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!

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Grandparenting Through Obstacles Wins a “Book of the Year” Award from CSPA!

CSPBOTYA_oval_logo Compressed  You did it!  A big hearty Thank You! to everyone who took the time to go over to the web site of the Christian Small Publishers Association and voted for Grandparenting Through Obstacles.

This is Dianne writing today.  Christian Small Publishers Association has announced the winners of their 2013 Book of the Year awards and Grandparenting Through Obstacles won in the “Family/Relationships” category!

Renee and I are thrilled!  Needless to say, our publisher, Pix-N-Pens Publishing, is also thrilled.  This is the first Book of the Year award from Christian Small Publishers Association for the publisher as far as I know. We send our sincere thanks to our publisher, Tracy Ruckman, for all she has done (and is continuing to do… More about that next!) to make our book a success.

So we thank you very much.  An award like this provides one more way to make our book known and so helps us get it onto the radar scope of those who need it and those whom it can help.

It also helps make known those who contributed to the book, including Cavin Harper who wrote our foreword and all our twenty contributors.  They made this book.  We couldn’t have done it without them.

One more thing: We have too much good news to share in one post! We have some more very exciting and important news coming about Grandparenting Through Obstacles and we really need your help…again. I’ll get the information together and share in another post. Please don’t miss it!

(Oh, okay.  If you simply have to have a hint… We need your help to go to St. Louis to promote Grandparenting Through Obstacles.)

You made this “Book of the Year” award from Christian Small Publishers Association possible by voting and by praying. We thank you again. I believe Heaven will be different because of you.

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 Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, 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.

“Book of the Year” Nomination at Christian Small Publishers Association – Please Vote!

Grandparenting Through Obstacles receives another nomination  for Book of the Year

The Christian Small Publishers Association has just released its nominees for their 2013 Book of the Year awards in twelve different categories. Grandparenting Through Obstacles is one of five books nominated in the Nonfiction Family/Relationships category.

Readers, editors, publishers, booksellers, and all lovers of Christian books get to vote for their favorite books. Voters may choose to vote for one book in each of the twelve categories. For the 2013 awards, there are 91 books nominated!

You can read more about the awards on the Marketing Christian Books blog.

We would really appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to vote for Grandparenting Through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Challenges to Reach Your Grandchildren for Christ (published by Pix-N-Pens Publishing). Cast your ballot here:

Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award 2013 

(I believe you may only vote once.)

If you’re not sure which books to vote for in the other categories, we would like to suggest another nominee from our publisher’s sister company Write Integrity Press in the Fiction – General category: A Familiar Shore by Jennifer Fromke.

An added bonus to visiting the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Awards for 2013 page is that you can discover 91 top Christian books from small publishers. We’re sure you’ll find books on this page that will just beg you to read them!

 

Grandparenting Through Obstacles wins “Book of the Year”!

Wow! What a way to start the new year! In my post earlier today I mentioned we had some exciting stuff coming up. I was waiting (anxiously waiting…and waiting…like waiting for Christmas, time moved so s l o w l y !)  for this announcement that was just posted: Renee’s and my book, Grandparenting Through Obstacles, released just last August has won the Nonfiction “Book of the Year” at The Book Club Network!

Can we all say it together? Whoo-hoo! 

You can see the official announcement in the Book Fun Magazine on pages 66 – 67. Grandparenting Through Obstacles was published by Tracy Ruckman’s Pix-N-Pens Publishing, and we are very grateful to her and her confidence in us and in this book. Tracy has a heart to bring hope and joy to people of all kinds and in all situations by helping them come to or walk more closely with the Lord Jesus Christ. She has amazing energy to publish and promote books that reveal Jesus and His love and personality, and I am so grateful we connected with her to publish this book.

According to the article in Book Fun Magazine , our book received “28.67% of the votes. An overwhelming lead!” In the article from the editorial manager, Fred St. Laurent, on page 4, he stated, “We actually had the largest voter turnout in our history! Interestingly more votes were cast for nonfiction books that for fiction books. As a result we plan on focusing on nonfiction books and authors more than we have in the past. Fiction will always be a part of what we do but nonfiction has our attention.”

The largest vote turnout in history, more votes for nonfiction than fiction, and our book had an overwhelming lead in those nonfiction votes! You did this. Our biggest heartfelt gratitude to everyone who made this happen by voting for us. You’re amazing! I can’t tell you Thank You enough.

Personally, for me as a nonfiction writer this is huge. Everyone wants to write fiction, but when people want help, have a need, or want to learn, they look for nonfiction. Nonfiction is bigger than many people give it credit for and I’m so grateful to you for helping us get the attention of people who promote books and reading! This can only help me in my future. You probably know Pix-N-Pens recently published my next nonfiction book, Prophecies Fulfilled in the Birth of Jesus. It was amazing to talk with readers at several book events I did in December who are hungry for this type of book. Fiction is great for entertaining and we definitely can teach through story, but there is a real hunger for solid nonfiction teaching, so I’m thrilled Fred at The Book Club Network is bringing attention to this.

Congratulations also to Jennifer Fromke with the second-place win in the Fiction “Book of the Year” category. Jennifer’s A Familiar Shore was published by Pix-N-Pens’ sister publisher, the fiction-publishing side of the company, Write Integrity Press. Turn back a page in the Book Fun Magazine to pages 64 – 65 to see the announcement for Jennifer’s book.

 Renee, Tracy, and I are so grateful to all of you for your support and interest in our work (whether you voted or not!). I hope you’ll keep your eye on Pix-N-Pens Publishing and Write Integrity Press for more “winning’ books.

 In the coming days I’m hoping to also get Renee and Tracy here on the blog to share their thoughts and feelings about this amazing development and honor of The Book Club Network’s “Book of the Year” award for Grandparenting Through Obstacles.

Thursday Interview: Contributor Elsi Dodge

 

Elsi Dodge has written her own books, including RV Tourist: Tips, Tools, and Stories and stacles, Elsi wrote the story of Anne Agovino. Recently, Elsi visited with us a bit.

GTO:   Why did you decide to share the story that you did in our book?

Elsi:  My own grandmother (Mother’s mother) was such an important part of my life, and I continually find myself in awe of my friend Anne’s grandparenting. With grandchildren of varying ages, both blood and by love, all wanting attention from Anne and Frank, they have developed wonderful ways of touching each child individually.

GTO:  What are you hoping our readers will gain or learn from your story?

Elsi: That there are no limits, no walls, no required structure for sharing love and faith with children.

GTO:  What do you think is the greatest challenge faced by children today, and how can grandparents help them with this challenge?

Elsi: I’m a teacher (public school, private school, tutor, Sunday school). Children today crave stability—the surety that someone who loves them will continue to love them, no matter what. The certainty that love and family, and the Lord, will “never leave nor forsake” them. Parents divorce; families move to other places; life has a hectic pace. Grandparents—especially through technology such as Skype—can be a stable and comforting presence through life’s vicissitudes. Regular contact, little traditions, cards and notes through snail mail, emailed photos, photo memory books, stories about “when your dad was your age,” stories about “when you were little”—kids need these! (Hey, we all do!)

GTO:  What can you tell our readers to encourage them to not give up on their kids or grandkids no matter how bad their situation might look?

Elsi:  God doesn’t give up on us! You can keep loving, keep acting in agape love, keep praying. Look at David—murderer, adulterer … yet a man after God’s own heart.

GTO:  What advice can you give our readers to help them become more intentional about imparting spiritual truths and values into their grandchildren?

Elsi:  If you don’t, who will? Teach it, preach it, walk it, live it, share it, discuss it, never act shocked or rejecting, model God’s love in all you do.

GTO:   Didn’t you recently take a trip to Israel? Tell us about that.

Elsi: I visited Israel this spring with a group from church. It was never even on a wish list, but the Lord put it together for me, and it was a life-changing experience (cliché, but absolutely true!). In an old photo album, I found a picture of Granny in 1964 on the Mount of Olives, in a skirt and elbow-length gloves (of all things!). Since I just turned 65 and therefore inherited the principal of her estate, she paid for my trip. I asked the tour guide to take my picture in the same place, to build continuity for me. Nobody could have planned for that connection, but it’s a solid one.

My point? You never know what will make a lasting impression on your grandchildren. Enjoy them!

GTO:  What an awesome story, Elsi. Thank you for sharing it. I appreciate how you share the stories of your life.

And thank you stopping by today.  I know I’ll look forward to reading more of your stories about your travels and your life.

Thursday Interview: Tracy Ruckman at Pix-N-Pens Publishing

Dianne here. I well remember that wonderful day when my phone rang and on the other end was Tracy Ruckman of Pix-N-Pen Publishing! I remember Tracy said she would like out book, then politely added “if it’s still available.” It was. Renee and I were thrilled! And today that book is out and available to you!

We asked Tracy to share her thoughts about the new book from Pix-N-Pens, Grandparenting Through Obstacles. Here’s what Tracy had to say:

Being a product of divorce, and then divorced myself, when Dianne and Renee’s manuscript arrived in my Inbox, the subject matter of Grandparenting Through Obstacles resonated soundly.

I recognize, acknowledge, and am grateful for my paternal grandmother in particular, because she never stopped praying for me or teaching me by example of her own life. She never gave up on me, even when she and my mother were at odds all during my childhood, during my parents’ divorce when things got bitter, or through my own wayward teen and young adult years.

I sometimes wonder if Nanny’s knees resembled James’ own “camel knees” – her love for me and my siblings kept her on her knees for more hours than we should ever want to admit.

The four sections of the book are so relevant in today’s climate. Grandparents face such obstacles as their own children not walking with God. How do they impart their faith to the next generation? Or long-distance grandparenting – with today’s mobile society, it’s rare that grandchildren grow up near their grandparents. How can grandchildren experience their grandparents’ faith when they’re so far away? Non-traditional families present a third challenge – step- and blended families, foster and adopted children, and even grandparents raising grandchildren – more and more grandparents encounter these types of obstacles on a daily basis. Finally, even when circumstances are all you’d hoped and dreamed they would be, grandparents must recognize their role in the child’s life, and partner with parents to nurture the child in ways to foster the child’s own relationship with the Lord.

The various sections of the book make it interactive – the authors and contributors provide practical steps to take and offer hundreds of helps and hints that grandparents can apply to their situation immediately. Each chapter ends with applicable Scripture, a suggested prayer, and plenty of space for making notes or writing prayers of your own.

In Jim Ertel’s endorsement, he made a statement of vital importance that mirrors our own reasons for publishing this book. Mr. Ertel wrote, “The role grandparents play in the lives of their grandchildren has never been more desperately needed.”

There is no greater gift, no greater responsibility as a grandparent than to plant seeds of faith in the lives of your grandchildren. No one – NO ONE – else has the influence or inside knowledge that you have as a grandparent, and no one has a more vested interest. This generation – and future ones – depend on the grandparents of today. They need you. We need you.

Thanks, Tracy. Thanks for publishing our book and for investing in the lives of these grandparents and grandchildren.