The Hummingbird Christmas: A Short Story

Though rain was falling instead of snow, my sense of anticipation was building. It was a typical west coast Christmas.  I watched out my window as carolers gathered. Soon, it would be time for cookies and milk; I had written my note for Santa.

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas is a little sparkle of magic so I can know in my heart you are real. 

Your friend,

Bethanie.

My friends told me there was no Santa.  I wanted them to be wrong.  If I could just see something magical at Christmas time, that would be enough.  Would Santa bring the magic?

I stared at the Christmas tree.  The decorations sparkled but they weren’t magic.

I could smell shortbread cookies in the oven.  They were part of every Christmas as long as I could remember.  Delicious, but not magic.

I stepped outside, hoping to hear the carolers’ singing.  The rain was a light sprinkle.  Then something pink and shiny caught my eye.  I heard a hummmmm of beating wings.  A hummingbird darted into view.  I stood completely still.  I saw a most surprising sight.  The hummingbird fed its babies with nectar from its beak.  I watched as it flew from the neighbor’s bird feeder to the nest. The mother hummingbird placed her beak into the mouths of the two babies; they were tiny and perfect.

It wasn’t even springtime.  Baby hummingbirds in winter… it had to be Christmas magic! Maybe Santa is real, I thought.

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This short story was submitted to: Susanna Hill’s Holiday Writing Contest 

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Planning a Children’s Book

I thought it would be fun to share a bit of my process in creating a picture book.  I wish I had this idea when I was making my first picture book, Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker!  Honestly, this was not my own idea but I have adopted it and it really works.

You may be aware that picture books have a 32 page format.  So I just use 32 sticky notes to represent the pages and then when I get to the point where I’m ready to work out the page turns… voila!  All I do is make notes about where the images will go and plan out the book.

The page turns need to be in just the right places to add interest and create suspense.   Here’s a peek at my current project in partnership with Paula Nasmith as illustrator…IMG_6266

As you may have noticed, this is not the entire story planned out but a portion of the story (only 24 pages shown).  I just love the ease of the sticky notes; I can easily replace or move them around to get the story and page turns just right and it is so quick and easy to make up.

My Latest Review!

Yay! Just read another positive review for my new picture book, Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker.  If your children love Jillian Jiggs, then they’ll love Katie Shaeffer too!  You get a book with a catchy rhyme to engage young readers and you get a recipe included for super yummy pancakes too! Here in Canada, we’re getting into the perfect season for making pancakes. And by the way, if you’ve read the book and want to leave a review, it would be much appreciated.

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Amazon Review

Recipe Card: Katie’s Perfect Pancakes

Hello Readers!

I’m happy to be back to blogging after a long break.  I hope you will continue to stick with me as there’s been lots going on in my word of preschool, family, and children’s book writing! Not much time for photography lately but will get back to that too, I hope.

For now, here’s a new recipe card I’ve created to help launch my Katie book!  If you’d like a recipe card, let me know your mailing address and I’ll happily send one out to you! You can email me at authorcynthiamackey@gmail.com  Want to show your appreciation?  Follow me on Twitter or Facebook. IMG_5983

Here’s a photo of the front of the card; recipe is on the back!

Don’t have a copy of the book yet?  Get one here or try Amazon or Barnes and Noble if you prefer. Happy weekend to all!

 

Giveaway Plus Five Random Facts about Meghan Ciana Doidge

Yay! I’m super excited to be giving away my sister in law’s books this month!  Prizes are a paper copy and an audio book of Cupcakes, Trinkets, and other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge and a set of recipe cards to make all the delicious cupcakes featured in Meghan’s books!

 

IMG_5105So I thought before you enter to win a copy of her book , I thought you’d like to know a little about her.  Here are Five Random Facts about Meghan Ciana Doidge:

  1. Meghan is an avid knitter.
  2. She could not write without chocolate.
  3. When you have Meghan over, be sure to serve potatoes in some form or other.
  4. Meghan has chickens, Persian cats, and a turtle!
  5. Before she became a writer, Meghan made small independent films.

This is a Rafflecopter giveaway.  You can enter the giveaway by:

1. Leaving a comment.  What is your favourite bakery dessert? [I’m hoping all the answers won’t make me too hungry ;)]. Comments are moderated so your comment may not show up right away.

2. Visiting my Facebook Facebook page

Giveaway open to US and Canadian residents only.

You must be 19 or over to enter.

One entry per household.

You must reply with your email address within 7 days to claim your prize.

And to add to your August pleasure I have another giveaway happening on my author blog right now!

Good luck to all who enter!  Have a great day 🙂

Two Giveaways August 1st!

I’m super excited to be doing two giveaways in August!  Yay!  I’ll get the bad news out of the way first. My apologies to international readers… these giveaways will be open to Canada and US residents only.

Now for the good news!

Giveaway #1 which will be happening on my little known, perhaps hidden author blog includes:

-a $10 Amazon Gift Card

-a signed copy of Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker my new picture book released in April 2017

-two beautiful art cards by Victoria illustrator, Paula Nasmith (cards are blank inside for your personalized message)

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Giveaway #2 which will be here on simply.cindy includes a little summer reading pleasure for adults:

-a paperback copy of my sister in law’s novel, Cupcakes, Trinkets and Other Deadly Magic (Meghan Ciana Doidge)

-recipe cards to make all the delicious cupcakes featured in Meghan’s novels

-an audio book copy of Cupcakes, Trinkets and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge)

So if you follow me at simply.cindy and my author blog you won’t miss the chance to win!  And just between you and me, finding my blogs can be like finding a needle in a haystack so your chances to win are surprisingly good!  Best of luck and hope to see your entries coming in this Tuesday!

Not the Only Writer in the Family

Hello Readers!

I am loving this summer sunshine and the extra time for reading.  Did you know my sister in law is a writer too?  Yes!  She has written a long and growing list of novels.  Check out her website here

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Right now Meghan is giving away a signed copy of my picture book, Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker so there’s a chance to win if you hop on over to Made by Meghan and enter by Wednesday.  While you’re there you should check out her books, but I warn you, you may get hooked!  And I’ll be giving away a signed copy of Meghan’s books very soon as part of my next giveaway package so stay tuned 🙂

Have a great day!