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Books by Sheila McGraw that were previously published by Whitebird Publications LLC are now under the imprint of FABLES.PRESS, the publishing division of McGraw Studios LLC.
Of Love And Pies by Sheila McGraw
In the sweet and boisterous, rhyming story, Of Love and Pies, every time the narrator says, ‘I love you’, somewhere a baker bakes multiple pies.
As the 'I love you’s' continue unabated and the pies begin piling up, the assumption that there can never be too much love or too much pie is called into question.
With seemingly endless pies accumulating everywhere, the little children’s hands and faces are always sticky, their clothes have berry stains, and outdoors the kids no longer get stuck in the mud, they get stuck in the pies!
Finally, when the pies are heaped so high they reach to the moon, and everyone is suffering pie-overload, something’s got to give, and an imaginative compromise brings the story to a happy and loving resolution.
Click here to purchase a copy of this book hand-signed by Sheila McGraw.
"Pies appear each time an unnamed narrator says "I love you," resulting in sweet chaos in McGraw's picture book. Initially, the narrator's idea seems flawless, [but] eventually, the sheer number of pies is enough to climb to the moon. How can this delightful fantasy keep from getting too sticky?
McGraw, the illustrator of the bestselling 1986 picture book Love You Forever, presents a charming tale, fueled by humor, which ends on a note of sincerity...McGraw's color illustrations are all full of movement, reflecting the events of the text...Overall, the tale's message of love will satisfy readers. A filling fantasy full of fine flavor." - Kirkus Reviews
As the author and illustrator, Sheila McGraw has created a children's book that provides a visual representation of love in a whimsical way, with illustrations that will delight young readers. Understanding 'I love you' can be a challenging concept for toddlers and small children. What is love? This visual of pies makes it a tangible idea. Unlike many children's books that can grow repetitive reading or overly simple illustrations, this book will delight parents and caregivers. As the story continues, the narrator must devise a compromise that feels right. Of Love and Pies is a magical picture book intended for toddlers and young children. - Literary Titan Reviews
Sheila McGraw's picture book, Of Love and Pies, is a funny, pie-filled story about love. Or, perhaps it's a love-filled story about pies. You choose. Told in rhyming verse and accompanied by charming illustrations, this gem of a story will entertain and amuse young readers as they compare the need for "I love you's" with the need for more pies. Like the nonsense verse of Dr. Seuss and the compassionate loving bond of stories like Robert Munsch's Love you Forever, this story will capture our hearts more intensely with each reading. Beautifully told and funny, too. Personally speaking, though, can one really tire of either "I love you's" or pies?
- Reviewed By Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
What to Expect: Rhyme, humor, family, friendship, pies. Everyone loves pie--right? Of Love and Pies is bursting with humor--and pie. The traditional what if...formula sets up an increasingly whimsical situation highlighted by Sheila McGraw's iconic, cartoon-like illustrations (which are familiar to readers everywhere from Love You Forever). These illustrations are packed with silly, irreverent details to complement the rhyming text. Readers will enjoy watching the pen-and-ink pies pile up higher and higher under everyone's feet and filling the margins of the pages. Beyond the silliness, however, is a valuable message-while people might not always express their feelings out loud, the love is nevertheless there, all the time. This is a lovely, playful, fun book for readers of all ages.
-The Children's Book Review
Sketchy Characters by Sheila McGraw
A devastating hurricane.
A frantic search for a missing friend.
A brutal double murder…
When chaos blows up Marilyn’s life and she’s forced to go on the run from ruthless killers, she can’t dodge a cast of sketchy characters that ooze into her orbit. There’s a crooked lawyer and his wealthy clients, an internet scammer, a pair of suspicious hipsters, and a serial killer targeting the artists at Marilyn’s life-drawing group. Throw a couple of good friends and a sexy and protective detective in the mix, and it's not all bad. Even so, it’s survival of the smartest and most resilient. As the action moves full speed, and the twists and turns keep coming, Marilyn must tackle the circumstances of her new, near-impossible normal.
Sketchy Characters by Sheila McGraw is an intricate story of loss, grief, crime, as well as hope, love, and growth. This creative story handles themes of murder, drug overdoses, cover-ups, and finding the truth on one hand while also intertwining love interests and everyday activities on the other.
McGraw has successfully created a cast of characters who capture the readers’ attention on the first few pages and manages to keep it to the very last page, putting them in desperate situations and even needing to make immoral decisions to survive. Adding layers to each character, such as Marilyn’s aunt Zabi who has passed away but appears as Marilyn’s subconscious thoughts in a way that Marilyn knows she is never alone. Another thing that fascinated me is the fact that social media becomes a character in the story. The author does not ignore the social media presence in our lives but instead uses it to her advantage, spicing up the story.
I wasn't expecting this! The excitement of running a perilous scheme involving millions of dollars. The fear while fighting off a serial killer. The tingling, sensual feeling of exchanging sparks with new romantic partners. Sketchy Characters spins from one surprising event to another, shattering my expectations and leaving me eager to discover the eventual outcomes. Marilyn is portrayed in a desperate situation that reflects our profit-driven world and its tendency to force people to make immoral decisions to survive. The themes explored in the book include court battles, naked modeling, catfishing, the press, loss, serial killing, drug dealing, deceit, and more. I could not drop the book for a second. The adroit balance of different elements, like an intricate description of the world, clever and perceptive observations, realistic conversations, and an intricate, well-planned plot results in a masterpiece that deserves to be awarded and celebrated. I have developed a taste for Sheila McGraw's writing, and I want more!
—Readers’ Favorite, Review by Foluso Falaye
Recipient of the 2021 Literary Titan Book Award for Mystery/Thriller.
The Knife Thrower's Wife
by Sheila McGraw
In this psychological thriller and murder mystery, Julia Green, a talented illustrator, and devoted wife and mother has been living the American dream in suburban Houston for more than two decades. Lately, however, she has been plagued by sleepwalking nightmares, the first of which features her husband as a knife thrower with scantily-clad Julia strapped to his target.
Julia also experiences humorous daydreams and she is inspired to interpret her nightmares through paintings of her dreamscapes, to find out what her subconscious is trying to tell her. As she analyses her dreams, she inadvertently exhumes buried secrets of betrayal, larceny, and danger.
Soon, a tragedy occurs which puts Julia under media and police scrutiny, and she must find inner strength and cast off her submissive persona.
With nightmares imitating life, and art imitating dreams, Julia must dig deep to save her sanity, her freedom, possibly her very life.
… In Sheila McGraw’s energetic, polished mystery The Knife Thrower’s Wife, cracks begin to appear in a long marriage. Julia loves her husband, Austin, whose portrayal as a mean, even sinister, man is spot-on…
... Julia begins having nightmares and slips into humorous daydreams about how she would react more assertively to people if she had no social constraints…
… Visual lines show how Julia feels “tiny, hairy centipede feet of fear” and capture her house as “a domestic detention unit” in the eyes of a big city resident, and in conversations, characters’ South Texas mannerisms come out to entertaining effect.
—Foreword (Clarion Review)
What Chick Lit Cafe is saying about The Knife Thrower's Wife
The Knife Thrower’s Wife by Sheila McGraw is a clever, edgy murder mystery. With a superb sense of drama and a spot-on psychological plot, this book was hard to put down.
I loved the tone of this book, while the plot is dark and takes us into hints of abuse and then murder, the accent is light and charming. You instantly like the damsel in distress; you root for her when she begins to poke her head above the firing line and stand up for herself. Sheila McGraw has woven in female banter that makes you smile into this rather dark walk through murder, along with the internal diagnosis of a broken woman’s thought process. Outwardly, Julia is an attractive, talented freelance illustrator, happily married, mother of two and living in Houston suburbia. Inwardly, the past has been squashed and the present is overshadowed by dramatic and memorable nightmares. And the future’s not looking so good.
Not only does this tale have an awesome title and book cover, but also an adept, well-thought-out plot. Lots of details make it feel very realistic. I found all the characters well-structured and interesting. Her best friend and fellow artist Trix, was a great supporting cast member as were her twin children. The mystery unravels and culminates with a court case that was spot on and very believable. My favorite line: The mushroom analogy – kept in the dark and fed shit!
Sheila McGraw has crafted a deeply psychological murder mystery, but has written it with a light tone to soften the trauma of murder; I found this made it an extremely enjoyable read.
The Knife Thrower’s Wife by Sheila McGraw comes highly recommended by Chick Lit Café.