In 2008, That’s Life! Communications partnered with The Word Guild to produce Hot Apple Cider: Words 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 Hot Apple Cider Contributors
All of the contributors to both anthologies are members of The Word Guild, a Canadian Christian writing organization. Many contributors are also members of Inscribe Christian Writer’s Fellowship, another non-profit organization for Canadian Christian writers. These writers have a wealth of experience in a variety of genres.
Marcia Lee Laycock, who contributed to both anthologies, has also published a novel and two devotional books and has lived in interesting places across Canada, from an island in Ontario to Dawson City in the north to a small town in rural Alberta. She says, “I feel quite honoured to be part of A Second Cup and was particularly pleased they chose the story about my mom teaching my girls to tap dance. It’s one of those memories that will forever be etched on my mind and always makes me smile when I think of it. Mom is hanging on to life by a thread right now so the memory is particularly precious.”
Janet Sketchley, whose nonfiction appears in the second anthology, is a writer from Nova Scotia whose novel was shortlisted for the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award in 2008. She says, “My chapter shares what happened when a summer road trip left me stranded on the side of a highway with a broken-down car, three young children, and no cell phone. I’m proud to be part of the Hot Apple Cider team. There are stories for everyone, and I hope this grace-filled anthology will help those going through hard times, encourage others in the daily ‘stuff’ of life, and bring a few chuckles that may be the best remedy of all.”
World Vision and the Anthologies
The idea for Hot Apple Cider began when N. J. Lindquist was talking to Eric Spath of World Vision in 2007 about their Girls Night Out events. While the speakers and musicians at the events were Canadian, the books being given out to participants were by American writers and American publishers. When Lindquist suggested creating an all-Canadian anthology for participants, Spath “thought it was a terrific concept” (Lindquist). Unfortunately, producing a book required time and money.
The idea wouldn’t go away, so Lindquist and Spath continued to work on it. By September of 2007, the book was a go-ahead as Lindquist sent out a call for submissions. Contributors were asked to provide not only a story, article or poem for the book, but also a donation so that the book could be given out through World Vision. Lindquist needed 20 authors; in a week, she had them. By the time of publication, Hot Apple Cider was a 296-page anthology with 30 contributors and a foreword by best-selling author Janette Oke—exceeding even Lindquist’s expectations.
Hot Apple Cider released on March, 2008. Thirty thousand copies went out to participants of World Vision’s Girls Night Out. Another 12,000 copies were sold through distributors in both the US and Canada. Contributors of A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider donated half the cost of printing 30,000 extra copies to be given as gifts to participants at World Vision’s Girls Night Out and Couples Night Out events.
A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider
Contributors to A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider hosted book launches across Canada. In mid-March, the book had already sold 15,000 copies. It was listed in the Winnipeg Free Press as a Manitoba best-seller for the week of April 17. It has gained rave reviews from readers across the country. Each story encourages and inspires readers and, in a few short pages, provides much for the reader to consider. The anthologies offer something for every reader, whether lovers of fiction or poetry. Every Canadian will be proud to have a copy of this anthology on their bookshelf and share it with their friends.
For more information about the Hot Apple Cider books, follow the Hot Apple Cider blog.