Archive for the ‘News Release’ Category

Tales of a Cosmic Possum Selected as Fall 2017 Okra Pick

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Congratulations to Sheila Ingle, author of Tales of a Cosmic Possum for being selected as a SIBA Fall 2017 Okra Pick!

What is an Okra Pick? “Okra Picks are a dozen fresh titles chosen each season that SIBA Indie Bookstores want to handsell. These books should be southern in nature but can cover any genre, not just fiction. Southern readers love their writers, and we want to be at the forefront of bringing them a strong selection of southern titles not to be missed each season.” – Southern Independent Booksellers Association

 

Tales of a Cosmic Possum shares the the long-forgotten stories of eight hard working Appalachian women. Ingle brings these stories to life as she paints vivid pictures of the mill families who loved one another and shared their Southern Appalachian hospitality despite having to work long hours to keep food on the table and shelter over their heads.

Okra Pick

Powerful Novel Encourages Readers Through Season of Hardship

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Author’s Work as an Ambassador for World Vision Charity Inspired Book’s Theme of Sacrificial Love

For immediate release: A mysterious death, missing family money and an Irish castle make Rachel Britz’s new novel almost impossible to put down. Although it’s set in Ireland in 1880, Britz believes it will encourage readers through any modern-day hardship they face. Good-Bye, Lover (Ambassador International; October 2015; $13.99, paperback) follows the story of 17-year-old Honora Gallagher as she deals with the untimely and tragic death of her father and inheriting her family’s sprawling estate, Kings Castle.

9781620205464Set in Ireland in 1880, Honora’s dream is to study music in Dublin, but the sudden death of her father means she must choose between following her heart or returning home to follow the wishes of his will. In preparation for writing Good-Bye, Lover, Britz traveled to Ireland in 2014 to conduct research. “Meeting the owner of the Donegal School of Traditional Irish Music was invaluable,” she says. “He gave me endless accounts of Irish history which I used to ensure my book was historically accurate.”

Beyond the facts of the time period, Good-Bye, Lover is full of heart, instilling in the reader that God is faithful, even in times of great sorrow. “Sacrifice is the hallmark of genuine love,” says Britz. “That is a truth anyone can relate to.” Honora is forced to choose—will she remain loyal to her father and the servants who are counting on her or will she follow her heart and chase her dream?

An ambassador for the charity World Vision, Britz is passionate about meeting practical needs of some of the most impoverished people in the world. “I believe in empowering them with gifts of livestock like goats, chickens and cows,” explains Britz. That theme of giving to those in need is pivotal in Good-Bye, Lover.

About the Author: Rachel Britz , wife and mother of three, is a contributing writer for Women-Inc magazine. She loves to speak at church or women’s events. And she’s a World Vision ambassador who promotes giving gifts of livestock animals like goats and chickens to those in desperate need. In her spare time she bakes cookies for parties and events. She calls Minnesota home.

To receive a review copy of Good-Bye, Lover or to connect with the author please contact publicist Alison Storm by email at [email protected].

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New Cookbook Offers Sensuous and Delicious Tour of Ireland

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Renowned Cookbook Author Releases 11th Collection of Irish recipes

For immediate release: It goes without saying, Ireland is Margaret Johnson’s favorite place in the world. Her passion for the country and its cuisine jumps from the pages of her latest collection of recipes, Favorite Flavors of Ireland (Ambassador International; November 2015; $24.99, paperback). It’s Johnson’s eleventh cookbook overall and tenth focusing on Irish cuisine.

Favorite Flavors of IrelandAugust 11, 1984: the date stamped in Margaret’s passport, marking her first trip the Emerald Isle. She’s since recorded 70 visits throughout three decades. “With each new visit, I grew to love Ireland more — the people, the landscape, the history, the folklore, the music, and the food,” writes Margaret. Her latest book, Favorite Flavors of Ireland, is a tribute to her 30 years of exploration of Ireland. It’s also a chance for this expert in Irish cuisine to answer the questions she’s asked nearly every day:

  • “What’s your favorite Irish recipe?”
  • “What’s your favorite place in Ireland?”
  • “What’s your favorite time to visit?”

The book captures Ireland’s culinary beauty season-by-season, and includes more than 100 recipes. For example, in spring you’ll find specialties like Lamb with Port and Mint Sauce and Roasted Rhubarb Ice Cream. Summer features the classic Fish ‘n Chips with Mushy Peas as well as Croissant Bread and Butter Pudding with Blueberries. Autumn includes Grilled Oysters with Black Bacon and winter highlights warmers like Shepherd’s Pie, Glazed Holiday Ham and Traditional Christmas Pudding.Margaret Johnson

About the author: Margaret M. Johnson is author of ten cookbooks—Christmas Flavors of Ireland; Flavors of Ireland; The Irish Pub Cookbook; Irish Puddings, Tarts, Crumbles, and Fools; The Irish Spirit; The New Irish Table; The Irish Heritage Cookbook; Tea & Crumpets; Cooking With Irish Spirits; and Ireland: Grand Places, Glorious Food. As a food and travel writer she has contributed to publications in both the U.S. and Ireland including Intermezzo Magazine; Cooking Light; Cara, the inflight magazine of Aer Lingus; Dublin’s Food & Wine Magazine; the Irish Echo newspaper; and to online sites such as thewildgeese.com, and irishabroad.com. She frequently appears at Irish food and cultural events, and when she’s not visiting her ancestral home in Ireland, she lives in Westhampton Beach, NY.

 

To connect with the author or request a review copy of Favorite Flavors of Ireland please contact publicist Alison Storm at [email protected].

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Powerful Novel Aims to Bring Attention to “Bullycide”

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Author’s Real-Life Experience woven Through Caged Dove

For immediate release: Caged Dove was not written without tears, says author Andrea Rodgers. Although the idea for the story has been floating in her mind for two decades, Rodgers says it took time to gather the courage to revisit those painful memories from her past. “Bullying and suicidal thoughts were something I once dealt with and overcame,” she explains. “But I believe it’s also our duty to stand up for those who are currently going through similar situations.” Caged Dove (Ambassador International; October 2015; $13.99, paperback) follows the story of journalist Aniston Kline assigned to cover a tragic story that echoes her own past.

9781620205419While bullycide is a prominent theme in the novel, Rodgers continues her trademark style of writing about dark topics without being too dark, a skill seen with her first novel The 20th Christmas. Much of Caged Dove is a light-hearted love story. “If you ever had a high school crush than you can relate to the giddy and silly memories of the main characters,” says Rodgers. “School crushes were a bright light for me. I kept one high school journal so it was fun to read to get back into that mind-frame!”

Caged Dove begins with Psalm 55:6, “I said, ‘Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.'” The verse fits the novel’s plot perfectly says Rodgers, whose faith was significantly strengthened during her own bullying experience. “It really helped to have the perspective that Jesus was bullied and therefore knew exactly what it was like and was on my side. Looking at what he’d endured, I had motivation to rise above my own situation,” says Andrea who spent a year as an atheist. “But once I realized he was with me every single minute at school—I wasn’t on my own, he was watching everything and would help me through it—life got amazingly better. I wore cross necklaces to school and, when the kids were mean, I’d hold on to the cross and feel Jesus standing beside me. He was not only my friend, but gave me the most strength I’d ever had.”

About the Author: Andrea Rodgers is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in journalism and mass communication. She worked in the television and radio industry prior to being a stay at home mom, but her life-long dream was to be an author. A few months after her oldest child started kindergarten, she wrote her first published novel, The 20th Christmas. Her second book, Caged Dove, follows one year later. Andrea lives near Des Moines with her husband, son, and daughter.

To receive a review copy of Caged Dove or to connect with the author please contact publicist Alison Storm by email at [email protected].

 

Prayer: More than Just Words Before Dinner

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Former Atheist Seeks to Invigorate Prayer Lives of Christians

For immediate release: “Prayer changes things.” We’ve all heard it before, but sometimes prayer can feel overwhelming. We don’t always know exactly what we should say, and many of us feel insecure in our prayer lives. Author William Ray offers a solution to our anxieties. In Answered Prayer: The Jesus Plan (Ambassador International; July 2015; $12.99, paperback), Ray walks through the most famous prayer in Scripture to encourage and revitalize readers in their own prayer lives.

Answered PrayerRay uses personal anecdotes as a testimony to the miraculous power of prayer. “As a former atheist who had an experience with God through a simple, heart-felt prayer, I understandably have been fascinated by prayer ever since,” writes Ray. Readers are continually reminded of how prayer can and will dramatically draw one closer to the Lord.

The Lord’s Prayer, or as Ray calls it—the Model Prayer— is central to Answered Prayer. Ray dissects each phrase of the prayer as outlined in the book of Matthew and reveals how it applies to a twenty-first century Christian’s prayer life. Ray reminds readers that God wouldn’t have given His children a prayer that didn’t work. Therefore, we can confidently base our personal prayer lives off of this Model Prayer.

Answered Prayer also addresses many of the contemporary issues people have with prayer, such as the misunderstanding of what prayer is and means. Readers will discover:

  • How to have a relationship with God through prayer
  • Understanding God’s four answers to prayer (No, Slow, Grow and Go)
  • Using prayer as a form of worship
  • Why specific prayers are more powerful

Each chapter contains study sections for readers to “Dig Deeper” into the truths of Answered Prayer. Ray utilizes external Bible verses to reinforce his main points about each phrase of the Model Prayer. In addition, each chapter includes a series of questions to help readers assess and further shape their own prayer life.

About the Author: William Ray served as a pastor for nearly 25 years, mostly in the Phoenix area. He holds the Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and an English degree from Grand Canyon University. William is the author of Bible Study for Beginners, the science fiction series The White Hole Universe Chronicles, and the light-hearted reference book The 100 Most Entertaining Predictions about the 21st Century (co-authored with his wife, Lynette). William also provides a sermon illustration service for pastors at illustrationsforsermons.com. William and Lynette have been married for more than 30 years and have two lovely daughters and one beautiful granddaughter.

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Learning to Trust God When Life Spirals Out of Control

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New novel follows life of a hopeful college student navigating turmoil and tragedy

For immediate release: Samantha Jordan planned on enjoying her senior year at Brenton College. With her stepmom, Bay Harris, soon to add another precious addition to her family of four, the future is looking bright and exciting. However, when tragedy strikes the midst of her family, Sam must come to terms with her relationship with God and reevaluate her life. In From Driftwood to Sapphire (Ambassador International; August 2015; $14.99), Sam is forced to uncover shocking secrets that completely disrupt her quiet mountaintop life. The question is, will these new changes be accepted?

From Driftwood to Sapphirerom Driftwood to Sapphire is author Kathy M. Howard’s second novel, the anticipated follow up to her 2014 book From Dishes to Snow. “From Driftwood to Sapphire brings Samantha Jordan’s point of view into light. She is the daughter of Wren Jordan, the main character’s love interest in From Dishes to Snow,” explains Howard. Samantha grew up without a mother, until her father married Bay Harris – a mother without her children as a result of a tragic accident. All of the lives are interconnected in some way or another, with God and View Top Mountain as commonalities.”

Sam’s journey may start out with a tragic loss, but it will also end up with a surprising addition. With the discovery of a long-lost mother and a potential half-sister, Sam’s plan for a quiet senior year is about to take an unexpected turn. “It’s easier to trust God with our lives when things are going well, when we are happy and healthy,” says Howard. “But, when life spirals out of our control, trusting Him is much more difficult. We want answers and reasons for why situations occur. We want the easy way out or to press rewind and change our life’s direction.”

Howard says the book is a very clear example Proverbs 3:5-6, which tells us to trust God and to not lean on our own understanding of a situation. “We need to trust Him whether we understand the whys or not,” she says. “That is a lot easier said than done, but if we will stop trying to fight Him, stop trying to swim upstream against the current, He will see us through, having a greater faith and a more peaceful spirit.”

About the Author: Kathy M. Howard makes her home in Blackshear, Georgia, with her husband and two daughters. She has been involved in education since 1998 as an elementary school teacher, a private school principal, and presently, as a homeschooling mom. Driftwood to Sapphire is her second novel.

To connect with the author or request a review copy of From Driftwood to Sapphire please contact publicist Alison Storm at [email protected].

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Child with One Leg Beats the Odds and Kicks Cancer, Too

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Miracle Daughter Challenges Parents’ Faith in New Book

For immediate release: After years of trying to get pregnant, Wendy and Scott Duke were finally going to have their first child. But when a dangerous pre-natal diagnosis followed by an even more lethal disease after their daughter’s birth threatened to immediately take their newborn away, the Dukes turned to their only hope: God. In Grace in the Middle (Ambassador International; July 2015; $13.99, paperback) Duke encourages readers through the amazing story of her young daughter’s victory over some of life’s most perilous afflictions.

Grace in the MiddleWendy and Scott Duke were your typical young married couple who had met in Fellowship of Christian Athletes while in college. But when it came time to grow their family, things became anything but typical. After three miscarriages, the Dukes were hesitant when Wendy conceived a third time. Just when they thought God had given them the green light at an early doctor’s appointment, their excitement was shattered by a simple sentence: “Baby only has one leg.”

Anxious, frustrated, and scared, Wendy and Scott braced themselves for the unknown. In Grace in the Middle, Wendy recounts how her faith was rattled throughout the pregnancy. “I had never had to flesh out this flimsy faith I’d claimed,” Duke writes. “It had no meat, no muscles, no substance. I just kept asking, ‘What kind of God would let this happen?’” Her book reveals exactly what kind of God He is. When little Savannah was born, the Dukes breathed a sigh of relief; they believed the worst had passed. But another battle was rearing its menacing head: cancer. Wendy writes about her anger toward God after this new development, “I turned to look at Scott, and I screamed as loud as I could—choking on every word—‘WHERE…IS…GOD?!’

Grace in the Middle details the physical, emotional, and spiritual struggles Wendy and Scott faced during the pregnancy and the treatments for their daughter Savannah’s cancer. Duke reminds us that God was always there for her even when she might not have felt His presence. She continually emphasizes the importance of having the love and support of family and a church, highlighting the richness in spiritual growth that takes place through such difficult trials. The first few years of Savannah’s life were difficult—there’s no denying that. But, as Duke is attentive to remind, God is stronger and more powerful than any curveballs thrown at a believer. Grace in the Middle even includes a chapter written by Savannah, who is now almost 15 and living a normal, busy, teenage life.

About the Author: Wendy Duke lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children. She works with her husband in international sports development, using their backgrounds in coaching and telling their story throughout the world. When she’s not traveling, she is a Bible teacher, speaker, blogger, sports junkie, and middle school chauffeur. Grace in the Middle is Wendy’s first book. She writes on her blog at www.wendyduke.net.

To connect with the author or request a review copy of Grace in the Middle, please contact publicist Alison Storm at [email protected].

New Children’s Book Champions Creativity and Imagination

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Author edifies childhood creativity to educate and delight readers

For immediate release: Children are some of the most imaginative and creative individuals; their imaginations seem to be limitless. Creative Christopher (Ambassador International; July 2015; $14.99, hardcover) is the story of one boy who exercises his creative muscles when he gets snowbound at his grandparents’ house. In her latest book, author Kate Hanscom emboldens children to tap into their creative potentials while educating them on some of the more creative features of language.

Creative ChristopherCreative Christopher takes readers through Christopher’s day when he is trapped inside without many of his toys. Christopher, along with his Papa and Nana, spend the day imagining themselves in different scenarios by using everyday objects around the house. The trio enjoys exploring and playing in all different parts of the world without ever leaving the warmth and safety of Nana and Papa’s house thanks to Christopher’s imagination.

The book also includes a resource page to help teach children about synonyms, referencing sentences that appear in the story. In addition, Hanscom includes pages to inspire the creative minds of her readers, challenging them to get creative with just a limited supply of everyday materials.

Hanscom is also the author of Literal Lily and Fickle Fiona, two stories that educate young readers on language and decision making, respectively. In her third book, Hanscom draws from her own family and experiences to help foster a creative spirit in children while entertaining them with Christopher’s fun adventures.

About the Author: Kate Hanscom grew up in Utica, New York. A graduate of Stonehill College, she currently lives in Auburn, Massachusetts, with her husband Chris and family.

Since the publication of her first book, Literal Lily, Kate has found such joy and fulfillment in sharing her stories with those who will learn from and be delighted by them most: children! In her third book, Creative Christopher, she hopes to share not only her love of words but also the fun of imagination! She hopes that when readers meet Christopher, they are encouraged to dream, explore, and have a ball with the ideas that pop into their heads!

About the Illustrator: Lynda Hanscom is originally from Long Island, New York. She holds a BFA from St. John’s University and an MAT from the Rhode Island School of Design. As an art teacher, she guided hundreds of budding student artists from kindergarten through high school to be creative through drawing, painting, and sculpting.

In this, her fourth book, Lynda is happy to lend her own son’s face and name to Creative Christopher! Also the illustrator for Tough Tommy (a children’s bereavement book), Literal Lily, and Fickle Fiona, Lynda lives in Northern Connecticut with her loving and supportive husband, Doug.

To connect with the author or request a review copy of Creative Christopher please contact publicist Alison Storm at [email protected]

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Good Samaritan Shot By Mugger Experiences Miraculous Healing

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Near Death Experience Reignites Author’s Faith

For immediate release: Brett Parks heard the cries for help and he responded. But as blood poured out of his abdomen and trickled out of the corners of his mouth, he wondered, was it worth it? In Miracle Man: A Bullet That Ignited a Purpose-Filled Life (Ambassador International; May 2015; $13.99, paperback) Parks inspires and encourages readers through the incredible story of his near death experience.

Miracle Man Before his brush with death, Brett was in the best physical shape of his life, but his spiritual life was weak. Brett admits that he did not always respond to God’s calls for obedience. “I heard him calling to me, but I had something else going on. My Christian life was good, but it could have been better,” writes Brett. “Then, October 17 happened.”

On October 17, 2012, without hesitation, Navy airman and fitness trainer Brett Parks responded to screams for help, chasing down a mugger. The attacker fired a gun from inside his sweatshirt pocket, sending a devastating shot into Brett’s body. The bullet shredded Brett’s kidney, destroyed several inches of his intestines, and pierced the largest vein in his body.

As the medical team worked fervently to save Brett’s life, his wife received the bleak news. Their unborn daughter and young son may not grow up with a father. The medical battle included 14 surgeries in 20 days, an unexpected amputation, and a coma that lasted nearly three weeks. Brett says he also experienced spiritual warfare. Still haunted by the horrible visions of what he describes as a battle between the devil and God for Brett’s soul, he emerged from his coma to begin a long and challenging recovery.

While Brett lost his leg during the experience, he gained a second shot at life. “Through tears of thankfulness, I told the Lord I would go wherever He led me,” remembers Brett. Brett received the governor’s Medal of Merit. He’s won several medals in the Warrior Games and is now preparing to qualify for the 2016 Paralympics Games in Rio, Brazil.

About the Author: Brett Parks is the founder and president of Second Shot Ministry and travels around the nation speaking to schools, businesses, and churches about hope, faith, and how he overcame a 99.999% mortality rate. Because of his heroic actions, Brett was rewarded with the governor’s Medal of Merit, which was presented by Governor Rick Scott. When Brett is not traveling, he loves spending time with beautiful wife Susan and playing with his son Jason and daughter Stella.

To connect with the author or request a review copy of Miracle Man please contact publicist Alison Storm at [email protected].

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