The Power of Partnership

Every once in a while, I look back and wonder what has really made a difference in my life. Looking at the past six years or so, I don’t have to look very hard: as a writer, I owe much to the power of partnership.


My first story was published in 2011 as part of an anthology – a partnership almost by definition. Moreover, the two outstanding editors of this Canadian collection (A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider) made a point of involving everyone at each stage of the publication.

And so I found myself immersed in an exciting partnership with the other contributors, all members of The Word Guild.


24 of the 37 contributors to A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider, June 2011

When the time came to write another story, it was a natural step for me to partner with a friend from church, Christine Kenel-Peters, whose story I had witnessed first-hand.


It was so encouraging to meet with Christine, and to hear how God had helped her at each step of the way in her adventures! Moreover, this opened new horizons for me as I learned about the ways of Canadian First Nations people.

Our story “Your People Will Be My People,” featuring the Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario, was published in 2015 as part of Hot Apple Cider with Cinnamonanother wonderful collection by Canadian authors.

In the meantime, several writers in my area decided to get a writers’ group going. Partnering with them was probably one of my best decisions. We all enjoyed monthly motivation, feedback on our work, support in prayer and presence, and the sheer pleasure of being in the company of like-minded writers with the same faith values.

And we even wrote a book together!


And now, as I look back over these past six years, I see new books on my shelves… and I also see God at work in each partnership that made these books possible. And I cannot help but look forward to many more.

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“What a great book!”

A Canadian bestseller, winner of multiple awards

A Canadian bestseller, winner of multiple awards

This quote by Ellen Vaughn on the front cover really sums it up: “What a great book!”

In the three years since its publication, A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider has accumulated many achievements and awards:

  • Canadian bestseller
  • Over 175 launch events in seven Canadian provinces
  • Shortlisted a record-breaking 27 times for The Word Awards 2012
  • Winner of 6 First-place Awards (The Word Awards 2012)
  • Winner of 7 Awards of Merit (The Word Awards 2012)
  • Winner, Gift Book of the Year 2012 (Christian Small Publishers Award)
  • Winner, Nonfiction Book of the Month – October 2013 (The Book Club Network Inc., at

My own story “O Canada” even won an Award of Merit (The Word Awards 2012) – how exciting!

However, as far as I was concerned, I knew this book was a “winner” the moment I started reading the other 50 stories in the collection, several months before it even went to print. How else could I explain the deep emotions that I felt – and that I kept feeling over and over, every single time I was proofreading a story?

This is what spurred me on to design a short Reader’s Guide describing each story and listing the main topics – such as cancer, grief, marriage issues, family, friendship.

See for yourself: you can view this 2-page guide and download it for free on the publisher’s website (here). And while you are at it… why not take a peek at the Reader’s Guide for the other “great book” in the series – Hot Apple Cider. It describes 44 more stories of hope and encouragement!

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Coming soon: A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider

Have you ever thought of writing? A book, an article perhaps… Something that would make a difference. Something that might inspire, challenge, bring encouragement or hope?

Book cover

Available May 2011

I started writing stories as a child, and trained as a technical writer in my twenties – but it has taken me a long, long time to actually submit anything for publication.

And now, this! The very first article I submitted was accepted! It will be published as part of a wonderful inspirational anthology called A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider: Words to Stimulate the Mind and Delight the Spirit, available May 2011.

Don’t miss it!

Each of the 37 contributors is Canadian, and each article has a truly Canadian ring to it. Some made me laugh; several moved me to tears. I loved them all!

“So… how do I get a copy?”

For more detail, be sure to visit the Hot Apple Cider website, or the publisher’s website That’s Life! Communications.

What is particularly exciting is that World Vision (the charity well-known for its emergency relief work and child sponsorships) will receive 30,000 free copies, for distribution at their Girls Night Out and Couples Night Out events throughout Canada! Why not check their websites to see if the tours are coming to your neighbourhood?

In any case, if possible, please support your local Christian bookstore by asking them about A Second Cup… and reserving your copy there. If this is not practical, you can pre-order the book online, for example on any of the Amazon websites, including Europe and the UK. Simply go to your local Amazon website and search for “hot apple cider book”. If you buy a copy of the book this way, please remember to write a (nice) review afterwards…

Special note! The book will come with a free Discussion Guide, easy to print directly from the Hot Apple Cider website – as is already the case with the other anthology by the same editors. This is ideal for group studies or discussions. If you think your small group would be interested in using the book in this way, contact the publisher – there are discounts for bulk book orders!

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