Musings from an African Garden – by Anna Jensen

This entry is part of the series In All Things

Can you believe it’s Friday again?

And halfway through the first month of the year.

Today, we’re chatting to a South African author who is actually an ex-pat from her beloved England, Anna Jensen. Anna wrote two of the books in our In All Things boxed set, and it’s a pleasure to interview her today. I think we’ll take her first book first—Musings from an African Garden.

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Chat with Vida Li Sik, Author of Promises to Cherish

This entry is part 11 of the series In All Things

Goodness me! It’s Friday again!

And the last Friday before Christmas and New Year!

Vida Li SIk

Time to once again meet up with one of the eleven authors who contributed to our 13-book boxed set of devotional readings. Each book covers seven days of meditations based on a different theme but loosely connected with Africa.

Meet Vida Li Sik

So today we’re chatting to Vida Li Sik, author of Promises to Cherish.  Isn’t that a beautiful title? Lovely cover too.

Vida lives in South Africa’s “City of Gold” – Johannesburg. She has two young adult sons, one of whom recently wrote the matriculation certificate examination after surely the most traumatic year any students have ever faced for their final and most important school year. We wish him well in the results. read more

Chatting to Yvonne Tippins, Author of Life is Good

This entry is part 10 of the series In All Things

Can you believe it’s Friday again!

Time to meet up with one of our eleven authors once more. Together we have brought out a 13-book boxed set of devotional writings, with each book covering seven days of devotions, and based in Africa.

Every one of these books has a totally different theme, each chosen by the authors, and yet wow! They all gel together so beautifully.

Today, we’re chatting to Yvonne Tippins, author of Life is Good.

Yvonne lives in Vereeneging with her husband Mark. They have a daughter, Laura, who is also a writer.

Today we're chatting to Yvonne Tippins, author of Life is Good - one of 13 e-books available in In All Things - available now on Amazon. https://books2read.com/InAllThings Click To Tweet

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Inspired to Worship – Getting to know Ann Goodfellow

This entry is part 8 of the series In All Things

Interview with Ann, author of Inspired to Worship

So it’s Friday once again. How quickly they come round! Today we’re chatting to another of the authors published in In All Things, a 3-month boxed set of daily devotional readings, all linked to Africa. Each small book of seven devotions is written by an author who was either born in Africa or was born elsewhere but has lived in Africa for some time. So we all share the theme – Out of Africa! Today, I’d like to introduce you to Ann Goodfellow. read more

What God Wants – Ashley Winter

This entry is part 7 of the series In All Things

It’s Friday Again!

Once again, I am interviewing one of the authors from our beautiful boxed set, In All Things. Today, I’m chatting to Ashley Winter, an author who was born and brought up in South Africa, but today lives in Wales. She wrote a 7-day book covering seven desires of God’s Heart.

Interview with Ashley:

Hello Ashley, It’s great to have you as a guest on my website. I loved having you as part of the team of authors who together wrote short devotional books based on Africa.

Ashley: Hi Shirley. It’s great to be here. Thanks for the invitation to talk about our latest project. I so enjoyed the whole process.

Shirley: That’s great to hear. I loved your theme. When I first read the title, What God Wants – Seven Desires of God’s Heart, I wondered where you were going with the idea. But it is a lovely and challenging read. And your cover is incredible! If there was a prize for the best cover, you’d get my vote! What was the best experience for you?

Producing the book

Ashley: I love to create, and this project was no different in that regard. Planning, writing, designing the cover, and then seeing the finished project is always rewarding. Then working with other like-minded authors, I got to enjoy seeing their books come together and compliment mine. A lovely process.

Shirley: That’s fabulous. I’m sure it wasn’t all fun and easy-going though. I know it certainly wasn’t for me. I had some real challenges. How about you?

Ashley: So true. I am not a non-fiction writer, so this was a challenge for me! I found selecting the chapters and then organising my thoughts into those chapters the hardest part.

Shirley: How did you find your experience working with the other ten writers? Some of them were well-published. Others were fairly new to the publishing scene, especially to e-book writing.

Ashley: That was an absolute highlight! And really—this was the reason I wanted to join in! Shirley, you were so organised, yet gracious, and made the whole process easy.

Shirley: This sort of comment constantly amazes me! It was a totally new experience for me, and I lived in fear of being blasted out of the water by one of you who had more experience in this field. You were the ones who were gracious! You just kept encouraging me and literally did everything I asked of you.

Working on a multi-authored project

Ashley, have you ever participated in a boxed set or any other multi-author project before?

Ashley: No, this was my first, but I’d love to do more in the future.

Shirley: I’m so glad this worked well for you, and that I haven’t scared you off!

Shirley: On launch day, 24th October, we held a bumper Facebook Launch Party, attended by 743 people. Wow!

From all reports, it party seems to have been a resounding success. I know I loved every minute of it. Well, almost every minute! There were times when Facebook had me chasing all over the page trying to find my missing posts!

How about you? What did you enjoy most about it? Did you have any major challenges?

Ashley: I always enjoy these Facebook parties! I love the interactions with readers and the way we like-minded women can come together and find a place to open up a little bit and share about our lives. No challenges! Only fun!

Over to the Readers:

As we round off this short time together, let’s ask our readers a question. Whether you’ve read Ashley’s book yet or not, how would you answer this question?

What one thing do you think God wants of you today? Don’t dig too deep. Just think of your life today, given all our current challenges, and give us an idea. What does God want from you?

Get the Boxed Set here

Other authors in the set already interviewed:

Shirley Corder – 7 African Animals

Sunrise to Sunset- – Deryn van der Tang

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News from Shirley

 

 

Meet Shirley Corder, Author of 7 African Animals

This entry is part 4 of the series In All Things

7 African Animals Author Interview

Over the next three months, I’m going to be looking at the authors who compiled the thirteen one-week books that make up the boxed set, In All Things ~ 13 Weeks of Devotions from Africa. I plan to interview all the authors and give you some insight into the background to their books, the motivation behind the themes they chose, and their general experiences of the project. 

I’m starting with the first book in the box. This happens to be my own, 7 African Animals, and what they teach us about God. Because this is my book, I obviously won’t do this in the form of an interview, but I’ll try to cover the same issues.

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Curried Mince and Vetkoek – yummy South African recipe.

This recipe is for the curried mince that we offered inside vetkoek as one of the snacks you were offered if you attended the launch party for our newly released boxed set of devotional books, In All things. Click here to order the boxed set. A LIMITED EDITION of 13 books for only $0.99. **LINK

Background to Vetkoek:

Vetkoek (literally Fat Cake, referring to the method of frying in oil) is a delightful, typically South African snack. This traditional pastry both in Afrikaans and Zulu culture (where it is called Amagwinya), is basically made from flour, water, sugar and salt formed into small balls and deep-fried until golden brown.

It’s usually served hot with curried mince but is also delicious with butter, cheese and jam (jelly).

For the recipe to make vetkoek, follow this link.

You haven't lived until you've tasted traditional South African Vetkoek and Curried Mince! Click To Tweet

To make curried mince:

Ingredients:

  • Beef Mince (If you’re in the US, you probably call it ground beef) – Buy mince with a low percentage of fat.2 You can also use pork mince (ground pork) or half/half.
  • Vegetables – including potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, fresh tomatoes, chopped into 1cm pieces. Optional addition of frozen petit pois (tiny peas).
  • Additions – Tomato Puree, Chutney, a pinch of sugar, and salt, beef stock which you can make with a stock cube and a cup of boiling water
  • Oil – to brown the meat.
  • Spices –  a selection including mustard seeds, fennel seeds, all spice, turmeric, and ground coriander. Finally, curry powder depending on your taste. It shouldn’t be over spicy, but should have a clear curry flavour.

Method:

  • Fry the spices then add the curried mince and let it brown. Keep stirring until the mince is brown and crumbly.
  • Add the onions and celery and fry until the onion softens.
  • Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, chutney and sugar and salt.
  • Once the tomatoes soften, add the carrots, potatoes and stock.
  • Put on the lid and allow to simmer until the mix is cooked through and juicy.
  • If there is too much liquid, allow it to boil without the lid for a few minutes.
  • Finally add the frozen peas and stir well.

Serving:

Split your vetkoek in half and fill with the curried mince. A small amount of chutney adds to the delicious flavour. Pick it up and take a large bite! Yummy!!!

Sink your teeth into this wonderful South African treat - Vetkoek and Curried Mince! Click To Tweet

(Thanks to https://www.foodleclub.com/ for the basic recipe and images for this meal.)

Alternative option

This mince mixture can also be used as a curried mince served with yellow rice.

To make the yellow rice:

Cook rice in water and salt as normal, adding a generous amount of turmeric powder and a handful of raisins.

Serve the curry and rice with

  • a small salad comprising chopped onion, tomato, cucumber and green pepper.
  • banana sliced into rings
  • desiccated coconut sprinkled on top (optional).

[stextbox id=’alert’]Have you ever enjoyed vetkoek? If not, will you try them now? Easy to make and delicious  to the taste![/stextbox] Leave a comment below.

Don’t forget to order your copy of the brand new book, In All Things!

Get Your Copy

In All Things – Exciting Boxed Set from Africa

This entry is part 1 of the series In All Things

Challenges, both good and bad, of lockdown 

I’m sure you all could list many examples of the challenges of lockdown. I think this is one of the first times in living memory where the world has been united!

Every country seems to also be facing other challenges, like race riots, demonstrations, acts of violence, looting, and crimes against women and children. Some countries have started to recover, only to be slammed by a second wave of COVID-19 as their level of precautions eases.

Here in South Africa, we had a very severe lockdown (Level 5) for three weeks, extended to five. W.H.O. described it as one of the strictest in the world. We then moved cautiously into Level 4. Just yesterday we listened to our president announce that as from midnight on Sunday 20th, we are moving to Level 1 but with a list of conditions that have to be adhered to.

We will be watching with some trepidation to see if we face a second wave. One thing we’re united on. Our economy cannot afford to face a second wave and a further lockdown.

At the start of lockdown, for the first time, I entered the world of cyber-shopping. From a microwave to a juice extractor (our originals having died near the beginning of lockdown!), from groceries to fruit and veggies, to biscuits and goodies, and even to buying shoes! (And yes, they fit!)

I must admit, I quite enjoy the luxury of not having to go out and spend ages in the shops. A quick click on the Internet or a sent message from my phone keeps us well-supplied. How blessed we are with the technology to see us through this difficult time.

Fresh Writing Challenge

As part of the need to have a clear writing goal in sight, I decided to challenge my Facebook group for Christian Writers of Southern Africa, CWOSA, with a lockdown project. I suggested we start working on a boxed set of short devotional books.

Ten authors took up my challenge, and for the last 16 weeks, we have been hard at work on our books. We are now in the final stages of editing, and hopefully next week I start the scary task of compiling them into one volume. It will still take some time, but hopefully, it won’t be too long.

In All Things – 13 Weeks of Devotions from Africa

13 short books for the princely sum of $0.99!!! Amazing value.

Get Your Copy

Click here if you’re interested in ordering. The boxed set is currently on preorder.

Although the link will tell you it will be available at the end of November, we’re hoping to release it to you way, way before then. That is just my cautious nature allowing for any mishaps or delays along the way.

If you look closely at the image (zoom in!) you will see there is an amazing variety of different themes, and each book is presented in the author’s unique style.

If you don’t already follow my author page on Facebook, I would encourage you to link there now, and allow notifications. Every second day, one of the authors presents a short blurb on her book so you can see the vast variety of topics you will get. Each book consists of seven chapters – one a day for a week.

Why 13? Because that gives you a quarter-of-a-year of daily readings. If you’re on Facebook, or any other form of Social Media, please may I invite you to pass on the news? 9 of these authors live in South Africa. The other two are born-and-bred South Africans although now living abroad. And we’re all members of CWOSA.

Different themes, different authors, different styles, different covers . . .

Don’t they look stunning?

Each author was asked to come up with a “spine title” so we could show it on the spines of the box set. So here they are with their full titles:

7 Animals (7 African Animals) – Shirley Corder
7 Desires (What God Wants) – Ashley Winters
7 Musings (Musings from an African garden) – Anna Jensen
7 Gifts (Life is Good) – Yvonne Tippins
7 Journeys (Steps of Faith) – Val Waldeck
7 Landscapes (Sunrise to Sunset) – Deryn van der Tang
7 Lights (Seven Lights for Dark Times) – Dianne J. Wilson
7 Overcomers (Seven Saints in Lockdown) – Val Waldeck
7 Promises (Promises to Cherish) – Vida Li Sik
7 Psalms (Inspired to Worship) – Ann Goodfellow
7 Poems (Poems from an African Garden) – Anna Jensen
7 Seascapes (Seven Reflections from the Ocean) – Marion Ueckermann
7 Storms (Peace in Life’s Storms) – Shirley Corder.

[stextbox id=’alert’]Please leave a comment below. In five words or less, how do you feel about this boxed set?[/stextbox]

So – once again – available NOW on pre-order. Coming soon.

In All Things – 13 Weeks of Devotions from Africa. 

Get Your Copy