See this guy to the left? Yep, his name is Brandon Vogt. Catholic convert, author, blogger extraordinaire, and flat-out talented dude. Young (25 years old), smart and articulate. His first book, The Church and New Media: Blogging Converts, Online Activists, and Bishops Who Tweet is awesome, and well worth reading. In fact, I have an extra copy of his book… more on that momentarily.

Here’s what you might not know: Brandon has been extremely helpful to me in terms of becoming a Catholic author. He’s close to twenty years my junior, but has been a mentor in many ways. Because  I need it. Being a new author ain’t easy.

Have you ever sort of felt like God have you a little pat on the back, a bit of encouragement, out of the clear blue sky? Brandon has been God’s messenger of this type of thing more than once. In fact, I was thinking about doing a short video trailer for my forthcoming book Faith at Work: Finding Purpose Beyond the Paycheck (Brandon’s suggestion) and my son T.J. called and asked if he and a couple classmates could do one for me. It’s for a marketing class at Franciscan University – what great timing!

I feel a sense of responsibility to be a good author and sell books for Our Sunday Visitor. Yet I feel an even greater calling to get the book out there as a means of cooperating with grace. My prayer is that people reading the book will be inspired, encouraged, and challenged to completely embrace our incredible faith in every aspect of life, including work.

So to that end, I’m offering free shipping on signed books through my website (the book will be available to ship right around March 1, 2012) and I would ask that you prayerfully consider purchasing copies for yourself and anyone else you think would benefit! As an additional little encouragement (think of it as a little pat on the back) I’m going to offer a few giveaways over the upcoming weeks to folks who have preordered on my web site. Just click the paypal “buy now” button to preorder. Those who order early will have the best chances for a free book.

Since Brandon has been so helpful, I thought giving away a copy of his book would be a great way to begin. So please consider preordering Faith at Work: Finding Purpose Beyond the Paycheck between now and next Saturday, November 26. I’ll announce the winner on Sunday the 27th. If you don’t make it by then, no worries, I’ll keep doing book giveaways each week until the book ships.

Here’s one last bit of encouragement, if you need it – just consider this completely over the top endorsement by my friend Mike Aquilina:

I’ve known Kevin Lowry as a Catholic and a businessman for the better part of two decades. And I’ve been waiting all that time for him to write THE book on faith in the workplace. Reading this book is a privilege — like the chance to learn shortstop from Derek Jeter or songwriting from Paul McCartney. Take notes.

Thanks for the encouragement you offer by supporting Catholic publishing, and please consider sharing this post with your networks. I appreciate it!