Book Spotlight: Mamá Graciela’s Secret by Mayra Calvani

Mamá Graciela’s Secret

Publication date: October 10, 2017

Written by Mayra Calvani

Illustrated by Sheila Fein

MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing

36 pages, 3-7 year olds

Reading guide at:


Mamá Graciela’s TENDER, CRUNCHY, SPICY bacalaítos fritos are the best in town…

Local customers (including stray cats!) come from all over the island to enjoy her secret recipe. But when the Inspector discovers that Mamá secretly caters to so many cats and he threatens to close her tiny restaurant, Mamá must come up with a plan to save it—and all of the animals she loves.

About the author:

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her children’s picture book, Frederico the Mouse Violinist was a finalist in the 2011 International Book Awards; her anthology Latina Authors and Their Muses was a First Place winner at the 2016 International Latino Book Awards; her nonfiction book, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, was a Foreword Best Book of the Year winner. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications like The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, Bloomsbury Review, and others.

She lives in Belgium with her husband of 30+ years, two wonderful kids, and her three beloved pets. When she’s not writing, editing, reading or reviewing, she enjoys walking with her dog, traveling, and spending time with her family.

About the illustrator:

Born in Queens, New York and living in Los Angeles since 1987, Sheila Fein has always been inspired by the changing world around her. Earning her BA in Design from Buffalo State College of New York, her concentration was on drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography. Sheila’s education as an artist has taken her everywhere from Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia to Bath University in England. Today, Sheila Fein runs two figurative workshops, Imaginings Sketch in LA and People Sketchers in Thousand Oaks. She has been featured in numerous collections, magazines, books, solo and group exhibitions. Her paintings and drawings reside in public and private collections. Sheila loves to make the imagination of others a reality and has done so through her commissioned Fein Fantasy Portraits and Interactive Paintings. In addition to being a fine artist Sheila works as an illustrator. She just completed the book “Mama Graciela’s Secret” for Maclaren-Cochrane Publishing.

Book info:

HC 978-1-365-86153-6

SC 978-1-365-86155-0

ISBN Dyslexic Font Version:

DY HC 978-1-365-86154-3 DY SC 978-1-365-86156-7

**This book also has version printed in the Dyslexic font, the typeface for people with dyslexia. Go to to find out more about the typeface.

Suggested Retail Price – 17.99 Hardcover & 13.99 Softcover 40 % Discounted Price – 10.80 Hardcover & 8.40 Softcover

Available through – Ingram – Discount 40% Returnable – Yes

MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing

Discount 40% Returnable – Yes

Publishing company

Contact Info: MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing 1024 Iron Point Rd

100-1478 Folsom CA 95630


MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing

620 Buchanan Way, Folsom, CA 95630 916-897-1670

Review: Latina Authors and their Muses

Promo blurb:


An inspirational, entertaining, and informative book focusing on the craft of writing and the practical business of publishing, one that provides aspiring authors with the nuts and bolts of the business. A book that not only showcases prominent figures but emerging voices as well, writers working on a wide range of genres from the literary to the commercial.

In spite of their different backgrounds, education levels, and jobs, two factors more than any others bind these writers together: their passion and commitment to their craft and to sharing their stories with the world in spite of the odds.

Latina Authors and Their Muses is a celebration of creativity, the writer’s life, the passionate quest for spiritual and artistic freedom.

From the Foreword by Leticia Gomez

Latina Authors and Their Muses is a celebration of creativity and the creative writing process, but it also offers savvy information about the industry itself, as well as agents and publishers. It also provides helpful hints and strategies regarding promotion and marketing, whether you are a fledgling Latina writer just getting started or a multi-published, seasoned author who has been around the publishing block once or twice.”

Purchase links:



About the editor

Mayra Calvani

Award-winning author Mayra Calvani has penned over ten books for children and adults in genres ranging from picture books to nonfiction to paranormal fantasy novels. She’s had over 300 articles, short stories, interviews and reviews published in magazines such as The WriterWriter’s Journal and Bloomsbury Review, among others. A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, she now resides in Brussels, Belgium.

Connect with Mayra on the Web:

Website: (newsletter signup:




Book info:

Title: Latina Authors and Their Muses
Author: Mayra Calvani, Editor
Author web site
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Genre: Reference/Writing Skills
*Print ISBN: 978-1-60619-063-0
Format: 6×9 trade paperback; 340 pages; $19.95 USD
Distributors: Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Brodart, Follett, etc.
*eBook ISBN: 978-1-60619-062-3; $6.50 USD
Format: ebook in pdf, ePub, Kindle, Mobi, PRC, etc.
Distributors: Amazon Kindle; Apple iBookstore; Nook; Kobo Books; OmniLit; OverDrive, etc
Release date: September 25, 2015 ebook; December 15, 2015 print
LCCN: 2015952662
Chapter excerpt:

My Thoughts:

This is a wonderful idea for a book and is a unique way of publicity and marketing. There are about 40 compilations and they follow a general common pattern, starting off with a photograph, followed by the author’s details, education, profession and then styles of writing. This is then followed by an interview. It was interesting to note that though the basis of each interview was the same, many questions were very specific and personal and seem to have been formed after careful and meticulous research. The entire compilation for each author is very informative and provides a good insight into what makes them tick. The authors also talk about the hardships they face while writing a book, after it is completed and then the process of publishing and marketing. One thing that is common is the emphasis on a good agent, who understands the author’s style of writing and knows the correct way to market the same.

This intriguing concept of bringing together author interviews as a book makes it for a great read. There are many books to pick out from here and I must admit I have already compiled a list of my own from this. There are a mix of authors who are already famous and well-established and then some who have started out and are sure to get there. We come to know of the struggles they face and the effort they put in to achieve their dreams. They also emphasize collectively on the need for someone or more than one person who continuously supports the person through their writing process.

This book will not only have an impact on readers, but also on other authors out there. It is a great effort and a lot of research and planning has gone into this book. I recommend this to all readers out there. I am sure that every one of you will find something to take away from it, however small the information.