Monday, July 28, 2008

Special Contests, Giveaways, & More!

This week, I'm very honored to welcome special guest author, speaker, motivator T. Suzanne Eller. Suzie is an inspiration and mentor to so many writers, myself included, and to thousands of young adults. She is a blessing to observe, and a role model for all women. Her testimony is tremendous - visit her Web site to learn more about her.

We're celebrating the release of three of Suzie's books this week. I'll post one interview today, then another on Wednesday and Friday. I hope you'll come back and read about each of her books. They make great gifts for your family and friends, and a great resource for your own library - the books are challenging and in-depth, and written by a woman in love with God.

Suzie's holding a really awesome contest - and I'd love for some of you Pixels to WIN! Here are the details:

The Contest

1. During this blog tour, any reader who responds to Twila Belk at iamstraightway[at]aol[dot]com with the name of a church or organization that is interested in having Suzie in as a guest speaker, will receive all three of Suzie's books (up to 10 sets will be given away on a first come first serve basis).

2. If any of your readers contact Twila regarding a Bible study group or book club wanting to use Suzie's materials, their groups will receive conference calls from Suzie to kick off or conclude their studies.

3. All readers who post a comment regarding Suzie's books will be placed in a grand prize drawing on August 2, 2008, for a delightful gift basket (see description below.)

Gift Basket includes:

  • Real Issues, Real Teens: What Every Parent Needs to Know

  • The Mom I Want to Be: Rising Above Your Past to Give Your Kids a Great Future

  • Real Teens, Real Stories, Real Life

  • Making It Real: Whose Faith Is It Anyway?

  • The Woman I Am Becoming: Embrace the Chase for Identity, Faith and Destiny

  • A sleek coffee cup filled with Dove Caramel chocolates

  • A tootsie roll bouquet

  • A Dove Almond Chocolate bar

About the Author:

T. Suzanne (Suzie) Eller is the author of five books and over 600 articles and columns. She is a contributing writer to Today's Christian Woman,, and Enrichment Journal. Suzie is a youth culture and parenting columnist, and a community mentor in The Woman of Vision program. Her books include The Mom I Want to Be, The Woman I Am Becoming: Embracing the Chase for Identity, Faith, and Destiny and Making it Real: Whose Faith is it Anyway?

Suzie is a sought-after inspirational speaker who ministers internationally to groups of all sizes. She has been featured on hundreds of radio and TV programs. Suzie and her husband have three children and make their home in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. For more information, visit

About the Book:

The first book we'll feature this week is The Woman I Am Becoming.

Overarching themes such as identity, relationships, faith, and destiny provide readers a fresh approach to finding their way in this world. Author, speaker and mentor Suzie Eller offers young women an honest and faith-filled look at the journey to completeness. In The Woman I Am Becoming: Embracing the Chase for Identity, Faith, and Destiny, she acknowledges the pressures to look and act a certain way, and helps women explore key questions:

  • What is a real woman?

  • Where do I fit?

  • What should I look like?

  • Who should I be with?

  • Where am I going?

  • What about my faith?

Suzie shares her own story teamed up with life applications, as well as real-life advice from women further along in the journey who are still in the process of becoming. Concluding questions help readers assimilate what they've read into their own lives. As twenty-somethings absorb the book by owning their emotions and meet God in a new way, they'll begin to understand the woman they're becoming.

What Others Are Saying:

Wow, is this a much-needed book! Since I, like most women, ventured into my twentysomething and married years far from home and the influence of older women who had been around the block, I so appreciate Suzanne's heart to create a way for young women to gather and receive that sort of input and counsel.

~ Shaunti Feldhahn

Author of For Women Only and Coauthor For Young Women Only

Real. Raw. Relatable. For women from all backgrounds trying to figure out this thing called life.

~ Kerri Pomarolli

nationally known comedian and author

In-Depth with Suzie about her ministry and The Woman I Am Becoming:

It seems your life calling has taken on so many different themes. You have a heart for student ministries, young adult women, and mothers. What's it like writing and speaking for three different people groups? How are the dynamics different, and what one thing remains the same no matter the group?

The overall theme of my ministry is "becoming." If you look at what I teach or write, you'll see that theme stamped all over them. I dare to believe that God is who He says He is, and I want to become all that I can be as I follow Him. I love to share that same theme with others, no matter their gender or age.

Describe the passion or burden behind writing The Woman I Am Becoming.

I've worked with teens in different ways for nearly two decades. I'm lucky, because that means I now have a lot of connections and friendships with twentysomethings and even those in their early thirties. I don't have all the answers, and that is not what this book is about, but I have had the privilege to come along side these amazing young women as they ask tough questions.

We're encouraged scripturally as older women (that's me!) to teach the younger women. For me, the definition of teaching is to talk about the issues that matter to them. First, I need to know exactly what that is, rather than assume that I know. Second, I need to be open to a dialogue, a conversation between women at different stages of life, and I love that part of this book. I also love that in real life. It's not a one-sided relationship, but I learn from them and perhaps I can share insight gained through experience, or through bumps (or crashes into brick walls) and thus we all are stronger.

I receive e-mails from all over the nation, and even from as far away as Nigeria or South Africa or West Africa and other parts of the world from young women who say, "I read your book today and it answered a question I have been praying over." That's priceless to me. Many have become Facebook friends and we continue to stay in touch.

You made sure to gather the input of several young women (twentysomethings) for the book. What was the common thread or theme in their stories?

Transition. They were making every critical decision in their lives: who to love, where to live, what to do, wondering what God expected or wanted from them at this stage. This was true, regardless of whether they were 21 and in college or 28 and a wife and mom to two. It was just different in intensity.

If you could give sort of a coming-of-age speech to women in their twenties who are just now finding their way in this world, what would be your three main points?

  1. You are a work in progress - be patient with the process. Learn from it.

  2. You fit - we are not all alike and aren't meant to be, and there is a niche for you. I can't take your place, you aren't meant to take mine, but together we can make a difference.

  3. Your "calling" is to love and know God daily - we make it too complex. We are looking at the five-year or ten-year plan, and many times we miss the opportunities all around us--right where we are right now.

This age probably has the hardest time fitting in at church. The women's groups seem to be more for married women with children, and the college and career class is starting to feel too immature. What do you recommend for women who want to be involved at church, but don't feel like they fit in?

Margaret Feinberg, author of Twentysomething, says, "What makes a difference for twentysomethings who grow in their faith and one who grows stagnant or falls away? Without fail, relationships and community are most often cited as the determining factors for growth."

Community is a word that is strong among twentysomethings. They have left or are leaving the familiar world of family. Even if they are still close to family (distance or otherwise), the way their family perceives them may remain the same, but the reality is that they are changing. They are no longer the rebellious 16-year-old or the really smart cheerleader or the screw-up or the good daughter. Labels have fallen away as they are educated, make new friends, attempt to find a spiritual community, make relationship choices or face heartbreak, live financially on their own, work their way up the career ladder, have babies or wait to have babies, etc. They have moved from child to adult. Family is just as important to them, but they are looking for new sources of strength and encouragement.

The same difficulties arise in finding a church. Where do you find your niche? It's like a black hole in ministry among many churches. The twentysomething comes home and finds out that the youth group is mostly 13-year-olds and definitely not a good fit, or the singles group is comprised of mostly divorced men and women in their 40's with very different needs. Where do they fit?

So, I ask twentysomethings to redefine community as becoming a part of something larger. You contribute. You take. These people matter to you.

I encourage them to create community right where they are. For some, the biological family remains the primary community. Others find community in small groups or their community becomes four or five couples who meet in their home or at Starbucks, or four or five close friends who remain connected and close. The secret is that one community does not take away from the other. But it's still vital.

Thanks, Suzie, for writing this tremendous book. What a great resource for women today.

Pixels - come back Wednesday to read about The Mom I Want to Be, and Friday for Making it Real: Whose Faith is it Anyway?

Don't forget - recommend Suzie to speak at your church, and you could receive all 3 books! And leave comments below to be entered to win that scrumptious gift basket!


ikkinlala said...

Thanks for this interview. The part about finding community was especially interesting to me right now, and I'd love to read the book.

flchen1 said...

This sounds like a terrific resource for all women--thanks for the recommendation!

f dot chen at comcast dot net

AnnKnowles03 said...

I have great admiration for authors who can reach young women. So many young people fall away form the church after college and marriage--just when they need HIM most.Susanne Eller has written a very special book that meets a need in the lives of young women who are twenty-something. I've been through those years and heard all those questions from my two daughters. Thanks, Susie.
Ann Knowles

artmarcia said...

As women age, we wonder why the woman on the outside doesn't match how we feel in the inside. This book sounds like it addresses those issues.

Annabelle said...

Oh, I really like the sounds of this book! I will have to add it to my want to read list! Thanks for the suggestion!

kamewh said...

I really enjoyed the information about the book and the interview. This looks like a great resource that whould be a part of every young woman's library. I especially like the part about how you are a work in progress and that you should be patient and learn from everything!

CanCan said...

I love her 3 tips to women in their 20's. I wish someone had told me that . I'm almost 30 now and I still have issues with these things: fitting in, not having a 10 year plan, etc.

onlycancan at hotmail dot com

Molly C. said...

What a great interview! I think us women need more encouraging books.