Blog

Check Out My New Website! And Don't Miss the Giveaway!

Welcome to my redecorated blog which is now connected with my brand new website! Hurray! Time to party!

Even though at first appearance, my blog seems to be just another page of my website, if you look at the blog URL, you'll see it's still a Blogger Blog. My digital media management team, PulsePoint Design, was able to integrate my website and blog together so seamlessly they appear as one, and you don't have to worry about changing the URL in your bookmarks:)

And that’s only one of the many fantastic things that excite me about my new cyber home! Probably the thing I'm most thrilled about is having a place readers can go. Sure, they can come to my blog too. I've poured my passion about writing into my blog, and while readers may enjoy hearing about my writing journey, not everyone likes to comment or participate in the discussion.

So, now I'm super excited to have my website for my home base, the place where I can offer more to everyone. It's my hope people won’t stop with just browsing my website pages, but will connect with me in one of the ways they’re most comfortable—whether that’s leaving a note on my Facebook Page, a tweet on Twitter, an email, sign up for my newsletter, or a comment on my blog. I don’t respond to blog comments unless it’s a question, but I do try to chat with people over on Twitter and Facebook!

During the process of developing my website here are a few things we took into consideration, things that every writer should think about:

Decorate the Website to Reflect Our Uniquenesses:

I don’t write a specific type of historical that could easily be classified as Western or Prairie or Victorian. So, we steered away from an online brand that might box me in.

Instead we looked for colors and styles that reflect my heart and personal tastes, similar to the way I’d decorate my home. In fact, PulsePoint's creative director, Kelli Standish, even asked for pictures of my living and family rooms to help her get a feel for my style. They were able to make my website an extension of me, just as if they’d come into my home and added on an office.

Highlight the Things Most Important to Us:

Because social media is an important aspect of my writing career, the PulsePoint team made a specific point of including links to my sites in the header of the website. No matter what page of the website someone is on, my links are accessible. My blog is also a key part of my identity, and so Kelli put a feed for my blog front and center on my home page. I also really like visuals, so we included lots of pictures throughout the site.

Offer Something to Visitors:

Ultimately we don’t want our readers to come to our site once and then never return again. We desire to have an ongoing relationship with people. Part of making that happen is offering them more than just a picture of our books and a bio about ourselves.

Kelli and her team were great at encouraging me and giving me ideas for what I might include on my Reader and Writer Pages (check them out). She helped me realize my site isn’t so much about me as it is FOR others.

So, in honor of my new website and as a way to say thank you to everyone for your support and encouragement, I’m doing a giveaway! No strings attached—you don’t have to sign up for my newsletter or be a follower or tweet ten times or anything like that! Of course, you can if you want, but it’s not required!

I’m giving away a $25 Amazon gift card OR a free critique of the first 15 double-spaced pages of a manuscript. All you need to do is leave a comment on this post by Friday July 30 at midnight EST. I’ll do a drawing and post the winner next Monday Aug. 2. *Offer void where prohibited.

So, leave your email address and tell us what you're bringing to the house-warming party! Time to celebrate!!

P.S. Come back Friday and I’ll share why I chose to have my website professionally designed as opposed to doing it myself.

136 comments:

  1. Great new design! It looks fabulous :)

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  2. Hi there!

    Shortstorybook.net is organizing a short story writing contest.

    We do think that you too might have a marvelous story to tell, one that is your own! So if you can compose it in not more than few words, we would want to hear from you. Also, you stand a chance to get your story published on our site and win cash prize of USD 100.

    “Then what are you waiting for? …put on your thinking cap and get writing. For registration and other information check - http://bit.ly/short-story-contest-2010

    Happy writing!

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  3. WOW Jody! I love the new blog look! So fantastic. We must both be on the same wave length lately about branding blogs. That is what prompted my do over and I went through all those pointed that you listed.

    Please enter me into your comp. That would be very cool to win. :)

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  4. The design of the blog looks great.

    Fantastic giveaway! Count me in thanks.

    k_anon[at]hotmail[dot]co[dot]uk

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  5. Looking good, Jody :) Of course, I expect nothing less from the amazing Kelli Standish and her PPD team :)

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  6. Congratulations! This blog looks fantastic. Of course I'll keep following. I find your posts helpful and encouraging. Great job!
    M.J.

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  7. HEY! LOVE IT!
    And I love your picture!

    I'm bringing a work of original art to your house-warming party!
    Probably one of Natalie Wetzel's!

    It'll add color and vibrancy and life, though you've already lots of that.

    Will have to share some news with you soon.

    In the meantime, Cynthia Ruchti's at my place. Stop by and wave!!

    Blessings and congrats! May this site honor God!
    Patti

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  8. Love the new look! The header is beautiful. Great job.

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  9. I LOVE IT!!!! This is so exciting, Jody. I can't even express in little ol' blogger comment how excited I am. Your new site is absolutely beatiful! PulsePoint really captured you on your site. Congratulations.

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  10. I LOVE IT!!!! This is so exciting, Jody. I can't even express in little ol' blogger comment how excited I am. Your new site is absolutely beatiful! PulsePoint really captured you on your site. Congratulations.

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  11. Great makeover! Love the header. Wine is a must at any house-warming party. Cheers and congrats.

    salarsen71(at)gmail(dot)come

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  12. Oh how fantastic! I just love the look. So colorful and warm. *cue envy look and music* I'd love to win a critique. Especially with the skill and passion you have for writing and editing. Love the site. Love the help you offer. Keep it coming. :)

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  13. This looks awesome!!! I know you've been excited about this. Yay!!

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  14. Beautiful new site! So glad they were able to infuse them together so no one gets lost.....

    Great giveaway to celebrate!!
    estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

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  15. Aaaaahhh!!! I love it!! I just went through every page and I got goosebumps!! It's so pretty and organized. And no, I didn't know that Christmas was forbidden by the Puritans for a time!

    I love it, Jody. The header, the colors--everything--it's just you!!

    Congratulations!

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  16. Jody...your new "home" is lovely...and very well put together!:-) I really like the header, with the woods and wildflowers in the background.

    Love the picture of the children! For the first time, I couldn't tell the twins apart!

    Regarding the sock mystery...my money is on the dog.

    Can't pass up a chance to win an Amazon gift card...or to say Hi! Have a great day.:-)

    Betsy
    sevenforheaven@sbcglobal.net

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  17. Jody, It's beautiful. Truly.

    I absolutely love trees. It puts me at peace. Hip. Hip. Hooray!
    ~ Wendy

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  18. Jody, this is one of the prettiest blogs I have ever seen. The colors are wonderful--my favorite. I love your photo in the header. There's not one thing I would change. Love it.

    Teresa

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  19. Love the new layout and the photo of you in the header is perfect. This is very inviting and friendly, while also looking very professional.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  20. Love the new design. Love the background of the photo - sunlight three the trees, the purple flowers everywhere. Very serene.

    thmanor1comcastnet

    S

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  21. beautiful new website. I've enjoyed your thoughts for awhile.

    malikneela[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  22. Wow Jody..your website looks amazing.
    Your photograph is lovely and the backdrop serene and beautiful:perfect for writing. Congratulations on your new website. I wish you loads of luck.

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  23. Absolutely gorgeous picture, and the colors on the site are perfect for the overall effect. Very nice!

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  24. I love the design, Jody! Seems to fit you well. Congrats!!

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  25. Very nicely done!

    DreamyCowgirl@hotmail.com

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  26. I love the new look, it's gorgeous! I have some questions about the website-as-published author thing. (Feel free to ignore them.)

    I've never done a "who is" look up on my favorite author websites, because I feel that's too stalkerish, but I've always wondered, who's name and address would come up? The author's? The publisher? The web designer?

    When you're a published author and decide to get a website, is that something that publisher is heavily involved in? Do they have a recommended list of designers? Do they do it in house? Or do you just look at websites you like and decide on the designer that way?

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  27. It's just beautiful, Jody. All of it!

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  28. Ooooooooo, fabulous! PulsePoint did an amazing job! And don't you look beautiful!!!

    I'm bringing some huge bouquet of flowers...tulips, daisies, roses, you name it. I hope you don't sneeze with allergies! ;)

    Congratulations!!!!!

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  29. Beautiful! Just beautiful! Like you.

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  30. Very pretty website, Jody! I would bring a vase to your housewarming in case you're tempted to pick those bluebells.

    I think I need the critique more than the gift card!

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  31. I absolutely LOVE your website. So beautiful. And the reader fun page was really fun; loved the 1600s trivia.

    What a neat idea to give away some critique advice on your giveaway. I could handle winning Amazon credit too! So, sign me up for that.

    I can't wait for your book to come out; I've already pre-ordered my copy!!

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  32. Woooohoooohoooo!! I would looooove an Amazon gift card. :)

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  33. It's beautiful! Congrats!

    I'm bringing chocolate!

    motleyjm (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  34. The website is amazing and you, my friend, are STUNNING!! I'm so happy for you I could pop - but then that'd get messy - so I won't, I'll just stand on my office desk and scream. :)

    Sure why not - enter me :)
    jamida(at)charter(dot)net

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  35. Wow, Jody! LOVE your new look! Gorgeous!It looks like you're sitting in the woods in Narnia. *smile*

    Congrats on a professional yet warm and welcoming new site. Well done, Pulse Point!

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  36. Ooo, look at the shiny new website! That header is stunning. I congratulate you by bringing virtual cheese to the party :)

    sarahmullengilbert (at) gmail (dot) com

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  37. This is Sooooo beautiful, Jody! I LOVE the colors, especially the blue background. Gorgeous.
    I'm off to explore, but first let me set my humongo boxes of Godiva down somewhere. Where do you want them? *grin*
    Def. enter me. I'd love a crit.

    jessica_nelson7590 at yahoodotcom

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  38. Jody, your new site is beautiful! It's perfect. You must be so excited! I can't wait to read your novel!

    I've brought homemade chocolate chip cookies to your housewarming party. Here, have some! ;)

    LauraMStine@gmail.com

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  39. Hi Jody,
    Isn't Pulse Point fantastic? They did my site too and I love it. I've got to ask you and the team how you transferred your followers?
    I didn't think that was possible. Good to know. Will make my life easier. :)
    Wonderful site. It really captures your essence beautifully. Congrats.

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  40. Beautiful site. So inviting and cozy. Makes me want to curl up with a cup of tea and stay for a chat. No wonder your blog is one of my top blogs to check on a regular basis.

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  41. *waves*
    I think the site is just beautiful! Kudos!

    Question: in the giveaway, will you be willing to critique a short story?

    Again, the site looks great

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  42. Congratulations, Jody, it's wonderful! Yes, please, enter me in the contest!

    bethmann15 [at] yahoo [dot] com

    Off to explore! :)

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  43. Fabulous, Jody. The look and feel seem to be so You. Good luck with everything...
    Karen

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  44. Beautiful site!

    I would find out your favorite drink - whether that's coffee, wine or lemonade - and bring that to the housewarming.

    JanetOberholtzer [at] gmail [dot] com

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  45. I love the look. It's beautiful and peaceful and very welcoming :)

    Housewarming parties always need some good dip and chips, right? We make this chili/cream cheese/cheddar cheese thing for tortillas. mmm... :)


    sonshinemusic(at)gmail(dot)com

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  46. Beautiful and timely, and I'm turning over ideas for what I want out of a website right now! :)

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  47. Hi Jody,

    I love the new look. Your blog has always been a great source of information and this is a great new format to enjoy it in.

    Suzanne Santillan

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  48. What a great contest, Jody! You're such a giver. Your website is great - so full of useful content. Thanks for all you do for those of us beginning.

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  49. Love the new website! Let's see, for the housewarming party I'd probably bring some cookies or brownies. I like to bake!

    Blessings
    Michelle V
    michellevasquez2001[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  50. Hi Jody. I really like your website design. Your bio is great: short and packed full of information. Great photos, too!

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  51. Your website is GORGEOUS, Jody! Congrats!

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  52. The website looks great, I really like the color schemes you have and the watermark-ish scroll in the background. Congratulations!!!

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  53. Wow! I love your new page; it's gorgeous! Is the forest in the background just a picture or did you actually get to go there? I'd be so jealous if you did.

    lima_bean_13[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  54. Wow, this is incredible. The makeover is just perfect for you, and it looks so professional. Nice job!

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  55. wonderful new design. I look forward to taking the time to explore your new site. Great work Jody.

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  56. Beautiful design! Congratulations! Will keep following and checking it often!

    gabrielalessacarvalho at gmail dot com

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  57. As many others have said, "love the new blog page!"
    I have read a number of your, helpful, posts and will continue to do so. Keep up the great work, with helping new writer, like myself, everywhere. :)

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  58. It really is gorgeous. Congrats!

    lchardesty at yahoo dot com

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  59. Congratulations! I especially appreciate your heart for encouraging other writers. I think that's called "passing the blessing along."

    I'm a first-time visitor, working-from-home mother of four boys (20, 17, 11, and 4), and a weekly columnist. Dreams galore...

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  60. I loved your previous look but this is even better... perfectly suited to be the online home of Jody, the Published Author. It's very professional but still warm and inviting. PulsePoint did a fantastic job.

    My raspberry coffee cake is just out of the oven. As soon as it's cool enough I'll bring it along to your house-warming. :)

    (Loved your post on The New Author today, too.)

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  61. Congratulations on your lovely new website and blog! Absolutely reader/writer friendly. I believe you & your PulsePoint team hit a homerun! Looking forward to stopping in often. Blessings to you!

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  62. Jody, the new design looks fabulous! From the layout to the colour combinations to the fonts and header picture, it's really classy and professional. Very nicely done...

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  63. Congratulations, Jody!
    Beautiful job on the new website. I do believe I'll give PulsePoint a call. I've been planning a redo of my blog to coordinate with a new website design. Looks like a winner!
    Many blessings,
    Susan
    panzica(dot)susan(at)gmail(dot)com

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  64. Gorgeous new design, Jody! I am keeping Kelly's site bookmarked for when I need my website created!

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  65. To help you celebrate, I am leaving you with a witty, brainy quote.

    "There is a woman at the beginning of all great things."
    - Alphonse de Lamartine

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  66. Jody, I love love love your page! ;) outstanding, and so perfectly an expression of you!! ;) I am so happy for you -- I don't want to leave the page without sending you a virtual congratulations hug! Many blessings to your expanded writing space. You totally deserve the best! You offer so much value to us your readers, and I appreciate you so much! Enjoy your new home and know that we are all celebrating with you! luv Jenn

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  67. It all looks wonderful! Makes me think professional designers are the way to go. Congratulations. :)

    Housewarming gift? Flowers for sure. :) Roses probably, to go with your sleep new look.

    rjljohnson(dot)janet(at)gmail(dot)come

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  68. Jody, congrats! I am so excited to see your beautiful new website!

    It's one more step towards the big release day...I'm rooting for you. :-)

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  69. Wow, it looks GREAT! So do you :D

    That pic at the top is beautiful!

    It looks like you could just pull out your notepad and just start writing :D

    I like it :)

    Congratulatons!

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  70. Love it! Excellent. Professional all the way. My son is doing mine. He's studying this in college. Still had to pay him though. DANG IT! ;)

    I love you Jody and wish you all the congrads anyone ever could. Can't wait to saturate my mind and heart in your book. :)

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  71. Jody, I love the new look of your blog and your advice for making it your own.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  72. Suzi McGowen asked: When you're a published author and decide to get a website, is that something that publisher is heavily involved in? Do they have a recommended list of designers? Do they do it in house? Or do you just look at websites you like and decide on the designer that way?

    My Answer: Suzi, those are some great questions and I could use a whole post to answer them! Instead I'll try to be brief!

    My publisher wasn't involved in my website at all. They encouraged me to get one, but it wasn't part of a contract or anything like that. And it's not something they generally do for their authors. Authors usually have to take responsibility for all the costs and efforts of a website.

    For lots of reasons (which I'll mention in Friday's post), I decided to hire out my website, instead of designing my own. I had to do all of the research myself, checking other author sites, finding the ones I liked and then narrowing down which design companies I liked best. Of course my publisher encouraged me to look at other Bethany House authors sites and even gave me some ideas. But ultimately they left the decision up to me, because I'm the one that has to pay the cost, do the work, etc.

    After I narrowed down my top two, I contacted them both. And in the end I went with Pulse Point!

    Hope that answers your questions!

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  73. Beautiful and well done. Look forward to reading your book when it comes out.

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  74. Congrats, Jody! The site is just beautiful!

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  75. TS Tate asked: Question: in the giveaway, will you be willing to critique a short story?

    My Answer: Sure! I write novels, but many of the basic fiction writing techniques are the same. If someone wanted a short story critique, I'd be more than willing to offer them my best!

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  76. Lyla asked: Is the forest in the background just a picture or did you actually get to go there?

    My Answer: It's just a picture, so you don't have to be too jealous! :-)

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  77. Love the new look, especialy the picture at the top!

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  78. Your new website is absolutely gorgeous! What a blessing this will be for others. Can't wait to see what comes next for you!

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  79. I would bring doughnuts to the party, but my doctor says I should cut back. How about a cyber veggie platter?

    wmussell(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  80. Jody, love the new look! It is so lovely and colorful---As my mother-in-law would say, "The colors really make it POP!"

    I'm bringing you a vase of wildflowers for your virtual blog party.

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  81. I think you have my email address, but here it is, just in case:

    jprivette1(at)roadrunner(dot)com

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  82. what a wonderful giveaway. Your new site is very cute. I'm bringing some chocolate fudge because who can say no to that?!

    -Lauren
    lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

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  83. I think this is an awesome site, and I love your author picture at the top!

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  84. Wow you and your website are beautious!!!! I'm so thrilled to see all the Lord is blessing you with! You've become such an inspiration to all of us! Three cheers for you Jody!

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  85. What a lovely new look - and some great advice to go with it! I'm working on my site and branding right now, thinking through many of these same things. I'm gonna have to remember the giveaway idea when I get things where I want them...

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  86. Great website and you're a great inspiration. Thanks, writing can be a lonely business, but when writers like you help build a community it really helps. Only problem is it's made me realise how much work I need to do on my website!

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  87. I absolutely love your new look! I think it's very fitting both for your genre and your personal style. Congratulations!

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  88. Love the design AND your cute personality! :o)

    What to bring to a housewarming party? Chocolate of course!! :o)

    bnkhansen(at)comcast(net)

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  89. Wow - looks great, Jody! Wonderful job, to your and your design team. :-)

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  90. I'll bring some Parmesan Artichoke dip to the housewarming!

    couponboss at gmail dot com

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  91. Very, very nice!

    Feminine without being frothy ;)

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  92. I'll bring some smoky fire roasted mac and cheese to the housewarming party. :)

    I saw a post from Bethany House Publishers Facebook page regarding your book. I am happy that I found out about your book and look forward to owning it in October.

    arianya at gmail dot com

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  93. I love reading Historical Novels and Am looking forward to reading your Book! Your site is very nice and well organized. I will be recommending you to my other friends some who like to write and will love the resources you provide.

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  94. Congratulations!
    The site looks wonderful. I really like the layout and the color choices.
    John
    john@johnpoindexter.com

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  95. I just spent a whole bunch of time playing around your website. – I got 3 right on the quiz. Hot dog! Your site looks beautiful. (I have a contact from over on my blog.)

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  96. Beautiful website and blog, Jody! Congrats!

    Sue
    sbmason (at) sympatico (dot) ca

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  97. I love the new look of your blog! Please sign me up for the drawing, too. : )

    emacartist37(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  98. Hi Jody. The whole thing looks amazing. Relaxing and catchy and it makes a reader want to stay awhile :) Congratulations!

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  99. Your new website is beautiful. I found it from a retweet from Relz Reviews. I will add you blog to my Bloglines account. Since I love to read, I would love to win a gift card from Amazon.

    Thanks for the chance!

    hspruitt {at} juno DOT com

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  100. Congrats on the launch of the new site. It is really lovely. The background pattern is beautiful.

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  101. Congratulations on your new design. It looks fantastic.

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  102. Wow! Look at all of these comments, Jody! Congratulations on your new web homes - they look wonderful. I'm so excited for you.

    As for the housewarming, I'll be bringing something chocolate, of course! :-)

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  103. Hi Jody -

    Love the new look! Congratulations on your book launch.

    Please enter me in the giveaway.

    susanjreinhardt (at) gmail (dot) com

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  104. SQUEEEE! So exciting Jody. I'm pumped to have a look around. What a great accomplishment.

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  105. Beautiful site -- love the design and, more importantly, the content. Congratulations!

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  106. Well, it certainly is professional and I love it. What a great heading and the color is very soothing. I think this will be a model for those of us who are still trying to perfect our website. Great job. And enter me please...jancline@ymail.com

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  107. Patrice KavanaughJuly 28, 2010 11:16 PM

    Congratulations on getting a new, integrated website up and running, Jody! Another kudo to your name. My best, Patrice

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  108. Love your blog, the new look, and can't wait to read your first book!

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  109. Still love the design and content of your site. . . forgot to include my email: cbhrbooth [at] yahoo

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  110. Hi Jody

    Your new website is just beautiful! I'm a huge fan of paisley and love the colours you've chosen. Congrats on having a new online home.

    For a housewarming/web-warming present, I will bring an Akubra hat (that the jackaroos wear in the outback), a jar of Vegemite (a spread which most people don't like unless you're born in Australia! It's an acquired taste LOL) and some of the very yummiest chocolate biscuits from Australia - Tim Tams. They are chocolate covered biscuits with a yummy fudge in the middle and are perfect for a Tim Tam Slammer. That's where you bite off each end, dip one end in hot chocolate and suck the drink through the biscuit as it melts. Mmmmmm. :)

    My email is karen@karencollum.com.au

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  111. Jody: I am jumping up and down for you, and shouting Yippee Dippee for my sweet friend!!!! Thank you, Jesus!!!

    Please enter me in the contest; I'd love your free critique.

    I will bring the best coffee your tongue ever did flips over to the party. Cream, sugar, or straight up?

    Love you, darling girl,
    Jen

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  112. The site looks great -- very professional. Nicely done!

    sierra [at] sierragodfrey.com

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  113. We LOVE it! What a great makeover!

    For the tea party, I'd bring tiny chocolate macaroons (lots of them so we don't run out).

    In response to your generous giveaway, I'd love the gift card...

    Happiest of days.......

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  114. Jody,

    Fabulous new design and I love how seamlessly your website works with the blog. Nicely done.

    For the house-warming I'd bring some super-awesome mix CDs burned especially for the occasion. Requests, anyone?

    iggingabi[at]gmail[dot]com

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  115. Love the new design. Thanks for the great giveaway!
    amandarwest at gmaildotcom

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  116. I like the clean look and colors. It is easy with the eyes. Congratulations on your new blog design :)

    mandalarctic at gmail dot com

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  117. 123 people are ahead of me in line! Yikes!

    I almost didn't recognize you in your photo! They weren't that different, but my glasses need cleaning.
    Everything looks so lovely! Congratulations on the book, your new site, your fame and fortune (which are most assuredly on their way!)

    I wanna win the critique! ; )

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  118. Congrats on the new design! It's beautiful & not so bright that it makes my eyeballs hurt. Very nice!

    gevin13{at}gmail{dot}com

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  119. Your website is gorgeous! I can't wait to stop by every day for your words of wisdom!

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  120. Your website looks great! And the contest idea is awesome. ;)

    joseph.dm.miller{at}gmail{dot}com

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  121. Thank you for this post. This is the information I have been looking for. I recently went back to college to get my website development and design degree and wanted to focus on writer's websites. I know how important they have become. For my final project in one class my project is my own author's webpage. I can't wait to check yours out! Just found your blog through the New Author's blog and love it!

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  122. ooops... my email is melissacarrigee@gmail.com

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  123. Did I enter? I don't think I entered!

    I'll be bringing my best friend's awesome cucumber salad. It's sliced cukes, onions, bacon bits and sunflower seeds, with a ranch-y sauce. Perfect on summer days... and when so many other people bring sweets. ;)

    jannawritesATyahooDOTcom
    (I'd go for a critique.)

    I know I said already, but the site is just lovely. It's perfect!

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  124. Jody, this is beautiful! Well done.

    My email address is julie@juliemusil.com

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  125. Great giveaway! I would be interested in the critique.

    testdrivenblog(at)gmail(dot)com

    Thanks!

    Jen

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  126. Congratulations on a beautiful new home! :)

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  127. Ooooh, great tips! For your blogwarming party I'm bringing the best banana pudding you'll ever put in your mouth.

    And a gift card to a gardening center. :)

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  128. Great job on making your website looks so professional. Have you made some SEO effort to increase its online visibility? If not, then you should start doing it now. Anyway, for effective and professional SEO advice for your website, visit http://firstpagehq.com/seo-company-miami/.

    ReplyDelete

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