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April News!

Springing Back
I love this time of the year! Haven’t we had some beautiful sunny days? (Hope you have too if you’re not in the UK!) I love the feeling of hope, the warmth of the sun, watching new leaves unfurl.

battered plantsSome of our garden plants have come in for a battering though. One has been eaten by slugs, another blasted by footballers (oops!) and my new anemone now has no flowers as they were picked off by our two-year-old grandson! 🙂

The plants should all recover though, which reminds me how we should keep on and not give up, no matter what obstacles hit. I’m on a learning curve with production of The City Kid – we have previously used a production company for our books, but to save costs I have undertaken to take on the process myself, and there’s plenty to learn! Sales for the last Beech Bank Girls book (A Time Remembered) we brought out last year haven’t been as high as I had hoped, either – I feel I should have done more to market it, because this is a really excellent book (if you would like to buy one or more copies for the girls in your life you can do so here or visit your local Christian bookshop). So many more girls need to hear the message of God’s love for them and this book would be such a help. Please do keep praying for all our projects, and that our books will reach the children who need them. Thank you!

Some Excellent News!
A Pennyworth of PeppermintsWe are running out of stock of A Pennyworth of Peppermints! We could do a reprint if there was enough interest – would your church like to give them away to children after a holiday club or for Sunday School prizes in the summer? This book would be the perfect gift for 8-11s, boys and girls (grandparents love this story too as it was set in the Great War!), and can reach whole families. It’s a spy story set in Dorset – a group of children foil a dastardly plot. 🙂 There’s a wealth of interesting information about the war, some great characters and the children learn to trust in God. Let me know if you’re interested.

Books for Sunday School Prize Giving
boy readingTalking about prize giving, would you be kind enough to pass on info of our books to your Sunday School leaders – prize giving is coming up soon! If your church doesn’t usually give books, as one who knows the value of Christian stories to change lives (you must be or you wouldn’t be reading this!), could you take the bull by the horns and organise something yourself? Maybe you are where you are for such a time as this! If money is an issue, could you ask your congregation to sponsor one book each and pray for the child who will receive the one they have donated? Please contact me for quantity discounts, or if I can help in any other way.

 

The City Kid
The City KidWork on the paperback version of The City Kid is continuing. It’s so exciting seeing it come together, despite taking longer than anticipated. I needed some reviews for the back of the cover and sent off the manuscript to a handful of teenage boys. To encourage you, here is the first review I received back, from a seventeen-year-old lad:

This book was thought provoking, because when it all went wrong for the main character and life didn’t work out how he expected it to, it was easy to relate, because this is how life really is.

When I started reading the book, I didn’t connect with the story until his life took a turn for the worse, and then I started to reflect.

A moment that particularly stood out was John’s re-occurring dream about being trapped in the mineshaft, but when he finds God his dream changes and he is gently lifted out into the light.

I felt that reading this book has strengthened my faith, as I have realised that I need to rely on God a bit more when life gets tough, and not to blame others for my own mistakes.” – Samuel.

Samuel’s mum told me, “I actually feel quite choked after talking to Sam about the book, as it has really seemed to help him at what is a quite difficult time in his own life.”

Life is tough for many teenagers. In the last few months our eighteen-year-old son has the stress of A levels looming up, has lost a friend to cancer and one of his peers committed suicide by hanging himself in a local park. Teenagers are victims of knife crime, bullying, gangs, have family issues, school issues, friend issues, exam issues – they need all the encouragement they can get. Temptations within and without are constant and many families are experiencing financial pressure, too.

Why not stop right now and pray for a teenage lad you know? They may look fine on the outside, but the Lord knows what pressures they are under. If you would like to pre-order one copy of The City Kid or a hundred, please let me know – it will help when ordering from the printers, and it means you won’t have to wait so long for your copies.

Write for a Reason
write for a reason logoThe next Write for a Reason course for Christians who write fiction for young people, starts next month. Click here for more info. Please do pass on the link to anyone you know who might be interested, as this is a good way to 1. Help budding authors 2. Make some money to help with book production. I know for sure that one previous student has a book published, another has gone on to produce a comic, another has just won a writing competition. And the course is lots of fun. 🙂

Let’s Pray for Our Government
Two issues concerning Christian freedom and young people make me feel like we really need to pray. The first is our government’s plans to register and monitor church youth work. You can read about it here from the Christian Institute.
The second concerns a father, from a Muslim background, who has been banned from taking his nine-year-old son to a church, after the child’s Muslim mother won a court order preventing the boy from attending. More information from Christian Concern here.
The Bible tells us to pray for those in positions of authority (1 Timothy 2:1-4): “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (NIV)
So let’s pray! Please do feel free to share the links.

Visit Your Bookshop!
BookshopThis is Selena, the new manager of the Christian bookshop in Tonbridge, Kent, with a selection of our books – do pop in and say hello if you are in the area! The address is 9 Quarry Hill Parade, Tonbridge, TN9 2HR. This bookshop was in danger of closing when the previous owner retired, but CLC (Christian Literature Crusade) stepped in – they do need your support, though, too! They have a great selection of books, gifts and music.

Stop Press!
I have just heard that Kristofori in Croatia want to produce our second and third Beech Bank Girls books in Croatian! This is exciting news indeed. Thanks to all who pray!

Janet Wilson

Right, that really is it! Love to you all, and thanks for reading and supporting,

Janet

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Christian Books For Children With Sight Loss

Know a child who struggles with sight loss?

Torch Trust* has made some of our books available in Braille, audio and large print versions for anyone who needs a bit of extra help to enjoy stories.

The first of the Beech Bank Girls books, Deepest Darkness and A Pennyworth of Peppermints are available in large print, audio and Braille format. Torch Trust can produce any of these books in Large Print in 17pt; 20pt; 25pt; & 30pt if requested. (Please follow the links above for more information about each of these books.)

Beech Bank GirlsDeepest DarknessA Pennyworth of Peppermints

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Want to Be an Airline Pilot, London’s Gone and Mystery in the Snow are also available as audio books.

I Want to Be an Airline PilotLondons GoneMystery in the Snow

 

 

 

 

 

 

In case you were wondering, Dernier provides the text to Torch Trust free of charge. We believe children with sight loss should have to opportunity to enjoy Christian stories!

For further information, or if we can help you in any way, please contact us. Alternatively you can visit the Torch Trust website.

*Torch Trust is a UK charity which works to provide Christian resources and activities for blind
and partially sighted people worldwide.

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Newsletter March 2016

New Life in Christ!

cross in the sunshineAccording to statistics, 90% of adults attended church as children. With that in mind, it’s obvious that we urgently need to reach out to our own children! We mustn’t sit back and assume our children will follow in our footsteps – we need to make a serious effort to build them up in their faith while they are young. Talking about the Lord day by day is part our responsibility as Christian parents and grandparents (see Deuteronomy 6:7). Christian books can help do that in a relaxed and natural way.

Krish Kandiah says, “Of every class of 50 nought to nine year-olds in Sunday school in 1985, only 15 will still be going to church in their 20s: we lose 70% of our children.”*

We know that touching hearts is the Lord’s job – but we also have a part to play. If that wasn’t true, we wouldn’t ever need to do any evangelism, we’d just wait for new people to turn up! Can I encourage you to spread our books widely among your own church families? They start at just £4.99. Your input could bring new life this Easter!

P.S. Having a holiday Bible club at Easter? Please give your children a book each to take home. Contact me for quantity discounts.

Books for Schools Page

Schoolgirl readingI have put up a new page on our website – Books For Schools. Thanks to all who prayed after reading last month’s newsletter! I have been phoning school librarians and sending them the link – please pray that schools will take up this offer of a pack of library books at a discount. According to a friend who is a teacher,
Schools have to show they are promoting diversity and giving opportunities for moral and spiritual development so the books are great for both of these, especially since a large number of students no longer attend church. There is also a big emphasis on literacy, of which reading is a major part.”
If you know a teacher who may be interested, or if you would like to buy a pack of books for your local school, please take a look and/or pass it on. The page is here. And please contact me if you would like to send a pack of books direct to a school abroad – I’d be absolutely delighted to help. 🙂

The City Kid

We are still hoping to get this book out into paperback in the summer – please keep praying. Thank you!

Reviews

Delighted to receive the following in an email: ‘Our great-niece who lives with us and is 8 very much enjoyed The Birthday Shoes and Deepest Darkness and our 11 year old nephew enjoyed The Treasure Hunt and A Pennyworth of Peppermints.’ It’s always so encouraging to receive your feedback so if you have any, please do send it in – a few kind words keep us going on a tough day! 🙂

25 Reasons to buy Christian fiction for children and teenagers

I have posted 25 reasons to buy Christian fiction for children and teenagers on our facebook page – click here to come on over and join in the conversation! Which is your favourite?

1. Stories stick in your mind (Jesus told stories for a reason!)
2. Christian books are a great way to share the good news.
3. Young people can reflect on subjects such as prayer, justice
and forgiveness, for themselves.
4. Church kids find it thrilling to find Christian characters in a ‘real’ story!
5. Christian fiction helps church children feel less marginalised.
6. Books written from a Christian perspective can be an eye-opener for non-church young people, and can bring hope.
7. Stories are much more exciting to read than straight information!
8. We are influenced by what we put into our minds; Christian books contain Christian values.
9. Books help readers think about spiritual and moral issues.
10. Christian characters can be inspiring in the way they win through in different situations.
11. Ideas that come up in stories help us to evaluate our own lives.
12. Modern Christian fiction is culturally relevant (and exciting!).
13. Young people can find out how Bible stories are applicable to their own lives.
14. Books make non-threatening presents for non-church families.
15. They aid literacy (they are books!); Christian books have the added bonus of a spiritual dimension.
16. Children desperate for an education can learn about God’s love while they read.
17. Christian books make non-threatening gifts where spiritual input may otherwise be impossible.
18. Reading a Christian novel with your children is great for bonding.
19. You can discuss biblical issues that Christian books bring up, helping you to fulfil your duties as a Christian parent/teacher!
20. Christian books can sow seeds that will bear fruit in years to come.
21. Not all books out there are helpful – Christian books are a fabulous alternative.
22. Christian books bring up current issues, such as modern day slavery, from a Christian perspective.
23. Christian fiction can encourage and inspire young people to walk with God, even church kids who are bored with Bible stories
24. We have received many testimonies of how our books have touched lives – some children are drawn to Christian books.
25. Every child is precious, and should have a chance to hear the good news in a way that is relevant to them.

BookshopChristian bookshop

Last but not least, our Christian bookshop of the month is in St Nicholas Church, Sevenoaks, in their Undercroft. The bookshop doubles as a café and is open from 10am – 2pm Monday to Saturday. They didn’t have any Dernier books when I popped in, so I left our details and hope they will soon!

And that’s all for this month! May your Easter be filled with joy!

Janet

P.S. Don’t forget your books for your Easter Holiday Club – I look forward to hearing from you. Click here to contact Janet.

* Source: The Resource. You can read the full article here.

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