Hectic Summer Party! Books and Fun Galore

A summer party? During lockdown?

And I’m sure that headline has got you wondering. All across the world countries are easing off their lockdown regulations and very often re-inforcing some of them.  Here in South Africa, we are no different. You never know from one day to the other what rules will change during the course of the day. We are behind most of the world with the virus spread, and right now we are approaching what the experts believe will be our peak. (I sure hope they’re right! We are spiking exponentially.)

Before we go any further, no I’m not one of the rebels that are attending parties against lockdown regulations! This was all very correct, law-abiding, and great fun!

Ann Perault of the  Inspirational Reads and Authors group on Facebook hosted a “Dive into Summer Multi-Author Book Party” over the weekend of the 26th to 29th June.

Summer party? Location?

It took place on the Facebook page for the group. The moderators for the weekend comprised 38 authors from the group, and each was required to host the party for an hour. I am a newbie to the group but despite my being in the middle of a South African winter, I decided to join the summer party.

So I was “on duty” at 10 am EST (4 pm my time) on Sunday. However, most of us were on for a good deal of the time, supporting one another, doing the puzzles, participating in the games, getting to know one another, and enjoying meeting our readers. It was HECTIC as each time anyone posted on ANY of the many posts, Facebook tossed it to the top. Immediately there was a scramble as we tried to find the one we were following or wanting to respond to! I think we were all drained by the end of the time, Ann most of all!

Scheduling Posts

Ann asked us to schedule posts for the summer party that would appear about every 10 minutes for our hour and which should include games and fun activities. Games? What did she mean, games? Well, I compiled a crossword of The Boat that Saved Mankind and that seemed to be much appreciated, and I created a picture including twelve of our larger African animals. I then asked them to name Africa’s BIG FIVE, all of which were in the picture. (See below).

Before we go on, take a look and see if you can pick them out. If you would like to, select the five you think and list them in a comment section. (No Google now! I trust you!) If there are more than ten correct answers, I will enter them for a draw for a small book of 7-Animals of Africa devotional book that I’m still busy with – so closing day 10th July. The book will include some insight into each of The Big Five.

I soon learned that there are many games you can play on Facebook! What fun! Link up with my Facebook Author Page, and join in as I put up one or two games each week.

Giveaways and Prizes

Most if not all of the authors handed out free offers, prizes, or special sales on one or more books. The prizes were announced on Monday, and for some of us, that proved to be quite a challenge.

I had offered four different books as prizes, each one to be earned by completing a puzzle or answering a question. As I moved to each post, I typed all the relevant names into CommentPicker.com, and it happily churned the names around and spat out the winner. That was simple, effective, and fair.

However, the challenge came when I realized in my introduction I said I would give a free copy of the e-Book Naomi, to anyone who commented on any of my posts. I had, in all, seven posts.

All with comments.

That was fun.

Fortunately, this clever program gives you an option to ignore all duplicates, so I didn’t have to figure that out. I just typed. And typed. And typed. And finally I had my winner.

Was it worth it?

Oh yes, a hundred times yes. I met authors I had never heard of, and I downloaded a number of books I would never have read if it hadn’t been for this party. I got to “know” a number of readers and they were such a treasure. The interaction was wonderful. A truly lovely, happy party atmosphere.

I also learned a lot about what works well and what doesn’t when it comes to a party. Not that anything “didn’t work” but a couple of times I had to clarify what I meant. For example, I didn’t TELL my readers that all of the Big Five were in the picture. So I had a number of interesting suggestions. Not serious, but I now realize when a party goes at the pace this one did, it’s important to explain everything very clearly and KEEP IT SIMPLE!


I have had awesome growth on my Facebook Author page. If you haven’t already joined up, please do. Just click on this link and “like” the page.

I’ve also had a number of folk signup to receive my newsletter. That in itself is marvelous, as that was one of my shortcomings. I didn’t promote that enough – and here I keep joining BookFunnel Newsletter Promotions to encourage signups! Again, if you don’t receive my newsletter, I’d love you to signup to receive it. No strings attached, and you can unsubscribe at any time. Oh yes, and perhaps I should mention . . . you will receive a welcome gift of one of my 7-day-devotion series, God in the Unexpected.

Sign up here

Moving on . . .

I didn’t promote my Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Pinterest accounts as I’ll be honest. I have the accounts, but with Facebook, my website with its blog, and my newsletter, that is all I can manage and continue to write! So I’m not active on any of those.

Before I run – err – move on – just one little tidbit for you. I have signed up for this promotion:

This includes way more than 55 fabulous books! There are 55 items – but two of them are full series! I think every possible genre is included, so do take a look. There may be some free, I’m not sure, but many are on special.

God in Africa is still available after the summer party at a reduced price as is The Boat that Saved Mankind.

Closing thought:

As I look at this amazing selection of books, all so different in appearance and content, it reminds me of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 9:22 (NIV): I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. Perhaps this is the most important thing about a promotional offer such as this. We can be open to read books we would normally never think of reading—and be blessed in the process.

There are people who will never darken the door of a church—but they will read a gripping suspense novel or a sweet romance, and they may see Jesus in the words they read. There are those who do not, or perhaps cannot, attend Bible Study, but they hear the Lord speak to them through His Word as it comes across through a devotional book. So as you look through the books, choose not only for yourself. Ask whether there’s a book that could speak to someone known to you who would not be open to hearing the message in another way.

I do encourage you to look through all the book titles and see what you fancy. Especially with so many book shops closing, and for those of us where it’s still not safe to go into shopping malls.

To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some (1 Corinthians 9:22 NIV). Share on X

Keep safe all! And do scroll back and take a look at that picture of The Big Five and see if you can win yourself a copy of the book-in-progress!

13 comments on “Hectic Summer Party! Books and Fun Galore

  1. HI Shirley,
    I loved reading your posts and getting to know you a little. I had traveled to South Africa in 2004 for a week or two. I was in East London, J-burg, Capetown, and Robbin Island. I went on Safari with a local colleague, so I knew :”the big five” so I left that question for someone else. It was a lovely time. Through this process, I think I leaned the most important thing is to be relaxed and enjoy the moment.
    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on the party!

    • Hi Amy. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. It was good ‘meeting’ you too. Wasn’t the interaction between us all great fun? Glad you’ve had a chance to see parts of our lovely country and met the Big Five!
      Have a great weekend.

  2. So great to hear how well the weekend went and that you’ve made some new friends along the way. Bit of FOMO happening here ?..

  3. Goodness, Shirley. I was blessed more than anyone to have hosted this party. I know we’re all in this crazy, unusual place and I want to reach out. Not to gain fame. Not to sell books (although, that’s another way for me to reach out). It’s been an incredible blessing to run this party, interact with crazily wonderful, amazingly talented authors and sweet, sweet, genuinely caring readers. Wait for our fall party lol. And then the 12 days of Christmas! Get ready for some insane partying lol. I was so blessed that you were part of this. GREAT BLOG!!!!

    • So thrilled to join you. Wow! Promises of more to come? That sounds awesome. I can’t wait. But I guess I must. I have writing to do in between! Thanks for the visit.

  4. Well, I’m just going to give it a guess, as I’m not sure if the Big Five means the 5 biggest animals in size, the 5 that Africa is most known for, or the 5 that have the most in numbers. I’ll go with: elephant, giraffe, rhino, hippo, and lion.

    • Hi Lila. Great to have you here. The Big Five are indeed all big animals of Africa but not necessarily the biggest. They are known as The Big Five and are always the same animals. Good guess, but unfortunately you’re not right. Feel free to try again. ?

  5. I know my big five would be: elephant, hippo, rhino, lion, and cheetah. So, I’m hoping they are the top 5!!

    • Sorry, Trudy, you’re right, they’re the logical five, but they’re not the Big Five. Feel free to try again!
      Thanks for trying.

    • Hi Trudy. Thanks for visiting. Unfortunately no, these are not all part of The Big Five although they are certainly all big. You’re welcome to take another try. Have a great weekend.

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