Friday, June 24, 2011

Congratulation to client Suzanne Hartmann

Congratulations to Suzanne Hartmann on signing the contract for her "The Race That Lies Before Us" with Oak/Tara Publishers.

A top-secret agent with enhanced strength must use her extraordinary abilities during several high-profile assignments—from the White House to NASCAR tracks—but struggles with trusting God to protect her secrets when unwanted publicity and interest from a NASCAR champion threaten to expose them. As the danger builds, she becomes a terrorist target and realizes the only way she can save her life as she knows it is through death.

This novel will appeal to those who love character-driven suspense stories and readers who enjoy Ted Dekker’s books. The novel will also draw readers from the 75 million NASCAR fans.

Suzanne has a B.A. in Composition and Linguistics, is an editor with Port Yonder Press, and operates the Write at Home Critique Service. Milliken Publishing included four of her short stories in one of their reading workbooks. She is a member of the 2000 member American Christian Fiction Writers, actively involved in several critique groups and on-line writers’ forums, and maintains a blog that goes out to over 1500 contacts.

The novel will be released on a yet to be determined date in 2012

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Client Jonathan Wakefield signs contract

Jonathan has just signed a contract with Oak/Tara for his title "Fatal Reality."

Kyle Borders simply wanted to share his faith with a huge audience as he participated in the first reality show broadcast live on the Internet. But that faith is tested when Daniel Vats—the show’s creator—thrusts Kyle into a fight for survival, kidnapping the contestants and forcing them to run a race on a South Pacific island where only the winner will be allowed to live.

Fatal Reality will attract anyone who enjoys an action-packed thriller that also addresses challenging spiritual and cultural issues. This encompasses primarily a Christian audience, but it may also reach a segment of the secular audience seeking stories that delve deeper into morality and philosophy than what they normally read. Fatal Reality could be the perfect alternative for those who enjoy authors like James Patterson or David Morrell. And as reality shows continue to draw and fascinate a large number of viewers, a thriller focused on a reality show gone awry featuring a life-and-death struggle may attract some of those viewers.

The author has had short stories published in The Rose & Thorn, The Messenger, and Parables, has have written articles for various magazines and journals, including New Man, Men of Integrity, Live, The Gem, VP1, and the Richmond Times-Dispatch. This is his debut novel but he has a sequel well underway and is working on a third book. He is a member of the Christian Writers Guild and has completed the Apprentice, Journeyman, and Craftsman levels of their “What’s Your Story?” curriculum. He has trained under authors Jerry B. Jenkins, John Perrodin, James Scott Bell, Jeff Gerke, and Douglas Hirt.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Caron Guillo win Indie Award

Client Caron Guillo's An Uncommon Crusade from Written World Communications was honored recently to win Religious Fiction category of the 2011 Next Generation Indie Book Awards - she now has that award on the front of the book which sports a terrific new cover (below).

It isn't the first recognition of this title,  in the Amazon / Publishers Weekly "Breakthrough Novel Competition," ( the writing equivalent of Dancing With the Stars) Caron made the cut for the 5,000 to be considered, the 1,000 semi-finalists and on to the top 100 before losing out in the finals. Along the way she got terrific reviews and feedback. 

A quick thumbnail of the book:

Elisabeth, Simon, and Hugo join an ill-fated crusade to liberate Jerusalem from Muslim occupation. Blinded by their desire for power, glory, and vindication, they pay a terrible price for their ambitions, suffering disease, hunger, shipwreck, and enslavement in Egypt. A work of fiction based on historical events that has strong implications for today's world. The author weaves an unforgettable story of hope and perseverance set in a very dark period of history.

Caron is a pastor's wife and a former world history teacher. Past publishing credits include numerous short stories, articles, and/or feature articles for Christian Woman, Choice, Church & Family, and Church Growth magazines. Authored “Real Family Values,” a parenting and family life column for Choice Magazine. Contributing author for God Answers Prayers Military Edition (Harvest House, 2005) and the “Line of Departure Training Journal.” She is currently working on a third full-length manuscript in between trips to lead tours to Italy.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Congratulations to client Lynda Schab

Sincere congratulations to Lynda Schab for signing a contract for her "Mind Over Madi" with Oak Tara Press.

At twelve years old, Madi received her first lesson from her passive-aggressive, recently-burned mother that all men cheat. A lesson that included a tad too much information about Madi’s father’s numerous affairs. Twenty-six years later, Madi is convinced her own husband, RICHARD, is having an affair.

Lynda Schab got her writing start in greeting cards. From there, she went on to write articles, web content, and dozens of short stories, many of which have been published in articles and anthologies. Lynda has been a ACFW Genesis competition finalist for four straight years. She has also been a finalist in the RWA chapter’s Get your Stiletto in the Door and was a Page Turner winner at Faithwriters in 2009. Currently, she handles several monthly freelance assignments and is the Grand Rapids Christian Writing Examiner for

More on Lynda at

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Congratulations to client Jennifer Hudson Taylor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Among this year’s winners of the Holt Medallion is author Jennifer Hudson Taylor’s Highland Blessings (Abingdon Press, May 2010), which received the honor of “Best First Book.”

Upon learning of the achievement, Taylor said “Winning the Holt Medallion Award in the Best First Book category is such an honor as it includes the first books from all the categories in mainstream romantic

Additionally, Highland Blessings, a romance set in 1473 Scotland, is a finalist in the Long Inspirational category.

“As an historical Christian romance author,” Taylor stated, “I hope more people realize that there truly is quality Christian romance that will appeal to readers beyond the CBA market. It's all about touching hearts, changing lives, and giving people encouragement to make it through their daily lives."

Since 1995, the Virginia Romance Writers (VRW) have recognized the achievements of published romance writers with the Holt Medallion Awards. According to the VRW website, medallions are awarded to the authors whose books are selected by a panel of romance readers as the best in each of twelve categories.

Jennifer Hudson Taylor is an award winning author of historical Christian fiction and a speaker on topics of faith, writing and publishing. Her work has appeared in national publications, such as Guideposts, Heritage Quest Magazine, Romantic Times Book Reviews, and The Military Trader. When she isn't writing, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, genealogy, and reading. Her upcoming novel, Highland
Sanctuary, releases in October 2011 from Abingdon Press.

For more information visit
Abingdon Press fiction includes stories of faith, hope, and love which explore the gray areas of
life—situations that seemingly have no clear-cut solutions. These stories strive to illuminate the
human condition and express God’s enduring love and grace for all. Abingdon Press also
publishes resources for church leaders, scholars, and students engaged in leading congregations
and theological education, and inspirational books and study materials that reach a broad
audience. Abingdon resources are available in Christian and general bookstores and from many
online book sellers.

Highland Blessings
By Jennifer Hudson Taylor
Abingdon Press, May 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4267-0226-6 • Category: Fiction • Price: $13.99 • Format: Softcover

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Guest Blog by client Pam Meyers

My First Sale!!!!

About a month ago I received a call, known among the publishing industry as THE call, from my agent Terry Burns. The conversation started out like this:

Terry: Hi, Pam, how are you?
Me:    Fine. How are you?

All the while I'm thinking that he never calls for casual conversations, especially when he's at a conference, so why is he calling me in the middle of the morning? The conversation continued.

Terry: "She wants the book!!!"
Me: "Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Are you serious?"
Terry: "Yes. She wants it."
Me: (sniffling and wiping my nose) "I am so amazed."

He then turned the phone over to Bonnie Calhoun, one of my crit partners who is also a client of his. She was at the conference and insisted she be with him when he called me. She screamed with me again and gave me my first congratulations.
Ramona Tucker, my editor & me signing the contract!

Then, outside of my closest friends, I could not tell the news until the contract was signed. I had to wait a few more weeks until last Saturday. Both Terry and the editor, Ramona Tucker, were at the Write to Publish Conference a short drive away from me. I drove there for lunch and after we ate, Ramona handed me my contract. Terry took our picture and now I can announce that my book, "Thyme for Love" has been contracted with Oak Tara Publishing. Release date to be announced later. I have not yet come down from the cloud I'm floating on.

But it's true! I'm sitting here with a copy of the signed contract in front of me along with a to-do list to get everything ready to roll on production later this summer or fall.

I give God all the glory for this. I've been writing for a long time and had some close calls, but never THE phone call I wanted. But God knows what is best for us, and His timing is perfect all the time. At the right time He allowed all the pieces to fall into place.

I'll keep everyone posted as to the release date. What fun. As ACFW's New Release Coordinator, I'll get to announce my own book!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Marshal Dillion rides into the sunset

We lost a big man (literally) when James Arness died at the age of 88. I grew up watching Gunsmoke every week and it feels a lot like losing a member of the family.

Last month I posted here that we were in Dodge City recently and I got the chance to hang out at the Long Branch Saloon for a while. It's part of the Boot Hill Museum complex there. I felt like the spirits of Doc, Chester and Miss Kitty were looking over my shoulder. If I was back there now, Matt would be there with them.

I'm in a group of well-published western writers and they have had a lot to say about it yesterday. A lot of tidbits were being passed around, like the fact that they originally wanted John Wayne for the role, but he declined and suggested Arness instead. Now I can't imagine anybody else in the role.

His real name was Aurness, but he dropped the 'U' for show business reasons. When the war came along he wrote his draft board and asked to be drafted. He was wounded in the leg at Anzio, hospitalized for a year, and it left him with the slight limp that we all remember so well.

An intensely private man, his long time co-star Amanda Blake (Miss Kitty) said "I've worked with him for 16 years but I don't really know him." In an article that he wrote for "Persimmon Hill" Johnny Boggs reported that Arness said in a personal interview, "I don't think anybody could have predicted it (Gunsmoke) would last that long, but I did feel right away that it was going to be a high quality show because they had a core of really good writers. The stories that we did were not just shoot-em-up and ride by westerns. It was more character study."

One by one the members of the group recounted memories of sitting around with the family on Saturday nights and how those family memories seem strongly tied to the series. One member of the group that is a U S Marshal said Arness is one of very few non-marshals to be presented with an official badge after he did a recruitment video for the marshals service. I smiled when he said "I aspire to be half the Marshal Mr. Arness was."

He made over 30 movies in addition to his TV career, but is most remembered for his Gunsmoke role. Happy trails, Marshal, we'll remember you.