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August 18th, 2011

Don’t Miss the Thomas Nelson Survey and Cash Giveaway!

From Thomas Nelson:

One of the highlights of our days in the Fiction department at Thomas Nelson? Receiving reader letters—either directly addressed to us or passed along from our talented authors. It’s critical to be reminded that at the end of our long days acquiring, editing, designing, selling, marketing, and publicizing books, those stories are reaching readers, striking nerves, changing lives. We want readers’ feedback. How stories have given you hope. Which authors’ series you can’t help from sharing with everyone you meet. We want to know what makes you stay up late in the night to finish a story, and conversely what turns you away.

We’re conducting a series of surveys—seeking answers from readers who love Christian fiction. Up for grabs is a free ebook for every respondent who completes the survery, as well as a $10,000 prize for one entrant. The responses we gather will help shape the future of the books we publish for years to come. As well as the data we’re collecting here, we’ll also seek more in-depth feedback from a panel we’ll develop over the next year. More details to come. The note below from one of authors gives a specific picture of how reader feedback shapes her work. In short, your opinion matters! We thank you for your time and appreciate your responding.

Thomas Nelson Fiction

Dear Friends–

Your opinion matters. It really does. I love hearing from readers about what worked for them in a story and about what doesn’t work. Reader feedback changed the balance between romance and suspense in my novels. After the Rock Harbor trilogy, I wanted to write more suspense in my novels because that’s what I personally like. But readers really wanted more relationship and romance in the books so I moved back that direction to about the same mix of 50/50 that the Rock Harbor novels contained. I write for you even more than for myself.

I had no intention of setting a whole series of books at Bluebird, Texas. It was going to be only one book, but readers sent me requests in droves for more books. The fourth book in the Lonestar series, Lonestar Angel, will be out in October. The Rock Harbor novels were going to be complete at three. There are now five and I’m thinking about another one! All due to reader demand.

I’ve often asked for reader input on names and locations too. When I was struggling for a name for my hero in The Lightkeeper’s Ball, I turned to my readers. Harrison really fit my character, and my readers told me. Love that! When I was trying to decide on a location for the new Hope Beach series I’ve started, I asked readers. Their overwhelming response was for a series set in the Outer Banks so guess what I’m writing?!

That’s why we’re coming to you for answers. We want to give you what you really want! Don’t be afraid to let us know what you really think. We value your honesty and the time it will take to share with us. Looking forward to hearing what you have to say!

Your friend,

Colleen Coble

August 4th, 2011

Thomas Nelson Survey – Chance to Win $10,000

From Thomas Nelson:

One of the highlights of our days in the Fiction department at Thomas Nelson? Receiving reader letters—either directly addressed to us or passed along from our talented authors. It’s critical to be reminded that at the end of our long days acquiring, editing, designing, selling, marketing, and publicizing books, those stories are reaching readers, striking nerves, changing lives. We want readers’ feedback. How stories have given you hope. Which authors’ series you can’t help from sharing with everyone you meet. We want to know what makes you stay up late in the night to finish a story, and conversely what turns you away.

We’re conducting a series of surveys—seeking answers from readers who love Christian fiction. Up for grabs is a free ebook for every respondent who completes the survery, as well as a $10,000 prize for one entrant. The responses we gather will help shape the future of the books we publish for years to come. As well as the data we’re collecting here, we’ll also seek more in-depth feedback from a panel we’ll develop over the next year. More details to come. The note below from one of authors gives a specific picture of how reader feedback shapes her work. In short, your opinion matters! We thank you for your time and appreciate your responding.

Thomas Nelson Fiction

Dear Friends—

Publishing books is a team effort, and there are a lot of players—authors, editors, cover designers, marketing staff, and a host of other behind-the-scene folks who help get the books on the shelves. And readers are also a large part of the process. Your input matters, probably more than you know.

When I hear from readers, I really listen to what they want. This is particularly true with my series books. For example, Seek Me With All Your Heart (book #1 in the Land of Canaan series) wraps up nicely at the end, but one of my minor characters (Katie Ann) was left pregnant after her husband left her. I received lots of emails about Katie Ann from readers, so book #2 in the series—The Wonder of Your Love—is Katie Ann’s story.

With the popularity of social media resources such as Facebook, it has allowed me to keep in close contact with readers and to seek opinions and advice. Several times, the publisher and I couldn’t decide on a cover, so we posted the cover options on Facebook and let readers decide. And if you’re posting anywhere on my Facebook Fans Page, your name could end up in a book. I often scan the names there, so you are unknowingly helping me just by being on the site.

Readers also made it clear that they wanted books in digital format, large print, and audio versions. Authors and publishers listened, and most (if not all) of my books are available in multiple formats.

As an author, I hope to write entertaining stories that will be enjoyed for many years. As a reader, I have favorite authors, and I’m not afraid to let them know what I want in future books. We listen to the likes and the dislikes in our effort to bring you the best stories we can, so don’t be shy. Tell us what you think!

Warmly,

Beth Wiseman

January 27th, 2011

Free Ebook – Among the Farmyard People

pierson_farmyardMany of you are familiar with Yesterday’s Classics, the re-publisher of many excellent, classic, living books for children.  Of these 225 titles many have been recommended and included in various literature-based curriculum packages for their charming content, excellent writing styles, and educational storylines that build character and teach at the same time.

Our family has personally enjoyed these classic titles for years, and has even made some copywork based on Yesterday’s Classics titles.

I’m so excited to announce that our family business has partnered with Yesterday’s Classics to bring you a free digital copy of Among the Farmyard People by Clara Dillingham Pierson (the original book that we have designed copywork to complement)!

Click here for your free copy of Among the Farmyard People, and check out the INCREDIBLE savings on classic, children’s living books that we are able to offer our friends & customers until Saturday, Feb. 05!

As an added bonus, if you decide to purchase this incredible, high quality collection of ebooks, we’ll also include Copying the Classics: Among the Farmyard People – ZB 1-A for free with your order.  This copywork book includes 21 character building copywork lessons for beginning printers drawn from Among the Farmyard Children and scripture (KJV).

I’m so excited to see these classic titles moving into the new era of technology.  You can literally save thousands of dollars while building a rich library for your homeschool by purchasing the entire collection of Yesterday’s Classics at a deep discount – less than $0.50 per title! You’ll never be able to beat that price!

Feel free to share this link with other homeschooling families who would like to take advantage of this amazing offer as well – we don’t want to keep this a secret!

I hope you enjoy these books as much as our family comes, and reap the joy of learning that reading great literature together creates.  If you have any questions, let me know, I’m happy to help!

God bless!

November 10th, 2010

Green Books Campaign Book Review: College Without High School: A Teenager’s Guide by Blake Boles

collegewithouthighschoolThis review is part of the Green Books campaign.  Today 200 bloggers take a stand to support books printed in an eco-friendly manner by simultaneously publishing reviews of 200 books printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper. By turning a spotlight on books printed using eco- friendly paper, we hope to raise  the awareness of book buyers and encourage everyone to take the environment into  consideration when purchasing books.

The campaign is organized for the second time by Eco-Libris, a green company working to make reading more sustainable. We invite you to join the discussion on “green”books and support books printed in an eco-friendly manner! A full  list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on the Eco-Libris website.

The book I’m reviewing for the Green Books Campaign is College Without High School, it is printed on FSC certified paper made from 100% post-consumer waste, is chlorine free and printed with vegetable-based, low-VOC inks – you can’t do much better than that!  The publisher – New Society – also purchases carbon offsets so that they can operate with a carbon-neutral footprint, pretty neat!  Now, onto the review!

College Without High School is written directly to teenagers who long to escape from traditional educational establishments (like high school).  I’m sure that many of us can relate, I certainly can.  Author Blake Boles advocates a highly-motivated form of unschooling (self-directed learning) in which students can craft a plan that both fills their hearts with adventure and helps them to meet the admission requirements of major colleges.

This is a concise volume (less than 200 pages) that provides only a smattering of theory, a handful of examples, but many practical plans to help teens set goals, make plans, and chart a course towards college admission.  By getting right to it, Boles will have teens up and running with their own self-designed educational plan in no time while still providing plenty of recommendations for further reading in his “Reading and Resources” section.

Boles writes from a secular/adventure based worldview, but his easy-to-read writing style will help to inspire teens and reassure parents that it is possible to ‘do college’ without traditional high-school.  The portraits he draws of young people pursuing their dreams while learning to present their achievements in a way that admissions counselors understand is vivid and full of life.

Homeschoolers who don’t necessarily identify with the ‘unschooling’ label that Boles advocates will still find many similarities here between approaches they take with older students who should be pursuing personal interests and passions alongside some academics (like Boles advocates) at these ages.  This isn’t a ‘throw everything to the wind, I’m going on an adventure’ guide, rather it’s well thought out and carefully planned to see students achieve their goals of college.

CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW AT AMAZON.COM!

October 6th, 2010

Book Contest: Daily Guideposts 2011

dailyguideposts

CONTEST CLOSED!

Congratulations Judith!  You’ve won our copy of Daily Guideposts 2011!  I hope God uses it to bless you richly!  Please let me know your mailing address within 72 hours!

It has been a LONG time since our last contest!  I haven’t personally read this devotional, but I’m sure some of you will be very interested in entering for a chance to win it!

Here are some details about the Daily Guideposts 2011 devotional, please read the summary, and then keep going to see how to enter!

Now in its 35th year, Daily Guideposts has brought inspiration and guidance to millions of readers, selling more than 20 million copies since the devotional series’ debut in 1975 as one of the first daily devotional collections. Daily Guideposts is the creation of former Guideposts Books editor Fred Bauer, who was inspired to write a devotional that offered daily prayers and stories for year-round spiritual growth. Originally conceived as a collection of Bauer’s reflections on faith in his own life, Daily Guideposts now encompasses more than 50 writers’ stories in each edition. This edition is edited by Andrew Attaway.

Daily Guideposts: 2011 celebrates growing in God’s love and wisdom, bringing readers simple yet profound devotions to connect with God in new ways — even on the most hectic of days.

Daily entries open with a scripture reading for meditative reflection, followed by a true, first-person story, and close with a short prayer. Monthly “seeds of love” sections encourage readers to write down their blessings so they will become more mindful of all they have to be thankful for in their lives.

More than 50 writers contribute to this new spiritual companion, sharing stories of how God has transformed their relationships, jobs, families and faith. With stories from bestselling authors such as Debbie Macomber to veteran Daily Guideposts devotional contributors Marion Bond West and Carol Kuykendall, Daily Guideposts readers will recognize their favorite writers while discovering new voices along the way.

CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW AT CHRISTIANBOOK.COM OR AMAZON.COM!

CONTEST DETAILS:

I have 1 copy of Daily Guideposts 2011 to give away to one blessed winner anywhere USPS lives worldwide!  To enter, let me know if you’ve ever read a Daily Guideposts devotional before and why you’d like to win this one!

For additional entries:

1. Subscribe to this blog for updates – see the left hand sidebar. Leave an additional comment letting me know you’ve subscribed (or if you already subscribe).

2. Write a post on your blog promoting and linking to this contest. Leave an additional comment with a link to your post.

3. Add the Quiverfull Family button (see the code box in the right hand sidebar under BUTTON UP!) to your blog’s sidebar, or let me know if you already have the button displayed. Leave an additional comment with a link to your post.

4. Digg, Stumble, Tweet, Facebook or otherwise share this post on a social networking site. Leave an additional comment indicating how you shared this post.

5. Follow me on Twitter or let me know if you are an existing follower.

Each additional step taken counts for 1 additional entry. A total of 6 entries are available if you complete all of these steps. Please leave a separate comment for each entry!

The contest will close at 12 a.m. MST on Sunday, October 17th, 2010. One (1) winner will be randomly drawn for Daily Guideposts 2011 on Monday, May October 18th, 2010 and notified by email. Please fill your email address in the comment form when you are completing your comment so that I can contact you. The winners must respond with a mailing address within 72 hours of my email, or a new winner will be chosen. This contest is open to those living anywhere USPS lives worldwide.

I look forward to seeing God bless a reader with this devotional!

October 5th, 2010

The New Christianbook.com

Wow!  Have you seen the new Christianbook.com website lately?  I JUST noticed their new reviewing app when I left a review there tonight.  I’ve been faithfully posting my reviews for EVERY book I review that CBD carries over there, and now that they have a new Amazon-style reviewing system, they have reviewer ranks!

I’m in the top 10 apparently!

I don’t know how it all works, but you can leave helpful votes, and are no doubt scored based on how many reviews you write as well (maybe similar to Amazon’s algorithm).

I’m incredibly excited.  It feels like having chops as a reviewer.  I cracked Amazon’s top 500 this year (around 372 right now – so competitive there), and Amazon.ca’s top 100, but top 10 amazes me.  We’ll see how it all shakes out!

June 23rd, 2010

My First Book Endorsement!

Paladins

I was so excited when my copy of Paladins by Matthew Christian Harding arrived in the mail today!  I’ve been reviewing books for a couple of years now, but his is the first that has included an endorsement extracted from one of my reviews on its interior pages!  Woohoo!

If you’re traveling to homeschooling conferences you might meet the Harding family, and be blessed to talk with them about their series of evolution/magic/humanism free Christian fantasy titles for young readers.  My daughter Kaelynn (7) was so excited to see the sequel (we’ve read the first together), that she immediately asked for Paladins to go into the bedtime reading slot.  It’s a good thing we only have three chapters left in our current read-aloud!

If you’d like a copy of your own, you can buy one directly from the Hardings (get it autographed!) or on AMAZON.COM!

May 8th, 2010

Matterhorn the Brave Sale

I just received an email from author Mike Hamel about a great sale he’s having on his Matterhorn the Brave series titles. This eight book series for tweens retails for $9.99 at Amazon.com, but he’s selling autographed copies for $5!  Books 7 and 8  were cancelled by his publisher, but they are available as pdfs for those of you who have e-readers at the same sale price!o

Just thought I’d give you the heads up on this special pricing – you can check out the sale here.

November 20th, 2009

Don’t Let That Girl Out Alone!

Yesterday I had the opportunity to head into town all by myself.  Now, that might sound strange to some, but this is my second trip with nobody with me this year – everyone stayed at home with my husband.  Alone time is a rare commodity for many mothers, and it’s the same for me.

So, what did I do with my precious alone time?  I hit the local library used book sale!  I’d noticed it the last two times we were in town and driving by the library, but with some free time I thought I’d drop by.  I brought home two cardboard boxes full of books!  Seems they were clearing out their children’s reference section of some ‘less-desirable’ titles, so I was in there like a dirty-shirt!

My husband was thankfully gracious when I arrived home (he didn’t complain) and instead rummaged around in the books to find his favourites :).  Unlike most homeschooling families we don’t use the library often (fines, lost books, you name it!) so I’m building one of our own!  Now if only I had a few more bookcases ;).

August 15th, 2009

Sylvan Dell Publishing Launches Free E-Book Trial

turtlessandboxSylvan Dell Publishing produces what may very well be some of the loveliest children’s picture books in print today. Seamlessly fusing educational concepts in the fields of natural science and mathematics with beautiful illustrations and excellent prose, their team of talented authors and illustrators has already engendered a fledgling devotion to their publishing house in me.

More than worthy as standalone picture books, each title is also accompanied an array of free, downloadable educational resources, which include Teaching Activities and Interactive Math and Reading Comprehension Quizzes.

A relative newcomer to children’s publishing, company co-founders Lee and Donna German have lost no time jumping into the rapidly advancing technologies available for providing e-books to young learners. Recently, the company announced the launch of their next generation e-book that is taking the school system by storm.

Equipped with auto-flip and auto-read features, bi-lingual text, and audio (English and Spanish with more languages to come), Sylvan Dell is about to put the run to traditional book-and-tape listening centers. A child with access to an internet-equipped computer can read the new e-books silently, listen to a narrator read the book in a language of their choice while they ‘flip’ the pages with a click of the mouse, or listen and have the pages turn automatically,

The potential impact of these titles for teaching a second language, improving literacy skills, and retaining knowledge of mathematics and the natural world through narrative story lines is nothing short of impressive. With plans on the drawing board for further improvements the unfolding educational potential is inspiring.

saturn_cover_FINALLast year, Sylvan Dell awarded free e-book site licenses to over 2600 elementary and Title I/III schools nationwide through their School Resource Grant Program. It may only be a matter of time before titles such as Turtles in My Sandbox and Saturn for My Birthday are available on a school computer your child can access.

While this is an exciting development in and of itself, parents and home educators can also purchase these titles for use in the home. Better yet, Sylvan Dell has made their entire catalogue of 45 titles available for use during a free trial period extending to the end of October.

To take these titles for a spin follow this link and click the “Validate Access Code” button to see the entire listing of titles. Click on the image of the title you and your child would like to read, and you’re in. The e-book interface is very intuitive, but a user guide is also available for download here. This unprecedented free trial lasts until October 31st, 2009.

Still the market for hard copy picture books isn’t about to disappear – what can compare to gathering your children around on the couch, or snuggling deep under the covers with a story before bed? No need to fret, Sylvan Dell’s hardcover and paperback titles will thankfully still be available for tender moments such as these.

While I remain passionately dedicated to the printed word on tangible paper, I love the potential of this delivery system as an educational tool. Try it for yourself and see. Grab a child, a computer, and settle in for a session of enjoyable reading. If you like what you find, feel free to spread the word. The free trial link is non-exclusive and available for all who wish to experiment with the new format and dig into some great books. Thank you Sylvan Dell!

Welcome!

Jennifer. Follower of Yeshua. Wife of one man. Homeschooling mother of 5.