Have you read A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider? Here is a glimpse into one of my stories in this book.

My Mother’s Gift

Why did you write “My Mother’s Gift”?

I have been asked why I wrote this story included in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider.

Here, I answer that question. And below that, please enjoy a short excerpt from my story.

I grew up in a single-parent family in a time when that was very odd. However, for me, my mother set the standard for excellence, leaving me with invaluable gifts that far outweigh the physical things in life we were not able to afford. This story shares the moment when I first met my father, but more importantly shares the most important gift my mother gave me.

Excerpt – Page 48

The first day of school was one of my favourite days of the year. I loved orange-yellow HB pencils with soft rose-coloured erasers. I loved the smell that wafted out of a brand new box of crayons with their perfect chiselled tips. And I loved the empty, lined pages of my notebooks that would soon capture my thoughts in writing.

The only thing I dreaded about that day was the first half hour when my new teacher would read the class list aloud and demand information I simply didn’t have.

Classes at my elementary school began each day by singing “God Save the Queen.” After the teacher read a Bible story, we recited The Lord’s Prayer together. Then the roll call began. When “Violet Ann” rang out across the classroom, I acknowledged my presence, and the questions started.

Privacy rules were nonexistent in the 1960s, making each detail of pertinent information public to the whole class. Unusual names brought snickers. One of my answers inspired confused whispers every year.

“Mother’s name?” asked the teacher.

“Joyce,” I responded.

“Father’s name?”

“I don’t have one,” I answered quietly, providing the answer I dreaded giving. Two-parent families were still the norm in the early sixties, so my response always drew stares from my curious classmates. It was bad enough to say it once, but my grade three teacher persevered, “Violet, what is your father’s name?”

Later, I would explain that I preferred Ann to Violet, but first I had to convince her that I really didn’t have a father. At least no father I knew anything about.

… for the rest of the story, check out A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider

HACC cover


Stories of Finding Love in Unexpected Places

That’s the title of the newest book in this popular Canadian series.

This inspirational anthology, the 4th book in the Hot Apple Cider series, is jam packed with heartfelt stories and poems to encourage and inspire you; powerful stories of faith, hope and love.

Perfect for gifts or to treat yourself to some relaxation and inspiration! To order your copy, click here.

Powerful Stories

of Faith, Hope, and Love

HACC pic - fall

Meet the Authors 

I am honoured to announce that A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider won two awards in 2013.

Both awards were presented by The Book Club Network Inc. (http://www.bookfun.org/)

The first award was nonfiction book of the month (October).

The second award was 3rd place for nonfiction book of the year.

3rd place award nonfiction book of the year

3rd place award nonfiction book of the year

To read more about this book, and this honour, visit our publisher:


and The Book Club Network Inc.:


The article appears on pages 154 – 157.

Thank you for sharing this book and for voting!

My second chapter in “A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider” was featured on a blog recently. Click below to find out what prompted me to write Visual Gymnastics and to read an except.


Aging is an interesting time of life and comes with many choices. How we respond to those choices makes all the difference in how we live our lives.

Hope you’ll take a moment to watch this interview with Wendy Elaine Nelles, co-founder of The Word Guild:

E-book is now available

A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider

is now available as an e-book also.

The e-book is available on Amazon.ca and Amazon.com as well as through other e-book providers.

A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider e-book cover s

That’s Life! Communications says the following on their website:

Above everything else, this is a book of hope. And our goal is to get it into the hands of everyone who needs hope. 

This book has sold more than 10,000 print copies, and has another 30,000 in circulation thanks to World Vision. We’re hoping to sell many more around the world.

Here are some reviews:

“Short stories, poetry, and works of memoir picked for their inspirational nature, dedicated to finding a shining light in our lives that so often turn dark.” MidWest Book Review

“This comforting and encouraging book should be in every home, library, church, and school.” Pauline Christian, President, Black Business and Professional Association

“From a host of talented writers who serve rich words, wrap your hands around a volume that will not only warm you right through, but strengthen you for the road ahead. A perfectly inspiring read.” Ann Voskamp, author of New York Times bestselling book One Thousand Gifts

“This collection of wonderful writing… is honest, personal, and compelling… Like me, you’ll be comforted, inspired, and encouraged. I felt as if God were reading over my shoulder.” Michael Messenger, Executive VP, World Vision Canada

CAPA 2012 Book of the Year“What a great book! [It] will give you a refreshing lift and a change of perspective, perhaps when you need it most.” Ellen Vaughn, New York Times bestselling author

“Gem of a collection.” Faith Today magazine

Christian Small Publisher Gift Book of the Year Award, 2012

Winner of 13 awards, The Word Awards 2012

Buy a Book

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You can always order the Hot Apple Cider books from me. But, if you would like to see more books by Canadian authors, click here.