Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weekend Chat: Superbowl. Steelers or Cards?

STEELERS CUPCAKE by two parts sugarGO CARDINALS! by two parts sugar

I am reviewing a book, inputting Girl Scout Cookie orders, & writing a novel on the weekend before my birthday, so the weekend's chatterbox question is simple:

Steelers or Cards?
Two Parts Sugar have these cute cupcakes online. Check them out. Here

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Public Book Industry Bailout? Let's Discuss
Today the Washington Post announce it is discontinuing Book World, the Sunday stand-alone book review. Major newspapers have been decreasing and hacking stand alone book reviews since before the LA Times lost its in 07. The reason behind it is lack of advertising dollars on the part of publishers.

As it happens, Book World never garnered much advertising from publishers, who generally spend very little on newspaper ads. Publishers now focus their marketing dollars on cooperative agreements with chain bookstores, which guarantee that certain books will receive prominent display at the front of stores. Source: Washington Post

Last week I learned that one of my favorite bookstore chains Waldenbooks closed tons of stores, including one here in Duluth, GA and one in North Carolina. I had clients booked to do instore events at both stores.

So my question is: if book review ad revenue is being lost to bookstore chains that are one day away from closing entirely, then was focusing your marketing efforts on stores a good business move?

Need a Crit Partner? We Can Help.

Hi, all.

It's Dee. This year we are going to get more active with each other. Some of you have come to me requesting editing and review help. I wish I could review and crit everyone's work, but I can't. So this is what we're going to do...use CFN to find a Crit Partner.

What is a crit partner?

A critique partner is someone(s) who read your work chapter by chapter and offer advice, edits, notes, whatever your need. And you provide the same service to your partner.

How do I find a crit partner?

Come to CFN and post your request in this forum. Also add the genre you write and your crit needs. Any members who have a similar interest as you will contact via you private message system here and you decide who would work best for you. If you can't find a crit partner, then come back here to the forum and I will match you with someone who is looking for a partner.

I want to stress that it is important for both professional and newbie writers to use crit partners to hone your writing craft and to catch error that your editor may not see.

Your thoughts and suggestions?

Excerpt: Stacy Hawkins Adam's The Someday List

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

The Someday List

Revell (January 1, 2009)

The Someday List Blog Tour Giveaway
Tell Us One Item on Your Someday List. Leave your answer in the comment section. Participants will be entered into a drawing for The Someday List Blog Giveaway. View the prize package below:

* $50 American Express Gift Card

*Autographed Copies of all of Stacy’s books: Speak to My Heart, Nothing But the Right Thing, and Watercolored Pearls, and the anthologies The Midnight Clear and This Far By Faith.

*20% Discount Coupon from Tywebbin Creations. (May apply to one service)

Join Us for an Hour Long Chat with Stacy on January 30, 2009. We will announce the GRAND PRIZE WINNER of the THE SOMEDAY LIST BLOG TOUR GIVEAWAY during the call.

Phone #: 1-518-825-1400 / Access Code: 15642 / Time: 8:00 pm EST


Stacy Hawkins Adams is a nationally-published, award-winning author and speaker. Her contemporary women’s fiction novels are filled with social themes and spiritual quests that take readers on journeys into their own souls.

She holds a degree in journalism and served as a newspaper reporter for more than a decade before turning her full attention to penning books, speaking professionally and writing freelance articles.

She is currently writing her sixth novel and her first nonfiction book, an inspirational title that will encourage women in their faith.

Stacy lives in a suburb of Richmond, Virginia with her husband and two young children.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Revell (January 1, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0800732669
ISBN-13: 978-0800732660



Rachelle fumbled with the bouquet of yellow roses and locked eyes with him. Her flowers sagged from thirst.

The simple gold band she clutched stuck to her sweaty palm.

Instead of a flowing white gown, she wore the black pencil skirt and short-sleeved white silk blouse that, until today, had served as her choral ensemble uniform.

Her groom was dressed in his standard singing attire too—white collared shirt, black tie, and black slacks. He had removed the diamond earring from his left earlobe, his goatee was freshly cut, and as far as she was concerned, he had never looked finer.

Between the two of them, the worldly goods they possessed amounted to less than what Rev. Prescott likely paid to have his preaching robe cleaned.

And yet, she knew this was right. The right time, the right place, and the right man, even if she had to marry him in secret.

One day they would look back on this elopement with tenderness and pride, telling their children about their union in an empty church sanctuary, not far from the university they would graduate from in six months.

He smiled at her and arched an eyebrow, questioning the delay in her response.

The minister repeated himself.

“Rachelle Marie Mitchell, do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?”

She smiled. Her beloved didn’t have to worry about her having second thoughts—not when she felt this way.

“I do, Reverend Prescott,” she said. “I do.”


Rachelle Mitchell Covington felt both giddy and guilty.

In twenty-four hours she would be completely alone and she couldn’t wait.

No worries about temporary empty-nest syndrome—she was happy to let her parents deal with two preadolescent know-it-alls for half of the summer. And no need to feign an interest in her husband’s wants, work, or even his world.

For the first time in their eleven-year marriage, she and Gabe would be away from each other for more than a week.

When he informed her that he had agreed to speak at a medical conference the week before he left for a medical mission trip, she knew he expected her to complain. Rachelle had frowned for his benefit, but also bit her lip to keep from cheering.

Though it was already steamy outside this morning, the temperature inside Houston’s Intercontinental Airport left her longing for her cashmere coat. Rachelle shivered and smiled when Tate and Taryn, looking like they had stepped off the pages of a Children’s Wear Digest catalog, turned to wave one last time before passing through the security gate and approaching a waiting airline employee.

The young woman in the crisp navy and white uniform would escort them to their direct flight to Philadelphia.

The fifth and third graders had been trying to whine their way out of their annual summer visit with Rachelle’s parents for two days, because they would miss their friends, feared boredom, and believed Gram would have way too many rules. Rachelle had reminded them again this morning that, despite those perceived hardships, they had no problem enjoying the regular outings, video games, and other treats they enjoyed during their stay.

When Tate and Taryn disappeared around a bend that led to Terminal A, Gabe turned toward Rachelle and motioned with his head that he was ready to go. He and Rachelle walked briskly toward the parking deck without touching or talking.

Gabe walked a stride or two ahead of her, as if he were on a mission. He tempered his gait as they neared his SUV, and he unlocked the doors with his key chain device.

“I’m not going into the office this morning since I’ll be flying out early tomorrow,” he said without looking toward Rachelle.

“Let’s grab breakfast at Olivette.”

Rachelle scrambled for an excuse, but none presented itself.

She hadn’t mentioned that she soon would be leaving too, for a weekend trip to the West Coast. It didn’t matter that he didn’t know. He wasn’t going to be home anyway.

“That’s fine,” she finally said about breakfast, although he had already steered his Mercedes in the direction of the hotel restaurant.

They rode in silence during the half-hour drive and didn’t speak until the waitress asked for their order.

Rachelle sighed and responded by rote. “He’ll have smoked salmon and a bagel with a side of fresh fruit.”

Gabe nodded and looked up at the waitress. “She got it right.”

“Salmon and bagel with a side of fruit,” the waitress repeated, lodging the order in her memory.

Rachelle leveled her eyes at Gabe. “Order for me.”

He peered at her over the rim of his glasses. “How would I know what to order for you?”

Rachelle didn’t feel like playing along with his public politeness today. She sat back and folded her arms.


The waitress shifted from one foot to the other and turned her gaze to a nearby bank of potted plants.

Gabe’s nostrils flared and he clenched his teeth. “Just order something already.”

“If you can’t do it, I guess I’m not hungry,” Rachelle said.

Gabe opened the leather-encased menu and glared at the offerings.

Seconds later, he pushed it into the waitress’s face. Startled, she grabbed it before it landed on the Oriental rug beneath the table.

“Bring her an omelet with ham, mushrooms, and cheddar cheese.”

The waitress nodded and left quickly, her reddish-brown ponytail swaying with each step. Rachelle knew the young lady had to be wondering how a couple could fight over a breakfast order.

If she had asked, Rachelle would have assured her this skirmish was overdue.

Since she had received Jillian’s unsettling invitation three weeks ago, Rachelle’s tolerance for just about everything had plummeted.

With the kids away for the next month, she didn’t have to contain herself. Gabe should be thankful he was leaving for a business trip tomorrow.

He laid his linen napkin across his lap and stared at her.

Rachelle challenged him with her eyes. She wanted him to care enough to question her, to probe why she was being defiant.

But just as she knew what to order for his meal, she knew he wouldn’t take the bait. He was his usual, detached self—enveloped in skin that was a smooth, savory brown and as self-absorbed as a two-year-old whose favorite words were “no” and “mine.”

In that moment, something welled up inside of her. She looked past Gabe’s glasses, past the perfect white teeth, past the pool of nothingness in his eyes. She wanted to see into his soul. She wanted to know that he had an “I would die for you” kind of love inside of him. For her.

Even if they had been together for what seemed like forever. Even if she didn’t know how she really felt about him. If one of them could summon the emotion, maybe that would make all the difference.

He was leaving tomorrow for New York and would return home for one day before traveling to Uganda. In twenty-four hours, she’d have the entire house to herself. But right now, she realized, she needed to leave to save herself.

Right now, what mattered more than being a good wife was being good to herself. Hearing from Jillian for the first time in a long time was nudging her to stop procrastinating.

Rachelle took a sip of her coffee and rose from her seat. “Stay and enjoy your breakfast. Call a taxi when you’re done. I may or may not be at home by then.”


Before he could protest, Rachelle raised her hand to stop him.

Her voice trembled when she addressed him in a whisper.

“Gabe, I’m tired of playing like the happy couple. Our life is strangling me. I want a real marriage and this isn’t it . . . And by the way, I’ve always hated cheddar cheese.”

She grabbed her purse from the back of her chair and strode toward the door, heart pounding as if it would burst through her sleeveless tangerine top.

Had she really done that? Did she just walk away from her well-to-do, handsome husband and leave him stranded in a restaurant?

What would her parents say? Their friends? For the first time that she could recall, those questions wouldn’t determine her actions.

Rachelle slowed her pace when she reached the restaurant’s entrance and nodded farewell to the hostess. She strode through the lobby of the Houstonian Hotel and thanked the bellhop who held open the door for her. While the valet retrieved Gabe’s Mercedes truck, she stood at his booth, tapping her foot and looking over her shoulder.

In the minutes since she had left the table, Gabe hadn’t pursued her. Despite the fact that she had fueled this drama, she was hurt.

She breathed in the humid summer air and exhaled slowly, trying to keep her composure.

For once, she wished she were sweaty enough to mask the moisture on her face. The last thing she wanted to admit was that once again, she had allowed him to make her cry.

©Stacy Hawkins Adams, The Someday List: A Novel, Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, © 2009. Used by permission

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Writing Journey: RSJ Contest

I thought I would do something different this year. Share my writing journey toward publication with you. You know I'm a book critic and a literary publicist, but I am a writer also. So if i don't forget and you remind me, I will post my progress. What's going on and snippets of my writing style.

This week I am working on a novel contest for Romance Slam Jam. I encourage you to enter also.) Truthfully, I should have this contest entry finished, but I was sick last week and I have a challenge putting too much time in my business, then in my writing. This exercise is an attempt to find balance. You all will hold me accountable right? :)

Don't forget to stop by Media Candy tonight. We're talking about Sour Candy. What not to do when Marketing and Promoting Yourself. 8pm EST. at

So here's a snippet of my story. Tell me what you think. I have a very tough stomach...

Bishop squinted across the blood red sky, but what he saw next forced him to his knees. He stretched his eyes underneath his goggles until he saw within three paces of him a woman dancing in the sweltering Iraqi desert. She twirled on top of the sand like someone he knew when his life seemed so big and wide and growing.Life was shorter now and he hadn’t seen a woman looking like a woman—let alone dancing like one-- in nineteen months. Either he was dying, finally, or already dead. No wonder her feet didn’t touch the ground. He thought.

He extended his arms toward the woman, then a voice so sweet and still called out to him. “Save me.”

He recognized the voice, scrambled off the ground and blinked. Mia? Mia Carmichael?

But she was gone, and now a sandstorm approached in gallops.

He lowered his head and wondered if he should run toward that car graveyard to his right and take cover or just give in to the inevitable. No one had written him in weeks. Stacy had stopped answering his emails months before that. Stacy was his girl friend. Yet, Mia Carmichael had somehow become his lifeline since his deployment. Her last letter mirrored his own longings. He wanted to share that discovery with her. He should have. Now...too late.

Bishop felt the warm wind whipping over his cheeks and thought of her again. There were whispers that the new president would bring them home sooner that expected, but what did he have to go home to? Where was Stacy? Where his Boys? And Mama...he sighed...she was lost to him long before he left. There wasn't a reason to return to Conyers anymore.

The storm and sand began to serenade him now. It must be my time. He assumed. Perhaps Mia's vision was God's way of calling him home, and so he quietly surrendered the little bit of fight left in him. I'm ready.

Mia. He prepared himself for the approaching pain and gulped. Mia. The thought of her, the strawberry smell in her hair, the plum taste of her lips, the plump soft touch of her lips against his cheek made him close his eyes again and wish her back just until his change came. And then he remembered he hadn't kissed or really looked at Mia Carmichael since they were six-years-old.

He opened his eyes and gasped. Wait! I don't want to die.
from (Untitled/Bishop & Mia by Dee Stewart )

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Make Your Book A Bestseller

Come hang out with me and Immediate Influence Talk Show host, Ron Hudson talk about how to move your fans from book event to book event tomorrow at 9pm EST. Listeners will receive a FREE copy of "The 10 Step Book Marketing Success Action Plan." The call in number and chat url is in the previous post. I will also give away my DIY Book Marketing Plan Workbook to a special chatroom guest and share my new and affordable coaching series Dee's DIY BMP Coaching Series.

Also follow me on utterz and send me your bmp questions. I will answer you via your phone without you having to call me. Ain't that cool!

ronhudson's Mobile post sent by deegospel using Utterli. reply-count Replies.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

5 Reasons Why You Win with Me & Immediate Influence this Monday

Save the Date: Monday, January 26, 2009
9:00 PM
Call in: (646) 652-4923
Chat/Talk URL:

Now what will you get for listening:
  1. The chance to chat with me, of course! lol
  2. Ask me a question about book promotion
  3. Receive my 10 step action plan to Making your Book Viral (Immediate Influenced Book Promotion)
  4. Learn about my DIY Book Marketing Coaching Series
  5. Win a free book
And don't forget Media Candy on Tuesday 8:00 PM EST. Marina and I are doing straight girltalk no bro-host chaser. :)

Media Candy

What's on my Keeper Shelf?: Christian Fiction Blog

Today I am participating in Faith 'n Fiction Saturday. Today's question is:

So...what fiction books with faith elements are on your keeper shelf?

Last year Christian Fiction Blog shared over one hundred titles with you, but read at least three hundred books outside of the books I review for Romantic Times Magazine and for some book awards judging projects I participated in. As we speak I'm in a heavy reviewing period, so when I received today's question I almost cringed. I've been reviewing commercial fiction since 2002 and literary for a decade before that. How in the world am I going to decide on five books that are must haves on my book shelf. It's very simple, and if you're a subscriber of CB you won't be surprised by my answers.

  1. France Ellen Harper's Iola Leroy. It is the first published Christian novel written by an African American Woman(1892.) It does what few Christian novels do now. Iola Leroy express in both theme and tone the issues that affected early 19th Century American life: Jim Crowism, slavery, women's suffrage, family responsibility, Reconstruction, and faith. Moreover the characters in this story are heavy and weighted in realism. Oftentimes I read newer faith based novels whereby the writer has watered down human reaction to a scene or a natural human response to a dilemma, in order to placate a general Christian audience. What Harper does is tell the world what she sees and feels and leaves the burden of how she will be perceived on the cross that Christ carried for us.
  2. Toni Morrison's Beloved(1987.) Again this novel's is set during Jim Crow/Reconstruction. What makes it equally poignant, but vastly different from Harper is (1) it was written by an author 100 years later and (2) the issues Morrison addresses were still issues affecting people of faith in America 100 years later. Beloved exposes, brutally and beautifully what happens to a heartbroken soul. Her introduction of black spiritualism, womanism, and Christianity turned this classic horror into a magical fable, a cautionary tale for Christians who lose their faith to unexplained tragedy.
  3. Marilyn Robinson's Gilead (2004.) Because I read so many commercial fiction stories it is always a thrill to read a book that makes you slow down and drink in every page. Reading Gilead felt like engaging in prayer. This fictional memoir of a 76 year old pastor in Gilead, Ohio is more than just a summation of letters to his young son for us to peak at as voyeurs, but it's a Reading Selah. This novel makes you read, then stop, breathe, praise, and read some more. There's something Gifted about it.
  4. Tolkiens, The Lord of the Rings (1937.) I fell in love with this series when I was a child. I was introduced to Tolkien after reading The Hobbit, then The Lord of the Rings took my imagination away with me. This story is the story of the power of the human condition, what makes us glorius and tragic and oh so beautiful to God at the same time. I never grow tired of this book or watching the cinematic versions of the trilogies. And yes I possess the power of the ring. lol.
  5. Claudy Burney's Zora & Nicky(2008.) This modernized/christianized version of Romeo & Juliette is one of my best finds last year(sidebar note: do you want to know my top picks of 2008? is it too late?) Burney's prose is reminscent to Ron Hansen(the Assassination of Jesse James,) Terry McMillan(Disappearing Acts,) and Gayle Jones(Eva's Man.) There is a sass in her female characters that makes me root for whatever cause--be it wrong or right. What I love the most about this novel is how Burney took the first kiss scene and paralleled it to Song of Solomon and teen angst at the same time. That scene had a perfect balance of what contemporary fiction should feel like and what christian fiction is on the verge of becoming.
Related articles:
If you don't want to miss a part of our discussion, subscribe to this blog or join the network.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Launch New Products to Leverage your Brand: Christian Fiction Blog

December Sun by F l e u r.
We're still receiving fabulous responses to our 1question interview Shine in 2009 Series. The question is

In this New Year what publishing goals have you set and how do you plan to accomplish them?

Mimi Pearson of First Alliance Blog Tours responds...

My husband and I are starting an Independent Press this year, launching in April. The first book will be published in August.

Book Marketing Coach Pam Perry also responds...

I am not looking for a breakthrough - this is my year of BREAK OUT! Everything I ever dreamed, thought or imagined is going to happen this year. I have my exspectors on and 2009 will be divine.
Don't want to miss the next Shine in 09 response subscribe to Christian Fiction Blog

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Media Candy Tonight: Post Inauguration Virtual PJ Party

Media Candy Show Notes
Tonight's Theme: Post Inauguration PJ Party
8:00 -8:45 PM EST

Call in # : (646) 649-1066

Michelle Obama
Our bro host tonight is Gregory Turner. Gregory Turner Gregory Turner, President and CEO of Abundant Solutions Enterprises, Inc. and The A.S.E. Foundation, Inc., is a well known leader, a pre-eminent power speaker, cutting edge thinker, as well as a motivator who encourages and equips people to rebuild their broken lives and communities. He is also co-host of Abundant Life Solutions on Blogtalkradio on with his friend Brian Hunter. They discuss topics related to politics, community activism, and the roles of godly husbands. Visit his website at

Special Guest is media Candy Marketing Pro, Dana Pittman . Dana Pittman, JD, founder of Nia Promotions, is an entrepreneur and self-proclaimed visionary with 15+ years’ experience in business marketing and development. She started Nia Promotions after running a family-owned website development company since 2001. Now, she and her team assist publishing professionals, businesses and entrepreneurs with business development and marketing solutions aimed at initiating and nurturing customer relations and profitability.

Website: Event Site:

Call-in Number: (646) 649-1066

The Someday List: Tour Spot Christian Fiction Blog

Someday List, The by Stacy Hawkins Adams: Book Cover

EXCERPT FROM The Someday List (Prologue)

Do you want to read the excerpt? Read it online at:


The Someday List
Jubilant Soul Series Book One
by Stacy Hawkins Adams

Rachelle Covington has it all. A fabulous home, a handsome and prestigious husband, two beautiful children, and a place in the upper crust that's quite comfortable. But her life is not all it's cracked up to be. When her husband goes away on business trip and the kids are sent off to the grandparents for a month, Rachelle takes up the challenge of a dying friend to start a list of things to do before she dies. She heads back to Jubilant, Texas, to reconnect with her past, her purpose, and herself. But when her ex shows up in town looking very fine and very single, Rachelle must confront feelings she thought she'd long buried. Will she give up everything to recover the past? Or will she find a reason to plan for the future? The Someday List is an honest look at what makes us who we are and what can throw us off track. Author Stacy Hawkins Adams writes with a voice that is fresh, sincere, and completely real. Her characters jump off the page and into her readers' hearts.

For more information about Stacy, visit her at


Stacy Hawkins Adams is the author of four Women's Fiction books and has contributed to two anthologies. Read the question below to see if you can answer it and provide the name of the book in which it was featured.
What did Charlotte give Serena, Erika and two other young ladies to teach them a life lesson? In what book was this scene featured?

Leave your answer in the comment section. Entries with the correct answer will be entered into a drawing for the The Someday List Blog Giveaway. View the prize package below:
  • $50 American Express Gift Card
  • Autographed Copies of all of Stacy's books: Speak to My Heart, Nothing But the Right Thing, and Watercolored Pearls, and the anthologies The Midnight Clear and This Far By Faith.
  • 20% Discount Coupon from Tywebbin Creations. (May apply to one service)

Join Us for an Hour Long Chat with Stacy on January 30, 2009. We will announce the GRAND PRIZE WINNER of the THE SOMEDAY LIST BLOG TOUR GIVEAWAY during the call. For details, visit Stacy's blog.

~ ~ ~


Continue to visit other stops on The Someday List Blog Tour at:

Create Platform Building Goals to Reach Your Readers

December Sun by F l e u r.
For Christian Fiction Blog

Shine in 09

Author Linda Leigh Hargrove responds...

My publishing goals are more like platform-building goals. This year I plan to finish my third novel, continue blogging (on three separate sites), and scheduling more speaking engagements.

To keep me on task with my novel, I've contracted with a freelance editor and set a hard and fast date to deliver 'something of substance' to her by.

On my blog 'Reconciling Faith and Race' (17 ) I've set up themes for certain months of the year and I schedule posts ahead of time. I use Google alerts on certain keywords that keep my mind spinning in the right direction. These alerts also help feed me material for the other two (team) blogs for which I write. I use twitter and several ning groups to get the word out. I'm considering setting up lenses on Squidoo.

As for speaking opportunities, I regularly send out press releases to key individuals, churches, and ministries about the more news-worthy things I've blogged about or initiatives I've got going on in the area of biblical racial reconciliation or writing. In the press release I make sure I mention I'm available for speaking engagements. It's taken time but I'm starting to get bookings. My platform is growing. Praise God.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Understand Socal Networking to Gain Leverage in the Publishing Market: Christian Fiction Blog

December Sun by F l e u r.
from Christian Fiction Blog

The Shine in 09 1 Question Interview Series

Magazine Writer & Blogger Vera Marie Badertscher responds...

With the business climate becoming very difficult for commercial print magazines, I will continue to try to broaden my client base with more custom publications and seek work at trade magazines. I will do that through researching markets and sending letters of introduction.
But while I am working on expanding what I am doing now in print, I am also starting a new blog. It has a name and url, but it is not yet ready for public viewing. The subject is books that inform and inspire your travel, linking my two passions. Along with the blog, comes a new realm of marketing. I will need to ratchet up my social networking and read and comment on more blogs. Thanks for asking.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Someday List for February

I am reading Stacy Hawkins Adams, The Someday List as a part of her blogtour release party and also because she's my friend. The book is about many things, but since it's the top of the year and we are still playing around with the notion of resolutions, this book is a great tool for us to build wish lists, Dream lists or whatever we want to call a list to get us off our complacent selves. I've had a Someday List when I was a child. I made a new one when I became diagnosed with heart-failure.

Every day is a blessing for me, so of course my Someday List has a short timeline. I still have a challenge thinking long-term. I have gotten better and I am thankful, but it's still hard for me to do, so here goes my Someday List for February. Why February? It's my birthday month!!! Woot!

My Someday List for February
  1. I am throwing myself a birthday party. (actually i am on Media Candy Feb. 3) Usually I talk about having one, but talk myself out of it, so I will be having a virtual one and real one. Somedays I wished someone thought enough of me to throw me a party, but didn't stop to think that that someone could very well be me.
  2. I will submit my novel to a writing contest that has a deadline for March. Lately I've spent a lot of time on promoting my clients and friends, and not enough time writing. I want to become published someday...
  3. I will write a story that I want to read not for the industry, but for me. Somedays I am dissappointed with the books I read. Somedays I'm disappointed with the stories I write. I wished at least someday I would write the book of my dreams and someone would love it as much as I did. But if I never write this dream story...
  4. I will love my daughter so much. Sometimes I take Selah for granted and she's only eight years old. Not good. I'll love on her good that someday she will remember how much I love her.
  5. I want to wear my new black dress very well end of February. I've been on WeightWatchers for a while, I can't wait for the day that my group see big changes. For me I want to be able to wear this black dress in my closet. I'm close, but not close enough. I'm tired of not being close enough. You know?
  6. I will be my own Valentine and by myself roses and chocolate. I always wanted to do that. Again this goes back to me not thinking that I'm worthy to treat myself as well as I treat others around me. I have to kick that bad habit.
  7. I am going to see a guilty pleasure movie by myself. Again I talk myself out of this, which is sad, since I have a free movie ticket.
  8. I am getting my biz house in order. This biz is a sweet surprise. I'm honored, but I need to set up the foundation right, so I will be taking a week in February just for that. Sorry guys. Telling you now.
  9. I am going to rest on my off weekends, and take no client calls on Friday. This thing is more ministry for me. I talk books for free and probably in my sleep, but I have a kid, I am physically challenged, and I thank God for my life. I need to honor this very weak heart I have and take care of it.
  10. I am going to dance. I love dance and added it to my exercise, but got off track because of some family responsibilities, not anymore.
What's on your Someday List? Let me know.

Pray and Fine Balance to Meet Writing Deadlines

December Sun by F l e u r.
Continuing our Shine in 09 Series:

In this New Year what publishing goals have you set and how do you plan to accomplish them

Author Nicole Seitz answers....

This year, I have my third novel coming out in March from Thomas Nelson, A Hundred Years of Happiness. At the moment, I'm editing my fourth novel. When Happiness releases I'll have started writing my next manuscript, due later this year. It's all a fine balance, but I'm blessed to be under contract. I love what I do, so I plan to pray and take one day at a time. I want to focus on my goals and deadlines, but also to enjoy the ride.

Inauguration Events: Associated Press, JAN. 18

_ Obama will kick off inaugural activities with a welcome event on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday afternoon. The event begins at 2:30 p.m. Beyonce, U2, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Usher, Shakira, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban and James Taylor are among the musicians scheduled to perform.

_ Presidential Inaugural Luncheon and Fashion Show at the Ritz-Carlton.

_ EMILY's List Inaugural Luncheon with scheduled guests including Cabinet appointees Hillary Rodham Clinton and Janet Napolitano, Sens. Kay Hagan and Jeanne Shaheen, and North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue.

_ African-American Church Inaugural Ball at the Grand Hyatt Washington.

_ 2009 Latino Inaugural Gala with Marc Anthony at Union Station.

_ Aloha Inaugural Ball, organized by former Obama campaign workers, held at the Wardman Park Marriott Hotel at 7:30 p.m.


_ National Day of Community Service event: To honor Dr. King's legacy, Obama, Biden and their families, joined by Americans across the country, will participate in activities dedicated to serving others in communities across the Washington, D.C. area.

_ Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball, sponsored by the Texas State Society, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.

_ Green Inaugural Ball at the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture. Ball hosted by former Vice President Al Gore.

_ Huffington Post preinaugural ball at the Newseum.

_ Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball at the Harman Center for the Arts. Hosted by the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, Russell Simmons, LL Cool J, among others.

_ A children's evening concert at the Verizon Center honoring military families. Event hosted by Michelle Obama, who will attend. Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers are among the entertainers.

_ Obama to attend three private dinners to honor former secretary of State Colin Powell, Biden and Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, for their public service. Dinners at the Hilton Washington, National Building Museum and Union Station.


Gates to the Inaugural Ceremony open at 8 a.m. The inaugural festivities are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. They will include:

_ Musical selections of The United States Marine Band, followed by the San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus.

_ Sen. Dianne Feinstein provides call to order and welcoming remarks.

_ Invocation by the Rev. Rick Warren.

_ Musical selection of Aretha Franklin.

_ Biden will be sworn into office by Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

_ Musical selection of John Williams, composer/arranger with Itzhak Perlman, (violin), Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Gabriela Montero (piano) and Anthony McGill (clarinet).

_ Obama will take the Oath of Office, using President Lincoln's Inaugural Bible, administered by Chief Justice John Roberts. Scheduled around noon.

_ Obama gives the inaugural address.

_ Poem by Elizabeth Alexander.

_ Benediction by Rev. Joseph E. Lowery.

_ The National Anthem by The United States Navy Band "Sea Chanters."

After Obama gives inaugural address, he will escort outgoing President George W. Bush to a departure ceremony before attending a luncheon in the Capitol's Statuary Hall.

The 56th Inaugural Parade will then make its way down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House.

Later that day, the Presidential Inaugural Committee will host 10 official inaugural balls:

_ Neighborhood Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.

_ Obama Home States (Illinois and Hawaii) Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.

_ Biden Home States (Pennsylvania and Delaware) Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.

_ Midwest Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.

_ Mid-Atlantic Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.

_ Western Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.

_ Commander in Chief's Ball at the National Building Museum.

_ Southern Inaugural Ball at the National Guard Armory.

_ Eastern Inaugural Ball at Union Station.

_ Youth Inaugural Ball at the Washington Hilton.

Unofficial balls include:

_ Congressional Black Caucus Inaugural Ball at the Capitol Hilton.

_ Creative Coalition Inaugural Ball at the Harman Center for the Arts.

_ Recording Industry Association of America's ball for Feeding America.

_ BET's Inaugural Ball at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

_ Africa on the Potomac inaugural celebration at Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va.

_ American Music Inaugural Ball at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

_ Inaugural Purple Ball at the Fairmont Hotel.

_ Human Rights Campaign's Equality Ball at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel.

_ Inaugural Peace Ball at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.

_ Impact Film Fund ball.


_ The president, vice president and their families will participate in a prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Vocals Call: Honda's Battle of the Bands Atlanta

The Gospel Express, LLC

We're Seeking Singers for choir to perform at Honda's Battle of the Bands on Satuday at the Georgia Dome.

The Atlanta Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, Inc. is looking for singers to perform at the Seventh Annual Honda Battle of the Bands event at the Georgia Dome on Saturday, January 24th, 2009. We will be presenting a song during the finale' of this event. The choir will perform while a combination of all bands which amounts to 2500 band members will be performing on the field. This is promising to be an awesome event.
We are seeking all persons to perform at this event The piece being performed is a choral piece. We are in need of 160 people so we encourage you to bring a friend as well.

If you've never attended the Battle of the Bands, it's a wonderful day of excitement where bands that have won their divisional competitions come together for this national competition. You really get the best of the best.

You'll get: Access to the Dome for the event, catered lunch, prime seating.
The Next Rehearsal is Monday, January 19th at our usual rehearsal location The Lindsay Street Baptist Church, 550 Lindsay Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30314.
Mapquest shows as Lindsey Street. We'll be in the Heritage Church, across the street from the main sanctuary.
If you have any questions or concerns, please email me at
Visit the latest from the GMWA Christmas Celebration with Ann Nesby:
Ralph Davis
The Gospel Express, LLC
gmwa logogmwa logo

The Atlanta Chapter
Battle of the Bands
Battle of the Bands

Friday, January 16, 2009

What's on Your Someday List? a $50 Gift Card

Starting January 12, 2009, Stacy Hawkins Adams will be visiting some of her favorite bloggers and fellow writers to share the themes in her latest book release, The Someday List. Visitors can expect to delve into the story and explore how the issues faced by these fictional characters are relevant to real life.

Also, during the blog tour, Stacy's readers will have an opportunity to listen to her on several online radio shows too. Check out the dates below and plan to call-in with your questions.

We want to invite you to visit Christian Fiction Blog on January 20 , 2009 for Stacy's virtual visit. We can't wait to hear your thoughts about the book.

Here is the full list of blog stops:

WEEK 1 – Meet Stacy Hawkins Adams

January 12
January 13
January 14

January 15

January 16

WEEK 2 – Inside The Someday List

Jan. 19

Jan. 20

Jan. 21

Jan. 22

Jan. 23
WEEK 3 - What Readers Are Saying

Jan. 26

Jan. 27

Jan. 28

Jan. 29
Jan. 30

  • 1 Hour Chat with Stacy (1-518-825-1400 Access Code: 15642)

    We will announce the winner of the Blog Tour Giveaway -- see details below.

The Someday List Blog Tour Giveaway

StacyHawkins Adams is the author of four Women's Fiction books and has contributed to two anthologies. There will be trivia questions posted each day. When you post your answers on the blog for that day, you will be entered into the Blog Tour Giveaway.
  • $50 American Express Gift Card
  • Autographed Copies of all of Stacy's books: Speak to My Heart, Nothing But the Right Thing, and Watercolored Pearls, and the anthologies The Midnight Clear and This Far By Faith.
  • 20% Discount Coupon from Tywebbin Creations. (May apply to one service)
Join Us for an Hour Long Chat with Stacy on January 30, 2009. We will announce the GRAND PRIZE WINNER of the THE SOMEDAY LIST BLOG TOUR GIVEAWAY during the call.

Stop by Stacy's Website to find out more about The Someday List.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Never Say Diet

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the books:

Never Say Diet

WaterBrook Press; Reprint edition (December 16, 2008)


The Never Say Diet Personal Fitness Trainer

WaterBrook Press (December 16, 2008)


Chantel Hobbs is a personal trainer, certified spinning instructor, and motivational speaker whose no-excuses approach to fitness has won her a grateful following across the country. The author of Never Say Diet, Chantel hosts a weekly fitness program on Reach FM radio and is a regular guest on Way FM. Her “Ditch the Diet, Do the Weekend” bootcamp takes place several times a year in a variety of locations. She has presented her unique approach to lasting fitness in People magazine and on Oprah, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox News, The 700 Club, Living the Life, and Paula White Today. Chantel enjoys life with her husband and their four children in South Florida.

Visit the author's website.


Never Say Diet Product Details:

List Price: $13.99
Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press; Reprint edition (December 16, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307444937
ISBN-13: 978-0307444936

The Night That

Changed My Life

How to Choose

to Do the Best

Job of Living

It should have been a scene of American family bliss. A Sunday afternoon in our home on a beautiful fall day in South Florida. My husband, Keith, was watching the Dolphins game in the living room with some friends. He’d waited all week for this. Our girls, six-year-old Ashley and four-year-old Kayla, were helping me in the kitchen. Well, kind of. Our six month-old, Jake, was jumping and laughing in his Jolly Jumper. I was baking Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, our favorite, and everybody could smell the cinnamon and butter and couldn’t wait for the cookies to come out of the oven. Especially me. As I worked in the kitchen, I could hear the football game coming from the living room. The announcers were talking about a player who had arrived at training camp completely out of shape. He was six foot four and weighed 320 pounds. “That is a big boy,” they said. “Wow! He is huge.” “Would you look at that guy,” I heard my husband say with disgust. “I can’t believe he got so fat! What a lazy bum.” Those words cut me to the heart. I had created a happy home, with a

happy husband and happy kids. But at that moment I wanted to die, because I outweighed that player by at least 10 pounds. I was bigger than anyone playing for the Miami Dolphins. And I knew I was anything but lazy. I pulled the cookies out of the oven and felt nauseous. I was pathetic. I’d been overweight my entire adult life, but I was bigger than I had ever been. I was miserable but doing an excellent job of faking out everyone who knew me. I was five foot nine and weighed 330 pounds, maybe more. I didn’t know for sure because it had been months since I’d dared to step on a scale. Besides, the only one in the house was a conveniently inaccurate discount-store model with a wheel underneath that calibrated the scale. I had adjusted it to register the lowest weight possible. I was in denial, but I was also without hope. It was the autumn of 2000. I was twenty-eight years old and was starting to believe I would never live a long and fulfilled life. Not this way. If an angel had landed on my shoulder and whispered in my ear that, in less than two years, Oprah Winfrey would have me on her show to tell a feel good weight-loss story, I’d have sent that angel packing and gone back to my cookies. I wasn’t Oprah material. And there was absolutely nothing feel-good about my life. Call me when you want a feel-bad story. That was me. If that angel had whispered that I would one day run a marathon, I’d have checked him in to an insane asylum. I couldn’t run around the block. Even in high school I hadn’t been able to run the required twenty-minute mile. My knees hurt all the time. I was morbidly obese—a term that I knew meant an early death. If one thing was clear about my life in the fall of 2000, it was that

I could never, ever run a marathon. But I did. I finished my first one in 2005 and after that ran four more— in less than a year. I went from weighing nearly 350 pounds to less than 150 pounds. And I have appeared on Oprah and Good Morning America and the cover of People magazine as one of America’s great weight-loss successes. Getting fit wasn’t easy—there was plenty of pain, deprivation, tears, and hungeralong the way. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I won’t try to sugarcoat any of that. But, honestly, I didn’t give myself a choice. Once I made the unconditional decision that I was going to lose weight and get healthy, nothing could stop me. And nothing will stop you if you make the Five Decisions to break the fat habit for good. That’s a guarantee. Here is the secret I learned—the same secret I want to share with you. I realized I had to change my mind before I could change my body, my health, and my life. I discovered the Five Decisions, which brought about an unconditional commitment to getting healthy and fit. Once I started, I treated it like a job so that no matter what else was going on in my life, I did what I had to do to achieve daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, and eventually the target weight and fitness that I desired. After making the Five Decisions, getting fit was a matter of showing up for work each day. The process developed from the inside out, which was a new concept for me.


People constantly ask me how I lost 200 pounds and started running marathons. When I explain that it took several years to achieve those goals, they wonder how I was able to stick to the plan when so many others can’t. I ask myself the same question. I had failed plenty of times before. I’d tried a few diets and failed, including a bit of foolishness called the chocolate-wafer diet, which I’ll tell you about later. I’d resolved so many times not to eat the entire package of Oreos, without success. So how did I lose all that weight and keep it off reclaiming my health and gaining a new life in the process? Here’s the simple answer: my brain changed. I decided to first become a different person in my mind and then learned patience as my body followed. My success wasn’t measured only by a declining number on a scale; it was much deeper. I had to change on the inside. I needed to change my mind before I could change my body. It will work the same way for you. First you must get to the right place in your head, and then you can create the lifestyle to go along with that. Your body reflects your daily choices, so stop confusing it by the way you think. The mistake so many people make is to focus on weight loss and how long it will take. In fact, the multibillion-dollar diet industry banks on people thinking this way. Don’t get stuck in the weight loss weight gain cycle. What you should focus on is the person you want to be. Set your sights very high, and keep your commitment level even higher. In this book I’ll explain how I did that. I went from being someone who weighed more than a Miami Dolphins lineman to someone who is strong and trim and can run twenty-six miles. I went from a state of hopelessness to a life of incredible confidence. And I want to help you achieve something great in your life. If you change your mind before attempting to change your body, you can do this.


While I was learning how to lose weight and regain my health, I faced setback after setback. My husband lost his job, and my mother was diagnosed with cancer—and those were only two of the crises that came along. Changing your life will never be easy, and that’s why in order to succeed, you first need to be ready to succeed. It’s a choice you make. In the fall of 2000, when I was baking cookies and overhearing my husband’s criticism of an overweight NFL lineman, I fell into despair. I realized my life was out of control and I was headed for an early grave if I didn’t change. But even then, I wasn’t yet ready to make the commitment that was necessary to change my life. The truth is, on that dark day I still wasn’t miserable enough to change. I hit rock bottom about six months later. I was at my heaviest ever—349 pounds, I think. Though I was still mostly in denial, I was starting to see myself clearly, and I hated what I saw. I’d look in the mirror and say, “You are pitiful! How could you have let this happen?” My appearance started to affect my family life. We live in South Florida, where every weekend is a pool party. My daughters were young, but they were being invited to a few parties, and I was horribly uncomfortable in a bathing suit. I knew it wouldn’t be long before my girls would be embarrassed by their mother, and that made me want to cry. It did make me cry. But that was the least of it. I was more worried that their mom would die young. I’d seen fat people, and I’d seen old people, but rarely had I seen fat, old people. If I couldn’t change for myself, maybe I could do it for my kids. One night I was driving home alone from an event at church. I felt trapped in despair. At age twenty-nine, my body felt old. I had recently had an emergency gallbladder operation, and the doctor had told me he was afraid to cut through all my layers of fat because of the risk of infection. Imagine being worried about your diseased gallbladder and experiencing anxiety about surgery. And then you learn that your weight problem makes you more prone to infection. That night in the car I felt like the most pathetic person who had ever lived. I believed that God had made me and put me on earth for a purpose, and I was not living the life He intended for me. I knew I had to change. As I drove, drowning in self-pity, I began to envision what my life would be if I weren’t fat. I thought of all the things I could do—even simple things, such as walking down an airplane aisle without having to turn sideways. I’d be able to board a flight without getting fearful stares from people hoping I wouldn’t sit next to them. And there were deeper things, such as being able to go down a slide at a playground with my kids. And I wanted never again to feel as if I was embarrassing my husband when he introduced me to business associates. I was tired of feeling prejudged by every server in every restaurant for what I ordered. I wanted to be able to shop in the same clothing stores as all my friends. I wanted a normal life. As I drove home from church, I came to the realization that I absolutely could not go on with my life as it was. I pulled over, sobbing. In total despair I cried out to God. I remember every word. “This is it!” I said. “I can’t live like this anymore. I’m done. I give all this pain to You. I surrender this battle. I need You to take over and give me a plan. Otherwise, I don’t want to live anymore.” Almost immediately a sense of inner peace filled me, and I calmed down. I had gone to church all my life and had a relationship with God, but I had certainly never felt anything like that before. The peace was real, and in my mind I heard from God. I clearly heard these words: You are not being the best you can be. It wasn’t a booming voice like in a movie, but it also wasn’t a voice coming from me. The words were a jolt to my soul. And that moment would change my life forever. Again, with crystal clarity, I “heard” a whisper: You are not being the best you can be. And for the first time in my life, I understood that this was a choice. I could choose to be the best I could be or not. We all have the same choice. We can’t choose our natural talents or what opportunities life is going to throw our way, but we can choose to do this one thing: we can do the best job of living that we are capable of. After praying alone in my car, I knew I could do better.


No matter how overweight and out of shape we are, our bodies and minds are capable of much more than we think. No matter what battles we face in life, we can have victory. The amazing thing is that so many of us choose not to. I know this is true because I was as guilty as anyone. For years I’d made poor choices and come up with excuses for why I really didn’t have a choice at all. I was big boned. I let myself overeat because I was pregnant. I skipped exercise because I didn’t have the time. I was too far gone to ever recover. I told myself whatever it took to hide the truth that I was not doing the best job of living. I was also being scammed by the diet industry. We all have been taken in by the hype. “We’ll give you your eating points,” the industry tells us, “and let you spend them on any food you want. And we’ll love you when you get on that scale, whether you’ve lost weight or not. We’ll keep hugging you for the next twenty-three years if need be.” Counting my points was not going to save me. Choosing the right frozen entrĂ©e and having it delivered to my home for the next two years was not going to save me. I didn’t need the unconditional love of strangers; I needed unconditional commitment from myself. I was also scammed by the “fat gene” scientists who insisted that my weight problem was out of my hands. They were wrong; it was in my hands. Chantel, I told myself, this is not cancer. I knew, because my mother had leukemia, and I had spent more tearful nights than I could count praying for her recovery something I couldn’t do anything about. I prayed that chemotherapy would work and that God would heal her. But I realized that I’d been thinking of my obesity in the same way, as an illness. I’d even been told by experts that drastic surgery might be my only option. But that was another lie. The way I lived my life and how I contributed to my health were completely in my hands. Every one of us knows what we should do, but we don’t always do it. Instead, we pretend it’s out of our control. We take the easy way out and let ourselves down. Gaining weight doesn’t come about by accident, and it’s not forced on us. We gain weight through a series of poor choices made on a regular basis over a long period of time.

We gain weight

through a series of poor choices

made on a regular basis

over a long period of time.

The same process holds true for achieving a goal related to your health and fitness. Whether it’s weight loss, athletic accomplishment, or any other personal or business goal, you achieve what you seek by learning to make the right choices and not being scared of self-sacrifice. I began wondering what my life would be like and what I would be capable of if I simply started being the best me I could. It was time to find out. After hearing God tell me, You are not being the best you can be, I made my decision, and I said it out loud: “I can do this. I will do this.” I repeated it, and I meant it. At that moment by the side of Cypress Creek Road, my life turned around.


Having made the commitment, I knew I was going to change my life, but I didn’t have a specific plan. I knew I’d have to start exercising, no matter how much I dreaded it. I knew I would have to change the way I ate, and I would need to learn more about nutrition. And to become a different person, I knew I would have to start thinking like the person I wanted to be and not the person I had allowed myself to become. I didn’t know how I was going to do all this, but I knew I would have God by my side. He might not make it easy, but He’d give me the strength to do everything that was needed. When I got home that night, Keith was already in bed. He had never criticized my weight, for which I was incredibly grateful, but I knew how he must have felt. I looked into my husband’s eyes, told him that God had spoken to me in the car, and announced that the next morning I would begin losing weight and getting healthy. (I even mentioned that one day I would write a book to reach others in my situation.) I made it clear that I was totally committed to being the best I could be. Keith smiled at me and quoted one of his favorite sources of inspiration, the self-made billionaire Art Williams: “Do it, then talk.” He was right. I shut up. Keith fell asleep, but I had a burning passion that kept me awake that night and has kept me up many nights since. Making the unconditional decision to change—the complete commitment with no turning back—had to be followed by action. First you change your mind. But to change your body and your life, you have to get moving. You have to do things and do them differently from the past. Do it. How incredibly simple—yet how long it had taken me to get to a place where I could see that clearly. Getting fit and accomplishing my dreams was simply a matter of choosing to do it, following through every single day, and understanding that failure was not an option. I could do it. I would do it. And I did.


Keep reading, and you’ll find out how to change your life through five crucial decisions. The Five Decisions change your brain, giving you a new way of thinking about yourself, your life, your health, and your future. As long as you keep thinking the same way you always have, you will keep doing the things you have always done—including the unhealthy habits you have developed. Join me in the next chapter as we explore the past—including all the influences that worked together to bring us to where we are today. Understanding the messages that influence our self-perception and the way we respond to obstacles enables us to make the new decisions that are necessary for permanent change.

What Do You Want to Change, and Why?

As you prepare to make the mental changes that will lead to permanent life change, think through the reasons you want to change. What is motivating your desire to lose weight and reclaim your health? Use the questions that follow to think in detail about your life, your goals for the future, and what you’re willing to do to make this happen finally and forever.

1. Beyond losing weight, what do you most want to change about your life?

2. Are you willing to do whatever it takes to see certain areas of your life undergo radical change? If you’re not yet willing, what is holding you back?

3. When in your life have you felt the most hopeless? Are you now ready to move past those scars and never look back?

4. When you gained weight in the past, what factors caused you to lose your focus on health?

5. Identify three reasons or influences from the past that convinced you that you couldn’t achieve permanent life change. After considering these reasons, can you now admit they were merely excuses?

6. Think about the necessity of changing your mind before you attempt to change your body. Do you agree that lasting change begins on the inside? As you consider being the best you can be, are you ready to work from the inside out?

7. A total life change involves your mind, body, and spirit. Think about the spiritual aspect for a moment. Do you accept the role that faith plays in the process of changing your life for good?

8. When have you been held back by a fear of failure? Write down your biggest fears in this regard. As you face your fears, can you decide to let them go and give your all to permanent life change?

Never Say Diet Personal Trainer Product Details:

List Price: $10.99
Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (December 16, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0307446425
ISBN-13: 978-0307446428

Week 1 Training Plan

The Perfect Body Type: Yours!

You Are Lovely Today

Scripture for the week: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.… When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.”

—PSALM 139:14–16

Quote for the week: “Faith, as Paul saw it, was a living, flaming thing leading to surrender and obedience to the commandments of Christ.”


As you begin the journey to never say diet, remember that your value is based on who you are in Christ, not what the number on the scale says. God created everything about you, and He knows you better than you know yourself. He knows which foods are your weaknesses, and He is there whenever the temptation to overeat or consume unhealthy food seems overwhelming. The Lord knows the tears you have shed out of desperation. He was there to comfort you when it seemed like no one understood your pain. Trust me, on days when I feel the most flawed, I need the verses from Psalm 139 to remind me of what is true. The living God formed every part of my body, even the parts I would like to change. Although I used to struggle and fail in caring for my body, God always knew it best. When I finally cried out to my Creator and invited Him to help with the repair, I knew I could succeed. He wants you to succeed too. Start this week by thanking the Lord for the gifts of your life and your body. By focusing on making some improvements, you will ultimately be honoring Him more and more each day. Find a recent photo of yourself, or take one, and tape it in the space that follows. This picture will be a powerful reference for you in the coming weeks as you begin your transformation.


In Never Say Diet, I make a big deal about the Five Decisions—and for good reason. You will fail in this new attempt to change your life unless you first change your brain. To succeed, you need to be willing to do whatever it takes—unconditionally. I want to be your cheerleader and your friend. And for us to get going, you need to commit to the five Brain Change decisions found on pages 76–82 of Never Say Diet. Think about how each of the Five Decisions applies to your life. Also, try to memorize them. They will form the backbone you need to stand up to and overcome every area of weakness in your life. Create your personal surrender statement.


This week your first assignment is to start building a foundation of discipline. You will be successful over the next month if you show up for exercise thirty minutes a day, five days in a row, every week—no matter what. There are many choices for your cardiovascular exercise. Below is a list of suggestions. Even if your week gets hectic, finding the time to make this happen is imperative.

Cardio Exercise Suggestions


Bike riding

Cross-country skiing machine


Elliptical machine


Kick boxing


Spinning class

Stair climber

Stair stepper

Stationary bike/recumbent bike

Step aerobics




How to Take Your Measurements

Taking your measurements at the beginning of each month is an important part of the process of losing weight. You will begin to see precisely where you are losing fat. As you start building more muscle, there will be months where your progress is more evident in your measurements than on the scale, because muscle is denser than fat. You will begin by taking six measurements. You should be able to do them by yourself, with the exception of your upper arm. (Ask a friend or your spouse to help you.) For instructions on taking accurate measurements, see pages 97–98 of Never Say Diet. Record your measurements below.

Bust: ______________

Chest: ______________

Waist: ______________

Hips: ______________

Thighs: ______________

Arms: ______________

Be sure that you consistently measure in the same spots each month. I also recommend taking your measurements before your workouts.

Weigh Yourself

Weigh yourself, and record your weight at the beginning of each week.

Week 1 starting weight: ________


Complete your cardio exercise five days in a row, for at least thirty minutes per day. In the space provided, write down the day, the date, the exercise you completed, and the duration of each exercise period. This serves as a reminder that you always found a way to get the exercise done, whether you felt like it or not.

Day 1 date/exercise/duration:


How did it go?


Day 2 date/exercise/duration:


How did it go?


Day 3 date/exercise/duration:


How did it go?


Day 4 date/exercise/duration:


How did it go?


Day 5 date/exercise/duration:


How did it go?




This week you must place your nutritional focus on the most important meal of the day: breakfast. Plan to eat every day within two hours of waking up. Listed below are some fresh food ideas. Each one is about three hundred calories, which is perfect!

• Quaker Weight Control oatmeal, 1 tablespoon of raisins, cinnamon to taste, 2 slices of turkey bacon.

• One slice of whole-wheat toast, light spread of peanut butter (natural is best), and ½ grapefruit.

• Chocolate strawberry shake. Blend the following: 1 scoop chocolate protein powder, 10 small frozen strawberries, 1 packet sugar substitute, ½ cup low-fat milk, a few ice cubes.

• Egg white omelet. In a skillet with nonstick spray, cook veggies you like, 3 lightly beaten egg whites, and 1 tablespoon fat-free cheese. Accompany with half an English muffin with a dab of peanut butter.

Each of these breakfast meals provides a good balance of protein, carbs, and fat. This ensures your day gets off to a good start; it is igniting your source of energy. Find a few meals that you enjoy, and keep repeating them. This way you won’t stress out over deciding what to have.

Week 1 Breakfast Log

Using the space provided, record each day’s breakfast menu and the portions.

Day 1 date/time: ___________________________________ ________________________________________________

Day 2 date/time: ___________________________________


Day 3 date/time: ___________________________________


Day 4 date/time: ___________________________________


Day 5 date/time: ___________________________________


Day 6 date/time: ___________________________________


Day 7 date/time: ___________________________________



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