Monday, December 13, 2010

Christian Fiction Online Magazine

I did a fun interview with Bonnie Calhoun at Christian Fiction Online Magazine. I had a blast doing this and talking about marketing in the publishing industry. Hope you check it out!

And...MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

About Those Trials...

Last week I did two posts about unending trials. I see so much of this in many people's lives these days, including my own. I pray they encourage and strengthen your faith.

 The Unending Trials
One of the heaviest burdens we carry for ourselves and others are those that don’t seem to end...


 Thankful for Trials?
The longer I’m on this journey with God, the more I realize how little I truly understand of his ways...





Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Growing Pains

So, I'm on day 32 of this Hcg diet through biobody.me. I'm not a fan of drastic diets because common sense has always steered me away from anything that just offers a fast fix and not a permanant solution. But I turn 45 in a week and my metabolism was threading complete revolt.

Thus I'm adventure into this crazy diet that seemed so impossible for a food addict like me. I will tell you this is one of the hardest things I've ever done, but I'm happy to report that as of today I've lost 19 lbs. and have reached my main goal. Now I'd love to reach the weight on my driver's lisence, which is just 4.5 lbs. I have 8 more days to do it so I'm going to have to behave. LOL!

What zurprised me about this diet is how it broke my addiction to sugar, which is a big no-no on this diet, and is even discouraged after the main 40 day protocol is completed. I can now see how sugar has truly been my downfall. Even my sweet hubby made this discovery in his own diet. He went sugar free in January and dropped 20 lbs. in 2 months. The bum... ;-)

So, I've learned a lot about how my body feels without all that sugar and crud weighing it down, literally. And I can see long term benefits from eating cleaner. My plan after the three week maintenance phase of this diet is to move to the South Beach Diet. Another one I avoided until a friend around my age had greet success with it and loves eating this way everyday.

And after this 40 days of tight restrictions, that diet will seem like a dream. Happy eating!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Marriage for Training

I'm blogging over at Spiritually Unequal Marriage today about what would happen if we shifted our view of how God uses marriage to prep us for deeper intimacy with Him. I read an interesting post by Kevin Adams that really made me think about this. I hope you'll go check out my post and Kevin's article over at S.U.M.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Snow Day by Billy Coffey

So I just started this book and haven't had a chance to finish it just yet. I'm about third of the way through and can tell you this book is fabulous! Full of authentic prose and anecdotal stories, this is a book you will definitely revisit and love to share. Great as a gift, and with Christmas coming—perfect!


This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Snow Day
FaithWords (October 11, 2010)

by

Billy Coffey

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
When you’re raised in small-town Virginia by a redneck father and a Mennonite mother, certain things become ingrained. And when you marry a small-town girl and have two small-town kids, all you want to do is pass those ingrained things along.

Like believing the best life is one lived in the country enjoying the pleasures it provides—summer nights beneath the stars, rocking chairs on the front porch, deer grazing in the fields. And believing that no matter how iffy life can get sometimes, there are some things that are eternal and unchanging.

But above all else, believing that in everything there is story waiting to be told.

That’s where I come in.

Billy Coffey was raised on stories. The first ones came on the front porches of relatives, tales laced with local charm and deep meaning. Then came the stories from people like Max Lucado and Robert Fulghum, who write with a charm and deep meaning of their own.

Billy lives with his wife and two children in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. If you drive by his house, you’ll probably spot him on the front porch. If you do, give him a wave. He’ll wave back.


ABOUT THE BOOK
In this debut novel, Peter is a simple man who lives by a simple truth--a person gains strength by leaning on his constants. To him, those constants are the factory where he works, the family he loves, and the God who sustains him. But when news of job cuts comes against the backdrop of an unexpected snowstorm, his life becomes filled with far more doubts than certainties.

With humor and a gift for storytelling, Billy Coffey brings you along as he spends his snow day encountering family, friends, and strangers of his small Virginia town. All have had their own battles with life's storms. Some have found redemption. Others are still seeking it. But each one offers a piece to the puzzle of why we must sometimes suffer loss, and each one will help Peter find a greater truth--our lives are made beautiful not by our big moments, but our little ones. (2010)

To read an excerpt from Snow Day, go HERE.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Judgment Day by Wanda Dyson

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

Judgment Day
WaterBrook Press (September 21, 2010)

by
Wanda Dyson

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Wanda Dyson – "a shining example of what Christian fiction is becoming..." (Christian Fiction Review). She's been called a "natural" and a "master of pacing," but her fans know that whether it's police thrillers, suspense, or bringing a true story to life, Wanda knows how to take her readers on a journey they'll never forget.

Wanda is a multipublished suspense author, currently writing for Random House/Waterbrook. Her one attempt at a nonfiction book was picked for an exclusive release on Oprah. In addition to writing full time, she is also the appointment coordinator for the CCWC, Great Philadelphia Christian Writers, and ACFW conferences.

Wanda lives in Western Maryland on a 125 acre farm with a menagerie of animals and when she's not writing critically acclaimed suspense, or away at conferences, you can find her zipping across the fields on a 4-wheeler with Maya, her German Shepherd, or plodding along at a more leisurely pace on her horse, Nanza.

With the release of her newest hit, Judgment Day, Wanda is heading back to the keyboard to start on her next high-octane thriller, The Vigilante.

ABOUT THE BOOK
Sensational journalism has never been so deadly.

The weekly cable news show Judgment Day with Suzanne Kidwell promises to expose businessmen, religious leaders, and politicians for the lies they tell. Suzanne positions herself as a champion of ethics and morality with a backbone of steel—until a revelation of her shoddy investigation tactics and creative fact embellishing put her in hot water with her employers, putting her credibility in question and threatening her professional ambitions.

Bitter and angry, Suzanne returns home one day to find an entrepreneur she is investigating, John Edward Sterling, unconscious on her living room floor. Before the night is over, Sterling is dead, she has his blood on her hands, and the police are arresting her for murder. She needs help to prove her innocence, but her only hope, private investigator Marcus Crisp, is also her ex-fiancĂ©–the man she betrayed in college.

Marcus and his partner Alexandria Fisher-Hawthorne reluctantly agree to take the case, but they won’t cut Suzanne any slack. Exposing her lack of ethics and the lives she’s destroyed in her fight for ratings does little to make them think Suzanne is innocent. But as Marcus digs into the mire of secrets surrounding her enemies, he unveils an alliance well-worth killing for. Now all he has to do is keep Suzanne and Alex alive long enough to prove it.

Watch the book trailer:


If you would like to read the Prologue and first chapter of Judgment Day, go HERE.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Take on Immanuel's Veins by Ted Dekker

As I was traveling last week, I had quite a few hours on airplanes to read Immanuel's Veins by Ted Dekker. This book is a powerful allegory for the passion, pursuit, and sacrifice of Christ. I will even go as far to say that I found myself stopping at points near the end to pray, to praise Jesus for his death for us, and to pray for my husband to know what this amazing sacrifice means.

And here's where it went even farther in my heart. Not only is Toma's love for Lucine so representative of Christ's love for us, I saw in it the love Christ calls us to have for our unbelieving spouses. I could completely relate to Toma's willingness to do whatever it took, to sacrifice anything, to pray that most dangerous prayer (Lord, do whatever it takes) to bring the one he loved to truth.

As one who is spiritually mismatched, this story not only resonated with me regarding my own salvation but also the yearning to see my husband know and experience this all consuming love that is so completely and totally our God.

One line in particular stood out to me, even the page number stuck with me (pg. 285). As said of evil:

"Their lust to win the love of mortals away from God knows no bounds."

The truth of this one line resonated deeply with me. This is the battle we face on a daily basis and the darkness that encompasses our unbelieving loved ones. However, to know the depths of God's love (if that's even possible this side of heaven), or should I better say to begin to grasp this all-encompassing love God has for us, shifts the desire for our unbelieving spouses to know Jesus from a selfish motivation to a shared passion with Christ that our loved one would truly know God, to experience the sacrificial love displayed in his Son Jesus, and to walk with God's Holy Spirit.

Thought provoking, powerful, beyond fiction...this book crosses from words on the page to truth piercing the heart.


CONTEST UPDATE: Without further ado, the winner is Helen! If you left a comment on my blog or Facebook page, thank you for participating. God bless!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Immanuel's Veins by Ted Dekker

Special thanks to Thomas Nelson for sending me a review copy of Immanuel's Veins by Ted Dekker. I just received the book so I haven't had a chance to finish yet, but I have to say I was immediately intrigued within the first few pages. And now, several chapters in, I'm more than intrigued.

This is quite a diversion for Dekker—something I appreciate about this writer. He's not afraid to explore new ideas and has the ability to always delight and surprise.

So, check out the rest of this post. There's a rockin' book trailer that will blow your socks off. I say that as a graphic designer who's very picky about book trailers. This is one of the best I've seen. Plus there's a contest here, friends! But you have to check out the rest of the details right to the end. :-)

Without further ado...


This week, the


Christian Fiction Blog Alliance


is introducing


Immanuel's Veins
Thomas Nelson (September 7, 2010)


by
Ted Dekker


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ted Dekker is a New York Times best-selling author of more than twenty novels. He is best known for stories which could be broadly described as suspense thrillers with major twists and unforgettable characters, though he has also made a name for himself among fantasy fans.

Early in his career he wrote a number of spiritual thrillers and his novels were lumped in with ‘Christian Fiction’ a surprisingly large category. His later novels are a mix of mainstream novels such as Adam, Thr3e, Skin, Obsessed and BoneMan’s Daughters, and fantasy thrillers that metaphorically explore faith. Best known among these is his Circle Series: Green, Black, Red, White and The Paradise Books: Showdown, Saint, and Sinner.

Dekker was born to missionaries who lived among the headhunter tribes of Indonesia. Because his parents’ work often included extended periods of time away from their children, Dekker describes his early life in a culture to which he was a stranger as both fascinating and lonely. It is this unique upbringing that forced him to rely on his own imagination to create a world in which he belonged.

After leaving Indonesia, Dekker graduated from a multi-cultural high school and took up permanent residence in the United States to study philosophy and religion. Upon earning his Bachelor’s Degree, he entered the corporate world and proceeded to climb the proverbial ladder. But his personal drive left him restless and, after many successful years, he traded corporate life for wide range of entrepreneurial pursuits that included buying and selling businesses, healthcare services, and marketing.

In the early nineties while visiting a friend who had just written a book, Dekker decided to pursue a long held desire to be a novelist. Over the course of two years he wrote two full length novels before starting from scratch and rewriting both. Now fully enamored by the the process and the stories, he realized that storytelling was in his blood and a new obsession to explore truth through story gripped him anew.

He sold his business, moved his family to the mountains of Western Colorado and began writing full-time on his third novel. Two years and three novels later his first novel, Heaven’s Wager, was published.

Now, Dekker’s novels had sold over 3.4 million copies worldwide. Two of his novels, Thr3e and House, have been made into movies with more in production. Dekker resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Lee Ann and two of their daughters.

ABOUT THE BOOK
This story is for everyone--but not everyone is for this story.

It is a dangerous tale of times past. A torrid love story full of deep seduction. A story of terrible longing and bold sacrifice.

Then as now, evil begins its courtship cloaked in light. And the heart embraces what it should flee. Forgetting it once had a truer lover.

With a kiss, evil will ravage body, soul, and mind. Yet there remains hope, because the heart knows no bounds.

Love will prove greater than lust. Sacrifice will overcome seduction. And blood will flow.

Because the battle for the heart is always violently opposed. For those desperate to drink deep from this fountain of life, enter.

But remember, not everyone is for this story.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Immanuel's Veins, go HERE.

Watch the book trailer:



Check out Ted's blog for more events and details: http://www.facebook.com/teddekker

THE CONTEST
Leave a comment to entered into the contest to win a copy of Immanuel's Veins and a super cool "Spread the Love" T-shirt. I got one with my book and love the design!

And now in line with the theme of love, here's a post I wrote about three powerful words in the Bible. Three words that exemplify Christ's unconditional love. For you, for me, for all of us...

THREE POWERFUL WORDS
In Mark 10, we’re told about the story of a rich young man who approaches Jesus and asks what he has to do to inherit eternal life. Now read Jesus’ reply below as I’ve shown an edited version of it. You’ll understand why I did this in just a moment.

Jesus looked at him... "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." — Mark 10:21

Read it again if you need to and notice every word. Now read the complete version of this same verse:

Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." — Mark 10:21

Can you see the difference? If not, go back and compare the two and find the three words missing from the first one. Three little words:

and loved him

They don’t have to be there to show what’s going on, but those three words stopped me in my tracks. Here stands this young man who lacks nothing materially. Jesus can see his heart before he even speaks a word, and most likely knows what this young man will say.

Yet—and this is the part that blows me away—Jesus loved him. He loved this man whose world centered on his wealth. This man who would turn and walk away from the gift Jesus offered. The man who was so mired in his sinful nature that when offered the key to eternity (Jesus was offering himself here), he still chose to walk away.

Through all this, Jesus loved this man and met him exactly where he stood, figuratively and literally.

Every time Jesus looks upon us, He loves us. Every time Jesus looks upon our unbelieving spouses, He loves them. Exactly where they’re at.

These three little words held within the complete context of this chapter of Mark is one of the strongest examples of Christ’s unconditional love. When God inspired the men to write His Word down, He intentionally put those words in there for a reason. Not as an afterthought.

As Christ loved this man who was poor despite his wealth, so we are called to love our unbelieving loved ones. We stand before them, possibly the only representation of Christ in their lives. We are the door Christ can walk through and reveal His endless and intentional love.

God’s love is not afterthought. It is the heart of His salvation. And when we allow God to use us to reveal His heart…His love, we stand in the footsteps of Christ.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

Monday, August 30, 2010

When the Devil Whistles by Rick Acker

I had the pleasure and honor to read an advance copy of Rick's book (thank you, Rick!) and let's just say WOW! Rick Acker is definitely an author to watch, and follow. His attention to detail is not only phenomenal, it's riveting. As you read, you think the author had to have experienced all this stuff first hand. Some he did, a lot he researched...obviously well.

When the Devil Whistles is a stellar book. The story is so intriguing, I couldn't wait to get time each day to go back and read more of the story. Can't wait to read more books by this very talented author. Next on my list is his previous book, Deadman's Rule.

In fact, I think I'll go check it out right now...

Happy reading!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Tomorrow We Die by Shawn Grady

Shawn Grady's first book, Through the Fire, was a refreshing surprise to me in the Christian fiction industry. I love this guy's voice, and his stories rock. So, needless to say, I couldn't wait to get a copy of his next book, Tomorrow We Die.

Grady surpassed his first book with another intriguing and attention grabbing story. I couldn't put the book down. Well, I did, but not easily.

I love finding an author whose books I want to gobble up. So this happy reader is waiting for the next installment from this fabulous author. If you love good suspense, check him out. He's definitely an author to follow.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My New Attitude Increased My Gas Mileage

And yours can too! Okay, you know you wanted to add that on. Sounds like a cheap ad, but there's a truth to it.

If you're a taxi-mom, a commuter, a delivery person, or whatever keeps you in traffic, you know the frustration of getting from point A to point B in the least amount of time. However, did you know this "anxious" attitude does more than just spike your blood pressure?

I've discovered something very interesting of late. In the past, I've been disappointed with my cars not reaching their full potential. What does that mean?

It means they never seem to meet the estimated gas mileage. And if you live in California like I do, it's even more frustrating because of the stricter pollution regulations (which btw, I appreciated and have no desire to interfere there).

I guess you could say I had a revelation. One day I noticed I had become a really frustrated driver. Every time I went out, my irritability came out full force. What's even worse is I noticed it was rubbing off on my daughter. She started venting at other drivers as well.

Not good. From that point on I made a concerted effort to leave with plenty of time, to drive as if I had that extra time, which I did, and enjoy the ride.

Took a little time, but I noticed my irritability went away, we always seem to be on time now, and the amazing part?

My gas mileage went up. I have this little gauge on my car that tells me how I'm doing, and I'm actually getting the estimated gas mileage. Amazing how a new attitude can overlap unexpected areas.

So, I'm back on the road, relaxed and saving gas. How's the road treating you? Maybe I'll see around...

Monday, August 09, 2010

Let's Talk About Trends

Being in tune with the world of advertising, I find trends fascinating. There is a distinct pattern that seems to surface and build. I'm sure you've noticed this at times too.

One I noticed recently has to do with real estate. I don't know what it's like where you are but in California, to get a house you often wind up in bidding wars. It's crazy but true. Houses in the mid price range (500,000 to 600,000) are in high demand.

This new trend has to do with the real estate signs they put in the yard. The new trend is to put a "Coming Soon" sign on top of that traditional Realtor sign. The first time I saw this, I had to laugh, then appreciate the strategy to build buyer interest. Now this new trend is taking off and I'm seeing it across the country.

Very interesting...

The lesson here is the industry adapted. They found a way to maximize a changing market to work for them. That's not always easy but adaptability is crucial to ongoing success. Instead of trying to make a massive market conform to you, you have to find a niche to bring your product and services in to uniquely fit that crevice. Then you can grow it from there.

So, whatever your product or service, look at your market, and identify a gap you can fill. Trying to hit a market in a broad sense waters down your product and has no appeal.

That's also why it's so crucial to be clear about what your product and services are. But that's a discussion for another day.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Great Articles on Branding

Lynne over at EntrepreneurChic has a great two part article on branding at her site. She shares my belief that consistency is key and has some great insight on how to think through what your brand should be. So, take a look and glean some goodies!

Personal Branding Guide, Part 1
Personal Branding Guide, Part 2

Thursday, July 29, 2010

From Honest Man to Thief

One of my favorite TV shows is Leverage because the characters are deep and multi-faceted. Nathan Ford was once an insurance investigator, specializing in art theft recovery. He’s now the reluctant “mastermind” behind the cons of a group of thieves. I say “reluctant” because he’s in cahoots with the very thieves he used to catch and put in jail. Why does Nathan do this?

Read the full article at Voices e-zine.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Nightshade by Ronie Kendig

 
is introducing 

Nightshade 


Barbour Books (July 1, 2010)
by 
Ronie Kendig


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ronie has been married since 1990 to a man who can easily be defined in classic terms as a hero. She has four beautiful children. Her eldest daughter is 16 this year, her second daughter will be 13, and her twin boys are 10. After having four children, she finally finished her degree in December 2006. She now has a B.S. in Psychology through Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA. Getting her degree is a huge triumph for both her and her family--they survived!!

This degree has also given her a fabulous perspective on her characters and how to not only make them deeper, stronger, but to make them realistic and know how they'll respond to each situation. Her debut novel, Dead Reckoning released March 2010 from Abingdon Press. And her Discarded Heroes series begins in July from Barbour with the first book entitled Nightshade.

ABOUT THE BOOK
After a tour of duty in a war-torn country, embattled former Navy SEAL Max Jacobs finds himself discarded and alienated from those he loves as he struggles with war-related PTSD. His wife, Sydney, files a restraining order against him and a petition for divorce. Max is devastated.

Then a mysterious a man appears. He says he's organizing a group that recycles veterans like Max. It's a deep-six group known as Nightshade. With the chance to find purpose in life once again, Max is unable to resist the call of duty and signs on.

The team handles everything with precision and lethal skill...until they're called upon to rescue a missionary family from a rebel-infested jungle and avoid a reporter hunting their identities. Will Max yield his anger and pride to a force greater than him...love?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Nightshade, go HERE.

CONTEST: Right here, only on Kittens Come From Eggs! Leave a comment and one person will win a copy of Nightshade AND Dead Reckoning. Winner will be announced Friday so don't miss out!

Watch the trailer:

Monday, July 19, 2010

And the Winner is...

Lisa Jordan wins a copy of Writing for Emotional Impact by Karl Iglesias. This book is a treasure trove for writers and a great compliment, I must say, to Donald Maass' Writing the Breakout Novel.

Thank you for all your comments and for hanging out here last week! Hope your conference experience is spectacular. :-)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Part Four: The 3 C’s: Colors, Continuity, and Choices

So far we’ve talked about product identification, one-sheets and business cards. Today I’ll give you some basic tips about the 3C's to carry your imagery across the board to your website, blog, and future promotions. Consistency is key!

Colors
I touched on this briefly in part two of this series about the one sheet. Your colors should mesh with your genre. A color scheme of deep red, black, and white will bring across a sense of danger, suspense, and strength. Great for those thriller and suspense writers. Pastel tones give a sense of happiness and peace—a perfect choice for inspirational writers, some women’s fiction, and children’s books. Bold, loud colors are perfect for chick-lit and lively women’s fiction. I think you get the picture here. Choose colors that convey the theme of your stories. This holds true for your printed materials, as well as your web presence, and is another important aspect of continuity.

Continuity
Creating a common theme between your printed and online materials is like writing a book series. There are elements that carry over from book to book and stay consistent. This will create strong reader identification (also why book series have continuity between covers in their design, colors, fonts, and imagery) and this also speaks a strong but silent message of professionalism.

If you started with your website, carry those designs and colors over to your business card, letterhead, and promotional materials. If you’re a published author and you’re using your current book as a guideline, then your materials to promote that book should match it. Again, this creates strong reader identification. Making connections between advertising materials to the product on the shelf (your book) is vital to a successful promotion. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time. And your money.

Choices: Timely vs. Timeless
This is where your planning will pay off. Literally. Make choices now based upon two things. One, your immediate goal. Are you promoting a book? Then make a “timely” choice.” Design your bookmarks, postcards, and online materials to match in color, design, and even fonts. Order quantities of your printed materials based upon your need. It may be a great deal to spend that extra few dollars just to get 500 more bookmarks, but if you wind up not needing them, then it’s money wasted.

Two, your long term goal. Are you promoting yourself as an author? When making “timeless” choices for your printed and online materials, keep in mind that you will most likely keep this “identity” for two to five years. Can you live with that logo and color scheme that long? Making frequent changes will lose continuity and confuse readers. Choose colors and designs for the long haul. Take advantage of the price break between 250 hundred and 500 business cards if you you’re happy with your image and information, and you will make good use of them. The same can hold true for bookmarks, especially if they’re promoting a series of books, or your books in general.

I hope this series has been helpful. Leave a comment for another chance to win Writing for Emotional Impact. I’ll draw a name this weekend and announce the winner Monday. And feel free to leave any questions. I’ll answer them here in the comments section. See you at conference!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Part Three: The Business Card

Most of what I’ve covered for the one sheet applies to business cards as well. These are basic design concepts that apply across the board. And even more so for the business card, because it’s a very small area of advertising designed to impart your most important information.

When I first started attending conferences, I found it odd that writers would include their picture. Now I understand its benefits in the connections we make and helping agents and editors remember who we are. They meet with so many people over the course of three days. A picture is a great way to stay in their memory. I do recommend you spend the money, if possible, on a professional photographer. In fact, each conference, a photographer is contracted for this very purpose. And at prices you just can’t beat. Take advantage of this opportunity. Trust me, even cropping a family portrait will still scream family portrait. It’s not just the quality, but the pose as well that can make a difference. If money is an issue, exchange services with someone. Ask around your church, or perhaps you have a family member or friend who does photography as a hobby. Just try to make sure it looks as professional as possible.

For your business card layout, you need your picture, which should be a high resolution image—around 1 MB or more—your name, email address, phone number and your web address, if you have one. Optional but helpful tidbits are a tagline and a blog addy. Don’t use a tagline just to have one. If you’re not sure yet what genre or style you plan to write, better to leave this off. And if you’re not a consistent blogger or don’t really keep up with it well enough, better to leave this off for now as well.

Use a good card stock for your printing. Here are some online printers that offer good service and competitive prices. I’ve worked with most of these and have found they’re all pretty good. And they have templates to step you through your business card design without additional charges—a great alternative if you can’t afford a designer.
  • Print Runner http://www.printrunner.com
  • Vista Print http://www.vistaprint.com
  • Printing for Less http://www.printingforless.com
  • Print Place http://www.printplace.com
  • Got Print http://gotprint.net
Tomorrow we’ll finish up our exploration into conference materials with the 3 Cs and how they can fit neatly into your marketing materials for the future. Don’t forget to leave a comment for more chances to win Writing for Emotional Impact, and questions are always welcome! See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Part Two: The One Sheet

Yesterday I talked about identifying your genre and/or niche so as to help you create your “mood.” Today let’s talk about the one sheet. Every year I see the questions start a couple months before conference. We’re gearing up and getting ready. We want to make a great first impression on those agents and editors we’re planning to meet. We want to make our stories shine.

The one sheet is an excellent tool to do just that. You can use imagery right along with your carefully crafted words to give a first impression as well. Just like a book cover gives a potential reader an initial glimpse of what your story is about, a one sheet can do the same.

The basic elements to a one sheet are: story title, a short synopsis, author picture and bio, contact information, and one or two images that portray what your story is about, either by story line, setting, or key elements. And make sure both your story blurb and your bio are polished and ready to go. Writing it along with your layout is a bad idea. Time and energy are wasted when a layout has to be redone because of major copy changes.

Let’s start with some basic layout hints to keep your one sheet looking clean and professional.

Fonts
The temptation can be mighty strong to use some of those quirky fonts you just noticed came with your favorite software program. Resist it! A good rule of thumb is no more than two fonts to a one-page layout. Sometimes three will work if you’re careful, but keep in mind that using the bold form of a font face is almost like using an additional font.

Now that you’ve gone to all that trouble to determine the “mood” of what you write, choose fonts to match. Find a font that suits your story title and feel free to use a bold form here. If you write techno thrillers, a curly cursive font is not going to fit. Find a modern san serif font (no serifs—the little embellishments) to set off that title. If your genre is chick-lit, have a little fun and use something interesting and lively. The point is to make your title stand out, AND fit your story.

Next choose a good font for your body copy for both the story synopsis and author bio. Serif fonts such as Times New Roman are usually the best choice for readability. You can also use a san serif font like Helvetica if it’s not a large block of copy, but keep the font size to 12 point. Again, resist the temptation to use a fancier font (AND NO CAPS or italics!!!). If an editor or agent can’t read it easily, you’ve just wasted all that effort and a chance to make a great first impression.

Use a bold form of that body font for your name and contact information. That’s critical information, which needs to be easily found and read. Keep it with your bio and make sure it’s complete. If you have an agent, that’s important to include as well.

If you have sub-titles or taglines, use either a larger and bold form of your body copy font, or choose another font that compliments your title font. Be sure not to clash here. This is when your can either make or break your one sheet. If it’s too busy, the eye will naturally resist reading. That’s the last thing you want happening when you pitch your story.

Images
If you’re a camera aficionado, feel free to use your own pictures. Otherwise, there are a multitude of image sources available online. Even Microsoft has a site for images and clip art. Another option is to use stock photos. Most sights involve fees and some are free as long as you follow their guidelines. Check these out:

  • StockXchange (http://www.sxc.hu/)
    This is a wonderful site to find free images. The photos are clearly marked as to what the photographer’s requirements are. Most are free to use as long as you’re not reselling the image or using it to create a logo. Some photographers ask for notification of use, which can be done easily through the site and some may ask that you give them credit for the photo (either placing their name by the picture or an aterix at the bottom of the page with a “photo by…” credit line.)
  • MorgueFile (http://www.morguefile.com/)
    Like StockXchange, this is another fee free site. Again, follow the guidelines and respect the photographers’ rights.
     
  • iStock Photo (http://www.istockphoto.com/index.php)
    iStock is usually my first choice for images for my clients. Using a prepurchase credit system, these images range anywhere from one or two credits to five or ten. Some run more if they’re detailed and/or high resolution, or are illustrations. You prepurchase blocks of credit, which works out to about a $1.50 a credit. Less if you buy larger quantities. Again, there are some usage guidelines, similar to StockXchange.

Book Series One Sheets
If you want your one sheet to promote a book series, consider creating a two-sided one sheet. You can use your series title as your main header, then treat your book titles like subheads, even using a smaller version of the same font you used for the main header. Include a brief description of each book to go with the titles and put your bio on the back. This will keep your page looking uncluttered and easy to read.

Simplicity
Simplicity is always a good rule of thumb. Find an image you like best and use it to set off your story title and synopsis. Make sure your bio picture is fairly current and as professional looking as possible. Try not to crop yourself out of a last year’s blurry family photo. Use colors sparingly, especially if you’re using color photography. A busy page will deflect, not invite.

Keep it clean, keep it organized, keep it simple, and keep it professional. Remember, this is your chance to start off with a great first impression of your professionalism and your story.

You can check out my website for some samples of one-sheets. And feel free to leave any questions. Tomorrow we’ll take a look at business cards and continuity in your materials. See you tomorrow!

Remember, leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Writing for Emotional Impact by Karl Iglesias. Ciao!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Part One: Who Are You?

The ACFW Conference is just weeks away, so I know many of you are wondering what you need or even where to start. Over the next four days, I’ll be posting some basics to help you get prepared. We’ll talk about identifying your genre or brand, one sheets, business cards, and how to apply this later on to your website, blogs, and future promotions.

So let’s start at the beginning. Who are you? Every path needs a starting point and creating marketing materials start with two things:

What am I selling?
Who am I selling it to?

Now to apply this to writing, start with your product. Your stories are your product, whether you’re published or unpublished (or pre-published, if you prefer). Start by identifying if you’re “genre specific” or “niche specific.”

Genre specific identifies what kind of stories you write. Suspense, YA, historicals, etc. Even if your story is a combination of genres, decide which is the stronger element to identify your book. In the long run, this helps agents and editors to identify and place your product. Where will it fit, and how will they market it?

If your story has more to do with a culture (Camy Tang’s Sushi Series), a hobby (Rebeca Seitz Scrapbooker’s Series), or ministry (Palmer and Chapman’s The Four Seasons of a Marriage Series), then your story is niche specific and serves a very unique demographic.

And it’s possible your stories could be both genre and niche specific, which can be even more appealing. Now don’t sweat this too much. It’s not an exact science, and if you’re just starting on your writing journey, keep it simple.

Once you’ve made this distinction, identify your market. Now I’m going to take the word “market” and use the word “mood” for my purposes here. The idea is to create materials that will portray what your story is about and clearly show that to the editor and/or agent you plan to pitch to. This is crucial to how you create your one sheets and business cards, and for published authors for your bookmarks and newsletters.

If your story is what you’d describe as a suspense or thriller, you don’t want to put cute little flowers and use bright colors on your one sheet. And if that’s your genre, you don’t want a business card that looks more like something a chick-lit writer would have. This all boils down to imagery and first impressions. This is an opportunity to communicate clearly who you are AND what you’re selling.

Tomorrow, I’ll cover more specific ideas for designing one sheets. I’ll also have some resource links for free and affordable royalty free photographs to help create that mood we’re talking about as well as communicate your story.

Feel free to leave questions in the comment section. See you tomorrow!

Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Writing for Emotional Impact by Karl Iglesias, one of my favorite writing books! Leave a comment each day for more chances to win.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Tomorrow We Die by Shawn Grady

 
This week, the 
Christian Fiction Blog Allianc 
is introducing 
 
Tomorrow We Die
 Bethany House (July 1, 2010)
by 
Shawn Grady


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Shawn Grady signed with Bethany House Publishers in 2008. He was named “Most Promising New Writer” at the 39th Annual Mount Hermon Writers Conference. He is the author of the novels Through the Fire & Tomorrow We Die.

Shawn has served for over a decade as a firefighter and paramedic in northern Nevada. From fire engines and ambulances to tillered ladder trucks and helicopters, Shawn’s work environment has always been dynamic. The line of duty has carried him to a variety of locale, from high-rise fires in the city to the burning heavy timber of the eastern Sierras.

Shawn attended Point Loma Nazarene University as a Theology undergrad before shifting direction to acquire an Associate of Science degree in Fire Science Technology as well as Paramedic licensure through Truckee Meadows Community College.

Shawn currently lives in Reno, Nevada, just outside of Lake Tahoe. He enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife, three children and yellow Labrador.

ABOUT THE BOOK
Chase the Angel of Death and You Might Catch Him
Jonathan Trestle is a paramedic who's spent the week a few steps behind the angel of death. When he responds to a call about a man sprawled on a downtown sidewalk, Trestle isn't about to lose another victim. CPR revives the man long enough for him to hand Trestle a crumpled piece of paper and say, "Give this to Martin," before being taken to the hospital.

The note is a series of dashes and haphazard scribbles. Trestle tries to follow up with the patient later, but at the ICU he learns the man awoke, pulled out his IVs, and vanished, leaving only a single key behind. With the simple decision to honor a dying man's last wish, Jonathan tracks the key to a nearby motel where he finds the man again--this time not just dead but murdered. Unwilling to just let it drop, Jonathan is plunged into a mystery that soon threatens not only his dreams for the future but maybe even his life. He must race for the truth before the Angel of Death comes calling for him.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Tomorrow We Die, go to HERE.

Dineen here: Shawn Grady is a fantastic author. His first book, Through the Fire, is an awesome read. I'm almost halfway through Tomorrow We Die (special thanks to Bethany House for the reviewer copy) and am loving it as much as Grady's first book. His stories are unique and his characters original. And I love a story that holds together well from start to finish. Definitely a book worth reading and an author worth following.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Announcing the INSPYs: the Bloggers' Award for Excellence in Faith-Driven Literature

July 2, 2010-Organizers announced the creation of a new book award today. The announcement of the INSPY awards coordinated with the launch of the INSPYs website, http://inspys.com.

The innovative award is designed to help readers in their search for the preeminent faith-inspired literature of today. The INSPYs were created to select and showcase books with the highest literary standards that grapple with the Christian faith. To find these works, the INSPYs net is cast wide, accepting nominations of books aimed at the Christian bookstore market as well as those from the general market.

The INSPYs are the brainchild of Amy Riley, of My Friend Amy, creator Book Blogger Appreciation Week. "We feel nothing compares to excellent faith-driven fiction, but it can be difficult to weed through the multitude of books published each year in both the Christian marketplace and the general market to find the best ones," Riley said.

Another factor that sets the INSPY awards apart is that it's organized and will be judged by bloggers with considerable experience and knowledge of books published in both the general market and the CBA market.

Award organizers are seeking book nominations in the following genres: Historical Fiction; Amish Fiction; Thriller, Suspense, Crime Fiction; General and Literary Fiction; Romance and Romantic Suspense; Speculative Fiction; Creative nonfiction; and Young Adult Fiction. The deadline to nominate a book is July 31.

In addition to book nominations, judges for each genre are also being sought this month. Another way to help is to spread the word ? blog about the INSPYs, tell your friends.

The winners of the first-ever INSPY awards will be announced December 13.

The advisory committee consists of Amy Riley of My Friend Amy, Carrie Kitzmiller of Books and Movies, Deborah of Books, Movies & Chinese Food, Hannah Nielsen of Word Lily, and Rel Mollet of Relz Reviewz.

To stay informed, subscribe to the site: Inspys.com.

Contact: Hannah Nielsen, wordlily@gmail.com
OR: inspyawards@gmail.com

Thursday, June 10, 2010

For Dad


Tomorrow morning I get on an airplane to fly to Florida. Unfortunately, the event is my father’s funeral. He fought a brave battle with cancer for seven years. And this was his second go around with this hideous disease.

My dad was a true fighter, and a soldier at heart. He served his country faithfully in the army in Vietnam and continued through the years in service with the Florida National Guard as an instructor, then later on served as a Master Sergeant in the Army Reserves.

What many don’t know is that my dad didn’t “acquire” his family until I was eleven years old. I knew he was father material from the start though and didn’t waste time asking him to fill that roll. I’ll never forget asking at the wedding if I could call him Dad now.

He was Dad from that day on. Later he became Papa to my girls. He filled that roll well, too. For a time there he and my youngest daughter became cancer buddies, as she called it. They shared a bond through a shared disease.

He was the first example of a person of faith to come into my life. I remember him reading his Bible every night. When he was re-diagnosed, his main concern was that his faith stay strong, and in his last days, his main concern was his family.

I’m so thankful that God brought this dear man into our lives. James Marco will be dearly missed, but my greatest comfort is in knowing he’s most likely having a conversation with Jesus, getting answers to those questions he’s been accumulating about the Bible.

And I’ll see him again one day.
Praying and believing,
Dineen

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Deceit by Brandilyn Collins

 
This week, the   

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance 
is introducing 
 Deceit 
Zondervan (June 18, 2010)
by 
Brandilyn Collins
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Brandilyn Collins is an award-winning and best-selling novelist known for her trademark Seatbelt Suspense®. These harrowing crime thrillers have earned her the tagline "Don't forget to b r e a t h e..."® Brandilyn's first book, A Question of Innocence, was a true crime published by Avon in 1995. Its promotion landed her on local and national TV and radio, including the Phil Donahue and Leeza talk shows. Brandilyn is also known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). She is now working on her 20th book.

In addition, Brandilyn’s other latest release is Final Touch, third in The Rayne Tour series—young adult suspense co-written with her daughter, Amberly. The Rayne Tour series features Shaley O’Connor, daughter of a rock star, who just may have it all—until murder crashes her world.

ABOUT THE BOOK
Skip Tracer Joanne Weeks knows Baxter Jackson killed his second wife---and Joanne's best friend---seven years ago. But Jackson, a church elder and beloved member of the town, walks the streets a free man.

The police tell Joanne to leave well enough alone, but Joanne is determined to bring Jackson down. Using her skip tracing skills, she sets out to locate Melissa Harkoff, now twenty-two, who lived in the Jackson home at the time of Linda Jackson's disappearance.

As Joanne drives home on a rainy winter night, a hooded figure darts in front of her car. In her headlight beams she glimpses the half-concealed face of a man, a rivulet of blood jagging down his cheek. She squeals to a stop but clips him with her right fender. Shaking, she gets out of her car in the pouring rain. The man will not let her see his face. Before he limps off into the night he warns her not to talk to police.

As Joanne tries to find Melissa, someone seems to be after her. Who was the man she hit on the road. Is Baxter Jackson out to silence her? Or is some other skip she's traced in the past now out for revenge?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Deceit, go HERE.

  
*Congratulations to HL for winning Almost Forever by Deborah Raney!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Almost Forever by Deborah Raney

I wish I'd had the time to read my reviewer copy (thank you, Glass Roads), but family issues didn't permit. The story sounds wonderful, and anything from Deborah Raney has to be good. However, one especially blessed commenter will get my copy of this heartstring-tugging book. Be sure to include your email address so I can contact you!

 Unearthing a lost memory may cause her to lose everything she holds dear...but could it also set her free?

A firefighter's wife, Bryn thinks she knows more than most just how dangerous fire can be. Yet when it takes the life of her husband and four other firefighters, Bryn sees fire for the thief it truly is.

From their mutual despair, Bryn and another firefighter's surviving spouse form a close friendship. As the relationship begins to blossom into more, though, the thief comes again and Bryn must face the question: what caused the fire that stole her husband's life?

The award-winning, best-selling author of over twenty novels, Deborah Raney always delivers poignant stories of what it means to wrestle with the realities of a world in chaos...and emerge triumphant.

Her books have received the RITA Award, HOLT Medallion, National Readers' Choice Award, Silver Angel, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. Her novel, A Vow To Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title.




Still waiting to hear from AJ Phillips! She's the winner of Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes. Can't send a book without a mailing address. :-)

Friday, May 14, 2010

On Guard by William Lane Craig

I recently had the opportunity to get a review copy of On Guard by William Lane Craig. Since I'm married to a great guy who happens to be an atheist, I'm always looking for good books to help me know my faith and how to talk about it. So far, apologetics (not to be confused with apologize, it means defense) have for the most part flown over my head or fallen short of what I consider sound proof explanations. I know how my hubby's brain works for the most part and I can read something and clearly hear how he would give an explanation to defuse the belief.

However, On Guard is the first book I have found myself not doing this with. I haven't had a chance to finish it yet because it's something I need to read slowly and absorb. But so far, I am impressed with Craig's reasoning and I'm very impressed with the easy layout and readability of this book.

If you're like me and have steered away from apologetics in the past, I encourage you to take a look at this book. It's worth the look and your time.

Here's additional information about the book:
We are currently experiencing a renaissance of interest in Christian apologetics. Due to the virulent attacks of the New Atheists, the Internet Infidels, and all manner of Biblical Bashers, along with a rising anti-evangelical bias in the media, evangelical Christians are demanding training in how to defend their Christian faith. There is a need for a well-rounded training manual that provides the “how-tos” of defending the Christian worldview. William Lane Craig’s new book, On Guard, intends to be that manual.

A highly accessible, visual, and concise book loaded with helpful figures and interesting sidebars, On Guard is a one-stop guidebook to learn how to defend your faith. Combining the four core arguments for God’s existence with a case for the historicity of Jesus, this readable book also addresses difficult issues such as the problems of suffering and religious relativism. Writing in a highly personable way, Dr. Craig relates his own winding path to faith and tells the story of how God saved him and equipped him to become one of the world’s leading Christian apologists.

“American society has already become post-Christian,” writes Dr. Craig. “Belief in a sort of generic God is still the norm, but belief in Jesus Christ is now politically incorrect.” Packed with stories of Dr. Craig’s encounters with religious skeptics, On Guard provides more than philosophical arguments.  It relates real life experiences that illustrate the themes of our current culture. Dr. Craig maintains: “If the Gospel is to be heard as an intellectually viable option for thinking men and women today, then it’s vital that we as Christians try to shape American culture in such a way that Christian belief cannot be dismissed as mere superstition.”

According to Dr. Craig, the role of apologetics is to shape culture, strengthen believers, and win unbelievers. On Guard is the tool by which shaping, strengthening, and winning moves from improbable dream to attainable reality. Using an interactive layout designed to provoke thoughtful reflection and discussion among readers, this approachable book will be an instrument of impact to believers who are searching for and struggling with this culture’s biggest questions.

On Guard simplifies Dr. Craig’s vast work in apologetics yet is not simplistic. It provides easy to memorize arguments for God’s existence and the resurrection of Jesus, along with answers to the objections that one will likely encounter in sharing these arguments with others.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes

I'm delighted to share more about Gina Holmes' debut book, Crossing Oceans. You'll enjoy the book trailer. And since I received an ARC from Tyndale to review, the copy I received in conjunction with CFBA will go to one "lucky" commenter! So leave a comment and tell me what appeals most to you about reading this fabulous book.


This week, the
  Christian Fiction Blog Alliance 
is introducing 
Crossing Oceans 
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (May 1, 2010)
by 
Gina Holmes

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Gina Holmes began her career in 1998, penning articles and short stories. In 2005 she founded the influential literary blog, Novel Journey. She holds degrees in science and nursing and currently resides with her husband and children in southern Virginia. To learn more about her, visit May 2010's issue of CFOM at Interview with Gina Holmes or Novel Journey.





ABOUT THE BOOK
Jenny Lucas swore she’d never go home again. But being told you’re dying has a way of changing things. Years after she left, she and her five-year-old daughter, Isabella, must return to her sleepy North Carolina town to face the ghosts she left behind. They welcome her in the form of her oxygen tank–toting grandmother, her stoic and distant father, and David, Isabella’s dad . . . who doesn’t yet know he has a daughter. As Jenny navigates the rough and unknown waters of her new reality, the unforgettable story that unfolds is a testament to the power of love and its ability to change everything—to heal old hurts, bring new beginnings . . . even overcome the impossible. A stunning debut about love and loss from a talented new voice.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Crossing Oceans, go HERE.

Watch the Video Book Trailer:

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes

I must say this is an amazing book. It's been a long time since I've read something in women's fiction that's kept me this riveted. Jenny's story is poignant to say the least and a very believable one at that. It's a story about forgiveness and sacrificial love told in a way I never expected could be so beautiful.

Gina Holmes is an excellent writer and tells the story in first person from the main character's perspective for the entire book. Yet you still get a clear picture of the other characters through Jenny's eyes.

 Jenny's journey home is a difficult one as are the circumstance that force this direction. I love how Holmes takes this character through the paces of facing her own demons as well as difficult choices between what she wants and what she knows her daughter needs. The final one is the most difficult and though you know it's the right one, a part of me wanted to see Jenny have what she wanted for once.

Definitely a story that will stay with you and one that will make you think about your own choices and how they affect those you love.

*Review copy provided by Tyndale Publishers

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Clever Writing on a Shampoo Bottle

Actually it's a conditioner bottle, but that wouldn't have sounded as interesting in the title. However, here's the story. I bought a bottle of "Nourish Spa" hair conditioner at Trader Joe's and today I got to try this stuff out. I put it in my hair and checked the directions, just out of curiosity. This is what it says:

Apply after Nourish Shampoo, massaging its wealth of moisture into drenched hair. Rinse thoroughly and style.

Can you tell they really put some thought into this one line of copy to suit the spa brand? I have to say I'm impressed. I love the words "wealth of moisture" and "drenched." Cracks me up, too. Such effort for a hair product, but you know, that's what sells the stuff. Kudos to the creators.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Living Like Winners

For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. — 1John 5:4-5

In last week’s post I touched on the theme of overcoming. If you think about your favorite movies and stories, I bet you’ll find a common theme of a character overcoming some major obstacle or hurdle in their life, even possibly death.

As Christians, we have a unique perspective of the greatest “Overcomer” in history. Jesus overcame the greatest battle over sin and through his death, we have the opportunity to live victorious lives.

But what does that mean, what does it look like, and how do we do it? This past Sunday, my pastor spoke about 1 John 5:1-5. What leapt out at me were verses four and five. John tells us flat out that everyone born of God overcomes the world. He even goes on to define who that person is, one who believes Jesus is the Son of God.

That’s you and me. Or if you’re still sitting on the fence about who Jesus is, take a leap of faith and accept who he is. God will affirm you in amazing ways!

But these verses hold a truth and a promise that’s ours for the taking:
    1. Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is our promise from God. No matter what we face or how difficult it might get or how hopeless things might seem at the moment, we’re already winners. Death and sin have been defeated. Our eternity is secure. It’s a promise. So, do we live in fear of what might be or do we go forward, knowing exactly what WILL be? We know our future and ultimate destination. We’ve won, so let’s live like winners. He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world (1John 4:4). The enemy would like nothing better than to convince us we can’t overcome the hardship and challenges in this life and in our spiritually mismatched marriages. If he can convince us we’re defeated, he destroys our testimony to our spouse too, but it’s a big fat lie.

    2. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. This is our truth. It’s a fact. The moment we accept Jesus, we are born of God. That makes us overcomers. We WILL overcome the world because God’s Word says we will. This doesn’t mean life will be smooth sailing, but it does mean we can face each battle with the reassurance that we don’t fight alone and that God equips us with everything we need to overcome and win. The thing we have to remember is that sometimes victory may not look so great. Look at Christ…he died and even the disciples thought they’d lost. But that wasn’t true, was it? They won the greatest victory of all time—eternity with their precious Lord Jesus. So just because it may look like you lost to the world, seek God’s perspective. You’ll find the deeper prize hidden beneath the outward appearance.
As I continue my search for how to live victoriously in Jesus, I keep finding the same truth over and over again. It all boils down to trust and focus. Who are we trusting? (I mean really trusting…it can’t be ourselves.) And where is our focus? (On our circumstances or on God?)

I haven’t figured it all out yet. There are a couple areas in my life that I continue to struggle with and some days, wind up feeling like a failure because of them. But God’s working on me, working to replace the lies with his truth.

What does living victoriously look like to you? Hope you’ll join me the rest of this month as I search for more clues in God’s Word to living in victory through Jesus.

Praying and believing,
Dineen

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Rewards of Simplicity
by Pam and Chuck D. Pierce

I recently requested a free copy of The Rewards of Simplicity by Pam and Chuck D. Pierce for review from Bethany House. The title intrigued me, especially since I've sensed a need to simplify in my own life.

The book starts out in Pam Pierce's point of view. She shares a lot from her own experiences of how God called her to simplify her life. This part was definitely the spiritual part in the subtitle "A Practical and Spiritual Approach." Only when she got the the last few pages of her par of the book did she delve into the practical applications. Though I appreciated how God had worked in her life as she shared through experience, I finished her part of the book still wondering what the take away value was.

The second part of the book is written from Chuck D. Pierce's point of view and at first, got me excited that I'd now find more of take away value of this book. But again, though his wisdom and experience are wonderful and intriguing at times, I reached the end of the book still wondering what this book offered beyond what I already knew.

As a more mature Christian (but by no means there yet!), I could connect in many ways to what the authors had lived and shared. The last two years alone have stretched my faith in ways I never imagined possible. But I wonder if a newer Christian would wind up lost.

This could very well just be one of those books that will appeal to some and not others. I have no doubt that God will use the authors' words to reach and help people in significant ways. I, however, am not one of those people. Perhaps that's because many of the things they shared I've already come to appreciate and am implementing slowly in my own life. I wanted more...just not sure what, to be honest.

So, I recommend you check out the book well before you buy it. Make sure you feel the book with benefit you. Like I said, I think this is one of those books some will appreciate, like me, and others will truly benefit from.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Catching Up...

I'm playing catch up this week so I apologize for the lack of posts here. I'd like to share a couple of articles I wrote over at Spiritually Unequal Marriage. I pray they bless you as you read. I love these details that God so graciously shares with me from time to time.


Peter Looked Away
One of the most famous stories we have of Peter is when he walked on water. I think I’ve read more commentaries and devotionals on the story than I can remember.

Well, bear with me as I add another one to the list, because a nuance of this story hit me afresh recently. Like I’ve said in the past, God brings multiple layers to everything in the Bible and symbolism is his strength. In fact, I think the Bible should be given credit for setting the precedent on symbolism.

Anyway, onward with Peter. If you’ve read the story, then you’re familiar with how Peter boldly (did he do things any other way?) stepped out of the boat when Jesus told him to come to Him. I might add as well, that Peter is the one who asked to go to Jesus first. Gotta love this guy’s moxy... Read the rest at S.U.M. 


Foundations
"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete." Luke 6:46-49

This parable about building on a firm foundation has always fascinated me. Again, I really love God’s symbolism, and Jesus truly knew how to use it. In this parable we can see the obvious that when we build our lives on the foundation of God’s Word, on Christ who is truth, we are unshakable in our faith through the storms of life.

But I’m seeing a new part to this Scripture. If you look at verse 48, specifically the part about the man “building a house, who dug down deep,” the words take on some figurative meanings as well as literal in the Greek translation.

The Greek word used here for building is oikodomeo, which means to build, but also comes from the root word meaning to edify or for edification. Interesting to think about, especially if we consider edification in terms of teaching and improving. This reflects the process of how we learn more about God and grow as we build our foundation upon Christ.
But even more exciting is the “dug down deep” part...  Read the rest at S.U.M. 


And Finally...
This past weekend I did my first radio interview for our book, Winning Him Without Words. Talk about being nervous! I'm so appreciate a great interviewer like Jim Norman and his program Wise People. I hope you get a chance to listen!

Wise People Interview, Dineen Miller