Monday, January 27, 2014

Authorpreneurship . . . Are YOU an Authorpreneur?

Every now and then, a book comes around that gets my creative juices flowing. Authorpreneurship: Build a Successful Business as an Author is the latest to do so. Sure, it’s meant to inspire you to focus on the business side of writing a book. However, it rather has helped me dig deeper into brainstorming my new story. It’s brought a new focus for me as I get to know my two main characters and build the world they will live in. Whichever way this book helps you—whether on the creative side or business side of writing—I’m sure this new My Book Therapy offering will add a fresh depth to your novel writing experience.

A few things really stood out as helpful as I read Authorpreneurship. The author, Sharon C. Jenkins, geared this resource to both traditional and self-publishing, so as to reach a broad audience of writers. In a similar fashion, she included tips for fiction and non-fiction writers. I especially liked how her main focus was encouraging aspiring writers in their journey to publication. It can be an intimidating thing, writing your first novel, and Sharon offered wonderful tips to make it feasible, one little chunk at a time. She shared great tips for just getting started at and mastering the business of book writing, many of which can be applied to numerous careers and lifestyles, making this book helpful for more than just writers. Every career person needs a good business plan, after all.

What You Need to Know About . . .

. . . the Author:

Sharon C. Jenkins
Sharon C. Jenkins is a literary project manager, author, motivational speaker and visionary who serves as the Inspirational Principal for The Master Communicator’s Writing Services.  Formerly the managing editor of four electronic and print journals (business, community, health and wellness, faith-based) for one of the largest African American marketing and communications companies in Houston, she has also written articles in various national and local publications. These include Yahoo Shine, Diva Toolbox, Beauty Come Forth Magazine, Gospel Truth, d-mars.com, Houston Black Book and Small Business Today.

Jenkins is also the best-selling Amazon author of Beyond the Closet Door and has co-authored two other books, Songs of Three Sisters and Ready, Set, Succeed: Making Your Dream Come True.

Known as the Master Communicator, she’s proficient in communicating in multiple forms of media: radio, newspapers, magazines, and spoken word, her prevailing mission is to equip authors to live their literary dreams without emptying their bank accounts. She started this undertaking four years ago with the Desire to Inspire Workshops, which progressed to the 2010 – 2013 Authors Networking Summit, which were hosted in Houston and Detroit.

Sharon can be found at: http://www.sharoncjenkins.com/

. . . Authorpreneurship: Build a Successful Business as an Author:

Take control of your writing career!
What does it take to become a successful author in today’s publishing world?  It’s not enough to write a powerful book – today’s author must understand and leverage the business side of writing.  Authorpreneurship by Sharon Jenkins takes the aspiring writer from curiosity to career, combining both sides of publishing – author and entrepreneur – to empower writers with direction, publishing options, marketing solutions and business savvy to grow their career.

You’ll learn:
•           What publishing model is right for you
•           Branding and how it sells your book
•           Your publishing personality and how to leverage it
•           A business plan for a successful book launch
•           How to manage your time
•           How to create a powerful product
•           Winning traits of a personal support team
•           How to financially support your dream
•           Strategic and easy marketing secrets – online and off!
And resources to help you apply what you learn!

Check out an author interview here.

. . . What Other People are Saying About Authorpreneurship:

“The book I wish I had when I started my writing journey.  Authorpreneurship is a practical, thorough, empowering tool for writers at every level that will equip them to create a thriving career.”
~ Best-selling, award-winning novelist and founder of My Book Therapy, Susan May Warren

“I want thank Sharon for her dedication in supporting aspiring writers and authors like myself! In writing my first ever published book, Stories of An Entrepreneur in August, 2012, I dedicated it to Sharon Jenkins for providing me the tools and resources to write and share my book with my audience of start-up entrepreneurs of Women Entrepreneurs of America.”
~ Yolanda Lamar Wilder, Founder of Women Entrepreneurs of America

“Sharon has been working with authors for years, giving us opportunities to learn from one another and benefit from her wealth of knowledge. Finally, she has gathered her resources and put them in an easy-to-read guide that will help authors follow their dreams!”
~ Best-selling Author Michelle Stimpson

“Sharon Jenkins’ book, Authorpreneurship: Build a Successful Business as an Author , is a must read for anyone aspiring to master the art of writing, while at the same time learning what it takes to market and publish a book in today’s competitive landscape. You won’t be disappointed!”

~ Cynthia O’Neal, TM3, LLC, Founder

Monday, January 20, 2014

Starlight, Star Bright

Even though Christmas is over and we've begun a new year, Christmas books and novellas never go out of style, in my opinion. What do you think?

Here's a bit about a Christmas novella I read recently:

When a soccer star gets stranded in a small town in the middle of winter, will he discover God’s hand in the detour? During the off season, Italian soccer star Dante Moretti traveled to Starlight, Iowa, and ended up stranded there. When Amanda Marston comes home for her brother’s wedding, she catches Dante’s eye. Will his fame stand in the way of true love? Or will her small town heritage drive a wedge between them?


Starlight, Star Bright is the second of JoAnn Durgin’s books that I’ve read. She’s got a spunkiness that comes across in her stories with flair. You never know what her characters are going to say next, and it’s that unpredictability that kept me hooked on this Christmas novella. Loveable characters and great settings made the story seem real, like it was happening next door or in my own backyard, even though I live many states away from Iowa.

“The people here [in Starlight] are the best in the world. At least they are to me.” Amanda Marston said that in chapter four. I think it’s true of a lot of places. It’s the people around us that add depth and quality to our lives. Starlight, Star Bright showcases this perfectly. If you like small town living, or want to escape your busy life for a few hours, pick up a copy of Starlight, Star Bright, by JoAnn Durgin, for your eReader today.


If you were stranded with no way to get back on the road, would you take a look around and see what blessings you could glean from your surroundings? Or would you grouse about how you couldn’t get where you were supposed to be when you were supposed to be there? How do you handle life’s detours?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Adversity or Blessing?

After sinning yet again this weekend—will my old self ever cease to rise up against me?—and repenting (asking forgiveness and turning from my sin), I remembered a couple of verses I’d recently read in Luke. They’d leapt out at me when I read them this go around, enough for me to underline them. Now I’m glad I did. It made for an easy find when I needed the comfort the words offered.

Luke 22:31-32 (NIV)
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Jesus was speaking here, and He knew that Simon Peter would soon deny Him three times. But He also knew that Simon would turn back to his faith. Not only would he turn back, but he would then be strong enough himself to strengthen the other apostles and Christians whose own faith would be on shaky ground.

As I read these words from ancient days, I found the comfort I sought, the comfort God had laid out for Simon . . . and for me.

But that wasn’t all I found.

In my moment of weakness, God showered me with blessings from two small verses in His vast Book. The following is an excerpt from my journal, things God showed me in those verses:

“Jesus prays for us, that our faith will not fail. Jesus, please help me follow Your example and pray that my faith will not fail. I am so weak. Please be my spiritual strength.

“The devil asks permission to hurt us, to tempt us. I like how God is in control of even our temptations. He restricts Satan’s attempts, too, like when He said not to take Job’s life. God is watching over us even (and especially) in our worst moments.

“When we make it through the trials and storms (sometimes victorious, sometimes battered and bruised), we’re stronger than we were before. That new strength comes from God refining us in the fire, removing more of our imperfections, and bringing out the best qualities in us—those that reflect His love for us.

“When we are strengthened, we then may strengthen our fellow Christians, our neighbors, the people we love. How? Because we’ve been where they’re at. We’ve struggled. We’ve fought the battle and come out stronger. Because of our experience (and our Heavenly Father), we have the tools needed to encourage and uplift and aid someone else facing trials, storms in their lives.

“Through adversity, I see blessing. I see strength.”

When adversity (those trials and storms that are sure to come in life) attacks you, what do you see? Do you see heartache and pain? Strength and blessings? A mixture?

How has God used adversity in your life to teach you lessons (comfort, humility, patience, etc.)? How have you used what you learned to help strengthen someone else?

Monday, January 6, 2014

Echoes of Mercy

Neither Carrie Lang nor Ollie Moore are who they claim to be. Both work undercover in Dinsmore’s World-Famous Chocolates Factory, but with different motivations. When three young children come into some hard times, can Carrie and Ollie band together to help them, despite their opposing points of view? Or will their fa├žades crack, revealing more than they’d like to let on? Once the truth comes out, will they still be willing to trust each other?

Author Kim Vogel Sawyer brings us yet another fabulous story. This one, Echoes of Mercyreleasing January 21, 2014—takes the reader deeper than any of the others she's written that I've read. It’s hard to put what I mean into words, but I can tell you it edged out my previous favorite Kim Sawyer book, My Heart Remembers. It was tough to see that one beat—and it was close—but I figured it would happen eventually. How could it not with Kim being such a gifted writer?

One thing I love about her books is there’s always a message of hope, always something to learn. This time, the line that leapt out at me was something Caroline “Carrie” Lang thought in chapter four: “Comfort could lead to carelessness. Carelessness could jeopardize the investigation.” I don’t think we should get to comfortable in life, either. If it leads to carelessness, that wouldn’t be too great, especially in serving God. I pray we may all strive to keep ourselves prepared for whatever opportunities the Lord sends our way.

Thank you, Kim, for my complimentary copy to review. Truly it was a pleasure to read. Keep those fabulous stories coming!

What does “comfort could lead to carelessness” mean to you? How may we stave off that carelessness?

Don’t forget to mark your calendars, folks! Echoes of Mercy comes out later this month (January 21st), and you won’t want to be the last one to read it.