Tag Archives: The Word Guild

Review: My Brother’s Keeper, by N. J. Lindquist

My Brother's Keeper, by NJ LindquistMy Brother’s Keeper, by N. J. Lindquist (That’s Life! Communications, revised edition, 2014 — formerly titled In Time of Trouble)

Shane Donahue is 18 years old and he hates his life. And his super-perfect twin brother, Scott. They’re identical twins, but they’ve turned into polar opposites. Scott excels at everything, while Shane… well he’s ordinary at best.

He’s been dumped from the basketball team, fired from his job, he’s failing at school, and even in the party crowd he can’t rise to the top. Oh, and his dad took his car away after the latest speeding ticket.

The characters are real, complex, and Shane will capture your heart in the opening pages even while you’ll be shaking your head at his attitude. His frustration, his sense of hopelessness to be good at anything, are feelings we know too well. He doesn’t really know who he is—just who he’s trying to project himself to be.

Favourite quote: Shane describes one of his friends, Ethan, as “kind of comfortable to be around. Like an old pair of sweat pants. He’s maybe the only person who’s never tried to change me.” [Kindle location 495]

As Shane’s world falls apart and his family life gets more turbulent, he figures he’s far enough gone that he might as well check out this God stuff Ethan’s been spouting. It’s either that or kill himself and get it over with.

Shane doesn’t expect what he hears to make so much sense, or to realize he wants God in his life. He also doesn’t expect life to then get harder! His father is more angry about God-talk than he was about Shane’s plummeting grades, and the party crowd is downright hostile about the change in him.

You don’t have to be an 18-year-old boy to appreciate My Brother’s Keeper. It’s for everyone who’s ever felt like a loser, ever felt too far gone to change, or ever felt too ordinary to be any use to God.

N.J. Lindquist is a Canadian author and speaker who has played key roles in The Word Guild and in the Hot Apple Cider anthologies. As well as writing YA fiction under her own name, she writes cozy mysteries as J.A. Menzies. For more about the author and her writing, visit her website: njlindquist.com.

[Review copy from my personal library.]

Writing Friends

It’s ironic that a solitary path like writing involves so many companions along the way. The act of stringing words into paragraphs (or poems) may involve only one brain and set of hands, but writers need–and acquire–friends along the way.

We have our regular friends, wonderful and supportive. And we develop friends in the industry: other writers, editors etc. Some of them are local, but many are scattered around the world.

We encourage one another. Share information. Critique, challenge and cross-promote. We may write alone, but we’re not alone.

It’s a special treat to meet a writing friend face to face after a long-distance friendship. Yesterday I had the chance to meet a fairly new writing friend, suspense author and blogger R.A. Giggie. We’ve traded Tweets and Facebook messages, but now we’ve heard each other’s voices and seen the full person instead of a Facebook avatar.

A thoroughly organized blogger would, at this point, insert the photo of Renee-Ann and me (myself?) that I should have asked her husband to take. I did think of it ahead of time, honest! I just forgot. If my husband or sons read this post, they won’t think this is at all unusual.

Instead, here’s a random photo of another meeting:

Marmalade cat meets a stuffed sheep

Mr. Whiskers meets Wilhelm

And here’s where the aforementioned blogger uses this seemingly random photo as a bridge from one writing-friends story to another:

Two weeks from now I’ll be at Write Canada amid old and new writing friends. When I last attended, in 2012, the little sheep Wilhelm came along for the ride. (Not professional, I know, and not recommended, but it happened. Come back next Friday for the rest of the story.) For the conference, I stayed with another writing friend, blogger Mary Waind, and her housemate, Mr. Whiskers.

Face-to-face friends are best, but online friends are great too. If you’re a new writer, it’s easier than ever to find others of like mind online, through Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo Groups etc. Do yourself a favour and make some writing friends.

My favourite writing groups: The Word Guild, InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship, American Christian Fiction Writers (yes, they let international members join too!). And if you want to virtually “meet” some of my friends, R.A. Giggie’s blog is There’s Just Something About Writing and Mary Waind’s blog is Beech Croft Tales.  If you’re curious about R.A. Giggie’s suspense novel, I’ve reviewed it here: Stella’s Plea.

Advice I’d Give a Newbie Writer

Following the biweekly series of writing-related posts on Ruth L. Snyder’s blog hop, here are my thoughts for new writers:

You

You are a writer. Don’t wait until you have something published to call yourself one. We tend to be afraid others will laugh at us or think we’re being pretentious, but the truth is, if you write, you’re a writer. Owning that facet of your identity, and giving yourself permission to be that part of who you are, is a step forward, and if you don’t take your writing seriously, no one else will.

You’re not just a writer, though. Don’t neglect the other areas of your life, even if this one’s the most fun.

Write

Take regular time to write. Little bits will add up. If you want to stick with this long-term, learn to write when the muse is silent and when you’d rather be doing anything else. Writing is work.

Keep writing. When you finish a project to the best of your ability, write something else. Don’t tie your hopes to one thing.

Remember the difference between writing for personal expression and writing for readers. They’re both valuable, but if you want others to read your work you need to revise with their interests in mind.

If you decide to self-publish, do the research first. And hold yourself accountable to produce a quality product, including cover art and editing. Don’t sabotage what you’ve written by packaging it poorly.

Connect

Get to know other writers online or in person. Learn from their experiences and their mistakes. These are the people who will encourage and understand you, and you’ll do the same for them. Help other writers, with no agenda. Some of it will come back to you anyway. My favourite online writers’ organizations: The Word Guild, InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship, American Christian Fiction Writers.

Connect with other writers, attend conferences if you can. Be teachable, and don’t turn getting published into an idol. Enjoy the journey, and remember that anything worth doing will take time and practice. If you’re good today, imagine how much better your writing will be after you’ve put in your “apprenticeship”.

On conferences: don’t wait until you’ve “earned” the right to be there. The sooner you go, the less bad habits you’ll have to un-learn later. And the more writing friendships and contacts you’ll develop. My favourite conference: Write Canada. Choose a conference based on location but also based on faculty and course options. If you can’t get to one, there are online offerings like WANA International, and many conferences offer mp3s or CDs of their teaching sessions.

Learn

As well as conferences, check out books and blogs on writing. A few books I’ve reviewed and recommend: You Are A Writer by Jeff Goins; The Art and Craft of Writing Christian Fiction by Jeff Gerke; Unleash the Writer Within by Cecil Murphey. Blogs I find helpful: How to Write a Story by Valerie Comer; Write With Excellence by N.J. Lindquist; The Seekers (group blog). There are, of course, many more resources. Feel free to leave your favourites in the comments! 

Quality

Do your very best. Don’t let fear of imperfection keep you from sharing your work, but remember to make that work shine as brightly as you can. Serve the art. Don’t be careless with it. This goes double if you’re a Christian. Yes, God may have given you the idea. But He gave you the task of presenting it well. He can use poor writing, but good writing gets into the hands of many more people who He may want to touch with it.

The only way to know you won’t succeed is to quit, so persevere.

Follow

I mention this last, but if you’re a Christian it actually needs to come first: pray. If God has gifted you to write, He will make a way to use what you write. It may not be what you have in mind, nor on your timetable, but His way is best. Follow His leading, even if it’s into areas of writing that aren’t your top choice. He knows where this will go, long-term.

To read what other writers are saying about this, follow the blog hop: Just click on the image below.

Blog hop for writers

What Do Writers Need?

List of things a writer needs, including writing friends.

To be a successful author (define that how you will) a writer needs talent, experience, perseverance, opportunity, readers, etc.

Writers also need friends.

We may do the actual writing alone, even if we do it best amid the background chatter of the local coffee hangout, but it’s the writing community that lets us thrive.

Another writer will get it if you scribble notes in the emergency room because “I might need this for a story.” Or if you’re crying because you just had to kill someone in your fiction. Or if your editor’s comments are right, but “it’s too hard and I’ll never be able to do all this!”

Other writers understand the struggles. They understand the “unusual” mindset, too, because they share it.

Writing groups, workshops and conferences let us cultivate positive acquaintances, and some of those turn into deep friendships. Even at the acquaintance level, we can learn from one another, encourage, keep one another accountable, and build one another up.

We can be that “second pair of eyes” that sees what’s missing, confusing, or out of perspective in an article or story. Or we can spot the typo or punctuation error before it reaches an acquisitions editor.

We can cheer for one another. I love it when someone I know gets published or wins an award. If their work was chosen over mine, the rejection still hurts, but it doesn’t cut as deeply. There’s a positive aspect to focus on instead of dwelling on the negative.

After all, a friend’s good news is a lot better than no news or bad news, and sometimes if I had to wait for my own reason to celebrate it would be a long time coming. Now that a celebration’s on the calendar for me this November with the release of my novel, Heaven’s Prey, I’m glad to have writer friends who’ll share it with me and help spread the word.

Writers can encourage one another. We can share market opportunities, recommend helpful resources, warn others about scams. We can talk up one another’s blogs, articles, poetry or books. It’s a lot easier for me to tell you how great my friend’s writing is than to promote my own.

I don’t know if I’d still be writing without a network of writer friends. They’re mostly online, but I’m glad to have a few face-to-face writing friends too. In the early days, my local critique group not only encouraged my tentative start, they were my unofficial accountability group. I hated admitting I hadn’t written anything in the past month.

Then I found InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship and connected online with other writers who shared my faith. Looking back, that was the moment “the lights went on, colour flooded black-and-white, and I was connected.

The place I’m most active these days is The Word Guild, and I’m enjoying our new Facebook group that lets us put faces to names. Wherever we find them, writers need writing friends.

Writers: where do you most like hanging out to connect with your writing friends?

Non-writers: do you have friends who write? How do you best support them?

Winner of A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider

A Second Cup of Hot Apple CiderThe 5th Anniversary blog draw is now closed. Thank you to each one who visited and entered… I wish I had a book for each of you. They are available through your favourite booksellers, online or on-store, and maybe even at your public library.

Congratulations to Denise Rumble, whose name I pulled from the basket! Denise is Managing Director for The Word Guild, and she’s also a writer, speaker, and a woman on a journey. Why not pop over to her website and say hello?

A Gift Book, and a Special Offer

A Second Cup of Hot Apple CiderA Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider released one year ago, and has already reached bestseller status in Canada (5,000 copies sold). Many of the entries are short-listed for The Word Guild’s Canadian Christian Writing Awards, my story won an award in the InScribe members-only contest, and the anthology itself was awarded 2012 Book of the Year: Gift Book Category by the Christian Small Publishers’ Association.

To celebrate, the publisher is offering a special deal for the month of May 2012: Buy a copy of A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider and get a free copy of the original Hot Apple Cider. Just in time for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day!

Visit the Hot Apple Cider website for more information. And follow this link if you’d like a sample of my story, “The Road Trip that Wasn’t.”

Write! Canada 2012

 

I look forward to the Write! Canada conference every year. It’s professional development, spiritual renewal and going home all in one, even though I’ve never lived in Guelph. The conference feels like home because among this eclectic mix of writers from beginners to professionals, I belong.

Have I published a novel yet by going? No. Have I improved the quality of said novel(s)? Significantly. Written other things? Yes. Found an agent? Yes. Been encouraged? Encouraged others? Yes to both. Made good friends? Definitely. Eaten well, slept little, laughed? Check, check, check.

Up to 250 Canadian writers and editors who are Christian will gather in Guelph, Ontario from June 14 to 16, 2012 for the 28th annual Write! Canada conference. Sponsored by The Word Guild, the conference features engaging keynote speakers, in-depth continuing classes, wide-ranging workshops, and a host of other learning and promotional opportunities.

Check out the faculty interviews and regular updates on the Write! Canada page. Registration is now open!

Interview: The Editors of A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider (part 2)

Last Friday we began an interview with N.J. Lindquist and Wendy Elaine Nelles, the co-editors of A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider. [If you missed it, here’s part one.] Here’s where we left off:

Janet: I’m not sure where you found time to write, but you each contributed a piece for the anthology as well. Was it difficult editing one another’s work without that second, impartial editor?

N.J. LindquistNJL: We tried to get at least a first draft done before the submissions deadline because we knew how swamped we’d be after that. I actually tried writing about four other short stories before I hit on the one that we used in the book.

I have two terrific concept/substantive editors who live close-by, so they always read my work first anyway. (My #2 son and my husband, in case you’re wondering.) They give me very honest and often annoying feedback. So I don’t think editing our own pieces was a huge problem. I think I was as tough on Wendy as I’d been on everyone else.

The real problem was that we kept leaving our own pieces to the last to edit, which wasn’t good.

Wendy Elaine NellesWEN: Yes, we were tough on each other’s pieces too, and we went through a number of revisions just like everyone else. But it was hard slogging because we were completely exhausted by the time we focused on finishing our own pieces at the end.

I deliberately chose to write someone else’s story, because I think too often writers who are Christian focus only on their own experiences when many other people have wonderful stories others would benefit by reading. But writing a 3,500 word human interest profile is a huge amount of work, because you have to get to know the people, do lengthy interviews, ask the right questions, transcribe everything that was said, organize the material, condense it all, focus on the story aspects, get the answers to any missing details, retain the other persons’ voices… and make sure that you have represented them fairly, accurately and compellingly.

Janet: Contributors had to be Canadian who are Christian (as defined by their acceptance of the Apostles’ Creed). They also had to be members of The Word Guild. What collective benefit does this bring to contributors and to TWG?

NJL: If I’m going to invest my time in someone, I want it to be for a person who understands the value of being part of a team. So working only with members of The Word Guild seemed logical to me. No, just becoming a member by paying one’s dues doesn’t guarantee the person won’t just get what he or she wants and then leave, but it’s a start.

Also, The Word Guild is promoting the book, so it’s only logical to prefer that the writers in the book be members.

WEN: I think that people don’t always understand that both the Hot Apple Cider books were created to benefit ALL members of The Word Guild, whether or not they were chosen to be in the books. We’re modeling what it means—and the amount of work it takes—to produce an excellent product that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any other book on the market. We’re modeling working together as a team, to the benefit of enhancing everyone’s career. We’re increasing the public profile of all Canadian writers who are Christian, and everyone who’s in The Word Guild.

I like using the analogy “a rising tide lifts all boats.” We are working hard to enlarge the market and strengthen the publishing community for all Canadian writers who are Christian.

Janet: The Word Guild raised the money to pre-purchase 30,000 copies of A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider to donate to World Vision for their Girls’ Night Out and Couples’ Night Out programs. This happened with the first book too, so obviously it’s considered a win-win deal. What are the key benefits to TWG?

NJL: When we began The Word Guild, there were certain “givens” in terms of the book publishing industry in Canada. 

            A. Few people (including staff in Christian bookstores) were even aware there were Canadian writers who were Christian.

            B. Since there was virtually no publishing in Canada, you pretty well had to get published in the United States, and the fact that you were Canadian was rarely mentioned, even in Canada.

            C. There was a stigma that Christian books published in Canada weren’t very good, since most of them were self-published.

So the benefits to The Word Guild are the ability to get a lot of Canadian writers’ work in one book, you have clearly Canadian content, and you have a terrific book published in Canada.  And an extra 30,000 copies are being given out across the country.

WEN: To this day, many people—including staff in Christian bookstores or church librarians—may be surprised to hear that authors published in the U.S. such as Janette Oke or Mark Buchanan are Canadians. Yet today, I’d estimate at least 95% of the product in Canadian Christian bookstores is American. The Word Guild has done a lot in the last 10 years to change public perceptions, but we’ve to a lot more to do.

A Second Cup of Hot Apple CiderYes, the Hot Apple Cider books are a win/win situation for everyone. The writers help the humanitarian ministry of World Vision. World Vision gets a valuable gift to distribute at its events. The writers get their work directly into the hands of 30,000 potential buyers. Attendees are excited to receive a gift, and become aware that Canadian writers are worth reading. They hopefully become more interested in seeking out Canadian writers, so they can read stories relating to their own country, their own culture, their own history, their own neighbours.

Janet: The quieter member of the That’s Life Communications publishing team is Les Lindquist, who’s been assessing the changing trends of publishing and handling contracts and other details.

NJL: Without Les, there would be no organization called The Word Guild, no publishing of Hot Apple Cider, nada.

Janet: I’m thankful to be a contributor to A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider, and have enjoyed reading everyone else’s stories. The anthology has the same restful artwork as the first volume, and it’s a delightful gift book as well as one to keep at home. Dare I ask if there’ll be a volume three?

NJL: We hope so.

WEN: Some experts say that writing a good book is just 10 percent of the work, promoting it effectively is the other 90%. So although we’ve made history by holding over 150 promotional events in seven provinces since the book was released, we’ve only scratched the surface of what could be done to make more people aware of this great book. Helping A Second Cup reach its potential and its audience is the focus for now. But building on everything we’ve done to expand the series would be great.

Janet: With the intensive editing behind you, what projects are you working on now?

NJL: I basically stopped writing close to ten years ago when I began the process that ended up in the founding of The Word Guild. I feel that A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider is a fitting finale for my years of involvement in virtually every aspect of The Word Guild. It meets our initial mandate of having a team of people working together, helping people develop their skills, and working together in marketing and promotion.

I have about 24 books I’ve begun in the past, and I want to get busy on finishing some of them. High on my priority list is the third of my Manziuk and Ryan mysteries, and then I have a fantasy I need to figure out what to do with, and some other novels and non-fiction, including a memoir. I have lots to keep me busy.

WEN: I have lots to keep me busy too. Like N. J., my energies were completely used in writing and editing related to The Word Guild or Hot Apple Cider books in recent years, with time for just a few freelance articles. I’m working on developing several non-fiction books I’ve envisioned, as well as using my experience to produce some e-books and webinars geared to teaching writing.

Janet: I look forward to what we’ll see from you both in the future. The Lord continue to equip and bless you, and to accomplish great things through you.

Interview: The Editors of A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider

Since A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider: Words to Stimulate the Mind and Delight the Spirit was released in May 2011, the book’s writers have participated in more than 150 readings and signings in seven provinces.

A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider is an all-Canadian book that is receiving five-star reviews. The inspirational collection of stories by writers who share a Christian faith perspective contains short fiction, poetry, and personal experience articles, all of which provide hope and encouragement. [See more about the extensive cross-Canada launch.]

The book signings continue, and they’re listed on the Meet Us page of the hotapplecider.ca website. If there’s one near you, drop in to say hello!

In the January/February 2012 issue of Faith Today, reviewer Violet Nesdoly wrote, “Though the writing styles  are varied, the book [A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider] was skilfully edited to preserve  the individual  voices while  providing  a smooth  read.” [Faith Today review, part one and part two.]

The anthology’s co-editors, N.J. Lindquist  and Wendy Elaine Nelles,  did an amazing job of pulling the selections together, and they’ve taken time to answer a few questions:

Janet: A year ago now, you were both putting in some incredibly long hours to get the book ready for print. The initial work had started in August 2010, and for four months (October/10 to January/11), you were working seven days a week. You barely took time off for Christmas or New Years. This is the second volume of Hot Apple Cider, and you knew what you were getting into. What made you believe so strongly in the project?

N.J. LindquistNJL: Back in 2007, I was very frustrated because there were so few Christian books being published in Canada and there was very little support. When the opportunity arose to work with World Vision Canada, to have Canadian books given out at their events, I was determined to find a way to do it.  That led to Hot Apple Cider in 2008, which was written by 30 authors who had already published books.

However, I really wanted to have an open call for stories so that newer or unpublished writers could have a chance to be included. I knew that if the opportunity to produce a second book arose I would grab it. It was a terrific opportunity to help a whole bunch of new writers learn about the editing and promotion process, not to mention having their voices heard. And it also means another great book going out to readers.

Wendy Elaine NellesWEN: We believe strongly in the project because of all the many benefits it creates. We’ve showcased 60 Canadian writers who write from a Christian faith perspective in the two books. The first book became a Canadian bestseller, and the second book is well on its way. Mainstream stores like Chapters/Indigo are willing to stock it and hold book signings. Christian book retailers are becoming more aware of Canadian writers.

Janet: I know from personal experience that you didn’t just take whatever stories people turned in (my first submissions didn’t make the cut). Briefly, what submission criteria helped you choose the best of the best?

NJL: The pieces had to fit our themes, they had to be new (not reprints), they had to have originality and good writing, and the writers had to be willing to make changes and, ultimately, to trust us—or at least be willing to dialogue with us if they disagreed with a change we suggested.

Janet: Many of the final selections came in much rougher form than readers see in the book. The two of you make a formidable and effective editing team. I’ve heard contributors say they wished all their publishers edited like you do. Not only does this give a stronger result, in some cases it’s an investment in the development of new writers.

NJL: Thanks for your comments. Yes, there was a lot of editing. I’d say maybe 10 to 15% of the pieces required only minimal work on our part. Several final pieces actually involved combining two (in one case, three) smaller pieces.  A number were almost completely rewritten or reordered. But we didn’t mind investing our time and energy if we felt the writers were learning, and of course, if we felt the resulting book would be great.

We could have rejected pieces that needed a lot of work, or picked more pieces that were okay but not great, or we could have gone in and made the changes on our own, but we wanted the writers to be involved in every part of the process, so they would understand the many facets of good editing, from concept through substantive, fact-checking, copy-editing, and proof-reading.

WEN: Publishing the two Hot Apple Cider books is being done for higher purposes. N.J. and I both invested much of the past decade in founding and building The Word Guild and directing the Write! Canada writers’ conferences, and working on these books is being done with the same vision, the same passion and philosophy. Our goals are to bring glory to the God we serve, to help readers who need to read these books, to strengthen the Canadian Christian writing and publishing community, to develop members of The Word Guild to become better writers, and to raise the bar of professionalism.

So we were willing to invest vastly more time and energy into the editing process than any other “commercial” publisher would, whether secular or Christian. From a strictly business or financial viewpoint, publishers can no longer afford the intensive editing and mentoring of promising writers that we were willing to do. So the Hot Apple Cider books are unique projects, which the publishers Les and N. J. Lindquist who own That’s Life! Communications were willing to do. 

NJL: As to how we work, I tend to lean more toward the bigger picture things such as concept editing, substantive editing and general flow, while Wendy is much better at seeing inconsistencies, fact checking, grammar, and details in general.

WEN: We both did all the levels of editing, from developmental down to copy editing, on all the pieces. But we each came at the pieces from different viewpoints, experiences and skill sets, so we each would spot different things. It’s a prime example of the teamwork The Word Guild has been trying to exemplify since its inception 10 years ago. And it proves the old adage, two heads are better than one.

NJL: Wendy and I each read and discussed each piece, then we each did first edits on about half. I did the poetry and short stories and some of the non-fiction while Wendy stuck to first edits on non-fiction. Then we switched and each did a second edit of the one the other had done first edit on. Then each piece went to the writer, who could agree or disagree, add or delete as suggested, and so forth. Then we did the process a second time, and then a third time, each time getting more detailed and hopefully having fewer and fewer things to change or correct. This went on until all three of us were satisfied (Wendy, me, and the writer).

WEN: Some pieces went through three “back and forths” with the writer to get to the final version, others went through seven or eight.

Janet: I’m not sure where you found time to write, but you each contributed a piece for the anthology as well. Was it difficult editing one another’s work without that second, impartial editor?

[For NJ’s and Wendy’s answers to this and more, read the rest of the interview.]


The most extensive launch ever done for a Canadian Christian book

Since A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider: Words to Stimulate the Mind and Delight the Spirit was released in May, the anthology’s 37 writers have participated in more than 150 readings and signings in seven provinces.

This all-Canadian book, which is receiving five-star reviews, is an inspirational collection of stories by writers who share a Christian faith perspective. It contains short fiction, poetry, and personal experience articles, all chosen to provide hope and encouragement.

The contributing writers have held launch events at venues ranging from bookstores, public libraries, churches, and conferences to farmers’ markets, craft shows, summer camps, and apple harvest festivals. The authors are carrying out promotional events throughout autumn—the perfect season for relaxing with a heart-warming book while enjoying a cup of hot apple cider.

I’m the sole Nova Scotian contributor to this all-Canadian anthology, and I love being part of this team of writers from coast to coast. And I cannot say enough good things about our editors, N.J. Lindquist and Wendy Elaine Nelles, whose attention to detail goes above and beyond reasonable service.

Janet Sketchley and Evangeline Inman at Miracles Christian Store

Miracles Christian Store in Halifax, Nova Scotia, hosted a book signing this fall with Evangeline Inman (New Brunswick contributor) and me. Owner/Manager Heidi Nelson says, “A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider is a wonderful read and a great gift idea for any reader on your list. The stories are both heart warming and inspiring, from a wide array of talented Canadian authors.”

Everyone involved in the Hot Apple Cider anthology series is a member of The Word Guild, a national association of over 400 Canadian writers and editors who are Christian (www.thewordguild.com). Editors N. J. Lindquist and Wendy Elaine Nelles co-founded this organization in 2001.

The first book in this groundbreaking series, Hot Apple Cider: Words to Stir the Heart and Warm the Soul, has nearly 45,000 copies in circulation. A Second Cup is well on its way to bestseller status as well.

Both books received five-star recommendations from the respected Midwest Book Review. It calls the stories “touching and poignant… a reminder that there is something good in the world.”

The books are published in Canada by That’s Life! Communications.

A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider and Hot Apple Cider are available through most bookstores and other retail channels, and make ideal choices for Christmas gift giving. To find out about upcoming author events in your area, or to download free Study Guides for book clubs and discussion groups, visit http://hotapplecider.ca.

[Post adapted from a press release created by Wendy Elaine Nelles.]