Meeting Readers and Writers Brings Hope to Christian Book Lovers Retreat


I have been writing this blog regularly, which I call “Life Lessons” for the past nine years and over the years there is one theme that stands out: hope.

Readers who faithfully follow the blog both online and published in the Tallahassee Democrat have told me that the articles always give them hope. Therefore, I officially changed the name from “Lessons in Life” to “What Brings Me Hope”.

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I attended the Christian Book Lovers Retreat (CBLR) conference in Charlotte, NC where I presented a workshop highlighting the practice of hope. It was so good to finally be able to attend the conference in person after the COVID-19 shutdown last year.

I have met many great authors and readers from across the country and the one that stood out was CBLR Founder Vanessa Miller Pierce.

She started CBLR after having a car accident where she broke her ankle. Vanessa Miller is the author of 50, soon to be 51, Christian Fiction books. With a broken ankle, she was unable to attend the book club events and her daughter suggested that people come see her. She did and it started the Christian Book Lover’s Retreat where she hosted six successful events.

When asked about the reason for its success, she said that their focus is on readers having a wonderful time with lots of fun events planned as well as the book fair. She said she was tired of going to events where there were mostly writers but very few readers looking for books.

Thanks to this model of engaging readers and a limited number of authors, everyone leaves happy. I can truly attest to this fact as an author who has attended many events where authors exchanged books with each other.

When I asked Vanessa what brings you hope, she said, “Jesus brings me hope. When I’m depressed and feel like I don’t know what to do, I listen to a worship song and remember how much he loves me.

Vanessa Miller’s latest book, “Something Good”, published by Thomas-Nelson Publishers, will be released in March 2022.

To hear my full interview with Vanessa Miller Pierce, please listen to Think Hope Podcast on November 9, 2021, 8 p.m. and any time after, on, Apple Podcast, and Amazon Radio.

Rosalind Tompkins Guest Columnist

Rosalind Y. Tompkins received a PhD in Humanities from Five Fold Ministry Theological University in 2012. For more information, visit

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