Today, I bring you a blog tour for the new book Inspired Women Succeed. It features a story by my friend, Nina Newton, the Senior Editor of Ruby for Women. The book contains the accounts of amazing stories of how women have succeeded and authored by Diane Cunningham and Jo Ann Fore.
Diane Cunningham and Jo Ann Fore have crafted a “Chicken Soup for the Soul®-spirited book that takes readers on an inspirational journey; a journey which teaches women how to entrust the hard spots of life to a sovereign God who has a plan.”
From the back cover: “What scoreboard determines true success? Must we be famous? Rich? Well-credentialed experts? Whether we acknowledge it or not, the way we measure success greatly impacts our lives. Inspired Women Succeed cuts through the spoils of cultural expectations and uncovers genuine success.”
Inspired Women Succeed (www.inspiredwomensucceed.com) releases May 18th. Today, we talk with Diane and Jo Ann to get the story behind this life-transforming book.
What was the catalyst for Inspired Women Succeed?
Diane: We all face obstacles. And we wanted to share the true stories of women who overcame huge obstacles and uncovered success. As the founder of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs, I am honored to know many of the women featured in the book—I had a glimpse into their stories from what they shared with me in emails, conference calls, and our private forum. I felt called to invite them to share their stories of triumph with the world, to encourage them to help other women on a larger scale.
Jo Ann: Diane ignited the passion within me. When she initially approached me about writing the book, I declined because of the time involved. But anyone who knows Diane Cunningham knows she is persistent. And she returned—this time armed with examples of the stories that would be told. Like Diane, these stories sparked a flame.
In some ways, each of these stories is a piece of our own. Maybe the fallout or the circumstances aren’t quite the same, but the lessons learned are quite similar. As Christian women, our success is inspired from a sense of calling; measured by our loyalty to God in spite of life’s circumstances or outcome. This book would prove true success is defined by who we are, what we believe in, and our willingness to step out in faith. It was a story that deserved to be told.
What part did your personal story play in the creation of this book?
Diane: My story is an unfolding tapestry of inspired action steps. Readers see into my deep places of grief, challenge, and miracles that arise from showing up when God tells you to go. An amazing thing happened as we were finishing the book, and my story of survival is including in the afterward. Each of us have a story to share and I wanted to give women courage and hope by sharing some of my secrets; I wanted to offer them a blanket permission to step into and examine their own stories.
Jo Ann: Life is messy sometimes. Mine sure was. And all of our attempts at explanation eventually fall away, leaving us with the sole responsibility of right perspective. I learned the hard way that emotional healing is a choice. A choice of trust in a sovereign God. Much like Diane, I believe that when we tell our stories other women find the courage to face their own.
And I believe that as we invest in the lives of each other, we can redeem painful life experiences. I brought my story of transformation to the book as a pinion of hope and redemption. I’ve endured some horrific hurts. But over the years, redemption has become much more important to me than explanation.
What do you hope Inspired Women Succeed accomplishes? Do you have an “end goal” for the book?
Diane: My goal with this book is that it will show women that no matter what they are going through, God will take them to the other side. I hope women pass this book around as a gift, an inspiration that continues giving. I pray it provides much-needed healing and hope, and that each reader is willing to keep moving forward as God opens new doors.
Jo Ann: My hope is that women will truly learn to surrender to God. That they will, once and for all, release the hard patches of life to a God who loves them, who wants them whole and well, and successful. And that readers will never allow the pain of the past to block the purpose and joy of the future.
What was it like working with 40 other women to create this project?
Diane: What a wild adventure to connect with women from all over the United States and Canada on the writing process. This was a bigger challenge than we imagined it would be with the logistics and details. I am much more of a big picture thinker, and a visionary.
Jo Ann: (Grins sheepishly) I don’t know that the number of women involved was as much a challenge as the short amount of days we worked on the project. The women’s stories were inspirational. Heartfelt and life-changing. And everyone was receptive to the necessary edits and constructive feedback that it took to turn the project into a book that readers would use as a regular resource.
It was a demanding project, yes, but the heart of each brave-hearted woman who was willing to use her life experiences to sow into the lives of others made it worthwhile.
Why is your story, and the stories of contributors, special? Why should women look to you for inspiration?
Diane: My story is no more “special” than any other in the book, but it is mine. It is my gift from God, even the parts that caused me the greatest pain. I firmly believe that we need to find inspiration all around us. I am inspired by each story in the book, including my own. We are women of victory, overcomers, sharing how God has moved in our lives. Each woman in this book gifts us with authentic vulnerability, her heart, and a courage that comes from trusting God.
Jo Ann: I’ve heard it said that your passion often evolves from your greatest point of pain. I am passionate about helping hurting women because of what I have walked through. What happened in our past or the deep hurts we’ve experienced aren’t nearly as important as what God wants to do in our future. That’s hard theology for some.
And I believe as readers connect with my story, they will understand why I’ve earned the right to say that. The same with the other women featured in the book. Sometimes there are no answers for the rough patches of life, but these stories prove that God wants to redeem every ounce of our pain—if we will surrender it to Him.
For a free download of the first chapter, and a chance to win a FREE copy of Inspired Women Succeed visit www.inspiredwomensucceed.com. Each person who downloads a copy of the first chapter during our release week (5/18-5/25) will be entered in a drawing to give away two free copies of the book.
About the Authors:
Diane Cunningham is a Business Therapist, whose calling is to help women grab hold of their dreams and make them happen. She is the founder and president of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs (www.nacwe.org), an organization with more than 165 members across the United States and Canada.
Jo Ann Fore (www.JoAnnFore.com) is an inspirational author, Writing Coach, and certified Life Coach who is passionate about making a difference in the lives of women. Most noted for her faith-filled messages, Jo Ann mentors both emotionally-wounded women and budding writers.