January, 2011

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A Star in the Night by Jennifer Gladen wins Catholic Writers Guild Seal Of Approval Award

January 2011
Contact: Jennifer Gladen
Philadelphia, PA

A Star in the Night wins Catholic Writers Guild Seal Of Approval Award

On January 18, 2011, A Star in the Night, written by Jennifer Gladen and illustrated by K.C. Snider, was awarded the Catholic Writers Guild (CWG) Seal of Approval (SOA) award. The award is given to fiction and non-fiction books which are consistent with Church teaching and are faithful to the Magesterium.

A Star in the Night is a story about Christmas and its real meaning. Is it all about the shopping, gifts, cookies and parties? Or is there something more David is missing?

As taken from the book’s blurb: “David makes his way home on Christmas Eve and sees this is no ordinary night. Accompanied by a shimmering star and some tough decisions, David encounters three experiences that will change his view of Christmas forever. Join David on his wondrous journey home.”

Just what are some people saying about A Star in the Night?

“A touching tale with a great Christmas message.”
–Cheryl C. Malandrinos , December 1, 2010

“Great book for the holiday season – true meaning of Christmas”

–Customer, Barnes and Noble.com

Jennifer Gladen is a children’s author, mother of three and teacher who lives and writes in Pennsylvania. She has written several children’s books, stories and articles, and started her own Catholic e-zine titled My Light Magazine. When not writing, teaching or mothering, she enjoys singing in her local parish choir on Sundays.

To purchase A Star in the Night, visit:



ISBN# 1616330554

To schedule an interview or to contact the author, send an e-mail to:


GAP Authors in the Community: Kristen Zajac Book Readings – Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival Jan 15 – 16

Jan 15-16, 2011

GAP author Kristen Zajac will be conducting three readings of her latest release, Chasing the Spirit of Service, at the Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival. The Festival is being held this Saturday and Sunday, January 15-16, 2011, at the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa. The Black Heritage Festival features live entertainment, speakers, food, arts, and crafts. Ms. Zajac will be conducting her book readings in the Festival’s “Children’s Village” which will host a variety of activities for families with young children including face painting, storytelling, educational activities, and arts and crafts. After the storytime, the Children’s Village is offering small prizes to children who answer questions about the Tuskegee Airmen, featured in Ms. Zajac’s book.

You can find out more about Kristen and her work at http://www.kristenzajac.com/!

Bestselling GAP Titles at Amazon!

The final picture book in the Topsy Tales trilogy features a jazz loving, bebopping, singing snake suffering with laryngitis. What’s an independent snake that only sings solos to do? While waiting for his voice to return, Sully learns to appreciate the talents of others and the value of friendship.

Emma comes from three generations of Air Force pilots and misses her father when he travels. Her best friend Adam tries to cheer her up. Emma’s great grandfather, one of the first African American pilots during World War II, shares his life story with Emma and Adam and helps them appreciate the spirit of service.

Eight-year old Melina wants to become a good violinist. When she loses confidence, her Rumanian teacher Andrea decides it’s time for a magic dose of self esteem. A mysterious old woman in rags gives Melina some curious advice; a violinist Russian hamster, who happens to live under the old woman’s hat, offers her a virtuoso performance; a shooting star fills her with hope on Christmas Eve. Is Melina actually playing better, or has her violin become magic? Who is the old woman in the town square, and why does she wear the same emerald ring as her teacher Andrea?


In a town of word weavers, Mary suffers through her third year of Novice Word Weaving. Mary thinks her troubles are over when she meets a gnome-elf who grants her a wish. But instead of weaving a better story, she’s weaving strange yarn charms to accompany her still pathetic tales.

Maria Jimenez and her dad share many things including a passion for going to see the monkeys at their local primate sanctuary. But when Maria’s father returns home from military service with an injury, how will she find a way to help him recapture his spirit and independence?

Find more Guardian Angel Publishing titles at www.guardianangelpublishing.com/!

Stick to It: Tips to Help You Stick with Your Writing Goals

It’s the start of a new year and most writers are thinking about New Year’s resolutions and writing goals. But like New Year’s resolutions, writing goals seem to be made to be broken. A few weeks into January and you’re already falling behind on what you planned to accomplish.

It looks like this will be another year filled with disappointments and unobtainable dreams.

No, not this year!

You’re going to focus on your writing goals, pat yourself on the back when you accomplish what you had set out to do, and make this year your most productive one yet.

Here’s how.

Write a Business Plan

While it would be nice if you could concentrate solely on the creative side of writing, the reality is that writing is a business and must be treated as such.

Write up a business plan that describes your mission and provide details on how you will achieve it. You can use this business plan to set your goals.

Post your business plan in your work area where it is easily visible. This will help motivate and encourage you to move forward.

Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals

One of the things I talk about in my Organize Your Writing Life workshop is the need to set goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely; otherwise known as S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Setting S.M.A.R.T. goals is vital to your productivity. Goals that are too vague, unrealistic, or immeasurable can only increase your chances of failure. You quickly become discouraged, begin to procrastinate, and soon abandon your writing goals.

Don’t let that happen to you!

Take the time to set up S.M.A.R.T. goals from the start. For more about S.M.A.R.T. goals you can read this article – http://time-management.writer2writer.com/falling-in-love-with-smart-goals-.htm

Break Down Your Goals

Once you have your S.M.A.R.T. goals in place, you need to break them down into smaller more manageable chunks.

Write out a weekly to-do list so that you can chop away at your goals one step at a time. Make sure you review this list daily, check off what you accomplished, and make a plan for what you’ll work on the next day.

Reward Your Accomplishments

Maybe it sounds like you’re in dog obedience class now, but rewards are important to helping you stick with your goals. If you’ve had a productive month, don’t be afraid to treat yourself to something special.

I’ve treated myself to manicures, massages, and new clothes after a month of plowing through my to-do lists. Whatever you decide to do, make it memorable and consider taking a picture so that you can hang it next to your business plan to motivate you to keep going.

Don’t Over Commit

This has been a lesson I’ve learned the long, hard way. You are only one person and there are only so many hours in the day. You can’t do it all by yourself.

There is no shame in learning to say “no”.

It’s not always easy, but if you want to have a balance between your personal and professional lives, it’s a must. For more on learning to say “no”, you can read this article – http://time-management.writer2writer.com/learning-to-say-no-.htm.

Ask for Help and Support

Writing can be a lonely business. Tied to your computer for hours on end—which I don’t recommend for health reasons—you don’t have the opportunity to interact with others. And let’s face it, no one really understands what you’re going through except another writer.

Don’t be afraid to ask family and friends for help. Whether it is to finish household chores or to run errands, family and friends will be eager to help out if it means you’ll be able to spend time together later.

Support from other writers will help keep you motivated and eager to work toward accomplishing your goals. Consider joining a local writers group. If there isn’t one, there are plenty of online writing communities that offer various types of support to writers. Most of the writers I know, I have met online, and they are some of the best folks around when it comes to supporting me during all kinds of weather.

Armed with these tools, you have what you need to stick to your writing goals all year long. You have the power to make your writing dreams come true. Use it!

© Cheryl Malandrinos- All Rights Reserved

Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is also Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.

Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. Little Shepherd is her first children’s book. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two young daughters. She also has a son who is married.

You can visit Cheryl online at http://ccmalandrinos.com/  or the Little Shepherd blog at http://littleshepherdchildrensbook.blogspot.com/.

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