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Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm Examining Books and Blogs

I now have a column with The Examiner. I am writing about books, and blogs. Stop by and subscribe if you have a moment.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

New Fiction


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

When The Soul Mends

WaterBrook Press (September 16, 2008)

by

Cindy Woodsmall



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cindy Woodsmall is a veteran homeschool mom. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter as she aimed for what seemed impossible.

Her first novel, When The Heart Cries, released in 2006 to much acclaim and became a Christian Book Association best seller. Cindy was a 2007 ECPA Christian Book Award finalist, along with Karen Kingsbury, Angela Hunt, and Charles Martin.

Her last book, When the Morning Comes, hit the New York Times best-sellers extended list and the Christian Book Association best-sellers list.

Cindy’s real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families enrich her novels with authenticity.

Cindy, her husband, their three sons and daughter-in-law reside in Georgia. Her husband is a registered land surveyor and a vice president at an engineering firm. Their oldest son has a bachelor’s degree in nuclear medicine and works at a local hospital. Their second son and his wife are both students at the University of Georgia. Their teen-aged son keeps the household energized with his love of music, books, and writing.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Returning to the home she fled in disgrace, will Hannah find healing for the wounds of the past?

After receiving a desperate and confusing call from her sister, Hannah Lapp reluctantly returns to the Old Order Amish community of her Pennsylvania childhood.

Having fled in disgrace more than two years earlier, she finally has settled into a satisfying role in the Englischer world. She also has found love and a new family with the wealthy Martin Palmer and the children she is helping him raise. But almost immediately after her arrival in Owl’s Perch, the disapproval of those who ostracized her, including her headstrong father, reopens old wounds.

As Hannah is thrown together with former fiancĂ© Paul Waddell to work for her sister Sarah’s mental health, hidden truths surface about events during Hannah’s absence, and she faces an agonizing decision. Will she choose the Englischer world and the man who restored her hope, or will she heed the call to return to the Plain Life–and perhaps to her first love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of When The Soul Mends, go HERE

“A skillfully written story of forgiveness and redemption. Woodsmall’s authentic characters illustrate beautifully how wounded souls can indeed be mended.”
Susan Meissner, author of The Shape of Mercy

“Like the stitches on a well-loved quilt, love and faith hold together Cindy Woodsmall's When the Soul Mends, the brilliantly written third story in the Sisters of the Quilt series. With deft plotting and characters that seem to jump off the page, this novel offers the timeless truth that forgiveness is the balm which heals all wounds and a blanket for the soul.”
Kathleen Y’Barbo, author of Beloved Castaway

“What a vibrant, strong, emotional story! When the Heart Cries will grip you and not let go, I promise. Highly recommended!”
Gayle Roper, author of Allah’s Fire and the Seaside Seasons series

“Reaching deep into the heart of the reader, Cindy Woodsmall pens a beautifully lyrical story in her debut novel When the Heart Cries.”
Tamera Alexander, bestselling author of Rekindled

Monday, September 22, 2008

Rejection 101

Found this article full of tips on handling rejection. Just change the word "dating" to "writing" and see how well it applies!


Excerpt from:

Dating 101: How to Handle Rejection


Five essential dating tips to stay confident after getting denied

By Dating coach David Wygant



The dating truth is that being able to deal with rejection is the key to being successful at going out and meeting singles. It's also not the ultra-significant event so many make it out to be. So here are five essential tips on how to handle rejection, which you need to embrace if you are going to have a full and successful dating life:

1. Change Your Dating Expectations. One of the first and most important things to understand is that no matter what you do, not everybody is going to respond positively to you.
Stop expecting a positive response 100% of the time.


2. Life Is All About Rejection. Everything in life has rejection involved in it. If you're a salesperson who makes 10 sales calls, you may only get one or two people to say yes. A baseball player whose batting average is around 300 will likely end up in the Hall of Fame. A quarterback who can complete 55 percent of his passes is doing pretty well. Everything in life is about percentages. You don't quit simply because you experienced some rejection. Imagine if you stopped looking for work when your very first interview didn't result in a job offer. That would, of course, be ridiculous. Remember that you also need to keep going in your dating life when you're rejected, because you want to keep increasing your odds of success.

3. Focus on Increasing Your Dating Odds. When you feel like you are getting more than your fair share of rejections, instead of focusing on those rejections, focus on increasing your odds of success. The fact is that by playing the percentages as I mentioned above, you will be successful.
The reason is that every time you take action -- every time you smile, say hello, or walk over and initiate a conversation -- you get better at it.

4. Keep Things in Perspective. I hear some version of this from clients all the time: "What if I approach somebody, get rejected, and someone sees me? I'll never be able to go in that store again!" Get a little perspective here. Let me tell you something -- you're not front page news! When you're rejected, you need to just get over it. No one is talking about you. People are concerned about themselves and what is going on in their own lives, just as you are focused on what's going on in yours.

5. Don't Overreact When Dating. The other thing I commonly hear from clients who have been rejected is some version of this: "I'm never going to talk to that person ever again now that I was rejected by them." This is not only a total overreaction, it is also absolutely the wrong thing to do. So you tried to talk to (or smile or look at) someone, and they didn't respond. As I mentioned above, there are a million possible reasons why that person did not respond to you. It doesn't necessarily mean that person wouldn't want to talk to you another time. If I smile at a woman and she doesn't respond, I don't play hide-and-go-seek the next time I see her. I am equally friendly to her the next time I see her, because you never know what will happen that second time. It's a different day. Put the last time behind you.

These are some ways to help you get over rejection. Realize that in order to get good at interacting with potential mates, you are going to get rejected. In fact, you want to get rejected every single day, because if you're not, it means you're not trying.
So ask yourself this: Did you get rejected today, and how can you go out tomorrow and make it an even better day than today? Learn to not only handle but to embrace rejection, and you will meet great new people and have an amazing social life.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Enjoying Life?

Excerpt from Liveprayer.com's Daily Devotional--



"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more
abundantly." (John 10:10 KJV)


Are you enjoying your life? Seriously, take a moment right now, think, and
honestly answer me, are you enjoying your life? I am not asking you if
everything is perfect in your life, since that will never be the case. We
will always have things that we are facing, battles to fight, challenges to
overcome, that is simply part of living in this sin-filled and fallen world
we are passing through. But today I want you to take some time and reflect
and tell me whether you are enjoying your life or not.

In my time with the Lord very early this morning, this is the question God
asked me. As I was praying for the things I had on my list to pray for,
spending some time after that just fellowshipping with the Lord and talking
to Him about different issues, He stopped me and simply asked, "Bill, are
you enjoying your life?" Without any hesitation I told the Lord that yes, I
was really enjoying my life. Despite the problems and trials we all have to
face in our life, despite the never-ending challenges of Liveprayer, the
bottom line is I look forward to each day and truly enjoy my life.

Afterwards, I was thinking back about this seemingly strange question He had
asked me, but the more I thought about it the less strange it really was.
You see, the Lord wants us to enjoy our life. After all, the Bible tells us
that He came to give us life and LIFE MORE ABUNDANTLY! This is a Biblical
truth that we often forget and I am afraid a promise from the Lord we don't
embrace enough. What happens is we get so caught up in our day-to-day trials
and tribulations we forget that we are supposed to be enjoying our life
along the way.

Here is the key and the message I want you to hear today. No matter what
your trials may be, no matter what your challenges may be, no matter what
your battles may be, you can still enjoy your life and embrace the promise
that Jesus came to not just give us life, but life more abundantly! That
means despite the hurts and pains you may be experiencing today, you can
still enjoy your life and the abundance Christ promised you.

I already know many of you have stopped reading and are typing emails that
basically are asking me how you can enjoy your life when you are going
through a divorce, or dealing with a major health crisis, or in bondage to
some addiction, or have serious financial problems, or children who are
living in rebellion to God, or need a job, or any number of things that may
be going on in your life today. The answer is your relationship with Christ!
Because of HIM, you can face all of the problems that are out there and
still enjoy your life.

Jesus told His disciples in the Garden that they would have trials and
tribulations in their life, but He added to "be of good cheer" because He
had overcome this world. We can never forget that because of the victory
Christ won on the cross 2000 years ago, we have the victory over whatever
problems life may bring our way. We can go through a divorce and be
victorious. We can battle major health problems and be victorious. We can
battle an addiction and be victorious. We can face severe financial problems
and be victorious. We can face whatever life throws our way and be
victorious because of HIM!!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Man Behind The Words


The Man Behind the Words is author/speaker Cecil Murphy.

One of my favorite books by Cec is one he wrote with Don Piper--90 Minutes in Heaven.

Don Piper recounts the dramatic story of his ninety-minute journey to heaven. When a truck crushed his Ford Escort in a head-on collision, he was declared dead on scene. But a passing minister sensed that God wanted him to pray, so he reached through the wreckage to clasp Piper's bloody hand while he did so. Piper's incredulous voice speaks of what he believes he saw: heaven's luminous gates through which he could see streets paved with gold, as well as relatives and loved ones who surrounded him yet wouldn't let him pass through because it wasn't his time. This incredible story is one of faith and inspiration.

I'm actually going to have to buy another copy, since the one I loaned out never came back.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Proposals and Platforms

This is a great offer by Terry Whalin and Rosey Dow. If you've thought of putting together your own non-fiction book proposal, you'll want to check this out.

From Terry:

What Is the Platform & Book Proposal Connection ?

On a regular basis, writers will ask me, "How can I build a platform to increase my visibility in the market?"

Throughout my over 20 years in publishing, I've learned one simple truth. Traditional publishers make powerful books. They have great distribution and attractive covers. Ready for the simple truth? Most of them are lacking in the ability to help their authors sell books. Authors can't delegate that responsibility to their publishers. Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, you still need to be building your platform. Fiction is based on a great story and nonfiction is based on a great idea, careful research and storytelling. Both types of writing need to have excellent storytelling--but my contention is that every author will be better positioned to actually reach customers and sell books if they have built an audience or platform which is hungry for their work.

Maybe you have questions about this process and where to start, then I've got a resource for you. Next Tuesday, September 16th, I will be talking with Rosey Dow about this matter and answering your questions. Follow this link to sign up and attend the live event. If you can't attend the event, then still sign up because the session will be recorded and you can listen to the replay.

More info on Terry's blog.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 9/11


Psalm 23
A psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [f]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Fiction


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

In The Shadow Of Lions

David C. Cook; 1 edition (September 2008)

by

Ginger Garrett



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ginger Garrett is the critically acclaimed author of Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther, which was recognized as one of the top five novels of 2006 by the ECPA, and Dark Hour. An expert in ancient women's history, Ginger creates novels and nonfiction resources that explore the lives of historical women.

Her newest release is Beauty Secrets of the Bible, (September 11, Thomas Nelson) based on the historical research that began in her work on Chosen. The book explores the connections between beauty and spirituality, offering women both historical insights and scientific proofs that reveal powerful, natural beauty secrets.

A frequent radio guest on stations across the country, including NPR and Billy Graham's The Hour of Decision, Ginger is also a popular television guest. Her appearances include Harvest Television, Friends & Neighbors, and Babbie's House. Ginger frequently serves as a co-host on the inspirational cable program Deeper Living.

In 2007, Ginger was nominated for the Georgia Author of the Year Award for her novel Dark Hour. When she's not writing, you may spy Ginger hunting for vintage jewelry at thrift stores, running (slowly) in 5k and 10k races, or just trying to chase down one of her errant sheepdogs. A native Texan, she now resides in Georgia with her husband and three children.


ABOUT THE BOOK



"I am the first writer, The Scribe. My books lie open before the Throne, and someday will be the only witness of your people and their time in this world."

So begins the narration of one such angel in this sweeping historical tale set during the reign of England's Henry VIII. It is the story of two women, their guardian angels, and a mysterious, subversive book ... a book that outrages some, inspires others, and launches the Protestant Reformation.

The devout Anne Boleyn catches the eye of a powerful king and uses her influence to champion an English translation of the Bible. Meanwhile, Rose, a broken, suicidal woman of the streets, is moved to seek God when she witnesses Thomas More's public displays of Christian charity, ignorant of his secret life spent eradicating the Bible, persecuting anyone who dares read it.

Historic figures come alive in this thrilling story of heroes and villains, saints and sinners, angels and mortals ... and the sacred book that will inspire you anew. Fans of Francine Rivers and Karen Kingsbury will love Ginger's intriguing combination of rich character development, artful settings, and inspiring historical insights.

If you would like to read an excerpt from In The Shadow Of Lions, go HERE

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Words to Write By



I am excited to announce that my new collection of writer's devotionals is ready to be pre-ordered here. Join me and more than 50 authors for writing-related inspiration based on Scripture and famous quotations.

What words do *you* write by?

Monday, September 01, 2008

Extreme?


Excerpt from Liveprayer.com's Daily Devotional--and why we must keep writing.


In 2008, the Christian faith is now seen by most to be "extreme" and a faith
that is "against" everything. When I preach in churches or at events, people
love that my messages are rarely longer than 20-30 minutes. I have one key
topic, I hone in on it, hit it hard, and then challenge the listeners.
However, today's topic is an issue I could pull a Paul and preach about all
night long. In this nation, the Christian faith is now seen as "extreme." We
are best known for being a faith that is "against" everything. This has been
an effective way the non-believing world has found to intimidate Believers
into silence and keep them out of the marketplace. Sadly it has worked!

Why are we called extreme? We believe the Bible to be God's inspired,
inerrant Word representing Absolute Truth and our final authority in all
matters. Based on God's Word that it is the ONLY Truth, it makes all of the
other religions, belief systems and philosophies false. Based on God's Word,
it means those who deny faith in Jesus Christ will go to hell. I'm not the
one who calls all of the other religions and philosophies in the world
false, God is! I'm not the one who has determined who will go to Heaven and
hell, God already did!

I get so sick and tired of hearing nonbelievers, and INFURIATED when I hear
Believers say, "Who are you to call someone's religion false? Who are you to
tell someone that they will be going to hell?" I DIDN'T, GOD DID! IT IS IN
THE BIBLE! EITHER WHAT GOD SAID IS TRUE OR IT ISN'T. THE BIBLE SAYS THERE IS
ONLY ONE TRUTH, GOD'S! THE BIBLE SAYS THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO BE SAVED,
FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST! THAT MEANS THE OTHER RELIGIONS AND PHILOSOPHIES ARE A
LIE AND THAT ANYONE WHO DOES NOT ACCEPT CHRIST BY FAITH WILL DIE AND GO TO
HELL! GOD SAID IT, NOT BILL KELLER!

Because this world we live in has rejected God, the Truth of the Bible, and
faith in Jesus Christ, they have been successful in labeling Christians as
extreme. In the United States just 50 years ago, Christianity was considered
mainstream. In a single generation it has gone from being mainstream to
extreme. It is a faith that has gone from being loved to reviled, accepted
to ridiculed. How did that happen? Gutless and compromised spiritual
leaders! The flock is only as good as their shepherd. There are too many
pastors and those God called to spiritual leadership who have compromised
their calling by denying the Truth of the Bible or by getting caught up in
building their own kingdom instead of God's Kingdom.

New Fiction!


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Back To Life

Avon Inspire (September 16, 2008)

by

Kristin Billerbeck



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kristin Billerbeck was born in Redwood City, California. She went to San Jose State University and gained a bachelor's degree in Advertising, then worked at the Fairmont Hotel in PR, a small ad agency as an account exec, and then, she was thrust into the exciting world of shopping mall marketing.

She got married, had four kids, and started writing romance novels until she found her passion: Chick Lit. She is a CBA bestselling author and two-time winner of the ACFW Book of the Year for What A Girl Wants in 2004, and again in 2006 for With this Ring. Featured in the New York Times, USA Today, World Magazine, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Kristin has appeared on the Today Show. She is credited with jump-starting the inspirational chick-lit phenomenon. Most recently she has been names as a finalist for the Christy Award in the Lits category for The Trophy Wives Club.

Her other recent books include: She's All That.


ABOUT THE BOOK


Lindsey realized when she married Ron, a man 17 years her senior, that the odds were he’d see heaven before her, but she never expected to be a widow at 35. There’s too much of life left for her to just sit around in mourning. But she can’t seem to kick start the rest of her life.

That is until she gets some help from Ron’s first wife, Jane, who shows up unexpectedly at her door one day as the executor of her husband’s estate. Jane is everything Lindsey’s not… independent, stubborn… and a lot older. Plus she has one surprise after another… including a son named Ron Jr. (she insists he’s not “really” Ron’s son). But an unlikely friendship develops as each woman begins to reevaluate what is really important, and owns up to the mistakes they’ve made in the past.

Told in the alternating voices of Jane and Lindsey, and with the return of many of the witty characters of The Trophy Wives Club, this book is a lighthearted, relatable read for when life goes in a direction you never planned. With faith and friends, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.

If you would like to read an excerpt of chapter 1 of Back To Life, go HERE