Thursday, September 26, 2013


Hi Guys,

I have been writing book reviews for years now, but I'm doing something a bit different here. This time I'm posting a movie review. The name of the movie is "I'm in Love with a Church Girl." 

Here's my review:

ICG_OS_Final_04Miles Montego has it all: good looks, women and enough money to buy anything he wants. But, he has a past that he can’t seem to put past him. The former drug trafficker is constantly under watch by the DEA  who believe he’s still involved in criminal activity.

He meets Vanessa Leon, a “church girl” who is beautiful and unlike any other girl he has ever met. He is drawn to her good looks and captivated by her faith in God, but he can’t tear himself away from his lavish and dangerous lifestyle.

Vanessa, who falls in love with Miles, is exposed to his mobster-type friends and their sense of fun which isn’t much fun for her at all. As she falls deeper in love with Miles, she has to reconcile her faith in God with her love for Miles. Her faith is tested many times.

Meanwhile, Miles also struggles with his love for Vanessa as he continues to hang out with his friends. Before he changes, he has to deal with the death of his mother, federal charges brought against him, the indictments of his friends, and the experience of almost losing Vanessa in a car accident. When he can take it no longer, he has a spiritual breakdown and a one-on-one confrontation on his knees with God.

This movie is based on the true story of Pastor Galley Molina, who found God while serving time in prison on federal drug trafficking charges, and he wrote a book by the same title while behind bars. When he got out of prison he eventually became involved in the ministry and today serves as the worship pastor for the Evergreen Valley Church in San Jose, CA.

The movie features international rap and hip hop star Jeff ‘Ja Rule’ Atkins (“The Fast and the Furious”), Adrienne Bailon (The Cheetah Girls), Michael Madsen (“Reservoir Dogs”), Toby Mac (dcTalk), Martin Kove (“Rambo” and “The Karate Kid’), Stephen Baldwin (“The Usual Suspects”), hip hop artist T-Bone, and Vincent Pastore (“Good Fellas” and “The Sopranos”). 

I haven’t seen the movie but I have watched the trailer. If the movie is any bit as good as the trailer and the back story that goes with it, then I would say it would be worthwhile to watch it. Written by Pastor Galley Molina and produced by Reverence Gospel Media, the movie will be released October 18, 2013 and is rated PG for thematic elements, a scene of violence, some suggestive content and brief language.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Follow Fest

This is something new for me. I'm participating in Melissa Maygrove's Follow Fest. It's a way for readers on my blog to connect with other writers (whether you're a writer or not). The idea is for you to read my blog with my personal info, and then follow the above link (either click on the "follow fest" board or where it says "Melissa Maygrove's Follow Fest" in the text) and it will take you to Melissa's page. You can read her info there, and then scroll down to where it says "To return to the Linky, click here." You will find the other lists of participants at the bottom of that page. (You can also sign up for the Follow Fest, if you want to.)

Here's my info:

Name: Christine M. Irvin

Fiction or nonfiction? I write both fiction and nonfiction.

What genres do you write?  Picture books, chapter books

Are you published? Yes. I started writing professionally nearly 20 years ago. At that time, I had my heart set on being a picture book writer. I found out it was very tough to get published as such, so I turned to other forms of writing in order to create a portfolio of published work. I wrote a couple of poems that were published in a local newspaper. I became the Publicity Chair for my daughter's Girl Scout Troupe as well as for her elementary PTA and then her high school marching band (and later at my son's elementary school and high school). As such, I wrote lots and lots of press releases about the various groups' activities. These were published in local newspapers as well. I wasn't making much money, but I was compiling a long list of publishing credits. During this time, I sold a children's story to Highlights for Children and another one to Our Little Friend.

And, I somehow managed to convince the editor a Franklin Watts to take a look at a proposal I had for a series of children's craft books. He liked the idea and wanted to see more. To make a very, very long story very, very short, I am now the author of eight craft books, known as the "Mania Craft" series because each title in the series has the word mania in it, i.e., MILK CARTON MANIA, CRAFT STICK MANIA, CARDBOARD TUBE MANIA, etc. After Children's Press (which bought out Franklin Watts) published them in 2002, Gramercy Press (a division of Random House) bought the rights to publish a "bind-up" of three of the volumes and called it CRAFT MANIA. I am also the author of a fictional picture book, ISAAC THE FROG, published by Sprite Press, a very small press owned by a friend of mine, as well as a book that I self-published along with two of my friends called THE LITTLE LIGHTHOUSE. 

I thought I had it made when it came to writing stuff for kids. I mean, I had a whole series of books under my belt. Every editor would want to publish my material. Right? Wrong! I hit a dry spell where I didn't sell anything and I didn't have much published. I was getting very discouraged. So I looked around for more ways to get exposure as a writer.

That's when I came across an opportunity to start writing book reviews of an online website, called Christian Children's Book Review. I started writing book reviews for them several years ago, and still write for them today. I now write reviews for other sites, as well: Book Reporter, Teens Reads and Kids Reads. And, I branched out into writing articles, recipes and blurbs for websites on a freelance basis.

In the past few months, although I continue to write book reviews and articles for websites, I have turned my attention back to writing for children, specifically in the form of picture books. I joined Julie Hedlund's 12 x 12 group, and was so inspired by all the wonderful posts from fellow members, I am now a member of Kristen McGill Fulton's WOW nonfiction FB page, as well as the 12x12 Member's Forum, the 12x12 FB page, and the Children's Book Creative FB page. I also belong to two picture book critique groups, one for fiction and one for nonfiction.

Do you do anything in addition to writing? I do editing and proofreading on a freelance basis. I also do something this is unrelated to writing, and that is crafts.

Where can people connect with you?
You can connect with me in a number of ways:

1) Through this blog. Just post a comment and I will get it. Or email me at:
2) Follow me on Twitter. The "Twitter" button is on the right-hand side of this blog.
3) Make me your friend on Facebook.
4) Link with me on LinkedIn.
5) Pin with me on Pinterest.
6) Read my book reviews on the Christian Children's Book Review website.
7) Read my book reviews on the Book Reporter website.
8) Read my book reviews on the Teen Reads website.
9) Read my book reviews on the Kids Reads website.
10) Read my book reviews on
11) Visit my author page on
12) Like my Stitches 'n Pearls Facebook page. This page is set up for my crafts as well as for my daughter's jewelry-making.
Is there anything else you’d like us to know?
I think I've covered everything. If you have any questions or comments, I'd love to hear from you! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

How Not to Be a Writer: 15 Signs You're Doing It Wrong

K. M. Weiland
Attention all writers out there: 

A friend of mine shared this on her FB page. I read it and thought it was worth sharing on my blog. If you call yourself a writer, you really should read this article. It's called HOW NOT TO BE A WRITER: 15 SIGNS YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG

Author K. M. Weiland makes some excellent points. Her article is definitely worth reading and pondering.

You're welcome!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Amish Service Guide 2013

Malachi Marketing Logo

I wanted to brag a little bit (if I might). A company I write for, Malachi Marketing, has just completed its newest Amish Service Guide, a booklet with advertisements from local businesses (many of which are Amish-owned and/or operated). Included in the booklet are maps of area counties, a list of upcoming events, and four articles; I wrote two of them!!! I also did some proofreading of the final copy before it went to print. Here is a link where you can view the finished publication. Please contact me for info about how you can get a copy of this publication for yourself. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Coming January 2014: START THE YEAR OFF WRITE

Image courtesy of
Those of you who have been keeping up with my blog know that I participated in a summer-long writing event called 100 DAYS OF SUMMER WRITING CHALLENGE. It was set up by Shannon Abercrombie. The idea was to keep writing through the busy days of summer with daily writing prompts that were sent via email. The prompts were varied and ran the gamut from silly to serious. All were original prompts created by Shannon based on her writing and life experiences throughout the summer.

Because there was such an overwhelmingly positive response to the challenge, Shannon is going to try it again next summer, but she is also working on something different called START THE YEAR OFF WRITE. This particular writing event will start in January 2014. She has not provided much information about the upcoming event yet; just enough to raise the curiosity levels of writers like myself. Because it sounds so intriguing, I wanted to pass the info on to you. Here's what she is sharing at the present time:

A new prompt writing challenge is in the works. It will be shorter, the prizes will be bigger and some extraordinarily generous and talented authors will be helping us all kick our writing into high gear.
I’ll provide more details in the coming weeks. For now, my writing friends, please mark your calendars and be ready to spread the word for the next challenge: START THE YEAR OFF WRITE, coming January 2014.
Visit her website so you can get on her mailing list, and mark your calendars for this exciting opportunity to get in on the writing fun in 2014!!!