Danielle Smith Interview: Social Media Engagement for Dummies Author

When I had the chance to sit down with my friend Danielle Smith, co-author of Social Media Engagement for Dummies along with Aliza Sherman, I jumped on it.

Of course, it happened to be in the corner of a restaurant in the process of closing while we were both at the BlogHer blogging conference during the summer of 2013 in Chicago, but I think you’ll forgive the sound quality in light of the interview quality icon smile Danielle Smith Interview: Social Media Engagement for Dummies Author

Danielle Smith Interview: Social Media Engagement for Dummies Author:

Click here to buy Social Media Engagement for Dummies on Amazon.

 Danielle Smith Interview: Social Media Engagement for Dummies Author Danielle Smith Interview: Social Media Engagement for Dummies Author

If you’re a mom in business, you’ll also want to check out Danielle’s other book, Mom Incorporated.

 Danielle Smith Interview: Social Media Engagement for Dummies Author Danielle Smith Interview: Social Media Engagement for Dummies Author

What has been your biggest question when it comes to social media engagement and how it relates to your blog and/or business?

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Best Bible Storybooks: Kids say… {FaithGateway post}

I wanted to let you know about my post over on FaithGateway.com today talking about the best Bible Storybooks out there for kids, in the opinion of a kid!

best storybook bibles faithgateway 300x179 Best Bible Storybooks: Kids say... {FaithGateway post}

That’s right! My very own 9 year old daughter, Kariss, and I recorded a rousing 5 minute video on (in our humble opinion) the Top 8 BEST Bible Storybooks out there (from publishers like Tommy Nelson & Zonderkidz).

You can check out the video here:

and find links to ALL the books we mention in our video over on our FaithGateway Bible Storybook post!

If you want to watch more Girl Mom Show videos in the future, make sure to follow us on Twitter at @GirlMomShow and on our new Girl Mom Show YouTube channel!

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Summer Kids Activities with new Kidventures Book!

KidVentures 300x250 Summer Kids Activities with new Kidventures Book!

Although the weather has been quite tempermental in the past weeks, it should surprise no-one that summer is right around the corner. And if your kids are old enough to play outside, then it’s only a matter of time before you hear them say, “Mom, I’m booooorrrrrredddd!”

That’s why I’m so excited to share my friend (QuatroMama) Jen’s new Summer Kids Activities book: KidVentures: 50 Outdoor Experiences of Wonder, Discovery, & Childhood Memories.

What exactly is KidVentures, you ask?

It’s a practical step-by-step ebook guide for your outdoor summer adventures. It’s chock-full of 50 creative, active, and hands-on learning activities for you and your family this summer along with supply lists, detailed instructions, printables, diagrams, and resources to take each activity a step further!

So what are you waiting for? You certainly don’t wan’t to wait until school is out to snag this treasure. And trust me, if Jen has tested it out on her quadruplet boys and they approve it, then your kids certainly will icon wink Summer Kids Activities with new Kidventures Book!

KidVentures 3001 Summer Kids Activities with new Kidventures Book!

Click here to visit KidVentures by Jen Murray

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When Justin & Trisha Davis write a book, “Beyond Ordinary” results…

 When Justin & Trisha Davis write a book, Beyond Ordinary results... When Justin & Trisha Davis write a book, Beyond Ordinary results...

When I learned my friends (and former campus pastors) Justin & Trisha Davis were penning their story, of course I wanted to read it to support them, but I’d figured I’d already heard it all before.

After all, they’d always been very transparent about the fires they faced in their marriage, both in personal conversations and from the pulpit.

I was wrong.

What resulted can be summed up best by the title of the book itself…”Beyond Ordinary“.

I took Beyond Ordinary with me on a business trip and devoured it; other than Love Does, this is one of the only “Two-Sitting” books I’ve read in a LONG time. That means I started it one night, got about halfway through and then got up early the next morning to finish it!

When I texted Justin & Trish before going to bed that first night to tell them how ensconced I was in their book, I think their initial concern was that the content was not deep enough. I assured them that the book was far from an easy read, but rather a compelling one.

Just look at what I did to this book!
IMG 0972 300x300 When Justin & Trisha Davis write a book, Beyond Ordinary results...

As much as I found myself laughing out loud, I spend equal time underlining, highlighting, starring and dog-earring some pages on both the top AND the bottom!

Their personal stories were relevant and their insights on God’s truth were fresh and practical.

And don’t assume that Justin & Trisha’s story is only valuable for couples trying to survive an affair; to the contrary. I believe it is a must read for all of us who are married who, whether we like it or not, are dangerously close to drifting towards such an event.

I am so proud of these two for not only actively pursuing God’s best for their marriage and their family but for ultimately running bravely towards helping as many couples as possible!

So go buy Beyond Ordinary while you can; I’m off to re-read all the notes I’ve scribbled in the margins…

Beyond Ordinary is just one of the fabulous books I’m highlighting in my Book Week 2013. Make sure to check them all out!

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Jenni Catron’s “Just Lead” puts her practice onto paper

 Jenni Catrons Just Lead puts her practice onto paper Jenni Catrons Just Lead puts her practice onto paper

As Book Week 2013 continues, I’m thrilled to bring you an insanely unique offering: “Just Lead” by my friend Jenni Catron and Sherry Surratt.

For the past year, I’ve been part of a group of special women thanks to Jenni. She had a passion to surround herself with like-minded, motivated and driven women that could share with and learn from each other. I would have been an idiot not to accept such an invitation to connect.

Last Fall, Jenni humbly asked if we’d be willing to work through a new book together…a book she was in the final process of writing and editing with her friend Sherry. That book was “Just Lead“. Of course we unanimously agreed to dig in.

I don’t think I’m overstating the fact that Jenni is a trailblazer in her field. Not only is Jenni a leader by title (the Executive Director of my multi-site church, Crosspoint), but more importantly, she leads in practice.

JC Press Shot 2011 290x300 Jenni Catrons Just Lead puts her practice onto paper

She is a constant student. She continually educates herself. She passes that knowledge to others. And most importantly, she executes.

For many years, the words “Women” and “Leader” were not allowed to be used bumped up against each other. Now that those barriers have been broken through, it’s important that we have solid resources to guide us in becoming the best we can be.

After reading through this manuscript with Jenni over the past months, it’s now my pleasure to share “Just Lead” with you as part of Book Week 2013!

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Start Night with Jon Acuff. Start Book by Jon Acuff. Start says Sami.

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That was going to be my whole book review of Jon Acuff’s new book, Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters Start Night with Jon Acuff. Start Book by Jon Acuff. Start says Sami..

One word. Done.

The book is called Start. Jon Acuff wants you to Start. So why would I waste any more words than that when you don’t need to read about this book, you need to start acting as a result of this book!

I know, I know, you haven’t read it yet.

So what.

Why let that one little detail get in the way of stopping everything right now to pursue your dreams?

jon acuff start sami cone 300x268 Start Night with Jon Acuff. Start Book by Jon Acuff. Start says Sami.

I got to attend Jon’s “Start Night” back in February and I was marked by his not-so-subtle brand of humility, humor and, most notably, passion.

Of course, the night would not have been complete without Dave Ramsey himself chiming in. He gave us insight as to why he believes Jon has been so successful – and how anyone can mirror that success:
Be Grateful. Be Good. Be Hard-Working.

Dave’s endorsement of “Start” resonated with me:
It moves the needle in people’s lives. It’s the book for the under-employed, the unemployed…or those that with they were. Go from average to awesome!

Jon explained how to accomplish that last sentiment very simply:
There are two paths in life: the road to average & awesome. To get to average, do nothing. <To get to awesome> be the person you think you can be. – be your secret self.

The thing I like most about this book is that it moves you from inspiration to action.

So instead of telling you more of what I think, I’ll share what I know Jon wants you to do:

It’s time to punch fear in the face.
It’s time to escape average.
It’s time to do work that matters.

It’s time to START. 

 Start Night with Jon Acuff. Start Book by Jon Acuff. Start says Sami. Start Night with Jon Acuff. Start Book by Jon Acuff. Start says Sami.

Start won’t be released until April 22, but you can pre-order Start on Amazon.com right now

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Jackie Kendall’s “Raising a Lady in Waiting” released today – review & giveaway

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I don’t know if I’ve ever taken the time to properly introduce you to my spiritual mama, Jackie Kendall. But I couldn’t think of a better time to do so than with a review and giveaway of her latest book that releases TODAY: “Raising a Lady in Waiting“.

I met Jackie back in the late 90′s after a back injury ended my tennis career and landed me in south Florida working with MLB. As a single woman who hadn’t yet fully given her life over to Christ, I struggled in the environment. Knowing Jackie & her husband, Ken, had served as chaplains for some of the professional baseball teams, I turned to her for help before one of her speaking events.

Right before she was to take the stage, she marched me out to the lobby, handed me a copy of her original book (and best-seller!) “Lady in Waiting” and prayed over me.

To say that was a life-changing moment would be an understatement.

 Jackie Kendalls Raising a Lady in Waiting released today   review & giveaway

Jackie & I getting to speak together at Lifeway’s dotMom event last September.

This week, Jackie celebrates her 46th spiritual birthday as I celebrate my 13th. Yet I am equally amazed that today, decades after she wrote the book that played such a large role in altering my life and setting my heart on a path towards discovering God, she is now releasing a new book that will help me raise my daughter to do the same.

Raising a Lady in Waiting: A parent’s guide to helping your daughter avoid a Bozo, outlines four decades’ worth of Jackie’s candid experiences with mothers who are raising daughters to navigate the challenges of relationships in our world today.

“Kids are passing school while flunking in relationships”

I cannot stress this to you enough: it is never too early to start sharing the principles in this book with your daughter. I have begun to read it out loud with my eight year old and I am so thankful to have ‘Aunt Jackie’ to help me navigate concepts that otherwise could have been extremely difficult for me to tackle on my own as a mom.

Before this manuscript went to the publisher, Jackie sent me an advanced copy and asked if I’d be willing to endorse the book. I wanted to share that endorsement with you here because not only does it sum up how I feel about Jackie, but also just how important I believe this book to be:

“Raising a Lady in Waiting is a must-read for any mom – but then again, I would read the phone book if Jackie wrote it! Her style of hard-hitting practicality mixed with insightful biblical truth always challenges me. Jackie has taken her decades of Bible study, mixed it with the time-tested truth she laid out in Lady in Waiting and compiled them into an essential manual for EVERY mom. This book will never make it to my bookshelf; it will stay prominently positioned on my bedside table as a constant reminder and reference point in raising my daughter to be a Lady in Waiting! The best part: I know that as I guide my daughter through the principles in this book, I’ll be learning and growing myself! 

If you’d like to experience this book yourself with your daughter(s), or know someone who could benefit from its wisdom, you can enter to win 1 of 5 copies I’m giving away below. Or better yet, go ahead and just buy a copy for you and someone you love and start a mom/daughter book club to go through the book together!

Congratulations to Erin, Rose, Carolyn, Sherry, and Tracey for winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you want to take the next step, be sure to visit www.RaisingALadyInWaiting.com to join the movement!

What words of wisdom have you given your daughter (or plan to give her) about navigating relationships?

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It’s Book Week on SamiCone.com!

book week 2013 sami cone 300x225 Its Book Week on SamiCone.com!

Welcome to Book Week on SamiCone.com!

As it turns out, I’m blessed to know some AMAZING individuals who also just happen to be amazing authors. You know I regularly share my favorite books I’m reading on here, but this week, MANY people I know and love happen to have new books coming out! (Not to mention, there are a few that have come out in the past couple months that I just haven’t gotten around to sharing yet…)

So I’ve declared the week of April 15, 2013 Book Week here on SamiCone.com.

Come back everyday this week for a new post highlighting these fantastic reads. I’ll post links below as my book week posts go live (and some will even have giveaways attached to them!).

Book Week April 2013

Monday: The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill
Tuesday: Raising a Lady in Waiting by Jackie Kendall
Wednesday: Start by Jon Acuff
Thursday: Just Lead by Jenni Catron and Sherry Surratt
Friday: Beyond Ordinary by Justin & Trisha Davis
If you’ve read any of the books or have any of your own ‘must-reads’, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below…

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A Parenting Book Worth Reading: The Passionate Mom Book Review & Giveaway

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One of the first pieces of advice I give parents-to-be is this: Don’t read any parenting books!

But The Passionate Mom by Susan Merrill (director of iMom.com) is a parenting book worth reading…which is why I’m thrilled Susan offered me a chance to both review this book and offer a copy to giveaway to one of you!

Our parenting journey is just that…OUR journey. Which is why I usually tell new parents to stay away from all the ‘parenting manuals’ out there. While there are some fabulous reads, often they become a source of guilt and distraction rather than what they are meant to be, a source of help navigating one of the most important jobs most of us will ever have.

However, The Passionate Mom is much more than a manual; it is a thoughtful roadmap for how a passionate mom can parent almost any child…confidently.

And that is a key word, not only when it comes to parenting, but for life in general: confidence.

In fact, I was just listening to an old sermon from my Florida pastor, Dr. Tom Mullins, based on his book called The Confidence Factor. He mentioned an anonymous quote that stuck with me, “Confidence and courage come through preparation and practice.”

Did you hear that?

Parenting is not about perfection. This resonated greatly as I read a similar comment from Susan, “No mom can control her child’s future, but every mom can parent well.”

Just because we cannot control does not mean we cannot plan, prepare and practice. And I think no-one would be more surprised than Susan herself that she uncovered a parenting plan encompassing these principles based on the Old Testament book of Nehemiah.

In fact, Susan discovered a pattern of “P’s” in Nehemiah that provide the overall foundation for her book. I love how she showcases them right in the introduction of her book:

(Nehemiah) perceived the situation, he pondered every task, he was driven with passion to search for solutions, he prayed for direction, he patiently waited for opportunities, he methodically prepared to take action, he maintained his purpose, he developed the plan and he persevered through problems to the end.

The Passionate Mom, written by a mom of five, is such a worthwhile investment of your time, that I asked Thomas Nelson if I could give a copy away, and they agreed. So please take the time to enter to win a copy below or better yet, support my friend Susan and buy a copy from ThomasNelson.com right now! (You’ll also save 20% off when you click the link I provided).

Congratulations to Lindsey S. for winning a copy of The Passionate Mom!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and make sure to check back every day this week for more fabulous titles during Book Week 2013!

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Bob Goff brings Love Does to Nashville

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Part of me doesn’t want to let you know that Bob Goff (author of the incredible, two-sitting book “Love Does“) is going to be speaking in Nashville tonight because, selfishly, I’d love to be sitting front and center and pretend the two of us just happen to be chatting in a living room together.

But the passionate side of me wants to SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS (or at least the blogging equivalent to a rooftop) that you can here Bob Goff share his incredible stories for FREE tonight at 7pm at Trevecca Nazarene University.

I had heard of Bob Goff and seen his “UP”-like inspired book cover of “Love Does“, but didn’t know what all the hoop-la was about until recently.

The last time I was at Thomas Nelson for a meeting with my Tommy Nelson blogger team, I picked up a copy of “Love Does“. Last week during Spring Break, while one child was falling asleep on me, I plowed through half the book. First thing when I woke up, this time with a different child asleep on me, I ravenously finished the other half. (Hence the ‘two-sitting book’ description alluded to above…).

On one hand, I’m grateful to ‘meet’ someone that I can truly identify with – someone who’s brain goes 100 miles an hour and loves to meet Jesus through ‘ordinary’ people and everyday life experiences.

But more simply put, I was utterly inspired by someone who doesn’t just live life, but embraces every possible moment of it and sees every opportunity for what it is…an opportunity!

The difference between Bob Goff and most people is that he doesn’t just take time to strategize and plan and consider what could be done…he does it.

So I don’t care who you are or what you may be going through, I guarantee your life WILL be changed if you sit your rear end in one of those seats tonight at TNU (just don’t sit too long, because love doesn’t sit still very often icon wink Bob Goff brings Love Does to Nashville

And Bob, thank you for inspiring me, challenging me and, more importantly, returning my phone call. I promise we will have our trampoline adventure one day very soon…

I truly hope to see you there tonight. You can read more about my Tommy Nelson blog posts here.

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