In 2008, That's Life! Communications released Hot Apple Cider: Words to Stir the Heart and Warm the Soul, a Canadian version of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. The anthology featured 30 Canadian Christian writers and a foreword by bestselling author Janette Oke. Since then, it has become a bestseller, with over 45,000 copies in print. This year, fans of the anthology can get A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider.
The very first story in A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider left me in tears. The next stories kept me turning pages, wanting more. Like the first anthology, this one is a collection of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, and my only complaint about both anthologies is that there isn't enough fiction. The majority of both books is nonfiction, but the fiction stories in both books are my favourite parts.
"Twenty-five Years Later" by N. J. Lindquist is the story of five college girls, gathering for a reunion twenty-five years after graduation. They haven't seen each other since they graduated and each one has changed quite a bit. It made me think of my own group of college girlfriends (especially as we plan our own weekend "reunion" this year). I loved the twist at the ending, as the main character, Marianne, who has struggled for years with insecurity and wonders what her friends saw in her all those years ago, finally has an answer.
Publisher and editor Nancy J. Lindquist says, "“The Hot Apple Cider books aren't sweet and sentimental. Instead, they're empowering, because they reassure you that you're not alone, that God is at work in your life, that good will come out of the struggles you face, and that every person matters." Every story in the book left me with something to think about or thinking "Yes! I've felt that way too!" The short stories also made it easy to pick up the book when I had a few minutes to spare.
A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider has gotten endorsements from Phil Callaway (bestselling author), Ginger Kolbaba (found enditor of Kyria.com), Larry Willard (owner and publisher, Castle Quay Books Canada) and many others. Every writer in the book is a member of The Word Guild, and several are also members of Inscribe Christian Writer's Fellowship.
Throughout the book, black and white photos enhance the stories and compliment the title of the book. A Second Cup of Hot Apple Cider is a book that all Canadians can be proud to have on their bookshelves.