Christian Fiction Reader’s Retreat 2017 Recap

I am still in a #CFRR2017 haze, meaning that I can not believe it is all over! After waiting a year for it, it whizzed by like a flying arrow…or something.

I am so grateful to be a part of this event and part of the team with Carrie, Annie, Bonnie and Beth.

First off, I am sooooo grateful to Susan Anne Mason for agreeing to be my co-pilot! She is one brave lady because I am, shall we say, directionally challenged and she kept me going in the right direction. We chatted and we laughed, pretty much all the way there and all the way back.

I think I may have introduced her to Starbucks Latte’s ya’ll. hahaha! We drove from Toronto, so yes, I have a severe #CFRR2017 hangover… other words, I do not want to get back to real life.

We picked up author Dawn Crandall on the way too, and so we had a great time in the car! We made it to Cincinnati without any directional mishaps (thanks to these two ladies).


Once we arrived it was a whirlwind of activity….

I never did get to try Skyline Chili….in fact, besides a very early visit to Starbucks one morning, I did not really get out much. Too busy fan girl-ing over all the authors there, meeting readers and helping with the set up and the day.

One highlight was the Book Boyfriend Panel that I moderated in the afternoon with Shelley Shepherd Gray, Susan May Warren, Courtney Walsh, Melissa Tagg and Dawn Crandall. I hope the attendees enjoyed that time as much as I did?

Photo below courtesy of Denise L Hershberger

In case you were wondering, here were the questions:

1.Let’s start with an easy question first, shall we: Apples or Oranges….Just kidding. (That is Carrie’s question on her blog) so I’ll ask another:  Name one thing that readers may not know about you. A quirky habit or a fun fact.

2.Why did you chose to include romance in your books?
Naming your book boyfriends….we all know that certain names remind us of certain people in our lives. Some names have a negative response, some have a positive one. How do you pick your book boyfriend names? Do you pick them out of a hat?

3.What would you say are the 3 main characteristics of a good book boyfriend?

4.Some of the most compelling book boyfriends are the ones (for me anyway) who show Christ-like character traits, sacrificial love, tenderness, empathy and decency. Let’s face it, nobody’s perfect and relationships are not easy. How do you deal with book boyfriends faults and flaws.

Those panelists nailed it, and there was much laughter and cheering.

There is nothing quite like meeting “your people” who understand you and love the same things you do: Christian Fiction and Jesus. There is something about hanging out with your online friends IN REAL LIFE!!

Then, there is meeting my favourite authors! Such a joy! Here are only a few examples because I did not take enough pics.

Rachel Mc Millian, Jen Turano, Becky Wade, Courtney Walsh, and Katie Ganshert.

Next year I definitely need to get more pics!

Thank you to EVERYONE who played a part in making #CFRR2017 an awesome event.

(#CFRR=Christian Fiction Reader’s Retreat)


Special thanks to Beth (Faithfully Bookish), Carrie (ReadingIsMySuperPower), Annie (Just Commonly) and Bonnie Roof for being awesome and for allowing me to be a part of an epic event.

For more information visit the CFRR website.


What others are saying about the Christian Fiction Readers Retreat…

Denise at 100 Pages Per Hour



17 thoughts on “Christian Fiction Reader’s Retreat 2017 Recap”

  1. Beth Erin says:

    YAY! Mel, it has been such a delight to get to know you and work with you over the last year! I love you, dear friend!

  2. Ditto, love you too!

  3. LOVE!! So happy to get to know you more through CFRR! <3

  4. One of the highlights for me was definitely getting to meet you (and admiring your accent!) 🙂 thank you for being so wonderful and for moderating that panel–I had a ton of fun!

  5. Carrie Turansky says:

    Wonderful recap! I just wish there was more time so we could visit with everyone who was there. I loved seeing you and so many of our friends. Blessings to you, Melony. I’m so glad to hear you are coming to ACFW!

  6. Thanks Carrie, it will be ACFW 2018

  7. Aw! You are so sweet! I felt the same way.

  8. Denise says:

    Love this! Thanks for the shout-out! But really thank you for moderating one of my favorite parts! So fun!

  9. I enjoyed it just as much

  10. Bonnie Roof says:

    Thank you so much for a wonderful post, Mel!! I appreciate your work for CFRR “behind the lines” and your participation with the signing and panel – thank you!! Love you and look forward to seeing you again in the not-too-distant future.

  11. Winnie Thomas says:

    Melony, it was so fun to meet you, finally! I can’t believe it’s already over. I’m with Carrie Turansky–I would have loved to visit more with everyone. A two-day retreat would be great (or 3 or 4)! Thanks for your fun post! Hugs, sweet friend!

  12. Thank you Sweet Bonnie

  13. Hugs right back at you Winnie, and I know, too short!

  14. Caryl Kane says:

    Mel, thank you so much for sharing! A day with bookish friends making priceless memories is INCREDIBLE! 🙂

  15. Yes, that is exactly right

  16. Loved the book boyfriend panel and you did a wonderful job as moderator!! This is such an awesome event. Can’t wait for next year 🙂

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