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Tara Alemany, Author and Speaker

Genesis 17: 4-6

As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.

Genesis 17: 4

According to my concordance, “Abraham” literally means “exalted father.” Yet when when God promised Abram that he would make him the father of nations, I can only imagine what Abram must have thought. He was a faith-filled man. He trusted God. He’d left his home and family to travel where he was told to go, and he’d expectantly waited for he and his wife Sarai, to have children. Years had gone by. The new land, they’d found. But this? Thus just seemed impossible!

Yet his faith prompted him to wait on God, to eagerly anticipate the fulfillment of the promise, even to the extent of becoming circumcised at the age of 99, along with every male in his household, as a sign of the covenant God had made with him.

God’s promise to Abram, now Abraham, wasn’t fulfilled right away. The vision took years before all of the pieces were in place for Isaac to be born. Yet God was at work, fulfilling his promise during all of that time, and Abraham did his best to remain faithful during the wait. Read More

Tara Alemany, Author and Speaker

The Vine and the Gardener

I wanted to write this month about new life, about rebirth. As we’ve already mentioned, it’s Carol’s birthday this week. And life is something to be celebrated, not just once a year, but every day. It’s when we wait to say how much someone means to us that we risk the possibility of waiting too long.

Yet, as I was doing my research for this devotional, I was reflect on the winery that I enjoy working at. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but there’s powerful imagery here that I’m still dwelling on, hoping it will shape itself into some kind of coherent teaching lesson or article. Who knows?

Many of us are familiar with John 15:5. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Less familiar, perhaps, are the verses that lead up to it. In it, Jesus talks about the work of the gardener, before the vine can bear fruit. I know from firsthand experience that when a new vine is planted, it goes through many difficulties that must feel unnatural to it. Read More

Tara Alemany, Author and Speaker

Jonah 2:8-10

Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, “Salvation comes from the Lord.”

Jonah 2:8-10

The recurring theme of the day yesterday seemed to always come back to gratitude. Early in the day, I was asked, “How do you create and maintain optimism?” This led me to reflect on my own practices that give me encouragement and hope, all of which stem from seeking God’s leading for my life and this day.

Later in the day, I was again, “What’s one piece of spiritual wisdom you’ve learned from times of difficulty?” It’s to be aware of all of the blessings He’s given to me. Sometimes they seem small and inconsequential, and yet they can still be deeply touching once you stop and actually see them.

I had a friend who died years ago. Some of you will remember him from this church. His name was Rudy Gerger. Rudy always had a song in his heart and a smile on his face, and almost every conversation with him ended with “Have a grateful day.” His words still echo regularly through my ears. I even sometimes take a chance and use his signature parting words. Read More

5-Star Readers' Favorite Review Rating for The Best is Yet to Come

“The Best is Yet to Come” Received a Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Rating!

5-Star Readers' Favorite Review Rating for The Best is Yet to ComeEarlier this month, I received notice that The Best is Yet to Come received a 5-star review rating from Readers’ Favorite!

I can’t tell you how pleased I was to receive this recognition, and to be thanked by the reviewer, Anne Boling, for allowing her to review my book.

As a writer, it’s always a bit unnerving to put your work out there, and hope that others see what you see in it.

Anne’s closing words make it all worth it though…

Beautifully written, this book will inspire the reader to search their soul.

To read the full review, visit Readers’ Favorite here.

Tara Alemany, Author and Speaker

Proverbs 19:21

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 19:21

I’m all for planning.

When I work with my clients, we create plans. Marketing plans. Editorial calendars. Content strategies. Sales projections. Lots and lots of plans.

As a Mom, I find myself doing the same thing. Who needs to be where, and when? How will I manage to be 3 places at once, or who’s drawing the short end of the stick this time?

It’s always something… My ever-growing To Do lists reflect that.

I’ve actually begun to nervously wonder if the next time I update my will I should leave at least one or two of them to someone; just to make sure they don’t get forgotten. Read More

Unicorn Writers Conf Faculty Badge

Unicorn Writers Conference in Portland, CT

I’m thrilled to be a faculty member for the 5th annual Unicorn Writers Conference this year, being held on March 22nd (this Saturday). I just learned that this year’s conference is completely sold out. How exciting! With over 300 attendees and faculty members, it should be a great learning experience for all involved.

If you haven’t heard of this event before, I strongly recommend you mark you calendars and make every effort to attend next year. It’s organized and hosted by Jan Kardys, President of Black Hawk Literary Agency, and is held each year at St. Clements Castle in Portland, CT.

Their stated mission is:

Unicorn Writers Conference mission statement

 

With a wealth of literary agents, editors and successful authors there to speak with, I’ll be somewhat of a needle in a haystack focusing on how to market your book and grow your social media following.

The keynote speaker for the event is Andrew Gross, the author of the New York Times and international bestsellers 15 Seconds, Eyes Wide Open, The Blue Zone, The Dark Tide, Don’t Look Twice, and Reckless. He is also the coauthor of five number one bestsellers with James Patterson, including Judge & Jury and Lifeguard. His books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages.

If you’re already registered to attend, be sure to find me and say “Hi!”

There’s still time to schedule a one-on-one session with me too to evaluate your social media presence. Sessions need to be scheduled in advance and cost $50, but you’ll walk away with a clear understanding of the Top 5 things you can do to improve your social media effectiveness and grow your platform. If you’re interested in reserving a spot for yourself, e-mail the booking coordinator and she’ll help you pick the right time for you. There are only 5 spots left with me, so don’t delay!

Tara Alemany, Author and Speaker

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

Have you ever felt like God is trying to get your attention? Perhaps you keep hearing the same phrase, or having different people tell you the same thing. Or maybe, during your prayer time, it seems like God keeps telling you something that you’re just on the verge of understanding, but not quite there yet.

I’ve been going through some tough things recently. It seems like there’s never enough money in the bank, time in the day, gas in the car, food in the fridge… Well, you get the idea… There’s just one of me and suddenly way too many things clamoring for my attention.

At the same time, I have one teenager who’s been conscientiously reminding me that there are only 18 more months until she leaves home for school. And there are so many things I still want to teach her before she launches out into the big wide world.

Then there’s my son’s upcoming birthday. I’m seeing him become a young man before my very eyes, and wondering whether I’ve taught him enough to be a good husband to someone some day, or what’s missing that his future wife will lament I never taught him? Read More

Tara Alemany, Author and Speaker

The Christian Authors Show Interview with Tara Alemany

The Christian Authors ShowHave you enjoyed reading The Best is Yet to Come? Or are you interested in learning more about it?

The Christian Authors Show is airing an interview with me all day today! It’s only available online today, so be sure to tune in if you’re interested in hearing the episode.

To listen to it, simply go to TheChristianAuthorsShow.com.

Tara Alemany, Author and Speaker

Philippians 3:13-14

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14

As with the start of any new year, we tend to focus on New Year’s resolutions. What are the goals we want to set for the year ahead? What will it take to get there?

As writers, do we even have resolutions? The inspiration for today’s devotional comes from Paul’s statement to the Philippians about pressing on toward the goal.

In each one of our hearts, God has placed thoughts, inspiration, and wisdom. His intent is for us to share what He’s teaching us and what we’ve learned. But if we don’t take the time to write down what He’s sharing with us, it may be lost forever. As time passes and we grow older, memories of days gone by fade and lose their meaning. Read More

The Best is Yet to Come by Tara R. Alemany, cover image

Why I Decided to Give My Book Away for Free

The Best is Yet to Come by Tara R. Alemany, cover imageMy latest book, The Best is Yet to Come, was released by WestBow Press in November, and I couldn’t be happier. While this is my fifth title, it’s the most personal one for me. We’re not supposed to tell the children which one we like the most, because we love them all equally, right?

Well… Let’s just say that this one has more of me invested in it than any of my other titles.

While this story comes across as an autobiography, the lessons that I learned while overcoming the death of my fiancé are woven into the fabric both of our story and the book. Digging Deeper sections allow the reader to internalize the lessons themselves, so that they too can process whatever loss or grief they are carrying.

Writing the book was cathartic for me, and hopefully helpful for my reading audience. From what readers have been telling me so far, they can’t put it down once they start.

I know similar things have been said about the related talk that I give, “Finding the Gift in Grief.” People are riveted by the story, and drawn into the lessons.

I know that my intent has always been that everyone touched by this message leave with this thought echoing in their heart and mind… The Best is Yet to Come!

So… Why give the book away? It’s simple really… Giving it away is not a forever kind of thing. I’m only doing it for a short period of time.

However, my publisher, WestBow Press, is the self-publishing arm of Thomas Nelson, a world-leading Christian publisher. When the Director of Publishing Services at Thomas Nelson wrote to welcome me to the family, he had this to say:

We consider WestBow Press to be our “farm club” (to use a baseball analogy), and we look at several factors when considering which titles to call up to the Nelson imprint. We monitor sales of all WestBow Press titles and combine that data with other information, including Amazon rank and reviews, Twitter and Facebook reputation (Klout score), and author platform and commitment (speaking, marketing, etc.). Once a title seems to warrant consideration, the primary determinative factors are the quality of the book and the level of projected sales.

So what does that mean for me? The simple starting point is this. The book is available for purchase from the publisher, from this site and from Amazon, as well as from your local bookseller. But let’s face it…

Until I can afford to offset print the book, the majority of the print-on-demand sales will take place on Amazon. And some of the driving forces for success on Amazon is your category ranking and the number and quality of reviews.

So, if I draw a map of where I am now (a new listing with minimal activity thus far) to where I want to be (picked up as one of Thomas Nelson’s 2014 titles), I need to plan my route to get to my desired destination.

Increasing my visibility in the Amazon search rankings, boosting my category rankings, and increasing the number and quality of my reviews are key parts of a multi-faceted marketing campaign.

In doing my research, a new site called StoryCartel appeared on my radar. Co-founded by Jeff Goins, whom I interviewed on my Aleweb blog last year, it’s an ideal site for finding people eager to leave honest reviews of good books.

Once I have a solid number of quality reviews, I’ll be scheduling a book launch to drive sales and increase my category rankings.

Add to that the other activities I’m involved in, like book signings and author talks, as well as my continued engagement in social media circles, and I’m hoping to realize a dream here. The dream of helping as many people as possible find hope and healing after a significant loss, just as I have.

How can you help? Please download your free copy of The Best is Yet to Come from StoryCartel during this limited time offer, and leave an honest review on Amazon and elsewhere when you’re done.