Interviews and Reviews
By Violet Nesdoly
Some books surprise you with their ability to take your breath away. This anthology is such a book: 51 short pieces—fiction, non-fiction, poetry and even a play — written by 37 members of The Word Guild, a Canadian organization of writers, editors, publishers and speakers who are Christian.
I was impressed with the honesty and transparency, especially in the true stories. We meet a host of fellow Canadians – our neighbours! – whose lives are as unpredictable as our own. A mother of young children gets a diagnosis of cancer. A 36-year-old magazine editor has a stroke. A man who was forced to take early retirement asks what’s next? A woman prays for patience and a few days later breaks her back. A man tries to surprise his wife with a five-day bathroom renovation. What binds all the pieces together is a cord of faith as we see how God is involved in the very real circumstances of life.
The book wonderfully reflects Canada’s mosaic population with pieces from First Nations to home-born Canadians to immigrants, young to old, urban to rural. Though the writing styles are varied, the book was skillfully edited to preserve the individual voices while providing a smooth read.
The short selections make this a perfect book for even indifferent readers. It would be a fabulous addition to an office waiting room, your bedside table, briefcase, backpack or purse. But be sure to buy more than one, for you will probably have the urge to share this gem of a collection with others.
by Laura Davis
A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider is a delightful anthology full of heart-warming stories that will stay with the reader for a very long time.
Editors N. J. Lindquist and Wendy Elaine Nelles knew what they were doing when they picked the stories for this book. There wasn't one in the entire anthology that didn't touch me in some way. In fact, there were so many good stories that I would be hard-pressed to pick a favourite. This book is a keeper.
The sequel to Hot Apple Cider, A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider features more than 50 heart-stirring stories, both fiction and non-fiction, as well as poems from Canadian authors.
A perfect book to snuggle up to that will resonate in your thoughts for a very long time. I highly recommend it!
North Shore Outlook
North Vancouver Priest Shares His Insights Into Life and Love
by Editor Martha Perkins
July 13, 2011
Rev. Hird says that although many North Shore residents have had tremendous financial success, sometimes the cost of that wealth is personal happiness. “In the midst of that busyness, marriages stumble.”
His essay explores what can be done to try to put a marriage back on firm footing.
The stories in the anthology do not all have happy endings. There are people who write about devastating losses in their lives, or occasions that do not turn out as planned. Sometimes there are people of faith who make stunning breakthroughs; sometimes people of faith die. But through the grief, hope survives.
Read the entire article at North Shore Outlook.
Bonnie Beldan-Thomson in the Spotlight
Interview by Peter Kazmaier
June 27, 2011
KAZMAIER: Bonnie, by all accounts Hot Apple Cider has been a success in a relatively small book market like Canada. How many books have been sold? What prompted the issue of the second volume?
BELDAN-THOMSON: Hot Apple Cider has 45,000 copies in circulation. The warm reception it received is one of the reasons for creating A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider. Readers wanted more.
But writers, as well as readers, benefit. Being a contributor to one of these books provides a unique opportunity for developing one’s craft through an intensive editing process under the tutelage of editors, NJ Lindquist and Wendy Nelles. Contributors to these two anthologies gained first-hand understanding of the many steps required to take a book from manuscript to printing to sales.
Another benefit to the contributors is that they become part of an on-line community where they connect and learn from each other.
KAZMAIER: In A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider, your story Love in the Ice and Snow is an intensely personal account of a daughter visiting her aged father. I presume this was based on your own experience. How did this story come to you?
BELDAN-THOMSON: The characters, setting and plot of this story are fictional. However, my understanding of how it might happen came about because of the last years of my father’s life.
The experience of losing someone you love to dementia, bit by bit, day by day, is difficult and painful. My comfort came from looking not at the parts of my father that had gone missing, but at the bits of him that remained intact. I saw this the day my siblings and I took musical instruments to his nursing home. He no longer communicated verbally and gave no sign of recognizing us, but when we played familiar old songs, he began to sing, not just the tune, but words. And he sang not just the melody, but harmony. In spite of evidence to the contrary, my dad was there.
Read the entire interview on Peter's blog.
One More Happy Reader
by Stephanie Nickel
June 26, 2011
I must lodge a complaint. Just how was I not supposed to buy this book? The more often I attend the Write! Canada conference and the more guild members I get to know, the more it would be like saying no to a dear friend…several of them actually.
To begin with, I haven’t been a big fan of anthologies. Don’t ask me why because I have no rational explanation. And I may even submit something for A Third Cup… (N.J. and Wendy should just ignore that comment. I’m sure they don’t even want to think about editing another in the series–not yet anyway.)
But here I sit with A Second Cup… beside me. I have already read the poetry selections and am working my way through the others. Is it too cliche to say “There’s something for everyone” and “It will make you laugh; it will make you cry”? Cliche or not, there is and it will.
Midwest Book Review Small Press Book Watch
A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider commended
June 11, 2011
"Sometimes all you need is a reminder that there is something good in the world. A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider: Words to Stimulate the Mind and Delight the Spirit is a combination of short stories, poetry, and works of memoir picked for their inspirational nature, dedicated to finding a shining light in our lives that so often turn dark. The stories within are touching and poignant, and will help readers remember that there is something after the worst of it all. A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider is a follow up to the previous acclaimed volume, and the sequel executes the original's purpose masterfully."
Note from the Editors: Obtaining this review from The Midwest Book Review is exciting news indeed! This is a well-respected, independent, objective organization that is considered a reputable source of information about small presses and academic presses for librarians, bookstore owners and others in the U.S. and Canada.
Midwest Book Review's July 2008 issue
First Cup Also Receives a Strong Review
In the Literary section
The Literary Shelf
N.J. Lindquist & Wendy Elaine Nelles, editors
That's Life! Communications
PO Box 487, Markham, ON L3P 3R1
9780978496302, $15.99, www.hotapplecider.ca
by Nichole Forbes
May 27, 2011
"… the vast majority of the entries were hope filled nuggets of wisdom, and a sip was just enough! People wrote of triumphs, joys and sorrows in a way that was deep and soulful and pleasing. The most fulfilling part of each essay and story was that the peace and love of God was the main character. The ever present protection and guidance of our Heavenly Father was the reoccurring theme in each piece and as I read on I began to feel that truth fill my heart….Although apple cider still isn’t my thing, A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider, edited by N.J. Lindquist and Wendy Elaine Nelles, is exactly the type of warm assurance, in satisfyingly small sips, that we could all use throughout the course of a busy day."
The Written Word
"Busy authors give back to the world community"
By Don Biggs
May 4, 2011
The Stephensons are not your run of the mill couple. Although they are semi-retired they are just as busy now as when they were working.
Both are published authors and they both teach English as a second language. In fact, there are very few down times for this London couple.
Jeannie Lockerbie Stephenson's latest project is a contribution to the anthology A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider which features stories, articles and poems from 37 Canadian authors. She is a missionary, having written 28 books, produced "The Message" magazine and edited 25 Christian books.
A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider Delights Readers
May 3, 2011
In 2008, That’s Life! Communications partnered with The Word Guild to produce Hot Apple Cider: Word to Stir the Heart and Warm the Soul, an anthology of Canadian short stories, nonfiction, and poetry. Since then, the book has become a best-seller, with over 45,000 copies in print. Hot Apple Cider brings a uniquely Canadian perspective to the page and showcases the talents of writers across the country.
In May 2011, the long-awaited sequel arrived in bookstores across Canada. A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider: Words to Stimulate the Mind and Delight the Spirit has an extra forty pages of stories, poetry, and nonfiction from favourite authors included in the first anthology as well as new writers. N.J. Lindquist, an author of five novels and motivational speaker, and Wendy Elaine Nelles, an award-winning journalist and editor, edited both anthologies.
The Barn Door Book Loft
Interview with Janet Sketchley
Attention Canadians: This one is open to you!!
Welcome to the Barn Door Book Loft, Janet! What started you on your writing journey?
My husband squealed on me—to a new friend at church who was starting a writers’ group. At the time I had a toddler and another baby on the way, and what I did NOT have was time to think about writing. But I’d loved writing fiction growing up, and I’m grateful to a supportive partner and a loving God for pushing me back into it….
Did you learn anything from being included in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider?
This isn’t my first anthology, but it’s my first time having a sense of community among the contributors. The support and the sharing of ideas and encouragement is great. What did I learn? Good editors make all the difference. And non-fiction is hard! I had all the sights/sounds/emotions fresh in my mind, but it took a few rounds of major edits to get them onto the page for the reader….
The Kitchener Record
Review by Joanne Guidoccio
Fri. Apr. 29, 2011
"I had planned to read one short piece in this book each evening, but found I couldn’t put the book down. Each heartwarming story, article and poem provides encouragement and reassurance that God is at work in our lives….
"While I enjoyed reading all the pieces, I was drawn in particular to the stories by writers based in south-central Ontario. In "On Being Still and Knowing," writer Glynis M. Belec of Drayton describes the many “God signs” she encountered on the cancer journey. Ruth Smith Meyer of Listowel offers a personal experience piece called "Chrysalis: Life in the Making," plus a poem, "The Forever Kind of Love," that is about the challenges of married life. She also contributed a quilting story, "More Than One Way." Denise Budd Rumble of St. Marys provides an entertaining look at the frenzied storm of menopause in her tale, "Surviving with a Woman of a Certain Age"….
The Koala Bear Writer
Friday, April 29, 2011
Reviewed by Bonnie Way
"The very first story in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider left me in tears. The next stories kept me turning pages, wanting more. Like the first anthology, this one is a collection of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, and my only complaint about both anthologies is that there isn't enough fiction. The majority of both books is nonfiction, but the fiction stories in both books are my favourite parts.
"'Twenty-five Years Later' by N. J. Lindquist is the story of five college girls, gathering for a reunion twenty-five years after graduation. They haven't seen each other since they graduated and each one has changed quite a bit. It made me think of my own group of college girlfriends (especially as we plan our own weekend "reunion" this year). I loved the twist at the ending, as the main character, Marianne, who has struggled for years with insecurity and wonders what her friends saw in her all those years ago, finally has an answer."
Authors produce second book of inspirational tales
by Monte Sonnenberg
Are you ready for A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider? Local author Wendy Elaine Nelles, of Waterford, thinks you are. In partnership with N.J. Lindquist, Nelles has co-edited A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider, a sequel to the high successful Hot Apple Cider book of inspirational tales that sold nearly 45,000 copies several years ago. Second Cup features 51 self-contained stories designed to lift the spirit and inspire the soul. Included are feature articles from real life as well as light-hearted humour, poetry and provocative fiction.
Among the contributing authors is Mary Ann Benjamins, 44, of Brantford, an elementary teacher who used to work at Jarvis District Christian School. Benjamins lived in the Jarvis area when her husband Ken was pastor of the Ebeneezer Christian Reformed Church there. Benjamins tells of a cancer diagnosis she received at age 31 and how, through faith, she struggled through and eventually defeated it."Kidney cancer is different than other cancers," she said. "It can come back anytime. The cells stay in your body. It may never come back, but I go in for yearly check-ups anyway. I've never felt better in my life. Because of the grace of God, here I stand."…
Winnipeg Free Press
Winnipeg Bestsellers, based on sales for the week of April 17th, 2011 at McNally Robinson Booksellers
1. * Good Places to Live
Jim Silver. Canadian Issues. $19.95.
2. Who Killed Mom?
Steve Burgess. Canadian Biography. $22.95.
3. * A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider
N.J. Lindquist & Wendy Nelles, ed's. with M.D. Meyer. Inspiration. $19.99.
4. The King's Speech
Mark Logue & Peter Conradi. Biography. $22.00.
5. * There's a Basketball On My Buffet!
Nadine De Lisle. Canadian Biography. $16.00.
The Moose Jaw Times Herald
Moose Jaw family physician Dr. Kevin Dautremont is one of 37 writers from across Canada to be selected to be part of a new anthology A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider. Dautremont, who practices at the Ross Street Medical Clinic, was the winner of The Word Guild’s Award for the Best New Canadian Christian Writer of 2008…. Dautremont’s story, "Dazed," tells the fictional tale of the struggles, disappointments and excitement of married life on a small Saskatchewan farm….