Interview & Book Give-Away with Michelle Cox; Who Won The Writing Sisters’ Book? and Kudos & MoGo7000 Call-Out

Michelle Cox headshotAs you can see, today is a busy day. And it’s all my fault. Last week, I completely forgot to ask for your Kudos and MoGo7000 totals! So today, in addition to an awesome interview with the multi-talented Michelle Cox, our triple duty day will also cover call-outs, and a book winner!


First Up–Michelle Cox Shares Her Amazing Journey with Her Book, Blog, and Screenplay, Just 18 Summers®!

Yes, you read right. My brilliant friend, Michelle Cox, got a great idea, the Lord multiplied her vision, and now she has all kinds of stuff going on! Read on to hear how a simple comment from her pastor kicked off an avalanche of opportunities!

And if you’d like a free copy of Just 18 Summers®, just leave a comment for Michelle and you’ll be in the drawing. Don’t forget to come back next week to see if you’re the winner!

Welcome, Michelle. I can’t wait to share your story, so let’s get started. Please tell our readers how you got the idea for Just 18 Summers®.

My pastor dedicated a baby during a Sunday service and as the parents turned to leave the platform, he said, “Don’t forget—you have just 18 summers. Take time to make some memories.” Whew, those words slammed into me!

I came up with the idea to do a gift book about the concept, but God had much bigger plans, and now I’m working with my business partner, Dave Moody, to develop a complete brand of products and resources for families.

I know a lot is planned for Just 18 Summers®? Can you give us a quick rundown? 

I’m excited because my Just 18 Summers novel (co-authored with Rene Gutteridge) has just released from Tyndale. The story follows the lives of four families who begin to realize how precious—and fleeting—their time is with their children. Butch Browning is facing single parenthood after the death of his wife. The O’Reillys are expecting their first child. The Andersons are approaching an empty nest, and the Buckleys are so focused on providing their children with everything that they’ve forgotten what they truly need.

Each family has just eighteen summers before their children are grown and each must decide how to spend them. Will they look back with memories . . . or regrets?

We’ve also launched a parenting blog. We have a new post each Monday-Friday and our staff of 18 writers brings a wealth of great content including home décor, recipes, craft projects, organizational tips, devotionals, object lessons, practical advice, and so much more.

We’ve written the screenplay and are working to raise the funding for a film. Other plans include music, a line of books, and other products to inspire, equip, and encourage parents.

Yes, the Just 18 Summers blog is a powerhouse of parenting, marriage, and family information. I believe it in so much I’ve had the joy of contributing a couple of posts there myself! 🙂 Now, with all this activity, what have you learned that will help other writers?Just 18 Summers FINAL cover for novel lower res

I wish I had time to tell you the whole story because it’s hysterical how God brought all of this together. He can do amazing things with our efforts—even when we bring him nothing but a willing heart. I’m proof of that because everything that’s happened with Just 18 Summers® has come about in exactly the opposite way it should have occurred. I love it because that way God gets all the credit.

My advice for other writers would be to ask God for ideas and then to train your ears to listen for them. Once He sends you an idea, see how you can make your work universally personal. In other words, make it appeal to as many people as possible while still making each person think that it was written specifically for them.

Be open and available when God asks you to step out of your comfort zone. You’ll discover what I have—He goes with us into those unfamiliar territories and He’ll equip us with everything we need to accomplish the projects He’s put on our hearts.

So put your running shoes on and be ready to run through doors as God opens them. Who knows what exciting adventures He has planned for you!

What do you hope folks will take away from Just 18 Summers®?

Just 18 Summers® isn’t a guilt-trip. It’s a gentle reminder to slow down and savor the moments, to make memories together, and to instill character and other important traits in our children. It’s a wake-up call that our children won’t always be there, to enjoy each precious season with them—because we can’t go back and rewind yesterday, no matter how much we’d like to do that.

Eighteen years sounds like a long time, but we really have just 18 summers before our children leave home. My question for parents is: How many summers do you have left . . . and what are you going to do with them?

Thank you for sharing this valuable information with us. What’s the best way to get in touch with you or to learn more about Just 18 Summers®?

Visit us at for information about the Just 18 Summers novel, the parenting blog, more about us and what we’re doing, and for information about inviting me to speak.

You can also find me on Facebook at and, and on Twitter @michelleinspire and @just18summers. I’m also at Just 18 Summers on Pinterest.

Thanks again for joining us, Michelle. I pray God continues to bless your socks off as you use His truth to support and encourage families.

And readers, don’t forget to leave a comment for Michelle and you could win a free book! Don’t forget to check back next week to see who wins!

And if you’d like to go ahead and get your copy now, you can use this direct Amazon link to Just 18 Summers.

18-Summers-S2-300x89Bio: Besides developing the Just 18 Summers® brand, Michelle Cox is a speaker and the author of seven books, including her new novel, Just 18 Summers. She has written for, is a contributing writer for WHOA Magazine for Women and Leading Hearts Magazine, does interviews and writes movie reviews for, has written for Focus on the Family, Product Concept, and many other groups, and writes a weekly food column for the blog hosted by Fox News Personality Todd Starnes.

Michelle has been on faculty for many conferences, has designed book trailers for Tentmaker’s Entertainment, and has been a guest on numerous radio and television programs, including Hannity, The Harvest Show, and Focus on the Family. She’s been married to her favorite—and only—husband, Paul, for almost 40 years. They have three grown sons and five perfect grandchildren. And just so you’ll know, she can be bribed with cupcakes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Betsy Duffey The Shepherd Song cover

Who Won The Writing Sisters’ New Book, The Shepherd’s Song?

The winner is Cheryl Pelton Lutz! Congratulations, Cheryl! Getting your book is simple. Just contact me with your snail mail address and Betsy and Laurie will get your book right out to you!

And friends, I know you’re gonna want to get your own copy, so here’s a direct Amazon link to The Shepherd’s Song.


Megaphone morguefileWe Need To Hear About Your Successes!

Yes, I know I’m a week late, but I want to know what you’ve been up to. Have you had something exciting happen recently in your writing or speaking life? Maybe you’ve had an article published, signed a book contract, released a new book, got an agent, or started a new blog. If so, we want to hear from you!

It’s really simple, but I do ask that you contact me with the info in this format and order ONLY:

**Your name
**Your state in two-letter abbreviation
**Link to your website or blog
**Your good news
**Link to your good news, if online (online bookstore, online article, etc)

I can’t wait for us to celebrate with you!


And Who Worked on Their MoGo7000 in March?mogo7000 logo

If you wrote at least 7000 new words on a book project in March, you can receive an entry in the drawing for the 2014 MoGo7000 $100 cash prize! It’s open to everyone who qualifies.

To report your March results, please leave a comment below with your total new words written in March. (Please do not send your totals by email or through the Contact page. Totals must be left as a comment here by next Monday). 

If you missed out on last year’s money-winning writing challenge, don’t worry, the 2014 challenge is underway! Here are the MoGo7000 Challenge rules. All you have to do is write at least 7000 NEW words on a book project in any month and you’ll receive an entry into the end-of-the-year drawing for $100.

Each month that you qualify with 7000 new words, your name goes in the “hat” for the drawing. Reach the goal one month and you’ll have one entry. Meet it 12 months and you’ll have 12 entries!

So what are you waiting for? Get started now and you could have $100 this time next year. And it doesn’t cost you a cent. :-)


Again, I apologize for getting off-schedule, but I promise I’ll cover all our usual bases this month. They just won’t be on the right days!

Hope to see you back on Friday as we hear a message from the Lord about procrastination. Not that any of us need to hear it…certainly not me…

Vonda 🙂

Posted in categories: Announcements | Interviews | Kudos | MoGo7000 | Screenwriting | Uncategorized

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  • Barbara

    Hello everyone. I’m new to the blog, and hoping it will encourage me not to give up. My count for new words is 3,492.

    • Hi Barbara, welcome to The Christian Writer’s Den. We’re so glad you’re joining us! Congratulations on your 3,492 words! That’s awesome! Be sure to let us know when you write 7000 NEW words in one month and you’ll be in the drawing for $100 at the end of the year!

      I hope you’ll come back next Tuesday’s post as Susan Sleeman gives us 5 tips to get more writing done. 🙂 Blessings on your project!

  • What a neat book title/idea–18 Summers!! Love it. I can tell, it’s gonna be a winner.

  • Thank you so much for all your encouraging comments for Michelle and me. I’m sorry I can’t respond to each one this week as my father in law is in the hospital and things are quite hectic right now. But please know I appreciate each one of you. So proud of the MoGoers this month! Wow!

  • Beth Fortune

    Thanks for sharing Michelle with us, Vonda. Loved her statements:
    “Ask God for ideas and then to train your ears to listen for them.”

    “Be open and available when God asks you to step out of your comfort zone.”

    “So put your running shoes on and be ready to run through doors as God opens them. Who knows what exciting adventures He has planned for you!”

    Such an awesome story of how God uses His children who have a willing heart. Very encouraging and inspiring!
    Love to you both!

  • Michelle, I’m so excited for you and I can’t wait to see what God does with “18 Summers.” I want that book! Our two daughters are grown and I think our time was well spent with them. Now, we have our nine-year-old son and about nine more summers!

    • Michelle Cox

      Thanks, Sally! Isn’t it amazing how fast those years go by? Squeeze the moments with your son.

  • Nan Jones

    Wow!! Michelle, you are such an inspiration. I love your comment, “it’s hysterical how God brought all of this together.” Isn’t that just like God? You’ve got me thinking…Thank you. And thank you, Vonda, for bringing Michelle our way.

    • Michelle Cox

      Thank you, Nan. Believe me, the story really is funny. Everything that’s happened with this has been exactly opposite how it should have happened. It’s fun watching God work!

  • Sue Badeau

    Post for Michelle – I love, love, love hearing these updates. I think your project is so exciting and can have such an amazing impact on countless lives! And of course for people (like me) who adopt kids at older ages, we have even less than 18 summers so the stakes are high indeed! On the other hand, we have a lifetime, thankfully, the end of the story still isn’t written even after they turn 18. Prayers for continued success for your work!

    • Michelle Cox

      Thank you, Sue, You’re right, The end of the summers isn’t the end of the story–but what I wouldn’t give to walk down the hall one more time to tuck my little boys into bed.

  • Sue Badeau

    MOGO700 comment – I am writing daily reflections on Psalm 51 which I hope will one day be a book. In March I wrote just over 14,000 words on that project. I am also an author of a short novella that is part of a Series called Summer in Sweetland and my piece has 8000 words which I mostly wrote in March (started a little in January and then set aside and then did the real work in March!) It was a productive writing month! I did some other work (paid-work) writing assignments but have not included those in the word count

  • Gwyn Hubbert

    Isn’t it just like God to take a comment and have it change our lives? Congratulations, Michelle, on this exciting journey. God stretches us in ways we never thought possible. He has given you this opportunity to wake up parents to how fast their children will be gone from home. Thank you, Vonda for inviting her in today.

    • Michelle Cox

      Stretching? You’ve got that right! I’ve been so far out of my comfort zone that I’ve been in another country–but the good news is that God goes with us for every step of the journey.

  • 17,687 last month! Woot! (and that was only four days–scary!)

  • kimberly long

    It was exciting to hear when Michelle first started talking about this idea at Blue Ridge Christian Writer’s Conference. Or at least, this is when I first heard her. But wow! this is so amazing to hear what all God has planned! Here’s hoping for great success with 18 Summers for the next 50 summers of your life, Michelle!

    • Michelle Cox

      Thanks, Kimberly! I hope to see you at Blue Ridge this year!

  • Michelle, can hardly wait to check out your site. Sounds like a wonderful resource.

    Jeanne, congratulations on 7319!

    Vonda, I’m delighted you got off schedule. It just proves you’re human. No apology needed here. I love this blog and all the help it gives us in so many ways.

    • Michelle Cox

      Judith, thank you. I think you’ll love the blog. Our staff of writers have some awesome posts with terrific content.

      • I’ve not had a chance to search your site thoroughly, but was delighted to see Deb Raney is a contributor. She’s a home town girl who made good. Loved her parents when they lived here. Sadly, I lost touch when they moved away.

  • Jeanne Doyon

    Michelle, Congratulations on your book-it looks fabulous. My children are all grown now but I remember a time when I felt this panic come over me, thinking, what else do I need to tell them before they go??

    • Michelle Cox

      Jeanne, I hear you! I had that same thought–and one of the characters in the book feels the same way. I think you’ll enjoy what God showed her. 🙂

  • Jeanne Doyon

    MOGO for this month – 7319 words 🙂

  • Michelle, what a brilliant idea! I enjoy keeping up with you via FB and hope to be the winner of your book. I look forward to visiting your new site. Blessings!

    Vonda, no apologies necessary. You offered a little something to us all today. 🙂 Love you!

    • Michelle Cox

      Cathy, thank you! Stay in touch. I hope you’ll enjoy the book and the blog!