Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New Website for Fans of Christian Books

Today, I'm excited to share a new website with you, and have invited the founders of Christian eBooks Today to give us all the details.

Welcome, Jim & Karen Baney.  Can you tell us what Christian eBooks Today.com is all about?

Jim:  Christian eBooks Today.com is a website that is for fans of Christian fiction and nonfiction.  It is a safe place to browse and learn more about great Christian eBooks without worrying about coming across any racy or explicit content.

Why did you start Christian eBooks Today.com?

Karen:  I’ve been an avid reader of Christian fiction since I was a young girl.  But, over the past few years as I started publishing books, I noticed that it was getting harder and harder to browse for Christian eBooks online without coming across some pretty embarrassing and racy covers.  I just wanted to find a good clean Christian romance book and find new authors.

In August, Jim joined the ranks of the unemployed, so I asked him what he thought about helping me launch a site for Christian readers.  It took some convincing, but he finally agreed to do it.

Jim:  Hey!  It didn’t really take much convincing.  I like the idea of being self-employed.

On your Vision and Mission page on the website, you mention edgy Christian fiction.  Can you tell us more about this?

Karen:  Sure.  Over the past few years or even a decade, the Christian fiction market has been changing.  Authors are writing more true-to-life characters that get thrown into some pretty tough circumstances, such as rape, abuse, abandonment, etc.  In fact, some of my novels fall into that category.

Anyway, there is a bit of a divide in readership.  Some readers don’t like the trend, while others prefer it.  We wanted to mention that we accept those types of books on our site so readers are not surprised if they come across something like that.

So, your site includes Christian nonfiction too?

Jim:  Yes.  We include a variety of nonfiction genres, too.  Bible studies, devotionals, self-help, Christian living and much more.  We really want the site to be a place where readers can find any type of Christian eBooks.

Who runs the site, I mean really?

[Karen glances at Jim and giggles.]

Jim:  We joke around.  I’m the chief operations officer and Karen is the CEO.  She has the vision and then I do all the hard work to make it happen.

Karen:  [elbows Jim]  I do some of the hard work, like marketing and writing content.

Jim:  Okay, okay.  I’ll give you that.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Karen:  Yes.  We have a feature on our website under the “For Readers” menu called “Reader’s Choice”.  This is where readers can fill out a form telling us about great Christian eBooks that they’ve read.  Each week, we will select one submission to appear on our website.  Then, once a month we will randomly choose a winner from all of the submissions (even if they don’t get featured).  The winner receives a $25 gift card from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  Readers can submit as many eBooks as they want.

Wow, that sounds great!  So, where can we see this new website?

Jim:  Visit ChristianEBooksToday.com.  You can also follow us on Twitter (@cebtoday), Facebook, or Google+.  Check our site daily for our list of free fiction and free nonfiction ebooks.

Karen:  Remember to sign up for our newsletter too.  Just click on the envelope icon in the upper right corner of our site.  Each week we email readers a summary of our key weekly features including: guest blog posts, great reads, author of the week, and the reader’s choice selection for the week.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Karen and Jim. Best wishes on your new venture! Readers, hop on over there and check them out! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Woman Who Shines

Our very own Pix-N-Pens author Sheryl Holmes has been nominated for the "Women Who Shine" contest sponsored by Yahoo! Sheryl could win a feature article on Yahoo and a $10,000 cash prize. But to win, Sheryl needs YOUR vote, and your help in spreading the word and encouraging others to vote!

Sheryl's nomination reads:

Sheryl Holmes is a cancer survivor, author, artist, devoted wife and homeschooling mother of nine - yes 9! - children. She recently walked her first lap in the Relay for Life as a cancer survivor. To help others get through their own cancer diagnosis, Sheryl wrote a book that offers encouragement and hope, even during her darkest days. In Towdah: A Cancer Survivor's Song of Hope, and in all she does, Sheryl sparkles with a contagious joy that deserves the highest commendation.

You can vote here. Everyone can only vote once, and voting is open until October 29th, so be sure to spread the word!

More about Sheryl:

Sheryl Holmes, a daughter of the King, enjoys a loving marriage with her husband of twenty-six years. She is a devoted mother of nine, currently home educating five of her children. Sheryl serves as an active member of Dwight Chapel’s Christ Community Church, in Belchertown, Massachusetts.

Drop by her blog and say hello!

About Sheryl's book:

Towdah is one Hebrew word for thanksgiving used in the Scriptures. This song is the author's offering of thanks given despite the suffering and difficult circumstances that she endured while dealing with cancer.

Sheryl says, "I lift up my hands in praise to my Abba Father and I thank Him for what He has done and for what He has not even yet done, but will do, because I trust Him. It is my desire that Towdah: A Cancer Survivor’s Song of Hope will display the sparkle of God in my life and the praise that I cannot keep to myself. Read my story and be encouraged, my friend."

Available at:

Barnes & Noble

Friday, September 21, 2012

New Release: Contagious Hope

UPDATE: The winner of this copy of Contagious Hope is KARIN! CONGRATULATIONS!!

We're so excited to announce our latest release, Contagious Hope! To celebrate, we interviewed author Debbie Roome. Leave a relevant comment below - perhaps even asking Debbie a question of your own - for a chance to win a copy of her new book!

About Contagious Hope:

Savannah James, a young New Zealand therapist, volunteers for a six-week mission trip to South Africa. During her journey, she is confronted with AIDS, prostitution, murder, and even a midnight escape to a safe house. Her new friends have struggles of their own, and one may lead them into even more danger.

Will Savannah, Blake, and Pumzile ever be safe again? Will they ever be able to make a difference in the lives of those around them or will their final destination put an end to it all?

How did you come upon the story of Contagious Hope?

Earlier this year, Tracy asked me if I would like to write a novel with a theme of hope. I asked her which country I should use as a setting and she said it was my choice. I then asked God what He wanted and He dropped the entire storyline into my mind.

Have you ever done mission work?

Having lived in Africa for 40 years, I’ve been part of many missions. One memorable one was an ongoing effort to feed impoverished black people in Zimbabwe. As a church, we had access to fields of cabbages and were allowed to go and cut the remnants once the farmer had reaped his crop. These would be taken out to a nearby village where the people were literally starving. My husband and I spent many weekends out there.

Do you miss Africa?

I left Africa at the age of 41 so it was a big part of my life. Occasionally I’ll hear a song or see a picture that makes me yearn to go back – but only for a visit. I firmly believe that God had a specific plan in mind when bringing me to New Zealand and I love my new home.However, I don’t regret my years in Zimbabwe and South Africa and without them I would not have been able to write Contagious Hope. The areas in the book are all familiar to me and in places, fact mingles with fiction.

What was the hardest part about writing this book? 

The hardest part was finding the time. I wanted to write it all day every day but life interfered.

What is your favorite scene of the book?

I like the scene where Savannah and Pumzile have an argument that leads to a midnight conversation overlooking Hillbrow. It’s a time of healing and reconciliation and they discuss how God collects our tears.

Will there be a sequel?

Yes, there will be. The plot is currently incubating and hopefully the book will be available in the first half of 2013.

What are you working on now?

A teenage novel that highlights the dangers and pain of cyber-bullying. Having recently endured this type of abuse for over a year, it’s something very real to me and I know how devastating it can be. I want to offer hope to teens through a fictional story.

Thanks so much, Debbie. I truly love this story and can't wait for readers to get hold of it! (And I'm so excited about the sequel!)

Contagious Hope is available in print and digital formats:

About Debbie:

Debbie Roome was born and raised in Zimbabwe and later spent fifteen years in South Africa. In 2006, she moved to New Zealand with her husband and five children. Writing has been her passion since the age of six and she loves to write stories that touch people's lives and turn them towards God. Over the years she has won many awards and trophies for her work, including placing first in the Rose & Crown Novel Writing Competition in 2009 and second out of 7000 in the FaithWriters.com Best of the Best contest in 2007. Debbie's writing has opened doors for public speaking and she is often asked to share her life story and her experiences as a writer.

Visit Debbie online:

Website – www.DebbieRoome.com

Monday, September 3, 2012

And the Winner is ...

The "Where in the World is Magnificent Hope?" contest ended Friday and today, we congratulate the winner!!

Bethany LeBedz

Bethany had the most correct entries from all 10 weeks of the contest, including bonus entries for sharing the contest with others on Facebook and Twitter! Thanks so much for your support and your enthusiasm, Bethany! As you can see in the photo, Bethany got to hang out with author Jennifer Fromke, Magnificent Hope, and all the participants of the huge booksigning and fundraiser for the Cabarrus Victims Assistance Network in Concord, NC.

Bethany LeBedz is a veteran homeschooler, professional editor, writer, and speaker. She contributes regularly to Heart of the Matter Online, has a regular column in the Home School Enrichment magazine, and occasionally writes for other magazines, websites, and newsletters. Bethany lives in North Carolina with her family, where she enjoys music, reading, scrapbooking, sewing, genealogy, and keeping up with friends in her spare time. Be sure to follow her popular blog, Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom.

As winner of the "Where in the World is Magnificent Hope?" contest, Bethany will receive a Kindle Fire, a $100 Amazon gift certificate, and an entire library of digital books.

Thank you to all the participants of "Where in the World is Magnificent Hope?" We hope you had as much fun as we did! We appreciate your support, your enthusiasm, and your participation all summer long!

We had hoped to make another announcement at this time, too, but we're not quite ready. So stay tuned for some more fun news later this week!

Even though this contest has come to an end, Hope Tour 2012 continues with another event later this month. And I have a feeling some more contests will soon be announced!