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Friday, May 28, 2010

Memorial Day Makes Us Contemplate Freedom and Liberties


As Memorial Day approaches, I, like many others, am feeling deep gratitude for the freedoms and liberties we all share living here in these United States.

Amongst our many faults and problems we still live, in my estimation, in the finest country in the world.

Having once lived in the poorest country in the western hemisphere, Haiti, I am grateful for running water, electricity, and paved roads. We have public schools where most children receive a good education. Yes we pay taxes for these things and utility bills come monthly in the mail. Yet most of us eat three meals a day, not always what we would like but we rarely go hungry. We walk in relative safety as we shop in grocery stores with myriad choices of goods. And most important of all, we can worship at the church of our choice. We can gather at our homes for bible studies, home parties and maintain a private residence if we have the resources.

All of these things are as a result of a godly foundation and the kept liberties by our Armed forces.

I pray that we continue to share in these freedoms. I encourage you all to pray for this nation, be vigilant . Learn what you can about your local government. Vote responsibly and pray for those in authority. Remember our troops here and around the world, and especially the families and loved ones of those that have died in battle and service to our country. Step out of your comfort zone- go out of your way this weekend to honor those that keep us free and as you gather to worship this Sunday may we do so with hearts full of gratitude.

My nephew Anton Sattler and his co worker Brian Iglesias were just rewarded a win at the GI Film Festival two weeks ago for their documentary on the remaining veterans of the Korean War. Please feel free to visit their site at http://www.frozenchosin.com/ to view clips and read the testimonies of these brave men.

Have a Happy and Safe Memorial Day,
from my heart to yours,
Diana

Comfort Publishing Announcement on Terry's Client Max Elliott Anderson


Comfort Publishing Announces Plans to Re-launch Popular Youth Literature Series -

Concord, NC Comfort Publishing announces today that is has signed popular children’s adventure and mystery author, Max Elliot Anderson, to a contract that involves re-publishing seven of his very successful youth mysteries, as well as a new addition to the series!

Comfort Publishing, located in Concord, North Carolina, is picking up where Elliot’s previous publisher left off due to economic pressures.

titles to be republished by Comfort Publishing include Newspaper Caper, Terror at WolfLake, North Woods Poachers, Mountain Cabin Mystery, Big Rig Rustlers, Secret of Abbott’s Cave, and Legend of the White Wolf. A new book, Barney and the Runaway, will also be published. All titles will have new cover art and look upon their re-release.

“We are excited to have Max as part of the Comfort Publishing family of authors,” said Jason Huddle, Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing. “Mr. Anderson has already proven himself as a successful author in his genre and we look forward to being a part of that success as he moves forward with this series of books for young men!”

“Over a period of three-and-a-half years,” Mr. Anderson added, “I wrote 35 manuscripts. Now I’m glad I did that.” Each book has different characters, locations, and plots.

“I began writing in 2001 because I grew up hating to read,” Anderson said. “Now, with a recent study released by the Center on Education Policy, which spotlights the difficulties boys have with reading, my books seem to be coming out at just the right time.”

Mr. Anderson began writing his action-adventures and mysteries geared toward boys ages 8 – 13. They are equally enjoyed by girls. Even adults find his books hard to put down. One child recently noted, “Reading one of your books is like being in an exciting movie.”

Further details can be found on Mr. Anderson’s blog, Books for Boys, at http://booksandboys.blogspot.com This blog consistently ranks # 1 on Google, when searching for information about books for boys. Comfort Publishing will announce the publishing dates for these books soon.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Join Diana in Welcoming Guest Blogger Elaine Miller with another conference update


Why Attend a Writer's Conference

If Christians stop writing, what choices will people have at the bookstore and the super market check-out aisle? Trips to the grocery store are enough to spur me on to write and to encourage Christians to publish their stories.

"Get thee to a writer's conference" is my first suggestion to anyone who asks how to get their book published. At Montrose Christian Writer's Conference I sold my first article and learned to write a proposal that became my first book. At Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer's Conference I met my sweet agent, Diana Flegal. My writing world expanded as fellow scribes became precious friends at writer's conferences. Not to mention, you'll laugh yourself silly. Fill a room with writers and let the wit roll. It's worth it just for that dose of medicine.

Last summer during Family Bible Conference at Delta Lake Bible Conference Center, I was approached by two people who share my passion for writing. Debbie Tuthill, a student enrolled in the Christian Writer's Guild, and Dave Fessenden, managing editor for CLC Publications, both came to me within hours of each other with the same thought: Delta Lake would be a great place to have a Writer's Conference. That afternoon Debbie, Dave, and I met under a maple tree. It was apparent this was God's plan for Upstate New York and Delta Lake Bible Conference Center.

The fruit of that meeting grew into the first Upstate New York Christian Writers' Gathering being held at Delta Lake Bible Conference Center in Rome, New York, on July 8-9, 2010. Please consider joining us for two high-energy afternoons. Six seminars covering fiction, non-fiction, writing for adults and for children, and dramatic scripts are offered for a total cost of $25. That's a deal! Faculty include Jon Graf, founding editor of Pray! magazine and the author of six books; Dave Fessenden, managing editor for CLC Publications and the author of four books; Hope Marston, author of numerous children's books; Jim Bogoniewski, writer of over 120 plays; and yours truly, Elaine W. Miller, author of two books. Bring your family and enjoy the added atmosphere of Family Bible Conference with programs for all ages. For more information, please contact me or www.DeltaLake.org under the tab, "Family Camp."

My passion to encourage writers won't end at Delta Lake this summer. I am thrilled to join many authors, editors, and publishers on the faculty at Montrose Christian Writer's Conference in Montrose, PA, July 25-30, 2010. Montrose holds a special place in my heart as this is where my dream and God's call to be a writer was realized. I'll be leading two workshops: "Marketing Your Ministry" and "A Writer Speaks." For more information please see WWW.MONTROSEBIBLE.ORG.

You are the only one who can write your story. Please don't let what God has done in your life remain in your computer or your brain, never to be read by a world hungry for God. Write it and write it well. Learn how at a Christian Writer's Conference. Hope to see you there. Introduce yourself to me. I'd love to share some wit and some splashes of serenity with you.

Blessings on your writing,

Elaine W. Miller
Author/Speaker
www.SplashesofSerenity.com

Monday, May 24, 2010

Life in Rehab by Joyce



Good morning.

Life brings new experiences to us from time to time. When I had spinal surgery on March 24th, 2010, I expected to go from the hospital to my home. That did not happen; instead I went from the hospital to a rehab facility, where I still am. The surgery was much more extensive than either the surgeon or I expected. As a result I am left with weakness in my right leg. I am working every day to strengthen my leg so I can walk on it unaided. I walk with a walker for now and then will go to a cane. The physical therapist assures me I will walk unaided one day. It will just take time and patience. I’ve never been a patient person.

The food’s not very good here. My husband, Jim, brings dinner in to me two or three times a week. Friends take pity on my and bring me goodies and lunch once in awhile. My friends at our church, The Monroeville Assembly of God, have been wonderful. There have been very few days that I have not had visitors. One day I had eight visitors. And cards, I haven’t counted them, but the stack is high and each one is much appreciated. My small group from the church came here one Sunday night for our monthly meeting.

I’ve had some new experiences since being here. One Friday I went to the Walmart with a group from Manor Care (my rehab place.) About twelve of us went in wheel chair vans and when we got there some of us rode the scooters at the store, including me. My first time ever. It was kind of fun. I zoomed all over the Walmart. Now I know I will be able shop at some stores, at least Walmart and Sam’s!!

Part of the process of getting released to go home is to have a home assessment to make sure the house is safe for me. My Occupational Therapist went with us to our house the other day and she checked everything. Most adjustments are to take up the throw rugs, remove the shower doors from the tub, etc. The biggest challenge for me is getting up stairs. Since we can enter the house through the garage and the family room, with stairs to the kitchen, Jim had to put a second railing in the basement stairs. Now, he also has to put a railing in the stairs from the first floor to the second, so that I can access our bedroom. As soon as that’s done I can go home.

I’m going out some now, the last three Sundays I’ve gone to church and out to dinner afterwards. Jim & I had a burger at Five Guys the other night, our favorite burger place.

My most urgent prayer request is for the muscles and nerves in my right leg to heal quickly. This is why stairs are a problem. Otherwise I am in good health, and feeling well. I can work in my office, so that’s not a problem.

I’m learning to trust the Lord once again, giving everything in my life to Him. I think I’ve learned this lesson well and then I have to learn it all over, one more time.

Thanks for all the prayers,

May God bless and keep you in His care,

Joyce

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Those Niche Markets - by Terry Burns



It was nice to have a group of clients all at one place and time at the Colorado Christian Writers Conference in Estes Park. I was able to get with all of them but scheduling was such that I couldn’t put together a little meeting with all at once. I would have liked that, and had a great cabin it could have been done in. Maybe next time. Still, there was some strategizing, some sharing of information, and good times to just get to know one another better.

I do want to get all my clients pubbed. I know the odds say that I won’t, but I’m trying. It was interesting when the editors sat down on the “Future of Publishing” panel that they remarked how the midlist was disappearing and it was becoming either big or little. The larger publishers not wanting to address any niche markets and the small independents making a living identifying and serving the niche markets the bigs don’t want to do. Over the past year or so I have taken some of my clients into these niche markets and have even gone that way with my own books.

I am still more interested in having major titles with major publishers, but I am not afraid to use the niche markets to try and get authors started. A larger publisher bringing out a book and not getting some significant five figure sales can hurt on trying to sell more books. An independent publisher set up to go into a market of modest four figures sales and the author does so and does so with a solid number looks more attractive to another publisher than someone who maybe sold more books but where the expectation was higher. In other words, quickly selling out a print run of 2000 copies might be more impressive than selling 5,000 copies when the expectations were much higher than that.

All of the start-ups and small independents are serving some modest but very viable markets. The Future of Publishing panel saw that as an emerging trend and one that would be increasingly important. They also pointed out how quickly things can change in publishing these days and these smaller organizations can identify changes and turn on a dime whereas the larger ones need time to work change in the organization. They felt authors can benefit from the changing nature of publishing if they were abreast of the changes and they could turn on a dime as well, maybe even a nickle.

Some of the new technologies are gaining a following, but again, the smaller organizations are better positioned to identify and utilize them, and again authors and agents are better positioned to identify and embrace such technologies. Larger organizations have the resources to make more effective use of a new technology once it is established, but the smaller ones will lead the way.

It's a brave new world in publishing.

Terry

Friday, May 21, 2010

Interview with Diana's client Danielle Scott


Dear From the Heart reader, it is my privilege today to welcome Danielle Scott to our blog.

Danielle, you are an actor, singer, dancer, poet, wife and mother as well as an author. Whew Danielle, that is a lot of hats you are wearing. Can you share with us when the creative spark was first lit in your life?

I was painfully shy as a young child. To combat this, my parents decided to enroll me in tap and ballet classes. Before long, my dance group was performing in local talent shows and on a local television show formatted after Star Search. From there, I blossomed. My favorite memory is of my back yard. It had landscape timbers which covered our septic tank like a wooden raft. It was my stage. I said to myself, “I’m going to be an actress when I grow up, except I don’t want to be famous because I don’t want my children to get kidnapped.” From then on, the only endeavors that mattered to me were the artistic ones. It also helped that when I was a child, Fame was on TV, Annie was my favorite book-turned-movie, and Flashdance and Footloose were popular.

Who inspired you?

In acting and singing, I can’t pinpoint anyone in particular. My mother always sang, so therefore, I sang, too. I love powerful music. In dance, Sammy Davis, Jr., Gregory Hines, and Martha Graham have been the greatest influences. In poetry and writing, Toni Morrison and Shakespeare have had a tremendous impact on my life’s work. My husband, however, is my favorite writer and my biggest champion.

You had mentioned on your blog that you are currently on a journey of growth through the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Tell us a little bit about that journey if you don’t mind sharing.

For years, I struggled with knowing what God’s purpose for my life was. It frustrated me. It depressed me. I had graduated from high school, received a degree in Theatre, and then unexpectedly returned to my hometown in the middle of nowhere where degrees in Theatre aren’t exactly valuable. Within two months, I got hired as a Community Planner for a local development agency and worked there for seven years while I also married my first husband and had my first child. I had an amazing salary, a company car and company cell phone and planned to stay until retirement. Then one day, my boss handed me my termination letter. They were downsizing my position to create a pocket of money for another job for which I wasn’t qualified. I was devastated.

Next thing you know, I’m divorced and bouncing from meaningless job to meaningless job because I couldn’t find anything in my area of expertise. I later remarried, gained two step-children and had my youngest daughter, but I was still going through the motions, struggling to find meaning. Even with the Theatre Company which my husband and I had created, there had to be more. It was then that God took over. He had kind of been on a back burner for awhile. He pulled me back into His will for my life. He made me revisit the pain of my past and find true healing. He also made it very clear to me what talents He had given me to reach His people. This journey of growth is a journal of sorts as He perfects these gifts in me and prepares me to truly step into my purpose which is to bring healing to the many who now stand where I once stood.

In your journey, how and when did you decide to focus on writing and is what you are currently ‘tweaking’ drawn from your personal life story?

Somewhere along the way, my painful shyness returned in early adulthood. I now know that it is a phobia which developed as a result of the painful rejection I received from my father. I also feel it is a weapon which the enemy uses to keep me from stepping into my purpose. How can I possibly one day be a speaker if I can’t get up in front of people without shaking violently?

As God continued to work on me and give me messages, I knew these messages were meant to be shared. My mother then gave me a box of stuff she had kept. In it, was everything I had ever written from Kindergarten on up. As I leafed through the pages, I was astounded by my clarity and vocabulary at the age of fourteen. I read comments from teachers who praised my work. I could write! When did I forget that?

The reality of the grip that this phobia has had on my life finally hit me. My favorite animal is the turtle. I suddenly saw myself as a box turtle withdrawing into my shell. I knew God wanted more. I knew God wanted me to be bold and transparent and able to reach His people. So, I started a blog. It began as simple reflections of messages God was sharing with me, daily scriptures which had a tremendous impact on me. In the back of my mind, these messages would become mini-sermons which I would someday preach or speak. But the more I wrote, the more feedback I received. It was then that my published author friend, Brian C. Johnson, told me I needed to write a book. I told him the only thing I would ever have to write about is fathers and daughters and there was no way I was going there. Well, through all of the painful re-hashing of my life, that’s exactly where God wanted me to go.

Where did you get your inspiration from for this particular book you are doing a rewrite on?

All around me, I seem to be able to “see” people who live with rejectional wounding from their parents. Those friends who had fathers who modeled God’s love for us remained in His will and never doubted. But those friends who had fathers who struggled with their knowledge of God were the friends who struggled with accepting God’s love for them – often going far off of God’s path. Some of those same friends still have not come back to the proverbial fold. My burning desire is to help the ones who have yet to come back and the ones who still cannot accept God’s love because it seems so foreign to them.

I’m currently a manager of a McDonald’s store. I watch the fruit of rejectional wounding play out in the interaction between people everyday. Most of what ails this world lies in this wounding which means of course, the healing of this world might possibly be wrapped up in the truth of relational healing.

Have you ever entertained the idea of writing fiction?

I have written a juvenile fiction book dealing with the same issue. I wrote it as part of NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writer’s Month, which challenges writers to write a 50,000 word novel in one month. The book is called “Murphy’s Law”. It follows Lucinda, a teenage biracial girl who is rejected by her grandparents because of her race as she weaves her way into healing her family and eventually healing others like her. Sound familiar?

What places have you gone to for research in this book?

The hardest places to travel, and I really don’t mean this facetiously, were the depths of my soul, the place of my darkest memories, and back to my Savior’s arms. During the writing of this book, I had to continually speak Psalm 139:23-24 over myself, “Search me and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” The truth I found was if there were a hurtful way in me, there must be a cause because for every fruit there is a root. The cause had to be uncovered and healed. Forgiveness had to be given to my offenders and found for myself. The entire cyclical process caused me to open myself more and more to the wondrous love that is only found in Christ.




Wow Danielle, I am really looking forward to your newly edited draft. Sounds like you have been writing it from your knees. Have you run into any obstacles in this writing journey?

Ummmm… see above? The writing of this book has been so very painful. Pain is not easy for anyone to relive, especially when the subconscious brings up so many details that we have long buried. Oh! Another obstacle is sleep. God really likes to wake me up in the middle of the night to write. I must say I love sleep only slightly less than God but more than my husband and children. Okay, I’m joking. Kinda.

Danielle, What do you hope people will take away from reading your book?

Healing, healing and more healing. I hope people will recognize themselves and their loved ones within the pages so they might dare to go there. I hope they will dare to lance open their hidden wounds to experience the true antiseptic of Christ’s love. I hope if the book doesn’t speak directly to them, they will pass the book on to someone who will experience the mirroring of stories. People need to know they are not alone. There is hope. There is a God who loves them.

Have there been any particular titles that you read that helped you personally?

I started to read Bonnie St John’s “How Strong Women Pray” and that unleashed all this “stuff”. Of course I read Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life” and that was just one step in the journey that left me frustrated at the moment, but its truth was revealed later. I was also blessed to attend a seminar called “Restoring Relationships” provided by the Bethesda Foundation (www.bfsf.org) wherein Dominic Herbst revealed his book and training materials which completely affirmed my work. Mr. Herbst has been tremendously encouraging while I write and uncover new truths.

Do you have any new projects you are working on?

I would like to clean up and finalize “Murphy’s Law” and get this published, perhaps opening myself up to new opportunities in juvenile literature. I have a couple books that I’ve started but all have taken a back seat to this one. One is entitled, “As I Wait Upon the Lord” which discusses the uneasiness of our waiting periods before the Lord. I’m also co-authoring a book which looks at members of Clergy and how they are depicted in film.

I would imagine like most authors, once people know you are writing you get a lot of advice. What is the best and worst writing advice you ever got?

The best advice came from my agent, Diana, who told a group of Writer’s Conference attendees to “read your writing out loud”. This is great advice. My hubby doesn’t always agree, since he has to listen to me reading sentences over and over again, but it works. I don’t think I’ve gotten any bad advice. When I mention I’m writing a book, most people just look at me like I have a third eye. It has also been very hard for me to read critiques and rejection letters. I immediately think that means I have to start all over again.

I am really enjoying seeing all the new gadgets out there for readers and writers. Have you added any new tool to help you in your everyday writing life?

I use my laptop. I had a Tablet PC that I had hoped would save my writing life since I could truly sketch out ideas but it was struck by lightning. I have begun recording voice notes on my BlackBerry when a certain idea hits me. I love technology, I just tend to be more cautious before latching on to the latest craze.

Are you in a writers group or critique group? If so what has that meant to you?

Brian Johnson, who I mentioned earlier in the interview, has been a tremendous force in getting me to write. He credits me for inspiring him to write his first work which was immediately picked up and published in a whirlwind that hardly ever happens in the writing world. But, when we were still just testing the waters in our writing life, I committed to Brian that I would email him an “Accountability Tuesday” post every Tuesday to report what I had been working on and give him the opportunity to tell me what he has been working on. This was his birthday present in October of 2007. I can happily say, we have held each other accountable every week ever since. The group has expanded to include a group of writers from our church, including my husband.

Having this group in place has been tremendously helpful. I feel like I have a concerned group of brothers and sisters in Christ who believe in my God-given talents. They know this gift was meant to advance the Kingdom of God. They will not let me give up.

This group sounds like a wonderful gift. Danielle, where can people find out more about you and your writing and your previously published titles?

To get to know more about me, it’s probably best to read my blog at http://thenakedturtle.blogspot.com

FB: Danielle Murphy Scott

Twitter: NKDTRTL

I’m currently building my platform in other arenas.

Would you like to offer the other authors out there a last word of encouragement?

I can only say that when you know deep in your soul that God is asking you to do something, Nike said it best, “Just Do It”. There’s no arguing with the God of the universe. Just take a moment to breathe in the reality and the awesomeness, while grappling with the humility that God asked you. You. Sometimes, it is amazing to see the ways in which our lives have twisted and turned to create this moment, this purpose. But it’s yours.

Danielle, thank you so much for joining us here today. I love your transparency and look forward to pitching your book to the editors I work with. When they first saw your idea, it really resonated with them. I know they will appreciate the changes you have made and hopefully our blog readers will see your title on a shelf in the near future.

Diana

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Congratulations are in order! by Terry



I'm proud to congratulate clients Stefanie Morris (left) and Lynda Schab (right) for being named finalists in the American Christian Fiction Writer's Genesis contest. This is a highly contested event with a lot of entries and is quite an achievement. This is Stefanie's second time to final in this event.


I'd also like to congratulate client Curt Isles as his book "A good Place" is a bronze finalist in the Independent Publishers Association IPPY awards. Another well deserved recognition.






Last but certainly not least congratulations to Jill Williamson, who is a Christy Award finalist for her book By Darkness Hid. I'm the agent of record on that book.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Colorado Christian Writers conference and a personal note - by Terry Burns

Continuing in our series of reporting to you from or about various conferences, please allow me to report from the Colorado Christian Writers Conference in beautiful Estes Park Colorado. As we made our way over the mountain, we ran into the storm and though it was mid-afternoon, the snow had apparently been falling over here since 11am. I use the word storm, actually it was falling heavily in large flakes, but was falling softly, straight down. We are used to snow that comes at us sideways. It is very beautiful and Saundra has already ripped off 100 or so pictures.

If I make take advantage of this forum for a personal note, just before we got here we got a phone call from my cousin Judy that her mother had passed away. Our desire was to see if I could get someone else to teach my classes and turn around and go back. However, with eighteen inches now on the ground and still lightly falling that does not appear to be in the cards. It's clear we cannot safely get there in time. We are saddened by that but somehow I think Judy’s mother, Peggy Smith, would understand. Judy herself told us not to attempt it, particularly with mother in the car with us.

Peggy was the oldest of my generation of cousins, so I guess as second in line that makes me . . . never mind, I don’t want to go there. She was enough older that I was closer in age to her daughters and it was them I ran around with more. Peggy herself was closer to the age of the younger of the aunts and uncles. Still, I thought the world of her and I smile to think of the grand reunion that is going on right now.

I have picked a couple of Saundra’s pictures to show you how pretty it is up here. We aren’t in the dorms this year but opted for a cozy little cabin, although we were disappointed that we didn’t get one with a fireplace as we were supposed to get. We will think of Peggy often during this event and wish we were there for the services. But we will console ourselves that we are very close to where she is now up here high in the Rocky Mountains.

Very close indeed.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A bigger deal is getting away - by Terry Burns


Just had an interesting discussion with a client who was concerned about taking an offer, concerned that a bigger one might be getting away. I said, let me set your mind at ease, a bigger one IS getting away.

A bigger one is always getting away. When we're looking to buy a car and we get the best deal we can find, are we letting a better deal get away? Probably. How about a house, a TV set, no matter what we are buying or selling we have to do the best we can do because there is probably always that elusive deal that we just don't know about.

With book deals it can be that we aren't there at the right time, there isn't a catalog slot open but maybe later there will be. We're ahead of or right behind the curve. They just did one like it and we missed it, or maybe some time later they will be able to do another one. The market is not right for it, but maybe later will be.

Unless we are signing that big, bestseller-bound deal, there is always the possibility that we are letting a bigger opportunity get away by taking an offer. Life is just like that. We have to let the bird-in-the-
hand get away to take a shot at something else. Is it worth it?

That depends. Does the gamble pay off? We do pass on the smaller offer and do land the big one then it is. We pass on it and end up with no deal, then it wasn't. Like Clint Eastwood said when he stuck that big pistol of his in a guys face, cocked it, and said "Do you feel lucky?"

It's the author's call and I've had them win and I've had them lose. Sure, I make sure they know what they are giving up and what they might get. I try to make sure they understand all the variables, but I sure don't tell them what to do.

After all, when it comes right down to it, Clint is right, "Do You Feel Lucky?"

Just thought I'd share that with you.

Terry

Friday, May 7, 2010

Join us for some Amish WIsdom from Joyce's client, Suzanne Fisher


Longing for simplicity? Overwhelmed by demands? Tune in to “Amish Wisdom” to explore ways to slow down, de-clutter, find peace, and live a simpler life. You don’t have to “go Amish” to incorporate principles of the Plain People into your life. There's much to learn from them: simple living, everyday joys, and greater value on family, community and church.

Share an hour with Suzanne and give yourself over to a world that prizes old ways, where time slows down. Where people are more important than things, where nature is revered, where holding on is more important than letting go, where humility and peace of mind are treasured. Give yourself to an Amish moment.

Join Suzanne Woods Fisher, bestselling author of Amish fiction and non-fiction, as she interviews fascinating guests who can teach us to simplify our busy lives. So pour a cup of coffee, settle into your favorite chair, and tune into "Amish Wisdom." Thursdays, 4-5pm CST.

About the host:

Suzanne's grandfather was raised Plain. W. D. Benedict was born into a family of eleven children, started his career as a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, and ended it as one of the first publishers of Christianity Today magazine. Suzanne has maintained a close relationship with her Plain relatives. A wife and a mother to four, Suzanne’s work has been featured in many magazines. She is the author of Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World and the bestselling novel The Choice, first in the “Lancaster County Secrets” 3-book series. Amish Proverbs: Words of Wisdom from the Simple Life will release in August 2010. Seven other books--both fiction and non-fiction--about the Amish are contracted with Revell.

To learn more please visit www.suzannewoodsfisher.com, and for the latest news, her blog!

A recent article featuring Suzanne in Vox Magazine can also be found at: www.voxmagazine.com/stories/2010/05/06/g-rated-romance/


Have a great weekend Dear Reader and a Happy Mothers Day to those it applies to:-)

Hartline Agency

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Standin in The Need of Prayer with Joyce's client Guest Blogger Stacie Stoelting

As we begin this National Day of Prayer, interceding for our Nation and it's Leaders, we recognize the need for continuing personal days of prayer as well.

Stacie Ruth Stoelting founded Praying Pals.org, an outreach of Bright Light Ministries.com. Praying Pals has grown, with over 1100 + prayer warriors joining to pray together each week. She is an author, speaker, and recording artist. Stacie's greatest interest though, is leading others to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. A CBN.com feature writer/columnist, she's prayed with the feeble and the famous (i.e. Sarah Palin, Ann Graham Lotz). Stacie Ruth knows well the astounding fact: the Almighty Creator listens to our hearts and loves us deeply regardless of our backgrounds.
Most of all, she's a sinner saved by King Jesus! Please go to www.prayingpals.org to learn how you can go to Heaven when you die and live a life of purpose now!

"Beaming His story while giving Him glory!"


Stacie Ruth shares;
A Christian leader persecuted me once for sharing prayer. Why? He felt that it should be done inside the church only. I fell to my knees even harder to ask the Lord for grace in such a time as this. Last Friday, my radio program, Praying Pals, encountered evil attacks (i.e. horrible, anti-Christian commercials during breaks) and now needs a new network to host it.


As the United States’ National Day of Prayer drew closer, people sharing the Good News and prayer faced escalating resistance. Wisconsin U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb recently ruled the National Day of Prayer as "unconstitutional." And Franklin Graham suddenly faced being disinvited for the National Day of Prayer. Today, United States' Christians and the United Kingdom's Christians share a shocking, disconcerting commonality: increasing persecution.


In Europe, the former archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, alerted Christians worldwide:
"In recent years, there has been a wave of relentless and shameless attempts to hollow out our nation's deep-seated roots in the Christian faith...This week, a nurse in Devon is courageously taking her NHS Trust to an employment tribunal after being told she cannot wear a cross she has had since her confirmation 38 years ago...We see many other situations, including the banning of school nativity plays, the inability of Christian charities to gain public funding and noise abatement orders on Sunday worshippers...The Church is facing an increasingly secular outlook which sees no place for religious believers in public life. Yet a faith which does not influence a believer's whole life is not a faith at all, merely a hobby or a preference."


Fellow believers, it’s time to unite not only on this National Day of Prayer, but on a continual basis. Here are a few tips to help us draw near with a right heart:


1. First, don’t make prayer too hard. God wants heart prayers –not long, Pharisee-like prayers. Like a child, run to Jesus. He'll be your high, strong tower to keep you safe above the floods in your life: "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the [consistently] righteous man [upright and in right standing with God] runs into it and is safe, high [above evil] and strong."


2. Arm yourself with impenetrable spiritual gear as shared in Ephesians 6:10-12.


3. Look to Jesus. How? Consider removing anything anti-God (i.e. worldly materials in your house, on your computer, etc.). Avoid looking at problems from earthly perspectives. Instead, look at the Solver. No problems exist for Him—only answers.


“Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2, AMP).”


4. Talk with Jesus. Pour out your heart to Him. How He loves you! Psalm 62:8 states it well: “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge…”


5. Realize that when you don’t feel like reading the Bible, you need it the most. When you don’t feel like praying, you need it the most. Don’t let feelings direct your prayer life. Let Jesus rule. Let Him mount guard over your heart as in Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV): “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”


6. Get glasses: Ask God to give you His vision for your situation.


7. Ask God to use you in the midst of your present circumstances. Be sure to speak and act on His Word everyday. Would you like God to use you today? Offer to pray with someone. Send an e-mail to your pastor and tell him you're praying. Call a relative. Text your friend a quick prayer.


Make this National Day of Prayer the first of many personal days of prayer. Wade into the deeper, living waters of Jesus. How He loves you!


Romans 5:5 is for you: “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”


By the way, I still pray for the Christian leader who persecuted me. Let’s remember to pray for all –even the ones who try to fell us. The power of Jesus’ love far exceeds that of the deepest hate. Will you share the love? Will you share prayer? Let’s unite and fight with His might! And remember, prayers: We’re on the winning side!


Join Praying Pals today on Facebook or at www.PrayingPals.org today. We would love to take your burdens to the Lord and for you to come along side us and pray for those that have asked for prayer.


Remember to pray for our Nation, it's leaders and our church leaders, missionaries and all those who are in Christ. May we find the courage to fight with His might until the day He calls us home.


Thanks Stacie Ruth! God Bless America, Land that we Love!



Hartline Literary Agency

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Oklahoma Writer's Federation Conference by Terry Burns



I just returned from this conference and continuing with our series of helping people do conference planning by posting on conference we are about to attend or just attended, please allow me to comment on this conference. I encourage you to avail yourself of all of these conference notes in our archives as you are making your conference plans:

Bottom line? This is a great conference. The organization has members from a five state area, but of course you do not have to be a member to attend the conference. I didn't get a head count but did hear that it was in the 400 range. They had excellent faculty and programming and the facility worked really well having housing and all of the program under one roof.

The dress was casual except for the banquet where the finery came out including some very ornate gowns. I noticed quite a number did not come prepared to do that but were not made to feel out of place, nor did they seem uncomfortable dressing down a bit.

There was a good selection of editors and agents present and most attendees took full advantage of the appointments available to them. The conference price was very reasonable, and with Oklahoma City being right in the center of the country, access was good and the conference was held in easy shuttle distance of the airport.

This is a laid back, easy going conference that was a lot of fun and it is easy to recommend.

Terry