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 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
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
Wednesday 4/17/13 from 4 to 8 P.M.
The funeral mass will be held at:
St. Rose Church
Belmar, NJ 07719
10:00 A. M.
Following the burial, a repast will be held at:
The Spring Lake Manor
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.”
Amazon.com 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.”
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: http://www.facebook.com/heavenisforreal. Or connect with the family on their web site, http://hifrministries.org/. – JK
Colorado 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
August 24, 2012—Columbia Pictures announced the signing of veteran screenwriter and director Randall Wallace (Braveheart, Secretariat, 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
COLORADO 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
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 CNN.com to Christianity Today, Books & Culture, and The Shambhala Sun. Most recently, he served as Executive Editor at Patheos.com, 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 Beliefnet.com 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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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, email@example.com, 214.448.3765. – JK
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
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, (www.fullfill.org) 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
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
August 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 Amazon.com. 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
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
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 www.terriblackstock.com. —LH
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.”
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
April, 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
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
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 www.terriblackstock.com.—LH
January 22, 2011–USA 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
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
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://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfkNEq1XioE
“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
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 http://www.timpawlenty.com/couragetostand.
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
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 Amazon.com (twice!) and #1 on NYT. And January’s not even over yet! –LH
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
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
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 (www.endurance.org), whose mission is to serve suffering people, especially those with cancer and amputation. –RC
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
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
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 www.likedandeliondust.com. –RC
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
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
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
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 mywedding.com 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 mywedding.com 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
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
June 2010 — Who 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
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
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
“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:
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
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.
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
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 Amazon.com. 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
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
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
October 2009 — Karen 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
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
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
August 2009 — Alive 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
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
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
May 2009 — Same 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
May 2009 — Time’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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
February 2009 — The 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
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
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.
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
November 2008 — Dr. 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
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
September 2008 — New 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.”
February 2008 — Anne 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.
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.
December 2007 — Rebecca 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 ChristianityToday.com. 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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?”
August 2007 — Lori 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
August 2007 — The 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.
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.
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.
June 2007 — Studio 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 www.karenkingsbury.com.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
December 2006 — Jeffrey 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
December 2006 — Rebecca St. James has once again been named “Best Female Artist” in the 2006 Readers’ Choice Awards, hosted online by Christianitytoday.com. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 www.christianbook.com
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.
August 2006 — New 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.
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.
According to an article in Publisher’s Weekly by Chris Anderson (July 17, 2006):
A hearty thanks to Alive clients for staying so far ahead of the curve!
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.