Thursday, December 13, 2012

Winner of the 12/12/12 Giveaway

Thank you all for participating in the 12/12/12 A Star in the Night giveaway. I have randomly drawn a name from a hat and am thrilled to announce Donna S. Is today's winner! Enjoy the book!

And Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Star in the Night Giveaway!


A Star in the Night, a Christmas story about the true meaning of Christmas and recipient of the Catholic Writer's guild Seal of Approval, is having a giveaway! 

Usually, an author doesn't like numbers as much as words, but today I just can't resist. With the numbers 12/12/12, and it being so close to Christmas I decided to hold a giveaway! All you have to do is leave a comment here, AND like my facebook page Jen Gladen . On December 12, 2012 I  will randomly draw a winner and send the winner a FREE AUTOGRAPHED COPY of A Star in the Night! 

Please be sure to share this post with anyone you think may be interested. This is a great gift idea for that someone special! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas Coloring Page

Thanksgiving has passed and we are entering in the center of the Christmas season.  My family and I spent this weekend decorating and welcoming the season. Those who know me well probably have guessed already what the first decoration up was. (Did you say Nativity scene? Ah - you do know me pretty well.) We had Christmas music on from our local radio station, and later while Dad and the kids set up the artificial tree, I made some home made Christmas sugar cookies.

 My oldest decorated the cookies with sugar as I rolled out and cut the dough. And so, since my family and I are in the Christmas spirit full force, I want to share some of that with you.

For those of you who are fans of A Star in the Night, my Christmas book about a little boy who discovers the true meaning of Christmas, enjoy this coloring page! Illustrated by K.C. Snider.  Color it in and send me a photo- or just color and enjoy. If you do color it and send a photo, I'll feature it on my blog. Parents: send photos to . Click on the picture here for a larger photo.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Book Review: Chances Are

"Chances are you'll never see animals as strange as these..." Thus begins the great adventure with Author Sue Bangert-Wood and Illustrator Jack Foster in the comical alphabet book titled Chances Are.

This light-hearted book displays unique animals wearing a swimming suit, driving or even playing guitar. I love the creative animals Sue Bangert-Wood comes up with in this fun A-B-C book. The rhyme in story flows smoothly and adds a nice rhythm as you read. As someone who has worked in the classroom, I see this book as one that would engage the readers and invoke  some fun reactions out of the readers.

The activities and puzzles at the end of the book are sure to be a hit with teachers everywhere. The bright, energetic illustrations done by Jack Foster breathe even more life into the story. He illustrates well the essences of the characters and their fun, energetic antics.

This is an all around great book which I recommend reading to kids of every age. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A FUN-tastic Author Event

I attended the Pennypack Woods Home Ownership Association's Bazaar and Flea Market this Saturday as a way to sell some books and get the word out about them. 

 While I was there I did some shopping of my own. I saw and fell in love with this statue of Santa kneeling at the manger of Jesus. I only had about $1.50 in spending money left and although the Pennypack group Friendly Neighbors were asking $3.00, they gave it to me for the $1.50. 

The Friendly Neighbors is a group which sponsors many events that contribute to the community of Pennypack's neighborhood. When I heard how they were counting on the sales and the Bazaar to further their work for the community, I decided to give back to them a little bit. I went to the leader of Friendly Neighbors and donated an autographed copy of A Star in the Night for them to sell as they wished. 

Toward the end of the event, the group auctioned off the book and earned $21.00 ! I was thrilled and honored to help in such a way. 

In addition to this great experience, and selling more of the books, my daughters were there with me and my oldest ran into two of her best friends she had since preschool. When my daughter went into first grade, we went to a different school. The "Three Musketeers", as I call them, haven't been able to see each other much. The girls were thrilled to see each other. They spent the day hanging out and catching up. 

This was a great day and a exciting experience for everyone. Can't wait to visit again!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Literacy Opens Minds

I just returned from an amazing conference at Holy Family University in Philadelphia, PA. It was titled Literacy Opens Minds. What a great concept. The keynote speaker was the renowned author of countless books, Sneed Collard III. I thoroughly enjoyed his keynote presentation as an author and a teacher. So much of what he said hit home about writing. It is always interesting to learn how a fellow author spent time writing in journals as a child, much in the same way I did. He is an entertaining presenter and children are sure to love him.
With author Sneed Collard III 

I was also a presenter at this conference and I titled my presentation Exploring the World through Reading. We discussed many fascinating things about reading such as how books can take you to far away places without even leaving your back yard. We talked about how important it is to use books to support your material in your classroom. Getting just one side (and usually the textbook side ) of nonfiction can sometimes drain the children. But when you add a fun book to reinforce the concepts, now their world is expanding.
I had a great time with the lovely people at Holy Family and am excited about the kind of teachers Holy Family is preparing for our children.
My book display at Holy Family University Library

During my presentation we discussed ways to make reading interesting for the resistant reader. I promised a link to one of my favorite authors who creatively writes for these readers in mind. Check out the facebook page of Max Elliot Anderson.

After the presentations, I was able to sell and sign my books. The whole day was a bunch of fun. I would help out Holy Family University anytime.

Me and Dr. Quinn at Holy Family University

Monday, August 20, 2012

Checking up on your Work

So, you finally did it. You got your book published and you are preparing for sales, promotions and author visits. You're getting materials ready, thimking of that next book and making sure all your contracts are signed.

It is an exciting time. As the weeks and months go by you'll be following your book and probably (if you are anything like me) checking your book's stats. But there's one thing I've discovered you might want to add to your list of things to do. Check up on your book - not just with the stats, but google your book's title or even your name for that matter. You may be surprised what you come up with.

Authors have reported finding  their books in illegal markets, or worse, pirated.  I recently did a Google search on my name and was surprised to see it for sale on e-bay for double the publisher's price. I've assumed being signed up for Google Alerts would let me know of new internet activity in my name or my books' names. Howevere, when I did an actual Google search, I found out much more.

Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of good news to find out about your work by doing a search every now and then, In fact you'll probably find much more good internet activity than bad.  I've found blogs about my work or my magazine that I didn't know about before. I've seen how authors and illustrators are supporting one another.

So, no matter what your motive, it's always  good to check out your platform every now and then to see what others see if they were to search for your name or book title. After all, it's your baby we're talking about here.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Press Release for Angel Donor

My press release for Angel Donor. Feel free to share. If you do, please comment with the link and let me know and I will comment on your blog where the release appears.

New Children’s Book Geared toward Children in Need of Organ Transplants

July 1, 2012

On June 6, 2012 children’s author Jennifer Gladen’s third children’s book was released from Guardian Angel Publishing. The new book, Angel Donor, is a story about a child in need of a liver transplant and the day she gets “The Call”.  As taken from the cover: Olivia never asked to have a disease like Biliary Atresia. It made her liver sick and only a transplant will make her better. After waiting several months and close to losing hope, she gets the call she’s been waiting for. The journey of her life is about to begin. The book is complete with a glossary and a list of resources for dealing with transplantation.
When asked what made her write this book, Ms. Gladen said, “It was inspired by my daughter. When she went through her transplant and the long wait beforehand, I was looking for something to help her understand what was happening that spoke to her on her own level. It’s a book that needed to be written.”
In addition to Angel Donor, Jennifer Gladen has two other books out titled A Star in the Night and Teresa’s Shadow. She is also the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the online magazine My Light Magazine.
For more information about Angel Donor or author Jennifer Gladen, please visit her at or

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Author in Me

The second question asked on my May 2012 school visit was this:

2.  Did you know you were going to be an author when you were a kid or did it just happen?

Another great question! I always loved writing. As a kid I wrote in my journals every day. I had copy books and note books and anything else I could write in. I often wrote my own stories when I had time to myself. All through school and high school my favorite subject was English, Reading and Creative Writing. My high school English teacher commented on a paper I wrote, "Great job, you little author!" In college, my English professor urged me to major in English. But it wasn't until I was older and had my own family that I decided to become a professional author.Finally, all those years of writing pulled together and I began to write on a professional basis.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

May Author Visit

On May 11th 2012 I had the pleasure of visiting Ethan Allen school in PA. It was a great time and the kids were wonderful, kind and enthusiastic. I participated in their Career Day by telling them a little about what it is like to be an author and then I shared Teresa's Shadow with them. I also brought with me autographed copies of books they purchased ahead of time. (Psst - for those who didn't have a chance to buy the book, I left a few copies at the library. Check it out and enjoy the story!) I enjoyed running into students throughout the day and hearing their kind feedback and stories they shared. One group of girls even said "Happy Mother's Day".  I would gladly visit them again!

While I was there, the older kids submitted questions they wanted to ask me. I only had time to answer a few of them. However, I thought they were ALL excellent questions. So, what to do?   I decided I will answer all the questions right here on my blog. I will answer one per blog post. So keep coming back to look for the next question. If you have a question you don't see here over time, feel free to leave one in the comments section and I will add it to my list.

So here it goes.

 Question # 1 :How did you think of the ideas and titles for your books?

That is a great question. I'm often asked how I came up with certain ideas.  Most of the time a thought or a concept comes to me and the story starts there. For example in Teresa's Shadow all I knew was I wanted to write a bed time story. But I didn't want just ANY bedtime story. I wanted something new and different.  From there, the characters began to develop and ideas grew over time. Eventually I had a basic storyline and I filled in details every time I revised it. Many times the final story is very different from the first draft.

Stay tuned for Question #2!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

We are in the middle of the best literary week in the world - Children's Book Week organized by the Children's Book Council. You probably love books - children's books at that. So what can you do to celebrate Children's Book Week?

  • Check your local libraries to see what events may be going on.

  • If you are a teacher, maybe your class can create a  children's  book written by your room. Then each child can take turns throughout the year to share it with their family (this is a great way to keep Children's Book Week going for longer than a week.
  • Read some favorite children's books to your child. Give them an extra book this week at bedtime!

    And finally, stop by my facebook page and tell me how you are celebrating Children's Book Week and what books you are reading. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Teresa's Shadow Joins Be There Bedtime Stories

As an author, teacher and enthusiastic supporter of reading, I am pleased to share this good news with you. My second picture book, Teresa's Shadow, joined the website Be There Bedtime Stories.

 This website is all about connecting children with families who are far away from each other, like a child and a grandparent, or a child and their military parent. Now, these adults can "be there" for a bedtime story. The website will tell you what they do and how to participate. It is a fantastic idea, which I'm sure will catch on around the country.
If this is something you think you're interested in, check out Teresa's Shadow at this great website: Teresa's Shadow at Be There Bedtime Stories

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Craft Show Appearance Today

I brought my books, Teresa's Shadow and A Star in the Night to the craft show at the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer's Provincialiate. I love doing craft tables at events like this to see all the interesting things other people bring as well.

 I also explained to my daughters, who came to help, that this is a great way to promote the books. Getting the word out about your books is essential.

I sold some books, had a great pancake breakfast and met some interesting people today. The highlight, and I'll probably post this on my Random Thoughts About God blog as well, was meeting a deacon from a local parish. He was particularly interested in A Star in the Night and My Light Magazine. We had a nice conversation about children, writing, and the Catholic faith. It even ended with a little blessing. You just never know what may come out of these events.

On a separate note, I had planned on doing the April AtoZ Blogging challenge but eerily, the month slipped by me. Thanks to all those who checked in on the blog and attempted your support. Posting regularly is a skill I must sharpen.

Swing by my facebook page to see more pictures of today's event. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Writing Pondering

While fending off some tempting, yet distracting game requests, my mind began to wander. And as many authors will tell you, that's when the trouble begins. (Good trouble, ofcourse- unless you are working on a separate project and this becomes a distraction. Then again, sometimes you just have to follow the muse.) Characters develop, plots dance around, villains taunt, and sometimes words just float.

Today I had the case of the floating words. Hope it makes you smile!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blogging A to Z Challenge is Almost Here

It's almost that time of year again. The Blogging A to Z challenge where you are challenged to do "one month of blogging through the alphabet." It begins April 1, 2012. Use it any way you wish, with whatever theme fits your writing. Each post starts with a letter - beginning with A on day 1 and ending with Z on the last day.

For more information. please visit  A to Z Blogging Challenge and sign up. Comment below with a link to your blog and I'd love to follow your posts! Have fun!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Books in a Basket

Yesterday there was a "Basket Extravaganza" to raise money for my local parish.  When my son's first grade was looking for donated items for their basket, I offered an autographed copy of A Star in the Night and Teresa's Shadow. The teacher was thrilled and thought it would fit in nicely with their "Cold and Flu" theme.  Who couldn't use a book to cozy up with when they're sick, right?

It was a fun event and I wished I could have stayed for the whole event, but my first grader wasn't feeling well. (Anyone else find the irony in that?)  So we stopped on by, took some chances for some other great baskets and left. Of course, we didn't leave before snapping some pictures of the basket with my books.

Let's see how sharp your eyes are.  Can you spot A Star in the Night?

 Teresa's Shadow is lurking in the back of the basket As always, thanks for your continuous support, CTK!

Click on the links to get your own copy of A Star in the Night and Teresa's Shadow.  When you do, stop by my facebook page and tell me what you thought!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Children's Writer Contest

Children's Writer is having another writing contest! Be sure to check it out here.   As an editor, I highly recommend  participating in as many contests as possible. It helps teach you to adhere to writers guidelines and is excellent practice, if nothing else. 

This contest is about a middle grade mystery. Visit the link above for rules and guidelines. Good Luck! Maybe I'll see ya there.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Come check me out on Goodreads

I've been making better use of Goodreads lately. Goodreads is a great place for authors and readers alike to share, recommend and discuss books and their love of books. They even have a special Author page for authors who are promoting their books and works.  Come check me out on Goodreads. Be sure to add me as a friend and fan my page. Leave a comment with your link and I'll gladly return the favor.

Some author updates:
  • I am consolidating my facebook pages into one author page. If you are a fan of Teresa's Shadow or A Star in the Night on FB, please head on over to my AUTHOR PAGE and follow me there as well. I look forward to connecting with you all there.

  • I am in the process of booking several author events. More info will be provided once the information is official, so stay tuned.

  • Parents or family of children with special medical concerns may be excited about my new book coming out soon titled Angel Donor. This is a medical specialty book about a young girl in need of a liver transplant and her journey toward this life saving surgery.

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