Friday, July 31, 2009

Follow Friday: National Book Club Conference & Tyler Perry Studios

In Twitter Tradition I'm starting a FollowFriday Series here at Christian Fiction Blog. I've been perusing the net, social media convo's and event listings to bring you highlights of the week. I hope you check them out and follow. Today I am also featuring a current book review that I have published. Read below to see who's book is featured. If you would like your book featured, hit me up for my book review guidelines or contact Stephanie at Romantic Times Magazine. There's still time to receive my book marketing workbook for $3. Don't miss out before I close the vault. Now let's do this...

Blogs to Follow

Social Media Convo's to Follow:
  • #litchat Every Friday 4pm on Twitter. Use to participate. use room litchat to enter.
  • Do Black Book Covers Sell? You can join me on Twitter @deegospel or on facebook at or here for the weekend chatterbox question to participate
  • #writechat Every Sunday 3pm on Twitter.
  • This weekend - NBCC , National Bookclub Conference, Atlanta, GA. E. Lynn Harris Tribute
  • This weekend - NBAF, National Black Arts Festival, Atlanta, GA. E. Lynn Harris Tribute
  • August 14-15, 2009 - TownCenter Mall, South Charleston, Virginia. Meet Tiffany L. Warren, Reshonda Tate Billingsley, Stacy Hawkins Adams, Bonnie Hopkins & Dwan Abrams live for big book signing event. If you're attending Bishop TD Jakes Birthing Place Conference this event will be across from the conference center near the food court.
Book Spotlight: Vanessa Davis Griggs, Practicing What you Preach

I reviewed this book this spring for Romantic Times Magazine. It's still time to pick up a copy. Here's a snippet of my review.

Griggs is back with a sweet romance... fans will love this book, since it has the same romantic feel as her first novel.

Summary: Melissa Anderson moonlights on the weekends as an events planner, hoping to one day have her own business. She has a plan to get there and Christian dating rules to keep her from getting distracted. But when she meets minister Marcus Peeples she starts to rethink her rules.

Marcus has finally moved on after his marriage ended and found his match in Melissa -- but she doesn't date divorced men. (DAFINA, Jun., 304 pp., $15.00)

Friday Afternoon Club Mystery: I have a few nominations that came in through Twitter.

  • Attica Locke, Black Water Rising
  • Timothy Stelly, Human Trial (mainstream)
  • Creston Mapes, Nobody (CBA)
  • Claudia Mair Burney, Deadly Charm (mainstream/CBA edgy)
Happy Reading

A little minor housekeeping...On Tyler Perry Studios Casting Call. From what I know they are closed and the email or Alpha here is not working. Will find out if they are still casting and get back with you as soon as I know. Get ready Get ready for Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself(sounds like my mantra) September 11, 2009. Check this blog I have details about the movie.
Update: visit to stay uptodate.

Also TPS will begin shooting Georgia Sky in November. GA Sky(if you search the blog) is a YA novel series written by Stephanie Perry Moore(no relation) her payton skyy series. Selah is a fan. Stephanie is a sweetheart, so support the books and movies. Youi can learn more about casting for that movie at the GeorgiaSky twiiter page.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Do You have a Book Marketing Plan? Get it Here. Limited Time.

Ok. So I've been praying and contemplating about my Book Marketing Dee-Mystified Planning Workbook. Should I give it away or charge a fee? It's no mystery that I'm living under a money crunch, but I'm doing okay. Thank you, JESUS! Thank you for your prayers, friends and family stepping up and getting Selah prepared for school and keeping me from driving off into a ditch. Y'all have held me up, and I'm grateful. But I've been dealing with this. I want to give you guys something from me that's a great tool I created that I know will help you become more confident about your next book title launch. This fall I will be doing more coaching and writing and reviewing and seeking a literary agent, then in the trenches with authors. So've decided to give this workbook to my Mastermind Session attendants for free(I think that's fair,) but for you guys you get it for $3. One for the Father, One for the Son, One for the Holy Ghost, but for a limited time like August 7, 2009. Then I may up the price or put it in my vault. lol.

What does this workbook contain?
  • 60 page workbook
  • media analysis
  • market analysis
  • social media design primer
  • 9/12 month book marketing action plan
  • step by step guide to help you create a marketing plan you can use now or as a part of your book proposal's marketing section
I think that's good. I wish I had this when I began writing. In fact, I'm using it myself and it's $3 until next week. Remember?

So how do I get the workbook?

It's an ebook. I will email it to you after you make your payment via paypal. my account is vidae at writing dot com. That's it. I will not take your email and add you to a mailing list or sell the listing. If you would like to receive my monthly Dee's Goody Email, hit me up on Twitter and I will add you. Otherwise, your email addy goes into the vault.

Please pass this short time offer on and give me some feedback here on how you like the workbook. Once again thanks for being here for me.


Oh and that book I'm holding is Claudia Burney's Wounded.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday Readup: The 2009 Christy Book Awards

Wednesday Readup for week ending July 28, 2009

The 2009 Christy Book Awards Winners have been announced:

Contemporary Romance

Beyond the Nightby Marlo Schalesky (WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group)
Contemporary Series, Sequels, and Novellas
You Had Me at Good-bye by Tracey Bateman (FaithWords)
Contemporary Standalone
Dogwood by Chris Fabry (Tyndale House Publishers)
First Novel
Blue Hole Back Home by Joy Jordan-Lake (David C. Cook)
Until We Reach Home by Lynn Austin (Bethany House Publishers)
Historical Romance
From a Distance by Tamera Alexander (Bethany House Publishers)
The Rook by Steven James (Revell)
Vanish by Tom Pawlik (Tyndale House Publishers)
Young Adult
I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires by Cathy Gohlke (Moody Publishers)
Congratulations to the nominees and winners!!

Book Spotlight: Tom Sullivan's Alive Day(Thomas Nelson)

Synopsis: The story of Marine Antwone Carver, his psychiatrist Brendan McCarthy and Brendan's black labrador, Nelson.

This book cover is above. Alive Day is a sweet, fast, well written read. It seems so real to be fiction, and the spiritual takeaway makes you feel warm, fuzzy and safe. If you're feeling down and wonder if God has providence over your life, read this book.

Lift Every Voice Essay Contest
Deadline August 31. see website for details

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Trailer Park Tuesday: It's In My Blood, Shawneda Marks

Today is Trailer Park Tuesday. I'm featuring Shawneda Marks, It's in My Bloood(December, 2009.) This is a teaser trailer for her novel. Let me know what you think here or via Twitter.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Congrats to Penny Pinching Diva!

Our very own Blogalicious Media Correspondent, and thifty blogger extraordinaire, Shynea Hunter aka Penny Pinching Diva is featured as The Coupon Queen in this month's Essence magazine (you know - the one with a smoldering Idris Elba on the cover!) Shynea offers tips and tricks of the trade on how to get the most for your hard-earned money.
Congratulations Shynea!!
Catch the Penny Pinching Diva in person, live on the purple carpet in Atlanta this October at Blogalicious 2009. I'll be there. Hope you come, too.
If you're an author hoping to reaching progressive women bloggers of color, then you need to be there. Subscribe to this blog to stay informed or meet me live in Atlanta next month for our first Atlanta Blogalicous Meetup at StoneCrest Mall.

M & M: What an Author Press Release Should Cover

For the time being I will be merging content from my DeeGospel PR Blog into Christian Fiction, as I do an overhaul of both blogs and the site. So today I hope to add a new Monday feature called M & M: Mondays & Marketing.

Todays M & M tips is regarding press releases and fiction writers. Here are three dos and don'ts for your next PR(press release.)


  1. do not send a boilerplate press release to media contacts and bookgroup gatekeepers. I can't tell you how many Facebook, Twitter and email messages I receive about promoting their book on my sites or on Media Candy, and how many of those messages I never read. Take the time to research the media (including blogging) outlets that fit your book's audience. Learn the correct contact's name, when to contact them and the type of content they prefer to receive from you. Then provide that. Generally, here at the blog I work with about five publishing houses, four writer's event planners, and a handful or literary publicists for content requests for the blog. Everyone one of them came to me personally about their clients or themselves. As a blogger, how effective are boilerplate releases for you?

  2. don't submit a boring, non buzz worthy event. Newsflash to you and unfortunately to some of my present and former clients submitting a news release about your upcoming bookclub event isn't good enough anymore. To ensure that your media contacts take you seriously, listen to what they want from you, submit them press releases that are relevant and helpful. Otherwise use the online events calendar to submit your book club meetings and signings.

  3. don't include your book's synopsis in your press release. A press release should be formatted correctly and contain info that suggests to media that my book has a public takeaway value. Use your press release to do that. Here is an example:

We will talk about the DO's tomorrow. In the meantime send me your current press release and let me fix it here on the blog. Email me at deegospel pr at gmail dot com.

And if you haven't registered yet for my summer book marketing mastermind session you still have a chance. For $75 you receive six weeks of book marketing coaching. session begins tomorrow. our first lesson is on basic marketing and this funny thing called a press release, where to distribute it, how to make it, and how to track results free. email me or direct message me on Twitter to register.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Weekend Chatterbox: E. Lynn Harris Are you Making a Literary Impact

Early this morning I received some sad news that prolific author E. Lynn Harris had passed while on a book tour for his latest title, Basketball Jones .

Harris' tales introduced me to a new kind of literature, a new kind of guilty pleasure, celebrity romance novels. His stories about behind the scenes life of celebrities, ballers, ministers were fabulous cautionary tales and all possessing themes about homosexuality, identity and redemption.

Here at the blog we featured his novel, I Say a Little Prayer. It was released during a time of controversy here in Atlanta. A popular megachurch led a public rally denouncing the homosexual lifestyle. His book mirrored this event-- but more than that--explored the tortured soul. How can you move past self-condemnation? How do you defend your faith and your identity at the same time?

I've listened and have spoken about homosexuality and the church, the prevalence of secret sin and shame among African American Christian men, and how the war against HIV/AIDS can't be won when people of faith refuse to call the prejudice out.

I don't know Mr. Harris personally or what he believed, but I do know that his works inspired my and millions of readers. Yesterday was a hard day for me, because the enormity of my financial situation has began to kick against my health. Truthfully, I wanted to lay in bed and just look at the wall all day. Then God spoke to me to get up and open the window. The sky was blue, a gorgeous blue that for some reason is captured in the color of Michael Easley and James McAvoy's eyes (really!) I got up, and then I received the call of Harris' passing. I say this to you and myself, as I ask you this weekend's chatterbox question: What are we doing with what God has given us today? Are we making a literary impact? And what will it take for us to start now before it's too late?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Summer Reading Challenge: Worth a Thousand Words

We're now well into July and I need to update you on the summer reading challenge. Today I'm going to juice things up a bit and give you a review for one of my picks for the month, Stacy Hawkins Adams Worth a Thousand Words.

Genre: Christian Fiction, Romance, Muliticultural
Title: Worth a Thousand Words
Author: Stacy Hawkins Adams
Release Date: June 2009
Publisher: Revell

College graduate and photographer, Indigo Burns is staring down a bright road to her future. With graduate school in her plans, photography summer internship in her hometown[Jubilant, Texas,] and her longtime boyfriend going away to Officer Candidate School (NAVY,) she would have the time and attention to focus on what she thought was God's purpose for her life. That changes when Brian proposes. Is she ready for marriage? Can she fulfill her dreams and be an officer's wife, too?

Naval aviator candidate Brian Harper knows his destiny and believes that Indigo is a big part of it. But when he attends OCS in Rhode Island he is reminded of a nasty skeleton in his closet that would surely ruin his chances in the Nacy and with Indigo. With his past clouding his view can he now face the truth about his want for marriage?

My review:

Ok. Stacy. Girl, you did that. LOL. Ooh, Honey. This was a sweet and fast read, perfect for the summer. Stacy's writing has grown. I'm so proud. I didn't know how this story would end, yet it still held the qualities of a great summer romance. Kudos!

I recommend this book for a study with single ministries, wedding guilds, and young adult ministries. I also think it is a great bookclub discussion with topics that extend far past the puplit. ($12.99)

Dee Stewart,

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Why Fiction Matters: Tyler Perry & Disney World Answers

Today I received a great newsfeed that would be great for our Why Fiction Matter's Tuesday piece. Read a snippet of the article below and ask yourself: What can I do with my writing voice that will help my community this summer? I'm answering the question myself and will come back with a response later this week.

From Susan Candiotti and Jean Shin CNN
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Tyler Perry, the star, writer and producer of films such as "Madea Goes to Jail" and the television show "House of Payne," could be adding philanthropist to his growing list of credits. According to his publicist, Perry is sponsoring a Disney World trip for 65 Pennsylvania children at a largely minority day-care center after a swim club canceled pool privileges for the children.
"He wanted to do something nice for them and let them know that for every negative experience, there are people out there who want them to succeed regardless of the color of their skin," said Keleigh Thomas, Perry's publicist. She added the entertainer would be footing the bill for all transportation, hotel, admissions and food costs at the Florida theme park.

"I am ecstatic for the children," Alethea Wright, director of the Creative Steps day-care center, told CNN. Perry's team extended the offer to her on Friday, she said. The Disney World stay will be from August 1 to 3, according to Perry's Web site.

...In a statement posted Monday on his Web site, Perry summed up his feelings about the pool situation: "This made me so angry," he wrote.
"This is awful, and for anyone that has grown up in the inner-city, you know that one small act of kindness can change your life," he wrote, adding that with the trip to Disney World, "I want them to know that for every act of evil that a few people will throw at you, there are millions more who will do something kind for them. This is all about the kids."

Friday, July 17, 2009

How to Speak to The Readers You Can't See

Today I chatted with a bookclub president, who told me that her club selects their book of the months from Christian Fiction Blog featured reviews. I was honored and ashamed.
I hadn't been posting book reviews as much as I could have despite the fact that I had read many book this year. For some odd reason I had assumed no one cared for the reviews. I checked my blog stats often to see which posts readers viewed most, to determine what content you wanted me to provide. It hadn't ocurred to me that one blog reader could equal ten book readers, that perhaps one subscriber was a bookclub president representing many. I hadn't thought about the untrackable and unmanaged things.

I was thinking too much inside the box. This is easy to do when you think you have total control of your outcome.

I have author friend's who obsess over what sales tactics another seemingly more successful author does, so they can mimic that formula. They believe that this magic formula will work for them.

But as Christian writers we need to remember that there is no magic to what we do. There is only God. He sees what we can't see. He knows who's watching us off the grid. He knows our future.

He knows when you will meet me, too. ;) I hope you meet me this summer. This month I launch the summer mastermind session and host my first tweetup event with my seatl tweetup buddies on Facebook. I will be speaking at The Phillips Arena in August about DeeGospelPR, the North Carlina lit Festival in September and Blogalicious09 conference in October. Let me know if you'll be sending a delegate. :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

FAFR: The #1 Reason Why Your Newsletter Bores Readers

Yesterday I arrived in Orlando for the Faith and Fiction Retreat. This town was my childhood summer home. I learned how to ride a ten-speed bike very fast, that Michael Jackson was the best thing since hot peach_cobbler with a scoop of homemade ice cream drizzled on top, and how to kiss a sixteen-year-old Jamaican boy properly.

I'm excited about this trip. I wonder what new things it will teach me outside of "Why bookclubs matter?" and will I get to meet Spud Webb(here's here reportedly with Dominque Wilkins?)

In week four of my upcoming summer marketing mastermind session I will teach participants three reasons why online newsletters (e-letters) aren't successful. One of those reasons is the author's inability to have an authentic conversation with their readers. Instead of selling books to reader's, try sharing your books to readers.

A great example of an author e-letter is Tyler Perry's. It is a simple letter to his fans. In every letter he shares something unique about himself and a life lesson. Then he does a vital action every newsletter should have. Those who participate in my telesemnar series will learn what that is.

As I sit here preparong for authors and bookclubs to arrive I am reminded that fans will travel wide and large to meet their favorite artist/author. If I had the money, I would have paid and flew to see Michael Jackson perform again. Wouldn't you want a fan to feel the same way about you?

If you have not registered for my Summer Marketing Mastermind Session, there is still time. Email me at deegospelpr at gmail dot com for details.

And a question for you I would love for you to chat with me about on Twitter. Use hashtag #fafr so that I can respond back. My twitter handle is @deegospel. Here's the question:

What artist or author makes you feel like you're a part of their family?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Live Blogging: The 2009 Faith and Fiction Retreat

I'm about 2.5 hours from Orlando where this year's Faith and Fiction Retreat will be held. Tomorrow I will arrive with the rest of the staff to set things up. I wish I was super excited, but I'm not.

I'm grateful.

Many registered can't come. As bad as my situation is their's are worse. Lord, knows I don't know what will come of me and my family tomorrow and especially next week. I am literally winging it day by day.

I didn't think I would be coming. I thank my friends, family and you for sponsoring and encouraging me to come despite obstacles that are behind and before me.

Life is full of disappointments, reversals and mistakes. This month I've had my share of all, yet survive. I encourage you to dig in and grab my hand. Right now it's pretty weak and frail, but I have a crew of angels and buddies holding me up. I'm sure they can do the same for you.

I will be blogging daily about the retreat, as well as sharing info about my upcoming Summer Marketing Mastermind Teleseries, which retreat participants will get a taste of on Saturday. Deadline for early registration is this Saturday. Email me at deegospelpr at gmail dot com for details.

Pray for my family, especially my
Dad. We're on shaky ground.



I didn't think I would be coming. My current financial challenge almost made this retreat an impossibility. I thank God for my family and friends. They have sponsored and encouraged me up to. This point, even though I haven't been the best sport about things.

Writer's conferences like FAFR and ICRS are more than just chances to meet your favorite author, but a chance to fellowship and learn.

This week I will share my version of the retreat to you as well as talk about my upcoming Summer Mastermind Session.

I'm about 2.5 hours from Orlando where this year's Faith and Fiction Retreat will be held.

Tomorrow I will arrive with the rest of the staff to set things up. I'm excited.

Before I get there I'll drop my daughter at my cousin's home, whEre they will treat her like a princess, and allow me the space to relax, write and read.

I didn't think I would be coming. My current financial challenge almost made this retreat an impossibility. I thank God for my family and friends. They have sponsored and encouraged me, even though I haven't been the best sport about things.

This week I will share my version of the retreat to you. FAFR

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mobile post sent by deegospel using Utterlireply-count Replies.  mp3

Monday, July 13, 2009

When Change Does Not Come Easy

Today I'm at t
The Master's Artist sharing what seems to be a recurring challenge through this economic recession. How does it affect Christian publishing industry peops. Here's what I'm learning. Visit my blog entry here or click on the title


Thursday, July 09, 2009

This Blogalicious Ambassador thanks Christian Women Writer Bloggers

Hi, all. It's Dee. I'm chillin at my local library and thought about you.

Christian Fiction Blog is five-years-old now. I was blogging a little before that, but when I began there wasn't many women bloggers around. Back then I wishedI had women bloggers(especially women of color) to turn to for support, guidance and fellowship.

It didn't dawn on me until last month that possibly there are newbie women bloggers out there searching for someone to mentor them--someone like me. At the same time, I had been approached about the Blogalicious 09 Conference that will be here in Atlanta in October, but put it off, because I was busy being me. ;) However, God redirected my steps with a reward and a charge. I have been chosen to be an Blogalicious 2009 Ambassador. Yeah, we!

With this position I get to share with you this exciting conference, schedule meet-ups to meet you guys, and help you take your blogs to the next level.
As a literary marketing consultant, I can tell you having a base of great bookclub bloggers to share exciting new authors, new books, new writing opps and conferences is a great thing to have. To help these bloggers sites grow. To help them become monetized. To help them take their blogs offline and meet other women who share their same hobbies, interests and faith is a big big deal.

Thank you for giving me the platform here at Christian Fiction Blog to be sought out to speak about CHristian fiction, blogging, mommypreneuring and Jesus Christ. I appreciated you for boosting this blog up. Now let me extend my thank you to help your blogs get better, stronger, and blogalicous.

To learn more about the Blogalicious 09 Conference visit To sign up to meet me locally here in Atlanta visit my meetup group on Facebook at . My first meetup is planned for the Phillips Arena the first week in August.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Four Ways to Use Crowd Sourcing to Tap into your Ideal Book Club

for Christian Fiction Online Magazine's July 2009 Edition

by Dee Stewart

This year—so far—I’ve been honored to have serviced seven Christian book publicity campaigns. In each campaign my mission was to build a publicity strategy that complemented the author’s personality, his or her writer’s voice, personal parameters, wallet, and most important, their crowds—their readers.

Crowd sourcing is a tool I use to study the psychographics (what people like) of a particular reader to learn the best way to tap into that group and galvanize them into converting more members of the group to read my client’s book. You can use crowd sourcing to tap into the power of your ideal book club. Click here to read my four tips to crowd source your book club.


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