Debut Novel Wins Blogger Award

June 28, 2014—Katherine Reay’s highly acclaimed first novel, Dear Mr. Knightly, represented by Alive Literary Agency, has won the 2014 INSPY Award for Best Debut Novel of the Year. The INSPY team of judges gave this explanation for their choice:

Katherine Reay’s contemporary epistolary, Dear Mr. Knightley is one of the most brilliant character studies to come about in literature in years. Sometimes you are given a gift that everyone assures you will be delightful but you aren’t entirely sure the contents will be to your liking. This is a book where the hype holds up. All the references to classical literature – from Great Expectations to Austen to Narnia, could have made the novel seem detached, but Reay uses them with such talent and creativity, you understand the characters on a deeper level because of them and because Dear Mr. Knightley’s heroine was less “figment” and much more, real. Above all, those qualities are this debut’s crowning glory – it’s more than just an expert piece of fiction. Not only is Dear Mr. Knightley the perfect debut, it’s a must read for any lover of classics, particularly Jane Austen.

Recognizing the need for a new kind of book award, the INSPYs were created by bloggers to discover and highlight the very best in literature that grapples with expressions of the Christian faith. Visit their website at – DC

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Todd Burpo to Israel

Jerusalem—Monday, August 4, 2014– Todd Burpo, author of the #1 New York Times best selling book, Heaven is For Real, was part of a delegation that met this week with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Organized by Christians United for Israel, the group of 50 American pastors, one from each state,  traveled to Jerusalem as a show of support to Israel during its current conflict with the terrorist group Hamas.

Todd Burpo is the pastor of Crossroads Wesleyan Church in Imperial, Nebraska. He volunteers as a junior high wrestling coach and fire fighter, and serves as a member of the school board. He is also Chaplain of the Nebraska State Volunteer Firefighter’s Association. Todd graduated from Oklahoma Wesleyan University in 1991 summa cum laude with a BA in Theology, and was ordained in 1994.

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Anne Graham Lotz Leads National 777 Prayer Initiative

Raleigh, NC—June 20, 2014—Anne Graham Lotz has formed a national prayer initiative entitled 7 7 7:  An Urgent Call to Prayer, calling God’s people to pray for each of the first seven days in the seventh month—July 1-7, 2014.  Then, on the final day, July 7, people are urged to pray and fast for 7 hours. The purpose of the 777 Prayer Initiative is:

  • For God the Father to restrain, protect, and deliver His people from the evil that has come into our world.
  • For God the Son to be exalted, magnified, and glorified in His church, in our nation, and in our lives.
  • For God the Holy Spirit to fall on us in a fresh way, compelling the church to repent of sin and our nation to return to faith in the living God, resulting in a great national spiritual awakening.

Alive President Rick Christian remarked, “Much like small creeks and slow-moving tributaries feed into and form the mighty rapids of the Colorado River, Anne is asking us all to join in to create a powerful, rushing river of spiritual cleansing and awakening.” People may sign up on the Angel Ministries website to register their participation and to receive daily emails July 1-7.

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Called “the best preacher in the family” by her father, Billy Graham, Anne Graham Lotz speaks around the globe with the wisdom and authority of years spent studying God’s Word. She was the 2014 Honorary Chairman for the National Day of Prayer.

The New York Times named Anne one of the five most influential evangelists of her generation. She’s been profiled on 60 Minutes, and has appeared on TV programs such as Larry King LiveThe Today Show, and HannityLive. Her Just Give Me Jesus revivals have drawn hundreds of thousands of attendees in over 30 cities in 12 different countries.

Anne is a best-selling and award-winning author represented by Alive Literary Agency. Her most recent releases are Wounded by God’s PeopleFixing My Eyes on JesusExpecting to See Jesus and her first children’s book, Heaven: God’s Promise for Me.

Anne and her husband Danny Lotz have three grown children and three grandchildren.  She is the founder and president of AnGeL Ministries.

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Alive Hires Industry Vet Lisa Jackson

Colorado Springs, CO., June 19, 2013 — Lisa Jackson, Associate Publisher of Tyndale Publishing House, has made a career transition to become an agent with Colorado Springs-based Alive Literary Agency, the nation’s largest, most influential literary agency for faith-based and inspirational authors, announced company Founder and President Rick Christian today.

“Lisa is a highly-connected editorial all-star with ink in her blood and a stellar reputation with authors and publishers. She really has an innate sense of how to make good books great and the golden ability to spot bestsellers at the seed-thought stage,” said Christian.

Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson brings nearly 25 years of publishing experience to her new post and will relocate from the Chicago area to Colorado. She cut her editorial teeth as a local newspaper reporter and editor in North Central Illinois, learning very early on the power of the written word. After several years behind the news desk, Lisa joined the team at Christianity Today International as Associate Editor of Christian Parenting Today. In 2000, she rounded out her publishing journey with a move from magazines to books, joining Tyndale where she has served as Associate Publisher, leading the team that acquired numerous award-winning titles and New York Times bestsellers. With extensive experience in both the ABA and CBA markets, she understands the importance of helping authors find their voice and shape their message. While at Tyndale, Lisa was privileged to work directly with a long list of key authors, including Beth Moore, Tony Dungy, David Platt, Steve Saint, Tim Pawlenty, Ann Voskamp, David Jeremiah, and John Ortberg.

“Alive has a long-standing history of working with the best of the best and it’s a huge privilege to be joining this amazing team,” said Lisa. “I look forward to working with a great group of authors at the front end of the process–helping them to shape their message and tell their stories in the most compelling way possible.”

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Alive Authors Win Top Industry Awards

Colorado Springs, CO, April 28, 2014—Dr. Alister McGrath and Richard and Renee Stearns were honored at this year’s ECPA Awards Banquet with a 2014 ECPA Christian Book Award. C.S. Lewis: A Life by Dr. McGrath took home the top honor in the non-fiction category and He Walks Among Us: Encounters with Christ in a Broken World by Richard and Renee Stearns was named the best book in the inspiration category. The awards were announced on April 28, 2014, in Colorado Springs.

“We are honored to be representing Dr. McGrath and Richard Stearns, two of the most influential voices in the church today,” said Alive agent Andrea Heinecke.

Dr. McGrath is an internationally known apologist, educator, and bestselling author. His definitive biography of Lewis received glowing reviews in the Wall Street JournalWashington PostThe Daily Beast, Publishers Weekly and Booklist.

Richard Stearns is the president of World Vision, and has led the relief and development organization to unprecedented growth while calling on the American Church to respond to the global AIDS pandemic. Richard’s Paul-like faith is matched by the daily transformational work World Vision carries out.

The Christian Book Award® program recognizes the highest quality in Christian books and is among the oldest and most prestigious awards program in the religious publishing industry. –AH

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Dr. Katharine Hayhoe Named Among Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential

New York, NY, April 23, 2014—Climate scientist Dr. Katharine Hayhoe was named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Her profile was written by Oscar-nominated actor Don Cheadle who collaborated with Hayhoe on Showtime’s climate documentary, Years Of Living Dangerously.

“I am honored to be included in the TIME 100 list,” Hayhoe said. “Even more so, I am encouraged to see climate change emerging as an urgent concern. With 97 percent of climate scientists agreeing that climate change is happening due to the choices people make every day, I am a spokesperson with one principal goal – to bring public awareness to the simple truth that the scientific debate is over, and now it’s time for all of us to take action. I’m grateful to TIME for bringing further visibility to my work and to everyone who is standing up to climate change around the world.”

Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe photographed at the National Ranching Heritage Museum in Lubbock, Texas on April 16, 2014.

Dr. Hayhoe is the scientific advisor to the Evangelical Environmental Network and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. In 2007, she and her team received the Nobel Peace Prize for their work with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Her book, A Climate For Change, written with husband Dr. Andrew Farley, untangles the complex science and tackles many long-held misconceptions about global warming. –AH

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ECPA honors Brennan Manning with Lifetime Achievement Award

Colorado Springs, CO–April 28, 2014–ECPA President Mark Kuyper presented the Jordon Lifetime Achievement Award tonight to Brennan Manning, thus granting the late author the Christian publishing industry’s highest individual honor.

Accepting on behalf of Brennan’s family, Alive’s president Rick Christian remarked:

“I was privileged to work with Brennan a good bit of his professional life and mostly remember him as an impish leprechaun of a man, wearing his patched ragamuffin jeans and sharing an ice cream cone.

On one of his last visits to Colorado Springs, we had breakfast together, finished it with a big fat cone, then he administered communion to me and my wife Debbie in his Holiday Inn room. Soon after, he went downhill fast; early blind, he took a lot of bad falls and got really sick. A year ago this month, Abba’s Child slipped quietly away, into the arms of the One who, as he described it, was exceedingly fond of him. Yesterday he would have been 80.

Each of (Brennan’s) books was, essentially, a love story for the brokenhearted.

Ultimately, Brennan’s life work for which he is posthumously honored tonight, reminds us that God typically doesn’t choose the A-Team through which to display his Kingdom and Power and Glory. He has a thing for the “Brennans” of the world…. The way I see it, Abba uses whatever warm bodies are available and expresses extraordinary fondness for them–right where they’re at. He did so with my friend Brennan. He did so with me . . . and with you. We can only stand back and marvel.”

BRENNAN MANNING (1934-2013) spent his life helping others experience the reality of God’s love and grace. A recovering alcoholic and a former Franciscan priest, he walked a spiritual journey that took him down a variety of paths. He taught seminarians, spoke to packed arenas, lived in a cave while laboring with the poor in Spain, and ministered to shrimpers in Alabama. His unflinching honesty about himself as a ragamuffin, an imposter, and a man in search of the undeserved love of Jesus has encouraged millions of Christians who have grown weary along the way. Brennan is best known as the author of the contemporary classics The Ragamuffin Gospel, All Is Grace, Abba’s Child, Ruthless Trust, The Furious Longing of God, The Importance of Being Foolish, and Patched Together.

The Jordon Lifetime Achievement Award is presented by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association to an individual for their exceptional contributions to the Christian publishing industry and is named in honor of Charles “Kip” Jordon (1945-1997), Christian publishing veteran of more than 25 years, and former publisher of Word Publishing. Former recipients include Billy Graham, Joni Eareckson Tada, John Stott, Bruce Ryskamp, Pat Zondervan, John Perkins, and Muriel Dennis. –DC

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Alive Celebrates release of Now You See Me

Colorado Springs, CO, April 15, 2014—Alive Communications is celebrating the release of Now You See Me: How I Forgave the Unforgivable by Kathy Sanders, (FaithWords/Hachette Book Group, April 2014). For the first time, Sanders recounts her remarkable, arduous journey of losing her two beloved grandsons in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995—the greatest act of domestic terrorism at the time—and her resolve to uncover the truth behind the horrific events.

In her quest to make sense of the tragedy, Sanders prays for guidance and sets out to forgive her enemies. As a result, she cultivates a lasting relationship with Terry Nichols.

As Sanders writes in Now You See Me, “Unforgiveness causes people to suffer. It’s a decision you make that gradually robs you of your joy and a meaningful life. I found that hating your enemy is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

Readers will be inspired by one grandmother’s determination to find a way to reconcile the loss of her two grandbabies and find a way to live again. Her decision to forgive upset some families yet in the process amazed others with her humility.

“For lack of a better word,” writes Sanders, “my ‘crusade’ had begun with my search for information about the bombing—and hopefully, a bit of emotional closure. My quest had blossomed when God led me to show my love for others, which resulted in their love for me.”

The media is turning out to hear her story. Over the next few weeks Kathy will be seen or heard on national programs like The Sean Hannity Show, Katie Couric’s “Katie”, Foxnews, Daystar, Trinity Broadcasting Network along with nationally syndicated radio shows like The Janet Mefferd Show. In addition, Sanders will host several book signings and do multiple interviews on regional radio stations. And, of course, the press in Oklahoma City is getting behind the book with a feature in The Oklahoman.

New York Times bestselling author, actress and friend Melissa Gilbert says, “Kathy Sanders is, quite simply, one of the most courageous women I’ve ever known.”

Sanders found another outlet for her pain: Art. A talented artist, Sanders often paints portraits as an artistic outreach to comfort others who have suffered similar, unexpected loss. Visit her web site:

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The Message Bible: saves lives in more ways than one!

Fox News reports The Message Bible saved the life of a Ohio bus driver after the man was shot twice in the chest early Monday, police said.

Rickey Waggoner, a Dayton RTA bus driver, was making a mechanical fix outside his bus when three assailants approached him and shot him in what appears to have been a gang initiation, the Dayton Daily News reported.

Waggoner was shot twice in the chest at close range, but a contemporary version of the Bible, titled “The Message,” absorbed the bullets that would otherwise have killed the 49-year-old bus driver, according to police documents obtained by the newspaper.

See full article here. 

Author of “The Message” Eugene Peterson said ”I’ve heard stories about that happening during the second World War. I’m glad to be in the club.”

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Karen Kingsbury Lands National Radio Show and Magazine Deal with Salem

CAMARILLO, CA–(Marketwired – Feb 24, 2014) –  Salem Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: SALM), and #1 New York Times bestseller Karen Kingsbury have announced a partnership uniting Kingsbury with Salem’s Today’s Christian Music national radio network and Salem’s Family Fiction magazine.

Starting in April, Kingsbury will host a daily weekday on-air shift from 2 to 7 p.m. cst on the national radio network, including its flagship station, 94FM the Fish in Nashville. Additionally, Salem’s “Family Fiction” magazine will be re-branded as “Karen Kingsbury’s Family Fiction” with Kingsbury and Salem sharing content and distribution synergies relative to the publication.

Michael Miller, vice president and general manager of Salem’s music networks and magazine publishing division, says, “We couldn’t be more excited! Everybody loves a good story and Karen is the consummate story teller. In guest appearances with us, she has quickly bonded with our audiences. Her on-air persona just sparkles and her versatile gifting allows her to communicate captivating stories both in book or magazine format, and in very short conversations in between songs on the radio.”

Added Vance Dillard, program director of Salem’s Today’s Christian Music radio network and 94FM the Fish/Nashville, “Karen is a real communicator. She brings a naturally charming personality along with an ability to communicate one on one with our listeners. Every day will be a delight as she shares her wealth of stories and life experiences. This will be a unique listening experience.”

“I feel like I’m living a dream,” Kingsbury said. “I never could’ve imagined having my own national radio show. My new friends and co-workers at Salem are the best in the business. I can’t wait to do my part to tell the nation and the world about this network’s life-changing music.”

Kingsbury is represented by Rick Christian, president of the Colorado Springs-based literary agency Alive Communications, who noted that this is an exciting time in Karen’s career. ”This is a tremendous opportunity for Karen, growing out of an initial interview she did on Nashville’s Fish station. Salem and all of its multi-media initiatives are a land of opportunity. Adding this partnership to Karen’s growing list of projects in film, television and printed resources, allows her to continue to positively impact lives in untold ways.”

Kingsbury’s broadcast and magazine partnership will commence this spring with her broadcasts being accessible to fans everywhere at and her magazine contributions available at

About Salem Communications
Salem Communications is the largest commercial U.S. radio broadcasting company that provides programming targeted at audiences interested in Christian and conservative radio content, as measured by the number of stations and audience coverage. Upon completion of all announced transactions, the company will operate a portfolio of 102 radio stations in 39 markets, including 62 stations in 22 of the top 25 markets. Salem’s portfolio includes 40 stations programmed in a Christian talk format, 27 in a conservative talk format, 12 in a contemporary Christian music format, 8 in a Spanish Christian format and 10 in a business talk format. We also program the Family Talk™ Christian-themed talk format on XM Radio, channel 131 and operate and

Salem also owns Salem Radio Network, a national radio network that syndicates Christian and conservative talk, news and music programming to approximately 2,500 affiliated radio stations, and Salem Media Representatives, a national media advertising sales firm with offices across the country.

Salem operates Salem Web Network, an online provider of Christian and conservative themed news, analysis and commentary. Christian content websites include:,®,, and, and Conservative opinion websites include®,,, and

Salem also owns Regnery Publishing, the country’s leading publisher of conservative books. Salem Publishing™ circulates Christian and conservative magazines including Homecoming® YouthWorker Journal™, The Singing News, Preaching and Townhall Magazine™. Xulon Press™ is a provider of self-publishing services targeting the Christian audience.

About Karen Kingsbury: Karen Kingsbury is a #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who is America’s favorite inspirational novelist. There are nearly 25 million copies of her award-winning books in print, including several million copies sold in the past year. Karen’s last dozen novels have hit the top of national lists. Karen’s latest novel, Fifteen Minutes, released on October 29, 2013 and stayed on national lists for several weeks. Karen has won the Gold Medallion for Best Book of the Year with her novel, Ever After.  She also has also won the Retailer’s Choice Award. Her novels have been a magnet for film and television producers and when not writing, she is often a popular speaker at women’s groups around the country.

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Alive to Represent Henri Nouwen’s Lifetime Works


Colorado Springs, CO – February 11, 2014–Alive Communications Literary Agency has been selected to represent The Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust for the published and unpublished works of the late Henri J.M. Nouwen, announced Rick Christian, founder and president of Alive and its sister e-publishing company Bondfire Books. The Dutch-born Catholic priest was the world-renowned author of spirituality classics, including The Wounded Healer, Here and Now, The Inner Voice of Love, The Way of the Heart, and The Return of the Prodigal Son. His 40-plus books have sold millions of copies and been translated into 30 languages.

“As a long-time Nouwen reader, it was an extraordinary privilege to review the treasure trove of his unpublished materials archived in Toronto,” said Christian, noting that it was especially meaningful because it followed his trip to The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia where he spent hours contemplating Rembrandt’s monumental oil painting, ‘The Return of the Prodigal Son,’ which so inspired Nouwen’s writings.

“The volume and depth of Nouwen’s unreleased resources are breathtaking,” added Christian, who said that his collected letters, sermons, shorter works, video and audio recordings, will gradually be released in the coming years once publishers have been determined.

“The appointment of Alive was made after a request for proposals from literary agencies throughout Canada and the United States, followed by personal interviews,” said Sister Sue Mosteller of the Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust, the entity that oversees the estate and managed the selection process of an agency relationship. “Henri’s writings continue to challenge readers with their wisdom and spiritual insight, and we look forward to promoting his living legacy for the next generation with the assistance of Alive.”

A former professor at the University of Notre Dame and both Yale and Harvard Divinity Schools, Nouwen earned a doctorandus in psychology and has the unique honor of being the most-read author among both Catholics and mainline Protestants, according to Themes in his writings include the spirituality of solitude, community and compassion, as well as unconditional love and forgiveness, peacemaking, and his struggle to reconcile his depression and priestly vows of celibacy with his Christian faith and desire for intimacy. Nouwen died in 1996 after serving ten years in Toronto as senior pastor of the L’Arche Daybreak, a community home for developmentally disabled adults and their caregivers. 

For Further Information on Henri Nouwen:
Please visit the Henri Nouwen Society at 

About Alive Communications:
Alive Communications is the world’s largest, most influential literary agency for faith-based and inspirational authors, and is internationally known for its representation through books, film and TV. Books it has agented have sold over 200 million copies, and more than a dozen of these have been #1 New York Times bestsellers. Clients and notable titles of the Colorado Springs, CO agency include Todd Burpo’s Heaven is for Real (9 million copies sold), which Randall Wallace adapted for a Spring 2014 Tri-Star/Columbia Pictures film; Eugene Peterson’s The Message (20 million copies sold); the Left Behind series (70 million copies sold); Karen Kingsbury’s novels (25 million copies sold), Lisa Beamer’s post 9-11 Let’s Roll! (1.5 million copies sold), and Steve Arterburn and Dave Stoop’s Life Recovery Bible (2 million copies sold). Other authors in its stable include Rich Stearns, the late Brennan Manning, Valorie Burton, Emerson Eggerichs, Anne Graham Lotz, Randy Singer, Nancy Rue, Tim Downs, Alister McGrath, Lynn Vincent, Miles McPherson, Brady Boyd, Elisa Morgan, and Ray Johnston.

In 2012, Alive launched a sister e-publishing company, Bondfire Books.Working with other agencies and notable authors, Bondfire Books attracted early acclaim by paying 50% royalties, double the industry standard, and by negotiating short five-year renewable licenses instead of the usual grant for the lifetime of copyright. It utilizes print partnerships with established publishers for retail distribution. Its list features ebook exclusives from a select group of authors, including #1 New York Times bestseller Karen Kingsbury and Eugene H. Peterson, translator of The Message Bible. All of its titles are sold through major online etailers and are readable on all primary electronic devices.

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The appearance of a ranked title reflects the fact that these are the bestsellers in their respective categories. Here at Alive we are so proud of our authors and want to brag about them. Alive authors have received a number of many prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize.

Alive authors currently on the bestseller lists for January 2014:

AMAZON Bestsellers – Religion and Spirituality
Heaven Is for Real / Todd Burpo

AMAZON Bestsellers – Religion and Spirituality – Fiction – Romance
Fifteen Minutes / Karen Kingsbury

AMAZON Bestsellers – Religion and Spirituality – Christian Living
Heaven Is for Real / Todd Burpo 

CBA Christian Bestsellers, January 2014
12 Fifteen Minutes / Karen Kingsbury
29 Heaven Is for Real / Todd Burpo

CBA Christian Bestsellers – FICTION
Fifteen Minutes / Karen Kingsbury
9 The Chance / Karen Kingsbury

CBA Christian Bestsellers – CHILDRENS
9 Heaven Is for Real for Little Ones / Todd Burpo

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Author and former CBA board President Jim Reimann dies

Atlanta, GA–Alive mourns the loss of Jim Reimann, who died on December 18 of a neurological condition.

Reimann was well known for editing and updating classic works such as My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, and has over six million books in print. Among the books he and Alive worked on together were His Brother’s Keeper and Les Miserables.

Jim and Pam Reimann have ministered together for over 40 years, conducting 26 tours to the Holy Land. An ordained minister, Reimann also founded and owned a successful bookstore, chaired the board of CBA for 2 years, and served as COO of Family Christian Bookstores.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be given to the Digging Deeper Fund to “further the good news, which was (Jim’s) full purpose in life.” – DC

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The appearance of a ranked title reflects the fact that these are the bestsellers in their respective categories. Here at Alive we are so proud of our authors and want to brag about them. Alive authors have received a number of many prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize.

Alive authors currently on the bestseller lists for December 2013:

AMAZON Bestsellers – Religion and Spirituality
Same Kind of Different As Me / Ron Hall & Denver Moore
13 Fifteen Minutes / Karen Kingsbury

ECPA Christian Bestsellers, December 2013
12 Fifteen Minutes / Karen Kingsbury
24 Heaven Is for Real / Todd Burpo

ECPA Christian Bestsellers – FICTION, December 2013
Fifteen Minutes / Karen Kingsbury
The Chance / Karen Kingsbury 

ECPA Christian Bestsellers – Non – FICTION, December 2013
19 Wounded by God’s People / Anne Graham Lotz

ECPA Christian Bestsellers – YA
Heaven Is for Real for Little Ones / Colton Burpo, Todd Burpo, Sonja Burpo
20 Heaven God’s Promise for Me / Anne Graham Lotz

ECPA Christian Bestsellers – BIBLES
11 NLT Life Recovery Bible

CBA Christian Bestsellers, December 2013
13 Fifteen Minutes / Karen Kingsbury
36 Heaven Is for Real / Todd Burpo

CBA Christian Bestsellers – FICTION
Fifteen Minutes / Karen Kingsbury
11 The Chance / Karen Kingsbury
20 Truth Stained Lies / Terri Blackstock

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Brennan Manning’s parting gifts – The Prodigal and The Ragamuffin Bible

November 5, 2013—Colorado Springs, CO– Zondervan today released two posthumous works by long-time Alive client Brennan Manning, who died in April. Manning had long desired to write a novel that reflected his signature “ragamuffin” themes of grace and forgiveness. The Prodigal, coauthored with Greg Garrett, is about a broken pastor who’s lost everything, and is gradually wooed back to wholeness by the least likely person on earth. One of the characters in the book, Father Frank, is loosely based on Brennan’s life.

The NIV Ragamuffin Bible offers a collection of Manning’s painfully honest, yet grace-filled devotions, and reflections of his life of limping, much like the prodigal son, towards home.

“These books are essentially parting gifts from our friend, Brennan,” said Alive President Rick Christian. “Till the very end of his life, he was always looking for new ways to tell others that God loves us just the way we are, and not as we should be. We miss Brennan, but can’t help but smile, thinking of the joy he has, finally being with his Abba Father. We’re also grateful that the Ragamuffin legacy will be passed on in this memorable work of fiction, and a great new Bible.”

Manning was most renowned for his contemporary classic, The Ragamuffin Gospel (Multnomah). In addition, he also wrote Ruthless Trust (HarperOne), The Furious Longing of God (David C Cook) and Abba’s Child (NavPress). His memoir; All is Grace (David C Cook), came out in 2011. Just prior to his passing, Manning completed an ebook, Dear Abba: Morning and Evening Prayer, in collaboration with John Blase, for Bondfire Books. – DC


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Regent College Establishes Eugene and Jan Peterson Chair in Theology and the Arts

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada–October 25, 2013 — Regent College today announced the establishment of the Eugene and Jan Peterson Chair in Theology and the Arts.

“In filling this chair with someone with expertise in both arts and theology, we will continue a long tradition at Regent College where the arts are not seen strictly as entertainment or idiosyncrasy, but as one of the areas where God is working in powerful ways in this culture,” said President Ron Wilson.

Eugene and Jan Peterson have long sought to re-imagine pastoral theology through the world of the arts. In Dr. Peterson’s remarks, he stated that, “Theology is the North Pole and Art the South Pole of the Christian Life.  Theology is the study of what God does and says;  Art is what people do and say in the entire context of what God does and says.  We need both poles to comprehend the Christian Life:  the North Pole of God’s revelation and the South Pole of our participation in that revelation . . . .

“Art uses the stuff of God’s creation  (form, color, sound, touch, taste) in such ways that our imaginations are enabled to apprehend and respond to the invisible . . . to be present to the God who is present to us.  Every work of art— a sonata by Mozart, a painting by Rouault, a sculpture by Rodin, a poem by Luci Shaw, a song by Bono—is a way of keeping us intent and attentive to all that is around us and in us:  faces, flowers, animals, clouds, music, dance—whatever.”

Eugene Peterson was the James M. Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College from 1993 to 1998. In addition to being a poet, author, and scholar, Dr. Peterson is also an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). He founded Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Maryland, where he pastored for twenty-nine years. Dr. Peterson has written numerous books including The Pastor: A Memoir, The Jesus Way, Practice Resurrection, Leap Over a Wall, and A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. He is perhaps best known for his paraphrase of the Bible, The Message.

Alive Communications President Rick Christian reminisced about his long relationship with the Petersons, which has spanned over two decades: “I’m thrilled that Eugene and Jan Peterson are being recognized in this way. It’s been an honor to walk side by side with them through the years, helping to bring The Message to life, and most recently, Eugene’s memoir, The Pastor. Jan and Eugene, more than anyone I know, embody the practice of spiritual theology, discovering the divine in the ‘dailyness’ of life. ”–DC

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The appearance of a ranked title reflects the fact that these are the bestsellers in their respective categories. Here at Alive we are so proud of our authors and want to brag about them. Alive authors have received a number of many prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize.

Alive authors currently on the bestseller lists for November 2013:

New York Times Bestsellers – Fiction 
11 Fifteen Minutes / Karen Kingsbury

AMAZON Bestsellers – Religion and Spirituality
6 Same Kind of Different As Me / Ron Hall & Denver Moore
13 Fifteen Minutes / Karen Kingsbury

ECPA Christian Bestsellers, November 2013
19 Heaven Is for Real / Todd Burpo
35 Blue Like Jazz / Donald Miller
39 Love & Respect / Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
41 Wounded by God’s People / Anne Graham Lotz

ECPA Christian Bestsellers – FICTION, November 2013
11 The Chance / Karen Kingsbury

ECPA Christian Bestsellers – Non – FICTION, November 2013
18 Heaven Is for Real / Todd Burpo

ECPA Christian Bestsellers – YA
9 Heaven Is for Real for Little Ones / Colton Burpo, Todd Burpo, Sonja Burpo

ECPA Christian Bestsellers – BIBLES
6 NLT Life Recovery Bible

CBA Christian Bestsellers, November 2013
27 Heaven Is for Real / Todd Burpo & Lynn Vincent
49 Wounded By Gods People / Anne Graham Lotz
50 Love and Respect / Emerson Eggerichs

CBA Christian Bestsellers – FICTION
10 The Chance / Karen Kingsbury

CBA Christian Bestsellers – YA
6 Heaven Is for Real for Kids / Todd Burpo & Sonja Burpo

CBA Christian Bestsellers – Christian Living
24 Wounded By Gods People / Anne Graham Lot
25 Love and Respect / Emerson Eggerichs

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Karen Kingsbury Releases Latest Novel, Fifteen Minutes

Fifteen Minutes by Karen Kingsbury

October 28, 2013–In her much-anticipated novel releasing tomorrow, #1 New York Times bestselling Alive author Karen Kingsbury tells the story of a young Kentucky horse farmer who enters an American Idol type competition, confident he can keep his head and heart in check even as he becomes the show’s rising star.

Karen writes what she calls “life-changing fiction”, masterfully creating stories that both entertain and challenge her readers. As she puts it, “You have only one chance to live the story of your life!” Karen has nearly 20 million copies of her award winning books in print. Of her 50 novels, ten have hit #1 on national lists. Her latest, Fifteen Minutes, is “an excellent tale of desire and faith . . . set within the exciting world of reality TV.” (Carolyn Richard, Booklist Review).–DC

Click here to view the book trailer for Fifteen Minutes


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Gavin MacLeod Appears on the TODAY Show

New York, NY—October 22, 2013— Yesterday Gavin MacLeod was  on the TODAY Show where he shared insights and lessons from his book This Is Your Captain Speaking, which released yesterday from Thomas Nelson Publishers. MacLeod is in New York City doing a PR tour promoting his book, he was also featured on USA Today.

Gavin shares his fondest memories of meeting and working with countless stars, such as Cary Grant, Steve McQueen, Gregory Peck, Bette Davis, Frank Sinatra, Ethel Merman, Ella Fitzgerald, Ronald Reagan, Milton Berle, and Fred Astaire.

Gavin not only charmed us for 16 years as The Love Boat’s affable Capt. Stubing, he was also the quick-witted Murray Slaughter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. His new book This is Your Captain Speaking, coauthored by NYT bestselling Alive author Mark Dagostino, tells how this seasoned actor navigated his life of faith in Hollywood and beyond. Gavin shares that the key to happiness is only through a deep faith in God.

“I grew up watching The Love Boat, so it’s been a great joy to work with Gavin on his new biography. He’s led an exciting, colorful life and he brightens the room wherever he goes. He’s one of the good guys.” – JK

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The appearance of a ranked title reflects the fact that these are the bestsellers in their respective categories. Here at Alive we are so proud of our authors and want to brag about them. Alive authors have received a number of many prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize.

Alive authors currently on the bestseller lists for October 2013:

Christian Non-Fiction Bestsellers

#20 Heaven Is for Real / Todd Burpo
#25 Love & Respect / Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

CBA Best Sellers – Children’s 
#8 Heaven Is for Real for Little Ones / Colton Burpo, Todd Burpo, Sonja Burpo

CBA Best Sellers
#18 Heaven Is for Real / Todd Burpo & Lynn Vincent

CBA Best Sellers – Fiction 
#6 Truth Stained Lies / Terri Blackstock
#12 The Chance / Karen Kingsbury
#18 Memory’s Door / James Rubart

Amazon Best Sellers – Christian Books & Bibles
#7 The Message Bible / Eugene H. Peterson

Amazon Best Sellers – Christianity Kindle – Christian Literature & Fiction – Romance
#7 A Time to Dance / Karen Kingsbury
#17 The Chance / Karen Kingsbury

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Remembering Lee Hough: Services and Donation Opportunities

September 13, 2013–There will be several opportunities to honor the life of Lee Hough. Details are below.

Colorado Reception:
Thursday Sept. 19th, 6:00pm
The Stone Chapel
Woodmen Valley Chapel Campus
290 E. Woodmen Rd.
Colorado Springs, CO 80919

Please dress casually and know that the format will be casual as well. A light dessert will be served.

Texas Celebration of Life Service:
Saturday Sept. 28th, 10:30am
Christ Chapel
3701 Birchman Ave.
Fort Worth, TX 76107

Because there will be a wedding later this day, no food can be served. There will, however, be an area to gather and visit after the service.

Memorial Donations: 

True to Lee’s nature, he established a meaningful way to help a friend benefit from his death. The following was written by Lee about a month ago:

Dear Friends, 

In lieu of sending flowers to my funeral, the question has been raised if there is an organization that I would prefer any memorial donations to be sent to. Certainly feel free to let your own heart guide on this with my thanks.
Out of respect to the question, however, I do have a preference I’d like to share for your consideration. I’m asking that any monies be directed to meet a particular need. And for someone I’ve known for most of my life. Let me introduce you to Dean.

Lee Hough with LaVelda and Dean Boehm

Lee Hough with LaVelda and Dean Boehm

Forty plus years ago I had volunteered with an organization in Ft. Worth,Texas to help physically and /or mentally challenged children and adults. Dean was born with cerebral palsy, a condition that affects the part of the brain that controls muscle movement and speech development. Dean’s mind is clear as a bell, but because of his impaired physical movements, he requires help with daily living activities such as all his hygienic needs, dressing, feeding and mobility. Those limitations required Dean’s parents (Jim and LaVelda) to be his lifelong caregivers, which they devoted themselves to wholeheartedly. But Dean lost his dad to cancer in 2006 and now the full burden of caring for Dean, including all the lifting and constant daily physical demands has fallen on LaVelda alone and she’s 80 years old.

One other quick note about Dean: In 1977 he lobbied members of Congress to pass legislation paving the way for the landmark American Disabilities Act (ADA).

Nothing would give me more joy as a final act together with many of you for any memorial donations to be given to help Dean and LaVelda. All tax deductible gifts designated for Dean can be sent to:

D & L Boehm W.C.T. (Fed ID #20-7004418) 
c/o Alive Communications
7680 Goddard St., Suite 200
Colorado Springs, CO 80920 

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Sara Horn Appears on the TODAY Show

New York, NY—September 11, 2013—Alive author, Sara Horn, was on the TODAY Show this morning where she shared insights and lessons from her book My So-Called Life as a Submissive Wife, which released this August from Harvest House Publishers.

Sara wondered if a woman could really live a happy life while choosing to submit to her husband as the Bible commands. Despite cultural pressure and the current liberated, independent role of today’s woman, Horn decided to do her own personal experiment by living in marital submission for one year.

“Sara is a strong-willed, independent woman,” said Alive agent Andrea Heinecke. “She doesn’t advocate that we go back to the days where women had no voice, but rather, offers her audience tools to improve their marriages and live in a more selfless way.”

Sara Horn is a wife, mom, author, speaker and founder of Wives of Faith, a ministry for military wives. In her previous book, My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife, Horn tried to emulate the biblical qualities of patience, kindness and thoughtfulness for a year. -AH

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Lee Hough, Vice President of Alive Communications, Succumbs to Brain Tumor after Prolonged Battle

Lee Hough, July 9, 1955 - September 10, 2013

Lee Hough July 9, 1955 - September 10, 2013

September 10, 2013, Colorado Springs—Lee Hough, Vice President at Alive Communications where he served as a literary agent for 12 ½ years, died peacefully at his Colorado Springs home this morning after more than a two-year battle with a glioblastoma brain tumor,” reported Alive’s President Rick Christian. He was 58.

Hough’s clients included industry luminaries Terri Blackstock, Vicki Courtney, Tim Downs, Jen Hatmaker, Miles McPherson, Nancy Rue, Randy Singer, Rich Stearns, Mark Tabb and Lynn Vincent. He represented such noteworthy books as the NY Times bestseller Same Kind of Different as Me, along with The Hole in Our Gospel, The Sacred Acre, Never Surrender, The Blood of Lambs, and Seven. He also shepherded bestselling novels including Plague Maker, Predator and The Reluctant Prophet.

Among Lee Hough's trophies as a literary agent

Among Lee Hough's trophies as a literary agent

Hough’s wife Paula told Christian that Lee mercifully was spared serious pain as he was ushered into heaven where there is no pain. Throughout this season of health reversal, she said he never complained and remained extraordinarily grateful and kind. “Thank you,” were the words most often heard from him as he neared his transition to the next stage of eternity.

A Celebration of Life service will be held soon in Ft. Worth, TX at the church pastored by the man who led Hough to the Lord. This will be followed by a gathering of friends and family in Colorado Springs. Details will be posted on his Caring Bridge web page.

“When I was last with Lee, we had a sweet but tear-filled time with our spouses,” Christian said. “He understood his present reality and had a keen anticipation of meeting Christ soon. I relayed the immense outpouring of love and prayers that I’ve received on his behalf from so many of his industry friends, and he smiled about that. He was also grateful to hear that his client-friends were being well cared for. He was fully engaged, though he listened more than he talked, and was clearly tired. But there were glimpses of Lee in all his Lee-ness: laughing at certain stories, expressing gratitude for the Lifetime Achievement Award presented him at the recent International Christian Retail Show, reaching out to squeeze my wife’s arm, extending a final hug that never quit, and flashing a million-watt smile as we parted.”

“Hospice had given him two canes at that point, but he insisted on walking us to the car without them,” Christian added. “He hugged Paula tightly from the side and both shouted their love as we backed out of the drive. He stepped behind her a moment later, wrapped his arms tightly around her waist, and then almost on cue they both raised their arms like two eagles in flight, reminding me of the line from Frost, ‘Wing to wing and oar to oar.’ Such has been their love and such it will remain.”

In a personal letter to clients and industry friends, Christian wrote: “Thank you for bathing Lee and Paula and our staff in prayer. Our hearts, like yours, remain raw and fragile, even as we lean into the arms of our Lord. May his peace be yours as you reflect on his life and death. Let’s together celebrate the legacy of a great agent, industry leader, friend, and brother in Christ. Let’s also commit to finishing our individual races as well as Lee did.”

Christian closed his letter, “Peace of the Lord, friends. Heaven is near.” – RC


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The appearance of a ranked title reflects the fact that these are the bestsellers in their respective categories. Here at Alive we are so proud of our authors and want to brag about them. Alive authors have received a number of many prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize.

Alive authors currently on the bestseller lists for September 2013:

Christian Non-Fiction Bestsellers

#10 Heaven Is for Real / Todd Burpo

#22 Love & Respect / Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

CBA Best Sellers 

#10 Heaven Is for Real / Todd Burpo & Lynn Vincent

#27 Love and Respect / Emerson Eggerichs

CBA Best Sellers – Fiction 
#6 The Chance / Karen Kingsbury

#12 Truth Stained Lies / Terri Blackstock

#13 Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales / Randy Singer

CBA Best Sellers – Inspirational

#4 Heaven Is for Real / Todd Burpo & Lynn Vincent

CBA Best Sellers – Children’s 

#7 Heaven Is for Real for Kids / Todd Burpo & Sonja Burpo

CBA Best Sellers – Children’s Bibles

#2 FaithGirlz Bible Revised Edition (NIV) Zondervan

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Valorie Burton Appears on the TODAY Show

New York, NY—August 13, 2013—Alive author, Valorie Burton, was on the TODAY Show this morning where she shared advice and insight from her book Successful Women Think DifferentlyValorie’s appearance was part of the TODAY Show’s monthly Coach Me If You Can segment.

“Valorie has become a regular on the TODAY Show as she consistently offers her audiences research-based, spiritually grounded tools that help them reach their goals,” said Alive agent Andrea Heinecke.

Successful Women Think Differently has sold over 120,000 copies. Valorie’s next book, Happy Women Live Better releases October 1st. -AH

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Q&A with Alive Author Richard Stearns, President of World Vision, and author of Unfinished: Believing is Only the Beginning

Colorado Springs, CO – August 8, 2013 – Alive Author Richard Stearns claims we live in a “magic kingdom.” That’s how he describes the wealthy existence of most people living in first world countries like the U.S. As World Vision President, however, he’s also familiar with the lives of those living in a “tragic kingdom,” where food, clean water and medicine are chronically in short supply. Stearns’ new book, Unfinished: Believing Is Only the Beginning, describes how to find a life of true significance and meaning. Sterns compares the lives of those who live in “the happiest place on earth” with the lives of those who live in chronic poverty. Below is an interview with Stearns in which he discusses his renewed passion for seeking God’s call on our lives.

Q: Since the release of your first book, The Hole in Our Gospel, you’ve spoken to thousands of people while traveling on behalf of World Vision. What are you hearing from Christians?

A: There is a powerful common thread of longing that I hear from them—a yearning for a deeper sense of purpose and significance in their walks with the Lord. They want to discover that one thing that God is calling them to do. They long to feel that they are doing something important for God and that their lives really count for something. Many of them tell me they feel incomplete, as if something about their lives is unfinished. They are young and old, male and female, wealthy and not-so-wealthy. They are lawyers and real estate agents, homemakers and students, accountants and engineers, receptionists and CEOs. All of them want to experience the satisfaction of really knowing that their lives matter and that they are living in “the zone” of God’s calling and purpose for their lives. They want to feel complete and whole, living lives in which their faith is integral and not just something they do on Sundays.

Q: What perspective can you offer those who are seeking God’s call on their lives?
A: If I have learned anything about the purpose, meaning, and significance of life over the years, I have learned that, for a Christian, it is not found in any job, even a job like mine. It is not found in any human relationship, no matter how important. Nor is it found in any accomplishment, no matter how significant. Meaning, purpose, and significance are found only by aligning our lives with God’s purposes in lives committed to following Jesus Christ. That bears repeating: The meaning, purpose, and significance of our lives are found only by aligning our lives with God’s purposes, in lives committed to following Jesus Christ. In other words, it is not our work that brings purpose to our lives; nor is it our spouses, our families, our educations, our abilities, our money, or our accomplishments. Rather, it is the purpose of our lives that brings meaning to everything else. And we find the purpose for our lives only in Christ.

Q: If it’s that simple, why do so many first-world Christians lack a sense of purposeful living?

A: We all know the familiar expression “He can’t see the forest for the trees.” It is used to describe a person who is so absorbed in the things right in front of him that he has lost a sense of the bigger picture. I believe that this is exactly what has happened to many Christians in the twenty-first century—we have become so absorbed by the “trees” of our everyday lives that we have lost a sense of the bigger story within which our lives take place. We grow up, go to school, begin careers, get married, have kids, and struggle daily with life’s challenges. These are the “trees” of our lives that occupy most of our waking hours. Our church lives aren’t all that different. We go to church each week, sing some songs, and listen to a sermon. Maybe we even pray before meals, read our Bibles daily, and participate in small group Bible studies. But they can become just more trees in a life already cluttered with trees. What happened to the forest; what happened to the bigger story? Who are we? Why are we here, and where are we headed? How do we fit into God’s big story? A hiker who no longer has a sense of the bigger landscape around him becomes lost and confused, often wandering in circles because he is disoriented and no longer knows where he has come from or where he is headed. If we are ever truly going to find purpose and meaning in our lives, we first have to rise above the trees to rediscover the forest—we have to understand what God is doing in the world and how we fit in.

Q: And this re-discovery of mission is the theme of your new book, Unfinished?

A: As the title of this book suggests, there is some unfinished business for followers of Christ in our world: And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matt. 24:14) I believe there is a direct connection between the unfinished work of God’s kingdom and our sense of feeling incomplete in our Christian faith, because there is a connection between our story and God’s story. If we are not personally engaged in God’s great mission in the world, then we have missed the very thing he created us to do. We are like birds meant to fly but living in a cage; fish meant to swim but floundering on the beach. It makes sense when you think about it. If the Author of the universe created us to play a key role in his unfolding drama but we have failed to find our place in that story, then of course we would feel incomplete.

Q: How do you hope readers will respond to this mission?

A: There are as many ways to join the great mission of Christ in our world as there are people. My book introduces just a few of the hundreds of people I’ve encountered who are living their own kingdom adventures. The one thing they all share is the unwavering belief that God made them for a purpose, to serve him and to build his kingdom. They have rearranged their lives to put Christ and his kingdom mission at the center. They have enlisted; they have joined the rescue mission to take back the world for Christ, to serve as ambassadors of his love and to herald the good news of the gospel. I hope readers respond by looking around them. What can you see? What is yours to do? In God’s expanding kingdom there is no unimportant job and no insignificant person. Is there a single mom who needs your encouragement, a child who needs your love? Do you see the elderly woman, lonely for a friend; a drowning teenager, hungering for a dad? Have you looked into the hearts of those you work with and seen the desperation in their lives? Is there an immigrant family struggling to adjust, needing a friend to guide them in a foreign place? Is there a social problem that you might mobilize people to solve? Do you have in your bank account the money that a floundering ministry needs to survive, that a homeless man needs to get a fresh start? Do you have skills and abilities that others need— in finance, as a doctor or lawyer, or as a handyman who can repair a broken-down car? Is there an issue of justice for which you can advocate, a wrong that you can right? Do you ache for the children who die from hunger, the orphans lacking a home, or the widow with children who just needs a loan? So many people are crying out to God for his help. Might you be the answer to one of their prayers? You are needed to help build God’s kingdom. This is where your adventure begins.

Unfinished is available for purchase at Amazon, Christianbook, and Barnes and Noble.

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The appearance of a ranked title reflects the fact that these are the bestsellers in their respective categories. Here at Alive we are so proud of our authors and want to brag about them. Alive authors have received a number of many prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize.

Alive authors currently on the bestseller lists for July 2013:

Christian Non-Fiction Bestsellers

#4        Heaven Is for Real      Todd Burpo

Christian Fiction Bestsellers

#5        The Chance     Karen Kingsbury

#12      Truth-Stained Lies, Moonlighter Series #1     Terri Blackstock

#15      Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales  Randy Singer

Amazon Best Sellers -  Kindle Edition – Christianity

#1        Last Light (Restoration Novel, A)     Terri Blackstock

#3        Even Now / Ever After Compilation   Karen Kingsbury

#4        Night Light (Restoration Novel, A)   Terri Blackstock

#6        True Light (Restoration Novel, A)    Terri Blackstock

#7        Dawn’s Light (Restoration Novel, A)   Terri Blackstock

#15      Heaven is for Real  Todd Burpo

Amazon Best Sellers – Christian Books & Bibles

#1        Last Light (Restoration Novel, A)  Terri Blackstock

#4        Even Now  Karen Kingsbury

#6        Night Light (Restoration Novel, A)  Terri Blackstock

#9        True Light (Restoration Novel, A)  Terri Blackstock

#10      Dawn’s Light (Restoration Novel, A)  Terri Blackstock

As well here are some Bestsellers from our sister eBook company Bondfire Books

Amazon Best Sellers -  Kindle Edition – Christianity – Prayer 

#1        Dear Abba  Brennan Manning & John Blase




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‘HEAVEN IS FOR REAL’ begins production

CULVER CITY, CA – July 17, 2013 – Production is underway in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on the family feature, HEAVEN IS FOR REAL for TriStar Pictures.  Based on the #1 New York Times best-selling book, the film brings to the screen the true story of a small-town Pastor who must find the courage and conviction to share his son’s extraordinary, life-changing experience.

HEAVEN IS FOR REAL is directed by Randall Wallace, the Oscar®-nominated creative force behind the epic storytelling of such critical and box-office hits as “Braveheart,” “We Were Soldiers,” “Pearl Harbor” and “Secretariat”.  The screenplay is by Christopher Parker and Randall Wallace, based on the book by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent.  The film is produced by Joe Roth (“Alice In Wonderland,” “OZ: The Great And Powerful,” “Snow White And The Huntsman”), and TD Jakes (“Jumping The Broom,” “Not Easily Broken,” “Woman Thou Art Loosed: On The 7th Day”).

HEAVEN IS FOR REAL stars Academy Award® nominee and Emmy award winning actor Greg Kinnear (“As Good As It Gets,” “Little Miss Sunshine”) as Todd Burpo and co-stars Kelly Reilly (“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” “Flight”) as Sonja Burpo, the real-life couple whose son Colton (newcomer Connor Corum) experiences Heaven during emergency surgery.  Colton recounts the details of his amazing journey with childlike innocence. He describes Heaven in vivid detail, and speaks matter-of-factly about things that happened before his birth … things he couldn’t possibly know.  Todd is called upon by his congregation to explain the meaning of Colton’s revelations, and he and his family are challenged to examine their faith and draw meaning from this remarkable event.

In his feature film debut, Connor Corum portrays Colton Burpo, whose incredible story has inspired millions.  Also co-starring are Emmy® Award winner Margo Martindale (“Justified,” “August: Osage County”) who portrays Nancy Rawling, and Academy Award® nominee Thomas Haden Church (“Sideways,” “We Bought A Zoo”) as the Burpo family’s stalwart friend, Jay Olson. The film’s executive producers are Sue Baden-Powell (“Elysium,” “Dr. Dolittle”), Sam Mercer (“Snow White And The Huntsman,” “The Sixth Sense”), and Derrick Williams (“Jumping The Broom,” “Woman Thou Art Loosed: On The 7th Day”).

The talented behind-the-scenes team includes Academy Award® winning director of photography Dean Semler ACS ASC (“Mad Max: The Road Warrior,” “Apocolypto”), production designer Arv Greywal (“Cosmopolis,” “Lars and the Real Girl”), two-time BAFTA Award winning editor John Wright A.C.E. (“Apocolypto,” “Speed”) and costume designer Michael T. Boyd (“Secretariat,” “We Were Soldiers”).

HEAVEN IS FOR REAL is scheduled for release at Easter 2014.

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Writers Tour to Israel and Palestine

Colorado Springs, CO—July 16, 2013—Alive Author Dale Hanson Bourke is excited to announce she’s co-leading a trip to the Holy Land November 3 -10 with David Hazard.  If you are a writer or an aspiring writer, sign up for this life-changing trip. You will learn from two respected writers and publishing consultants who will offer their insights on the writing process and tips for getting published. In one week you will gain an overview of the Holy Land, an introduction to many unforgettable people, and the tools to improve your writing and publishing. The trip will include meeting with Father Chacour & hearing how he collaborated on “Blood Brothers.” As well as meeting with other Israeli & Palestinian writers. If you’re interested in signing up here’s the link:

Also check out Dale Hanson Bourke’s new book The Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A review on  BreakPoint website noted that “With the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so prevalent in America’s Middle Eastern foreign policy, I think it is important for all Americans to stay informed on this issue. The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is a good place to start.”

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Alive Communications Hires Bryan Norman as Lit Agent

Colorado Springs, CO., July 11, 2013 — Bryan Norman, associate publisher at Thomas Nelson, announced today that he is leaving his Nashville post to become an agent with Colorado Springs-based Alive Communications, the nation’s largest, most influential literary agency for faith-based and inspirational authors. Norman will start August 2, and he and his wife Suzanne and children, Miles and Daphne, will relocate to Colorado soon thereafter.

“Bryan is one of the young all-stars in the publishing industry and I am delighted to sign our #1 draft pick,” said Rick Christian, founder and president of Alive. “He is an immense editorial talent with strong leadership and new media skills, and brings to us a network of deep relationships, together with a wealth of spiritual insight and wisdom. He will continue nurturing authors and their ideas from inception to publication, using his many gifts and abilities to help authors flourish.”

Norman worked at Thomas Nelson for nine years after earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in 2001 from Belmont University and his Master of Arts degree in 2004 from University of Colorado, Boulder. He interned briefly at NavPress and then quickly climbed the Nelson corporate ladder from associate editor to associate publisher in six years. For the past four years he has led the day-to-day operations of the nonfiction publishing division under Brian Hampton.

“Though I’m sad to leave my friends at Nelson, my family and I anticipate great things in Colorado and look forward to living in the Rockies,” Norman said. “My life as an Alive agent will allow greater focus on two of my key strengths, content development and author relationships. Working for a smaller company will also allow greater flexibility for me as a husband and young father.”

Norman has worked with numerous acclaimed authors and their best-selling books, including John Eldredge (The Way of the Wild Heart, Walking with God, Fathered by God, Knowing the Heart of God); Don Miller (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years); Bob Goff (Love Does); John MacArthur (The Truth War, The Tale of Two Sons, The Jesus You Can’t Ignore, From Ordinary to Extraordinary, Twelve Unlikely Heroes); John Maxwell (Leadership Gold, Put Your Dream to the Test, and Everyone Communicates Few Connect ); Sheila Walsh (Get Off Your Knees and Pray, Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God, The Shelter of God’s Promises, and God Loves Broken People); Robin McGraw (Inside My Heart and What’s Age Got to Do With It?); Brian McLaren (Everything Must Change); Charles Stanley (Landmines in the Path of the Believer and How to Reach Your Full Potential for God ); Charles Swindoll (Great Lives: Jesus, The Owner’s Manual for Christians, and A Life Well Lived), and Erwin McManus (Soul Cravings and Wide Awake). -RC




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Katherine Reay Signs Books at ALA

Chicago, IL—June 29, 2013—Alive Author, Katherine Reay, signed advanced copies of her novel Dear Mr. Knightley, which releases this November, at the annual American Library Association (ALA) conference in Chicago.

“Katherine’s debut novel is already receiving early acclaim,” said Alive agent Andrea Heinecke. The protagonist, Samantha Moore has always hidden behind the words of others—namely her favorite characters in literature. But life for this twenty-three-year-old becomes stranger than fiction, when an anonymous benefactor (calling himself “Mr. Knightley”) offers to put Sam through the prestigious Medill School of Journalism.

The ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world, providing association information, news, events, and advocacy resources for members, librarians, and library users. – AH

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Jen Hatmaker’s Latest Release Wins Major Industry Award

St. Louis, MO, June 25, 2013—Alive Author, Jen Hatmaker, won the Christian Retailing’s Best Award in the Christian Living: Practical Life category for her latest release, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. The award was announced at this year’s annual International Christian Retailing Sales conference in St. Louis, MO.

7 is the true story of how Jen took seven months, identified seven areas of excess, and made seven simple choices to fight back against the modern-day diseases of greed, materialism, and overindulgence.

“Jen’s writing is honest, compelling and laugh-out-loud funny,” said Alive agent Andrea Heinecke. “We are grateful that the publishing community has acknowledged the extraordinary impact this book is having.” -AH

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Soul’s Gate Wins Top Award

St. Louis, MO, June 24, 2013—Alive Author, Jim Rubart, won the Christy Award in the Visionary category for his novel, Soul’s Gate.  The award was announced at this year’s annual International Christian Retailing Sales conference.  

“Jim is one of the best novelists in the industry,” said Alive agent Andrea Heinecke. “We are thrilled to see his novel receive such strong acclaim.”

The 2013 Christy Awards honoring and promoting excellence in Christian fiction were presented at The Renaissance Grand in St. Louis, Mo. The 14th annual awards presentation highlighted the role of literary agents in the advancement of Christian fiction. – AH

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Karen Kingsbury Inks Licensing Deal with DaySpring

Siloam Springs, Arkansas—June 21, 2013—#1 NY Times bestseller Karen Kingsbury signed a major licensing partnership with DaySpring Cards, the world’s largest provider of inspirational products, announced her agent Rick Christian, president of Alive Communications. The card and gift line, featuring Karen and her daughter Kelsey Kupecky, will be released next Spring.

“The line will be called ‘Karen Kingsbury – Possibilities’ and will feature more than 50 products inspired by her novels, including seasonal and special occasion greeting cards, journals, mugs, calendars, office and desk accessories, and home decor products. They will be sold in some 3,500 outlets, including Wal-Mart, grocery stores and Hallmark shops,” Christian reported, noting that he’s enjoyed watching Karen and Kelsey through the creative process as the line moved from idea to finished goods. “They enjoy each other’s company so much that it hardly seems like work.”

“Kelsey and I are beyond thrilled,” said Karen, who has long envisioned a creative partnership with her daughter in developing products that encourage women at home and work.

“Karen has a huge presence in the marketplace and touches so many hearts with her writing and speaking,” said James Barnett, president of DaySpring. “She is known for unforgettable characters and compelling story-telling. We are very pleased to be working together.”–RC

Pictured Above – Karen Kingsbury, left, and her daughter Kelsey Kupecky concepting their Dayspring line

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Alive Bids Adieu to Vice President Lee Hough

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, JUNE 17, 2013 – Alive Communications Vice President Lee Hough has been named the recipient of the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Christy Award for his lasting contribution to the publishing industry as a literary agent, it was announced today by Donna Kehoe, the organization’s Executive Director. The special honor will be presented at the annual Christy Awards dinner Monday, June 24, from 7 to 9:30 pm, at the Renaissance Grand Hotel in St Louis.


Notice of the award follows Friday’s alert from Alive’s President Rick Christian that Hough’s Stage 4 glioblastoma brain tumor, which he’d battled successfully for two years, has spread. “Lee’s quarterly MRI last month was clear, but symptoms flared up recently and another test two weeks ago indicated that barring a miracle, he has about 2 months to live,” Christian wrote. Hough served at Alive for 12 1/2 years. Friday was his last day of work.

“We’re all devastated by the news, because it is difficult to imagine life without Lee’s loving, gregarious spirit and beaming smile. By any measure, he’s a wonderful human being, best of class. And it gave me great joy to watch him do what he was so gifted at,” Christian said, noting that Hough was at home with words, books and ideas, and counted his authors and publishing partners among his closest friends.

His clients at Alive included Lynn Vincent, collaborator of the mega-selling Heaven Is for Real, Same Kind of Different As Me, and Going Rogue; Rich Stearns, president of World Vision and ECPA Christian Book of the Year award winner, as well as Terri Blackstock, Ian Cron, Nancy Rue, Tim Downs, Jen Hatmaker, Randy Singer, Elisa Morgan, Miles McPherson, Sheila Walsh, Vicki Courtney, Katherine Reay, and many other leading literary lights.

“Seeing him in action always reminded me of the scene in ‘Chariots of Fire’ when Eric Liddell says he most feels the pleasure of God when he runs. For Lee that came with being a literary agent, and as he said in parting with tears, ‘I’m finishing well and leave with no regrets,” Christian reported.

He said that in watching Hough hug each co-worker at Alive and sister-company Bondfire Books Friday and then walk through the door the last time, he was mindful of Paul’s parting words in 2 Tim. 4:6ff: “My time has almost run out. Very soon now I will be on my way to heaven. I have fought long and hard for my Lord, and through it all I have kept true to him. And now the time has come for me to stop fighting and rest. In heaven a crown is waiting for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that great day of his return.” (NLT) As Eugene Peterson echoes in The Message: “All that’s left now is the shouting—God’s applause!”

Christian reported that this is a sacred time for Hough and his family as he prepares for the transition to the next stage of eternity. Rather than calling or emailing him, the preferred means of communication will be through his Caring Bridge website:

In Christian’s notice about Hough’s health reversal, he said in closing, “Let’s commit to finish well ourselves, to stay on track, steady in God. Lee would wish for nothing more. And let’s also commit to pray for Lee and his family daily, that God will yet heal him, or if not, that the Lord bless him and keep him. That the Lord make his face to shine upon him, and be gracious to him. That the Lord lift up his countenance upon him, and give him peace.” – RC


Pictured above from left to right: John Perrodin, contracts director; Bailey Haigh, agent administrator; Patton Dodd, executive editor, Bondfire Books; Debbie Christian, submissions and special projects; Rick Christian, president; Lee Hough, vice president; Andrea Heinecke, literary agent; Joel Kneedler, literary agent; Arlene Heard, executive administrator; and Rachel Mueller Bondfire marketing assistant (not present Sonya Stricklin, CFO).




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Major Lewis Biography Receives Early Acclaim


COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, March 2013—Internationally known apologist, educator, and bestselling author, Dr. Alister McGrath, released his definitive biography of C.S. Lewis with Tyndale House this March to mark the 50th anniversary of Lewis’s death.

“We are honored to be representing Dr. McGrath,” said Alive agent Andrea Heinecke. “C.S. Lewis: A Life, has received early acclaim including glowing reviews in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Publishers Weekly and Booklist.”

McGrath’s biography has been praised for humanizing Lewis rather than canonizing him. A starred review in Publishers Weekly stated: “To the question of whether the world really needs another biography of C.S. Lewis, McGrath’s lucid and unsentimental portrait of the Christian champion responds with a resounding ‘yes.’ McGrath offers a new and at times shocking look into the complicated life of this complex figure. The author takes us headlong into the heart of a Lewis we’ve known little about: his unconventional affair with Mrs. Jane Moore; his hostile and deceptive relationship with his father; his curiosity about the sensuality of cruelty. McGrath navigates the reader through these messy themes, ultimately landing us onto the solid ground of Lewis’s post-conversion legacy. He shows with skill, sympathy, dispassion, and engaging prose that Lewis, like the rest of us, did the best he could with the hand he was dealt. But he got over it, as must all those who would prefer a Lewis without shadows.”

Dr. McGrath also challenges some of the previously held beliefs about the exact timing of Lewis’s shift from atheism to theism and then to Christianity, after thoroughly examining recently published correspondence by Lewis. McGrath is the only scholar to have conducted a complete, chronological analysis of the entire collection of Lewis’s written documentation.

Alister McGrath, a former atheist who grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, studied at Oxford University, where he became a Christian. McGrath subsequently served as Professor of Historical Theology at Oxford University until 2008, before taking up the newly established Chair of Theology, Religion, and Culture at King’s College London.

Dr. McGrath has a special interest in Christian apologetics. He has debated leading atheists, including Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens. He is the author of numerous notable books, including The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World. -AH



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Funeral Services Scheduled for Brennan Manning, Author of The Ragamuffin Gospel

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, April 15, 2013—Funeral services for bestselling author Brennan Manning, who passed away Friday after a long illness, have been scheduled for Wednesday, April 17, according to his long-time literary agent Rick Christian. “As Brennan often said, ‘All are welcome in my Father’s house,’ and all are equally welcome as family and friends gather to celebrate his life,” said Christian, president of Alive Communications.

Manning was most renowned for his contemporary classic, The Ragamuffin Gospel (Multnomah). In addition, he also wrote Ruthless Trust (HarperOne), The Furious Longing of God (David C Cook) and Abba’s Child (NavPress) and most recently penned his memoir; All is Grace (David C Cook). This fall, Zondervan will publish The Ragamuffin Bible, with study and devotional notes from Manning’s collected works.

In the past year, Manning kept busy with two new projects. He completed his first novel with writer and novelist Greg Garrett titled The Prodigal. It is presently being shopped by Alive Communications and will be published posthumously. The novel follows the fall, rescue and redemption of Jack Chisholm, a mega-church pastor who preached the bad news gospel that we are worthless and unworthy of God’s love until he himself falls from grace. One of the characters in the book, Father Frank, is loosely based on Brennan’s life. And just prior to his passing, Manning completed a new eBook, Dear Abba: Morning and Evening Prayer, in collaboration with John Blase, for Bondfire Books.
For details on Brennan Manning’s funeral, please see below:

The viewing will be held at:

Ely Funeral Home

Rte 33

Neptune, NJ

Wednesday 4/17/13 from 4 to 8 P.M.

The funeral mass will be held at:

St. Rose Church

7th. Ave.

Belmar, NJ 07719

Thursday 4/18/13

10:00 A. M.

Following the burial, a repast will be held at:

The Spring Lake Manor

Rt. 71

Spring Lake Heights, NJ

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you please send any memorial gifts to:

St. Rose Church

St. Vincent DePaul Society

603 7th. Ave

Belmar, NJ 07719

MEMO Brennan Manning

If you plan to attend, his family asks that you notify his caregiver, Art Rubino at:

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For KING & COUNTRY Debuts on Leno

For King & Country

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, January 2013–-Critically-acclaimed new duo for KING & COUNTRY, who recently wrapped up their first headlining tour, made their late night debut on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on January 10, 2013. They performed their hit single “The Proof of Your Love” from their debut album, Crave.

“For KING & COUNTRY received a standing ovation after a wonderful performance,” said Alive agent Andrea Heinecke, who recently inked a book deal for them with Thomas Nelson. “It was great exposure for the group and really spiked music sales.” recently announced their Best Music of 2012 list and named “The Proof of Your Love,” as Christian Music’s Song of the Year. Radio has also been extremely supportive as for KING & COUNTRY was listed as the most played artist at Christian AC Indicator in 2012 according to Nielsen BDS.

2012 kicked off with the breakout artists being named as one of Billboard’s 17 acts to watch in 2012. In February, for KING & COUNTRY released their album, Crave, launching them as CCM’s bestselling new artist of 2012. “The Proof of Your Love,” is the second single from Crave, and the video was the first-ever Christian music video to officially premiere in partnership with YouTube Music. For KING & COUNTRY was named as one of Billboard’s 17 acts to watch in 2012 and New Release Tuesday noted that Crave was “One of the Best Debut Projects in Years!” Their music has also piqued the interest of music fans outside the Christian genre. ET’s “The Insider” said the duo, “make music that speaks directly to your heart” and have been “gaining popularity in the alt-rock genre.” American Songwriter commented that “for KING & COUNTRY may just be Australia’s answer to Coldplay.”

For more information please visit
Follow: @4kingandcountry


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Burpos Release New Book, Hit the Airwaves

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, October 5, 2012—The Burpo family and Thomas Nelson have joined forces again to launch a new devotional reader titled Heaven Changes Everything, available in stores October 9, 2012. In the devotional, the Burpos illuminate some of the things they learned from Colton’s experience in Heaven. In addition, the Burpos will conduct a national media tour to support the launch, appearing on the following programs: TBN, Katie, The Today Show, Kilmeade & Friends, and The 700 Club. The Heaven is for Real brand continues to touch lives around the world with over 7 million books sold and 35 translations available. Join us on Facebook and check out the personal stories posted by readers: Or connect with the family on their web site, – JK

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Notre Dame’s Rudy Launches New Book with Dream Big Bus Tour

notre-dame-rudyColorado Springs, CO, September 2012— Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, the subject of the hit film Rudy (TriStar, 1993), starring Sean Astin, is celebrating the launch of his new biography Rudy: My Story (Thomas Nelson, September 2012) with a bus tour across the American heartland.

The Rudy Dream Big Bus Tour will make stops at key locations across the nation’s midsection, spreading Rudy’s encouraging message of never giving up. Appearances include major events like throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at a Cleveland Indians game, speaking at top-ranked colleges like Oberlin, Indiana, Temple and returning to his alma mater Notre Dame University for the big game against Michigan. Rudy will then travel on to Chicago for a ceremonial first pitch at a White Sox game and return to Joliet for a home-town hero’s welcome.

His publisher, Thomas Nelson, is supporting the tour with numerous media interviews along the way. The tour bus—a full size, luxury Star coach—is provided by All Access Coach Leasing of Gallatin, TN, with the artistic help of Jamie Mullican, a.k.a. “The Wrap Artist.”

Other stops on the tour include St. Louis, Indianapolis, Bloomington, Bowling Green and Nashville. ~JK

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Columbia Pictures Signs Randall Wallace to Direct “Heaven is for Real”

August 24, 2012—Columbia Pictures announced the signing of veteran screenwriter and director Randall Wallace (BraveheartSecretariat, Pearl Harbor) as the director of the film adaptation of Heaven is for Real.

The story is running nationally in trade journals like Variety.

Earlier this month, the Burpos traveled to Los Angeles to meet with Mr. Wallace on the Sony/Columbia Pictures lot to celebrate the new partnership. Also in attendance were Alive agent Joel Kneedler, New York Times bestselling writer Lynn Vincent and key member of the Thomas Nelson team. Pictured above, L to R: Todd Burpo, Colton Burpo, Randall Wallace, Sonja Burpo, Joel Kneedler, Lynn Vincent.

“We are thrilled to have Randall Wallace at the helm of the film,”  said Kneedler. “He brings a wealth of experience as a writer and director and we are fortunate to have someone of his caliber overseeing the film.”

The film will be produced by Hollywood veteran Joe Roth of Joe Roth Films, whose most recent credits include Oz: The Great and Powerful, Knight and Day and Alice in Wonderland. Other executive producers include Bishop T.D. Jakes (Sparkle, Jump the Broom) and Columbia’s Senior Vice President of Production DeVon Franklin (Karate Kid, Pursuit of Happyness).

Adapted for the screen by Christopher Parker, Heaven is for Real (Thomas Nelson, 2010) continues its remarkable run on the New York Times paperback nonfiction list, now with 92 weeks under its belt. The book has now sold over seven million copies worldwide. ~JK


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Ian Cron’s Latest Book Hits #1 on Kindle’s Memoir Category

Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and MeCOLORADO SPRINGS, CO, August 15, 2012 – Thomas Nelson recently announced that the kindle version of Jesus, My Father, The CIA and Me was chosen as a Daily Deal for Amazon. Cron’s memoir ran on August 9, 2012 and immediately rocketed to the #1 slot in the Memoir, Biography, Christian living and Religious categories. The Daily Deal is a daily low price that raises discoverability in exponential fashion. Amazon promotes the Daily Deal on their website, but it also sends the title out in Kindle tweets and is promoted on all Kindle devices each day. Though Amazon will not release the total number of emails this goes to, their reach on a Daily deal is huge. In addition, thousands of sites re-tweet the Daily Deal messaging.

Cron’s memoir describes a childhood filled with remarkable stories and colorful characters that includes a nearly blind English nanny who teaches him what love means, a simple carpenter who leads him to faith, an irreverent New York radio personality who saves his life, a father who takes his family on a wild ride from the pinnacle of glamour and wealth to the depths of emotional and financial hardship, a beautiful and courageous mother who holds them together, and the hard won peace that comes when we surrender to the “unfinished business of grace.”

In addition to Amazon’s showcase recognition, Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me was also selected as a featured title in the Barnes & Noble (B&N) “Discover Great New Writers” program. Pastor and bestselling author, Mark Batterson writes, “Ian Morgan Cron is a brilliant writer. This is the kind of book that you don’t just read. It reads you.” – LH

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Bondfire Books Hires Executive Editor Patton Dodd

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, August 14, 2012 — Veteran epublishing innovator and digital publisher Patton Dodd has been named Executive Editor of Bondfire Books, where he will oversee title acquisitions and shepherd select authors from idea conception all the way through online distribution and sales, announced company Founder and President Rick Christian today.

“We worked quietly toward the soft launch in May of our first ebooks, including original titles from #1 New York Times and USA Today bestseller Karen Kingsbury and The Message Bible translator Eugene H. Peterson,” said Christian, noting that burgeoning sales and opportunity enabled him to make this critical hire.

“We’re thankfully past the quiet stage and can now blow our trumpet boldly from atop Pikes Peak,” he said of his Colorado Springs-based firm, a sister company to Alive Communications, the nation’s largest literary agency for faith-based and inspirational authors, internationally known for its stable of New York Times bestselling authors.

“Bondfire Books’ distinctive of paying a 50% net royalty for ebooks instead of the industry norm 25%, while offering a grant of five-year renewable terms rather than for life of copyright, proved to be huge magnets for authors, and it’s a great coup to now have such a respected digital innovator at our editorial helm to guide and nurture them as we grow,” he added.

In his new post, Dodd said he plans to build “a diverse library of fiction and non-fiction ebooks that elevate authors and sell well in the digital space,” and also “to experiment with the future of reading through hyper-local niche books, serialized stories, socially-sourced books, multi-media enhancements, and news-driven content.”

“The exciting thing about epublishing today is that it’s a wet lump of clay. We’re going to try to shape it in a way that’s fruitful for everyone, attractive for authors, and exciting for readers,” Dodd said.

Dodd has been an integral part of the faith-based electronic media for years. His writing on faith and culture has appeared in a broad range of publications, from The Wall Street Journal and to Christianity Today, Books & Culture, and The Shambhala Sun. Most recently, he served as Executive Editor at, the world’s largest independent website on religion, where he launched the Patheos Press ebook initiative. He earned a Ph.D. in Religion and Literature from Boston University, was also a senior editor at and an English instructor at the United States Air Force Academy.

Dodd is the author of My Faith So Far: A Story of Confusion and Conversion (Jossey-Bass, 2004) and last fall he wrote his first ebook, The Tebow Mystique: The Faith and Fans of Football’s Most Polarizing Player (Patheos Press, 2011). He and his ebook were featured on FOX News, ESPN Radio, and The Laura Ingraham Show, and he also covered the Tebow story for a number of national media outlets.

“I know from firsthand experience how powerful ebooks can be for writers and audiences,” he said.

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“Lost Boy” Becomes Olympic Athlete

Running For My Life by Lopez Lomong with Mark Tabb

July 27, 2012 – A familiar face will be amid the crowd of waving athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies tonight. This is Lopez Lomong’s second trip to the Olympic Games – he was a competitor and the USA national flag bearer in the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Alive Communications author Mark Tabb captured Lopez’s amazing journey from kidnap victim of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army to Olympic runner in Running for My Life, which released on July 17, 2012 (Thomas Nelson). Lopez will compete in the Men’s 5000-metre race.

Lopez uses his running as a platform, partnering with World Vision on “4 South Sudan,” a ministry that raises money for clean water in South Sudan.–LH/lk

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Alive Authors Respond to Tragic Shooting

Colorado Springs, CO, July 23, 2012 – At a July 20th midnight showing of the latest installment in the Batman trilogy in Aurora, Colorado, a tragic shooting took place claiming twelve lives. As the nation continues to grieve and wrestle with this awful event, several Alive authors have been called upon for their thoughts and insight. Among them are Professor Joseph Loconte, Paul Asay, Pastor Wallace Henley and John Blase.

Joe Loconte, who recently appeared on MSNBC, was called upon by Glenn Beck’s program The Blaze. Paul Asay, most notable for his newest release about the Batman trilogy God on The Streets of Gotham, wrote three separate articles for The Washington Post over the weekend. Wallace Henley, a pastor of the 50,000 member Second Baptist Church in Houston, TX, and former White House aide, shared his comments with The Christian Post. And editor and writer John Blase posted his reflection on his blog at The Beautiful Due.–JK

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Loconte on MSNBC and CNN

Colorado Springs, CO, July 23, 2012 – Author and Professor Joseph Loconte’s profile continues to grow as interviews and articles bearing his name increase. Loconte’s recent press spike is charged by the June 5 release of his newest book, The Searchers: A Quest for Faith in the Valley of Doubt (Thomas Nelson, 2012). The Searchers muses on the pursuit of truth in the modern world of disillusion and the ultimate destination of that journey – Christ.

On July 10, Loconte appeared on MSNBC to discuss The Searchers with “The Cycle” co-host S.E. Cupp. Loconte spoke with the self-professed atheist about the frustration searchers of truth often have with the organized church and intimated his belief that the church isn’t evil, but vulnerable to human greed and lust for power.

The Searchers received a flawless review from Christianity Today on June 16. It also caught the attention of Eric Metaxas, New York Times bestselling author of Bonhoeffer. “Every once in a while a book comes along that is so elegant and beautiful and vital that you can’t imagine the world without it,” he said about The Searchers.

Other media hits include an appearance in The Wall Street Journal on June 29 with his article “They Preached Liberty”. On July 15, Loconte shed faith-based light on the tragic situation concerning Jerry Sandusky and Penn State University in “My Take: Penn State’s Dark Fellowship,” an article for CNN. On July 20, he dialogued with Amy Holmes on Real News in an interview titled “Aurora Shooting: Faith and Evil.” Loconte has more on the horizon; in the coming weeks, look for a book review by Loconte in The Weekly Standard as well as a video interview and article about The Searchers on the CNN website and finally an appearance on “His People” broadcast on July 27 on the Pilgrim Radio Network show.–JK/lk

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Alive Communications Launches Bondfire Books

A Full-Service Epublisher for Authors and Agents

Author Royalties Are Double the Industry Standard

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO., May 7, 2012 – Alive Communications, the leading literary agency for Christian and inspirational titles, today announced the launch of a sister epublishing company, Bondfire Books. (Editor’s note:  Bondfire with a “d”.)

Bondfire Books’ debut list features ebook exclusives from a select group of authors, including #1 New York Times bestseller Karen Kingsbury and Eugene H. Peterson, translator of The Message Bible.  All of its titles will be sold through major online etailers and readable on all primary devices, including Amazon’s Kindle, Apple’s iPad, and Barnes & Noble’s Nook.

Rick Christian, founder of Bondfire Books and Alive Communications, said, “We aim to be a game changer by working with other literary agencies and paying all authors a 50% net royalty, essentially double the industry standard of 25%.  We will also offer 5-year renewable terms instead of the normal life of copyright.”

Bondfire Books will provide authors and literary agencies a comprehensive package of services, including digital file conversion, jacket design, social media services, copyediting, marketing, and digital piracy protection, backed by a special partnership with Rosetta Books in New York, the pioneering epublisher of Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen R. Covey, William L. Shirer, and Aldous Huxley.

“With Rosetta’s support and extraordinary relationship with etailers, we can ensure an author’s works are properly converted and well-advertised on all the major sites,” Christian said.

Bondfire will release new book-length properties, shorter works of 5,000 to 20,000 words, and special themed collections of sermons, speeches, magazine articles, and poetry.

“These can be successfully published as ‘ebook originals’ and help cross-support an author’s other works currently on sale in multiple formats,” Christian said, noting that Bondfire will also release select backlist books that remain commercially viable in the current electronic market.

About Alive Communications:

Alive Communications is a Colorado Springs-based literary agency, founded in 1989.  It is best known for such mega-sellers as Todd Burpo’s Heaven is for Real, which has been a #1 NYT bestseller for more than a year and has sold more than 7.5 million copies, as well as the Left Behind series (70 million copies), Eugene Peterson’s The Message Bible (20 million copies), Karen Kingsbury’s novels (20 million copies), Lisa Beamer’s post 9-11 Let’s Roll! (1.5 million copies), and the Life Recovery Bible (3 million copies).  Alive has represented several dozen platinum authors and platinum books with sales exceeding 1 million copies, and more than a dozen of its titles have been #1 NYT bestsellers.  Motion picture adaptations of its books are also in production with major Hollywood studios, as well as with various independent producers. – RC

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Kingsbury Scores Her First #1 NYT Bestseller; Alive Authors Top NYT Fiction/Nonfiction Lists

Karen Kingsbury

Karen Kingsbury

April, 2012 — Karen Kingsbury’s latest novel, Loving (Zondervan), debuted at #1 on the NYT paperback fiction bestseller list on Sunday, April 15—a first for her after numerous back-to-back appearances at #2.

“Karen has always been a #1 best-selling author and has topped many other national lists,” said her long-time agent Rick Christian, President of Alive. “Being recognized by the Times simply acknowledges what her readers have known for years and I’m thrilled with her much-deserved success.”

Simultaneous with her appearance this week atop the fiction list, Heaven Is for Real continued its longstanding run as the #1 NYT nonfiction bestseller. Heaven authors Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent are also represented by Alive.

“Having the two #1 bestselling authors in both categories the same week is an unmatched honor,” Christian said, noting that it also reflects reader’s hunger for books offering spiritual help amidst challenging economic times.

Loving is the fourth and long-awaited finale to Karen’s Bailey Flanigan series and sparked widespread internet discussion among her readers, some of whom rallied passionately for Bailey to be swept off her feet by actor Brandon Paul in Los Angeles, while others rooted for her to marry her first love, Cody Coleman, who faithfully coaches his team on and off the field in Bloomington, IN. The lingering question they’re debating: Did she marry the right guy?

Kingsbury’s 50-plus novels have sold more than 20 million copies, earning her numerous awards along the way, including the 2007 Christian Book of the Year, a first for a female author and also for a novel. Several of her books have been made into films, including Like Dandelion Dust starring Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino. Others are currently in production.—RC

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Blue Like Jazz Film Opens To Positive Critical Reviews

April 16, 2012 – The motion picture adaptation of Donald Miller’s evergreen bestseller Blue Like Jazz (Thomas Nelson) opened to excellent reviews from USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, and other media heavyweights during its 136-city premiere April 13. View the trailer.

USA Today called the Steven Taylor film a “surprisingly contemporary look at faith.”

“It tackles existential struggles that many of us grapple with – and the film industry virtually ignores – while doing so in an entertaining way,” said the San Francisco Chronicle.

Alive’s president Rick Christian said, “When the book was first presented at our weekly agent meeting more than a decade ago, we all laughed aloud because Donald had a chapter about faith called Penguin Sex. But he pulled it off because he’s a brilliant storyteller, and the book became an instant success. I’m just glad his trademark humor and honesty were finally captured on screen.”

The story of a young man’s search for spiritual truth at one of the most liberal colleges in the Pacific Northwest, Blue Like Jazz almost didn’t make it to the screen due to insufficient funding. Two devoted fans built a “Save Blue Like Jazz” website where they encouraged others to donate money through a program called Kickstarter. This end-run around normal fundraising channels ultimately generated nearly $350,000 for production costs and saved the project. During its opening weekend, the film averaged $1,900 per screen and box office sales topped $250,000. – RC

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Same Kind of Different as Me Co-author Dies

April, 2012 – Beloved co-author of Same Kind of Different as Me, Denver Moore, died Saturday March 31 in his sleep in Ft. Worth, Texas.  He’s with Jesus now, on His streets, in His kingdom, celebrating with Miss Debbie no doubt.  And we will all miss him.  This remarkable man changed our lives by his faith, by his example, by his uncanny insights into heaven and friendship.

He was born a slave in modern America; escaped to become a homeless man – a step up in life, Denver said.  Spent 10 years in America’s worst prison, and went back to living on the streets again, a notorious bear of a man who would “beat you down” if you looked at him twice.  Until he met Deborah Hall, “Miss Debbie” to Denver, “The stubbornest white woman I ever met.”  And the most beautiful but unlikely bond of friendship bloomed.  Miss Debbie later died and her husband, Ron, pledged to Denver that he would never catch and release him as a friend.  This transforming tale of redemption became a NY Times best seller with over a million copies sold and a recent Disney film option.  Through it all, Denver and Ron crisscrossed America raising over a 100 million dollars for homeless shelters.

Denver was a street preacher, a painter, a prayer warrior, a compassionate friend to the least of these.  And if you could see what he’s seeing right now, I think this is what he would want you to know:

 Well – a poor Lazarus poor as I
When he died he had a home on high . . .
The rich man died and lived so well
When he died he had a home in hell . . .
You better get a home in that Rock, don’t you see?
– Negro Spiritual

 ”You hear what I’m telling you?” Denver would always say to punctuate his point – and then he would fix his “I mean business” street stare on you.

We hear you, Denver.  Be at peace – enjoy your new home.

With love from all of us here at Alive Communications

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John Ramsey on ABC

The Other Side of Suffering by John Ramsey with Marie Chapian

The Other Side of Suffering by John Ramsey with Marie Chapian

March, 2012—John Ramsey, father of murder victim JonBenét Ramsey, released his new book this month, highlighted by a full media tour with the ABC network. The Other Side of Suffering, by John Ramsey with Marie Chapian (FaithWords/Hachette Book Group) was featured on several ABC programs including Good Morning America, The View, Nightline, GMA Weekend, in addition to being a guest on Anderson Cooper’s new daytime show Anderson and the weekend FOXNEWS program Huckabee. The widespread exposure on television led to coverage in many national print outlets like People, TIME, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post.


Thanks to new DNA testing conducted in 2008 (a technology that was not available in 1996), all members of the Ramsey family were officially released as suspects in the unsolved murder case. In the book, Ramsey recounts the cherished memories of his family, including the first daughter he lost in a car accident in 1992 and the loss of his wife Patsy to cancer in 2006. Ramsey points to a better understanding of his Christian faith as an important thing that has sustained him along with his loving relationship with his living children. – JK

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Heaven Remains Atop NYT List

March, 2012—With over 6 million copies sold, Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent (Thomas Nelson) continues to astound readers and booksellers alike as it passes the one year milestone for time spent on industry bestseller lists. The title has remained on the NY Times Paperback Nonfiction list for over 79 weeks, many of them in the #1 position. In addition, both the hardcover version and the new children’s book have placed on the list. Heaven has now been translated into more than 30 languages.

The book has been featured on programs like NBC’s Today Show, Dateline, ABC’s World News Tonight, Fox & Friends, and CNN’s Faces of Faith. Heaven has also been optioned Hollywood producers, Joe Roth, Bishop T.D. Jakes and DeVon Franklin for a major motion picture release through Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Responding to the film prospect, Todd Burpo said, “Colton has a simple message for people; heaven is for real. And we’re excited about the possibility of many more people hearing that message through a film.” – JK

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Heaven is for Real on Jeopardy!

Heaven Is For Real

Heaven Is For Real

Friday, March 02, 2012—You know you’ve hit the big time when your book becomes an answer on the television game show Jeopardy! Todd Burpo’s New York Times bestselling title Heaven is for Real was featured on the show this past week, and one quick-thinking fan snagged a screenshot. With over 6 million books sold, the simple story of a young boy’s experience in heaven continues to touch hearts around the world. And now, thanks to one of the longest running game shows in history, Heaven is for Real will also be memorialized in the halls of American trivia. – JK

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Alive Debut Novelist Nominated for NAACP Image Award

The Loom by Shella Gillus

February 3, 2012—Debut novelist Shella Gillus landed a nomination for an NAACP Image Award in the “Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author” category for her novel The Loom (Guideposts Books, 2011). Award winners will be announced at the annual NAACP gala held on February 17 in Los Angeles.

The Loom is a nineteenth century historical romance about a light-skinned female slave who disappears only to reemerge as a white woman on a plantation. Lydia knew her life as a slave on a Maryland plantation would end at the loom room—the same place on every plantation where slaves, particularly after years in the tobacco and cotton fields, spent their days weaving and making clothes for their masters’ family. Gillus smoothly weaves this original tale, integrating the harsh, revealing truth of this nation’s troubled racial past with the broader, universal themes of love and freedom. The Loom is an engaging, well-written page-turner rich with colorful detail and crisp dialogue.

Gillus is a former pageant winner, a member of the Screen Actors Guild and two-time guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show. The Loom has received a top rating from Romantic Times magazine, which gave the novel an impressive 4.5 star rating. The reviewer noted, “Gillus’ strong characters may be broken in spirit, but they trust that God will rescue them and show them freedom on the other side.”

To set up an interview with Ms. Gillus or set up a book signing, contact Neil Foote, Foote Communications, LLC,, 214.448.3765. – JK


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Sunderlands Appear on The Amazing Race

Laurence & Zac Sunderland

Laurence & Zac Sunderland

September 2011 - The sailing Sunderlands have returned to the limelight as Zac and his father Laurence appeared on the new season of the CBS reality show, “The Amazing Race,” which premiered Sunday, September 25th.

Zac gained fame in 2009, when at 17 he became the youngest person to have sailed around the world alone. His younger sister Abby made international headlines a year later, when she set out to become the youngest person in history to circumnavigate the globe alone. She appeared on media including The View, The Today Show, and CNN’s American Morning to promote her book, Unsinkable.

Now Zac, 19, and his dad are featured in a show that pits 11 teams in a race around the world for a $1-million payday. Among other competitors are Olympic snowboarders, twin sisters, a former NFL tight end and former “Survivor” winners.

”The Amazing Race” airs on Sundays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times. -AH

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Alive Authors Named ABC’s “Person of the Week”

Elisa Morgan and Shayne Moore with ABC's David Muir

August 5, 2011-ABC’S World News today chose two Alive authors, Elisa Morgan and Shayne Moore, as its “Persons of the Week”.

Elisa and Shayne are women who passionately use their speaking and writing to advocate for women and children. In July, they traveled with eight other like-minded women to Kenya with ONE, the social justice organization founded by Bono. There they met with mothers struggling to raise healthy children in a part of the world stricken with war, famine, drought, and disease. They held babies freshly diagnosed with AIDS, and danced with women in the village streets, all the while sending images and words around the world via their respective blogs.

ABC closed its Friday program with a segment which commended the ONE Moms for their mission of urging everyone to do their part to empower and improve the lives of the world’s neediest women and children.

Elisa, former CEO of Mothers of Preschoolers International, has written over 15 books on mothering, spiritual formation and evangelism and is the publisher of FullFill, ( a leadership development resource for women. Shayne [Global Soccer Mom], an original member of the ONE Campaign, shows “everyday people” how to effectively involve themselves in the battle against injustice, disease and poverty. – DAC

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Alive Authors Receive Top Industry Awards

July 2011- Karen Kingsbury and Richard Stearns were honored as Champions of the Faith at ICRS in Atlanta, GA. The awards were given out at an inaugural event created to honor businesses, organizations, entertainers, individuals and Christian retailers and vendors who live their lives dedicated to the principles taught by Jesus Christ.

“It is an honor to work with a group of authors who are extraordinarily talented, and are using their gifts to change the world,” said Rick Christian, President of Alive Communications.


Karen Kingsbury, America’s number one inspirational novelist, has more than 15 million copies of her award-winning books in print. Karen, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author has written more than 50 novels with some being adapted for film. Karen’s faith is clearly visible in her novels, in the characters she creates, in her family and in the life she leads.


Richard Stearns is the president of World Vision, and has led the relief and development organization to unprecedented growth while calling on the American Church to respond to the global AIDS pandemic. Richard’s best-selling book, The Hole in Our Gospel, challenges the faith community to rise out of apathy to meet the challenges of global poverty and injustice. Richard’s Paul-like faith is matched by the daily transformational work World Vision carries out.


Nancy Rue was honored at the twelfth annual Christy Awards, which recognizes excellence in Christian fiction. The Christy Award is named after Catherine Marshall’s novel and honors the best fiction in nine categories. Nancy’s book, The Reluctant Prophet, was named the best Contemporary/Series and Motorcycles, Sushi, and One Strange Book was named the best novel in the Young Adult Category. Nancy Rue is a best-selling author of over 100 books for ‘tweens and adults. -AH

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Heavenly Feat: 55 Weeks #1 NYT: Film Deal with Sony in the Works

Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo and Lynn VincentAugust 3, 2011 Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent (Thomas Nelson, 2010)  remains this year’s runaway bestseller, now spending 55 weeks in the #1 slot on the NY Times Paperback Nonfiction list. Heaven is also being pursued by Hollywood producers, Joe Roth, Bishop T.D. Jakes and DeVon Franklin for a major motion picture release that will inspire even more families. Alive agents Rick Christian and Joel Kneedler are negotiating the film rights with Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Commenting on the film deal, Alive President Rick Christian said, “Joe Roth and Columbia Pictures bring a talented team of dedicated professionals to this project. With their guidance this exceptional story will reach an even wider audience.”

Responding to the prospect of his family’s story hitting the big screen, Todd Burpo said, “Colton has a simple message for people; heaven is for real. And we’re excited about the possibility of many more people hearing that message through a film.”

Initial interest in Heaven is for Real began to swell soon after its release in late 2010.
As the number of major media interviews escalated, the book started its climb up industry bestseller lists. The family made the rounds on programs like NBC’s Today Show, Dateline NBC, Fox & Friends, and CNN’s Faces of Faith. Publications like People magazine and the LA Times and others such as ABC World News picked up the story. However, when the NY Times ran a feature article titled “Celestial Sales for Boy’s Tale of Heaven,” awareness went to another level.

Now with over 3 million copies sold, Heaven is For Real is the number one selling book in the nation. The NY Times ranks the book at #1 in four overall categories: Print Paperback Nonfiction list; Print Hardcover & Paperback Combined Nonfiction list; E-Book Nonfiction list; and in the #1 position on the Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction list. It is also atop USA Today’s bestseller list and has ranked frequently at the #1 position on Heaven is also a bestseller at every major retailer, including #1 at Target, Walmart and Sam’s Club.

“We knew we had a great story, however, the response has been phenomenal,” said Kneedler. “Not only has Lynn Vincent crafted another beautiful narrative, but the heart-felt comments from readers are remarkable. And the team at Thomas Nelson has done a fantastic job in packaging and promoting the book worldwide. Heaven is now capturing hearts around the globe as international rights for publication have been acquired in 27 languages. – JK

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Mark Mittelberg wins “Retailers Choice Award” for 2010

April 2011 The Questions Christians Hope No One Will Ask took top honors in the evangelism category at the Annual Retailers Choice Awards, sponsored by Christian Retailing magazine. Among a record 350-plus nominations in 39 categories, 41 winners were voted as best of the year.

Introduced in 2001, the Retailers Choice Awards have been increasingly acknowledged as an important way of recognizing some of the most significant new life-changing products in the retail industry.

Mark Mittelberg is a best-selling author, sought-after speaker, and a leading strategist in evangelism and apologetics-oriented outreach.  His books include The Unexpected Adventure (coauthored with Lee Strobel) and Becoming a Contagious Christian which has sold over one million copies worldwide.– LH

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NYT Novelist, Terri Blackstock Receives “Career Achievement Award”

April 2011 — This year’s Romantic Times (RT) Career Achievement Award for inspirational fiction was awarded to Terri Blackstock. Terri’s body of work, 70 titles over 26 years, has sold six million books worldwide, hitting the NYT bestseller list as well as #1 on CBA & ECPA charts.

The RT Book Review awards ceremony was held in Los Angeles with over 1,000 in attendance.  The winners and nominees are selected by a Romantic Times staff of over 50 reviewers representing the readers’ voice in the women’s fiction industry. RT Book Review Magazine reviews and rates every romance published as well as over 100 books in various other genres.

Terri Blackstock’s latest release, Vicious Cycle, debuted on the NYT bestseller list and hit #1 on the ECPA bestseller list for April.

To learn more about Terri, visit her online at —LH

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Governor Pawlenty Declares for President; Alive Hosts Pre-Announcement Lunch

Rick and Debbie Christian co-hosted Gov. Pawlenty May 9 at a pre-announcement luncheon at Colo Springs Broadmoor Hotel, attended by regional business, political and industry leaders.

May 23, 2011–Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced today that he is running for President of the United States, telling voters at a town hall event in Des Moines, Iowa that “it’s time for new leadership, with a new approach.”

“The time has come for America’s president – and anyone who wants to be president – to look you in the eye and tell you the truth,” said the former two-term governor of Minnesota, noting that our entitlement programs are on an unsustainable path and that inaction is no longer an option.  ”If we don’t change directions in 2012, if we do not move quickly and decisively, if we are not willing to chip in to sacrifice some of our own comfort and convenience for the lives and liberties of our children, it may be too late.”

The long-awaited announcement drew cheers at Alive’s Colorado Springs office where a critical step on the Pawlenty Express was made.

“I approached the Governor two years ago to write the book of his life,” said Alive’s President Rick Christian, who ultimately negotiated the deal for his best-selling memoir, Courage to Stand (Tyndale), published in January.  “The momentum is certainly his, and he’s got the record, story, and heart to make it to the finish line.  He’s definitely in it to win it!” said Christian, who with his wife Debbie co-hosted the Governor at a pre-announcement luncheon May 9th at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs.

Columnist George Will said earlier this month, “This is the most open scramble on the Republican side since 1940 when Wendell Willkie came out of the woodwork and swept the field. I think people are complaining this is not off to a brisk start. I think that’s wrong. I think we know with reasonable certainty that standing up there on the West front of the Capitol on Jan. 20, 2013 will be one of three people: Obama, Pawlenty and [Indiana Gov. Mitch] Daniels. I think that’s it.”

With Daniels now out of contention, a recent op-ed piece in the Washington Post appears prescient in declaring that Pawlenty may likely be the “last one standing” in the 2012 GOP contest.–RC

Excerpts of Pawlenty’s Announcement Address

“I’m Tim Pawlenty, and I’m running for President of the United States. We live in the greatest country the world has ever known.  But, as we all know, America is in big trouble, and it won’t get fixed if we keep going down the same path.  If we want a new and better direction, we need a new and better President.”

“President Obama’s policies have failed.  But more than that, he won’t even tell us the truth about what it’s really going to take to get out of the mess we’re in. … I’m going to take a different approach.  I am going to tell you the truth.”

“We’ve tried Barack Obama’s way — and his way has failed.  Three years into his term, we’re no longer just running out of money.  We’re running out of time. It’s time for new leadership.  It’s time for a new approach.  And, it’s time for America’s president – and anyone who wants to be president – to look you in the eye and tell you the truth.”

“The changes history is calling on America to make today cannot be shouldered only by people richer than us, or poorer than us – but by us, too. Politicians are often afraid that if they’re too honest, they might lose an election.  I’m afraid that in 2012, if we’re not honest enough, we may lose our country.  If we want to grow our economy, we need to shrink our government.  If we want to create jobs, we need to encourage job creators.  If we want our children to be free to pursue their dreams, we can’t shackle them with our debts. This is a time for truth.”

“No president deserves to win an election by dividing the American people – picking winners and losers, protecting his own party’s spending and cutting only the other guys’; pitting classes, and ethnicities, and generations against each other.  The truth is, we’re all in this together. So we need to work to get out of this mess together. I’ll unite our party and unite our nation, because to solve a fourteen-trillion-dollar problem, we’re going to need three hundred million people.”

“In Minnesota and in Washington, the issues were the same: taxes, spending, health care, unions, and the courts.  But in Washington, Barack Obama has consistently stood for  higher taxes, more spending, more government, more powerful special interests, and less individual freedom.  In Minnesota, I cut taxes, cut spending, instituted health care choice and performance pay for teachers, reformed our union benefits, and appointed constitutional conservatives to the Supreme Court.  That is how you lead a liberal state in a conservative direction.”

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Pawlenty Moves to 2012 Presidential Bid

Tim Pawlenty

Tim Pawlenty

March 21, 2011–Tim Pawlenty, the former two-term Minnesota governor, today took the formal step toward his bid for President by establishing an exploratory committee. The video announcement, made on his Facebook page this afternoon, allows Pawlenty to hire staff and raise money for his widely anticipated run for the Republican nomination and, ultimately, to face-off with Barack Obama in 2012.

“At a young age, I saw up close the face of challenge, the face of hardship and the face of job loss,” Pawlenty said in his two-minute video message, appealing to those facing economic insecurity and calling for backers to help him “take back our government.”

Pawlenty, 50, is the son of a truck-driving father and a mother who died of cancer when he was 16. Raised in the meatpacking town of South St. Paul that was devastated by layoffs in his youth, he worked in a grocery to pay his way through college. His first venture into politics was on the local planning commission and city council, followed by 10 years in the Minnesota House where he served as majority leader before becoming governor in 2002.

“Over the past year I’ve traveled to nearly every state in the country and I know many Americans are feeling that way today. I know that feeling. I lived it. But there is a brighter future for America,” he said, adding: “We, the people of the United States, will take back our government. This is our country. Our founding fathers created it. Americans embraced it. Ronald Reagan personified it. And Lincoln stood courageously to protect it. That’s why today, I’m announcing the formation of an exploratory committee to run for president of the United States. Join the team and together we’ll restore America.”

The Associated Press commented: “Pawlenty’s announcement of the exploratory committee almost certainly will lead to a full-blown candidacy for the GOP nomination in a field that has been slow to form. The winner would face the daunting task of unseating an incumbent president.”

Pawlenty, who released his memoir, Courage to Stand, in January, has been on an extended cross-country book tour that has taken him to early voting states like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina to build support. His memoir immediately hit #1 on Washington Post’s bestsellers list, and sparked widespread exposure in national print, TV and radio outlets.

“His book signings and speaking engagements have been something of a faux campaign in advance of an all-in decision and stirred tremendous interest in his story and voting record,” said Alive’s president Rick Christian, who negotiated the book deal. “It’s built his name recognition and made him a fixture at Republican events.”

As the first major Republican candidate to file papers with the Federal Election Commission, Pawlenty catapults ahead of other potential contenders to win over party activists and generate support toward the early contests next year.–RC

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Abby Sunderland Begins New York Media Tour

Unskinkable by Abby SunderlandApril, 2011–Ten months after a rogue wave nearly took her life at sea, teen sailor Abby Sunderland began a media tour in New York City to launch her book, Unsinkable, which tells the story of how, at 16, she set out to become the youngest person in history to circumnavigate the globe alone. Sunderland appeared on media including The View, The Today Show, and CNN’s American Morning.

It was June 10, 2010 when, already four months into the voyage, a rogue wave demasted and rolled Abby’s boat 360 degrees over 2,000 miles west of Australia. Her parents, Laurence and Marianne, lost contact with her and for a time, she was feared lost. Thankfully, rescuers – the nearest of whom were 400 miles away – found her afloat and alive after having spent two days in the perilous waters of a remote region of the Indian Ocean. Worldwide media support followed in celebration of her recovery but now the full story is revealed in Unsinkable, available now wherever books are sold. -AH

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Heaven #1 on NYT

Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent

Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent

May, 2011 Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent (Thomas Nelson, 2010) remains this year’s runaway bestseller, spending 20 consecutive weeks in the #1 slot on the NY Times Paperback Nonfiction list. Following its release in early November, 2010, Heaven quickly climbed industry bestseller lists. And now Heaven is being pursued by major Hollywood producers, Joe Roth and T.D. Jakes. Their goal is to create a motion picture that will inspire even more families. Alive agents Rick Christian and Joel Kneedler are negotiating the film rights with Columbia Pictures, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

“We knew we had a great story, however, the response has been phenomenal,” said agent Joel Kneedler. “Not only has Lynn Vincent crafted another beautiful narrative, but the heart-felt comments from readers are amazing.” The feedback confirms the gentle, yet powerful, influence of this simple story. Heaven offers clues into life’s biggest question—what happens when we die? Through the eyes of a small-town family from Nebraska, readers are discovering the reality of Heaven and the hope of being reunited with loved ones.

Initial interest in Heaven is for Real began to swell when the Burpo family appeared on major media interviews like NBC’s Today Show, Fox & Friends, CNN’s Faces of Faith, People. However, when the NY Times ran a feature article titled “Celestial Sales For Boy’s Tale of Heaven,” the awareness went to another level. Heaven is now capturing hearts around the globe as international rights for publication have been acquired in 27 languages.  ~JK

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Blackstock hits NYT and #1 on ECPA Bestseller list

April, 2011—Terri Blackstock’s latest release, Vicious Cycle, debuted on the NYT bestsellseller list and is now #1 on the ECPA bestseller list for April.

Vicious Cycle is the second book in the NYT bestselling “Intervention” series.  It is a harrowing tale of crystal meth and motherhood, human trafficking, and the choices we make that change our lives forever.

Terri has sold six million books worldwide over 26 years. To learn more about Terri, visit her online at—LH

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Kingsbury Inks S&S Deal

January 22, 2011USA Today and New York Times bestselling novelist Karen Kingsbury has signed a five-year, ten-book co-publishing agreement with Simon & Schuster, it was announced today by Alive President Rick Christian, who negotiated the innovative deal. The novels will be released under the NY firm’s imprint, Howard Books, with the first title launching in late 2012.

Kingsbury described the partnership contract as “an absolute work of art, suitable for framing,” and said she was excited to be reunited with Becky Nesbitt, who served as her editor at Tyndale House before joining Howard as VP & Editor-in-Chief. Her most recent novels have been published by Zondervan.

“With sales of more than 15 million books, Karen has earned her position as America’s favorite inspirational novelist,” Christian said, noting that her devoted fan base is exploding–due in part to acclaimed film adaptations of her work.

The award-winning film, Like Dandelion Dust, which hit theaters last fall and released last month on DVD, debuted in the Top 10 on iTunes and in other venues. It was also named one of the Top Five inspirational movies of 2010 by IMDB, along with True Grit, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Book of Eli and Secretariat.

“This partnership signifies our dedication to bringing quality fiction to the marketplace,” said Jonathan Merkh, Vice President and Publisher of Howard Books. Further details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Hailed by Time magazine as the “Queen of Christian Fiction,” Kingsbury has written more than 50 novels, including the latest, Unlocked, released in October 2010, which debuted at #3 on the NYT bestsellers list. Kingsbury’s last twelve novels have each spent multiple weeks in the top ten spots on the NYT list. Her works have also won “Book of the Year” and “Retailer’s Choice” awards, among numerous others. She has more than 200,000 Facebook friends and Twitter followers, and speaks live to more than 100,000 women a year–RC

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PW Stars Peterson Memoir

February 23, 2011–Eugene Peterson’s long-awaited memoir, The Pastor: Every Step an Arrival (HarperOne), received a starred review in this week’s Publisher’s Weekly:

“Theology professor, author (The Message), and long-time pastor Peterson brings his remarkable storytelling skills and empathic understanding of human nature to this insightful and entertaining exploration of his evolving vocational discernment as pastor and writer. With short story-like chapters named after people, places, and spiritual disciplines, such as ‘Uncle Sven,’ ‘My Father’s Butcher Shop,’ and ‘Eucharistic Hospitality,’ Peterson brings to life the environments and relationships that shaped him: his Norwegian-immigrant, Pentecostal upbringing in small-town Montana; seminary professors and Presbyterian pastors in New York City; and his lengthy pastorate in Maryland, a ministry fully shared with his wife, Jan. With wisdom and humility, Peterson grapples with challenges particular to parish ministry, such as the desire to fix parishioners’ problems, the compulsion to work long hours in compensation for being ‘invisible six days a week,’ and an emotional malaise he terms the “badlands.” By sharing disciplines that enabled him to enjoy a long, healthy pastorate, such as Sabbath Mondays, Emmaus walks, the company of other pastors, and extensive reading, Peterson offers concrete guidance to those engaged in or considering a pastoral vocation. Introspective, thought-provoking, and entertaining reflections from one of America’s spiritual leaders. (Mar.)”

The publishing deal was negotiated by Alive’s President Rick Christian, who said the book is “must-reading” for pastors, lay leaders and seminarians. Peterson will be interviewed widely in conjunction with next month’s release of the memoir, including Feb. 26th on NPR’s Weekend “All Things Considered.”–RC

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Pawlenty Rockets to #1; Book Trailer Lauded in NH

January 25, 2011-Tim Pawlenty’s new book, Courage to Stand, skyrocketed to #1 in nonfiction on the Washington Post’s bestseller list last week, following a media blitz and a whirlwind of appearances, including interviews on ABC’s “The View”, Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and a host of other national TV programs.

In related news, his promo video for the book drew raves when he premiered it at last night’s Merrimack County GOP reception in Concord, NH.

The book trailer can be watched here: ttp://

“The former two-term governor of Minnesota is on an extended book tour that launched in New York and Washington this month and continued through Colorado, Texas, and the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire,” said his literary agent, Rick Christian, President of Alive.

The Post’s “Book World” columnist Christopher Schoppa said of Pawlenty’s #1 debut: “Folks will be reading it as a measure of the man, no doubt, considering a potential presidential run in 2012.”  The book slotted ahead of other bestsellers such as Decision Points by George W. Bush, which landed in the Post’s #2 position for the week.

Earlier this month, the Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty wrote:  “The tight-fisted, anti-tax Pawlenty was one of but four governors–and the only one from a Democratic state–whose fiscal record won an ‘A’ grade from the libertarian Cato Institute last fall,” noting this has earned him “something starry-eyed fan base in conservative circles.”  A Post op/ed piece also likened the former conservative governor of one of the most liberal states to Ronald Reagan being elected in Sweden.

Despite the increasing buzz, Pawlenty has indicated that he won’t make a decision one way or another about running for higher office until later this Spring.—RC

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Former Gov Tim Pawlenty Blitzes Media; Memoir Precedes Anticipated Presidential Bid

January 2011 Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, widely considered one of the top 2012 GOP Presidential prospects, is scheduled for numerous national media interviews this week to coincide with the 1-11-11 release of his memoir, Courage to Stand.

Scheduled for Monday evening, January 10, is Hannity on FOX News.  Tuesday, January 11, appearances include ABC-TV’s Good Morning America and The View, plus an interview with FOX News’ Neil Cavuto and on CNN’s Parker Spitzer. Pawlenty interviews on Wednesday, January 12, include FOX and Friends, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, CNBC’s Squawk Box, and Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. On Sunday, January 16, Governor Pawlenty will appear on FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace. Last week, Governor and Mrs. Pawlenty were interviewed on ABC-TV’s Nightline.  In subsequent weeks, the barrage of national, regional and local coverage will continue.

“The lineup of interviews and book signings is stellar, befitting an author who media wags and pol watchers expect will soon throw his hat into the Presidential race,” said Alive’s president Rick Christian,  who inked the deal with Tyndale after a heated auction.  Agent Joel Kneedler assisted in the deal-making, bringing collaborator Mark Dagostino to the table.

A schedule of Pawlenty’s in-store book-signings, slated to begin Thursday, January 13, at Barnes & Noble, 555 12th Street NW, Washington, DC, is posted at

In Courage to Stand, Governor Pawlenty draws on lessons he learned growing up in a blue-collar town and serving as a Republican governor in a historically Democratic state; he also opens up about his deepest beliefs and shares his vision for an even stronger America.–RC

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Lynn Vincent Pens Three NYT Bestsellers in the Same Year!

January 2011— Alive Client Lynn Vincent achieved an extraordinary new pinnacle in her career as a collaborative writer for 2010 – three (3) NYT bestsellers in the same year.  2010 opened with Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin at #1 on the hard cover list.  And Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore hit #10 on the paperback list at the same time.  2010 closed with Heaven Is for Real by Todd Burpo reaching #3 on the NYT bestseller list.  All three penned by Lynn Vincent.

And 2011?  Lynn’s off to an amazing year with Heaven is for Real reaching #1 on (twice!) and #1 on NYT.  And January’s not even over yet! –LH

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Alive Inks “Unsinkable” Nelson Deal

L to R: Rick Christian, Abby Sunderland, Lynn Vincent (Collaborator)

January 2011–Six months after a rogue wave nearly took her life at sea, teen sailor Abby Sunderland has signed a publishing deal with Thomas Nelson about how, at 16, she set out to become the youngest person in history to circumnavigate the globe alone. “Abby is a young woman who embodies the American spirit of courage and adventure,” said Alive’s president Rick Christian, who negotiated the deal together with agent Andrea Heinecke.  He noted that Abby’s partnership with the perennial New York Times bestselling collaborator Lynn Vincent is a match made in heaven. “I have every expectation this book will sail to the top of the charts, as have the others Lynn has helped with, including Same Kind of Different as Me, Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue, and Heaven Is for Real.” “The book, entitled Unsinkable, will hit stores in April and be backed by a major national PR campaign,” said Andrea, explaining that it will offer a behind-the-scenes account of Abby’s courageous adventure on the high seas. It was June 10, 2010 when, already four months into the voyage, a rogue wave de-masted and rolled Abby’s boat.  Though she lost radio contact with her parents and was feared lost at sea, rescuers—the nearest of whom were 400 miles away—found her afloat and alive after having spent two days in the perilous waters of a remote region of the Indian Ocean. “Abby stirred worldwide media support after her recovery, but now the full story can finally be told,” Andrea said. –RC

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Alive Posts Seven NYT Bestsellers in 2010

December, 2010–Seven books represented by Alive hit the NYT bestseller list during 2010, according to Agency President Rick Christian. “We are thankful for the success this represents,” he said, noting that the appearances reflect what America is reading and impact buying decisions.

“Everybody wants to read what’s hot, what other people are talking about, what’s lighting up the blogosphere,” he added. “The definitive source readers turn to for this information are the fiction and non-fiction bestsellers lists printed in each Sunday’s New York Times.”

Works represented by Alive on the 2010 list included three novels by Karen Kingsbury, three nonfiction collaborations by Lynn Vincent, and a first showing by novelist Terri Blackstock.

Kingsbury’s appearances were Take Three in April, Take Four in July and Unlocked in October, the latter of which debuted on the NYT list at #3, behind two mega-selling Stieg Larsson novels. Lynn Vincent scored with her chart-topping collaborations on Sarah Palin’s political memoir Going Rogue, Todd Burpo’s word-of-mouth phenom Heaven Is for Real, and her evergreen Same Kind of Different as Me, which has logged some 150 consecutive weeks on the prestigious list, with sales well over one million copies. Terri Blackstock debuted on the list in October with her novel, Intervention.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled for these authors and their booming sales. We also appreciate their ongoing trust in Alive and are pleased to continue our 20+ year reign as the literary agency best-known by our stable of #1 bestsellers,” Christian said, adding that he expects many more appearances on the list in subsequent years now that primary CBA channel retailers are reporting their sales to the NYT, including Family, Mardel, Lifeway and Parable outlets–RC

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Dave Dravecky on Today

View Today Show Interview

October 27, 2010–Long-time Alive client and former SF Giants pitcher Dave Dravecky appeared on the Today Show to discuss how Major League Baseball is supporting “Stand Up To Cancer,” a campaign dedicated to finding a cure and getting treatments to patients more readily.

“In my own journey with cancer, I’m honored to represent my fellow players and fans to rally even more support for others who face cancer, too,” said Dave, whose battle for life was first told in the best-selling book, Comeback.

“That book was published in 1989, the year we launched the agency,” said Rick Christian, Alive’s president.  “It was the first high-profile book we had the privilege of working on, and the Dravecky’s went on to write many others that have provided foundational help and encouragement to those struggling with cancer and depression,” he added.

Dave and his wife Jan now live in the Denver area and head Endurance (, whose mission is to serve suffering people, especially those with cancer and amputation. –RC

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Andrea Heinecke Delivers Daughter Ella on 10/10/10

Andrea Heinecke

Andrea with Ella Lynn Heinecke

October 2010 — Alive literary agent Andrea Heinecke gave birth to her first child, Ella Lynn, on Sunday night, Oct 10, 2010. Mom and dad, Matt, are both elated and exhausted. The baby, born in San Diego’s Sharp Mary Birch Hospital, weighed 9 lbs 11 oz and was 20 inches long! Ella has light brown hair and sweet blue eyes.

Andrea will resume her duties as an agent after her well-deserved maternity break, said Rick Christian, Alive’s president and Ella’s grandfather. –RC

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NYT Novelist, Terri Blackstock, Wins Best Suspense Novel Award

Intervention by Terri Blackstock

September 2010— Intervention by Terri Blackstock, was given the “Carol Award” for the best suspense/thriller novel at this year’s ACFW Conference.  The conference was attended by over 700 authors and industry professionals in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Keynoted by Tim Downs, another Alive client, ACFW has become a leader in fiction writer conferences.

Terri Has sold over 6 million copies of her novels, hit the NYT bestseller list, and her most recent novel, Predator, has topped out at #1 and #2 on the ECPA and CBA Best Seller lists.  –LH

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CNN Interviews About “Like Dandelion Dust”

Like Dandelion Dust

Click to view CNN interview with Mira Sorvino

September 14, 2010 — Oscar-winning actress Mira Sorvino was interviewed this week by CNN’s Chris Ford about the themes of faith and forgiveness in her starring role in “Like Dandelion Dust.” The film, releasing in a nationwide rollout starting September 24, was adapted from the book by NY Times bestselling novelist Karen Kingsbury and is directed by Jon Gunn. It is the story of a mother who gave her child up for adoption but decided to try and get him back, said Alive’s President Rick Christian, who negotiated the book-to-film deal. He noted that the film won 20-plus “Best Film” and “Best Actor” awards at pre-release film festivals from California to New York, and that USA Today trumpets it as being “the next Blind Side,” the film that earned Sarah Bullock a Best-Actress Oscar earlier this year over Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren, among others. A list of theaters that will screen the film is available at –RC

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Cliff Graham Film Adaptation

Visit Lioin of War Website

Visit Lioin of War Website

September 14, 2010 — Alive Communications client Cliff Graham celebrated the announcement of his new film deal with GiantKiller Pictures in the Hollywood Reporter today. Thanks to the signing of veteran Hollywood screenwriter John Fusco (Hidalgo, Young Guns I & II, Spirit and The Forbidden Kingdom), GiantKiller Pictures is moving full-steam-ahead with the production of Graham’s epic debut novel Day of War. Zondervan, a Harper Collins company, will publish Day of War in the spring of 2011. Alive agent Joel Kneedler negotiated the multi-book deal.

“Cliff has recreated theses larger-than-life characters in such a colorful way,” commented Kneedler, “that it makes them perfect for the big screen.”

Filmmaker David L. Cunningham (The Path to 9/11) and producer Grant Curtis (Spider-Man franchise) optioned the film rights to Day of War for a 3-D major motion picture franchise under their newly formed GiantKiller Pictures. Under their new banner, Cunningham and Curtis have optioned Graham’s entire Lion of War series.

“Cliff has written a dynamic series that is highly cinematic,” Cunningham said. “He has found a fresh, inspired take on the ancient story of King David and his lethal outcasts, the Mighty Men, that has stood the test of time for thousands of years. The gritty characters, their complicated lives, and the supernatural themes make for an exciting combination.”

Cliff Graham’s Day of War is a recreation of the epic battles of King David and his Mighty Men. Over the course of ten days, from snowy mountain passes to sword-filled battlefields, David and his fellow mercenaries must call upon “The Covering” and everything they have in order to survive and rebuild their shattered nation. Day of War is the first book in the Lion of War novel series. –JK

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USA Today Lands Noble

The Sister Wife by Diane Noble

August 2010 — Alive Communications author Diane Noble’s recently released book The Sister Wife (Avon Inspire/HarperOne) was included in USA Today cover story on the popularity of Amish fiction. The feature article, written by Deirdre Donahue is titled “Romance novels set in Amish country pick up the pace.”

As the article states, “The Amish aren’t the only religious group finding their way into romance novels.” The Sister Wife examines the struggle of three women as they become entangled in the early stages of Mormon polygamy in the 1840’s. With the help of outside Christian forces, they plan their escape from this growing cult as it moves west. Based on historical events—including the arrest of Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, IL—Diane Noble skillfully weaves an intricate plot line that challenges the foundations of family and faith. –JK

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Debut Novelist Cliff Graham Inks Multi-book Deal with Zondervan

Day of War by Cliff Graham

Day of War by Cliff Graham

August 3, 2010 —First time novelist, Cliff Graham, is welcomed into the Zondervan family as a fresh voice in historical fiction. Graham has uniquely recreated the epic battles of King David and his Mighty Men in Day of War. The first novel of the multi-book series, Lion of War, is scheduled to release in the spring of 2011.

Graham writes from his own experiences in the modern military and from interviews with combat veterans from every major war since World War II. As a member of the Army chaplain program, he has spent time with wounded soldiers and is familiar with the stresses such experiences place on warriors and their loved ones.

“Cliff Graham has a remarkable talent for envisioning Biblical stories and creating page-turning fiction,” says Cindy Lambert, vice president & associate publisher at Zondervan. “Similar to Wilbur Smith and Bernard Cornwell, Cliff’s epic novels portrays the intense, gritty reality and heroic exploits of real heroes of the ancient world.”

Day of War tells the story of Benaiah, who is described in 2 Samuel as a “valiant fighter from Kabzeel who performed great exploits.” In the novel, Benaiah is  looking for a fresh start and finds David and his disgruntled and reckless group of warriors. Over the course of ten days, from snowy mountain passes to sword-filled battlefields, David and his fellow mercenaries must call upon everything they have learned to survive and rebuild their shattered nation.

Filmmaker David L. Cunningham, director of The Path to 9/11, and Grant Curtis, producer of the Spiderman franchise, have optioned the Lion of War series and are developing a major motion picture franchise as the inaugural entry in their newly formed GiantKiller Pictures banner.

“There is a high level of satisfaction seeing these world-famous characters come to life in a Braveheart meets Gladiator sort of way,” says literary agent Joel Kneedler, of Alive Communications. “Cliff has created down-to-earth personalities that will light up imaginations and the silver screen.” — JK

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Kingsbury Interviewed on Today Show About Reader Engagement

Click to View Interview

Click to View Today Show Interview

July 12, 2010 –NY Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury was interviewed this week on NBC’s Today Show about her extraordinary involvement in reader’s lives, as evidenced recently when she was matron of honor in a reader’s wedding.  “Karen’s support of her reader-friends is legendary,” said Rick Christian, President of Alive, noting that she interacts daily with her 125,000 FB devotees, calls terminally ill patients, and even hosts readers at family gatherings.  “It’s no wonder that Today Show execs got wind of it.”

The path to their national TV interview began when Erica Dyer, 24, of built her wedding website on and jokingly uploaded a picture of Karen, her favorite author, as her matron-of-honor. When the website chatter kicked in, Dyer emailed Karen that it was all just wishful thinking. Charmed by her young fan, Karen later agreed to participate and even wrote the couple a poem that she read at the ceremony.

Erica detailed the saga of events via social media sites, her wedding blog, the local newspaper, and literally told everybody she knew in her hometown of Odessa, MO.  The buzz kicked in, word spread, and higher-ups at and Zondervan, Karen’s publisher, soon took notice and sponsored the newlywed’s getaway to NYC, where Karen later joined them for a Broadway show and . . . their Today Show interview!

“You have to live outside the box sometimes,” Karen said with a good chuckle, reflecting on the experience. –RC

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Ed Thomas Family Receives ESPY Arthur Ashe Courage Award

Ed Thomas on the cover of Sports Illustrated

July 2010 — The family of Coach Ed Thomas was given the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2010 Espy Awards on July 14th. The Arthur Ashe trophy has come to symbolize individuals whose merit transcends sports, radically changing people’s lives through their bravery and compassion.

The awards were accepted by Jan Thomas, the wife of the late Ed Thomas, and her sons, Todd and Aaron, for their actions of forgiveness and reconciliation following Ed Thomas’ murder in 2009. Aaron Thomas has since stepped into his father’s shoes as Athletics Director, and coaches the boys’ basketball team.

“This award is a great testament to the type of man my father was,” Aaron Thomas said, “Even in the toughest of times, we know how my dad would have handled the situation. We are humbled and honored to receive this award.”

The Ed Thomas story is being represented by Lee Hough of Alive Communications, and is currently under bid by four industry-leading publishers.

To view the ceremony and read more on the Thomas family, click here.  –LH

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Neta Jackson Wins Christy Award for Contemporary Series Novel

Who Do I Talk To? by Neta Jackson

June 2010Who Do I Talk To?, book 2 in Neta Jackson’s “The Yada Yada House of Hope” series (Thomas Nelson), took top honors in its category at this year’s Christy Awards banquet. The Christy, named in honor of Catherine Marshall’s beloved book, is awarded to novels of excellence. Neta’s previous best selling series, “The Yada Yada Prayer Group” sold over 500,000 copies and was preceded by yet another best selling series with her husband, Dave, titled, “Trailblazers”, which sold over 1.7 million copies. –LH

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Richard Stearns Awarded Prestigious “Book of the Year”

The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

May 2010 — Alive client Richard Stearns garnered ECPA’s top award – Book of the Year – for his compelling life story, The Hole in Our Gospel (Thomas Nelson). The annual award is based on excellence in content, literary quality, and significance of contribution. Quite a feat for a first-time author.

Stearns is president of World Vision, one of the largest humanitarian organizations dedicated to feed, clothe and educate children worldwide. Ten years ago, he came face-to-face with the question, What does God expect of us?, as he sat in a mud hut in Rakai, Uganda, listening to the heartbreaking story of an orphaned child. His response tore him out of his corner office at one of America’s most prestigious companies to walk with the poorest of the poor in our world.

Stearns joins novelist Karen Kingsbury to become the second Alive client in three years to receive the industry’s highest award. –LH

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Governor Tim Pawlenty Lands Memoir Deal with Tyndale

May 2010 — Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has reached an agreement with Tyndale House to publish his upcoming memoir next year, including his reflections on his life, his remarkable career, and his vision for America. The book is presently untitled.

The deal was negotiated by Alive’s founder and president Rick Christian, and assisted by agent Joel Kneedler.

“Multiple publishers were interested in acquiring Governor Pawlenty’s book because it’s a great American success story of a leader who rose from the gritty streets of South Saint Paul to the highest office in his home state,” Christian said, noting that the memoir will detail the death of the Governor’s mother when he was just 16, to working his way through college and law school, to his successful strategy to balance a budget and rein in spending. “Tim Pawlenty will also share his unique perspective on our times, while taking readers back to values solidified during the Reagan-era foundation of his career in public service,” Christian said.

Pawlenty was elected in 2002 to replace then-governor Jesse Ventura, and was re-elected in 2006, no small feat for a Republican in a state known for electing Democrats. Throughout his time as governor, Pawlenty has been gaining national recognition for his strong leadership and his purposeful commitment to service, fiscal restraint, and personal integrity.

In the face of a massive, $4.8 billion budget deficit, Pawlenty balanced the budget, cut runaway spending, reformed health care, improved education, and created an improved job climate for his state—all without raising taxes.

“We are honored to publish this new book by Governor Pawlenty,” said Ron Beers, senior vice president and group publisher, who acquired the book for Tyndale, whose New York Times bestsellers include those by Alive clients Karen Kingsbury and Lisa Beamer, among others. –RC

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Alive Announces Promotions

Staff Promotions: Lee Hough and Sonya Stricklin

Staff Promotions: Lee Hough and Sonya Stricklin

April 2010 — Alive’s President, Rick Christian, announced the promotion of senior literary agent, Lee Hough, to Vice President and Controller, Sonya Stricklin, to Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately.

“Personal attentiveness and skilled advocacy are the hallmarks of Lee and Sonya’s work,” Christian said. “It is what makes Alive stand out as one of the premier literary agencies in the country.”

Lee, an 18-year publishing veteran, joined Alive in 2001 as a literary agent. His record of accomplishment has earned him industry-wide respect and Thomas Nelson’s “Agent of the Year” award. Lee’s passion for authors and their work has resulted in:

  • Same Kind of Different As Me (Nelson) being on New York Times bestseller list for more than 100 consecutive weeks, longer than any other Thomas Nelson title in its history.
  • Lynn Vincent collaborating on Sarah Palin’s runaway bestseller, Going Rogue (Harper).
  • Representing all literary tie-ins to “Mary, Mother of Christ”, the highly anticipated prequel to “The Passion of the Christ.”

Lee works with a select stable of critically acclaimed and award winning authors, including Terri Blackstock (6+ million novels sold); Tom Carter, writer of nine New York Times celebrity bestsellers; Sheila Walsh (4+ million books sold); megachurch pastor Miles McPherson, and Randy Singer whose novels have been described by Publishers Weekly as, “gripping, obsessively readable.”

Sonya brings 21 years of experience in finance and human resources to Alive. Prior to Alive she worked 10 years in various accounting positions in a variety of industries and for 2 years as an HR consultant. During her 5 years in Benefits and Compensation for Schlage Lock, an Ingersoll-Rand company, she was recognized for her multi-million dollar cost savings implementations. In her 5 years with Alive, Sonya has provided invaluable leadership and financial integrity. She will be responsible for all financial, business management and HR functions at Alive, as well as other development entities.

“Sonya and Lee are extraordinary in every area of their lives,” Christian noted. “Alive’s success is dependent on their leadership and the strength of our unparalleled team.”–RC

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Author Carrie Carter M.D. Receives Writing Award

Carrie Carter

Carrie Carter

December 17, 2008 — Award-winning columnist and author Carrie Carter, M.D. was honored recently by the San Diego Christian Writers Guild (SDCWG) for Excellence in Magazine Writing for her column “Health Matters” in MOMSense Magazine. Beth Jusino represents Carrie Carter.

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Mark Tabb on Larry King Live with Alec Baldwin

Mark Tabb

Mark Tabb

December 17, 2008 -– Alive author/collaborator, Mark Tabb, appears with Alec Baldwin on Larry King Live to discuss Alec’s latest release, A Promise to Ourselves about parental alienation syndrome. –LH

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Palin and Vincent Have Gone Rogue with Bestseller

Sarah Palin, Going Rogue

Sarah Palin, Going Rogue

December 2009 — Sarah Palin’s Going Rogue: An American Life, written with Alive collaborator, Lynn Vincent, tops lists around the nation. Among them are USA Today, NYT, WSJ, and HarperCollin’s spokeswoman Tina Andreadis reported sales of over one-million copies just two weeks after publication. Harper has now increased the original print run from 1.5 to 2.8 million. Going Rogue has officially joined the elite class of million-selling political memoirs.

Since penning the NYT’s bestselling memoir, Same Kind of Different As Me, Lynn’s talent for riveting storytelling has garnered critical acclaim in other memoirs such as The Blood of Lambs by ex-terrorist Kamal Saleem, and Never Surrender by former Delta Force Commander, William “Jerry” Boykin. Lee Hough secured the deal with Palin’s agent, Bob Barnett. –LH

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Paul Wins Top Fantasy Prize

DragonLight by Donita Paul

DragonLight by Donita Paul

December 2009 — Donita Paul has won the Clive Staples Speculative Fiction Award for the year’s best fantasy/allegorical novel. The reader’s-choice prize, given for her novel DragonLight, is named for Narnia author C.S. Lewis. — JK

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Alive Welcomes Ring As Contracts Administrator

November 2009 — Alive welcomes Sarah Ring as our new Contracts Administrator. She arrives via the financial services sector, having worked at Smith Barney and United Bank of Switzerland as an asset management consultant. A journalism graduate from Biola, she replaces Cindy Wilson, who now directs the contracts department of Zondervan. “We’re thrilled to have Sarah in this critical position, interfacing with our agents, authors and publishers. She is tenacious and will be a great advocate for authors,” says Alive president Rick Christian. –RC

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Karen Kingsbury is an Extraordinary Woman

Karen Kingsbury

Karen Kingsbury

October 2009Karen Kingsbury was honored with the 2009 Extraordinary Women’s award in Roanoke, VA. Every year at an EWomen’s event this award is given to the woman who demonstrates exemplary service in Christian ministry. Kingsbury is in good company with past recipients–Vonette Bright, Beverly LaHaye, Gloria Gaither, and Thelma Wells. Kingsbury continues to top book sales which have now exceeded 15 million copies. Shades of Blue, a stand alone novel, is her latest. Two movies are scheduled for theatrical release in 2010; adaptations taken from Like Dandelion Dust and Gideon’s Gift. –RC

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Eugene Peterson Leads Vail Forum with Philip Yancey

Eugene Peterson, right, and Philip Yancey

Eugene Peterson, right, and Philip Yancey

October 2009 — We just returned from an inspiring weekend at the “Rocky Mountain Rendezvous” held October 2–4th at Sonnenalp Resort in Vail, hosted by Alive’s Rick and Debbie Christian, in partnership with friends Peb and Sharon Jackson and the Trinity Forum. Over 150 attended the event with Alive author and The Message translator Eugene Peterson, Philip Yancey, and award-winning singer-songwriter Fernando Ortega. Peterson gave five talks, drawing on themes from his new book The Jesus Way, each of which were followed by spirited conversation with Yancey and participants. Ortega also staged a private concert for attendees. — RC

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Kingsbury Film Nabs Numerous Wins

Like Dandelion Dust

Like Dandelion Dust

October 2009 Karen Kingsbury’s Like Dandelion Dust has been piled with praise as it completes a wildly successful tour of 20 film festivals, from Las Vegas to Vail to New York. Among the honors were Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Feature, and Best Screenplay. The film first drew raves and rivers of mascara at January’s Palm Springs International Film Festival where it was named “Best of Fest.” Variety has pumped the production as “cathartically emotional” and applauded star Barry Pepper for his “head-turning performance” and “Brando-like command and presence.” He and Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino have both won “Best Actor” awards in this film’s preliminary screenings. Audiences are anticipating the film’s theatrical release, set for fall 2010. — RC

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Alive Welcomes Back Andrea Christian Heinecke

Andrea Heinecke

Andrea Heinecke

August 2009Alive Communications announced this week the return of Andrea Christian Heinecke, who served as an Alive agent from 2001-2004. She brings a broad range of publishing experience as a book editor and publicist, having worked with award-winning, best-selling authors of fiction and nonfiction adult, youth, and children’s books at David C. Cook and NavPress.

Andrea fills the shoes of agent Beth Jusino, who leaves after five years of successful client representation to pursue new opportunities in social media marketing. Of her time at Alive, Jusino says, “It’s been a privilege to work with so many talented authors and dedicated publishers. The Alive team is the best in the business, and I leave with a grateful heart for the time we have shared.”

Alive Communications president, Rick Christian says of the transition, “We are thrilled to have Andrea back. The authors she represents will benefit from her experience, network of relationships and terrific instincts.  Beth will certainly be missed, and we bid her a fond farewell. She has expanded our reach and uncovered fresh talent, leaving a solid foundation on which Andrea will build.”– RC

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Dravecky Comes Back Twenty Years Later

Dravecky Comes Back Twenty Years Later

Dravecky Comes Back Twenty Years Later

August 2009 -– Alive author, Dave Dravecky, was honored by the San Francisco Giants on August 10, 2009 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, during a special Comeback Game against the Dodgers, marking the anniversary of his comeback. Twenty years before, on August 10, 1989, a miracle took place as the former major league pitcher, Dravecky, took the mound for the San Francisco Giants. Pitching a winning comeback game after battling cancer in his throwing arm, the win was cited as “one of the most dramatic moments in sports history” by The New York Times.

Although his victory came to a heartbreaking close five days later, Dravecky has influenced millions with his inspiring comeback story in the Alive-repped title Comeback (Zondervan). Alive president, Rick Christian, says of his twenty-year association with the sports hero, “Comeback was the first big book on Alive’s list during our formative years. This is a very special day for him and for us.”– RC

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Love & Respect Passes the Million-Copy Mark

Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

its release in 2004, sales momentum for Love & Respect by Alive author Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, has continued to surpass every expectation. This month, Thomas Nelson sold the one millionth copy of the acclaimed title.

A companion book by Eggerichs entitled The Language of Love & Respect will hit shelves in September of this year. Alive president, Rick Christian says of this book’s release, “I am honored to represent Emerson and look forward to watching the impact his next title will have on marriages the world over.”

In addition to being a best-selling author, Eggerichs continues to revolutionize relationships nationwide at his Love & Respect marriage conferences; including upcoming engagements in Memphis, San Diego, and Chattanooga. — RC

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Same Kind of Different is NYT Bestseller for Over One Year

May 2009Same Kind of Different As Me has achieved more consecutive weeks on the NYT bestseller list than any other title in Thomas Nelson’s history since 1798. Lee Hough met with co-producers, Mark Clayman and Ralph Winter in Dallas, Texas to spend time with the studio writers who are adapting the book to a screenplay. — LH

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Time Magazine Honors Rwanda Pres. Paul Kagame

May 2009Time’s annual 100th issue names Paul Kagame among those having the most impact on our world in 2009 and references his acclaimed bio, A Thousand Hills (Wiley & Sons), repped by Alive’s president, Rick Christian.

In the current issue, Rwanda’s president is cited in the “Leaders and Revolutionaries” category for ending its 1994 genocide, and then rebuilding the country and launching widespread reform, becoming in the process the “face of emerging African leadership” and a “model for the rest of the world.” “Kagame’s leadership has a number of uncommon characteristics,” Time reports. “One is his willingness to listen to and learn from those who oppose him. When journalist Stephen Kinzer was writing a biography of Kagame, the President gave him a list of his critics and suggested that Kinzer could discover what he was really like by interviewing them. Only a humble yet confident leader would do that.”

Written by celebrated pastor/author Rick Warren, the article also spotlights Kagame’s “reconciliation strategy, management model, empowerment of women in leadership and insistence on self-reliance (that) are transforming a failed state into one with a bright future.” — RC

Rwanda President, Paul Kagame

Rick and Debbie Christian sealed the publishing deal with Rwanda President, Paul Kagame January 21, 2006 at his Kigali home.

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Windsor Wins Romance Prize

May 2009 — Linda Windsor’s For Pete’s Sake (Harper/Avon Inspire) received the 2009 Golden Quill for “Best Inspirational Romance” by the Romance Writers of America. Her novel is also a finalist in other prestigious romance-genre competitions, including National Reader’s Choice Awards, Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence, and the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence. — LH

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Kingsbury Film Explodes at International Festivals

Like Dandelion Dust

Like Dandelion Dust

April 2009 — Six back-to-back film festivals have awarded Karen Kingsbury’s Like Dandelion Dust Best Picture, generating advance buzz for its theatrical release. The film first drew raves and rivers of mascara at January’s Palm Springs International Film Festival where it was named “Best of Fest.” Top wins from festival audiences and jurors followed in Sedona, San Luis Obispo, Sonoma, Vail and Las Vegas. At each screening, people of all ages wept openly, with wadded Kleenex littering the theater like giant popcorn kernels. Variety has pumped the production as “cathartically emotional” and applauded star Barry Pepper for his “head-turning performance” and “Brando-like command and presence.” He and Oscar-winner Mira Sorvino have both won “Best Actor” awards for this film in these preliminary screenings, designed to showcase top properties ahead of the curve and build audience/studio support before its big screen roll-out. Additionally, the film is set to be screened at upcoming international festivals in Seattle, Indianapolis, San Joaquin, Maui and Toronto. — RC

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Stearns Appointed to White House Advisory Council

Stearns Appointed to White House Adivory Council

Stearns Appointed to White House Adivory Council

March 2009 -– Richard Stearns, president of the relief and development organization, World Vision US, and author of the just-released The Hole in Our Gospel has been appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, a group of 25 national leaders from the religious, secular, and academic arenas who will advise the White House on faith-based issues. In an interview with the Seattle Times, Stearns describes his agenda “to promote greater awareness that in a significant worldwide economic downturn, faith-based and other community organizations have an indispensable role to play in serving the poor and rebuilding our economy.” — BJ

Photo (Credit White House)

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Mittelberg Title Awarded “Book of the Year”

Choosing Your Faith

Choosing Your Faith

March 20, 2009 — The March/April issue of Outreach magazine names bestselling author Mark Mittelberg’s Choosing Your Faith as their “Resource of the Year” for Apologetics. Nearly 140 books and other resources were nominated. In his comments about Choosing Your Faith, panelist Dr. Craig Hazen said, “Mark Mittelberg packages some wonderful teaching on traditional apologetics in a provocative and engaging manner.” — BJ

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Dr. James Carafano Talks Israeli Conflict on FOXNEWS

Dr. James Carafano

Dr. James Carafano

February 2009 — Alive Communications client Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) James Carafano appears on FOX NEWS to comment on the current conflict with Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Dr. Carafano is a leading expert on Defense and Homeland Security at the Heritage Foundation, and frequently testifies before Congress. Carafano is working with agent Joel Kneedler on two new military based book projects. — JK

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Viguié Enjoys Debut on NYT Bestseller List

Debbie Viguié

Visit Debbie Viguié's Website

February 2009 — Debbie Viguié landed on the NYT Bestseller List for the first time last week with Wicked: Witch and Curse, a bind-up of the two novels of her supernatural series for young adults, written with Nancy Holder. The book first appeared on February 15th in the #9 spot on the Children’s paperback list and in its second week moved up to #8. — BJ

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Hammond Offers Marriage Advice, Obama style

February 2009The Chicago Tribune recently reported on bestselling author and long-time Alive Communications client Michelle McKinney Hammond’s foray into presidential politics. Marital politics, that is. Hammond recently added a new segment to her workshops: “Keeping your romance together, Obama style.” A Chicago-based relationship coach who has sold more than 2 million books worldwide, Hammond said she decided to add the topic after receiving numerous questions on how to emulate the president and first lady’s marriage. Hammond’s most recent book is Lessons From a Girl’s Best Friend: What my Dogs Taught Me About Life, Love, and God. — BJ

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Hoops of Hope Founder on CBS Sports and NBC

Austin Gutwein

Visit Website

December 2008 — After watching a World Vision video, 14 year-old Austin Gutwein decided he had to do something to help the growing number of orphans in Africa. Gutwein decided to go out and shoot as many free throws as he can in one day to raise money. On December 4, 2004, Austin shot 2,057 free throws and raised over $3,000.00. Hoops of Hope was born. Austin’s story has been covered by CBS Sports and NBC’s Today Show. The Gutweins are now in talks with a major publisher to release a book in 2009. –JK

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Author Carrie Carter M.D. Receives Writing Award

Carrie Carter

Carrie Carter

December 17, 2008 — Award-winning columnist and author Carrie Carter, M.D. was honored recently by the San Diego Christian Writers Guild (SDCWG) for Excellence in Magazine Writing for her column “Health Matters” in MOMSense Magazine. Beth Jusino represents Carrie Carter.

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Mark Tabb on Larry King Live with Alec Baldwin

December 17, 2008 -– Alive author/collaborator, Mark Tabb, appears with Alec Baldwin on Larry King Live to discuss Alec’s latest release, A Promise to Ourselves about parental alienation syndrome. –LH

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Noted Scholar McGrath Accepts Chair

Alister McGrath

Visit Alister McGrath's Website

November 2008Dr. Alister McGrath has accepted the newly-established Chair of Theology, Ministry and Education in the Department of Education and Professional Studies at King’s College, London. He will serve as the academic leader of the Centre for Theology, Religion and Culture, and be involved in theological research and the professional development of clergy from a range of Christian denominations. The former atheist is now one of the most widely-sought-after debaters on behalf of religion and the existence of God. He regularly engages in debate and dialogue with leading atheists, including Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens –- BJ

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Dagostino Scores Michael J. Fox Cover Story for PEOPLE

Michael J. Fox Cover Story for PEOPLE

Michael J. Fox Cover Story for PEOPLE

November 2008 — Alive client and PEOPLE magazine senior writer Mark Dagostino conducted an exclusive interview with actor Michael J. Fox for this week’s cover story. Ten years after his diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease, Fox opens up with Dagostino about the next phase of his life, raising kids and his foundation. Mark Dagostino has been covering celebrities for PEOPLE for over a decade, and is set to collaborate on a new book with Hulk Hogan. –JK

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Nancy Rue Wins Silver Moonbeam Book Award

Nancy Rue

Nancy Rue

November 25, 2008Lucy Doesn’t Wear Pink by Nancy Rue is won a Silver Moonbeam Children’s Book Award in the Pre-Teen Fiction category. Click here to learn more.

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C-SPAN’s Book TV Spotlights NY Times’ Kinzer Title

A Thousand Hills: Rwanda's Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It by Stephen Kinzer

A Thousand Hills by Stephen Kinzer

September 2008New York Times Correspondent Stephen Kinzer discusses his most recent book, A Thousand Hills, on C-SPAN’s Book TV. His presentation details the life of Paul Kagame, the Rwandan rebel leader whose army is credited with ending the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and who became Rwanda’s first democratically elected president in 2003. His book, represented by Alive’s President Rick Christian, was published to critical and popular acclaim by John Wiley & Sons in New York. Mr. Kinzer spoke at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Skokie, Illinois.

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Anne Graham Lotz Transcript from Alive’s Annual Event

Anne Graham Lotz

Anne Graham Lotz

July 2008 — Award-winning author and agency client Anne Graham Lotz inspired some 175 authors, industry professionals, and media at Alive’s annual author/publisher event, held this year at Orlando’s Omni Hotel. “We received rousing feedback about her challenging message throughout the convention week,” said agency president Rick Christian, who noted that the audience was the biggest ever despite a dip in show attendance. The daughter of Billy Graham and the late Ruth Bell Graham, Lotz is the founder of AnGeL Ministries and leads conferences in major cities throughout the world. A transcript of her message is available here.

In 2007, client Brennan Manning spoke at Alive’s event at the Omni Hotel in Atlanta. A transcript of his presentation is available here.

In 2006, Eugene Peterson made a rare public appearance at the Alive event, held at Denver’s most famous literary landmark, The Tattered Cover Bookstore. A transcript of his speech is available here.

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CBS Early Show Features Alive Author

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

June 5, 2008 — On Wednesday, June 4, 2008, the CBS Early Show featured a story on Alive client Kim Meeder.

As the founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in Central Oregon, Kim and her husband Troy have given their lives to helping hurting children and abused horses. Kim is the author of two best selling books, Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, both published by Multnomah Books. Her agent, Joel Kneedler, is excited about Kim’s new title, The Princess Must Die, tentatively scheduled for release in January 2010.

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Alive Author Eugene Peterson Receives CT Book Award

The Jesus Way: A Conversation on the Ways That Jesus Is the Way by Eugene Peterson

The Jesus Way by Eugene Peterson

March 26, 2008 — Alive Communications’ author Eugene H. Peterson received the CT Book Award this week for The Jesus Way (Eerdmans). He also won the award last year for Eat This Book (Eerdmans). The annual awards have recognized outstanding works that shed light on people, events, and ideas that shape life, thought, and mission for the past two decades.

This year, rather than selecting one overall winner, CT editors chose the top books in each of ten categories. Peterson, whose book won in the Spirituality category, is the author of the best-selling contemporary translation of the The Message Bible and dozens of other books. He is represented by Rick Christian.

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Alive Inks Film Deal With “Pursuit of Happyness” Exec

February 2008 — Film rights for the acclaimed Same Kind of Different as Me (Thomas Nelson, 2006) have been secured by Mark Clayman, the executive producer of 2006’s megahit, The Pursuit of Happyness, announced Alive Agent Lee Hough, who negotiated the deal. He noted that Clayman has partnered on the adaptation with Ralph Winter, producer of the X-Men movie series. A release date for the film has not been set. Same Kind of Different as Me is the true story of two vastly different men—a dangerous, homeless drifter who grew up picking cotton in virtual slavery and an upscale art dealer–and the gutsy woman with a stubborn dream who changed their lives forever. “The most inspirational and emotionally gripping story of faith, fortitude, and friendship I have ever read,” said Clayman. “It is a powerful example of the healing, restorative power of forgiveness and the transformational, life changing power of unconditional love. Many talk about it; few live it. The people in this story unquestionably do.”

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Anne Graham Lotz Holds Revival in the Philippines

Anne Graham Lotz Holds Revival in the Philippines

Anne Graham Lotz Holds Revival in the Philippines

February 2008Anne Graham Lotz has completed a transformational revival in the Philippines, an island nation of over 80 million people that has struggled for years with corruption, terrorism and poverty, reported Alive President Rick Christian. Her Just Give Me Jesus event, held in the country’s largest indoor arena, Araneta Coliseum, was attended by more than 15,000 nationals and resulted in thousands of life-changing decisions. At a press conference earlier in the week, Anne addressed reporters’ questions on how to comfort families torn apart by poverty, as well as what can be done to help the thousands of abused Filipino women. These interviews were relayed across the nation via major network television, Manila’s largest daily newspapers, and radio stations. She also met privately with Philippine government and church leaders, and key influencers. Like her father, Billy Graham, Anne travels the world with her gospel message. She has held revivals throughout the United States, and abroad including in Norway, Panama, Ukraine, Paraguay, Canada, Puerto Rico, England, Wales and South Korea. She is the president of AnGeL Ministries.

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Oscar-Winning Actress to Star In Kingsbury Film

Mira Sorvino and Barry Pepper

Mira Sorvino and Barry Pepper

January 2008 — Academy Award winning actress Mira Sorvino will star opposite Barry Pepper in the motion picture adaptation of Karen Kingsbury’s #1 best-selling novel, Like Dandelion Dust (CenterStreet), announced Alive President Rick Christian, noting that filming begins January 26 in Jacksonville, Fla. and then moves to the Dominican Republic in February. Sorvino earned her Oscar for her supporting role in Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite, while Pepper is known for his performances in The Green Mile, Saving Private Ryan and 25th Hour. The screenplay was written by Academy Award nominated screenwriter Stephen J. Rivele, whose previous credits include Ali and Nixon). Grammy winner Mark Mancina, who scored August Rush and Shooter, is attached to compose the music for the film. Reynaldo Villalobos (Urban Cowboy, Risky Business) has signed on as Director of Photography. Jon Gunn (Mercy Streets, My Date With Drew) is directing. The independent film, produced by Downes Brothers Entertainment /Lucky Crow Films, will be released later this year by 20th Century Fox. In a related development, Christian said that the first draft of the script for another Kingsbury novel, A Thousand Tomorrows (CenterStreet), has been completed.

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Rebecca St. James Awarded “Best Female Artist”

Rebecca St. James

Rebecca St. James

December 2007Rebecca St. James remains “the far-and-above favorite” and picked up the Best Female Artist honor in the 2007 Reader’s Choice Awards hosted online by This is the fifth year of the awards, and the fifth year she’s been selected for the top spot. Rebecca’s book, Pure, is a 90-day devotional. St. James is represented by Alive agent Beth Jusino.

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Two Alive Authors Named in LJ’s Best Books List

Two Alive Authors Named in LJ’s Best Books List

Two Alive Authors Named in LJ’s Best Books List

December 2007 Brandilyn Collins’ Crimson Eve (Zondervan) and Annette Smith’s A Bigger Life (NavPress) were named Best Christian Novels of the year by Library Journal this month. Crimson Eve is a thriller, the “top suspense novel of the year” according to the trade magazine. A Bigger Life is “an unsentimental love story, told from the male perspective.” Collins is represented by Lee Hough, and Smith is represented by Beth Jusino.

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McKinney Hammond’s TV Show Wins Emmy Award

McKinney Hammond’s TV Show Wins Emmy Award

McKinney Hammond’s TV Show Wins Emmy Award

November 2007 — Alive author Michelle McKinney Hammond’s “Aspiring Women” television program garnered its first Emmy Award in November for Outstanding Achievement for Informational Program Series announced Alive Agent Beth Jusino. The show had been nominated for the award three times. “This is an overwhelming honor and affirmation of heartfelt work. I have enjoyed co-hosting this show for nine years with two great women, Shirley Rose, Executive Producer and Tammy Maltby, my co-host,” said Michelle, who has sold more than 1.3 million copies of her books. Aspiring Women, a Total Living Network (TLN) original program, features contemporary issues and practical insights for women and offers challenging commentary and lively interviews.

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Paparazzi Link Hayden Panettiere/Kingsbury

hayden panettiere

hayden panettiere

September 2007 – Prowling paparazzi spotted Hayden Panettiere yesterday in Hollywood, carrying A Thousand Tomorrows by Alive’s Karen Kingsbury. The novel was just released in paperback by CenterStreet, according to Karen’s agent, Rick Christian. Hayden is the award-winning “best supporting actress” on NBC’s “Heroes,” and stars with Julia Roberts in next year’s “Fireflies in the Garden,” a major theatrical release about the complexities of love and commitment in a family torn apart when faced with unexpected tragedy. She has also appeared in “Shanghai Kiss” and “Message in a Bottle.”

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Brennan Manning`s Speech Transcript Available

Brennan Manning

Visit Website

August 2007 — Bestselling author and client, Brennan Manning delighted an audience of about 200 authors and industry professionals at Alive’s annual event at the Omni Hotel in Atlanta. Manning has written more than a dozen books including the contemporary classics The Ragamuffin Gospel and Ruthless Trust. He also leads spiritual retreats in the U.S. and Europe. Here is a transcript of Manning’s rousing speech.

Eugene Peterson made a rare public appearance at Denver’s most famous literary landmark, The Tattered Cover Bookstore, in 2006 for 200 Alive authors and industry professionals. Here is the transcript of his presentation, “What Are Writers Good For?”

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PW Starred Review for “A Walk with Jane Austen”

A Walk with Jane Austen: A Journey into Adventure, Love, and Faith by Lori Smith

A Walk with Jane Austen: A Journey into Adventure, Love, and Faith by Lori Smith

August 2007Lori Smith’s upcoming release, A Walk with Jane Austen: A Journey into Love, Adventure and Faith (WaterBrook) received a starred review in the August 27, 2007 edition of Publisher’s Weekly. Alive Communications’ Beth Jusino represents Lori Smith. A Walk with Jane Austen will be released October 16, 2007.

In this engaging, deeply personal and well-researched travelogue, Smith (a PW contributor) journeys to England to soak in the places of Jane Austen’s life and writings. The book is sure to ride the wave of Austen-philia that has recently swept through Hollywood and a new generation of Americans, but this is an unusual look at Jane Austen. Readers will learn plenty of biographical details—about Austen’s small and intimate circle of family and friends, her candid letters to her sister, her possible loves and losses, her never-married status, her religious feelings, and her untimely death at the age of 41. But it is the author’s passionate connection to “Jane”—the affinity she feels and her imaginings of Austen’s inner life—that bring Austen to life in ways no conventional biographer could. Smith’s voice swings authentically between her own raw, aching vulnerability as a single Christian woman battling a debilitating and mysterious chronic illness and the surges of faith she finds in the grace of a loving God. And yes, Smith even meets a potential Darcy at the start of her journey. This deliciously uncertain romantic tension holds the book together as Smith weaves her own thoughts, historical research, and fitting references to Austen’s novels into a satisfying whole. – Publisher’s Weekly

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Alive Lands Secret Deal for Dr. Henry Cloud – 9/4 Release

The Secret Things of God by Henry CLoud

The Secret Things of God by Henry CLoud

August 2007The Secret Things of God: Unlocking the Treasures Reserved for You by Dr. Henry Cloud will be released by Howard Publishing/a division of Simon & Schuster on September 4. A positive alternative to Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, Dr. Cloud’s book reveals twenty profound yet simple secrets of God, and guides readers in how to unlock the power and activate these truths in their lives. Dr. Cloud is a clinical psychologist and author or co-author of nineteen books, including the best-selling Boundaries. His books have sold over four million copies. The Gold Medallion award winner also co-hosts the nationally syndicated New Life Live radio program and has conducted hundreds of seminars on marriage, parenting, dating, personal growth, and spirituality. The book was co-agented by Lee Hough with Shannon Miller.

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Lee Hough Named “Super Agent of the Year”

Alive agent, Lee Hough

Alive agent, Lee Hough

August 2007 – Alive agent, Lee Hough was awarded the Thomas Nelson Fiction “Super Agent of 2007” award at the ICRS convention in Atlanta. Here is a transcript of comments from Allen Arnold, Senior Vice President and Publisher at Thomas Nelson.

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Kingsbury Wins Top Prize; First for A Novel, Woman

Karen Kingsbury

Karen Kingsbury

July 2007 – Alive’s Karen Kingsbury, America’s #1 inspirational novelist, added to her honors at ICRS by winning the industry’s top prize for her novel, Ever After (Zondervan). Previous winners of the coveted “Book of the Year” award have all been nonfiction works written by men, including Rick Warren, Philip Yancey and Max Lucado.

“This is the first time the award has been given for a novel and also to a woman. It’s a double coup and I am extraordinarily proud of the honor and acclaim accorded Karen,” said her long-time agent Rick Christian, President of Alive Communications, who noted that the achievement garnered her a photo and write-up the following day in USA Today.

The award, which reflects literary excellence and sales performance, was announced July 9 at the CBA & ECPA Awards Celebration held at the annual ICRS trade show in Atlanta. At the convention, Kingsbury learned that she was also named “Novelist of the Year” by The Association of Logos Bookstores, a non-profit, trade association comprised of 24 independent bookstores located throughout the U.S., Canada, and the Bahamas.

Kingsbury has tallied sales of more than six million books, with two million of those occurring in the past 12 months. “Karen’s velocity of sales is unlike any other novelist, resulting in a flood of many thousands of letters annually, with readers attesting to the life-changing impact of her work.” Christian said.

The “Book of the Year” award was instituted in 1992. Previous winners are:

2006–Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible. Kevin J. Vanhoozer, General Editor, Baker Academic; 2005–Experiencing the Passion of Jesus. Lee Strobel and Gary Poole, Zondervan ; 2004–The Purpose Driven Life. Rick Warren, Zondervan; 2003–The Purpose Driven Life. Rick Warren, Zondervan; 2002–The Prayer of Jabez. Dr. Bruce H. Wilkinson, Multnomah; 2001–The Prayer of Jabez. Dr. Bruce H. Wilkinson, Multnomah; 2000–Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire. Jim Cymbala with Dean Merrill, Zondervan; 1999–Just Like Jesus. Max Lucado, Word; 1998–What’s So Amazing About Grace. Philip Yancey, Zondervan; 1997–In the Grip of Grace. Max Lucado, Word; 1996–The Jesus I Never Knew. Philip Yancey, Zondervan; 1995–When God Whispers Your Name. Max Lucado, Word; 1994–When God Doesn’t Make Sense. Dr. James C. Dobson, Tyndale; 1993–The Body. Charles Colson with Ellen Santrill Vaughn, Word; 1992–The Coming Economic Earthquake. Larry Burkett, Moody.

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“Bad Idea” Cover Wins Gold National ADDY Award

Bad Idea by Todd and Jedd Hafer

Bad Idea by Todd and Jedd Hafer

June 2007Studio Gearbox received a national Gold ADDY® in June for their cover design of Bad Idea, by Alive authors Todd and Jedd Hafer. The book was published by NavPress and designed by Chris Gilbert of the Sisters, Oregon-based studio under the art direction of Arvid Wallen. The ADDY awards are the world’s largest advertising competition. This year only 299 entries won at the national level out of over 60,000 entries. Beth Jusino represents the Todd and Jedd Hafer.

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Alive Authors Nab Two CT Book Awards

June 2007 — Two Alive authors were named CT Book Award winners. They are:

This year, 43 publishers nominated 291 titles for the CT honors and 22 were selected that shape life and thought. Eugene Peterson is represented by Rick Christian, and Miroslav Volf is represented by Beth Jusino.

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Alive Mourns Beloved Client Ruth Bell Graham

Ruth Bell Graham

Ruth Bell Graham

June 2007 — Alive’s staff is mourning the loss of our client and friend, Ruth Bell Graham, who died June 14 at her home in Montreat, North Carolina. Ruth, 87, was the wife of evangelist Billy Graham. She had been in failing health recently.

Admired by many for her deep devotion, strong will and faithful heart, Ruth dedicated her life to raising her family. Today, the Graham’s five children, Virginia, Anne, Ruth, Franklin Jr., and Nelson, all serve in Christian ministry. Ruth was also a gifted author. She wrote or co-authored 14 books, many of them works of poetry. Billy and Ruth were jointly awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1996.

“Ruth was my life partner, and we were called by God as a team,” Billy Graham said. “No one else could have borne the load that she carried. She was a vital and integral part of our ministry, and my work through the years would have been impossible without her encouragement and support. I am so grateful to the Lord that He gave me Ruth, and especially for these last few years we’ve had in the mountains together,” he said. “We’ve rekindled the romance of our youth, and my love for her continued to grow deeper every day. I will miss her terribly, and look forward even more to the day I can join her in Heaven.”

Ruth is survived by her husband, five children, 19 grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren. Ruth Bell Graham was represented by Rick Christian and Beth Jusino. Prior to her death, they negotiated a deal with W Publishing to reprint her OP titles and, more substantively, to gather her personal Bible notations and marginalia into a work tentatively entitled Notes from a Mother’s Bible, to be released next year.

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Delta Sky Excerpts “Same Kind of Different as Me”

April 2007“Same Kind of Different as Me” was featured in the April 2007 issue of Delta’s in-flight, Sky magazine. “Same Kind of Different as Me” is the true story of two unlikely friends – an international art dealer and a modern-day slave – and the unlikely woman who brought them together. 

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PW Lauds Author Don Miller on His Not-So-Blue Sales

Don Miller

Don Miller

April 2007 — In Blue Like Jazz, author Donald Miller wrote: “At the end of each month I would start biting my nails, wondering what account owed me money or whether or not I would pick up any writing assignments. There’s not a lot of work in the Christian market if you won’t write self-righteous, conservative propaganda. I write new-realism essays. I am not a commodity.” These days, Miller is quite the commodity. His Thomas Nelson bestseller has more than 775,000 copies in print. (Publishers Weekly, 3/14/2007). Alive Communications president Rick Christian says, “Miller’s velocity hit overdrive when college students discovered the book a couple of years ago, and their buzz opened doors to all markets.”

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Rick Christian & Karen Kingsbury Headline BEA Fiction Panel

April 2007 — Alive Communications founder/president Rick Christian and best-selling author Karen Kingsbury will be part of a panel discussion at BookExpo America 2007 called “Selling Christian Fiction: Understand the Subcategory, the Market, and the Sales Potential”. The purpose of the panel discussion is to educate BEA attendees about the burgeoning Christian fiction market (e.g., the most popular books and pre-eminent authors), and how to sell them in general market stores. It will focus on this fast-growing segment of the fiction market, and provide guidelines for selling faith-based novels. The panel will be held at 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Friday, June 1, 2007. Other panelists include: Becky Nesbitt (Tyndale Fiction Director), Karen Ball (B&H Publishing Senior Fiction Acquisitions Editor), and Jana Riess, Publishers Weekly Book Review Editor.

Rebeca Seitz, president of Glass Road Public Relations, LLC and also a novelist represented by Alive Communications, will serve as moderator for the panel.

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PW Starred Review for Jane Rubietta’s “Come Closer”

April 2007 – Jane Rubietta’s upcoming release, “Come Closer: A Call to Life, Love & Breakfast on the Beach” (WaterBrook) received a starred review in the April 23, 2007 edition of Publisher’s Weekly. Alive Communications’ Beth Jusino represents Jane Rubietta. Come Closer will be released July 17, 2007.

Rubietta encourages Christian women to avail themselves of 15 intimate “invitations,” being drawn into Christ’s ever-welcoming embrace of unconditional mercy, grace and acceptance. Rubietta (Grace Points) beautifully presents Jesus’ gentle yet persistent summons to come closer to experience this abundant comfort when life hurts, relief is scarce and help is absent or inadequate. In four-part sequence, the author weaves an eloquent display of proofs from scripture—mainly from the Gospels—that Jesus is indeed close at hand and that Christians can bask in this spiritual reality right now. Jesus’ example of extravagant love, she says, is to be passed on in like manner. Rubietta provides numerous poignant stories to illustrate each chapter’s takeaway; particularly compelling is her account of a makeup artist who weekly serves the women employed at a strip club, building relationships with these hurting individuals without standing in judgment of their profession. Rubietta writes well, richly presenting Jesus’ beckonings with dynamic storytelling, emotionally inviting prayers and calls to honest introspection. She is wonderful at expressing the heart’s longing for comfort and care. Evangelicals will find their spirits uplifted after relishing Rubietta’s entreaty to draw nearer still to the Jesus who always cares. – Publisher’s Weekly

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USA Today Names “Left Behind” Among Top 25 Books

Left Behind

Left Behind

April 2007 – USA Today has named Left Behind (Tyndale House) among the top “25 Books That Leave a Legacy” of the last 25 years. The newspaper ranked Tim LaHaye’s and Jerry Jenkins’ 1995 end-times book No. 12 among books that “made an impact on readers (in) the publishing industry over the past quarter-century” in its April 9, 2007 edition. The article ran a week following the release of Kingdom Come, the 16th and final installment of the “Left Behind” series, which USA Today said “wrapped up with a bang.” Since first publication of Left Behind in 1995, the novels have sold 65 million copies and established itself as the best-selling adult fiction series in history, according to Alive President Rick Christian, who introduced the authors and agented the books.

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Rick Christian Addresses the Future of Book Publishing

Rick Christian Addresses the Future of Book Publishing

Rick Christian Addresses the Future of Book Publishing

April 2007 – Alive President Rick Christian was among CEOs tapped to address the future of various communication mediums at a high-tech conference in Raleigh this month, sponsored by the North Carolina Technological Association.

In peering ten miles down the publishing road, Christian said there is a concerted worldwide effort to gather all of the world’s collected intellectual property into a “universal library.” This Internet-based repository would contain all books ever created in any language from the beginning of recorded history, as well as all magazine and newspaper articles, songs, films, videos, paintings, broadcasts, WebPages, blogs, and the like He noted that he believes this wealth of content will eventually be digitized and as interconnected as the Internet’s Wikipedia, with a billion readers working independently to hyperlink, tag and annotate content until the words of any author who ever lived are woven as tightly together “as the root system of an aspen forest.” He warned, however, that companies now scanning content need to fully respect the rights of copyholders.

Other presenters at the event included Thomas Tull, CEO of Legendary Pictures, Bertelsmann’s Richard Sarnoff, and Rita Cosby, MSNBC’s Emmy-winning journalist. Barry Landis, former head of Warner Music Group Label Word Records was the moderator of the panel on which Christian spoke. For an audio link to the forward-looking discussion, click here. Scroll to the Audio section, and click on 2007 A CEO Conversation – New Media Panel Discussion. Depending upon the speed of your Internet connection, the audio download could take up to 10 minutes.

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Winners Named in Alive-Sponsored Mt. Hermon Conf.

April 2007 – Sharon Hinck received the Alive-sponsored Writer of the Year Award and Austin Boyd the Pacesetter Award at this month’s Mount Hermon Writers Conference in California. Hinck, best known for her “Becky Miller” series (Bethany House), releases her “Sword of Lyric” series (NavPress) this spring. Boyd, who writes science fiction and fantasy, was honored for his “Mars Hill Classified” series (NavPress). Each award came with a cash prize from Alive Communications, event sponsor for the past five years.

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Kingsbury on Capitol Hill

April 2007 — Long-time Alive client Karen Kingsbury, who has sold 6 million copies of her Life-Changing Fiction™ and appeared on the New York Times and USA Today best-seller lists, joined the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence during their Legislative Action Days on Capitol Hill April 17-18, 2007. Kingsbury spoke at a breakfast for U.S. Congressmen and women at the Capitol on April 18 concerning her Tyndale title Divine about a woman healed from her childhood molestation who then opens non-profit centers in D.C. Kingsbury’s next release, Sunrise, has a street date of May 8, announced Alive President Rick Christian. Learn more at

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Chicago Trib Lauds Alive`s Michelle McKinney Hammond

Michelle Mckinney Hammond

Michelle Mckinney Hammond

April 2007 — A feature article on Alive author Michelle McKinney Hammond appeared on the front page of the April 20 Chicago Tribune. Hammond, whose self-help books have sold more than a million copies, was kicking off her annual “Diva Principle Conference,” which uses the acronym DIVA to mean “divine inspiration for victorious attitude.”

According to the Tribune, “Hammond dispenses her lessons on life and love with a blend of scripture and sister-girl sentiment that has propelled her to best-seller status.”

The conference was held April 20-22 at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago. Hammond is represented by Alive Communications’ Beth Jusino. To read the article, click here.

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Media Taps Crystal Woodman Miller on VA Tech Incident

 Crystal Woodman Miller

Crystal Woodman Miller

April 2007 — In the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, and on the anniversary of the Columbine massacre, numerous national media outlets sought out Alive author Crystal Woodman Miller for interviews last week. Among the outlets she appeared on were: CNN Larry King Live including Dr. Phil McGraw, CNN Sunday Morning, MSNBC , TIME, and The Today Show. Woodman Miller, author of Marked for Life, is a survivor of the Columbine High School tragedy. Today, she speaks at high schools across the nation on anti-violence, sharing her powerful story of faith and hope.

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Bishop of Rwanda Launches Major US Book Tour

Bishop John Rucyahana of Rwanda

Bishop John Rucyahana of Rwanda

March 2007 — Bishop John Rucyahana of Rwanda launched a nine-city book tour in Denver on March 14, taking him on a publicity sweep across the nation. The author of “The Bishop of Rwanda” (a true story of forgiveness and reconciliation despite the horrific genocide in that country) will be stopping in the following cities: Denver (March 14-16), Dallas (March 19-20), Washington, D.C. (March 26-31), Charlotte (April 3), Raleigh (April 4), Little Rock (April 9-15, 17), Memphis (April 16), Pittsburgh (April 20), Chicago (April 23-29).

Learn more about book tour in this PDF.

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LJ Awards Neta Jackson 2009 Best Genre Fiction

Who Do I Talk To? by Neta Jackson

Who Do I Talk To? by Neta Jackson

December 2009 — Jackson’s Who Do I Talk To? has been named to Library Journal’s Best Christian Fiction, the second book in the Yada Yada House of Hope series . The award-winning Yada books have sold well over 50o,000 copies. –LH

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LJ Awards “Waking Lazarus” 2006 Best Genre Fiction List

Waking Lazarus by T. L. Hines

Waking Lazarus by T. L. Hines

January 2007 T.L. Hines’ “Waking Lazarus” has been named to Library Journal’s 25 Best Genre Fiction Books of 2006 list. Now in its third printing, Hines’ first novel – a supernatural suspense thriller – was released in July 2006 (Bethany House). Hines is represented by Alive Communications agent, Lee Hough.

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PW Starred Review for Overstreet’s “Through a Screen Darkly”

Through a Screen Darkly

Through a Screen Darkly

December 2006Jeffrey Overstreet’s upcoming release, Through a Screen Darkly, received a starred review in the November 27, 2006 edition of Publisher’s Weekly. Alive Communications’ Lee Hough represents Jeffrey Overstreet. Through a Screen Darkly will be available February 8, 2007.

If viewing a film is to be a spiritual exercise, one must be open to conversion. Overstreet, cultural commentator and film critic for Christianity Today, leads readers through his own cinematic conversion in this compelling volume. Overstreet’s greatest gift is the masterful way he brings a spirit of discernment to the world of film. For example, determining when sex and violence is artfully employed or when it is just plain gratuitous is not always an easy task. Overstreet uses inspiring anecdotes from his life to show how the process of discerning the content and meaning of films takes patience, prayers, and humility. He exhibits all of these traits through his movie commentaries and invites the reader to set aside biases about what is “properly” Christian and look deeper toward how cinema as an art form affects one’s soul. This, according to Overstreet, is the work of God. At times, the author’s stories distract from his main point, but his primary goal is one to be celebrated: “I have a strange compulsion to sit down between Christian culture and secular society, trying to help them understand each other—and ultimately, God—better through a shared experience of art.” Two thumbs up! – Publisher’s Weekly

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St. James Voted Reader’s Choice “Best Female Artist”

Rebecca St. James

Rebecca St. James

December 2006 Rebecca St. James has once again been named “Best Female Artist” in the 2006 Readers’ Choice Awards, hosted online by This is the fourth year of the awards—and the fourth year Rebecca has been given top honors. Rebecca has authored or edited seven books represented by Alive Communications, including the bestselling SisterFreaks (Warner Faith) and SHE Teen (Tyndale). SHE Teen was named a finalist in the ECPA Book Awards, presented by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association earlier this year. St. James is represented by Alive Communications agent, Beth Jusino.

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Olsen Collaborates on “One Night with the King” Film

One Night with the King

One Night with the King

October 2006 – The epic major motion picture, One Night With The King opened in nearly 1,000 theaters nationwide on Friday, October 13, 2006. The true story of Queen Esther, One Night With The King is based on the best-selling novel Hadassah: One Night With The King by Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olsen (Bethany House). Alive Communications’ Lee Hough represents Mark Andrew Olsen.

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Rwandan Peacemaker Visits Alive Communications

Rwandan Peacemaker Visits Alive Communications

Rwandan Peacemaker Visits Alive Communications

October 2006 — Bishop John Rucyahana of Rwanda visited Alive recently to strategize the launch of his upcoming autobiography with agent Lee Hough (right) and agency president Rick Christian. The Bishop of Rwanda, slated for release in March 2007 (W Publishing Group; foreword by Rick Warren) is the inspiring story of the Anglican bishop who, according to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, is “shouting hope from atop a pile of bones” following the 1994 genocide in which a million Tutsis were slaughtered. The book details the extraordinary renewal happening in Rwanda today, arising from the bishop’s unprecedented and courageous efforts. Although he saw members of his church and family murdered, Bishop John refused to become part of the hatred. Rather, he founded the hallmark Sonrise Orphanage and School for children who were orphaned in the killing sprees, leads reconciliation efforts between the Tutsis and Hutus, and ministers in prisons to those who slaughtered his friends and family.

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Third Run Ordered for Kingsbury`s Novel

Family by Karen Kingsbury

Family by Karen Kingsbury

October 2006 — Less than a week after Karen Kingsbury’s Family (Tyndale) was released, the novel went back for a second printing of 30,000 copies, followed by a third run two weeks later of 40,000 copies, bringing the total number in print to almost 250,000-plus copies, according to her agent, Rick Christian. Family is the fourth title in her best-selling “Baxter Family Drama” series, and debuted at #1 on the bestseller lists.

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Alive Inks Deal for Rwanda President, Paul Kagame`s Bio

Alive Inks Deal for Rwanda President, Paul Kagame`s Bio

Rick and Debbie Christian sealed the publishing deal with Rwanda President, Paul Kagame January 21, 2006 at his Kigali home. The leader’s biography will be written by NY Times journalist Stephen Kinzer.

September 2006 — President Paul Kagame of Rwanda agreed to a biography deal with Alive President, Rick Christian, following breakfast in his home earlier this year. The meeting was arranged by mutual friends Peb Jackson and Dan Cooper. Rick subsequently closed negotiations with Eric Nelson of John Wiley & Sons in New York this month on behalf of acclaimed author and long-time New York Times veteran Stephen Kinzer. “I am very pleased Stephen Kinzer agreed to write the book,” Christian said. “He has established a world-class profile from working 20 plus years as a journalist and bureau chief with the New York Times. His non-fiction books, including his latest release, Overthrow, are acclaimed for their fast-paced narratives, vivid history, and exceptional accuracy. Kinzer, who is also a professor of journalism and international relations at Northwestern University in Chicago, spent much of the summer in Rwanda, researching for the book, which will be released in 2008.

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Eugene Peterson`s Speech Transcript Available

Eugene Peterson

Eugene Peterson

September 2006 — In a rare public appearance this summer at Denver’s most famous literary landmark, The Tattered Cover Bookstore, renowned theologian Eugene Peterson, translator of The Message Bible, wowed a crowd of 200 Alive authors and industry professionals. His presentation, “What Are Writers Good For?” at Alive’s annual gig was reported by many to be the highlight of their convention week. By popular demand, here is a transcript of the longtime agency client’s remarks.

Bestselling author and client, Brennan Manning delighted an audience of about 200 authors and industry professionals at Alive’s 2007 annual event at the Omni Hotel in Atlanta. Here is a transcript of his rousing speech.

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Neta Jackson Wins First Place Award

August 2006 Neta Jackson’s The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Tough (Yada Yada Prayer Group, Book 4) won first place in the Women’s Fiction category at the Inspirational Readers Choice Awards. The IRCA Award was announced at the Faith/Hope/Love Convention in Atlanta (the inspirational chapter of Romance Writers of America®). The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Tough is published by Integrity Publishers (October 2005). CBD Books are available at

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Two Alive Books Top PW`s August Bestseller List

August 2006 — Alive Communications titles landed in the two #1 slots on Publisher Weekly’s August Christian bestseller list. PW’s #1 hardcover release is The Rapture (Tyndale) by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, the final prequel in their Left Behind series, which to date has sold more than 65 million copies. PW’s #1 paperback release is Like Dandelion Dust (Center Street) by Karen Kingsbury. This standalone novel, a poignant love story, follows a string of #1 releases she has enjoyed with Zondervan and Tyndale. Alive President Rick Christian represented both titles.

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Susan Wales` Book to Coincide with Walden Media`s Amazing Grace Release

August 2006New Leaf Publishing Group will release The Amazing Grace of Freedom by Amazing Grace film producer Ken Wales, Susan Wales, and Ted Baehr in January to coincide with the major motion-picture release of Amazing Grace (Walden Media). The deal was negotiated by Alive Communications agent, Beth Jusino. Walden Media also produced the recently released The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, based on the tale by C.S. Lewis. The book and film relate abolitionist William Wilberforce’s life-long fight to end slavery in Great Britain. Ioan Gruffudd (pronounced Yo-an Griffith) and Albert Finney star in the film. The book will include film photos, interviews and essays from leading African-American personalities and ministry leaders, and mini-biographies of characters in the book and film.

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Randy Travis Stars in Film Adaptation of Bill Myers Novel

Randy Travis Stars in Film Adaptation of Bill Myers Novel

Randy Travis Stars in Film Adaptation of Bill Myers Novel

August 2006 — Country music star, Randy Travis, will appear in a major motion picture based on the adaptation of Bill Myer’s novel, The Wager. The film is scheduled for a limited release in theaters on August 3, 2007. The agent of record on the project is Lee Hough. To view a four-minute movie trailer, click here.

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Alive Authors Cream Publisher`s Weekly Statistics

According to an article in Publisher’s Weekly by Chris Anderson (July 17, 2006):

  • 950,000 titles out of 1.2 million tracked by Nielsen Bookscan sold fewer than 99 copies

  • Another 200,000 sold fewer than 1,000 copies
  • Only 25,000 sold more than 5,000 copies
  • The average book in America sells about 500 copies
  • Only 10 books sold more than a million copies

A hearty thanks to Alive clients for staying so far ahead of the curve!

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Peterson and Courtney Win 2006 Book Award

July 2006 — Alive Communications authors Eugene H. Peterson and Vicki Courtney took top honors in ECPA’s 2006 Book Awards. Peterson was the winner in the “Bibles” category with The Message: Numbered Edition (NavPress) and Courtney’s Teen Virtue (B&H Publishing Group) won in the “Children & Youth” category. The winners were announced at the ICRS/ECPA awards celebration in Denver. Eugene Peterson is represented by Rick Christian and Vicki Courtney is represented by Lee Hough.

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Our clients' books have appeared atop national best-seller lists, including:

  • The New York Times
  • Wall Street Journal
  • USA Today
  • Publishers Weekly
  • Chicago Tribune
  • Los Angeles Times
  • CBA Marketplace
  • European Bookstore Journal
  • Washington Post

Alive Communications authors have received a number of many prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize.

Other awards include:

  • American Cancer Society "Sword of Hope" Award
  • American-Turkish Council Media Award
  • Angel Award
  • Branch Rickey Award
  • Campus Life's Book of Year
  • CBC Book of the Year (UK)
  • Chicago Book Clinic's Honor Book
  • Christy Award
  • C.I.N.E. Golden Eagle Award
  • Clive Staples Award
  • Columbia University's Maria Moors Cabot Award
  • Deo Gloria
  • Dove Award
  • ECPA Book of the Year
  • Extraordinary Woman of the Year
  • Gene Autry Award
  • Good Housekeeping's Outstanding Young Woman
  • Grammy Award
  • Group magazine's Book of Year
  • High Frontier Award
  • Inc.'s Entrepreneur of Year
  • Lou Gehrig Award
  • Romantic Times' Lifetime Achievement Award
  • AudioFile's Earphones Award
  • Philadelphia Sports Writer's Most Courageous Athlete
  • ECPA Pinnacle and Gold Book Awards
  • Texas Institute's Best Nonfiction Book
  • NYT's Children's Book of Year
  • Theologos Best Children's Book
  • U.S. Silver Screen Award
  • Vince Lombardi Award
  • Willie Mac Award
  • Writers' Foundation of America's "Best Fiction/Author" award.