Tag Archives: Book Signing

The Final Girls’ Book Giveaway, and a Very Exciting Announcement…

Well, I must say that I had such a fun time at the Princess Party, hosted by Baker Book House. This is my favorite picture of the day…

And although it was fun to wear a tiara (I haven’t worn one since I got married 35 years ago) and although it was great to see all the tutus, what was really wonderful was to be able to read the story of Queen Esther from my new Love Letters book to these young girls, and to reinforce that the life of a princess is not all glitz and glamour, but can be hard work and dedication. (For a real-life example, just look at the late Princess Diana.) Continue reading

The Fun of Before and After… and yet Another Giveaway!

There’s something fun about Before & After photos. Almost always, when you see these pictures, it’s good news.

Whether it’s a friend who lost an impressive amount of weight, or someone who transformed their home or yard into something amazing, Before & After photos have the power to inspire.

So, just for fun, I’m sharing MY Before & After pictures, of the book table I set up at a recent conference.

Here’s the before…

And here’s the after… Continue reading

The Final Christmas Love Letters from God Giveaway!

The countdown to Christmas is in full swing. with just twenty days left and little lights twinkling everywhere.

My Facebook feed is full of folks sharing their newly decorated Christmas trees, and just to add to the magic of the season, it started snowing yesterday, at least here in Michigan. I woke up to this wonderful world of white right outside my window.

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Christmas is coming. Jesus is coming. That little baby, hope of the whole world, light of all life.. He is coming.

Christmas is simply the best time to begin making memories and establishing family traditions with our children.

At my final blog stop in the Christmas Love Letters from God tour, I’m sharing ideas for seven meaningful, memorable family activities to enjoy around the Christmas tree. Be sure to check out number seven… that’s my favorite one!

You’ll also be able to download your cute, cut-out Nativity scene, straight from the book, and, of course, enter the final Christmas Love Letters from God giveaway

If you live in the Grand Rapids area and you’d like any one of my six titles signed for a Christmas gift, please come to my Children’s Story-time at Baker Books on Thursday 15th Dec. 10.30-noon.

And here’s my favorite story from Christmas Love Letters from God!

Happy Christmas! (that’s what we say in England!)

Christmas Love Letters Announcement!

Here’s Mary, jumping out of the pages of Christmas Love Letters from God to help me announce the two lucky winners of the giveaway! Do you see how excited she is?

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Out of the 43 people who entered, the winners are: Elizabeth Campbell, who said:

I think my favorite story will be Jesus Joy.

And Kate Robbins, who said:

I think Mary’s Song is going to be my favorite too!! I could listen to you read stories all day long!!

Thank you, Kate, for your kind words, and for everyone who entered.

If you didn’t win, don’t despair! Beginning October 17th, there’ll be eight chances to win the book.

Each week leading up to Christmas, I’ll be featured on eight different blogs as I hop on board a virtual tour. I’ll be taking part in author interviews, sharing ideas for creating Christmas traditions, offering a cute Nativity cut out scene, and hosting… giveaways!

And if you would like a signed, personalized copy as a special Christmas gift, please come and see me at one of my upcoming:

Events

Happy Christmas! (After all, it’s only 80 days away!)

Why You Might Want to Listen to that Little Voice that Prompts You to Action…

On a crisp autumn morning one year ago, I drove to Kalamazoo, a little town in Michigan, on my way to present a workshop at a Children’s Ministry event. Nestled in the back of my car were two boxes holding treasure:  hot, off-the-press copies of my newly published children’s book, Love Letters from God.

box of books!

That autumn day would be the first time I would sell my book; the first time I would read a story out loud to an audience; the first time I would sign the inside cover; the first time I would meet Jess.

She was young, and quiet. We didn’t get to talk much. She was in her second year of children’s ministry. She listened intently. She made notes. She asked questions. And she bought a book.

She would tell me, later, that she didn’t have much money that day. But a little voice inside whispered that she should buy a book anyway.

Who is it for? I asked, as I always do when I sign the book.

Jess didn’t know. Perhaps she would give it to a niece, or perhaps she might use it in her children’s ministry. She left, with the book tucked under her arm. Inscribed on the inside cover, I had written the words: May the one who turns these pages be blessed.

And the rest of the story belongs to her….

Well later that day, my husband and I had a sweet surprise. We had been trying to get pregnant for a few months, waiting on the Lord’s timing… I was a few days late – so off to the store I went (to buy another pregnancy test.) Sure enough, the Lord’s timing had arrived. We were almost in disbelief. To be honest, my husband didn’t believe me right away. We were so excited!!!

Lo and behold, God had wanted me to purchase “Love Letters from God’ for my very own son, Josiah!  What’s so cool is that this book walked with us through our entire pregnancy. Mr. Josiah and I read the stories together over the next 9 months as we waited to meet each other. I would flip through the pages, usually reading one or two stories at a time. We would talk, and pray together – I’d fill in the blanks with “my precious child.” I’d describe to him the pictures on the pages (that’s the Art Teacher in me)…

I remember one specific day, maybe 21 weeks in – I read “The Little Boy Who Listened.” We had just found out we were having a son and we couldn’t for the life of us decide on a name… I’d ask my little man what he wanted to be called, I pleaded with the Lord to give us the perfect name… My husband and I just couldn’t decide. It seemed that the pressure was too great!  I read this story about 3 times, all in a row. Something about it stood out to me. It was the last paragraph:

“What a wonderful night for Samuel!” It read. “God knew his name. As the candles flickered and the shadows danced, a happy little Samuel closed his eyes and finally fell asleep.”

It was that paragraph that brought peace to my heart — God knew my son’s name, just as he had known Samuel’s name! I opened my bible and highlighted Isaiah 43:1: “I will send for you by name. You belong to me.” My son, my Josiah, was already named by my Father in heaven, and soon, very soon, I would get to meet him and know his name too!

Called by Name

My husband ended up naming our son, Josiah Thomas, just moments before he entered this world. He said God had just put it on his heart! It was, and is, the most perfect name for our little one.

Here we are, 11 months later, and my little man can just start to see. We flip through the colorful pages of the book, and talk about the love that God has for him, and for me, and for our friends and family! It’s something very sweet. “Love Letters from God,” was just as much a gift for me, as it was to my son!

The inside cover of my book is signed by Glenys: “May the one who turns these pages be blessed.” We were blessed. We are blessed, by the truth on these pages, and with a beautiful son!

baby Josiah

Jess & Josiah

What Happened in a Little British Primary School on my First Author Visit..

I look out over a sea of red. More than three hundred young voices are raised in exuberant song. Boys and girls are swaying and smiling. One of them glances my way to wave shyly at ‘the famous author.’

It is my first visit to a British Primary school. I’m here because my sweet nephew, Jake, carried his copy of Love Letters from God to school one day and showed it to his teacher. 

I’m here to sign the copies that were bought for each classroom and to read the children’s favorite stories to them.

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IMG_3035I’m here to inspire these young children; to encourage them to be the best they can be; to remind them that dreams do come true.

Because fifty years ago, I was one of them, sitting cross-legged on the floor of the assembly hall in my red British uniform, in a school not too far from theirs. I never would have imagined that one day I would be living in the United States, or have the enormous privilege of being an author. And so I’m here to inspire these young minds, and to help them dream of what might lie beyond the horizon.

I don’t really know what to expect on this sunny British morning – but I’m definitely not expecting this. ..

A welcome enthused with so much warmth that it makes me feel like JK Rowling;

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a prayer written especially for me;

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prayer for me

a trio of smiling girls who lead worship during assembly and then use their free time to patrol the school in order to check that everything is being done in a Christian manner. They form part of a wider group of children, known throughout the school as ‘ The Ethos Warriors.’

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I don’t expect to see halls and classrooms so boldly and brightly decorated with stories and scenes from the book;

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wall of letters

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or wonderful children’s letters to God displayed on every wall.

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And I am moved by what those letters say, and how their contents reveal their need for God.

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I’m honored by the huge bouquet of flowers waiting to greet me on the ‘top table’ at lunch time, along with eight smiling pupils who have earned a place there.

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And most of all, I am truly amazed and humbled as I witness the school’s ‘show case’ at the end of the day, where each class shares a presentation of work based on the book.

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The youngest children wear the colorful animal masks they made and parade in two by two.

The oldest show videos they created based on the story of The Lions who Lost Their Lunch.

And in between, classes sing songs and perform raps; they read out their letters to God and proudly show their paintings inspired by the story of the Wind and Waves.

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 None of this wonderful work was I expecting.

I’m sitting on the plane now, flying high over the Atlantic Ocean, homeward bound to the USA. In my suitcase I carry a book, made by the children of Sutton Oak Primary School in St Helens, England. It is decorated painstakingly and beautifully with little colorful stamps, just like the ones my illustrator created for the book.

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And in my heart I carry memories of wonderful, committed teachers;

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IMG_3149IMG_3145of children being nurtured in a Christian atmosphere; of little ones learning every day about the One who made them.

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And I know that God is wonderfully at work in the world, through words that I was somehow privileged to author.

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The day I met God at the Christmas Craft Fair

Ladies at the Craft FairWe sat at the table, my husband and I, as Christmas shoppers swarmed the craft fair. Their bags bulged with ornaments, and tinsel, and toys, and woolly winter hats. We watched as they pulled out purses to buy Santa earrings and home-made wreaths, and marveled at the creativity of those who can make such wonderful things.

Our table was not adorned with tinsel or trimmings. I did not have any fancy home-made Christmas gifts to display – just a simple book sitting on a red tablecloth.

But even a simple book can bring God to the table.

For God comes to us in the crowd as well as the quiet.

 

And God came…right there, in the middle of that crowded craft fair, at one o’clock on a Saturday afternoon. God showed up in the form of two wonderful ladies, a mother and daughter, who wandered over to the table and started to leaf through the pages of the book.

It’s my first children’s book, published by Zondervan! I explained excitedly.

It has eighteen stories- nine from the Old Testament, and nine from the New. After each story, there’s a little lift-the-flap letter from God, to your child- and you can write your child’s name right here.

The ladies smiled.

Do you have a lot of books? They asked.

I do, I replied, nodding, not really sure why the number I had might be important to them.

I’ll take eight, the mom said decisively.

And I’ll take seven, her daughter added.

I was thrilled! And I wondered who so many books might be for…

We teach Sunday school, they told me, and this book will be a wonderful Christmas gift for our children.

My heart sang. I picked up the pen and began to scribe a personal little message inside the books as the teachers told me each name: Dylan, Derek, Carter, Carly, Leah, Madalyn….

Wait a minute, the mom said. Let me check the spelling of her name. I don’t want it to be wrong.

I listened as she took out her phone and called home.

Honey, I’m at a craft fair. I’m buying these adorable books for my Sunday school kids but I need you to check the spelling of one of their names for me. It’s on my list…

There was a pause as the person on the other end tried to locate the names. And then I heard this:

Look in my Bible. You’ll find their names inside.

I stopped writing and lifted my head to look at this stranger I had only just met. The room was still buzzing with activity; shoppers were still buying; bags were still bulging; music was still playing.

But only God was there.

God stood, right in front of me, in this wonderful lady who not only purchased those books with her own money; who will not only be wrapping them in love for her eight Sunday school children; but who also took the time to write their names in her Bible.

And why, I ask myself, would she do that? If it wasn’t to remember those children each day; to see their names as she opens her Bible; to pray for them, and their families, their futures, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams?

Why else?

Somewhere today, those eight books sit, perhaps already wrapped- I do not know.

Somewhere today, one lady’s Bible most probably lies open- but again, I do not know.

But what I do know is that in the middle of a crowded Christmas craft fair, at one o’clock on a Saturday afternoon, I met God-  in her.

What happens when God shows up at a book signing…

boy & fishOn a beautiful fall morning, my husband and I set out on a new adventure. We thought we knew where we were going, but we didn’t really know where God would take us that day.

We were on route to a little village just sixty miles away, home to the first church we pastored in the USA. As we traveled, ten full boxes of Love Letters from God rode with us, while the wonderful people of that little church busied themselves in the kitchen, preparing for our arrival.

I was on my way to my very first book signing event. I was nervous, but excited too.

I think you’ll sell all those books today, my husband said.

I doubt it, I replied. But if I sell 100, I’ll be happy.

Six hours later, after 95 hugs from friends, 175 books sold, and 40 more ordered, I rode home with one empty trunk, and one full heart. We did not even have ten empty boxes to recycle. They were needed by those who had staggered out, carrying more books than their arms could hold.

And why am I surprised? Why did I doubt? Why would I be shocked by what happened if I truly believe that God can do immeasurably more than all I could ask or possibly imagine?

 

 

If there is no limit to what the Master of Multiplication can do with five loaves and two fish, then there is no limit to what He can do with ten boxes of books. What God can do with a basket of bread, He can do with a box of books.

Because each one of those books is like a seed; each one planted just where God wants it to be.

And I believe that each and every one will be planted in good soil…

For the ones wrapped as gifts, to be opened on Christmas morning; for the ones bought in faith for grandchildren not even conceived or named; for the ones bought in hope for sons who do not yet know God-  I am believing for good soil.

And as I ride home that evening I know that real wealth is not in the number of books sold, but in the number of seeds sown.

And like the loaves and fish in the hands of the Master Multiplier, one small seed in the hands of the Master Gardener can take root and grow immeasurably- in a way none of us could possibly imagine.

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