethal games of power among assassins, gods, and even the king himself. Most frightening of all, she discovers the dark secrets of her own mysterious history—and the terrible, powerful legacy she carries in her blood.

INKMISTRESS is quite simply one of the most beautiful fantasy novels I have ever read. A big-hearted protagonist grappling with her own power, a complex cultural and political system, a series of conflicts that pit our heroine’s deep desire for family against her determination to save her kingdom, two compelling love interests – who could ask for more? That one of those love interests is male and one is female, and that so many of the primary romantic relationships in the story are same-sex, is almost beside the point – except, of course, for the fact that gay and bisexual characters rarely appear so matter-of-factly in epic fantasy. The real strength of the book, to me, is the way it engages the mind in Asra’s moral dilemmas while equally touching the heart. (Because Hal = SWOON.) If you’re looking for a light-hearted fantasy novel full of your favorite tropes and clear-cut good guys and bad guys, look elsewhere. INKMISTRESS trades in deep, nuanced characters, moral complexity, and a story that often surprises in the best way, keeping the reader hooked until the incredibly satisfying conclusion.

INKMISTRESS is out now.

View all my reviews

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NITA’S FIRST SIGNS Press Release

*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

 Let’s Talk Family.

Contact: Kate Farrell, Publicist, Familius LLC kfarrell@familius.com

  • Review copy available upon request
  • High-res cover photo available

How Do I Sign? Nita, Show Us More!

From using her manners to communicating instead of crying, Nita shows little ones how to communicate with your grown-up.

SANGER, Calif., June 15 2018 – Baby sign language makes it easy to communicate with your child, and Nita makes it fun!

Nita and her parents teach ten essential signs in the context of a fun story, using repetition to encourage learning and to help break communication barriers between parents and preverbal children.

Even better, each page slides open to reveal accurate instructions on how to make each sign. Tabs on the side of each page make it simple to locate every sign for later reference.

Words include:

  • eat
  • drink
  • more

Written by a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter and teacher whose websites provide bonus tie-in resources, this book is the essential start to your baby’s sign language collection!

About the Author: Kathy MacMillan is a nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter, writer, teacher, librarian, and storyteller. She is the author of nine books for parents, librarians, and educators, including Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together (Huron Street Press, 2013). Her debut young adult novel, Sword and Verse, was published by HarperCollins in January 2016. She has presented American Sign Language storytelling programs for children and families since 2002. Find more resources for signing with young children at her websites, www.storiesbyhand.com and www.storytimestuff.net.

About the Publisher: Familius is a family and parenting media publisher devoted to creating content that helps build strong values and happy families. As a digitally savvy, multi-media publisher, we share our family-driven content in multiple formats, including print, e-books, audio books, videos, articles and apps. Let’s Talk Family. http://www.familius.com

Book Details:

Title: Nita’s First Signs

Author: Kathy MacMillan

Illustrator: Sara Brezzi

ASL/Deaf Culture Advisor: Dr. Barbara Kannapell

Publisher: Familius

Publication: June 15, 2018

Price: $14.99

ISBN: 9781945547676

12 pages; Board book includes tabbed pages that split open to reveal instructions for each sign

*Available beginning June 15, 2018 from bookstores, online booksellers and www.familius.com

Posted in Little Hands Signing series, Nita's First Signs | Leave a comment

See you at the Gaithersburg Book Festival!

I’m looking forward to the Gaithersburg Book Festival on Saturday, May 19. Hope to see you there!  Held on the City Hall grounds in Gaithersburg, MD, this FREE festival always has great programs and vendors. Catch me at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators MD/DE/WV Booth from 2-4 PM, where you can purchase a signed copy of Sword and Verse or Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together, and get your hands on a set of stickers celebrating my October 2018 release, Dagger and Coin:

 

 

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Reminder: One Week Left to Bid on Agent Critiques and a SWORD AND VERSE/DAGGER AND COIN Exclusive!

The Deaf Camps, Inc 2nd annual Online Auction ends May 15! Bid now on the many handmade items, travel packages, gift certificates, and event tickets – but especially these items of interest to the bookish:

Critiques from Senior Agent Steven Malk of Writers House

Bid on a query letter critique from Steven Malk.

Bid on a picture book manuscript critique from Steven Malk.

Critiques from Junior Agent Andrea Morrison of Writers House

Bid on a 50-page middle grade or young adult manuscript critique from Andrea Morrison.

Bid on a picture book manuscript critique from Andrea Morrison.

Critiques from the inimitable Hannah Mann of Writers House

Bid on a 20-page middle grade or young adult manuscript critique from Hannah Mann.

Bid on a picture book manuscript critique from Hannah Mann.

Bid on a query letter critique from Hannah Mann.

Exclusive Sword and Verse/Dagger and Coin Book Package

This exclusive package features a signed hardcover of Sword and Verse, a signed bound manuscript of the sequel, Dagger and Coin (which will be published by HarperTeen in October 2018), AND a special collection of extra stories and scenes from the world of the novels. This collection includes all of the extra stories found here PLUS five new scenes and stories not available anywhere else, including a novella from Mati’s point of view.

 

$100 toward any Stories By Hand Program

My Stories By Hand programs bring basic American Sign Language to libraries, schools, camps, childcare centers, and homeschool groups through stories, songs, and fun activities. Find out more about the range of programs available at www.storiesbyhand.com.

Bid on a $100 Gift Certificate good toward any Stories By hand program.

 

 

More about Deaf Camps, Inc.:

deaf camps inc logoDeaf Camps, Inc. is an entirely volunteer-run non-profit organization dedicated to providing fun, safe, communication-rich camps that promote the physical, spiritual, and social development of Deaf/hard of hearing children and children learning American Sign Language.

 

Check out all the items for bid here and make your bids, knowing that every dollar raised goes straight to Deaf Camps, Inc.’s 2018 Scholarship Fund. Thank you for helping us bring needy kids to camp!

The DCI Online Auction is run through CharityAuctionsToday.com. A credit card is required to register and bid.

 

Posted in American Sign Language, Dagger and Coin, Extras, On Publishing, Upcoming events | Tagged , | Leave a comment

FREE School Day Webinar with Picture Book Authors from the SCBWI MD/DE/WV Region

Check out this free webinar hosted by the MD/DE/WV Region of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators! This webinar is open to everyone as part of the Read Local Challenge, which gives you the chance to win prizes by reading books by featured authors from Maryland, Delaware, Washington, D.C., and Virginia.  Join us as these authors discuss their inspirations and challenges and answer your questions!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018, 10-10:30 AM Eastern: A Conversation with Picture Book Authors Veronica Bartles, Sue Fliess, and Megan Wagner Lloyd

As this event happens during the school day, teachers are welcome to log in live with their classes to watch and submit questions to the authors!  The webinar will last for 30 minutes.

Register here to attend live or receive a link to the recording after the event.

  

 

 

 

 

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Cool Stuff in DCI’s Online Auction!

I’m thrilled to be supporting the latest fundraising effort for Deaf Camps, Inc., a nonprofit I have been volunteering with since 2001.

To support its 2018 Scholarship Fund, Deaf Camps, Inc. is holding its 2nd annual Online Auction from April 15-May 15.  Check out the many handmade items, travel packages, gift certificates, and event tickets – but especially these items of interest to the bookish:

Critiques from my amazing agent, Steven Malk of Writers House 

Known for his sharp editorial eye, Steven Malk represents a wide range of authors and illustrators, including 2016 Newbery Medal Winner Matt de la Pena, 2017 Newbery Medal Winner Kelly Barnhill, and luminaries such as Jon Klassen, Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith, Mac Barnett, Marla Frazee, Kadir Nelson, Ruta Sepetys, Colin Meloy, Carson Ellis, Jennifer Donnelly, Cynthia Rylant, Adam Rex, Sara Pennypacker, Loren Long, Christian Robinson, and Jillian Tamaki. There is simply no one like Steve for unlocking the potential of a manuscript and giving you the feedback you need to get it to the next level – and the knowledge of the market to know where to pitch it.

Critiques from the incredible Andrea Morrison of Writers House

Andrea Morrison is an Junior Agent at Writers House, where she started as an intern in 2009. She’s had the opportunity to work with a wide variety of bestselling and award-winning authors and illustrators in genres ranging from picture books to middle grade and YA to adult literary fiction and nonfiction. Having studied Literature/Writing at University of California, San Diego and having earned her MFA in Fiction from Columbia University, Andrea is hands-on editorially. She is hungry for YA that blends crazy-beautiful language with characters navigating the nutty, magical, and hard parts of being a teen, middle grade that is whimsical and magical, laugh-out- loud funny, or heartbreaking, and picture books that, whether funny or sweet, will be read multiple times.

Critiques from the inimitable Hannah Mann of Writers House

Hannah Mann is a Junior Agent at Writers House. She grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and has always loved stories. She got a BA in Narrative Studies from the University of Southern California, where her career goal morphed from doctor to writer to editor to agent. She has been assisting Steven Malk in the San Diego office since 2013 and began building her own client list in 2017, focusing on Children’s work from young picture books through YA.

Exclusive Sword and Verse/Dagger and Coin Book Package

This exclusive package features a signed hardcover of Sword and Verse, a signed bound manuscript of the sequel, Dagger and Coin (which will be published by HarperTeen in October 2018), AND a special collection of extra stories and scenes from the world of the novels. This collection includes all of the extra stories found here PLUS five new scenes and stories not available anywhere else, including a novella from Mati’s point of view.

 

$100 toward any Stories By Hand Program

My Stories By Hand programs bring basic American Sign Language to libraries, schools, camps, childcare centers, and homeschool groups through stories, songs, and fun activities.  Find out more about the range of programs available at www.storiesbyhand.com.

 

 

More about Deaf Camps, Inc.:

deaf camps inc logoDeaf Camps, Inc. is an entirely volunteer-run non-profit organization dedicated to providing fun, safe, communication-rich camps that promote the physical, spiritual, and social development of Deaf/hard of hearing children and children learning American Sign Language.

 

Check out all the items for bid  here and make your bids, knowing that every dollar raised goes straight to Deaf Camps, Inc.’s 2018 Scholarship Fund. Thank you for helping us bring needy kids to camp!

The DCI Online Auction is run through CharityAuctionsToday.com. A credit card is required to register and bid.

 

Posted in American Sign Language, Dagger and Coin, On Writing, Sword and Verse, Upcoming events | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Read This!: THE SHIP BEYOND TIME by Heidi Heilig

The Ship Beyond Time (The Girl From Everywhere, #2)The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig

Summary: After what seems like a lifetime of following her father across the globe and through the centuries, Nix has finally taken the helm of their time-traveling ship. Her future—and the horizon—is bright. Until she learns she is destined to lose the one she loves. To end up like her father: alone, heartbroken. Unable to face losing Kashmir—best friend, thief, charmer extraordinaire—Nix sails her crew to a mythical utopia to meet a man who promises he can teach her how to manipulate time, to change history. But no place is perfect, not even paradise. And everything is constantly changing on this utopian island, including reality itself. If Nix can read the ever-shifting tides, perhaps she will finally harness her abilities. Perhaps she can control her destiny, too. Or perhaps her time will finally run out.

I loved THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE and I found myself utterly swept away by THE SHIP BEYOND TIME. It actually took me a couple of weeks to read it, not because it was hard to get through, but because this is the kind of book I wanted to just lose myself in, so I refused to even pick it up unless I had time to do so. This is a book to savor, from the lush, intricate worldbuilding, to the complex characters and their shifting relationships, to the rich premise that Heilig constantly takes in bold, unexpected directions. Heilig writes my very favorite kind of fantasy: the kind that engages both your brain and your heart. Nix is one of my favorite YA heroines; she’s smart and studious and full of agency, and strong without ever falling into Girl Warrior tropes. Her conflicted relationship with her father is one of the highlights of the books, and is heartbreakingly resolved in this book. And the swoon level in this book is high; let’s just say that getting several chapters from Kashmir’s point of view felt like a gift. If you’ve been looking for a wonderful fantasy novel to lose yourself in, dive deep into THE SHIP BEYOND TIME.

THE SHIP BEYOND TIME is out now.

View all my reviews

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Upcoming Webinar: Promoting Your Work Through Collaborative Marketing

I’ve often said that starting The Sweet Sixteens debut group was the best decision I made as a new author – not only did it give me a great support network, but it also helped me understand that some of my best marketing and promotion moments happened when I was supporting other authors’ work. Since then, I have been honored to serve first as Published and Listed Member Coordinator and now co-Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators MD/DE/WV region, and have lots of opportunities to connect and cross-promote with other authors. One of the most exciting has been participating in the Read Local Challenge, a massive multi-author reading incentive program run by human dynamo Veronica Bartles. I am honored to co-present this webinar with Veronica:

Promoting Your Work Through Collaborative Marketing

90 minute webinar presented by Veronica Bartles and Kathy MacMillan

Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 7:00pm Eastern/ 6:00pm Central/ 5:00 Mountain/ 4:00 Pacific

SCBWI Members: $15         Non-members: $25

Learn from home! A 90-minute webinar to help you better promote your work, whether you are traditionally published, self-published, or a hybrid author.

Many writers and illustrators dread marketing, but promoting your work doesn’t have to be a chore! Sometimes, spreading the word about others’ books is the best way to market your own.  Learn how to collaborate with other children’s book creators on events, programs, and initiatives that will raise the profile of your work without turning you into a carnival barker.

Veronica Bartles is the author of the picture book, The Princess and the Frogs (Balzer + Bray), and the young adult novel, Twelve Steps. As the Published and Listed Coordinator for the MD/DE/WV Region of SCBWI, she coordinates the Read Local Challenge to facilitate connections between schools/libraries/bookstores and our local authors/illustrators.

Kathy MacMillan is the author of the young adult novels Sword and Verse and Dagger and Coin (HarperTeen), the board book Nita’s First Signs (Familius), and many resource books for parents, educators, and librarians. She is the co-Regional Advisor for the MD/DE/WV Region of SCBWI, and is the founder and lead administrator of The Sweet Sixteens debut group.

 

 

Register now!

A recording of the webinar will be available for one month after the live event. The recording will be for registered attendees only, so if you can’t make the live event, you can register to view the recording. Registration will close on April 24.

 

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AwesomeCon and Awesome Giveaway

Hope to see you this weekend at AwesomeCon in Washington, D.C! I’ll be signing at the Nerd Girl Books Booth (K07) on Saturday from 1-5 PM and Sunday from 10AM-12PM and 3-5 PM. 

Nerd Girl Books promotes female speculative fiction and nerdy authors, as well as female protagonists in new and familiar worlds. Authors include: Beth Woodward, Lynn Almengor, Mary Fan, Leigh Goff, Meg Eden, and me! We will also be offering a discount bundle deal with all of our books for a special price. Our books include genres of: magical realism, fantasy, urban fantasy, and contemporary. See you there!

 

And oh, by the way, bound manuscripts of Dagger and Coin are in the world now! The first giveaway is live, so listen to the adorable kitty and enter:

Posted in Cats, Dagger and Coin, Upcoming events | Leave a comment