Saturday, August 20, 2016

Meet Tom Thompson-author of Kick Start
“What you do today determines your tomorrow.”
As if to solidify the validity of that statement, Tom Thompson writes Kick Start Your Future, a biographical account of what happens when he repeatedly ends up on the wrong end of circumstances, only to rise above and succeed, seemingly to spite the odds that were continuously stacked against him.  Instead of using his misfortune as an excuse to develop an entitlement attitude, Thompson fought back to conquer higher ground each time. The result of working harder than the impact of the challenges in his life included returning to college and setting a NCAA record in his 60’s.

“I was proud, to be sure, but this achievement was about much more than merely kicking a football between the uprights. It was about proving that life can be meaningful and productive at any age. It was about encouraging people to fulfill their dreams, to live every day on purpose.” This is Tom Thompson’s story.

MN-Congratulations on the success of Kick Start! I read where the second edition will be released in early 2017. Did you have any idea as you were writing Kick Start that it would be so well received?

TT-Naturally, we hoped the book would reach a broad audience (e.g., both secular and Christian). However, the second edition will enhance Kick Start by telling the story of “after the kick” and sharing goal setting strategies and application information.

MN-Speaking of well received, let’s talk football for a minute. Take me back to the stadium, on the field, in the 2nd quarter of the game between Austin College and Trinity University on November 14, 2009. A certain kicker takes the field and he is an unusual one, at that. What happened?

TT-As the third string kicker and playing for an “old-school” coach, my chances of ever seeing the field during a game was remote. However, two weeks prior to the end of the season my kicking performance had become dramatically better. For example, during one practice I outperformed all of the other kickers (one of which was the starting all-conference kicker). The coach told me if I kept doing a good job, he would put me in to kick after we scored our first touchdown. However, I had to be told to go in to kick. I wasn’t going to assume I would be the kicker. Especially, if I would be kicking the PAT to tie the game against our biggest rival.

As I jogged on to the field, the noise of the crowd diminished into a white noise and time seemed to stand still. I could sense my heartbeat in my ears. Once in position, I let the holder know I was ready…the ball was snapped, but there was not enough on the ball and it was lying sideways on the ground. I was in mid kick when the holder recovered the ball at the last minute and placed it into position. The kick was good! And, as they say…the rest is history.

MN-You mentioned in Kick Start that you began having thoughts such as, ‘What if I went back to college, made a college football team, and played football.’ It is one thing to have thoughts, and quite another to pursue them. What drove you to act on these seemingly random thoughts, especially when you had already successfully acquired three college degrees?

TT-Honestly, I believed this was something God wanted me to do. In particular, my purpose in life is to encourage the Body of Christ to be physically fit. Many people may agree with the notion of “why” someone should be physically fit. Yet, too often people may have difficulty with the “how” of physical fitness. In that light, it is important for me to set an example.

In Kick Start, I mention the time when the football season was coming to an end. My wife encouraged me to finish my degree program in order to set an example for my teammates. Whereby, they would see I didn’t go to college just to play football. More importantly, they would see I finished what I started. In particular, how many people do you know that are a few credits short of earning a college degree? I remind myself of Jesus’ last words on the cross anytime I begin an endeavor. He said, “It is finished”.
MN-I loved reading that you were basically just given two fitness centers to run. Being so active in health and fitness up to that point as a martial arts expert (high level black belt, at that) and a personal trainer had to have made this a dream come true for you. On the other hand, I’m sure you have learned a lot about owning a business. How are your fitness centers doing today and how have you changed as a business owner through the process?

TT-This past spring, I made the decision to focus more on teaching and coaching football at Austin College, public speaking, and writing books. Thus, I have transitioned away from owning and operating fitness centers. However, I remain active in the business world with my real estate investment, leadership development, and corporate fitness management firm.

For many years, Jesus was only my Savior. The biggest change in my life came after I had made Jesus the Lord of my life. As a result, I began to view my business endeavors as my ministry. For example, Jesus ministered in the marketplace.

MN-Not only have you authored Kick Start, but you are a contributing author for a book titled Fit to Lead. Tell me a little about that project.

TT-Fit to Lead was a result of taking the current health and fitness research and leadership theory and suggesting a relationship exists between physical fitness and leadership performance. Central to the project were personal interviews with Bush and Gore from the 2000 Presidential campaign. My contribution to the project was as the physical fitness expert. Two of the co-authors were preeminent leadership professors, while, a fourth co-author was a prominent preventive medicine doctor.

Fit to Lead offers a realistic, easy-to-follow, and life-changing plan to help the reader achieve body fitness, nutritional fitness, and mental fitness.

MN-Looking at you today, you are an incredibly blessed and successful man, and it would be easy to misjudge that success by saying you’ve had an easy life. Kick Start delves into some of your difficulties and challenges, but for readers right now, what encouragement do you have for those that may be thinking their life is too messy to amount to anything?

TT-If you believe God has given you a direction for something, you should step out in faith to see where God leads you. Furthermore, if God has given you a dream, your life situation is irrelevant. Also, I have found that the amount of resistance an individual experiences in the beginning of an endeavor determines the amount of victory enjoyed at the end.

Lastly, in the words of Winston Churchill, “Never, never, never, never, give up”.

MN-Being physically fit helps keep the mind and spirit fit, as well. What is one lifestyle change readers can make today that will positively affect and bring into balance their mind/body/spirit connection?

TT- Develop a new way of thinking. For example, we all know people who want to change their lives. Yet, they are not willing to change how they think. In order to develop an opportunity for long-term behavioral change an individual needs to change the way they think and submit their will to their new way of thinking. Further, just setting goals is not enough. One must set commensurate behavioral limits in order to create the best opportunity to achieve one’s goals.

Author Bio-Dr. Emmet “Tom” Thompson II is an active researcher, educator, business owner, motivational speaker and author. On November 14, 2009, he became the oldest football player in NCAA history and the oldest NCAA football player to score a point during a game. His Austin College jersey number 91 is on display at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Indiana. He and his wife Teresa have three children and live in Coppell, Texas.

From Amazon -A true story of overcoming obstacles to score in the most important game of all―life. Tom Thompson’s journey was fraught with many obstacles and setbacks from a very early age. From a broken home and the early death of his father, to divorce, financial stress, and physical injuries as an adult…it seemed to be one thing after another. Was this the way life was meant to be lived? Along the way, Tom’s life intersected with and was influenced by an assortment of fascinating characters including martial arts champion and legend, Chuck Norris, Elvis and Priscilla Presley, and president of the United States, George W. Bush. His is a remarkable story of stamina and faith, and of overcoming the odds to become the first over-60 NCAA football player. And his example will inspire the reader to Kick Start their life at any age.
You can connect with Thompson on Facebook.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Moving Day!

The time has come to say goodbye to blogspot! C'mon over to the new home for Mary's World which is now a website. You will find all of the same features you have grown to count on here at blogspot-interviews, reviews, press releases on new releases, and more-in a user friendly format.

Please join me at and bookmark the page for future reference!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

New Site Under Construction!

Mary's World has outgrown blog status! What a great problem, right? Over the next couple of weeks, I will be moving this blog over to the new site and will then make the final unveiling by the end of the month. I am excited about the change! It is user friendly for both myself as a writer and for you, the reader.

Can't wait? Visit and follow the progress!

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Friday Funny

Lifeway's A Novel Bookshelf asks "What is the most interesting experience you’ve had while doing research for a novel?"

When I was working on the Courageous novel, I spent some time at a local bookstore writing and doing research. At one point I was standing in a low traffic area, thinking no one was nearby who could hear me. But I turned around and saw this woman six feet away staring at me just after I had asked my police friend on the phone this exact question (no kidding): “So since I can’t use a heroin overdose to kill him, and I have to go with either crystal meth or powder cocaine, which would you advise that I use?”

The woman then pretended she hadn’t heard me, and quickly disappeared. (I just hope she doesn’t attend my church!) An hour later, and no cop had showed up to arrest me. I’m kind of amazed that this woman didn’t call in my description to the police when she got home, after wrestling with her conscience or talking to her husband. In which case, this story would have been entered as evidence.
- Randy Alcorn, author of Courageous Novelization

Visit A Novel Bookshelf to see the article in its entirety.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Is Your Finished Product Worthy of His Endorsement?

I love to read, this is no great mystery. I am fortunate to have many genres from countless gifted authors constantly at my disposal. I can afford to be picky, choosing only those that resonate a longing to know what happens between the artistic and colorful front and back covers. If you would have told me many years ago that my passion to read would one day turn into a career that offered the luxury and availability of the best in the business, I wouldn't have believed it. Lucky? Blessed? Beyond my wildest imagination!

Which is why this morning's devotion caught my eye:
And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. ~Revelation 5:4

I can't imagine a book being so holy, so pure, so consecrated that no man was found worthy to open, let alone read the book. I forget sometimes how ceremonial God is. He is precise. He is calculated. He is renowned. This book is so sacred to Him that only one-Jesus Christ himself-is deserving of the honor to touch, open, and read it.

As an editor, reader, reviewer, interviewer and lover of the written word, I realize words are profound and meaningful. As Christian authors and publishers, we need to constantly be reminded of our ministry as it applies to publications. Our motive should not be to merely entertain, neither should the prime objective be to move books and generate a bulging net figure.

If God has given you the gift of communication, never forget the enormous responsibility you owe your readers as a Christian author. You can be entertaining but your priority should begin and end with the desire to lead your readers to the Him. Forget trying to court a cross over audience or appeal to a certain market. If God has given you a vision for a book, write it and He will take care of the rest. Yes, I am simplistic and completely trust in His ability to manage the details. I believe that if He calls us to fulfill a certain ministry, He has already taken care of those details.

As much as I love reading novels, I appreciate the authors that work tirelessly to bring their characters to life and the publishers that utilize their team of experts to get those books to various outlets. I am in awe of the process and work diligently to assist in multiple capacities from editing manuscripts to the publicity of the finished product. Perhaps my devotion to this industry causes me to be passionate about what we do, how we do it, and why we do it. Let us always keep in mind that our work should mirror God himself: calculated, precise, ceremonial. Our challenge should be to truly represent who He is in everything we do, especially the work of our hands. Make every word count, every character's struggle worthy of black ink, and the outcome a testimony to the power of God.

The Berenstain Bears-All Things Bright and Beautiful

Press Release

The Bear Cubs learn from their Sunday school teacher that God's Earth is precious and will stay that way only if we care for it.

Missus Ursula, the Sunday school teacher, takes her Sunday school class on a nature walk to appreciate God’s bright and beautiful creation. Includes a sheet of colorful stickers!

The Berenstain Bears are celebrating their 50th Anniversary in 2012.

Stan and Jan Berenstain were already successful cartoonists for magazines and adult humor books when they began writing children's books. The first story starring the bear family, The Big Honey Hunt, appeared in 1962. Since then, more than 340 Berenstain Bears books have been published, and more than 260 million copies have been sold. What began as an idea sparked by their young sons' love of reading has become over the years arguably the best-selling children's book series ever.

Since their inception, the Berenstain Bears stories have expanded to include picture books, beginning readers, and chapter books--even a hit TV show on PBS. Writing and illustrating the books has become a Berenstain family affair. Mike joined with his parents as a creative team in the late 1980s. The Bear family has expanded over the years as well. Sister Bear arrived in 1974, and baby Honey joined the family in 2000.

Reading level: Ages 4 and up

Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Zonderkidz (January 10, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310720885
ISBN-13: 978-0310720881
Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 7.8 x 0.1 inches

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Perfect Christian Woman According to Christian Publishing

This lady…

Lives a Purpose Driven Life and knows the Power of a Praying Wife.

She practices Five Love Languages and will not be Left Behind.

She spent 90 Minutes in Heaven and is convinced that Heaven is for Real.

She is both Captivating and Radical because she Kissed Dating Goodbye and has developed a Mary Heart in a Martha World.

She wears Blue Like Jazz and keeps The Shack spotless while making a Case for Christ.

She secured Dinner with a Perfect Stranger and appreciates a man who is Wild at Heart and More Than a Carpenter.

But ultimately the Christian Publisher is most attracted to and admires the perfect Christian woman because she is......Amish.

~composed with tongue in cheek by Steve Laube

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Vow by Kim Carpenter, Krickett Carpenter, and Dana Wilkerson

Press Release

When you marry another person, you make a vow to love and cherish your spouse through thick and thin, as long as you both shall live. But what if that commitment is tested by serious illness, or financial difficulty? Would you stay together? Are there limits on how far love can go?

Kim and Krickitt Carpenter never expected their commitment to each other to be tested so early, when 2 months after their wedding, a car accident left Krickett with a traumatic head injury and in a coma. When she awoke several weeks later, her rehabilitation began, but Krickitt had no memory of her husband. The previous 18 months when they had met, fallen in love, and been married were completely erased. Kim and Krickitt had to start all over again with the stress of physical rehabilitation, mounting medical bills and amnesia against them.

In The Vow, the Carpenters share their story of how, against enormous odds, they stuck together, fell in love again, and kept the marriage vows they'd made to each other. They also share their Christian faith, and how it sustained them through their most difficult times. In this volume, you'll read about the true events that inspired the February 2012 movie starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, and see personal photos from Kim and Krickitt.

Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: B&H Books; Mti edition (February 10, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 143367579X
ISBN-13: 978-1433675799
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches