A Week In Reviews: March 12-18th

Every day, our Nuts About Books reviewers send in reviews of their favourite Christian books and films we’ve sent them over the few past months. We love reading these reviews and finding out what content is resonating and helpful to Christians. We trust their opinions, and think you will too! That is why Graf-Martin Communications is starting a new series to highlight their voices.

This week, our reviewers are talking about titles from Baker Publishing Group and Mongrel Home Entertainment. We are so grateful for their partnership.


Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley

“With the perfect mixture of intrigue and nail-biting suspense, award-winning author Patricia Bradley invites you to crack the case–if you can–alongside the best Memphis has to offer… This series is off to a great start. If you are a fan of Christian romantic suspense you need to give this one a try.” – Paper Tape & Pins


Do you feel ambitious this year? Join Lani, from “All This Crazy Grace” as she tries to read 100 books in 2017! She’s off to a great start with this selection of books she’s reviewed to date! Cheer her on at allthiscrazygrace.com


In the Shadow of Denali by Tracie Peterson

“So many elements combine to make this a wonderful story on multiple levels. From unique settings to lovable characters to suspenseful plots to realistic pondering about faith and relationships, “In the Shadow of Denali” is a fantastic start to a new series and a book that I both recommend and plan to enjoy again soon.” – Prairie Sky Book Reviews


Race To Win (2017 film)

“This is surprisingly not your typical story of an underdog horse rising to the top – though I definitely thought it would be! Though we’ve all seen many films like this one, Race […]

March 24th, 2017|Tags: |0 Comments

Why Elmira?

Eight years ago, when we launched our agency, I never imagined the projects, people and places that were ahead of us. It’s been an incredible journey so far! One of the questions we often get asked is, “Why are you in Elmira?” It’s a good question!

We started out in Waterloo, Ontario, by default. It’s just where I happened to live at the time. When we realized that Graf-Martin Communications was taking on a life of it’s own, Dan & I decided to find a home with the right zoning and some potential office space, never imagining that we’d grow beyond a small business with remote staff. When we found our home (with a basement ready to be transformed into my office) in Elmira, no one was more surprised than us. I never thought we’d land in rural Ontario.

But God knew. Just a few years into this journey, we were bursting at the seams but well-settled into life in this gorgeous little town (only 10 minutes outside Waterloo – Canada’s own Silicon Valley). One day, when we knew we needed to find the right space for our growing team, and were bemoaning the lack of office, our financial advisor stepped in with a recommendation on a place that might just be for sale – to the right buyer. The owner was happy to sell to a young family with a newish business and, honestly, this was a dream come true for us. It turns out, one of the best parts of living and working in a small town is being connected!

When we walked into our offices at 40 Church St. West, we knew we were home (although we could hardly believe the opportunity in front of […]

March 22nd, 2017|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

The Shack film in Canada, thanks to Ministry Partners

We are privileged to be working on The Shack movie in conjunction with Entertainment One Canada. Entertainment One have been great to work with and W Paul Young has been an excellent support to us and to the ministries in Canada.

With over 22 million copies sold, and 105 weeks spent on the New York Times and 49 weeks on the Globe and Mail’s best-sellers lists, The Shack arrives in theatres on Friday, March 3rd.

The Shack shares the story of a father’s uplifting spiritual journey. After suffering a family tragedy, Mack Phillips [Sam Worthington] spirals into a crisis of faith. After receiving a mysterious letter, Mack journeys to the shack and encounters an enigmatic trio of strangers led by a woman named Papa [Octavia Spencer]. Through this meeting, Mack finds important truths that will transform his understanding of his tragedy and change his life forever.

A Great Ministry Tool
Although the book has raised controversy, many have appreciated the story’s parable and The Shack has served as the cornerstone for many readers’ journeys of healing and a reconnection with God. The Shack provides a compelling platform from which to engage in a discussion and exploration of who God is, and how he cares.
Paul Young was asked: Why do you think your book appealed to so many people?

His answer: Because it deals with difficult issues and does so as a human being and not a religious person who relies on platitudes, principles and formulas. The Shack gave people a language to have a conversation about God that wasn’t religious, but RELATIONAL and had the respect to allow the reader to hear for themselves. It also validated the holiness of people’s stories and the preciousness of their tears. [Source]

Meet […]

Has The Church Changed The Message Of Jesus?

Pastor Bruxy Cavey unfolds the piety-smashing message of God in Reunion
WATERLOO, ON – February 23, 2017 –  Is it possible that over the centuries the church has altered the message of Christ? Has modern Christianity wrapped itself so tightly in a fragmented, inactive version of the gospel that the life-changing message of God has been smothered? Canadian Pastor Bruxy Cavey thinks the answer is yes. He speaks to a new generation interested in Jesus but embarrassed by Christians in his latest book, Reunion: The Good News of Jesus for Seekers, Saints, and Sinners (Herald Press, May 2017).
“The message of Jesus changed the world . . . until the world changed the message,” says Cavey, bestselling author and teaching pastor at The Meeting House. “But I’m happy to say that there is a growing movement of truth-seekers and Jesus-lovers who are calling for a return to the first and foundational good news message of Jesus. This book is inspired by them, and it is an invitation to join their ranks.”
In Reunion, Cavey explains why Christians shouldn’t follow the Bible—but why they will want to read it to learn how to follow Jesus. He encourages readers to discover their true citizenship in the Jesus nation, where they might be ready to die for a cause but never willing to kill for one.
“One of the biggest obstacles to Christ has sometimes been Christians,” says activist and bestselling author Shane Claiborne in the foreword to Reunion. “We often look very unlike the Christ we worship. . . . Bruxy wants a Christianity that looks like Jesus again.”
The Meeting House is one of the largest churches in Canada, according to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research. More than 10,000 […]

February 23rd, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on Has The Church Changed The Message Of Jesus?

Lee Strobel’s Best-Selling “The Case For Christ” Comes To Life In Film

“The Case For Christ” is set to release broadly across Canada April 7, 2017
WATERLOO—February 21, 2017—THE CASE FOR CHRIST comes to life in its big screen debut, releasing in select markets across Canada on April 7, 2017. The film is based on Lee Strobel’s best-selling book about his own journey as an award-winning investigative journalist and resolute atheist who sets out to disprove Christianity.
“The book The Case for Christ lays out the overwhelming foundation of evidence from which personal faith can rise,” Strobel said. The film gives the dramatic story behind the story of a man with personal animosity for Christianity who used journalistic and legal techniques to evaluate its claims. THE CASE FOR CHRIST takes audiences on an exciting journey from skepticism to belief. The film draws on the true story of Lee and Leslie Strobel, whose marriage struggled as her growing faith collided with his determined atheism. The dramatic retelling of their journey offers a human touch on the in-depth research Lee Strobel conducted. THE CASE FOR CHRIST is a moving story that will inspire everyone who sees it: believers, those who are searching, and even those who are where Lee Strobel once was.

From Pure Flix and Triple Horse Studios, THE CASE FOR CHRIST stars Mike Vogel (The Help), Erika Christensen (Parenthood), Academy Award® winner Faye Dunaway (Bonnie And Clyde, Chinatown), Academy Award® nominee Robert Forster (Jackie Brown), L. Scott Caldwell (Lost) and Frankie Faison (The Wire).
Jonathan M. Gunn (Do You Believe?) directs THE CASE FOR CHRIST, written by Brian Bird, (When Calls the Heart, Touched by An Angel) and based on Strobel’s book, published by Zondervan, part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing.
In 1980, after he won prestigious awards for investigative journalism, […]

February 21st, 2017|Tags: |1 Comment

The Shack Film Based On Best-Selling Book Will Be In Theatres Across Canada March 3

The Shack Film based on the best-selling book will be in theatres across Canada March 3, 2017
WATERLOO, ON – February 2, 2017 – From the producers of Life of Pi and The Blindside and based on one of the top 100 best-selling books of all time with over 22 million in print worldwide, The Shack takes us on a father’s life-transforming journey that will show him the ultimate truth about love, loss and forgiveness. With Canadian distribution through Entertainment One, the highly-anticipated film will release broadly across the country on March 3rd, 2017, with special premiere nights on March 2nd in select cities.
After suffering a family tragedy, Mack Phillips [Sam Worthington] spirals into a deep depression, “the great sadness,” that isolates him from his family and his closest friend Willie [Tim McGraw] and causes him to question his innermost fundamental beliefs. Facing a crisis of faith, he receives a mysterious letter urging him to an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness.
Despite his doubts, Mack journeys to the shack and encounters an enigmatic trio of strangers led by a woman named Papa [Octavia Spencer]. Through this meeting, Mack finds important truths that will transform his understanding of his tragedy and change his life forever.
The Shack is a modern-day parable that brings to life deep spiritual truth and provides the path for healing through impossible tragedy. For all those who have wondered where God is in their pain, for those who have questioned if God is there at all, The Shack presents an unforgettable encounter with a divine love that promises to never leave us.
Find theatres, premiere locations and view The Shack trailer at:  www.theshackmovie.ca
Click for the Canadian poster and flyer or find other valuable materials at http://theshackresources.com/

Canadian Media Contact:
Tara Hoyte
Graf-Martin […]

February 2nd, 2017|Tags: , , , , , , |Comments Off on The Shack Film Based On Best-Selling Book Will Be In Theatres Across Canada March 3

Steven Curtis Chapman Set To Release Memoir, Between Heaven and the Real World, On March 7

For The First Time In His Highly Successful Career Spanning 30 Years, This Music Luminary Shares Intimate Details of His Personal Journey, His Family Life, And Stories Behind His Most Beloved Songs
WATERLOO – February 1, 2017 – In a music career that spans an astounding 30 years, Steven Curtis Chapman is the most awarded artist in Christian music history. He has received five GRAMMYs®, 58 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, an American Music Award, 48 No. 1 singles, and has more than eleven million albums sold and eight RIAA-certified gold or platinum albums to his credit. Now, he has taken the step to share his life story with his memoir, Between Heaven and the Real World. The book, written with New York Times best-selling author Ken Abraham, is slated to hit shelves and all digital platforms on March 7, 2017 with Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
For decades Steven Curtis Chapman’s music and message have brought hope and inspiration to millions of people around the world, and for the first time this music luminary is ready to share intimate details of his own personal journey. The aptly titled book will take the reader inside Chapman’s childhood in Paducah, KY and along his amazing journey that has carried him to far higher heights and more devastating depths than he ever could have imagined. He shares with startling honesty about the places on his journey where he has wrestled with the unfixable things, even his own insecurities, only to find much of the inspiration for his life and his music in those very places. He also reveals honest and vulnerable stories about his 32-year marriage to the love of his life, Mary Beth, and their […]

February 1st, 2017|Tags: , , , , |Comments Off on Steven Curtis Chapman Set To Release Memoir, Between Heaven and the Real World, On March 7

David Lewis – Baker Publishing Group

Since 2008, Baker Publishing Group has trusted Ellen and her team at Graf-Martin Communications with our Canadian marketing & publicity efforts. It has proven to be a great choice, year after year, as they’ve made our Canadian marketing & publicity work seamlessly, acting as part of our team, innovating regularly, making the most of every opportunity to get our titles in front of media, bloggers, influencers and church leaders, and even maximizing our US digital advertising opportunities. Their commitment to and understanding of publishing, our organization, our authors and our priorities make them an invaluable partner.

– David Lewis

Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Baker Publishing Group

January 10th, 2017|Tags: |Comments Off on David Lewis – Baker Publishing Group

Amy Sonnenberg – Designed For You Nutrition

Many thanks to the fantastic team at Graf Martin Communications for their thoughtful advice, attention to detail and willingness to go the extra step, sometimes even mile, to make sure I was happy with my new website. They took the time to listen to my heart’s vision and fused with optimum function, readability and other techie terms I am still getting comfortable with!

– Amy Sonnenberg

Owner, Designed For You Nutrition

January 4th, 2017|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Amy Sonnenberg – Designed For You Nutrition

Attracting Customers and Re-learning Sales

We’re always learning around our office! Recently I took a hubspot course on inbound marketing. We learned about “drawing business in,” rather than going out and hunting for customers. It’s a key shift that affects all our clients. The aspect of inbound that most interested me was inbound sales: how inbound marketing affects the selling process.
How sales has changed
Over the last few decades, the sales process has changed entirely. Before the internet, salespeople were the guardians of information. To learn about a product, potential customers would have to go through the salesperson, and the seller would give general information to everyone. They had all the control during this process. It was all about the seller. We’ve moved to being all about the buyer.

Now that the internet is everyone’s best friend and first source of information, sellers can no longer hold onto all the information.  If they skew stats, the clients will know, and look for service elsewhere. Often buyers have made 60% of their purchasing decision before talking to anyone. Inbound sales informs us that it has become the job of the seller to craft a sales message directly responsive to the needs of the individual. The more information that hits the “reasons to buy,” the better. Every sales pitch becomes custom made, unique. Centering the information to the specific needs of someone helps build credibility and shows the purchaser that ultimately, it’s all about them.
Bringing in the right people
Inbound marketing helps with sales by attracting the right potential customers to connect with the right company or product. By providing compelling content that is related to matching potential clients’ needs with your products, website traffic (and sales!) will be generated by people who are looking for what you have to […]

November 18th, 2016|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Attracting Customers and Re-learning Sales