Saturday, August 1, 2009

Abingdon Press launches fiction line... TODAY!

I'm bursting with pride to be among those celebrating the birth of a new Christian fiction line.

Abingdon Press, an imprint of The United Methodist Publishing House, has been in operation since 1789. Now beginning its ninth decade, it has a commitment to providing the best, most effective religious publications available. Which is obvious in this bold new venture. When other publishing houses are talking about scaling back, Abingdon has chosen to expand and enter the world of fiction.

I'm particularly excited about this because Abingdon is the publisher of my next book. The Pastor's Wife comes out in February 2010, but is available for pre-order through Cokesbury at a 40% discount. If you'd like a preview, scroll down to the bottom of this page and take a gander at the book trailer.

But now, it's time to toot the horns of four other very talented writers. Check out these titles, available now online and in fine book selling establishments near you!


Gone to Green by Judy Christie

In Gone to Green, Lois goes from being a corporate journalist at a large paper in the Midwest to the owner of The Green News-Item, a small twice-weekly newspaper in rural North Louisiana. The paper was an unexpected inheritance from a close colleague, and Lois must keep it for at least a year, bringing a host of challenges, lessons, and blessings into her life.

When Lois pulls into Green on New Year’s Day, she expects a charming little town full of smiling people. She quickly realizes her mistake. After settling into a loaned house out on Route 2, she finds herself battling town prejudices and inner doubts and making friends with the most surprising people: troubled teenager Katy, good-looking catfish farmer Chris, wise and feisty Aunt Helen, and a female African-American physician named Kevin.

Whether fighting a greedy, deceitful politician or rescuing a dog she fears, Lois notices the headlines in her life have definitely improved. She learns how to provide small-town news in a big-hearted way and realizes that life is full of newsworthy moments. When she encounters racial prejudice and financial corruption, Lois also discovers more about the goodness of real people and the importance of being part of a community.

While secretly preparing the paper for a sale, Lois begins to realize that God might indeed have a plan for her life and that perhaps the allure of city life and career ambition are not what she wants after all.



Surrender the Wind by Rita Gerlach

Surrender the Wind is the story of Seth Braxton, a patriot of the American Revolution, who unexpectedly inherits his loyalist grandfather’s estate in England. Seth is torn between the land he fought for and the prospect of reuniting with his sister Caroline, who was a motherless child taken to England at the onset of the war.

With no intention of staying permanently, Seth arrives to find his sister grieving over the death of her young son. In the midst of such tragedy, Seth meets Juleah, the daughter of an eccentric landed gentleman. Her independent spirit and gentle soul steal Seth’s heart. After a brief courtship, they marry and she takes her place as the lady of Ten Width Manor, enraging the man who once sought her hand and schemed to make Ten Width his own.

From the Virginia wilderness to the dark halls of an isolated English estate, Seth and his beloved Juleah inherit more than an ancestral home. They uncover a sinister plot that leads to murder, abduction, and betrayal--an ominous threat to their new life, love, and faith.


The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow by Joyce Magnin

The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow is the story of an unusual woman, Agnes Sparrow. No longer able or willing to leave her home, where she is cared for by her long-suffering sister Griselda, Agnes has committed her life to the one thing she can do—besides eat. Agnes Sparrow prays and when Agnes prays things happen, including major miracles of the cancer, ulcer-healing variety along with various minor miracles not the least of which is the recovery of lost objects and a prize-winning pumpkin.

The rural residents of Bright’s Pond are so enamored with Agnes they plan to have a sign erected on the interstate that reads, “Welcome to Bright’s Pond, Home of Agnes Sparrow.” This is something Agnes doesn’t want and sends Griselda to fight city hall. Griselda’s petitions are shot down and the sign plans press forward until a stranger comes to town looking for his miracle from Agnes. The truth of Agnes’s odd motivation comes out when the town reels after the murder of a beloved community member. How could Agnes allow such evil in their midst? Didn’t she know? Well, the prayers of Agnes Sparrow have more to do with Agnes than God. Agnes has been praying to atone for a sin committed when she was a child. After some tense days, the townsfolk, Griselda, and Agnes decide they all need to find their way back to the true source of the miracles—God.



The Call of Zulina by Kay Marshall Strom

Set in 1787 in West Africa, The Call of Zulina opens as the scorching harmattan winds blow. Desperate to avoid marriage to an odious suitor, Grace escapes the family compound only to be caught up in a slave revolt at the fortress of Zulina. Soon, she begins to grasp the brutality and ferocity of the family business. Held for ransom, viciously maimed by a runaway slave, and threatened with death, Grace is finally jerked into reality and comes to sympathize with the plight of the captives. She admires their strength and courage and is genuinely moved by the African Cabeto’s passion, determination, and willingness to sacrifice anything, including his own life, for his people’s freedom.

The Grace in Africa series is a sweeping three-part historical saga of slavery and freedom that takes the reader from an island off the west coast of Africa to Southern plantations and finally on to Canada. All her life, Grace Winslow, the daughter of a mixed marriage between an English sea captain and an African princess, has been sheltered from the truth about the family business--the capture and trade of slaves.

4 comments:

Debra E Marvin said...

Hi Jen,
I'm so glad you put this in perspective for me. I guess seeing these four together made me realize that Abington is going to be a big player in this industry. Those are all books that I've heard about - a lot! And - knockout covers! Oooh, great news for us historical fans.

I am so excited for you!

Jennifer AlLee said...

Thanks, Debra!

Richard Mabry said...

Jennifer, Thanks for the post. Exciting times. Aren't you glad these folks are blazing a trail for those of us who'll follow next spring? Honored to be in the group.

Jennifer AlLee said...

I agree with you on all counts, Doc. I'm humbled, excited, honored, and happy to let someone else go first!