All our books in one neat collage! Who do you know who needs a bit of encouragement? All these books are currently in stock!
Planning BIG, Taking Small Steps
Don’t laugh, but I have taken up running. Actually, feel free to laugh if you wish :-). For a long time I’ve been realising the need to do something to increase my level of fitness. Finally, at the end of July, I bit the bullet and downloaded a ‘Couch to 5K’ app on my smart phone, which takes total beginners through a nine week running programme. The idea is to start small (60 seconds running, 90 seconds walking) for half an hour, and gradually build it up. I’ve reached Week Seven and am running 25 minutes in one go. That would have been impossible a few weeks ago! How did I get this far? One small step at a time.
Running 5k seems like a huge goal, but that’s OK- I’ll give it my best shot! I have big goals/dreams for Dernier, too. I’d like to see Christian fiction for children available to every child in a way that is accessible to them – stories that point to Jesus. Paperbacks, ebooks, kindle books, spoken books, books in other languages, large print books, books in every corner of the word… we are making small steps towards all of these. At times the task seems overwhelming. But we press on, one step at a time, because we have a God for whom nothing is impossible, who loves all the little children of the world, and loves the older children, too.
Getting books into the hands of young people wouldn’t be possible without you taking some of the steps with us. Whatever your involvement with Dernier, thank you. Because we are working together, children in rural schools in Africa desperate for books have something inspirational to read. Because we are working together, 500 prisoners’ children in the UK will receive one of our books this Christmas. Because we are working together, we have a new book out next month with the potential to touch many young lives. Because we are working together, our books are in bookshops all over the UK. Because of you we have a website that is accessible to people in most countries of the world at the click of a button. Because of you, some of our books are in schools, libraries, churches and homes and maybe children’s hands right now.
There’s almost nothing that can’t be done by taking small steps. Not all of them are easy, and some take a lot of courage, sheer hard work and headaches along the way. But as we step out together, we can shoot for the moon. And if we don’t make it quite that far, at least we’ll have sown some seeds along the way. 🙂
Books for rural schools in Africa
Dr Loise Gichuhi from Education Bridge Africa told me via Skype, “We delivered some of the books to a rural village school today. The books fitted the 13 to 17 ages very well. Very excited.” The school have been requesting story books for a whole year. Not all the children are good readers, so some of the books we might consider to be a bit young for them will actually come in useful. And perhaps, like Shema in I Want to Be an Airline Pilot, readers will be assured they have a Father in heaven who cares for them.
Take Another Step!
At the moment I’m working on updating the website, building up relationships with retailers, making final touches to the new book and working to make it known, updating all our book files so we can go print on demand all over the world, finishing audio versions of the books (nearly there!), planning my talk for Christ Church… and soon I will be taking a week off! 🙂
Here are some steps you could take:
- Buy a book for a child you know from your local Christian bookshop or from our website.
- Donate a book to an African school. We have a donate button on our website now, so you buy a book and we will send it on your behalf – more info here.
- Give out leaflets We have new ones! Contact me if you’d like to give leaflets out in your church or school
- Forward this newsletter to your minister/a friend/youth leader
- Send in a review of one of our books
- Pray for Dernier and all the children who read our books.
Thank you! Every step forward is a step in the right direction!
Christian Resources Together
Last week I was in Derbyshire, at the Christian Resources Together event, meeting up with other people who work in the Christian book trade. It’s always a good time with authors, publishers, distributors and retailers, showcasing our books, worshipping together, and deepening friendships over meals and drinks. I made some potentially good contacts, including interest from a publishing house in the States… if anything transpires I will be sure to let you know! I also had a lovely chat with J John’s wife, Killy, and gave her a copy of The Birthday Shoes for their grandaughter! You can buy your own copy here. 🙂
I’m speaking at Christ Church Orpington on Saturday September 29th, at a Ladies Breakfast. If you’d like to book a ticket, I’m sure they’d be able to fit you in! Love to see you there. There’s nothing on their website yet, so contact me if you’d like to come.
All our books are now available on the kindle platform. Just type in the book title in the Amazon search, and you will find the one you are looking for. Enjoy!
A New Me
This fab new book will be launched next month. Author Roy, and his wife, Jane, have got some great ideas for a launch – will give you more details next month!
In the meantime, thanks once again for walking with us, and praying for us. God will make a way where there seems to be no way.
Grace and peace to you all,
Hello, and welcome to the latest Dernier Publishing newsletter!
Bold and Courageous
What type of videos do you enjoy watching on YouTube? Surfing dogs, other people’s disasters, how-to videos, Tim Vine clips? (Or maybe you have better things to do! :-)) Have you seen this one: You Shall Not Pass, Dog? 🙂 Why do dogs hate walking past cats so much? Sure, cats can be mean, but what’s the worst that can happen? Some of these dogs get a clip as they pass, but mostly they survive unscathed… and some are so much bigger and stronger than the cats – they just don’t realise it! Aren’t we a bit like that sometimes? Fear of the wrong things holds us back. OK, we might have to take a risk, get hurt… but honestly, are there areas where you should be more bold and courageous? Any cats standing in your way? 🙂 I know there are in my life! Please pray for me, for our authors and all who work with Dernier, that we will be bold and courageous as we seek a wider audience for our books. Thank you!
A New Me
I reported last month that there have been delays with A New Me – thanks for praying, it’s coming on nicely now, although we’re still waiting on the cover, which is a bit frustrating. One teacher who read the manuscript felt it wasn’t up-to-date enough, but we have also had some great reviews, including two from twelve-year-old girls:
Lucy’s mum, Ruth, said, “She [Lucy] really didn’t want to read it (she has sadly gone off reading over the last year), but once she started, she couldn’t stop – I am hoping it will trigger her to read again! She seemed to really enjoy it.” Lucy said, “I liked the real life scenarios in the story and how it showed that God can help you through tough times.”
Ellie read the book in two days and loved it! Mum, Michelle, emailed me to say:
This book is amazing!! It shows you that through hard times all you need to do is trust in God. Jess was living in a difficult situation, she was surrounded by Christian friends and even though her parents and brother were not Christians she put her trust in God. I’m glad that she decided to put her trust in God. I definitely recommend the book. – Ellie (12)”
I asked Ellie who was her favourite character in the book, and she replied: “Aidan, as he is not ashamed of his beliefs and is not afraid of what people think about him because he has put his trust in God.”
Edna, a young mum from Australia, has also read the manuscript. She says:
“I think this is a great book that deals with real life issues of alcoholism, separation, and bullying, and how God can turn things for good if only we ask Him to. I hope that this book brings comfort and strength to many young people dealing with these issues! Need more books like these in this world we live in!”
I suspect this may not be the book you would give to an older street-wise teenager, but from the feedback we’ve received from the two girls who have read the story, it seems like A New Me has the potential to touch young hearts. Maybe for your younger 10-12 year-old girls at church? Those who need some encouragement, and a story where it’s great to be a Christian? To encourage them that they, like Aidan in the story, can make a difference by sharing their faith? And perhaps that they, too, like Jess, need to reach out to God for themselves, whatever they are facing in life?
I will put up some excerpts from the story on the Dernier facebook page next month, so don’t forget to come over from time to time. 🙂
And please do pray for the author of A New Me, Roy, as we plan the launch of the book and try get the book known far and wide. “Discoverability” is key. No point having a book and nobody knows about it. Thanks once again for your support for this story.
Thank You For Our Books
Dr Loise, our contact from Education Bridge Africa, sent me a brief video clip of children in Nairobi saying thank you for the books we have been sending, and a report on how things are for children in some of the informal settlements of Kenya; sadly I can’t work out how to download the video to show you, but if you contact me I will be happy to send you Dr. Loise’s report of the desperate situation in the informal settlements. It includes some lovely photos of children reading our books!
If you would like to help with this project, let me know. Just one book could change a life! If you buy the books, we will organise and pay for their delivery.
As you are such wonderful supporters, I’d like to make you an offer of our newest book: Revenge of the Flying Carpet – first ten people to send me their names can have a copy for £4.99, postage free (wherever you are in the world). Theme: Revenge, justice, judgement, mercy. For 10-13s-ish. If you have never read this book before, now is your chance, then you can pass it on! And if you would be kind enough to write a review, I’d be most grateful. 🙂
(Retailers: If you would like to order copies of this book at extra discount this month, please contact me.)
Love to you all,
P.S. If you would like to receive our regular newsletters via email, you can sign up here. Make sure you are first to hear our news and offers!
A New Me
The manuscript of A New Me is now with the editor. We’re doing the very best we can to make this a useful and enjoyable book for young people. Please pray for a great cover as well as a good book, with useful ‘Reading Group Questions’ to go at the back. Some people who have read the manuscript have enjoyed it; some have made suggestions for improving it, so still lots for the editor to do…
I attended a business conference recently and came away with some new ideas. The one thing I really don’t want to do is to ‘persuade’ people to buy books they really don’t want or need. It’s not about numbers, or sales figures, or ‘what’s working right now’, but about getting books into the hands of the young people who would be encouraged by them, or even have a life-changing experience. Books really do change lives. The thing I really do want to do with marketing is to get known, so anyone who is looking for books for young people at least knows we exist. I hope to do some more facebook advertising, and google ad words with this aim in mind. If you ever see a Dernier ad, please do comment, like and share, if you think your friends might be interested. 🙂
I’m thinking it might be good to have some Dernier ambassadors who will help to get the word out in their community – to pass on information to their church, school, homeschool groups, friends and social media contacts. What do you think? If you feel you could be an ambassador, let me know. Love to hear from you!
Schools in Africa
Schools in Africa are crying out for books, and we love to send them! Thanks to a kind donor, we were able to send two big boxes of books to a school in a very poor area of Nairobi, doing the very best they can in desperate circumstances. (Mathare Informal Settlement – do look it up on Google.) More schools in Kenya have asked for books… I hope to send some more soon. If you would like to help, or would like books for a school you support, please don’t hesitate to contact me. We try to help wherever we can.
Equally, if you help run a Boys’ or Girls’ Brigade, kids club, summer camp or youth club, and would like books to give your members, please do get in touch. There’s always a way.
It’s nearly the end of term, but there are still young people taking exams. It can be a very stressful time, but a novel can help! If you’d like summer reading for your young people, and would like some recommendations, please don’t hesitate to ask. I will be on annual leave in June for a week, but will get back to you when I can.
I’d be truly grateful for your prayers on the following topics:
- More books reaching more children/teens
- Ways to get books to disadvantaged children
- Ever better covers and stories
- For the audio versions (still working on those – had an equipment failure last week)
- New projects in the pipeline
- Excellence in all we do
- For the children who are reading our books now.
Thank you so much. “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” – Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
Every blessing to you all,
P.S. If you use facebook, do come over to our page and join in.
I hope you all had a wonderful Easter, celebrating the sacrifice of Jesus for us; his death and resurrection.
Recently I’ve been thinking about perspective. Allow me to share a couple of photos with you.
I took this first photo at Hever Castle in Kent – it looks like the Easter bunny is taking over the Easter world! The old castle hardly gets a look in, although you can just about see it in the background. In this second photo, taken on a recent visit to Hong Kong, many skyscrapers tower above St John’s Cathedral. But it just depends on which angle you are looking at it…
Like so many things in life, there is more than one perspective to Easter. It looked like all was lost on Good Friday, but it turned out to be the pivotal point of our salvation, as Jesus rose from the dead on the third day. Is the Easter bunny really taking over the world? You might think so from what we see in the shops. But we know better. Will secularism triumph over the church? Not a chance!
Praise God for the truth we know from his word, that the Lord will continue to build His church, and even the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
Sometimes we need to hold on to the right perspective, when other things seem to loom in size. Do you sometimes look at things through the wrong lens? I know I do. We have such a small number of books! But they can change lives. That’s more than the Easter bunny can do – the only thing he can do is expand waistlines!
Packets of Seeds
Recently a kind supporter sent me her church newsletter, which contained this book review for Living in Hope:
“I really enjoyed this book because it was simple but written cleverly. I think it is a great idea and it is really gripping. Shema is my favourite character because he finds planes really fascinating. The creativeness of the children is really good and it seems really realistic. The characters are very detailed and are described in depth. The title suggests this is about hope but it is actually about a village called Hope.
I really like this book and I’d recommend you to read it.” – Alfie.
It’s always so encouraging to receive reviews of our books – makes all the hard work worthwhile. Rarely will a child say in a review that they were touched in their spirit by a book, though, or that the characters were good examples to them. I guess it’s a bit unrealistic to expect it… still, we hope and pray that children nonetheless will not only enjoy the stories, but be impacted by our books in a way that is unseen. Perhaps the story will be a favourite, turned to again and again, passed on to a friend or sibling, or will impact the whole family if it’s read out loud. Sometimes a parent will tell us how a book has touched a young reader, which is always great to hear.
It’s also possible that a story will be completely forgotten! All we do know is that it is up to us to “plant the seeds”. Well, actually, I guess as much as anything it’s up to you to buy the “packets of seeds” from us! Together we can make a difference. If there’s any way we can help you reach the children on your heart, please let us know. We will always try to help.
Living in Hope is all about a group of children who are learning to walk by faith. One is tricked into becoming a domestic slave, so it also highlights an important issue from a Christian perspective. And the story of the prodigal child is lived out as Freda is rescued and returns home. Lots of seeds there. You can buy the book direct from our website, from Christian bookshops, or any online bookstore.
A New Me
Our next book, A New Me, for 9-12s, will be released later this year. We have been working hard on the manuscript, and hope to put the final first chapter on our website soon. Please pray for each of the steps of publication – editing, typesetting, proof-reading, printing; for the cover design, for distribution, for sales and marketing. And especially please pray it will reach the children who need to hear the message of new life. Author Roy Jones has written an exciting and relevant story – now it’s up to us all to do the very best we can to get it into as many hands as possible. Thank you for your prayers! If you would like to read a pre-production copy to review, all offers kindly received (we are always looking for reviews from young people for back covers!).
Prizes and Presentations
Does your church or school need books for prizes or presentations at the end of term? Please pass on our info to the person who does the buying – one of our books might be just what they are looking for. Please contact us for quantity discounts.
And once more, grace and peace to you this month of April showers – may they be showers of blessing!
P.S. If you would like to receive newsletters by email, just let me know!
Welcome to our February Newsletter!
How old were you when you became a Christian? I was 13. (I’m not telling you how many years ago that was, hehe!) In a recent survey, practising Christians were asked, ‘At what age did you become a Christian?’ An incredible 76% of Christians turned to the Lord before the age of 18! So we do need to reach out to our young people while they are young, and share the good news of Jesus as soon as we can. I’m not saying we shouldn’t reach out to older people (I’m taking an older lady to an Alpha course at the moment!), but think what heartaches could be avoided by walking in the Lord’s way from youth. Of course, not all young people will want to follow Jesus – but at least we can show the way. The rest is between them and the Lord. And he does wonderful things! 🙂
Let’s pray for the young people of the world, each one precious in the sight of God. Lent has already begun, but what about praying for young people from a different nation each day until Easter? Prayer is an amazing privilege – I’m sure we will all one day wish we had prayed more, because it really does change things. Oswald Chambers put it like this: “Prayer does not fit us for the better work; prayer is the better work.”
For many years World Book Day has been a wonderful celebration of books and reading, with parents having to come up with a new costume each year! With a voucher, school children have been able to buy a book for just £1.
This year CLC have set up a scheme so you can now buy a selection of Christian children’s books for £1, and we are delighted to be partnering with them to give away our Beech Bank Girls, A Time Remembered for just £1/copy:-) This is the link to see all the books on the CLC website. The offer is already up and running, so don’t miss out! You can also get your £1 books from your local Christian bookshop. Do support them if you can. Don’t know where your nearest bookshop is? Follow this link. 🙂 Who could you buy books for? And don’t forget to pass the links on to all your friends, and pray for all the children who will receive the books!
Like to Win a Prize?
Reviews of our books are in short supply, but I’m told that the number of reviews a book amasses makes a massive difference to its success. I’d love to get a bit of a buzz going, but I can’t do it on my own!
Sooooo…. to reach as many young people as possible, I’m looking for people who will write honest reviews of our books on websites such as Amazon, CLCbookshops.com and Eden.co.uk (and of course our own Dernier Publishing.com). Please will you help? I know it’s a pain, but it’s all in a good cause, honest!
In return for your time, you could win a prize! Just email me to let me know how many books you have reviewed on how many sites, and you will have one chance to win for each review. (So if you review five books on two different sites, you will have ten chances to win.)
One of each of our books is up for grabs, so there are 16 chances to win. Shall we say until the end of March? If a son or daughter or niece or whoever has read the book, do feel free to write a review on their behalf. It doesn’t have to be complicated; it can be as simple as ‘Theo loved this book’. (Assuming he did, of course!) And your time is hugely appreciated – thanks so much.
Do You Write Stories for Young People?
For several years now I’ve run Write for a Reason, to help serve Christians who write novels for young people. I send out free weekly writing tips and run an online course, but now for something completely different: a “Meet-Up” course! Please find all the details below and on the Write for a Reason website. Let me know if you have any further questions – and do feel free to pass it on to anyone you know who could do with a bit of encouragement. 🙂
Are Your Children Safe Online?
I know it’s nothing to do with books, but online safety is a huge issue for parents, and we all need to keep an eye out for the dangers.
This website is a useful resource from the NSPCC to help you talk to your youngsters about staying safe online.
And that’s all for now! Every blessing to you all,
P.S. Don’t forget to let me know when you’ve done your reviews so I can put you in the prize draw! I look forward to hearing from you. 🙂
Newsletter January 2018
Though we are many, we are one body. We all know that, of course! On a recent visit to Chester, we visited the cathedral. They are building a Lego model of the cathedral, one brick at a time! Visitors can buy a brick for £1: all proceeds are for restoration projects. Seeing the model growing reminded me that we are all one body, though we have different jobs to do. Some of the Lego bricks are tiny, and some won’t even be seen once the model is complete, but each have their place! It’s good to remember that we are all in the body of Christ together – all with different tasks to do, but each one of us essential. As we start a new year, I’d like to thank you all for all you have done to help get Christian books into the hands of young people all over the world. It’s a joint effort, and I couldn’t do it without you. 🙂
Trinity School in Sevenoaks
Thanks to supporter Trish for this photo! Wonderful to see our books in the Trinity School library (Sevenoaks). Could you offer books to give to a local school? They may be read many times by many young people over several years. What a great way to sow seeds. Some might fall on the path, of course, some in thorns and some among weeds, but some may grow in good soil. It might take a bit of courage to ask, but don’t let your fear stop you!
P.S. A local primary school teacher is using A Pennyworth of Peppermints with her book club. 🙂
If you have friends and family who love books, let me know if would you like to hold a book party. It takes a bit of organisation, but if you love having people round it’s definitely worth it for a bit of fun, to get books into kids’ hands and to earn yourself a bit of commission. 🙂 Please contact me for more details.
Where Do they Go?
Most of the time we have no idea what happens to our books after they leave us in a box or a jiffy bag. Who reads them? We just don’t know! Occasionally, however, we get some feedback to keep us encouraged.
Author Mary has given some books to a family to take back to Taiwan with them. I think that’s a first. When I first started Dernier Publishing, getting books to children abroad seemed like an impossible dream. It’s truly amazing to see what the Lord has done. Thank you so much for your help, for being here, for supporting, for buying books and for your encouragement.
Books are also shortly off to The Gambia and Tanzania, and even a few to China. Please pray for all these books – no, I don’t mean that, please pray for the readers of the books! Some will be adults, as in some countries there are few Christian books around and they are greatly valued. Who knows what the Lord will do? 🙂
Here’s something else totally unexpected: at a recent Torch Trust holiday for people with sight loss, a book group listened to I Want to Be an Airline Pilot on audio, and each person was given an additional copy of the book in the format that suited their needs best (Braille, large print or CD). We were told that:
“Although this was a book for youngsters even the adults got a lot out of it. They found that it brought back memories of when they were young and had dreams like the person [Shema] in the book. It got to the stage where some read the book 2 or 3 times and each time got something different out of it and said it was an enjoyable book.”
Thank you so much to all of you who pray for us – your prayers are making a difference in the most unexpected of places!
Audio, Kindle, Epubs, Print on Demand and Books in Greek
Please pray for all these time-consuming projects. All are on the way, but all are taking longer than anticipated. Prayers appreciated.
Lent Resource for Young People
Looking for a Lent Resource for your young people? Lent starts on Wednesday 14th February. Not long now! Revenge of the Flying Carpet is a great book to use as a Lent Resource for 10-14s-ish, as the subjects of justice, forgiveness, judgement and mercy are on our minds. There are thought-provoking Book Group Questions in the actual book, and more detailed questions online for leaders to us (with grateful thanks to Brenda Lord for her expert help).
Is this something you could do as a family? Read the book together, then discuss the questions? Or suggest it to your congregation? One of the most pressing needs is for church young people to be discipled. It’s so easy to let the time slip by in lots of busy projects, but passing your faith on to your children is something only you can do, and you only have a short time. Don’t delay, start today! You can order the book from our website, or from your local Christian bookshop.
Finally, exciting news – we have a new book on the way, which will be released, God willing, in the late summer. It’s called A New Me and charts the progress of Jess, who finds Jesus following a series of events. Author Roy Jones lives in Kent, where the story is set. We will be bringing you more news bit by bit.
Apologies for being a bit late, but I hope you all have a very happy new year, full of hope, joy and peace.
Live, Love, Laugh
Have you seen the slogan Live, Love, Laugh? It seems to be the in-thing to have inspirational thoughts like this on plaques, calendars, pictures and ornaments.
If you could give anything to the ones you love this Christmas, wouldn’t you love to give the gifts of life, love and laughter? It’s what God our Father gave us, that first Christmas! As humans, there’s a limit to what we can do, but we can give the ones we love a Christian book that will help them find true and eternal love, life and laughter. We can’t force people to come to Jesus, neither would we want to, but we can show them the way through a Christian book.
Better than a Star Wars razor, I think. Or chocolate, or even an i-phone! Just think – true life, eternal love and joy that knows no limits. That has to be the best present ever. 🙂
I was interviewed by Matt Dick of UCB Radio last week about our new book, Revenge of the Flying Carpet. It was a bit last minute, as someone had suddenly dropped out and they had a hole to fill in their schedule! Please don’t feel obliged, but this is the link if you’d like to listen (it will be on the server for another couple of weeks). The interview begins around the 2:15:00 mark. :-) Love sharing the Dernier story!
You can buy Revenge of the Flying Carpet from your local Christian bookstore or direct from our website to encourage and inspire your 10-14s.
Big Book Party
I held a Big Book Party at my home on 2nd December. Thanks to those who came and made it such fun!
We played games, like how many books can you carry on your head? (that was hilarious!) . . . can you find the buried book treasure on the map? . . . and how many words can you make from the letters of Revenge of the Flying Carpet, and of course sold some books! If you would like to hold a book party (and earn some commission), or come to the next book party at my house, let me know.
Still need presents? Or would love to give your young people’s class/group a last minute gift? As I said recently at the launch of Revenge of the Flying Carpet, all our books are published with two main aims – to be excellent reads, and to share something of the good news of Jesus.
If you need help choosing books for Christmas, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Always glad to help! And if you would love to give a gift of books but don’t have the resources, let me know – perhaps together we can find a way.
If you can’t get to your local Christian bookshop this Christmas, you can still buy books direct from our website. If you use the coupon code NEWSLETTER, 10% will be taken off your order, with our thanks for all your support over the last year! Valid only until this Friday (15th December) so don’t delay, order today!
As well as individual books, you can buy a series of books together: the four Beech Bank Girls books, the two Treasure Mystery books, the three Rwanda stories or a big family bundle of 15 books. Your gift could bring so much love, life and joy this Christmas!
Dear Lord Jesus, we pray for all the children who will read our books this Christmas. We don’t know who they all are, or know their circumstances and their hearts, but you do, and we know you love them. We pray that each one will find life, love and joy in abundance. Amen!
P.S. Here’s the link to our online catalogue if you’d like a quiet browse with a coffee. Feel free to choose your books then buy them elsewhere – we love it when people support bookshops. We’re just glad the books are getting out there into children’s hands. 🙂
Welcome to the Dernier Publishing Newsletter, November 2017
Launch of the Flying Carpet!
We had a great time at the launch of Revenge of the Flying Carpet. Thanks to all who came, young and old! It was great to celebrate the arrival of this book, and you can now buy as many copies as you like until we sell out . . . which might not be too long, as we’ve already sold almost half the original print run!
The story is really as much about forgiveness as revenge. Forgiveness is an issue for all of us, because we have all let others down, and we all have people in our lives who have done us wrong. I bet if I gave you a moment you could come up someone you have hurt . . . and someone who you would really like to see getting their comeuppance for what they have done to you!
Paul, the lad on the cover, has been bullied by his sister as long as he can remember. When he finds a magic carpet in his gran’s loft, he thinks it’s going to get him revenge, but he gets a lot more than he bargains for . . . and there’s a twist in the tale. 🙂
You can get your copy here or from your local Christian bookshop. The book is really for 10-14s, but you might like it, too, so do buy one and pass it on! If you have known the freedom that forgiveness brings, you will want to share it.
To give you a bit of a taste, here’s an extract from the first chapter (which I read at the launch):
The one bad thing about flying off on a magic carpet was that I had to go with my twin sister. She got the celebrity name – Trinity. I got the boring name – Paul. And that just about sums up the whole of the fifteen years of our lives.
I never thought about revenge, though, until I found the carpet.
Trinity has always had the best of everything. She has thousands of friends – well OK, that’s an exaggeration, but loads anyway, and she always gets everything she wants. If she asks and doesn’t get it the first time, she wheedles it out of whoever another way, either sulking or making them feel guilty till they give in.
Mostly she helps herself without asking. If there’s only one bag of crisps, she’ll have it. She’s supposed to be attractive (according to most people), gets A*s for everything, and is captain of the school netball team. So yeah, my sister . . .
Anyway, I wanted to tell you about the flying carpet – well, it was the size of a large rug really, but magic rug doesn’t sound quite right. It was both stunning from an art point of view, and for once in my life . . . hang on, I’m going too fast. Let me start by telling you how I found it.
It was in our gran’s loft when we cleared out her house (she had to move into an old people’s apartment with a lift because she can’t manage the stairs any more). I had to pass all the stuff down the rickety loft ladder to Trinity, because it was dirty up there and I always got the worst jobs. A bare light bulb hardly lit up the cobwebs, let alone the stuff beneath. It was freezing up there (it was February), and the rafters were so low I kept bumping my head.
I nearly died when I first climbed up and saw how much dusty old junk was up there. You should have seen it, piled up high, stretching away to every corner. My heart sank. What a way to spend a Saturday. We’d be here forever, I thought. I wondered where I was going to start, but it was obvious really – I had to start right there by the ladder because I couldn’t get any further in.
I’ll cut out telling you about all the tedious shifting and Trinity’s non-stop moaning and whining, and get straight to the point.
The carpet was rolled up against the far brick wall, held up between a pile of chairs and a stack of boxes. I could see the blue wool on the edges, long before I could get to it – even then there was something about it. It was the only decent thing in the entire loft. Everything else was broken or rusty or mouldy or faded. I know this is going to sound strange, but the carpet seemed to be waiting there for me to find it. Even before I touched it, I felt kind of drawn towards it.
When I eventually did reach it, ages later, I unrolled the edge and stroked it. Tingles went up and down my spine. It was thick, warm, and attractive in an arty kind of way, with a soft pile, like real wool, in shades of blue. Even then, I knew there was more to it than just the way it looked and felt. It was as if it wanted to tell me or show me something.
I was still feeling a bit wow, I can’t believe this, when Trinity yelled up the loft ladder. “What’s the matter slowmo?” Well I didn’t want her to know about the carpet, so I quickly rolled it back up, slid it behind some tins of old paint, and carried on shoving the stuff down to her, you know the sort of things – old lampshades, battered old suitcases, and a whole mass of decorating stuff that must have been our granddad’s a very long time ago.
I waited for my moment. As soon as Trinity wandered off, moaning about her arms aching and needing a break, I unrolled the carpet and spread it out as best I could around the junk. Incredible it was, stunningly beautifully patterned, about the size of a double bed, looking perfect, not a bit dusty or moth eaten. And it wasn’t as heavy as you’d expect, either, which was strange.
Then of course Trinity turned up, peering up through the loft hatch, leaning on the ladder. “What have you found?” she asked.
“Nothing,” I said, but of course I had and she could see it.
“Liar,” she snarled, pulling herself up the last bit of the ladder and into the loft. “Ooh, it’s really disgusting up here,” she added, wrinkling her nose. “Bit like you really.” Then she turned to the carpet. “Hey, that must be worth a lot of money, I bet it’s a genuine Persian rug. Nice one,” she decided. “I could sell it.”
“But it’s not yours,” I objected. If Gran didn’t want it, I wanted it for myself. It’s not like it was trendy or anything, I just really liked it.
“It’s not yours either.”
“I found it.”
“Don’t be childish,” she said, looking down her nose at me. “I suppose you’re going to say finders keepers next? Anyway, it’s Gran’s, and she’ll give it to me if I ask her for it.” As usual, I didn’t answer. I just sighed, knowing she was right. Trinity, being deliberately annoying as usual, sat down on the carpet. She looked up at me in her superior way, with her arms folded, secure in the knowledge that she had won again, because she always did.
Well, as I couldn’t get stuff down the ladder without her being there to hand it down to, I thought I might as well sit on the carpet once before it was taken away from me. So I stepped on to it and sat down.
Now this is going to be difficult to believe, but when I discussed it with Spencer afterwards (did I tell you he’s my best mate?), we agreed that nothing is impossible. Well evidently, because with the sound of whooshing, the carpet lifted off the floor. I remember Trinity’s horrified expression as we hovered for a minute over the ancient boards of the loft and the rest of Gran’s stuff that we hadn’t yet got downstairs, then somehow we must have slid through the roof because we were in the air outside and gliding through the clouds.
You can get your copy here and from bookshops for just £5.99. If you would like quantity discounts, please contact me. It’s a great story to give to a group so you can consider together the issues of justice v injustice, mercy v revenge, the temporal v the eternal. There are reading group questions in the back, and the format is dyslexia friendly, so nobody should feel left out. You can also order the book in large print and Braille via the Torch Trust (contact me for details).
A few weeks ago I went to Bessels Green Baptist Church to speak to members of their Seniors Club and had a delicious free lunch – home made quiche, new potatoes and fresh vegetables! A group of about 40 older people meet up every week. As well as talking about Dernier, I did a quiz on classic children’s stories, which was good fun. It was great to hear some of the “lunchers” talk about stories they enjoyed as children, and to remember how important stories are in our lives. A few people bought books for grandchildren – do pray they will touch hearts and lives. Sorry I meant to take some photos and completely forgot!
Christian Resources Exhibition
We didn’t exhibit at the Christian Resources Exhibition at Sandown Park in Esher this year, but I did go as a visitor. Among the speakers were Rachel Gardner (from Youthscape) and George Verwer (founder of OM). What shone forth was their passion for what they do. In completely different ways, they are showing people there is another way – that the gospel of Jesus is good news. People don’t have to follow the crowd, but can walk the narrow way which brings freedom, grace, love, and blessings beyond measure.
We are not all called to be in the limelight like George and Rachel, but we all need to be reminded from time to time how important it is that we all pull our weight. We ALL have a job to do. We all have a vital task that only we can do. It’s so easy to go with the flow and get comfortable – but the time to be comfortable isn’t now, it will be later!
Would you be kind enough to write a review, if you have read Revenge of the Flying Carpet, (or any other of our books) for our website? I know it’s a nuisance, but if you had a few minutes it would be hugely appreciated (rest assured that I am the only one who can see your details). One thing that studies have shown that helps a book’s success is the number of reviews it amasses . . . and we hardly have any.
The more reviews, the more copies sold, which brings more reviews, so more copies sold – and so it goes on. Social proof is hugely important in getting people to trust us, who have never bought from us before. And we’d like to reach as many young people with the message of forgiveness as we can! You can do so here. Thank you!
And I ought not to keep you any longer!
Grace and peace to you all, and thanks for reading the newsletter, and for all your support,
P.S. If you haven’t got anyone to buy Revenge of the Flying Carpet for, we can send books on to a school in Africa desperate for reading material, on your behalf. Just let me know. :-)
Dernier Publishing Newsletter October 2017
Once again we have reached autumn and harvest time – how time flies, along with the swallows! Hope you have had a good summer.
Last weekend I went to stay with my brother, who moved to Ireland last year. It was my first time on Irish soil – what a beautiful country! One day we drove to the Atlantic coast. It was a windy day, and wow, how those waves were rolling in! But it was the pebbles on the beach that took my attention: they were all different sorts – really unusual. It reminded me how, although we are all so very different, with different gifts and from different walks of life, we are all in the kingdom of God together.
Some of the pebbles were so incredibly smooth, too! Rubbed up against each other, smashed by the waves and eroded by the rough sand day after day, the process is smoothing every sharp and rough corner. There’s a lesson there. If we are feeling battered by life, and bruised by people . . . we can rejoice! All those hardships are there to help us become more like Jesus.
I kept this one to remind me.
Paul learns a bit about that in the Revenge of the Flying Carpet, but more about that in a minute!
Please let me know if you’re interested in having a Dernier book party between now and Christmas. It’s a great way to get Christian books into more homes and earn some commission at the same time! I can email you all the details – just reply to this email or contact me here.
Because of our links with Angel Tree, I was privileged to be invited to Lambeth Palace to an event organised by the Prison Fellowship. What an amazing work they do. Listening to the speakers and talking to a chaplain from a Young Offenders Institution afterwards, I came away more aware than ever how vital it is we reach our children with the good news of Jesus while they are young. There are too many heartbreaking stories – some of the boys in the YOI are as young as fifteen. 🙁 You can read more about the Prison Fellowship and Angel Tree here.
Please pray for the children of prisoners who will receive our books this year through Angel Tree. Many of them are vulnerable themselves. And do buy books for children you care for – you may never know what misery you might avert by the seeds you sow.
Audio and Ebooks
Please keep praying for our audio books and ebooks, too! A lot of work is going into each file. Ebook files will be uploaded to the CLC website very soon. As soon as they are available I will let you know, of course. Nearly there!
I’ve just finished recording Living in Hope for the Torch Trust for blind and partially sighted people. I Want to Be An Airline Pilot is done; Under the Tamarind Tree is next, so people with sight loss can have the whole set of Rwanda books on audio. Reading into the microphone is not as easy as it might seem, and re-recording the bits when I stumble or get a word wrong is time-consuming. But slowly we’re getting there . . .
Thanks to all who prayed for our time at the Christian Resources Together retreat last month. It was a great time of meeting up with friends in the trade, and supporting each other, so together we can get as many Christian resources out into the church (and the world!) as we can. It was especially lovely for me to have author Eleanor Watkins helping on our exhibition stand. Thanks Eleanor! Our authors are such a vital part of the publishing process, and are greatly valued. Eleanor and I gave away copies of Rebecca and Jade: Choices to retailers from Christian bookshops. We hope many will read it and recommend it to customers.
Revenge of the Flying Carpet
Copies will be with us any time now from the printer! I can’t wait to see them. The cover will have varnish swirls, which you can’t see in the jpg image. The release date for this book is 1st November, but I have a special offer for you (as you are kind enough to be subscribed to this mailing list). If you pre-order Revenge of the Flying Carpet between now and the launch date, I will send you, completely free, a copy of Deepest Darkness along with the new book, to pass on to a child on your heart. If you would be kind enough to write a review on our website when you have read it, I would be hugely grateful. The review can be as simple as ‘This was a good/bad book‘ or ‘I loved it/hated it‘ – you can write as much as you like, of course! We all look for reviews when we want to buy something, so the more reviews, the merrier. (This offer is exclusive to supporters on our mailing list, though, so please don’t pass it around.)
This is the link to our website. When you order, let me know you are a subscriber, and I’ll make sure your copy of Deepest Darkness goes into your parcel. This offer is only available pre-launch, so don’t delay, order now.
Revenge of the Flying Carpet will be available from your local Christian bookshop, of course, as well as from our website.
About the Book
Some of you know I started Dernier Publishing when I saw the need for fun fiction for young people written from a Christian perspective. (That’s cutting a long story short, but it will do for now!) I began writing stories myself, so I had something to publish in those early years when I had no money and no experience (and didn’t want to be responsible for ruining anyone else’s stories while on that steep learning curve!). Actually, I found I loved writing fiction, but as Dernier has got bigger I’ve had little time for writing, as I’ve concentrated on publishing other people’s stories.
However, a few years ago I had an idea for a story that was burning in me. I began writing Revenge of the Flying Carpet – and actually finished it. We all know children who are bullied and badly treated at home and at school. Knife and gun crime are on the increase. Gangs bring violence because revenge is a way of life – and unless there’s forgiveness, there will never be and end to the suffering. It may be natural instinct to want to ‘get even’, but it doesn’t work – it just brings more pain to more people. Lives will carry on being scarred, hurt, torn apart. Children are not exempt.
I wanted to write a book that would bring hope to young people who suffer or who have suffered at the hands of other people. A charity we have links with runs trauma healing workshops for Christians in Nigeria who are victims of people who burn their villages, kill their families, kidnap their girls. Forgiveness is part of the healing process. Challenging? You bet.
In the Revenge of the Flying Carpet, Paul’s sister is mean to him – very mean. All the time. All his life he has had to put up with her mocking, bullying, mean nastiness. I wanted to show readers that although in this world there can be injustice, pain, abuse, oppression and all kinds of evil, one day there will be justice. And for now, there needs to be grace and forgiveness. We need to forgive, and we need to be forgiven. It’s then we find freedom. Paul finds this challenging, too, in the book, as he hears the good news of Jesus and starts to understand what it means. I pray the story will bring hope to anyone who has ever suffered at the hands of others, as well as being an enjoyable read! I hope it will help young people find forgiveness – forgiveness for themselves, for the wrongs they have done, and forgiveness for the people who have sinned against them. Or at least take a step in that direction.
I hope you will buy this book, read it yourself, then pass it on and buy more for the 10-14s in your life (you might even enjoy it yourself!).
And that’s all I have room for!
Grace and peace to you,
P.S. I used to be Evans before I was Wilson, so I’ve kept J.M. Evans as my pen name. Still me, though!