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I have exciting news for my Indie Blog this week: a new book!

In a Foreign Land_cover_5.25x8

 

 

Other Side of the River cover

 

 

In a Foreign Land is the second book in the In Search of Freedom series. The first book is titled Other Side of the River.

In a Foreign Land was released at the end of January through CreateSpace (print) and KDP (digital). I have to say this book release was easier on my nerves than any others to date. Firstly, it is independently published, so I set my own timeline and it happens when I’m ready for it. Secondly, I learned which parts of the publishing process I need to hire out.

I was able to come to a very mutually beneficial agreement for editing with my friend and colleague, Marcia Laycock of Small Pond Press. Marcia read through my manuscript with eagle eyes and gave me feedback in a short time-turnaround.

Then I sent the document to Rik Hall of Wild Seas Formatting for the…wait for it…formatting! In record time, he sent me the PDF for CreateSpace and the MOBI for Kindle Direct Publishing. Rik works quickly and is always willing to make corrections that I’ve overlooked or changed my mind on.

The cover, which I love, was created by Fred Koop of Fred Koop Design. He designed all three covers for this series at the outset, so they are ready for the ISBN, barcode and back cover copy when each book is completed.

Knowing I have these professionals to step up to the plate for me is very freeing. Yes, it costs me some cash, but it’s worth every penny, and I know the result will be professional too.

Now for the difficult part: starting the next book. I have the characters, the backstories, the probable ending, but there is so much to research and consider and build. I’m working through C.S. Lakin’s The 12 Key Pillars of Novel Construction in an effort to create more effectively and efficiently. I’ll let you know how this works out.

You can read the first chapter of In a Foreign Land on my blog, and purchase it at Amazon.ca and Amazon.com.

If you read In a Foreign Land, I’d be forever grateful if you’d leave a brief review. That’s one of the most valuable things you can do for an author.

Thanks,

Jan

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It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you my latest historical novel, Other Side of the River. It has been releasing in installments for several months, and now that the installments are all out, it has been released as a complete e-book by Helping Hands Press.

The Complete E-book

The Complete E-book

WHEN ALL HER PLANS FOR THE FUTURE FALL APART,

WHERE WILL SHE GO FOR HOPE? FOR PEACE?

Western Siberia, 1926. As the Mennonite people struggle to maintain their faith and values, the Stalinist regime spreads its jaws to consume even its most remote citizens. 

In the midst of threat and uncertainty, Luise Letkemann and Daniel Martens plan their future. When Daniel realizes the consequences of unrestrained temper, Luise is forced to make life-changing decisions. Will they ever see each other again in the land of the living? Is there peace on the other side of the river?

The print copy is currently being compiled—I just okayed the format and full jacket—so it should be available shortly. I will be in touch.

If you prefer the digital format, please click on the title:  Other Side of the River.

  • File Size: 1091 KB
  • Print Length: 371 pages
  • Publisher: Helping Hands Press (June 18, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00L4L9SPM

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The Sign of the Dolphin is now available!

THE SIGN OF THE DOLPHIN is the second book in the series that started with THE SCRIBES: A NOVEL ABOUT THE EARLY CHURCH. Set in the year 184 A.D., this book contains a collection of 72 letters which tell the story of a journey through Gaul and Britain. Along the way you will meet fascinating characters like Irenaeus of Lyon and Diognetus and Ulpius Marcellus. You will wrestle with the question of the two versions of the Acts of the Apostles. You will discover the glories of art in Britain under Roman rule, and you will join Marcus the scribe as he seeks to manage an unruly team, deal with an independent young woman, and share the good news with people on the Roman frontier.

Grab a copy on Amazon!

The Sign of the Dolphin cover 2 copy

Official Book Cover!

Peter Rodgers

Peter Rodgers

Peter Rodgers was Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, New Haven Connecticut, and an Associate Fellow of Timothy Dwight College at Yale University from 1979 until 2003. He holds degrees from Hobart College, General Theological Seminary and Oxford University. Before coming to St. John’s in 1979 he was curate for student ministry at the Round Church in Cambridge, England. He has published several journal articles on the text of the New Testament and is the author of Knowing Jesus (InterVarsity 1982, Forward Movement 1989), and Text and Story (Wipf and Stock, 2011). In his retirement, he teaches New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary, Sacramento campus, and is Pastor of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Antelope, CA.

 

 

 

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If you’ve started following the journeys of Luise Letkemann and Daniel Martens, you won’t want to miss this second installment: Other Side of the River Volume 2.

Other Side of the River —Volume Two — When All Seems Lost

Other Side of the River —Volume Two — When All Seems Lost

Other Side of the River – Part 2 – When All Seems Lost

         Besides dealing with escalating oppression from the Stalinist regime, Luise Letkemann must deal with problems in her own family. Her stepmother’s failing health and Daniel’s forced absence combine to create a tension greater than Luise has ever experienced. She maintains her equilibrium with the help of Tante Manya’s listening ear and wise advice, but how will she be able to choose between her love for her family and her love for Daniel?

 Look for Volume 3 — Tempered Sorrows — in the near future.

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Need an infusion of Christmas spirit? Join Pastor Steve, Stanley and the gang at New Life Shelter for Men as they band together to salvage the annual fundraiser Christmas pageant.

Marcia Lee Laycock’s delightful tale is a “Best Christmas Pageant Ever” scenario, with characters just as unlikely, just as quirky, and just as refreshing. In the short span of 28 pages, we become attached to the characters, cheering them on as they reach inside themselves to keep the show from being canceled. The sold-out crowd expects a professional pageant, but the cast and backdrops are as ordinary and yet as profound as they were that first Christmas night. Both cast and audience are blessed with an unexpected glory.

The story, told in readable, conversational style, is encouraging and uplifting, funny and poignant; a perfect early Christmas read.

Note: This short story by Marcia Lee Laycock is Volume 5 of Kathy Macias’ 12 Days of Christmas

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This has been an exciting week. A touch of stomach flu one day, a new book released a couple of days later. Up and downs, just like real life. I’m especially partial to the new book release. It’s been in the works for months, unlike the flu, which came and went in twenty-four hours and I say good riddance.

I have three published historical novels—a series about the Mennonites in South Russia from 1914 to 1924—which came out in 2002, 2003, 2004. This trilogy was a dream come true for me, an opportunity to create characters who would tell the stories I’d heard and read about since I was a kid, sitting in my grandmother’s house with the extended family, listening to the adults talk about their memories and experiences.

Calm Before the Storm / Eye of the Storm / Out of the Storm

Just yesterday, my next historical fiction was released: a new set of characters, a new setting and a slightly later time period. This story is called Other Side of the River, and involves a young Mennonite couple from western Siberia circa 1926-1930, and their struggle to survive under the hammer and sickle.

Other Side of the River — Volume One — The Winds of Change 

It’s been a stretching experience to bring this book to publication. In the nine years since my last book was released, the publishing world has transformed and the learning curve for me has been steep. For one thing, traditional publishing houses are constantly amalgamating, phasing out, going broke, etc., and digital publishing is becoming more popular by the day. I confess that most of my reading is now done on my iPhone. It’s just so handy.

What happened with Other Side of the River is that I queried a publisher called Helping Hands Press who said they were interested in publishing my story digitally. But not as a complete book. I was confused, of course, until Mr. G explained that my “virtual bookshelf” would look more impressive with more volumes on it. If they published my book in segments—volumes—I would have eight to ten “books” on the shelf instead of one.

After that rationale sunk in, I worked on rightly dividing my book into segments that ended with some form of tension, thus leading the reader to want the next segment. We also spent a lot of time talking about a cover, and again, Mr. G

RIVER cover

came up with an excellent cover that incorporated some of my ideas held together by color and shadow and texture of image that I could not have created myself.

So that’s the story. I invite you to take some time to read the first volume of Other Side of the River, titled The Winds of Change, review it if you would, and follow it through the course of the story to the other side of the river.

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