BOOK FUN MAGAZINE - FREE READ

GIVEAWAY -CRESTON MAPES WINNER -TBCN CONTEST



CRESTON MAPES BIO: Creston Mapes has spent the past nineteen years writing in the freelance and marketing arenas for major corporations, colleges, and ministries nationwide. A graduate of Bowling Green State University with a BA in magazine journalism, Mapes’ impressive list of clients includes Coca-Cola, TNT Sports, The Weather Channel, Focus on the Family, Bell South, and The Urban Alternative, among many others.

Mapes’ extensive work in marketing copywriting for higher education has led him to work with more than 120 colleges and universities. He also served as creative director of Walk Thru The Bible, while under the leadership of New York Times bestselling The Prayer of Jabez author Bruce Wilkinson. With an early background in newspaper reporting and photography, Mapes’ feature stories have appeared in numerous magazines including Private Colleges and Universities, In Touch, Leaders for Today, The Hockey News, and Physician.

He has authored three books Dark Star, Full Tilt and Nobody which we are featuring here. Creston participated in a contest to spread the word about The Book Club Network (TBCN) to as many book clubs as he could! He worked magic and got five book clubs to join and set up their book club page at the network. GO CRESTON!! Thanks for catching the vision of TBCN and how it can be a great resource for authors to connect with book club leaders and for leaders to get to know them and their books.

How did you come up with the idea for Dark Star: Confessions of a Rock Idol? What was the working title for this book?

I bought my first rock album for $2 from my older brother when I was about 13, and from then on, rock n roll had a huge impact on my life. As a youth I was fascinated with rock stars, their wealth, influence, and music. In many ways, like many kids, I used rock music to express the many emotions I experienced while growing up, from love and hate to fear, rebellion, uncertainty, and hopes and dreams for the future.

After having made a living as a marketing freelance writer for many years, my freelance business slowed and I felt God prompting me to try my hand at writing fiction. Having become a Christian as a 28-year-old after many years of walking in rebellion—including extensive experience with alcohol and drugs--I sat down at the computer and pretended I was a mega-rock star, writing my memoirs.

The main character in Dark Star is Everett Lester, bad-boy lead singer for the mega-popular rock group, Deathstroke. After every attempt to find peace, contentment and satisfaction in his music, stardom, money, materialism and drugs, Everett finally turns to a personal psychic, Madam Endora Crystal, for solace. When Endora turns up murdered, Everett is charged with the crime.

Meanwhile, Karen Bayliss, a teenage girl from Topeka, KS, is led to pray for Everett, and even to reach out to him with the love of Christ by sending letters and gifts.

The story ratchets back and forth from Everett’s past to present circumstances. It is the type of high-speed thriller, with a spiritual premise, that I enjoy reading as a fiction lover. The original working title was, “The Memoirs of Everett Lester.”

Many of the book clubs where I go to speak, the ladies say things like, “I would never have picked up Dark Star in the book store, because of the cover…” I think visually it comes off as a bit dark, however, virtually everyone who reads Dark Star, and its sequel, Full Tilt, love the books and tell us they were touched by the stories. (This is a picture of me with the book club leaders of the Toccoa book club ladies, Katie Swiney and Melissa Childs)

We have heard from hundreds of people who’ve read and passed on the books to inmates, drug addicts, troubled teens, and the like. God gets all the credit as I try to use the gifts he’s given me to draw others closer to him.

How did you come up with the idea for Full Tilt, the sequel to Dark Star?

After Everett Lester’s life is changed by Karen Bayliss and God, he turns over a new leaf with the desire to touch the world for Christ with his music, but that journey is not going to be without trial. What would such a journey be like, in real life? Everett is still tempted by many things, plus, like it or not, he still carries baggage from his former way of life, including a meth-addicted nephew who is out for revenge and a brother who is steeped in a dangerous life of organized crime, which threatens to ruin Everett.

My editor on this book, Julee Schwarzburg, really stretched me, encouraging me not to make this some unbelievable, preachy fantasy and just another sequel. She challenged me to make Everett deal with some of the remnants and results of the sins of his past, as well as the trials and temptations he would most certainly face in his new life.

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? If not, how did you catch the writing bug?











Yes. I had a printing press as a kid and wrote and printed a neighborhood newspaper. An average student, I always did best on essay questions, where I could allow my creativity to make up for my lack of knowledge! I majored in magazine journalism in college and dreamed of being a feature writer for Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone. I lived that out to some extent in Dark Star, where a writer for Rolling Stone interviews Everett Lester for one of its cover stories!

What inspires you to write? What inspires you while you are in the writing process?

Although I have been writing professionally my entire career in newspapers, magazines and marketing copywriting, fiction writing is totally different for me. It is much more difficult and truly a “calling” I can’t really explain.





I guess what it boils down to is, I have been reconciled by God and now his hope for me is to lend a hand in reconciling others to him. He saved me and has promised me eternal life with him, instead of a life of judgment and hell. Was this because of anything I did? Not a thing. In his mercy he found me, a wretched sinner, and dragged me into his Kingdom of light. So, how am I to live? Well, he’s given me a gift of creativity and writing skill. So the cry of my heart is to write gritty, realistic stories, which, in many ways, reflect the life of rebellion I once lived, as well as the transforming power of Christ, which I have experienced.

Can you share some of your testimony with us?

I guess some people come to know Jesus Christ because of His incredible love for them. Some people grow up in the church and develop a relationship with Christ at an early age, never having had to experience a dark side of their lives. Me, I came to Jesus Christ because I had nowhere else to turn. I needed a crutch. I needed someone to carry me. I couldn’t go on by myself.

Up to 1986, my life had been one that could be summed up in the words that appeared on a T-shirt I owned a teenager. There was a skull and crossbones on that shirt. It read: “Sworn To Fun, Loyal To None.”

Although I attended church while growing up and knew the traditional Bible stories and the importance of Christ, my family did not outwardly acknowledge the Lord very much during the week.

I began drinking beer and smoking cigarettes at the age of 13 or 14. Shortly later, I began experimenting with marijuana, hash, and speed. Growing up, I loved the rock group KISS and plastered my room with their pictures. Songs like Hotter Than Hell and Cold Gin were my anthems. By the time I got to college, I lived for the weekends, which began Wednesday and didn’t end until Monday morning. I became involved in a fraternity that closely resembled National Lampoon’s Animal House.


The invisible hand of God kept me, somehow, up until 1986. He blessed me with a lovely wife, Patty, who is still my wife today and the mother of our four children. There came a point in 1986 when I had a new job in Atlanta, which was also a new city for us. I felt the weight of the world of my shoulders. Even though I was an adult now, the drinking and drug usage had not stopped. Weekends were a combination of alcohol, drugs, and party-bar scenes.
What bothered me more than the massive hangovers was the deep, empty void I felt inside. During a high-pressure business trip to Ft. Lauderdale, I had what I call an “out of body experience.” I didn’t feel like myself. I didn’t feel in control. I guess it may have been a minor breakdown. Somehow, God got me home to Atlanta. The daze continued over the weekend. I felt like I was in another body looking down on myself.

Monday morning, Patty made me go to the doctor. I had a complete physical, EKG, the works. The doctor summed up the condition as “stress.” He said he had a prescription that would help. I said, “No thank you. I’d rather not try the medication just yet. I think I know what I need; I need God in my life.”

That Sunday my wife and I attended church and I began to experience the love and power of God. Soon, my wife and I were baptized. By His grace, we’ve been walking with Him ever since.

How did you come up with the idea for Nobody?

After writing Dark Star and Full Tilt, the publisher suggested that my writing style might mesh nicely with a thriller set in Las Vegas. They sent me there for a three-day “research” visit, which was really fun. I rented a car and hit every part of the city, taking tons of notes as I went.

Before I left for the trip, I thought about making one of the main characters a homeless man, because I had read about the huge homeless population within a few miles of “The Strip.” Before leaving, I arranged to meet with a man who worked in Las Vegas with those in the homeless community. He was kind enough to take me to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, first-aid centers for the homeless, etc.

















I also met with Jud Wilhite, the young pastor of a mega-church in Henderson, NV, just outside Vegas. It was talking with Jud that the whole idea for Nobody came to fruition. You can get a good idea of the premise for this murder mystery by reading a poem Jud shared with me that day. It’s called I Stand by the Door. It was written by Samuel Shoemaker, one of the founders of AA, and it runs at the beginning of the novel. The whole idea is, sometimes we as Christians can get so deeply involved within the church that we forget the people outside who need God most. Here’s an excerpt from the poem.


I STAND BY THE DOOR
By Samuel Shoemaker

I stand by the door.

I neither go too far in nor stay too far out.

The door is the most important door in the world.

It is the door through which men walk when they find God.

There's no use in my going way inside and staying there

When so many are still outside and they, as much as I, crave to know where the door is

And all that so many ever find is only the wall where a door ought to be.

They creep along the wall like blind men with outstretched, groping hands

Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door, yet they never find it.

So I stand by the door.

The most tremendous thing in the world is for men to find that door -

The door to God.

The most important thing any man can do

Is to take hold of one of those blind, groping hands and put it on the latch …

Can you give us a sneak peek into what you are working on right now?

The working title for the new novel is Boy Lost, but my titles always end up changing! It’s the account of a young man who was unwanted by his parents and shunned by his classmates. As an adult, he gives in to the temptation to go back and find the one person who was ever nice to him. The only problem is, she is happily married and has two young daughters. Her husband is a reporter following the case of a missing pastor. In desperation and in search of true love and meaning of life, the lost boy invades the life of the girl who was once kind to him, and the results…well, you’ll find out more when the book hits the market!

(Nora - Sounds good Creston--Please let me know when this one is about to hit the book stores and I'll put out the word. Also sounds like a GREAT book club pick!)

QUESTIONS I JUST HAD TO ASK!

What did you want to be when you grew up?










Besides become a pro football player for the Oakland Raiders, a baseball player for the Cleveland Indians, and a race car driver like Mario Andretti, I actually wanted to be a creative writer. My mom still has a whole book I wrote and illustrated in fifth grade, Mrs. Thomas’s class.

(Nora - I wanted to be a race car driver too!! Believe it or not!)

What movie most impacted you as a child? Why?

When I was little, The Wizard of Oz had the most powerful impact, because the witch and monkeys scared me so colossally. I also remember crying my head off seeing Bambi trapped in the forest fire. I have fond memories of watching all of Elvis’s movies when I got home from school in the afternoons.









As I grew older, I got hooked on Clint Eastwood and followed him all the way from his spaghetti Westerns to Dirty Harry, Every Which Way But Loose, and on through to those he’s directed and starred in of late.


What are three everyday things you’d rather not live without?

Bible. Coffee. Fellowship.

Name two things you’d like to do before you die?

Visit Seattle, Portland and the Pacific Northwest. Write a best-selling novel.






If you could visit any place on the planet where would you go and what would you do?

It might just be to visit the Pacific Northwest, rent a car and see everything out there. I’ve been throughout the rest of the U.S., but something in me really longs to get out there. I think I would love it and want to stay. It just seems like my kind of…everything.

Or, it might be a trip to Europe and the Middle East to see where many accounts of the Bible took place.




If you had a chance to hang out with two people alive or dead (besides Jesus) for 48 hours, what two people would you pick and what would you do?

My Dad would be one. He passed away four years ago. I would love to just hang out with him for a few days at the beach, share some great food, get caught up, and let him know how very much I appreciate him.

(Nora -Great picture of you and your parents- thanks for sharing this Creston)
Another would be Peter or John or Paul. Can you imagine just getting the chance to hear them tell you face-to-face about Jesus, about His life and death and resurrection, and about what he meant to them, personally? That would be a life-changer.


What is a special quality, talent or event you’ve experienced that would surprise people? Please explain.

I’ll list several things here…

 Married the girl I loved in fourth grade; we have been married 26 years.












As a teenager, worked at a theater as an usher with 4-5 of my best friends and have always loved movies.





Also worked at a horse race track, driving the winning trainers to the winner’s circle in a golf cart!






Love watching hockey and, in fact, got a side job at the Gwinnett Arena here in Atlanta, where I work once every 3-4 weeks to see hockey, arena football, and some great concerts and entertainment.





Watercolor painting is a hobby of mine.

(Nora - Wow, Thanks for sharing this beautiful picture with us from your private collection, Creston. I had no idea you were this good!!)

Where can readers and book clubs find out more about you, your novels, and more?

My website is http://www.crestonmapes.com/

Your readers can also find me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001503001490#!/profile.php?id=100001503001490


ANY FINAL COMMENTS?

Yes, I've had the pleasure to learn from the best writers and meet some very special people. They have been so encouraging to me along with the book clubs I've spoken at. Here are a few pictures I'd like to share with you and your readers!!

Nora, Thanks for having me here and featuring my books at The Book Club Network http://www.bookfun.org/  I appreciate you getting the word about the books that are near and dear to my heart!


I'm standing with Mark Mynheir at the Dark Star advertisement,



I'm with Eric Wilson in the photo on the left, in  the middle photo with Randy Alcorn and Mark Mynheir, and in the last photo with Roxanne Henke and Deb Raney--I've been blessed to meet so many talented, hard working, encouraging authors. I could do an entire interview on talking about that!

Thanks again Nora!
Creston
 
Wow, Creston you sure have a tale to tell. Thanks for sharing with us today. I appreciate you giving  away TWO of your books with this interview. That's exciting!

You did speak to my book club when I started having it held inside the book store I work at. I had to share that picture. I HIGHLY RECOMMENTD that BOOK CLUBS call you Creston and have you speak to their group, if they are in the Atlanta area. We had so much fun. Hope you don't mind I put the word out to book clubs that I LOVED having you speak to our group.We really enjoyed your book NOBODY.

Blessings to you in your writing adventures, Creston

Nora :D


TO ENTER GIVE AWAY - MANDATORY - PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT About the interview for your name to be entered in the drawing for ONE of the three books that Creston has written -- your choice.


Be sure to leave your email address so that if you win I can contact you.

DRAWING WILL BE - OCTOBER 2nd.

For EXTRA CHANCES to win this book you can
1. Become a FOLLOWER of my blog (1) entry - please make a separate comment
2. Twitter about this interview and give away!! (1) entry - please make a separate comment
3. If you want to join The Book Club Network here is the link for your extra chance
http://www.bookfun.org/ (1) entry - please make a separate comment
4. Make a post on your blog about this contest (2) entries - please make a separate comment for each entry

Contest will end -- PLEASE REMEMBER to leave your email address so that I can contact you (Use (At) and (dot) so that peole won't be able to spam your email addres.

ALL THE BEST TO YOU

Blessings
Nora :D

********DISCLAIMER: Entering the give away is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws. Void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents, odds of winning depend on number of entrants *****


57 comments:

  1. What a great interview. I am so interested in reading this book. Thanks for the giveway. vidomich(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  2. This is a great interview! I have never read any of Creston's books, but they sound like they would be terrific to read. Thank you for the opportunity to win copies.

    homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

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  3. I am a follower of your blog :)

    homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

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  4. I am a member of TBCN :)

    homesteading[at]charter[dot]net

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  5. Everett Lester sounds like a great character. Id love to read "Nobody!!"

    ~Steph
    soklad@hotmail.com

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  6. Absolutely excellent interview.

    I am already a follower of your blog via email, and I think other ways as well.

    ~Steph
    soklad@hotmail.com

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  7. I'd love to read any of these! Thanks for sharing "I Stand By The Door"

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

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  8. I would like Nobody :)

    pinkdaddysgirl[at]msn[dot]com

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  9. I am a follower.

    pinkdaddysgirl[at]msn[dot]com

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  10. I am a member of the Book Club Network.

    pinkdaddysgirl[at]msn[dot]com

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  11. Oooh, I'd love to win one of Creston's books!
    Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

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  12. I became a follower. :) Ann_Lee_Miller@msn.com

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  13. Creston Mapes is a great author! I've loved all three of his books! Great and interesting interview!

    Sarah Anderson

    Harrypottergeeks19@yahoo.com

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  14. I really like Creston's books, so I really enjoyed this interview! Very interesting!
    Is the giveaway also open to Canadians? If so please enter me, thanks!
    Carolynn
    carolynnwald[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  15. I am a big time Creston fan. I have bought several copies just to pass on to others. I would love a free one to take with me to pass on to one of the inmates I counsel to.
    Trenthand9@aol.com

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  16. I've never read Creston's books, but they sound excellent. I enjoyed the interview.

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  17. I'm a follower.

    julesreffner(at)gmail(dot)com

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  18. Great interview...I loved Nobody! Would love to win one of the other books. Thanks Nora and Creston!

    Gail Mundy

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  19. Sounds great! I'd love to win one of these books.

    seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

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  20. I am a GFC follower.

    seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

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  21. Thank you for a great interview. I'd love to win one of these books.

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  22. Great interview!!! i would love to win any of them.Betsy Schaknowski

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  23. After reading this interivew I want to read some of Creston's books.
    sonflower277(at)gmail(dot)com

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  24. Great interview! I loved all three books. Once I started reading, I couldn't put them down. :)

    Debbie
    sunshineabound(at)aol(dot)com

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  25. Thank you for a great interview...Your books,Rock Star sounds wonderful and I can't wait to read it.. Reading your story reminds me that it doesn't matter what we have done, God is there for us..I wish my oldest would learn that. Thanks again and good luck with future books...
    Heidi
    heidijohnjeff@verizon.net

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  26. Wow! "Dark Star" and "Full Tilt" sound very intriguing, being that I'm a music lover myself. What a wonderful testimony too. Thanks for sharing Creston.

    info[at]amandadeed[dot]com[dot]au

    I am already a member of TBCN and about to become a follower of this blog! :)

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  27. The WIP, Boy Lost, sounds fascinating. Can't wait to read it.

    Erin Valentine
    evalent[at]rocketmail[dot]com

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  28. Enjoyed that Creston distinguished between his writing for magazines and articles, and his 'calling' for fiction writing.
    deepalipratap @ gmail.com

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  29. Please enter me in the giveaway.

    I am a new follower.

    justpeachy36@yahoo.com

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  30. I am a GFC follower.

    justpeachy36@yahoo.com

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  31. Great giveaway! I'd love to be entered.

    Please count me in. Thanks.

    avalonne83 [at] yahoo [dot] it

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  32. Wow Creston, You have proved you can give up your vices when you accept God and Jesus into your life. Young people today can look up to you as a role model. Thanks for stopping by to chat with us.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  33. I am an old FOLLOWER

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  34. Tweeted interview/give away(@misskallie2000

    http://twitter.com/misskallie2000/status/25449414821

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  35. would love to read this fabulous novel...thanks for the chance :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  36. great giveaway!! enter me please!!
    andiiblogs(at)hotmail(dot)com
    i make this for extra entries, i don´t know if it counts:
    http://mividaimpredecible.blogspot.com/p/concursos.html
    thanks for the giveaway!!
    bye

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  37. As the ladies told Creston Mapes during a visit, they would never have picked up the book because of the dark cover. I had the same impression, but after reading the excellent interview and synopsis of the story, I changed my mind as they did. I think this is a valuable story for many to read. Thank you for the giveaway and the chance to win. I hope I do.

    Sharing God's Love,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

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  38. I am a follower of this blog.

    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

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  39. I really enjoyed the interview. My husband went to BGSU for 2 years before transferring to Akron U. We'll have been married 25 years in December. I didn't meet him in 4th grade, but I met him when I was 14. I would really be blessed to win a book. They all look great but I'd like to read Nobody the most.

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  40. I'd love to be apart of this giveaway. I'm a follower.

    Tessaehall at gmail dot com

    Thanks!

    Tessa

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  41. I am not a follower of your blog. I just want the book :) but I did enjoy the interview and can relate most to Creston's story of how Dark Star came about.

    thehoustonians(at)gmail

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  42. I'm so embarrassed to acknowledge that I 'judged' his books to be sci-fi and didn't read the book blurbs. After reading about them on Book Club Network, I would love a chance to win them. Thanks.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

    I'm a follwer.
    Member of BCN.

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  43. I would love to win this book! Thanks for the chance!

    seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

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  44. I am follower!

    seizethebookblog(at)gmail(dot)com

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  45. Forgot to add I am a member of The Book Club Network.
    I also loved the Door and hope I can lead someone to the latch.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

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  46. Thanks for sharing so openly Creston. I have read all your books, heard you speak at book club meetings, and even attended the same church as you for awhile. I was naturally curious to see what you had to say, but did not expect to learn so many new and interesting things about you.
    Thanks Nora for asking the perfect leading questions.

    im4icur2@hotmail.com

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  47. Any book would be awesome!

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  48. I'm a follower.

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  49. I tweeted:

    http://twitter.com/aikchien/status/25767596097

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  50. I always love to hear how authors arrived at their story lines such as how you got the idea for Nobody.

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  51. Great interview...I really want to read your book..I've been following you on other blogs as well...thanks so much..Maybe this will be my lucky one...I REALLY REALLY WANT YOUR BOOK....I love the message you wrote about
    God Bless
    Heidi

    heidijohnjeff AT verizon DOT net

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  52. Hey guys,
    Thanks so much for all your interest and entries.
    Keep them coming!
    Creston

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  53. Creston, it was great when you visited our book club in Georgia. I loved 'Nobody', and I would love a copy of your new book.

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  54. Creston, Your books sound great and definitely ones that I want to read. I really enjoyed your interview as well. Thanks for the offer of a book.

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

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  55. I'm a follower

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

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  56. I enjoy bookfun.org

    Blessings,
    Jo
    ladijo40(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete