Grandparenting Through Obstacles’ Opportunity

Slide3483 Grandparenting Through Obstacles has a great opportunity, but we’re going to need a little help to get it done.

This is Dianne writing again today. Our publisher, Pix-N-Pens Publishing, has created an opportunity for its authors to attend the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) in St. Louis, June 23  – 26.

ICRS is the largest trade show for Christian publishers to meet with Christian retailers. Almost all the major Christian publishers attend, and this is our opportunity to be there too.

The problem is this is an expensive endeavour and our small publisher doesn’t have the budget to cover all the expenses. We’ll need badges for each of the authors to get in, we need to rent a booth, and we need to provide at least 60 of each book represented which are given away (not sold). That’s a lot of dough.

All of the authors at Pix-N-Pens Publishing and its sister publishing company, Write Integrity Press, were invited. Five of us said we want to go. I haven’t yet heard if Renee has decided to go. Peggy Cunningham will also be there. Peggy is a contributor to Grandparenting Through Obstaclesa missionary in Bolivia, and the author of a new children’s book published by Pix-N-Pens, Really Rare Rabbits.

Each author is paying her own way to the show (travel, hotel, etc.). The money we are raising is only for the expenses for attending the show and holding our book signings. Do you think you could help us out? There are some great incentives. You can read about them on our “Meet Us in St. Louis 2013” fundraiser page. There are offers for our books at a bargain price, offers for your Book Club, author visits, critiques, t-shirts, dinners, and even a gift basket from Bolivia!

You can also watch a 4-minute video. That’s me there in the first photo and I’m the last photo too!

This is our opportunity to interact with thousands of Christian bookstore owners and other retailers and tell them about our books. This show is very valuable for furthering the ministry of Grandparenting Through Obstacles. Would you please consider a donation to help us get there to show Grandparenting Through Obstacles off to Christian retailers? The fundraiser closes in only a few days, on Saturday. Visit it here:  “Meet Us in St. Louis 2013” fundraiser page.

You can also help us out by sharing this message with your social networks. Thank you so very much!


Co-Author of Grandparenting Through Obstacles wins “Books of Hope” contest

Co-author of Grandparenting Through Obstacles, Dianne E. Butts, has won the non-fiction category in Pix-N-Pens Publishing’s “Books of Hope” contest.

In 2012, Pix-N-Pens Publishing, the same company that published Grandparenting Through Obstacles, held a contest to search for manuscripts to publish. Early on, publisher Tracy Ruckman said that she had noted something disturbing in the faces of people she saw everywhere: hopelessness. She wondered what she could do. So she sponsored the contest to look for books on hope to publish in order to take hope in Jesus Christ to the hopeless.

The contest was announced in May. Pix-N-Pens and its sister publisher, Write Integrity Press, wanted entries in both fiction and nonfiction. They also wanted stand-alone books and books in series of three.

“I was inspired by the contest,” Dianne says, “but I wasn’t sure what to enter. I didn’t have anything that fit the ‘hope’ theme in the works.” So what did Dianne do? “I went to my concordance and started looking at how many times the word ‘hope’ was used in the Bible. I found about fifty uses of the word in the New Testament, 31 in the Psalms, 18 in Job, and interestingly only 12 elsewhere in the Old Testament.

“I thought I could write a brief chapter or devotional-style entry on each occurrence and so that’s the idea I pitched to the contest in the 3-book series nonfiction category.”  The first book in Dianne’s “Days of Hope” series will be 50 Days of Hope from the New Testament.

Finalists were announced in June. “Lucky for me,” Dianne says, “there were far more entries for fiction that for nonfiction books. Everyone wants to write fiction, but nonfiction is purchased far more often. When people need help, they reach for nonfiction.”

The winners of the contest were announced on January 23, 2013. You can read the official announcement here: “2012 Books of Hope Nonfiction Winner” Announced. Scroll down for the winners of the fiction categories.

When will Dianne’s books release? “That has yet to be determined,” Dianne says. “Right now Pix-N-Pens has me very busy with two other series I’m writing for them.” The second book in her “Prophecies Fulfilled” series, titled Prophecies Fulfilled in the Death & Resurrection of Jesus, releases next month just in time for Easter. The first book in that series, Prophecies Fulfilled in the Birth of Jesus, released for Christmas 2012 and is available now. Like Grandparenting Through Obstacles, it’s a great resource for individual use or group study.

Dianne is also contracted for a 3-book series of fiction, the “Springs Eternal” series starting with Hope’s Diner, which is scheduled to release later this year.

If you enjoyed the help and inspiration you found in Grandparenting Through Obstacles, you may be interested in Dianne’s “Days of Hope” series when it’s available. In the meantime, you should check out other books published by Pix-N-Pens (PNP) and Write Integrity Press (WIP), such as their just-published book Parenting On Your Knees by Vicki Tiede. You can also find inspiring, good, clean fiction including WIP’s Valentine’s Day release, Heart Bouquets and their Christmas release, The Christmas Tree Treasure Hunt.

All of PNP’s and WIP’s books are available at,, other online outlets, and on Kindle and Nook as well.

You can learn more about Dianne from her blog. To stay up to date with new developments with both the authors of Grandparenting Through Obstacles, visit Dianne’s Amazon page and Renee’s Amazon page.

Happy New Year! Some exciting stuff coming in 2013…

Renee and I are wanting to wish you God’s very best for you and your grandchildren in 2013.

We’re looking forward to a fresh new year and have some exciting plans coming up. We’re hoping to have some big announcements soon. And we have Guests scheduled to post here in the New Year.

We hope you’ll join us here regularly to see what’s new.

And now, may God be glorified in you in 2013 and may you bring Him much glory in your living for Him and in your interactions with your grandchildren throughout this coming year. Whatever awaits us in 2013, which may cause some to fear or worry, God already knows it and He will be there with us.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  (John 14:27)

Please VOTE for Book of the Year! – Grandparenting Through Obstacles Nominated

Our book has been nominated for “Book of the Year” at The Book Club Network!

 To win we need your vote! Will you please vote right now? I don’t know how long voting will be open, but I think it closes soon.

 Vote here:

 If you haven’t joined this site before, you must join to vote but it’s free.

 See the boxes on the right-hand side? Scroll down to the NONFICTION box, click  my book, Grandparenting Through Obstacles, then click to vote.

While you’re there, the top box is for FICTION — please vote for Jennifer Fromke’s novel A Familiar Shore. Jennifer writes for the same publisher who published our book so her publicity for winning Fiction Book of the Year would help us, too!

 Would you also please use the share buttons at the bottom of this post to send this information to your Twitter feed, Facebook, blog, e-mail, etc.?

 Voting closes soon and to win we need all the votes and all the help we can get. THANK YOU!

Ten Fun Facts about Grandparents!

Just for fun, here are ten fun statistics about grandparents from

  1. The average age of grandparents in the United States is 48.
  2. 43% became grandparents in their fifties and 37% in their forties.
  3. Grandparents lead 37% of all U.S. households — that’s 44 million households nationwide.
  4. The number of households led by grandparents in the U.S. is increasing at twice the average annual rate of the U.S. households overall, with the number to hit 50 million by 2015.
  5. Grandparents represent one-third of the population.
  6. 1.7 million new grandparents are added to the ranks every year.
  7. 72% of grandparents think being a grandparent is the single most important and satisfying thing in their life.
  8. 63% say they can do a better job caring for grandchildren than they did with their own.
  9. 68% think being a grandparent brings them closer to their adult children.
  10. 90% enjoy talking about their grandkids to just about everyone.

Seriously? That last one isn’t 100%?!

We’ll do more another time. Or find more fun facts here: “Surprising Facts About Grandparents.”

New Book Trailer for Grandparenting Through Obstacles

These days there is so much we can do with technology. For authors, there are multitudes of ways to let people know about our books. One fun way is through a book trailer, like a movie trailer but for a book!

Here’s a short book trailer about Grandparenting Through Obstacles. Enjoy!

Authors featured on KRDO Radio in Colorado Springs September 2

We were privileged to have Cavin Harper, executive director of the Christian Grandparenting Network write the foreword for our book.

Cavin is also the author of Not On Our Watch!: Courageous Grandparenting in a Turbulent World, which is a call for “grandparents and parents to rise above the conventional view of grandparenting to embrace radically courageous life that stands apart from the politically correct crowd. It’s a call to intentionality—not settling for simply being good parents and grandparents, but choosing to stand in the gap and live as conduits of grace and truth for the next generations.”

Another hat Cavin wears is radio host of his own show on a mainstream over-the-air station in Colorado Springs. Cavin invited Renee and me to be his featured guests on his radio show called “Not on My Watch: A Call for Radical Grandparenting in Turbulent Times”  this week!  We will be talking with Cavin about our book, Grandparenting Through Obstacles.

Want to tune in? Here are the details:

  • KRDO News Radio
  • Tune in at 105.5 FM or 1240 AM
  • Show airs 7:30 AM Sunday morning
  • Renee and I will be on Sunday, September 2
  • The station is also live-streamed on the internet. Click Listen Live Online here.
  • If you can’t tune in, a podcast will be available a few days later.

Please tune in if you can, and invite your friends, family, and contacts to do so as well! Thanks! We’ll see you in Radio Land.

Thursday Interview: Dianne’s Journey to Grandparenting Through Obstacles

Dianne E. Butts

Dianne E. Butts, co-author of Grandparenting Through Obstacles

I remember well that phone call almost three years ago when my writing friend, Renee Gray-Wilburn, called me to talk about the idea she had for a book. She had done the research. There was precious little in the way of books and resources for Christian grandparents. Yes, there were a few books for grandparents, but not many. Especially for Christians. She wanted to write a book. And she wanted me to co-author it with her.

She had e-mailed me her ideas earlier. I was delighted that she wanted me to be her co-author, I told her. But I had a couple of concerns with the book idea. Let’s talk about it, I said. So here we were on the phone talking about it.

You realize I’m not a grandparent, right? I asked. Yes, she did. She isn’t either, she said.

Well, you realize I’m not even a parent, right? Yes, she said. She is at least that.

Okay, well as long as that’s clear. It was, she said.

I thought of the book I currently had in process at the time. That book is published now. It’s Deliver Me: Hope, Help, & Healing through True Stories of Unplanned Pregnancy. I’d put that book together even though I’ve never been pregnant. I wasn’t writing out of my own experiences for that book. I was helping others tell their stories–stories that needed to be told and shared, because they could help others.

There is great power in true stories.

How are we going to market this book? I asked. It’s not like either one of us has a great platform to reach grandparents. Nearly one-third of all adults in the United States are grandparents, Renee told me. That’s nearly 70 million.

Wow. Really?

The average age of grandparents in this country is 48. No kidding? 43% became grandparents in their fifties, 37% in their forties. (

Wow again. Okay.

Many of our friends and peers are already grandparents, and many of them are Christians who want to reach their grandchildren with the good news of faith in Jesus Christ. Renee and I decided we could reach them if we had a resource that could help them.

Renee had a friend who was facing great obstacles to reach her grandchildren for Jesus. They were living in another country. They weren’t getting the Christian influence in their lives that her friend longed for them to have. The idea was sparked. We would gather true stories of real grandparents who were facing obstacles in influencing their own grandchildren for Jesus Christ, but who were trying and were seeing fruit from those efforts. We would help them share their stories. We could add resources, ideas, Bible stories, and…perhaps most importantly, prayer. Renee insisted this book be full of prayer.

Yeah! We could do this. I knew it. Renee knew it. And so we put the word out to our writer friends, and word spread. We started gathering stories, and we were on our way.

We had publishers show interest in late 2010. We wrote the manuscript in 2011. The opportunities with those first publishers didn’t pan out, but we then had a complete manuscript and it wasn’t long before we found Pix-N-Pens Publishing. We were thrilled when editor Tracy Ruckman called. She was very interested in our project. She offered a contract, we signed, and now the book is due out this month!

And we couldn’t be more exited! Here is what some people are already saying about Grandparenting Through Obstacles:

For Renee and me, our prayer is that this  book will help you, Christian grandparents, overcome any obstacles you face to reach your grandchildren (and children, if need be) to see them come to faith in Jesus Christ. Through that, we pray this book will bear eternal fruit for the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, and that therefore His Kingdom will be filled to capacity, because together, we made a difference here.

The book releases August 17th, only a few weeks away! You can find it on,, and most online outlets. Your local bookstore can order it for you if you request it. We hope you’ll get it, enjoy it, and perhaps get an extra copy for your favorite grandparenting friend.

May God richly bless you as you bear the burden to reach your grandchildren for Jesus Christ.

Now Taking Pre-Publication Orders for Grandparenting Through Obstacles!

Hi! Dianne here. Renee and I are really excited that Pix-N-Pens is now taking orders for the book. Does this mean it’s getting close?! Wow!

The release date for the book is August 17, 2012. We’ve just learned the book will retail for $15.99. Right now you can order it for $12.00 plus shipping. Order your copy of Grandparenting Through Obstacles here.

I have to tell you, I’m so stinkin’ excited. I’ve never done this with a publisher before, so to watch the publication of our book progress is just really fun. To see a page go up where it’s actually for sale. . .  Well can it get any more exciting? Okay, well maybe it  can. But I’m having fun just the same.

Currently the publisher is creating the back cover of the book. I got my first glimpse of it as a pdf, which just adds to my excitement! We have portions of endorsements on the back cover. Plus the publisher’s logo. And. . .  What’s that?! Hold on, I’m printing it out.

While I’m waiting on the printer, does anyone else here remember the movie “The Jerk” starring Steve Martin? I remember the scene where he discovered, for the first time, his name was printed in the phone book. (For those of you who are younger readers, that’s a large book that used to be published with everybody’s phone number in it–back before numbers were stored IN the phone. Also known as “The White Pages.” Anyway. . .) Steve Martin’s character got so excited that he took the phone book and went running down his neighborhood’s street yelling, “I’m in the phone book! I’m in the phone book!”

That’s how I feel. Excuse me. The printer’s done and I’m going to grab that printout of our book’s cover and go run down my street. “We have an ISBN number! We have a bar code!”

Celebrate Grandparenting Through Obstacles Book’s Cover!

We are so very excited to “unveil” the cover of our new book! Here’s the front cover:

Front book cover: Grandparenting Through Obstacles

Front book cover: Grandparenting Through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Challenges to Reach Your Grandchildren for Christ

Wow. Do you know how thrilling it is for writers to see their names on the cover of a book?! It doesn’t happen often. Our thanks to our publisher, Tracy Ruckman, over at Pix-N-Pens Publishing for the awesome work on our cover.

Please let us know what you think! You can leave a comment for us.