Stormie Omaritian: Praying Wife Crosses 10 Million Mark

Congratulations are in order to Stormie Omartian and Harvest House Publishers on the receipt of the ECPA Diamond Sales Award for 10 million copies sold of The Power of a Praying Wife.

The book joins a very select list of titles to reach this milestone. In addition to a number of Bibles, the books include:

  • Purpose Driven Life 
  • The Shack
  • Prayer of Jabez 
  • Heaven is for Real
  • Jesus Calling
  • More than a Carpenter
  • The Bible Promise Book (Barbour)

Some of the books are so iconic that as dealers, we have acronyms for them such as PDL, PPW, and HiFR; and naming authors seemed rather unnecessary!

See the complete list at this link.

Christian Fiction Winners

Recently a customer asked why we had run the list of Christy Award winners in our store newsletter in previous years, but had not done so last November. I didn’t realize that our customers were tracking these things so closely. So I included it on Monday, and having typed it all up, thought we’d run it here as well.

Although several of the winners were from the broad Baker Book Group imprints, they weren’t titles we’ve carried. (She ordered one of each, so the award carries some weight in her mind.) What it reinforces to me is that critic awards are not the same as sales rankings. Not at all. And some great books get missed because as buyers, we tend to focus on the “A list” titles.

How many of these do you carry? If you’re going to expand your fiction section, better to start with titles which have at least won critical acclaim.

Book of the Year – The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery – Amanda Cox – Revell

Amplify Award – In Search of a Prince – Toni Shiloh – Bethany House

Contemporary Romance – All That Really Matters – Nicole Deese – Bethany House

First Novel – All That Is Secret – Patricia Raybon – Tyndale

General Fiction – the winner in this category also won book of the year (above)

Historical – Drawn By the Current – Jocelyn Green – Bethany House

Historical Romance – Until Leaves Fall In Paris – Sarah Sundin – Revell 

Mystery/Suspense – Aftermath – Terri Blackstock – Thomas Nelson 

Short form – Under the Texas Mistletoe – Karen Witemeyer – Bethany House 

Speculative (science fiction) – Windward Shore – Shannon Hinck – Enclave Publishing

Young Adult – Shadow – Kara Swanson – Enclave Publishing

The awards are presented through the Evangelical Christian Publishing Association (ECPA) and the full list, including nominees, and including cover images, can be seen at this link.

Graphics for The Watchmaker’s Daughter

Updated March 30th

This is one of the most significant releases we’ll see this year and will take Corrie Ten Boom’s story to a whole new audience. Steve Brown said, “When it comes to Corrie ten Boom, if you’ve only read ‘The Hiding Place,’ you only know half the story.” After this posted, we learned that Brown taught author Larry Loftis in seminary! Order in hardcover or paperback from HarperCollins.






Categories: Uncategorized

Bill Reimer’s Official Retirement: Photos

Wednesday, March 1st marked the official retirement of Bill Reimer from his position as manager of the Regent College Bookstore in Vancouver, B.C. after over three decades of faithful work. On its Facebook page, the store announced:

For 34 years the Regent College Bookstore has been faithfully stewarded by bookstore manager Bill Reimer. He has carefully curated the bookstore’s collection, recommended countless books, and been a prayerful and pastoral presence to other staff and customers… He’ll always been part of the Regent community

Bill is a veteran of our industry bringing equal parts knowledge and passion to his career with Regent. The college sent him off with a rather moving public event that featured many tributes from the Regent staff, faculty and students.

I got to finally meet Bill in the summer of 2019, when the photo at right was taken.  For more on that visit, click here. There’s another picture in the article where I asked Bill which shelf section he’d like to be photographed with, and without hesitation, he took me to the History section.

Event Photos: Nathan Douglas; with files from Nathan Douglas and Alex Strohschein. Lower photo: Paul Wilkinson.

If you have more photos from Wednesday night, send them and we’ll update this piece.

Alberta Author: Meeting Jesus in the Middle of ALS

Canada’s population is spread out along a thin line and communications are always challenging. We found out about this book and its author browsing the Ingram listings for Christian books releasing in March. I’ll let author Stephanie Morales-Beaulieu tell you about this autobiographical book herself:

Anything But Ordinary is a refreshingly vulnerable real-life story of the broken road that led an ordinary Filipino immigrant and mechanic to a life-changing encounter with Jesus that was anything but ordinary, providing insight into what living by faith looks like when life isn’t working and a spotlight on the legacy of faith my father left behind when he passed away from ALS.

The Author Spotlight page at Word Alive books states:

Stephanie Morales-Beaulieu is a lover of God’s Word and shares that passion online, from the stage, in her living room, and anywhere else God opens the door.

Through losing her dad and learning how to hold onto God’s promises came a passion to make the transforming power of the Word accessible to those new to it, overwhelmed by it, or longing to be changed by it.

Her first book, Anything But Ordinary: Finding Faith that Works When Life Doesn’t, won the 2022 Braun Book Award for Non-Fiction from Word Alive Press.

She is the creator of Bite-Size Bible Study® and has authored A Roadmap to Trials: Journey through James, Walk in Love: Ephesians, and most recently The Flourishing Life: The Parable of the Sower. She is a born communicator with a contagious love and enthusiasm for Jesus.

As a wife to Mike and mom of four littles, she shares from her wealth of relatable stories that will inspire you to see everyday life through the lens of truth. She is authentic and funny and you will wish she lived next door.

Stephanie and her husband are planting a church in Airdrie, Alberta. She is a coffee-sipper, brunch enthusiast, and crafter. When she’s not writing, you can find her building Duplo, visiting with friends, or playing a game with her family.

The page also contains an interview with Stephanie about her writing and about the book.

Anything But Normal: Finding Faith that Works When Life Doesn’t, a 352-page paperback, is available through Word Alive for Canadian stores at $20.99 CDN or through Ingram at $20.99 US using ISBN 9781486623211.

The book blurb concludes:

For anyone feeling discouraged and blindsided by life’s difficulties…
For anyone struggling with their humanity who thinks heroes of the faith don’t…
For anyone thirsting for a genuine encounter with a God who is real…
For anyone looking for not a perfect, but a faithful example of following Jesus…
For anyone yearning to know perfection isn’t required in order to have impact…

There is hope.

This book serves as a powerful reminder that the birthplace of inspiring faith is often the soil of impossible struggle, and when life isn’t working, you can hold onto the God who always is.



Parasource Distribution to Close in May

February 1, 2023 4 comments

Canada’s largest wholesale distributor of Christian books and resources, Parasource Marketing and Distribution of Paris, Ontario, announced yesterday (1/31) that will cease operations as of May 31st.

In an email letter to stores, President Greg Tombs wrote,

Parasource Marketing and Distribution has had to make a very difficult decision to close operations on May 31, 2023. We have notified our vendors and we have their complete support to work with us and keep the flow of product moving until the end of May.

Parasource will be here to continue to service and supply you with the product lines you have come to rely on us for, until the end of May. We want to assure you that any outstanding orders we have at that time will be properly dealt with in consultation with both you and our suppliers.

Until then, we are carrying on “business as usual” until we see ourselves well past the Easter period. And we will certainly communicate with you throughout the next 4 months to keep you informed…

Parasource was formerly known as David C. Cook Canada, and before that as Beacon Distributing. The company also included Augsburg-Fortress Canada, and many years prior, Christian Music Canada (CMC Distribution). Of the big three distributors (the other two being HarperCollins Christian Products, and Anchor/Word Alive) it was the only remaining company actively warehousing product on the Canadian side of the border.

It represented basically all of the major Sunday School curriculum lines, serviced store greeting card displays on behalf of Dayspring Cards, and was both a distributor and publisher representative for major lines such as Baker Book Group, Broadman and Holman, Moody Publishers, InterVarsity Press (IVP), David C. Cook, Destiny Image, Charisma House, and many, many others, including publishers from the UK and several giftware lines.

The announcement concludes:

For our part, it has been a privilege to come along side of you to help you resource your customers with quality Christian publishing, music, entertainment, and gift products.

The Parenting Book I Never Knew Was Needed

On a warm fall day a small box arrived containing a book I had requested to review, and alongside it was an advance copy of Parenting by Andy and Sandra Stanley. Since our guys are late 20s and early 30s respectively, I immediately thought if there was someone to whom I could simply pass the book on.

But then I read the first chapter. And that led to the second. And then I was hooked…

Review — Parenting: Getting it Right by Andy and Sandra Stanley.

As someone who spent nearly 15 years glued to my computer at 2:00 PM on Sunday to watch the full church service from North Point Community Church in Atlanta, I was no stranger to the writing and speaking of Andy Stanley. When he mentioned his kids, I kinda already knew them from years of exposure to his ministry.

So I was in familiar territory here.

What I wasn’t expecting was the familiarity the book seems to show toward readers like me, as if we’re friends sitting down to coffee.

Like his book Deep and Wide, this is an insight into what’s in ‘the secret sauce’ only instead of being a behind the scenes look at how the church operates, it’s a backstage pass to how their family operates, or perhaps operated, since his kids are now adults as well.

Also I wasn’t prepared for how much I would enjoy Sandra’s contribution.

Sandra Stanley has appeared on the platform at North Point before and in some other video content, but they share the writing responsibilities for Parenting equally, a format that is occasionally interrupted — as real couples do in real life — by the other interjecting something into the content of the primary author of that particular chapter.

The three Stanley kids themselves don’t have a direct voice in the book, but they were apparently involved in interviews leading to the making of the video curriculum based on the book.

So what did I learn?

Avoiding spoilers here, there is this really unexpected mix of Sandra and Andy allowing the kids to assume responsibility for their own actions, combined with what some would call a rather strict or anachronistic approach to mealtimes. The latter makes you think there’s going to be a strong, controlling philosophy of parenting, but then the former type of narrative makes you think they take a laissez-faire approach to raising children and teens.

Which is it?

There are also echoes of Andy’s relationship with his parents — one of whom is a person you may have heard of — and Sandra’s relationship with hers.

The book is divided into chapters covering different ages and stages of parenting. You could skip to relevant chapters, but I think that would cause you to miss the larger context. I also need to say that in addition to raising three of their own kids, Andy and Sandra are major proponents for fostering, and have had at least a dozen foster children in their home. 

Finally, chapters 10 and 11 are a very timely approach to raising Children with a Christian faith which is not prone to deconstruction. They took a very rational, balanced approach.

…In a teaser tweet about the book, I remarked in the Fall that I wish this book was publishing earlier… about 30 years earlier. I’m not saying I would have adopted 100% of their parenting style, but reading the book, I would have been aware of it and had it as a looping soundtrack in the background of decisions we had to make with our children in sometimes very different circumstances.

At the outset I stated that I thought this book was sent to me for someone else, but it was something I truly delighted in reading, even though I can’t put it all into practice.

I also can’t overstate that while parents are in the thick of the battle, they often don’t get around to purchasing parenting resources. This is a book that the rest of us need to buy with the sole purpose of passing it on to someone in your sphere of influence.

I can guarantee that if they will read the first couple of chapters, they will definitely want to read it to the end.

Parenting: Getting it Right is officially publishing by Zondervan on January 17th in a 240-page hardcover in the United States, and in paperback in other parts of the world. Thanks to Mark H. at HarperCollins Christian Publishing Canada for a surprise copy of this great resource. This review first appeared at Thinking Out Loud.

I No Longer Have the Perspective of Other Canadian Stores

I find myself beginning the year in a very different place from the rest of the longtime readers here; a place that leaves me wondering if my own store is now significantly atypical as to disqualify me from writing about industry events and trends.

If you’re not part of the Facebook group, basically in mid-December I decided it was time to cancel all of my backorders with Parasource and pursue a different route. I didn’t want to burn my bridges with them entirely, but their senior management took it all to mean I was running out on my account balance; a thought which, truthfully, had never occurred to me.

When I saw that the account balance was the sum total of their concern for the issue I raised, I realized there was probably no turning back. And yes, days later, just to show that we’re made of better stuff, we paid the balance in its entirety, including invoices which had not yet become due.

I am not in any way advocating something as radical as this for other readers here. There are three reasons I was in a position to make this decision.

First, I don’t have the same commitment to Dayspring greeting card racks as the rest of you. At one point, with 13 racks — eight of which were on a control program — we had the third largest greeting card store in Brockville. But the two racks I have left in Cobourg aren’t all that necessary, and there’s an entire younger demographic which doesn’t send cards at all.

Second, it’s been about a decade since I had any standing orders for curriculum or dated Christian Education supplies. Many churches in our area either use denominational curriculum, or use other resources to improvise. In this area, I had no business to lose.

Third, it had been a long, long time since we worried about doing printed sale flyers. Our entire approach has involved an email newsletter, Facebook, our website, and in-person shopping. We asked — several times and several different publisher distributors — if we could have the HTML elements from the flyers to do an entirely virtual — if slightly abbreviated — version of the catalogues, but it never happened.

By abbreviated, I meant that I was willing to take a fair mixture of the three categories represented in most flyers, (a) loss leaders, (b) major releases, (c) secondary and tertiary level titles the publishers are trying to introduce; but maybe just not so many, i.e. eight of each type with a limit of 24 titles. Personally, I think the future of this type of promotion does not lie in printed materials.

One thing I was not prepared to do moving forward was negotiate or be granted discounts of up to an extra 10% on goods that I could buy from the other distributor with 50% less freight costs.

I made the decision somewhat both impulsively and after thinking about it since the end of the summer. If I’d planned it more carefully, I might have bought some “70th Birthday” cards, but otherwise, I have no regrets so far. Our customers were made aware of the decision in a newsletter item which ran over two weeks.

Since I don’t do direct buys from Dicksons, Kerusso, Precious Moments, etc., and because my Canadian Bible Society account has been inactive since before the pandemic started, it means I’m operating with just HarperCollins, WordAlive, PenguinRandomHouse, and SpringArbor. (I seem to like companies without spaces in their names!)

There’s a name for running on such a tight supplier base: Efficiency.

For most of you, ‘Don’t try this at home.’

Calgary Author Confronts ‘Christian Materialism’

Wesley Hynd is a church planter and pastor in Calgary. He holds an MDiv from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando and according to his bio, “loves to think deeply and challenge the status quo.” He is involved there with a cross-cultural Christian organization serving new Canadians.

His book, Jesus Take All of Me: Learning to See God as Beautiful in Every Part of Life, is self-published an available to retailers through Ingram at full trade terms. The back cover blurb describes its aim:

What does it really mean to follow Jesus? Is it just a set of intellectual facts about the cross, forgiveness of sins, and an afterlife? Or is it something more than that? Why is it that the lives of Christians and those who are not Christians seem to look so similar at times in the Western world? If someone followed you around live-tweeting your daily decisions and values, who would they say that you follow? These are some of the questions Wes Hynd has been wrestling with for 15 years as he has sought to identify some of the ways in which Western culture has subtly influenced our Christian faith, including in our:

and Emotions

Released date: December 1; 284 pages, paperback; 9781738717019; $21.99 US; 90-second book trailer on YouTube. Book website:

This Year’s Best Book on Prayer

November 28, 2022 1 comment

I frequently share the book reviews I’ve done at Thinking Out Loud with readers here, and this one, although there’s no particularly Canadian connection, is no exception. This is a book I have already recommended many, many times…

I hear Jesus saying, “Pray with the heart of a lover and the discipline of a monk” – Praying Like Monks (p193)

If the Bible tells us anything about how to pray, it says that God much prefers the rough draft full of rants and typos to the polished, edited version. – Praying Like Monks (p21)

Two years ago, when I reviewed Tyler Staton‘s first book, Searching for Enough, I commented that a book about the apostle Thomas was fitting since it is a recurring theme in Tyler’s preaching. Given the available instances online of Tyler speaking in his own church — Oaks Church Brooklyn and later Bridgetown Church Portland — and as guest speaker in various venues, that was an accurate reflection of his go-to theme.

In hindsight however, this sophomore book project, Praying Like Monks, Living Like Fools: An Invitation to the Wonder and Mystery of Prayer (Zondervan, 2022) lands the plane on a topic that is more central to Tyler’s heart and by which his current ministry is more defined.

You could deduce this partly from the fact he’s done not one, but two teaching series on prayer in this calendar year alone; one series, Teach us to Pray in January; and a second “Vision” series which began in September. (Click here for Bridgetown’s teaching page.)

But you could also discern it from a look at Tyler’s life: Even before entering his early teens, prayer became a defining part of his spiritual journey, to the point of doing early morning prayer walks around his middle school to pray for the students in his year. Those prayers bore fruit. Today, he’s National Director of the United States chapter of the 24/7 Prayer Movement, an organization founded by Pete Greig.

Full disclosure: I am a somewhat rabid fan of Tyler’s teaching. It meets my current need for sermon content that is both informative, illuminating and pastoral. I would start to read a fresh chapter convinced I must have already read it the day before, because many of the illustrations had stuck with me; a sort of situation where you’ve read the book before seeing the movie, only the other way around.

I also deeply respect him not only for the breadth of sources and influences that shaped the book, but also for the personal anecdotes where the principles taught have been brought to life through interactions with people both in and outside the church, and on both coasts of the U.S. Honestly, I could write about prayer, but it wouldn’t emerge the same as someone like Tyler Staton who is practitioner of the things described; someone who lives the lifestyle taught.

For the cynics who say that there are already too many books about prayer in a crowded Christian publishing market, I would answer, “I agree, but you need to read this one.” I’m not overly emotionally, but several times I had to rub my eyes, if you know what I mean. At the same time, there are some more lighthearted references. In a podcast, I think Tyler referred to letting people breathe after particularly heavy moments.

Some churches end the sermon time with the pastor saying, “Today, for your homework, I want you to…” At Bridgetown, the language used is “practices” and each chapter of Praying Like Monks contains action steps you can take. The ten chapters lend themselves to small group study — I’d even say take twelve weeks — and it’s good if you can listen to a few sermons online so that you’ve got Tyler’s voice in your head as you’re reading.

It’s hard for new voices to find an audience, but I really hope you’ll take my recommendation and consider this one.

As an example of Tyler Staton’s writing style, I offer this short excerpt which I ran at Christianity 201 a few weeks ago.

Link to: Publisher’s book information page

Zondervan, 272-page paperback, 9780310365358


The Government of Canada’s Solution for Bookstore Competitiveness

For several months there has been talk about the “Support for Booksellers” component of the Government of Canada’s Canada Book Fund. The idea was to create funding to help booksellers expand their online book sales this season and next season. The funding, announced November 9th totaled $12 million, and went to 177 small chains and independent stores and three large chains, representing a total of 467 brick-and-mortar stores. Chapters/Indigo with 178 locations received $3.5 million and a large Quebec-based chain, Librairie Renaud-Bray, received just under $1.9 million.

Christian stores, not so much. As in almost not at all. One business, Kennedy’s Parable Christian Bookstores, with locations in Red Deer, Saskatoon and Kelowna received — wait for it — a grand total of $1,000, the smallest amount available. No other Christian stores received anything. (For a link to the full list of stores click here.)

And that, my friends, is the Government of Canada’s solution to our inability to stay competitive against the giant behemoth that starts with the letter “A,” the one which has put thousands and thousands of stores out of business in North America.

Meanwhile in France, last month the government there imposed a minimum shipping charge of €3 (3 Euros or about $4.15 Canadian) for book shipments which applies to all vendors, including the behemoth’s France counterpart. It is expected this puts independent stores in that country on a more even footing.

On behalf of the 60-or-so Christian stores in Canada that got nothing, I think I prefer France’s solution much better.

Store Demographics: Filling the Gaps

With 378 followers (whatever that means) Facebook says this is the demographic breakdown of people who come to our page. It’s really not at all different from the store itself. Yes, I know someone will say this is more about Facebook and who uses it than it is about my store, but anecdotally, it lines up perfectly.

For those who come, we’re thankful. But we’d love to see greater activity in the age ranges that aren’t as well represented here. 

And as for the follower thing, it’s meaningless. If we had half that number of views for each post I’d be really happy. Plus we’re getting a lot of out-of-town followers who are more in a “friends and supporters” category, and aren’t likely to shop with us in any given six-month period. 

What we covet more than anything is young families. And also getting kids in that 10-15 range in the store to see — while they still can — the wealth of Christian resources which are produced at an age when they might be able to begin to appreciate their value.

Categories: Uncategorized