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Recent Published Works

Playing by Heart

Emilia Salvini dreams of marrying a man who loves music as she does. But in 18th-century Milan, being the 'second sister' means she'll likely be sent to a convent instead. Emilia's only hope is to prove her musical talents crucial to her father's quest for nobility. First, though, she must win over her music tutor, who disdains her simply for being a girl. Too late, Emilia realizes that her success could threaten not only her dreams for her future but her sister's very life.


Playing by Heart is inspired by two amazing sisters who were far ahead of their time--one a mathematician, the other a composer. At its core, the novel is the story of two teens struggling to follow their true calling, even when it conflicts with their father's goals. This award-winning clean historical romance is appropriate for ages 12 and up.

To read more about the novel, click here.



Rosa, Sola

Originally published by Candlewick Press in hardback only, Rosa, Sola is now available in paperback and ebook formats, and includes a new "Discussion Questions" section for classroom use. The paperback can be ordered from most booksellers. The Kindle version is available from Amazon, and the Nook version is at BN.com! Here's a summary of the story:


Rosa Bernardi, an only child living with her Italian immigrant parents in 1960s Chicago, often feels alone, or sola, as her parents would say. But after she holds her best friend AnnaMaria’s baby brother for the first time, Rosa is sure that if she prays hard enough, God will send her a brother of her own.

When Ma does get pregnant, Rosa is overjoyed—until the horrible day when she comes home from school to find Aunt Ida, her bossy godmother, waiting with bad news. Rosa is devastated, and Aunt Ida is no comfort. With Ma in the hospital and Papa spending most of his time there too, Rosa feels lonelier than ever. She begins to wonder, will her broken family ever be whole again? Or will she be left truly sola?

To read reviews of the novel, click here. The page also includes links to information about Italian-American culture.

To read an excerpt, click here.
For a list of discussion questions, click here.


Two Articles in the 2018 Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market

Carmela has two articles in the 2018 Children's Writer's and Illustrator's Market edited by Chris Freese (Writer's Digest Books): "Working with Small Presses" and an interview with bestselling author Carolyn Crimi. Click the title link above for more information.





"Big Z, Cammi, and Me"

"Big Z, Cammi, and Me" is a short story about Josh, a sixth-grader and avid baseball fan. Josh enjoys teaching tricks to his cat, Big Z, who is named after Josh's favorite Chicago Cubs pitcher. When Josh's Official Chicago Cubs alarm clock starts going off at odd times, he thinks his younger sister Cammi is playing a few tricks of her own. But before Josh can accomplish his revenge, he is hit with a big surprise.

The short story can be found in I Fooled You: Ten Stories of Tricks, Jokes, and Swicheroos, a middle-grade anthology edited by Johanna Hurwitz and published by Candlewick Press.

To read more about this story and the anthology as a whole, click here.



"At the Chicago Marathon"

Carmela's poem, "At the Chicago Marathom" is included In And the Crowd Goes Wild! A Global Gathering of Sports Poems edited by Carol-Ann Hoyte and Heidi Bee Roemer (Friesen Press, 2012). This anthology celebrates a wide spectrum of sports, from rock climbing to lacrosse, tennis to ping-pong, and swimming to soccer. Fifty poets, representing 10 countries, share a mix of thoughtful and humorous perspectives on all aspects of athletics. This potpourri of poetry styles pays tribute to an athlete’s determination, agony, and exhilaration, and celebrates the spirit of spunk and fair play. Award-winning Canadian author-illustrator Kevin Sylvester lends energy to the poems with exuberant pen-and-ink drawings. Here’s a book that’s sure to be a slam dunk for readers ages 8 - 12.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of And the Crowd Goes Wild! will be donated to Right to Play, an international organization that uses sports and games to educate and empower children facing adversity.

To learn more about And the Crowd Goes Wild! A Global Gathering of Sports Poems see the book's official website.


"Questions: A Poem in Two Voices"

Carmela's first published work was a poem which came out when she was in high school, so she's honored to have a for teens in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Teens Talk High School, 101 Stories of Life, Love, and Learning for Older Teens edited by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Amy Newmark, & Madeline Clapps. Click the title link above for more information.