Faculty

Bob Hostetler

Bob Hostetler is an award-winning writer, editor, literary agent, pastor and speaker from southwestern Ohio. His forty-five books, which include The Bone Box and American Idols (The Worship of the American Dream), have sold millions of copies. He has co-authored eleven books with Josh McDowell, including the best-selling Right from Wrong (What You Need to Know to Help Youth Make Right Choices)  and the award-winning Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door. He has won two Gold Medallion Awards, four Ohio Associated Press awards, and an Amy Foundation Award, among others. Bob is also a frequent speaker at churches, conferences, and retreats.  Bob was ordained to the ministry in 1980 by The Salvation Army. He and his wife, the lovely Robin, served in The Salvation Army from 1980-1992. In addition to his training for ministry with The Salvation Army, he earned degrees in English Bible from Cincinnati Christian University and English Communications from Bloomfield College. In 2000, Bob (with his wife) helped to co-found Cobblestone Community Church in Oxford, Ohio. He has served that church in leadership and teaching pastor roles. He has been a disc jockey, pastor, magazine editor, freelance book editor,and (with his wife Robin) a foster parent to ten boys (though not all at once). Bob and Robin have two adult children, Aubrey and Aaron, son-in-law Kevin and daughter-in-law Nina, and grandchildren Miles, Mia, Calleigh, Ryder, and Avery. They live in Hamilton, Ohio.


Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Lucinda Secrest McDowell, M.T.S., is passionate about embracing life — both through deep soul care from dwelling with God, as well as living courageously in order to touch a needy world. A storyteller who engages both heart and mind, she delights in “Helping you Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.”  A graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Furman University, McDowell is the author of 13 books and contributing author to 30+ books. Her books include the award-winning Dwelling Places (2017 Christian Retailing BEST Award for Devotional), Ordinary Graces,  Live These Words,  Refresh! and Role of a Lifetime.  A member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA), Lucinda received Mt. Hermon “Writer of the Year” award and guest blogs monthly for The Write Conversation and Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Blog. Whether co-directing  "reNEW ~ retreat for New England Writing,"  pouring into young mamas, or leading a restorative day of prayer, she is energized by investing in people of all ages. Lucinda’s favorites include tea parties, good books, laughing friends, ancient prayers, country music, cozy quilts, musical theatre, and especially her family scattered around the world doing amazing things.  Known for her ability to convey deep truth in practical and winsome ways, she writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and blogs weekly at http://www.EncouragingWords.net/ 
 
 

Eva Marie Everson

Eva Marie is a CBA best-selling and multiple award-winning author and speaker, including a Christy finalist, a Silver Medallion winner, a Carol, several Maggie and Golden Scroll awards, and an Inspirational Retailers Choice Award. She is one of the original five Word Weavers members, which began in 1997. She served first as the original president (2000-2007) and is now president of Word Weavers International, Inc., which serves writers primarily as a national and international group of critique and educational chapters.

 
Eva Marie served as a mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild for several years and has taught at a number of writers conferences nationwide. During the 2010-2011 school year, Eva Marie served as an adjunct professor at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. She describes it as one of the best times she ever had while working. Eva Marie also serves as director of Florida Christian Writers Conference and Georgia Christian Writers Conference and as a private writing coach and editor.
 

Edie Melson

Find your voice, live your story…is the foundation of Edie Melson’s message, no matter if she’s writing for fiction readers, parents, or writers. As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives.

She’s a leading professional within the publishing industry and travels to numerous conferences as a popular keynote, writing instructor and mentor. Her blog for writers, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month and is a Writer’s Digest Top 101 Websites for Writers. She’s the Director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, the Mountainside Marketing Conferenceand Soul Care, as well as Vice President of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine. In addition, she's a regular columnist forJust18Summers.comPuttingOnTheNew.comand http://www.soulfulink.com. Connect with her on TwitterFacebookand Instagram.

Edie Melson — author, blogger and speaker—is a leading professional within the writing industry, as well as a popular instructor and mentor. Her heart to help others define and reach their dreams has connected her with writers across the country. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, and a prolific writer, with numerous books and thousands of articles. Her popular writing blog, The Write Conversation, is a well known resource. Edie is the senior editor for Novel Rocket, and the social media mentor for My Book Therapy websites, as well as social media director for Southern Writers Magazine. She’s also the military family blogger for Guideposts.org. In keeping up with the leading edge of all things digital Edie has become known as one of the go-to experts on Twitter, Facebook, and social media for writers wanting to learn how to plug in. Her bestselling eBook on this subject, has been updated and expanded and re-released as Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers. Her books for military families include her latest, While My Soldier Serves, Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military(Worthy Inspired) and Fighting Fear, Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle, (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas).You can also connect with Edie on Twitter andFacebook and at ediemelson.com.


Linda Gilden

LINDA GILDEN – is an experienced writer, speaker, editor, and writing coach. Author of the popular Love Notes series, she is also the author of Mommy Pick-Me-Ups, Mama Was the Queen of Christmas, Personality Perspectives, Called to Write, and many ghostwritten books. With over a thousand magazine articles to her credit, Linda Gilden is a prolific writer who loves to share a great story. As a freelance editor and writing coach working with publishers and individuals, she encourages others to write with excellence. As a speaker, she travels all over the country sharing the message of God’s hope. As a member of the CLASS Seminars training staff and Director of CLASS Christian Writers Conference and Carolina Christian Writers Conference, Linda enjoys helping others polish their speaking and writing skills on their journeys to clear, concise communication. Linda is a Certified Personality Trainer helping others discover the joy of understanding themselves and others. Contact Linda at [email protected]   and visit her website at www.lindagilden.com


La-Tan Roland Murphy

As a writer, event speaker, and vocalist, LaTan Roland Murphy finds encouraging others her passion and purpose. She speaks with candid humility and raw honesty, drawing from her own real-life mistakes and failures, while inspiring her audiences with hilarious personal stories. She is quick to say that God amazes her daily by honoring an ordinary girl like herself to speak to extraordinary people. Her audiences respond to her rare authenticity, saying they feel as though they’ve known her their entire lives. LaTan loves to inspire others to look for everyday blessings in the middle of crazy-busy living. She and her husband, Joe, met when they were only teenagers and have recently celebrated thirty-three years of marriage. They will be the first to tell you they are still growing up together. LaTan enjoys leading marriage seminars and helping singles discover their identity and confidence in Christ. She and Joe have three adult children: two sons and a daughter. They are blessed to have a loving son-in-law and daughter-in-law who feel more like biological children. In her spare time LaTan enjoys spending time with her grandchildren—a granddaughter and a grandson—who totally captivate her heart.

LaTan is a Selah award nominated writer and a regularly featured columnist for the nationally recognized WHOA Women’s Magazine, from its inception in 2010. Her articles have been featured through WHOA Women’s Magazine on: Fox news, Inside Edition, 700 Club, and The Daily Mail in the UK. Her books have been featured in Southern Writers Magazine in the 2014 January Edition, and the October 2014 edition as MUST READS. La-Tan has also been published on Girlfriends in God Devotional/Crosswalk.com, and is a regularly featured columnist for Just 18 Summers. She has been highlighted by the American Daily Herald, Inspire a Fire, and Southern Ohio Christian Voice. Her articles have been featured alongside Joyce Meyer, Lisa Osteen, Kim Alexis, Gretchen Carlson-Fox News, and Megan Alexander of Inside Edition.

LaTan’s book, entitled: Courageous Women of the Bible,  releases in stores on February 20, 2018 and can be preordered now: http://cdn.bakerpublishinggroup.com/processed/books/covers/original/9780764230523.jpg

 Website:  latanmurphy.com

 

 

 


Yvonne Lehman

YVONNE LEHMAN – Director, Novelist, Editor for Romance & Women’s Fiction

Yvonne Lehman is a best-selling author of 58 novels and compiler of 10 non-fiction books. She founded and directed the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference for 25 years and now directs the Blue Ridge “Autumn in the Mountains” Novelist Retreat. She has joined Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas as Acquisitions and Managing Editor of Candlelight Romance and Guiding Light Women’s Fiction. She earned a Master’s Degree in English from Western Carolina University and has taught English and Creative Writing on the college level. Her recent novel releases are a novella Have Dress Will Marry (Heart of a Cowboy collection, Mountainbrook Ink), Better Latte than Never (cozy mystery, Winged Pub), and 8 Romances (4 set in SC, 4 set in NC, LPC). Her non-fiction Moments series (Grace Pub) are Divine Moments, Christmas Moments, Spoken Moments, Precious Precocious Moments, More Christmas Moments, Stupid Moments, Loving Moments, Why? Titanic Moments, and Additional Christmas Moments. LPC released Writing Right to Success (by 25 authors about their writing journeys and craft). For release in 2017 are Merry Christmas Moment and The Gift (Secret Admirer collection, Winged Pub). Her 50th novel is Hearts that Survive – A Novel of the Titanic (Abingdon), which she signs periodically at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge TN. She blogs at   www.christiansread.com  and Novel Rocket.  www.yvonnelehman.com -  [email protected] 

 


Cindy Sproles

Cindy Sproles – Cindy  is the Cofounder of Christian Devotions Ministries, popular speaker and conference teacher, Cindy is the Executive Editor of ChristianDevotions.us and a Managing Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Her devotions are published widely in Christian newspapers across the eastern seaboard. Cindy is the author of New Sheets: Thirty Days to Refine You into the Woman You Can Be and is the cowriter of He Said, She Said: A Devotional Guide to Cultivating a Life of Passion. And her debut novel, Mercy’s Rain is a Selah Finalist, an Illumination Award silver medalist, and a IndieFab Book of the Year winner. She is a certified life coach and mentor. Cindy is the director of the Asheville Christian Writers Conference. Visit Cindy at www.cindysproles.com.


Sarah Loudin Thomas

Sarah Loudin Thomas grew up on a 100-acre farm in French Creek, WV, the seventh generation to live there. Her Christian fiction is set in West Virginia and celebrates the people, the land, and the heritage of Appalachia. Her first novel, Miracle in a Dry Season, released August 2014 through Bethany House. Book #2, Until the Harvest, released May 2015. Sarah is represented by Wendy Lawton of Books & Such Literary Agency. A graduate of Coastal Carolina University in Conway, SC, Sarah once dreamed of being a marine scientist. But her love for words won out and she has spent much of her career in public relations and marketing. She currently oversees fundraising and communications for a Christian children’s home in Black Mountain, NC. Sarah and her husband Jim live in the mountains of Western North Carolina with Thistle–the canine equivalent to a personal trainer pushing them to hike, run, and throw sticks. Sarah is active in her local church and enjoys cooking and–you guessed it–reading.


Larry J. Leech II

Larry J. Leech II  spent eighteen years writing, editing, and managing news and sports departments at daily newspapers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, California, and Florida. He finished his journalism career with a five-year stint as editor of Christian Retailing magazine, the leading trade publication in the Christian industry. With more than 2,300 articles published, Larry moved into freelance writing and editing in 2004. He has ghostwritten more than twenty books, edited more than 200 manuscripts, and written back cover copy and press releases for numerous publishers. Larry teaches at numerous conferences nationwide and has become a much sought-after writing coach. Recent releases include the “Unholy Series,” featuring Unholy QuestUnholy Terror, and Unholy Alliance. Find Larry at www.larryleech.com.


Emily Wickham

Emily Wickham gently reaches women’s hearts as a devotional writer for LifeWay’s Journey Magazine and as a teacher at Embrace Bible Study Community. She is the author of one Bible study, which was translated into Spanish in 2016. God is using Alcanzando la Justicia: Vida Aplicaciones del Libro de Ester to reach women in Central America, Mexico, and the United States.

Emily ministers to Christian women and Christian writers, seeking to stir their hearts toward Jesus. She blogs weekly on her website, proclaiminghimtowomen.com, and she shares weekly “Devotions for Women” videos on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Emily enjoys drinking coffee with friends, observing nature’s beauty, and reading historical fiction. A resident of North Carolina, she is Mark’s wife of 29+ years, and they are the blessed parents of four children plus one daughter-in-love. God’s faithfulness and love inspire Emily on her journey through life, and she’s forever grateful for her Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. 


Denise Loock

Former high-school English teacher and college professor Denise Loock is an editor, author, and inspirational speaker. She is an associate editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, based in Raleigh, NC (lighthousepublishingofthecarolinas.com). She also accepts freelance editing projects from writers who want to submit clean, concise, and compelling manuscripts to publishers (lightningeditingservices.com). She is the author of two devotional books that highlight the scriptural truths of classic hymns and gospel songs, Open Your Hymnal and Open Your Hymnal Again. She is the founder of Dig Deeper Devotions, a website that encourages Christians of all ages to dig deeper into the Word of God (digdeeperdevotions.com). Her articles, stories, and devotions have appeared in various publications, including EFCA TodayChicken Soup for the SoulThe Upper Room, and Vista.


Andrea Merrell

Andrea Merrell is an associate editor with Christian Devotions Ministries and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas (LPC books). She is also a professional freelance editor and was a finalist for the 2016 Editor of the Year Award at BRMCWC. She teaches workshops at writers conferences and has been published in numerous anthologies and online venues. Andrea is a graduate of Christian Communicators and a finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards. She is the author of Murder of a Manuscript, Praying for the Prodigal, and Marriage: Make It or Break It. For more information, visit www.andreamerrell.com or www.TheWriteEditing.com


Scott McCausey

Scott McCausey – Radio host for Christian Devotions Speak UP! The nationally syndicated Blog Talk show is climbing the charts. With Scott’s warm interview skills and determination he has managed interviews with top Christian artists, as well as athletes, and theologians. Christian Devotions is very proud of the work and standard that Scott has brought to the ministry. Scott is looking for good solid interviews with authors, celebrities, missionaries, or individuals with unique stories.


Renee McCausey

Renee McCausey – Renee serves as the co-editor of DevoKids.com. Devokids is always looking for unique children’s devotions, stories, artwork, home school ideas, and more. Renee’s gifts to teach, and her creativity offer parents amazing tools to work with their wee ones. A successful home school mom herself, Renee understands the importance of guiding our children. 


Nancy Lohr

Nancy Lohr, Acquisitions Editor at JourneyForth Books, acquires for both the youth and adult markets and has over twenty years of experience in book publishing. She was an educator and children’s librarian before moving to publishing, and she loves to teach about the art and craft of writing. On the editor’s side of her desk, her responsibilities range from acquiring manuscripts and illustrations to editing manuscripts and managing book production. As an author, her personal résumé includes two historical novels for children, curriculum stories and articles, and numerous book reviews and articles for parents and educators. She is an avid reader who reads widely in both the youth and adult markets, and she happily agrees with C.S. Lewis who said, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”


Beth Fortune & Dee Dee Parker

Conferee Care Representatives


Publishers, Editors, and Agents in Attendance:

Lin Johnson

Lin Johnson is the managing editor of Christian Communicator; freelance writer, editor, and proofreader; international conference teacher; adjunct professor, Taylor University; Gold Medallion Book Award recipient and EPA Higher Goals Award recipient. She is the director of the Write-to-Publish Conference in Wheaton, Illinois, and the new editor of the Christian Writers Market Guide.


Diana Flegal

Diana Flegal has been an agent with Hartline Literary Agency for eleven years. She represents mainstream and inspirational titles, fiction and nonfiction, but nothing that conflicts with the Christian Worldview. She is currently looking for nonfiction authors with a substantial platform, as well as outstanding contemporary women’s fiction, issue fiction, and formula romance.  ​When she is not reading submissions or stealing away with a recreational read, she is hiking in the mountains, or kayaking the many lakes of her home state, North Carolina.

 


Les Stobbe

Les Stobbe has been an active Literary Agent for 23 years. Les has been denominational weekly editor, book editor, book club vice-president, journal editor, curriculum managing editor, and president of a book publishing house. He has written curriculum, journalism lessons, 14 books and hundreds of magazine articles. His website is at www.stobbeliterary.com


Eddie Jones – Publisher
Andrea Merrell – Editor
Denise Loock – Editor
Yvonne Lehman – Mgn. Editor
Cindy Sproles – Mgn. Editor

The Staff That Keeps Things Moving

We could not manage things without our amazing staff and their wonderful gifts and talents.

Bookstore manager – Bennie Jones
Conferee Care  – Dee Dee Parker & Beth Fortune
Bookstore Finances and collections – Renee McCausey
Recording – Scott McCausey
Director – Cindy Sproles
Ministry Director – Eddie Jones
Contest Director – Sarah Loudin Thomas
Schedules and Appointments Director – Terri Kelly
Conference Manual – Andrea Merrell