Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tristi''s Taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

I keep seeing on Facebook videos of people who have been challenged to dump a bucket of ice water all over themselves to show support for ALS research. As of right now, this challenge has raised $22.9 million - how outstanding is that??

According to some folks, if you're challenged, you're supposed to dump a bucket of ice water on yourself to avoid having to donate $100 to ALS research. If you dump the bucket, you either donate $10 or you get off free, depending on who you're talking to. And then you're supposed to challenge a bunch of other folks, and the chain goes on and on.

Well, I'm doing this a little differently. I am going to dump the bucket, but you guys are going to help me determine how much I dump.  :)

Here's how this works.

You go online and make a donation of any amount to ALS. They have some suggested donation amounts, but they also have a blank spot where you can donate a dollar, if that's all you can afford. E-mail me a screen shot of your donation so I know you really did it. Send it to me at tristipinkston @ gmail.com. Get all your friends involved, post this on Facebook - let's really spread the word.

On August 30th at noon, I will count up how many donations have been sent in to ALS. If the donations add up to between $1 and $50, I'll dump a 64-ounce cup of ice water. If they add up from $51 to $100, I'll dump a pitcher of ice water. If they add up to over $100, I'll dump a five-gallon bucket. And if anyone wants to have a lot of fun and recruit friends to help with donations, if the donations go over $500, I'll dump two five-gallon buckets. Ice water. All over me. But August 30th isn't that far away, so best get on that.

You may be wondering why I've chosen to get on this particular challenge's bandwagon.

When I was in Young Women, I attended a fireside given by a man named Todd Mitchell, who at that time was the only known person to be afflicted by ALS and then to be cured. (The list has grown by a few since then, but I have learned that the majority of people with this disease die within 2 -3 years.)  He was diagnosed while in high school, and he shared his story of the fear and the pain and the treatments and everything else he went through. It was during this time that he developed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and he read 3 Nephi over and over again. He pictured himself as one of those coming to Christ to be healed, and every day, that picture grew stronger and stronger in his mind until he actually felt as though he were there, supplicating our Savior for help. The testimony born that night reached out and touched me at a time in my life when I badly needed it, and over the years, I've thought back on it and supplicated Christ for the things I've needed as well. Developing that personal relationship has meant all the difference to me.

So anyway, that's why I'm doing this. I'm counting on you, friends, fans, and family, to help make this a reality. And of course I'll be filming it. So pull out your wallets and let's do this thing!! August 30th at noon is the deadline to determine how wet I'm gonna get.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Moms of Toddlers, Can We Talk?


I get it. I really do. I had three children in five years, and the fourth one came along three years after that. I've done the sleepless nights, the endless potty training, the poop painting phase - yeah. I know.

I also know what it's like taking those children into public. You hope you can dart in and out of the store before someone throws a tantrum or needs a diaper change. Sometimes you're successful, and sometimes you're not.

I know what it's like to have a child who absolutely will not get in their car seat or who will not ride in the cart. I've been the mom in the parking lot performing WWF moves to get a seat belt around a child who does not want to be belted. And I well know the temptation not to make little Johnny ride in the cart when he's screaming his lungs out and arching his back and refusing to cooperate. Believe me. I know.

But three days ago, I saw something that froze me cold, and I haven't been able to get it out of my head.

I was at the grocery store and had pulled through the parking stall so I wouldn't have to back out when I was done. I paused before getting out, checking to make sure I had my debit card and stuff, and I glanced up. There were two cars right across the aisle from me. The one on the left was a black SUV, and the one on the right was a white sedan about the size of a Cadillac. The driver of the black SUV was a young mom with a toddler son. He was standing next to her while she put her groceries in the back of the SUV. The white sedan began to back up to pull out, and just then, the toddler decided he didn't want to stand by his mom anymore and stepped right behind the white car.

Two things happened simultaneously. The mother caught the child's hand, and the driver hit her brakes. If either woman had not reacted instantly, that child would have been hit and most likely killed - he was within inches of it, literally. I could hear the mother lecturing the child on staying away from cars. I'm sure she was absolutely terrified, and I'm sure the driver was too.

Moms, I know that you're exhausted and you probably can't handle one more tantrum today. But please, please, please keep your child in the cart or put them in the car before you load up the groceries. I will never forget what I saw. It was so close, so terrifying, so life or death. And sadly, it has the potential to happen any time to any child.

Sometimes we're worried that other shoppers will get angry with us when our kids throw fits at the store, so we make concessions to keep the peace. Know what - the other shoppers probably have kids too, and they've been there, and they understand. And for that one grumpy old man or crotchety old woman who will stare at you? Just stare back. You're raising a human - you're not there to please the public.

Please wrestle Johnny into the seat belt. Let him scream. It won't hurt him. And it doesn't make you any less of a good mother if he throws a tantrum - in fact, it makes you an awesome mom because you're making a hard choice to do the right thing. He will grow out of it, I promise. I didn't think mine ever would, and yet, here we are and we survived it. Someday your kids will understand and they will start to obey you when you warn them of danger. For now, they'll scream. And that's okay because they'll be safe.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Looking for Sponsors

Calling all authors, artisans, and persons who make/create/cause stuff to happen of all kinds ...

I'm looking for sponsors for online book launches.

What is an online book launch?

An online book launch is typically an event held on Facebook where people come on the event page for that launch and learn about the book being promoted. They are invited to win prizes donated by sponsors by doing things such as "liking" the sponsor's Facebook page, etc. These launches are gaining in popularity, as online seems to be the way everything's going. I or my assistant coordinate launches for my publishing company, Trifecta Books, and sometimes for friends as well.

Why would you want to sponsor?

When I hold an online book launch, I make sure to point the participants to the sponsors' websites or Facebook pages or to promote them in other ways. This gives you the opportunity to get your name out there in circles you might not have reached yet. Depending on the cost-to-you of what you donate, it's very inexpensive advertising. It's tax deductible as a business expense for marketing. It's fun, and plus, you get the added benefit of people thinking you're cool and awesome.

What does a sponsor do?

First, decide what you'd like to donate. It could be anything, really, that a person might want to win. E-books are hugely popular, as are print books and cute little trinkets - book bags, jewelry, etc. You can also donate a service - if you're an editor, you could donate a three-page review (or what have you). Be certain that whatever you donate is something that you don't mind shipping. Larger items will automatically be labeled as "U.S. participants only" - I won't ask you to pay overseas shipping.

Then fill out the form below. That's really all there is to it. I or my assistant will contact you when we have need of a prize, and then after the event, we will contact you with the name of the winner.

If you have any questions, pop me a note at tristipinkston@gmail.com, and thanks for your time!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Announcing ... the Main Street Merchants Series!

I'm really excited to announce a new book series that will launch this October. I've never tried my hand writing just romances - I've done romantic suspense and other combinations, but romance as the main genre is new to me. But you know what, I'm having a ton of fun! I hereby bring you the Main Street Merchants series, coming out through Trifecta Books as part of the Sweet and Clean Romance Collection.

Here's what's on the docket:

October: And Something Blue  Bridal consultant Laurie Fletcher spends her days helping others prepare for the most special day of their lives. Will true love ever come her way, or is she doomed to watch others get their happily ever after?

NovemberFor Love or Money  Cynical Sydney has just about decided that no one could possibly fall in love with her - all the good guys want perfect girls, and she's anything but perfect. But then along comes the guy who falls head-over-heels in love with her just as she is and helps her find the bright side of life again.

DecemberFive Golden Rings   Even though Cara has lost her childhood weight and is now composing her own music, she can't see her own beauty and she has no confidence in her talent. Only the right guy can help her see inside herself to the amazing person who has always been there.

January:  Just Desserts  Quinn has been working at D'Angelo's Bakery for a long time - so long, in fact, that she practically has no other life. But then along comes a new friend who shows her that life can be oh, so sweet.

February:  Between the Lines  Regan spends her days working in a bookstore and her nights reading. She goes on grand adventures in her head . . . but not in real life. That all changes when someone sweeps her off her feet and carries her up a mountain.

And much, much more ... this is just a taste.  :)  Stay tuned for future announcements!
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