2014 Meetings


BethJanuary 4th – Beth Vogt CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER

Topic: Moving Your Dreams From Maybes

Making your dreams a reality entails identifying them and knowing who/what to take on your journey, knowing how to get started and keep going in the midst of criticism, and pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. What’s keeping you from your dreams?

Bio: Beth K. Vogt is a national speaker, non-fiction author and editor who said she’d never write fiction. She’s now the author of two contemporary romance novels. She’s the wife of an Air Force physician (now in solo practice) who said she’d never marry a doctor—or anyone in the military. She’s a mom of four who said she’d never have kids. Beth has discovered that God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” She writes contemporary romance because she believes there’s more to happily ever after than the fairy tales tell us.

Beth earned a journalism degree from San Jose State University. Beth met her husband Rob when he knocked her down at a karate studio. They’ve been married for 34 years. They have four children, ranging in ages from 30, 27, 25 and – thanks to a funny thing happening on their way to the empty nest—a 12-year-old. The Vogt Team, which now includes a “daughter-in-love” and two “sons-in-love,” enjoys hiking and camping in Colorado. Visit Beth’s website at: www.bethvogt.com




February 1st – Award-winning editor and author, Erin Healy

Topic: Write Strong, Finish Well



(in lieu of regular meeting)

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

First Evangelical Free Church Colorado Springs, CO

Has your novel ever hit a wall? Maybe you’ve lost momentum and interest in a story you were once passionate about. Or maybe the tale is finished but anxiety keeps you from shopping your manuscript. Learn how to clear the hurdles that trip every novelist from time to time. Writer’s block, self-doubt, story snags, and feeling uninspired shouldn’t prevent you from completing your novel. Nor should past failures keep you away from your writer’s pen. Not only will you gain the confidence you need to finish well, this seminar will give you additional tools to polish your work for submission to agents and publishers, whether you’re revising alone or with the help of others.

Bio: Erin Healy is an award-winning fiction editor who has worked with talented novelists such as James Scott Bell, Melody Carlson, Colleen Coble, Brandilyn Collins, Traci DePree, L. B. Graham, Rene Gutteridge, Michelle McKinney Hammond, Robin Lee Hatcher, Denise Hildreth, Denise Hunter, Randy Ingermanson, Jane Kirkpatrick, Bryan Litfin, Frank Peretti, Lisa Samson, Randy Singer, Robert Whitlow, and many others.

She began working with Ted Dekker in 2002 and edited twelve of his heart-pounding storiesbefore their collaboration on Kiss, the first novel to seat her on “the other side of the desk.”

Erin is the owner of WordWright Editorial Services, a consulting firm specializing in fiction book development. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Academy of Christian Editors. She lives with her family in Colorado.

Visit Erin’s website at www.erinhealy.com


BrandyVallanceHeadshot1-199x300March 1st – Brandy Vallance, author and winner of Christian Writers Guild 2013 “Operation First Novel”

Topic: Unlocking Personification and Metaphor to Deepen Emotion

Do you hear that your writing isn’t strong enough? Maybe you haven’t accessed your story’s emotional depth. Beyond strong dialogue and powerful body language, sharper tools await the intrepid fiction writer. Learn how to pull out all the stops and make inanimate (and sometimes animate) objects reflect your characters internal conflicts, desires, and fears. Make the reader feel deeply without them knowing why. Also, learn how to bring metaphor into your setting to drive your story deeper. Come prepared to cut through surface techniques and sculpt the heart of raw emotion.

Bio: Brandy Vallance is a graduate of Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild Apprenticeship. She has had fifty articles published in various magazines and newspapers and was on staff with a magazine focusing on the Victorian time period. She is a member of the Christian Writers Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, and Pikes Peak Writers. In 2009, Brandy won honorable mention at the Pikes Peak Writers American Icon contest. In 2011, Brandy was a semi-finalist in the Genesis Contest. In 2012, she won the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest for historical romance. In 2013, she was a finalist in CWG’s Operation First Novel. As a speaker, Brandy has taught writing workshops covering the business side of writing, discovering the depths of your creativity, and the novelist’s life. As a writer, Brandy’s novels explore the hard questions, real emotions, and the complicated areas in life. She endeavors to represent the high calling of storytelling in a true and honest way, following wherever God leads.

Visit Brandy’s website at: www.brandyvallance.com.


dkpApril 5th – Donita K. Paul, author

Topic: How Do You Share What You Know?

You’re a writer now, and other people think you know it all. They ask you to share with the old folks at the YMCA, the first grade class at your son’s elementary, or at the local writers’ group. And you realize you know nuttin’ worth sharing. What do you do?

Bio: Donita K. Paul retired early from teaching school, but soon got bored! The result: a determination to start a new career. Now she is an award-winning novelist, the best-selling author of the five book fantasy series, The DragonKeeper Chronicles, which garnered a Christy Honor Book Award, a Clives Staples Award and winner of the ACFW Book of the Year Award. In addition she has authored the three book fantasy series, The Chronicles of Chiril, multiple romance novels and The Dragon and The Turtle picture books. Her newest fantasy series, The Realm Walkers was released in January 2014.

She says, “I feel blessed to be doing what I like best.” She mentors all ages, teaching teenagers and weekly adult writing workshops. “God must have imprinted ‘teacher’ on me clear down to the bone. I taught in public school, then home schooled my children, and worked in private schools. Now my writing week isn’t very productive unless I include some time with kids.” Her two grown children make her proud, and her two grandsons make her laugh.

Donita’s web site offers writer tips, homeschool resources, recipes, additional resources for her books, and is home to the Dragon Lady Shoppe, a source for books and jewelry. www.donitakpaul.com.


Blythe Daniel HeadshotMay 3rd – Blythe Daniel, president of The Blythe Daniel Agency, Inc.

Topic: Blogging Basics: What Makes The Most Successful Blogs & How Yours Can Be One Of Them

As new forms of media help authors communicate their messages, blogs are one of them. Publishers cite blogs as one of the top ways people learn about and buy books. With traditional media like radio canceling programs and having fewer slots to feature authors, blogging, according to PR professionals and publishers, is the way to build readers and sell books. In this workshop, we’ll talk about what should be included in your blog, some key blogging tips, a look at influential bloggers and why they are effective in communicating a message and selling books, and more. You will walk away understanding what it takes to blog consistently, how to build your readership while learning the craft of writing in a short space, and how to tie your posts to help promote your book. We’ll also talk about how to network with other bloggers to expand your reach.

Bio: Blythe spent seven years working at Thomas Nelson, Inc. as Publicity Director and then Marketing Director in the Bible and Book divisions where she directed hundreds of publicity campaigns and marketing campaigns and reviewed book proposals for the editorial board. She left Nashville in 2004 to move to Colorado and opened The Blythe Daniel Agency in 2005. She has worked with publicity clients like Brother Andrew and Open Doors International, Biblica (formerly International Bible Society), NavPress, Thomas Nelson, Penguin Group, B & H Publishing, Baker Books, Howard Books, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, Standard Publishing, Moody Publishers, Beacon Hill Press, New Growth Press, Cityteam, InScribed Studies, 1Source, and others.

During her time at Thomas Nelson and since she opened her agency, she has worked on publicity campaigns for John Maxwell, Kim Alexis, Reggie White, John Hagee, John Eldredge, Charles Stanley, Andy Stanley, Steve Arterburn, Dennis Rainey, Dave Ramsey, Sheila Walsh, Dr. Jim Dixon, Ginny Brant (daughter of Nixon advisor during Watergate), Jeff Iorg (President of Golden Gate Seminary), Katie Brazelton (Life Purpose Coaching Centers) and others.

She has been the Product Development Manager for Ransomed Heart Ministries founded by New York Times bestselling author John and Stasi Eldredge. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband, daughter and boy/girl twins. She enjoys Hallmark movies, Starbucks, Auburn football, and laughter with good friends and family.


Evangeline HeadshotJune 7th – Evangeline Denmark, author

Topic: Help! I’m Addicted to YA

In this workshop we’ll indulge our YA book habit . . . ahem, we’ll learn tricks from some of the most popular Young Adult novels and authors. The Young Adult genre has exploded in recent years, with almost equal popularity amongst teen and adult readers. Is there a formula? Common themes? A man behind a curtain who accepts bribes? Let’s take a look at what really works in those addictive YA novels and discover how we can apply the same tools to our own manuscripts.

Bio: Evangeline Denmark cannot sing. The tragic, early discovery of this unavoidable truth led to bouts of angst-ridden poetry writing in her teens, several ill-advised relationships with novel characters, and the compulsive creation of fictional worlds. Having found her true voice, Evangeline now writes stories with bits of whimsy, dashes of fantasy, and strokes of the supernatural. She writes young adult fiction, paranormal romance, and has co-authored two children’s books, The Dragon and the Turtle and The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari (Waterbrook Press). Most days you can find her on Facebook and Twitter, and when the stars align, at her website www.evangelinedenmark.com.


Olivia Newport HeadshotJuly 12th – Olivia Newport, author

Topic: Serializations – The New Fiction Landscape?

The ordinary act of answering the phone shifted the landscape under Olivia Newport’s feet when the publisher said, “Serialization.” An unexpected opportunity, a relentless pace, and a new genre made for an ambitious learning curve. In this presentation, Olivia Newport provides a glimpse into the process that resulted in Hidden Falls, a 13-episode serialized story that released weekly between January and April in digital formats, and explores how writing a serialization for the digital-first market is distinct from writing for the traditional print-first market.

Bio: Olivia Newport is the author of the Avenue of Dreams series (Revell), the Valley of Choice series (Barbour), Hidden Falls (Barbour), and the forthcoming Amish Turns of Time series (Barbour), which launches with Wonderful Lonesome in September. After living in six different cities in 17 years, she has been delighted to call Colorado Springs home for the last 18 years.


MDAugust 2nd – Mary Davis, Author

Topic: “Everyone’s A Critic!”

A critique group is essential for growing as a writer, but the thought of handing over your work to someone else to criticize is hard. When done properly, critique groups can encourage more than discourage. Mary will talk about types of groups, group guidelines, proofreading marks, and more.   

Bio: Mary is an award-winning author of over a dozen novels in both historical and contemporary themes, four novellas, two compilations, and three short stories, as well as being included in various collections. Her titles include Newlywed Games, Love Notes, and A Carpenter Christmas in A Cascades Christmas. 2014 releases The Beaches and Brides Romance Collection (June), The Farmer’s Daughter Romance Collection ( October), and Her Honorable Enemy (December) with the two sequels to follow in 2015.  She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and is active in two critique groups.

Mary lives in the Colorado Rocky Mountains with her husband of thirty years and three cats. She has three adult children and one grandchild on the way. She enjoys playing board and card games, rain, and cats. She would enjoy gardening if she didn’t have a black thumb. Her hobbies are quilting, porcelain doll making, sewing, crafts, crocheting, and knitting.

Please visit her website at http://marydavisbooks.com Connect with her on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/mary.davis.73932 and on Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/marydavis73932/


Sonia MeeterSeptember 6th – Sonia Meeter, Life Coach

Topic: The Resilient Writer

Are you finding it difficult to be disciplined in setting aside time to for writing? Does constructive criticism or flat out rejection of your work feel like a personal attack? Are you struggling to find purpose and balance in your life? 

If this sounds familiar, what you need is a little more resilience – the ability to adapt and persevere when life delivers adversities! In this workshop, we will discuss the challenges common to writers – minor irritations and major setback, and how to approach them in a way that helps you to overcome and rest in your purpose. Resilience enables you to achieve excellence in your writing and to have deep heart to heart connections with others that enable you to fully live the life you were created to live.

BIO: Sonia Meeter is a certified social emotional intelligence coach. Social emotional intelligence (EQ) is the single largest determination of a person’s success but is something that is rarely addressed in business planning and development.

Sonia helps you increase your EQ and overcome limiting beliefs to reach your full potential using her “Whole Person at WorkTM System,” an integrative approach which incorporates your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual capacities to develop a plan to live the life you were called to live. Sonia is living her purpose in Colorado Springs with her husband and two teenage daughters.


Dan GammieOctober 4th – Dan Gammie, Forensic Chemist

Topic: Basic Blood Patterning Analysis in Crime Scene Investigations

Workshop: This lecture will initially cover the basic approaches to crime scene investigation with a latter emphasis on the use of blood pattern analysis in scene reconstruction.   Various terminologies, documentation methods, and potential outcomes of bloodstain pattern analysis will be presented.  A wealth of information is available by conducting a detailed, methodical approach to the analysis of bloodstains.  Patterns produced by blood shedding events can help with reconstructing the movements and positioning of subjects, as well as origins and sequencing of events within the crime scene.

This lecture will include numerous photographs and demonstrations of blood pattern types to familiarize the audience with this important aspect of crime investigation and reconstruction.

BIO: Dan Gammie is the Senior Forensic Chemist and Deputy Quality Assurance Manager at the Colorado Springs Metro Crime Laboratory. As a long-time Diplomate of the American Board of Criminalistics, Dan has been active in the forensic field since 1982. Originally from the Orange County Sheriff’s Lab in California, Dan has worked in a number of analytical sections of the crime lab, including blood alcohol, controlled substance analysis, clandestine lab investigation, forensic serology, trace evidence analysis, and firearms identification. He has conducted numerous homicide crime scene investigations over the years and was an instructor in the Criminal Justice Dept at CSU Long Beach. Other teaching assignments have included Basic Police Academies, Homicide Investigator Schools, Coroner’s Academies, Advanced Officer Training, and Fire Department Hazmat Academies.


Leah ApineruNovember 4th – Leah Apineru, Impact Author Services

Topic: Social Media

Workshop: Plan to be engaged with this hands-on training! Leah will address the role social media plays for your author platform as well as the pros and cons of the top 5 Social Media platforms. Not sure of the differences or purposes of each and exactly how you approach them? That will be addressed. Come with your laptop ready to make updates or implement suggestions. As time allows the floor will be open to ask specific questions.  Facebook tips & Impact Author’s MUST DO resources will be provided. 

BIO: Leah Apineru is a thirteen-year veteran of the publishing industry. She launched Impact Author Services in 2009 to help best-selling authors, publishers, and online start-ups maximize their social-media strategies, freeing them to do more of what they do best: writing, speaking, and engaging with their readers. When Leah isn’t analyzing Facebook Insights, scheduling client posts, or tracking the swiftly changing social media scene, you can find her in her kitchen or garden with family and friends, or enjoying a quiet moment with her coffee and snacks from Trader Joes. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and daughter.


December 6th 10:00am – 12pm

Christmas Party Brunch

Please join us in a time of fellowship and celebration. Bring a brunch item to share.

Location:  At the home of Mary Agius

RSVP for address and directions: