Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Upstate Donkey Gains Fame With New Children’s Book

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Author Donna Thornton and Illustrator Lynne Pryor both live in Upstate

For immediate release: Drupelet the donkey, named after a tiny bump of juice on a raspberry, returns for another heartwarming tale in the newly released book, The Easter Donkey (Ambassador International; April 2014; $14.99, hardcover). Along with her farm pals from the 2011 hit The Christmas Donkey, readers will enjoy a fresh telling of the Easter story while following Drupelet’s journey to understand the gifts God has given to those who accept them.

Drupelet isn’t just a character in a book– she’s a real donkey living on an Upstate raspberry farm with a family that loves her just the way she is. Author The Easter DonkeyDonna Thornton grew to love children’s books while reading to her sons Robert and Stephen, but after they moved on to more mature stories, Donna started to write them. Her first book, The Christmas Donkey, experienced successful sales over the last three holiday seasons. “I hope The Easter Donkey is welcomed into many homes this spring,” says Thornton.

Illustrator Lynne Prior worked on the pieces for The Christmas Donkey while she battled breast cancer and partnered with Thornton again for this project. “These illustrations became very therapeutic and provided much comfort and laughter for me during a difficult time in life,” explains Lynne, who received a BFA in Studio Art from Columbia College.

For interview requests please contact publicist Alison Storm via email at media@emeraldhouse.com.

Ambassador Author Partners with the American Widow Project

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The following is a guest post from Ambassador author Beth Marshall. Her book A Time to Heal: A Grief Journal is an amazing resource for those who have lost a loved one. Beth recently partnered with the American Widow Project and hosted a workshop at the group’s Southern Hospitality Getaway.

It sounded like a typical coastal weekend as I approached the wrap around porch of the beach house. Conversation and laughter coming from inside- flip flops and sandy clothes on the rocking chairs. As the front door opened, I was introduced to twelve beautiful ladies. They had traveled from San Diego, Virginia, Minnesota, New Jersey, all over the country for a few days together at Folly Beach, SC.

American Widow ProjectIt had been a rainy start to the weekend, yet I didn’t hear the first word of complaining. I did hear about their surfing adventure and the amazing surf instructors who taught them the ropes. It was late March so I asked how they had survived the chilly Atlantic Ocean. Wet suits, they answered. One person compared the wet suit experience to trying on Spanx… only without the flattering results.

Twenty-four hours earlier most of these women were meeting for the first time; but the thread that instantly knit them together was a strong one. The event was the American Widow Project‘s Southern Hospitality Getaway. Each of these women has a story of crushing heartbreak, as she became part of a group she never expected to join- American military widows.

We introduced ourselves and started the workshop entitled, “This wasn’t supposed to happen!” What an understatement. We discussed the importance of honoring our heroes by writing about their lives.  Later we brainstormed ideas for dealing with stressful holidays- Valentine’s day, for example when it seems the world had been taken over by Hallmark cards and red hearts. A painful reminder of their new-found singleness.

We talked about the crazy things people say after a sudden death.

  • The good ones always die young.
  • At least you’re young, you can marry again.
  • I know just how you feel, my dog just died.

Seriously?  We referred to that part of the workshop as, “you can’t fix stupid.”

People from all over South Carolina sent gifts to honor our guests – beautiful music, Palmetto Moon gift cards, journals, hand crafted note cards and mug rugs, fried peanuts, pralines and shortbread-ish cookies. Southern goodness beyond words.

The American Widow Project founder and Executive Director, Taryn Davis has created an incredible environment for military widows to connect with other women who truly understand their pain. The events provide a place where it’s okay to cry; but it’s also okay to smile, laugh and embrace life again. I want to say a giant thank you to the hard-working staff, volunteers, and especially event coordinator, Danielle Schafer for making this life-changing weekend happen.

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New Badges Available for Ambassador Book Reviewers

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Are you one of the hundreds of bloggers that are a part of the Ambassador Blogger Review Program? Then we’d love to give you one of these free badges for your blog! If you’re not part of our review team, but would like to join please fill out this short form. Once you’re on the team you’ll receive emails featuring the latest Ambassador titles that are available for review based on your specified interests. Please feel free to resize these images for use on your blog or website and thank you for spreading the word about Ambassador International titles.

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Or grab this embed code: <a title=”http://ambassador-international.com/about/blogger-sign-up/” href=”http://ambassador-international.com/about/blogger-sign-up/” target=”_blank”><img alt=”book-button2″ src=”http://ambassador-international.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/book-button2.png” width=”400″ height=”400″ /></a>

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You may also just copy and paste this embed code: <a title=”http://ambassador-international.com/about/blogger-sign-up/” href=”http://ambassador-international.com/about/blogger-sign-up/” target=”_blank”><img alt=”book-button” src=”http://ambassador-international.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/book-button1.png” width=”400″ height=”400″ /></a>

Book Exposes Dangers of Legalism

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Pastor points readers to true holiness based on biblical motivations

For immediate release: From banning beards to requiring perfect Sunday school attendance, legalism is evident throughout the Christian community. Its results can be devastating as author Robert Pruitt points out in his new book Robots or Rebels: The Dangers of Growing Up a Legalist, and Biblical Motivations for True Holiness (Ambassador International; February 2014; $14.99, paperback.) The book is designed to help readers determine whether or not they have been adversely impacted by a legalistic family, church or parachurch ministry.

Robots or RebelsPacked with information about sources of legalism and the types of legalism, one thing readers will not find in the pages of Robots or Rebels is a list of legalistic ministries or organizations. “Isn’t that specificity one of the problems that accompanies legalism?” asks Pruitt. “Legalists want everything listed for them so they do not have to think, but this book is intended to encourage the hard work of thinking, and hopefully in a biblical way.” Some of the forms of legalism discussed in the book include:

  • Legalism is an error that equates law-keeping with salvation.
  • Legalism demands current obedience to Old Testament regulations that have been done away with by Christ.
  • Legalism is the error of creating extra-biblical standards but giving them biblical authority, thus placing them on an equal plane with truly biblical commands.

Pruitt says eventually life for these legalistic robots becomes lifeless. “The robot has been so thoroughly overwhelmed by the call for more and more stringent standards that he either cannot think biblically or he refuses to think biblically for fear of being thought of as a rebel,” writes Pruitt.  The book also dives into the characteristics of pleasure-seeking rebels who are often angry, prideful and materialistic. Pruitt aims to steer Christians away from either title, robots or rebels, into a longing to live in true holiness based on a love for Christ.

About the Author: Robert Pruitt has been serving as the pastor of Coloma Bible Church, in Coloma, MI, since the spring of 2005. Prior to that he pastored churches in Missouri, Virginia, and Kansas. In addition to his pastoral ministry he has also been involved in Christian camping ministries where he has been privileged to interact with many teenagers and pre-teens. He and his wife, Michele, have two daughters and three grandchildren.

To connect with the author please contact publicist Alison Storm at media@emeraldhouse.com.

 

Author Shares Life’s Twisted, Unpredictable Journey in New Book

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Speed Bumps and Roundabouts is about What Happens When the Road of Life Isn’t a Smooth Path

For immediate release: Pip McCracken had a plan, one that involved straight As, loads of friends, a handsome husband and angelic children. But her reality has taken her off course and head on with bullying, divorce and heart break. In Speed Bumps and Roundabouts (Ambassador International; February 2014; $14.99, paperback) McCracken explains how life is never the straightfoward journey we expect, but the scenery can be captivating. “One of my greatest wishes with my writing has always been that by telling people about the things I’ve been through, the things I’ve felt, they will know that they’re not alone,” says McCracken.

Speed Bumps and RoundaboutsMcCracken, a native of Northern Ireland now living in New Zealand, begins the book with an honest admission: she doesn’t have all the answers. She’s not writing from a place of satisfaction or even contentment, but rather from a place of brokenness. “Every day I live is part of the story of how Jesus has saved me from depression, rejection, fear, jealousy and self-pity,” she writes.

Using humor and honesty, McCracken covers a variety of topics that she’s experienced during her 26 busy years. Writing on everything from missions to singleness, readers will likely see many of their own struggles through her life. “There have been so many times when all I’ve wanted to do is stop in the midst of the crowd and cry, when I’ve felt like there’s no one to help, like nothing is working out, like it’s just too difficult,” admits McCracken. “What I want most of all is for this book to help other people keep going as well– even over the speed bumps and around the roundabouts.”

About the Author: Pip McCracken: Writer. Physio. Overanalyser. Northern Irish. Procrastinator. Lover of food, all food. Traveller. Jesus fan. Mistake maker. Hoper. Pip is originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland and has been living and working as a physiotherapist in Hamilton, New Zealand for the last five years, trying to write with every spare second she has.

To learn more about Pip McCracken visit PipMcCracken.com, or Facebook.com/PipMccrackenWriter. To receive a review copy of Speed Bumps and Roundabouts or to connect with the author please contact publicist Alison Storm by email at media@emeraldhouse.com.

Guest Post: Mastering the Amazon Affiliate aStore

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This is a guest post provided by Renee Metzler, author of Total Home Makeover: A 20-Day Plan to Renew Your Space and Spirit.

I happen to really love my publishing company.  Sometimes I feel led to pray that God will use them in a mighty way.  As I was praying for Ambassador International, God inspired me with an idea on how we as authors can help each other, our company, our readers, and ourselves spread our message even more effectively:  Expanded Ambassador Bookstores.

As Ambassador International authors, we all have one thing in common, we already have a Mini Ambassador Bookstore, that is, we are in the business of selling an Ambassador book.  It occurred to me that my Mini Ambassador Bookstore is actually pretty small, it only contains one book.  You guessed it, my book.  Now, I also happen to really love my topic, home management.  However, I am aware that most people need more than just one message or one book in their lives.

So, with the help of a nifty little tool called the aStore at amazon affiliates (which by the way also gives affiliate sales commissions), I’ve decided to expand my Mini Ambassador Bookstore to 10 books or more.  My audience is primarily women and mothers ages 25-65 and I think they would enjoy a few of the great titles created by some pretty amazing authors at Ambassador.

I can still feature my book and focus on creating posts and content around the subject in which I’m called to speak, but with an Expanded Ambassador Bookstore, I now have a chance to help spread our message, the love of Jesus Christ, even more effectively.

Amazon aStore THMWhy an Expanded Bookstore?

Well, because it pretty much benefits everyone.  Take a look at who benefits:

  • My Readers can experience other great Ambassador Books and authors.  A potential reader might never read my book, but your book could prove invaluable.  I helped make that connection.  This may meet a real need in their lives, plus they will see that I’m trying to meet their need.
  • My Fellow Authors can experience greater audience reach, helping them to connect with those who need their message, and finding more financial success so they can continue to afford doing their call (a little less time on marketing and a little more time on writing that next book).
  • My Publishing Company can experience greater success through sales thus giving them room to grow and spread the message of Jesus Christ more.
  • Myself.  I will gain an expanded bookstore with quality Ambassador Books bringing more value to my website.  My website now expands beyond my topic and offers other valuable resources.  By helping a reader make a connection with God through your book, I ultimately reached my goal to be an Ambassador.  Financially, I will benefit with an affiliate sale increasing my monthly commission.  Now, I too, will spend a little more time writing that next book.

Okay, the benefits seem clear.  By expanding and banding together, Ambassador Authors could have more reach.  Let’s take a look at the potential reach in numbers.

I’ll call this the Lone Rider and Posse Scenarios.  Please note that these numbers don’t represent actual statistics.

The Lone Rider.

1 Ambassador Author, alone, might reach an audience of 1,000 in a year.

That’s a 1:1,000 author-audience ratio.  The Lone Rider is lonely.

The Posse.

100 authors, together, each sharing 10 books (that’s 1,000 messages all together) reaches an audience of 100,000 in one year.  That’s a 1,000:100,000 author-audience ratio.  That’s powerful.

Just by banning together and helping one another, through an Expanded Ambassador Store, we can reach so many more.  And that’s when we add just 10 books to our Expanded Ambassador Bookstore.  I have to tell you though, when I sat down to expand my Ambassador Bookstore, I couldn’t stop at ten!  You have all created some wonderful books!  No, I continued to add until I was at 20, 30, and beyond.  Those additional books increases the total reach as well.

I’m proud to be an Ambassador International author, but even more so an Ambassador for Jesus Christ.  My avenue is words.  It’s my hope that by expanding my bookstore with your books more people will be reached for Him.

An Invitation

Of course an Expanded Ambassador Bookstore might not be right for everyone, but I wanted to share this idea with others at Ambassador, and if you feel inclined, you’re invited to join the Posse!  It’s inspiring to think that our publishing company could gain more reach, have more impact for Jesus Christ, and help more people, just because we helped one another.

Amazon aStore videoHow to Create an Expanded Bookstore Quickly + Video Tutorial

Creating an Expanded Ambassador Bookstore is actually a pretty simple process.  Start with an affiliate account with Amazon.  After starting your affiliate account, follow the seven steps below to set up an expanded Bookstore for your website or view the video tutorial for instructions.

  1. Log in to your affiliate amazon account.
  2. Click on aStore.
  3. Add Category Pages for easier shopping for your readers such as fiction, non-fiction, and children.
  4. Add products.  In the search box add the title of an Ambassador International book.
  5. Save and name your store.
  6. Link your store directly to a page on your website or embed your store on a page.
  7. Announce and share your Expanded Ambassador Store to your friends, family, and readers.

P.S.  Ambassador Author:  If you feel your book is a great fit for mothers, and it’s not on my bookshelf at http://totalhomemakeover.webs.com/manage, please send me a note at http://totalhomemakeover.webs.com/contact-us and I’ll be sure to add it.  Blessings as you discover more ways to reach more for Him.

Fiction Friday Sale: Johanna’s Journey, $2.99

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This limited time sale will expire on Sunday so act fast! This week’s Fiction Friday selection is Cindy Hamblen’s young adult novel Johanna’s Journey: Call to Freedom. Johanna’s Journey deals with contemporary issues like bullying, prejudice and other life trials, but through the eyes of a young girl in ancient Egypt. Readers will never look at the Exodus story quite the same. Again it’s just$2.99 on both Amazon and iTunes during our Fiction Friday sale.

 

Fiction Friday Sale: Finding Tom, $2.99

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Every week you can purchase Ambassador International’s Fiction Friday ebook selection at an incredibly low price on Amazon. This limited time sale will expire on Sunday so act fast! This week’s Fiction Friday selection is Simeon Harrar’s novel Finding Tom. While addressing issues from loss and change to peer pressure and finding your first love, in Finding Tom, Harrar attempts to demonstrate the power of writing in discovering God Finding Tomand thus oneself. Again it’s just$2.99 on both Amazon and iTunes during our Fiction Friday sale.

Don’t keep this sale to yourself! Tweet about it now!

Come back next week for our next Fiction Friday selection.

Fiction Friday Sale: Simmer Down, Mr. C $2.99

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Every week you can purchase Ambassador International’s Fiction Friday ebook selection at an incredibly low price on Amazon. This limited time sale will expire on Sunday so act fast! This week’s Fiction Friday selection is Scott Bitely’s novel Simmer Down, Mr. C. Simmer Down, Mr. C is about the trials and triumphs of a first-year educator. Again it’s just$2.99 during our Fiction Friday sale.

simmer down mr cDon’t keep this sale to yourself! Tweet about it now!

Come back next week for our next Fiction Friday selection.