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Book Signing Blues

When my first devotional book was published, I could hardly wait to have a book signing. After all, that’s what authors do, right? They schedule a time, promote it to everyone they can think of, and sell tons of books.

Um, not always.

One of my signings was a huge success. It helps to hold it at a bookstore near a lot of your husband’s family and high school friends he still keeps in touch with. Many of them came for the socializing factor, but that was OK because they also bought books. I was the bookstore’s new favorite author.

And then there were the other signings that were closer to reality. I sold two copies at the mall bookstore signing to ladies who came from my church. And I sold zero at the signing almost 3 hours from home – yes, I said 3 hours – despite how excited the customer relations person had been about promoting it and bringing in droves of people. Turns out it’s hard to promote a book signing when you transfer to another store within days of the event. It’s even harder to be sure things go well when the author arrives and no one at the store knows anything about the event. The best part of that day was the fact my mom went with me, so we had a great visit on the road.

Yes, I learned a lot during those few months, which is why I thought this video was so funny (maybe a little too painfully true, but funny). I saw it on literary agent Steve Laube’s blog and hoped you’d get a kick out of it too.

Signing in the Waldenbooks

So the next time you’re in a bookstore and an author is there for a signing, have a little compassion and stop by the table. I promise it’s not that hard. Just say hello so the author knows she’s not invisible. Ask a couple of questions. Take a piece of candy from the bowl that’s probably there.

Trust me, you’ll make her day.

Categories: Fun Friday, Uncategorized, Writing life | Tags: | 4 Comments

Reviews: A Love of Her Own & Katy’s Debate

I’m way behind on posting reviews of some books I’ve read during the last few months, so thought I’d share about two of them today – A Love of Her Own by Maggie Brendan and Katy’s Debate by Kim Vogel Sawyer.

A Love of Her Own concludes Brendan’s Heart of the West series. We met the hero and heroine (Wes Owen and April McBride) in previous books of the series. (I love when authors take a supporting character from one book and tell his or her own story in a later book. It’s like getting to know surface-level friends better.)

April’s father is a wealthy rancher, which means she has everything she could ever want … that money can buy. She’s quite spoiled and used to having things her way. She surprises everyone by traveling to Montana without her parents (who are traveling abroad) when she gets word that her brother Josh is about to get married. April fights circumstances (and people!) all along the way, including having a run-in with Wes as soon as she reaches town. Wes is independent and stubborn in his own right, so it doesn’t take much for them to aggravate each other. The only common denominator they seem to have is Josh, who counts Wes as a close friend. The longer April stays in the small town of Billings, Montana, the more she learns about who she really is and what she really wants. And no one is more surprised than April and Wes are when they finally realize how God had a hand in their lives all along.

Katy’s Debate is the second installment of Sawyer’s Katy Lambright series. Katy is a Mennonite girl who gets permission from her community to extend her education and attend public high school. Just as Katy begins to feel somewhat settled at school, her personal life goes through an upheaval. Katy’s mom left the Old Order years ago, so she and Dad have been on their own for years. And they’ve done quite nicely, so far as Katy is concerned. But now Dad has decided that Katy needs a mother and has started courting a woman from another Old Order community. It’s the last thing Katy wants, so she sets out to prove that she’s responsible enough to keep going without a mother’s guidance. Dad realizes what Katy is up to, but doesn’t know about some of the other struggles she’s going through – namely, her growing crush on a boy from the debate team. As nice as he is, Katy knows Dad would never accept him because he isn’t Mennonite. Her familiar Old Order ways and the new things she’s learning in the “outside world” play quite a game of tug-a-war in Katy’s heart and mind. And even though her life as a Mennonite girl might be completely foreign to many of today’s teen readers, her struggles aren’t. I’ll be keeping this series for my daughter to read when she gets a bit older.

Both books were enjoyable reads and ones that I would pass along to friends. Check them out for yourself at CBD.com or Amazon!

(Disclaimer: I received my copies of A Love of Her Own from Revell Publishing and Katy’s Debate from Zondervan for the purpose of review.)

Categories: Book reviews, Christian fiction, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Coming Later Today …

It’s been a good week, but a crazy one! I haven’t gotten my review of Katy’s New World ready for posting yet, but will take care of that later (read: will get to that after the real-world work LOL). Have a great Friday and stay tuned! 🙂

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Monday Musings: Knowing God More

Casting Crowns is one of my favorite Christian bands, and has been since their first CD released a few years ago. Their lyrics are so powerful and their messages hit so close to home that nearly every song on every CD is a favorite.

The same is true of their newest release, Until the Whole World Hears, which I got for Christmas. Can you wear holes in CDs if you listen to them too much? Seems like that’s what I’m on my way to doing with this one. 🙂 I loved the title track before getting the CD, but one of my absolute favorites is To Know You. It talks about how the more we know Christ, the more we want to share Him with others — partly because they need to know about Him so desperately, but partly because we can’t stop ourselves.

Here’s the chorus:

More than my next breath – More than life or death – All I’m reaching for, I live my life to know You more – I leave it all behind, You’re all that satisfies – To know You is to want to know You more – To know You is to want to know You more.

Wow. As I’m belting this out in the car (by myself or with the kids — don’t you just love to hear kids sing their hearts out to God?), I have to ask myself how true these words are for myself. Do I have a desire to know God more every day? Do I know Him and love Him so much that I can hardly wait to share him with others? Am I really finding my satisfaction in God and God alone?  

Pretty heavy stuff to contemplate anytime, but especially with Ash Wednesday and Lent starting this week. Many people give something up during those 40 days — they make some kind of sacrifice — to experience a miniature version of what Christ sacrificed for us. Other people take the opposite approach and add something to their lives during those 40 days to improve their relationship with God. Maybe they decide to memorize Scripture or have more regular prayer time or start a new Bible study. I think both approaches are important and have their merits. I haven’t decided yet what I want to ‘give up,’ but I do know what I want to ‘gain’ — a deeper relationship with God. Not just for today or tomorrow or the 40 days of Lent, but for always.

To know Him is to want to know Him more. I want that to be the anthem of my life.

What about you?

Categories: Monday Musings, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment
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