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Carmela's Blog

Second Anniversary Book Giveaway


     Monday, Sept. 30, 2019 marks the two-year anniversary of the official release of Playing by Heart! And the publisher, Vinspire Publishing, recently revised the back cover to include images of some of the awards the novel has received. So, to celebrate, I'm giving away not only one but TWO autographed copies of the updated paperback edition. See below for instructions on entering the giveaway. 


    In case you're not familiar with the novel, Playing by Heart is the story of two teens struggling to follow their true calling, even when it conflicts with their father's selfish goals. The novel was inspired by two amazing 18th-century sisters who were far ahead of their time--one a composer and the other a mathematician.


     Playing by Heart has received numerous awards, including the Catholic Arts and Letters Award, the Independent Author Network Book of the Year Award for Outstanding Young Adult Fiction, and a Moonbeam Children's Book Awards Gold Medal for Young Adult Historical. To read more about the novel, including review excerpts, see this page


Giveaway Instructions:

Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter 1, 2, or all 3 ways:

  1. You MUST subscribe to my Creativity Newsletter to enter. (This option gives you 2 entries!)

    New subscribers: go to this page and subscribe to the newsletter BEFORE you enter your email address in the first option of the widget below. Then watch for an email to confirm your subscription. After you click the link in that email, you'll have the opportunity to download a free thank you gift. 

    Current subscribers: simply enter your subscription email address in the first option of the widget below.

  2. Share a link to this blog post on your own blog or Facebook page and provide the URL of your post in the Rafflecopter widget below.

  3. Tweet about the giveaway using #PlayingbyHeart and tag @carmelamartino (my Twitter handle). Please provide the URL of your tweet in the Rafflecopter widget below.

If you have any problems entering, email me via the Contact page. Contest runs through Oct. 11, 2019. Winners will be notified via email.


Open to U.S. residents 18 years of age and over. Good luck!

P.S. If you've never entered a Rafflecopter giveaway, here's info on how to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway and here's a post on the difference between signing in with Facebook vs. with an email address.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Resources for Finding Your Writer's Voice Presentation

     I'll be presenting a workshop on "Finding Your Writer's Voice" at next week's Karitos Christian Arts Conference. The presentation is based on a class I teach using the text Finding Your Writer's Voice:
A Guide to Creative Fiction
by Thaisa Frank and Dorothy Wall.


I'll also be mentioning the following texts in the presentation:

For a writiing exercise on "Distilling Voice" based on one in the Finding Your Writer's Voice, see this Wednesday Writing Workout I posted on the TeachingAuthors blog


These are the Freewriting Guidelines I'll share in the presentation:

  1. Do date the page and write topic/prompt at top.
  2. Do go with your first thought/image.
  3. Do keep your pen moving.
  4. Don't look at the timer.
  5. Don't worry about grammar, spelling, sentence structure, etc.
  6. Don't judge your writing.

And here are two online articles on voice that may also be of interest:

If you have any questions about my presentation, feel free to post it as a comment below or email me through my contact page.


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Resources for Turning Life into Fiction Workshop 2019

      I'll be presenting a workshop on "Turning Life into Fiction" at the Fremont public library in Mudelein, IL this month.
In addition to Robin Hemley's writing book of the same name, I'll be mentioning the following texts:

Also, one of the exercises in my workshop is based on a Wednesday Writing Workout I posted on our TeachingAuthors blog in this post


If you have any questions about my presentation, feel free to post it as a comment below or email me through my contact page.



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Playing by Heart Christmas Sale


     The ebook edition of Playing by Heart is on sale for only
99 cents this Christmas season! I've provided links below to the various sites where you can purchase it. The sale is planned for Dec. 20, 2018-Jan. 6, 2019, but make sure the sale price is in effect when you place your order.


Buy the ebook on:

The book is also available on Google Play but the price there hasn't been updated yet. Hopefully, it will be soon.

     Wishing you a blessed and happy holiday season!

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