Comings and Goings

Janet Grant

Blogger: Janet Kobobel Grant

Today I have two announcements to make concerning changes at Books & Such. One gives me great joy, and the other makes me sad.

A New Agent

First, I’m pretty dang happy to announce that a new agent has joined us. I wasn’t looking to add anyone to our roster, but a few weeks ago, one of our clients, Cynthia Ruchti, chatted with Wendy and me on a video conferencing call. She had some ideas that would help other clients with their writing careers. After Wendy and I heard her out and realized what a grand concept she had, we thanked her profusely and started to say good-bye. Cynthia piped up, “I feel like I’m part of the agent team, just making this suggestion.”

That comment jangled in my brain, and I found myself thinking, Wouldn’t Cynthia make a great agent? Wait… Cynthia WOULD make a great agent. Why hadn’t I seen that before!?

The next day, after that idea hovered in my mind and heart, I called Cynthia to ask if she would consider joining our agent team. By the day after that, she had thought, prayed, and talked over the option with her husband–and Cynthia said yes.

My head was spinning that I had unexpectedly expanded our ranks. But the decision was so right. And it’s not as wild and impetuous as it might seem.

Cynthia’s Strong Agent Attributes

Cynthia comes to this job with a wealth of publishing experience, knowledge of the industry, and a strong network among authors and industry personnel. As a matter of fact, some of you may have met her through her work with the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) organization.

She has served as its board president (2009-2010) and in her current role as ACFWโ€™s professional relations liaison (since 2011). Both of those positions help to keep her informed about the publishing industry and have introduced her to many publishing professionals.

Plus, as the author of 21 books to date, Cynthia has experienced the authorโ€™s side of the process. She has written novels, novellas, full-length nonfiction, and contributed to several devotion collections. (She intends to continue writing her own books.)

I know Cynthia to be a savvy, kind-hearted, perceptive writer and business woman. She knows a great book idea when she sees one and knows how to help writers sharpen their ideas so they gleam with potential.

For all those reasons and many more, I’m thrilled to welcome Cynthia to our cadre.

A Departing Agent

On the other hand, almost simultaneous with Cynthia’s arrival, Mary Keeley will leave the publishing industry, effective today. While I’m making these announcements in the same blog, I am in no way attempting to replace Mary with Cynthia. As I wrote earlier, I wasn’t looking for an additional agent when Cynthia popped up as an excellent choice. Mere coincidence explains the timing of these two events.

Mary joined our agency in 2010, coming from a wealth of publishing experience, first with eight years at Tyndale House as a product manager, administrator, and nonfiction acquisitions editor. Then through her four years’ work with Christianity Today International, where she learned about magazine publishing and had the opportunity to become acquainted with a number of leading pastors and others who are key in shaping our thinking and our faith through their articles.

Mary’s Strong Agent Attributes

All of us associated with Books & Such have come to realize that Mary is a natural-born encourager, which is an elemental quality for an agent to possess. I love the way her eyes sparkle with passion and excitement whenever she pitches one of her client’s projects to editors. Her belief in her authors’ work has remained undaunted as the industry has downsized and shifted radically in the years since she became an agent. And she has done an amazing job in placing so many projects with good publishing homes.

The decision to leave publishing has taken shape gradually for Mary, and she and I have talked about it for some time. She has found herself leaning toward possibly serving her local church through ministry, but her far-flung, large family has been a clarion call to her. She longs to spend more time with her adult children and grandchildren. Agenting, being an all-consuming, never-done type of job has been a joy to her but, ultimately, her family beckons more strongly. I commend Mary’s desire to devote herself more fully to her family and wish her all the happiness in doing so. (As I wipe the tears from my eyes, that is.)

Concerning Our Blog

This Thursday, instead of Mary’s wise words coming to you via our blog, you’ll find Cynthia’s pretty face smiling at you. I can’t wait to read the first blog she’ll write as an agent.

Feel free to say goodbye to Mary and hello to Cynthia in the Comments section. Both of them know I’ve invited you to cheer them on in their new endeavors and will be reading what you have to say.

 

114 Responses

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  1. Robin says:

    Aloha —
    Goodbye.
    Hello.
    Love.
    That one word sums it up. Holding you both in my heart through the transition. What a gift both of you are and have been and will be to the Bookie clan.
    Aloha nui loa.

  2. Terrance Leon Austin says:

    Hi Cynthia.
    I look forward to your words of wisdom from the Books and such blog. GOD has truly blessed you with surrounding you with literary professionals who take good care of observant writers like me who learn something new on a daily basis. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Mary,
    I want to thank you for your contribution to giving words of wisdom and encouragement through this blog. I often feel each agent speaks to me personally in some way or another about the publishing industry. May GOD CONTINUE TO bless you as you bless others. I am grateful for you, and I know many will be Blessed through you in your ministry. Farewell…
    Your observant writer…

  3. Hello and goodbye.
    *My cousin announced their pregnancy at my Grandmother’s funeral. Excitement blooms brightly in a farewell field. Joy! Then, and now.
    *God blesses our goings and our comings, and all the adjustments in between. Blessings, Mary, on your new-found family time. Blessings, Cynthia, on your new view of a long career. Blessings, dear Books & Such friends, on your bittersweet adjustment in the days ahead. Shalom!

  4. Hello Mary,
    Thank you very much for the words you shared with members of this community. You have made us informed. May your light and love continue to spread ma. Amen.
    Hi Cynthia,
    Welcome. I anticipate!

  5. I was thrilled to hear Cynthia is joining the Books&Such team! I know she will be a wonderful addition to an already exceptional agency. I didn’t know about Mary’s departure and I’m sad to hear it. Mary, I wish you all the best in your new endeavors and I know you’re looking forward to more family time! Welcome, Cynthia!

    • Cynthia Ruchti says:

      Thank you, Catherine! My one regret is not having the privilege of working side by side with Mary.

  6. NLB Horton says:

    I’m thrilled that Mary and Cynthia are moving into exciting new phases of their lives! We’re created to thrive and grow as we love God and serve others, and I look forward to reading about the rich blessings that will follow these two as they continue to listen to God’s “still, small voice.” As one of Mary’s clients, I’m especially delighted that she will spend more time with those she loves. She is surrounded by loveโ€”from them, from usโ€”as she spreads her wings.

  7. I’ve had the privilege of working with Cynthia during my time as an officer of ACFW. She brings a wealth of experience with publishers and as a writer to this new position.
    And I’m sorry to see Mary go, although I haven’t interacted directly with her. I know, Mary, this may seem like a big change, but God’s got plans for this phase of your life. Embrace them.

  8. Oh my.
    I have alligator tears pouring down my face as I type this. There’s a rock in my throat.
    It’s hard to put into words how I feel. That’s saying something when I’m at a loss for words.
    God knew this was coming..
    He is a giver of great blessings, one of whom is Mary Keeley. Another is Cynthia Ruchti.
    I’ve known and loved and sat at the table with both women, and am beyond thankful for the opportunities.
    But my heart is heavy today, and I slept like I had mosquitoes in my tent.
    But for all my feelings, I am truly thrilled that she will be spending more time with her family.
    This is not goodbye, Mary, this is au revoir. Until we meet again.

  9. Daphne Woodall says:

    Sad for your loss of Mary Keel but appreciate wanted time with family.

    When I read of your adding Cynthia Ruchti as an agent I thought what a genius idea. She has such a wealth of experience as author, speaker and ACFW advocate. She is an encourager and a hard worker from my viewpoint at conferences. I told her writers will be knocking at her door!

    • Cynthia Ruchti says:

      Daphne, you are the one wearing the encourager hat. Thanks for your sweet comments.

      • Daphne Woodall says:

        Thank you Cynthia. Someone at BRMCWC said I must have the gift of helps. And I think my husband identified it years ago because I do enjoy helping people find jobs, information, churches, homes and even spouses ! But it’s only through knowing God that I can give credit for any good in me.

  10. Wow.
    * Mary, as the barque of life carries you away from our shoes and our ken to your Avalon of a new life, I can only think of Tennyson:
    “The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
    And God fulfils himself in many ways,
    Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.
    Comfort thyself: what comfort is in me?
    I have lived my life, and that which I have done
    May He within himself make pure! but thou,
    If thou shouldst never see my face again,
    Pray for my soul. More things are wrought by prayer
    Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice
    Rise like a fountain for me night and day.
    For what are men better than sheep or goats
    That nourish a blind life within the brain,
    If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer
    Both for themselves and those who call them friend?
    For so the whole round earth is every way
    Bound by gold chains about the feet of God….”

    Then from the dawn it seemed there came, but faint
    As from beyond the limit of the world,
    Like the last echo born of a great cry,
    Sounds, as if some fair city were one voice
    Around a king returning from his wars.

    Thereat once more he moved about, and clomb
    Even to the highest he could climb, and saw,
    Straining his eyes beneath an arch of hand,
    Or thought he saw, the speck that bare the King,
    Down that long water opening on the deep
    Somewhere far off, pass on and on, and go
    From less to less and vanish into light.
    And the new sun rose bringing the new year.
    *You have been in my prayers, Mary, and shall therein remain.
    * And Cynthia, hello! I hope I can speak for all in saying that we denizens of the Blogosphere look forward to getting to know you – and your reputation doth precede you.
    * Yes, your arrival brings verse to mind; thus, from Kipling:
    Lord, Thou hast made this world below the shadow of a dream,
    An’, taught by time, I tak’ it so—exceptin’ always Steam.
    From coupler-flange to spindle-guide I see Thy Hand, O God—
    Predestination in the stride o’ yon connectin’-rod.
    * ‘Tis Gods hand and your willing heart that brought you here, and ’tis an honour to bid thee welcome.

    • Cynthia Ruchti says:

      “‘Tis God’s hand and your willing heart that brought you here.” What a lovely welcome, Andrew. How many of us long for your command of classic poetry! And your heart’s ability to call it to mind to fit so beautifully.

  11. Jane Daly says:

    I met Cynthia at the recent WCCW conference. I was impressed with her easy warmth and friendliness. She will be a wonderful addition to your team.

  12. Mary, I wish you all the best and know God will bless your obedience to His leading. I pray this is a sweet season of rest, reconnection, and refreshment.

    Cynthia! I adored working with you previously on one of your other projects and I’m so excited to see how this new chapter unfolds for you!!

    • Cynthia Ruchti says:

      Thank you, Jennifer. I can see God’s Hand all over this and am grateful to be part of this outstanding team.

  13. Carol Ashby says:

    I’m sure Cynthia will be a fount of wisdom and encouragement, just as you all have been since I started along the fiction path, but Mary holds a special place in my heart.
    *Mary, may your new path be filled with God’s richest blessings. I hope you’ll occasionally guest post here to stay in touch. Your posts are a legacy that have made a big difference in helping me succeed. I probably wouldn’t be writing the checks to support missions that I am today without your contributions here. Thursdays just won’t be the same with you gone.

  14. Janet, when I read the title of your blog, my first thought was, “Oh no! Who’s leaving?!” Each one of you ladies is such an encouragement to those who read and post here. You all have great wisdom and insight, and you have a way of answering comments that are practical and spot on.
    *Mary, I will truly miss your posts on Thursdays and all your practical wisdom! And your comments to posts. You will be greatly missed!
    *My second thought was, Who has Books and Such brought on as a new agent? I never imagined it would be Cynthia, but I am so thrilled for you and for those she will represent!
    *Cynthia, I first met you at my first ACFW in 2012. You were so welcoming and engaging (No, I don’t expect you to remember meeting me!). I am really looking forward to getting to know you better here on Thursdays. Welcome to the team! I’m eager to learn from you as you post each week!

    • Cynthia Ruchti says:

      Jeanne, you are unforgettable! Of course, I remember you. And I too will miss Mary’s wisdom! I can’t wait to hear about her new adventures.

    • Oh my goodness! My first, and only, so far, ACFW was 2012, too. I wonder if we met, Jeanne? I don’t remember. I’m not as talented as Cynthia in the memory department. I was there with Becca Whitham who was a finalist for the Genesis. It was such a wonderful time.

      • Kristen, that would be so funny if we met there. Some of that conference was an overwhelming blur as I tried to figure everything out and meet in person all the wonderful people I’d “met” online. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Micky Wolf says:

    A big, warm welcome to you Cynthia. And Mary…how you have blessed us with your wisdom and words of encouragement. May your next chapter be filled with peace, joy, and exciting new adventures. L Chayim!

  16. Ah, Mary. I will miss your words here. Have a marvelous time with your grandchildren and family. As a mother whose mother has been quite busy during the growing up years of her grandchildren, I know the longing to have Grandma be more involved. It is a wonderful thing to have Grandma come to play. My mother is slowing down some and when she brings her little dog up the stairs to our house for a visit, my three boys all shout and rush to fiercely hug her. May your time be just as precious!
    Welcome, Cynthia!
    I am eager to see what your blogposts contain and to learn from a new booksandsuch agent. Welcome to the blog family! While not all of us are represented by an agent here, there is such a sense of community with this blog. Writers learning and growing together. Thank you for joining us!

    • Cynthia Ruchti says:

      Yes, Kristen, I’ve been following this blog for many years and always, always, always get something meaningful. No pressure for me! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. When I heard the news this morning about Mary, I knew there would be many tears. I’ll miss you, Mary. You have been a huge encouragement to me these last three years. I loved meeting you at ACFW and having lunch with you and Jennifer and NLB … I’ll never forget it … I laughed through the entire meal. I actually don’t think I ate much. ๐Ÿ™‚ You put me right at ease, and I didn’t have to worry that I’d say or do the wrong thing. Thank you. Your grandchildren are darling, and you will never regret the time you spend with them.
    *Cynthia, I was thrilled at hearing you were added to the agency. No better person to fill that void. I’ve always loved you, ever since I started commenting here. You’d come with encouraging words just when I needed to hear them. I fell in love with your writing through All My Belongings. I didn’t know much about writing when I started my first novel, but I loved the way your novel was written so much that I modeled my first one after yours … having no idea that was called “women’s fiction.” I’ve learned so much since then, much with your help. You’ve been a blessing, and I am excited to see what the future holds for you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Welcome again, Cynthia! So very glad you have joined the team–it is already easy to see what a blessing and wonderful addition you are. ๐Ÿ™‚

    And Mary, I too grieve to see you go, though I also am very blessed by your desire to make your family and other ministry a priority in this season. Thank you for the wisdom and grace you have shared with all of us, and always with a Christ-like spirit. You will be greatly missed, but may the Lord bless you with much joy and new areas of fruitfulness as you enter a new chapter! Blessings.

    • Cynthia Ruchti says:

      It’s true, isn’t it, Kiersti, that Mary’s decision–hard as it must have been–underscores her integrity and her sensitive to God’s voice?

  19. Godspeed, Mary! I sure understand the desire to be with grown kids and grandkids. And nowadays, we usually have to travel to do so. All the best to you!
    And Cynthia, what can I say. You will be a blessing to Books & Such, as you have been to me. Many, many blessings to you as you guide your clients. And all for the Glory of God!

  20. Victoria Penry Langdon says:

    I have not had the chance to meet Mary, but I wholeheartedly support her in her desire to spend more time with her family. Mary, you go girl. There is nothing in this world worth more than your family. From what I just read about you above, I am sure that your skills as an agent will be put to good use guiding your family with love and gentleness. God’s blessings on your new “career.”
    Welcome Cynthia. You have landed in an agency that is tops. You will both benefit from this move. As Janet said you are not replacing Mary as no one can do that but you are enlarging the scope of Books and Such. God moves in mysterious ways and the timing is so right for all. Best of luck as you find your “spot” and settle in. God will guide you.

  21. Donna Pyle says:

    Mary, I love your heart for ministry. You will certainly be missed here, but I’m praying God blesses you in this new phase of life!

    Cynthia, WOOHOO!! I cannot wait to see what God does in you and through you as you transition to this exciting agent position with us. You are a blessing, indeed, personally and professionally. Welcome!!

    • Cynthia Ruchti says:

      Donna, I can hear your voice in my ear as I read this. Remembering a coffee chat at CPE not that long ago and treasuring your words in my heart.

  22. Mary Vee says:

    Times change. The good and the good. Blessings on you Mary. May you giggle with each new moment spent with family. Welcome, Cynthia. We look forward to hearing from you.

  23. Goodbye, Mary and welcome, Cynthia.
    Life is full of changes and, while some may be difficult, think how boring life would be if nothing ever changed. I hope both of you are happy with your decisions and have a wonderful future. Sending hugs and prayers.

  24. Wanda Rosseland says:

    Oh gosh. Why is joy tempered with sadness so many times. All the best to you, Cynthia, in this new perfect work for you. And may you share wonderful times with your family, Mary, time is fleeting and can be gone in a moment, so I honestly feel you are making the right decision.

    Coincidence, Janet? I’d say God is definitely taking care of you all. May he bless you every day ahead.

    • Cynthia Ruchti says:

      Today is bittersweet as I let the excitement of this new role sink in, but knowing Mary won’t be a direct part of the business side of the journey. Grateful she is not out of reach.

  25. Congratulations, Cynthia! You will be a natural at agenting, I suspect. We are all blessed to have you in this new role. And Mary–Mom–I’m so proud of you and have loved having this world of publishing and especially the Books and Such family in common with you. You are a gift to so many, personally and professionally, and I’m praying for ongoing treasures for you.

  26. jean wise says:

    Wow what a bittersweet emotional post this is. I will miss chatting with Mary at conferences and reading her post. I look forward to reading Cynthia and getting to know her better. Praying both ladies many God blessings in the future.

  27. Beth Vogt says:

    Two types of celebrations going on here today: comings and goings. Yes, I celebrate Cynthia joining Books & Such. And yes, I’m choosing to celebrate Mary as she follows her heart to what God has waiting for her around this next bend in the road. She will be missed by her Bookies, of that I’m sure. Wishing you well, Mary.

    • Cynthia Ruchti says:

      I’m picturing Mary next week having early morning coffee on her deck and not glancing at the clock. That is NOT what I’ll be doing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Becky Melby says:

    It is always heartwarming to see how God opens and closes doors for his glory and our benefit. Mary, your wisdom and patient encouragement will be greatly missed, but I know God has an incredible plan for you to use the gifts he has blessed you with. Cynthia, your knowledge and passion will be a beautiful addition to Books & Such.

  29. etta wilson says:

    Mary, your warm, caring spirit always shines through in everything you write and say. Your clients and your readers will miss that, but I perfectly understand your desire to spend more time with family. May happiness and many blessings fill your days ahead.

  30. I have been little more than a “reader of the blog” for the last couple months, so I’ve not directly interacted with you, Mary. But I would like to wish you all the best.
    Cynthia, I did have the pleasure of meeting you at Mt. Hermon this year, and I was so excited to see you had joined Books and Such! I was very encouraged (and a little wiser) after our critique session. Hoping this transition goes smoothly for you!

  31. Etta Wilson says:

    Cynthia, you’ve come so far in many ways and found the perfect spot for this point in life. There’s no better place to be an agent than with Books & Such! Congratulations and God speed.

  32. Wow! Bitter sweet!!! I’m not surprised to see Cynthia take on this type of role. Though she and I have not yet met in person, I often “see” her around, writing about various aspects of the field. She will make a great addition to an already stellar team.

    I am sorry to see Mary go. I have always loved her Spirit-Filled blog posts that were so inspirational they felt like a prayer … or an answer to prayer. As we know, God is in the details. Praying blessings over all the B&S family today.

  33. Jenny Leo says:

    Love you, Mary, and showering you with prayer as you begin your next adventure. You will be sorely missed.

    Welcome, Cynthia! Eager to get to know you on the blog and elsewhere. ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Jerusha Agen says:

    Mary, I’m so sad to hear of your departure from the agenting field! Your name is one that I’ve heard often throughout my years in the publishing industry, and its always mentioned positively, with great respect. What a wonderful thing, however, that you’re willing to follow God’s leading and prioritize your family over career.

    Cynthia, congratulations! What an exciting move to become an agent and start off with the best at Books & Such! May God bless you as you tackle this new endeavor to represent other authors. I look forward to getting to know you better here on the blog and in person as we continue to bump into each other!

  35. Well goodness, I’ve known about this announcement for a few days, but here I am blubbering all over again.

    While I’m saddened to lose Mary as my agent, the greater emotion I feel is immense gratitude. Mary took me on when I was an unproven author who didn’t know where I would land in the publishing world. She has walked me through many ups and downs, always giving me space to follow wherever God led. Now it’s an honor for me to return the gift and watch how God will bless her decision.

    I’m also filled with gratitude because God has blessed me with a sweet friend and mentor–and now agent–in Cynthia. I count it a privilege to know both of these women and look forward to seeing God plant new fruit through both of them.

  36. JASON SAUTEL says:

    Isaiah 55:10-12

    10
    โ€œFor as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
    And do not return there,
    But water the earth,
    And make it bring forth and bud,
    That it may give seed to the sower
    And bread to the eater,

    11
    So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
    It shall not return to Me void,
    But it shall accomplish what I please,
    And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

    12
    โ€œFor you shall go out with joy,
    And be led out with peace;
    The mountains and the hills
    Shall break forth into singing before you,
    And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

    • Julie Garmon says:

      So sorry to say goodbye to Mary, but, oh, how I admire her decision.

      Cynthia, I’ve loved you from the moment we met–when I walked into that gathering room at Quad Cities Writer’s Conference, and you gave me the biggest hug. You welcomed me with your whole heart, and you made sure I had yummy gluten-free food too! (Takes one to know one, right? :))

      Thrilled for you, my friend. xoxoxoxoxoxo

      • Cynthia Ruchti says:

        Julie, it has been too long since we chatted. Every memory of our brief times together is warm and rich. Looking forward to our paths crossing again.

    • Cynthia Ruchti says:

      Great and fitting Scripture, Jason.

  37. Welcome, welcome, welcome, Cynthia!! I cannot think of a better addition to an already amazing team!!!

    Mary, you will be sorely missed!! As a grandmother, however, I do understand that tug. Blessings to you as you crisscross the country collecting those hugs!

  38. Blessings on you both, Mary and Cynthia. May God use you mightily as you enter this new season of life!

  39. Cara Putman says:

    I’m so very excited for both Cynthia and Mary. God calls us to seasons in our lives. And I can tell He had this planned out before you even knew it was coming. Good luck to both!

  40. Carrie Padgett says:

    WOW! Such grand changes ahead for both Cynthia and Mary.
    Mary, your kind words and sweet smile will be missed! God bless your future endeavors.
    Cynthia, I’m excited to see what God has in store for you as an agent!
    What an exciting time for you both.
    Farewell, and welcome!

  41. The very best to you, Mary. And Cynthia, thank you. Both of you ladies exemplify following the Lord’s leading.

  42. Peter DeHaan says:

    I will miss your posts, Mary. But I understand the pull of family. Though my wife and I had to move to make it happen, we now live within 10 miles of our kids and grandkids. On most weeks we see everyone at least once, usually more. I hope you will now have the opportunity to see yours more often, too.

  43. kathy cassel says:

    Yay! So happy for you Cynthia. Will I see you at ICRS this year?

    • Cynthia Ruchti says:

      Yes, Kathy. I’ll be there. You may not see much of me because of my new role, but I’ll be there!

  44. Welcome to the Books & Such family, Cynthia! It will be so exciting to see what God wants to do through you the authors your get to represent.

    Mary, we will miss you so much! I only got to see you a few times, but each time was wonderful. I pray that you will be extremely blessed as you go into the next adventure.

  45. Mary Kay Moody says:

    Oh, my ~ I’m gulping back tears and trying to keep focused on God so I can be clapping my hands like the trees Jason quoted from Isaiah. He definitely has this all handled … I’m just a tad slow (clay, you know). Mary, I so appreciate the wisdom, grace, and knowledge you’ve shared and am sad to be saying good-bye to you. You are following God’s path and that is the best place to be. I pray joy-filled days with your family.

    And Cynthia, I look forward to seeing how God pours blessings on you, Books & Such team members, and on those you touch. Sounds like many great adventures await.

    Shalom to you both.

  46. Late to the party as I just returned from a trip overseas. But I’m claiming the “better late than never” card.

    I was so thrilled to see Cynthia joining your team. I have been blessed by her through ACFW and I think she will make an excellent agent.

    However, I am sad to see Mary go. She’s been the agent for many of my beloved authors and it’s easy to see she served them well.

    Best wishes to both of you ladies!

    • Cynthia Ruchti says:

      Amber, good to “see” you here. Thanks for the kind words. Mary’s servant heart is an example worthy emulating.

  47. Norma Brumbaugh says:

    Mary, I wish you well on your next endeavor and all the fun that will bring. You will be missed here. I have enjoyed reading your posts and have benefitted from the expertise you have shared with us all. I do feel sad, but understanding. Life goes on. Stop by and visit us when you can. May the Lord bless you. Norma.

  48. Norma Brumbaugh says:

    Cynthia, Welcome. It will be pleasant to make your acquaintance here with this community of learners. I hope this is a fun place to be for you. I’m sure you will enjoy it. Blessings, Norma

  49. Anne Riess says:

    I don’t always have time to respond to these blogs – but I must say goodbye to Mary. You have been such an encourager with your blogs, your heart for ministry really comes through. I will miss you so very much!

    Welcome to Cynthia. Looking forward to ‘hearing’ from you.

  50. Congratulations to Cynthia and Mary as you embark on your new paths.
    Cynthia, you were made to do this. May God fill you with the confidence and wisdom to handle the pressures of your new career as you make an impact in the lives of others.
    Mary, you are precious. You gave me confidence when you spoke highly of my work in private, and honored me by doing the same in a public setting. You taught me the ways of this industry and I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity of working with you. Thank you.

  51. Congratulations to both of you, Cynthia and Mary, on your New Adventures!

  52. Cynthia,
    This news comes as no surprise to me. At the agency retreat (October 2017), I experienced firsthand, the power of your presence “at the table.” In our brainstorming small group, your words changed the course of my book project AND spoke a final amen to an emotionally crushing season in my life. I walked forth from that time a new woman. Wrote “the end” to that season and emerged stronger and wiser. Thank you. I have no doubt that you will do the same for many more women and men finding their voice(s). I couldn’t be happier for you.

    Mary,
    When you shared this news with me on Saturday, my heart sank. Having just spent half a day at Worthy Publishing, a direct result of your hard work on selling my book, the news was even sadder. Yet, I know God is in control. From the moment I met you at Blue Ridge, you spoke life and healing into my weary writing soul. I was on the verge of letting it all go, move into private, full-time counseling, and then you spoke. Your vision was bigger than I could have ever imagined myself. I hope and pray I make you proud. I am grateful for the time we’ve had as agent/author, but even happier that I will always call you friend. May God open heaven and flood you with light and peace. Love!

    • Cynthia Ruchti says:

      Janell, this brought tears to my eyes. I’m grateful I had the opportunity to watch as God wrapped His arms around you in such a beautiful way! It was…as they say…a MOMENT! Thank you.

    • Cynthia Ruchti says:

      I think my reply to you, too, got held up in moderation, Janell. It was a great privilege to be in attendance, watching, as God wrapped His arms around you in that beautiful way. Thank you for the honor.

  53. Welcome to Cynthia. I’m sorry I missed Mary’s departure. I wish both of you the best.