Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

New Cookbook Invites Readers on Culinary Journey from Northern Ireland to the American South

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Shamrock and Peach Cover Ireland-Native Judith McLoughlin Creates New Fusion

For immediate release: Judith McLoughlin is looking at southern cuisine through Irish eyes. Her new cookbook, The Shamrock and Peach: A Culinary Journey from the North of Ireland to the American South, (Ambassador International; November 2011; $29.99/hardcover) combines fresh produce of the South with age-old Irish techniques to create a new fusion that melds the best of both worlds: Georgia pecans in a traditionally Irish trout dish; peaches with an Ulster favorite, rhubarb; or whiskey flavors with Georgia-grown chicken.

Judith’s romance with hospitality and food began around the County Down dinner table of her grandmother. It was a time when the dinner table was the heart of a home, the life of the family.  She still maintains a passion for farm-fresh, natural food, a love sparked in Ulster where the roaming hormone-free livestock eat lush green grass, fed by the rain-soaked Irish climate. She’s lived in Georgia for more than a decade, an area just as agriculturally rich as her homeland.

The Shamrock and Peach hits shelves in November, but Judith already shares her fusion regularly through cooking classes and demonstrations in the Atlanta area. She also exclusively imports and sells some of her favorite Irish products through her business, The Ulster Kitchen. Judith loves speaking on topics including:

  • How she developed this unique fusion.
  • The influence of Irish cooking in American kitchens.
  • The culinary history of the Titanic.

One of the desserts served on the Titanic, which was built in Belfast near Judith’s home, is featured in The Shamrock and Peach. April 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage.

This fresh take on southern cuisine will impress palates at dinner tables here and across the pond. Learn more at or email Alison Storm at to connect with Judith.



South Carolina Doctor Reveals One Patient’s Profound Impact in New Book

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From Raindrops to an Ocean Oncologist Dr. Kashyap Patel shares how a pastor’s wife awakened his faith

For immediate release: Nationally renowned oncologist Dr. Kashyap Patel, MD has treated thousands of patients over the years, but none quite like Anne Sanford. Despite having had a number of patients who fought cancer with grace and bravery, in Anne he found such a remarkable spirit that it affected his own outlook on medicine and his religious views.

Once a Hindu, a near death experience prompted Dr. Patel to investigate what gave some patients genuine acceptance of suffering. After delving into his meticulous patient journals, he found his answer in Anne, the wife of a large Presbyterian Church pastor in Rock Hill, South Carolina, whose astonishing faith during virulent leukemia awakened his own faith. “I found her story so touching that with the blessing of Anne’s family, I decided to share it with the entire world so that all could feel the wonder Anne inspired in those around her,” explains Dr. Patel.

Dr. Shelton Sanford, Anne’s husband, pastors Westminster Presbyterian Church, a position he’s held for 25 years. “In the providence of God, she was called to suffer with an aggressive form of leukemia,” says Dr. Sandford. “Upon Anne’s diagnosis, her greatest desire was to be a faithful witness to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Anne’s witness has continued long after her death as is evident by the content of this book.”

According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, more than 43,000 people developed leukemia in 2010 and, like Anne, it’s a battle many do not win. Raindrops to an Ocean: The Amazing Last Days of Anne Sanford (Ambassador International; October 2011; $12.99/softcover) explains the profound, eternal impact a pastor’s wife had on her doctor.

Learn more about the author at To arrange an interview with Dr. Patel or Anne Sanford’s husband, Dr. Sanford please contact publicist Alison Storm at



New Book Reveals Secrets of a Personal Shopper

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What is Beautiful CoverAuthor Tica Tallent Shares Decades of Experience in Fashion Industry

For immediate release: Friends say Coco Chanel must have been speaking about Tica Tallent when she said a girl must be two things… classy and fabulous. Tallent, a former model, spent 15 years working as a personal shopper, helping women of all shapes and sizes dress their best. Her new book What is Beautiful: Secrets From a Personal Shopper reveals simple tips for dressing confidently including:

  • Finding the perfect haircut
  • Using scarves as a versatile accessory
  • Understanding which colors work best for you
  • Making the most out of your fashion budget

Self-esteem has become a national crisis, especially among young women. A recent survey found that seven in ten girls feel they do not measure up in some way—including how they look. “My hope is that my book will be an inspiration for all women,” says Tallent, a resident of Anderson, South Carolina. “I want women to know we are all beautiful because we are made in God’s image.”

Tallent speaks regularly at various women’s groups and church functions. She has several upcoming events scheduled including signings at the Anderson County Women’s Club Fashion Show on September 28 from noon-2pm, Greenville’s Millie Lewis Modeling Agency on September 29 from 2-5pm, and the Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio in Anderson on October 1 from 10am-1pm. She’ll also be at the Anderson Mall Belk store on October 4 from 11am-3pm and Belk at Haywood Mall on November 1 from 11am-3pm.

Tica and her husband live in Anderson, South Carolina. Published by Ambassador International, What is Beautiful: Secrets From a Personal Shopper, $12.99, is set for a mid-September 2011 release. Learn more at



Upstate Donkey Gains Fame With New Children’s Book

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Christmas Donkey CoverAuthor Donna Thornton and Illustrator Lynne Pryor Both Live in Upstate of South Carolina

For immediate release: Druplet the donkey, named after a tiny bump of juice on a raspberry, had big ambitions. Druplet may have been a donkey, but she dreamed of being a strong, gallant prize horse like the ones she saw in a nearby pasture. Like many of us, Druplet felt she was not good enough just as God made her. But as Christmas approached, Druplet was needed for a very special assignment that only she could fulfill. Through that assignment Druplet learned the story of the first Christmas, gaining a new understanding how he was uniquely created by God.

Druplet isn’t just a character in the newly released book, The Christmas Donkey (Ambassador International; September 2011; $14.99, hardcover) —she’s a real donkey living on an Upstate raspberry farm with a family that loves her just the way she is. Author Donna Thornton grew to love children’s books while reading to her sons Robert and Stephen, but after they moved on to more mature stories, Donna started to write them. “I hope The Christmas Donkey is welcomed into many homes this holiday season,” says Donna. “It’s a unique delivery of the great story of all time—Christ’s birth.”

Illustrator Lynne Prior worked on the pieces for The Christmas Donkey while she battled breast cancer. “These illustrations became very therapeutic and provided much comfort and laughter for me during a difficult time in life,” explains Lynne, who received a BFA in Studio Art from Columbia College.

The Christmas Donkey is available online through, and many other retailers. For interview requests please contact publicist Alison Storm via email at



Devastating Car Crash, Encounter with a Drunk Doctor and House Fire Among Woman’s Most Powerful Life Moments

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lauries-storyAuthor Laurie Elmore Thompson Reveals “Adversity Effect” in New Book

For immediate release: Laurie Elmore Thompson should be in a wheelchair—in fact, she should be dead. At 14 a drunk driver smashed into the car Laurie was riding in, throwing her from the vehicle and into a wheelchair. Laurie dipped into depression, devastated by the idea of a future filled with struggle. Eventually Laurie found triumph through the Lord, but that didn’t mean the end to adversity.

An encounter with a drunk doctor, a major house fire and other key events have brought Laurie even closer to the Lord as she demonstrated Phil. 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”  “Adversity is a part of everybody’s life. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, I want to be positive and see things through God’s perspective,” explains Thompson. “We just need to turn over those difficulties in life and rejoice in them because we don’t have to go through them alone.”

Now she’s taking that message to the world in a new book, Laurie’s Story: Discovering Joy in Adversity. “It’s a book everyone can relate to because we all deal with difficult things in life,” says the Anderson, South Carolina resident. Thompson hopes to encourage others through Laurie’s Story, by explaining a concept she calls “The Adversity Effect.” “I believe it’s the tough times in life that challenge us,” she says. “We can allow difficult trials to be a conduit for growth.” Published by Ambassador International, the book will be available online and in stores by mid-September. Learn more at


Missionary Shares Gospel in Cannibalistic Areas

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RecklessAbandonAuthor David Sitton inspiring others to live with Reckless Abandon

For immediate release: Is Jesus simply not worth the risk to many of us? In Reckless Abandon: A modern-day Gospel pioneer’s exploits among the most difficult to reach peoples, author David Sitton inspires and encourages readers through his own story of working in cannibalistic areas of Papua New Guinea to risk their lives for the gospel. “If we, as gospel ambassadors, are unwilling to suffer even as much as soldiers and firemen, could the reason be that we don’t treasure Christ enough or value the gospel enough to sacrifice significantly for its advancement into unreached regions?” asks Sitton in his new book.

Sitton was barely a man when he left surfing and partying to live in Papua New Guinea, a faraway, perilous land. Leaving Texas with a Bible, a suitcase and a surfboard, he took the gospel to people who had never heard the name of Jesus. For thirty-four years God has used him to help train missionaries, spread the gospel and establish dozens of churches in remote regions. Through this book, experience the amazing things God did as David recklessly abandoned his will to the will of God.

Sitton and his wife Tommie founded The Center for Pioneer Church Planting, which began in January, 2006. This missionary training program is dedicated to recruiting, training and launching pioneer church planters into the far-flung regions where Christ is still unknown. Published by Ambassador International, Reckless Abandon will be available online and in stores by mid-September. Learn more at



Former Addict Helps Others Embrace Life Beyond Sobriety

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sobering truth steve SellersAlcohol Stole Author Steven Sellers’ Life, but God Gave It Back

For immediate release: Statistics show that at least eight out of ten people don’t recover from addictions. Many receive help at treatment facilities only to fall back into their old ways once they leave. That’s exactly what happened to Steven Sellers. “People leave treatment armed with information on how to remain sober, but more often than not people fail,” says Sellers. “Many addicts are under the delusion that life will get better once they’re sober, but when it doesn’t they return to the comfort of addiction.”

His new book, The Sobering Truth: One Man’s Journey from Failure to Faith, shares the good news that despite the startling reality of what happens to most addicts, every life can be restored in Christ. This book reveals Sellers’ personal battle with alcoholism and how his addiction eventually pushed out everything in his life that was important. It’s the raw truth about how addiction bred deception and how deception destroyed Sellers’ career, marriage, self-esteem,  relationships, health, finances and character.

On the destructive, dysfunctional, and lonely path of addiction, Sellers found God and through Christ’s love was restored and healed. Sellers explains how he went from being controlled by a substance to handing control over to God. Published by Ambassador International, The Sobering Truth became available at bookstores nationwide this month. 


Living Christian Faith like Living in a Hurricane

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LovesLikeAHurriance_Cover Author asks “If you never existed would this world be any different?”

For immediate release: Experts are already predicting a rough 2011 hurricane season with 17 named storms including three major hurricanes of category three or higher. But author Gene Krcelic says for Christians, the storm never stops. “We are constantly lashed with our physical sin, our doubts and our disbeliefs,” says Krcelic. “When you accept Christ it doesn’t mean the storm is over. In fact you’re in a greater torrent and that’s when the work starts.” Fittingly, Krcelic’s new book Loves Like A Hurricane: When God Whispers in the Dark, blows into stores during the heart of hurricane season, in July 2011.

Krcelic, the president of the Premier Foundation, says his own faith journey began with the most costly storm in history, Hurricane Katrina. A near death experience the night the storm hit along with his own disaster relief work proved to be pivotal moments in his Christian walk. “I came back home from Louisiana and my life was forever changed,” he says. Since then he’s traveled with the Premier Foundation to communities ravaged by poverty and natural disaster. These areas include Haitian refugee camps in the Dominican Republic and orphanages in the heart of Mexico’s drug war.

In Loves Like a Hurricane, Krcelic asks readers to step back, look at their lives and ask themselves how the world would be different if they never existed. The author hopes to inspire others to live life with a renewed hurricane-like faith, encountering God’s fathomless love. Loves Like a Hurricane shows us what God’s voice looks like when He whispers to us in the dark, during unlikely times in our lives-even when we aren’t listening. It pushes us to search our heart and to look at our world as if we never lived, to truly look and see if we individually have made this world a better place. A portion of the proceeds of Loves Like a Hurricane will support the Premier Foundation.


Ambassador International title The Brontes gets Reviewed by The Official Journal of the Bronte Society

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Ambassador International title The Brontes: Veins Running Fire was recently reviewed in The Official Journal of the Bronte Society. Below is a portion of this review, completed by UK Editor Bob Duckett:


The Brontes: Veins Running Fire is a story well told. It is lucid, clearly structured, factually accurate, set well in the context of its time, and provides good psychological insights.

The author’s motive is clearly stated and is pursued with vigour. Bingham reports that he was ‘stung into writing’ by ‘Toby Stephens, who brilliantly played Rochester in the [2006] BBC production, [who] stated that “where modern readers sometimes dislike Jane’s moralizing digressions as the novel’s narrator, this new adaption has relieved her of that.” I was aghas’. Bingham believes Jane Eyre ‘to be one of the most powerful pieces of literature ever written in defense of the sanctity of marriage. It is moralizing at its greatest and most creative level’ (p.15) Anne Bronte’s chapter, ‘The Cottage’, in Agnes Grey is also a fine moral piece of writing. Additionally, Nelly Dean in Wuthering Heights is a strong moralizing influence. On this stance the author is to be commended, not so much that one may (or may not) agree with his viewpoint, but that it was the viewpoint of the Brontes themselves. The Brontes had a strong evangelical Christian upbringing and the author clearly situates them in this context. At times the puritan evangelical background seems overdone, with digressions into the loves of like-minded Christian thinkers such as Charles Simeon and substantial quotations from the likes of Matthew Arnold and Robert Browning. Up to a point, this framing is a strength; it gives the reader the wider cultural context, the context with which the Brontes themselves were familiar and which informed their thinking.

Patrick’s early years in Ireland are well done with good background into the Society of United Irishmen, Betsy Gray (Ulster’s own ‘Joan of Arc’) and the rebels such as Patrick’s own brother, William Brunty. The character and civilizing influence of Thomas Tighe (‘the father of Irish evangelism’) is well contrasted with the general lawlessness of the early eighteenth century. Wesley was friend of Tighe, and there was a spiritual awakening with Lutheranism and Pietism which influenced the young Patrick. These Wesleyan and evangelical connections were strengthened with Patrick’s exposure to the influences of Henry Martin, Charles Simeon, William Wilberforce and the Clapham Sect. We are usefully reminded of the foundation of the British and Foreign Bible Society and the Church Missionary Society, both of which Patrick championed when he moved to the West Riding. We are also reminded, or possibly learn for the first time, that Patrick was offered a post in Matinique but he preferred to evangelize in the needy northern English cities.

Detailed attention is paid to Patrick’s poems and his prose writing – works often glossed over. They demonstrate Patrick’s idealism, his social conscience, and awareness of political events. The Cottage in the Wood is suggested as a seedbed of ideals for the later novels of Patrick’s daughters, with the anti Catholic sentiment in The Maid of Killarney having an influence Charlotte. The Haworth background is well drawn: Grimshaw, Whitfield, Wesley, the Countess of Huntingdon, and the controversy over Patrick’s appointment to the Haworth curcay. Bingham is good on using recent research to describe Haworth as an industrial and cultivated place – not the Gaskell caricature. He has a good understanding of local topography.

The early careers of Charlotte and Anne are well descried, with particular attention to their spiritual crises. ‘Patrick was right at the heart of the reforming evangelical movement’ and the theological niceties between father and daughters are well described. Bingham is sensitive on interpersonal relationships; in particular on the relationship between Patrick and Charlotte where, unlike some recent writers, he suggested Patrick encouraged Charlotte to ‘live a little’ in the early 1850s. Charlotte’s and Patrick’s position on social issues and their views on contempory intellectual debates are charted. Patrick’s work as an active social campaigner is frequently quoted while in 1854 both are found campaigning for Crimean War relief. The Christian message for the twenty-first century is spelled out in the novels: Jane Eyre’[…] is a novel which explores in detail the very nature of Christianity itself, particularly Christian morality’ (p.121) and Villette has a lot more morality in it than I ever suspected!

I enjoyed the read and found the evangelical standpoint refreshing and thought-provoking. ‘[T]he unimaginable fortitude that surfaces in a family facing sorrow upon sorrow, tragedy upon tragedy, is hugely inspiring’ (p.17) Indeed, this is a story well told. I recommend this book and congratulate the author on his initiative.