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Book Blitz! Climbing for Roots by Alan Noble

Title: Climbing for Roots
Author: Alan Noble
Genre: Religion/Spiritual Growth/Christian Life
Publisher: Axiom

Climbing for Roots will explain fully the sin that so completely corrupted creation, and the plan of God for our salvation. We learn that Jesus is not only our Savior, but is also the Lord of our lives. What does that mean? That obedience will never earn us God’s love but it will always produce blessing. We learn that our salvation is secure, but we must strive for obedience because we are created to do good works.
When we trust Jesus for salvation, we become members of a new family—the family of God, also known as the church. Imagine! God is now our Father. As members of this incredible family, certain changes take place within us. We get learn about worship and praise, and have a relationship with Him. Climbing for Roots will teach us about ourselves as new creations, about this church, and about Jesus, the Son of God! We learn about the two ordinances or rites Jesus has given His church that will help us to remember who we are as Christians—baptism, and communion. As a member of God’s church, we learn that we are to serve each other in unity. We must consider others more important than ourselves. We learn that we need to persevere together, so that when Jesus returns, He will find us doing what He has left us here to do—serving Him by serving others.
Purchase at:

Barnes and Noble:

Alan R. Noble is a born-again Christian, schooled in the Word since childhood. He was fortunate to sit under capable preaching and teaching throughout his life. His passion for the spiritual welfare of young people grew out of his years of work experience, and his understanding of the Scriptures. He realizes that young Christians need instruction in the meat as well as the milk of the Word (Hebrews 5:12-14).

Mr. Noble was educated at William Paterson University, a liberal arts institute in Northern New Jersey, and received a B.A. in education, with a certificate to teach elementary school. Later, he received an M.A. in Communication Arts, and a certificate in supervision. He worked as an educator for 31 years.

After his retirement from public education Mr. Noble enjoyed teaching in Christian Schools in New Jersey and Texas.

These days find Alan and his wife Kathie enjoying their travels between Kansas City and northern New Jersey as they visit their daughters’ families that include six beautiful grandchildren.

Pump Up Your Book and Alan are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:

• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
• One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive the prize.
• This giveaway begins November 3 and ends on November 28, 2014.
• Winner will be contacted via email on December 1, 2014.
• Winner has 72 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

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Climbing for Roots Book Blitz Schedule
November 3
November 4
November 5
November 6
November 7
November 10
November 11
November 12
November 13
November 14
November 17
November 18
November 19
November 20
November 21
November 24
November 25
November 26
November 28

Guest post: The Inspiration Behind ‘When Shmack Happens’ by Amber Neben

When Shmack Happens coverWhere did I get the inspiration to write When SHMACK Happens? I hit the wall, and I hit it HARD!!  My life, my goals, and my next steps were redirected in a span of a few seconds.  Prior to impact, I was on target to win that huge race at The Tour of California, and I was plotting ahead to more cycling goals, maybe even the 2016 Olympic Games.  After the impact, I laid on the pavement while my body screamed at me because it hurt…  SEVERELY.  Blood poured out of my nose and other parts of me.   I was scared and messed up.  But I was awake, and I could move.

In the midst of the pain and fear that filled me on the side of the road and then in the ambulance, I clung to Jesus.  I didn’t understand why or what had just happened.  I didn’t want to be headed to a trauma center, and I definitely didn’t want to have my dreams cut short by another obstacle.  But I clung.  And He filled me with His strength.

Honestly,   it was a miracle to walk away, and a miracle how fast I recovered.  But even more incredible was that in the aftermath of the crash, I had a peace and a stillness of spirit that was beyond me.  I was very limited to what I could do.  Simply moving was difficult for a few weeks.  However, in spite of the physical trauma I was dealing with, my mind was incredibly clear and crisp, and my heart was not anxious.

I began to think about writing my story, and then God began to pound on my heart “write the story that I have written into your life.”  I had always wanted to write a book, but I had never felt the inspiration to do it until the initial days after the crash.  Although there was a definite tug on my heart to write, I still continued to doubt that I could do it.  I also wasn’t completely convinced I was hearing God accurately, and I only wanted to embark on the journey with His help.  So for two weeks, I prayed often about the idea.

Finally, or desperately, after two weeks of talking to God about everything, I prayed a Gideon like prayer at 5AM.  I know it was 5AM, because I remember checking my phone before getting up to use the bathroom.  My prayer when I laid back down was, “God, if I am hearing you correctly, have Jenna Sampson email me.”  Jenna had written some articles about me for Sports Spectrum, and she would occasionally check on me.  She had promised almost 7 years prior that she would help me write if I ever wanted to.  I hadn’t heaAmber Neben photord from her in almost a year, but when I got out of bed that same morning, I had an email from Jenna arriving at 5:16AM.  Confirmed.  I needed to write.

And yes, I needed to write!   There was no way a ghost writer or another author could truly understand my journey or share those intimate lessons I had learned as I had been walking, struggling, or standing firm in Christ through all the storms.   So I met with Jenna, who agreed to act as my editor, I started praying for words and eloquence, and I embarked on writing WHEN SHMACK HAPPENS.

Link to crash:


Amber Neben is a decorated international road cyclist with victories in 11 countries and multiple UCI Category 1 stage race wins. She is a 2x Olympian, 2x World Champion, 2x Pan American Champion and 2x National Champion. She holds a B.S. from The University of Nebraska and an M.S. from UC Irvine. Amber and her husband, Jason, reside in Lake Forest, CA. For information on speaking engagements or coaching visit


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Rebuilding Civilization on the Bible Book Blitz – Win $25 Amazon Gift Card

Rebuilding Civilization on the Bible coverTitle:  Rebuilding Civilization on the Bible: Proclaiming the Truth on 24 Controversial Issues
Author: Jay Grimstead
Genre: Religion/Theology/Instruction
Publisher: Nordskog Publishing, Inc.
ISBN:  978-0-9882976-5-4

Purchase at:

About the book:

False teachings threatening to corrupt the Church forced the leaders to join in councils, where they codified the orthodox teaching of the Bible into creeds received by the Church as faithful distillations of Scriptural truth and as a bulwark against future corruption. Error, heresy, and outright paganism are today common in churches that were once sound. Even many “better” churches have little depth to their teaching and are silent on critical issues of the day, and even in some paganism masquerades as Christianity.

This book is the fruit of the work of hundreds of theologians and Christian leaders working throughout a 37-year period to define and defend the key Biblical points on 24 controversial issues — which would not even be controversial if all believed like Jesus and Paul in the inerrancy of the Bible.

This book states the Bible’s position on 24 controversial issues and explains why each document needed to be written. It offers the global Body of Christ tools for reforming the Church and motivating Christians to live in obedience to Christ and to all commands in the Bible intended for us.


“We heartily invite all Christians on this planet who desire to live in obedience to the Bible in all areas of life at all times, to form themselves and their local churches into “United Spiritual Armies” at the city and county levels, and to establish a network with other such churches and “spiritual armies” at their state and national levels with the goal of making Christ King of their cities and nation. We invite you to join with us in applying these 24 DOCUMENTS to the life of the Church and in making 2 Cor. 10:5 a reality. By that we mean that together we are called by God to destroy “speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

Grimstead photo color

About the author:

Dr. Jay Grimstead was born in Bismarck, ND. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 1957 from Sterling College in Sterling, KS. He graduated from Fuller Seminary in 1961 with a Masters in Theology (ThM) and later received a Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree. He spent 20 years on staff with Young Life Campaign, a ministry of clubs and camping to evangelize and disciple non-church teenagers.

In 1984 he founded the Coalition on Revival which created the 17 World-view Documents which state the biblical principles for the various spheres of life and the “blueprints for how the Bible applies to the fields of: Law, Government, Economics, Education, Science, the Media & Arts, Medicine, etc.” Under his leadership, COR organized the International Church Council Project in 1992.

In 2004 and 2005 he organized theological committees in Guatemala, San Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama to discuss and defend certain of the 22 Theological Documents of the Church Council Project which had been translated into Spanish. A year later, Dr. Grimstead gathered national leaders from various fields to create the “24 Year Plan to Rebuild America upon the principles of the Bible.”

Dr. Grimstead now lives with his wife, Donna, a registered pharmacist, in Murphys, CA. They have two grown children, Julie and Guy.  Dr. Grimstead’s favorite hobbies are mountain climbing and playing jazz and blues on his trumpet.

To learn more about Dr. Grimstead and his work, please visit

Pump Up Your Book and Dr. Jay are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • This giveaway begins June 2 and ends on June 27, 2014.
  • Winner will be contacted via email by July 2, 2014.
  • Winner has 72 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!


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Tactics, Trends, & Traits of the Enemy Book Blitz – Win $25 Amazon Gift Card

TTand T of the Enemy 3D coverTitle:  Tactics, Trends, & Traits of the Enemy
Author: Jermaine Gadson
Genre: Spiritual
Publisher:Crossbooks – Division of LifeWay(June 2014)
ISBN:  9781462736362—Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781462736355—Soft Cover
ISBN: 9781462736348—eBook


Pre-order at:


Tactics, Trends, & Traits of the Enemy by author Jermaine Gadson is a must have resource for believers who want to be well equipped to be victorious against the strategies of the devil. The devil is cunning and deceptive, and he will stop at nothing to keep God’s people from reaching their potential in Christ. In this book, Pastor Gadson discusses how the enemy uses temptation, seduction, fear, isolation, guilt, shame, and other such things in order to steal and destroy a person’s life. Satan works tirelessly through various means and mechanisms to keep sinners from hearing and being receptive of the Word of God, in order to prevent them from being saved. If you have family or friends who are not born-again, this resource will help you to identify schemes that the enemy may be using to keep your loved ones from being saved. This book is intended to equip the Body of Christ to wage a good warfare against the strategies of the enemy. It is not God’s will for His people to be taken advantage of by the enemy because of ignorance. This book exposes who the enemy is, what he has done, what he is doing, and what he will try to do in the future, as an enemy of God’s people. This book is written for the everyday believer to be able to understand and use. However, it is also a helpful tool for Christian leaders to be able to identify specific ways in which the enemy desires to attack them in order to steal their influence, kill their destiny, and destroy their reputation and ministries. In this regard, it is an encouragement to the Body of Christ to guard and protect their spiritual leaders.


Know Your Enemy

Before engaging in battle of any kind, it is very important to be familiar with the opposition. The more you know about your enemy, the greater you will be equipped to fight against them and be victorious. Knowing your enemy includes being knowledgeable of their strengths, weaknesses, habits, origin, and the like. When you are knowledgeable about your adversary, you become empowered to develop a plan of action or strategy to adequately defend against their opposition, overcome their threats and defensive mechanisms, and ultimately defeat them.

Athletes and those who follow sports are familiar and acquainted with this principle. Coaches and players spend hours upon hours viewing video recordings of not only their own team, but of their upcoming opponents as well. They view recordings to evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses as revealed by previous games, and they do the same to identify strengths and weaknesses of the next team they have to face.

This principle is certainly pertinent in the area of the military as well. No military general, or top ranking official who has authority over military personnel will in their right mind authorize the use of military force without adequate information concerning the enemy to be attacked. Right decisions require right information. This is especially true if you want to come out victorious and on top.

Now that we can see the importance of this principle from a natural standpoint, it makes sense that this would also apply spiritually in relation to how we are to do battle with our spiritual enemy. As you read this book, I hope that you will be able to see the importance of this material in helping you towards this very end. The reason this book is so important is because the person reading it is like a ballplayer looking at tape of his or her opponent or a military general gathering intelligence on a terrorist organization.

When you know where your enemy came from, what your enemy has done in the past, and what your enemy is presently capable of, you are more readily prepared to wage a good warfare and defeat him in any present or future encounters you may have.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Jermaine Gadson full photo

Jermaine Gadson is the Senior Pastor of Faith Ministries, Inc., a non-traditional church located in Birmingham, AL. Prior to starting Faith Ministries, he served as an associate minister, youth minister, and pastor for local churches and ministries in the greater Birmingham area.  While, growing up in the Baptist church, he gave his life to Christ at an early age, and is a third generation minister of the Gospel.

He holds a B.A. in Religion with a Concentration in Congregational Studies and a Minor in Classics from Samford University, and a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School of Samford University.  He is currently a Doctor of Ministry student at Beeson Divinity School.

Gadson enjoys reading, writing, sports, outdoors, movies, and spending time with his family. He is happily married to his wife Kristy and they have one beautiful daughter, Khloe.

Visit Pastor Gadson online at

Pump Up Your Book and Jermaine are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive each of the prizes
  • This giveaway begins May 19 and ends on May 31, 2014.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on June 2, 2014.
  • Winner has 72 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

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Tactics, Trends, & Traits of the Enemy Book Blitz Schedule


May 19


Cheryl’s Christian Book Connection

Rebecca’s Writing Services

May 20


Inside BJ’s Head

Literarily Speaking

May 21


Lori’s Reading Corner

Between the Covers

May 22


Vic’s Media Room

As the Pages Turn

May 23


My Devotional Thoughts

Maureen’s Musings

May 26


The Book Rack

Beyond the Books

May 27


Read for Your Future

Little Shepherd

May 28


The Writer’s Life

May 29


The Book Connection

May 30


The Busy Mom’s Daily

Interview with Kim Hilton, Author of Closet Words

Kim Hilton photo

Kim Hilton, MCC, PCC, has a master’s degree in Christian counseling. Founder of Closet Words Ministries Foundation, Kim is a teacher on prayer and listening to God. An avid writer of several books, Closet Words was chosen as the first book to be published with the proceeds going to Closet Words Ministries Foundation. A sought-after speaker and Bible Study leader, Kim has spoken at both national and local events. She resides with her husband on their farm and enjoys spending time with their six grown children and grandchildren. You can find more information on Kim on her website and also on Facebook at

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Kim. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Published for the first time.

Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

A: I had shared the manuscripts with several editors I had connections with but none picked it up. I made the decision then to self-publish.

Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?

A: I continued to seek out other venues and educate myself on the book industry as a whole. I took matters into my own hands and chose to self-publish Closet Words.

Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

A: Westbow Press. Dec 2012. I chose them because they helped me choose an option that would accomplish my purpose with Closet Words.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

A: When I first saw the cover as I had described it, I had chills for over an hour. I celebrated, thanking God for the opportunity to share what He had given me.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

A: We held a book launch luncheon which was a lot of fun.

Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?Closet Words Cover

A: No.

Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

A: I have more understanding of the publishing process and book industry.

Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

A: I should have kept trying and pushed harder.

Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

A: Seeing lives changed of those who read Closet Words.

Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

A: A Teacher.

Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

A: I grew up saying I wanted to be a teacher. I am now a teacher of God’s word.

Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?

A: The author of 10 books.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

A: Don’t give up. Especially if you know God has given you the inspiration for what you’ve written.

Thy Will Be Done VBT with Ronald Kirk

TWBD larger cover

About the book:

The world cries out for an imaginative but realistic Biblical guide to the life foreshadowed in Christ’s model prayer. No foolish utopia, here is a powerful, comprehensive portrait of a sinful world redeemed and transformed by Christ—including the tools needed to hasten the day.

The author weaves a tapestry of possibility–Christ’s people growing as salt and light, putting flesh on the Bible’s vision of blessing in every aspect of human life and endeavor, bringing joy to all peoples and glory to the One who came to save the world.

“Ron Kirk comprehensively applies the Lordship of Christ to all areas of life” (Peter Hammond, The Reformation Society, South Africa).

Purchasing information:

Nordskog Publishing:




Book excerpt:


Jesus said we know a tree by its fruit. What fruit might we expect when the world has fully given itself to Christ on His terms? How would the world then appear when Jesus Christ generally establishes in the highest degree His Gospel among a receptive mankind, and men systematically apply that Gospel to every area of life?….

Thy Will Be Done thus attempts to present a crafted approach to biblically directed living. In this, applied-faith thinking in each area of life uniquely expresses itself in real life upon Biblically defined life objectives. Everything builds upon a simple set of coherent Biblical principles that speak comprehensively to God’s goals for men in this life in anticipation of eternity….

Rather than seeing this present life as a mere holding tank for eternity, Thy Will Be Done views this life as the first fruits, the down payment on the promises of eternity with Christ.

About the author:


Jesus Christ confronted Ron Kirk with His salvation late in his college career at the University of California, Berkeley. Graduating in 1974, he became a professional landscape architect. In entering his first church ministry, a lack of a Biblical material on education led him to the Christian History Movement and the works of R.J. Rushdoony. Since 1980, Ron has studied and taught the Biblically and historically identified applied-faith theology and philosophy outlined in this book. Its principles have now long proven themselves in the curriculum and methods of pioneering day and home schools founded and administered by Ron. His work has been published internationally and translated into Spanish.  According to Jay and Vickie Dangers of New Hope Uganda Ministries, “Through what you have imparted to us, your lives have touched thousands of people on at least four continents, probably five, and the ripple effect is continuing.”[1] Gloriously married since 1971, Ron and Christina have five beautiful children, five more beautiful sons- and daughters-in-law, and twelve beautiful grandchildren, all walking with Christ.  American Heritage Christian Church ordained Ron as a minister of the Gospel in 1984. Ron has recently joined the foreign missionary staff of New Hope Uganda to assist in establishing a teachers college to supply the nation’s schools with a rigorously Biblical philosophy and practice of education.

Visit Ron online at or like his Facebook page at


[1] From an inscription in a copy of Jennie Dangers, The Long Road to Hope: a day of small beginnings (El Cajon, CA: Christian Services Network, 2006).



Thy Will Be Done VBT Schedule

December 2

Interview at Blogcritics

December 3

First Chapter Reveal at Maureen’s Musings

December 4

Interview at The Book Connection

December 5

Guest post at Cheryl’s Christian Book Connection


December 6

First chapter reveal at Read My First Chapter


December 9

Book spotlight at Literarily Speaking

December 10

Book club discussion at PUYB Virtual Book Club

Book review and guest post at Read For Your Future

December 11

Book spotlight at The Writers Life eMagazine

Interview at Paperback Writer

December 12

Guest post and First chapter reveal at Lori’s Reading Corner

December 13

Book spotlight at Review from Here

December 16

Interview at Broowaha


December 17

Guest post at The Story Behind the Book

December 18

Interview at As the Pages Turn

December 19

Book spotlight and giveaway at The Busy Mom’s Daily


December 20

Book review at My Devotional Thoughts

Guest post at Maureen’s Musings

December 26

Book review at Cheryl’s Christian Book Connection

Book review at A Simple Life, Really?

December 27

Book tour highlights at The Book Rack

Thy Will Be Done banner


Interview with Jay D Roberts, MD, Author of ‘Break the Chains, Transforming Shame into Forgiveness’

Roberts_Jay-2491-EditDr. Jay D Roberts, MD is a board-certified physiatrist, a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation. He has always been drawn to helping those with pain and wounds. He just could not heal his own. That was not until he went to prison and learned the mysterious power of forgiveness. Dr. Roberts volunteers as part of Kairos, a Christian prison ministry. He and his wife, parents of two grown sons and proud grandparents, live in Indian Wells, CA, with their dog, Milo. Break the Chains is Dr. Roberts’ first book. He is currently working on a novel, Tin Kids, a medical, political thriller about kids forced to work in tin mines.

Why don’t you begin by telling us a little about yourself and why you started writing? 

I always wanted the love of my father, even just for him to like me or be proud of me. That is what drove me to be the best in what ever I did. But it did not work. He never told me once he loved me or that he was proud of me. It is “interesting” that I gravitated to treating people for their pain and wounds, while I could not heal my own.

After I was healed in 1999, I had a deep desire, passion to write, despite my head telling me not to. I ignored the feeling for a few years, but I could not extinguish the burning flame to write my story. Buddy, who you will meet in my story, kept telling me that I must write, to trust him, that everything would be okay even if I told of my past. 

Break the Chains must have been a challenging memoir to write. What compelled you to do it? 

As I have just mentioned, I felt a compelling need to write after I was healed. I tried to ignore it for years, but it would not go away. I was frightened to tell the family secret, afraid that my mother would die reading it. But I continued to feel the calling to write, and so I did.

9781627467582medDid you have a mentor who encouraged you to write it? 

Yes, I was blessed with three as they encouraged and guided me. I will use school as my explanation: Minrose was my grade school mentor, Julie my high school and college mentor, and Joan my graduate mentor. I am very proud that with their guidance I wrote all the words in my story, including the painful memories they prodded for me to express.

Who is your target audience? 

  • People needing forgiveness
  • People with history of abuse — mental & physical
  • People needing healing, or wanting it
  • People searching for a loving God, or just a God
  • People living in two cultures

What do you hope readers will get from your book? 

My hope and pray is that my story will help others to break their chains and be set free. 

What was your writing process like while writing this memoir? 

I did have a rough outline at the beginning. But as I wrote I went to places I had never planned to go. So there went the outline. I found my best writing was early in the morning, between 3am and 6am, while drinking coffee. I always prayed at the beginning of each day for God to guide me with the right words. After three hours, I would eat and get ready to go to my office. In the evenings I wrote a little, but the next day I would often not like what I had written. I sat in my home office and played the same CD over and over- “Filipino Love Songs in a Classic Piano Mood, volume 4, by Raul Sunico. It always put me in a good writing mood. On weekends I would sit out on our patio to do stream-of- conscious writing, if I was stuck (afraid of digging up an old memory). A few times, I stayed in a mountain cabin to be alone and scream if I had to. I did the more painful writings up there. I went back to the Philippines for 40 days and nights to add texture to my story. I wrote and re-wrote and re-wrote some more. 

How long did it take you to write it? 

I started about 10 years ago. But it was awful. It read like an emotionless scientific paper, so I stopped for a few years. Then I bought books on the craft of writing, attended writing workshops, and started writing again. After a year I stopped again. This time because it was too painful to write of my past shame. I could not write for two years. Three years ago, I surrendered to my burning desire to write and dove head first into my memoir. 

What was your editing process like? 

It was a great experience. I learned a lot through editing. I particularly like the exercise of “What if….,” while still staying true to the story. I thank my mentor angels for that. I admit that towards the end I did not cherish doing another re-write! 

How did you find your publisher?

After many rejections, one glorious day, one of my mentors, Joan, found my book a home with Tate Publishing & Enterprises, a Christian-based, family-owned, mainline publishing house.

I thank Dr. Tate for believing in my story and all the staff at Tate for their help in making my book a reality. 

Where is Break the Chains available? 

My book is available on AMAZON B&N / TATE PUBLISHING

What is your advice for aspiring memoir authors?

Never stop writing. Never take “no” for an answer. I was rejected — by many editors, publishers, and agents. I was even told to my face, “Even if you can write, which you can’t because you’re a doctor, and, anyway, no one will ever buy your book because you’re a nobody.” Believe in yourself. You are somebody!

I’m still learning to write, always will be. I’m currently working on my first novel, Tin Kids, about the abuse of kid in tin mines. I am pleased with it. Can’t wait to send this baby out into the world!

So continue to write daily and be patient. It will take time to birth your “baby.”

This interview originally appeared in Blogcritics Magazine

Interview with T.J. MacLeslie, Author of Designed for Relationship

MacLeslie photo

T.J. MacLeslie is a follower of Christ, a husband, a father, a minister, a missionary, and an author. Since his first missions experience in 1990, T.J. has been involved in a variety of ministries: pastoring, church planting, leadership development, and spiritual formation. Through it all, his mission has always been, “To envision and train believers to go deep in their relationship with Christ and each other so that they can be a blessing to each other and the world.” His new book: Designed for Relationship distills the lessons learned along the way to help those longing for more. He currently lives in the UK with his wife and two children where he leads a team focused on prayer and spiritual formation for missionaries serving around the world.
Amazon Author Page:

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, T.J. MacLeslie.  Can you start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published? 

A: I just had my second book, Designed for Relationship, published.

Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why? 

A: My first book, Pursuit of a Thirsty Fool, was published 2 years ago.

Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it? 

A: Actually, I was kind of hoping that my first book would be rejected, as I did not write it for publication. The first book was kind of an accident. I sat down to write the current book, Designed for Relationship, but Pursuit of a Thirsty Fool is what spilled out of my soul through my fingertips. Pursuit was a no-holds-barred story of God’s pursuit of me and my foolishness, which I hoped would never see the light of day. I wrote it primarily as a spiritual exercise, but a friend showed it to a publisher who was interested and eventually published it.

My experience of rejection in publishing was more about the editing process than the publishing one. I write in community. After every major revision, I invite a variety of people to read and offer feedback. This process is incredibly helpful but also vulnerable. Also, some people’s honest feedback was that they hated the book and wondered why I was wasting my time writing. Ouch! I realized that not every book is for every person, and while some loved it, others hated it. Books are very personal and will not appeal to everyone. This is true with readers, and also for publishers.

My first publisher loved the first book, but didn’t want to publish my second book. It wasn’t that they hated it, but they have their own publishing priorities and my first book fit while my second didn’t.

Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows? 

A: I was really hurt and discouraged by the negative feedback and rejection. That hurt turned quickly to anger and defensiveness. I got stuck there for a little while, and then I turned all of that emotion into prayer. I honestly talked it out with God during long walks alone through the countryside near my house.

He led me to a place of peace by reminding me that He knows what it is like to be despised and rejected. When Jesus walked the earth, He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. That helped me to feel less alone.

Then He reminded me that writing is just another form of communication. And the acceptance or rejection of a message has something to do with the communicator, but is primarily about the person receiving the message. So, I guess what I’m saying is that I have learned that the acceptance or rejection of the book by a reader or a publisher is mostly about the person doing the accepting or rejecting.

Me writing, telling my stories is my part, and other’s reaction to it is their part. I’m only responsible for my part. Designed for Relationship cover

Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them? 

A: Bottomline Media, a division of Pioneers, was my first publisher. As I mentioned, they chose me first. I seriously considered self-publishing instead because of retaining control of the work. But I thought that a small publisher would strike a good balance between creative input and bringing additional resources into the project. As a first time author I found it difficult to relinquish any control, but they were patient with me and we made it work.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

A: Publishing for me is a mixed bag. I am amazed that people believe in my work enough to invest in it and share it with others. It is such an honor to have others value your work and promote it. On the other hand, my first book in particular, was so honest and vulnerable that I felt apprehensive when it was first published for the world to read.

I still remember the day it went live on Amazon. That was the day I felt like a real author. Completing the text, or the publisher accepting the work, didn’t do it for me. Seeing it on the shelf was the day it clicked for me. I celebrated quietly with my wife and kids.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

A: The first official promotion was done by the publisher. Just before the book was available, the publisher reached out through their network and offered free copies of the eBook to bloggers and other potential reviewers. But I think the real promotion began when I started engaging others in the creative process. By the time the book was written, there were people who had invested something in the project and became advocates for the book.

Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

A: I have thought about this quite a bit. Every relationship has some struggles and the relationship between author and publisher is not an exception. That said, I’m glad I went with a small publisher as I find it strikes the right balance for me between creative control and bringing additional resources into the design, printing, and promotion parts of the project. I’ve gone with another small publisher, Parvaim Press, for my second book, Designed for Relationship.

Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

A: Yes, my second book, Designed for Relationship, was just published recently. I found that I did not need as many drafts to get to the final text this time; which is nice, because I hate editing! I guess I learned the lessons that my readers flagged in the first book, and many of the bad habits were self-corrected during the creative process. I think I’m also more confident in my own voice. I recognize that my voice is valid, and while others might not say things the same way, I’m okay with that now. With my first book I wrestled more and had a hard time finding the balance between being open and teachable and losing my voice in receiving the feedback of others. I think I did better with this on my second book.

Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up?  What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

A: Knowing what I know now, I think a big part of the publishing process is expectations. If I expect to be published by a particular publisher or I expect for things to happen according to a particular timeline, I will likely be disappointed and/or frustrated. Particularly early in the publishing process I was really frustrated by missed deadlines, or what I perceived as missed opportunities. But, when I relaxed, did my part, and communicated clearly with my publisher, I found the process much more enjoyable and less stressful. Of course, my faith plays a big role in this too. I believe God is working all things together for good, for my good; that means I can relax a bit. (I’m still working on this!) He is in control so I don’t have to be.

Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

A: My biggest accomplishment has been to simply keep writing. Even after my first book was published I struggled with discouragement. I write because I believe God has asked me to, but I still want people to buy my book. My first book did okay, but it hasn’t made the New York Times best seller list. I watched the sales figures with interest and found myself taking some of my identity not just from being published but from the sales of the book. When it didn’t go viral I struggled. I felt jealous of the success of others. I found it hard to want to write again, and go through the whole process not knowing what the end result would be. But, God met me again, and reminded me that He has asked me to write. That’s my part. So, just continuing to write is an accomplishment and I still find the struggle a daily challenge. 

Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

A: Actually, I have another profession. I’m a full-time Christian minister. I get to pray for, meet with, counsel, and encourage wonderful people serving the Lord all over the world. I love my job and the people I serve. My writing is an extension of my work with people.

Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

A: I don’t think I would want to give up writing or my profession. My writing helps me to crystallize and communicate the things God is teaching me, and my work with people keeps me grounded in the real world. 

Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?

A: I hope I’m still doing exactly what I’m doing now, but with more wisdom and kindness. I would love to continue to serve people, supporting and encouraging them to love and serve others. I would also love to still be writing.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

A: Nearly twenty years ago a mentor of mine, the first one to encourage me to write, told me to write something every day. He encouraged me to be a writer, and a writer is someone who writes. Publishing is a completely different question. A writer writes and a publisher publishes. Don’t worry about the publishing! Work hard at your craft. Write from your soul. Be curious. Investigate. Try new things. Share your work with your friends. Find, or develop, a creative community. Be open to constructive criticism. But above all…write!

Book Blast for Lakesha Monqiue Ruise’s Thy Kingdom Come + Win $25 VISA Gift Card

After petitioning the Father for answers to basic theological questions about the universal church, she took an eight-year journey with the Holy Spirit to provide clarity for herself about His vision.

Thy Kingdom Come provides readers with that clarity.

For anyone wondering what has happened to the Church, for anyone whose faith in God has been diminished, for anyone whose life has been destroyed by the yolks of bondage, Ruise offers new answers. She encourages her readers to follow along in the Bible itself to see how each of her lessons is validated by the Word of God.

“We perish because we don’t know how to survive,” writes Ruise. Thy Kingdom Come offers not only an apt diagnosis of the problem, but equips readers with the cure, as well. It is an excellent source book for Biblical history and spiritual revelation and it prompts valuable internalizing and soul-searching for veteran Christians as well as for new converts.

Link to book on Amazon:

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Lady Ruise is a native of Thomasville Georgia. She is the First Lady of Emmanuel Church of God in Christ in Macclenny Florida. She medically retired from the U S Navy in 2007. Since her retirement, she obtained a degree in respiratory therapy and works as a Registered Respiratory Care Practitioner. She has a strong Christian background. She dedicated her life to the Lord at the age of 9 and became a minister at the age of 14. She has been licensed through the Holiness Church and the Baptist church as a minister for the past 24 years. She has been mentored by countless Pastors and Elders in the COGIC, Holiness Church, and the Baptist Church. She currently labors in ministry with her husband Pastor Joe Nathan Ruise as a praise team leader. She is also the president and founder of the Baker County Circle of Sisters in Macclenny, Fl. Lakesha Ruise is a prayer-warrior and intercessor, who is holy-ghost filled with an assignment from Jesus Christ to build his church!

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Facebook Address:!/lakesha.ruise.5

Pump Up Your Book and Lakesha Monique Ruise are teaming up to give you a chance to win some fabulous prizes!

Here’s how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. This promotion will run from March 8 – Apr 8. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on April 12, 2013. Each blogger who participates is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour. Good luck everyone!

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If the Rafflecopter form doesn’t load, please visit the THY KINGDOM COME TOUR PAGE to enter the giveaway:

Thy Kingdom Come Book Blast Schedule


Friday March 8th
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Wednesday, March 27th
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Friday, March 29th – OPEN
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Monday, April 8th

Beyond the Books with Susie Larson, Author of Embracing Your Freedom

With enthusiasm, humor, and conviction, author/speaker Susie Larson has spoken to thousands of women locally, nationally, and internationally. Susie’s new release is titled, Embracing Your Freedom: A Personal Experience in God’s Heart for Justice (Moody Publishers). She just finished writing her sixth book, Growing Grateful Kids, which, releases in March of 2010. Susie has been interviewed on radio stations across the country and serves as a regular guest host for Along the Way (A two-hour talk radio show on Faith Radio-900 AM). While in Washington D.C., Susie and her husband Kevin, along with national recording artist Sara Groves and her husband Troy, represented International Justice Mission’s concerns in meetings with Congress as part of their efforts to abolish and prevent human trafficking and slavery. Susie comes with a passion to share the love of a Savior who will never let us go.

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Susie. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

A: Thanks for having me. To answer your question, I am multi-published. I’ve written six books, one devotional journal, contributed to several books, and I’ve written numerous articles.

Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?

A: The title of my very first book is, Mercy in the Wilderness: A Selfish Heart a Faithful God. I self-published that book because of its memoir-like style; I wrote it for a very specific audience: those who hear me speak, hear my story, and as a result, want to buy my book. After researching the publishing process, I knew self-publishing was the route I needed to take with this book. Mercy in the Wilderness is now in its third printing and sells itself at conferences when I tell my story.

Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

A: As I mentioned, I self-published my first book so I didn’t experience any rejections with that one. I don’t at all regret going that route with my first book. I learned a lot in the process and the book paid for itself within the first six months.

Q: How did the rejections make you feel and what did you do to overcome the blows?

A: Rejections are difficult for anybody. I know for myself, the rejections I experienced in my writing journey were all a part of a bigger process for me. God was readying me for ministry, and in order for me to be effective, I needed to be able to separate who I am with what I do. When rejections came my way, I got on my knees and I surrendered myself afresh to the Lord. I’d take some time and give myself a little distance from the manuscript, then, in due time, I’d pick it back up again and try to look at it with fresh eyes.

If our identity is too tied up into what we accomplish (or not), God’s important message of grace and freedom will get lost in translation through us. Sometimes He seems agonizingly uninterested in our timeline or our desperate desires to be published, but that’s not so. Truly, He knows us better than we know ourselves and He is intimately engaged with us on this journey. We have to learn the craft, learn to write a great proposal, understand our audience, do our best, and then leave the rest with Him. He knows what He’s doing with our lives.

Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

A: I published my first book with Essence Publishing out of Canada (2000). I chose Essence because they clearly communicated the different options available, were regularly accessible to us, and had the most competitive pricing for our needs. That was back in the year 2000, and I’ve since noticed quite a number of self-publishing houses that have hit the scenes and are super competitive in pricing. A number of those new houses offer great marketing help as well.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

A: You know I felt different after each first experience. When my self-published book released, we had a book release party with lots of friends and ministry partners. That was a big first step for me. When my devotional journal released, I didn’t really celebrate but I was excited about the opportunity. It was my first contracted project (not counting my published articles), although my contract was with a stationary publisher, not a mainstream publisher. For me, the really big first was when I published Balance That Works When Life Doesn’t: Simple Steps to a Woman’s Physical and Spiritual Health (Harvest House Publishers). This was my first CBA contract and was a very big deal to me. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was giving my son a haircut when I my agent called me with the good news. I ran around the house; I jumped up and down and I cheered. I ran upstairs to call my husband (who, by the way, came home with a dozen roses). My poor son sat there with a partial haircut until I came to my senses again.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

A: We did several things simultaneously. We mailed out hundreds and hundreds of postcards along with invitations to our book release party. I held up my book at all of my speaking events and shared a few sentences on why the message was important to me. We developed a website.

Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

A: No, I’d go this same route again if given the chance. Writing is a tough business and it can take years to see your first book published. I thoroughly enjoyed self-publishing because it gave me an inside look at the process while moving ahead with my dream. After writing six books, I still don’t think my first book fits in a mainstream publishing house, but even so, there are thousands of people out there whose lives have been changed by its message. I know I did the right thing. It was a perfect starting point for me.

Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

A: As I mentioned, my sixth book releases this spring (March, 2010). Also, I’ve contributed to several books, published approximately fifty articles with Focus on the Family and published several articles with other publications.

I’ve grown as an author mostly because I’ve grown as a Christ-follower. As I mature in Him, my message also matures. On a technical level, I’m learning that less is truly more. When we try to cast too wide a net with our message, we rarely impact anyone significantly. But if we narrow the focus of our intended audience, hone our craft, and write from a place of true passion and experience, we will connect with readers on a very deep level. Readers appreciate being singled out and encouraged along the way. One of the favorite things I hear from readers is this statement: you wrote this book for ME.

Q: Looking back since the early days when you were trying to get published, what do you think you could have done differently to speed things up? What kind of mistakes could you have avoided?

A: I believe I was on track with God’s best timing for me with regards to publishing books. But here’s one thing I wish I had done differently: in those earlier years, I was a little shy about assembling a mailing list and acquiring email addresses. It all seemed too self-promoting to me to ask for emails when I didn’t even have a book to offer. Nowadays you have blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and a host of other ways to communicate with your subscribers. Even if you don’t have a book to offer your subscribers, you can stay connected with them. It’s important to establish your platform in a consistent, professional way.

Q: What has been the biggest accomplishment you have achieved since becoming published?

A: Of course, the biggest accomplishment for me is the number of changed lives I hear about on a regular basis. It almost overwhelms me to read these kinds of statements: That book saved my marriage. That book saved my life. I’ve never been the same since I read your book. I’ve never known God’s presence or understood His love until your conference (and to all of these statements, I say, thank you, Lord).

Another thing I’m very excited about is the way that my ministry/career is evolving into a three-pronged approach: speaking, writing, and radio. I love each of these modes of communication equally and I’m very thankful for the opportunities that are before me in all three of these areas.

Q: If you could have chosen another profession, what would that profession be?

A: I know that I’m walking out the exact calling for which God designed me. And I’ve never been more fulfilled and motivated to make my days count than I am today. I have friends who are writers, period. I have other friends who are speakers, but not writers. I have other friends in radio, but they don’t speak or write. They are all specialists in their field. But it’s different with me. I don’t want to be exclusively any one of these. I have found my niche by balancing my time between the three. I have my work cut out for me. It takes a while to master three crafts, but that’s what I want to do.

Q: Would you give up being an author for that profession or have you combined the best of both worlds?

A: As I mentioned in my answer above, I’ve found the best in all three worlds!

Q: How do you see yourself in ten years?

A: Lord willing, I see myself with a thriving, daily radio program, five to seven more books under my belt, and a continually growing speaking platform. I would also like to write a few Bible studies with companion teaching DVD’s.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

A: Don’t let the dream consume you; let it motivate you. Don’t let your life get out of balance in order to achieve your dream. If you do, you won’t last there. Keep your walk of faith your utmost priority. Be available for your loved ones. Take care of your body through exercise and nourishing food. And remember, you are valuable because God says you are, not because a publisher validated your work. Humbly receive criticism, hone your craft, and put your hope in God. In due time, your dreams will come true.

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