Tuesday, October 28, 2008

More Free Books!

Have you ever heard of GoodReads? It's a site where you can list what you're reading and rate what you've read. Basically, it's a networking site for readers. 

They've rolled out a new promotion to give away books! Lots of them. I'm participating and giving away 10 copies of Out of Her Hands.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Just Popping Up . . .


I'm just popping up to let you know my exciting announcement (about free books) is up on my website.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I'll be back . . .

I've got some personal business to attend to, but I'll be back around the beginning of November.

See you then. Until then, be blessed!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Solomon Summaries

I'm excited to introduce you to Solomon Summaries, a new book summary service for Christian books provided by Heather and Chris Goodman. I met the Goodmans last September when I was in Dallas at the ACFW conference.

Solomon Summaries is like CliffsNotes for Christian books. They provide 8-10 page summaries to help you gain wisdom from some of the brightest Christian thinkers. And isn't that a clever idea!

Here's some exciting news--right now, everyone is eligible to receive a free subscription through Dec 1st by signing up for it on the Solomon Summaries website. You are eligible to receive a year’s subscription for $100 (regular price: $120, ~15% discount). Please reference my website and the blog tour in the "how did you hear about us" section. You will also be entered into a drawing for a stack of books with your paid subscription.

Want to know more? The Goodmans have responded to a few questions:

What inspired you to begin a business like this? Why did you want to start it?
I (Chris) found a growing chasm between the amount of books I want to absorb and the amount of time available to read them (not so much due to time shrinking, but because there are so many amazing books). In the business world, I had access to executive book summary services for years to glean the latest business wisdom and I dreamed of something similar for Christian books.

I (Heather) am passionate about all things books. I love the idea of raising awareness of what’s out there.

In a culture that has adopted “I’m busy” as a standard response to the question “how are you?”, there seems to be an interesting opportunity to engage people in bite size chunks with the key points from a book on Christian living. Hopefully, this will help readers triage which books they want to look at further. Also, we want to help lay leaders choose good materials and resources for Sunday school classes, small groups, mentoring relationships, and leadership training and help pastors stay in touch with what’s out there and what their congregations are reading.

As you have explained the idea to people, what has been the general reaction?
Reactions have been very positive thus far. For some, the concept is a bit new. But when they finally get it, they get very excited. For others, especially business men and women, they’ve seen the concept before and quickly value the opportunity to glean wisdom from many of the christian nonfiction books they’ve been wanting to read for years like Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Many people have heard of the book. Some have even bought it. But few have actually read it and can share the insight of Lewis with their friends or coworkers.

And pastors seem to appreciate the frustration of not being able to keep up with all the great books out there. Whether it’s for their own understanding or being able to answer questions people ask them about various books, they seem to value the ability to stay current with their limited time budget. Solomon Summaries can also help them decide which books to spend their valuable reading time on.

How do you choose the books that are reviewed?
We primarily choose books that are of interest to our audience–books they would like to know more about, books they are considering buying or books they’ve heard in a conversation and want to have an opinion about. We look at new releases, bestsellers, general Christian living books, and we have a poll on our website to find out what books our readers would like us to summarize.

How has it been working together as a husband-wife team?

It’s been a really great way of integrating our various skills and passions. Heather’s passion for reading and working with our team of summary writers to discuss truth balance Chris’ business, technical and missions interests. There are times of frustration to be sure, especially in the fast-paced, high cost start-up phase of a new ministry venture, but overwhelmingly we’ve found the experience to be very positive and something we can do together. It’s been a good lesson in learning to communicate better.

What is your vision for Solomon Summaries?
Well that is an interesting question. As future-thinking people, we have great interest in seeing Solomon Summaries become a platform for engagement and growth. Based on the initial reaction and how passionately people share the idea with their friends (and we’re hoping people will be very excited and share it with lots of friends), we are in discussion on a number of additional pieces of the puzzle (what Chris calls the blueprint) to offer value to book readers and small group book discussions. We’d also like to get the authors of the books more involved in the discussion. We’ll be paying close attention to subscribers and their interests and ultimately it will grow into what people want and need to help them in their lives.

I'm not the only blogger spreading the word about Solomon Summaries. If you're interested in what others are saying, here's where you can visit:
AKA Lewis Theodore
A Peek at My Bookshelf
Aspire 2 Blog
Bible Dude
Blame it on the Loud Mouth Gene
Gatorskunkz and Mudcats
Geaux 2 Girl
High Calling Blogs
In the Dailies
Leap of Faith
Michelle Pendergrass
Morning Cup of Coffee
One Glory
Portrait of a Writer . . . Interrupted

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Words For The Journey day

This morning I went to my weekly WFTJ meeting. I love being with writers striving to improve their craft and eager to accept the high calling to be used for eternal purpose through the work they create.

Today's topic was Making Time to Write and was presented by Jan Parrish. This is a photo of Jan illustrating portions of time in a day.

The point is, prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!!

I sometimes do a book report for the group. I think it's a great practice for authors to spread the word about other books out there.

Today's book was Keeping His Pants On...Until He Gets Home by Joyce S. Oglesby. Joyce is a sweet, encouraging cheerleader for creating happy, satisfying relationships between husband and wife. She advocates a deliberate, thoughtful approach to the role of being a wife. Obviously not a Shrinking Violet, Joyce empowers women to take control of their sexuality in a biblical sense and abandon inhibitions that may stand in the way of close, enjoyable marital relations. Joyce tells tells it like it is and offers those stuck in a stagnant relationship strategies to change for the better. She's an equal opportunity author--the sequel is called Turning Her On...and Keeping Her Heart.

After the meeting a few of us went out to lunch together at a gas station. Yes, you read that right!!

The hoagie shop in Out of Her Hands is based on a local eatery. The real deal was awarded "The Best Sandwich Shop in a Gas Station Award" by a local newspaper.

And if you're wondering, my cheese steak sandwich (with Cheez Whiz!) was marvelous.

From left to right: Danica, Jan, Darcie, and Bonnie. Don't they look oh, so satisfied? Yeah, that's what Philly food will do to you.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Journey Event

I spent most of the day yesterday at The Journey Event in Colorado Springs.

It was wonderful! Not only did I get to connect with book lovers but I also got to meet the great folks who run the Christian bookstores. Being with writer friends was an added bonus. Before we went to Mardel, I met Donita Paul, Evangeline Denmark, Amber Miller and Stuart Stockton, and Tina Forkner for brunch.

Here I am with Alice, a woman who loves fiction! She was a delight to meet and speak with.

I also love the way her dear husband supported her book habit. LOL

I shared a table with Bob Liparulo and Erin Rainwater at Mardel in the early afternoon. Bob was busy chatting, so I didn't pester him to get in the photo.

I was thrilled to see Cathy Hake and her daughter Kelly Hake. I usually only have the pleasure of seeing those girls at the annual ACFW conference.

During the late afternoon, I went to Connections Bookstore inside Woodmen Valley Chapel. I sat next to Susan and Dale Mathis. They wrote a great (and much needed) non-fiction book, Countdown for Couples, about preparing for the adventure of marriage.

Pat Walter from Connections Bookstore was the mastermind behind The Journey Event. I was thrilled when he told me that this is probably only the first of many Journey Events. I look forward to participating in next year's promotion, which I hear is going to be even better than this year's.

Friday, October 17, 2008

An Announcement!

I've got an exciting announcement about a promotion that I'm doing in partnership with Tyndale House Publishers to promote my new release, Out of Her Hands.

I can't wait to share it with you, but I've got to. I'll post the details on my website's "For Readers" page next Saturday, October 25th.

I can give you a hint, though. It involves FREE books!

In other news:
I've updated my blog a bit to reflect the seasonal change. I've also updated my website for autumn. It's fun. Kind of like redecorating your house for a holiday.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Authors @ Douglas County

Authors, keep marketing and keep an eye opened for local venues to advertise your books!

Last July I was interviewed for Authors @ Douglas County, a program that runs on our local cable TV station. My interview started being aired last month, and today it finally made it to the county website. I'm surprised at how many people have come up to me to say they saw my interview.

Of course I mentioned how important ACFW and the Colorado Christian Writers Conference were to my education.

I'm proud to be on this well-produced show. Unfortunately, I tend to look up and to the side when I'm collecting my thoughts. Won't be doing that again!!

Check out local television stations in your area for this type of opportunity. I've found another station that I'll be contacting.

In other news:
Is is just me or have you noticed how some of our everyday items are becoming super sized? Last year we had to buy a new garbage can, and this one is about twice the size of what garbage cans used to be "back in the day." Do you remember when all garbage cans were metal cylinders that made lots of noise on garbage day?

I've recently purchased new "everyday" silverware, replacing the 1970 stuff with 2008 stuff, and guess what?? The newer version is bigger, much bigger.

I gave away the old stuff, but I just found a knife and teaspoon. Have we all grown to ogre size? Are our hands and mouths the size of Shrek that we need super-sized silverware? Really?!

Getting Around

I'm honored to be able to get around on the Internet by being hosted on other blogs.

Being interviewed for blogs, having people review your books on blogs, or just getting a kind mention on a blog is great because this type of personal recommendation grabs the attention of readers who follow their favorite blogs regularly. It's a good way to try to generate word-of-mouth advertising.

Just lately, I've shown up on the following blogs:
They're some great sites, you should check them out. Also, some of them are holding a drawing for a copy of Out of Her Hands.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Journey Event

This Saturday I'm going to be a participating author in The Journey Event. Isn't that a cool title?

The event is sponsored and hosted by Colorado Springs businesses to bring together authors, artists, and companies that provide products to Christian retail stores. It takes place on Friday and Saturday, but I'll only be attending on Saturday.

I'll be at Mardel at 5964 Barnes Road from noon until 2:00, and at Connections Bookstore inside Woodmen Valley Chapel at 240 E. Woodman Road from 4:00 until 6:00.

It's going to be a great gathering, if you're in the area be sure to stop by and say hello!

In other news:

I guess I haven't been paying enough attention to the little dog. Belle's been pulling paper out of my cabinet when she feels slighted. And then she doesn't even have the grace to look chagrined when she's caught.See? It was exactly this kind of behavior that got her written into my first two books. Sassy girl!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Focus: a state or condition permitting clear perception or understanding.

Yes, I’m going to start something new on my blog. I’m going to have a specific focus. My focus will be on writing, with special attention given to DIY (Do It Yourself) marketing.

I won’t pretend that I’m the last word in either category. I’m more like a work in progress. I’ve had two books published and I’m working on a third. As for marketing, I’m no expert, but I’ve tackled the task with enthusiasm and energy.

If you’re curious about my credentials, I graduated with a degree in Communications with a specialization in Mass Media from SUNY Plattsburgh. In my day job I work in the marketing department of a portrait photography studio known for award-winning and effective marketing campaigns.

My first post on my newly focused blog is about blogging. Why blog? The reason the millions of bloggers blog is as individual as the bloggers themselves. Most writers who blog do so to increase awareness of themselves and their books. That’s the reason I blog, to reach out to readers with a glimpse into the life of a writer.

However, I’ve come to learn that some of my readers are writers, so I’ve decided to focus on DIY marketing as well. I hope that you’ll feel comfortable joining in the conversation and leaving comments that will help us all.

One of the first rules of maintaining a blog is one I’ve broken this past week—you should be consistent in your blogging. The reason for that is to draw people to your blog and maintain a readership. I’m sorry, I had a funky week and broke that rule last week.

I’m also going to start to compile a list of blogs/websites that have to do with marketing books. That list will be a work in progress. If you know of any excellent blogs or websites that discuss marketing, please let me know so I can add it to my list.

If you’re a reader, can you comment of why you read writer’s blogs? And writers, what blogs do you regularly read? Why?

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Win a Free Book!

I'm on two blogs this week that are giving away a copy of Out of Her Hands.

This is the last day to enter at Annette Irby's blog, Net's Notes, and the contest at Trish Perry's blog, Reading, Writing, and the Stuff in-Between ends next Monday.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Out of Her Hands Launch Party

Another great night! Another wonderful time spent with friends and loved ones.
With my sweeties!

Daughter #1 and the boyfriend.

Hmm. Don't know this guy, but he has great taste in fiction!

My honey and daughter #2.

What a moment! My friends celebrating with me.

The Words For The Journey gang.

Yes, even men like women's fiction.

My beautiful girls. 

With Michelle the director of WFTJ Rocky Mountain Region.

My sweet friend Leah.
My good neighbors Deb and Terry.

HIS Writers (Denver ACFW) Margie and Jill.

Danica and her sweet girls.

And we had some cake left over . . .

Friday, October 03, 2008

Author Chat

Have you ever heard of Eons? It's an online community for boomers. I'm a member, and I was delighted to hear that they're doing a promotion with their member authors to promote their books this weekend.
On Saturday and Sunday (10/4, 10/5), authors and writers will be featured in a two-day event on the front page of Eons.

Our book covers and first chapters are online, and anyone (eons members) can chat with a eons authors about their books or publishing in general. I'll be online chatting from 11 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.

It's simple and free to join to join Eons.
I'm looking forward to tomorrow evening when my friends and family will celebrate the launch of Out of Her Hands with me.

The image on the left is my new book signing poster. Isn't it pretty? My designer did a great job.

I'll post photos of the party on Sunday!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

ACFW Featured Author

I'm honored to be the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) Featured Author for the month of October. I credit this amazing organization with "keeping me in the game" long enough for me to get my first contract. The support, education, and fellowship of my ACFW friends has been invaluable.

Thanks, ACFW. God bless you all!

Out of Her Hands Release Day!

I can't believe the day is here! Out of Her Hands is officially released and as they say, "available everywhere books are sold, in stores and online."

Last week I told you that Romantic Times Magazine gave me a 4 1/2 star rating, but guess what? I was also the Top Pick for the month of November! (Someone pinch me, please!)

Here's what Romantic Times Magazine said about Out of Her Hands:
"No sophomore slump for DiMaria! This novel is as engaging and meaningful as her first, Searching for Spice. Her realistic portrayal of the characters' lives should endear them to readers and help Christians to feel less alone in their daily trials."