Watching the expressions on the faces of her readers, as well as answering questions about her characters, is what drives author and speaker, Barbara Ann Derksen to write yet another book and another. Her favorite genre is murder mystery but each book brings forth characters who rely on God as they solve the puzzle in their life.
Barbara’s devotionals are sought after each year when she publishes a new one that reflects what God has placed on her heart. From Straight Pipes, her first, to More Than Bells, Preparation for Prayer, the latest, Barbara’s devotions take people to the place where God can touch their heart and leave a lasting impression. When people stop by her table for the latest, they talk to her about using the devotions in their chapter meetings, or their personal devotions. Some men return at their pastor’s request because the books are used as launch pads for men’s bible study. Many copies have been passed on to new believers as discipling tools.
Born in Canada, Barbara lived in the US for 12 years. There her writing surfaced as she worked under contract as a journalist for six years with over 2500 articles published in newspapers and magazines during that time. Meeting and interviewing people, digging for the hidden gems in their lives, made those years informative as well as instructive. She began attending Colorado Christian Writer’s Conferences and each year, under the tutelage of great Christian writer’s like James Scott Bell, Angela Hunt, and others, she honed her skills.
Barbara has developed a speaking platform and has spoken across the US and in Manitoba, Canada for women’s groups and in church services on topics such as The Writing Experience, working in the ministry of Christian Motorcyclists Association, Love, Parenting, Time Management, and a host of others.
With 17 books to her credit, one currently inactive and awaiting revision, each one surpasses the last, according to her readers. They look forward to discovering the new characters in a new series Finders Keepers. Book One – Shadow Stalker – will be released mid-May, 2013
Writing, however is simply a tool to be used in the ministry she shares with her husband. With his gift of music (he sings country gospel), Barbara and her husband operate CatchFire Ministries, a ministry to bikers through Christian Motorcyclists Association. They travel for four to five months every summer in the US and the rest of the time in Canada where they seek to inspire, encourage and invite people into a deeper ministry with Jesus Christ. They also minister at Veterans Homes and churches along the way and are about to begin a ministry to Juvenile offenders incarcerated at Manitoba Youth Center. The mysteries include a gospel message that opens her readers to the possibility of reading books written from a Christian World view and supply funds for CatchFire.
Please visit Barbara at: www.barbaraannderksen.com
As a young kid, Robbie Dye would sit at home and lead worship for his family; he always had a guitar in hand. Ministering had been his passion from a very young age. Like his Grandfather Juan Carlos Ortiz, Uncle Luis Palau, and cousin Toby Mac, Robbie desired to follow the family foot-steps by traveling the world and reaching souls for Christ. Now, at 19 years of age, Robbie tours the U.S. extensively leading worship, and most importantly sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He has also led worship at major Christian Music Festivals in U.S., Canada, Central America, South America, and Haiti. Writing a worship record has always been a dream of Robbie’s. Last year he decided to take that dream and make it a reality. In December of 2012 Robbie’s first worship single “God’s way, my way” released on iTunes and some radio stations world-wide. His heart is to write music that appeals to the young adults of this generation… both church-goers and non church-goers. Robbie says, “This record will have songs we can sing both in a rock club/bars on Friday nights and at church on Sunday mornings wile preaching the same message both days. The journey has just begun and we can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for our ministry.” Robbie is also an active member of the Luis Palau Alliance and is a Bible student of Liberty University.
This Year So Far (2013) Robbie ministered in Haiti leading worship for approximately 57,000 people seeing thousands of people come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. He just returned from a 2-month worship tour traveling from New Jersey to California playing shows in both churches and nightclubs seeing hundreds of people meet Jesus at their worship nights. We are currently booking Robbie for the remainder of 2013, if you are interested in having him be a part of your event please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking forward to serving together.
Hollie Marie’s first devotional book, 31 Rays of Hope, was published in February 2013 and for her it was a dream come true that she had previously laid to rest. Hollie first began writing and sending out devotionals roughly a decade ago and had attempted to be published several times throughout the years. However, as she found out, it was a dream that was meant to be, just not in the time she had planned. Roughly four years after she had given up hope of ever being published, a friend recommended she submit her writings to Tate Publishing. Not expecting much, she did, however the response back was not what she anticipated, they wanted to publish the book! Thus began the journey in which she hopes will open the doors to many more.
While as Hollie undoubtedly enjoys penning down inspirational works, as her desire is that everyone comes to know the Truth of the Savior, she has a passion for helping out those that are homeless. She partakes in a weekly ministry in the area of Little 5 Points (Atlanta, GA), in which she (along with a few others), provide breakfast, a sermon and a hot lunch for those that are in need (or who just want to come hang out). In addition, she helps out a few other like-focused established organizations. It is her dream to have her own “official” charity, and a homeless center to go with it one day. She believes that love is something that can change the world, and that there is no better way to show the truth of Christ, than by living out His love to everyone/everywhere. As she says about her outreach, “The mission of *LoveIs* is to share the love of God, by sharing the Word of God and to show the Love of God through action”.
You can find out more about Hollie and link up with her at ShadesofSunshine.com.
Karen R. Kilby is a captivating, international speaker on The Personalities and a nationally recognized published author. God has allowed this ordinary woman to reveal His treasures in an extraordinary way through her writing and speaking presentations. Just some of her celebrated credentials are: over 20 years of corporate and administrative experience; over 30 years of Christian leadership with Stonecroft Ministries as a Bible study leader, Club Chairwoman, Regional Representative, Speaker and Speaker/Trainer; a Stephens Minister, Elder and Evangelism Committee member.
Karen has been blessed to have over 30 stories published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and other faith based books and publications. Her acclaimed first book: Becoming a Woman of Purpose, A Thirty-one Day Devotional has been enthusiastically received with book signings recently held in several states and Costa Rica where she was invited to present a woman’s weekend retreat as the keynote speaker for her book and presenter of the personalities.
Well known Christian authors on The Personalities, Florence & Marita Littauer, have trained and mentored Karen, awarding her the Certified Personality Trainer designation through CLASServices, Inc. from which she provides the entertaining Wired That Way personality seminars and workshops equipping participants to improve professional and personal relationships.
Karen has developed a lively BLOG on her website: www.karenkilby.tateauthor.com. Her book: Becoming a Woman of Purpose, A Thirty-one Day Devotional is available by order from any bookstore and on-line from www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore and www.amazon.com in a paperback or e-book format.
Liz Ciccone, award-winning writer and the founder of Soul conversations, describes herself in the following way, “I am God’s child, God is my Father, Jesus is my Savior and I am the face of Soul Conversations.” However, this was not always the case. Liz didn’t start out her life as a Christian. She lives among a family of nonbelievers to this day. She found herself in the midst of the chaos and turmoil of a very dysfunctional family whose father is an atheist, whose mother believes God is the head of the lottery commission and was a household of anger with incidents of domestic violence.
Her challenges didn’t end there. She also suffers from hydrocephalus, a condition marked by fluid-filled cyst on her brain, requiring 18 surgeries from the ages of five weeks to nine years old. It was from this experience that her faith was laying its foundation. She was always a fiercely independent child. “I CAN DO IT ALL BY MYSELF!” was, and still is her motto today. But there are those things that she knew she couldn’t do ALL BY HERSELF. Those are the times that she was looking for God’s guidance. Of course, this was not at all an easy journey or task. Receiving no guidance from her parents, who are supposed to be the most important influencers in her life and the ones whose responsibility it is to teach her about the importance of a relationship with God, she was left to her own devices which unfortunately, isolated her from the truth that God wanted to share with her. As she grew, they continued to further isolate her and kept her from others when she would try to reach out to the world.
By her teen years, Liz left God for the adversary. She got involved in the occult and divination practices that attracted some very harmful and negative influences into her world. She suffered horrific nightmares from using a Ouija board, she was involve in spell casting and had demonic experiences from time to time. While reading her Bible at one point, she was choked by the demon who was haunting her apartment and while she was still living at home, she experienced knocking on her walls and windows of her bedroom in addition to hearing the demon haunting her saying, “GOD CAN’T HELP YOU NOW!”
This story is not an easy one to share for her, but she feels it’s an important one that all need to hear especially those who are youth and young adults because many times many times, when things escalate to the level she experienced, it’s extremely difficult to overcome. That is why she wants to share the importance of the need to push through those obstacles with all you can to find your way to God, because as she puts it, “You can have all the friends and family you want, you can have all the fame and fortune you want, possessions etc. But if you do have your faith, all that other stuff is just stuff.”
Visit Liz at: http://www.soulconversations.net/
Christian author, Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, writes historical and contemporary romances. Author of Mind of Her Own, A Bride’s Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee and We’re Not Blended-We’re Pureed, A Survivor’s Guide to Blended Families. Once widowed and now remarried she writes with humor and experience on the difficulty of joining two families be it fictional or real life.
Visit Diana at: http://www.dianabrandmeyer.com/
Janalyn Voigt credits her father with instilling a love of literature in her at an early age by reading chapters from The Wizard of Oz, Robinson Crusoe and other classics as bedtime stories. When she grew older, Janalyn created her own stories. When she was 12 a teacher noticed her storytelling ability, and his encouragement helped Janalyn identify her desire to write novels. On her own initiative, she read dictionaries, grammar books, and encyclopedias to expand her knowledge base and to learn story structures and the elements of the writing. As an adult she completed more formal training with Christian Writers Guild.
Sarah Joy Freese of Wordserve Literary represents Janalyn. DawnSinger, her debut novel and first in the Tales of Faeraven epic fantasy series, released with Harbourlight Books in 2012. Other projects include a western historical romance series. Janalyn serves as a judge for several national literary contests and is an active book reviewer. Her nonfiction publication credits include Focus on the Family, Scripture Press (now David C. Cook) and Pentecostal Evangel.
Janalyn is available as a motivational speaker to church, women’s, and writer’s groups. Her affiliations include American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Northwest Christian Fiction Writers (NCWA).
In her spare time Janalyn reads, gardens, and finds adventures with her family in the great outdoors. She dreams of owning a horse, exploring all the national parks, and visiting European castles.
To learn more about Janalyn and her upcoming books, visit the author website for Janalyn Voigt at: http://janalynvoigt.com
Patricia Edwards was born April 5, 1966 in Washington, DC to Fred and Patricia Schmidt. The youngest child to their offspring of three, she grew up in Landover Hills, a small town in Maryland, loving the outdoors. Summers were spent swimming, riding bikes, horseback riding, climbing trees, and riding her brother’s mini-bike and winters were spent sleigh riding, snowball battles, keeping warm, and making hot cocoa with her family and friends.
Her mother was a legal secretary, her father was a car salesman after retiring from the police force, and both her older sister and brother are now both successful entrepreneurs in their own right.
Growing up in Landover Hills allowed everyone throughout the town to know everyone else almost as an extension of family. She, along with her siblings and friends, would walk to and from school during the week, a two mile trek for middle school. Aside from her daily activities and hobbies, she was a bit of a tomboy. She loved to hang out with her older brother and his friends whom all put her to good use chasing after foul baseballs, footballs, and basketballs as she watched from the sideline.
For most of her adolescence, she admired her mother and wanted to emulate her proficiencies in the clerical field so, she made Business her major throughout high school. Shortly after graduating in 1984, she went to work at the courthouse with her mother and it was there that she met her husband, David Myers.
After spending a couple of years living together and playing house, she became pregnant and on October 16, 1987, they married. She delivered their first child, David, on January 25, 1988, their child second child, Daniel, on December 9, 1991, and their third child, Laura, on March 13, 1997. 16 years invested, she and her husband separated in 2001 and in 2003, they divorced.
Although marital failure is not something that she’s proud of, it was in the midst of its dismantling that the stepping stones of faith were gradually put in place. But, before the grace, mercy, and love of God adhered to her heart, mind, and soul, she blindly ventured into a life of worldly desire, inebriation, lust, and limitation. She walked through a hell of her own making and luckily for her, she came out on the other side, the lighter side. God saved her.
Socrates once said that a life unexamined in not worth living. Well, doesn’t this also hold true to faith? In 2008, Patricia was divinely directed to write a book that examines just that. Affectionately titled, “Are You As Close To God As You Are To My Bumper?” the book takes the reader on a voyage of discovering God through the real life experiences of those of faith.
Patricia knows the power and grace of God up close and personal. His presence of Presence pours an abundance of love that saves, transforms, and redeems. She firmly states that the Bible and words of Jesus guide us to be disciples, not Christians. Christianity is a faith, not a religion and once we realize, recognize, and revere our Creator and our creation, life takes on a whole new meaning. We are connected to one another and everything living. The advancement of His Kingdom and the enlightenment of souls is her mission.
You can learn more about her and purchase her current publication, “Are You As Close To God As You Are To My Bumper?” by visiting her website at: www.patriciaedwardsbooks.com
Teena Stewart is an author, ministry leader, and artist with hundreds of published articles to her credit in the secular and Christian realm as well as numerous books. Her current focus is on helping others find value and beauty in themselves and others despite brokenness and transforming them into authentic, mature Christ followers.
When she isn’t writing, she is creating artwork and jewelry treasures (often from discarded and found objects) or leading ministry for Java Journey–an innovative coffee shop ministry in Hickory, NC–whose mission is similar to her own, to provide hope and restoration to the hurting and broken by sharing Christ’s story, showing His love and by empowering the restored to serve others.
Her two most recent books include:
Mothers and Daughters: Mending a Strained Relationship (Beacon Hill). http://tinyurl.com/aqdmp83 A book that will help you name your hurts, face the barriers that stand in the way of a healthy mother daughter relationship, and forgive what feels unforgivable. Learn to cultivate a friendship, communicate more effectively, and become a part of the change you want to see. There is hope for restoration and renewal.
The Treasure Seeker: Finding Value and Love in the Arms of Your Loving Heavenly Father (Wine Press). http://tinyurl.com/ae4vfyw Author and artist Teena Stewart uses the “lost” parables and treasure stories to illuminate the precious relationship to be had between us and our Heavenly Father. He transforms us into gems of stunning beauty and shows us our remarkable potential and true worth. Teena designed a Treasure Seeker jewelry line that ties in with the book.
International Speaker and Bible teacher, Lyn Smith, is passionate about God! Having discovered the awesome life in Him, she takes every opportunity to help others deepen and enjoy an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
While knee-deep in a Masters program at the University of Oklahoma, she also serves on boards and task forces for various Christian ministries and leadership organizations. Her second book, a collaborative project with best-selling author Tommy Newberry, comes out this year, and a third book is in process.
She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and three children. When she isn’t doing life in her stilettos, you will find her running in her favorite sneakers. Lyn is available for speaking engagements. You can reach Lyn through her website and read her blog at www.lynsmith.org.