Saturday, June 10, 3:00 pm

Blue Ridge Books and the Christian Writers Fellowship of Western NC will host Jon Decker, the author of Golf is My Life: Glorifying God through the Game, on Saturday, June 10 at 3:00 pm at Blue Ridge Books.

Decker grew up in Bryson City and Black Mountain, NC. Both towns are highlighted in the book. He was raised in the United Methodist Church, and often would go to Lake Junaluska during Bible camps.

As a child Decker dreamed of being a PGA player. Instead he went to Orlando, Fl and became a teaching professional. Golf allowed Jon to play and teach the game while moving in career and social circles unimaginable by a boy who grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina. This book contains amazing stories and life-changing occurrences in a journey among some of golf’s greatest players, world-class athletes and hall of fame coaches.

The book has stories about many WNC celebrities including Brad Johnson, Brad Daugherty and Roy Williams. Bobby Cremins (formerly of Appalachian St and Georgia Tech). The book was edited by WNC native, Pete McDaniel (former editor for Hendersonville Newspaper and Golf Digest senior writer).



Personal Branding Workshop with Nancy Blanton, author - Saturday, June 24, 3 – 5 pm

Blanton will lead participants through the steps during a personal branding workshop Saturday, June 24, 3 – 5 p.m. at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville.

In a highly competitive marketplace, personal branding helps professionals such as authors, artists, consultants and small business owners to become memorable and likeable to prospective customers. But hiring a branding firm can be an expensive proposition. Instead, anaward-winning book offers an 8-step,do-it-yourself process based on techniques used by the first personal branders, kings and queens.

“In the corporate world, branding programs can cost millions of dollars. Most individuals don’t have that kind of budget to work with, and they don’t need it,” says Nancy Blanton, author of Brand Yourself Royally in 8 Simple Steps. “The eight steps help you define who you already are in a way that will resonate with your audiences. You do it all yourself with some time and a little soul searching.”

The royals learned first and best how to establish a personal brand, Blanton says, because their lives and their thrones depended on it. “England’s Queen Elizabeth I, for example, came to the throne following her half-sister, Bloody Mary, so she risked assassination if she couldn’t convince people she’d be a strong but a loving queen who wouldn’t chop off so many heads. From Elizabeth we learn the art of effective positioning.”

The 96-page handbook gives examples of successful kings, queens, an emperor and a couple of presidents, with “gems from the crown” or lessons learned from each. Blanton’s process uses these gems to help the reader find his or her own brand values, vision, mission and other brand elements, and then put them to work in a step-by-step communications plan.

When it comes to graphic design, typography or advertising, you still may want to hire a professional, but the eight steps will build a brand guideline to help ensure consistency. “And consistency is the key to a strong brand,” Blanton said.

“What’s great about this process,” she adds, “is that if you really get serious about it, you are defining your own passions and purpose in life. There is something deeply rewarding in that.”

In creating the book, Blanton was able to combine her corporate branding experience with her passion for writing historical novels. “As I researched my books, I found fascinating sources, and they all helped inform the personal branding process. I did it for myself at first, but then realized it could also work for others.”

In 2016 Blanton’s book medaled in the President’s Books Awards, Florida Authors and Publishers Association. One of the judges, Ken Johnson, CEO of Johnson Institute, said,"I have an MBA and consult with authors, small business owners, etc. Your book was a delight to read! I wish business schools would use it as a text for marketing and brand development."

The cost of the workshop is $39. The fee includes handouts, refreshments and a copy of Brand Yourself Royally. Preregistration is required. Please call or come by Blue Ridge Books to preregister. 828-456-6000



Join the Smoky Mountain Chess Club every Thursday from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm in our events room.  Players of all levels are welcome.



Contact Information

Blue Ridge Books
152 S Main St
Waynesville, NC 28786


Open daily from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

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