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This isn’t exactly a newsletter...I will try and work on that for June-July. This is one of those mid-month notes. The kind where I stop everything because I have to tell you something, now!

As you all know, I made a promise a few years back to ‘tell the stories’...and I have been obedient in keeping my word. Almost every day I get my chance to tell somebody about the miracles Bill and I have shared.

But, the fact is I couldn’t wait to share this. What a crazy year!

Let me start... this year like so many of you I have said a prayer that I’d keep the ‘right’ perspective and keep faith. It’s been difficult times. The economy, the doom and gloom on the news, and rarely if at all... not much good news out there!

So today I have some good news...and just so you know, this isn’t just about me. Well it is...but I have to give Bill credit for publishing and Shaye credit for the cover, and all of you credit for your constant support...and of course God, for everything!

You see, I began this week a bit grumpy to say the least. It’s hot and I do my book business in the mornings and evenings and, do the electrical wiring, with Bill, in the heat...yes the heat of the day!

I made up my mind to thank God for the opportunity to work. Every day this week with sweat pouring down my brow I repeatedly said “Thank you Lord.” I walked a little taller and felt a little stronger...even spent some time in an attic and came out with muscles pumped saying, “I am Woman! I am strong! I can do anything, when I work with God.” Needless to say, I think we’ll eat this week and pay almost all our bills on time. Yahoo! Can you say the same? Honestly...Just ask, and you too will receive!

Now, for the absolute best part of this week!!!

Friday after work I received an e-mail from the “Next Generation Indie Awards” Let me back up for a minute. Last February I was doing my interview for the Christian Fiction Online Magazine and the author I was interviewing was a speaker, world traveler, and award winning author. I began thinking I need to enter some contests and get my book in the infield of this game-the book business- and I need to market it up too.

I looked at some of the emails I had received about such things and Writer’s Digest has a number of contests one can enter...BUT they won’t accept ‘self-published’ authors. Okay, back to the drawing board. I checked out the ‘Christy’ awards...same thing. Feeling a little like I was destined to be an unknown (except to all of you :) I spoke to God and prayed, again “It’s all in your hands, Lord.”

Next thing, Bill is signing me up for the Indie Awards Contest. Yes, bottom line, they accept self published authors-Independent authors-‘indie authors’...How cool!

Name of the contest entered= “The 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.”

Being a bit skeptical I decided to do a little research and found they’re listed on Publishers Weekly as well as a number of other places. Okay. I told Bill I want to enter this NATIONAL contest. I wanted in. (that’s if it be God’s will, of course.)

Sooooo... Start spreading the News! I’m a winner! Truth is I can’t read the first lines without getting all choked up...This email came to me on, 5/15/09. I have to show you the highlights.

Dear Valerie,
I am writing with some fabulous news. Your book has been named the Winner in the Inspirational category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Congratulations!


To acknowledge this achievement we will be sending you a Winner Certificate by email prior to the end of May... Also, a gold medal for your win will be sent out in June.

Your achievement will be published at www.IndieBookAwards.com along with the other Winners and Finalists in the next week or so...

Additionally, your book will be listed as a Winner in the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards catalog which will be distributed at Book Expo America in New York later this month to thousands of attendees including book buyers, library representatives, media, industry professionals, and others...

At the bottom of this email is a complete list of the 2009 Winner and Finalists (in alphabetical order) in this category...


Once again congratulations from all of us at Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group and the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

C. Goulet
Awards Administrator and Chair
www.IndieBookAwards.com

INSPIRATIONAL WINNER:
I Must Be in Heaven: A Promise Kept, by Valerie Anne Faulkner (F.E.I. Publishing)


*Taking a bow!*

FINALISTS:
A Christian Woman's Journal to Weight Loss: A 52 Week Guide to Losing Weight With the Word , by Patricia Thomas (The Elevator Group)

An Unlikely Family; Voices of Ethiopian and American Youth Who Are Turning Tragedy into Hope , by Ben Beisswenger, Christopher Beisswenger, Margaret Eldred, Zoe Dmitrovsky, Meron Foster and Carolynne Krusi (Anemeone Publising)

Days Like Floating Water: A Story of Modern China , by Susan Edwards McKee (Oak Leaf Impressions Press)

Hearing His Whisper, A Journey Through Cancer and Divorce , by Lauren Miller (Tate Publishing)

Make a Joyful Noise: Searching for a Spiritual Path in a Material World , by Chariss K Walker (iUniverse)

Once a Marine: An Iraq War Tank Commander's Inspirational Memoir of Combat, Courage and Recovery , by Nick Popaditch with Mike Steere (Savas Beatie)

Sound Advice: Music's Effect on Life, Health, and Happiness , by Rick Notter (BookSurge)

The Woman's Field Guide for Exceptional Living: Practical Steps to Living a Big, Bold, Beautiful Life , by Corrie Woods (Morgan James Publishing)

Treasures of the Creative Spirit , by Robert Piepenburg (Pebble Press, Inc.)

White Pearl and I: A Memoir of a Political Refugee , by Svetlana Kim (BookSurge)



Hope is in believing! Praise God...

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