Speaking at JCHE this Weekend!!

Hello Everyone!!

Myself, my dad, and one of my publisher’s sons, John Calvin Young, are speaking at a homeschool conference in Clayton, NC, this weekend on Saturday!! My dad and I are speaking on “The Value of a Non-Academic Education” at Noon, and then I’m speaking on “How to Write a Book: A Homeschooler’s Journey to Becoming an Author” at 1:30pm. John Young is speaking on “Playing in the Big Leagues, Preparing for Academic Success in College” at Noon, and “Save The Future, Take Economics!” at 1:30pm. You can find more information about the homeschool conference and book fair here:

http://jchenc.org/BookfairWorkshops

My new book, “A Stand At Sinai,” will be available for purchase there, as well as many other new products from Great Waters Press. We’d love to see you there!!

 

Building a Pyramid out of Sugar Cubes!

Have you ever made a pyramid out of sugar cubes with your kids? If you’re looking for something fun and educational on your summer break, make this craft! It’s fun for all ages! Watch this 3 minutes tutorial below for a list of ingredients and instructions. You can pretend to be Jarah and Lemuel and Eitan while you’re building it, too! :-) Share your pictures of your new creations on my Facebook page!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGB3Wr6bQDU

 

 

“A Stand At Sinai” is Available for Pre-Order!!!

YES!!! You read that right! “A Stand At Sinai,” book 2 of “The Promised Land” series and sequel to the award-winning book, “A Cry From Egypt,” is now available for preorder!! Yay!!

We’re printing a limited number of galley editions right now!! Galleys are the first printed version of the book that we send to reviewers, other authors, endorsers, etc. While there might be a few typos or little things that we didn’t catch, it’s essentially the same as the final version of the book which will be available in Fall! We only have a few copies available to sell from these galley editions, so order now if you want to be guaranteed to be one of the first to read “A Stand At Sinai”!!! I can’t wait to know what you all think of it!!

Click on this link to learn more about “A Stand At Sinai” and purchase the book!

By the way… Right now shipping is FREE! And you also get a free bonus download of my writing workshop, “How to Write a Novel: A Homeschooler’s Journey to Becoming an Author.” Don’t miss out on this great offer from Great Waters Press!

And…. Here it is!! The cover!! :-D Doesn’t it look amazing? Mike Slaton, my homeschooled friend who illustrated “A Cry From Egypt” also illustrated “A Stand At Sinai”! Any guesses as to who is on the cover? :-)

 

Did the Exodus Really Happen???

Have your children ever asked you, or have you wondered yourself, did the Exodus really happen? Is there really evidence for the Israelites living in Egypt? Or for the Red Sea Crossing? Here’s a trailer for a documentary that I own, love, and have watched numerous times! It’s called “The Exodus Revealed: The Search for the Red Sea Crossing.” In this amazing movie, it shows archaeological and Biblical evidence to prove that the story in the Bible is more than a legend. It’s truth! I used this documentary to help fuel a lot of my research for both my first and second books! It’s engaging, exciting, educational, appropriate for all ages, and most importantly, it will help to build not only your faith, but the faith of all of your children! Please check out the trailer below and consider purchasing this amazing DVD for your family’s Biblical and historical studies!! You might want to check it out before “A Stand At Sinai” comes out, too! :-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7Nca0GxvMA

Poll Time!!

It’s been a long time since we’ve done a poll on my blog! So… Before my new book is released… Let’s do it! :-)

Who is your favorite character in “A Cry From Egypt”? And why? And who do you want to see more of in “A Stand At Sinai,” book two in “The Promised Land Series”?

 

Meet a Villain from Book Two of “The Promised Land Series!”

Meet one of the villains in “A Stand At Sinai”… The Horned Viper!! Snakes seem to keep popping up, don’t they? :-) Where does this little guy turn up? Well… You’ll just have to wait and see. :-)

Yes, I do have a fear of snakes. I really, really don’t like them. Which is why Jarah doesn’t like them now! :-) But when the opportunity came up for another snake scene for my second book, “A Stand At Sinai,” I just couldn’t resist! :-)

Here’s what this little guy looks like!

And you can learn more about this really cool snake at this link!:

http://www.whozoo.org/Intro2000/sabrinor/SDNdeserthornedviper.htm

“A Cry From Egypt” has been awarded “Christian Small Publisher 2014 Book of the Year”!!!

Yes!! You read that correctly! My book, “A Cry From Egypt,” received the “Christian Small Publisher 2014 Book of the Year” award!! Ahhh!!!! :-)

Thank you, thank you, thank you, THANK you so much to everyone who voted and who passed on the word about my book! I couldn’t have done it without all of you faithful fans and friends! :-) This is such a huge blessing to me, and to the Great Waters Press family, who now has two award-winning books in their catalogue! :-)

The crazy thing was that I really didn’t think I was going to win. I barely had any hope of receiving the award. I promoted it a ton on my blog and Facebook and other places when it was first announced, but I hate having to ask people to vote for things and didn’t push it too much. I meant to do another wave of posts on April 1st, when I suddenly realized (on April 1st!!) that the voting was closed!! No!!!!! Terrible planning on my part. :-P So I just assumed that I hadn’t received the award and blamed myself for it.

On Saturday night, my dad got a phone call from my publishers saying that they wanted to come by our house. Now, my publishers live over an hour away. They don’t just come by. I had no clue why there were coming. My first thought was, “This is either really, really bad, or really good.” Since we’re still working through the editing/publishing process with book 2, I prepared myself that this would be pretty bad. Either that, or they just wanted to bring me a contract or let me know that I’d been accepted by a big distributor or something. So I prepared myself for the worse and was really nervous. They didn’t get to my house until over one-and-a-half hours after they had originally called. At this point, my nerves were fried!!

Then all of a sudden the doorbell rang. I immediately jumped up to answer it. My publishers and their son came in, and Mr. Young had a purple folder in his hand. Mrs. Young was holding something behind her back, and told me to scoot away from the door so that I couldn’t see what it was. My mind was kind of in a whirl at this point, and I didn’t know what to expect or what to do. Mr. Young simply said, “We received this email today about your first book and we really thought that you needed to read it.” He said it with such a straight face!! I don’t think I even said anything. I just took the folder that he offered me and flipped it open. My heart was racing! And then I read this:

Congratulations!

A Cry From Egypt, Hope Auer, Great Waters Press,

has won the 2014 Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award in the Young Adult category!”

I still can’t remember how I responded. I think I gasped and screamed and said something along the lines of, “I got the award??” And my mom screamed. And my dad and brothers cheered. And my heart started racing in a completely different way and I had a hard time breathing. And I couldn’t stop smiling. :-) And my grandparents and aunt and uncle and cousin who were visiting for the night all ran up to congratulate me! And Mrs. Young presented me with flowers that she had been hiding behind her back. And I was laughing. Oh my goodness. Sometimes my heart still pounds thinking about it! To go from expecting the worse – or at least something not NEARLY as good! – to getting the best surprise of my LIFE!!

I want to again thank all of you for your votes and for spreading the word about my book! You all are so amazing! And I want to give a HUGE shout-out to my publishers, Hal and Melanie Young at Great Waters Press! They have worked SO HARD to get my book into the hands of so many people, and they worked hard to get it nominated for this award and get enough votes for us to win! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU everyone!! :-)

And finally, all glory and praise to God! This book is completely based off of His story, and as I’ve said before there were so many times that I know that He wrote through me. It was nothing I did of my own accord. It was all Him. Thank you, Jesus, for this wonderful gift to me! :-)

Click on the link below for the official announcement!

http://christianbookaward.com

Yep. That smile says it all! :-)

My publishers and I!

My publishers and my incredibly supportive and amazing parents. :-)

 

They Focused on Their Own Strength

Now that book 2 is at the publishers, I’ve started the outline of book 3! In doing so, I’ve been reading through Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, and Joshua. It’s really fun, but also really crazy all at the same time! Lots of books and lots of numbers and laws and details! :-)

I spent a long time on Numbers 13 in my Bible study. This chapter always makes me so sad. This is when the twelve spies went into the Promised Land to spy it out, and came back bearing news of giants and more people than they could count. Ten of the spies (and by the way… One of those ten spies is going to be very important in book 2! I can’t wait for you to meet him! :-) ) spread bad reports and anger and fear amongst the Israelites.

Only two out of the twelve spies, Caleb and Joshua, stood up for what was right.

Caleb said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it.”

How did Caleb know this? Because God had said in the beginning of the chapter, “Send out for yourself men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I am going to give to the sons of Israel.” (emphasis mine)

God had already said that He was going to give them the land! He would give them the strength, the power, and perform whatever miraculous signs He needed to in order to give them the land. What did the other ten spies say in response?

“We are not able to go up against the people, for they are too strong for us.”

Too strong for the Israelites, yes. But too strong for God? No way!! How did they so quickly forget that God had killed all the firstborn males in Egypt in one single night? Or all of the devastating, terrible plagues? Or the parting of the Red Sea? Or the incredible victory against the Amalekites? Or His display of power at Mt. Sinai?

But the Israelites are like us. We forget. We focus on our feelings and how inadequate they feel instead of what God has promised that He will do for us.

This is going to sound like a very random tangent, so bear with me here for a moment. :-) But I was studying this passage a lot last year when a big thing happened to make me realize that I wasn’t any better than the Israelites.

Last year I was an assistant pianist and acting coach in a modern-day play called “An Audience of One” with my acting group, Spiritual Twist Productions. The story was about two girls who had dreams of going to Broadway and were stars in their local high school. But when a new youth pastor comes to their church and starts talking about glorifying God with everything in their lives and doing “real musical theatre,” the girls lives are changed. The play is very funny, entertaining, but has so much truth about living holy lives devoted to the Lord and finding His will for our life. And since this was a modern play, it was also really hard to pull off the acting. After all, there weren’t really costumes or make-up to help us get into character. We had to become someone we weren’t, but in our normal clothes! It was hard!

Many of the characters – well really, the whole cast and crew! – where having a hard time “letting go.” We all prayed so hard, but yet we’re all perfectionists. We kept trying in our own strength, and we kept falling flat on our faces. We wanted to control our performance instead of giving it to God. We knew that His strength was sufficient for us, but we didn’t really believe it.

Finally, our director had us gather in a circle and we spent almost forty minutes as a cast and crew praying for God’s anointing, His Holy Spirit, and most importantly, His strength. We all finally let go of ourselves and our desires and our fears and our strength, and allowed God to fill us with His.

And He did.

He made the play more amazing than we could ever have imagined. But everyone will gladly tell you that it wasn’t us at all. It was all God. But God had to bring us to that breaking point of realizing that we couldn’t rely on our strength anymore. Instead, we had to rely on Him and His power and His Holy Spirit and His strength. The Israelites forgot that. And we forget that, too. Sometimes I feel like I forget that lesson and learn it again every single day!

I wish the Israelites had gone into the Promised Land the first time and not focused on what they couldn’t do, and instead focused on what God could do. But then, I guess we wouldn’t have learned this really important lesson about not trusting in ourselves. I hope this lesson encourages you like it encouraged me and the whole cast and crew at Spiritual Twist Productions. I guess we’re not much better than the Israelites, after all. :-)

 

Learning Egyptian Hieroglyphics!

Hello All!

Our family did this once in our homeschooling on a field trip to the museum, and it was so much fun! We figured out what our names were in Egyptian hieroglyphics! It’s really fun to learn how to draw the different figures and how to stack them and write them. It makes a great educational craft for your homeschooling, especially as you’re studying Ancient Egypt!

This link has the basic hieroglyphics for the different sounds made in English! It also has an idea for making your own “cartouche,” or Egyptian name tag. It’s really fun and easy!

My name in hieroglyphics is a twisted rope, a chick, a blanket, and a falcon! But since the chick can make more of the “o” sound, I could really leave off the falcon if I wanted to. It just looks nicer! :-) What are your names in Egyptian hieroglyphics?

http://www.kidzone.ws/cultures/egypt/hieroglyph.htmhttp://www.kidzone.ws/cultures/egypt/hieroglyph.htm

Big News!!!

Hello Friends!

I have two really big and exciting announcements!!

First of all…. The moment you’ve been waiting/praying for…. BOOK TWO HAS BEEN SENT TO THE PUBLISHERS!! We don’t have an official release date yet because my publishers are still reading/reviewing it and haven’t even approved it yet! But the fact that the book is completed and sent out is a huge praise and is so exciting! We’ll keep you updated further about new developments and about the release date!

Secondly…. My first book, “A Cry From Egypt,” has been nominated for the Christian Small Publisher’s Book of the Year in the Young Adult Category!!! This is such a huge deal and is so exciting!!! However… In order to receive this prize I need your help. You have to vote for my book! It’s really, really easy to do! Go to this link, fill in your name and email address at the top of the ballot, and scroll down until you see my book on the right-hand side of the screen. Click the little circle next to my book, go down to the bottom of the page and hit “Submit Votes,” and you’re done! It’s that easy! It only takes two minutes!

Please go to the link below to vote for “A Cry From Egypt” and please share this with your friends and family! There’s some heavy competition out there for this award, and it would mean so much for me to receive it! Thank you so much, friends, for all that you do!

Hope Auer

http://www.christianpublishers.net/14votes/