Joy and Laughter – The One Year Devotional

Joy and Laughter

This devotional anthology compiled by Mary Hollingsworth from the best-selling One Year line, The One Year Devotional of Joy and Laughter is specifically designed to brighten your day with laughter and joy. Joy is a special type of happiness. Each one of us needs to and should create habits in our lives that encourage us to look on the bright side of our circumstances and see the goodness in what God has given us. This devotional is a daily joy break—something all of us need.

My Contributions:

1 Out of Sight – a humorous moment with my three-year-old granddaughter

2 War in Heaven – a hilarious disaster at a Christmas nativity presentation in our church

3 An Unexpected Answer – the day a child’s robot answered a congregation’s prayer through the window on a hot Christmas Day in S. Africa.

Light for the Writers’ Soul

Christian writers from around the globe have contributed to this exciting journal, a unique commemorative book for LittWorld 2015, an international conference for Christians in publishing to be held in Singapore. Containing 100 devotional articles by 80 contributing writers from 27 countries, this book aims to inspire and encourage Christian writers to harness their gifts and keep writing for God.


My contribution: #92 – When God Makes the Impossible, Possible – which tells of how God used the U-turn of cancer to turn me into an Internationally-published author.

It’s a GOD Thing

It’s a God Thing

Readers will be captivated by real-life stories—some simple and everyday, while others are miraculous—where the only possible response to how things turned out is: “It’s a God thing.”

My contribution:

The Traveling Laptop tells the story of how I received my first laptop as a result of prayer, traveling all the way from the USA to S.Africa.

Available through Amazon or in South Africa via Loots

13 Books on Preorder, the Launch Party, In All Things!

Updated since the launch party!

Last post I shared with you how ten authors of Christian Writers of Southern Africa, (CWOSA), took up my challenge to create a boxed set of 13  devotional books. Here’s some news about our amazing launch!

I now have very exciting news to share! ‘In All Things – 13 devotions from Africa’ reached #1 on Amazon in the New Releases: Spiritual Devotions category. What an exciting moment to see our boxed set boasting its little orange ribbon.

read more

Miriam Part II ~ Gifted Leader

Miriam ~ Gifted Leader

Meet Miriam, the gifted leader!

Most of us know about the little girl who watched over her three-month-old brother as he sailed in a basket boat on the crocodile-infested River Nile. Her story is told in Miriam Part 1 ~ Devoted Sister, which ends as the Children of Israel gather at the exit to Goshen, their home for many decades, and prepare for their trip to the Promised Land.

Miriam ~ Gifted Leader takes up her story at around eighty years old. Yet, as we will see, this was no fragile, elderly woman. She had far more energy than I have, and I imagine more than you. About to embark on an incredible journey that would take the rest of her life, she faced adventures and horrors of terrifying magnitude. Throughout that time, she showed herself to be a gifted leader. All this in a time when women were not regarded as capable of taking the lead.

This story commences as the previous book ends. I invite you to pick up your bundles and get behind our leaders as we prepare to take our leave of Pharaoh, the Egyptians, and the life of slavery. We will follow Miriam as she steps out of the shadow of her famous brother, Moses, and becomes a true leader in her own right.

If you recognize this elderly lady from the previous Miriam book, you are right. She’s the same person. She’s just aged as we all do!

Excerpt: The story commences:

The sound of the ram’s horn echoed across the land of Goshen. Egyptians crowded along the borders of their land to watch. Some cheered. Some jeered. Others, especially women, waved tearful goodbyes.

Miriam took her place at the front of the procession next to her two brothers. “I am so sorry for these Egyptian women,” she said. “They did nothing to bring this about.”

Aaron glanced at her. “No, this is all to be blamed on Pharaoh and his stubborn disregard for human life. Not that the men are in the clear. They didn’t need to exert such cruelty on our men.”

Moses turned to those around him. “Let’s go people. The Lord has spoken.”

Shouts of scorn and ridicule came to Miriam’s ears. She looked around and saw a mob of young Egyptian men yelling obscenities and negative statements at God’s people. She felt a rush of anger quickly followed by one of great joy. “The Lord the God of our forefathers goes before us,” she sang out. “I AM is Lord of All!”

She heard those around her pick up the song. She added more words which she sang alone, then repeated, “I AM is Lord of All!” The sounds of jeering faded as more and more of the slow-moving multitude joined in. The words came like echoes from the back of the crowd. As a massed choir beyond any ever seen on earth, the people took up the chorus. “I AM is Lord of All!”

Moses turned and spoke into her ear. “Well done, Miriam. God is going to use your gift of song over these next weeks. Music lifts the soul and brings encouragement to the downhearted and fearful.”

She grinned and reached up to speak into his ear above the singing. “It also drowns the noise of opposition.”

The time had come—at last. What excitement filled Miriam’s breast. God’s people were on their way to the Promised Land. Indeed, I AM was Lord of All!

Now you need to read the book . . .

Get your copy of the e-reader here:

Get Your Copy

If you enjoy it, I would love you to post a review on Amazon or any other place that sells the book. Thank you.

N.B. The top image is the new cover. The second one is the previous version. I need to hear from you. Which do you prefer?

CHOSE A COVER: Top image is the new cover. The second one is the old version. I need to hear from you. Which do you prefer? Click To Tweet


Miriam – Gifted Leader is the first in a growing series of books based on women in the Bible that lived under the shadow of some other person, location, or event. 

Also available 

Other books by Shirley:

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What is an Author’s Street Team

Originally written in November 2017. Updated August, 2018.

There is no point in publishing a book if no one knows it's there. Click To Tweet

Would you agree?

That’s where the idea of a street team comes into being.

What is a Street Team?

It all began for me when my friend, Marion Ueckermann, mentioned the term to me during a Whatsapp call. I immediately asked if I could join hers to see how it worked. And, of course, I turned to Google to learn more.

How to be Part of a Powerful Street Team. Read more here. Click To Tweet

At iUniverse I found this: “A street team is a group of volunteers who band together to promote an author and his or her book. Members of a street team are motivated by their love of an author’s work to promote it to as many people as possible.”

I learned a good deal from various sources, but most of all from a guest post by Jennifer Probst, a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author.

In Jennifer’s words, “A street team is a dedicated group of readers who like your work and are interested in helping promote your books. These readers are interested in helping to promote your book because your relationship with them is mutually beneficial. They get to hang out online with one of their favorite authors and receive exclusive material, and you get help with promotion to share new releases, giveaways, and special events.” read more

Writing to Publication

Writing – a Hobby

Writing was a hobby until the beginning of 2001. Then the Lord spoke to me through Scripture and the words of a meditation.

“Pick up your pen and write . . . Share the wondrous things I have done.” (Habakkuk 2:2; Psalm 118:17)

It wasn’t the first time He had brought these verses to my attention.

In 1997-1998, I went through radical treatment for aggressive cancer. While lying on my bed recovering from the latest chemotherapy treatment, I read both these verses. I believed at the time that God was saying I was not to keep my cancer diagnosis and the lessons I was learning a secret. That I was to speak openly. I also thought He wanted me to journal so that I wouldn’t forget.

Then a Calling

I believe both of these were true. But there was more, and in 2001 I understood. He wanted me to write for publication and to share all He had done with any who would read.

I have had hundreds, probably thousands, of articles published online and in print. Not all of them are devotional in nature, but they all speak from experience. The more I had published, the more I felt like a writer.

Then in 2012, Revell Publishers in America brought out my book of meditations for those on the cancer journey, Strength Renewed, Meditations for Your Journey through Breast Cancer. At last I felt like an author.

Since then I have had a number of books published which you can see under the heading Published Work on the menu.