Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Guest Blogger: Cheryl Malandrinos

Please join me today in giving a warm welcome to author Cheryl Malandrinos as the special guest blogger at Thoughts in Progress as she makes a stop on her virtual book tour.

I’ve gotten to know Cheryl through Pump Up Your Book Promotion where she is a Tour Coordinator and helps other authors promote their books. Today it’s my pleasure to help promote her first children’s book, LITTLE SHEPHERD, that has just been released. Here’s a brief blurb about the book: Obed is in the hills outside Bethlehem when the angels appear to announce the Savior's birth. Can he trust that the miracle of the first Christmas will keep his flock safe while he visits the newborn King?

Cheryl stopped by today to talk about ‘What’s in a Title’ and to give visitors here a chance at a couple of great giveaways.

While tossing around ideas for what I would write about, my mind wandered to titles: blog titles, movie titles, book titles.

Titles rarely come easy to me. Ask my editor at Writer2Writer. I often send her notes when I submit my latest article stating that I don’t care for the title and would be open to suggestions. I’m always amazed when she chooses one that is perfect.

Why can’t I do that?  I wrote the article for crying out loud. How can I not come up with a few catchy words to describe what it’s about?Searching around the blogosphere for hosts for my virtual book tour, again the creative titles popped out at me:  Broken Teepee, Cafe of Dreams, Mayra’s Secret Bookcase, Reading at the Beach, and more.

Here I am at Thoughts in Progress, and what title could more aptly describe a blog about books?

I think I have title envy.

It’s not unusual for me to wait until the very end to choose a title. When reading through a completed manuscript I hope something will jump out at me. Sometimes it works. Other times...

I didn’t even choose the title for my first children’s book, Little Shepherd. Well, I came close with this one. The original title was THE LITTLE SHEPHERD BOY. Since the inspiration for the story came from my singing the Christmas hymn, The Little Drummer Boy, to my girls at night, I didn’t stretch my imagination much.

LITTLE SHEPHERD tells the story of five-year-old Obed, who is in the fields outside Bethlehem tending his first flock when the angels appear. He wishes to visit the newborn King, but is afraid to leave his sheep unattended. It takes some wise words from his father and a few surprises Obed discovers when he returns to the fields, for the little shepherd to realize what a night of miracles it is.

Perhaps as I grow as a writer, titles will come easier to me. I’m only thirteen chapters into my next project, a middle grade historical, and I’ve already decided on the title.

Now that’s what I call progress.

Cheryl, thanks so much for guest blogging here. When it comes to titles, I have trouble with blog post. I can’t image coming up with a title for a book.

Let me share a bit of background on Cheryl. She is a freelance writer and editor. A regular contributor for Writer2Writer, her articles focus on increasing productivity through time management and organization. A founding member of Musing Our Children, she is also Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.

In addition, Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two young daughters. She also has a son who is married. For more on Cheryl and her writing, visit her online at http://ccmalandrinos.com or the LITTLE SHEPHERD blog at http://littleshepherdchildrensbook.blogspot.com/.  

Now for the giveaways which are open international. Giveaway #1 is for those readers who comment on Cheryl’s blog stops during the tour. One comment per person, per blog, through the length of the tour. Giveaway #2 is for those who purchase a copy of LITTLE SHEPHERD between its release date of August 21, 2010 and the end of the virtual book tour on December 17, 2010. Proof of purchase must be submitted to Cheryl via email at cg20pm00(at)gmail(dot)com. Please substitute the appropriate symbols for the (at) and (dot). Those are zeroes in the address, not Os. If you prefer to mail or fax a copy of your proof of purchase, please contact Cheryl via email for that information.
Additional rules and guidelines can be found at the end of this post.
GIVEAWAY #1 (for people who comment during the VBT)
An autographed copy of LITTLE SHEPHERD
Angel figurine printed with the Serenity Prayer
A LITTLE SHEPHERD sticky note pad
Little Drummer Boy 2010 Hallmark Keepsake Ornament
Gift of Peace 2003 Hallmark Keepsake Ornament
Retail value of Giveaway #1 is $65 (rounded to nearest dollar)

GIVEAWAY #2 (for those who purchase a copy of LITTLE SHEPHERD between August 21, 2010 and December 17, 2010)
A ”Sparkling Angel” scented jar candle from Yankee Candle
An angel gold and silver lid topper for the candle
An angel tea light holder from Yankee Candle
A LITTLE SHEPHERD sticky note pad
A Jim Shore Nativity Star hanging ornament
A Jim Shore Holy Family hanging ornament
A $25 Amazon.com gift card
Retail Value of Giveaway #2 is $97 (rounded to the nearest dollar)
Here are the rules and guidelines for these giveaways:
1) For Giveaway #1 you must leave a comment on the hosting blog with a working email address for the author to contact you if you win.
2) For Giveaway #1 only the first comment with your working email address is used to determine eligibility (one comment, per blog).
3) You are eligible to win Giveaway #2 if you purchase a copy of LITTLE SHEPHERD between August 21, 2010 and December 17, 2010 and provide the author with proof of purchase via email, mail, or fax prior to December 19, 2010. LITTLE SHEPHERD is available at the Guardian Angel Publishing website, Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com, and at indiebound.org.
4) All giveaway winners will be selected using Random.org.
5) Prizes will be shipped via USPS with appropriate insurance. The author cannot guarantee receipt before December 25, 2010.
6) Author, blog hosts, and Pump Up Your Book are not responsible for lost or damaged goods.
7)  The same person cannot win both giveaways.
Although it is not a requirement for eligibility, Cheryl asks that you consider following the blogs who host her during her tour and also the Little Shepherd blog.
Good luck to all who enter! 


  1. I can't enter the contest but I think you did a wonderful review/interview. Titles don't come easy for me either.


  2. I'm getting better with titles, but it's not so easy. Very cute book.

  3. Cheryl, thanks so much for guest blogging here today. I'm happy to help get the word out about your book as you've helped so many others.

    Clarissa, you can enter the contest. It's international. I forgot to include that.

    Teresa, thanks for stopping by.

  4. Thanks for having me here today. I love this blog. There is always so much going on and you have a great group of followers--ones that even leave comments. :)

    Clarissa and Teresa, thanks so much for your kind words. They are greatly appreciated.

    Good luck to all who enter the giveaways.

    May you all have a blessed week.


  5. I like the idea of seeing the first Christmas through a child's eyes of wonder. Best wishes with Little Shepherd!

  6. I knew Chery's name was familiar! How exciting that she has a book out!!

  7. Neither titles or book promoting comes easily to me. Congratulations, Cheryl.

  8. I find titles hard most of the time. Every once in a while one jumps out a me and is perfect, but not often enough!

  9. Not entering the contest, but wanted to let Cheryl know that my blog's title is really lame. Maybe it'll make her feel better!

  10. Thanks everyone for stopping by today. Good luck in the contest.

    Cheryl, good luck with your delightful book.

  11. Another fascinating interview, thanks Mason.

  12. Thanks so much for your support everyone. I'm so impressed with the following Mason has. Your kind words touch my heart.

    Alex, you have made me feel better.

    Thanks again.

    Best wishes to all,


  13. I'm testing it out here, lol.

    Ema Winters

  14. Cool, it worked! Thanks!

    Ema Winters


  15. The title thing is funny. I usually assign a title to a book at the beginning, then keep changing it as continue writing. My critique group gets pretty confused, but I usually end up with something I like in the end.


I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's post. Thanks for dropping by.