Bethany House
Joan Shoup

Joan M. Shoup, writing as J. M. Hochstetler, is the author of One Holy Night (April 2008), a modern-day nativity story that retells the story of Jesus’ birth for today’s readers. Joan’s previous books are Daughter of Liberty and Native Son, books 1 and 2 of the American Patriot Series set during the American Revolution. Book 3, Wind of the Spirit, will release in January 2009. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, and Christian Authors Network.

Sheaf House Publishers

Real life. Real faith. Real fiction.

...most small presses today produce books that are excellently written and edited ...

Sheaf House Publishers is an independent small press—a boutique publisher, if you will—based in the Nashville, Tennessee, area. Our mission is to publish outstanding inspirational fiction that shares the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The idea of Sheaf House started in 2006 when the Lord called me to found a publishing house. As a published author and an experienced professional editor, I quickly realized this direction was a natural one for me. Over the years the Lord has given me a burden for authors who are anointed to write but just keep slamming into closed doors. I have believed for a long time that many excellent stories are not making their way to readers—stories God would use for his glory if only a channel could be found. So I accepted this challenge and began to move forward.

I initially projected that I would publish my first list in 2009, starting with one of my own projects, One Holy Night, a modern-day retelling of the Christmas story. Then I discovered Michelle Sutton’s young adult romance It’s Not About Me, which unsparingly addresses the pressure many of today’s young women experience to have sex outside of marriage. Sutton’s message about temptation and God’s grace was one I knew had to publish.

With two books already on the schedule, The Case of the Bouncing Grandma pushed Sheaf House forward even faster. Reading the first few chapters, I found myself laughing time and again as mayhem and romance ran amok in this hilarious debut by new author A. K. Arenz. I saw the handwriting on the wall, and the first Sheaf House list moved up a year. One Holy Night released in April 2008, and both It’s Not About Me and The Case of the Bouncing Grandma, scheduled for September and October releases respectively, are already in the warehouse, in time for the book signing at the ACFW conference. All three books are receiving enthusiastic endorsements and reviews, further confirming my hunch that readers are hungry for fresh new voices and stories that break the mold of the same old same old.

I know there’s a perception that books published by small presses aren’t up to the standards of the large houses. In fact, most small presses today produce books that are excellently written and edited, and their production standards are high. That’s what I’m striving for with Sheaf House, and I’ve been privileged to put together an outstanding team of authors and designers I believe in 100 percent.

My intent is to keep Sheaf House small for the time being so we can focus on producing the highest quality books. Consequently we’re only taking on a few projects a year. But we already have a wide range of exciting new novels on the schedule. First up in January 2009 is the third book of my

American Patriot Series. Wind of the Spirit continues the thrilling saga of Elizabeth Howard and Jonathan Carleton as they experience the devastation and triumphs of war. My Son, John, multi-published, award-winning author Kathi Macias’s powerful story of how God’s love and grace reaches even to the deepest agony of the soul follows with a release date of April 2009. Readers who have faced their own darkest hour are going to be blessed by this compelling story. In September 2009 the second book in Michelle Sutton’s Second Glances series, It’s Not About Him, will release, followed in October by A. K. Arenz’s second Bouncing Grandma Mystery, The Case of the Mystified M.D.

Sheaf House will debut another exciting new author who is destined to make her mark in inspirational fiction. The first book of the Harvest Bay Series, Jen Stephens’ contemporary The Heart’s Journey Home is set to release in January 2010. Jen’s sweet voice and this tender story of loss and healing are also going to touch a lot of hearts. In the fall of 2010, in addition to publishing the third books of Sutton’s and Arenz’s series, Sheaf House is also going to delve into the genre of end-times thrillers—this one with an intriguing twist—by publishing Heading Home by John Robinson, writing as Cameron Bane. Believe me, this story is going to keep readers up late at night turning those pages all the way to the amazing ending!

With our list full through 2010, Sheaf House is accepting no new submissions until summer 2009. Until then, I encourage writers who want to know what kinds of projects we’re looking for to check our website for our guidelines, and then read some of our books before submitting a proposal.

Sheaf House is a ministry as much as it is a business. Our focus is on readers who are hungry to hear the gospel, though they may not know it. We aim to build up the body of Christ and to reach seekers through unconventional, outstanding fiction that portrays real people living real lives—whether they inhabit this world or one that exists only in the author’s imagination. Hence the Sheaf House tagline: Real life. Real faith. Real fiction.