Archives For My Book Therapy

Never Let Go

Renee Ann Smith —  November 10, 2014 — 18 Comments

As a high school English teacher, I love figurative language, imagery, metaphors . . .

Any word pictures that open my eyes to see a truth in a new way and help me move beyond head knowledge to heart knowing.

Here’s one of my favorites from Hebrews 6: 19&20 . . .
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us.”

I learned from the book One Minute After You Die by Irwin Lutzer that
“In ancient times, the forerunner was a sailor who helped a vessel enter the harbor safely.
He would jump from the ship, wade to land, and fasten the strong rope of the ship to a rock along the shore. Then, he’d use a winch to bring the ship in.”

So death is like a sailing ship being anchored to shore by a trustworthy forerunner.

Isn’t that a beautiful picture? I can just imagine it . . .

Those 1st century sailors, fearing for their lives on a storm-tossed sea. Their ship nears a harbor.

They choose their strongest man and send him over the side.

Trembling, they watch and fear and pray as their man battles the waves.

Finally, he reaches shallow water and steps out on dry land. He finds the surest rock and ties off the ship.

The sailors rejoice.

Because though they remain at sea—buffeted by winds and waves for a time—they know their salvation is sure.

Their forerunner has made it safely to the other side.

And so will they.

And very soon they’ll be with him on shore. Safe. Secure. Victims of life’s storms no more.

I love how verse 19 sounds in The Message: “We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go.”

Never Let Go Ultimate Christian Living Bundle

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May we encourage each other to place our hands in His, never look back & never let go!

Thanks for stopping by today. Blessings, friends!

***Photo Backstory: I made this graphic from an iPhone pic of the beach in Destin, Florida, taken during last year’s Deep Thinker’s Writing Retreat. Of course, PicMonkey is my editing tool of choice. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share.

***Let’s be Twitter pals! If you’re on Twitter, I’ll follow you—if I’m not already. Let me know in the comments how to find you in the Tweet-world Continue Reading…

Here to Stay

Renee Ann Smith —  April 30, 2014 — 3 Comments
“In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary. We can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit.” Romans 5:5, The Message, theme verse of Melissa Tagg’s Here to Stay

ztagg book coverAuthor Melissa Tagg’s trademark is turning her love of romantic comedies—especially old movie classics—into fun, page-turning novels, and Here to Stay is a prime example!

The story focuses on two adult children of feuding families. Blake Hunziker is the rich prodigal, who reluctantly returns home after years of adventurous wandering. Autumn Kingsley is the obedient daughter, who reluctantly stayed home to tend her family’s dream—even while she yearned to see the world and fulfill her own. As the back cover copy says, this story throws together “a guy who’s done running away with a girl who can’t wait to leave.” 

Autumn and Blake both wrestle with feeling they have disappointed important people in their lives. When they join forces to run the town festival, they find themselves growing in appreciation for the unique folks in their town and for each other. Soon the worth they see in each other helps Autumn and Blake believe God sees worth in them. And they discover that His way of making dreams come true will never leave them feeling shortchanged by life.

This novel was so much fun! In Autumn’s desire to see the world, I spotted traces of While You Were Sleeping and It’s a Wonderful Life. (Isn’t the romance in the beginning rom-com like? Come on, Donna Reed in the hydrangea bush?) And maybe because I just finished a Gilmore Girl marathon, a lady innkeeper with a wisecracking male assistant really worked for me. I also enjoyed the Stars Hollow small-town feel of Whisper Shore and its quirky residents. 

To say Here to Stay is a feel-good story does not diminish it in anyway. After all, how can any novel leave a reader feeling truly hopeful and happy without celebrating God’s heart and the many ways He touches our lives with love?

What I liked best . . .

  • The perils of accident-prone Autumn
  • How Blake transforms from guilt-ridden prodigal to confident hero
  • The town-wide snowball fight
  • Sweet Lucy from Hope House, a home for mentally handicapped adults
  • The photo-taking trip to Susie and Vern’s farm
  • The bathtub adventure
  • An earnest discussion about Narnia
  • The appearance of Miranda Woodruff and the From the Ground Up crew

My favorite quotes . . .

Tagg HTS

“You don’t have to see every open door on the way to your end goal, just the one staring you in the face.”

“Maybe you start by thinking back to the last time you can remember when everything felt right. Like you were exactly where God wanted you to be.”

(See theme verse graphic here)

What you should do next . . .

Follow this link to order a copy of Here to Stay for yourself. ***Thanks to Melissa Tagg and to Bethany House for providing a copy for me to review.

Bookmark this Kindle link because on Tuesday, May 6th, Melissa’s debut novel, Made to Last, will be on sale for $1.99!

mtagg pic1About the author: Melissa Tagg is a former reporter and total Iowa girl. In addition to her homeless ministry day job, she is also the marketing/events coordinator for My Book Therapy, a craft and coaching community for writers. When she’s not writing, she can be found hanging out with the coolest family ever, watching old movies, and daydreaming about her next book. She’s passionate about humor, grace, and happy endings.

You can connect with Melissa . . . 

So glad you stopped by today, friends! Blessings! Continue Reading…
“It’s okay to dream big. It gives you something to reach for. Expand your imagination. Just because it most likely won’t happen tomorrow doesn’t mean that it won’t happen at all. That’s what long range goals are all about!” ~Sharon Jenkins, Authorpreneurship~

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how to become a writer

I recently previewed My Book Therapy’s latest publication, Authorpreneurship by Sharon Jenkins, and highly recommend it! If you or someone you love is interested in writing for publication, this book is a great place to start. Sharon doesn’t make false promises about propelling you to the top of the best-seller’s list.

But she does share detailed information to help you determine what God’s dream for your writing might look like and how to get there.

Why should you take Sharon’s advice? She’s an expert in authorpreneurship. Is that word new to you? Here’s Sharon’s definition: “Authorpreneurship is the business of authoring, marketing, and publishing your work. You actively participate in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the process to create your book, eBook, blog, editorial, whitepaper or article, and its distribution as a partner or independent publisher.”

“Writing is serious business! The goal of this book is to teach you how to ‘handle the business side of writing.'”
What I liked best . . .
  • How Sharon’s book inspired me!
  • The practical application shared for each topic
  • The information covers all levels of writing experience—beginner to advanced
  • Great Resource: an overview of the Writer’s Life compiled in one place
What topics are covered . . .
  • Your WHY for writing
  • Pros & cons of publishing modes (self or traditional)
  • Step-by-step business plan for either
  • Time management tips
  • Assessments to determine how you work best or what you want to write
  • Sample blog entries
  • Six traits of good writing
  • Strengthening your skills
  • Apps & websites
  • What is a book proposal
  • How to ready your manuscript
  • Submission guidelines
  • Evaluate your literary assets and liabilities
  • Branding
  • Selecting a support team
  • How to financially support your dream
  • Writers’ Organizations
  • Even a personal financial assessment
  • PLUS MORE!!!

how to become a writer


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A final word from Sharon: “My dear aspiring authors, you have been under close scrutiny in my petri dish for years and as a result this book is my thesis. I offer it because I love you and greatly admire the courage that you possess in sharing your heart and soul with the world through writing. You are my literary heroes and this is my tribute to your greatness, to God be the glory because without Him, I could do nothing.” ~Sharon Jenkins~

What you should do next . . . 

Use one of the links below to grab your copy! ****Thanks to Sharon Jenkins and Susan May Warren from My Book Therapy for providing an ebook for me to review.

SPECIAL DEAL: Follow this link to buy Authorpreneurship from the My Book Therapy Store. If you purchase between now and February 6th, you get 2 FREE Video Classes with your order! (See bundle details!)

Follow this link to purchase Authorpreneurship from Amazon.

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

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

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

Sharon can be found at:

***I created the quote graphic with a free image from rgbstock photos and the magic of PicMonkey. (Feel free to Pin, Tweet, download & share.) Continue Reading…

When I joined the writing group My Book Therapy, I was hoping for instruction and some online fellowship. I never realized I’d be rubbing shoulders with ladies who would so greatly inspire me to know God better. One such is Reba J. Hoffman, PhD, life coach & former missionary, with the God-given gift of encouragement, who recently set out on an epic solo bicycle journey from Florida across the US to the West Coast in order to highlight the plight of women suffering from PTSD.

As she travels, Reba will be meeting with groups and speaking out about women and violence and PTSD. Reba knows how much support women who have survived violence need because of her own experience. Here’s Reba’s testimony in her own words:


Reba and Dakota, her Waterford touring bike

“On November 5, 1984, I [Reba] was abducted in broad daylight from a parking lot by a drug crazed criminal. He’d been out of jail for less than twenty four hours. I was beaten, raped and left for dead in a remote area of North Florida. By God’s grace I survived that attack.

The broken bones healed, but I suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Fortunately, I had a great medical/mental health team and was able to recover. Sadly, that’s not the case with so many women who survive violent assaults. Many are imprisoned in their homes. If they do venture out, they experience anxiety and panic.

I want to help these women find the courage to seek help. To face their fear and find the freedom they deserve. I ride for them. I ride for freedom–-theirs and my own.

I invite you to take the journey with me.Use the wisdom it brings to do something bold in your own life. I promise you that freedom lies in being bold.”

You can follow Reba’s journey and see where she and her bike are each day at this link.  

Or you can follow via her Facebook page.

We can support Reba by sharing the story of her journey and by providing prayer or financial support. (This post explains how you can help.)
Reba’s only been on the road a few days, but God has already blessed her greatly through the people she’s met! Read her heartwarming post about the third day of her trip: There Are Good Samaritans, and Then There Are Angels.
Follow this link to purchase her book Facing Fear and Finding Freedom for $2.99.

Here’s a verse for Reba (& for all of us!) Feel free to download & share. Whenever you                 see this, say a prayer for her cycling adventure!

You go before me and 7a Continue Reading…