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.

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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.

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. (Gransparents.com)

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 Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, 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.

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.