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Free Ebooks for Teachers PLUS Free Virtual Visit


        From now through Labor Day (Sept. 3), I'm offering a FREE ebook copy of either of my award-winning novels to any teachers or homeschooling parents interested in previewing the books for possible classroom use.   Plus, I will schedule a FREE 20-minute virtual visit (via Skype or Google Hangouts) with any class that reads either book as a result of this offer. PLEASE NOTE: Free virtual visits will be limited to the first 20 teachers who request them and must be scheduled for the 2018-2019 school year


     Playing by Heart  is appropriate for grades 6 and up. The novel won Third Place in the Books for Teens and Young Adults Category of the Catholic Press Association Book Awards and it received a Silver Medal in the Books for Teenagers Category of The Wishing Shelf Book Awards, voted on by teen readers in the UK. The novel is also one of three finalist in the Young Adult Category of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Carol AwardsUPDATE as of 7/5/18: Playing by Heart has been named a finalist for the Catholic Arts and Letters Award (CALA) in the Children's/YA Fiction category! The winner will be announced at the Catholic Writers Guild conference August 1

See this page to read excerpts from the award reviews. I'll be putting together classroom discussion questions for Playing by Heart this summer.


     Rosa, Sola is for grades 4-8. The novel was named a Booklist Top Ten First Novel for Youth and, like Playing by Heart, is a Catholic Press Association Book Award winner. The ebook of Rosa, Sola includes a "Discussion Questions" section specifically for classroom use and there is also an Accelerated Reader Test available for the book. See this page to learn more about the novel and for links to information about Italian-American culture.


To receive your free ebook, email me via the link in the left sidebar or use the form on the Contact/Press Kit page. And please help spread the word by sharing this offer with any teachers you know!


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Maria Gaetana Agnesi's 300th Birthday Giveaway!


     May 16, 2018 marks the 300th birthday of mathematician-turned-humanitarian Maria Gaetana Agnesi.  My research into her life led me to write Playing by Heart, with the novel's main character, Emilia, and her older sister, Maria, modeled on Maria Teresa Agnesi and Maria Gaetana Agnesi. I think it appropriate, then, to sponsor a giveaway of an autographed copy of the novel to celebrate Maria Gaetana's momentous birthday. See below for instructions on entering the giveaway. To read more about the Agnesi sisters, see this website I created in their honor.


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 confirming 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 May 31. Winners will be notified via email.


Open to those 18 years of age and over only. You must have a U.S. mailing address to receive the prize. Good luck!

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


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Pleasures and Perils of Writing Historical Fiction Presentation

I'll be discussing "The Pleasures and Perils of Writing Historical Fiction" at the Fountaindale Public Library this evening.

Below are the resources I'll be sharing, along with links to additional articles of interest. 



  • Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders: A Writer's (& Editor's) Guide to Keeping Historical Fiction Free of Common Anachronisms, Errors, & Myths by Susanne Alleyn
  • Writing Historical Fiction by Rhona Martin
  • Once Upon a Time It Was Now: The Art and Craft of Writing Historical Fiction by James Alexander Thom
  • Turning Life into Fiction by Robin Hemley

Online Resources:

Additional articles of interest:

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



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